A/N: You are seriously a bunch of sweeties. I want to hug you all. :) There is another time-jump in this chapter, we move on to one month after the finale. Also, HERE COME THE VILLAINS! I've finally decided who I wanted as a villain in this story. Of course, they'll come from Disney's world. So kudos to those finding out who they are! :)
Also don't forget to keep asking questions!
IGottaFindYou asked: "So, Robin's gonna get jealous of Jefferson, but apparently there's something between Jefferson and Elsa...?"
As far as Robin's concerned, he doesn't know that Jeff and Elsa clicked. And since our favourite Hatter spends a lot of time with Regina...well...yup, he's jealous.
lulu2613 asked: "Is the baby a boy or a girl? The baby has powers because she/he is the product of true love right?"
Regina, so we, won't know until a little further the line what sex it is. Be patient. Although I already know and a name contest shall be hosted in due time. And yes, it is magical because of the TL thing. ;)
A reader asked: "Will Jefferson actively try to make the archer jealous?"
Anny Rodrigues asked: "Are you sure this story will be Outlaw Queen?"
No offense taken. But, as said before, this is a slow-burn. So things won't be fixed with a snap of the fingers. But don't worry, I have other OutlawQueen scenes coming, and not all will hurt. ;)
b asked: "Can we have Jefferson with long hair à la Winter Soldier?"
I wished we could... ^^
15. Thirtieth dawn
It was a strange coincidence that something was happening a month day-for-day after Zelena was defeated.
Strange coincidence indeed.
If Elsa was trying her hardest to make the slight chill in the air go away as she gained little control over her power, nothing prepared the whole town for an earthquake at six in the morning.
Regina gathered along with Snow, David, Emma, Hook, Rumpel, Elsa, Tinkerbell and Jefferson, the dream team, as soon as it was over.
Of course, being deputy, Robin soon showed up, his hair still slightly ruffled as if he had flown off his bed.
Their eyes met, but she didn't make a sound or a move to make him know where she stood with her feelings.
So he turned to David instead. "Do you know what happened?"
The Prince shook his head while Snow's gaze met Regina's and Tink's hand squeezed her wrist discreetly. "We don't. But Mr Gold says it came from Zelena's barn."
Emma's face lost all colour. "Could it be the time portal opened again?"
Gold shrugged. "Nothing's impossible. We're not 100 percent sure you've closed it, after all, dearie."
"Let's go and check then."
Jefferson and Elsa took each a place around Regina, and the Frozen Queen took out her glove, a determined look on her face the Evil Queen didn't miss.
"What is it, Elsa?"
She met her blue eyes and a grit of teeth. "If I came from there, who knows what else could have come? There are far worse things in this world than me, Regina."
Jefferson frowned, his eyes locked to the rest of the group ahead. "I'm sure there are."
It took them ten agonizing long minutes to reach the barn.
Every once in a while, ahead from her, Regina could see Robin's eyes over his shoulder as if he was checking she was still there, then go back ahead when he saw Jefferson talking with either her or Elsa.
This again made her feel conflicting things.
On the one hand, she was happy and a little ecstatic to think he too would be jealous and feel what it was like. On the other hand, she was feeling very tired to think she'd have to spend a rather long part of the day in his presence for the first time since...it...happened.
Thankfully, she was surrounded by those she called friends, and it felt good to know she would not be alone in this.
Zelena's barn was trashed when they arrived.
The roof, that had been pierced by the portal a month prior, had fallen in, and the door had been blasted out, resting on the broken well outside of it.
David turned to Elsa as soon as they saw this. "Did you do this?"
She shook her head, her fingers stressfully sending sparks of ice beside her. "No, I didn't."
"Then we have a problem." The Prince then turned to Rumpelstiltskin. "Back in the Enchanted Forest, who still has magic apart from you four?" He gestured to Regina, Elsa and Tink standing close to each other.
The Dark One shrugged. "I can think of a few others, although I haven't heard of them in a long while. There was a boy called Taram."
Regina nodded. "Yes. He saved his own kingdom from a very dangerous wizard a few years before I cast the curse. But he is peaceful. At least he was back then."
David nodded. "Anyone else?"
Rumpel lowered his gaze as if he was thinking hard. "Hades, but he was defeated. Mother Gothel, but she died. Perhaps...no, he wasn't dangerous."
"Who?" Snow took a pace forward. "Who wasn't dangerous?"
Rumpel's eyes met Regina, and she understood.
She sighed. "Gold is right, he wasn't dangerous. A boy, named Richard, entered the Enchanted Forest using a story book when I was still learning magic. He was coming from this world. But he hasn't been seen since."
"So basically, you don't know who provoked that earthquake?"
Both sorcerers shook their heads.
David sighed, then turned to his daughter. "We have to scan the area. Make sure everything's in place and no one is missing."
The Saviour nodded. "I'll go through the beach and docks with Killian." She sent a look to her pirate who nodded, and both were off.
Snow walked forward too. "I'll go through the town. Schools, shops, everything."
David nodded. "You'd need someone to go with you."
"I will." Gold said, and even if no one trusted him much, Snow nodded, and they left too.
"That leaves us the woods. Robin?"
The outlaw nodded. "I'll go alone."
"Not such a good idea, if I may say so..."
It was the first time Jefferson ever addressed Robin, and the venom under his words didn't go amiss.
Robin glared at the Hatter openly. "I stand my ground. I know these woods better than most."
Tinkerbell snorted. "I do too. And I can fly."
Elsa nodded, speaking up for the first time since they had arrived. "I can go with Tinkerbell. I have my own means to fly."
The fairy smiled. "I like you."
Elsa smiled back faintly, and looked over at Regina. "Is that okay with you?"
Regina smiled. "Of course it is. I trust both of you to come back in one piece. If you don't, I'll make a pie out of your remains."
Both women chuckled and kissed the queen on the cheek before they hurried away, a trail of ice flowing behind Elsa as she removed her gloves.
Robin hadn't bulged.
David sighed ans scratched his forehead. "Well...I could ask both of you to join Robin, but-"
"I said I don't need anyone."
"And yet, you're still here." Jefferson's smirk sent sparks of anger through Robin's blue eyes, and Regina felt a blush rise to her cheeks.
She lifted her hands to stop the impeding attack. "Stop that, both of you. We'll go. But you both shut up or I'll curse your ass off!"
Jefferson rolled his eyes. "If I had to count how many times you've said that, I'd fill three books. Big, old, rusty books."
The tension as the group of three made their way through the woods could have been cut with a pocket knife.
Regina was walking right behind Robin, Jefferson following close.
She had summoned a fireball just in case, and the light reflected in Robin's leather jacket reminded her of another search in the woods, in a time that seemed too long prior.
It wasn't far from nine when they reached the far side of the woods, right before the town line.
It was still inked in red on the ground, and all three stopped there.
Jefferson addressed Robin without looking at him, which seemed his favourite attempt at pissing the other man off. "So...have you seen anything?"
"I've seen plenty. They are a few. Maybe five or six. Bare footed."
Regina's brow furrowed, and she met his eyes, for the first time not averting it. Simply curious, and surprised. "Bare footed? Who walks bare footed these days?"
"No idea. But they crossed the line for sure." He gestured towards twigs broken in two. "Maybe an hour ago."
"We should report to the others."
Robin whirled around, glaring at the Hatter again. "And why's that?"
Jefferson's eyes were cast up, and he was sporting an uneasy look on his face. "Because the welcoming committee is already here."
Regina looked up and gasped as she saw a glimpse of what would have looked like a monkey, blue and white striking her before the figure flew from tree to tree and disappeared over the town line.
"What was that?"
Jefferson went to stand by her, leaning in so he could enquire on her discreetly. "How are you?"
She met his eyes with a small smile. "I'm alright. My heart hasn't stopped beating."
She looked over his shoulder and saw Robin's eyes on them, his blue orbs unable to hide the hurt inside them as he caught in their current position, so close to each other.
She cleared her throat and took a pace back. "This time we should go back. Whatever this was, it's not good if it can go over the line."