Author's note: This little story popped up in my head on Friday because we were talking about Emma possibly getting a new love interest next season and we were throwing around ideas of Gold, and I am against that because I'm a diehard Rumbelle fan (I know I still have to finish Lost Ones … I promise it's my summer goal) So this is if Baelfire came back to town as an adult, it is my little SwanFire one shot. Yes August is wood in this fic, and I left Baelfire's description a bit up to the reader so in case he does come in next season I don't have to re-write everything. I do like writing Emma she is a very layered character so I might continue this, we'll see! I do not own Once Upon A Time or the Green Day line I used. Much love to all the Oncers, thanks for reading, and enjoy…
I Walk A Lonely Road, the Only Road I Have Ever Known
Once upon a time the magic bean brought him into this world through a green vortex, alone and scared, but not without courage and wisdom. These people, this place was all so new and strange. He wasn't going to follow his destiny; pretend he didn't see the purple smoke, feel the magic as it brushed past his skin making the hair on his arms stand on end. But something drew him back to this place.
The man, the boy, had nutmeg brown hair that fell just past his ears, the hair matched his dark brown eyes, and facial hair replaced the boy's once smooth face. A farm boy's build but not quite on the tall side, and though he only look to be in his late thirties he stopped counting his real age long ago.
"Papa" he whispered parking the old car at the "Welcome to Storybrooke" sign. He pulled one of the cables out from underneath the steering wheel and threw it on the side of the road. He wanted to stay here. He needed to stay here. Hope was here.
The first place he spotted was a little dive bar. The place looked packed tonight. Even the sheriff was here judging from the patrol car outside. After asking around the bar he found out it was a girl that was sheriff, Emma Swan. He sat down next to Leroy, the drunken janitor dwarf that informed him that not only was she the sheriff but had saved them and broken an awful curse a few weeks back. Baelfire wondered what kind of magic she possessed that she could break a curse? He hoped that she could help him with what ailed his father. He made his way over to the group of dancing girls as the techno music in the background provided a steady thumping beat.
"So, which one of you is the Sheriff?" Baelfire called out over the music as he walked up to the three center girls on the dance floor. Ruby and Ashley were dancing on either side of Emma and her back was to him. The three were having a celebration of sorts. Mr. Gold had been working on helping Emma obtain paperwork to adopt Henry back and today she received good news.
"I'm not interested "Emma said turning around her flowing blonde hair bouncing against her red jacket. Ruby and Ashley whispered in each other's ear about the man standing in front of them.
"This isn't really my kind of dancing; I'm more for waltz and ballad numbers, Bryan Adams and such. So, Dear, you going to help a stranded man? My automobile is out by the Storybrooke sign, battery's dead" he told her watching the beautiful sheriff's facial expression turn from upset to inquisitive.
"Aren't you a little young to be using such archaic terms?" Emma asked as he followed her outside so they could talk a bit more where she could hear him.
"I'm older than I look" he said giving her a sideways half cocked smile.
Emma looked at him; she saw something very familiar in him, something she couldn't place.
"My car is over here, I could give you a lift back to Granny's B&B and call Billy at Franklin's towing, but first why don't you tell me your name and what you are doing here?"
Baelfire smiled "my name is Ace, Ace Hughes" well it was this week at least, ironic that the son of Rumplestiltskin would go by many names in his lifetime. A new town, a new name was his motto.
After the whole purple smoke, end of the world, Henry almost dying after eating a poisoned apple from another portal type thing Emma was a bit weary of Ace. The last stranger she met is now a wooden statue in the back of Marco's shop.
"Ok, Ace, if that's your name" Emma started with the questions as the two walked down the street towards the car. "What are you doing here?"
"I have a business deal, someone a long time ago made me a promise, I'm here to collect on" Baelfire said trying not to give her too much information. He was kind, but not trusting of others. He had been around too long and known too many people that tried to dupe him.
"All business then?" Emma asked Baelfire, but he kept his mouth shut trying to think of the right thing to say to the beautiful savior in front of him. She reminded him of Maurine.
She wasn't afraid of him. Just the opposite this woman in front of him wanted to know more and that kind of human companionship scared him a bit, people get used to being alone, he had.
"Look, forgive me for the questions but I'm the sheriff, it's my job, and some crazy shit has gone down here in the past month. You are the first new person that's come into town in months, so forgive me for being callus but I'm trying to protect this place." Emma belted out like a song, watching him from the corner of her eye as they walked along; making sure her gun was ready just in case. She didn't want to be the hero but she was and is.
"You don't get very many visitors here, do you?" Baelfire asked wondering just whom else stumbled upon this place.
"One since I came to town eight months ago. None in … None out. Let's just say this place is off the grid, which makes me wonder" Emma said pulling her gun out and pointing it at him.
"Who are you suppose to be? The Frog Prince? Tom Thumb? Though you're no athlete still a bit too tall for Tom. One of the queen's guards?"
He shook his head and held his arms up "Please don't shoot, look I'll tell you but you won't believe me… My real name is Baelfire"
"Doesn't ring a bell and I've been over Henry's book several times" Emma said the gun still pointed his direction. "Regina put you up to this?"
"I don't know who Regina is or what book you're talking about. Is it Grimm or Anderson? I'm not in those or any book much because my father was still good when I knew him. He wasn't "Baelfire didn't know how to explain it except for the truth. He was a pure soul after all.
He leaned against the trunk of the sheriff's squad car, Emma stood in front of him still holding the gun, and not exactly sure she could trust him yet.
"Hundreds of years ago, in our real land, the knights took kids away to fight in the Orge war. My father already lost my mother and he was scared of loosing me, so it took the power of the Dark One. He used his power for good… He walked out into the field and stopped the Org war saving my friends and myself, but it did something to him, changed him. I wanted to stop him so I made a deal with him. I wanted to cure him so he could be my father again. I asked the blue fairy for help and she gave me a magic bean. I used it, thinking my father and I could travel together to a land without magic where we could be safe together, but he broke his part of the deal and I got stuck here alone. Because of the magic or maybe because I wasn't from this world I didn't age. I was trapped as a kid working in factories, school, in wars, whatever I could do to survive until…"
"Let me guess… 28 years ago" Emma said putting her gun back in the holster she leaned against the trunk of the car next to him.
"I know what its like" she said listening to how alone he was, trying to hold back tears remembering all those years before Storybrooke, alone herself.
"Try living like that for a century. I've been all over the globe. I knew there was trouble because I saw the purple smoke, and others around me didn't… No one else saw. You know how crazy that could make a person? So I had to follow where it came from, because I knew it was a sign. Something lead me here to this place. "Baelfire said inching a bit closer to Emma, putting him dangerously close to her comfort zone.
Emma glanced his way "was it the purple smoke?" She smirked.
Baelfire gave her a half crooked smile. "I saw your vehicle. I thought I'd go to you first, savior. Thought you could help me find him, but if not" Baelfire turned thinking if she wasn't going to help him then he'd have to search the town alone.
"Wait, I'm sorry. I didn't know… no one ever… " Emma said grabbing his arm preventing him from moving. She needed to know more, wanted to feel what he felt and wanted to know who this stranger was.
Baelfire looked down at the firm soft hand around the upper part of his arm, her fingers leaving smooth indents in his brown leather jacket. This was the first and only human contact he had in years, and he wanted it to last.
She released the grip on his jacket and he took a step back towards her.
"I couldn't tell anyone where I was from… who I was … I wanted to hate him for making me feel" Baelfire looked into her deep blue eyes reflecting off the moonlight.
"Abandoned" Emma said. She wondered if this is how Henry had felt without her.
She could feel everything he felt because she was him, until Henry found her.
In that moment she found a kindred spirit.
He took the final step towards her.
"Alone" he whispered as his lips met hers. He just wanted to feel something, anything, and she was something warm against his cool lips.
Emma had Henry, and her mother and father back, so why was she being so selfish? She wanted more, this stranger, fueled her flame. Just one more kiss and we won't be alone she thought.
"Baelfire" she whispered as they pulled away. Emma looked into his dark brown eyes, and in that moment everything clicked in her mind. All the puzzle pieces of his story fit together perfectly. Gold wanted to help Emma with adopting Henry back because of his own son, that must be it she though.
"You were a kid. You're Gold's son, the Dark One is Rumplestiltskin. He's here" Emma assured him. Baelfire felt such deep warmth in that moment knowing not only could he finally be home after years of being alone but that maybe this town would be different.
Once upon a time Baelfire felt alone, not so much tonight.