Once upon a time

Chapter 1

Once upon a time there was an enchanted forest filled with all the classic characters we know. Or think we know. One day they found themselves trapped in a place where all their happy endings were stolen. Our world.

This is how it happened.

28 years ago

He willed the horse to move faster his breath escaping his lips in shallow gasps – as if he himself were running. The line of trees grew in size as he neared closer appearing to him like the front line of an army. The ground blurred beneath as the old horse, tuck, cantered over the country side as fast as his old legs could carry them. It couldn't be too late, it couldn't, he would not be too late, not after everything. They weaved between thick trunks and avoided the low hanging branches. The early morning sun was dimmed from the large green, leafy canopy that sheltered the forest ground. The cool air whipped around him numbing his skin until he could feel nothing – nothing but the fear coursing through his veins.

Tuck grew more careful as he moved over the snow covered ground and he could only find it ironic when he realised fresh snow has begun to fall around them. When tuck rounded a large tree into an open clearing he pulled on the reins tightly and the steed came to a stop. But his eyes were only on the group that were now crowded before him. His breath caught in his throat as his chest tightened and he wondered if everyone else could hear his accelerating heart beat. He threw his leg over the horse landing gracefully on the ground and his feet carried him quickly forward. As he neared, the men turned and he searched their faces for answers, for a sign that it was okay – that he was there in time.

"You're too late" Doc said, his voice grave and his heart skipped several beats,

"No" the word was breathed out of his lips in reply, he couldn't be, he couldn't be too late. His eyes flew over the man's shoulder to the branches that were covered in greenery and flowers – but all he could see was the glass coffin that lay atop.

"NO" his voice was loud this time as it tore from his throat and he strode forward, the ground crunching beneath his feet. Had it been another day, another person, and not a coffin involved, the sight was one beautiful to behold. But it wasn't another day, and there was a coffin and it was her.

His hands lay on the glass as the others surrounded him but his eyes were only for her. Her skin was pale, too pale – almost the same as the snow that had begun to blanket them and and complied with her namesake. Her dark hair framed her face, splayed around her head and there were smaller flowers weaved within it. Her lips were still reddened but not their usual colour. And her eyes – were closed. And in that moment, he prayed and hoped and wished and dreamed and begged and pleaded to anyone and everyone that they would open.

His body turned as cold as the glass beneath his fingers when they didn't – he was too late. He felt a hand on his wrist and his face scrunched up in pain at the realisation. How could this have happened? How could he have let this happen? Hadn't he promised her?

He looked down at Happy and winced at the dwarf's sorrow-filled expression. It didn't suit him. He avoided the rest of their eyes as the panic began to build within him. It couldn't be, this couldn't be happening. They were supposed to be together, grow old together, live happily ever after. How could he live without her? What would happen? He couldn't. His breathing quickened and his eyes found her face again,

"Open it" he didn't know where the words came from only that she couldn't be dead. It wasn't possible. The woman before them could not be dead, not her.

"I'm sorry" Grumpy said from across the coffin his face mirroring the pain he'd seen on Happys. He met his eyes begging the man to take back his words, to tell him that it was all a big joke. That it wasn't happening.

"She's gone" he said grimly. His head hung as his eyes welled with tears at Grumpy's words. Because it was real – as much of him that didn't want to believe it, wouldn't let himself believe it. He could do nothing to stop the tears falling as he raised his head once again, looking to the dwarves who waited in silence – a horrid, empty pain swirling around them.

"At least let me say goodbye" he asked choking on the request. And then the case was being lifted away and she was in front of him. Right there, as if she was sleeping. He sucked in several deep breaths before sinking to his knees beside the coffin – his knees quickly becoming saturated.

He raised a hand as he attempted to block out the quiet sniffles from Bashful who stood beside his left shoulder, and ran his thumb down her cheek. Then he couldn't help himself as he leant over the woman, his bride, his love and pressed his lips against hers. He needed to kiss her one last time. Just once more. Her lips felt like rose petals and he ran a hand through her soft hair. For one moment he felt a warmness spread through him – around him – and everything was alright. For just a moment everything was right in the world, peaceful. Until the cold came back and he pulled back. His head hung once again as his shoulders shook slightly.

A gasp above him pierced the silence and his head snapped upwards at the familiar sound. He watched in shock as her eyelids fluttered before flicking open until he could see her sparkling eyes. She sucked in air as if she'd just surfaced from the deep lake and her eyes rapidly took in everything around her. Until him. Where they stopped and settled and bore into his own eyes. He couldn't stop a wide grin stretching over his face, splitting it in two, as his brain caught up. She was awake. She was breathing.

"You" she was talking. The word was whispered from his lips yet reached him as if she'd yelled. Her smile mirrored his, her beautiful lips curving upwards with her next words,

"You found me" she said softly as her hand rested on the side of his face lovingly. He covered her hand in his larger one struggling for a moment to reply,

"Did you ever doubt I would" he asked and wrapped an arm around her shoulders as she began to sit, pulling her up.

"Truthfully?" she asked, her eyes twinkling as she sat before him, eye to eye.

"The glass coffin kind of made me pause" her voice was music to his ears as his eyes welled this time in happiness and disbelief. She really was okay. He hadn't been too late. He took her face in his hands,

"Well you never have to worry about that, I will always find you" he promised and he knew that he meant the words with every fibre of his being. He would always find her. He loved her with everything he had and more.

"Do you promise?" she asked her smile only growing. But the answer was simple.

"I do"

Several Months Later

"I do"

"And do you Snow White take this man and promise to love him for all eternity" the priests voice reverberated loudly around the cathedral. It was beautiful, the sun bathing their guests as it shined through the large stained windows, casting a rainbow of light over the proceedings.

They stood hand in hand on the raised stone platform in the centre of the room – their eyes only for each other.

"I do" she answered and his smile widened as he looked upon her adoringly. William stood behind him across from Red who stood in a beautiful gown behind Snow.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife" cheering and applauding erupted around them and snow laughed quietly the happiness filling the room as the priest continued,

"You may kiss the bride" he leaned down as she wrapped her arms around his neck taking a step towards him and smiled as her eyes fluttered closed,

A loud bang bounced off the walls as the doors were harshly thrown open. The newly-wed couple pulled apart with shock their eyes searching for the cause of the interruption. Silence fell over the crowd as a new figure moved into the room. The black of her dress contrasted greatly with the sea of colour that was the mass of well-dressed folk around them and even more so with the stunning white gown that the bride wore. Her heels echoed on the stone floor as gasps and quiet mumbling was heard from the townspeople. Snow laid a hand on her husbands chest as he pulled her closer to him eyeing the intrusion with distrust.

"Sorry I'm late" she called to them forcing a twisted smile over her lips. Her eyes glinted as she took in the couple standing in each others arms and started forward. William moved forward, slightly standing in front of the bride and groom while two guards moved to stand before the unwelcome guest – in attempt to impede her progress. With an extravagant sweep of her arms the guards were lifted from their feet and out of her path. The two men hit opposite walls eliciting a gasp to leave Snows lips as her eyes moved back to the unforgiving woman.

"It's the Queen run!"Doc called from the front of the crowd and Snows eyes narrowed. She would not let anyone else get hurt by the Queen – not on her wedding day. She reached passed her husband to William's side and pulled the sword from its sheath.

"She's not a queen anymore" she yelled brandishing the sword towards the 'queen' who neared them with a familiar menacing look in her eyes. She felt her husband's hand on her lower back,

"She's nothing more than an evil witch" she continued loudly as she took a step closer,

"No, no, no" Charming said stepping forward a hand winding around her waist while his other arm laid on hers gently – lowering it and the sword while he spoke to his bride,

"Don't stoop to her level, there's no need Snow" he carefully pulled the sword from her grasp noticing his best friend had already retrieved another, and was prepared, should there be need to use it,

"Why Ariadne" the queen said mockingly as if speaking to a small child. The foreign name rolling off her tongue. Snow grimaced, it wasn't the same as when Charming said it.

"Don't you make such a beautiful bride" she said sweetly,

"You're wasting your time" the groom interrupted loudly hoping immensely that there wouldn't be a need for any fight. He wanted this day to be perfect, after everything they'd been through Snow deserved nothing less.

"You've already lost and I will not let you ruin this wedding" the queen simply smiled peering up at them innocently before shrugging her shoulders,

"Why I haven't come here to ruin anything" both Charming and Snow's eyes narrowed as they observed the Queen waiting for something to happen.

"On the contrary dear, I've come to give you a gift" her sing-song tone was enough to put everyone on edge,

"We want nothing from you, Mallorie" the queens eyes flashed with anger at the sound of her name,

"BUT YOU SHALL HAVE IT" she yelled before Snow could say anything more,

"And it is Queen to you my dear" she added with a strained smile,

"My gift to you is, in fact, this happy, happy day" her words were laced with anger, and something more malicious as the crowds waited with baited breath,

"For tomorrow my real work begins, you've made your vows now I make mine" Snow frowned with her words as she turned to address the crowd her dark gown sweeping around her,

"Soon everything you love, everything all of you love, will be taken from you, forever. And out of your suffering will rise my victory. I shall destroy your happiness"

Snow gripped Charming's hand as Mal turned back to them, spinning on her heel, and eyed them with pure hatred,

"If it is the very last thing I do" with that she turned and began to march back towards the doors. Snow felt Red behind her moving closer and they shared an uneasy glance,

"HEY!" Charming yelled and Snow turned to look at her husband seeing the anger clearly etched on his face, contorting his features that had been bathed with happiness only a moment before.

The queen turned and Charming reeled back only to send the sword hurtling towards the woman. A cloud of black smoke swirled in the air not a moment later and when it cleared only the sword was left to clatter to the ground loudly. Murmurings erupted over the group, the frightened people discussing the queens latest threat. After a moment Charming pulled Snow to him and she gripped his shoulder staring at the spot the queen disappeared for only moment –

A finger under her chin pulled her eyes back to her husbands who smiled softly down at her,

"I believe you owe me something" he said quietly,

"Quick give me a kiss"

Hi guys, this may very well be the strangest thing I've ever written. I don't really like these kind of stories usually but I've read some lately that were amazing and they've very much changed my opinion.

This is based on the tv show once upon a time and inception and I'm kind of writing as I go along with no plans – which is not my usual style, I usually have to have a plan so we will see how this turns out : ) I hope you like it and it wasn't too confusing! The next chapter might clear some things up…or maybe the one after that!


Disclaimer: once upon a time and inception not mine

Oh PS.. please REVIEW…let me know if I should put you all out of your misery : )