Author: Notsureyet18 PM
He had been known across the lands as the Dark One who was feared by everyone, except for one. Rumpelstiltskin comes across a precocious six year old Emma Swan. Note the rating has gone up to T.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Friendship - Emma S. & Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold - Chapters: 7 - Words: 18,236 - Reviews: 38 - Favs: 39 - Follows: 58 - Updated: 08-22-12 - Published: 04-04-12 - id: 7988607
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Sorry this took ten years to update. Got several stories going at one time and school. Basically here, little Emma is torn between being a kid and acting like an adult as she has no one her own age, so her age mentality tends to bounce around. Warning: There is a reference to child abuse, so the rating from here on out is T.
Tongue poking out of the corner of my mouth, all of my concentration was fixed on the small, yellow flower sitting in front of me. Brows furrowed so hard they hurt, I stared at it for a few more minutes, willing for something, anything, to happen. Still, nothing happened. Sniffling slightly, I crossed my arms in front of me, a little pout forming on my mouth. There is a rustle next to me, and I look up to see that Rumpelstiltskin had now joined me. To top it off, he has struck the exact same pose as I had. Bottom lip hanging out, he glares evilly at the little flower as he crosses his long arms in front of him.
"Stop making fun of me!" I squeal as I reach out to push him.
"You know, little dearie, simpering at the flower won't do you any good" Rumpelstiltskin, of course, managed to avoid my outstretched arms with a single step. With a snap of his fingers, there is a rush of purple smoke enveloping the yellow flower. Once it fades, there is a long stemmed rose in its place. "See, it's as simple as a snap of your fingers!"
"Why can't I do it?" even I can hear the whine in my voice, "I've been at this for a while and I feel like all I'm doing is staring at a flower"
"That's because that is all you are doing" Rumpelstiltskin waved one pointed finger at me, eyebrows waggling everywhere as he tries not to laugh at me, "You've got to actually feel the magic, not just have a staring contest with an inanimate object!"
"What's inanimate mean?"
"It means it's not real" his hands are now a flurry of motion around my face, "So, no matter how hard you stare at it, you'll never get a reaction. You need to feel it!"
"How?" he is not making any sense again.
He rolls his eyes, and I know I said something that annoyed him. Picking the rose up from the table, he taps the fat bud against his face for a moment as he circles back around the table.
"You've done it before?" his voice takes on a stranger, more sarcastic tone, "When you were pushed out of a window by a broom. The problem is you are trying too hard. All magic, when done correctly, should come naturally. You can't force it"
I am still so confused. "Is there a difference between trying too hard and giving one hundred percent?"
"Of course there is" he pushes the rose in my hand, "Now, your task is trying to figure out the difference"
"How do I figure out how to do that?" for a moment, I try snapping my fingers, but I am not good at it.
"You have to trust me" he folds his arms in front of his chest and tries to put on a serious face, "I wouldn't give you a task you couldn't handle"
I pout at the rose in my hands. "But how?"
"Well, how, did you do it the first time?"
"I don't know!" I shout at him, "I just did and you're not helping, and-"
"Eeep!" with a loud squawk of his own, his hands are everywhere until one finger finds my lips, "You are letting your emotions get to you!
"I don't know. I did it once after to back home, to help with my chores-"
"You did magic in your world?" in a flash, he is kneeling in front of me, his brown eyes suddenly wider.
"Uh, well, yes, I-I did" I stutter, silently cursing myself for telling him. I know for certain I am in trouble now.
"You were able to create magic in a land without it?" he is blinking at me with a very strange look on his face.
"Am I in trouble?"
"No, no, dear child" he says, both of his hands flying everywhere for a few seconds, "No, no. You did everything so…so perfectly!"
"There is something you're not telling me!" I cry out. I hate it when he plays guessing games.
"Who said there was anything to tell?" he said with one of his weird chirps.
I frown, becoming annoyed with him. "Will you just tell me what I did right? And what was so right about it?"
"It's going to be hard to tell you something when there isn't anything to tell" with another giggle, he taps me quickly on the nose before getting up off the ground. Doing a little skip, he presses his hands behind his back and walks back to his spinning wheel.
"Little dearie, I am in need of fresh straw" he waves of my protests, "There is some at the bottom of the castle. Go fetch me some"
"Fine, I'll just figure it out myself" I said snidely.
He turns around to face me for a moment, a strange gleam in his eyes. A slow smile creeps up his face eerily. Feeling suddenly nervous, I stutter something out before I scuttle out of the tower. Quickly running down the steps, it's not long before I am in the large room again. It has been a long time since I've been here. Indeed, since the 'broom' incident, Rumpelstiltskin has never left me alone again. Glancing around the room, my eye falls on the purple pointy hat with the silver stars. Feeling the need to laugh at the memory, I turn away from it before I can be tempted to play with it again.
Across the room where the straw is kept, I see a door that I have never seen before. An overwhelming desire comes over me and I desperately want to open it. Shaking my head, I remember the scolding I had gotten from Rumpelstiltskin over the hat. Indeed, he had ignored me for nearly two weeks, and when he brought me back here, it had been nearly another week before he spoke full sentences to me. Scooping up a handful of straw in my arms, I tear myself away from the door.
"Oh dear goodness!" I hear a panicked voice coming from behind me, "I am so late!"
Whirling around, I drop the straw when I see an old, short man with white hair sticking up everywhere dashing madly around the room. I have never seen him before. Bending over, I scoop the straw back up as I look him over. He is wearing a strange brown jacket with large buttons and a puffy collar. It also looks like he is wearing white stockings with black boots. The only time I have seen anyone other than ladies wear stockings is in my history books, and I can't stop looking at them.
"Oh my goodness I am so late!" the man's nervous voice snaps me out of my trance. Squinting down at me, he blinks a few times before he adjusts what looks like a magnifying glass on his eye. "And you little lady are even far later than I am!"
"Late for what?" I take a few steps away from him, "Who are you?"
"Someone who is very late for a very important date!" he nods down at me, "You made me late! I've been looking for you!"
"Um, are you supposed to even be here?" I frown as I stare at him. This man has lost his bananas. Even Rumpelstiltskin makes more sense than him!
"Pssssttt!" there is another noise behind me.
Turning around, I see impossibly white teeth stretched in a grin staring at me from a dark corner. A single amber pops into view, followed by a green eye.
"Chess?" I clutch the straw closer to myself, my legs suddenly feeling like lead, "How did you get in here?"
There is a flash of blue sequins and he steps out of the shadows. He is so very tall, much taller than Rumpelstiltskin is. He is dressed in his sparkly blue and purple outfit again, he is also holding a large blue top hat in his hand.
"Hello there, little one" he comes over to my side, and with a dramatic sweep with both of his hands, he places the hat on my hand, "So good to see you again"
The hat is slightly too big for me, and the top portion slides down to cover my eye. The inside of it feels like silk and it tickles me. I can't help but giggle as I try and readjust the hat.
"Wow, I love this hat!" I can't stop feeling the inside of that hat and it's so sparkly and pretty!
"Well, it was made by a special person" Chess says with a nod, "He gave away this hat for free. Normally, I would find it strange, but he had so many"
"Was the hat maker a friend of yours? Does he own a hat shop?" I want to see if there are any more pretty hats that maybe I can keep!
Chess gives me an odd look. "I don't think it was a shop. He tossed this hat out because he said it didn't work. He just kept muttering, 'get it to work, get it to work'"
"Get what to work?"
He shrugs and gives me a bewildered look. "Little one, your guess is as good as mine. If you ever happen to come across the answer, please tell me"
"Pardon me!" the white haired man behind me pipes up, feet tapping anxiously, "But do either of you realize how late you are!"
"What am I late for?" I ask him again. He squints down at me as the hat drops in from of my eyes again.
"I hear you are such a precocious child" Chess comes up behind me and places his hands on my shoulders, "Tell me, does your friend here speak riddles and never give you answers?"
"Yes!" I say with another huff. "He always tells me to figure things out on my own!"
"Now that's not very nice" Chess wags a finger at me before circling back behind me, "In fact, that sounds rather annoying"
"It is!" finally, someone who understands!
"You know, I don't believe I caught your name!" Chess now moves right in front of me again. His eyes, especially his amber one, are sparkling, and they are again highlighted with make-up, "So, may I have your name, child?"
I swallow nervously for a second. "My name?"
"Why yes, your name" he pulls back from me, as if I had slapped him, "I gave you my name! It's a symbol of friendship"
I don't know, but I don't want to tell him my name. A thought suddenly crosses my mind. "I'm Jenna. My name is Jenna"
"Jeeeennnnnaah!" he says my name as if he is purring, "Such a pretty name for such a pretty girl" he gives a quick shrug of his shoulders with a weird snorting noise.
"Sir! I must dually protest!" the man with white hair is almost beside himself, "We are late!"
Rolling his eyes, Chess stands to his feet and dusts of his jacket. "Yes, I know, I know. Little Jenna, will you be joining us?" He stretches out a hand toward me, but all I can do is stare at it. "C'mon, don't be shy"
"No" I say with a frown as I take a step away from him, "I don't even know where you're going, so why would I join you?" He walks away from the door and waltzes over to me in a little dance.
"Ah, I had forgotten how clever you are" with another huge smile, Chess reclaims his hat and turns and opens the door I had been so curious about. "When you are finally ready to find those answers you so desperately want answered, and answered plainly, just open this door. I promise I'll be waiting for you on the other side" With another grin, he opens the door, allowing the man with the white hair in first before exits, giving me a slight wave.
I find myself staring into empty space. Did that really just happen? Mustering up all of my courage, I take a step towards the now closed door, my hand outstretched to open it-
"What the hell are you doing!"
My hand falls away from the doorknob as if it had caught fire. "Nothing!"
"You were going to open the door, weren't you" Rumpelstiltskin is glaring down at me, as always with a finger pointed in my face.
"I just wanted to know what was inside" I stand straight as a board as he towers over me, his face twisted in anger. I have the feeling after tonight, he won't talk to me again for a week.
"Under no circumstances do you open that door!" for once he is standing still as he yells at me. This is bad; he is only ever completely still when he is very angry.
"Why?" I demand, pulling myself up straighter. Chess is right! I am tired of the riddles and secrets. "What's behind it!"
"You know, curiosity killed the cat"
"And satisfaction brought it back" I say with a huff.
He gives me a mean smile. "Yes well, unlike the cat you can't come back"
"I want to know what's behind the door!" I can almost hear myself pleading.
"What with the sudden pique in curiosity?" he frowns down at me, "Someone must've told you about the door"
"No!" I am not lying about this part. I was curious about the door before Chess. So, I am technically not lying. "I saw it, and I had never seen it before. I wanted to know what's behind it"
He doesn't respond. Instead, he snatches me hand and drags me away. "I think it's time for you to go home, little dearie. You are not behaving yourself"
I have to run to keep up with him. "But I just want to know what's behind the door!"
"And I've told you it's none of your concern" he drags me to the hallway and shoves me towards the mirror, "Go back home. You need to grow up some. You are treating everything I am teaching you as a game"
"I am not!" by this point, even I know I am whining.
He doesn't do anything but shove me towards the mirror again. I try to say something, but he makes another of his weird shushing noises. I glare at him before turning back around. Fine! I will find out what's behind that door by myself!
"Emma!" there is a loud pounding on the door, "Get up!"
Even though I am still half asleep, I can hear Mr. Peters, my foster father, yelling. Eyelids fluttering open, I hear Mr. Peters banging on the door and I want nothing more than to curl up underneath my blankets. He is a scary man. I have only lived here for a few weels, but I can tell he doesn't like me. Maybe it's because I discovered he wore something called a toupee to hide the fact that he is balding? No. He didn't like me even before that. One time when I asked him a question, he slapped me. He drinks this fouls smelling liquid when he comes home from work, and it's on these nights that he's at his meanest. Then there's Mrs. Peters. On the night he slapped me, she said something about how I was a nothing more than a big fat check. I still don't understand what she meant by that, but I am too afraid to ask.
"Emma!" I hear him scream, "Are you up!"
"Yes sir!" I call out. Looking at my alarm clock, I realize that I'll be late for school if I don't hurry up. "I didn't hear the alarm clock. I'm sorry!"
There is a grunt at the door. "When you get home tonight, we need to discuss your behavior"
I have done something wrong again. Clutching my night light to me, I can't help but let out a whimper. I am not sure what I did wrong, but I am very sorry. I make up my mind to call Ms. Jenna when I am dropped off at school. She'll know what to do. And I still remember her number.
"Emma!" Mr. Peters begins banging on the door, "Hurry it up in there or you'll be late!"
I quickly dress myself and I stuff the night light in my pocket. Shivering, I open the door to the room. I can't call it my room, because this isn't my home. Opening the door, I see Mr. Peters standing over me, hands on his hips, scowling at me.
"You just wait till you get home" he snaps, "You need a lesson in manners, and now apparently, on getting up on time! Get in the car! School starts in less than fifteen minutes"
I flinch inwardly as I walk past him. As I walk through the house, I bump into Mrs. Peters. She is smoking a cigarette, thumbing through the morning newspaper. She doesn't bother looking up at me. I am all alone.
Coming up next: Emma vs Mr. Peters and discovers what's behind the door in Rumpelstiltskin's castle.