How about this for a rumbelle prompt? During the Black Fairy's curse Rumple isn't awake at first, so it's Mr. Gold that finds cursed!Belle in that house.
The police station was empty when Gold walked inside. He was careful as he wandered forward. There was no reason to rush, and so he strode past the deputy’s desk into the main area of the room. Sheriff Dove would be back soon and he figured he could just wait for the young man to get back. He noticed the long bench that stretched under the high windows and briefly fancied the idea of sitting down, but he was too antsy. Even if he was okay with waiting for the sheriff, sitting would drive him out of his mind. He settled on pacing the floor of the station instead.
Slow and deliberate steps allowed him to review the events of the day.
That morning he and Gideon ate a small breakfast. They used the car to get to work, Gold had teased Gideon about getting his own house, Fiona had stopped by- the book- Henry- investigation- pictures-
Even if Belle had left to go see the world, how would Fiona have gotten those pictures? Even if the pictures weren’t so obviously photoshopped, they appeared to be from Belle’s personal camera. So, what? She sends Fiona Christmas cards updating her on her travels?
No. Gold wasn’t an idiot. Fiona wanted to hide something.
He stopped himself and his hands turned into fists, his nails digging into his palms. Turning his gaze to the sheriff’s desk, encased in the glass box, he saw something that intrigued him. Laying on the keyboard of the old monitor, was a manilla folder. He stepped closer and as he reached the door his hand found its way to the golden handle.
On the folder in blood red ink was stamped “Missing Person”. Then, in the same red, but smaller, scrawling cursive, was “Destroy immediately -F”
He pulled on the door and it miraculously swung open. With short, choppy movements that still held an odd sense of fluidity, he entered and quickly closed the door behind him.
The folder seemed ominous, like it would bite him if he got too close. He knew he shouldn’t look at it. It was a missing person file, though. It could be Belle’s, but he had never seen this before. Why hadn’t he seen this before?
He quickly checked down the hall to make sure Sheriff Dove wasn’t coming back and then opened the folder. A page of what looked like an official document lay inside. His heart rate sped up as his eyes grazed over the typed words in the “name” box.
Belle Gold née French.
He scanned the page with cautious eyes, not wanting to miss a single detail. His hand stroked down the paper, running over old information. It included his address, Gideon’s information under “offspring”, his information under “spouse”, her-
His breath caught in his throat.
Her current address?
They knew where she was? Why hadn’t they-? Why?
Yet there it was:
845 Nix Lane
Storybrooke, Maine, USA
No, that couldn’t possibly be right. The town’s too small. If she was in Storybrooke he would have noticed her. She had to go to the grocery store sometime, didn’t she? 28 years hiding in plain sight? It seemed impossible, but if someone didn’t want to be found….
A sharp pain resonated in his chest, the feeling of the first realization she was gone still fresh in his mind.
Baby Gideon wailing upstairs.
Two empty bottles of whisky.
He couldn’t bear to sleep in their bed for over a week after that. He knew, however, that he couldn’t pity himself for too long. He had a son to take care of.
He removed his hand from the paper abruptly, almost as if it was what was giving his the bad memories. Without a final question he memorized the address, closed the manilla folder, set it back where he had found it, and left the police station.
He repeated the address over and over again in his head, visualizing where it was in town. Once in the car, he started to talk himself through what his plan was. Show up, ask why she left, try not to cry in front of her, hope there’s closure, hope she opens the door, hope it doesn’t hurt….
Who was he kidding? This was going to hurt like Hell.
He drove almost mindlessly to his destination. As he rolled to a half at a four-way stop, he re-evaluated. This was crazy. She left. She didn’t want to see him.
No, he deserved an explanation. She owed him that, at least.
Gideon’s words echoed back to him. She didn’t love them. Leave it alone.
With a deep sigh, he flicked on his turn signal and drove onto Nix Lane. Gideon need never know about this.
His eyes drifted back and forth between the houses until he saw number 845. His nose tugged up at the corners and his mouth parted in disbelief. The yard was dying and the flower boxes and beds were displaying weeds. The concrete walkway to the house was cracked, pushed up in some places, and stained with something that looked mysteriously like blood. Paint peeled from the walls and the door. Tiles were missing from the very faded roof.
Was this serious? Did he get the wrong address? There was no way Belle would live here. Maybe if she was a crack addict, but his Belle? His sweet Belle that made sure not a speck of dust would ever grace her precious books? No way.
He parallel parked, not caring that he was in front of the mailbox, and got out.
As he nervously made his way to the front door, he saw one of the curtains swish closed. Somebody had been watching him.
He noticed his hands were shaking as he raised one fist, lightly knocking with his knuckles. There was shuffling inside. He hoped it was Belle, even if this house was awful. He clasped his unstable hands together in front of him. Then he realized that was probably more intimidating than he wanted to be. He shoved them in his pockets, but then he felt too casual. Crossing his arms was also too defensive of a stance, but folding his hands behind his back was too submissive.
Disgruntled, he took a heavy breath through his nose. The door still hadn’t opened. Swallowing hard, he lifted his hand to knock again when a loud crash came from inside, followed by a short scream.
He instantly stiffened- Belle?
A couple seconds of quiet worried him.j Had she been hurt? Was she unconscious? Did she need a doctor? Pulling out his cell phone in case of an immediate need for an ambulance, he hesitantly opened the front door. Inside was just as drab as outside, only ten times as dark. A bookcase had toppled over and its contents was strewn across the living room.
Despite the urge to turn and leave, he crept deeper into the house, his shoes virtually noiseless on the decrepit carpet. Rounding a corner, he found himself in the house’s kitchen. It was also falling apart.
The voice was so small Gold thought that maybe he was imagining things. He turned to the source of the word and felt like the breath was knocked out of him. A hand gently brushed the wall, instinctively steadying himself. Tears began to blur his vision and he reprimanded himself for being to affected by this.
Belle was crouched behind the stove, eyes wide and scared. She hadn’t changed in 28 years. The same gorgeous blue eyes, the same fair skin, the same deep brown hair. In fact, the only thing he could see was different from the last time he saw her was her clothing choice.
He opened his mouth and closed it again. He didn’t know what to say, and he didn’t want to royally screw this up like he must have when she left, so he stayed quiet.
An eternity passed, the only sound whirring from the mysteriously unseen water heater. After Gold figured he had calculated an appropriate approach he opened his mouth again, but she cut him off.
“Please don’t make me go!” Halfway through the outburst she jumped up and sprinted to a room by the dining table.
Gold blinked, “Go where?”
The only answer was a locking deadbolt. He went to the closed door; now that there was barrier to keep the space he felt he could speak freely.
“Belle, I just need to know why,” he started to cry again, “know why you left.”
“How do you know my name?” Belle’s voice was muffled by the door, “Who are you? Go away!”
His heart twinged, but he didn’t move. She must have gotten amnesia. That was it; she didn’t remember him and she didn’t come home that day because she lost her memory. Without his consent, a glimmer of hope nuzzled its way into his mind.
“Belle, it’s me,” he said softly, “you e- your husband.” He had started to say ex-husband, but they had never actually gotten divorced.
“I’m not married,” she sounded confused, “go away!”
“Belle, please listen to me.”
“No! N-now I’m perfectly content with my life here. Fiona w-was nice enough to give me this house and bring me food and clothes and she said not to talk to strangers; not that I would want to anyway. S-so I’m asking you to please go away!”
“Fiona?” Gold said. No response, so he tried again, “Did you say Fiona?”
A tiny “yes” made its way through the door.
Gold’s face hardened, his lip curling into a snarl. Whatever that witch had done to Belle, he was going to make her pay.
this was a blink-and-you-missed it moment, but also one of the best of the episode. this was an understanding between the two people who battled with the darkness from the very first episode, two people who thought happiness wasn’t in their destiny. they finally got their happy endings.