Mr. Gold’s life is very neat, just like his scotch. He runs the pawn shop, he collects rent, and he lives alone. He likes his life, or so he’s told himself, until Belle French moves to town. With nothing but a few smiles and kind words, she manages to reopen the old library and the Beast of Storybrooke’s long shuttered heart. But the truth is that he’s hidden his pain and cowardice behind harsh words and fine suits for a long time, and he’s not sure he’s brave enough or good enough to deserve Belle.
Title: Inheritance Rating: NC-17 Summary: Five years after leaving town to see the world, a death in the family forces Belle French back to Storybrooke to deal with the estate. Never intending to stay very long, she nevertheless soon finds herself drawn back into old friendships, old dreams, and an old love that’s not as finished as once she had hoped. Belle might be back in her hometown, but after five years away from the wreckage she left behind, is it possible to ever really come home?
A/N: Lovely banner courtesy of @rowofstars, isn’t it pretty? :D
A/N 2: For everyone who wanted Gold to truly turn a corner, and to hear some of Belle’s travel stories.
Belle clapped her hands, delighted, as Bae pulled a little leather pouch – a wallet, Gold could see, once the light shone on it – with an elephant intricately stitched on the front. “Where’s this from?” Bae asked, excitedly. Belle grinned.
“There’s this elephant conservation park, deep in the jungles of Sri Lanka,” she said, with a dramatic little flourish. Gold found himself leaning forward on his knees to hear her better. “Where they’ll let you wash an elephant and ride on her back.”
“You rode an elephant?” Bae’s jaw dropped, and Belle nodded.
Baggage!Belle- Was it nice having Gold read to you?
Belle groaned slightly as her phone began to ring. She was only vaguely aware of the other body in the bed as she reached over to get the phone.
“Belle, are you okay?”
Ruby’s voice sounded worried, and for a moment Belle had to remember why. “Yeah. I’m fine. The cab hit a storm last night. I’ll be there this afternoon.”
“Okay. Emma was worried. Neal’s dad hasn’t made it either.”
The body beside her shifted slightly, rolling over to face her, and Belle’s cheeks went scarlet. “No I suppose he hasn’t.”
“Nothing. I’ll see you this afternoon.”
“Okay. See ya!”
With a beep the call ended, and Belle sighed as the night rushed back to her. Gold had saved her life. And then he’d read to her like a child. Lord, whatever little something that had formed between them in the cab ride over was probably in ashes now. He was already older. He probably saw her as nothing but an adolescent now rather than a grown woman. It was hopeless.
“Hey.” His voice beside her made her blink, and it took her a moment to realize he’d slept above the covers. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m alright.” Belle said with a smile. Why did he have to be so darn handsome? “Thank you for last night…”
“Anytime, dearie.” A smile played on his lips as he sat up, stretching out his bad leg. “I suppose that was the bride wondering where the bridesmaid is?”
“Another bridesmaid, but close.” Belle said. “They’re wondering where you are too.”
“Don’t worry. If I let it slip that I’m in bed with the groom’s father it will only raise more questions.”
Gold chuckled, and Belle tried to ignore the way the sound made his heart leap in her chest.
“I suppose we should get you to the wedding.” He said, the bed shifting as he stood. “I’m surprised they haven’t called me yet.”
“I’m sure they did.” Belle said with a smile, turning to pad to her suitcase. “Or perhaps they’re onto us being together
“Well I suppose that’s not the worst thing.” Gold smiled. “Is it?”
The last time a man had stood in her living room, carrying a paper sack with his belongings and a vaguely disapproving expression on his face, Belle had been busy making it clear that their engagement was over and she never wanted to see his cheating face again.
Now it was her own face she didn’t know where to hide. “I’m so, so sorry,” she said for what seemed the thousandth time in the last hour.
“It’s… um. It’s nothing, really.”
“Just the most embarrassing moment of my life,” Belle whispered mostly to herself. Other cats would bring back home dead mice and roaches. But no, Princess had decided to stalk their neighbor, slip into his house, dig into his unmentionables, and drag back at least two dozen pieces. “I’m so sorry I didn’t notice sooner,” she told him, wringing her hands.
At least he wasn’t yelling, as she had expected as soon as she understood that she had just printed a couple hundred pictures of Mr. Gold’s underwear and slipped them under the doors of every apartment in her building and into the mailboxes of every building within two blocks of distance.
He had even contained himself to an exasperated glance when Princess had dashed away from her bedroom and come curl herself around his leg. Belle didn’t think she’d heard her cat purr as loudly since the day she’d adopted her and brought her home from the animal shelter.
Belle stifled a gasp when Gold lifted his cane, but had to bite her own tongue guiltily when the tip just stroked against the furry flank. Princess responded in kind to the sign of affection, nudging her head against his calf.
“Know the smell of me, don’t you, you thieving flea-bag?” Gold muttered, his tone belying the words.
Belle started to breathe more freely, thankful that he had missed her grossly mistaken assumption that he’d harm Princess.
Then he glanced at her, eyebrow raised, and Belle knew he hadn’t missed anything.
“Sorry,” she said again. with even more feeling than before.
It was one thing to apologize on behalf of a pet, and another to do it because she had let the local gossip get to her.
Either Gold was kinder to animals than to people, or everybody was wrong about the man.
Considering he was not railing at her for either having missed the growing collection of purloined briefs and socks, and the fact that now he was looking surprised at her simple apology, Belle had the nagging feeling that it was the latter.
She hadn’t allowed her attraction for her neighbor take root in her, beyond a stolen glance or ten when they crossed ways on the sidewalk. She’d had her share of self-important men who cared for nothing as much as for themselves; her careful questioning of acquaintances and new friends could be summarized in the fact that Mr. Gold had no sense of humor, respect for anyone at a disadvantage, or weakness.
But he had chuckled once or twice as they coordinated a time for him to pick up his belongings, and he had been nothing but courteous. Most importantly, Belle knew the look of someone who was restraining themselves from picking up a small animal and putting it on their lap to rub its belly.
Belle trusted a man with a weakness for a kleptomaniac cat a lot more than she did a bunch of people who, on their own admission, hadn’t exchanged more than a few words with Mr. Gold in years.
“Would dinner tomorrow be okay?” she asked him, hearing her brain screech in alarm but not giving herself the option to retreat.
The look on his face was worth her blushes. “Excuse— Excuse me?”
Belle forced herself to relax her shoulders, give what would have to look like a careless shrug. “I did mention I meant to make it up for you. Remember? over the phone.”
His eyes widened. “I thought you meant…” He waved his free hand, at a loss. Finally he gave her a disconcerted frown. “Dinner?”
Her original idea had been to bake him a cake, or a batch of cookies if he preferred that. But dinner would keep him in one place for at least an hour.
A man who scowled at human beings, but didn’t protest as his expensive black pants got covered with white and orange fur. Surely this was someone worth knowing?
“Yes. Tomorrow. At seven?”
Gold stared at her, open-mouthed for a full second before he snapped it closed. “Any chance this miscreant will be in the menu?”
If Gold thought to scare her, he should have tried to shoo said miscreant away. Belle rolled her eyes at the attempt. “Only if she has to drag you over in time.”
“A thief and kidnapper, eh?” He glanced down, hair running forward to shield his face. “But worry not,” he added, though his voice was slower, as if testing her reaction after each word before he said the next, “I will be here on time.”
Belle smiled, already planning the menu for the next night. “Great.”
Gold nodded at her, gave a last gentle tap against Princess’ rump, and turned down the hallway.
Belle stayed at the door, watching him until the elevator doors opened and he made his way inside.
Their eyes met before the doors slid closed, and Belle felt her smile widen at the timidly hopeful look in his eyes.
“If this goes well,” Belle told Princess, kneeling on the carpet and rubbing between the small, triangle ears, “You’re getting the expensive tuna from now on.”
Satisfied with the outcome of her thirty-two trips into the territory of her future part-owner, Princess curled her tail upwards and marched back into the room.
It had been a grueling month, but the humans finally were doing their half of the job.
1/1 I keep thinking about the romance the Evil Queen will have with one of the characters. It makes me sad, but I think it's clear that it will be with Rumple. I know Lana likes being coy, but I think this time it is clear what she meant. And they keep reminding us (almost in every episode) the EQ has the hots for Rumple. They wouldn't do that if they weren't going anywhere with it. I just wish the EQ and Zelena stopped talking about Rum like he is a piece of meat. :( My theory right now
2/2 is that Rum will have a fling with the EQ, and Belle will find out about it, and that will make her want to leave Storybrooke in the 8th episode. I hope whatever happens between Rumple and Regina it is over before the winter finale.
Hi Anon. I’m not trying to be coy here–I can’t tell if you want me to make you feel better or if you’re trying to make me worry. Either way, I am not going to get worked up about Rumple and the Evil Queen.
Honestly, I still can’t see it. This would not be the first time that OUAT used misdirection as a strategy onscreen or in interviews. Why would Rumple, whose arc is finally on an upswing, want to jeopardize his future with Belle and the baby? When it comes to love, Rumple is NOT selfish. He is loyal to a fault to the people he loves. A fling would also do a major disservice to the complicated relationship between two of the show’s best characters–Regina and Rumple.
Though on that note, I do think it’s hilarious that Storybrooke’s women are all confessing that they want to get with Rumple and that they have looked down their noses at Belle while in actuality being extremely jealous of the tiny little pregnant librarian.
Ruins of Camelot: Alternate Season 5. Merlin is long dead, Camelot destroyed. Emma is the Dark One, without an easy answer. Rumplestiltskin becomes the Sorcerer, but magic alone cannot save her. An age-old war against darkness revives in Storybrooke, in which the fate of all the realms will be decided forever—and the final battle begins.
Chapter One Hundred—“Ere He
Goes to the Great Battle”
hadn’t expected this to happen so fast. One minute, she was being summoned straight
out of making dinner with Henry, and the next she was standing in a field with Danns’
as Maleficent, Lily, and Arthur transformed into dragons. Now
you’re in for it, Nimue whispered in her mind. She’s
going to let the fae go, and your strange little town is going to become their
playground. Something in Nimue’s
voice made Emma shiver; there was weight there, and darkness that didn’t start
with Nimue. Emma had never really been
one for reading history or stories—particularly since she’d stumbled into a
fairytale world that had a whole other history that she really didn’t understand. Or
want to, for that matter.
now Emma wished that she’d bothered Regina or her parents for more stories
about their world. Maybe they could have
told her what might happen if—when—the fae returned to the world. Maybe then she might understand why the look
on Maleficent’s face had been so carefully blank, or why Lily glanced her way
so guiltily before transforming. What
did they know that she didn’t? It was
too late to ask, but Emma was really starting to worry.
of her parents didn’t help; that only
made her glare at Arthur’s dragon form.
He’d killed her mother, and Emma would never forget that. She’d
found other outlets for her anger, disastrous ones, but that wound had never
stopped festering. She’d promised
herself that she’d see Arthur die before the end of this, and that wasn’t a
promise Emma had any problems keeping.
Maybe she was just the Dark One, maybe she just didn’t care. Arthur had murdered Snow, and even if it had
been an accident, that didn’t mean he didn’t deserve to die. And Emma was more than happy to be the one to
bring him to justice. But not today. Today, I still can’t act against her interests, she thought, shifting her
glare to the dagger in Danns’ hand.
you prefer to ride your old friend, Dark One?” Danns’ looked like she was
highly amused by the entire situation.
her than your murdering husband,” Emma hissed before she could stop herself.
my, you are still angry about that,
you be if someone had murdered your mother?”
Got my rumbelle dress, you guys! I absolutely loved it. I honestly was not to fond of the design when I saw it on the Hot Topic website but now that I have it I think it is so so so cute! The quality of the fabric surpassed my expectations and the light blue color is a beautiful touch. FYI, I’m XL size and this runs very very large…you can’t see it but it is very loose on the back and I might have to change it for a L size. So I can tell you this…these are NOT in juniors sizes. I also bought the Snow White vest. It is a dream. I’ll post photos of that on Friday since that will be my Halloween costume!. In conclusion this Hot Topic collection is totally worth it!!!
BurnerPhone!Prompt- How about Belle is texting Rumple pretending to be a stranger, while Rumple is e-mailing Belle pretending to be an Oxford Professor? After all, great minds think alike! #2-Rumbelle texting while Rumple has his stay at the hospital.
Three days. It had been three days and he hadn’t send a reply to her question. Granted, it was a stupid question. She’d asked what he’d had for breakfast. He didn’t really have a need to answer. But she still wished he would.
Her phone buzzed as she was dusting the spinning wheel in the window, and it was all she could do to wait for Leroy to finish moving a shelf for her so he could be on his way and she could lunge for the phone.
“Some sort of odd concoction from the hospital. I think it was supposed to be mashed potatoes.”
Belle’s body ran cold, and she had to double-check her text to correct the typos made by her too-fast fingers. “You were in the hospital?!”
“Yes. Don’t worry I’m fine.”
Belle was most certainly going to worry. Because he was out there. Alone. And he’d been in the hospital. She had no idea why. He’d always been healthy. But, then again, he normally had magic. She took a few breaths, calming herself before she replied.
“You need a gift basket of normal food. Hospital food sucks. I hate hospitals.”
“They’re not ideal, no.”
“Well I’m glad you’re okay I guess.”
“Ah yes it would be terrible if the random stranger you don’t even know disappears.”
“Hey without you who would I bug about breakfast when I’m bored?
She hoped that made him laugh. She could hear his chuckle in her head, but even now her memory wasn’t good enough to re-create it perfectly the way she needed it to be.
“I’m sure you’ll find someone, dearie. I have to go now. I’ve got a trip to the aquarium planned.”
Aquarium. Why was he going to the aquarium? “Have fun!”
He was planning something. Belle’s gut told her that wasn’t a good thing. But she knew her husband, and while whatever he was plotting wouldn’t turn out well for her, he wouldn’t hurt her. She just had to keep trusting that.
“Did you get in contact with that Oxford Professor you needed to?”
“Yes! I emailed him. Hopefully he can help me with this report.”
“What’s it about?”
“Some ancient language on a scroll I found. I’m doing my Senior Thesis on it. Still think I should have majored in anything not-linguistic.”
“That sounds like it ought to be interesting, dearie.”
Despite himself, Rumpelstiltskin smiled. He knew a thing or two about Ancient Languages, and thanks to a few emails his wife thought him an Oxford Professor. A perfect stranger helping her with translating. Just as she was a perfect stranger simply texting him for the joy of it. He supposed his wife thought herself clever. She had certainly been if not for this translating business. Still, now that he knew, her texts took on new meaning.
She’d bought a phone. She’d checked on him. She still cared. And that was enough for him.