Greatest Hero of Them All
They were practically jogging down the aisles of the convenience store. It was later on in the day; they were all starving, but they had to pertain to the situation in hand- Roland was having a birthday in a matter of days, and they had nothing for him. Ruby had accompanied her on the desperate journey to the store for presents. Snow, Charming and Emma were in the middle of getting decorations.
"What are we looking for again?" Ruby asked, struggling to keep up with Regina's fast pace. She was amazed that someone four months pregnant could have so much energy.
"Superheroes- anything that has to do with superheroes!" Regina shot back, tossing whatever she could find into their shopping cart. Everything had turned frantic; she felt like time was quickly slipping away from her. The last thing she wanted was a ruined birthday party because of her stupidity.
"What about Legos- does he like those?"
"Yeah, sure." She replied, not paying attention as she began throwing in a couple t shirts.
Ruby then caught sight of the baby aisle next to theirs. "Regina! You gotta check out all these cute little baby clothes!"
She popped her head around the wall that separated them, holding a blue colored onesie in her hand.
Regina sighed, walking over to take it from her and put it back on the shelf.
"Ruby, we have no time for baby stuff! My son's happiness is at stake here!"
The younger woman rolled her eyes. "Oh don't be so dramatic! Like I said before, Roland will be happy with whatever you get him!"
"Whatever happens, he cannot know that we forgot about his birthday," Regina told her, trying to force down all the horrible feelings she had at the moment. What if Roland hated her like Henry once did? Her four year old had only shown her love in the year she had him in her life, and she wasn't about to give that up.
"Oh hey, I found a cape!" Ruby sent her thoughts back to reality as she showed her the red superman cape. Regina blew out a sigh of relief- that was the one thing she knew he really wanted.
Slowly but surely, things were coming together for the unexpected birthday.
Robin had stayed home with Roland while everyone was out. His fiancé told him to get all the information he could about what their child wanted for his birthday. Sure it had begun that way, but he quickly got distracted by trying to figure out how all the strange appliances in the kitchen worked. There were so many things it was hard to keep track.
"That's a blender, daddy." Roland said, climbing up onto the counter and taking off the lid, "you put fruit in it and it makes it into a drink."
To prove what he was talking about, he grabbed a banana from the fruit basket and peeled it.
Robin watched curiously as his son stuck the banana in the blender and pressed the ON button. Soon, banana mush sprayed everywhere, causing a sudden chaos in the kitchen.
"How do you turn it off?!" He asked loudly, over the roaring sound of the blender. Roland had his hands up protectively to his head, trying to keep himself from getting sprayed with the mush. He and his father began pressing every single button on the machine, until one finally turned it off.
Robin's front was covered in bits of banana. He couldn't help but chuckle when he saw how Roland looked- he had it in his hair. Grabbing a washcloth, he began the attempt to get all the fruit off him. He realized how stupid it was to turn to a four year old for kitchen help.
"We're both going to smell like bananas," Robin smiled, taking his son off the countertop. "Let's keep this one a secret- especially from Mom."
He figured he needed to give the kitchen training a break for a bit, so he tried thinking of ways to get Roland to talk about what he wanted for his birthday.
"Hey Roland, why haven't you talked about your birthday at all? Aren't you excited?"
The boy looked up at him with glowing brown eyes. "All I wanted was for you to come back Daddy."
His words instantly made him smile. "Yeah?"
Roland nodded. "I knew Mommy knew about my birthday, so I don't have to worry."
His smile faltered a bit. "So... I heard you liked superheroes." Robin honestly didn't know what superheroes were. "You want to teach me?"
Roland's face lit up like a candle. "Justice League is my favorite show! There's Batman, Superman, The Flash and a bunch of other really cool superheroes! They save the world from being taken over from bad guys!"
The whole idea seemed far fetched to him. "Well, am I a superhero then? Last time I checked I was saving the world from bad guys."
That was, until his band of loyal followers decided to turn on him. Perhaps they were the villains the whole time.
"You don't have any superpowers Daddy," Roland conflicted, obviously the one that knew more in the conversation.
Robin shrugged. "Can't... Love be a power? By that standard, I would be the greatest hero of them all."
That caught Roland off guard. He had to fish for something to say, almost like he was debating love actually being a superpower. His father did come back after four long months- it had to be love.
"Okay, love can be a superpower. Do you think it would be stronger than Mommy's magic?"
"I think you'll have to ask her on that one."
Roland went quiet for a moment. "Um, well Mommy hasn't had magic for a while, but she still is a really great Mommy... So maybe love is stronger."
Giving his son a smile, Robin scooped him up in his arms and held him close.
"Right answer. So- are you excited about your birthday?"
"Yes yes yes!" Roland exclaimed, giggling when his father began to tickle him- he knew just where to make him laugh. "You're back Daddy, that's all I care about."
He kissed his cheek. "Well, I'm back now. And I'm never going anywhere, ever again."
It was as if nothing had changed.