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I Don't Think We're In Wolf Manor Anymore

Chapter Text

 "Darien, Mommy says we aren't supposed to be in here." Winter whispered, tightly clutching her stuffed tiger Mr. Snuggles, as if Snow would pop out if she crossed the threshold of her Mother's office. Darien stood defiantly in the doorway, his eyes dew pond round with childish nerve. 

 "Relax  Winter, they won't be home for hours!" Darien responded nonchalantly, strutting into the cobalt office, brandishing his signature smirk. He turned around, waiting for Winter to follow meekly behind him. Darien combed the room for something interesting, flipping through file cabinets, and running his fingers down the spines of cracked old leather books in foreign languages. 

 "Please don't break anything! You've seen Mommy when she's mad, with all the dangerous stuff in here, what if she..." Winter paused abruptly, craning her neck towards the redwood desk. Darien followed her eyes, grinning roguishly. A sterling silver pocket watch laid innocently on the surface, a faint blue aura surrounding it, that seemed to hum a quiet song. 

 Darien took the watch roughly in his hand, putting the silver treasure to his ear. "Wow!" Darien beamed, the consequences of this Mother's wrath completely out of his head. Winter cowered from the object, like it was giving off poison energy. 

 "Just put it down Darien, I have a bad feeling about this." Winter confessed anxiously, stepping up to her brother. The watch's tune became slightly louder, still only barely audible to the opposing Cubs. 

 "Can you stop worrying? It's a watch, how bad could it be?" Darien quipped, tossing the engraved artifact between his hands. Winter looked mortified at Darien's careless demeanor. 

 "How about we do something else? Blossom and I saw a rabbit earlier, let's go find it!" Winter encouraged with fake gusto, gesturing to the expansive lush emerald yard. Darien snickered, his cocky childhood attitude shining through his young features.

 "You're scared of it!" Darien stated mockingly, holding the watch by it's chain in front of Winter's fair face. She frowned with mature indignation, clenching her small fists. 

 "No I'm not Darien! Daddy just said that we shouldn't mess with stuff that could be magic!" Winter sputtered, taking a slight step back from her domineering Brother. 

 "Yes you are!" Darien chided, twisting the knobs and moving around the clock hands. Darien was oblivious to the watch's surrounding blue atmosphere turning fire truck red.  

 "Stop! That's Mommy's!" Winter warned, using all of her courage to forcefully take the watch, even her surprised at the sudden backbone grown.  

 "Give! That! Back!" Darien seethed, both having a grip on the winding watch. The silver object became hotter by the millisecond, neither in the pair let go. The tune from the pocket watch became louder, and the hum became an all out belt. The office started to spin, and turned cyan, then blood red, and finally inky black. Winter tried to focus her vision, her head pounding at a rapid beat. Darien's snicker was wiped off his face, replaced with pure terror. They felt like their stomachs were doing back flips, and it seemed like they were being hurled at thousands of miles per hour, the Cubs held on to the watch for dear life.

 The roller coaster of a ride went from a zooming rush to a complete stop in a second. Darien and Winter opened their eyes tentatively, blinking rapidly, as if that could transport them home. They sat in the center of an enormous room with towering ceilings, crammed with books and shiny valuables. A boat hung from the wooden rafters, and empty cigarette packets. Winter and Darien shared a feeling of disbelief, both having a similar thought. I don't think we're in Wolf Manor anymore.  

Chapter Text

 "Winter, where... where are we?" Darien asked, his normally cocky expressions resembled mortification. 

 "I've seen the photos, this is where Mommy and Daddy used to work!" Winter exclaimed brightly, examining a mysterious shining golden lamp.  "It seems a little different though." 

 "But how did we get here?" Darien followed Winter, gazing intensely at the ticking silver watch, resolving to carefully place it in his crimson shirt pocket.

 "It was that watch Darien! I told you not to play with it, but you never listen!" Winter accused, uncharacteristically confrontational. Darien seemed to cower at Winter's frown, that seemed to mirror her mother's.  

 "Please, let's just figure out how to get home. We must be in Fabletown right now." Darien croaked. He peered around the room, eyeing a cheap battered calendar, showing a picture of November's crisp red and yellow trees. His eyes went round, and almost looked panicked. "Nineteen Sixty Three." He read shakily, sounding strangled. 

 "Stop trying to scare me." Winter replied, her words full of poison. 

 "I'm serious! It's what the calendar says!" Darien insisted, pointing to it maddeningly. Winter turned away from the historic watercolor painting she was observing, and turned her attention to the calendar. Winter's heart skipped a beat as she read through the events recorded on the little squares. Things like Remembrance Day and Meeting with 13th floor  were written in a neat blue cursive. 

 "You... you were right Darien. Did we...?" Winter looked to her brother to make the call, as was traditional with the Cubs. Darien locked eyes with his sister, glancing down to the watch in his pocket. 

 "I think the watch took us back in time." Darien stammered, sighing hopelessly. "Is that even possible? I thought that only happened in movies."

 "Ambrose brought that stuff up once, he was talking about some scientific theory the witches were discussing. I didn't really understand." Winter recalled. "Something about the dangers of it, changing time and all that." 

 "Oh my god, are we changing time right now?! Just by being here?!" Darien whimpered, stepping away from the items in the room like they could explode at any second. 

 "Calm down Darien, we can't start freaking out." Winter explained, with the air of someone speaking to an emotional three year old. "Nobody has seen us yet, I don't think anything important could change."

 "Okay Winter. You don't think we would know anybody here?" Darien relaxed, slightly more comfortable in the unfamiliar office. 

 "Maybe, probably not. We have to get out of here though, did you bring anything useful?" Winter inquired tentatively, perking up quickly, cupping her ears, utilizing her naturally good sense of hearing. "What's that?"  Winter whispered urgently. The sound of footsteps was emitted from behind the door, the clacking of high heels and men's dress shoes. The two Cubs tensed, frozen out of fright in their spot in the center of the room. The Cubs locked eyes, Winter raising her eyebrows, communicating the message Darien had sent so many times, Go along with it. 

 A beautiful woman with thick raven hair and galaxy blue eyes walked in, with a taller brown haired man following close behind, both carrying stacks of paperwork. The two adults stopped in their tracks when they saw the Cubs in front of the extravagantly carved wooden desk. The Cubs glanced at each other, sharing the same realization: Is that Mom and Dad? 

 "Are you two lost?" Snow handed the folders to Bigby, straightening her knee length skirt. 

 "Yes Miss." Winter replied innocently, avoiding her future father's intense amber gaze.  

 Bigby kneeled down in front of the Cubs, his eyebrows furrowed. "Who are your parents?" Bigby was surprised they didn't step back or cower away from the Big Bad Wolf. 

 Winter looked to Darien, his turn to take over. "Our mom is named... Ursula." Darien answered, the first name that came to mind. 

 "I don't think I know her Bigby, she's probably somewhere in the books." Snow resolved, looking around for Bufkin. Bigby nodded, carefully observing the eerily familiar black hair and blue eyes of the young girl in front of him. 

 "Are you Fables? Are either of you in glamour?" Bigby asked, something deep in his mind telling him that these children are something else, like he already knew them. 

 "I don't think we're in glamour sir." Winter stammered, tightly grasping Mr. Snuggles, Bigby cracking a slight grin. 

 "All right then. Are either of you...wolves?" Bigby questioned, noticing the obvious aura of camaraderie between the two.

 "Uh...." Darien looked to Winter desperately, recalling Bigby's undoubted sense of smell. "Yes, my sister and I are Wolves." 

 Bigby nodded, turning back to Snow, whose eyes were fixated on Darien, analyzing his smile, maybe something she'd seen before. The woman bit her lip, contemplating the nearly impossible security breach. Bigby looked to the children again, a weird feeling coming over him, like they must be related to him in some way. Darien stirred, aiming to keep the watch out of sight.

 "How did you two get in here? The Business Office holds the highest of security measures..." Snow scanned the office, looking for weaknesses in the spell. 

 "We don't know how we got here." Winter lied through her teeth, her eyes innocently wide, able to fool Bigby for the time being. Darien didn't say it often, but his sister was great when under pressure. 

 "If they really don't know how they got in, I'm willing to bet they accidentally touched something." Bigby reported absentmindedly, deep in his own realm of thought. "So, what're your names anyway?" 

 Winter and Darien were both dumbstruck, trying to reason through how the chosen name could affect the future. "Uh, I'm Jimmy, and this is my sister, Violet."  Darien finished awkwardly, pulling the first names off the top of his head. Winter smiled approvingly, Darien's delivery was smoother than expected. 

 "Alright, Snow and I will work to find your parents. Do you two live in Fabletown, the Farm, or somewhere else?" Bigby asked deftly, his eyebrow arched. 

 "I think we live in Fabletown." Darien answered fluidly, used to the rapid heartbeat and stuttering that his lying always seemed to cause. 

 Bigby faced Snow, waiting for her to nod definitely. "That's all we need. Snow and I will try to get you two home as soon as we can." 

 "Thank you Mr. Wolf." The Cubs said charmingly in unity. Winter and Darien eyed each other in relief, both hatching unique plans to exit the office without being found. 

 "Don't worry, it won't take long." Snow bent down kindly, her scarlet lips curving into a smile. Bigby turned reassuringly to the woman above him, with a familiar softness in his eyes. 

 "Yeah. We can start now, I don't think we have anything to do." Bigby grinned at the two children, who seemed to be surprisingly comfortable in their presence. 

 "Of course, should we get Boy Blue to watch them?" Snow proposed. 

 "Sure, he's in my office. We'll check the books first." Bigby decided, standing slowly, lighting a cigarette, cowering from Snow's disapproving gaze. 

 "Will you two be okay in here alone for just a minute? Boy Blue will be here in a second." Snow asked, tucking a strand of raven hair behind her ear. 

 "Yes Miss." Winter trilled, tightly hugging Mr. Snuggles, as Bigby took a long drag. 

 "Alright then, we'll be back when we find something." Snow beamed, taking one of the files off of her desk, and sauntered out of the room, followed closely by Bigby. 

 Bigby turned back, grinning ominously at the Cubs. "Don't break anything, okay?" 

 The Cubs nodded, paying close attention to their parents crossing the threshold out of the room, sighing in relief as they walked out of sight. "I can't believe we got away with that Darien." 

 "You did amazing Winter! Why don't you lie like that more often? When we get back, you're the new spokesperson." Darien raved, Winter's fair skin turned a light pink. 

 "How did you think of the names so fast? I think you may have fooled Daddy!" Winter gushed, staring around the room. 

 "They'll be back soon, should we make a run for it?" Darien inquired, regaining his cocky demeanor. 

 "No, we don't have time, and I bet they have security." Winter observed, recalling her Mother's anxious words at family dinners about security breaches. "It's a little weird not seeing Mommy and Daddy acting like usual. Do you think they're in love?" 

 Darien shrugged. "I guess so. Dad said something about love at first sight or whatever." 

 "I think he brought that up once. Let's act normal for a while, and figure out how to leave whenever we're left alone." Winter stated confidently. "Do you think Daddy could figure out we're his kids?" 

 "Eh, maybe. We'll figure it out eventually Winter."