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. ;)

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7. Storybrooke

            When Bridget came to Dr. Hopper’s office the next week, she was clearly distressed. “You don’t believe it do you?” she demanded, then immediately became timid: “I—I mean…”

            “Believe what?” Archie asked.

            “Mary Margaret…” Bridget faltered.

            “Oh, you mean—you mean that.” Archie lowered his head, letting out a short breath.

            “You don’t believe it, do you?” she pleaded.

            “I really don’t think we should be talking about this—”

            “I need to talk about it,” Bridget insisted, “We can talk about anything I have to talk about, can’t we?”

            “Maybe, but—why do you care what I believe about it?”

            “Because I…” Bridget hesitated, realizing that the real reason she desperately wanted to know what he believed was because, if he did believe Mary Margaret had murdered someone, she would be terribly disappointed in him. She wanted assurance that he hadn’t disappointed her. “Please, will you just tell me?” she begged.

            Archie gave in somewhat, running a hand through his curly, red hair and looking down with his other hand in his pocket. “Bridget, I don’t know—the evidence…”

            “You mean you actually think she murdered someone?”

            “I-I didn’t say that.”

            “Then what do you really think?”

            “Honestly, I don’t know what to think. But I truly do not believe someone like her is capable of such a thing,” Archie said, and his voice grew firm toward the end of his statement. He met Bridget’s eyes.

            “So you don’t think she did it?”

            “No.” He shook his head.

            Bridget smiled with relief. “Me neither. I don’t know who did it, but I know she didn’t. She’s so kind.” She let herself sink down onto the couch, then looked down at her hands in her lap. “Dr. Hopper, there’s something I need to tell you.”

            “What is it?” Archie sat in his usual chair.

            “Two weeks ago, when everyone was gossiping about Mary Margaret and…that other guy—David? Well, I didn’t like it at all when they gossiped and slandered and said all sorts of nasty things about her. Maybe she did what they were talking about, but it wasn’t right of them to gossip about it, but…” she bit her lip, “I didn’t say anything about it. I should have spoken up and told them to stop, but I was too afraid to. I was too nervous.”

            “And you feel guilty about that,” Archie observed.

            Bridget nodded. “I should’ve—”

            “Well, it doesn’t do any good to ‘should’ve’,” Archie told her, “But I think, when it comes to it, you can be very bold to protect someone’s character. You were very bold about it with me just now.”

            “My conscience kept telling me to say something, but I didn’t. I was scared to.”

            “It’s good for you to understand that you did something against your conscience, but that doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. It gives you an opportunity to improve.”

            There came a brisk knock at the door.

            “Excuse me a moment,” Archie sighed. He got up and went to answer the door. “Oh—Mr. Gold…”

            Bridget glanced over at the door and saw a well-dressed man with chin-length, brown hair standing there. The man was leaning on a fancy cane, and his narrow, evaluating smile revealed uneven teeth. There were deep creases in his cheeks.

            For some reason, the sight of him made Bridget shudder. She had heard about Mr. Gold before, of course. He was always tormenting the Sisters of Saint Meissa about rent. But she had never seen him in person. She sank back into the couch, trying to disappear as much as possible. However, even as she tried to hide there, she could still hear the whispered conversation from the doorway.

            “I received your rent check today, Dr. Hopper.” 

            “Yes. Did you receive the note I attached to it?”

            “The check was one-hundred dollars short.”

            “I know. I addressed that in the letter.”

            Bridget heard Mr. Gold click his tongue. “I thought you knew me better than that, Doctor. I don’t allow extensions. I don’t…compromise.” The last word was spoken so softly that Bridget could hardly hear it.

            “P-please, can we just…talk about this later? I have a patient here.”

            “We’ll talk about it now.”

            “I can get you the money before the end of the week.”

            “You’ll give it to me now, or else you’ll be sleeping in your car tonight.”

            “I’m sorry; I honestly do not have one-hundred dollars right now.”

            “Well, that’s your problem. Isn’t it?”

            No…no…don’t let this happen. Don’t let him do it. Say something! Anxiety rose in Bridget’s chest as she screamed at herself to intervene. She was going to fail. She wouldn’t say anything. But she had to! Suddenly, she sat up straight in the couch. “Mr. Gold, please give him an extension,” she said, and the firmness in her voice amazed her. She stood up and turned to him, then hesitated. Then she took a few nervous steps closer, then hesitated again.

            Mr. Gold met her eyes with an unwavering stare. “Oh? And why should I do that?”

            “Because I’ll make it up to you.”

            One corner of Mr. Gold’s mouth turned up in a dry smile. “That’s funny. I never expected you to propose a deal with me.”

            Bridget thought this was a strange remark, and she didn’t know what to say. She thought she should say something at least, but couldn’t, and ended up standing in awkward silence.

            “Well? What’s your offer—in exchange for me extending Dr. Hopper’s rent another week? What could you possibly have that could make that worth it to me?”

            Suddenly, Archie stepped between them. “She won’t be making any deals with you,” he said firmly, “Fine. Evict me tonight. I don’t care. I-I’ll figure out a way.”

            Mr. Gold leaned to the side a bit, looking over Archie’s shoulder. “Is he telling the truth?” he asked, somewhat humorously, “Will you not be making any deals with me?”

            “You can’t evict him,” Bridget said.

            Archie spun around and grabbed her by the shoulders, looking into her eyes earnestly. “Don’t do this, Bridget,” he urged, “This was my mistake, and it’s my problem. I’ll find a way around it.”

            “Doctor, if she wants to propose something to me, I think you should let her,” Mr. Gold said calmly.

            “Please don’t, Bridget,” Archie whispered.

            Bridget stepped away from him, looked at Gold, and shook her head.

            “Ah,” said Mr. Gold. Without another word, he turned and left, quietly closing the door behind him.

            “What was that?” Archie demanded breathlessly as soon as he was gone.

            “I couldn’t let him do that to you,” Bridget replied.

            “That’s my decision, all right? I-I made a mistake, and now I have to pay for it—you shouldn’t have to be involved.” His brows were knit together in anxiety, and he spoke rapidly.

            “I…I just couldn’t…” Bridget faltered.

            “Bridget!” Archie seized her shoulders again. “Why do you care about me that much?”

            “No one’s ever helped me like this. You listen…” Bridget trailed off, sensing that this wasn’t quite it. 

            “That’s my job,” Archie scoffed, taking a step back.

            Bridget lowered her head. Of course. It was only his job. He was only doing this because it was what his work obligated him to do. She knew that, but thinking about it hurt.

            Archie could tell he had said the wrong thing. “Listen,” he sighed, “I-it’s not like I don’t care, but it would be unprofessional…”

            “I know,” Bridget said, “Sorry.”

            Archie nodded, clearing his throat.

            “Are you really going to be evicted tonight?” Bridget ventured.

            “Don’t worry about it.”

            “But why do you care about me this much?” she asked him.

            “I don’t know.” Archie looked down, hesitated, then seemed to come up with a better answer. He met her eyes. “I just can’t let you pay for my mistakes,” he said, “It goes against my conscience.”

            “Okay…” Bridget said quietly, “Hey…could…we not go on with the counseling session today? I don’t think…”

            “You’re right,” Archie muttered, “I am so sorry about this. It shouldn’t have happened.”

            Bridget nodded, and silently headed toward the door as Archie sat down at his desk. She opened the door and went through it, but then hesitated and looked back one last time. Archie was sitting with his elbows on the desk, running his hands across his face and through his hair with anxiety. In that moment, Bridget clearly saw just how distressed he was about losing his home, and her heart twisted with pity for him. She closed the door softly and walked down the hall toward the exit, her steps quick with nervousness. She would have to go to the first pay phone she saw and call the nunnery for someone to come pick her up early. This made her anxious. Would it be a bother for them to come early? Wouldn’t they ask questions about why she had needed to leave? But, then, she was afraid to walk home in the dark, and the sun had almost set. Besides, she couldn’t just sit in the hallway for another half-hour because she didn’t know when Archie would come out of his office.

            As she stepped outside, a sudden voice beside her made her jump visibly.

            “There you are. I was beginning to think you weren’t coming.”

            Bridget turned in terror to face Mr. Gold, who had been waiting beside the door. “Why are you—?”

            Mr. Gold gave her a curious smile. “I was under the impression that you had given me a signal for us to take this outside.”

            Bridget laughed involuntarily. She had only given him that little headshake because she was too nervous to say anything aloud, but now she saw how it could have been perceived as a signal.

            “Was I wrong?” Mr. Gold said.

            Realizing that she had another chance to help Dr. Hopper, Bridget hesitated. Her heart was pounding I her chest. “N…no,” she replied.

            “Good. What’s your offer?”

            “I’m turning 18 next week.”

            “Ah…” Mr. Gold nodded slowly with understanding, “So you’re leaving the system…the nuns won’t have custody of you anymore. You’ll be free to do other things.”

            Bridget nodded and spoke quickly, “I’m losing my home anyway, so I thought…well, I could…” she floundered, realizing that she hadn’t thought of anything beyond this and scrambling desperately for something. “I could work for you,” she blurted out, “T-to make up for Dr. Hopper’s rent.”

            “Not make up for the rent,” Gold corrected her, “Make up for the delay. I might be willing to give him an extension, but I can’t compromise on the agreement.” He walked slowly toward her, leaning on his cane. “The question now is, what can you do for me?”

            After a moment’s hesitation, Bridget said, “I don’t know. What do you need done?”

            Mr. Gold laughed. “You want me to make work for you like some government program? I don’t think so.” He shook his head and turned to leave.

            “Wait!” Bridget cried, running after him, “There has to be something I can do!”

            Mr. Gold stopped, then slowly turned back to face her. “What if I hired you for a year…” he suggested, “At no charge, to clean my house? It would relieve me of having to pay a cleaning lady, and it just might make up for Dr. Hopper’s delay.”

             Bridget wasn’t sure how to respond. It seemed excessive. “You mean you would still only give him—”

             “A week to pay. Right.”

             How would she take care of herself for a year if she was occupied with unpaid work? And only for a chance that Archie would be able to pay? But still… “Will he definitely be evicted tonight if I don’t?” she asked.

            “Oh, most certainly,” Mr. Gold replied in a whisper, nodding slightly.

           “Then I’ll do it.”

           “Excellent. I’ll call Dr. Hopper and let him know.”

           “Please don’t tell him about our deal,” Bridget begged

          “Oh, yes…he did seem rather upset about the idea, didn’t he? Well, if you wish, I’ll just tell him I’ve granted his extension, but I think he’ll be able to guess anyway. Don’t you?”

         Bridget swallowed hard. There was nothing she could do about that.

        “See you next week,” Gold said, “I’ll expect you to be at my house, eight o’clock sharp, on your 18th birthday.” He got in his car and drove away.

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