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A Rose By Any Other Name

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LeFou does not move for another fifteen minutes. He doesn’t speak up when Maurice is declared insane or when the asylum is sent for, although he knows every second he should. There are words that could save this man, words that are trapped in LeFou’s head. He himself has set up all the bars and barriers to keep these words deep inside of him, but he cannot tear them down.

Gaston is in the corner, talking to the villagers while having a death grip on Maurice’s shoulder. LeFou studies Gaston, waiting. Waiting for any sign of acknowledgment of what Gaston had told him just minutes ago.

All of me, LeFou, could be yours .

The words morph in LeFou’s mind, contorting into a new meaning. Gaston must know.

Well, LeFou, he ruefully jokes to himself. He’s far from the only one who knows now. LeFou can’t pretend what happened could be at all disguised or brushed off. All his life, trying to put on a face for the rest of the world, was made null and void with one stroke of the cheek.

LeFou knows Gaston will pay no price for this. Sure, he was the one who initiated, but LeFou was the one who reciprocated. And that makes all the difference. Gaston can claim innocence in a million different ways, and LeFou will be the one shunned, or killed. He faces this with cold ambivalence. Now that the nightmare is becoming real, he has given up all hope.

What was his life worth, anyways? Just wasted thoughts and wasted opportunities, and millions of chances to save people that never came to fruition.

He wonders if anyone will miss him. Part of him is convinced that Gaston will mourn him, cry silently when he is alone, and think of LeFou often. But the other part of him is fairly certain Gaston will cast the first stone.

It is no use, anyways, to ponder the questions he will never get answers for. For now, the village is preoccupied with a madman and his missing daughter. It was easy enough for the village to dismiss Maurice’s absence in the last few days. The old man never ventured outside of his house much anyways, so no one really noticed.

Belle, however, could not be written off by antisocial tendencies. Belle had a routine, walking around the village every morning, doing chores. When she was absent for more than three days, consecutively, the village began to gossip. Theorize. Place blame.

Now Maurice was back, and saying a Beast had her locked up in a castle. That in of itself is far more interesting than a man who prefers the company of men. At least for now.

LeFou glances over at a table near the front, and sees Stanley, still sitting in the same chair he has been sitting in since LeFou walked in. LeFou makes his way across the room, trying not to be noticed. He slid onto the stool next to Stanley, waiting for conversation to start.

Stanley keeps staring straight ahead. “Bonjour, LeFou.” His voice is steely and cold, and unnerves LeFou. He has never seen Stanley like this before, but then again, he does not have a long history of being friends with Stanley. He has to remind himself of this, since it seems like they have been companions for years.

“Bonjour.” LeFou’s voice is so shaky it is barely understandable, and just like that, any hope of being understood is out the window.

“Quite a night, huh?” Stanley still hasn’t looked at him, so LeFou resolves to stare at the same brown patch of wall.

“Quite.” LeFou agrees.

“I’m happy to hear you and Gaston didn’t try to kill that old man,” Stanley says, although his voice is strained and false.

“Stanley…” LeFou starts, but he does not have the words.

“You and Gaston seem to be getting along quite well,” Stanley mutters, and the words are like acid spit into LeFou’s soul. He rushes to explain.

“Stanley, it isn’t like that at all-”

“Isn’t like what?” Stanley snaps. “ I was only talking about a friendship. Unless, you are implying something more?” Stanley turns to look LeFou directly in the eyes, and LeFou stumbles back off the stool.

“Stanley, please, it isn’t-” The cold look in Stanley’s eyes breaks for a brief second, revealing pain. LeFou stops talking, because so many things are happening all at once and he cannot keep track of it all.

“LeFou, are you-” Stanley is going to ask the question, the question, and LeFou is going to have to either lie (which he cannot do to Stanley, even though he already has) or tell the truth (which he certainly cannot do to Stanley, because he knows what Stanley will say). But Stanley is cut off by a man breaking through the door, screaming,

“The asylum truck is here!” There is a rush of noise, and Gaston grabs LeFou by the collar, dragging him away from Stanley. Stanley calls out something, but LeFou cannot hear what before they are both out of the door and Maurice is thrown in a padded truck, condemned to hell on earth.