Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 33 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Emma :~

She was too late, she was too late!

She shot her gun at Regina methodically- once, twice, three times-

But the woman was gone, disappeared in a whirl of black and purple smoke.

She had been too late!

Emma stepped forward, not phased by the disappearing act, she'd had enough of being phased tonight- and saw in the dark raining distance another whirl of black and purple smoke, saw someone leaning against a tree- Regina. She was not going to get away, magic or no magic.

Emma ran forward, yelling for David and August to follow.

And there her friends were.

They passed her as she stopped next to Isabelle- next to where Mr. Gold lay, bleeding. She was trying to roll him over onto his back- Snow White- Mary Margret stooped to help, staining her beautiful white dress with dirt and blood.

"Emma!" August shouted, and she turned immediately to follow, the dirt and jagged rocks dull on her feet as she sprinted towards them. David was running at Regina with a large stick in hand, holding it like he would a sword. As long as it got the job done-

Regina disappeared again the instant Emma was in clear shooting range, disappearing another two hundred yards away.

It didn't matter how fast this witch traveled- Emma would have her head. She was going to die for what she had done tonight. She was going to die for shooting her friends, for attempting to kill her friends. She was going to die for keeping her and Henry apart for so long, and her and her mom, Mary Margret, or Snow White- whatever her name was. She was going to kill her for locking everyone in this curse and forcing them to live mundane, hapless lives. Emma was going to kill Regina for being the Evil Queen.

Pelting through the rain, she was on David's heels, in front of David, August trailing behind them.

Regina was going to die.

~: Rumpelstiltskin :~

He hadn't really known what to expect-

It was very different- very, very different though-

"No!" she was choking, her tears flowing freely down her face. He didn't want her to cry, he didn't want that he knew.

"Don't-," he tried- and he found he couldn't get enough oxygen to form words without choking on them- liquid was rising in his mouth.

"He's got a punctured lung-," Snow White was saying. Little princess to the rescue- he'd forgotten she knew first aid.

"But I thought that he couldn't be hurt by anything but his dagger!" Henry was shouting, frantic, wielding a kitchen knife as long as his fore arm. Knives were for adults- he should put it down- didn't have the energy to do anything but spit out whatever was clogging his airway-

"Technology disrupts magic-," Snow White repeated what Belle had said earlier.

"No, that's not it," Henry shook his head. Clever lad, Henry. Clever, clever…

"How do we save him?" she, there was only one she in the world now, clutching at his shirt, her hands too shaky to actually hold it. He wanted to quiet those hands, clasp them in his own-

Snow White directed her calmly, tearing fabric from the gold dress and putting it over his gunshot, "Apply pressure to the wound, keep talking to him to keep him from going into shock," Shock? He'd been shot. How much more into shock could he get? Snow White stood then, looking at her and still sounding tranquil, but Rumpelstiltskin knew that there was terror behind that calm, "I have to call 911."

"It's True Love! His magic is gone!" Henry shouted, picking up the dagger. There was no name. Clever, clever lad… he had to touch her, hold her hands-

"No- no it's not," Belle denied, her voice still quavering, "I didn't kiss him- so - you're still a sorcerer, you'll heal quickly-," she smiled at him, her eyes glossy with tears, "N-nothing can kill you b-but that dagger. You tell him, you tell him that you're fine," she licked her lips, and then looked back to her task to hide her fear.

He smiled at her, and that smile took such effort, but she didn't see. He finally reached her hands and clasping them in his own.

She ducked her head, keeping her hands firmly in place, the rain drenching her dark hair, "No, we have to keep pressure on your wound until paramedics- until the paramedics-."

"Belle," he tried to soothe her. He just wanted her gaze on his. He wanted to tell her- he wanted- so much-

"No! You're not the one who's supposed to be hurt. It's me! I'm supposed to die," she was saying to his wound as the cloth she held there soaked with his own blood- odd, to bleed so much- "I'm supposed to die," she repeated shakily under her breathe.

"You- you already died once," he reminded her, brushing a curl with his hand, "– We're- we're even, maybe?" Even. She'd always liked to be even.

"No!" and even now he couldn't help but enjoy teasing her, even if it was morbid. But she had more to say, "You'll be fine, you'll be just fine, let me apply pressure-," she pulled her hands from his, and tore fresh cloth from her once beautiful dress, her hands blood stained and covering his wound, "Why aren't you healing yet? Why aren't you healing yet?" she demanded in whispers.

She wouldn't look at him. She was trying to be strong. She knew the answer though. She knew- he'd never thought about dying for anyone else but Baelfire. Baelfire- and now her. He would die for her, die for her gladly. Because he loved her. Because he truly loved her.

"Maybe-," it was such a struggle to speak. It was such a struggle to breathe. Though he'd never heard of this being easy. "Maybe it's better-," he huffed, "it's better this way."

She looked up at him then, "Don't talk like that," she told him, and braved a smile, even if it was small. That smile- worth everything in the world, "You'll be alright," she promised, and he couldn't find it in him to laugh, because that was the farthest from the truth. "We're together now, everything's going to be fine, you'll see," she was smiling through her tears, trying to comfort him.

His brave, brave Belle, little and lovely and so very brave – he loved her for everything that she was, should have loved her more than he had before. He'd been so- so wrong for her. But – now - She would survive this like he never could- she would be better this way, without him. Marry, love, have children-

And he wanted, oh he wanted, to be the one, but he wouldn't, couldn't, had always known deep down he wasn't enough for her, why he'd been so afraid to love her, because who could ever love a beast like him?

And it was – it was worth everything in the world, worth everything in all the worlds- to have her here, to touch her beautiful face this last time- why had he not seen it before? Her face was blurring- he blinked to see it clearly, to see those eyes clearly, as he fought to breathe, fought to speak, "At- at least- I got to see you- one last time."

~: Belle :~

"At – at least- I got to see you – one last time," his voice was low, the lilt still there, even now-

She sobbed then, turning her face into his hand and clasping it with both of her own, tears overflowing as she held him there- as if holding his hand could keep him with her- she closed her eyes, feeling his touch, course and perfect, wishing with all her might that he would be alright-

His hand fell limp against her cheek.

She opened her eyes in a flash to look at it, to look at him- she let go of his hand to press hers to her face in horror, shaking her head.

"No," she told him, searching his features, "no!" she leaned closer, staring into his face- his eyes were closed, his head against the ground and the rain kept falling all around them-

She was shaking, shaking and she couldn't make him wake up- he had to wake up-

She grabbed his shirt, "Please!" she begged, "Please!" she tried again, but there was nothing, no response, no response, "Please don't leave me!"

Her heart wasn't working, No- please no- Please- he left- he had – no- Nothing was making sense, he was leaving her- and she couldn't breathe, didn't want to breathe- he could have all her breathe ever if he would come back-

He had to grant her this one wish- it's all she wanted, all she wanted- Please, please don't leave me! Please come back- he had to listen, he had to give this last thing to her, she would never ask for anything ever ever again- he wasn't listening, he wasn't listening-

No, she collapsed onto his chest, a sob wracking her frame, clutching at his shirt in her fingers, clutching as though it would keep him with her always.

"I love you," she told him, breathed into his chest, and she felt no heart beating there- and the rain kept falling- and there was blood, blood everywhere. His blood, it was everywhere- no- no- no…

~: Emma :~

She heard the scream- Isabelle's scream of horror that made Emma's stomach tighten and her heart skip a beat-

And Emma knew-

Emma knew what had happened and fire filled her veins like it never had before.

With a roar of rage at her lost ally, she ran forward with all her might, where Regina was. She would kill her if it was the last thing she ever did.

~: Regina the Evil Queen :~

The first bullet had landed true, blasting into her hip, draining her- she was slower than she had been once, and she couldn't teleport very far-

She'd been skipping about trying to avoid that no good Sheriff, and she was going to keep it that way. Avoiding her, that was- but for now- she had to catch her breath-

She sagged against a tree- gasping for air-

The scream shattered the night, making Regina's ear's perk up.

Regina smiled sadistically- at least the little creature who had ruined everything would lose more than she would tonight-

She heard Emma's roar of rage- and disappeared again, only a few hundred yards away.

Frowning at her lack of energy, she decided she'd had enough of this game-

She took a deep breathe, and summoning everything she could, she disappeared- far away this time, where Emma and her little bullets couldn't reach her. She went to her home. She stumbled onto the carpet, and fell against the couch of her house, panting for breathe.

Magic took up so much of her energy.

She leaned to pick up a telephone.

At least this night wasn't an entire waste.

She'd gotten rid of an enemy. She smiled at the gun, with only one bullet left, in free her hand. She could have used it to shoot Belle, but she had decided not to. Decided to let her deal with her valiant little man's demise. There was nothing worse than a broken heart, and Belle deserved it. Deserved it for giving Rumple back his dark magic. And so, she smiled wider.

She'd ruined that pathetic little creature's life tonight.

"This is 911, what is your emergency?" a voice said on the other end of the phone, reminding her that she had already dialed.

"This is Regina Mills- I've been shot," she breathed, trying to sound more hurt than she was. Playing it up was something she had learned long ago. If she was going to frame the Sheriff for shooting her she might as well do it properly. And there would be a clean slate again. She'd have to get a new couch- she was bleeding on it, staining the crisp whiteness with crimson. She smiled at it- maybe red was more her color.

Now she would start again, and this time, there would be no foul ups.

~: Snow White :~

She heard the scream rend the air in two- and knew the noise, understood what it was- knew that noise so well, because she herself had made it twenty eight years ago when she'd been so sure all was lost as her Charming and their daughter had fled to the tree stump. All had been lost then-

She'd told the paramedics where they were, but she hung up on them now-

She turned, hiking up her dress and ran-

And there was Belle- and Rumpelstiltskin, eyes shut-

And Snow had to stop herself from crying, covering her mouth as she heard Belle's pleas, her inexplicable bartering, as though any of it would bring him back. Deals spewed from her mouth amongst the sobbing, and all Snow could do was hold in the tears and realize she had to help.

She knelt down next to Belle, putting her arm around Belle's bare shoulders, "Sweetheart, we have to step away for a bit."

"Wake up, Rumpelstiltskin," she was saying, "Please- please! I'll give you anything you ask for- I'll work in your estate forever, and I'll never, ever kiss you- and I'll break all the tea cups you want-," her voice choked, "and you can have- you can have all- all of my children- all of them- I don't-!"

"We need to get you away from here," Snow White whispered soothingly, trying to pry her fingers off.

"No- no!" she pushed Snow White's hands away, "You promised!" she yelled at his corpse, her voice breaking, "You- you promised that- that you would make my wishes come true, Rumpelstiltskin- you promised!" she held him by his shirt front.

"Sweetheart-," and Snow was trying so hard not to cry with her. She was going into shock, and she needed help- she was soaked in blood, most of it probably her own- the girl was looking more pale than she had the first night Snow had laid eyes on her- had it only been weeks ago-?

"Why?" Belle wanted to know, her voice thick and hoarse, her hands letting go of his shirt, quaking fingers unsure what to do as the rain washed them of his blood.

And Snow White could not answer her.

~: Henry :~

Her first scream sent him stumbling backwards, falling over and landing, still staring at her, and she screamed again, her head buried in Rumpelstiltskin's chest, her face contorted with enough sadness to wrench his heart out of place.

She was begging him- begging him to come back- and Henry didn't know what to do-

Snow White came running out of the woods, rushing to Belle's side, coaxing her away, but Belle clung to Rumpelstiltskin desperately-

This- this wasn't how it was supposed to happen- no one but the Evil Queen was supposed to die- Belle- her happy ending.

He shook his head, tears filling his own eyes as Belle tried to make Snow White let go of her, yelling at Rumpelstiltskin, to please, to please come back-

Happy endings- Emma was supposed to kill Regina and everything was supposed to be back to normal- He couldn't figure it out- everything was supposed to be fine, and Rumpelstiltskin- he'd never, not once, imagined Rumpelstiltskin dying- he was- he was important, and he was going to be on their side in the final battle-

"You cheated!" she howled at him, "You gave me your strength before- you- you cheated! You can have it all back- here!" she grabbed his lifeless hand, pressed it to her face-


Henry lifted up the dagger- the jagged, nameless dagger- his curse had been broken, and he had died. How were they going to break the curse without him? Without Rumpelstiltskin, the very creator of the curse- they were going to be stuck in Storybrooke forever without his help!

Henry looked up to the sky, felt himself crying- how could this be happening? It wasn't fair! It wasn't fair to anyone- it wasn't fair to Belle-

Rumpelstiltskin was dead,

And it wasn't fair. He felt rain pelt against his face.

There really weren't any happy endings in this world.

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 33 of 37

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