The Queen's Merry Little Army

She is furious with him. Absolutely furious. And the second he walks through that door she is going to incinerate him on the spot... after her frantic heart calms down... then it's all over for him. Once she sees his dumb, stupid face and knows he is safe... hell hath no fury, and she is full of fury. Anger that masks the utter panic as she phones him for the sixth time only to end up with his voicemail once again.

They had a date night, the first one in weeks where it was just them. He was the one who asked her to take the night off. He was the one who said they should have a romantic dinner at home.

She'd even planned something a little extra for him. Donned a deep royal blue dress for him to peel off of her later, had meticulously applied her make-up, and even asked if he would try something new. His brow had quirked high at her blush, and while she wanted it to be a surprise, she also didn't know if in the heat of the moment she'd have the actual courage to go through with it. She remembers just how furiously the blush had run into her cheeks when she confessed quietly to him that upstairs in their bedroom was a box of edible body paint.

He was the one who made her feel all warm and bubbly inside with anticipation with a bitten back heated grin at her request, and she'd been ancy the entire day. But the bubble popped long ago as the candles dimmed as she toed her heels off. Now she is just worried. Angry but worried.

Already he has been taken from her, twice, and nearly a third. How dare he make her worry like this. He promised he wouldn't. So the fact that she is pacing back and forth in her dining room, phone in hand as she dials one more time, it's an awful feeling that sinks deep in her belly. She's on the verge of tears when he doesn't answer again, and something has to have happened, she knows it.

She'd leave but Roland is asleep upstairs, leaving him alone is an absolute no, even if he sleeps like the dead like his father. Who is going to be dead if he doesn't walk through that door in the next five minutes. No one appears to want to answer her tonight either. Snow and David probably fell asleep at eight as per usual, Emma and Killian off doing whatever it is they do, and the Merry Men... well they don't exactly have cell phones.

It hits her like a freight train. He's at camp, it's the only plausible explanation for his absence. Regina exhales in relief, trying to persuade herself that he is there, that he is safe there, that some horrible thing hasn't happened to him. Biting down on her lip, she glances upstairs to where Roland is asleep. She doesn't want to wake him, but she can't leave him at home. Her fingers rake through her hair as she tries to figure out her options here. Either she makes a quick poof over to the camp to slap Robin for making her wait, kiss him senseless because he is okay, and then slap him again for making her scared., or, she can just have faith that he is fine and will be home in the morning.

Her decision is a quick one as she glances at the clock with a groan. Robin can deal with Roland's grumpiness in the morning. This is his fault after all. He can suffer all the consequences.

Climbing the stairs quickly, she peers into Roland's room, smiling at the sight of him utterly splayed out on his back, blankets completely twisted at the end of his bed. He's growing so big these days, where once he leaned against her knees, he now tucks against her side easily.

"Roland, sweetheart can you wake up for a second?" She rubs gently along his tummy. He grumbles and stretches in slumber. God, he is adorable. Leaning down she dots his nose with a kiss, "Roland, come on baby open your eyes for me." His nose scrunches as his eyes squint open. Regina smiles, a hand still on his tummy as his eyes adjust and he blinks sleepily up at her. "Hi baby. I know you are sleeping, but we have to go to see Little John, okay?"

He whines, curling over on his side, tucking the grey monkey into his chest. The one thing this little merry man gets from his father is their utter repugnance for being roused from slumber. It makes her smile widen as she chuckles, "Come on grumpy bear."

"Can you carry me, Mama?"

Her heart stops. He's never called her that before. It's always been Gina. Since day one. Sure, she feels like his mother, had hoped that he knew she loved him like her own, but still, to hear him actually say it, well, her eyes ghost over with happy tears. She smooths over his curls, presses a hard kiss to the crown of his head, beaming the entire time.

"Of course I can. But we have to put your jacket on first, okay?"

Roland nods, arches out like a little cat before sitting up and rubbing his eyes and reaching for her. It makes little sense to drag him downstairs, and it's in times like these she is ever so grateful for her magic. He is swaddled up in purple smoke, his tiny laugh echoing through the room as it dissipates, leaving him perfectly ready for a trip to the outdoors.

She knows he is growing, the weight in her arms a clear sign that her little knight might not be so little anymore. But he tucks into her all the same. Curling his legs around her waist, hands patting happily against her chest and his nose squished into her neck.

The forest blooms in front of her, a slight chill running up her spine at the cool wind. Thankfully though the camp is not twenty steps away, and her eyes immediately scan for Robin.

"Regina! What in God's name are you doing here at this hour?" Little John jolts from the log around the fire, making quick strides to relieve Roland's weight from her arms.

She smiles in gratitude, exhaling a shaky breath when Robin is nowhere to be found. "Is he here?"

"Who?"

"Robin. He was supposed to be home tonight; we had a date night planned, and he never showed up." The anxiety begins to build again as John frowns down at her perplexed. They have formed a rather soft friendship, the two of them. Perhaps she wasn't his biggest fan during the missing year, but ever since she fought the Devil himself to get their leader back, John has taken a liking to the Queen.

"That bloody idiot," he gruffs, switching Roland to his other side as he shakes his head with narrowed eyes, "He's with Alan and Tuck."

"Oh, thank God." Regina breathes fully for the first time, sniffing back her tears that threatened to fall out of fear. John's hand finds her shoulders, "Are you alright?"

Regina nods, smiles through her relief as her head tips up to the skies. "Yeah, sorry. I just, I was so worried when he didn't show up. I thought something happened."

Her fingers move to wipe away a few traitorous tears, and John wraps her up in a half hug she gratefully accepts for a moment before they walk towards the fire together. And it doesn't escape her that John's arm never quite leaves her shoulders. It's like having a big security blanket, and for a man who is wider than a tree, and can be truly intimidating at points, she can't help but grin up at the thought that he really is just a big teddy bear.

"Oiy! Robin. A word mate." John's voice booms out, a touch of displeasure lacing through as he anchors Regina to his side. She wants to laugh at the indignation drawn across his face, but Robin comes jogging from the side looking bewildered at his friend's tone. Her eyes catch his, and he goes to smile but it falters as realization dawns.

"Ahh Shit. Regina. Love I am -"

"Ahh shit is right," John gruffs hotly. "You, sir, have some explaining to do."

Regina does her best to level Robin with a glare as he closes the distance, a hint of trepidation in his steps as he eyes his friend. His hands move up, palms open in surrender. Good. He should be ready to bend the knee for all the heartache he has caused her tonight.

"Sweetheart, I am so, so sorry." He bites his lip nervously, and her brow draws high as she stands next to John, the other men coming round to see what all the disturbance is about. "I completely forgot."

She coughs out an irritated laugh, "I am aware." Her arms fold defiantly across her chest as she glares at him, but her heart, the traitorous thing, dances happily that he is okay. And then her tears start to grow once more because she truly was terrified. "You couldn't call?"

Robin shrinks, "I forgot my phone charger at the station." His shoulders slumping when he reaches for her and she doesn't exactly budge. "I am so sorry, my love. I am an utter cad."

"You got that right," John grumbles beside Regina. Has she mentioned she loves this new friendship with John and all its apparent perks?

"Hang on a second here." Alan steps up, shooting Robin a disbelieving look. "You're telling me you had a date with the Queen and you forgot?"

Robin hangs his head in guilt, and Regina tries to hide her smile.

"You complete twit." A hand smacks Robin upside the head. "Ow!" Robin's own flies up to the infliction as he scowls at his friend who simply shrugs that he deserved it as he moves to stand beside Regina's side. Robin rubs his head as his eyes flick back to Regina, a silent plea to ask for some help, but she is rather enjoying this.

The one thing she hadn't realized when Robin asked her to marry him was that she was about to gain custody of every Merry Man, too. They greet her warmly, tease her relentlessly, (though she gives it back equally, musing over her cup one dinner that she initially thought Will was gay what with the way he looked at Killian.), they guard her with their lives and more than a dozen times she's found her dining room table set for twelve instead of four.

Robin seems to understand where this is going, and he sinks to his knees in front of Regina, lacing her fingers with his own as he gazes up at her apologetically. "I am an idiot." She nods. "I am a complete blundering fool." Again she nods as he presses a kiss to her knuckles. "It was thoughtless of me to have forgotten our date tonight." Regina tries to remain stoic, but her heart hammers in her chest as he dots a kiss to her wrist.

"And…" Tuck supplies when Robin fails to keep going, the old man's smirk finding its way over to Regina who smiles. He nudges Robin with his elbow, "You're going to do everything to make it up to her, aren't you?"

Beneath her, on his knees, Robin nods dutifully, "Of course. Whatever it takes." He shoots a hopeful look up at Regina who takes a long moment to glance around at her little army. They all grin at her, a silent exchange that has her glowing from tip to toe.

Will chuckles in the silence, "You could start by kissing the worry out of your wife. I'm sure she'd appreciate it."

They laugh as Robin beams up at Regina. Standing slowly, his hands gently smoothe up her arms and into her hair as he looks her squarely in the eyes. "I'm sorry."

Her brow arches at him, and she turns her chin a fraction to the side, darting her gaze at him. He grins, and leans in to peck the apple of her cheek. "I am so sorry." Another to the edge of her jaw. "You won't do it again." It's not a question she levels him with but he shakes his head resolutely, "Never. I swear it."

His lips find the corner of her mouth, and she can feel herself smile. She turns slightly, her hands climbing up his chest as she lets a shaky breath go. "You scared me." It trembles out of her and Robin sighs guiltily. "I thought something happened to you." He nods, drops his forehead to her own, and she doesn't feel John's arm leave her, nor does she hear the men part back to their fire. She bites down on her lip, sniffing hard as Robin's hands curl around her waist. "You can't do that to me, Robin."

"I promise."

Wetly she flicks her eyes up to his and nods in return before he folds her into his arms. She clings to him a little too tight. Nothing happened, he is okay. Alive and breathing without a scratch on him. But still. The idea that it could have all been torn away from her once again, well it's a fear that will linger for the rest of their days.

"Can I take you home?" Robin whispers against her temple and she leans into his warmth with a heavy exhale. "Let's just stay here tonight."

Robin reaches for her hands, presses a kiss to each fingertip before he smiles small at her, knowing that it will take far more than a few well placed affections to soothe her nerves, but he will do whatever it takes. He promised after all. Quietly he leads them to his tent, turning the lamp low before returning back to Regina who waits. Slowly he slinks off her scarf, unbuttons her coat and sets it to the side. "You look beautiful." He admires, and Regina blushes as his gaze drops to glance over her body. "It's new. I bought it for tonight, thought you'd like the color." She shrugs, licking her lips as his brow furrows. "Again my love, I am so sorry."

"I know you are." She nudges her nose against his jaw, sinking into the feeling of his palms against her hips, smoothing up her ribs and behind her back in gentle circles. "I love the color by the way. Green suits you." She meets his bashful smile and turns so he can unzip her.

The dress pools at her feet and she hears the breath Robin blows out. "Also new." She smirks over her shoulder, heating at the jaw drop look he's giving her. Clearing his throat with a cough he thumbs along the black strap, hums appreciatively at the silk and lace, "Stunning as always."

He leads her down to the cot, shucking his shirt and pants in the process, and Regina curls beneath the furs, sighing into the soft pillow. Robin slides in, a hand securing around her waist as he tugs her to his chest, kisses her lips sweetly before resting his forehead against her own. "I'm still mad at you." She frowns, tucking in tighter to him as he nods that he knows, apologizing once more. "I had lit candles, you know. My nice ones." Her fingers move to scratch through his hair. Robin sighs, kissing her forehead twice before sliding down to look her in the eyes. "I promise, tomorrow I will spend the entire day making dinner for you. And I'll buy you new candles."

Regina smiles tightly, and Robin slides a piece of hair from her cheek, tucking it behind her ears. "What's wrong?"

"I used to hate candles. I had this irrational fear when I was younger that spirits used to live in the flames."

It strikes Robin as odd given his love's affinity for fire these days, but he stays quiet, holds her closer if anything.

"My mother used to tell me that if I lit candles in the house, spirits would haunt me." Regina snorts irritatedly, "She could have just told me that she was nervous I'd forget about them and end up burning the place to the ground."

She is so full of secrets. So many stories and tales Robin has yet to uncover, but slowly she lets him in a little more, and if possible he loves her a little more each time. "If I had known then what I know now…."

"You would have become a pyromaniac far earlier?" Robin supplies with a teasing grin and it works, Regina laughs breathlessly and wraps her arms around his neck, "Perhaps my mother was right about scaring me." She kisses him fully, hums into it and holds his lips for a long moment before parting with a pop.

Robin bites back a smile, bumping his nose to her own before laying down heavier into the pillows. "I suppose if I had known that my men would become your own personal guard, I'd have had a lot more sense knocked into me much sooner."

Regina grins, rolls over to kiss him once more, before settling her chin on his chest, "The Queen's Merry Little Army." Her brows bounce playfully as Robin chuckles with a shake of his head. "It seems my title as leader has been thwarted."

"You never stood a chance against me."

His eyes soften as she buries herself down into the furs, an easy breath ghosting against his cheek as he turns to kiss her forehead once more.

"No, I never did."

Fin.

Regina didn't realize marrying Robin meant that she'd also be getting custody of all the Merry Men #46

The Merry Men accept Regina into their group. #99

Robin makes Regina a romantic meal and it doesn't go to plan.#73

Regina shares an unusual fear #75

Regina forms a friendship with Little John. #133

"If I'd known then what I know now, I wouldn't have…" #196

Regina's past haunts her. #146

The first time Roland calls Regina "Mama" - #8

I thought you were gay #108

Regina asking for something she considers weird in bed #18

Edible body paints #78