Author's Note: Man thanks again to everyone for the reviews! I really appreciate all the feedback! Sorry it took me a little while to get this one out. I got pretty tired the last couple of nights and decided to just turn in early rather than stay up and keep writing, but the weekend finally came around and gave me a chance to put down another chapter. I present to you: Chapter 4. As always please R&R. :)
They stared at one another for what felt like an eternity. The air around them was heavy with the silence, the world around them seeming to stop as the seconds that passed slowed to standstill. It seemed, to Regina, as though they each were standing on opposite ends of that very chasm that she had magically transported the remnants of their fireside date to. Although, in reality, the distance between them was no more than a few feet.
Though neither one had said anything, Regina had a pretty good idea of what Robin had come to say. He'd come to tell her that it was over. That they had had fun, but the appearance of Marion meant it was time for him to return to his family. He would tell her he was sorry, she was sure. Probably go on about how he never meant to hurt her. How he thought that his wife was dead, and that starting a relationship with her had been an error made from this belief, and now that Marion was back, he and Roland owed it to her to return to their family life, without Regina.
Her eyes started to water again as the conversation was playing out in her mind. Unspoken words already causing a sharp pain in her heart. She only hoped that it wasn't visible to him. She didn't want to appear weak or upset. She didn't want to make the situation worse by seeming desperate or give him reason to feel pity for her. She didn't want him to know how attached she'd gotten to him in the few days they had been seeing one another. She knew her feelings for him ran much deeper than they probably should have considering they'd only just met. She couldn't even be sure he felt the same for her. After all, they'd never really exchanged 'I love you's or anything of that nature.
Aside from physical closeness, they hadn't really gotten much of a chance to get close emotionally. She and Robin hadn't really bonded, though Regina felt that he sometimes knew her better than she knew herself. They had finally started getting to really know one another just this afternoon, and foolishly Regina had revealed the whole story about his tattoo and Tink. Why had she gone and told him those things?! It was nothing more than a silly hypothetical theory, if that, that had come from the word of an bungling amateur of a fairy. She never should have believed anything Tink had told her, and now she'd gone and confessed it to him!
Perhaps he'd forget, or chalk it up to silly nonsense exchanged between them when they were giddy with the excitement of their new romance. A romance that Marion had dampened like a giant wet blanket. Regina silently prepared herself for the coming talk. She'd let him say his peace and be on his merry way, so that she could start moving on.
Robin too was trying to prepare himself for what he was going to say. He was relieved to see a smile on Regina's face as she answered the door. He was once again caught off guard by just how beautiful she was.
He had not thought much about what exactly he was going to do in regards to Regina and Marion, but there were a few things he knew needed to be done first. He needed to clarify the things that Marion had said. He needed to ask Regina if there was any truth to what his wife had told him about her disappearance. More over, he wanted to know, HAD to know, what Regina was thinking, and why she had left so abruptly.
The appearance of Marion had been a complete shock. At the time, in his utter surprise and stupor, he had completely forgotten about what was going on around him. He had no idea how long he'd been removed from what was happening in the diner around them nor when or why Regina had left. He had had every intention of introducing the two of them, but Regina hadn't given him a chance. She had run out of the diner without telling him what was going on. He was worried that something was seriously wrong.
"Regina..." He said, finally breaching the silence. He studied her. Her smile faded slightly, and could tell that he wasn't who she was expecting.
"Robin." She said, her previous smile now feeling forced.
"I hope that I did not upset Milady, earlier in the diner. You had left in such a hurry, and I had to be sure that you were okay."
"Oh." Regina feigned indifference. "Yes. Sorry about that, I forgot that I had some paperwork to finish up, and I figured since you were busy I'd go ahead and take care of it."
Robin's look told her that he wasn't buying it.
"Yes well I cannot help but feel that I am to blame, and I must offer my deepest apologies. When I saw Marion tonight...alive. I just had never thought, never imagined, that I would see her again." Even now Marion's appearance still hadn't sunk in completely with him. "Her arrival had come as a complete surprise and I must admit that I was so caught up in the moment, I failed to acknowledge anything else."
Regina held up her hand. "You don't have to apologize. As I said, I had some business that I needed to tend to." He eyed her warily, she seemed determined not to tell him the real reason she left. "So...that was Marion?" Regina continued.
"Yes. Indeed that was Marion. It's incredible. Unbelievable really. All these years I had thought she was dead. It's.. it's nothing short of a miracle." Robin said.
"Yes, a 'miracle.'" She said, and Robin picked up on the hint of sadness in her voice. He need to tread more carefully, he reminded himself. She put on a face, but she wasn't as strong or aloof as she'd like people to think.
"Is your 'miracle' with you now?" She asked as she leaned forward to look past him. The movement brought her nearer to Robin, which was not helpful. The close proximity made it difficult for Robin to concentrate on what he had come to say. His thoughts now focused on wanting to reach out and hold her, to kiss her, to worship this beautiful goddess before him. He took a step back in an effort to regain control. He needed answers first. He needed to figure out what he was going to do now that Marion had come back into his life. The movement did not go unnoticed, and he sensed Regina stiffen in response.
"No. I have escorted Marion and Roland back to the camp with the Merry Men." He responded in answer to her question. He wanted to quickly settle the issue so that he could sort out his life with all the facts before him. "I needed to come and speak with you. Would you mind if I come in?"
It was the moment she was dreading. She wanted to run, to hide from what was coming. As much as she had tried to steel herself mentally and prepare for having to talk to him, the knots in her stomach would not go away. She had seen how he moved away from her a moment ago. He was not here to return to their torrid romance. No he was here with a purpose. She could sense this from the start. It felt so formal, the exchanges between them such a stark contrast to how they had acted around one another only hours before.
Without a hint of the inner turmoil she was going through. She politely stepped to the side and gestured for Robin to enter. "Be my guest."
Robin politely stepped past her into the house. He walked further into the corridor and turned as she shut the front door.
"Forgive my intrusion. Were you expecting another?" He nodded to the box in her hand?
She looked down realizing she was still holding the DVD in her hands. "Oh. Yes, Henry was going to come by after the party." She set the DVD on the table by the door.
"I promise I will not take too much of your time then." Robin replied, and Regina frowned inwardly at the comment.
At least he's going to make it quick, crush my heart and be done with it. She thought to herself.
"Earlier, Marion informed me of some disturbing information in regards to her disappearance. I'm afraid that I cannot take them lightly as they have a great deal to do with you, milady. I came at once because I have to know if there is any truth to her words." Robin stated.
"Oh and what is it that your not-so-dead wife is saying about me?"
"She said that when she disappeared, during that time I feared her dead, that she was slated for execution by none other than yourself. In fact had the Lady Emma not saved her from your dungeon, she would have been killed by your Black Knights that very morning." Robin's deep blue eyes were intently staring at her. A mixture of hurt and anger resounded in his voice.
Regina was not sure what he wanted from her. Perhaps he was looking for a reason, maybe he was searching for an excuse to break up with her and thereby feel better and more at peace with himself for doing so.
"And?" Regina brazenly replied.
"And, is it true? Did you order the execution of my wife? Did you have her removed from her home, stolen away from her infant son, her family, and placed in your dungeon to await execution?" Robin's voice was elevated now. He stepped closer to Regina, face angry with the heat of his words. "Did you sentence a poor woman whose only crime was nothing more than having fed and sheltered a frightened girl, who was little more than a child, for a single night?" His eyes bore into hers demanding answers.
Regina was a flustered. This hadn't been the conversation she had been playing out in her head. She hadn't prepared herself to be on trial about some past crimes.
"And what if I did?" He looked a little shocked at the boldness of her remark. She wasn't going to grovel, or beg for forgiveness. She moved past him, away from his glaring eyes as she continued in her defiance.
"Did you think I'd remember some little nobody that I ordered killed from years ago? Even longer if you count the timeless loop we've been in while under my curse. News flash, I was THE Evil Queen." She spun around to face him again.
"I've killed lots of people in my quest to find and destroy Snow White, was I supposed to remember one out of the HUNDREDS?" Now hers was the voice that was raised. "Was I supposed to take down names and make connections between all of my countless victims?" She saw the shock in his face and took a moment to calm herself. She had gotten a little carried away and could tell that her defensive comments were now coming off as heartless.
"Look, I'm sorry that your wife got caught up in my quest for vengeance, but I, unlike Ms. Emma Swan, cannot change the past. What I did is done, and I cannot take any of it back." She cast her eyes at the floor, she no longer wanted Robin's eyes looking at her. Robin could tell that though she was trying to remain guarded, she was feeling genuine regret and remorse about her violent and sadistic past.
"But you already knew all this about me." She looked up at him, before quickly turning away. "I... I don't know what you want from me." As Robin stared at the back of her, there was a slight shaking starting from her frame. Soon it became apparent that she was crying.
This. This is what I wanted. Robin thought. He hadn't exactly known what he was expecting from Regina, until he saw it before him. His desire was not to make Regina cry. He never wanted to intentionally hurt this woman. However there was a part of him that wanted to be sure that she wasn't the woman she used to be. That the stories and tales of the Evil Queen, who was a woman feared and hated by almost everyone in the land, wasn't the woman he had come to care for these past few days. The woman that he had come to love.
Marion's words had frightened him. Fear caused by not only harrowing tale, but also by the realization that he failed her. He had given up on her. Given up hope of ever finding her again, and written her off as dead. What was worse was that he had finally gotten over her. He had finally chosen to move on. He had finally decided to not linger on the memory of his dead wife and to take a chance on happiness with another woman. The thing that made it worse was he HAD been happy, happier than he could remember feeling in a long time.
He would be lying to himself if he didn't admit that Marion's return hadn't caused him to be afraid. Afraid of what was going to happen. For Marion, they had been happy together just a few days before. For him, his and Marion's happiness was a long forgotten memory, and his happiness with Regina was what was fresh in his mind. But Marion saw Regina as nothing more than the Evil Queen, who only yesterday had imprisoned her and ordered her death. While Robin knew now, without any doubt, that the Evil Queen was not the woman standing before him.
Robin closed the distance between him and Regina's still shaking form. She sobbed silently, but as he placed a hand on her shoulder and turned her to him, pulling her into him, she cried more openly. He placed soft kisses on her head and ran his hand soothingly on her back as she cried.
"I'm sorry... I'm sorry." She quietly said against his chest.
"Shhh.. No milady. I am the one who must apologize. Please, forgive me for making you cry." He gently wiped tears from her cheeks with the pads of his thumb. Holding her face in his hands. He delicately placed two kisses, one on each of her cheeks, before taking her mouth in his for a tender kiss.
Yay! Sorry. Not the end but the end for today. :) Gotta get some sleep.
This has definitely been the hardest chapter so far to write! Sorry I kept flip flopping on who's perspective to write from, I was trying to keep it consistent but the way my mind thinks is crazy all over the place. It's been so long since I've been in a writing/grammar class. I totally don't remember any rules on narratives, and probably broke a bunch of them... I was just kind of running with it. And Robin! His proper english was giving me more of a hard time than I thought, I kept going back on sentences and being like "would he phrase it like this? No maybe more like this!" So again apologies on the delay. Thanks again for reading!