Here's an emotional one shot that takes place after episode 5x08. *IMPORTANT TO WATCH EPISODE 5x08 FIRST BEFORE READING THIS*
"What did she mean by that?"
Those were the words she was hoping he wouldn't ask, but here they are, coming out of his mouth as he holds his newborn daughter in his arms.
She wants to look away from him, but she feels fixated on his eyes. She wants to be angry at Zelena for saying Look who's green with envy now, but she can't. She's desperate to find an excuse to tell Robin. She wants to lie, but her heart is tugging at her mind and saying no.
"I-" She starts, but finally looks away, sitting down across from where he is in the rocking chair. It's a makeshift seat, using a footstool, but she needs somewhere before her legs buckle and she falls.
Her heart is pounding from her chest (or at least it seems that way). She can't seem to find her tongue, and then he says, "Regina? Are you alright?"
"Finally, some kind of concern." She snips unintentionally.
It's been stressful, these past two months, to say the least. It's an understatement to describe what they've been through together. They weren't ready for the baby at all, had been spending far too much time trying to find a way to defeat the Dark Swan, and they assumed they had seven more months to prepare a room. All they have right now is a pitiful rocking chair that she used to sit in and rock Henry to sleep in when he was a baby, a footstool, and an otherwise empty and lifeless room.
All of the built up stress, in the past day that they've finally been home, has started to come out little by little. Just like that little quip at him, she never means them to hurt him. Sometimes she wishes she could hurt him, for all of the emotion he's put her through with this mishap, but she knows it was her sister's fault more than anyone's.
He looks down at the baby, staying silent. His feelings seem to be hurt, and he's still gently rocking. "I was just asking, Regina." He says, a half murmur and a half whisper. Like he's ashamed of even asking her a question.
She sighs and straightens out her dress on the tops of her thighs, "Robin, look, you know the past few days have been-"
"Hell? Yes. I do know that. They've not been much better for me either, Regina..." He explains.
She looks at him again, her expression hurting to one of being hurt – like Robin's is. "Be grateful you have a child. Not only one, but two, Robin." She spews, looking away as soon as she said the words. She knows she's just mentally slapped him in the face, she feels it, but she can't watch him right now. Not with knowing what she needs to say.
"Is that what this is about?" He asks, looking at her now with furrowed brows. "Because you wanted one...? This doesn't mean that we won't have another child, Regina. Down the road, into the future a little more, let's have one. But I just-"
"I can't have babies, Robin." She blurts out, looking at her fiddling hands that are unsettled in her lap, adding, "I can't." after a tear falls onto the back of her hand.
It grabs his attention, she can feel his eyes trying to study her. Just like the day in the forest, before the pep talk about the fight with Zelena that would happen later that night. The note, he stole it, everything. She would look down and he could feel his eyes burning into her head as if he were trying to figure out what is going through her mind at the moment in time. And he is trying to figure it out, right now, at least. He wants to know what exactly this is about. "What do you mean?" He asks, not sure if he understands what she's telling him.
"I mean that I physically can't have children. Ever." She states bitterly, "Why do you think I had to adopt? Just because I didn't have a husband? It sure didn't stop Zelena and it wouldn't have stopped me back then." She admits, looking up at him.
His eyes drop a little and she knows he's disappointed. She continues by saying, "I didn't want to tell you. I don't even know how Zelena knows that I can't have children." She shakes her head, her thumbs rubbing together anxiously in her lap again. "I've never told anyone. She must just...she knows it somehow."
He's still silent, and after a few more seconds she snaps her fingers as if to wake him up. He looks up at her with sad eyes, "No babies?"
"No babies. Ever, Robin." She says, and she finally feels the want to ask him if that's all he's in this relationship for – a child with her.
It feels like a weight lifted from her chest, but another one that's even heavier is the burden of him knowing, now, that they'll never have a child together. There will never be a baby that has his blue eyes, her dark hair and pale skin, his charming little sense of humor and her sarcasm. Never will there be a miniature of the two, together.
She feels a sense of cold and emptiness in the room, and she stands up and looks away. "If you don't want to be with me because of that, Robin, I understand. But if that's the case, you're going to have to leave. I- I can't house you and that baby."
He stands up as well, immediately wrapping a strong arm around her (the other arm is holding the baby who is now squished a little bit between them. "I wouldn't leave you because of something like that, Regina. That's not worth it to leave the woman I love."
"You don't love me, Robin." She breathes, shaking her head as she pulls away from his hug. "You're saying that to keep me. Why you want to keep me? I'm not completely sure." She whispers. She had her ideas of why, and the first one that comes to mind is she's pretty sure she does well in bed. Especially for him, she's probably the best that the thief has ever had by far. Other than that, she can't think of why he would stick around. "Good in bed?" She starts naming off things in a desperate attempt, "I cook? I clean? I give you a roof to be under and a bed to sleep in? What is it, Robin? You surely don't want to keep me because of my personality. So what is it?"
He looks into her eyes as she speaks, and it makes her almost forget what she just said. "I do love you. You don't know what I feel, Regina. You don't know what I think, either. I want you around because I love you, and I love you for your personality, your charm, your dry humor, everything about you." He states, sighing as he repositions the baby in his arms and looks down. "I hate it when you put yourself down like you're doing now. You're worth more than that. You're not just an empty womb, you're not just a sex toy, you're not just a maid. You're my soul mate." He says, looking at her again. "Who cares about the biological children? I-"
"I do, Robin." She says, her voice breaking as she tries to speak. "You and Daniel were the only two men I ever would've chosen to have children with. And Daniel-" She stops, gathering her breath, "It was my fault anyway. I drank a potion to get my reproductive system to shut down. My mother-" Her breath hitches again and she looks away, breaking away from his hand and turning her body away from him.
She hears his footsteps walking toward her, but she stops him by looking slightly over his shoulder, fresh droplets of tears just now running down onto her face. She shouldn't tell him. She knows this will be the end to them if she does. But who the hell cares? It's not like she actually has a chance with him anyway.
"My mother hired someone after Tinkerbell told me that the man with the lion tattoo was my soul mate. She put that tattoo on him with magic, made me go on a date, and he tried raping me just to get me knocked up. Per my mother's wishes, of course." She says. "Your old rival, Keith Nottingham, was the excuse for a man who bent to my mother's wishes." She whispers, her voice no longer able to hold the tone she needed. "I told her that night that I would never give her the pleasure of a child. If only she would've known that Zelena would've made her prouder than I ever could've..." She murmurs, looking back in front of her as she tries to hold in a hiccup from holding tears back.
He steps closer again and brings the baby in front of her, keeping his body behind her. "It's messy, Regina. All of it." He whispers, hugging her from behind with one arm, still holding the baby out in front of her. He brings her in closer to her arms and she finally opens them, ready to take the baby for the first time. "I know you want a child, biologically, but you did what you had to do back then. You can't be blamed for something that was right at the time that it was done." He breathes, resting his chin on her shoulder. "If I would've known all of that, I would've been more considerate. But sometimes it's hard dating a closed book." He smiles sadly, rubbing her arm as she rubs the baby's cheek without even realizing it.
A sniffle comes from Regina and she closes her eyes. "It maybe was right back then but now it feels horrible. I just don't want to be broken anymore, Robin."
"You aren't broken." He whispers back, picking his head up and stepping forward once more to stand more to her side. "Just because you can't have children, doesn't make you broken. You can do, and already do, so many more things than bear a child. That's nothing – well, not nothing but...my point is that it takes more of a woman to take in someone else's child like you're doing now. In my belief, at least. Most women can have children, but most women won't do what you're doing and taking in children that aren't yours; one that's your sister's and your boyfriend's, one that's mine and my ex-wife's, and one that is your ex-nemesis' daughter's. Regina, you just don't see what I see when I look at you."
"What is it that you see, then, Robin?" She asks, looking down at the baby again.
He kisses her cheek and breathes against her skin, "A mother."
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