"Yes…yes thank you." Graham hung up the phone with a weary sigh. It was two am and they were no closer to finding the missing patient as they had been a few hours ago despite the patrols all over town.
Emma shoved a cup of coffee into his hand. "Any luck?"
Graham took a small sip of the scorching liquid and scoffed. "Mrs. Ginger thought she saw something, but it was just Pongo again. She got her gun loaded and aimed before her granddaughter stopped her."
Emma chuckled. "Poor Pongo." She sat on the table, Graham instantly leaning beside her, both sipping their highly caffeinated drinks.
"I'm glad to see you so hard at work Deputy."
Emma rolled her eyes before turning around. "It's almost two am Gold; go home."
Mr. Gold stalked into the small office, growling at the Sherriff and Deputy. "There is a woman out there who may be injured, lying in a ditch somewhere, or Gold knows what else, and you want me to go home?" He shouted in Emma's face.
Graham gripped his partner's arms and pulled her back.
"We are doing everything we can!" she screamed back at him.
"Well good job barely done!"
The phone rang and the feud silenced momentarily. Graham sighed and released Emma, giving her and Gold a warning look. "Try not to kill each other while I answer the phone."
"No promises." Emma growled as she and Gold glared at each other. She shifted a bit, biting her lip and wishing she could throw something to ease her anger "Look, she growled with malice, "I don't know why this girl is just another Ashley Boyd to you or a long lost daughter or something since you won't tell me shit. But if you don't stay out of the way and let us do this, you may never see her again."
"Sitting here isn't going to help her." Gold snarled. "If you won't help I'm going out there to find her myself-"
"Hold it!" Graham stated as he reentered the room. "I just got a call from the hospital."
Gold's blood ran cold. "Her?"
"No," Graham said, "A man was brought in for a head injury. He was attacked, we've got to go check it out."
Emma rolled her yes with a groan before grabbing the patrol car keys. "Can this night get any more hectic?" she turned to Gold "Stay here or go home, but leave this to us."
Graham nodded. "We'll let you know if anything."
Gold watched them depart and waited until the door slammed before he allowed himself to let loose. He picked up his cane and bashed all the contents off the table, swinging again at the shelf until all the pictures and stuff were just piles of glass at his feet. He dropped the cane then, pushing his weight against the desk and breathing heavily.
He was defiantly loosing his mind. He found out Belle was alive just two days ago and now if he didn't' do something all he was ever going to see of her was her corpse!
He ran a hand over his face, clasping it over his mouth. He had to find her. There was no way anyone else would be sympathetic to a girl who's be locked up for twenty eight years. They'd probably lock away for a claim like that-and deputy Swan would probably hold the door open for them!
He gather his cane from the glass-ridden ground and headed for the door. While the Sherriff's department was dealing with some unimportant soul, he was going to go after his lost one.
Starting with the she-devil who put her in this predicament in the first place.
The darkness led Belle through the unfamiliar streets. She was searching for Regina and something inside the gap in her chest was leading her to the she-devil. She had something of hers…she knew that much. She had something of hers that would take the pain in her chest away.
"It hurts so much!"
The man in metal sighed pitifully. "I know sweetheart. Gods I know."
The house she felt the urge to stop at was large and white, too beautiful to admit a dark creature like her. Then again, it was already housing something darker than her.
Through the dark blurriness of her mind, Belle could feel the softness of the grass under her bare feet. She hadn't felt that kind of feeling in…
The wind picked up. When was the last time she felt actual wind?
The small slits in the wall glowed brightly with the midday light. If Belle pressed against them hard enough, she could feel the warmth of the sun and just the slightest breeze of spring.
"Don't let the Queen see you do that." The man in metal stated as he slid her meal tray into the room. "She sees something that makes you happy she'll snatch it away before you even know it was there."
She never left the bed again.
These smells, these odd objects, scattered all around, these would have made Belle curious. Now however, Belle was angry. That woman had stolen from her. Stolen her freedom, a possible life in this prison, and something Belle wasn't sure of, something that would stop this pain in her chest.
She approached the door, sliding her finger over the brass knob.
It was a curious thing how the doors were unlocked this time of night…
Emma studied the bandaged figure wearily. There was defiantly more to this incident that was visible. This man had been bit at least seventeen times on the head with something light enough that the worst he got was a small concussion as well as a large knot, a broken nose, and beat up hands for the two hours he spent clawing at the door until he was able to barge out into the streets and get almost ran over by a patrol car that brought him to the hospital.
She glanced back at Graham who was occupied with the doctor and patrol man and decided she could question the suspect alone.
Jefferson looked away from the window and smirked. "So your Emma?"
Emma's guard instantly shot up. "I am."
Jefferson's expression softened. "The Deputy…right?"
Emma laughed warily in relief. "Y-yeah, that's me." she pulled a chair beside his bed and poised her pen on the writing pad. "Can you give me any description of the man who attacked you? Appearances? Specific details?"
Jefferson burst out in a fit of the most eerie laugh the young deputy had ever heard. "Oh yes, my attacker had a few very interesting characteristics."
"Yes, a nice package for one, not too big, not too small. Utterly…" he smirked at Emma's bewildered face, "perfect."
"A woman…did this too you?" Emma inquired with a gestured of her pen over his injuries.
Jefferson shrugged. "You might say that."
Emma sighed. "What does she look like?"
Emma arched an eyebrow. "Could you be a bit more specific?"
"Nope. That sums it up."
"You've got…look if you want us to bring this guy-girl in, you have to cooperate."
"What makes you think I want it caught? I can't stop it now, and neither can you."
Emma glanced back as Graham entered. He stared at her astonished look before closing the door and leaning against the wall to hear the end of the conversation.
"What…what do you mean it?
Jefferson sprung forward, coming just near inches away from Emma's face. "It! It is she, she is it, it is awake…I woke it up…"
"Woke what?" Emma asked skeptically.
The bruised man smirked, a twine of something other than humor creeping into his features. "The monster…I woke up the monster."
Emma turned to Graham who looked just as confused as she. "The Monster?"
Jefferson chuckled painfully. "The Queen did something to her; I don't know what, I don't know why, but this," he waved his hands over his injured body, "is her doing."
"The…the queen?!" Emma exclaimed. "Fuck, are you talking about Regina the Mayor?"
"Titles aren't important right now!" Jefferson growled with a sick smirk. "The only one that truly matters is the one that will be on our lovely queen's headstone once the monster gets her hands around that pretty little neck of hers!"
Emma shot back to Graham who was already dialing away. Though a curious thing how the Sherriff knew the Mayor's home phone number, Emma chose not to dwell on it and directed her attention solely on the man laughing hysterically in the pillows.
"Who is she?"
"Who's who?" he giggled.
"The monster! The girl, whatever the Hell she is! Who is she and what does she want with Regina."
"For the Savior you are more than dense."
Emma growled in frustration. "Okay buddy, you've obviously caught on to what Henry's been saying-"
"Henry?" Jefferson inquired with a little less insanity, "You mean the Queen's father."
"No my-it doesn't matter! Tell me who this girl is or so help me I'll hold you in contempt until-"
Jefferson's face revealed true seriousness and he wagged a finger for the Deputy to come closer. She did, but made sure her gun was in grabbing-length before she leveled her ear with the madman's lips.
"She's heartless…just like the Queen who broke her…just like the man who keeps searching for her."
She shot away as the man irrupted in hysterical giggles that must have hurt like Hell. "What the Hell is your-"
"Swan!" Graham interrupted frantically. "Regina's not picking up."
"…it's four a.m., she's probably asleep or…" the fear in Graham's eyes cut her off and she had to choose between interrogating this psychopath or going to check on a woman she all but despised.
"Tell Whale he's on lockdown." she ordered with a point at the chortling man. Graham eyed him fiercely as he slammed the door shut.
"Damn nut job." She sheriff growled with as much fierceness as his counterpart would.
"Easy Graham." Emma chided as she pulled a nurse to the side. "Make sure to have an ambulance near by." Graham paused at the message and Emma gulped. "Just in case."
Graham's cell phone came to life for the hundredth time that night.
"Hello." Graham hissed irritated.
Emma watched his expression change dramatically. She had a strong vibe of what it was.
"Yes…yes stand by." he hung up and turned to Emma.
"We are defiantly on out way to Mifflin Street."
Gold's blood ran cold. "The Mayor lives there."
"Yeah," Graham said, "One of her neighbors just reported a figure strolling up the street, said she looked like she was in hospital garb.
Emma and Gold exchanged wide-eyed looks before Emma dashing to the patrol car.
The woman in the picture, the one how had her arms wrapped around a small child who looked nothing like her…looked…
Because the boy she was holding was hers?
Because she was in power?
Because she had the thing that would put Belle out of pain?
Belle's thumbs pressed into the glass of the photo holder, cracking the glass and causing her thumbprints to ooze. The photo fell from her hands in a loud crash, however Belle was more concerned with the blood running down her thumbs.
The woman in black snatched her heart straight out of Belle's chest-
But there was no blood.
A sob broke from Belle's throat. There was blood this time. A liquid form of pain to add to her agony. Another reason to hate the woman in the picture. A reminder that she had the one thing that would cure Belle forever of her pain.
Belle shot around, her wide dark eyes staring at a child with innocents so pure it stung the splotches of darkness in her soul.
The boy stepped forward, eyes cautious but welcoming. "Hi…I'm…I'm Henry. Are you okay?"