The black sky was already patterned with an array of stars that sparkled like diamonds there in a night canvas. As he tentatively looped an an arm around the girl's blue stitched sleeve, he led her outside, just enough so she may finally take a few breaths of fresh air and get a high resolution view of what he wanted to show her.

She looked at him, confusion etched over her face, the desire to sleep heavy in her eyes. It was almost eleven after all, but she would be lying if she said she wasn't intrigued by his rather late night 'order' of her to meet him outside. In this frigid cold. It better be good.

"Why couldn't this have waited until morning?"

He was silent for a moment, before a deeply amused smirk snaked over his face. "Well, I may not study stars, but I'm quite certain they don't appear in the morning, dearie!" At her frivolous pout, he took a hold of the delicate cheeks and squeezed them playfully. "Such a pretty face, yet not such a bright one."

Giddier at the deepening, child like scowl, his thin form cantered towards the edge of the balcony, alarming Belle as he perched at the very top of its stony edge like a bird. With his less than healthy physique and thin, bony limbs it was a wonder how he could stand there without even stumbling. Of course, there was a lot of things about Rumpelstiltskin that surprised her.

Her heart quickened, missing a beat when her master turned to her, face melting off to a confused look, before he chuckled. "Well, you're not going to get the best view practically pressed against the window." He crooked a gangly finger towards her and the young maiden hesitantly peeled herself off the brick wall, striding slowly towards him. The gentle hand still beckoning her entwined his warm fingers in hers.

"Have you ever stood at the tip of a balcony, dearie?" His voice had a playful lilt to it, able to sense her fear as one of her delicate feet eased up onto the ledge, afraid to move further. "It's safe – I've been on this ledge many times."

Shutting her eyes tightly, Belle held onto his hand and carefully scrambled onto the ledge. Rumpelstiltskin bit hard on his lip in mirth when her back seemed to bristle like a kitten that had just been dunked into a vat of water.

The girl's arms slipped around her captor's thin waist, noticing the way his body tensed away and chilled to her touch, still so unaccustomed to it. She edged to the very end of the alabaster railing, feeling a hand pressed against her back; one pushing gently into her midsection as a means of support for the physically unstable girl. Her life was literally in his hands right now. Surprisingly soft and warm hands, despite their appearance.

A sudden flash of a spectrum of blinding blue whizzed past the two with a tendril of sparkles for a tail, soaring somewhere into the distance. Just like that, Belle was startled into a fall. Before she tumbled over the edge, a pair of hands halted her just as her feet scrambled in the night air. Backing up with a feverish look, she found herself burying into his chest so deep he wondered if she'd go through his back.

The trembling brown eyes stared up at him with fright, as wide as the saucers she set his tea in every morning. It was hard to hold back the snickers. Evidently his next words seemed making the girl intent on pushing him off the balcony.

"We need to get you out of the habit of falling off of things." No concern (although it was hidden beyond those normally belligerent, gold eyes), only light hearted humor at her expense, making a joke of it. Of course. She wanted to give a good shove against his chest if that wouldn't risk both of their lives at the moment.

Still getting over her fear induced daze from her almost-fall, Belle hesitantly rose her flecks of brown to where a calloused, gray finger pointed in the sky. At last, it had started: what he wanted to show her. Enticed by the beauty of the dancing comets, the brunette nearly forgot her tumble, and neither realized how far she was leaning over the edge of the balcony until a hand went around her middle again.

"What..are those?" He stared sharply at her, gaze almost angry, although it was really genuine shock. How could she not know what meteors were? He stared hard at her for a moment, and a pink blush crept over her face. She didn't really get out much, never really saw the peculiar balls of lightning. What bitter irony: confined from one tower to the next.

He crossed his legs, skin glittering in the silver moonlight. He decided to play with her. "What do you think they are?" A silent titter sounded from his lips, as he could easily tell she seemed angry not to just get a straight answer.

"I don't know.. I've never seen a shooting star before, but is..that what they are?"

He wagged a teasing finger in her face, eyes glinting with a playful, impish look. "You ah getting warmer!" he said, his thick, wayward accent emphasized in his words. "But not quite."

"Are they...falling planets?"

He opened his mouth to correct her, but found the words abruptly dying in a breath, mouth still open, finger still paused in mid air as he contemplated. Actually, he had no idea what meteors were, didn't study them much, and what little he read that was known about the universe didn't provide many insights. He just had to go with a guess and hope to Godshe didn't prove him wrong later. She probably would, and then she'd never shut up about it.

"Yes."

The girl studied the balls of azure fire for a moment longer, and the captor felt himself becoming chilled with sudden sweats, certain she would catch on to the fact he wasn't quite sure what he was talking about, but she didn't. After a few more seconds of watching the meteors dance, she twisted to bury into his chest, inhaling his musky scent. He always flinched when she touched him, although he never meant to. It was different when he touched her, but the gentle contact of a human girl's baby soft skin was something he was unaccustomed to.

Eventually the two surpassed the moments of nervousness and the feelings of anxious electricity when one of their fingers or shoulders brushed against each other, and they both settled back on the balcony, no longer teetering or nervous as they watched the glittering meteors in the black sky.

Falling stars or falling planets; neither of them cared.


(Oh my God, it's not ponies. Hey look, I figured out the little line after each scene~!

I've been secretly obsessed with "Once Upon A Time", but I intended on keeping it to myself, really and just read other people's fics and see their art. Yeah, "Skin Deep" smashed that plan to smithereens (as it did my heart.)

Guess this takes place before Rumpel becomes a class A douche again. Will probably be more of these two and other characters.

Rumpel, you are hard to write, you ( hysterical, giggly little pyschopath) lovely man.)