We Can Love Again


Emma glanced down at her watch for the hundredth time that day. It was almost four in the afternoon, what was taking Regina and Henry so long to get back? The blonde was completely fine with Regina being gone a lot; heck, she could do whatever she wanted. But Henry was her son too, and she wanted to spend more time with him, though Emma certainly didn't want to have another custody battle with the queen.

"What're you doing inside on a day like this?" Hook asked her as he came through the door to their room.

Emma glanced up at him and his sarcasm, not feeling like getting into another debate with the man.

"I'm waiting for Henry to get back, he's been gone for hours," she muttered back in reply. Hook walked over towards her and sat down across from the woman.

"What, you don't trust Regina will take care of him?"

Emma rolled her eyes. "Of course I trust her, it's just that, I don't know..."

Just then, a spark of revaluation waved over him, a sly grin replacing his concern.

"Ah, I see. You're jealous of Regina because you think Henry favors her more than you."

Emma scowled defensively back at him, though she couldn't hide the fact that he was right. Over the part few weeks, everything seemed to revolve around Regina- she was getting attention like no other- the positive kind, too. It wasn't like Emma thought she didn't deserve it all, it just felt... Odd.

"I haven't been the most exciting parent to him lately." She admitted.

"Well why not?" Hook countered her statement without any hesitation. "You're the long lost princess of the enchanted forest; you belong here, this is where you came from. There are thousands of people who would love to meet you, the hero who broke a curse and saved the day. You can be very exciting if you wanted to be, love."

Emma processed what he had said. It was true, yet all she really felt like doing was what she had been doing along- getting to know Henry better. Especially since he was put though hell and back in Neverland.

"Where is everyone else anyways?"

"Mary Margret and David were invited to an 'oh so special' lunch with a few old friends, Neal is hunting or something, and I honestly have no idea where Tinkerbell went off to," Emma told him blandly, checking her watch again.

Hook didn't like to see the blonde like this; he missed her usual snarky comebacks. "Tell you what," he started, Emma's green eyes finding his, "how about I take you to the villages sometime- you know, to make things more exciting for you."

Emma raised an eyebrow. "Like... A date?"

Hook shrugged. "I don't care what you want to call it, you just need to get out. Seeing you like this is going to make me go insane."

Emma let out a light laugh. "Okay then, the villages it is. You're not getting me drunk though, I'm letting you know that right now."

"Who's getting drunk?" Came a voice that belonged to her son, who had just appeared in the middle of the room, along with Regina.

"Nothing you need to worry about," Emma smiled, relieved to see him again finally. "What have you been up to?"

Henry grinned. "Roland was showing us this game of his, and we played it for a while."

"Seems like you and Roland are getting to know each other better," she said, putting an arm around him as he came to sit down next to her.

"Why were you two just sitting here?" Regina asked, eyeing the pirate curiously.

"I was just waiting for Henry to come back, that's all." Emma said with a slightly defensive tone of voice.

"I see," Regina muttered, trying hard not to smirk towards the obvious body language she was putting out- Emma was jealous.

"That reminds me," Regina started slowly, "I have something I have to ask you."

Weird, Emma thought, she never went to her for something. Ever.

"Uh, ask away then."

Regina took a breath. "Would it be okay if Henry and I spent the night over at Robin's house tonight? He won't be there- obviously, I mean I wouldn't stay over if he was-"

"Wait," Emma stood up, cutting her off, "you're asking for my... permission?"

She didn't even care what she was talking about, not yet, anyways. Regina never asked for anyone else's approval except her own. She did what she wanted, when she wanted, where she wanted.

"Well I know you'd put up a fight if I didn't ask," Regina snapped back.

And to top it off, she couldn't keep the sides of her face from flushing as she stumbled over her words. That was enough for Emma- Regina Mills was really starting to change.

"I don't even care what you're asking me, I'm totally ok with it." Emma shook her head in disbelief, "as long as I get to keep teasing you."

Henry watched as his mother went over to his other mother and enveloped her in a huge bear hug, not sure he should feel about it.

"What's wrong with you and your family?" Regina scowled, shoving Emma off her, "I hate hugs! Never liked them, never will!"

"Which is why it's funny!" Emma laughed, loving the fact that now she had the upper hand in their extremely unique relationship.

Henry couldn't keep his laughs under control, he was practically rolling over with delight. "Maybe one day I can have a normal family!"

"The only thing Miss Swan will be kissing is her pillow," Regina smirked, "now are you gonna listen to what I have to say about tonight?"

Emma forced herself to stop laughing. "Yeah, shoot."

"Robin's going on heist thing with his merry men, so he needs someone to babysit. I told him I would do it if Henry could stay over with me."

"I don't know how I feel about Henry staying over at his house," Emma said, resulting in Regina sending her a pre planned smile.

"That's why I already said you would come with me- and that's what you agreed to, so there's no getting out of it."

Emma signed, she knew there was no getting out of it. Who knew though, maybe a sleepover with the evil queen could be a fun thing.

"And what, I'm not invited?" Hook drawled, putting on a saddened expression.

"Sorry, girls night," Regina replied, "with Henry and Roland of course."

Emma sighed. "I better get my coat then."

Robin turned back around and gave his house a final look over. It had been weeks before he'd gone on one of his escapades, he had to admit he was a bit out of practice. But he believed in his small group of dedicated men; they had accomplished so much in the past, now wouldn't be any different.

"You're sure you four will be fine here?" He asked once again.

"Of course, I can figure out where everything is." Regina reassured, "now you go- they're probably waiting for you."

Robin sighed. "Okay. Know that you're free to anything here, I have anything to hide. If you want to bathe, it's there for you to use, I really don't care."

Regina shook her head. "There's no way I could ever go back to cold, non pressurized baths. That's what magic is for."

"Well, the offer still stands," Robin chuckled, "Roland doesn't really need much before bed, just make sure he has his pajamas on and he brushes his teeth. Oh! That reminds me!" He cut his sentence short and brushed past them, walking swiftly towards the kitchen.

"You'll never guess what I made for lunch." He gestured rather proudly towards a pot of chicken soup, causing Regina to let out a laugh.

"You actually got it right?" She asked jokingly, turning to his son. "Did it taste good Roland?"

The four year old bobbed his head in a yes.

"Well. I'm impressed," she tilted her head playfully to the side as he back back over to them.

"As you should be. Now Roland," Robin knelt down to look his son squarely in the eye, "you listen to Regina and Emma- they'll give me a full report when I get back."

He nodded slowly before leaning forwards to wrap his arms around his father's neck.

"I'll miss you daddy."

Robin held his son tightly in his arms; it was always such a hard thing to leave him, even if it were for a short period of time. But he trusted Regina, he knew he was in safe hands.

"I'll always be thinking of you Roland," he said in a sincere way that touched even Emma's heart. "I love you."

The boy eventually let go of Robin, tears swimming in his eyes. "Now you have fun, okay?"

Robin stood up and ruffled Henry's hair slightly before turning towards Regina, drawing a blank on how he should handle the situation. Giving into his temptation, he wrapped his arms around the woman lightly, who was taken aback for a moment, but retuned the gesture almost immediately after. He pulled back after about two seconds and flashed her a quick yet charming smile, giving Emma a grateful nod before swinging a small sack over his shoulder and disappearing into the outside world.

The sun was just beginning to set, making the sky alive with beautiful and bright colors. The four of them watched him walk across the green field until he disappeared over a hill, leaving the group completely alone in his cozy little house.

"Well, what do you want to do?" Regina asked the boys, thinking the same thing for herself and Emma. The question was more directed towards Roland- it was his house after all.

"Let's go see Nightshade and Weston!" Roland answered enthusiastically.

"Who are they?" Emma questioned, feeling like she was missing something.

"The horses," Regina told her, as if it were obvious. Emma sighed, resentfully following her and Roland around the house to the back. It was going to be a long night.Henry left Emma's side and caught up to Regina, a bright smile on his face.

"Can we ride them mom?"

Regina opened the gate and gave him a reluctant shake of the head.

"We shouldn't, they're not our horses," she examined the disappointed look on her sons face; one day she would love to teach him how amazing it was to ride. "But we can pet them..." She tried reasoning with the boy, "you haven't been close to a horse before, have you?"

To her surprise, Henry responded with a yes. "David said I could start riding once I mucked out Sara's stall in the stables... It was when he was taking care of me."

Regina was completely perplexed. She had no idea about any of that.

"Well, I love horses," Regina smiled, walking over to Nightshade and stroking her hands gently over the animal's long, narrow nose.

"I didn't know you were so good with them," Emma said, watching her look so affectionately towards the black horse. Regina turned her head to face her, giving her a smug expression.

"Do you want to pet the horse Emma?" She spoke towards her as if she were Roland's age. The blonde scowled, folding her arms across her chest.

"No, I don't like them." It wasn't particularly that, it was just that Emma Swan had never actually been close to one before. They were huge, strong, and incredibly fast. That was all she had to know.

"You don't like horses?" Roland asked with astonishment, instantly grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the horse.

"Nightshade is a nice horse. Weston doesn't really like people."

Emma eyes the horse uneasily, knowing fully that Regina would bait her with it in the near future.

"Come on, the savior needs to be able to say she's at least touched a horse,"

Regina rolled her eyes, grabbing hold of her hand and placing it right between the animal's eyes. "See, not that bad."

The small, black horse had a sleek, thin coat of fur and big, omniscient eyes that seemed to stare blankly back at her. It wasn't that bad, in fact, it wasn't bad at all.

"It's my turn now!" Henry said, walking up in between his two moms to pet Nightshade.

That's how they spent the next hour, laughing and talking about horses as they stole bites of the apples and sugar cubes that Regina had conjured up for the horses. She had even persuaded Weston to emerge from the far side of the pen, baiting him with a nice, red apple. Henry was now begging for his own horse once they got to Storybrooke, and Emma seemed to be warming up to them.

"Alright, I suppose we should get back inside now, it's getting late." Regina told them, gazing up at the now blackened sky.

Both Roland and Henry let out disappointed groans, but they new better than to talk back to Regina. They all said their goodbyes to Nightshade, who had gotten the pamper treatment that night. The air was starting to get chilly, making the glowing light from the house seem extremely welcoming.

"It's almost eight, Roland. You have to get to bed soon."

The boy immediately scowled. "No, I don't wanna!"

Regina laughed, taking his hand and leading him to his room. "It'll be okay, we'll all go to sleep soon too. I'll help you get ready, if you want."

The boy couldn't argue much with that. He opened his drawers and pulled out some clothes, climbing up onto his bed and pulling off his shirt.

Regina could help but laugh when his arms blindly waved in the air, his head stuck in his shirt. She helped him tug it off and get his pajamas on, already feeling tired herself.

"Why don't you go brush your teeth, I'll be back in a minute to tuck you in." She proposed, remembering what Robin had said. Being a mother came easily to her, it was like reliving all the moments she had with Henry when he was that age. In all honesty, it felt as though Roland had been hers forever, even if forever was only about a month.

Regina got up from his bed and went to go see what plans Emma had for the rest if the night, which turned out to be nothing. As soon as she left, Roland got up and grabbed his toothbrush, dipping it in a pale of water and smothering it in white paste before sticking it in his mouth. Personally, he was overjoyed at the thought of going to sleep knowing Regina was just a few feet away. She would still be there when he woke up too.

He spit his mouthful back into the bucket and climbed back into his bed, waiting for Regina to come back like she promised to.

"You know, I'm feeling pretty tired myself," Emma admitted, "today was kind of a long day- Mary Margret and David sure have a lot of things planned."

Regina agreed with her slightly; the morning had started with her and Henry being introduced to the famous merry men. It did sound pretty lame, but sleep was always a good thing.

"So there's only one other bed in this house?"

"And a couch," Regina added.

"Who's getting what?"

Regina sighed. It was the all important question.

"How about this," Henry stepped in, before they could start their usual debate,

"I'll sleep on the couch, and you two get the bed."

Emma and Regina exchanged surprised glances.

"Um, I don't think that'll work," Emma said quickly, "I need my space."

"You two will just keep on fighting anyways." Henry raised an eyebrow, "and I need my space too. I'm twelve, I can't be sleeping next to my mom every night."

Regina scowled, she really didn't like the idea. Emma was annoying enough, she didn't want to have her breathing down her neck all night.

"See, I knew you'd like the idea," their son said with a smile, "I'll set myself up on the couch."

Regina rolled her eyes, remembering about Roland. "I swear," she pointed a finger towards the blonde, "if you hog the bed I'll push you off and make you sleep on the floor."

Leaving Emma with a threatened look on her face, Regina re- entered Roland's room to find him patiently waiting on his bed.

"We're all going to bed right now too," Regina told the boy, "we wouldn't do anything without you."

She opened up the covers, letting Roland crawl into them. He lay his small head on his pillow and stared up at her with sleepy eyes.

"Do you have fun here Regina?" He asked her as she began tucking him in.

"Of course I do," she said with a smile, "now you go to sleep, we have a full day tomorrow."

"Will you be here when I wake up?"

"I'll always be here, Roland." She said softly, running her fingers through his thick hair.

"Goodnight," he muttered, his eyes growing heavy. For the first time, he actually felt safe as he went to sleep without his dad with him. It felt good to know she would be there for him.

As Regina entered Robin's room, she silently griped to herself about sharing a bed with Emma Swan; just because she was starting to hate her less didn't mean she wanted to sleep next to her. The queen had a thing called personal space she didn't like most people invading.

"The like goes through right here," Emma instructed, tracing an invisible line with a wave of her hand, "cross it and see what happens."

Regina threw her a nice, sarcastic smile. "Glad to know the feelings mutual." The couch seemed more and more enticing by the second.

Emma climbed onto the bed and slipped off her shoes, Regina resentfully doing the same. With a snap of her fingers, she used magic to replace her shirt with a black tank top. As she pulled up the sheets around her, Regina stared up at the ceiling with a thousand questions running though her mind at once. For starters, she was lying in Robin Hood's bed. Secondly, the savior was lying right next to her, their bodies only inches from one another.

"This is normal, right?" Regina asked, her eyes still fixed on the ceiling.

"Sure, why not," Emma mumbled, "let's just not tell my parents about this, huh grandma."

The word almost physically hurt the queen. "Call me that again and I'll slit your throat when you fall asleep."

"Oh, that's comforting," Emma rolled her eyes, "does this mean we're finally friends?"

"If I say yes, will you shut up and let me sleep?"

Emma turned around so her back was facing Regina. "Sure,"

"Then yes," Regina said, closing her eyes, "we can be friends."

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