lotus0kid: (dancer)
[personal profile] lotus0kid
Rating: PG (some language and later references to wartime violence)
Word Count: 374
Disclaimer: Recognize anything? Then it ain't mine.
A/N: Last little bit. Thanks for the feedback!
Summary: Canon!AU re-telling of "Skin Deep." The ogre threat has been destroyed without Rumpelstiltskin's help. However, he still manages to stumble across Belle, in extremely different circumstances.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

Most people think Anna French is a lot older than she is. Not that it makes any difference, they bring the same nonsensical racket every time they come into her library. She’s banned nearly all of the schoolchildren, but their marginally better behaved classmates just check out books for them. They think they’re so clever. Even worse is Mary Margaret Blanchard, cooing over her, bringing her lunch from Granny’s filthy diner, trying to be friends. Pathetic. This town’s full of wind-up toys- what’s the point to any of it?

It wouldn’t be so bad if she could just sleep at night. She’s never known a comfortable bed in her whole life. And she has such bad dreams. She ends up wandering the house, looking for something. Just what, she has no idea. Nothing’s ever there. Usually by morning she’s in the kitchen, drinking tea from that broken cup she hasn’t gotten around to tossing. This evening, when she gets home, into the trash it will go. One less object cluttering up her life.

For now, the mayor has graced Anna with her presence. “Hello, Miss French! It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?”

Anna grunts, alphabetizing a stack of books from the return bin.

“I was wondering if the latest shipment came. I’d hate for Storybrooke’s library to be under-stocked.”

“Not yet.”

The mayor nods, “All right then, I suppose I’ll be on my way. I have other calls to make. Have a wonderful day, Miss French!”

Regina leaves the grouchy librarian to her work. Gets in her car and travels to the hospital. She strides through the halls and down into the tomb of hidden cells. She lifts the hatch on one and flinches to see wild brown eyes staring back at her.

“What are the questions?” asks the man who stubbornly remains Rumpelstiltskin. “Dearie, do you know what the questions are?”

“You got me,” Regina replies with a shrug.

Eyes filling with pain, the man casts his shaggy head back and howls. Regina closes the hatch. She walks to the nurse’s desk. “Up his sedative dose, would you? I’m concerned he might hurt himself in there.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Regina strolls out of the hospital, happily basking in the despair and madness of Storybrooke.
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