The moisture in the air outside was heavy and the black clouds that rolled in were hardly visible against the evening sky.
Francoeur ran his fingers over the bristles of the little brown thing Lucille frequently put in her hair. She asked him to hand it to her while behind the thin folding wall, but he hadn't noticed. He had no idea what she meant most of the time, but he often enjoyed the ups and downs in her voice. It wasn't quite singing, but it was just as beautiful. A moment later, she popped her head from behind said wall and looked at him questioningly, he smiled and chirped and she smiled back, motioning towards the little brown thing in his hands. Once again, he smiled and thrummed the little bristles. It created such a unique sound, so tiny and crisp, he couldn't help himself. It was like the "guitar that is very hard to play"- addicting.
She hid her head behind the changing screen again and not a second later she emerged in her usual white colored attire. She floated across the dressing room floor and took a seat at her usual spot, in front of her brightly lit mirror. He watched as her long brown tresses splayed across the white of her dress. Often he envisioned reaching out to caress her locks, inspect the strange but delightful substance that encased her head. He continued to pick melodically at her comb.
Lucille turned his way and once again motioned to him with her hand, this time pointing at the comb. After realizing what she wanted he stretched his long arm out from the inside of his coat and gently placed it in her hand. She looked at him appreciatively and turned back to the mirror, fidgeting with her hair as she always did.
He sat there content in watching her, his hands folded politely in his lap. It always amazed him how he could exist in a world such as this and yet, still sit here with her as if he always knew this way of life. He knew without her though, there wasn't much for him. She was the light and reason in this world full of darkness and chaos.
He reminisced about the first time he saw her face, seeing her wide green eyes change from some emotion he did not know to one he was very familiar with. "Fear" she had once called it. That was when he finally understood why so many shrieked and ran from him, not because that was how they communicated, but because he frightened them. In that alley, he had never felt more alone in the world. From the sheen of rain that obscured his vision, he watched the door slam from the passage she had emerged. Watching her retreat from him, brought new sensations. One's he didn't know how to express and in turn, he found himself making the oddest sounds from his mouth. He wasn't sure how he was doing it, so he pushed on. The unfamiliar movements continued to move his lips and with that, something else.
He had never heard himself before, but the sound was much more enjoyable than all the screaming he heard that day. He felt something in him soar. Francoeur closed his eyes and imagined that he knew what or why he was doing this and it felt right.
When he opened his eyes again, he found her standing over him, holding something that covered them both from the water in the sky. He had no words for the look on her face, he had never seen it before. Her eyes half closed, the corners of her mouth upturned and a faint redness to her cheeks. There were no screams, just her looking down at him. The next thing she did he was not prepared for. Sounds escaped from her mouth like honey and he had never heard such a thing. It was similar to his, albeit a little less melodic, but just as entrancing. In sheer nervousness all he could do was chirp back. Breaking her eye contact from him she looked up and then back down at him, with the corners of her mouth upturned again she mumbled…
He jumped at the sound of her voice and was surprised to find Lucille sitting on the couch next to him. She had a apprehensive look on her face. He hadn't even noticed she had moved closer to him until she broke him of his reverie. Being mindful of his large form, he scooted away a bit to make some room for her and in turn, she scooted towards him unconsciously. He also hadn't noticed that she had her hand in one of his and watched in longing as it retreated. Becoming large had brought on a series of newly found sensations that he was too small to realize before. Something he had grown accustomed to was the physical affection he was shown by Lucille from time to time. A slight caress of her hand, holding her as they twirled in dance, a gentle hand against his cheek…
He watched her expression change from the gentle smile he always knew, to the warm red color her cheeks turned and the shifty eyes she often had when Raoul was around. She scooted off the sofa and walked away to finish her beauty regimen.
Sometimes he wished he could tell her things. He wished he could talk to her with ease like Raoul and Emile did. Since being with them, he had learned what exactly talking was and that was their effective way of communication. He, himself had never tried it before out of not knowing if he ever could or what it would sound like. He was afraid of the unknown. Most of all, he was afraid of what she would think. He felt often that it was his place to become one with the couch, part of the piano and never really tried to convey himself farther than such. He was an intruder in her world.
Lucille quietly hummed to herself as she messed about with her hair, finally putting in her little brown comb to finish off the style. He noticed something as she was humming. The song was familiar. It dawned on him that it was one of the first songs he ever sung, the very one from that fateful night he first met her. Puzzled, he wondered why she was humming it. Perhaps… she just liked it. He liked 'La Seine' a lot but after many times of performing it with her, he always got his fill by the end of each performance.
Just then Carlotta burst into the dressing room and went about her usual nonsense in bothering Lucille. This time though, she was holding a rather large box in her hands. It was long and flat but not heavy, for she seemingly had no trouble carrying it. Carlotta drabbled on and set the box on the edge of Lucille's vanity.
"Hello, Francoeur honey, how are you doing today?" and with a wave she exited Lucille's room, slamming the door behind herself. Lucille visibly flinched. She then bent over her vanity, elbows on the counter and rubbed her temples.
"I swear that woman will be the death of me." She looked over at Francoeur to see his concerned but optimistic face.
"It's a good thing I have you though, huh?" Francoeur chirped and arose from his sitting position on the love seat. He made his way quietly to Lucille and knelt down next to her, looking at both of them in the mirror. She smiled and shook her head at one of his pleasant chirps. She then grabbed the box that laid rest on her vanity and once again went to go hide behind the folding screen. Francoeur was confused, what exactly was in the box? He went to sit back at his usual spot on the love seat and picked up his guitar.
"Ah, Mon Dieu… what is she trying to do to me? Black? Doesn't she know me better than that?..." Francoeur could hear Lucille fidget a little bit more before she emerged from behind the screen. Francoeur's strumming on the guitar was silenced.
"So what do you think Francoeur? Does it suit me?" She gently twirled in her sheer black dress. It hung off her shoulders and was very loose around the arms. Around her lower waist hung a gold belt made of rings. The dress had stylized wrinkles to it and gathered around her ankles. It was something he had never seen before, he could not tear his eyes from her form.
"I think it's a little odd too. Imported all the way from Turkey..." She walked over to the mirror to get a better look at herself in the new attire. After twisting this way and that she sighed and reached into her neatly formed bun to pull the comb from it. Her hair cascaded in loose waves down her back, successfully covering her bare shoulders.
"I think… this is a down look. I certainly hope Aunty has a pair of wings to match this." Lucille tossed Francoeur her comb again for him to continue to play with it. He caught it in one hand , eyes never once leaving her form. He could feel something within him change. He felt hot on the inside, something inside him had created a fire at the pit of his belly, it was uncomfortable. Lucille kept looking back at herself in the mirror and after her final turn, she hunched over and ruffled her hair a bit.
"I don't think Aunty has a pair of wings to match this…. I am half tempted to not wear it tonight. What do you think Francoeur?"
"Belle…" he whispered.
Never before had she heard him say a word to anyone other than in singing, so the sound of his quiet voice took her completely by surprise. She snickered and turned about face to Francoeur once again. Immediately, she stopped dead in her tracks. The comb he held was tight in his grip, and it was evidence of some sort of unsuppressed emotion on his face.
Under the scrutiny of his burning stare, she felt vulnerable, uncomfortable... She was frightened of him for the first time since the night they met. She was startled but at the same time she couldn't get herself to leave. His stare locked her legs in place and she had no idea why.
"Francoeur…I…Merci." She barely managed to mumble. She may have been frightened but she didn't want to seem rude.
The sound of the storm outside resonated throughout the entire Cabaret, shaking the rafters and making the walls crack under the force of the pounding winds. Thankfully, the distraction was all she needed. She looked towards the door and could hear the voice of her Aunt.
"I…I have a feeling not many people will be coming tonight, none the less we still have a show to put on. I am going to go see what Aunty can do for me." Unsteadily, she made her way to the door and closed it behind her.
Francoeur attempted to follow her out, but his legs went uncharacteristically and he sunk slowly to the ground in a pathetic heap. He braced his hands against the wood of the floor, and pulled his blue scarf from over his mouth, trying to catch his breath. Something in him that resembled control was dwindling like sand through his fingers. Francoeur tried to compose himself in fear of someone finding him in such a state, but to his avail all he could manage was to sit up a little straighter, hugging his knees. It hadn't helped that on top of this he had been ignoring his hunger since the last time he was small.
The truth was, while being in his tiny form again, he roamed her body. He fought every instinct to not feed on her, but hunger had gotten the best of him. It was in his nature to do so and in turn, a couple days later she had a red sore on her upper arm that she kept unconsciously scratching at. Crawling towards her neck where the scent of her blood was stronger, he managed to catch her reflection in her vanity mirror. She looked…broken. Definitely affected by something. He wanted to ask why, brush her tears away and sooth her mournful cries. The most affectionate thing he could do in his small form was feed on her, that was the first time he ever contemplated suicide. Hugging himself a little tighter he banished the bad thoughts from his mind. He let his mind wander back to his angel.
Never had he been so affected by Lucille, what had changed? She had many silhouettes, and many forms of human disguises, but seeing her in that one… It made something in him burn white hot and he was roasting in the flames.
He wanted Lucille to burn in those flames with him.
He clasped two of his hands over his mouth as soon as the thought hit him. The last thing he wanted to do was upset her. He couldn't live in a world where she would hate him if he ever…did anything that over stepped his boundaries.
After the end of their final performance, Lucille and Francoeur retreated back to her dressing room. Just as she had guessed, there were only a few visitors that were able to make it that night. The rest got caught up in the storm, including Raoul, Emile and Maud who also didn't show up. The entire night Francoeur was oddly distant from Lucille. She tried to pay no mind to it while going about her usual steps and keys with him, it was hard though. The chemistry that they usually had wasn't apparent and in the back of her mind there was a nagging thought that something wasn't right.
She removed her black wings that Aunty fortunately had for her new attire and hung them over the corner of her vanity mirror. Francoeur took his usual spot on her love seat, but this time did not strum the guitar as he usually did, nor did he play with her comb. She could feel his penetrating stare following her every movement. She spent many nights like this with him, why was tonight so suddenly different? Why was he acting this way? What had come over him? Staring at her reflection in the vanity, pretending to primp herself, she thought long and hard. She couldn't help but feel stupid when she resulted with no explanation. Was she approaching this the wrong way? Maybe she did do something to offend him that she wasn't aware of? Or, it could be something she didn't do?
Lucille could still feel his gaze on her form. She looked down at the items on her vanity guiltily. Lucille had come to the realization a long time ago that she had more than friendly feelings for Francoeur. She had also come to the realization that he would probably never have the capacity to return them. She concealed those raw, achy feelings for him, locking them in a little box inside her soul. No matter how much they raged against their shackles, she would remind herself that it was foolish to feel this way. She saw a future with Raoul, but it was empty in her eyes. During some nights the tears flowed freely at the empty feelings she had for him. Raoul was a kind soul but there was something he did not have, and the only being that possessed it was unobtainable.
Her heart feeling heavy, she knew no matter what, she would always keep Francoeur close to it. The feeling was undeniable, she knew this much but if he needed her she would always be there for him. No question.
She arose from her seat in front of the vanity and dragged herself tiredly over to Francoeur. He instinctively scooted away from her but this time it was with much more force than usual. She slumped against the love sofa and sighed quietly, looking up at him with tired eyes. He was looking down now, hands rested in his lap. Ever so polite and quiet.
Lucille wracked her brain for a moment until she came to a small realization. They were friends, right? She didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable, but maybe he really was upset about something. Perhaps it had nothing to do with her. Maybe he needed to be comforted like any other person would. Gathering her nerves, she scooted as close as she could to him, bringing herself flush against the side of his body. Bringing her bare feet up off the floor, she tucked them under his thigh and brought his massive arm around her shoulders. Lucille buried her head in the side of his chest and looked up at him, mustering up the most heart breaking smile she could manage. If he indeed was upset with her, he wouldn't be for long.
"Francoeur, is something wrong?…Ai-je fait quelque chose?" she crooned sweetly.
Francoeur's mouth went dry, that white hot fire rekindling itself to full degree. Her warmth was against his side, the scent of her amplified to his senses, he had to keep himself under control now more than ever. But…never had she been this close to him before, and as ravishing as she appeared now, his control dwindled at a faster rate than before. The entire night he fought instinct to do something, and what exactly that something was, he did not know. But, he knew that it was in both their best interests to keep the distance between them.
Here she was now though, exactly where he wanted her to be. She touched his face and gently pulled it down to her level.
"Francoeur, please... Please tell me what has been on your mind tonight." The words that she spoke were spellbinding, so enchanting that he couldn't help but succumb. The dam broke. He took her hand in his as his other arm emerged from the inside of his coat and drew tightly around her waist. She gasped at the movements taken aback.
"You have no idea... how radiant you look tonight." It was the thing he was most positive of. Lucille looked up at him wide eyed when he hoisted her up and pulled her completely in his arms. She was now sitting in his lap as he bent over her tiny form. His body was a lot more soft and much warmer than she had thought. Her cheeks were growing redder by the minute, it made his mouth water. This was not something she had expected in the slightest but it did explain his behavior towards her tonight. She was too afraid to question anything, it was like a scene straight from that romance film she saw. He brushed a finger against her lower lip and traveled down her chin, to her neck, where her pulse point went wild.
"You are such a lovely creature..." Lucille's eyes flitted a bit at the sound of his voice, the sheer intensity of the whole situation was almost too much for her. Here she was, being cradled by an otherworldly beast and she gladly welcomed the touch. She could sense the taboo feelings rage against their shackles with violent fervor. She wanted so badly to close the gap between their mouths and claim what was hers.
Hers. She was his.
She wrapped her arm around his neck and applied pressure, but it wasn't nearly enough to move his head down to hers. Everything told her this was so immoral, and that doubt was just enough to keep her from doing what she wanted to do the most.
The lamp light flickered as he stared down into her eyes. He must have been dreaming. Everything told him that this was crazy, that this was dangerous, one slip of his control could lead to disaster. Despite this, her presence was just too delicious and he couldn't bring himself to care. Time seemed to have stopped and there was only her and him.
It seemed like hours had passed, as she just laid in his arms, eyes tired and mouth half agape. She finally looked up at the clock to see that it was rather late. She knew that the streets were still too flooded to walk through. Aunty hadn't even gone home yet and no doubt she was asleep in her office hunched over her desk in a puddle of drool. It took a herculean force of will power but she was able to manage sitting up in Francoeur's arms. She scooted backwards off of his lap to reseat herself on the couch. Francoeur looked down eyes still burning and cocked his head to the side questioningly.
" I don't think I will be able to get home tonight. I'm pretty sure the rain has stopped but I can bet the bridge is flooded over…" She sighed. She longed for a hot bath and her night gown. She stretched her left arm up and tilted her body slightly until she heard a pop. While her arm was above her, she could feel the tips of his fingers scale it slightly, all the way down to the junction of her shoulder. She shivered and was about to turn around when he pulled her into his arms and she let out a surprised yelp. Carrying her to the back alley door, he opened it with another one of his hands and stepped out.
"Francoeur! What are you doing? Mettez-moi en bas!" She struggled against his grasp but barely noticed they were in the air until clouds encased them. Just as fast as they had taken off, they were plummeting towards the ground. She let out a deafening scream feeling the g-force press against her lungs. With a thump, they landed on a roof top. Francoeur took no time in landing and eventually they were hopping from roof top to roof top, clearing blocks at a time. Lucille clung to Francoeur's white coat for dear life as they finally touched the rooftop of her apartment buildings.
Lucille scrambled out of Francoeur's grasp and in doing so, plummeted face first into a puddle. She let out a defeated sound as he crouched by her side, pulling her up by one of her bare shoulders. Lucille slapped his hand away and stood up, resembling a drenched cat.
"Francoeur, that was not okay! You are never to do that again! Mon dieu, mon coeur…" Lucille clutched the area where her heart would be and let out a few shaky breaths. Francoeur let out an apologetic hum and touched the hand that was above her heart. The look on his face quickly melted any trace of anger left in her.
"Francoeur…Why are you acting this way?" the question slipped out before she could stop it. He straightened his posture a bit and stood in the shadow of his vast form.
"…I …" He touched the area of where she was once grasping at her heart on himself.
"Lucille... how can I explain this to you?" Francoeur grasped his head and hunched over, he felt helpless.
She turned white with realization. Was it possible he had feelings for her too and just…didn't know what they were, how to convey them? She did not have the courage to explain to him the mechanics human emotions, but it seemed cruel to leave him in such a state.
"Shhh, je suis ici…" she whispered. The last thing that needed to happen was for someone to find them up on the roof like this. Taking his hand, she lead him down through the upper floors, winding his form through any shadow he could fit in. When they finally reached her door, she opened it and walked in. After not hearing footsteps behind her, she looked back and saw him standing at the foot of the door. He looked so guilty, his hands rung his chapeau.
"Francoeur, you can come in. I'm not going to send you back after you took the trouble of bringing me here..." He nodded solemnly and entered, making his way to her kitchen. She watched him through the darkness knowing he couldn't see her pained expression. Despite how happy she was with him, he was still an unobtainable being. Only the darkness could conceal the shame they both emanated.
R&R would be appreciated. Don't worry, a decent plot is coming. I promise :)