This is pure, cavity inducing fluff. I just needed it okay? This is not part of my other story "She Smiled" (although I did keep Belle's Storybrooke name the same because… well I like it, lol)
Just an FYI, I'm going to be deliberately vague on the details of the hows and whys of Emma breaking the curse. Simply because I have NO IDEA how they plan to have her do it, lol. Just go with it and enjoy the Rumpelle.
After Emma has broken the curse, a still imprisoned Rumpelstiltskin contemplates his future. One shot.
Enjoy, I'd love to know what you think.
Damn it, thought Rumpelstiltskin.
Damn it all too hell.
That pretty little savior had done it. She had freed the trapped, liberated the enslaved, and all the other heroic, overly majestic things a savior was supposed to do. It had been less than a day and they the entirety of Snow White's kingdom had shown up, already rejoicing. The Queen was dead.
He could hear the celebration far above, in the castle.
Each citizen of Storybrooke had been sent back to their homes, to their lives. They returned to the very moment they had left. It was as if no time had passed it all. Unfortunately for him, the moment he left he was locked away in this carefully crafted, magic inhibiting prison of his own making. How was he supposed to know that the damn curse would send him right back here? He had been expecting to be sent back to the Dark Castle.
That's what he gets for assuming.
He already was well aware that there was no way out. He would have to wait for someone to remember that he was down here. He, after all, aided Emma when she needed it most. It wouldn't be long before they released him. Certainly, his crimes would be forgiven after his good deeds in Storybrooke. He could return home, collect a few… precious things, and get on with his life.
Night turned to dawn. Rumpelstiltskin waited.
Dawn turned to dusk. Rumpelstiltskin paced.
Dusk turned to black night. Rumpelstiltskin seethed.
No one was coming. They had forgotten him. The most powerful man in the world and they had forgotten him. Perhaps they didn't know he was down here. Perhaps they thought he magicked his way out.
It doesn't matter what they think. What matters is you're trapped.
He was infuriated, he was enraged, and he was heartbroken.
She forgot you.
He tried to keep her out of his mind as much as possible. It was a losing battle. Her laugh and smile stabbed at his thoughts. Had he truly been led on all this time? Was she finally happy the curse was broken, so she could be rid of him for good?
It had to be true, because here he sat.
Rumpelstiltskin held his head in his hands.
As dawn approached he began to hallucinate. He heard her voice. Desperate. Sorrowful. Calling out for him.
He pressed the heels of his palms into his eyes, willing her voice to go away. That only made it worse. The voice got louder, more insistent.
"Rum! Where are you?"
Too loud now. Too real. He looked up, ready to scream into the darkness, when he saw her. She burst through the door at the end of the long, smoky hallway of his prison. He rushed to the edge of his cell and gripped the bars, "Belle?"
She turned towards him. He couldn't yet see her face, just a dark cloaked figure. But he knew it was her. He could feel it. She stood still for a moment, and then took off. She ran towards him as fast as her legs would carry her. She almost slammed into the bars of his cell, she moved so fast. Her hands reached through the bars and tangled themselves in his hair. He wound his fingers around her wrists and leaned his face close to hers. She was out of breath and almost panting.
"You're here," he whispered
"Where else would I go?"
Their reunion was interrupted by a loud crash and some swearing. Two guards had emerged at the end of the hallway, both were running and bumping into each other.
"Stop! Come back!" one yelled!
"It's dangerous down here!" called the other.
Belle's face shifted into a murderous glare. Rumpel sensed that these men were about to be in a world of hurt.
Belle quickly turned, but Rum was quicker. He reached through the bars with one arm and wrapped it around the front of Belle's body. He held her against the cell's bars. Her hands started pulling at his, trying to wriggle free.
"Rumpelstiltskin, you let me go right this instant!"
He rested his chin on her shoulder, his lips brushed against the base of her ear as he whispered, "Not a chance, love." He smiled against her skin as she shuddered.
"Release her, demon!" The first guard bellowed!
"In the name of the Queen!" the other added.
These bumbling idiots were going to get themselves killed at the hands of a noble lady if they didn't shut the hell up. Rumpel stepped in before Belle could verbally assault them.
He laughed his mocking high pitched laugh and said, "Oh, gentlemen! Thank you for your concern, but it seems you've misread the situation."
"Have we now?" The second guard seethed.
"Quite. You see, you believe you're protecting her from me. When in reality it's me protecting you from her."
Belle struggled against Rum's grip again and started daggers at the two guards. Rum could barely contain himself when the first one took a step back. Several impish giggles escaped.
"I demand you release him at once," Bell said firmly, full of authority.
"You want us to let this monster go? You're insane," the first guard scoffed.
"Even if we wanted to, we couldn't open the cell," the second one added. The first one elbowed him and shot him a dirty look.
"Then go fetch someone who can," Belle said through gritted teeth.
"I won't leave you alone with this creature," the second guard puffed up him chest.
Rumpelstiltskin could feel Belle roll her eyes. He giggled again in spite of himself.
"I won't tell you again. You can't open the cell. I want someone who can. Send for the queen. I'm sure she'd be willing to help me. I won't leave here until I speak to her."
The first guard spat on the ground, "you're a fool, girl. But, I shall do as you ask. I'm certain the queen will laugh in your face. You," he turned to the other guard. "Keep an eye on them. No funny stuff. If you even get a hint of trouble, drag her out by her hair."
It was Rum's turn to look murderous. He glared at the guards.
"Yes, sir," the second guard mumbled, his voice shaking. The first guard gulped, then left.
Rum loosened his grip on Belle and she turned to face him once more. She smiled at him.
"I didn't think you were coming," he confessed.
"I'll always come back for you."
He smiled and glanced at his feet. He knew she was right. She came back to him when he released her from the Dark Castle. It was then that he knew he loved her. And she came back to him in Storybrooke. It was then he knew she wanted him forever.
He traced the dark circles under her eyes with his fingers, "When's the last time you slept, love?"
She let out an exacerbated sigh, "It's been two days since the curse was broken. And you've already admitted that you gave up on me. What would have happened if I took time to sleep? You would have been climbing the walls by then." She smirked at him.
She hadn't slept. She rode for two days to get to him.
Damn his impatience.
"Did you eat?"
"I found some bread in the bottom of my saddle bag yesterday afternoon."
Rumpelstiltskin glowered at her.
She shrugged, "I needed you."
That he understood. He pressed his forehead against hers. "How did you get here? I mean, we were all taken back to where we had been when the curse happened. How did you find me?"
"Regina's tower was deserted. All that was left were a few guards. They let us go. I stole the first horse I saw and asked every person I passed where I might find you. It took a few hours, but finally someone knew that you had been imprisoned here. I didn't stop after that."
He cupped a warm hand around her neck. Belle leaned in and pressed her lips into his jaw. Completely unaware of her actions, she moved slowly towards his mouth. Rum jerked away slightly, "Not yet," he whispered.
She blinked a few times and Rum saw the hint of hurt in her eyes. But, it had to be this way now.
The bumbling guard stood in utter awe. The beast and this beauty seemed to have completely forgotten that he was there. The great and terrible Rumpelstiltskin was whispering and crooning over this girl. Gently planting kisses on her eyelids and cheeks, but never her lips. Strange.
Even stranger was that she was letting him. She was not repulsed by his appearance. She was smiling and sighing just as much as he was.
Finally, the first guard returned, with an entourage in tow. Behind the guard, clad in sleep clothes was the queen, Snow, her husband, Charming, and the savior herself, the new Princess Emma.
"Paige!" Emma exclaimed, "I was wondering when I would see you again!"
Belle turned and smiled at her friend. She curtsied slightly, "its Belle in this world, your majesty."
"Oh, Right. Of course. Still getting used to that," Emma said sheepishly.
"What's going on?" Snow White asked.
"Your grace, I have come to plead for the freedom of Rumpelstiltskin."
The guards exchanged amused glances.
"Certainly! Oh, I feel horrible that we didn't think of that sooner!" The queen exclaimed.
The guard's mouths dropped open.
"Snow, I think we should talk about this," Charming interjected.
"What is there to think about? I didn't even know he was still down here," Snow White shot a glare towards the guards who poignantly looked everywhere but at her.
"Mr. Go… I mean Rumpelstiltskin helped us. We couldn't have beaten her without him," Emma said.
"Right, that was then. If we let him go, he's going to run around making his deals and spreading his curse around the world," Charming said, his voice full of loathing. He still had not forgiven Rumpelstiltskin for what he put his family through.
Belle and Rum were holding hands through the cell bars. Both listening intently, neither sure of what the outcome would be. Rum lifted her hand to his lips and planted a kiss on the back of it, reassuring her.
"With all due respect, your majesties," Rum said, his voice strangely respectful and gentle. "If you let Belle and I return to our home, The Dark One's Curse doesn't stand a chance. You have my word on that."
Belle felt the heat rise to her cheeks almost immediately. She bit her lip as Rum squeezed her hand.
Charming glanced at the two loves of his life, his wife and his daughter. They were both giving him pleading looks. They were in agreement. Rumpelstiltskin deserved a chance. A chance he and Belle never got the first time around.
Charming sighed, "Alright, but I swear, if I catch wind of any dirty dealings, I will come after you myself. Am I understood?"
"Certainly, sire," Rum said. The mocking tone had returned with a vengeance.
"It's settled then. Release him," Snow said.
"Belle, you better stand back," Charming said.
Belle went to Emma and took her by the hand. She turned and looked at Rum who was smiling at them. Snow went over to a long sliver handle on the wall. She and Charming together pulled it upwards and pushed it till it clicked into place. The entire prison started to shake. Dust was kicked up and pieces of the ceiling were falling down around them. The teeth like bars of Rumpelstiltskin cell slowly opened. Once the shaking and rumbling stopped, Belle let go of Emma's hand and walked forward. Rum staggered out from the dust and around the rubble and went to her. His arms gripped her tightly as she buried her face in his neck. His eyes closed and he sighed into her hair. Belle pulled away and brushed the hair out of his face. She had never looked so happy.
"Ready?" He asked her. She nodded.
Belle turned to Emma, Snow, and Charming, "We'll see you again. Thank you."
"I hope so," Emma said, smiling at her friend.
Rumpelstiltskin nodded in their general direction, "I'm grateful. Please know that."
Snow White smiled and nodded in response. Her eyes saying everything.
In the next second, they were gone. Belle and Rumpelstiltskin disappeared in a cloud of black and blue smoke. The Charmings and the bumbling guards were left alone. The men perturbed, the women in awe.
They appeared in the dining room. The spindle was in the corner, the curtains open, just as she remembered it.
"Welcome home, love," he said tucking a piece of Belle's hair behind her ear.
She smiled up at him. He took a step closer, pulling her to him. He tucked her head under his chin. They stood like that for a while, just holding each other.
After an immeasurable amount of time, Belle spoke.
"Did you mean it?" She asked.
He pulled away from her, confused, "Mean what?"
"About your curse. I understand if you just said that to get out of that prison. I don't mind if that's what you want. I just want to be with you. That's all. We don't need to change anything. It can be as it was when I first came here with you. Just, please. Let me stay."
She said all of this very fast. He was almost angry with her. After all they had been through together; she didn't believe he wanted her.
No. That wasn't true. Paige knew Mr. Gold wanted her. But this was a different land, different rules. Rumpelstiltskin was powerful and feared in a way Mr. Gold never was. Paige's love couldn't destroy Gold's power.
Belle's love would demolish Rumpelstiltskin's.
She was giving him an out. She was sacrificing her feelings for him. She would live her life with him as originally planned and he could go on being the scourge of the land, dealing and manipulating, while still keeping his prize. It was the perfect arrangement.
The only problem being is that he meant every God damned word. Not only did he mean it, but he desperately wanted it. And he would not allow her to give up that part of herself. Long ago, his Belle, lovesick and hopeful had refused to accept his cowardice. He knew she was giving him this choice now, but she would later resent it. Grow bitter and cold.
Fortunately, it didn't matter. He was through running away.
Compared to this woman's love, his power was nothing. Meaningless. What was the point of his power if it couldn't give him want he truly wanted?
He wanted her.
He held her face in his hands, "Belle…"
He saw the tears forming in her eyes. She rarely cried, and when she did it brought him to his knees.
His mouth covered hers. It took her by surprise. She was offering him this choice. He needed to know that she would love him and stand by him coward or not. And her once cowardly Rum, became the bravest man she knew in that one moment.
Her arms held him tightly as their lips moved together. He felt sharps stings all through his body as the Dark One left him. It was fighting, but Belle was fighting harder, and so was he. She poured all of her love into this kiss and he responded in kind. It wasn't long before they broke away, breathless.
Before her stood an ordinary man, that was anything but ordinary to her.
"You meant it," she said.
"Every word, that old bastard never stood a chance against you."
"I knew you did. I'm sorry for that little speech. I just… I just wanted..."
"To give me a coward's way out."
She looked down at her feet, "Yes."
He lifted her chin so he could see her eyes, "Well my dear, I figured I should do the brave thing. Then perhaps, bravery will follow."
She laughed and kissed him again. And again. And again.
Soon, his mouth was making delicate work of her neck when he spoke, "Come upstairs with me."
She nuzzled her face into his shoulder and sighed, "And what may I ask will we do there?"
He chuckled and breathed, "Sleep."
Belle's body rejoiced at the thought. The fatigue of her journey finally settling in around her.
"Oh you wicked man; you know just what I like."
Belle tore off her shoes and striped down to her undergarments faster than Rum thought was humanly possible. But, his brave Belle was so exhausted it was hardly arousing. Just painfully sweet.
She curled her arms around a pillow as Rum covered her with a blanket. He crawled into bed behind her and slid an arm around her waist.
She was already asleep. He kissed the back of her neck and it wasn't long before he too was dreaming.