He wasn't exactly sure what it was that first roused him from a deep, peaceful sleep at nearly 1 AM – the absence of his wife's warmth curled into his side or the faint noises he could hear from somewhere downstairs.
Rubbing his hand over his face, Robin swung his legs out of bed. He hoped that Regina wasn't feeling ill again. She had barely been able to stomach the oatmeal and toast he had prepared for her at dinner. Going to Granny's with the rest of the family had been out of the question. The last time she set foot in the door, the smell of day-old grease and frying hamburgers had her gagging and running immediately back outside into the cold November air.
Robin shuffled in bare feet down the hall, peeking into both Henry and Roland's rooms as he went. He was thankful the boys were snoozing comfortably and couldn't help but smile at the way Roland's arms and legs splayed awkwardly from under his Ninja Turtles comforter. The boy was getting bigger every day. Soon enough they would have to buy him a bigger bed to fit his taller frame.
Sighing at the fact that his little boy wasn't going to be little forever, Robin walked quietly downstairs. He was likely to find Regina curled up in the living room with a book and a cup of tea. It's what Regina had done for years when she was unable to sleep. Though she tried to keep it from him, Robin was almost certain that her nightmares had returned. His heart ached for his wife. It had been well over two years since Regina had been so terrorized in her sleep.
In the past, Robin had seen and felt Regina jolt awake in the middle of the night, sweating and crying and desperate. More often than not, she would just lie back down in silence and pretend nothing had happened. When the visions haunting her at night were particularly bad, she would seek solace by resting her head on his chest.
"Hearing your heartbeat helps," Regina had whispered so quietly in the darkness. Robin knew better than to press her. He was more than happy to wrap her in his arms and offer whatever comfort she was willing to take from him.
However, these past few weeks had him worried. Regina seemed to be hiding her nightmares from him – something she hadn't done since they were little more than strangers in the Enchanted Forest. Robin woke alone in their bed more often than not. Whenever he broached the subject, Regina assured him it was nothing serious.
It was true that Regina always looked as poised and regal as ever after pulling numerous all-nighters. She would be awake, dressed and ready for work by sunrise. The dark circles under her eyes were well hidden with makeup to everyone who didn't know better.
Tonight he was determined to convince her to come back to bed. It would undoubtedly irritate her, but Robin could be just as stubborn as Regina when he wanted to be.
A faint light in the kitchen gave away his wife's whereabouts. Robin ambled in quietly to find something he absolutely never expected to see.
Regina was standing in front of the refrigerator, eating Roland's SpaghettiOs straight out of the can. Even with her back half-turned to him, Robin could see her lift a heaping spoonful into her mouth and moan lightly at the taste. The chuckle that escaped his throat was impossible to hold in.
"Robin!" Regina startled and dropped her spoon. "What are you doing down here?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing," He eyed the can still in her hand. "But I think I have a pretty good idea. A midnight snack?"
Regina's shoulders dropped as she put the can down on the counter, looking every bit as guilty as a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar. "I'm sorry I woke you. I was trying to be quiet."
"You know that you can always wake me whenever you need," Robin quirked a sympathetic smile and crossed the room to wrap his arms around her shoulders. "Are you feeling better? You could barely keep anything down at dinner."
"Yes," Regina groaned. "It's been this way for weeks. I'm miserable during the day and then I wake up starving in the middle of the night."
"Weeks? Why didn't you tell me?" He peered down at her in surprise when the realization dawned on him. "Is that why you've been staying up all night long?"
At her nod, Robin's fears melted away. "I was afraid your nightmares had come back."
"Oh, no, they haven't," Regina assured him. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you worry. I know these past few weeks have been hard on you and the boys. I didn't want to make a big deal out of this since you're all already putting up with me during the day."
Robin frowned and gently turned Regina's chin up to face him. "No one is 'putting up with' you, Regina. You don't have to keep things from us because you think it's a burden. We love you." Her light smile warmed Robin's heart.
"Besides," Robin moved his hand from under her chin to the slight, precious curve of her belly. "If this little miracle likes midnight snacks, then that's what she is going to get."
"It's only been eleven weeks. You're already insisting it's a girl?" Regina quirked an eyebrow.
"Absolutely. I have a sixth sense about these things," He winked, picking up the canned pasta from the counter. "And who would have guessed that Her Majesty's refined palette would stoop so low as to crave SpaghettiOs."
"You will tell no one about this." She glared at him, snatching the can away. "Not even the boys!"
"Certainly not, My Queen," He bowed to her, making Regina roll her eyes. "But I do seem to remember you throwing a fit at the store when I bought them for Roland."
Robin looked so smug that Regina either wanted to slap or kiss that smirk right off his face. "Because they are disgusting! The salt and fat content is extremely unhealthy. Not to mention the nerve of calling that watered-down ketchup real pasta sauce."
Robin hummed in agreement, but the playfulness in his eyes gave him away. "So you aren't about to finish eating an entire can? Cold, not even heated up?"
"I can't help it," Regina sighed, her newly gotten spoon dipping back into the offending can for another bite. "It's the only thing that tastes good mixed with the sauerkraut."
Robin laughed out loud then, loud and full. Regina shushed him before chuckling lightly.
"It's not funny! I was actually dreaming about sauerkraut before I had to come down here for the leftovers from Granny's pierogies," Regina sighed. "How are we going to survive this pregnancy?"
She still sounded awed at the thought that it was real. That she was really, truly carrying a healthy, growing baby after decades of believing it impossible.
"We'll survive one day at a time, my love," Robin kissed her temple. "And with lots of trips to the grocery store for snacks."
"Don't sound so cocky," Regina grinned mischievously. "I just might send you to the 24 hour mini mart soon. A bag of Jalapeño Cheetos with peanut butter sounds delicious right about now."
Robin groaned and Regina laughed as she licked her spoon clean. Midnight snacks in the Locksey-Mills home had never been as welcome or as disgusting as they were that winter.