But he was too fast for their own good.
Even with all the twists and turns of the Enchanted Forest, trees they had come to know over the years and paths they had constantly taken, they still were unable to keep his pace.
“Locksley, slow down!”
“We’re almost there! Come on, just a little longer! It’s right up ahead!”
Robin Mills huffed as she stopped to rest against a tree, letting out a groan of annoyance as she glanced over at her wife, Alice Mills, rolling her eyes in defeat.
“You had to outrun a Bandersnatch, didn’t you?”
“Well I may have outrun a Bandersnatch, but I surely didn’t run track for three years. Maybe he gets it from you.”
“What he’s doing now? That’s not a result from me running track. Though it may have something to do with someone constantly insisting that candy apples are a healthy mid-day snack.”
The blonde was flustered for a moment, but she regained her confidence. “Well of course they are! Even your mother agrees with me.”
“The only reason Mom agrees with you is because you told her his favorite type of apple was green, and that he couldn’t stand red.”
“Well…It did win her $50 from your Aunt Regina.”
“Besides, I think our son being an extremely fast runner is going to be the least of our problems anyway.”
“Oh? And why is that, love?” God, Robin loved her wife’s accent.
“The day he’s able to use his magic is a day that’s going to be disastrous for all of us, you realize that don’t you?” The archer was finally able to catch her breath, motioning for Alice to follow as they ran at a slower pace.
“I don’t see why. Having magic can be a wonderful thing, you know that, Nobin.”
“You also know that besides having a mother with magic he also has a great-aunt and an insufferable grandmother who is going to want to teach him every little thing. And don’t call me that.”
“Or what, you’ll point an arrow at my face and trap me in a cage? Look, he’s here already.”
“Well, I…I’d…” She put her finger up to say something but could only leer at the blonde who had a grin similar to the one Zelena had been sporting when she found her grandson preferred all things green.
“You know this place better than I do, kid.” Robin muttered, walking over to where her son stood, tousling his dark blonde hair.
His blue eyes gave her a look of annoyance, something Robin hoped she wouldn’t have to deal with until his later teenage years.
“I’m here with Aunt Regina sometimes. She doesn’t always poof us here, sometimes we take the long way,” the boy admitted with a shrug.
“Well Robin…” Alice giggled as both her son and her wife turned to look at her. “I’ll give you both a minute.”
“Did you bring them?” The woman asked her son, and he smiled back at her with a nod.
“Yup!” He showed her the bouquet of roses and set them down in front of a headstone his mother wished had never existed.
“Aunt Regina says he’s the original. The first. She says you’re the second, and that makes me the third, right mom?”
“Of course. We didn’t name you Robin Locksley Mills without expecting you to carry on the tradition.”
“Will I get to use a bow, just like you and grandpa?” He asked, tracing the headstone with his fingers.
Robin could feel tears beginning to well up behind her eyes as she nodded. “Maybe a lot sooner than you think,” she winked, causing a tear to absently fall. Her son caught it with his finger and pulled her in for a hug.
“I’m glad you wanted to come and see him today,” she told him.
Today, the day she hated most out of every day of the year.
But it was also, not by coincidence, her favorite day of the year as well.
Rumple had warned them when considering magic to have a child that it would come with a price. He did everything he could to lessen the cost, but even to Robin that still wasn’t enough.
Robin knew the price would be great, she just didn’t expect Alice to give birth on the one day that had haunted her dreams since she was a teenager.
Today. May 8th. The day of her father’s death. But also, her son’s birthday.
As if right on time, Alice broke the gloominess with her voice that could break Robin out of any depressive mood.
“So! I think grandpa will agree with me that it’s time to go home for cake and presents, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I think so too. C’mon Locksley.”
Robin picked her son up and placed him on her shoulders, kneeling down so they both could place a kiss on her father’s headstone.
Did I do everything right by you, dad? She thought, wrapping her hands around her son’s knees to hold him in place, his hands on the top of her head to steady himself.
The wind picked up and gently pressed itself against her face, and it was in that moment that she knew she had.
The frown she had earlier disappeared as she followed Alice away from the cemetery, back to their home to celebrate their son’s birthday, a white feather picked up by the wind following them the entire way home.