I don't own Once Upon a Time… T-T

Belle watched her son run through the field, so happy in the sunshine. Baelfire had learned to walk not too long ago, another milestone in his life his father would never see. Her husband, the spinner, had been called to the front two years ago. Their son had been conceived on the fight before he was to report for training.

Six months ago, she'd held hope that he would return to her soon when word had reached their small village that the war was over. Five months ago, she had happily prepared herself for when she would once again enter her husband's arms as the first men began to return.

She'd given up all hope of ever seeing her love again when one of the men, the town blacksmith, had come to her and explained that Rumpelstiltskin's unit had been decimated within three months of being on the frontlines. She'd been a widow for well over a year, and hadn't even had time to grieve for her loss before men started showing up at her door to pay court.

One such suitor was named Rueben, and he was one who had sought her hand before her marriage. As the headman's son, he was used to getting everything he wanted and so had come with pretty words and already made plans. Within an hour of setting foot within her hut, he had already explained the way he saw their lives panning out. He even when as far as to ask if she had any far off relatives who would take in her son.

"Can't have you hooked onto a bastard child when you bring my sons into the world," he explained cheerfully.

"Sons?" she questioned, not yet able to understand what he was trying to imply.

"Well we must have children after we marry," he explained with a leer, "as if I will be able to keep my hands off you. You've already proven you can bare strong boy children, even if it was for a worthless cur such as Rumpelstiltskin the Coward."

She stiffened at the inclination.

"Sir, I must ask you to leave," she spoke with no emotion in her voice.

"What?" he questioned.

"Leave my home sir!" she commanded angrily. "You come to the place I shared with my husband, talking about something I swore to only have with him, when the wound of his passing is still fresh. You imply that I must marry you, when you haven't even inquired whether I want to, and send away the only link I have left to the man I was supposed to honor and obey until I die.

"You have insulted me sir in a most unforgivable way, and I wish you to leave my house and never return," she snarled, barely able to reign herself in.

"Belle, darling," he began, smiling as if he were trying to placate a child as he reached for her.

"You will not address me so familiarly sir," she snarled again, stepping back to avoid his touch.

"Very well Ma'am," Rueben sneered in return, suddenly angry.

The man fled then, and she was barely able to keep the tears in long enough for him to get out of sight. She had waited faithfully for her beloved Rumpel to come home to her, dreaming of the embraces they would share when he returned. He would never come back, just as he would never know she had borne him a son.

With tears still cascading from her cheeks, she began bustling around the cluttered room collecting things she would need for her and her son. There was no way she could stay in the home she had shared with the man she had believed to be her True Love.

She would go to Avonlea to seek out her mother's family and perhaps learn something about the man her mother had fled from.

"Bae, darling, wake up," she whispered to her slumbering son, wanting to look into her husband's eyes. Holding his sleeping form to her, she looked around their home once more.

"It's time for us to leave this place…" she whispered as the door closed behind her with a slam, closing shut on the best chapter of her life.

X-x-X

Rumpelstiltskin limped painfully towards the home he hadn't seen in many years, longing for what awaited him inside. The seer had told him that his actions on the battlefield would leave his son without a father.

He had hobbled himself and been imprisoned for his attempted desertion. Rather than hang him as he thought they would do, the other soldiers took his skills as a spinner and put them to use sewing up wounds in the sickbay tents. He hadn't been free to go when the other troops had been released, instead being forced to stay and help with the many wounded.

He was free to go home to his wife, whom he had burned for many a day, and to his son, who he couldn't wait to see. They would raise their son in a household full of love, perhaps giving him many siblings to play with.

"Belle," he called out happily as he stepped inside, breathing in the faint scent of his beloved.

It took a moment to register that the hearth was cold, and that his wife had yet to answer. The air was stale in the little hut, as if no one had been there in some time, and certain things were missing. Things he knew for a fact that Belle wouldn't leave without.

Belle was gone, and so was their son.

She hadn't waited for him, as she said she would.

The thought was enough to bring him to his knees as he began to cry. The thought of his beautiful Belle and their child were the only things that got him through hell. When he had finally escaped so that he could come home to them…

His family was gone and he was all alone in the world again.

That was all it took to send him swirling into darkness.

~ X - 10 Years Later - X ~

"My Lady, your father requires you in the throne room," the servant's voice interrupted her reading.

"Yes, thank you Mrs. Potts," Belle answered, frowning at the honorific. Even almost eight years later, it was hard to get used to her new station in life. She wasn't able to persuade the servants to call her by her given name, for in their eyes it was improper.

She quickly made her way toward the throne room/ war room of the castle, smoothing out the skirts of her golden colored dress. The gown had belonged to the previous Lady of the castle, but she had simply altered it rather than let them buy her a new wardrobe.

She was still a simple Spinner's wife at heart, even when it was discovered she was of noble birth.

Upon reaching Avonlea, it was discovered that she was the daughter of the local Duke and his mistress. His wife had made him swear not to remarry until he found a bride that looked exactly like her. He had promised his love this, but had been unable to retain from the pleasures of the flesh.

He had taken his wife's cousin to his bed forcefully, and the encounter had resulted in a pregnancy. When he found out, the Duke had decided to marry her. She looked enough like her cousin for him to keep his promise to his wife. But rather than suffer that fate, the girl had fled with her child. She ended up married to a lowly woodcutter to save her child the fate of being a bastard before she died in childbirth. Belle had loved her foster father, but could not deny her true parentage.

Lord Maurice, also known as the Merchant King, had swiftly brought her into the castle. He entrusted her to the care of many tutors, given the task of grooming her to be a good wife to his chosen heir of the Dukedom. When he found out about Bae, he had been sure the child was illegitimate and wanted to cast him out into the streets. It had taken her awhile to convince him the child was legitimate, as she had been married at fourteen.

Now His Grace wanted her to marry one of his knights and produce a child of royal blood instead of one that was tainted by that of a commoner.

He had chosen for her husband, a knight named Gaston. A man he already looked at as a child of his own blood and had been grooming as his heir when Belle came into his life with her son.

Maurice had been able to keep the secret of his dalliance with the girl's mother and only Mrs. Potts had truly had access to his wife on her sickbed. They told everyone she had been borne from her mother's cousin, and raised by her parents in their seaside home. When the old couple had died, she had come home to them with her "charge."

The whole of the staff believed the boy to be a bastard as well and so treated him as such when his mother wasn't around.

They lived in Avonlea unhindered and mostly carefree for years, before the ogres came. The very same creatures that had taken her husband from her had come to her new home, and they had gained strength.

The beasts easily swept through their defenses, causing the wedding of Belle and Gaston to be put off.

Before they knew it, the Fourth Ogre War had been going on for three years and they were right on their doorstep. In order for them to live, there was only one thing they could do.

They had to summon the imp.

When she entered the throne room she spotted him easily, as he was most out of place. The Dark One was of a short stature, a hood covering his features. He spoke with a nasally voice and flamboyant hand gestures, a maniacal giggle thrown in here and there for good measure. From what they could see of his skin, it was scaled with a golden sheened green flesh. His teeth were dirty and crooked, filed to points to match his claw like black fingernails.

"We sent you a promise of gold," her father snarled angrily, his heavy robes doing a bad job of hiding his shaking.

The beast smirked and shook his head, his gold hand entering the air.

"Well, you see, I uh… make gold," he informed them. "No, what I want is a bit more special. My price… is him."

The men followed his finger, which was pointed at Belle. Peeking out behind her layered skirt was a small brown headed child that had snuck in at the last minute.

"Done!" Gaston agreed quickly, grabbing Belle and dragging her away from her son.

"NO!" she screamed in anguish, doing her best to fight out of her future husband's grip. "Don't take him from me, please!"

"It's him or no deal," the Dark One insisted. "Just say the word, and your little keep and its people will be safe."

"What would you want a bastard?" Maurice demanded, going to help his future son-in-law restrain his daughter.

"I'm in need of a caretaker for my rather large estate," the imp answered with a giggle, motioning for the boy to come forward.

"There's no deal!" Belle screamed at him, trying once more to fight her way to her son.

"Very well," he agreed, turning and beginning to walk away.

"Hey wait!" Baelfire called out, rushing forward.

"Yes dearie?" the sorcerer snapped, stopping to look over his shoulder.

"If I agree to your deal, everyone will be safe from the ogres?" the eleven year old demanded.

"Aye, but keep in mind that it will be forever dearie!" the deal maker explained.

"I want you to add in another part of the bargain, and I'll agree to it," the boy haggled.

"Oh, and what's that?" the Dark One wondered.

"I want you to promise me that my mama will be safe."

The taller of the two considered him for a moment before nodding, "Aye dearie, she'll be safe to marry her Lover over there."

"She doesn't love him," the boy lashed out angrily, "she loved my papa. He was her true love. I agree to your price."

"Bae, no!" Belle screamed once more, finally breaking free of her captors. She hurried over to her son and knelt beside him, her hands on his shoulder to make him look at her.

"Darling, what are you doing?" she demanded, doing her best to hold back tears.

"I just want you to be safe mama," he whispered in return. "Aren't you always telling me, 'Do the brave thing and bravery will follow?' I just want to be brave like papa…"

"Take me in his place!" she pleaded, turning her gaze to the dealmaker. "Please, he's all I have left!"

"You would willingly give up your life of luxury and your handsome fiancé over there for the son of a coward?" he questioned, holding her gaze.

"I will do anything for my son," she answered in return. "and for his father. I was married to the love of my life when our son was born, and I would give anything to go back to that hovel with him."

The Dark One smirked evilly at her, showing off his fang like teeth.

"That's not what I heard dearie," he goaded her, "for I knew your husband ma'am. The Spinner from the Frontlands, if I am not mistaken."

She gasped, drawing her son closer to her.

"How do you know that," she demanded.

"He called me to him," he answered her, forgetting they had an audience. "After returning from the Ogre Wars, he expected to return home to his beloved wife. Wouldn't you be surprised to find that he came home to an abandoned hut and a story from one of his dear friends about her running off with a knight to live in luxury?

"Darkness consumed his soul, for he was alone in the world. No wife… no son… even though it was thoughts of his family that got him through hell! Darkness had found a new home in him, and he welcomed it gladly!"

The imp let out another giggle as he finally threw back his hood so that those gathered could finally see his face.

He was different now, with scaled skin, long curly hair, and those wide reptilian eyes, but his base features were the same.

"Go on," he ordered his wife, "tell them my name poppet!"

"Rumpelstiltskin," she whispered, almost in fear at what the man she loved had become.

"You're not taking our son from me!" she told him, pulling the boy against her. "He only goes if I come along!"

"Belle, no!" Maurice screamed rang out, but he was ignored.

"I forbid it!" Gaston joined in, his hand flying to his sword.

"No one decides my fate but me!" she answered them. "And my son goes nowhere unless I join him."

"Very well!" Rumpel said with a tittering laugh, clapping his hands as if he were a small child.

"You will never leave this keep monster!" Gaston hollered, charging toward him.

The sorcerer just smiled and waved his hand, causing him and his prisoners disappear in a cloud of violet smoke.

X-x-X

When the smoke cleared, Belle and Baelfire found themselves in a room covered in dusty shelves cluttered in various mismatched objects. A fireplace roared in one corner, and a simple spinning wheel with a basket of straw stood at the ready next to it.

"Well then, this is cozy!" a voice giggled behind them.

They turned to see the dealmaker lounging at a long table, a teacup in hand as he watched them. He then gestured to the china tea service waiting on the table.

"Please, help yourselves," he instructed, taking a sip from his own drink.

"Very well," Belle agreed, sitting to his left as she began to fix cups for herself and her son.

"I suppose you would like to know your tasks," he asked.

"Yes, we would," she agreed, handing Bae a cup and patting the seat beside her.

"My lady, you will serve me my meals and clean the Dark Castle," he began, pointing at her. "You will dust my collection and launder my clothing. Your son is free to help you with your tasks. However, his main duty will be to look after my horses, in the stables, as well as fetch me fresh straw when I am spinning at the wheel…"

Bae nodded, cautiously taking a sip of his tea as if to see if it was poisoned.

"Oh, and he will be responsible for skinning the children I hunt for their pelts!" the Spinner added as if it was an afterthought.

Belle dropped the cup she had been holding in shock, gasping at him. Baelfire spit the tea he had just drank out, gaping.

Rumpel let out another giggle and wagged his finger at them. "Don't worry dearie, that one was a quip, not serious!" he assured the boy, who startled him when he let out a soft giggle in return.

"Right," his mother breathed, looking relieved. She bent down and picked up her dropped cup, turning toward him uneasily.

"I'm sorry, it's chipped," she told him, holding it up for inspection. "You can hardly see it, but…"

"It's just a cup!" Rumpel said in confusion. "It's easily replaced."

"Yes, well…" she answered, setting it back on the table.

"It's all a joke really," he added, taking another sip of tea. "I don't expect my wife and child to work in their own home when magic is perfectly able to do the job for them. You may go and do as you wish here."

"The kitchens are through there," the man instructed, pointing towards a purple colored curtain that most likely concealed a door. "There is also a door out into the courtyard to your left. You can easily find your way to the stables from there. Both of you will find rooms prepared for you on the second floor, but be warned. If a door does not open for you, don't try and force your way into it. Do not try and leave the grounds or there will be consequences. The North Tower is off limits to both of you.

"Boy, go and see to the horses please. Your mother and I must speak privately for a moment."

Bae looked to his mother, who silently nodded. The boy padded toward the door, heading through it only after he cast a last look back at them.

When the door closed behind him, Rumpelstiltskin turned to look at his wife.

"Now that our son is out of the way, we will talk you and I," he snarled as he rounded on her. "It is clear that there is something you want to say."

He smiled at her outrage, placing his cup back on the table as he stood to make his way over to his spinning wheel.

"How could you say something like that to a child? Rumpel, what's happen to you? What's become of the man I love?" she demanded, whispering as she reached out to take his hand.

He slapped her hand away, causing tears to form in her eyes.

The Spinner had stiffened when she began talking, but let out a bark of laughter at her words.

"I think I'll take you tonight dearie," he said suddenly, rubbing his chin in thought as he changed the subject. "It's been far too long since I've had my wife's body."

"Rumpel," she whispered again, unsure of what to do now. It was obvious by his body language that he no longer wished to discuss their son.

She was ashamed at herself, for his words had sent tingles down her and straight between her thighs. The thought that her husband might soon rest there again filled her with longing, for she had missed that particular aspect of their marriage.

"I've lived ten years without the comfort of another body to warm my bed. You will join me no less than three times a week. I am not a cruel man, so it will be on nights of your choosing of course. If you fail in this duty, your son could meet with some sort of accident," he said, his eyes lingering on her figure.

She gaped at him, not having expected that task to be on her list of duties.

"Will we share a bedroom, as a husband and wife ought to?" she enquired curiously, praying that the answer was yes.

"No, I believe that just three nights a week shall suffice," he answered her, feeding straw into his wheel. "You are to return to your chamber whenever I am finished with you after each meeting."

"So I am to take the path of Mistress to my own husband, is that correct?" she demanded angrily.

"If you wish to put a title on it, then yes that is what you are my Lady," he answered, glancing up at her. "Now off you go dearie, and tell the kitchen what you would like it to prepare for dinner. Be sure and come to my chambers once our boy is abed."

X-x-X

Bae couldn't quit talking about the horses or his new father that night. She had told him many tales over the years about the man, and the boy saw him as a hero. He was too excited about the fact that he finally got to meet the legend to sleep.

It took a while to extract herself from his new bedroom. She didn't have any time to prepare herself for what was coming. Belle hesitantly knocked on his door, silently berating herself for being excited at the coming trial. Many a night she had touched her own flesh in the dead of night, doing her best to imagine it was Rumpel's hesitant touches. She had cried his name out proudly, her release always brought on by the thought of him doing unspeakable things to her body.

"Come in!" his voice came from within, giving her permission to step inside.

He stood before the fireplace, the roaring fire within the only source of light in the room. His back was to her, but she could see that he was already nude. She felt herself become wet and longed for him to turn around so that she could see him.

"Undress yourself and lay down on the bed, back up," he instructed, turning to face her at last. She caught a glance of his cock, still soft and useless between his legs.

She quickly did as she was told, but she got stuck when she was down to her corset.

"I'm sorry sir, but I need help. My maid always removes these for me…" she called over her shoulder, turning to watch him as he came towards her. He gently began attempting to undo her lacings. He stepped back when he was finished, and took himself in hand as he watched her remove the last of her undergarments.

She moved to lay on the vast pile of soft furs and tanned animal hides that seemed to pass as his bed, laying on her stomach as she was instructed. She glanced over her shoulder again as he moved towards her prostrate form. The fireplace, the only source of light in the room, was behind him and cast his face in shadows. She couldn't see his expression as he stroked himself as he came ever nearer to her.

"Get on your hands and knees dearie, and put your ass towards me. This will be over before you know it," he instructed, positioning himself on his own knees behind her.

"Rumpel, what are you-" she began, stopping to let out a loud moan as she felt him guide himself into her slick folds.

"That's right love, take all of me," he whispered into her ear, reaching around her to cup her breasts. "It's going to be a long night!"