Rumple, stuck in Neverland as the miserable cries of countless children floated around him, wondered if Belle was alright, and that concern seeped into his dreams and all of his torturously long, waking hours. He walked, or moped, and found himself picturing her face, those bright blue eyes and that soft, slow smile glancing over at him as she laughed-such a sweet, easy sound that flowed from her.

He wondered what she'd say, if she could have seen him kill Tamara, or if she could have seen him slip into his beloved leather, if she could have seen him become the Dark One. He could imagine her eyes, wide with disappointment, her expression forlorn, her face fallen with melancholy, as she stared at him, shaking her head.

That made it hard, to go on with his plan, but he pushed on, ready to save Henry and make Bae proud, to do one selfless act before he died.

And if that left Belle heartbroken, if it made her cold with distrust, if it tore from her that trademark, hopeful outlook, then that would be another burdensome sin he'd have to carry to his grave, another monumental regret he'd shoulder for the remainder of his life. If it broke him, if it took away his purpose, if it destroyed him, then he'd offer up his life in a heartbeat, too afraid to see the absence of such bright happiness in her irises, too afraid to witness that beautiful smile fall.

And if he never saw her again, then he'd imagine those eyes, imagine her lips on his, her hand entwined with his fingers, lost forever in the shadows of his thoughts as he took his last breath in a place sunlight could not touch, distracting his mind from the reality just long enough to die with her soothing voice echoing in his head.

Please R&R! Feedback of any kind is always appreciated! ;)

Prompts are welcome.