Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Belle had never been happier to see snow in all her life the next morning. It had stopped snowing, but it still covered the grounds. With a childish laugh that reminded her of Rumpelstiltskin, she headed to make breakfast. She finished quickly, but she then noticed that he hadn't come down yet. Belle immediately knew something was wrong since he wasn't up. She placed his food on a tray and decided to head to his room.
Balancing the tray on her forearm, she opened the door to find Rumpelstiltskin still in bed. The covers were pulled over his head, and she could see his feet pocking out from underneath the mountain of sheets and pillows. Belle placed the tray on the table by his bed and shook him.
"Rumpel. Rum. Wake up."
He rolled over away from her, clutching the covers tighter."Go away."
She tried to open the curtains but found that they had been nailed down as the ones in the main hall had been. Belle heard him giggle and huffed. He was like an annoying child sometimes. Then an idea came.
"Fine. If you want to break our agreement, I don't mind. The snow should be gone tomorrow, so you'll get nothing since you're not getting up."
Belle opened the door to leave, but it snapped shut on its own. She turned back to him and saw him sitting up with the tray in his lap.
"We can have that happening, dearie, now can we? I'll be done and with you in a moment."
She smiled at the sight of him. His hair was even more unruly than it normally was and fell in front of his eyes as he ate. She also noticed that he slept without a shirt. His chest had the same scaled and grayish tone as his face and hands but was nice in spite of it. He wasn't burly like Gaston had been, but he wasn't scrawny either. Her next thought was about what else he did not have on underneath the sheets. She quickly put that thought out of her head but blushed none the less.
Rumpelstiltskin noticed her staring at him but was to busy eating to say anything. All magic came with a price, and the price for the amount he'd used yesterday was most of his energy. He'd collapsed on his bed just as Belle had done after she'd kissed his cheek. That kiss made it worth it though. Her image filled his dreams that night, and he'd slept better than he ever had. He finally wolfed down the last of her delicious cooking and stretched.
"All done, dearie. Now what are we going to do today?"
Belle took the tray and grinned."It's a surprise, but I'll give you a hint. Meet me in the main hall, and you might want to wear something warm."
"As you wish, princess."
Belle paced in front of the door of the main hall as she waited for Rumpelstiltskin. She turned around and ended up coming face to face with him. She let out a yelp before smacking his arm.
"Don't do that! I'm beginning to think you enjoy scaring me."
He merely let out one of his usual giggles."It is enjoyable every now and then."
She kept glaring and pulled the door open."Come on."
"And just where are you going?"
"We are going outside, Rumpel,"she said as they finally stepped onto the snow covered grounds. She took in a breath of the chilly air and smiled as Rumpelstiltskin crossed his arms.
"You're supposed to entertain me. How could this possibly be-"He was cut off when a cold ball of snow hit him directly in the chest. He cleaned it off and looked at Belle. She was laughing at the shocked look on his face."What was that for?"
"Honestly, Rum, don't you have any fun? It's a snowball fight. You're supposed to try and hit me."
"That sounds completely and utterly-SMACK!"Another snowball from Belle hit him directly in the face."You're dead, dearie."
She let out a shriek and backpedaled away from him as he gathered a snowball of his own. His shot hit her in the chest, and he took off after her laughing. Belle wisely fled from him around the grounds. They kept running and pelting each other with snowballs until he tackled her into the snow. They landed under one of the large oak trees covered in snow laughing.
His arms held her down, and even in the cold snow, she felt warm next to him. Rumpelstiltskin looked down at her and immediately regretted it. She was beautiful even with her hair filled with flecks of snow and her coat slightly wet from the melted snow. She was like an angel. Without warning, he kissed her. It wasn't on the cheek as she had done. He kissed her full and hard on the lips. Belle was shocked at first but soon began to kiss back, shocking him. Finally, he pulled away and looked at Belle again. She was obviously shocked by the kiss.
"Belle...I...I don't..."He was fumbling for words. He needed something to say to explain himself.
Belle looked at him with an amused smile and placed her finger to his lips to silence him."I know. I don't understand it either, but we'll figure it out. For now, lets just go inside."
Rumpelstiltskin nodded and without a word sent them to the fireplace in the library. He finally released her and snapped his fingers to start a fire for the both of them. Belle took off her damp coat and sat down next to him in front of the fire. Rumpelstiltskin took off his own coat and placed it around her shoulders after seeing her shiver.
"You're welcome. I had a good time today, Belle."
He rarely used her name, so it was odd to hear it come from his lips."So did I."
Rumpelstiltskin saw her shiver again when she finished. He carefully slid over and moved her so that she sat in his lap with his arms around her waist and his coat covering the both them. Belle was startled by the sudden contact but soon snuggled into his chest for warmth. She let out a content sigh before closing her eyes. For a while, he just sat there and enjoyed her closeness until he noticed how slow her breathing had gotten. He looked down and found that she was asleep.
With a small smile, he stood up, ignoring the slight twinge in his right leg, and carried her to her room. He opened the door with magic to keep from dropping her and carefully placed her in bed. Rumpelstiltskin knew she wouldn't be comfortable in wet clothes, so he summoned the soft golden night gown he'd made for her and switched her clothes for it. She looked even more beautiful in it than he'd hoped. After tucking the covers tightly around her to warm her up, he kissed her forehead softly.
"Sweet dreams, dearie."
He watched the smile form on Belle's lips as if she'd heard him before going to his room.