Even Through Death

Rumpelstiltskin deals with his emotions over his son's death, and what happened with Zelena. Takes place after S3 finale, but does not include anything to do with Frozen. I DO NOT OWN ONCE UPON A TIME OR THE CHARACTERS OF IT

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4. Chapter 4

     "You don't have to make me tea you know. I'm capable of doing it myself," Mary-Margaret said from her position on the couch.

     Belle smiled at her as she put the kettle of water over the stove, "It's fine! You deserve to sit back and rest. Really I don't mind at all. Now what do you want? Earl grey or chamomile?"

     "Chamomile please." Mary-Margaret watched her as she looked through the cabinets for two mugs. She let her keep on her futile search until Belle turned to look at her, "Where are the mugs?"

     "Third cabinet on the left of the stove. Top shelf."

     She swung open the cabinet door to reveal a wide assortment of mugs. Biting her lip she smiled as she looked over her shoulder at the other woman, "You guys are quite the hoarders when it comes to mugs aren't you?"

     Mary-Margaret giggled, "Yes we are. There is something about a mug that makes a home feel more homey. Although we really should get rid of a few-"

     "A few? Your cabinet is on the verge of collapsing from the weight of all these mugs."

     She burst out laughing at Belle's face as she tried to grab some mugs without toppling them all. Belle frowned in concentration while holding two mugs in one hand, and trying to steady the rest of the mugs with one hand. Once they stopped wobbling she stepped back and quickly closed the cabinet. "That is a safety hazard," she said as she poured the tea into the two mugs.

     "I love danger," Mary-Margaret replied.

     Belle good-naturedly stuck her tongue out at her as she walked over. "Here you go. One hot cup of tea."

     "Thank you sweetie," she replied as she took a careful sip of the hot tea. 

     They sat quietly together sipping their tea. They enjoyed the quiet as Neal slept in his crib. Then Mary-Margaret casually said, "You know you mentioned several days ago that you'd tell me what's been going on over a cup of tea. I don't mean to pry, but we are drinking tea together right now."

     "Oh no you aren't prying at all! I forgot I owe you an explanation. Where should I start?"

     "Start with Rumple being released from the witch," Mary-Margaret suggested.

     She took a deep breath and began, "When we finally were under the same roof again he started to fall apart. He tried so hard to hide it from me, but it was blatantly obvious. Sometimes when I call him Rumple he flinches or steps away from me. If I touch him when he isn't expecting it or lean forward to kiss him he'll back away. At night it's the worst. He hasn't slept more than 5 hours a night since he's gotten back. He'll either wake up screaming from nightmares or he'll refuse to sleep at all. I've also noticed how painfully thin he has gotten. He still only eats a little. I know it's all because of that Wicked Witch. The tortures she has inflicted upon him have scarred him deeply. It hurts my heart so badly to see him so hurt. I've only been with him two weeks now, and I can see how badly it has effected him. He is still hurting. The pain and loss of his son is fresh in his heart. That's why you saw him crying after you left. He couldn't even bring himself to hold the baby that was named after his son. He hasn't even gone to see his grave. I.... I-" Belle broke off in a sob. Tears streamed down her face as she tried to say something, but lost herself in the tears. "I just I just want to be able to be there for him. But he is afraid of me! He's afraid of getting to close, and hurting me! Being ordered to kill me, and almost fulfilling it has made him fear getting close to me," she sobbed.

     Mary-Margaret set down her cup of tea, and pulled Belle into a hug. She rested her chin on her head and stroked her back. "It's okay. It's okay. You are there for him. You are his wife now, and you are closer to him than you ever were before. You can't do all the healing for him. He'll get there. He needs time, honey. You love him, and he loves you. That is what matters."

     She continued to cry, but nodded her head. Neal's cries joined hers from across the room. "Oh I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to wake him up," Belle sniffed.

     "It's fine, Belle," she said as she gently pulled away from the hug and went to get him. She bent down over his crib, and grinned down at him. "Are you crying to make Belle feel better little man?"

     Belle half-heartedly grinned at the two of them. She was about to say something when her cell phone went off. After glancing at if for a second she said, "I'm sorry, Mary-Margaret, but I have to go home. Rumple wants to see me."

     She smiled at her as she gently rocked Neal, "It's fine. I'll see you later. Tell Rumple I hope he'll come back into town soon."

     Belle nodded and shot her an apologetic smile. She reached out for the doorknob when it suddenly opened before her. Emma and David collided into her almost knocking her off her feet. Emma and David were just as surprised as she was. "I'm so sorry we didn't see you," David apologized as she tried to stop Belle from falling over.

     "It's okay. I'm fine," she replied as she got herself untangled and out the door. 

      "Wait, Belle. I need to apologize for being so insensitive and blind about Mr. Gold," Emma said.

     "I accept your apology, and I shouldn't have yelled at you. Now I need to go I'll see you later," she said. She hurriedly waved at them as she turned away and went down the stairs. 

     Emma's jaw suddenly dropped, and she turned around to face her mom. "Was that a wedding ring I just saw on her hand?"

     "Yes it was. She and Gold got married not long after he was freed from Zelena."

     "Cheers to them then. I hope they are blessed with a happy ending. Together," David stated.   

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