In the Land of Love and Gold

Announcements

Rumple shifted his feet for the hundredth time. Belle grabbed his hand and made him sit down next to her. He played with his hair, messed with his clothes, switched his legs, and wouldn't stop moving. Belle looked over at him, chewing on her lip. "Would you calm down?" She reprimanded. He took a deep breath and ceased all movement, for about four seconds. His foot started up again and just as Belle was going to sit on him, the doors to the court opened and her father walked out with a smile. He had his arms open wide and Belle ran to hug him. "Papa," Belle hugged her father tight. "How was court?"

Her father shrugged and let her go. He eyed Rumple. "Same old same old, darling." She smiled and her father crossed his arms in a nervous gesture. "What's this?" Belle walked back and grabbed Rumple's hand. She lead him in front of her father. He was blushing and trying to seem tall. Her father eyed his newly healed leg.

"Papa?" Belle started off. "We would like to speak with you in confidence." Maurice scrunched up his face and squint his eyes. He nodded and motioned for them to follow. They walked in silence to the drawing room. Maurice took the time to sit in his chair and get comfortable. Belle and Rumple stood, built up with nervous energy. Although, Rumple stopped fidgeting. Belle cleared her throat to give herself time to come up with the words, but before she could speak Rumple interjected into the silence.

"I would like permission to marry your daughter." Maurice's face stayed stoic. His hands didn't move from the arms of the chair. Belle could hear her heart pounding in her throat and feel Rumple's in his hand. The silence was tense and made Belle want to hide in a corner, but she knew this had to be done. A few minutes had passed then Maurice turned his head to look at Belle.

"Do you love him?" Belle nodded vigorously. Her throat was like sandpaper, otherwise she would speak. Maurice slowly looked back at Rumple. "Okay." Both Rumple and Belle's jaw dropped. They stared at Maurice incredulously. They were ready for rejection and to fight for their love, they never expected this to happen. Maurice stood up slowly, with a creaking sound from the chair. "I promised that in four months time if you found someone who was suitable then I would let you marry them. I tend to uphold my deals." Maurice pondered over to the aghast couple. He wrapped his arms around Rumple and Rumple made a groaning noise emanating deep from his crushed lungs.

"Thank you." Rumple attempted. Maurice let go, but held his hands on Rumple's shoulders. He patted the side of Rumple's neck in a fond gesture.

"Anything to make my only daughter happy." Maurice leaned in to Rumple's ear and whispered, "Just remember that I have assassins at my disposal if you hurt my precious baby girl." Rumple gulped, but understood where he was coming from. He would probably make their life hell if anyone tried to court Mabel, but that's years from now, so he hoped it would never cross his mind until then. Belle carefully smacked her father's arm. Maurice shrugged and moved to hug his daughter. Belle laughed and kissed her father on the cheek. He set her down and smiled fondly at them. He had a hand on each of their shoulders. "I will have an announcement sent round for a meeting of all the staff." Maurice walked to the other side of the desk to get a paper. "When do you want the wedding?" Belle and Rumple looked over at each other.

"We hadn't really made a date yet." Maurice looked up with a toothless smile. He wrote something on the paper and walked to the page boy in the corner. The boy ran off and snuck out the door. Maurice sat down in his chair and hummed in content. He closed his eyes for a moment. Belle and Rumple made a motion to move, but Maurice's eyes shot open.

"We need to go shopping." Belle stopped, looking at her father with a tilted head. "I miss shopping." Her father closed his eyes again and waved his hand as a form of dismissal. Belle and Rumple quickly walked out of the drawing room and once outside Belle whipped around, grabbing Rumple's face. She led him down for a relieved kiss. He smiled and she laughed, tears silently forming in her eyes. They broke away and she wiped at her face. She noticed he was crying as well. She gave him a handful of chaste kisses between little laughs.

"We have to tell Mabel." Rumple nodded and they made their way to the nursery. It was early, so she would still be asleep. They silently opened the door and Mabel was just stirring awake. Her long brown hair was in a tangle around her face. She had drool at the corner of her mouth and Belle chuckled. Mabel looked around, rubbing at her eyes. Rumple held Belle in his arms and looked over Belle's shoulder at his daughter. Mabel spotted Belle and got out of bed, staggering into a run. Belle picked up Mabel and Mabel yawned.

"Belle?" Mabel blinked her eyes a few times. "Papa?" They both nodded softly. "What's wrong?" She must have seen the tears in their eyes. Belle's eyes sparkled with a new batch of tears. She blinked and one fell down her face. Mabel saw and hugged her. "Mama, what wrong?" Belle shook her head.

"Nothing, baby, it's good news." Belle looked back at Rumple. He was resting his head on her shoulder. Mabel looked between the two with crossed arms.

"Mabel, Belle and I are going to be married." Mabel looked slightly confused.

"Does mean Belle is my mama?" They both nodded and Mabel lit up. She hugged both of them and Belle sobbed. She coughed and hugged the little girl. "Mama! Papa!" She kissed both of them on the cheek and hummed in content. Horns blared and they all turned towards the door. That was the meeting. They walked together, Belle and Rumple hand in hand and Mabel on Belle's hip. They stood in the grand hall, Belle in her chair, with Mabel on her lap and Rumple standing next to her. Maurice was in his throne and called order to the staff and housing. Everyone was silent, staring at the odd display on the throne. Belle scanned the crowd and saw Ruby and Jefferson talking quietly, with excitement. Victor was off at the edge, scanning the crowd as well. Belle wondered what or who he was looking for. Maurice began his speech.

"My daughter has finally found a suitor to marry!" The crowd erupted in a deafening roar. Belle blushed and hugged Mabel. Someone was moving at an alarming speed toward the throne. People cried out as they were hit. Belle saw Victor disappear from the outside of the crowd and Belle enclosed her hands around Mabel. Mabel squirmed in protest. Finally the rushing person became visible only to reach the first step and get tackled by Victor. Gaston hits the floor with a sickening crack and Belle turns Mabel to her chest and hides her face. Gaston still manages to get up and point an accusing finger at Belle.

"She can't marry that coward. She has to marry me! That slut!" The crowd falls silent and Belle sitting with her mouth open in shock and her eyes welling up with tears. She swallows and goes to say something, but she notices movement out of the corner of her eye. Rumple takes long strides forward, the air around him almost thick with power and evil. She couldn't see his face, but she could feel the air turn cold and oppressive. The crowd was frozen in shock or in terror she didn't know. Gaston's eyes grew to the size of saucers. He went from resisting Victor or trying to climb on top of the doctor. Victor shoved him off with a snarl. He turned and walked into the crowd. Gaston tried to follow, but the crowd closed off and built a wall. Granny was in the front holding a rolling pin and sneering. Rumple stood with his hands folded in front of him. Gaston turned to Rumple in terror.

"You spread rumors about Belle, ruining her reputation; you are power hungry and abusive. You've hurt my daughter and now insulted my fiancé." Rumple waved his hand and Gaston was lifted off his feet and into the air, roughly five feet. Jefferson appeared out of the crowd and stood in front of the human wall. Belle gave Mabel to Maurice and ran to Rumple. She put a hand on his shoulder. Rumple looked over at her, his skin scaly and his eyes blown black. Belle didn't flinch or seemed to be fazed at all by the new appearance of her fiancé. He sneered and looked back at Gaston, squeezing his hand, making Gaston squirm and grab at his throat.

"Rumple, no." Rumple looked at her again, his eyes returning back to normal. "We mustn't kill him." Belle waved to Jefferson. He took a few cautious steps forward. Belle nodded and whispered in Jefferson's ear. Jefferson nodded and ran off. He reappeared a few minutes later with his hat. Belle turned to Gaston. "As punishment for your crimes you are hereby exiled for all eternity, never to return to Avonlea." Gaston stared in horror at Belle. Jefferson threw his hat and soon it was a swirling vortex. Belle walked over to Jefferson, crying. She hugged him. "Find your daughter." Belle whispered. Jefferson hugged her back with all of his might and sobbed quietly.

"Thank you." There was a piercing scream. Everyone turned to Ruby who was running to Jefferson. She leapt at him and he swung her in his arms. They kissed passionately for a moment before both of them were crying and whispering to each other. Rumple had returned to his normal skin tone and Belle put her hand on his bicep.

"Ready?" Belle called. Jefferson nodded and Rumple threw Gaston into the swirling vortex. Jefferson followed soon after. The hat closed and disappeared. Ruby sat crying on the steps while Rumple and Belle hugged, looking at where the hat used to be. Mabel wriggled out of Maurice's grasp and Maurice sat her on the floor. She ran to Belle and clung to her leg. Belle reached down and picked up Mabel. Mabel was nestled between Rumple and Belle. There was a long silence before Ruby swayed to a standing position. She sniffled and turned around.

"Well what are you moping around for? We have a wedding to plan!" Belle laughed and the crowd cheered. Maurice came over and hugged the three. Ruby joined in and soon the whole castle was in a massive group hug.

xXx

"Mama?" Mabel asked when they were alone in Belle's room. Belle sat in front of her boudoir. She brushed her hair and hummed a tune.

"Yes, Mabel?" Mabel was half on half off, Belle's bed. She swung her legs freely. She made nonsense noises with her mouth.

"Where'd Jefferson go?" Belle turned around, putting the brush down. Mabel had her hand son her cheeks, looking like a fish. Her long brown hair brushing the floor. Her green eyes wide with curiosity.

"His daughter was fighting dragons, right?" Mabel nodded and mimed fangs with her fingers. Belle nodded. "Well she needed help, so Jefferson went to help her." Mabel smiled. She slid off the bed and ran to Belle.

"I knew he could do it." Mabel continued to play with her cheeks when Rumple came in and cautiously stepped in. He looked around the room in apprehension. Belle chuckled and Rumple blushed. He was still in his uniform and he had his hands folded in front of him. Mabel got off of Belle's legs and ran to her papa. Rumple picked her up with a smile. "Papa, when will Jeffy be back?" Rumple looked over at Belle she shook her head. Neither of them had any idea how long it would take him to find his daughter.

"Soon, sweetheart, soon." Mabel seemed satisfied with that answer while she yawned. She blinked her tired eyes and yawned again. "I think its bed time for someone." Mabel shook her head and hid in Rumple's uniform. He chuckled and moved to carry her out.

"I can take her if you want." Belle offered as she put her hair up into a messy up-do. Rumpled stopped and walked over to Belle. He kissed her and shook his head.

"I've got it." Belle smiled and nodded. She let him do it while she finished getting ready for bed. She walked to the window and opened it. The curtains flared to life. Belle closed them a little soon the curtains were back in order. She looked down at herself, brushing away invisible lint. She sighed sadly. She wanted to call out for Jefferson and see his quirky face, but now he wouldn't answer. She sat on the bed looking out the window. She got lost in the stars that she didn't see Rumple come in and sit next to her. It was only when he put his hand in hers did she look over at him with silent tears tracking down her face. He hugged her and he lay back, tacking her with him. She cried for sometime before she fell into a dreamless sleep.


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