Four years later.
It was pretty hard being both a fourteen years old teenager and the king of a kingdom, Henry knew it well now.
After all that had happened, Rumplestiltskin telling to him and the queen about this town, this parallel universe, he had went back home, and it had been difficult to go back to a normal life.
It was even harder when you had no one around you to guide you well.
Well, it was not entirely true.
He had Pinocchio and Alexandra (who were happily together now), and a lot of people trying to help him to do things right.
But it didn’t change the fact that he was just a kid who had lost all his family.
It didn’t make disappear his desire for revenge against the woman who had ruined his family.
It didn’t stop the pain he felt in his heart every time he remembered that his own mother had abandoned him.
That she had chosen to go with the Evil Queen, even though this one had killed her parents in front of her eyes.
What did she have exactly in this Storybrooke town which worth leaving the place where she had already everything ?
Why would she want to go back to a world where the Evil Queen was her friend ?
That was something he just couldn’t understand.
Henry guessed he would never know.
He wanted to kill her.
He wanted the former queen to die, to pay for what she did, he wanted her to suffer as she was herself making him suffer, and when these thoughts occurred to his mind, an uncomfortable feeling twisted his stomach.
Henry knew it well, his family wouldn't have wanted him to want revenge while he should have wanted justice.
But now, they were gone, so, what they would have wanted him to do didn’t matter anymore.
This idea could have make him laugh and cry at the same time.
Before he lost everyone he had ever loved, this word meant a lot of things to him.
But now ?
Hell, this word seemed to be so vain to him.
His father had died at war.
His mother had left him alone.
His grand-parents had been murdered in front of him, and they were gone for forever while their assassin was free to live her life peacefully and it made him sick.
He would never get justice for all the things and people he had lost.
She thought they weren’t real, but he didn’t care at all.
It didn’t change what she had done.
Real or not, what she had done was a terrible thing, and he would make her pay for that.
He would show her, he would show to this monster that they were real.
No matter how far he would have to go, or what it would cost him.
Henry didn’t like Rumplestiltskin.
Well, no one in the Enchanted Forest liked him, to say the truth.
The young man didn’t trust him as well, obviously, and the first time the wizard proposed to make a deal with him after telling him about this parallel world, in order for them to both get their happy endings, he had refused, of course.
The Dark One was a villain, full of darkness and bad intentions.
Only a fool would have accepted to make a deal with him.
Or a desperate soul.
That he was not, not yet at least.
But time passed, and even though Henry tried to keep hope, to keep fighting on his own, against the different threats he had to face, well…
It was definitely not enough.
He had tried to stay strong, not to give up, not to fall, and yet, it hadn’t been enough as well.
I know how to recognize a desperate soul.
The King was not surprised when the Dark One came back one day at his castle, and he should have said no, he should have hated him for proposing to him a deal which would do nothing to him but darken his soul, but here is the thing…
He didn’t care at all, not anymore.
He just wanted things to be as they used to be.
He wanted to fix things, to make things right, and if it was impossible, then, he just wanted the person who had destroyed his life to pay for her crimes.
She had ruined him, hadn’t she ?
Then, he would ruin her as well.
He didn’t know how.
He just knew he would.
Hadn’t he been completely drowned in darkness, he would have found it terribly sad, that he was going to make his own grand-son fall into darkness.
Had Baelfire or Belle been still alive, maybe that he would have cared.
It was not the case.
But to discover their deaths after he escaped from his prison, to see her bones and his son’s grave had been enough to destroy his mind for forever.
No one had saved the people he used to love while he was locked up, those who could have saved him from the dark.
He wanted them to pay, he wanted the heroes to pay.
He would take their happy endings from them, since he couldn’t himself be happy anymore.
And he would do so through his grand-son, who should have been a hero himself, if the Regina coming from Storybrooke hadn’t destroyed everything.
It was brilliant, and twisted.
The kid didn’t know, of course.
Baelfire had never told anyone that he was the Dark One’s son, of course, as if he was ashamed of being his son (and he probably was).
Emma (the one from the Wish Realm, not the Storybrooke one) may knew it, as well as Pinocchio, Alexandra and Lily, since they were the closest people to Neal while he was still alive.
Maybe he had told them, and made them promise to keep the secret.
And no one had told the truth to Henry.
He would never tell him anything.
“What do you propose then ? The knight asked him, seeming so, so tired that Rumplestiltskin almost felt sympathy for him and what he was going through.
Instead, his smirk just widened.
It would be easier to break him then.
- What I want is really simple, your majesty, he added, and Henry could feel the irony in his voice. I want to get my revenge on those who wronged me (liar, liar, the rests of his conscience screamed at him), and I want you to do the same.
- I guess you can’t bring my family back.”
Rumplestiltskin’s mask cracked for some seconds, and hell, he really would have wanted to feel sad for him.
“Unfortunately, no. But, maybe you can.”
Henry started, surprised.
“What ? What do you mean ? How ? I don’t have magic powers.
- No, indeed. But, you see, the other you, the one living in Storybrooke…
- The one for who my mother abandoned me, the king muttered bitterly.
- Yes… Well, he is the Author. A person with great magical abilities who can turn everything he writes into something real if he uses a magical quill and a magical ink…
- What does it have to do with me ?
- He is the Author… and so are you ! If we succeed to get the magical items we need, then, you can write something about your family being near you again, and TA DAM ! They will be with you the second after you write it.”
He didn’t tell him it might not work, he didn’t talk about the three unbreakable rules of magic, he didn’t tell him neither the price it would cost to him if it worked.
“Fine… you know this is not the only thing I want. I want this… Regina Mills to pay too for what she did to me.
- And you will deary, I promise you you will get what you want, you will get your revenge. And so will I !
- What is your deal then ?
- The deal is, again, really simple. As soon as we get the quill and the ink, I will ask you to write something for me, and when it’s done, you will be able to use these objects to do what you want. Simple, right ?
- Yes, Henry agreed.
- So tell me young man… Do we have a deal ?”
Henry thought back at a time where everything was much more simpler, where his grand-parents were still alive, where his father was still there, where his mother hadn’t left him alone, a time where Alexandra and Pinocchio were not both broken and trying to heal together through unhealthy ways, where he was happy, and safe and sound.
He thought about the day where Regina Mills had crushed his grand-parents’ hearts without showing them any mercy, and where her mother had been so scared that she couldn’t have left with her willingly.
Or so he thought.
He thought about what this other world had taken from him, his family, his happiness, his childhood, his faith, his innocence, and he realized suddenly that the answer was almost painfully obvious.
“Yes, he answered with no hesitation. We do have a deal.”
As they shook hands, Rumplestiltskin grinned a new time.
He was going to ruin him so much.