We Can Love Again

Her Second Chance

The blinding light soon surrounded them. They were engulfed by it, swallowed into the portal that was headed straight for the land where it all began- the Enchanted Forest. Going through a portal was indescribable; it carried a different feeling to every single person. To Regina, it felt like every fiber in her body had turned into a stretched out rubber band while her head spun around in her own carousel of panic and worry. In other words, she hated portals.

It was impossible to calculate time while within a portal, everything was jumbled. But, eventually, the electric blue currents dissipated into the cool night air and the eight of then soon found themselves lying on a freezing stone floor.

They all lay there, right next to each other, letting out some moans and winces after the aftershock had passed.

"We left... My ship... She's abandoned in Neverland..."

"I hate portals..." Snow muttered, staring up at the starry night sky.

"Me too." Emma responded sarcastically, who still had a pretty good hold on Henry.

"That was awesome!" He exclaimed, the first one to sit up and look around. His eyes widened when he discovered two men staring back at him with perplexed looks on their faces- one of them was instantly familiar.

"Dad!" Henry jumped to his feet and ran towards Neal, his arms already outstretched. He crashed into his father's arms and let himself become engulfed in his love.

Emma soon followed, not believing what she saw. "Neal?"

His eyes locked with hers, and smiles were exchanged before she ran over to him as well, taken in welcomely by her past lover and her son.

Robin smiled towards the reunited family, his attention soon veering back to the remaining people in desperate search for his lost boy. His heart leapt inside of his chest when he saw him, Roland, locked securely in the arms of a woman who was quickly scanning his body for injuries.

"Roland!" He shouted to his son, getting his attention and causing him to wiggle out of Regina's hold on him.

"Daddy!"

Regina watched with a tender smile as the four year old ran to his father, the man lifting him off his feet and pressing a kiss against the side of his head. It was sweet, but it also left a bitter residue on her heart- now that Roland had his family back, he didn't need her. She was foolish to believe she could find permanent love in that boy; she should have known. That would've been too easy.

Looking over her shoulder, Regina realized that Snow and David had left to talk with Neal and Emma, and Tinkerbell was engaged in a conversation with the pirate about something of the past- she was completely alone. She slowly stood up and brushed the soot off her clothes, trying to pass through the time idly as much she could.

"That's the lady who saved me daddy, that's her!" Her head snapped forwards surprisingly at the sound of the little boy's voice, soon realizing that both him and his father were walking over towards her.

The man seemed nice; he wore a kind smile with a light dancing in his eyes like small flames.

"You?" He asked, rather tentatively, "you're the one that saved my son's life?"

Regina was taken aback by the absolute sincerity in his voice. It was a rare thing to see the queen absolutely speechless- this was one of those rare times. "It was nothing, really..."

The man smiled lightheartedly, tears gleaming in his eyes. "It's definitely not nothing. I can't thank you enough for what you did!"

Regina found herself fascinated with his smile. She hadn't seen anyone smile like that... To her... Ever. She could feel her cheeks reddening slightly. God, what was happening to her?

"She's really nice dad, she made Neverland less scary." Roland said, still under his father's secure hold.

"Well, I suppose this means we're both forever in your debt." That smile of his continued to leave her dumbstruck.

"I'm Robin by the way. Robin Hood." He then extended his right arm towards her.

"Reg-"

Then she saw it. It was quite big, the mark imprinted on his skin. Her mouth remained open, the last half of her name never leaving, replaced by uncomfortable silence. Everything suddenly melted around her; the only thing that remained in her vision was the lion tattoo.

"Are you alright?" He asked with concern, seeing her face turn a chalky white for no apparent reason. He retracted his arm and waited patiently for a response.

"Regina," Roland finished for her sake, "her name is Regina and she's my friend."

The sound of his voice brought her back to her senses. She blinked a couple times, her mind running out of its way to come up with something to say.

"Yeah. Uh, sorry, I'm not usually like this..." She let out a feeble laugh as she began messing with her hair, absentmindedly distracting herself.

Really, that's all you could come up with? Her mind barked at her, you sound like a complete idiot!

Amidst all of her own happiness, Emma couldn't help but begin listening in on what Regina and Roland's father were talking about. The scene baffled her completely- was Regina really acting like an obscene schoolgirl at the moment? No, it couldn't be. Regina was as strict and uptight as they came; there was literally no possible way.

"You must have been through quite a lot to get here," Robin smiled, "you two will have to tell me all about it."

"Can Regina come and see our house?" Roland asked excitedly, "I really want her to see my room. Please dad?"

There it was, that damn smile again.

"Well... What do you say, Regina?"

He said her name in such a fond way. "I- I don't know what my plans will be for the best few days... Coming here wasn't exactly planned until a few hours ago."

"I'm sure you'll have enough time to have a little meet up," Emma's voice came from behind Robin, causing Regina to send her a tenacious glare when he wasn't looking.

"Actually, Mary Margret and I were just talking about taking a tour to her- your… castle tomorrow afternoon. Henry's pretty ecstatic about finally being in the Enchanted Forest."

"Great, so sounds like you're free then," Robin said, resulting in a hooray from his son.

"Miss Swan I am perfectly able to make decisions for myself you know," Regina tried hard to keep her voice calm. She could see the pleasure flickering in her eyes.

"Just trying to help." She replied innocently, flashing a smile in her direction. "I'm Emma by the way."

"Robin. Pleased to meet you."

He then turned back to Regina. "I guess that's a plan then. Let's meet back here tomorrow at noon."

Regina could only give him a weak smile for a reply. If she made it out of her situation alive, she was going to murder Emma Swan.

"Anything for the person my son adores so much," Robin let out a faint laugh, "we should be starting on our way home. It was nice meeting you."

She waved a goodbye to Roland as they started off for the villages, leaving Emma in their place as she watched them leave.

"Do my eyes deceive me, or does Regina have a crush on the hunky guy with the arrows?"

"What? Mom, you like that guy?" Henry asked in awe, his mouth slightly agape.

"Looks like fate decided to give you a second chance," Tinkerbell smirked, "if I were you I wouldn't blow this one honey."

Maybe she's right… Regina thought, maybe fate did have something positive in store for her after all.

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