Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 35 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Henry :~

Moving in with Emma was the coolest thing he had ever done.

Of course, moving meant boxes. And boxes meant packing. That had taken forever today, but he didn't have that much stuff he wanted to keep anyways. Everything he'd gotten was from the Evil Queen, and he didn't really want any mementos.

Though there was plenty of space in the apartment for the both of them now.

Snow White had moved out immediately. She had given Emma the apartment and the keys with a broad smile before skipping across the street to James' open arms and his old truck, full of boxes of her own stuff.

Now that they remembered, and knew they were married, that they didn't really need to worry about the pressures of the unwitting society around them. It hadn't even really been in question to anyone. They had announced that they were going to get married in this world just to keep the town from any real gossip, though Henry didn't see the point. There really wasn't going to be much time for it all.

"You know this doesn't really matter," he told Emma as she set down the last of the boxes.

"What doesn't?" she asked him, brushing her hands on her jeans.

"Moving in with you, and Snow White and James getting re-married. We're just going to be back in the Enchanted Forest soon," he told her, pausing as he pulled out a couple toys. "It'll probably be only a few days."

She gave him a skeptical look, "Oh really?"

"Well, the town is already taking sides," Henry shrugged, and it was true.

The town was in complete chaos.

The Mayor had first accused Emma of shooting her, and then had had her false accusations fall short when Emma (with August's help) was able to prove that Mayor had shot three innocent (well, at least two innocent, and one mostly innocent) people. There had been an absolute uproar. People didn't know who to believe. Now, the Mayor had now disappeared. Gone. No one could find her. Not even Ruby, though they hadn't really put her to the case yet, and Emma surely planned on doing so.

There were mainly two sides to this "argument", as Henry had known that there would be in the end.

People were screaming for Emma's head, declaring Emma Regina's murderer, and while Henry knew Emma would love that to be true, it wasn't. Not yet, because something cataclysmic would have occurred.

Other people wanted to throw Emma on their shoulders and parade her around Storybrooke. These people outweighed those who hated her. It turned out a lot of the town only did what Regina said because she cornered them with threats. Henry rolled his eyes. Big surprise there.

The Mayor's face was now plastered everywhere, on street signs and lamp posts, on bulletin boards and smattered all over the Mirror. She was wanted by the town of Storybrooke for attempted murder, and other charges. People were still trying to wrap their minds around it. Regina Mills had been their Mayor for as long as they could remember. The fact that it had turned out that she was a criminal was devastating for the little town. Regina's shady disappearance didn't help her own claims of innocence. Well, that or she was dead. Which Henry had ruled out, because no cosmetic event to take them all back to the Enchanted Forest had happened yet.

Emma had already rounded up several of the culprits who had helped in Regina's little plot to destroy Rumpelstiltskin. The Black Knight was one of them, along with Dr. Whale. It was a good thing they had booked Dr. Whale too, since both of the Frenches were still in the hospital, though one was doing much better than the other. And Henry, well, and the rest of his family, didn't like the idea of any of their friends in the care of Regina's henchmen. The new doctor, though a little less qualified, was a lot more preferable, seeing as they weren't on Regina's payroll. The other hospital personnel were on Emma's side too, an added bonus, because Dr. Whale had apparently not been the best of doctors ever. Another big surprise.

Some of the culprits hadn't been caught though- they had begun to disappear along with Regina. Namely, Sydney Glass, Regina's magic mirror. Henry didn't know what to make of it, but as more of the scarier residents began to vanish, he couldn't help but getting a twisting feeling in his gut. Regina was gathering her army.

But Emma was gathering hers.

All around them the curse was unraveling. People were beginning to remember. The first one who had remembered was Archie. Henry had been delighted after the night when Rumpelstiltskin had died (temporarily), to know that Archie had remembered, and apparently, it all had to do with Snow White's and James' kiss they had shared. Poor Archie was still getting over the fact that he had once been a grasshopper. It was funny to talk to him about it now- because Henry had been right all along, and Archie had wanted to apologize immediately.

Ruby's memory came and went, coming mainly during the nights. Henry suspected it had something to do with the fact that she was a werewolf, and that the moon was waxing. All Henry hoped was that if she remembered, and she was going to turn into a werewolf because of it, that they would find her magic red hood to keep her from killing the entire town. He was pretty sure the people of Storybrooke weren't ready to handle a full blown werewolf just yet.

Granny had her complete memory, and was as kick trash as ever. And she was almost the head of the war council she was so fierce. Not quite, because it went Emma, and then James, and then Snow White, but almost up there. Granny had always been cool, but now? She was awesome!

Leroy had his memories back too. He was having a problem convincing a few of the other dwarves, but they were slowly believing him, especially when he got them drunk. He was pining after the fairy Astrid more now though. It was interesting to watch, because Astrid didn't remember at all yet, and Leroy was apologizing for things that she didn't remember having happened. That particular fairy didn't have her memories yet.

But the Blue Fairy did. She had been another one to remember almost immediately after the initial tear created by Snow White's and Prince Charming's kiss. She was convincing her fairies more subtly than Leroy was the dwarves, but fairies and dwarves were different after all.

Children had remembered easier than adults. Ava and Nicholas, or Gretel and Hansel, remembered some of it, but their dad, Michael Tillman, wouldn't let them anywhere near Henry anymore. Henry understood though. They'd already angered the Queen enough. Ava had apparently threatened to hit her with a shovel. Ava and Nicholas weren't the only ones though.

Paige had remembered her real name was Grace, and had cried and cried that she wanted her real papa, because he had promised to be there for tea, until the man had popped out of a hat Emma had had lying around. The Mad Hatter in their living room last night had freaked Emma out so bad she hadn't pulled her gun off of him until Henry had stood in between them. He couldn't blame Emma though. Emma was still freaking out about the fact that magic existed in the first place, and the fact that she had little to no power over it.

Which, according to the Hatter, was not true. Jefferson had declared that it was she who had made the hat, and therefore it was Emma who had magic. And if Emma had magic, then it meant a whole new can of butt whoop to unleash on the Queen. Emma hadn't wanted to test it though when the Blue Fairy had offered to teach her. Henry was pretty sure he could get Emma to test it though, if he coaxed her into it.

The thought of Regina roaming around would convince her if nothing else would. Emma had had Henry living at Emma's place since day one after the night she had learned about Regina's magical abilities.

They had finally gotten his stuff from the house just that day, four days since the incident in the woods, and she had taken some of her army with her, just in case Regina was convening in her old house. It turned out that she hadn't been. James and August had then gotten to help Henry take his stuff and move out, and they'd been really kind to do it. Again- Henry had THE coolest family ever.

They had also raided Regina's office, but that had been almost as unproductive. What they had gotten out of it were the skeleton keys. The key ring that opened every important door in Storybrooke. Emma had stored them somewhere safe, she said, but if her definition of safe was in the vent, then she needed to rethink for a moment. However, he didn't say anything. For now it would work. For now anything would work. He was pretty content. Four days of living with Emma had been seriously awesome.

Henry, instead of taking Snow White's old room, was sleeping in Emma's room. Emma was still way too nervous to let him be where she couldn't see him. Henry didn't mind. He was with his real mom, and he liked it. He was just worried because she wasn't sleeping well, and she slept with a gun and two knives. He slept with a knife too, but at least he slept.

Henry had woken up this morning to Emma and August talking. Apparently August had taken to sleeping outside of their apartment. Emma wouldn't have it. She told him that if he wanted to sleep there he could take the couch, since she knew Granny's could be a bit expensive, especially if he wasn't going to really be sleeping there.

Snow White and James were already overbearing enough, trying to get them to come live with them in their house, but Emma had refused point blank. She'd lived without them and survived well enough for 28 years. She could still live on her own, but Henry noticed her missing Snow White a lot. They took a lot of trips over to their house for frivolous reasons, and while Emma was still having trouble with James being her dad, she had little to no problem with Snow White being her mom. They also knew that Emma needed her space, and, well, with a couple who were acting like newlyweds all over again, he didn't think Emma could stomach it.

He still had the coolest family. He wondered if they would all live in the castle together when they got back, or if Emma would want to go questing. Because if Emma was going questing through the Enchanted Forest, then he so was going with her.

Sean had remembered his identity when Prince James had told him about it in confidence, but Ashley was having a harder time even with Snow's well versed words. She was point blank refusing to believe that she had been seven months pregnant for 28 years. That was a scary thought, Henry realized with a shudder, and he knew more about it then he wanted to already. That and Ashley didn't want to believe that she and Sean had already been married after so much wedding planning in this world.

But Ashley was coming around. What they had been most worried about was that Alexandria, she and Sean's daughter, who had been born in this world. What did that mean for her? Would she go back with them, or be forced to stay here, alone and abandoned? The two royals did not like to think on it.

It hadn't been a thought that had crossed Henry's mind until recently. He had been born here. And he was only half from the Enchanted Forest. If Alexandria was something to worry about, what did that make him?

He picked up the Once Upon A Time book, and gazed at it searchingly, as if it would tell him the answer. But he knew it wouldn't.

"Hey Emma?" he asked, and she looked up at the quavering note in his voice.

"What's up, Kid?" she put down some of his clothing she had been refolding. They had packed in a bit of a hurry.

"I- I was born in this world- and my dad was from Earth," he stared at the book in his hands before staring up at Emma, "What if I don't get to go back with you?" he wanted to know, looking at her earnestly.

"Then I won't go," Emma shrugged, standing up from her crouch over a box.

Henry frowned, "I don't think you'll have a choice."

"Do I ever not have a choice?" Emma grinned conspiratorially, and Henry couldn't help but giggle at that. She made her way towards him, weaving through the mess of boxes to reach him. "Don't worry Henry. If anyone deserves to go back, it's you." She hugged him around the shoulders, leaning back against the couch like he was.

He grabbed her, "Emma, I don't want to be stuck here!"

It was obvious he'd shocked her, because she paused before she said warmly, "It's a good think you're going to come with us then." She ruffled his hair, and he smiled at her. She returned it steadily, and he knew she wouldn't ever leave him. She was the best mom ever. "And it's too early to be worrying about that right now. We have to catch Regina first."

That was true.

Henry could feel the tension of the curse rising. The final battle, the one prophesied, was going to come to pass soon. And if Henry was going to be any help at all, he had to be ready.

He was going to ask James if he would teach him how to sword fight, and Snow White if she could teach him to fight hand to hand like she could. He wanted to ask Emma to teach him to shoot a gun, but he decided he'd better learn from his grandparents first before he went to his mom. His mom would probably tell him that he wasn't allowed to learn to fight at all, and if he'd already learned from Snow and James, then at least he would have gotten that far in his education.

He would ask the Blue Fairy to test him to see if he could use magic. If he could, he would learn right away. Magic was something he thought he'd be extra good at, and if Emma could do it, didn't that mean that he could too?

He wanted to be able to help in this war. And he wanted to be a Knight of the Enchanted Forest. He wanted to be on the War Council, and to be as legendary as his family was.

"Are we going to kill her?" Henry asked Emma after a moment, and from the look that filled Emma's eyes, he could tell she knew exactly what he was asking.

He needed to know.

Even though Regina was evil, even though he knew she needed to die, he needed to know if Emma was really going to do it or not.

Emma was the true hero after all. She would be the one to slay or to capture the Evil Queen. It would be a problem for her to decide. He knew she wanted to kill her, but he also knew Emma had a moral code, as did every good hero. He just wanted to – no- he just needed to know what she was planning, so he would know what to do in return.

She looked away from him, not meeting his gaze. Her voice was full of uncertainty as she answered, "I don't know."

Henry nodded.

He couldn't tell her what to do. This was her decision. She was the White Knight. She was the savior. He had no say on what she should do. He would respect her decision either way.

She smiled at him then, an Emma smile. He liked her smiles- but then again, didn't every kid like their mom's smile? She was trying to lift the mood. "You know what? I'm tired of all this unpacking. Let's go get some cocoa from Granny's."

"With cinnamon?"

"With cinnamon."

She sent him to get his shoes, and she threw on her leather jacket.

As Emma locked the door behind them, Henry grinned. They lived there together now. He was living with his real mom. His grandma was Snow White. His grandpa was the Prince Charming. What on Earth could be cooler?

They were down the stairs and walking out to Granny's when Ava and Nicholas buffeted into him on the sidewalk.

"Hi Henry!" Nicholas shouted as he ran past.

"Hi Nicholas!" he told the littler kid. Henry smiled at Ava as she skidded to a stop, "Hi Ava." She smiled at him, and he liked her long pretty blonde hair in braids. It looked a lot like she had popped right out of his story book.

"See you Henry! We're going to see our dad at work!" Nicholas told him, half stopping to wait up for his sister. "C'mon Ava!"

"Bye Henry," Ava smiled sweetly before turning and catching up to her brother.

"You kids be careful!" Emma called after them, before Henry looped his hand in hers, taking her to Granny's. He wanted to see if Ruby remembered being Red anymore. If so, then they really, really needed to find that red hood. He wondered if Rumpelstiltskin knew where it was. He probably knew where a lot of things were, but he hadn't left the hospital since he and Henry had gone there four nights ago. It had really freaked them out to see a dead man up and about, and a dead man insisting that he stayed with the other victim meant that he got what he wanted. Especially because he was Mr. Gold, the town menace. Well, he wasn't the town menace anymore really, but the rest of the town didn't know that.

Rumpelstiltskin without magic though was kinda… well, less Rumpelstiltskin-like. It wasn't his fault, he knew, because it was true love, but now he wasn't going to be much help in the war. He wasn't much of a warrior, Henry remembered that much at least.

Henry had hoped to learn magic from him someday. Now he didn't think that was going to happen, not with him being magic-less. It would have been dark magic though, and Henry was pretty sure he didn't want to learn dark magic. It was evil. Learning from the Blue Fairy would be a lot better, and a lot healthier probably.

His gaze was wandering along the blue skies when he spotted the kite.

He followed the string to find its owner.

It was Paige, and her dad Jefferson, the Mad Hatter. It was a sunny, breezy day, and they had set up a picnic across the street, with stuffed animals and tea cups. A tea party, he realized with a smile, the one her father had promised all those years ago.

Now they had abandoned it for a brightly colored kite, and Paige was giggling as the aerial object swooped in and out and around. Her father was running about as though it were terribly difficult to control, a monster or a dragon, instead of a piece of fabric held aloft in the spring air.

Henry beamed in passing. Paige waved, smiling, calling out, "Hi Henry!" He waved back. He'd always liked Paige in class. She'd always been nice to him, and she had pretty dark eyes. Now she was happier than he'd ever seen her, and hugged her dad. He bent and planted a kiss on her head.

Real parents were the best.

"After we go to Granny's, we should go see Grandma and Grandpa," Henry beamed.

"Don't call them that," Emma said immediately.

"Why?" Henry wondered aloud.

"Because it's weird," Emma made a face, "Mary- Snow White's younger than me."

Henry shrugged, "She did live in a time warp for 28 years."

"Why does everything in this town sound like an episode of the X-Files?" Emma sighed, and Henry grinned.

"It's totally cooler than the X-Files," Henry informed her, sounding a little scandalized.

"That's for sure," Emma agreed with a nod, and looked down at Henry's startled and joyous face, "What?" she ruffled his hair with her free hand, "It's not every episode of the X-Files that you get to be stuck in a fairy tale."

Emma was learning to like this, and Henry couldn't help but love that. She was going to be a Knight worthy of any fairy tale ever, let alone one of the Enchanted Forest.

"We're not in a fairy tale yet," he told her as they entered the gates to the diner, "We're just in Storybrooke. Wait until we get to the Enchanted Forest, Emma, it's going to be amazing!" Henry beamed as they walked up the steps to Granny's.

"I know it will be," she smiled, and held the door open for him to enter.

They sat down at Granny's and Ruby took down their order. And though Henry knew it wasn't over yet, that there was a battle to end all battles to come still, he was happy. Truly happy. He wouldn't have it any other way, then to sit across from his mom at Granny's Diner, and sip hot chocolate with cinnamon, and giggle when his mom got whipped cream on her face.

He had the best life ever.

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 35 of 37

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