Avalon was a girl cursed with visions unhindered by time and space- a curse that made her a trophy and a prisoner and very alone. Olivia Hunter is a confused teen with only one friend… the mayor's lonely son. AU via original character.
Disclaimer: I own nothing Once Upon A Time. Just Avalon/Olly Hunter, so far.
I: Pilot Part 1
"Well, well, well," Rumpelstiltskin giggled with glee, "what has the lovely queen left behind?" He let his magic unlock the door and swing it open. Even he couldn't help but be surprised by what was inside.
She blinked at him, the young girl, an impossibly fragile figure with a head of wild, fine-spun curls down her back. "Hello?" she asked uncertainly, shifting her hands around something in her lap. The movement made the chains around her ankle clank. She blinked again, and tilted her head in confusion. "She never sends anyone."
"Pardon me?" the imp frowned dramatically as his mind dove through possibilities.
"Regina-queen," the girl said clearly, using the phrase like a name or title. "Regina-queen never sends anyone to fetch me. She always comes herself, or no one at all. So where is she, and who are you?"
"The queen has been cast out by Snow White and Prince James," Rumpelstiltskin informed her with a sharp grin before giving an elaborate bow. "And I am Rumpelstiltskin."
"Oh. I didn't realize we were there yet," she said quietly. "It's… it's hard to tell in here, sometimes."
"And who are you, dearie?"
She looked at him, and he saw her eyes- a paler shade of green than could be considered natural with milky- blind- pupils. "Avalon," she rasped. "I don't suppose you'll let me free until you know why she has me."
It wasn't a question. "No," he admitted.
Avalon closed her eyes and spoke flatly. "And once you know, you won't be able to let me slip away."
Olivia tugs one of her braids and bites her lip. I shouldn't have agreed, she thinks to herself. But then, he didn't really know what he was asking. He's just a child.
She refrains from thinking 'like me.'
So she waits by the street for another twenty minutes that the clock won't keep, another twenty minutes that don't really pass. She concentrates very hard on what Henry was wearing when he left, just in case she has to tell her uncle, so very hard that she jumps when the bug's lights shine into her eyes.
"Henry!" Olivia shrieks, surprising even herself. She isn't much the shrieking type. Still, she leaps up from the stone-cold bench and flings herself at the passenger door. "Henry Daniel Mills, you promised by eight and this is nine-thrirty so you are late!" She glares and waits for him to roll down the window. He does, timidly, or as timidly as he is able, being Henry.
"Sorry, Ollie," he says sheepishly. Her glare intensifies.
"Sorry, I'm afraid, means diddlysquat to me at the moment!" she snaps, her accent losing some of its forced subtlety in her anger. She takes a breath, a calming one, and slides it out slowly. "Alright. Did you find her?"
Henry involuntarily glances at the blond woman driving the car. "Yup."
"I very much hope she's worth it," Olivia informs him. She reaches through Henry's open window and unlocks the backseat, sliding in hardly before the woman notices. "The mayor's house is up three block and then take a left," she tells her. "I'm Olivia Hunter."
"The mayor?" the woman says suspiciously.
"Henry's mother. You?"
"Never knew her. The mayor?"
"Your name," Olivia specifies.
Henry gives her a look from the front seat, a narrowed-eyes look. "Why-"
"Henry. Thin ice is a delicate way of describing where you walk. Plus I am very fond of proper introductions. Ma'am?" The honorific should have sounded odd from the skinny, sharp-tongued teen, but somehow it did not.
"Emma Swan," the blond grunts, still wrapping her mind around the kid in her front seat being the mayors'.
"Pleased to meet you," Olivia replies politely, "even under the circumstances. You do realize your mother is going to skin me alive?"
She says it so sternly and in conjunction with her previous statement that, for a moment, Emma thinks she is talking to her.
"It's not ten yet," Henry hedges. "You did say we'd be late."
"Late," she informs him, "means 'before absolute dark but after dinner.' It is both after dinner and dark, and since I so conveniently left my phone at home today, she'll be worried sick. Why'd you have to steal it, anyway?"
Henry blinks at his babysitter. "In case I got in trouble," he says, as though it should be really obvious.
"And who would you have called?" She asks pointedly. Henry mouths a realizing 'oh'. "That's right, me. Since I'm the only one aware of your hare-brained schemery. And you had my phone. We're here, the big white house."
Emma pulls the bug up.
"Henry, go inside and tell your mom about the movie we saw. You read it?" Olivia asks.
"Yeah," he grins.
"Thank god for wikipedia," she mutters. "Great. Convince her, and tell her I got dizzy and had to sit down for a while, and I'll be inside in a minute."
Henry races away after a quick glance at Emma. Olivia slips out of the car at the same time as Emma, who is staring a bit at the huge home.
"He's not insane," Olivia says flatly, wrapping her spindly arms around her chest. "I assume he told about his book?"
"Yeah. The fairytales."
"Well, Archie- his psychiatrist- he thinks it's just a comfort-control kind of thing. I don't know about that," she admits quietly, "but I know he's not bonkers. Just really lonely, y'know?"
From the way Olivia tightens the grip on herself and bites her cheek, Emma can tell Henry isn't the only one.
"The book, well, it kind of gives a purpose, which is nice, but it's also made him all pissed at his mom, which isn't as nice," she continues softly. "I mean, Ms. Mills isn't the sweetest lady, and sometimes she can be kind of rough on the town, but she really loves Henry. Like, sell-your-soul-and-firstborn kind of love. He just doesn't see it."
"So why'd he look for me?" Emma asks, almost painfully.
Olivia turns her moonlight-pale green eyes on her. "Because you're his mother, too, and the book just gave him another excuse to find you."
"Right. Well, I'll just go and-" She's stopped by Olivia's surprising grip on her arm. She looks up to see an even more surprising flash of anger on her face.
"Oh, the hell you are," she says very quietly indeed. "That bus ticket was several weeks of movies we could've seen, several weeks of painstaking begging on his part and planning on both of ours. Maybe he's not insane and maybe he has a mom, but he still needs a- a you."
"What would you know about it?" Emma snaps.
"What wouldn't I?" she replies bitterly. "The better question is, why don't you?"
They stand there for a very still moment before Olivia loosens her posture and turns. "Better go get skinned. I got your number from the website; I'll call you tomorrow. We'll talk then." And she walks inside, clicking the door shut carefully behind her without ever looking back. As if she was afraid to.
Henry's book is still in the front seat.
"Sorry, Marco, Leroy," Olivia pants as the door to the office slams shut mercilessly behind her. "The line was ridiculous and Ruby was flirting and what the hell is she doing in a cell?"
Olivia stands, feet apart and hands on her hips, as though ready for battle. The image is slightly ruined by the white take-away bag held in her left hand and propped against her hip; the half-done rich chestnut hair adds to the loss. One side of her head is tightly French-braided to curl over her shoulder with nary a wisp free (yet) but the other side is still feral and tangled and clinging to her tee. Still, her glare is ferocious enough to almost make up for it.
Marco glances at her and closes the cupboard. "Who?"
Wordlessly, Olivia points at the blond currently dead to the world on a cot.
"Oh. Your uncle found her, unconscious, crashed into the sign. He figures drunk-driving, but no proof," he shrugs. "You know her?"
She ignores him for minute and thunks the bag on the counter. "Leroy, quit your infernal whistling," she snaps irritably, placing her hands on the counter. "That's Emma Swan-"
"Yeah, Unky has her license," Leroy interrupts waspishly.
"-Henry's biological mom," she finishes. The silence following assures Olivia that the situation is being thought over with the proper gravity. And Emma stands up, rubbing her head.
"So you are, uh, Henry's mother?" Marco says in attempt to be cheerful. "How lovely for him to have you back in his life."
"Actually I was just dropping him off," Emma answers, placing her forehead in her hand and pretending not to see the look on Olivia's face.
"Don't blame ya," Leroy scoffs. "They're all brats. Who needs 'em?"
Marco opens his mouth to scold Leroy, but he's beaten to the punch by Olivia. She chucks a bagel neatly at him, and the second he's caught it, throws the still-tough and still-cold cream cheese packet at his forehead. Her aim is true.
"Ow," he scowls at her.
"Oops," she lobs back unrepentantly.
"Leroy, I'm going to let you out. You need to behave," the sheriff begins as he saunters in, jingling the keys. "Put on a smile, and stay out of trouble." Leroy leans against his cells' door and gives a very fake smile. The brunette teen seizes the moment and hits him in the forehead again with another packet. Graham turns around and gives her a look.
She shrugs. "He was being very rude," she replies, "and he probably needs another to cover the bagel anyway."
Graham considers this before sighing. "Finish your hair. You've only done one side again."
Olivia's hands fly up. "Snoodles," she mutters, and she flops herself into the sheriff's chair to fix it. "Thanks, Uncle Graham." Leroy makes a face at her as he leaves. Graham moves in front of Emma's cell, where she is now leaning out.
"How much did you have to drink last night, Miss Swan?" he asks delicately. She looks back, unamused and unabashed.
"I wasn't drunk," she tells him firmly. "I didn't have a drop. There was a wolf standing in the middle of the road."
"A wolf. Right," Graham nods disbelievingly. Just as Emma is about to mount her defense-
"Graham," Regina's tearful voice implores, "Henry's run away. We have to-" She stops short at the sight of the blond in the cell. "Who is she?"
"She hit the-" Graham begins.
"She's Henry's bio-mom," Olivia steamrolls. The shock in the room is palpable. She swallows and prepares to save Henry's bacon while simultaneously frying her own to a fun little crisp.