Once Upon A Time: Through The Devil's Eyes, Part Two
By Rebekkalee Mouri-Hibiki
Mr. Gold leaned on the display case that faced the front door, staring into the flame of his lighter. He had sent Frederick out to look for the stranger. After some asking around, he found out the man's name was August W. Booth and called Mr. Gold with the information. The name didn't sound familiar but it could have been an alias.
He also found out Emma had went out for a drink with him and he was staying at Granny's Bed and Breakfast. It was the something he knew Ruby had neglected to tell him when they had met earlier in the day. He would deal with that later though. His main concern was finding the stranger and having him watched to see what he was up to. He wanted to make sure he didn't have anything diabolic planned for Emma.
He couldn't let any harm come to her, not from Regina or from this interloper. He was distrustful of anyone who vanished as often as Ruby claimed he did. The stranger was probably up to no good. He knew that from personal experience.
The shop phone rang and he extinguished the lighter. He walked over to where it sat behind another display case and answered on the third ring. " Hello? "
" Boss, " It was Frederick. " I can't find him. I've been all over town and no one's seen him. "
" It's fine, " Mr. Gold said though it wasn't. It just made him more suspicious. Storybrooke was big but not so big someone fairly new could hide for long. He looked at the clock on the wall, finding it was six o'clock. " Go ahead and take the rest of the night off. I think I will stay here tonight. "
" Right boss, " Frederick said and hung up.
Mr. Gold hung up the phone and walked back to where he had left his lighter. He picked it up again and flicked the flint wheel, a bright orange flame coming back to life. He quirked his mouth as he stared into the flame. If he concentrated long enough, he could see things like he used when he had all of his magic.
An image began to appear in the flame, one of Emma and a tall bearded man in a leather jacket, the man he assumed was August W. Booth. They were at the wishing well on the outskirts of town and talking. He knew all about the well and the magical lake that lay beneath it. It had once be protected by a siren but she had been slain by Prince Charming.
It was said the water could bring back anything that was lost. He wondered what Emma had lost that needed returning but decided to see how the scene played out. Perhaps the answer was within the vision he was now watching. If not, he would think of a crafty way to ask her himself.
He couldn't quite make out the words but he could tell Booth was trying to charm her, convince her of something. He frowned when Emma smiled at Booth, a smile much like the ones she had been giving him as of late. He felt a surge of jealousy, committing the stranger's face to memory. He wanted to remember every detail in case he saw him on the street.
Another image appeared, one of Booth placing a locked box under the back bumper of Emma's car before stealing away to hide around the corner of a building. A few moments later, Emma approached and found the box. She opened it, pulling out a thick book. Mr. Gold knew it was the book Henry had been carrying around, claiming the stories were true.
Of course Mr. Gold knew they were, as did Regina and that made the book dangerous to her. Henry had managed to keep it hidden from Regina and he wondered how the child had lost the book. He concentrated harder, trying to see if it was Booth that had taken the book but his concentration was broken when someone came into the shop.
" You really shouldn't play with fire, Rumple, " Regina said in a darkly teasing voice as she turned the 'closed' sign out and locked the door. " You could burn yourself. "
Mr. Gold narrowed his eyes as he extinguished the lighter, " Regina. What ever brings you by? " He responded just a darkly. The fact she was still alive always ruined his day.
" Emma Swan, " Regina said as she walked slowly to the display case he stood behind.
" Oh? " He arched an eyebrow. " And why is that? "
Regina rested her hands on the case, " Well, I've noticed the two of you have been spending quite a bit of time together lately. "
Mr. Gold quirked his mouth, " I haven't seen her in five days. "
" So you're keeping track? " Regina smirked. " If you are then you should count your little visit to her this afternoon. "
" What do you want, Regina? " Mr. Gold asked sharply. " I haven't got the time for any of your games. "
" Oh? " Regina arched an eyebrow. Her voice took on a mockingly seductive tone, " You used to love to play my games, Rumpy. "
" Call me that again and I'll turn you into a snail, " Mr. Gold hissed as he narrowed his eyes. He didn't like that nickname. It brought back memories better left dead.
" You can't do it, " Regina said then muttered, " No more than I can do it. "
Mr. Gold smiled coldly, " Yes. You didn't count on THAT when you brought us here, now did you? "
Regina scoffed, " I have all the power I need. No one can leave town and bad things happen to people who come up against me. Of course, I have to make most things happen myself but they still happen. "
" Yes indeed they do, " Mr. Gold nodded. " How does it feel to have blood on your hands, my dear? "
" How does it feel to have blood on YOURS? " Regina retorted.
Mr. Gold frowned, " You have more. MUCH more. "
" That's up for debate, " Regina sneered.
" Regina, " Mr. Gold said sharply. " Did you come here to waste my time with insults or do you have a real reason to be here? "
" I have a real reason, " Regina took a step back. " I told you I came to talk to you about Emma Swan. "
" And we have yet to, " Mr. Gold said sharply. " So leave, ple... "
" I want to know what's going on between the two of you, " Regina cut him off before he could finish the word that would rid the shop of her presence. He had been brilliant to get her to agree to obeying that simple word. Of course, she didn't know the Dark Curse wasn't going to affect him at the time.
" I don't have to tell you anything because there's nothing going on, " Mr. Gold replied. " I have just been forced to spend a lot of time with her lately with everything that's been going on. "
" Forced? Are you still going to say that after I show you these photos? " Regina reached into her coat and pulled out a legal sized envelope. It was the kind she kept Sidney Glass' photos in.
" What are they of? " Mr. Gold arched an eyebrow. He hadn't recalled seeing Regina's lackey slinking around but the man could be like a ghost. There one second and in the wind the next.
" This and that, " Regina smirked as she offered them to Mr. Gold. " Go on. Take a look. "
Mr. Gold took the envelope, opening it with his left hand and spilling the contents on the display case. He frowned as he spread out the pictures. One was of Emma and him in her car as he put his scarf on her, taken at an angle that suggested more was going on than that. Another was of the two of them having dinner, discussing how they were going to set up the traps for the thief, Emma laughing at something he had said.
He couldn't quite recall what he had said that she found so funny, probably something about Regina. He did, however, recall how lovely it was to hear her laughter. He hadn't heard it before or after because Emma was always so tense and serious. She had relaxed a bit at the restaurant though and they had a rather pleasant time together.
" Are you still going to tell me it's 'forced'? " Regina said coolly. " You know, a picture is worth a thousand words. The look on Emma's face is worth that alone if you ask me. "
" I see nothing, " Mr. Gold said but he was lying. Even in the pictures, he could detect the twinkle in her eyes she always seemed to have around him. It was something she just couldn't hide.
Regina took the envelope back. She furrowed her brow and looked inside. She smirked, " Oh. Looks like you missed this one. "
Mr. Gold furrowed his brow, " There was another one? "
Regina pulled the picture out, " I guess it got stuck. Here. "
Mr. Gold looked at the photo and frowned deeply. It was of Emma on the back of the stranger's motorcycle, holding tightly to him as they rode off to who knew where. She had her chin hooked over his shoulder and she was smiling brightly, brighter than he had ever seen her smile before.
" I think it's time for you to leave, " Mr. Gold's tone was low and even.
" Oh? Did I just see some jealousy? " Regina scoffed. She took the picture and smirked, " I like how he just swooped in and snatched her up. He's so handsome and tall... and strong. All of the things you are not. "
" Come closer and I'll show you just how strong I am, Regina, " Mr. Gold growled. If there was one thing he did retain in the transition, it was his strength. " I'll snap your neck like a twig. "
Regina instead took another step back, dropping the pictures, " You're too much of a coward to even try. "
Mr. Gold had enough. If there was one word that set him off, it was 'coward'. He wanted the pesky annoyance of a queen out of his shop. He walked around the display case, his left hand clenched into a fist as if he were going to hit her, " Leave. PLEASE! "
" You wouldn't dare, " Regina backed away, obviously scared by the look on his face. She tried to sound like she wasn't scared but it wasn't working. " You're on probation and all I have to do is tell your probation officer you hit me. "
" Get out! " Mr. Gold still advanced on her as she scooted away. She got to the door and unlocked it, going outside and jumping into her car. By the time Mr. Gold got to her, she had started to pull away from the curb. He stopped, knowing he would never catch her and watched as her taillights disappeared down Main street.
He turned and walked back into the shop. He shut and locked the door before storming back to the display case. He gathered up the pictures and his lighter before heading to the back room...
Rumplestiltskin worked on a snare trap just behind enemy lines. He had been sent to do it because he was the smallest man in the squad and could run the fastest if he were discovered. The Ogre Wars had taken him away from his wife for several months and all he wanted to do was go home. Service was mandatory though and he couldn't fight it.
He had already seen plenty death and destruction in the short time but knew it wasn't going to end any time soon. He had just set the trigger for the trap when he heard someone... something behind him. He turned around, facing the biggest ogre he had ever seen in his life. Before he had chance to scream, the ogre took a swing at him with his huge spiked club.
He managed to dodge then took off running for the battle line. The ogre followed, chasing him all the way back to the encampment on the line. " Ogre! " He shouted over and over again, hoping someone in the camp could help him.
He heard the swoosh of arrows, several hitting the ogre right between the eyes. One arrow was a bad shot though, going into Rumplestiltskin's right leg. He fell to the ground, screaming in pain and pretty sure the arrow had broken it. He lay on the ground, writhing in pain as his fellow soldiers rushed to his side.
He passed out as the first one arrived... and didn't wake up for what seemed like forever. When he did come around, he was in the medical tent. He knew he was in the medical tent because could smell death and heard the groans of the dying. He forced his eyes open, trying to see his leg.
He found it was splinted and wrapped, the bandages stained with blood. The pain was almost unbearable when he tried to move it. " Are you awake? " A woman asked him.
" Of course I am, " He looked to find she was standing to his right side. " My leg... " He whispered, his throat dry.
" It is healing and you have no infection, " The woman said. " You're very lucky. "
" Lucky? " Rumplestiltskin gasped as she slid an arm behind him and eased him up into a sitting position.
" Yes, " She said. " You'll live. "
Rumplestiltskin frowned as she put a canteen to his lips and he drank. He didn't feel like he was going to live though. The pain was just too awful. She removed the canteen and he looked at her, " How long have I been here? "
" Four days, " The woman replied. " You'll be here much longer. "
" How long? " Rumplestiltskin furrowed his brow.
" Until your leg heals. Your commander said that you will resume battle once it does, " The woman said.
Just then, a man Rumplestiltskin knew quite well came into the tent. He was the messenger that carried news from the battlefield back to the village and vice versa. He saw Rumplestiltskin and rushed over. " I have news for you. "
" For me? " Rumplestiltskin furrowed his brow. He knew of only one person that would want to contact him for he didn't have any living family. " Is it from my wife? "
" Yes, " The messenger nodded. He smiled broadly. " You're a father. "
For a moment, the pain in his leg didn't matter. His heart filled with an inexplicable joy and tears ran down his face. " What's the baby's name? " He asked, trying not to sob with delight.
" Baelfire, " The messenger replied.
" That's enough. He needs to rest, " The woman said firmly.
Rumplestiltskin wanted to question the messenger extensively but the woman seemed like she wasn't going to let him say another word. " Thank you, " He said to the messenger.
" Anything you want to say to your wife when I return to the village? " The messenger asked.
Rumplestiltskin nodded, " Don't tell her I'm injured but let her know I love her... and I'll be home soon. "
The messenger nodded, " Got it. I have other messages to deliver. "
Rumplestiltskin watched as the man left the tent, vowing silently to get home as soon as he could...