|Love Me As I Am
Author: IdleThoughts PM
What if the curse had never been broken? AU. Penelope/JohnnyRated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,854 - Reviews: 41 - Favs: 40 - Follows: 50 - Updated: 04-01-11 - Published: 03-27-11 - id: 6850556
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Okay, I seriously love this movie; I think it's cute and Christina Ricci is probably one of the few people on the planet who could rock a pig snout and still look completely adorable (I don't understand why James McAvoy needed an American accent, but whatever). However, I don't like the ending. I honestly wish that the curse hadn't been broken and that Penelope and Johnny had lived happily ever after, snout and ears and all, thereby affirming the whole "beauty is in the eye of the beholder/goes deeper than skin" message that the movie seemed to be sending. Johnny obviously loved her the way she was (that first kiss was HOT), so why not end the story that way?
So, since I (surprisingly) don't see a fic of this, yet, I'm going to write my own little AU of what I think might have happened if Penelope hadn't broken her own curse. Hope you like it.
This is a WIP, so no promises on the frequency of my updates.
Disclaimer: Don't own it.
Could we bend the laws of nature?
Could a lion love a lamb?
Who could see beyond this surface?
Who will love me as I am?
"I like myself the way I am!" Penelope exclaimed, tears of frustration pouring down her face. Her mother stared, dumbfounded, at her.
"Sweetie, that's not possible," she said. "How can you? This isn't the real-"
"It is the real me, Mother!" Penelope interrupted. "Can't you see that? The curse hasn't affected who I am; it's affected what I look like! But," she took a deep breath, "now I feel like it's part of me. I can't imagine myself without this nose or these ears, Mother. I like them. They make me unique."
"But-" Mrs. Wilhern began.
"No, Mother," said Penelope. "I like me this way! Annie likes me this way! Jack likes me this way! I have so many friends now, Mother. I can be perfectly happy just the way I am right now. Why can't you accept that?"
"Jessica," Mr. Wilhern said sternly as he entered the room. "Let her be."
"Franklin!" Mrs. Wilhern exclaimed. "How can you say that?"
"I mean," Penelope continued, waving her hand down at the gown she was wearing, "I was about to marry Edward Vanderman! He hates me! He told the press that I'm an animal that should be in a cage! And I was doing it solely to break the curse! Do you think he would have loved me, Mother?"
"That was so long ago, dear; he likes you just fine now. And I'm sure, once the curse is broken-"
"Once the curse is broken," Penelope cut in again. "Once I'm beautiful. That's not the kind of love I want from my husband. Is it so wrong, Mother, to hope that someday, I'll meet a man who will love me the way I look now?"
Mrs. Wilhern stammered a bit, then fell silent.
"I don't think you need to hope," said Wanda, who'd been silently observing the proceedings from the doorway.
"Wanda, no," cried Mrs. Wilhern.
"What do you mean?" asked Penelope.
Wanda glanced at Mrs. Wilhern, then turned back to Penelope. "Max Campion-" she began.
"I don't want to talk about him," said Penelope, crossing the room and flopping down on the bed, the long, feathered skirt of her wedding gown spilling across the duvet and onto the floor.
"-isn't Max Campion," Wanda finished.
"What are you talking about?" Penelope raised her head to look at Wanda.
"The guy who came here as Max Campion isn't the real Max Campion," Wanda explained.
"How do you know?"
"Lemon told us."
"Who is he, then?" asked Penelope.
"His name is Johnny Martin. He's a gambler and the son of a plumber."
Penelope slowly sat up. "So when he said he couldn't marry me-"
"-just maybe he was saying he couldn't break the curse. What if that was the only reason he said 'no'?"
"What if it wasn't?" said Mrs. Wilhern. "We've talked about this, Wanda! What if he was just as horrified as every other suitor?"
"But what if he wasn't?" Wanda argued. "I mean, he came back day after day after day. Do you honestly think he'd come back that often if he didn't at least like her?"
"I'm not arguing that Penelope isn't a charming girl," said Mrs. Wilhern. "But-"
"And he always seemed to have a great time with her," said Wanda. "And he made her laugh."
"And he didn't run away when he saw her," Mr. Wilhern pointed out.
"No, he just stood there and gaped," said Mrs. Wilhern.
"And he seemed really sad that he had to say 'no' to Penelope's proposal," said Wanda.
"Stop!" cried Penelope. "It doesn't matter. Max-"
"Johnny," corrected Wanda.
"Whatever," said Penelope. "He's gone. And he's not coming back."
"Do you wish he would?" asked Mr. Wilhern. Penelope silently met her father's eyes, and he smiled sadly and nodded at her. "So, what do you want to do now?" he asked.
Penelope shrugged. "I think I want to go back out on my own again."
"No!" cried Mrs. Wilhern.
"Okay," said Mr. Wilhern, at the same time. "But this time, sweetie, at least let us know where you are."
Penelope nodded. "Deal."
"No, sweetie!" cried Mrs. Wilhern.
"Mom," said Penelope. "I'm not leaving right now, or even today. But I'm twenty-five years old. I need to have a life of my own now."
"And I," said Mr. Wilhern, "need to go officially call off a wedding."
"I'll do it," said Wanda. Before Mr. Wilhern could object, she strode purposefully out the door.
"Sorry," said Penelope after Wanda had left.
"Don't be, dear," said Mr. Wilhern. "I have a feeling the Vandermans didn't like us much, anyway."
"Well," said Penelope. "You were about to wed their precious son to..." she leaned over and picked up a stray newspaper. "'A hideous beast from the pits of Hell,'" she quoted.
"Really, dear!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilhern. "He's changed since then! He loves you now!"
"Does he?" said Penelope. "Then why was he standing next to me twenty minutes ago, looking like he was headed to his own execution?"
"Oh, Darling, I'm sure you're exaggerating."
"No, Mother, I'm not. Edward had many expressions on his face while he was standing at the altar and none of them were love."
"Enough, Jessica," said Mr. Wilhern. "Penelope doesn't want to marry him. She doesn't have to." He turned to his daughter. "I'm sorry, sweetheart. We never should have made you marry him."
"But now the curse can never be broken!" wailed Mrs. Wilhern.
"Can't you understand, Mother?" said Penelope. "I don't care anymore! I don't care if I look like this until the day I die!"
"Oh!" moaned Mrs. Wilhern, starting to cry.
Mr. Wilhern gathered his sobbing wife into his arms. "Come on, Jessica," he said. "Let's get you some tea." He and Penelope shared a wry smile over Mrs. Wilhern's head. Then he turned and led his wife out of the room, shutting the door softly behind him.