We Can Love Again

Holding Onto Hope

Regina could hear her thoughts loud and clear, like someone next to her was screaming the words directly towards her.

Your son is going to die.

She thought she was going to be sick.

"Drive faster, you can go over the speed limit," she muttered, struggling to breathe in the dress she was still wearing. Blackness surrounded her; it was a familiar feeling to her, though suffocating. Regina thought that after being reunited with Robin again, after having Caroline, she would have a happy life, one where she was married to her soulmate.

But she was once the evil queen; though she had changed, she was still getting painful reminders that she don't deserve a happy ending like everyone else did.

"It's going to be okay," Robin began, reaching over to touch her shoulder, "Roland's a strong boy. The doctors will do everything they can..."

Sometime during their car ride, Regina had begun to cry. Her tears were hot, yet ran slowly and softly down her cheeks. The sun was setting outside, and night was rapidly falling upon them. Robin was running every stop sign in their way towards the hospital.

"Robin, I can't do this- I can't see him like this..."

All she could see when she opened her eyes was red- her son's blood, everywhere, staining the house where she thought she was safe.

"Remember when we were in that cell together? The only thing I had then was hope, hope that everything would work out in the end. That's all we have now. We have to hold onto the hope we have, it's the only way we can get through this."

She knew he was trying to comfort her, but his words only fueled her hatred. Going back to hoping things were okay wasn't at all what she wanted, nor what she needed. They were so close to finally living those dreams...

"How can you be so positive about all this?" Regina demanded, grudgingly accepting his offer in helping her out of the vehicle, "our son could be dead for all we know."

He held his arm around her shoulders as they walked towards the front entrance. With everything he and his family had been through, Robin simply couldn't afford to think like that. He knew what the tattoo on his forearm meant when he got it; spending every day trying to live up to those standards was something the man had trained himself to do.

"Don't you say that," he ordered as they pushed past the army of nurses in the foyer, starting down the hallway; that was, until Mother Superior stopped them.

"Whale moved him to the operating room upstairs just now."

"So, what, we're just supposed to wait until someone tell us what's happening with Roland?" The queen snapped, feeling just as powerless as she did when Henry was there after he ate her cursed turnovers.

Blue sighed. "Everyone that knows his current situation is busy trying to save his life."

Before she could respond, Robin spoke on her behalf. "Thanks. We'll head up there right now," he said with promise, steering her off towards the stairs.

Regina despised hospitals more than anything else in the entire world. Not only did she stick out like a sore thumb in her dress, but she was lost and afraid, following her fiancé blindly with only hope at her side. They found the room their son was inside, but they weren't allowed in. So Robin forced her to sit down on a plastic chair across from the door, one of many that lined the hallway. As soon as she did, though, her anger had melted away into tears of desperation. He pulled her into him as she cried, trying to keep himself together as best as he could. His little man was right behind the door before them; what was happening behind that door was completely out of his control.

"Hey look, Henry texted me," Robin said softly, showing her the message, "he and Caroline are safe over at Granny's. They're safe."

Safe was such a temperamental word. Her body was shaking in his arms as she wet the fabric of his shirt with her tears.

"He- he had always been curious about how her powers worked..." She finally got out, trying just about anything to make all the pain inside stop.

"Shh," Robin said, rubbing her back gently, "don't think anymore. We can't afford to kill ourselves out of stress."

He always made things so easy. That was something Regina could never understand about her fiancé- he possessed something she didn't have. It didn't make any sense at all, either. She was the queen, and he was the thief. Yet he challenged her, taught her... Even loved her.

Trying not to think about their situation worked out better than she expected it to be. Exhaustion clouded her mind, made her weak both inside and out. She stared down the long and endless hallway for who knew how long, clutching Robin's blue shirt and listening to his heartbeat.

"Why was he drinking?" Robin asked, his hushed voice shattering the silence about them, "he never drinks that much, and he would never drink in front of the kids."

But he did.

She closed her eyes and pressed herself closer to his chest. "Let's... Not discuss this right now."

The thought made something burn inside of her. It frightened her to feel this kind of anger again, for it reminded her of the way she once was, and that previous image had caused far too much pain. It was the same burning anger Snow told her mother about Daniel, when Emma had first came to Storybrooke, and when Leopold had put her through years of abuse.

She trusted him, let him into her house, let him live with them, let him interact with her children, get to know them, care for them... And then he betrayed her- them- throwing trust to the wind and burning all their memories too smoldering pile of dust. Because of Will Scarlett, her son was in the ICU.

"Robin, Regina?" Whale's voice called, causing them both to jump, "we have him in a controlled environment. Your son is out of any immediate danger."

The couple was up and at the door within seconds.

"Can we see him?"

The doctor nodded slowly, seeming unsure of himself. "Before I do, there's something I need to tell you."

Those words made her heart seize inside of her chest.

"He encountered a severe blow to the head. The brain is a very complex thing to deal with... It can be very unpredictable. Now, your son has a very impeccable mind; he's in that intensive growing stage, and his mind is at an extremely fragile stage. We gave him an MRI, checked for any internal bleeding, fractures, and we found none of those things. But... He's in a coma. His body shut down for some reason; he's asleep."

Neither of them could find words to speak. Regina felt as though someone had punched her hard in the stomach.

"Coma?" Robin repeated blankly, without expression. "For... For how long?"

Whale sent them both a sympathetic look. "We don't know. These things are always highly unpredictable. You can see him now though... Do you want to see him?"

Robin nodded quickly for the both of them, and the doctor escorted them into the room.

It seemed impossible for her to do it- to see him lying there, in a sleep that could last forever, something almost as bad as a sleeping curse itself. Regina thought she would surely faint at the sight.

But Roland didn't look dead, or broken, or even in pain. He just looked asleep. Tubes and IVs lined his arms, an oxygen mask was over his mouth, and a thick bandage covered the right side of his head. There was no trace of all the blood she had seen just hours before then.

"We're... We're getting married in three weeks..." Regina began, wiping her tears away with the back of her hand, "how are we going to get married if our son is in a coma?"

"Well, he could wake up tomorrow for all we know," Doctor Whale said, coming to her aid, "it all depends on what he decides to do."

Seeing Robin brush Roland's hair away from his closed eyes made her force back another wave of tears.

"But what if he doesn't? What if he stays asleep forever?"

One thought she had almost sent a whirlwind of emotions over her body. What if he wanted to be with his real mother?

No; the thought made her sick. After all the time they had spent together, after all the moments they had, all the love between them, she realized then that he always had a mother before her.

"Regina, are you alright?" Robin asks her hesitantly, putting a hand on her shoulder.

There was nothing about the situation that was okay with her. Her perfect wedding had been demolished by her brother's idiotic actions. But he wasn't her brother- he was a man that did nothing but fill her boys' minds with useless things, someone that had talked his way into a life with her and her family because he could barely support himself on his own. It was stupid of her to let him get so close to her children, stupid to trust him, to tell him things that not a lot of other people knew about her and her past.

There it was again, that burning feeling.

"Robin, give me my phone," she said, snapping herself back into the grim reality in front of her.

Her fiancé let his hands run down her arms, a somber look in his eyes.

"Everyone will get the message about all of this soon; you don't need to do it."Regina shook her head. "It's not that. I just need you to give me my phone."

After a year of knowing her, he knew there was no sense in arguing with her. So Robin got her phone out of his pocket and handed it to her.

He watched with uncertainty in his eyes as she dialed up Emma Swan's number.

"Emma? I know it's late, but I need you to do something for me."

"Is Roland okay? Henry was practically in tears when he called me."

"He's... Roland's in a coma," Regina got out, the word making her feel sick.

There was a silence on Emma's end of the line. "Oh my gosh, I- I can't believe it. We can be down there in the morning, as soon as we can."

"Thanks- we'll be here," Regina sighed, "but I need to ask you a favor... It's rather urgent."

Though it was almost three in the morning, she was more than willing to help out in the situation her friend was in.

"Sure, anything."

The queen took a shaky breath. "I need you to go to Will's house, and I need you to take him down to the station and lock him up."

It took Emma a few moments to comprehend what she was saying. Killian had told her that the man was drunk off his ass, but she didn't understand why Regina was so ambient about it.

"Regina, I can't detain someone for drinking more than he should."

"He's responsible for my son almost dying. Emma, he was drinking when he was supposed to be taking care of my kids."

The blonde didn't know what happened exactly, but she understood how important it all was to her.

"Alright. I'll head over to his apartment and see if he's there. But there's going to be a consequence for doing this... You know that, right?"

Regina clenched the phone tighter in her hand. "I know. But he needs to pay for what he did."

And pay he would.

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