Author's Note: This story is a tag to S2E3 of Once Upon a Time, 'Lady of the Lake', and contains spoilers for the episode, and everything up to that point. I jump right into the scene, so if you haven't seen the episode, you might not get it. Written in response to a request. (Revised March 2013 – because apparently I was a little confused about Price Charming's real name.)
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and I'm not making any money from this story.
Warning: Spanking of a child by a parental figure.
Second Author's Note: I do NOT advocate spanking of children in real life, but I do advocate the spanking of any and all fictional characters.
DISHONESTY COMES WITH A PRICE
Henry fell back and scooted away from the vipers as quickly as possible. He'd imagined finding all kinds of things here in his mother's hidden vault, but he'd never pictured finding something live that would attack.
David ran towards the cemetery. He cringed as he thought about the things his wife and daughter might have to say about this little incident. He'd led an army in the Enchanted Forrest. He should be able to keep one ten-year-old boy safe here in Storybrook. But then the members of his army didn't usually lie to him and disobey his orders.
Terror gripped David when he found the vault already open. He rushed in, saw the vipers, and jumped over to slam the lid on them before they could get out and hurt Henry. He turned the key to lock it, and then yanked the keys out. He turned to the boy, and said, "Are you okay?"
The boy gaped at him and said, "What are you doing here?"
David stood and held a hand out to help the boy up. "Your mother called when you didn't show up for lunch."
"But why would she call you?" Henry asked, knowing that his adoptive mother and his grandfather were enemies. He took the offered hand, and stood up.
"She didn't think you'd go with her if she showed up." David scowled at that statement. It wasn't that he wanted Henry to follow Regina's instructions, he wanted the boy to stay as far away from the witch as possible, but he also thought it said something unhealthy about their relationship if she couldn't make the child obey when he was in mortal danger. David knelt down on one knee in front of the boy, and gripped both of his elbows to keep him in place. "What were you thinking Henry? If I'd been a few seconds later, you'd be dead."
"I have to help find them," Henry said with tears in his eyes. "Mary Mar… Snow is my grandma, my teacher, and my friend. Emma is my mom, my real mom, and I just found her after living with Regina my whole life…" He wiped a tear from his face. "I have to find them."
Still kneeling, David pulled the child into a tight hug, and vowed, "I promise you, we will find them."
Henry leaned down slightly and wrapped his arms around his grandfather's shoulders, and rested the side of his head on the man's shoulder. He closed his eyes, letting the feeling of love and comfort envelop him. During his years with Regina, he'd rarely felt comforted by her hugs, and he'd never understood why until Mary Margaret had given him that book. It still startled him sometimes when a small touch from a member of his real family made him feel secure in a way Regina didn't.
After a few seconds, David reached around his shoulders to grip the boy's elbows again, and held him at arms length. Looking into the child's eyes, he said, "Maybe it was wrong of me not to let you help in the first place, and I'll do my best to keep you involved in the future, but nothing like this…" he pointed to the box of vipers "…can happen again."
"I was just trying…"
"No." David cut him off, and gripped his elbows a little harder. "I know exactly what you were trying to do, and while your intentions may have been honorable, your actions were not. You lied to me, Henry. You agreed to go to school, and you didn't go."
"No buts. You lied, yes or no?"
Henry scowled. "Yes, but…"
"You also disobeyed me."
The boy shook his head.
"Yes you did." David insisted, trying to keep his voice calm and level with difficulty. "I told you to stay away from magic, and instead of following my orders, you deliberately went looking for magic, even after I told you it was dangerous."
A stubborn expression crossed the boy's face. "It was the only way. I told you I had to help find them, and you didn't listen to me!"
With a scowl of his own, David pulled the boy forward, and settled him face down over his one thigh.
A startled sound came out of Henry's throat before he yelled, "What are you doing?"
David wrapped his left arm around the boy's waist, and started smacking the palm of his right hand onto the seat of Henry's jeans.
"Ow!" Henry wiggled futilely to get away from the punishing hand as he yelled, "Ow! Grandpa stop! Ow! It's not fair! Oooow! I was trying to help!" He broke down into tears, feeling betrayed and angry. The person who was supposed to love him was hurting him. "I hate you!" He yelled as the tears went town his face.
David's arm hesitated mid swing, and he felt more like David Nolan than he had all day. The boy had just said he hated him, and he had to wonder if Emma would hate him for this too. He knew Snow would understand, but Emma might not. It would be different if the boy had grown up in the Enchanted Forrest with him, but they'd only known each other for a few months, and the boy had grown up in Storybrook where spanking was unheard of for the most part.
The box of vipers jiggled as the unhappy snakes tried to get free, and David found the resolve he needed to see this through. He said with quiet authority, "You can hate me all you want, Henry, and it won't change how I feel about you. I love you, and it's my duty to keep you safe. I can't keep you safe when you're dishonest and disobedient. It's also my duty to make sure you turn out to be the kind of man who keeps his word, and part of that is correcting you when you don't keep yours." Having said that, David stated spanking again.
Henry had been relieved when the sharp smacks stopped landing, but that relief was short lived. When he heard his grandfather say he loved him, he felt a stir of guilt. By the time the man was done talking, most of the child's anger had been replaced with shame over what he'd done. When the firm slaps started hitting his backside again, Henry cried out, "Noooo! Grandpa, I'm sorry! Ooow! Really sorry!"
David hadn't kept track, but he doubted he'd landed more than fifteen swats, and finished with two smacks that were slightly harder than the others, making the boy yelp and kick with each one. As soon as the child settled enough to stop kicking, David flipped him over to sit on the raised thigh, and pulled him into a hug. Henry clutched the man's jacket in one fist, and wrapped the other arm around his shoulders. David rubbed the boy's back, and let him cry himself out against his chest. When there were more sniffles than sobs, the man said softly, "No more lies, and no more looking for magic without me. Okay?"
He could barely hear the small quivering, "Okay," that was spoken into his shirt.
The man kissed the top of the child's head, and stood up, taking the boy up in his arms. "Come on, let's get you back to school."
Startled, Henry pulled his head back so he could look at his grandfather. "School?" he asked with dismay. "Can't I skip the rest of the day?"
David sighed, and wiped some of the moisture off the boy's face with his thumb. "No. Like it or not, you're my grandson. Everyone in town came to me when the curse was broken. I'm the one who told them all to go back to work and school. How do you think it looks when my own grandson doesn't follow my lead?"
Having never considered that, the child thought it over for a moment, and said quietly, "Not good."
"That's right." David started walking towards the exit carrying the boy. "But seeing me bring you back to school will help quell any unrest before it starts, especially if you have trouble sitting comfortably for the first few minutes."
An expression of horror crossed the child's face when he thought about the other kids knowing what had happened to him.
With a small smile, David said, "It's not the end of the world. All the kids in your class remember growing up in the Enchanted Forrest now. Most of them would have gotten the same from their parents if they'd done what you did."
Henry thought that over while his grandfather carried him across the cemetery. When they made it to David's truck, Henry tilted his chin up, looked his grandfather in the eye, and said, "I'll sit still, even if it hurts."
David laughed out loud, as he set the boy on his feet.
"It's not funny! I'm serious." Henry said.
David carded his fingers through Henry's hair and said, "I know you are, and I'm not laughing at what you said. I'm laughing because you sounded so much like your grandmother. She's stubborn, too, which can be incredibly frustrating at times, but it's a big part of why I love her." He opened the passenger door for Henry and said, "I guess that's a big part of why I love you too."
Henry felt his lips curl into a small smile at those words, even though he was still upset with his grandfather for spanking him and making him go back to school. He climbed into the truck, and sat carefully.
Once David was on the road, Henry said, "I think our next move should be talking to the Mad Hatter."
Groaning, David said, "We already talked about that, Henry."
"Yeah, but you didn't listen. I know his daughter. Once they're reunited, I'll tell her about finding my mom, and I know she'll make him help us. He can tell us everything he knows about the hat. Where he got it, how many times he's used it. Everything."
David thought it over for a few minutes, and then nodded. "That's not a bad idea." He patted the boy on the shoulder and said, "Not bad at all."
Once he got Henry settled back in class, he went to gather information about the Mad Hatter from his friends.