Rumple pulled himself to his feet, and wiped at his face that was now wet from his tears. He took several deep breaths to try to calm himself down. Once he felt relatively calm he walked over to the mirror to inspect himself. He sighed. If anyone was to come in right now it would be evident that he had been crying. DING Rumple hastily rubbed at his face, and turned around to confront his visitor. Belle greeted him with a warm smile as she strode into the shop. "Oh hi, Belle," he said as he walked over to her.
"Hey, Rumple," she replied carefully studying his face. It was obvious to her that he had been crying. "You okay?"
He sighed there wasn't any point in lying to her, "No, I'm not."
"You want to talk?"
He nodded, and led her into the back of the shop. They sat down on the bed in the corner together. Belle wrapped her arms around him, and looked into his eyes. "Whenever you're ready, Rumple."
"Mary-Margaret came over today to see if it had been okay for them to name their child after my son. I said it was fine, but it isn't. It hurts to have to hear his name. When I hear them call their child Neal I think they are talking to my son, and a burst of happiness fills my heart. Then I remember that.....," Rumple's voice shakes as he speaks, "My son is dead. I can't just tell them that though. They've already named him I have no choice, but to be okay with it. Then she asked me if I would like to hold him, and I.... I just couldn't. Holding him would just be too much for me to handle. He has his name. My son's name. If I'd so much as touch him I know I would fall apart."
Belle watched as tears trickled down his cheeks, and dripped off his chin. Her own tears started to form as she held him tightly. "Maybe it would help ease your sorrow if you go talk to him. Go to his grave, Rumple. It is time you do."
"No.... no no I couldn't do it. I can't. It would hurt too much, Belle. To go to his grave would really finalize his death. I'm not ready for that. I don't think I ever will be."
"I'll be with you. You won't go alone. You are not alone in your grief, Rumple. I miss him too. I'm here for you."
He nodded, but didn't agree to going. He still didn't think he had the strength to see his son's grave. Rumple turned to look at Belle in the eyes. "What do you say about getting out of town?"
"What do you mean?"
"That house we spent our honeymoon in. We both love it let's buy it. I have the money. We can move in right away. How about this week?"
"Woah woah slow down! We can't move into a mansion like that so quickly. Why are you so eager to get out of town?"
He looked down at his hands as he nervously twisted them, "I can't stand facing these people anymore. I'm a monster, Belle. I did terrible things while Zelena had me under her control," tears misted his eyes as he spoke, "I tried to kill people. I hurt people. In that cell in her storm cellar was hell. She made me do terrible things. Things that I wish I could so badly forget. Ones I can never forgive myself for. Walking through this town I can sense the staring eyes. I can't stand it. I need to get out."
"Rumple, no one blames you for what happened!! Nobody holds any grudges against you. If anything people are worried about you. I know I am. I wish I could help you. Nothing was your fault, and moving out of town won't solve your problem. You still run this pawnshop."
"Maybe I'll just close the shop then," he mumbled.
Belle stared wide eyed at him. She wasn't sure if she had heard him correctly. Rumple noted the look she was giving him, and quickly added, "Not indefinitely of course."
"You're just going to cut yourself off from everyone?"
"Belle, please understand. I need to be alone. I need time."
"Are you going to cut yourself off from me too?"
"Belle, no! No of course not!" he put his hands gently on the sides of her face and looked into her eyes, "We're married now. I would never shut you out like that. I need you."
She smiled at him, "Yes, we are married now. That means I will be right here with you. You can get through this. We won't let Zelena ruin our lives even through death."
He leaned forward slowly and purposely. He lips softly met hers in a kiss. They just held each other for a minute totally relaxed. Neither one wanted to be the first to break the kiss, but finally Rumple pulled away. "How does lunch sound, Mrs. Gold?"
She giggled, "Mr. Gold it's only 10:17."
"Eh who cares. I'm hungry. Early lunch at Granny's?"
Rumple got up from the bed, and helped Belle to her feet. They walked out of the shop with their arms linked together, and smiles on their faces.