"You may not be my son but I am not leaving here empty handed today." Rumple hissed grabbing him roughly by his patchwork jacket.
"No! Rumple you are not taking my son!" Hook tried to get to his feet but Rumple's spell was still in place.
"I am not going anywhere with you, you monster. You killed my mother!" He screamed as he stabbed Rumple in the chest with his little dagger.
Rumple giggled pulling out the dagger and tossing it on the ground by his feet. "You are more like your father than you will ever know."
"How? How are you not dead?" He wondered backing away from him.
"I am a wizard. I thought you were smarter than this? I never would have made our deal if I knew you were as stupid as your father."
"Jefferson get away from him!" Hook screamed. "RUN!"
He turned to run but with a wave of Rumple's hand he went flying backwards and Rumple gripped him tight by neck.
"No Rumplestiltskin. Please do what you wish to me but leave the boy alone. He is Milah's son as much as he is mine."
"The boy has made a deal with me."
"A deal? Jefferson what did you do?"
"I didn't know he killed mother. I just wanted to leave Neverland. I wanted to grow up, and have more adventures than you." He cried as he struggled to break free from Rumple's grip.
"Rumple listen to him he can't make a deal with you? He is just a boy he didn't know what he is doing!"
"I don't discriminate for age if the deal is good." Rumple waved his free arm around as he talked in a mocking gesture.
"If you think it was good it must not be good for him."
"Don't you worry Killian Jones, I will see that Jefferson wants for nothing. And since you have seen fit to keep my real son from me, that is really more than I should do for the little brat."
"Father, I am sorry for running away, don't let him take me!" He screamed as he kicked and squirmed trying to break free of Rumple's grip tears were now freely falling down his face. "Father! I don't want to leave you! I just wanted you to love me like you used too when mother was alive!"
"Jefferson, is that what you think? That I stopped loving you?"
He just let out a sob of frustration as his hands went up over his head trying to claw at Rumple's hand which was holding him.
"That's simply not true I never stopped loving you. Not once since your mother died, or since you left this ship. You are my son and there is nothing you can do which will make me stop loving you."
"Oh isn't that touching." Rumple mocked him. "Are you quite through?"
"No! I won't let you take him." Hook screamed.
Rumple giggled again. "There nothing you can do about it." Rumple reached into his pocket pulling out a mirror. "Any time dearie." He ordered into the mirror. Suddenly just over the other side of the railing a portal opened.
"I would say until next time we see each other, but I doubt there will be. See my son will make his way out of this realm to a land without magic and I am going to use your son and all the portals I create from his world hopping trophies to get him back."
"Magic or not I don't care what world you will be in I will track you down and I will kill you!"
"Good luck with that." Rumple stated before throwing Jefferson over the railing into the portal.
"No father, I don't want to leave you!" He screamed as he disappeared through the portal.
"Father!" Jefferson shouted waking with a start. He took in his room and started shaking his head. He reached over to grab the clock to see blinking back 8:15 am and his book fell off the table.
He leaned off the bed to pick it up. "Peter Pan…." He looked at the book. "I don't understand… How do these books keep getting here? And it is always 8:15… it is almost like the day is resetting, but just slightly different, each time." He muttered wiping the remaining sleep from his eyes as he got out of bed.
"Doctor Hopper, why ever would I dream that I am two hundred and fifty some years old?" Jefferson asked towards then end of his weekly meeting with the Doctor at his house.
"Well Jefferson it is a quite simple answer. A Lost Boy, you feel lost, you can't make out what is real. Then there is the whole issue of Wonderland, you feel lost in a world that isn't real. But I assure you this world is real."
"You aren't going to sit here and listen to this stupid cricket's chirping are you?" Hook asked appearing behind Doctor Hopper's chair.
Jefferson stared over Archie's shoulder at the ghostly image of his father, his eyes focused on his hook for a moment before his thoughts drifted back a two decades to when he was a little boy at Rumple's Castle.
"Why do you keep these creepy puppets out on display in the dinning room?"
"They are here to remind me that it is better to be the kind of person that takes than those who get taken from." Rumple looked the young boy over. "Don't you agree?"
"Yes of course!" He piped before his eyes grew wide. "Wait a minute are you telling me that these two puppets used to be people?"
"Yes, that silly cricket wasn't always holy, he was once nothing more than a thief like you."
"No one is a thief like me." He bragged rocking slightly back on his heels. "I am the best which is why we are business partners."
Rumple couldn't help but smiled at the young boy's cockiness. "Yes indeed."
Jefferson shook slightly at the memory before stating,"But these fairy tale characters and plot lines that are all twisted around and fractured." He shook his head. "I am trying and trying to get them to go away but over the last five days I just feel like they are getting worse."
"I take it the new medications are not working?" He wrote something on this notepad. "Are the nightmares back?"
"I feel like they never went away. Every morning I wake with these dreadfully messed up dreams. They are so messed up that I pray they are only dreams because if not I don't know what kind of person I was…" Jefferson shifted uncomfortably in his chair before continuing. "The things that I did or happened to me… I feel like this dream person is even more fucked up than I currently am."
Doctor Hopper put down his pen and leaned forward in his chair. "Jefferson you are not messed up, you suffered a serious accident. One you are still trying to recover from."
"It's been almost two years since the accident, however long will it take to get over it and move on with my life?"
"It hasn't been two years since the accident, because the accident is a lie." His father stated moving to the side of the Doctor's chair. "It is just something that evil witch schemed up to keep you in your place."
Jefferson bit his lip to stop himself from responding to the vision of Hook.
"Hopefully not much longer but as Doctor Whale has told you one can never know with such a serious head trauma. You are quite lucky to be alive and so functional."
"Trust me I don't feel lucky to be alive and I sure as hell don't feel functional." Jefferson muttered looking anywhere but at his father's image.
"Jefferson are you feeling suicidal?"
"No!" Jefferson sat up straighter in his chair. "No Doctor Hopper I am most certainly not. I just want to feel like me again instead of all these conflicting memories, thoughts, ideas…" He trailed off waving his hand around as he looked around his living room.
"Well that is why I keep coming up here for our sessions Jefferson, so you will get better. I know Regina is hoping for the same thing."
Jefferson laughed at that thought. "Sure she is."
"She loves you Jefferson."
"She loves the idea of keeping me in my place." The words were out of his month before he knew what he was saying.
"What do you mean by that Jefferson?"
His words echoed in his head and he knew them to be true. "She loves to remind me that she is better than me a Queen.. I mean mayor." He quickly corrected himself with a slight shake of the head. "And I am just a …" He trailed thinking Thief. Pirate's son. Peasant to himself.
"You are better than that witch any day, Jeff." Hook told him before disappearing.
"You are just what Jefferson?" Doctor Hopper questioned.
He shook his head not wanting to answer as he once again shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
"Our time is almost up for the day just finish your thought and we can end our session a few minutes early if you wish."
Jefferson's fingers gripped the arms of the chair and he gave a little huff before he finally said. "I know my place."
"How old am I?" Jefferson questioned Regina half way through their dinner that night.
"Are you serious?" Regina laughed. "You don't remember how old you are?"
"I just feel much older than twenty-eight. I feel like I have done so much more than could be possible in only twenty-eight years on this earth."
Regina looked him over closely a slight smirk playing at her lips. "Well before the accident you certainly did travel a lot for work."
"Yes…work… for the art museum in Boston." Jefferson used his fork to play with the food on this plate, trying to believe the words he was saying.
"And don't forget your personal shop. We had to sell it after the accident to move here but you have always been a collector of interesting items. You just have to look around your house to know that is the truth."
He shook his head. A collector that sounds about right, I have always liked to gather things from my trips.
"I always did like to listen to stories of your travels." Regina smiled before taking a sip of her wine.
"Yes I remember enjoy all those nights by the fireplace over a hand of cards…" Jefferson trailed off suddenly realizing he was remembering his nights at Rumple's Castle with Aurora. "I… I am sorry I am misremembering again you don't play cards."
"No I don't." She coldly commented before adding. "A true Lady doesn't play cards."
"Now you sound like Belle." He bit his lip the second the words were out of his mouth. If you don't have anything real to say Jefferson just don't say. He hissed in his head to himself.
Regina cocked her head looking at him questioningly. "I am sorry I don't think I know a Belle."
Jefferson bit his lip staring at his plate as he thought about how all those years ago he had turned Belle over to Regina for his own freedom. One question kept repeating itself over and over in his head, getting louder each time he thought it until he finally had to let it out. "Did you kill Belle?"
"Kill Belle?" Regina laughed. "Jefferson what do you think I am? You create these fictional characters and believe I have killed them all. Is Belle a new blonde hair girlfriend of yours I am supposed to have killed in your made up fairy tale world?"
"No she isn't and you know it." Jefferson yelled slamming down his fork. "She was Rumple's girl and you wanted to hurt him, or maybe you just wanted him to kill me for taking Belle to you? I don't know what you really wanted with her, but bringing her to you was suppose to earn my freedom."
"You don't look very free from me Jefferson." Regina mocked him.
"No I am not." He took a deep breath gaining confidence. "I got away for a few years but you found me and tricked me into helping you again. And then you left me in Wonderland but that just wasn't punishment enough for you…"
"Stop right there!" Regina shouted. "Listen to yourself. Wonderland again?" She stood up. "I have had enough of this; I have bigger problems to deal with tonight then your crazy memories."
Jefferson thought about chasing after her but he saw the ghostly image of Belle appear across the table from him. "Belle." He whispered leaning forward as he heard the front door slam shut. "I am so sorry for giving you to her."
"I am not dead." She smiled at him. "I am too important for her to just kill and you know it. I am still locked away here in town. Only here everyone is a prisoner not just me."
Jefferson felt the tears on his cheeks before he realized he was crying. He watched Belle disappear leaving him alone in his huge empty house with only his conflicting memories to keep him company.