AU: This story is the result of a role play between EusYram and RumpelGold. The story is thus co-written and focuses on the GoldxEmma Pairing. Credit goes to both authors.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.
Ice Cream 1
Emma bustled into the station with a cone of ice cream in her hand. She was in a bit of a hurry for the soft serve was melting and threatened to drip onto her skin. There was no way she'd be letting the ice cream go to waste, considering how long it took her just to pick out the flavor.
What do you get a man who just beat another man? She didn't see Mr. Gold as a cotton candy or bubblegum type, so she decided to compromise and get a half-chocolate, half-vanilla soft serve. That's how she saw him, anyway - with a dark half and a light half. And if she wanted to get to know him, she needed to get something somewhere in the middle.
Two things became evident to Emma as soon as she had walked into the station and set her eyes on Mr. Gold - two differences between the state of the station as it was when she left it and the state it was in now. There was the chipped cup which now inexplicably sat on the bench beside Gold, and then there was Gold himself. She could only guess he was trying his best to hide it, but Emma knew he was worked up over something, or rather had been very recently. The cup, the lone witness, had to have held the answer.
Mr Gold looked up when he heard footsteps approach and placed his hands on his knees. The cup, which he thought so hard to set aside, now stood proudly next to him on the bench, but in such a way it was impossible for it to fall down and shatter. He would defend it with his life, guard it as being the most precious thing in his control.
His brown eyes slowly slid back to the sheriff who came to stand in front of the cell with a cone in her hands and a pensive expression on her face. It made Mr Gold lick his lips before clearing his throat and finding back his voice in order to ask her.
"I see you didn't forget?" He pointed at the cone with one hand and waited for her reply, a small smirk on his face. "You take me to be the half-vanilla, half-chocolate man?" He pinched the bridge of his nose and frowned at her, but despite his face contorting his smile remained, showing his good will.
In the moments it took the thoughts and conclusions to race through her mind, Emma did not notice the soft serve melt and trickle down the cone. A cold wet drop of it fell onto her hand, and Emma blinked as she was called out of her reverie. Gold was saying something to her, something about what kind of man she took him for. Good question. Then he made that face, as though he was not pleased with the kind of ice cream she got him. She raised an eyebrow at him with a smirk.
"If you don't want it, I'll have it."
Mr Gold watched as a trail of melted ice made its way down the cone and onto her hand while she smirked at him. She took a napkin out of her pocket and wrapped it around the cone before the ice cream had the chance to drip onto the floor. He quickly composed himself and posed her a smile.
"No, I'll have it. I'm already grateful you bought me something. A man gets hungry in prison, you know."
He teasingly raised a brow as he reached out a hand between the bars in order to grab the cone. His brown eyes had darted to her hands again, thinking it was a shame to have her use the napkin. If only he could reach for her hand, draw it close to him and lick the melted ice cream away.
Emma felt the blood rush to her cheeks as she realized Gold had noticed the ice cream drip onto her fingers. She did not particularly enjoy the idea of him thinking of her as clumsy or messy. She found this strange, however, seeing as how she could not think of a single reason why she should care about what Gold thought of her. At least so she told herself.
His brown eyes darted back up to hers. "Emma," He said, voice huskier than usual, "Thank you."
"You owe me two bucks," she joked, trying to act nonchalant in the midst of her embarrassment. "Or, if you like, this ice cream can be that favor of yours you won't tell me about."
She hurriedly shoved the ice cream cone into Gold's outstretched hand, accidentally colliding her fingers with his and smearing ice cream onto his skin. She withdrew her hand even quicker at the unexpected contact. Wishing to clean off her fingers as soon as possible, she reached into her pocket for another napkin, only to realize she had brought no more from the store. Desperate, she quickly licked the ice cream off of her fingers instead.
In front of her she could see a similar scene take place. Mr Gold had nipped the side of his hand with his lips, flicking out his tongue to get rid of the melted ice cream that had been transferred from Emma's hand to his own. His dark eyes didn't betray his thoughts as he started licking and nibbling from his treat.
"Like I said," he said in between licks and nibbles, "when I come to collect my favor it'll be a lot more than a cone." He licked his lips.
"You can have two bucks of me. I'd like to hand them to you know but I want to finish this before it drips all over me." He gestured at himself. "suits are expensive to clean."
He continued licking while he peered at her through half-lidded eyes, a pensive expression now taking hold of his face. But no question followed.
Emma did not really give a second thought to Gold licking the ice cream from his hand. She thought he simply did not like getting dirty considering how impeccably clean those expensive suits he always wore were. Why wear exclusively suits anyway? She decided to save the question for another day.
"Tell you what," she now said with a playful smile. "I'll make you a deal. You can hold on to your two bucks if you tell me what that cup is all about."
She had a feeling her demand was a long shot, but she could not help but be curious about the cup. Besides, she had faint hope that playing Gold's own game would entice him enough to take the deal.
His eyes darkened and for a moment he forgot licking until some of the ice that had melted reached his finger and he had to lick it clean.
"That deal would require more than just 2 bucks." He said sternly, eyes hardening as he stared in front of him and with jaw set continued licking his ice.
"The cup's history is personal to me." He murmured between bites. "I don't like to talk history."
After a moment of silence he gently cocked his head at her. "I might tell if you're willing to 'up' your side of the deal."
Emma narrowed her eyes and sighed. She had little reason to be disappointed seeing as she had anticipated such a response from the beginning, but she was disappointed nevertheless.
"I'm not going to up anything," she said, a little more firmly than she had intended. "In fact, I'll even let you keep your money. You see, I have the feeling I can answer my own question." She sat down on the arm of the sofa in front of the cell, and her facial expression eased a little.
"There's one thing which strikes me as inconsistent about the reason you're behind those bars, and that thing is motive, both on French's part and on yours. When you told me who had robbed you and why, I knew immediately there had to be more to it than that. Did you yourself not tell me you are the most feared person in Storybrooke? You did, which is why I began to ask myself where Moe French got the courage to risk his neck in robbing you to avenge something as trivial as a taken truck. Clearly, someone else had her hand in the matter, someone capable of offering Moe protection if something were to go wrong, and the only person Moe would believe was capable of protecting him was, of course, Regina. Then I began to wonder what Regina had to gain from all this. I figured she wanted something specific stolen, a valuable of some kind, so I was desperate to find Moe and the stolen goods before he was able to pass them on to her. I wanted dirt on her. Of course, a few odds and ends and some antique kitchenware was definitely not what I was expecting to find. But then you said I had recovered nothing, so I realized something valuable was taken from you, but Moe must've been able to pass it on to Regina before I got to him. I can only assume the antiques were his end of the bargain. My guess is he planned to sell them and buy himself a new truck, but that isn't important right now. What's important is that you nearly killed him because of the object he took from you, which lead me to believe it was more than a mere valuable. At the end, you were screaming at him about a mysterious "she" who you said was gone, so were you avenging the object or the girl? Or are the object and the girl one and the same in your eyes? In any case, I realized Regina was after more than just money. She wanted an ace up her sleeve to manipulate you with. I figured that's why she came to see you, and that cup beside you tells me she was successful. The cup is what she took from you, isn't it? It's easy to see that it's a token of a lost loved one. I have one, too." Her fingers subconsciously travelled to the sheriff's badge on her belt, but her eyes were still fixed firmly on Gold. "It's my baby blanket. It's the only token I have left of my parents, and if someone were to take it from me... well, let's just say bad things happen to bad people."
She gave him a smile then, a genuinely warm, understanding smile. She had never told anyone before how far she was willing to go to protect that blanket, but she hardly thought Gold would judge her for it.
For a while all Mr Gold could do was stare at her, his gaze intensifying and darkening with every second that ticked away, as he scrutinized the badge on her belt which she was holding in her hands. He had to applaud her tactics for winning information out of him for so far none had succeeded in addressing his feelings and making him open up; none but her.
"Your research has been thorough." He finally stated, his cone finished and his attention fully upon her.
"You would harm someone to keep your possession close?" He murmured, and instead of the frown that would have been expected with the tone his voice carried he gave her a small smile. "I admire that in you, Emma. Your honesty and your way of being open about things. You wouldn't step back from a fight, you would enhance it if it'd benefit you."
His fists clutched the bars and he licked his lips.
"Perhaps one day I will tell you of my cup, if you will show me your baby blanket," he cocked his head, thinking of something and making up his mind.
"Do we have a deal?"
He did not deny anything she had said, and that was the best she had hoped for. She felt closer to him now than she had ever felt before.
"Deal," she said, taking her hand away from her badge and holding it out for him to shake.
The smile on his face grew as she extended her hand to him and without hesitation he took it and gave it a firm shook. His thumb brushed past the mouse of her hand, delicately touching the skin of her palm. His hand was warm in hers, long slender fingers curling around hers to make her hand form a fist which he held in his own. His brown eyes penetrated hers.
"She dropped the cup and it chipped." He whispered to her, voice low and sensual. "That's why it's dear to me. On her first day she dropped it. I could never get rid of it, nor would I want to."
He pressed his head between the bars, drawing it closer to hers, licking his lips as his eyes darted to hers in a gesture that suggested he wanted to kiss her.
"So..." He dipped his head forth, lips only mere inches away from hers.
Emma sat rooted to the spot in something similar to shock. Her stormy eyes were fixed on Gold's lips, which were so unnecessarily close to her own. Why is he still holding my hand? A part of her wanted to let go and withdraw just as she had done her entire life, but at the same time this tense, unnatural closeness felt so right to her.
"Who was she?" she whispered without raising her eyes.
He smirked at her.
"You show me your baby blanket first," He leaned in, whispering, "and then I'll talk." His breath tickled her skin as he drew close and just as sudden he had retreated and sat back on the bench. His brown orbs were fixed in front of him and his hands folded between his knees. His cane stood proudly aside and his cup was seemingly forgotten - though not really.
For a moment he enjoyed the awkward silence that hung between them, only then he clicked his tongue and smirked. His eyes found hers again.
"What do you expect of the future, Emma?"
When he had leaned close, her eyes shut of their own accord. She felt his warm breath on her parted lips and for a moment she thought - Never mind. There was nothing but cold air against her lips once again, and his hand had let go of hers. She opened her eyes to see him sitting back down on the bench as if nothing had happened. Her brows furrowed. Did he honestly just try to... tease her? Did he honestly think it'd work? Because it didn't. Of course it didn't.
He smirked at her now, and she smirked back, wanting to let him know she saw right through his little game.
"You know, I'm worried about you, Mr. Gold."
He licked the corner of his lips as he glanced aside. His hand rested on his knee and on it rested his weight. It was obvious he was amused.
"That is not an answer. Do you expect me to reply?" He looked at her again with brown eyes twinkling.
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about me, Miss Swan. I'd worry about you. After all, you are the town's sheriff and Regina's main target. I am just the unlovable man the town tries to get rid of."
It was as good an answer as he could've expected considering what he'd just done, Emma thought to herself, but decided to keep that particular thought silent.
"I may be Regina's target in the long run," she said, her tone growing serious, concerned, "but she appears to be targeting you at the moment. What did she want in exchange for that cup? I can assumed it wasn't an object seeing as all you had on you was a suit and a cane, so she must've wanted information. What did she ask?"
He merely smirked and looked away again, then, when their eyes crossed once more, he showed his teeth in a hostile snarl and referred to her earlier question, seemingly thinking it to be better to answer than her last which in his opinion was too personal.
"And that is why you worry about me, Emma?" The way he stressed her name almost made it sound like she was a possession too.
"Because you think I hold a card that can be used against Regina? If you want my help sheriff, like I said before, you need merely ask."
Emma leaned forward toward the bars, her hands firmly on her knees, her eyes steady and fearlessly holding his, and her face demanding his full attention.
"I worry about you, Mr. Gold, because I'm afraid whatever card you have held against Regina, you've just given away."
Her voice was low, barely above a whisper. She spoke slowly, rhythmically, accentuating every word so that the meaning came across plainly and clearly.
The muscle in his jaw twitched and his eyes darkened. Once again she had him caught.
He sat down and folded his hands in front of him as his gaze turned to the floor. How could he tell her he'd given away his true name? She hardly believed the tales of her destiny, and lying wasn't a thing Gold could do.
"Presumably, yes. I gave her a confirmation."
There, it was vague but not a lie. He wondered how the blonde would reply to that.
She sat back, crossing her arms, looking both satisfied and apprehensive.
"What kind of a confirmation?"
"Miss Swan, are you done interrogating me?" He asked annoyed, wrinkling his nose at her as he talked.
"If you show me your blanket or if you get me out of here I might feel more inclined to talk." He smirked now.
She could have been angry with him then, but she was not. The feeling was closer to amusement.
"You know, for a man who's so adamant about us being allies, you seem awfully reluctant to work together," she said, smirking a little. "I did make you a deal about my baby blanket, so I will show it to you in time. As for getting you out of here, well... I do have the right to keep you for 48 hours following an arrest. Then it all depends on if Mr. French decides to press charges or not, which I strongly doubt he will now that he knows Regina doesn't have his back. So, since I have better things to do than keep you locked up for the next two days, I suppose you're a free man, Mr. Gold."
She got up from her seat on the arm on the sofa, unlocked the cell door, and held it open for him.
"Now... what did you tell Regina?"
He nearly rolled his eyes for truly was it this hard for her to let go? Then again it was just as he had expected it too. It was a characteristic of her he admired. It was one of the many things that attracted him to her. He let out a dramatic sigh, obviously playing his theatrical role well, as he reached for his cane and pushed himself up. He took the cup carefully in one hand and limped forth, then smiled weakly at her.
"If you offer me a ride home I will. I am serious when I tell you I will not have this cup accidentally fall and break. And as I only have one good hand to use and a long way to go I don't wish to risk it. So how about it then?"
He eyed her intently. His dark eyes somewhat mischievous as they rested upon her form, as if he was undressing her in his dark mind. In truth he was trying to hide his anxiousness at losing the cup and was cradling it close like had it been a baby.
"You drive me home nice and safe, and I tell you what I told her. I'll share it all," he paused before her name erotically rolled from his tongue, "Emma."