Fic: Siren Song
Paranormal investigator AU Rumbelle. Think X-Files.
When she had accepted the position as assistant to her old mythology professor, Belle French had expected a few years spent cataloging ancient texts and perhaps - of she was very lucky - helping on one of his famous field trips to some far off clime.
Fic: Older and Far Away
Anonymous asked you:
Age reversal. She’s older than him. Rumbelle.
Belle, somehow, had avoided the Curse.
She doesn’t know how, and assumes it was the Queen’s wards around her prison cell that kept all of the magic, even the darkest and most powerful of all from touching her.
She lived twenty-eight years, in this land without magic. She lived in homeless shelters, sat in churches all day and prayed, was almost sectioned twice. She drank until she needed her stomach pumped, and spoke to a hundred people whose names she’ll never know.
Anonymous asked: Belle is a diner waitress. The diner is near the edge of nowhere, definitely out of his way. He goes anywhere.
She pulled the graveyard shift this month. And last month. And the month before that. In fact, because she’s broke and needs the extra cash, she works 9pm-4am every weekday.
She’s tired, dead on her feet, by 2am. But the place is quiet, save for the occisional drunken teenager and her sober friend, or truckers stopping by for coffee. She half-dozes behind the counter, a favourite book hidden beneath her hands.
At 2:30am, always, a man enters. He’s slight, lean, his dark suit and cane entirely at odds with the peeling linoleum and dingy lighting. But he’s always there, every morning at 2:30.
He drinks tea, not coffee, orders a toasted cheese and ham sandwich and only eats half.
She has his order ready when he arrives, and he eats without saying a word to anyone. His eyes always rest on her, she can feel them when she isn’t looking, even though every glance in his direction tells her his attentions are focused on his newspaper or his food.
Finally, three weeks after his first visit, she asks him why he comes every day. He looks up at her, handing him his food, and smiles, “I like driving at night, and this diner is on my route.”
“It… it helps me to forget. Although it must be working, because I can’t for the life of me remember what.” he smiles at her again, and he has such a nice smile, such a gleaming look in his eyes, that she lets out a little giggle. The noise is loud and strange in the dim silence of the cafe.
“Come join me, if you want, dearie,” he gestures to the seat opposite him, and she slides into the booth gratefully, her feet protesting after five hours on her feet.
“What is your name, then, dear?” he asks, taking a sip of his tea and watching her closely. She is too tired - always too tired, to bloody fucking damn tired - to blush and play coy. And she knows better than to give her name to strangers.
“Well, I’m usually, ‘hey you with the coffee’, sometimes ‘sugar’ if a guy’s feeling lonely. ‘Crazy bitch’ if he persists and doesn’t get the message.”
“But your name, dear?”
“I just gave you three!” she laughs again, some of the exhaustion fading at the joy of just having a conversation with someone other than her father or landlord. “Alright, what about yours?”
He blinks in surprise, “I’m the landlord of this place, dear, I thought you knew.”
“…You’re Mr Gold?” she blinks in surprise, but recovers fast: Granny hires and fires, not him, and she’s done nothing wrong.
He looks as if he’d like to bow, low and dramatic, but instead he just inclines his head, “Indeed. And now, dearie, I’d like to know who you are.”
“Give me the other half of your sandwich.” she says, and he blinks at her before wordlessly scooting the food across to her.
“And you’ll tell me in exchange?” he asks, and she laughs: for a man apparently so adept with deals and contracts he was very easy to dupe.
“Oh, no,” she laughs around her food, “When I tell you my name, Mr Gold, it’ll be for more than half a sandwich.”
He stares at her, and then, a moment later, he chuckles, a low and rich sound. She giggles without meaning to, and they are laughing together, the night silent outside and the diner suddenly a little less dingy, a little brighter and warmer.
Anonymous asked: Belle takes up art.
Belle never used to draw before, not to Rumpelstiltskin’s recollection. It is a talent that Storybrooke appears to have awoken in her, and now all she seems to do is read or sketch.
She draws him asleep in their bed, naked but for the sheet drawn over his hips, hair spread out on the pillow and face restive even in repose.
She draws Mayor Mills as a Queen, and pretends that it is fiction; she draws Emma Swan in a suit of armor and Mary Margaret Blanchard as a princess in flowing white silk. She draws her memories, the dreams that never leave her, and revives the old world between her pencil and smooth cream paper.
She does not stop when the curse is broken. She does not stop when Regina falls, and Bae is found and lost and found again. She draws as if she cannot stop, and he is entranced by every picture that flows from her skillful fingers, as she captures the world and makes it sit still.
She reaches thirty-five, and he his late fifties, and she starts drawing something else. Suddenly, the people of the old world, the kings and dragons and heroines, fade and crumble around images of the children she cannot bear, the faces of the babies they will never hold.
She draws a little girl, with her eyes and his nose, her smile and his hair. She draws her holding a red balloon - the only colour in the image - and waving to them. Their daughter smiles, but her smile is somehow sad. She is trapped in the paper, and suddenly Belle’s gift seems more like a curse.
Belle doesn’t draw again.
belle-cat asked: Rumbelle. "Robin Hood" :-)
Rumpelstiltskin had always feared that this day would come.
He had, against his better judgement, granted his young housekeeper’s wish and allowed her to accompany him on deals. She wouldn’t break her promise to him: not after he had shown her an illusion of what would happen to her kingdom, her precious family and friends, if she did.
So she’d bounced beside him through the forest, and at some point her arm became wrapped in his. He found he rather liked the feeling of her warmth, bleeding through his thick jacket, and the smell of the lemon rinse she used on her hair.
Then she had gone and got herself kidnapped, and he was left bargaining with Robin Hood for her immediate release.
“We wish to free the maiden from the beast!” the urchin cried for perhaps the third time, and Rumpelstiltskin rolled his eyes.
“Yes, I see that, but she doesn’t need freeing. We have a contract of employment.”
“I care nothing for your words, trickster!” Hood declared, “Simply leave my woods before something happens to you!”
“Give me my maid or become a snail, boy.” he offered, quite pleasantly, “It is quite up to you.”
The boy turned white, and Belle was released. She seemed rather relieved to be back with him, but Rumpelstiltskin never had the nerve to ask if she would rather have been a member of Hood’s band than trapped as his housekeeper.
iambicdearie asked: Also Rumbelle, Belle happens upon his old staff in the Dark Castle and asks about it.
There’s a room in the castle which she knows she’s not supposed to enter.
And she didn’t, not for months; she passed the strange door by on her way to cleaning the library or the high towers, and only a small prickle of curiosity ever so much as gave her pause.
But then, three months into her servitude, Rumpelstiltskin has gotten on her last nerve - she likes her employer, against her better judgement, but the bastard can be moody and downright impossible when the temper catches him - and stormed out into the night, and she decides to hell with what he wants, it’s time to take a look.
So she creaks the door open, and has no idea of what to expect on the other side. She has heard tell of a Lord who married a hundred maidens one after another, and kept the corpses of his new bride’s predecessors in a chamber in his home. She has wondered if, perhaps, he simply wishes her to stay away from his most delicate clothing - he must own more than leather trousers and silk shirts.
Whether she expects a bloody chamber or a hidden closet, Belle is entirely taken aback by what she does find.
It is a room covered in dust, centimeters thick in places, but aside from that innocuous and ordinary. A bed big enough for two, if only just, with blue sheets with stars embroidered in gold.
There is a toy chest, she finds, down in one corner. It contains the oddest mixture of intricate, expensive (untouched, unloved, unsolved) puzzles and simple (battered, close to broken, ancient) playthings: a leather football, a stuffed toy bear missing an eye.
Another drawer contains clothing, everything from a baby’s smock to the tunic and trousers of a young man. Nothing large enough for a man even of Rumpelstiltskin’s slight frame.
This is a room for a young boy, a child who will never return to claim it.
The whole room is a memorial to something, a hope long since vanished. Is this the room Rumpelstiltskin lived in, when he was small? Is it a testament to a happy, innocent era in his life, when he had parents and servants and a happy, thriving palace instead of a dark castle?
She wonders at that, thinks of the depths of sadness, the hopelessness in his eyes. No, this being his room would imply a loss one could eventually learn to live with, with the assurance that what was lost could never be found.
Rumpelstiltskin has the air of someone waiting for something, someone with a purpose, and - in his darkest hours - someone frustrated with his own inability to complete it.
And the clothing in this room, the knotted staff in the corner and the well-loved, battered toys in the chest, are not the trappings of a young prince.
When he comes home, and she greets him at the door, she resolves to ask about the clothing and the toys. But first she must know something else, “Rumpelstiltskin?”
“This was lying around,” she presents him with the staff, and watches his eyes widen and narrow, “Does it need returning to someone?”
“No, dearie,” he shakes his head - and he must be stricken, to use the endearment twice in as many sentences - “No, that belongs here with the rest of my things. Relics of the past must be treasured.”
She has to wonder what he might have said, what pain might have clouded his strange and opaque eyes, had she held the leather football instead.
Rumbelle cane smut. For reasons.
He’s on his honour not to move.
Belle understands that Rumpelstiltskin does not want to be tied down. Much as he seems happy to do the same to her, he himself becomes jittery, unhappy and unable to relax with his ability to run taken from him. They’re working on the trust aspect of it, but Belle would never ask her husband to do anything that would frighten him so.
valoscope asked: Belle is afraid Bae will not approve of her.
Belle has been ‘busy’ for days now, and Gold is getting anxious; it was all well and good when she claimed she wanted to give him and Bae time to reconnect, time alone, that was wonderful, even, but now…
Now his fifteen-year-old estranged son is wanting to meet the woman who saved his papa from his Curse, and Belle refuses to meet the boy.
“Now, love, there’s nothing to be frightened of,” Gold tries to soothe her down the phone, “He can stand to be around me after all these years, how could he possibly disapprove of you?”
“It’s just… awkward, you know?” comes the halting reply, “I mean, he’s… what if he doesn’t like me?”
He has to laugh, “Dearie, the boy claims he still likes me. And you’ve never done half of the awful things I did when Bae was around before.”
“But… I’mhisdad’sgirlfriend.” she says in a rush, and he has to chuckle.
“If you’re worried he’ll think you have poor taste, then I- hold on.” Bae is tapping on his shoulder, and wordlessly holds out his hand. Rum mouths ‘Belle’, and Bae nods. His hand stays still.
He takes the phone, “Hi, Belle, isn’t it? Get over here so I can meet you properly, or we’re bringing the party to you.” he hangs up, and grins as Rum stares at him in shock.
“Been in this world a year now, papa,” he explains, “Attitudes change.”
Anonymous asked: Rumbelle, time travel surprises.
Rumpelstiltskin had expected to find his boy either the way he left him, or as an adult with a life and family of his own.
He had not expected the baby in Belle’s arms, his Bae, his son, all soft and warm and whole, unscarred and unknowing of wars or Ogres or… well, anything beyond the arms of the smiling woman cradling him.
“The paternity test is positive, Rum,” she reminds him, gently, “Yours but not mine: this is Baelfire.”
iambicdearie asked: He sees Bae too. (Meaning that not only has he hallucinated Belle, but also Bae.)
Cameron Gold has no idea who the boy is, but every night he sits on the end of the bed and stares at him.
All night long, every night of the week, with those wide dark eyes that seem to beg an answer, to a question Rum’s not sure was ever even asked.
He comes in the hours between waking and sleeping, in the time when the sun is just rising and the world is still asleep, but only for a while longer. He vanishes when the girl walks in; the pretty girl, the one with the blue eyes and the forgiving smile.
In his dreams, he has a son and then a wife. And never the twain shall meet.
But when he wakes, Cameron puts on his suit and becomes Mr Gold again, a childless, friendless bachelor. He never tells anyone about the boy he longs to hold but can never reach, or the woman he kisses but never well enough to break the spell.
Anonymous asked: Rumbelle + MadSwan. Belle and Emma discuss whose husband is more insane. The dealing magpie or the drugging hatter.
“Rumpelstiltskin wore a stupid amount of leather for a man over two hundred years old,” Belle notes, out of nowhere, her voice just a little slurred from her drink.
“Yeah,” Emma points to her, not entirely sober herself, “But you enjoyed it. You admitted it yourself: it was the leather that got you interested.”
“Was still ridiculous.” Belle grumbles.
“Not as bad as Jeff’s hats.” Emma complains, “What the fuck is with all the hats, anyway? Top hat whenever he’s feeling a bit off, and I have to pick up the mess.”
“Top hats are cute,” Belle giggles, “Least yours doesn’t fondle his cane in public. Bastard knows what it does and he does it anyway.”
“Why the cane?” Emma frowns, and Belle raises her eyebrows. The penny drops, “Oooh. He ah… you get on that?” She bursts into bawdy laughter, and Belle is caught between being offended and joining in.
She settles for going bright red, “Was his idea.”
“Suuure it was.” Emma nods, “An’ tha’s nothing compared to Jeff and his scissors. Came up behind me las’ night and cut my top off! I liked that top!”
Belle laughs, “Sounds like fun.”
“…Shuttup.” Emma grumbles, “He said that since we had the place t’ourselves we shouldn’t waste time. Scissors are faster.”
“Rum’s worse: woke up a few mornings back with his bloody ties wrapped ‘round my wrists. Tied to the fucking headboard and he’s bloody smirking at me.”
“Least if he’s happy he isn’t moaning. All Jeff does when he’s not manic or horny is mope about Grace. Kid forgave him years back, she’s a good girl, doesn’ hold a grudge. Jeff’d buy her half of Maine if it’d make him feel better.”
“You think Rum doesn’ mope?” Belle snorted half her drink out of her nose, “All the fucking time. Bae is like, what, an hour away by bus? Comes up every other weekend, happy as a clam, they get on great. But he still gets this look on his face sometimes and just stares at that football. And the cup. Oh, Jesus Christ don’t get me started on that fucking cup.”
“You wan’ another?” Emma lifts the bottle, and pours herself another drink.
“Yeah!” Belle raises her glass and more whiskey meets it.
“Least yours never held you at gunpoint.” Emma mutters into her drink, and sees Belle snort in amusement.
“Bitch, please, Rum threw me in a dungeon - twice! - screamed in my face for fucking kissing him, and threw me out on the street.”
“Jeff had to be drop-kicked by my mom out of a window.”
“Rumpelstiltskin stole a baby.”
Anonymous asked: Mad Swan + Rumbelle. They stole Henry and Grace's PS3.
There are five of them, altogether, hidden in the den while their babies make do upstairs.
Henry and Grace are used to their parents being, sometimes - especially when their dad gets his way - more childish than they could ever be. Rose, although a fair bit younger, is learning similar lessons, although Rum is better at hiding his immaturity than Jefferson, and Belle has a better lock on him than Emma does on her husband.
It is Emily and Liam, however, who would be the most surprised to find their mother huddled in the den - their father is out of town, and for his part he would be equally shocked at Abagail’s behavior - with four other grown-ups, teaching the art of Call of Duty multiplayer.
She and Rum are the teachers here. Belle has the most trouble - all technology in this world evades her, although the strategy is a variant of the battlecraft she learned from childhood - Jefferson enjoys exploding things, and Emma… Emma is the secret weapon on whatever team she finds herself on.
Abagail and Belle soon side against Jefferson and Rum, but Emma - and Rum could have predicted this, somehow - switches sides dependent upon who has the beer, and who is being less mean to the other team at any given moment.
They are hidden in Jefferson’s ‘den’ - which is actually the basement with a door that looks like a closet - and it feels like a secret world with the cloths hung from the ceiling, and the cushions scattered on the floor.
They cannot explain themselves when Henry - thirteen and more curious than he should be - finds them hidden behind two walls of cushions, throwing bawdy insults and pillows alike at one another.
thehinkypanda asked: Here's a prompt for you! Rumple has an actual conversation with Gaston.
“How did you do it?” the young man asked, finally, when the fight was knocked out of him and he could no longer even try to defeat the Dark One.
“Do what?” Rumpelstiltskin was brought up short, lowered his sword. Sir Gaston had, quite suddenly, become a man once more only half an hour ago, and they had been wordlessly dueling ever since.
“Make her fall in love with you.” Gaston dropped his sword, and slumped to sit with his back to the wall. Rumpelstiltskin, no more energy left in him than in his opponent, went to join him, hands resting on his knees.
“I honestly have no idea,” he admits, “I threw her in a dungeon, laughed when she broke things, made stupid jokes, and saved her life when she managed to nearly kill herself.”
“Oh.” Gaston nods, “I… danced with her at a ball, told her she was pretty, and defeated all other knights for the honour of her hand.”
“Right,” Rumpelstiltskin nods, tries not to laugh at the poor boy. Belle had made her views about the man very clear, and as a rose it’s now clear Gaston had still been able to at least hear, and probably see, what happened around him, “Did you ever ask her if she wanted to spend her life with you?”
“No.” Gaston shakes his head, “She didn’t disagree, though.”
“Belle’s a stubborn thing,” Rumpelstiltskin agrees, “Although I think perhaps agreeing to come clean for a monster for all eternity might be something of a rejection, wouldn’t you say, dearie?”
“Perhaps.” Gaston agrees, and runs a hand over his handsome face, “I just… I don’t mind that she’s smart. My mother was smart, too, and Belle’s pretty when she’s thinking.”
“Mm, that she is,” Rumpelstiltskin nods, trying not to remember that she’s gone, that she’ll be pretty with someone else now and that she’ll never return.
“But I… I just wish she’d be a normal princess, you know? Pretty dresses and smiling and impressed when a man wants to be impressive.”
Rumpelstiltskin no longer has any ire toward this poor boy, nor even any derision or scorn. He seems to be a prince trapped with the wrong princess, and he can do something about that. If the least he can do to make amends for his abuse of Belle is make her fiance a happier man, then it is, at least, a start, “Tell you what, boy, I’ll make you a deal.”
“A deal? I’m not cleaning for you, if that’s what you’re after.”
“Oh, no dearie, something better than that.” Rumpelstiltskin turns to face him, “Find Belle, and tell her that I need to speak with her. Convince her to come back so I can fill our final deal, she’ll know what you mean.”
“And what do I get?”
“When that’s done,” Rumpelstiltskin smiles, “You will meet a princess who’ll care for you and be impressed.”
“He… wait, why would Mr Gold want to talk to me?” Izzy French frowned at her friend, but Greg seemed adamant.
“I don’t know when he said it, but I’m certain.” Greg nods, “You have to go talk to him.”
“Just go, I… I feel like you have to do this, something about a deal? Please Iz?”
She sighs, but nods, and heads away from him toward the pawnshop. He watches her go with a confused little frown, but the spell is broken by a small hand on his shoulder.
There is a girl smiling at him, her teeth pearly and white, freckles on her nose and long red hair flowing down her back. She is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen.
Anonymous asked: "evil" poker night. Belle serves them all tea.
Regina had fallen: the Queen was dead.
The Mayor, however, battered and bruised and ready to retire at long last, lived on. She had survived the death of her adopted son, but only barely, and it seemed that the malice had been knocked out of her the moment the breath left the poor boy’s body.
Now she sits at the dining table of her once-enemy, playing poker with the smallest of smiles, tea served to her by a woman she tortured and held captive. She ups the bet of the Hatter she sent mad, and congratulates Rumpelstiltskin and his wife wholeheartedly on the state of their home.
Redemption for Regina came at a higher price than even Emma’s victory: both had lost Henry, both would never be rid of that pain, but Regina lived the rest of her days making amends for the simple fact that it was her fault.
pandora-s-blog asked: Gold/Rum finds out who got Bella out of the basement. Bromance, possibly? Both fathers trying to get back to their children, a hatred for Regina, etc.
Rumpelstiltskin and Jefferson the Hatter didn’t take tea, however much the latter might have wished it.
Instead, they met in bars, where Rumpesltiltskin could guard his drink like his life depended on it - with this company, who knew, perhaps it did - and they could end the night stumbling, drunk and close to tears talking about lost children and far away lands.
Jefferson had rescued Rumpelstiltskin’s true love, and for that the imp would forever be grateful. Over their drinks they spoke of many things, but top of the list was Regina’s downfall. Drugged tea combined with lanolin flames made for a wonderful tragedy, and no one thought to blame the millionaire and the pawnbroker when the bitch died in the fire.