We Can Love Again

Pure Torture

She was beginning to loose sleep due to the secret of the nursery gnawing away at her brain. Secrets had never gone well with her throughout her life; she either figured them out as quickly as they came, or simply never saw it coming- but that one rarely happened. It was aggravating knowing that Robin was blatantly lying to her face, and was taking pure enjoyment out of her being in the dark. Christmas was only a week away.

"Will you let me into the nursery now?" She asked him what seemed like every morning, hating herself for stopping so low. Her fiancé would always respond with a shake of his head and a faint victorious smile he tried so hard to hide.

"Now you're just being mean," Regina grumbled, not even bothering to glance towards the closed door. "If I had my magic right now, this wouldn't be happening."He chuckled lightly as he pulled her into a hug. "That's the fun of it! Nothing like an impatient child waiting for Christmas Day."

Regina stop thinking about what he could be doing in that room; it was plaguing her mind. "This is torture! I don't even know if Henry or Roland know about any of this- if they do, they're doing a really good job at hiding it. Do I not even know my own kids?"

"Regina, you're going to make yourself insane," Robin interjected softly, "I know you're not a fan of surprises, but you'll thank me once you see it. You just have to be patient."

The word was like fire to her. "Patient my ass!"

"I think you need to get out for a while- why don't you call up Emma and go do something?"

Regina glared at him. "What, so you can disappear into the nursery again?"

Rolling his eyes, Robin held her squarely by the shoulders. "I already called her. She'll be here in a few minutes."

"Robin!" She groaned, "why do you have to put me through this?

"Because I love you!" He grinned, "I'll find something fun to do with the boys. You just have fun- do whatever girls do when they hang out."

The thing was, Emma Swan wasn't like most girls- neither was she. Whenever they did anything with each other, it was always to watch a movie or to go out for lunch. Snow was the one who wanted to do the girly stuff; Regina could only imagine how awkward it would be for Snow to drag her daughter out to do things she wanted.

"That's easy for you to say- when you hang out with the guys, all you do is drink beer and talk about sports," she retorted dryly, just as the doorbell rang from downstairs.

Robin tried so hard to act offended. "Sometimes we talk about other things!"

His fiancé debated him on the topic the entire way to the door, having to shut him up when she answered it.

"Miss Swan, what a surprise," Regina announced, putting on a fake smile to fight the irritation she felt inside.

"Yeah, uh-" Emma glanced towards Robin quickly before continuing, "I thought, you know, we could do something together for a little bit."

She didn't see anything to loose, so she decided to play along. "Well, I would be up for it, but the weather is horrible outside. We can't possibly do anything with it snowing like this."

"Oh don't be ridiculous," the blonde scoffed, so undeniably uncharacteristic it was impressive, "we can go get our nails done. Come on, I know you want to."

Regina felt Robin gently push her out the door from behind, handing her jacket and waving.

She resisted the urge to hurt him as he shut the door, leaning them both out in the freezing cold.

"So- how much did he pay you?"

Emma beamed. "Fifty bucks. I hate getting my nails done way more than you do, but I promised Robin I'd keep you away."

"You can't expect me to go with you while he's in there doing who knows what to our daughter's nursery!" Regina complained, like a small child. Taking her by the hand, the blonde practically had to drag her towards her yellow bug.

"I know it's hard, but you'll find out when Christmas hits- it's only a week!" Emma attempted, "and you're having that awesome party!"

Regina moaned out of pure irritation as she reluctantly got inside the car. "So we're legitimately going to get our nails done? You couldn't think of anything less painful to do?"

"Oh please," Emma rolled her eyes, "you're the one who has to remain absolutely perfect twenty four seven- or has that changed since you got pregnant."

The other woman couldn't help but glare in her direction. She couldn't help but feel a tad insulted due to that comment; Regina was a queen, one thing her mother had taught her was that image was everything. Of course, now that she had Robin and Roland in her life, she found a new meaning to that phrase.

"Who are we kidding," Regina said, melting away her harsh glance with a slight chuckle, "most mornings I'm so busy I don't even put makeup on. Plus, I have to pee all the time now, so there really isn't a point in going outside and being social. I had a great plan going until you decided to show up and force me in your ridiculously small Volkswagen."

Emma pointed a finger at her as she kept her eyes on the road. "Robin is the one who forced me to do this, mind you. The apartment is so crowded in the mornings, I can't even get a shower- so I usually go over to Killian's for about an hour until someone realizes I'm gone. Since we both don't have work until nine, it's a pretty fun filled hour- believe me."

The queen instantly made a face. "Emma!"

"What?" The blonde gave her a dubious look, "are we not allowed to talk about sex now? We're grown women!"

"No, no we can't- now I have to rid my mind of horrible images."

She raised an eyebrow. "I think we both know those images are actually pretty sexy-"

"Miss Swan!" Regina covered her ears with her hands and tried to keep from laughing. "I'm engaged!"

Just then, they arrived at Storybrooke's one and only nail salon, ran by three fairies. "I've never been happier to get away from you," Regina muttered, exiting the car to enter the snowy world outside.

"Who knew my granddaughter was so raunchy!"

Emma burst into laughter as she pulled on a hat over her blonde hair. "Says my pregnant grandmother!"

She gave her a nudge to the side. "Careful, I could plow you over one of these days."

The blonde shoved her back. "In your dreams, Madame Mayor. Now, let's try acting like adults so Nova doesn't think we're insane- then your fiancé can continue doing secret things in your house."

The door opened with a faint sound of a bell, encasing them in warm air. "Do you know anything about it?" Regina asked, almost automatically.

Emma laughed back in response, almost evilly. "Not a clue. Now you behave, so I can give Robin a good report... And so I can get my money. Now it can be a very Merry Christmas for all of us."


Robin had been inside the nursery for hours. He was there when Roland went down for his nap, and the door was still securely shut closed when he woke up. Walking down the hallway with his blanket trailing behind, he crept up towards the door as if the mystery behind it would be too much for him to handle.

Though he couldn't see anything, Roland could tell more than just his father were inside. He picked up Ruby's voice first, then Snow's, and finally, Charming. Hearing their voices made the boy so excited, he prepared to barge his way through to see what they were up to. Before he could, though, a pair of hands grabbed his middle and picked him up.

"Henry!" Roland whined, wiggling in his grasp as he carried him down the stairs. "Put me down!"

He did, once they were at the base of the stairwell. "Roland, you can't go in there. Dad's orders. Honestly, you're worse than Mom."

The boy gave him a pout, hating how it felt to be left out of things. "How come you know? Why won't Papa tell me?"

His older brother let out a mischievous smile as he ruffled his hair. "Because I'm not a tattle tale, that's why. Did you finish wrapping all your presents?"

Though he was still sad, Roland nodded. "Henry, is there anything I can give to Santa? He needs a present for delivering everyone else's."

The twelve year old thought on that question for a moment, trying to recall how things went in the Christmas movies he had seen in the past. "Hey, I know! You can bake him cookies and give him a glass of milk- that's his favorite thing to eat."

Roland beamed. "Can we make him cookies and milk then?!" His smile quickly diminished. "But... Mommy's still gone..."

Henry instantly felt remorse for the boy and his adorable ignorance to the magic of Christmas. Putting a hand on his shoulder, he said, "why don't we go to Will's house? I'm pretty sure he has everything we need to make cookies. And I'll help you."

"Okay!" Roland responded, feeling quite rebellious. He hardly ever went anywhere without his mother or his father right by his side. His brother was old enough to take him around town, if they didn't go too far.

Henry smiled. "I'll go tell Dad really fast- you get your coat and your boots."

With that, the boys were off, and none of them could've been any happier.

"Oh- and Roland- Merry Christmas," Henry told him, cracking a smile before continuing up the stairs. Maybe it was a week away. But he was going to make the most of it with his brother. Even though he had some not so great memories of the holiday from the past, he knew for a fact they would only be the best, most fun filled memories from then on, until the end of his existence.

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