Author: KariCariCarlGrace PM
While tracking down a major promicin dealer by the border, Tom and Diana run into a small town in Maine called Storybrooke. Little does the town know, Diana is much more aware of their secret than anyone would have thought...Rated: Fiction K - English - Family/Mystery - Diana S. & The Evil Queen/Regina M. - Words: 4,503 - Published: 02-24-13 - Status: Complete - id: 9045018
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"There's got to be a town somewhere, Tom." I stated, my eyes never leaving the window. From the corner of my eye I could vaguely see the outline of my partners shoulders tense up.
"Diana I'm telling you there's nothing out here besides woods-"He stopped as the car shook, Tom slowly led us to the side of the road. There was a loud crack as the vehicle stopped, "And now we're stranded, perfect."
Tom got out of the car, slamming the door behind him. I took a calming breath, resisting the urge to roll my eyes. When I saw that Tom was attempting to call a serviceman, I sighed. There was no way we'd be getting reception all the way out here. Even with the sun shining brightly, I couldn't see any signs of civilization anywhere. All I could see was the brown and green of the forest that now surrounded me. We couldn't walk back to the last town we passed, after all, that was miles away. "This road's got to lead somewhere." I called over to Tom, who I could tell already had the same idea as me. He grunted before beginning to walk down the road.
Hours passed, and there was still no sign of where we were. It was a nice day out, with only a few puffy, white clouds in the sky. The sounds of birds and crickets filled my ears. "Damn," I said, "who knew Maine had so much wilderness."
Tom laughed, "Looks like April might be watching Maia a little longer than expected."
"As long as I don't get home to find her using my daughter to gamble again, I'm fine with it." I smiled before shaking my head at the memory.
Tom looked at me for a moment before asking "So, I only hear you talking about April. What about the rest of your family?"
My gaze shifted to the ground, "There's not much to tell. I was eight the last time I saw any of them. Then we came here…" I had to stop myself, almost forgetting that Tom had no idea where I was from. There's no way I wanted that out in the open. "Anyways, I was separated from them. The Skouris's took me in the year April was born."
Tom scrunched his brows, "You were adopted?" he asked.
I nodded, figuring that if I was going to lie about everything else he might as well know one truth. And it was the truth. I had spent the first eight years of my life with my grandmother back home. I had never known my birth parents, however. My grandmother had always told me my mother never wanted me, and that my father was dead. It always amazed me that even though I was so young, I can remember my grandmother perfectly. She was young, somewhere around her mid-forties. It wasn't uncommon for a woman to be a grandmother that young where we were from, in fact, it was expected. She had raven black hair, like mine, and eyes equally as dark. Her skin was fair, another trait I inherited, and I remember her being very tall. She always wore black, except for when someone came to do business, and it suited her. She was very beautiful, but the sneer she always wore on her lips ruined her vanity. She never failed to remind me that she sacrificed so much to get us where we were. I had inherited many of her more special talents as well, and she taught me how to use them. Even though I was young, I was skilled. She used to say I was even more talented than my mother, but that was the only time she ever spoke of her.
My grandmother isn't the only one I can remember from my younger years. I can remember the forest I spent the first five years of my life in. My grandmother would always send me out to pick wild berries for jam and cakes. I always loved it out there. I would stay out there for hours, playing, and when I would return I would always say that it just took me longer to find enough ripe fruit to pick. Our ranch was nearby an orchard as well. I used to love to pick the blood red apples that grew there. The man who ran the orchard, Mr. Williams, taught me how to care for the trees. I helped him at the orchard in exchange for a basket worth of apples each week. I remember playing in those orchards half the day if grandmother would let me. I would skip around the fields with a crown of daffodils, pretending that I was a princess.
We left the forest on my sixth birthday, a day I'll never forget. I had woken to the sound of horses outside my window. I had crept out of bed to peek out at my front door. A carriage was parked right outside the cabin. It was midnight black, an oval shaped window on the door allowed me to see that there was no longer anyone inside. Two guards sat on their respective horses alongside the carriage. Even though I had never seen one up close, I knew they were royal guardsmen. This was the queen's carriage. I quietly made my way to the stairs, careful not to make myself seen just like grandmother had instructed. I heard a loud bang from downstairs. Peeking over the railing, I could see my grandmother lying on top of our, now, broken dining table. Standing in front of grandmother, with her slender back turned to me, was the Evil Queen herself. To this day I don't know what she was doing there. As far as I knew Cora had nothing to do with the royal family. My grandmother's eyes connected with mine, and I could see the pure anger in them. I backed away from the scene as the queen turned towards where I was sitting. I heard the loud clicking of her heals as she began making her way up the stairs. Grandmother materialized beside me as the queen came into sight. Her eyes widened as Gran placed her hand on my shoulder and we disappeared in a puff of purple smoke.
"The Skouris's were wonderful parents. My mother was so kind…she used to sing me to sleep when I was a girl." I smiled, "About five years after my sister was born, actually a week before my thirteenth birthday, my parents split up. My father stayed in our lives for a few more years, but barely. We only saw him for about five minutes each year. He rarely even answered the phone." I sighed, checking to see if Tom was still listening to me. His blue eyes were fixated on my face, waiting for me to continue. I shrugged, "I haven't heard from him since I was about sixteen."
We came to a fork in the road. Each path looked almost identical except for the fact that the left, the more trimmed of the two, seemed to get more light than its twin. It was as if the trees were slowly breaking apart, leading to the end of the woods. The sides of the road had been cared for and were, obviously, cleared of weeds and other ferns regularly. The right was much different, branches hung low over the soil, weeds crept their way through small cracks in the tar, and bushes leaned heavily into the path of any passing cars. I hadn't realized I had begun walking down the right path until I felt Tom's hand roughly land on my shoulder. Startled, I turned around to see his confused expression.
"Diana, what are you doing?" he asked, I shrugged.
"Walking," I replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Tom looked at me as if I were crazy, "Don't you think it would be much smarter to take the path where there's obviously been people?" he asked.
I followed his pointing finger to the other road. I blinked, seeming to come to my senses. I looked back to the road we were on. A few yards further, there was a curve in the road. I ignored my partner's exasperated voice as I quickly began to make my way towards it. I felt as if something was beckoning me to it. As if something wonderful was waiting just beyond the bend…
A smile grew on my face as I turned to where Tom still stood in the road. I waved him over, looking back to the simple, wooden sign. "Storybrooke," I stated.
Tom laughed, a look of bewilderment in his eyes "Well I'll be damned…how did you know that was there?"
I shrugged, "Hopefully they'll have a mechanic." I smiled at Tom before leading the way into town.
There was still a stretch of woods to get through before we finally saw the first sign of civilization. The wooded road led right into the main street of the town. A young girl, maybe in her early twenties, was fixing a sign outside of a café that read "Granny's." Through the window of the building, I could see about a handful of customers eating lunch. I smiled when the girl saw me; she gave me a puzzled look. "Hi," I greeted anyways, waving slightly. I elbowed Tom when I noticed he did nothing to acknowledge the girl. Tom grunted then waved awkwardly, I nodded my head in approval.
"Our car broke down a few miles down the road and we're wondering if there's a mechanic in town?" Tom said when the girl only nodded her head as a greeting.
She was wearing black jeans and a camisole, with a red belt and buttoned shirt. Her hair was straight and a deep chestnut brown, with streaks of red running through it. Her round eyes were dark hazel, and her skin was slightly tanned. "You're not from here?" she asked, I could hear confusion in her voice. I shook my head, repeating Tom's question. The girl looked me up and down, and then did the same to Tom. "Unfortunately our only mechanic died a short while ago…" she said, her voice trailing off slightly at the end. I could see that this girl had known him before he died.
"Anyways, your best bet would be with the sheriff. The stations just down the road, you can't miss it." She said, pointing down Main Street.
"Thank you," I said, holding out my hand "Diana Skouris and this is my partner, Tom Baldwin."
The girl smiled as she shook my hand and then Tom's, "I'm Ruby. If you find you need a place to stay, my grandmother also runs Granny's Bed & Breakfast just down the road. She'd be happy to take you in. We don't get very many visitors here in Storybrooke."
We said our thanks before heading towards the sheriff's station. It was a large three story, brick building. The windows were paneled with chestnut-stained oak wood, and it looked much too welcoming to be a police station. From the station, there was a clear view of Storybrooke's town square. I could still see Granny's from where I stood at the entrance to the stations parking lot. Other buildings like flower shops, small markets, and the town's library also could be seen in the square. I glanced up at the clock on the library's bell tower; it was much earlier than I had thought. Every building in town had a sort of classical feeling to them, a feeling almost of home. I was relieved when I saw that the parking space marked Sheriff was filled, but laughed when I saw that it was a yellow Volkswagen Beetle.
The sheriff's office was small. There were two desks in the room, one for the deputy and another inside of an attached office for the sheriff. The attached office had glass walls looking out into the rest of the room, with a glass door built in as well. There were two jail cells on the far wall of the room, both of which were empty. I smiled, thinking how nice it must be to live in such a peaceful community. It would be a nice change from Seattle, with this whole promicin war going on. The deputies desk was empty, however, the sheriff sat alone at his desk in the glass office.
It was a nice day out, the first since the wraith almost destroyed the entire town. A group of citizens, I couldn't be bothered who, stopped their gossip to stare as I passed by. Everyone in town has been wary of me since I got my powers back. I guess I made a lasting impression back in the Enchanted Forest.
A bell rang as I opened the door to Granny's, and all talking stopped. My heels seemed to click even louder as I confidently made my way to the counter, holding my head high like the queen I was. I could feel the eerie prickle of a dozen eyes fixed on me and, involuntarily, I smirked. An elderly woman was sitting at the counter talking with Granny. She shrunk away from me as she realized I was headed her way.
"I need to speak with Ruby." I stated, directing my words towards Granny.
The woman held her chin up in a defiant manner, "And why is that?" she asked, staring me straight in the eye. This woman had guts.
I smiled, knowing the deviancy it displayed. Deciding against trying to demand the woman's granddaughter, I settled on being vague, "Ruby spoke to two people this morning, and I want to know who they were."
The old woman stared at me for a moment, and I could see the old wolf in her eyes. Without taking her eyes off me she called for the girl. I walked out of the diner, away from the prying ears of the customers. I took a deep breath when I heard her approach me. No one was supposed to come to Storybrooke, at least no one I didn't know about. I turned around, my arms crossed over my chest, and looked down at the young woman. "Who were they?"
She knew who I was talking about the moment the question was asked. Then again, she probably already knew what this was about. After all, what other business would the Evil Queen have with Red Riding Hood? She shook her head, "I don't know. They said they weren't from here."
I raised a dark brow, "No one comes to Storybrooke."
She shrugged, "I'm well aware of that, thank you. Their car broke down so I directed them to the sheriff, I figured Charming would know what to do."
I glared at the girl, unnerved by the fact that only someone from the Enchanted Forest could enter Storybrooke. Anyone from this world would be drawn away. And the only people from the Forest that hadn't been brought here by the curse had been Emma and Pinocchio. I found myself headed towards the sheriff's station without saying another word to Ruby. David's car was still parked next to Emma's in the Deputies spot when I got there, so I knew he hadn't gone anywhere yet. He was probably spending this time to figure out who these strangers are. After all, he knows as well as I do that no one comes to Storybrooke, and absolutely no one leaves.
I was slightly surprised when I saw them. One was a tall man, maybe close to six feet, with sun tanned skin and a well-built figure. He was wearing a dark suit with a black leather jacket over it. He looked tired, as if he had been on the road for days, and his face held slight stress lines. The woman, however, is what startled me. She was wearing the same kind of attire as the man, a blue collared shirt underneath a long, black trench coat. She wore healed leather boots, bringing her almost to the man's height. Her flawless skin was as pale as snow, and even seemed able to reflect the light from the ceiling fixtures. Her hair was a wavy bun of ebony, contrasting with her complexion. Her eyes were a bluish hazel, and of a familiar almond shape. Both her lips and cheeks held a natural red hue, helping to soften her otherwise dark features. She unknowingly held her head high and proud, almost in a regal manner, a manner worthy of the Evil Queen herself. I swallowed, suddenly nervous.
David's gaze kept switching from me to the woman, and I realized that she was staring at me in return. The man whom she was with cleared his throat, bringing me out of my thoughts. I turned before I said anything, batting my eyes and clearing my own throat, not realizing until now that tears were growing in my eyes. She reminded me of my little girl…of my Rose…
It wasn't until I held my daughter in my arms that I realized how special she was. I was weak, and still in delayed pain from the extensive labor. Yet, I could not force the smile off of my lips. She was the most beautiful little thing I had ever seen. A tear fell from my eye as I thought how happy Daniel would have been to have a daughter. My mother stood at my side, gazing down at my child as well. She had been the one to deliver the baby, knowing that it must be kept a secret from the king, my husband's, men. There was no denying that this wasn't his child, after all, I was already three months pregnant when he proposed to me.
I let out a cry when the baby opened her eyes, more tears escaping from my own. Even though she already had a tuff of my black hair poking out from her head, her eyes were a soft hazel. They were Daniel's eyes. My hand found its way to her bright cheek, and my fingers traced the soft skin as I spoke, "Red…" I smiled, "Rose Red." I knew Daniel would approve of the name; after all, it was a dozen wild roses that he brought me when he learned of the coming child.
But it wasn't only my love that made this child so special. The moment I heard her first cries, lights surrounded me. I thought I was seeing things, that I had lost too much blood and now I was hallucinating. But mother had seen it too. She held the newborn in her arms, "She has magic…" she spoke.
My mother looked down at me, a blank look on her face, "Mother?" I questioned.
Her gaze shifted to me, "I'm sorry, Regina." She said softly, though, with little emotion.
I looked up at her, confused, "For what?" My eyes drooped; I hadn't realized just how exhausted I was.
My mother slowly bent down, lifting my daughter into her own arms. I looked up at her in confusion, "Mother, what are you doing?" I asked. She didn't respond, instead, only turned her back to me. Her steps echoed in the large room as she took her first stride away from me, "Mother?" I called, my voice cracking, "Mother!" I screamed, suddenly desperate. My mother however did not stop. She calmly walked out of the room and down the corridor, my baby still in her arms. I attempted to climb off of my bed, only to fall back down after a few steps. I pushed myself back up, but to no prevail. My arms gripped the marble floors, dragging my body towards where my mother had gone. My arms collapsed as I saw my mother's deep blue dress disappear behind the corner. The last thing I heard was my baby crying, as if she were begging me to save her. "Rose!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, "NO! Please!" My screams grew faint as the sound of crying was suddenly cut off. My eyes widened, the blood draining from my face. A deafening cry resounded throughout the castle, and it was only as I fainted that I realized it was mine.
"Regina." David greeted, already knowing why I was visiting the sheriff's station, "This is Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris. Their car broke down by the town border," he gestured to the man and woman in turn. The man, Baldwin, was eyeing the woman curiously. She looked up, noticing his intense gaze for the first time. Her cheeks turned a faint pink, and her red lips twisted into a sheepish pout. Her eyes twinkled slightly, a twinkle only a fairytale being could understand. David, of course, was too busy staring down Regina to notice the pair. He stood silently for a moment, wondering why Regina was acting the way she was. It was almost as if she were apprehensive of these new comers. It wasn't like the Queen to not be taking control of a situation.
"This is the towns former Mayor, Regina Mills." David spoke, his eyes not leaving Regina's. The wetness forming in their corners was too rare of a sight.
The moment David spoke her name the woman, Diana, whipped her head around, her mouth forming a perfect "o." Her eyes widened, revealing her iris's completely in their milky surroundings. The two women were staring at each other once again.
"Regina?" Diana asked, her tone was quizzical, as if she were curious about something, "Your name is Regina?"
Regina squinted her eyes at Diana before slowly nodding her head, "Yes, why do you ask."
Diana paused, the events of her last day in the Enchanted Forest refusing to leave her mind. She had been able to catch a quick glimpse of the Evil Queens face before she and her grandmother disappeared. She could remember the queen's dark hair, eyes, and light skin. Her hair had been long then, and was twisted in an ornate fashion. Her clothing was tight fitting, squeezing her thin frame rather than hugging it. Her name had been Regina.
This Regina Mills, she couldn't possibly be the same Queen Regina that had come to the ranch thirty years ago. This woman looked to only be slightly older than Diana, and the same age the Queen had been then. Yet, Diana couldn't help but realize the uncanny resemblance between the two.
"No reason," she lied, and she could see that the former Mayor knew she was doing so.
"About our car," Tom said, breaking the two women's staring, "we were told the sheriff would know how to help."
David looked at Tom, shaking his head at the strange situation. "Of course, but unfortunately it might take a while to figure something out."
"How long, exactly?" Diana asked, her concerns switching to Maia.
David shrugged, "Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, I suppose." He smiled at Diana apologetically.
Diana sighed while Tom grumbled, "I guess we'll need to pay Granny's a visit after all." Diana said, "I'll call Jarvis, the promicin dealer will probably be long gone by the time we get out of here."
Tom nodded, "I'll call Jarvis; you let April know what's going on."
Diana smiled, much happier making the call to her sister rather than her boss. David and Regina were looking on curiously, unsure as to what the pair was talking about. "If you don't mind me asking," David began, "what's promicin?"
This caught the two partners' attention, seeing as just about everyone in the world has heard of promicin by now. Not to mention the fact that probably an entire quarter of it has taken the shot. They looked at each other oddly, both looking as if they thought the two residents were crazy. After all, how was it possible that these two people, town officials no less, didn't know what promicin was. "Promicin," Tom said suggestively, "you know, as in the 4400?"
Neither the former Mayor, nor acting Sheriff gave any sign that they understood. "The 4400 returnee's?" Diana tried, but nothing about the incident seemed familiar. Diana shook her head, bending down to pick up the shoulder bag she had brought from the car. She sifted through the documents inside of it until she found what she was looking for. It was a series of newspaper clippings about the returnee's. She handed them over to David, and Regina quickly moved to look over his shoulder. They looked at each other, and Diana could swear she caught a look of confusion and worry in their eyes. "Surely you must have heard about them," she persisted, "it's not every day 4400 missing people appear in a ball of light without having aged a day." She laughed, and Regina smiled at the sound.
David held no reaction as he continued skimming the articles, "I'm sorry, but who exactly are you people?" he asked.
Diana and Tom exchanged looks at the sudden change in the sheriff's demeanor. Diana looked quickly between David and Regina's expectant stares before reaching to her belt. She pulled out her ID, flashing her NTAC clearance badge at them, "We're with the Department of Homeland Security," she stuffed her ID back into her belt, "We were chasing down a major promicin dealer near the border when we got stuck here."
"Speaking of which," Tom cut in, "I should probably make that call to Jarvis now." And with a nod from Diana, he walked out of the room, leaving his partner alone in the station.
"When did this happen?" David asked, nodding his head towards the paper.
Diana shrugged, "A little over a year ago," she eyed the sheriff curiously, "So how exactly is it that no one here has heard about this? It's been a major global issue."
"Well I'm afraid this town has been a bit…" Regina began, eyeing Diana, "preoccupied."
Diana scrunched her eyebrows, sending a curious glare at Regina. David's eyes widened, his gaze switched quickly between the two women, "Preoccupied?" Diana repeated, and her tone revealed she didn't buy this explanation for a second. Regina paused, trying to think of something to say to the woman. Diana smirked, nodding her head suggestively, "Out of excuses, Your Majesty?"
David tried to hide a gasp while Regina only smirked, mirroring Diana's expression, "You got away." The former queen held a hint of a smile. The two exchanged a look, both understanding the double meaning in the question.
Diana shrugged, "Almost. I mean, I was still sent here, but I kept my memories and I wasn't frozen like I'm guessing all of you were."
"How do you know about all this?" David cut in, and the two women chuckled but otherwise ignored his question.
Regina's eyes twinkled, something that only happened when Henry was around, "Will I see you around town, Rose?"
Diana only smiled, "I guess you will, Mother."