Jefferson pulled his hat out of his travel bag and tipped it towards lute player as he led Regina back up the isle. He handed her the bottle of rum as they passed their table. He took her out the back door into the alley and with a quick spin of his hat they were back in her bedroom.
He moved to kiss her again but she pulled back.
"Wait." She demanded placing the bottle of rum down on her night stand before crossing her arms in front of her giving herself a little hug. "Did Rumple send you tonight?"
"Do you think so little of yourself that someone would have to pay me for me to want to spend time with you? Regina you are by far the fairest in the land."
He had moved closer once again trying to kiss her and wasn't ready for a violent response. Her slap knocked him back a step.
"Stop using your silly pickup lines on me. I am not some cheap barmaid." She demanded. "And don't even tell me you don't deserve that slap."
"I wouldn't dream of it." He rubbed his face. "My Queen, I am hundred percent certain I deserved it, but I am here of my own free will tonight. Rumple thinks you are a lost cause."
"A lost cause?"
"Not lost as in can't be taught magic, but lost as in you have lost your way and trust me he won't put up with that."
"And do you think I have lost my way?"
"Everyone gets lost every now and then, it is how we regroup and carry on that matter in the end."
"Are you here to help me regroup?"
"Yes. I hoped a little dance or a trip out of here would help you realize what all you could have if only you take the steps necessary to achieve what you desire."
"And what do I desire?"
"Well I certainly hope I am a part of what you desire." He paused seeing his comment made her smile for a second before she managed to hide her emotions again. "But I know you desire revenge and what Rumple has to teach you will let you achieve it."
She shuffled uncomfortably. "If you really are here of your own free will then be truthful with me. Tell me something to show you really do care about me. That this isn't some act you are putting on for Rumple."
Jefferson didn't even hesitate, letting his true feelings show through. "I am sorry I am not Daniel and I never will be. I am sorry that Victor couldn't bring him back to you. But he is gone and you are still here and I am here. If you don't want me to be here fine, that is your choice, but not letting yourself move on in life can only be harmful to you."
"So you want me to forget him just like Rumple?"
"No. I never said that you should EVER forget him. But I have seen what happens to someone who can't let go of their dead love, it ruined my father. Some feelings just have to be pushed to the darkest corners of your mind so you can go on living."
"I don't want to be like Rumple."
"I have lived with Rumple for almost a decade now and I am not like him."
"You're not?" She raised an eyebrow at him not believing that lie for a second. "Really a decade?"
"Yes, a decade, and no, I am not like him at all. First of all I am fun, and you can be too."
"But the darkness, he said it has tasted me and wants all of me."
"It's fun to play in the darkness. I step a foot or two in the darkness here or there, but I don't live there or ever wish too. I rather spend my time outside of work in the light, where I can see your lovey face."
Regina shook her head at the line but he watched a smile start to pull at the corners of her lips. He couldn't help but smile too knowing he was finally working his way back into her life. He wasn't lying at the pub when he had told her it had been a very long two weeks without her.
"Why?" She asked him. "Why would you want to be with me?"
"Look at yourself." He demanded moving Regina back in front of the mirror.
"Oh wait a minute." He dug into his bag pulling out another vial. "Drink this to end the glamor."
Regina took the vial. "And what if I don't want to be myself?"
He postioned himself behind her so she could see him in the mirror. He moved her hair to the side exposing her neck as he leaned in and whispered. "Regina all you have ever wanted is to be allowed to be yourself."
His simple statement took her breath away for a moment. He is hundred percent correct, how was it he could see that and others like my mother or father who raised me could not. She took the potion and drank it, and he watched as the glamor fell away.
"Really look at yourself Regina. You can't live like this and Daniel wouldn't want you too."
"You don't know him!" She screamed throwing his hands off of her and pushing him back a step. "You don't know what he would have wanted!"
Jefferson stood his ground. "If he loved you at all he wouldn't want to see you like this and I know that because…" He paused a moment because those feelings he wanted to keep nonexistent were coming to the surface. He suddenly felt nervous but forced himself to speak the truth. "Because I don't want to see you like this. Regina, I want to see you smile."
He watched her turn her head away from him, but still he continued. "You have such a beautiful smile and I love being the one who makes you do it."
He moved closer to her and whispered. "You have the power to your own happiness. Your lessons with Rumple will get you closer to your goals and I," he gently lifted her chin so she was looking at him. "I can help you remember how to smile if you let me."
"I would like that." Regina whispered looking up at him letting herself relax in his arms. She leaned in kissing him lightly on the lips.
Jefferson controlled his urge to pull her tighter, or throw her back on the bed and do all the things he had been missing the last two weeks she had kicked him to the side. But he let her take the lead.
She pulled back licking her lips. Despite herself she wanted more. "Maybe you can continue what you have started tonight and we can finish up in bed."
"In bed? Really?"
She couldn't help but match the mischievous smile he was giving her. "Yes you were correct when you first came to visit me tonight. I do miss our time together." You are the reason I didn't go into that pub that Tinker Bell took me too. I don't deserve a shot at True Love again to just ruin it, but you my dear Jefferson, you I deserve. And it is you I want. She thought as she reached out touching his chest. "And despite all your faults I miss you."
"I have missed you too." He whispered feeling relieved as she let him take her in his arms; first kissing her gently on the lips before he picked her up and carried her to the bed.
Jefferson appeared in Rumple's tower room. Rumple was nowhere to be seen but Victor was sitting at the work table. He was bent over a book dead asleep. Jefferson came up behind him taking another book from the table and slammed it shut behind him.
Victor jumped up straight in his chair.
Jefferson laughed. "Oh, I am sorry are you trying to sleep?"
"Are you drunk?"
"You try," He tried to point at Victor as he walked around the table but staggered a moment before continuing. "Drinking as much rum, having as much sex, and feeling the effects of Regina's magic, and see if you are still standing."
"I don't have to imagine; remember how I was around Glenda." He shook his head as he remembered how her magic had felt when he had kissed her.
"You know if you not too serious about Elizabeth I could always take you back to Glenda." He tipped his hat towards Victor.
"No, Elizabeth is completely serious. In fact," Victor checked his pocket watch. "I have a date with her in a few minutes."
"Yes can't have you miss your breakfast date."
"Lucky for me it is a brunch date, it was breakfast hours ago Jeff."
"Really?" He asked as Victor showed him the time on his pocket watch. "So it was." He commented taking a swig from his flask and offering it to Victor who took a drink only to choke and starting coughing.
"God if that is what Regina was drinking you are lucky you didn't kill her."
"She was looking a bit rough this morning. Muttering something about swearing off rum forever. But I like my father suffer from same the affliction."
"What affliction is that?"
"There isn't a hangover that rum can't solve." He took another drink. "Well let's get you back. Since you helped me win back Regina it is the least I can do to get you back in time to win over Lizzie."
"First of all I have no idea what I could have possibly said to help you win back Regina for Rumple."
"And for myself." Jefferson beamed bouncing slightly on his heels.
"And for yourself, and secondly why do I feel I don't want to take any credit for you helping bring back Regina to Rumple. You should have cut your losses with her and been done with it all."
"Oh you need to loosen up a little Vic. Live a little."
"I will if you ever get me home for my date."
"Sounds like you need a nap before the date, someone is grouchy."
"You would be too if you spent most of the night arguing with Rumple over a simple law of physics."
"Laws are made to be broken."
"Not Newton's Third Law! For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And Rumple seems to think he can do things without the reaction or reactions in his case messing up his plans."
"Well he has been successful at staying one step ahead for the last 250 years. Nothing seems to have messed up his work yet. Maybe he believes he can keep traveling at a constant velocity ahead of all the impending chaos which is coming. Isn't that Newton's First Law?"
Victor looked at him shocked.
"What?" Jefferson asked taking another drink from his flask. "I do listen to you when you ramble on and when I pick up your books I can actually read them."
"Yes that belief is fine and dandy if he can keep ahead of everything but at this point I think Rumple has put too many things into motion. There are too many moveable parts which could react in too many unpredictable ways. It is only going to be a matter of time before he is going to crash and burn and take you with him if you are not careful."
Jefferson stood there thinking about it for a moment, and gave a shrug of his shoulders. "That is what one has to deal with when you dance around the sun." He took his hat off and gave it a spin.
They both stood there for a moment lost in their own thoughts of what lay ahead of them, before he gestured for Victor to jump first.
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