Fandom: Once Upon A Time, Princess Bride (movie and book)
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything this awesome.
Summary: This came out of yet another conversation with the RMC about awesome OUAT crossovers. This is an AU where Mr. Gold reads Henry a book about fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles, and a love story that is quite familiar to all of us. :D
I again apologize for taking so long to update this! This summer has been much more hectic than I had originally anticipated, but I’m going to have a lot of downtime soon and hope to be able to churn out some chapters. Thank you guys for all your likes, reblogs and comments. You guys rock!
Belle slipped her hand into his, a smile lighting up her face before they took off, ducking into a ravine to hide them from the Queen’s sight. A large forest loomed in the distance. Rumplestiltskin blanched as Belle ran full tilt toward the trees, pulling him with her. “The Infinite Forest?” he asked, sounding only slightly horrified. He had learned to do the brave thing under her influence, but she had always been better at it than he. “Do you have the magic for that? Otherwise, we’ll never make it out alive.”
Belle laughed. “You’re only saying that because people usually don’t. Yes, I have the magic for it. I may not be as gifted as The Dark One, but I have power enough.” she gave his hand a squeeze before they ran straight into the dense forest.
To the untrained eye, the Infinite Forest looks like any other forest you could happen to stumble upon. It certainly wasn’t as frightening to look at as the Fire Swamp Rumplestiltskin visited a few realms over several years back. To someone who knew what they were looking for, however, the Infinite Forest was as frightening as they come. Once you’d been touched by magic, you never truly went back, and Rumplestiltskin could still feel the crackle of energy running just under the surface. If the other dangers of the forest didn’t get you, and without the proper spell, you would be trapped in the forest for eternity, wandering from tree to tree until you went mad.
Rumplestiltskin tightened his grip on Belle’s hand as they traveled, taking comfort in the fact that she was alive and with him once again. Even if the Belle before him was not the same woman who had left three years ago. “What happened?” he asked quietly. She turned her head to look at him, surprise and what looked like guilt clouding her features.
She took a moment before responding. “When Ursula and her crew boarded our ship, I couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing you again. I asked them simply to spare me, that I needed to live. I knew it wasn’t likely to work, but I had to do something.” she paused, thinking back to that day. “When she asked me why, I told her about us, about you. Not many women claim to be the true love of Rumplestiltskin.” she smiled slightly as she looked at him, her face full of affection and love.
“Something about my response caught her interest, and she took me on as her lady’s maid. Life was good, I was learning all kinds of things, anything the crew would teach me. And I have always wanted to see the world. Every night, Ursula would tell me, ‘Good night, Belle. Good work, sleep well, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.’” Belle ignored Rumplestiltskin’s sharp intake of breath. He had never been that blatant about his power over her in the early days, but it wasn’t that far off from how he had treated her.
“After a couple of years, Ursula called me into her cabin and shared with me her most guarded secret. She wasn’t really Ursula. Her name was Verna and she had inherited the title 7 years ago from a woman named Margie. The real Ursula had been retired for 20 years and living like a queen in the next realm over. I don’t need to tell you how important a name is. No one would be afraid of the Dread Pirate Belle.” Rumplestiltskin chuckled and rubbed his thumb over his knuckle as they walked.
Belle smiled. “After that, we docked at the nearest town and hired a whole new crew. Verna became my first mate, calling me Ursula. She left as soon as the crew believed. But now that I’ve found you again, I can retire and leave the name to someone else.” She paused before giving a slight shake of her head as if physically regrouping her thoughts. “Enough about me,” she began smiling softly. “How have you been?”
Rumplestiltskin’s face darkened as he thought about the time he had believed she was gone forever. He was just grateful for the fact that he hadn’t been the Dark One and couldn’t terrorize the people of the land in his grief. “I’m better now.” he said simply, not wanting to burden her with what he had felt at her death.
She stopped walking, turning to face him fully, taking his other hand in hers. The guilt he had seen in her eyes earlier returned and she brought her hand up to cup his cheek. “I’m so sorry you had to live through that.” she said softly, stroking his cheek gently with her thumb. He leaned into her hand, but said nothing, closing his eyes. When he opened them, he gave her a small smile and then straightened, clearly unwilling to discuss his life during their time apart.
“We should get going. The magic will guide us, but we should make it out before dark. There are other dangers in this forest than it’s infinity.”
Belle nodded, reaching into her pocket for a small light blue seashell. The shell glowed, the faint light pulsating slightly. She turned and returned to his side, holding the shell in her free hand so that they could continue their journey. They remained silent, but Belle leaned into him for comfort and Rumplestiltskin was grateful for her touch.
She squeezed his hand gently and he turned his head to respond to the gesture with a smile. No sooner had her lips begun to form a smile in return that he was gone. She glanced at the ground, realizing her love had fallen into a pit of Snow Sand, one of the less commonly known terrors of the Infinite Forest. Cursing her inability to notice the dangers even after she had been warned, she pushed past the initial panic, knowing bravery would follow if she simply did what she needed to do. She stuffed the seashell in a small, magic pouch at her waist before calling the magic from within her. She snapped her fingers, instantly conjuring a rope tied securely to a branch above. Tying the rope around her middle, she dove into the sand, praying she would be able to save him.