Fan Fic / A Bed of Thorns

Belle is no princess, but then Rumpelstiltskin is certainly no prince. His price is her hand in marriage.

A long-running Once Upon a Time fanfiction to be found here, A Bed of Thorns follows Belle and Rumpelstiltskin in an AU where his price for saving her people from ogres is Belle's hand in marriage. It is notable for its length, characterisation and world-building. It is of this writing incomplete at one hundred & twenty chapters, and updated on a semi-regular basis.

This work provides examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Belle and Rumpelstiltskin, Regina and King Leopold, Maurice and Belle's mother. Belle and Gaston would have had one as well, had their betrothal gone through.
  • Beast and Beauty: Belle and Rumpelstiltskin, obviously.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Rumpelstiltskin is convinced that he cannot father children due to being under the Dark Curse. This causes him to be dismissive when Belle tells him when she thinks she might be pregnant.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Belle and Rumpelstiltskin, for all that Rumpelstiltskin tries to hide it behind (tasteless) jokes.
  • Deal with the Devil: Rumpelstiltskin demands Belle's hand in marriage in exchange for saving her fiefdom from ogres.
  • Death by Childbirth: Belle's mother. Suffering a similar fate is Belle's greatest fear.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: In-Universe. Belle's people call her 'princess' despite being the daughter of a knight because they like the title better.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Rumpelstiltskin, which is not glossed over in the least.
  • Fantasy Contraception: Wren tells Belle that there are "herbs" that can prevent pregnancy.
  • Happily Married: It's early days yet, but Belle and Rumpelstiltskin appear to be headed in this direction.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Belle is smart and intuitive, but her youth, lack of worldly experience, and innocence of evil means that she can misinterpret or not quite understand some of the things Rumpelstiltskin does, or says to her.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Belle and Rumpelstiltskin have been in this stage for most of the story, and only really start to get past it around chapter 70.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Belle and Rumpelstiltskin, although they do have to work at it and neither one of them is exactly thrilled with this state of affairs to start off with
  • Plucky Girl: Belle. In an arranged marriage to the most powerful and evil man in her world, and she still tries to make the best of it, actually winning her new husband over in the process.