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As the Shadows Frown

Title: As the Shadows Frown
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Character/Pairing: Robin/Regina
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: tv_universe Quotable Part Two
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death, SPOILERS!
Word Count: 879
Date Written: 3 September 2016
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.




She senses movement and opens her eyes. She stares in disbelief for a long moment as the figure gradually moves closer. She blinks. Her heart pounds. "R-Robin?" she calls out, her voice shaking.

"Regina!"

She could never mistake that voice. She runs to him, and even though she sees he's covered in some sort of slime, she doesn't let the goo keep her from throwing herself into his open arms. They hug so tightly that the momentum sends them spinning around. She presses a hand against his cheek, her fingers being smeared by the slime. "Where have you been?" she asks but already she knows.

His eyes grow dark as he looks into her soul. "You know where I have been, Your Majesty."

"No, I don't," she argues, "but you smell like a toilet!" And yet, she remembers another time when she accused him, and rightly so, of smelling like the forest. She made it sound disdainful, as though he was not fit to lick her boots, but the truth was that she had missed the smell of the forest. She hadn't paid attention to its scent since the last time she had ridden through the forest on a Fall afternoon with her beloved Daniel at her side.

That was all so long ago, but this isn't. The slime is fresh and green yet also seemingly transparent. "Where have you been?" she breathes.

"You know where I've been."

"Robin, please don't be angry!"

He shoves her away from him in clear disgust. "Don't be angry, Regina? How can I not be angry? You left me to die!"

"No . . . " she says, shaking her head. Tears slip down her cheek. "I tried . . . "

"You didn't try hard enough! You tried everything you could to resurrect Daniel!"

"I was evil then!"

"What? Am I not worthy of your turning back into your darkness?"

"You . . . " Her heart pounds and aches. "You wouldn't want me -- "

"No, Regina! I always wanted you! I loved you from the first moment we met! I did everything for you, sacrificed everything for you! Now my son is fatherless because of you, and you're content to continue to play at being a hero and seeing me only in your dreams!"

"No! It's not like that, Robin! If I had the power to resurrect you, you would be at my side!" She stares at him through the flood of her tears. "Do you really think I wanted to lose you too?"

"I don't know," he answers truthfully, shaking his head. "I'm not Daniel, that's for certain."

"I went down that road! It almost tore my heart out a second time when I had to lose him, but he was going to kill Henry!"

"Ah, yes, the boy for whom you would do anything but yet who isn't even yours!" Robin snarls.

Regina shakes her head. "This isn't like you! This isn't you!"

"You're right of course." He nods. "It's not me, Your Majesty. This is your own dream, your own nightmare, your own conscience -- "

Regina snaps awake. Her heart's still pounding, still hurting, but she's staring now at the four walls of her own bedroom back in Storybrooke. She's home. She's safe in her own bed. But she's alone again.

She sits up slowly, her head throbbing. She walks over to her window and looks out onto the sleepy town of Storybrooke. She looks at each of the darkened buildings, and she remembers. She remembers what she sacrificed before to be with Daniel. She remembers what she would have given to bring him back to her side. And yet . . . Yet, she left poor Robin dead.

She's smarter now than she was then. She's wiser and more experienced. All of these are reasons she's given herself for not tracking down the same path she traveled before, for not making the same mistakes yet again. But she has learned from her mistakes. She knows what to do and what not to do. She knows who she is now, and that is a woman willing to do anything for love.

Her love's been taken from him again, but that doesn't mean he has to stay gone. She walks back to her bed, picks up her cell phone from her bedside table, and hits Speed Dial. The answering voice comes across the line in a second. "Doctor Whale."

Regina's lips curve first into a smile and then a sneer as she feels her power rise again. She won't make the same mistakes this time. This time, they'll succeed. Science will succeed where magic could not, and she will have her True Love back. She will have Robin back, and this time, she won't stop trying. He deserves that much from her at least.

A breeze drifts in through her open window. Regina closes her eyes as the scent of the forest caresses her nose. Soon, she and Robin will be traveling through it again, and this time, no force in Heaven, Hell, or in between will stop them or disrupt their happiness. This time, nothing will keep her from getting and keeping her True Love. Regina smiles. The Queen gives her orders, and the adventure begins anew as the shadows around Regina's soul frown again.

The End


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