Authors note - as I continue to try and work out what kind of crazy pleated witchcraft is going on with the skirt of Belle's blue dress I had a dream about this and thought I'd write it up into a little one shot . I hope you enjoy R and R - NO FLAMES

Disclaimer - I own nothing but the storyline

The day was perfect. It would not dare have been otherwise and risk the wrath of the pawnbroker of Storybrooke. The sun shone and a gentle breeze blew as he walked along towards the library at the crossroads. It was such a day that if he had chosen to sing the birds and small creatures of the local vicinity might have joined him. Gold chuckled at the thought . He nodded at a couple of the local residents as he passed them along the street, they gave him odd looks. It was a mixture of terror and awe. He knew that they were scared of him as the hard-lined owner of most of the property and ground in the town but a new feeling of dismay hung over them. This dismay was because of his relationship with the young and kind librarian Belle French. He still didn't really know what he had done to deserve a woman like Belle. However, she had professed her love for him and he wasn't going to let her go now.

Belle had taken up her position as the librarian a month or so after her release from the asylum. Her body had healed and her mind had begun to recover. She had read every book in his house at least four times, cleaned and rearranged things and made friends with the others in the little town. With all this accomplished she had started to climb the walls of his house and he had - albeit reluctantly - helped her to reorganize and reopen the library. She now worked in the establishment from 10-4 every day of the week asides from Sunday. It had taken him the first two months to get over the idea that she would leave the house for work never return. Despite his reservations when he got back from the shop every evening there she was either cooking or curled up on his antique chaise lounge with whatever book she had acquired newly from the library. It was in those moments with her so absorbed in the world of literature he would take a moment to watch her. He would stand quietly and just take in how perfect she was and with the amount of love and joy he felt he could have sworn he was close to bursting.

Today was a special day. It was in fact their first anniversary in this world and he intended to take full advantage of it. He had prepared something really special for later on in the day and had persuaded Belle to take a half- day leaving Mary Margret in charge in her absence. With her romantic nature Mary Margret was the most accepting of his relationship with Belle. She had seen how happy he made Belle and considered that if they both made each other that happy then it couldn't possibly be wrong.

He reached the door of the glass building and walked in through the revolving front door. He was unsurprised to find Belle deep in conversation over a book which Henry was holding. Henry was the only male whom Gold was not jealous of. That probably had something to do with him only being 12 aided by Gold having a soft spot for him due to his resemblance to Bae. As he walked up to the main desk the two stopped their conversation and Henry smiled . He picked up his book and made his way to the door through which Gold had entered uttering a quick "Hello Mr Gold. Goodbye Belle". "Had a nice day love" he asked as she walked around the counter to meet him. Her answer came only in the form of a kiss; a long lingering kiss that tasted of strawberries and roses. They linked arms and walked out towards their house.

Hours later after a lovely lunch and a necklace which Belle had protested about until Rum had told her it was a family piece and that he wasn't taking it back to the safety deposit box now, the house was in turmoil. He had told her they were going somewhere special tonight and that had provoked turmoil as Belle went to find something to wear and further huffing when she found three new dresses on the bed. He could smell roses behind him and the sound of the bathroom door creaking open. He turned his head to see Belle with only a towel covering her modesty . She had caught him staring "you're going to have to go and sit downstairs Ruby's going to be here any minute to help me get ready and I don't want you to be around poking jibes and seeing the results before we've finished." Whilst Ruby had often questionable taste when it came to outfits when combined with Belle they always seemed to come up with amazing outfit choices, he knew for instance , he had Ruby to thank for the dress Belle wore to the Storybrooke annual ball. So with reluctance he walked down the stairs and met Ruby in the hallway. She stopped to nod and smile in his direction, after all she knew the secret he had planned, he just hoped she wouldn't say anything to Belle. After half an hour he got up to make some tea, sitting on the sofa tapping his toes was doing him no good. He knew there was no point rushing the process however much he wished he could and drinking tea seemed like the best way to prevent the jitters he was currently experiencing having got dressed and made ready earlier on in the evening.

Finally he heard steps on the stairs and stood quickly turning around to face them. He had been made breathless so much in the last year but each time it still caught him by surprise. "Well" declared Ruby noticing the doe eyed look on his face."My work here is done, I'll see you soon Belle... Mr Gold" and she smiled knowingly then walked out of the front door shutting it behind her. The two soul mates heard none of Ruby's departure as they stood one on the stairs the other in the hallway, trapped by each other's eyes. She was, if it were possible, even more beautiful than ever before . She stood on the stairs in a halter neck dress with a rose pink ribbon crossing its way across under the bust line and crossing at the hips sitting over a form fitting lace covered dress in a subtle antique gold colour. Her hair was simply put up and a couple of roses decorating it. Around her neck sat the gift he had given her for their six month anniversary that rarely, if ever, left her neck. It was a gold chain made out of gold he had spun in the old country . Off it hanging a rose gold pendant in the shape of a spinning wheel. He suddenly felt very under dressed in his tailored suit with his plain white shirt and purple tie. She noticed his look of unease and walked the rest of the stairs to arrive in front of him taking his free hand in hers.

"So Rum where are we going tonight you said you had something special planned" Belle's face was full of light and happiness, she loved surprises. "Indeed I did but I'm not going to tell you where" she looked at him quizzically. "Do you trust me?" he asked , if she said no he wouldn't blame her , he didn't trust himself sometimes. "Yes of course but.." her protest stopped as he stepped behind her and wrapped a blindfold around her eyes. "Rum what are you up to?" she enquired as he lead her out of the front door and lowered her into the passenger side of the Cadillac.

The journey was quiet and a kind of electricity filled the atmosphere between the two lovers. After 30 minutes (they had really only travelled 15 minutes away but Gold wanted to disorientate her a bit) the car came to a stop and Nicholas helped her out of the it and led her along a small track. Finally they stopped and Belle listened but could only hear the silence of the night as it breathed around them. "I'm going to take the blindfold off now but keep your eyes closed for a moment alright?" he questioned, after a small nod he removed the blindfold from her eyes. He took a deep breath in steeling himself , "alright, you can open them". There was a moment when everything was perfectly still and silent as though not even nature wanted to breathe lest it ruin this moment. Belle took in her surroundings , they were stood in a glade in the middle of the forest ; normally it would have been an unremarkable if pretty place but tonight it was different. The trees were filled with tiny twinkling lights and all her friends from the town were there. Ashley, Sean, Ruby , Granny, Emm, Henry and Archie amongst others were stood around the edge of the clearing. There was at the far edge a table laden with food and drink and all Belle's favourite sweet treats and the tree trunks were decorated with flowers all her favourites too. Before she had a chance to speak Rum was standing in front of her looking a little anxious "do you like it?" he enquired . "It's beautiful Rum" she saw him visibly relax a little before leading her into the centre of the glade.

He was so nervous now it was taking all of his strength not to babble the question and hope she understood. But he wouldn't and couldn't do that. This was his Belle and by God he was going to make this a perfect moment for her. He took a deep breath put his hand in his top pocket and pulled out the item he was searching for. With that he knelt in front of Belle being careful to kneel only on his good knee and taking his cane with him so he could get up when the time came. Belle stared at him open eyed and with slightly open mouth as he started to speak. "Belle French, you are my one true love. I have not always believed it . I rejected you because I thought you would make me weak and thus handed you to years of terrible torment and although I have suffered for 28 years thinking you were dead it was nothing to what you have suffered. You are the most beautiful, passionate, clever, determined, stubborn woman I know and I love everything about you. Our story like so many started with Once Upon a Time but will you do me the honour of making mine finish with Happily Ever After by consenting to being my wife."

There was silence for a moment and Nicholas thought over the seemingly cheesy speech as he held the ring in front of her. "Belle ?" he asked looking up at her, Suddenly she nodded tears coming fast down her cheeks "of course I will Rum ". He used his cane to help himself up and once up he looked her directly in the eyes lifting the ring up to her hand stopping just short the finger that was its destination. He gave her a small smirk before saying slowly "it's forever dearie .." she squared up to him pushing her finger forward so he had to place the ring on her finger whether he would or no. "I wouldn't have it any other way" she said leaning in to kiss him long and hard . It was only then that the night breathed again and the silence of the moment was interrupted by the happy sound of cheering and clapping from her assembled friends. Over the year, while they still distrusted Gold, they'd come to love Belle and knew that for whatever reason Gold made her happy and that was enough for them. He snaked his arm round Belle's waist and turned her to the waiting crowd "ladies and gentlemen may I introduce to you my fiancé" . In that moment the world was theirs and they were blissfully happy . The war wasn't over, no, it had barely begun. There were things that would need to be faced and tackled someday but not now . This moment was theirs and no one and nothing ,they were determined ,would ever divide them again.