Chapter 1: Still A Monster
The smoke began to clear up as everything appeared to have still been the same from only a few moments prior. It became clear to Belle something was not right as her appearance as she looked a little younger than she had expected to, she knew that time has sped back up but she looked no older than twenty-three. She then saw Rumpelstiltskin again looking as though the world around him was about to collapse as she remembering what had happened.
Magic was brought back. Because Magic is Power
He grabbed her hand fearing she would disappear any second, "My darling Belle, you have to tell me what happened to you". Still in shock but trying to remember he no longer needed to be a coward for Belle's sake.
Belle began to tell him about how Regina had abducted her shortly after she left the Dark Castle, never understood why she was really kidnapped by her as Regina never expected or demanded anything expect would spend some days in her cells staring at her for hours as though she was waiting for something to happen. She then told him after the curse was cast, her banishment was to be in the asylum until today when Jefferson freed her. The mere mention of the asylum started causing her to break down trying to block some of the memories away. She could see Rumpelstiltskin was now distraught as he embraced her letting her cry
"Shh shh..It's okay. She can't hurt you anymore sweetheart, you're safe." There was nothing he could say to comfort her as he continued to let her cry wanting to do everything possible to make her forget everything horrible memory she had ever endured in her life. "For twenty-eight years? All these years, you've been here? Alive?" It became clear to him part of the reason of Belle's suffering was because he taught Regina everything he knew in order to have the curse enacted.
Belle suspected he was up to something as she tried to look into his eyes trying to find the truth "Is that why you brought it here? Why you wanted magic? For Revenge?"
"No but it might come in handy"
"I cannot let this stand Belle, I WILL NOT LET THIS STAND!" All he could see was body of Regina being mangled by magic and weapons surrounded by a pool of blood. Regina did not deserve any consideration hoping that Emma and the rest of the town have punished her in the way she ultimately deserved. Although it did not help realizing he was no better than Regina.
"When I was locked up, all I wanted was nothing more than to hear your voice again. For nearly two years, I would mark a day always hoping that I would one day see you again to tell you that I love you and wishing your happiness. Promise me you won't give in to your hate, I know you're better than this." Every bone in Belle's body wanted her to allow Rumpelstiltskin to use whatever means necessary to kill Regina. She knew the Evil Queen had more bodies to her name that will never be known, she witnessed the pain one of the guards had day by day as he kept her company after he told her in strict confidence Regina owned his heart after he spared Snow White from her death, she had hoped in the cursed world he was spared but is now not so sure. Even though Regina had to die, Belle knew at the end of the day it was not up to them.
She could see the pain Rumpelstiltskin had wondering what to do, embracing her tightly as they kissed for the first time since that night in the dark castle. Despite bringing back magic, Rumpelstiltskin had not felt anything different when was kissing Belle. He felt the love and passion this woman had for him, still as strong as when they shared their first kiss but he still felt the powers of the dark one coursing through his blood. He had nearly forgotten about this power as now bringing magic meant there might be other forces to appear in the near future who could be even worse than Regina meaning Belle must be protected and when he finds Baelfire, he will make sure they are both forever safe.
Each pulled away from each other as Belle snuggled closer to Rumpelstiltskin embracing his warmth. "It's best we go back to the shop, you've been wearing these rags far too long" Belle complied and they walked off together lost in their thoughts.
Emma and Henry ran out of the hospital into the town square as they saw a hoard of people confused or hugging loved ones. It was still difficult to process for Emma to realize that Henry was telling the truth after spending the night fighting a dragon at the library basement then feeling the change in the air after kissing what she believed to be Henry's cold lips.
"Emma?" Two voices familiar voices she heard behind her turning around she saw Mary Margaret and David together in disbelief as they all ran up to each other hugging each other so tightly. "I can't believe this is real, my parents really are Snow White and Prince Charming" they looked at Emma with the acceptance she always dreamt seeing her parents would have at the sight of her being welcomed into the home of her dreams.
David starts to smile as he sees Emma "You broke the curse and bought us all together yet the biggest shock to you is the reputation of our parents?" Laughing at his joke to break the tension as it finally sunk into Snow. "Emma it's alright, we can finally be a family now" Wanting to hug Emma again when stepped back.
"Don't you find this strange, the last time you guys saw me I was a baby and we are practically the same age. I grew up thinking you guys were a bunch of fairytales; you wore a red bow on your hair always smiling in your high pitched voice singing to cute furry animals." Snow started to blush at that last comment that nearly got Emma to pass out "Wait you seriously sing to cute furry animals? I'm sorry I am happy to see you all but you've got to give me some time to process this and maybe a large bottle of wine."
"Sorry sister, I hate to break this reunion but what was that purple smoke that came from the forest?" said Grumpy as he, his brothers, Ruby and Granny arrived trying to catch their breath
"And why are we still here, I thought the curse being broken meant we are going home?" Everyone around them started to become nervous as they were ganging up on the Charmings demanding answers as they started to become overwhelmed. Emma now had to take control of the situation.
"Wait a minute everyone, not sure why everyone is still here but the only ones who seem to know what is going on are Gold and Regina since he because he lied to me about getting an item from the library dungeon that would have saved Henry's life."
At this moment Emma wished she had her father's sword again as she was not in a blood thirsty mood to go after Gold since the entire town wanted a piece of Regina. They all decided to head off to Regina's mansion for answers as they saw Archie running towards them disheveled.
"You have to help Regina; the rest of the town is at her house ready to kill her"
"Good can we join in?" said Grumpy as they all ran as fast as they could to find Whale backing Regina into a corner of her porch behind him most of the town carrying whatever weapon they could find screaming at her either "murderer" or "evil witch". Believing magic being brought meant her powers had returned, Regina tried to defend herself by using a blocking spell which proved to be futile as her powers had not returned making her now an easy target to a mob who wanted to see her dead. Just as Whale was about to let the mob have her, the Charmings, Emma and Henry intervened on her behalf with Charming blocking Whale and Emma getting Regina out of the mob's way for Snow to calm them down.
"I know you all want to see Regina punished but everything she has done does not justify killing her. We live in a new world where the laws here are different, she will get a trial and we will punish her correctly."
The mob was not too pleased with this option as they all continued to demand for Regina's head. One even went so far as to make a doll of Regina and graphically decapitate it in front of Henry causing Emma to take Henry back to Regina allowing her to punch the mob member in the jaw. Whale started to struggle off of David as he freed himself David pushed him off to the ground partially because of his stubbornness and also because he could never stand the way he saw how Whale looked Snow.
Whale got himself up seeing Ruby backing David away from them both ready to fix up the fight causing the good doctor to back off "I don't have to follow your orders, you aren't my prince"
This left David perplexed, "Who are you?"
"That is my business" leaving them with that he walked away giving one last look at David indicating this wasn't over as he stared at Ruby once again. Meanwhile Regina was now out of her mind lost grasp of Henry as she finally was able to get a better view over the sight of the mob. "Guys, I know my mother has done some horrible things but please, she doesn't have any powers left to harm anyone and she's still my mom. Please spare her". Henry was about to be in tears causing Regina to nearly cry as she tried to hug Henry when Emma blocked her
"Is this true? You don't have any magic?"
Regina did not want to look at Emma or admit to her the truth only wanted to hold Henry but Henry was backing away as Regina realized she was now unable to have anything she had ever wanted. "Yes magic is back but I don't have my powers. No I don't know how to get us back and besides when I cast the curse, I made sure that there wasn't anything to go back to. If I am miserable in this new world I am taking all of you down with me!" The mob was now about to attack again as Snow White got into an elevated position to speak once again.
"That settles it, Regina you are banished into isolation and strict supervision whenever you are in close contact with anyone. This way we know you can't ever harm anyone and you are still alive for Henry's sake." Regina looked defeated as she saw the smug child once again winning over her destroying her happiness the second time.
"Now let's go to the town hall and figure out what do about this. What's importance right now is for everyone who is still lost to be located at once" The mob agreed as they started to disparate leaving Regina curled up on the front steps of her house with the last image she had of Henry walking with Emma smiling at his new mother.
Henry, please turn around…..look at me. He never does as Regina began to think of a plan not caring of the consequences it would bring.
There had been little time for Belle to have noticed the pawnshop as she remembered most of the items from her days as the caretaker. She noticed the Golden Fleece that was used as a coverlet over a large white ball that she remembered Rumpelstiltskin telling her was some useless orb Jefferson had nearly gotten himself killed over when going to Oz. While there was a back room that had a small kitchenette and a cot, she hardly could believe that this was where they lived where Rumpelstiltskin assured her he had a large house not too far but he needed to find her something to wear first and to collect some items before they went home. Emphasizing on the fact that it was their place to live rather than his own that let her notice she will be able to stay in his life this time.
Belle saw the dress that was laid out of her on the cot; rather different than the ones she noticed in the back, it was a clean stylish grey dress that went towards her knees with heels she swear would be nearly impossible to wear but she was always fascinated in every type of clothing she would see fit that it would be a great challenge in putting them on. The outfit was simple to put on, one improvement form their old world although after spending nearly three years in work clothes and trousers she nearly forgot about strain of petticoats and laced corsets. Belle stared into the mirror seeing almost a different person; the heels while a little hard to walk on made her look perhaps about Rumpelstiltskin's height maybe shorter by a few inches but she didn't have to feel small whenever was in another person's company. Her hair was still a bit greasy but some brushing gave it a bit of gloss and the cosmetics while it was odd at first, made her face look like she was still back in Avonlea although it wasn't too much as she only needed lipstick and some blush to compliment her features. Lost in her thoughts she forgot about how high the heels were and slipped luckily landing on her knees that didn't cause too much injuries as she thought it would.
Will have to get the handle of these…
She then heard the bell of the shop open thinking they have a visitor as she could still see Rumple from behind the curtain and noticed he stopped working on whatever he was doing drawing to the attention of a woman whose features while a little different in this world were not to be mistaken for the evil queen. Despite knowing she was safe, Belle could not help but still worry in the presence of the queen so she hid away from the curtain knowing she was going to be eavesdropping but not wanting to be seen by either one of them.
"It appears your little stunt with the magic worked as now I am completely powerless. Tell me, how long do you plan on laying low until Emma and her insipid parents arrive to have you murdered?"
Rumpelstiltskin could not but have an internal laugh at how Regina tried but failed to be threatening. Even with the curse lifted she still came to him always the nervous wreck with plans that were not always well thought out. "Since it's been nearly an entire day after the curse has been lifted, highly doubt I am on top of the royal family's hit list. Rather surprised you are walking about though; Figured I would needed order some flowers for the future funeral."
"The town decided to have a change of heart but now Emma took Henry" Giving his best poker face Rumpelstiltskin pitied Regina a bit because he had personally given Henry to Regina when he was still a newborn so he had watched her raise him it became very clear over the years their relationship had become so strained to the point where he understood why Henry had went to seek Emma. "I need to get Henry back and you have my mother's spell-book. If you don't do as I say, I am sure that Emma would love to get her hands on you"
That did it; Rumpelstiltskin now had Regina's attention leaving the counter then getting closer towards her with a look on his face ready to incite murder on her. "In the 15 years that we have known each other, when I have ever answered a request from you that completely benefitted you? And one that would be as stupid as you are asking me; also you have nothing that I want so I suggest be your way dearie and don't let the door hit you on the way out."
Regina than began to think about her leverage at the asylum basement. "What if I told you I have a mutual friend of ours at my disposal who has been dying to see you" she saw his face change a little although it was so fast he may have not changed anything. Regina now got what she wanted as her smile dimmed when seeing Rumpelstiltskin laugh at her, not as the imp she knew back in the Enchanted Forest but a cynical taunt that disturbed her.
"A little bit of advice the art of deal making, make sure that the other person who you decide to double cross is not as competent as you or he ends up breaking into your asylum because he no longer has anything left to lose" A wave of his hand brought Regina's heart into Rumpelstiltskin's hands about to crush it seeing Regina for the first time in her life so helpless as he finally got her where he wanted her but his vision of Regina grabbing her chest at his shop became replaced with Belle in Regina's clothes looking into his eyes begging for an answer. He closed his eyes giving Regina back her heart as she collapsed into shock throwing an old book at her that he formed a second earlier.
"The fact you kept Belle alive to a fate worse than death would give me so many delicious way in ending your life but as it happens, I have don't have the time or the consideration to care about your fate since you already doing it to yourself. I will give you the spell book on the condition that you never contact me again; your drama in being loved is no longer my problem"
Rumpelstiltskin then opened the door letting Regina leave off seeing her walk off knowing that Belle had just come out from the backroom.
"You never agreed to your promise, so why did you spare her?"
Now Belle was becoming nervous around her true love although she can still see that he was still the man she knew from before there was some element that he was still not the same man
"I have more important things to worry about than Regina causing trouble as she knows I am much more powerful than her. It would be best for you to leave Belle, because in spite of what you may think I am still a monster"
"Don't you see this is why I have to stay" She walked around the shop noticing in the nearby counter an old friend she thought would never be seen again. "You still have it, my chipped up" she was so happy to see the cup that gave Rumpelstiltskin a smile at the sight of his adorable companion trying to hold back her tears
He took the cup from her placing it on the stool carefully as it were a rare object "There are many many things in this shop, and this is the only thing that I truly cherish." Belle hugged him tightly then Rumpelstiltskin embraced her happy at his luck and hoping to make this work. She then gave him a kiss on the cheek and held his hand.
"I promise you that we will help out each other. I know you were always a good man and one day you will realize that you no longer need magic." How Belle was so optimistic despite everything that had happened her still amazed Rumpelstiltskin but he wasn't sure how to explain Baelfire to her but he somehow suspected he would one day be in the position where one day he would no longer need to be called the Dark One.
"YOU SLEPT WITH WHALE!"
"We were curse!" Was the only thing Mary Margaret could say to David after revealing about some of her activities during the curse causing Emma to now being resorted to covering Henry's ears as she thought her clean cut mother would now use colorful language after her first glass of wine.
David immediately cut himself off as fast as possible, "Which is what you thought was not okay to state when you confronted me about Kathryn buying pregnancy tests"
"Because you told me that nothing was going on between you two"
"Nothing happened because I never felt anything for her. I couldn't even do it even though it pained me to see her miserable; did you love him?" Before Mary Margaret could answer, Emma got came up to them showing her text message. "Love to break my first parental fight because Regina wants to see Henry at her office. I know she doesn't have her magic but I still don't trust her, anyone want to come?"
Both Mary Margaret and David were not in speaking terms to each other as they went to different sides of the apartment leaving Henry a bit confused and Emma already annoyed. Okay since you two want to be children; David how about I take Mary Margaret with me and you take Henry and we will all text each other when the coast is clear. None of them saw this as a problem and each went to get their coats and went on the separate cars.
The driving helped Emma relax but she can see at every glance Mary Margaret was still fidgeting. "Do you want to talk about it?" even though it felt weird that this woman she was living with for nearly two years was her mother, Emma still considered Mary Margaret the closest thing she had to a best friend
"I just can't believe he would think this about me. After all that we have been though before and during the curse David honestly thinks I would just fall for some guy who makes it so obvious that he would check out girls while on a date?"
"He does have a point; it's been 28 years what if feelings change? I know you love him, but you guys didn't exactly have a rosy relationship. Didn't you say you weren't even speaking to him after you got of jail?"
"That was Mary Margaret and David; we on the other hand have a true love. It's something we both fought so hard for that it brought you into existence. This isn't something that after a period of time wanes due to circumstances. He should have known right away, still I believe we will work it out. Now that you are here, along with Henry we can still be a family again although with the four of us living together you might want to learn to do your own laundry just in case."
Emma poked Mary Margaret lightly on the shoulder "you are the one who always volunteers, fine will have to remind you then to cool it on the orange juice." Both smiled at each other easing the tension of the day as Emma parked the car. They got off as Emma saw David not that far in his truck, texting them that he will take Henry there when she gives him the signal. They walked into the building noticing it was dark annoying Emma that she forgot to get the flashlight from her car.
"Regina are you there?" Damn, the fuse must have gone out. "Mary Margaret are you okay?"
"I'm fine do you know your way around?"
At this point Emma became worried, "Whatever issues you and David are working on, can you please deal with them later? I need you to get David because I am not sure what Regina is up to. Please please I will make it up to you later"
Mary Margaret could not deny Emma's pleas going back outside allowing Emma to the ability to speed up in running towards Regina's office door. She got her gun ready to knock "Regina, It's Emma I have Henry with me. Are you there?"
There was no answer but she saw a faint purple light coming from the door
"Okay I am coming in" In no time to think, Emma pounded the door with her foot surprisingly getting it open walking in to the sight of Regina staring at her putting a medallion into what looks to be Jefferson's hat.
"Regina what are you doing?"
She started to laugh throwing her hands around getting some paintings on the ground, "Now I can have Henry back and will make sure you will never take away my happiness again" A black substance came out of that coming towards Emma she tried to ran screaming for her parents as Mary Margaret and David arrived seeing Emma pleading to her for help crying as the black substance grabbed her.
"No I'm not going to lose her again." Screamed Mary Margaret running towards Emma as they both clinging onto each other being sucked into the hat with all the magic around them now being gone and the room was not completely normal.
NO! Mary Margaret! Emma! David ran towards the hat frantic trying to get into it hoping the girls would come out any second. He then saw Regina with her smug look thinking to herself a job well done when he grabbed ahold of her "Bring them back! Get them back right now!"
"Even if I could, I don't want to. Maybe you should have killed me when you had the chance" David was about to lunge at her until Regina levitated him onto the wall surrounded by vines with one nearing his throat
"You may think you are Prince Charming, but you are nothing more than a common shepherd". David closed his eyes ready for the vine for the lunge at him until he felt nothing was happening
"Mom what you are doing? Where's Emma and Mary Margaret?" Henry was stunned at what he was seeing noticing a hat in the ground and his grandfather being covered up by his mother while his other mother and grandmother currently missing
"But Henry, they weren't going to ever let me see you. I love you, we can be together now." She went to Henry going to him wanting his approval and love going towards him for a hug then Henry flinched back. "No this isn't what I wanted; you promised you wouldn't hurt anyone. You really are the evil queen, if you ever really loved me please release David."
She was now becoming a mess not wanting to disappoint Henry did as he asked as David went up to Henry hugging him. "I never want to see you again mother" David and Henry walked away leaving Regina now truly defeated as collapse on the floor sobbing.
Emma began to come to without suffering any injuries other than a few cuts here and there. She saw Mary Margaret still next to her luckily appeared to be fine as she was still breathing. She began looking at her surroundings seeing as though they have gone back in time. The room was destroyed from time and battle with nothing around it to keep it safe from the elements as vines started to cover the remaining walls in place. The only left of some substance was a large tomb in the middle of the room that had some old lace blankets around its steps.
Great Regina sent us to New Zealand; I wonder if I can ask Gandalf to let us borrow the eagle gods?
She then felt a cold metal up against her cheek as she slowly turned around to find two women standing above her. One who looked as she belong from a set of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragonand the other appeared to be a noblewoman from medieval tapestry. The warrior woman had a look to her as though she would kill without any hesitation not that Emma wanted to be around to find out but she was more worried about Mary Margaret as she was still not up yet. She decided to accept defeat and raise her hands for surrender when the medieval woman grabbed her quickly putting a knife to her throat shocking her companion.
"Where's my Philip? Answer me or I will cut your throat immediately?"
Mary Margaret please wake up…..