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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15. Storybrooke

            Bridget went back to work at Mr. Gold’s house that evening. She was cleaning the lower floor now, so she first swept the entrance hall and washed the windows in and beside the door. She worked quickly, trying to block out her memories from that day, but she couldn’t. It couldn’t be true, could it? It couldn’t be true that she would never see Archie again. Even in the few weeks she had known him, Bridget had begun to feel like they had been friends for years. He couldn’t just disappear.

            But it wasn’t because of friendship that he had canceled their counseling sessions, was it? That was what Bridget was afraid of, what she was so unwilling to admit to herself. She kept repeating his words in her mind: Frankly, Bridget, I’ve come to see that my feelings at this time put me in severe danger of being unable to keep that distance.

            There were a lot of extra words in that sentence, but the essential meaning was there. Bridget turned the sentence upside-down and backwards in her mind, looked at it from all angles, and finally allowed herself to conclude that what she feared and hoped for was true. Archie had confessed his love to her that day.

            And now he was gone.

            Now that she had admitted to herself that he loved her, Bridget could also admit that she loved him. But what did it matter now? All she wanted now was to see him, to talk to him, but that was impossible. The vacuum cleaner Bridget was pushing across the living room floor slowed to a stop, and her hand shook on the handle. A few tears fell from her eyes. She couldn’t accept this. Every time she thought about never seeing him again, her mind recoiled from the idea.

            “Is something wrong?” came a level voice from behind her, and Bridget stiffened. She switched off the vacuum and turned to face Mr. Gold, hoping this was the most respectful thing to do. Feeling that there were still tears in her eyes, she blinked a little but didn’t raise a hand to her face to wipe them away. She hoped futilely that he couldn’t tell she had been crying.

            “Nothing’s wrong, sir,” she said.

            “Well, I heard the vacuum running, but it didn’t sound like it was moving…” Gold glanced down at the vacuum with a slight gesture toward it. He met her eyes again. “So I just wanted to make sure nothing had broken.”

            The odd thought popped into Bridget’s head that something had broken. “No, everything’s all right.”

            “I see,” Mr. Gold said. He held her gaze for a moment, then turned and walked out of the room, leaning on his cane.

            Bridget finished vacuuming the living room, then left immediately. She had a few more things to do, but she could finish them tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

            The next day was Thursday. Bridget easily finished the rest of her work at Mr. Gold’s house by 5:00 and walked back home. As she came to the door of the apartment building, she noticed Sister Astrid waiting on the bench outside. She waved, brightening up a little. “Sister Astrid!” she called.

            Astrid jumped up, then ran and hugged her. “Ohh,” she said, “How are you doing, Bridget?”

            “Well, ah…” Bridget couldn’t say she was doing fine, not to her best friend.

            “It’s okay,” Astrid said, holding her hands and looking her in the eyes, “I heard what happened. I came because I wanted to talk and find out from you what’s really going on. Let’s go inside, all right? I haven’t gotten to see your new apartment. Well, I have—just not after you unpacked everything.”

            Bridget smiled slightly. “Yeah, come on in.” She punched in the combination on the door and led Astrid upstairs to her apartment. It was a very small but comfortable place with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a small living room. Bridget had very little furniture of her own, and very few possessions over all, but she had been given a small table, two chairs, and a futon to start with. She also had a pan and one set of dishes. It was enough for her at the moment, and until she found a way to make money, it would have to do.

            The futon didn’t have a frame, so it was laid out on the floor. Bridget and Astrid sat on it together like they had always sat on Bridget’s bed in the nunnery.

            “So what did Dr. Hopper tell you?” Bridget asked.

            Astrid’s thin face was serious now. “All I heard was that you wanted to discontinue counseling,” she replied, “Is that true?”

            “It’s true that the counseling has been discontinued,” Bridget replied, fiddling with a corner of the blanket, “I don’t think it was necessarily true that either of us wanted it, but I suppose it was the right decision.”

            “Why was it discontinued?”

            “Dr. Hopper thought our relationship was becoming unprofessional.”

            “Oh…” Sister Astrid placed a hand over her mouth, searching Bridget’s face, “I’m sorry; I encouraged you.”

            “I think he’s right. It was the right decision,” Bridget repeated, swallowing hard. She had thought about this all day. “It’s not supposed to happen, you know?”

            “Are you saying you…really did like him?” Astrid asked, watching her earnestly.

            Bridget nodded, concentrating all the more on the corner of the blanket. “I think he liked me too,” she mumbled.

            “Well, now that he’s not your psychologist anymore, that means you can maybe pursue a relationship,” Astrid suggested optimistically, with a bright smile.

            “No, he told me we couldn’t see each other at all anymore,” Bridget said.

            Astrid’s smile vanished. She looked hurt. “Oh, I…I think I understand how you must feel,” she said distractedly, “You think you’re going to be with him forever, and then suddenly he says, no…this can’t work…because of who we are…That must be really awful. And all your dreams, they just disappear. I’m so sorry.”

            “Has that happened to you before?”

               “No, but I can feel it in my heart. Empathy, I guess. Bridget, I’m really sorry…”

            Bridget blinked away tears. “It was just so unexpected,” she said, “I guess I should’ve expected it, but I didn’t. Sister Astrid, I really felt a deep connection with him. I don’t know how it was possible for me to feel such a deep connection in such a short time. Maybe because I opened up to him? I wish it had all never happened.”

            “Do you wish you’d never met him?”

            “I can’t bring myself to wish that. I suppose I only wish things could be different. It’s like what I love has been ripped from me, and I’m helpless to do anything about it.”

            “Do you really love him? Maybe you can talk to him again. Maybe you don’t have to give up yet!”

            Bridget shook her head. “I would, perhaps, except that part of me thinks he’s right. It’s not appropriate for a patient to fall in love with her psychologist. And maybe, even after ending the professional relationship, there’s no way for it to ever become appropriate.”

            “I won’t believe that,” Sister Astrid declared.

            “Well, for now, I have to,” Bridget replied, “He made a responsible decision, and I should respect that. It’s all part of his character—how he always believes in following his conscience. If that’s what his conscience told him to do, I don’t want to go against it. I won’t try to talk to him again.”

            Astrid was silent for a moment, stunned. Then she said, “If that’s what you’ve decided…”

            “It is.”

            “Then you should do it. Let him go.” Sister Astrid hung her head sadly.

            For a few moments, there was silence in the little room. There was nothing to be said. Then Sister Astrid spoke up again, trying to smile. “H-how’s work?”

            “Discouraging,” Bridget replied, “Before, I was able to tell myself I was doing it ‘for Archie’, and that made it fun, even though I wasn’t getting paid. But now, I know why I’m doing it, but I’m not allowing myself to think about that, so that makes it feel pointless. Now I’m thinking about how I’m wasting time when I could be working to make money for food. I can’t do it ‘for Archie’ anymore, because I can’t see him again, and I don’t want to encourage those feelings.”

            “Sorry,” Sister Astrid said, “Well, maybe you could try doing it for Mr. Gold, since he’s the one you’re working for.”

            “Are you serious?”

            Astrid nodded tensely.

            “Sister Astrid, I’m terrified of Mr. Gold. I don’t know why, since he hasn’t done anything to me yet—except, well, this—but for some reason, I’m just terrified of him.”

            “It was just an idea,” Astrid said hurriedly, “I thought, since you wanted to find some purpose for your work, and Mr. Gold is benefiting from it, it’s possible...”

            “I don’t know if it is.”

            “Do you hate him?”

            Bridget examined her heart carefully. “I might…” she said slowly, “…but I’m mostly just afraid.”

            “I guess a lot of people are afraid of Mr. Gold,” Sister Astrid observed with a nervous laugh, “I know I am. Anyway…” She pulled her backpack toward her and unzipped the top, taking out a paper sack. “I brought supper. I figured you wouldn’t mind if I did. Wanna share with me?”

            Bridget smiled. “Thank you so much.” Any chance to save money was welcome. It would also be nice to have dinner with Sister Astrid again. The nun’s visit had done a lot to cheer her up.

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