I understand that Regina and Henry's relationship was probably never the most functional or warm and fuzzy, but I never once believed that Regina didn't love and care for her son. This takes place before Emma ever came to Storybrooke and before Henry gets the Once Upon A Time book.

Reviews are lovely!

"I've changed every diaper, soothed every fever, endured every tantrum. You may have given birth to him but he is my son."

~Regina Mills (Pilot)

Regina woke up with a small start as she heard a loud noise crying out from down the hall. She frowned and sat up in bed, feeling a slight headache beginning to form between her eyebrows.

"MOM!" she heard a voice cry. She looked up and pulled the covers away and stood up quickly, heading towards the room down the hall. She opened the door and saw her eight year old son huddled down in his pillows, the sheets pulled up to his chin.

"Henry? Henry what is it?" she said with concern.

"Turn the light on," he insisted fearfully. Regina raised her eyebrows and did so, flicking on the lights and looking over at him with a frown. She knew he had been having a few nightmares here and there, as all kids did, but he was usually not so shaken.

"What's the matter?" she sighed, going to sit on the edge of his bed and folding her hands in her lap.

"The—the closet," he said shakily. "There was a monster in there, a dragon."

His mother raised her eyebrows. "You're very safe here, Henry."

"You never believe me!" Henry insisted. "I saw it, I know I did. It was-"

"Okay, okay. I'm listening. Now tell me what happened," Regina interjected.

"I was in bed and…I looked over at my closet and it looked like there was fire coming out from under it…I heard a loud roar and the door started to rattle and it was about to open and I called you and-"

"Henry, shh…calm down," Regina said comfortingly, brushing the hair off of his forehead. She was starting to worry about her son's overactive imagination. Lately it had been getting harder and harder for him to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

"It was only a dream, Henry. You were just having a bad dream."

She watched as her son took a deep breath, glancing behind her shoulder towards his closet door.

"Mom?" he asked, gesturing for her to come closer. She leaned in and he whispered in her ear. "Can you go check for me?"

Regina pursed her lips before leaning back and nodding. For now, she would humor him. At least show him there was nothing to fear. She stood up and straightened her shoulders, walking up to the closet door and knocking on it firmly.

"If there are any dragons hiding in there terrorizing my son they had better vanish by the time I open this door or I'll banish you into oblivion! One…two…three…"

The mayor swung open the door as her son shrunk a bit in his covers.

"Hmm…there don't seem to be any dragons hiding in here…" she mused, stepping inside the closet and looking around the shelves and through some of the racks of clothing. "That's what I thought." She turned around, still standing in the closet, and looked over at her curious son.

"See Henry? There's no monster in your closet." Upon saying this, the mayor's face fell the slightest bit into a puzzled expression and she quickly stepped out and closed the door behind her. "Not anymore..."

She sat beside him again and he took a deep breath. "I'll never let anything hurt you, Henry," she said, smoothing his hair over again. "If anyone tries to scare you again, they'll have to go through Regina Mills. And your mom just so happens to be a skilled dragon slayer." she winked. Henry cracked a small smile at her words and nodded.

"If there was such thing, of course…" she added quickly. The last thing she needed to do was fuel Henry's vivid imagination…and have him getting into things he shouldn't. Her son was a little too curious for his own good.

"Thanks," he said. Regina hesitated for a moment before pulling him into a small hug, patting his back.

"There we are. Now, I know it's late, but how about I make you some of my famous apple cider before you go back to sleep?" Regina suggested, leaning out of the embrace.

"With cinnamon?" he asked hopefully.

"Of course," Regina said with a small laugh, standing and going towards the door.

"Hey mom?" She turned around in the doorway.

"Yes, Henry?"

"Love you…"

Regina looked at him for a long moment, her lips pursed.

"I love you too, Henry."