A/N: Alright, so I wrote this at four in the morning and it's not edited, but here you go. This takes place during the missing year flashbacks in 3x19. Enjoy.

. . .

Regina can see Snow and Charming from her balcony as they amble through the gardens. It was a long journey to The Dark One's castle today, and it will be a long ride to find Glinda tomorrow, and despite all the disheartening news they've been getting lately, the queen can still hear Snow's soft laughter ring through the night.

They're so full of hope, Regina thinks with a sigh. She's trying, truly, but it can be difficult when you've got a sister out to destroy your life and a kingdom to protect. Regina stares out at the moon lit horizon; it's a beautiful night, the forest endless at her feet, a world she never thought she'd see again. A place she never wanted to see again. She looks in the mirror sometimes, and it seems as though nothing has changed. Being back in this palace she remembers being many things-the Evil Queen, a pretty bird in a gilded cage, a child made up to be a wife and a mother-but never did she think we would be a mother without her son. Never did she think she'd feel this broken. Regina feels her body tense, as if she can brace herself against the pain, against the memories, perhaps even the whole world.

The queen starts when she feels hands bracket her hips, arms winding around her middle. Strong, warm, familiar arms.

"Robin." Regina relaxes under his touch, leaning until her back is pressed against his front.

"So," he says, dropping a kiss to her shoulder, nosing her hair aside to place another at the back of her neck. "I bathe in the river and use pinecones for money, is that it?"

She chuckles, laying a hand over his where it rests on her stomach. "Well, I was only half wrong. I have seen you bathe in the river."

"That was one time, and I believe it was due greatly in part to her majesty joining me," Robin replies, now planting open mouth kisses to her exposed skin. She gasps, pressing herself closer to him when he sucks at the sensitive flesh behind her ear.

Once more, she hears the sound of laughter-David's this time-and she turns in Robin's arms. She means to tell him that they should go inside, out of sight where they can't be caught, but then he's nipping lightly at her jawline before finally kissing her lips, and all her words are lost.

His lips move slowly over hers, and he groans when she sucks at his bottom lip, softly biting it. Robin teases his mouth lazily over hers, and he places one more delicious kiss on her lips before moving his talented mouth back down to her neck.

"Robin," she murmurs, whimpering when he nips at the tops of her breasts.

"Hmm?" He replies, and goosebumps erupt across her skin as the sound vibrates over her chest.

She tells him that they should move into her chambers, that Snow and Charming could see them and Robin stands, kissing her once as he brushes back her hair.

"As much fun as it is coming up with new ways to ignite your ire, my love, I don't see the problem in telling them."

Regina sees a hundred problems with it, first of which being that she doesn't want her bitch of a sister to find out. Anyone Regina loves can be used as leverage and she'd rather not risk endangering Robin or his son. Regina also just enjoys the privacy, the tenderness, the stolen moments and the nights they have all to themselves. She doesn't want to be scrutinized more than she already is.

"I like having you all to myself," she says, but she can tell from the look on his face that he knows she's holding back.

He sighs, "Regina-," but then she crashes her lips to his, silencing him. This kiss is more desperate, intoxicating, any delicate intentions evaporating as their lips meet over and over, as if each of them is starved for the other.

After only a few moments, Regina pulls back, and she grins in triumph when Robin's eyes slowly drift open. The way he's looking at her, as if he wants to devour her, ignite her until she burns for him, has desire licking over her skin and pooling low in her body.

She removes himself from her embrace, retreating back into her bedchamber. She turns back to him, her fingers coming up to undo the laces over her overcoat.

"Come to bed, thief," she says, and he follows.