"And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."

(Friedrich Nietzsche)


"I was right!"

Emma turned to face him, her eyes wide and searching.

"Kid! What are you doing here?"

He paid no mind to his mother, instead, moved towards Gold and Ruby. Henry smiled; his eyes sparkled in mirth and finally realized affirmation.

"They're going to break the curse. They're going to save Mary Margaret and break the Evil Queen's curse!"

"What are you talking about?"

"Ruby just called Mary Margaret 'Snow,' as in Snow White? And she called him Rummy."

"People have pet names for each other in relationships, kid."

He shook his head.

"No. That's not what that was."

He looked at Mr. Gold.

"Rummy…you're Rumpelstiltsken!"

Emma sighed, turning an apologetic glance to Gold and Ruby.

"Sorry. We'll be going now."

"I'm serious! They found their happy ending! True love's kiss will break the curse!"

"Yep, and I'm sure that Mr. Gold and Ruby are super interested in those plans, so we'll leave them to it. Let's go."

Henry ventured a smiling glance at the couple as his mother ushered him out of the door. Gold turned his attention to Ruby, the hint of a smile ghosting his own lips.

"True love, eh?"

Ruby's eyes sparkled.

"I guess so."

"Clearly I'm the Beauty in our little tale."

"Making me the beast? Need I remind you that you, my dear Rumple, are the aggressor in our little evening exercises?"

"Maybe initially."

She shrugged, but remained silent.

"Certainly not last night, if memory serves, dearie."

A smile broke from her attempted stoic attitude.

"Dammit. I can never stay mad at you."

"It's my winning personality."

She raised an eyebrow.

"Try again."

"Boyish good looks?"

"0 for 2."

Suddenly he was flush up behind her, his hands snaking around to grip her hips, his pelvis grinding into her backside. She moaned and arched against him, her breath ragged and strained. He leaned in, brushed her hair from her ear. His breath was hot against her ear, his voice gravelly and deep.

"I have another guess, don't I, dearie?"

Her mouth was too dry to speak, so Ruby simply nodded. He chuckled behind her, his voice now the higher pitch she had recalled from another lifetime.

"If it's not my charm or my looks, it must be this."

In one fluid motion, he pushed up her skirt and thrust into her waiting passage. She groaned, meeting his thrusts with her own. When his hand moved forward to manipulate her swollen bud, Ruby cried out. They met their ecstasy quickly; their coupling frantic and passionate. Ruby shuddered as Gold withdrew his softening member from her; she righted her clothes and turned to face him with a grin.

"That would definitely be why."

With a quick kiss on his lips, she was gone, flitting away to carry out her portion of the tasks set before them.



It had been two weeks since their relationship had come to light in earnest. Gold had done his part in getting Mary Margaret acquitted of her crimes; to his credit, he hardly reminded Ruby of that fact on a daily basis. Their town was changing, the Queen's stranglehold on their lives weakening with each passing moment. It left Rumpelstiltsken to wonder just what would finally break the curse; he certainly took every opportunity to kiss his bride-to-be. The Savior's child had called it true love; if true love's kiss didn't break this curse, what would?

He straightened his bow tie in the mirror, bringing himself back to the task at hand. He would make Ruby his today, in this world more than he had in their own. Briefly he considered the possibility that the slip of a woman would request a ceremony in their own land, once they returned. It didn't matter. He would do it. He was a fool in love; had been for decades now.

The whole of the town seemed to have shown up to see the pawnbroker marry the former waitress; Regina's invitation was misplaced, somehow, but the mayor managed to show up nonetheless. She flashed Gold an icy smile from her seat in the back of the church. He fought the urge to roll his eyes. The Queen could be so very petty. It was of little consequence what the monarch did as his eyes drifted to the vision walking towards him. His Ruby…his Red…was walking down the aisle towards him, her face aglow with joy. She was no demure angel simpering in white tulle; she was his Red, his huntress, draped in a fitted crimson ball gown. The roses she carried were golden and ivory; he cared naught for what genetic manipulations went into creating a golden rose, but cared more for what her choice symbolized. He was accepted. He was loved. He was hers.

Their wedding progressed. Vows exchanged. Love expressed. The priest's smile dampened, he glanced at the crowd with a solemn glare that could make any parishioner quake in his Sunday boots.

"If any man has any reason why these two should not be wed, speak now, or forever hold your peace."

Regina's elegant hand rose from the back of the church. The priest, surprised for a moment, regained his composure and nodded.

"Madam Mayor?"

"The girl is not in her right mind. Hasn't been since he began controlling her life."

"That is hardly grounds to object."

"Is it? She has been brainwashed! Obviously! How else could she come to marry a man who holds her financial stability in his hands?"

Gold was fuming; he opened his mouth to speak, but found his darling Ruby in the midst of a tirade.

"You will sit down. You were not invited. How dare you insinuate that I feel anything less than complete love for Rum…er...Raoul. Just because you couldn't hold onto love, doesn't mean that the rest of us should be resigned to the same lonely fate."

Regina's blood boiled at the statement. How dare the little tramp speak to her in such a manner? She wasn't about to wait around to see if the little tart marrying Rumpelstiltsken would break her beautiful curse. The very idea! She stood to leave, glaring at the pair before stalking towards the door. Gold called after her.

"Don't leave, Majesty. Wouldn't you like to see how it ends?"

Gold took Ruby in his arms and kissed her deeply, pouring all of the passion and love he could muster into the act. When they broke away and nothing had changed, Regina laughed.

"It all ends the same, Gold. The world doesn't change. I don't change. You don't change."

Ruby grasped Gold's hand in her own, gazed into his eyes.

"It doesn't matter. As long as we're together. I love you, Rumpelstiltsken."

The earth quaked. Those attending the festivities screamed, scattered towards the door as the church began to crumble around them. The floor lurched, sending Gold and Ruby flying against opposite sides of the church. Gold attempted to regain footing, but slid to the floor again as the ground groaned beneath him. Amidst the screams, he could single out his Red's. He called to her, but his voice was most assuredly lost in the din of the noisy church. As the ground lurched again, his eyes frantically searched for her. A flash of red and black before his eyes stole the call from his lips. Ruby grasped onto his chest, burying her face in his shoulder.

"Rum! What is happening?"

He shook his head, unknowing, unsure.

"I don't know, love. Just close your eyes, hm?"

She did as she was instructed, closing her eyes tight and holding onto her lover for dear life. The screams stopped. The world around them was silent, the earth's movements stilled. Ruby opened her eyes, expecting to see the familiar fairy tale landscape around them again. They were not in their homeland. They were still in Storybrooke. But they were very much alone. She looked up at Gold, her gaze uncertain.

"Rum? What's going on?"

"It would appear that we broke the curse."

"But we're still here."

"So it would seem."

"Is everyone else…?"

"Back in our world? I would venture to guess so."

"So we're stuck here?"

He smiled, relieved and terrified at the same time.

"We were spared, love."


"Yes. We've been left in this world."

"In the land without magic? But, Rum, you love magic."

"I do. But I love you more."

She smiled, her eyes brimming with tears.

"And I love you."

"That's all the magic I need, then."

"What are we going to do here? Without our friends? Without magic?"

"Red, my love, we're going to live."


~The End~


Author's Note:

Thanks for reading. Sorry about the wait; I've found myself a Rumbelle shipper as of late and the ending for this was a difficult thing for me to write, I guess. I've been mulling it about in my head for a while now and just decided to shut up and put it to paper, er, computer. :) Hope you enjoyed the journey.