Last chapter! Thanks to those who read and reviewed! I'm quite pleased with how this turned out. Coming up here is a surprise cameo and my OTP...HENRYBON! Enjoy!
For hours I rode, becoming more and more bored of the endless forest scenery. For I while I was regretting my decision for the sole reasons that I was bored and tired. So tired.
I tried to keep track of the miles on my phone, but it felt like I was barely making any progress. Only the odd passing car and occasional farmhouse assured me that I wasn't stuck in an endless forest and there was in fact life outside Storybrooke.
As time wore on, I worried that I would miss my bus. What if I didn't reach the Savior on her birthday? Did that part matter?
The worst part was, if I didn't get to Emma that night, Regina would find a way to send someone after me. This was my only chance.
A truck pulling a trailer full of hay pulled out onto the highway behind me. As is came to pass me, I had an idea.
I waited until it had passed, then sped up, peddling as fast as my legs could go. The old truck hadn't picked up much speed yet, so I caught up easily enough.
I peddled behind the trailer, coming up off my seat. I reached out for the railing, nearly falling several times.
After many tries, I grabbed hold of the edge of the trailer and pushed with my tired legs as hard as I could, kicking my bike away and pulling myself up into the trailer.
I rolled into the hay, breathing a massive sigh of relief, and watched my bike tumble down the street. In the back of my mind, I heard Regina yelling at me for losing my expensive mountain bike, and for a minute I felt guilty, but I shook it off. Sacrifices had to be made. It was for the good of Operation Shark.
I dozed off, buried in hay, and awoke to the sun bright in my face. The truck was slowing to a stop at a traffic light.
I sat up and looked around, finding myself in a small town. Except this town wasn't at all like mine.
Within my immediate eyesight I found a McDonald's, a Pizza Hut, and a Wal-Mart. Things I'd only heard about and seen on TV, but never been to myself.
I jumped out of the trailer, ignoring the look the girl in the car behind it gave me, and ran out of the street.
It wasn't a particularly crowded place, but I was blown away by the sheer differentness of it. But instead of frightening me, it thrilled me.
My stomach growled noisily, and I excitedly wondered which of the unhealthy fast-food joints I should try. My mind was made up for me when I caught sight of something I never hoped to see.
As if in a trance, I gravitated toward the small establishment. The smell inside made my mouth water, and I hurried to the counter to order one...no two, Cinnabons to go.
"Can you tell me where the Greyhound station is?" I asked the cashier.
"Sure," the bored-looking guy replied. "Just turn right outside and keep going till you hit Elm. Make a left and it's half a mile on your right."
Nodding, I paid for my cinnamon rolls and trotted out.
My first bite of my first Cinnabon was nothing short of heaven. Granny made some delicious cinnamon rolls, but nothing compared to this. Not that I'd ever let Granny know that. I wondered if maybe once the curse broke, if a Cinnabon could be built in Storybrooke.
And the slight queasiness I felt with a stomach full of nothing but sugar was worth it.
I got to the bus station at 3:15. Barely time to spare. Waiting on the bench gave me time to absorb the fact that I was away from Storybrooke for the first time ever. And not just that, but I was in a strange town. Alone.
The nerves that kept threatening to paralyze me sprouted up, and I fidgeted anxiously.
"Hey," a skinny, dirty-looking man sat beside me. "What are you doing out here all by yourself?"
"Going to Boston to see my mom," I said. Well, it was true.
"Ah," he nodded. "By yourself?"
I scooted away. This guy made me uncomfortable, but not in the way Mr. Gold did. This was worse.
"Um, well, my dad is with me, he went to go get us something to drink."
"Did he now?" the guy was smiling at me in a creepy way, like he knew I was lying.
"Yeah," suddenly I would have much preferred the company of Mr. Gold.
"Ah, I hate busses. I'm on my way to Boston, too, but if I drive alone I'm afraid I'll doze off. You want to just ride with me? You can keep me awake and we won't have to worry about stopping."
I shook my head. "N...no. No, my dad and I are taking the bus," right then I wanted to be home. I wanted to be in my bed, or in school with Miss Blanchard. I wanted my mom.
He reached out and grabbed my arm. "Ah, come on..."
Panicking, I yanked my arm back. "Dad!" I yelled, my voice cracking, not knowing what else to do. I looked around and zeroed in on a man with a briefcase. "Dad!"
The man with the briefcase looked up, and with a concerned expression, started making his way toward us.
Just like that, the weird guy released my arm, rushed out an apology, and took off.
"You okay, kid?" Briefcase man asked. "Was that guy bothering you?"
I took several shuttering breaths, and glanced up at him. "Uh, he was just...creeping me out, I guess. I'm okay."
"Are you by yourself?"
"No!" I exclaimed. "My dad just wasn't around...I..."
"Easy kid," he said, holding up his hands, but I didn't quite look at him in the face. "It's okay. Did he hurt you? Should I call the police?"
Police?! Oh no. "No, really, I'm fine. He didn't hurt me."
"Okay, okay. Where are you headed?"
This guy didn't scare me, but I didn't want him paying too much attention to me, in case he decided to call the police after all.
"Boston. To see my mom."
"Oh, okay, well I'm headed on a different bus to New York, but let me sit here with you till your bus comes, okay?"
I nodded, still not really looking at him, and let him sit beside me on the bench, feeling much better. I had no idea what that man could have wanted with me, but it scared me. Aside from being intimidated by Mr. Gold, I'd never had to actually fear anyone before.
The man made some friendly small talk, and introduced himself, not saying anything when I didn't give him my name in return. My bus came not long later and he watched me board, mentioning to the driver that I was an "unaccompanied minor."
"See ya, kid!" he called. "Be careful, okay?"
I looked out the window as the bus pulled away, trying to actually look at his face, but I couldn't catch a good look.
"Bye!" I shouted out the window, waving. "Thanks, Neal!"
Since the bus driver knew that I was alone, I felt him keeping an eye on me during our stops. My encounter with that creepy man had shaken me, but the closer I got to Boston the braver I felt. A woman who was on the bus with me kind of adopted me, sharing her snacks and telling me how I looked just like her grandson.
As the sun set, I pulled out my book, turning to the end where baby Emma is put into the wardrobe. I ran my fingers over the baby blanket where her name was stitched into the fabric.
"That a good book?" the nice woman asked me.
"This? It's more than just a book," I responded, kind of proudly. And it was, it was so much more than that.
"Oh," She chuckled at me, mumbling something about how cute I was.
I looked out the window as we passed a "Welcome to Boston" sign.
Boston was unlike anything I'd ever seen or imagined. There were so many lights, making it as bright as day despite the fact the sun was down. And there were so many people of all types, and endless cars honking at each other. It was almost too much to take in.
When I got off the bus, I wrinkled my nose at the strange, metallic smell in the air, coughing when a cloud of smog from the busses hit my face.
"I don't think I'm not in Storybrooke anymore," I mumbled.
The nice woman offered to wait with me for my mom, but I lied and told her our apartment was just right over there.
I walked down the busy sidewalk, trying not to get disoriented by the mass of people. And not just people, people I didn't know. I had no idea how being around so many strangers after a life of seeing the exact same people every day could be such a shock to the system.
After the initial shock wore off though, I found myself enjoying the sights. The...newness from what I was used to.
There was a man on the street corner, painted silver from head to toe, and he was break-dancing! I stood a moment and watched him, laughing. Without making any kind of facial expression, he reached out for my hand and pulled me forward and into the dance.
I copied his movements as best I could, while the gathered crowd clapped and went "aww."
The silver guy pushed me on my way with a ruffle of my hair while several people told me how well I'd done, and one woman even pressed a couple dollar bills into my hand.
I moved along, but tried not to get sucked in to any more sights. It was almost 8, and I had a mission.
A yellow taxi was parked at the curb, its driver flipping through a paper. I pulled Emma's address out of my pocket along with Miss Blanchard's card, then knocked on the window.
"Do you take credit cards?" I asked, holding the card up.
The big, cheerful looking man grinned. "Where to, chief?"
I hopped into the backseat and handed him the address. "That's not too far," he said and pulled into the road. "Visiting a relative?"
"Uh huh," I replied, then couldn't keep in my excitement any longer. I hadn't told anyone what I was doing, and it was killing me. "My mom. I'm meeting my mom...for the first time."
In the rear-view mirror, I watched the taxi-driver, whose name was Sam, shoot his eyebrows up. "No kidding? Wow. You must be excited. Bet she is too."
"I hope she will be..."
I watched the town zoom by. What would Emma look like? Was she pretty? I just knew she would be. Miss Blanchard was the prettiest girl in town. Her daughter must be even prettier. What would she say when she met me? Would she believe me about the curse? She was the Savior! She had to believe!
"You nervous?" Sam asked.
"Kinda," I said. "But fear won't stop me."
Sam smiled at me through the mirror. "Good. I'm sure everything will work out how it's supposed to."
I smiled in return and looked up in surprise when he slowed to a stop.
"Here we are, chief"
"We're here?" I asked, and looked up at the tall building.
Sam handed me back the paper with her apartment number on it. "Yep, this is it. You gonna be okay?"
I took a breath through my nose and nodded, handing him the credit card. "Yeah. I will be."
After giving back the card, Sam wished me good luck and waited until I got into the building before pulling away.
There was a security guard at the desk that stopped me, but when I told him I was going up to see my mom, he let me by without another word.
I couldn't stop from bouncing on the balls of my feet on my way up the elevator. What if this wasn't the right address? What if she wasn't home? What if she…no, she wouldn't turn me away. She must have had good reasons for giving me away. Just like her parents had good reasons for giving her away.
The elevator doors opened to a long hallway lined with brightly painted doors. I smiled at them in passing, having never expected such a fun-looking place.
When I reached the door that matched the number on my piece of paper...not that I needed the paper, I had the number memorized, 205,I paused and stared at the door painted with scribbled writing.
This was it. I'd made it. The curse was going to break. Good would win. Regina would lose.
Don't let fear be what stops you.
Heart in throat, I raised my hand to knock on the door. I had to wait a moment, shuffling nervously.
After what felt like eternity, the door finally opened, revealing the single most beautiful person I'd ever seen in my entire life. She had long, golden hair, big eyes that matched Miss Blanchard's, and was wearing a bright red dress.
She was…well, in my eyes at least, the fairest of them all.
For a split second she just looked over my head, obviously never expecting a kid to be at her door. Finally she looked down, and her brow furrowed in confusion.
"Uh...can I help you?"
I swallowed. This was it. "Are you Emma Swan?" I was anxious for her answer, but I knew the truth the moment I laid eyes on her.
"Yeah...who are you?"
I smiled up at my mother. The daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. The Savior. I had so much to tell her, starting with...
"My name's Henry. I'm your son."