His hat had brought them back from Wonderland in the clearing outside of their little house. He stood there a moment holding Alice's dead body unsure of what to do now that he had made it back to the safety of his house.
He forced himself to take the next few steps into the house laying his wife carefully on the bed. He fixed her hair and sat there a moment before feeling over run with anger at himself for being so stupid for letting Alice talk him into taking such a dangerous job in Wonderland.
"You have never listened to me about Wonderland! You always thought of it as your home away from home, and because of that silliness you are now dead!" He shouted to the empty room.
He sat there taking the hat off his head looking at what had always been his most prized possession. He suddenly realized he hated it; and all the worlds it could lead him too. "No you are dead because of this damn hat!" He stood up slamming it down on the table a few times before it slipped from his hand and he kicked it over and over again into the corner where its case was.
"Fuck this hat, I am done with it!" He shouted falling to the floor and grabbing the case. Throwing it open he shoved the hat down inside it. He sat there breathing heavily a moment before shoving and kicking the hat box back on the lower shelve as he desperately tried to get it away from him.
He grabbed his head as he felt a fresh set of tears on his cheeks.
Jefferson looked up towards the door. "Oh God Grace! What am I …" He staggered to his feet somehow moving himself in between the bed and the door right as his little daughter swung it open.
"Papa!" she called out as she rushed across the room throwing herself at him.
He dropped down to his knees catching her in his arms as his neighbors come to the door. "Grace." He whispered holding her tight.
"Grace was right you two are back." The woman smiled until she noticed his disheveled appearance and tears while he held his daughter.
"Papa I was so worried I thought you and mama were never coming home."
He released her in front of him, his hands nervously moving to fix her hair and dress. "Grace darling there is something I have to tell you. "
"Are you crying Papa?" she asked. "Where is mama?"
"She got hurt Grace, and there was nothing I could do about it" He heard his voice breaking but somehow he got the next words out." She died Grace."
"What do you mean she is right there?" She pulled away running to her mother. "Mama? Mama wake up!" She cried giving her mother a shake. "Papa, why won't she wake up?"
"Grace she can't I am so sorry." He picked her up in his arms before he collapsed down to the floor beside the bed, crying with her. "It's all my fault I never should have accept the job."
"I don't want you to go on any more jobs papa, they like your stories are too dangerous."
"I am never going to leave you again. No more business trips I promise." He held her tight his mind racing. I will have to find some other way to support Grace. Oh God what can I do. How am I going to raise a four year old by myself?
Jefferson woke up gripping his pillow tight. "Grace…" He muttered sitting up looking around a moment before closing his eyes realizing he was in an even worst place than his nightmare had been.
It had been five years since he had woken up stuck in this house on the out skirts of Storybrooke, and he had fallen into a routine. He would use the telescope to follow Grace to school and spend the rest of the morning working on his map of the town. Breaking for lunch he would watch Grace at recess, and then write down something he remembered from his old life in the Enchanted Forest, before following Grace home from school.
Today after school Grace was hanging out with two other kids and they were messing around in the woods. From the telescope in his workroom he was unable to follow her as they moved farther out into the forest. So he took the telescope up to the attic.
By the time he found her again the other two kids had climbed up a rather large tree and Grace was trying to follow. Jefferson watched as the tree branch she had pulled herself up on snapped and she fell straight down landing hard on the ground.
"Grace!" Jefferson shouted jumping up losing his daughter for a second before he was able to reposition the telescope. His little Grace was hurt; she had pulled herself up to her knees holding her arm. Without thinking he raced down the stairs down the hallway to the main stairs sliding over to the front door he threw it open and hit the magical barrier Regina had in place.
"NO! NO! NO!" He screamed in frustration as he pounded and kicked on the barrier. "Damn it Regina!" He pounded once more on the invisible barrier before yelling. "My daughter needs me!"
Not able to leave the house he raced back up to the attic looking through the telescope again. The other kids had run off and Grace was all alone there holding her arm to her chest and crying. "Grace… oh my baby girl." He muttered as tears of frustration at just how helpless he was fell down his face.
He looked around the attic this morning thanks to Regina's curse once again looked like Rumple's Tower Room.
"There has to be something here in this room to break this spell." Jefferson started throwing the empty bottles, scanning the ones which were filled but they were all useless here. Because just like Regina had taunted him the first week of the curse all the helpful items were useless lacking their magic properties here in this non-magical world.
With no potion to create he went back over to the telescope. The kids had come back with a man whom Jefferson recognized as his neighbor back in the Enchanted Forest, the same man who thanks to Regina, Grace thought was her father. He watched as the man helped Grace get to her feet.
"That should be me."
"But it isn't dearie. You couldn't save her mother what makes you think you could save her?" Rumple's giggle filled the room. "You couldn't even save Aurora." He mocked as he put a record on.
"Shut up!" Jefferson screamed taking the telescope and hitting the record player over and over again as Rumple's laughter turned into Aurora worried voice.
"Jefferson stop! What are you doing? You loved that recorder player."
"It isn't the first time I destroyed it. I broke it into a million little pieces the morning after you died."
"I told you I am not dead Jefferson."
"Don't start that again." Jefferson muttered hitting the recorder player a few more times.
Aurora let him throw his fit before she told him. "I destroyed the recorder player a few days before my curse fell into place. I was so upset that it was there and you were not. But Rumple just fixed it all with a wave of his hand."
"No, go away! I can't do this today." Jefferson turned pointing the telescope at her. "I can't stand here and let you run on about how you are alive and I am the one who died. I know that isn't true."
"Maybe we are both alive?" Aurora whispered. "What if Regina and Rumple..."
"NO! I can't… I can't do this anymore! 1826 days! Five years stuck here, in this huge empty house, ALONE! There has to be a way out of this stupid house!" He rushed down the stairs to his work room.
"One of these hats… I had a bit of magic before coming to this land, I have to be able get it to work. Get it to work! Get it to work!"
"Jefferson please don't start that again."
"Alice!" He gasped turning around, suddenly feeling ashamed of his behavior.
"Don't go back to that dark place my love. Please for your own sake as well as Grace's"
"That's why I need a hat to work. Grace she fell, I think she broke her arm. I can't leave this fucking house! I can't go to her, to help her. I am her father and I am stuck here while she is hurt and all alone."
"She isn't alone Jefferson. You may not be there but she is going to be taken care of. Our neighbors will see she makes it to the hospital."
"Damn it Alice, that isn't the point. I should be the one doing it!" Jefferson screamed at the ghostly image of his dead wife. "Why aren't you angry with me? I left her. I went with Regina and now she is all alone."
"They are taking her to the hospital. Victor will see to her. He will make sure she will be fine." Alice turned to her left and there was Victor.
"Victor…" Jefferson shook his head.
"Of course I will take good care of Grace. I would be a horrible Godfather and doctor if I failed to do so."
"No… you two just stop it. You are dead." He pointed at Alice. "And you are stuck down there in that town where nothing really ever changes and you have no memories of our past, so my Grace is no one special to you!"
Both Victor and Alice disappeared as Jefferson started throwing hats. "I have never had enough magic to make things work on my own. That has always been the problem." He grabbed the scissors and started to cut them as he screamed. "THEY WON'T WORK! THERE IS NO MAGIC HERE!" Pieces of the hats were flying around him. He dropped the scissors looking around his room. "It is too neat, too clean… to FAKE IN HERE!"
Jefferson took the guitar and smashed the lights and shelves, he moved to the next room smashing the tea cup lights. He broke all the mirrors in each room, pausing in the bathroom to dump his medications down the toilet before he picked up the guitar and continued down stairs. He broke the painting above the fireplace and attacked the keys of the piano breaking the electric guitar in half. Giving it a kick he went into the kitchen going from cabinet to cabinet breaking wine glasses and plates until finally he came to the tea cups.
He took each one in his hands throwing them around the kitchen at the walls. He enjoyed the sound they made as they broke against the wood or the wall. He only stopped when he heard a different crash hit the floor he turned around and he saw the glued together tea pot which had been hanging above the door way had fallen and broken again.
He walked over and fell down to his knees picking up the pieces.
"Papa I am sorry. I am so sorry!" Grace cried as her ghostly image appeared in front of him. "I knew I wasn't supposed to play with it. I know it was mama's favorite."
"Her favorite." Jefferson muttered looking up from the broken tea pot to his crying daughter.
"Please don't hate me papa."
"I could never hate you baby." He put down the broken pieces before grabbing her tight as she cried. Please let this be real. He thought holding her tight as she cried. "Sh! Grace, my baby girl it is okay."
"Jefferson what are you doing?" Regina asked standing in the doorway of the kitchen.
Jefferson looked up at her not knowing if Regina was really there or not. It had been months since she had last come to torment him.
"You didn't need to break the mirrors. I can't use that kind of magic here."
"Then how did you know I was flipping out?"
"I happened to be at the Hospital today when Paige came in with a broken arm. I figure you would be throwing a fit."
"Her arm is broken then?"
"Doctor Whale was setting it as I left."
"What were you doing at the hospital?"
"Not that you need to know but I was checking in on how two old friends were doing."
"Old friends…" he started but shook his head, not caring about Regina's mocking comment. "Why did you bother to come up here? All this…" He pointed to the mess he made. "will reset in the morning."
"Yes the house will reset but if you choose to do something stupid to yourself, well Jefferson that won't reset."
"Something stupid to myself?" Jefferson questioned her.
"Yes Jefferson." She reached inside her purse pulling out a gun and handing it to him. "It has been five years, how badly do you want this all to end?"
Jefferson started down at the cold metal gun she had given him. He heard his father's voice over his shoulder. "What is that the Queen has given you?"
"A gun? Regina serious?" He looked up at her. "You want me to kill myself?" He laughed.
"You can kill yourself with that little metal thing?" Hook asked from over his shoulder.
"I am just giving you an option Jefferson."
Jefferson played with the gun in his hand as he heard his father continue to talk to him. "If you can kill yourself with it use it to kill her." Jefferson cocked the gun as he tasted the weight of the gun in his hand. "Do it Jeff kill her. If she dies the curse may end. You can be free to find your daughter and your hat. You know she has it."
Jefferson pointed the gun to his own head looking up at Regina who was standing over him.
"Damn it Jeff! Kill her!"
Jefferson quickly pointed the gun towards Regina and pulled the trigger. But the gun only clicked. He jumped up to his feet pulling the trigger over and over again praying for there to be at least one bullet in the chamber.
Regina laughed at him. "Did you seriously think I would have actually given you something that would hurt me? Or let you have such an easy way out?"
Jefferson glared at her as she backed the rest of the way out of the parlor on to safety of his porch.
"I don't think so Jefferson. You are here for a reason and it isn't to die. Remember your daughter Grace already lost her mother. And we both know dead is dead, don't we? So don't try thinking of killing yourself in some other creative way, because unlike this house you won't reset."
"She doesn't even remember me! So why should I care about her finding out I am dead."
"Because if you kill yourself Jefferson my deal with you is done. I won't have to see to little Grace's well-being and I sure as hell don't have to keep up her fake memories. She will be locked up in that little psych ward Doctor Whale is running before the end of the day."
"You wouldn't dare." Jefferson growled breathing heavy as he made his way to the doorway.
"Did you ever think I would dare to do all the things I have done since we first met?"
Jefferson's eyes narrowed as his mind raced with all the things she had done since they had first met that day in Rumple's Tower Room.
"That is what I thought. You don't want to test me. If I have to live with the pain of who I am, I think it is only fair you do too!" And with that comment she turned and walked back down to her car leaving Jefferson to his destroyed house.