Day two - Turtle doves

A/N well here it is the new chapter - I want to thank all those who have favourited, followed and above all reviewed. Every acknowledgement makes me smile and means a lot to me. As always each review will get a personal response.

The next day was the perfect contrast of the day before and he knew it even before she wrenched open the curtains and followed the movement with an excited squeak. His knee ached with the sharp background note that was only ever bought around by "SNOW !" He marveled at the joy he felt at her excitement . Suddenly the mattress moved and he struggled to look disapproving as she bounced up and down on the end of it. Suddenly the movement stopped and she was at his side of the bed pulling at his arm . "Come on sleepyhead get up I want to go out in the snow before I have to go to work" she stared straight at him employing the normally very effective puppy dog eyes. Although normally a morning person the combination of the cold outside, his knee and his want to pin Belle to his side and snuggle up next to her for the rest of eternity (and possibly snog her senseless in the process) made him groan and turn away from her with a humph. "Come on grumpy, it's a bright new day and if I don't get out there soon Henry will have had all the snow from me before I can make a snowman and snow angel." She tugged on the duvet and he gripped hard onto it refusing to relinquish it. "The rest of the town will call you sour puss and grumpy face and you wouldn't want that". He took a moment to form a reply before burying his head further in the pillow and grumbling "I believe would cope". Finally she had had enough. Under pretense of giving up and lying down again she rolled into him and having lulled him into a false sense of security she struck. In all of half a minute he was rolling about on the bed unable to breathe with tears streaming down his face. "Give in?" she asked "yes, yes I surrender" he panted having managed to muster just enough breath to speak "just stop tickling me". He felt the pressure lift from her side of the bed and listened to the bathroom door open.

Fifteen minutes later they were downstairs eating big bowls of porridge Belle already decked out in thick coat, scarf and mittens. All was peaceful until the clattering of a spoon dropping onto the floor followed by a word he had never thought he'd hear her utter. Standing he reached for his scarf and coat , took her hand and led her out into the snow. He watched as she moved out cautiously into the new weather and felt his heart pound as suddenly she was on the floor in front of him on her back ,snow in her hair. Suddenly they both heard the crunching of snow and the small voice of a boy crying out. "Belle, I'm really sorry I was just practising my aim I never meant to hit you." Belle had picked herself up off the floor just as Henry Mills skidded to a stop by the porch and she threw Eli a quick glance that calmed his irritation a little. "It's okay Henry. What was that thing you threw at me anyway?" she asked innocently. "It's called a snowball. I can't believe you've never seem one before!" He leant down to form a new ball of snow with his hands, explaining the process to Belle as he went. She looked very intent as she listened and he wasn't sure he liked the little smile that passed her lips as Henry finished explaining. He was, as it turned out, completely right to be nervous as he heard the laugh he knew so well and saw the mass of snow flying through the air towards him too fast for him to move out of the way. It landed with a thud against his arm and he looked up to see the pair of them in hysterics and that was it. He lent down and picked up and shaped his own chunk of snow and threw it in her direction just missing her but to his satisfaction hitting Henry square on his left knee.

Later in the day Gold had finally reached the haven of the shop having only slipped on the ice once. He had been annihilated in the snowball fight, Belle was ruthless and he was now nursing one or two quite spectacular bruises. The clock on the back wall started striking twelve and he put down the book he was working on as he decided to start on day two of the project. He moved slowly to one of the cabinets and picked up a piece from inside it. Returning to his work bench he lay the piece down on top of it assessing the damage that it had suffered . It was broken into several pieces of varying sizes and to the untrained eye taking a glance at it the piece might look beyond repair. However, he knew better, it was just like the person to whom it belonged. At the moment it was broken but he fully intended to do his best to try and fix it . While it would be more fragile than before and never quite as perfect and whole as it had once been, it would be looked after and kept safe and unlikely to shatter into a million pieces again.

He continued to work on the piece that sat before him for the best part of the early afternoon. Manipulating the chain and melding it together with a new link his progress continued. The work wasn't complicated, not really, it just required acute concentration and hand eye co-ordination. Then the bell to the shop rang and he put down his work and made his way to what he liked to refer to as the shop floor. "Hi Mr Gold". There, with box in his arms, was Henry (one of the larger bruises developing on Gold's upper arm owed its existence to that small seemingly innocent boy). "Hello Henry, did you manage to locate what I asked for?" "You got it. It's right here in this box." Gold took the box and placed it on the glass of the cabinet behind him and took out the contents. "It's a bit battered. Sorry about that. It was the only one I could find in the whole of the town. I had to promise I'd clean out his filing cabinet to get it!" Gold smirked he'd seen the Dr's filing cabinet and it was going to be a hard task for the young boy. "I appreciate it Henry. Don't go throwing anymore snowballs at me again though or I might have to get you to do my filing to. If you thought Whale's was bad his is nothing compared to the mess of mine. Trust me." Henry looked up at him sheepishly and rightly so. "It's nearly quarter to and I promised mum I'd be home by four. Hope it all goes well." With this said Henry ran out through the door of the shop leaving Gold to look over the acquisition. It was certainly tattered and was going to take some work but he'd anticipated that and as it was Belle's late night at the library so he wasn't too concerned.

He took the large clock in his hands. It was rococo in style with paint that needed patching up and gilding that needed restoring but the clockwork itself was sound. Tentatively he turned the hands so they showed four o'clock and waited. The clock bust into life on the counter top a cacophony of bright chirping noises and animated movement which burst from the little doors at the clocks centre. Once the noise subsided and the inhabitants had returned to their home for another hour Gold said a silent prayer to whatever deity was listening that the mechanism worked. He turned the sign on the shop door to closed and walked with the clock into the back shop to finish his work.

By the time his lover opened the door to their house he was ready in the kitchen waiting for her. Gluhwein in a pan on the stove, takeaway keeping warm in the oven and the clock hung on the wall . "Wow that smells amazing" she smiled dumping her satchel next to the table and coming over to where he stood by the stove. His breath caught in his throat as she ran her hands around his waist and rested her head on his shoulder. "Is that Gluhwein and curry I smell?" "Yes love it is. How was work?" He turned letting his hands fall on her hips. From this vantage point he could see the satchel she had dumped by the chair and rolled his eyes to see it splitting at the seams with books that either she wanted to read or needed him to repair. "You've been rescuing more waifs and strays I see" he gestured toward the satchel. She turned around in his arms so her back was pressed against him and giggled. The giggle stopped as she caught the sight of the clock on the wall. "It looks like you too have been rescuing things". He watched as she moved a couple of steps forward towards it. "It is a gift for you my love. You need only wait five minutes until the magic occurs" she turned her head to him and her eyes lit up. Without a word he watched as she sat in the chair opposite the clock and looked raptly up at it. Continuing his work he placed the dinner in bowls upon the table in front of her and a glass of the warm spiced wine by her elbow. It was as he moved back towards the table that the clock struck the hour. He saw the delight in her eyes as the two little turtle doves popped out of the doors and made twittering noises. He had set the clock so the birds would remain out of their house for an entire minute and thus give her time to notice the rose between the darker bird's beak as it held it out to the turtle dove opposite with the blue collar of feathers. It took a moment longer for her to gasp as he withdrew the necklace that hung over them for her to inspect. "My mother's necklace... but where .. I lost this half a year ago before we were even..." She looked up at him uncertainty shining in her eyes. "About a month ago Leroy bought it in. It was in pieces and it has taken me time to work out what it was and the correct way of fixing it. Once I realised it was yours I thought I'd give it to you as a Christmas present." She smiled that smile that she saved just for when she was with him and took the chain from him and into her hands. "It's still a few days until Christmas. You already gave me a tree house for goodness sake." " What can I say? Can an old monster not spoil a woman who sticks with him despite of it all. Anyway what's a few days?" He hoped he'd covered his tracks just a little. He didn't want her to realise what he was up to too quickly; after all she might chide him and make him stop. She hadn't let the necklace fall from her hands to the table but was instead fondling a new addition to the chain, a tiny enamelled rose. She looked up at him, eyes searching for an answer, not upset or angry, just asking. "I thought you might like a little bit of me and you wherever you go so I made that to sit on the chain too. Although I can take it off if you'd rather" he added hastily. A single tear ran down her cheek as she held the necklace to him and then turning her back to him lifted her hair. He settled the necklace around her neck and let the clasp click into place. "Eli" she whispered running her fingers over the two minute pendants "it's beautiful". He sat at the table relived and they began to eat and drink together. It was such a simple gesture but between them it felt perfect. After eating their dinner they retired to the living room and to an awful television program which Belle ignored for the most part, absorbed in her book and which he ignored entirely caught up in watching her and planning out the next day's gift.

A/N Right... Hands up ... I know it's late sorry I've just been caught up in loads of other things and this chapter was written in tiny snatched moments here and there. I However, hope you like it . New chapter up ASAP .