Chapter Thirty-Two

"What?" I asked, springing from my seat at the table. I moved past the White Rabbit to the blue-walled room. It was empty, the bedspread tossed to the side. "Oh my god," I muttered, wrapping my hands around the bedframe.

Letting out a deep breath, I turned away and left the room, shutting the door gently behind me. I returned to the dining room, where the creatures had gathered, their faces frightened.

"He's gone," I said, not looking at any of them. "You were right. I'm an idiot." I glanced up, my eyes raking over each of their faces.

"It's fine," the Mock Turtle reassured, but I shook my head.

"We might just be the worst militia in any world, and I'm no savior."

"But you are," the White Rabbit rushed. "It was in the prophecy."

I furrowed my eyebrows. "There was a prophecy?"

"Oh yes," the White Rabbit responded. "That you would be the savior of our land. Finish the job for Alice. A girl named Grace."

"We honestly thought you would be older than this," the Gryphon said.

I nodded once. "I wasn't expecting to come this early, either." I take a seat at the table, resting my head in my hands. "They know where we are now," I said quietly. "We have to fight." The room became silent, except for the sobs of the Mock Turtle. I'm going to need to fix that, I thought to myself as I stood from the table.

"Savior," the White Rabbit said gently. "We have no weapons, no plan, no talent."

"Basically, we're a mess," Marie concluded, and I smiled lightly. "But this is a plan that I can agree with." She sighed. "What else is there for us to do?"

"We cannot fight," Bill protested. "She'll kill us all."

I let out sigh. "It's the only choice we have," I told them. "Unless you want to run. But they would surely catch us."

Marie shrugged. "It seems like our only chance is to fight."

"That's an illogical conclusion," the White Rabbit rushed. "Fighting is not the answer."

"It seems like it is," the Gryphon cut in. I looked at him with a faint smile.

"It's the best chance we have," I said sadly, looking at each of them. My statement was met with silence, so I continued, "We'll head out later today. And we'll go up against her tomorrow morning."

. . . . . . . . . . .

Belle sat down behind the counter in the pawnshop, immediately enthralled by the chest of potions on the surface. She ran a hand over the vials, looking at the little symbols beneath. "Beautiful," she murmured, taken by the rick colors of the different potions, but she was particularly attracted to a cerulean liquid with a glimmer of gold twisting in the middle.

The brunette pulled the vial from the trunk and held it closer to her face, smiling lightly as she watched the twist of gold dance. She shut the trunk and jumped slightly as the bell rang, looking up to see Rumplestiltskin. "Belle," he greeted as she pulled the potion down to her side.

"Hello," she replied, slipping the vial into her pocket. "It was good what you did out there," Belle said, standing from her seat and moving around the counter.

"Why thank you, Belle," he replied with a half smile. "But I'm no hero."

"But you're getting better," she reminded him. "And that's enough. Hero or not, I love you." Belle leaned forward and pressed a light kiss against his lips.

Rumple gave her a small smile. "They're having a party at the diner," he said, running a finger along her smooth cheek. "Would you like to go?"

She nodded. "I would love to." Belle made for the door, but turned, realizing he wasn't following her. She raised a brow. "Aren't you coming?"

"No, dearie," he replied, shaking his head. "It's been a long day for me."

"Oh," Belle said quietly. "Then I'll stay."

"Oh no," Rumple told her. "Go get some dinner. It's on Red."

"Fine," Belle agreed as he smiled at her. "I won't be long."

"I'm sure," he said as she made for the door. Once the door shut behind her, Belle pulled the potion from her pocket and studying it closely.

What will it do? she mused. It's got to be important. Belle slipped her eyes closed as she puzzled over why she had even grabbed the potion. She couldn't help but feel that whatever this bottle could offer, she would need it where she was going. She let out a stilted breath before pushing open the door to the diner and stepping inside.

"Belle," Red greeted with a smile and the others looked up at the short brunette.

"Hello," she replied, walking more into the diner.

"Belle?" Henry questioned. "As in Rumplestiltskin's Belle?"

The woman laughed. "Yes. I am that Belle." She took a seat across from the boy as the others turned back to their meals and conversations.

"I'm Henry," the boy replied, offering her his hand from across the table. She shook it. "Where were you during the curse?"

"The asylum," she replied, her voice void of emotion. Shaking her head and putting on a smile, Belle said, "Jefferson let me out." She looked at the boy before inquiring, "How do you get to Wonderland?"

Henry's brow furrowed. "Wonderland? Why do you want to go there?"

"Grace is there, isn't she?"

"She is," Henry replied. He though a moment before saying, "You want to bring her back. Because you think you owe Jefferson one."

Belle nodded. "You're a rather intelligent boy." She grinned at him.

Henry returned the smile before beckoning her forward. The woman leaned in eagerly as Henry said in a hushed tone, "I'll tell you what you need to know."

. . . . . . . . . . .

A stream of light broke across the floor as Belle slowly pushed opened the door to Jefferson's room. On light feet, she moved towards the bed, the light from the doorway illuminating his face and the hat sitting on the bedside table. She took it in her hands, her fingers traveling over the worn fabric.

On a whim, she murmured, "I'll bring your daughter back." Turning abruptly, she crept out of the room, shutting the door behind her. Belle quietly took the stairs two at a time, walking into the shop. Setting the hat on the counter, she scanned the shelves for some sort of magical trinket. Coming across a blue ring, she picked it up, rolling it over a few times in her hands. She dropped it in the hat, stepping back in shock as it began to spin, emitting a purple smoke.

Belle watched as it spun faster and faster, and, shutting her eyes, she jumped. She opened her eyes to find herself tumbling downwards. Suddenly, her feet made contact with the hard ground and she sprawled out on the marble floor of the circular room. Belle sat up, shakily getting to her feet and reaching into her pocket, relieved to find that the potion was still there.

Her eyes scanned the hall of doors, and she walked by each one, her hands running over them. Then she came to the looking glass that Henry had described. Find the looking glass. Watch out for the Red Queen. Find the White Rabbit. Find Grace. Bring her back, the ten-year-old's words echoed in her head.

Taking a breath, Belle stepped towards the mirror, brushing her hand over the intricate gold frame. "I always wanted adventure," she spoke to the empty room, before bravely stepping through, her image disappearing through the looking glass.

. . . . . . . . . . .

A/N There's the chapter. Updates will probably be a bit slower, because of school and I have exams coming up. Also, I so imagine Henry and Belle plotting stuff.

Please review.