AN:This idea came about with Snow's comment in season 5 when she asked Emma if it would have made a difference had Emma been able to hear their voices. So what if she had been able to in her dreams? What if she had been able to see them in her dreams every night and they told her everything. What if when Henry came to find her, she already knew everything? How different would things be? This is that story. This will be Snowing. Swan Believer, and Charming family story. It will also feature a lot of Daddy Charming and Mama Snow. It will eventually be Swanfire. As a fun bonus, it will also include a Golden Mad Charming brotp and Rumbelle as well.
This will also include a back story for Snow that ties to Greek Mythology and Greek Mythology inspired elements. These will be in the form of flashbacks woven in with the present day events.
As for Regina, I'll be writing her a bit more harshly in this. I do love how far she has come in the canon. However, I don't believe she was ever meant to become a hero. I may redeem her, but it will be done differently. She's not going to get the focus and the pass on her past deeds that she gets in the canon. I will be dealing with Snow's pain that was never dealt with and delving into what she went through at Regina's hand.
As for Hook, he will appear. eventually. He will not become a hero. He will remain in the gray area and I'll be honest, sometimes a straight up villain. I am not going to bash him, but this will not be the Pirate show. IF I redeem him and pair him with someone and that's a big IF, it will not be with Emma. Just being clear up front. Again, I will not bash him, but he will be and remain the foil in most cases. You've been warned.
For those that are ready for Swan-Charming-Stiltskin family goodness, here we go!
Dreaming Out Loud
Chapter 1: The Dreamscape
The magic whipped around them violently and had torn the roof of the castle off. She held Charming in her arms, as he barely clung to life and sobbed. Their daughter was gone...safe from the curse, but she was heartbroken at losing her. And the possibility of losing Charming further broke her, but she supposed that was her step-mother's purpose in all this.
Snow regretted letting herself being manipulated into telling Regina's secret to Cora, but she had just been a girl; a naive young girl that was terrified that Regina might lose her mother if she didn't tell. At that point in Snow's life, losing her mother had been the worst thing that had ever happened to her.
Now she had lost her daughter and was on the brink of losing her husband. She had never imagined as a little girl that life could give so much joy and take it away just as fast. She caressed her husband's cheek and silently begged him to open his blue eyes, those blue eyes she loved to get lost in.
"Oh...don't worry dear. Soon, you won't even remember him," Regina cooed, as she loomed over her nemesis.
"Where are we going?" Snow cried, as the dark magic whipped around them.
"A horrible place...where the only happy ending...will be mine," Regina hissed. Snow's vision went black, as the magic swallowed them up.
Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld, stared into her viewing pond, as she watched the Dark Curse rip through the land and swallow the people up.
"Snow…" she uttered brokenly, as she disappeared from her sight.
"She's gone…" Hades goaded. Persephone glared at her husband.
"This new land they're going to...you won't be able to see her. There's no magic there," he said, enjoying her misery. She ran at him, fists balled, but he caught her wrists, before she could hit him.
"You did this! It's your fault!" she screamed.
"No, my dear. The Evil Queen cast this curse. Believe me, it's a loss for me too. I so enjoyed all the bodies the Queen dropped for me. She's kept us in business," he joked.
"I hate you…" she spat and he caught her beautiful, tearstained face, as he stared into her emerald eyes.
"This is what your treachery gets you, my love. You betrayed me and you know the old saying. You reap what you sow," he hissed and she cringed, as he brushed his hand through her silky raven tresses. He finally released her and she tore away from him, as she knelt down, gazing into the river of lost souls, her eyes searching for the love that had been lost to her so long ago...
When Snow awoke, she found herself in a long white gown, raven hair cascading down her back in curls. She looked beside her and saw her husband asleep beside her. While that was familiar to her, the room was not. It was beautifully decorated, including the large plush bed they were laying on. She tried to recall her last memory and gasped. The curse. She shook Charming awake and she smiled brightly, as he responded this time. The last time he was in her arms, he was bleeding to death.
"Snow?" he asked.
"Oh Charming…" she cried, as she fell into his arms.
"My darling...what is it?" he asked.
"The last time you were in my arms, you were dying. You had put Emma in the wardrobe," Snow replied. He remembered.
"Then...is this the curse?" he asked.
"I...I don't know," she replied, as she looked around. While the room they were in was tastefully decorated, it was oddly hazy and impersonal.
"It can't be though...Regina would never let us be together. The whole point of her curse was to take away my happiness," she replied. He stood up and looked down at his white shirt. There was no bloodstain and he helped her up, as he looked around.
He saw a mirror in front of them and gently touched it. The mirror rippled and an image appeared. At first, he wasn't sure what he was looking at. It was Snow sleeping...yet it wasn't. The woman looked exactly like his wife, but her hair was very short, like a pixie cut.
"Is that...me?" she asked.
"I...I think so," he replied.
"But how?" she wondered. But then he recalled the dreams she had after the sleeping curse; about how she would go back to the burning room.
"I think this is a dream...this is where you come when you're asleep," he said.
"But what does that mean for you?" she asked.
"Well...I was dying," he started to say and she turned to him, horrified.
"No...it can't mean that! It can't," she cried, as tears started to fall.
"Hey...no, I didn't mean that. I just meant that I was hurt, but the curse probably saved me and if we're cursed, you know, we probably don't remember each other," he reiterated.
"So we're not together," she said sadly. That, in itself, was heartbreaking. Whoever she thought she was in this new life, she knew she would feel incomplete. Even if she supposedly didn't remember Charming, there would be an emptiness in her. It's the way true love worked.
"I just don't understand how we're together now," he said.
"We're sleeping...it's like the red room, except without the horrible flames and smoke," she realized. His brow furrowed and she smiled at him, caressing his face.
"But why would she let us be together at all?" he wondered.
"She didn't. This must be something she didn't anticipate. True love can overcome even Dark Magic! Especially Dark Magic that not even Regina fully understands," she said. He smiled at her and kissed her passionately.
The cooing of a baby pulled them apart and they looked on in awe, as the crib seemingly appeared out of nowhere. They were both stunned, as they stared down at their precious baby.
"How...how is this possible?" Charming uttered. Snow smiled and picked her up, as tears streamed down her face.
"She's asleep too. Look…" she said, as the mirror rippled, showing Emma asleep in a crib in a very strange looking place with lots of other children around. He didn't understand how it was possible, but he didn't care.
"Charming...our baby…" Snow sobbed. He kissed her hair and then kissed Emma's head.
"She will break this curse, my darling," he assured. She looked up at him.
"And at least, in our dreams, we'll be together," she added.
October 23rd, 2011
28 years later
Emma Swan kicked off her uncomfortable stiletto heels, as she entered her apartment. She dropped her mail onto the counter and opened the small box she had picked up from the bakery. Inside was a small cupcake with a candle.
Her life had been lonely, at least when she was awake. Always a loner, an orphan, Emma Swan had a secret. In her dreams every night, she visited a magical dreamscape where her cursed parents also resided in their dreams.
She knew what it sounded like. It sounded even crazier than "My parents are Snow White and Prince Charming."
But it was true...despite the fact that she did think she had been crazy at certain points in her life. She was an angry teen; sometimes she had spent her dreams yelling at her parents for not being there. It wasn't their fault, she knew that, but Emma's life had sucked. They took it all from her though and never had a cross world, only apologies and tears, as much as they tried to not to let those show.
Her time in prison had been the worst, but cathartic in a way. After Neal left her and she gave up her baby, she became determined to find them and break the curse they were under. It was largely the reason she had become a bail bondsperson.
Unfortunately, even with all those resources, she hadn't managed to find anything. It wasn't surprising though. Search engines didn't return serious results on Snow White and Prince Charming. And Regina...the Evil Queen, Regina was much too vague.
There were days that Emma felt it was hopeless, but as she did every year on her birthday, she closed her eyes and made a wish. To find her parents. To break the curse on them so they could be together in more than just their dreams. And she blew out the candle.
"At least I'll see you tonight Mom and Dad," she whispered, as their was a knock at her door. She answered and was bewildered to see a kid standing there, grinning up at her.
"Are you Emma Swan?" he asked.
"Yes," she answered.
"My name is Henry...I'm your son," he said. Emma's mouth dropped open and she watched the boy basically invite himself in.
"Okay...don't take this the wrong way, kid, but why are you here? It was a closed adoption. How did you even find me?" she asked. He shrugged.
"You can do anything with the internet and a credit card," he replied nonchalantly.
"Okay…" she said, dragging out the word.
"Where are your parents, kid?" she asked.
"It's just my Mom...but she doesn't care about me. That's why I came to find you. I need your help," Henry replied.
"Kid, I'm sure your Mom loves you. She's probably worried sick about you," Emma said.
"She thinks I'm crazy," Henry replied. That struck a chord with her.
Lots of people had called Emma crazy until she learned that she had to stay quiet about her dreams.
"What are you talking about?" she asked. He dug a big brown leather book out of his bag and she saw that the cover was emblazoned with the words 'Once Upon A Time,'
"Because every story in this book is real and every character in it is trapped in the town I live in, including your parents. My Mom trapped them all and took away their happy endings and you're the only one that can save everyone," Henry implored.
Emma felt her legs nearly give out under her.
"You're the Savior Emma," her mother's voice echoed in her head.
"Find us," her father's voice implored. Emma was frozen and Henry looked dejected.
"You think I'm crazy too," he said sadly.
"Actually...I don't," she replied and he looked up at her in surprise.
"You...believe me?" he asked in disbelief. She nodded.
"I've been looking for my parents for a long time. I have to admit though that I never thought the kid I had to give up would be the one to lead me right to them. Can I see that book?" she asked. His mouth dropped open and he eagerly handed it over, as she leafed through it with a smile. It was all here. Every story her parents had told her in her dreams, including their own.
"I don't get it...you know?" he asked. She nodded.
"It's kind of a long story. I'll tell you in the car. Let me pack a few things really quick. I'll send for the rest of it," she said, as she started throwing things into bag. Henry was still flabbergasted. He was sure it would have been a struggle to get her to believe.
"So...Regina is your Mom?" she asked wearily. He nodded.
"Yep...but you're my real Mom," he replied. She allowed herself a small smile.
"And...have you seen them?" she asked. He grinned.
"Your Mom is my teacher! But she thinks she's Mary Margaret Blanchard," he explained.
"So she has no memories?" she asked. This was going to hard.
"No one does, except the Queen," he said sadly, noticing her pensiveness.
"But you can change that! You're the Savior!" he said. She nodded.
"Okay kid, we'll do this. But you can't tell the Queen who I really am. If she finds out too soon, it could put a lot of people in danger. For now, we gotta pretend that I am just humoring you like I imagine other adults do," Emma explained. He nodded.
"It will be our secret, but you really do believe me?" he asked, still in disbelief. She smiled.
"Sure do, kid. So you know my Mom pretty well then?" she asked curiously.
"Yeah, she's the nicest person I know. Kind of timid though. Not much like Snow White, but that's because of the curse," he said excitedly.
"And my Dad?" she asked carefully. His face fell.
"I...I don't know. I haven't found him yet," he said sadly.
"Oh," she replied.
"But I don't know everyone. I'm sure he's there too!" Henry said encouragingly. She nodded. He had to be. If her father was dead, then he wouldn't be in the dreamscape with her and her mother every night. That at least gave her some comfort.
"All right, kid. Let's blow this popsicle stand," she said, as she grabbed her bag, but not before cutting her cupcake in half.
"Here," she said.
"Thanks...Mom never lets me have sweets," he replied. She smiled and they headed out to her car.
"This is amazing! Operation Cobra is a go," he said excitedly.
"Operation Cobra?" she asked curiously, as she put her bag in the back.
"You know, the plan to break the curse. It's what we'll call it so no one gets suspicious," he replied. She smirked. This kid was smart.
"Okay, Operation Cobra it is. Now we're off to...where are you from anyway?" she asked, as she started the car and they put their seatbelts on.
"Storybrooke, Maine. Don't bother looking at a map though, cause it's not on any maps. I can get us there though," he said.
"Okay, lead on Navigator," she replied, as she merged into traffic.
Mary Margaret Blanchard unlocked the door to her small loft apartment and went inside. Another day of work and volunteering at the hospital had come to a close. As usual, she arrived home to be alone. That's why she loved volunteering at the hospital. She loved visiting the patients and liked that she seemed to bring them a little bit of joy.
But if she was honest with herself, her favorite patient had no idea she was there at all. He had been comatose there for as long as she could remember and she often found it odd that no one had come to claim this handsome stranger.
"Get a grip, Mary. Pretty sure being in love with a coma patient is creepy," she mumbled to herself, as she started to change her clothes.
After watching a little television and a simple dinner, she got into bed and her head hit the pillow. One thing that rarely plagued Mary was the ability to fall asleep. As a rule, the moment her head hit the pillow, she almost always drifted off to sleep, as if her dreams were calling to her…
Snow opened her eyes and found herself in the familiar haze of the dreamscape as she had all these years. Twenty-eight years to be exact. Today...it was today. Their baby girl's twenty-eighth birthday.
"Charming?" she called, as she got out of bed, clad in the familiar flowing white gown she was always wearing in this place.
He turned at hearing her voice, as he gazed out over the balcony into the vast mist that seemed to be the permanent state in this place. She hurried to him and his smile was wide at the sight of her, as he lifted her up, spun her around, before kissing her passionately.
It was like this every night. Snow came to him in their dreams, while Charming never left the dreamscape. The mirror had revealed to them long ago that he seemed to be in some sort of sleeping curse by the looks of what the mirror had shown them. They didn't understand all the strange machines around him, but just knew that he never woke up. And since Snow's counterpart didn't know who he was, they didn't know when he would wake up.
But he was alive, which gave Snow comfort, for he had been nearly dead after getting Emma into the wardrobe. Ironically, the curse had saved him. She wondered if Regina realized that irony. She could have stopped the curse right there and had everything she wanted. Emma had been sent away, lost to her and Charming would have died. Snow would have been destroyed. Fate it seemed had a sense of humor, after all.
"Today is Emma's birthday," Snow said. He nodded.
"I know...she'll come for us," he assured.
"You think so?" she asked uncertainly. It had been so long. Did she dare hope?
"The Dark One said twenty-eight years. It's finally time. Have faith," he implored. She smiled and kissed him again.
"Do you think she'll be here soon?" Snow asked. He smirked.
"I hope so...but knowing Emma she's probably up late on some case again," he replied, with a proud smile. She smiled too and welcomed his kiss again. It was likely they wouldn't see Emma for a few hours yet, which left them with time for each other. Her heart fluttered, as he swept her into his arms and carried her toward the bed…
Emma's yellow bug rolled over the town line and soon onto Main street. She looked around, a bit unimpressed.
"So...this is it?" she asked.
"Were you expecting something else?" Henry asked.
"I don't know...just seems kind of small. Isn't this the Queen's happy ending or some crap like that?" Emma responded. Henry chuckled.
"Well...she is Mayor and controls the town. And Storybrooke is bigger than it looks," Henry commented. Emma sighed.
"It would have to be. Didn't she like cram several kingdoms into this curse?" Emma asked. He looked at her in awe.
"What?" she asked.
"It's just...still tough to believe that you even believe me. But you know more about the curse than I do!" he exclaimed. She smiled gently.
"Well...guess that's what happens when you're tied to your parents in a mystical dreamscape every night. We've had twenty-eight years to talk," she said sadly.
"I've been alone all my life...yet I've heard their voices every night. I've seen them, I've hugged them, I've cried with them, I've even yelled and screamed at them in my worst teenage years," Emma said, with a sigh.
"They've told me everything. All the different Kingdoms. My Dad's past, why your Mom hates my Mom, all of it," Emma added.
"And you remember all your dreams?" Henry asked curiously.
"Somehow...though if I had to guess, my Mom probably doesn't remember any of it," Emma replied.
"Cause of the curse. You're not cursed and you're the product of true love," Henry reasoned.
"Guess so. But remember, we have to play this right, kid. We have to make people think I'm just humoring you. Only we can know the truth," she reminded. He nodded.
"I'm a pretty good actor," he assured and she grinned.
"Okay then, where's your house?" she asked.
"108 Mifflin Street. Take a right up here," Henry directed, as he guided Emma to the Mayor's mansion. She parked on the curb and looked out the passenger window.
"Whoa...nice digs, kid. Guess she gave herself this world's version of a castle," Emma said, a touch of bitter in her voice.
"Yeah...big and empty, just like her heart," Henry said sadly. She reached over and squeezed his hand.
"It's gonna be okay. We'll break the curse. I'm getting my parents back and I can't wait to tell them they have a grandkid. Yeah, that won't be weird or anything," she snorted. He grinned.
"You mean cause they're the same age as you? Nah, not weird at all," he joked, as a woman came rushing out of the house, dressed in a smart pantsuit. Emma went rigid. This was her. The Queen. The woman that had stolen everything from her...from her parents. She tried to calm her raging emotions and put on her mask of indifference, as she got out of the car.
"Henry!" Regina cried.
"I'm fine...my real Mom brought me home," Henry said. Emma almost winced. The kid was laying it on thick, but she couldn't blame him. This woman didn't garner the title of the Evil Queen without earning it.
"You're his birth mother?" Regina asked accusingly, staring at Emma. The blonde shrugged and gave a casual wave.
"That's me," she said awkwardly.
"Then if you gave him up, then you know it was a closed adoption," Regina hissed.
"I found her. She had nothing to do with it," Henry chimed in. Regina pointed to the house.
"Inside now," she snapped.
"You brought him home?" an accented voice asked. Emma turned toward the new voice and she was instantly trying to place him. He was really good looking, that was for sure and the badge clearly revealed that, at least in this life, he was this town's law enforcement.
"Emma Swan," she introduced herself.
"Graham Humbert...Sheriff," he replied, shaking her hand. Emma contemplated that name for a moment. Humbert...that was the name of the Huntsman in Disney's bastardization of her parent's story. This was him...the Huntsman. The man that had spared her mother and helped her father escape the Queen so he could wake her mother.
"No need for pleasantries. Now that Ms. Swan has brought my son back, I'm sure she'll be on her way back to wherever it is she came from," Regina interjected. Emma shrugged.
"It's kind of late to drive back tonight. This town have a motel or something?" she asked. Graham smiled.
"Granny's, it's on the main drag. She runs a diner and an inn. I'm sure she has a room," he replied. Emma nodded her head. She really wanted to ask about a certain schoolteacher, but knew it would seem odd. Besides, it was late and she knew her mother would be probably getting ready for bed soon. Teachers got up early, after all.
She glanced back at the house and saw her son from his bedroom window. She gave him a wink and got back into the bug, before driving off to find Granny's.
Henry watched her go and then heard something he had never heard before in his short ten years. The clock in the town square chimed and the minute hand moved. He smiled.
It had finally begun...