Something Different (Gaston x Reader)
Part 3 of “Another Look Around”
Word Count: 1,629
A/N: YA’LL ARE AMAZING OK. OUT OF THIS WORLD AMAZING. GIVE YOURSELF A MIC DROP CAUSE THAT’S HOW AWESOME YOU ARE OK
The tavern was no less alive by the time the skies began to pale into early morning light than it had been when you arrived the previous night. You’d lost track of the time long ago, somewhere around the third dance. If Belle had been surprised to hear that you’d accepted Gaston’s invitation, then she probably would’ve fainted had she witnessed the pair of you together all night long.
You had danced like the only people in the room, twirling around Gaston and allowing him to sweep you off your feet and spin you in circles. For hours straight the entire tavern was engulfed in song and dance, and you didn’t miss an instant of it. You laughed endlessly, sometimes so hard you had to clutch his arm to keep yourself from falling over. You were never out of each other’s sight, and Gaston even nearly punched a man giving you too much unwanted attention once. It took the efforts of both you and LeFou to convince him to leave the drunkard unharmed.
You forgot entirely about the world outside the walls of the cozy pub, Belle’s disapproval, the new book waiting for you at home, everything except the current moment and the man with whom you were spending it with.
It must’ve been approaching five a.m. by the time drowsiness finally started kicking in. You and Gaston were sitting around a table watching LeFou attempt to arm-wrestle with a man named Stanley, but keeping your eyes open was becoming a challenge. Your body began tipping slowly against Gaston’s, and soon you were nodding off on his shoulder. It wasn’t until he turned his head to speak to you that he noticed. Chuckling softly, he reached his hand over and brushed his fingers across your cheek.
Your eyelids lifted slowly, and you looked up at his smiling face blearily. “I think it’s time somebody got home, don’t you?” Gaston murmured. You were actually quite comfortable where you were, but knowing that he was right, you hummed in agreement and reluctantly straightened yourself up. Gaston stood and retrieved his coat before returning to you and offering you a hand up. As you took it you turned to the two men wrestling arms and bid sleepily, “See you later LeFou.”
LeFou glanced towards you momentarily and smiled before engaging his opponent once more. Gaston placed his hand on your back and steered you towards the door.
“Thank you for everything, Louisa,” you called towards the bar as he opened it. The red-haired woman gave you a hearty smile and shouted back, “Goodbye, love! Be sure to come again soon!” You grinned and gave a final wave before slipping through the door and joining Gaston outside.
The air was chilled and the ground was glossed with dew, the sky glowing a cloudless, pallid periwinkle. The petals of the flowers in the tiny gardens were still tightly pulled together, sleeping until daybreak. The moon was now a ghostly figure illuminating the treetops that gently swayed in the soft breeze.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Gaston voiced, noticing the way you gazed around the empty courtyard. You smiled at him and nodded, taking his arm and beginning the walk towards home. “It’s so peaceful,” you said. “Like something out of a book or…”
“A dream?” he finished. You looked up at him tiredly and answered, “Exactly.” He grinned at you and inhaled deeply, directing his eyes to the sky. “Hunters learn to appreciate the simplicity of the dawn. For many of us, it’s the only time we live in.”
You stifled a yawn and replied, “It must be wonderful. Out in the woods alone with this kind of stillness and beauty.”
“Yes, it is,” he answered. “Perhaps you’d like to accompany me sometime and see it for yourself.”
You beamed. “I would, very much. Thank you.”
Gaston’s smile was interrupted by a frown as he noticed you shiver, goosebumps spreading over your skin. “Wait,” he said quickly, halting and shrugging off his red jacket. “Take this.”
“Oh, I’m fine. Besides, it’s not much farther to -”
The heavy material fell around your shoulders, and Gaston placed his hand on your waist. “I insist,” he smirked. You could do nothing but smile back, relaxing into his embrace as your eyes fell heavy once more. You eventually gave in and leaned fully into him, shutting your eyes and allowing him to guide you with his arm around your shoulder. You didn’t even notice when your feet left the ground, slipping under sleep’s influence as Gaston carried you the rest of the way home, held tightly against his chest, an incurable smile on his lips that looked nothing like his usual dashing simper. A smile that was formed for once out of pure happiness…
The light beaming behind your lids pulled you from a deep, warm sleep. Drawing in a long sigh, the combined scents of smoke, pine, and something else indistinguishable but familiar swirled around your senses, making a lazy smile appear on your lips. You recognized the intoxicating smell, but couldn’t seem to place it at the moment. You shifted to stretch your legs and felt a course fabric rub against your cheek, and that was when your eyes flew open.
You sat bolt upright, your heart leaping as you realized the mix of pine and smoke was something that always lingered on one person. Gaston.
For a panicked moment you looked around your room, bathed in bright sunlight, expecting to see him standing there somehow. Relief washed over you like cool water upon realizing that you were alone.
Looking down, you found yourself still clothed in your dress and corset from the previous night with Gaston’s large coat wrapped around your figure, which was no doubt the source of the alluring woodsy essence.
You shook your head and heaved a sigh, stretching your arms over your head as you tried to remember last night.
You recalled leaving the tavern, walking home with Gaston and your conversation about going hunting, but after that it was a hazy blur. You vaguely seemed to remember being carried to the front door, but you couldn’t decide if you were simply imagining stumbling up the stairs and collapsing on your bed, or if Gaston had indeed carried you all the way.
You clumsily hauled yourself off the bed, hearing the sounds of pots banging together in the kitchen. You ran your fingers hastily through your tangled hair and started towards the kitchen. Judging by the intensity of the light coming through your windows, it was well past your usual rising time. You trotted quickly down the stairs, arriving in the kitchen at a startled halt.
Belle and your mother were chatting contentedly while preparing the midday meal, your best friend placing the dishware around the table while your mother cut and quartered potatoes.
“Belle!” you exclaimed with a smile. Belle wheeled around, gave a pleasant grin and surged forward to embrace you tightly. When she pulled back she explained, “I was on my way to Pere Robert’s and decided to stop in.” Then she leaned in and whispered, “I want to hear all about last night.” Then, noticing your attire for the first time, she raised an eyebrow and said accusingly, “Where did you get that?”
You gave her a flat look, knowing that she knew perfectly well where you got it. Nevertheless, you indulged, responding, “It was chilly when Gaston walked me home. He gave it to me to keep me warm.
“Well, wasn’t that kind of him,” your mother commented, throwing a handful of chopped potatoes into a large pot of water. “Yes it was,” you muttered, glaring at Belle’s smugly suggestive countenance.
Desperate to change the subject, you wandered over to your mother and asked, “Where’s Papa?”
She glanced at you and responded, “He and Maurice left this morning to speak to Monsieur Barthelemy about repairing that rusty old fence around the rear vegetable patch.”
You frowned. Monsieur Barthelemy, the cranky old village blacksmith was known for his outrageously unfair prices. Even if your father and Maurice could talk him down, the cost of repairing the deteriorating fence would be a hard blow.
You concerns were forgotten when you spotted a familiar face through the window over the kitchen sink. Your lips parted, and you touched your mother’s shoulder as you said, “I’ll be right back, mama.”
She nodded, then you quickly clambered out of the crimson jacket and skipped out the door, down the steps and made your way to where Gaston and LeFou were standing with two other men, both of whom you recognized from the tavern. You stopped a few feet away, then called out, “Gaston, catch!”
Gaston turned swiftly, albeit with confusion evident in his expression, just in time to see you toss the coat towards him. He took a step forward, expertly snagging it out of the air, then gave a deep laugh. You grinned and crossed the rest of the way to him.
“Thank you,” you said genuinely. Gaston shifted his weight onto one leg and returned, “It was my pleasure, (Y/N).” His smile was blinding white, and there seemed to be a different kind of aura around him that impossibly increased his attractiveness. You weren’t the only one that noticed either. You paid no mind to the three sisters that you and Belle had so fondly dubbed “The Bimbettes”, who were scowling at you from across the square.
“So…” you continued, shuffling your bare feet on the warm cobblestone. “When are you taking me hunting?”
Gaston’s eyes glinted, and he couldn’t help a triumphant grin. “Simply name the time, mademoiselle.”
You raised an eyebrow, considering your next words. Then you held out your hand and replied, “Care to discuss it inside?”