Painting Layers of Love (Chapter Eight)




Synopsis: Belle French lives alone and she likes it that way. She’s lived alone ever since the terrible car accident which killed her mother and claimed her eyesight. Belle spends her days painting, in complete solitude, until one day she wakes up and hears movement outside. Somebody has moved into the cottage next door. She had grown comfortable in her solitary existence until Mr Gold crashes into her life. Now her future is uncertain, like a blank canvas, waiting for her to apply the paint and decide what kind of story she is creating.

Note: Banner by the awesomely amazing @rowofstars who has very kindly and patiently beta read this chapter. Thank you so much!

Warning: Deals with depression and anxiety.

On Tumblr: Chapters One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven

AO3 Link

When Gold woke
up, it was to the disturbing fact that he didn’t remember falling asleep. His
head was pounding, and his mouth tasted like something had died in it. That
would be the whiskey on all counts. It took him a moment to realize that the
noise reverberating around his skull, wasn’t just his headache, the phone was
ringing. Wincing, Gold pulled himself up from where he had been drooling into
his pillow, his hand grasping for the phone on the side table.

“What?” Gold

He regretted it
a second later, as his head throbbed anew and his gut churned. He hated
hangovers, this was why he usually never had more than a couple of drinks. He
couldn’t understand paying for the privilege of feeling this awful. However,
last night had been a special case. He’d tossed back the expensive whiskey like
water, wanting to block out Belle calling for him, and to stop the ache in his
heart. He’d just wanted to forget.

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MY BABIES! I think this is the most they have talked things out yet and it feels so good. This was a joy to read and I’m excited for where they go from here even though I know it’s a long road. They’ve already changed each other just by their existence. Gold’s understanding towards Belle seems to have renewed her faith in people being decent and maybe accepting her. Belle’s sweetness and vulnerability calls to Gold in a way that makes him curious about her but also want to protect her. I know that can be shaky ground to start a relationship on, but they have so much potential to further help and change each other if they are brave enough to pursue it.

Heh well it is slow burn. Jumping into a relationship would be a mistake, of course Belle does like to run before she can walk. Anyway, yeah they talked over recent events, which will put them in a much better place to move forward. They are both now ready to try and move forward, which is a huge step and a turning point for them. Thank you so much for all your support! I’m really glad you are enjoying the fic 🙂


*basically almost trips self trying to get to comments*



(in other news, i gave you props on one of your other fics here, and i’m writing it about it on this post cause Tumblr’s being a shitlord and won’t let me properly link you, and thought you’d like to see it <3)


Hehe I love your gifs. Thank you so much! Your enthusiasm always puts a smile on my face. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Yup they are talking, communication is good. Thanks again! 🙂


I knew there was something I’d forgotten to read last night. I’m so glad that they’re back on the same page now. But oh my word, all through their conversation I was practically screaming at them to stop getting the wrong end of the stick and just let the other talk! I think that’s a flaw of Belle’s that carries through into this AU very well, that she will always jump in with both feet and start making assumptions, and Rumple/Gold’s appalling timing has again carried across well.

I’m sincerely hoping that this is the start of an upward swing for them!

Heh yeah they deserve a bit of peace, before the inevitable over-reach and ensuing crisis. Yeah they were so wrapped up in blaming themselves, it was a wonder that they managed to actually talk it out. Thank you so much! I’m really glad you enjoyed it 🙂


So happy to see this updated! I missed it. Some of Belle’s struggles really resonate with me; the anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia.

Things might still be a little rocky between them, but they’ve talked at least, figured somethings out. And they were hugging in the end, so ::whew::! They are perfect for one another; he is so driven that he can help her work through some of her issues; and she can help him mellow out and get a few hobbies. And Neal, bless him, such a good guy!

Yeah, sorry for the wait. That wasn’t intentional and every time I post a chapter I swear I’m going to do better, and then it’s another month again. I’m glad you still liked the chapter! Yup them talking was a turning point. I agree that Neal means well. He has his biases, and made some mistakes, and he can be quite unreasonable where his dad is concerned, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a decent guy. He’s just human. Anyway, thank you so much! 🙂