We Can Love Again

Redeeming Herself

A thin ray of sunlight slipped through the window, slowly lighting up the room as the sun rose higher in the sky. Regina awoke to face the bedroom door, her mind instantly blanking for a second as to knowing where she was. Then she slowly began remembering the night before, all the fun things she did with Henry and Roland. Robins bed was surprisingly warm and comfortable, compared to the ones at the motel. She turned herself around so she was facing the window, the sunlight feeling warm on her face. Then, Regina froze when she realized there was someone else lying beside her. Her head shifted to the side to face a sleeping Emma Swan merely inches from her, making the queen fight back a scream as she ripped the covers off her and stood up, looking absolutely mortified.

She really hoped Henry enjoyed the couch.

Slipping out of the door, Regina left Emma in her deep sleep. Her bare feet padded across the cold floor, trying to figure out what to do while everyone else continued to sleep. The house was completely silent, only the drafted in sunlight lighting the hallways. Regina looked around at the house, realizing how cluttered everything was. Her motherly instincts started to automatically kick in as she resisted cleaning up everything; it was both a gift and a curse to be so OCD about messes. Henry always left something out or misplaced in their vast white house. It drove her completely crazy.

Giving in to her growing temptation, Regina walked over the living room and knelt down on her knees, starting to start through all the clutter that was scattered all over the floor. She knew it was technically wrong to look through his things, but she couldn't help it. If anything, she was giving him a thank you for letting the four of them stay over.In about five minutes flat, Regina had everything sorted into different piles- the biggest one by far a collection of Roland's toys. Robin sure spoiled the child; he had everything from wooden building blocks to capes fashioned from many colors of cloth sewn together.

Henry lay fast asleep on the couch as she worked, looking completely knocked out on his side. His mother tried being as silent as she could so she wouldn't wake him up.

After she placed all of Roland's things inside an empty basket she found and started on the rest of the clutter, finally feeling like a mother again after a long month of camping out on the wilderness with the Charmings.

She came across an old, tattered piece of paper, pausing for a moment to quickly unfold it. Everything inside of her told her not to read what it said, but Regina really couldn't help herself. She held it close to her face so the light would catch the ink on the as she began to read.

My dearest Robin,

I know how difficult this must be for you to understand. I know you won't stop fighting for a cure, but there is no way to stop death. Despite what we keep on telling each other, after I have this child, I will die. Robin, I want you to know how much I will miss you and seeing our child grow up. But I know you will do everything to take care him or her, just like you've been taking care of me. Just promise me you will also take care of yourself- sweetheart, promise me you can find it in yourself to be happy again. I love you, very much.

Katrina

"Being a bit nosy, are we?"

Regina spun around to see Emma standing in the doorway, her arms folded accusingly.

"No, of course not- I was just-"

"Cleaning up his house?" Emma finished for her, "can't say this is surprising."

Setting the letter down carefully on one of the shelves, Regina gave her an annoyed look. "Well our son is still sleeping, so keep it down Emma."

The blonde rolled her eyes and walking over to her. "You do know you kicked me like three times last night right?"

"Did I now." Regina replied smugly, picking up one of the baskets and putting it neatly next to the others. "Well my bad."

Emma seriously doubted that one was an accident. "Like I said, you tell anyone and it'll be the end of both of us."

Boy was that true. Regina wished there was a spell to take away that memory.

"What do you want for breakfast?" She asked, starting off for the kitchen.

"Well if you're asking..." Emma realized how much she missed Storybrooke food- her stomach was begging her for food that didn't consist of turkey legs or grits. How her parents lived here their whole lives beat her. "How about some bacon, sausage, eggs sunny side up, and some coffee."

"Do you want a buffet with that?" Regina responded sarcastically, soon pausing as she got an idea. "Well there's none of that here right now, so how do you suppose we get all these ingredients?"

Emma came over towards her and propped her elbows on the countertop.

"Hm, I dunno, magic?"

"Good answer!" Regina told her, "but guess what? I'm not gonna do it- you are."

Emma scowled at her comment. "Come on Regina, I'm hungry!"

Regina was absolutely loving being teacher for a day. "You want it, you have to make it."

Sighing, the blonde gave her a perplexed look. "Okay fine. How do I do it then?" Rumple told her to summon the anger inside of her, to think of all the people she wanted to save be casting the spell.

"Well, for simple spells like this, you have to concentrate really hard on what you want, and how your life will be better once you have it. The craving you have for all that bacon should make it pretty easy."

Emma absorbed what she was saying, thinking about how different of an approach this was.

"Do I, uh, have to say a spell, abra cadabra, anything like that?"

Regina let out a small laugh. "No, not for these spells. You not need to say anything unless you want to control someone, and some other harder spells as well. All you have to do is tune out everything else around you and think about eating all that delicious food- it does help if you close your eyes."

It was surprisingly easy to teach her magic; all she had to do was remember the simple things Rumple had told her, minus all the dark magic.

Emma obeyed the queen, closing her eyes and knitting her eyebrows in concentration. Regina watched her closely, honestly hoping she could at least get this simple task right- she was hungry too.

Her belief turned out to be right, for seconds later a huge plate of sausages, eggs, and bacon appeared in front of her. Regina couldn't help but smile.

"Open your eyes."

Emma did, a relieved look on her face when she saw the food. When she gave the plate another look over, though, Regina frowned. All the meat was still raw.

"You couldn't bother to cook it in that blonde head of yours?"

Emma grinned. "I had more than one wish- one of them was to see you slave over my food for me."

"Damn you, Emma Swan." Regina growled, irritably lighting the stovetop and throwing the bacon and sausage onto a metal bowl.

A few minutes later, the entire house was filled with the sweet aroma of breakfast sizzling on the stove. Henry sniffed the air, a smile spreading across his face as he remembered all the times he would wake up to his mom already in the kitchen, making him something yummy to eat before school. He sat up and rubbed his eyes, leaving the couch to meet up with his two mothers.

"Hey guys, sleep well?" Henry asked, observing how Emma was sitting down at the table while Regina was running all over the kitchen with three pans on the stove at once.

"Wonderful," Emma replied dryly, "can't thank you enough for proposing the idea of us sleeping together."

Henry grinned, his disheveled hair and still sleepy face adding to his triumphant complexion.

Yeah, let's not mention this to Robin either," Regina said, "I don't want him getting some crazy idea."

Emma nodded in silent agreement right as Roland entered the kitchen as well, dragging a light green blanket behind him.

"It smells yummy!" He smiled, loving to see Regina already at his house this early in the morning. His daddy always served him oats and milk for breakfast, never whatever was smelling so good

"Good, I'm glad." Regina smiled brightly towards him, shooting Emma a glare before she went back to cooking the food. "It's almost done, why don't you sit up at the table next to Emma and Henry.

Roland obeyed, choosing the chair in between them. "When's daddy coming back?"

"I dunno, hopefully soon." Emma told him, "we have to get back to everyone else."

Roland didn't understand her hurry, Regina was always looking for reasons to stay there so she didn't have to return to the others.

"Here you go, Princess Emma." Regina resisted flicking her on the head as she presented her a plate of all her favorite breakfast foods.

"Thank you Regina." The blonde flashed her a smile before she dove into her food.

"And here you go boys," she set the plates in front of them before taking a seat herself.

"Thanks mom!" Henry said, sending her a smile.

"Regina, where's my coffee?" Emma asked with a mouthful of bacon.

Letting out an irritated groan, Regina simply waved her hand, making a white porcelain mug filled with the black substance appear in front of her.

"What is this stuff?" Roland asked innocently, picking up a piece of sausage and examining it.

Henry laughed. "You eat it, it's good."

When the boy still continued to look confused, Henry leaned over and used his fork to cut it into small pieces. When he finished, he stabbed a piece with the fork and waving it in front of his face.

"Try it,"

Roland opened up his mouth and leaned forward to take it off the fork. Everyone watched him as he chewed it for a second before smiling.

"I like it!"

The three of them laughed at his delighted expression.

They all ate their breakfast peacefully, talking and laughing between bites.

After about twenty minutes, the door opened, revealing an exasperated looking Robin. They all turned around to see him, along with the rest of his crew.

"You're back so soon?" Regina asked, concerned to see how it went.

Roland was up out of his chair and running towards him within seconds, his arms already out and open.

"It went well!" Robin told them, scooping his son up in his arms, "we were able to get it."

He used his other hand to dig in the bag over his shoulder, pulling out a gleaming gold crown.

"Oh my God, that's amazing!" Emma exclaimed, looking at the crown in shock.

"Did anything go wrong?" Regina asked hesitantly.

"No, not really." Robin admitted, "just a lot of running around and shouting. We were able to catch his army pretty off guard."

Regina smiled, grateful he came back okay. "That's great, I'm glad it worked out,"

"Regina, did you clean my house?" He asked, taking a look around the living room.

Emma turned her head to face the queen; she was excited to see how she would play this one out.

"I couldn't help myself, it's a mom thing," she said, in all honesty.

Robin let out a laugh. "And you made breakfast? You've really outdone yourself!"

Regina smiled sheepishly. "Yeah, well, I had to do something to say thank you for letting us stay over."

"You're the one who agreed to babysit my son," he told her, "you keep making me more in debt to you, if anything."

"Do you guys want some food?" Regina asked, gesturing across the table, "you boys must be hungry."

The merry men seemed apt with the idea. "Oh, we couldn't impose. I don't want you to have to make us all food, you've already done enough."

Regina begged to differ. "Actually, Miss Swan here used magic to make all this food, this is about half of it."

"In my defense was insanely hungry." Emma shot back, almost immediately.

Robin shrugged, finding he wouldn't argue with that. He and the rest of the merry men made their way over towards the table, Regina using her own magic to instantly cook the food. The men piled the food on their plates, all seeming satisfied after a few seconds.

"You do realize you could've just yes magic the whole time, right?" Emma told the brunette, who looked extremely content with herself.

"Takes all the fun out of it," she replied with a shrug, standing up to taking her empty plate over to the sink.

As she did so, she felt a strong arm around her shoulders.

"I need to keep you around more often," Robin smiled, "this is the more delicious thing I've ever tasted!"

"Well thanks, always here to help." She smiled back, finding the merry men that once resented her smiling warmly at her through sips of coffee.

"You've fully redeemed yourself, Regina Mills," Little John said, "now I know what Robin here sees in you."

Regina didn't know what to say. To be accepted for who she was, that was new territory for her- and she couldn't get enough of it.

Still, she couldn't help but think about the letter.

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