We Can Love Again

Lessons in Machinery

It had been a while since Regina had seen her son so happy. Smaller things always delighted him, like coloring books or his superhero shows- Roland was pretty easy to entertain for the most part. But it was rare to see such a bright smile on his face, one that was overjoyed, full of pure joy and excitement. Seeing her son race around their home with that puppy trailing by his side was amusing, nonetheless. Regina's thoughts towards his new puppy still remained centered on constant messes and broken dishes, but she knew Jupiter was indeed good for Roland. As much as she resented to say it, Robin was right.

"Why don't you take her outside?" Regina proposed, having to force him to stay still after running around the living room a couple hundred times. "You'll have more space to run around in the backyard."

Roland folded his arms sternly across his chest. "It's cold outside Mommy. Jupiter doesn't like the cold."

Regina gave him a look. "Why, did she tell you that?" She asked with perspicuous sarcasm, lowering her head to see the tiny beagle practically struggling for breath at Roland's feet.

"Oh honey, I think you tired Jupiter out," Regina said, "why don't you let her rest for a bit. You have to clean your room too."

Roland knelt down so he could pick up the puppy in his arms. "What do you think Henry will do when he finds out about her?"

Regina smiled. "He'll be just as excited as you are." Then, she glanced over at Will, who was still planted on her couch watching television. "You know, I think you should get Will to help you. He needs something to do."

That was enough for him. Roland was off to drag his uncle off the couch in an instant, resulting in the usual gripes and complaints that came with having Will Scarlett as a brother.

"Can't I catch a break at this house?" He asked her, as Roland continued to pull him by the hand up to his room.Regina watched him with a playful smirk. "Robin wanted me to help him with...

Something. So I'll be out for about an hour. You remember promising to be a babysitter wherever I needed you, right?"

He responded with a sour look as they ascended up the staircase. Regina had to wait for Robin to finish in the shower for a few seemingly long minutes before he came down, dressed in a warm flannel shirt and blue jeans. He was finally starting to get used to the new attire.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Regina asked him, her eyes full of concern.

"Of course! I need to know how to. After all, Killian can now."

"And you don't want to be left out of the loop," she finished for him, knowing exactly what he was feeling.

Robin nodded, slowly taking the keys out of her hand despite her unsure look. "I can do this, I promise- I'm a fast learner."

Rolling her eyes, Regina began leading him towards the front door. "Okay, but I don't want you to get hurt-"

"I won't! Just... Teach me how to drive, so you don't have to take me everywhere."

His determination came though as just plain cute to her. She was still nervous, but she allowed him to get into the drivers seat go her black Mercedes.

"First off, you stick the key in here to start the car. Push it forward until everything turns on."

Seeing his hands clutch the steering wheel was like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs- it just didn't happen, nor did it look right.

Robin obeyed, and soon the car came alive with different lights and sounds.

"Now, you see those two pedals by your feet? The right one makes the car move forward, and the left one slows it down and stops it." She knew deep down that their lesson in machinery would turn into a disaster very quickly. Granted, she had taught herself how to drive when she first arrived to Storybrooke. It took some time to get used to it yes, but eventually she got the hang of it. She figured Robin would do the same after some practice.

"How does this thing even run?"

Regina pointed towards the gauge located in the right hand corner of the panel before him. "Gas. When the needle gets closer to the E- empty- you need to fill it up."

He had seen her do it a couple of times. "Okay... How fast can it go?"

"Well, as fast as the speedometer will allow it to," she replied, pointing towards the bigger circle in the middle, "but there are speed limits here- in any town, really. You can't really go over forty unless you want to deal with the Sheriff. And nobody wants that. Now, you have to be really careful when you drive. You have to stop when you get to a red light at an intersection, and you have to stop when you get to a stop sign. If you don't, someone could hit you. And... That wouldn't be good."

Robin gave her a look. "Can I drive now?" He sounded like an impatient child.

"I guess... Put your right foot on the break and move this gear shift to the D, for drive."

His hands clumsily dragged the handle down the list of letters, moving his foot to the other petal immediately after.

Wait- Robin that's reverse!" Regina shouted at him, but not before the car jolted backwards, forcing them both forward in their seats.

"The left petal!"

Slamming his foot down, the car stopped abruptly. Regina took no time in grabbing for her seatbelt and clicking it into place.

"Yeah- Robin, don't do that." She muttered, trying to recollect her thoughts.

"Sorry." He responded sheepishly, making sure to keep his foot on the brake.

"You have to slowly accelerate, you can't just press your foot down. Same with the brakes. Unless you really need to stop fast."

There was no way Regina was letting him drive their kids until he knew exactly what he was doing.

"Now, out it in drive and we can finally get somewhere."

After double checking, Robin slowly eased weight on the acceleration, and the car began to move slowly forward.

"Good! You can go a tad bit faster- now, hold the wheel tight, it steers the car wherever you tell it to. So see that turn up ahead? When we get closer, move your foot to the brake to slow down and turn the wheel to the left. Think you can do that?"

It was a lot of information to take in, but he nodded. Despite her worries, he made the turn fine.

"Straighten out the wheel once you're done turning or else you'll end up hitting something." Regina quickened her words as another house came directly in their view. She leaned over to grab hold of the wheel so she could turn the car back down the road.

"We're about to reach a busier road, so you need to do exactly what I tell you to okay?"

"I can do this Regina!" Robin responded stubbornly, turning his head to the side so he was facing her.

"Eyes on the road!" She yelled at him, "you're going to make me have a heart attack. Now, see the thing sticking out on the left side of the steering wheel? Push it up- it lets people know where you're turning."

He found it eventually, and activated it was soon as they reached the intersection.

"When there aren't any cars in the way, you can turn right into the road. But you have to wait until there aren't any cars coming at you. When it's clear, slowly- slowly- press on the acceleration until you reach the speed limit."

Regina wanted to squeeze her eyes shut as he began turning, so scared for her life she was considering an intervention. But he turned successfully, and soon they were driving down Main Street at thirty miles per hour.

"Good! Be sure to stay within the boundaries though, the yellow line divides the direction of traffic."

He didn't seem to get what she was saying about that, for the car began drifting to the other lane within seconds.

"Don't cross the yellow line!" Once again, she grabbed hold of the steering wheel and quickly turned it the opposite way. "Are you wanting to get us killed?"

"Don't yell at me, you're making me nervous!"

"Well your driving is making me nervous!" She shot back, eyes widening when she directed her eyes to what was in front if them. "Stop stop stop! It's a stop sign you have to stop!"

"You said not to slam-"

"Slam on the brakes now!" She was practically screaming at him at that point. Robin did, and the tries screeched loudly until the car finally stopped. When it did, neither of them did said anything; they were frozen in place, their faces plastered with shock.

What they didn't know was that Emma was just a few yards from where they were, in the middle of walking towards the school to pick up Henry. She instantly knew the car belonged to Regina, but as she narrowed her eyes to get a better view. Robin had his hands around the wheel as if his life depended on it, his face completely paralyzed in fear. Regina was sitting right next to him; in fact, she was halfway sitting on his lap, five months pregnant, seeming as though she had just seen death itself.

"What... The hell." The blonde muttered to herself, quickly continuing down the sidewalk as the Mercedes began to move forward again. She figured she just wouldn't ask; what a strange family they had indeed.

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