A Way Back

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of this story and that's that.

Note: I don't know why I bothered writing this. It's really short. But I needed to get it out of my system. Enjoy. And leave some feedback if you can! If there's enough interest, I think I might continue this.

"Do you think it will work?" Viktor asked skeptically.

Ruby had just been updating the doctor on the plan of growing magic beans in order to open a portal back to their lands. The giant, Anton, was working with the dwarves to plant the beans and it was only a matter of time before they could harvest them.

"It's the only lead we have for now," Ruby said, "but I have faith that the last bean was brought to Storybrooke for a reason. We'll finally be able to go home."

When he continued to look doubtful, she took his hand encouragingly.

"You'll get your chance too," she said reassuringly, "you can finally go back to your brother."

"Perhaps," he said hesitantly. Now that there was a real possibility of returning to his land, he no longer seemed keen on doing so. He missed his brother and wanted to bring him back, but after his latest failure with Daniel, he was beginning to think that perhaps the dead were best left where they were. He had just spent 28 years being someone else, and not necessarily someone better than he was. But still, here was a chance at starting anew.

The dark-haired girl looked at him in puzzlement. He seemed lost in thought, as he often was now, and she hoped that he wouldn't lose himself in darkness again. Lately, he had seemed…happier than he had ever been after the curse was broken and she had been so relieved. They had spent what little free time they had just talking and walking around together and it had been quite pleasant. And with this news, she had hoped to cheer him up a bit.

"Viktor, what's wrong?" she asked in concern.

He looked at her carefully and tried to find the best way to answer. But he could not. He simply could not explain why he felt this sudden wave of doubt.

"I'm sorry, I was just thinking," he answered gravely, "after all these years, and after all that's happened, I'm not sure that there's anything or anyone to go back to in my land."

"Oh, I see," said Ruby.

"It's ridiculous, I know," he said dismissively, "but I think I've gotten so used to Storybrooke already."

That wasn't it. He didn't really believe that. But why was he hesitant to even leave? What changed? What would he be leaving behind?

"Well, we've all had to get used to it," Ruby commented, "but we all still miss our home."

Viktor looked at her and saw how the thought of going home lit up her face and made her smile even more radiant. He had never felt that way about his land; it had just been a place of origin, an address, somewhere to live. But for Ruby and everyone else in town, it was home.

But strangely enough, he had begun to feel more at home in Storybrooke than he ever had in his land, where he had always been treated as someone strange and different, by everyone except his brother. Here, somehow, he was not alone. Many people respected him as a doctor and there were a few who even considered him a friend. Such as Ruby.

And it was at that moment that he realized what had been holding him back.

There were a very few things that Viktor loved about Storybrooke. But the one that he loved the most would be the most difficult one to let go.