Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Word Count: 26968 words.
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 / brief inclusion of death by ground liquifaction, the threat of being turned into soup, and mentions what Snow White did to the trolls.
Warning: Unlike the show, where the focus is on Storybrooke, here the focus is on the other land, and has clips and scenes from Storybrooke - but you wouldn't find them all in a single episode.
Summary: Belle’s new life is a tale all her own.
(ignores everything after "what happened to Frederick")
Mix: Untitled. by casper_san
Story: prologue & part 1 &
part 2 & part 3 &
part 4 & part 5 & part 6 &
part 7 & part 8 & part 9 &
part 10 & part 11.
Art: ([art] by [artist]hosted on artist's journal)
Notes: The underlying here was simply "what if The Queen had not told Rumplestiltskin the truth because she didn't herself know it?" Which begged the question of "Then where was Belle?" This story is an attempt to answer that question.
Characters: Emma Swan, Belle|Belle, Midas, Rumplestiltskin|Mr. Gold, Granny|Granny, Red Riding Hood|Ruby, Romulus|Thomas Kaiser, Prince Charming|David Nolan, Job/Sinuhe|Dr. He, Nixie|May Noapte, River Demon, Duke|Mo French, Nemo/Odysseus|Dr. Whale, One-Eye|Scope, Two-Eye, Three-Eye|Duty Nurse, the Seven Swan Sisters, the Demon Princess, Irene Adler|Myra Able, Urashima, Medina-Sarote, Sam Spade, Nero Wolfe, Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn...and more.
Disclaimer: I own none of the canon characters. (for the more complete list of all the references & characters, see the SOURCES list after “The End.”
Thanks to: Mustangcandi for the knowledge about gold. Seren_CCD for the advice. Sabaceanbabe for the vids and the beta. Pygmymuse and Seren_CCD for beta-reading before I had figured out how to end the tale. I thank you all; you have all been invaluable.
All remaining errors are entirely my own.
Be caught in a commonplace way.
Do all that you know, and try all that you don’t:
Not a chance must be wasted today !
She did not know this place as Storybrooke.
Here, to her eyes and other senses, reality was a barely-discernable web around her. Her limbs were leaden; her mind was roiling chaos, without form, a void.
Over time, she began to form words.
When her mind was complete, she would emerge and walk the land.
For the time being, she was content to sit and wait in this padded cell.
When Belle was a small child, a priest visited - a boto, specifically - to lead those who lived in the castle in a *memento mori*.
She saw all the candles in the castle being snuffed out. "The intent," uncle Midas whispered to her conspiratorially, "is to end with only one candle lit. That’s the good; they say."
Belle tried keeping her eyes on the big candle held by the boto. But Belle’s eyes kept wandering up to a wall sconce whose tiny faint flame was never put out. If the big one is good, then that is…? The immortal things of this world?
The image never left her. It remained always in the back of her mind.
Belle ran against her wishes and out of fear. Fear because while Rumplestiltskin had let her leave unharmed, there was ever the chance he might change his mind and send something after her, or cast a spell upon her or…
Or he could come out here personally for me, Belle thought, though she was torn as to whether her odds would be better or worse if Rumplestiltskin were to do that.
And that was why it was against her will: she hadn’t wished to leave. Even now, Belle half expected him to change his mind and call her back. Even if all were not forgiven. I can work with that.
Belle kept running silently, to keep warm in these frozen peaks, and to keep clear of the unseen dragons whose chill breath could be seen rising off the mountains.
Tense as things with the River Demons were at the moment, Nixie took the time to stand on the river's bend when Sinuhe stood on it's shore and asked what lived in this water.
Whiter than chalk, whiter than limestone plaster, Nixie stood and replied calmly, "You are yelling."
"My family is gone. My homeland is gone," Sinuhe said. "They have all been destroyed. Nothing beside remains!"
"Your daughter is still alive, so why not find her?"
"She went with her Fairy Godmother. A child's request should not be considered a binding agreement."
"Anything which can speak, can make a bargain. I have seen simpletons become kings, men become beasts, and stones weep. Did your daughter tell you the terms of her deal with she who became her Fairy Godmother?"
Sinuhe bowed his head in shame. "My daughter heard me speak of the land of my birth, and a fairy heard her plea that I be able to return there."
Nixie looked down at her water lapping at her toes. To Sinuhe, she said, "Her Fairy Godmother will be destroyed by your son, Sinuhe."
Now his head was not bowed. "Did you not hear, river creature? My family is dead, turned to salt and dust," Sinuhe said.
"One family. Your first family," Nixie said. "You will take a new wife and make a new family. Your son will repay your debt to me - but he will not be an offering to me." And your son’s love will end the War.
"And where will I find this wife-to-be?"
Not I. "I will not provide all the answers," and she sank back beneath the river surface.
Sinuhe left and resumed his wandering. In time, he came upon a woman who became his wife.
Their firstborn, they bestowed upon him the name Rumplestiltskin, son of Sinuhe and Arachne, who would in time be known as Granny.