“Well, in the last few days we’ve survived a curse,”
Was he really so openly hitting on her or was Regina finally going completely insane?
“-woken up in an entirely new realm,”
Why did he have to be so darn attractive? She could not help but smile while hearing him speak, his tone, his accent seemed to soothe her but also made her jumpy and nervous. Regina quickly smoothed her hands about her hair to make sure it was not as crazy as the Wicked Witch.
“-and forgot a year of our lives,”
He turned back to face her, he was smirking, damn those endearing dimples.
“I’d say we’ve earned it, wouldn’t you?” he extended a glass to her and Regina already had her lips set in the word ‘Yes’ so she could accept the drink and everything that came with it – after all, she could blame it all on the alcohol if she did regret anything later – when she saw it.
The shape of a lion imprinted in black ink on his left wrist, a mere mark for anyone else whose eyes happened by it, but a frightening symbol to Regina.
The guy with the lion tattoo, her soulmate.
A million thoughts raced through Regina’s head in the exact three seconds that she stood looking at the mark on his wrist dumbfounded.
Fear kicked in, the very same type that made her run away from him all those years ago, and Regina could barely hear his concerned question of, “Is something wrong?” before she began moving towards the door.
However, Regina was only able to take a couple of steps before a sound made her stop dead on her tracks and look ahead. Her survival instinct told her not to move while her heart screamed for her to run.
She remained motionless – as did the outlaw – as her ears picked out the sound of steps. Footsteps coming from outside, she could identify the owner almost immediately for there was a clear limp in the sound.
Rumpelstiltskin, the most powerful sorcerer she knew, the man, thing, who had taught her almost everything she knew about magic. On normal circumstances, she could handle the imp just fine, but being that he just happened to be at the mercy of the green lady who inhabited the house she happened to have broken into with- Gods, her soulmate, Regina was not taking her chances.
“Come on-” she heard him half whisper behind her while his fingers encircled her upper-arm and pulled her back towards him.
Regina was a little too shocked about everything that had just transpired in the last 30 seconds, so she followed the man without hesitation. Unfortunately, the thief did not find his way to the back door of the house, but instead, into one of the bedrooms.
She could hear the creaky, wooden, front door they had walked through minutes ago close. His fingers encircling her elbow tightened their hold a little, she could tell he was looking for a way out, but how? The only window the room possessed was far too small and bared shut, any attempt to open it would definitely alert Rumple of their presence. And even though Regina had partially come to terms with the man after everything that had happened in Neverland, she did not know what orders the witch had given him in case he came by any intruders.
Although their situation was far from resolved, the initial shock was wearing off, and Regina found herself being able to think straight again. Although the warm of hand of her soulmate – would you stop using that term Regina? – touching her clothed skin was giving her the oddest sensation, she needed to focus.
Not the window. No way were they going to hide under the bed. Behind the curtains sounded too much like when she was playing hide and seek with Henry and purposefully hid somewhere he could find her. The-
How stupid was she? Of course! Her magic, why hadn’t she thought of that before?
The man before her had ceased clutching her elbow and was looking about, when Regina did something completely out of character and took his hand – she noticed with a pang of despair that they had both left their gloves in the kitchen – and entwined her fingers in his, giving him a reassuring, “I’ll get us out of here” and concentrated on her magic.
“Oh God-” her voice came out shaky and Robin – oh God Robin Hood was her soulmate, could destiny be any more ironic? – squeezed her hand, his blue eyes vibrant, expecting and then, after a beat, understanding.
He acted quickly, pulled her by their joined hands and opened the door to a small but big-enough-for-the-pair-of-them closet, and closed the door immediately after they were both inside.
It was dark inside, the door had no air entrances whatsoever, the only light inside was provided by the thin space between the door and the floor. Regina had very little choice but simply stand there, with her godforsaken soulmate a mere breath away from her, her heart beating erratically inside her chest, while she could feel his own controlled breathing hit her forehead.
She was scared, downright scared, she was not able to use her magic. True, she had spent 28 years without it, but she did not have creatures with large amounts of magic being controlled by a sociopath on her tracks during that time. Now everything was different, Storybrooke was magical on itself already, and magic was a part of her life again. Regina kicked herself inwardly for not checking if the house had any enchantments that would block her powers, obviously it did, otherwise she would not be in this very dangerous situation.
Regina could hear the footsteps again and took an unconscious step towards the man in front of her, making some parts of their bodies brush against each other. The closeness was making her dizzy, his scent was foresty but alluring, and Regina did not know if it was a good or a bad thing. All this time – a mere minute that felt like several – he had not let go of her hand. After she had almost closed the distance between them, he started caressing one of her knuckles ever so lightly with the tip of his thumb, as if assuring her ‘everything was going to be alright’. The phrase practically emanated from him.
How did he know?
Her eyes were starting to accustom to the darkness of the closet and Regina was then able to see the outlines of the man before her. The steps continued and Regina felt an immense need to simply burry her face on this man’s chest and disappear. Even if she had the guts to actually do that, it would have been unwise, it would give him all the wrong ideas about-
Rumple was inside the room. His limping was clearer than ever, and Regina felt a string of desperation take over as a single tear trailed down her cheek, a salty drop which would go unseen by all, specially the man standing a mere breath away from her.
Or so she thought, his movements were swift but impossibly quiet – she had to remind herself he was the best thief in the entire Enchanted Forest, his fame had even reached this world – as his free hand shot up and she could feel a calloused thumb wipe away the tear from her cheek.
The wee gasp left Regina’s lips before she could hold it back, but this man seemed to somehow be related to The Flash himself, for the hand shot instantly to her mouth before the noise could truly sound.
Regina’s eyes were wide, but he could not see that – could he? He had been able to see that tiny tear after all. But Regina had to focus on the fact that Rumple was still out there, so they were both still very much in danger. She could hear him limping, and muttering something, something she could not quite pick up.
The outlaw’s hand left her mouth as an ear-piercing scream reached their senses, it was a pained, agonized thing that made every single hair on Regina’s body stand. To her utter surprise, the outlaw closed the distance between them, bringing his arms around her protectively, while her own snaked around his middle almost second naturedly – must be the whole soulmate thing, oh God, he was her soul mate, he-
There was a loud, dry thud that sounded very much like a body collapsing on the floor followed by dead silence. It had to be Rumple’s body but she was not in the mood or in the position to go to check. She had buried her face on Robin’s coat like she had told herself she wouldn’t, and when another ear piercing scream came from outside, she gasped.
He smelled criminally well for a man living in the woods.
He smells like forest, her mind wondered and she was sure it was not the first time that thought had travelled about her head.
The situation was extremely distressing at the very least, that man, who was holding with such fierce determination to protect her, made her heart skip a beat. And as for the man agonizing at the other side of the door, his mere presence made her blood run cold inside her veins, as if she was a defenseless magic student once more.
Suddenly, the wrenching stopped. The silence that followed was almost tangible and she could feel that even the man who held her was holding his breath, even though his strong arms still encircled her small frame fiercely.
Suddenly, Rumple gasped, and she could hear him fighting to get up from the floor, it was at this point that she squeezed her eyes shut and tightened her grip about Robin’s torso and wished with almost every fiber of her body that she was able to get them out of that closet.
But something was off, from the sound of it, it seemed as if a new set of feet was then walking about the room. There was no limp, Rumple – or whoever it was – walked directly towards their hiding place, she could see a shadow cover the little of sunlight that came in through the gap between the door and the floor. Regina thought of Henry one last time-
A fist came in contact with the wooden door that separated the pair from Rumpel-crazy-stiltskin in a loud blow and both Regina and Robin jumped in reaction to the violent deed. A frustrated scream filled the room once more but the door never opened. Next thing she heard were hurried footsteps, he was running, the sound got fainter and fainter until there was a noise of the cranky front door banging closed and nothing else.
Robin Hood sighed, the hot gush of air reaching her hairline and for a moment, they simply remained as they were, neither daring to move a single muscle.
After a while, Regina brought her head from his chest in order to look at him, or what she could see of him, which was a lot more than she had been able to see before. His eyes were sparkling, which was impossible for her to see in such a condition and yet, she saw it, his lips were slightly parted and she was sure a slight blush colored his cheeks.
“That was close,” he whispered, breaking the silence.
“Yes” Regina responded right after, knowing she should probably take her hands off him, but not finding the strength to do so, his piercing gaze holding her captive.
She did not know how, but somehow the space between their faces was diminishing by the second and before she knew it, Regina’s lips touched the outlaw’s softly. He kissed her with a tenderness she would not think Robin Hood even knew of, let alone possessed. She let out a soft sigh of surprise against his lips and responded to his kiss with a softness that was uncharacteristic of the Evil Queen’s kisses.
She found it odd, her head was in the clouds during the exchange, she felt light and young, Regina had not kissed anybody like this ever since… Her heart clenched as she sighed again, this time opening herself up, welcoming his tongue into her mouth with adolescent eagerness pooling on the pit of her stomach.
The kiss was extraordinary, dare she say it, magical. His thumbs caressed her hips, and Regina brought her arms to snake about his neck, pulling him closer to her, earning her a groan of satisfaction on his part, and suddenly making their exchange more heated. The kisses were gaining a faster pace, he nipped her bottom lip as he brought one hand to cup her cheek and Regina sighed in pleasure.
He broke the kiss, his eyes were bright and anxious, he bit his lower lip before smirking. His hand was still on her cheek, he ran a calloused thumb about her lower lip and told her, his voice low, “You’re quite a good kisser”
She could not hold back a small chuckle, feeling so young and foolish and light. She diverted her eyes from his, only to have them turn directly to the tattooed wrist just beside her head.
Fate itself stared right back at her in the form of a lion tattoo and suddenly, Regina did not feel as fresh and careless as two seconds ago, she was terrified. Fear took over, the same dread that had invaded her soul all those years ago when she had first seen the tattoo. She took one step back, and was fully ready to open the door to that closet and run until miles were in between her and those delicious lips of his.
But he beat her to it, and reached out for her hand before she could get any further, “No, wait-” he pleaded, he cleared his throat and continued in a soft tone, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have-”
“Robin, it’s not-” Regina tried to explain knowing she should extricate her hand from his but finding herself utterly incapable of doing so.
She would ruin him. He was good and she was-
“No, I took advantage of the situation, I should have asked-”
Gods, he really was the noble idiot of the tales of this land.
Regina could not let go of his hand, could not find the will to do to, instead she spoke, “You don’t need to apologize for that Robin-”
“But you just now-” he tried to understand.
“Believe me, if I hadn’t wanted to kiss you, I would have brought you down even without my magic-” Regina explained with a small smile in her voice.
She could swear she could see his expression change in the darkness and a smirk paint his lips, “So, you did want to kiss me,”
“Is that a question?” Regina tried to sneak out of the statement she had just made.
“No-” he took a step towards her again, her hand still in his, “The question I want to ask you is if I may kiss you again.”
He was getting closer, and, of course she wanted to kiss him again, of course she wanted to feel that stubble against her skin, those hands caressing her waist, her hips, her-
She could see there was no running away from this attraction, this odd pull she felt towards him. He was her soulmate, a tiny bit of her soul lived in him, had always lived in him, and becoming aware of that, Regina could almost feel it on the palm of his hand that was in direct contact with her bare one.
His face was a mere breath away from hers once more but this time he waited, he waited for her to give him an answer with his bottom lip in between his teeth, anticipation clear in his handsome features.
She brought her nimble fingers to his lips, pulled the bottom one from in between his teeth, and traced it with her index finger, her eyes fixed on them, “Yes.” She found her voice. He smiled and started to lean in order to close the gap between them but Regina pressed her finger to his lips and spoke again, “-but I need to tell you something before that happens again.” Because I won’t be able to keep my hands off of you, she wanted to complete but Regina knew that would do very little for her case at the moment, maybe later.
He backed away a little and said, “Of course-” he gave her a small grin and completed, “-but just so you know, no argument will keep me from claiming your lips now that you’ve agreed to my kissing you once more,”
She had to chuckle to that, she liked it, she liked him already.
“Well, I-” she started but was interrupted by more running steps coming from outside.
She was briefly dominated by fear once more before she heard a far too familiar voice calling out, “Regina?” Emma-oh-so-inconvenient-Swan was apparently looking for her, “Regina are you here?”
Regina turned to Robin, gave his hand a tight squeeze, and told him, “Later” before reaching out for the door handle at the same minute that Miss Swan opened the door to the closet and let a criminal amount of sunlight almost burn Regina’s relaxed retina.
She quickly let go of the man’s hand and used it to cover her eyes as Emma inquired perplexed, “What the hell are you doing in there?”
Regina groaned and responded while walking out of the closet and past the blonde, she was closely followed by Robin, “I was not playing seven minutes in heaven if that’s what you are asking.”
Oh Regina you are such a hypocrite.
“Playing what?” Robin asked before Emma could respond.
“Never mind,” she told the man and Regina noticed that they had already met before, Emma turned to Regina and asked, “Were you able to find anything?”
“No-” Regina said with a pang of distaste, “Crazy, zombie Gold came barging in here and my magic was blocked,” she shoved her hands inside the pockets of her coat, “We had no other choice but to hide,”
“Right,” Emma took in the information and looked at her with that unique expression she got whenever she was going to ask for Regina’s help, “Neal’s missing from the hospital,”
“Fine-” Regina whined, “Let’s get out of this house and I’ll help you track him-”
Regina and Emma moved ahead while Robin followed a few steps behind, Regina looked back at him and gave him a reassuring smile when Emma went to check something on her phone. Regina found it hard to bring her gaze from the man who returned her small show of teeth with dimples and a dazzling smile, but the words that left Emma’s lips even though she was still staring at the bright screen of her phone made Regina’s smile drop from her lips.
“Isn’t it funny that you and Robin decided to wear the same shade of lipstick today?”