"I told you I deliver." He smugly commented playing with his hat as he walked behind Regina right before a gate came crashing down blocking their only exit from her mother's vault. "No!"
"Mother!" Regina complained.
"How lovely." He stated letting go of the bars as the walls started moving towards the center of the room.
"Your majesty!" Victor shrieked. "I'd say we need to find a way out."
"Jefferson your hat." Regina ordered.
"Your mother's spells on the vault won't let me!" He huffed putting on his hat as he tried to push the moving wall back into place.
Regina tried to focus her magic.
"What are you doing?" Victor asked panic filling his voice
"Trying to get us out of here." Regina explained squeezing her eyes shut as she tried to cast the spell.
Victor looked around the room which was getting smaller by the second. Spotting a statue at the far end of the vault he called over. "Jeff." Pointing at the statue he added. "A little help?"
He rushed over to help Victor move the statue laying it on it's side to stop the walls from closing in on them. He straightened up readjusting his hat on his head. "Nice thinking Doc."
"Thank you." Victor managed to get out as he dusted himself off, but the three of them only had a moment's rest before the ceiling of the vault started to come down on top of them. "Come on, now what?" Victor screamed.
"Your Majesty!" He waved his hands at Regina to use her magic to get them out. He watched as she tried but failed again as the ceiling came closer and closer moving them down towards the ground.
"I am trying!" Regina shouted back trying to summon the spell to save them all.
"Come on try harder! Your Majesty come on! Your Majesty!" He screamed grabbing ahold of his hat as he crouched down on the ground.
Jefferson woke with a rush of adrenaline from his nightmare. He looked around seeing his modern looking bedroom instead of the Regina's mother's vault. "This is worst then my nightmare, at least in my nightmare Regina got us out. Here she has me trapped forever."
"No not forever, there is always a way out if you are smart enough or resourceful enough."
Jefferson spun around towards the voice of his friend, seeing Victor's ghost standing on the other side of the room.
"You taught me that lesson on one of our first trips together."
"I know you are real but you are not really here. You are just a part of this curse; Regina's sick twisted little joke on me. You are just a hallucination, a figment of my imagination."
"I most defiantly am a figment of your imagination but that doesn't mean I don't speak the truth. There is no reason for you to not let me help you. For example all these hallucinations have helped you figure out how much you are in over your head here."
"Oh yes, I am in over my head stuck here without any magic so what do you suggestion good Doctor Frankenstein?"
"Well you have already started writing things down so you will remember everything which happens during your time here, but those memories are not the only thing which needs to be documented. What about everyone else who is stuck down in that dull little town. Don't you think their tales need to be remembered as well?"
"You always did give me too much credit Victor. I know a lot of things, about a lot of people, but I don't know everyone's story down in that fake little town."
"But you know enough to record a history of our time."
"Why does it matter if I record our history?"
"Because magic comes from a base of power there has to be something to keep it going. This world doesn't have magic on its own. Regina can't create new magic here. She can only use what she has brought with her. This curse and the magic powering it Regina can't keep it going for ever."
Jefferson stood there a moment before he slowly shook his head in agreement. "Writing everything down would at the very least give me something to do to pass the time. This spell is powerful but a spell can't last forever." He laughed. "Even if she did bring over her vault and she has access to magic she will eventually run out of her sources and you are right she can't create new magic here in this realm; no one can."
"And when she runs out and the curse starts to fall apart you can be ready."
"Yes, I can get my daughter back." He felt himself flash a cocky smile across the room at the ghostly image of his friend. "Nice thinking Doc."
Jefferson spent most of his day up in the attic with his telescope drawing a very rough outline of the town. He planned on using all the cartography skills his father had taught him to going back over it, adding in details and making sure to calculate in the correct distances at a later date. He would definitely take special care to make note of all the ways to successfully maneuver through town for when he could finally escape his prison on the hill.
For if there was one thing he did realize it was he had plenty of time to learn the layout and the ins and outs of the brainwashed people down in Storybrooke, because sadly he knew it would be quite some time before the curse's power would fade and start to crack.
But he also reminded himself with time frozen he wouldn't have to worry about Grace or himself growing older. That fact was the only real plus of this whole cursed life. For when it did break he would have his daughter back and she would have barely aged from when he left her with the neighbors in the Enchanted Forest that day Regina tricked him into going to Wonderland.
That night over dinner while he looked over the rough outline of the town he was visited by another ghostly reminder of his past; Alice.
"I can see the wheels in your head turning; you always were sexy when coming up with a plan." She walked across the room coming up behind him and draped her arms over his shoulders.
Jefferson knew she wasn't really there but he could almost feel her arms wrapped around him. He closed his eyes remembering a time when they could touch each other as much as they wanted too.
"I am going to get our daughter back. It may take time but no matter what Regina thinks she can't keep Grace away from me; forever."
"Yes it is good to see you calmed down and finally thinking clearly." She leaned closer giving him a kiss on the cheek.
Jefferson grew stiff for a moment wishing what he felt was real instead of just a faded memory.
"Magic like this can't last forever." Alice whispered in his ear. "Curses always have ways to be broken."
"Yes and with Rumple down in that town acting just like one of the other drones just buzzing around I am sure this one does have an expiration date. But Rumple is over three hundred years old; he has spent most of that time waiting for the right time to finally get his son back, so time is not important to him. Who knows how long he will let Regina think she has won, until his opportune moment arrives and he can spring whatever plan he has into action."
"No matter how long it is, you know to you it will seem longer. Your day resets like theirs but your memories don't. Time will move very slowly for you my love, I hope you can keep focused and not lose your mind like you did in Wonderland."
Jefferson stood up shaking her off of him as if she was really there. "This is nothing like Wonderland. I can at least see Grace here and know she is alright. Like you said and Regina pointed out she is being take care of. I am just beyond grateful for however long the curse does last, she doesn't remember me and long or worry for me like she must have all those months I was lost in Wonderland; for it is the not knowing part which truly drove me crazy."
"Yes it is strange to think that her not remembering either of us is a blessing." Alice quietly whispered as she moved closer to the table to look at the map he had been working on.
"Well I have always had to count my blessing where I could." He moved forward taking her hand in his. "I swear to you Alice, no matter how long it takes I will make this right again." He raised her hand to his lips giving her a kiss. "I will make sure our daughter comes home where she belongs."