Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 32 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Belle :~

I wish that you won't come. If nothing else in the whole world happened before she died, she had to remain fervent in her wishing. Wishing that he would save himself, and that act in turn would save everyone else. If he saved himself, everyone else would be saved. His soul would remain.

She was almost dim to the entire conversation around her, she was wishing with all her might, but she knew Emma was there. Emma the curse breaker, Emma the savior of them all. "Shoot her," she mumbled into the dirt as she heard Henry speaking.

"No one, but Rumpelstiltskin," and Belle heard the confident smile- she knew- Regina knew he was coming. "I assume he's told you about the situation?"

It was her fault that this was happening- if she had just stayed in her cell, hadn't been careless, her friends, Rumpelstiltskin would still be happy- he would still be living a normal life and none of this would be happening to them- he wouldn't be giving up his free will. Because of her.

"Shoot her now Emma!" Belle cried out in desperation.

I wish that you won't come.

"You're not getting it!" she heard fearless little Henry yell. He was a beacon in darkness, the light to them all. What would they do without his courage?

I wish that you won't come.

Too bad dearest. I am coming.

No! No! "Do it!" she shrieked at Emma, tears streaming down her dirt covered face, "Do it, he's coming!" But Emma was shaking, she was hesitating. She wasn't ready to break the curse yet. It was too soon, it was too soon! She felt Regina shove her into the dirt again, and her resolve to stay steady and strong broke at his words in her mind, Rumpelstiltskin don't come, don't come, I'm only going to die!

His reply was a whiplash in her mind, and she felt a spark of fury ignite from the other side of the connection. You're not going to die!

She felt him, his consciousness- it gave her strength, the connection. She felt herself breathe easier, despite Regina's heel digging into her back, regaining lucidity. She felt her determination rise from within her once more. She was communicating with him, she realized. She had to get him to see reason, to get him to not come to her rescue. I am! I am going to die-.

Not this time! he snarled, and she saw his face as though they were standing together, and he was holding her- the image was so strong, as were his arms- almost as though they were wrapped tightly around her waist. I'm not going to let you die!

She shook her head, trying desperately to think straight, Rumpelstiltskin please- please-

I – I can negotiate for your safety- he was making it up, apparent in his searching eyes. He knew the Queen would make no such deal.

It won't matter after she has the dagger- you'll do whatever she says, no matter what you bargain for now. He would be her puppet. He would lose the sense of himself to her wicked hatred.

He was still trying, thinking of loopholes, I'll have them take you and go-

Where can we hide from you? she wanted to know with a small smile, touching his face with her cupped hand. There was nowhere. He would find them no matter what they did if he was ordered to.

He growled inhumanly at that, biting back, but still he was clinging to this mental version of herself, not backing away even though they argued. It was unlike him. Emma will break the curse!

She was shaking her head, her hand dropping from his face, and then wondered if she could be shaking her head here. It was all so confusing- but no, she had a point to argue. She's not ready yet- and she can't do it without you. Rumpelstiltskin please! Please go! She shook his shoulders.

Don't pretend to know everything dearie, he snapped ferociously.

Dearie- she ducked her head, made to push away. She didn't want to spend these moments fighting anymore, especially not with fresh tears rising to her eyes.

No- I- his words were stuttering- and he clung to her more desperately to keep her from breaking away.

She glared downwards, You can try and push me away again Rumpelstiltskin, because giving into the Queen would be easy-, she made an angry face, if that were possible in a mental state of being. It will be easy, and it won't be your fault whatever she makes you do- but this isn't you. Rumpelstiltskin above all else you've desired power-

Above all else I desire you! his words were a roar, and a growl, and whisper and a vow all at the same time, silencing her with her own heart as it caught in her throat.

She looked up at him then, and the intense despair in his dark eyes brought tears to her own that spilled over. He loved her. He loved her enough to give up his life. Wasn't that enough to be true love? And if it was, how could she let him do so? She had to make him leave. He had to leave her to die. She had to be the one to die. She couldn't bear living knowing he was enslaved to the very woman she hated. Please, Rumpelstiltskin! Let me die- don't fight them!

I'm not running anymore- Now I've got something I want to protect. He stopped himself, sighed, looking determinedly into the distance, even though they were in a mental state instead of a physical one. Could one look into the distance in such a state? He smiled at her, as though he could sense her being curious, but he was back to the argument. There is no way I can win here, no matter what happens.

There is! She told him earnestly, Help Emma in her quest!

What good is it anyways? He demanded, growling, but then his voice turned to grief, Evil always wins, my love. It always will. Why do we fight it?

How could he not have faith in Good, when it was the true source of happiness? Being together was good. Good had had its victory then, hadn't it? Good wins. She told him frantically, Good will win. Rumpelstiltskin it's you and not anyone else that decides who wins this fight now. You are the determining factor! Please! I'll make a deal with you!

He pushed her away then, letting go of her, and she began to fall away, except there was no ground, You have nothing to bargain with, dearest. And she was falling away from him as he stood solidly on air above her.

She fell back into herself, felt the pressure of Regina's spiky heel on her back once more, felt the weakness of her body penetrate her mind once more- she had to get back to him. She reached out mentally, feeling figment fingers grasp the edge of his consciousness-

Regina's voice sliced through her efforts, "And speak of the devil."

No- no, no no no, he could not be here, he could not be here- "No!" she screamed.

She struggled to reach him, to maintain the connection, Please Rumpelstiltskin, please leave- she yelled into the blackness where he had been only moments before in her mind, stretching her hands out to him to clasp, it's all I want, that's the only thing I want. Everyone is going to die if you do this. Please leave Rumpelstiltskin, there is nothing nothing you can do for me anymore. I'm going to die- please leave! Please I wish for you to leave! Please!

There was nothing in reply, "A word from you, Rumpelstiltskin, the single flicker of a spell, and, well, you know what happens." The Queen was enjoying this- Belle could hear it- she was getting what she wanted again.

In desperation she cried out something she couldn't really hold to, I promise to live if you will just leave!

His response was so familiar it scared her, That's a lie.

A gunshot pierced the air- another bullet in the soil, right next to her hand, jarring her back to the physical world. She heard Snow White yelp-

"I said even a flicker!" Regina shouted furiously, "Don't try and speak with them- not even her. You know I sense it, even if the bond is- strong."

He wasn't going to listen to her. He was going to go through with this. He was gone from her mind entirely now, leaving her, Rumpelstiltskin, no! Please- please no… don't go- not now, not when you know I'm right. This isn't fair! She looked for his face outside in the gloom, and only say Emma's leather coat, Snow White's bright now stained white dress, Henry's shining knife- where was he?

You're cheating again- she accused viciously, angry at him, that he could even think to come and endanger after- after everything she had said. He had to leave, had to flee, you're- cheating… It wasn't lack of strength that was causing the stutters- she felt stronger still then she had before- but it was the horror.

It was actually going to happen.

A nightmare worse than any she could have conjured for herself. She felt the reality stab her in her soul, and twist there, ripping-

She searched for his face, and saw nothing in the rain, nothing behind the purple barrier and the white dress and the leather jacket.

If he was going to be here, at the end of everything, couldn't she at least see his face one last time?

~: Regina the Evil Queen:~

They were all there- all of them with horrified looks on their faces, and they could do nothing. They could do absolutely nothing at all, and each of them, somehow, knew it. They couldn't do anything to endanger dear little Belle, who had, in fact, turned out to be a much better bargaining chip then she'd ever intended.

She felt like laughing as she felt the rift open and Rumple step through.

There was too much magic on him though- she could feel it ripple. "A word from you, Rumpelstiltskin, the single flicker of a spell, and, well, you know what happens." She smiled cynically down at Belle, before peering up meeting his eyes. They were darker than the storming night sky, staring her with all of his loathing. And yet, for all that loathing, he could do nothing. He could do nothing to her! She could barely contain her cackle.

When she'd learned of this dalliance, she'd been so afraid that her world was going to come crashing around her ears. But now? Now he was reduced to mere glares while she held all the power. Belle was playing her part perfectly-

She felt the smallest of ripples-

She shot a bullet into the ground again. She was so glad she had had Graham teach her how to shoot. At least he had been somewhat useful.

"I said even a flicker!" Regina shouted at him through the dark rain, "Don't try and speak with them- not even her. You know I sense it, even if the bond is- strong."

She cackled at that, not able to contain it anymore.

All according to plan.

She had been getting rather bored with all of this Storybrooke world nonsense, and she had hated seeing little Snow White regaining her confidence. After what she had done? She deserved worse than death, and now, with Rumpelstiltskin's infinite magic, she could do anything to the little girl, anything at all! Nothing could stop her.

"Now," Regina tilted her head to the side. "I want that dagger-."

"Don't do it!" Henry yelled, his voice shaking.

The boy had chosen their side. How could he, when she had raised him, fed him, clothed him, cared for him? Had that all meant nothing to him? How could he stand there now—betrayal in truest form—and deny her anything?

"Anyone! Say a word and I will shoot her," Regina smiled. And she could, though it wouldn't do her much good. The poor creature was running out of places to shoot without it being too detrimental. Well, and she'd already lost so much blood, there was no way she was going to survive this encounter anyways, frail as she was. "Now," she put her free hand on her hip. "I want that dagger- but- ah ah ah- don't you come any closer Rumple. I don't want you any nearer than you have to be. I'll have somebody else bring it for you."

She had slim pickings, as it were. The stranger and Charming were both not an option. She didn't know the motives for one, and the other was too heroic for his own good. Given an opportunity he would take it. Emma was out. She had a gun, with more bullets than Regina had. Guns were something of a problem. Advanced technology did disrupt magic, and Regina didn't want to guess if guns would work against her or not.

It was down to Henry, and to Snow White—and wouldn't it be ever so sweet if dear little Snow White were the one to condemn them all, with one simple action?

She smiled vindictively, and gestured with a finger, "Snow White, my dear, bring me the dagger."

~: Snow White :~

She'd felt Rumpelstiltskin appear next to her- the way the air shifted as it opened to let someone to step through.

She looked to him. He was tight lipped under his hooked nose, his hair and clothing dampening as he looked on the scene.

Now she stared at him in horror as the Queen's words resounded over them. She looked at one of the most feared men in any realm she'd ever been to, and gasped. She? She was the one to do this? But- how-

He turned to her mechanically, his eyes flat, lifeless when they looked at her, but didn't meet her eyes. He looked so- wrong. None of that flickering mischievousness in his eyes, none of that terrifying predator-like prowl in his lean-.

Had he given up?

"No!" Belle shrieked again, "Snow White don't do it! Take the dagger and -," there was a choking cry, and Snow turned to see Regina's foot on what looked like Belle's neck, - Belle was trying to claw at the foot, half of her face in the mud.

"Take your foot off her now, Regina!" Emma shouted, stepping forward.

"Snow White, take the dagger from Rumpelstiltskin- without letting it touch your skin. We don't need any complications, now, do we?"

Snow looked to Rumpelstiltskin for help, and he handed her the dagger wrapped in a ragged cloth, resigned. She held it in front of her in both her shaking hands gingerly.

"Run, Snow!" Belle shouted, pushing the shoe off of her face. "Run!" The foot slammed down on her cheek again, and Snow heard the yelp before Belle shut her mouth against it's escape.

Snow looked on in horror, thoughts running a million miles and back again. But she couldn't run. She couldn't flee, despite how good she was at running, how well she knew how to run away from her problems and let chaos reign in her wake.

There were a hundred ways to go, a hundred ways to defy the Queen and let Rumpelstiltskin loose, even force him to work for their good, but they all ended in Belle's death. All of them ended with a bullet in the brain or a spiked heel through an eye-

She could not leave Belle to die.

There would be ways to stop Rumpelstiltskin, to steal the dagger back later. They could kill him if they had to. He was the evil one. Belle- she was pure, and good. They could not lose her. They could defeat the Evil Queen later. For now, Belle had to live. She could not be responsible for Belle's death.

She turned on her heel, and began to step toward slowly, shaking, to Regina and her captive, where they stood in the dome like faintly purple barrier.

"Don't do it!" Henry cried out, running towards her, but August stepped out and snagged the kid by the shoulders before he could do anything irrational. She would have to thank him for that later.

She passed James, and he looked at her- she knew that he would be making the same decision right now. And he hated that she was the one to do this, that she was the one that was going to aid the Queen, but he told her that they would fix it later, that Belle was more important.

Emma was last, and all Emma did was glance at her.

Emma- her Emma, the girl who was going to save them all, looked more lost and hopeless than she had been the night the curse had been enacted upon them. She wanted to hold her little girl, to comfort her, but she was going to be the one to do this, to end this- this was just too soon, and they didn't have a plan-

She stepped past Emma, and focused on her goal. Delivering the dagger to Regina.

She was only feet away.

How could she be doing this- but there was no choice- there was no choice.

Belle had stopped struggling, and Regina had removed her foot to receive her prize. Her black eyes were greedy, full of malicious delight, but she kept one arm out, gun cocked and pointed at Belle.

Snow couldn't breathe.

She wanted to look back at James, back at Emma-

All she could see were those black eyes.


And suddenly there was a tug on her dress so strong it sent her sprawling, the dagger tumbling from her-

There was a gunshot.

All Snow could do was scream.

~: Rumpelstiltskin :~

He had been lending her strength when they'd communicated telepathically. It had been tricky, and very draining. He hadn't done it before – he'd needed all his concentration to break apart the spell protecting the door of the clock tower.

He saw her- knew what she was going to do the moment her face turned to watch the spectacle- he'd given her the energy, the strength to do it- he wished he hadn't. The hatred in her eyes-.

"NO!" His lovely, little Belle only hated one person. And she was not going to spend her dying breathe lying at her feet, watching this happen- he watched her delicate, muddy hand as it came up, yanked on Snow White's dress so she toppled, the dagger dropping as he yelled-

A gunshot pierced the air-

-but it missed its intended target.

She was looking up at him with horror on her face, horror on that beautiful face, and all he wanted to do was brush it away with his hands. But all he could do was collapse onto the ground from where he'd been crouching in front of her.

The world was blurring around him as his head hit home.

He couldn't hear her screaming- could only hear his ears roar like waves were crashing over him. He couldn't breathe-

He suspected a pierced lung would do that to a person.

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 32 of 37

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