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Weathering the Storm

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Weathering the Storm: Part One


A/AN: Here's part one of a ten part fic, I hope you'll enjoy it!

Alexander Gold lived near the outskirts of Storybrooke, in a cabin, isolated within the woods. He had no living family nor a single friend. He only ventured into town once a month, and it was to buy groceries and pay his utility bills. The townsfolk never bothered to converse with him, or acknowledge his presence more than necessary. His father, Malcom Gold, had been a shrewd loan shark and landlord. He'd doubled his tenants' rent at the drop of a hat, and charged an unreasonable amount of interest to anyone naïve enough to borrow money from him. He'd died nearly ten years ago, but even though Alexander had nothing to do with his vile father's dealings, they still loathed him.

It was a bitter cold afternoon, and Alexander had already placed logs in the fireplace. The meteorologist predicted a blizzard was headed their way over the next several hours. He planned to stay holed up in his cabin like always. He never expected there to be a hiccup in his plans until someone started banging on his door at five that afternoon. He never had visitors, and he wondered who it could be. He reluctantly cracked open the door, spying a woman with flushed cheeks and tousled chestnut hair.

“I'm sorry for bothering you, but my car broke down, and it's snowing so dreadfully hard. May I please come in and use your phone?” she pleaded, teeth chattering.

Alexander analyzed her. He'd never seen her before, and knew she wasn't a native resident of Storybrooke. He knew the storm would only worsen, and he couldn't leave her outside to freeze to death.

“Of course,” he consented, opening the door for her. She held a small suitcase in her hand, and he wondered if she was merely passing through.

“Sorry, I brought my things with me, because I was afraid someone might break into my vehicle and steal them,” she remarked, her cheeks ruddy from the cold.

“It's fine, my phone is in the kitchen if you'd like to use it-” he halted, pining for a name.

“Belle French,” she gifted him with a brilliant smile, sending unfamiliar heat blazing in his abdomen.

He observed her as she traipsed away, and when she'd came back too suddenly to have made a phone call. “The lines are down, which means I can't call a mechanic. I suppose I could go back out and try to weather the storm,” she choked out, tears misting behind her eyes.

“No, no, you can stay here. I have an extra bedroom if you're interested. The blizzard isn't supposed to slack up for several hours. You wouldn't survive out there on your own,” he insisted.

“You're sure? I mean, I'm a complete stranger after all,” she said, her voice trailing off.

“It's been a long time since I've had any decent company, Miss. French,” he returned, coyly.

“Please, call me Belle. So, I've told you my name, but what shall I call you?” she queried.

“Alexander Gold,” he replied nervously.

“Alexander...What a refined name,” she beamed.

The way she said his name made it sound like a reverent title. He would've given anything to hear her say it a million times more. He'd shown her to the guest room, and she'd gotten settled in. She'd reemerged several minutes later, wearing a pair of pink flannel pajamas. He'd averted his gaze to keep from gaping. It had been years since he'd been in a woman's presence, and it didn't help matters that Belle French was stunningly radiant.

“I was on my way into town, hoping to get settled into my new apartment before the storm hit,” she revealed, catching him by surprise.

“New apartment? You're moving to Storybrooke?” he stammered in disbelief.

“Yes, I was offered a position at the library by Mayor Mills. She said the head librarian had just retired, and they needed someone immediately,” she explained, taking a seat on the sofa.

“I see,” he murmured, transfixing his gaze on the blazing hearth.

“I'm so glad I found your place out here, there's no way I'd have made it to town. I'm forever grateful for your kindness, Alexander,” she returned.

“I'm much obliged,” he dared a glance at her on the other end of the loveseat, granting her a rare smile.

“Do you have a kettle? I could make us a pot of tea if you'd like,” she offered.

“That would be lovely, I keep it on top of the stove. The tea is in the cupboard,” he announced.

Several minutes later, Belle returned with two steaming cups of tea. “Tea is the perfect solution in the midst of a bitter storm,” she beamed, handing him a cup.

“Thank you,” he returned, drawing the cup to his lips. He found it tasted quite remarkable and wondered what other talents she might possess.

Belle crossed one leg over the other, her steaming cup nestled within her palms. “You know, I'm thankful I found your residence. I was literally out in the middle of nowhere, and my cellphone was dead. I took a chance following that trail into the woods. Your smoking chimney was a beacon of hope.”

“I am as well, because you could have met an unfortunate demise. Maine winters are bitter and unforgiving. Thankfully, I have plenty of firewood stored inside and an ample amount of food to keep us from starving. I also have kerosene heaters if the power were to go out,” he informed her.

“I believe you just might be my guardian angel, Alexander,” she returned, catching him off guard. He transfixed his gaze on her, utterly stunned by her declaration.

“Ms. French, I'm afraid many wouldn't share your opinion of me,” he scoffed, memories of the townsfolk's jeering comments resurfacing within his mind.

“Well, then I suppose we'd be at an impasse, because you've been nothing but gracious and kind to me since my arrival,” she remarked, taking a generous sip of her brew. Her words startled him, yet ignited a flame within the dampened coals of his heart. He secretly hoped the blizzard kept them holed up for several days, because he knew once the snow had cleared, she would never come back.

A/AN: Part two coming within a few days. Prompts are welcome! I'm hoping to finish this by Christmas.

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Two


It greatly puzzled Belle that Alexander didn't have a single family photo on the wall. There were no visible pictures of himself either. She had concluded that he was a loner. It broke her heart to think such a kind individual had no one. Truthfully, she was in the same predicament. She hadn't isolated herself like Alexander, but she'd moved around so much since her father's passing; she couldn't describe herself as rooted. She'd decided to settle in Storybrooke after seeing the job advertisement for a head librarian online; it was a quaint town, and she'd been charmed by it the moment she drove over the towline for the first time.

Alexander Gold was the first real person she'd become acquainted with, despite her prior visit. She assumed he was in his mid-forties. He was lithe, and she thought the collared shirts and jeans he wore flattered him. Most wouldn't have given him a second glance if they'd seen him in a crowd, but she found him to be handsome, not in the way most people perceived beauty, but he was in an unconventional way.

The wind had howled tumultuously all throughout the night, and Belle sent up a prayer of thanks for the good fortune she'd been granted for finding this place. The bed was a bit firm, but she slept soundly, reveling in the warmth the many blankets piled atop the comforter provided. She awoke early the following morning. The cabin was still dark, and Belle assumed Alexander was still sound asleep.

As she sauntered into the kitchen, an idea struck her. She flipped on the light, and began scouring the pantry for something suitable for breakfast. She discovered a fresh loaf of bread, a half empty carton of eggs in the refrigerator and some bacon. She decided to cook some toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and brewed a pot of tea to accompany it.

Alexander awoke to the aroma of cooked bacon. He rubbed his bleary eyes, staring at the digital clock which read six A.M. He slipped on his house shoes, padding into the kitchen. His breath hitched in his throat when he spied Belle standing near the stove. She glanced back at him, granting him one of her brilliant smiles – the kind which stole his breath.

“Good morning, Alexander,” she greeted him warmly.

“Good morning to you, too. What is all of this?” he inquired, glancing at the table adorned with breakfast food.

“Just a thank you for letting me stay here. I got the vibe no one has shown you any hospitality in awhile, and I wanted to remedy that. I hope this is okay,” she replied hesitantly.

“It is, thank you, Belle.” He smiled a genuine smile which reached his eyes. It was beautiful and arrested her heartbeat. She steadied herself as she placed the fresh kettle of tea on the table. He sat down, and she took the seat adjacent from him, and they began to fill their plates. The scene was so domestic, and an observer would've believed it was a husband and wife engaging in their mundane morning routine.

“You're a good cook, too,” Gold complimented, stuffing his mouth full of toast.

Belle giggled. “I've been cooking for myself a long time, but it's nice to do it for someone else for a change.”

“Can I just say, I'm glad your car broke down near my home? Your company has been a breath of fresh air. I want you to get it fixed, but I'm glad you're here,” he confessed, catching her by surprise.

“Me too.” she smiled, covering his hand with her own.

The warmth from her hand radiated to the very depths of his soul, and he cringed inwardly from the loss of contact when she pulled away. They finished off their breakfast in companionable silence, and Alexander knew it was going to be impossible to let her leave when the time came.

“You know, I was wondering, I'm not trying to be forward, but there isn't a single photograph on your walls, or anywhere for that matter,” she commented.

He averted his gaze uncomfortably, staring hard at the floor. “My father and I had an estranged relationship, and he wasn't a likeable individual. The townsfolk projected their hatred of him onto me. You need loved ones and friends to make memories with, and I have neither.”

He wished the floor would've swallowed him up for confessing such a daunting truth. He could only imagine the disdain and scrutiny in her gaze, and he couldn't bring himself to meet her eyes. What he hadn't expected was for two willowy arms to snake themselves around his neck and hold him close.

“You poor, sweet man. You don't deserve the hand life has dealt you, but I hope you'll allow me to change that, and become your friend,” she replied, releasing him.

He immediately missed the loss of contact, for he was starving for it. He hadn't been granted a loving touch his entire life, but Belle French had just poured healing oil on his old wounds from her simple gesture.

“I would like that,” he replied meekly.

“Me too, it's been a long time since I've had a friend myself,” she confided, flabbergasting him.

“You don't have any friends either?” he inquired disbelievingly.

“Not for a long time. Since my father passed, I've done a lot of traveling and haven't taken the time to settle down. Storybrooke will be the first real home I've had in ages,” she revealed, propping up her chin with her elbow, smiling sweetly at him.

“Well I'm afraid I won't be able to offer you much, Belle. I'm quite unappealing,” he scoffed.

“Let me be the judge of that, Alex; may I call you Alex?” she requested.

The tips of his ears reddened at the nickname, as simple as it was. No one had ever bestowed a nickname upon him before, other than the demeaning kind. “Yes, I like it very much,” he insisted.

“Then Alex you shall be,” she beamed, tapping his nose playfully as she began gathering up the breakfast dishes. He'd offered to wash them, but she'd shooed him away. He knew it was dangerous to ponder thoughts of her staying with him forever. She would soon grow tired of him, and it would shatter him to be wooed by her kindness and then forsaken once again. However, he knew he needed to prepare for it, because that day would come, no matter how sweet things seemed at the moment.

A/AN: Poor Woobie Gold and his insecurities. More fluff coming next chapter...

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Three


A/AN: I'mgilmoregirl requested Alexander and Belle have a movie marathon.

“You mean you've never seen a Disney movie before?” Belle asked in disbelief.

“Can't say I have.” He shrugged, brushing off her reaction.

“Well, we're about to change that, right now!” she declared, dashing back into the guest room.

Alexander blinked owlishly when she returned, holding a stack of movies. “We have “Fox and the Hound”, but we're only watching that if you're up for a good cry! The “Lion King”, well it's kind of sad, too, but it has an amazing soundtrack! Here's, “The Little Mermaid”, and my personal favorite, “Beauty and the Beast”.” Belle grinned, holding out the DVDS.

“How about we watch them all? The storm doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon,” he proposed.

“Really!?” she gasped, her eyes growing as big as saucers.

“Really,” he confirmed, and Alexander swore it was like he'd told her she'd just won the lottery as she enthusiastically popped the Lion King into the DVD player.

He popped some popcorn, and they sat on the couch the remainder of the day, watching Belle's Disney movies. As they watched the scene unfold where Mufasa laid lifeless on the ground, with Simba attempting to wake him, Alexander felt something break inside of him. Tears streamed unbidden down his face as Belle stared at the screen, engrossed in the heart wrenching moment.

“Man, that gets me every time.” Belle commented, wiping at her eyes.

She gazed over at Alexander, his arm shielding his eyes, attempting to muffle his sobs so she wouldn't hear. “Oh my! Alexander, are you okay!?” Belle asked, scooting closer towards him on the sofa. He didn't reply. Belle quickly paused the movie, shaking him gently.

“Hey, what's the matter?” she crooned, gaining his attention.

“It's so silly for a forty-five year old man to cry over some animated cartoon movie,” he sniffled, averting his gaze to the floor.

Belle frowned, knowing this ran deeper than becoming a little choked up over a Disney movie. She'd done it before, but Alexander's reaction was unusual. “It's not silly, what sort of emotions did that scene provoke within you? What did it remind you of?” she asked gently.

“It reminded me of my own father; he never cared about me. I was always in his way, and to watch Simba's father make such a noble sacrifice for him, made me realize my father would've never done the same,” he whimpered.

Belle gathered him into her arms, holding onto him tentatively. He allowed her to stroke his back as he continued to sob. She must believe him weak, but when he gazed into her eyes, he could find no judgment.

“We could watch something else? Beauty and the Beast isn't so terrible,” she smiled encouragingly.

“No, I want to see how it ends,” he insisted, gesturing to the remote.

“Are you sure?” Belle asked hesitantly.

“Yes,” he nodded, reaching for the remote and pushing the play button. Belle stayed on his side of the sofa, holding his hand for moral support. He relished the feeling of her supple hand resting in his calloused one as they finished the movie.

“Well, how did you like it?” she inquired, casting him a quizzical glance.

“I'm glad Simba took his place as the rightful king of Pride Rock and banished his loathsome uncle,” he replied.

“Well, how about another?” she suggested.

“We can watch “Beauty and the Beast”, now, if you'd like,” he remarked shyly, gazing down at their interlocked hands.

“I know you'll love this one,” she beamed positively, sending unfamiliar warmth spiraling through his chest. As she let go of his hand, he immediately missed the contact. However, after she'd started the movie, she took her place back beside him, interlacing their fingers, while resting her head on his shoulder. It was comforting to have her so close – a reminder that he was no longer alone.

The Beauty and the Beast film lifted his spirits. He became fascinated with the female protagonist, wondering if she was why Belle fancied this movie so much. They both had brown hair after all, and a love for books since she was to become the new Storybrooke librarian.

“So, is this movie your favorite because you're just like the heroine?” he voiced aloud.

Belle flushed slightly at his statement, gazing up at him. “She's strong and independent, and I admire her for her inner courage and strength. She didn't allow the opinions of others to dictate her life, and she loved the beast for his true self, not the outward shell, which I believe is truly important.”

“Well your names are the same, and it certainly fits,” he remarked boldly.

“Oh, Alexander! My hair is mussed, and I'm wearing pajamas,” she lightly hit his arm, blushing prettily.

“I wouldn't lie about it, Belle, you're extremely beautiful,” he remarked brazenly, daringly tucking an errant lock of hair behind her ear.

Their lips were mere inches apart, and she had the sudden urge to kiss him until a loud bang resounded from outside. Alexander jumped up, rushing to look out the window. He glanced back at her, scratching the back of his head awkwardly.

“A tree fell, It was dead, and I guess the ice from the storm was bearing too much weight on it,” he surmised.

“Was it very close to the cabin?” she asked in a panicked voice.

“No, it was several yards away,” he reassured her.

“Good, well, I believe I'm going to use the shower; I don't want to risk running out of hot water, just in case the pipes freeze,” she retorted.

“Yes, go on! Clean towels are at the top of the closet,” he informed her.

“Thanks,” she smiled, leaving him to his musings. His heart beat rapidly within his chest once he realized how close he'd came to kissing Belle French. He was certain another opportunity wouldn't present itself because there's no way she could ever possibly desire him in that way. His father had constantly reminded him of how unlovable he was, and Belle being here didn't change that fact. She was merely being hospitable, and he was an imbecile to ever believe otherwise.

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Four

Alexander didn't consider himself to be a man of gourmet meals, but he did the best he could. He began taking out the supplies to make one of the simplest meals he knew how to make: spaghetti. He wasn't sure if it would impress Belle, but he wanted to do something nice for her. She was still in the shower, and he wasn't a romantic, but he was going to try.

"Hey," a voice resounded, startling him.

He glanced back to see Belle wearing a pair of jeans, baggy college T-shirt, with her damp hair strewn up in a messy bun. She was utterly breathtaking.

"Um, hey! I just figured I could make us some supper," he replied nervously.

"Care if I help?" she offered, padding towards him.

"Only if you want to, don't feel obligated or anything," he reassured her.

"I really don't mind," she smiled, languidly sliding her fingers down his backside as she came to stand beside him. He shuddered at the contact, granting her a small smile as he lit the burners.

He had her fill up a large pot with water. He threw some noodles and added a little oil to soften them. He turned up the burner to give them time to boil. He gave Belle the task of stirring the noodles with a wooden spoon, to make sure the water didn't boil over.

He ground up the hamburger meat and cooked it until it was brown, adding in some store bought sauce. He mixed the ingredients together before checking on Belle who was absentmindedly stirring the noodles.

"Let's see if they're ready," he interrupted her gently. She nodded, moving out of the way. He carefully picked up a noodle with the wooden spoon and put it on a plate. He chopped it in half, making sure it was tender.

"It's perfect, now let's drain the water," he instructed. He picked up the pot and poured the noodles over the sink. The water drained out causing steam to rise. Alexander put the noodles in a bowl and placed them on a table, along with saucy hamburger meat.

Belle knew how to cook spaghetti, but watching him take charge was adorable, so she acted like making spaghetti wasn't in her skill set.

"It looks delicious!" Belle commented as he placed a bowl in front of her.

"Thank you," he stammered, blushing at her comment.

"Relax, Alexander," she crooned, noting how his hands shook when he picked up his fork.

"Alright," he stammered, putting a small amount of noodles and sauce on his plate. He took his fork and twisted some noodles around it. Despite her consoling words, his hands continued to tremble, resulting in him dropping spaghetti on his clean shirt.

He grabbed his linen napkin, wiping at it annoyingly. "I'm such a klutz, such a failure, no good for nothing-"

"Alexander!" Belle interrupted him, pulling him from his self loathing. He filched, meeting her gaze. Her eyes were soft and full of understanding. "It's okay," she consoled him, reaching across the table to clasp his hand in hers.

He was rendered speechless as she parted her lips, placing a small bite into her mouth. He shuddered when she let out a savory moan.

He almost dropped the fork when she pulled him forward. "Alexander, this is the most amazing spaghetti I've ever eaten!" she praised, the stain on his shirt momentarily forgotten.

"Really?" he asked in disbelief.

"Really." She grinned, stuffing another bite into her mouth.

He was startled when he felt her arms snake around his neck, holding onto him tentatively. "Thank you for everything you've done for me. There's nothing more I want than to be here with you right now," she purred.

"You truly want that?" He was flabbergasted by her declaration.

"Most certainly," she assured him, cupping his face in her hands. She pressed a slow kiss to his lips and all he could think of in that moment was how grateful he was for the blizzard raging outside. Gold loathed winter, but it may have just became his favorite season. Her warm breath ghosted over his lips as she pulled away. He searched her gaze for permission as he leaned in to kiss her again. She ended up on his lap, his hands threaded through her thick tresses.

Belle felt her senses heightening as heat pooled in her belly. Alexander plundered her mouth, moaning sweetly as she boldly dipped her tongue inside his. Their make out session progressed to him peppering her collarbone with kisses, his free hand splayed against her belly, as if he were hesitant to touch her anywhere else.

"You're so sexy," she mumbled in a sultry voice, her eyes rimmed with desire.

He flushed deeply, her words making him feel vulnerable, yet desirable. He hesitantly reached up, brushing hair from her eyes. She grabbed his hand, kissing the underside of his wrist reverently. He gulped back the bile in his throat, suddenly feeling nervous.

"We should stop; I don't want to take this too far, I know you wouldn't want that," he chuckled nervously.

Belle's gaze bore into him, her irises filled with unbridled passion. "You don't think I'd want you like that? Oh, Alex, you don't have enough confidence in yourself. If I didn't want you, then I wouldn't be sitting on your lap, making out with you."

Her words elicited something primal within him. He kissed her again, yet harder this time. Taking things further hadn't crossed his mind, but if things did progress, he would be an attentive lover, making sure she felt cherished and adored. Those thoughts were banished from his mind as a loud boom resounded from outside the cabin, submerging them in complete darkness.

Belle sighed, and Gold coughed awkwardly into his sleeve. "I believe that was the power line this time," he stated.

"I'll go get some candles," she offered, sliding off his lap.

"I'll add more wood to the fire, and turn on one of the heaters; we should stay in the living room until the power comes back on. The bedrooms will be too cold. I can make us a pallet on the floor," he offered.

Her eyes twinkled. "Does that mean I get to spend the night wrapped up in your arms?"

"Only if you want to," he wavered.

"You should know by now that I do," she told him, and he couldn't help but feel those butterflies swarming within his abdomen once more.

A/AN: Lots of sexual tension but no smut...In the next chapter you get cuddling by the fire, and Gold tells Belle more about his past...

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Five

A/AN: Alexander confides in Belle about some of the past abuse his father inflicted upon him. Some mentions of non-consent are in this chapter.


Alexander made a pallet for them by the fire, which consisted of every blanket he owned and a couple of sleeping bags. Belle had changed back into her pajamas and so had he. The glow from the hearth cast shadows upon the wall. They laid side by side in their sleeping bags, facing each other. The fire crackled and popped as he studied her features, more beautiful than a painting created by Da Vinci or Monet.

“What's on your mind?” Belle inquired, slicing through the heavy silence which had formed between them.

“Just thinking about how beautiful you look under the firelight; It's like you're an angel which managed to end up amidst my dwelling,” he sighed thoughtfully. He noted the hint of a rosy blush discoloring her cheeks.

“That's the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me,” she confessed, partially unzipping her sleeping bag, an open gesture for him to come closer. He slipped out of his bag, crawling into hers. He zipped it back up, spooning himself behind her. She sighed pleasantly, relishing his closeness.

“If we share body heat then we won't get cold,” she muttered.

He wrapped his arms securely around her waist, laying his head on her shoulder. “This feels cozy,” he mumbled, searing her nape with his lips.

Belle moaned softly, reaching up to pet his hair. “When this blizzard is over, you'll have to give me a proper tour of the town.”

Alexander stiffened, and Belle noted his unease. She disentangled herself from his embrace, turning over to face him. “Alex, talk to me, darling,” she crooned. Her voice was so affectionate and kind, and he knew he didn't deserve it.

“Belle, if the townsfolk see us together, then I'll mar your reputation. I'm not a likeable person-”

“Because of your father.” Belle interrupted him, stroking the side of his face ardently.

“Alex, I don't care about what anyone thinks; I've been traveling the world the last five years, and my journeys have taken me many places. I've met people from all walks of life, but no one I feel as connected with as you. It's barely been two days, but I feel as if I've known you my entire life, and I want to continue to get to know you, even after the snow thaws.” she declared, pressing a slow kiss to his lips.

He kissed her back fervently, carding his fingers through her silken locks as they leisurely explored each others' mouths. She pulled away breathlessly, smiling at him.

“You know, you're the first person I've actually kissed that I care about,” he admitted, rubbing his nose against hers affectionately.

“And why didn't you care about the others?” she asked with piqued interest.

Gold sighed, respiring deeply as he prepared himself to divulge the truth. She'd either leave him or accept him without judgment. He just hoped it was the later.

“When I was thirty, my father was fed up with my celibacy. He accused me of being gay, though I blatantly denied it. We'd gotten into a huge argument that day, and he'd been drinking. He told me to prove it, so he hired these prostitutes for the evening, one for me, and the other for him. I was against it, but I wanted to prove him wrong. He told me he wouldn't believe me unless he got to watch, so he sat on the sofa with the other girl in his lap. It was the most humiliating experience of my life, but I kissed that woman; I still remember the strong taste of tobacco in her mouth. I screwed her right in front of my father, and he guffawed at my performance the entire time. When it was over, he screwed them both and made me watch. He wanted me to see how a 'real' man took care of business. I threw up afterwards, and that experience truly hollowed me out. I've never desired to be close to anyone since then. When my father died, I didn't even attend the funeral. I was free since he was gone, yet I wasn't. I've remained holed up in this cabin since then. I interact with others as little as possible. I'm sorry, Belle, but there's no way you can want someone like me. I'm utterly despicable and broken. You can't want this or me.” He was unaware he'd been crying until she wiped tears from his eyes.

“Alex, your past doesn't make you undesirable. Your father was a terrible man, and I'm sorry for the abuse he inflicted upon you, and I think you're extremely brave for sharing your story with me.” she reassured him, continuing to caress his face.

“I just thought you should know,” he whimpered, burying his face in the crook of her neck, an ugly sob tearing from his throat.

“You beautiful, sweet man, I'm not going anywhere, I swear it,” she vowed, holding him close as he cried himself empty.

He swallowed hard, meeting her gaze which was filled with sweet adoration. He nearly wept for how kind she was being. “I'm a bit old fashioned; I wanted to wait until we'd made a vow, so she would know she was my one and only.”

“That's so romantic, and I don't want to rush into anything. We can take this slow; I'm enjoying unraveling your layers, Alex. I want you to feel comfortable and know you're in full control,” she reassured him.

“What are you saying, Belle?” he quizzed, his heart skipping a beat.

“I'm saying I want a life with you, Alex. It's merely been two days, but I don't care. I want to be with you,” she professed.

“Oh, Belle, I want that too, very much,” he declared, kissing her again. They spent the remainder of the night, wrapped up in each others' arms, weathering the storm which had brought them together.

A/AN: Five more chapters...

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Six

It'd taken two days for the power to be restored. Afterward, Alexander and Belle had both taken the time to shower and have a hot meal. However, the snow didn't melt off enough for them to venture out for nearly another week. Belle had insisted he share her bed, despite warmth returning to the cabin. He didn't object, and felt more secure by having her presence with him, reminding him he was no longer alone. How many nights had he reached across his mattress, only to be greeted by empty space? Everything was perfect until the snow melted enough for them to leave his dwelling. Belle had made the phone call to the mechanic earlier that morning, and Billy had already driven out to tow her car to his shop.

"Come on, Alex, I need to check out my new apartment, and I want you to come with me," Belle insisted, clasping his hand securely in hers.

Gold swallowed hard. "The townsfolk have no respect for me; I would just mar their first impression of you," he mumbled insecurely.

Belle cupped his face in her hands, kissing him breathlessly. "We've already been through this, I don't care what they think, and you're coming with me."

Alexander nodded, feeling motivated when she kissed him again. He could do this, face them. After all, he wasn't alone anymore.

He'd driven his brown Cadillac into town. Belle's arm rested on the console, clasping his free hand as he drove, anchoring him to the world. They'd stopped at the library first. Belle wanted to check out the caretaker's apartment. She'd unlocked the library, leading him inside. The smell of dust and old books permeated his nostrils. He hadn't stepped in a library in ages. His father had frowned upon it.

Luckily no one was nearby to gawk at him when they'd arrived. Belle had coerced him to follow her up the stairs. The caretaker's apartment was miniscule; it sported one bathroom, a kitchenette, small living area, and a bedroom becoming of a closet.

"It feels stuffy, but it comes with the job; I don't have to pay anything extra for it," she added.

"Do you like it?" he asked, tilting his head as she dusted her finger over the kitchen counter.

Belle shrugged. "It's merely a place to sleep," she sighed, and he could see the disappointment flashing within her azure depths. He knew what they were both thinking.

"You should stay with me; I have plenty of extra space," he offered, hoping she'd accept.

"Alex, I couldn't possibly impose." She bit her lip hesitantly.

Gold shook his head. "It's not imposing if you've been invited."

"You're really sure? You want me to stay?" she asked, a smile blooming to her lips.

"More than anything," he beamed, startled when she threw her arms around his neck, peppering his cheeks with kisses. He felt as if his heart would burst from his chest, for he had no idea so much happiness could be found within a person.

At first, the townsfolk didn't know what to make of Alexander Gold and the new librarian. He came to town often, picking up lunch at Granny's, and taking it to share with her. Rumors began to circulate that he'd purchased her as a mail order bride, because of her accent. However, they were quickly dispelled when no one could report seeing either of them wearing a ring.

The couple continued to thrive and by the time Christmas rolled around, Belle French was seen wearing an engagement ring. Whenever people visited the library, she couldn't help but show off the hefty diamond, her eyes shining with love for the man everyone had ousted. It was perplexing to suddenly feel guilty about someone you'd treated terribly their whole lives, but the kind librarian made them rethink their actions. Belle French was the most likeable person in Storybrooke, and if she could love the son of the town monster, then he couldn't be half bad.

Alexander was stunned when people who'd always shunned him began to go out of their way to tell him hello on the streets. It was Christmas Eve, and Belle was closing the library early. She'd smiled broadly as he entered her workplace.

"Did you come to take me home, Prince Charming?" she purred in a sultry voice.

"I'm not a prince," he mumbled shyly, displaying the bouquet of red stemmed roses he had hidden behind his back.

"You're my prince," she grinned, opening her arms to him. He embraced her tightly, laying the roses on her desk. She kissed him passionately, her eyes sparkling with pure happiness.

She picked up the bouquet, inhaling their invigorating scent deeply. "They're lovely, Alex, what's the occasion?"

"Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and I wanted to surprise you, just because." He blushed, averting his gaze demurely.

"I love you, Alex Gold," she sighed blissfully.

"I love you too, Belle," he returned, kissing her again. She'd told him she'd loved him countless times before, but he didn't think he'd ever tire of hearing it.

"I was thinking that I'd like to get married on New Years," she said, smiling coyly at him.

"Are you sure?" he inquired, still flummoxed that she'd ever said yes to his proposal in the first place.

"Yes, a New Year entails fresh beginnings, and what better way to celebrate it than tying the knot?" she beamed.

"Oh, Belle, if that's what you wish, then yes," he consented.

"It is," she replied, leaning her forehead against his, leaving his heart so full that he almost believed he could soar.

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Seven

A/AN: Sorry for the delay! I've been crazy busy, but hopefully this heartwarming Christmas chapter will make up for it.

"So, what do you think of the tree?" Belle asked, pointing to the six foot pine, settled in the middle of their living room. Belle had insisted they chop down a real one, so they'd ventured out into the woods, and she'd picked out their tree. An artificial tree wouldn't do, but Alexander was elated to make their first Christmas special. After they'd set it up, Belle insisted they buy garland and ornaments. Round balls in various colors decorated their tree, along with a string of white lights. Silver, red, and green garland surrounded the various layers, and a bright golden star sat atop it.

"I really like it, I've never had a Christmas tree before," he confessed, slipping his arm around her waist as they admired it together.

Belle frowned, leaning her head against his shoulder. "We'll make this the best Christmas you've ever had, Alex. No more lonely nights, for I'll always be here," she vowed, interlacing their fingers together.

"I know, sweetheart, you've made my life so much more fulfilling ever since you walked through that door." He sighed happily, kissing her temple affectionately.

"I got you a little something," she replied, pulling away from him momentarily.

He blinked owlishly when she dashed into their bedroom, returning seconds later with a small, neatly wrapped foil package. She handed it to him, blushing girlishly.

"I hope you'll like it," she beamed radiantly, sending his heart aflutter. Alexander gently tore open the paper, taking his time to crease the edges. He unlaced the ribbon, revealing a white box. He slipped off the lid, gasping in awe at the snowflake shaped ornament cradled in white tissue paper. On the ornament, in intricate gold strokes, were their names and the year.

"It's so beautiful, Belle." He shook his head in disbelief, taking out the ornament to admire it.

"Do you like it?" she quizzed, biting her lip in uncertainty.

"Like it? I love it! This is the most amazing gift anyone has ever given me. I'll cherish it forever, thank you, sweetheart," he said, kissing her amorously.

Belle smiled broadly, cradling his face in her palms. "You're so welcome, Alex. I know we decided we weren't doing gifts, but I thought it'd be nice to forge a new tradition. I think it'd be great if we purchased a personalized ornament each Christmas to put on our tree."

"I really like that idea, Belle, and I have something for you as well," he grinned, a mischievous gleam in his eye.

"Oh?" she blinked curiously as he darted away to fetch her gift.

He returned, holding two packages. "Open them," he coerced, handing her the parcels. They sat side by side on the loveseat as Belle proceeded to open her gifts.

"You got me two things," she noted, smiling wistfully at him.

"Yes, does that matter?" he quizzed.

"No, it's just I – never mind," she blushed, ripping open the royal blue wrapping paper.

"You bought me a kindle," she chortled, "how thoughtful and efficient."

"I thought it was something you could put to good use. There's a fifty dollar gift card near the bottom of the box," he commented. Belle spied the card, pulling it out.

"I'll take pride in using this," she said, placing the items aside and turning her attention to the next box. She quickly tore open the paper, gasping in disbelief when she saw it. "A pair of keys," she noted, holding up the key ring.

"Yes, since your car is old and unreliable, I thought you could use an upgrade. It's still at the car lot, waiting for you to pick it up. We could go get it tomorrow," he offered. She didn't reply, instead she tackled him, hugging him tightly.

"This is the best Christmas ever!" she cried. "In all my years, I never thought I'd find someone as loving and caring as you, Alex."

"And I didn't think I'd find someone as wonderful as you, Belle," he sighed blissfully, holding onto her tentatively as they admired the glowing Christmas tree, their hearts full for the first time in ages. For Belle it was a year filled with making new traditions, but for Alex it was a year of new beginnings. His life hadn't been an easy one, but Belle had changed all that, for she made his days brighter and sweeter. Spending one day with her made up for forty-five years of despondency, and within a matter of days she was about to give him so much more. He couldn't wait until they made a vow of forever.

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Eight

A/AN: Rating has officially gone up for the smut...

Alex felt his palms dampen with perspiration as he slid the wedding band onto Belle's third left finger. He kissed her clumsily as the parishioner pronounced them husband and wife. They'd made a vow of forever, and now they were headed back to the cabin. Tonight would be different than all the others they'd spent together. Cuddling by the fire and holding each other throughout the night wasn't what this one entailed. Alex had imagined a hundred different ways it could go. His biggest concern was that he would disappoint her. His only sexual experience had been a nightmare, and he didn't want to project any of those negative emotions during their first night of coupling.

The moment they'd stepped into the foyer, Belle's hands were all over him, tugging at his shirt eagerly, as she longed to feel his bare skin beneath her. She'd kissed him passionately, sending a wave of heat straight to his groin.

He managed to shrug out of his jacket, arms tightening around her waist, attempting to appear as confident as possible as he plundered her mouth with his tongue. She moaned into his throat, pulling away breathlessly.

“Bedroom, now,” she hissed desperately.

Belle gasped as he hoisted her into his arms, carrying her bridal style to their chamber. He deposited her onto the bed, towering over her. His hands trailed down her sides, touching her supple curves longingly.

“We should undress, become more comfortable,” he wavered, his voice tinged with uncertainty. Belle noticed his unease, reaching up to caress his face ardently.

“It won't be like before; we'll take our time, and you'll truly be able to enjoy it,” she reassured him, steadying her hands on his shoulders.

“I just want you to be satisfied,” he remarked dubiously.

“I will be, husband,” she crooned, using his new title for the first time. It made him feel confident, and banished all of his remaining insecurities.

He kissed her harder this time, allowing his left hand to squeeze her right breast through the fabric of the white dress she'd worn for their ceremony. “You should undress me, husband,” she keened.

He pulled away from her. “Sit up,” he commanded. She sat up, spreading her knees apart. He eagerly pulled the dress over her head, gasping at her dark blue negligee. Her breasts spilled over the bodice, a thin string concealing them.

“Oh...” he groaned, his eyes darkening with lust.

“Merry Christmas!” she grinned wickedly, unlacing the string. She slipped off the negligee, revealing her nude form. She blushed prettily as his eyes roamed over her luscious curves.

“You're spellbinding, sweetheart,” he managed to say, reaching out to cup her breasts within his hands. She laid back for him on the mattress. He experimentally captured her right nipple in his mouth, swirling his tongue around it as he gently circled the other with his thumb. Belle mewled with need, rising up from the bed and pressing herself against him.

“Get ready of those bloody garments,” she demanded.

Alexander hurriedly undressed, remaining only in his boxers.

“I said everything,” she remarked authoritatively, as her hand slipped beneath the waistband of his boxers, stroking him gently. “Let me see you, Alex,” she pleaded, feeling him harden beneath her fingertips. He shuddered, pulling them down and kicking them away. He faced her as she continued to caress him, his eyes reflecting pure vulnerability.

Belle could sense his hesitation, so she halted her ministrations. “Alex, what's wrong?” she asked.

“I just didn't think anyone would ever want me, and yet, you do,” he whimpered. “I'm sorry for being so pathetic, I just don't want to disappoint you,” he confessed.

“Oh, Alex, you could never disappoint me,” she said, taking his hand and gently guiding it to the place between her legs.

“You're so wet,” he gasped.

“Yes, my dear, that's what you do to me, and you're the only one which has that effect on me, so be confident in your abilities because you're extremely sexy, and I want you so much it hurts,” she panted as he stroked her back and forth.

“Come here, my darling,” she purred, opening wide for him. He'd done this before, under unpleasant circumstances. He could still hear his father's jeering remarks, but the gaze of desire Belle granted him, allowed him to push it all away. He swallowed back the lump in his throat as he adjusted their positions. He moved languidly, savoring the feeling of her velvet walls fluttering around him. Pleasure he'd never experienced before spiraled through him as he made love to his wife for the first time.

“You feel magnificent, Alex,” she sighed euphorically, her essence drenching him. He groaned, his thrusts becoming more erratic. Belle captured his cries with her lips as he spilled himself inside of her. He collapsed, rolling off of her. They laid side by side, attempting to catch their breaths.

“That was-”

“-Exhilarating,” she huffed, turning to face him, grinning lazily.

“I'm so glad we're married now,” she respired, pressing herself against him.

“Me too, sweetheart. Me too,” he yawned, snaking his arms around her waist.

She laid her head against his chest. “You know, it's supposed to snow nine feet over the next several days,” she said, gazing up at him.

“Excellent, I know how I'll be spending my time then,” he replied, smiling suggestively at her.

“I like how you think, husband,” she winked.

“I'm glad you do, wife,” he whispered huskily in her ear. She pulled the duvet over them, relishing his body heat, forever grateful she'd been stranded in that snow storm all those months ago. Alexander had become her beacon of hope when there was none, and she would forever cherish this blessing they'd been granted.

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Nine

Life had given them a fairytale. Among the populace of fifteen thousand other residents were two lonely souls destined to meet. It was an ominous blizzard that had brought them together, not some sunny day. One might believe being loved was substantial enough, and Alexander Gold thought it was until life surprised him again. It began one cold wintry morning when his wife of two years lurched out of bed like hell was on her heels. He rubbed sleep from his eyes, rolled out of bed, put on his slippers, and made his way to the bathroom down the hall. He opened the door to find Belle hunched over the commode, groaning miserably as she emptied the contents of her stomach. He moved her thick tresses away from her face as she wretched.

"I have to be at work in two hours, but I don't think I'm going to make it," she mumbled hoarsely. He rubbed soothing circles along her back.

"The library can survive one day without you, sweetheart. I'm sure it'll be a slow day, granted it's supposed to snow three feet by tonight. How about I draw you a hot bath and make your favorite tea?" he offered.

Belle nodded vigorously. He grabbed a cup off the bathroom counter and filled it with tap water. He presented it to her, and she scarfed it down greedily, washing away the aftertaste of vomit from her mouth.

"Let's get that bath started, shall we?" he encouraged, gesturing towards the tub.

"Yes, my muscles are aching for some reason. Can you add some of my lavender oils, too?" she requested, standing a few feet away from him. Her hair was a tousled mess and there were bags under her eyes, but Alexander still thought she was the loveliest creature in the entire universe.

"Of course, sweetheart," he supplied, placing a warm kiss against her temple.

"I'm going to go fetch some pain reliever from downstairs. I'll be right back," she said, and he readied her bath while she was gone. When she returned, the scent of lavender filled her nostrils. Her toes curled at the thought of slipping her aching muscles underneath the tepid water.

"Your bath is ready, Belle," he responded, gesticulating towards the tub. Belle pulled her nightgown over her head, casting it to the floor. He couldn't help but gawk at her beautiful anatomy, no matter how many times he'd seen it. She shuddered at the way he looked at her. She sauntered towards him, cradling his face in her hands.

"You're the sweetest," she purred, kissing him gently. He wrapped his arm around her waist possessively, pulling her closer. She squealed when his hand cupped her arse.

"I suggest you get in that bath before I have the mind to join you, Mrs. Gold," he rumbled lowly in her ear.

"Go downstairs and make me some chamomile tea," she commanded, placing another soft kiss against his lips, breaking away from his embrace. She placed one leg in the tub and then the other, sinking under mounds of bubbles.

"I'll get right to it," he remarked. He made his way out of the bathroom, down the stairs, and into the kitchen. He scoured the cupboards to find a fresh tin of tea leaves, placing the leaves into a kettle already filled with boiling water to steep. He decided to add his own touches to the tea by adding a tinge of orange and rose hips. He procured two blue and white china cups with a floral decoration from the cupboard and poured them both a cup.

He was about to deliver the tea when Belle showed up with her hair wrapped in a towel, a robe hugging her petite frame. "Belle, I expected you to still be in the bath. I was going to bring your tea upstairs," he objected. She shook her head wordlessly, leading him to the table.

"Is everything all right?" he inquired before sitting down.

He handed her a cup, and she placed the steaming brew to her lips before replying. "It occurred to me while in the bath that I'm late," she confessed, nestling the cup in her hands.

"Late? Are you certain?" he quizzed, his heart thrumming with excitement at what this meant for them.

"I'm positive..." she returned, gazing up at him with imploring azure eyes.

"I'm sorry if this has inconvenienced you or-" she apologized, halting when she noted tears streaming down his face.

"Oh, Belle, this is the greatest treasure you could ever give me, I've always longed to be a father," he assured her, smiling brokenly. She rose from her chair and embraced him from behind. He leaned into her touch as she gingerly wiped his tears away with the pads of her thumbs. All of her anxiety melted away when she realized her husband wanted this. It was such a relief to know he'd longed for a child just as much as she had. They'd talked about it briefly in the past, but it had never been something they'd discussed in depth.

After the snow had melted off some, they ventured to Clarke's Grocery to confirm their suspicions. He bought her every single brand of pregnancy test the store had and all of them turned up positive. The Gold's were going to be parents.

A/AN: One more chapter...

Chapter Text

Weathering the Storm: Part Ten

A/AN: Hello last and final chapter! I hope you guys enjoy it! This has been such a joy to write!

Alexander sat on the front porch, gazing out at the vast expanse of foliage. It was always quiet in the woods, except for chirping birds and scampering squirrels. There was the occasional fox and deer as well. He smiled as she sat down beside him, leaning her head against his shoulder.

"What are you thinking about, handsome?" she inquired, grinning lazily at him.

His lips curved into a serene smile, as he leaned in to kiss her. He placed his hand against the curve of her belly, startled when he felt a slight movement.

"He knows it's you." Belle leaned her forehead against his, seizing his wrist and moving his hand fluidly over her abdomen.

"Hello, Gideon, it's your Papa, and he loves you very much," he told his unborn child. The babe kicked more fiercely as his father conversed with him.

"He's definitely going to love you, that's for sure," she said, releasing his hand.

"I hope I'm a good father to him; I never really had an outstanding example growing up." Alexander bit his lip uncertainly, averting his gaze back to the foliage.

"Hey," Belle said gently, gaining his attention. "Your father was a monster, and you're nothing like him. You're the sweetest, generous, and most amazing man I know."

"I'm glad you think so, Belle, you truly bring out the best in me," he sighed, kissing her temple affectionately.

"I don't think so, Alex, I know so," she confirmed, filling his heart with warmth.

The last two and a half years had been the best he could ever recount. He awoke every morning to the love of his life laying beside him, instead of empty space. Belle was his angel, and no one would ever compare to her.

Gideon was the first child born to them – a strong and healthy boy, full of curiosity and brilliance, just like his mother. They hadn't expected another miracle, but after Gideon's third birthday, they had Rose – a quiet and demure child, just like her father. They both balanced out each other perfectly, and when they were all grown up, they set off to have adventures of their own, but each year, they always returned to the cabin to visit their parents which had instilled so much love into their hearts.

A/AN: Well, this is finished. I wasn't sure how to end it, but this seems appropriate enough. I hope you all enjoyed it! It was a certainly fluffy piece to write!