Just a funny little fic inspired by the lovely ladies of the Rumbelle Movie Club!
Alright, this should do it.
Rumpelstiltskin stood over a boiling cauldron, stirring together bits and baubles to make Belle a gift she’d always wanted: a cat. He didn’t trust cats, not in the least. Why she wanted one was beyond him. He didn’t want any more ridiculous creatures running about the estate, so he decided to make one he knew would be better. He’d found some sort of recipe that could conjure a kitten with all the love of the brewer, but it’d only be around for three days. The final ingredient? Nine hairs from his own head. One by one, he dropped them in and watched his concoction bubble. Blinding light filled the tower and he fell to his knees, bringing arms to his face to offset the brightness. His hands involuntarily slapped onto the cobblestone before him and he arched his back as an odd tingle danced down his spine. His muscles tensed and contracted sharply before suddenly relaxing. Disoriented and confused, he fell over onto his side, but something was wrong; he was under a blanket. Looking for the edge, he spotted a bit of sunlight and nudged his head through it.
Terror ripped through him as he saw that the furniture had more than tripled in size.
He froze in place, stretching his arms out into the light, confirming what he feared to be true: two tiny paws came into view. Still adjusting to his new limbs, he scurried out into the light, spinning around to see that he had been hidden under his own clothes that once fit him so well. A flash of fur distracted him as he spun. Dashing after it, he realized that he had begun chasing his own tail.
A mirror. I need a mirror.
He gambled across the tower (trying to get used to walking on all fours) and nudged aside a bid of canvas that was draped over a floor-length mirror. Taking a startled jump back, he gazed into the glass. He was covered from nose to tail in dusty brown, long fur. It was tousled and didn’t lay flat in a single place. He was skinny and his paws were dipped in patches of grey that matched the one on his chest. Surprisingly, his eyes were the most comforting change; they were the same tawny brown they had been before the curse took him. Feeling an odd sense of pride, he considered himself to be a pretty cute kitten.
He heard Belle’s voice echo from the stairway. Eager to see her excitement, he scampered off to the stairs. He hopped down one. Then another. Then another. Then…he missed. Summersaulting down the majority of the remaining stairs, he cried out, only to hear a faint mew pour forth from himself.
"Oh, Gods, what the—" Belle watched in horror as the dusty ball of fur tumbled down the stairwell, "Is that…is that a kitten?!” She whispered to herself.
Running after him, her hands flew to her mouth in ecstatic shock when she found the him flat on his back with all fours sticking up in the air. He locked eyes with her, basking in the glow of her smile as she bent down to pick him up.
"Well hello there, little kitty!" Belle lifted him up above her head and his entire body tensed, unfamiliar with the sensation of feeling so light. "Oh, did I startle you?" She cooed, holding him to her chest with enough room to peek out above her shoulder, "You’re ok, I’ve got you. How long have you been hiding up there? You must be hungry; let’s fix that."
Belle set him down on the table and poured some cream into one of the china saucers from their shared tea set. Rumpelstiltskin stared at the saucer, then back up at Belle. He hadn’t used anything but the chipped cup to drink from in quite some time, and he wasn’t about to change that now.
"What? What’s the matter? You don’t want it?" Belle’s voice was increasingly childlike, talking to him like he was an infant.
Trotting around the other side of the teaset, he found his prize. Attempting to show her what he wanted, he sat up and put his front paws on the rim, but instead only succeeded in flipping the cup over, upsidedown, over his head.
"Kitty, be careful!" She giggled, That’s Rumpelstiltskin’s special cup! It’s actually not so special, I broke it, but he won’t drink out of anything else. Would you prefer a cup too? Would that be better?" Belle set the cup back on its saucer, "Ok, but don’t tell him. I don’t know how he’d feel about sharing it with an animal…no offense." She gave him a teasing grin and poured cream into the chipped cup, " I don’t know why I’m talking to you so much…" He happily drank almost all of the milk and looked up at her, happy to see her giggle at the bit that had gotten on his nose. "You must have been hungry! I wonder how you got up there…did you see Rumple? He told me he had a project. I bet he left to collect on a few deals," Belle trailed off, musing, "I know! Now that you’ve had some nourishment, let’s go play! My chores can wait."
Scooping him up again, she headed toward the spinning wheel.
Ohhh no. Ohhh no no no.
Plopping him on an all too familiar seat, she sat on the floor and tugged free a string of gold from a nearby heap. Pulling until she had wound up a decent ball of the stuff, she reached for a pair of shears and snipped it free. She dragged the end of it along the edge of the stool, slowly, waiting for him to try and catch it. He watched carefully, unable to shake the catlike instinct. Then, without warning, a paw shot out to trap the glimmering string…and missed. Again he tried, but Belle was too quick. She continued to swish it about, swiftly pulling it out from under him when he succeeded, and continuing the game. After a while, she dangled some of it above his head. Calculating his next move only for a moment, he reached up to bat it our of the air. She loosened her grip, allowing loops to drape down so he could catch them.
Successfully clawing at the loops, Rumpelstiltskin rolled onto his back and was able to yank then entire ball of thread out of Belle’s hand. Unable to resist the nature that had overcome him, he continued to play with the entire ball of thread, pulling and clawing until it had practically consumed him.
Belle freely laughed at the sight before her: her new, fuzzy kitten, swimming in a ball of golden sting. Once he was content, he rolled back into a standing position, but was very much stuck. Tripping over the gold, he tumbled the short distance to the floor, freeing all but an arm from the stuff. He backed away, trying to shake is paw feee.
"Come here, silly! I’ll get that for you."
Immediately stilling at her touch, he watched as her gentle fingers worked to free his claws from the gold.
"Let’s go sit by the fire, I’d like to finish up a book."
Apparently she doubted his ability to walk or keep up, because she picked him up and clutched him to her shoulder once more as she headed away from the wheel and the mangled ball of gold. Safely seated in the velveteen armchair, she laid him to rest on her lap between her and the book. He curled up peacefully, content to simply be so near to her. He felt and listened to her body breathe, occasionally quickening for a moment or two while she delved deeper into the work of fiction. Bit by bit, his eyes began to drift shut; being a kitten was hard work.
"Aaww, are you getting sleepy, kitty?" she ran her hand from the nape of his neck all the way down to his tail. "It’s been a good day, hasn’t it?" Belle continued to pet him, occasionally allowing her nails to gently scratch down his spine.
Rumpelstiltskin’s mind blurred with pleasure. His eyes closed and his throat tightened, shifting his calm breaths into a vibrating purr. Nothing, nothing seemed like it could be better than this. She continued until her hand moved slower, being drawn in by sleep until it eventually stopped and dropped next to him. Unhappy that the petting stopped, he glanced up to see why, but mild irritation was replaced with warmth when he saw her innocently smiling under the blanket of sleep. Curling into the crook of her elbow, he drifted off too, eager to see what day two held in store.