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29 April 2014 @ 09:19 pm
Simply Regina: Once Upon a Time fanfic  
Title: Simply Regina
Summary: Roland is being openly affectionate around Regina for the first time. While it's only natural for him, Regina is initially a little taken by surprise. Takes place in the Enchanted Forest, during the missing year.
Characters/Pairings: Regina Mills, Robin Hood, Roland Hood.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,507
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended; sadly, I don't own these characters or Once Upon a Time.
Author's note: Written for a prompt on queenandoutlaw's ficathon.

Also on FF.net || AO3 || tumblr

Regina needed a break. After spending the entire day discussing the possible ways of defeating her sister, the Queen went out to her garden. It could have been the perfect evening for a stroll too, if it wasn’t for the threat of her sister clouding above her head.

Regina quickly found her old, so familiar favourite spot and sat there, her mind starting to wander. Suddenly, something caught her attention and as she looked up, she saw the outlaw, who was now staying at her castle, playing with his son. Her heart ached as she watched the two, she couldn’t stop thinking about Henry. How is she ever going to cope without him? She thought.

The little boy caught a glimpse of the woman sitting afar. Turning to his father, he asked, “Papa, why is she sad?”

Robin glanced over and saw Regina, who averted her eyes in return to his gaze.
Remembering what Regina had told him about Henry when they broke into her castle, the man kneeled next to his son. “Because she misses her son, Roland.”

Roland looked at Regina again, asking as he turned back to his father, “can I go and make her happy?”

Robin smiled as he caught another glimpse of Regina. Of course, she was the Evil Queen everyone feared of, but he didn’t see the evil part of her anymore. If anything, Robin already got to know a different side of her. Besides, he thought, he knew he could trust her with his son; she already saved his life once.

"Sure you can, buddy," he ruffled Roland’s hair as he skipped over to where Regina was sitting.

Deeply engaged with her thoughts again, Regina didn’t even notice the boy approaching her until he spoke.

"Hi," he said in his adorable voice.

Surprised at the sudden realisation that she was not alone, Regina looked up again to see the little boy in front of her. His presence immediately put a smile on her face. “Hello there,” she said, “Roland, isn’t it?”

The boy nodded. “Papa says you miss your son.”

She tried to keep her smile on, but Regina felt it fading away just a little. “That’s true, I miss him very much.”

"Where is he?" he asked again, curiously tilting his head.

"He’s… he couldn’t come here with me."

"Why not?"

She let out a tiny laugh. How was it even possible to explain such a complicated situation to such a young boy? “It’s… a long story. But it’s for the best. I know he’s safe and happy.”

Roland frowned, thinking very hard about the situation. “But… you’re not happy. It’s not fair.”

Regina was taken by surprise. She didn’t expect this little boy in front of her to care for her so much. “I will be,” she said with a tiny grin, “eventually.”

"Promise?"

She couldn’t help but smile at him again, reaching out to touch the tip of his nose, “I promise.”

Roland’s face turned serious at once. “Papa says that even if Mamma isn’t here, she’ll always be here,” he pointed at the right side of his chest, “in our hearts.”

Regina shook her head, taking his hand and putting it above the left side.

"There. That’s where the heart is."

The little boy looked confused. “Oh…”

She laughed at his sweet expression, which reminded her so much of four year old Henry. Glancing over at the plushy monkey toy he was holding, the same one she had given him after saving him from the beast, she said, “you like my present, aren’t you?”

He nodded, snuggling his new toy.

"Does he have a name?"

"Charlie!" the boy literally screamed with excitement.

"Charlie, that’s a lovely name! Did you pick it yourself?"

Roland nodded, feeling so proud of himself with a huge grin on his face. “He’s my favourite toy.”

"Really?"

"Yeah, ‘cause you gave it to me after you saved me."

Right there, the kid took her by surprise once again. Tears started to fill her eyes as she looked at him. “I will never let anything bad happen to you, Roland.”

The little boy simply wrapped his arms around her neck in a warm embrace; Regina, out of a motherly instinct, immediately wrapped her arms around him as well and held him close to her.

The child’s love was so pure and innocent. Regina was thankful that among the people surrounding her, there was someone who would not judge her by what she had done in the past. This boy only saw her for who she really was today – Regina.

Just before Roland let go of her, Regina caught Robin’s gaze, smiling at the sight in front of him. Trying not to burst into tears in front of them, Regina touched the tip of Roland’s nose again.

"You are a very special boy, you know that?"

He giggled. “Papa says so all the time!”

Just then, Robin came up behind his son, ruffling his hair as he spoke.

"Is everything alright, milady? I hope my son is at his best behaviour here."

"Papa!" He pouted, looking insulted, "I always am!"

Roland’s reply made both Robin and Regina laugh.

"Yes, you are," Regina said, "He is a perfect little gentleman."

"Good," Robin smiled, picking up his son. "But I’m afraid it’s almost bedtime for you, little man."

Roland looked at Regina. “Can you tuck me in tonight, ‘Gina?”

Robin caught a glimpse of her eyes, already sensing her distress. Roland’s question caught them both off guard. Regina opened her mouth to reply, glancing back and forth from Roland to his father, but nothing came out. Even though the little boy seemed to like her, she certainly did not see this one coming. Robin quickly stepped in.

"Well, I’m afraid Regina might be tired herself, and – "

"No," she cut him off, finally finding her voice again. "No, I’d like that…" She stood up, placing a hand over Roland’s back, "as long as… it’s okay with your father?" she asked, with a hint of a slight hesitation that her presence might interrupt the two.

Roland looked at his father, putting on his most adorable face. “Can she come, Papa? Please?”

The outlaw sighed. “You know I cannot refuse this little face of yours…”

Roland squealed happily and gave his father the biggest hug. Robin noticed Regina’s smile before he lead the way inside her castle.

Once they arrived into Roland’s room, Robin carefully laid the four year old in his bed, the boy still snuggling his new toy as Regina kneeled next to him, holding up his blanket.

"There you go, Roland," she whispered as she covered him up. "How’s Charlie?" she continued, "is he feeling comfortable enough?"

The boy looked at his toy and nodded.

"Great," she smiled, ruffling his dark short hair.

Robin leaned to kiss Roland’s forehead. “G’night buddy.”

"Sweet dreams, Roland."

And before he could even reply to either of them, Roland was already deep asleep, a smile spread all over his face.

Following Robin out of the room, Regina quickly turned the opposite direction without another glance at the man.

"Thank you," he called after her. Even though she was not in the mood to converse, especially not with him, the Queen stopped as she heard the words she didn’t get to hear too often in her life. ”You didn’t have to do this,” he continued, softening his voice.

She turned around, carefully examining every inch of the man. “I know,” she replied. “It does not change the fact that you are an unwelcome thief.”

The bandit couldn’t hide his small smile. “With all due respect, Your Majesty,” he took a risk and stepped closer. “If I were indeed unwelcome as you claim, I believe I would have been long gone by now.”

She narrowed her eyes at him but the thief could notice a hint of a smile. “Don’t tempt me, Locksley," she hissed.

Robin smiled his familiar soft and mischievous smile, meeting her big brown eyes. “I wouldn’t dream of it, milady.”

Regina couldn’t take her eyes off him. She refused to admit it, but this outlaw fascinated her in a way she couldn’t even imagine, and she couldn’t point out the reason.

With a last glance at the man, Regina walked away from him again.

Robin was left standing there alone, watching the Queen with a smile as she walked away.

For a moment, Robin hoped he had managed to crack the walls the Queen had built around herself for so many years. Even though he was proven wrong, for a few moments tonight, he saw another glimpse to a very different side of the not-so-evil Queen – one he had only seen twice since her arrival.

And maybe, just maybe, he thought with a tiny glimpse of hope, his little boy would help her lower her guards. Robin didn’t know how much time it could take; he didn’t actually care, but maybe someday, the Queen would allow him to see her for who she really was – simply Regina.