We Can Love Again

New Directions

Rumple didn't want to be pegged as a bad guy. All he wanted was his magic back, nothing else. He didn't know when he recruited Alan that he would end up hurting her, that was all his choice. He didn't want Robin to be angry with him either; the dark one figured he didn't realize that everything was to happen for a reason. Of all things, Rumple was certainly a man of his word.

"What, come to gloat?" Robin muttered, catching the man in the corner of his eye. He had been on the road for almost three weeks- he wasn't in the mood.

"Just came by to see how you were doing," Rumple said simply, noting how tired the man seemed. His shoulders were hunched and his head was aimed down at the dirt ground.

"Remind me why you can't do this yourself again?" Robin asked bluntly, clearly ignoring his question.

"I am forbidden, I couldn't if I tried. Believe me or not, there are higher forces out there than me."

He didn't.

"So you send me on this journey, take my family away, and give me a random piece of paper, expecting me to know what to do with it?"

The dark one gave him an irritable look. "You still haven't figured it out? I thought you would have by now."

Robin rolled his eyes. "And to top it off you're making me sound like a complete idiot. So tell me, how is this supposed to help?"

There was a thin moment of silence between them.

"Try looking harder."

It was an absurd idea; how could one look at a crumpled piece of paper with pencil written words even harder than he already had? But then Robin remembered how she had smiled, blushed, and even laughed at his words as he wrote them down. He remembered the amount of love that soared across their bedroom, all that potential finally letting go as she realized that he would do anything for her...

Robin saw Rumple's expression change- he looked satisfied with himself. Wondering what he was interested in, Robin bent his head down and gave the paper an attempted 'harder look'.

But he didn't need to. The paper was glowing. The words gleamed with a golden hue, giving his face an unnatural shine.

"What's this?" His eyes, once full of fury and hopelessness, now reflected an excited flame, almost like a child's.

Rumple gave him a smug look- if he didn't know any better, Robin would say he even saw the faint start of a smile on the man's face.

"True love is a very powerful thing."

Robin had to stare at the paper for what seemed like an eternity; it didn't seem real at all.

"It'll guide you in the direction you need to go," he instructed him, "no matter what anyone else says, the paper is always right."

It was exactly what he needed- a boost, a sign that he was going to return to his family. The abrupt ending to the conversation between Regina and him had left Robin discouraged; he knew they were okay, but he also knew they needed him there. Regina wanted to tell him something, too. He couldn't help but wonder what it was.

Then, a cocky smile spread on his face as he began putting things into place. He felt stupid for not seeing things so clearly before.

"You need me to do this for you so you can get back to Storybrooke, don't you?"

He said, knowing he was right as soon as he read his expression. "There's someone there, someone you can't get to without this replenished magic- right?"

Rumple's eyes never left his. "Her name is Belle. She's the only person who truly believes in me. I can't imagine not seeing her again."

Robin smiled. He really did have feelings for someone. Interesting.

"Well, imagine now I feel."

Henry was confused. It was almost noon, and his mother still wasn't awake. Something had to be wrong; she was always up early. The door to her room was shut tight, repelling all the light and happiness from it. He and Roland were both having fun, but Henry was starting to get concerned. Something had to be wrong.

"Why do you think mom's still in bed?" He asked his little brother, who was bouncing on his bed.

"I dunno, maybe she's sad." Roland said, as carefree as a four year old boy could be.

Henry scowled. She didn't seem to be too upset about the news from dad. But he knew all too well how expertly his mother concealed her emotions; she had raised him almost all his life, yet Henry didn't know about the man named Daniel until recently.

"Hey, I got an idea," he told Roland, standing up, "let's do something for mom- make her happy."

Roland smiled excitedly at the idea. "Okay!"

They both walked down the hallway, almost silently as they passed their mother's bedroom, and down the staircase. Henry fell to his knees as began searching though the cabinets for a kettle. Everything was placed in perfect rows, making it easy to find it- Regina had taken it out in the past many times as well.

"Mommy said we can't touch the stove," Roland told him, watching his bother fill the kettle with water and light up the stove.

Henry just about rolled his eyes. "I know what I'm doing."

Roland watched intently as smoke began trailing out from the kettle, heating up quickly. Then, Henry carefully tipped the kettle and let the steaming tea pour into a small glass cup.

"There," Henry said pridefully, "she likes this stuff."

Roland gave him a pleased grin as Henry held the cup in his hands. "Now you take this and give it to mom- she'll like it."

He passed the cup over to the boy cautiously, as if he were handing him a newborn baby.

"Don't trip, it'll spill." Henry told him.

Roland held the cup securely in his hands, taking tender steps forward back to the stairs. When he came to her door, Roland suddenly felt so small. The door was given a slight push, pouring in light as he entered.

It was immediately perceived that his mother was fast asleep; she seemed peaceful under the covers. Roland walked over to the edge of the bed, seeing her sleeping face illuminated by the light that was now seeping through.

"Mommy," he whispered, watching her chest rise and fall with every breath.

When she didn't wake, Roland reached forward and gave her nose a quick tap with his forefinger.

Regina slowly blinked open her eyes, trying to decipher what on earth was going on. She smiled when a darkened picture of her son came into view.

"I made you this mommy," Roland said proudly, presenting her the white glass teacup.

Propping her head up with her elbow, Regina peered down at the gift with surprise. "You made this... All by yourself?"

He dug his toes into the soft carpet. "...Henry helped too."

Regina let out a small laugh, taking the cup into her hands and feeling the warmth that came from it.

"Thank you, Roland."

The cup was slowly risen to her lips, and she took a quick sip.

"It tastes good!" She reassured, seeing his anticipated reaction. Roland grinned, but after a few seconds, his face fell slightly.

"Are you sad about daddy?" He asked in a small voice.

Regina sighed, giving the boy a thorough look over before answering.

"You look so much like him," she marveled, sending him a warm smile. "The both of you have this... Sparkle in your eyes."

Roland looked at his mother with such longing; he had never been told that before. Climbing up on the bed, he lay himself down right up against her. Regina carefully set her cup down on her night table and put her arm around him.

"I miss him too, mommy." Roland said, feeling her warmth begin to comfort him.

Henry then walked in, wiping the milk he had used with his cereal off his upper lip with his sleeve. He smiled to see Roland completely cuddled up against his mother, who seemed to be looking a tad bit happier.

"Like the tea?" He asked, "I remembered how you always make it."

Regina smiled, reaching out to mess with his dark brown hair. "It's perfect, thank you Henry."

The boy seemed content with her compliment. "You know, I like it better now that you're not mayor." He said cautiously, as if hoping she wouldn't get mad. She always used to in the past, when he was younger.

"Gives you more time to be here with us. I like that."

To his relief, his mother smiled warmly back at him.

"Me too, even though I don't get to boss people around anymore."

His old mom would never be caught dead making a joke.

"What's Will up to?"

Henry turned his head back down the hallway. "Sleeping, what else would he be doing?"

Regina sighed, feeling more than apt to staying in bed all day talking to her two favorite people. "I've never felt so exhausted before. For once, I don't feel like doing anything today."

"Does the baby make you tired?" Henry asked, suddenly feeling pretty tired himself.

"That's probably what it is," she said, trying to force down a yawn. She felt so much better with them there to talk to her.

Henry then walked over to the other side of her bed, sitting on the edge and watching Roland play with her hands. Never before had things been this lighthearted between him and his mom. It was different, but nice.

"Thanks for being here with us all the time," he said, "I like feeling like a family again."

Maybe their dad wasn't there, but he had a pretty great mother to be with him while they waited.

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