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I'll Cross The Universe For You

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The Enchanted Forest

“You know she’s going to kill you, correct?”

“What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, and I’m not doing anything reckless.”

“Liana, you’re climbing a tree seven months pregnant.”

“How else am I going to get to the apple, Charles?”

“Aren’t you a witch?”

Liana waved him off and hauled herself onto the next branch. The apple was in reach, and Liana huffed tiredly. Charles, still in his uniform, stared up at her in exasperated amusement. Liana snagged the apple down and smiled, waving it in the air.

“See? Nothing- uh oh.”

“Uh oh? Why the uh oh?” Charles asked, looking around with his hand on his sword.

“My water just broke.”

“What!”

“Oh, calm down and summon the Queen.”

“Are you out of your mind?” Charles exclaimed. “We have to get you to the healer!”

“Do you want to tell the mother of my child, who just so happens to be the Queen, you called her after the fact?” Liana pointed out.

“But- you- I- fine!” Charles held out his hand, and a bird landed on his arm. He sighed at it and asked, “Will you please tell the Queen that her stubborn best friend is in labor?”

The bird nodded once and flew off toward the Dark Castle. Charles turned to find Liana on the ground, a hand on her stomach, and he scowled.

“How did you get down?”

“Magic, Charles. Don’t be obtuse.”

Liana winked as she took a bite of her apple, and she started making her way slowly back down the path. Charles hung his head after he followed her.

“I wish I had never taken this job,” he sighed. “I was content living with my daughter as a farmer. Then I had to go and-

“Save the Queen and her best friend from idiotic robbers attempting to rob their carriage,” Liana finished. “And then you fell in love with us both and worked your way up to becoming the Queen’s bodyguard as well as my favorite man on this planet. Not to mention your beautiful baby girl will be a wonderful sister to the- Liana paused and winced, “impatient child currently pushing her way out of my-

“Do not finish that sentence, Liana Mills.”

“Oh, Charles,” Liana sighed, reaching out to grab his arm. “You are going to be a great father.”

“I don’t recall volunteering for the job.”

“The moment you saved our lives, you became our shared boyfriend and husband. You know this.”

“You both prefer the company of women.” Charles glanced down at her stomach and added, “Present situation excluded.”

“I wanted a child, and Lionel was more than willing to provide. Too bad his wife had an issue with it.”

“You were warned he was married.”

“After I slept with him!”

“How did you escape her wrath?”

“Desperation and lots of apologies,” Liana muttered.

Charles grunted and kept pace with Liana, who had begun to grimace with every step. Soon, they both heard the hooves of horses, and Charles placed his hand on the hilt of his sword. The Queen’s carriage appeared around the corner with two-and-a-half guards in front, and Charles snorted when he saw who was half-hidden on the horse behind the main guard.

“Speaking of children, our son has arrived,” Liana teased, “in a uniform twice his size.”

“He’s too young to join the guard officially, but he asked to be on baby duty. He’s eager to be a big brother.”

The carriage stopped next to them, and Emmett adjusted the too-big helmet as he leaned to the side. He smiled toothlessly at Charlie before he fixed his face. The door to the carriage opened, and the Queen frowned as she stepped out. She stared at Liana with frustration.

“I thought you were in the room!”

“Sorry, I wanted an apple.”

“There is a perfectly fine- get in the damn carriage.”

“Yes, your Majesty. Charles, would you mind?”

Charles helped Liana into the carriage with a hidden smile, and Regina smacked Charles on the arm.

“And you should not encourage this behavior!”

“Have you met her?” he asked wryly.

Regina blew out a frustrated breath and pointed into the carriage. Charles bowed at the waist sarcastically before he stepped inside, and Regina ordered the guards to take them back to the castle. Once the door was closed, Liana laid her head on Regina’s shoulder.

“You’re about to be a mother again,” she whispered.

 


Regina held the baby in her arms while Liana slept. The door opened, and a handmaiden stuck her head into the room.

“Your family is here,” she whispered.

Regina nodded, and the three people she wanted to see most filed into the room. Charles had a tight grip on Isabella, and Emmett stared widely at the bundle in Regina’s arms. Isabella crawled on the bed automatically, kissing Liana on the forehead as she moved, and Charles sighed and shook his head. Regina smiled at the three-year-old and adjusted her grip on the baby.

“You ready to meet your little sister?” she whispered.

Isabella nodded fiercely, and Regina moved the cloth down.

“Meet Lena Kieran Mills.”

Isabella didn’t speak, not that it was surprising, and she stared hard at the baby. Emmett shuffled beside the bed with Charlie, and Regina felt movement to her right. Liana opened her eyes and scrunched her nose in false irritation.

“Who are all these tiny people in my room?” she muttered playfully.

Isabella scrambled to Liana and looked Liana in the eyes, and Liana nodded sweetly. Isabella grunted and crawled off the bed. She held up her arms to Emmett, who snorted and picked her up. Charlie glanced at the baby in Regina’s arms, but before he could speak, another knock came. All six turned to the door, and a guard reluctantly stepped inside.

“We received word the King’s envoy is in town,” he said softly. “They are expected to be here within the hour.”

The mood in the room shifted, and Regina handed Liana the bundle. Charles kissed Isabella on the forehead before he stepped forward and held out his hand to Regina. She took it gratefully and stood from the bed. Emmett moved next to the bed and stared down at the ground. Regina wanted nothing more than to stay with them, but she held her head high as she moved through the room.

“Your Majesty,” Liana called out.

Regina stopped at the door and turned.

“I love you.”

Regina’s face softened, and she winked at Liana before she left the room. Charles was on her heels, and the guards in the hall fell into step. Regina hurried to her chambers, eager to get rid of the bloody dress from the birth, and she changed. After, her small group made their way downstairs, and she took her place at the entrance. The envoy appeared a few minutes later, and before it even stopped, young Snow White jumped out of the carriage.

“I missed you, stepmother!” Snow said excitedly, hugging her around the waist.

Despite the smile on her face, Regina’s happiness was on the other side of the castle. Charles subtly placed a hand on her back as if he knew her thoughts, and considering they’d been friends for nearly six years, he probably did.


“Kieran Mills!”

The five-year-old stopped and turned slowly.

“Hi, Mom.”

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“I wanted a cookie,” she admitted. At Regina’s look, Kieran pouted and added, “Izzy gets one all the time!”

Regina kneeled in front of Kieran, a rare sight if you didn’t know the Queen, and said, “Please try to avoid taking after your sister.”

“Because she’s a nuisance?”

“Yes, exactly.”

Someone scoffed in the background, and Regina winked at Kieran before she glanced over her shoulder. Isabella leaned against the wall with a bored expression on her face. Even at eight, she’d already perfected the look, and Regina felt a burst of pride. She looked so much like Charles that Regina’s heart ached for a bit, but she pushed the thought aside. Charles was gone, killed protecting Snow White, and Regina found an even bigger reason to hate the brat. She should’ve never been out of the castle in the first place.

“Mom?”

Regina blinked and looked down at Kieran.

“Sorry, sweetheart. Come on, let’s get you downstairs.”

Kieran shrugged and held out her hand. Isabella pushed off the wall and joined them as they walked down the hallway. They all knew Snow would look for Regina after her, and Isabella and Kieran would stay in the staff’s quarters until Regina came and got them again. As they got closer to their destination, Regina squeezed Kieran’s hand.

“How about this? I’ll tell the staff to let you have two cookies tonight after dinner?”

“Two?” Kieran repeated, eyes wide. “That’s one more than normal!”

“And this is the genius child that everyone raves about?” Isabella drawled, forcing a look of indifference on her face.

“Be nice,” Regina chuckled.

“Yeah, Izzy. Nice,” Kieran said, sticking out her tongue.

Isabella touched Kieran on the top of her head, and Kieran burst into giggles. Regina smiled at the sound as she led them down the stairs. By the time they reached the entrance to the staff quarters, her guard had that look on his face. Regina pursed her lips and glanced down at her daughters.

“Your Mama should already be inside.” Regina sighed and shook her head. “I love you both,” she said.

“Love you too, Mom,” Kieran said.

Isabella scowled at the ground and grabbed Kieran.

“Come on. Regina has to go play mommy with the princess,” she muttered.

“Bella-

“It’s fine.” Isabella opened the door to the staff quarters. Before she closed the door, she sighed and turned around. “I love you too, Mom,” she murmured.

Regina’s heart broke when the door closed, and her guard touched her shoulder. It was a silent show of support, and then it was gone. Regina cleared her throat and headed up the stairs. Emmett appeared at the top of the balcony and bowed at the waist. The eleven-year-old fell into step with the other guards, and Regina ruffled his hair. He shot her a faux annoyed look, but the amusement in his eyes gave him away.

“I love you,” she mouthed.

Emmett signed it back to her, knowing he couldn’t say it out loud, and she took that for what it was. Often, it felt like Regina and Liana had three children instead of two, but Regina wouldn’t change it for the world.


Nine Years Later

The King was dead, and Regina ruled in his absence with a firm hand. She wasn’t ruthless, but she wasn’t kind, and she didn’t care that a majority of the realm wanted Snow White in her place. It was her throne, and that was the end of it. Unfortunately, Snow White didn’t feel the same. She ran from the castle before her sixteenth birthday, and she gathered quite a following. It was why Regina had such larger-than-normal protection. No matter the threat against her life, Regina felt protected behind the gates, and her daughters had become restless inside. So, she took them out to the gardens and let them run around. And by them, she meant Isabella. Kieran had been content spending her days in the library, but the fourteen-year-old needed sunlight.

And human interaction.

Regina smiled when Kieran tripped Isabella, and her wilder daughter laid out in the grass as if she were exhausted. Emmett would be out there with them, but he was on snacks duty. Regina sighed to herself as she touched the rings around her neck. Her makeshift family had dwindled over the years. Liana grew sick, and despite the healer and Regina’s best efforts, she died in her sleep the day after Kieran’s seventh birthday. For the second time in a matter of a couple of years, she found herself holding a funeral for someone she loved. Charles and Liana were more than her friends. They were her family, her co-parents, and her occasional lovers, which she liked to pretend never happened for all of their sakes. Regardless, they were gone, but when Regina looked at Kieran and Isabella, she saw their personalities shine through.

“Mother, will you please tell your child to stop cheating?”

Regina arched an eyebrow at Kieran and asked dryly, “Which one?”

Isabella snickered and threw grass at Kieran. Regina caught a glimpse of something in the trees, but she had no chance to react before a strong pair of arms wrapped around her and dropped her to the ground. A knee pressed into her back, and several bandits ran through the trees. Regina didn’t have to wonder how they got in as several of her guards pointed their swords and crossbows at Isabella and Kieran. Isabella and Kieran crouched low, orange and red magic curling around their fists, respectively, and Regina panicked. It was supposed to be a secret that both children had magic, but Regina knew that they weren’t good enough to avoid a blade or arrow to the chest.

“No!” she shouted at them.

Isabella was the one who hesitated, but Kieran touched her wrist, and the orange magic faded from around Isabella. Regina felt something stirring in her chest as she watched the bandits separate Isabella and Kieran. A hooded figure walked out from the trees, and Regina scowled. Her stepdaughter pulled a baggie out of her cloak and removed two beans. Regina’s eyes widened, and that stirring in her chest grew to an uncomfortable level.

Snow nodded at the bandits holding Kieran. They released her daughter, but the nearest one swung a makeshift baton at Kieran’s thigh. Kieran cried out and fell to her knees, holding her leg. Snow took out the first bean and looked at Regina.

“Please, don’t do this,” Regina begged. “Please.”

“Did you give my father the same mercy?” Snow asked.

Regina didn’t have a chance to answer before Snow flicked the bean at Kieran’s feet. The closest bandit poured water on it, and everyone watched as a portal opened. Regina’s eyes shifted slightly, and she saw Emmett sneaking through the garden with blood on his shirt. He grimaced as he limped forward. The bandit threw Kieran into the portal, and Emmett lunged.

“Wait!” Snow shouted. “It’s only meant for one!”

The portal closed once Emmett jumped inside, and Emmett and Kieran were gone. Isabella screamed something unintelligible and elbowed the guard who had a grip on her. The guard holding her punched her in the face. Something inside of Regina snapped, and she clenched her fists. Her body began to warm, and she squirmed on the ground. Snow noticed and hurriedly took out the second bean. She did the same thing she did the first time, but some kind of purple energy wave exploded from Regina’s hands, and it threw the guards several feet away. Snow snatched the water from the bandit and threw the entire bottle on the bean in a panic. Regina ran as hard as she could when the portal opened, but one of the guards tackled her to the ground. Isabella met Regina’s eyes, and time seemed to slow down as her daughter reached out to her. Regina did the same, but Snow pushed Isabella backward out of frustration.

Isabella’s eyes turned orange for one long moment, and a fireball shot from her fist just as the portal closed. The fire hit the guard holding Regina, and he screamed as the flames hit his face. Regina remained on the ground, staring at where her daughters disappeared, and she took deep breaths. Regina rose to her feet, and she watched Snow’s retreat with the remaining guards and bandits.

Snow looked over her shoulder, and Regina’s smile was positively cold.


“It’s only meant for one!”

Emmett’s fingers outstretched toward the ones reaching for him, but the portal exploded in light. He was blown one way, and Kieran was blown another.

April 11th, 1935 - Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Emmett crash-landed in the woods, and he had no time to catch his breath before a bear charged at him. He reached for his sword, but there was nothing there. Emmett screamed as the bear tore into his body, and the last conscious thought he had was of Kieran.


June 15th, 2007 – Somewhere in Metropolis

Kieran crashed into the coffee table and hissed as the wood stood firm under the impact. She knew without a doubt her ribs were at the very least cracked, and she groaned in pain.

“How interesting.”

Kieran turned her head slowly, and she paled at the three people sitting across from her. She looked around as subtly as she could, taking in the gaudy and blatantly ostentatious room, and she hid her cringe. After spying on the King and his feasts, she knew what people who had too much money looked like.

“Where on Earth did you come from?” the bald man asked, glancing at the ceiling.

“I- have no idea,” Kieran lied, wincing. “Where am I now?”

“You’re in Metropolis, dear,” the woman said coolly. “What are you wearing?”

“A dress?”

The woman wasn’t impressed by the comment, but the teenage boy snickered and stood up.

“Well, you always wanted a daughter, Mother,” he drawled. “Now you have one quite literally from the sky.”

The woman scowled at Kieran before she asked, “What is your name?”

“Lena.”

“Hm. I’ve heard worse. Come along, dear. I’ll put you in something more befitting a Luthor.”

“What is a Luthor?”

The woman ignored her, and Kieran figured she should play along until she figured out how to get back to her family. She limped her way after the woman, already planning to do whatever she needed to blend in with her new ‘family.’ Behind her, the teenage boy and his father shared a look.

“She came from the sky, father,” the boy muttered. “Magic?”

“I’m not sure. But I expect you to find out.”


July 23rd, 2001 – Forks, Washington

Isabella grunted as she landed hard on her back. She watched helplessly as the portal closed above her and willed herself not to cry. All Isabella saw were clouds and trees. She was alone in some random place without her mother, her sister, and her brother.

And that scared her more than she wanted to admit.

“Uh, hello.”

Isabella twisted around and found a man standing behind her with a weird silver instrument pointed at her head.

“You, uh, you just appeared in my backyard from a swirly looking thing in the sky.”

Isabella blinked at him, and he frowned.

“You alright?” he asked.

Isabella nodded, and he cocked his head.

“What’s your name?”

Isabella looked down and wrote the letters ‘I’ and ‘Z’ in the dirt. The man read it and nodded.

“You’re not from here, are you?”

Isabella shook her head no. She didn’t want to accidentally tell him that he looked like her dead father or that she was from another realm. Possibly. Kieran told her all the time about the possibility of other worlds, other realms, and Isabella laid back on the ground. She screamed in frustration and pain and grief, and the man hovered over her with a look of sympathy.

“I bet if I put your name in the system, you wouldn’t show up anywhere,” he guessed.

The man stuck out his hand, and Isabella took it after a moment of hesitation. He tugged her off the ground and sighed.

“Listen, I’m no stranger to odd things in this town or the odd people that stay here, but this is way out of my element. If you do talk, can you tell me something, so I know how to help you? Like your actual name? Maybe an age or something because I have no idea what I’m doing here.”

Isabella gave him a look and exhaled tiredly.

“My full name is Isabella Mills-Swan,” she said. “And I recently celebrated my seventeenth year.”

“Okay. Wait, Swan?”

Isabella smiled sadly and said, “I think it would be best if we spoke inside of your home, sir.”

The man stared at her for a beat before he turned and walked inside. Isabella followed after him, touching the ring under her chest, and she glanced at the sky.

“I will find you, Kieran,” she promised. “I swear it.”


Kieran, or ‘Lena,’ lied flat on the uncomfortable mattress in a plain, white room. She touched the ring on her chest, something she managed to hide from the ‘Luthor’ family as she was asked question after question about where she came from. Kieran gave them vague answers without giving anything away, specifically her magic, but the family couldn’t be trusted. They weren’t good people, she could feel, but she had no choice but to adjust. Kieran turned her head toward the window, and she stared at the stars in the sky.

“I will search every universe for you,” she whispered. “And then I will search them again.”


When Emmett opened his eyes, he stared at the ceiling in confusion. He felt different. A hand landed on his arm. Emmett didn’t know why or how he did it, but he shot forward and across the room. He crouched low and glared at whoever touched him. The blonde woman held up her hands.

“I’m sorry. I thought you heard me come in,” the woman explained.

Her voice touched something inside of him, and Emmett relaxed. The woman reminded him of someone, and he touched his chest out of reflex. But there was nothing there. He panicked. It didn’t feel like he needed to breathe, but he struggled to put air in his lungs. Where-

The ring he was looking for appeared in front of him, and Emmett reached for it, but the blonde stopped him. He growled, and she knelt on the floor.

“You might break it,” she warned. “And I can see it means a lot to you.”

Emmett scowled but accepted her judgment. The burn in his throat got worse.

“I can help with that,” she said slowly.

Emmett gave her a look.

“I promise I won’t hurt you.”

Emmett glanced at the ring, then at the blonde. She reminded him so much of Kieran, so he decided to trust her. Emmett nodded to show he understood, and the woman pointed out into the woods.

“Follow me, okay? No matter what you smell, stay with me.”

Emmett nodded again, and the woman smiled at him before she ran off. He ran after her, the burst of speed catching him off guard, but once he found his stride, he ground his teeth. Emmett swore to put their family together again.


Regina walked into the castle with her hood up, and she barely reacted when a high-pitched giggle reached her ears. She glanced to the side at the humanlike creature beside her, and she arched an eyebrow.

“You have something I want,” she said.

“And you have the power to do something I cannot,” he replied. “A deal, then?”

“What are your terms?”

“I will teach you how to use your magic, and you will one day perform a favor for me.”

“That seems vague.”

“You are the desperate one.”

Regina clenched her jaw and inclined her head.

“We have an agreement.”

“Good.” The creature bowed. “Rumplestiltskin, at your service, Your Majesty.”

Regina exhaled through her nose but bowed in response. Snow White did the unthinkable, and Regina would not stop until she was reunited with her children.

No matter what.