We Can Love Again

It All Ends Here

Her son arrived back home save and sound late in the morning. Henry hugged Neal goodbye and walked up the pathway to the white house, looking a thousand times better than he did that last time Regina had seen him. It was quite a relief to have him back; his mother already dreaded knowing the fact that he was angry with her again, considering the years the twelve year old had spent practically hating her existence.

"Did you have a good time?" Regina asked gently, hoping he was in a pleasant mood.

Thankfully, he gave her a small smile in return. "Yeah, I did. I'm sorry I broke Will's mirror."

Regina held his face tenderly between her hands, warming his rosy cheeks.

"That doesn't matter, I'm just glad you're back."

The boy glanced around the empty house, wondering where Roland and Will were.

"When do you think Will's gonna be back? I have to talk to him about... Stuff."

Unfortunately, word already got around about what 'stuff' was exactly. So she say him down on the couch and cringed inside as she hesitantly began the conversation.

"Honey, you should've told me about kids at school saying things about your brother."

Henry tensed when she said it. "It's awkward to talk about this with you, Mom."

"Why?" Regina asked, probably too quickly, "I'm your mother and we can talk about anything. I don't like this whole keeping secrets thing."

The only thing she could think about was how he was her little baby boy; she had raised him his entire life, why didn't he want to talk to her?

"I know... I just knew you wouldn't be happy about it." Henry finally said, "it was two guys in my grade, Stephen and Darren. They said Roland wasn't really my brother and then they started calling him names. I wanted to do something about it but..."

His words broke Regina's heart right in two. Her little prince was the sweetest, most precious boy in the entire world. She knew he could never hurt someone else intentionally.

"You know, it doesn't matter what people think about us; as long as we're happy, none of that matters." She spoke softly, remembering the time period when everybody was out to get her. It wasn't a good time for her.

"But because of it... Nobody wants to be friends with me." Henry mumbled, keeping his eyes glued to the ground.

"Oh don't say that," Regina said quickly, "you just have to find someone who accepts you for you; nothing less. And if they can't do that, then screw them."

Her son glanced up at her in slight surprise- she never used words like that.

"Yeah. I guess so..."

Glancing quickly at her watch, Regina seemed worried. "I know you just came home, but I have to get to my appointment in a few minutes- do you want to stay here and wait for Will, or come with me?"

That was an obvious answer. Henry got bored every time he went with her to go see Doctor Whale.

"I'll stay here I guess. When will Roland be back?"

Getting up off the couch, she grabbed her purse and her car keys.

"I'll have him stay over there until I get back, Emma said he was pretty tired last night. She sent me a picture of Roland sandwiched in between Snow and David in their bed. It was really cute."

Henry laughed. "You'll have to show me when you get back... Bye Mom."

"Bye Henry, don't do anything against the rules while I'm gone."

She shut the door behind her before she could catch her son's roll of eyes. Even though he was twelve, it was still odd to leave him at the house all by himself. But she figured she would just have to get over it.

This would be her eighth appointment down at the hospital since Emma had persuaded her to head over there four months ago. Regina was now used to the routine of it all; Whale would ask her how she was doing and if she had any pains or issues, and she would say no. Then she would go through another ultrasound and get to see her baby again, which always made her happy.

"How are you feeling?" Whale asked as she entered his room, right on time.

"Fine," Regina answered, "the migraines are finally gone. I'm still drowsy all the time though."

"I think you're stuck with the drowsiness for a while, it's just your body's natural reaction I suppose."

She figured. "I can start... Feeling it inside of me. Is that normal?"

Whale almost laughed softly at her remark. "Well Regina, it is a living thing. I would think living things would begin to move around sooner or later."

"I know, it just surprises me sometimes."

Regina Mills was certainly something else.

"Do you want to take a look at your baby?" He asked gently, picking up a clipboard containing her information from over the months and examining it.

It was a regular routine for the both of them; all the uncomfortableness had been done with right near the beginning.

Doctor Whale switched on the monitor, taking a bag of gel out of a small refrigerator and warming it up between his hands. Regina was used to the coldness of it on her skin.

In no time flat, a fuzzy picture of her unborn child appeared on the screen overhead. She noticed how the picture looked more and more like an actual baby now, not just a blurry white mass. It was curled up tightly; with tiny hands balled up.

"Seems like everything is normal..." He muttered, more to himself as he recoded different things onto the paper.

Regina studied the picture for a moment, counting every time the ultrasound caught a heartbeat.

"You're almost seventeen weeks Regina; I'd say your pregnancy is just about halfway done." He told her, sending her a cautious smile, "it... Also means the gender could be determined- you can find out in a matter of minutes if we can get a better look at the baby."

His words snapped her attention back to reality. She wasn't sure if she heard him correctly. Was he about to tell her the fate for the rest of her life? Was that tiny little mass on the screen overhead really going to be a living child in her arms one day?

Suddenly, her entire world seemed detached, unreal almost. Regina couldn't see the hospital anymore around her- she only saw a life full of loneliness before her eyes. One where she no longer had a heart inside, only a dark void with no apparent end.

"No," she muttered, in only an icy whisper.

Whale gave her a confused look. "I'm sorry?"

"I don't want to know." Regina spoke louder, keeping her eyes glued on the white sheets beneath her.

Unfathomable silence came in between them; the doctor didn't know how to respond to her without setting her off.

"Regina... Don't think you should at least... Try to move on?"

No! He wasn't gone forever! ...Was he?

"Are-are we done here?" She asked him, retesting back into the emotionless pit she knew all too well.

Whale didn't attempt to reconcile her any further. "I suppose we are."

So she left. Regina had to get out of that hospital before she lost it completely. It had always been a rule she made for herself- don't let your guard down, and don't let them see your pain.

But she couldn't help it. Tears pricked the corners of her eyes and threatened to spill over. Chilly air hit her right in the face as she walked out the front doors. She crossed her arms over her chest and started down the sidewalk, head bent, her only objective to get back home as quickly as possible. Nobody could see her like this.But unfortunately, that plan was quickly demolished when someone called her name.

"Regina! Are you okay?"

She recognized that voice instantly.

"Yes Ruby, I'm fine." She managed to say, hiding her tears from the younger woman. But even Regina knew she wouldn't buy that.

Ruby caught up to her and stopped her in the middle of the sidewalk, grabbing her shoulder and spinning her around so she was facing her.

"Oh, you're not okay." She muttered, taking her hand without another word.

Regina didn't even try to resist as she lead her to the red car parked on the side of the street. She got inside and sat down in the passenger seat as Ruby made her way around to the other side.

As soon as she shut the door, Regina completely lost it. Her tears fell freely down her cheeks, along with chocked sobs that struggled out of her throat.

"What's the matter?" Ruby asked gently, noting that she had left from the direction of the hospital.

Regina couldn't control her crying, she could only manage a few strangled words at a time.

"I-I'm done, Ruby! I'm just done!"

All she could think about was the baby stirring inside of her.

"Why isn't he back?!" She demanded, though there still wasn't an answer in sight, "he needs to be back!"

"Hey, calm down..." Ruby said softly, touching her arm lightly.

She didn't have a reply to her. Everything she said wouldn't help at all, to the slightest bit. The knowledge of this made the whole situation seem utterly hopeless.

"Think about Henry and Roland!" She tried, making a pathetic detour to the issue at hand.

"I can't think about anything except this baby!" Regina tried to rid herself of all the tears that now soaked her face.

Ruby knew she couldn't avoid things forever; she was her friend and she was going to help her get back on track if it was the last thing she did.

"Regina... I know it's hard. But you have to start thinking about how to handle this situation. Life is changing, no matter how badly we want it to stop. You're having a baby, and you have to raise it, Robin or no Robin."

Gently, she took her hand and squeezed it tightly, waiting for Regina to make eye contact with her before continuing.

"I know how much you want him back. But you have to move on. I'm here to help... Will you let me help you?"

Could she do it?

Could she be brave and let go?

Could she let her soulmate turn into nothing but memories?

Her answer came in a weak nod.

How stupid she was for thinking she could ever love again.

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