Continuing Tales

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 8 of 37

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Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

~: Emma :~

How convenient, she thought to herself, just to have that cabin so close by. But she knew he couldn't just move houses around at his will. She shouldn't be so frustrated at the idea, but she could feel herself playing right into his hands again. It was something she wasn't comfortable with, especially since her campaign to become Sheriff.

Behind her, she heard David finally greet Mary Margret.

"Hey," was the lame exchange between them. Would they ever get over this awkward phase? Or would they just be perpetually stuck in this embarrassed, tongue-tied stage?

"Who's the extra jacket for, Miss Blanchard?" Henry piped up.

Emma hid a grin that was meant for her kid. He sure knew how and when to pry, just like she did. To save her roommate from the stuttering sentence that wasn't making any sense, she shouted over her shoulder, "We're gonna take her to Mr. Gold's cabin and decide what to do from there!"

"Ok!" Mary Margret said gratefully, "What can I do to help?"

"Nothing, for now," Emma said, moving to pick the girl up, and keep Mr. Gold's jacket on her at the same time. Sadly she couldn't think of any other options but then to comply with the pawnbroker, besides taking her back to Storybrooke, which seemed, at this moment in time, the wrong decision annoyingly enough.

"I can carry her," Mr. Gold said immediately when Emma began to scoop the girl up. She gave him a skeptical look, and she watched as he clutched his cane bitterly, digging it into the soaking dirt. He looked away as she hoisted the unconscious girl into her arms, trying to stand simultaneously, stumbling backwards as she did so, and right into David, who smiled good-humoredly at her.

"I'll carry her," David offered, taking Isabelle's limp form from her arms without any hesitation. He managed her weight more easily, she had to admit, and he was already hunching his way through the rain, stopping to wait for someone to show him the way. Emma looked back to see Mr. Gold's face blacken momentarily, before he composed himself. She looked at him wryly, before motioning for him to lead, and he nodded, not looking at her, but at the ground.

If this was what she was thinking it was, there was an age difference. A big age difference. The girl looked no older than twenty one. He had to be in his forties, she decided as he passed by them to lead the troop on, his nice business shirt already thoroughly soaked since he'd gallantly (and uncharacteristically) had taken his jacket off for Isabelle.

Henry was quiet at the back of the quickly moving train, and Emma, taking his hand, didn't know what to say to him.

"I wonder what fairy tale she's from," Mary Margret asked, taking Henry by the hand. Emma blinked at her roommate, stunned. She was encouraging this?

Henry grinned through the rain, "Sleeping Beauty?"

From a look from Mary Margret, Emma shrugged, "Well, she did fall asleep in the middle of the road."

"Yeah, but she should have been asleep earlier, you know, in the dungeon," Henry said dismissively.

"You're telling me you didn't wake her up with a kiss?" teased Mary Margret, water dripping onto her nose from her hair.

Henry ducked his head, waving off the notion, "I'm not in the story book, remember? And Sleeping Beauty was locked in a tower."

"So maybe, Rapunzel?" Emma proffered, taking Henry's free hand.

"Where's all her hair?" Henry asked. Emma frowned, realizing who Rapunzel was after she'd said the name aloud.

"Maybe she cuts it?" Mary Margret suggested, motioning to her own short cropped look.

Henry shook his head, "No, she'd be in a tower again." Mary Margret smiled at Emma over Henry's head. She had to admit, the teacher knew what she was doing. The kid didn't look half so frightened anymore.

"Hey, do you know who Mr. Gold is?" Emma asked, bending to hear the Kid better, but stared at the back of her sometimes ally all the while. It wouldn't help but all the same, she was still curious.

"No. I don't know. I didn't think he was really important before, but now that he's here, that means he's gotta be important right? I just can't think…," Henry made a face, "I'll have to get the book out."

"You brought it with you?" Emma wasn't as surprised as she might've been a few months ago.

"Well I had to figure out who she was when we busted her out," Henry explained. Emma nodded at that, flattening the kid's hair out. He was still pondering the unconscious girl, half running too keep up with both her and Mary Margret's long strides when the back of the cabin appeared before them.

"Up ahead!" David smiled back to Mary Margret, who returned the smile with shyness. Emma could only shrug when Mary Margret looked to her for help. She didn't have an answer for her. David was a good guy, but she could understand why Mary Margret was angry. She didn't seem so angry now, holding that extra jacket but…

Mr. Gold led them to a door, with police tape covering it.

"If you don't mind," he gestured to Emma, glancing at Belle, and then David with less than appreciation in his face.

Emma removed the police tape with a sarcastic glance, and let Mr. Gold open the door to his house.

"There's a bed, this way," Mr. Gold gestured to David.

"Do you have a first aid kit?" Mary Margret asked, taking off her gloves and draping the extra, so far unnoticed jacket across a chair.

"In the kitchen cabinet," Mr. Gold said as he led David a little further to one of the few rooms in the little cottage. Mary Margret immediately started going through the kitchen's cabinets, exploring each one quickly before moving to the next.

Emma was helping the kid take his jacket off, who promptly removed his shoes and turned to her, "We should get started looking for her in the book."

"Hold on, Kid," she said, pulling out her phone to look at the time. It was close to eleven. "You need to be in bed. Soon."

"Cool! Are we camping out up here for the weekend?" he asked buoyantly.

"We'll see," she said, ruffling his wet hair before slinging off her own jacket, knowing full well the kid would have to go home tonight if they wanted to keep this girl away from Regina at all. He was already flipping through the book at the table happy and content, so she avoided telling him.

"I'll make a fire," David popped back in the room, telling a shivering Mary Margret.

"Thank you, David," she said, sounding too appreciative, and realizing it. She moved quickly into the room where the girl was with the first aid kit, leaving poor David staring after her, who saw Emma looking on at the situation and then turned away.

"Alright, I know she's not Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella or Gretel. I'm pretty sure she's not Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel," Henry was off like a shot, trying to list how this girl could possibly be to fit into his story book. Emma twisted her mouth at him, before patting him on the shoulder and moving to see how the girl was fairing.

Mary Margret was taking Isabelle's temperature with the back of her hand. Mr. Gold was rummaging in his closet for something, unsuccessfully by the look of growing frustration on his face. When Emma looked at Mary Margret for an explanation, she said, "We need to get her out of these wet clothes."

Emma nodded, realizing that was obvious, before telling Mary, "I'm going to warm some hot water up. That way we can clean the mud off her face." Mary motioned to her appreciatively as she left. "I just hope we can warm her up," Emma muttered under her breathe, finding a pot and putting it under the tap to fill it up.

~: Mary Margret :~

"You must be insane!" Emma shouted. "To think I'd let her stay here with you!"

"She's staying," Mr. Gold sounded nonchalant to Emma's fury.

Mary Margret and David sat at the kitchen table, listening as both Emma and Mr. Gold went at it. David had made up the fire quickly, which was thankfully heating up the house and their wet socks and shoes. Mary Margret had hung their socks in front of the fire place to dry them out and had set the shoes next to the fire place to warm them up as best as they could. Poor Henry was asleep, his head on his open book as he serenely rested amid the row.

They had cleaned the girl up, and had changed her into something warm to the best of their ability, but she was still cool to the touch and unconscious. Mary Margret had packed her down with blankets and put a warm cloth on her forehead, before she had come to see what was going on after Emma had begun to shout. Mr. Gold thought it would be best if Isabelle stayed up at the cabin with him. Emma did not agree.

"If you've forgotten, Mr. Gold, you were charged for battery a few weeks ago," Emma pointed at him accusingly, "There is no way I'm letting a criminal like you stay here with her, alone."

Mr. Gold sighed, and then pulled his head up with an almost hidden confident look. "Ms. Swan, I was going to save this for later, but obviously it won't keep-."

Emma stopped him mid sentence, "I don't care how many favors I owe you, this weird, I don't know, plot of yours is not happening!"

Mr. Gold's confidence left his features, making his eyes flash blackly, "And I tell you she is NOT going back to that wretched town with that Mayor looking to lock her up again!"

"There is no way she is staying up here with you!" Emma yelled, "At a crime scene where you assaulted her own father!"

"She isn't going back to that town while that witch is looking to put her back in whatever dungeon she came from!" Mr. Gold roared taking a dangerous step towards her.

"Look, Mr. Gold," Mary Margret interrupted Emma's retort, and both contenders looked her way, "she can stay at my place- we can tell Regina that Emma has her under protective custody until we make sure she's not, you know," Mary Margret stopped before she said, "crazy" when Mr. Gold's face twisted in anger. David's hand tightened around hers.

"No," Mr. Gold insisted, looking away. "Regina will take her away the minute she takes a single step back into town," he sounded tired, as if all the fight had been drained out of him. He sat down at the wooden table, facing sideways.

"We can get Dr. Hopper to come up here and diagnose her," David said thoughtfully. When everyone looked at him, and Emma sat down he continued, "To prove that she doesn't need to be institutionalized. He's the only one with the credentials in Storybrooke to prove her sanity." Mary Margret smiled. Her David was brilliant.

"It did say that someone from Boston had diagnosed her on the file," Emma pondered, thinking about it. "I'll do a background check on the Doctor there. Maybe they misdiagnosed?" Mary Margret could tell she was thinking along the lines of something a bit more sinister though.

"Afterwards she can go wherever she likes," Mary Margret smiled encouragingly at Mr. Gold. "She'll be free."

"Regina won't be able to hold her," Emma nodded in agreement.

"It won't matter," he snapped, "Regina can make people disappear when she feels the need to do so."

Every one of them paused, thinking of Kathryn's mysterious disappearance. Mary Margret and David shared a grave look, Mary Margret squeezing David's hand encouragingly.

"The only place she is safe is up here," Mr. Gold said tiredly, "With me."

Emma looked like she was about to spit fire, when Mary Margret cut across her.

"In any case we have to get Henry home," Mary Margret interjected, and they all looked at the sleeping boy with fondness, "We're not moving her tonight, so the point is moot. We can discuss this tomorrow." And thank goodness tomorrow was a Saturday.

There was another argument about who was taking Henry home, and who was staying. That woke Henry up. It was finally decided that both Mary Margret AND David would stay up here to watch Isabelle, along with Mr. Gold. Emma was the only one that could face the Mayor and give her back her son without having to be bullied into answering her questions. Well, Mr. Gold could have done that, but Mr. Gold was not leaving the cabin.

Mary Margret looked at David as Henry and Emma donned jackets. He was wishing them well, telling them to call when they'd reached their car. Emma's face was darker than the night sky as she looked back at the cabin, the door where Mr. Gold sat watching his newfound ward.

It was odd, she thought, that Mr. Gold cared so much about this girl. What was she to him? But she didn't really think about it when she saw David closing the door, and looked to her with a searching gaze. She inhaled, and turned away from him, pretending to be busy gathering a blanket or two from a spare cabinet. Mr. Gold was going to be staying in the other room, of course, so it left her out here, with David…

A whole night alone with David. With Isabelle French and Mr. Gold, so maybe not alone, but… a whole night. She decided with a firm nod that she had to behave like an adult, that she wouldn't overreact. She could handle this. She could handle this and be just fine the next day.

"So you'll take the couch?" David said, making her jump. Maybe she couldn't handle this.

Storybrooke's Tale of Beauty and the Beast

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Teddy's Twin

Part 8 of 37

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