Written for a prompt on the OUaT Kink Meme: Prompt: "Belle" (Rose? Dunno why I figured that would be her other name) is visiting Mr Gold's house one day and they start to chat. After a while she notices he's clutching his bad leg in pain and gets up to massage it gently, not realizing the effect her hands have on him. She herself starts getting quite flustered with the proximity and when she realizes the feelings are mutual, she decides to take advantage of it. Cue sweet, slow sex with her being mindful of his leg.

[I'm having some difficulty with the formatting, so if you see this all jumbled, give me a bit and try again because I can't tell if what I'm doing isn't working or if it's just not live yet. Sorry!]

Layers Deep


She glanced around the opulent room, taking in the various bits of finery and collectables. The rooms were crowded with things, piled on shelves, tables, against walls. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to Gold's collection, everything from priceless antiques to what appeared to be children's arts and crafts shared space with medical instruments and cracked tableware.

The owner of this strange but enchanting house was seated across from her on a high sofa, leaning forward speculatively on his gold-handled cane. His dark brown eyes were bright with an almost feverish intensity. She smoothed her hands across the lap of her best blue dress, feeling self-conscious under that stare.

"So... Miss Rose French..." He said conversationally, glancing beside himself on the sofa to the stapled resume. "Not a terrible imaginative name for the daughter of a florist," He murmured.

"You know my father?" She asked, despite herself. It was hard to imagine her rough-handed, working class father having anything to do with this carefully cultivated man and his bizarre house.

"He and I have done a bit of business," He said, nodding tightly. She noticed how his throat worked on the words, as though biting them out against his will.

Ah, money then. That explained it. "Well, I don't have much to do with my father, really," She said, rubbing her palms together in her lap.

"Gone your separate ways, have you?" He murmured, rolling the cane against the inside of his right leg, settling back on the sofa suddenly.

"We had a difference of opinion regarding my... accommodations." She said finally, wondering if her background check would show just what sort of accommodations those had been.

"Well, the relationship between parents and children are often fraught with unhappiness. Perhaps a symptom of our modern world." The tightness had returned to his face and voice.

She sighed quietly, nodding.

He watched her carefully for a few moments, his eyes tracking over her face as though searching for something. She held his gaze, tilting her head to the side in confusion. Whatever he searched for, Mr. Gold did not seem to find it, and settled back against the sofa again, reaching for her resume.

"It says here you were in school to be a journalist. I understand there's an opening at the Mirror. Strange you should be coming here for work like this."

"Oh, well, no, I never really finished school, you see," She protested, "I'm not really qualified for the paper. I've been... away... for some time, and I'm just trying to get back on my feet with a bit of work. The salary looked good and I could use a place to stay..."

He looked up, eyes widening briefly with genuine concern. "You haven't got a place to stay?"

"I've been... renting a room at Granny's, but money's tight and I could use some savings."

"Well, by all means, Miss French. If you're willing to be a housekeeper, this house is happy to have you. You may begin at once."

She beamed at him, feeling as though her grin would split her face. "I can stay?"

He nodded, that strange speculation back in his eyes. A faint smile of his own transformed his face, making him look years younger. "Of course."


In the morning, she cooked them breakfast. Mr. Gold ate silently at the large wooden table, staring at his omelet with an almost demure expression.

She leaned over her own plate, smiling at the way he cut his food one handed while glancing over the newspaper beside him. "Do you like it?" She asked softly, when he let the fork dangle from his lips for a long moment.

"Like heaven," He murmured softly, that same light smile on his face.

She grinned back in response. "You're silly. They're just eggs."

"...Take the day to get settled," He announced finally, eyes on his plate rather than her. "You can begin the chores tomorrow, once you've gotten a feel for the place."

He disappeared for the rest of the day.


The next morning, Mr. Gold did not go to the pawn shop. Instead, he stayed in his room, calling down the stairs when he heard her in the kitchen that he would be sleeping in and not to disturb him.

Rose shrugged and returned some of the eggs to their wire bowl in the refrigerator, wondering why she suddenly felt so disappointed. Instead, she busied herself dusting the knickknacks scattered throughout the parlor, wondering if he would let her sort them into more sensible piles.

When she had finished, she watched the sunlight track through the beautiful stained glass of the windows, losing track of time.

When she realized she had been daydreaming, she was surprised to find it was after noon. Mr. Gold still had not come down the stairs and she could hear nothing but silence through the large, cluttered house.

Finally, she went into the kitchen and searched the pantry for the ingredients for a sandwich. After hesitating just a moment, she grabbed the tray and mounted the stairs.


He was still in bed, lying in the center, hands folded over his chest. His eyes were closed as though he were asleep, brows drawn together. She could see the outline of his body under the blankets, right leg elevated on some kind of pillow. His long brown hair spilled messily over the pillows, shimmering with gold in the sunlight.

Something tightened in her chest at the sight of him, and she smiled almost sadly. His face seemed less lined, smoother, and more gentle. Getting a hold of herself, she sat the tray down on the table beside him, letting the dishes rattle lightly.

He blinked at her sleepily, one hand coming up to brush his hair from his face. "Belle...?"

"No, it's me, Rose." She said softly, kneeling beside the bed to keep from towering over him. "I brought you some lunch. It's past noon."

He sat up with a start, teeth pulling back in a grimace as his hands shot to his elevated leg. He bit back a sharp sound, falling back against the pillows as though in shock.

"Mr. Gold?" She cried, clutching for his hand.

He stared at her fingers, curled over his own, lifting their joined hands as though the sight of it perplexed him. His eyes were wide and shining again, as golden as his hair in this light. He looked like a completely different person from the solemn, hawk-faced man who had interviewed her two days before. Something teased at the back of her memory and she bit her lip, confused.

"...You said you brought me some lunch?" He asked finally, relaxing against the bed again, letting go of her hand.

She could feel the warmth of his skin, the lines of his knuckles against the pads of her fingertips long afterwards.

"Well, then," Rose said, "First things first, let's get you a bit presentable!" He sat up against the headboard, shaking his head as she clucked over him, adjusting the pillows. "There!" She said brightly. "Now you won't make a mess."

"I make quite a few messes," He said almost apologetically, taking the teacup she offered him. He studied the porcelain, running his thumb over the rim, teasing a slight chip there.

"Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't realize the cup was broken! Do you want me to pour you a different one?"

"No!" He chuckled at his own outburst, shaking his head. "No... This one is fine. I prefer it, actually."

"Oh, well, then. Lucky guess."

"Lucky," He agreed, taking a drink.

She followed his gaze to a bottle of pills on the bedside table, pushed away by the edge of the tray. Wordlessly, she reached over and handed them to him, kneeling in the floor again, arms folded on the side of the bed.

He accepted it gratefully, balancing the teacup in his lap to open it. With a smile that was more of a grimace, he swallowed two of them, washing them down with the tea.

"...For your leg," She said finally, nodding.

He inclined his head in response, setting the teacup on the bedside table, along with the bottle. "I've missed my morning dose, it would seem." He held out his hand and she stared at his palm, uncomprehending for a moment, before blushing and handing him the sandwich.

He held it daintily, smiling faintly at the way she had cut them into triangles. He ate delicately, like a bird, and she enjoyed watching him a few minutes before reaching for her own sandwich.

"It's good," He offered between halves.

She laughed at him and he raised his eyebrows, confused. "You must be a terrible cook," She explained, "To be so impressed by the things I make."

"You put your heart into it. That makes it special."

"Why did you decide to hire a housekeeper?" She asked him suddenly, leaning on the bed again.

He turned his head to look out the window, his face in profile. "...I was getting tired of getting by alone."

"You were lonely?"

"I'm a difficult man to love."

"I don't agree," She said suddenly, surprising herself.

He shifted back to look at her, lips sliding back from his teeth in a curiously unguarded expression. Finally, he chuckled dryly, curling his arms around himself. "Well, you would say that, wouldn't you?"


She came back upstairs after putting the tray away, leaning on the doorway for a moment, watching him.

He had curled on his side, his shoulders under the blanket now, reaching down to rub his leg. She heard his hissed intake of breath and muffled groan against the pillow.

"Would you like me to help you?" She asked softly, making him jump.

He flipped his hair over his shoulder, half-turning to look at her. "I don't think that would be necessary."

"It's bothering you," She came closer into the room, sitting on the edge of the bed this time. "I've had some experiencing... being a bit of a nurse... I could help you."

He looked over his shoulder at her for a few minutes longer, before his brows drew together and he sucked in another breath. Nodding almost absently in defeat, he rolled over onto his stomach, folding his arms beneath his head. "Yes, Nurse..."

She drew the blankets back slowly, uncovering his body completely. He wore a set of matching flannel pajamas, dark red against the smooth cream of the sheets.

He eased his leg down off of the pillow, pulling his left leg up and out of her way.

"May I?" She asked, hands hesitating over him, wanting to lift the cloth out of the way. He glanced at her and nodded, closing his eyes. The cloth came up easily, baring his skin past his knee.

His leg was thin, even thinner than his left, a knot of scar tissue marring the calf, continuing up to his thigh. She wondered what kind of injury could have caused a wound like this. It looked like he'd been struck by something sharp repeatedly, shredding the muscle and skin. Not wanting to pry, she didn't ask, merely let her hands settle lightly against him.

He bit back a sound, muffling it in the pillow as she applied a bit of pressure. The muscle under her hands was rock hard, vibrating with tension. He squirmed his hips, flexing his foot to straighten his leg as she began to massage.

Gently, she curled her hands, squeezing lightly and releasing, chasing the pressure away with feather-light touches. His breath huffed out in soft gasps as she worked. Occasionally, he inhaled sharply at a sudden jolt of pain, and she pet across the offended area, trying to sooth it.

Eventually, he made a sound not unlike a moan, his leg kicking reflexively as it relaxed more comfortably against the bed. She smiled, patting the back of his left thigh gently, before resuming work on his right.

She watched him burrow his head into his arms, hair still mussed and highlighted by the sun. As she watched his back arch as he shifted down further, she was struck suddenly by the intimacy of this moment. He was spread before her like a lover, making soft sounds that stirred her more than she was willing to admit.

Shifting her own hips, she leaned closer to him, curving over his legs, moving her hands higher, under the rolled-up cuff of his pajama bottoms, squeezing the scar tissue that continued up his thigh. His skin was hot here, and she gasped softly despite herself as he twisted against her unconsciously, her fingers sliding between his legs to his inner thigh.

He tensed in response, glancing over his shoulder, a faint pink stain showing on his cheeks beneath his messy hair. She smiled apologetically, her own face flushed with embarrassment, and she petted her fingers soothingly as she pulled back.

With a groan, he dropped his face down again, burying it in his arms.

"Mr. Gold..." She whispered, unsure what she even wanted to say.

He eased himself over onto his back, leaning heavily on his elbows to keep his weight off of his legs. "That's quite enough, Miss French. It was inappropriate of me to even..."

His voice trailed off, eyes widening. She stared into those dark brown depths, surprised at how close he suddenly seemed. It was only when his mouth opened beneath hers that she realized she had kissed him.

He froze beneath her lips, staring at her as she leaned forward, pressing them both flat against the bed, coming to settle on his chest, her hands on his face. Finally, he relaxed into the kiss, eyes closing. She felt his own hands, hesitant at first, smoothing up her sides as though testing to see if she were real. One hand found its way into her thick brown curls, cradling her head as though she were infinitely precious.

She moaned into their joined mouths as he deepened the kiss, suddenly pushing to control it, his tongue dancing against hers with startling grace. He drank her down like a man dying of thirst, one hand in her hair as the other stroked slow circles over her back.

Finally, they broke apart for air, both panting for it. She buried her burning face in the crook of his shoulder and he continued stroking her hair, his other hand falling limply beside his face on the pillow.

She lifted her head to look at him, and he combed his hand down carefully, fingers brushing across her cheek. He stared at her, eyes wet and warm, face creased as though in concern, as though he were afraid she would vanish on the spot.

"What are we doing...?" She whispered.

"I don't know..." He replied, tugging her down into another kiss.

She came with him, hands sliding into his hair, stroking it back from his forehead, teasing around to the back of his neck. He groaned, twisting his hips beneath her, and she rolled one leg over, then the other, until she straddled his lap lightly. Careful not to brush his right leg with her left, she kissed him back with a passion that stunned her. She had only just met this man, but this kiss felt as though she had been waiting for it for decades.

He sighed, breath warm on her face as she drew back again, petting gently across his face, feeling the laugh lines there, wondering how a man who always seemed so sad could have so many.

"We shouldn't be doing this..." He whispered softly, touching her face in return, fingers running across her hairline.

"We should never do anything else," She replied, kissing her way up along his jaw.


He arched beneath her, throat choking on a reedy sound as she sank down over him. She bowed forward, panting for breath, clenching and unclenching her fists on his unfastened collar as her body shifted to adjust. He was hot, so hot inside her, that she felt as though she were melting away.

His arms wrapped around her, pulling her close, his embrace so gentle and so insistent at the same time. He let her set the pace, content to shift beneath her in response, as she flexed her knees, raising herself up before falling back down.

This was sweeter than anything she'd known before, warm and sensual and achingly right. She hadn't come into this house for this, but now she realized she had known all along they would end up this way. The way her chest tightened at the sight of him, the way his eyes widened when he looked at her. She knew it couldn't have ended any other way. Nothing else would have been right.

Rose cried out in pleasure as he bucked his hips suddenly, curling his right leg around her hips, pulling her down harder against him. His tongue, teeth, and lips teased across her throat, and she thrust her bare chest against his, moaning again at the drag of flesh across her sensitive nipples. His hand was back in her hair again, curved in a solid weight across the back of her skull, his other scraping nails lightly across her back, making her shiver on top of him.

She screamed, a clear, ringing sound, spreading over him, determined to pour herself into each and every inch of him as she came. He groaned in response, and she felt the sound shudder through their tightly-pressed chests. When he came, it seemed to surprise him, and she realized only then that she hadn't even thought to use protection. He panted beneath her, the hand in her hair going slack.

Finally, he opened his eyes a crack, smiling faintly at her. "Still all there?" He whispered softly.

"…All here. You?"



That evening, they ordered take-out. He sat sideways on the sofa, legs stretched out across it. She sat across his lap, trying unsuccessfully to feed him lo mien using chopsticks.

"No, I can't... I can't get the hang of these things..." She laughed, ducking her head into her shoulder, trying not to shake him.

He grinned and snatched the noodles with his fingers, making a show of eating them slowly. "Unfair!" She protested, still laughing.

"I'm not in the business of being fair," He replied, licking his fingers suggestively.

"Well, then," She replied, tugging his hand up to her own lips, retracing the path his tongue had taken with her own, "I guess I'm not going to be, either."

He stilled beneath her ministrations, his face suddenly becoming serious. "Is this really what you want, Miss French?"

"I told you, call me Rose." At his unchanged expression, she sighed, curling his hand against her throat. "Yes. Yes, this is what I want. I don't know where it came from, and I don't know why I want it, but... I do. I feel... Good here. Really good. And admit it; you don't really mind much, either."

His face cracked into a soft chuckle. "No, I don't mind." He curved his hand up to touch her face. "But ... Rose... I am, and will always be, a difficult man to love."

"I've not had a single problem so far." She whispered, kissing his hand.

His expression then was as warm and unguarded as it had been that afternoon in his bed. "Yes, well. You would say that, wouldn't you?"