A/N

Hey everyone. Again, sorry for not posting recently. Life has been beyond hectic, but hopefully, things will be better now. I'll try to post consistently every weekend. Enjoy the chapter!

….

Chapter 2

Thalia and Charlie strolled down the sidewalk. The people of the town gave the pair a wide berth and strange glances.

Storybrooke was very quiet. And small. She had only been walking for thirty minutes and had finished a lap of the entire town.

There didn't seem to be any sign of the Truest Believer. Or of any children at all for that matter.

Charlie raised his head up, sniffing and wagging his tail. He gave a little boof sound and bounded forward.

Thalia's head snapped up, "Charlie!"

He bounded up to a middle aged man with red hair, walking a white dog with black spots. He started a bit, but the two dogs touched noses and said hello in a friendly manner.

She walked up slowly to the man, "Uh… sorry about his… enthusiasm. He's never really been around others like him, so… yeah."

"Oh it's alright." The man cleared his throat, "Uhmm… what… breed is he?"

"Not really sure. Pretty sure he's full blown wolf. Found him as a pup abandoned in the woods. Took him in and raised him. He's my best friend."

"Ah." He seemed very uncomfortable, "and, uh… where are your parents?"

"I don't know. I was stolen by pirates as a baby, and my brother rescued me. He sent me here to do a job, so I really should go."

"Wait, wait, what?"

"Bye mister."

Thalia strode off, Charlie following her. The red haired man stared after her, utterly astonished.

Strange man.

She continued on her way, eyes open for anything new. People kept avoiding her. Thalia stared at the pavement as she walked, trying to keep her thoughts straight and focus on her mission.

She was here to get followers and the Truest Believer. She wasn't here on a vacation.

She couldn't get distracted.

She couldn't be focused on people she would never know.

People who probably never cared.

Never came looking.

Never…

FOCUS.

Neverland.

Peter saved her.

Peter cared.

Peter was the only one who did.

Peter was her only family.

And Peter had sent her here to do a job. And that was what she was going to do.

Thalia was roused out of her musing when she crashed into someone. She fell backwards, Charlie sniffing her worriedly. She looked up to see who she ran into. A tall woman with a black bob, black jacket, and a black skirt stared down at her.

"Who are you?"

"I could ask the same question lady."

"I am the mayor of this town. I know everyone here. Except you. So who are you?"

Thalia stood up and brushed her pants off, "Thalia Pan. Now if you excuse me-"

She made the mistake of meeting the woman's eyes.

They were as black as her coat. Thalia felt her throat close up as images swirled through her mind.

Screaming.

Crying.

Blood.

The woman almost had a visible aura of darkness surrounding her.

She was not normal.

And she was not someone to mess with.

Thalia stood frozen, staring into her eyes until she cleared her throat.

"Is there something wrong?"

Thalia got her breath and pivoted on her heel, turning tail and fleeing. Charlie barked and chased after her. Her mind was blank except for one thing.

Run.

Run as far as you can as fast as you can.

Get away from the woman who radiated evil like the sun radiated warmth.

She tripped, her mind coming to in a flash as she zoned in on the churning black water below. She felt something grab her from behind, pulling her back. She landed with a hollow thump on the wood. Charlie whimpered, pressing his head against her side, licking ever exposed bit of skin he could find, mostly her face.

"Thanks bud." She panted, "You're always there for me."

He whimpered again, making a deep boof sound in his chest.

"Yeah, I know boy. I got lost in my head. I really ought to stop doing that."

He laid down next to her, putting his head in her lap. Thalia smiled and scratched his ears.

"Thanks boy. I owe you." She sighed and stood up, "Come on. We have a job to do."

They walked for a good minute, testing doors on the buildings. Finally, one door popped open.

"Here we go."

They walked inside, looking around. Thalia saw a switch, flipping it. Lights flickered on, adding to the light filtering in through the grimy windows. The building was of a decent size, probably no larger than camp back home.

There was a desk in one corner, covered in papers. A stack of three open metal containers made a little hollow underneath. In another corner was a pile of tarps.

She looked around and smiled, twirling in a circle, "This will make a lovely base camp. It even has a hidden exit through that hollow. Ooh! A map of the town! That's helpful!"

She sat at the desk, stacking the papers into neat piles. The drawers were unlocked, filled with files and writing implements. She found a compass in one.

Charlie trotted over to the pile of tarps, dragging them into one of the empty containers, kneading them into a nest. Thalia leaned back in the chair, grabbed a pencil and a sheet of paper, and sketched out every building she saw, from the library, to the little diner, to the pawn shop.

She went over her work, comparing it to the map, making mental images of where she would need to go. Her finger brushed across the glass protecting the map. There was a large building near the center of the town, one she hadn't seen yet. Little caricatures of people were walking into it.

She leaned in.

They looked like…

Children.

Thalia smirked, "Found you. Looks like you have your own little group. That'll change."

There was a banging on the door she came in through. Thalia whirled around as Charlie stood at the entrance of the container and growled.

The banging kept up, "Is anyone in there?" a man's voice called out.

Charlie slowly stalked closer to her, growling lowly.

"This is the sheriff, open up!"

Charlie growled a little louder.

The door shook.

He was trying to break the door down.

Thalia took a step backwards unknowingly.

The door flew open with a crash. A tall man with reddish-blond hair dressed in leather stood in the doorway. He stared at Thalia and Charlie incredulously.

A woman's voice rang out, "I told you she ran to the docks sheriff."

The woman from earlier stepped out from behind the man.

He coughed and stepped forward, "Right, I'm going to ask you to come with me quietly."

Thalia stood frozen as he stepped towards her slowly, reaching out a hand to her. she turned and bolted for the other door, Charlie at her heels.

"HEY!"

She reached the door, swinging it open, ready to bolt, to lose them in the maze of buildings.

But there was a slight obstacle in her path.

An obstacle in the form of a small petite woman in a petticoat and pencil skirt.

Thalia ran into her full force, knocking them both over. The woman grabbed onto her and held on as Thalia squirmed and thrashed as best she could. But she couldn't escape.

Charlie lept over them, ran a few feet, then turned and woofed at the two struggling on the ground.

"Charlie, go! I'll find you, I promise!"

He pawed the ground, whimpering.

"GO! I'll find you! Don't let them get you!"

He whimpered, but turned and ran.

The man and woman walked up to them, staring after the tail that disappeared around the corner.

The woman straightened her jacket, "we can call animal control after it. Thank you Ms. Blanchard for assisting."

The woman nodded as the man grabbed Thalia, holding her still, "It's no problem Madam Mayor. I'm glad to help."

Thalia struggled as the man half walked, half dragged her to a car, putting her in the backseat. She went to both sides, looking to open the doors, but there were no handles. She tried to get to the front, but there was a metal grate preventing her.

The man got in the car, the engine rumbling to life.

"Where are you taking me?"

"The police station. I have some questions for you."

"What are you going to do to me?"

"Nothing. We're just going to have a little talk, and then we'll be sending you home."

"I doubt that."

"Don't worry. I'm not going to hurt you. I just need to ask you some questions about why you're here."

They pulled into a parking lot in front of a small stone building. He stopped the car, opened a door, and grabbed her hand, leading her inside.

He set her in a room with a table and two chairs and a large pane of glass. She stood in silence for a bit, then sat facing the door.

Eventually the door opened and the man walked back in. He set a glass of something white on the table, with a plate of brown discs that smelled sweet.

He sat down across from her, then motioned to the plate, "Not hungry?"

"I have no reason to trust the man who kidnapped me."

He smiled, chuckling, "It's not poisoned. It's just milk and cookies."

She sat back with a huff.

He chuckled, picked up a cookie, bit into it, then waved his hand at her, swallowing.

"Proof enough for you?"

Thalia stayed silent, but she tentatively reached out and grabbed one, bringing to her mouth, taking a small bite. It was warm and soft, and was sweet, but not too much. The dark brown bits had a rich, decadent taste that coated her mouth.

She looked at it in surprise as the man laughed, "Never had a cookie before?"

She shook her head, taking a larger bite.

"Right. Well, I'm Sheriff Graham. What's your name?"

Thalia swallowed, "Thalia Pan."

"Pan?"

"Yes. It's my brother's last name."

"Your brother's?"

"Yes."

"And where is your brother?"

"Back home."

"Where's home?"

"Far from here."

He nodded, "and where are your parents?"

"I don't have any."

Graham frowned, "You have no parents?"

"They abandoned me when I was born. My brother saved me from bad people. That's all you need to know."

"And the wolf?"

"My best friend. What have you done to him?"

"Nothing. We can't find it."

"Him."

"Him?"

"His name is Charlie."

"Ok then." he wrote something down, "Why are you in Storybrooke?"

"That's none of your business."

"Alrighty then." he stood up, "you stay here. Eat some more. Drink the milk. It's good for you."

He walked out, closing the door behind him. Thalia stared at the closed door, then looked at the plate.

The cookies were good.

Best thing she had ever tasted.

Better than the fruit of Neverland. And they filled her with warmth. It reminded her of summer days running on the beach with Peter.

And she hadn't eaten in three days.

She had been too excited for her first solo mission.

Her mission…

What was she supposed to do now?

She had a job to do, and she had just figured out how to get it done.

But now, she was stuck here. With strange adults prying into her business. Charlie was missing.

Everything was going wrong.

This wasn't how it was supposed to go.

She felt her hand brush something cold and smooth.

Thalia looked down.

The plate was empty. She was warm and full. She had eaten all the cookies. She cursed softly under her breath, but didn't really regret it.

She eyed the glass, her mouth drying up. She lifted it to her lips and took a sip.

She spat it back out. The liquid was foul.

But it wasn't the worst thing she'd ever had.

Thalia tipped her head back and drained the glass.

Leaning back in the chair, she crossed her arms and looked around. The room was bare save for a bookshelf, covered in various files and books.

The door opened again, and her head snapped back to the door.

Graham walked in, with the dark woman following him.

"Right, Thalia, I'd like you to meet the mayor. This is Regina Mills. Since you don't have family in the area, Ms. Mills has agreed to take you in. at least until we can figure out a more permanent solution."

Thalia scowled, "and if I refuse to go?"

"Sorry, but I'm afraid you have no choice."

Thalia kept scowling as the woman stepped forward, "I'll take you in until we can contact someone. And if you behave, we won't ship off your friend to a nature reserve."

She huffed, staying in her seat.

Graham sighed, then waved his hands up, "Come on. There's no use fighting us. Chances are you'll be sent with your brother to a foster home, and then a forever home. Or if the Mayor decides, you can stay with her. Now come on."

She sighed, but stood up, following the mayor out through the doors. Regina held the back door of her car open and Thalia climbed in.

The plan was falling apart.