Cursed: Jefferson's Story

Day Four

James's smile brighten. "Oh do I have your full attention now Jefferson?" he laughed letting go of Jefferson's hair. "Good because you are going to tell me everything I want to know or you are going to lose that thieving right hand of yours." James gave his face a sharp slap before he sat back down in the chair across from him.

He stared at James for a few moments not believing his threat. But then the butcher entered the room with this long bladed peeler. "You wouldn't dare." He jarred the table trying to free himself from the cuffs on the table. "No…NO!"

James moved around the table grabbing him by his already bruised and cut shoulders. With a groan He went still.

"Who do you work for?"

"I can't tell you that." He cried his eyes watching the butcher play with the peeler.

James gave a nod and the butcher reached out for Jefferson's right hand.

"No." Jefferson muttered in his sleep tightening his grip on the bed sheets.

James dug in his fingers into his shoulders and ordered. "Let him have your fingers Jefferson."

Jefferson gave out a little cry as he tossed in his bed.

The butcher pulled him forward through the cuff on the table, and forced his hand flat on the table top. He took the peeler and ran it down Jefferson's index finger.

He jerked in pain as his screams filling the cell.

"He moved and I took more than I had planned to my Prince."

James leaned down and whispered in his ear. "Did you hear him Jefferson, the more you move the more damage he does."

"You bastard." He growled. "I am not one for killing but I plan on making an exception for you, James."

"Like you expect me to believe you have never killed anyone before."

"I didn't say that. It is not something I like to do on purpose. I don't treat taking a life as lightly as you do."

"There you go again Jefferson, sounding like you are better than me. You are not better than me."

"I know I am better than you James, and no amount of pain will ever change my mind on the matter."

James squeezed his shoulder and he tried once again to get away from his grip, but James tighten and pulled him back hard against the chair. He snarled in pain.

"Maybe starting with his name was too much, while don't you just call me by my title."

"Go to Hell James."

"You are the one with one foot in the grave Hatter, so I would watch what you say about Hell." James gave a nod and the Butcher ran it down just to the right of the first cut. Now the whole top of his index finger was raw and bleeding.

"Well since you seem to like that so much let's do it again. This time the thumb, it will be hard to steal anything when you can't grip it."

He closed his eyes and screamed as the butcher cut down his thumb.

"Prince James! Prince James! Your title is Prince James!" Jefferson screamed bolting up right in his bed. "But I won't tell you who I work for!" Gasping for breath he grabbed his right hand relieved to see it was fine and not raw and bloody.

Jefferson looked over at the clock it was 8:15 am again. "Every morning at 8:15 I wake with these bloody nightmares." He shook his head picking up the book which was on the nightstand next to the clock. "Snow White and other fairy tales." He frowned down at the book. "Snow how you ever fell in love and married that prat of a Prince James is beyond me."

He closed his eyes shaking his head. "Damn it I am doing it again. Snow and James aren't real. These nightmares are not real… I need my pills." He placed the book back beside the clock and got out of bed heading for the shower.

Jefferson found himself back in this work room, but today he had no desire to sew, he only wanted to look down at the town. His vision of Alice had told him yesterday that everything was wrong, and he would have to look and see what was really going on down there in the little town of Storybrooke.

Jefferson focused on Regina's house and watched as she came out, she passed Granny's dinner where Ruby and her Grandmother were fighting. Nothing unusual there it was a known fact that they hate each other.

But it wasn't always like that, was it? The voice in the back of his head asked him.

"No they used to get along just fine, protecting each other from the family's curse…The curse? What curse?" Jefferson tried to think the memory remained just out of reach tucked back in the dark corners of his mind.

He continued to watch Regina as she ran into Snow. "Oh no, she going to kill her!" He gasped but watched as Snow apologized over and over again before Regina left her standing on the sidewalk to continue on her way. "She is not Snow White, her name is Mary Margaret." He remembered. "She is just a teacher…" He tried to convince himself but the person he saw next made him jump back.

"Rumple!" He pulled back turning in a circle running a hand through his hair as he looked around his room. "My old employer is stuck here too and not killing Regina for bringing us all. What is going on?" He looked through the telescope again. They talked and Rumple walked away. "His skin isn't right. What is with that cane? He has a limp. He doesn't have magic does he? He is just as mixed up as Snow, or the Huntsman. Oh my god that is right; the Sheriff is that stupid Huntsman that almost got me and Aurora killed on that foolish bear hunt!"

He pulled back from the telescope searching the room, "I need paper and a pen… I need to figure out who is who. I have these memories why don't they."

"Because Regina is punishing you my dear boy."

"Rumplestiltskin!" He exclaimed as he carefully took a step back from the ghostly vision. "Punishing me?"

"Well she is punishing us all, so she can have her happy ending, but you especially. You are the only one she let remember."

"How do you know that?"

"Jefferson my dear boy, you are smart enough to figure it all out, you are just too scared to say it out loud."

"Because if anyone else in town remembered they wouldn't just let her walk on by; let her rule as Mayor after what she did as Queen."

"Correct!" Rumple giggled as he moved his hands in a familiar over the top gesture. "There is the bright young boy I trained."

Jefferson shook his head. "But you are down there. I saw you just walking around. You're human and limping. You have no magic here. How did Regina best you?"

"Who said she bested me? How do you know I am not exactly where I want to be?"

"But no magic? You cast Belle out because …"

"Don't speak to me of Belle…"

Jefferson stepped back suddenly afraid of the ghostly image as he recalled giving Belle to Regina in exchange for his freedom. "So everyone here is someone else and they don't know it. Stuck here without magic, except Regina?"

"She may not be able to wave her hand and make things happen, but do you really think she would come here without some kind of magic? She would never leave behind her power, or her vault."

"My hat… Regina has my hat. My hat which can travel between worlds." He laughed. "Even I know how crazy that sounds. I mean it is no wonder Regina doesn't live with me more. I can't believe she still comes up for dinner with all the insanity I have spurted out since the accident."

"Regina and you living together never happened and a part of you knows that. She turned you down on the chance at a possible happy ending together. You moved on not once but twice and look at where it has gotten you."

Jefferson frowned down at the paper memories of him and Regina dating in college and living together after graduation filled his mind. He looked down at the blank piece of paper before him and then up at Rumple who slowly faded away before his eyes.

Shaking his head Jefferson closed his eyes trying to clear his mind, but the voice kept whispering names and it wasn't long before his pen was moving on the paper.

Jefferson opened the door and let Regina in, she just walked right past him into the living room. "Good evening to you too." He coldly called after her.

"Don't even start with me, after the day I have been having." She huffed pouring herself a drink.

"What could have possible gone wrong in your prefect little town?" Jefferson asked sitting down on his piano bench.

"Everything, no one is who …" Regina stopped breaking in a growl. "Oh Nevermind, I don't want to talk about this with you. That isn't why I came up here."

"Why do you come up here?"

"Do you wish I wouldn't?"

"I am not so sure it's a good thing for either of us. This, us it isn't real any more is it Regina?"

"Damn it!" Regina hissed placing her empty glass down. "I told him this isn't the deal I made. This is supposed to be my happy ending but everything is…just a lie."

"A lie? What are you talking about?"

"Oh come on now Jefferson how have you not figured it out?" She laughed evilly shaking her head. "You are the only one who is supposed to remember but that little imp…" she crossed her arms. "He has to know something…"

"Little Imp…" Jefferson searched his brain trying to recall why he thought he should know who she was talking about.

"I can't stay here tonight. I have other places I can be. Other people I can have dinner with." She started around him for the front door.

"You mean Graham?" he challenged following close behind her.

"No, there are other people in town other than Graham. You would know that if you ever left this house!" She hissed wickedly.

"Then who? Who else would you be having dinner with other than me?"

"Kurt and his son Owen."

"Who?"

"If you must know it is the outsiders I told you about the other night. Their car still isn't fixed and I thought it may do me some good to get away from the annoying people in this town for a night." She opened the door. "Maybe if you are luckily I will see you tomorrow night."

Jefferson jumped as Regina slammed the door shut behind her. He stood there a moment just staring at the closed front door. Regina's words echoing in his head. "I told him this isn't the deal I made. This is supposed to be my happy ending but everything is…just a lie." "Her happy ending…" Jefferson muttered to himself as he recalled her question. "Oh come on now Jefferson how have you not figured it out?"

"Figured it out…I need to figure it out…" His fingers went to his pants pocket and he pulled out the little list of people he started writing earlier.

Grace - Paige

Snow – Mary Margret

Rumple – Mr. Gold

Huntsman - Graham

Red - Ruby

Red's Grandma - Granny

Cricket – Doctor Hopper

Victor – Doctor Whale

"Where is that Prat Prince James and Belle…They are missing from my list and these new memories." Jefferson muttered to himself as he sat down on the piano bench, his mind racing back to his narrow escape from King George's Dungeon's and James's torture.

He stood next to Rumple watching James and his guards ride away. "Please tell me we are going back to our castle and plot his and his father's untimely and cruelfully painful deaths. Yes I am thinking the worst possible death you know of then let's really get creative with it."

"The stars have already foreseen his end." Rumple assured him.

"Well that is good to know. I hope it is painful and drawn out."

"He won't even see it coming."

"Well that is a bit disappointing. But I suppose dead is dead, so hooray for that."

"So maybe Regina has killed Snow's Charming as part of her revenge, or maybe she just left him behind. But where is Belle? She wouldn't have left her behind in the Enchanted Forest, Belle was her prized chess piece against Rumple. Regina didn't…"Jefferson crumbled the list in this hand and raced up the stairs for his workroom and the telescope.

He adjusted the telescope searching through the town. "Regina wouldn't have hurt Belle. Rumple would kill her if she did. Belle has to be alive…but where?"


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