Title: all that he has
Author: Younger Dr. Grey
All he has is an empty heart, a chipped cup, and the memories. Rumple/Belle. Angst.
"The Return"
I own nothing. All rights for the characters and the world go to their owners. I, in no way, believe – or would lead others to believe – that I own Once Upon a Time.

Author's Note: This has been on Tumblr for nearly a week. If you want more writing from me, check out my Tumblr since I typically update that first.

all that he has || nightmares

It's on the night that he almost dies that Rumpelstiltskin dreams about her again. He closes his eyes looking at the barren white walls of his bedroom and opens them to the blooming field of his old backyard. The vibrant colors tell him the season, and he knows without even having to wonder who will be appearing in this dream.

He turns briskly, the wind rushing against the clamminess of his skin, making him feel as cold as he feels inside. He ignores it though. He scans the flowers and trees for her. Where is she? Not just here but in Storybrooke. If Prince Charming was brought back, why not Belle? She deserves it just as much as any shepherd. Where is she?

He starts walking. Running. The fact that he can run reminds him that this is a dream. This isn't real. He shouldn't get too happy. Not too attached. Not too worked up. It's not real. Belle won't be real. Anything he sees will be a figment of his imagination. He just needs to calm down and stop and-


- his body collides with hers. He catches her just as the last semblance of his sanity goes off with the wind. His eyes fall to Belle's, and he smiles. Not too large of one, just enough to show her that he's there. That he won't harm her. Never harm her.

"Belle," he says her name like a whisper, like he can't believe he gets to. And he can't. It's been so long, so very long. His eyes trail from her eyes to her lips. Too long. When he meets her gaze again, she's as red in the cheeks as Snow.

Belle shakes her head softly, mumbling, apologizing, "I shouldn't be running out here. I know you don't approve of me being out-"

"Nonsense," he says quickly. She jolts a bit at the interruption. He says, "You should be outside. Always. You don't belong caged in a cellar or a tower. You need adventure. Let's see the world. Let's do what you wanted. I'll go with you now. I'll go with you."

Again, Belle shakes her head, and when she speaks, he hears both her voice and the Blue Fairy's. "It's too late. You had your chance. You said no."

"I take it back! I want to go," he says. "Let me go. Please. Please." But the word does nothing here.

"I'm sorry," says Belle as she steps away from him. As the skies turn dark and her father appears. As Regina's laughter fills the air, louder and louder, consuming him and filling the spaces that the magic left in his soul. Every single space but one. And in that space, in that one open second, he hears the sounds he never wants to - hears the crunch of Belle's bones as she dives from her tower, hears Bae's final cry as the ground closes over him, hears the beeping of the clock. The so called real world seeping in to take him away. Well, what's left of him anyway.

It's on the morning after he almost dies that he wishes he never woke up.

any thoughts?