We Can Love Again

In the Dead of Night

It was the dead of night. Everything was quiet, as it should've been. Three out of the four were asleep; Regina on the other hand, was far from it. Her eyes were set on the ceiling, impatiently counting the seconds in her head minute after minute. In her head, she debated waking up Robin, but feared her dignity would be on the line. Yet she reminded herself that he would love her no matter what, so she decided to give it a try.

"Robin," she whispered, sitting up and shaking him lightly. When he eventually awoke, he had nothing but confusion written on his face.

"What? Is there something wrong?" He mumbled, rubbing his eyes as they adjusted to the darkness.

Regina shook her head. "No, uh... It's just... I'm starving."

Robin only stared blankly towards her. "Then wait until tomorrow. It's time to sleep now, dear."

"But I really am starving! I can't sleep Robin, not until I get a hamburger... Can you go get one for me?"

Instead of answering verbally, Robin gracefully fetched his phone from his nightstand and showed her the time- 3:25.

"Regina, Granny's isn't open in the middle of the night. We can go get one in the morning."

But that was the thing- she couldn't sleep. Her mind was set on hamburgers; the taste, the smell... everything. She didn't want one, she needed one.

"Please?"

This astonished him, because Regina Mills was definitely not one to whine or gripe about things. And here she was, becoming completely dependent to him, practically begging on her knees for something as simple as a hamburger.

"The answer is still no," he told her firmly, "why don't you call up Emma and have her materialize one for you?"

Regina found herself glaring at him now. "No! You can't just poof up a hamburger, it has to be one of Granny's."

He was really at a loss of words then. Lying back down, he tried shutting his eyes again to block out her pleading, though it didn't work.

"Robin, if you don't go get me one, I'll never talk to you again."

"Never talk to me again?" He repeated, admiring her seriousness, "that'll be hard, since we sleep in the same bed."

"Then I'll make you sleep on the couch- for the rest of your life."

Robin couldn't believe she was getting so worked up over food- in the middle of the night. "This is ridiculous!"

"Is there a baby growing inside of you right now?" She demanded coldly. Robin swore he caught a glimpse of the old Regina- the evil queen- shining in her eyes. Truthfully, it terrified him.

"You can't use that excuse for everything, you know." He shot back, hoping for some force to his voice.

"I can too!"

Robin was just about to rip his hair out; arguments with Regina tended to always end that way.

"Fine! I'll get you one." He surrendered bitterly, keeping his voice down so their kids wouldn't hear them. "But you owe me... Big time."

Beyond the warm sheets was a world of cold. He took no time in getting thicker clothes on over his pajamas. Since it was the dead of night, Robin was free to drive himself if he wanted- which he did. Regina refused to teach him further, so he enlisted Killian to help him learn how to drive the Mercedes. He figured that if a one handed man could drive, so could a thief.

Of course, it was snowing outside. It was only a few days after Christmas; the weather wouldn't let up for another couple months. Robin was more irritated than anything else. He was angry at himself for caving into such a pathetic argument... Over a hamburger. Sure, he figured she would have cravings some time during the course of her pregnancy, but never did he expect them to happen in the middle of the night. He didn't even know where he was going, or what he plan was. Before he could think of any of that, he concentrated completely on backing out of the driveway without hitting anything- Regina would definitely banish him to the couch for that. The snow was flurrying around in the air; coldness seeped into the car, despite the seat warmers.

He supposed he was off to Granny's, though he wasn't sure if she would even want to help. She was nice, but perhaps not at three in the morning. Granted, the situation was... Odd. With exactly five days worth of training from Killian, he was able to remember everything as he made his way down the street. Accelerate, slow down- stop at stop signs- look both ways, turn on signal, and make the turn. Robin supposed it was like riding a horse- once you learned, you got it down forever.

When he arrived, he less than gracefully parked the Mercedes (it was more along the lines of running into the sidewalk, nonetheless, he stopped) and began trudging through the snow, reminding himself second by second that their baby would be worth it in the end. Granny's apartment was the last one on the hallway, past Will and Killian's.

By the time he got to her door, Robin was just out of breath. He gave the door a couple of hard knocks, waiting with a cringe already on his face. Thankfully, it only took about thirty seconds for her to answer.

Her white hair was in complete disarray, a robe covering over her pajamas and a wooden fashioned bow and arrow firmly held in her hands. When she saw it was Robin who had disrupted her sleep, she grumbled something inaudible and lowered her weapon.

"What in blazes are you doing here?" Granny asked bluntly, her eyes soon flashing with concern. "Is Regina okay?"

"She's fine- well, sort of," he began, trying to think out his words, "she woke up craving a hamburger, and forced me to go get her one."

She simply stared back at him as if she didn't register what he had said. "Of all things to crave, why a hamburger?"

Robin was on the verge of passing out, so he could only give her a half shrug with his shoulders.

"You poor boy! Get in here before you freeze!" Granny said, ushering him inside her apartment and closing the door behind him. Immediately, she set to work on fetching him a blanket and sitting him down on her couch. "Really, you don't have to-"

"Yes I do," she corrected him, "you think that just because you're not the one pregnant, you don't matter. She thinks she can boss you around any way she wants- trust me I know," she explained, heading over to the kitchen.

"Well, I wouldn't mind as much if it wasn't in the middle of the night," Robin said, fighting a yawn.

"You want some tea?"

"I'm fine thanks," he replied with a slight smile, watching her get ingredients out of the fridge.

"Well, I might as well make two while I'm at it," Granny said with a laugh, turning on her stove.

"Can I help somehow?" Robin asked, feeling nothing but useless wrapped in that blanket.

"You stay right there Robin Hood, I'll take care of everything," she reassured, placing two patties on a pan. They eventually began to sizzle and pop, giving off wonderful smells. "You know, when I was pregnant with Ruby's mother, I craved pickles- I would eat them all the time, every day even. So I understand what Regina's going through. I just wish she could've picked something a little easier to make..." She finished with a sigh, tending the browning meat. "How are you holding up? Ready to be a daddy again?"

Robin blinked a few times before answering. "Oh- me? Yeah, I'm ready to meet her. We all are. Only two and a half months until the due date."

He was in no mood to tell her that he was terrified for his baby girl's arrival, that it made him think of his first wife, Katrina, laying dead on their bed, covered in blood, Roland's tumultuous newborn screams tearing through the hopelessness. He could never experience that again; ever.

"Regina gave me the sweetest letter for Christmas," Granny continued, cutting through his thoughts, "I honestly had no idea Regina had such a hard time with her mother. She had to get the way she did somehow I suppose, I just never thought about it."

Robin sighed. "I've never met her, nor would I have wanted to. It really did hurt Regina to not grow up with a mother; that's why she sees so much in you." He figured that since his fiancé wasn't there with him, he finally got a chance to tell her.

The older woman couldn't help but smile when she heard this- it was quite a sight, too.

"Well she is very sweet I suppose, for a former evil queen," she joked, "she really will make a fantastic mother- she already is."

With that, she constructed both hamburgers with lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, and buns, placing them both in a paper bag.

"It may be four in the morning, but at least now you can satisfy her needs." She told him, handing him the bag with a slight yawn.

Robin smiled. "Thank you so much Granny, you're a lifesaver."

"Anytime! I'm always here to help if you and Regina have any baby questions- or if you need a sitter for Henry and Roland. I can always use more pictures to tack on my fridge."

"Oh, I'm sure we'll need it," he said, grabbing his keys out of his pockets and beginning the journey back down the hallway and towards the car. By the time Robin returned, the snow had cleared up dramatically, making for a calm and peaceful end to the night. Everything was still dark, and everything was still freezing. Their bed never seemed more inviting.

"You got it?!" Regina exclaimed, practically shooting out of bed to retrieve the paper bag.

Robin couldn't help but take some pride in his accomplishment. "Indeed I did, just for you. I talked Granny into making some for us."

He set some napkins down over the bed sheets, unwrapping each burger carefully and setting them down for them to eat.

"Thank you, thank you so much!" Regina beamed, completely astonished he was able to get them at such an untimely hour.

"Like I said, anything for you. Now, let's eat these and savor every bite- then we're sleeping."

As they both sat there, side by side, burgers in hand, simply enjoying each other's company. It was officially the strangest date they had ever had; nevertheless, it was just as memorable as the rest.

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