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Coeval - Beauty and the Beast Version

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Ducky had tried casting an illusion or glamour over Gibbs’ skin/clothes to make him more appealing to the various people in the kingdom, but whatever curse Diane had cast prevented other magic from affecting Gibbs.

“We’re doomed, Ducky. The kingdom can only prosper under true love. Who would love me like this?”

“Plenty of people. I’m sure we’ll find your true love, soon.”

“And if we don’t?”

“I shall see if I can free Abby and Bert from the curse laid on them by the sorceress.”

“You should spend more time on them and less on an old man. Abby and Bert are coeval lovers, their true love can save the kingdom.”

“Well that’s the problem if true love is what is needed to break their spell then they’re out of luck if they are truly their own true loves. There is no way for Abby to save Bert or vice versa the way they are, right now.”

“What do you mean? I mean, sure, Abby is a little grouchier and uglier than normal, but she seems normal other than that.”

“I suggest you not let her hear you say that, Jethro. Also, I’m relatively sure that the Abby you see that looks close to a normal human is not actually the real Abby.”

“What? What do you mean?”

Ducky sighed. He knew Gibbs was still bespelled by Diane, a spell designed to make him more gullible, more easily suggestible, and other things to help keep him under control. It was also designed to make him reject things like the tiny Abby without seeing it for himself.

“You won’t believe me unless you see it with your own eyes. Come. I will show you, Abby, and her true love Bert. That is, of course, assuming that Diane didn’t take them with her.”

Gibbs locked the rose away protectively, so that no harm could come to it while he was gone. Then he followed Ducky, slightly bemused about what Ducky was planning to show him. As they got to Abby’s room, Gibbs stopped as if he’d run into a wall.

“We can’t go into Abby’s room. That’s an invasion of privacy.”

Ducky rolled his eyes. “Come on, Jethro.” Ducky walked into Abby’s room.

Gibbs made to follow, but behaved like he was actually running into a physical wall. Ducky was really beginning to hate Diane’s magic. He didn’t know what she’d done to cause this, but it made a simple task, grueling and difficult.

Now, he’d have to figure out how to undo this magic in order to get Gibbs into the room to see Abby and Bert. Though, Ducky wasn’t sure if seeing them would even be enough to convince Gibbs about what had happened to Abby and Bert. After all, men turning into farting hippos only happened in actual fairy tales.

Sensing magics to determine what kind they were, was not Ducky’s strength. He was better with defensive magics like shields than anything else really. Still with more force than finesse, Ducky finally managed to break the magic that was preventing Gibbs from entering Abby’s room.

Ducky headed straight for the wardrobe, hoping that Abby and Bert were still in there. If Diane had run off with them, that would be even more problematic for this whole scenario. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that Abby and Bert were still where he’d last seen them.

“Is she? Is she signing? What is this, Ducky? How did a snowglobe with Abby signing end up here?”

Ducky sighed. “That is the real Abby I believe. The other Abby is an imposter.”

“You mentioned Bert. Is he under glass somewhere too.”

“Nope. He’s the hippo.”

Gibbs picked up the hippo and it let out a farting sound. Ducky sighed. Gibbs gave the hippo a truly disturbing look.

“Yeah. It’s a farting hippo. Don’t ask me why, but that’s what Diane turned Bert into.”

“How can someone be turned into a hippo?”

“The same way you’ve been turned into a beast?” Ducky raised an eyebrow not seeing a major difference between the two.

Gibbs drew closer looking at snowglobe Abby. “She’s signing, Ducky.”

“Yes, I think she’s trying to communicate, but her fingers are too small for me to figure out what she’s saying.”

“I think the first word is find…” Gibbs trailed off watching Abby’s hands as she exaggerated the signs in an attempt to make them visible to Gibbs and Ducky.

“Find? What does that mean?”

“Shh… I have to concentrate… My… is the next word…”

Ducky watched Gibbs as he concentrated, wondering if Abby could really have a useful message for them.

“Father?”

“Find your father?” Ducky wrinkled his brow.

Abby nodded.

“I’m right here, Abby.”

Abby shook her head.

“I think she’s signing another word, Jethro.”

Gibbs watched and finally suggested, “True?”

“Find my father true? That doesn’t make sense.”

“There’s another word, love.”

“Find my father true love.”

“Why do we need to do that?” Ducky couldn’t help asking. He’d planned to do that anyway, but he’d like to know why Abby thought they needed to.

Gibbs watched Abby’s hands again. “Break curse?”

“We already knew that finding your true love would break the curse on the kingdom.” Ducky pointed out.

Abby shook her head and pointed to her and Bert.

“Finding my true love will break the curse on you and your love?” Gibbs couldn’t help asking.

Abby nodded excitedly.