Some happy, fluffy closure for all of us =)


Epilogue


Ever since Robin moved into the mansion almost a year ago, Regina had come home to his excited greeting, to Roland's giggles and chaos in the kitchen as they attempted to cook something for her. Henry was there, too, playing video games and making fun of Robin when he burned himself on the stove, which seemed to happen all the time. Every day since she'd found her happy ending, as the sun set and its last warm rays bathed Storybrooke, Regina came home to noise and laughter.

Not today. Today the house was quiet as she entered it. Too quiet, and worry began to settle in her as she called out for all three of her boys and got no answer. As she walked to the living room, she found a red rose placed on the coffee table, with a note written in Robin's messy scrawl.

'Meet me in your vault, milady'

That was… odd. What would Robin even be doing in her vault? The nagging feeling that something was wrong assaulted her, and she didn't even pause to retrieve the coat she'd just shed as she walked out the door, her keys dangling from her fingers. She drove her car to the cemetery, hurriedly getting out and walking briskly to her family crypt where, to her surprise, Roland and Henry were waiting with huge smiles on their faces.

"What's going on?" she asked, still worried.

"Everything's fine, mom," Henry assured her, noticing her discomfort.

"Then why are we all here?"

"We have a surprise!" Roland piped up excitedly.

"Oh, you do, huh?" she asked him, bending down to rub her nose against his, his answering giggle helping to calm her racing pulse.

"Go on," Henry urged, pushing her inside and gesturing to the stairs that went down to her not-so-secret hideout. Regina walked hesitantly, taking the steps one at a time.

She was not expecting the sight that awaited her when she reached the vault. There were candles and red roses placed in every available surface, and in the middle of it all, bathed in the warm glow from those candles, was Robin, looking at her with the most tender of smiles as he greeted her.

"Took you long enough," he teased as she reached him, and she indulged in a few heady seconds of his mouth on hers before she decided to give voice to her confusion.

"Robin, what's going on?" she asked him.

He grinned at her, his knuckles running down her cheek and neck, fingers then resting by her shoulder, playing with the ends of her hair as she looked at her.

"I decided to do this here because this vault has bits and pieces that represent every part of you, and I wanted to show you that I love you. All of you, even the parts you think I don't want to see."

She was still confused, but touched at his words, and her eyes watered a little as he continued, pulling her close around the waist and planting a kiss on her forehead.

"We've been through so much, you and I. There's been so much pain, so much suffering I've inflicted on you—" he started, and she cut him off mid-sentence, shaking her head frantically.

"Robin, no," she said, "you've given me so much joy, you make me so happy."

He smiled at her fondly, one of his hands going up and cupping her cheek.

"As do you, but it hasn't always been that way. You've no idea how much I regret not realizing my mistake sooner, how much I hate the fact that we could've had this earlier, had I not been misled by my sense of duty."

"Robin, what's this about? We've been over this, I don't blame you for choosing Marian first, or for trying to fix your marriage. It was the right thing to do."

"If it was the right thing, it wouldn't have felt like a chore, it wouldn't have made us so miserable. You, Regina, this, us, is the right thing, loving you and being with you until the end of my days, if you'll have me."

"If I'll hav— what are you saying?" she was hallucinating, surely. He couldn't possibly mean what she thought he meant… could he?

But he did, he definitely did, because before she knew it he was pulling out a small velvet box from the pocket of his coat and kneeling before her, offering up the ring nestled inside it.

"Regina, I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"

She was shocked, to say the least, rendered speechless by the sincere hope and happiness in his eyes as he looked up at her, and she couldn't bring herself to speak, too choked up to scream her answer, because that's what she really wanted to do, to shout to anyone who would listen that yes, she would most definitely marry him.

"I've caught you unawares," he said sheepishly, shifting uncomfortably, still on his knees and awaiting her response, and her hand flew to her cheek when she felt the tears fall, wiping some of them away.

It was Roland's joyful shout that brought her out of her shocked state. He ran down the stairs, taking them two at a time, and then smacked into Regina, wrapping his arms around her legs and looking up at her while Henry stood by one of the chests of trinkets she kept down there.

"Marry us, Regina!" he exclaimed, and more tears fall as she laughed. Setting her eyes on Robin's, she nodded her head, and he stood, putting his hands on her hips and searching her face.

"Say it," he urged, and she looked at her son then, hanging back and watching her with a smile.

"Be happy, mom," he told her simply, and Regina then turned back to Robin.

"Yes," she rasped.

"Yes, what?" he insisted, and she giggled at his insistence.

"Yes, I'll marry you," she replied. Slowly, deliberately, so that he had no doubt of her meaning. It worked, and suddenly he was crushing her to him, his lips attacking hers despite Roland's "ew!" and Henry's "oh, not again!"

"You'll marry me?" Robin asked in amazement as they parted, his forehead resting on hers.

"I'll marry you," Regina answered with a beaming smile, and he buried his hands in her hair and dropped kisses on her cheeks, her nose, her brow, her lips, and she glowed with uninhibited joy.

Because she'd given him her heart, and he had taken it, treasured it, thought it beautiful despite its darkness and the cracks that covered it. Because thanks to him, after years of seeing herself as a lost cause, she'd finally understood that she was worthy, that she was cherished… that she was loved.


Okay, NOW it's over... Thank you all so so much for the support! See you around for the other stories ^^

Enjoy tonight's "hot and steamy" episode, guys!

-B.