We Can Love Again

Caving In

When Robin saw Roland interact with the tiny beagle puppy, something instantly sparked inside of him. Seeing his child so full of life made him think about how happy it would make him if that puppy was his. Of course, this thought got bombarded quickly by one big roadblock- Regina.

Robin cursed himself for thinking such a thing, seeing it was only his first day at his new job. But he knew Roland would love having a pet dog, someone to always be there for him.

"Sorry little man, but I think it's time to say goodbye to Jupiter- Mom will be here soon to take you back home."

Upon hearing this, Roland gave him a pouted look. "But she'll be lonely without me..."

Robin gently lifted the puppy out of his hands. "I'll take care of her while I finish up some things here. Why don't you start tidying up the toys?"

The day had been quite slow for him. Only a few people came into the shop, most of them just to say hello and to wish him luck. For the most part, it was just him and Roland; he would watch his son run and chase the poor beagle until they would both fall short of breath. Seeing them both so active made Robin feel exhausted, yet it was a relief, almost like a weight lifted off his shoulders.

Then, he knew- Roland needed that puppy. He would just have to deal with how Regina would react to it. Pulling out his newly acquired flip phone, Robin attempted to put his little knowledge to use. He tried to remember what she had instructed him to do, but it proved to be difficult. There were so many different buttons. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he found the contact titled Regina and pressed it. There was a ringing sound that emitted from his phone for quite some time, making him think he had done something wrong. But Regina eventually picked up, and he could hear her voice from his phone.

"Robin? You figured it out!" She exclaimed, causing Robin to make a tenacious look.

"Of course I did, it wasn't that hard." Total lie, but he had to start somewhere.

She chuckled a bit; Robin could almost see her prideful expression. "Well, any reason for calling? Henry just now made it to Emma's. I was planning to drive over and get Roland in a few minutes."

He took a deep breath. If the question was going to be proposed, it was going to have to be then. "I just... I had a thought. Roland had a lot of fun today with the puppies, one in particular-"

"Oh no." Regina cut him off in an instant, sounding fearful, "you're not suggesting we get him a dog, are you?" She didn't wait for a response. "Robin, I know you're trying to good dad to him but I really don't think-"

"His party ended with Neal and Killian nearly starting a fight at Granny's. I feel really bad about that, because it made him sad."

There was silence on the other end. Regina let out a long sigh. "I'll be there as fast as I can. Just don't do anything before I get there, okay?"

Jupiter squirmed in his arms, aching to become free once again. "Alright. We'll both be here."

Regina really didn't tell him how to end calls, so he waited until he heard the line to dead to set his phone down. After setting the puppy back in her kennel, Robin began pacing anxiously around the store, trying to think about what he was going to say to Regina. He always hated to see her angry with him, mostly because of the sole fact that she was definitely not the person anyone would want on their bad side. She had been an evil queen for heavens sake, he knew exactly what she was capable of. Robin just prayed she wouldn't send him off to another realm for wanting to get their son a dog.

Then, he heard Roland's voice from the front entrance; he was talking so someone. Robin swore under his breath, wondering how Regina got there so fast. But, when he arrived at the front door, he was more than relieved to see it was only Will stopping by for a visit. He had Roland laughing and smiling faster than anyone else was capable to.

"Oh hey William- Will," Robin shook his head slightly. "That's going to take some getting used to."

His brother rolled his eyes at him. "Nice to see you too. Just wanted to see how the place looked on the inside. Oh, and Ruby wanted to see if she could get more toys for her schnauzer- you know, ones that he can't chew through in a day."

Robin pointed towards the boxes towards the back. "You can have a look through those ones there. How'd your... Date go?"

Will gave him a look. "It wasn't a date! We just hung out, okay?"

"And now you're running errands for her? You must be smitten by her."

He couldn't have looked more defensive. "You're ridiculous- at least Roland doesn't patronize me." Will grumbled, earning a beaming smile from the boy.

"I don't tease you uncle Will! Do you want me to pick out a toy for you?"

Will responded with a nonchalant "sure," and Roland was off in an instant.

"Well, Regina's coming by soon to pick him up," Robin told him, "I want to try talking her into letting me get Roland one of the puppies here."

Naturally, Will let out a small laugh. "Good luck with that one... But hey, she let me live with her for a while, so she might surprise you."

"Surprise who?" A voice came from behind, startling both men.

Robin suddenly seemed flustered. He knew he was going to have to fight for his way.

"Nobody- Will and I were just talking."

Regina gave him a look. "Did Robin tell you he wants to get Roland a dog?" She directed towards Will, hushing her voice so her son wouldn't hear them.

"As a matter of fact, he just did."

Roland then came jogging back over to them with about seven toys piled in his arms. "Hi Mommy! Do you think Ruby would want these toys Will?"

For his answer, he selected the first one he saw and dug into his pocket to find his wallet.

"You know, Ruby would always let you play with her new dog," he told the boy, stealing a glance towards Robin as he handed him a few dollars for the chew toy.

"Yeah, but it would be fun to have my own dog!" Roland said, causing Robin to raise his eyebrows cockily at Regina.

"Roland, why don't you wait in the car? I have to talk to Daddy about some things."

The boy responded with a drawn out whine and an expression of protest. "But I wanna show Will-"

"No buts; get your coat on and head outside."

She gently steered his small shoulders towards the door, and he picked up his coat without another word.

"Not that I'm taking sides here, but he would be able to play with Ruby's dog whenever he wanted to..." Will began, attempting to break the uneasy silence between the three of them.

Regina responded with a heavy sigh. "Robin, what suddenly made you want to get him one so badly? You've only been with this job for a day!"

"I- I don't know, I just saw him playing with one of the puppies, and he seemed so happy."

Gesturing towards her stomach, she sent him a flustered expression with her brown eyes. "Did you forget that we're having a baby? There is no possible way I can have a dog running around our house, as well as a baby, and Roland, and Henry."

"Don't forget about me," Will interjected quickly.

"See? Roland's five, he's not going to be able to take care of a puppy- that means I'll end up doing everything, and that'll make me go insane, I swear."

"Henry can help!" Robin pressed, "and of course, I will too. It's just, Roland has wanted a dog for as long as I can remember, and it's never really worked out- until now."

"Are you suggesting you know Roland better than I do?" He couldn't escape the wounded expression on her face.

"No, of course not! Regina, you know he's as much as yours as he is mine. The adoption papers prove that. Here, follow me." He then took her hand gently, leading her towards the kennels in the back of the ship. There, Robin reopened Jupiter's cage and lifted the small puppy out once again.

"Isn't she cute?"

She swore inwardly as he held the beagle in his arms and looked at her with his irritatingly attractive brown eyes. He was beginning to get the upper hand, and he knew it too.

"Well it's a puppy, of course it's cute." Regina retorted bluntly, begging herself not to cave for him.

"You wanna hold her?"

He didn't wait for an answer from her to place the squirming puppy in her arms. Jupiter took to time to waste as she began licking Regina's face, showing no signs of letting up.

"Okay fine, you win!" She shrieked, squeezing her eyes shut as the puppy mercilessly licked over every inch of her face. Robin took back Jupiter with a prideful smile.

"We can try it." She said, shooting him a dangerous look, "but as soon as things turn chaotic I want that dog back in that cage, understand?"

Robin gave her an assertive nod as she began wiping her face with her sleeve.

"I love you."

Regina scowled at him. "Damn you, Robin Hood. I can't believe you talked me into this."

"Because I love you so much." He playfully tapped her nose, putting his arm around her shoulders and starting towards the front entrance.

As soon as Will saw them, he nearly burst out laughing. "No way! Did he really talk you into getting a dog?"

Regina sighed. "Nothing's final yet. But for Roland, I would do anything. So if he wants a puppy, I guess we could try it out."

Will merely rolled his eyes. "Unbelievable. You spoil that kid way to much."

The both of them exchanged glances with one another as they proceeded towards the door, where Roland was about to get the surprise of his life.

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