It was cold.
He should have brought his warmer overcoat before leaving his home. But then, it had all happened so fast that he didn’t even get a chance to take it. Now the snow was falling quietly, over the gardens, over the spires, over his shoulders. The snow in June. It must have been a joke. Nevertheless, it was cold.
He was so cold .
All he could hear was silence.
He clenched his fists, his nails digging into his numb palms. He didn’t feel any pain. He didn’t feel anything.
The silence was deafening. The white all around him blinding.
It felt like the world had stopped. But the snow kept falling, light and silent, caressing with almost a reverence the figure who laid there. Unmoving. Alone.
Spots of red blemished the white frosty cloak underneath; the contrast so definite, so stark it resembled a painted canvas. Red, white and black too. A dark halo around his head. He supposed there was a sickly beauty in it.
He didn’t watch. He kept his eyes fixed to the white grass under his feet.
The cold took hold within his heart.
It felt like the world had stopped and he was held frozen in a timeless moment.
The cold was giving way to numbness.
Only when the thick and metallic smell of blood flooded his nostrils it did occur to LeFou that he had fallen on his knees. At his side, always at his side there on the cold unfeeling snow.
He raised his eyes and finally let the crashing weight of grief overtake him.
It was June and it was snowing and Gaston was dead.
A strong wave of pure relief washes over LeFou every time he spots Gaston coming to him, no matter the place or the circumstances, and this time is no different. He stares with wide eyes at his brave friend, full of an admiration so intense and peculiar that in this moment LeFou is a bit frightened by its intensity. The awful three older boys seem frightened too, but for a completely different reason than LeFou’s. Gaston is about to give them a few black eyes and as he hold one of the boys by his collar, looming over him with a deadly look in his eyes; the others turn and run away.
“Yes, you stupid cowards! Run! Not so bold now are you?"
Gaston is lifting the currently abandoned boy by his collar and he fumbles with his legs, not able to touch the ground anymore. The expression of terror Gaston is presented with serves only to enhance the efficacy of his threat, hissed calmly and in a low voice. The boy just manages to nod hastily his assent before he's being tossed to the ground and sent away with a deadly stare. The boy flees with undignified cries.
When Gaston comes to him, lifting his chin with the lightest and gentlest touch to check his jaw line, LeFou holds his breath. The implicit question about his wellbeing and the waves of worry all reflect themselves in this delicate brush of fingers and LeFou wonders how could it be that beautiful and perfect Gaston chose to stick with plain and clumsy LeFou.
"I'm fine. Thank you." And it is just a whisper. Loud with unspoken meaning.
Gaston hears and feels it nonetheless, because he smiles and pulls at his curls. A familiar gesture between the two of them. Gaston always liked his hair, and it was one of the reason why every morning in school he sits behind LeFou and plays with it, even putting things among it until LeFou turns to scold him with red cheeks and a furious glare that dies as soon as Gaston grins and shrugs cheekily at him.
"So, what was all that about?"
LeFou looks up towards the highest branch of the tree. The kitten was perched on the top, barely visible between the leaves, too little and scared to get down of its own. LeFou saw the boys throwing stones at the little one and immediately took it away from them, but the kitten just used him as a jumping platform to reach the top of that tree, scratching LeFou's face in the process.
"I can't believe I scared those idiots off for a kitten.” mumbles Gaston.
"They deserved it." he replies, serious.
"Yes. Yes they did."
Gaston then crouches and motions LeFou with his hand. "Come on then. Let's take the little ball of fur down here, my friend."
LeFou comes at his back, unsure, and Gaston grabs him and lifts him up until he's sitting on his best friend's shoulders. LeFou gasps, and Gaston laughs a little, out of breath. It's the first time Gaston picks him up and carries him piggyback. And he marvels in admiration all over again, because surely no other boy of ten has this strength.
"There, can you reach that branch in the middle...?"
LeFou is pretty sure he can reach the sky right now, but he restricts himself to climb the branches instead.
He soothes the kitten as best as he can, and he explains that it's thanks to Gaston that he's safe and sound now, and he needn't worry anymore because they'll both take care of him from now on, "Right, Gaston?" he shouts happily from up there. Then he starts descending very carefully, and when he's low enough he jumps directly onto Gaston, who yelps, and all three of them tumble together in a mess of limbs and paws in the dirt, Gaston muffled yells of surprise, LeFou's laughs and loud meows of protest.
He couldn’t breathe.
He couldn’t stand the memories, not now. He will not be able to stand them anymore.
But they came to him all the same, unwanted. Knives that were viciously cutting through his heart.
The happiest moments of his life were dragging him down, down into the blackest despair.
He couldn’t breathe.
And Gaston’s face was fading already. He couldn’t let that happen.
He brought his hand to his head. His numb and cold fingers reached for his hair. They were ruffled. Soft.
LeFou caressed his eyebrow. His cheekbone. A light stubble.
He was fading away, without him.
His eyes were open. Unseeing. They seemed to be fixed on an otherworldly view already. Fixed on something LeFou wasn’t able to see.
They had shared everything though. It was unfair.
He touched his lips. They were cold.
It is not fair.
He never imagined a life without Gaston. He didn’t need to. It was simple. LeFou would go wherever he’d go.
Then why you left me behind now? How could you leave me behind after a lifetime spent together?
Gaston was fading, and he couldn’t breathe anymore. Every breath of the stinging air felt like a punch to his throat.
Everything was blurry and LeFou panicked.
Then a drop fell on Gaston’s fair features. And another, and another. And with a chocked whimper that escaped his throat, LeFou realized that everything was blurry and fading into nothingness because his eyes were full of tears.
Now that they had begun to fall he found he couldn’t stop them anymore, and every sob was leaving him wretched, the numbness replaced with wave after wave of pain and sorrow.
It wasn’t fair.
His hands were both on his chest. There was no heartbeat. No sound.
He was left only with memories and silence.
LeFou didn’t know which one was more painful. Blissful images of days that could never be again, or haunting glimpses of a grey and silent future, on his own.
Perhaps the good memories could overcome the silence.
He’ll never hear the sound of his voice again. The rhythm of his steps. Or the beat of his heart under his ear.
It felt as if the music inside of him had died too.
If life was a symphony, he had found its main tune. He had found the key.
Now he was gone and the world was silent.
He lowered his head on Gaston's chest and laid beside him.
But all he heard were his own sobs, muffled in Gaston's shirt.
The tears wouldn't stop and he was still cold. The body under his own was cold. Stiff. Lifeless.
If only Gaston would hold him one last time...
He waited, tears streaming down his cheeks and over his shirt. He waited.
When LeFou realized that he would never feel Gaston's arms holding him again, his heart bled.
The sky is beautiful tonight. The are no clouds and the stars shine bright above the black silhouettes of hills and tents. LeFou cranes his neck and sighs. So peaceful.
The irony of it though. Why, such a peaceful night couldn't hide the crude reality of things. Because under that beautiful canopy quilted with silvery buttons, the horrors of war sullied the earth. The stink of gunpowder, smoke and blood; the sharp cries of pain echoing in the vast camp; the constant fear of falling and lay on the cold ground forgotten, of not seeing another dawn again.
A month had passed since he joined the army with Gaston and the nauseous sense of dread hadn't left him since the first march, the first battle, not even for a second. Probably he wouldn't survive to see the end of it. But that is okay. He knows he did right: his place is with Gaston, nothing else matters. He cuddles up in the thin blanket he brought with him, shivering lightly and bracing himself against a cool breeze. The stars are a soothing sight though, and all in all, it could be worse.
"Couldn't you sleep?"
Gaston stands against the starlit sky. LeFou smiles at him. At least he isn't alone.
“And you Captain?”
He sits beside him, pulling the blanket towards him, completely ignoring LeFou's mild protests in favor of drape the thing over them both, his arm stretched around LeFou's shoulders. Gaston is always so very warm it's a delight to be tucked against his side.
"Sadly I find I'm unable to without your melodious snoring." He smirks at the stars.
"The only one who snores like a bear here is you, Gaston." He replies haughtily.
He hears footsteps approach; Gaston is up and at a painfully safe distance from him in no time.
The soldier on watch bows his head briefly. Gaston nods in acknowledgement. "Anything to report?"
"No, sir. All seems to be in order."
A shout followed by a roar breaks the quiet of the night. Then an explosion.
"Oh my god."
LeFou stands. Quick as light Gaston takes him by the arm, roughly, and starts yelling orders at the chaos of running soldiers. "Stay here."
"Have you gone mad? Of course I'm coming with you!"
Even if it's the scariest night he has ever experienced, of course he's going with him. LeFou isn't the best fighter to rely on, but he can still help the wounded. And keep an eye on Gaston.
Gaston looks at him for several heartbeats, and the furious glare in his eyes isn't very promising.
"Whatever happens tonight, never leave my side."
LeFou nods slowly, a bit taken aback.
"Do not. Ever. Leave my side." He repeats gravely, his stare heavy with unspoken truths.
LeFou reaches for his forearms. "Of course. Of course I will stay by your side."
Forever, if you'll let me.
In a way, saying it out loud hurt even more. It felt like half of his own body has been ripped off him, and the burning pain would never stop.
He clutched Gaston's shirt, digging his nails into the flesh underneath. He wanted Gaston to feel at least some of the pain he was feeling right now. He wanted him to suffer for what he had done to him.
Instead Gaston was stiff and cold. He would never feel anything anymore.
LeFou's muffled scream cut the silence.
"You're so stupid."
The words were chocked into his chest.
"How could you have been so damn stupid."
If only LeFou had stopped him. Before everything went wrong.
"You had everything. People looked up to you. They followed you. They believed in you."
If only he'd made him understand. Before it was too late.
"You had their love. You were already a hero, Gaston."
His voice broke.
"You were loved."
His tears were warm; they soaked the shirt and got mixed up with the blood.
"You are loved, still."
He was drowning. He couldn't stand this grief. It was tearing him apart. He couldn't—
"And you threw it all away—“
“—you threw your life away. And for what?"
It didn't make any sense.
Nothing made sense anymore.
"Answer me damn you! And for what?"
It was too late. He wouldn't get an answer anymore.
All that was left of them, was left unspoken.
He should've known. He should've been prepared. Nobody's promised tomorrow.
LeFou lost that tomorrow the moment Gaston had fallen to his death.
He didn't even had the chance to say goodbye.
LeFou shuts the door with more force than he intended, but founds that ultimately, he really doesn't care right now about disturbing the peace. And he doubts anyone cares at all, given that the majority of the town people is still at the tavern.
He had had to go, not being able to witness for another minute to Gaston and two girls become graphically explicit. He could get a room at the very least, but oh no, because then where's the fun? So he sat there in his armchair by the fire, a girl sitting on each knee, while both his hands had disappeared under the ladies' gowns. All the while carrying on an amusing conversation with Tom and Dick— who were so pissed LeFou doubts they were picking up on the various innuendos—about the different qualities of preys.
LeFou had left his barely touched ale and had shown himself out without any ceremony the moment the two girls had begun moaning, one covering her face into Gaston's neck, the other biting her lip as her hand wandered southwards and brushed lightly between his legs. Gaston had grinned, hummed something into her ear that caused a deep blush, and kept talking as if nothing happened.
He repeats to himself once again that it's all fine, Gaston has every right to relieve himself after the proving horrors of war. He shouldn't be jealous his best friend is getting laid. And he can't blame it on the two girls either, they were about to faint when Gaston had approached them. So, all fine and absolutely no reason to be this bothered and angry. He is, though.
A tea followed by an early night in should do the trick and send him to a hopefully oblivious sleep.
The door creaks open and then is closed. LeFou turns around to see Gaston leaning casually on the wooden door, red jacket open, waistcoat and shirt unbuttoned, arms crossed. LeFou is about to voice his surprise when the man precedes him.
"Why you left without saying anything?"
LeFou closes his mouth. He thought Gaston hadn't noticed.
"You didn't bid me goodnight, my dear friend. How rude of you."
"Well, you seemed otherwise occupied." He can't keep the venom out of his voice. He sighs. "Look Gaston, I'm tired, just—"
"Are you angry with me?"
Gaston looks so genuinely surprised that LeFou doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. How can anyone be so clueless?
“I’m really not. I told you, it’s fine. I just want an early night in.”
“No. Something’s wrong. Don’t lie to me. What’s the matter?”
Gaston walks to him until they’re standing face to face. He lowers his gaze, he can’t do this anymore.
Gaston gently lifts his chin; a question in his eyes.
LeFou gives up.
“Can you be a little more sp—mmphh”
He shuts him up with a kiss.
For a long minute Gaston remains dreadfully still. Then he draws back, stupor written in his feature.
LeFou turns away, ashamed, a thousand excuses ready on his tongue; he couldn’t lose his friendship, he had to—
His mind goes blank when Gaston spins him around and descends impetuously on his lips.
Then it happens so incredibly fast it is an heady feeling. Murmurs of shocked delight, excited gasps, the urge to feel skin on skin at once.
"I never hoped—"
The words get lost into their mouths, never parting for more than a few seconds. He's being backed to the table and Gaston is lifting him up until he sits on it. Panting, they watch into each other's eyes, his man between his legs. Gaston touches his swollen lips, pushes his finger past them and LeFou starts sucking it without a conscious thought. He stares mesmerized as Gaston's pupils swallow the crystal green of his irises.
Gaston is on him again, kissing his neck, biting a spot that sends thrills of electricity throughout his body, sucking and marking his skin. He's hard; he desperately needs some friction, he needs—
All coherence abandons him when Gaston finds his nipples and begins a slow and deliberate torture with his fingers and wicked mouth. LeFou moans his name, reclining on his back and spreading his legs even more. "Please," he breathes over and over. The growl Gaston makes in response is deep and feral, a rumble that goes straight to his cock.
"I want you."
"Then take me."
It is a matter of seconds before their clothes are going flying everywhere. When they're left in their undergarments Gaston takes his wrist and guides his hand to the bulge straining the fabric. He closes his eyes while Gaston whispers in his ear, "Can you feel it, LeFou? This is what you do to me."
LeFou gulps and a whimper escapes his lips. He wants to worship every centimeter of that strong and compact body, but right now he needs him to quench the fire that's burst within him.
"Take me now." He says sharply and out of breath.
Gaston smirks. "Is that an order?"
He licks the contours of the infamous bite mark blossomed on LeFou's belly a few days ago while he gets rid of both of their last modesty. Gaston's skin is burning hot against his own; he's a fire that can't be contained. LeFou wants to be burned by him and to revel in that sensation.
"Yes, it is. Captain."
And he rolls his hips and pushes towards him, playfully.
Gaston takes him.
It's messy and a little painful; they don't have the proper supplies and have to make do with pre-cum and spit, but LeFou doesn't care.
When Gaston first enters him with his fingers and starts to work him open all air leaves his lungs. It's strange and uncomfortable and intimate. Any discomfort is suddenly forgotten as soon as Gaston's fingers find his sweet spot and alternate light elusive brushes with firm strokes.
He's seeing stars. He needs more.
"Hurry up." He locks his legs around Gaston's waist and pulls him in, pleasure already clouding his mind. He whimpers at the sudden feel of emptiness as Gaston readies himself with more spit. Then he feels him at his entrance, moans and gasps filling the air.
Gaston grabs his thighs, readjusts his position and thrusts all the way in. LeFou digs his nails into Gaston's shoulders, hard. He can feel Gaston stretching him and it hurts. Gaston keeps himself very still, panting hot breaths into LeFou’s neck.
That's what it is like, he thinks deliriously, to taste the vibrant fires of Gaston's soul. They're now as one. It's overwhelming. It feels right. He urges Gaston to move, he knows it won't last for long.
Gaston lifts his head and stares into his eyes. He looks almost amazed and disbelieving, like he finally got what he'd never hoped for. LeFou's heart could break for happiness. Was it even possible? Gaston thrusts into him and his thoughts flee, leaving pure sensations to reign over his body.
Gaston stops abruptly. He opens his eyes and just when he’s about to yell at him to never stop, he’s left speechless.
“LeFou! Why are you crying? Did I hurt you? Did I—“
It is, perhaps, the first time he sees Gaston with something very close to panic in his face.
“Please don’t cry.”
LeFou hadn’t even known he was crying. But indeed, there are tears in his eyes. He cups Gaston’s cheek and smiles at the ridiculous man above him. “Gaston, I’m not—“
His voice his hoarse and he tries again. “They are happy tears.”
“Are you sure?”
He kisses him and reaches for his messy ponytail. LeFou lets his hair fall loose and enjoys its softness between his fingers.
“I wish to see you more often with your hair loose.” He breathes into his ear clutching his hole around Gaston’s cock.
The man lets out a loud groan and resumes his thrusting, stroking LeFou’s erection.
He’s going mad with the burning pleasure and he doesn’t know for sure, but he swears he’s feeling Gaston’s heartbeat within him. And he knows it’s a rhythm that will stay with him until the end.
Then Gaston has barely the time to warn him before he’s finishing inside him, and LeFou follows suit, the world going momentarily white with a soundless harmony.
Gaston is still inside of him him when he says, “They don’t mean anything, you know. Those girls.”
LeFou snorts. “Don’t care. It wasn’t nice of you.”
“I knew you were angry with me. Are you still angry with me?”
“I will expect formal apologies.”
“But it’s not my fault if nobody can resist my charm.”
LeFou pulls his hair.
“And you left me there alone without a word, so we’re even.”
“We’re not! And you definitely weren’t alone!”
Gaston smiles, and it’s sad. “It always feels like it when you’re not with me.”
He should let him go.
Now it was just him, alone in the world.
The lonely will take his place at LeFou’s side.
His hands didn’t let go.
He had to let him go.
All went black.
A flash of light made him open his eyes.
He didn’t know where he was. The sky was clear and bright, the grass green and soft beneath his body.
The castle was enveloped with light.
It was warm.
LeFou blinked and sat up. His head hurt. His whole body hurt.
He heard shouts and cries of happiness. He lowered his gaze and saw only death.
He had thought the blackness had come to take him away, to relieve him of the pain.
But he was still alive.
He turned around when he heard a rustle of leaves behind him.
A beautiful woman stood motionless, looking at him. Then she smiled and nodded at him, before disappearing in a golden shadow.
LeFou startled when a hand touched lightly his back. It couldn’t be.
He was dreaming.
Warmth blossomed in his heart as the world regained its colours and its music.