One Year | A Gaston Story (Chapter Five)
One Year | A Gaston Story
Gaston (Luke Evans) X OC
Summary: Gaston made all the wrong choices in life, and when a dramatic fall from the Beast’s castle leaves him wounded and near-death, he thinks it’s the end of his time. When an old beggar woman appears at his side, she heals him back to his normal self but gives him one year, and only one year, to find true love before his time on earth, and the town’s memories of him, come to an end.
LeFou was always the punchline of Gaston’s jokes, the lifelong childhood friend whose loyalty towards Gaston was incontrovertible, the “funny guy” who was always present for a good laugh and whose kindness could easily be taken advantage of. It had been quite unchallenging in the past for LeFou to endure Gaston’s obsession with women and war because he believed, in the end, Gaston’s feelings may change towards him.
Gaston wasn’t lionhearted and audacious in his childhood, that part of his persona developed after his parents died, but LeFou couldn’t help himself for being so attracted to him as they grew up. Who wasn’t attracted to Gaston the Hunter? The war hero was the epitome of “tall, dark and handsome” and his success in the village and on the battlefield made every man want to be him and every woman want to sleep with him, or so Gaston assumed. And that precisely was LeFou’s major conflict: he struggled internally with the desire to be Gaston and the desire to be with him. However, people often overlooked just how kind LeFou was and his passionate feelings towards Gaston were set on the backburner for the purpose that the young sidekick simply cared too much about their friendship.
And so, LeFou smiled politely this time last year when Gaston would revolve his days around wooing Belle, the beautiful oddball and bookworm, only for her to reject him constantly. It pained LeFou to watch as Gaston continued making advances on Belle. He knew it would never work out. He couldn’t speak up, he attempted (on multiple occasions), but his belief that Belle could not be more wrong for Gaston was something that the war hero would not accept. She was certainly the most beautiful girl in the village, that much was true, but as the days passed and the rejections were ongoing, LeFou understood that the idea of courting Belle was more of a chase in Gaston’s eyes than an authentic, passionate feeling. He wanted to win. Belle was the prize, she would be his only prize, and the night the mob formed, LeFou was horrified to see the fire screaming inside of Gaston’s dark eyes. Truth be told, Gaston leaving Maurice in the woods to be eaten by wolves was the start of LeFou’s faltering loyalty. How could someone leave an elderly man, a father, tied to a tree to be mauled by vicious animals? And then, that dreaded night when they attacked the castle, LeFou knew that in the hero’s mind, the town had evaporated and he was standing in the middle of the battlefield, ready at a moment’s notice to slaughter the Beast and finally claim his reward. It became all too much for LeFou, his friend was gone and he simply didn’t recognize the monster towering over him, screaming “Do you want to be next?!”
He didn’t expect Gaston to survive, no one did, it was an absolute miracle that he was spotted rushing into his tavern the morning after the fall. At first glance, he was unharmed, but when he turned his body sharply as he ripped the tavern door open, a few villagers noted blood stains on the white shirt ruffles that feathered down his chest. That morning was the last glance most of the village had of Gaston, and when LeFou discovered his friend had survived, he spent the following days fighting an inner battle of helping Gaston or shunning him indefinitely. When the rest of the town collectively declared Option B, LeFou’s affectionate heart twisted with guilt and apprehension. Gaston did not cope well with hatred or ill-thoughts of his character and, though seemingly deserving, LeFou simply couldn’t abandon his friend.
In the months after the fall, LeFou gathered as many people into the tavern until the daily customer count improved to four. He didn’t expect praise, it was obvious Gaston refused to exit his room, but LeFou didn’t give up on him. Stanley was patient with this slow progress, well aware of LeFou’s past feelings, but he loved LeFou, after all. He supported him. The prolonged game of winning Gaston’s heart ceased with Stanley now in his life, and LeFou’s genuine acts of caring were to help his old friend, well, live again. It seemed absolutely hopeless until the day Anne wandered into the village. Unlike Belle, the chemistry between the new girl and Gaston was stimulating and LeFou couldn’t deny that maybe she possessed this certain “je ne sais quoi” that would ultimately change Gaston for the better. He could at least hope.