Regina's mouth fades into a thin set line as she remembers the feeling of lost hope, the feeling of numbness that had taken over her body the minute she heard Robin's limp body hit the hard floor of her office.
She remembers the immediate sense of shock that had engulfed her body, her mind, and made her weak at the knees when Robin's blue aura had disappeared into dust.
It's then that she registers the shaking of her hands; the feeling of suffocation as if she is choking on thin air, and the tears that well in her eyes.
She falls next to Robin's body, kneecaps colliding with the floor with a resounding crack! as she leans over him, gathering his limp body in her arms, unintentionally tasting the salt of the tears running down her cheeks as she sobs.
How did this happen?
She looks to the pile of ash that sits only feet away from her, and she thinks that she's glad that Hades is dead - that it's what he deserves for killing the love of her life. But she also has her sister to think about.
Zelena has just lost her true love, and so has she.
Villains don't get happy endings, Regina thinks to herself, with a sad smile pulling at her lips.
Zelena left with the baby just hours ago, not able to stay in that room any longer knowing that her true love was dead and that she killed him. Zelena didn't want her daughter seeing her father's dead body at such a young age, even if she wouldn't remember the incident when she was older.
So Regina is left with Robin's body.
She wasn't even able to say goodbye.
She thinks of how his funeral would occur - thinks of how Snow of all people, would probably coordinate the ceremony.
Yes, Snow would coordinate it, Regina reassures herself.
She wiped a tear from under her eye.
Her mind depicts the different shades of black, the wave of sorrow that would drown her in it's wake. She calls to mind the speeches, how she wouldn't be able to get through her's without bursting into hysterics.
She thinks of Robin's tombstone.
He wouldn't want anything extravagant - something simple, yet meaningful.
Something of honor.
In Loving Memory of Robin Locksley
Father, Friend, Lover, and Hero
Yes, he'd like that, Regina reassures herself.
After what seems like hours on that cursed black and white marble floor, Regina thinks she sees someone coming into the office out of her periphery, but thinks nothing of it as she has her eyes glued to Robin's face, her mind willing itself to remember his smile as he looked down at his daughter, or the dark blue of his eyes turning to a pale blue as the sun hit his face.
No one has touched her in hours save the hug Zelena had given her along with the supportive squeeze of her hand as she walked out of the office with the baby, a sobbing mess.
She's surprised that she isn't as far gone as her sister seems to be.
Regina supposes it's the shock.
Regina has no idea how long she's been gone inside her head, how long she's been submerged into the blackness. She moves a hand to her cheek and pulls it back.
It's wet with tears.
She's been crying, and she hasn't even noticed.
It's then, a few seconds later, that she hears the sound of her son's voice from a few feet away.
"Mom, I'm so sorry"
It's that that she feels a sudden pressure at her shoulder- her son's hand- that she is sucked back into reality.
Regina sets a gentle hand on her son's arm.
"It's okay Henry, he died a hero. I thinks that's all he's ever wanted," Regina swallowed back her tears, "granted not this soon," Regina let out a sad laugh, "but he saved my life, and I will be eternally grateful for that. For him. He made me stronger, better - he chased away the darkness and brought light into my life. He knew me better than I know myself."
Regina sniffs, wiping more tears from her eyes.
"Robin sacrificed his life for mine, and I hope in the future," Regina gave Henry a look of love and light hearted warning, "that you find a nice girl that loves you enough that she would do the same if it called for it. Because I know I would do the same for you, in a heartbeat," Regina let's a small smile appear on her face as she places a light kiss on her son's cheek.
Henry hugs his mother close, resting his head against on her shoulder, his cheek flat against the fur of her jacket, facing the body of his mother's lover.
They both look to the thief's limp body in earnest. No sound save the constant sniffs of his mother, and the crickets outside sound in their ears.
Henry sighs, "I love you Mom"
"I love you too, my Little Prince," a quiet whisper filled with affection, as she drags the back of hand down Robin's cheek.
A quick intake of breath.
"I can't believe he's gone," Regina chokes out.
It's then that Hades's words come back to her:
This isn't going to kill you it's going end you. No Underworld, no moving on. One minute you exist the next you don't.
Regina lets a tear escape her eye.
She will never be able to hear his voice ever again. She'll never hear that accent that ran shivers up her spine.
Not even in death.
It's then that Regina's eyes widen more tears escaping her eyes - and she let's them - as a weight presses itself down on her heart.
She never told him she loved him.
Sure she alluded to it, but she never uttered the three words she believed with her whole heart.
"Henry. Would you mind stepping out for a moment? I would like a moment alone with Robin."
"Yes, of course. But I'll be right outside your office if you need me, okay?"
Regina nods to her son, a fake smile plastered on her face. She wouldn't let her son - the person who believes in her the most - see what she was about to do - what she about to become.
She stands to walk him out, and when he passes the door frame, she closes the door, her back resting against its surface as she sinks to the floor.
It is when Henry is out of earshot that she begins to break. More than she ever thought possible. Her mournful sobs and low screams of anger intermixed with sorrow vibrate off of the walls of the office.
Regina crawls over to her soulmates' limp form to put her head to his chest, clutching at his shirt like a lifeline.
"I love you"
The three words that she repeats until her constant sobbing and quick labored breaths make them incomprehensive.
It feels like hours later when she finally lifts her head from Robin's chest, and stops the flow of tears from her eyes with a quick swipe of her hand, and thoughts of strength, courage, and bravery.
Her tears stain the grey of Robin's shirt near his chest, Regina notices..
Well something of mine he can take to his grave. At least he will always have my heart-
Regina stops herself quickly, a hand covering her mouth in surprise, accompanied with a quick intake of breath.
Why is Hades ash and Robin isn't?
As if he can read his mother's mind, Henry runs inside the room with a certain optimism shining in his eyes.
"You two are soulmates," he looks at Regina, more of a statement than a question.
Regina stands, clearing her throat as she walks closer to her son.
"Yes, Henry I'm well aware. What about that?"
"Mom!" Henry smiling now as he looks into his mother's eyes both hands on her shoulders as he smiles brightly, "you and Robin share a soul! You'd be dead right now if Robin was dead!"
Regina throws her son a look of confusion. "What are you saying? That-"
"-Robin isn't dead! We just need to find a way to wake him up." Henry stands and begins pacing the floor thinking of things that had worked in the past for things like this.
Henry stops. In the middle of the office floor and turns to face his mother.
"A heart split!"
"Henry, to do that Robin would have to have a heart"
"No, Mom that's the thing. I read about it in The Storybook. The Olympian Crystal takes your heart, it doesn't take your soul. That's why Hades is dead and Robin isn't. Hades doesn't have a soulmate, Robin does: You! Hades doesn't have anything to tether him to this world, Robin does. He's living off of the magic you two share right now, but if you split your heart, it will wake him up."
"How do you know this will work, Henry?"
"Because I have hope."
Regina let's a slight smile shine through at Henry's use of the word.
Just like his grandmother.
She can hear the optimism and sense of faith in the undertone of his voice, the unchanging hint of hope that never ceases to appear in moments of despair.
The Heart of the Truest Believer.
A small hint of a smile appears on Regina's face.
It's that that she remembers the feeling of darkness all those years ago, how it crept inside of her like a vice; ready to begin controlling her, ready to send her into the very depression she had attempted to get out of once, long ago, with just her mind as her guide. The very sickness that had consumed her soul, her mind, her body, her being.
The Evil Queen.
She scoffs to herself then, thinking of the optimistic eighteen year old girl. The hero that had saved little girls from spooked horses, and believed that true love was magic, and that it had not ceased to bring happiness to others.
What if this doesn't work? What if this is just karmic retribution for all of the evils acts I've performed, the sins I've committed?
As if he can read her mind, Henry places a supportive hand on his mother's shoulder.
"I have faith in you, Mom,"
"Thank you, Henry"
In a sudden moment, Regina can't help but remember all those months ago in the back of Granny's Diner when Robin claimed that Regina was his second chance at love.
What do you see in me?
Hopefully the same thing you see in me; a second chance.
Regina turns away from her son, and slams a hand inside her chest gasping as she goes to pull out her heart.
You can't steal something that's been given to you.
In a matter of seconds the darkened organ - hinted with red - is in her gentle hands.
I know you better, because you're like me. I was once, long ago, quite different.
She tries shield the truth from Henry, turns away from him once her heart is out of her chest for the world to see.
Henry puts a hand on his mother's arm.
"Mom. I am not afraid of you and never will be. Just because your heart is dark does not mean that I love you any less. That is who you used to be, you are not that person any more. You are not a villain, you're my Mom, and I love you."
Regina gives her son a watery smile as she remembers a man who said something similar.
"You know, I've heard many stories about the great and terrible Evil Queen, but from this angle, the "Evil" moniker seems somewhat of an overstatement. Bold and audacious, perhaps, but not evil."
Regina takes her heart, gripping it at both sides. A small pained gasp comes from her mouth as she splits her heart in two.
Henry set's a hand on his Mom's arm and winces as she let's a slight gasp of pain; her eyes shut tightly.
Both halves of her heart are now in both of her palms, and Regina can't help the string of memories of everything Robin had said to her to make her stronger, to chase away all the darkness that start to course their way through her mind.
"Well, maybe things work out when they're supposed to. Maybe it's all about timing."
"The woman I know is the furthest thing from a monster."
"There it is. There's that elusive, but satisfying smile I think about everytime I close my eyes."
"We're here now. And this is true."
"Regina, you are my future."
Simultaneously, Regina slams half of her heart into Robin's chest, and the other into her's with a pained gasp. With a keen eye, she waits for any sudden movement out of Robin as she silence carries itself throughout the room.
Half of her heart is pounding inside her chest, her palms are sweating, her hands are shaking, the only thought running through her mind is that if this doesn't work she will surely break.
She doesn't know what she'd do without him.
She doesn't what she'd do if she couldn't wake up every morning and look into those adventurous blue eyes, if she couldn't hear his voice more time.
A gasp sounds throughout the expanse of the room.
Tears of joy immediately spring to Regina's eyes. She weighs her sanity in her head, questioning if this is real.
"Robin," Regina kisses him deeply, she cannot see due to the tears in her eyes.
This is real.
She hugs him and doesn't let go, afraid of the fact that he might leave again.
"You're alive," Henry smiled looking down at Robin.
"And how is that? Because I'm fairly confused," Robin chuckled.
"My mom. She used her heart to bring you back. Well, split her heart that is."
Robin looked to Regina's face in an instant.
"You split your heart for me?"
"I couldn't lose you. I don't know what I would've done if you died," Regina replied, tears streaming down her face.
Robin's face quickly transformed into one of an on-edge emotion, a low growl of anger coming from his throat.
"Where is Hades."
Robin attempted to sit up but only grew weak. He quickly crawled over to the desk and set his back on the table leg, with labored breaths.
His eyes switched from a pale blue to darkened cobalt in a matter of seconds.
"Robin..?" Regina's brows furrowed in confusion, "What's going on?"
Robin ignored her, staring up at the place where his daughter lay in the basket before Zelena took her from the office.
"Where's my daughter? Did something happen to her? I swear-"
"She's with Zelena. What's going on?"
Regina notices that Robin's eyes grow darker with each passing minute.
"Henry can you go wait out in the hall for me? I'll be right out."
Henry nods hesitantly and walks off into the hall, with a look to his Mother telling her that he's here if she needs anything.
"Zelena? Why would you give my daughter to that monster!" Robin actually growls.
"Robin! She is my sister! What is wrong with you? I realize she did some very bad things, to the both of us; especially you, but she just killed Hades, for me! She killed her true love for me, Robin. If she didn't I would've died."
It's then that Regina realizes.
Half of her heart is inside him.
No no no no.
She looks to the darkness in Robin's eyes once more.
This can't be happening. This is all my fault.
Regina can't help but feel guilty over this. This is all her fault. This isn't Robin, this is her.
This is The Evil Queen.
This the darkness that consumed her at such a young age, the darkness that she had to live with for most of her life.
This is her darkness.
Robin has her darkness inside him.