We Can Love Again

Dream On

The first thing Regina did after coming home from the preschool was have a head to head collision with her couch. She was done with driving to and from the place- it was so close to being summer, but the last day of school seemed to be so far away. In her many years of living, Regina never thought she would have to be caught up on grade school problems.

The sound of Roland laughing outside woke her up twenty minutes later. He was running around outside, chasing his beagle around with the garden hose. It seemed impossible to move from her position, lying on her stomach on their white couch in the living room, but she knew if she didn't, she would be there for the rest of the night. So Regina grudgingly got up and traveled upstairs, checking on Henry quickly to see what he was up to. Just as she thought, her son was on his bed, completely immersed in his new cell phone. She and Robin agreed on getting him an iPhone (she purchased two so Robin could finally get one himself) and he had been glued to it ever since. Regina wondered who he could be texting- it was hard seeing her little prince grow up.

"Liking the new phone?"

Hearing her voice made the twelve year old jump slightly, almost as if he didn't notice her standing in her doorway.

"Yeah, it's nice texting all my friends. And there's some super cool games you can get!"

The question was nagging at her, who he could be texting, but she knew it would sound rather direct. She was going to have to find out some other way.

"I know, you have fun. Just don't start getting on any sites without our approval."

Henry couldn't possibly find a way to tone down his eye roll. "Okay Mom, but everyone else at school has Instagrams and Facebooks."

Regina couldn't help but chuckle. "We'll discuss it later. Be happy with the phone first."

A few seconds later, he was typing away again on the bright little screen. His mother had no idea what she was going to do with him.

"I'll be in the shower for a little bit. Dad should be coming home soon, Caroline's asleep, and Roland's outside doing who knows what with the dog."

Henry barely gave her a sideways look in response.

Regina always found it relaxing to shower- it was the only time alone she had really, with wedding plans consuming her life and three children always needing her attention. Alone time with Robin had become just about nonexistent.

Feeling the warm water hit her skin was completely blissful to her; it was the only release to her with everything going on in her life, her one and only time to think.

And she had a lot to think about.

The one thought she had in mind was so incredibly perfect; she almost couldn't allow herself to think about it for the slight fear that it would stay just a dream. But it wasn't going to. What she had was tangible; it was real and it would stay that way, forever and ever. It showed in the pictures decorated about her house walls; in the hugs, the kisses, the 'I love you's' and the simple comfort of having a home. A real one too, where she knew she was loved and wanted. Where she knew her lionheart would protect her.

So she let herself dream about seeing Robin dressed clad in a black tuxedo, standing across from her, pledging his love for her, not just any love, but the truest kind of all...

Her eyes were closed as she ran shampoo through her hair. She wasn't going to lie, a smile had crept onto her face while thinking about the wedding. Sometime during her thought process, she had begun to softly sing some tune that played on the radio last time she was driving.

Been tryin' too hard not to get into trouble,

But I, I've got a war in my mind,

So, I just ride, just ride, I just ride...

"Regina?" She heard a voice ask loudly, echoing in the bathroom, "are you... Singing?"

She was so surprised, she nearly slipped on the shower floor.

"Uh, no... Just showering." She responded nervously, trying to get her act together as she heard Robin enter the bathroom.

Though the water was running, she could hear him chuckle- she could almost see the amusement on his face.

"You have a lovely voice, dear." He mused, opening up the glass door to stick his head through into the steamy atmosphere.

Regina scowled at him. "You can't prove anything, dork."

With that, she flicked some water in his direction and pulled the door closed. Robin got a towel out and wiped his face, still smiling.

"Roland's running around outside with Jupiter, hope you know that."

"Of course I do," she replied, turning off the water and stepping out of the shower, "I told him he had to clean up before dinner- by the way, if you could get Henry out of his room and off his phone for at least five minutes, I'll love you forever."

Robin rolled his eyes lightheartedly, watching her wrap a towel around her body. "Well, if that's all it takes... I'll see what I can do. But I've been preoccupied myself over this whole tumblr thing- it's quite fascinating."

He left her alone to change, and sought out his son and his technology problem.

After five straight minutes of arguing with him, Henry finally surrendered his phone in order to load the dishwasher in the kitchen. Roland was busy using the sink to rid the mud off of his arms; his puppy was locked outside, soaking wet and scratching desperately at the door. The boy had a smug look on his face- Robin was nervous to know what he had been doing outside.

"I'm almost done with sixth grade, Dad. In the fall, I'll be in middle school." He said with slight pride, anxiously glancing at his abandoned phone on the counter as he started on the dishwasher.

"You can't possibly be that old," Robin remarked, helping Roland dry his hands, "all my kids are growing up! Roland, you're going to be a full time kindergardener soon!"

Roland giggled as his father picked him up and began spinning him in the air.

"Yeah yeah, but what are we gonna do when it's summer?" Henry asked, hurriedly running about the kitchen with cups and bowls in hand.

"You know what we're going to do Henry, your mother and I are getting married." His father answered bluntly, "and after that, there's a honeymoon in order- no kids, just me, her, and some place amazing."

Henry sent him a cold look. "You're going to leave Caroline for that long? And, if mom didn't tell you already, you need a talisman if you want to leave Storybrooke."

Robin returned the look, setting his son down and letting him go free. "We'll think of something. Maybe in the meantime, you can talk to Emma and Neal about doing something fun."

Just then, Regina entered into the kitchen, her hair still wet. "Look who's being productive!" She said sarcastically, her eyes immediately cast towards the phone as it lit up on the counter. The temptation was beginning to overwhelm her; she was just about to casually check who it was texting him, but her son had already caught on. He put away the last dish and quickly grabbed his phone before she could see the contact name.

"Mom, I have a question." Henry began, typing away at his next text before glancing up towards her, "how does it feel to rip a heart out?"

Regina blinked a couple times as she registered the question. "Umm, I don't know... It's difficult to explain. What's with the interest in dark magic?"

The twelve year old merely shrugged. "I've just been wondering. How do you do it? Can anyone do it?" His eyes suddenly lit up animatedly. "Can you rip my heart out?"

The energy in the room had attracted the attention of the five year old. A simple question was rapidly spiraling into a full on show.

"You want me to rip your heart out?" Regina repeated, trying to wrap her mind around the thought, "why? Can't you just trust me on the fact that nothing good ever comes from ripping hearts out?"

Henry set his phone down. "I want to know what my heart looks like. You have magic again now, and I trust you. What more conformation do you need?"

His words stunned her- he trusted her with something as precious and delegate as his own heart. Exchanging a glance towards Robin, she finally surrendered. "Alright. Just know that this is dangerous stuff. It takes practice to accomplish, but... I've done it before, yes. It's been at least a year and a half since since I've done it, though."

Henry's smile grew in anticipation as he saw his mother fighting an inner battle in her head; he was going to win, he knew it.

"Just... Relax. Don't freak out, it'll just feel weird." She explained, cautiously preparing herself for what was about to come. It was fairly nerve wracking ripping her own son's heart out.

Regina tried to be gentle as she channeled her magic through her body, thrusting her hand into his small chest and pulling out quickly, taking his heart with him. The twelve year old gasped in surprise when he saw his heart before him, swirling with a red and golden color, beating in a steadfast notion.

"Wow Mommy!" Roland exclaimed, pulling Regina out of her thoughts. She looked down at him in slight surprise, only to see his face alight with wonder as he clapped his tiny hands together. There was not a trace of fear or anger in his eyes, just plain trust.

"That's so weird, I can't feel a thing!" Henry breathed, admiring his heart before him, "what can you do with a heart? Besides, you know..."

It was such a rush to perform such magic again; her body was on edge with excitement and success. "Well, a lot of things really," she began, soon stopping abruptly when she realized for herself all she could accomplish. Bringing the heart up to her lips, she started to speak.

"Tell me who you're texting nonstop, Henry Mills."

His face showed fear, but there was nothing he could do.

"Paige- Grace." He answered, resulting in Regina's mouth opening in astonishment. She tried to control her initial shock, but it was hard. Her Henry texting a girl?

"Jefferson's daughter? Oh, that's... That's nice," she attempted, soon feeling extremely awkward, "so... You're friends now? You never said anything about her before."

She felt Robin's hand on her shoulder, silently telling her that unleashing the motherly dragon would not be a smart idea. They would have to discuss that issue later.

"Can I have my heart back now?" He asked hesitantly, obviously nervous for further questions, "it's cool and all, but my chest feels empty without it."

Regina managed a comforting smile as she gently pressed the heart back into his chest. Her son released a relieved breath when it was once again beating in his chest.

"Thanks. That was so cool Mom." Henry said with a smile, gently pressing his fingers to the point where it had been removed.

"I suppose you really do have the heart of the truest believer," she remarked, finding it hard to believe it herself.

Outside, Jupiter was barking and whining, still shaking due to her wetness. Regina glanced out the window and scowled at the sight.

"Roland, what did you do outside?" She asked, seeing the sprinkler still spraying water all over the backyard. The boy cowered behind his father, avoiding eye contact with her. With a sigh, Regina went over towards the sliding doors and examined the damage.

"You have to turn the water off, Roland," she demanded, fetching her shoes nearby and putting them on.

"Oh, can you check my phone and see if Ruby ordered the bridesmaid dresses?" She asked Robin before heading outside, leaving the boys alone in the kitchen.

Obeying her words, Robin began snooping around for her phone, finally discovering it where she had left it on the couch. There were no texts from Ruby, but that didn't stop him from quickly glancing through her messages, soon stumbling upon pictures of his fiancé in the wedding dress she wouldn't let him see.

Regina's words came back into his head, saying it was bad luck to see her in it before the wedding.

But Robin really couldn't help himself; he looked anyways.

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