Desperate Souls

Subtitled: Falling into Entropy

Pairing: Mr Gold/Rumple x Emma Swan

Warnings: This story contains adult materials, non-cannon items (a lot), Ridiculous conversations, dark aspects, drugs, drink, and (non-con) smut. Illogical turns and events and possibly double mentioned things for all is the result of a one-on-one role play and therefore texts are written from both perspectives of the main characters. If this bothers or confuses you feel free to click away now or during reading. To us it gives an extra dimension to the tale so we decided not to toy with that by deleting parts and keep it all as a whole.

Technicalities: In this story Mr Gold is Henry's father. We started writing this rp next to the series when it hadn't aired for long, which means not all we write is in correlation with the series' events. All that happens evolves purely from imagination and is inspired by our moods.

AU: This story is the result of a rp between KendraLuehr and Rumpelgold and thus written by two different persons purely for their own entertainment and fun. This rp is now published to entertain those of you who like to read a story about Mr Gold and Emma Swan, or those who are so bored they'd read anything. Be as kind as not to flame. Remember, reviews are the cookies for the authors (and we both need to grow so don't hesitate to feed us).

Dedication: This story is posted for all the lovely Gemma and Golden Swan supporters, even if they are said to live in their bubble of bliss ignorance. This story is also dedicated to the writers of Once Upon A Time, who will probably never read this, whose series have been the inspiration for our pens (or rather keyboards) and our imagination, making us at times feel clever, giving us the urge to outwit each other and make each other have the hardest time possible to reply. To all, thank you, and to all our readers: enjoy the tale.

Chapter 1:Rabbit Heart

Boyish Talk

Emma wasn't exactly known for being a cheerful person, but it was evident she was more surly than usual as she walked through the streets of Storybrooke. After a brief talk with Henry (followed by a half-expected visit from Regina), all she wanted to do was go home and scream into a pillow. But alas, something was keeping her from doing anything "fun." And that "something" just so happened to be a creepy, unsettling pawnbroker.

After ensuring that Ashley Boyd had gotten to keep her child, all Emma could think about was the so-called "favor" that Gold had made her promise to keep. What would that favor be, and would she actually be willing to do it? Granted, Gold didn't seem like some pervert who'd make her model nude in a dark back room, but stranger, more unexpected things had happened in that sleepy little town.

Checking her watch, she sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. Ok - first thing's first: she'd go to the pawn shop and make sure Gold had kept his end of the bargain. If he'd already broken their agreement, after all, there was no sense in her worrying about a favor that'd never see the light of day.

With this thought on her mind as her main incentive, Emma crossed the street and checked her surroundings. It was early, so nobody was in sight; not that Storybrooke had a lot of traffic at normal hours, of course.

Pushing open the door, Emma ignored the tinkle of the bell and called out, "Hello? Gold, are you here?"

She didn't see anyone initially, but when she heard some rustling in the back room, she decided he might be hiding and went to investigate. Upon entry, she leaned against the doorframe and folded her arms, staring Gold down with a coldness that only a Sheriff could retain. She was accustomed to being suspicious, so even though Gold still hadn't turned around, she was prepared to greet him with her game face.

"Gold," she irritably tried yet again, "could you please stop what you're doing and talk to me? It's important."

The time Emma had decided to come around and pay him a visit, Mr Gold had just finished dusting the items in his shop and was in the back room pouring himself a hard earned cup of coffee. He blew the steam off the cup when Emma burst in and loudly announced for him to drop everything he was doing so they could talk. He turned to her and let go of the cup. The hot coffee splashed all over his shoes and trousers and he winced. "Miss Swan, look what you've done. You startled me."

He was leaning heavily on his cane and shook his head to flip the strands of brown hair from out of his face. The expression on his face as his brown eyes locked with Emma's was that of a displeased man. He indicated that it was hard for him to lean down and pick up the pieces that had once formed a cup, but when he saw the serious look on her face he decided to sweep it all up later on.

Unfortunately for Gold, Emma didn't seem the slightest bit moved by his pain. In fact, a small smile briefly flitted across her lips, but she dropped it since she wanted to maintain her aura of sternness. That sly smile he usually gave people when he thought to be kind reappeared on his face and he steadied himself. His trousers were wet and stained and his shoes ruined, and there was no way he could clean up this mess gracefully.

But there was also no way he would ask Emma to help him. She might interpret it as her promised favor, after all, and he wasn't going to have her pay just yet.

"How can I help you, Miss Swan?" It was hard for him to address her properly. The last few times he had spoken to her he had used 'Emma' rather than 'Miss Swan'. That was until one of the town's children had asked him if Emma was a kid and he recalled how inappropriate it had been to address her in such a way. Though 'Emma' rolled off the tongue so much easier.

He was snapped out of his thoughts and with that ever same fake-smile he studied her.

"Perhaps you should be more aware of your surroundings," she coolly suggested, now uncrossing her arms as she watched him attempt to clean his garments. "I'd offer to help, but I see you don't have a broom handy."

Emma may have been accustomed to being a hard-ass, but she wasn't completely impolite.

Judging by the expression on Gold's face, he was displeased and obviously wanted her to state her business. Knowing there was no sense in prolonging the inevitable, she brushed back a wave of her hair and announced, "I'm here to see if you've kept your end of the bargain. I haven't been able to visit with Ashley Boyd, so I want your word that you'll never speak to her again. If I so much as catch you looking at her and her child the wrong way, our deal is off. I know that's not how you "do things," but guess what? That's how I do things, and there's no cop in the world who'll arrest a Sheriff for breaking a deal."

At her rant Mr Gold raised a brow but other than that he remained completely peaceful, standing where he was, leaning on his cane with his weight and eyeing her." A hard-headed girl who knows what she wants," was all he murmured. "I value that in you, Emma."

He was back to first-name base again. His eye twinkled and his teeth showed in a cunning smile. "It's very charming."

He loved to tease her with the name that belonged to her father. Especially now that she didn't know. He hoped that each time he used it something in her mind would be triggered. Even if it only was the gut-feeling that Henry could be right.

For Mr Gold had, via the teacher, given the boy and the book of fairy tales of which he knew he would read it and would go find his true mother. Exactly like he had done. And Gold was proud of him for that.

"They are capacities I recognize in Henry, did you know?" He deliberately avoided answering her about Ashley Boyd. He would not take her child now, but to never see her again would be a hard if of impossible task in the town they lived in.

Emma couldn't help but grimace at his words. The last thing she wanted was a man like Gold to admire her sense of character, but she supposed she'd experienced far worse from men. Henry's father, for instance, didn't exactly hold a high place on her "Man of the Year" tier, but then again, she honestly couldn't remember much of that night to be a fair judge. All she knew was that he was an absentee, and that was good enough proof for her.

Since Gold was annoying her with his rambling, she found that she was only half-listening to his "Emma this, Emma that," gibberish. That is, until he brought Henry into the mix. Eyes narrowing, she coolly demanded, "What are you talking about? You may have known Henry longer than I have, but I'm sure it's pretty safe to say that you do not know anything special about him. In case you haven't noticed, Henry avoids you like the plague."

Perhaps it was impolite to say such things, but she didn't care. There were different rules in this town, and she wasn't about to forget the way Henry had looked at Gold when he was at her apartment.

A pang of pain shot through him. It was visible by way his face contorted at her harsh words. Mr Gold had made sure to bring his son as close to him as he possibly could but Henry just wasn't allowed to know that he was the father. At this point it would jeopardize all plans to save them from the curse and to free them. It just could not be risked.

Henry had been the assurance that Emma would come. Henry had been the tool to get the savior to town. Henry had been - Mr Gold's heart clenched and his lips pressed into a tight line. He knew he should not think about it.

"What is it you truly want, Miss Swan?" The man sharply said. If there had been kindness on his face it had all gone. Only bitter remorse remained.

The warring emotions on Gold's face honestly surprised Emma, but she said nothing as she watched him vacillate from pleasant to perturbed in a matter of moments. He was obviously upset with what she'd said, but she couldn't understand why. Did Gold really value the opinion of a ten-year-old that much, or was there something she was missing in the equation?

Jumping slightly at his sharp tone, Emma opened her mouth to respond, but was surprised when no logical thought came to mind. Why was she there? She'd already stated her business about Ashley, but that was truly the only reason she could come up with for stopping by.

With a frown, Emma began to pace around the room, her eyes taking in the bizarre trinkets without truly seeing them. "I don't know," she confessed, "but then, when does anything ever make sense in this town? You're all out to get me in some way, and I'd like the petty bullshit to stop."

With patience that was more than a virtue, for no saint could have stood there to hear Emma's snide remarks, Mr Gold waited behind his counter. When he thought she was done he merely showed her the ghost of a smile as his left hand touched the counter's surface.

"I'm glad you've decided to stay with us. I never doubted you'd fight back to the mayor's commands. You're a hard-headed woman, Emma, but a very strong one. I think you're just what the town needed."

Emma quirked a brow at Gold's words. "You're glad I decided to stay in Storybrooke? And is that the latest script Madame Mayor's given you to memorize? With all due respect, I still consider you one of her lackeys, so forgive me if I don't entirely view you as a separate entity."

Turning to regard Gold with stern eyes, Emma added, "I'm assuming Regina has you on her payroll? Because honestly, the dirty politics are starting to get old. I'm here to stay, so you can go ahead and tell her that."

Her aura had been smug and superior, truly believing that she had the upper hand and that any moment Gold would confess that yes, he was a part of Regina's little plan to make her break. But the man didn't reply, like so many times, and only kept that mysterious smile that made her want to roll her eyes.

Pausing, she took a deep breath and demanded, "What were you going to say about Henry earlier on? You can't bring up my son for no apparent reason, and then suddenly change the subject like that. I want answers."

He wondered if she had even been listening to him when she brought Henry up again. His faint smile had gone and his brows knitted as a dark shadow drifted over his face. What was it with this impertinent girl to bring up the boy time after time again. Gold was very much convinced she wasn't aware of the truth, of him being the father, but sometimes her words and indiscreet gaze would make him doubt. Like now. Was she onto him?

He recovered his poise and with the help of his cane stepped back from the counter. With each dragging limp he took the floorboards creaked. In this fashion he brought himself closer to the curious and somewhat hostile woman in front of him. So close he stood now, that she could smell his scent which was mixed and mangled with the substance of sheep he had used only moments before to mend his antiques. His brown eyes bore into her, his nose was only inches from hers, and he spoke through gritted teeth.

"I value the boy."

It was all he said. He waited for her reaction, for her final blow or reluctant retreat.

Emma had instinctively stiffened when he had approached her. Something about this man always made her high on the defensive, and she didn't like it. He made her seem like a horrible person, yet she assured herself that she was only behaving in the manner he deserved to be treated.

Discomforted by his sudden closeness, Emma visibly recoiled and tried not to make a face at Gold's peculiar scent. What kind of cologne did he use, 'eau de Death?

Narrowing her eyes when he moved even closer, Emma tried to appear calm, but she desperately wanted to deck Gold across the face for invading her personal bubble. When he revealed that he "valued" Henry, her brows rose high on her head.

"Value him? For what?" she stiffly demanded. "I had a feeling Regina was just using him for politics, but I never figured her lackeys were upholding him for a similar reason..."

The muscles in his face seemed to pull together like a drawstring purse, tightening. One of his eyebrows raised, the other remained as it was, and in this manner he gazed down at her. His eyes, filled with anger and hurt, now softened as he knew she did not know and therefore he could not blame her for not understanding him or his position.

"You love the boy, don't you, Miss Swan?" The surname again, not the first name basis. It showed how he tried to distance himself although physically he stood close enough to her to touch her with his nose if he only wanted to.

"Admit, without Henry would you have come to this town? Would you ever have thought of driving here?"

Emma was caught off-guard by the question, but she retained her composure as she nodded. "Of course I do... Although most may not believe it, I abandoned Henry out of love. I wanted him to have a life that I couldn't give him, so you can tell that to your overbearing partner in crime." She naturally didn't wish for Gold to do any such thing, because discussing Henry with Regina was like talking to a pompous brick wall.

Discovering that there was a reasonable amount of space between herself and the wall, Emma immediately took a step back in order to distance herself from Gold's penetrating stare. If there was one thing he was good at, it was intimidation.

Mr Gold's dark voice sounded, "What would you have done without him? Have you been happy living by yourself these past 28 years with no responsibilities, no relatives, no love?"

Emma's mouth had gone dry as the conversation began to teeter on the verge of being too close to home. "And what would you know about love?" she spat, a visible sneer across her face. "You're considered the most loathsome, feared man in town, so you can't actually expect me to sit back and let you ridicule me for something you know absolutely nothing about."

'Get it together, Emma,' her mind inwardly screamed. 'You're letting him get to you...just take a deep breath and stop while you're ahead.'

And yet, was she actually ahead? Gold had an uncanny manner of allowing one to believe they were on top, when in actuality he was the victor.

Now predominately composed, Emma took a cleansing breath and apologized, "I'm sorry...perhaps my response was a little too hasty. I know all too well what it's like to be alone, so there's no need for me to pick at the scab while it's still healing. I've had love, and I've had plenty of responsibilities, but you're right...if it weren't for Henry, I would've left this hellhole ages ago. So what of it? Do you want me to write out some big confession and sign it for the Mayor?"

"No," Mr Gold calmly replied as he watched her banter and rant. He loved the sound of her voice though, even if it was because she was snarling at him. Her insults were less flattering though for they actually hurt his heart. Not that he couldn't cope with remarks like these. Especially Regina was a master in crushing his soul, but yet he remained tall and looked impervious. His face didn't betray his emotions anymore like it had moments before.

"You will not do such a thing to make a fool of yourself or me. You know who you want to impress and what he'd think."

Damn, he mentioned Henry again, albeit it being implicit. His left hand fluttered to his chest and he smoothed his jacket. His eyes turned to the floor and he limped back behind the counter again.

Finding only a minute sense of relief when Gold returned to his counter, Emma folded her arms and briefly closed her eyes. The man was grating on her last nerve, and she truly feared she might hurt him if he kept pressing her. And pressing her he did.

"If you had so much love and responsibilities then what were you doing in prison, Emma? Why didn't someone get you out? You were a mere child yourself after all. I wonder, did you decide to give Henry away because you thought you wouldn't be capable of raising a child behind bars? Tell me, Emma, is your staying here more than a means to impress your son? " He flinched slightly. He had almost said 'our'. Not that he ever had but he had thought it before.

Her head jerking up, Emma narrowed her eyes. "And what do you know of my relationship with Henry? It may be true that I don't want to disappoint him, but I'm not afraid of you. Everyone else may be worried about what you do or say, but just know that your presence won't keep me from being a good Sheriff. This town needs a sense of order."

"Is it to prove that even a teenage mother in jail can be a hero?" Mr Gold purred.

Hands now on her hips, she felt her temper flare when he further poured salt in the wounds. "How dare you bring up my past?" she seethed. "Who told you about that? My imprisonment is something you'd really have to dig around to find out about... Why are you following my every move?" Resisting the urge to rush over to the counter and shake the man, she instead dug her nails into her palms and tried to breathe evenly.

"You know nothing about my life - not the true facts, anyway, so I'll ask you nicely only once to butt out," Emma snapped. "And as for my intentions for Henry? They're no concern of yours. He is my son, and even though you obviously have I family, I ask for you to respect my wishes."

Mr Gold's face was unchanged but the sadness had returned to his eyes. "Please, Emma, I've given you my fullest support and all you find to do is insult me with every word you can find to tear at my wounds. Do you honestly think I have no soul?"

Emma's eyes remained stern, but her stance visibly softened. What was he talking about? How was she "wounding" him? Surely he'd heard worse from Storybrooke's civilians! She wasn't the only one who abhorred him - she knew she wasn't - so she didn't understand why he was trying to play the victim. And yet...

Emma sighed. She knew what it was like to be the outcast, so perhaps he was right. There was no need to be unnecessarily cruel, especially since they were both just looking out for their own self-interests. She could respect that, because she, too relied on nobody but herself.

"Your fullest support?" She reiterated, finally showing a bit of amusement in her voice. "I'm not sure how you define "supportive," but I'm pretty sure we both have a different viewpoint on that... But you're right, I'm sorry. I guess I'm just used to having to bare my fangs to everyone in this town. I can never tell who's out to get me and who's not."

He limped to a corner behind his counter and picked up a folder. He flipped it open and looked at the pages instead of looking at her. "There's very little you know about me. Less than you presume." It wasn't as if he was going to give anything away about himself. He never did and he never would.

"Sometimes it seems you truly belong to Storybrooke."