I answered a Fanmail private message this morning about what’s going on with ABoT!Rumple during chapter 26, Dark Justice, where he gets inappropriate with Belle after saving her life, and in chapter 89, Cuckoo, where he jumps to the conclusion that her pregnancy means she’s been unfaithful.
I’ve been asked about the first one a lot, and it’s one of the scenarios outstanding on the 77777 fic giveaway list for rewriting from Rumple’s POV. I haven’t done it yet because I haven’t found a way to articulate it in-character. The inside of his head at that point is more like a primal scream than a flowing narrative. He caused Belle to feel overpowered because his behaviour was out of line, because his actions made her oppressively aware of his physical strength when she was already vulnerable, but power over her was not his motive. That was the one time he stopped handling her with terrified, exaggerated care and showed her the aspect of him that’s capable of thinking only in selfish, primary colours. Need and terror, compounded by his red-mist rage at what happened in town. Afterwards, he retreats, more convinced than ever that Belle can’t be his, and hating himself for how he treated her. Possessiveness is a tricky issue, for this Rumple. He is possessive, but it’s tempered by respect both for Belle as a person and for Belle in her role as his wife. So the rejection hurt him, even while he was loathing himself for putting her in that position. It reinforced in his own mind that he’s not to be trusted with her - with anything that he can crush in a moment of madness.
By chapter 89, Cuckoo, Rumple has begun to believe in them. That there is a them, for one thing, and that while Belle would probably stay with him for the sake of her people, or stay rather than break her word, that isn’t why she’s stayed this long. He’s been afraid for her as he’s seen her grow more and more out of sorts; her mortality has been on his mind, and he’s afraid that staying with him will eventually destroy Belle, as much as she loves him. He doesn’t know what the hell to do about the curse; he’s been driving himself crazy trying to figure out a way to proceed without harming Belle along with everybody else. As they’ve grown closer, he’s grown more vulnerable and less afraid of being so with her, but he’s never quite stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. He expects life to hand him lemons. If he fell into an apple orchard, he’d find lemons and be unsurprised. Nothing as good as Belle happens to Rumpelstiltskin, and if it does happen, it can’t last. Rather than apply his rational mind to the news that Belle has a baby inside her, he snaps back to those primary colours. Pushes the threat away. Runs. It didn’t take him very long to wear out his blind rage and start to think with his upstairs brain again, to realise that, if nothing else, Belle lacked the opportunity to find a lover and make hay, but the damage was done. Regina pushing his buttons was a small but significant part of it; she gets to him more than he realises.