Fic: Time Frames - Chapter 2
Summary: Rumpelstiltskin is bound to King Maurice’s service, and has known Belle her entire life. Things get more complicated when she reaches adolescence, and develops ‘feeling’s.
(otherwise known as awkward teen!Belle/Rumpelstiltskin)
This was supposed to be the end. It’s not: there’s a chapter three, and possibly a smutty epilogue (since this fic has managed to stay, just barely, ‘T’-rated). Anyway, enjoy!
Belle was sixteen when Rumpelstiltskin learned to fear her.
She’d held up her end of their deal: she’d begged and pleaded and worked her blue doe-eyed magic on her father, and Rumpelstiltskin was free to come and go as he pleased.
He was still summoned on a fairly regular basis, but at least he could be summoned from doing things other than a petty King’s will.
So then, on her sixteenth birthday, he waited for her outside her bedroom, for when she’d come up to change into a comfier dress than that silly pink and white pastry thing her maids had dolled her up in.
“I thought you weren’t going to show.” She said as she approached him, and he could almost see her fragile little heart pounding beneath her breast.
And he wasn’t ogling her, of course not: Belle was the bravest, silliest, sweetest child he’d known in centuries, and his friend for the past decade or more. Even if some bitch-goddess of adolescence had cursed her with a crush on him, that didn’t give an excuse.
She couldn’t be truly in love with him, no one could.
And he couldn’t love her at all, not as friend or younger sister or anything stronger, anything deeper or more grown-up than that. For that was the deal he’d struck, the law that he lived by.
And when, one morning in a year or two, she woke up in love with a handsome prince her own age, she would hate him for gawping at her innocent little maiden self.
“Where’s my end of the bargain, then?” she asked, and he could see the bravery in her, the boldness he’s always admired.
He smirked, leaned down, and kissed her forehead teasingly.
“That’s cheating.” She pouted, and oh, such pretty disappointment.
He hadn’t moved back, his lips still just a hairsbreadth from her pale and perfect skin, and he shifted down just a little, smiled as he whispered, “My deal, my rules,” against her lips.
This was the choice he offered: her way out. She could accept a kiss to the forehead as payment, and they could roll on as they always had.
But instead, of course, foolish girl that she was, she took the second option. She leaned forward just a little tiny bit, and pressed her soft, warm mouth against his.
Their kiss was the kind of slow, small, insignificantly precious little thing that such things always were. First kisses were rarely filled with passion or importance: this was soft and questioning, almost astonished.
When he pulled back, her eyes were still closed.
He could almost see the girlish dreaming behind her eyes, and held firm to the fact that she had kissed him, and not the other way around.
It didn’t change at all the fact that she was still the girl he’d carried on his shoulders when she was six years old, who’d brought him a goldfish in an old jam jar and sang silly little saucepan songs she’d learnt from an old fire demon of his acquaintance.
He was an old, lecherous monster, but still she kissed him first.
Her eyes fluttered open, and he covered whatever darkness he was feeling with a quick and almost mocking smirk. “There. All done.”
He was tempted to leave in a shower of gold and smoke, to remind her of who and what he is. But she was still Belle, whether she was six or sixteen or sixty, and she was owed better than that.
So he stuck around, and let her say something, “Yes, indeed.” She sounded like she wanted to make some other, less intelligible, little noise, but his Belle was always a stubbornly intelligent little thing, and she managed to make words instead.
“Yes. Yes, thank you.” She swept him a deep curtsey, the final fall back of a well-trained princess in a difficult situation. He followed her lead and bowed low, coming up with an almost malicious little grin.
But she knew that grin, of course she did, and her laugh contained no hint of fear. A little awkwardness, maybe, but perhaps that was to be expected.
“Well, then,” she smiled, unsure of what to do with herself, and gods be damned if it wasn’t a little bit adorable.
“Yes, um… happy birthday.” He was about to leave – the human way, by walking away and up the stairs to his tower – when her expression changed. He knew that face: it was her made-a-decision face. It was a dangerous face.
“Yes.” She murmured, absently, right as she leaned back forward and put her hands on his shoulders, sealing her lips back against his with far more fervour than before.
And how could he be expected to be chaste and sweet and gentlemanly a second time? He was, after all, a tried and condemned and confirmed monster, the Dark One incarnate, and no one in their right mind would leave such a creature around innocent young maidens.
Especially maidens like Belle, who seemed completely intent upon breaking every shred of decency and resolve he had left in his charred and tattered soul.
Her tongue swept along his lower lip, and he gave in with a low, inhuman growl as his hands gripped her hips, fingernails digging into her flesh as he slammed her back against the wall and plundered her mouth. He kissed her like he would eat her alive, with all the ferocity of forever, of the true and evil darkness in his heart and the raw power it contained.
And the girl just moaned, a deep and womanly sound that was so wrong coming from her little maiden self, and gave herself to him completely.
She trusted him, far more than she should.
Far more than was good for either of them.
And with this realisation, he pulled back and stared down at her, admiring his handiwork. Her lips were swollen and bruised, skin flushed and breathing laboured. But there was no shock or fear in her gaze up at him, just a wonder and affection and victory that stunned him to silence.
“What did I do to earn that?” she asked, and he wondered if maybe she was speaking as much to herself as to him.
He remained silent, staring like he’d never seen her before.
This was a new Belle, alive and well before his eyes, a girl a million miles removed from childhood, with heaving bosom and softly parted lips.
“Nothing.” He replied, and pulled away, let her drop back to her feet and straighten herself up, “I’m sorry, nothing at all.” He smiled a defensive, deflective smile, clapped his hands, spun on his heel and strode away.
Belle’s dreams were inappropriate for a sixteen-year-old maid.
But she couldn’t really be blamed, she reasoned, when they’re based on real experience. When she didn’t ask him to throw her against a wall and… well, Snow’s books would describe it as ‘ravishing’, but it felt more like being eaten alive and loving every moment of it.
Either way, she didn’t ask for these dreams, and so she tried not to feel any shame when she awoke one night, panting and flushed, having just relived the night of her birthday in startling and somewhat graphic detail.
Only without the awkward moment when he stopped, dropped her to the floor, and all but ran for the staircase.
In fact, Belle’s dreams continued to a rather logical – if somewhat scandalous – finale.
And that would have been enough for her, had they been based on some gormless and unattainable prince. Had she been dreaming about Gaston, and able to lock the sensation away in her head to be enjoyed on her wedding night, or about Snow’s Prince James, a boy who had never given her the time of day, then life would have been much simpler.
Trust her to be In Love – and now, to her complete surprise, In Lust – with the twisted and wicked sorcerer in the high tower.
Belle was always determined, and had never ever been afraid of Rumpelstiltskin.
He was the man who had taught her to read runes, and tell the time from the position of the sun, and who held her when she sobbed at her mama’s death. Who hid her away, like conspirators or fugitives, in his tower when the palace prepared for a funeral, and all her maids wanted to fit her for a new black wardrobe.
Who beat any other gentleman of her acquaintance when she turned twelve, and he presented her with a gold spun pendant and her own heart, all in one gesture.
She knew he wanted her, as much as she felt she had always wanted him.
How else could he kiss her so deeply, and make her tingle from the roots of her hair to the tips of her toes?
Who could deny these butterflies that filled her stomach, and sent her head reeling in a strange and warm little parody of madness?
She enjoyed herself, those next few months. She accosted him in hallways, when they found themselves alone, unable to keep her hands anywhere but all over him, in his hair and on his shoulders, holding him against her.
The first time was after he’d made a brilliant speech to the War Council about the importance of siege weaponry as opposed to sheer manpower and caught her staring, watching his lips form the words, and winked at her when no one was looking.
She’d followed him out, after his grand exit, and hauled him against the wall the way he had done her.
She’d felt the tension in his muscles, the apprehension racing through him even as he was kissing her back, even as his hands rested on her waist and lips worked against hers.
But he hadn’t pushed her away, not immediately, not until at least half a minute had passed and he’d had time to work out what was happening.
Then he’d gently moved away from her, and shaken his head, and said, “Oh, no dearie. We’re not starting that again.”
“Why not?” she tried to keep the insecurity out of her voice, the little girlish whine that begged why am I not good enough?
“Because your father is all of a hundred yards away, and I am not your fiancé.”
That wasn’t a ‘no’, and it wasn’t a denial of attraction or refusal of her advances. It was a reason for discretion, nothing more.
So she stopped attacking him where her father was nearby. But the castle was massive, and her father spent most of his hours in the war room, and so there were opportunities by the handful.
It always went the same way: she would find him, outside the library, walking in the herb gardens, reading in a small and secluded courtyard. They’d be alone – no sense in anyone seeing them and reporting it to her papa or Gaston – and she would fight to keep still, to stand in his presence and not reach out with grasping hands for the lapels of his dragonhide coat.
But Belle was sixteen, and In Love, and her resolve never lasted long.
She would find herself flush against him in some dark alcove, or against one of the castle’s stone walls, or lying on the grass in the hidden meadow of the gardens.
And they’d kiss and touch and close their eyes for a few glorious minutes that spanned years and eons, that fuelled every daydream playing looped behind her eyes.
And then he’d sigh, and come back to himself, and gently push her off of him – or himself away from her, in those rare and beautiful times when his resolve was frayed and he’d steal control from her, pin her beneath him and kiss her breathless – and go back to work as if nothing had happened.
She came to believe herself his guilty pleasure, the thing he wished he could live without.
Perhaps that was all he was to her, too: a distraction from the impending doom of marriage to Gaston.
But how could that be, when she’d been In Love with him since she was twelve years old, and he kissed her with such passion, such ferocity that she could melt into his arms and be happy in her liquid state?
And everything was fine and golden and shining, long looks and stolen glances, kisses in rose gardens and ravishments in hallways.
Until the day that his lips froze over hers, and he tore his mouth away, and shielded her with his body without a single word. The alcove opened onto the courtyard under her bedroom, and no one ever came here.
But then she heard her name called, in a voice clearly Gaston’s. Rumpelstiltskin stayed perfectly still, keeping her from view, until the calling had faded and they were truly alone once more.
“Wow,” she breathed into his neck, “Close one, huh?”
“Yes,” he murmured, hand stroking her hair, “A little too close, dearie, for my liking.”
He pulled away, looked down at her, and she swore that he looked more human every day.
But perhaps her mind was playing tricks, tempting her to see what she wanted to see: a human man, capable of marrying her one day and living his days in sunlight and goldspun mischief, without the knotted and gnarled darkness that Rumpelstiltskin carried in his skin.
“I think perhaps it’s time to stop.”
“Yeah,” she sighed, regretfully, “I’m late for dinner, anyway.”
“No, dearie,” he smiled, pulled back, eyes distant and closed-off, “I mean for good. You’re nearly seventeen, old enough to marry. And your virtue needs no more tarnish.”
“My virtue can go do something painful to itself!” she protested, “I’m old enough to decide for my own fate.”
“You’re young enough to believe that’s true.” If it weren’t for the startling clarity of her memories, his hands fisted in her hair, his mouth hot and wet and desperate against hers, she’d believe the condescending sweetness of his tone.
But he hadn’t seen her as a child in a long time, and this was not the moment when she’d believe anything different.
So she bridged the gap between them, and took his hand in hers, “I don’t care if you don’t care.”
“Dearie, you’re misunderstanding me.” He shook his head, “This isn’t love: this is chance, and it’s rather sweet but it doesn’t last.”
She felt she might start to cry, fat childish tears of rejection and teenage insecurity. Because she’d been In Love with him for nearly half a decade, and she knew that he had to feel the same, deep down, somewhere in that granite heart of his.
“Don’t talk down to me, Rumpelstiltskin,” she glared up at him, “You’ve never done that. Don’t start now.”
“I’m just telling truth, dear, it’s not my fault if you’re too immature to hear it.”
He was being cruel, distant, convincing her of his true monstrosity. Forcing her away, driving her into the arms of someone who wouldn’t say such things, who was too stupid to even form the words.
“You want me, Rumpelstiltskin, and I know that well enough to say it.”
“I’m a man, Princess, it’d be strange if I didn’t desire an attractive young woman.” He sneered at her, “It doesn’t mean that any of this means more than that.”
“Yes, yes it does.” she countered, “And one way or another, I’ll prove it.”
Belle was sixteen when Rumpelstiltskin watched her childhood fall away.
She stopped speaking to him altogether, ignored him like the Snow Queen on a bad day. Her response to any glance from him was utter indifference, an almost-regal flip of the head that told him clearly that she wasn’t deaf or blind, she was ignoring him.
It would have been petty and childish on someone else.
But Belle was too firmly bled under his skin, and so all this did was hurt like blazes, and make him glad that her father released him from his bondage to the palace.
He spent a lot of time in his old home, tidying up the place, making it liveable again. It was a project, a way of distracting himself from memories of her soft skin and sweet, wet, pliable lips. From her eyes, warm and dancing merry as she gazed at him, ready to pounce.
It was entirely impossible for him to love a single soul in this world.
He forfeited that right when he plunged an enchanted dagger into the Earth, and let go of the one precious and beautiful thing he’d ever known, the only thing that mattered.
And Belle was sixteen, and so touch was too early, indiscreet. She should have been sweetly kissing her knightly fiancé at a summer ball, not groping with a knotted, ugly and corrupted old monster in alcoves and stone corridors.
So he spent as much time as he could away from the Marchlands palace, away from Belle and her people.
But then, one evening in July, he arrived back at his castle chambers after a meeting with the War Council and found a surprise waiting for him.
Belle. In his bed. Covered in a sheet but clearly missing any and all of her clothing.
He’d be lying if he said he knew what to do with that.
“Belle!” he didn’t squawk in surprise, of course not, because he was a three hundred-year-old sorcerer and he didn’t squawk.
He shouted in a strangled, high-pitched tone. Totally different.
“You took your time,” she said; her smile was wide and entirely too inviting.
“I would have taken longer, dearie, if I’d known what kind of stunt you were pulling.”
“Oh, now don’t be like that…” she pouted, and seven fucking hells, she was beautiful. And he was a monster, and monsters took what they wanted without apology or mercy. No one expected any more of him than complete and utter evil, and surely the ruining of a fair and innocent maiden in his own bed would be right up that alley.
“You should go, now, dearie.” He turned his back – after having committed every curve of her body under the sheet to memory, no sense in wasting the sight, after all – and waited.
There was no movement from the bed. Of course not: that would require the foolish girl to have some kind of sense.
Perhaps she just knew them both better than he did; perhaps this was all that either of them was ever born for, and she was just following divine guidance.
It was logic like that that always got him into trouble.
“Go?” she laughed, and he tried not to turn around, “I’m not going anywhere.”
“Then I shall go and tell the guards that there is a lost and disobedient child trying to deprive me of sleep. I’m sure they’d be interested in that.”
“I’d just tell them you kidnapped me.” She said, idly, and there wass a snake in the pit of his stomach, coiling his nerves into knots and biting at sensitive places. Because of course anyone would believe that, the word of a distressed princess over the Realms’ greatest nightmare, however bound he was.
Even if she smiled and held her head high, and proclaimed to all the land that she wanted this as much as he did, perhaps even more, then the same conclusions would be drawn.
“Leave, dearie, before I do something I’ll regret.”
“Oh, now that sounds like a promise.” he wondered if not looking at her was in fact making the situation worse: she was all too brave, his foolish little Belle, and too ready to poke a dragon with a stick just to see what would happen.
Usually, at least, having to look him in the face stilled some of her wilder impulses.
Because she was a sixteen-year-old maiden, no matter how womanly her little laughs or perfectly curved her form, and she was still vulnerable to teenage embarrassment.
But still, for a moment, when he could hear rustling sheets behind him and her bare feet padding on the wooden floor, he thought he’d won.
But then there were lips at his ear, and hands on his shoulders, and she was breathing on his neck in warm little gasps.
“Come on, Rumpelstiltskin.” She breathed, “This is what we both want. So what’s the problem?”
He broke away, and sealed all the tenderness and warmth he felt for this darling, insane little creature in a cage in the back of his mind. He sneered at her, hands on her forearms, claws digging into soft skin “The problem,Belle, is that this isn’t what I want.”
“Oh.” The girl was suddenly just that: a girl, a lonely child rejected on the playground. She flickered and changed before his eyes, as she had done for the past year or so. From little child to winsome girl to wise and knowing woman, and back again.
The steel in her eyes, though, had never changed. “You’re lying.”
He broke his hands from her arms and folded them defensively across his chest, “You’re a silly little thing, aren’t you? Don’t you understand, dearie, that you could never truly care for me?”
“I’ve cared for you since I could walk.” She replied, and there was a lost and lonely core of him that wanted to believe her so badly it hurt.
“Then call yourself an ally and put your clothes back on.”
She looked as if he’d slapped her, and he wanted to wrap his arms around her and stroke her hair like lover, kiss every little hurt better. But he was a terrible man and a brilliant monster, and monsters don’t heal the wounds they themselves inflict.
“Okay.” he turned back around, and he heard her moving about, finally murmuring something when she was done.
It was almost worse, with her stood before him with her hair down around her shoulders, wrapped in a red and gold dressing gown, looking all small and lonely and ashamed of herself. Because all he wanted in this whole gods-be-damned universe was to make her smile again, bring that beautiful and confident woman back to life and strip the robe from her bit by bit.
But this was better: at least she was clothed.
And he could snap his fingers at any time, and transport her back to her room without a soul knowing she’d been gone.
Her virtue would remain intact, and they could carry on as they always had.
“I’m sorry.” She murmured, and he was broken.
There was nothing for her to say sorry for, and a million tiny apologies he owed her. He was supposedly the adult here, the one with the experience to know when to call time. Yet he didn’t say a word to discourage her in all those months when she was reaching for him in the gardens, and kissing him breathless in hallways.
This was the logical next step for her to take, and he’d given no signal that it would not be accepted with all the rest.
So he did something he knew that he’d regret, and leaned down to kiss her on the lips, all sweet and chaste, his hands cupping her face and never straying lower.
He moved away and replaced the cruelty he’d held before with gravity, with the tenderness he couldn’t help but feel for her. “It would have been a terrible idea, sweet, you know that.”
She nodded, tried to smile bravely, but it didn’t reach her eyes.
“You have to do as your told: what would Gaston say, if your wedding night was not as he expected?”
“I don’t want to do this with Gaston,” she protested, but her voice was quiet and weak, lacking in her usual fire.
“And I know of none who would,” he allowed, “But it doesn’t change a thing. This Court doesn’t look kindly on fallen women, Belle. How would they feel about the girl who gave herself to a monster?”
She looked like she might argue, but he could see the fear in her eyes, knew that he’d won.
“What if they didn’t know?” she asks, after a moment, “What if we didn’t tell them?”
“I don’t think either of us are cut out for orchestrating a clandestine affair, dearie.”
“Not all the time, not more than once. I just… I love you. Don’t make me marry him without showing you that.”
She was a liar: she had to be. Somewhere in her soul she had to be as sick as he, to be able to weave such pretty lies with such truthful eyes. Perhaps she truly believed it, truly thought that one such as her could love the Dark One. But self-delusion was no reason for him to believe her.
And so it was with as clear a conscience as he could manage that he said, “Tell you what, love. I’ll make you a deal.”
“Another one?” she looked far too excited, but considering what she’d received last time they’d made a deal, perhaps she had a good reason to be.
He was going to make this impossible, so she’d leave him alone forever. So she could go back to her silly little princess life and abandon whatever pretty fantasy she had in her head to the four winds.
“Your father has my dagger, and I need it back. Steal it back for me, and in return…” he took a deep breath, “In return, I will take you to bed when you turn eighteen.”
She frowned, understanding everything and nothing of what he’d just asked of her.
And he didn’t know if he wanted her to accept. Because if she did, then she would be willing to risk the lives of everyone she knew and cared about for the sake of one roll in the hay, and he wouldn’t know how to react to that.
Everyone knew what happened when people lost control of pet dragons.
Except that he couldn’t do a thing to hurt her, not properly, not really, but no one else knew that. Except for her. There was still that infernal trust in her eyes, and it begged him to not abuse her this way simply by misinterpreting him as a good person, under all the smoke and golden scales.
But that wouldn’t stop him from orchestrating nasty accidents for all those who had taunted him when he was first bound here, for the lords and ladies of this Realm who had treated him as some sort of a servant.
By agreeing to steal back his dagger, she would be dooming whole hoards of people to an unpleasant fate.
But she just chewed her lip for a moment, frowned, and then stuck out her hand. “Deal.”
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- ddagent said: GAH THIS WAS BRILLIANT AND I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT PART! :D
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- calonari said: Bitch please, this feelings…emotions..this calls for a beautiful and glorious smutty epilogue from the Smutt Queen ! YOU BBY
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