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Chapter Text

“Mom?” Henry asked hesitantly as he entered the kitchen after a long day at school.

“Henry,” Regina said without looking up from her vegetable dicing.

“Can I have ten dollars?” Henry edged closer to his adoptive mother, the formidable Evil Queen. A lot had happened between them over the last year, the curse had been broken and he had said many things he long since regretted.

Following Regina’s run-in with Greg and Tamara and the stopping of the trigger Henry had told Emma that he wanted to go back home, to Mifflin Street. Things had settled down, Greg and Tamara vanished, Neal’s loss was mourned and Mister Gold and Regina had set up a new protection spell around Storybrooke to keep people out. Henry knew it was time to go back to his adoptive mother, he wanted to have a relationship with her. He wanted to reward her redemption and find a way to have the relationship they both desperately wanted.

“Of course,” Regina replied, she’d never been bothered about money, “spent your allowance already?”

Henry winced. While Regina was readily willing to provide him with money when he needed it, she was also readily willing to provide him with a lesson in budgeting as well.

He nodded as he approached the kitchen island and sat on the stool there and watched as she effectively chopped and diced vegetables and placed them in little glass bowls, “yeah, I kinda forgot it was coming out tomorrow.”

Regina frowned, “tomorrow’s Tuesday,” she said, expecting that Henry was referring to a comic book and she knew they were always released on a Wednesday.

“Oh,” Henry said with a nod and a smile, “it’s not a comic book, it’s a calendar.”

“A calendar?” Regina paused in her chopping and looked at him, “you’re twelve, why do you want a calendar? And it’s September, why would you buy a calendar in September?”

“It’s for the library,” Henry explained with a frown, “haven’t you heard?”

“Clearly not,” Regina sighed as she dried her hands with a tea towel with red apples embellished on it, “I’m hardly on the distribution list for town news these days.”

After Greg and then the trigger, Doctor Whale had prescribed Regina strict bed rest for at least three weeks, something which Henry took upon himself to personally check she was adhering to. Between them they had managed four days before Regina was crawling the walls in boredom. She spent some time redecorating the house, then a while tending to the garden. Following that she cleared out the garage and then she attempted to go back to the Mayor’s office.

Mary Margaret barred her from the town hall, not because she wished to engage in any power struggle with Regina but because she was genuinely worried for Regina’s health. Regina had whined, actually whined to Snow White, about the level of boredom she was feeling and the ever helpful and chipper younger woman suggested Regina find a hobby to engage in.

Since that day Regina spent most of her time at the stables, she rediscovered her joy of riding and even of spending hours brushing the horses who resided there. Before long Henry was requesting lessons and the two of them spent most weekends at the stables. The downside to it all, if you asked Henry, was that Regina was spending less and less time with the community and more time with the horses.

Henry sighed, “Mom, I told you about the fundraiser for the library..”

Regina looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully, “oh, yes,” she smiled at him, “but what has that got to do with a calendar?”

“Well, the party didn’t bring in much money,” Henry shrugged, “so Ruby suggested they make a calendar.”

“So they have made their own calendar?” Regina asked, “is it about books?”

“Not exactly,” Henry grinned, “it’s a funny calendar.”

“Please don’t let it be full of pictures of cats doing ridiculous things,” Regina shook her head, “I hear you laughing so hard I think you’re going to run out of oxygen when you go on that website.”

“No cats,” Henry shook his head, “promise!”

The timer on the oven went off and Regina jumped a little as she turned around to open the door and grabbed her oven glove.

“So can I have ten dollars?” Henry asked again.

“Of course,” Regina replied, “just take it from my purse,” she indicated her handbag which was put on the sideboard like usual. He hopped off of the stool and took the money out of the purse.

“Thanks, Mom,” he said as he grabbed his school bag and left the room.