Regina is tired when she comes home on Friday evening after a long day in the office. Fridays suck especially, because the first Fridays of the months are Come-And-Annoy-The-Mayor-With-Your-Unimportant-Problems-And-Request-Days. She ought to limit these to once per quarter, because Grumpy complaining to her about Granny rising her prices on coffee and milkshakes is really, really not her problem nor will it be in the near future. If someone asked her, Granny's is still way too cheap anyways, even though she loves how Henry was able to treat her to a milkshake with his pocket money.
"I'm home!" Regina calls as she walks through the door and drops her purse on the counter. Her eyes roll, followed by a sigh when she sees Roland's shoes carelessly spread on the floor and definitely not on the shelf where they belong. She will have to talk to him about it - again - because her house is not a freaking tent or camp where you can just drop stuff.
The silence that greets her makes her just a tiny bit suspicious, because at least Robin and Roland should be home by now. "Anybody home?"
"Kitchen!" Roland calls from the back of the house and she wonders why her brain hasn't recognized the smell of fried bacon and - is that eggs? - in the first place. While she knows Robin and Roland are big fans of breakfast for dinner, in Roland's case meaning he could eat pancakes with Nutella and strawberries all day, they'd agreed on a more healthy diet during the week.
The sight that greets her when she enters the kitchen is a rather odd, more confusing and to be honest, slightly scary one. "Roland what the hell do you think you're doing?"
The six-year-old is standing on a chair right next to the stove which holds a frying pan with two slices of bacon and two fried eggs.
"Look, Regina, I'm cooking!" He's all excited and jumps off the chair right into her arms. "I couldn't come greet you earlier, because Gary said I needed to watch the pan, so the food doesn't burn."
Regina's eyes dart around the room, looking for the - hopefully adult - person who seemingly instructed Roland on how to make the food. It's not like he hasn't watched her make bacon and eggs a hundred times, but she doesn't want him to be cooking with the stove or oven, not when nobody's in the house.
"Where… is Gary, Roland?"
"Right there!" Roland points out in his duh-silly voice as he points toward the kitchen table. The only thing she sees though, is a yellow rubber ducky which is pointed toward the stove. "He's really cool, Regina. Gary knows all the things. He's even been to space!"
She eyes the rubber ducky with amusement before she turns off the stove's heat and pulls the pan aside. "I'm sure he has, honey. He's probably from the bubble planet, too, is he?"
Roland shakes his head. "He's from earth. He's a scientist that's why he knows aaaall the things."
Grinning, she ruffles his hair. "Gary sounds like a very special rubber ducky. But honey, you know that I don't like it when you use the stove without either your dad or me present. It's very dangerous to cook by yourself. You could burn your hand, or cut yourself, or get hurt and we don't want that to happen. So even if Gary… was a very good help this time, please don't use it again by yourself. When you're hungry, you can always have a toast with peanut butter. You know how the toaster works, right?"
"Yeah, but Gary was hungry, and he wanted eggs and bacon."
"Roland," Regina sighs, her tone becoming more firm and Roland knows whenever her voice sounds like this he should give in otherwise there could be trouble.
"Okay. I won't use the stove without either you or Papa in the kitchen," he promises, but his eyes are fixed on Gary, hoping his new friend won't be angry. Smiling, Regina pats his head and presses a quick kiss upon his hair.
"Speaking of your Papa. Where is he anyway?"
"Picking up dinner from Granny's. He should be back soon because he left when the big hand of the clock was on the twelve and the small one on the five." Roland picks up the rubber ducky and gently places him in the pocket of his hoodie before he walks over to the cabinet to take out a plate.
Regina watched him place the eggs and bacon on the plate. "Roland, if Robin is at Granny's to pick up dinner I don't think you should eat all of this right now. You won't manage your actual dinner."
"But Gary is hungry," he insists and oh well, he's a kid and he's growing after all. If he insists his rubber ducky is hungry then fine.
"Okay. But Gary will have to eat here in the kitchen with you while I go upstairs to change, alright? No food in the bedroom, you know the rules."
Roland doesn't protest, just puts the plate onto the kitchen table and lifts Gary out of his pocket to sit next to the plate. She watches the boy and his toy with amusement before she makes her way upstairs to put on more comfortable clothes. Roland is growing up so fast, soon the time where he talks to and plays with his stuffed animal toys and other things will be over. Henry had lost interest in his stuffed Teddy at the age of eight and exchanged it for a spider-man action figure. If Roland is happy with that rubber ducky for now, she should let him be.
When Robin comes home with the dinner he picked up from Granny's - burgers and salad and one big bag of fries to share - Regina is surprised to find Roland finishes his share, despite having cleaned the plate of eggs and bacon earlier but doesn't think any more of it. Instead, they spend a quiet evening watching Toy Story and, after Roland is sent off to bed, two episodes of The X-Files because for some reason Robin is fascinated with the idea of aliens. (Also, he has a huge crush on Gillian Anderson, but she doesn't mind, because so does she.)
It's well past eleven when she makes her way into bed. She's tired, the day has worn her out and all she needs is a quick but very, very hot shower before she goes to bed. A shower… or maybe… a bath. Yes, the idea of a relaxing bath sounds quite perfect to her which is why she sheds her clothes next to the bed, walks into the en-suite and looks around. Grinning, Regina moves her hands and for just a moment the bathroom is filled with sparkling purple smoke. After it vanishes, she finds the bathtub filled with steaming water and bubbles. Candles are lit all around the floor and shelves, dipping the bathroom into a sweet golden light and the smell of apple spice with vanilla. Glorious!
Sometimes her magic comes in very handy. Setting everything up in real time would have taken her at least twenty minutes and she would have felt too tired to bathe. Now she can go soak for those twenty minutes and go to sleep afterward. Perfect.
Regina glides into the water which has just the right temperature. The tub is big enough for two, so in case Robin comes in, who knows, perhaps their evening will make an unplanned sweet turn of events. The way she knows him though, he has probably fallen asleep in front of the TV and will join her when someone starts screaming. This is when he usually wakes up, turns the thing off and crawls into bed next to her. She usually doesn't mind, even though she wakes up again when he pulls her against his chest.
She dips one of the tiny hand towels into the warm water, wrings it out and puts it onto her eyes. Sighing, Regina leans back. This is nice. She should do this more often however it is hard to find the time with the kids, her boyfriend, managing the town and a household. The last disturbance of the town's peace luckily has been a while ago, so she got some time to actually catch up with the things that have been piling up on her desk. Sometimes, she tells herself, an hour or two more during the day would make all the difference.
Her head is resting against the rim of the bathtub as she feels something bump against the upper part of her breast which is not covered with water. Her eyes open up in confusion as the towel falls from her face and she looks down to find a yellow rubber ducky bobbing up and down in the water. Weird. Regina picks it up and lifts it so she is staring right into its face.
"Now where did you come from, Gary?" she wonders aloud. Has Roland left it here for her? But then how did it get into the tub? God, she really must be exhausted. Shaking her head, Regina puts it back down into the water and leans her head back once more. Henry used to love his rubber ducky when he was a baby, there would not be any bathing sessions without it. So she can totally understand Roland's obsession with the yellow squishy thing.
Her mind is miles away when she can feel a soft and slightly damp finger cress her shoulder and travels down her collar bone over her breast. A grin forms on Regina's face. She is always amazed by Robin's ability to sneak into rooms without being heard but this it probably what made him such a good thief back in the day. Humming, she stretches her neck to the side, enjoying the feel of his finger caressing her chin, before dragging slowly back down over her throat into the water.
"You should come in. The water is nice."
"It really is, Regina. You're so pretty. Roland was right." A disturbingly deep hissing voice sounds.
Regina's eyes fly open in shock at the strange voice which is definitely not Robin’s. The rubber ducky is bobbing up and down right in front of her, its eyes moving, but what is even more disturbing are the two large green tentacles which seem to come out of the water beside it. Shocked, she stared down at her chest and shoulder where a line of green slime runs over her skin into the water.
She screams. A loud and pitching scream as she scrambles out of the tub, avoiding the tentacle that reaches for her.
"What the hell are you?!" Regina yells but does not wait for an answer as she throws a fireball at the rubber ducky creature.
The fireball hitting the bathtub water creates so much steam she is unable to see anything for a short moment. When the fog lifts, a giant green bulb of slime with tentacles, multiple eyes and the face of a giant monitor lizard with sharp white teeth, is grinning at her. The most disturbing feature is the yellow rubber ducky sitting on its head.
"My name is Gary and I have chosen you to return to my world with me, Regina. You are the most powerful being on this planet and together we will lay the foundation for a million year dynasty and rule an empire over all space and time. We will dominate the galaxy together and the universe is ours. Regina… I came here all this way for you. You may even bring Roland along."
Regina has seen a lot and dealt with a lot in her lifetime. Dragons, snow monsters, villains, but this… this talking alien is a first.
"That's… sweet?" She chokes out. "But… Uh… I have kind of given up on the whole world domination thing a while ago. It was more trouble than it was worth in the end. So… No thank you, Gary?"
Okay why is she even talking to that thing?
"Regina!" Robin busts through the door, panting for breath. "I heard you scream, what… Oh my god, what the hell is this?!"
Gary's eyes narrow at Robin and before Regina is able to step between them, a few of Gary's slimy tentacles shoot out and wrap themselves around Robin, squeezing the air out of him.
"Let him go!"
Regina magically makes a sword appear in her hand and cuts through the tentacles which are wrapped around Robin. The second they get detached from the alien's body they turn from firm into green slime which covers Robin head to toe now. She procures another fireball and throws it at the alien but it seems to swallow the fire up like water. The first fireball is followed by another, and one more, because it is the only thing she can think of right now until Robin screams at her to stop.
"Your fire is not working, Regina!" He is trying to get off the floor but keeps slipping in the green slime. Meanwhile two magically floating swords cut off Gary's tentacles which keep trying to reach for them and then splash down onto the ground like a bowl of jello.
"Well what do you suggest?!"
"I don't know, it's not like I have fought anything like this thing before!" Robin shouts angrily.
The alien simply laughs. "I am the master of time and space and I cannot be defeated!"
Regina is frantically thinking for an answer because how the hell are you supposed to defeat a giant space alien? And then all the times she has watched Star Wars with Henry and Roland as well as Robin come into her mind. She waves her hand which now holds a giant space gun and fires a laser beam right at the alien.
Gary laughs as the beam is choked up by his body… and then the alien explodes.
Green slime is everywhere. It covers the whole bathroom as well as Robin and Regina from top to bottom, head to toe. Holy shit. Well this is a first even for Regina Mills. She will really have to have a word with Roland about what toys or friends he brings into the house.
Regina feels icky, itchy and really, really needs a shower right now. She will not have a bath for the foreseeable future, this is for sure. Damn it. Tonight was supposed to be relaxing and a nice break from the tremendous stress of the past few months and now this. Who would even believe her?
She drops the gun, wipes her eyes clean of the disgustingly smelling green mass and catches Robin staring at her.
His smirk says it all. "I'm not complaining that you're naked, but you fighting slimy green aliens would have been even hotter if you had been wearing a golden bikini."
Regina drops the space gun and steps closer to him, her slimy arms slinging around his neck. Just before she kisses him, she whispers:
"You know what, Robin? You have your moments. Not many of them, but you do have them."