"Regina."

Her name rang out sharp and clear, the echo bouncing off the trees. She turned around, her body going a full 360 degrees. She saw nothing. The forest was as empty as it had been moments before.

Whenever she needed patience, peace, or motivation to press forward on Operation Mongoose, she went to the spot where she and Robin had their first kiss. It looked like any other clearing in the forest, but she knew in her heart where the exact spot was. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, Robin was in front of her, their lips only a few inches apart.

"Regina," he whispered, cradling her face in his hands. "Oh, I've missed you so terribly."

All she could do was stare.

"Robin, how did you – "

He cut her off with a kiss, one lasting so long that she could barely breathe when they broke apart.

"I'm here now, darling. It doesn't matter."

"But Marian –"

"Shh," he whispered, pressing his finger to her lips. "I chose you. I love you with my whole heart, and when something is as pure as this, nothing can keep us apart."

She hugged him, tears in her eyes. "I thought I would never see you again," she murmured, burying her face in the crook of his neck. "I haven't slept through the night in weeks."

"Well, not tonight," Robin whispered. Then he chuckled. "Well, maybe…"

Regina laughed, brushing the tears from her eyes and gazing up at him, pure adoration on her face.

"I've been spending every waking moment trying to find The Author," she told him. "But no luck so far. Although, it seems my luck has changed…"

Robin wiped away her last tear with his thumb.

"Ah, yes, the mysterious author. I wanted to look for him too, but I had no idea where to start. Storybrooke seems to be the only place in this land where things magically appear in satchels," he said with a wink. Regina laughed.

"God, that feels god."

"Laughing?"

"Yes," she smiled. "And being happy. Feeling good. I thought all hope was lost. Emma and Henry try to give pep talks, but they don't help much…"

"I'm glad you didn't give up," Robin whispered. "Never give up, my love. I made a vow to myself that I would sooner die than stop trying to find you."

"I'm so glad you did," Regina whispered. She paused. "Dance with me."

He looked confused. "But there isn't any music."

She smiled. "Doesn't matter."

He took her hand in his and they waltzed in a small circle, the fall leaves crunching beneath their feet. With a wave of Regina's hand, a record player appeared at the foot of a tree, with a familiar tune playing from it.

"I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream…"

Robin chuckled and spun her, watching a black lace gown appear on her body as she twirled towards him.

"You amaze me," he said, placing a kiss on her cheek. She grinned and held him tighter, never wanting to let go.

"That look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam," she sang softly, resting her head on his shoulder. He hummed with her and she felt the vibrations from his throat. Regina felt warm, and safe, and loved – a feeling she was certain she would never feel again.

Robin twirled her once more, pulling her in close and sealing the twirl with a kiss. Regina moaned softly, twisting her fingers into his hair.

She closed her eyes, a purple cloud surrounding them… and when she opened her eyes, she was in her bed, alone. She looked around her bedroom frantically, then looked down. The same blue silk nightgown she had been wearing the night before.

"Robin?," she called. She threw the covers off, running to check the bathroom, then the closet. She flung her bedroom door open and ran down the staircase, into an empty foyer. Spinning around again, she called his name. She closed her eyes like she had before, but when she opened them again, she was alone.

Tears formed in the corners of her eyes and she wiped them away. It had all been a dream. A foolish dream, nothing more. Her true love was still gone.

xxxxx

Half an hour later, Regina pulled the door of Granny's open and sulked over to her, Emma, and Henry's usual booth. Ruby brought her a coffee, and noticing the glare on Regina's face, wisely kept quiet.

"Hey Regina, " Emma said, sliding into the booth. In her bright white sweater and cascading blonde curls, she was almost giving off light.

"Hello," Regina said quietly, trying not to sound angry. It wasn't Emma's fault that she'd had such a wonderful dream.

"Are you okay?," Emma asked, a concerned look in her eyes. Ruby placed a hot chocolate with cinnamon in front of her and Emma immediately took a sip. "You look pissed."

"I'm just… disappointed," Regina sighed, looking at Emma. "I had a dream, and I thought it held some answers… but it was nothing more than a fantasy."

"Are you sure? I mean, Henry says that you never know," Emma asked carefully, taking another sip. "Sometimes, our subconscious uses dreams to try and tell us something."

"I don't think that applies in this case," Regina said sadly. She had tried to keep the pain out of her voice, but failed miserably.

"Hey." Emma touched her wrist. "Don't give up hope, Regina. I'm not going to stop until I restore your happy ending."

Regina forced a smile. "Thank you, Ms. Swan. I appreciate it."

Emma nodded firmly. "You're welcome. Henry will be here soon, do you want to tell him about the dream?"

"No. You know what they say," Regina said darkly, staring into the blackness in her coffee cup. "Visions are seldom what they seem."


This is a very short songfic, and I'm sorry, but I'm just so glad to be back to writing! Please leave some feedback and any suggestions/requests for future Outlaw Queen stories!