Fic: Harmless - Chapter 9
AU: Belle arrives, bruised and bleeding, on the doorstep of a lame spinner and his son. On the run from the war and its causes, her short stop-over becomes something else entirely.
Baelfire wakes early, to the sound of his papa hobbling around in the kitchen. It’s too early for spinning - they need the sun risen for the light to be good enough, and papa eats breakfast before he works, always - and yet Rumpelstiltskin is out of his bed and leaving their home.
Bae knows that something important happened yesterday, that Belle and his papa have not agreed on what to do about the knight. He glimpses Rumpelstiltskin’s face as he passes Bae’s cubby, and it is set with something Bae has only seen a few times before: his papa is determined, his jaw set against the fear that so often grips him. Whatever he is leaving so early to do, he is terrified.
Papa’s fear should not cause Bae to feel the same, but it does, every time. Papa is a coward, but he is also one of the few fathers in the village still able to look after his son. The few other men in the village of fighting age are sickly or lame, as Papa is. Papa is in the best shape of them all.