BEAUTY and the BEAST
AN: Hey y'all! Long time no see, right? Sorry my other stories haven't been spoken for in awhile. I just finished selling my house and moving across the country! Ha! Anyway, I had the thought to write a PR version of the fairytale, Beauty and the Beast. Don't worry though, I haven't forgotten about my other stories. I will be posting new chapters in the next couple of days! I just had to get this out and I really wanted the feedback. Let me know what you think and if this story seems worth it to continue! I can juggle more now that I'm finally settled again. Thank you so much to everyone who has left me messages and reviews and support! And as always, Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own PR. Nor do I own the idea of Beauty and the Beast. This is merely an adaptation.
Beauty and the Beast
The pier was long, and empty. The air was cold and the sky was gray and dingy. The young girl's gaze made its way slowly to the houseboat at the end of the wooden mile; bobbing softly as its feeble rope barely kept it from floating away.
She started walking, her feet felt heavy and lumbering with every step. Kimberly Hart was twenty two years old, and an orphan. Her mother had passed away when she was five, and she had spent the last blissful seventeen years with her adoring but eccentric father. That is, until he too, passed. She had just finished school when her father became ill. She had lived in the dorms throughout college, visiting her father every weekend.
Kimberly had spent the last month tying up all the loose ends of her father's estate, which was humble. His last will and testament had requested his house and possessions be sold off in a public auction, leaving Kimberly with only his literal worth in cash and in the care of his friend. Initially, Kimberly ignored the last stipulation, using her inheritance to rent a small apartment in the city while she awaited the outcome of her father's estate.
Now a whole month had gone by, and Kimberly struggled to maintain a sense of normalcy again. She was utterly alone, and she hated it. She decided to swallow her pride and seek out her father's friend, the gentleman that her father obviously trusted enough to take care of her.
Jonathon Hart became friends with James Oliver after college. A man who had spent the majority of his life on the ocean charting obscure destinations in the hopes of finding a paradise lost.
Jonathon was fascinated by James' heuristic lifestyle; a handful of possessions to his name, living on a boat and setting sail to the middle of nowhere. It was a far cry from the linear comforts Jonathon had so stridently maintained for so many years.
But what would this gentleman do with her? Had he been expecting her all this time? What if he had forgotten or said good riddance after she had ignored her father's wish? Was it fair for either of them to have to acclimate themselves to each other? Could they?
Kimberly never knew her father's friend, though she heard about him through the stories her father would tell her of his youth. And if Jonathon's eccentricity was any gauge, he had learned it all from James Oliver.
Kimberly drew a sharp breath in and exhaled slowly as she finally reached the end of the dock. She bit her lip as she examined the boat. She stepped up and onto the deck, hiking her singular bag back onto her shoulder and softly rapped her knuckles against the cabin door.
No other answer, save for a lonely seagull squawking in the distance. Kimberly glanced up to watch the bird fly past before returning her attention to the door. Again she knocked, hoping her more aggressive thudding would awaken someone. She reached for the knob and attempted to jostle it as the door fell open. Kimberly took a step back, recoiling her hands anxiously.
"Hello?" she called into the cabin. "Hello, Mr. Oliver?"
She stepped down inside and admired the surprisingly spacious cabin that housed four or five separate rooms.
"It definitely looks smaller from the outside," she mused to herself as she continued down the corridor.
She peeked inside each room, every door unlocked or ajar. All were unoccupied, but not empty. Beds were in each room, a few had double beds. Some came with small tables or dressers. Clothing was even visible inside some of the closets. Kimberly shook her head in confusion as she reached the end of the hallway.
The last door stood before her. She pressed her good fortune and turned the handle. The door clicked open as she gently pushed it aside, revealing the largest room of all. It had its own bathroom and shower, a dressing table, a large bed and even a television and small kitchenette.
"Wow." was all she could say as a smile crept onto her face. Suddenly, faint voices could be heard approaching as the boat jostled slightly. Kimberly's eyes widened as weight was clearly being added to the vessel, and she quickly left the bedroom and headed back down the hall.
The voices became louder and more distinct as she scurried up the steps and back outside. She opened up the cabin door and stopped abruptly, finding several pairs of eyes staring back at her.
Laughter, snickers, whistles and whispers were passed around as Kimberly bit her lip nervously.
"Who are you?" one young man asked, nudging another guy.
"What are you doing here?" another boy with glasses asked curiously.
"Are you lost?" the only girl wondered as another boy smiled at their reluctant intruder.
"Hey captain, we got a stowaway!" the smiling boy joked as he and the others laughed.
"No no, I'm not a stowaway. I wasn't hiding, I just—" Kimberly began frantically, smiling back uncomfortably at the one leering man.
"Who are you?" another voice asked again. Kimberly's eyes widened in horror as the man quickly approached her and grabbed her by the arm.
Kimberly swallowed hard and instinctively flinched as the man stared her down, still clutching her arm tightly.
The young man's menacing appearance was obviously threatening to the others who'd been talking moments ago, for they immediately became silent when he began speaking.
He was tall, much taller than she was. His eyes were dark and piercing. He continued to stare her down, breathing down her neck as she jostled her to answer him.
"Who are you?" he seethed. Kimberly's eyes began to water from sheer anxiety.
"My name is Kimberly Hart. I'm looking for James Oliver—"
"James Oliver has been dead for five years," the man told her coldly.
"What? But my father left me in his care!" Kimberly protested, fidgeting in the young man's grasp.
"Well, your father was mistaken. Get off my boat!" he snapped, finally releasing her with a toss of his arm. Kimberly stumbled forward a bit and braced herself against the side of the boat. She spun around and called back out to the young man.
"Please! My father was Jonathon Hart. They were friends! Please! I don't have anywhere else to go, my father's gone. He said that James could look after me!" she desperately cried, tears forming as she pleaded with the eyes of the remaining strangers.
"Captain! Wait up!" one man yelled out, chasing the bearded one down.
"Are you alright?" the girl asked Kimberly.
Kimberly nodded and sniffled, wiping her face with the back of her hand.
"That's the captain, Tommy Oliver. James was his father. He left him with this houseboat and a whole heap of debt. Sorry if he's not the friendliest." The young girl explained.
Kimberly's eyes softened upon hearing the young man's story. James Oliver had had a son. This young man's father and her father were best friends and they had both passed away. Kimberly's fear immediately turned to hope as she composed herself and offered her hand to the other girl.
"I'm sorry to hear about the captain's father. I'm Kimberly," she said as dutifully as possible.
"I'm Trini," said the girl, shaking Kimberly's hand. "I hope Zack and Billy can convince Tommy to let you stay. It'd be nice to have another girl around."
Kimberly smiled briefly at the thought.
"Tommy, I think this could be a really good thing for everyone!" Zack offered.
He and Billy, two fellow crew members aboard the boat, had followed their captain and friend downstairs into the cabins in the hopes of convincing him to let Kimberly stay.
"You don't even know who she is!" Tommy protested.
"But you heard her story! Your father's were friends. Obviously good enough friends that he trusted your dad to take care of her!" Billy said.
"But obviously not good enough to know that he'd passed away!" Tommy challenged.
"I think she's cute. I say she stays," Zack chimed in.
Tommy glared at his companion. "We don't have room," he said quickly.
Billy rolled his eyes. "Now you're just lying."
Tommy grumbled and muttered a few choices words before shaking his head in defeat.
"Fine. She can stay. But I don't know what were supposed to do with her," he argued.
Zack and Billy gave each other a sly smile and nodded.
"Let's all go tell her the good news!" Zack said enthusiastically as he and the one named Billy ushered their reluctant captain back upstairs.
"Kimberly, allow me to introduce you to the crew," Trini obliged, gesturing to the lone man who remained lounged against the railing.
"This is Jason, first mate," Trini continued as Jason stood at attention and shook Kim's hand.
"Nice to meet you," Kimberly said timidly. Jason gave her a warm smile and nodded.
"The captain's not good at socializing. Forget about it," he explained as he released her hand.
"Miss Kimberly!" Billy's nasal voice rang out. Kimberly and her newest acquaintances spun around to see Zack, Billy and Tommy all heading their way. Jason and Trini straightened up as Zack and Billy quickly fell back in line with them, leaving Kimberly out in front to face the captain.
"The captain has something he'd like to say," Billy whispered in her ear. Kimberly bit her lip as she regarded the bearded recluse carefully.
Tommy cleared his throat, his eyes burning holes in the minds of his crew.
"You can stay," he said curtly, bowing his head slightly at her. Kimberly exhaled a sigh of relief as the crew cheered softly.
"And?" Zack added, motioning for the captain to continue.
"What else?" Billy chirped. Kimberly gave a tiny laugh at the two crew men before resuming her worried expression toward Tommy.
"Sorry I was rude," he added flatly. He groaned and turned to leave before the utter humiliation of his apology was enjoyed by the crew too much.
"The captain's been nice enough to give you his room," Billy chimed in, grabbing Kimberly's hand and pulling her toward Tommy.
Tommy stopped and spun around to face his brazen crew member.
"I what?" Tommy asked incredulously.
Billy ignored Tommy's obvious rage and carefully escorted the young girl back inside.
"He said that he felt so terrible and that he wanted to make it up to you," Billy lied as they made their way down the cabin hall.
Tommy's face was utterly frozen in a look of contempt as Kimberly stopped and faced the two men.
"Thank you," she said softly as she reached for the knob. Billy suppressed a small smile as he and Tommy watched her disappear behind the door.
"I felt so terrible that I wanted to make it up to her?" Tommy whispered harshly at his friend.
"Don't you feel better?" Billy asked him innocently. Tommy rolled his eyes and brushed past the young man with a thud of the shoulder.
"Where am I supposed to sleep?" Tommy asked suddenly, stopping before the steps.
Billy shrugged as he gave Tommy a bashful grin and headed back up to the deck. Tommy rolled his eyes and shook his head as he stared at the door to his former quarters. He exhaled deeply before returning to the deck to reprimand his crew.
As the captain reemerged, the officious gang was making quick work of their assumed punishment; busy sweeping and cleaning as if they'd already been told to do so.
"Falcon Crew Halt! In line. NOW!" Tommy barked.
The crew stumbled over their respective chores and scurried to formation, wry smiles worn by all of them.
"What was that about?" Tommy asked in a softer tenor than before, pacing back and forth before his crew.
Billy raised his hand eagerly but obediently as Tommy stopped in front of him.
"Sir, your recent insinuations have led to the implication that you're harboring feelings of a certain aptitude that have more or less left you experiencing remorse and alienation."
Tommy flared his nostrils in annoyance with the young man's unnecessary vocabulary and cocked his head to regard Trini, the unofficial translator for the boy in blue.
Trini furrowed her brow, recalling the entirety of Billy's comment before slowly processing it into a more tangible sentence.
"You've kind of mention lately that you've felt sad and lonely," the yellow clad woman explained cautiously.
"And while we, as your congregation acknowledge the necessity to grieve for your father's passing—" Billy began to further implore before Zack interrupted.
"We totally understand that you're going through a rough time right now," Zack completed Billy's thought quickly.
"But Kimberly seems like a good addition to our team," Jason added just as swiftly.
"You all feel like this was a smart decision?" Tommy asked blankly. "Inviting her to stay?"
The crew nodded reluctantly and mumbled affirmatives before Trini spoke up first.
"It'd be nice to have another girl around."
"And her situation seems rather dire," Billy chimed.
"And she can totally sympathize with yours," Zack added.
"And she's cute, right Zack?" Tommy snapped.
"Hey," the young black man said, holding his hands up defensively. "Whatever floats your boat!" he finished, cackling at his pun as the rest of the crew snickered.
Tommy groaned inwardly as he shook his head and looked to Jason, his first mate.
"I don't want to be your boss, guys. But I have no choice. This was my father's boat and I'm left to take care of it; so that puts me in charge whether I like it or not. And today you completely undermined my authority by telling that girl that she could stay, IN MY OWN QUARTERS!" Tommy bellowed the last thought out of frustration.
"What do you think, Jase?"
Jason sighed and gave his captain a small nod of recognition.
"I think she should stay bro. I'm here to help you. We all are. And you put me second in command to check your decisions, right?"
Tommy nodded as Jason continued. "I think you made the right choice. I think she should stay, and in your room."
Tommy shook his head in disbelief and rested his hands on his hips. The crew glanced nervously at one another before Tommy spoke once again.
"Where am I supposed to stay? What are we supposed to do with her?" he asked again, almost whining at having already asked those questions before.
"Your quarters are substantial enough to share," Billy reasoned.
"And she could always help us with crew work," Zack offered.
Tommy glared at the two men. "That was rhetorical. And yes, Billy. I will be staying in my own room. She'll just have to deal with it. But that's not a bad idea, Zack. I mean, we could always use the extra help and if she's here she might as well make herself useful."
"But she's not really here to work….I mean….I don't think that's what her father had in—" Trini started.
"Well her father's not here, is he? And neither is mine, so I guess we'll never really know what they had in mind. If she wants to stay, she'll have to work. Period." Tommy concluded abruptly.
"Finish up your deck duties. Boom, mast, jib and kicker all need to be checked. Jason and Zack you're on that tonight. We'll head out by tomorrow if all looks good. Billy and Trini; you're on mess tonight. I'm going to take a shower. See you all in an hour," Tommy directed, not bothering to linger as he briskly headed back toward his cabin.
"Should we cook anything special? See if Kimberly has any dietary requirements?" Billy called after Tommy.
"She'll eat what we eat. See you in an hour." He said again, slamming the cabin door shut.
Inside the spacious room, Kimberly had found the double bed immediately. She set her bag on the floor beside her and had taken out her favorite book to read herself to sleep. She was nearly gone when she heard a low rattling sound coming from the door. She shook herself out of her light slumber and lifted her head as Tommy entered the room.
Quickly, out of fear, she buried her head sideways into the pillow; allowing one eye to peek over its edge in an effort to watch him inconspicuously.
Tommy scanned the room, not noticing Kimberly seemingly asleep. He made a beeline for his small bureau and grabbed a robe and a towel. Kimberly watched in fascination and terror of being discovered, steadying her breath as the grizzly man awkwardly began to undress. Remembering the room wasn't entirely his own anymore, Tommy ripped his shirt over his head and stopped. He glanced around and realized the young girl was lying in his bed, a few feet away. He regarded her carefully and once convinced she was in fact, not awake, resumed his strip.
Kimberly pried her available eye back open slightly, praying that he wasn't watching her anymore. Luckily he wasn't, and Kimberly continued to observe the fearful young man as he proceeded to disrobe down to nothing. Kimberly began to feel her face flush. He was built like a god. Broad shoulders that held up toned, muscular arms. His chest and stomach were chiseled and defined, tan and rippling. Her eyes made their way back up to his face, where her previously embarrassing thoughts vanished into ones of confusion and dismay. His face was harsh and mean, albeit somewhat masked by his overgrown beard and mop of hair that exceeded his shoulders. She craned her neck slightly, trying to access a better vantage point as Tommy stopped once again and glanced back at the bed.
Kimberly quickly shut her eyes and played off her movement as restless, sleep induced tossing. Tommy watched her for a moment longer, clad now in only his boxers, before shrugging it off and heading into the bathroom.
Upon hearing the door shut, Kimberly reopened her eyes and sat up in bed, biting her lip anxiously. The sound of the showerhead coming on alerted her to Tommy's absence for the time being. Satisfied that she would successfully avoid another encounter with the misanthropic captain, she carefully unzipped her giant duffel bag and proceeded to change from her traveling clothes into something a bit more seaworthy. Deciding on a tank top and shorts, Kimberly resealed her luggage, and gracefully escaped the room without a sound, eager to rejoin the remaining four passengers that had more happily welcomed her.
AN: What do you think? Please Read and Review, see you next time! The next chapters of the other stories are on their way! Catch ya on the flip side!