Regina breathes in and out, swats at another bug trying to take its fill of her blood and strips down until her skin is bare to the heavy humidity clinging to the air.
They’ve been stranded in this over-grown jungle realm for months now, away from the quick conveniences of home and the steady routine that she’s grown accustomed to throughout the last three decades. She misses bug repellant and indoor showers, and the comfort that comes from sleeping in her own bed.
But she isn’t home, she thinks while getting water to flow out of the makeshift shower Robin fastened out of columns of bamboo and sheaths of vine, and wishing for things not yet in reach won’t help her get through today or tomorrow. It won’t help her keep that strained smile on her face for Henry, or for Roland. And she needs to smile, needs to give them the hope she can see slowly dimming in their eyes.
They’re all tired, exhausted of fighting battle after battle. They want to go home, and she can practically feel magic crackling at her fingertips at the prospect of just that–home. Away from insects the size of her palm and serpents as thick as her thigh, and a villain named Sherkhan who’s entranced the tigers to do his bidding, mauling the villagers and slaughtering their cattle all so that he can bend the people to his will. He’s a demon in war paint, Sherkhan, and he’s blocked every portal out of this realm. So if they want to go home, they have to defeat him, and defeating villains is becoming somewhat of a thing for her.
And defeating villains in a dirt-filled jungle where she’s constantly kicking up dust or saving some idiot from quicksand it… well it… it makes her dirty at the end of the day. So she’s here, taking a shower, washing away unwanted grime and burdens to bear.
Regina closes her eyes and slowly exhales, running her fingers through her long hair and thinking about what comes next. What’s her next plan of attack?
The floor creaks behind her, and she startles.“Sorry, love. Didn’t mean to frighten you.”
“You didn’t,” she tells him, shaking her head and turning around to face him. He knows why she jumps at sudden noises, knows about her history, and that makes her think of late night conversations and confessions in front of her fireplace, cuddled up on the floor together.
Robin is still in his shirt and jeans, sweaty and covered in grime just like she was a moment ago. “I was just thinking about tomorrow,” she says, taking note of the way his eyes are currently staring at her lips. Her tongue peeks out to lick out to wet her bottom one, though, she’s already wet enough because of the shower. She does it anyway, licks her lower lip and lets her teeth graze over it.
“Hmmm, don’t think about tomorrow just yet,” he replies, taking a step closer, stray droplets of water start staining his clothing. “Tomorrow will take care of itself, yeah?”
“And what exactly should I think about instead?” She teases, tugging a little at the collar of his shirt.
“Oh, I suppose I could help you think of something,” he says, sliding his hands over her skin.