Twenty-Two Years Part Two
"What about Grace?" He called to Regina.
She turned. "Don't worry Jefferson, I swore to you that your daughter would want for nothing, and I kept my word. She is living with your old neighbors. The very ones you left her with that day. You have your telescopes; you can keep an eye on her if you don't believe she is getting everything she could possibly desire, but unlike you they can provide for her."
"I get that you want to punish me for something you think I did to you or that you want to make Snow suffer, but why are you doing this to everyone else?"
"To win the game."
"This isn't a game Regina this is life."
"There is no bigger game then life and I my dear Jefferson, am finally winning it." She turned starting for the steps.
"Wait…Wait…please Regina you can't do this to me." He screamed rushing to the door grabbing it as she walked through.
"I can't?" Regina turned facing him. "Go ahead and try to leave Jefferson." She stepped aside waving to the steps down from his front porch.
Jefferson tried to cross the threshold of his house but he hit a spell barrier. "What?" He muttered before pounding on it with this fist. "Regina!" He screamed.
She leaned in closer to him but was careful to stay on her side of the doorway. "See Jefferson, I can, I will and I have."
Jefferson woke from the nightmare, turning his alarm off. He had gotten even less sleep then normal due to his mind playing over and over again Regina's threat about moving him from his prison here at the house to the psych ward at the hospital down in town. In twenty-two years he hadn't been able to leave the house. It was all he could think about as he showered and dressed.
Would she really give me a change in setting now, or was it all a cruel joke. If they believe Henry was only adopted a year ago, she can clearly change their memories with the magic she has access too. They most likely won't show up this morning to take me away. He thought, but as he was finishing fixing the scarf around his neck the doorbell rang.
Convinced that the threat was just a new way for Regina to mock him he walked down the stairs opening the door expecting to only see Regina, but much to his surprise Doctor Hopper and Sheriff Graham were also there with her again.
"You looked surprised to see us all." Regina couldn't help but smile.
"Regina you were serious?" He stepped back from the door, suddenly a bit scared to leave his house. "You are going to take me into town?"
"It isn't a social trip. We are going to take you to the psych ward where you should have been all along." Sheriff Graham stated.
"Sheriff perhaps it is best you wait in the car." Doctor Hopper suggested before moving into the house. "Jefferson we all agree this is the best step in your treatment." He took Jefferson carefully by the arm. "Are you ready to leave?"
"I…." Jefferson looked at Regina who had moved pass him into the living room.
She called back over her shoulder, "I will get his writings for Doctor Whale and you to go over."
"Come along Jefferson." Doctor Hopper gently pulled him over to the doorway. The Doctor step through the doorway pulling Jefferson's arm with him but Jefferson stopped himself short from stepping out on to the porch.
He stared in disbelief at his hand and arm which were extend out of the doorway. The magic barrier around his house was gone.
"Do I need to physical remove him for you Doctor Hopper?" the Sheriff called up from beside his car.
"We are quite fine Sheriff just stay down there." The Doctor turned to Jefferson. "I can't force you to leave Jefferson but I think it best you do leave this house. Regina doesn't think you will. But I know if we can get you out of this environment we can start making progress."
Jefferson pulled his hand back against his chest. "Regina doesn't think I will leave?"
"No she doesn't. But if you are anything like the person you think you use to be, then I think you won't have any problems leaving his house. I mean you jumped worlds all the time, what is one little trip into town."
Jefferson shook his head in agreement but was still unsure of what to do. He had wanted out of the house for the last twenty-two years but if Regina was willing to let him out then there had to be a catch. She must have a much worst punishment planned for him, maybe he was safer in the house.
Just then Regina walked by with a bag filled with all his writings and drawing and started down the steps. "Is he coming or not Doctor?"
"Are you coming Jefferson?"
He rubbed his hand a moment longer watching Regina getting in to the car with everyone's stories he had been so careful to record. I can't let her take them and destroy them. I can't let her win.
"I have your word that Regina won't destroy my work. That Victor will seem them."
"If you mean Doctor Whale yes, I personally will go over them with him. We will have many discussions about your work."
"Then I will go." He took a deep breath letting it out slowly before carefully stepping across the doorway and on to the porch.
Doctor Whale was in his office when he heard the mental ward door open. Who could that be? He thought as he put his bottle of whiskey way. Grabbing a mint he popped it in his mouth as he walked over to the door and was shocked to see Regina, Archie, the Sheriff, and Mr. Jones.
"Madam Mayor, what is the meaning of this? Why is Mr. Jones here?"
"Doctor Whale I left the paper work with one of your nurses she said it was fine we bring him in the morning since there was an extra room." Doctor Hopper replied.
"Extra Room." Jefferson laughed. "More like she has been saving it for me this entire time."
"Listen to him, you know his case Doctor Whale. He had a bad break and it isn't good for him to be alone in the house anymore."
"Did he try to hurt himself?"
"Well then whatever did he do?"
"He tried to kill me for starters." Regina removed her scarf showing the marks on her neck from when Jefferson had tried to get Aurora's necklace off of her. "And his break with reality is worst he is writing what he believes down now." She gave a nod to Doctor Hopper.
Archie handed Doctor Whale a bag filled with notebooks. "I wrote it all down in the paper work but it seems you haven't seen it yet."
"I haven't had time to finish my breakfast yet, let alone look at paperwork."
"How hard is it finish a bottle of scotch?" Regina muttered as Doctor Whale took the bag and started to go through the one of the notebooks.
Scanning through he commented. "There is more than just the two characters of you and him."
"I told you it is worst now. He thinks everyone in the town is a storybook character. He even thinks Paige is his daughter Grace." She pushed him in the chest. "Up his meds, talk to him, get him back to a less violence state so I can take him back to his…" Regina stop herself just short of saying prison cell and finished with the word, "Home."
"I will be more than willing to go over the notebooks with you Doctor Whale." Archie commented.
"Yes we can start after my rounds this morning. Sheriff Graham we can place him in this room."
"Room?" Jefferson muttered, "Don't you mean my cell?"
"Doctor Whale may I have a few minutes alone with him." Regina asked.
"If you want to I can go over the final paper work with Doctor Hopper."
"Regina I don't think that is a good idea." Graham started trying to pull her back from the doorway.
"Sheriff if the Doctor doesn't think it a problem I don't see why I can't."
Graham looked like he was going to argue for a moment but decided better of it.
"You can stand out here and I will let you know when I am finished, and if you think I am in any danger you can rush in and save me, since you think I am in need of being saved."
Graham let go of her arm and stepped back.
"That's right Huntsman, remember you place. Regina always has enjoyed it when people remember their place."
"That's enough of that Jefferson." Regina ordered as she closed the door. She stood there gloating at her victory as he sat down on the bed.
"The ring Regina has isn't real. I know you are upset but couldn't you feel the magic which surround it?" Aurora asked appearing beside him sitting on the bed.
"A glamour spell?" he whispered.
"Preciously" Aurora smiled pulling out a chain from around her neck. "I have the ring still Jefferson. I keep it here on the chain around my neck because Rumple convinced me it would keep the memories of you stronger since it was closer to my heart."
He nodded to himself as he closed his eyes willing the memory of Aurora away.
"Are you happy now Jefferson? You get to trade in one cell for another, expect this one is much smaller. Hope your memories are worth it."
"You have taken everything away from me but these memories."
"I gave you a choice all those years ago when we first came here. You could remember our real past or look ahead to possible happy ending with me. This is what you have chosen for yourself."
"We were over long before Aurora came into my life. If it wasn't her it would have been…"
"Who? Alice?" Regina laughed. "Well enjoy talking to your precious Doctor Whale about all the things he can't remember. I am sure he will tell you to relax they are only fake memories and they can't hurt you."
"Memories are the only way you have to hurt me now!"
"Hurt you? How about all the pain you caused me?"
"Please I think you made up for all the pain I caused you decades ago! You think you hate me more than anyone else, but you are wrong."
"Really who could hate you more than me?"
"No one can hate me more than I hate myself, for Aurora, for Alice, for Grace, even for how I messed things up between us. But it has been twenty-two years of living with these duel memories. What do I have to do for you to stop this constant torture and just fill my head with the fake memories like everyone else in this town?"
"You will never get off that easy."
"Easy?" Jefferson screamed standing up. "You have taken everything from me Regina, my daughter, my freedom, my sanity, why? After everything that happened to you I see Snow and Rumple walking around with fake memories. What did I do you do deserve this special level of punishment?"
"Because you never loved me!"
Jefferson pulled back shocked at her answer. "This…this is all because I picked Aurora and then Alice over you?"
"Yes!" Regina screamed. She paused a moment wrapping her arms around herself before she continued. "No, it is because you made me fall in love with you, like it was just some meaningless game. And when I was ready to tell you I loved you, you just laughed and told me that you never care for me…. Ever."
Jefferson stood there looking at her in disbelief.
"Rumple had hired you to keep me away from falling in love with the King. A love which wasn't going to happen even without you in my bed. I was nothing but a job to you."
"Regina I asked you to leave once and you were the one who laughed in my face. You can't punish me for your lack of action on your feelings until it was too late. By that time you told me your real feelings you had changed and I couldn't love that person you had become."
"Don't speak to me of love!" Regina hissed. "You lost that right the night you picked Aurora over me. And as you can plainly see I can punish you. This is my happy ending Jefferson, no one else's."
"You won't get away with this, Rumple won't let you."
"Thirty-two years and that is all you have to say to me? My dear Jefferson haven't you figure it out by now? As you pointed out, you and I are the only two who remember. The only two who know where we came from, and who we really are." She laughed. "You should enjoy the memories I let you keep, they are all you have left."
"I'm sorry. Is that what you want to hear? That I am sorry I fell in love with some else? That I loved Aurora? That I loved Alice? That I care for Grace more than I ever cared for you?"
"Thirty-two years and you haven't learned anything. Enjoy your stay here Jefferson."
"You are just going to leave me here like you did in Wonderland?"
"You think I left you in Wonderland as a punishment?" She hissed turning around to face him. "What I did saved your life."
"Saved my life? What are you talking about?"
"I had to take the heart of the thing I loved most to create this curse."
"Yes your father."
"Yes my father, but it didn't have to be him." She looked him over.
"I could have taken your heart and left Grace fatherless."
"Instead you left me in Wonderland and left Grace fatherless."
"I spared you. You were a portal jumper I figure you would find a way home, it wasn't like it was the first time you had been in Wonderland, and I knew my mother wasn't going to kill you."
"She cut off my head!"
"Don't be a baby you know that doesn't kill you in Wonderland. And I know you knew enough magic that you could have found a way to get rid of that scar if you wanted too." Jefferson gave her a glare. "It's a self-punishment for leaving Grace and trusting me."
"So do you want me to thank you for sparing my life?"
"I even brought you here with the curse so you didn't have to spend the rest of your life in Wonderland."
"Yes because being here stuck in that house and now this cell is so much better."
"It is and you know it, because here you actually get to see Grace. You know I held up my end of our bargain, she is being well care for here. Much better than that little hole in the wall cottage in the woods. Well at least you did get to see her from your telescope. I am afraid here." She waved her hands are the white padded walls. "Well here you won't be seeing anyone other than the good doctors."
"Is everything alright in here?" Graham asked opening the door.
Regina wiped at the corner of her eyes and put back on her Mayor act. "There you go again Jefferson, being all delirious and hearing what you want to hear, and not what I am actually saying." Regina shakes her head. "There really is no hope for you." She flashed him an evil smile before turning and walking away.