I meant to get this chapter up ages ago, sorry! Its a bit short but I hope you enjoy!


Chapter 7: Progress

-Belle-

The next morning, after much less sleep than she would have liked, Belle woke to a pounding headache. Her first hangover.

She slipped out of bed and went to get some water, trying to remember what had happened last night. She found Ruby in the kitchen brewing some tea.

"My head's killing me!" Belle moaned dropping into a kitchen chair. Ruby gave her a sympathetic smile.

"I did try and slow you down." She pointed out.

"I know." Belle sighed, "How'd I get home anyway? I don't remember."

"Mr Gold." Ruby placed a cup of tea before Belle and sat down opposite her with her own tea. Belle raised an eyebrow. "It's true! You really don't remember." Ruby stifled a laugh.

"What?" belle demanded. "Did I do something horrifically embarrassing?"

"You might have said some things."

"What kind of things?" Ruby thought.

"You told Gold he looked handsome in his pajamas, he was your hero and asked him if he was going to get into bed with you." belle covered her face with her hands.

"You've got to be joking." Belle muttered.

"'fraid not."

"oh, God! How will i ever look at him again!"

-Gold-

That morning over breakfast Angus told Archie of his night time adventures. when he came to the end of his tale, he asked Archie what he thought of Ruby's seafood comment.

"I think she was giving you the thumbs up."

"For what?"

"To ask Belle to dinner. Is there a seafood place here?"

"Yeah."

"What are you waiting for?"

In his head Gold had been planning a visit to the library. He thought the perfect excuse would be to see if she was okay after last night. That was a friendly thing to do. He hoped that he could sneak in the question of dinner. Fingers crossed.

Gold made his way to the library, later than he usually was, thinking that Belle was likely to have had a lay in and be nursing a hangover. He opened the door to the library to find Belle sat cross-legged on the floor surrounded by piles of books.

A slight smile crept onto his lips. She was perfect.

As the door closed behind him Belle looked up. Much to Gold's pleasure a she beamed at him.

"Mr Gold!" She stood up brushing imaginary dirt of her shorts. "Can I be of assistance?"

"No, I just came to see if you were okay."

"Oh." Her smile faulted slightly, she seemed unsure. "I'm okay. I think I've got a hangover."

"You think?"

"Yeah, I've never really drunk that much before." Gold couldn't help smirking, especially when a blush rose in her cheeks.

"Well, now you've experienced the delights of The Rabbit Hole. You can tick that one off your list."

Belle frowned. Her confusion evident. Gold continued with his plan.

"You have experienced one of the many pleasure Storybrooke has to offer. There are some things you have to do to have the full experience."

"Oh. What are the other things?"

"Hmm... Go on the adventure course at Mills Hotel, have a scandalous night at Mills, eat at The Fish Dish- "

"Wait. The Fish Dish?" Gold laughed at the look on Belle's face it was priceless.

"Its a seafood restaurant on the docks. I think its called The Fish Dish anyhow. The owners Ariel and Eric keep on changing the name."

"What did it used to be called?" Belle's voice was laced with curiosity.

"Fish and Fork; Seafood and Eat It; Mer-Meals; It Came From the Sea. That's all I can think of at the moment."

"I love seafood." Belle smiled shyly at Gold. "I'll have to visit there one day."

"Maybe- perhaps... Will you have dinner with me at The Fish Dish?" Gold's heart was beating rapidly as he spoke. His hand gripped his cane tightly. It seemed to take forever for her to reply.

"Yes, I'd love to." Belle smiled at him. A different kin dof smile than what he'd seen before. He wasn't sure what it meant. But she'd said yes. She'd said yes.

"Friday?" Belle nodded. "I'll pick you up at 6 o'clock?"

"Sounds good. I'll look forward to it." Gold tried his best to keep his cool and not show just how excited he was at the prospect of having dinner with her.

"I'll see you then. Goodbye. Belle."

"Bye."

He waited until he had left the library and walked to his shop, which was closer than his house, before he let the grin he was suppressing envelop his face. He was going on a date with Belle French!

-Belle-

As soon as Gold left the library Belle squealed with excitement. And much to her own embarrassment she did a little dance. She was glad no one else was in the library.

Picking her phone, she called Ruby.

"Hey Bells! You holding up okay?"

"Ruby its finally happened!" Belle couldn't keep the huge grin off her face.

"YOU HAD SEX WITH GOLD?" Ruby practically screamed down the phone.

"No." Belle rolled her eyes. Ruby was so dramatic."He asked me out."

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!" Belle was sure she had just been deafened. "I am so excited for you!" Belle could hear Granny shouting at Ruby in the background for being so nosy.

"Sorry Granny! Belle's got a date." Ruby spoke to her grandmother. "Where's he taking you?"

"A seafood restaurant called The Fish Dish or something."

"Excellent!" Ruby didn't seem too surprised. Had Ruby said something to Gold? Belle wasn't sure she cared, as long she hadn't told him she wanted to get in his pants. That would be embarrassing.

"I'm coming over when I finish work. We can pick you a sexy outfit!"

"Ruby! I don't want him to think I'm a slut."

"I'm just joking. I think I have the perfect outfit."