I finally made it. Somehow the only thing that could get me over my most recent writing block was this; the beginning of the S3B AU I’ve been trying to write for what feels like a lifetime. This is barely a prologue, since I only needed to change a couple things about 3x11 to make it work, but the next chapters will cover one episode each, so they’ll be much longer. I love this story with all my heart, and I hope I’ll do it justice.
All flashbacks post 3x11 are considered null and void until proven otherwise; this is true even for the Rumbelle flashback from 3x11, which was cute but contrasted with Skin Deep. Ruby took Granny’s place in the first scene, simply because it made sense for Ruby to be there.
“You see, the only way for you to die, is if we both die. And now… now, I am ready.”
The scream of horror never left Belle’s throat. She was paralyzed, frozen by a spell that left her motionless and powerless as the man she loved ran a dagger through his own chest. He was saving them all, but at a price that Belle would have never been willing to pay. He couldn’t die, not now, not when everything was finally going well, not when their happy ending seemed just in reach.
She didn’t hear most of what Rumplestiltskin and Pan said next, but it didn’t matter, nothing mattered anymore, because one moment later there was a flash of light, and her lover was gone.
The spell holding her vanished, and she fell to the ground, unable to bear the horror of what had just happened. It was like her chest was being torn apart, and she couldn’t see or hear or feel anything that wasn’t pain.
“No…” she whimpered, as if she could deny the truth, as if she could bring him back by sheer stubbornness. “Rumple! He’s… he’s gone.”