Belle stared at the boy with fuzzy confliction. This wasn't the Henry she knew, the Henry who was forced to stand by why her heart was manipulated over and over again. The Henry who's gentle eyes stared at her in pity as she died over and over again.
"Miss?" The Henry spoke, bringing Belle from her pained daze. "You shouldn't be in here." He whispered, looking hesitantly back at the stairs. He gulped before stepping closer. "If my Mom sees you you'll be locked up for sure. Come on." He extended his hand-
The Queen's hand shot out and ripped through her chest-
Belle screamed and lunged for the boy, grasping his neck and thrusting him against the wall. He withered and wheezed, his tiny feet dancing everywhere searching for solid ground. Belle leveled her face with his, her wide eyes watching as his face began to turn purple.
Belle glanced around and the boy instantly fell from her grip. Before her was the very woman she needed-
Henry gasped and squirmed at Belle's feet, but for the moment the only thing that mattered to her was his "mother". She was holding a fire poker, looking fearful unbelievably so, but utterly animalistic.
There eyes met, Regina's widening with recognition and disgust. "So it's true. You got out of your cage early."
The cage she put her in.
Belle lunged forward, barely missing Regina's swing before she pushed her into the kitchen counter. She screamed something that sounded like her father's name-Henry-before Belle gripped her throat with strength that shouldn't belong in her tiny hands. The woman squirmed beneath her, her eyes wide and helpless-
Belle pressed her shaking thumbs into Regina's windpipe, watching with gory contentment as Regina's pulse froze in her throat and the skin around her enlarged eyes began turning purple.
"Regina!" Belle looked up just in time to meet the toe of someone's shoe. She flew back, hitting the back of her head on the cupboards.
It's no matter. Belle.
Regina sputtered and gagged as the air returned to her lungs. She was wheezing and crying as she clung to the familiar stature of Graham; she had never been so happy to see him in all her life. Her eyes lifted to his troubled face and then frantically to her son's who - to her ultimate dismay - was clinging to Emma.
Graham helped Regina to her feet, securing one arm around her waist. "Emma," he commanded. "Take them back to the patrol car."
"Like Hell I'm leaving you here!"
"I'll be fine, they won't now go-"
The words barely left his mouth before a weight collapsed on top of him, securing his arms behind his back before thrusting him face-first into the wall. He was spun around wildly and slapped in the face violently enough to dislodge his nose into a different angle.
"Graham!" Emma screamed as she and The Mills watched their beloved sheriff get pulverized to a pit by the creature with flowing hair.
"Go!" Emma screamed, almost shoving Henry and Regina out the door. "Go now!"
"Emma wait!" Henry screamed only to be picked up a few inches off the ground by Regina and carried out the door.
Regina placed him down as soon as the door was closed but didn't have a chance to flee due to the hand that grabbed her wrist. Regina was spun around and forced against the wall, immediately coming face to face with a snarling Mr. Gold.
"Mr. Gold now is not-"
Mr. Gold gripped her arms in a vice-like hold "Shut the fuck up you lying cow!"
"All this time!" he screamed at her. "All this damn time she'd been alive, rotting in that forsaken cell while you've been playing the death card for the past 28 bloody damn years!"
Regina gaped but her response was cut off by his menacing hand around her throat.
"Mr. Gold stop!" Henry yelled from his place on the soggy grass.
He heard the boy, the boy that held a place in the softest part of his heart, however chocking the life out of the woman who tried to coin herself as mommy to him was far too important than his pleas.
"Where is she you bitch!" he growled as he shook her. "Where is my Belle!"
"H-h-h-hou-se-" she stutter as best she could.
"She's in the house!"
Gold shot around, his grip still just as powerful on Regina's throat, but his gaze on Henry who had long jumped over the borderline of sobbing.
"She's in the house…with Emma and Sherriff Graham! Please Mr. Gold let her go!"
Gold stared at the boy, awestruck and shamed that he had to see him in this state. But the words he said clung to the inky blackness in his heart, the words that convinced him that he didn't have to kill this bitch to get what was his back.
"In the house?" he assured with the boy.
"Yes." he answered meekly. "She's got Emma and Sherriff Graham."
Gold let the words sink in before he swung around to grip Regina's jaw. "Thank your lucky stars your boy gives a damn about your sorry arse." He pulled her squished face to his, his fiery eyes boring into her wide ones. "But I am not nearly done with you yet, dearie." he released her roughly, sending little terrified Henry a glance of apology before carefully opening the front door and sneaking in.
Regina watched as the door closed, her pulse racing and her blood boiling. He had found her trump card and would play it for keeps. All she could do now was hope that Belle broke his fucking neck before he got the chance.
She looked up to see Henry slowly advancing towards her. Despite the rough patch they had been crawling through since Emma Swan's arrival, he still generally cared about her and her motherly instincts kicked into to ultra drive.
"Let's go." she gasped with a weak, comforting smile as she lead him to the patrol car.
"Belle?" Gold called out. The living room was a bit unmade, furniture out of place and glass scattered around a broken picture. There was a bang coming from the kitchen and the sound of someone groaning.
"Belle!" Gold called out.
"Gold!" Emma's voice screamed out desperately.
He rushed quickly into the kitchen, catching site of Sherriff Graham's unconscious body and then Emma clinging to the pantry door, fear crinkling into her features as a stream of blood poured down her temple. The door jerked almost open. Emma pressed every ounce of her weight against it, trying desperately to keep something locked in.
"Gold, my gun!"
He followed her line of site to Graham's unconscious body, Emma's gun just out of his reach. He limped to retrieve it, checking its chamber; two bullets were missing.
"You shot her!" he hissed lowly. He closed the gun and smothered the urge to point the gun at Emma and pull the trigger.
"I'm going to let her open the door, and when I do, I need you to shoot!"
"Like fucking Hell I will!" he shouted at her.
The door jerked and Emma pressed against it. "We don't have time for this Gold! The lock on the this door is broken and I can't hold her in much longer! She's dangerous! She needs to be put down before she hurts someone else!"
"She's not some animal you idiot! She's a human being who's probably scared out of her mind!"
"She's out of her mind alright!" Emma muttered. She shifted her weight so that one of her hands could stretch out to Gold. "Give me the gun then!"
"No!" he shouted stepping back. "Let me talk to her!" his voice dropped to a plea. "She'll listen to me!" He hadn't begged in centuries, but Belle's life was on the life, and if he had to sob like a wuss to save her he'd do it in a heartbeat.
Emma stared at him. In between watching her partner get the brains bashed out of him by a monster-strength girl and the town demon step on the edge of sobbing, she was awestruck.
The beating on the door suddenly seized and both the Sherriff and the Pawnbroker held their breaths.
"See she's stopped now go!"
"No!" Emma wheezed. "She tried to choke my son and my partner. If I let her walk away it's going to be someone else."
"If you let me in there that won't happen!"
"If I let you in here you'll be dead in a minute!"
"She's knows me! She knows I'd never hurt her - let me try!"
"Why should I? Why should I trust you? How do I know she isn't just another Ashley Boyd to you? Why should I?"
"Because I love her damn it!" he screamed loud enough to make the pans hanging from the ceiling to shake.
Emma had her suspicions of his feelings for this mystery girl. Hell he made it more than apparent with the death threat to the Severe Nurse and the destruction his shoe soles and cane end had from his worried pacing back at the station. But to hear him say it was a rank higher than bizarre. This creature everyone feared and hated loved someone, and a creature just as insane and violent as him, no doubt.
She looked at the door and then back at him, stepping aside. "I'm going to take Graham back to the car." she stated quietly. "When I get back, she better be sedated. If not," she reached for her gun and Gold had no choice but to hand it to her. "you know what I have to do."
He nodded, not that he'd let her get the chance. "Then go, the Sherriff is not at his best at the moment."
Emma threw Graham's arm over her shoulders, lifting him up carefully. He groaned against her neck and Emma hissed. "Hang on Graham. Just hang on."
Gold stayed rooted as the deputy stumbled out with a man twice her weight on her back. He waited until the front door opened and slammed before he allowed himself to breath. He slumped against the counter, dropping his cane so that he could cover his face and sob. His poor Belle, trapped in this disgusting mess. Domestic violence could be overlooked with his power, but if the Sherriff were to suffer fatal damage…the asylum would be the worse of her problems. He had to save her this time, fix the mistake he made long ago.
He sniffled and gather his composure the best he could, setting his shoulders back and his eyes forward. His trembling hand hovered over the brass doorknob. He swallowed his lump and focused on the image of the brave girl that would be behind the door. He was a step away; he could do it.
The door opened effortlessly due to the broken lock. His eyes shifted into the dark pantry and could just barely make out a figure hunched in the darkness. She was rocking herself slowly, small sounds that could have been words or sobs muffled out through her filthy hospital garb.
His hand roamed the wall until they landed on a light switch. He counted to three before turning it on, flinching at the shriek that came from Belle. The light gave off the reality of the tortures Belle had endured. Her clothes were torn, her skin scratched in various places. There was a black hole in her shoulder where blood had clotted, courteous of Emma's gunshot no doubt. But whether she was bruised or broken, she was there, alive, and soon to be back in his arms.
The fear and apprehension crumbled down to make room for the overflowing joy that brewed inside Gold upon seeing her.
"Belle?" he said gently like a baby's laugh.
Belle shot up, pressing her frail body against the wall.
"No no no," he cooed with an extended hand, "Sweetheart it's okay it's me."
Her wide eyes searched him as he came closer. She slapped his hand away and thrust herself in the corner.
"Rumpelstiltskin." He laughed helplessly. "It's me Belle. I'm here."
Belle's head cocked to the side and for a moment Gold had the abundant hope that she remembered him. She stood, pale face almost yellow in the pantry light. A hint of a smile enter her features and her bloody hands lifted. He smiled, opening his arms in welcome for her. However, as soon as they had the same breathing space, her hands shot forward to wrap around his throat, pushing him outside the pantry and against the wall.
"B-belle!" he gagged desperately as her grip tightened. "Sweet-heart i-it's me!" he managed to shift slightly to meet her dark eyes. This was Belle, but it wasn't Belle.
"Please…I love you."
The darkness seemed to melt, disturbance and fear building up as a change took over her. With a gasp she released him, gripping her chest and stumbling back against the counter.
Gold gasped with relief, holding his throat where finger-bruises were already forming. His eyes followed Belle as she sank into the floor and he all but pounced after her.
She was trembling almost badly as him. Her mind searched for an explanation as to why she was in this unfamiliar place but found none. Where was the mystery man who she left screaming in a closet? Where was she and how did she get here? Someone slouched in front of her and she screamed.
"It's okay Belle!" the faintly familiar brogue spoke. "It's me I'm not going to hurt you." There eyes met, hers scanning all over him.
Her shaky fingertips grazed his stubbly cheek, desperately seeking for the truth. His skin had lost its golden hue, but damn if those eyes weren'tf her beloved.
A sob broke from his throat and he pulled her to him, smothering Belle with his warmth. Her hands searched his back frantically, sobs building and building. "Y-y-your real!" he cried. "You're r-real!"
"Yes." she coughed, rubbing his back when she was sure that he wasn't part of her pain cloud. "I'm here. And so are you…"
He pulled back, searching her tear-streaked face. "I can't believe it's you!"
She caressed his cheek. Happiness she had never felt in her life flowed into her. Her Darling Rumpelstiltskin was in her arms, his lips pressed to her neck, whispering sorrows and love and hope and everything she could-
Belle shrieked and threw him aside, gripping her chest while she sobbed painfully.
"Belle?" he asked fearfully. "Darling what's wrong?"
"It-it-it hurts!" she screamed
He picked himself up and limped to her. "What hurts sweetheart?"
She pushed him away, the very action making her wince. "Rumpel please, make the pain stop."
He held her hands, holding her weak for up. "How? How do I make it stop?"
She shook her head, sobbing weakly. "Let me go."
He caught the meaning of it at once and shook his head wildly. "No Belle I will not loose you again!" his expression was nothing but distraught. "You're the only thing left that I love." She shook her head, her sobbing becoming frantic.
His mind raced. He would not loose her again damn it! He had to immobilize whatever spell she was under—up how?
Sleep. She needed to be put to sleep.
He eased her carefully back to the pantry. "Belle." He whispered as she began to droop. "Look at me Sweetheart." Her blue eyes met his. "I'm going to help you, but you have to stay here, just for a moment. Stay here and stay calm."
He kissed her condensate forehead, pressing her hair down to the side. "Yes you can. You're the strongest person I know."
Despite the pain rippling through her, she smiled, just a bit. "Hurry!"
He nodded, retrieving his cane from the floor and racing upstairs. The bathroom was where he went. In Regina's medical cabinet was a large bottle of sleeping pills that he knew that she forced herself to take. It would have to work for now—it was his only chance.
A mind-numbing scream tore through the air and Gold hurried back down the stairs. Belle was sobbing wildly when he returned. "Shh, It's okay sweetheart I'm here." He reassured as she clawed at the walls, holding her with one arm while the other struggled to open the pills.
"There going to put you to sleep." He panted, cursing as the bottle collided the floor and scattered everywhere. He grabbed a handful quickly and tilted Belle back. "Here honey, take-"
He was against the wall instantly, Belle's delicate hands back around his throat. "N-no Belle!"
She pressed against him, a mocking guesture that would have meant something more than his death at one point. He couldn't die yet, not while she was under this curse. Muttering a subconcious apology, he slapped her as hard as he could in the face. She fell back and he raced for his cane, this time outwardly apologizing before shooting around and slamming the brass handle against her temple. She hit the wall and dropped lifelessly to the floor.
He stared at the woman he loved, the woman who had a small trail of blood trinkeling down her temple. He sobbed slightly, crawling to her and picking her up, clutching her. He brushed her hair from her face and let his fingers trail down to her pulse, more than relieved to fill her pulse against his fingertips.
"Hang on Belle." he cried. Sucking in a deep breath, he put one arm under Belle's legs and the other under her shoulders.. His damned leg shrilled in protest but he told it to shut the Hell up. Carrying Belle was a labor of love, with emphasis on the labor. The car was parked just behind the back yard to avoid suspicion from Regina's neighbors, a decision he was regretting now. He thanked the Gods above when he got the door opened. He laid Belle down quickly and carefully and stretched his leg.
"We'll be home soon Belle." he assured her unconscious form. Just as he was starting the car, the sound of sirens blared through the air. He ducked in the front seat and watched the ambulances turn the corner. "Took them bloody long damn enough." he grumbled, cranking up the car. He sped off quickly, knowing the police department were too tied up to pull him over for a speeding ticket.
"Hang on Belle." he whispered. "You'll be better soon."
I will NEVER lose you again.