We Can Love Again

Aim and Fire

The house seemed more warm and welcoming to her now, if that was even possible. As she traced her fingers along the faded yellow wall, Regina couldn't help but smile when she realized that the house was now hers. The bedroom, the living room, the tainted windows, the fireplace, it was all hers now- including the people that lived there.

Robin had set off to work on Henry's bed as soon as possible; he and the twelve year old had been outside for hours, dragging trees they had chopped down across the field where they began the timely task of sawing them down. Regina stole glances towards them through the window from time to time, loving to see them interact with one another. They both seemed so calm, so lax, it was like it was a normal spring day. It was hard to believe it had only been hours ago the Charming family had left.

Roland completely passed out as if on queue, giving Regina free reign of the house for at least a little while. She took the opportunity to begin organizing the closet in the bedroom they now shared. The left side of the closet was filled with Robin's clothes (very sloppy and unorganized, she noted quickly) and the right side was more empty; a few dresses, no more than three, hung neatly on hangers, all looking like they were untouched for a very long time.

Regina immediately knew they had to have belonged to her, Robin's wife. Taking one carefully off its hanger, she held it up to her body and examined the pattern and the fading colors.

"Pretty, isn't it?"

Regina looked up in surprise to see Robin standing at the doorway, a glass of water in his hand and a smile on his face. She nodded, taking caution in setting down on the bed and smoothing it over with her hands.

"She used to wear them in the summertime," he said, "and I'm sure you would look just as gorgeous in them."

Regina flushed. "I don't know about that," she told him, turning back to the closet. "I'm trying to figure out what I should wear. Any suggestions?"

Robin took a long sip of his water and thought for a moment. "What'd you wear back in Storybrooke?"

Letting out a small laugh, Regina sat down on the bed and looked up at him, a sly smile on her face. "Well, I was actually the mayor there. I had to wear pantsuits and blouses- uncomfortable stuff."

"Really? I can't picture you being a mayor."

Regina made a face at him. "You'd be surprised. It was a horrible job though, I did make a lot of money, but it was so much stress."

"I think you should wear whatever makes you comfortable then," Robin smiled, giving her a reassuring look, "and use as much of the closet space you want."

Regina knew that wouldn't be a problem. Back at home, she was used to a walk in closet all to herself.

"Robin, let's get back outside!" Henry said, walking into the room with a determined look on his face. He had some dirt smudged on his t shirt and sweat gleaming on his forehead.

"Alright, I'll be out there in a second," he told him, holding out his water out towards the twelve year old. "Want some?"

Henry nodded and took the glass, taking a long drink before wiping his mouth. "Remember how you said you would teach me how to shoot a now and arrow?"

Robin nodded, knowing where the conversation was leading to.

"Well," Henry started, "maybe we could take a break."

Exchanging a quick glance towards Regina, Robin shrugged. "I don't see why not. I keep my bow right by the door." He instructed him, putting a smile on the boy's face.

"Awesome! I'll go get it."

He took off across the hallway, more than excited to finally start learning.

Robin sighed. "Guess I have my work cut out for me today," he said to Regina, "do you really think he's starting to like me?"

She smiled, acknowledging the sincerity of his voice. "Yes, I think so. Now you better hurry, Henry gets impatient when he's excited."

"You're welcome to come watch us if you want," Robin told her, "not that closet organizing isn't fun."

Knowing he was right, Regina stood up and hung the dress back up in the closet. "Yeah, I guess so," she replied, following him out of the room. Being cooped up in a house would be a shame on such a nice day.

Henry had already grabbed the bow and a handful of arrows long before they had finally made their way outside. "Alright buddy, you ready for me to teach you?"

"I've been ready for a long time!" The boy protested, moving the pieces of wood out of the way so they would have a clear playing field.

Regina sat down on the grass and tucked her legs out beside her.

"Now what we need is a target, something we can shoot at," Robin said, looking around for something to use. Hearing this, Regina conjured up a bright red apple and tossed it towards Henry.

"Use this," she said, causing the boy to smile.

"Thanks mom!"

He ran over and placed it on top of the stack of wood Robin was making.

"Now, if you want to be a good shoot, you have to know how to use the bow. This one might be a little bit heavy for you," he told the twelve year old, standing behind him and holding the bow in front of him. "Put your hands right here, and keep the bow up right under your chin." He positioned his hands for him as he gave him instructions.

Regina smiled as she watched them, it was cute seeing Henry learn. The front door opened not too far away and she turned her head, beaconing with her hands when she saw it was Roland. He came over towards her, dragging his green blanket behind him as he went.

"What's going on?" He asked, looking at Henry and his father with curiosity as he sat down in her lap.

"Henry's learning how to shoot," she explained, running her fingers through his hair. "You're supposed to be asleep."

The boy smiled sheepishly. "I'm not tired."

Regina rolled her eyes and focused on the boys again- Henry now had the now positioned on his arms so they were ready to fire he had aimed at the isolated apple just a few feet from them. His face showed a tad bit of strain as he pulled the arrow back.

"Do you have the apple right below the tip of the arrow?" Robin asked, hoping he wasn't breaking his concentration.

Henry nodded slightly, almost holding his breath as the suspension built.

"Ok then. Fire when you're ready."

A few seconds past before Henry released the grip on the string, sending the arrow whizzing through the air. Regina couldn't help it, she held Roland tighter as she watched the arrow fly across the field, almost grazing the top of the apple as it passed its target and landed in the grass a few feet from it.

Henry frowned when he saw he had missed the apple.

"That's okay, lots of people aim too high sometimes," Robin told him, attempting to cheer him up. "You want to try again?"

The twelve year old nodded, accepting the new arrow he handed to him.

Regina always had a hard time keeping her mouth shut when it came to encouraging her son. When he was younger, she had signed him up for soccer, which had been a terrible idea from the get go. Not only was she terrified he would get hurt, but she would always take her anger out on his coach when they made mistakes (which didn't help because she knew absolutely nothing about the sport). Eventually, it was Henry who quit so he didn't have to deal with everyone teasing him about his crazy mother. But Regina forced herself to keep quiet and let Robin handle it; she had to admit, he was doing a pretty good job at it.

"Do you know what my dad told me about shooting arrows?" The man asked, putting a comforting hand on his shoulder. "He said that it never mattered if the target was hit, what matters is that you always have more arrows ready to try again."

Henry considered this for a moment before preparing his shot again, this time determined to get it right. He locked the apple in his sight and stared at it for a few long seconds before letting the arrow loose. It hit the apple and knocked it down behind the stack of wood.

Robin and Henry exchanged surprised glances, both taking off to fetch the arrow.

"You did it!"

Henry grinned, picking up the apple with the arrow punctured through it and pulling it out.

"Maybe one day I can be as good as you are," he told the man, taking a huge, juicy bite out of the fruit.

"A little more practice and you could be the newest member of the merry men." Robin replied, ruffling his hair for a second.

Henry held the arrow out towards him, though Robin shook his head. "No, you keep it."

"Are you sure?" The boy asked, gazing down at it as if it were the most important thing in the world.

"I have lots of arrows," Robin smiled, "but it's not every day a twelve year old as skilled as you are is able to shoot down an apple on his second try."

Henry returned the smile, running his hand over the stone tip.

"Thanks Robin, you're pretty cool."

Robin chuckled and put his arm around his shoulders as they both started off back towards Regina and Roland.

"So are you kid," though he wasn't completely sure what the word meant, "so are you."

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