We Can Love Again

Strong Heart

By the time they returned from their adventure at the park, the sun had begun to sink in the sky, taking its warmth along with it. The four of them pillaged their way back home, toughing out the bitter cold until they finally arrived back at the big white house. Everyone was tired, especially Regina. She wanted to head upstairs and take a bath immediately when they entered the house, but Roland was very enthusiastic about wanting to watch the new movie they had bought from the store- Frozen. His mother reluctantly agreed to watch it with him, turning their night into yet another Disney movie night.

Robin got a blanket out of the closet and draped it over her shoulders.

"Don't want our baby to freeze," he told her, sitting next to her on the couch as the movie began.

"Glad you're so concerned about my well being," Regina remarked sarcastically, pulling the blanket more securely around her to receive the warmth it had to offer. Roland then climbed onto the couch and sat himself on her lap as best as he could.

"Hey little man, be gentle," Robin told him.

Regina wrapped her arms around her son's tiny body as he pressed his back against her stomach. "It's fine," she told him, "let's just enjoy the movie."

It did prove to be a cute movie- it was based on two sisters who helped save their kingdom from eternal winter. Regina found a personal connection to Elsa, (as well as a twinge of jealousy; Rumple never taught her how to perform ice magic) because she knew what it was like to feel alone. She was glad she didn't have a sister like Elsa did though- she tried to imagine Cora having two daughters, and it made her cringe inside. What a mess that would be.

"Do you think Arendale is a real place?" Roland asked, sometime during the movie.

Henry answered with a laugh, "it's a movie Roland. Not everything happens in real life."

Pouting, the boy glanced up at his mother. She saw nothing but innocent belief in his eyes, and she instantly knew that she was in no place to extinguish it.

"Maybe there's another realm out there, we don't know."

That seemed to be enough for him.

Beside her, Robin seemed to be paying attention to the movie for the most part. Though, every once in a while, he could glance down at his phone and text someone back. She knew it had to be either Killian or Charming. They seemed to be inseparable lately- they were certainly mates, as the pirate put it.

Another hour passed by, and the movie was just about over. Roland was getting drowsy, and continued to put his weight on her body. Regina didn't see this as a problem until slight twinges of pain began to form at the base of her stomach. These pains were new to her; she didn't know how to react to them. They came in intervals, short cramps, combining with the occasional baby foot jabbing her insides. Regina knew it couldn't be labor, so she didn't want to make a fuss about it. Pain wasn't a problem for her when she knew everything was going to be okay in the end.

"Are you okay?" She heard Robin ask; and she knew then that she hadn't done a very good job at keeping her emotions inside.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Regina responded quietly, so she wouldn't interfere with the movie.

He still gave her a concerned look, but he ultimately chose to believe her. "Did you know that you can send pictures to people on this phone?" He asked her, sounding absolutely astonished as he held his phone out towards her.

Regina fought back a laugh as she began scrolling through his and Killian's conversation. "Everybody knows that Robin. At least you don't have conversations Ruby on Snapchat- she spams me just about every day." She told him.

"Well I wish my phone could do that," Robin said, a bit of sadness to his voice, "do you think I could get a better one soon?"

Regina rolled her eyes. "Let's have a baby first, then I'll think about it. God, you sound like a teenage boy- Henry's the one always griping about wanting a phone."

Hearing his name, the twelve year old turned around and gave his parents a look. "Can I finally get one?"

Roland quickly shushed them with a whine, which did just about no good.

"Maybe you could get my old one," Robin proposed, though he knew his simple flip phone didn't look too appealing.

"No offense, but I'd rather have no phone than that phone Dad." He told him, turning his attention back to the movie screen. Robin responded by giving him a sour look.

They finished the movie in silence after that- by the time it ended all four of them were more than ready for bed. Roland had toughed it out until it was over with, and was out like a light as soon as the credits came. His father carried him off to bed effortlessly.

Henry had just started to follow him out of the living room when Regina realized undoubtedly that there was no way she was getting up by herself. Holding her arms out towards her boy, she wore a facial expression that told him everything. Henry refrained saying any comments that would set her off, and used all the strength he had to pull her to her feet. With a quick kiss on top of his head, (which he was getting tired of now that he considered himself a teenager) both she and her son were off towards their respective beds.

Regina got out her bottle of stretch mark cream once she changed into her pajamas and brushed her teeth. It had become a regular routine to apply it over her massive abdomen; Emma had highly recommended using it during the last trimester so there would be less damage after the baby was born. So she climbed into bed, sitting cross-legged, and pulled her shirt up in order to begin applying the cream. It always a soothing, rhythmical routine of hers, rubbing slow and gentle circles with three of her fingers over her stretched skin. Though she would never say, Regina felt the most connected with her baby when doing this. It was their own personal bonding experience, only causing her to want to hold her in her arms even more.

She was so concentrated on applying the cream, Regina hardly even noticed Robin enter the bedroom and situate himself right next to her.

"Need some help?" He asked simply, nothing but kindness showing through his eyes.

Regina knew she wouldn't be able to compete against the smile he was giving her; hell, she didn't even need help, she was just about finished. But she would take all the chances she got to get intimate with him- so she nodded, and handed him the bottle without saying a word.

He spread a tiny dot on his palm and rubbed his hands together, giving her a quick glance, almost for permission, before placing his hands on her stomach.

"The less stretch marks the better," Regina told him, a small smile forming on her face as their hands touched.

"Well I think you're beautiful either way," Robin replied, rather smoothly, she noticed. "Her heartbeat is so strong."

It gave him such a joy to feel his child move inside of her, to know she was alive, her innocent, fragile heart beating just as strong as her mother's.

"I know," she agreed, loving the feel of his hands on her bare skin. The cream had been applied over every once of her abdomen long ago, but either of them wanted to stop. Regina gently traced her index finger over his lion tattoo, taking a second to admire it.

"Thank you," she said, "for being a good Dad. I know our baby will love you right from the start."

Pulling her shirt back down for her, he gave her the most determined look he could offer. "I'll protect you- the four of you- nobody will hurt our family while I'm in charge, not if I have anything to say about it."

Robin then took no hesitation in leaning forward to capture her lips with his. He never wanted to leave her side; she had become the center of his life, he now served her majesty the queen- for as long as they both shall live.

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