Author's note: I got this plot bunny that basically is 'what if Belle wasn't locked up because Regina wanted to use her as a pawn? What if she really needed to be in a mental institution?' And this was born. It's AU fic with Gold as a psychiatrist and Belle as a patient. Eventually there will be shippiness but it is more of a drama with a romance aspect, as opposed to a romane. Many other familiar people from Storybrooke feature in the story as well.
Warning: This is a fic that takes place in an mental institution. I am not an expert, but my degree is in psychology and I am attempting to keep things as real as possible. There will be triggers in future chapters, including cutting, mentions of suicidal thought and child abuse. I will give warnings at the start of chapters that contain triggers, but any questions please ask. Also, please don't self diagnose. There should never be any shame in seeking out help if you need it.
"Doctor Gold, if you have a moment please?" The voice that stopped him as he walked down the hall was cool and clipped. Unfortunately it was the one person he couldn't simply pretend not to hear, and continue walking. That didn't mean he had to be nice about it.
"Do I look like I have a free moment?" He carried half a dozen files in his free hand, and leaned impatiently on his cane. He had about five minutes to make it to his office for a one on one session with Mr. Booth, before a group session, another one on one, and at some point a meeting with Doctor Hopper so he could lend his opinion on a file. There was also a stack of reports due a week ago that needed to be finished at some point.
"If you wouldn't mind stepping inside my office for just one minute, you'll be on your way that much sooner." Either she didn't understand sarcasm or she didn't give a damn. Probably the latter. It wasn't Regina's job to make sure the place ran on schedule; she was more concerned about getting enough well paying clients to keep the doors open. And getting enough recognition for her work, preferably in the form of bonuses or magazine articles. Actually helping people was far down on her list of things that mattered, if it was on her list at all.
"Your sixty seconds start now," he grumbled as he stepped through the doorway. And stopped. There were three people in the room, but only one held his interest. The two men, one close to his own age, one young and cocky, were both watching him too closely. Gold dismissed them instantly. It was the girl folded into the chair, arms knotted around her legs to keep them close to her chest and eyes downcast that he watched. She sat so still that it was hard to see her even breathing. One of the two men made a noise and she looked up; her eyes were an intense blue that reminded him of the lochs he used to swim in, on warm summer mornings when he was a boy. The eyes told him nothing of the girl; she'd hidden herself too well.
"Mr. French, this is Dr. Gold. He's head of the psychiatry staff here, and will be personally seeing to your daughter's care." He turned to glare at Regina. His hands were full already; she knew he wasn't taking on more patients. He looked at the older man, father or guardian, and the subtle signs of wealth evident in the Italian leather shoes and tailored clothing. Old money, obviously; Regina's favorite kind. He looked at the daughter, her blue eyes once again hidden behind a curtain of brunette hair as she looked away from everyone else in the room. There was something about her that stopped him from arguing.
"Dr. Gold, may I introduce you to…"
"I'm late for a session. You can have Graham let me know when she's settled and I'll meet her then." The men that had brought her, with their smug confidence in their own sanity, did not warrant any of his precious time. Regina was welcome to them.
It wasn't until he was standing outside his own office that he realized he didn't even know the name of the girl with the haunting blue eyes.