I know I haven't posted anything in ages, and I'm so sorry! Between school and speech/debate, I just haven't had any time to write. Accept this fic as my apology.
Disclaimer: I don't own Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
The past is never dead. It's not even past.
The throne room was cold, and the Red Queen shivered. Her dresses had been built to impress people with her beauty, not for warmth. Turning her mind away from her discomfort, she focused on Jafar, who was busy taunting their prisoner.
"I hope you have a good night's sleep, Knave," Jafar said. "Because unless your precious Alice," he sneered the name, "uses her wish to save you, this night will be your last."
If Jafar were any other type of person, the Queen would have expected him to cackle evilly. But he wasn't that type; so all he did was smirk victoriously and leave the throne room, cloak flaring out behind him and serpent staff tapping on the marble floor.
Even after the door slammed shut behind him, the Queen didn't look at the Knave standing in the middle of the room. She told herself it was because he didn't deserve to look at her. After all, he was nothing more than dirt on her heels, a criminal and a traitor. But the truth was she didn't look because she was afraid of what she would see in his eyes. Afraid of the hatred, anger, and disgust that must surely be there.
"What happened to you?"
His voice was exactly as she remembered it, and she had to close her eyes against the painful memories that it brought. She met his eyes, and she was surprised to see that there was no disgust or hatred in his eyes. There was a little anger, yes, but when she looked at him, all she could see was that he looked…sad.
"What happened to you?" he repeated, his voice louder and more demanding. Then softly, he said, "Anastasia…"
"Stop it," she snapped. "Do not think that you know me, Knave, because you do not."
"I do know you, because I knew Anastasia. Anastasia loved flowers and the color pink. Anastasia was an orphan, and had been abandoned by her brother. Anastasia was starving on the streets when I found her. Anastasia - "
"Stop calling me that!" she yelled, and her voice echoed throughout the room. She marched up to him, only stopping when she was practically touching noses with him.
"Anastasia was weak," she hissed. "Anastasia was a foolish little girl who trusted too easily, who wore her heart on her sleeve and thought that love would solve all her problems. But I," she gestured around her, "I am a Queen! People bow before me; they respect me because I have power over them. And soon, I will be able make the impossible possible, so that anything I wish for can be mine. Why would I ever want to be Anastasia?"
"Because Anastasia used to be happy." He reached a hand out to her, looking as if he was about to caress her face, but he quickly dropped his hand before he touched her. "I love Anastasia. But I'm not even sure if she exists anymore."
"Will…" she breathed. She clutched his hands. "Will, join us. We can rule Wonderland, you and I, and nothing will be beyond our reach. It can be just like it used to be. Please, Will, say yes. Say you'll join Jafar and me."
He stepped away, breaking his hands from her grasp and retreating a few steps back. "At what cost? I may be a thief and a traitor, but at least I have some humanity left. So thank you for your offer, Your Majesty, but I have to say no." He gave her a shallow, mocking bow, and turned away, ending the conversation.
The little part deep down inside of her that was still Anastasia broke at his dismissal, his hatred of her and all that she had worked so hard to become. But she drew comfort from the part of her that was the Red Queen. She delighted in feeling nothing, having no pesky emotions get in the way of her quest for power.
"Fine," she said, stepping away from him and closer to her throne. "I hope your precious humanity is worth your death. Guards!" she called, and the two men stationed outside entered. "Take the Knave to the cages. He and the genie can keep each other company. At least, until the execution."
With that, she swept out of the throne room, looking every inch the regal Red Queen she had become.
(And if later, when she was alone in her room, she cried over Will and her past and the things she'd left behind…well, nobody would ever have to know.)