Henry Daniel is done.
Absolutely and utterly done.
Dark amber eyes watch in disgust as Emma and Hook ca-noodle together and Regina fawns over Hood.
Thirteen years old and Henry Daniel is utterly disgusted with ‘twu wuv’.
He wants to scream.
He wants to cry.
‘Why can’t you see me?!
Am I not important? . . . '
It’s been forever and a day since his mom’s have actually spoken to him. A pat on the head and then they’re off with their “better” halves.
A sneer pulls at his lips and Henry feels much older than his thirteen years.
The Nolans or Charmings or whatever they want to be called now are in a fantasy land. Built with dreams long dead and true love.
It’s called rare for a reason.
Henry Daniel is done.
And that’s an understatement.
There was a reason Henry went looking for the Savior.
It wasn’t just for some Curse found in a book or an ‘Evil’ Mother.
It was because Henry was lonely.
He had no friends. He had no life.
He had a tyrannical woman who definitely did not know how to be a mother.
What could you expect from a woman who murdered hundreds and dabbled in the darkest of magics?
Life had been good when it was Operation Cobra and Emma became Mom.
But when the curse broke.
Everything went to crap in a top hat.
The Charmings were so in love with love that it practically gave one cavities just being in the same room.—though he tried. He tried so hard to fit it in.—
Regina seemed to be obsessed with him and Emma seemed to agree that he was a possession. Not a boy.
Not a son.
And that hurt quite a bit.
Then life seemed to say, ‘you know what? This kid’s life isn’t at all that fascinating. Let’s throw in another curve ball!’
Baelfire was Neal Cassidy.
Neal Cassidy was Emma Swan’s baby-daddy.
Lies upon lies.
Deception seemed to be encoded in his DNA.
Henry stares at his father— isn’t that strange— and almost groans.
He’s related to Rumpelstiltskin.
How much more sideways can his family tree go?
Not only is his adoptive mother his actual step-great-grandmother and his bio-mom his step-great-niece—this tree is more like a spiderweb for Circe's sake.—But now he’s related to the three hundred year old imp?
Neal-Baelfire—That wasn’t confusing at all.— his father was actually quite nice. And Henry felt a spark of hope down in the frustrated cockles of his soul.
But then Nealfire’s stupid icky feeling fiance showed up.
Rumpelstiltskin wasn’t helping matters either. Henry didn’t know quite what to do with the man.
All he did know was that he didn’t quite like Belle’s treatment of his favorite Grandparent.
And yes. Rumple was his favorite.
He always was.
Then Freaking Neverland.
Here Henry’s naivety truly withered and died.
His believers heart was taken advantage of and ripped out of his chest.
Then Great-Granddaddy pulled a body switcharoo and no one was the wiser.
That one hurt quite a bit.
Then New York with dazzling lights and Henry had friends for the first time in his young life.
Something felt wrong.
Out of place his skin itched for something hidden.
Here’s where our story truly begins . . .
Henry Daniel Swan rushed through the crowded city streets. Mouth pulled in a frown as he wandered seamlessly. Looking as one without purpose.
Henry was lanky, brown curly hair drifting down to his brown eyes. His eyes scanned the crowd lazily. Skin itching, his frown deepened.
For weeks now, the boy had been investigating the itching. Surprised— yet not— when it turned into an intense game of hot and cold.
Was calling to him.
And Henry Daniel was more than willing to find it.
The itching led him underground.
A bar called the Dragon’s Tongue. Strangely, he wasn’t afraid as he strolled into the dank bar. Surrounded by people his mother would put behind bars. The itching writhed across his skin, leading him to a table in the dark.
It was an old man.
Yet . . .
His skin soothed as the itching reached a crescendo. The man stroked his thin white beard. Near black eyes smiled up at him.
“So. This is the magician.”
Oh hell in a crap sack.
What the ever loving heck did he get himself into?
The man’s name was unknown, “Names have power young Magician.” And so Henry called him Rafiki.
The ghastly man grinned.
It didn’t occur to Henry to run screaming away from the man. No.
That seemed to be an idiotic thing to do.
The itching stopped with this man.
And Henry’s poor abused heart—the heart always remembers.— trusted the man at first syllable.
Stupid thing, he thought fondly without knowing why.
Rafiki called him Simba and that made the young boy roll his eyes.
Secretly he loved it.
And when his mother asked where he was all the time he answered the arcade and she didn’t blink twice.
When Rafiki narrowed his eyes at the boy for being late, the truth always came spilling out.
“We are a dying breed, Simba,” the elderly man sighed, his old form seemed to age further before his eyes.
It was a rainy day and yet they both sat in Central park. Bums soaked from the grass and coat’s hardly keeping the deluge of of them.
“Why?”—If the old man said belief, then no matter how fond, Henry would smack him.— the frown that appeared was directed more at himself, the thought had popped up out of nowhere.
Rafiki cackled. “Crusades.” Vortex eyes twinkled at him, as if reading his thoughts.
“Nasty things. People who believe magic doesn’t belong.”
The old man snorted, taking a sip of rainy tea, “What do you think?”
Henry thought that he hated the tea.
He also thought it was ridiculous that magic didn’t belong. It . . . Raced through the earth and filled the stars.
It was in the air and it was wonderful.
He also thought that ‘magic’ was to loose of a word.
Rafiki’s grin grew feral.
Henry took that to mean that he was pleased.
Meditation sucked. Honestly it did.
Rafiki’s disposition changed one late night. They were on top of a high riser. Underneath the stars— to connect with the heavens, young one, don’t roll your eyes!— they mediated. Their goal: to strengthen their connection to the energy that flows every which way.
A man in a suit with a nasty smile.
A smirk and a fond look.
“Young Mr. Mills.”
Henry snapped out of his mindscape, stars and planets inside his mind spiraling out of control. Brown eyes wide and ‘I’ve never met that man in my life!’
His chest ached.
Grasping at the abused organ, Henry gasped and groaned.
Rafiki’s withered hand slammed against his apprentice’s chest.
And so he obeyed.
His head ached and his heart . . . Well.
A nasty laugh echoed around the empty apartment.
His heart wasn’t up for discussion.
He had a father.
He knew magic and fables and fairytales.
And his life was a— beautiful-stupid— lie.
“I didn’t have magic before.” He tells his Master while they spar.
His friend cackled, sending fierce blue fire across the mat. “You didn’t now?”
He slammed to his stomach. Rolling his eyes at his Master’s old trick, “You know, you use that one all the time.”
“Maybe I’ll stop once you start.”
And so he does.
He pulls energy from his bare feet. The bamboo mat offered up a swirl of green swirling through his soul.
He breathed, pulling in oxygen and white.
Pulling his elbow back he then slammed his open palm against the air, letting out a burst of pale green fire toward the man.
He never did get his answer.
But he won the spar.
Things are wonderful.
Life races through Henry Daniel’s veins.
And it’s marvelous.
Three weeks before Hook shows up, Rafiki takes him to seaside late at night.
“I’m dying.” He informs him without remorse.
Some how, Henry thinks, he knew this.
“Oh,” he manages, eyes tearing and his abandoned heart— treacherous thing— aches. “How long—”
“When the sun rises.”
Henry Daniel’s heart wrenches. “How long have you known?”
The older magician smiles wryly. Glancing out across the calm waves with peace in his gaze.
Suddenly he remembers.
Rafiki hums, a true smile lighting his wrinkled mess of a face. “Yes. I sent out a call. A petition for another magician. One I could teach in the old ways and make it so . . . “
Black hole eyes latched onto deep honey. “So I wouldn’t leave this land without one of us.
There are things I haven’t told you.
Things I never will.
But, dearest apprentice. Know this.
One can only ever have one apprentice in your whole life.”
A cackle goes through the air.
“And I’m glad it was you.”
His weathered hand reaches up to touch his young friend. Tears welling and falling.
“Now now. It’s time for this old man to step aside. And for another last magician to take my place.
I’ll never be far from you, dear Simba.
But, there can only be one Master and one Apprentice out in the world.
And our time here.
When he reached and touches Henry’s bare skin. A jolt of light and energy.
Henry’s eyes glisten and the shock goes through his skin.
The Master grins fondly at the boy. “My name is Farad, dear one.”
And with those final words.
He split into a million pieces.
Like fireflies, his physical form broke and faded. A swarm of light reared back before plunging into Henry’s being.
He jerked back, palms cutting against sharp stones.
He passed out.
When he wakes, it’s a woman walking her dog in the early day. Asking frantically if he’s okay.
What a silly question.
The most important person in his life just became bleedin fairy dust and vanished inside his chest.
‘Oh hush, young one.’
Wet honey eyes went wide.
A cackle swarmed through his ears.
‘You won’t get rid of me that easily, Henry.’
A loud laugh and Henry’s heart is soothed.
It takes a bit to sooth the lady though.
But Emma doesn’t notice.
She never does.
Then Hook shows his disgustingly attractive mug.
And Henry Daniel is done with this man.
He claims to be Emma’s true love.
Which quite honestly makes him sick to the stomach.
Killian Jones was Milah— his grandmother— ‘s lover.
Killian Jones was, essentially, his step-grandfather.
And he fancied himself in love with his mother?
Emma’s memories are back and Henry plays the clueless card.
It shouldn’t ache so much that she believes him so readily.
‘Is it strange that I wish her to fall in a bed of lava stones?’ Farad speaks, and Henry imagines his near black eyes narrowing in disgust at his blue eyed mother.
Henry Daniel chuffs. Fighting a smirk.
“She is my mother, Master.” He states, yet doesn’t say anything against his comment and Farad preens.
‘Lad. I’m more your mother than she ever will be. Now. Form rashni three.’
Henry huffs, but moves his body accordingly into the kata.
“I thought I was the Master now.”
‘If I had my way, you wouldn’t have absorbed me until your thirtieth year!’ he humphs inside his mind. ‘I had a limited time table. You’re not a Master until I say so.’
Henry grins, shaking his head fondly.
Storybrooke left Farad less than impressed.
“It feels sick here. Different.”
‘Very good, Apprentice. If you hadn’t noticed I would have warped back in time to kill myself before I thought of taking an apprentice.’
Henry lets out a huff, rolling his eyes heavenward.
“Of course, Master.”
His Grandma is pregnant.
‘Your family tree is all whacked up, Simba.’
‘I call it how I see it.’
And that’s that.
Surprisingly it’s Granny who points out that Henry isn’t acting, well, like the naive little believer.
When questioned—honestly this feels like an intervention.—Henry almost snickers at the thought.
Farad has no such qualms as he cackles away in Henry’s mind.
Oh dear Lord.’ He hollers, energy zipping as he laughs. ‘Can’t you picture it, Simba? “Now Henry, it’s okay. We’re just worried about you. You’re hot cocoa addiction is to much! We’re here for you!”’
Henry struggles not to sigh or laugh. Focusing on his ‘family’ in front of him.
Even Regina is there.
And she wasn’t even supposed to be ‘family’ at this point.
And so, he tells them a shade of the truth.
“I remember. Have for a while now. I also hate Hook. So, yeah.” He shrugs and lets the chaos let loose.
This. He didn’t miss.
He slips out in the dead of night.
He’s got a Grandpapa to find.
‘This green wort is an abomination’ Master growls as Zelena shows up.
“Green, Master?” he asks and both Rumple— who had been both flabbergasted and drinking in the familiar sight of his grandson— and Zelena look at Henry like he’s lost his mind.
They shouldn’t be so rude.
‘Yessss.’ Farad hisses, Henry pictures his near black eyes lit with fire as he glared across at the red headed witch. ‘Destroy her. Now.’
“Yes, Master,” he replies before lowering to the ground. Hands sinking into damp earth.
Rumple and Zelena are confused, The Dark one concerned at the boy’s possible insanity.
“Boy what are you—” she doesn’t get another word out before Henry starts to chant under his breath.
And great big vines shoot out of the earth.
The older magic wielders stepped back, eyes widening at the snake like roots.
With variant of the chant, they swarm and dart. Reaching the woman before she can speak. Let alone move.
They wrap tightly around her, turning dark as they tightened. A smaller root gagged her thin mouth. Digging into her skin without a thought.
“Now, now, Auntie,” Henry grins, rising up from the ground. He passes his shell shocked Grandfather, reaches to her hand and rips the dagger away from her. “You have something that’s not yours.” His pubescent voice rings through the clearing and Master is roaring inside to KILL.
Without turning to the suddenly stiff Dark One, Henry holds out his hand. The dagger grasped lightly in his palm.
“Here, Grandpapa, I believe this is yours.”
Rumpelstiltskin blinks owlishly at this boy. This boy that everyone has over looked.
That he had almost forgotten.
His hand shoots out and takes the dagger. Form wilting with relief when its firmly in his possession once more.
“Thank you, Henry,” he rasps, clutching the boys shoulder.
Henry then looks at him from beneath his fringe—oh dear goodness he looks like Baelfire.— and smiles.
Rumpelstiltskin is shocked to see it as his own.
“What’s family for, eh?”
The next shock is when Henry gulps and murmur's, “Yes, Master.”
The boy kneels down to the ground and chants under his breath. He stops for a moment, looking up and into Zelena’s eyes.
“I’m sorry I didn’t know you better.”
Rumple and Zelena both look down at the lanky boy, fear and something else lacing through the air.
Henry lowers his gaze, “But . . . You just feel so wrong.”
And then the vines crush her.
Her screams are muffled pitiful things. Her bones crunch and her skin tears.
Henry Daniel gulps, his eyes focused on the ground as he chants.
The ground opens and the vines take her corpse down below.
And Rumpelstiltskin takes a step back.
Henry Daniel rises from the ground. Throat bobbing, fists clenched.
He turns to the side.
And promptly loses his entire breakfast.
Before Rumple can do a thing, his entire body shifts and morphs into Nealfire and Henry doesn’t pass out only due to his Master threatening him.
‘I’ll make you run five laps around this entire town in the morning if you do!’
Henry wisely refuses his offer.
Nealfire doesn’t know what the ever living heck is going on. All he knows is that his son is right there.
And that’s enough for him.
Evidently, Nealfire and Belle were idiotic enough to not read the Dark One reservation manual and so they didn’t bring a person or animal they cared little about to sacrifice.
Life for a life.
Time never lived for the rebirth of another.
One man’s potential for another.
And Farad groans and buries his head in his hands. ‘Idiots.’
Henry Daniel quite agrees.
And so with the help of Farad, and three deer, they separate the two. Henry sits on the ground, catching his breath as the father and son reunite. It was a teary reunion but then they both broke apart to kneel next to the boy.
“Hi,” he greets with a tired wave.
No one speaks as the deer hit the ground dead and Farad sighs better the deer than you.
Henry Daniel promptly passes out, taking unconsciousness as a way out of any odd questions his Grandfather and Father might—definitely— have.
He’d deal with it and the five laps around the town when he woke up.