Ice Cream 3/3

There was a long silence during which Emma simply stared while her eyebrows crept steadily up her forehead, but then out of nowhere she burst out laughing like she had not laughed in a long time.

"Rumplestiltskin?" she demanded through her laughter. "Have you been talking to Henry about his storybook? You know, he told me you're the only person he was unable to place in fairytale land. But I think he'll like your Rumplestiltskin theory."

Emma continued laughing, trying to mask her fear of the knowledge that somehow Mr. Gold had told her the truth.

Mr Gold eyed her darkly and pursed his lips. The lines on his forehead now became more visible and his whole face wrinkled in displeasure.

He remained silent until he was certain his words, or rather the harsh reality, had sunk in and only then parted his lips in an exasperated yet inaudible sigh.

"Alas, perhaps it became time you started to believe in the boy, put your faith in him. I know you're the kind that needs proof to see things, and that is why I admire you so, Emma. You have that redeeming quality not many of us have. Henry doesn't have it. He can sense things and knows them to be so. He needs no other proof. But you," His dark eyes set upon her frame. "You can save lives by the way you observe and take charge. You are what Storybrooke needs. You are what I need, Emma."

His hands was on his chest, solemnly so, but then as he realized that the shards in his bag were making their presence known even through the thick fabric of the bag itself, against his chest, he knew it was time to go and quickly lowered his hand. With a curt nod he deftly stepped out of the apartment.

As he walked past her and out the door, Emma was left standing quite still, her head cocked to the side, her lips parted, and her eyes in utmost concentration on nothing in particular. Her mind reeled. Did he honestly believe what Henry was saying about the book was true? Was he deranged? Of course, there was one reasonable explanation, an explanation that made her blood boil.

She ran into the doorway before Mr. Gold had the time to make it down the first flight of stairs.

"Did Regina put you up to this?"

Mr Gold cradled the bag of shards close and glared up at her. "Miss Swan, Please," he purred. He understood fully she had a hard time trusting him and he knew she'd better not. But when it came to words he was anything but a liar and never would a false truth pass his lips.

His stern gaze told her enough, yet he felt like clarifying by the use of words.

"You should know better than that. I merely answered your question. This is what I told her and this is what I tell you. You asked for the name I told her and I gave you the exact same reply. Your instinct should tell you what's right and what's wrong."

with lips tightly pressed he tried to descend the stairs but was hindered.

"Emma, has it ever crossed your mind Henry might be right?"

"Of course it has," Emma replied, stepping out the doorway. "I want more than anything to believe him, but ultimately I can't. I mean, what he says is impossible." She approached the top of the stairs. "But you, are you trying to tell me you trust him?"

He looked at her with a lick of the lips, head slightly tilted, and studied her facial expression. "Yes," He finally said, "Emma, I trust him. Why can't you?"

Emma blinked at his question. "Because it's impossible? Because his only proof is a children's book? Because he's ten years old, for Christ's sake!" With each sentence she had taken a step down the stairs, so that now she stood quite close to him, looking into his face, studying every feature, taking note of every flick of the eyes. "But if you can give me irrefutable proof, any proof whatsoever, I'll be willing to reconsider."

"The proof's abundant, Emma." Mr Gold said calmly. "I'm surprised you haven't found it yet. Here, let me help you."

With the hand in which he also held the bag containing the cup shards he took her by the wrist and started tagging her along.

"We'll go by your car. You promised to drop me home, sheriff." He reminded her. "There I will show you your proof."

He ushered her to the car and took his place in the passenger's seat.

Emma got into the driver's seat and shut the door, trying her best not to slam it this time. The car still shuddered violently from the force. Cringing, she buckled up and pulled out of the parking lot.

"It's scary to think how many nights I've spent in this car."

He looked at her with compassion. "You won't have to anymore."

During the ride he remained silent and as soon as they arrived at his salmon colored home he led her up the stairs and urged her to come inside. Once the door was closed behind her back he took off his gloves, the bag with the shards neatly placed on a table, and hurriedly limped to a nearby cupboard.

He revealed an album and handed it to her.

"Well?" He looked expectantly at her and licked his lips.

Inside the album photos were held of a very young Henry. Photos of him and his class. And as the years went by his fellow schoolmates seemed to change and change. He was never in class with the same children.

Gold licked his lips again. "Is that prove enough for you?"

Emma flipped through the album, with every page her expression becoming more and more quizzical. When she finally looked back at Gold, however, her face showed greatest distrust.

"And why exactly," she said in a low, cold whisper, "do you have an album... full of photos... of my son?"

Mr Gold fell silent and tapped the tips of his fingers together as he weighed her words. What should he reply in the situation he currently was in? The truth?

"Because I know Henry's right, Emma. And I know you needed convincing."

Emma knew that was not the full truth. Part of it, yes, but she could feel Gold was hiding something. She put the book down on a shelf and took a step toward him until they were eye-level with each other. Her fingers rested gently on the gun on her hip.

"I'm gonna ask you again - just once - why you have been taking pictures of my son since the day he was born."

His brown eyes darted to the gun on her belt and then back up to her again. He knew she was serious and wouldn't hesitate to harm him if she felt she must. Even a blunt blow to the head would suffice.

He wasn't keen to await her actions and with a slight tilt of the head peeked at her from the corners of his eyes.

"It is as I said. You're of great value to our future, Emma. I've been keeping an eye on the boy, making sure he would be safe."

Nice twist around things, he thought. He wasn't lying yet he still wasn't telling her the full truth. At the moment he didn't think she could handle it.

Emma sighed, her expression softening into defeated pity.

"Let me let you in on a secret, Mr. Gold. I have an ability - a gift, you can say - to know when someone is lying to me. And right now I know you're not lying, so you must honestly believe that what you're saying is true. Which can only mean one thing... that you're insane. Which is a pity because we could've..." She trailed off, searching his eyes for something, anything that would prove her wrong. Not finding it, she took his photo album in her hands and headed toward the door. She paused in the doorway, however, just long enough to say, "Stay away from me, Gold, and my son," then after a thought, "And sorry for breaking your cup."

Mr Gold watched her as she stood in the doorway, pensively, and hung his head as she disappeared from view. It befell him hard that he could not say it out loud but he knew she wasn't ready yet. And even if she ever were ready he doubted he should let her in on the truth. Would she ever be able to handle it, to handle him? Only if his plan failed and for some reason they would end up in fairy tale land, only then he could imagine she would have to know. But if Henry's skin would betray even the slightest tint of gold he didn't even have to try telling. It would be clear to her.

He let out a gasp, a pitiful sigh almost, and clenched his hands into fists.

"My son," he whispered to himself, "our son."

AU: So there it is everyone. This was the result of our first 2 topic posts. If you want to see Gold and Emma together you should read our follow-up "Believing Is a Damn Hard Enterprise". The reason I post the continuation as a new fanfic is because during our role play Mr Gold changed a bit. You'll see why. So review and read the other story for more. I'll post the first part very soon -winks-