Trope prompt list: arranged marriage for Rumbelle. ;)
Ooooh. This is one of my favorite trope and one I’ve never been able to plot, because Rumple always slips away from such deals. But since it was asked, I guess we’d start with that?
Twenty years ago…
Ogres attack Avonlea. As a last resource, the king decides to ask for the Dark One’s help and sends him a letter offering their most precious treasure in exchange for his power: their gold.
Rumpelstiltskin, being the kind of man who cannot let a chance to see a nobleman beg go unremarked, presents himself at the Avonlea castle and proceeds to merrily mock them for daring to offer gold to the spinner of gold. But since he is a merciful soul… deep down… (giggly sniggers), he has decided to give them a chance. Give him a good reason for the Dark One to exert himself in their favor, and - cue deep bow - he will be glad to help them.
Any reason at all.
Any? At all?
Enter the lady of the land.
“The history books claim you drove the ogres away from the Marchlands.”
Rumpelstiltskin scoffs, never liking the reminder of those days. “The stories also claim I eat children for dinner.” A glance down to the lady’s growing belly. “Are you offering?”
Every man in the room steps forward - starting with the lady’s husband - but she raises a hand to stop them.
“Colette,” the king mutters, nerves on an edge.
She squares her shoulders and pretends a dozen grown men didn’t just almost commit suicide. “I said history books, sir. Not nursery tales to scare the little ones into good behavior.”