Prompt-a-thon: Neal isn't that impressed with his father's girlfriend (until sth changes his mind?)
A/N: Thank you for your prompt! This takes place
immediately after they return from Neverland. Besides the brief moment on the
docks, Neal has only ever interacted with Belle as Lacey. From Neal’s POV with
a touch of angst and LOTS of Papafire feels.
Neal crossed his arms over his chest, frowning as his
father arranged a bouquet of red chrysanthemums and ferns in a crystal vase. Here
he was, the great and powerful Rumplestiltskin—humming to himself as he fiddled
with a bunch of flowers.
“Who are those for?” Neal asked, knowing the answer. Jealous
rage burned in his gut.
“For Belle, of course.”
“Of course,” Neal muttered.
He supposed he should be grateful to her for staying behind
and protecting Storybrooke while everyone else had gone to Neverland to rescue
his sorry ass.
As they’d disembarked from the Jolly Roger earlier, Neal had
suppressed a shudder and fought to be as welcoming as possible. At least today she’d
been wearing a coat to cover up whatever disastrous ensemble she’d put on that
morning. Resigned, Neal had offered Belle French his kindest smile. With his son
on one arm and his girlfriend on the other, Pop looked happier than he’d ever
Still, what was so
great about Belle French anyway?
Official AU Blog: No (now dropped, see note below)
Creator Tracked Tags: None
AU Canon: Set in an ancient era that draws inspiration from feudal Japan, monsters and humans live side-by-side in this AU. There is no underground, instead various places exist that are noted to belong to monster kind such as a massive forest, a mysterious shrine in the middle of an abandoned town, and the side of a mountain. Humans are weary of monsters due to their terrifying appearances and strange magic powers, so fighting breaks out between the two groups often. Monsters are often blamed for the misfortune of people when they’re just trying to live in peace. Due to how close the two groups live to one another, the monsters follow the same feudal system of hierarchy that the humans live by.
Frisk is an orphaned child who wandered alone into the forest where the monsters are said to live.
Flowey is a yellow and red chrysanthemum flower.
Sans is a samurai who would rather sit around all day than fight anyone. He wears a very simple blue yukata kimono and gray hakuta, with one blue handled katana, blue tabi socks, and zori sandals.
Papyrus is an aspiring daimyo who dresses in a set of red and maroon gusoku armor with golden hitatare underneath it. His tabi socks are grey, he wears zori sandals, and both his katana and wakisashi have red handles.
Undyne is the reigning shogun who wears a set of blue traditional yoroi armor that is heavily exaggerated in it’s detail with a set of wooden geta sadals instead of zori sandals. Her weapon of choice is a naginata alongside of multiple yari. She does not carry katanas but does have a wakisashi. She is modeled after kappa.
Alyphys is known as a rangaku scientist as well as an alchemist. She wears a dull gray and white men’s kimono that has been cut to make it more convenient for moving around.
Mettaton is an ancient and large karakuri, a mechanical object that was often modeled into small dolls that was built by Alphys as a hobby she picked up from humans.
Toriel is the monster empress who left the mountain where her husband Asgore lives in order to stay in the abandoned shrine. She wears a very simple kimono.
Asgore is the monster emperor who lives on the mountain. He wears a very stylized kimono.
Asriel wears a very light green kimono.
January 15th, 2016, Ginger decided to drop Edotale from her AU projects and allow it to become a community generated AU, while remaining creative rights for the original design.
Textile sample. Japanese,
Late Edo or early Meiji era, 19th century.Silk, metallic gold thread; plain-weave crêpe (chirimen),
hand drawn paste resist-dyed and painted (yûzen), couched (koma-nui). Textile sample with design of chrysanthemums
red, yellow and blue, created by the yûzen process, and couched pieces of
metallic gold-covered thread on a white silk crepe ground. Provenance: William
Sturgis Bigelow Collection; gift of William Sturgis Bigelow to the MFA
in August, 1898. MFA
Sam x Josh drabble unprompted.
Based on the radio edition of Dido’s “Here With Me”
After everyone…no, almost everyone made it down the mountain there was no foundation holding them together. None of the Washington’s were there any more. The only two that even received calls from Josh’s family were Sam and Chris. Eventually it was only Sam that answered. She found out that there were people disappearing while combing the mines. Hannah and the other loose Wendigo were dead. That left only one possibility.
Some time later Sam got into her messages and texted Chris.
“I’m going back to Blackwood.”
An instant later, Chris’s name flashed on her screen along with an urgent reply.
“You shouldn’t go back there, Sam. There are too many wendigo spirits that were released. You don’t know what will happen.”
Sam’s small fingers worked on the touch screen.
“Josh is still there, Chris. I can’t just leave him there like that.”
“Josh is dead, Sammy, he has been for nearly a month. I know you loved him, but this isn’t healthy. Please, come see Dr. Hill with me.”
“I’m going back, Chris. I’m going tomorrow. Please, I want you to know just in case.”
Sam, however, was lying. She was already on that shuttle to the mountains. Only a few items were with her. This was going to be a one way trip and she knew it. The gate came into view, she drew in a deep breath and made her way to the gondola. She still had the key to make it work. Into the control room she went. The key slid into place as she brought the control panel to life. Mechanical whirring echoed in the room as the blonde woman pulled the lever that would summon her ride up the mountain. From the window she saw the vessel making its way down. She had time to contemplate everything. She had time to think of what she had lost, of her friends, of Hannah, of Chris and how upset he’ll be later, how sorry she was about that, and how she could turn back, but then she thought of Josh. She couldn’t leave him there on the mountain to be a slave to the demon that was squatting within what remained of him. She placed her guitar in her lap and started tuning it. The instrument hummed gently as her deft fingers ran over the strings.
The beautiful young woman made her way to the lift and it silently carried her to her destination. Sam’s feet carried her to the mine entrance. She looked down into the void and jumped in. She brought out a zippo lighter that Josh once carried on him and flicked the flame to life. The dim ember illuminated her way down the shaft and into one of the corridors. She placed her backpack and guitar on one of the chairs and set herself to work. A pack of taper candles was removed from the pack. She used the lighter to melt the bottoms and placed them delicately in the surrounding area. On tables, rocks, chairs, rails, and on mining carts the candles sat, Sam lit them all, one by one. The scene was somber, almost like a funeral. The soft glow of the candles was enough that she no longer had to make use of the lighter and slid it back into the pocket of her jeans. In the corner sat a barrel, the lid was conveniently open, the young woman was thankful to not have to make too much noise before the intimate evening was to begin. It had to be a surprise. She gripped the top of the barrel and let the contents trickle out, covering the entire ground. It settled in pools of sickening colors that swirled endlessly together. The stench gave Sam a slight headache, but she continued on. She righted the barrel and went back to the backpack. From it she removed the final piece to her puzzle, Daisy by Marc Jacobs, he always said that this scent was his favorite when she wore it. The blonde sprayed it liberally to her wrists, collar bone, and throat. She wanted him to smell her all throughout the mine. To be irresistible. She gently placed the bottle on the table, next to the first candle and sat in the nearby chair. The guitar was picked up and perched upon Sam’s lap. Her fingers began to strum the only song she could seem to play now that Josh was no longer there with her.
“Please hear me…” Was said in a tone barely above a whisper. Her throat cleared as she sucked in air into her diaphragm.
“I didn’t hear you leave
I wonder, how am I still here?
And I don’t want to move a thing,
It might change my memory…
I am what I am, I’ll do what I want
But I….can’t hide”
Her voice picked up and carried through every corner
“But I won’t go,
I won’t sleep,
And I can’t breathe
Until you’re resting here with me
I won’t leave
I can’t hide
I cannot be…
Until you’re resting here with me…”
A figure came from the darkness in skittering, unnatural movements. Sam stared into its eyes as she continued her song. The figure approached rapidly, but suddenly froze. It sniffed the air as it crouched and sloshed along along the damp floor. Into the light it came. One green eye and the other milky white stared into Sam’s sky blues. Even with the claws and mouth half ripped open with fangs, it was him. The wendigo before her was Josh…maybe it still is him. The tune finished as a sigh and a sob. Josh approached meticulously on all fours, mesmerized by the young woman’s every move.
It stopped at her feet and just stared. It was as if the synapses were attempting to work over the curse. As if he could still be there. She stayed perfectly still as Josh placed two clawed hands upon her thighs and hoisted himself only a breath away from her face. They were nearly nose to nose. Those eyes stared into hers. Was he remembering?
Sam’s eyes began to water and drip down her cheeks.
The young woman released the breath she had been holding. He still maintained some control.
“Why, why here? …Shouldn’t be here…shouldn’t be near me.”
“I had a feeling.”
“Pity…should not have come. Sammy shouldn’t be here. Not now.”
“No! Not Josh…not any more… Still Sammy, still her. But not when wendigo…”
“You’re still in there…”
Josh hissed through his side of exposed fangs. A clawed hand raised and stroked Sam’s exposed neck tenderly. He brought his nose to that spot and buried his face there. Sam’s eyes closed as she let out a gasp.
“Barely…barely there…Sammy should leave, but…don’t want to let her go…”
“I won’t leave you.”
“I can’t leave until I know…”
“What Sammy want-t-to know..?”
Those clawed hands pull the guitar away to let him have the space on her lap. His face dropped and planted itself near her warm core. It was comforting. This heat kept his mind his own.
“Is it too late?”
Tears fell on Josh’s cold skin.
“Late for wh-what?”
A gentle hand cautiously went to his hair. He let it stay as his good eye focused up to Sam.
“I love you…I’m so sorry…you wanted me to come clean. I wanted to, but was never sure and now it is too late, isn’t it? I messed up…”
Josh reached up to Sam’s waist and pulled her to his lap.
“Still love you…always loved you, Sammy…so much.”
“Do you think we could be reborn again? Could we be happy in another life?”
Josh stared at her, trying to process her words. The wendigo in him began stirring as his shattered mind put the pieces together. A small smile played upon what was left of his features. He nodded.
“Taking…everything…keeping it down…”
Sam nodded. The wendigo wanted to stop her, but Josh wanted this too.
“Let’s go then…together.”
She quickly grabbed the candle on the table and ripped it to the oil soaked ground. The wendigo took over and sunk its gnarled teeth into Sam’s shoulder. The candle set the room ablaze, along with the fumes that were raising from deep within the ground. The tunnel lit up in an inferno as Sam held Josh’s form to her. Her eyes closed as the flames took the two of them.
Just outside the mine’s entrance stood Chris. It was dawn and the flames rose like a funeral pyre from the mines. The young man dropped to his knees and let out a choked scream. It was a sound of pain and regret. Animalistic and terrible. She was gone. She left and took Josh with her. He pounded his fists through the snow into the frozen ground. They were gone, and this was their tomb.