Summary: There had been people who had died for her, people she cared enough to kill for. Never someone she'd cared enough to die for—until now, anyway.

WRITING STATUS: Okay. I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record player with all the I'm sorrys, but you guys are honestly so patient and I love you all for putting up with me. Now, updates; I think I'll be going on a semi-hiatus. I'll still update C&C as often as possible, and I'll write oneshots but full-length projects such as LLM and other stories I have in the works are being pushed back for a while. I'm so sorry, but school is just torture right now and my home life is getting complicated.

I hope you all understand, and I'm sorry for being so wishy-washy with the dates. Especially because I know a majority of you have been waiting patiently on me, and I've been a horrible person with updates.

On another note; I might be beating the dead horse with this Lacey ficlet, but while struggling with writer's block, this little bunny bit me.

Disclaimer: I don't own OUAT!

the fact of the matter

step out the door and it feels like rain;

that's the sound,

that's the sound on your

windowpane. – all fall down, onerepublic

They thought they could keep it from her forever.

And maybe they could have, if a town like Storybrooke was better at keeping secrets. Sure, the magic had freaked her out before, but the constant talk of spells and curses (not to mention the giant that one week) made it almost normal, nowadays. But, the fact of the matter was that Storybrooke's residents were complete shit at keeping secrets. Or, they just thought she was stupid. Either way, it wasn't too hard to figure out everyone's agenda, everyone's role.

It wasn't too hard to figure out her own role. Especially not after she got a couple drinks into Mr. Clarke, the storeowner on Main. She was pretty good at flirting information out of most men, and when they had something she wanted, she went for it.

The fact of the matter is this: Lacey French was not a stupid girl.

Not even remotely.

It didn't take long for her to find out the truth. And when she did, she really wished she hadn't.

Hey, Gold—

I told you to call me Rumpelstiltskin

Yeah, see, no. That's way too long, and it sounds silly

It's my name!

I'm entitled to an opinion, aren't I? Anyway, I needed to ask you—


Geez, could you sound a little less snappish? I don't think I'll tell you now

Dearie, you can't just begin a question and not finish it

Well, I am. And you have no one to blame but yourself, you know

I know

(trust him, he knows)

The fact of the matter is this: she hadn't meant to fall in love.

Or, well. It wasn't something she was looking for, anyway. It just happened, as corny as it sounded. And she definitely hadn't meant for it to happen with Mr. Gold, of all people. Sure, the guy was sweet on her, and other than the (not very) occasional streaks of bad she reveled in, there was also a loving, respectful side she neither anticipated nor knew what to do with. She was used to douchebags, bad boys, and the general rejects of polite society. Not the pimp-slash-mobster-slash-gentleman vibe she was getting from her latest boyfr—well. Whatever he was.

She knew he was only drawn in by her looks in the first place, the fact that she was apparently the spitting image of an old flame. She'd been interested in his money, in his power and influence and the way he could exert that power and influence with a simple glare. She'd fallen hard for him and his reputation—he was still caught in the thrall of a ghost. It was a recipe for disaster and she'd known it, when she'd had to bite her lip to avoid three dangerous words from spilling out during an escapade in his workroom.

Lacey hadn't meant to fall in love.

Unfortunately, love hardly (if ever) bothers to listen to its victims.

Why not just tell me?

Because you're a selfish jerk who gets mad at the dumbest things

Oh, I'm not allowed to be mad by the fact you don't like my name?

Nope! Not if I'm not allowed to hold an opinion



You're avoiding the subject

Me? No! Never would I ever


The fact of the matter is this: she knows what he's doing, even if he doesn't.

She'd heard that drunk, Leroy, talk about the potion. About how she couldn't "die as Lacey". And don't get her wrong, she's confused as hell, but she knows something's happening. She knows he's probably just poisoned her drink, and she'll probably be dead soon. She's about to throw the teacup against a wall, shatter it all over again, let him know he's not getting rid of her that easy, but then she sees his eyes.

They're so sad. So full of hope and regret, sorrow and guilty happiness. And fuck her, she loves him. She never meant to, really—he was just a rich, powerful bloke who would've dragged down the moon for her, if she'd asked. She had men like that wrapped around her pinky, usually, falling at her feet. It was never the other way around. Never. There had been people who had died for her, people she cared enough to kill for.

Never someone she'd cared enough to die for—until now, anyway.

Down the hatch, she thinks, swallowing the potion in one go.

Her last thought is a prayer, her first and last, that maybe he won't forget her.

She knows she won't forget him.

Okay, okay, I just need a promise, alright?

A promise about what?

If I die—

Don't you dare—

Fuck, Gold, don't make this sound like some cheesy romance flick—


If I die, don't forget me, yeah? me.

I won't

I need you to say it. say, I won't forget you Lacey

Please, Gold.

Her vision swims, and she closes her eyes instinctively to clear it.

The last thing she sees are his eyes, guilty and hopeful, glistening with sad-happy tears.

Her mind is getting hazy, the memories of another life pressing down on her. A voice insists it's not really the end, a happier version of herself. You're not really dying, that version tries to soothe, but she can't come up with a different explanation.

The fact of the matter is: she is dying. That's all there is to it. Her heart will keep beating, and this body will keep breathing, but it won't be Lacey in this body. Not anymore. There's not enough room for two girls in one body, and even Belle, for all her brilliance, can't change that.

The darkness presses down, harder now, and Lacey takes a deep, final breath.

Right. Time's up.

I won't forget you, Lacey


(the fact of the matter is: he does.

promise, that is.

it's the only one he manages to keep for her, in the end)

Forgive me if it's OOC (I know it is) but the plot bunnies bit and I had to. This goes under the assumption Lacey really did love Gold (albeit in a pretty unconventional kind of way) and that she loved her back. Sorta. It also goes under the (admittedly extremely false) assumption that she knew more about what was happening in Storybrooke than she let on. I WANTED LACEY/GOLD FLUFFY-ISH ANGST, OKAY? I ADMIT IT.

Anyway, sorry again about the sporadic updates. Please forgive me!