We Can Love Again


Roland was glad his sister's room was located at the end of the hall, far enough away so he didn't have to hear her cry in the middle of the night. At first, it was hard to hear her cry so often; he didn't know how his parents could stay sane while enduring through the loud wails, the deafening cries that made him feel bad for her. He always wanted to know why she cried so much. His little sister quickly began to soak up all the attention offered between the three of them, leaving Roland with a brother and his superheroes. Sure he go jealous at times, but he knew Caroline was good for their family.

"Shh, don't cry," he whispered, climbing up so his head rose over the top of the crib. He lowered his hand down to touch her tiny little forehead in attempt to calm her down.

"What are you doing in here?" He heard his mother ask behind him, eyeing the scene before with curiosity. Roland had never been caught dead in the nursery.

Roland turned around to look at her. "She's sad. I don't like to hear her cry all the time."

Regina couldn't believe what she was hearing. "I think she's crying because she needs a diaper change. You're more than welcome to do that for me if you like."

He made a face as he turned back to the baby. "No, you can do that Mommy."

Striding over towards him, she gently picked up Caroline and set her down on the changing table.

"You know, just because your five doesn't mean you can't help out with your sister."

Roland shrugged. "I can if you let me. If she were my baby, I would use her magic to make her the most powerful baby in the world."

Hearing that, Regina nearly lost herself in laughter. "So that's what this is all about," she mused, fastening a new, clean diaper on her baby. "Sorry little man, we already discussed this- Caroline's powers stay blocked until she's old enough to learn."

He folded his arms while forming a pout on his face. "Why not? I can train her- that's what all the other superheroes do."

"Because she needs to live her life as a normal human being first. Magic always comes with a price, and I'm not ready to put her out there like that. My mother did that with me, and because of it I couldn't have friends like you do, or go to school, or do anything fun really."

Roland climbed up on the rocking chair and watched his mother securely hold the baby.

"Well you turned out okay Mommy." He said with a smile, causing her expression to brighten.

"I suppose if everything hadn't happened the way it did, I wouldn't have such an amazing family."

Her words were confirmed by the baby girl resting her tired head on her shoulder, by the son that trusted her with all of his heart, by the reassurance that her future husband loved her with everything he could possibly give...

"Would you like to hold her?" She proposed, causing Roland to nod excitedly.

It was sweet seeing her little boy and her baby together, since it seldom happened. Until recently, Roland had next to no interest in Caroline.

"Hold her tight, and make sure you keep a hand on the back of her head." Regina began, lowering herself down to his level.

Roland remembered her instructions from the past times he had held her, but he still took caution in taking her in his arms. He studied her tiny features for a moment, noticing how she was beginning to change. She was just over two months now. Though she was still little, the infant was remarkably bigger than when he last held her. Her brown eyes were weighted down with sleepiness.

"How is her magic being controlled?" He asked, breaking the silence.

Regina's face fall slightly- so that was why he wanted to hold her. "You'll never know. And no, Henry doesn't know either. Caroline's magic stays under control until Dad and I say so."

Roland gave her a look, one that instantly reminded her of Robin.

"Okay, fine," he surrendered, "but it's just not fair Mommy. You have magic; Henry has the heart of the truest believer... I don't have anything."

Sympathy filled her vision as she ran her hand through his curly hair. "Yes you do- don't think for a second that you don't have power inside of you. When I look at you, I see your father. You're both strong, brave, selfless... But also sweet and caring, with so much love to give. To me, that's the greatest gift to have- it's a power you'll be able to use your entire life."

Her son thought about her words for a moment, deciding if she was right or not. Maybe not all superpowers could be seen- after all, Emma's power to prove lies was just another part of her personality. The thought of being like his father delighted him throughly, but one thing was certain. He was going to figure out how his little sister's powers worked, if it was the last thing he did.

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