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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35. Storybrooke

            Back in the Enchanted Forest, Jiminy had been renowned for his moral guidance, not his bravery or heroic deeds. The moment Hook began to threaten him, then, he panicked. As the captain bent over him, he scrunched himself back against the wall of the hold, gasping, “Wai—no, please don—Wait!”

            To silence him, Hook slowly but deliberately pressed his ringed hand over Jiminy’s chin and mouth. “Shhh…” he soothed, his voice almost a purr, “As your patient, the Dark One must have told you all manner of secrets.” His face was very close to Jiminy’s. Removing his hand from Jiminy’s mouth, he leaned even closer, his voice taking on a colder tone. “Where is his dagger?”

            Jiminy looked him in the eye, frowning with confusion. “I don’t know anything about a dagger,” he replied emphatically.

            For a very long moment, Hook searched his eyes. Jiminy began to breathe more quickly, but he didn’t break eye contact. “No, you don’t, do you?” Hook said at last, dryly. Stepping back, he squatted in the bottom of the hold, stroking his short beard thoughtfully. Jiminy continued to look at him intently. When Hook backed off, Kaelin released her held breath, hoping that maybe—just maybe—they wouldn’t be of any use to him. But if that was so, what then? Would he just kill them? No, there would have to be a chance to escape. There was always a chance.

            After his moment of thought, Hook inhaled and shortly explained, “It’s his weakness.” He raised his eyebrows at Jiminy, holding out his hand appealingly. “Now. Tell me, does he have any others?” He still spoke calmly.

            Jiminy looked at him silently, then, suddenly, he broke eye contact. He glanced down.

            That was all Hook needed to see Jiminy knew something. He smirked. “Very well,” he began in a businesslike manner, moving closer to Jiminy again. Raising his gleaming hook, he pressed it to Jiminy’s forehead and lowered his voice to a whisper: “I’ve always wanted to dissect a cricket.”

            Kaelin opened her mouth to beg him to stop, but Jiminy was way ahead of her. “No!” he screamed, gasping so much he was hardly able to speak, “Wai—Wait—Please…”

            “Ahhh…that’s more like it,” Hook whispered. Jiminy was panting, his eyes tightly shut. He swallowed hard.

            Removing his hook from Jiminy’s forehead, the captain harshly demanded, “Now, tell me, cricket. What is his weakness?”

            For a few moments, Jiminy tried to control his gasping. Then he met Captain Hook’s eyes. “Listen…” he began shakily, and Hook leaned forward intently, expecting to hear secrets. “Listen…f-for your own sake…” He took a deep breath, looking to one side, then held the captain’s gaze again. There was pity in his eyes. “…I-I don’t know what Rumpelstiltskin has done to you, but—but don’t seek revenge. It will only leave your soul…empty.”

            Hook’s expectant smirk melted into a snarl. “You think playing the conscience will save you, cricket?” he spat, and spoke in a low, wrathful voice: “You are in no place to judge me. You’re right—you have no idea what he did.” He lunged at Jiminy, raising his hook once more.

            “Stop!” Kaelin cried, straining against her bonds, “Please—don’t hurt him!”

            Hook paused, looking over his shoulder at her. His smirk returned. “All right, cricket…We’ll see if that crocodile—” his voice rose as he turned from Jiminy to Kaelin, then fell back to a whisper, “—means more to you than this…pretty lass.”

            While he was speaking, he brought his lips very close to Kaelin’s as though he meant to kiss her. Though Kaelin closed her eyes and turned her face away, she could still feel his breath on her cheek. Please, no, no, no… her heart wept, Not this. Let him hurt me, but not this—not in front of Jiminy.

            Then, just as suddenly as he had come sensuously near her, Hook drew back. He ran the tip of his hook along her jawline until it was pressed against her throat. “What is the Dark One’s weakness?” he demanded of Jiminy, though he didn’t look away from Kaelin. He still spoke calmly, but now with more force than ever.

            “Don’t tell him, Jiminy!” Kaelin begged, as he opened his mouth to reply, “Please, please don’t tell him!” She knew the answer would be “Belle”, and if Hook knew about Belle, she would be in danger. Kaelin couldn’t bear the thought of putting Belle in danger.

            “So you know something too, do you?” Hook observed.

            “Yes—so you can’t kill me,” Kaelin returned boldly, though she was shaking all over.

            Hook gave a short, dry laugh. “Yes, I can. But I don’t have to.” With that, he turned and slashed at her arm, leaving a long, bloody gash from shoulder to elbow. Kaelin cried out involuntarily.

            “His son! He’s looking for his son!” Jiminy blurted out.

            Kaelin looked up in surprise, and Hook noticed this. “I know his son,” he replied unexpectedly, “But there’s something else. What is it?”

            “Th—there’s a woman he loves,” Jiminy panted, desperate.

            “Don’t…” Kaelin pleaded, drawing in a breath through her teeth, “Don’t…he’ll kill her.”

            “You don’t know what I’ll do with her,” Hook pointed out, “My only goal is to hurt that crocodile.”

            “Please, Jiminy. No matter what, don’t tell him…”

            “I-I can’t…”

            “Please!”

            Hook suddenly buried his hook in her thigh, and she screamed. Jiminy pressed his lips together as though trying to hold in the answer to Hook’s question, but his eyes were wide. Pausing and wiping the blood from his hook on a burlap sack, the captain considered his problem. He decided to try another new angle.

            “You know the answer too…” he murmured to Kaelin thoughtfully, “So I only really need to keep one of you alive.” He abruptly faced Jiminy again, pressing the tip of his hook to the frightened man’s heart. “Are you willing to let me kill him?”

            “You won’t,” Kaelin said, trying to sound certain, but her voice seemed weak and far away, and it shook with pain.

            Hook chuckled, smiling into Jiminy’s terrified face but still addressing Kaelin. “Oh, I most certainly will, sweetheart. I’ll kill him and skin you alive if I have to—whatever it takes to get what I need. Though I’d rather it not be so hard.” He raised his hook to strike.

            This was it. The captain had called her bluff. If Kaelin didn’t speak now, the worst would happen. All the emotions from when she had thought Jiminy was dead rose up inside her. Hating herself, she exclaimed, “It’s Belle! Her name is Belle! Now, please, please stop.” And she broke down weeping.

            The captain halted his hook in mid-swing. He looked at Kaelin. Yet instead of the gloating triumph she had expected to see in his eyes, there was just a certain feverishness, as though he could hardly believe he was so near his goal. “Yes…yes, I know who that is,” he murmured. Then he suddenly turned around and vaulted out of the hold, letting the hatch fall shut behind him.

            Kaelin half-collapsed, crying, putting almost all the strain of her weight on the ropes digging into her wrists. She was practically hanging from them. Letting out a few, sharp breaths, Jiminy leaned toward her as far as he could. “Kaelin…” he gasped, unable to say anything else, “Kaelin…” His eyes were wide open but filled with tears. He shook his head.

            “He’s going to kill her,” Kaelin sobbed, “She was so nice to me, a-and now…” With sudden frustration, she lunged back against the ropes viciously, practically tearing her hands off. Immediately, she fell forward again, screaming from her injuries.

            “Please—g-get ahold of yourself, Kaelin!” Jiminy begged, “You did the right thing!”

            “No, I killed her! I killed her!”

            “You didn’t kill her. You saved me! L-listen to me. Hook isn’t even after Belle—and…if anyone can protect her, it’s Rumpelstiltskin. He’s sure to protect her, and he can protect himself. You haven’t killed anyone.”

            “It’s not enough,” Kaelin moaned, “I…d-don’t know…what to do.” Exhausted and hurting, she let herself lean back against the wall.

            Jiminy was silent for a long moment. Then he nodded, looking down. “You’re right,” he admitted gruffly, “It’s not enough. But I know what is.”

            “What is it?” Kaelin asked weakly.

            “I’ve spent…my whole life…trying to understand right and wrong,” Jiminy began carefully, “A-and I still don’t fully understand it. There are situations where it’s hard to tell what’s right—like this one. But even with all that, everyone still has a conscience. All our consciences point to a real good that’s out there—that’s not dependent on our individual feelings. Everyone knows what’s right, even if they suppress it…And yet why do we so often choose evil? I don’t know.” He paused, and sighed, and then went on, “A real good can only point to one thing. You know what it is, Kaelin, and the fairies know it. It’s why they’re nuns in this world. What I mean is—if you pray…Someone will hear. Someone who’s good and the source of our understanding of good. You can pray for Belle…Because I know there’s Good out there. And Good always wins.”

            Kaelin began to breathe more evenly, a calmness coming over her at his words. She lifted a prayer for Belle in her heart, and something new took hold of her. It was a new kind of confidence and peace—a new kind of hope. What if… she wondered, What if I’ve been thinking of things the wrong way this whole time? I’ve been so discouraged by my failures, but what if I don’t have to depend on myself at all? What if…I can just cease striving and depend on this Goodness?

 

 

 

 

            Some time passed. Kaelin didn’t know how long. She and Jiminy were too exhausted to speak, but a strange peace had descended into the hold. They even smiled at each other.

            Then footsteps echoed from above deck. When the sound came down the stairs, Jiminy and Kaelin looked up.

            “Who’s that?” Kaelin whispered to Jiminy.

            “I don’t know,” Jiminy whispered back, “It might be Hook.”

            “Or Cora,” Kaelin added.

            “Or someone else.”

            The footsteps came into the room, and Jiminy raised his eyes to the hatch again. “Hello?” he called.

            “Uh…he-hello?” replied a confused woman’s voice.

            Jiminy glanced at Kaelin. It didn’t sound like Cora. “Down here!” he called.

            The hatch swung open, and a huge smile lighted his face. “Belle!” he gasped, “Oh, thank God!”

            Hardly able to believe her ears, Kaelin leaned toward the hatch, trying to see through it. Yet the reply that came definitely had Belle’s accent: “Archie, you’re—you’re okay!”

            “Yes…I—I, I am…” Jiminy stammered, “C-can you, uh—” He looked at the knots around his wrists, then looked up at her again, “A-and Kaelin is here too. She’s hurt.”

            “Kaelin?” Belle poked her head down into the hold, her eyes widening when she saw her, “Oh, I’ve been worried about you! When you didn’t show up to Archie’s funeral—”

            “I had a funeral?” Jiminy exclaimed in disbelief.

            “One moment; I’ll find something to cut you free,” Belle said urgently. As she searched the cabin, she shouted back to them, “Yes, Archie, you had a funeral! Poor Geppetto was devastated…And, Kaelin, when you didn’t show up, we all thought you might’ve been taking it so hard you couldn’t bear to attend. But then, no one had seen you. Geppetto’s been frantic, searching for you…” She appeared again, wielding a long sword, which she used to slash through the ropes binding Jiminy’s wrists. Hurriedly, he pulled them off his hands and untied the bonds around his ankles. Then he took the sword from Belle and used it to cut through Kaelin’s bonds. She struggled to her feet. With Belle’s help, he lifted her up through the hatch, then climbed out himself, rubbing the red marks on his wrists.

            Belle faced him, a serious expression on her face. “Go,” she ordered firmly, “Find Mr. Gold, tell him I’m here, bring him back to the ship.”

            Jiminy halted as he was stepping past her. “Wait…You’re not coming with me?”

            There was a creak above deck, and all three of them looked up suddenly. Grabbing Jiminy’s shoulder and pushing him toward the door, Belle repeated, “Go.” Taking Kaelin’s hand, Jiminy started toward the door, but then paused, looking back over his shoulder. “Go,” Belle insisted again, “Go, go! There’s no time to argue!”

            She was right. Kaelin and Jiminy ran up the stairs, Kaelin limping painfully but determined not to be a hindrance. As soon as they were safely on the docks, Jiminy turned to her, holding her shoulders but careful not to touch her injury. “I have to find Rumpelstiltskin,” he told her hurriedly, “But you have to get to the hospital. You’ve lost too much blood. Find someone to help you, all right?”

            “No, I…have to find Geppetto,” Kaelin panted, “Tell him you’re all right. To him, it’s like…you’re dead, Pinocchio’s missing, and I’m missing…he has no one…”

            “We can talk to Geppetto later,” Jiminy insisted, “Kaelin, you’ve got to get to a doctor now, understand?”

            Kaelin nodded, and Jiminy echoed her nod as though they were in agreement. He sprinted away to find Rumpelstiltskin. As soon as he was gone, however, Kaelin started off toward Geppetto’s workshop, which was in the opposite direction from the hospital. She couldn’t let Geppetto suffer like this a moment longer than he had to. He had to know that everything was all right.

            She didn’t get very far. After only about a block, she suddenly became terribly dizzy and lightheaded. Unable to tell which way was up, she collapsed on the sidewalk, panting shallowly. Her eyes wanted to close, but she fought against it, struggling to move. Jiminy was right. She should have found someone to take her to the doctor. She should call for help. A faint sound escaped her.

            Just then, there was an alarmed cry nearby. Still fighting to keep her eyes open, Kaelin thought she saw Nova’s face above her.

            “Leroy! Leroy, help!”

            Kaelin’s eyes closed the rest of the way. She felt strong arms lifting her. “Please…” she murmured weakly, “Geppetto…Need to tell him…tell him...”

            “I’ll find him,” a gruff voice said in her ear.

            This promise seemed to give Kaelin a kind of permission, and she fainted.

 

 

 

 

            When Kaelin opened her eyes again, she was in a hospital bed. Dr. Whale was dressing her wounds. She immediately looked around the room, searching for Geppetto. There was Nova, and Grumpy, and yes…there he was. “Geppetto,” she said faintly.

            The old man gasped and rushed to her bedside, pressing her hand. “Oh, I’d thought I’d lost you too,” he sobbed, “Oh, my sister…”

            “It’s okay, Geppetto,” Kaelin said, smiling weakly, “Jiminy’s okay too. He’ll even be here soon.”

            Geppetto stopped abruptly, staring at her in astonishment. Hope burned in his dark eyes.

            Kaelin was too exhausted to stay awake any longer. She was so cold. Allowing her eyes to close again, she gradually sank into a healthy sleep. Yet before she was completely asleep, she happily thought of how much Geppetto loved Jiminy now. 

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