Just a story I came up with because Jefferson needs a love interest. I hope you enjoy it!
Note: Each line break indicates a switch between our world and the Enchanted Forest.
Ana knelt by the creek and cautiously placed her palm in the rushing water. She gave a sigh of relief as the cool water engulfed her hand. It was a welcome change from the heat of summer.
She took a step back and began to remove her clothing until she was wearing nothing but her long undergarments. With a quick glance around to make sure she was alone she began to wade into the water. She was ankle deep when…
Startled, Ana jumped up and succeeded in splashing herself. She hesitated for a moment, wondering if perhaps she had just imagined it. They didn't have many frogs in this part of the creek, and those they did have were quickly killed off by hunters looking to make a quick dime. Because of this she had only seen a live frog once in her life when her friend Tom had caught one and brought it home to tease her with.
She dismissed it for a moment before she heard it again, only louder this time. Curiosity got the best of her as she walked out of the water and began to search for the source of the noise. A little distance off she found what appeared to be a large overcoat in a heap on the forest floor. She crept carefully toward it, her eyes narrowed in suspicion. She leapt back as lump began to move underneath it. She grabbed a nearby stick and proceeded to approach the strange bundle. When she was close enough Ana used the stick to lift part of it and peer underneath it. As she lifted it higher the culprit who had interrupted her bath hopped into the light.
She dropped the stick upon sight of the frog, which caused the creature to look up at her with what appeared to be inquisitiveness. Suddenly feeling slightly self-conscious she grabbed the overcoat and covered herself with it before addressing her intruder.
"What?" She asked as it continued to stare at her, its head tilted slightly to the left. "Never seen a girl before have you?" The amphibian simply blinked at her in response. "You know it's not polite to stare."
"What were you doing under this coat anyway?"
That's it Ana, she thought to herself. Keep talking to the frog. Maybe if you're lucky the owner of the jacket will return and report you for insanity.
Still, she couldn't bring herself to turn away from the animal and found herself taking a seat on a nearby log to continue the conversation.
"Perhaps it's your coat," she said giggling slightly to herself. "You know there are stories of girls who have kissed frogs and they've turned into handsome princes who carried them off to their happily ever after."
Upon hear that the frog took a couple hops toward her.
"You don't believe those stories do you?"
He croaked with what almost seemed like urgency.
"Oh what do you know, you're a frog."
"You are just a frog, aren't you?" Ana felt silly as she heard the doubt that slipped into her voice.
"Alright, let's try it this way. Blink once if you're a frog, twice if you're more than that." She realized how ridiculous that plan was as soon as she heard it, but figured it was worth a shot. She had trouble containing her surprise as he flutter his eyelids closed at her two times.
Groaning she buried her face in her hands, feeling absolutely absurd. She looked back up at her amphibian guest. "Let me guess you want me to kiss you now don't you?" Two more blinks. "Ugh fine, but if this doesn't work, we tell no one, ok?" He croaked in agreement.
Cringing slightly, she bent down and picked him up by the torso. "Here we go," she muttered before pinching her eyes shut and softly pressing her lips against his. When she opened them again she was face to face with a grown man.
She gave a startled cry and jumped back clutching the black jacket even tighter against herself. "You-You-You're…"
"Handsome, amazing, a good kisser?" He finished arrogantly.
"Human," Ana corrected.
"Bit crude, but I'll take it. The names Jefferson," He said and extended his hand to shake. Ana didn't move however, refusing to relinquish her grip on the one thing protecting her decency. When Jefferson realized that he took a step back and raised his hands in understanding before turning his back to her. Taking advantage of the privacy she set the coat aside before pulling her dress back on. Once she was clothed she informed him that he could turn back around.
"Hm, I must say I liked you're outfit better before. But, you did help me so I believe a thank you is in order. Now, I don't believe I caught you're name your highness," Jefferson stated, his eyebrow cocked in question.
Ana scoffed at him. "Your highness? What do you think I am, a princess?"
"Well you must be," he said matter-of-factly. "How else could you have broken my curse?"
"Listen, I don't know how I broke your curse, but I most certainly am not royalty."
Jefferson rolled his eyes and gave a sigh of something akin to frustration. "With all due respect, there is more to being a princess than having royal blood. Now, do you have a name or should I just continue to call you your highness?" His aura of charm had started to fade out of annoyance but Ana could tell he was still trying his hardest to remain polite.
"My names Diana, but I prefer Ana," she replied.
"Very well Ana. I am in your debt," he said sincerely, giving her a small bow of gratitude. "Now if you'll excuse me," he turned and began raking through the bushes in search of something. Ana watched him with interest as he cursed in frustration. After a moment he spun back on his heel to face her. "You didn't happen to find a hat did you?"
She furrowed her brow in confusion. "No, why?"
"Damn it," he swore. "Regina must have taken it."
"Regina? You mean the queen? Is she the one who turned you into a frog?"
"Yes," he answered. "Now she's gone and stole my hat."
"It's just a hat," Ana said, not understanding what the big deal was.
Jefferson glared at her. "It is not just a hat. It is much more than that, and could be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands." Clearly angered, he walked over and snatched his overcoat before saying to her, "Thanks for your help princess, but I'll take it from here," and spinning around to leave.
"You're leaving?" She asked, feeling stupidly disappointed. She wasn't sure what had expected to happen but she knew it wasn't this.
"Well yes. I thanked you, what more do you want?" He asked, turning around shooting his eyebrows up at her.
"I…" She hesitated, not sure how to respond. Jefferson tapped his foot impatiently. "I want to come with you," she settled.
He laughed. "A silly girl like you? Why on earth want to leave your undoubtedly nice home to accompany a wanderer like me?"
Ana fumed at his assumptions about her life. "I can help you, and considering how when I found you you were amphibious I'm guessing you could use it."
He scowled at her but she could tell he saw her point. "Very well. But I'm not waiting around while you say your goodbyes. Either you leave with me now or not at all."
Since Ana doubted the Tafani's would even notice her absence she didn't hesitate to accept. Instead she found herself grinning and walking off in the direction he had been headed before turning back to face him and asking, "Well? What are you waiting for?"
Jefferson began to wonder if he'd come to regret it as he followed her into the woods.
Ana sat in her little car staring at the map in her hands as the storm continued to rage on outside. After days of travel she had found herself in the middle of Maine with no place to go. She had bought the map to help her choose her destination. She found herself oddly drawn to one town in particular. She gave it one last bit of thought before tossing the paper on to the passenger's seat and turning the key in the ignition. As she pulled out onto the empty road she muttered to herself, "Storybrooke here I come."