"Is the crowd necessary?" Rumpelstiltskin growled as Neal and Emma chatted with the entering Charmings. Regina and Henry were in a conversation of their own, still within eyesight of the protective family.
Belle, long freed from her Lacey faze, walked up behind her love and wrapped his arms around his waist. "Moral support love. They do care about you."
"I highly doubt it. They just want to see the beast shrivel up and die." Rumpelstiltskin grumbled, but he did feel a bit more relaxed with Belle so close, even when she popped him for such a dark phrase. He needed her now, but he would need her forever after this. Today was the day he was swearing off magic completely, signing a contract that would eliminate his powers from his body and sealing them to a magic piece of paper that would be hidden until they were truly needed, which if he and the rest of Storybrooke were lucky, would be never.
Rumpel sighed and turned in Belle's embrace. "I'm terrified Belle."
The love of his life smiled gently and pressed her forehead against his. There had been so many obstacles in their way, so many forces trying to keep them apart, but somehow they made it. And in a few minutes, they could make it forever.
Greg Mendel, Tamara, and the whole "Home Office" nonsense had been eliminated, peacefully that was, Hook was strangely at bay, not surrendering or cooperating but not thrashing people with his hook or making threats against Rumpelstiltskin's family.
Storybrooke now had a chance to be a completely normal town, with the occasion of the monthly werewolf stalking through the woods. The beans had been destroyed and all other attempts to find another way home had proven to be too dangerous, a note made by Balefire who still had his arm in a sling from his adventure down a portal. They were going to have to make do with the quiet little town and its inhabitants; but they'd be together, one large dysfunction family.
"You're going to be fine. Magic will still be near, just not entirely at your disposal."
"And you won't exactly need it, will you Pop?"
Rumpel glanced back to see his son poking his head through the curtain. He smirked at them, the bandage hiding the gash on his head crinkling. "You two can make out later; let's get this show on the road!"
Rumpel took in a shaky breath and Belle grasped his hand. "I've got you." she whispered.
"You've got a bucket for me to up chuck in as well?"
Belle chuckled and lead him to the front of the shop where the contract was waiting. He looked around at the patrons. His son with his fiancée Emma and their son Henry, also no longer a threat thanks to a turnaround in the prophecy, the Charmings, arm in arm with supporting expressions, and Regina, who had signed a contract of her own just a week ago.
Belle paused for a moment and leaned into Regina. The two hadn't exactly forgiven each other for the past wrong doings, but Belle had gained a deep admiration for the woman who had saved their home and willingly gave up her powers soon afterwards for her family.
"Where's Hook?" she whispered.
Regina looked away. "He didn't want to come. 'Too tempting' he said."
Belle nodded. It was for the best. Hook was one of the reasons she and Rumpel were hesitant at completely giving up power. He had helped Regina save Storybrooke, but his reasons were that he wouldn't be sated unless he killed The Dark One with his bare hand… and hook. However that had been nearly two weeks ago and other than a rare walk through town with Regina, there hadn't been a peep from him.
"We ready?" David questioned a bright red quill in his hand.
Rumpel looked at Belle who nodded. He swallowed and took the quill from Charming. He glanced at Regina who had distanced herself a bit from the crowd, hugging herself. After she had rescued the town from the trigger, her powers had been so unstable that signing a contract to eliminate them was the only way to save her. Since then she had been a bit depressed and withdrawn, but had more than enough visits from Henry to ease most of her sadness.
Rumpel did not want to be like that, a shell of himself struggling to find a meaning outside of magic. He had Belle and Bae, but he had no way other than a gold-tipped cane to protect them. He couldn't convert back to what he was before the Dark One, a coward who couldn't protect his loved ones. God if Belle left him...
The whole idea was making him nauseous and he had to lean against the desk to steady himself. He felt Belle rub his back and could feel Bae just a foot behind him.
"Your powers won't be entirely gone." Belle reminded him just loudly enough for them to hear. "They'll just be out of your reach, kept somewhere where they can't be accessed unless their being used for a greater purpose."
He cupped her hand with his own. That greater purpose meant another attack on Storybrooke or a way to transport the town back to the wasteland they once called home if some kind of opportunity surfaced. That was it though. No self-healing or keeping a loved one from dying. He felt like he was imprisoned again, unable to decide for himself.
"And," Belle added, "you'll still have our magic."
Rumpel smirked, three tons of fear being lifted off his shoulders. True Love was the strongest magic in any world, and it would keep them safe and together.
Rumpel took a deep breath and dipped the quill in the sacred ink, steadying the quill over the paper. This was it. He was going to just an ordinary man again, the man Belle and his son wanted. It'd be hard, like giving up cigarettes, but he'd have support every step of the way. And no matter what, he would not screw up. His family was far too precious to leave a second time.
His family. Belle. Bae. Those other Guys.
He placed the quill aside. He turned slowly to Belle who was staring at him with wide confused eyes. Everyone else had taken a step back, Belle remained rooted however.
"Before I do this, before I give magic the boot forever, there's one last spell I need to cast."
Everyone in the room held their breathe.
"Papa." Bae warned.
Rumpel ignored him and held out his hand, green magic thriving through his fingertips. He glanced at Belle, and her sky blue eyes and reddening cheeks and knew right then that he would give his magic up for the sight of her every day.
The magic in his hand flashed white and lifted, a small ring with a white gem lying in its wake.
Belle looked at the ring, then to Rumpel, then at the ring again, tears slowly entering her eyes. "Rumpel..."
He bent down on one knee, taking her hand in his unoccupied one. "My darling Belle," he squeezed her hand as tears began to stream down her cheeks. "I know that we've been through Hell," Belle and the onlookers laughed; Hell was an understatement,
"and I know that I'm not worthy to even be in the same room as you, to have the honor of breathing the same air as you each and every day I'm blessed enough to be alive. Ohnh but Belle I love you so much, so much that I will never utter the word magic if it means spending the rest of my life with you."
He lifted the ring to her finger, sliding on perfectly. "Belle, will you be my happy ending, and make me the luckiest son of a bitch in the world by being my wife."
Belle laughed through her happy tears and hauled her to his feet, embracing him tightly. "I will." she whispered, lifting her head to press their foreheads together, cupping his face. "I will be your happy ending, if and only if, you agree to be mine."
Rumpel circled his arms around her waist, "How can I resist such a deal?" He pulled her close and kissed her, slow and sweet and leaving a heat to it that left them wanting so much more.
"Gross." Henry chuckled. Bae smothered his head into his chest and Emma ruffled his hair while everyone else chuckled at the princeling's comment.
He released her and turned to the table. Without a second's more hesitation, he signed his complicated name on the line. A wake of weakness entered him as the darkness surrounding his heart and soul began to melt. He chocked a bit from the sensation, Belle having to grab him as he sank to his knees. The warmth from her embrace gave him the strength to fight off the resisting darkness and win. Red and white flashed across his eyes and focused on Belle's crystal blues as the colors started to fade, leaving him breathless and throbbing.
He blinked and suddenly everyone was surrounding him, eyes wide and filled with so much concern, especially Belle's and Bae's. Regina's seemed a bit understanding, knowing exactly what he was going through.
"Gold," Charming barked. "Gold are you okay?"
He wanted to tell the high-horsed prince exactly how was feeling, but only one thing came to mind.
"Ripping darkness from your heart and soul? What a bitch."
Belle burst out laughing with relief and embraced him, assisting Bae and Charming with steadying him to his feet. They stepped back then, allowing the now ex-Dark One some breathing room. His head was spinning a bit and his bum leg was throbbing with a familiar pain that he could no longer dull out with sparks of magic. However, at the sight of Belle, smiling with pride and admiration, her new wedding ring gleaming as she placed a hand on his shoulder, he felt light as air.
He didn't need power now.
Every day from now on with Belle was magical enough.