This is a story I wrote a while back, and is my first fanfiction EVER! I've never even thought of writing it before, but something about Beauty and the Beast just really got to me, and made me want to further the adventures of Catherine and Vincent. The following is a pretty unique story, and most likely not like what you're used to, but it was just a cute little thing I came up with. Please review, I don't mind criticism, but please be kind! The chapters are short, so I'll probably always post two at a time, and often. Hope you enjoy!


Worth a Thousand Words

Chapter One

Father turned the corner, headed for his adopted son's chamber. He had anticipated asking if Vincent would like a game of chess, (which Father would surely win this time), but the happy sound of soft, feminine laughter echoing down the hall, followed by a gravelly chuckle in response, told him that Vincent was otherwise occupied.

Father smiled wistfully to himself. He had finally accepted Catherine's presence in Vincent's life, and learned to trust in her deep abiding love for him. He hesitated outside his son's chamber uncertainly, wondering if he should turn back, but the tapestry was raised, a sign common in the tunnels that visitors were welcome. Father was still uncertain, it wouldn't have been the first time the lovers had forgotten to lower the tapestry, and Father blushed at the thought of that particularly embarrassing incident. The voices inside were low, and Father couldn't hear what was being said, until he heard Vincent's loud, amused, "Awww..."

Curiosity piqued, Father announced his presence outside the chamber. "Vincent?" he called.

"Come in, Father," Vincent replied.

Father entered Vincent's chamber to see Vincent and Catherine sitting of the edge of his bed, side-by-side, with a book opened across both their laps.

"Father, come and see," Vincent said, looking up from the book, with a delighted expression on his face.

Father crossed the room to stand at Vincent's side, craning his neck to look at the big album. He couldn't resist a smile when he looked down at the pictures, of a lovely little girl with light brown pigtails and bright green eyes. In one picture, she was in front of a birthday cake, preparing to blow out five candles.

"Why, could that little girl be Catherine?" Father said teasingly.

Catherine beamed up at him. "I found this old album in my closet, I haven't looked at it in years. I brought it down to show Vincent pictures of me when I was little."

"Look at this one," Vincent said, his mouth turned up at the corners in a small smile. He turned back a few pages, to older photos, of Catherine as a baby. On this page, was a fat, giggling baby being given a bath by her mother, and several of little Cathy crawling, laughing, and eating quite messily. "Wasn't she just a little cherub?"

Father laughed merrily. "That she was. My, my, Catherine, you were such a chubby thing back then, were did it all go?"

Catherine chuckled and playfully rolled her eyes, changing the subject. "My dad was a camera maniac. He took pictures constantly, and never relinquished the camera, so that's why you see so much more of my mom then him!"

"I'm glad he did," Vincent said.

Father looked at a few more of the pictures, then politely excused himself, leaving the happy couple to enjoy the little pieces of Catherine's past. He sighed inwardly, there had been many times when Vincent was a child that Father had wished he could have taken a picture of him. Of course, there was always the beautiful painting Elizabeth had done of him in her tunnel, but that wasn't quite like capturing a moment, like the picture of Catherine blowing out her birthday candles, just the same as Vincent had done many times. Unfortunately, photographs simply weren't worth the risk to his extraordinary, and very different son. But at least he still had his memory, and hopefully would for a few more years.

After Father left, Vincent and Catherine resumed their little journey through Catherine's life, as the photos gradually advanced to older ages.

"Oh, Lord, I remember that dress," Catherine groaned, as she looked at the image of a young girl in a bright pink and white dress, with little horses printed on it, and absolutely dripping with lace, marching unhappily to her school bus. "Ugh, I simply loathed that dress, the lace was SO itchy, and I looked like a cupcake! A horse covered cupcake!"

"An adorable, horse-covered cupcake," Vincent offered, his mouth twitching slightly with barely concealed mirth.

"Oh I hated it," Catherine said. "I was so embarrassed to wear it to school."

"But you did anyway," Vincent observed.

"Yes," Catherine's voice grew soft, distant, as thought she was traveling to the day. "My mother made me that dress. The first one, the only one, she ever made. And she was so proud of it. It was my birthday dress, for my tenth birthday."

Vincent reached over to wrap his arm comfortingly around Catherine's shoulders as tears welled up in her eyes. "I wore the dress because I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I joked about it at school that day to my friends, to cover up my embarrassment. I didn't know then that she was sick. I would have appreciated her gift more, had I only known that it would be my last birthday with her there..."

Vincent hugged her closer. "You mustn't think that way. You were only a little girl, some little girls wouldn't have even worn the dress, but you did, because you loved her."

Catherine nodded. "Yes."

After the photos of her tenth birthday party, there were many pictures of her with both her parents, with her mother looking slightly paler in every photograph, until there were no more pictures at all, just a few empty pages.

"After my mother got very sick, she didn't want any more pictures taken of her. She wanted us to remember as she was when she was well. After she...passed away, my dad stopped taking many pictures. Except of me, occasionally."

Vincent rubbed Catherine's back lovingly, and they sat in silence a few moments, as Catherine looked at the last picture taken of her mother.

After they were done looking at the pictures, Catherine related a few more stories from her childhood, and Vincent listened intently, he then told her some of his crazy childhood stories, most of which involved some wacky scheme of Devin's that always backfired.

"Oh, Vincent, you must have been such a fun kid," Catherine said, wiping a tear from her eye, from laughing so hard.

"I did get into my share of mischief," Vincent said.

"It's just too bad that there aren't any pictures of you."

Vincent shrugged. "It is impossible, unfortunately."

Catherine gave a sad smile and reached up to place her left hand on her husband's cheek. Her husband! Sometimes she still couldn't believe it, that she and the love of her life had finally begun their happy life together. She looked at the hand on the side of his face, at the simple gold ring around her finger. To her it was the most beautiful piece of jewelry, second only to a very special crystal necklace.

Vincent, as always, picked up on his wife's trail of thought, and took the small hand on his cheek in his own clawed, furry one, and placed a kiss on its palm with his unusual lips.

"I love you," Catherine sighed. Would she ever get tired of saying that?

"And I love you, my Catherine," Vincent said, his voice almost like a purr, Catherine loved it when he sounded like that. He lowered his face to hers, placing a tender kiss on her lips. He was still a bit shy about initiating an intimate embrace, but he was learning. After all, practice really does make perfect!

Vincent pushed Catherine, ever so gently, to lie underneath him against the pillows. She gave a soft moan, and deepened the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck.

Vincent pulled back, but only slightly, to look into her eyes, his face just inches from her own. "What is it?" he asked, so quietly she almost didn't hear him.

"What is what?" Catherine raised an eyebrow, a gesture she did without thinking, but Vincent loved.

"Your emotions changed. So suddenly," he responded. As he was kissing her, he had noticed the sudden switch, from passionate to melancholy. "I sense a sadness in you. Why?"

"Not sadness, really," she said, playing with one of the tassels on Vincent's vest. "I was just thinking, again, about you as a child. I think about that a lot, how we grew up, here in the same city, so close, Peter watched both of us grow, how easy it would have been for us to know each other. I wish so much I could have known you, it feels like all the years we didn't know one another were wasted."

"Not wasted," he said. "It just wasn't meant to be, perhaps..." he hesitated a moment, before going on. "Perhaps you were not yet ready to meet me; perhaps back then you wouldn't have...understood."

"You mean I wouldn't have accepted you." she said, more of a statement than a question. Vincent nodded, almost imperceptibly. "How can you say that?" Catherine felt hurt, did he think she was really that shallow back then? "You think that the only way for me to accept you, was for you to save my life? Well I don't think that, I didn't fall in love with you because you saved me, I fell in love because you're you." She looked up at him, defying him to disagree.

"I didn't mean it the way it sounded," Vincent said. "I know that you love me, for me, truly I see that now. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that," Vincent tilted his head to one side, and Catherine was powerless to resist him when he did that, and he knew it.

"I forgive you," she drawled, reaching up to wrap her arms around him, pulling him down. He came down willingly, to rest his head against her breasts. "Not that any of it matters, we're here now, that's all that counts, right?"

"Right," Vincent said, his voice muffled as he nuzzled against her, making her giggle in response. "But I do see what you were saying, I do wonder what it would have been like to know you as a girl."

Catherine nodded, gently stroking his mass of wild blonde hair. "Wouldn't it be fun, to go back in time, as adults, and meet the younger us? Could you imagine your reaction if we told the young you that we are married?"

Vincent chuckled. "I never would have believed us," they both dissolved into fits of laughter, at the absurdity of the conversation. "If I did believe," Vincent raised his head to look at her with a sultry expression in his eyes as his voice lowered to that rumble that always gave Catherine chills. "I would have known I had a lot to look forward to..."

Catherine couldn't respond, only moan as his mouth lowered back to hers, taking her in the most passionate kiss he had ever given her. He raised up on his elbows, taking his weight off of her, and reached down to caress her skin under her sweater, as she frantically tried to untie the multiple fastenings of his vest. Once that was accomplished, he assisted her in removing it, then his sweater and thermal shirt. She stroked the fine, soft hair of his chest, eliciting a deep growl from him. The sound made her tremble, and she cried out softly, trying to move so she could remove her own clothes, those irritating barriers. He immediately complied, allowing her to sit up so she could take off her sweater and jeans, and then her underwear, as he moved to remove his own jeans, that had become extremely uncomfortable, and unwanted.

Clothes tossed away, like so much unneeded trash, their bodies moved together, as their hands explored one another, never tiring of learning more and more about what pleased the other best. As they became one, they both marveled, how could they have gone so long not being together? How did they ever survive?

Later, much later, the happy and sated couple rested in each other's arms. "What ever did I do before I met you?" Catherine sighed, snuggling closer to Vincent's warmth.

"I was thinking the exact same thing," he whispered close to her ear. "If I had known, as a boy, the wonderful companion I would have, the beautiful woman who would love me..."

"Maybe you wouldn't have felt so lonely?" Catherine said, already drifting to sleep, she felt him nod. "Me too."

Vincent felt Catherine fall asleep, he shifted softly to his side, and gathered her up beside him, succumbing also to sleep.