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Story title: Acceptance

Type of story: One shot

Main Characters: Belle

BTTB rating: G

Genre: Angst

Any warnings: Fic deals with death

Does story include spoilers: No

Is story being proof read:No

Summary: Set after 2008 Finale. Belle fights for her life. What secret has she been hiding from the world?

The once vibrant, startling, raw light slowly began to fade before her tired; fighting eyes as they worked urgently around the body she no longer felt belonged to her. The powerful, unbreakable bond she had once shared with the camouflage she now barely occupied was gradually dissolving, body and soul wrenching bitterly away from one other, like heartbroken lovers embroiled in an acrimonious split, battling every difference out until the extremely hostile end. Desperately she placed the rapidly declining amounts of energy which remained in her weak being into closing her heavy eyes and contracting her aching facial muscles, in a vain attempt to grasp hold of the dwindling luminosity hovering before her.

Her now numb arms remained tightly pinned to her stationary side as she desperately tried to grab life’s essence, which formed a hazy mist behind her eyelids, gently taunting her with the knowledge that this inspiring image would cease to exist if she dared to glance at the scene submerging her. Desperately she grabbed and snatched with her entire soul, yearning to keep a tight hold upon the drowning light, as her body, rooted to its place amongst the wreckage, insolently refused to comply with the directions she endeavoured so hard to communicate to it.

Their worry ridden voices were a joy to hear. Distant, secret whispering assured her that life was still flowing through her veins, even if only in minute quantities. In her mind she strung the varying accents and volumes together like a musician creating their next release. Their anxious murmurings became beautiful high pitched vocals, the surrounding cries of anguish transformed themselves into gentle backing lyrics and the occasional crashes and explosions she wanted so desperately to deny provided a melodic rhythm for her masterpiece. The fantasy track tenderly caressed her distressed ears, soothing her mind with lies she so desperately wanted to believe, lies she should never have believed, lies which she had no choice but to believe. For the alternative was a truth she had no desire to hear.

Their assurances were empty and useless. The longer she was trapped in the debris the harder it became for her to ignore, the trickling, soft and relaxing feeling she could only identify as her life ebbing effortlessly away. A calming wave washed over her almost wiping away her fears as she opened her eyes to find Nicole grasping tightly onto her right hand as they worked rapidly to free her legs from the remains. Tears streaming down her scarlet cheeks Nicole's assurances that everything would be all right once they’d got her out of there were voided by Geoff’’s refusal to meet her eye. She recognised the expression which adorned his face as one she had seen many times before. He was scared and yet somehow this made her all the more calm, accepting her destiny was the one way she could remain in control of this situation. Fear was no use to her, she had to treasure the little she had left.

She’d never been religious but in that moment in time she was positive that this wasn’t the end, there was something more. For her and for her baby. A baby who hadn’t asked to be conceived in such dubious circumstances, a baby who deserved to be loved, a baby who she did love, despite everything, despite her having no idea who the father was. Maybe this wasn’t her punishment, maybe it was the only way the world had of ensuring that her baby lived, even if that life wasn’t on this earth. She thought of him, her heart swelling with love as she did so, confusion pulsating through her veins, her head spinning with all the events and knowledge of the last six months. She closed her eyes, this time not to fight but to see his face again, she prayed, not sure who she was aiming her words at, that she would see him again, that she would have an opportunity to express how she truly felt, to put things right.

Briefly she opened her eyes, being hesitant in doing so, not wanting to lose the image she’d tattoo on the back of her eyelids if she was able. She opened her dry mouth slowly, forcing out his name, the word sharp and harsh against her arid tongue, scraping the tender roof of her mouth. Silence greeted her, cold and empty, before Nicole’s shaking voice assured her that he was okay. Her head told her that this was a lie. Nicole’s pause could only mean one thing.

He was already dead.

But her heart pleaded with her to have faith in him, he loved her, he’d be there when she needed him. Her head and heart battled it out, she wanted to follow her heart. So she did, she obeyed its call, closed her eyes and lost herself in his face again. She was lost in a beautiful maze, only she wasn’t looking for the exit, she was happy and content here, here there were no rules. If only she’d worked out sooner that sometimes being lost was a lot better than being found.

Her head buzzed with everything she wanted to say him, her mind as chaotic as the night shift in casualty, her heart spinning with emotion. She thought carefully, placing together exactly what she would say to him using the same methodical technique she had used as a child when she’d spent hour upon hour around her grandmother’s kitchen table as they worked together on a giant jigsaw puzzle. The honesty of the words made them fit together as easily as he had managed to put her heart back together before she had known. She memorised every single letter, determined not to forget a word of it, she had to tell him everything. As soon as they got her out of here she’d get someone to write it down, Geoff or Annie, someone she trusted, just in case he didn’t make it. She shuddered at the thought and confirmed the idea in her mind. Just in case.

Voices crowd into her mind as they all begin to speak at once in a desperate attempt to reassure her, to free her from a fate she has already accepted. This is it, they’re about to free her legs, to free her from the pain, to free her from the heartache, to free her from herself. She cries gently inside as they lift the heavy structure, more a symbol of acceptance than fear and as the tears tenderly wash away the shame she once carried upon her soul, her head becomes light and dizzy, just as it had the first time she’d looked at him and realised it was love, as she slowly lost awareness of the panic and fear around her, and of her consciousness ebbing away.


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