One year later…
The fourteen year old boy grinned down at the cooing bundle in his arms and couldn't help the wide grin that split his face in two. He felt so blessed to be big brother to the sweet child in his arms. Jenna Annette she'd been christened, daughter of the Dark One and Princess Belle. She'd been blessed with her father's eyes, a deep whiskey brown with flecks of gold and his deep dimples and her mother's chestnut curls and sweet disposition. He wondered idly if she would inherit their papa's magic. He strolled through the vast corridors of the Dark Castle with four month old Jenna in his arms, finally having pried her away from his papa. Rumpelstiltskin was still an overprotective ogre when it came to his children.
He could still remember the surprise he'd felt when he'd discovered his father in Neverland, a mysterious brunette tucked protectively to his side. They had cried, all three of them, joyous tears at being reunited. He'd despaired of ever seeing his father again and listened attentively to his papa's apologies for letting him go. Rumpelstiltskin had begged for forgiveness, trying to convince his son that he was a changed man, that he no longer had to cling to his darkness. Belle was his light that kept him grounded and unafraid to face the future. He'd begged him to come home with them so they could be a family, promising he wouldn't use his magic unless it was for good. A promise that he'd kept.
Bae had never wanted to leave Neverland more than he had at that moment. That moment when he could see the sincerity in his father's gaze, the blatant hopefulness that sparked from his very soul. He'd been more than a little surprised to come home to find that he'd be living in a castle instead of the home he'd left so long ago in their poor village. It had taken a while to accept the fact that he now had a stepmother, but Belle was too kind and loving not to fall completely in love with her. He'd been delighted to find out that he'd soon have a brother or sister. Well…he'd been delighted to hear the news after he'd picked his father up off the floor when he'd heard the news. He hadn't known he could father children under the Dark Curse.
Hugh Beaumont took an instant liking to Baelfire and regaled him of how the Dark One had succumbed to the charm of a princess and the trials they'd faced to be together. Bae loved Belle even more after he'd heard that story. He'd giggled when his papa had sputtered and tried to cover the deep blush beneath his golden skin. He had his father back instead of the dark imp that he'd become, only obsessed with power. Bae felt as though they all had a chance at happiness.
Bae missed Clara, however. Rumpelstiltskin had been right when he'd said Hugh wouldn't waste much time claiming her as his own. They'd married in a quiet ceremony with only Bae, Belle and Rumpelstiltskin as witnesses. Not two months after they'd wed, a letter had been delivered announcing that they were expecting. From what he'd learned about his step-grandfather, he deserved to find some happiness. And Avonlea would have a new heir, leaving Belle free to her own life and responsibilities. At least, Bae hoped they would be happy. He hadn't much cared for court life when he'd visited Avonlea. He was apparently too much like his father.
He peeked around the doors that led into the Great Hall to spy on his papa and Belle. Rumpelstiltskin always looked upon his wife with such love shining on his face, he almost looked human, his strange amber eyes so warm as they rested on her. Jenna cooed sweetly at her big brother and grabbed the end of his nose, earning the same look of adoration their papa wore.
Rumpelstiltskin sat at his spinning wheel and pulled his Belle down onto his lap, his fingertips tracing the curve of her jaw as he leaned in to kiss her. He pulled away and rested his brow to hers, cutting his eyes at the doorway. "Our children are spying on us, pet," he said softly as she tugged gently on the ends of his hair.
"I know, love. Aren't they adorable?" she said, her warm laugh brushing over him like a physical caress.
He stiffened in her embrace, causing her smile to slip. "Belle, what would have happened if you hadn't been abducted by Edward? What if…"
Belle placed a finger to his lips to stop his worries from spilling forth. "Hush, my darling husband. Edward did us both a favor. If he hadn't abducted me, you would still be locked away in the dungeon and I would probably be trapped in a miserable loveless marriage. You saved us both that day, Rumpel."
"I saved you so you could in turn save me. And to think how furious I was with you when you took me as your slave."
She giggled. "You really were furious when I ordered you to take a bath. Especially when I washed your hair," she said with another giggle, her laughter infectious.
He quirked a brow and admitted, "I didn't properly appreciate you at first." His lips found the sensitive spot below her ear and her giggles turned into a rather contented sigh of pleasure.
"I'm just happy you stopped shutting me out and finally let me into your heart," she said, her voice barely a whisper as she kissed him tenderly. "I love you so very much, Rumpelstiltskin."
He kissed her back for all that he was worth, so thankful that she'd been thrust into his life. She was so warm and loving and filled his soul with light. He heard Bae snigger from the doorway and grinned. "Come on in, Bae," he called, causing his son to blush for being caught eavesdropping.
Belle took their daughter up in her arms and ruffled Bae's hair. "I think we should do something fun today," she announced, taking her husband's hand in hers and leading him away from the spinning wheel. Her heart was bursting with happiness. They had love, a wonderful happy family and a future that was bright and limitless. Who could possibly ask for more? But then, Rumpelstiltskin had always been more than her servant.
A/N: So sorry for the shortness of the chapter, but that is it, dearies! I so hope everyone enjoyed reading this fic as much as I enjoyed writing it. You've all made it such a wonderful journey! Hugs and lots of love