Is this home? Is this what I must learn to believe in?
Try to find Something good in this tragic place
- 'Home' Beauty and the Beast, the musical
Belle had spent her days in Villeneuve wishing for adventure, wishing for life. Her home was safe, predictable, but she wanted so much more.
Looking back, it shouldn’t have surprised her that life handed her adventure on a silver, prince-like platter.
She had to be brave, she realised, and fearless like her mother when she found her father trapped in a cage by a monster. This was her path, she realised, some part of her thrilled at the break in the mundane nature of her life, the other horrified.
“I will escape, I promise.” She whispered to her father, before pushing him out the door.
The beast was shocked, but to her there was no other choice, no other decision that could have been made.
“He’s my father.” She said by way of explanation.
When she slid down the side of the cell afterwards, it was not because she was mourning the loss of her home, but her father.
She hated the Beast, at first. Even when she was shown into a room with more grandeur than anything she had seen in her life, she still despised him.
The enchanted objects were another matter. They treated her with respect, kindness, understanding. She was not used to being treated that way, except by her father.
However, she needed to escape. She tried, but is interrupted by Madame Potts. Her shame is a surprise to her, even more so when the teapot understands her and offers a cup of tea for the journey. When Potts offers her dinner as well, she stays.
Her curiosity always gets the better of her. This time, she cannot help but venture into the West Wing, partly to spite her captor, but also to know.
The destroyed room she finds saddens her, for some reason. The hopelessness around her is not something anyone should live in, even the Beast. The only beauty in the room comes from a single rose, suspended under a glass dome.
The Beast is beyond furious when he finds her. She is frightened, but she can also hear the fear in his own voice. The rose was important to him, but she heeded his shouts to get away.
It was only when she was faced with a crucial choice in that snow covered forest that she had realised something. She could run away, go back to the home she had always known, but what then? If she left, the Beast would die in the snow, and so would this entirely new world that she had been thrust into. She made her decision.
She lay her coat over him. “You have to help me. You have to stand.”
She learns more about the castle and the curse while she tends the Beasts wounds, but she also discovers the man behind the curse.
When he catches her reciting Shakespeare and recognises it, she is delighted in a way she had only been with books before.
When he rolls his eyes at her favourite play, she is only half offended. Here, in this enchanted, crumbling castle, she has finally found someone who knew more about books than she did.
The library stuns her, fills her with incredulous anticipation. She gasps, because in this room, she has found where she belongs. The wealth of information, the stories waiting to be discovered, causes her heart to swell beyond measure.
He is standing there, too, dressed like a gentleman, seemingly surprised at how he has just turned her world upside down.
She asks him if he has read them all, and he whips back a joke about how he hasn’t, because “Some of them are in Greek.”
She can’t help but smile and laugh.
When he offers the entire library to her, he smiles shyly, unaware that he has just handed her the entire world.
From then on, she notices a change. He is sweet, unsure how to act around her, and she begins to relish his company. She reads to him, they discuss various books, and their days are spent in together.
She wonders at the difference. Weeks ago, she despised him, because he was callous and cruel, but as she watches him from the window of the ballroom she realises that there is something in him that she didn’t see before.
She teases him when she catches him reading Guinevere and Launcelot, which he seems highly embarrassed about, but she just smiles.
She is happier than she has ever been.
He shows her the book the enchantress left him, and she knows instantly where she needs to go.
She takes him to her childhood home, a dusty attic of a windmill that was her world when she was born. Here, her mother and father were together, and she was whole.
She is desperate to know what happened to her mother, but when he lifts up a doctor’s mask, she feels tears form in her eyes. She mourns for her mother, the life that could been here in Paris, but it is hers no longer.
She wants to return home.
She turns to him. “Let’s go home.”
Not ‘your home’, not ‘go back’, but home. She feels something fundamentally shift as she acknowledges that the castle is her new home, her new life.
He asks her to dance with her in the ballroom. When he stands at the top of the steps, she smiles, because he is looking hesitant and shy in his formal clothes.
When he spins her around, she forgets that he is a beast and she is a girl. It is only her and him, and everything is as it should be.
However, all things have to end. When he draws her out onto the balcony and asks her whether she could be happy with him, she pauses, and realises that the only thing holding her back is her freedom.
“Can anyone be truly happy if they aren’t free?” He frowns at that, and asks if she misses her father.
She is filled with sadness. Of everything in her new, glorious world, her father is the thing that is missing.
He offers to let her see him.
She doesn’t know what to say when he sets her free. She realises, with a numb kind of shock, that she’s been free since she rescued him from the wolves, but she is still stunned when he tells her. Her mind is full of words she wants to say, things she needs to tell him, but somehow, she can’t draw herself to speak them.
I’ll come back, she wants to say. This is my home.
Instead, she says, “Thank you.” Thank you for caring about me enough to set me free.
She can see he thinks it is forever, this goodbye, but she is too full of fear for her father to reassure him.
A part of her breaks, as she rides away and can hear his anguished cries.
She is terrified, when she finds him on the rooftop battling with Gaston. She realises with desperation that she could lose him, she could lose everything, if he dies.
When she snaps Gaston’s arrows, she made her choice. No longer is Villeneuve her home, and she can no longer go back to living with the villagers, who have conspired to destroy her happiness.
He sees her when she screams at him. His eyes light up, and he cries out to her.
“Belle! You came back!”
She wants to shout back, tell him Of course I came back but the words get stuck in her throat when he starts leaping towards her.
He smiles when he reaches her, and her heart nearly bursts, until a loud shot turns her world upside down. She screams and cries when he falls forward, and she begs Gaston to stop when he reloads the pistol.
Two more shots, and he falls down onto the ground. Belle is so distraught she barely notices Gaston falling to his death, so caught up in him, lying on the ground dying.
She kneels beside him, blinking away tears. She rambles, trying to reassure him,
“We’re together now. Everything will be fine.”
Even he knows it’s a lie, but he smiles at her, and dies.
Her heart is torn to shreds. Her tears fall onto his still warm body, and she cries like a little girl, desperate and frantic. She has lost almost everything now, the cruel world giving her a glimpse of happiness before stealing it away.
“Come back. I- I love you.”
As she says it, she feels the truth settle into her soul. She loves him, but he is dead, and so is her chance at a life full of belonging and joy.
But then, a miracle happens. He is lifted up, magical swirls of light surrounding him, as she looks on in amazement.
When he is set down, she cannot believe it. This is him, alive, well, and human!
When he turns around, she can see his wonder and hope mirroring her own. His new form stuns her, a little, until she walks forwards and sees his eyes. There. They are still his eyes, and it is him, and she kisses him, and feels whole.
As it turns out, his name is Adam. She laughs when he tells her, and he is smiles too and picks her up, spinning her around.
They must go down and see everyone, the castle restored to its former glory, and Belle is overjoyed when she sees the servants, her friends, human and happy.
The villagers are there too, having remembered the caste and its inhabitants from before. Belle smiles when she sees Mrs Potts reunited with her husband, and laughs at Cogsworth looking distinctly uncomfortable next to his wife.
Adam keeps smiling at her, so she smiles back and kisses him because she can.
They hold a celebration party a week after the transformation. It is also another form of celebration, because Adam has proposed to her.
When he did it, they were both in the library, a few days after the curse had been broken. Despite his slightly smaller frame and human hands, nothing else had changed between them, her handing him books and he teasing her choices.
She remembered he had looked at her strangely when she passed him The Merry Wives of Windsor and then she heard, “Marry me, Belle?”
He had sounded so unsure, so gorgeously hopeful, so she put down the book and kissed him long and hard, before answering,
“Of course I will, you silly man.”
So here she was, dancing with her fiancé in a floral white dress, while the rest of the castle swirled around her, and she couldn’t be happier.
She looks at Adam, and started smiling her secret little smile.
He raised an eyebrow at her. “What? What is it?”
“How would you feel about growing a beard?” Her smile is mischievous.
He smirks at her, and when he growls, actually growls at her, she has to drop into a curtsey to hide her blush, and they both laugh.
After that, they find it hard to keep their hands off each other.
They are married, and it is the happiest day of her life, surrounded by those she loves.
The vows are simple, but they tweaked them, at Belle’s request and Adam’s insistence. They are to be equals in all things, and their vows reflected that.
Later, after the feast and everyone has retired to bed, Adam and Belle are standing in the West Wing, looking at each other.
He holds her face gently and whispers, “You’re my wife.”
She kisses him gently. “And you’re my husband, and I love you more than all the books in the world.”
From then on, they don’t need many more words. Clothes are discarded, and when Adam looks at her with a hunger that threatens to devour her, she kisses him back just as forcefully.
They have already mapped out each other’s bodies, these past weeks, so Belle knows some of the pleasure ahead of her, but it still shocks her when she touches him and feels him hard and hot and wanting.
She gasps when he spread her over the bed, and covers her breast with his mouth, and then goes lower. She writhes under his tongue, and moans when his finger enters her, and hears him mutter how beautiful she looks, splayed out on the mattress like a goddess.
She cries out when her first orgasm rocks through her, and she thinks she blacks out for a little bit, before she comes to and pulls Adam down for another bruising kiss.
She reaches for him, and he groans when she wraps her hands around his hard length.
She looks into his eyes. “Now… please.”
He nods, and positions himself before drawing her into the safety of his arms and slowly easing into her. She whimpers, at first, at the stretching burn and he stops.
“Belle, are- are you alright?”
She takes a breath in and out. “I- Yes.”
He eases in slower from then on, until she adjusts and gets impatient and rocks her hips to make him move. He groans and pulls back a bit, rocking in and out slowly, and she begins to gasp in delight. Liquid heat spreads through her body, and she scratches his back and tugs on his hair, and something in him snaps.
He bites her collarbone, and plunges into her with more vigour, which earns him mewls of pleasure from Belle.
It feels so right, being together like this, and Belle is overwhelmed as his rhythm grows more erratic and his finger eases down between them to press just above where they were joined. She shudders as a wave of pleasure rocks over her, making her entire body taut and sensitive.
He comes shortly after, and as he slumps over her, both basking in the afterglow, she smiles.
Here, with this infuriating, loving, incredible man, she has found where she belongs.
He strokes her hair and kisses her swollen lips. “I love you too, you know. I think I forgot to say it before.”
She laughs, and pulls him down for another kiss, because she has finally found her home.