Weaver understood something was wrong with Rogers the day he saw him again, after this one passed the evening with both Henry and Nick, and when Weaver himself had his “talk” with Facilier.
“Tell me partner, he asked him, what's wrong ?
- Nothing, Rogers answered, it's just… Nick, he really had a strange attitude yesterday, but, maybe that it's nothing important.”
Gold needed some seconds to remember who he was talking about. Oh, yes, Jack, who was Henry's friend, back there in the New Enchanted Forest.
“Oh, I see, yes, Lucy's father.”
Rumplestiltskin really hated to be forced to play this masquerade, but he didn't have any other choice, as Hook still didn't remember.
Rogers nodded, absently.
“And I don't know why, but there was something strange yesterday. I don't know if it means anything, but… it's an intuition, that something is wrong. Then he had a smile. But I am sure it's nothing, he added.”
It wasn't what Gold was thinking, in fact, when he heard his colleague's words, he felt a shiver crossing through his spine, realizing that maybe Rogers wasn't wrong.
Since the beginning of the case of the candy killer, everyone was a little tensed, and so was he.
But he hadn't really been concentrate on this, between the curse, Henry who could die at any moment if the curse was broken, Tilly and Rogers who still didn't remember each other, and Facilier's presence.
And now, right now, he was feeling like something was finally going to be found.
He came back in his own room in the post office, trying to think about who Jack really was, and who he could be.
The Dark One remembered his grand-son, in the New Enchanted Forest, asking him not to make researches about his friend, telli n g him he trusted the other man.
So, yes, the sorcerer had nothing about him, he knew nothing about him.
But he had a way to learn some information, something he didn't think about before.
The book of fairy tales, the one Rapunzel Tremaine used to make Lucy loose her faith, and that Rumplestiltskin took with him after he realized what happened.
This book told the story of the inhabitants of the New Enchanted Forest, and not only Rapunzel's, but also Jack's, he was almost sure of this.
He opened it, and searched for something interesting, something which would tell him that Jack did have a link with witches.
S ome minutes after, he saw a picture of the young man, next to a young blond woman, they were talking and laughing on the image, and, as he looked at the text, Gold froze.
Because the name employed wasn't Jack.
It was Hansel.
And the woman was Gretel, who, as he heard it, died some years ago, killed by…
His eyes opened wide.
She had been killed by the coven , by one of them, Drizella, more specifically.
It couldn't be a coincidence, he knew it now, and it explained so many things.
Nick was Jack, but he was Hansel too.
And he was the murderer.
And the worst of it, was that Gold couldn't even blame him, regarding to who he killed, that is to say two terrible witches.
B ut he had to stop him.
Because he tried to accuse Tilly of these murders, an innocent woman who had already been too much hurt by life, even if you didn't take into account the fact that she was Alice.
Drizella was gone now, coming back in the Enchanted Forest, with Anastasia, and she was safe, but it wasn't the case of the five other witches.
Well, they were themselves safe, but the inhabitants of Hyperion Heights weren't safe, because of their presence.
By the way, Nick wouldn't be able to kill Gothel, as this one still had her magic, and the thing was that he already knew it, Gold was almost sure of this.
Gold had to stop this madness.
Weaver hoped he was wrong, but, when him and Rogers came to examine Nick's car, and found the mask and the candies, all his hopes faded.
Oh, bloody hell, as the pirate would have said.
His eyes closed, and he sighed.
Now, they couldn't come back in the past anymore, and when he saw Rogers' look of terror , he realized that they just couldn't let him be free.
They had to lock up Nick Branson, suspected of murder in two cases, and of attempted murder in another one (even though Ivy wasn't there to report against him).
“How couldn't I see it ? Rogers whispered with horror and guilt. It was just there, and I didn't see it.
- It wasn't your fault, Weaver answered him. No one else saw it before, you couldn't know.
- So he was right, hum ? The policeman said with sarcasm and with a sardonic tone. It was really just under my nose. I guess it's the thing that made me think that something was wrong.”
Weaver had a weak smile.
“You see ? You weren't that wrong, after all.
- You can trust me partner… I would have preferred not to be right.”
“So do I,” he answered, realizing that Henry was going to lose the only real friend he had or could have had.
Nick didn't try to flee, nor to defend himself, as if he knew he was going to get caught not in a long time.
It looked like he was satisfied of himself, and Rumplestiltskin easily understood why, after all, even if he didn't succeed to kill all the witches, he did it with the blind witch.
He revenged himself, and also his sister, in the same moment.
Her murderer was still alive, but at least, the monster who destroyed them in the past was now gone.
As Rogers was going to enter into the room where Nick was, Weaver stopped him.
“Where are you going ?”
The other policeman blinked.
“Well… doing my job, of course.
- You can't go there. It has to be me.
- Why ? You think I am not good enough for that. I proved myself being good at it with Eloise Gardener, right ?
- Yes, but… I don't think it would be a good thing, that it would be you, the one who will go there.
- Why not ? You think it will be like with Eloise Gardener, that he will just accept to talk to you, as she just accepted to talk to me ?
- No, but… Nick is your friend. Or, at least, he added, as the policeman was ready to protest, he is someone you know, and that you appreciate. I don't know him myself.
- And then what ?
- Look what happened with Eloise Gardener. She succeeded to hit just right there where it hurt the most, because she knew you. Or at least, she understood you. I don't think you will succeed to stay impartial with Nick.
- What ? You think I won't be professional enough ? That I will be too friendly toward him ?”
I think the contrary, Weaver thought, I think you will be too harsh toward him, because you don't know all the story. I do.
“And I have another request. I don't want us to be listened, while I talk with him.
- Excuse me ?
- You understood me. I want you to switch off the sound of the camera, for at least twenty minutes, maybe more, until I leave the room.
- Why ?
- I have to talk with him, for a time.
- And you think I can't be enough impartial ?
- Rogers, he asked him, don't try to understand why I want this, please, just do it.”
The detective had a deep sight, and nodded.
“What do you want to ask him ? If he is the murderer or not ? I am almost sure he is.
- No, I don't want to know it, as we already know the answer . I will ask him the reason why.
- And you don't want to be listened, because…
- Because the answer might be too strange, he answered, before going to see Nick.”
He sat down in front of the young man, who was smirking.
“So, I guess right now, it's over, detective, he said, ironic.
- No one is listening to us Jack, so now, stop playing, and tell me why on hell you decided to kill all these witches. Or, maybe I must call you Hansel ? He asked.”
The young man, gave him an astonished look, surprised by the policeman's words, before regaining his composure, smiling again.
“So, I have been doubly caught, indeed. As the murderer, and as Hansel, it's right. It's me. How did you find who I was ?
- Hadn't Henry asked me not to know who you really are, Jack, I would have made researches some years ago. And I would have realized you were the murderer just after doctor Sage's death. Well, just after realizing who she really was.
- Yes, Hansel said with despise. A member of the coven. A witch, an evil one.
- And a good doctor. That you killed.
- Who she is in Hyperion Heights, well, who she was, never mattered. She was cursed, she wasn't herself, she never was a good woman.
- How can you be sure of this ? For the blind witch, Drizella, or even Gothel, I can agree. Well, for Drizella, it's more complicated, but… yeah, you're right about the two other. But doctor Sage ? You don't know her, just as me. In fact, before I saw the coven's symbol, I had no idea that she was a witch in reality. Maybe that it was as your sister, that she wanted to be the member of a group of witches, and maybe that she cared about sisterhood.”
“I don't think so. And then what ? She helped cursing everyone. You really think she was a good witch, as Alice or Regina ? She is not, and you know it, as I do.”
The Dark One sighed.
“Yes, maybe. Why did you want to kill them ?
- My sister wanted to join them. We talked about it, and I was against her project, but she didn't listen to me. I found her dead, detective. My grand sister, the one who saved me from both the witch and the flames, had been killed.
- You didn't know who it was. Why did you want to punish all of them ?
- Because they are evil ! They all are monsters, the eight of them ! Jack's eyes were now full of sadness and tears, as he thought about this terrible moment of his past. They killed her ! They killed my grand sister, and I wanted to make them pay for what they did. I did what I had to do.”
Gold looked at the broken man, seeing not only his distress, but also his determination. He was hurt, it's true, but he was dangerous too.
“When did you plan this exactly ? The murders, your revenge.”
Nick had a smile.
“Before the curse was cast. When I realized who they were, and that there would be no magic here, and that they would be powerless. Yes, the irony is that the curse is my best ally here, as it helped me to get my revenge.”
Rumplestiltskin started, surprised, for one reason. Because, yes, Jack was now just looking like Hook (the original one), using the same method, as this one planned at a time to kill him during the curse (the first one), while he would have no memories and no powers.
“Wait… did you read Henry's book ? He asked him.
- Yes, of course. He is my friend, and I was interested by it. It was before I remembered.
- Tell me… How did you remember ?
- It was during Lucy's coma… Doctor Sage came to see us, and we talked with her, as she was asking us something. Jack had a smile with no joy. Things were still okay at that time, and I didn't know who I was. And then, he whispered with difficulty, then, I saw her arm… And there was the sign, just there, in front of me. The symbol of the coven… It helped me remember, it was the last thing I saw before the curse took us.
- And you began the murders.
- Yes I did ! It was the only way to revenge my sister, and to protect us too. Imagine, if the witches woke up, other than Gothel or Drizella ! It would be terrible.
- So, it wasn't just for yourself ?
- It was too.
- Jack… do you want the curse to be broken ?
- Why not ?
- First, because I don't want Henry to die. And also because the witches would wake up too, and would have their magic back. And we would all be lost.
- I have another question. Why did you try to accuse Tilly of the murders ?”
“She was there, so I did what I could so I wouldn't be suspected. I knew that it was Alice, and that, as Rogers is her father, even if he doesn't know it, he would fight to prove she was innocent.
- She could have gone into prison, you know ? I don't think your sister would have approved.
- You think that I don't care ? Exploded the young man with anger. You think I don't care about Alice or Hook. Or, to talk about other, about Jacinda, Henry and Ella ? Of course I do. But there is nothing I can do to break the curse, or Henry will die. The only thing I could do, was to destroy the coven and the witches, so we wouldn't be too weak.
- You're sure you're sincere ?”
Nick had a sad laugh, and looked at Gold with irony.
“I am. I want Henry, Ella and Lucy to be reunited, just as much as you want. I want the curse to be broken, I want Hook to be reunited with his daughter. I want the happy endings to come back, and this masquerade to end. But I want my sister to be revenged too.
- Drizella killed Gretel, affirmed Gold. He put the book he took with him on the table. He opened it at the page where it was told. But it was an accident, your sister tried to kill her, it was just self-defense. Gretel wanted to enter too much in this coven, and to get her revenge. It lost her.”
Jack looked at it, and read it carefully.
“So, I almost killed my sister's murderer. It was like a burden put on him just disappeared. But it doesn't change the fact that the coven is dangerous, and must be stopped.
- What about trying to stop them in a legal way ? Your curse persona is a lawyer, after all, you could have done it, you know how the justice works there.”
Jack had another ironic laugh.
“Yes, indeed… That's the reason why I didn't do it. Just be serious some seconds detective. We have nothing against them. Even Gothel, the worst of them, we can't arrest her, because we have no evidence of anything of the things she did. You see, when I heard the story of Eloise Gardener, and what Victoria Belfrey did, I was happy she was free now. But, knowing what I know, I know perfectly that she should have stayed locked up forever.”
Gold nodded, and sighed a new time.
“I guess you won't let me go…
- No, of course no.
- And when the curse will be over detective ? Because we both know it will end someday.”
The other man shrugged.
“We will see.”
And he left.
“So, tell me, what happened there ? Rogers asked him. You and him talked for a long time, what did he tell you ?
- He won't deny what he did.
- Why did he do it ?
- The sect, the… coven… As they are the responsible of the death of Tilly's father, it happened too with his sister. She died some years ago, and, when he met doctor Sage and understood that she was a member of it, he… lost control, I guess.”
Rogers looked at him, seeming more ready to trust him than before.
“He was still really methodical, wasn't he ?
- I really don't want to imagine how Jacinda and Lucy are going to take it, when they will know. Or Henry.
- I don't want it too.”
And Gold thought about what Jack (or Nick, or Hansel. Or maybe he really was the three of them) told him, just before.
I did what I had to do .
And a part of him was thinking that he wasn't totally wrong.
He just wished Jack had been able to make Gothel disappear, their main enemy would be gone right now, and they would have less difficulties to succeed to stop this crazy situation.
But at least, now, two of the eight witches were now gone, and, even though he didn't approve this, well, he still was the Dark One, he did worst, and he could just understand Jack's will of revenge.
He felt it too, after all, just as Rogers himself, even if he didn't remember it.
“You see, Weaver told to his colleague, the most surprising thing in this, is that… he really seems to be sure that what he is doing is the right thing to do.
- Killing women ? Well, I totally don't approve.
- I mean, getting revenge, and killing people, women here, who are seen by him as being monsters, and I… I think I kind of understand him.
- You do ? Asked Rogers, raising an eyebrow, surprise. ”
And Gold thought about Tamara, who he killed for w hat she did to his son, Tamara who finally appeared to be innocent in the end, more than himself , and who had just been manipulated.
“Yes, I do.”
Rogers looked at the man in the room, who was going to be brought in a cellar, and he shivered, thinking that he just talked and laughed with this man the other night, not knowing he was a murderer.
“Well, partner, you can trust me, I don't.”
Gold just had a smile, all he could think about it was, regarding to who the pirate used to, oh, the irony .