A Change with Consequences

The woods seemed to pass too slowly for how fast the seconds were flying by.

Belle willed herself to push harder. Phillip's breath was coming in ragged as well as hers. Her hair had fallen loose and flew behind her in the wind.

Too long, too long, Belle reached the gates of the castle. She hoped, prayed, wished, had done everything to keep her alive to reach the Beast. She could not lose him, not after everything he had done for her…

The hall was a mess. Furniture and belongings were tossed everywhere, but without a thought Belle sprinted up the stairs to where her instincts told her to go to: the West Wing.

Belle could not see anyone else there: Lumiere, Clocksworth, or Mrs. Potts. She greatly feared that the absolute worst had happened.

Gaston and Beast stared at each other, willing the other to make the first move when the door burst open and Belle came running through straight at the Beast.

"Belle!" both men exclaimed.

"Oh, thank God you're alright." Belle said as she hugged the Beast. He gently hugged her back, so happy that she was here for him. His dreariness had washed away and was replaced with a will to fight and live.

"What are you doing here you little wench…" Gaston looked disgusted as the display of affection.

Belle flinched as a harsh roar interrupted Gaston, but still held onto the Beast. "How dare you, you trite little bastard!"

"Stop it, just stop it." Belle pleaded. "Please. Gaston, just go home…"

"Go home? You will be my wife!" Gaston yelled. "I will kill this, this thing and use its carcass as a decoration and you will come with me and be my wife!"

"Stay away from her! I will kill you if you dare touch her."

"And who's going to stop me?" Gaston taunted. "You? You're nothing but a Beast whom she could never love!"

The situation was unfolding into chaos that even Eris would be proud off. Lighting no longer cracked in the distance but right at the castle walls as bits of stone cracked and broke from its foundation. Torrents of rain poured and distorted the night sky. An aura of menace and fear took place of one of hope and love in the castle as the people faced the crossroads of their lives.

"I will never be your wife Gaston!" Belle screamed over the lighting.

"You cannot choose a monster over the man!" Gaston yelled in rage.

A dry laugh escaped Belle. "You're right, there is a monster and a man here, and I chose the man! You are the monster Gaston, and can never even hope to be a man!"

With fright Belle watched as Gaston jumped forward with his sword, madness clear on his face. Beast pushed Belle out of the way and she went flying across the room into the broken mirror.

Belle watched the fight with horror. Gaston was smaller but had a weapon as when Beast was doing everything in his power to defeat Gaston without killing him. Even now, with his life threatened, he would not take a human life.

Fear burrowed deep within her; she could not do anything to save Beast. However, she felt a sharp pain on her abdomen. Her dress was ripped where there was a piece of glass sticking in her stomach. The wound was just beginning to bleed around the broken glass.

It hurt too much for Belle to handle; she pulled the broken glass out. A second of relief washed over her until the wound began to seep a much larger stream of blood. A whimper escaped Belles lips as she pressed her right hand to the wound to help the pain and she closed her eyes. Tears leaked from beneath her eyelids.

The Beast noticed that she was in pain. He panicked and threw Gaston across the room hard, knocking him out. But that was not at the front of his mind. Only one thing mattered:

"Belle." He whispered to her comfortingly as he took her into his arms.

Belle opened her eyes. "I'm alright." She smiled. "You're here."

The Beast smiled but it quickly disappeared as he could smell the blood. "I'm getting you help."

"No, I'm alright." Belle said as she and the Beast stood up slowly. Out of the corner of Belle's eye she saw movement, and when she realized what was going to happen she flung herself in front of the sword.

Time froze as everyone took in the situation. Gaston stabbing Belle, his eyes wide open in shock. Belle's hands clasping the sword that had clearly pierced her midsection as she doubled over in pain. Beast standing there next to Belle, feeling the shock and grief at the scene before him.

Rage overwhelmed the shock and grief as the Beast grabbed Gaston and snapped is neck, and then flung his body over the balcony to be rid of him.

Belle. It was the only thing he could see. The Beast kneeled down next to Belle and gently took her into his arms.

She was so frail, so loving, so kind, so compassionate, so pure. Belle should have not been the one dying on the cold stone floor. She deserved to live, much more than he did, but she was the one going pale as the life drained out of her. "Belle, Belle, I'm so sorry, so sorry…" he wept. Such fear, guilt, and love mixed all into one. He could not lose her, he could not bear it. This pain was far worse than any sword was capable to doing to him.

With great effort Belle opened her eyes. "There is nothing to be sorry for." She paused as a great wave of pain overcame her. Belle's eyesight was going fuzzy and she felt even more tempted to go to sleep. But there was something she had to tell him, something she should have told him a long time ago, when she first began to realize it, something that was there within her that was not there before.

"I love you."

In the background the last rose petal dropped to the table as Belle breathed her last.

A proud wind swept the room. "No, no!" The beast cried out.

The Beast was lifted up, away from Belle. He could feel himself changing. Paws became hands, fur became skin, and horns disappeared into nothingness.

He slowly dropped to the ground. He felt awkward to be human again. It was everything he had dreamed of, everything he had hoped for.

She had loved him and had broken the spell.

It did not matter anymore though. What life would he ever live with Belle dead? He wished that he could have remained a Beast for the rest of his life if that had meant for her to live. He learned his lesson, to love, and now, he learned the final lesson; a broken heart.

It's angst filled and tragic, but what do you think? Please review. Any comment would be appreciated.