Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Characters/Pairings: Rumpelstiltskin, Regina, Emma, Belle, Snow, Charming, Rumpelstiltskin/Belle, Snow/Charming
Word Count: 1,350
Spoilers: Up to Skin Deep
Disclaimer: I don't own Once Upon A Time and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Regina taunts Rumpelstiltskin with the truth about Belle, and he waits impatiently for her return.
The words hit Rumpelstiltskin like a punch in the gut. “Your precious little Belle is still alive, but you’re not going to see her again.” Regina glared at him but then smiled triumphantly. She wasn’t about to let this horrendous beast win – She was the winner and always would be.
He felt lightheaded (Which was unusual, since he didn’t feel this way. Except when it came to her.) and struggled to make sense of what the evil queen was telling him. “Where is she? Tell me now!”
Regina laughed. “You’ll never know.”
“Fucking tell me right now or you’re going to pay.” He wasn’t about to let this bitch get away with what she had done – Miss Swan and the rest of the fairy tale characters were so close to finally breaking the curse.
“I don’t respond to idle threats – You should know better than that.” And then Regina teleported away, leaving an extremely angry Rumpelstiltskin in her wake. He struggled not to lash out, but it was hard to do so – Lashing out was all he knew how to do. Belle hadn’t changed that, but he wanted to be better for her. And when had that happened? In all these years he thought the princess was dead?
Emma Swan suddenly pulled up in the cop car and immediately noticed how angry he was. “Okay, Gold, what’s going on? You look pissed.” She didn’t have time to deal with his anger issues while they were trying to break this curse – It was extremely time consuming trying to figure it out.
That’s when inspiration struck him. “Miss Swan, do you remember how you struck a deal with me to save Ash … Cinderella’s baby?”
“Yes.” Emma wondered if he was finally cashing in on it and a pit of dread formed in her stomach. She had learned all about Rumpelstiltskin’s deals from her parents and others in Storybrooke.
“It’s time you finally complete a favor for me. I need you to find a brunette – Her name is Belle and she’s most likely wearing blue. It was her favorite color.”
“Okay, why?” Emma looked at him expectantly.
“Don’t ask me questions, just do it!”
“Not until you tell me why. Who is this Belle? Wait, the Beauty and the Beast Belle?” Emma couldn’t believe it – Every new fairy tale thing she came across continued to shock her.
“Just do it!” Rumpelstiltskin was starting to become more furious with each second that passed – He needed Belle with him.
“I said not until you tell me why.”
He rolled his eyes, but reluctantly conceded to her request. He had a hard time getting his next words out because Rumpelstiltskin didn’t do things like this. “Because she’s my true love. And yes, we are talking about the Belle that was in this ‘Beauty and the Beast’. And unfortunately, that does make me the Beast. The Queen told me she was dead, but that isn’t the case. She threw that little fact in my face today. I believe you’re the only one that can find her. And good luck, Miss Swan. You’re lucky the deal wasn’t worse.”
“I will find her – Don’t worry.” Emma had a million other things to worry about, but she’d find Belle for Gold. And at least she’d be out of the deal and wouldn’t have to panic about that anymore. Mary and David (Snow and Charming, her mind whispered) had been on her case about her deal with Gold for months now. They’d be happy this ordeal would be over at least.
Rumpelstiltskin turned and walked away from her, hoping Emma would start immediately. He needed to go back to his home and get it ready – Belle would hate that it was so dirty. However, he hadn’t had to worry about cleanliness in a long time.
Despite the fact that he liked power and making deals, Rumpelstiltskin wanted out. He hadn’t been ready when Belle had come along, but he was now. Mostly because he had liked living as a man for the past thirty-one years, even if it had been insufferable that time had stopped. He was secretly grateful to Henry Mills for reading the book and going to find Emma – He had done the right thing in placing the boy with Regina, even though he hadn’t had the happiest childhood with her.
As soon as he reached his home, Rumpelstiltskin began tidying up. It was boring to him and tried his patience (He may have broken a few items), he ended up happy with his work. Snow White and Not Prince James (his name for the shepherd) stopped by to see him around eight at night.
“We’re here to thank you for Emma’s part of the deal. You will be very well rewarded when the curse is broken.” The princess shifted uncomfortably.
“You okay, Snow?” Not Prince James eyed his wife warily and protectively.
“I’m fine,” she assured him. Her hand rested on her stomach, and Rumpelstiltskin suddenly realized the two had a lot more to lose now. He decided to keep that knowledge to himself.
“Why are you thanking me? She’s lived up to her end of the deal.”
“Just accept it, but know that we will be watching you.” Not Prince James didn’t trust the beast as far as he could throw him (That much was obvious), but he was clearly willing to go along with his wife’s plan.
Rumpelstiltskin rolled his eyes at the man. “I suppose I can accept that.”
“So, you’re Belle’s true love? Really wasn’t expecting that one.”
“Are we having small talk? Because I’d rather not. I don’t have the patience for this.”
“Of course. We apologize. Let’s go, Charming.” Snow grabbed her husband’s hand and led him out of the house. Rumpelstiltskin sat down in a chair and just waited all night long.
Emma returned the next morning to give him an update. “I think I know where she is, but it’s going to take some time to get her out. Regina put her in a place that no one would think to look.”
“Are you going to tell me?” He needed to know.
“No, because I know what you’re thinking right now. Revenge against Regina can wait – Just be there for Belle because she’s going to need you.” She turned around and walked out.
To pass the time, Rumpelstiltskin reluctantly went into work – A few people stopped by to pick up some items they had been missing and desperately wanted back now that their memories had returned.
It was nearing 3:30PM when the door opened, and he gasped when he saw her. Belle looked a little worse for wear, but she was beaming. “Rumpelstiltskin!” Emma stayed back and watched as the two reunited.
When he realized what she was about to do, Rumpelstiltskin held his arms out as Belle rushed into them. “I’m sorry,” she murmured over and over again.
“I’m sorry, Belle. So fucking sorry you have no idea.” His anger at Regina faded for a brief minute as he reunited with his true love.
This time, Rumpelstiltskin initiated the kiss. When they pulled apart, he felt lighter and happier for the first time in a long time. “Did we just break your curse?” Belle eyed him knowingly.
“I believe we just did. I couldn’t tell you this before, but I do love you. I didn’t mean for Regina to imprison you.”
“I know you didn’t, Rumpelstiltskin. And I love you, too. I’m going to be okay now with you.” There was a haunted look in her eye, but he’d fix that as soon as he was able.
Emma sniffled at the entrance, sneakily wiped away tears, and tried to pretend that she hadn’t been crying during Rumpelstiltskin and Belle’s reunion. She had seen this so many times that it just brought out something in her. And she missed Graham more than ever.
Belle and Rumpelstiltskin couldn’t have their happily ever after yet, but they’d get there. The curse would be broken eventually, and then they could live the way they wanted to.
True love’s kiss could do anything.