Hello! This story isn't going to be a long one; I only have three chapters planned for it and it is just for fun and a little bit of an OQ fix before I go back to my other stories :) I hope you enjoy it! And please, pretty please, leave s review letting me know what you think :)
Tired of the incessant back and forth over what to do with the kingdom, Regina decided it was best she slipped away before she skewered them all and began roasting them over a fire. So leave she did. Silently and smoothly so that no one would really notice. Once she was in the hall she took a deep breath and closed her eyes as she began walking down it and took her time.
She pulled her dark blue cloak around her shoulders a little more to ward off the evening chill as she looked out in to the deep blue sky. The stars were starting the come out and the sun had just disappeared below the horizon which had the brilliant colours of the sunset fading away in to different shades of blue before it all went black.
Her fitted coat was a dark navy blue and it's lapels were lined with small jewels embroidered on black silk trim. Black trim that matched the silk covered buttons keeping it closed around her waist. Beneath it she wore a black leather corset with a low sweetheart neckline. Then of course a pair of signature black leather pants and a pair of black heels. What animal the fur was from that added warmth to the shoulders of her cape she couldn't remember but it was thick and yet very sleek and very soft. The cloak itself was heavy and warm and trailed behind her on the floor for at least two feet. Perhaps even two and a half. Her long dark hair was twisted up off her neck and her eyes were lined with precise black lines while her lips were coloured a dark red that was closer to burgundy than a true red.
She was angry and she was heartbroken. Not a promising combination by any means. The apparent addition to a member of her disappearing family was not exactly comforting either considering she was out for her head. She supposed it wasn't all that different from some sisterly love. Out for one another's blood. She found little delight in the news however. Not even the desire to rip her heart out of her green chest seemed to spark a burning fire in her anymore.
She had changed more than she liked to admit.
And she missed Henry. She felt hollow without him and he was always occupying her mind.
She lifted her head a little higher and was brought from her thoughts at the soft pitter patter of running feet. When she stopped and looked over her shoulder she found there was no one there. So she shrugged it off and straightened her neck as she proceeded walking forward. She made it not four steps before she heard the steps once again and looked over her shoulder once again, twisting her body a little to get a better look and took her time studying the dark hallway.
Scanning her eyes one last time suspiciously over the area, she slowly straightened herself and began walking again. She didn't make it very far at all before she heard a small and very quiet giggle come from behind her that had her stopping once more and looking back over her shoulder. This time she waved her hand and the hallway sprung to life and the cold blue of the night was matched with the warm glow of orange fire she sent to hover up in the air like a miniature sun.
Still she saw nothing and no one. Perhaps it was coming from another room. She felt no threat so she looked back ahead of her and continued on her path. She made it nearly to the other end of the hall before she heard another quiet giggle. She stopped again, frustrated now as she looked over her shoulder only to see no one. It wasn't like there was anything to hide behind in this particular hall either, "who is there?" She called with a dangerously low voice.
At the sound of more quiet giggling she dropped her eyes down to her cloak and cocked her head ever so slightly. She stood there with her body turned just enough to watch the lump move beneath her cloak directly behind her. She was scowling at it until a particular brunette child popped his head out with the widest of grins. Those dimples instantly had her face relaxing in to a gentle smile as he held the side edge of her blue cloak around his neck and shoulders.
"What are you doing?" She smiled and couldn't stop the small bounce of laughter that entered her quiet voice.
"Sneaking," he answered with a grin and twisted back and forth at the hips in a swaying motion.
Regina hummed a single laugh and the corners of her mouth curled just a little higher as she crouched down to his level, spinning on her toes a little so she was facing him. "You were doing a very good job," she smiled and tapped his nose with her fingertip, eliciting a laugh out of him that had her smile growing to show her teeth.
"I like your cloak," he smiled as he swivelled his hips a little and looked down at it draping over his toes.
"Why thank you," she smiled and soaked in the precious innocence and naïveté that only a young child could posses. That special gift to see people as people and not as their actions or mistakes or titles. "Does your father know where you are?" She asked quietly with a smile and a cock of her head and Roland shrugged his shoulders with a sly laugh through his smile.
"Prob'ly not," he drew out and put on his best innocent face.
Regina hummed softly in a gently scorning tone but it didn't faze the boy much and he rocked forward a little on his toes and grinned up at her in excitement and joy, "what?"
"Roland!" he called in a sharp whisper as he checked every nook and cranny he could find on his path, "come here, this is not the place for you to be playing such games," he scolded as he tried another door but found it to be locked. Regina would have his bloody head if she found him searching her castle. No matter how true the explanation of looking for Roland was, he knew she would make certain to grind in the fact that he was a thief picking through her home. And she would do it with hard eyes and a near snarl on that perfect mouth of hers.
"Roland," he groaned out through his teeth, "you are going to be the death of me, boy."
He rounded the corner and then stopped in his tracks at the sight of the queen. He relaxed however and let the dread slip away when he actually took the scene in. The fearsome queen was crouching in front of his son while her dark cloak encircled the both of them, attached to her shoulders and then flowed around her one side as though she had turned and the cloak had stayed in place while Roland wrapped it around himself as well.
It brought a smile to his face and he leaned back against the wall silently and folded his arms over his chest as Regina ran a gentle hand over Roland's temple, through his hair, behind his ear, and then along his jaw. If approached with the topic of him minding that the dark queen was so close to his son, the answer would be absolutely not. And watching her with him now only strengthened his opinion. She was absolutely harmless when it came to Roland. He wouldn't be all that surprised if she would fight to the death to keep him alive and well either.
He didn't know what it was...perhaps the loss of her own son had her especially accepting of another child. He was most certain that his parenting would be questioned by allowing Regina to be the first woman in Roland's life aside from Mulan. Mulan was more a friend than anything and had never taken much interest in Roland. Regina however had caught Roland's attention from the very beginning and the boy had ignored or put down every warning of the woman's darker tendencies.
The boy desired a mother and the mother desired a child. It was truly that simple to him and he did not question it and would most certainly defend it.
He kept himself partially hidden in the shadows so he could watch them interact without their knowledge and it was a precious thing to watch. The reputably ferocious queen lowering herself down to the level of a small child, giving him the respect she wouldn't dare give anyone else. He watched with a smile as she stood up tall and began walking forward but kept her eyes on Roland as he stood still and let her cloak drag over his head with a joyous laugh until he caught the hem before it hit the floor and proceeded to skip around her with the hem of her cloak in his hands.
Regina watched him with a delighted smile and spun with him before she got too tangled in the dark blue fabric of her cloak. Much to Roland's excitement. He couldn't help but laugh under his breath just a little when Regina took hold of her cloak and waited for the right moment before she gave it a sudden sharp tug, ripping it seamlessly from Roland's grip. Roland shrieked out a joyous laugh and he heard Regina laugh as well and it was a beautiful sound. Low and warm and heart lifting.
The laughter continued and grew as Regina moved her cloak around, pulling it over Roland's head and waving it in the air around her as Roland laughed and chased it. Soon the pair of them were chasing one another, reaching and grabbing, dodging and and lunging, all the while laughing and grinning. Robin had never seen such happiness in his son. Not to mention in the beautiful queen.
"Poppa!" Roland cheered through his laughter when he saw his father so near.
Regina's laughter stopped immediately and she turned around quickly only to find Robin much closer than she believed him to be. Hardly a foot away as a matter of fact and it started her just a little but she didn't jump away, only leaned back a little.
Robin didn't change his features. He kept his smile in place and quickly studied the uncertainty, vulnerability, and even fear in her expression. It was soft and sweet and had him smiling even more as he cocked his head ever so slightly.
"I found your son," she stated and gently cleared her throat.
"I can see that," he nodded and she lifted her head a little higher on her shoulders, slowly and subtly regaining the appearance of the proud queen, "thank you for keeping his company."
"Yes, well..." She stumbled over her words a little, caught by surprise by his calm demeanour over Roland being alone with her, "...yes..."
"I am happy to see he has taken a shine to you," he nodded and she squinted her eyes a little in confusion, "he hasn't had many women in his life...well none actually. I'm glad he has chosen you."
Robin chuckled under his breath and shook his head, "a strong, proud, powerful, and yet still tender hearted, beautiful woman such as yourself? Why not?"
"You are not concerned I am going to harm him?"
Robin let out another laugh as he shook his head, "no, no I promise that you are quite literally the last person I worry about bringing harm to Roland."
She opened her mouth to say something but her words were lost and she closed her mouth again. He made no sense to her. None whatsoever. And his dimples...had those always been there?
Well it seemed he had managed to worm his way inside a little. Unintentionally or not he had earned himself quite a bit more of her respect. Not to mention the annoying fact that she now found him significantly more attractive than before...annoying.
He smiled a little more, enough for his teeth to show just a little. He smiled because he noticed her let her guard down significantly. Not all the way of course but quite a fair amount; enough for her to relax in his presence. "Roland, my boy," he called and snapped the queen out of her daze causing her to shake her head and clear her throat quietly as she dropped her eyes from his mouth and to the ground between them. He couldn't help the grin that graced his mouth when Roland poked his head out from behind Regina and beneath her cloak once more.
"Are you going to come with me or will you be staying with the queen?" He asked easily and smiled a little more as he glanced up to Regina after her dark eyes shot up to stare at him with his question.
"I want to stay with her!" He cheered and jumped closer to her and wrapped his arms around her thigh and rested his head against her thigh as well.
Out of instinct or habit her hand fell to his head and her fingers ran through his hair but kept her confused eyes on Robin.
"Very well. So long as it's alright with her majesty."
"Can I stay and play with you some more?! Please?!"
"Uh, y-yes of course," she pulled her eyes from Robin and looked down at Roland. Quickly she found herself smiling down at him as he wound his arms tighter around her thigh and he shuffled even closer and grinned up at her with his chin now resting against her thigh, "of course you can stay with me," she nodded and ran her fingers through his hair again before looking up to Robin.
"Perfect! I shall leave you two to it then," he smiled and nodded but before he left he gently swiped the side of his finger along her jaw and beneath her chin and held back a soft laugh when her breath was caught, "smiling suits you, your majesty," he complimented and then bowed his head politely before turning to walk away.
"Regina," she offered when she found her voice again and he turned back around with his eyebrows raised in a question, "you may call me Regina."
Robin smiled and nodded, feeling warmth bloom in his chest that came with the self pride of earning some of her trust and respect, "Regina," he corrected himself and watched her smile curl a little higher before he turned and walked away.
Regina let out a soft and contemplative hum as she watched Robin walk away and continued mindlessly moving her fingers slowly through Roland's hair while he remained attached to her.
"Do you like my poppa?"
Regina was startled back to reality at the sound of his mischievous voice and she looked down at him and smiled at that playful grin of his, "what do you mean?"
"Do you want to kiss him?"
Regina's eyes widened at the question and she couldn't help the uneasy laughter from leaving her lips, "no, Roland, I am quite fine without kissing your father."
"Well Snow and David kiss all the time and they are happy," he smiled as he rocked his weight from one foot to the other and then back again, "you and poppa should kiss so you can both be happy too!"
"Oh, Roland," she smiled and laughed softly in adoration of his logic, "I don't think your poppa would let me kiss him even if I wanted to."
"Why not? You are very pretty!"
Regina laughed quietly through her bright smile and shook her head, "thank you," she laughed and pushed the hair from his forehead with her fingertips, "but you must love someone before you kiss them if you want that kiss to make you happy. I do not love your father, I barely know him."
"Well you should know him so that you can love him and then you can kiss him and then you can be happy!"
"You are a darling little boy," Regina leaned down with a smile and he laughed happily up at her. It felt so great to be enjoyed and wanted again, "what do you want to do?"
"Try and catch me!" He exclaimed and then took off running down the hall.
Regina watched him run off, his short little legs moving quickly underneath him as his little cloak flowed behind him. She gave him some time to get some distance between them before she laughed quietly to herself and started jogging after the little four year old who let out a loud shriek of laughter and ran even faster when he looked over his shoulder and saw her chasing him.