Author's Note: Sorry, I know this took a little longer than a week, but my other story and life kept me busy. Speaking of life, I am about to start college. I might not be able to update as often, but I will still update. I won't forget about this story, I promise.

When Belle, woke up, Regina was already out of the bedroom. She got up, and realized that she was still wearing the clothes she wore in the insane asylum. She needed more clothes, and decided to get them while she was getting groceries in the nearby town. The nearby town. In the land without magic, Belle had never left Storybrooke. This would be her first venture across the town line, and that was rather exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Trying not to think about how last time she had attempted to leave, she had been shot, Belle made her way downstairs, where Regina and Gold were making breakfast. Apparently, both of the sorcerers were early risers. Of course, Belle had known that Rumple liked to get up early, but she had never known Regina did as well. Maybe it was a sorcerer thing.

"Good, Belle, you're up," Regina said as soon as she spotted the bookworm. "Gold, keep cooking the eggs, I'll be back in a little bit."

Then, Regina grabbed Belle's arm and dragged her into the study. Belle pulled away as soon as the door was closed. "What was that about?" she asked the witch.

"Nothing, I just needed to talk to you about magic, and since, at the moment, Gold knows nothing about that "

"No," Belle interrupted. "Why did you grab my arm and yank me in here? You could have just said, 'Belle, let's go to the study,' and I would have followed you."

"Well, I was in a bit of a rush to get out of there," Regina admitted. Belle glared at her, waiting for a further explanation. "Can you blame me? He's creepy. Gold does everything I tell him to without even a sarcastic comment! He's so timid. It's too weird for me to deal with all the time."

Belle hated that Regina was insulting her true love, but she had to admit the sorceress had a point. She also missed Rumple's sarcasm and cleverness. She wanted him back, too, even if this new Rumple didn't creep her out.

"Anyway, I made a list of the things you'll need to buy. Look over them while I enchant the cup, and then you can add things to it if you deem that necessary."

Belle nodded, and looked the list over. The grocery items wouldn't be that hard to find, but that wasn't the only section. The bookworm smiled when she got to the clothing list, and suits for Gold were on the top of the list, bolded, and underlined three times, plus a star on either side for good measure. Belle did miss seeing him in his suit and tie. It made him look so handsome. Belle wrote in that she needed new clothes as well, before moving on. The last category was potion ingredients. Belle scanned the list, recognizing that all of the ingredients were from the Enchanted Forest and none of them existed in the Land without Magic.

Just then, Regina finished, and handed the tea cup back to Belle. "There, that should protect your memories. I also enchanted it to protect you from Black's magic. As long as Henry and Gold stay within your sight range, they should be protected from him as well."

"Great, thank you. I do have some questions about the list, though. The potion ingredients "

Regina cut her off. "I added those on just in case. If you see them, get them. If not, don't worry about it." Belle nodded. She was pretty sure she wouldn't encounter any of the ingredients, but if she did, she would make sure to grab them.

"Alright, I believe that's it," Regina said, and they left the study. Gold was done with the scrambled eggs by the time they came out, and a groggy Henry was slowly walking down the stairs.

All of a sudden, the boy perked up. "Do I smell eggs?" he asked, and then he caught sight of them, proof his nose was correct. "Mom, we still have eggs?"

"Yes, those are the last four," Regina informed him as she walked over to bring the toast to the table. Gold carried the eggs in, and Belle and Henry got the glasses of water. Belle filled up the tea cup for herself, and she noticed Gold was tearing up as she took a sip out of it. She hoped he didn't mind her using it; it helped her deal with Gold's change in character.

"Alright," Regina said once they were all eating. "Gold and Henry, you'll go with Belle and help her shop. I'll go rescue Charming, and we'll meet back here at the end of the day."

"Charming?" Henry asked. "You must have a crush on him, if you think he's Charming. How come you haven't told me about David Nolan before now, Mom?"

Regina turned beet red, from a mixture of anger and embarrassment that she had made such a mistake, and Henry had taken it the wrong way. "Actually, that's his nickname. You know how you're mother's is Rumple? His is Charming," Belle jumped to the rescue.

Henry started to giggle at the mention of his mother's nick-name, but then he nodded. "Okay, I think I get it now. Are there any other friends of yours that have nicknames I should know about?"

"Not that I can think of," Regina said, but what she really meant was, Not who remembers their nickname.

"Alright, let's get going boys," Belle said, seeing that both were done with their breakfast.

"Alright," Henry agreed reluctantly. Gold got up and started bringing dishes into the kitchen, and Belle followed, helping him. Henry got up, and walked around the table to his mom. "Be careful today, okay?" he asked, concern for her written all over his face.

"Don't worry, I will," she assured him, before enveloping him in a hug. Then, Belle and Gold came out of the kitchen, and it was time for Henry to go. "Drive safely," Regina told Belle, who simply smiled in reply. Soon, they were gone, and Regina was the only one left in the house.

She picked up Charming's sword and the potion vial that was miraculously what it said it was. She wondered who had sent it, why, and how they still had their memories, but that didn't matter right now. It was time to go save the Prince.

They were about a mile from the town line when the thought crossed Belle's mind. She remembered Rumple mentioning that before the curse was broken the first time, whenever people had tried to leave town, something had kept them from doing it. Sometimes, it had even been downright dangerous, resulting in car crashes. Well, what if this curse worked in the same way? They could end up seriously injured, or, almost worse, the tea cup could break in the crash, making them an easy target for Black. Maybe she should turn around, but they really needed the food. But was it worth the risk?

"Uh, Belle, why are you slowing down?" Henry asked from the back seat. She looked up in the rearview mirror so she could see him while she talked. In truth, Belle had never gotten her driver's license, and wasn't that good at driving.

"Sorry, I was just thinking "

"Eyes on the road!" Gold yelled, reaching over and grabbing the steering wheel. She had been drifting into the other lane, but he pulled her back. And then, before she could stop, they drove right past the 'Leaving Storybrooke' sign.

Belle relaxed muscles she didn't even realize were tense as soon as she knew that they weren't going to crash. "Sorry," she apologized as she kept going. She felt terrible for endangering their lives like that, even though it was an accident.

"That's alright," Gold whispered softly. Belle was surprised. She had half expected him to be back to his normal self after he had yelled, but apparently, it was going to take more than that.

"Yeah, I didn't even notice," Henry admitted. "Thanks for saving us, Mr. Gold."

"You're welcome," he muttered. Belle went back to driving, this time keeping her eyes on the road. She didn't want to make the same mistake twice.

Regina walked into the hospital through the front doors, with Charming's sword held in her right hand. One of the nurses tentatively approached her. "Madam Mayor, I'm sorry, but "

"Leave me alone or I'll run you through!" she snapped. The young woman instantly backed away from her. Regina smiled maliciously, overjoyed to feel the familiar sensation of power course through her veins. It had been a long time since she'd threatened someone like that, for Henry's sake, and it felt so good to be doing it again.

Everyone else stumbled out of her way as she made a bee line for David's room. The first thing she did once she reached him was rip away all of the cords that helped the doctors monitor his heartbeat and other vitals. Then, she poured the potion into his mouth, and used her magic to help it go down all the way.

The Prince sputtered, and sat up, looking around the room with curiosity. "Where am I?" he asked, and then, he became even more troubled. "Who am I?"

Regina, ignoring his questions, thrust the sword into his hand. "Look at this, closely," she ordered, before turning her attention to the other side of the glass. So far, no one had entered the room, but she didn't know how long that would last, especially since she saw one of the nurses on the phone. There was no doubt in her mind that Black was already on his way, and she would have to fight him.

David stared at the sword, completely curious. Was he a knight? Was he even in a time period where knights existed? How did he even know what knights were? The questions floated around in his head, but the more he stared at the sword, the more confused he got. "Am I a knight?" he finally asked the woman who had given him the sword.

Regina groaned, and wanted to slap her hand against her head. The sword hadn't worked. She had hoped desperately that it would, but apparently, there was something more important to him. That, or he hadn't looked at the sword closely enough. Either way, they had to leave, because Black, Emma, and Hook had just walked into the hospital.

"Come on, let's go," Regina said, grabbing his left hand and pulling him to his feet. "Use your sword to defend yourself if necessary." David nodded, but was unsure who he needed to defend himself from.

Regina and Charming walked out of the room, and Emma pointed a gun at both of them. Regina put on her best, 'I'm in complete control of this situation,' look, and David somehow managed to look confident, almost like he did have his memories. "Stand aside, or you'll regret it," Regina said, looking straight into Black's eyes and ignoring Emma and Killian.

She was hoping that Black was still uncertain of her skill, and thus unwilling to enter into a duel with her. She watched as the owner of the town studied her, trying to decide if her outward expression of power was due to true control of the situation, or if she was bluffing. Regina didn't waver, even though worry was secretly eating away at her. If this man was even slightly observant, he'd realize she was bluffing any second now. He'd know that she wasn't going to hurt Emma and Killian, if only for the simple reason that she was trying to be good for Henry, and he'd figure out that she didn't want to use magic in front of the town, since she hadn't so far.

"Fine, let them pass," Black ordered, giving Regina a pleasant surprise. This man was much more easily tricked than any of her former opponents. Maybe it would be relatively easy to take him down. "However, if you ever come to the hospital again, I will have no choice but to arrest you," he warned.

"Don't worry, I don't think that will be a problem," she shot back at him, leaving him to interpret that any way he wished before storming out of the hospital, with David close on her heels. As soon as they were out of Black's sight, she allowed herself a smile. Her opponent's gullibility was going to be his downfall.

They had gotten all the groceries, and Belle had been unable to find any of the potion ingredients Regina needed, so now they were in the clothing store. Belle had found everything she wanted in about fifteen minutes, and was now arguing with Mr. Gold. "Won't you at least try one on?" she pleaded, but he shook his head no.

Him, in a suit? That idea was so foreign to him, and he had an unrational fear of getting in trouble for it, like a child wearing his father's clothes would. And even if Regina didn't get him in trouble, Black certainly would if he ever got the chance to.

"What's wrong with the clothes I have?" he asked Belle.

"Nothing, I just thought you could try a new style," she said, and she felt about ready to give in to him. Which was a shame, because she'd been looking forward to seeing him in a suit again.

He noticed she was getting upset, and Mr. Gold didn't want to be the cause of her sadness. "I guess trying one on wouldn't hurt," he muttered, but somehow Belle heard his quiet voice and she lit up. If he'd known she was going to be that happy about it, he would have given in a long time ago.

"Alright, here, go into one of the dressing rooms, and try this on. Come out when you're done," Belle instructed, grinning from ear to ear. He was going to wear a suit again! Even though it was uncertain if he would like this 'new' style, she would see him in one for a few minutes and that thought was exciting in itself.

Henry just rolled his eyes. Why was getting Gold in a suit so important, anyway? He could see no benefit to the outfit in battle, so it just seemed like an expensive waste of Operation Cobra's money. "Are you sure Mom would approve of using her money to buy a suit?" he asked.

"It was her idea," Belle informed him, and while Henry tried to puzzle over why his mom would want to waste the money, Mr. Gold came out of the dressing room. Belle felt like running up and hugging him. "You look wonderful!" she informed him.

He blushed, smiling slightly at her enthusiasm. Gold decided not to tell her that he'd needed an assistant's help to get the tie on. "Do you like it?" Belle asked him, and he paused. He wasn't sure. It made him feel powerful, like he could stop Black, but at the same time, it made him afraid of becoming as cruel as his former boss. He didn't know if he could explain his feelings to Belle, because how could a new outfit make someone feel such complex emotions? She wouldn't understand, but she was still waiting for an answer.

However, Henry spoke before he had a chance to. "If you don't really like it you shouldn't get it. We need to be careful about spending too much money. Operation Cobra has a limited amount of funds, and even though all the grown-ups in the group think this is a good idea, I must remind everyone that we don't know how long we're going to be fighting Black, and we might need the money later on."

"Henry!" Belle said, shocked at his speech. "You didn't need to say all that, and make him feel guilty for buying something he wants!"

"Well, I did say if he didn't like it," Henry reminded her.

Belle was about to say something else when Gold interrupted. "It's okay, he's right. I don't think I'm going to get it." Then, he turned around and went back into the dressing room, changing into his tee shirt and jeans again. He felt a sense of relief as he put the old clothes on. He was no longer expected to be powerful, and he was no longer afraid that he would turn into his uncaring former boss. A lot less was expected of someone in casual clothes, and he found comfort in that.

As soon as Gold was in the dressing room, Belle turned on Henry. "Listen, Henry, I know you want to do what's best for Operation Cobra, but you didn't have to say everything you did. Your first sentence would have sufficed. After everything you said, there's no way he would buy that suit, even if he really wanted to. You could have made him feel guilty for even considering getting it. Do you understand?" she asked. Belle was disappointed that he wasn't getting the suit, and she did feel a little guilty for not considering the financial aspect of buying the suits, but more importantly, she was worried that Gold was feeling bad about this, and that was the last thing she wanted.

"Alright, I'll be more considerate next time," Henry promised, hoping he hadn't upset Gold. Then, their fellow resistance member walked out of the dressing room.

"Well, that's everything on the list," Belle informed them. "What do you guys say we go get some lunch, and then head home?" Both men agreed, and as they headed out, Henry slipped next to Gold.

"I'm sorry," he told him.

"That's alright," he said, not mentioning how grateful he was to the boy for stopping him from buying something that he would have regretted. He didn't think he could handle all that power, and was glad he didn't have to try. How can a new outfit make me feel so different? he thought as they left, not realizing that the suit was reminding him of the hundreds of years he had evil power, and that was what was bringing up the conflicting emotions in him.

Regina sighed as David shook his head. Once they had reached the safety of her house, she'd made him stare at the sword again, hoping he just hadn't been studying it closely enough. Unfortunately, she'd been wrong. She'd watched him closely, and he'd been looking at it with all the interest necessary, but he still didn't have his memories back.

"Maybe some food would help me?" he asked, feeling his stomach rumbling.

"It won't," Regina said flatly, before realizing what he was implying. "But come on, lets go see if there's anything edible left in the kitchen."

He followed her, and helped search for food, but all the found was a box of stale Goldfish and a jar of pickles. David discovered that he liked pickles, and ate most of the jar. Regina, on the other hand, only had the green veggies because Henry enjoyed them. She hated pickles, and wasn't up to eating the Goldfish, so she just decided to wait for the rest of the group to get back.

"So, what was I like before I lost my memories?" David asked her as he finished the last pickle and Regina threw the empty jar and the box of Goldfish in the trash.

"Uh," she said, not sure what to tell him. There was no way he'd believe the truth, but she really didn't think that the David Nolan who was married to Katherine would be useful to her situation. Maybe she could combine the two, and get a good result. "Your name is David Nolan," she started. "You were one of the leaders of a resistance against Mr. Black, the man who owns most of the town and who confronted us at the hospital." David nodded, soaking in all of the information. "To do this, you learned how to use a sword. You knew that getting ammo for a gun would be more difficult than just using a more outdated weapon. Anyway, Black eventually caught you, and put you in a medically-induced coma, to make sure you couldn't resist him anymore." That had been more Charming than David Nolan, but the story worked well for Regina's purposes.

"Right," he said, mulling over all the new information. "So, if I was a resistance leader, who else was in my resistance, and where are they now?"

Regina inwardly groaned. He'd found the hole in her story. "I'm not sure. Some of them are probably in the insane asylum, and others might have gotten away. I don't know, I never joined your resistance." He nodded, buying her answer.

"But you've started a new one?" he asked, and she nodded. "Who's in that?"

"Well, obviously you and me. Then there's Belle; she was in your resistance, too, and was in the insane asylum for years. My son, who's twelve, and Mr. Gold, whom I rescued from Mr. Black's 'employment,' if you could call it that. Really, it was more like he was Black's slave than employee."

"Is that it?" he asked, looking confused when she stopped talking so soon.

"For now," she admitted.

"We'll need more men before we can attack him outright. Even the stealth missions will be extremely dangerous with so few men. We won't have any backup, and " Obviously, even though David had forgotten his memories, he hadn't forgotten the strategis he'd picked up while trying to defeat her in the Enchanted Forest.

"Alright, slow down," she ordered, and he stopped talking. "The first thing on our agenda is getting your memories back. After that, we'll worry about convincing others to join us."

"Okay," David agreed, and then they heard the door swing open. They both tensed, and looked toward the entrance from where they were sitting at the dining room table. Regina relaxed immediately when she saw who it was.

"Belle, you're back already."

"Yes, we are," she agreed, and then Henry and Gold walked in. Unfortunately, Gold was still wearing an annoying tee shirt. She hoped it was just a temporary thing. "I see you rescued David," Belle said, relieved that they had another member of the resistance who knew the truth behind what was going on.

"Yes, and he lost his memory," Regina told them. Henry looked rather put out by that. "We'll work on getting it back. Belle, come help me think of what will jog his memory. Boys, bring the groceries inside."

Henry grumbled before walking back to the car, followed by Gold and David. Belle and Regina entered the study and closed the door. "Why is he not wearing suits?" was the first thing Regina said. Was it really so difficult to get him into an outfit that wouldn't creep her out every time she looked at him?

"Sorry, but once Henry brought up how the money could be used for more useful things in Operation Cobra, there was no way I was going to convince Mr. Gold to get a suit."

Regina sighed, disappointed. "Oh well, we have more important matters to discuss. If anyone asks you, you were in the resistance against Black and David was the leader, got it?"

"Uh, sure," Belle said, wondering how that had come up. "Anyway, I got everything on the list except the potion ingredients. I didn't see anything on the list, so I don't think they have those things in this world."

"That's fine. We'll worry about that later. Right now, we need to find an item that will jog Charming's memory. Do you know of anything that he thought of as important?"

"No, but I bet I know where we can find the information," Belle said, wondering if Regina would pick up on what she was talking about.

"Of course! The story book! All we have to do is find it, and it will tell us the information we need."

"Alright, do you know where Henry got it?" Belle asked, hoping they weren't going to have to search the whole town.

"Snow gave it to him," Regina informed her, remembering how angry she'd been with her nemesis for doing that. Now, however, she found herself wishing that the schoolteacher had already given the book to her son. It was funny how her perspective had changed.

"So, that's the plan. Get the storybook from Snow," Belle reiterated. Regina nodded. "Now that we have a plan, let's go help the boys. They have a lot of stuff to carry in."

They left the study, and passed Charming carrying two cartons of milk into the kitchen. When they got outside to the car, Regina saw Sidney standing down the street a ways, trying to catch her attention as discretely as possible. "Be right back," she told Belle before heading toward her informant. Sidney started walking away from her, and turned down a path into the woods. Regina followed, knowing that he just didn't want anyone to see him talking to her.

Soon, he stopped and let her catch up to him. "I couldn't find the sword," he informed her, looking rather disappointed in himself.

"Oh, that's because I already stole it. It turns out that I needed to stop by the pawnshop anyway. Don't worry about that." Sidney looked relieved that he hadn't let her down. "Is there anything else?"

"Yes, Black is planning on cutting your power. Also, he is spreading rumors about you in town. He says you want to murder everyone in their sleep."

"Alright, I'll handle the power problem," she said, not wanting to tell him that she already had. "And as for the rumors, start some new ones about him. For every rumor about me, make sure there's a worse story circulating the town about Black. That should ensure that no one will side with him, even if they won't side with me, either."

"So, you are planning a full scale resistance?" Sidney asked. He'd just thought Regina wanted to hold her own against Black. He didn't realize she wanted to overthrow him.

"Yes. It's about time we force that man out of our town. Is there anything else?"

"Not for now, but I'll keep my ears open. Is there anything else you need me to do?"

Regina contemplated having him steal the book from Mary Margaret, but she decided against it. She didn't want him to read the book; not knowing what repercussions it would have. She also didn't want him to end up in prison, because she needed at least one mole in the town. "That's all for now," Regina informed him.

She walked back to her house then, and was too late to help put away the groceries. All of the others were sitting at the dining room table, obviously waiting for her return. "Where did you go?" Henry inquired as soon as she walked through the door. It was obvious that he had been worried about her.

"Sidney Glass was giving me information on the town. He didn't want to be seen talking to me, so we had to meet at a secret location," she said.

Henry nodded, understanding his mom's reasoning. "Ok, but could you tell someone where you're going next time? It's dangerous to be out of the house alone, especially if we don't know where you'll be if you're in trouble."

"Alright Henry, I'll tell someone next time," Regina agreed, trying to hide the smile that was trying to creep onto her lips. Henry was so concerned about her that the tables had flipped, and he was acting like her parent.

"Ok, so, what's the plan?" Henry asked once he knew his mother would be more careful. He knew she had to have thought of something, and couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen.

"Your former teacher, Mrs. Blanchard, has a book that looks like just simple fairy tales but is actually coded," Regina told him, figuring that would be the best thing to tell him. "The resistance was the one who made it, and Belle might be able to decode it. It has many of their secrets hidden within the pages, and we might be able to find something in it that would jog David's memory. The next step is to get it."

"Cool! Alright, so who's going on this mission?" Regina hadn't thought about that, but now that she did, she realized she couldn't go. If Black caught her in Snow's house, Snow would be in much more trouble than if someone else was in her house. Besides, she needed to find items that every member of her resistance would keep with them on missions and enchant them to protect them from Black. She'd do that while someone went to get the book.

"I can't go, to keep Mary Margaret out of trouble, and David doesn't have his memories, so that leaves Belle," Regina decided. Gold was extremely grateful that she hadn't mentioned he couldn't go due to his leg.

"What about me?" Henry protested. "I could go! Besides, won't Belle need someone to watch her back?"

Regina almost said no. She really, really wanted to. She didn't want to put Henry in danger until he'd had more training. Like, several years of training. But, he was right about Belle needing someone to watch her back. David wouldn't know who was friend or foe, and Gold wouldn't be much help if they had to fight or run, due to his leg. "Fine, but only if you promise to do everything Belle tells you to."

"Yes, I will! Don't worry!" he assured her before giving her a giant hug. "You're the best mom in the world!" The young boy exclaimed happily. He was finally going to go on his first mission.

Regina couldn't help but feel the opposite. Her head ran through all of the worst case scenarios, where Henry ended up dead, or being tortured by Black. No, she wasn't the best mom. If anything, she was the worst.

Back                         Home                              Once Upon a Time Main Page                          Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted!