A/N: This was a prompt request from my Tumblr page. I wrote it before the finale (and that finale was AWESOME!), and I decided to post it here. Just a bit of Rumbelle fluff! So it's gonna be AU because it isn't exactly canon.
Gold wakes up in the middle of the night to find the spot next to him is empty. Panic consumes him as every worst case scenario played in his mind. Like Regina coming to exact her revenge and taking his Belle away from him again. Not this time! He practically flew out of the bed at the thought of his beautiful little Belle back in that hell hole called an asylum.
He ignores the pain in his leg as he rushes down the stairs without his cane.
He stops his scurrying and worrying when he sees the light in the living room on. As quietly as he can he walks into the room and finds his Belle crouched on the couch. Her right knee pressed against her chest and her chin is resting on that knee. A look of deep concentration creased her features. He takes another step closer ignoring his aching leg.
He finds out that she's painting her toenails.
Each stroke she made with the tiny brush was made with precision and concentration. By the look of pure determination on her face, he knew Belle was going to accept nothing but perfection.
He's seen her try to paint her nails before—they had all ended up being disastrous and messy. He had never seen Belle so frustrated before. It was somewhat amusing.
Ever since Belle had been 'released' from the psychiatric ward beneath the hospital, she's been fascinated with this new world they were stuck in (miraculously she remembered everything of their previous life). However, she was truly enraptured with the concept of nail polish. Whenever they went to the store, she would look at the various colors of nail polish with so much excitement and wow, it was like watching a child in a candy shop. Much to his surprise, Gold had found out that she especially loved those bright neon colors. He had expected her to like more neutral or lighter colors like teal or lavender.
When he had finally suggested that she get as many as she pleased, Gold thought that he might actually go bankrupt over nail polish! She had wanted so many bloody colors! But the smile that she had given him was completely worth the obscene amount of money he had spent.
Unfortunately, no matter how many times she read the directions she always made a mess and her nail work was sloppy. Now it seemed to be her life's mission to get it right.
But Gold can't have her scaring the near life out of him again over nail polish!
"Belle." He says her name ever so gently so he won't startle her.
She looks up at him when he limps closer to her. His leg pain is only getting worse. "What are you doing out of bed without your cane?" She asks him softly with concern etching her features. "You're straining your leg. Come sit down." She says patting the seat next to her.
He ignores her question. "Why are doing this" he motions to her toes, "at this hour?"
Her smile is large and happy. "I think I've got it this time." She says with pride. "Ruby taught me how to do it."
"Ruby taught you to paint your nails" he takes a seat next to her on the couch when it's almost unbearable to stand, "at three o'clock in the morning?"
Belle giggled lightly. "No, I couldn't sleep so I thought I get some practice done now."
Gold raises an eyebrow at this. "Why couldn't you sleep?"
She shrugs and goes back to painting her nails. "Just a silly nightmare." She responds nonchalantly.
He knew better though. None of Belle's nightmares were ever silly. They were constant reminders of what the evil queen had done to her. The isolation, the humiliation, the torture… he didn't like to think about it but his Belle had to live through it every day. It took everything in his will power not to go over to Regina's now, rip out her heart, and crush it. Slowly and painfully. But he didn't find it wise to do such thing which would ultimately result in him spending the rest of his days in a jail cell. No, not when he had just gotten his Belle back.
"There!" Belle exclaimed bringing him out of his dark thoughts. "All finished. How do they look?"
He examines her toes and he's surprised that she didn't choose one of her favorite bright colors. She had painted her nails gold. Some primal part of himself believed that she did this to mark herself as his. He liked that idea. Oh, he liked it very much.
"Gold, eh?" He questions giving her one of his famous smirks. "I don't quite remember you buying that particular color." He said with a mischievous look in his eye as he leaned in closer to her.
She gave him a sly smile right back. "Oh yes, it's my favorite color."
"Oh, is it?" His mouth was itching closer and closer to hers.
"Mhmm." She replied resting her forehead against his.
Their lips met then. It was a soft and loving kiss. Belle made a squeaking sound when he deepened the kiss and tried pulling her closer to him.
"No! You'll ruin my nails." She exclaimed pulling away from him.
He blinked once and then gave her an incredulous look. "I don't care."
She gave him a pout and he inwardly cringed. She knew damn well that he'd give her whatever she wanted with just a simple pout of the lips. It was a weakness he didn't appreciate and one that she took advantage of far too often. "But I care. They have to dry. We can do whatever you want after that."
"I'll be asleep by then, dearie, and so should you." He said giving her a wry look.
"But I'm not tired." She whined playfully.
Gold lightly tugged at a strand of her hair and she gave a soft yelp and she became more pouty.
"Now-now, dearie, no need to be a petulant child."
"I am not petulant. I am perfectly well mannered. And don't you look at me like that!" She slaps his shoulder lightly when he had given her a disbelieving look. "And you of all people now how unlike a child I can be." She continues wiggling her eyebrows at him suggestively.
He lets out a light growl. "Keep saying things like that and I won't be so caring about your nails anymore."
After a couple of more minutes playfulness and silly arguing, Gold eventually ends up falling asleep on the couch—with his head rested on Belle's shoulder. She places a light kiss on his head before she too succumbs to her own exhaustion.