Belle smiled to herself as she walked out of Granny's with a cup of iced tea. She had only recently been introduced to it, and she LOVED it. If she could get her hands on iced tea then she would jump at the chance. Her smile slowly faded as she walked past Rumple's pawn shop. It still had its closed sign hanging in the door. Five days ago they had happily bought, and moved into the mansion in the woods. Thanks to Rumple's magic the moving was easy. Belle even got to buy new furniture for the house. She was happy there, but she still felt bad for Rumple. He hadn't been into town since they moved. So his shop had stayed closed. Belle still made the commute to town though, She didn't want to give up her job as head librarian. She just loved it too much. She had just made it to the doors of the library when someone started calling her name. "Belle!!"
She turned around to see Emma Swan and David Noland crossing the street toward her. "Good morning, Emma. Good morning, David. How can I help you?" she asked.
We're looking for Gold. His shop isn't open yet like it usually is. Do you know where he is?" asked Emma.
"Yes, I do. But you can't see him right now I'm sorry."
"What? Why not?" asked David.
"Because he needs some time alone."
"Forget having time alone we need his help. Is he at his house?" asked Emma.
"Yes, but you see we moved. So you don't know where we live anymore."
"Please tell us. You don't understand the importance. When this crisis is adverted then he can have some peace and quiet, but right now we need his help," said Emma.
"No, he purposely told me not to tell anyone where we moved. We moved for a reason. He needed to get out of town for a little bit. Just tell me what's wrong, and I can talk to him later for you."
They looked at her for a long moment then David sighed, "Okay we'll give him space just make sure to ask him if he knows anything about a creature with the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. More importantly how to defeat such a creature."
"Okay I'll be sure to ask him."
Belle turned to go into the library when Emma grabbed her shoulder, "Why did he want to get out of town? Why does he want to be alone?"
A flicker of anger crossed Belle's face, "Why do you think? He just lost his son, and was freed from a year of torture under the Wicked Witch of the West. Now I wonder why he's acting funny?" With that she slammed the library door closed in their faces. Belle let out a deep breath as she stood in the dark library. Immediately she started feeling bad about losing her temper, and slamming the door. But it made her angry, and rightly so. Everyone in this town thinks he's made of steel, but he's not! Why can't they see it like I do, she thought angrily. Okay that is enough of being angry. I will not dwell in this anger. She thought as she straightened her shoulders, and started sorting through library books.
Emma stared surprised at the library door that had just slammed in her face. She started to go forward to go after Belle, but David reached out to stop her. "No, let's give her some space. She's right. We weren't thinking. When she gets back to us on this creature. Then we'll apologize, and talk to her. Okay?"
"Yeah you're right," Emma nodded. She turned on her heel, and walked away. She had a distracted look on her face as she and David walked back to the patrol car. "You okay?" David asked putting his hand on her shoulder.
"Yeah it's just I never put much thought or sympathy into what Mr. Gold went through. Belle was right to be angry with us."
"Yeah, we didn't think about that, but what I'm thinking about is where did they move too?"
"Haha yes that's a case I'd be interested in taking up. Where did the happy couple move to?"
David chuckled as Emma started up the patrol car, and pulled away from the curb.
Rumple had to admit he really did love being away from the pesky townspeople. It was so nice not to be bothered for once. He couldn't believe he had been able to go 5 days with no interruptions. He didn't believe in miracles, but this really was a miracle. The only person he had seen was Belle, and she was the only one that ever called him either. She had been a bit confused over cellphones. But he had enjoyed taking time to explain it to her. Now she owned a cellphone, and would call him several times a day. Being alone in the mansion freaked him out sometimes. It would be too quiet, and a huge fear would overcome him. Even though he knew he could defend himself he felt like Zelena was creeping in every corner and stalking every shadow. Even if he was tired during the day he would never take a nap if Belle wasn't there. Nightmares stalked his sleep. He hadn't had a good nights sleep since before Neverland. But when he started feeling terrified he would call up Belle, and casually talk to her like nothing was wrong at all. She always had this way of knowing something was wrong, but thankfully she was polite enough to pretend she didn't.
He was casually making himself lunch when he heard a great cry. It sounded like a giant eagle, but no eagle in this world is big enough to make such a noise. Right? He got up, and looked out the window to investigate. There wasn't anything out the window he could see so he turned away and went to sit down again. Just as he sat down he heard it again. This time he didn't go to the window, but straight out the front door.
He strode through the forest looking for the creature that made that noise, and listening for it. SCREECH Rumple spun to his left, and started running towards the noise. As he got closer he heard someone shouting. Is someone in trouble? he thought. He ran through the trees until he saw a huge creature darting through the trees. His mouth dropped open as he realized what it was. A griffin. It had the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. It was 10 feet tall and terrifying. He saw that circling the great beast was Emma and David. David had his sword out trying to get in a good strike. Emma was trying to shoot it, but her bullets weren't doing very good damage. The griffin leaned down towards Emma and screeched. The force from it's voice was enough to lift her off her feet, and send her tumbling backwards. David charged it from behind, but the beast was already going in for the kill. "Emma!!!!!" David screamed.
Rumple ran as he stretched out his hands to create a fireball. He quickly formed it, and threw it with all his strength. With his mind he willed it to get bigger as it shot through the air. Seconds before the griffin's jaws devoured Emma his fireball engulfed it. The whole thing went up in flames with it screaming terribly. It tried to take flight and get away. But Rumple lifted up his arms then slammed them down on his sides. This motion made the wind slam down on the beast's wings and, pin it to the ground. It withered and screamed for a few more minutes before it stopped its struggling.
David skirted around it, and ran for Emma. "Are you okay?!" he yelled as he bent down to inspect her.
"Yeah yeah I'm fine. Just a little out of breathe. Who the hell killed it?" Emma asked.
Rumple walked over to them, "That would be me. Hello."
"Gold! Wow um thank you," Emma stammered.
"You're welcome. Now how did this griffin make it into this world?"
Emma blushed as David helped her to her feet, "It was all my fault. I was practicing magic at Regina's vault, and well there were these feathers. Which I guess turned out to be griffin feathers. I accidentally used magic to summon it."
"It wasn't your fault, Emma. You're still learning to control your magic," David reassured.
"Actually it was completely Emma's fault. Of course accidents do happen though so it can be forgiven. Belle had called me earlier mentioning something about you two needing to know how to defeat this creature. Since I've taken care of it for you I expect that is all the help you require of me. Goodbye," he said as he turned his back quickly on them and walked away.
They both stared at him unsure of what to say. David awkwardly cleared his throat and said, "Um, Gold, are you uh okay?"
He turned around, and gave them a tight smile, "Of course I'm okay."