A/N: I would not call this a cross over, but since the beginning of the TV series, I've been reminded over and over of the children book series Sisters Grimm. I was also thinking about the other show Grimm and wondered if the idea from Sisters Grimm was somehow separated to create Grimm and Once Upon a Time. Whatever the case maybe, Grimm does not suit my fancy and I hope you enjoy the story.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
I don't own Once Upon a Time or The Sisters Grimm, only this story idea.
You know when you're in a small town, if… the postman decided to bring over a package while you're sitting at Granny's Diner for a hot chocolate with cinnamon sprinkled whipped cream and everyone's wide eyes are on you as they held the gleam of a kid opening a package on Christmas. Jeff Foxworthy eat your "what if red neck jokes" out, Emma thought as she looked at the priory post box sitting in front of her.
It was Saturday afternoon and Emma had decided to go to the Diner for takeout and a cup of hot chocolate. After placing her order, she had gone over to sit with Mary Margaret, who had been eating a Reuben sandwich with spiced steak fries and a large strawberry shake. Within moments of sitting down, Ruby had come over with her hot chocolate. Emma had thanked her and had begun to sip away at the chocolaty goodness as she conversed with Mary Margret. The conversation of choice at that moment had been the school teacher's lunch choice.
"I see you're taking out your frustrations," Emma had said.
Mary Margret had nodded her head and continued to eat. During their chatter, Emma had tried to see if her roommate had anything she wanted to get off her chest. The school teacher had shaken her head. Emma had decided to switch tactics and asked how Mary Margret could stand eating sauerkraut on rye. That comment had gotten a small smile from Mary Margret, who then went on a spill about her love of sour things, she had said, "It's like my life."
It had been during this time that the town's post woman, Amber Cabins, had come in wearing her blue post man outfit and bearing the red and white post box. All eyes in the Diner had turned from their meals to the unexpected surprise to find the curling haired blonde there at this time a day and with the package to boot. Those same eyes had watched as Amber walked over to Emma's table and set the package down in front her.
Emma looked at the box for a moment before casting her eyes up towards the delivery girl, but only to find her back as she walked over to one of those twirling chairs by the bar while ordering oatmeal to go. As Emma pulled her eyes away from the slightly younger woman, she couldn't help but take in everyone else's awaiting eyes. Freaked out by the attention, Emma once again glanced back at the box to examine to see if it really was for her. It took a moment, but she found her name. She then proceeded to see who had sent her the package only to find no return address.
Emma shrugged and sipped at her hot chocolate as she felt no rush to open the package. Of course, she also took some pleasure of tormenting the hungry and excited eyes around her. As much as she took pleasure in their curiosity, she couldn't help but think that she was somehow channeling the town's fearless Madam Mayor. The thought alone unnerved her somewhat to almost take pity on those who lacked a life. She was about to flick it off, when the sound of the Diner's bell tinkled around the eatery. Emma didn't need to turn around to know someone, maybe more, had walked into the Diner. Instead, she kept her mouth on her cup as more of the liquid shot down her mouth. Her small glee was then interrupted by a voice she didn't want to hear.
"Why is everyone so tense?"
Sighing, Emma put down her cup of cocoa and turned to face the mayor, who had brought Henry with her for lunch, Emma guessed. "Who knows, they might be waiting until the world is coming to an end."
Regina crinkled her nose and decided to simply ignore Emma, but to her dismay, she found she couldn't as Henry walked over to Emma's table and asked, "Are you going to open it?"
At this point, Regina had had her back turned away from the Sheriff, but at the sound of her son's voice, she spun around to find out what he was talking about. It was then she noticed the post box on the table. Suddenly, she felt the terrible claws of curiosity dig into her as she stared at the box. She wanted to know what was inside. She knew it wasn't her place, but she didn't care. She wanted to know because that box was connected to Emma Swan and she wanted to know everything there is to know about the blonde. Knowing what's in the box is one of those things she had to know or she would go mad. However, she stuffed the cat away as she said, "Henry, it's rude to pry into other people's business."
At the end of her comment, her sharp ears heard the stifling of giggles and someone cough out hypocrite. She didn't have to search the faces in the diner to know where it came from because it clearly came from the direction of Emma Swan, who looked amused at what she said.
"Yes, but I'm ten. I'm curious by nature so I want to know what's in the box."
"Madam Mayor," Emma said as she stood up, "Give the kid a break. I'm sure we're all curious as to know what's inside to box."
"Yes, but it's your business. Do you really want Henry to pry into your business?"
Emma shrugged her shoulders, "You know at one point I would have no, but being in Storybrooke taught me, I have no personal business thus I can't keep secrets." She walked over to where Ruby stood and whispered into her ear. The waitress nodded and walked off to around the counter. She came back seconds later with a knife. Once the knife was in her hand, Emma turned to Henry with a smile, "Do you want to do the honors?"
Regina watched mortified as Emma held out the handle of the knife towards Henry, who looked hesitant, "Um, mom doesn't allow me to play with knives."
"I totally agree with your mother, but you're not really playing with this. You're just cutting the tape and using it as a tool. Besides, you're ten, you're old enough to do this."
Henry looked up at Regina with big puppy-dog eyes and immediately Regina knew she was trapped. If she said no, Henry would disapprove and believe she was treating him like a baby. If she said no, the people in the diner would thinks she might be a bad parent for not teaching her son properly or at least didn't trust her son enough to have him grow up. But if she said yes, it would prove that she wasn't an overbearing mother.
"Very well, but be careful."
A bright smile formed on Henry's face and his hand gripped the handle of the knife. Regina watched on with little amusement. She could just imagine Henry thinking about the knife being a sword and the box as the stomach of a dragon. However, what she imagined was not what was taking place. Henry's appeared not to be slaying a dragon but more like as if he was in the O.R. as he carefully and skillfully slid the knife down the center of the box. Once the center was cut, Henry then went on to cut the sides. Once they were cut, the young boy handed the knife back over to Emma.
"Good job, kid," Emma complimented, "but the slowness you had would not go over well if you wanted to get a job as a stocker but you could…"
"Excuse me, Miss Swan, but why would you encourage my son to become a stalker. It's wrong and psychotic."
Emma held her hands up at Regina's accusation, "Hold on, I wasn't going to encourage him to become a stocker, I was going to say he should go into the medical field. This kid," she ruffled Henry's hair, "has a pretty steady hand."
Somehow or other, Regina found herself rather confused, but she refused to show it. "Sheriff, I'm afraid you're not making any sense."
Emma brows furrowed in confusion and frustration, "You know…I think you're confused. I mean seriously, what's so psychotic about stocking merchandise on shelves. It does get boring after a while, but hey, it's good honest pay."
Regina pursed her lips out of anger. She was angry that she mistook Emma's "stocker" for "stalker." She was also angry that Emma had somehow had a little poetics in her, seriously, "hey" and "pay." She was going to open her mouth to criticize this point, but she was stopped by Henry, who asked, "Emma, aren't you going to see what's inside the box?"
The sheriff turned to look back to the box, "Sure." She flipped opened the flaps and found a letter sitting on top some brown packaging paper. She opened the envelope and took her time reading, much to Regina's (well, everyone's) chagrin. Regina's mood darkened even more as a small smile formed on Emma's lips, but she couldn't understand why it made her angry to see the blonde smiling. No, of course she knew. She didn't want Emma to be happy. She wanted Emma to be filled with so much grief and pain. Her eyes caught hold of the letter. If they could have, they would have burned a whole through the paper. Regina wanted the paper to catch fire because she hated whoever the person was who wrote it. As inconceivable as it sounds, she hated how some stranger was able to make Emma smile. The very idea didn't settle well with Regina.
Just as she was getting agitated, she remembered why she even came into Granny's in the first place. She walked over to the counter to confront Ruby about a pick up order she had placed. She had planned on taking some of Granny's cooking and have a picnic with Henry as a way to win him over. Yet as she was going to get Ruby's attention, Henry's voice once again cut off her actions.
"So who's the package from?"
Emma sat down in her seat and pulled the seat next her out for Henry to take. He took. "I once lived in Chicago. Funny enough, it's where I picked up on becoming a bounty hunter. There was this guy I had been hunting down for some time. The pay off was huge because he was wanted for murder. In any case, I tracked him down to this bar. Unfortunately, I didn't get him that night, but I did run into the woman with cooper color hair. She was quite beautiful and her name was Anne."
Regina felt her inner animal growl at the idea of Emma picking up some woman at a bar. She knew Emma could be a bit loose, but she never imagined the girl could swing that way. She filed that information away as she tuned into the story again.
"We talked over a few drinks. She mentioned how she worked at a library and asked me to come by some time. I told her I think about it. After that night, I kind of forgot about her because this bail jumper had occupied my mind from most things. About a week later, I tracked him down to a library. Surprisingly enough, it was the same library Anne worked. I was able to meet her again and take down the guy all in one go.
"After that, Anne and I started to befriend each other. I found the library she worked at to pretty good when I needed to look up information for my work. During this causal friendship, I meet Anne's little sister. At the time she was about your age, Henry. In any case, Anne's sister was big on reading mysteries books like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. One day, she was telling me about this mystery series by Michael Buckley. She begged me to read them. I wasn't going to but she eventually wore me down. I read the first book and found it quite entertaining, and yes, I got hooked on them even though they're kids books."
"What was the series?" asked Henry.
Emma smiled and motioned her head towards the box, "Why don't you take a look inside?"
Excitedly, Henry removed the brown packing paper and carelessly threw it on the floor. He gasped as his eyes fell on the title of an orange hard bound book. "Sisters Grimm?"
Emma nodded and took the orange covered book out of the box and handed it to Henry, "Yes."
Henry held the book and flipped through it for pictures, "What's it about?"
Emma smiled with a mischievous glint in her eyes, "Well, you may not believe it, but the books series is about two girls named Sabrina and Daphne, who were supposedly descendants of the Brothers Grimm. Unfortunately, they didn't know it until they met their grandmother, someone who they also didn't realize was alive."
"Why not?" asked Henry.
"The girls' father had once lived in a town called Ferryport Landing with his parents. While there he did something reckless and he cast himself out in exile. He didn't want his daughters to grow knowing anything about his family."
"How come they met their grandmother?"
"Well, some mysterious force had taken the girls' parents away. The girls weren't much older than you so they had to go from one crappy foster home to another. They eventually ended up in their father's home town where they discovered a huge secret about their family."
Henry sat up straight in his sit and asked eagerly, "What was their secret?"
At this time, Regina watched Emma as she contemplated on whether or not to go further on with the story. Regina found herself wondering about the story herself and it irked her. It was partially because she knew that the Grimm Brothers wrote fairy tales and the book series would be about fairy tales. She was also concerned about what those books might do to Henry's belief system of the White Knight and the Evil Queen. She was going to put a stop to this, when Emma spoke up.
"See, this is the part you won't believe," Emma began. "When Sabrina and Daphne stepped into Ferryport Landing, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. You see, the town was home to Everafters."
"Who are they?" asked Mary Margaret, who decided to put a few cents in.
"Everafters, it's a name used for fairy tale characters."
"Oo, what was the town like?" asked Henry, whose curiosity was peeked.
"Well, there were many Everafters, who hated the Grimm family because they with the help of Baba Yaga put a spell on the town to keep all Everafters in."
Regina saw the confusion in Henry's eyes as he asked, "Why?"
"Well, Everafters were magical beings, who never grew old, or at least by choice they didn't, but the Grimms were after the Everafter's well being and wanted to keep them safe. I think." Emma paused to scratch her head, "It's been a while since I've read these, but if you take a chance to read them, they'll explain a little better."
"So, tell me more about the town."
Emma smiled, "At the beginning of the series the mayor of the town was Prince Charming."
Regina had to stifle her laughter back at the idea. "What caused him to be dethroned?" the mayor found herself asking.
The sheriff turned her attention to the brunette and waggled her eyebrows, "The people of the town grew angry with him and elected the Queen of Hearts, bad choice really. You know all that 'Off with your head' nonsense."
Regina felt the fingers of her right hand clench. She hated the Queen of Hearts and the idea of her being mayor, made her sick. My mother was always the power hungry one.
"What about Snow White?" asked Henry.
"Ah, she was an elementary school teacher, who would also teach martial arts."
Regina couldn't help but be spooked by that.
"Were Prince Charming and Snow White Married?"
Emma grabbed her chin as if trying find words to explained this to Henry, "No, but before you ask, Snow White was and is always Charming's first love. Unfortunately, there's only one prince charming and he had to go rescue Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella and most of the other fairy tale princesses."
Regina had to admit, she was starting to like where this series was headed. The idea of Prince Charming being promiscuous brought a smile on her face. However, she took note on how the idea of Prince Charming going after so many women was disturbing to her son. She then watched her son's face go from disappointed to serious. "Who's the bad guy?"
"Ah, if I tell you that it would ruin the whole series."
"Emma, please?" Henry whined.
"I'll tell you this, it's someone you least expect."
"So, it's not the Evil Queen?"
Regina felt her heart clenched that Henry would want to make her the villain of some story she knew nothing about.
"I can honestly say, it's not, but I will tell you that the Snow White story is really heavy laden with this book series."
"How?" asked Henry.
"I'll tell you this also. In the seventh book, we learn that someone in the Snow White tale is not pleased with the ending of their tale because they had no real freedom."
"There's this magical book where all of the fairy tales are written in. People can enter the book and relive their glory days, but there's a caution to this as they also had the power to rewrite their own history. In the eighth book, we found out that the Snow White tale has been tampered with somewhere in the past. This tampering brought about the tale we know today. You from the tampering, it was so badly butchered that a major character was taken out of the story."
"Who would want to tamper with the story of Snow White, and why?" asked Henry enthusiastically.
Honestly, Regina was also curious as she watched Emma place a finger to her chin, "As I recall, it has something to do with Prince Charming's brother."
At the mention of Prince Charming having a brother, Regina almost blanches. Due to curiosity, she had found out that James really did have a brother, a twin in fact. It seems crazy to think that some man by the name of Michael Buckley could come up with a story that in some crazy and messed way resembled Storybooke. The idea is rather frightening, but she listened further into Emma's telling for she wanted to know more.
"But I don't know his name exactly or how he's involved. All I do know is that the original tale of Snow White was not a happy one, and someone decided to fix things up." She paused for a moment as if remembering something. Taking the box from the table, she took out eight other books until she found the one she was looking for. The book she held was thinner than the others.
"What's that?" asked Mary Margaret.
"It's the guide to the other books," Emma responded as she flipped through page after page until she came towards the end of the book. She paused and read through something. "Okay, Prince Charming's brother's name was Atticus. According to this he was the evil twin who ends up marrying Snow White."
"No way!" cried Henry. Regina could see how that information might affect Henry's belief system. The idea his teacher might marry an evil man would be unthinkable. Of course, she loves the idea. "So it must be Prince Charming, who went to the book to change to the outcome," Henry concluded.
"Actually, kid, the guide said that the Evil Queen went to the book and changed it so Snow White could have a happy ending."
At the news of this, Regina felt like she wanted to have a heart attack at the absurd and untrue theory. She would never want a happy ending for her step-daughter. I need a stiff drink. Frustrated she asked Ruby for one large chocolate malted and one medium (for Henry).
"Why would the Evil Queen want to give Snow White a happy ending?" questioned Henry, "She's evil."
Emma shrugs her shoulders, "I have no idea, I haven't read the final book yet, but don't you think it's strange that the Evil Queen would want to cast herself into the villain roll for all her life?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, perhaps the Evil Queen was close to Snow White at one point and loved her like a daughter and this bond lasted for years. However, the Evil Queen was just as distraught about Snow's marriage and went to fix, but the only way to fix it was to have her cast herself as the Evil Queen, the villain of the story. Can you imagine how heartbroken she would be at that?"
Regina was amazed. In Henry's eyes, she didn't want to be viewed as the villain of the story. Somehow it touched her that Emma would want to defend her.
"I don't understand," Henry began, "Why couldn't Prince Charming be the one who changed the story? He's the hero, isn't he?"
"He can face a dragon and save a damsel in distress, but he could not stop Snow White from marrying his brother. Blood runs deeper than water and who knows the circumstances, but I do know that a good guy would take things as they are and strive for a better tomorrow. A bad guy or someone who does bad things can't accept the here and now and has hard time looking towards tomorrow because they are stuck in the past with whatever pain they had to endure. In a way, it had to be the Evil Queen because she would only be the only one who would even attempt to rearrange events because she wouldn't care about the consequences."
There was silence between Emma and Henry. Regina felt out of sorts. Somehow it seems as if Emma knew her. It's true; she didn't care about the consequences when she enacted the curse. When it came to getting what she wanted, she was so narrow minded from the others around her, yet she did take a moment to pause before enacting the curse. When she learned that the only way of enacting the curse would be to kill her father, she didn't want to, but she sadly had no choice. Why? Well, it dealt with the stupid deal she made with Rumpelstiltskin. Despite him being behind bars, she knew she had to follow through with the deal, and he made it quite pain. He lived up to his end of the bargain and she had to live up to her own. If she had known the cost before confronting him, she would never have agreed, but now it's too late.
Shaking her head from her thoughts, she picked up the chocolate malteds and brought them over to the table. "Here, Henry," she said lovingly as she handed the medium sized malted to her son.
He scrutinized it for a moment before a smile spread across his face, "Thanks." He took it and began to sip on the straw as Regina sat down to enjoy her own.
"So," she began after a few moments, "Sheriff Swan, your assessment of the Evil Queen from these children books seems absurd. However, I am intrigued at what did the writer have to say about Rumpelstiltskin?"
"Ah," Emma nodded as she finished off her now cold cocoa and went to consult the guide for a moment. "I wouldn't have to look in here, but it's been a while." There was another pause as she scanned the pages, "Right, he was a school guidance councilor. He had the ability to manipulate children in doing his bidding. In the book, he had bought the children of Little Miss Muffin and the Spider, Beauty and the Beast, and the frog prince and his princess."
Regina chuckled lightly at the absurdity of it all, but the idea of him creating mindless drones from children, she could probably see that happening. "That's amusing, but utter ridiculous theory."
Emma shrugged, "Hey, I'm not the writer nor do I have any influence over him."
"What about Sabrina and Daphne?" asked Henry as he came up from air from his drink. "What's their story?"
Emma ruffled his hair, "Right, well, Sabrina is the blonde older sister and Daphne is the brunette younger one. Sabrina was most affected by her parents' disappearance. I won't say too much on that considering it's part of the mystery, but I will say they were kidnapped. As for the sisters, they were sent too many lousy foster homes. Most of the time, it was up to Sabrina to get themselves out of them. She was also the most skeptical of the sisters. When they were reunited with their long lost grandmother, Sabrina didn't believe the old woman was their grandmother. Eventually, she came around. She also had a hard time believing the fairy tales were real, but that changed when their grandmother was taken away by a giant."
"Did they rescue her?"
"You just have to read to find out, but I think you might be disappointed to know why a giant took the girls' grandmother."
Henry didn't say anything, but Regina hated to admit she was vaguely curious as to what Emma was referring to. "What of Sabrina's sister?" she asked. It was troubling to her to see how Sabrina sort of reminded her of Emma. She wanted to know if Daphne was like Henry.
"Ah, she was the believer of the two. She immediately accepted the older woman as their grandmother, and she was also the one who encouraged Sabrina to rescue their grandmother. You see, the older sister just wanted to run away. When Daphne went to school, she had Snow White as a teacher. She was pretty optimistic in most things and always tried to increase her vocabulary with the help of her sister. During the course of the novels, the girls had a falling out due to trust issues."
Henry nodded his head, "What were some of the trust issues?"
"Ah, well, it sort of began with a magical kazoo."
Regina lifted an eyebrow at this, "A magical kazoo? What rubbish."
"Yes, well," Emma shrugged again. "The kazoo is important for two fairy tales. The first is Little Red Riding Hood."
"How so?" asked Ruby as she came over to the table with a styrofoam take out container for Emma.
Emma took the container and decided why wait. She picked up a fry and chopped down on before answering. Swallowing, she replied, "Well, don't you think it's strange that a young girl about Henry's age would go scurrying around in the woods to take her grandmother treats. Seriously, the girl could get hurt. In Buckley's story, Little Red's grandmother was a witch and Little Red was just plain crazy. Before Red came to her grandmother's, her grandmother was practicing to blow the craziness from a rabid wolf to bottle it up. It worked. I don't remember the particulars, but two woodcutters came around granny's cottage and believed the old woman would hurt the little girl. The oldest rushed in and somehow the bottle that housed the wolf's craziness smashed opened and the spirit entered the hunter's body. Sadly, he became a werewolf. He took the magical kazoo and left. He used it later on the three little pigs, who managed to steal the kazoo away from him."
"This is good and all, but what does this have to do with Sabrina's falling out with Daphne?" asked Regina impatiently.
Emma quirked an eyebrow and smirked, "Aren't we intrigued?" She then shook her head at Regina's cold hard stare. "They needed the kazoo for an important trial. Before the trial even took place, it was revealed that Sabrina could not handle being around magical objects. For lack of a better explanation, magical objects were a drug to her. She became high off of them, but on the other hand, Daphne could freely use them without any side effects. Well, Sabrina had stolen the kazoo off of Daphne and Daphne was quite upset with her sister."
"I would imagine so," Regina piped in. "Daphne had trusted her sister, but only to have that trust be misplaced. If I were Daphne, I too would be upset." I would be vindictive.
"Agreed, but Sabrina eventually made amends with Daphne." Emma started eating again, while Regina looked at her half empty glass. She looked up from the cup and looked outside for a moment. It's still early. She could still have that picnic with Henry. She gestured towards Ruby and requested her preorder to go meal.
Before Ruby let the table, she asked, "Did either of the girls have a love interest?"
Emma, who was enjoying the taste of bread and cheese together, finished her bite, "Sabrina did."
"Oh, who took her heart?"
"Puck," Emma said as she took another bite of grilled goodness.
"Who?" asked Regina and Henry together.
Emptying her mouth of food, Emma asked, "Do you know the Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night's Dream?"
Henry shook his head, while Regina sucked the malt up into her mouth before replying, "Vaguely, I enjoy his tragedies better."
"Right," Emma said in a tone that said you would. "Puck happens to be a fairy from the play. In the book series, he's like Peter Pan gone wrong. From the moment that he met Sabrina, he had tortured the girl to no end. In one of the books, the girls found themselves in the future where they met their older selves. Sabrina found out that she was engaged to an older and slightly more mature Puck. It nearly terrified her."
Ruby, who had yet to go and check on the order, looked between Regina and Emma. However, she wasn't the only one. Henry was doing the same thing as he mouth silently to himself, is the Evil Queen Emma's Puck? He had to admit, the similarities between the Sisters Grimm and Storybrooke seemed too surreal. Yet, he felt himself torn at the moment. He wanted to keep believing what he had always believed, but now he was flooded with new ideas and theories he didn't know what to believe at the moment. However, there is one thing he did want to do. He wanted to read those books. Maybe, they would be useful for Operation Cobra.
Henry was not the only one who wanted to read those books. Regina knew that Henry would ask to read the series. She was half tempted to deny him, but she wanted to do something nice for him to let him know that she loved him. Besides, she wanted to read those books herself. So, when Henry would read the books, Regina planned on sneaking off and reading them herself. A part of her cursed herself for having a town where the library was just an abandoned building, but she had always feared books, especially, ones that deal with fairy tales. However, she found that she might like this Sisters Grimm series.
A/N: Don't read this if you're not planning on reading Sisters Grimm, the master mind villain of the entire series is the magic mirror. Sabrina and Daphne's parents were kidnapped and placed under the sleeping spell. Neither Sabrina nor Daphne could wake them up with their love, but there was someone who could. The answer of who that someone is, is written into this story. Have fun guessing!