We Can Love Again


Robin didn't want to tell Regina this, but he was somewhat nervous about starting a new job. It wasn't the fact that he was taking care of animals- that was fairly easy. He just wasn't so sure about this new realm, with all its technology and other foreign things. Of course, Robin played it off as though he knew what he was doing, but he honestly still didn't know how the lights turned on when he flipped the switch, or how images appeared on the screen when the television got turned on. He was a man that liked to be in control of his life; and with things so complicated, he felt like just the opposite. Thankfully, he had Regina and their two wonderful kids to help him.

"I can't believe you're finally off to a job!" Regina let out an exasperated smile, looking him over like she had done with Roland before sending him off to preschool for the first time. She couldn't help it- he was off to a life as a normal father and husband in the twenty first century. But Robin, her Robin? It didn't seem real to her.

"I'll be fine, Regina, Charming said it was a fairy laid back job."

Regina found she was still getting used to blue jeans and t shirts on him. Slowly, things were starting to ease back into a comfortable, normal life.

"You're lucky Roland doesn't have preschool today- he can come with you!" Regina said, immediately hearing Henry groan beside her.

"Why can't I go to the animal shelter with him?"

"I'm sorry Henry, I don't make the rules for school holidays. You get to go over to Emma's after school, though."

Roland came bounding across the kitchen with his lunchbox in his hand. "I made an extra big lunch so we can share!"

Robin smiled. "You're sure on top of things. Are you ready for a whole day with me little man?"

Responding with a fervent nod, his son grabbed his coat from the closet.

"Oh! I have a little something for you before you go." Regina added, fetching a small box nearby. When she opened it up, it revealed a small gray object, one that fit in the palm of her hand perfectly.

"What's that?"

She smiled, flipping it open. "It's a cell phone! I figured you needed one so I can get a hold of you easily."

"For me?" Robin couldn't help but ask, thinking about how small the town was. It didn't seem right. "How come it looks different than yours?"

Regina rolled her eyes at him. "You have to work up to a more high tech phone. Plus, you're just learning- I don't see you using it much unless you're trying to get a hold of me or the Charmings." She showed him, step by step, how to access the contacts on the outdated flip phone. "See, all you have to do is press Regina- that's me- and you get my cell number and our home number. You can either call or type me a message- see where it says message? To do that you have to press these little buttons until the letter you want pops up on the screen. Simple enough?"

Robin simply stared blankly down at the object, all the information sweeping right over his head. "Yeah... Yeah I guess so. Do I have to take this thing everywhere I go?"

"It can fit in your pocket. Just... Don't loose it. There isn't an abundance of cell phones here in Storybrooke."

Henry leaned over to examine the silver phone in his father's hands as he finished his breakfast. "Hey mom, if dad can have a cell phone, can I get one?"

Taking a moment to laugh, Regina shook her head. "No way! You're only in sixth grade, you don't need a phone."

The boy scowled. "But I want to text my friends! Don't you care about my happiness?"

She watched Henry as he sent her the best pouty expression he could make, responding by taking hold of his backpack and handing it to him with a smile.

"Have fun at school today," she called after him as he grudgingly started for the door. "You two should get going too. Roland, don't distract your father too much, be a good boy."

He nodded, walking over to her so he could give her a hug.

"Do you remember how to get there from here? Do you want me to drive the both of you?"

Robin took some amusement in Regina's kindness and consideration, taking a moment to run his hands through her hair and place a soft kiss on her lips.

"We'll be fine, I promise. I'll try calling you later today."

She nodded, taking one last glance down at their son with a slight smile. Then, they both exited out the front door, beginning on their way towards the animal shelter.

The building was dark when they entered. It smelled distinctly of animals, as it should have. Robin glanced around the area for a moment, taking it all in. Not that he had anticipated what he was getting in to, but it wasn't what he had expected it to be. Back behind the front desk were multiple rooms lined with kennels; dogs, cats, fish, even some birds were seen behind glass walls. Roland had quickly abandoned his father's hand as he leaned his forehead up against the cool glass, peering in excitingly all the new sights.

Charming had made a list mentioning all the food preparations and exercise times for every single animal there. Robin was surprised he took so much care of his job when he had it.

"Daddy look at all the little fish!" The five year old proclaimed, trailing his finger in the direction of the million guppies that were darting every which way.

Robin found it quite odd people would want to have fish as pets in this new land.

Before he could say anything, his son was already walking further down the line of cages and kennels. Naturally, Roland halted to a stop when he reached a cage that contained five tiny puppies, all of them fast asleep- except one.

Robin then finally caught up with the boy, resting his hands on his shoulders and peering through the glass. "They're cute, aren't they?" He asked, taking a moment to examine the note that was to the left of the cage.

"They're beagle puppies, only seven weeks old," he told the boy, who seemed to be mesmerized by the one puppy that was awake. She had light brown fur and a couple white spots, a short wagging tail, and floppy ears that perked up when Roland came by to say hello.

"Jupiter," Robin said, reading what it said on her purple collar, "her name is Jupiter. She looks pretty bored in there... Do you want to play with her while I get things set up at the front desk?"

Roland instantly looked up at him in astonishment. "Really? Can I Daddy?"

Fishing his new set of keys out from his pocket, Robin found the one that matched the cage number and opened it up, gently picking up the squirming puppy with his hands and passing it over to him.

"You promise me you won't get into any sort of trouble."Roland giggled when the puppy lifted her head up to lick him right under his chin.


Robin didn't seem so sure, but he left them alone anyways. As soon as he was gone, the boy set the beagle on the ground and took a toy from a basket nearby.

"You're a very tiny puppy," Roland began with a slight smile, squeaking the toy to get an excited reaction from the pup. "Just like me. Mommy says I'm tiny."

Jupiter let out a small yelp as she tried to take the toy from his hand.

"Did you know your named after a planet? I learned that today, my teacher told me."

And when Roland's guard was down, the puppy grabbed the toy from him and took off in the opposite direction. The boy scrambled to his feet, immediately racing after him, going as fast as he could. Jupiter was quick though; she was clear on the far side of the store in to time flat. He knew his father would be mad for causing such chaos, but he had to catch her. So the five year old ran along the rows of dog kennels, hoping he could eventually cut her off. But soon, his legs began to ache and his heart began to pound in his ears, halting him to a stop. Roland suddenly became sad inside, thinking he had lost the tiny beagle puppy forever.

He felt a shadow come over him just then, making the boy spin around in surprise. It was his father, seeming short of breath and exhausted, holding the puppy in his hands.

"Looking for this?"

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