Title: "Royal Command (of Love)"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: G
Summary: Cogsworth knows he must end his romance with Lumiere, but there are others in the castle with other plans.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, names, codenames, places, items, fandoms, titles, and etc. are always © & TM their respective owners, not the author, and are used without permission. Any and all original characters and everything else is © & TM the author and may not be reproduced in any way without the author's express, written permission. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: 244. That's the number of stories that were sitting on my hard drive collecting dust because I lack the energy and time to take care of them as I once did. My betaing pattern has always been to write, then type up if written on paper, the story, read it aloud to my beloved Jack and our children, editing as I go, and then finally format and post. Sadly, this part is simply taking too much of my time and energy, and my beloved Jack and I have too little time together in person these days to be able to keep up with my stories. So what to do? Give up writing? I actually considered it for a while, tried to make excuses to myself other than the large number of stories collecting cyber dust on my computer, as to why I lacked the energy and Muse to write new tales. And then, with the turn of the new year, I decided to stop running and face the problem. The problem is, quite frankly, that once one gets so bogged down in formatting and editing that writing is no longer a pleasure but the actual posting of those writings becomes a hassle and - egad! - work, it's time to cut something out, and that will never be the writing process. So, in short, yes, there will be mistakes in this tale. Yes, it's missing about half of the header information I usually include. But I wrote it for pleasure and am posting it in hopes of sharing that pleasure with others. Do with it as you will.

He hadn't meant to fall in love with him. Doing so upset his entire life's mission. He was to be the top General and defend their kingdom and Prince. He was to keep them safe, but he'd failed. He'd been too involved in thoughts of love to realize the danger that'd crept into their world, and by the time he had, it'd been too late.

They had suffered a long time, but now, at last, the curse was broken. They were free again to be the men they were. It was time for him to resume his post and be the diligent General he should have been. It was time he let go of love and its follies, but he'd yet to muster the courage and break his lover's heart by telling him.

He had been about to do just that when their Prince had called. He had hurried to obey him, leaving his love in the proverbial dust in his haste not just to obey their Prince but also to delay having to do what he's known all along he should and yet continues to break his heart. He has to leave Lumiere behind. He has to tell him he doesn't love him even though he does.

Cogsworth's being with him, being happy and distracted in the love they share, is a threat to the whole kingdom. Their affair can not continue. His watch must be ever vigilant. Their entire kingdom, their makeshift, adopted family, depends on his being free from all distractions and protecting them as he should. He has no time or room for love in his life.

And so it is that, when Prince Adam tells him why he's called him to him, Cogsworth's well disciplined mouth falls wide open. "I would like to see you and Lumiere married and sharing the happiness Belle and I have discovered." Adam looks at him inquisitively. "What, old man? Don't tell me you don't want to marry Lumiere!"

"I-It's not that, Your Majesty."

"Then what? Tell me, Cogsworth, and whatever is wrong, I will make it right."

"I thought - Sir, we can't wed! We're men, and . . . and furthermore, love is a distraction!"

Adam throws his head back and laughs. The deep, pleasured sound resonates throughout the castle and its grounds and makes Cogsworth's cheeks burn. "It is a distraction, but it is a most wonderful one! It's the best thing that's ever happened to us!" Adam's head drops; he looks solemnly at Cogsworth once more. "Besides, I'm not going to let you become the grump you were before Lumiere kissed you. This is my kingdom. I make the laws here; we are all free to marry who we love. Now, when shall the date be?"

"I-I don't know," Cogsworth replies bashfully. "I-I'll have to ask Lumiere."

Adam turns; Lumiere sprints into the room. He wraps his arms tightly around Cogsworth's bulk and covers him in kisses, crying happily, "Right away, mon cherie!" Cogsworth beams. Though he's as apple red, he's never been happier!

The End