neal with it

“Sweet Dreams”

PapaFire ficlet, takes place some time after season five, disregarding season six.

Dark Ones didn’t need sleep, especially one possessing the power of every Dark One who ever lived. Still, the events of the last few weeks were enough to leave even Rumplestiltskin tired. He had taken to tinkering on some of the trinkets in the back of the shop late into the night, all the while thinking of how he and Belle could fix the broken trust between them.

And about their child.

After several late nights of silent worry, he fell asleep on the cot and dreamed… 

He finds himself back in his old village, in the Frontlands. He is dressed very out-of-place, still wearing his ‘normal’ Storybrooke attire, though this time without the cane. Odd.

He has to know. He waves his hand, and…nothing. Snaps his fingers. Same result. He has no magic.

Strangely, this doesn’t faze him quite as much as when he slowly lifts the leg of his pants and looks at his ankle, which should be twisted and scarred from when he took the hammer to it all those years ago. There isn’t even a scratch. Lowering the pants, he takes a few steps back and forth…doesn’t even wince.

And then, Rumple runs. Fast.

He hasn’t been able to run without the aid of magic in centuries. Now it comes as easily as breathing. There is no pain at all.

When he finally stops, just outside his old home, he even has to stop for a moment to catch her breath. That’s when he hears the little voice from inside the hut. One word, four letters. Its the very voice he had heard in his head for centuries.


Walking quickly through the door, Rumple barely notices his clothes change to those he had worn as a peasant, never taking his eyes off the boy waiting for him by the table. He looks to be the same age he had been that fateful night at the portal.

“Bae,” the spinner whispers upon finally finding his voice, making his way to the boy in moments and throwing his arms around him, never wanting to let go again. “My boy.”

The boy smiles and returns the embrace. When they eventually part, Rumple holds his son’s hand tight.

“Papa, I drew you a picture,” Bae says, pointing to his drawing on the table.

Rumple looks down at the drawing. It is a rough sketch of his manor in Storybroke, with him and Belle, Emma and Henry nearby. he smiles down at Bae, who had always had his mother’s talent for art.

“This is wonderful, Bae,” he says while his son beams with pride at his father’s praise.

“It’s still missing something, though,” Bae says a tad reluctantly.

Rumple nods as his smile turns a bit sad. “You.”

Bae shakes his head. “Nope, I’m in there, right up here.” He points to the sky in the drawing. “I told Emma I was going to be watching over everyone, and I have been.”

“Then…who is missing?”

Bae smiles more brightly. “My baby brother or sister. I left that part out for now since I don’t know if its going to be a boy or a girl.”

Rumple’s smile falter a bit more at that. “So you know…”

“That Belle is pregnant? Yes,” he replies with a nod. “ I also know that that’s part of why you’re here now.”

“I don’t know what you mean…” he says, averting his eyes for a moment as he looks around their old home.

The boy gives him a knowing look. “Papa…”

Rumple looks at the ground with a sigh of defeat. Clever boy. “I’m afraid, Bae,” he murmurs as he sits by his old spinning wheel.

“Why?” Bae asks gently, not letting go of his father’s hand as he sits at the table facing him.

He hesitates before answering. “Because I’m still a failure, Bae, and a coward. A monster,” he whispers, almost afraid to meet his sons gaze. “I failed you, Bae, so many times. I-I don’t deserve this…this second chance to be a father. I’ll only fail this child as well.”

“You won’t fail, Papa,” Bae says, squeezing his hand gently. “You’ve learned from your mistakes, become a better person. I’m proud of you, and I believe in you. So does Belle.”

Rumple looks up at him, tears–and the first glimmer of hope–in his eyes. “Do you truly mean that, Bae? E-even after everything I’ve done…?”

“I really do, Papa,” he replies with a smile. “With you and Belle–not to mention our huge family–this baby is going to be the luckiest in the world.”

The old sorcerer can’t help but smile at his son’s enthusiasm. He is partly right–any child with Belle as a mother was very lucky. he wasn’t so sure about himself. “No child could ever replace you, son.”

“I know, Papa. I’m happy for you, Really.”

Rising slowly, Rumple pulls Baelfire up and into his arms in another tight embrace. “Thank you, Bae,” he whispers, finally letting the tears fall.

“Any time, Papa. And I’ll always be watching over my baby sibling extra close, don’t worry.”

Rumple smiles and nods, still reluctant to let go as he presses a kiss to the boy’s head. “I don’t want to leave…”

“I know, but you have to. Belle needs you. And I’ll never be too far away, promise,” he whispers. “I love you, Papa.”

“I love you too, Bae…”

Spring-time in Florida is not a matter of peeping violets or bursting buds merely. It is a riot of color in nature–glistening green leaves, pink, blue, purple, yellow blossoms that fairly stagger the visitor from the north. The miles of hyacinths lie like an undulating carpet on the surface of the river and divide reluctantly when the slow-moving alligators push their way log-like across. The nights are white nights for the moon shines with dazzling splendor, or in the absence of that goddess, the soft darkness creeps down with innumerable scents. The heavy fragrance of magnolias mingled with the delicate sweetness of jasmine and wild roses.
—  Zora Neale Hurston, “John Redding Goes to Sea”