A/N: This is a Beauty and the Beast AU. Isabella (Fem!Spain) is cast as Belle, and Arthur (England) is the Beast. Yes, this is hetero. I apologize for my lack of detail and my seeming laziness with my writing. I hope you enjoy and reviews are appreciated. I hope to keep my muse for this story and what not.
Thank you for reading.
Ounce upon a time, in a far away land, there was a Prince by the name of Arthur who lived in a marvelous, shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the royal man was selfish, greedy, and coldhearted to other beings. On an old winter's night, there was a beggar woman who's skin hung in drapes and her back was hunched over under a thick, hideous green cloak, came to the beautiful castle of the Prince Arthur. She offered him a single, crimson colored rose in return for shelter. The Prince was disgusted with her hideous appearance and a once, he turned her away, his face stony and cold as his finger pointed back out into the cold winds. The woman warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty was found within. A second time, he turned her away, moving to close the large, wooden doors of his castle. At once, the beggar woman had turned into a gorgeous and mighty enchantress. Arthur, seeing the transformation, tried to apologize, but she had seen the hatred and selfishness in his heart, and as punishment, she turned him into a hideous beast clad with thick claws, rugged fur, and horns of an ox. The curse was cast upon the entire castle, and all who lived there. Arthur, repulsed by his appearance, concealed himself within the castle and resided in it, not emerging from the dark depths. His only window to the outside world, was a magic mirror. The rose she had offered, was a wondrously enchanted rose, that would bloom until his twenty-first year. If he could learn to love another, and gain her love in return, the curse would be broken. If not, he'd be forced to remain a hideous beast for all time. As the years trudged on, his hope dwindled, for who could ever learn to love a beast?
Isabella emerged from the home with the sun shining brightly on the house. Her dress was hanging loosely around her, the ends gently brushing her ankles and the deep red color complimenting her skin so very well. A smile was painted upon her rosy lips, a basket hanging from her arm as she gracefully stepped down the cobble stone steps and made her way to the village. She swung her arms gently, the basket rocking back and forth as she slowly brought them around, her delicate fingers clasping the woven handle in front of her. Oh, the town she lived in was such a small place. Quiet, peaceful, the scenery giving the area such a beautiful appeal. But Isabella craved more. She craved adventures, and her curious nature was only heightened by the books she read.
The days were so ordinary, the same every morning. The people hurried on with his tray of bread on, people greeting each other and so on. The were soft whispers following the woman. Murmurs of how 'strange' she was for a normal woman, but oh, she was the most beautiful woman in the village. Isabella was bored of her everyday life. The village was the same, the people were the same. She wanted more, more. A soft sigh left her as she began to hum, the same path she walked to her favorite book shop. Something that could always give her imagination a wild run: books. Reading was a past time she adored, the tales of fantasy that bewildered her; oh, she loved walked on, her smile on her lips and her long, curly hair tied up into a delicate bun. The curls on her neck gently licked the skin, rolling out at the base of her neck. A white apron over her deep red dress, the colors contrasting greatly, but it gave her a beautiful attraction. A soft ting of a bell rung, the sound so familiar to her. Her eyes were greeted with books adorning the walls and shelves. Of every thickness, color, and size. The wonders within them amazed Isabella, and she couldn't wait to explore each word of every page.
"Oh, back already?" the book keeper chuckled softly as he recognized the young woman who's entered his shop a million times. He strode casually out from behind his counter, adjusting his glasses with the same smile still light on his face.
"Oh, yes! I've already finished it!" she smiled, taking the book from her basket and giving it to the elderly man.
"Have you gotten anything new?" she asked eagerly, her face bright with excitement as she turned with eager gestures to the books. He fingers flitted over the spines, reading over the titles and swinging to the other side of the wooden ladder.
The man chuckled and smiled brightly to Isabella. "Ah, I am sorry to say I haven't, dear." he chuckled, watching the young woman with amusement sparkling in his old, oak colored eyes.
"Oh, I think I'll borrow this one!" followed his voice, the Spanish woman turning back to the man with a navy blue colored book clutched in her fingers.
"That one? But you've read it so many times, Isabella." the book keeper looked at the book he recognized, a bit surprised by her choice. Ah, but he shouldn't? she's read it a few times before and it obviously gave her great enjoyment.
"Of course, it's my favorite!" Isabella smiled brightly to her, her eyes bright with happiness as she held it close to her chest. "The marvelous adventures! Sword fights, dragons, a handsome prince!" she babbled on, turning her eyes back to him, the smile still obviously dressed on her tanned cheeks.
"Oh, well, it's yours then." he smiled, patting the book and returning back to his counter.
"But sir-" she protested, her smile melting into a delicate, surprised expression. With a bright grin growing back again, she gave the old man a hug and gently took the book, opening it's spine as her eyes trailed over the familiar words and walking out of the shop with her nose already stuffed into the mess of words. Isabella hurried on over the steps, strange looks being passed to her. Oh, she was considered the strangest one in the village, excluding her inventor of a father. She was indeed beautiful, but for a woman to read and be intelligent was unheard of. Still, Isabella was a smart woman and she enjoyed a good book, priding herself in her knowledge. Even though she was considered strange, her face was a very nice thing to see, and many agreed. Ignoring the bustle and dodging people here and there, the Spaniard began her walk back home, the book clutched in her fingers and olive colored eyes trained on the far behind, a blonde haired man with glowing, sky blue eyes looked at the Spanish woman. His lips curved into a smirk and he let his rifle fall back on his shoulder. As his eyes studied the woman, a young, teenaged boy was hurrying near by to catch the recently shot duck. Clumsily, he missed the animal as it fell to the streets, but Alfred stuffed the dead animal into the sack and hurried back to Mathias. When he returned, Mathias gave him a smile and his strong hands ruffled his combed hair, earning a laugh from the confident teen.
"Haha, that was great Mathias! You didn't miss any of 'em, you're the greatest hunter ever!" Alfred complimented the strong Dane, laughing as he tossed the bag over his shoulder, the blonde's ego only rising with the compliments.
"Oh, I know, I know." he chuckled, his voice calm and cool as he turned, the younger following behind him. "Oh, and I deserve the very best, isn't that right Alfred?" he gave a cocky smirk in response, casually making his way up to a particular red dressed woman in long strides. "Yes, sir, you do!" replied Alfred, walking in quick steps to keep up with the taller, muscular man. "And that's why I'm going to marry her, Isabella." Mathias gestured to the Spanish woman, determination adorning his face. Oh course, she would be the perfect wife. He, the strong hunter Mathias, deserved the very best and deserved what he wanted, and his sight was set on miss Isabella. Because of course, she was the most beautiful, and therefore the best.
Mathias ignored any other words that came from the teen's mouth, and he quickly checked his combed hair that rose in curved spikes. In a hanging, newly cleaned pan at the bakery. A bit on the weird side itself, but it was the style that he preferred and the Danish man made sure he looked as stunning as he had grown to think. With a content expression and a firm nod, he turned back to see the woman still walking and lazily dropped his rifle into the hands of the blonde teen, Alfred. He hurried on in long strides filled with confidence, making his way through the busy, late morning crowd. His blue eyes stayed trained on her until he emerged from the back of a wagon and out of the bumbling villagers. The market, this time of day, was always busy and he found it difficult to keep up with the woman. She dodged people as if it were nothing, while Mathias craned his neck over the heads of villagers to follow the Spanish woman clad in a simple, red her leaving the out skirts of the market, Mathias searched for a way to catch up with her. Quickly, his gloved hands clasped the edge of a roof, and he hoisted himself up, climbing with ease over the tiles and plopping down, away from the mess of people. He made his way to the woman, his lips curling into a grin as he was but a few feet away now. With ease, he strode in front of her, giving her a smile as her eyes rose to meet her own. Now, in front of her, he took a gentle bow, his smile on his face and her brow quirked just slightly. "Oh, good morning Isabella." he cooed to her, plucking the book from her fingers, causing the woman's brow to furrow. He flipped through the pages, his expression a bit displeased at the pages filled with words and not a single picture adorning them.
"Mathias, I would like my book back." All she gained in returned was a chuckle, his hands still turning each page as he turned it, as if trying to understand and he obviously did not. With a careless shrug, his fingers let go of the pages and he tossed it aside. A soft splash followed, the blue cover now soaked with dirtied water from landing carelessly on the ground thanks to the Dane.
"It's such a waste for a woman to read, you know. You ought to spend your time paying attention to more important things," as Isabella stooped to pick up her book from the dirtied ground, Mathias' boots stood in reach of her hands " like me." as soon as she heard the arrogant words, she looked up at the proud man with a light frown crossing her face, then reached around to pick her favorite book up. She found the arrogant words more of an annoyance than anything, finally pulling the dampened book from the ground and leaning back, away from , she wiped the pages wit her apron that adorned her crimson colored dress, ignoring the likes of the Dane standing before her.
"You know, how about I show you to the tavern, give you a little tour of my trophies, hm?" he smiled down at her a laid a hand on her waist as she rose, finally cleaning the dirty water away from the pages and cover. Delicately, she moved out of his grip and kept a distance from him, obviously not wanting to take part in the offer."I'd rather not." she replied with a flat voice.
"I am going home to help my father now, goodbye." with that she turned away to the bridge that crossed a river, leading to a cozy house on a hill up above.
Without warning, a loud bang and explosion of smoke rose from the cellar of the house and coiled up like a snake that slowly faded in the sky. Isabella immediately picking up the ends of her simple dress and she took off towards the house, worried for the safety of her father, Romulus, the laughing of Mathias and Alfred following her. The Spaniard ignored the ignorant displayed and rushed over the small rise of a bridge and up the dirt path to her home and hurried to the side of the house, opening the doors of a cellar to have a gust of dirty smoke hit her in the face. She gave a thick couch, opening one deep, green orb to peer into the room below, searching for her father in the slowly faded, tan colored smoke.
"Papa?" her voice echoed, slipping down the set of wooden steps to see if her father was alright. She looked around the now faded smoke, spotting her father towards the corner of the house and giving a weak smile and glad she could she could he was alright.
A spray of curses cam from the throat of an elderly man, rubbing his head and standing up from the stoned ground below him. He ran a rough hand over his curled hair, his voice thick with annoyance while his face was scrunched into an angered look. His fists curled into balls, he gave a kick to the contraption he was working on, spouting out something else only to look and see a giggling Isabella before himself. His anger faded a bit, but only a bit, at the sight of her for he was still frustrated with his invention he was determined to make work for the fair that would be coming soon.
"Oh, I'm about to give up on this thing." he snapped at the complicated invention, only earning another muffled giggled from Isabella. She sat her basket down on a near by chair and came to stand beside her Father, dusting off his face. He blinked as her fingers gently brushed the dirt away from his handsome, but aged face, and the soft fuzz on his chin tickling her fingers.
"You always say that." she smiled to him, Romulus' a cheek a pat and taking a step back as he started to move away and look about the cluttered room.
"I mean it this time! I can't get the dumb thing to work." he muttered crossly, turning to the machine and picking up a few tools. He slid under it on a board supported by wheels, his goggles clamed to his face as he stretched an arm out, groping around for something else. Once he'd found, he slid his arm back underneath, and the sounds of metal clapping metal and other various noises followed, his daughter only smiling affectionately at the man below. As he slid out, he mumbled something else, but it went unheard, and he shuffled up again, dusting off his hands and tossing the head piece aside again, then turned his determined eyes to the invention.
"There, now let's give it another go." with that, he started the machine up, a loud clamor of noises coming after. He tucked his head back, covering his ears in anticipation of a boom of an explosion to come. Isabella did the same, tucking her head down with her hands clamed to the side of her head and her eyelids closed tightly encase there was another malfunction with the machine.
Oh, but the explosion or sounds of disaster never did come. The sounds of steam and pumping were heard, along with the tinkering of wood and metal coming together. As they progressed, a loud thud was the result and an axe slammed down onto a waiting log, half of it flying off and landing on a pile of stacked and chopped fire wood. A large smile came onto her father's face in response, and he felt his confidence take a rise as he achieved success and Romulus turned, giving Isabella a large hug and a soft kiss to her temple. A gentle laugh came from her throat, patting the man's back as the sound of wood falling neatly onto a stack and the machine filled the cellar. She beamed to him, his excitement etched into his face as he turned to see it working, and a cut log came flying onto the stack that was made in the cellar.
"It's off to the fair with me!" he exclaimed, rushing to grab his wagon and the trusty horse they kept with their small group of animals. Isabella laughed at him and his eagerness, glad he'd achieved his goal and his invention was working. Her father was a genius after all, and she was happy to see him stride out from the cellar to the stables.
By that night, Isabella's father had gathered up the horse and loaded his wood cutting machine onto a wagon, protecting it with a hood type covering. He pulled a long clock over his shoulders, a lantern strapped to his wagon and a map in head as he settled onto the bench in the front. Isabella smiled up to him as she watched him clamor on, her Father leaning down and his daughter giving him a kiss on the cheek. He, too, smiled at her and pressed his lips to her forehead and sat up, tightly grabbing his reigns and adjusting them with a proud and eager smile adorning his peach fuzzed face. She watched him ready the rained, pushing his hat onto of his head, while she slowly stepped back from the wagon.
"Be careful, Papa." she called to him, tossing her hand into the air and waving as he bounced away. Silently, he waved back to her, his face showcasing a grin as Romulus began to ride away from his home towards the fair. Hopefully, his map would keep him safe and keep him from getting lost out in the wilderness. After all, he had to win first prize at the fair, and become a world famous inventor! At least, that was what he was hoping and he was determined to make his precious Isabella proud.