Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 4 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Mr. Gold :~

He had to admit, he had closed a little earlier than normal, but it was so he could meander his way home, instead of walking directly there. Out at night, just before the electric street lamps turned on was always a time of day he enjoyed. And if his wanderings took him towards the hospital, he didn't know if he couldn't help just watching a disaster unfold.

He grinned, moving right along with his cane, which had been a well thought out vice by the Evil Queen, wincing as he stepped with his pointlessly injured leg. Every step reminded him of how much he hated her, and how little he could do to her in this world without magic. Her Majesty could do with some humbling, and now here was his opportunity to watch her humility come to pass without him even having to lift a finger.

He was limping along, his new cane in hand, since his old one had been retained for "evidence's" sake, with a bit more bounce in his step than usual as he turned the corner to reach the front entrance of the hospital. He was surprised he hadn't seen Regina's car come screeching around the corner already, but he could wait for that as the story played out.

He had the hospital in his line of sight when Henry burst through the double doors, dragging someone in a patient's dress after him, head bent in concentration of running quickly. So Henry had managed to save the damsel in distress. He wondered where his mother was as they turned, his real mother, that was, as Henry checked both sides of the street to make sure no cars were coming. They vaulted onto the street, seeing that the coast was clear, were headed directly towards him. Mr. Gold grinned, peering through the dim light at them. People were beginning to follow, some only on-lookers, who stopped to let the others by and then the others, Dr. Whale and a few of his nurses who pursued them. One of the nurses was holding something up. Let the show begin, Mr. Gold thought with a smirk.

"Come on! This way!" the little prince was yelling at her as she stumbled over the curb in disarray.

The girl didn't look particularly dangerous, he scoffed to himself. It wasn't Maleficent who Mr. Gold had guessed would be trapped and locked away by her Majesty, which would have been a treat for him to watch as the Mayor scrambled to lock her oldest friend up again in this mysterious basement. She wasn't tall enough, though, he decided since he couldn't make out her features in the darkness. And she was holding Henry's hand. He couldn't imagine any dimension where Maleficent would hold a child's hand.

He made to move out of their way, to let them pass in all the haste that was necessary for them to escape her Majesty with a thin smile on his lips, when the electric overhead lamps flickered on, illuminating Henry and his damsel.

He stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk.

She was breathing heavily, her bare feet pattering across the street along behind the little hero as they made their great escape, the Doctor and his minions hot on their heels. Disbelief slashed through him. It couldn't be.

But it was. Those were her graceful footfalls, her free flowing curly brown hair that caught in the wind. That was her height, her build. She was there. They were still heading directly towards him. She was coming towards him. She noticed he was there, staring at her.

She and Henry reached his long shadow on the pavement, and she looked him dead in the eyes, a brilliant blue he had never once forgotten. And he saw that there was no recognition there. She didn't remember his face, didn't know who he was. Agony wrenched at his heart. Having her there, having her not be able to remember him, was the cruelest thing the Queen could have possibly done to him.

He caught her arm as Henry began to maneuver her around him. How could she not know him, when all he ever thought about, all he could do was think about her? She looked back at him, terror coloring her features, looking up at him with those eyes, which were bruised with sleeplessness. She was paler, thinner than he had seen her ever, but she was unmistakable to him. Those could only be her perfect, kind lips, those were her perfect, beautiful eyes.

There was no doubt. It was her. She had come back.

"Belle?" he breathed the question.

Something spread across her face, a look of realization. Hope shot through him. She did know him! She knew! She opened her mouth to speak. To hear her voice again!

A sudden feeling of falling sent reality reeling him in as fast as gravity did. He hit the cement with a yell of pain. The forgotten little hero had kicked his cane out from under him. It clattered treacherously to the ground a few feet in front of his face. Mr. Gold looked up to see Henry dragging her away from him.

"Come on! We have to go!" he was telling her.

Don't, he thought at her, pushing himself up by his elbow roughly. Her eyes, which had been fixed on him, now turned away, and her bare feet and his shoed step resumed, carrying the pair of them around the corner of a building, and out of his sight.

He reached for his cane, it barely out of his grasp. Frustrated, he moved his good leg under him to push him closer, and his bad leg protested as it scrapped against the ground. Gritting his teeth, his fingers hooked around the traitorous object, and he pulled it to him.

He had to stop her pursuers. Dr. Whale was only a foot from him- he lifted his cane at just the right moment. Dr. Whale fell flat next to him, managing to kick Mr. Gold in the back of the head, and tripped the nurse that had been holding something up. She yelled, trying to snatch it up even as it smashed against the ground, and to Mr. Gold's horror and rage, it had been a syringe.

The other two nurses had stopped to untangle the Doctor and the nurse who had held a syringe.

"Forget about me, go!" he was yelling at them, trying to get his face free from the pavement where it was smashed down by the nurse's body. "We have to stop her!"

One of the nurses sprinted away obediently to Mr. Gold's chagrin, imagining what long range spell he'd use on her if he still had magic at his fingertips, but the other stayed to help Dr. Whale and the other nurse off the ground.

Mr. Gold made to get up, and was frustratingly unsuccessful. Belle was being chased, and he was powerless to help her. He'd never hated the curse he had created for her Majesty more.

"Mr. Gold!"

It was the Sheriff. She stopped next to him. "What happened?"

"Your son," he groaned, trying to shift himself into a kneeling position.

She helped him to his feet. "Did you see which way he went?"

He didn't remember his gruff reply, only that he was beginning to follow them, discreetly whacking Dr. Whale with his cane on the back of the head for kicking him. An eye for an eye.

He heard Dr. Whale yelp, and heard the two nurses cooing, "We'll get you back to the hospital."

"We can't let her get away!" Dr. Whale was insisting.

"We'll find her," one assured him.

They wouldn't find her. Not if they planned on taking her back there. Especially not if they planned on taking her back with a syringe. He ground the already shattered glass into the cement, turning it to dust beneath his foot. He had to get to her, but he would never catch up to her with this lame leg.

Emma was keeping up with him with infuriating ease. "What is all this about?" she demanded. He didn't say anything. He didn't want to talk to her. "Why did you trip Dr. Whale?"

"Where is your car?" he asked, hoping to interrupt her flow of questions and hoping to give her a purpose.

"In front of your shop, Mr. Gold," she said honestly.

He growled angrily, envying people with perfectly capable legs as they turned the corner just to see the Mayor pull up to them in her sleek black car. To the Sheriff, Mr. Gold amended, since he was in the shadow of a building where the Evil Soul couldn't see him.

The edges of his vision went red. He bit back a snarl as he realized something that he had not before, that hadn't even occurred to him when his Belle's image had run into his view, into his life once more.

Her Majesty had lied.

Dark rage gripped him like it never had before. He felt himself drawing on magic that wasn't there, a reflex from a life past, and remembered bitterly that he no longer had it. He didn't even have this reality's version of death: a gun.

He stepped out of the shadows, and Regina, who had been stepping quickly around the car to get to the Sheriff, halted, her face full of shock, and then fear as she realized her mistake. His thin lips parted in contempt.

No car could stop him at this point. She was dead. The instant the realization had struck him, she had been dead. Now she was on stolen seconds. But they would only be seconds. He remembered her pitiless, sneering words, "He was cruel to her. He locked her in a tower and sent in clerics to cleanse her with scourges and flaying. After a while she threw herself off the tower. She died." Shaking with fury, he bared his teeth at her, the black rage all consuming. It was time for her reign to end.

A hand stopped him. He looked fiercely towards the owner, who was taken aback but stayed immobile in his way. Seething, he thought of breaking her wrist, and maybe a leg while he was at it, but he remembered her name then. Emma. Emma Swan. She was prophesied to be the one to end this curse. She needed to remain untarnished if she were going to be at all useful. He tried to pass by her roughly, but she moved to block him again, shifting her whole body in the way, arms outstretched.

At this point he didn't care if she were the one to break the curse or not. Who needed her when he would just kill the Queen right there and then?

"Out of the way," he snarled savagely.

"No," she said, her piercing gaze meeting his eyes. "Back off." When he stood there, seething, she said more pointedly, "Back. Off."

He held back the impulse to club her with his cane, but read something in her eyes that stayed him. He saw a fierceness there that told him, "We'll get her later. Later." He made to fight that look, with one of his own, "She's lived long enough," but her answer to that was, "We need to find them now." He remembered the nurse running after his Belle. They had to get her to safety first. Regina's death would follow.

Mr. Gold slumped back, away, the darkness receding deeper into him. He would get Regina later. He could always get Regina later, he decided. He wished he could get to her as easily as she could get to him, but he knew killing the little prince wouldn't affect her as much as he needed it to. No. She didn't care about anyone but herself now, and he would use that to his advantage. He was going to give her a slow, agonizing death, one for the history books, no, one for the legends.

He took a step backwards, looking down the empty road that Belle and Henry had taken. Where were they now? The little prince didn't have his castle to hide in any longer. He wouldn't go to Mary Margret's, for fear of bringing the Evil Queen down upon her. Where would he take her?

"Sheriff," the Queen said in a shaking voice, "I was told a very dangerous girl escaped the hospital-."

"Dangerous?" Mr. Gold barked a growl, his eyes latching onto her again. "If she's dangerous she has you to blame for it!" He almost lost his resolve to wait then and there, but Emma's face stopped him. She gave him another pointed look, before turning to face her Majesty.

"Her name is Isabelle French, and she is dangerous. Very dangerous," Regina repeated, her voice gaining strength as she recomposed herself, "When she became too much for her father to handle I suggested that he should institutionalize her for his and the community's safety." I suggested. How had he not seen it before? How could she let Belle die when she was the perfect bargaining chip? "Somehow she's managed to get out. I don't know how. All I got was a phone call from the ward in charge downstairs. She sounded very distressed. She said that the girl took Henry hostage."

She had locked her away in an insane asylum to use against him. She had been trapped to get to him. There were no words for this, this twisted scheme.

"I know perfectly well what happened, Madam Mayor," the Sheriff said in an icy voice. "I was there."

"We have – have to get her back," the Queen saw that she held no power here, despite her scrambling to regain the upper hand, "She'll hurt Henry if she's out there too long with him without her medications." She spoke to the Sheriff with false concern, hoping this would worry her. Mr. Gold could sense it was, but he could also sense it was not going to sway her to join the Mayor's side.

"Madam Mayor!" it was Doctor Whale, limping around the bend supported by his two nurses. Mr. Gold viciously hoped he had broken something. "I didn't know-."

"Dr. Whale," she interrupted, taking stock of him, "I thought you were pursuing the patient," Regina replied with rising disappointment in her voice. The poor Doctor seemed to be stammering at the look of anger she was giving him.

"He tripped," Mr. Gold offered with a nasty smile, "Over me, as it were." Regina looked at him sharply. He could see her fear as all of her plans fell apart. "You would think he would be more careful, especially running around with syringes."

"I – I," the Doctor managed, obviously trying to apologize.

"I'll see you back at the hospital," she ordered her fearful minion, before turning back to the Sheriff, "I'm going to create a search party in the town square. I trust I'll see you there." She was retreating into her automobile. Running. She could run from him, but she could not hide. No one hides from me, dearie, he thought as she peeled away. No one.

"Who is she?" Emma asked, stepping into his view again as their eyes followed the Mayor's car.

Dead, he thought, but when he realized she'd been talking about the escapee, he paused, something catching in his throat.

"Be a dear and run get your car for us. If we're going to catch them before the Mayor does we had better be quick about it," he stated, changing the topic. When she looked at him indignantly he said with the smallest smile, "Please?"

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 4 of 37

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