When Charming leaves to go get supplies it's just Snow White and her newborn son, swaddled in a fluffy green blanket with blue stitched elephants. Snow has to laugh at how flustered her poor husband had been—so much so that he wound up forgetting to buy most of the baby supplies you need right away for an infant. Luckily, for now the hospital is offering to give out some.
Snow rearranges the blankets in the bassinet and croons softly at her son. The infant's pink face gazes up at her through deep blue eyes, his father's nose twitching on his face. "You look so much like your father."
"God knows we don't need anymore of him around," comes a voice from the door, full of mirth and un-relenting snark. "Watch him chase after damsels in distress when he's older, shouting 'I will always find you.' And speaking of your idiot husband, he nearly ran me over in the hallway shouting something about diapers and wipes."
For some reason Snow doesn't feel the anger that she should towards the insult to her husband. For once it doesn't feel like Regina's cruelty; it feels more of a playful jab between family members—all in light-hearted fun.
"Oh I was hardly a damsel in distress, Regina. You're forgetting that we met because I smashed his face in with a rock. What are you doing here already?" Regina had said she was going to stop by later in the afternoon and it is still early morning.
"I decided to stop by earlier..." Regina's eyes are drawn instantly to the squirming bundle of blankets and Snow sees an expression on her face that only another mother could have. "Snow he's..." She slowly sits in one of the chairs, very far from the baby, Snow notices.
"David wanted to name him...well, David," Snow laughs and Regina rolls her eyes. "But..." The younger woman smiles almost shyly as she grazes a hand over the child's pink fingers. "I wanted to name him something more special."
Regina looks at the woman questionably.
"His name is Daniel, Regina," Snow says very softly, feeling her eyes wet. "We...we named him Daniel." After a moment she sighs in playful exasperation. "Well, Daniel David."
Regina feels a plethora of emotions at once—the ache of loss, and above all blinding love and unfathomable gratefulness for the woman she's held so much animosity for over the years. "You...you named him..." Her eyes fill to the brim. "Snow... I... " She doesn't know what to say. She can't articulate how it makes her feel. "...Thank you."
"He needs to be remembered," Snow says tearfully, leaning back so she doesn't cry over the baby. "Although I think about him...every day. We thought we could...honor his memory this way."
Oh how Regina aches to reach out to her, but she's too afraid. Too afraid to get too close and wind up just causing more harm. It's also why she remains so far away from the baby. "Thank you... He...he would have loved that."
"It's the least I can do," Snow says and Regina can recognize the tinge of regret anywhere.
"That's enough, Snow," she says sternly, and the mother-scolding-tone catches the younger woman off guard. "You...you didn't kill him. My mother did and we can't live in the past anymore." She smiles shakily at her. "He would..he would have appreciated this. He's beautiful..." She smiles at the bundle.
"How can you tell when you're on the other side of the room, Regina?" Snow laughs and says something she never thought she'd say. "Come closer."
Regina's smile falls as she feels herself starting to panic. "It's alright, Snow. I can see him, trust me. I—I'll be leaving in a few minutes."
"Then come hold him," Snow says, an eyebrow up in confusion. "Come hold him before you go."
"No." Regina shakes her head and sets her mouth.
"He doesn't bite, Regina," Snow says with a laugh. "Not at this stage anyway."
"I know he doesn't bite!" Regina snaps at the woman, her defenses up and suddenly flaring. "I'm not an idiot. I raised a child a lot longer than you have!"
It stings and Snow wants to retort, but she bites it back because she knows Regina for once, doesn't truly mean it. It's a defense mechanism to cover the exposed walls, to cover the fear she's feeling. She's scared and the only thing Snow needs to do is do what she was never afraid to do: to reach out.
"Never mind," Regina suddenly stands and turns to leave. "I should just go. I'm glad the birth went well and that he's healthy and so are you." Snow feels tears on her face.
"What happened to not living in the past?" Snow calls out, her mouth and voice tight. Regina freezes. "You can leave Regina, but nothing is going to change. If you leave we're not going forward," Snow says solemnly. "We're just stepping backwards, as we constantly seem to do." She can tell the other woman is trembling. Snow is too. "Stay."
"And do what?!" Regina snaps at her, her eyes blazing and the rims red with tears threatening once more. Snow stays calm and gentle.
"Touch him," Snow says firmly, gazing over at her son. "Touch the baby, Regina. Hold him, speak to him, look at him. He's here because you saved him... You deserve to at least hold him. If you never want to again, I won't force you... But please hold him. Just this once..."
Her defences are slowly eaten away as she gazes down at the helpless little creature with a chubby, pink face...that looks so much like Henry. She's shaking as she reaches down with trembling hands and gently takes the small bundle into her arms. His eyes open and her own tear. She can remember the day she first held her son, the moment after so many years that she felt love. Now again, with a new life in her arms she feels all the emotions rush back.
Snow smiles as Daniel shifts around and yawns in Regina's arms, his eyes shutting in contentment as he falls into a deep sleep once more. "He knows who to trust."
Regina snorts and shakes her head. "They've got you too high on drugs here." She sits down inches away from her stepdaughter, the baby cradled close to her heart.
"Or maybe I'm just right about what I think," Snow says almost mysteriously. Regina's expression tightens and she looks away in turmoil. It's then Snow notices something plush and worn sticking out from her pocket. "What is that?"
Before Regina can say anything Snow pulls it from her pocket and gasps when she sees what it is. It's a worn old bear tailored with cloth and torn in several places. Snow can remember the many nights she had slept with this bear as a girl. It had been her sole comfort after her mother died and her true friend growing up. She had named it Teacup when she dropped it in her mother's teacup when she was young.
"You kept it," Snow whispers with tears in her voice. "I can't believe you kept it."
Regina shifts around on the bed. "I found it a long time ago when I was looking through boxes. I've had it for several years." She remembers holding the doll on the most lonely of nights and even with her hatred she couldn't destroy it. "I thought the baby might like it...when he's older."
Snow lays the bear next to her son and he's instantly captivated by it, touching its fur and squeezing at its nose. There's so much she wants to say—they both want to say, but they're cut off when the room suddenly becomes busier as Charming, Emma and Henry come in.
Regina and Snow both snicker as an out-of-breath Charming comes in dragging bags of baby stuff and panting.
"I have a car," Regina deadpans. "I have a car you idiot. Did you seriously just run all the way to the store?"
Charming scowls at her right back. "Hey, you can always use the exercise. I got everything I needed and that's what I wanted to do."
"Save the energy Charming, because you're going to need it for this little bundle of trouble." Regina gazes gently back at the bundle still tucked in her arms and nuzzled into her chest.
"Gonna hog the baby all morning Regina, or are you gonna let someone else hold him for a change?" Emma teases and is only amused by the brunette's glare to her as she hands Daniel back to Snow once Emma and Henry come near.
Mother and daughter smile proudly at one another and with one free hand Snow clutches her daughter's hand and squeezes it. "You haven't actually held him yet, have you?"
Only once can Emma remember gazing at someone's face and feeling instant love, but here as she gazes into the tiny blue eyes she feels a sudden, blinding affection. "Hey kid. So you're the little one we've been waiting for all these months."
"What do you think, Emma?" Snow laughs softly. "Was he worth all the waiting?"
She strokes a finger over the child's soft tufts of hair and smiles. "Yeah, I think so. And worth all the sleepless nights to come." She reaches down to pick up the baby, but the moment he's in her arms he starts wailing and fussing to get away. "Hey, what gives?!" the blonde cries. "Come on Daniel, I'll give you back to Mary Margaret in a minute." She groans as she tries in vain to soothe the fussing child. "Not even a day old and already my brother hates me," Emma groans.
"Ah, so the sibling relationship begins," Regina quips playfully. "He was fine when I held him. Then again, I do have a mother's touch." Snow sighs from the bed and flops down on the pillow.
"Hey I'm a mother too," Emma growls at the woman and Regina gives a cocky smirk.
"Apparently not as good as me it seems." Emma's temper instantly flares.
"Seriously? You want to start this crap again?"
"No!" Regina laughs and guides the baby back to a hesitant Emma. "Try holding him close to your body. Rock him lightly...make soft noises." All eyes turn to the former Evil Queen currently crooning at a young babe. Not even Emma can find it in her to laugh at her right now.
"I used to do this with you, you know," Regina says, smiling at her little prince by her side. Although no longer so little, Henry's so much taller and brighter. Still, the same face of her baby remains. "You were such a fussy baby in the beginning," Regina chuckles to her son and Henry colors brightly. "I had to do everything to calm you down."
Henry grins and gently pets the baby's fuzzy hair with his fingers. "I wasn't that much of a challenge to take care of was I, Mom?"
His mother tucks him into her side and she grins at him, pulling his bangs back. "You never stopped being one, dear," she teases him affectionately with a kiss to the cheek. He pouts just like that little boy he once was for a brief moment.
"I do hope you're prepared, Snow," Regina says deviously as she hands little Daniel back to his mother's waiting arms. "You have no idea what you're in for with a baby in your life." She smirks playfully. "It'll be fun watching you crash and burn attempting to handle this."
She was hoping to get a rise from the woman, but Snow's expression is the slyest Regina has ever seen. "Well I guess we'll have to see if his godmother is able to handle him better than I can if there's nights he stays with her."
Instantly, Regina's playful grin falls right off her face. She feels her heart plummet as she freezes rigid. "Wh...what?" She whips around to look at Charming, Emma and Henry...but they're just... smiling at her. She feels Charming touch her arm and she almost trembles, feeling so suddenly confused and frightened.
"His godmother," Snow responds softly and smiles at the woman, trying to soothe her. "Regina...please. I want you to be. We want you to be."
"Snow..." She shakes her head and backs up like a cornered animal. "You're out of your mind. Snow I can't. After everything I've done to you..." She trails off as Snow grabs and clutches her hands, squeezing them tightly. She tears up again.
"And everything you've done for us," Snow says determinedly, smiling. "We're alive because of you. We're back because of you. Charming is alive because of you...and so is the baby. You saved us. You saved all of us."
Henry puts a hand on his mother's shoulder and rubs it gently. "You're a hero now, Mom. A hero and you're family. We're all family."
The tears trickle and she glances at Emma. Emma's arms are crossed and she's smirking. "Just don't poison his formula with a sleeping curse or something when you babysit him." Regina scowls at her and just then Snow gently puts the baby in her arms.
Regina wants to protest and she wants to hand the child back, but her throat closes up as the pair of wide blue eyes blinks up at her...and his tiny hand brushes against her cheek. The rest of the family crowds around her smiling at her and at the baby...and suddenly the fear goes away.