Emma Swan, Skeptic
Disclaimer: I do not own Once Upon a Time.
Note: This is based on me wondering just how long Emma can refuse to believe in the curse. I have a great deal of faith in her in this regard.
It all started when Henry finally decided who Mr. Gold was.
He hadn't told Regina, of course, and he also hadn't mentioned it to Emma so she had to find out by accident. She could understand why he hadn't told Regina (the Evil Queen who had supposedly cast this curse really didn't need to know about Henry's efforts to break it) but it hurt that he hadn't told her, either. She was supposed to be the savior, after all.
Emma had been driving by the pawn shop as part of her regular route (she could rarely prove anything but she always liked to know where Gold was just in case) when she saw Henry, book in hand, about to open the door to Gold's shop.
"Henry!" Emma had exclaimed.
Henry had frozen and then turned around to face her, smiling sheepishly. "Hi, Emma."
Emma pulled up to the curb and parked right there. It wasn't strictly legal but she was the only one in town who was authorized to give tickets so she felt that she was probably safe. The ticket situation, incidentally, had been one that Regina had only reluctantly accepted after Emma had threatened to call on a higher authority to settle the matter for them. Regina, like everyone else in town, was remarkably…disinterested in the world at large as well as the most blatantly power-abusing woman she'd ever met.
As Emma unbuckled her seatbelt and climbed out of the car, she asked, "Does your mother know where you are?"
The minute the words left her mouth she knew it was a stupid question. Regina never knew where Henry was.
Henry grimaced. "Can you not call her that?"
Emma raised an eyebrow. "What? Your mother? I hate to break it to you, kid, but she is your mother. The law is on her side and everything."
Henry was still frowning. "Yeah, but we were making family trees again in school and I found out that if my mother is the Evil Queen then that makes my grandmother my step-sister. That makes me your uncle!" He paused. "Or maybe step-uncle. But I've never heard anyone say that."
Emma's lips twitched. "I see what you mean. But Henry, tell me what you're doing out here. You know that Mr. Gold is dangerous. You were the one who told me, remember?"
Henry nodded. "I remember. It's just…I finally know who he is!"
"Who?" Emma asked, curious despite herself.
Henry just grinned at her. "You can find out if you come with me."
Emma considered this offer. If she had her way, Henry would never speak to or even look at Gold. She knew that she could stop Henry this time and, maybe if she was lucky, the next few times as well. If Regina was alerted then she might be able to push their meeting off even longer which would be worth the hit to their relationship tattling to Regina would cause. Still, Regina actually being able to help was far from a guarantee as their esteemed mayor didn't exactly have the best track record when it came to keeping track of Henry. And there was no way they could keep the two apart forever.
Sooner or later, Henry would successfully get to meet with Gold and all that she could control was whether she was there to supervise or not.
Slowly, Emma nodded. "Alright. You've got yourself a deal."
Gold was not at all surprised to see them and normally that would disturb her but today that meant nothing since they had been standing right outside his window talking for the past few minutes.
"Ah, Deputy Swan, Henry," Gold greeted them pleasantly, smiling their way. "What can I do for you?"
"We just wanted to talk to you," Henry said importantly. He paused and grinned again. "Rumpelstiltskin."
Gold raised his eyebrows. "'Rumpelstiltskin'?" he repeated.
"That's your name," Henry explained.
"I had thought it was Mr. Gold," Gold said mildly.
"If your name was Mr. Gold then why don't you have a first name?" Henry challenged.
Emma started. "He doesn't have a first name? What do you mean?"
"Do you know his first name?" Henry asked, turning to her.
"Well…no," Emma admitted. "But that doesn't mean that he doesn't have one."
"He really doesn't have one," Henry insisted.
"Hm, that's an interesting point," Gold said thoughtfully. "What do you think about 'Thomas'? Thomas Gold."
"He's making up a first name right now!" Henry accused.
"I'm sure he isn't," Emma said calmly. "His name just hasn't come up before now."
"You accused me of being Rumpelstiltskin a moment ago," Gold reminded him. "Why?"
"In my book," Henry said, hoisting his book onto the counter, "the fairytales are different than the other ones I've read."
"How so?" Gold asked in a tone that could almost be called curious.
Emma eyed him warily but he didn't seem to have any malicious intent.
"Rumpelstiltskin was involved in almost every fairytale and if he wasn't then the Evil Queen was," Henry explained. "I've been trying to figure out who you were for ages and then yesterday when my mom said that you were always involved in everything I figured it out."
Gold's expression hadn't changed. "Did you?"
Henry nodded. "Yep."
"Hold on a minute, kid," Emma told him. "I thought that Rumpelstiltskin spun the straw into gold and then tried to…take a baby…" She shot an alarmed look at Gold as an image of Ashley danced through her head. She shook it off. "But he was an idiot and agreed to let her keep the baby if she could guess his name. Then he went out and shouted his name as well as his status as potential royal baby-snatcher to the world and one of the royal knights heard him."
"Yeah, that was in the book, too," Henry told her. "Sort of. Rumpelstiltskin claimed that he wanted the baby for juggling. And that was pretty early on. Later, everyone knew his name."
"This theory is fascinating," Gold said, not sounding particularly fascinated at all. "But why tell me? From what I understand, you believe that we all have amnesia?"
Henry looked confused.
"Maybe it's not so much that you lost your memory as you got false ones instead," Emma said, valiantly coming to her son's rescue.
"You gave the Evil Queen the curse," Henry declared. "So I figured that you must remember."
"Why would I do a thing like that?" Gold inquired.
Henry shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe you just wanted to get out of prison."
"He was in prison?" Emma asked, intrigued.
Henry nodded. "Yeah. Cinderella didn't want to give Rumpelstiltskin her baby and so they tricked him into giving up his magic and locked him up. Since they broke the deal, Prince Thomas disappeared."
"Why would Cinderella agree to give up her baby in the first place?" Emma asked, blankly. She was aware that it was a bit of an odd question coming from her since she'd also given up her baby but at least she hadn't traded him away to a madman.
"Rumpelstiltskin killed her fairy godmother before she could get Cinderella ready for the ball and then offered to help her instead. She just didn't read the contract he had her sign," Henry revealed.
"Careless," Gold spoke up. "I'm not sure it's really anyone's job to force someone to read a contract before they sign it, though."
"Maybe not but contracts detailing illegal bargains – such as, say, baby selling – aren't valid and thus not enforceable," Emma shot back.
Gold looked amused. "If you felt that strongly about it, dearie, then why'd you agree to owe me a favor?"
Emma rolled her eyes. "Because I wanted to be able to tell a scared nineteen-year-old who was all alone in the world and had just given birth that her nightmare was over. And it's just a favor."
But Henry was shaking his head. "It's never just a favor with him."
"Well it's a little late for regrets," Emma pointed out.
"I still don't understand why you're telling me this," Gold told them.
Henry's face took on an expression of calculated innocence that made Emma's heart swell with pride. "I just thought that you might want to know that Belle's father didn't drive her to suicide."
Well, that didn't sound like any fairytale she'd ever heard of.
"Belle? You mean like Beauty and the Beast Belle?" Emma asked. "I thought this was Rumpelstiltskin."
"He's both," Henry claimed.
Emma shook her head. "You weren't kidding about him being in everything."
Gold had frozen. "Come again?" he asked carefully.
"The Evil Queen lied to you," Henry said, his eyes shining with sympathy. "Belle never made it home. The Evil Queen had her kidnapped on her way from the castle and held her prisoner. She might even be alive now."
"Show me," Gold demanded.
Emma was stunned at his sudden interest. "Mr. Gold-"
He ignored her, his attention still focused on Henry. "Show me."
Henry nodded and turned his book to the right page. He pointed to one of the paragraphs. "Here."
Gold grabbed the book almost desperately and started to scan the page.
"What-" Emma started to say, feeling utterly out of her depth.
"Shhh," Henry shushed her. "This is important."
Feeling a bit miffed, Emma lapsed into silence.
A few minutes later, Gold looked up.
"Well?" Henry asked, almost painfully hopeful.
Gold was quiet for a moment. "Did you know that there is a well not too far from here where the water is supposed to restore something that is lost?"
Henry's eyes widened. "There is? Does it work?"
Gold nodded Emma's way. "Why don't you ask your mother?"
Emma blinked at being referred to as Henry's mother. It wasn't a bad feeling.
"Emma?" Henry asked excitedly.
"I…I've been there," she admitted. "And I had some of the water."
"And did you find anything that you lost?" Henry pressed.
Emma hesitated. "Well…I did find your book not long after that. It can't possibly be connected, though."
"Do you want to take a field trip?" Henry asked brightly. "We'll need to get a container first…"
The very first place that Henry took his water was Emma's apartment. Or, more to the point, the apartment of Mary Margaret.
"Ms. Blanchard! Ms. Blanchard!" Henry cried out as he hurried into the room.
Mary Margaret was sitting at the table eating lunch. "Yes, Henry?"
"Emma and I found this really cool well and the water tastes awesome and you have to try it!" Henry burst out.
Henry hadn't actually taken the time to try the water before running off but Emma could understand that Henry would have an easier time getting people to drink the water if he just claimed that it was really good instead of this being yet another attempt to try to break the curse.
Mary Margaret smiled fondly and stood up. "I'll get a cup."
She walked over to the cabinet and pulled out a blue plastic cup. She dipped it into the water and filled the cup halfway. She laughed a little self-consciously at the eager expression on Henry's face and took a sip.
"Mmm, this is really good!" she remarked, taking another gulp.
"Well?" Henry asked hopefully.
"Well what?" Mary Margaret asked a little uncertainly. "I already told you that it was good."
Henry looked disappointed. "Maybe it takes awhile to kick in?"
"What does?" Mary Margaret asked, confused.
Emma was about to explain when Mary Margaret jerked violnetly.
"Are you alright?" she asked worriedly.
Mary Margaret was blinking rapidly. "I-I don't know. I…"
"Do you remember?" Henry asked eagerly.
"Remember what?" Mary Margaret asked vaguely.
"Snow White," Henry said reverently. "Prince Charming. The Evil Queen."
Mary Margaret shuddered. "Oh, I remember alright. And I think that I'm going to kill her."
"That's Emma's job," Henry informed her.
"Hey, wait a second!" Emma protested. "I am not going to go out and kill anybody."
"Not even if it's the Evil Queen?" Mary Margaret asked her.
Emma didn't answer as immediately as she probably should have. "I'd still need a very good reason."
"Well you'll get one," Mary Margaret said grimly. "She did curse us all to Storybrook, after all, and stole our identities."
Emma groaned. "Look, there's humoring someone and then there's outright enabling and I think you just crossed that line."
"I'm not enabling him or humoring him," Mary Margaret insisted. "I just got my memory back. I'm your mother, Emma." Her eyes widened. "I'm your mother, Emma. I…God, it must have been so long! You look older than I am!"
"What was in that water?" Emma wondered absently. "I didn't have any such negative effects. Maybe someone poured some LSD in since then?"
Mary Margaret stood up and gave Emma a tight hug.
"Um…okay," Emma said awkwardly. "So we hug now?"
Mary Margaret hadn't stopped with the 'I'm actually your mother, Snow White' thing and she had traded in her usual schoolmarm wardrobe for that of what Henry had quite accurately described as belonging to a fairytale character. Most if it came from Renaissance fairs or costume shops and while Storybrook didn't have either (well…there was one store that sold Halloween costumes in October but only of the child variety) the internet did.
Emma was growing concerned but Mary Margaret didn't appear to be violent and the last thing she wanted to do was give the mayor a reason to abuse her power yet again and institutionalize her.
She walked into Granny's diner (there was a serious lack of restaurants in this town, that was for sure) and saw David sitting a little awkwardly across from a beaming Mary Margaret.
"Hey," she said, walking up to them. "I thought that you two had broken up."
"So did I," David admitted, thankfully looking just as lost as Emma herself was.
"We did," Mary Margaret confirmed. "And even though I maintain that that is no way to treat your true love or even someone that you are in a relationship with but don't really love, I'm willing to accept the extenuating circumstances now."
"What extenuating circumstances?" Emma demanded. "He lied about telling Kathryn why he was leaving her and then hid while the town made you out to be some sort of scarlet woman!"
David looked about ready to melt into the floor.
Emma cleared her throat. "I mean, uh, not that I'm judging or anything. You are an adult and fully capable of making your own choices."
"So glad that you agree," Mary Margaret said sweetly. "But I understand your concern and I appreciate it. Normally I would agree with you but it's really not fair to blame someone for their actions under the curse."
"Curse? What curse?" David asked, puzzled.
"Henry's curse," Emma answered.
David's brow furrowed. "That's the…um, fairytale thing, right?"
Mary Margaret pulled a water bottle out of her purse and passed it to David. "Oh, never mind about that. Here, you've got to try this."
"Again with the water?" Emma asked incredulously.
David, who had been just about to take a sip, eyed the water warily. "What's in it?"
"Nothing, nothing," Mary Margaret assured him. "It's just really good water and I'm on a mission to ensure that everyone in town gets to try it. It's from this well right at the edge of town."
David smiled. "Well, I have to admit that I'm kind of curious about what kind of water could possibly cause that kind of reaction." He took a sip.
"LSD-laced water presumably," Emma muttered.
David choked. "I-what?"
"There's no LSD in the water," Mary Margaret insisted. "Really."
David frowned, torn between believing the sheriff who might very well have gotten the water tested and the woman he couldn't believe was giving him another chance. Finally, he shrugged and took a huge gulp of the water.
"Snow!" Ruby exclaimed, running over to their table.
"Not you, too," Emma complained. "Honestly, it's like this is becoming pandemic or something. I've really got to test that water."
"That would be interesting," Mary Margaret told her. "I don't know what you find but I know that it won't be LSD. Just don't let Regina know. She'll probably declare the water toxic or something and close it off."
"I never let Regina know anything," Emma assured her.
"And you're a much better sheriff for it, too," Ruby assured her. "As ironic as that may sound…"
"You were saying something, Red?" Mary Margaret asked politely.
David started to seize violently then.
"Oh my God!" Emma cried out, moving over to him.
Mary Margaret waved her off. "Oh, they always have this reaction. He'll be fine."
"And you don't think that this water might be, oh I don't know, dangerous?" Emma demanded.
"Not to us," Mary Margaret insisted. "To the Evil Queen's plot it's downright deadly."
"Yeah, that happened to me a minute ago and I'm just fine," Ruby agreed before turning back to Mary Margaret. "Listen, you've got to tell me what was in that water! I know you wanted me to try it and I just drank some and suddenly I'm no longer Ruby the town…sexually liberated individual but Red the slightly less sexually liberated individual who remembers not being judged for her choices."
"Henry said that the water from this well will restore what's lost," Mary Margaret explained. "He got me to drink some and I remembered everything. I gave my kids some water and then gave them some for their families."
"We can start using the water here," Ruby said enthusiastically. "I just need to get Granny to drink some." She paused. "And also stop trying to move to Boston. Did you know I've given her thirty-eight heart attacks over the years?"
Emma whistled. "Wow, that's a lot. That should have killed her."
Ruby nodded. "It probably would have if it wasn't just a tactic the curse was using to get me to not try to leave Storybrook. Still, it can't be good for her."
"I'm thinking of spiking the communion wine next," Mary Margaret revealed conspiratorially. "I got Grumpy and he promised to get some to Nova."
"Hey, I'm pretty sure that spiking communion wine is not only unethical but might be illegal, too," Emma objected. "Stop plotting your illegal deeds in front of the town sheriff!"
"What's so illegal about putting water in the communion wine?" Mary Margaret asked innocently.
"It's clearly laced with LSD!" Emma exclaimed.
"You really should get that water tested before you keep saying that," Mary Margaret said a little reprovingly. "One of these days, someone is actually going to believe you."
"Good!" Emma cried out, throwing her hands up in the air.
"I wonder…" David said suddenly, apparently past whatever physical effect that water had had on him. "Could this be the Storybrook equivalent of that water that I had to get to save Abigail's fiancé Frederick? That was said to restore what's lost, too."
"Oh, good thinking, James!" Ruby congratulated him.
"Now he's James? What happened to Prince Charming?" Emma asked sardonically.
"Prince Charming is a nickname that my wife came up with," David explained.
Emma frowned. "Kathryn?" She really didn't seem the type.
"No, no, Snow White!" David exclaimed, reaching out and grabbing Mary Margaret's hand affectionately.
She was literally watching people start to buy into Henry's fantasy. That was it, she was definitely getting that water tested.
To Emma's shock and disappointment, there was no LSD in the water. She had it tested for every other drug she could think of (and with her past that was quite a lot) as well as a few she had looked up but there was nothing. There was no minerals or fluoride or anything else, either. It was, as far as she could tell, just pure water. And yet she couldn't deny that there was something about it that had made everyone that drank it act like lunatics from then on.
Clearly, this was some new drug that she hadn't thought of yet. She'd have to keep looking.
"Emma," Mary Margaret asked hesitantly. "I know that this won't be easy to talk about but…do you remember before Graham died?"
Emma felt the familiar pang at the mention of her predecessor and a man that she was starting to believe that she could really like. If nothing else, she'd have to feel something in order to even look at a man she knew had slept with Regina. "Yeah. He was sick."
Mary Margaret shook her head and smiled sadly. "No, Emma, he was remembering. He kissed you and, because you are the one who is supposed to break the curse, that started to give him his memories back. Because it wasn't done with the much more efficient water, it took awhile for him to get everything together."
"If I'm supposed to be breaking this curse then how are you and the others going about breaking it for everybody?" Emma asked skeptically.
"You're the one who led Henry to the water in the first place," Mary Margaret pointed out.
"Yeah, because August W. Booth showed me the water and Mr. Gold suggested it to Henry," Emma countered.
Mary Margaret was quite taken aback at this. "Did he? I wonder…"
"You brought up Graham for a reason, I assume," Emma said a bit stiffly.
Mary Margaret nodded. "Right. He told you that Regina had his heart, right?"
"So he did," Emma said sourly.
"Well he didn't mean that he loved her if that's what you're concerned about," Mary Margaret promised.
"Then what, she literally had possession of his heart?" Emma asked sarcastically.
"She did," Mary Margaret confirmed. "And then she crushed it. That's what killed him."
"He died of a heart attack," Emma said flatly. "The autopsy said so and I was right there with him at the time so I should know."
"Emma, perfectly healthy men in their thirties don't have heart attacks," Mary Margaret insisted. "But look, it doesn't really matter if you believe us or not. We know that there are countless other souls similarly enslaved and we want to find their hearts and return them to them before Regina can kill them, too."
"Why are you telling me this?" Emma asked warily. "Am I supposed to go back into that mausoleum and help?"
"Oh, no," Mary Margaret assured her. "We just need you to distract the Evil Queen. You're the only one we can trust to successfully stall her for long enough. Just let us know when you have her in front of you and away from the mausoleum and think you can keep her there."
Emma did argue with Regina quite a bit and, deluded and planning probably illegal acts or not, she didn't seem any harm in acquiescing to her roommate's request. "I'll text you."
Emma was on her way out of Storybrook go to a weekend conference in Augusta when she noticed the sign.
She had thought the conference was perfectly normal but it turned out that nobody in Storybrook aside from Henry had actually heard of any place outside of Storybrook that wasn't Boston (and, if they were familiar with Henry's adoption, Phoenix). She supposed that that explained a great deal about why every time anybody wanted to go anywhere it was always to Boston.
Yes, Henry had tracked her down in Boston because she lived there. Kathryn might not have been able to find a law school she liked in Maine. Perhaps Ruby even had her reasons for wanting to go to a bigger city than could be found in the state. Still, she had to admit that it was a bit odd than there was nowhere closer for Ava and Nicolas to be put into foster care but she chalked that up to Regina just being a bitch.
Eventually, she had managed to explain about the outside world of the capital of Maine. Ironically, those that had been "cured" were far more accepting of its existence than those who hadn't. It was getting easier by the day to tell who had bought into Henry's theory and who hadn't based on whether or not they were still dressing like normal people. She was a little concerned about how Archie could possibly treat Henry since he now completely believed him but that really wasn't her call.
She hadn't been by the edge of Storybrook for a few days but she was almost positive that there hadn't been a billboard a few hundred yards from the "Welcome to Storybrook" sign that warned everyone who couldn't remember ever leaving Storybrook from travelling past that point because something bad would surely happen along with a list of possible catastrophes.
Interestingly, despite the fact that Emma could remember spending most of her life outside of Storybrook, her getting run off the road by a wolf was listed on the billboard. Well, either that or it was more common than she'd thought.
Shaking her head at just how paranoid this curse belief was making people as well as the apparent desperation at keeping the population stable, Emma drove on.
Predictably, nothing tried to stop her from leaving.
Regina stormed into her office one day looking like she was fit to kill.
"There's been a robbery," she hissed.
Emma frowned. "Was it at your house?"
"Of course it wasn't at my house!" Regina snapped, looking like the very idea was absurd. It probably was in her mind but if Gold could be robbed then so could Regina.
"Then why are you coming to report this personally instead of letting someone call it in?" Emma asked discretely sending Mary Margaret a text to let her know she was distracting Regina.
"Because, Sheriff, it's important and I had mistakenly thought that maybe your job mattered to you," Regina sniped.
"Don't question my commitment to my job," Emma ordered her. "Not just tell me what was robbed and what was taken."
"The hospital was robbed," Regina replied immediately. "As for what was taken…it doesn't matter."
"Of course it matters," Emma disagreed. "If you don't tell me what was taken then how am I supposed to be able to recover it or start looking for it or even get a suspect?"
"I have a suspect for you," Regina announced. "Mr. Gold took…the item."
"This mysterious item that you're not going to tell me about," Emma said dubiously. "Do you have any proof? Any surveillance footage or eyewitness? Maybe some fingerprints? Cane marks?"
"That's your job, Sheriff Swan," Regina said disdainfully. "But he's too good to leave such obvious evidence."
"Then how do you honestly expect me to be able to-" Emma started to say when she was distracted by two new arrivals.
"Hello, Sheriff Swan, Madam Mayor," Gold greeted them both pleasantly. There was a beautiful brunette at his side.
"Hello," the woman said in an Australian accent. "It's nice to meet you, Emma."
"It's nice to meet you, too," Emma replied automatically. "I'm sorry but who are you?"
"My name is Belle," Belle introduced.
Emma shook her head. "As in Beauty and the Beast? And why not? You're here with Rumpelstiltskin after all."
Regina spun back around to face her, her eyes wide. "What did you say?"
"What?" Emma asked, bemused. "Did you somehow fail to notice that more than half the town believes Henry's theory?"
Regina pressed her lips together tightly but didn't say anything which Emma could only assume meant 'yes.'
"I don't really have another name," Belle said apologetically. "I mean, I guess you could call me Belle French if you absolutely must. My father is known here as Moe French."
"I'm glad at least someone is being obliging," Emma said gratefully.
"Sheriff, I'm here because I wanted to let you know that Belle and I are getting married," Gold declared grandly. "We wanted to tell you personally since none of this would have been possible if it weren't for you."
If looks could kill, Regina's would have incinerated Emma.
"Me?" Emma asked, genuinely confused. "What did I do?"
"If it weren't for you I never would have known she was alive," Gold explained.
To be more accurate, if he thought this was Belle then if it weren't for Henry he never would have known she was alive but Emma appreciated that he didn't tell Regina any of that.
"Well…you're welcome," Emma said lamely.
"Sheriff! Arrest him right now!" Regina ordered.
"Careful, Regina, this isn't Graham," Gold taunted. "And even if it wasn't, that didn't do you very good at the end, did it?"
Gold had told her while he was languishing in Storybrook's single jail cell that the reason he had honestly expected to just walk away after hospitalizing Moe French – Belle's father! – was that in the old days it wouldn't have occurred to Graham to arrest him. Emma very much doubted that (especially since Regina would have wanted him arrested) but Gold clearly believed that.
"Do you know what he did to your father?" Emma asked abruptly.
Bello looked down. "I am, yes. We're working that one out. I mean, I can understand but that doesn't mean that it's acceptable."
"I know," Gold said quietly. "And I meant what I said about it."
"Sheriff!" Regina cried out again.
"What? I'm listening!" Emma assured her.
"This woman is an escaped mental patient and the fact that Mr. Gold intends to marry her – which he can't because she's not legally competent – just proves his involvement in her escape!" Regina claimed.
"I thought you said that an unidentified item was stolen, not that a patient had escaped," Emma reminded her.
Regina waved her hand dismissively. "Trivialities."
"The sad thing is that in her world there really isn't much of a difference," Belle confided.
"Can you prove that she is an escaped mental patient?" Gold challenged. "Or even a mental patient at all? Is there any paperwork regarding her commitment or her presence in the hospital? And don't think you can get away with drafting some now because I will know and I think I'll enjoy exposing you."
Emma turned to Regina. "Well?"
"It…was misplaced," Regina said at last.
"That's what I thought," Gold said, smirking.
Regina's eyes flashed. "I will find it, Rumpelstiltskin. This isn't over."
"Oh, I rather think that it is," Gold said, smiling again.
"Not you, too!" Emma complained. "Dear God, does anybody actually like you enough to want to restore you? Especially since you're supposed to be the Evil Queen!"
One day, Emma was sitting alone in the Sheriff's office filling out paperwork when the world just sort of melted away. She knew it was impossible, of course, but there was no other way to explain it. She appeared to be in a castle or something and though Henry looked the same everyone else (people like Regina and Mary Margaret and Ruby) looked radically different.
"We did it!" Henry exclaimed excitedly. "Finally each and every resident of Storybrook remembers! The curse is broken!"
Emma looked around long and hard. This didn't look like Storybrook anymore. This didn't look like anything anymore. Nothing like real life, at least. Maybe a little like some fantasy movie she'd seen a long time ago.
"Well, Emma?" Mary Margaret asked hopefully.
Emma knew that there was only one possible explanation. She narrowed her eyes accusingly.
"You guys slipped me some of that water, didn't you?"