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. ;)


27. Storybrooke

            One evening, when Jiminy got home from his office, he said, “We should go out to eat.” He was smiling.

            “Oh, y-you mean…” Kaelin stammered, but only finished the sentence in her head: …like a date? It seemed a little silly to her to consider eating out with Jiminy a date, while eating at home with him was just a “regular meal”. Still, there was something more exciting about eating out.  

            “Shall we go to Granny’s?” he offered.

            “Yes!” Kaelin replied, “Thank you!” She smiled, and smiled even bigger inside. A date! she thought, My first date with Jiminy! Come to think of it, it was her first date at all.

            The air was nippy outside, so they bundled up in jackets, and Jiminy put on a striped scarf and a gray cap. Then they drove over to Granny’s, went inside, and sat in a booth near the back of the room. They ordered sodas to begin with, then settled down to look at the menu.

            “Have you heard how it’s going with…trying to bring Queen Snow and Emma home?” Kaelin asked. She studied her menu carefully, not looking at him. Storybrooke was in a state of tension because of their absence.

            Jiminy sighed and shook his head. “I’m not sure,” he said, “They’re still trying to figure out how to open up a portal. I think they’re mining for—”

            Suddenly, the door flew open, its bell clanging loudly, and six jubilant dwarves came stomping in, along with David and some others. They went to the bar and ordered drinks, laughing and clinking their glasses. “Fairy dust!” someone said.

            Jiminy shrugged and gestured toward the dwarves. “They found it,” he remarked.

            In her scramble to fill all the sudden, new orders, Red practically forgot about Jiminy and Kaelin. Sipping at her soda through a straw, Kaelin bit her lip, somewhat miffed at the unexpectedly noisy atmosphere. Her first date was disrupted by this party. Still, it was hardly possible to be annoyed at the dwarves, considering what they were celebrating about. The thought that sweet Snow might be home soon was exciting.

            As the raucous celebration began to die down, Red hurried toward the corner of the room, pausing in front of Kaelin and Jiminy’s table. “I am so sorry,” she said, “Are you ready to order?” Her manner was apologetic but still businesslike. Kaelin ordered a Reuben with fruit on the side, and Jiminy ordered a chef’s salad. Then Red went on back a few tables and to clear up some dishes.

            Suddenly, there was a little shriek from behind Kaelin, accompanied by a loud clatter. Kaelin jumped and glanced over her shoulder, but Red had just dropped some dishes back on the table. There was a young man in the corner by the jukebox, and he seemed to have startled her.

            Kaelin turned back to her almost-empty soda, but then she thought she heard the young man say, “I was a mouse…” Eyes widening, Kaelin looked over her shoulder at him again. “My name was Gus…” the young man went on shyly, speaking to Red, his mouth twisting in an awkward grin. He had moderately dark skin, a wide nose, and a slender build. His black hair was close-cropped on top, and he had a shadow of a black beard and mustache.

            A huge smile spread across Kaelin’s face, and she pressed a hand over her mouth. Excitedly, she turned back to Jiminy. “It’s Gus-Gus!” she whispered, leaning forward on the table, “Look!” she nodded back toward the young man.

            “Who—? Oh! Oh, Gus. Your mouse friend. How do you know?”

            “Well, I just heard him say it,” Kaelin replied, “Nova and I have been keeping an ear out for him because we knew we wouldn’t be able to recognize him. I’m going to go talk to him, but—but he’s talking to Red now.” She bent over her soda and sipped at it until the straw made a rattling sound in the bottom of the glass.

            “I think he drives the tow truck around here,” Jiminy remarked, “I’ve seen him a few times.”

            Kaelin glanced back again and saw that Belle was there, standing beside Red and talking to Gus too. Gus turned slightly away as they talked, looking at the floor with a grin. Then he turned back to Red with a forced smile, said another short, awkward sentence, and walked away from them. He brushed right by Kaelin and Jiminy, heading for the door.

            Kaelin tried to jump up and say something to him and ended up clumsily falling back into her booth. “I-I’ll be right back,” she stammered to Jiminy. Hurriedly, she got up and ran after Gus, trying to fight down her sense of awkwardness. She had meant to catch him as he walked past, but he had been walking much faster than she expected. Now she’d have to follow him and call after him to say something to him. That idea was so painful that Kaelin almost considered letting it drop for the night and waiting until the next time she saw him. Maybe then there would be a more opportune time to talk. But, no. She’d been looking for Gus, and he would be happy to see her if he just knew who she was.

            Gus went straight out the door, and Kaelin followed him. “E-excuse me!” she called, stopping right outside. Gus paused and turned around.

            “Um…yes?” he said, grinning slightly with bemusement.

            “I’m Kaelin!” she told him.

            A look of dawning recognition came into Gus’s eyes, and he opened his mouth to reply. Then, suddenly, he looked confused again. “I’m sorry, I don’t know any Kaelin,” he said.

            “You do too!” Kaelin returned, coming down the steps to meet him. “You are Gus, aren’t you? I was a mouse too!”

            “Oh! Well…” Gus rolled his eyes up toward the sky, “I did know a mouse named Suzy back home, but…”

            “Oh, stop it,” Kaelin interrupted. She had to laugh.

            Gus grinned at her. “Good to see you again,” he said more seriously.

            “So what were you talking to Red about?” Kaelin asked.

            Gus laughed shyly, glancing at the ground and trying to hold back a smile.

            Kaelin’s eyes widened. “You were asking her out, weren’t you?” she gasped.

            “Yeah, but…I don’t think she was too interested,” Gus responded, shaking his head. His disappointment was obvious, but he was trying to be a good sport. “I thought maybe, now that I was human, I might have a chance, but…nah. She was trying to be nice about it, but…”

            Kaelin thought he was really sweet, and she just had to say something to comfort him. She fumbled for words. “Well, I—I know you’ve always liked her, right? Maybe now you do have a chance. Just…keep being nice to her, and maybe she’ll notice, right?”

            “Thanks, Suzy,” Gus said, “But I don’t think she’s ever going to be able to get over her ‘eek, a mouse!’ memories of me. She really doesn’t like mice. She jumped when I even mentioned the word.”

            “Well, don’t give up, okay?” Kaelin replied, “Will you please stop calling me ‘Suzy’, though? I won’t call you ‘Gus-Gus’ anymore—just ‘Gus’.”

            Gus made an exasperated gesture with his arms. “Why won’t anyone call me by my real name?”

            “Because ‘Gustave’ doesn’t fit you at all,” Kaelin replied with a laugh.

            Gus rolled his eyes. “Oh, all right, Kaelin.”

            “Anyway,” she went on with a grin, “Come back inside! You have to see Jiminy Cricket!”

            Gus raised his eyebrows. “You’re eating out with Jiminy Cricket? I see I’m not the only one who’s taking advantage of not being a mouse anymore.”

            “Gus! Just…come back inside and meet him.”

            “I’d rather not, actually,” Gus admitted, “Red’s still in there, y’know?”

            Kaelin could understand how he was feeling. She nodded. “Okay, I’ll bring Jiminy out here. Have you had supper yet? Maybe we could go back to his house to eat.”

            Gus laughed shakily. “That would be nice. I haven’t had a bite to eat all day. Too nervous. I decided this morning that I would definitely talk to Red today, but it took me a long time to work up the courage. I feel a bit better now that it’s over, though. Worse, in some ways, but at least not so nervous. Now I’m actually quite hungry.”

            “Great,” Kaelin said, “I’ll be right back, then. Don’t go away!” She ran back inside to get Jiminy.

            Jiminy agreed to the idea of having Gus come over for supper. Since Red had already brought their food, he ordered carryout boxes and paid the bill right away. Then they went outside and met up with Gus. Jiminy didn’t know Gus quite as well as Kaelin did, but they were soon talking and laughing together. They drove back to Jiminy’s house, with Gus following along behind in his tow truck. He had apparently worked that day and had gone straight to Granny’s in his truck.

            At Jiminy’s house, Kaelin called Nova to tell her she had found Gus. To Kaelin’s surprise, Nova came over immediately to join them for supper. She was extremely excited to see Gus. When she showed up at the door, she explained, “I couldn’t possibly wait until tomorrow morning!”

            Their meal was very miscellaneous and ill-prepared. Kaelin and Jiminy ate their orders from Granny’s while Gus and Nova had leftovers from the fridge. When they were done with that, Kaelin decided to cut up a watermelon, and they finished the whole thing. Gus probably ate over half of it. Then he begged for some cheese. Jiminy resisted this request a bit, but he finally gave in, and Gus ended up eating a whole block of sharp cheddar. He hadn’t been kidding when he said he was hungry.

            “I am sorry!” he said at the end of the meal, laughing, “I’m eating you out of house and home! Thank you for your hospitality, Jiminy. Anyway, I should be getting back home now.”

            “Ohh, don’t go yet,” Nova pleaded, “We should at least play a game first!”

            Kaelin glanced at the clock. It was 10:00. She glanced at Jiminy.

            Jiminy looked undecided for a moment, but then his face broke out in a grin. “Okay, fine. It’s a special occasion. But just one game, all right? We can always get together again later.”

            They spent another half-hour playing a round of Apples-to-Apples, then Gus insisted that he really had to go home. He hugged Kaelin tightly, then Nova. Then he shook Jiminy’s hand. “See you tomorrow!” he said, and he went away. 

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