AUTHOR: Amet (amet)
FANDOM: Kingdom Hearts/Beauty and the Beast
SUMMARY: I used to do so much more for you, and now I'm afraid you don't need me anymore.
PAIRINGS: Belle/Beast (Adam? Prince? I'm confused too.)
WARNINGS: Light kissing, of the boy-girl kind.
SPOILERS: You know he turns back into a dude, right? ^~
ARCHIVED: Onion Girls
FEEDBACK: Yes please! ^.^
THANKS: To sephyelysian, because I babbled a lot during my research and she didn't even kill me. =*
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Truefax--It's not mentioned anywhere in the canon, but according to Disney's official encyclopedia, the Beast/Prince's real name is Adam. So no, I'm not just throwing that in there 'cause I feel like it.
Anyway, yeah. I used to literally watch this movie 7 times a day when I was a kid (I was sick that year, shut it), so messing around with the characters is a little weird, but surprisingly painless. This one's for starherd who wanted Belle, Beast and grooming. She also probably wanted a less abrupt ending, but I can only do so much. XD;;;;
There's a stranger in her bed.
Or rather, in a bed in the West Wing that will be hers in a fortnight when they're married, as is proper.
It makes Belle's head hurt a little to think about it. Not the marriage, that she's desperately looking forward to, but the propriety suddenly attached to it, and the distance that follows in its wake. The prince (Adam? Beast? She isn't sure anymore) has been nothing but kind to her since she held him in the light of that first sunrise, pale and perfect and altogether the very picture of everything she had ever hoped for in a man, giddy and foolish as she'd been with her nose stuck in all those books. So it's a surprise indeed to find herself missing the Beast; the rough, shambling creature who in his bewildered courting at least understood that a girl liked a little attention at more than just a polite teatime get together each day before they were dragged in opposite directions by a sea of demanding courtiers that appeared out of nowhere as soon as her husband to be was restored, wanting this favor granted or that wedding preparation approved.
She misses leisurely afternoons playing with the servants in the courtyard, the times they spent in the library debating the merits of whichever new author he insisted she read, the early morning grooming sessions she'd taken over after Beast nearly put Lumiere through a wall for putting bows in his mane in some silly attempt to make him more attractive to her. She misses feeling like she's talking to a person, not just his royal highness the prince, and isn't that ironic?
Or being allowed to touch him without causing a scandal. The maids have different priorities now that they're not attached to their feather dusters, body and soul.
It's tiring, but Belle knows she's never gotten anywhere moping in her room. It's a bit of a gamble wandering the halls still in her dressing gown, slipping into the west wing before most of the servants are about, but she'd rather spend the morning shocking the prince into some semblance of his former self than letting her ladies in waiting strap her into some horribly extravagant gown for the sake of looking like a 'proper' princess. Sitting around all day doing nothing until she's called for tea is boring, and wasteful, and she is not a symbol to be packed away now that the curse on the castle is broken once and for all.
The hallway outside the prince's bedchamber is different now, torn apart by the Beast's tempers and again by the invading swarm of Heartless, Xaldin's minions doing enough damage that Cogsworth had insisted on making repairs immediately. Repairs had turned into renovations, renovations into improvements, and before they knew it the stuffy old hall was lighter, airier, hulking gargoyles and gleaming armor replaced with flowing curtains and handsome paintings of the prince's ancestors. The door itself is the same, a heavy oaken thing with claw marks still arching across its surface--she suspects this is the prince's way of reminding himself where unchecked folly leads.
Her fingers sink into the grooves, dwarfed by the impression of monstrous paws, and she sighs at the sense of longing that evokes, knocking softly.
"May I come in?" she asks after a moment, face almost pressed to the wood in her eagerness to hear inside.
Cloth rustles inside the bedchamber. The prince stutters, "I... uh... er, that is to say..."
There's a significant pause before he says, "All right then?"
He doesn't sound at all sure of himself, looks even less so when she steps inside to find him struggling with the buttons on his waistcoat, thick fingers slipping on delicate frogging. He has servants to dress him, or so she's been told, but since the change he's become more self-conscious than ever, reluctant to allow anyone to touch him or even study him for very long lest they somehow find him wanting, see the beast he's still convinced is lurking below his skin. This is Adam--a regal, hesitant man with broad features reminiscent of the face she fell in love with, traces of the soul beneath as heavy brows furrow at her in confusion. He's close to sputtering, looking her over with a trace of nascent horror as he notices her dressing gown and she can pinpoint the moment he shutters off any reaction, glancing down at his own hands as he fumbles with his fastenings like they're the most intriguing things in the world.
That will not do.
"Oh good," she says cheerfully, folding her hands in front of her like she isn't aware how silly she looks. "You aren't finished yet. May I?"
He manages a nervous laugh as she steps closer, backing away a few paces until he bumps against the edge of a table with a start, jerking to attention as she puts his clothing to rights, guiding him to sit in front of the nearest mirror, a little vanity that recited poetry once upon a time before it gave its soul back to its rightful human body.
He settles down a bit as she takes a brush to his hair, letting her do as she pleases though he's still incredulous as he asks, "Now what would you want to do this for? I thought you'd be thrilled, now that I don't have hair all down my back I can handle it all by myself." He leans into the familiar sensation, smiling faintly as she meets his eyes in the mirror. "It must not have been very much fun for you, with me being the way I was. You've a few more hours to yourself in the morning, now. And I think we've finally gotten all the fleas out of the castle."
"You never had fleas," Belle laughs, "and I never minded you being the way you were, once you stopped being such a big bully." Her reflection pulls a face at him until he laughs with her. "To be honest, I miss it. I miss you. I used to do so much more for you, and now I'm afraid you don't need me anymore."
He looks briefly startled, and it's not surprising, Belle doesn't often speak so frankly about her place, her doubts. It seems ungrateful after everything they've been through just to be here together that she should worry about the details falling into place. She can feel her face heating as they stare at each other in silence, looking away a moment before he turns abruptly to pull her close and kiss her like he hasn't since that first morning, like he's forgotten his manners entirely.
"That will never be so," he insists. "I'm lost without you, and not just because I've forgotten how to button my shirt." He smiles ruefully. "Obviously more must be done to make that clear, in which case we could... I don’t know, make this part of the morning routine?" He fingers his hair timidly and pulls a ribbon off the vanity to wave about for effect. "I'll even let you put bows in."