Disclaimer: I do not own Once Upon a Time or any recognizable characters.
AN: I do have a SwanQueen one-shot in the works. It's just in the editing stages, and I'm working out the outline for another SwanQueen multi-chapter fic, so stay tuned for those. These little Regina/Henry moments have been really fun for me to write, and I'm glad others like it as well.
Growing Up: Chicken Pox
Regina dropped two Aspirins into her palm and popped them in her mouth. Her persistent headache was worsening and so far, the pills were barely doing their job.
That's the last time I make an appearance at the hospital, Regina thought back to the day a week ago where the opening of a new wing required her presence. Being around so many contaminated people made the Mayor ill. Literally.
Straightening up, she turned to place her son's breakfast in front of him. She felt dizzy at her sudden turn and briefly contemplated taking a sick day. Perhaps she would after she dropped Henry off at kindergarten.
"What's this?" Henry asked.
"Omelets, dear. You love them." It was then Regina noticed that her son had not acknowledged the meal in front of him. Instead, he was scratching at the back of his hands rather furiously at the several spots that had adorned his skin.
Regina's eyes widened in fear and panic, and she knelt down, grabbing her son's hands to inspect the rash.
"It's just chicken pox, Mayor Mills," Dr. Whale announced casually as he inspected the six-year old.
Regina hugged herself and felt flush. Chicken pox. She had never heard of it, even in the Enchanted Forest where the worse she had ever gotten sick was a questionable case of hypothermia when she had spent a cold night hiding in her stable and away from her mother. She didn't know what this disease her son had now meant. It frightened her that it could be serious. "Can you cure it?"
The doctor had the nerve to laugh. "Of course. He just needs some rest, track a fever if it comes up, and make sure he doesn't scratch. It prolongs the healing."
He wrote down a prescription for some cream and turned to give it to the Mayor. He withheld it for a moment when she tried to take it. "Are you feeling hot?"
Regina rolled her eyes at his forward nature. She plucked the prescription from his fingers before helping Henry down from the examination table. The boy was subtly scratching his back against the edge of it.
"Thank you, Dr. Whale, that'll be all for today." Regina said but was stopped when she tried to exit the room.
"No," the doctor held her arm and felt her forehead. She inhaled sharply when his hand traveled to the collar of her shirt and pulled it back.
"Whale!" Regina snapped and pulled her hand back to give the promiscuous man a firm slap to the face.
Her son cowered into her, eyeing the doctor with a glare and daring him to hurt his mother.
Dr. Whale, used to slaps however unpleasant they may be, rubbed his cheek and raised his free hand as a gesture of self-defence. "No, I wasn't- I think you have the chicken pox."
Regina pulled the sleeve of her blouse up in horror to find her arms covered in the same blisters that donned her son's body.
Dr. Whale straightened and motioned for Regina to sit which she did reluctantly, her arms around Henry's to prevent the boy from scratching.
"Chicken pox in adults is more serious," Dr. Whale explained. "Treatment is still the same, but be aware of the fever and do not scratch, Madame Mayor."
He took the opportunity to hold down Regina's hand which she hadn't noticed had traveled up to scratch the opposite's forearm. She glared but nodded curtly.
After a thorough explanation on how to treat the rash, Regina and Henry picked up their medicine and made their way home. More than once did the Mayor have to remind her son not to scratch, but the urge to do so herself was aggravating.
"Mooom," Henry whined and raised his arms in a request to be lifted. Even though he was much too big to be carried, Regina couldn't deny her sick son and promptly lifted him in her arms while balancing their cream and brought him up to his room.
She gently placed him in the middle of his bed and helped him get comfortable under it. "Change into your pajamas."
She rose to get them for him, and when she turned around, she found that Henry had taken off his shirt and was furiously scratching his chest. "Henry Mills."
Her tone made him stop mid-scratch. The spots on his chest were red and looked like they were about to prematurely burst. The Mayor sighed and lathered her son in the ointment and changed him into his night clothes.
"I want you to rest."
"But I'm not tired," Henry whined.
"Dr. Whale said if you want to get better you have to rest. Do you want to get better?" Regina asked in her no-nonsense tone.
The boy nodded sheepishly. Regina smiled and pecked his head. "Then sleep. And don't scratch."
Regina was scratching just as violently as her son was. She had quelled the need to do so for the better part of two days, but when a brush of her hip with the counter caused a sense of relief, she gave in and scratched.
Like Henry, her body was covered in spots from her legs to her torso and even dotting her face. She knew if she scratched too hard, the blister would burst and her skin would be scarred, but she didn't have it in her to care.
She briefly contemplated wearing oven mitts just as Henry wore sock puppets, but the scratching felt too good. So she kept at it.
Until she heard a loud gasp.
"You're scratching!" Henry pointed and accused. He ran to his mother and grabbed her hands. "You said no!"
Her instinct was to glare and rip her hands away, but the determined look on her son's face quenched it.
She hung her head down in shame and agreed. "I did say that."
He narrowed his eyes and looked like he was hatching a plan. "If you scratch, can I?"
Regina laughed. "No, but I think I have a solution."
She grabbed a box of oatmeal and led her son up the stairs. She had to swat his searching hands only once. She led them into her master bathroom and filled the lavish tub with hot water.
Henry watched as his mother poured packet after packet of oatmeal into the hot water. His eyes widened. "Do I have to eat all of that?"
She couldn't contain the grin and laugh as she rubbed her son's hair.
"Wouldn't that be tasty?" She teased knowing her son's distaste for the food.
He scrunched up his face clearly wanting to protest but not wanting to appear ungrateful to his mother.
"Don't worry," she reassured as she lifted up his pajama top. "You're going to bath in it."
"What?" He asked in disbelief.
"Pardon." She corrected.
"Pardon?" He mimicked.
"You heard me," Regina said softly. "It'll help sooth your skin."
Henry glanced at her thoughtfully as she poured the last packet into the tub. "What about you?"
"What about me?"
"You're itchy too."
Regina waited patiently for her son to say his point.
"We can share."
She smiled with her eyes. "Now I think that's a lovely idea. Go change into your trunks."
When Henry returned in his Incredible Hulk trunks, their oatmeal bath was ready and Regina was in her presentable two-piece She helped her son into the tub and followed suit. The Mayor mentally patted herself on the back for equipping herself with such a large tub. They were nestled in it rather comfortably with room to spare.
Henry made a face as he swirled around the tub. He tried scooping some oatmeal flakes and grimaced at the water he was in.
"This is weird," Henry decided.
Regina had to admit, visually it looked like she was in a bath where multiple people had lost their lunch in, but she could feel the itch lose its power while in the oatmeal bath.
She leaned over the tub to retrieve a couple of Henry's bath toys. She handed her son Aquaman while holding Mary Jane Parker. She wondered when her son would recognize the difference between Marvel and DC, but he was content to mix the two universes together. "Perhaps Aquaman will brave the murky waters to save the damsel in distress."
The six-year old's face lit up. He immediately grabbed the female doll and unceremoniously dropped her in the water.
Mother and son laughed as they enjoyed their bath. Regina provided the voice for Mary Jane, and Henry mock gagged when Regina used Mary Jane to kiss Aquaman.
The bath distracted them enough to forget about the itchiness. As soon as Henry was lotioned and tucked into bed, he was out like a light.
Their oatmeal bath became a nightly routine for the duration of their sickness. Different scenarios were played out with various bath time buddies and superheroes, and Regina was more than happy to see her son comfortable and not scratching.
The Mayor herself had noticed an improvement in the rash and the lowering of her fever.
It was during one of their bath times when Henry stood up unexpectedly and began turning around in circles trying to inspect his back.
Regina laughed. "What on earth are you doing?"
He stopped and examined his arms. "I'm not spotty."
He grabbed his mother's arm and inspected hers as well. "You too."
"I guess our bath times worked," she said with a smile. She moved to get out of the bath and release the drain when Henry stopped her.
"Can we still play?" He pouted. "One more time?"
Regina thought about all the work she had neglected while staying at home with Henry, but glancing down at the sticky toys on her bath mat, she sat back down.
"What shall we play tonight?"