TWICE CURSED

Previously on Twice Cursed

Regina jumped up and walked over to her filing cabnent, where she had kept information on everyone in Storybrooke.

Mr. Black was even more ruthless than Gold had ever been, in the Enchanted Forest or otherwise. Several years ago, he had evicted many families from their apartments in the middle of a harsh winter, for no reason except that a child who lived in those buildings had talked to him. Apparently, he'd gotten away with it, and no one had seen the families again. It was assumed that they had died from the harsh cold.

All he saw was a slip of paper at his feet. He picked it up. It said, "protecting his family." Henry turned it over, wondering if there was something on the other side, but there wasn't. "What could it mean?" he wondered aloud.

David stepped in front of the punch meant for Henry, willing to protect the boy at any cost. Emma's rather soft punch collided with his stomach. Obviously, she hadn't wanted to hurt Henry that much. However, that wasn't the only thing that hit him. Memories entered his brain, all at once, and there was no way he could keep them all straight.

They faced their attacker. Regina's mouth fell open and Belle let in a gasp of shock. For the threat was the last person they had expected to find.


Robin had started tracking Archie five minutes after he was supposed to get back from his meeting with Henry. He half expected to find the two of them still talking, having lost track of time. That happened quite often. However, as soon as he saw the extra three sets of footprints, he'd started to get worried. Following them had led him to where the two women were talking with each other, but that didn't answer the question of where his friends were.

Deciding they might have something to do with them leaving the meeting spot, he moved forward to strike. The mayor gave him the perfect idea when she commented to the woman he didn't recognize, "We need to stay focused."

"Yes, and you're terrible at that," Robin said, stepping out and training his bow on the mayor. Both women looked utterly shocked.

"Robin?" Regina asked, her voice getting higher pitched. She'd looked for him in the file cabinet, but his name hadn't been there. She'd assumed he was either dead, out of town, or the most likely, that he was the mystery person who kept helping them. Now however, she found him pointing a bow at her, and none of her three theories could explain his reasoning behind that.

"I'm rather impressed, Madam Mayor, that you remember my name after several years." She stared at him, relieved he was alive but having no idea how to cope with the way he was acting. Regina was so used to using him as her anchor, and the fact that he thought of her as some menace made her feel terrible. "However, that is not what I'm here to discuss. Where is Dr. Hopper?" He would have asked about Henry as well, but he was sure the lad would be safe if the mayor was involved. Archie, however, didn't have the same protection.

"I don't know. We've been trying to find my son," Regina admitted. She seemed to be genuine, but Robin wasn't sure that he could trust her. She let Black evict him and his little son years ago, and she was known for siding with the menace.

"How do I know I can " he started to ask, when her phone rang. She pulled it out, an apologetic look on her face, and answered it. Robin let her, since the call might give him more information about Archie and Henry's whereabouts.

"Hello," Regina answered, and then listened to what the person was saying on the other end. Part way through, she visibly relaxed. "Thank you, Gold. We'll be there soon," she finished, before hanging up. "Both Dr. Hopper and Henry are at my house. Would you like to come back with us?"

It could very easily be a trap, intended to capture him. His community needed him to survive, he was their leader and best hunter. They never would have made it through the first few months without him, and they still relied heavily on his leadership. If this was a trap, he'd be risking the fate of everyone who he protected. However, he had to find Archie, and the look on the woman's face made him want to trust her. "Lead the way."

She nodded, and started walking quickly. Regina wanted to see Henry, to make sure he truly was safe and give him the lecture of a lifetime. She didn't care whether or not Belle and Robin kept up, the most important think was her son's safety.

David felt way out of his depth as he stared at the instruction manual that came with the first aid kit. He was a master at sustaining injuries, but he knew next to nothing about patching them up. Perhaps they should kidnap Whale?

"Does it say anything about broken bones?" Archie asked.

"Uh, I don't think so. It mentions sprains?" he said, wondering if that would help.

"It's defiantly not a sprain," Henry said. "Are you sure it doesn't mention broken bones?"

"I'm pretty sure they assume you'll go to the doctor if you get that hurt," David informed him.

"I wish I could," Archie muttered. "If I tried, though, I'd be captured on the spot."

"Maybe your mom could help," David said to Henry. "She's pretty knowledgeable in many areas."

"Yeah, but I've never seen her heal a broken bone." They all fell silent, Archie wondering if he'd ever get healed, Henry trying to think of a good solution, and David contemplating the pros and cons of kidnapping Whale. He mostly just saw pros.

"Does anyone in your village know how to heal broken bones?" Henry asked. Archie shook his head, instantly wishing he'd spoken instead as the small movement caused his ribs to hurt.

"Why don't we just drive him to the town over?" Gold suggested speaking up for the first time. This answer had seemed obvious to him from the beginning, but maybe his allies knew a problem with that idea that he hadn't considered. However, if they could go shopping in another town, why couldn't they see a doctor somewhere else?

"Why didn't I think of that?!" Henry exclaimed, beaming at Gold. "You're brilliant." Gold stood, shocked that he was being praised so highly for such a simple thing.

David wasn't sure that leaving town was an option. Could they leave without something terrible happening to them? Before he could figure out a way to state his worry without telling them about the curse, Archie spoke. "I don't have the money to see a doctor."

"Nonsense," Henry told him. "This falls under Operation Cobra's emergency funds. You're a member, so you have money."

And then, the door slammed open, and Regina ran in. Seeing Henry, she dashed to him and embraced him in a hug. "Are you alright?" she asked, letting go of him enough so he'd have enough air to answer.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Then, she let him go, and her look of worry changed into anger.

"Why did you leave the house? Without even telling someone where you were going?" Henry looked sheepishly at the floor, scared to answer her when she was in her angry mode.

"That would be my fault." Regina whirled around, to face Archie. "I meet him in the forest once every other week, to help him talk things through. We've been meeting ever since Black evicted me and the others. Henry needed the sessions, so we continued. He was leaving to talk to me."

"Well then, this situation sounds like it's Henry's fault." She turned back to face her son. "We're going to ignore all the other times you've snuck out of the house for now. Why did you think it was okay to leave with only a wooden sword to protect you when Black is trying to stop us?"

"Well, I had to tell them about the resistance," he muttered.

"And you couldn't have told me about it?!"

"I tried!" he yelled. "You told me to wait until David had his memories back, remember? I tried to tell you about everything." Regina realized that he was right; she should have listened to him. "And the funny thing is, that by doing my mission, David ended up getting his memories back."

"What?" Regina asked, looking over at Charming, who nodded, while telling her with his eyes that they were going to have a long talk later. She recovered from her shock. "Henry, let's make a deal," she offered, right as Belle and Robin walked through the door, having gone at a slower pace than their companion.

Robin still thought it was a trap, until he saw Dr. Hopper sitting on the couch. He started to head toward his friend, when he noticed Belle was trying to stifle a laugh as she watched Henry interact with his mom. "You promise not to leave the house without telling me, and I'll promise to listen to what you have to say."

"Deal," Henry said, and they shook hands. Then, he noticed Robin and Belle. "Robin! How'd you know to come here?" Robin filled the boy in as Belle walked over to Regina.

"Nice deal, Rumple," Belle whispered, which earned her an Evil Queen glare. Regina hated her supposed nick name, but at least Belle hadn't said it any louder.

"Are you sure Black won't stop us from leaving town to bring Archie to a doctor?" David asked loudly, drawing Belle and Regina's attention back to the main conversation.

"No, we should be fine," Belle said, and he believed her. Looking back on all the conversations he'd heard Belle and Regina have, he knew they both had their true memories, so leaving the town wasn't an issue if they didn't think it was.

"Belle, why don't you take him and a few others right now. He should get that looked at soon. David, I need to fill you in on everything you missed," she informed him, gesturing toward her study door. Glad to have a chance to discover what was going on, Charming followed Regina, leaving the others to discuss who would go with Archie and Belle.

"I have to get back," Robin said reluctantly once the door closed behind the former and current resistance leaders. He wished he could stay with his friend, but the rest of the town needed him.

"I'll be fine, don't worry," Archie reassured him, and Robin left. That left Gold and Henry.

"We could both go," Henry suggested, but Gold shook his head.

"I'll stay here and help hold down the fort," he suggested, and finding nothing wrong with that plan, the trio left, telling him to inform David and Regina of who was where.

Alright, so what happened to Neal?" David asked, after he'd been filled in. Emma was obviously the new sheriff, and Snow would have her old position as teacher. "He's with Snow, right?"

"Um, I don't know," Regina admitted. While trying to figure out this mystery, the Charming's' infant son had been the last thing on her mind.

"You don't know where my son is?" he asked, incredulous.

"No, I don't! Despite what you may think, all of my attention has been focused on figuring out this curse. I haven't been trying to keep track of every Storybrooke citizen! I didn't even realize Archie was living in the forest!"

David sighed, running a hand through his hair. "We have to find him," he said finally, looking up to meet her gaze. Regina understood the worry she found there, since she'd felt that way earlier that very same day when she had been trying to find Henry.

"Alright, I'll get Sidney to find him."

"Sidney?" David questioned, in a way that made it clear he didn't trust the mirror.

"Look, he'll do what I want him to. He won't hurt your son, and he's done a very good job at helping me so far. We can trust him to figure out where Neal is, and it will be easier for him, since he isn't on the town's most wanted list."

David realized that she was right, and as long as Neal was safe, it didn't matter who found him. "Okay, if you're sure we can trust him."

"Alright, now that you're caught up, tell me how you got your memory back." Regina was very curious, since she had spent so much time puzzling over the question, only to have Charming get his memories back almost magically.

"Well, I saw Emma and Hook attacking Archie and Henry, so I tried to fight them off. I got Hook pinned to a tree, and then fought Emma. She tried to go for Henry, and I stepped in front. As soon as her punch hit me, I remembered."

"Protecting his family!" Regina exclaimed, connecting the pieces. "That's what it meant!" Somehow, their mysterious helper knew how to jog David's memory, and had left them that clue. Unfortunately, that realization just lead to more questions about the man than answers.

"Wait," David said, remembering when Henry had told them about the note. "You think he was trying to give us a clue about how to get my memory back? And how do we know that it was because I was protecting Henry? I thought it was because I saw Emma."

"If that were the case, you would have remembered when you first saw Emma, not while you were in the middle of battling her," Regina pointed out. "No, he knew how you could get your memories back."

David had to admit Regina had a point. "Okay, but how does he know so much about me?"

"He knows a lot about the entire town, not just you. As for how, I have no idea."

David paused, trying to think about it. "Maybe he's the one who cast the curse? You knew what everything would be like when you cast it."

Regina shook her head. "If that were the case, then he wouldn't be helping us try to break the curse."

"Maybe he's not," David suggested, and Regina paused, wanting to hear his theory. "He didn't expect you to have your memories, so he had to deal with that by making you think you're figuring out the curse, while he's actually leading you in the wrong direction."

David could be on to something. It would explain how he seemed to know every little fact about the curse. "But why didn't he put himself in a position of power, and if he cast it, then where does Black fit in?"

"Hey, my theory's not perfect," David admitted. "But it is something to think about." Regina nodded, accepting his answer and deciding to keep his theory in the back of her head. She couldn't rely on the mystery man to help them in every situation. They needed to be prepared for the worst; that he was actually trying to trick them, even if that did seem very unlikely.

They walked out of her study then, and Gold informed them of Robin's return home and Belle, Archie, and Henry's departure for the town over. "Alright, so now I need to talk with Sidney about something," she said, realizing explaining Neal to Gold might get complicated.

"I'll stay here and make sure nothing happens," Gold offered, not wanting to leave the house. He was afraid that the second he left the house, Black would get ahold of him and force him to work for him yet again.

"Alright. Both David and I are going. Are you okay with that?" He nodded, and Regina and David left, Regina sending a quick text to Sidney so the mirror would know she wanted to meet. David followed Regina, determined to find his son, and protect him. Neal was not going to have to go through everything Emma had experienced if he had anything to say about it.

Belle helped Archie out of the car as Henry hopped out of the back seat. Dr. Hopper let her support him, despite feeling bad about it. He knew one should accept help when they needed it; he had given that advise to people on many occasions, but that didn't hinder him from feeling terrible about forcing Belle to help him. Archie was supposed to be a gentleman, and it was hard to feel honorable while leaning on a lady.

Soon, they were in a waiting room, wondering if it would take two hours before someone could see them. Henry tried to keep their mind off the long wait by introducing them to each other and discussing Operation Cobra. However, that only lasted them an hour, and then they had to find something else to do with their time.

"We could read the little kid books," Henry finally suggested when he couldn't think of anything else to do. Besides, he sometimes enjoyed books meant for younger audiences.

"Oh, wait!" Belle exclaimed, Henry's statement having reminded her of something. "I brought the Once Upon a Time book, to see if it had any hidden clues about Black. It's in the car."

"I'll go get it!" Henry offered, and as soon as Belle gave him the keys, he dashed off to retrieve the book. From what he'd seen of it, the book looked utterly fascinating. Plus, he would get to enjoy the book while working on a mission for Operation Cobra. What could be better than that?

As soon as he got to the parking lot, he unlocked the car and opened the truck. As he leaned forward to grab the book, he started to feel light headed, and could see black spots in his vision. He immediately straitened, clutching the book with one hand, and the sensation suddenly disappeared. Hoping he wasn't getting sick, he walked back inside, handing the book to Belle before plopping down beside her.

Picking up on his sudden change of mood, Belle asked, "Henry, are you okay?"

"Kind of. I think I might be getting sick." Both grownups looked at him, concerned, so he elaborated. "When I bent over to grab the book, I started to feel really light headed. I feel fine now, but I don't know what caused it."

"Well, Henry, maybe you should take it easy," Dr. Hopper advised, but Belle wasn't listening. How could she have forgotten to keep Henry close to her? His light headedness must have been caused by being outside the town and too far away from the tea cup in her purse. He could have died, easily. She'd have to be more careful about that in the future.

"Yeah, if anything else happens, I'll let one of you know," Henry reassured Archie as Belle tuned back into the conversation. "Can we read the book now?"

"Sure," Belle agreed, and started to read it aloud. However, her brain was elsewhere, trying to crack the mysteries of the curse.

Emma sighed as she walked back into the house and slumped on the couch. Killian came up and put his arm around her. "Why don't we just resist him, love?" he questioned, knowing Emma hated working for Black, especially now that he was making them hunt down a child.

"You know it's not that easy," she reprimanded.

"But, why not? We could run away, join the mayor and her haphazard resistance, and fight Black. He wouldn't be able to figure out in time. It would be perfect."

"But then we'll have to take Ashley and Sean and their baby, and that's way too many innocent people to put in harm's way," Emma objected.

"Swan, there are already too many innocents in harm's way. We'll just be putting ourselves in a position to help more of them."

They'd had this discussion many times before, but this time, if felt different. This time, with the resistance that Regina had started, they actually had a chance to defeat Black. "If Ashley and Sean want to, we'll do it," Emma caved, and it was worth it to see the smile on Killian's face. Then, there was a knock at the door.

"That must be them," he said, kissing her on the cheek before getting up to answer. "So, how " he started, but then froze mid-sentence. Emma rose to see what was going on, and saw Black, with a gun at both Ashley and Sean's heads. Ashley was holding Alexandra. And Sean was holding Neal.

"So," Black said tauntingly, enjoying the shock and terror on the cops' faces, "How long have you two kept your marriage and baby a secret from me?"

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