Fic: Hidden in the Lake
Title: Hidden in the Lake (1/2)
Rating: NC-17 overall
Summary: Belle falls into the lake while gardening in Rumpelstiltskin’s estate. One daring rescue later, and smuttiness ensues.
Marchie prompted: Rumpelstiltskin and Belle play Marco Polo. Bonus points if it’s smutty.
Cy has also given me some rather evil prompts, which I am now working on: this fic may be seen as a form of roundabout revenge. Or just a shoutout, IDK.
She falls into the lake.
Of course she does: Belle has known all her life that she is doomed to clumsiness. One day, she thinks, she’ll trip over her own feet and fall under a troll bridge, never to be heard from again.
She curses like the soldiers in her father’s war room as she wades through the water her dress sodden and ruined. At least Rumplestiltskin keeps his lake clean and clear, so she’s not also muddy and smelly. That would just be the mouldy cherry on the stale, soggy cake.
Still, she’s annoyed at herself. Ladies are, after all, supposed to be graceful and elegant.
“Going for a swim, dearie?”
Rumplestilskin watches her from a rock, eyes bright and merry, smile wide. He’s got his arms crossed, but she knows that won’t last. The man can’t keep his hands still for two seconds without some outlandish gesture.
“I fell in.” she hopes, though she knows its futile, that he’ll leave it at that.
“I can see that,” he giggles.
“Can you turn around?” she says, when she reaches the shore, and sees he’s still watching her.
“My dress is all… clingy. Avert your eyes.”
“Hmmm, let me think…” he drums his fingers on his chin, and even in this he somehow adds a dramatic flourish, “No.”
She looks at him, and wonders if, at this point, she has anything left to lose. She’s soaked to the skin – she’d fallen from the rock shelf he now stood on into a deep part of the lake, so even her hair has pondweed in it – and Rumplestiltskin has seen her, and all concept of dignity or pride has been entirely lost.
So she reaches up, grabs his boots in both hands, and pulls him in with her.
She figures that her linen dress is bad enough, but he’s covered in leather. This is a suitable revenge for laughing at her misfortune.
He sputters, and gives her such a fierce glare with such manic eyes that, for a moment, she’s honestly scared. She just pulled the Dark One into his own lake, without warning, and dared to smile as she did it.
People have been smited for less, she supposes.
She starts to move away, and his glare vanishes, replaced by the smile she loves and fears the most: the wide, almost innocent, almost childlike smile that means shenanigans. She’s learned to dread that smile: she’s the caretaker, so she has to clean up the mess afterwards.
He splashes her.
And she has to laugh, too, because he looks like he’s all of five years old right now, and he’s adorable like this. So she splashes him back, aiming for the eyes.
He repels the water with magic, and sends it rushing back over her.
“Hey! That’s not fair!” she has water in her eyes, she can barely see, and his giggles seem to ring from everywhere at once.
And her hands are wet and somewhat dirty, so she doesn’t want them anywhere near her eyeballs right now. Belle staggers through the water, blind, trying to find something that resembles dry land.
“Rumplestiltskin!” she calls.
“Yes, dearie?” he’s behind her, and she whirls, hands out, trying to grab him. He dances away, and she can feel the water swirl and swish around her waist.
“Come back here!” she’s chasing after him, assuming that if she can grab onto him then he can haul them back to dry land. Or just transport them to a room in the castle with dry clothes and a multitude of towels. Whichever’s easier.
“Over here!” he calls, and she can tell the bastard’s throwing his voice.
Never play childish games with a sorcerer. He will win.
She’s wandered out to where it’s too deep for her to stand, following his jeering calls, and suddenly the rock shelf beneath her feet gives out. She’s kicking madly, and her skirt is dragging her down, and there’s water in her mouth.
She tries to call his name, but it comes out garbled, and she’s chocking on water she’s accidentally inhaled.
Something’s wrapped around her feet, something strong and scaly, cutting off the circulation to her foot. She screams, but she’s being dragged underwater and all she sees is a train of bubbles, her last breath, rising to the surface as she’s dragged deeper. She can feel the scales around her ankle digging into her flesh, hard enough to draw blood, the tentacle wrapped so hard that she can’t feel her toes. She kicks furiously, trying to break free, trying desperately to swim back to the surface, to light and oxygen.
She can feel her energy draining, see the darkness descending behind her eyelids, the last of her air running out.
Then there are arms around her waist, and she’s being hauled upwards, and her feet are scrabbling for purchase on the lake floor. They’re moving backwards, up the bank and onto dry land, and the tentacle finally lets go.
She collapses against Rumplestiltskin’s chest, breathing hard, trying to remember how to breathe and think at the same time. “Are you all right, dearie?” he asks, voice low and concerned, breath warm on her ear.
She shivers. She can’t help it.
“Yes, yes, sorry.” She says, as she reaches around and finds his sleeve, which is only mildly damp, and rubs the dirt and water from her eyes.
She looks up, blearily, and his face is incredibly close. Her heart is suddenly beating in double-time, and she’s breathing fast, every nerve in her body focused on where his hands are still splayed on her stomach. If she just shifted a little in his arms, her lips would be brushing his jaw.
He seems to have noticed this, too, because she can feel his own heart behind her shoulder blade, pounding fast.
She hopes she can blame it on almost drowning. He doesn’t have that excuse
“What was that?” she asks, trying to break the silence.
“The Kraken,” he murmurs into her ear, “I thought it long gone and dead, but apparently not.”
It’s like the moment when she fell from the curtains and into his arms. He’d looked at her like she was an alien creature, like he couldn’t work out what she was, or why she was smiling at him.
He keeps saving her; she wonders why he’d bother, if she’s just hired help.
“Well, thank you for saving me,” she’s still looking up into his face, expects him to let go, let her sit up and return to the castle so she can sort herself out, and find something else to entertain him, distract him from her.
“It’s… no matter.”
He still hasn’t let her go; she’s starting to think that maybe he enjoys having her in his arms like this.
Her dress is clinging to her, and she can see her own limbs outlined against the soaked fabric. She hopes he hasn’t noticed. “Why do you have a Kraken?” she asks, trying to make light of her latest near-death experience.
Housework is dangerous.
“I’d heard the beast was untameable, the destroyer of even the strongest of ships.” He hasn’t moved, but his eyes are fixed firmly on the sky, “I was young, and foolish, and decided to defeat it myself. Then hold it in the Lake, just to keep reminding it who had the power around here.”
“Maybe not such a great idea?”
“I don’t know: there are certain people who could benefit from a run-in with that beastie. The Queen of the Forestlands, for example.”
She laughs again, although she feels a little evil for doing so. He’s gorgeous when he’s wicked. She feels the rumble of his laughter against her whole body, and she shivers again. It’s mid-April, and not especially warm outside, and she’s soaked to the skin in lakewater, but suddenly she’s burning up.
She tries to move away, to get back inside and change, so they can move past this like every other time he’s looked at her like that.
Like he wants to eat her alive.
But he doesn’t let go, in fact he pulls harder, and she mentally shrugs her shoulders. If he wants her to stay here, curled against his chest, with his arms around her, then she certainly has no problem with that.
“Um, Rum?” she asks, after a few minutes, “Is everything alright?”
“Hmm?” he hums against her hair, and she’s suddenly afraid he might have fallen asleep.
“I’m never going to dry off if you don’t let me get up.”
“You nearly died, dearie, allow me a few moments to remember that you didn’t.”
It’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to her, and she feels her heart give a painful little squeeze, like it’s trying to burst from her chest and fall in his lap.
She leans up, on impulse, and presses her lips against his.
She’ll never forget how astonished he was, in the first moments of their first kiss. He lies there, astonished, completely still as she moves her lips on his, as if he can’t believe what was happening.
And yes, she’s read a hundred books about love, and romance, and kisses like fireworks, and everything they’re supposed to be.
But he tastes of rainwater and grass, like dew in the morning, and nothing explodes. Which, given her track record with accidents and breaking things, is always a point in the ‘plus’ column.
She moves away, looks down at him, and hopes she hasn’t broken some horrible rule with her impulsiveness. He’d just looked so beautiful, lying there in the grass, murmuring such sweet words.
“Wh-” he collects himself, “Whatever was that for?”
She’s beaming, she can’t help it, “For rescuing a damsel from a Kraken.”
“Can I do it again? I’m not sure if one kiss is reward enough…”
He doesn’t answer her, he just grins, and pulls her back down to him. His hands on her waist tighten and he’s rolling them over, so he’s looming over her and her head is laid back on the soft, warm grass. The sun has come out, bright and shining, and the whole garden is suddenly warmer, suddenly the middle of summer.
She wonders how much of this estate is truly under his control.
Then she stops thinking, as he slides his tongue into her mouth and massages hers with it, stopping all power to her brainstem. His hands move over the wet fabric of her dress, rubbing sensitive spots heightened by the friction, leaving trails of fire in their wake.
She whimpers into his mouth, and she swears she feels him grin. His sharp teeth scrape against her bottom lip, and she slides her fingers against his wet hair, holding him still.
She moves down, along his jaw, nuzzles there as she had imagined before. His skin is rough, almost scaly, but warm, and he smells of gold dust and magic.
“Do you want to dry off, Belle?” he murmurs into her ear, and she trembles.
“Yes, please.” She replies. She doesn’t think he means to let her go back to the castle and change.
She can feel his smile against her skin, “Well, then, we’d better get these wet clothes off, hadn’t we, dearie?”
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