Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 3 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Emma :~

She was scanning the bio Henry had retrieved from whatever basement he had found stalking the Mayor.

The girl's name was Isabelle Marie French- the girl Mr. Gold had just told her was dead, and what Mr. French himself had confirmed before him. But it said here that she was very much alive, and on a lot of medication for no apparent reason. It said that she had self-destructive behavior, and that she was there for "her own good."

She scowled at that. The Mayor was known for her ability to maneuver to get her way in all things. Emma wondered what the Frenches had done to deserve this, what Mr. French had done to deserve a lie about his own daughter's death- or it just was her being absolutely and ridiculously paranoid. Maybe the girl really was crazy. Maybe the file was wrong and the girl really was dead. She was just going to go check it out, and see what was up. She was the Sheriff after all. She needed to know her town, her entire town, backwards and forwards in order to keep the peace effectively.

"Geez, this girl should be sick with all the stuff their making her take," Emma grimaced, relooking at the list of pills, syrups and injections they gave her regularly.

"I bet it's to make her forget," Henry shrugged.

"Forget what?"

"Forget about the Happily Ever After place," Henry spoke nonchalantly, and Emma bit her lip. The kid really believed that this girl was some captive. She didn't want to get his hopes up when the girl could be just stark raving mad and not a princess in disguise, but she couldn't bring herself to say anything.

She remembered a conversation she'd had with Gold a few weeks ago about a girl, remembered his reaction was about more than taking a few trinkets. He'd said something about Moe French hurting "her", wondering what happened to "her". She had wondered who she'd been, what Mr. French had done, assuring Mr. Gold that if someone needed help, she could help, but now she couldn't help but wonder herself if Isabelle French was this "her."

They walked through the hospital doors as twilight began to fade into true night. Henry was bursting with excitement. He turned down a corridor, and led her along to the clerk's desk, before walking up to a door that read "Exit."

"Henry," Emma said uncertainly.

He punched in a string of numbers, and the little light went from red, to green. He opened the door, and started down the stairs, pausing briefly to give her an, "are you coming?" look.

Against her better judgment, she followed the kid down the steps.

"Who are you?" she heard a voice ask Henry sharply. Emma was immediately defensive, hurrying down the steps to see what was going on.

"I'm Henry," he answered cordially. "I've brought the Sheriff to investigate."

Emma closed her eyes, regretting going along with this. Taking the last few steps down, she looked to see a nurse, standing up from behind her desk, looking like a dragon ready to breathe flames.

"Investigate what?" the nurse demanded harshly, "How did you get down here?"

"I'm sorry to intrude," Emma said, holding up Isabelle's folder. "We came down here to see if you had a patient here, by the name of Isabelle French?" The nurse's eyes froze over at the name. It seemed Emma had struck a chord, "You see, I was told she was dead."

"She is dead," the nurse snapped.

"That's not what your file says here," Emma said, her own eyes turning cold as she realized the nurse was lying to her. "I'm going to need to see her."

She flicked her eyes from her to Henry. "Why?"

"Because you're lying to me," Emma's pointed gaze bored into the nurse's dark eyes. They were panicked, angry that she'd been caught in her lie.

"No one sees patients without the express permission of Doctor Whale or the Mayor," the nurse told her curtly.

"Well, you see, I'm the sheriff now," Emma explained smoothly, "And I'm sure you wouldn't want to be locked up for withholding evidence from my investigation." When Regina showed up this was going to be a nightmare to try and explain, but for now she had to get to the bottom of this. Besides, if Mr. Gold and Mr. French had been feuding because of Mr. French's daughter, she wanted to get a look at the girl.

The nurse was obviously seething, her gaze darting back and forth between Emma and Henry. And then the nurse's hand shot out, snatching the phone on her desk. Emma at that exact same moment slammed her hand down over the nurse's. She didn't need Regina there any faster than was necessary. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."

"I'll get her out!" Henry exclaimed, snatching keys from a hook, dashing down the hall way and lunging out of sight.

"Henry!" Emma yelled after him in panic. What had she done now?

~: Henry :~

There was no sign of the ogre yet as he booked it down the hallway, leaping over a janitorial sign and skidding to a stop in front of room 014. Henry drew the keys up and began sorting quickly through the keys for one that had a 14 engraved on it. When he finally found it, he jangled to unlock it, hearing his mom call out his name again.

The door's lock popped, but it was almost too heavy to push the rest of the way open.

Finally, when he pushed it completely out of the way, he peered into the darkness, past his shadow that stood in the square of eerie light on the floor, and saw the woman, unraveling herself from a ball. In the darkness it was hard to see, but the surprise on her face was clear, and he recognized her immediately. It was the young woman from the picture in the file, but her hair was mussed, and she was a few years older, and she had dark rims around her dim blue eyes. She looked at him in bewilderment.

"You're Isabelle," Henry said triumphantly, taking her in, "My name is Henry. I'm here to bust you out."

Isabelle stared back at him in utter silence.

"Come on, before the Evil Queen comes!" he urged her.

"Evil Queen?" she asked, half dazed.

"Take my hand," he said, holding it out to her.

Her bare feet touched the floor, a trusting look across her face.

"Henry? Where are you?" Emma's voice was a panicked question. He looked back into the hallway, but there was no sign of her. He didn't want to worry her, but they were almost home free.

"How do we escape?" Isabelle took Henry's hand, smiling down at him.

"This way!" he told her, tugging her along the hallway.

"Quick! Don't let her get away!" the nurse yowled, obviously struggling with Emma.

And then, the ogre appeared out of nowhere. Hulking mass of muscle sent Henry and Isabelle reeling backwards. Two hands missed Isabelle, but managed to grab Henry by his collar, and lift him into the air like a rag doll.

He yelled, kicking violently as he tried to squirm away. Ogres could crush bones with a pinch. Henry didn't have a weapon, no sword, no shield, not even a pen to poke in its eye. He struggled fruitlessly, tugging on the shirt to keep it from choking him. "Help!" he managed as the ogre stared him in the face.

He saw a flash of red leather jacket as Emma whirled into view, and he saw the ogre's face contort in pain as his mom took him down flat, leaving Henry panting, scrambling to his feet. "Thanks Mom," Henry grinned at her as she kneed the big man in the back, cuffing him. She looked like she was about to speak.

He looked up the hall. Isabelle was waiting for him at the stairs, hand outstretched. Behind her the nurse was dialing a number. Henry knew they had to get her out of there, and fast. "I'll go hide her somewhere safe, ok?" he said hastily, interrupting Emma's sentence, before racing towards Isabelle.

"Henry! Don't!" Emma called after him as the pair of them ran up the stairs, and through the door, into the main hospital.

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 3 of 37

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