Twenty-Four Years Part Two
"Hopefully the paperwork will be on my desk…" Doctor Whale started as he and Jefferson walked into his office. He stopped short seeing Mary Margret standing behind his desk reading one of the stories that Jefferson and him had created over the last two years of their sessions. "Miss Blanchard what are you doing in here?"
"Oh Doctor Whale I am so sorry. I didn't mean to pry but I was looking for those volunteer papers you wanted me to fill out and I came across these fairy tales. I didn't know you were a fan of the genre."
"That is just a side project I had been working on." He stated piling up the stories and artworks back into their proper folder. He reached out his hand for the sheet she was still holding.
"Oh sorry. Here." she gave it to him. "I didn't read much, but the artwork is good, I didn't realize you could draw."
"Just because I am a Doctor and stuck here at the hospital most of the time doesn't mean I can't have hobbies. I am sure you like things other than planning lessons and grading." He huffed letting his angrier come out to cover up his embarrassment at someone besides Jefferson seeing the stories and his art, as he put the file away in his desk drawer and locked it.
"Yes, again I apologize I never met to upset you. I know what it is like to want to keep things to yourself. I never should have read what I did read, I am sorry."
"No, it's my own fault for leaving it out on my desk. I was just reviewing a few things before I put it all away for good."
"For good? But it seems like something people in this town need to read"
"I thought you didn't read much of it."
"I didn't." She blushed. "I may have flipped through a few pages. It is too good to sit locked away somewhere. People should read it."
"Why would people want to read about a bunch of messed up fairy tales?" Doctor Whale asked walking over to the filing cabinet in the corner.
"Because fairy tales give us hope for a happy ending. And who doesn't need hope at one time or another in their lives?"
"This is the paper you need to fill out." He turned from the filing cabinet, pausing a moment, before handing her the paper. "I was hoping once you had time to fill it all out maybe we could talk over coffee or dinner even, to discuss your volunteer hours, or would your boyfriend disapprove of such a meeting?"
Oh Vic, if you only know how you were trying to date a married Queen. Jefferson thought to himself as he leaned back on the chair placing his feet up on Doctor Whale's desk as he watched his friend hit on royalty.
"Oh I don't have a boyfriend, so I would be free to meet up whenever you are free here." Mary Margret blushed. "I am usually done at school around five.
I wonder what ever did happen to Snow's so called Prince Charming? Jefferson thought to himself.
"Prefect my dinner break is at six. We could meet in the cafeteria here so you can count it as part of your volunteer hours."
"Maybe we can discuss your storybook too. The drawings really are amazing and I would love to discuss why your Prince Charming is such a jerk."
"I thought you said you didn't read much of it?" Doctor Whale commented and Jefferson could see his friend's cheeks growing a bit red with embarrassment, even though as far as the Doctor knew Jefferson had made it all up in his crazy head.
"Only the top story like I said. But I just don't see Snow White falling for a Prince like James? Can I ask you why did you write him like that?"
"Well you know they say writers based characters off of people they know in real life so I bet this James person was a real jerk." Jefferson butted into their conversation.
"Yes, that makes sense." Mary Margret agreed looking at Jefferson for the first time, as if suddenly realizing she wasn't alone with Doctor Whale. "I just don't think it would make a good fairy tale for kids if Prince Charming is such a jerk. I know Snow White wouldn't want anything to do with him the way he is in the story."
"I know whatever was she thinking?" Jefferson said with a bit of a mocking tone, before becoming serious and adding. "Maybe the Doc here will change it up and let you have the book for your classroom."
"Yes that will be enough of that Jefferson." Doctor Whale stated knocking Jefferson's feet off his desk.
Jefferson sat up straight raising his eyebrows at his friend.
"Oh I would love it for the classroom. The children love fractured fairy tale stories such as these, they would really enjoy it during free reading time. I could meet up with over a couple of dinners during my volunteer hours if you are interest in fixing it up and donating it."
"Well then it is settle the Doctor here will see to it you get the happy ending you want and you can share it with all your students." Henry include once he is old enough to be in her 4th grade class. Jefferson thought as he leaned back and placed his feet back on the desk. Oh Regina would just love that. He couldn't help but smile at the idea.
"Really Doctor Whale?"
"I…I…" The Doctor started not sure he liked the idea of the stories being read by anyone let alone his artwork seen by people even if they were kids. "I guess it would be a waste for all this work to go unread. I could put it all together with your suggested changes and see if you still want it for your classroom."
"I am sure it will be great. Thanks and thanks for the papers." She smiled before leaving.
Doctor Whale turned to Jefferson and hissed. "What the hell was that all about?"
"What wrong now?" Regina asked appearing in the doorway. "He hasn't taken another turn for the worst again has he?"
"What is she doing here?" Jefferson demanded dropping his feet down to the floor and jumping up.
"I had to bring over the paper work so you can be released."
"I thought Doctor Hopper was going to do that?" Both Jefferson and Doctor Whale questioned at the same time.
"I couldn't let Doctor Hopper deliver such important papers." She smiled moving into the room. "Besides I just had to see your little miracle you worked Doctor Whale." She handed the papers over, "So is he all cleared to go home?"
"Yes, everything is working order now that the papers are here" Doctor Whale stated looking over the paperwork. "Sheriff Graham isn't with you to take him home?"
"No I thought it best I handle him alone." She smiled turning to leave. "Come along now Jefferson."
Jefferson gave Doctor Whale one last look, before he took a deep breath and followed Regina out of the office.
"I am surprised you are not making a run for it?" Regina asked as they climbed the stairs up to Jefferson's front door.
"I thought about it but it wouldn't do me any good. Grace would think I am insane. Only your magic works here, and I can't leave town without my daughter. The only thing running would do is get me locked up again where I can't see her."
"It must be hard not to run. I mean it was all you ever did for centuries."
"If you would have ran with me the one time I asked you, would we all be here?" He asked unlocking the door before turning to face her.
"And if you would have ran with me when I all but begged you to, then no we would most definitely not all be here."
"You realized too late what you needed in your life and I am sorry for that Regina. But you have no one to blame for your decisions but yourself." He stepped over the threshold feeling the magic of Regina's spell once again surround the house. He turned to face her adding. "And I am in the same boat."
Regina hissed. "Enjoy watching Grace." before turning to go.
Jefferson's voice stopped her on the top step. "That boy of yours, he is what, six now?"
"Not that it is any of your business but yes." She turned back to him. "Why?"
"Has he started to question things yet?"
"There is nothing to question. You may not believe it but I am a good mother."
"Things never really changing. Day after day. If he isn't already questioning things he will soon. Then what Regina? How much magic do you have to keep him happy and loving you?"
"I don't need magic for him to love me, I am his mother!"
"Keep saying that and maybe one day it will be true. But we both know one day soon your happy ending will come crashing down." He closed the door in her face not caring to hear her reply and started up the stairs to his workroom and his telescope.