Title: Beast
Author: 1farmergirl
Pairing: Karomel
Rating: PG for this chapter
Summary: Once upon a time, there was a boy named Kurt. But everybody in town called him Beauty.
Author's Note: So, I was over at j2_everafter Disney challenge, picking out my prompt and I came across one for Beauty and the Beast. Instantly, I thought 'OMG, Karomel was made for this story' and I just had to write it. So, here is the story of Karomel, told with a Beauty and the Beast twist, both the Disney and classical versions.

Prologue

Once upon a time there was a handsome young prince. As a young child, this prince was the most charming of boys. He was always cheerful and loving. His laughter as he played in the garden could lighten anyone's spirits.

However, this young man was the crown prince, and as crown prince it was his duty to be engaged to a princess who would one day become his queen. The prince spent his whole life knowing he was to marry this girl who he did not love.

When the prince was old enough to become king, he married his fiancé, though it pained him to do so, and brought her to his bed. But their coupling was nothing like his friends and family had described it to be. Though having nothing to compare the experience to, the king thought nothing of it.

Until the day he walked in on two of the stable boys exchanging kisses outside a horse stall.

The king had never seen or heard of anything like this before, but he knew almost instantly that this was what was missing from his loveless marriage. The knowledge that he would never be able to have that, that he would be forced to live out the rest of his life in his sham of a marriage, caused something to twist inside the king. It caused his very soul to become tainted and for him to lash out at his fellow man in the most hateful of ways.

Things became even worse when the queen died of a fever. Eventually, the king became a tyrant over his people. He taxed the people so strongly that they barely had enough left to live on. He became physically violent towards his staff, never seeming to care if it was man, woman, or child he was shouldering out of his way.

After putting up with this for many years, the townspeople decided that they'd had enough. They pooled together what little money they had until they had enough to hire a witch. They asked the witch to magic the king out of existence, but the witch believed in giving people second chances.

So she asked the king if he would change his ways, but the king was now an arrogant man and he said that as king he had the right to treat his subjects however he saw fit. To this, the witch replied, "I have been hired by your subjects to do away with you and based on your current behavior; I can't say that I blame them. However, I can see that you have not always been this cruel, but rather it is the curse of the fates that has brought you to this. So, here is what I am going to do instead. I am going to free your people from your tyrannical reign and isolate you away in this castle you hold so dear. I am going to transform you so that your exterior appearance is just as ugly as your interior. Only when you find someone you can someone who can love you despite your ugliness will the spell be broken."

With those words, the witch waved her wand and magiked everything she had just described into being. Despite the king's vicious tendencies, there were still some in his employ who did not wish to leave his side. Those who could still remember when the king had been a sweet, young boy; before he had changed so much.

The witch magiked those few to have the appearance of common household items that would take care of the king for the years to come while they waited for someone to break the spell. As a finishing touch to her work, the witch put as sort of stasis charm on the castle and its occupants so that they would not age as the years passed. They had a very long wait ahead of them.

Shut away as he was and faced with his own hideousness the king became even more bitter and withdrawn than he was before. At first he had been hopeful that someone would come along and free him from this curse, but as weeks turned to months and months turned to years the king began to believe that he had nothing left to hope for.

After all, who could ever love a beast?