We Can Love Again


None of them passed up the opportunity to travel to Regina's house and hear the baby news. No matter how hard they all tried hiding it, everyone was excited to finally know what the gender of Storybrooke's newest member would be. Ruby just about flipped her lid when she got Regina's call- she was first to arrive, nearly crashing her car into the side of her house as she parked.

"Regina, tell me!" She yelled towards her, causing the queen to send her a surprised look.

She and Robin had only been back at the house for about two minutes before Ruby had come pounding at their front door.

"Slow down!" Regina told her with a smile, putting her hands on her shoulders.

"We're going to tell everyone at once. You can wait for the Charmings to show up."

Ruby let out an exasperated groan as entered the house.

"Don't worry, she won't tell us yet either." Henry said, scooting over on the couch so she could sit down next to him.

"Why can't Emma and her parents just hurry up? I've already called all three of them seven times already!"

"You act like it's your baby." Robin joked, handing her a can of beer. Apparently, they came in cans.

She shrugged nonchalantly. "I just really like babies!"

He was about to tell her that it was obvious, but just then, the rest of the party came walking through the doorway.

"We came as fast as we could." Emma said, taking no time in grabbing herself a beer before sitting down. "It was hard getting these two out of the house."

"Hey, there's no way I would miss this!" Snow shot back at her daughter, smiling when she saw Ruby was already there. Will couldn't make it; he was stuck at work.

Roland looked like he was about to bubble over with excitement. "Tell us!"

Regina gave him a look as she and Robin sat down next to him.

"Okay... Robin, you want to do the honors?"

He took a deep breath, surveying the small group around him. They all waited with anxious expressions on their faces.

"In March, we will be expecting a baby boy."

A series of collective smiles filled the room. Ruby officially lost it; she let out a squeal and threw her arms around Regina's neck.

"Blue! Blue everywhere! We can go shopping right now- I can't wait!"

"We were right Roland!" Henry told him, ruffling his hair with his fist, "we're going to have a brother!"

Their living room had turned into a chaotic mess in a matter of seconds. Still, Regina caught the flash of pain that crossed Snow's eyes.

"I'm so happy for you two!" She smiled, holding David's hand tightly in hers.

Emma suddenly remembered what Roland had told her last time he was at the apartment. She figured with a heavy heart that Regina still hadn't realized it was his birthday in less than a week. Normally, she would have loved to see Regina caught off guard, but Emma cared about Roland- she didn't want his birthday to get ruined.

"Maybe you can tell everyone else at Granny's, maybe during a big event..." The blonde began, knowing she had Regina's attention, "a big event like... Roland's fifth birthday- which is in six days."

That was enough to completely obliterate all the happy excitement about the room. Regina stared back at her in frozen shock, her expression getting more horrified by the second. Robin looked just about as mortified as she did; they were on the verge of humiliation. Regina was his mother, how could she forget her own son's birthday?

"Yeah... Of course!" She managed to say, sending her son a comforting smile.

Something tugged down in the bottom of her heart, though- how could he not have said anything to her about it?

"Six days... We can have a party in six days, right?" She thought she was going to be sick.

"I have some things he said he wanted jotted down on my phone a few weeks ago." Emma reassured quickly.

"I'm excited!" Roland exclaimed, beaming as he climbed onto Regina's lap to hug her.

She could only send him a faint smile, one that hardly covered up the anxiety she was feeling inside. Now, on top of everything else, she had this to worry about.

"We can invite all of your school friends to Granny's this Saturday," Robin said soothingly, as if it weren't a big deal.

"In six days?" Regina said back, "invitations, decorations, presents..." She lowered her voice for the last word.

To keep things from getting awkward, Emma got Roland to show her his room. With him gone, both of his parents could truly begin to freak out about the situation.

"Oh God, what are we going to do?" Regina let her head fall into her hands.

"Hey, it'll be fine!" Ruby persisted, "Granny will definitely let you have a party at the diner. Besides, he's only five! He's easy to please!"

Five years old was far too old in her mind. He was her baby boy, seeing him grow bigger and brighter by the day made her heart heavy.

"In six days though?"

Robin kept his hands running up and down her back to calm her down. "Let's stay positive, Regina!" He attempted, "we just found out we're having another little prince."

"He's right, everything will be okay." Snow confirmed, with her usual cheery optimism.

"I just... Can't believe I forgot his birthday." She admitted regretfully, the words hanging sullenly in the air.

"You did have a lot doing on the past couple of weeks..." David told her, suddenly remembering something.

"Hey Robin, you've been looking for a job, right?" He asked, gaining the former outlaw's attention quickly.

"Yeah, what about it?"

"Well before the curse broke and all of us gained our memories back, I had a job running the animal shelter. Now that I'm practically running the town with Emma, I have no time to keep up with it. So... Would you be interested in having a job there?"

The proposition seemed so sudden; Robin didn't even know how to respond.

"Like, dogs and cats type animals?"

Charming nodded. "Mostly. It's a fairly easy job, you just have to make sure all the animals are fed and exercised."

Exchanging a glance with Regina, Robin considered the offer for a second in his mind, quickly realizing that he probably have a hard time finding anything else.

"What do you think sweetheart, can you see me working with animals all day?"

She thought for a moment. "You did say dogs were your favorite animals, so I don't see why not."

"But you're a queen; the mayor. What kind of husband would I be if I worked at an animal shelter?"

Regina saw what he was getting at, but she didn't want to explain to him the fact that he didn't need a high status for her to live him- she didn't care. Also, they didn't need the money- Regina had too much of that to spare. She was quite proud of him for wanting to get a job, to feel like a true father to their children and a spouse to her.

"An amazing one," Regina replied with a smile, "it sounds like it would be fun. I say you take it."

Robin turned back to David; that was enough conformation for him. "I'll take it- thank you so much for offering the position."

Charming smiled back at him, clasping his hands together. "Great. Be there Monday morning around nine. I'll get you started."

Everything was slowly falling into place, into that peaceful serenity Robin longed for.

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