I know I already have four stories going, but it's Regina and Robin. I couldn't help it. :) I promise I'm still working on ALL of them. Like the show, this will alternate between Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest. Let me know if you enjoy and want me to continue.
Pride Before A Fall
Regina pulled the coat tighter around herself as a reaction to both the cold and the vulnerable feeling of walking alone in public. News of her shaky alliance with the Charming family had spread through the town just as they'd planned it, and though it had not gone far in trapping their impossible enemy, it had done something for her reputation. She was still viewed as the Evil Queen by the townsfolk, however, and with everyone's memories of the last year gone, tempers were running high. Old habits die hard, and she avoided the public eye as much as possible.
Today she was feeling particularly exposed without her car, but she couldn't have it where she was going. It was about a twenty minute walk and though she was eager to have the whole ordeal over with, she found that the time had passed too quickly. She hesitated outside the entrance, wondering if she really wanted to go through with it, but she quickly realized it was no longer a choice. She'd avoided it long enough already and this was something she needed to do. Glancing around self-consciously, she took a breath and stepped through the doors. There was a flurry of activity inside of which she was extremely grateful; it meant no one spared her more than a passing glance. She imagined the raucous commotion had something to do with the flying monkey situation, but at that moment, the ugly beasts were the least of her worries.
Making her way through the halls, she sought only one person - not a person she was particularly anxious to talk to, but the only person who'd be able to answer her question.
It wasn't difficult to locate him. It seemed not everyone felt flying monkeys superseded the odd presence of the Queen, and of course, he would be the one not to overlook it.
"Regina!" He spotted her before she'd found him, and she spun on her heel at the angry shout to see Dr. Whale storming toward her, his face already purpling with rage. "What are you doing here?" he snarled when he'd drawn closer. "I don't have time for this today. As I've already told the Charmings about twenty times in the last forty-eight hours, we don't know anything yet. We're running every possible test, but we don't know enough. I told them I'd let them know as soon as we'd found something. Did they think sending you would spur me into moving faster? Because I guarantee that it will only serve to upset me and cause further delay-"
"Relax!" Regina said, cutting off his rant. She was quickly growing irritated by the sound of his voice, and she already had very little patience for people that jumped to conclusions in regards to her and what she was doing. "I'm not here about that." She started to second-guess her choice once again.
He saw the flash of indecision in her eyes and it piqued his interest. Narrowing his eyes, he asked, "Well, if you're not here about that, why are you here?" It was a well-known fact that Regina and Whale hated one another. It was what made her coming to him all the more suspicious.
"I need your...help...with something," she started, swallowing hard.
"And why come to me?" he asked with an irritated interest.
"Because," she hesitated, having a hard time getting the words out. "Despite our history, you're the only one I can trust."
His eyes narrowed further. "Regina – whatever project you're working on, I won't have any part of it. You can find someone else who's interested and who has time. And if you're so worried about people finding out, maybe you should think twice about doing it. You're already on thin ice with everyone. Secret side jobs are sure to draw attention and make you look even guiltier. Though, those of us who know you know that you're never to be trusted anyway."
Regina growled at his stubborn hatred and snatched his arm, pulling him roughly toward the wall and out of earshot from anyone passing by in the crowded hallway. "I'm the one who doesn't have time for this!" she hissed, ignoring his yells of protest. "Would you just shut up for a minute?" she asked, nearing desperation. He was drawing unwanted attention, and that was the very last thing she needed. "I don't have any side projects. Oh for god's sake!" she waved her hand, magically silencing the man and pinning his arms to his sides so that he couldn't continue to cause a scene. "What I need from you has nothing to do with the curse, or magic, or the Charmings," she told him, and she saw him stop trying to struggle. "Please?" she asked, sounding uncharacteristically sincere. "Just listen?"
Whale nodded and she hesitantly waved her hand once more, releasing him from her magic. She waited to be sure he really was prepared to listen before continuing.
"I need you to run some tests," she told him, throwing her hand up to stop his protests. "Because I think I may be pregnant."
"Damn it!" Regina cursed, pacing her cell. She'd been stupid enough to allow herself to be captured, and now she was locked in her own dungeon. "Stupid, stupid, stupid," she chanted.
She halted at the voice, turning to face the direction from which it had come. It had been the voice of a child; a very frightened child. Perhaps imprisonment was affecting her more than she'd realized. Or maybe the witch was playing mind games with her...
"Hello?" she echoed back quietly.
When she was met only with silence, she sighed, crossing her arms. Of course of all the voices to be hearing, she was hearing that of a child. Maybe it was just a manifestation of missing Henry so horribly.
"Did the witch take you, too?"
She jumped slightly, not expecting to hear it again.
"Who are you?" Regina asked, still convinced that this was some sort of trick. For all the threats her wicked newfound half-sister had made, perhaps there had been a grain of truth. Was it possible that she had somehow learned of Regina's lost son? She didn't know how she would have any knowledge of the other world, but more unlikely things had happened, and Regina had to admit, using Henry against her would be an effective way to break her. What else was there to take from a person who'd already lost everything but their sanity? The horrible green woman would probably draw satisfaction from watching Regina slowly lose her mind.
"I'm Woland," the little voice said. "Who awe you?"
"Roland?" she questioned at the slight lisp of the young voice. She heard a giggle in response.
"No, silly. That's my name."
Regina couldn't help but smile. "I'm Regina."
"Did a monkey take you away? One flied in the aiw and taked me, and it was too high fo Papa to help. Then the gween lady says I has to stay hew so Daddy will come and get me because he's twouble. She says I'm the...the..." he struggled, trying to remember the word.
"The bait?" Regina asked, starting to believe that perhaps this was a real child after all.
"Yeah! The bait!" he replied, sounding proud that he could repeat her words. "What does it mean?"
Regina sighed, putting a hand to her temple. "It means we need to figure out a way out of here."