It's a Family Thing
Old memories of coming down to Archie's house for sessions resurfaced as Regina knocked on the door once again. Therapy wasn't her favorite thing to do, but she thought it would be nice to have his opinion on her situation. Archie was a sweet guy; he had helped her out so much in the past. He was one of the very few people in the town that had seen her cry.
The door opened, and a surprised Archie stood before her and her son.
"Regina... Can I help you?" He asked, glancing down at the four year old boy that was beside her.
"Yeah, I was wondering if you... Had a few minutes?"
He had personally been waiting for her to show up at his doorstep again. Many rumors were going around about her, he was dying to know what was true and what wasn't. One thing was for sure though- something had to be up. She was wearing jeans, a white tank top, and some sunglasses.
"Of course- come on in."
Roland stayed close to her as they made their way to his dark colored couch.
Archie was just about ready to burst with excitement, but he kept his cool as he sat down across from them.
"Now who's this little guy?"
Regina patted his back softly, as to get him to talk. She knew he was shy around new people.
"I'm Roland." He said quietly, resting his head on his mother's arm.
"He's my son, long story." Regina began, repeating the same conversation yet again. "What's new with you, Archie? I hate talking about myself all the time- especially lately."
The man let out a small smile. "Nothing much really, I did get a new puppy though. You want to see her?"
Roland's smile immediately shone bright. "Yes!"
Archie got up and went over to a small bed in the corner of the room, gently picking up a small Dalmatian puppy and bringing it over to the boy.
"I got her for Pongo, he needs a friend." He told him, watching Roland hold the small animal in his arms.
"Her name is Lucy."
Regina smiled as the puppy started licking Roland's face. "She's so cute," she said, petting the Dalmatian's soft, velvety fur.
"So, do you want to talk about you now?" Archie asked slowly, though Regina's attention still seemed to be on the puppy.
"Uh, yeah, I suppose." She found it hard to let go of Lucy and surrender her back to Roland, but she reluctantly did.
"Hey Roland, do you want to play with Pongo?" Archie asked the boy, "he has lots of toys in the basket over there. Lucy likes some of them too."
The four year old nodded and jumped off the couch and headed for the bigger dog. Now that they were finally able to talk about grown up things.
"I heard from Blue that you were expecting a baby," he said, knowing being honest was his best option.
Regina sighed. "Yeah, I am," she said halfheartedly, "I know people have been talking about me. They think... They think I'm carrying some bastard child or something. I've heard all the conversations."
Archie suddenly felt extremely sorry for the woman, mostly because he had heard those exact words being said by other people.
"Well, I don't believe that." He said, "tell me what really happened."
Regina felt so discouraged as she repeated the entire story again; staying in the Enchanted Forest with Henry, meeting Robin, falling in love...
Thankfully, Archie seemed to be listening intently to what she had to say. Regina knew she could trust him.
"I'm here mainly because I need to find a way to get back to the Enchanted Forest." She told him, over the sound of Pongo chasing after toys Roland was throwing across the hallway.
Archie gave her a doubtful look. "Regina, I know you want him back, but you have kids to look after. I think you would be best staying here."
"I know, but I can't just stay at my house and watch television while Robin could be hurt, or captive, or- or-"
"He sounds like a very independent man." Archie pressed, "I know the dark one has power, but I think he'll be okay."
Regina didn't know how he could be so optimistic. "I just don't know what to do."
After a few seconds of silence, a lightbulb suddenly went off in Archie's head.
"You said Robin was a member of the Merry Men- right?"
Slowly, Regina nodded, noting the enthusiastic expression on his face.
"I know technically I'm not allowed to release files of my other patients but..." He stood up quickly, heading for his giant filing cabinet and opening up the door.
"Archie, care to tell me what's going on?"
"There's someone I used to have sessions with a couple years ago, someone who said he used to be in league with the Merry Men."
Instantly, Regina shot up and smiled. "Really? Who?"
Pulling out a folder, he flipped through the pages and pulled out a single piece of white paper. "His name is Will. Will Scarlett. You two might have lots in common; he's spent a couple years in Wonderland."
Regina took the paper from him and studied it carefully. It had his address, phone number, and criminal record- that was surprisingly full, she noticed.
"Maybe he knows how to travel realms," Archie told her, though he still didn't support the idea.
"Thank you Archie!" Regina said, glancing at the rectangular picture on the corner of the paper. She knew it wasn't much, but if the man had known Robin before in the past, he might know how to get him back.
"No problem. Just don't tell anyone I gave that to you."
Regina turned to face the scampering Dalmatian and her son, who were both coming back down the hallway. "Roland, we're going to go- tell Pongo and Lucy goodbye."
The boy looked disappointed, but he obeyed. He took her hand and followed her towards the door.
"Oh- and Regina," Archie caught her right before she exited. "Be careful. Will is a nice man, but he can be... Quite the character."
Regina gave him a look. "I think I can handle a character. I am a queen, after all."
With that, he waved goodbye and watched them as they slowly vanished down the hallway.
The car ride to the address put down on the paper lasted for about ten minutes as Regina tried to find the right house number. Roland was preoccupied with some Legos she had bought him a couple days prior; he had gotten substantially better at riding in the car. Ever since Regina had ordered him a carseat (and cleaned her car), he had stopped puking. She figured it just took a little while to get used to.
"Now you stay in here while I talk to someone okay?" Regina said, turning around to face him. Roland didn't seem to be paying attention to her; he was too engulfed in his superhero Lego set. Rolling her eyes, Regina grabbed her purse and got out of the car, heading for a small house that looked exactly like the others lining the street on the far side of town. She didn't want to make a quick assumption, but the far side of town wasn't the best of areas (the trolls tended to live among these parts). Nevertheless, the former mayor walked right up to the front door and gave it three hard knocks. She waited as patiently as she could for someone to answer it.
After a few seconds, it opened.
"Can I... Help you?" The man asked, looking her over with a confused expression.
Regina took a deep breath. "You're Will Scarlett, right?"
He gave her a look with eyes she couldn't quite read. "Yeah. Who the hell are you?"
That's funny, she thought, nobody ever asked that question.
"Uh, Regina Mills. I... Used to be the mayor?"
This sparks absolutely no interest in his emotionless face. "Oh, yeah. So what do I owe this fine visit, your majesty?"
His voice was seething with sarcasm. Regina as always the one to act like a bitch, it was never the other way around. This perplexed her.
"I came because I heard you used to be a part of the Merry Men." She said slowly, retaining her composure.
His face immediately darkened. "Who told you to come here?"
"Nobody!" She replied quickly, "look- I just need you to tell me if you knew a man named Robin Hood."
Will stared pointedly at her for a moment. "Yeah, I did." He saw excitement flash in her eyes for a brief second. He tried to think up a theory on why the queen would want to know about him, why she was standing at his doorstep looking somewhat like Ruby Lucas from the diner. He let out a small smile, one that Regina immediately knew meant he had something to hide.
"After all, he is my brother."
Silence swept between them as Regina simply stared at him, trying to render if he were serious or not.
"I don't need lies, I need the truth!" She shot at him, placing her hands on her hips crossly.
"It is the truth, your highness," Will said, his sarcasm showing no signs of letting up.
"No- he doesn't have a brother!"
"How do you even know Robin? I'm going to need some answers here."
Regina glared at him, so confused she didn't know where to start. "I'm his... Fiancé. Long story."
She held up her left hand, showing him the ring on her finger. Will raised his eyebrows slightly.
"Never thought this would happen. I mean, you, of all people?"
"Hey- let's stay on topic, okay? How come Robin never mentioned you before?"
Will rolled his eyes. "Because he doesn't know I'm alive, that's why. Long story short, we got separated when I was eight years old- he was twelve. Ever since then, I've been on my own. I did meet up with the Merry Men later on, but I had no idea Robin was their bloody leader. He didn't even recognize me… the bastard."
Regina scowled. "But- you don't even look like him though! Wait- smile really fast."
Will gave her a look. "I'm not going to smile."
"I am the queen!" She snapped hotly, "you will do as I say!"
He simply smiled back at her. "Nope."
Regina was just about ready to slap him. "Look- so you're his brother. Congratulations. But right how he's trapped in the Enchanted Forest, and I need help making a portal so I can get to him."
"Sucks for you, I have no idea how to make a portal." Will told her, sounding like he was enjoying himself.
"But I- I know you've been to Wonderland! How did you get there?" She demanded.
"Long story, but my white rabbit isn't here anymore. Only me, Alice and her stodgy boyfriend stayed here- but you probably knew that. Sorry I can't be of help, sis."
He noticed her face redden with anger.
"Don't call me that! He's your brother, for Christ's sake!"
"Doesn't mean I want to save his ass in the Enchanted Forest. Now if you excuse me, I'm missing my Walking Dead marathon."
Right before he could shut the door, Regina used her arm to stop him. "He has a son, did you know that?" She said quietly, on her verge of tears. She knew she had to stay strong, though- she couldn't give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry. Ever since the pregnancy, she teared up at the drop of a hat.
"Haven't had contact with him for seven years, so... No."
"He's four," she told him, managing a small smile, "and he's the sweetest little boy. You're always welcome to come see him if you want."
He paused for a moment before casting his eyes downward. "Goodbye, your majesty."
With that, the door closed, leaving Regina standing alone on the concrete doorstep. She stared at the door for a moment, slowly turning around and heading back to her Mercedes, trying not to let her emotions get the better of her.
Why did life have to be so cruel?