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She should have known something would go wrong sooner or later. The first few weeks with Rumpelstiltskin had been strange at first, but they soon fell into a routine of sorts. He always got up before she did but would work in his lab in the tower until she made breakfast. He'd come down and greet her, and she'd serve him his before eating her own. This was done in silence until he was done. He'd thank her for the meal before either heading to his wheel or disappearing before her eyes to who knows where.
When he did this particular feat, she usually didn't see him for a while. Sometimes he'd be gone for a few hours and other times he'd be gone for days. When he disappeared for days, she learned not to worry about him and would raid his library once the castle had been cleaned. Today, however, their routine changed. Belle had looked out the window of the new room Rumpelstiltskin had given her that morning and all she'd seen was white.
Rumpelstiltskin's castle was on a mountain, so she'd gotten used to the sight of snow, but this was more than usual. It looked like it was about the height of a small child and was still coming down. It was soon evident by the frown on his face when he came down that Rumpelstiltskin was not happy about the weather. Belle held in a grin;this would be fun.
"Good morning, Rumpel. The snow looks beautiful, doesn't it?"
"Morning, dearie. As beautiful as it may be, it's a bit difficult to make deals in the snow. It looks like you're stuck with me for a while, Belle."
Belle couldn't hold in a grin this time as she placed his plate in front of him."How ever will I bare your company for so long?"
His trademark grin appeared on his face."You'd be surprised, dearie. I can be quite entertaining...for a price of course."
"Oh really? Just what kind of deal do you have in mind this time, Rum?"
"It's simple really. I shall entertain you for today, but tomorrow you must do the same if the weather is not clear."
"And what happens if it is like this a third time?"
"Then I shall entertain you again and we will exchange days until it is clear. Do we have a deal?"
"On two conditions. No harm will come to either of us each day, and whatever we do can be kept a secret until the person decides to act."
He thought for a moment before extending his hand."Alright."
She shook his hand, and he giggled with a child-like glee that she'd come to love. He did not let go of her hand and instead pulled her to her feet, their breakfast forgotten.
"Whatever you do, don't move,"he said.
"Wha-"Before Belle could finish, she felt air rush past her and realized that they were no longer in the the main hall. Rumpelstiltskin released her hand, and she swayed on her feet a bit.
"The first time can be a bit...intense on the body. It'll pass in a second,"said Rumpelstiltskin, watching her.
"You couldn't have given me a warning?"She asked, slightly irritated.
"Where's the fun in that?"Belle glared at his smirking face before she looked at the door he'd stopped them in front of. They were still in the castle, but she hadn't seen this particular part."Where are we?"
"Underground. Deep beneath the castle."
He opened the door, and Belle gasped. The room was filled with mounds of gold. Most of it was coins but some were golden cups, crowns, and jewelry. It lined the walls and left only small spaces to walk between the mounds of treasure.
"What are we doing here?"
Rumpelstiltskin merely smiled and snapped his fingers. The gold flooded the room and began to spread over the floor until the cold dull stone was replaced with a shiny gold. Rumpelstiltskin then stepped into the room and surprisingly his weight made the floor sag. He bent his knees and took a great leap. He flew high into the air before coming back down and doing it again.
"Well?"He asked in midair."Are you coming to join me?"
Belle laughed and slipped out of her shoes before running to join him. It was soft almost as if she were jumping of a bed. He watched her smile and laugh as she bounced with him and could help but smile himself. After a while, she got an idea.
"I bet I can touch the ceiling before you can."
He growled playfully."We'll see about that."
He had a slight height advantage over her and was going to use it. Rumpelstiltskin gathered as much energy as he could and jumped again. Belle stopped jumping when she didn't see him come down. She looked up and saw him holding on to the grand golden chandelier that lit the room. He legs dangle in the air as he hung by his hands.
He didn't reply and began to swing back and forth. Belle kept staring up at him, entranced by what he was doing. She watched him swing until he'd picked up enough momentum and let go. He flipped twice in the air before landing perfectly on his feet beside her with his arms in the air. Belle clapped for him, and he took a bow.
"That was incredible! How did you do that?"
"Thank you, dearie, and it's easy. A street performer taught me how do this years ago."
"We it was amazing to watch. You're amazing."
If his skin hadn't been it's odd color, she would have seen him blush."So have you been thoroughly entertained? We've been in here for hours."
Her smile told him all he needed to know."Yes. My feet are killing me, and going to bed sounds like heaven."
Rumpelstiltskin smile and took her hand."Off to bed it is then."
This time she was ready and did not stumble when they landed outside her room. He held onto her a few seconds longer than absolutely necessary before pulling away sharply. Belle grinned at the embarrassed look on his face.
"Today was fun. Thank you."
"It was nothing, dearie. I simply honored our deal which you must do tomorrow."
"I know, and I look forward to it. Good night."Without thinking, she stood on her toes and kissed his cheek before slipping into her room.
If she'd stayed a few moments longer, Belle would have seen the feared Dark-One grin like a lovestruck schoolboy before strutting to his room with a smile.