Twenty-Three Years Part One
"Well Jefferson you have truly out done yourself this time." Regina moved over to the table inspecting Belle. "However did you find her so fast?"
"I am very good at my job."
"Yes, yes you are." She looked him over. "Are you sure you are willing to hang your hat so to say on said job."
"I am done. Belle is here, that was my end of the deal now you have to follow through on your end."
"Oh I will but first." She pulled out a little vial of liquid.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"Waking her up." She commented pulling off the lid.
"Waking her up, here? Now?" Jefferson tossed in his bed.
"Yes did you think you would get to miss out on seeing her face when she figured out you betrayed her?"
"Regina don't!" He begged grabbing her by the wrist.
"Unhand me Jefferson before I make you." She hissed.
He flinched in his bed expecting to feel pain from one of Regina's spells.
But instead Regina simply moved forward and placed the vial under Belle's nose.
Belle coughed and woke up. "Regina!" Belle exclaimed as she pulled away. Spotting him she slid off the table top and rushed over wrapping her arms around him. "Jefferson what happened?"
"Yes Jefferson tell the dear girl what happened." Regina mocked
He stood there as Belle clunging to him clearly scared. "Jefferson where are we?"
Regina answered "My castle, right where I requested you."
"You request us?" Belle asked.
"Oh no Jefferson is free to come and go as he pleases, it was you I requested."
"Jefferson what is she talking about?" Belle looked up at him. "Jefferson tell me her guards caught us both, tell me you didn't bring me to her!" Belle yelled at him. "That I wasn't one of your jobs!"
"I am sorry Belle." Jefferson whispered out loud.
"You are sorry?" Belle screamed hitting him on the chest. "How could you? How could…"
Jefferson grabbed his covers as the dream continued.
"It was my only way out. Don't you see that? To be free of it all! FREE OF REGINA!" He screamed back throwing Belle's hands down to her sides.
"Jefferson, you are a stupid boy, if you think for one second that Regina is done with you just because she said she would be."
"She promised me you would be well taken care of; she won't hurt you."
Belle slapped him hard across the face. "If you think Rumple was going to kill you for Aurora, just you wait until he finds out about this."
Regina's laughter filled the air. "Oh this was even better than I thought it would be." She smiled watching them from across the room. "Guards take Belle to her new home in the Tower."
"I won't tell you anything! I won't betray him!" Belle screamed as the guards grabbed her. "Jefferson!" Belle pleaded. "I know you don't want to do this! You can still make this right, where is your hat?"
"I have his hat, it and his freedom are payment for you." Regina laughed. "Now take her away." Regina waved her hands at the guards who exited the room dragging a kicking and screaming Belle behind them out of the side door of the throne room.
"JEFFERSON DON'T LET HER…"
The memory of the slamming of the throne room doors jarred Jefferson awake. He took in his little cell and wondered for at least the billion time since that day what Regina really did to poor innocent Belle.
It had been over a year since Regina had banished him from his huge mansion prison to the small psych ward of Storybrooke Hospital. He had been meeting with Doctor Hopper at least once a week as his busy schedule would allow, and usually at least once a day with Doctor Whale.
Over that last couple of months Victor and him had been creating a storybook out of all the stories Jefferson told him. It had been nice to see Victor drawing again, even if he didn't remember how it used to be a fun hobby of his.
The good doctor had also started giving him almost free range of the psych ward. He could come and go to the little meeting room, even getting to watch TV from time to time. And under at least one of the Doctor's watchful eye he actually got to talk to a few other patients, none of which Jefferson recognized from the Enchanted Forest. But he knew whoever they were they must have done something horrible in Regina mind to be fated to a life locked up in the Hospital.
Over the last month or so Jefferson had been able to convince Victor to let him and a few of the more capable patients play cards. Victor even joined in a few times.
It was one of those games of cards that he sat right now. He couldn't help but smirk slightly across the table as Victor bluffed and raised the pot three mini candy bars; for none of the patients had access to money to bet.
It is good to see that Victor's tell is still the same. Jefferson thought as he matched the bet. He was sitting on three Queens and he knew that Victor at best had a pair of something. He always thought a pair would be enough if he bet high enough. He thought as he watched Victor re-raise the pot.
"So as I was saying his poor parents drank the potion and were turned into puppets."
Victor laughs "Don't you dare repeat that story to Doctor Hopper, Jeff it is just ridiculous."
"Is it that far fetch from what I have been telling you?" He paused a moment. "Wait what did you just call me?"
"Oh sorry I didn't mean to be disrespectful of your name."
"You did call me Jeff." He laughed. "You are still in there aren't you Doc." Jefferson commented as he met the Doctor's raise.
"Don't start that up again. I am thinking if you keep showing signs of improvement I can let you eat with the other patients."
"Really?" Jefferson rocked back on his chair enjoying the idea of a little more freedom in the place. He had come to miss being able to move freely through his huge house, and the three or four little rooms here were enough to drive anyone insane with boredom.
"Maybe as early as next week."
Movement from the hallway caused Jefferson to look up above his friends head to see a young woman walk by. His eyes grew big as he realized just who the young woman was. "Belle?" He whispered watching her walk by before he lost his balance and fell backwards off the chair.
"Woah! Jefferson are you alright." Doctor Whale asked as Jefferson bounced back up to his feet.
"Belle!" He cried rushing out the door after the woman he had seen. "Belle wait up!" He grabbed her and turned her towards him. Seeing it was really her he exclaimed. "Thank the Gods you are alive!" He pulled her close giving her a tight hug.
"What? Who are you? Let go of me!" She shrieked trying to get away from him.
"Belle it's me Jefferson." He pulled back but kept both of his hands on her arms, not letting her get away from him. "I am sorry for giving you to Regina, it was beyond wrong and there hasn't been a day that I haven't …"
"Jefferson what are you doing?" Doctor Whale pulled him off of the young lady. "Are you alright Claire?"
"I… I don't know… who is this person?" She asked pulling back several steps from both of them.
"Belle it's me Jefferson." He tried to pull away from Doctor Whale but was unsuccessful. "Don't you remember?"
"No… I don't. I don't know you." She shook her head taking another step backward.
"Yes you do Belle, Regina…"
"Why does he keep calling me that?" She asked Doctor Whale. "Who is Belle?"
"What is wrong with him?"
"I am sorry Claire. It's best you get going back to your room."
"And people think I am the crazy one around here." She commented walking back down the hallway towards her room.
"Doc you got to listen to me that is Belle."
"NO Jefferson Belle according to your story is dead."
"I thought so too but seeing her now, Regina she lied. She lied to Rumple all this time and she kept her locked…"
"No Jefferson Belle isn't real."
"She is real and she is right there!" Jefferson scream watching her round the corner. "If I can get her to Rumple he will take care of all this mess right now. He will kill Regina for this and end this stupid curse!" He pushed Victor off of him and when the Doctor went to grab him he punched him.
Doctor Whale fell to the ground and watched as Jefferson went after Claire. A nurse rushed over helping him back up to his feet. "I called for help they should be any second." The nurse told him.
Doctor Whale shook his head and went after Jefferson. He found him outside of Claire's room pounding on it.
"Belle, please open the door I finally know I can make this all right."
"Jefferson please stop that can't you see you are scaring her?" the Doctor asked him.
"I …" Jefferson turned to his old friend seeing two orderlies coming up behind him. "I don't want to scare her but you do realize she is the key to making this alright again."
"Jefferson we need to talk about this in a more civil manner. These two men are going to take you back to your room and we can talk about this more tomorrow."
"No tomorrow will be too late, don't you see Vic if she know I know…."
"Doctor Whale, what the hell is going on here?" Regina demanded entering the Psych Ward.
"NO!" Jefferson screamed as he struggled to get away as the orderlies grabbed him. "Don't let that witch near me!"
"Why is he out of his cell?" Regina insisted
"There been an incident."
"That is putting it lightly." Mr. Gold voice rang as he entered the hallway.
"Rumple!" Jefferson shouted as he saw him following Regina down the hallway. "Tell Victor you remember. That I am not crazy, that I am not making this up. Regina is evil."
"I thought you said he was doing better?" Regina asked.
"He was, but then he saw…"
"No Victor don't tell her!" Jefferson pleaded. "Don't tell her I know. She can't know I know."
Doctor Whale paused at his plead and for a second Jefferson really thought he wasn't going to tell Regina.
"Tell me what? What is he is going on about?" Regina demanded.
"Claire he saw Claire and just… well all this." Doctor Whale explained a loss for words as Jefferson screamed "No!"
"What do you mean he saw Claire?"
"Jefferson was doing better I let him out and maybe it was too soon he seems to think Claire is Belle."
She leaned in close and hissed. "I gave you a direct order! Jefferson wasn't supposed to see anyone else, he was supposed to be locked up away from everyone that was the point. No one is supposed to know about Claire." Regina stopped realizing she was saying too much.
"Whale gave her a look. " A direct order? I can see why Jefferson thinks you are the Evil Queen. No offense Madam Mayor but you are not a Doctor, and it is comments like that, which make me believe you may not have his best interests at heart."
"Trust me Doctor Whale after everything that has happened between myself and Jefferson my best interest is exactly what he deserves. And you and Doctor Hopper better follow my instructions or I will pull him from this Hospital and let him go back to his house on the hill completely alone."
"He needs interactions with real people not just these hallucinations he has."
"Like his interaction today with Claire?" she questioned.
"I promise after this, that Jefferson and Claire will be kept separate."
"Rumple look at me." Jefferson begged. "You have to remember. You are the bloodily Dark One, himself! You wouldn't lose to Regina. She was just your student, your puppet. She lied to you! Belle is alive. All these years she has kept her locked up, first in her tower, and now here in this God forsaken place! It is Regina who needs punished not Belle. Please kill her Rumple and end this madness."
"Enough of that Jefferson!" Regina hissed turning from the Doctor to him.
Jefferson caught a look of fear on her face as she looked at Rumple's reaction at being told Belle was alive and locked up this whole time. But when he didn't response the way Jefferson had hoped or Regina had feared he would she relaxed realizing she was still in control.
"No it isn't enough." Jefferson screamed. "Someone has to listen to me. I won't let you continue to do this to everyone. Rumple just let me talk to you, you need to understand what is really happening here."
"Mr. Gold you should leave we can continued our little talk later. And you Jefferson are not talking to anyone because you don't make sense."
"Maybe you should be the one to leave Regina." Mr. Gold challenged her.
"What? He is my ex-boyfriend, I know how to handle him."
"Clearly you do not. He wants nothing to do with you it seems."
"Don't be ridiculous, I know exactly what I am doing, Doctor Whale will you take him back to his room. He clearly needs to be locked up before he hurts someone."
"Doctor Whale surely you agree the boy needs to calm down first. So Regina why don't you please leave."
"I…" Regina froze her deal with Rumple back in the Enchanted Forest made her stop. She bit her lip and with a "Fine you two deal with him, as Mayor I have better things to spend my time on then the ranting's of a lunatic."
"How did you do that?" Jefferson asked watching Regina walking away. "How do you still have power over her here?"
"I don't have power over anyone, we just have an understanding." Mr. Gold explained.
"Stop lying to me. You must know about the curse too, but why would you let her do this to me and my daughter? After everything I did for you?"
Mr. Gold looked at him with a mix of pity and sadness. "I assure you Mr. Jones I don't know what you are talking about. I haven't seen you since you and Regina first came into town. And I don't know, nor have I ever known anyone by the name of Belle, or about this daughter you believe you have. But I do know from dealing with Miss Mills, she can upset the sanest of us."
"I am not crazy you have to help me. You can't let Regina do this me or Belle. She has Belle locked up!" He paused noticing the name Belle really didn't seem to mean anything to him. In a quieter tone he ran on. "I know I messed up all those years ago with Aurora, but for twelve years I did nothing but try to please you. You have to help me. You are my only hope."
"I am afraid Mr. Jones the only person who can help you, is yourself. Now Doctor Whale I do believe it is time to get him back to his room to rest and come back to his senses."
"Yes of course." The Doctor nodded and the two orderlies started pulling him down the hallway to his room.
"NO Rumple please!" Jefferson shouted as the two orderlies pulled him away down the hall. "I will do anything! I will make any deal, I swear it just help me!" He screamed as they threw him into his room.
Jefferson watched as the door closed, "Please help me." He whispered to himself as he sank down to his knees in the middle of his empty, cold, dark room.