Summary: Sister Astrid had been Nova once. But she had a life before even that. As Rumpelstiltskin will tell you...
this is just a one-shot. I'm still working on that series.
Characters: Nova|Sister Astrid, Grumpy|Leroy, Belle, Rumpelstiltskin|Mr. Gold.
Pairings: Nova/Grumpy, Belle/Rumpelstiltskin.
Disclaimer: I own none of them.
What mortal men and women would call a siren song, Nova had heard and seen every day of her life. The pull of the water, a draw she had not given in to, not once in her time in flight or as a nun. I have memories of being captain of a swim team before I wore a habit, Astrid knew.
One other thing she knew for a certainty: King Charming, Sheriff David, had told everyone that it was true that nobody had changed back to their old physical selves when the curse was broken. And that meant more to Astrid, Nova, than anyone knew. Grumpy will know, Leroy will, Astrid had resolved, but had never been able to tell him. The situation is never right.
That siren song offered a solution with its ripples and lapping against Leroy's boat. The Astrid portion of her said a quick prayer before she stepped up to the railing and pounced off into the harbor's clear waters. Just as Leroy was coming back out with some bottled water, he saw her jump, and he ran to where she had gone overboard.
"Nova?" Leroy called out, standing at the boat's railing. "Astrid?"
He kept calling until, a few minutes later, her head broke the surface of the water exactly where she had gone in. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa," she moaned.
Leroy dropped the rope he had picked up and was tying to himself. He leaned on the railing. "I thought I...you... Wh?"
"I'm sorry," she said. "I just haven't been in the water for so long."
"Before the curse?"
"Fairies can't swim."
Leroy processed that fact, and frowned. "But then... Wait, aren't fairies like dwarves - a self-perpetuating population?"
Astrid nodded. "I made a deal," Nova said.
the other world:
The cavern was not Rumpelstiltskin's cup of tea, but the proposal had been intriging enough for him to overlook that. My my, you picked a novel meeting place, dearie. "You're sure, dearie?"
Ariel nodded eagerly. To fly, to buzz about, to see the world from so high up. "I can offer -"
Rumpelstiltskin waved a hand, dismissing thought of payment. "We've been over this. There's no need to pay me now. You'll owe me a favor, is all."
"Yes. Anytime. Anyplace."
"So glad we see eye to eye on this," the Dark One said with a crafty smile.
Her sisters grew up and became sirens. Ariel never grew up - she became Nova, who became Astrid.
Belle was enjoying a nice, light supper with Mr. Gold at one of The Harbor Cafe's outdoor tables, when she looked down at the dock and saw Leroy jump in the water and splash around with Sister Astrid, the two of them laughing and having fun in the harbor waters.
Gold noticed Belle watching them. "Ahh, I wonder how long it took Leroy to overcome that instinctive fear."
"Fear?" Belle asked.
"Dwarves sink like boulders. Makes their fear quite reasonable."
"Oh?" he asked her.
"He was willing to go in the water for her."
"An impressive accomplishment, to be sure. As is her skill in the water after so long."
"I thought fairies and water don't mix," Belle said, looking at him.
"Oh they don't," Mr. Gold said.
"Then... You made a deal."
I brokered a deal. But that can be considered quibbling. "As many have said to the crocodile, I cannot go against my nature."
Looking for a bit longer at the happy pair splashing and laughing, Belle turned to Rumpelstiltskin and took his hand. "I'm sure there's a story there," Belle said invitingly.
Rumpelstiltskin smiled. "That there is. And it began with a little mermaid..."