Fic Title: Our Bed of Straw
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13. Imprisonment (oh, Belle), canon-typical violence, elements of dub-con.
Genre: Retelling, AU, friendship, angst, romance.
Why This Must Be Read: This story charms the hell out of me for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it's a retelling of Belle and Rumpelstiltskin - in Fairytale Land - but closer to Rumpelstiltskin's original tale, rather than Belle's. It's an absolutely lovely mashup of the original stories and makes the pairing all the more wonderful because of it. There's a lot of thought that's gone into this story in terms of character and parallel and the general theme of limited choices. Something I love very much about this story, that bears out from what we see on the show, is that both Belle and Rumpelstiltskin have limited choices, are aware of said limitations AND choices, and shoulder up under the understanding and responsibility that comes from making those choices. Also, the writing in this is lyrical and gorgeous, but not distractingly so.