Heading home from searching the forest, I start to think about Neverland. The trees and nature here are nothing compared to the forests there. I can still remember the parties that would take place in the dead of night. Dancing around the fire, Peter’s pipes in the background, all while everything else is a complete blur. The stars would shine brightly above us with the only light from the fire and the moon to illuminate the area. My mind then slips from the memory as I remember why I was even in the forest. Henry had gone missing yesterday after school, and I haven’t slept since Regina called me saying that he never came home from school. However, Graham said he had to be missing 24 hours first, because he could have been playing in the forest or down by the beach. Yeah right, I would have found him by now. Shaking my head, I As I neared the non-working clock tower I heard,
“Why doesn’t everyone just leave?”
“They can’t, if they try bad things happen!” Henry, speak of the devil.
I speed up my pace and as I round the corner, I see Henry and a random blond woman talking in the middle of an abandoned intersection. I rush over to him instantly.
“Henry, what are you doing out here? Is everything alright?” I question him rapidly, taking the lady next to him by surprise. Probably my sudden arrival or maybe it was my British accent.
“I’m fine, Kat.” He says in an almost bored/fed up tone, causing me to lightly smack him upside the head.
“Well, in that case, Regina almost cut off my head. Where have you been?” I demand in a tone that’s more concerned than annoyed.
Then, I finally turned my attention to the blond woman.
“Who is this?” I ask sharply.
“Just someone trying to give him a ride home.” She manages to reply before Henry spoke up.
“Oh, she’s my mom, her name is Emma.” Henry bluntly interrupts.
“Oh, I see. I’m Katrina Blanchard.” I said faking a small smile for friendliness sake.
“Do you know where he lives?” Emma asked, clearly uncomfortable.
“Oh yeah, of course, right up on Mifflin Street. The mayor’s house is the biggest one on the block” I responded briefly, I mean I can only act super nice for so long, however she clearly didn’t care.
“You’re the mayor’s kid?” Emma asks looking down at Henry, meaning he clearly hadn’t told her.
“Uh, maybe.” He glances up at her nervously.
Just in time to make the situation more awkward, Archie came along with Pongo.
“Hi, Henry, Katrina. Where were you today? You missed our session.” Archie questioned, knowing that if I was there and calm then, Henry was fine.
“Oh, well…” Henry starts to speak up, before I cut him off.
“I’m sorry, Dr. Hopper. I forgot to tell you, I took Henry on a fieldtrip to see one of my best friends, Emma.” I replied for Henry gesturing to the woman awkwardly standing there.
“Oh?” Archie questions suspiciously.
“Yeah, I took him up to her house for a visit and when she heard more about the town from Henry, she wanted to come see the place herself. I’m on my way to Granny’s B&B now to get her set up with a room.” I explain smiling and playing it off like this is nothing.
“Ah, well just remember what I told you about lying in our last session. Giving into one’s dark side never accomplishes anything.” A) Very dramatic, so points to you for that and B) If only you knew, I think as I roll my eyes.
“Okayyy,” Emma interrupts, looking even more uncomfortable than before, if that’s even possible. “I should probably get him home.”
“Yeah, once we drop off Henry, I’ll show to the B&B. It’s been a long drive, but get home safely, Archie.” I move to get into the car as Archie walks away, but as soon as he rounds the corner, I step away from the car.
“He lives on Mifflin Street, I’ll call Regina and tell her that you're dropping him off. I’ll leave it up to you and him to explain why he was with you. Granny’s is right there and it’s open 24/7.” I state looking at the blonde adult. “And you, Henry, next time you decide to go on a road trip either tell me where you’re going so in case of emergency I can find or tell me where you want to go and I’ll drive you there, I have my motorcycle and you know that I’ll do anything for. Now, I gotta get back to Mary-Margaret's soon or she’ll kill me. Stay safe and be careful, Henry. Goodnight to both of you.” I say before kissing Henry’s head, curtly nodding to Emma, and walking towards Mary Margaret’s loft.
Third Person POV*
“I’m not crazy.” Henry states looking up at his birth mother
“I didn’t say that, just neither of them doesn’t seem cursed to me. Maybe Archie is just trying to help you.” Emma responds trying to reason with Henry.
“He’s the one that needs help because he doesn’t know.” Henry pleads.
“That he’s a fairytale character?” Emma questions doubtfully.
“None of them do. They don’t know who they are.” Henry reasons.
“Convenient, all right I’ll play. Who were they supposed to be?” Emma asks in a teasing manner.
“Archie is Jiminy Cricket, and I’m not sure who Katrina is, because her section of the book was cut out.” Henry states, as he goes to get into the passenger seat of the small yellow car.
“Right, the lying thing, I thought your nose grew a little bit.” Emma teases.
“I’m not Pinocchio.” Henry replies, sounding a little upset.
“Of course, you’re not, that would be ridiculous.” Emma mumbles to herself, as she got into her car.
----- Start Flashback ----
“I say we fight!” Charming shouted as he slammed his fist down on the table, where he sat next to Snow and Cheshire.
“Fighting is a bad idea.” Grumpy said.
“Giving into one’s dark side never accomplishes anything.” Jiminy spoke up, in a soft tone.
“And how many wars has a clear conscience won?” Cheshire spat at the small bug, causing Snow to glare at her.
“I agree, we need to take the Queen out before she can inflict her curse.” Charming/David pronounced.
“But can we trust Rumpelstiltskin?” Doc questioned.
“I’ve sent my men into the forest, the animals are abuzz with the queen’s plan.” David said leaning his hands on the table.
“It’s true.” Cheshire agreed, making everyone look at her questionably. “The robins outside my window are very chatty.” She replied rubbing her temples, irritated.
“This is going to happen unless we do something.” David said sternly.
“There’s no point, the future is written.” Snow interrupted, tired and weak.
“No, I refuse to believe that, good can’t just lose.” Charming stated.
“We can.” Snow murmured.
“No.” David said in a soft voice, kneeling next to Snow. “No, not as long as we have each other. If you believe him about the curse, then you must believe him about our child, she will be the savior.”
“He’s right,” Cheshire said with her eyes closed, focusing on the energy the child was giving off. “She will be strong, and she will come back for us.” Cheshire opened her eyes which were now like a cat’s.
“Your child, Snow, will save us all.”
Just then, the doors opened and many knights came in pulling the trunk of a tree, with the Blue Fairy flying beside it.
“What the hell is this?” David questioned them.
“This is our only hope of saving that child.” The Blue Fairy spoke softly as she flew in front of Charming and Snow.
“A tree?! Our fate rest on a tree?!” Grumpy yelled, before looking back to Charming. “Let’s get back to the fighting thing.”
“The tree is enchanted. If fashioned into a vessel it can ward off any curse. Geppetto, can you build such a thing?” The blue fairy asked, looking over at Geppetto and his son, Pinocchio, who was smoothing the back of a wooden whale down.
“Me and my boy, we can do it.” Geppetto said happily while patting Pinocchio’s hat/head.
“This will work. But, we all must have faith.” The blue fairy stated causing Snow to reach over and grab James’s hand in a happy moment of awe.
“What’s the price?” Cheshire asked standing up, and directing everyone’s attention to her. “All magic comes with a price, I know that better than anyone. So. What. Is. The. Price?”
“The catch is that the enchantment is indeed powerful, but all power has its limits and this tree can protect only one.” The Blue Fairy said nervously, causing Charming to look down at Snow worried.
---- Flashback End ----
“Pleaseee don’t take me back there.” Henry whines as Emma opens the gate.
“I have to, I’m sure your parents are worried sick about you.” Emma replies as she quickly walks up the pathway in front of the mayor’s house.
“I don’t even have parents, I just have a mom and she’s evil!” Henry says raising his voice.
“Evil? That’s a bit extreme isn’t it?” Emma questions.
“She is, she doesn’t love me, she only pretends to.” Henry mumbles.
“Kid, I’m sure that’s not true.” Emma says softly bending down to his height.
“Henry!” A black haired woman, the mayor, rushes down the path, eyes puffy and red from crying. She embraces him tightly, before pulling him away and checking for any clearly visable injuries.
“Are you okay?!” She demands, her voice wobbly and hair a mess. “Where have you been?”
“What happened?” The mayor, or otherwise known as Regina, stood up asking Emma.
“I found my real mom!” Henry spits at Regina, in a voice full of hate, before running up through the front door and into the house.
There was an awkward silence as Regina stared at Emma in disbelief.
“Your Henry’s birth mother?” Regina asks shocked.
“Hi.” Emma says timidly.
“I’ll just check on the lad, and make sure he’s alright.” The sheriff, Graham, commented before awkwardly backing up into the house.
“How would you like a glass of the best apple cider you’ve ever tasted?” Regina questioned calmly with a small smile.
“Got anything stronger?”
++++In the house++++
“How did he find me?” Emma questions Regina.
“I have no idea.” Regina responds pre-occupied with pouring the alcoholic drinks. “When I adopted him he was only 3 weeks old. Records were sealed, I was told the birth mother didn’t want to have any contact.
“You were told right.” Emma replies looking around curiously.
“And the father?”
“There was one.”
“Do I need to be worried about him?”
“Nope, he doesn’t even know.”
“Do I need to be worried about you Miss. Swan?”
“Well Madame Mayor, you can relax.” Graham speaks up as he walks down the stairs. “Other than being a tired little boy, Henry is fine.”
“Thank you, Sheriff.” Regina acknowledges Graham sweetly.
Graham nods at the two woman and heads for the door.
“I’m sorry he dragged you out of your busy life.” Regina says walking to her library/study room. “I really don’t know what gotten into him.”
“Kid’s having a rough time, it happens.” Emma replies from experience.
“You need to understand that ever since I’ve become Mayor, balancing everything has just been tricky. You have a job, I assume?” Regina inquires, straightening the clock on the mantle.
“I keep busy.” Emma replies, shrugging.
“Imagine having another one on top of it.” Regina continued. “That’s being a single mom. So, I push forward and with Katrina’s help it works. Am I strict? I suppose. But I do it for his own good. I want Henry to excel in life, I don’t think that makes me evil, do you?”
“I’m sure he’s just saying that because of the fairytale thing.” Emma answered taking a sip of her drink.
“What fairytale thing?”
“Oh, you know his book. How he thinks everyone is a cartoon character from it. Like his shrink is Jiminy Cricket.”
“I’m sorry, I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You know what it’s none of my business. He’s your kid. And I really should be heading back.”
Emma was driving down in road in the rain, when she looked over to her passenger seat only to see Henry’s book.
She looked back up at the road only to see a light grey wolf in the middle of the road, it’s hazel eyes calm as he stared at her. Emma swerved to avoid the wolf, her car slid into the ‘Welcome to Storybrooke’ sign, knocking her out cold. A gentle breeze flowed through the car door, which popped open during the crash, flipping the pages in Henry’s book, Once Upon A Time. Starting with a picture of flying monkeys then the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, and finally settling on a picture of Geppetto and Pinocchio making the vessel which would save the entire Enchanted forest.
Geppetto held half the door to the tree trunk, before going back to the workbench where Pinocchio is smoothing the other door. Snow looked outside from her balcony, at the tower where the wood workshop was. She turned and walked into the bedroom she shared with David.
“I don’t want to do this.” Snow said pleadingly.
“It has to be you.” David replied.
“I’m not leaving you.” Snow stated, her voice cracking as she hurried over to David.
“It’s the only way.” He begged, hugging her to his chest. “You go in there and you’ll be safe from the curse.”
“He said it would be on her 28th birthday!” She raised her voice as she responded.
“What’s 28 years, when you have eternal love?” David said softly, while Snow cried. “I have faith. You will save me, as I did you.”
They kissed passionately, but briefly, as all of a sudden Snow grabbed her stomach.
“What’s wrong?!” David asked concerned.
“The baby,” Snow whispered before her voice became strained. “She’s coming.”
--On the wall surrounding the castle—
Grumpy took a swig from his bottle of whiskey, before looking back down at the valley in front of them. Standing up in a hurry, Grumpy start yelling at Sleepy to get up. He quickly rushed over to the bell at his station and started to ring it,
“The curse! It’s here!”
----End of flashback----
I sit in the corner of Mary-Margret’s, or Mary as I prefer to call her, classroom watching her teach her class about the construction of birdhouses. I had already made my birdhouse from driftwood that I had found a couple of days ago, and it was on Mary’s desk as a gift, which seemed fitting as she was a “teacher”. I put my blue beats headphones on and began listening to ‘The Hanging Tree’ by Jennifer Lawrence. Only looking up from my sketchbook when I heard the bell ring. At the same time as the bell, Regina storms into the room, heading straight past me towards Mary. I take off my headphones, and listen up.
“Miss. Mills, What are you doing here?” I hear Mary ask Regina.
“Where’s my son?” Regina demands.
“Henry? He called in and told me he was sick. I told him to take it easy and that I would bring the homework over later. He’s not at your house?” I question.
“You think I’d be here if he was?!” Regina snaps, causing me to put my hands up in surrender. Directing her attention back at Mary, she continues, “Did you give him your credit card so he can find her?”
Regina pointed at Emma who was kinda awkwardly standing in the background. I nodded at her, with no expression on my face, before.
“I’m sorry, who are you?” I barely heard Mary ask the poor confused blonde.
I tuned them out because I already knew who she was. She is the woman who gave birth to Henry, I didn’t really know what else I expected from Regina. She was always scared of losing Henry, but I wasn’t really worried about her hurting him. I turned up my music as the song switched to ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ by Set it off. I close my eyes and try to think a happy thought.
“You can’t what?”
“…I-I can’t… can’t…”
“I can’t write….”
“Don’t laugh! Peter! IT’S NOT FUNNY!”
“Awe. Come on, don’t be that way! Come back, Ches! I’m sorry!”
“Go away, Pan!”
“Awe. Come on… Pleeeeease…”
“PETER PAN! GET OFF OF ME NOW!”
*sigh* “Alright fine, can we at least teleport to one of our treehouses? The ground isn’t the best place to cuddle, Peter.”
A loud thump sounded through the classroom, causing me to jolt out of my daydream. I took out my earbuds, and stood up. I could tell Regina had gotten upset and left, but not before knocking a stack of books over.
“Sorry to bother you.” Emma said, bending down to help Mary.
I walked over and took the books from her hands. She smiled at me, as I straightened them.
“No it’s… It’s okay. I fear this is partially my fault.” Mary replied kindly.
“How’s the book supposed to help?” Blondie inquired, while I was walking back to my chair in the corner to get my black and white backpack.
“What do you think stories are for? These stories are classics. There’s a reason we all know them. They’re a way for us to deal with our world. A world that doesn’t always make sense. See, Henry hasn’t had the easiest life.” Mary explained as they walked out of the classroom, with me jogging after them to catch up.
“Yeah, she’s kind of a hard***.” Blondie muttered the last word, since we were in a school.
“No, it’s more than her. He’s like any adopted child. He wrestles with that most basic question they all inevitably face – why would anyone give me away?” She stopped and looked over at me and Blondie, I just continued walking only this time with my head down. “…I am so sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean in any way to judge you.” I heard Mary try to apologize.
“It’s okay. What’s wrong with her?” Blondie asked in a lower voice.
“I adopted her 4 years ago when she was found in the woods. She has always been this way, I guess she had to grow up quick.” Mary response and I could feel their gazes staring into my back, before I turned the corner.
---- Mary’s POV ----
“Look, I gave the book to him because I wanted Henry to have the most important thing anyone can have. Hope. Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing.” I explained to Henry’s birth mother.
“You know where he is, don’t you?” She asked smoothly.
“You might want to check his castle.” I whispered leaning in.
“I can’t have this baby now!” Snow White screeched, her voice strained and hoarse.
“Doc, do something.” Charming begged, as Snow squeezed his hand tight. “It’s going to be okay. The wardrobe is almost finished, just hold on.”
---(Outside the castle)---
Cheshire and Regina sit in a black fancy carriage, riding up to the castle. Regina looks out the window and smiles wickedly, while Cheshire sits across from her with a face of regret. She quickly vanished with a poof of blue smoke.
---(Inside the castle)---
“It’s ready.” Geppetto announced as he ran into the room. Charming started to pick Snow up bridal style, however he was soon stopped by Doc.
“It’s too late. We can’t move her.”
“The wardrobe… It only takes one.” Snow said weakly looking down at Emma.
“Then our plan has failed. At least we’re together.” Charming smiled weakly, trying to stay positive.
“No. You have to take her. Take the baby to the wardrobe.” Snow demanded.
“Are you out of your mind?” Charming questioned, surprised.
“No, it’s the only way. You have to save her.” Snow pleaded.
“No, no, no. You don’t know what you’re saying.” Charming tried to reason, only to be shut up by Snow.
“No, I do. We have to believe that she’ll come back for us. We have to give her her best chance.” Snow insisted, begging Charming to just listen.
Charming nodded, kissed Snow’s forehead gently, and picked up Emma very carefully. He ran over to the door and grabbed his sword out of its scabbard. Two of the queen’s guards lay outside the door with their necks snapped. He rounds to corner and sees Cheshire clutching her lightly bleeding arm. He quickly wields his sword, but lowers it. When he opens his mouth to speak, she holds up her bloodied hand and turns around before disappearing. He continues to the nursery room where the wardrobe is. He burst through the door and is soon followed by Cheshire who suddenly appeared. He rushed over to the wardrobe and put Emma in.
All of a sudden, he heard a sharp cry. He whipped around to find Cheshire run through her stomach, she snaps her fingers causing the 2 men’s necks to snap at inhuman angles.
“WATCH OUT!” Cheshire yells just before a 3rd knight stabbed Charming’s chest.
Cheshire crumpled to the ground before disappeared in a cloud of dark blue smoke. Just then, the 3rd knight checked the now empty wardrobe causing Charming to smile weakly knowing that his daughter had gotten away.
Snow weakly ran into the nursery, only to find a seemingly dead Prince Charming
“No, no! No! No! No! Please… Please come back to me.” Snow pleaded crying, and kissing him over and over.
“Oh, don’t worry dear. In a few moments, you won’t remember you knew him, let alone loved him.” The Evil Queen sneered with victory.
“Why are you doing this?” Snow questioned with a sorrow filled voice.
“Because this is my happy ending.” Regina replied with a smirk.
Two of her guards ran in panting.
“The child?” She asked.
“Gone. It was in the wardrobe, and then it was gone. It’s nowhere to be found.” The guard said almost nervously.
“Where is she?” Regina questioned Snow harshly.
“She got away… You’re going to lose. I know that now. Good will always win.” Snow started softly, but ended in a strong voice.
“We’ll see about that.” Regina scoffed. “and by the way you know your old friend Cheshire? Yeah, the one who ‘betrayed’ you. I was the one who framed her and now where is she?” She asked, looking at one of her guards.
“Dead, she was stabbed through the stomach and her body disappeared in a cloud of dark blue smoke.” The other guard responded, causing a look of realization and regret to cross over Snow’s face.
All of a sudden, a purple twister of smoke ripped the top of the roof off.
“Where are we going?” Snow inquired in a scared voice, shouting to be heard.
“Somewhere horrible. Absolutely horrible. A place where the only happy ending will be mine.” Regina smiled with happiness, as a thick purple smoke surrounded them and filled the room.
Meanwhile, Cheshire had transported herself to the woods outside and used the last of her energy to heal the stab wound and disguise herself as a 12 year old before the curse overtook her body and made her blackout.
I walk down the street from Mary’s, just heading to quickly check on Henry again before actually going to sleeping, when I hear talk coming from Granny’s Inn, which was next to me. I checked the huge clock tower… which doesn’t work, I totally knew that.
“Now, what’s the name?” That’s totally Granny.
“Swan. Emma Swan.” Emma?
“Emma. What a lovely name.” Rumpelstiltskin, or should I say ‘Mr.Gold’.
“Thanks.” Emma said awkwardly.
Wait, could this Emma be the Emma? Oh my god, that means that now Snow and Charming are the same age as their daughter because time is frozen here... That’s just weird. I got so caught up in my thoughts, that I suddenly jerked back to attention as I heard Granny say,
“Welcome to Storybrooke.”
And for the first time in 28 years, the clock moved and for the first time in over 200 years, the pain in my side came back.