That night a horrible storm shook the kingdom. The waves rocked and raged while the little mermaid had been watching a ship sail in from a distant land. As the wind and lightning crashed, she saw a man fall overboard.
Ariel dove after the man rescuing him. She stayed on the shore, waiting for him to wake. Though she didn't know it, the mermaid had rescued a prince visiting from another land. As he faded in and out he only saw brief glimpses of her beautiful face, but he heard her beautiful voice as she sang to him.
Early that morning, before the dock workers had even begun their shifts, Belle walked the shore and observed the aftermath of the storm. Her father had been summoned to the palace the night before, and did not return. She assumed it was because of the storm that he could not get away, but couldn't sleep for worrying.
When she rounded the corner, on the rocks, Belle blinked at the sight of a man whose head was resting in a mermaids lap. The mermaid looked up and locked eyes with her.
Belle: Who are you?
Ariel: Shhh. I couldn't leave him.
Belle: Is he okay?
Ariel: I don't know. He almost died in the storm.
The mermaid noticed the way Belle was looking at her and flinched.
Belle: I'm… forgive me I've never spoken to a mermaid before.
Ariel: Well, I've never anything to a human before.
They both looked down at the man in her lap. Even half drowned, he was very handsome, with midnight blackhair that fell in front of his eyes. As the docks began to wake with more workers coming down to repair the damage from the storm, Ariel looked up at Belle and asked.
Ariel: Please make sure he's alright. I can't stay.
Belle: Of course! Go, before they see!
Ariel leapt back into the water, while Belle ran ask flagged down some sailors to help her carry the wounded man. As Belle knelt next to him his eyes fluttered open.
Eric: Where is she?
Belle: You're alright. Help is coming.
Eric: No. The girl who saved me. She was singing.
The other sailors had arrived and began helping hoist the man up. Belle looked nervously at the waves, unsure what people who do if they heard him talking about a mermaid. She mumbled to the nearest sailor.
Belle: I think he drank a bit too much sea water.
Out in the sea, the mermaid watched from the rocks again, seeing the man she'd saved carried off and wishing she could still be with him.
Ariel: I wish. I wish to go with him to the festival. But how am I ever to get to the festival? I know, I'll visit the witch! The witch of the sea, and tell her I just want to go to the festival!
And with that the mermaid dipped below the waves, to make a deal with the seawitch.