my what a guy, gaston!
okay so i know i already did one of these for beauty and the
beast (for fuck’s sake shana write about some new fairytales why are you like
this) but i listened to sam tsui’s cover of a tale as old as time and OH BOY,
OH MY HONEY OH MY DARLING
okay, so in the very early stages of the original beauty and the beast, gaston was an aristocrat. that eventually got scrapped, but oh what if it didn’t
so say gaston is the son of someone very high up in the
royalty chain, someone who’s parents are important enough that he spends an
awful lot of time at the castle? and our prince adam isn’t really down with
this whole ~being a prince~ thing, he’s a brat, like so many other kids are
brats (but these kids don’t get turned into beasts by random witches, like i’m
sorry but i’ll never not think that beast didn’t get the short end of the stick
there) and so he spends the least about of time possible parading about with a
crown on his head. he likes going outside, like riding his horses and playing
in the woods, and all sorts of other things that make his parents shake their
heads and despair at the inability to have another child, because their son is a small disaster.
and here comes gaston, who’s older and more long suffering. gaston in naturally dramatic, okay, he likes being flashy and fun and loud, all the things the son of a noble shouldn’t be. so by the point he meets adam he’s listened to his parents, folded himself up nice and tight into this quiet boy who just doesn’t want any trouble. adam loves trouble. if he can’t find it, he invents it.
so he grabs onto gaston like glue, and gaston is irritated, but he’s the prince, he can’t say anything or his parents will kill him. so he lets adam keep dragging him out horseback riding and hunting and rock climbing and all sorts of things little noble boys aren’t supposed to do. they spare, and no matter that gaston is bigger and older he never wins, adam always ends up pinning him to the ground with his arm to his throat and he’d more irritated about it if the prince didn’t look so delighted every time he won. adam loves all the animals that he’s not interested in eating, and gaston tries to point out that it’s a little weird how thrilled adam is to take down a deer when two minute later he’s trying to entice a wolf to come closer so he can pet it, and also holy shit adam that’s a wolf what’s wrong with you
adam loves his staff, the people who do their best to reign in this little terror but don’t try that hard, because the thing about bratty kids is that they’re rarely brats all the time, as an adult you swing between wanting to strangle them and finding them so adorable and charming your chest hurts. so mrs. potts indulges him, likes the way he’s only ever really patient while he’s playing with her son chip when he’s snuck into the kitchen to beg her for some extra cookies. lumiere and cogsworth are his tutors and spend more time arguing with each other than teaching him, and he’s delighted by that.
and so adam is this loud, exuberant little prince who slowly but surely picks at gaston’s barrier until gaston almost feels like himself again, and adam doesn’t do what his parents did. adam doesn’t make fun of him for how much he cares about his hair, about how he hates dirt under his fingernails. as long as gaston keeps following him into dangerous situations, adam doesn’t care about much of anything, and gaston loves him for it.
and gaston’s on the cusp of teenagerhood when he realizes he loves adam, the prince, this is awful and he immediately has a panic attack over it, he’s to be lord and adam is to be king, it will never work, oh, and adam probably doesn’t like boys, and – oh my god, all those schoolyard taunts about him being gay we’re right this is a nightmare.
he’d freak out about this properly and probably go charging to the castle to confess his love in true embarrassing 12 year old fashion – except his parents set him down, pale, and say, “they’re gone, they’re all gone, the king and queen were found dead and the prince is gone and now a monster lives in the castle.” and of course gaston takes this to the most logical conclusion – a beast broke into the castle, killed the love of his young life, and now he’s claimed the castle for his own.
this is gaston’s defining moment okay, this is the point where he snaps and never goes back. he rebels against his parents, refuses to fit himself back into the mold of the perfect son, tries to live his life like adam would have wanted him to. that means being exactly who he is and damn the consequences. he focuses on his hair and his clothes and his looks, he pursues hunting because it reminds him of adam, because so much of their friendship took place in the woods, covered in mud and laughing. he pursues hunting because, one day, when he’s the very best he’s going to go the castle and kill the beast that killed adam. and his parents are furious about all of this and they disown him in favor of his young siblings and he just. doesn’t give a shit.
so he moves to the town, and everyone loves him, of course they love him. he’s loud and arrogant, but – he’s not cruel. he’s beautiful and brings in more pelts and meat than any other hunter and gaston doesn’t miss the days of being a young lordling in the slightest. but girls keep throwing themselves at him and he doesn’t know how to keep refusing either outing himself or hurting their feelings, so he goes to belle. belle, who is every inch as pretty he is. belle, who is smart and quiet and kind in a reserved sort of way. if there’s anyone who won’t judge him, it’s her.
so he goes to her, and tells her the truth – that he only likes men, that he’s not interested in advertising the fact, and asks her to pretend to be his lady. and belle, kind sweet belle, agrees. she does it out of sense of duty to help those in need, because nothing she knows of gaston says she will enjoy this. but she’s proven wrong, because gaston was raised to be a lord of course he’s educated, just because he doesn’t really care about any of that stuff doesn’t mean he doesn’t know it. and belle can speak with him like she can no other, because gaston has more formal education than anyone else in this village. and to their surprise, gaston and belle become friends, become the closest of friends, and gaston hasn’t known this closeness since adam, although it’s different because he loves belle but he’s not in love with belle.
and one day belle and her father are out traveling and sudden snowstorm forces them into the castle. belle knows there’s some sort of monster that supposedly lives there, but it’s either the castle for refuge or dying of cold outside, so into the castle they go. and instead of a hideous monster there’s adam, the beast. he’s rude and gruff and calls them twelve kinds of idiots for getting caught in a snowstorm in the first place. he offers them a room before sulking back into his study, watching the last petal threaten to the fall from the rose.
the castle is so excited to have guests, to have a young girl that may be their saving grace, and beast doesn’t know how to tell them that he likes girls well enough, but the only person he’s ever loved is a prickly, stuffy little boy who used to wring his hands together whenever they went looking for wolves. the storm doesn’t abate, and belle and her father stay. beast likes belle, likes how much she loves his library and the courteous way she speaks to all his staff even tho they’re all furniture, and he wishes he could love her, she is a woman that deserves to be loved. but he can’t.
back in the village, gaston has had it. the beast took adam from him, and he wont allow that thing to take belle. he rallies the villagers and goes marching to the castle, determined to save belle and her father, determined to kill the thing that killed adam.
so they storm the castle and he and the beast fight. belle and her father rush forward to stop the rest of the angry village men, and belle is screaming at gaston to stop, that things aren’t as they seem. but he’s mad with bloodlust, with revenge, and he’s about to take the beast’s head off with his axe when the beast lunges and pushes him to the ground, pinning him with an arm to his throat. and the muscle memory is so sudden and visceral that gaston freezes and stares at the snarling beast and whispers, “adam?”
and the beast blinks, and pulls back a little, and goes …… “gaston!?”
literally everyone is so confused, but they only get more confused when gaston throws himself at the beast and there’s a rush of magic as the last petal falls and the spell is broken. gaston sees beast for who he really is, loves him wholly and completely in the way only children can, and the curse is broken.
so gaston goes from having the beast in his arms to having a man, and he kisses him, outing himself in front of the whole village and not caring in the slightest. “i’ve missed you,” adam says, reaching out a hand to cup gaston’s cheek.
his staff are people again, and the cloud of darkness that had fallen over the castle is lifted. the old and irritable third cousin twice removed who’d been running the country is more than happy to hand it back over to adam, so happy in fact that he doesn’t question anything about this incredibly weird situation.
gaston and adam were children with a children’s love, but as adam gets his castle and kingdom up and running again, gaston is there. and their love deepens, and strengthens, and becomes something much more real and true than it ever was before. and gaston knows he can’t keep this, that adam will need to take a queen and gaston won’t be able to be with him after that.
except no one told adam that, because he goes to belle who just, never left the castle because she likes it and it likes her and her two favorite people are here. and also they’ll pry her from that library over her dead body. “hey,” adam says, “so, i’m kind of the king now.”
“i noticed,” belle answers, and doesn’t look up from her book.
adam considers closing it, but also considers that he likes his hands attached to his wrists. “want to get married? we’ll need to produce an heir or two, but beyond that you’ll get all the books you want and a whole country to boss around.” one of the things adam had quickly learned was that belle loved bossing people around.
belle doesn’t look up from her book. he hadn’t honestly expected her too. “okay. I’m dating plumette. im going to keep doing that.”
“nice,” he says, because plumette is a lot prettier now that she isn’t a feather duster.
so adam find gaston and tells him that he’s marrying belle, and gaston’s whole heart breaks but it makes sense, adam and belle make sense together, and he wishes he could make himself hate either of them but he can’t because he loves them both. but then adam is talking about how belle will have the rooms next to theirs, and gaston should probably stop paying rent for his house in the village, he lives in a literal palace, come on now.
and gaston figures out that adam is planning to stay with him, that belle is his wife and queen in name only and and gaston will continue to be the one in his heart and in his bed. adam is talking about how they all really need to sit down and do something about the redistribution of tax revenue, and they should probably do it before the wedding because otherwise their subjects will only show up to throw fruit at them. gaston cuts him off by pressing his king and love of his life against the wall and kissing him breathless.
cogsworth and lumiere walk by and pause mid-argument to wolf whistle at them before continuing on their way. gaston and adam end up having to hold each other up as they laugh so hard they can’t breath.
and everyone lives happily ever after.