Bae tries to matchmake Belle and Rumple.
There were two things that Bailey Gold knew without a doubt. Papa was lonely, and the nice librarian lady, Belle, always smiled at Papa and gave him one of the lollies she usually only gave out to the kids like him. That must have meant she liked him.
Papa liked her too. At least, he was pretty sure he did. He didn’t remember going to the library so much before she came to town, but he was only ten so that could have been it. Papa didn’t smile when he talked to Miss Mills or her daughter Miss Regina. But he did when he talked to Miss Belle. But sometimes Papa stammered around her, and always tried to think of a reason for them to stay longer. Bailey didn’t mind so much. He liked the library and Miss Belle was good at reading aloud, which helped when Papa was taking a long time to pick out a book. He usually went with what Miss Belle recommended anyway.
It was important she was a “Miss.” She’d corrected Papa the first time he’d used “Mrs.” He didn’t understand it but she’s once told him she didn’t have a boyfriend. And Papa didn’t have a girlfriend. And they spent time around each other all the time anyway. Why hadn’t they just become a couple? That’s what grown-ups did when they liked each other right? Bailey didn’t understand it at all.
“Papa the library is closing.” The boy said, pulling on his father’s pant leg, a bundle of books under his arm.
“I’ll be done in a moment, Bae. Miss Belle won’t lock us in.”
“I might.” Miss Belle appeared from around the shelves with a giggle. “Trouble choosing again, Mr. Gold?”
“There are simply too many classics.” He said, and Bailey saw Papa’s lips turn up slightly. “What do you think for this week?”
Miss Belle rolled her eyes playfully, turning her eyes away from Papa to him and giving a smile. “You look hungry.”
Bailey nodded, giving Miss Belle a smile too.
“Let’s find something then so we can all eat.” Her eyes skimmed the shelves before her fingers fell on a book with a light blue cover. “This one.”
Papa made a face at the book. “Her Handsome Hero?”
“It’s my favorite.” Miss Belle said, her eyes getting all soft the way they did around Papa. “You don’t know if you’ll like it till you read it.”
“Very well.” Papa pretend-grumbled, taking the book and turning to start towards the circulation desk, allowing Belle to lead as he followed with his cane.
“Are you hungry Miss Belle?” Bailey asked, at her side in an instant.
“A bit.” Miss Belle confessed. “I’ve been in the mood for a hamburger all day.”
“Let’s all get hamburgers!” Bailey said with a smile on his face.
Miss Belle payed, turning to Papa. “I don’t know if that’s alright, Bailey I couldn’t–”
“Papa won’t mind if you come!” He said, turning to his father. “Right papa?”
Papa hesitated, and for a moment him and Miss Belle just looked at each other. Bailey didn’t understand this either. But they did it sometimes, and that seemed to be okay. He couldn’t help but feel the itching of impatience in his gut. Finally, though, Papa nodded.
“I’d– We’d like that.”
Miss Belle’s smile got really wide. “Then I’d love to join you. Both of you.”
Papa smiled real wide, and though Bailey didn’t understand it at all, that was enough.