Logical or Rational

"Checkmate," John stated eliciting a groan from Sean.

"You know," said the younger man, "for someone who supposedly can't remember anything before a few weeks ago, you're exceedingly good at playing this game."

John chuckled. "Yeah, my shrink went absolutely to town when I told him about my chess abilities."

"Hey John! Hey Sean!"

Both men looked up to see Henry scampering up to their table; they greeted him fondly.

The child eyed the game between them. "Are you guys playing chess?"

Sean gave John a droll look, "We were, until he trounced me…again."

This drew another laugh from John.

Henry eyed the game. "Can you teach me?" He looked up at the amnesiac.

John raised his eyebrows. "It takes a little while to learn; don't you have somewhere to be?"

"Nah," the boy shook his head, "the mayor's in her weekly city council meeting and Emma's working."

After a moment's consideration, John nodded. "All right, then." He began to reset the board

Henry was about to slide into the booth when Sean said, "Hold up, I've got to meet Ashley in a few minutes, let me get out." He slid out and turning back to the older man added, "Next Tuesday, John?"

"Sounds good," he confirmed, waving to his friend as he left.

The ten-year-old climbed into the booth across from him.

"So," John crossed his arms on the table leaning over. "What do you know about chess?"

"That's the king, the queen, a knight, and a pawn," he pointed to each piece correctly. "I don't know the other ones."

"This one's a rook," John held one up, then set it back down and picked up a bishop, "this is a bishop."

"Rook, Bishop." Henry pointed to each.

"Good," John encouraged. "Do you know how any of them move?"

The kid's face became confused.

"Each piece moves differently," he explained. "The pawn can move ahead two spaces on its first move but only one space after that; it can only capture a piece by moving diagonally one space." He demonstrated with one of the pawns, and then he had Henry repeat it. He proceeded through each of the pieces the same way. Once Henry had repeated back the movements on the last piece, the queen, John moved on to the basic rules of the game; the child absorbed it all like a sponge, retaining it quickly and with great accuracy.

Once they had gone through the basics, he had them start playing a game, knowing that the best way to learn the game was to play it. John didn't play up to his full capabilities, but he also didn't let the boy win, knowing that that wouldn't teach him anything.

"So," Henry asked, studying the board, "do you and Sean, play chess a lot?"

"A few times a week," John confirmed, taking a sip of his hot chocolate. "Who's he supposed to be?"

The boy looked up, frowning in confusion.

"Mary told me that you think everyone in Storybrooke is a character in a fairy tale," he explained, setting down his mug. "Who is Sean supposed to be?"

"Prince Thomas," Henry told him promptly.

Now it was John's turn to be confused, though there was a niggling feeling at the back of his mind. "Prince Thomas?"

"Yeah," he confirmed, "Cinderella's prince."

"Ah," John nodded in understanding taking another drink.

"He's also one of Prince Charming's best friends," the kid added.


"Mm hmm," Henry nodded as he moved a knight.

John considered his options and slid a bishop across the board. He then voiced what he had really been thinking about ever since he ran into Mary on the street. "Mary said that you think she's Snow White…and that I'm Prince Charming."

The boy nodded his head vigorously, using a rook to take one of John's pawns. "Yeah."

John captured one of Henry's bishops. "Why do you think that?"

Henry reached into his backpack and pulled out a thick, hardcover book with a title in gilded lettering, Once Upon a Time. He flipped it open to a picture of a dark haired woman holding a blue bird. "Because she loves blue birds like Snow White and looks like her." John could see some resemblance though the picture was rather vague. The boy turned the pages to a picture of a light haired man frowning. "And you look like Prince Charming you both even have the same scar." He pointed to the mark on the man-in-the-picture's chin.

John reached up to the scar in the exact same place on his own jaw. Again, the features were very vague, but it was rather uncanny how the character had a mark in an identical spot.

The bell above the door jangled; they both looked up and upon seeing who had walked in, Henry immediately snapped the book closed and slipped it back into his bag, staring down at the game in front of them.

The mayor strode up to them; John's defenses rose, as they always did when she was around.

She stopped beside their table, raising an eyebrow at the boy. "Henry, what are you doing here? You said you were going to the arcade."

The boy shrugged. "I got bored with the arcade games. I wanted a hot chocolate so I came here, and Mr. Nolan said he'd teach me to play chess."

She gave them a brittle smile that raised John's hackles further. "Well, that's very kind of him, but we should be going." She reached her hand toward Henry expectantly.

The kid reluctantly slid out of the booth. "Thanks for teaching me," he said to John.

The man gave him a half-smile. "We'll have to play again soon."

Henry cut his eyes momentarily to the mayor, but nodded. "Definitely." He then let the woman lead him away.

John watched them go out the door and down the street. He felt a stinging in his palm and looked down to see he had tightened his fist so much his nails, even as short as they were, had broken the skin. He reached over to the napkin dispenser and pulled a couple out, dabbing at the few drops of blood that were seeping through the small, crescent-shaped wounds. In moments like this it somewhat disturbed him how strongly he felt for certain people, people that he really hadn't know all that long. It wasn't logical or rational. But then so little seemed to be in his life right now. He stared out the window, slowly breathing in and out, trying to release the irrational anger that was boiling in him.

And there we are! I really wanted to have John teach his grandson how to play chess; it's something I could see happening in FTL had the curse never happened. I hope that you guys liked it! Thank you for reading!

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