Inspired by a Franken Wolf drawing by ranseur on Tumblr! What can I say, anything can get twisted into RB.
Mr. Gold cursed as he walked out of his pawn shop, scowling at the waterfall of rain beating Storybrooke to Hell. He knew there was a chance of rain this morning but had little to no sense enough to bring an umbrella — and working in a pawn shop you'd think one would be lying around! But no. He had shrunken heads and thimbles from the 1800's and what not, but not a crummy umbrella to save his life!
The pawnbroker sighed and sat down on the steps, rubbing his already aching leg and then his temples. He hadn't brought his car today due to damn street cleaning and it was raining much too hard for him to make a run for home. He was stuck. Utterly stuck.
He closed his eyes, wondering just how long he would have to be here. All his pain medication (and liquor) were at home so camping out at the shop was just not an option today. Too bad really—that empty house got lonely as Hell sometimes.
Just when he was about to say to Hell with it and go back inside, a dark figure stepped in front of him.
The man in question looked up to see quite a lovely woman standing above him, polka dotted umbrella blocking tiny rain drop grenades.
"Hi." she said with a smile.
It took him a moment, but Gold put the face with a name. She was Belle French, Storybrooke's sole librarian. Miss Belle French if he recalled correctly.
"Are you all right?" she asked with non-phoney concern.
He blinked a few times and cleared his throat. "Just fine dearie, waiting for the rain to stop is all."
He expected her to laugh and stalk off, but instead Belle just nodded and looked back at the rain. "Is your car near by?"
Gold chuckled, something that he hadn't meant to do. "Unfortunately no."
The suspicious girl still didn't walk away. She chewed puzzlingly on her lip, tapping a rhythm on her umbrella.
"Something you needed, dearie?" he all but growled,hoping this would scare the foolish (but pretty) girl away.
She turned back to him with a wide bright smile on her face. "Don't you live in that pink house a couple blocks from here?"
"Salmon." he answered with a growl. He hoped his harsh tone would end their conversation and shoo her off, but Miss French was full of surprises. For one, she actually grabbed his arm and tried to shrug him to his feet while struggling not to drop her odd looking umbrella.
"Looks like you'll just have to walk with me."
He couldn't decide if she was crazy or stupid. No one spent more than five minutes with him if they could help it, and this woman wanted to risk social suicide by walking to his house with him? Stupid, crazy (pretty) girl.
"Really Dearie, I'm fine." he tried to relent, but the woman gave him a look that showed 'no' was not an option.
"The rain's not going to let up any time soon, and I'd hate for you catch your death all because of a bit of stubbornness."
He glared at her smug little grin and grabbed her arm, standing carefully with his cane and cursing when a jolt of pain shot through his bad leg. He looked up to see Belle still smiling as she nestled beside him and intertwined their arms, pulling him close to her under the confined space of her polka dotted umbrella. His nerves jolted from the unnecessary contact.
"You like my umbrella?" Belle inquired. "It was a gift from Dr. Archie Hopper. Not that I go to therapy!" she laughed nervously. "No, it was a birthday gift. I haven't used it until now."
Usually when people talked to him, Mr. Gold instantly blocked them out. But with Belle's lithely chatter, he wanted to stay tuned in. She had a lovely voice, almost like a music box.
She sighed happily and Gold almost blushed at the sound.
"I love this kind of weather!" she lilted. "It makes me want to curl up by a fire and get lost in a book with a cup of coco." she giggled, "Of course, I'd probably do that in any weather!" she laughed at her own joke and Gold felt the corner of his mouth turn upward.
"I'm afraid I have to disagree." he said before he could stop himself. "The rain and cold weather murders my leg..." He stopped right there, humiliated at revealing such information to a perfect (pretty) stranger. He wouldn't blame her if she threw him out from under her umbrella right then and there. But then again, this girl was full of surprises. She kept her arm linked with his and began to respond to his remark.
"I broke my arm when I was eleven," she stated, "sometimes the gloomy weather messes with it like it does your leg." she smiled at him and for a moment he thought they were kindred spirits. "I've found that a cup of herbal tea is the best medicine in the world for just about anything. You should give it a try."
"Sounds delicious right about now." he said, this time with no restraint. He would have liked to invite her to the dinner but it was best for them both if they weren't seen together. He wouldn't want Miss Belle's reputation to be tainted over an innocent cup of tea.
So instead they carried on in comfortable silence. Before long Mr. Gold realizied that they were less than a block from his house. He slowed his pace a bit and Belle slowed to match. He felt his heart lift at both there needs to extend their walk.
"Can I tell you something?" Belle asked suddenly.
Mr. Gold's jaw tightened some. This was the part where favours and pleas for extended time came up. It was a surprise from this girl, but he supposed it wasn't entirely unexpected.
"I went home earlier today and curled up with that book and cocoa I told you about." she laughed at that, but the layer of hurt was not transparent. "I'm used to doing things like that, I'm so used to my books..." she stopped and gold stopped with her. "Just my books."
This girl was certainly full of surprises. She seemed so social and bright he would have never thought she could possibly be lonely.
"So, right in the middle of some drug store-shelf romance novel, I picked up my umbrella and started out into the pouring rain. I don't know why, and I had no destination at all. I guess I was just hoping I'd meet someone out here," she shrugged, "someone who wouldn't mind squeezing under a stupid polka dotted umbrella with me in the middle of a storm." she turned to him and squeezed his arm just a little tighter. "I think fate was on my side today."
Mr. Gold wasn't sure what to say. Kindred spirits they defiantly were, and blessed he was. She wasn't wary of him. In fact she was thankful for him. For his presence, and for being there when she needed someone.
He cleared his throat and led her to slowly stride again. "If I can be so bold to say so, Miss French, I was going to go home to night, take as many pain pills as I could, and drown them down with enough vodka to drown myself." his arms slipped out of hers and he grasped her hand. "If you hadn't come strolling along, well, I might not have ever seen the end of this storm."
She squeezed his hand, her face so alive with hope that it shook him right to his core.
A gust of wind picked up suddenly and the umbrella was wrenched inside out before being blown out of Belle's hands.
"Oh God!" Belle shrieked as they were instantly pelted with sheets of rain. Mr. Gold grabbed her arm, sparing a second to grab the umbrella, and directed them to the nearest shelter, a tree that was only slightly less wet than the rest of the area.
"I am so sorry." Belle insisted as she squeezed the end of her jacket.
"That smirk says other wise." Mr. Gold stated, but he was smiling too. Soon they were both laughing, whole and unbroken tittling that created a melody to the rain that was perfect and amazing and made the two parties involved feel not so very alone for once.
When they stopped, neither one could take their eyes off each other. Neither wanted to. Mr. Gold held his breath when Belle began to inch closer, her eyes drifting from his eyes to his lips and any protest he had was smother by her mouth.
The kiss, if that's what this was, was slow and sweet, soft and wanting. He was thankful Belle seemed to know what she was doing because honestly he had no idea how to respond to such an action.
Slowly, and too soon for Gold's liking, she pulled back, opening her eyes. He had been too stunned to close his. She blushed and opened her mouth to say something but her eyes shifted behind him, her smile drifting just a bit.
Mr. Gold shot around to see the salmon house sitting just across from them, waiting to lock him up again.
"I...guess you're home." Belle said with no attempt to hide her grievance.
"It appears I am." Mr. Gold said lowly.
They stood there a moment longer, trying to decide what the Hell to do. Belle was the one who had to pull away for Gold and no heart to.
"I'll see you some other time, then." Belle said, opening her now ruined umbrella.
"I might have another." Mr. Gold said a bit desperately. "I can check in the house real quick."
"That's fine," Belle smiled, "The rain's let up anyway."
Mr. Gold looked up. Indeed it had. Now traces of the sun were trying to break through the yellowing clouds.
"You should get inside." Belle suggested. "And maybe try that cup of herbal tea I told you about." her lips etched with sadness. "It works better than pills."
He nodded, turning away. He should have pushed her away the second she offered him shelter under the polka dotted umbrella. Then neither of them would have to feel the pain of parting ways. He didn't know why he suddenly felt so strongly for her, or why she chose him of all people to be with that day.
She had put so much light in his life during that wet thirty minute walk than he'd had in years, and he did not want that light to go out just yet.
"Miss French?" he called after her.
She shot around, her features curious, drops slinging off her now crooked polka dotted umbrella.
He swallowed, knowing he was risking loosing her forever if he did or did not do this right.
"Perhaps..." he began carefully, swallowing hard, "Perhaps you'd like that cup of tea...here...now...with...me?"
He prepared for the rejection, for the hurtful laughs and scoffs, but as always, Miss Belle French was full of surprises.
"Could we have coco with that tea?"
He laughed, which to his ears almost sounded like a sob of relief. "I'm sure I can whip something up."
Her face was as bright as a Christmas tree as she scurried up to him, once again intertwining their arms as they walked up the stairs together.
Belle closed her umbrella and left it by the door as Mr. Gold let her in. The polka dots were surely an unusual site to be see outside the salmon coloured house.