Dreams of Stars (A Once Upon a Time/Jiminy Cricket fanfic)

This is a New Character fanfiction of "Once Upon a Time", and it's written to be parallel with the original show. It adds backstory to Jiminy and Geppetto.

I've added my own character to "Once Upon a Time"--the girl from this old English fairy tale, "The Stars in the Sky": http://www.essentia.com/book/stories/skystar.htm

In the Enchanted Forest, the little girl--named Kaelin--became friends with Jiminy Cricket in her quest to reach the stars. In Storybrooke, she's 17 and named Bridget, and she has to see Dr. Archie Hopper for her serious struggles with feelings of failure and lack of confidence.

Recommended for people who have watched "Once Upon a Time", but if you haven't, this might get you hooked on it. Just be careful--there are spoilers. ;)


2. Enchanted Forest


          In the Enchanted Forest, Bridget was called Kaelin O’Hara. Back then, she was just a young child, running through the broken, cobblestone streets of her village. It was late evening, but she didn’t have time to wait until tomorrow. She had to find them before they left. She had to find the people who could save her mother.

            Finally, at the edge of town, she caught them: three people riding in a tall cart full of trinkets and puppets. “Wait!” she gasped, stumbling around to the front of the carriage. She couldn’t let them leave. “Wait, help me!”

            An older man with long, straggly, blonde hair and a straw-colored mustache frowned down at her.

            “Please don’t go—I…I heard you had special medicine, and…my mother is very ill,” Kaelin pleaded, panting.

            A grin broke the man’s stern face, and he turned back toward the cart, muttering something to the passengers. A brief, whispered argument issued from behind the ugly, patterned curtains, and for a moment, Kaelin was worried that they might not help her. Then a young man hopped out of the back of the carriage. He had reddish, curly hair, an oval-shaped face, and round glasses that seemed a little too small for his eyes. “We—can help you,” he stammered, “Just let us take a look at your mother—see what she needs.”

            “Thank you, sir!” Kaelin cried. She ran to him and flung her arms around his waist. For a moment, the young man hesitated. Then he put one hand on her head.

            With a clatter, a witch-like woman with dark hair piled messily on her head came leaping out of the carriage. There was a burlap sack slung over her shoulder, and it tinkled with the sound of many tiny bottles. “Our services don’t come free, of course,” she added breathlessly.

            “I know,” Kaelin said, turning to her with a frown, “Just please look at her, and if you have the medicine she needs, we’ll pay for it…” She turned suddenly so they wouldn’t see she was crying and started heading up the street, leading the three to her house.

            The young man fell in step beside her. He opened his mouth and took a breath as if to say something, but then he fell silent.

            Kaelin rubbed away her tears with the back of her hand. “What’s your name?” she asked quietly. She could tell that he cared, even if the other two didn’t, and it was reassuring. She liked him already.

            The man seemed momentarily astonished, but then he replied, “J-Jiminy.”

            Kaelin smiled in spite of herself. “I like that name,” she said, “I’m Kaelin.”

            “If…I may ask, why did you come to us for help?” Jiminy said, “Don’t you have a doctor in this village?”

            “We do, but he can’t figure out what’s wrong with her,” Kaelin explained, “But I heard from someone that you were selling special medicines.”

            “We might not be able to do anything either,” Jiminy muttered, looking off to one side. The orange flame from a streetlight illuminated his face for a few moments, but then he was cast into shadow again.

            “Maybe, but it’s worth a try. I’ll do anything to save her,” Kaelin declared, clenching her fist, “She’s all I have left. I have to save her.”

            Jiminy stared at her in silence.

            Stopping in front of a small, thatched-roof shack, Kaelin said, “This is it.”

            “Oh, dear, you’re very poor, aren’t you?” the straw-haired man observed in a low voice.

            “But we might be willing to make a discount if need be,” the woman jumped in, holding up one finger, “Since your need seems so urgent.”

            “Thank you, ma’am,” Kaelin said with an anxious smile. She swung open the creaking door to reveal a single room, divided by a curtain. There was a straw bed in the corner, and a thin woman lay in it, tossing feverishly. Her hair was black and straight, like Kaelin’s, but it was twice as long and soaked with sweat. She also had olive skin like Kaelin, but it was darker and tinged with gray. She moaned softly, and Kaelin ran to her side and clasped her hand. “I’m here, Mama,” she whispered, “I found someone to help you.”

            Her mother nodded weakly, and breathed out. Yet when her breath came, it was accompanied by a thin, black cloud, like smoke.

            Jiminy frowned. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

            “I have,” the woman interrupted, shooting him a glare, “And I know just the thing for it!” She turned to Kaelin, “Sweetie, what you need is a Mermaid-tear Elixir.” She reached into the bag and pulled out a tiny, glass bottle with a blue-green stopper. The bottle was filled with a clear liquid. “It doesn’t look like much,” the woman went on, “But it’ll clear your mother’s disease right up! A rare disease—mind you—and it needs a rare cure, but one which is sure to work! Mermaid’s tears are hard to come by.”

            “I can testify that it will definitely work,” the older man joined in confidently, “Our boy Jiminy—” he clapped a hand on his shoulder—“He wasn’t born yet the last time we saw something like this. That’s how rare it is. But that time, the Mermaid-tear Elixir healed this disease in a day. You can’t go wrong with it. Your momma will be up and cooking dinner for you by tomorrow!”

            “Now, there’s just the matter of pricing…” the woman began carefully, “As I’ve said, Mermaid’s tears are very rare, but since your need is so urgent, and you may not be able to afford it, we might be able to give you a discount. Do you have an offer?”

            Kaelin had no experience in haggling, but she knew that currently she and her mother had a little over 100 silver coins. She hoped that perhaps offering half of that would be enough—though she didn’t even know if that would be too much. “What about…50 silver coins?” she proposed hesitantly.

            “Fifty!” the woman gasped, taken aback, “That isn’t even close to covering the cost of the elixir itself! Do you want us to go broke, girl? Do you have any gold coins?”

            Jiminy winced and looked away. “Please, Mother,” he begged in a strained voice, “Just give it to her for that much.”

            “Yes, Jiminy, I understand how you feel,” his mother soothed, “She needs it so urgently, and you just want to help. But how will I be able to put food on the table for you, boy, if I keep selling medicines for less than it takes to make them?” She turned again to Kaelin. “Please, child, can your family afford, perhaps, 100 silver coins?”

            Kaelin swallowed hard. If that was what it took, that was what she would do. Better to be broke than an orphan. “Yes…” she answered, “We can afford 100.”

            Jiminy held his peace, but he seemed distressed. He shifted on his feet and blinked rapidly, pressing his lips together and staring up at the corner of the room.

            “Fine,” the woman sighed, “We’re losing money on this one, but I could never let someone die just for the sake of profit. You get the money, and I’ll give you the elixir.”

            Trying to control her shaking, little Kaelin went through the curtain and pulled a small, wooden box from a nook in the wall. Opening it, she counted out 100 silver coins, then brought them back to the woman. Jiminy’s mother counted the coins again to make sure it was the right amount. Then she handed Kaelin the bottle. "Have her drink it all at once tonight,” the woman instructed, “She should begin to feel better by tomorrow morning.” The family turned and began to leave.

            “Thank you so much,” Kaelin said warmly, curtsying to them, “I don’t know what I would have done…”

            At the door, Jiminy suddenly stopped and turned to face her again. “I’m so sorry,” he told her quietly.

            “It’s not your fault she fell ill,” Kaelin replied.

            “No, I’m—really…sorry,” Jiminy mumbled, looking down quickly, and then back up at her. He couldn’t meet her grateful, dark brown eyes.

            “You haven’t done anything wrong,” Kaelin whispered, clasping his hand for a moment.

            Jiminy went away.

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