A/N: Another prompt from Tumblr that was pretty fun to write.
Her voice wasn't amazing. It was accented, the high notes were horrible- an alto if one was ever heard- and it was beautiful. She could sell her voice alone, if the radio stations would ever take her, but the lounge, The Rabbit Hole, was enough for her. It was fun. She liked singing, liked the atmosphere, liked knowing the audience was dancing to her voice, watching her sing.
She could do without the costumes (really, who said she had to wear something so short?) but it was part of the gig, and every gig got her closer to her dreams. A record deal maybe.
A place to own, not rent. With a library. Or two.
Huffing and puffing, Belle twisted around, chasing the zipper on the back of her ridiculously short dress. Really, this was impossible. If the dress had so little material to begin with, why have a zipper at all?
Of course, if there wasn't a zipper the dress would be backless, and Belle was selling her voice, and her voice only, thank you very much.
"Oh for the love of…"
The curtain separating her from the band (she might be the main attraction, but she she still had the share the space with five guys and all their equipment).
"Alright over there?"
"Just a fashion crisis," she panted. "Ignore me."
There was a muffled snort, and Gold poked his head around, his hand clamped firmly over his eyes, making a show of not looking.
"I'm sure you look fine, sweetheart," he assured. "Not that I can see you, mind, but you look beautiful all the same."
Belle felt her cheeks grow warm. Glad he couldn't see her, she kept her voice teasing. "Well if I fall out of the dress, maybe we'll fill the place up," she teased.
Gold disappeared behind the curtain, muttering something.
"What was that?"
"They're going to start without us if we don't hurry," Jefferson said, twirling his top hat. The fedora was more fashionable, but he claimed the ladies loved it (and had yet to be proved wrong).
"We're not going out until Belle is decently covered," Gold growled.
"Belle looks fine," David called loudly. "It's showtime!"
"Belle is not going anywhere until her undergarments are not on display," Belle insisted. The dress was a costume, and she'd wear it proudly, but she would at least be covered.
She turned her back to the mirror, craned her neck to see over her shoulder. As always, she blinked at herself, not recognizing the woman who blinked back. Her natural curls were bigger at the ends, her lips were painted a deep red, her eyes lined with thick black pencils ('to make them pop even under the spotlight' Ruby had insisted).
She didn't look like herself, but a gig was a gig. And some part of her liked 'Lacey', the temptress with come-hither eyes and a voice that could quiet a crowd, even when the shoes made her feet hurt.
Again, Gold muttered from behind the curtain.
"If you're so worried about it, come help me," she said, bending backwards to grasp the zipper.
Gold appeared in an instant, crossed the room in three strides and spun her around.
"Women and their complicated dressings." Under his hand, the dress closed firmly, the blue silk snug against her, but draping and flowing like water, the sleeves sheer and soft against her skin.
Belle leaned back against him, turned so her nose brushed his jaw. They made quite a picture, him in his black suit, her in that dress. They looked like they should be on the floor dancing, sipping champagne and mingling, not on stage blowing a trumpet and singing.
But it's what they loved, and it's what they did.
"I like your hat," Belle told him, reaching up to pluck it off his head.
Gold smiled down at her, eyes softening.
"It looks better on you."
He leaned down, she tilted her head back, the fedora sliding to the floor behind them.
Jefferson drew the curtain back.
"Last call, all performers to the stage, hup hup hup!" He twirled a drumstick between his fingers, used it to point at them. "You both look beautiful, especially with matching lipstick."
Gold growled. "I am going to kill that man, I swear."
"No you won't," Belle laughed. She replaced his hat, adjusting it so it tilted just right. "Now then, let's get on with it. I'm starving."
"Burgers after the show?"
"Are you trying to seduce me, Mr. Gold?"
"That depends. Is it working?"
Belle grinned, kissed him again. She laughed as she pulled back, wiping at his mouth. "Jefferson lied. It's really not your color."
"Pity. I was considering making it a fashion statement." He drew her close, despite the two minute warning calls, humming deep in his throat.
Belle closed her eyes, swaying to the music he created, the world vanishing around them. They danced backstage, pressed tightly together, eyes closed, mouths smiling.
"I never cared much for moonlit skies. I never wink back at fireflies, but now that the stars are in your eyes I'm beginning to see the light…"
"I'll see you back at yours," she whispered.
Gold nodded, and wondered if one day his place could become theirs. He didn't have much, a small house with two bedrooms and a tiny kitchen, but he'd gladly offer it to her, should she want it.
Belle beamed up at him, brushing imaginary dust from his vest.
Maybe one day, she would want it. But for now, they had a show to put on, music to play, and a crowd to please.