In the red-carpeted corridors of an enchanted castle set deep within the forests of France, an amorous candlestick was having poor luck in wooing a particular feather duster.

"No no no Lumiere, fire is bad for feathers." Babette, the feather duster said, though she had a slight smirk.

Lumiere dipped her further and brought his nose closer to hers. "Yes," he said smoothly, "but ze blaze is lovely while it lasts, non?"

Babette giggled. "You are a naughty man," she scolded, "Zat is why, until zere is a ring around my handle, you shall not burn me again. I am sorry." She sounded more playful than sorry, and flicked him so with her skirt-like plumage before sashaying off down the hall, glancing back over her shoulder teasingly.

As she disappeared, Lumiere grudgingly snapped one of his candles and said "rats!"

Just then, he heard someone let out a small cry as they tripped over themselves. Turning, Lumiere managed to catch the sight of his clock friend, Cogsworth, falling flat on his face from around a corner a little ways down the hall. Apparently, he'd been spying.

"Cogsworth?" Lumiere questioned anyway as he hopped over, "What are you doing over zere?"

Cogsworth stood and brushed imaginary dust from himself as he stammered, "I uh-that is I-um, I was just-I was on my way to-you see, uh…" Unable to fabricate a decent excuse, he sighed in defeat. "Well, actually, I-I happened to catch glimpse of your little…cosset there, and make no mistake, I fully intended to turn away..!" He raised a finger angrily as though Lumiere had accused him of something vile.

Lumiere nodded reasonably and waited for Cogsworth to continue.

Seeing that he wasn't being chastised, Cogsworth cleared his throat and went on, "But then, well, something struck me as odd, and I-well I wanted to see if it-, uh, but now that you've caught me, I suppose I should just ask you about it, shouldn't I?"

"Oui," Lumiere said, smirking with amusement, "What is it my friend?"

Cogsworth rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Well, I was just wondering, really, rather than the many girls about the castle, uh, why is it that you always kiss me? I mean I've never seen you actually kiss a girl…"

He thought he'd have to start listing the examples, but Lumiere surprised him by simply shrugging and answering, "Why not? I can kiss you. You are not so skittish as a woman, and you do not make me work for it like certain feather dusters I could mention. Why, I'd say kissing you is even somewhat thrilling, seeing as how you are ze only one I've ever managed to get my lips on. Why, do you find somesing wrong with this?" he added as a curious afterthought.

Sputtering, Cogsworth spat, "Of course I see something wrong with it! Any person would!"

"Why?" Lumiere inquired.

Cogsworth exclaimed, "Because, a man shouldn't kiss another man! Even if they aren't technically men…" He looked at his object appearance, and then went on. "And besides, it makes me feel…oh, what's the word…I was going to say 'angry' but that's not right…awkward? No…"

One of Lumiere's eyebrows lifted. "Cogsworth?" he questioned, "Do you…like it when I kiss you?"

Cogsworth gestured wildly, saying, "What?? Oh, heavens no! That would be ludicrous! That would be unheard of! Why, that-that would be-" At that moment, however, he was interrupted by Lumiere, who leaned forward very suddenly and engulfed Cogsworth's mouth in a deep and passionate kiss. One much more intimate than the simple cheek kisses that Cogsworth had been talking about.

As Lumiere, his eyes closed, continued to press forward, Cogsworth was forced into a dip resembling the ones he'd seen many a girl in on countless occasions. Once over the initial shock, he tried to rouse feelings of indignance or anger, but found it impossible. Rather, he found his own eyes slipping closed and his muscles laxing.

"-simply enchanting…" Cogsworth finished his earlier sentence when Lumiere pulled away.

"Aha, so you do like it." Lumiere smirked victoriously.

Snapping out of his melted state, Cogsworth flustered, "Er, uh, no! That is, what I meant to say was-"

Lumiere chuckled. "It is alright, Cogsworth. I am used to such reactions." He vainly slicked his non-existent hair.

"…It's…alright?" Cogsworth echoed, "You mean you don't, hate me?"

"Why should I?" returned Lumiere, "I can hardly blame you for falling for me. And besides, I was ze one kissing you."

"That is true…" Cogsworth realized, "Hey, wait a minute! What do you mean 'falling for you'? Who said anything about that?"

Lumiere gave him a knowing smile, his arms crossed.

Cogsworth faltered under the look. "I uh, eh, ahrm. You…knew?"

"How could I not? You are so bad at hiding your feelings..!" Lumiere responded, shoving Cogsworth playfully.

Cogsworth reeled slightly from the shove, but his brain was so busy reeling from what he was hearing that he didn't even glare at Lumiere for pushing him. Instead he just made a few more meaningless sounds.

At last he formed words. "But, wait, does that mean you..?"

"What can I say?" Lumiere shrugged, "I have always had a soft spot for silly bumbling nincompoops with short fuses." He threw an arm around Cogsworth and gave him an affectionate noogie.

Some of the indignance Cogsworth had been searching for finally surfaced. "Nincompoop!?" he huffed, "I resent that sir! And I most certainly am neither silly nor bumbling!"

"You are admitting to ze short fuse zen?" asked Lumiere.

Cogsworth sputtered again. "I'm a clock, I don't have a fuse!" he argued.

Lumiere rolled his eyes, smiling.

"And another thing," Cogsworth went on, "If you're actually telling me what I think you are, then I must insist that you cease your flirting with Babette and the other maids at once! It is most unbecoming of a gentleman to wander when he is committed."

"I am not making any promises." said Lumiere. He saw the look Cogsworth was giving him. "Cherie, I am joking..!" he then assured, "Why would I wander when ze one I was waiting for has finally come to his senses? Of course, you were taking so long zat I was certain I would have to marry Babette..!" He placed a hand to his forehead dramatically.

"You…are irksome." Cogsworth said flatly. He then turned and strode down the corridor, nose aloft.

Lumiere laughed. "Yes, but it is so much fun winding your crank." he said as he followed, "You know you love it."

"No, I, don't." Cogsworth denied, and the two entered another argument. Same old, same old.