Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 6 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Henry :~

"So, Isabelle," Henry asked as they paced along through the forest. They had stopped running after the sound of the outside world had died away. The rain dripped down on them through the dense trees, not enough to soak them, but enough to get them wet. "What do you remember?"

"I just remember a- cell…" she said, almost dreamily, pushing back a branch.

"A cell, that's it?" Henry asked again. That was weird.

"Is it strange that that is all that I remember?" she sounded worried, brushing her damp hair back behind her shoulder.

"I don't know, I don't think so," he lied. Normally Storybrooke people had memories of lives they never lived, but if she didn't have them, maybe the curse did not affect her as it did others. Maybe that's why she had been locked up. He moved on. "What did you do in there?"

She sounded hesitant, "I daydreamed often. I wasn't allowed books, or anything of the like, so I entertained myself with stories I remembered as a child."

"What kind of stories?" Henry asked excitedly. He loved stories, even though his adopted mom hadn't ever told him stories as a kid.

"Fairy tales mostly, a little bit of Greek Mythology even," she considered him then with an embarrassed smile, "but I'm pretty sure a guy like you wouldn't be into that stuff."

"Are you kidding me?" Henry beamed, "I love fairy tales! My favorite is Snow White."

"Snow White is a good one," she sounded reminiscent. "What do you like about it?"

He smiled, and explained to her in detail about his favorite version of Snow White, of course, the version about his grandmother and James. She was a good listener, gasping and laughing in all the right places, and asking the perfect questions.

They continued down the path companionably, in the night, but for some reason he was not scared of the black forest around them, never even considered it. It made him wonder who she was and how she fit into the entire story, him wrapping up the rest of Snow White and Prince James with a, "and they lived Happily Ever After" instead of the fact that the Evil Queen had transferred them all to Storybrooke with Emma being their only hope. He moved on to thinking about what they were going to do next.

He wondered what to do with her. He had thought about saving her. He'd gotten that part down. Now, however, he didn't have anywhere to take her to, and he didn't know what story she came from. He could remember a face like hers, he was sure, but he couldn't pair her with anyone he knew. He would have to look at the book when they found a safe place to hide.

He sighed as the rain began to come down harder.

"We can't stay in here forever," he said resignedly, thinking of Emma and Mary Margret and school. And then food as his stomach growled.

"Yes we can," she replied immediately.

"But," he said in confusion, "we'll starve."

"Not if you know what to eat," she told him with a nod, "You just need to know the right kinds of food. We can find berries, nuts in the morning."

It didn't sound like much to him, he thought, wrinkling his nose, but he couldn't take her back. Not now. He didn't know if he could save her again from the Queen. She'd probably double the guard, and one ogre was enough for him.

"They aren't that bad," she said, wrinkling her nose in his face right back at him. "You wait and see."

"How did you learn? About the berries and nuts?" he asked, hoping she might remember something about her past life. People didn't live on berries and nuts in this world. She hadn't come up with that on her own.

"I -," she paused, thinking, putting a hand to her forehead. "I don't know." She sounded frustrated. "Probably took a survival class or something…" she trailed off.

Henry sighed in disappointment and started walking back along the path with her. No of course she didn't know. None of them knew. He hated being the only one besides the Evil Queen that knew the truth. They came to a fork in the road. Henry pondered it as they walked up to it.

"Thank you," she said meekly. He looked up at her for an explanation as they slowed. "For saving my life."

"You're welcome," he grinned up happily.

"Which way?" she asked him, her smile kind.

"This way," he told her and led her down the left side of the path. Everyone always chose right automatically. Hopefully if anyone was following them it would confuse them. "So what's your favorite fairy tale?"

~: Mary Margret :~

"Turn right up here," she said patiently. The tension in the car was almost too much to break with speaking out loud, but Emma barked when she didn't know which way to go. Emma turned sharply, her wind shield wipers working faster than they needed to.

"How much farther?" Emma demanded, accelerating passed the speed limit in a matter of seconds.

"Not much," Mary Margret assured her. Well, not much if she was going to be driving like this.

Emma sped along the road towards the outskirts of town. They had traveled to the outskirts in almost less than twenty minutes, a feat almost unheard of in law abiding Storybrooke. It was a good thing Emma was the officer in town, thought Mary Margret as she clutched the side of her seat, and the spare jacket closer to her. Emma would have been pulled over for sure.

Mr. Gold sat in the back quietly. Mary Margret wanted to ask what on Earth was he doing here, searching for Henry with them, but it seemed rude to ask a question like that with him there. Maybe he was worried for Henry's wellbeing too, and he hadn't wanted to wait for the search party, but that didn't seem like Mr. Gold at all.

"Who's the jacket for?" Emma asked in a flat voice.

Mary Margret clutched it closer to her. "It's for David."

"I thought you were mad at him," Emma sounded just as disinterested. She was trying to get her mind off of worrying about Henry. Mary Margret decided that she would indulge her.

"I am, but," Mary Margret hesitated, playing with the hem of the jacket, "I thought he could use it in case he didn't have one…"

Emma smiled slightly, and Mary Margret sighed, looking out the window at the winding road. She knew she shouldn't still care about David, she knew it was wrong, and she had determined she wouldn't care about him anymore but she just couldn't help it. He was so important to her, always in the back of her mind. She frowned that thought away, and got back on track, thinking only about directions.

"Take the next turn to the left, and drive straight to the path from there," Mary Margret spoke calmly as Emma swiveled around, making the turn and speeding along through the middle of the road. Thank Heaven it was deserted.

"There's the path," Mary Margret pointed and the car lurched to a stop just a few feet past it. Emma parked sloppily, a near foot and a half from the curb, but she turned off the car and Mary Margret wasn't about to mention anything about her parking skill at a moment like this.

"The kid ran all this way?" Emma sounded surprised as they sat in the parked car with her hands on the wheel. "He's tough."

"Well he's your son, isn't he?" Mary Margret grinned at Emma conspiratorially, unbuckling and was the first to get out of the car. Emma was passing a flash light to Mary Margret, both of them ducking their heads in the down pour of rain, and Mary Margret made to hand one to Mr. Gold, but he was already over the curb and disappearing into the tree line.

Both she and Emma watched him go, stunned.

"I never thought he'd be such hiker," Mary Margret looked to Emma, who looked back at her with a similar expression.

~: David :~

He half hiked, half ran through the trees, hoping to catch them quickly. He had taken a right on a fork in the path a while ago, and now he was positive they hadn't gone that way. He would have surely caught up to them by then, so he was traveling back down the path, to take the opposite trail, hoping to catch up to them quickly. What if they had gone off the path entirely? What if they were hiding from him? What if that girl had hurt Henry in some way, or was threatening him?

"Henry!" he called into the ever dense forest, hearing his own voice echo around through the dark trees. He was grateful he'd thought to bring a jacket with him. It was keeping most of the rain off his shoulders, but it wasn't keeping his head dry. He plowed on through the thickening mud, his feet soaked and pants caked with the stuff. He sadly hadn't had enough foresight to wear boots. "Henry?" he called again, but only got an extra large droplet of water on his nose.

Peering through the deepening darkness, he pushed a tree branch aside, and was thankful when he found the fork in the path in front of him. With a small smile, he darted up the right path, the left path. He should have known to take the left path. People always took the right path, thinking it was the right way to go. He'd taken it because he'd thought Henry would be the same way. He should have gone with his gut, and taken the left path. Now he had to make up for lost time. He hoped nothing bad had happened to Henry.

~: Mary Margret :~

The rain was drenching them, and her hair came in watery rivulets around her face. Emma had thought to bring a hood. Mary Margret had only brought her beanie, which was now thoroughly soaked and useless, but she kept it on her head.

Mr. Gold still lead the way, his hair sticking to his skin as he half ran up the muddy trail, but he didn't say a word. Both Emma and Mary Margret called out Henry's name, waving flashlights around in the wet darkness that illuminated nothing and left everything pitch black. They saw nothing, and there wasn't an answer.

Mary Margret checked her phone again. David still hadn't called. Where could Henry be? Hadn't David been right on their trail? She stowed her phone back in her jacket pocket to keep it from getting wet, and hugged the spare jacket tighter to her, praying that they would find Henry soon.

"There's a fork in the path!" Mr. Gold yelled to them from 50 feet away, startling Mary Margret out of her reverie. "Which way would he go?"

Emma flashed her light at it.

"Left!" she shouted.

"Why left?" Mary Margret asked, even though that had been her instinct also.

"Because I would have gone left," Emma said, pushing onwards. Mary Margret smiled at her fondly, and followed.

~: David :~

He was thinking about calling Mary Margret on his cell phone to tell her to take the left side of the path, instead of the right, when he saw through the gloom bare legs sprawled on the road ahead, being hauled away into the trees. He panicked.

"Henry!" David called out, rushing up the path with new found strength. If anything had happened to him-

"David?" the kid poked his head out from behind a bush.

Puzzled, David slowed down just as he was reaching him. The kid's hair was wet, plastered to his head, and he was holding the girl's wrists, apparently dragging her under the large fir tree. She looked dead she was so pale.

"What happened?" David asked, thinking Henry must have knocked her unconscious.

"I don't know," his voice was panicked. "She just collapsed. I can't get her to wake up!"

David knelt down next to the muddied body, staring into the girl's unconscious, rather pretty face. She didn't look any older than Mary Margret, maybe younger, and she didn't look at all dangerous.

"She's breathing I promise!" Henry face was full of dread, "We were just talking about fairy tales when she passed out! What if it's the curse? What if it's doing the same thing it did to Graham?"

The kid was in shock. David had to calm him down. "What's her name?"

"Isabelle," Henry answered, "Isabelle Marie French. I rescued her from the dungeon- but what if she dies now?"

"I don't think she's going to die," David told him, but was checking her vitals to make sure. David put his two fingers on her neck, feeling for a pulse. It was there, but it was weak. She was breathing, but shallowly. She needed intensive care immediately.

"We've got to get her to a hospital," David said seriously to Henry.

"No!" he shouted adamantly at him through the rain, blinking drops of it from his eyelashes. "They'll lock her up again! We can't let them take her away!"

Who was this girl? "What?" David asked him.

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 6 of 37

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