"What IS it?" Rumpelstiltskin seethed, not quite liking the ringing in his ears. He had to once again make a deal, and this time it was some prince on some quest to slay a dragon and win some princess.
Boring. He forced a loud yawn, covering his mouth as the prince went on about how he wanted protection from the dragon so he could save his true love.
That only caused something a little like a snort and a little like a withheld laugh in Rumpelsitslkin. True love, how droll!
"Oh goodie. True Love!" He singsonged, dramatically clutching his hands to his chest. He let out a giggle and approached the prince.
"I will charm your armor so it does not burn. And that's it. The rest is up to you" He explained, and a cloud of crimson encircled his hand as he summoned an empty flask.
"In return, You must fill this with the dragon's blood and bring it to me"
The prince gladly took the flask, grinning eagerly, and after Rumpelstiltskin cast the charm, he ran off to fight the beast, with the Dark One watching from afar to see how this would play out.
Belle had jumped, slightly startled as she hadn't known he was behind her, she turned, sitting on the floor and looking up at him with those blue eyes of hers and she nodded a little, clearly he had to be some where "I can do that.." Belle responds as she watched him, swallowing back any other words she might say that she knew she shouldn't
Before she could, he was gone in a puff of crimson smoke, she sighed, deciding she should probably clear away her items and go and cook the imp his dinner, after all there was no telling when he would be back.
Standing on her feet, Belle headed off into the kitchen to cook the meat, luckily, Rumple had already essentially prepped it, she prepared the vegetables to go with it, not entirely sure that the dark lord would even eat them, but figured just in case. She even made up a fresh batch of the drink that he seemed to like, and poured him out a glass so that it was ready the second he came home.
When the food was almost ready, Belle set about setting the table, with the cutlery for him and place mats. She knew he wasn't a man of these kind of things, but she thought that it might be nice for him - despite all of the things he had pulled on her. She was working for him after all.
As she worked, Belle found herself humming a small tune that she had used to hum to herself when she was working back at home, it brought some comfort to her.
After some time, the growling of his stomach roused him from his work, and Rumpelstiltskin, with a sigh, made his way downstairs.
He found himself in the main room, and Belle was not in it. He turned his head to the side, listening for anything to tell him where she was, and eventually he heard the sound of scrubbing.
He approached her from behind, watching as she scrubbed the floor on hands and knees, taking in her disheveled look, and spoke up.
"When you're finished with that, I-" He spoke, but paused when he heard it. A faint call. His name. Someone wanted a deal. He sighed and rolled his eyes before continuing. "Want you to prepare an early supper of some sort. Use the Venison before it goes bad. I will..." He turned, listening as the sound got louder, more insistent. "I will be back shortly"
He scowled and turned on his heel, wincing as the voice got louder. Someone was antsy.
He disappeared in a cloud of crimson smoke, going off to find whoever it was that was pleading so loudly.
Belle sighed as she closed the door behind her and slumped down, she was surprised that he hadn't stopped her, but then maybe he hadn't even realized that she was gone, she was about to settle down and get comfortable when the parchment paper appeared out of no where. She read it, then with a sigh, pulled herself up off the floor, and made her way back down, she was happy to see the blood was gone at least.
The kitchen and Rumples favorite room had been made spotless now, so she figured she would work on the main hallway, and that she would start by mopping the floor. She wondered where Rumple was, but figured it didn't matter, if he wasn't near her, he couldn't torment and tease her the way he usually did.
She retrieved the mop and bucket and moved out into the hallway, mopping up the dirty floor, until it was all clean, and then she got on her hands and knees, scrubbing at it to make sure it sparkled, it was all she had to do here, to clean and cook, so she figured she may as well do it properly.
Eventually, Rumpelstiltskin had calmed, and when he stood, his maid was gone. With a sigh and a wave of his hand, the blood was gone.
He studied his hand a bit, suddenly disliking the flecks of dried blood, and with a growl, he grasped his bloodied shirt, wanting to rid himself of it. Had he lived alone, he would have torn the thing off, but he thought better of it and left to his room to change.
He picked a black shirt this time, which had ruffles near the top and tighter sleeves with the ends wide and fanning out. He chose a pair of crimson pants, leather of course, and cleaned his face and hands.
The bloodied clothes were thrown in a heap to be washed later, and he traversed the stairs to the highest level of his castle, where his lab was. He pulled a piece of parchment and pen from a nearby desk and scrawled a quick note down.
'Get back to work, Dearie. I'm not paying you to lay around -R'
He used his magic to transport the note to Belle's room in the dungeons, where he assumed she would be, and set to work on combining random ingredients to see what would happen.
"No, i'm a human begin with feelings, and i just so happen to care about others weather they be human, an animal, or someone like you. Sit there on your high horse as much as you like" Belle says when she watched him move over to his spinning wheel, she didn't know why she had snapped so badly at him, but what confused her more, was that he had merely prevented himself from getting mad at her.
"But i know that somewhere deep down, you care too" Belle says, and with a sigh, she shook her head "Now, if there is nothing more you want from me, aside from to torment me, and tease me mercilessly, then i'm heading back to my 'room'" she says as she curtsied, and turned to leave.
What was it about him that drew out this side of her, when all she had wanted was to get to know him, learn why the dark one was the way he was, she had thought temporarily that it might have been because he was lonely, and wanted someone to have around him, but from the way he treated her, Belle was starting to doubt it.
So, leaving him at his spinning wheel, Belle proceeded to pick up her steps and headed towards the door, deciding that if he wanted to create un needed mess just to torment her, then he could clean it up himself.
It was surprising to hear her speak out like that, and when called a coward, his anger flared, but he did his best to bite his tongue and calm himself before speaking.
"Because it is my table. And my home. I can do whatever I please" He warned, voice low. Regardless of his attempts at calming himself, he had to show his maid who was the boss.
When she was gone, he leaned back in his chair with a scowl.
"What are you, a rabbit?" He muttered, crossing his arms over his chest. "There's no need to get upset over a deer"
He sat there for a minute, before getting up and moving to his spinning wheel. He didn't need the gold, but the creak of the wheel and the feel of it against his fingers calmed him, and soon he had fallen into the all-familar routine of spinning straw into gold.
He focused only on the wheel, not paying any mind to the blood on his hands and face that were now drying and cracking with every motion. In his mind, it simply added to the beastliness.
Have you ever tasted Venison?
Belle looked up at the imp then, to see that look of innocence plastered over his face, almost as if it was normal to slaughter deer on the dining table, she honestly felt like she was going to be sick, was this a result of what she had called him? She felt he chest tightening at the thought of a poor defenseless deer being brutally slaughter at the expense of her.
"No..." Was all Belle responded with a slight hint of anger in her voice "Why would you slaughter a deer on the dining table?" She asks, turning her bright blue eyes back to him, they were filled with a lot of emotions then, Belle wasn't usually really one to do this. So why was she questioning the Dark One of all people "Because of what i said? You're a coward" Belle snapped, she didn't see why he had had to take his anger out on something so innocent, and so.... defenseless.
Belle picked the bucket up, and before Rumple could say anything, the dark haired girl was walking off into the kitchen to dump the water out of the window. She wasn't doing it. It wasn't fair.
Rumpelstiltskin simply watched, finishing his peach and setting the pit on the table, he leaned forward and took note of how pale Belle looked.
Ok, so maybe Belle was squeamish. But she was still doing the work... That must mean she was putting on a brave face... But why?
His grin widened into one that was downright predatory when Belle asked what he had done.
He took a second to decide if he should lie or tell the truth, but he figured she might pass out if he lied. Then what would he do? Wake her up? Or move her? It was best if she didn't faint...
"Have you ever tasted Venison?" He asked in a teasing tone. He leaned forward even more, placing his elbow on the table and resting his chin on his hand. His predatory grin turned into an expression of feigned innocence, as if it was socially acceptable to kill a deer and gut it on the dining room table.
Belle eyed up the table, she felt sick, it didnt really matter how the blood had gotten there, in truth, Belle just didn't entirely do well with blood as a general rule. She was just trying to keep her head straight around Rumple, she nodded, and curtsied again, before hurrying off into the kitchen to retrieve a bucket and water to clean up the blood.
Once she returned, bucket and cloth in hand, the color had drained from her pretty face making it a slightly paler shade of white. She glanced over to Rumple, and sighed softly, really hoping he didn't actually expect her to do this. She was all good for acting like she was fine with this, but in reality, she really wasn't.
Sighing gently, Belle dipped the rag into the water and begun to scrub at the table, though it was clear that it was bothering her, after a moment of cleaning it up, she shook her head, and turned away from it, sitting herself down away from it, not being able to deal with it. "What did you do?"
Rumpelstiltskin grinned one of his trademark grins, but kept quiet. He watched Belle as she noticed the blood, not showing any disappointment that she hadn't screamed or fainted.
"Oh, don't mind me. You've got work to do" He pointed out, indicating the bloodied table. He would wait to reveal the source of the blood.
He used his magic to conjure up a peach and bit into it as he leaned back, losing interest in this conversation.
He was too busy wondering about this girl, and why she hadn't fainted at the sight of blood, or screamed... That seemed very.... Un-princesslike.
Having sated his anger, he was left with curiosity, and despite his best attempts to look nonchalant as he ate his peach, his eyes kept wandering back to Belle, watching her work.
Belle sat up to the sound of the door unlocking, and she watched it for a moment before the door swung open, great. What did he have in store for her punishment, for merely shortening his name? She stood up, full well knowing that Rumple desired her attention, and she had no clue what he would do if she didn't go to him.
She smoothed out the front of her dress, it was getting dirty now, from all of the scrubbing and cleaning that she had been doing, despite the circumstances, Belle was really quite pleased with how the Dark Castle was beginning to look - in fact, with a woman's touch, it wasn't quite as dark as it had once been. She was sure that Rumple would punish her for that too. It seemed that anything she changed about him, in the sense of making him seem less....dark.... and evil, he took it out on her. She wasn't sure why, Belle could see as plain as day that the imp was lonely, it seemed to be the reason he had asked for a caretaker. So that he had someone to talk to. Even when he snapped at her, or quipped with her, or made his silly jokes, it was all interacting with someone. Of course, he hadn't anticipated coming across Belle.
An intelligent girl, who spoke her mind, and tried to actually converse with him, someone who didn't see the monster despite what he said or did to her, but a lonely man, and she felt some what sorry for him. Yes, she was his prisoner, but so was he.
She arrived down in the room he was in, and bobbed a small curtsy, though as she raised, and brought her eyes up to look him over, she was rather shocked to see what she saw. Rumpelstiltskin, covered in blood. Her hand flew to her mouth, of course, she had no idea where the blood had come from, she just hoped it wasn't the worst case scenario.
"Yes, sir?" Belle asks, shoving away any feelings that she might have in this situation, though it was clear that Belle was worried what the Imp might just have done...
Eventually, Rumpelstiltskin was finished, masterpiece complete, and he stored the edible meat. The inedible parts, the fur, some bones and hooves, those were all still on the table, lying in a big bloody mess. The head had remained intact, as he had partially entertained the thought of leaving it somewhere for Belle to find, but it was a notion he found childish after some thought, and so he took the remaining hunks along with the head and tossed them just outside the gate. It would be food for the wolves.
He was covered in blood and was glad he hadn't been wearing his dragonhide jacket at the time. His sleves were stained red, more work for Belle, no doubt, and there were plenty of splatters and smears all over his shirt and pants, where he had wiped his hands.
He didn't bother cleaning himself up, of course. No, he'd rather sit in his chair, use his magic to open Belle's door, and wait for her to stumble upon this ghastly mess. It was cruel, and he couldn't help but giggle, eager to hear a scream or watch her faint.
Rumpelstiltskin had gone, Belle was well aware of that with how eerily quiet it was in the dark castle now. Why had she done it? Had she honestly thought she would get away with it? She didn't think so, she had hesitated slightly before doing it. She had no one to blame for this but herself.
She stood up with a sigh and begun to pace around the room as she thought, why was she so willingly accepting this as her fate? Rumple clearly didn't care for her, nor did it really seem that he fully wanted her there. What would it take for him to treat her at least, some what better than he was. A dungeon was not a room.
Groaning softly to herself, Belle slumped back down onto the floor and closed her eyes, she soon drifted off to sleep.
When she woke up, she was well aware that Rumple was back. She tightened her jaw, hoping that he wouldn't come up to her. Knowing that if he did, she would be set back to work, and he most likely would have some form of punishment for her. It seemed a bit much in Belle's eyes, if he didn't like it all he really had to do was say he hadn't liked it and she would never do it again.
Rumpelstiltskin had found himself wandering about the forest, alone to his thoughts.
He had a scowl on his face, and his hands were clenched into tight fists.
It seemed like the more he thought on his anger and the cause of it, the more it confused him, and that only irritated him more. He didn't even know why she got such a reaction out of him. It upset him to know that she had been so easily able to upset him, that he had been so bothered it, yet he mentally scolded himself for thinking like that.
"What? Did you hope she would bring feelings of love and happiness?" He spat aloud, turning his anger on himself. "Don't fool yourself, Rumpelstiltskin. She's testing her boundaries. It was foolish to even ask for a caretaker. She's just getting in the way. A nuisance"
But he knew that wasn't true. The small rational part of his brain that still remained was telling him that she had been courteous and had not attempted any escape or defiance. And she always had tea ready for him so quickly.
He let out a howl of frustration so loud that the birds in the trees all took flight, screeching warnings to all other creatures. A frightened deer burst from the clearing, terrified, but unsure what it was running from or where it was going, and the Dark One, with a smirk, realized he had been presented with an opportunity to take his anger out on something. With a quick turn, and fast reflexes, he grabbed the creature by the neck as it ran past, and twisted sharply. The snap that resounded sated him, pleased him to be back in his element, the element of power and control. He could do whatever he wanted. He was the dark one, for pete's sake!
It was starting to get very late, and now that he was sated, he returned to his home, slamming the dead deer on the table loud enough to make his presence known. He then went about skinning and gutting it, preparing the meat and making a mess. He might have been a little angry at his maid...
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