We Can Love Again

Live a Little

It didn't hit her until she was at the doorstep that she and her family would be actually be separated. The realization almost made tears come to her eyes, though she tried to shove them down as much as possible. Regina couldn't help it- she loved her family.

"I don't want you to go Momma!" Roland exclaimed, securing his arms around her waist.

The SUV was all packed up and ready to go. She and Emma had prepared the previous week for their so called adventure, finding available stores and pricing everything out. Now all they had to do was get in and drive away. It seemed so easy.

"I know sweetheart, but we talked about this. I'll be back in three days with lots of stories to tell you."

He sniffed, looking up at her with glossy, tentative eyes. "New York City is where the Green Goblin was defeated by Spider-Man. If you see one of them there, will you tell them I said I?"

Regina just about laughed out loud at the sincerity of his voice. Obviously, he didn't know the difference between a real person and a fictional character.

"Okay, I promise. You make sure you're well behaved for your father, Snow, and Will. Whatever they say goes."

The boy nodded sadly, letting his grip slacken around her. Seeing his disheartened look, Henry came over towards his brother and sling his arms around his shoulders.

"We'll have fun, don't worry," the older boy promised, shooting his mother a smile, "I can't believe both of my moms are going to be on vacation- that means I get double the gifts when they get back."

Regina couldn't believe how much her son was taking on her sarcasm. "We'll see about that. Until then, you'll need to be a good big brother and help out with Caroline. And... If you do, I'll think more about getting you that cellphone."

Hearing that, he beamed as he gave her a tight hug.

"Awesome! I'll miss you, Mom."

"I'll miss you too," Regina smiled, hugging him back with all the love and intensity she could offer. She could tell Emma was growing impatient in the car waiting for her, but Regina didn't care. When she came to saying goodbye to Robin, she almost couldn't do it. She remembered how excruciating it was to be away from him the first time, how being separated made her feel so lost she might as well been dead.

"You'll have to tell me how New York is," Robin smiled, so convincingly encouraging it almost made her feel better. "We'll be fine here. You go and have fun."

Damn, she hated how positive he could be sometimes. She wrapped her arms around his neck before he could see her tears.

"I love you," she whispered into his shoulder, trying desperately to capture the moment for all it was worth. Feeling secure in his arms... That was home. And it was all she could ever ask for.

His hold on her slackened somewhat, and he pulled back to give her an affirmative look with his eyes. "You know how much I love you too. I'll take good care of her, of all our kids. I promise."

Regina believed his words in a heartbeat; the tattoo on his forearm proved it to be true, undoubtedly. She could only smile in return, before the image of Snow holding her child came into view beside her fiancé. It pained her to know that she and her daughter were going to be separated for the first time in forever, made her heart feel panicked in a motherly way, though she knew leaving her in Snow and Robin's hands was a foolproof decision.

"Momma's gonna be back soon, I promise," she told her daughter, leaning down to gently press a kiss against her soft head of hair. Her child simply stared up at her with such curiosity, such pure, unconditional trust that made her wonder why on earth her own mother would want to give up such a precious blessing in life. Regina actually felt sorry for Cora; she wouldn't give up the chance to see her baby grow day by day for anything.

"Thank you for helping to take care of her, Snow." She said, gently wrapping an arm around her.

Surprisingly, the younger woman chuckled. "It should be the other way around," she explained, "I should be thanking you for letting me be with her."

The two of them nearly jumped in terror as Emma leaned over in the SUV and honked the horn for three long seconds. Regina sent her a dry, unamused look, picking up her bags and turning her attention to her half witted brother, who was still wearing his pajamas.

"I heard there's a store there that sells every video game known to man," Will told her excitedly, "if you got me the newest version of Black Ops, I'd love you forever and ever."

She could've seen him ask that question from a mile away, but she hugged him anyways.

"I'll see what I can do. Just promise me you won't try and cook anything- you lost that privilege when you made flour tortillas with my sons."

Sending her a rather haughty glance, Will nodded. "Fine. You be careful out there; I don't want my sister getting in trouble in the big apple."

"I'm a queen, remember? I can handle things on my own."

"Alright then. See you in three days." He smiled, picking up her bags and handing them to her.

She could hear Roland crying as she made her way to the car, stuffing both of her bags in the trunk and climbing into the drivers seat.

"Took you long enough," the blonde muttered as she started the car.

Regina simply shrugged her shoulders as she took in the last image of her family standing in their driveway. "Can't say I'm sorry. Unlike you, I don't think I could live without my family."

Soon they were started off down the road, off towards the heavily spray painted line that signified the danger of crossing over- to everyone except the queen and the savior, of course.

"I said my goodbyes to Killian last night," Emma told her, "and my parents, and Henry. Saying goodbye right before you go is way too emotional for me. But now we can kick back and prepare ourselves for a six hour drive."

She propped her boots up on the dashboard, taking her phone out and beginning to play a mindless game on it.

"Hey, I didn't agree to this just so you could trash my new car," Regina muttered, leaning over and pushing her legs back down.

Emma sent her a distasteful look as they came close to the town line.

"Ready to enter the real world?"

Quite honestly, Regina was nervous to cross the line, but she would have to die first before showing any signs of fear to Emma Swan.

"What I'm ready for is a better selection in food- you can only take Granny's for so long." With that, the Mercedes zoomed right over the line, and the two of them were off towards New York.

"I've got the directions all set up in my phone. But once we get onto the highway, we'll have a straight shot for a few hours." Emma explained, obviously the pro in traveling. She spent a few seconds properly adjusting her seat, and another couple seconds fiddling with the radio until a good song came on.

"Not so loud! How am I supposed to even think with this stuff blaring?" Regina scolded, turning the dial back down to an appropriate level.

"Come on, live a little!" The blonde argued, immediately turning it back up, "you're such a mom. Do you even know who sings this?"

Putting her sunglasses on, she didn't bother to give her a sideways look. "Imagine Dragons. I'm not stupid."

Emma was honestly surprised she knew that. She began absent mindedly humming along to the chorus as she picked up Regina's phone and began looking through it.

"Ruby says she's going to get the boy's tuxedos ready while you're gone," she said, causing Regina to reach over in an attempt grab her phone back.

"Give it back!" She ordered, though Emma already had it clear out of her reach.

"You can't text and drive, it's against the rules here in the real world," the savior taunted in a childish way.

Regina sighed heavily. "Okay then, tell her she can size them all up whenever she wants. Just get Robin first."

Emma more or less paraphrased her words into a text and sent it to the werewolf. "Turn left up here and get onto the highway."

When she saw the traffic flying left and right, Regina got a tad nervous inside. She never had to deal with things like that in Storybrooke. It took her a good minute or so to enter the highway.

"Regina, you have to go faster if you don't want to die."In all her years of driving, the former mayor had never exceeded over fifty miles per hour. Now she was pushing seventy, and she feared for her life.

"You're doing fine, relax a little." Emma reassured, pointing towards the cruise control button, "we'll be on here for at least two hours. Just listen to the music and forget everything else. Soon, we're going to be in the best city in the world."

Emma convinced Regina to stop at a gas station off the highway a few hours later to get food. She was wary to eat at the restaurant she heard only horrible things from- there was a documentary made on how they made their food.

"We'll take two Big Macs," Emma said nonchalantly to the worker behind the computer, before Regina had anything to say about it. She handed the man a handful of bills.

"I never said I wanted one," Regina counteracted, "it looks fattening."

The blonde nudged her with her elbow. "It's good, and I'm paying for it. So shut up and be happy."

They both sat down and waited for their food as Emma downed her coke faster than anything.

"I think we're just outside of Manchester, really close to where I used to live."

Regina was already tired of driving. They had spent hours listening to music (and Emma singing along badly) while going through random conversations about the wedding. Robin had texted her a couple times since she left, telling her how much he missed her already.

Their Big Macs arrived shortly after, and Regina awkwardly picked at the burger in all of its glory.

"Just pick it up and eat it," the blonde muttered between bites, practically half of hers gone already. Regina didn't want to, but she was starving and it was the only food she was getting for another long while.

It wasn't as bad as she projected it to be- it was extremely messy, though.

When she looked up again, she was met with Emma's white iPhone right up in her face.

"Are you taking a picture of me?" She asked, a scowl on her face as she covered the lens with her hand.

Emma beamed. "Yup, and I'm sending it to your fiancé."

"No!" She exclaimed, watching her friend show her the sent picture on her phone screen in utter dismay.

"Already done. There's only few chances in life to get a picture of the queen eating a Big Mac in a Massachusetts MacDonalds."

Regina grabbed a handful of lettuce that had fallen out of her burger and threw them at her.

"You're lucky there's no magic here, or you'd be dead right now. Let's get back to driving," she muttered, throwing away her trash and tossing her keys at Emma. "It's your turn. I'm taking a nap."

So the queen and the savior retuned back to the road and continued to drive towards the Big Apple. Regina was passed out cold in the passenger seat, and Emma was speeding down the highway, going at least ten over as she blared her favorite song from the popular broadway musical, Wicked. Somehow, the former queen continued to sleep through it all; Caroline's crying had made her immune to all types of noises.

Robin had responded to the picture message by saying, tell her she looks adorable. I didn't know they made burgers that big in Massachusetts.

The last few hours of the trip became boring to the savior as she listened to the same songs on the radio, having nobody to talk to but herself. She wondered if Regina's house was still standing after leaving it to two men, her parents, Tink, and Ruby in charge of two boys and a baby.

"Hey, Regina, we're almost there." She said after the sixth hour of driving was up, the sky bright with afternoon sunlight.

The woman sat up and rubbed her eyes, astonished at the new sights around her. Buildings rose high in the sky, the city just a few miles from where they were. The traffic had become thicker; everyone seemed to be headed towards the ginormous city.

"We're going to have a place to park, right?" She asked, figuring there would be next to no space available downtown, where they were going.

"Yeah, they have parking available underground. What do you want to do when we get there?"

Checking through her phone, Regina purposely skipped past all the comments made on her and the Big Mac. "Uh, I don't know, check into our hotel I guess. Then we could just look around at all the shops and stuff, since we have all tomorrow to find a dress."

She had heard that shopping in New York City was amazing, they seemed to have every store imaginable.

And boy did she believe it. Regina was so taken aback by the hugeness of it all. She was surrounded by flashing advertisements, huge billboards, and buildings so huge they seemed to blot out the sun. This was coming from the woman who ran a kingdom for many years- she was astounded by the new and exciting city.

Emma eventually found a spot to park in and got out of the car, beginning to haul the bags they had brought over her shoulder. With Regina's help, they were able to carry everything to the hotel and get checked in. Though the room they were given was small, they quickly made due to what they had.

Regina was mesmerized by the world before her; so many new things to see all at once. Opening up the curtains, she marveled at the sight outside for a few long moments.

"Holy shit this place is huge," she muttered, watching all the people walking and talking on their cellphones at the same time beneath them.

Emma nodded. "Yup. Gotta love New York. Good thing we both brought our credit cards, because we're gonna be spending lots of money. You ready to go looking around?"

The adventure of it all made her excited inside. "Oh yeah. Let's do it."

She had never been this happy to get out and explore in her life- she just hoped the city was prepared to take on her royal majesty and the savior of Storybrooke.

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