"No, well yes to you, so for the best of both of us, I do think it’s a priority right now” he argued, not sure what he was saying. All he wanted was for Bae to get the best education he could, perhaps his son even could make a friend with the deal, a female presence that stayed in his life, at least for a few years …this isn’t what he had made a deal for…not for this, whatever the two of them were doing now.
"You don’t, dearie. You’re grateful, thankful that I saved you from those men…I am not a man though. I’m a beast. I’m the one who put you in that situation to begin with!” he explained, not sure why she couldn’t understand that. She shouldn’t feel safe around him, she should fear him for what he was, a monster. “It doesn’t matter what my intentions are, I will not ruin you more by being in your life. You’re forever to be associated with me, what will people think of you if you tell them I am your friend? Or that we’ve shared bed?” he asked, wanting her to realize that nothing good came from having him around. “You will not find a prince or true love, and that isn’t what you signed up for in this deal, to be ruined by me” he continued, wishing she could understand. “…Baelfire knows, he understands, I’ve ruined him too by being his father…Our deal was for you to help Bae become someone who had a good future, and you can’t do that by ruining your own”.
Belle frowned as she listened to his words, stubbornly disagreeing with everything he said.
"Let’s assume that you’re right," she replied fiercely. "Let’s assume that there’s nothing we can do to stop people from associating us together, from thinking you’re a beast that ruined me." She raised her eyebrows, challenging him to disagree with her. "Then what does it matter whether or not we are friends or not? If we are friends, other people will talk. If we aren’t, they will as well. And I, for one, would prefer for us to be good friends! It’s our lives, not theirs! I don’t care what other people think about me, but I do care about you and what you think about me! Why can’t we be friends? Because I still don’t see the problem!”
Stopping immediately as she said his name, noting fully well just how firm her tone was, he turned around slightly to attempt to look at her, daring to do so for the first time today. He wasn’t sure what he was seeing in her eyes…It seemed like an odd mix of disappointment, sadness and frustration, and it only made him all the more nervous around her, afraid of what she might do to him… a thought that would have made him laugh had it been about anyone else. Because the Dark One didn’t get nervous around people, and yet here he was, expecting and fearing the worst of what she might do to him.
"It’s not because of you…I mean your company" he explained, looking down at his hands, his mind reminding him why it was all the more wrong of him to spend time with her, especially in the way they were currently spending it. "You haven’t done anything wrong, but I truly need to go back to work on finding a solution to our-your problems” he told her, hoping it would be the right thing to say so he could go back to the loneliness in his tower, when all he needed to fear was his own thoughts about himself, and not others.
"Is the thought of spending another night in my room so dreadful to you that you must lock yourself away in your tower to find a cure as soon as possible?" Belle asked, her tone quite hurt, and she cast down her eyes, knowing that she’d probably cry if she continued to hold his eye contact. "You don’t need to keep on looking for a magical solution," she continued softly. "I’d rather have you accept and acknowledge that I like having you in my life, as a friend. In fact, it saddens me that you do not feel the same way, and it makes me feel horrible when you ignore my existence. Even Baelfire is noticing it. He’s staying away far too long once more. He sees it too!"
Looking up from the cup as Bae excused himself, he felt a sense of panic as his son walked away from him, leaving the two of them alone…leaving him alone, unable to hide behind his son. Damn it. Perhaps the two of them could just drink their tea in silence? After all, they had hardly spoken last night, had they? No, they had done something far worse. And it was all his fault, attempting to be some kind of prince charming and disturbing her in the middle of the night, just to demand himself to sleep next to her…had he even asked her if it was alright? Of course he hadn’t, he was a beast, not a hero, not even a man.
And the silence that only continued to grow made the panic within him grow, wondering how being left alone with him was affecting her, no doubt scaring her for what might happen now that they were out of his son’s sight. “I should leave” he said, standing up after minutes of uncomfortable silence that had passed between them. “I mean, I need to leave…to get back to work, yes” he muttered, not quite knowing what the hell he was doing.
"Rumple," she said softly, but her tone firm at the same time, knowing what she wanted to say to him. "You don’t need to leave. Not on my behalf."
She looked at him, trying to keep his eye contact for as long as he would have it. She wanted him to see how she meant every word that she said. “I enjoy your company. I always have. I don’t understand why you don’t want to talk to me anymore. Did I do something wrong?”
It had gotten progressively worse. He had always been a little awkward around her, but now he was not even that anymore. He had grown cold towards her, and she wished she knew how to undo it.
From Friday until Sunday I’ll be volunteering at FACTS - which I’ve been doing every year since 2008. :-)
It’s the biggest convention in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg and so obviously it’s always a ton of fun for me.
I’m especially excited to meet this guy:
No no, not Bobby, but the other Robert in the picture: Robert Knepper! He’s gonna be there and I look forward to meeting him. :-D
Carrie Fisher will also be there, and Carice van Houten, and some other folks, but I’m mostly excited about Robert Knepper, for reasons you can deduce from the picture above.
I might not reply or be online until Monday, just so you know!
As the conversation shifted, he became silent, not wanting to disturb their moment. Perhaps they hadn’t wanted him to impose on them, and yet he had come down and invited himself there to their tea party. He felt the urge to leave, yet he couldn’t really do that, could he? He’d only just sat himself there, his cup was still full of tea, and it seemed rude to just stand up and walk in the middle of their conversation, so he began stirring his tea with the spoon, looking at the patterns the tea made while he listened to them speak. A harp? Perhaps he could get one here for her, perhaps she would like to learn to play it? The big, silent castle certainly could do with some calm, nice notes during the middle of the day, perhaps it would help him become more focused as he worked as well?
He knew his mind was heading back to how to make Belle happy, and it annoyed him. Because the moment he began to get lost in his own thoughts, they began to wander off to the thoughts of her. It truly irritated him greatly, that even with the distraction of her, he still couldn’t solve the problem with her nightmares. And worse, he would have to sleep next to her each night til he was able to do so… Of course, it wasn’t a horrible fate for him in the end of the day. But it must be for her. Being so reliant on him, and his protection. Not that he blamed her of course, he had nightmarish demons of his own created from his memories. But the fact that he was now the most powerful being in this World, yet couldn’t find what should be a simple solution bothered him to no end.
Baelfire was smiling warmly at Belle’s words, looking at his father to see if he had anything to say, but he was just looking at his cup of tea, not interested to join the conversation he was having with Belle.
Baelfire was getting annoyed too, now. Why was it so hard to have a conversation with all three of them together these days? His father wasn’t reaching out to Belle at all, and he figured that as long as he was present in the room, his father never would.
"I need to go to the bathroom," he excused himself, leaving his cup of tea on the table as he left the room, and Belle was a little surprised by that, thinking she heard a bit of irritation in his tone, and she watched him as he turned his back and went away.
When they were alone, she glanced at Rumplestiltskin for a second, almost immediately casting her eyes down to look at her tea, and she started stirring her spoon in the cup as well, wondering if Rumplestiltskin had anything at all to say to her, or if something was horribly wrong.
Gold increased his sucking onto Belle’s clit before closing his mouth around her whole folds and licking her little bud directly rather than circling around it. He stopped when he felt her tense. He slipped his thumbs inside her, looking at the way her entrance gaped. He glanced at her and dove for the kill. His tongue laved her, focusind on her bud and he entered Belle with two fingers, curling them inside her.
It finally pushed her over the edge, and she repeated his name as she came, her walls clenching around his fingers, glad he could feel it.
She was completely spent, breathing heavily in the aftermath of her climax.
There was a content smile on her face as she looked down at him, curling her finger to indicate that he should come up again so she could kiss him in gratitude.
Once he let himself breath properly and actually listen to Belle, he started to think clearly and relax a bit. But the guilt stuck like tree sap. Her kiss weakened its hold enough that Rumple let his ill-behaved hand touch Belle’s cheek. “It was my fault, though. I’ll go slower, I promise.” Gods, he wanted to touch her, but fresh fear mired him in hesitation. His hand finally slipped down to her shoulder while he kissed her again. Only his mouth moved after that, making a trail from her lips to her collarbone. He paused again, tempted to continue but unsure how to meet her needs. Rumple nestled into the crook of her neck.
"It’s hard to not kiss and touch you all at once," he said, "but I’ll go one step at a time. Is that what you want?"
It would be a lie if she said no, and so she nodded shyly. “I’m new to this,” she said softly, hoping he would not be annoyed with her because of it. “I still… need to learn, you know. I want to do everything right, respond to everything in the proper way, but then I’m so focused on the way I perform that I forget to have fun myself.” She smiled awkwardly. “It’s one of my flaws,” she admitted. “I’m sorry it destroyed the mood a bit…”
To make it up to him, she placed a gentle kiss on his lips once more, putting her hands in his neck. “Let’s just start with kissing, and see where it goes from there,” she suggested carefully. “And eh… no pinching of my private parts, that kind of hurts…”
She wondered if there were women who liked that sort of thing, or where Rumplestiltskin had picked that up. Perhaps she was more sensitive than other women were?
Gold was silent for a long moment, studying Belle’s creation with a mixture of curiosity and joy. She had done this for him, he realized. She had spent her week making this wickerphoenix, because she had wanted to share this experience with him.
Once again, he wondered what he had done to deserve her affections.
"—what would we sacrifice?" he asked her softly, glancing down at her, his eyes soft.
Belle shrugged. “Anything you like. For example, people trying to get over a relationship often toss in something they got from their previous partner. People who want to have a baby, but have no luck so far, would for example put in baby clothes. In your case… Perhaps something to do with the fire? I mean… traumatic as it was for the both of us, it’s something I want to leave behind. Which is why I brought this…”
She took out a small leather bracelet, fit for a child - nearly black now because of its age - with her name on it.
"The day of the fire, we went to a marketplace. I saw some men making leather bracelets, hammering letters into it, and as I was learning to write my name at that time, dad thought it was a good gift for me, and he let me watch as they made the bracelet for me, and then I wore it."
She turned the bracelet around in her hand a few times, and continued: “I wore it in my sleep - and also when the fire broke out. It is one of the only things I have of that day, my nightdress of that night is long gone now… But… I don’t need to hang on to it. Because every time I see it, it reminds me of what happened. I’m going to offer it.”
She put the bracelet in the belly of the phoenix, looking at Adam to see if he had any inspiration yet.
"Ah…now where do you speak that?" he asked, continuing to direct his questions towards Bae, instead of Belle. Of course, he didn’t think of that„ too distracted by his own cowardliness and fear of what could happen. "Well, if she says that I am sure you are writing like a nobleman…perhaps you will even surpass her soon" he joked, lifting up his cup to take a sip.
"I don’t think so…what are you working on in the tower, papa? I thought I heard an explosion before" Baelfire asked, putting an extra sugar cube in his tea, having quite the sugar tooth, even for a child.
"It was but a small one, Bae, nothing to worry about," he reassured his son, offering him a smile. "And I’m working on a few spells…hence the brooding broom" he said, gesturing towards the broom that had brought him here. "I believe with a bit more research and focus, I will be able to make…this-" he said, picking up the teapot. "-into someone… perhaps it’ll even be able to sing to you" he joked.
Baelfire chuckled, amused by the image, but as he looked at Belle, he could see she was looking into her cup of tea, not smiling at all, and he realized that once more she was being left out of the conversation.
"Well we won’t need a singing teapot," Baelfire replied. "Perhaps Belle can sing instead?"
Belle looked up in surprise, blushing.
"Oh… No, no, I really can’t," she replied shyly. "My strength lies in words and languages, not as much in music."
"Do you play an instrument?" Bae wondered.
Belle shook her head. “Not really. Learned to play the harp, but wasn’t very good at it. I like stories more than I like music, most of the time. I didn’t practice enough, I was always reading.”
"Oh…" he said, realizing what the broom had attempted to do when it came up to his tower. "No, well yes" he said, putting it down on the floor, it walked over to the closest wall and leaning back against it, looking like any other broom again.
"I suppose I could take a tea break, a short one" he muttered, still avoiding Belle’s eyes as he sat down in his chair, turning his gaze towards Bae. "How did the lesson go, my boy?" he asked, beginning to prepare his own tea, needing to do something with his hands as he became nervous under their gazes. "Have you’ve become fluent yet in…what was the language?".
"Chowenese," Bae said properly. "I can say hello and introduce myself."
He spoke a few words, and Belle could not help but smirk. His accent was pretty good, and each word was correct. She doubted that Rumplestiltskin spoke any of it.
"I haven’t learned to read or write it yet. Belle says I won’t learn until my English writing is perfect, but it’s good to start memorizing some words and phrases already. It will make it easier in the end."
Belle once more thought to herself that these were things she could have told Rumplestiltskin as well, but he had not asked her and so she kept quiet.