Thanks For The Memories

By LilacMoon

Romance / Adventure

Chapter 3

Present Day

New York City

“Hey...why’d you want to meet here?” Walsh asked, as he closed the door that led to the roof of Emma’s building.

“I needed to talk to you, but my place is kind of a mess right now,” she deflected.

“Emma, it’s okay to make a bold, romantic gesture without passing it off as a housekeeping malfunction,” he joked.

“Walsh, I can’t marry you,” she blurted out.

“It’s too soon,” he said.

“No, it’s not that. We need to go home...and take care of some things,” Emma tried to explain.

“Home? But you said this was your home now? I thought you and your brother and sister-in-law moved to Portland when you were eighteen and then here after Henry was born?” he asked.

“That’s not a lie. There’s...just a part of our lives we’ve been sort of running from. It’s hard to explain, but we have to go back and deal with this now,” she said vaguely.

“Come on, what changed overnight?” he asked.

“Someone from our past showed up,” she replied.

“Who? An Ex? Henry’s father?” he asked.

“Nothing like that. He’s more like a ghost,” she responded.

“So that’s how I’m supposed to sleep at night? You’re trading me for a ghost?” he asked.

“It kills us to have to make this choice at all, to leave behind this life,” Emma rambled.

“Then don’t leave this life. Stay...just stay,” he pleaded.

“I can’t. I wish you could see this the way I see it,” she lamented. He shook his head.

“And I wish you hadn’t drank that potion,” he hissed. Her eyes widened.

“What?” she asked in surprise, as he knocked a chair aside.

“You just couldn’t leave well enough alone,” he growled.

“What are you talking about?” she asked in confusion.

“It’s too bad, I actually kind of liked you,” he replied.

“Who are you?” Emma demanded to know, as his eyes glowed red. He growled, as he lunged at her. Emma ducked and he fell over the ledge. Emma glanced over the ledge and her eyes widened, as he transformed into a monkey with wings and flew back up at her. She grabbed a chair and whacked the creature with it, sending it sailing back over the edge. It hit the pavement below and crumbled to dust.

“Swan!” Hook called, as he burst onto the roof.

“Emma!” David called, following him, armed with his gun, having grabbed it from his and Snow’s apartment.

“I’m fine…” she assured them.

“Where’s Walsh?” David asked.

“Walsh...was a flying monkey,” Emma replied.

“I knew there was something off about that guy!” her father declared and she rolled her eyes.

“Please don’t gloat,” she pleaded, before noticing how his shirt was torn and the wicked claw slashes on his neck.

“Dad...what the hell happened?” she exclaimed.

“Walsh’s flying monkey friends literally scratched their way through the glass, into your apartment and attacked,” he said.

“Oh my God!” she cried, but he held up his hand.

“Your Mom and Henry are fine,” he promised.

“Aye lass, your mother bashed one in with a lamp and your father tangled with the others,” Hook said. David gave him a skeptical look.

“And though I loathe to admit it, Hook protected Henry from the last one,” David added, as Hook allowed himself a smirk.

“We need to go…” she said.

“You’re right...any idea though why this witch’s minions would be after us?” David asked the pirate.

“She’s been less than forthcoming about her plan. We had no idea she had people in the Land Without Magic,” Hook mentioned.

“I don’t think waiting until morning is a good idea. I think we need to go now, in case she sends more. And this will also be hard to explain to people. The noise was sure to draw attention. Someone might have called the police,” David surmised.

“Aye,” Hook agreed, as they gathered what few items they were taking with them, including the book, and quietly left the apartment, knowing they would not be returning. They would disappear from this world without a trace and no one would ever know how or why.


Misty Haven, Maine

1996

Since they had come to this strange land, thirteen years ago, it was not lost on them or Tessa that they had not changed at all. Neither of them knew much of what to make of it. For years, they had also tried to expand their family, but had no success. While they longed to have more children, they were also very happy with the one they did have. Emma was the light of their lives and they were so proud of her. However, they did make time for each other and cherished their alone time. Tessa had insisted on them going on what she called date nights almost since the beginning, insisting that she would watch Emma for them when she was little.

She still watched Emma for them, even though their little girl was thirteen already. Sometimes their date nights were spent doing things considered traditional in this realm, like dinner, movies, long walks on the beach, all of which they enjoyed immensely. But their favorite date was quiet picnics in the woods. It reminded them of home and when they used to escape their royal duties for a few hours by going off together into the forest. But tonight, her husband was being very cryptic about their excursion. They were driving in his truck up the coast, but she didn’t recognize this as a direction they usually took.

“Where are we going?” she asked curiously. He smirked.

“You’ll see,” he replied, giving her a sly smile.

“Charming…”

“I know you usually aren’t fond of surprises, because you’re impatient, but this one will be worth it,” he insisted. She gave him a coy smile.

“Okay, I’ll play your game, Charming,” she replied. She noticed the truck slowed, as they pulled onto a flat cliff side that seemed like it was a spot for people to stop and gaze out over the mountains, for there were parking spots and a safety railing. David backed the truck into a spot and got out, before hurrying around to open the door for her. Her husband would forever be a gentleman, after all. He opened the gate on the bed of the truck and she noticed the box was lined with several thick blankets, with several more blankets folded in waiting.

“Charming…” she started to say, as he looked up at the sky. She looked with him and gasped, noticing that they were under a blanket of stars.

“I know how much we both miss laying under the stars, like we used to back home. Someone at work mentioned this place was good for that, without having to travel too far from town. And I heard this night would be the perfect night for some stargazing,” he said, as she saw a flash of color across the sky.

“I guess for the next few nights, we’ll be able to see the northern lights,” he mentioned.

“Oh David...it’s beautiful,” she said in awe.

“I thought tonight could be just for us and then maybe we can bring Em with us tomorrow night,” he replied. She gave him a watery smile and planted a kiss on his lips. He smiled at her, before hopping into the box of the truck, before extending his arm to her. She grabbed a hold and he pulled her up. They huddled beneath the blankets, wrapped in each other’s arms, as they gazed up at the stars together. It wasn’t long before soft touches, tender kisses, and smoldering gazes turned even more passionate.

Stargazing had truly been one of their favorite past times in the forest, but that had always come with their pure joy of making love under a blanket of stars as well.

_Snowing_

She moaned into his kiss, as his lips moved over hers and he pinned her beneath his hard body. She could remember many a nights where there was blankets beneath them and stars above them, as they made love. But it was no less amazing, no matter how many times they were together, for every time was incredible. Their passion and craving for each other had not lessened at all over time. Their want and desire would never fade, of that she knew for certain.

She gasped for air, as their lips parted and he started trailing kisses down her neck. As he breathed fire on her throat and their hands stroked, she felt her body already pulsating with anticipation. But it was determined that they were wearing far too many clothes, though thankfully it was a fairly warm summer night.

The buttons on her cardigan were undone quickly and she moved to help him divest her of the garment. He gazed at her with such reverence and she moaned, as he started kissing at the tops of her breasts. She practically tore his shirt off in response and pushed it off his broad shoulders. Her fingers busied by sensually tracing the cut lines of definition along his chest and torso. She felt him pressing insistently against his jeans and she slowly undid his belt, as he snapped her bra open. She cried out in pleasure, as his mouth closed over one of her nipples, while his hand massaged the other breast. She combed her fingers through his hair and parted her legs, tugging him between her legs in an attempt to get even closer to him. He groaned, as he pressed painfully against the confines of his pants. His hands slid down her taut abdomen and undid the button on her jeans. She lifted her hips so he could pull them down her legs and then sat up to undo his. She tackled him with impassioned energy and reversed their positions, the old truck rocking beneath them. But he didn’t mind in the least and his strong hands roamed her bare back, as she explored his bare chest with her lips and tongue. She mewled, as his hands slid down her back and into her underwear, squeezing her ass tightly. She attacked his jeans and pushed them down his long legs, before boldly reaching into his boxers and wrapped her small hand around his painfully hard shaft. She watched with glee, as he almost came undone in her arms and she kissed him hard, thrusting her tongue into his mouth. Gods...he loved when she took charge and commanded what she wanted from him.

“Snow…” he moaned, making her smile. He had gotten used to calling her Mary over the years, but always reverted back to using her real name in the throes of their passion. His fingers found their way into her panties and she cried out, as he pressed his thumb against her clit. She shuddered, as he thrust two fingers inside her and his hips jutted against hers.

“Take me…” she pleaded, as she kissed him hard again. He growled and rolled her beneath him again. He practically tore her panties, as he slid them off and she hooked her legs around his waist, as he plunged inside her. He thrust hot and deeply in a vigorous pace. She writhed beneath him and their hips slapped together, as she raked her nails along his back. Their kisses were as feverish as his thrusts, as he made love to her.

“Charming!” she cried passionately, as he pushed her over the edge first and she came undone around him. He held her and they rode her orgasm together, as he searched for his own, holding on as long as possible, for he couldn’t get enough of her. If he had eternity to make love to her, it would never be enough for him. And he was fairly certain they had eternity together. They would always be together in this life and whatever awaited them after this life. She placed soft kisses on his neck, as she still trembled beneath him from the after effects and she, as always, expertly coaxed an orgasm from her husband. With a final thrust, he buried himself inside her and called out her name, as he came, filling her with his essence.

_Snowing_

He collapsed into her arms and then rolled onto his side. She smiled, as they cuddled together, pressed flush against each other beneath the blankets. Their bodies glistened with sweat and they kissed softly, as they bathed in the afterglow beneath the starry sky. She smiled a giddy smile, as he caressed her face tenderly. He shifted and draped her over his bare chest, as they stargazed together.

The constellations were surprisingly similar in this realm as their own. In their realm, most of what was known as mythology here, was rather fact and history where they came from. Many of the stories were watered down or completely wrong, but they knew such Gods and persons of greatness that constellations were historical figures where they were from.

David had spent much time as a child, stargazing on the farm and she loved listening to him narrate stories about the constellations for her, this time one about star crossed lovers. There was a time when she wondered if they were star crossed, for they had gone through so much to be together and faced so many obstacles with Regina and King George in particular trying to rip them apart.

“Star crossed lovers usually don’t get happy endings,” she mentioned, as she traced the lines on his chest and felt him kiss her hair.

“We are not star crossed. We are true love, like no two have ever been,” he replied with certainty. There was no truer statement in her opinion, for she knew without a doubt that their love was written in the very stars they now gazed upon.


Present Day

New York City

“Whoa…” Henry said, as they arrived at the Harbor and he saw the ship.

“Aye lad, welcome aboard the Jolly Roger,” Hook said, gesturing grandly to the ship that was his pride and joy. He noticed Emma gazing at her parents with a torn expression. They had no memory of their last journey aboard this ship and he had a feeling, if he had to guess, she was remembering the harsh words she had said to them during their journey to Neverland.

Instinctively, he knew Snow and David had not held it against her. They had in fact accepted her scrutiny and briefly closed off from the rest of the group. He had offered the Captain’s quarters to them. He didn’t know what they had done or discussed, but when they returned, they had seemed a bit more resolved. They were a united force, determined to do whatever they could for their daughter. They had showed her their intent to put her first and he largely believed this had partially led to David’s decision not to tell anyone about being poisoned.

To see how close they were now gave him a twinge in his heart. It was a peculiar feeling after years of attempting to feel nothing. His heart was still black; that had not changed over night. He had even slipped back into his old ways during the last year without the Charmings and he was not proud of it. Emma affected him in a way no woman ever had and he had become fond of her family as well, even the prince. To see that she had become so close to them made him feel good for her and little guilty that he had to tear them away from what seemed like a really good life.

When he had heard of the threats made by the Wicked Witch threatening the entire Enchanted Forest, his reasons for returning to Regina’s palace had been a bit selfish. He knew they would need the Savior and he had volunteered to cross the realms in hopes of seeing her again. But now he just felt guilty when he looked at them. This life together is what they deserved and he was about to toss them back into the thick of chaos.

“Hey...we should probably set sail. We want to be out a ways before we toss that bean in and make a portal. It would be pretty bad if any other ships got caught in it,” Emma mentioned. He nodded.

“Right, love. I’ll handle getting us out and the rest of you should tie yourselves down. Portals are bit rocky,” Killian said, as they set sail into the open sea. He gained a good distance and kept a close eye on the Charmings, as the four of them huddled together. He could see Emma’s wistful expression, because he knew she realized that they would have to return their memories eventually for what was to come. And again, guilt ate at him. The memories they had weren’t real, but somehow they seemed quite real to the Charmings. Who was he to take this away, especially to fight a battle for Regina?


Snow shivered in the night air and huddled against her husband for warmth.

“I think I should have brought a thicker jacket,” Snow shivered. Immediately, Charming was shedding his leather jacket and putting it around her shoulders.

“Charming, you’ll freeze,” she fussed. He smiled and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her back against him.

“I’m fine, my darling,” he assured, with a kiss to her hair. Emma smiled at them and put her arms around Henry to keep him warm too. She sucked the tears back that were threatening to fall. She knew once they returned that the others would insist on returning her parents and Henry’s memories with the same potion she had drank. And call her selfish, but she wished they didn’t have to remember. She wished she didn’t have to remember. Their memories might not be real in the conventional sense, but they were very real to them, so real that she was unsure how it was that they weren’t real.

Her reverie, however, was interrupted.

“I think we’re out far enough. I’d tie yourselves down,” Hook said, as he tossed the bean into the ocean. They watched in wonder, as a swirling green portal opened. Emma tied Henry down between herself and her father, while he tied Snow and himself down. She strapped down too and felt her father’s arm around her, while the other was around her mother. She huddled close to him with her mother and held Henry as tight as possible. The ship dipped into the opening and went plunging into the portal.


Augusta, Maine

1998

David smiled at the excited looks on his wife and daughter’s faces, as they looked around the big, bustling city in wonder. It was their first family trip to a big city. David had been one of several officers chosen to represent Misty Haven’s department at the annual Policeman’s ball in Augusta that year. Though she knew it wouldn’t be like a ball like they had back home, Snow was extremely excited that they got to dress up and attend.

Charming was already dressed and waited patiently in their hotel room, while his girls finished getting ready. The door opened and Emma came out first in a pink knee length party dress with her long blonde hair braided and draped over her shoulder, with two curls framing her beautiful face.

“Oh Emma…” he said in awe.

“What do you think?” she asked shyly.

“I think my little girl is all grown up and is as beautiful as her mother,” he replied wistfully. She smiled and hugged him.

“I love you Daddy,” she said.

“I love you too, princess,” he replied.

“Just wait till you see Mom. She looks hot,” Emma commented, as she stood beside him. He chuckled at the description, but air was swiftly stolen from his lungs, as his wife came out. She was dressed in a beautiful, glittering white gown that was floor length, but had a slit up the right side to her thigh, making it perfect to dance in. The collar was heart shaped and the sleeves were off the shoulder. A simple set of elegant pearls adorned her neck and ears to compliment the dress.

“Snow…” he uttered in awe. It was true that his wife could wear a russet sack and look stunning, but tonight she embodied the goddess he believed she was. His Queen.

“Wow…” he uttered.

“Wow...you are looking very handsome yourself in that tux, Charming,” she mentioned, as she sauntered up to him.

“So I love you guys, but I’m gonna wait outside so I don’t have to watch you make out,” Emma called, as she was out the door. They chuckled.

“She’s so sassy,” he mentioned.

“Well, she is ours,” she added, as she gazed up at him. He gazed back, his expression still in awe of her. She was used to him looking at her with such reverence, but she would never tire of it, for it made her tingle all over.

“You are so beautiful…” he uttered.

“Then maybe you should kiss me,” she prompted with a flirty smile. He grinned.

“As you wish,” he replied playfully, as their lips met passionately. It was several moments later when their lips finally parted and they gazed at each other, breathless.

“Well...shall we Officer Swan?” she asked coyly.

“We shall, Mrs. Swan. I’ll be the envy of everyone in that room when I walk in with you on my arm,” he replied.

“It’s been a long time since we attended a ball together. It’s not quite the same, but it brings back a lot of memories,” she said.

“Really good memories,” he agreed, as they met Emma outside the room. She smiled and hooked her arm on her father’s free arm just as her mother had, as they ventured downstairs to the hotel’s ballroom.


Interacting with people of this realm hadn’t always been easy for any of them. They had learned all they needed to know in order to function in this society and it actually helped that people made assumptions that he and Mary had been very young when Emma was born. And by very young they knew most thought they must have been teenagers when their daughter was born. In their minds, it was the only way to explain why David and Mary barely looked thirty and they were actually surprised that more people didn’t notice that neither had changed at all in sixteen years. David and Mary were baffled by it as well and often wondered if it had to do with the curse, even though they had escaped before it. In the back of their minds though, they knew that someday, they may have to leave Misty Haven and go somewhere that nobody knew them.

“Well, well, Swan...didn’t think you’d make it. You always turn us down when we go out for drinks,” Frankie Ellis drawled, as he strutted up to them. Mary had heard plenty about Frankie from her husband. The man had been divorced three times, each wife having left him because of infidelity and it was no surprise to David that he already had a drink in his hand. And David always turned them down when they went for drinks, because it was well known that Frankie and his friends had their drinks at the local strip club.

“Well, after work I can hardly wait to get home to my family,” David retorted. He had learned that no matter what realm they were in, there were men that missed the joys of having a family in favor of the drink. His father had lost himself in the drink quite often, but at least he had never disrespected women like Frankie did. He made Mary’s skin crawl.

“Em and I will go get us some champagne and punch for her,” Mary interjected, as she pecked her husband on the lips. Frankie whistled.

“Okay...guess I get why you rush home every night,” he commented. But David was having none of it and quickly stepped in his line of vision. The other man smirked. He had been egging David on for years now, trying to goad him into a fight. David had ascended the ranks much faster than Frankie, despite the fact that David was much younger and joined the force several years after the other. But David wasn’t going to give into the urge to punch him.

“Enjoy your drink. I’m going to enjoy being with my family,” David said, as he left him to join Mary and Emma.


“That is guy is a jerk. Dad should totally punch him,” Emma commented, as she ladled some punch in her glass

“No, that’s exactly what he wants. He’s just jealous of your Dad,” Mary responded, as she picked up two glasses of champagne.

“I see Frankie is at it again,” another female voice said. Mary smiled at the other woman. She was also one of David’s co-workers that Mary actually liked.

“It’s good to see you Gretta,” Mary greeted. The other woman hugged her.

“You too and damn girl, you look hot in that dress. No wonder David can’t stop talking about you,” she teased. Emma laughed.

“Told you looked hot, Mom,” her blonde daughter commented.

“Emmy...good grief, I swear you grow a mile every time I see you,” Gretta said, as she hugged the young teen.

“So gorgeous. You have to be giving David fits with all the boys that must be coming around,” Gretta teased, making Emma blush and Mary giggle.

“Oh you have no idea,” Mary said, as she retrieved a sleeve of wallet sized photos from her evening clutch. They were what she referred to as her bragging photos.

“This was Winter Formal,” Mary said, as she showed her the photo.

“Mom...do you have to carry those everywhere?” Emma complained.

“Oh Emma...you looked gorgeous and cute boy,” Gretta commented. Emma shrugged.

“He actually turned out to be kind of a jerk,” Emma replied.

“Mmm...but at the time I thought the poor boy was going to faint after picking Emma up. I swear David scared a few years off the poor boy,” Mary said.

“And it turns out he was, as Emma said, a jerk. Trust me, I knew the moment I looked at him he was unworthy of my little princess,” David added, as he joined them.

“Daddy…” Emma complained and Gretta laughed.

“I’m sure Emma and I can find plenty to talk about. Why don’t you two go light up the dance floor,” Gretta suggested. David grinned and offered his hand to his beautiful wife.

“Don’t have to tell me twice,” he said, as he swept her onto the dance floor.

“I think we’re embarrassing her,” Mary joked. He grinned.

“It’s bound to happen at her age,” he agreed, as he held her close and danced together. They started to draw quite the attention, for not many people in this room were versed in the complicated ballroom dances like they were. They barely noticed the attention though, as they were far too absorbed in each other. So when the dance ended with David picking her up and spinning her around, they were surprised when they were applauded. Caught off guard, they shyly left the dance floor. They usually tried not to draw attention to themselves, but they had been caught up in the moment and memories of balls long past.

“Where in the world did the two of you learn ballroom dancing?” Gretta asked, impressed by their display. David looked to be at a loss for an explanation, but thankfully his wife saved him.

“Well, I happen to love dancing and David is only too happy to indulge me,” Mary replied. It was a vague, but plausible answer. And it wasn’t a stretch of the truth that David indulged her and romanced her on a regular basis. Gretta shook her head in amazement at her co-worker and he shrugged.

“I’d do anything for my Mary,” he said sincerely.

“But I would really like a dance with my little princess tonight,” he added. Emma smiled and indulged her father’s request, joining him for a dance.

“Girl, that man is one hell of a catch,” she mentioned enviously. Mary smiled.

“Oh I know,” she replied.

“A real Prince Charming, that one,” Gretta added and Mary laughed in delight.

“You have no idea,” she mused.


The Enchanted Forest

Present Day

The Jolly Roger lurched, as it emerged from the portal and rocked atop the waves. Charming lifted his head and looked around.

“Snow…” he said, as she looked up as well and they shared a look.

“We’re back…” she said. He nodded.

“Can you believe it, Charming? After all these years?” Snow asked wistfully, as she leaned her head against his chest and he wrapped a protective arm around her.

“I wasn’t sure we would ever see it again,” he said, as the sight of their palace on the waterfront came into view.

“Wow...it looks just like in the book, only better!” Henry said, as his grandparents smiled at him. Snow glanced at her daughter, who was looking at them with a mixture of happiness and sadness. It startled Snow, as she had been like this since drinking that potion. She glared at the pirate, wondering if he had done something to her. But she had an inkling this was something else.

“Snow,” she heard her husband’s voice call and turned back to him, as he pointed over the horizon. She squinted and saw several people waiting for them on the dock, seven short someone’s to be specific, another slightly taller figure armed with a crossbow, and finally what was clearly a woman in a familiar red cloak. She took in a sharp breath and looked up at him. He grinned and kissed her soundly.

Once Hook docked the ship, Charming stepped off the ramp first and extended his hand to help his heavily pregnant wife, just as their excited friends surrounded them.

“Oh Snow…” Red gushed, as she hugged her.

“Red...I’ve missed you so much,” Snow cried.

“Look at you!” she said, as she put a hand on her best friend’s swelled stomach.

“It looks like congratulations are in order,” Grumpy said, as he and Charming shared a hearty handshake. David nodded with a smile.

“I’m so confused though. We thought the Queen cast her curse. We tried to find everyone in the other land, but we never could,” Snow aid.

“Yes...we could never figure out why we never aged, but it appears no one else has either,” David added. They all looked at each other in confusion.

“What are you talking about?” Red asked.

“Yeah, she cast the curse. You two were there,” Grumpy added. Snow and Charming exchanged a confused look.

“No...we went through the wardrobe before Snow gave birth to Emma,” David stated.

“We’ve been living in the Land Without Magic for thirty years,” Snow added, as she clutched his hand.

“They have no idea, do they?” Granny asked bluntly.

“There was only enough potion for one and I drank it,” Emma explained.

“You need to tell them,” Grumpy insisted. Emma shushed them and pulled him, Red, and Granny aside.

“Girl, it wasn’t real,” Granny insisted.

“It felt really real, Granny, like the memories are incredibly vivid. I don’t know why, but they are,” Emma replied, as they looked expectantly at her. She sighed.

“They deserved that life. I deserved that life and so did Henry,” she argued.

“Emma, are you worried they’ll love you less with their true memories, because I can tell you without a doubt that it won’t be the case,” Red stated.

“Of course not…” Emma refuted.

“Look sister...we wish there was another way too, but Regina will be here any minute and if your parents see her without their true memories, it could get ugly,” Grumpy warned. Emma sighed and turned back to them, as the other dwarves finished greeting them.

“Honey...what’s wrong? You look pale,” Snow fretted.

“I’m fine Mom. I think it’s you we should worry about. We should get you off your feet,” Emma replied.

“She’s right,” Charming agreed. Snow sighed.

“I’m fine...you both worry too much,” Snow chided.

“We have some things to tell you both though,” she started to say, as Hook gave her an encouraging nod and she tried to ignore the flutter in her stomach that it gave her.

“Does this have to do with that potion you drank?” Snow asked curiously. She nodded.

But before she could utter another word, a carriage drawn by horses arrived and Emma’s eyes widened, as she watched her father go rigid, before drawing his sword and guarding her mother.

“Dad…” she started to say.

“Emma...that’s the Queen’s carriage,” he said, as he noticed no one else seemed alarmed.

“I know Dad, that’s part of what I need to tell you,” Emma pleaded, as Regina got out of the carriage. Her eyes misted, as she saw Henry.

“Henry…” she uttered, confusing him and David tugged his grandson close.

“How do you know his name?” he demanded to know. Regina looked at him in confusion, noticing his and Snow’s defensive stances...and at the same time, noticing Snow’s swelled belly.

“Well...I see you two have been busy as usual,” she commented dryly. Snow put her arms protectively over her baby bump, as Regina got out of the carriage.

“You didn’t tell them?” Regina asked, as she noticed Henry looking at her fearfully.

“You only sent one potion. I was just about to try and explain it,” Emma shot back.

“You had plenty of time before now,” Regina sniped.

“Regina…” Emma started to say in exasperation.

“Emma...how do you know her?” Snow asked, trying to wrap her head around it. Emma put her hands over her face, preparing for a long explanation.

“Don’t waste your breath, Miss Swan. I made three more potions, because I knew you’d muck this up,” Regina snapped, as she held up the vials. Emma glared at her and took them, before approaching her family. She gave them a watery smile.

“I promise everything will make sense when you drink these,” she said.

“Em...you want us to drink a potion the Queen made?” David asked incredulously.

“It’s the same one I drank. I promise it’s safe and it won’t affect the baby,” Emma promised her mother. Snow nodded.

“Okay honey… we trust you,” Snow said. David nodded in agreement.

“Just before you do, I just want you guys to know that you are the best parents a girl could ever have,” she said, as she hugged them.

“Oh honey…” Snow gushed.

“We love you too, princess,” David added. She stepped back and nodded to them, as all three of them drank the potions. Once they opened their eyes, it was clear they now remembered.

“Mom!” Henry called, as he dove into Regina’s arms.

“Regina…” Snow said.

“Welcome back,” The Queen replied.

“That life...it seems so real,” David commented in awe.

“Oh Emma…” Snow cried, now remembering all the pain her daughter had actually endured growing up.

“It’s okay Mom...really, I have these really great memories now of being raised by you and Dad. I was unfair to you guys before when I blamed you for everything in Neverland,” she cried.

“We understand, Princess. That life you had, growing up alone, that was never the life we wanted for you,” David said. She sniffed.

“I know that now...without a doubt. The memories I have now...they’re real. I don’t care what anyone says. That life was real to me, as real as the life I actually had,” she insisted. They smiled at her.

“For us too,” David agreed. Snow nodded, as they hugged her tightly. Emma wiped her tears and accepted a hug from her son.

“So we’re actually here? To stay?” he asked. David looked at Regina.

“Looks that way, kid,” David replied.

“As you know, your castle is still in disarray, but we have taken mine back,” Regina stated.

“Snow’s...it’s Snow’s castle,” David corrected.

“Charming,” Snow chided.

“Well, I married into it,” Regina commented, as they noticed a man armed with a bow approaching.

“The path appears to be clear, Your Majesty, though I suggest we start back to the castle, before any of those flying menaces make themselves known,” he said.

“Maybe you’re not useless after all, thief,” Regina said. He smirked at her and opened the carriage door.

“Who is this?” Snow asked curiously.

“Robin Hood, milady,” he introduced. She looked impressed.

“Snow White,” she introduced herself.

“Ah, I believe our wanted posters once shared many a tree,” he joked. Regina rolled her eyes and got into the carriage, as David joined them.

“You’re going to make me ride in the carriage, aren’t you?” she asked. He smirked.

“I think we both know you’re too far along to ride a horse,” he replied. She smirked back, deciding to let him win this one.

“This is Robin Hood,” she told him.

"The Robin Hood. I’m David,” he said, impressed, as he held his hand out.

“A pleasure, Prince David,” Robin replied.

“If you three are quite done shooting the breeze, I’d like to return to my castle now,” Regina interjected impatiently. Snow smirked and kissed her husband tenderly, before getting into the carriage with Regina.

“Hey Gramps...do I get my own horse?” Henry asked excitedly.

“I think you better share one with your Mom for now, kid. But I promise now that we’ll have the time, we’ll get back to those lessons,” he promised.

“Okay...do you think my Dad is around?” Henry asked curiously. Charming looked up at Emma.

“The last we saw Baelfire, he and Belle were headed for his father’s castle,” Hook chimed. David nodded.

“Once we get back to the castle, we’ll see if your Grams can send one of her bluebirds,” he promised, as they started to move out.


“So...Robin Hood. He’s cute,” Snow mentioned. Regina rolled her eyes.

“He’s a thief and he smells like forest,” she complained. Snow only smirked.

“Meanwhile, you look like you swallowed a beach ball,” Regina deflected. Snow smiled.

“He’s a little eater,” she replied.

“He?” Regina asked curiously. She nodded, almost giddy.

“We had an ultrasound and they asked us if we wanted to know. Since I didn’t have my mother-in-law’s charm, we decided we wanted to know if they could tell us,” Snow explained.

“That would explain why your idiot husband is walking around like he’s ten-feet tall,” she complained. Snow giggled.

“Seriously though, thank you Regina. They may not be real...but that life felt real. The memories feel real. I’ll always be grateful to you for that, we both will,” Snow said sincerely. Regina was very touched, but tried to maintain her look of mild disdain.

“I just used a spell to give you good memories. I really had no control over what those would be,” she tried deflect. But Snow simply smiled. She probably wasn’t responsible for every memory, for there had been a few scary times in their memories, but Snow knew she was responsible for the positive tone.

Suddenly, it sounded like something heavy landed atop the carriage.

“What was that?” Snow asked. Her question was answered though, as a clawed talon burst through the back window. Snow jumped away, as the creature tried to grab for her and Regina blasted it with magic. It screeched violently and flew away, as the carriage came to a stop. Several of the creatures descended on their caravan and it became a battle.

“SNOW!” David cried, as he flung the carriage door open and practically carried his wife out of the carriage.

“I’m okay…” she assured him, as he cupped her face in his hands.

“I’m fine too, thanks for asking,” Regina grumbled, as she got out and blasted another of the flying monkeys. Charming drew his sword and slashed at them, as several seemed to descend on them. Emma joined them to help protect her mother, while she ushered Henry behind Regina.

“We could use some of your magic right about now, Miss Swan,” Regina called. Emma’s hands glowed white, as she blasted another creature.

“I think they’re after Mom,” she realized.

“Over my dead body,” David growled, as he slashed at another. To their horror, green smoke swirled before them, as the Wicked Witch herself appeared. David swung at her, but she waved her hand and his sword broke in half. The blade fell to the ground, leaving just the hilt in his hand.

“Such courage…” she commented to the Prince.

“Hello sis…” Zelena hissed at Regina.

“What the hell do you want, greenie?” Regina snapped.

“Oh, I just came to welcome the Royal family back and meet the lovely pair themselves,” she taunted, as Charming protectively guarded Snow. But she froze all of them with her magic, as her winged beasts fluttered around. She smirked at Snow White, whose face was frozen in horror, as she placed her green hands on the swell of the princess’ belly.

“Oh yes...such purity! It is true that you and your Charming prince create magical children. This one will be powerful as well,” Zelena hissed.

“It will do nicely for my plan,” she hissed, as she stepped back.

“Come along, my pretties,” she called, as her beasts fluttered to her and they all disappeared in puffs of green smoke. Curiously, the hilt of Charming’s sword also disappeared from his hand. Once she was gone, the spell wore off and they were able to move again.

“She wants our baby…” Snow said with dread in her voice.

“Never...I will never let her touch you,” Charming insisted.

“She’s going to take our baby,” Snow repeated, as she started to break down in tears. Charming held her close and tried to console her.

“What the hell could she want with a baby?” Emma asked.

“I have no idea. It could be any number of things. You’d be surprised how many spells require baby parts,” Regina replied. David glared daggers at her, as Snow and Emma looked horrified.

“What? It’s true and anyhow, it’s a waste of my time to consult my library, because it is vastly incomplete. However, there is one library and a certain bookworm that is good at this kind of thing,” Regina mentioned.

“Belle…” Emma realized.

“Once we get back to the palace, we can send word to them. I’m sure Neal will want to know that Henry is back,” Regina said. David sighed.

“Thank you Regina,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what she wants the baby for. She’s not getting her slimy green paws on him,” Regina replied. Snow started to calm down and smiled at her step mother. Regina really had changed.

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