|One Tough Belle
Author: Belle Gold PM
A different tale of Once Upon A Time's Beauty and the Beast. When forced into an arranged marriage, Belle tries to help herself out of her terrible situation. When it fails, she seeks the help of a dark, mysterious demon named Rumplestilzkin... I do not own Brave nor OUAT.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Belle & Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold - Chapters: 39 - Words: 37,906 - Reviews: 124 - Favs: 49 - Follows: 60 - Updated: 09-05-12 - Published: 05-16-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8123490
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
One Tough Belle
Rumplestilzkin and Belle's Love Story
1. Not Going To Take It Anymore
It was a warm day as I walked towards the festivities in the kingdom. The banners of the castle fluttered gently in the breeze as men in armor and in cloaks lined up in an organized fashion as King Maurice sat on his royal throne, observing the activities that were about to take place. Peasants surrounded the outskirts of the arena that the main activities were going to occur.
I was cloaked in a long black hood, making sure my face was obstructed from view. I carried on my back a bow and quiver of arrows. I lined up with the other men, trying to blend in.
The sounds of trumpets blared forth in a royal fanfare, and King Maurice stood up, his red robe encrusted with jewels sparking in the sun as he gave his speech to the crowd.
"My people," he spoke in a loud voice so all could hear. He spread his arms wide. "I welcome you all to the Royal Archery contest. As you all know, my beautiful daughter, Belle, is of age to marry. I have arranged this competition to choose the fate of the man who will become my daughter's future husband. Whoever's arrow can pierce the center of the bull's eye will win Belle's hand in marriage. I wish each and every one of you gentlemen the best of luck, and may the odds be in your favor!"
I watched as King Maurice sat down to erupted cheers from among the peasants in the crowd. I pitied them, and their ignorance for not truly knowing what the contest really equated to. After the applause died down, the first lanky knight stepped up, cocking back his arrow and breaking his bow in the process of being too forceful. I snickered. What an idiot!
The next man who stepped up was dressed in rags, and had only an arrow in his hand in which he proceeded to throw directly at the target. Shockingly, he hit the target, but did not hit the center. He was met with polite applause, and he left the arena with his head hung low.
"The court would like to present the handsome, the brave, the prestigious Gaston!" bellowed a Paige as the dark haired man dressed in shiny armor made his way towards the festivities, cutting me as well as other men in line. Gaston flashed a handsome smile to the crowd, and several court as well as peasant women fainted, overwhelmed by his handsomeness.
His young sage handed him his quiver of arrows and bow, and quickly walked off to the side to give his master some room to focus. Gaston expertly took out an arrow, threaded it through the bow, aimed, and unleashed it, hitting dead center.
The applause was deafening as the other men around me grunted and groaned in defeat, but I was not one of them. I stepped forward as the crowd was still cheering, quickly threaded the arrow, and unleashed it to split Gaston's arrow in half with a sickening CRACK!
The crowd went silent, and Gaston turned to look at me. "Who the bloody hell are you?"
"We now have a winner!" cried King Maurice, rising off of his throne. "Please, sir, will you announce to the kingdom who will be the gentleman who will marry my daughter?"
"My name is Belle, and I was shooting for my own hand!" I bellowed, throwing back my hood and throwing my cloak off to the ground.
There was a collective gasp from the crowd, and my father's guards ran towards me, and dragged me off to the castle. I struggled and flailed as they led me to the dungeon of the castle. Once the door was opened, the flung me inside, slamming the door shut behind them.
"Your father will be arriving shortly," they said in a stern monotone.
As their footsteps faded away, I rattled the bars, hoping I was strong enough to break them down.
"You're a fool, Belle," said my father as he angrily walked up to my cell. "You made everything look like a giant joke! You made me look like a fool!"
"Oh yes, father," I said angrily. "God forbid a woman can fire an arrow better than any of the men in the kingdom. Heaven forbid a woman actually CHOOSE her husband rather than have all this utter nonsense of pomp and circumstance! This is exactly the type of stupidity that caused the death of King Richard the Second you know!"
"Enough!" he bellowed. He beckoned for his servant, and his servant came running in, a cat o' nine tails in his hand. King Maurice took the cat o' nine tails in his hands as the servant opened my cell. He brought down the whip on me, and I cried out in pain. "This is for embarrassing me in front of my people! I will not have your insubordination, Belle. You will be married, and you will marry Gaston! My word is law! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?"
He beat me again and again and again until finally, the whip slick with my blood, it slipped from his grasp, and I fell to the floor, trying to deal with the immense pain and trying not to cry.
"Bring her to her room," father replied in an uncaring tone. "Her insolence has been punished."
The servant went to try to pick me up, and before he could touch me, I jumped up and pushed him aside. I ran towards my father, and unsheathed a knife hidden in my garter. "You have whipped me and treated me like an animal for the last time!" I screamed, holding the knife at his throat. "I will not be married! You cannot force me!"
"It will be done whether you like it or not," snarled my father as he quickly grabbed the knife away from me. "It is not up for discussion. Now, pulling a knife on a king, that is something that can be widely discussed. You know, the punishment for an attempt of assassination of a royal is another rousing beating with the cat o' nine tails. But for now, I will give you a choice. Would you rather face a beating, or go to your room instead?"
"If the beating would allow me to escape such a ridiculous marriage," I muttered.
"So you take the beating?" asked my father, whip raised at the ready.
I grumbled, and walked up the stairs to my bed chambers, laying down on my stomach so as not to anger the stinging welts on my back that were still bleeding.
"And by the way," said my father as he closed and locked my chamber door. "Your wedding to Gaston will take place tomorrow. Get some sleep, my dear Belle. You'll need to look your best for your wedding!"
I made an obscene gesture at my father's back. Yes, I would look so lovely in my white dress covered in bloodstains from the beatings I had endured the day before from daddy dearest.
I knocked over my pitcher of water in my anger. Why was I being forced into doing something that I didn't want to do? I had tried to change my own fate, and had almost managed it before forgetting that women were not supposed to be skilled in archery, or in anything for that matter. Women were supposed to be docile little pets of men, objects for men to own and do with what they will. Well, if that was what being a woman was, I wanted no part in that!
So I did my best to learn the skills of my father's soldiers, secretly dressing in armor to practice and train with the other men. That was how I learned to become the best archer in the land. Unfortunately, I was not a man, and by tomorrow, I would be betrothed to Gaston.
Ugh, even his name sounded like something the cat barfed up! I snuggled against the pillows, wondering what I could possibly do to avoid the inevitable. I vowed to do everything in my power the next day to find away around this arranged marriage before I drifted off into unconsciousness.