The Light

Emma sipped from a cup of coffee, looked at Henry over his hot chocolate with cinnamon, and then glanced at the door. For some reason, an eerie silence settled over the threesome, Snow White included, and it seemed they all knew why. It was time.

"Open the door," Regina yelled.

Emma unholstered her service weapon and said, "Henry, Snow, get down and stay there."


Bae pulled away as Rumpelstiltskin fell limp and then stared at his own hand, tinged green and scaly, but the strangeness showed no signs of spreading. In one instant, he realized two things: his hand was numb, and the rest of him keenly felt the magic there. He left me some of his power, he thought, with a clear purpose. If he survives this, the knife breaks. Magic always comes with a price, there's always a way to break a curse, sometimes more than one.


Regina kicked open the door to find Emma pointing a gun straight at her head. "Always with the guns, Sheriff Swan?" she asked.

"Never bring a knife to a gun fight," Emma replied, glancing at the bloody knife in her hand.

"At least I'm not afraid to hide behind distance."

"Regina, listen to me. You're insane. You've literally lost your mind whatever evil possessed you. I don't know what happened to you to make you this way, but you need help."

"You still have to kill me."

"I never wanted. To kill you." she yelled. She lowered her voice and added, "I still don't." Regina approached, only to stop when Emma cocked the gun. Emma noticed that Regina's eyes appeared more lizard-like. "Regina, I can get you some help. We can fix this."

Regina blinked. Her eyes appeared normal. "Fix this?"

"Yes. We can fix this. We can get you the help that you need. Right now you've literally lost your mind, but we can get it back."

"How do you know?"

"Because I know you'd never do something this rash. You're twisted, yes, but you'd never do something you didn't plan out first."

Regina flipped the knife over. Her eyes returned to their previous reptilianness, and with a strange cry, she charged. Emma fired twice without knowing what she was doing.


Bae carefully rolled his father onto his back and glanced at the two wounds on his chest, quickly determining that the more fatal of the two was in the center. He took a deep breath, realizing that his breath was shaky, and then lay his hand on the wound. Another deep breath, this time visualizing the flow of magic. For the first time since this mess started, he felt certain. He knew what he was doing, had a plan, and was acting.

On exhale, he forced the magic out of his body.


Emma sank to her knees and watched the knife in Regina's hand vibrate ever more violently until it shattered. Henry and Snow peeked out of their hiding places, but they didn't see much before a white light filled the room.


Morraine poked her head out the door and rubbed her sleepy eyes, wondering if the commotion she'd just heard was a dream. She saw Bae kneeling over Rumpelstiltskin, sprawled out in the hallway, and knew it wasn't, but before she could utter a syllable, the entire building was consumed by light.


The first thing Bae felt past the overwhelming sense of magic was the cold. The air was almost frozen, it seemed. Bae shuddered, let out a breath to find that he could see it, wiped his mouth on his sleeve. He lay across his father's chest in an effort to keep warm.

The magic passed, leaving behind it nothing but cold and the dampness of snow. He peered up, and found a large circle of black trees, of which the denizens of Storybrooke were in the center. He sensed a barrier, beyond which was the magic of the world they had just come from. No. Barrier wasn't the right word. Bridge. That was a good one.

He rested his head, tempted to fall asleep. Another unfamiliar world, another place to pass through before he reached home. He sighed and curled into himself as much as his position allowed. Rumpelstiltskin lay a hand on his shoulder. Bae noticed that his father was dressed in leather, and his skin was green and scaly, just like it was before Bae involuntarily started his apparent career of dimension-hopping. He felt something warm, pleasant. Papa had his powers. Must've gotten them from the knife.

His thoughts slowed until he slipped into a dream. All the spirits of Dark Ones past gathered behind Zoso, though Regina was conspicuously absent. Zoso smiled at him and gave a mock salute. Bae found himself smiling in return, knowing he still had to call in a favor but blissfully ignoring the fact.

For now.

The vision faded to black.