Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 34 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Belle :~

Everything was dark- and there was so much black, but he had always liked black.

There were only a few of them at the funeral. Only a handful of them. Henry, Emma, Snow White…

She, she didn't know if there was anything, anymore, as they lowered the casket.

Nothing. Emptiness. And he was gone. Six feet under. Gone.


And you thought you all would get away without any such pranks. From me? Come on, now dearie, you really think you could get away without? *grins with a giggle*

No, now you may read on. The rest is the real story, I promise. I hope you enjoy!

~: Belle :~

She knew Snow White's arm around her, pulling her away, helping her to stand, but she couldn't really feel it. There was no feeling in her legs, no muscles there to make them work, no muscles in her arms to let her hold him. Nothing. She was dry eyed, no noise coming from her now-

She had had to turn it all off, had to shut it out- her whole body was numb, and she remembered a similar feeling- the night he had made her leave Dark Castle, she had run until there was too much to feel, and then- she had turned off- because she didn't know what else to do-

But his face- his face was there and it looked just like he was sleeping-

Why couldn't she just wake him up?

Snow White was talking to her, "Sweetheart, it's alright, stand up-."

But it wasn't alright- he had promised to make her wishes come true- he had promised- and she thought that that meant that he was taking them back- because they couldn't have children here- they didn't know if they would be allowed back in the other world- and he had said that he wanted to make them come true- she had wanted a wedding, and an entire life- all the hope that had filled her this evening when he'd danced with her- had that only been hours-

Only hours since he had promised- it seemed like a lifetime ago, like someone else's lifetime ago and she'd read about it in a book because nothing, nothing could change so drastically in one night-

She had never even imagined him dying, had not even considered it possible- he was Rumpelstiltskin, the impenetrable, unbeatable creature of fairytales-

And he was just lying there-

The lump in her throat threatened to choke her-

Maybe it would be easier to die- but she hadn't died yet- and it was because he'd given her that energy before in the mental connection, before he'd come with the dagger- if, if only he had kept it, he might still be alive-

And she remembered something- something that through it all was still clutched in her hand- how she had forgotten it digging into the palm of her hand- it was the handle. The handle to the chipped tea cup- she unfolded the last two fingers of her hand where she'd been holding it, but didn't look at it. Couldn't look at anything but his face-

How was that fair? He had gotten a chipped tea cup and an empty heart, and now all she was able to have was – was – emptiness, without a cup to cherish -

"Wait!" Henry shouted. She didn't have the strength to look from Rumpelstiltskin's face- if she looked away she might miss him waking up- he would wake up- he would have to -"Belle!"

Henry grabbed her hand, the one without the handle in it- and it was just as lifeless as Rumpelstiltskin's had been.

"What is it Henry?" Snow White asked carefully, still hefting Belle up.

"You- you have to kiss him!" Henry told her, and Belle looked into his eyes then. His round little eyes- there was hope there- she remembered hope- and it was so infectious- she nodded at him- a possibility- maybe-

"Henry-," Snow White's voice was cautious, "Don't-."

"She has to at least try!" Henry shouted, tugging at her hand. And she could try- she stepped forward, "Come on Belle!" he encouraged with a half smile-

"I don't think she can-," Snow White said-

Belle felt herself falling to her knees next to his form, staring at his face still- before looking to Henry, looking to him for the answer.

He gestured at Rumpelstiltskin, nodding, his eyes wide and expectant, "You just have to kiss him."

Just had to kiss him.

She turned back to Rumpelstiltskin then, taking one of his hands in hers, and folded the handle of the cup into his grasp.

"Rumpelstiltskin," she whispered, "Please, if you're there, if you're lingering, know that I love you- if- if I can't," she had to swallow, to continue to speak, "If you have to go- then go- I'll, I'll miss you- so much-." She smiled bravely, and hoped that he could hear her, hoped he would understand if he couldn't come back to her as she leaned into his face, "I'll love you, forever."

And she kissed his cold, motionless lips. And wished with all her might that he would come back to her.

Nothing happened.

She opened her eyes, staring at him.

She waited, and kissed him again, pausing there, studying his features.

There was no change.

"It- it was supposed to work-," Henry stammered, looking at Rumpelstiltskin's body in horror.

She broke away from him.

How could it work? Death was not an evil curse that could be broken.

It was final. It was all encompassing. It was cruel, and merciless, and just because she would die of a broken heart if he did not return did not mean that Death would give him up again.

Belle felt herself plummet into darkness, but this time she didn't scream- she didn't cry. She didn't know if she could ever do anything again- She stood, her muscles mechanical, and turned. Turned from him. Didn't really see Snow White as she tried to intercept her.

He was dead, and there was nothing she could do.

She could travel to the very depths of the world to try and retrieve his soul, but it was lost to her. She was alone again- alone like she had been for twenty eight years. She would be alone again. Forever.

She stood motionless, feeling like all the feeling was seeping through her, down her legs into the earth, the forest floor soaking everything up as though it were rain water. She felt the world tilting, but she was glued there, glued to the surface of the earth, and everything around her was spinning.

The sound of boots- of voices- she determined that the paramedics had arrived- were rushing past her- and it was all a blur- a blur of red and loud noise from the distance and dark, curdling despair-

One of the paramedics stood in her face, and it was so much a different world than what she wanted, so very different. He was flashing lights in her eyes- and it was blinding- but it wasn't like she wanted to see anything anyways-

It took her a moment to realize the paramedic was asking questions. Or one question- just repeating it- and it took her another moment to realize she should respond so that he could stop asking-

"Are you alright, Miss?" he asked her again, sounding more and more frantic every time she didn't answer.

"No," she told him truthfully, before she felt everything rush to her head, and she passed out in a dead faint.

~: Emma :~

There was nothing.

No sign of her.

No sign of that wretched witch.

Emma had wanted to kill her- had wanted to shoot her, burn her at the stake, and have her remains scattered throughout the world so that no ash ever met another ever. And she had escaped.

Escaped with magic.

Emma already hated magic. Now she hated it more.

She had stopped where she'd seen Regina last, next to a tree.

She heard David coming around, heard August behind him. They had searched the permiter too, and there was still nothing. Nothing to show for it.

Emma slammed her fist into the very solid tree, but didn't recoil as the pain spasmed up her arm. She was furious.

"Emma," August shouted, panting.

"I couldn't find her," David said from behind.

"Me either," August jogged to a stop in her peripheral vision. "Not a trace."

"She's used magic to get away," David spoke aloud, as though that needed to be said. Emma felt like whirling on him for making such a stupid remark, but she didn't. She wasn't going to take her anger out on David. David hadn't done anything.

Regina had.

She would save it for Regina.

"We're going to find her," Emma snarled.

"Yes," August agreed, placing a hand on her shoulder, "But first we're going to get you a pair of shoes and a change of clothes."

Emma felt herself trembling.

If she stopped now- she would have to-

And Henry- she had left Henry back there to watch-

Mr. Gold was dead. Isabelle was dying.

Now wasn't the time to run away from everything. Not when she was the one who was supposed to save them all.

She leaned against August for support, terrified. How was she going to save them all if magic was there? How could she compete against it? How could she compete against Regina?

"We'll find her," August promised again, wrapping an arm around her, and taking the gun from her limp grasp. "Let's get you home."

"How can I win if – if she can just disappear?" Emma wanted to know.

"Now," August smiled at her, and she was surprised to see that in his eyes there was confidence- he knew what to do, "that's the fun part."

~: Henry :~

It was supposed to work, why didn't it work?

The 911 people had finally made it but they were too late- they were too late-

True Love's Kiss was supposed to fix everything- it was supposed to fix everything-

Men were crouching around in front of him, asking him if he was alright- but he was fine- it was Rumpelstiltskin that needed to wake up. They were holding his wrist, checking his pulse Henry assumed, listening to see if there was any breathing.

But his chest wasn't rising.

Prince Charming had awakened Snow White with a kiss- it had worked that time. Why was it not working now?

People were crowding him, only two people really, but it felt like more because they were not helping, taking Rumpelstiltskin away, and he hadn't woken up yet-

"No, no I need to make sure he wakes up," Henry was telling them, pushing past as people lifted Rumpelstiltskin onto a stretcher. "Watch out- I need to make sure-." He was trying to tell them, when someone wrapped a big blanket around him.

"You're going to be fine, son," the paramedic said.

What did he have to do with it? No- he had to make Rumpelstiltskin wake up. Of course he was fine- he tried to reach Rumpelstiltskin- they were putting a black blanket over him. That black blanket was so final. Didn't they know Rumpelstiltskin was still waking up?

Henry saw Belle pass out into another paramedic's arms, heard Snow White gasp, "We're going to need another stretcher!" shouted the paramedic, "I think she's lost a lot of blood!"

"Hold on- we can put him down, he's already dead, and take her instead-," one of the paramedics was saying, and helped to lift Rumpelstiltskin off the stretcher- laid him back down in front of Henry, black blanket still shrouding him from view.

"She's been shot twice it looks like-," the one paramedic was saying, and Henry watched as they put Belle onto the stretcher gently, and she looked just as pale as Rumpelstiltskin did, one of her blood stained hands falling delicately to one side as her neck arched upwards, her head tilted back, looking just like a person who'd just eaten a poisoned apple. No- she couldn't die! Belle couldn't die too- Rumpelstiltskin wasn't there to wake her up-

"Careful-," one paramedic was saying to the other two.

The head paramedic was directing them, "We'll come back for him in a minute," he looked to Rumpelstiltskin, before helping the other two heft the stretcher up. He looked to Snow White, "Mary Margret, could you help us?"

Snow White almost didn't respond to her old name, before blinking, "Yes- anything you need-," she nodded at them, before turning back to look at Henry. "You'll be alright?" she wanted to know.

He didn't really understand the question, but nodded.

Snow White turned to go with them, helping suppress wounds and the like- the paramedics talking all the way as they hustled into the night talking frantically about injuries and treatments and breathing rates.

The rain was ending, but it still pattered dismally around him as he knelt back down in the mud.

He was still holding Rumpelstiltskin's legendary knife, along with the wimpy looking kitchen knife. He dropped his dumb knife, annoyed with himself. He hadn't even used it to help anyone. He didn't deserve to be a knight of the Enchanted Forest, let alone the son of the White Knight, the savior of the realm.

He felt like Rumpelstiltskin should be holding it on his chest, like a king of old buried with his weapon. He was centuries old, and had done as many great deeds as a hundred kings.

Henry pulled the blanket back from Rumpelstiltskin, looking at the face that had once held so much spark, had terrorized the town with a single flickering glance- to think someone like that could be killed with one bullet. That one bullet could ruin everything so quickly…

Numbly he took Rumpelstiltskin's hands, and put them over the knife now laid on Rumpelstiltskin's mid drift- but something was in one of his hands, so he couldn't wrap it around the knife. It felt like a jagged edge of something. Was it important? Henry wanted to know.

He tried to pry it away-

But Rumpelstiltskin's fingers curled around it.

Henry leapt back, staring in astonishment as he watched the hand around the object clasp whatever was there tightly- and in utter amazement watched as whatever was in his hand began to shine-

It shined a bright gold- and then the golden color lanced up his arm-

But the knife- the legendary dagger was glowing dark, and it shot up his other arm-

Henry gasped out loud as the colors classed in a brilliant array- half and half, splitting Rumpelstiltskin in two. The dark half of his face was the scaly mask he wore in the Enchanted Forest, while the golden half was bright, almost too bright to look at-

The dark began to overtake, and Henry couldn't help but want the gold to win. It was overpowering the gold- the darkness had taken over most of his face, was reaching the golden elbow-

And then, like lightning, the gold shone throw, taking over Rumpelstiltskin's entire body like wildfire-

He shone gold, brilliantly bright gold that lit up the entire clearing-

The gold began to die, and Henry feared the gold was losing again, but then the gold gathered in a ball over Rumpelstiltskin, before shooting straight into Rumpelstiltskin's chest.

Henry made to touch Rumpelstiltskin, but stopped- and stared- and -

Watched the first breathe come to Rumpelstiltskin's chest shallowly- heard him gasp-

Watched Rumpelstiltskin open his eyes-

Watched as Rumpelstiltskin sat up, clutching the knife in one hand, and the fragment of whatever was in the other, with complete amazement.

Henry let out a cry of joy-

"You're alive!" Henry shouted, leaping forward to search Rumpelstiltskin's face, to make sure, but the astonishment was clear, and Henry couldn't find anything to doubt. Those dark, terrifying eyes were totally Rumpelstiltskin's, "You're alive!"

Rumpelstiltskin's mouth was slow to ask, "How-?"

"It worked! It worked!" Henry was euphoric enough to hug Rumpelstiltskin, almost sending the pair of them end over end. Henry kept shouting, not exactly sure what he was saying, but he was so happy! Belle would get her happy ending after all!

Rumpelstiltskin was breathing heavily, as though he'd been drowned- well, he had been dead- or had he been? Henry didn't even care right then. This fixed everything!

He pushed the boy off of him, prying their faces apart, "Where's Belle?" he wanted to know.

"The paramedics took her-," Henry motioned in the other direction, but he couldn't believe it!

Rumpelstiltskin was alive!

"Where?" Rumpelstiltskin wanted to know, still trying to get Henry off of him, looking around him.

Henry sat back, picking up his own knife, "To the hospital. Don't worry, Snow White is with them. No one's as kick trash as my grandma- well, except for my mom."

"Not that I don't trust you," Rumpelstiltskin's voice indicated that he didn't trust his words at all, "I am going after them." Rumpelstiltskin staggered to his feet.

"Me too!" Henry beamed, bouncing up. "Here, I can be your cane." Henry told him as Rumpelstiltskin hobbled a few steps.

"My leg-," Rumpelstiltskin said in confusion.

"I know- you lost your magic remember?" Henry told him, skipping forward to help.

Rumpelstiltskin didn't take the shoulder offered to him, "No- it, doesn't hurt."

"What?" Henry was confused, and tried to glance at the magic blade. Maybe something had counter acted his curse breaking? "Can you use magic still?"

"Not even a whisper," Rumpelstiltskin growled, continuing to hobble forward.

Henry smiled, "That's ok! You're alive!" He ran forward to stand next to him, "And your leg doesn't hurt!"

Rumpelstiltskin didn't say anything to that, but Henry didn't care.

It had worked!

True Love's Kiss had worked!

Magic was the best!

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 34 of 37

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