Chapter One - And Straight On 'Til Morning
'"Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning."
That...was the way to the Neverland;'
The woman in black wonders when she would ever catch a break; sometimes, being mayor of a fictional town isn't all that it's cracked up to be-not when there's highly destructive magic prepared to blow up that town to smithereens.
She could feel the magic becoming increasingly unstable, the sparks were crackling in her hands as she tried to control the power of the gem. The purple light emanating from the gem lit up the mine's walls. The Evil Queen, or Regina as she was now called in that world, looked up towards the sound of bounding footsteps.
Regina sees the figure of her adopted son appear with Rose, and the Charmings in tow. They all look relieved to still find her there, Henry and Rose especially. "What are you doing here?" Regina demands.
"You were willing to die to save us, that makes you a hero." Henry says matter-of-factly, David, behind him, puts a hand on his shoulder in solidarity. "And now, we're going to be heroes."
Their combined concerned looks were enough to startle Regina into disbelief. She was giving them a way out. But now they want to share the glory and put the lives of her family in danger?
Regina shook her head, a breathy "No." drawn from her lips.
"We have the last bean. We can open a portal and throw this thing into the void." David says, her words ignored.
"No." repeats Regina more firmly. "You don't know that it'll work."
"We're going to save you, that's that." said Rose, her 'sister' in Storybrooke -and technically her adoptive daughter in the Enchanted forest.
Rose's real sister, Snow White, smiles from behind her. "We have to try."
Snow White (or Mary Margaret as she was known in this new land), was ever the optimist; normally, this type of thing would have made Rose roll her eyes, but that wasn't important. What's important was saving Regina and their town from impending doom; as much as she liked being alive, it wouldn't have made any sense if she didn't have her family.
The Charmings, Henry and Rose Red all made way for Emma (The Saviour) to help Regina contain the gem's power, she reached for the bean in her pocket. The same magic bean that was going to open the portal for them. Emma faltered for a moment, a concern voiced by her father. "Emma?"
Rose didn't like her silence one bit. Despite being Princess Rose Red in her other life, almost three decades spent in Maine gave her above all things, a lot of time to hone skepticism and cynicism as a precious life skill.
"It's empty," Emma replied, feeling around her pockets, her eyes, grim.
Only one conclusion, one word, came to make sense. "Hook." Rose cursed. "That dumb pirate."
Regina was shaking now, tears were filling her eyes. "I can't contain this much longer." Her power was not enough. Maybe she didn't deserve the title of 'Evil Queen' after all. She was too weak to protect even the ones she loved the most.
Emma looked at her with pity. It was the nail in the coffin.
Seemingly out of options, Regina turns to her son who was currently embraced in the arms of her old mortal enemies. It was funny to think how she didn't see Snow White and Prince Charming anymore, only her friends, Mary Margaret and David. In the corner, Rose was shaking beside Mary Margaret, she was angry, she wanted to cry out and beat the stupid diamond to dust with her bare fists.
Emma walks to them, "Mom, Dad." she says, they envelop her into their arms. Their faces horror stricken, they wept as they huddled together. Henry, looking so hopeless, was allowed to go to his other mother.
A smile tore into Regina's face as she gazed at her son, perhaps for the last time. She knew she had to say goodbye, otherwise, she was never going to be able to say it again. "I love you Henry, I know you wish I was strong enough to stop all this...I'm just not." Regina's tears sprung forth as she savoured her son's warm embrace, regretful that she could not do the same with her own.
"It's not right!" came Rose's withering cry. She looked furious. "You deserve so much more, Gina...and you never even got the chance!" She was yelling, her reddening face in such panicked misery as she stared at the only sister she's known for those twenty-eight years under the Curse. Regina sucked in failing breaths as she watched Rose so tormented.
"C'mere, you silly thing." Her dark head beckoned, wanting her sister's arms around her too. "I want you to know, before everything, before Henry...I'm glad I had you." Rose tried to quiet her sobs as she held up her hand to her mouth, the other arm snaking Regina's shoulders, she leaned her head there and clung tight. Regina kept talking, not wanting anything to be left unsaid. "I loved you so much, I couldn't even bring myself to change your name here in Storybrooke...I love you both so much."
Suddenly, a revelation struck Emma who emerged from her parents' hug. "You may not be strong enough, by yourself," she began addressing Regina "but maybe we are." Her eyebrows shot up as if to say: well, what are we waiting for? The others were quickly ushered away to a safer spot.
Emma's light magic soon sprouted forth and the two struggled to contain the immense surge. Soon they began to convulse wildly. But a smile began to test Regina's features and they both grew in confidence.
With a powerful blast, they were all swept away, their backs, hitting the cold rock walls of the mine as they were knocked to their feet unconscious.
The diamond was now rendered inactive, it dropped to the ground.
The Charmings rushed to their daughter as Regina plucked the harmless stone. "We did it!" breathed Emma.
"Yes, we did." Regina agreed.
"I gotta hand it to Henry. He's right about a lot of things." David said.
Emma knew more about that than anyone. "Yes, he is. Isn't that right, kid?" They all turned expectantly to where he should have been, but found no one.
"Henry?" Emma called out. "Rose?" the teenage girl had disappeared too without a trace, they must have been knocked out longer than they thought. Soon a chorus of "Henry? Rose? Where are you?" was heard from the mines. Armed with their flashlights, the group began their worried search.
Emma reaches down and finds Henry's bag, it's strap cut. "Emma, what is it?" Mary Margaret asked.
"They took them." she replied stiffly.
Elsewhere, Storybrooke Pier.
Greg and Tamara were leading down a struggling Rose and Henry whose hands were bound for good measure. To their credit, the kids were putting up quite the fight. "Relax, kids." Tamara explains. "We're not going to hurt you."
"Yeah right," retorted the girl, her red hair coming in disarray.
"Just everyone we love," Henry reminds them. "And you tried to blow up Storybrooke."
Tamara turned to them now as they kept walking. "True, but that was never the point."
"It wasn't?" asked Henry, completely bewildered, trying hard to keep up both physically and psychologically.
"Let us go, assholes." came Rose's spitting remark.
"Shut up." Greg only waved the gun warningly at her. "You know, we came here to destroy magic, but then we found something more important. Something that changed everything," He pulled Henry closer, "You."
They were very close to the dock now, the seawater permeating the air. Rose wanted to fight; she could have thrown her knees and elbows out, stomped her feet, bit at them, scratched at them. She would have reeled her fists in and hit them square on Greg's mouth and Tamara's nose. But she didn't, they had a gun and while she could've handled herself, she never would have risked Henry's safety.
Regina and the Charmings caught up to them, only to see Greg throwing the last magic bean into the sea and opening up a portal to god only knows where. They rushed to the scene. "Henry! Rose!" they called after them.
They hear Rose give a strangled yelp as she was dragged with a frightened Henry to the spinning portal. Greg, Tamara, Rose and Henry leaped into the opening and disappeared; the portal closing instantly behind them to the chagrin of their rescue party only moments too late.
Some time ago before the first Dark Curse. The Enchanted Forest.
A seven year old girl with impossibly red hair was screaming bloody murder inside the palace. Her screams turned into squeals of delight, as a young, dark haired woman assaulted her sides with tickling fingers.
The red-headed girl was a princess of a kingdom far away, she wore her long hair in ribbons that always gave the impression to be coming loose. Her pink dress rumpled as her little body stretched across the woman's knees, her bones were light as a bird's, her bright cheeks were fresh peaches and cream.
"Do you yield?" The woman questioned.
"Yes!" the small girl tittered, tears in her eyes.
The little girl's sister watched, amused from the sidelines, leaning against the dress maker's mannequin and inspecting the rich cloths.
The woman halted her ministrations and clutched the laughing girl to her chest, rocking her gently. The two young girls were her only companions now ever since the news of her engagement; even her father was limited to a few appearances as she was prepared for the journey to King Leopold's kingdom.
Regina was to become the new mother of the two girls. The elder, Snow White, was gentler, more subdued; at eleven she already had a mind of her own, if a little too well-meaning and meddlesome. Snow's hair was the darker of the two, shifting from brown to black.
Regina, however, much preferred the younger sibling. Snow White's sister, Rose Red had become her favourite in a very short time. She had seen a kindred soul inside the youngest, she was wilder, free-spirited, more prone to laughter or fits of tantrums. But she was all the more giving of herself, she was open and unrestrained.
It was Snow who remembered her mother whereas Rose did not. Rose Red had nothing and no one to compare Regina to, and thus accepted her more easily, and wholeheartedly. She loved without caution; true, pure and simple. "I love you, Regina." the girl whispered in her ear like a secret and Regina kissed her cheek. "I'm glad you're going to be my new mother."
"Our, new mother." interrupted her sister, fixing her hair in the reflection of a metal vase.
Regina merely smiled slightly, and got up from their seat, pulling Rose along. The servants and dress-makers continued working, holding up pieces for her to look over, stitching and hemming fabrics, attaching beading...
Regina stepped up unto the pedestal for the seamstresses to make their final adjustments, the crinkles on her dress Rose had made during their play together were smoothed down. She was being fitted for her wedding gown, and her elated mood sank. The joy, draining out of her.
Rose Red noticed this and gave a gentle tug on her hand, peering up at the woman with inquisitive eyes and a frown.
"Wow!" Snow gasps, as she faces her, the girl's tiny chest expanding in delight. Her eyes were large, absorbing the beautiful dress on her friend. "You are most certainly the fairest of them all!" she declares happily.
"Thank you, dear." Regina replies, turning back to the mirror. She could hardly recognise herself in all the white; she was drowning silently and she couldn't claw up for air.
"I hope for my wedding day, I will be as beautiful." the pale bow on Snow's head bobbed along with her admiring words.
"I'm sure you will be." The wedding will commence in less than a week, but the soon to be Queen had already felt dead inside. Her mother crushed her heart the night she did Daniel's; and even the love of her new daughters were not to be enough to validate the sins of the Mother. She doubts that anything will, or if her heart could ever feel whole once more.
Emma was loudly protesting in the arms of David who held her back from jumping from the pier. Emma knew it would have been futile to do so, her mind denying the disappearance of her son once more. "We have to follow them, there has to be a way." she grunted.
Regina was exasperated, "Not only do we not know where they went, but Hook stole the only other bean that will get us to them!"
"I don't care!"
"Without it, there's no way to find follow."
"There has to be, we can't let them just take our kids!"
"They've taken Henry?" ask Gold as he strolled in with Belle on his arm, an alarmed look on their faces.
"And Rose." said David, finally letting his daughter go. "You're the Dark One, do something."
Emma pleaded,"Gold, help us."
"There's no way, I've spent a lifetime trying to cross worlds to find my son." He explained. "There's no way in this world without a portal."
"So that's it?" Regina demanded coldly, a hard glint in her dark eyes. "They're gone forever?"
"That's my sister you're talking about!" Mary Margaret shouted, "And my grandson! The only ones I have, and I will not let them go." her voice trembled, a flash of pain in her features. David rubbed her back, consoling her.
"I refuse to believe that." Regina addressed Gold, looking out into the waves, something caught her and Belle's attention.
"What is that?" Belle queried.
Emma sees in the distance the white sails on a tall mast, a ship coming to meet them. "Hook." she answers, relief in their veins.
The Jolly Roger docks into port, it's captain setting anchor. "The hell are you doing here?" Emma called as Killian Jones descended his ship.
"Helping." he answered flippantly.
"Well, you're too late."
"Am I?" he said, pulling out a purse from his belt.
"I thought you didn't care about anyone but yourself?"
"Maybe I just needed reminding that I could," he says, handing her the purse which held the bean. "Besides, now I finally prove to the princess that I can turn from my bad ways. Where is Rose Red, anyhow?"
"She's been taken, her and Henry." said Snow, with a worried tone.
"Taken?" Jones balked, his blue eyes widening.
Emma pulled the bean from the purse, their one saving grace. "Enough messing around," said Regina with ferocity. "Let's go save them."
"But didn't you save the town?"
"We already did." said David from beside his wife. "But Greg and Tamara took those two while we were unconscious."
"They were pulled through Greg and Tamara's portal." Emma clarified, looking up at Hook expectantly.
Killian nodded his head, "I offer my ship and services to help follow them."
Regina shook hers, "Well, that's great, but how will we track them?"
"Leave that to me." Gold affirmed. "I can get us where we need to go."
"Then let's do it!" Mary Margaret breathed happily, and one by one, they boarded the ship.
Captain Hook's ship had seen better days, but it still looked to be sturdy and capable of their journey ahead. The ex-elementary school teacher sucked in a hesitant breath. "Regina," Mary Margaret called.
The darkly clad mayor met her look, "What?" she said tiredly.
Mary Margaret rubbed her hands up and down Regina's black sleeves, in hopes to give her some comfort. "We'll find them." came her fixed response. "I know we will. We'll get them both back. I...know I'm not your favourite person, I know I'm not even Rose's favourite sister, but I still love her and I won't give up. Not on her, not on Henry." Regina tried to appreciate the words that were given to her, but found it impossible to dull the edge she felt in her bones.
Regina nodded numbly, anxiety, clutching at her chest, her mouth pursed hard, she notices Belle saying her goodbyes to Gold.
The Dark One strolls aboard the pirate's ship, "So, you're done trying to kill me?"
"I believe so." was Hook's cold reply.
"Excellent." Gold said with a dark smile. "Then you can live." With a wave of his hand, a dark violet smoke dissipates to reveal a magical artifact, one of the many Rumpelstiltskin had collected over the many years of being the Dark One. "Your highness," he said turning to Mary Margaret. "If you would do us the honour?"
Snow stepped forward hesitantly, sparing a glance to her husband.
Gold only scoffed. "You're the one who's their closest biological relative, I'm sure they both ended up in the same place...probably."
"I get blood magic." she said bitterly, "It's just that we've had a bad history with pricking fingers on magical relics." She huffed, looking to David while quickly wrenching a glove off of her hand. Deftly, she pressed her index finger on the needle, giving a pointed look to Gold for emphasis. It pierced her skin, crimson blood dripped down the instrument as her friends looked on, fascinated.
She let a few drops fall on the white globe, the red of her blood forming an identifiable mist from inside of it, twisting as it took shape. It spun slowly until it exhibited strange land masses, and perhaps bodies of water that were unfamiliar to her.
"Where is that?" Regina asked. "Where were they taken?"
No, not there...anywhere but there… was what came to the pirate's mind. He remembered a voice, a threat made once upon a time, "There's nothing here for you but death," it said.
Hook and Gold shared an ominous knowing look. Holding back some venom, Hook spat "They're back where I first met our Princess, they're in Neverland."
Hey everyone, this is my contribution to the OUAT universe hopefully you'll like it.
So everything is still pretty vague, we don't know a lot about Rose yet as a character, but we should get to know her a lot better soon in the next chapters. Please keep reading!
Honestly, the Peter Pan arc had probably been one of the best seasons in OUAT. Because I love Robbie Kay's character too much, I will be changing his origins. So that's something to look forward to.
As always, please review, the encouragement and insight really means a lot. PM me if you want to talk abut everything and nothing at all. :)
I do not own any characters you might recognise, they are the property of Disney. I do own my OC (Rose).
Many thanks! And happy fanfic hunting!