***Disclaimer: Credit goes to Disney for Beauty and the Beast and its characters. I do not own any of it.***
Author's Note: As If Beast isn't crushed enough over Belle's departure...let's pretend instead of Chip hiding in Belle's saddlebag, he instead goes to speak with the Beast. This is a oneshot.
Edited to make a few changes suggested in a review (thanks TrudiRose), as well as a bit of an addition at the end I thought of.
It was maybe about ten minutes after Cogsworth left to inform the others about the turn of events. The weight of the situation was starting to hit me. Not only did I give up my chance of becoming human again, but I gave up my servants' chance of the same. They didn't deserve to spend their lives as objects simply because I made a bad decision. But what's done was done, and I couldn't take any of it back. Why didn't I tell Belle that I loved her before letting her go? Perhaps then she could have set all of us free...no, that wouldn't have been right. Her father was lost in the woods and near death, and I had a sinking feeling that he was trying to get back to the castle to try to rescue her. If that was the case, then his current condition was my fault. The more I thought about the situation, the harder it got for me to deal with. I didn't know it was about to get a whole lot harder in a big hurry.
I heard hopping coming towards my door. When you live with a bunch of living objects for a decade, you get used to what their movements sound like. This sounded like Mrs. Potts hopping. Sometimes she'd come with one of her children, usually Chip, and then there would be two sets of hopping noises. One of the teacups never came without their mother, so, even though it sounded lighter than Mrs. Potts usually sounds, like the one hopping to my room might be smaller, I was sure it had to be her since it was one series of hops, and not two. I didn't really feel like talking to anyone, but I tried to prepare myself for what was to come. I did not look toward the hopping, allowing it to come into my room and come close to me. I was completely unprepared for who spoke to me.
"Master?" I gasped and looked down at the owner of the innocent voice of a child. "Master, Cogsworth just said Belle went away. Is that true?"
Before Belle came into my life, I would likely not have taken very kindly to Chip's intrusion. And while I was still not very kid savvy, at least I had changed enough to not scare him away. Actually, I was concerned about him. Like I said, I didn't know much about kids but I knew this was a very bad time for him to be separated from Mrs. Potts.
"Chip..." I kept my voice as steady as possible. "It is true Chip. She's gone. But...where is your mother? You really should be with her."
"Mama is probably still with the others. I was with them when Cogsworth told us." Chip looked up at me with sad eyes. "Master, why'd you let Belle go? Don't you like her anymore?"
Of course I liked her...no, I loved her.
"Didn't...Cogsworth tell you why I let her go?"
"Well, he said it was because you loved her." Chip said. "But that doesn't make any sense. That was one of the things that would break the spell, right? And the other one was that she had to love you back? Did you decide you don't want to be human again anymore? Did you decide you don't want us to be human again?"
The whole situation had been making me want to weep. And Chip's innocent questioning made me want to vomit. It suddenly occurred to me that my actions had more impact than I'd realized. I felt bad about how it impacted the adult staff. But this new realization that hit me made it a hundred times worse.
Children should not have to grow up as teacups. And Chip had been one since he was under a year old. He deserved to know what human life was like, and now because of me he would never have that chance. I knelt down on the floor and scooped Chip into a paw.
"Chip..." I really wished Mrs. Potts were with him, to do the explaining. "Yes, you're right Chip. My learning to love was the first requirement. You may not be able to understand this...but of course I want to be human again. And I want you to be human again. And your mother, and Cogsworth, and Lumiere, and everyone else here. But sometimes we don't get what we want. Sometimes, when you love someone, you have to put their needs above your wants."
"But Master, didn't Belle have everything she needed here? She had food, a place to live, friends...at least I thought she was our friend. Maybe she doesn't like us anymore?"
This was not getting any easier. I looked back towards the door, silently praying to find Mrs. Potts. Unfortunately, she wasn't there, and I was still alone with Chip. And it was killing me that he would think Belle didn't like us anymore. She may not have loved me, but I think she liked me, and I know she liked my staff, and their children.
"Of course she likes us, Chip." I didn't want to get into too many details, but perhaps I needed to to get the young one to understand. "I let her look in the mirror so she could see her father. He was lost in the woods and very sick. I had to let her go find him and help him, or he would likely die. I knew that would hurt her, and it is because I love her that I couldn't let her live with being hurt like that. Not when I could do something about it, and the only thing I could do about it was let her go to him. I got us all into this mess because I was selfish. Part of learning to love is learning not to be selfish. And keeping her here when her father needed her would have been selfish and unloving. Do you understand?"
I doubted he did. He was so young, and I wasn't sure I was explaining it in a child friendly manner, though I was trying my hardest. He seemed to think for a minute.
"I guess...but...why couldn't she bring him back to the castle? Are you still mad at him for coming here?" He paused for a moment. "And what do you mean if she didn't go he would likely die? What does die mean?"
As for the first two questions, it hadn't occurred to me to have him brought back to the castle. Sure, she and her father would be welcome here. But I still couldn't have required it, even if I'd thought about it. And of course I wasn't still mad at the old man. I hadn't been for a long time. As for the last question...well death was something Mrs. Potts would have to decide how to explain to him.
"Chip, I'm so sorry." I brought my paw that held him up to my chest and gave him what you might call a hug. At least, if you could actually hug a teacup. I was taking great care not to crush or smother him. I then set him back down on the floor. "You really should go to your mother. There are just some things that she should explain to you, when she's ready. She can help you understand things a lot better than I can."
"But Master..." Chip was clearly reluctant to leave my room. "What if she doesn't want to tell me? Sometimes I ask her questions and she'll say she'll tell me when I'm older."
"Well," I wasn't sure quite what to say here, but I had to do my best. Just months ago, I wouldn't have cared that I was dealing with a child, and he would have been out of my room long ago, to put it mildly. But now even in my sorrow I didn't have the heart to mistreat him. Or anyone, really. Belle had changed me. "She likely has a good idea of what you'll be able to understand and what you won't until you're older. Now please, go. Go find your mother. She's the best one for you to be talking to right now."
I hoped this would have him going. He looked up into my eyes, and I saw a tear rolling down his face...erm...cup. I gently wiped it with a finger, taking care not to scratch him with a claw, then gestured toward the door. I really hoped he would go, otherwise I would have to carry him down and find Mrs. Potts myself. And I really didn't want to leave my room. Unfortunately, he just wasn't going to make anything easy for me.
"Could you go find Belle and bring her and her father back?"
I sighed. I scooped him back up into my paw, stood, and began walking to the door.
"Chip, we really must go find your mother."
We were both silent as I carried the little teacup down to the kitchen. I really hoped none of the servants would come up and try to talk to me. Finally, we made it to the kitchen and I spotted Mrs. Potts immediately.
"Mrs. Potts?" I walked over to her and gently set Chip down next to her. "Chip came to see me. He was asking questions, that I tried to explain as best I could, but I really think you should be the one fielding the questions. And...I'd really rather be alone...please, keep him out of my room, okay?"
"Oh of course Master." Mrs. Potts sounded apologetic. "I'm so sorry. For how things went down earlier, and...for Chip coming in on you."
"It's okay, Mrs. Potts. Thank you." I then turned to leave. I heard Mrs. Potts admonish Chip that he shouldn't have invaded my privacy, in her typical firm but gentle fashion. As I reached the door, he responded with something that stopped me in my tracks.
"I'm sorry Mama." Such an innocent little voice, and because of me it was coming from a teacup. "I'm sorry I made the master mad at me."
This I would have to deal with. I thought now that I'd found Mrs. Potts, she could take over from here. But I couldn't leave the little one thinking that I was angry with him, for I wasn't. Sighing, I turned around and went back over.
"Chip, I'm not mad at you." I gently patted the top of his handle with a finger. "I'm sorry I came across that way. But I need to be alone right now, and there are just some things you were asking that your mother should explain instead of me. I know you didn't know that, and I am not angry with you. Do you understand that?"
"I guess so." After Chip's response, I gave Mrs. Potts a nod and then left, heading to my room.