"And that is how the curse would work." Regina finished with a whisper as she stared across the room her eyes focused on the brightly burning fire in the fireplace." Her and Jefferson were naked under her fancy sheets, and she was leaning back on his chest.
His arm trailed up hers moving her long dark hair to the side so he could whisper in her ear. "And would I be there too?"
"Of course, it is to be my happy ending, we would be married."
"Married?" Jefferson laughed.
"What don't you like that idea?"
He felt Regina stiffen in his arms. "Not if our wedding is just a false memory. I mean it is one thing to take a wedding day from a man, but to miss the wedding night." He playfully nibbled at her ear before finishing. "Now that would be just down right cruel."
"Well, I could just have us engaged and we could have all the fun of planning the wedding and the wedding night."
"As interesting as all that would be, this whole curse is a terrible idea your majesty." He told her as his fingers traced over her bare shoulders.
"Terrible idea why?" Regina turned slightly pulling the covers close to her chest.
"Well first of all the level of dark magic needed to create such a spell would be a cost too high to pay, it would change you. And I happen to like you just the way you are. All this curse talk makes me think you are spending too much time with Rumple."
"Me spending too much time with him? You live with him."
"Yes but I am his business partner not his student."
Now it was Regina's turn to laugh. "Please, you have been his student since you were a kid if he has damaged one of us it is clearly you. Besides the whole idea of any curse is it isn't supposed to be fun for the people you want to get revenge on."
"That's true enough; I am not arguing that simple fact. But this idea you have has you living the same day over and over again too. Even if it was a good day you would soon grow weary of it. People may say they don't like change but without it we would all go mad."
Regina laughed again.
"Don't believe it my Queen? How about this for example." He moved back behind her pulling her closer as he talked. "What if I were to come in here and do everything we just did and do that over and over again for the rest of time."
"It feels like you want to do what we just did again all ready." Regina smiled as she felt Jefferson's body against her.
"You know I don't like to waste our time together, since I don't get to see you every night. And don't get me wrong you are great fun; it always is with you my dear, but nothing changing repeating the same day in and day out. You would soon grow bored with me."
"Jefferson I could never grow bored with you."
"Oh it may take a few months if you are lucky but you would. Now if you were going to truly punish someone you should have it that they remember and are stuck watching the day over and over again as everyone else doesn't realize it is repeating. That would be a terrible Hell to live in." Jefferson shuddered at the thought. "Though I am not sure anyone could have wronged you in a way that would desire such punishment, not even Snow."
"Oh Snow will get what is coming to her, don't you worry." She smiled at him before she leaned back to kiss him.
Jefferson jerked back from her kiss waking up in his bed seeing the clock blinking 8:15 am. Beside the clock was a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales.
"The same day over and over again. That evil witch did it! She cursed us all to her happily ending and for some reason she picked me to receive the worst punishment instead of Snow? What the fuck Regina?" He yelled at the empty room as it flashed from his modern bedroom to the one he had shared with Alice.
He stood up walking over the window and looked down at the town. "Well two can play this game Regina you made a mistake of making these rooms change between this reality and the past. Everything I need is in Rumple's Tower Room."
Jefferson was smelling powders and herbs in the little glass jars he had pulled from the potion rack when he heard the crash behind him. He turned to see Aurora falling to the floor. She was out of breath like she had been running and it appeared like she had hit the table knocking some mixing bowls to the floor with her.
Jefferson was at her side before he could even get out her name helping her to her feet.
"How did I get here again?" she asked him her eyes wide with terror. "That beast whatever it is was chasing me again and …"
"Nothing is chasing you Aurora. You are safe here with me. There is no one else in the house but me."
"I don't understand how I can be here with you. The curse…"
Jefferson fought the urge to argue about how she was dead and hadn't lived long enough to marry him let alone for the Dream Curse to take effect, but he thought better of it and simply led her over to towards the lab table where they had spent more hours than they could count together.
"Don't worry about that now, I am glad you are here I need your help to mix up a special powder."
"Since when do you need my help to make a simple powder?"
"Since I am a little more than out of practice; I haven't made a truth powder in at least seven years." He held up two jars. "I know I am forgetting something, was it a dash of this or was a dash of this one?"
"Seriously?" Aurora looked him questionly. "You aren't lying you are out of practice. It isn't either of those." She moved past him to the shelf "Rumple usually kept it up here. She reached up pointing to a jar which was just out of her reach.
Jefferson moved over behind her reaching up and pulling it down. "It is a good thing my brain imagined you when it did or else this potion would not have worked tonight."
"Imagined me?" Aurora huffed. "Please it is me who is imagining you. I don't know why my brain keeps mocking me and making it seem like you are still alive. This Dream Curse gets worse by the day. Or at least what I take as a day, but that is really just an educated guess at this point. I no longer have any idea how long it has been since Maleficent struck me with that bloody needle."
Jefferson smirked at her; he had missed how she had always tried to logically explain things for which she didn't understand. I would love to believe that she was still alive, just sleeping in the Enchanted Forest waiting to be woken up by a simple kiss, even if it is her Prince and not me who will do the waking. I would gladly give her up just for her to still be alive. He thought sadly.
"Why are you smiling at me like that?"
"Because you always did hate not knowing something, or not being in control of the situation. I told you just like I told Belle, there are things in life which your books wouldn't prepare you for."
She couldn't help but smile back at him. "Well one of us had to read and worry about things." She teased him back as she watched him mixed the ingredients together and ground them into a fine white powder. She moved closer "So who is this truth powder for?"
"Regina? Why are you talking to that witch, after everything she has done to us?"
"Trust me it isn't by my choice to talk to her, but with this I can finally find out what is real." He poured a little into a tiny glass vial holding it up to the light.
"Did you steal that from Victor's lab?"
Jefferson laughed. "If everything I remember is true then yes I did."
Aurora gave him puzzled look. "Why are you using that vial, and not your ring?"
"I… I don't know where my ring is." He lied. He felt his cheeks grow warm at the outright lie. He had sold his rings and many other of his expensive things to help pay for food and other things Grace had needed growing up. He felt suddenly embarrassed by the fact that he couldn't easily supply Grace with what she had needed.
"You don't know where it is? Seriously… " Aurora started to look around the work area for it. "what is up with you? I know you are a hallucination but seriously not knowing where one of your most valuable tools are?" She moved some papers off to the side and spotted the ring. "Here it is!" she beamed turning to face him.
"What?" Jefferson asked in shocked. "It is here?"
"Yes, I found it." She walked over to him taking the tiny vial and filling the ring
"You found it."
"Yes I did now are you going to stand there repeating everything I say or are you going to let me put it on your finger?" he held out his right hand and she slipped it on to him. "There now don't lose this again, alright?" She asked looking up into his eyes.
He gave her a soft smile. "I promise I won't lose it, Rory." A part of him knew she wasn't really there but he lifted her chin and leaned down to kiss her.
But at the last second she pulled back looking over her shoulder. "Did you hear that?"
"It's back… Jefferson it's back…and it wants to kill me." She pulled away from him looking around the room trying to see where the monster was going to come from. "I don't have my magic I won't be able to stop it if it gets me."
"Then run!" Jefferson ordered. She looked at him her eyes wide with fear. "Run Aurora and don't stop until you lose it again." She gave a quick nod as she turned to run and Jefferson watched as she disappeared from the room.
He stood there a moment tears playing at his eyes. His left hand played with the ring on his finger. "This is real… I am cursed here and seeing Aurora is just one of the side effects, she is dead. That is what is real." With one last look at Rumple's Tower Room he turned and walked down the stairs to go prepare for dinner.
After dinner Regina and Jefferson moved into the living room. He had been carefully to not bring attention to his ring all throughout dinner now as he moved to refill her glass he let her see it.
"Where did you find that ring?" Regina asked nervously eyeing it as he refilled her glass.
"It was up in Rumple's Tower Room, but come now Regina you know that as well as you remember what I would use it for; don't you?"
"You…" She looked at her wine glass. "Did you drug me?"
"You are going to tell me the truth Regina, there is no holding back tonight." He sat down beside her on the couch moving closer to her. "I saw to that when I slipped a little something into your wine earlier."
Jefferson watched as she squirmed up against the arm of the sofa uncomfortably as she realized all power had shifted from her to him.
"You aren't really a Mayor. Oh sure you have leadership skills but I am sure you still prefer the title of Queen to Mayor. It has only been a week and I can see the fun as worn off already. So much for happy endings am I correct Your Majesty."
"Stop it. You know I told you not to call me that."
"Yes, why did you do that? I mean you always did like to remind everyone else that was Your Majesty."
Regina glared at him but didn't answer.
"Come now Regina why so quite tonight. You seem to have liked the fact that I am the only one who stands up to you this past week. I am the only one who is any challenge to you, who questions you in this town."
"So you finally figure it out did you Jefferson?" Regina smirked. "I have to say I am a bit disappointed in you. It took a week for you to piece it all together. Your time in Wonderland really messed with you. You used to be much quicker than this. " She lowered her wine glass on to the coffee table in front of her.
"Are you saying everything I have been telling you all week is real?" Jefferson leaned back from her in shock. He really didn't think the conversation would go this way. "The powder I placed in your wine worked?"
"Oh the powder is worthless." Regina laughed. "Did you seriously think I would give you real supplies to create your own magic here in Storybrooke? I think not. I saw to it that I am the only one with that kind of power here."
"If the powder didn't work then why tell me the truth now?"
"Because you are right. You are the only challenge to me here. The only one who questions me. Who can and will fight with me. I lied earlier when you asked about me about Graham. Yes we are sleeping together."
"You are sleeping with the HUNTSMAN?" Jefferson pulled back from her even further, suddenly filled with anger and he wasn't sure why he was so mad at this fact. It had been years before the curse since he had had any romantic feelings for Regina but he was furious just the same. "That backwoods flea ridden want to be wolf? By Gods Regina next thing you know you will be fucking Robin Hood."
"Well after this conversation I sure as hell won't be FUCKING YOU!" She screamed getting to her feet.
"No, you most certainly will not!" He yelled matching her tone as he got to his feet. "How did you do it? How did you bring us all here? Why aren't they rebelling in the streets?"
"Because they don't remember who they are. They all have new names, and memories. Like you said everyone looks up to me here, this is my happy ending."
"Even your precious Rumplestiltskin lost to me in the end Jefferson."
"Then that means Grace, Alice, Aurora, Victor, Belle… and Rumplestiltskin, are all real."
"Well two out of the six are dead. But I am guessing knowing that fact doesn't make them seem any less real when you see or talk with them. Tell me how did the conversations with them go? Did they both blame you for their untimely deaths?" Regina moved closer to him as she mocked him.
Jefferson stood his ground against her but he whispered. "I didn't kill them."
"Did Belle blame you for her being locked up all these years?"
Jefferson felt his shoulders shake as tried to keep it together in front of Regina. "You know I had no other choice." He hissed.
Regina circled him as she continued. "No with Belle you really didn't; but stealing Aurora way from the safety of Rumple's Castle, and taking Alice on a job in Wonderland, stealing from the new Queen of Hearts. And as if that is bad enough you go and leave Grace to go back to that horrid place with me." She shook her head disapprovingly.
He stood there fluming at her comments. "I did everything I could to keep them safe and alive. And you know I would never have left Grace… you betrayed me!"
"I betrayed you?" Regina laughed. "Please you betrayed me years before I ever got a chance to start my revenge."
"Started your revenge, you mean you aren't going to let me out now that I figured it out?"
"Let you go?" Regina laughed. "You and I are the only ones in the whole town who know the truth. No one would believe you even if I did. Your beloved Doctor Frankenstein would lock you up in a tiny padded cell. Don't you think this huge mansion is a much better living arrangement for the rest of time?"
"Rest of time? How did you create this spell? To cast this kind of dark magic, you would have had to kill…" He trailed off not wanting to think about it.
"I killed my father."
"You what?" Jefferson asked appalled.
"I used you to find the one thing I loved most in the world." She forced herself to swallow thinking about how close she had been to using Jefferson's own heart that day. "Then I killed it to create my happy ending."
"Regina this is ridiculous you have magic so you can fix this. There is no other magic here… it's basically the same day over and over again. You get a kick out of it now, but it is starting to lose its effect already, this will drive you mad."
"Don't attempt to worm your way out of this Jefferson. You will not be able to talk your way out of this one with that golden tongue of yours. But as you have found out I gave you plenty of instruments so at least you will have something around that you can still manipulate." Her fingers trailed over the keys on the piano. "I even gave you all the storybooks from this world that you crisscrossed during your portal jumping days. Sure they won't be quite the stories you used to tell Grace…"
Jefferson stood there in shock at Regina's confession, finally finding his voice at her Grace comment. "Why… why would you do this to me? Out of everyone I would have thought Snow…"
"The fact that you have to ask shows you deserve this punishment."
"Punishment? This is beyond punishment, these duel memories, the rooms changing every time I open the doors."
"What you don't like the double rooms? Not knowing what you are going to see behind each door you open? I thought you loved all the different worlds the doors in your precious hat could take you to."
Jefferson stood there shaking his head in disbelieve.
"Look at you, you are not even sorry at all are you?"
"Sorry?" Jefferson hissed. "You have ruined my life more times than I can count and you expect me to be sorry for something I did to you?" He yelled.
"Maybe one day it will all fall" she mocked falling with her fingers, "into place." Regina hissed before she walked over to the door.
"What about Grace?"
Regina 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."
Jefferson stood there clutching his fingers tightly.
"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." She turned and started down the steps towards her car.
Jefferson just stood there suddenly realizing the prefect hell Regina had created for him. So far from town but unable to leave, trapped without his hat but cursed to never know what was behind the next door he opened, so close to his daughter but unable to go to her, stuck with all the ghost of his past for the rest of time and as if that wasn't enough she gave him both his real and fake memories to torment him.
It was his daughter's voice coming from behind him which made him turn around. He saw her ghostly image standing there in the hallway.
"This has to do with the Queen's visit doesn't it? Whatever she wants you to do don't do it. All I need is you Papa."
"Grace!" He shouted as she disappeared. Jefferson raced back into the living room picking up the piano bench. He turned and threw it through the front window. The glass broke and he rushed to climb through the window but he once again hit the magical barrier.
Regina turned and shook her head slowly at him "Did you really think it would be that easy?" she called back up to him before continuing to walk back down the drive to the road where she had parked her car. His screams filling her head for many nights afterwards.