Wait he wants to call as she holds his eyes for one last agonizing moment, and then brushes past him, away from him. Leaving her own space behind because he's come here and stolen away her solitude.
Like he used to, before the wife he cannot help, when he was the common thief Regina used to tease him for being. He's stolen it for himself.
I'm sorry he thinks. And he is, there are few worse feelings in the world than the fist around his heart when she looks at him like that, like the sight of him is pain, like she should've looked at him after he handed her heart to the Dark One, after he took such poor care of this precious thing that she's trusted to no one but him, and her boy, in decades. (And he has, that's what he's done. Injured her heart. Because he hasn't handed her heart to the Dark One. He's kept it. He's kept it and he's left her and he knows that isn't fair, but he thinks about it—is he sorry, really? And the truth is he cannot be sorry for loving her.)
He is eager, eager like a child when he comes to her vault, eager to see her face and her smile, because how can this…how can staying away from each other be right? It takes seconds to register that she has backed away from him, seconds more to take in her pained, pleading eyes, and he becomes bizarrely aware of his right hand. Its weight and stillness, the heaviness that grows with each second for the mark on his wrist and its closeness to her and for every moment that he does not lift it, does not reach for her, it grows more weighted, more tense.
He is selfish. He knows that. He wants her to say something, so that he won't have to. In this dance where they both know everything they want and everything they can't have and exactly how little it will take to break them both. Stay, Robin. I'm still in love with you, too.
He knows she won't. Not that he doubts her feelings. It's never been that.
She's always been the stronger of the two of them.
And so she walks away, and he doesn't say it. Wait. A heavy syllable, clutching the back of his throat, struggling with him, and it was so easy to say it to her before, Good luck and her wide smile and her hair woven between his fingers. And now it's so hard.
The cracking thuds as the darts hit the plastic dartboard frame barely disturb him. He takes a swig of his drink between each round. Whiskey. His aim doesn't get any better. Turns out it's really not magical.
Will says Especially if they don't see it for themselves, and he thinks of the page Regina thought he didn't see as he entered her vault this afternoon, arrows terrifyingly, unspeakably close to piercing her chest, and she has been hiding herself away to think about endings in his absence. It may be selfish, that he's declared his love since their parting, but he's done it because he'd thought she needed to hear. Because this isn't, this shouldn't, this can't be the way her happiness ends, and perhaps, he'd thought, if she knows, if she can believe in them, she'll learn to believe with someone else someday.
He clenches his jaw against the violent jealousy he feels at that thought, the idea of her with someone else, her hands cradling someone else's hand to her chest, fingertips skimming across someone else's wrist, that tearful hopeful smile that makes him shiver directed at someone else.
He has no right.
(And worse, so much worse, he knows there will never be anyone else. That she's taken her second chance on love—not her second, she has trusted her heart to love far too many times—and even the most resilient heart can only crack so many times before emptiness becomes preferable to the pain of hope.)
It is selfish, what he's done. Torture, she called it. Torture. Holding on to her heart, saying I'm still in love with you so that she holds on to his, because she can try to push him away all she wants, but he's never, ever, ever going to forget about her.
She's trying to break her own heart for him. She is selfless.
Will thinks he's talking about Marian, and not giving up, and love above all else, and he is, but it's not Marian, it's Regina. Because she sees enough good in him to defend his own misguided principles back to him, but not nearly enough good in herself to argue against them.
This code…when did it turn him into something worse than a two-bit thief? When did it start to be the way he tried to blind himself to his lover's pain?
It is not breaking when he comes to her vault again.
It is determination.
For weeks he has been waiting for clarity, for everything to make sense, and even though everything doesn't, this does. She does. They do.
Their lips meet, and it is anguish and relief all at once as he melts into her, it is everything. His hands sink into her hair as he lifts her to him, and she comes willingly, hers hands winding around his back, bodies pressing together and swaying and close, and as her fingers tug impatiently and tenderly at his vest, he tries to remember why waiting to hold her again had ever seemed truthful, and righteous, and good.
This may be the only thing clear to him right now, but truthful and good—that does not describe his honor. It describes their love.