Disclaimer: I do not own Beauty and the Beast or the characters seen here.
Belle was doing her usual routine before lunch time in the castle: reading a new book from the vast library gifted to her by her now-husband. It captivated her and stole into her thoughts making her imagination run rampant. As lunch neared she knew she would need to stop reading, but she didn't want to put it down. Perhaps she could sneak in a few more pages if she read it while she walked, she thought.
Carefully, Belle walked with the book at a generous distance from her face using her peripheral vision to see where she was walking. Many times when she was younger, she would read and walk in the town where she lived, but ever since she married, she hadn't done it as often. It was a tricky task. While traversing the long hallways, Belle heard the stomping of heels on the marbled floors.
"Oh, Lumiere, this is the last straw!" The high pitched voice of Babette echoed through the hallways. The maid brushed right past Belle without any recognition. Looking over her book, Belle watched Babette swish away. Lumiere appeared after her running to catch up, but he was out of breath already.
"Babette, wait!" He came to a stop beside Belle. She put her book over her face not wanting to eavesdrop, but as the sound of the fading heels and the audible sigh from her side meant Lumiere had given up on chasing Babette. He wheezed next to her still trying to regain his breath. "I suppose I should quit smoking." He said with his usual smirk.
Closing her book, Belle held it against her chest while inquiring, "What was that about?"
"Ah well you know," He waved his arms around. "Women." His eyebrows wiggled around, but Belle pursed her lips. Lumiere coughed and let his cocky smile fall. "Well, Babette is a little-."
He struggled with a word so Belle leaned forward offering, "Impassioned?"
"You've always been good with words, mademoiselle."
"It comes with all of the reading," Belle looped her arm through his and guided him through the hallway. "Now, why don't you tell me what happened with Babette."
Lumiere seemed wary. His face frowned, a rare sight for the normally upbeat maitre d'and confidant of her husband. It worried Belle to see that Lumiere was troubled; they were close friends seeing him like this hurt her. Lumiere let out a low sigh. He struggled with his emotions as his face constantly changed from the dashing, debonair smile to a frown that could break the heart of any maiden. Belle waited quietly until he was ready to tell her.
"Babette is upset because I was-," He cleared his throat. "I was having some... playful banter with one of the new dish maids." With ever word Lumiere grew quieter. Belle had never seen Lumiere look quite so ashamed. She paused in the hallway turning to Lumiere and taking both of his hands in hers. He couldn't quite meet her eyes as the sullen expression took over his face.
"Lumiere," Belle tried to keep her voice soft and steady despite wanting to take control of the situation. "Don't you think that's a little hurtful to Babette that you're gallivanting with other women while you're in a relationship with her?"
"Yes, I know, Belle, but-."
"No," Belle shook her head. "Listen, if you want to keep Babette, you are going to have to choose who is more important to you: flirting or her."
"Couldn't I have both?" Lumiere asked letting a small smirk creep out of the corner of his mouth.
Belle let a small smile pass across her lips before turning to continue to walk with him. "I'm afraid not. At least, you couldn't romance other women. It's not a bad thing to flirt with her though, and I'm sure it wouldn't hurt either. But you can only have both together if it's with her." Belle warned. Lumiere looked slightly dejected, but kept his head held high as they walked past a few servants.
"Then how do I fix this? I'm afraid I've made too many mistakes already." Lumiere asked when they were alone in a hallway again. "It would have to be something huge to take her mind off of what I've done. Roses, a carriage ride, perhaps a trip into town."
"No, no, no." Belle stopped again. "You don't need all of that to fix things." Belle let out a small sigh. She gave Lumiere's hand a small squeeze and leaned in. "I'm going to let you in on a little secret. All women really want is an apology from the heart. Be truthful with her and tell her that you want her over a dish maid any day. Promise her that while you might not be able to stop right away, that you would try to stop going after women because you'd rather have her." Belle whispered.
"Surely, it cannot be that easy."
"It can if you let it," Belle assured patting one of his hands with hers.
The smile on Lumiere's face grew and he leaned forward giving her a hug. "Thank you, Belle."
"Of course," She offered hugging him back. "Just be careful. I don't want to see either of you getting hurt. Trust can be broken so easily, tread carefully, my dear." She held him at arms length and smiled.
"I will, and thank you again." He ran off towards Babette with his charming smile back on his face. Belle shook her head and let out a laugh before opening her book once more and reading the last few sentences of her chapter before lunch.
A/N: Thank you for reading, leave me a review if you'd like. This was a prompt from tumblr, but I felt it was good enough to post here. I realize that the movie's feather duster's name is Fifi, but I prefer the name Babette. Anywho, thanks again!