Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 13 of 37

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Isabelle :~

She was restless, her mind too active to be anywhere near sleep, and she didn't think it was because of the recent attempt to capture her, because she was sure that would have left her exhausted. No, she thought that it might be in the drink that Emma had given her. She kept fiddling with the blanket, kept twitching her toes as Mr. Gold explained what had happened to them, Emma asking questions about everything so Mr. Gold couldn't even get out a coherent sentence. She couldn't sit still, rotating, sitting up, being forced to lay back down by Mary Margret. Her brain was on overdrive, replaying everything that had happened, so she wasn't expecting what happened next.

The flash back was sudden, and very potent.

She had been crying. Her eyes ached with that familiar many tears have been shed feeling, but she was still walking, running from the source of her heartache, pretending distance could make a difference, clutching at her cloak to pull it closer around her. The cold had never been so biting before, maybe because the ice has seeped all the way into her chest. Her dress was muddy from misuse, having slept in a ditch, or having tried to sleep. But the ache, the sorrow was too much to bear. She couldn't sleep. So she pressed onward along the road, night thick with clouds that blocked out all the stars.

She heard the horses long before they came, and veered off to the side of the road. They were going to be galloping by, by the sound of it. She turned to watch them streak by, coming around the bend in the road, all dressed in black holding torches. She should have remembered then to run.

They had chased her when she had dived into the forest, surrounded her when she'd tripped and fallen. When she had made to get past the horses a face had leered at her, his torch casting odd shadows across his face. "So you're the one who fell in love with the Beast." Men around them chuckled as she stumbled backwards from him, fresh tears forming in her eyes as her heart cried out in anguish.

"Don't call him that!" she yelled, stumbling away from him, but her voice broke, and they only laughed, harsh, cruel, echoing, the man in front of her the worst of them all, his eyes filled with disgusting delight.

This man was from the caravan earlier, the precession that had held the woman in black, telling her that she could fix something- something very important to her. The woman had lied, used her to hurt- hurt…

"Please," she begged, "Let me pass- all I want to do is go home to my papa."

"Well, in that case," sneered the man, and clicked his horse to one side. She looked up at him, at all of them, warily, before breaking away, trying to make a run for it. The man picked her up off her feet and slung her over the horse before she was three steps past him. "You'll never see your papa again," he swore. She remembered her scream of terror, flailing to escape, before she had been knocked unconscious.

"Isabelle." It was Henry, staring at her, shaking her shoulders. "You alright?"

Her mind focused again, on him, and on Mr. Gold, who was holding back an expression. There was a tell twitching at the corner of his mouth, and there was nothing he could hide from her in his eyes. His eyes that were the wrong color. But how? "Henry," she spoke to him, earnest, staring into the boy's eyes expectantly, "How are they in both places?"

He looked to Mr. Gold, whose face was impassive, and sighed, letting go of her shoulders. "I can't tell you."

"But- how can it be? How can I be? I don't understand," she shook her head, pressing one of her hands to her head. "It was the Black Knight- the Black Knight was trying to take me- it was him, I promise I'm not making this up."

"The Black Knight- I was wondering where he was," Henry said thoughtfully. "He tried to kidnap Snow White once. But don't worry. Mr. Gold saved you." Henry grinned at Mr. Gold proudly, "He's got this magic word, you see-."

"That's enough," Mr. Gold snapped sharply.

She stared up at Mr. Gold then. All he'd had to say were a few words, and she had been free. Free and safe, and she'd run right into his arms because it had felt- she blushed at the memory, having been so forward, looking away from him, his growl echoing in her mind, "Don't you dare." She felt her skin tingle at the thought, feeling once more impossibly safe, just like she had felt when he'd caught her.

"What I want to know is how she found us up here," Emma inquired from behind the couch somewhere, her arms wound tight over her chest. "I'm pretty sure we didn't advertise."

"It's the second place I would have guessed," Henry said automatically, "If she wasn't at Mr. Gold's house then she'd be up here, right?"

"Why would she be with Mr. Gold?" Emma demanded crossly.

"Um," Henry bit his lip, and winced.

"You ran into Sydney Glass," Mr. Gold said, hands folded over his cane, looking pointedly at Mary Margret. "He must have followed you back up here."

"Sydney Glass is on our side now," Emma retorted.

Mr. Gold shook his head, a dark, thin smile that read, you know nothing, on his lips. Emma didn't like that.

"He went down with me for a false accusation," Emma exclaimed, as though the sentence proved the point.

"I don't care what he did, he is not about to betray Regina," Mr. Gold told her amiably, "He's in love with her. Has been for years."

"He's what?" Henry made a grossed out face. "Why?"

"Love is different for everyone," Isabelle spoke to him pleasantly, gently patting his hair. She was too tired for it now, the flash back seemingly having drained her twitchiness, but she planned on getting out of Henry whatever he couldn't say in front of Mr. Gold. He had answers, Isabelle could see it. She would just have to ask more persistently, since obviously Mr. Gold was not about to give anything away.

They argued over her head for a while, first about Sydney Glass's true character, and then what to do about Isabelle's situation, Henry and Isabelle mainly listening as the conversation progressed. Isabelle sat uncomfortably as the topic changed on where to hide her next.

"Isabelle is welcome to come stay with us," Mary Margret interjected between the oncoming fight between Emma and Mr. Gold, "There is plenty of room-."

"Thank you kindly, Miss Blanchard," Mr. Gold interrupted. "But I hardly doubt we could squeeze another person into that apartment of yours."

Emma looked ready to hurl things at him, "She is not going to be living with you while I am still Sheriff!"

"Isn't this my decision?" Isabelle wondered aloud.

Both Mr. Gold and Emma stopped, both turning their glowering faces to her. She swallowed, and then continued, "If I'm diagnosed as a sane person by Doctor Archie Hopper, aren't I allowed to decide to do what I want?"

Both still seemed taken aback.

"I want to see Papa when I know it's safe," she stated, "I'll probably live with him for a while, because I haven't seen him in so long, and I've missed him so much."

"Your father signed you up for that dungeon, and you want to go back to him?" Emma was in a state as it was, and Isabelle, though furious about her accusation, did not want to argue with her. Emma was in the mood for arguing, and against that sort of will power, Isabelle was positive that she would not win.

"No," Isabelle sighed, "He didn't. But, I know it says that on the paperwork, so it must seem true to you." She didn't know how else to explain it, for she knew better than anyone the love of believing the written word. She went on, "I want to live with Papa, when I know he'll be safe, and when I know that she won't come for us."

"But Isabelle," Henry seemed unnerved by the idea, "you can stay with my mom. She's tough, and Miss Blanchard is a great cook, and a good teacher." When he saw that that wasn't going to work, he moved on to the next option, "And with Mr. Gold you can be safe no matter what Regina does. He'll protect you too. Your dad-." Henry faltered.

She knew what he was thinking, knew that no one trusted her father to protect her because he wasn't powerful in their town. But that wasn't important. No, she needed to be there for him, "My papa needs me, Henry. Surely you understand that," she smiled encouragingly.

"Well yeah, but-."

"It'll be alright, you'll see," she promised. He made a face, looking away.

"But in the time being," Mr. Gold inserted, "She can stay here. It is perfectly safe, now, I promise."

"Yeah it will be," Emma said determinedly, "I'm going to set up a friggin' perimeter around this place. Video cameras, the works. Next time Regina comes back up here trying to kidnap someone, she'll be behind bars so fast she won't know what hit her."

"Speaking of Regina," Mr. Gold planted his feet firmly, his voice almost idle, "Don't you think she'll be a bit miffed when she finds you missing from your bed, young man?" He looked at Henry, who made a gasp of realization, while his mother swore. Isabelle blinked, surprised at the woman, who in turn picked up Henry's back pack he'd let topple to the floor.

"We have to get you home," Emma told Henry, throwing her back pack over her shoulder, "Come on, kid."

"I guess I'll see you later," Henry asked sheepishly, standing up from where he'd been kneeling beside her.

"Yes," Isabelle nodded at him, shooing him away, "Hurry, quick!"

"He's a good kid," David said as the door slammed shut behind the pair.

"A mischievous lad indeed," Mr. Gold murmured for no one's ears. Isabelle looked up at him, and smiled, trying to find his emotion. His gaze fixed on hers. She was surprised to read the fear still there, old fear and new fear. Pain also, and yet such relief that her heart could not comprehend, making it miss a beat. Relieved. Relieved that she was now safe. He'd been worried about it this entire time, and now, that worry was gone. He'd fixed it somehow. Reassured, she tried to peer deeper.

"We should get you to bed," Mary Margret said, taking Henry's place. Isabelle lost her train of thought, nodding.

"Oh," she added as Mary Margret helped her to stand, spotting the oddly crumpled blanket bags near pillows, obviously discarded in haste, "What are those things you were sleeping in?"

~: Regina :~

Regina drove with her elbows locked, arms straight, shoulders hunched. He had foiled her again. Again! With his mere word. Please. He said please and she had to do everything he told her, everything he said. She hated it. She hated him. He was going to find his happily ever after again. One more key to unlocking the curse. This was getting out of hand.

"Why did you let her go?" the idiot in her car demanded angrily.

She didn't need to explain herself to this peasant, "Ask me that one more time and you're going to be walking from here."

"Fine, just tell me why!" he shouted.

Regina swerved the car so hugely she almost ran into a tree. She screeched to a stop, "Out!"

He scowled at her, but got out of the car. Regina drove away without so much as a backward glance.

And Emma Swan had shown up as though planned. Nothing like that was supposed to happen in this world. In this world she was supposed to get away, was supposed to be able to snatch someone without a trace. This world was not meant for anyone's happily ever after other than hers, where she could watch everyone be in as much misery as she had been for so long. Ever since Snow White had ruined everything, everything. The little pest hadn't been able to keep her mouth shut!

She stopped at a stop sign, and sat there, idling, her arms still straight, her gaze fixed ahead of her.

No, she would not think of this again. Not again. It was too painful tonight. Not after everything, all the plans she had made to persuade Rumpelstiltskin to be on her side when the final war came, and it was coming, as surely as the night was black. The signs, the arrival of Emma, the clock tower starting, the reawaking of Prince James, the awful, awful things that she had tried to prevent in every way possible. Everything was crumbling around her ears.

Rumpelstiltskin on her side had been her trump card, and Belle? The stupid girl child that he had fallen in love with? She had been what would have persuaded him. And now? Now she had to get her back, at all costs. However, the curse would prevent her from stepping on his property. Her lip curled when she realized what that could mean. Every time she walked into a place that he owned she would be compelled out of it, or would pass out trying to resist the urge. Motion sickness was the first symptom, and then the headache- the lance that cut off her breathing was the final step, and she would go unconscious.

She would have to test it, she decided, now, before anyone knew.

Peeling away from the stop sign, she rounded a corner. She would test the first business she knew he owned through someone else, and see, even if it meant no sleep.

~: Mary Margret :~

The night before had given her a head ache. She hadn't really gotten headaches until she'd given Henry the book, and now she was getting them all the time. The worst one had been when David, then known as John Doe, had gone missing, and she had revived him, but she hadn't paid attention to it until afterwards.

Now she had woken up with a head ache to find Isabelle already awake, perched on the counter top, staring into the world outside the kitchen window.

"Where are the others?" Mary Margret asked groggily, shuffling forward in her pajamas. By others, all she really wanted to know was if David had left, or if he was out walking. He liked to walk, especially in the morning.

Isabelle seemed distracted, her mind off somewhere in the distance as rays of sunlight illuminated her, "They left- I think they went to get Doctor Archie Hopper."

Mary Margret smiled as Isabelle said his name and title out loud, as though it'd be rude to say otherwise, at the same time thinking about how pretty Isabelle was. She went for the milk in the fridge, "Is Mr. Gold still asleep?"

"No," Isabelle said, still not looking at her, staring out into the morning sunlight. "He left with them."

Mary Margret was surprised by this, pulling a cereal box from a shelf as she stared at Isabelle, "He did?"

"Yes," Isabelle looked at her legs, her hands folding there, dismay clear in her posture, "He said he had some errands to run."

Mary Margret had no complaints there. The man was starting to scare her. Well, scare her more than he had before. But… she couldn't help but feel that his odd protection for Isabelle was endearing, almost sweet. "Alright by me…," Mary Margret pulled a bowl from another shelf, reaching next to Isabelle to do so, pouring herself a bowl before asking, timidly, "So David left too?"

"Oh! Yes, he left you a note-." Isabelle looked up, pointed at the kitchen table. "I'm sorry, I forgot."

Mary Margret left her milkless cereal and moved to read the note, on the back of the reciept.

I couldn't wake you up, you looked so peaceful.

I'll be back after work to pick you up.

See you then.



Mary Margret smiled fondly at the note, and tucked it safely away in her pajama's pocket. David worked all day Sundays, since he didn't have a shift on Saturday. She would have to wait impatiently for him. But she could wait. Now she had time to talk to Isabelle alone, and ask her things she hadn't dared to ask with Mr. Gold and Emma present.

"So," she said, turning to Isabelle, who had now curled her legs up with her arms around them. "Let's say we make them dinner."

"But it's not even lunch yet," Isabelle said, "It's only ten twenty one. It says so on the digital clock," she pointed to the one above the small oven. Mary Margret smiled again, wondering who had taught her about digital clocks. "Mr. Gold said he wouldn't be back until five at the earliest." Mary Margret poured milk into the bowl, sitting down at the kitchen table. "Does magic exist here?" Isabelle wondered aloud.

"What?" Mary Margret spoke through her mouthful of Chex, asking more out of astonishment than really asking her to repeat what she had said.

"Magic," Isabelle said more loudly, "Does it exist here?"

"Well, what kind of magic?" Mary Margret asked after swallowing, not quite sure where this was going. Love is a magic, I suppose…

"Magic that lifts people up by the arm and forces them backwards."

All Mary Margret could think of was, Use the force Luke. "Um, no, not really. Why?"

"I don't know," Isabelle almost whispered, the window still entrancing her gaze. Mary Margret took a few more bites, her head ache starting up again. She sighed, wishing she had brought Tylenol along with her. Done with her breakfast, she went to wash the dish, standing by the very silent Isabelle.

She knew that Mr. Gold's affection wasn't one sided, but, she hadn't guessed that the girl would be so attached. It reminded her of how David had latched onto her, even though he was married. Was it the same thing? Was there obvious amnesia linked in some way? She turned off the water, setting the dish to dry on the rack. Isabelle continued to look away. Mary Margret sighed, feeling obligated to cheer her up. But with what?

"We'll make them a big dinner," Mary Margret glanced over at her, grinning at her conspiratorially. "To welcome them back. From scratch if you want."

"You make food here? It doesn't all come in boxes premade?" Isabelle perked up, was curious again.

"Yes we make food," Mary Margret giggled at her innocence, "It's just easier when it comes out of a box. But the best food is food we make ourselves."

"I agree!" Isabelle scooted off the counter, eyes bright with excitement, "And I've been wanting to try the electric oven. When can we start?"

Mary Margret grinned broadly, fetching her cell phone.

"What're you doing?" Isabelle asked as Mary Margret pressed number 5 on her speed dial.

Before she could answer, Emma picked up, "Hello?"

"Hey, Emma?" she looked back at Isabelle who grinned, fascinated by the transaction, "We're going to need some stuff from the grocery store."

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 13 of 37

<< Previous     Home     Next >>