ustas_fish (just_ustas) wrote,
ustas_fish
just_ustas

The Monster's Facade

lovely fic by MidStorm
about what face of Rumpelstiltskin we prefer
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Prompted by Antikryptonite: During someone’s visit to the Dark Castle or a trip out somewhere with Belle, she sees him transform into an ordinary looking man, and later, asks him why he chooses to appear the way he does on a regular basis.
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A cloud of purple smoke enveloped him, she breathed in the magic that once smelled foreign to her but now was a familiar, almost comforting scent. As the cloud faded away there stood Rumple in all his scaly and leather glory.

“This, dearie, is who I really am,” he said his voice a slightly higher pitch as he waved his arms theatrically. “A monster.”

“You are not a monster,” she whispered walking closer to him, touching his face lightly. Belle was definitely going to start embroidering tomorrow.

“You can’t tell me you prefer this face.”
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The master of the castle was three days late. Of course, punctuality wasn’t the word most would use to describe the Dark One, especially his housekeeper Belle. In the morning he would say he would be gone until nightfall but return with a cloud of purple smoke in the late afternoon, almost like he was testing her or maybe just enjoying the gasps she made when surprised.

However he hadn’t done that in weeks, ever since the morning she was carrying a bucket of soapy water to the grand staircase when he suddenly appeared behind her. In shock the bucket fell from her hands, completely soaking the front of her flock. Rumpelstiltskin was nearly speechless, muttering sorry as he attempted to look anywhere other than her chest (however she did notice he got a few glimpses). And she hadn’t known until that day the Dark One could blush.

Belle was worried, even with his random popping in, he had never been so late before. He said he would be back three days ago with a grimace, obviously not wanting to go on the trip, though not telling her where or what he was doing. But she still decided for his favorite meal of beef stew to be ready for him when he got home. He would mutter it was peasant food, but always end up going for third helpings with a smile on his face. However the stew went cold without the imp there to eat it.

Belle tried to remind herself that Rumplestiltskin was the most powerful sorcerer in the world, he was the last person she should be worried about. However that did not stop her stomach from turning with worry. She continued to sweep the Great Hall when she heard a noise.

She instantly thought of another thief like Robin Hood, however there was always the chance that he didn’t have the same good attentions as the archer. She grabbed the heaviest thing she could, a reference book, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi and put her back to the wall closest to the door.

She lifted the huge book as high as she could as the door swung open, it was a man in peasant garb and straight brown hair.

He turned around just as soon as she was about to strike his head with the book.

“And just what do you think you are doing dearie?” he asked in a familiar but deep tone.

She was so in shock she didn’t even notice when she dropped the book it fell right on her toes.

“Rumplestiltskin?”

He nodded and twirled his hand in the air, “In the flesh, human flesh actually.”

And before he knew what was happening she threw her arms around him.

“You’re alright,” she breathe. The tunic he wore was coarse but his human skin was soft against her cheek.

He pulled away from her slowly, his hand resting on her waist.

“You were worried about me?” he asked confused.

“Of course you are three days late! What happened? Why do you look this way? Are you alright? Do you need anything?”

He tighten his grip on her slightly and with a smile answered, “Stupid fairy. Stupid fairy. Yes. A potion in my workroom, but I’ll get it.”

He pulled away from her and walked out of the room, but Belle kept right behind him.

“A fairy did this? I thought fairies were good!”

“That is popular misconception! They may seem like all glitter and wings, with seemingly good intentions, but no they are not,” he hissed. “At least I have the decency to show everyone I’m a monster!”

Belle quickly realized she had a hit a nerve.

“Okay so an evil fairy,” she said slowly, following him up the stairs to the tower of his workroom. “And you’re not a monster!”

Belle was considering embroidering those words on his handkerchiefs just so he would be reminded everyday.

“Really dearie?” he turned to face her, but being a step ahead he was even taller than her than usual. “Doesn’t a monster take advantage of girls who just want to save their villages from orges?”

“You never took advantage of me,” she said stepping closer to him, looking into his deep human brown eyes. “You saved my village, all my people, and all I have to do is some dusting and cooking. I think I got the better deal.”

“You are a fool,” he muttered, as he pulled himself away from her. Belle was angry but still continued to march up the stairs behind him.

“But what happened with this fairy, why do you look this way?”

“I was trying to find some information at a pub and decided to go incognito, apparently my usually look stands out,” he said. “While I was just minding my own business, a fairy came and poured some kind of dust on me.”

Belle arched her eyebrow, not entirely convinced Rumple was ever minding his own business. “And it made you stuck like this?”

“Yes, I had to make my way back the hard way without magic,” he recounted with a grimace, like that was the most horrible thing in the world to do. “Luckily gold is the second most powerful thing in this world.”

“Now where is that damn potion?”

“I alphabetized them.”

“You touched them?” he turned around, not angry, but worried. “You could have—”

“I used the gloves you gave me and never touched the vial, just the boxes,” she assured him.

He started to breathe slowly and quickly found what he was looking for.

“Well dearie say goodbye to this face,” he said as he opened the bottle. She looked at his face, almost trying to memorize the man before her.

“You prefer this, don’t you?” he asked with a sigh.

“No,” she said quickly. “It’s just different that’s all.”

He drank the potion in one gulp, wincing as the potion went down his throat.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, it’s just made for it’s use as an antidote not for taste. Let’s see if it worked.”

A cloud of purple smoke enveloped him, she breathed in the magic that once smelled foreign to her but now was a familiar, almost comforting scent. As the cloud faded away there stood Rumple in all his scaly and leather glory.

“This, dearie, is who I really am,” he said his voice a slightly higher pitch as he waved his arms theatrically. “A monster.”

“You are not a monster,” she whispered walking closer to him, touching his face lightly. Belle was definitely going to start embroidering tomorrow.

“You can’t tell me you prefer this face.”

“I have no preference. I don’t care what you look like, as long as it is you underneath.”

And Belle did something she had never done before: she kissed his cheek. Belle grinned and walked away and little did she know, the self-proclaimed monster was so in shocked by her affection he did not move from that spot for at least half an hour. However when he did, it was with a smile on his face.

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http://archiveofourown.org/works/864464

Tags: rumpelstiltskin
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