garderobe and lumiere for the unlikely character fics
he is guided by the sound of her weeping.
the maestro is fit to go mad in the ballroom—he is running, skittering everywhere, the hard harpsichord’s feet making tracks in the marble floor as he tries to pull his mass up the stairs, or out the doors, or anywhere his wife might be. the harpsichord, the maestro, is too heavy. so lumiere goes looking, plumette floating by his side. the sky is grey and it is hard to see through the windows, but they check each room, looking for the beautiful diva.
they find her in the darkest tower. the door is old and the lock is broken and from his now-diminished height, he is unsure how to get in. when you are six feet tall, you don’t imagine how lucky you are to be able to pull open a door—! but plumette is clever (she is always so clever), and they manage to open the door to the dusty old suite, the one near where the prince’s mother used to live.
madame de garderobe is inside. in the dark, crying. her gowns are bunched all over the floor; it is a mess to hop over the velvets and silks and satins and reach her. lumiere wants to stroke her, comfort her by caress—
plumette’s cry catches him just in time. fire, on wood. he draws back from the singer, and she cries again, making the noise but with no tears running from her face. how can she cry, truly, beyond the gasps of her throat? water brings rot to wood and fabric. madame de garderobe is denied her own tears.
plumette flies off, to tell the maestro they found his wife. to break the harsh, hard, wooden news. garderobe cries and lumiere stands (he does not even notice how his arms, now, naturally twist upward; the candelabra pose is uncannily easy, when he doesn’t watch out); and speaks french to her, and she replies in italian, and he talks to her until she goes to sleep. it will be all right, madame. we will make it well, madame. you are among friends, madame.
it is not until she’s asleep that lumiere tries to remember what she looked like as a human. he only knew her for an hour—but she was stunning, then, and look at her now.
he skirts his way around the fabrics—why is everything so flammable, mon dieu! he will have to watch his hands—and tells himself that when this curse is broken, he will personally bring wine and truffles to the madame and the maestro. it is la tragédie, to have them parted so. and then he goes to plumette, and thanks the heavens (even though they are grey, now, always grey) that he is still so lucky. so lucky, still.
and still he hears her weeping.