TWICE CURSED

Author's Note: Sorry it took me so long to update guys. Life and writer's block hit at about the same time, making this a struggle. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

...

Previously on Twice Cursed

Gold had rescued Sean, Ashley, and the babies, so Black no longer had anything to hold over Emma and Killian.

Henry got to the end of the storybook, reading about Emma being put in the wardrobe. Suddenly, all of his memories came flooding back.

Apparently, just because Gold had his memories back didn't mean he had his magic back. He did, to some extent, but it was very weak, and he had to fight just to create a normal-sized ball of fire.

As soon as the mist started to swirl around him, signifying the coming of this curse, he realized it was unlike the one Regina had cast on Storybrooke. While almost the same in purpose, it was different in price, instead of sacrificing the one you love most, you hand some of the control of what happens over to the one who hates you the most.

They pulled him out of the water, and Charming almost dropped him while Henry let out a gasp of shock. "Come on," Emma said, exasperated at David's lapse of concentration. What she didn't realize was that it was completely warranted; of course the Prince would be distracted once he realized that the person he was carrying looked like the teen who had kidnapped Henry and tried to take his heart.


Belle looked up when the door opened, surprised that they were back so soon. David's group should have been gone much longer. However, when she saw David and Emma carrying an unconscious Pan into the house, she realized something must have gone wrong. "Is that " she asked, just to make sure it was Pan as she got off the couch, letting them lay the teen on it.

"I think so," David said.

"I agree." David and Belle stared at Henry for a second, wondering how the young boy got his memories back, before remembering they had a more important situation to deal with.

"I'll go get Rumple," Belle said, getting up and heading toward the office. David and Emma lay the teen down on the couch, after Ashley moved out of the way and went to stand by Sean. Per David's request, Archie moved further away from the couch, wondering why the young man was such a threat.

Soon, the two sorcerers were out of the study and looking at Pan. Regina immediately grabbed handcuffs off of Emma's belt (she'd taken them when they'd left the police station and joined the resistance) and used them to cuff their adversary's hands behind his back, enchanting them to block his magic. While he could probably break out of that easily, she hoped it would by them a little time.

"What are you doing?" Emma asked.

"I know him. He works with Black."

"Ok, but he's also a hurt teenager. Are the handcuffs really necessary?" Emma objected.

"Yes," Gold, Regina, Henry, David, and Belle all said simultaneously.

"If you don't mind me asking mates, how do you know the lad?"

Henry was about to say that Pan kidnapped him, but he realized the sheriff and deputy would want to know why they hadn't been notified of this, so he really couldn't think of an answer.

"We don't have time for that now," Regina snapped. "We'll catch you up later. For right now, you all need to go find Robin, before Black does." Somehow, David was able to convince his group to head out again, leaving Regina and Gold to deal with the new threat. "Belle, help me move him into the study."

Rumple wanted to object, and say that he could help Regina just fine, but Belle was already gripping Pan's legs. Besides, he wasn't sure he would be able to support the extra weight without the help of his cane. So, he limped after them, wondering if there was anything he could do to actually help, or if he was simply useless. With little magic and his limp, he was really more of a hindrance than a help to Operation Cobra, or at least, that's how he saw it.

After setting Pan down in a chair, Belle left to continue her research. Regina used magic to secure the child sorcerer in place, before looking at Gold. "Should we wake him now, or wait until it happens naturally."

"Wake him," Gold asserted, curious and angry about his father's presence. Regina waved her hand in front of his face, and the teen woke up. "What are you doing here, Papa?"

Pan took one look at the anger on his interrogators' faces, and knew they weren't ready for the truth yet. "Why, laddie, I'm just popping in to say hello."

"Tell me now, Papa," Rumple yelled, eyes flashing dangerously with anger.

"You pride yourself on your cleverness, Rumple. Why don't you tell me?" The smirk on Pan's face didn't waver even as Gold approached him.

"I don't think it really matters why you're here, you're too much of a threat to keep alive."

He formed a fireball in his hand, preparing to end his father's life; again. "So, Regina will defeat Black all on her own then?" Gold, hating what his father was implying, stopped to hear him out. "Because you're not going to be much of a help, laddie. I, however "

"And why should we trust you?" Regina interrupted. "All you've ever done is try to kill us."

"True, but we have a common enemy this time; Black."

"And why would you side with us over him?" Rumple demanded.

"Let's just say, where you are my rival, Black's my nemesis, and leave it at that." Rumple looked into his eyes, and could tell he was speaking the truth, at least about hating Black.

"Fine, Papa, but as soon as Black is gone, you better leave, or I will kill you."

"You mean you'll try," Pan corrected, a grin spreading wider across his face as Regina removed the handcuffs. "So, what's your plan?"

Mary Margaret walked into the practically empty dinner, sitting down at a table, alone. Soon, however, she was joined by Ruby, who was on shift, but didn't have much to do at the moment. "How was school?" the waitress questioned.

"Fine. It's been harder without Henry. He was one of the only ones willing to participate in class." Ruby nodded.

"I don't really know much about Henry, but I do know that ever since Mayor Mills and Mr. Black started fighting, it's been harder on everyone. People are too scared of being caught in the middle of a showdown to even enter the diner. That's why there's no one here." The conversation lulled into an uncomfortable silence, both wanting to continue the conversation, but not knowing how their friend would receive their thoughts.

Finally, Mary Margaret spoke up. "You know, Emma joined the Mayor's side." Emma was a great friend of theirs.

"Yeah, I heard." Another awkward silence ensued, both trying to gauge the other's opinion on the matter. "You know," Ruby eventually continued, "we could follow her example. I mean, I know it would be dangerous, and "

"Let's do it," Snow interrupted. "Regina can't be any worse than Black, and if Emma joined her, she's probably better. Besides, what can he do to get revenge on us if the resistance is protecting us?" Ruby smiled, glad she and her friend were on the same page.

"Well, in that case, what are we waiting for?"

"Luckily for you, I know why your magic isn't responding well." Regina and Gold had filled Pan in on everything he needed to know, and now the ancient teen decided to tell them a bit more of what he knew. "It's because of Black."

"How can he block my magic?"

"He can't, laddie. He's using it." Yep, he'd been right not to tell them everything off the bat, judging by their expressions. He wasn't going to be able to explain as much as he'd wanted to.

"How can he just steal my magic and use it for himself?"

"Quite simple, laddie. The curse he cast is almost identical to Regina's, but Black cast it for a different purpose, and it has different rules. Suffice it to say, he has orchestrated things so that he can become the next Dark One. Once everyone in this town is willing to listen to him over you, you will no longer have your magic, and vice versa. If you can convince everyone to join in your fight against Black, you will defeat him." That was a bit of a stretch of the truth, but it would have to do for now.

"How is that possible? No one can take the Dark One's powers without stabbing him with the dagger," Regina insisted.

"You are wrong, obviously, and I would explain why if I thought that you and Rumple would be able to wrap your tiny brains around the truth, but seeing as that isn't possible, you're just going to have to trust me."

"We can understand the truth, if you just tell us," Regina said.

Pan snorted. "I highly doubt that." Before she gave in to her temptation to throw a fireball at him, Belle barged in.

"Ruby and Mary Margaret are here! They decided to join us in the fight against Black!"

"Really, dearie? That's wonderful news," Rumple exclaimed.

"Do it now, laddie." Rumple looked at his father questioningly. "Magic. Use your magic now." He obliged, shooting a fireball. While it was still much weaker than normal, it did feel a little stronger than it had earlier that very day. "Told you, laddie. It's stronger because you have more supporters. Now, are we going to go meet our new members?"

"They're our new members, you have nothing to do with it. Rumpelstiltskin and I will go greet them, but you are going to stay right here."

"Fine," he pouted as they left, locking him in the study. As soon as they were gone, he lay down on the floor. He could tell Rumpelstiltskin was going through a rather hard time, and he'd need all the help he could get. He was asleep in a matter of seconds, and then he spoke in his sleep. "I come back to the Netherworld, to help with my quest. I do not return yet, but I will as soon as my job is done." Then, he lay completely still, looking almost like he was in a sleeping curse, as his spirit entered the world between worlds.

David slipped up next to Henry as they walked, having asked Emma and Killian to watch the rear. Sean and Sidney were talking pretty loudly right behind them, so David figured it was safe to talk to Henry without being overheard. "So, you have your memories back?"

"Yeah, hi Gramps," Henry greeted, resisting the urge to hug David. After all, everyone else in their group would ask why, and then he'd have to come up with a fake explanation, and he really didn't feel like doing that. "So, what's going on?"

David filled him in as they walked, careful to lower his voice whenever Sidney and Sean did. "Wow," was all Henry could say once David finished. "So, what does Pan have to do with any of this?"

"You're guess is as good as mine. Actually, it would probably be better," David admitted. Henry grinned at the praise.

"Henry!" Charming tensed, only to realize that it was just Robin headed toward them, and he relaxed as Henry ran over and hugged the archer.

"Hey, Robin. Don't worry about Archie, he's doing great, but he's still recovering."

"Alright. It's good to see you again. Is that the only reason you came here, to tell me how Archie was doing?"

"No. Actually, we wanted to combine forces, to make it easier to stop Black," Charming informed him.

"Sounds like a good idea. What exactly is your plan for how we will work together?" David grinned a little sheepishly.

"I thought you would want to help come up with the plan?" he asked, rather than said.

"Alright then, why don't you come back to the camp and we can work things out. Maybe, along the way, you can explain how the sheriff and deputy decided to turn on Black," he suggested, already walking off toward his abode. Everyone quickly followed him.

"We just finally mustered up the courage to stand up to him. We've been wanting to for a while now, and so we just finally did." Robin nodded, accepting Emma's answer.

"So, do you have any ideas on how this will work? Are we "

It was at that moment that David's phone decided to interrupt the conversation, and he answered it quickly when he saw it was Belle. "Hi Belle, we're just " Apparently, she'd cut him off, and he listened intently, growing pale at her words.

"We'll be there soon," he agreed, hanging up. "They were attacked by Black."

"Henry, go tell my men to meet us at Regina's house," Robin ordered, following the other adults toward the Mayor's abode. Henry sighed, thinking it unfair that he'd done more as a hero before he had his memories back than now, before going to get the Merry Men.

It had happened so fast. Regina and Gold had been greeting the deserters, and then Black had burst in, face twisted in furry. "Your shield spell is weak," he'd spat at Regina, before throwing both her and Gold against the wall. The others in the room were frozen with shock. Belle, who'd been in the kitchen, used her hidden position as an opportunity to call for help, although if Regina was no match for Black, she didn't know that David would be of use.

Black spoke to Rumpelstiltskin. "I'm not letting you get any more supporters! This has gone on long enough! All of you have a choice, join me, or die!" His demand was met with silence, so he jerked Ashley toward him. She just managed to hand the babies to Archie before she was standing directly in front of the evil sorcerer.

"You first, dear. Do you prefer death, or life?"

"I I," she stammered, too terrified to speak coherently. Even if she had been able to say something, she wouldn't have known what to vocalize.

"Looks like you need an example," he said, using magic to throw her backward onto the floor. "Let's see " That's when he noticed Belle, who'd just hung up and was trying to sneak into the study. She hated Pan, but if Rumple trusted him in this situation, than she would too, and he needed to be informed of what was going on. "How about you?" he asked, jerking Belle close to him, with an evil grin spreading across his face. "Death or life?"

"I'd choose death before ever joining you," she spat.

"Very well." He rose his hand to kill her, and that's when Rumple snapped. He couldn't fight through the magic, so he only had one way to attempt to save Belle's life.

"No, please," he begged. "I'll tell you where I keep the dagger, and you can steal the rest of my magic that way. Just please, don't hurt Belle," he sobbed.

"You have an interesting amount of knowledge. How do you know what I'm after?" He saw the look on Regina and Rumple's faces, and continued before they could answer. "Wait, the boy was here wasn't he?" Rumple nodded, glad to keep him talking, if it meant postponing Belle's death. "He's still alive? Well, he's much stronger than I thought. Where is he?!"

Zelena chose that moment to speak. She'd been standing there, watching in fascination the whole time, but she hadn't needed to do anything to help Black until now. "She was headed toward the study," she pointed out, gesturing toward Belle. "Perhaps he's in there?" Black waved his hand, and they were all standing in the study, surrounding the sleeping body of the teen.

Black took about ten steps back, eyes filled with fear. "Zelena, kill him now!"

"Why are you scared of him? It looks like he's in a sleeping curse, he can't harm you."

"I said kill him now! Before he does something!"

"But what could he possibly "

"Too late," Pan said, standing up and smirking. "Although, I am a bit disappointed that you didn't touch me. That would have made my job a whole lot easier."

"What were you doing in the Netherworld?" Black demanded, not wanting to kill the lad until he knew what he'd been up too.

"Getting him some more help, or at least, trying to." Black accepted that answer, and Pan wondered how he could be such an idiot. Black knew he was an expert on the Netherworld, if he went there to get help, he would be able to get it.

"Someone want to explain what's going on!" Regina demanded, looking between Black and Pan. Everyone else was totally lost, especially Ashley, Archie, Mary Margaret, and Ruby, who were still trying to wake up from a nightmare, which was the only logical explanation they saw for this turn of events.

"Might as well tell them before you kill us," Pan suggested. "Otherwise, they'll never know how brilliant you are." Black glared at him.

"Flattery doesn't work on me. Never the less, I suppose I could tell you my story. After all, Gold, I would like you to know who you're losing to." Pan grinned triumphantly, and Black started his story.

On the other side of town, a young boy, about fourteen years of age, woke up on the asphalt. "Papa?" he called out, wondering where his father could be. For that matter, where was his house, or the rest of his village? Perhaps, this was just a strange dream. That seemed likely, seeing as he had no idea what the grey material he was standing on was. Or maybe, he'd been sucked into another realm. His papa could have discovered a way to get him here, so he wouldn't be recruited to fight in the Ogre War in a few days. If that was the case, then his dad should be around here somewhere. "Papa?" he called out again.

"Maybe we can help." He turned around, seeing several armed men, and a boy a few years younger than him. "What's your name, and you're father's name? We have time to find him before we have to get to my house," the boy offered.

"Thank you so much. My name is Baelfire, and my father is Rumpelstiltskin."

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