TWICE CURSED

Author's Note: All references to sleep in this chapter are innocent. Don't take them the wrong way.


Regina looked down at the bottle, wondering how it had gotten there. The only explanation was that someone had left it there while she was inside the hospital with Belle. But, who would have left it there, why would they leave it, and how did they know Regina needed to wake Charming?

"Regina, what is it?" Belle asked, moving closer so she could see the potion.

"This bottle appeared here out of nowhere," Regina informed her, handing Belle the potion bottle.

"Coma Antidote," Belle read the label. "So, why is that important?"

Regina sighed. "I needed to find a way to wake Charming up, and a few hours after I realized this, a potion to do just that pops up in the middle of the forest."

"Wait, how did David get in a coma?" Belle asked, confused. Of course, she had been in the insane asylum throughout the entire first curse, so she had no idea that part of the curse had been that Prince Charming was stuck in a coma. That's when Regina realized just how much she had to explain to the bookworm.

"I'll tell you more when we get to my house."

"Fine," Belle said, slightly annoyed that all her attempts to get information were failing. Hopefully, Regina would keep her word and tell her everything once they were in the safety of the Mayor's house.

They walked in silence, because Regina was on high alert, keeping an eye out for Mr. Black, and Belle was storing questions in her head that she needed to ask the mayor. Like, what's in the suitcase? Why do you have Charming's sword, and why is he in a coma? What in the world is going on?

They walked into view of the house, and Regina saw Mr. Black turning the doorknob of her door.

"Hey!" she yelled, and the menace turned around to face her, sneering. "Get off my property!" she yelled, cursing herself in her head for not putting a protection spell around her house before leaving.

He didn't move at first, and the two wizards stood, facing each other. Regina hoped it didn't bloom into a full-on fight. She had no idea what his skill level was, and she didn't know if she could risk a battle with him. His brow was furrowed in concentration as he stared at her, obviously thinking along the same lines.

"Alright, Madam Mayor," he said with a sneer, finally backing down. "Enjoy your isolation from the town you are supposed to be leading." With that, Black turned on his heels and strode off.

Once he was far enough, away, Regina sighed with relief. If she and Belle had come a second later, Henry and Gold would have been toast, simply because she had forgot to cast a protection spell. Her carelessness almost cost her dearly, and she promised herself she'd be more careful.

"Is that your suspect?" Belle questioned, and Regina turned around. She'd almost forgotten Rumple's girl was still there. "Do you think he cast the curse?"

"Yes. He has his memories, and I've never seen him before. He's also a wizard. It make's perfect sense that he cast the curse." Belle nodded, as her brain started to run through all the possibilities as to why he would want to cast the curse.

"Now, be quiet for a minute, I need to concentrate," Regina ordered. She lifted up her hands, and focused on the house, encasing it with protection spells. After she was done, she dropped her hands to her sides. She was breathing heavily. Regina felt like she had just run for miles; of course she had expected this. All magic had a cost, and the cost of protection spells was feeling exhausted afterward.

"Come on, let's go inside," Regina invited, and the two women walked in. They found Henry and Gold at the dining table, playing a game of dominos. Gold was just laying down his last one, and Henry threw up his hand in defeat.

"Can't I win just one round?" he questioned rhetorically, and Gold smiled softly. He was glad to have discovered something he was good at.

"Rumple?" Belle asked, surprised to find him here, wearing jeans and a tee shirt. Henry and Gold both looked up, startled.

"Hi, Mom," Henry greeted, before looking at the woman who was accompanying her. "Hi, I'm Henry." He was struggling to stay polite, but he couldn't help but ask, "I'm sorry, but what's a rumple?"

Regina burst out laughing, and Belle looked completely thunderstruck. Henry and Gold both looked confused. Both of them had thought that "What's a rumple?" was a completely legitimate question, and wondered why Regina was reacting that way.

"Um, well," Belle said, completely floundering, unable to think of an answer. Regina was no help; she was still laughing her head off. It was obvious that Rumple didn't have his memories, so she obviously couldn't claim that it was her name for him. "That's my nick-name for your mother." Regina's laughter stopped instantly, and she glared at Belle so intensely that if looks could kill, Belle and the wall behind her would be on their way to heaven. However, a split second later, she was smiling again.

"That's right. My nick-name is Rumple, and Belle's nick-name is the Dark One." Now it was Belle's turn to glare, and Henry started to giggle.

"I think your name is funnier, Mom," Henry informed her. "Rumple," he said, before giggles overcame his ability to speak. Then, Gold started laughing softly, also amused by the nick-name, which both girls found ironic, seeing as it was his.

"Alright, Henry," his mother said, and he quit laughing. "I'm going to go talk with Belle for a little. Why don't you keep playing with Mr. Gold?"

"Sure, Mom," he said. He could tell when she just wanted to get him out of the way, and even though this was one of those times, at least she was being nicer about it now than she would have been just a few days ago.

Regina led Belle into her study, which was right off the entry way, and closed the door. Then, she turned on the bookworm. "Rumple?! You want to call me Rumple!"

"Well, maybe if you had warned me that he was here but didn't have his memories, I would have known not to call him Rumple! I said the only thing I could think of in such a short time, alright? Besides, you're calling me the Dark One, so I think we're even."

"Fine, I guess I should fill you in, before you mess anything else up." While Regina impatiently caught Belle up to speed on what she knew about the curse and her plan to awaken David, Henry was getting tired of losing at dominos. Then, he noticed it was already 5.

"Hey, Mr. Gold, do you want to surprise my mom and Belle by making dinner?" he asked after losing for the 12th time that day.

"Sure," Gold consented, and they both headed to the kitchen. After taking stock of all the ingredients they had in the fridge, pantry, and freezer, Henry came to two conclusions.

"The only thing I know how to make with all this is the frozen pizza." Gold nodded, and walked over to get the two boxes of Red Barron pizza. "And next time Mom decides to rebel against Black, she should make sure she stocks up on food first."

Gold just nodded, but in truth, he felt extremely guilty. It was all his fault that they didn't have that much food. These people were cut off from everything because of him.

Henry, oblivious to Gold's mood, started pre-heating the oven, while humming to himself. Then, all of a sudden, the oven turned off. So did the fridge, freezer, and everything else in the house.

In the study, where Regina had just finished catching Belle up, the light went off. Regina muttered, "Black," before closing her eyes and reaching out her hands. If he wanted to cut them off from electricity, he would be sorely disappointed. She concentrated, using magic to create the flow of energy that her powerful enemy had cut off. Soon, everything in the house turned back on, and Regina smiled triumphantly.

"Take that, Black!" she said proudly.

"Mom, what happened?" Henry yelled from the kitchen. Belle and Regina left the study to join Henry and Gold in the kitchen.

"The power just went out for a minute or two, but now it's back on," Regina informed her son.

"Okay, but why did the oven preheat in a total of half a second?" he asked. Regina tried really hard not to look flustered. Apparently, her electricity was more efficient and quick than the energy from the power plant. Maybe she should have done this sooner.

"I don't know, Henry," Belle told him. "That is strange. Maybe we should call the electric company later and ask."

"No, wait, we can't do that!" Henry objected. "We don't want them to remember that they aren't supposed to be giving us power."

"Well then, I guess we'll never know," Regina said. She was relieved Belle had given her a way out of explaining the situation, although she'd never admit that. They put the pizzas in the oven, with Belle silently communicating to Regina that she needed to be more careful with her magic, and Regina thinking that it was much easier said than done. After all, how did she know that her magic was much more efficient than electrical energy? If she had known that, she would have switched over long ago.

Soon, they were eating dinner. "Mom, we really need more food," Henry informed Regina as they ate. "We don't really have that much left."

"Alright, I'll figure something out," Regina said impatiently. She knew that was the most pressing matter on her agenda, but it was also the hardest. She could sneak into the grocery store and steal the food, but after she did, Black would put spells up to keep her and her group out. It was a temporary fix, and Regina didn't want to use it unless absolutely necessary.

"You know, I could drive over to the next town and buy groceries there," Belle suggested. Regina started to object, but then she realized that if she enchanted the cup, Belle could use it to keep her memories. She could easily leave, and come back with the supplies they needed.

"That's a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?" Henry exclaimed.

"It's settled then. I'll go tomorrow," Belle assured everyone. They went back to eating, and when Gold took a sip of water, Regina realized the plan might not work as well as she had first thought. He was using the chipped cup, which Belle would need to cross the town line. In fact, Gold had been the one to get everyone water, and everyone else had a bigger cup. He loved the tea cup so much he was willing to refill it several times if it meant he could use it. They might have a significant amount of trouble convincing him to part with it.

"So, Mom, what's the plan?" Henry asked once they started to clear the dishes.

"Remember, Belle's going to go get the food."

"No mom, not that plan. The entire plan. Your plan for standing up to Mr. Black," Henry clarified.

"I haven't thought it all the way through," Regina admitted. "But I can tell you what I have so far."

"Alright!" Henry agreed readily.

"Let's finish doing the dishes, and then we'll go into the study. I'll outline my plan then."

"Okay," Henry agreed, and everyone went back to washing plates and cups. Henry was now scrubbing much more vigorously, as opposed to his half-hearted washing from before. The sooner the dishes were done, the sooner he would know the plan. After a few minutes that seemed more like a few hours to the excited boy, the dishes were done.

Henry, Belle, and Regina headed toward the study. Belle turned around, to make sure Gold was following, and saw him standing in the kitchen. "Aren't you coming?" she asked him. He looked rather shocked.

"You want me to come?"

"Of course. You're a member of Operation Cobra, too," Henry informed him.

"Operation Cobra," Regina tried the name out. She was rather pleased that this time she was in on the operation instead of being the person Operation Cobra was trying to defeat.

"Yeah, I thought our mission needed a code name. Is that okay?" Henry asked.

"Of course that's okay. I love the name you picked for it." Henry beamed, glad his mother approved of something he had come up with.

"Now, come on Gold. Let's get going. I don't want to stand here half the night," Regina said before walking into her study. Belle glared at Regina, hating how harshly she was talking to Rumple, but Gold smiled faintly. He was just happy to be a part of something bigger than himself.

"Alright," Regina said when they were all in the room. "The next step is for me to rescue David Nolan. He also attempted to stand up to Black, and ended up in a coma because of it. A doctor I hired was able to discover how to wake him up." Regina hoped Henry couldn't tell she was lying about that part. "So, my mission is to sneak in there, wake him up, and get him out."

"That's awesome. What else?" Henry asked eagerly.

"That's pretty much it," Regina admitted.

"Okay, then how are we going to help you break in?"

"You're not. It's too dangerous. I'm not involving you, Belle, or Gold in this mission."

"Well then, what are we going to do? You can't make us just stay in the house. We're a part of Operation Cobra too. We want to help."

Regina sighed. She knew her son loved helping and being the hero, but she didn't want to put Henry in any more danger than he was already in. "Why don't you and Gold help Belle get the groceries and other supplies we will need? You guys might remember something Belle forgot." Neither of them would need an item to help them keep their memories, since they only had fake ones, so leaving shouldn't be a problem.

Henry groaned. It was a far cry from sneaking into a hospital and rescuing a coma patient out from under Black's nose, but at least it was something. "Alright, sure Mom. But eventually, you're going to have to let me take on a larger role in the missions."

"Of course, after you've had training," Regina consented. She would need all the help she could get, and she had to admit, Henry would be a great help.

"You're going to train me? In what?" Henry asked. This was so cool! Instead of school, he was going to learn how to be a spy, or maybe

"I'm not going to train you. David Nolan is. He'll teach you how to use a sword and bow and arrows. He'll also teach you how to hunt and sneak around. He's pretty good at that, and should be a great teacher."

"I'm going to be like a knight! This is so cool!" Henry exclaimed. He practically jumped into the air with joy.

"Gold, what do you want to do?" Regina asked him. Honestly, she had no idea what to do with him. Henry and David would hunt for them and supply food for when they couldn't leave the town to go get it. She and Belle would work on uncovering the mystery. But Gold? He physically wouldn't be able to keep up with the other men, and since he didn't have his memories, he would be unable to help the ladies work on their plans.

Gold was honored that she was asking him what he wanted to do, instead of ordering him to do something. That being said, he had no idea what he wanted to do. He had come to the same conclusions as Regina, but he still wanted to help.

"Maybe Mr. Nolan could teach me as well, and I could defend the house?" he suggested. That didn't seem too hard, but it was also important.

Regina nodded, thinking. It would be a good idea to always have someone at her house, just in case someone returned home alone and injured. Plus, she wanted to keep Gold away from Black, and the easiest way to do that was by keeping him in the house. Also, if Black did manage to break through her spells, it would be good for Gold to know how to defend himself. "Perfect. That's a great idea," Regina agreed.

"Awesome, we're going to learn together!" Henry was so excited. He was a one of the members of a resistance, he didn't have to go to school, he was going to learn how to be a knight, and he was making a real friend in Mr. Gold. Things couldn't get any better.

"You know, I could give Henry some reading and math lessons, so he can keep up with his school work," Belle suggested. Apparently, they could get worse.

"Good idea, teach Gold as well."

"Wait, he doesn't know how to read?" Belle was shocked.

"No, but I'm sure he'd love to learn. Alright everyone, meeting adjourned. We all need to get to bed, especially me. So, let's go." Regina couldn't wait to go to sleep. Planning a resistance when you were way outnumbered was exhausting. How did Charming and Snow do it? She would be glad once Charming was on her side, because then he could take over most of the planning, and she could just do what was required of her, without having to worry about everyone else.

"Uh, Mom, where are Belle and Gold going to sleep?" Of course. She'd almost forgotten that Belle and Rumple didn't have rooms or anything yet.

"Gold, you can sleep in the guest room." It was the only bedroom on the first floor, and she doubted he would want to climb the stairs just to go to sleep. Now, she had to figure out where Belle would sleep, since she only had the three bedrooms. Maybe she could sleep on the couch? Would Belle be alright with

"Ok, I'll show him where it is," Henry interrupted her thoughts, and started to walk out with Gold in tow. He was trying to figure out why Gold couldn't sleep with him. He would have enjoyed sharing his room with the guest. "Oh, yeah, because you and Belle are old friends. That's why you gave Gold the spare room, because you are sharing your room with her." Before either woman could respond, Henry and Gold were gone.

Regina and Belle looked at each other, in something akin to horror. "There is no way I'm sleeping with you!" Belle objected. She had put up with a lot, and had tried her best to forgive the former queen, but there was no way she was sleeping anywhere near the woman who had locked her up for almost three decades.

"Well, good, because there is no way I'm sleeping with you." But then Regina thought it through. Henry would be confused if he found Belle sleeping on the couch downstairs, since they had said they were good friends. Surely there must me another solution. "I do have a cot. We could set it up in my room, since Henry thinks that's what's going to happen. You can sleep on that."

"Sounds perfect to me," Belle agreed, relieved. As they went to get the cot from the basement, Regina remembered that she had yet to inform Belle of the problem.

"Belle, you have to figure out a way to get the cup from Gold, so I can enchant it and you won't lose your memories the second you cross the town line."

"Don't worry, I've got this." To Regina's surprise, Belle walked off right then, leaving her alone to set get the cot.

Grumbling, Regina, grabbed the bag the folded up cot was in, and dragged it up two flights of stairs. Belle could have helped set up the cot, at least, before running off to attempt the impossible.

Belle walked into Gold's room right as Henry was leaving. "Hi, Belle," the youngster greeted her as he passed, and made his way up to his room. Belle smiled at him, and then continued into the room. Gold's suitcase was laying, still closed, on the floor. He was sitting on the bed, holding the chipped cup and staring into it, tears forming in his eyes.

She wanted to ask him what was wrong, and let him explain however much he wanted to while he cried on her shoulder. But, she knew she couldn't. He wouldn't respond to that, not from a stranger, which was what Belle was right now. She was the only one he answered truthfully to when she asked him what was wrong, and that was only because of their close relationship. He preferred to keep his emotions hidden from the world, and she knew she would get nowhere by forcing him to talk with her.

Instead, she said, "That's a beautiful cup." He jumped, startled, and hastily tried to wipe the tears out of her eyes before she noticed, not realizing she already had.

"Miss Belle! I didn't see you come in," he said, looking anywhere but at her.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you. And you can just call me Belle." Her voice was gentle and reassuring, even though she felt like crying. Not only was he in an emotional state, but he had referred to her in such a formal way. She longed to have her Rumple back, who called her by her name just like everyone else, but somehow he was able to make it sound like the most unique and precious thing in the world.

"Alright, Belle," he said, putting a huge effort into leaving out the miss in front. She smiled and sat down on the bed next to him. He tensed, but said nothing.

"So, where did you get it?" she asked, and Gold felt his heart plummet. He didn't want to talk about his cup.

"Black let me have it," he admitted, surprised he had been able to keep from crying.

"What do you mean, he let you have it?" Belle inquired in the sweetest way possible.

Gold broke down crying. "He was going to throw it away, but I couldn't let him," he sobbed. Belle wrapped her arm around his shoulder, and he tensed for a second, but then he was leaning on her shoulder. "My son chipped it. He was only five," Gold said, hiccupping from crying so hard. Belle just hugged him closer. "Black was angry with him. He yelled at him, and then " he stopped, unable to continue, even thought he could vividly see the owner of the town plunging a knife into Baden's back. "He was going to throw the cup away. I couldn't let him, I asked if I could have it, and he said yes." Belle felt her heart breaking. Rumple had felt powerful emotions just from losing his son, but being forced to watch him die as a child must have been so much worse. "It's painful to look at, to think about Bae, but I couldn't let it go." Then, he was crying too much to say any more, and Belle pulled him even closer. She started to hum a song her mother sang to calm her down when she was younger. It worked, and soon his loud sobs turned into quiet snuffles.

"Sshhh, it's okay," Belle soothed gently. He looked up at her, and asked something that had often troubled him.

"Do you think Bae would think it was creepy that I wanted to keep the cup?" he asked. He wanted to hear the answer, but he feared it as well. He didn't want Bae to think he was a creep.

"No, of course not. I bet he'd be honored," Belle said. She felt terrible for him, and wanted to tell him the truth. That Bae hadn't died when he was five, that Gold had met him as an adult, and although they had often disagreed, they loved each other and ended on a happy note. But, of course, that wasn't possible.

"Really, you think so?" he asked, hope shining in his eyes behind his tears.

"I truly do," Belle informed him. He relaxed, no longer having that as a burden. However, it still pained him to look at the cup. It reminded him of how his son had been cut down at a young age, and how he had failed as a father. He wanted it to be safe, but not with him, and now he had an idea of how to do that.

"Miss, or, I mean, Belle?" he asked, and she nodded, letting him continue. "Would you keep the cup safe for me?"

A flood of emotions ran though her, the strongest being touched that he already trusted her so much. Underneath that was sadness that his son's death pained him so much that he wanted to forget as much of it as possible. And the third was relief, that she wouldn't have to forcefully of sneakily take something so important away from him. "Of course I will," she said, gingerly taking the cup from his outstretched hand.

After crying, Gold was emotionally exhausted, and ready for bed. "Thank you. Do you mind if I go to bed now?"

"Of course not," Belle said quickly, getting off the bed. "Goodnight, Gold."

Belle walked out too quickly to hear him say, "Goodnight, Belle, and thank you. For everything."

Regina grumbled something about not helping with the cot as soon as Belle walked into the room. "You could have helped with the cot before you ran off. And, what took you so long? I had enough time to enchant Charming's sword to give him his memories back and test the potion, which, by the way, it is a coma antidote."

"I got the cup, so stop complaining," Belle snapped. She didn't feel like dealing with Regina right now.

"Whatever, let's just go to bed." Regina was happy that Belle had the cup, and surprised that it hadn't taken her more time, but she would never admit it. She was exhausted and ready for bed; all of the spells she had cast had taken their toll.

Soon, they were laying down, and Regina was sleeping deeply. Belle, however, couldn't sleep that easily. She tossed and turned, and when sleep finally did take her, she dreamed of Gold being forced to watch Bae die, and when she tried to comfort him, he couldn't hear her.

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