"Hurry! Get him inside!"
Snow White held the door to her home open for the group, ushering them inside with a quick wave of her arm. Emma was right behind her mother, Henry on her heels, and kicking the baby mat and toys littering the floors out of the way, they cleared an urgent path. Little John and David grunted as they stepped over the threshold next, the figure in their arms now a solid block of ice.
"Here, put him on the couch," Snow directed, pulling the coffee table back a bit to better clear a path for the men. Little John and David followed her directions and gently put their frozen comrade down on the cushions, both pulling back and breathing warm air onto their frostbitten hands afterwards.
"What now?" Little John asked with a panicked edge to his voice. "If true love's kiss couldn't break the Ice Queen's curse, what can?" Emma and David glanced at the woman crying at the foot of the couch. As they pulled piles of blankets on top of Robin, they shared a worried look over their task, but remained silent.
Snow quickly circled around the group to pull the woman into her arms. "It's ok Marian. We will find a way."
"But you heard what that Mr. Gold said," Marian cried into Snow's shoulder, "A frozen heart cannot be cured."
"You mustn't lose hope," Snow replied, brushing her tears away until Marian pulled out of her arms hysterically.
"But true love's kiss didn't work!" she cried out, eyes glued to her husband's frozen form. "It was supposed to work.
"We will try again," Snow urged, "We just have to get Robin warmed up a bit. Then you can try again. Someone start a fire," she asked turning to the group.
"This magic is too evil," Marian backed away from them with fearful steps, knocking a lamp from its perch. It shattered to the ground and Marian didn't notice the crunch of glass and ceramic under her boots as she staggered backwards, "We will all be cursed!"
"No," David stepped forward to try and calm her down, "we won't. Robin getting hit with Queen Elsa's magic was just an accident, we all saw that. We can reason with her, I'm sure of it. She'll know how to undo this."
"No!" Marian backed away further, "I must get my son and leave this cursed land."
"Marian," Little John's choked out a shocked gasp, still standing protectively beside his best friend. "You can't leave him. Robin needs you."
"No, my son needs me now," Marian was by the door now. "It's too late for Robin." Then she was gone.
It was close to midnight when Snow and David's front door quietly eased open. A warm glow from the hall light creating a small window of light in the dark and chilled apartment. It was silent and still as she paused in the doorway, the family asleep upstairs undisturbed by her entrance. The door was pushed close, bathing the room in darkness again, and she paused with her head against the frame and hand still on the door knob.
She was terrified to look over her shoulder, towards the frozen figure in her step daughter's living room. Her heart felt as cold and frozen as Robin was now, since she'd heard of his terrible fate.
"You came," the whispered voice of her son tore her eyes from the door. "I knew you would."
"Just to say goodbye, Henry," Regina replied quietly as she moved to him, her back still turned away from the sight of Robin cold and still.
"No, Mom," he rushed forward, "You have to try. I know it will work."
"Henry," Regina sighed softly and clenched her eyes shut before she reached forward and framed his hopeful expression in her palms. "It doesn't work unless both feel the same."
"But you love him Mom, I know you do."
"I... I do love him Henry."
"Then it will w-"
"Both have to feel the same, Henry," she interrupted him, a tear falling with her words.
"Henry, he didn't choose me," she said a bit harder and louder, but then was pulling him into a hug. A wordless apology. "He picked his wife, and that hurt like hell, but I tried to live with it and except it because I wanted him to be happy. One of us deserved our happy ending and if I could have given that to him by not getting my own... well, then so be it."
When Henry pulled back, his eyes were rimmed with moisture and he looked up at his mother with heartbreak. "You do deserve it Mom. More than anyone."
She cried harder, but ignored her own tears to wipe away at the ones falling down her son's face. "You are my happy ending, Henry. You're all I ever needed." They hugged again and Regina tried desperately to ignore the gaping hole in her heart at her half lie, wishing her words were true.
"Do you want me to stay with you?" he asked softly.
"No, go back to bed sweetheart," she brushed a hand through his hair. "It's late and I... I just need to say goodbye."
"I love you Mom."
"I love you so much Henry," Regina returned with a kiss to his forehead and watched him step away through a blur of tears. She stared at the empty space he'd left for a few desperate minutes, building the courage to finally look towards the living room.
A sob echoed through the quiet room when her eyes finally fell on him, her hands quickly covering her mouth to silence her emotions from her son upstairs. Robin was almost glowing, he was so bright in the darkness of the room. The moon's reflection poured over him from the windows and it illuminated the ice he'd transformed into when Elsa's magic had knocked him over during her escape this morning.
"Robin." She fell to her knees beside him, a hand hovering over him as its pair clung to the fabric resting above her heart. "This is my fault," she cried above him. "Everything I love dies. I did this to you. My love is a death sentence and... and I am so sorry."
When she finally touched his icy cheek, the burn of coldness on her fingertips was a welcomed punishment. She deserved worse for bringing this luck upon him and she stayed there for hours. Stroking his face, she whispered apologies, promises to watch over his son from a distance, and words of her love over and over again. Her gaze on him didn't wander until sounds of the Charming's waking for the day reached her ears and tore her eyes to the stairs.
She stood up on shaky legs, numb from being sat on for so long, she swayed for a moment before she gathered her mobility back. A shower turned on upstairs and echo's of baby Neil's cries urged her into action. She took a step away from Robin, but froze, unable to move any further away from him. This was it. She had to say goodbye and then he'd be gone forever. She'd never see him again.
Her heels clicked on the wooden floor as she neared him once more, then a rustle of fabric as she bent forward and her lips hovered above his. "Where ever you are, Robin, please know that I will love you always." A press of warm lips to ice and she stood once more.
She marched quickly to the front door, and her hand was on the doorknob and twisting it to open when she heard it.
"I love you too."
When she turned with wide eyes, they were met with the warm ones of Robin Hood. His smile promising as he shakily stood from the couch, flakes of ice still falling off him and onto the floor with his steps towards her. "Not running away from me again, are we Regina?"
Before she could grasp enough words to make a sentence, Robin was pulling her into his arms. "You are not a death sentence. You are my soul mate, Regina."
"Is not my soul mate," he promised and pulled her forward with a hand at the back of her head. "Nor is she the woman I love," and then their lips were one, as it should be always, and he was cold no more as the warmth of her arms wrapped around him and held tightly. Their smiles and kisses did not cease until a young adolescent voice boomed from the top of the staircase with happy surprise...
"I KNEW IT!"