We Can Love Again

An Unexpected Gift

He awoke with an awful crick in his neck. Never had he experienced such an awful sleep- everyone in that small town seemed to follow the lead of the woman he met at the well. Robin got denied by the only inn in the town; they refused to let him stay. So he slept on the side of the first structure he saw. The wood made his back so stiff it was painful to stand up.

It was ridiculous how quickly news traveled. Everyone he passed gave him dirty looks- to them, he was the idiot who harbored an evil queen. Robin wanted to grab every single one of those villagers and tell them the truth, tell them that Regina was the sweetest and most wonderful woman he had ever met; tell them that he couldn't pick another woman in the universe to be a mother to his children.

As he walked down the Main Street of the tiny town, Robin tried setting his mind on where he had to go next. The destination Rumple had planned for him was literally in the middle of nowhere; the Far East region of the Enchanted Forest was inhabited by no creature within a thousand mile radius. He still had no idea what he was supposed to find, but he figured it would be pretty obvious when he got there. If not, he was going to give the dark one a serious talking to.

Robin wasn't too keen on walking another hundred miles in the stifling heat, so he did what any man would do- he went into the first bar he could find and ordered himself a beer. As he wrapped his hands around the cool glass, he couldn't help but think about the time he had taken Regina to the pub.

"You've never had a beer before?" Robin asked inquisitively, seeing her blank expression.

She shook her head no. "I've had wine before... Does this stuff taste good?"

Robin laughed. "It tastes more than good- here, try it and see for yourself."

She picked up the mug and took a small sip, letting the taste settle in her mouth and swallowing it hard. The face she made was amusing, it was like she just drank a swig of lemon juice.

Robin sighed, trying to push the memories from his head. He couldn't think of her at a time like this. He just had to leave the thought of Regina on the same note he always did- she was safe.

"You're looking lost, mate." A voice came from behind him, catching Robin off guard. A man came and sat beside him on the rickety barstools.

"On the contrary," Robin started, "I'm exactly where I need to be."

The man lowered his eyes down to his forearm, studying his intricate tattoo.

"What an interesting tattoo," the man stated, so bluntly it made Robin question who he was exactly.

"Thanks," he said, taking another sip before turning to look at him. "I'm guessing Rumplestiltskin sent you. So let it be known, whatever he sent you here for."

The man let out a low chuckle at his blatant reply. "You're a clever, I'll give you that. He did send me- tells me, you got something you need to get for him."

Robin studied the man carefully, wondering how he knew Rumplestiltskin of all people.

"Well... What is it?"

The man laughed again. "Hold on, I'm getting there. He wanted me to start by saying that Regina, Henry, and Roland are all in Storybrooke. They're all fine, considering the fact that they're completely alone and vulnerable."

Robins face darkened- that sounded exactly like something Rumple would say.

"Roland's doing okay?"

"As okay as a little boy in a foreign realm could be."

Robin gave him a look.

"Right- so he also wanted to give you this." He pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it. "Rumple said this would help with knowing where to go."

He took it from him anxiously. Once he read it over, Robin scowled and glanced back up towards the man.

"What the hell is this?"

The man simply shrugged. "I have no idea. He said it would help."

He held the paper up. "This has nothing to do with what Rumple wants me to do- how did he even get this?"

Once again, the messenger shrugged. "Hopefully you figure it out soon, Rumplestiltskin really doesn't like to wait for things."

With that, he stood up and placed a few bills on the table.

Robin couldn't think straight. He gave the paper a hard look, studying every single word like they were the most important words ever written. The title read, Five Things I Love About Regina Mills.

So you never forget what you're capable of.

Robin set the paper down with a heavy sigh, staring blankly into the darkness ahead.

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