Pairings: Clark/Lex; Gaston/Clark unrequited; Victoria/Lex unrequited
Summary: Once upon a time there lived a prince in a shining castle under a terrible curse…and a young Beauty who dreamed of adventure and romance. An old tale told with new twists, Clark discovers that sometimes adventure and love can be found when you aren’t even looking for it. A fusion with Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and the Smallville characters.
Warnings: Some minor non-con. Historical inaccuracies up the wahzoo.
Author’s Notes: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO READ THE STORY UNSPOILED. Pretty obvious that this is the adaptation of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” with the Smallville universe characters into CLex goodness. I borrowed the shell of the movie and the basic plotline, but adapted quite a bit to try to make this a little bit of an original read…even if everyone knows how this tale ends in every version of “Beauty and the Beast”.
Disclaimers: I don’t own the pretty boys or their friends in the Smallville universe. Definitely don’t own Disney, the story of Beauty and the Beast, or have any rights towards the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. I most definitely don’t own the soundtrack to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and all borrowed phrases were merely to make the story ring more true to a Disney-Smallville mesh of romance and magic, and in no way is meant as plagiarism. No money nor profits were made in the creation or posting of this story, and I have to money anyway. So please don’t sue…I can’t even afford the lawyer. Beauty and the Beast
Once upon a time, in a far away land, a young crown prince lived in a shining castle. With walls of white marble veined with gold, it would shimmer and sparkle in the sunlight, greeting visitors from miles around to come and see such splendor. Nobles and commoners alike would journey from across the world to come so they could speak with the royal family or to look upon the castle sung in tales as old as song itself, and they were all amazed at the magic and beauty that was found in the middle of so much wild land, nestled like a jewel hidden in miles of forest and hills of green.
The royal family was much loved, by their people and by nobility both far and wide. The family had ruled for centuries upon centuries, passing down to each generation the sacred trust of their people and their land. For it was an old family legend foretold by an ancient of their line who had been a powerful sorcerer that as long as they took care of what was theirs with compassion and fairness, the royal bloodline would thrive and grow.
They were well known across the world for their brilliance and beauty, for their cunning and wit. Both males and females alike from the line ruled fairly and with compassion as forewarned, yet never hesitating to use an iron fist when needed. Strength was a trait long bred into the line, both of body and mind. And the odd thing was, the family never was associated with words such as good or evil, but rather as fair. Perhaps because the family had long held that all creatures held the ability to do both, thus they would have nothing to do with seeing the world or its people as one or the other.
Some rulers, of course, were more beloved than others. Some were more kind, others more harsh. Some were more giving, others more severe. But despite each ruler’s particular personality, each held close to their heart the responsibility they had been given. Always they kept the trust.
And people being the way they are, there were those that hated the family. Hated them for their beauty and their brilliance, for their kindness and their strength. Some hated the cold ones for being cold, and the warm ones for being warm. For most of them, jealousy and envy filled their being or they were resentful that one family had so much when they had so little. Some merely hated them because they were loved.
The royal family wasn’t perfect, as no person ever really is. But if there was one charge to lay claim against the family, one fault that they truly did hold, it was their arrogance and pride. But who could really fault them for it when it seemed as if they truly had every reason to be arrogant? And who wouldn’t be prideful of all their accomplishments and skills? Was this really a fault? Some claimed no, while others claimed the opposite.
For who is easier to hate than the arrogant and prideful person who has every reason to be both?
And so, finally, it came to pass that one of the line came into power. This king, like others before him, was loved even as he was feared. He tended the people and the land, yet he sought to increase what he already held. And so this generation of royal family was thrust into the courts of neighboring and foreign kingdoms, traveling to increase their wealth through contracts and trade agreements. And with his increased wealth, the King became most fearsome to any who opposed him or threatened to cheat him for it was well known he was not a man to cross. Even his people, who knew him to be a just man like all in his line, knew he had little mercy in his heart.
The only sorrow in the King’s life was that he had no Queen, for his beloved wife had died in a hunting accident early in their marriage. This tragedy was offset, though, by the magnificence and wonder that was their child. The young prince was courted by noblemen and noblewomen alike, princesses and princes from around the world sought his hand. Rich merchants paraded their children and their heavy dowries before the young noble. Bards of all nations sang of his great beauty, a beauty unsurpassed by any mortal and reputed to be equal to that of the Fey or the Gods. He was lauded for being the cleverest amongst his peers, and it was said he even outshone his family line in wit and intelligence.
And as for the young prince…he was his father’s heir and beloved for it. He was given the best education in the world, taught how to fight and hunt by the fiercest warriors and the most cunning huntsmen while tutored by the most learned of men. He wore clothing of the softest cloth and the brightest of colors, and wanted for no material possession. And if his father never hugged him nor sang him to sleep, the prince never showed anyone that he was affected.
And so the young prince only knew prosperity and happiness.
Until one night, during a terrible storm, an old beggar woman knocked on the castle doors. She asked for shelter throughout the night for it was bitter and cold, and was led into the castle hall. Upon seeing the prince she froze as if struck dumb. After a few moments of immobility, she took a few steps forward and started to hobble up to him, and everyone gasped as her posture straightened and she changed into a beautiful woman. Her ugliness and old, haggard appearance melted off her like rain, revealing smooth creamy skin, a lovely oval face with lips the color of coral, and chestnut hair that flowed long and lush down her back. Her tattered black gown became the purest white, and onlookers swore they saw diamonds twinkling out at them, woven into the material like tear drops placed in a meadow of newly fallen snow. She held out to him a single rose she drew from the air, and offered it to him as a token of her heart.
The prince laughed and refused her gift, and no one but he and the enchantress knew what was said between them as they spoke for a time. Suddenly, her face turned dark with anger, and her eyes flashed gold with power. She told him, projecting her voice into the entire hall, that true beauty was found within and surely as pretty as he was on the outside, he was rotten and cold on the inside. A great mist started growing on the palace floors, and the prince tried to apologize, but it was too late for he had already told her he held no love for her in his heart.
As punishment, with all the fury in her heart she transformed him into a hideous beast. She declared that he would be as horrifying on the outside as the prince had once been beautiful. She also placed a powerful spell on the castle, all who lived there, and the entire land. She declared that no one in the country would remember the royal family and the castle, and anyone from outside the borders would forget as well as soon as they stepped within the nation’s boundaries. For long as the curse held, no one within the land would ever question the lack of leader or government. A limbo would be held until the curse was settled one way or another.
By the parameters of the magic let loose, and by his own shame and horror, the prince stayed in his doomed castle with his mother’s magic mirror as his only link to the outside world. And the rose that she had offered him was of course an enchanted rose that would bloom for many untold years. If he could learn to love another and earn their love in return before the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken and his kingdom returned. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time, and his castle and his people lost in the curse forever.
As more and more time passed, as year after year every maiden or master that came stumbling upon the enchanted palace only fled at first sight of the beast, the castle and the surrounding lands slid into darkness. The prince soon began to lose all hope and fell into the deepest despair.
For who could ever learn to love a beast?
Links to the rest of the art with corresponding text:
Green eyes blinked opened sleepily, black eyelashes fluttering against sun-kissed skin, before sliding shut again. A low humming sound emerged from full lush lips, and the owner of the green eyes rolled over and snuggled deeper into his pillows, one arm slipping off the bed to brush lightly against a book lying haphazardly on the floor. Fingertips brushed lovingly against the cover for a few moments before stilling, and a yelp would have been heard clearly in the little house if anyone else had been home.
She felt her heart warm and overflow with the love she held for her child, and she gave into her impulse. She picked up his hand again, and held it tight. “It’s tradition, Clark. My papa always brought me a gift back when he went traveling. And I’ve always gotten one for you. Please, tell me what you’d truly like. Perhaps a new cloak? Or a new tunic or undershirt? Or maybe a fine necklace or ring…I think you’re getting old enough for jewelry. Or…perhaps a new book?”
She saw Clark’s eyes brighten at being deemed old enough for jewelry, and his eyes positively lit up at mention of a new book. But again he shook his head. “If you must, Mama…perhaps…a rose cutting? For my rose garden? It’s been such a long time since I’ve planted any new roses.”
“And they are your favorite,” Martha finished. She gently prodded, “A rose cutting? Nothing else, sweetling? Are you sure?”
She watched as he nodded his head and said, “Yes, Mama.” And he squeezed her hand, and it surprised her when he suddenly let go and moved forward to hold her in a tight hug. He kissed her on both cheeks, and helped her gently up into the wagon’s seat. He handed her the reins, bid her farewell, and she looked back as she rode down the path to see Clark waving goodbye. She merely waved back.
And he’d also noticed for quite a while what fine edgings, trims, and stitchings the elder and younger Kents usually had lining their clothing. He wasn’t one to really notice clothing and such detail to appearance unless it was his own, but he’d noticed the Kents because it was so superior to what many in the village wore. As far as he knew, neither had a seamstress’ skill, but then he’d never really asked anyone. He found himself wondering where the elder Kent got such fine material for the trimmings, and who had such a deft touch to sew such intricate stitches and patterns.
Clark exhaled loudly, exhaustion marring his dirt-smudged face. He limped up to Xander and patted his neck softly while whispering how much he appreciated Xander for being so faithful and good. He reached into his saddlebag and brought out a handful of oats, bringing his palm up to his horse’ mouth. He snorted to himself in disgust and shook his head ruefully.
He’d been such a fool to think he knew what he was doing.
He realized rather quickly that he was ill prepared for this journey and that his lack of knowledge could endanger both himself and his horse. He’d imagined traveling all day and sleeping at night in an inn, but realized at the end of that first day of grueling travel that there wasn’t a village conveniently placed where he had planned to stop. The last village he’d passed had been four hours behind him, and he had no idea when he would come upon the next village or dwelling. He’d set a fast pace for his horse, and both he and his horse suffered and were ready to collapse. Xander had been shaking from muscle fatigue. He’d packed no materials for staying outdoors at night, and he’d ended up huddled next to Xander and using the blanket he’d packed for Xander.
With only a month and a half until Winter Solstice, the nights were much more cold than Clark had realized. In defense of himself, he’d never slept overnight in the woods before so he hadn’t known it would get so cold nor had he realized that he might have to sleep outdoors because communities were so scarce and far apart. Somehow, though, he didn’t think Gaston would have made the same mistake and that only served to depress him.
The second night, he’d quickly donned on his second set of clothes at the approach of dusk, wearing as many layers as possible and wrapping himself up in the blanket. Unfortunately, it really didn’t seem to do much good, and he ended up shivering so much that he barely got more than a few moments rest before the chill woke him up. So it had gone every night.
He felt a tug on the front of his tunic, and he felt the breeze whirl around his left hand again. He saw the candlestick floating in front of him and he followed it eagerly as it led the way out of the room. He entered the same passageway he’d just exited, only it was darker and more ominous than he remembered from moments ago. He felt the wind tingle along his hand again, and he apologized for pausing. He watched as the candlestick approached a torch in the wall, and the candles were lit one by one.
“Boy! Clark! Come close.”
Now that he was given permission to move and get close to his mysterious host, Clark felt a slight quiver of alarm. Something was wrong with all this, but he wasn’t sure what. He felt like he was being maneuvered somehow, but he knew that was impossible. He’d been the one who’d suggested this route.
“Clark,” Clark muttered irritably.
He moved forward slowly, and when no other orders were barked at him, he continued until he was only a few steps away from the body of his mother’s captor. Or was it her arbitrator? He rubbed his hand nervously against his thigh, wiping off his sweaty palm.
“Raise the candle, Clark,” the voice said roughly. “Look upon my face and make your decision. Stay or run. But know your fate and choose.”
Clark shivered at the ominous words, but he raised the candle as instructed. He stepped closer, realizing he was looking at a rather wide and gigantic chest clothed in the finest and most intricately designed material he’d ever seen. As he raised the candle higher, his eyes widened at the sheer size of the body in front of him. It was easily twice as wide as Clark and seemed to be a great deal taller. Perhaps by a foot?
At seven feet, Clark had to crane his neck and still he could not see the face of the one who held his mother’s fate in his hands. He stepped even closer.
The body in front of him was completely still. Clark raised himself onto the tips of his toes and lifted his arm high. Clark let out a horrified gasp and instinctively jerked back, stumbling back onto his feet. His left rose to his mouth, holding back a scream that wanted to rip from his throat. He unthinkingly took two hasty steps back while his hand lowered slightly, and the candle seemed to shake in mid-air as Clark’s hand trembled. He backed away another step. The body in front of him did not move.
Clark tried desperately to cease his trembling, and when that did not work, he lifted his left hand to grip his right hand tightly. His blood froze as fear skittered in icy streams throughout his body. Too much depended upon this one moment, and he gathered up every bit of courage he’d ever known, real or imagined. With his heart racing, he firmly stepped forward so he was standing next to the creature again. He raised the candle again, and though the candle quivered slightly, Clark was proud of how well he masked his fright.
The body in front of him did not move.
He was correct when he’d off-handedly noticed before that the clothing in front of him was of superior material. He thought he saw silk and velvet in the dim light, as well as the most beautiful lace at the creature’s throat and wrists, and his clothing was worn in a grotesque imitation of humanity. Massive hands hung by his sides and were covered in a dark brown fur, or so he thought from what he could tell in so little light. Clark noticeably flinched as the candlelight gleamed off of dark claws that looked large enough to skewer him in one blow. As he raised the candle, he saw fur peeking out from the top of the lace and a distant corner of his mind pointed out that the whole body was probably covered in fur.
He felt another wash of fear flood him as he looked up at the creature’s face. His head was so large, and while proportionate to his equally large body, it made Clark feel tiny. Though Clark’s body still held the lanky awkwardness of youth, he was among a dozen or so men in the village who were six feet in height or taller. He wasn’t used to feeling small and delicate. But worse than his sheer intimidating size was an aura of menace and death that seemed to emanate from the being in front of him. Clark felt a chill tingle down his spine, and he could almost hear the faint cries of screams and pleas echoing in the air. The smell of decay and rot hung in the air.
The full story will be posted when the author contacts me.