Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 17 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Henry :~

"I'll have your bike fixed by tomorrow," Regina was saying as Henry just thought how grateful he was that it was Friday already.

They were driving to school today. It was raining outside so Henry couldn't walk the short cut, and Henry's bike was busted. Well, he'd busted it on purpose a block or two before he'd reached home the other night when he was late, and accidently managed to scuff up his knee pretty good so Regina believed he'd been playing around at with some kids before she'd gotten home, and he'd fallen off his bike.

But then she'd grounded him for playing outside without letting her know in the first place. So he'd spent three days inside, alone and reading the Once Upon A Time book under the covers when the Evil Queen wasn't looking and waiting until the weekend to be free again.

It was a whole lot less grounding than it would have been had Regina known that he had been looking for Emma and hanging out at Rumpelstiltskin's cabin.

Henry didn't normally lie. He didn't like to. He was afraid the Evil Queen would see right through him. But she was in a much better mood this morning than she had been since Friday- well, since Belle had escaped. It made him want to ask what had happened there.

Everyone at school had been worried about him on Monday when he'd gotten there, like he'd gotten hurt or something. When he figured out that the Daily Mirror was saying that Isabelle was an escaped convict who had tried to kidnap him Henry had been furious. Miss Blanchard had told him that it was ok, and that he name would be cleared up soon. He sure hoped so. Isabelle wasn't a convict of any kind.

"What are you going to learn in school today?" the Evil Queen was trying to get his attention again. Henry told her, still facing the outside world. The rain made it blurry, but he could still see people hurrying to get to destinations, different colored umbrellas, little kids stomping in puddles – didn't sound like too bad of an idea to him – and then to his surprise he saw the "Open" sign on Mr. Gold's front door.

What was he doing away from Isabelle?

Henry made a face. He knew what he was doing during recess.

~: Emma :~

"Well is she sane or isn't she?" Emma demanded, slapping her hand flatly on Doctor Archie's desk.

"Look, Sheriff Swan I can't just diagnose a patient sane or insane within six days of meeting with her. The process could take weeks-."

"Well we don't have weeks. Call her sane and she'll visit you twice a week for however long you need her," Emma said, trying to convince him. Isabelle needed to be able to integrate back into society. Immediately. Emma couldn't get Isabelle's name cleared if she didn't have the whole story backed up.

The Doctor was obviously not happy with the idea, "Sheriff-."

"You know as well as I do that she's sane, Archie," Emma ground out. She was sick of arguing with him. She was right. He had to know that.

"I seriously hope so or she's got us all fooled," Archie shook his head.

"How could she be tricking us?" Emma questioned angrily. Isabelle tricking anyone was a stupid concept.

"Fine," Archie said, Emma realizing with a satisfied smile that she had finally cracked him. "You win. I'll start up the paperwork- but she has to visit me four times a week. If she turns out to be clinically insane -."

"Thank you Archie. Let me know when you're done with that, and I'll be right over." Emma left the psychiatrist to his own devices, shuffling down the stairs and getting back into her car. Four times a week seemed pretty steep, but if that's what the Doctor ordered. She needed to get Isabelle's name clear so that the poor girl could work her way back into society. "Clinically insane," Emma muttered with a grumble.

The only thing that Isabelle could be called clinical for was the possibility of being clinically depressed.

They had gotten her down to Mary Margret's apartment around six that Tuesday morning, and Isabelle was still curled up in Emma's bed. Well, that was a lie. Isabelle had taken to house cleaning while they were away, sweeping, mopping, dusting, dishes, even started repainting part of the wall- but by the time Emma got back from work around eight every night, Mary Margret had told her that Isabelle had already gone to bed. So Emma never saw Isabelle out of bed, but that girl was sure antsy. She needed to get out of the apartment asap.

Mary Margret had had to leave for work every day, and when Emma left that first day she told Isabelle to stay in the apartment. Isabelle hadn't said anything to Emma since, but Emma was sure Isabelle'd gotten the idea, since she hadn't wandered around or gone any place.

She made a face in the rear view mirror.

Monday night had been far more painful than she'd thought it would have. It reminded her of how she'd cried after Graham had –

No. She wasn't about to go down that road. She stopped herself, both hands on the steering wheel and flipped on Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" again.

~: Henry :~

Henry was becoming a pro at sneaking away at recess. Ever since he'd started running off to see Emma, he'd been more and more stealthy, moving incognito until he was home free.

However, he'd never tried to sneak away from recess that was inside.

It had to be raining today.

He had managed to inch his way towards the door, until he was clasping the handle behind his back, watching his classmates warily as they played with action figures and made crafts with colored paper. Miss Blanchard bent over to speak of one of them, kindly helping them with the scissors.

His moment of opportunity.

He opened the door and bolted around it, letting the door gingerly close behind him as he did so. When it closed almost without a noise, he grinned in success, and turned to race down the hallway.


Miss Blanchard poked her head out of the door.

"Rats," he whispered under his breath, rotating around on the spot to face her as she followed him into the hall.

"What are you doing?" she asked him, a curious expression on her face.

"I'm- going to the bathroom," he invented.

Mary Margret gave him a "I can tell when you're lying" look, stepping into the hall after him and said, "The closest bathroom is that way, Henry," she gestured down the opposite side of the hall.

"I know. I just was worried about – ." Henry stopped, sighing. She'd caught him, and he couldn't lie to Miss Blanchard. She was his grandmother, after all, and she was Snow White.

"Now where were you really going?" she asked kindly.

"I was going to go see Mr. Gold," Henry mumbled as Miss Blanchard crouched down in front of him.

She looked troubled at that, "Why were you going to see Mr. Gold?"

"He's at his shop today. I thought he'd be up – that he'd be with Isabelle," Henry spoke quietly as to not attract attention. Isabelle didn't need any more attention.

"Well," Miss Blanchard seemed uneasy, putting both her hands on his shoulders, "Emma told Isabelle about what happened with her dad Monday night, and she was pretty upset."

"What happened to Isabelle's dad?" Henry asked, confused. Why did that have anything to do with Mr. Gold?

"He stole from Mr. Gold," Miss Blanchard sighed, looking downcast, "and so Mr. Gold got very angry at him. You remember when Mr. Gold was in jail, right?"

Henry nodded that he did. He'd seen Mr. Gold behind bars first hand, remembering that the Evil Queen had let Emma go get ice cream with him. He'd asked Emma why Mr. Gold was in jail, but she said that he'd just done something bad. He assumed he'd been stealing, or something similar. But Henry had shrugged it off and had began talking about Operation: Cobra with Emma instead. If he'd known then that Mr. Gold was Rumpelstiltskin he would have been a whole lot more curious.

"Mr. Gold hurt him pretty bad. He had to go the hospital," Miss Blanchard explained delicately. Well duh. You didn't steal from Rumpelstiltskin and live to hear the tale. Had Mr. French been insane?

Henry couldn't really tell Miss Blanchard that, though, "Well if he stole he should get in trouble, right?"

She seemed astounded by what he had said, "But it wasn't Mr. Gold's job to hurt him. Nobody has the right to hurt somebody else," Miss Blanchard replied, and then added, "Unless they've hurt somebody else. With Emma as your mom you should know that."

In this world maybe, "So why's he not with Belle?" Henry wondered, and then amended himself when Miss Blanchard gazed at him, confused, "I mean, Isabelle?"

"Well, you see, Isabelle heard what happened," Miss Blanchard nodded, removing her hands from his shoulders, "and Mr. Gold got really sad, and left."

"What? I don't get it," Henry's forehead furrowed like his mom's did.

"Isabelle's mad, Henry, and Mr. Gold feels bad about it," Miss Blanchard said more blatantly.

Henry shook his head, frowning, "That can't work though- they're in love-."

Miss Blanchard shook her head too, shrugging, "Sometimes, love doesn't always last, Henry."

No, not again. This couldn't be happening to them again. He stepped backward, as though if he did he could see the whole picture. "They must be so miserable right now."

"Isabelle is," Miss Blanchard nodded sadly. "But this is for the best, Henry."

"No, this isn't! Its wrong-," he paused mid sentence, something clicking in his head, "So that's why he was making a deal with Regina that night!" Henry gasped, understanding something at last.

"What?" Miss Blanchard asked, startled by his outburst.

"Well, I heard someone knocking Monday night, and when I got downstairs it was Mr. Gold!" Henry felt it linking in his head now. He had been worried about what had been going on, and he had assumed it was because Mr. Gold was putting the Evil Queen in her place. Rumpelstiltskin always had been the one pulling all the strings in the end.

"What was he saying?" Miss Blanchard wanted to know.

"He was about to leave, but I heard him say, "You have yourself a deal," what'd he make a deal about?" No. He knew what he made a deal about. It had something to do with Belle.

"I don't know about any deal," Miss Blanchard was shaking her head again.

"Oh my gosh- Miss Blanchard, please can I go talk to Mr. Gold!" Henry begged.

"No, Henry, you're in school right now," Miss Blanchard told him point blank. She had to say that. She was his teacher.

"But this is serious!" he pleaded, trying to make her understand, "You could be stuck in this place forever!"

"I like teaching school, Henry," she smiled teasingly, touching his nose with her forefinger, though Henry knew that she knew that that was not what he meant.

"Miss Blanchard, please!"

"Henry," Miss Blanchard stood up, "I can't let you go now."

"But Miss Blanchard-!" he couldn't go off to Mr. Gold's Pawnshop after school- he'd get into so much trouble, and then he'd be grounded again.

"I said not now, Henry," she said, but not as harshly as he would have thought, as she stood up, "I didn't say anything about twenty minutes before school's over."

Henry looked up at Miss Blanchard in amazement, and then leapt forward to hug her. "You're the best Miss Blanchard!"

She patted his back as they walked back towards the classroom, "If your mom finds out I'll lose my job."

"I'll be super fast, I promise!" Henry told her, grinning from ear to ear.

"I believe you." She really was the fairest of them all. Well, and fairest as in pretty too.

~: Mr. Gold :~

Mr. Gold slammed the phone down on the receiver. He hated caller id.

He had to get a hold of that apartment complex, and he had to get a hold of them now. If he was going to have to walk out into this sordid weather to go to see the bleeding receptionist, he for sure wasn't going to be more pleasant in person than over the telephone.

He fell backwards onto his chair, his leg lancing with pain as he did so. The weather always made his knee hurt. He grimaced, his face assuredly more lined than usual. He loathed when it rained.

It rained the day you found her again.

And it rained the day after you lost her.

The weather was not going to be connected to her. He could not let it happen.

Not again. Not when sunshine was already associated with her.

He blocked it from his mind, moving back into what he had to do.

If he didn't get a hold of that apartment complex he would be furious.

Yes. Rage was easier.

The doorbell chimed. He looked up.

It was the little prince.

Why had his heart soared with hope? He guarded his expressions again.

"Rumpelstiltskin!" he charged in, his young voice commanding his attention. "Why did you make a deal with the Evil Queen?"

"Ah, back again I see," Mr. Gold sat back. Thank the gods, a distraction. He put on a mask, his goblin's mask, all for the royal pain. "What is it that you want this time, Your Highness?"

"Belle remembered, didn't she?" the boy was soaking wet, tramping in rain water and leaves that had stuck to his shoes. What a mess it was going to be to clean up.

"Ah, ah, ah. Inside voices please-."

"Didn't she?" Henry's little face was furious, "And then Emma had to tell her you beat up her dad."

"It must be a family trait to be obnoxiously interfering," Mr. Gold sneered, pretending to be at ease.

"Look, whatever deal you made with the Evil Queen it isn't going to help!" he yelled.

Ah, so the little prince knew of the arrangement, "It will keep her safe."

"That's so dumb!" Henry shouted, and then pointed at Mr. Gold, "You know no one in this town can keep her as safe as you can!"

"Yes I'm well aware of that fact." If only the bleeding receptionist would pick up at that apartment complex.

"Then why did you promise to stay away from her?"

"Because, little prince, she finally figured out that I am truly a beast," he nodded his head, opening his arms wide.

"But you love each other!" Henry exclaimed.

"Love makes us sick. Haunts our dreams, destroys our days," Mr. Gold gave Henry his best devil may care grin, flourishing his hands back into his lap, "Love has killed more than any disease."

Henry shook his head, fuming. "You're still afraid."

"I was brave once, Your Highness," Mr. Gold snapped, losing his patience. "Look at where it got me."

"You kissed her?" Henry wondered aloud, eagerly leaning forward across the counter.

Mr. Gold shut his eyes against the memory.

Henry was smiling now, "Then we can fix it! She knows now, so I bet we can-. I have to go, but I'll talk to her!"

That meddlesome kid scampered away before Mr. Gold could even yell after him, leaping through the door and onto the sidewalk. The door swung shut behind him.

Mr. Gold stared after the little prince, in shock.

Why even now did he let hope creep its way back into his heart?

The phone rang. Mr. Gold answered it. "Finally," he growled into the mouth piece. He'd been waiting for the apartment complex to call him back for at least four hours now.

"Um-m, Mr. Gold? You have 23 books due next week."

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 17 of 37

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