We Can Love Again

Keeping Secrets

The sound of the television blaring Roland's morning cartons could be heard undeniably from their bedroom. Due to their unexpected conversation in the dead of night, the two of them really hadn't gotten a good sleep.

"You really should sleep in more, I can entertain Roland." She said gently, wishing he would listen to her and not be stubborn, as he always was. "I'm gong to check out how the crib is coming along too."

Pulling the sheets from her body, Regina got out of bed and started for the hallway. Robin followed her, almost urgently. Before she could get to the nursery, he slipped himself between her and the door.

"Robin, what gives?" She gave him a look, reaching for the handle. He responded by putting his hand over hers, so she couldn't open the door.

"You- uh- don't want to go in there."

"Why? Stop being weird, let me in!" Regina demanded, trying to push him out of the way. But he wouldn't budge.

"I'm not being weird," Robin retorted, "there's just been a... Leak in the pipes. Not safe to go in there."

She couldn't believe what she was hearing. "What? How? You have to let me see!"

"No!" He shot back, trying to retain a laugh as she continued to try and shove him out of the way. His hands were firmly holding the sides of the doorframe, he wasn't going anywhere. "I'll call someone to check it out and clean everything up later, but Roland's waiting for you downstairs- can't disappoint him now, can you?"

Robin used his charming tone of voice on her, only irritating her further.

"You're up to something, Robin Hood," she said, narrowing her eyes, "I'm going to figure it out."

"Don't go evil queen on me dear; if you don't leave I'll have to use more effective measures on you."

"Nothing you do will keep me from doing through this damn door-" Regina wasn't able to finish her sentence before her fiancé began to tickle her relentlessly. He knew exactly where she was the most ticklish, too.

"Okay! Okay I give!" She struggled to breathe as he kept his firm grip around her so she couldn't get away.

"I'll go downstairs, just have mercy on me!"

Placing a playful kiss on the curve of her neck, Robin released her with a sly smile. "Only because I love you so much."

She swore to herself the entire way down the stairs. He was the only man that could ever best her at anything. Something was going on in that room, and she was going to get to the bottom of it.

Her son was plopped on the couch, just as she expected him to be, watching Scooby Doo and attempting to take a bite out of a juicy red apple every now and then. Since holiday break began, they had time they didn't know what to do with. It was relaxing, but strange to get used to having both of her kids around for the entire day.

"Hey there, little man. What've you been up to? Watching cartoons?" She said, sitting down next to him and stealing his apple.

"They're fun!" He replied shortly, climbing onto her lap in an attempt to take his apple back. That didn't stop her from taking a bite out of it.

"Mommy, give it back!" Her little boy insisted, straddling her with his red checkered pajama pants.

"Fine, but only if you tell me what you know about Daddy and what he's doing to the nursery."

Roland gave her a curious look as he received his apple back. "I don't know, Daddy's been in there a lot."

He settled himself in her arms, continuing to watch his show.

"Well, he's doing something. Not sure if I like it or not," she rested her chin on top of his curly mop of hair. "You didn't hear anything last night, did you?"

"No Momma, I was asleep. Henry stayed up late on his game though."

She couldn't help but laugh; her son sounded so nervous to tell her about it. "He must be tired then. What are we going to do today?"

Roland snuggled up against her. "Well you don't need to get me a present any more, because Santa is getting it for me." He remarked proudly.

"That's right, he did didn't he?" She smiled, "but do you want to find something for Henry? Christmas is only a few weeks away."

He let out a loud hum, as if debating the question. "I'll have to get presents for everyone! You, Papa, Will, Henry, Snow, David, Emma, Killian, Neal, and Ruby! Oh, and Jupiter!"

Chuckling at his ambition, Regina gently rocked him back and forth in her lap.

"We have a big family, don't we? Everyone in this town loves and adores you, almost as much as I do." Then, she had a thought. Regina knew the Charmings would probably hold another huge get together for the holiday, as they always did. But Snow and David did so much for everyone; she suddenly felt the need to give back a favor in return. It would be bold and surprisingly witty, yet incredibly doable.

"Hey Roland, how would you feel about having a Christmas party here at our house?"

The child looked up at her in surprise. "But doesn't Grandma always-"

"She does, yes, but I think it would be fun to have it here. Everyone can come, bring food, and deliver presents. That way you can easily give something to everyone that comes."

"Yes! That's a great idea Mommy! I'll tell all my friends!"

Sure, she was still uncertain about how everyone would feel about coming over to the Queen's house for fun and presents, but she felt safe enough to try. After all, she had earned it.

Henry couldn't help but give his father a mock roll of eyes as he saw him working away inside the nursery. "I can't believe you actually got her away from the door without her attacking you," he remarked, watching as he began sorting through piles of baby things that were sprawled across the carpet.

"Well, she's your mother; I managed to talk her out of it." Robin smirked, "but she can never know about this, Henry. Not until Christmas- you hear me?"

He nodded, noticing how all the separate piles of things had someone's name in front of it. "She'll find out, Dad. Mom is the best at finding out secrets, I've tried for years but she always catches me."

Robin let out a small laugh as he stood up to face his son. "Clearly that was before she met me. She'll be so surprised; she won't know what to do when Christmas comes around."

Then, he started towards the exit, taking Henry with him as he fished a key out of his pocket and sealed the door shut behind them.

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