Reviews for Kissed by a Rose
Vanessa Masters chapter 20 . 7/19/2019
"Whose idea was it? Mrs. Potts? Lumière?" Madame shook her head. "I can't see Cogsworth thinking of this." Suddenly, Belle's jaw dropped open. "Not…"

"Chip helped you make that book, remember? He told his mother, and she and the others helped convince the Master it wouldn't be right not to give you something in return, Christmas traditions aside. The dress was his idea, though. I have no idea how he thought of it."

Belle stroked the material. "I would never have dreamed to ask for something like this. But it's perfect. I'll have to thank him."

"Oh, don't!" Madame exclaimed. "I wasn't supposed to tell you anything. It was just going to be from all of us to you. As a thank you for coming here and rearranging our lives for the better."

Belle shrugged. "It was really just chance that I came. But all right. I'll thank the head staff when I see them tomorrow. And I won't say anything to the Beast. Still…" Belle twirled again. "This is wonderful. I can't imagine a better Christmas surprise."

"You're welcome," said a low voice to the glowing mirror its owner held in one paw.

—-

Belle dreams and realizes the truth about beast, wishing he could be happy. And that scene with the dress and Beast watching, I love it. I almost cried a bit. _
Vanessa Masters chapter 19 . 7/19/2019
He pushed open the door and went inside. Belle, startled at the door's creak, turned, and jumped when she saw him. "Oh!" She put a hand to her chest, nearly dropping the log. "You scared me." She waited a few moments, and when the Beast couldn't bring himself to do more than stare at her, she asked carefully, "Were you looking for me? Is something wrong?"

The Beast shook his head to clear it. When she turned to face him, he had been struck by how beautiful she was in the rosy light. Even obviously pregnant. In fact, the rounded curves only enhanced her beauty, at least for him. "No—nothing's wrong," he stammered. "What are you doing?"

"Oh." Belle looked guiltily at the log in her hand. "Nothing."

"What's so special about that log?" he demanded.

Belle heaved a sigh, as if bracing herself. "It's a Yule log."

The Beast wasn't sure what this meant, but there was that dreaded word 'Yule.' He could feel his lips start to curl.

"It's a peasant tradition. Do you know about it?" asked Belle.

The Beast had to admit he didn't. The question diffused his anger, at least for the moment.

"One special log is chosen each December for the Yule log. Some families have a specific kind of wood they always pick. On Christmas Eve, everyone in the household touches it and makes a wish."

"Hmph." The Beast snorted disdainfully. "Wishes are stupid." He'd been wishing for years, with no results.

"Really?" Belle tilted her head.

"Is this what you wished for last Christmas?" His gesture took in their entirety of their circumstances: the castle, his monstrous body, her pregnancy.

Belle looked down. "No. Of course not." Her head came up, and her chin was out stubbornly. "I've wished certain things hadn't happened, but wishing can't change the past. Wishing is for the future. It gives us something to hope and work for, that things will get better. That's the whole point of the Christmas season. And I plan keep on wishing, for the rest of my life."

The Beast stared at her. He'd never thought about wishing in terms of past and future. But Belle was right: wishing changed nothing about the past. He'd wasted many, many wishes that way. There were so many things about the past he longed to have been different. Most of the things in his life, in fact.
—-

Beast let’s it slip he’s cursed, I think Belle did t buy his ‘change of subject, they discuss the story of Mary and Joseph, Beast feeling he sympathizes with Joseph and understand the predicament he was in and feels the baby kick. Such a sweet moment.
Vanessa Masters chapter 18 . 7/19/2019
Hmph," rumbled the Beast, but mildly enough that Belle could tell he was thinking hard rather than annoyed.

"It's still a headache," he complained after a moment. "Not everybody is worthy enough to deserve a second chance like Gawain. How do you tell?"

"You don't," said Belle. "Unless you can see into the future like Merlin. We more ordinary mortals just have to do our best."

"See into the future…" the Beast repeated under his breath.

"What?" asked Belle.

"Hmmm? Oh. You just reminded me of something, that's all." He studied his clawed paws intently for a moment, as if trying to work out a hard puzzle, then shook his mane like a dog. "Never mind. It's not important."

—-

Maybe that’s one of the Enchantresses powers, Beast thinks he might have realized, and that tale of the Loathy Lady, a fine choice for Belle and Beast to discuss and debate.

Ooh Christmas.
Vanessa Masters chapter 17 . 7/19/2019
"Things are still in a general sort of order. You'll see if you take a closer look. Subjects are still grouped together, for the most part. I think. The books don't really get moved around a lot. But nothing's organized, and…"

"You want me to do it?" Belle finished, trying to conceal her hope.

"If you think it's too much work, especially with…" the Beast trailed off, glancing at her stomach. Belle caught his meaning.

"Of course not! I'll work in here right up until the baby comes, if I have to!" Belle looked around enthusiastically. "I can start right now."

"Then do with this place exactly what you want. Think of it as yours, right down to controlling who comes and goes, if you wish." The Beast gestured at the shelves.

"Oh, thank you!" While she was still so happy she wouldn't think about it, she reached out and took one of the Beast's paws in her two hands. "Really, thank you. You've given me something beyond my wildest dreams. It's the nicest thing anyone's done for me in…my whole life. This is more than I ever dared hope for."

He looked at the paw, and then at her. She could tell he was considering pulling it back. Instead, to her surprise, he relaxed a little. "Don't thank me. It wasn't really my idea. The servants thought you might be getting bored with learning their names." He smiled a little. "They said you needed a project."

"I'll remember to thank them, too. I'd been wondering what I was going to do with myself. Everyone else seems to have jobs to keep them busy. They make time if I want to talk, but I always feel like I'm in the way."

The Beast nodded thoughtfully. Belle noticed at some point he'd taken his paw back from her hands. "I've never had words for it, but I've felt the same way for most of my life." He snorted softly. "In theory, their lives revolve around me, as their Master. But they don't seem to have time for me all that often. Does that make any sense?"

"I understand." Belle did, too. The servants were nice, and she liked them all a great deal, but they always had important tasks to do with running the household. Belle hated to keep them busy when she just wanted company. It seemed petty, somehow. "You get lonely," she said, half to herself.

—-

Very sweet and they bind a bit, with Belle offering to help Beast remember how to read.
Vanessa Masters chapter 16 . 7/19/2019
"Is she right, Lumière? Did she really have no other choice than marrying the man?" If anyone would know, it would be the worldly Lumière. Cogsworth paid little attention to things outside the household smoothly, and Mrs. Potts would probably refuse to answer.

"She is unfortunately correct, Master." Lumière's long-nosed face was sad. "And she is very brave to choose the path she did."

"You mean deciding not to give in and get married, or agreeing to stay here?" The Beast now saw why she might have considered changing places with her father a good option, if her other choice was to return home and marry a man who had forced himself upon her.

"Both," Lumière replied. "And we must also consider a mother's protective instinct. She may have wanted to shield her enfant from the influence of his father."

"Choosing to risk me over that does not speak well for her options. Or for the child's father," the Beast said a little ruefully, glancing down at his clawed paws.

Lumière glanced at him sharply, as if he'd said something unexpected. Whatever had surprised him, he kept it to himself. His response was bland. "I suppose not, sir."

"Lumière?" the Beast asked tentatively after a few seconds. "What would…what would my father have done? About Belle."

The maitre d's face went blank. "I am not sure, Master. I am not sure. Your father was a fair man, and tried to do his best by his people, but he was also a very busy man with many cares. He simply did not have time to closely investigate every case brought before him. He was also quite…traditional, shall we say? I think it likely—" He stopped.

"—he would have had her marry the man no matter what she said," the Beast finished. He heard himself sigh. "I thought so, somehow, from what little I remember about him."
—-

Well, Beast is coming to think more of Belle, his father and what little he knows of the world, and worries he can’t love Belle with her being I. The state she is, but I like to think that’s wrong, a man can love a woman who’s carrying a child, especially if she doesn’t love the father.
Vanessa Masters chapter 15 . 7/19/2019
They looked at one another awkwardly for a few more seconds. Then he swept his tattered cloak around to go.

"Wait," Belle said, holding out her hand. "I did want to thank you again for the book."

"It did make you feel better, then?"

"I always feel better when I read," Belle said, smiling in spite of herself. "And the book was very…instructional. Truly. I never thought a history book would be that interesting."

"Really?" He took a step, almost involuntarily it seemed, towards her. "I never enjoyed history. It was always 'This King said that, did this, died hundreds of years ago…" He shrugged.

"You—" Belle halted herself. She had been about to say "You can read?" but realized how incredibly rude and condescending it would sound. He might be a creature, but he clearly had feelings. Who was she to judge whether it was unusual for someone to read or not? After all, she only read thanks to a father who was one of the few peasants that believed a woman should, or could, read.

She cleared her throat. "What did you like?"

He looked as baffled as he had when she'd asked about his favorite book, and made a questioning noise deep in his throat.

"I meant, if you didn't like history, was there a subject you did enjoy? Literature, philosophy, natural science…?"

"Oh." He shrugged again, an interesting sight on so massive a creature. "I never really thought about it that way. I just learned them because I had to. And then…" he swallowed. "It stopped mattering."

She had no idea what to make of that. She even had a hard time believing there had been someone out there to make him learn anything.

"Oh," she said, uncertainly.

A Little sharing, especially when she reveals what Gaston did. Poor Belle lets out her sorrow.
Vanessa Masters chapter 14 . 7/19/2019
He considered. "Not ill. Just tired."

"Ah." There was an awkward silence. The girl looked down at the floor, and the Beast also felt his eyes drifting in that direction. The words he'd said to her before she'd fled seemed to hang in the air between them. He felt he should apologize, but couldn't bring himself to do so. What if he'd been right all along? Then there'd be no need to apologize.



Well, he’s trying, even if the book he brought wasn’t exactly what Belle would find interesting, but it’s anstatt. And he’s not pushing to know why she’s pregnant, so that’s good too.
Vanessa Masters chapter 13 . 7/19/2019
Yes," she said. "But I didn't mean any harm."

"That doesn't matter!" he snapped. "You disobeyed my direct order. Do you realize what you could have done?!"

"I'm sorry…" She backed away even further, against a shattered wardrobe. He paused, his rising temper checked as her tone of voice registered in his ears: the very tone she had used to refuse dinner with him. That dead tone that masked all but the strongest emotion. Her face was set, also trying to show nothing, but he could hear the wardrobe creaking slightly as she trembled. Was this what had been going on behind her door that night? He knew she was afraid, but the signs were subtle—mostly that she was slowly edging away. His sensitive animal ears couldn't detect a hint of fear in her voice.

Where had the girl learned to hide her fright like this? Surely not in her few encounters with him. The Beast had never known anyone, before the curse or afterwards, who could hide their fear so well. Not even the clumsiest maidservant, who received a dressing-down from Cogsworth at least once a day, could pretend to feel nothing when the head of the household started in on her. True, Cogsworth was nowhere near as intimidating as he, the Beast, was. It made the girl's control all the more remarkable.

He took a half-step towards her, and she stiffened, shrinking further back into the wardrobe's wood. She seemed almost to be bracing herself to take a blow, though she remained composed.

Something stirred within him. It was something he only seemed to feel around her. His mind finally found the name for it.

Pity. He felt sorry for her.

"Go," he said, gentling his rough voice as much as he could manage. "Don't come up here again. Do I have your word?"

"Yes," she whispered. She was eyeing him so strangely, as if she couldn't believe he would just let her go like that. He couldn't believe what he was doing, either. She had violated his direct orders, and in so doing, his most precious sanctuary. She knew about the rose. She had been about to touch it, something not even he himself had dared to do. He should be furious, and when he'd first seen her in the room, he had been. Furious enough to hurt her without a care for the consequences. But something about the way she reacted to his rage had stopped him cold. He couldn't bring himself to punish her, though he knew he should to make certain she didn't disobey him again.

She turned to go. As she did, something in the way she moved caught his eye, and he froze in shock and suspicious horror.

—-

Well, now he knows and says the WORDT possible thing, but he does realize he judged too quickly, and there was more
And saves Belle. You’ve got me hooked, I’m enthralled.
Vanessa Masters chapter 12 . 7/19/2019
Belle made her inquiry about the servants like Madame de la Grande Bouche and Monsieur Joli who were unable to move. Cogsworth and Lumière both looked surprised when she mentioned it. They glanced at each other, and Cogsworth started counting on nonexistent fingers, mouthing silently.

"There are not too many, I believe, chérie," Lumière said, ignoring his counterpart. "Including Madame and Chef, I think perhaps a dozen or so. I would not worry too much about them. They long ago grew used to their situation."

"I'd still like to visit them all sometime," Belle said. "Otherwise they might never see me."

"This is very kind of you, mademoiselle. I shall ask them and see what I can arrange. I am certain they will appreciate it," said Lumière. He nudged Cogsworth, though what that was supposed to mean Belle had no idea. Neither did Cogsworth, who just quirked an eyebrow at the candelabra in a puzzled manner and continued the tour.

Belle paid less and less attention as they wandered further. She had wondered, in light of her revelation the previous night that the castle was under an enchantment, whether these living objects were formerly inanimate and given personalities by the spell, or whether they were once human beings turned into objects. She was fairly certain now the latter was the case, based on unguarded remarks Lumière, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and even Madame had made. If nothing else, if they had always been objects they would not remember their predecessors. So where did that leave their Master? He was somehow part of the enchantment as well. But was he its originator, or a fellow victim singled out for special treatment? Belle could not begin to guess, though she rather suspected the former.

She was suddenly overcome with the desire to know. The onset of her curiosity was like a physical thing draping over her shoulders. In a lull in the commentary, she said carefully, "This is all so magnificent. The castle does improve on a second look, even if it is enchanted."

"Enchanted?" Cogsworth sputtered, grinding to a halt in the middle of the floor. Belle had anticipated this and stepped neatly to the side, avoiding Lumière's sudden stop as well. "Who said anything about the castle being enchanted?" asked Cogsworth in a voice that sounded like he was attempting to joke and failing. He shot an accusing glare at Lumière. "I ought to—"

"You ought to what?" Lumière repeated mockingly. "Has there ever been a time when you have defeated me at anything, you old lazybones?"

"This time I'll—"

"Nobody told me anything. I figured it out for myself," Belle said, hastily interrupting the argument before gears or wax got spilled on the carpet. "I've read a lot of stories about magic and so on, and I was thinking—"

—-

Belle, so kind and clever, she finds painting of the prince and the rose.

And she hears the time in it. A odd coincidence, that her due date coincides with when she might have the baby.

Uh oh, beast!
Vanessa Masters chapter 11 . 7/19/2019
I love it, Belle getting on with the others, Beast introspective, and the others supporting Belle in her unfortunate circumstance.
Vanessa Masters chapter 10 . 7/19/2019
This time Lumière rolled his eyes. "Did your maman never take you aside one day and explain how les petites filles et garçons are made?"

"No, of course not, my father did, but why—" Cogsworth stopped. He started at Belle with his mouth open. For a second, she was fairly sure his pendulum had missed a swing. If his face had been made of skin, it would have been ashy pale. "Oh, dear," he said distinctly. Then he collapsed onto the carpet.

"Hmph," grumbled Lumière. "Typical. No, you don't have to get up, mademoiselle."

Belle got up anyway and carried Cogsworth to a spot on the chaise beside her. He was surprisingly heavy for an object of his size. She propped his head up with the corner of a pillow.

"He will be all right, won't he?" she asked anxiously. This was more the sort of reaction she had been expecting, though not to such an extreme.

"Of course, of course," Lumière reassured her. "He just has to get used to the idea."

Mrs. Potts arrived again on her cart. "Dinner won't be long," she announced. She caught sight of Cogsworth. "Oh, dear. I was afraid of this. Here, I brought a towel soaked in nice cool water. Put it on his head, child."

Belle did so, marveling that Mrs. Potts seemed to take everything in stride. Even Lumière didn't seem particularly upset by the news that she was going to have a baby in six months or so.

Once they had Cogsworth situated and Belle was gently wiping down his face with the cool cloth, the questions started. Belle had been dreading them, but she felt she owed these two some truth after they had been so thoughtful.

"You're not married, are you, dear?" asked Mrs. Potts first, very gently.

Belle looked away. "No."

"Promised, then?"

"No."

"Widowed?"

"No."

"Do you…ah, have a sweetheart waiting back home?" asked Lumière, just as gently.

"No."

"Who fathered your child, then?" This blunt question earned Lumière a stern look from Mrs. Potts.

"Someone I'd prefer never to see again," Belle said to her knees.

"Forgive us, dear, but we're a little confused. Did you two have an argument?"

"In a way." Belle sighed, and drew herself up into a small ball, hugging her knees. "I never wanted him near me in the first place. And then one night he came while my father was away—"

—-

Sharp as a whip that Mrs Potts, at Least Belle has someone who knows and won’t hold
It against her like hide idgets in the village.

And yes, she should probably tell Beast. It might be something that opens up between them, as he’s sure to be sympathetic.
Vanessa Masters chapter 9 . 7/19/2019
He seized the mirror again and demanded, "Show me the girl."

The mirror obediently displayed the inside of the girl's rooms. She was perched on the bed, talking to Madame. Her arms were folded resolutely.

"The Master's really not so bad once you get to know him," Madame was saying coaxingly. "Why don't you give him a chance?"

"A chance?" snorted the girl. "A chance to do what? Shout at me again? That's all he's ever done."

"He does have a bit of a temper…"

"And why would I want to get to know him? So I can appear and disappear at his pleasure? I get no say in the matter. I'm sick to death of having my choices taken away from me!" The girl flung herself down on her pillows and began to cry. Madame tried to soothe her, but to no avail. "I'll starve before I eat because someone ordered me to," the girl declared. "And I don't want to have anything to do with him, either."

It took a great deal of effort for the Beast to place the mirror back on the table next to the rose rather than drop it. It went dark as he set it aside.

She wanted…a choice? The Beast was a little confused. Hadn't he given her license to come and go as she pleased in the castle? She had agreed to stay here in the first place; in fact, she had suggested it. That had been her choice.

As for dinner…no, it was true, he hadn't given her a choice. Now that his temper was cooling a little, he could see that she could possibly resent being ordered about. She might be a peasant, but she wasn't a servant. And she had no idea of his former status. He had taken it for granted that she would do what he said, based on an idea of his rank that, for her, didn't exist. Or because she feared him, which she clearly did not. The fact that everyone else in his life obeyed his orders didn't seem like much of an excuse.

Mistakes. That's all he seemed capable of making. Especially around this girl, who now wanted nothing to do with him.

"It's hopeless," he sighed, running a paw through his mane. In so doing, his eye was caught by the glowing rose.

Five months, thirteen days

I love it.

Oooh, so Beast Mother was unfaithful and banished, and he enchantress visits the beast in a dream like she does in the original fairy tale with beauty.
Vanessa Masters chapter 8 . 7/19/2019
Belles at least has company, and doesn’t have to worry about Gaston for now, seeing Chip makes her a little anxious, seeing as she’ll be a mother eventually.
Vanessa Masters chapter 7 . 7/19/2019
She looked up and saw him standing almost dumbfounded in the doorway. "You didn't even let me say goodbye," she sobbed. "I'll never see him again. And I didn't get to say goodbye." She buried her head in her hands.

The Beast felt worse than ever. How could he get her to stop crying? He ran a paw over his mane, completely at a loss. Finally, his mind dredged up Lumière's suggestion from a few moments before. Could he let her have one of the guest suites downstairs? He hastily thought back to their bargain. She had promised to stay here forever. But 'here' didn't necessarily mean in this dungeon. He'd been planning to do the same for her father, anyway.

"I'll show you to your room," he growled.

It worked. The girl looked up, tears still glinting on her cheeks. "My room? But I thought—"

"Do you want to stay in the dungeon? That can be arranged," the Beast demanded, gesturing at the dismal surroundings to emphasize his point. He tried hard not to show that leaving her in the tower was exactly what he had planned on doing until her tears stirred some odd emotion in him. Whatever it was, it made his insides squirm.

Sensing the question was real despite the hint of sarcasm, the girl quickly said, "No."

"Then follow me." The Beast whirled, grasping Lumière as he passed the candelabra's niche. His sharp ears heard the girl's footfalls, but he dared not look behind him. He didn't think he could bear more tears.
—-

So much emotion, and. East, he does try, but sadly he has trouble following through his thoughts to take back what he said.
Vanessa Masters chapter 6 . 7/19/2019
Belle glanced at him, then back to the shadow, which had come even closer. It definitely had eyes, blue ones that reminded her of a summer sky. "If I did, would you let him go?" she asked.

"Yes." The voice was almost a whisper, now. "But," it continued, "You must promise to stay here forever."

Forever? That was not something Belle had considered. A few months, perhaps. Maybe long enough that she could have her child in peace, without it being the greatest scandal the village had seen in years. As neglected as her father had been, she doubted the castle's Master would pay attention to any goings-on inside the cell, even the birth of a child. But this was no place for a baby to grow up, with a prisoner for a mother and a hulking monster in the shadows.

Belle was caught between her father and her child. She wanted neither of them to suffer. But if she did not agree, she would have to walk away from the castle and leave her father here, knowing he would soon be dead. She would also be destitute, unless she returned to the village and married Gaston. None of these things was conscionable. And if she stayed…perhaps in time she could get the Master of this place to send the baby to Maurice. The child, at least, should not have to pay for what she was about to do.

Still, Belle wanted to see her adversary before she completely made up her mind. "Come into the light," she asked.

The eyes widened, but the shadow came forward into the shaft of moonlight. As it did, Belle's frightened mind fixed on details rather than absorb the whole of what stood before her. Clawed paws, the back shaped like those of a dog, the fore like enormous padded human hands complete with thumbs. A body covered in brown fur, built like a bear. Tattered breeches covered its more sensitive parts, but from its voice there was little doubt that this creature was male. An equally tattered cloak fell from shoulders to floor. The whole body, standing straight, must have been at least seven feet tall if not more.

Suddenly Belle was staring into his face, and she could not help gasping. It was a nightmarish blending of several animals at once: short, pointed ox horns; horse ears; wolverine-like snout filled with sharp teeth, two of which jutted above the lower lip; a tangled lion's mane; and a goat's small beard. The blue eyes which she had noticed before were set incongruously into this mixture, shadowed beneath heavy brows.

For an instant, those steady eyes clouded as if in pain, but they held Belle's gaze.

It was Maurice who broke the silence. "No, Belle! I won't let you do this!"

Belle wanted to hug him. He didn't even know about her child, and yet he was willing to sacrifice himself. She couldn't let him do it. However, neither was she brave enough to look at the monster before her again. She stood, but kept her eyes on the floor.

"You have my word."
—-

Oh, but the Beast is sure to have a surprise if he finds out about Belles predicament.
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