AU: Short drabble that sprung to mind about Henry and his family when the curse is broken.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, don't own or profit from this.
The whole world around them seemed to be engulfed in a storm and all Henry could do was cheer for his mom as piece by piece his surroundings started to break apart. There was no fear for things to get worse, they could only get better now. Evil was conquered, outwitted, and everyone would be sent back to that faithful place of happiness.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, happy with the future in sight and at peace as the storm reached his cheeks and tore his skin apart. This time the memories would stay and only the people would be teleported away. His only regret was for his mother not be there to hold him as it happened and as she should. He had heard her shout as the world started to crumble. "Henry!" But he had not seen her hand reach for him as the sky was absorbed and the ground underneath their feet blended with air.
It would be all right. August had confirmed that. With the last rays of light the strange man had smiled at him and told him words he had taken to heart. He would not disappear into nothingness but he would join them in the other world. He would be safe. He would continue to exist. And August's words had taken away Henry's fright for turning into dust and ceasing to exist. He had his confirmation that he would live in the fairy tale world and he clung to that, even now as the world around him tore him to pieces.
The storm raged and then subsided.
It dawned on him that the air around him had became of an agreeable temperature and of a fresh scent. It was unlike the air of where he'd grown up and he dared to open one eye. The sight he saw was that of a meadow, peaceful and quiet with red flowers in the distance teasingly waving their petals at him. It made him decide to open his other eye after which he blinked not once but thrice as he took in the absurdness of this new reality. His smile grew and he stretched out his hands, letting out a shout of happiness. He could say he still exist. Cogito ergo sum. His high-pitched boyish shout stirred the hunched form several feet away from him. "Henry?" The soft whisper was missed by the boy who happily jumped up and greeted the sun with his hands.
Henry froze and stared up at the hands above his head. They were like a man's but the nails were long and the skin like gold. For a moment he thought them to belong to someone else but as he moved his arms he found the fingers trailing the patterns of his mind. Panic took over as he gripped his arms and lifted the royal sleeves of silk he was wearing as a prince. The skin underneath left him crying in a frustrated agony for the color was the same as his hands. Gold. He touched his face and turned around in fright, crying out loudly as he found a nearby pool of water and stared down at himself. It only took him a moment or two of silence as he let his eyes convince him of what he saw. A boy, him, but with a skin of gold and eyes like a snake. This was not him. Yet it was. What faith had been thwarting him? How could this be? And as he realized the dramatic change of his physical form, not at all as he had anticipated for in the fairy tale world all should have been fine and well, he started to cry loudly.
Footsteps rushed from behind as Emma approached hurriedly. By her side were Snow and Charming, her parents, as all three of them had ended up in an embrace several feet away from the boy. "Henry?" Emma this time shouted as she fell on her knees and circled her arms around the crying boy. Her beautiful dress was stained but she couldn't care less. She was a princess now. A princess of almost thirty years of age, and this was her son crying. She nuzzled him and hugged him close while she whispered how glad she was to have him.
"Mom," the boy wheezed, "This wasn't supposed to be." He sounded upset and rubbed his eyes with a fist. Behind Emma Snow gasped and Charming had gripped his sword. Only when her boy told her 'this wasn't supposed to be' Emma took a good enough look at him to realize her son was made out of gold with large snake-like eyes and she yelped.
"Henry?" Had August lied to them? "What happened?" She voiced the boy's words as he buried his face in her hair and cried on her shoulder. Mother and child hugged each other tenderly as they tried to understand what was going on. "It's all right, Henry." Emma whispered, her hand gently stroking the boy's hair. "It's okay. We'll find out what caused this."
Behind them Snow was biting her lip and turned to Charming with a worried frown. "Should we tell her? Should we tell our daughter her little prince is a child of him?"
"This is no coincidence." Charming said through gritted teeth. He tried to keep his voice hushed so Emma and Henry wouldn't hear. "He has tricked us again."
Snow gave a consenting nod.
Further away in the meadow the hunched form stirred and erected itself. As Henry hugged his mom tightly and his tears started to subside he came eye to eye with someone familiar. Large bright eyes looked sadly at him. But even so he could tell the man in front of him was just as surprised.
'I didn't meant for you to look like this,' the eyes seemed to tell him, 'I'm sorry, son,' Rumplestiltskin's face turned away and the eye-contact was lost as he had to focus on the pointed tip of Charming's sword. "It's better you explain." Charming said, voice creaking.
Henry fisted Emma's dress as he forced her to break the hug and look at the newcomer. Her eyes slid to the golden creature who was under threat by her father and she instantly understood. " No way." She bristled. "No way ever!" Henry half hid himself behind her as she shouted angry at the men. "No way, Gold! I would have recalled. Why can't I-?" remember? "did you do this? Was this all your plan from the very first start?"
Snow grabbed her daughter's shoulder in an attempt to calm her down. "His name is Rumplestiltskin here." She said, eyeing the golden imp with contempt. "He's very powerful."
"The hell he is!" Emma shouted. She was shaking at the deceit. All this time he had presented himself as her benefactor, had posed at her side like a companion, had asked forgiveness for being the one to take her son away and bring him to the queen while all this time he had been the boy's father. It was too much for her competitive spirit to submit to. "Mr Gold, Rumple, whatever, you've gone way out of line." She snapped her fingers at him. "I swear I'll kill you for this."
The imp, otherwise easily amused by Emma's tantrums, only gazed back at her sadly and honestly. Henry noticed the signs and took Emma's hand in his own, temporarily breaking her out of her anger. "Mom? If, if he's my dad," he still had the same lisp, his look was pleading, "does that mean Mr Gold is my dad? Rumplestiltskin is my papa?" The imp flinched at the affection and Emma shot him a glare. Snow's hand was still on her shoulder and Charming's sword was still pointing at the imp's throat.
"We shall see about that." Emma said, voice choked.
Henry hugged her, grateful for having his family complete. "Let's get to know him." He whispered, breaking everyone's heart. Charming lowered his sword, Snow's hand tightened and Emma gave in. How could she refuse her son?
"Let's get to know him."