Curious Archer II – Mad Traveler

"Of course Tibet was one of my favorite places. If you were to go on a good hike in any direction, you'd find quiet like you've never experienced before." Margot popped a cherry tomato into her mouth followed by a small mozzarella ball.

The two of them were in the middle of the park by the pier. They were enjoying a small spread of cheese, grapes and tomatoes that Tilly had put together for them, with the help of Rogers.

"Now there's something I'd love to experience," Tilly played with the mozzarella ball she had between her fingers.

"What? Tibet?"

"No, quiet." Tilly smiled bashfully, motioning to her head, "I always feel like there's a steady buzzing sound. Like a bee or a mosquito that won't bugger off. A bit of quiet would be welcomed."

Margot shared a sad chuckle with her. Curious now that Tilly was opening up, she asked, "and the meds don't help?"

"Sometimes," Tilly's sad eyes stared at her hands. "Sometimes it just lowers the volume, you know."

"Does it ever get real bad?" Margot's heart hurt at the thought.

Tears looked like they were going to fall from Tilly's eyes and Margot placed a gentle hand on her knee. Giving it a light squeeze and stroking it with her thumb, Margot stayed quiet hoping Tilly would continue.

"Sometimes," she whispered in answer.

"Is there something you do? When it gets to be too much?"

Tilly chuckled, "Noise canceling headphones and a lot of Heavy Metal."

"Really," Margot squinted her eyes in thought.

"What?" Tilly looked scared, like maybe talks of her mental battles might have put the other girl off.

Margot smirked reassuringly, "I never pictured you for a metal head. So like, Metallica and stuff?"

Till grinned, "Not so much. I mean, I don't really discriminate when I need to drown out noise. But the louder, the better."

"Ever been to a concert?" Margot tried subtly changing the subject, sensing Tilly's unease.

"Can't say that I've been to a metal concert, no. But, I have hid in the trees here when they've had concerts in this park. I climb up so high no one can see me while they set up. Then I watch from the comfort of a branch." Tilly looked to the trees that lined the grass valley of the park.

"Sounds like it'd be the perfect view," Margot reached for a blade of grass, playing with it through her fingers. Flashes of a large field of high grass popped into her mind.

"It is," Tilly nodded, turning back to look at her companion. "But it's a bit lonely."

Margot's crooked smile appeared, "I get that."

Tilly heart fluttered at the smile, and she shook her head with a deep breath, "That's enough of that, don't you think. How about a game of chess?"

"Nah. I'm getting tired of defeat," Margot winked at her with a chuckle.

Tilly beamed shyly, knowing her chess game was bit more advanced than Margot's. She thought for a moment before she came up with an idea, "You ever cloud spot?"

"What's that?"

"Oh, it's lots of fun. Here, lay down with me. Opposite sides though, so our heads are next to each other." Tilly instructed enthusiastically. Once they were in position, Tilly pointed to a cloud right over their heads, "See, now you look for a cloud that look like something and say what you think it looks like, simple as that. Like that one there looks like Goofy."

Margot squint her eyes looking at different points of the giant cloud. Suddenly an oval became an ear, and a smaller one a nose, "I see it!"

"Right! Now you try," Tilly lay back with her hands folded over her stomach.

"Alright, let's see…" Margot let her eyes relax, taking in the puffy clouds. Her arm stretched out, "How about that one there. Looks like a giant waffle. See the ridges."

"Oh yeah," Alice tilted her head to look up the length of Margot's arm, inadvertently making her lips brush against her forehead. She pointed to the cloud above the waffle, "That must be the ice cream that goes on top."

The cloud did not hold a shape to Margot, "I don't see it. Just looks like a blob to me. Or maybe cotton candy."

"Okay, well then its melted ice cream," Tilly joked making Margot laugh and turn to look at her.

"I've never put ice cream on my waffles before," Margot's eyes scanned slowly from Tilly's eyes to her lips and back.

"You can put it in a waffle cone, no?" Tilly's eyes had regained their mirth since changing their conversation to clouds and deserts. She realized how close she was to Margot's face, whispering the rest of her thought, "Why not a waffle?"

"Why not a waffle, what?" Margot said absent mindedly as she continued to take in Tilly's features. She reached up with a hand to tuck a strand of hair behind Tilly's ear, cupping her cheek at an awkward upside down angle.

"I don't know," Tilly mumbled, leaning into Margot's hand and closing her eyes. She caught a flash in her mind of a star filled sky full of comets. When her eyes opened, she noticed Margot had moved closer.

"What are you two up to?"

Their hypnotic staring contest was broken with the sound of a third party. They moved back into a seated position on their picnic blanket just as Roni and Kelly neared.

"Hey Aunt Roni, Mom." Margot felt heat reach her face, but could not tell if it was from her shared moment with the cute blonde, or the anger at being interrupted by her Mother and Aunt.

"We were cloud spotting," Tilly said excitedly before frowning. "Though now I'm craving Waffles and Ice Cream or cotton candy."

Margot giggled with her, "We were just having a picnic. What are you two up to?"

"Nothing," Kelly looked at Roni. "We were just out for an evening stroll since we have someone covering the bar for us for a change."

"Yes! We wanted to get out of the bar for a little while so we thought we'd come walk the pier." Roni smiled convincingly, "and I happen to know there's a vendor on the other side that sells cotton candy and my favorite, caramel apples."

"As long as they're green apples. I despise red ones," Kelly said in disgust.

"But red apples are always juicier," Roni challenged.

"Tart more like it," Kelly rebutted.

"Guys!" Margot stopped them with a glare, "I'm sure they'll have both."

Roni composed herself with a smile, "True. Well, would you girls like to join us? Sugary goodness all around? My treat."

Margot looked skeptically at her, "Okay what's going on? Aunt Roni, you never let me have treats. You always said it'd rot my teeth and would give me carrots."

Kelly and Roni looked nervously at each other, before Roni covered with a lifted brow, "So on the off chance that I'm offering to buy you said sugar, you're going to turn it down?"

Margot looked at her mother and Aunt, "Good point."

"Great! Shall we?" Kelly said, practically bouncing on her feet, making her daughter visibly more suspicious. Kelly dropped her demeanor, motioning Margot to the side to speak in private.

"Why don't I help you fold up this blanket, Tilly?" Roni offered the confused girl that had been just watching their exchange.

"Alright," Till smiled brightly.

When they were a few feet away, Margot snapped at her mother, "Okay, what the hell is really going on, Mom? You guys are being really cryptic. Even for you two."

Kelly fiddled with her hands, "Sorry. I tried not to be too obvious."

"Well you failed miserably," Margot still had lifted brows, waiting for an explanation.

"Oh, alright," Kelly folded. "Officer Weaver and Officer Rogers asked Roni and I to keep an eye on Tilly."

"What? Why?" Margot worried.

"Seems a woman claiming to be her mother has been searching for her," Kelly pulled out her phone to show her daughter a photo that had been sent to them of the woman. "It all seems a bit shady for their liking and I'm inclined to agree."

"Her mother? And they don't think she's really related?" As far as Margot knew, Tilly was an orphan. Officer Rogers had taken her in, but was not blood. She quickly used her mother's phone to forward the photo to herself.

"They're not certain. But seems this woman that's claiming kinship is also a notorious cult leader in another state. It's sending up some major red flags, if you know what I mean," Kelly pocketed her phone. "Anyway, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but Tilly's a special girl. Roni and I have grown quiet attached to her, and I don't doubt none of us want to see her hurt."

Margot smiled at her mother, "So this wasn't to break up or spy on our date?"

Kelly rolled her eyes, "You're not a child, Margot. I trust you."

Although her mother had mumbled the last part, Margot heard her. "Wow. Mind if I record you repeating that?"

"Oh shut up before I change my mind and just lock her away in our cellar," Kelly pushed her daughter's shoulder, moving to walk away.

Margot stopped her with a hand on hers, looking sincere, "Thank you, Mom. You're right. Tilly is really special. And I know not just to me. Thank you for looking out for her."

Teary-eyed, Kelly wrapped an arm around her daughter's shoulders and walked them back over to Roni and Tilly. Roni mirrored her sister with her arm around Tilly protectively.

"Alright my girls, let's go see which apple is better shall we. Red or Green," Kelly winked kindly at Tilly, making the girl smile widely. "Although, I tell you what Tilly. If my daughter dares to say red, we're going to have to find you another girl."

Tilly laughed with Roni as Margot pushed her mother away.

"See, she's temperamental too. Are you sure you want a girl like that, love?" Kelly wrapped her arm around Tilly from her other side, sandwiching her between her and Roni.

Tilly looked at Margot with sincere eyes and said, "Absolutely."

Margot's anger faded completely as she tried to remember to breath. Tilly stepped away from the two women and moved toward Margot with an out-stretched hand. Margot took it without hesitation and led them toward the pier. Her aunt and mother close behind them.

A couple of hours later, the four of them were sitting on the couches in the corner of the bar. Tilly was texting Rogers to check in and let him know where they were.

"He worries, you know." Tilly said, still typing.

"Understandable. I'm glad he looks after you, though." Kelly took a sip of her martini.

"He does. He and Weaver have been taking care of me for… well it seems like forever." Tilly's face looked like it was trying to calculate the years. "I guess since I can remember."

Margot squeezed Tilly's knee, "Well now you have us too."

"Yes, you do." Regina raised her small tumbler in toast.

"Aunt Roni, what are you drinking? I've never seen you drink anything but an occasional beer or scotch and soda." Margot pointed to the light liquid.

Roni took another sip and let out a sigh, "Homemade hard cider. I haven't made it in years, but I had a craving for it."

"Can I try it?" Margot asked, accepting the tumbler and taking a short sip. She closed her eyes to savor the liquid and hummed in delight. A picture came to her mind of a large fireplace in spacious living room. Her Aunt Roni was sitting next to her on a white sofa, but she was dressed chic in a business suit, and her hair was longer. "Wow."

"Too strong? I thought maybe I should have let it brew a little longer," Roni took the glass back, confused by the strange look Margot was giving her. Before she could question her niece, she noticed a man approach them. "Samdi?"

"Roni." The elegant tall black man gave Roni a smooth smile. He bowed slightly to the other women in greeting, "Ladies. My apologies for the interruption, but may I steal Roni away for a moment?"

Roni stood and excused herself from the group to take Samdi to her office.

"Who was that?" Margot guffawed, "Aunt Roni looked completely smitten."

Kelly grunted, "Ugh, an ex-boyfriend."

Tilly and Margot shared raised eyebrows.

"Did it not end well? They looked nice together," Till inquired.

"I'm not sure, honestly. Roni's not been very open on the matter other than they dated a very long time ago," Kelly looked toward the back room. "I get the feeling her broke her heart, but she won't tell me otherwise. I think it's a bit of a sore spot."

"Too bad. He's really handsome," Margot said offhanded. She turned to questioning glares from her mother and date and shrugged, "What? I can appreciate him. Not my cup of tea, obviously, but come on."

"He does seem sort of regal doesn't he?" Tilly giggled, but her stomach turned suddenly making her gasp.

She shut her eyes as a bright light flashed in her eyes. She was in a small cave with Samdi. He was standing in front of her with a look of pure terror on his face and holding his chest. He was looking at her hand, and when she turned her eyes down to look, she let out a cry. She was holding a marbled red and black glowing heart.

When Tilly opened her eyes again, she was back in the bar. Margot was sitting next to her, rubbing her back. Kelly came back to them with a glass of water, handing it to Tilly.

"Are you alright, Tilly," Margot asked, clearly worried. "You zoned out for a moment, but you started crying."

Tilly pinched the skin above her nose, between her eyes. "I think I need to lie down."

Kelly and Margot exchanged worried looks before Kelly stood, "Come on then. Let's go upstairs to our place. She can lie down on the couch and I'll make her some tea."

They escorted Tilly up the backstairs, carefully entering their apartment and making her comfortable on the couch. Margot made a fuss about taking off the girl's shoes and getting her a pillow, then draping a blanket over her.

"Do you need an aspirin, hon?" Margot ran her hands through blonde hair, worried that aspirin might not dull the sounds in Tilly's head.

Tilly opened her eyes slightly, "Yeah, that would be good. Just a bit of a headache."

Margot leaned in closer to whisper, "Are you sure? Do you need the other pills?"

She smiled at Margot, placing a hand on her cheek, "I'm alright, I promise."

Margot leaned into the hand, she was about to place a soft kiss in Tilly's palm when her mother interrupted with the cup of tea she had made and clearing her throat.

"Margot, dear. Will you go let your Aunt Regina know we're up here? Tell her Margot's not feeling well. I think she may have aspirin behind the bar as well." Kelly practically squeezed between them as she sat by Tilly.

"Yeah, okay." Margot gave Tilly another small smile, "I'll be right back, okay?"

Tilly just nodded, closing her eyes again.

Ten minutes passed and Margot came back carrying a bottle of pills, with Roni right behind her. The both of them were looking pink faced and uncomfortable. Margot grabbed a bottle of water from the kitchen and took a seat next to Tilly on the couch, offering her the aspirin.

Kelly walked to Roni and whispered, "Everything alright?"

Roni shuffled, looking back and forth between her niece and sister, "Fine. Everything's fine."

Margot tiffed, "Let's just say someone should have locked her office door."

"No," Tilly grinned at Roni.

Roni's blush grew, "I truly am sorry, Margot. It's just Samdi and I-."

"Were you snogging in your office?" Kelly asked incredulously.

"I wish that was all," Margot muttered.

"Roni!" Kelly snapped. "In our place of business?!"

"I admit I got carried away with the bit of news he gave me, I'm so sorry Margot," Roni apologized.

"It's alright, Aunt Roni." Margot grinned at her as well.

"Thank you," She smiled at her niece before turning to Kelly, "Can I talk to you in the other room?"

Kelly motioned to the girls, "But?"

"We don't need to worry," Roni related with her eyes the true meaning of her words.

"We don't need to worry?" Kelly's face scrunched briefly before Roni's slow nod registered. "Oh! We don't need to worry anymore?!"

Roni nodded her head with a wide knowing smile.

"You didn't need to worry in the first place, mom." Margot shooed them with her hands, "Go. I know Aunt Roni wants to give you all sorts of details I don't want my girlfriend to hear. So please, go."

With the two older women gone to the other room, Margot looked back at Tilly who had moved into a seated position to take the aspirin.

"How's the head?" Margot asked quietly, once again pushing strands of hair behind Tilly's ears. "You look better."

"It's alright. You're mum was pretty great. She made the perfect spot of tea," Tilly motioned toward her cup. "Thank you the pills, and for taking care of me."

Letting her hand stay on Tilly's cheek, she said, "Of course."

Tilly turned shy but continued to look at her, "So I'm your girlfriend, am I?"

Margot's eyes bulged as she realized she had referred to Tilly as such to her mother. When she caught sight of Tilly's hopeful stare, she couldn't help but melt at the sight.

"God, I hope so," she said the words in a sigh as she leaned forward and met Tilly's lips with her own, pulling her into her arms.

A bright blast of light ignited from where their lips met, rattling the windows and illuminating the dark room. An air gust of magic flew around them with a force that spread out through the city.

Roni and Kelly came running into the room with giant smiles, waiting to see if what they hoped had come true. They held their breaths as the waited for the kiss to end. As a peck turned into more and the girls were deepening their kisses, they were torn on rather or not to interrupt. Margot and Tilly both pulled away from their kiss with a loud gasp.

"Alice?" hands flew to either side of the girls face.

"Nobin?" Alice gasped, making Robin chuckle.

"Stop calling me that, tower girl," Robin grinned, leaning down to kiss her again.

"It's really you," Alice began to cry, wrapping her arms tightly around Robin's neck. Robin held her just as tight as well as the both cried into each other's shoulders.

"Well done, sis." Zelena nudged her sister with her hip. "That must have been some shag."

"Zelena!" Regina snapped.

Robin released her love with a groan, "Gross, Mom."

"What? You can thank that man for saving you the trouble of never being able to kiss your true love there, dear." Zelena motioned to Alice.

"What?" Alice looked just as confused as Robin.

Kelly continued, "Facilier broke the curse on Henry's heart. If hadn't of done that and you two snogged-."

"It would have killed Henry," Regina cut her off, filling them in. Her phone began to ring and she looked at the ID, "Speaking of which." They watched her take a deep breath before answering, "Henry?"

The tears that came to her eyes as she talked on the phone told them that the curse was indeed broken. Even from across the room, the other three could hear Lucy cheering.

Regina hung up the phone, "Henry and them are coming here right away. They're awake. They're all awake."

Alice stood up suddenly, "What about my-"

There was a heavy knock on the door, and Zelena went to answer it carefully. She opened the door slowly, allowing Hook to step into the room followed by Rumple. Alice was instantly at her feet moving to hug him. He looked like he was about to jump away, but nothing happened as he collided with her daughter. He turned his surprised eyes to Rumple, who just smiled in kind.

Hook tightened his hold, "Hello Starfish."

"Papa," Alice mumbled against his shoulder. When she pulled back to look at him, they were both crying. "You're okay. I can hug you, and you're okay."

Hook nodded, "We're all okay, love."

The group reunited in the bar downstairs to celebrate the curse being broken. Alice was hard set on never letting her father or Robin go. She kept them close all night, even when they tried to reassure her they were not going anywhere.

It was hours later, after reluctantly saying goodnight to Henry and his reunited family, that others began to disperse as well. Some had made plans to return to Storybrooke as soon as they could, while others wanted a way back to the enchanted forest. For the most of them, it was déjà vu to the first and second curse in Storybrooke.

Alice stood between her father and love, clearly indecisive on what to do, or who to go with. To be able to hold her father after years of not being able to be near him was like a dream come true. Even though they had hugged numerous times when they didn't know they were father and daughter, things were different knowing how truly special those times were now. But she and Robin had also just reunited their old selves after their kiss broke the barriers of the spell. The three were torn.

Regina had explained that after Facilier informed her he had removed the curse on Henry's heart, she immediately went back to her apartment to unite the girls… after thanking him properly and getting interrupted by Robin.

She had pulled Zelena into another room to leave the young couple alone, hoping nature would run its course and break the curse. After playing interference between them all day to make sure they didn't break the curse early and kill Henry, Regina was happy to let them go. She hadn't even finished explaining to Zelena what had occurred, when the blast of True Love's Kiss broke what remained of the curse.

As soon as Hook woke up, he and Rumple rushed to the bar. Now that he knew the girl in his charge all these… he couldn't possibly know how long they had actually been under this curse. Now that he knew the extraordinary girl was none other than his Alice, and that nothing was preventing him from hugging her, he was hard pressed to keep her by his side.

But watching his girl's interaction with her True Love told him the reality was she was a young woman who wanted to be with her love. So reluctantly, he decided to relieve his daughter's burden and make the decision for her.

"Alright then love. I'm knackered. I think I'm going to head home and get to bed. I'm too old to be out so late," he joked.

Alice looked sad as she hugged him, "Must you?"

Hook chuckled, squeezing her tight, before whispering, "I think of the two of us, you should stay with Robin. I'll be alright."

Alice released him, sparing a glance at her love who was helping clean up the bar. She looked back to her father, "Are you certain?"

"Yes, love. I'm certain. But would it be alright if I picked you two up in the morning for breakfast? I'll take you and Robin to that diner you enjoy." Hook offered, making his daughter perk up with a nod. "Alright then. I will pick you two up in the morning. Just call me when you're ready and I'm five minutes away."

Alice hugged him again, "Okay, Papa."

He pulled away ever so slightly, looking seriously into her eyes, "Darling I know I said as much in my letters before, but I'm very happy you met someone like Robin. She's a wonderful woman that I know loves you very much. I am in her debt for making you this happy."

"Thank you, Papa. I love you very much," Alice squeezed him again.

Hook swallowed his tears, "I love you too, starfish."

He bid them all a goodnight, leaving with Rumple. Regina and Facilier tried to leave un-noticed but everyone saw them stumble out the front door and get into a cab together. Next, Zelena had received a call from her fiancé saying he had returned to Hyperion to be with her until she was ready to go back home. She quickly gathered her things and winked at her daughter on the way out of the bar.

Robin locked the front door, turning giddy eyes to Alice as she joined her. They silently took each other's hands and began their way up the back stairs to the apartment above. Robin led them to her room and silently closed the door behind them, walking to the dresser to pull out something for them to sleep in.

She was about to pull out a pair of pajamas when a gentle hand on her arm stopped her. She turned to Alice as she dropped the PJs back in the drawer. Alice wrapped her arms around Robin's waist and turned her so she could pull her into a full hug. Taking the position to kiss Robin's neck and nuzzle her.

"Are you okay baby?" Robin rocked her gently, running smooth hands up and down her back.

Alice merely hummed in delight, "More than okay."

"I was getting you pajamas," Robin kissed the crown of Alice's head, pulling the girl back to look at her.

The smile she received was one Robin had seen many times before, but not for a very long time. It was a sort of mischievousness that took Robin's breath. They had spent hours making out whenever that smile appeared on their visits back at Alice's cabin.

"Wouldn't you rather be in comfortable clothing for that?" Robin asked, swallowing the lump in her throat and praying her body would relax.

Something changed in Alice's expression that made them both begin to breathe differently. Alice stepped closer to Robin, pulling her into a deep passionate kiss. Holding her face closely to pour all her love into the press of her lips and the playfulness of her tongue.

Robin pulled back and leaned their foreheads together, "Alice?"

"I think… I think I'd rather we didn't have clothing at all." She said quickly, Robin's head pulled back with a shocked expression. "I know we've technically never…"

Robin swallowed thickly. No they had never, but she had. In multiple parts of the world under her cursed frame of mind.

"Robin," Alice cupped her guilty face and brought her eyes back, "Don't worry about that. None of it matters. It's just you and me."

Robin let her frown melt away and smiled crookedly at her.

"In your bed."

Robin laughed.

"Hopefully naked."

Robin pulled away further to laugh more.

"Doing all sorts of naughtiness."

Robin bit her lip and sat on the edge of her bed and held her hand out for Alice to join her. Side by side they began kissing again, falling back onto the bed and holding each other close as their lips reunited.

Alice pulled away with a sly grin, "Goodness, you're really good at that."