Regina frowned as she followed Robin into the house. Although he’d been light-hearted at the diner, joking and smiling with Roland and Henry and her, he’d stepped aside for a moment to confer quietly with Snow. He’d smiled at her across the room as he spoke to the Princess, and Regina had smiled back, turning to Roland as he messily finished his pie, wiping his face and small hands clean of the sticky pastry. When she’d turned again to look at Robin, he was no longer smiling. Instead, he had been staring intently at her, a frown between his brows. Snow had placed her hand on his arm, leaning in to murmur something, and he’d nodded without looking away from Regina, and Snow sighed as she turned to go back to her husband. Robin had come back then, sliding into the booth.
Regina had turned to look at him, puzzled, and was about to say something when Robin leaned towards Roland and with forced joviality spoke with the boy about his choice in desserts. Regina had let it go then, but Robin had been uncharacteristically silent, almost brooding, as she’d driven them home. Once they parked, he’d carried a drowsy Roland in and up to the room she’d set aside for him.
Robin went through an abbreviated version of the normal nighttime ritual with Roland, turning the bulk of the routine over to Regina. She shot him a look, her lips pressed together, but he only kissed Roland’s dark head and headed out of the room. She sighed and held up a book for Roland’s approval. Once she was snuggled with the boy, he turned to look at her.
“Is Daddy mad?”
She frowned slightly in the direction of her bedroom, where Robin was no doubt waiting. Yes, that would explain the brooding look and the silence, but why? And at whom? She turned back to Roland.
“Why do you think he’s mad, Roland?”
The little boy shrugged. “He put me to bed really fast and he didn’t stay for our story. His face looked like Little John looks when Much takes his piece of cake.”
Regina stroked Roland’s tumbled curls.
“I don’t know, baby, but I will talk to Daddy after we finish our story, OK?”
Roland nodded, and they continued with the adventures of the Cat in the Hat. After only a few pages, Regina felt him nodding against her, and settled him down. She kissed his forehead and tucked his blanket in. Just as she turned off his light, she heard his little sleepy voice behind her.
“I love you,” he mumbled, and yawned.
Regina felt her heart pounding at the sweetness of his words. She smiled, even though he couldn’t see her, and whispered, “I love you, too, sweetheart.”
Once she’d shut Roland’s door, her smile dropped and she sealed off his door with a silence spell. Thankfully Henry had chosen to stay the night with his grandparents, to try and make up for the absence of their daughter, so she didn’t have to worry about his room. But there was no need to disturb Roland if she and Robin raised their voices, which an unsettling feeling in her gut told her was likely to happen. Why was Robin upset, enough for even little Roland to see it? She turned and headed towards her bedroom.
When she entered, Robin was standing by the window, gilded in moonlight. Only one small lamp by the bed was on; the rest of the room was dark. Robin had changed into his pajamas, a t-shirt and loose flannel pants, and his arms were crossed over his chest as he faced the window. Tension radiated in every line of him.
Regina paused at the door, suddenly uncertain about entering further. In her whole life, she’d never had a relationship with a man that had progressed beyond the initial stages-not Daniel, not Graham, and her farce of a relationship with Leopold was certainly not a standard of measurement- and she wasn’t quite sure what to do with an upset partner. She took a deep breath. She loved Robin fiercely, and she could definitely do what she could to get to the bottom of whatever issue was bothering him and not let it become something more. She’d waited too long for him to chicken out on the more uncomfortable aspects of a life together.
“Robin?” she said. God, she hated how unsure she sounded. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Robin, Roland and I both noticed that you seemed out of sorts. Are you...angry...about something?”
There was silence for a beat, and then Robin answered, his voice low and gravelly. “Yes, I am angry about something.”
Regina started moving closer. “What’s upset you?”
He turned then, and Regina was startled at the look in his eyes. The anger she recognized, having seen it roiling through her own eyes in a mirror more times than she could remember, but there was more. His eyes reflected a deep anguish as well, an anguish that she could not fathom a reason for. His next words brought her up short.
“Gods, Regina, I am so angry with you.”
“With me?” She was dumbfounded. She ran the events of the past couple of days over in her mind, and she could find nothing that she had done that would make him angry. She’d saved his life! She bit her lip. But was he angry that she hadn’t been able to keep him from the Fury in the first place? That she’d almost lost him for something that she didn’t remember doing? She shook her head. “What did I do?”
Robin approached her swiftly and then reached out, took her upper arms in his hands, gripping strongly but not hard enough to hurt. It was almost like he needed to anchor himself with her. His nostrils flared slightly, and she noted that he was breathing somewhat raggedly.
“You saved my life.”
Regina was now thoroughly confused.
“Isn’t that...a good thing?”
Robin searched her eyes for a moment, and then closed his. He opened them again, and the emotional storm there hadn’t lessened one bit.
“I spoke with Snow at the diner.”
Regina still had no idea where he was going with this. “What did she say that would make you so upset? You know that we figured out what the Fury wanted, if not why the price hadn’t been paid, and we all worked together to save you. Robin, you said it, there are people who believe in me. Why is that so bad?”
He shook his head and clenched his jaw. “She told me all of the details involved in saving me, Regina. All of them. She told me about Leroy taking you to the hospital after you were slammed into a tree...twice.” He let go of her arm to reach up and gingerly touch her temple. He then curled his fingers around her arm again and pulled her just a bit closer. “And that you demanded the Fury take your life instead of mine, and had she not decided to throw her lot in with you, had all of them not decided to throw their lot in, it would have taken your life. It would have killed you. You!”
Regina cocked her head to the side.
“But you’re so needed here, Robin. Roland needs his father, and the Merry Men need their leader. David needs his friend, and while I have all the affection in the world for Killian, Henry needs a better role model than that. And I love you, Robin. God, I love you too much to just have let you go!”
“And do you think I love you less?” Robin ground out, his fingers flexing on her arms. “You, Regina, are desperately needed here. Henry needs his mother more than ever now that Emma is the Dark One. Have you not seen how much Snow needs you as well? She was not willing to let you go either, she was willing to share the burden of paying a life price with you! All the people who took hands earlier this evening need you too, else they would have not joined in to take the burden with you. Roland needs you too, Regina. I’m more grateful than you can know that his memory of New York and a false mother are gone, and you are the only mother he has ever known. And your little knight loves you, Regina, he loves you completely. And me...Gods, Regina, me.”
He broke off and wrapped his arms tightly around her, holding her close to his chest. Regina could feel him trembling so badly that she was shaking too. He buried his face in her hair with a strangled sob, and Regina brought her arms up around his back, pressing even closer to him.
“My life is nothing without you, my love, do you understand me? Nothing. It would be empty and cold. Regina…”
He pulled back and cupped her face in his hands. Regina hitched in a breath at the tears on his cheeks. “You are my everything,” he whispered. “Your life is so very precious, Regina. And I was angry because you were so ready to die for me, so willing to believe that my life was worth more than yours.”
His thumbs stroked over her cheeks, wiping away tears she hadn’t even known she’d shed. She brought her hands up to hold his wrists. He leaned forward until his forehead was touching hers.
“I know you would die for me, Regina, as I would for you, but you mustn’t ever think that is it because my life is more important than yours. It is not. Promise me, Regina, promise me that no matter what else happens in our lives, you will never think of yourself as expendable, never be eager to trade your life for mine. I know I cannot ask you to keep out of danger, but please promise me that much.”
She closed her eyes and breathed him in. God, she was lucky, so, so lucky that they found each other, that after all that had come before them they were still able to be together. She nodded and squeezed his wrists harder.
“I promise, Robin,” she whispered. “I love you.”
“As I love you,” Robin murmured, and without warning he angled his head and fused their lips together, kissing her with desperate abandon, pouring all of his fear and love into the kiss as his mouth moved over hers. One hand slid into her hair to tilt her head slightly as his other splayed over her back and crushed her to his chest. Regina moaned into his mouth as her hands fisted in the soft cotton of his shirt.
He broke their kiss only to drop his mouth to her neck, nibbling along the column of her throat. Regina arched her head to give him better access, and he nipped at her neck, his tongue following to soothe the skin.
“I need you, my love,” he groaned into her throat. Regina slid her fingers into the sandy strands of his hair and nodded.
“Then love me, Robin,” she panted, her body tingling in anticipation.
“Always,” he said, pulling away to look at her, a world of emotion in his face and voice. She swallowed hard as he cupped her head and brought her in for a soft, sweet kiss.
Regina tugged at his shirt, and once that was free, he made short work of her own clothes, her jacket already thrown off when she’d entered the house. Finally he was down to his boxers and she was standing in front of him in a royal blue lacy bra and matching panties. She shivered as he looked at her with the same mix of adoration and reverence that he’d done the first time they made love, and somehow she knew that no matter how many times it happened he would always look at her the same way.
Robin nearly groaned aloud at the sight of her. He rather liked the undergarments of this time, and the shimmering blue against her skin highlighted her beauty while faithfully outlining her slender curves. He unconsciously licked his lips as he watched her.
“You are so beautiful,” he said softly, and Regina had to bite her lip to keep the tears at bay. She’d been called lovely, gorgeous, desirable, hot, but so rarely just beautiful, and never with such a tone of love, not even with Daniel, she had to admit. She wrapped her arms around Robin’s neck and kissed him deeply.
Robin lifted her and placed her on the bed, settling next to her, and for several minutes they traded languid kisses and caresses, Robin’s hands trailing over the smooth skin of her hips and back, and hers delicately tracing the faint scars on his chest and back from a lifetime of battles both great and small. She found one on his left side, faint, and frowned. She didn’t remember feeling that one before. But then the thought evaporated as Robin bit lightly at the juncture of neck and shoulder, his hand on her lower back, and she figured that she’d just forgotten. They hadn’t done this that many times, after all.
She moaned as Robin undid her bra, and filled his hands with her soft breasts. She arched her back as his fingers worked their magic, and reaching down, she found him hard and ready for her. He hissed as her fingers lightly curled around him and then squeezed.
“Ahh, Regina, have mercy,” he groaned, bucking hard against her. She smiled and continued to caress him, and he retaliated by making her cry out as he drew one rosy peak into his mouth and suckled hard. She was so very glad she’d put the silence spell around Roland’s room.
Robin tugged her panties down her slim legs and gently touched her, and she whimpered as he found her wet and ready. She pushed his boxers down as he turned her slightly and settled between her hips as she raised her knees on either side of his waist.
He raised himself on his arms and looked down at her, flushed and panting. She was the loveliest thing he’d ever seen in his life, and he had no idea how he could be blessed enough to have her with him, especially after he’d hurt her so badly.
“Are you ready for me, my love?” he said softly. She smiled up and him and nodded, and with a groan, Robin pressed forward and slowly slid inside her. He rested for a moment to wait for her to adjust to him, and with a buck of her own hips, she let him know she was ready.
He made love to her thoroughly, relearning every inch of her, letting her guide him to where she liked him best and what she wanted him to do. He kissed her deeply as they rocked together, loving the sweet taste of her mouth and the feel of her warm and alive around him.
Regina was a moaning, panting mess, but she had never felt such attention and dedication to her own pleasure as she felt from Robin. She held him tightly as he moved over and within her, in her own turn finding out what he liked and what made him gasp or cry out.
Regina felt herself on the brink of orgasm, her body writhing under Robin’s as she slid a hand into his hair and tugged him back to her mouth from where he’d been lavishing love bites on her collarbone. He willingly obliged.
“Oh, God, Robin, I’m so close,” she whimpered as she tore her mouth from his to arch up into him. Robin nodded and slid a hand under her hips, changing the angle just slightly, and Regina saw stars. Her hands clutched his arms tightly as she shuddered, her body trembling and her eyes wide.
“That’s it, my love,” Robin breathed. He shifted her hips just a bit more, and heard her keening cry. “Yes, Regina, my Queen, come for me. Let go.” He thrust hard into her, and felt her shatter around him.
“Oh, yes….ohhhh Robin!!” Regina cried as an intense wave of pleasure and release washed over her. She tightened her legs around Robin’s hips and rode out her orgasm. Robin grunted in pleasure, speeding up a little as he caught up to Regina and found his own release, spilling deep inside her.
He collapsed beside her on the bed, and then pulled her into him, his chest to her back, as they slowly relaxed and their breathing went back to normal. Robin nuzzled into Regina’s hair, and felt her fingers tracing meaningless patterns over his arms. As he thought back over the last few days-well, he knew it was much more, but without the memories of Camelot it seemed like only a few days since they’d woken from that terrible alternate universe-he shuddered and tightened his grip around her waist.
Regina moved her hands over Robin’s, feeling the sudden tension.
“Robin?” she asked softly, her voice still slightly hoarse from her cries. She gently rubbed his hands, willing him to relax. He sighed into her neck and turned her slightly to face him. His blue eyes, so deeply blue in the dimly lit room, roamed her face before looking into her own dark eyes.
“I’m sorry, love,” he said. “It’s just that I was thinking that I nearly lost you a second time. In that alternate timeline, I lost you before I even knew you, and I still felt such pain. And earlier this evening, had things gone wrong, I would have woken up to find you dead, without a chance to say goodbye, or tell you how very much I love you.” His brows came together slightly. “The thought of it terrifies me, Regina.”
“But it didn’t happen, Robin,” she soothed, reaching up to run her fingers through his sweat-dampened hair. “I’m right here. I’m fine, I’m with you, we’re both fine.” She turned her head slightly to study his face. “And no matter what happens, it will be OK. I love you. That’s all that matters.”
Robin leaned in and kissed her softly, just a brush of his mouth over hers, and then deepened it into a long, tender kiss that left Regina flushed and smiling when he finally pulled away.
“You’re right, Regina. You love me, and I love you. Forever.” He leaned over to draw the blanket over them, pulling her close again, and as they drifted off to sleep, Regina hear him whisper against her ear.
“We have our love, and that is all that matters.”