Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 5 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Isabelle :~

"We lost them!" he said triumphantly, looking back over his shoulder. Isabelle followed suit, and saw no one in pursuit. She grinned in exultation, and continued with Henry forward.

"Where are we going?" she asked him breathlessly a while later as he continued to pull her forward. She hadn't been so free in so long she did not mind running, just to feel the space that she had to move through, but her legs were weak from disuse. She did not know how much longer she could keep up the pace before she began to crumble into pieces.

"I don't know," he said, panting as he ran. "I was going to take you to Miss Blanchard's house, but I don't want to get her in trouble. Plus, that's where she'll think of first."

"She?" Isabelle gasped, tripping over a curb again. The pavement was rough on her bare feet.

"The Queen," Henry explained as he pulled them to a stop, looking around. "She's evil," He kept searching around the rather lonely area as though for a sign. It held only two shabby houses, and one sidewalk to link them. On the other side of the road lay dense woodlands that had yet to be tamed. They had seemingly run to the outskirts of the little town, but the boy didn't know what to do from there.

"Who was that man, back there?" she asked him, taking in a shaky breathe, the man's face weighing on her mind, as though she knew him. "The one you tripped?"

"His name is Mr. Gold," Henry said dismissively, "I think he's a bad guy, but I'm not sure."

She couldn't help but feeling that her hero wasn't right about this Mr. Gold. She felt as though she knew him from somewhere, but that couldn't be right. All she remembered of her life was her cell, a dungeon of loneliness and suspension that she was now free of, and before that? She remembered her father, but… no "Mr. Gold."

But he had called her, "Belle." It had been her father's nickname for her. Mr. Gold had whispered it, staring into her eyes, and something had clicked. But what? She couldn't remember anymore. Her head was aching from lack of oxygen, and she took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down, taking in her surroundings instead of considering Mr. Gold further.

Everything was new, the air was clean, and not stale, the breath of the wind pulling and twisting her hair in tendrils. The sky had been purple, but was now a deep indigo. The moon. She smiled to it's light, seeing its full face for the first time since long ago. The smell of the earth around them, the smell of green calling to them, she couldn't help but be drawn to the woods as her gaze shifted to find the smell. She was content here, content in her freedom, willing to bask in it forever.

"The Evil Queen has minions," Henry said as they saw a light flicker on in the house opposite them as they stood in the center of the street, and a man walking towards them from town, "We have to get out of sight." He looked up at her urgently. "Do you have any ideas?"

Isabelle stared straight up into the darkness of the woods; a place to be free and a place to hide.

"In there," she said, looking down to see him nod his head, and then, clasping his hand tighter, they ran headlong down a path into the forest.

~: David :~

He was sure it was Henry he'd seen running into the woods at night with a stranger in a patient's outfit, hand in hand. Blinking, he watched their two forms run into the forest and disappear into the darkness.

He made to follow them, wandering up the way after them, quickening his pace, feeling lucky that he had decided to go for a walk and get some air that night. He knew lots of people in Storybrooke, but he didn't know that one, and anyone running around in hospital issued clothing made him nervous, maybe because he had been one of those people himself.

He reached for the cell phone in his pocket.

He knew Henry Mills was the adopted son of the Mayor, but his immediate instinct was to call Emma. Well, maybe it was to call Mary Margret, since he didn't have the Sheriff's number, but luckily Mary Margret just so happened to live with Emma.

He dialed her number quickly, praying that she wouldn't be too angry to answer him at the moment, not that he didn't deserve it, but… What if the boy was in trouble?

After a ring and a half she picked up, just as he started to head into the forest after them, "Hello?"

He smiled at her voice, "Mary Margret," he breathed. He could feel her smile answer over the phone just as he lost view of the city lights behind him through the thickening trees.

~: Emma :~

Emma drove recklessly, but Mr. Gold didn't seem to mind. He was just on edge as she was.

"Where do you think they are?" he asked her calmly. He was hiding his emotions from her, something that he was good at and something she couldn't stand.

"I'm gonna check back at Mary Margret's real quick, and we'll decide from there."

"He won't go there," he scoffed.

"I know," she snapped at him. She was furious that he wouldn't answer any of her questions. She had half a mind to dump him outside where it had begun to rain and leave him there, but she had to keep him with her. She told herself that she was keeping him so that he wouldn't go off the deep end again and do something dangerous to Regina, but really he wanted to keep him so he would answer her questions. Even if he avoided her questions, when they found this runaway girl some answers would be given at their reunion. "But we have to start somewhere."

"Not there," he murmured.

"Look, we're gonna grab a few flashlights, and get Mary Margret to come looking with us," she managed over her impatience with the man.

"We're not going to be able to see anything in this anyways," he muttered.

She didn't say anything to that. He was right. But did he have to say it? She sped up, something she did when she was upset. She'd had to take a road rage course more than once. She realized that her knuckles were white on the steering wheel, and she tried to make herself ease up on the gas pedal.

"We have to get to them before the Mayor does," she stated aloud, trying to organize her thoughts that were a jumbled mess in her brain, "For one I don't know what she's going to do to Henry when she catches up to them. And then I don't really know if Isabelle really is insane, or if she's been locked up for the wrong reasons. I would like to find out for myself."

"He's in good hands, Sheriff Swan," he spoke to the window, his voice reverent, "He'll be safe with her."

"How do you know? She could be completely different here!" she shouted, revealing her state of panic. Henry was out there thinking he was with this fairy tale princess, while she could be completely different in this life, mean and cruel. She didn't even want to imagine what someone could do to him. And the fact that Mr. Gold told her that this Isabelle was good did NOT mean that she was in the least.

"Here?" he looked sideways at her suspiciously, catching her phrasing.

"I mean, now." Dang it, the kid was getting to her. He'd been talking about the Happily Ever After place today, and it all was beginning to make sense to her. "And it's raining!" She couldn't just leave anyone out there in the rain, let alone Henry.

She parked the car with a lurch, and got out of it quickly. Mr. Gold followed suit as they headed into the apartment and out of the rain.

"I hope you don't mind me tagging along," he said as they walked inside the building, though she knew from his tone of voice that he was going to be "tagging along" whether she liked it or not.

"No," she said honestly, pausing before she reached the stairs, "We need the man power. I need some good allies," she finished with a confident smile that he shared back with a smirk. That, and she still had questions for him that needed to be answered.

As Emma hurried up the stairs, leaving Mr. Gold behind her and not caring, because every second made her more anxious about Henry, but just as she was about to open the door Mary Margret came whirling out of it.

"Emma!" Mary Margret said in delight and relief.

"Hi!" she replied, in more startled surprise then in actual greeting.

"I was just about to come looking for you," she said, looking at her intently. "David spotted Henry running into the woods with some stranger earlier. He's following them. He said he'd call when he caught up."

Emma's eyes brightened, "Let me grab my jacket."

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 5 of 37

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