The usual brigade stormed their way into the shop; it was a wonder the poor little bell was still in tact.
"Gold, we need your help."
Of course, he smirked. These fools cannot last a day without Belle and I and yet...He didn't bother looking up at the lot them.
"What the hell do you mean, no?" Rumplestilskin didn't know whether to be amused or angered that Regina couldn't quite fathom why he was upset.
"I mean exactly what I said, Your Majesty."
"You have a lot of nerve to act like this after all you've done-" Emma Swan accused in a rushed, breathy voice she's taken on as late. He interrupted her as soon as he could, mainly to stop that grating sound.
"After all I've done? I expected this from your pirate and your parents, but you, Miss Swan?" Rumplestiltskin paused to think with a smirk. " Actually... these past few weeks I've come to expect this brand of stupidity from you as well. A pity."
After he'd finished taunting her his tone grew sincere. "I really did admire your grit, Emma; it's a shame you've abandoned your gumption for such vermin."
"My love life is none of your business. Besides, Killian and I are True Love, unlike you and Belle."
She tried to hold her head high, and the end result was both amusing and sad.
"You know it's funny: you spend more time trying to convince everyone to doubt my marriage rather than reaffirming your own relationship. It's a subconscious thing, of course. You two are so insecure in your 'so called love', you will stop at no lengths to drag us all down with you. Thats no figure of speech, Miss Swan; you used Belle as an object to blackmail me into joining your sad little rescue mission. You dragged your parents away from their newborn, took your son away from his home, and- let's not forget- Robin Hood is dead because of your actions, dearie. Regina may not care much about her supposed 'soulmate's' demise, but his young boy, Roland, was shoved into a suspiciously convenient portal earlier today. Do you know who saw him off? Zelena: the woman who killed his mother and raped his father. That poor child will live the rest of his life an orphan, no thanks to your foolishness. Keep telling yourself you and Killian Jones are True Love, dear. You're not fooling anyone but yourself."
"You want to be an ass, Rumple, fine. We'll ask your better half instead. Well, speak of the bookworm and she shall appear. Talk some sense into your husband, Belle."
"I'm sorry, did I stutter? We need you to put your Beast back on his leash so he can help us stop Hyde. It's least you both can do for causing this mess."
"Are you people mad? Emma used my life as a bargaining chip to get Rumple to save Hook, after he tried to condemn us all to the Underworld himself! You and your little motley crew let Zelena and her boyfriend run amok here, in Storybrooke, then you two halfwits and Rumple's own grandson go on a scavenger hunt around New York, trying your damnedest to keep me in that sleeping curse! And you expect us to help you?! Oh, and thanks for selling me out to Hyde, by the way, Snow! It's not like I was pregnant and trapped in a death-like slumber or anything!" "Bookworm's got her teeth back." "You're goddamn right, Your Majesty! And it's about time you've all been bitten. Rumple?" Her snapped around. The Dark One regarded his wife timidly. "Ye-yes, sweetheart?" "What is the largest volume we own?" "Um, Dante's Inferno..?" Yes, that's perfect. Summon it here, please."
Rumplestiltskin did as he was told and conjured a copy of the extensive novel into Belle's waiting hands.
"Thank you, darling."
She turned toward her husband with a smile, assuring him her trouble was with their uninvited guests, not him.
"Now I've said my piece, and if anyone has a problem with that...well they can take it up with Dante's Inferno. And judging from the blank looks I'm getting I'll need to make this even clearer for you: my husband has a cane, I have a book. You want to try me; you'll be clobbered by this."
Suddenly Belle found herself blinking back tears. She took a shaky breath before continuing.
"And to think I just wanted to be one of the good guys like you. You were supposed to be family."
"We are, B-" David tried to cut in but the beauty was having none of it.
"Enough with all your bloody hypocrisy! None of you could spare a thought about me except for when you're using me as means to an end! Whether it's as Dark One bait, or the Human Encyclopedia, or a nanny when you run off on your weekly adventures just depends on the day. But I'm done humoring you, and I believe Rumple is, too."
Her husband scoffed in agreement."I most certainly am, Belle."
"Good, because I'm ready to leave this place. Forever."
"- I don't want to yell at you, Henry, so I'll try to be brief. I am very disappointed with your actions in New York. You knew I was in Pandora's Box, you knew I was under a sleeping curse, and you knew I was pregnant! But you decided to buy into the Charming family mantra that says 'Rumplestiltskin is pure, unadulterated evil and we must go to all lengths possible to thwart him'. And if Belle suffers, too bad! That's what she gets for marrying that heartless creature anyway, right?"
"I didn't mean it like that..." Henry looked down at the ground, ashamed. Belle was still upset with the boy, but she was more gentle when she responded:
"I'm sure you didn't. But actions have consequences, Henry. You wouldn't know that listening to these people, but what you did left a mark on us all...and no portal, memory potion, or curse will ever erase that."
Rumple started to look uncomfortable."Belle... perhaps you're being too harsh. Henry is still just a child. And he's my grandson. He just did what he thought was right."
"Are you hearing this, Henry? You treated your grandfather like dirt and he is still defending you. And to answer, Rumple: Henry may be a teenager but, I assure you, he's old enough to know right from wrong. Shame on his mothers for not teaching him better."
Immediately on the defense the mayor- if she even was still the mayor of this backwards ass place- huffed angrily,
"How I parent my son is none of your concern, Miss French."
"That's Mrs. Gold, and it sure is when I suffer as a consequence!"
"I need you need to calm down love" said one very amused Killian Jones. "Or at least have a drink."
"you..." Seething with pent-up rage she closed he gap between her and the pirate in three long strides. The sound of her palm connecting to Hook's cheek reverberated around the pawn shop's walls. Then, stunned silence.
"That was for everything you've done to me, you smarmy piece of shit!" And this-" she reached up to slap his other cheek but he was faster than her and caught her wrist in a painful grip.
Rumplestiltskin's eyes flashed but before he could react Belle slammed her knee to Hook's groin. She made a solid connection, though she did have to reach higher than expected.
Aha! I knew he was compensating!
Hook grunted and cursed her as he fell to the floor. Rumple reached to steady her but she brushed him off gently, preferring to stand on her own.
"And that", she said, brushing the hair out of her face, "is for what you did to her." The room followed her gaze at Emma Swan, whose eyes widened in shock and fear.
"When I first met Emma Swan she was strong-willed, self-determined and compassionate. Now look at her. Lying, hypocritical, desperate, sad, lonely, insecure and sickly. I told you when we first met in your ship that your heart will always be rotten. But then you started fooling me-fooling all of us- that your love for Emma had changed you into some kind of hero. I believed it too. I even gave you my husband's dagger!- or I thought I did. You- the man who spent centuries trying to kill both of us!"
Belle let out a shaky breath at the memory, overwhelmed with disgust.
"You are no hero, Killian Jones. You never were, and you never will be. I just hope Emma will see the truth before its too late. Or you'll continue too drag her down this rotten path with you."