A/N: I could offer the 10,000 reasons as to why the update for this story took so long. The best one is that I lost a good portion of it in a computer crash a few months ago. I did, however, find a good portion of it. With the exception of the last half of this chapter and any of the next chapter.
3 months later-
Regina had been talking to Dr. Hopper twice a week. She wasn't sure how much it helped. She did not want to talk about Sidney, or about the rape. But she did want to talk about the baby. Now at five months along, she was trying to accept the child as hers-trying being the optimal word.
Robin believed that as soon as she saw the baby, she would love it. Emma had assured her if she had held Henry, she would never have given him up. She was certain that if Regina held her baby, she wouldn't be able to either. So she was insisting that she would not allow Regina to give up her baby without holding it.
That was all assuming that the baby was not Robin's. Regina hoped upon hope that she would give birth to a blonde haired, blue-eyed child that she could not deny was Robin's.
But that posed another problem. She had spent five months afraid of this child living inside of her. So if it came out to be Robin's, she would not have bonded with it. She had talked to both Dr. Whale and Dr. Hopper about it. Both feared she was right: that she would have issues with bonding with the baby that could lead as far as post partum depression. Regina didn't want to lose her chance at happiness with a baby she'd wanted with a man she loved. She wanted nothing to destroy this moment if this was Robin's child. So she had to do everything she could to save it.
"I just can't stop thinking that it's Sidney's child." Regina was holding her head in her hands. "I know that's terrible…but still."
"Regina, it's not terrible. It's understandable." Dr. Hopper assured her. "But the point of our sessions is for you to think beyond the father. You have to see this little boy or girl as yours. Don't connect with Robin by thinking of it as "ours". Think of it as yours. Your baby that you're going to raise with Robin. Just like Henry."
Regina looked down at her hands.
"I know. And I understand that. But-."
"Do you think this has anything to do with the fact that they have never caught Sidney?"
"Maybe." That did bother Regina. It bothered everyone. But Sidney was apparently long gone. Everyone agreed that if he was still in town, he'd have been caught and strung up by now. Given his illusiveness, it made sense that he'd crossed the town line and sought his freedom in the real world. Regina had to admit it sounded like Sidney.
Archie settled himself back onto his chair. He flipped through some notes from past sessions. Regina waited.
"What about the shopping we discussed? Did you try…buying things for the baby?"
"No…" Regina answered. "I've thought about it…but I…."
"Can't." Archie finished for her. "Regina, that seems to be our problem here. You hold yourself back. You're here because you don't want to be unhappy…but you always manage to stop yourself from being happy." Regina stared at the light coming in through the blinds.
"Much like when I didn't go into the tavern."
"Much like that," Archie agreed. "Regina, you have to let go of your fears. It's the only way you're going to bond with this child."
"But…" Regina lowered her eyes. "What if-."
"Regina." And she looked up to see the serious expression on his face. "It's not his-it's yours."
She was going to do it. She was going to shop for baby things. Clothes, little shoes, blankets, everything. She was going to do it.
Regina made it as far as her car before she stopped. She didn't know if she should buy boys' clothes, or girls' clothes. She could simply buy yellow, or green. She hadn't thought about what she wanted. Boy or girl? She had a boy…and she loved him. So another one would be easy.
But a boy might be like his father. Regina shuddered. Nausea tightened her throat. She could be carrying another Sidney right now. This child could be born preprogrammed for kidnap and rape to get what he wanted. Her son could be that type of person.
It was worse than having a child with Leopold.
Regina pressed her hand to her mouth, doubling over against the car as she feared she was about to throw up.
"What's wrong?" A woman's voice spoke beside her. Regina lifted her head, saw Maleficent standing beside her. Worry was written all over the other woman's face.
"Nothing." Regina whispered, staring down at the blackness of the car's hood. "Nothing."
"Lies." Maleficent caught Regina's hand. "Look at me." Regina barely raised her head. "What's happened to you? Is it something physical? Are you in pain?"
"No," Regina lowered her head again. "Just…nauseous."
Maleficent yanked open the car door.
"Sit." She pointed. "Before you pass out."
Regina didn't argue. She sat. Her head went down, resting in her palms. She tried to take deep breaths, but her throat still felt tight.
"I can't breathe."
"You can breathe." Maleficent's hand rested on her back, and Regina was suddenly glad for the company.
"No, I c-."
"Yes, you can." Maleficent's hand began to stroke. "Nice and slow, Regina."
Regina squeezed her eyes closed. Maleficent was right, her throat wasn't as tight as she thought. Slowly, she lifted her head.
"That's better," Maleficent patted her shoulder. "We need to get you home."
"Can you drive?" Regina lifted her head. Maleficent chuckled. Regina suddenly found herself standing in front of her house.
"Come on," Maleficent extracted Regina's keys from her hand to unlock the door. She led Regina inside, immediately guiding her to the living room sofa.
"Sit. I'll make you some tea."
Regina stared at her hands as she heard Maleficent in the kitchen. She squeezed her fingers together. Inside of her, Sidney's son could still be thriving. Letting out a whimper, she pressed her hands to her temples.
"What's wrong?" Maleficent placed the tea on the table in front of her. "Drink this. Now."
Regina picked up the cup. She took a sip.
"If the baby's a boy, it could be another Sidney."
"Not it if it's Robin's. Drink more tea."
"But it might not be, that's what no one ever accepts!" Regina exclaimed. "Everyone is so content to tell me how it's mine, or Robin's, but at the end of the day-it might be Sidney's!"
Maleficent sighed. She took the teacup out of Regina's hand. Reaching for her, Regina was momentarily shocked when the other woman drew her close in a hug.
"Regina, regardless of who the baby's father is, you need to calm down." Regina let herself sob against Maleficent's shoulder. It was a scene past Regina had never seen coming.
After a few moments, Regina felt Maleficent's arms tighten on her.
"I understand. You're scared. And none of the rest of us truly understand how frightening this is for you."
"No one does," Regina sat back, wiping her eyes. "No one understands what I'm going through. Everyone just tells me how I should be feeling rather than understanding how I am feeling-even that damn cricket!"
"That's our fault," Maleficent handed the teacup back to Regina. "Do you want to talk about it?" Regina shrugged.
"That's really all there is to say. I mean, what else are people supposed to tell me?!"
"We can't tell you anything." Maleficent tucked some of Regina's hair behind her ears. "I guess we're all so focused on the baby….we've put your thoughts behind us."
"I should be focused on the baby," Regina drank some of her tea. "What am I going to do if this baby is born and it's Robin's? How horrible have I been to it?"
"Your baby will never know what you have or haven't done." Maleficent smiled. "All it will know is that you love it. That's what you need to do. You can't keep putting all of this guilt on yourself. That's adding to your stress."
Regina nodded, taking a small sip of tea.
"I know all the things I'm doing wrong."
"Then stop focusing on them." Maleficent took one of her hands. "Just focus on taking care of yourself."
Just then, the front door opened.
"Regina?" Robin called as he entered. He turned, saw the two women, and gasped. "What happened?!" Robin ran into the room. He half pushed Maleficent out of the way as he dropped down beside Regina. "Archie called me because he said you looked sick."
"Regina had a bit of a panic attack," Maleficent got up. "I'd see if she will lay down for a little while." Regina opened her mouth, but Maleficent waved her away. "Keep me posted, Regina. I'll talk to you soon."
As soon as the other woman was out of the door, Robin spun.
"What did she do to you?"
"Nothing," Regina whispered. "Nothing. She was just there when I…." Regina didn't know what she'd done. "Regardless, it wasn't her fault. You shouldn't yell at her."
Robin didn't say anything. He simply knelt before her, taking hold of her hand.
"Drink some more of your tea," he encouraged gently. "I just want you to calm down."
Regina did, but simply stared at the floor for a moment.
"I had a panic attack."
"I figured as much." Robin rubbed her hand. "Do you want to tell me about it?" Regina nodded slowly.
"I was thinking that if the baby is a boy…" She swallowed hard, finally looking up to meet his eyes. "If the baby is a boy, it could be another Sidney. And it wouldn't matter how we raised him, he'd turn out just like his father."
For once, Robin spared her the lecture of how it might be his child. He looked at her seriously.
"So, are you saying that if it's a boy…." Regina closed her eyes.
"But if we don't raise him, he'll be dumped on some other poor unexpecting family."
Now Robin was confused. He thought he'd been following, but now he was lost.
"So you'd want to keep him?"
"I don't know." Regina opened her eyes, finally meeting his. "But I do know that if we know, it'll make the decision easier." Robin squeezed her hand, giving her a firm nod.
"Ok, so we'll find out."
"We'll find out." Regina responded, keeping her eyes on him. "And then, after we find out, we'll make a decision….once and for all."