Takes place Pre 2x11

Ruby was on her long break when she went to Mr. Gold's store that afternoon.

Inside she made her way towards the front counter until a silver clasp caught her eye. Ruby remembered it from Quinn's cloak back in the old world.

"See an object you like?" Ruby had heard him approach.

"Just memories of another life."

"Perhaps give it to the person it belongs to..."

"He's dead. Let someone else have it." Ruby shook her head and took a deep breath.

"Belle told me of your quest to find Baelfire."

Rumplestilskin set the tip of his cane down hard. "What could you possibly know about it!" She had expected his reaction and truth be told, probably would have said the same, but she didn't back down.

"I know that the last time I saw my mother, I accidentally killed her."

Rumple seemed to steadily relax as went on, and Ruby was able to get a glimpse of the man Belle referred to.

"I know that my mother wanted me to kill Snow and when I refused, was going to do it herself. I know that even though she wanted me to be a monster, and while I wouldn't trade Granny for the world, I still miss her. That one last memory of her isn't enough to erase all the good ones we had in that short time I knew her. I miss running with her as a wolf and the stories she told me about the places she'd been." Ruby shook her head and cleared her throat. The last thing she wanted was to cry in front of Mr. Gold. "I say this because, when it comes to finding your son, I'll help you in any way I can."

"Thank you. However, what would you want in return?"

Ruby stood up a bit straighter and made sure to look him in the eye. "Nothing."

Mr. Gold leaned back a bit, unsure what was happening exactly. Was this a trick? Had the tables been turned?

"Belle sees good in you..."

Ah, there it was.

"And despite everything, I've seen it to. Also, things get easier when people believe in you. Belle taught me that. So now, it's not just Belle that has faith in you, but me too."

"Why the sudden change of heart?"

"You are and always will be important to Belle, and that makes you important to me."

"That's it?"

"That's it."

Rumple moved to lean against the counter. "Well, thank you for the offer Miss Lucas, but in this case I don't even have a scent for you to follow. But should the need arise, I'll be glad for you assistance."

"Honestly, I don't know how much help I'll be, but I'll try..."

"Don't sell yourself short Miss Lucas, you helped Ashley stay one step ahead of both me and Sheriff Swan. Anyway..."

Ruby didn't need her wolf senses to tell that the conversation had come to a close. The mood had shifted into uncomfortable. So Ruby nodded her head and made her way back to the diner.

After the door shut, Rumple let out a long breath. It would seem that there was one person who truly understood. And if what Ruby had said was any indication, there was still hope for him and Bae.

As for Belle, she had chosen her mate wisely.