Major AU Pan's Curse verse: It's the first Christmas since the curse broke, and the family is determined to give Henry a Christmas to remember. But what happens when something comes to light that his parents never saw coming? As in the Enchanted Forest, Baelfire and Emma experience their first Christmas as princess and prince, and their first royal dilemma. Swanfire and Outlaw Queen coparenting H/C, and young Swanfire holiday fluff. An early Christmas gift for GleeJunkie007
A/N: Hey all, here with another shorter holiday story written as a surprise early Christmas gift for one of my fanfiction friends GleeJunkie007. This one requires a bit of background. It is based on an RP that I am part of with an abused Henry element and fast forwards a bit from where we are AUing the AU that we created with a what if post our current point in the storyline. I came up with the idea when I was listening to Christmas music, and this premise is based on three particular Christmas songs that I adore. Ring in the Season by the cast of Frozen from Olaf's Frozen adventure particularly the line "It's the first Christmas in forever since we opened up the gates, and it's the first Christmas I remember to date and it's already worth the wait.", When Christmas Comes to Town from the Polar Express, and Believe by Josh Groban also from the Polar Express. A bit about the RP that can help in understanding this story. The curse was cast by Pan when Henry was three years old, he is the savior, and unlike Emma, he was unable to escape. As a result, Henry and our OC Sierra Mills, daughter of Zelena, were raised by Pan as brother and sister, and both were abused but Henry got the worst of it. Emma was also in an abusive relationship with Walsh. As a result this story does have trigger warnings for discussion of past abuse.
It had been a month. Snow had fallen on the ground in Storybrooke and Regina's was decorated for the holiday season. They had come to terms with not being able to return home, and Pan had long been defeated, but the aftermath still stuck with them. The imp had done his damage.
Roland was sitting with Henry and Sierra at one of the tables, and Regina noticed that Roland was once again talking their ears off: telling Henry about the enchanted forest no doubt.
Baelfire was in the back, in the kitchen helping to prepare a few of the menu items. He had kept his job as had Emma, figuring if they couldn't go back they may as well make the best of it. It was a crapshoot whatever way they swung it, but keeping the town running well, that didn't stop even with everything else. His in-laws taught him that. And without Pan's vise grip, and with Snow and Charming taking the reins, well things ran a lot smoother.
It hadn't escaped Baelfire's notice that Henry's gaze had kept going to the door, and the hot chocolate in front of him had gone untouched, despite Regina's added touches. It was a lot for all of them to process, but no one more than Henry. His boy had had his heart broken several times over, and even with Regina's advice, Bae still had no idea how quite to approach his son about all of this. He had been doing his best to help Emma. They had been to see Archie and were working through it slowly. But with Christmas three weeks away, Bae couldn't help the emotions that were coming up. Their son's childhood had been utterly destroyed. His wife had been hurt badly and it broke him more than the damage he himself had been dealt by his grandfather's hand.
"Baelfire," Regina had entered the kitchen. "You're still working?"
Regina frowned. "Well, stop." She said. "I've got this."
"Your Highness, if you don't go talk to your son so help me…" Regina teased.
"Alright, I get it." Baelfire replied. He moved aside and went out to the front.
"Christmas was always the best," Roland was saying. "There were parties and Dad would help us find our very own tree. And he helped Baelfire find a tree for the palace too."
Sierra noticed Henry's expression was unreadable, not unusual, but now it was even moreso. "Roland…" She hissed. "Knock it off." It hadn't been easy these last few weeks. Finding out everything he'd known had been fake, well not fake not really. Pan's damage had been real for both of them. But Sierra had memories with her mom, holidays in the Enchanted Forest, getting nursed when she wasn't feeling well. Henry… Pan had been the only parent he'd known. And then Regina and Robin. He hadn't known Emma and Baelfire as his mom and dad. And yet, hearing that they were...and they hadn't even known well that was crazy.
"What?" Roland looked over and then noticed Henry's face again. "Oh...I'm doing it again, I'm sorry."
"It's okay…" Henry smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. "It sounds like it was fun."
Roland nodded. "It was. David let you put the star on the tree,". Roland flipped through the book and found the picture. "See?"
This will never not be freaking weird. Henry thought as he studied the illustration of little him in David's arms in front of a giant Christmas tree. "That's great," Henry said. He was trying to enjoy hearing the stories Roland was telling and his part in them, but it was all too strange. It was easier when it had been the four of them on the couch reading the stories as just that, stories. Sure he'd managed to break the curse, but this was still odd. Especially since he was older than them and they remembered all of it.
"Hey guys," Henry looked over to see Neal...no Baelfire...no Dad...ugh whoever he was, come over to their table.
"Hey Neal," Henry nodded in acknowledgement.
"What are you guys doing?" Baelfire looked to the three kids.
"I was telling Henry about Christmas back home." Roland said.
"Oh?" Baelfire said taking notice of the book and the illustration. "You know, that day almost didn't happen,"
Roland looked to the prince, confused. "It didn't?"
Baelfire shook his head. "Almost. And it was because I wanted to make a good impression."
Henry took a drink of his hot chocolate, trying to hide his wince as he swallowed. That had hurt. "A good impression?" He cleared his throat.
Baelfire looked to Henry. "You alright there bud?"
"You know things didn't start well with us?" Baelfire confirmed.
"David and Snow didn't want you with Emma," Sierra nodded. That had been the first story they'd read together the four of them: her, Henry, Roland and Regina.
"Well, even after things were forgiven, it was...still hard to fit in." Baelfire said. "Especially since our Christmas traditions were so different."
"How different?" Roland asked. "Like me Mama and Dad's?"
"Well, that depends…" Baelfire smiled. "How big were your Christmas parties?"
A/N: So that's the introduction. It seems Henry is uncomfortable for more than one reason, and Baelfire is going to share a bit of his past.
Fun fact: This was originally going to be two different stories but I decided to combine them into one. This is also the first story in a self—imposed Christmas challenge where I am going to attempt to write OUAT short stories or oneshots based on different Christmas or Holiday songs, Two others of which I am already planning so if you have any suggestions please feel free to send them my way. I hope you enjoy. Next chapter should be up at some point tomorrow or Tuesday if my anticipated writing time is able to happen.