This is not related to my other stories, but Bella is the name I'm using as her counterpart. If anyone takes this name, he/she shall wake up with mayonnaise in their bedroom slippers.
Fic inspired by Utada Hikaru's "Exodus '04", the RoyXRiza relationship, and rufeepeach's "Monday Mornings".
"It's all your fault! You were supposed to take the keys with you, you stupid girl! I should have left you in that basement to rot!"
Those words echoed through her head as Belle slammed the door to her apartment to a shaking close. She stabbed her fist into the wall and kicked a few objects around to release the frustration and anger brewing inside her.
Damn that man she was forced to call father! How could he blame her for such petty things? It was a truck for goodness sakes! It wasn't like it hadn't been stolen before; it would turn up in a day or two with everything still in tact. He however hadn't seemed to realize that and immediately went into a rage that required breaking most of her belongings that she had yet to move into her new apartment.
She slid to the floor and pushed herself into the cold wood. She pinched the bridge of her nose and gingerly soothed over a cut on her cheek, courtesy of a flower pot and her father's accurate throwing skills.
She should have left him the second she checked out of the hospital four months ago, but she had a mindset that without family, there was nothing. She once thought that she needed his company and he needed hers, but lately all she wanted was to be away from him. He wasn't the kind, understanding father from the Enchanted Forest any longer; he was a lukewarm abusive prick who needed one Hell of a therapy session.
But there was a saying to count your blessings, and she had more than enough to count.
Granny and Ruby were offering her a part time job at the dinner to help her escape her father's iron fist.
She had made a friend with the town hermit, Jefferson, who much to her surprise was an elaborate bookworm like herself often met her for "dates" in the library. He also made the best tea in all of Maine. She once considered asking him out, but found herself more infatuated with…someone else.
But despite the love the town had given her, she still felt this intense misery that was enough to take her to bed each night sobbing. She was stuck in time, forced to conceal her knowledge of the curse from everyone. She couldn't stand seeing her friends and acquaintances with the people they were never meant to be with. The look in Mary Margret's eyes each time David Nolan strolled down the street arm and arm with his false wife Katherine was enough to make her want to cry with her. The longing in Leroy's eyes each time he sat at the counters of Granny's with a drink his hand for the klutzy Nun made her drink to match him. Not to mention how much it effected her own life. She knew that if her father was able to remember that things between them would improve so much.
Not to mention she would be able to spend all the time she wanted with-
The sound of a mind piercing ring screeched through the small living room unexpectedly, making Belle jump out of her thoughts. She stood and began to pace in order to allowed her hear to steady before pulling her cell phone out of her pocket and opening it. She hoped it wasn't her father to "apologize".
"Hello?" she answered with a dry throat
"Good Evening my lovely Lady Belle! This is your volunteer neighborhood florist!"
Belle's senses sparked and she scurried to the window, searching the visible areas of the cul-de-sac before her eyes landed a white truck, a disheveled Mr. Gold holding a cell phone waving stupidly in her direction. Why was she only slightly surprised that he was the culprit?
"W-How the Hell did you get the truck?" She heard Mr. Gold's chuckle on the other end of the line and knew instantly that he meant trouble.
"Sorry to cause you such a startle. I had a bit too much of the scotch tonight and somehow ended up with your father's flower truck, which is full of roses, by the way."
Belle sighed and leaned into the cool glass.
"Want to do me a favor and take some of them off my hands?"
"Thanks, but believe it or not, the scent of flowers makes me sick."
"You truly don't have the soul of flouriest in you."
She shrugged, knowing he could see her. "I'm in there six days a week; that's enough to make anyone nauseous. Besides, I left my flower vases at my father's when I moved in here."
"Well, if you had moved in with me as I offered, my gorgeous Lady Belle-"
She shushed him harshly. "Don't call me that! Regina has ears all over this town; one slip up and it's back to the basement with me." the words that came out of her mouth made her stomach drop, but they were true and it made her means to be careful grow greater.
"She'd lose both hands before got the chance to touch you," Mr. Gold threatened, hostility layering over the alcohol in his voice. "Bella."
Belle shook her head as she laughed softly. The man advancing slowly outside her apartment had always been protective of her, ever sense the day she was claimed sane enough to leave the hospital. His house was the first place she went, and there had never been a more tearful reunion on earth like the one they shared.
He had been her crutch, her guide, everything she needed from then.
Except her lover.
Faith and The Evil Queen's curse had been just as cruel to them as was the entire town.
An affair was unquestionable. Nothing escaped a small town full of liars and gossipers. Gold could risk himself being slandered, as he was used to the hatred. However, he couldn't bare the idea of the sweet, kind-hearted and selfless Bella French being frowned upon for such a harmless infidelity.
For the time being, they were forced to be perfect strangers who shared an awkward glance in the dinner or just the slightest brush of the arms when they passed each other on the street. Regina had yet to beat them.
"Gold, it's past midnight, I'm tired and need a shower." she didn't realize that her voice was cracking-but he did.
He was now just outside the building standing under a street lamp. His posture was stiff and she could just barely trace a frown on his lips.
A drop of sweat ran down her icy spine. "Nothing."
"Don't lie to me Belle. I saw the way you left the shop earlier. You were screaming at each other."
She turned her back on the window to escape the sight of his accusing form. Yet, she refused to remove the phone from her ear. It was true: nothing went unnoticed in a small town.
"Did he hurt you?"
She absently fingered the small cut on her cheek. "Just my feelings."
"Liar." he growled harshly.
"We'll it's your fault! Why steal the van of all things; you know that's his livelihood!"
"Like I said, I was drinking and had this mind set that the most beautiful woman in the world might want a little color in her new home."
Belle turned to the window once more. He couldn't make out the expression on his face but the emotion in his voice gave away the feelings he felt towards her .She so badly wanted to let him in, to embrace him and feel him, but fate was too cruel. Her eyes lifted and she caught a dim scene of her reflection. "I'm not pretty in the least." she muttered into the phone as she ran a hand through her tattered curls.
"I used the term "beautiful" Dearie; if you're going to lie, at least use the words I've laid out for you."
"You're one to call me a liar; you make Pinocchio look like a saint compared to the dishonestly you've laid out." She closed her lips immediately. She hadn't meant to sound so harsh. She was relieved when she saw his body slouch and a great laugh irrupted through the speaker. She laughed along, just because it felt good; because it was one of the few things they could share without consequences.
"My, my, aren't we becoming highly opinionated nowadays."
"Oh hush." she teased. She allowed only a moment of silence to drag between them before she decided that 12:47 a.m. was as late as she could stay on the phone. "Rum, I have to go." She could hear him gasp lightly on the other end.
"You said my name; don't be alarmed if I die from shock tonight."
"Well don't be surprised if I die from only five hours of sleep so…"
"Yes, yes of course. Goodnight angel."
"Same to you, and thanks for thinking of me earlier." She was ready to put the receiver down when a final thought ran across her mind. "Gold!"
He hadn't even looked away. "Yes?"
She lifted the window and put the phone to her breast. "Take the truck back!"
He closed his cellular device with a slap. "Yes Lady Belle!"
"I hate that name with a passion!"
"And I'm sure Madame Mayor hates having her plans foiled!"
"I'd love to see her try and stop me!" he went hollering all the way back to the truck, which he cranked up and sped down the street with a rough swerve every now and again.
"You fool!" she laughed into the night. She waited until the roar of the engine faded into the night before closing up her window. Despite the curse, the abuse, the torment, she had something to look forward to, and that was Mr. Gold and his shenanigans.
She returned to her room and placed her phone on her bed-table while she changed from her street clothing. As she combed her hair out, the phone began to buzz. She was curious as she rarely received text messages. It was from Gold unsurprisingly.
Belle rolled her eyes and began clicking away.
Learn to spell!
The next morning, Belle found Emma Swan standing in front of her father's white flower truck, which was embedded in a bent light pole just a few shops away from the flouriest.
"Morning Bella." Emma greeted tiredly. She pointed the pen she was writing with at the truck. "Found the truck!"
Belle chuckled her thanks and began examining it. "Does my father know?"
"Yeah; he's trying to get a hold of the people who ordered flowers to tell them that he'll need to refund them."
"Refund them? Why?"
Emma led Belle to the back and opened the door. Belle was surprised to see that vases and all were intact but all the flowers were missing.
"What on earth?"
Emma shifted into her coat pocket and pull out a sheet of folded paper and handed it to her. "Maybe you can help me out."
Belle opened the note hastily, her eyes widening with each word.
The scent of flowers makes her sick, despite how roses make her smile, daisies make her look younger, and posies help her sleep. You're welcome.
-You're volunteer neighborhood Flouriest
"You're father's clueless; do you have any idea who could have done this?"
Irate and jittery happiness flowed through her blood like the wind was blowing through her hair. How could he be so stupid! He could get away with trying to sabotage her father once, but this was his means of survival he had mucked with! Yet…he did it for her, even if it was in the most twisted way imaginable.
Something told her to look out into the small crowd of bystanders gathered around the scene. Behind them in the shadows of the bakery were none other than Mr. Gold. He caught her gaze and smirked, bowing mockingly, obviously still hung over.
Belle slower folded up the piece of paper and squeezed it.
"I haven't the slightest idea Sheriff."
Mr. Gold's phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out and sighed with annoyance as he opened his inbox.
Thank You. Idiot.
His eyes lifted to see Belle watching him, a lovely smile on her face as she avoided the pickup crew crawling around to remove the bent metal.
For a moment, Mr. Gold felt as if the small crowd and everyone else didn't exist. It was just him and Belle. Well, Bella for the time being.
He clicked away.
You R Welcome. Dearee
Your spelling is disgraceful!