When he sees Maurice in the tavern, he feels relief. He clasps his hands together because oh thank God he didn't participate in a potential murder. Thank God Maurice was there in the flesh, not a starved skeletal figure, or ripped to shreds by hungry wolves. He shivered at the images his guilty mind had been conjuring recently. After all, the old man -obviously a little nutty and eccentric, yes- hadn't done anything wrong... except hurt Gaston's pride. On the other hand, it had been crazy to challenge Gaston the way Maurice had! Even though Lefou had felt his friend had toed that emblazoned, mental line of going-too-far, he had tried to convince himself it had to be done. But as the days stretched out, and Maurice's absence was barely addressed in the town, he found he had steadily begun to doubt the deed's necessity. He'd tried to talk to Gaston about it, (convince him to maybe just let him retrieve the man from the woods? Surely a day and a half alone would be enough of a lesson, right?) but Gaston had predictably dismissed him the way a husband brushes off a nagging wife. He was more occupied with rattling off his arrangements for his and Belle's soon to be wedding then his side-kick's worry.
Gaston had laughed, nonchalant and unburdened when the accusation flew from Maurice's mouth. Lefou had time to nervously scan the crowds of faces before Gaston formed a real response to the issue at hand. There were those in the tavern who found the whole situation bordering on almost amusing, their eyes glassy with alcohol, others vaguely concerned for the old man. Perhaps he truly had lost his marbles this time, especially after he had entered the tavern five nights ago, raving about talking teacups and a savage beast. The man whirled on them all, ragged coat flapping as he plead his case. But where was the evidence? Where was the proof that an upstanding town hero like Gaston had attempted such a grave claim? Lefou found himself shrinking away from the arguments, feeling a chill go through him at the sight of his friend lying so carelessly. The villagers had unconsciously positioned themselves closer to Gaston now, staring pointedly at Maurice as he continued to rave, exasperatedly trying to find at least someone who understood.
In the end, the pale, haggard women Agatha had been called as the main witness, but Gaston simply waved her away, mocking the even thought of bringing such an untrustworthy person forward as evidence. Hell, she looked so out of it it seemed unlikely she would even recall her own name if pressed for it. The patrons of the tavern nodded along, and now there was a cruel tint to it, replacing the original bewildered faces. After all, Gaston had a good reputation, he was popular and well known in the town, and who was this man? Just some old loon, someone who had gone from harmless to a danger to himself.
Lefou found himself going red when his name was mentioned, a last ditch attempt on Maurice's behalf at convincing the people around him. The people who had already sentenced him to his fate in their minds. He found himself looking desperately to Gaston, unsure and flinching away from all the attention of the crowd. Maurice's pleading face, Gaston's relaxed smile. The trusting glance towards him that both of them displayed. Lefou was torn. When it seemed he was spluttering for words, his friend finally took control. He strode towards his shorter friend, gripping him sharply by the shoulders. Lefou found that Gaston's grip was tight and intimidating, despite his tight 'everything is under control' grin. They locked eyes, and Lefou's heart fluttered in his chest. He blinked rapidly. Tell me what to do, tell me what to say, please, I don't know- But it was okay. It was okay because Gaston was there now, reminding him why he had to lie, assuring him of their friendship in that soft, gentle voice. They were Le Duo, after all, together 'till the end. As the confident voice held him to attention, he leaned into his companion, and they swayed like team players briefing each other on how to beat the opponent.
Then reality came pushing its way back into his reverie when Maurice made a protesting noise at the brief consultation, (What is he saying? Will he bribe the man to keep quiet?) and he blinked fleetingly at the man from behind the wall that was his friend. Gaston forcefully turned Lefou's head back to face him when he noticed what was unfolding as he spoke. He knew full well Lefou's resolve would plummet if his attention drifted, or if doubted even for one second that what he was doing was the Right Thing. It was already trouble enough to get him to lie for simple things, and this was deciding a man's fate. It called for drastic measures. He cupped the man's face in his hand, and even though that tight, manic smile lay plastered over Gaston's face, the same one that had been there when he had tried to charm Maurice into giving him his blessing, Lefou found himself blushing. The eager to please, hopeful part of him was creeping into his heart, making him bite his lip.
Although the ensuing words were stuttered out, the villagers had no reason not to believe him. Yes, yes, he had been with Gaston the entire time, and Maurice had seemingly vanished into thin air on the night they had offered to help him with his beast predicament! When he tried to get Gaston's expression again, the kind, reassuring aura had gone. It was replaced with a gleaming, vicious expression, something Lefou knew from experience was reserved for hunting big game.