Author's Note: Set between The Still Small Voice and The Shepard. Hope you like it.


The Proof

Henry held the shard in his hand, studying it, willing it to be proof, to help with something. It was thick glass, heavy, with brown embroidery. His fingers ran across the wood colored stripe thoughtfully. The glass meant nothing to him, there was nothing of the sort mentioned in his book, but maybe it meant something to somebody else. He sighed. Too bad nobody remembered.

"Hey, kid," Emma greeted as she slid into the opposite side of the booth, a mug of chocolate in her hand. She slid it across the table towards Henry, who smiled half-heartedly and took a sip. Emma raised an eyebrow. "You don't like coco anymore?"

Henry shook his head. "No! I love it...I'm just..." He sighed and put the glass down. "Just thinking."

"You think too much for your age," Emma replied, her smile giving away the fact that she was teasing. She frowned when he didn't respond, but instead picked up the object on the table and stared at it. "What's that?" she asked, nodding her head towards his hands.

He looked up. "Oh, this? I found it in the mines."

"When you were looking for proof..."

Henry frowned. "I don't think it's much proof, though."

Emma didn't like to see Henry upset. She hadn't raised him, but she still couldn't help but feel a maternal connection to him. He was so sweet and smart, and sure, he believed in fairytales, but could you blame him? She'd want to escape to another world too if she had Regina as a mother. She had been terrified when Henry went missing to explore the mines, and her worry only increased when Archie went in after him. She didn't want to let him go when she pulled him out of the elevator shaft. He had grown on her, and while Regina and her conscience both thought this could have high probability of ending badly, she had stayed anyway. Something tore at her when she saw Henry sad—of course it was nothing like when he showed up on Mary Margaret's doorstep, sobbing—and she desperately wanted to make the sadness go away.

"Can I see?" she asked, an encouraging smile on her face. Henry looked up, hopeful, as he pushed the glass across the table. Emma stared at it, expecting to have to lie, to say that she believed him, but she was taken aback, because the glass did look familiar.

She hadn't been proud of it, when she requested to borrow Henry's book, and had stayed up all night reading Snow White and Prince Charming's story. She had committed the pages Henry tore out to memory, so she knew how it ended, but she had to know how it began. She had studied the pictures and reread their story so many times, she could recite it. She didn't believe that she was part of a fairytale, some savior that was prophesied to lift the curse off of Storybrooke, Maine, but even so, it was the first real answer to where she came from, even if it was from her ten-year-old son who still believed in Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. She dedicated her adult life to finding people, yet she never found her parents. This story about Snow White and Prince Charming...it was the closest she had ever gotten to finding her parents. So, no, she hadn't been proud of almost believing that her life was a fairytale, but even so, she could recite her 'parents story' front to back, and she swore she saw this piece of glass before.

"Henry," Emma said slowly. "Do you have the book with you?"

He gave her a look. "Of course I do, I couldn't leave it with her."

Emma nodded, of course, because Regina couldn't be trusted. Because she was the Evil Queen, a witch. Internally, because she would never say it around Henry, she called her the Evil Bitch.

Henry pulled the storybook out of his bag and handed it to Emma, who immediately started to leaf through the pages until she landed on the one of the poisoned Snow White. She flipped the book upside down, so it was facing Henry, and pushed it across the table, setting the piece of glass beside it.

Henry gazed at the pages, his eyes alight with joy, as he compared the shard to Snow White's glass coffin. Emma was shocked, it was proof, real, actual proof that showed how true all of Henry's ramblings really were. She didn't want to believe it, sure it was coincidence, and she repeated that to herself while Henry was silently studying the book, until she almost believed it.

Henry looked up to his mother, smiling so wide that his cheeks started to hurt. "You believe me now, don't you?"

She thought she had done a good job of convincing him that she believed him, supported him in all of this, but obviously she didn't, because Henry was asking her if he was finally with her. She stared at him, until she could finally control her body, and nodded slowly. "Yeah, I do."

The first place he had gone was to Mary Margaret. She had a tiny blue bird perched on her finger when she opened the door. Henry couldn't help but grin at that, in this world and the next, birds had always loved her.

"Henry, hi," Mary Margaret greeted. She opened the door wide for him, and he ducked inside, his backpack slung over his shoulder and the piece of glass in his hand. "If you're looking for your mom, she's not here."

"I know. She's with Graham. Something about Leroy..." He shrugged and then smiled at her. "I came here for you."

"Me?" she asked. She walked over to the window of the kitchen and the bird flew off her finger. She shut the window and looked at him. "What's up?"

He placed the piece of glass on the kitchen counter and titled his head curiously, hope in his eyes and a smile on his face. "Does this look familiar to you?"

She pursed her lips playfully before shaking her head in the negative. "Nope, sorry."

Henry's smile fell and his shoulders slumped. "Maybe you should think about it..."

She frowned sympathetically. "I'm sorry, Henry. It looks like broken glass to me."

That was when Henry remembered. Her Storybrooke memories were what was preventing her from remembering her real memories, but there was a man who didn't have any memories at all...

"Where's David?" Henry suddenly demanded.

Mary Margaret was taken aback. "David?...He just got released from the hospital, he should be with his wife."

Henry looked at her, a knowing smile on his face. "You're right. He should be with his wife. Where does Kathryn stay at?"

Perplexed, she rattled off the address, and Henry grabbed his backpack and the glass and was out the door. It wasn't far down the street, so he ran and by the time he got there, he was a out of breath and grinning. He knocked on the door, not stopping until the blonde woman opened it and looked down at him, confused.

Kathryn smiled politely. "Can I help you?"

"Is David here?"

"I don't think he knows you..."

"He doesn't know anybody," Henry said, trumping her logic. "Is he here?"

She nodded before turning her head and calling out his name. When he got to the door, he greeted Henry with a smile and excused them from his wife. He closed the door behind him and the two sat on the steps.

"How's Mary Margaret?" David asked.

Henry grinned. "She's good."

"And your mom?"

"Awesome."

He nodded. "Well, what can I do for you?"

That was when Henry placed the glass in his hands and inquired the same thing he did from Mary. He stared at him expectantly. The littlest thing can trigger your memory, Dr. Whale had said.

David gently touched the glass, looking down at Henry, his eyes shining. "I remember."