We Can Love Again


He held the mirror tightly in his hands, scowling down at it like it had done something wrong.

"Why won't you just work..." Will muttered, giving the crack that ran through it a long, hard look. He had swiped it from a traveling merchant almost a decade ago; it helped him for the longest time when trying to get a hold of people. Will wasn't about to lie, he used it to see Anastasia from time to time when he got lonely. It had gone with him everywhere he went, and eventually time began to catch up with it.

"What are you doing with that?" Henry asked, sitting next to him on the couch.

Will gave him a sideways look. "Well I'm trying to get it to work again, that's what."

The twelve year old leaned in to see his face reflect back towards him. "I would like to see my dad again. It's kinda scary not knowing what will happen to him." His face fell wish a sigh. "Mom got really sad after she talked to him."

And Will knew. That's why he was hesitant to bring it out again. It usually wore out from time to time, but he was wary that it might be the end of his magic mirror.

"That's why I'm trying to fix it again- so we can know how we can get him back faster."

"How can you fix it?" Henry asked, suddenly excited by his idea.

"Well magic is... Tricky," Will began, "sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't."

"Should I go upstairs and tell Mom you're fixing it?"

He shook his head. "Let's keep it between us until we can actually get it to work."

Henry figured he could deal with that. His mother would be upstairs for a good while; Roland was getting more and more irritable with taking naps.

"Dad said he wouldn't be back for a couple months..." He muttered, watching his uncle wave his hand over the mirror over and over again, creating different sparks- even different smells. "I didn't know the Enchanted Forest was so big."

Things at the house made everything seem so sheltered.

"Oh it is," Will told him, trying to withhold his irritation. "Trust me, there's lot of different people out there. And if you don't watch yourself you can get caught up with those types of people."

Still, nothing seemed to work on the broken mirror. He was running out if spells to try.

Henry wanted to know more about his past, though he was slightly nervous to ask. It was the same thing with his mother; he knew there were lots of things she didn't want to talk about.

"What was my dad like when he was my age?"

Upon hearing the question, Will quit trying to invent a spell that would work and set the mirror down beside him.

"Uh, well he loved sports," he began, chuckling to himself, "Robin would always drag me outside so he could play soccer. I was never that good at it though."

Henry smiled, trying to imagine his dad as a boy. "If it makes you feel better, I'm not that great at it either. We played a few games though. Mom would force me outside because she said I needed the exercise."

"And that's exactly what my mom said to me!" Will laughed, remembering how he would always gripe about it. He and Robin were basically polar opposites. But somehow, they were able to get along.

"I wonder what Dad will say once he knows you're living here," Henry said, "I bet he'll be excited."

Will picked up the mirror again, glancing at his reflection behind the crack that ran down the side of his face. "Doubt it- lots of things have happened since I was eight."

Henry scowled slightly with confusion. "You mean he won't be excited to see you again?"

His uncle seemed rather hesitant to answer. "I messed things up with him Henry, nothing else to say."

"I don't think he'll be mad at you for something you did forever ago," the boy said skeptically, "Dad is really nice. I told him once that I didn't want him to be a part of our family, and he forgave me."

Will managed a small smile. "Well maybe one day he will." Hopefully that didn't sound too much like a lie to his nephew, but he couldn't just tell him that he was wrong.

"You just promise me you'll take care of Roland, even when you're all grown up."

Henry couldn't believe what he was hearing; his uncle being sentimental? It didn't seem right at all.

"I don't know what I would do without Roland- he's annoying and he cries a lot, but a brother is a brother, right?"

Will was starting to look obscenely bored with trying to repair the mirror.

"Right. He won't be four forever."

He couldn't possibly think of Roland growing up. He still sucked his thumb when he thought nobody was looking.

"And then I'll have another little brother," Henry grumbled, "or worse- a sister."

Will shared his enthusiasm. "You can tease her then though, that's always fun."

"Mom calls you lazy behind your back," Henry said, watching his face grow offended.

"Well you tell her that she's stuck up," he shot back, "and I help out a lot around here- there needs to be some sort of man in this house. Who's going to teach you how to shave without your old man here?"

He shrugged. Maybe it was nice having a more manly influence in the house.

"Are you excited for the new baby to come?" Henry asked, suddenly curious.

Will thought for a moment. "If you mean am I excited to hear crying all the time and change diapers twenty four seven, then sure. I had to deal with babies all the time in the place I used to live."

The boy responded with a slight "oh," and started fiddling with his shoelaces. Upstairs, he could hear his mom trying to get Roland to stay put in his bed.

They both watched the mirror in silence, waiting for something to happen to it- but nothing ever did. Henry was starting to get discouraged. A good five minutes rolled by before a snapping sound was heard. Surprised by the noise, he craned his neck to see what was happening.

"You fixed it!" He exclaimed, "it works now! Get it to show Dad again I want to talk to him!"

"Alright, alright!" Will said, using the same spell he used the first time. Oddly though, nothing happened when he did.

"Well...?!" Henry was just about to burst with excitement.

He tried again, looking perplexed. "It's... Not working."

"What do you mean it's not working? You got it to work, didn't you?"

"I did! It's just... Not working."

Frowning, Henry tore his eyes away from the blank mirror.

"What does... That mean?"

Will sighed. Setting the mirror down on the couch.

"Let's... Not tell your mom about this whole thing, okay?"

Henry gave him an odd look. "Why shouldn't I? You're not making much sense Will!"

"Because your father is somewhere without magic," he sighed, "which means he's on his own- wherever he is."

He had never been more nervous in his life.

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