Disclaimer: I do not own anything that seems familiar. For example, Beauty and the Beast, PlayRadioPlay!, brand names, etc. I do own the plot & the characters
"Anna!" Annabelle Connors' boss bellowed. "There's a young man in room two who wants to see the shiba inu."
"I'm on it Harry!" Anna shouted back. She put back the daschund she had been cradling and made her way over to the shiba inu's cage.
"Hey baby girl." She cooed to the dog while picking her up. "Somebody wants to play with you!"
Annabelle has always loved dogs and spending her days playing with them surely kept her mind off her friends/second family whom were busy elsewhere.
Anna continued to pet the dog as she walked backwards into room two. She continued to look down at the dog, only briefly looking up to see the man who wore oversized sunglasses, a ski cap, and a hoodie with the hood up.
"She's beautiful." Anna said referring to the dog in her arm. The man stood close to Anna, reaching out his right hand to pet the dog. He chuckled.
"Yes she is." He wasn't looking at the dog. However, Anna missed the compliment for her body froze when she heard that all too familiar chuckle. Anna's head whipped up and due to their close proximity, she knocked the sunglasses of the bridge of his nose.
"Hey Belle." The man said with a smile in his voice as he removed his hood. Anna had her arms around him before he even reached the hat.
"ADAM! What are you doing here?!" She exclaimed and squeezed a bit tighter.
The dog and Adam let out a wheeze simultaneously.
"Oh! Sorry!" She murmured and then placed the dog on the ground. She pulled her best friend into another bone crushing hug.
"It seems like you have missed me Belle." He whispered into her ear and she felt her body shiver involuntarily. "Are you cold? Here take my hoodie."
"No Adam, I'm fine. Just ecstatic to see you!" She released him and smiled. "I thought you got home tomorrow."
"I wanted to surprise you! Is that a problem? Are you going to get in trouble?" He asked worriedly.
"No Adam, I'll be fine." She smiled and he took off his hat. Anna immediately scrunched up her nose. "You're straightening your hair again." She responded flatly.
"Yes, that clothing store I've been working at makes me do it. They pay me very well."
"You know I hate it right?" She asked.
"Yes of course. But this is my career Belle, you know that. I like it better curly as well, less effort." They smiled at each as his hazel eyes met her chocolate brown ones.
"Gosh Belle, I've missed you." Adam replied with a surprisingly husky tone, after a moment of silence.
"I missed you too Adam. You don't even know how much." He hugged her again. They stood there for a few minutes, not speaking, just embracing. The neglected dog let out a shrill whine that broke the two apart.
"When do you get off?" Adam asked. "My family really wants to see you. But I had to see you first." He smirked.
"In about an hour. Can I meet you at your house?"
"I'll be waiting Belle." He said with a smirk, before backing out of the room. "Love ya best friend."
"I love you too Adam." She replied, but he had already left.
She arrived at the Gadsby's approximately 1.5 hours later, having changed out of her blue polo in the car. The door to the house flew open as she stepped out of her car.
"ANNABELLE!" Chip called running towards her with full force. The littlest Gadsby tackled her into the grass.
"Jeez Chip you got big! Stop growing up so fast, you make me feel old." Anna chuckled.
"If twenty is old, gosh I'll be old in two years." Lucas told her as he gave her a hand to pull her off the ground. When he pulled her up, they stood dangerously close to each other. When he spoke again, his breathe was hot on her lips. "So did you realize your undying love for me yet Connors?"
Annabelle laughed and pushed him away. She turned around and walked towards Cole but not without turning around and winking at Lucas, "In your dreams Gadsby."
"One day Connors." Lucas stated jokingly and Cole laughed at him. "One day she'll love me and I'll laugh in all of your faces."
"Lucas. I already love you." His yes lit up in victory. "As much as I love Cole and Chip."
"And Adam, he's your best friend right, can't forget him." Lucas smirked knowingly.
"Yup love the four of you all the same. Like brothers." She sighed.
"Gosh Anna, sound even more depressed why don't ya?" Cole breathed out.
"COLE! HUG ME!" She shouted drawing him into a tight hug.
"Hey you never hugged me!" Lucas cried.
"Me either!" Chip shouted.
"Get over here you too! Group hug!" The two boys ran over crushing both Cole and Anna in the process.
"Started the group hug without me huh? I sure do feel the love." Adam said as he walked out of the house.
"Adam, get over here you big lug." Anna called.
"ANNABELLE SANDWICH!" Chip cried. Anna let out a quiet wheeze as all the Gadsby' boys hugged her tighter.
"Boys! Let Anna go, she is turning blue!" Babette Gadsby called from the doorway with her husband to her right.
"Yes mother." The boys let go of the tall brunette and looked to their mother with guilty expressions.
"Babette! Maurice!" Annabelle called racing towards her second set of parents. "I've missed you." She quickly hugged Maurice and then tightly squeezed Babette.
"Babette I've missed you terribly!"
"Oh Annabelle darling, I've miss my girl!" Babette chuckled. "Have you fallen in love with one of my boys yet dear?"
"Babette!" Anna cried blushing.
"Mo-ooom!" Adam whined. "Stop embarrassing my best friend, she might never come back!"
"Fine, come on Chip, your father and I will take you to the park."
The three remaining Gadsbys and Anna walked back inside, Anna and Adam trailing in the back.
"You washed the straight out." Anna smirked matter of factly.
"Well who would I be to deny my best friend the view of my luscious curls?"
"Gosh Adam, way to be conceited."
"Belle, babe, you know you want to run your fingers through my locks allllll day." Adam teased.
"Yes I do." She murmured.
"What was that?" Adam asked.
"I said no way."
"Okayyy." Adam drawled, plopping down on the couch. Anna sat next to him and he draped his arm around her shoulder.
"Sorry mom embarrassed you Belle; you just know how much she wants you to be officially her daughter."
"Yeah come on, she loves you more than she loves Cole." Lucas said.
"HEY!" Cole protested.
"Sorry Cole, but she has known me longer than you. It's not your fault you were born after she already fell in love with me." Anna teased.
The quartet stayed on the couch for two hours, laughing and catching up. While Anna was left in the same town she had grown up in, the Gadsby family was everywhere she was not. Such distance started two years ago. Kevin went away to college across the country while Cole, Lucas and Chip attended a boarding school two states away. Maurice and Babette traveled the globe volunteering at various shelters. Anna only got to see her second family on breaks, she missed them terribly.
"And then Lucas just fell of the stage! It was the funniest thing ever Annabelle." Cole laughed.
"I know my calculus, it says you plus me equals us!" Anna's phone blared.
"Sorry let me get this." Anna said pulling out her phone, glancing at the ID. "Hey Gaston what's up?...Ohmygosh I'm soooo sorry, look Gaston my friends came back it town today, I completely forgot about our date. Can you just pick me out a half hour later? I'll be ready. I'm so sorry… Thanks for understanding Gaston. BYEEE."
"What's for dinner?" Cole, Adam, and Lucas questioned simultaneously.
"Whoa, one question at a time." Anna giggled. "Gaston is this boy I'm seeing. Yes we have a date tonight. I forgot in the craziness of you guys coming home. And I don't know what's for dinner for you, but I have a date and I'm craving pasta."
"Well now that we're home you cancelled right?" Lucas asked nonchalantly.
"Well no, because he has something important to ask me. If I knew you were coming before, I would have cancelled."
"He's gonna to propose to you?! How long have you guys been dating?" Cole blurted out.
"GOSH NO! He's not even my boyfriend yet. I think that's what he's going to ask me." Anna responded. "Hey Adam, you alright, you've been quiet?"
"I'm fine." Adam grumbled.
"Well boys, I have to get ready for my date, so why don't you come over and we'll talk while I get ready, okay?"
"I can't" Cole quickly responded.
"Me either." Lucas said immediately.
"Okay." Annabelle responded confused. "Adam?"
Adam shot a confused look at his brothers. What were they up to? "Yeah of course, let's get going."
Anna stood up first, grabbing Adam's hand and pulling him off the couch. Anna continued to hold his hand as she dragged him to her car.
"Your brothers were being a tad sketchy today. What was up with that?" Anna asked after a few silent minutes in the car.
"I'll never full understand them Belle and I live with them." Annabelle let out a short laugh with him and parked the car at her apartment complex. They make their way into her apartment in a comfortable silence.
"Make yourself comfortable anywhere, I'll be running all around here to get ready." Annabelle mentioned as she went over and docked her iPOD, letting NSYNC play softly.
"Still have the same pre-date ritual, huh?" Adam asked laughing.
"Shut up Adam. It psyches me up." Annabelle lightly pushed him onto the couch and proceeded to her bathroom to work on her hair.
"So what's this Gaston kid like? You think you'll be together for awhile?"
"Honestly, he isn't anything special. But he plays lacrosse, so he's got a hot bod." She joked.
"I was referring to the important things Belle," he groaned. "Not if he's got a 'hot bod'" Adam air quoted.
"Oh I assure you Adam, the bod is hot, no air quotes necessary," she laughed and he frowned. "He's reasonably intelligent. He's not gonna do anything genius but he's smarter than some boys I've dated. He likes rap and only rap, so that irks me a bit. He won't go to concerts with me like you used before you got so bust. He's fun though. Not someone to get serious with, but he keeps me happy. He's a good friend who is fun to kiss. I don't think it will ever be much more than that."
"And you're okay with that?" Adam asked, this wasn't like her.
"I haven't dated anyone perfect yet. So I figured why not have fun and figure out what's important to me in a guy."
"I thought you had said a few months ago, that you found someone seemingly perfect."
"It didn't work out, tried to tell him a handful of times. Things got in the way, girlfriends, being dumped. I'm just trying to get over it." Anna stated and disappeared into her bedroom down the hall.
"You'll find love someday Belle, I know you will." Adam called.
"Thanks Adam." She stated walking backwards out of her room. "Can you zip my dress up? I can't reach the zipper."
"Sure." He stated and stood up to help her. His shaky hands glided the zipper up.
"Thanks." Adam had a sharp intake of breathe as she let her curls cascade down her back and she turned around to face him. He briefly let his eyes wander over her body before locking his eyes with hers.
"You look beautiful tonight Belle." He replied shakily.
"So I look like shit every other night?" Anna asks jokingly, she can feel the awkwardness in the room.
"Belle," He started with a patronizing tone. "You know that's not how I meant it. I guess I'm not used to you putting in some much effort for a date."
"Its fun to dress up. You play dress up everyday for work, you should know." She laughed. The intercom rang.
"Annabelle, I'm outside, are you ready? Come downstairs." Gaston said through the intercom.
"Be right down Gaston!" She stated happily into the intercom.
"He doesn't even come to your door?" Adam asked judgmentally.
"Adam, not all guys are as gentlemanly as you Gadsbys" She teased grabbing his wrist. "Come down, I want you to meet him."
Adam groaned and followed her out of the apartment complex. She let go of his wrist as they walking into the warm L.A. air. Adam noticed a tall, muscular guy with black wavy hair leaning against a red Volvo.
"Gaston!" She laughed and hugged him. "I would like you to meet my best friend Adam."
"Yo man, what's up?" Gaston drawled, pulling Annabelle protectively toward him.
"Nice to meet you," Adam stated and held out a hand, waiting for a handshake. Gaston looked at in confused, slapped it and then turned to Annabelle.
"Belle, baby, ready to go?" Gaston asked, a hint of frustration in his tone. Adam paled a bit at the nickname Gaston called her. And he didn't mean 'baby'.
"Gaston. I told you at least ten times I don't like to be called Belle. Annabelle or Anna, hell even Ann, just not Belle." Annabelle told him forcibly and Adam felt a surge of hurt pass through him.
"Sorry baby." Gaston told her and went around to the driver's side.
"Bye Adam!" She called from the open window as they drove into the sunset. Adam whipped out his phone and hit speed dial two. Lucas picked up after three rings.
"Hey Lucas its Adam, I'm at Annabelle's apartment, she just left. I forgot she drove me here, can you pick me up?"
"Sure Adam, you alright man? You sound upset."
"I'm fine Lucas. See you soon." Adam hung up without a reply.
"Anna! How was your date?" Lucas asked bouncing in his seat. Anna immediately came over to the Gadsbys' after her date. Anna sighed and plopped down between Lucas and Adam.
"He asked me to be his girlfriend." She grumbled.
"Annabelle, why is that a bad thing?" Adam asked. Anna covertly grimaced.
"Why mess with something good? I know he sees other girls and as long as we weren't committed I was fine with that. But now if I'm his girlfriend and if he does all that than it's cheating. And I Chiply don't trust him enough. But he doesn't want me dating other guys. Not like I was anyways." She huffed.
"Why are you dating him anyway? He sounds awful." Cole groaned. Adam and Lucas nodded their heads in agreement.
"Look I'm just trying to enjoy my youth. He's fun. It's not like anything better has come along."
"Sorry Anna. We just think you deserve better." Adam told her. "Right bros?"
"Right-o Adam-o." Lucas stated.
"Mhmm!" Cole agreed.
"Let's just watch a movie, okay?" Anna laughed. The group spent the next two hours chatting while a movie played in the background. Annabelle said goodbye to Lucas and Cole and then Adam walked her out to her car.
"Goodnight Anna." Adam said before lazily hugging her. That was the last straw. She pushed against his chest and slapped him there twice.
"Just stop okay? What did I do wrong? Why are you acting like this?" Anna asked her voice shaky and her eyes watering.
"Stop acting like what Anna?"
"THAT!" She cried. "Adam, you never call me Anna or Annabelle unless you're mad at me! And that's all you've been calling me all night! What did I do wrong?"
"I was under the impression that you despised being called Belle." He spat, finally able to let his emotions run (almost) entirely freely.
"Where in the world did you get that idea?" She asked taking a deep breathe. This was just a misunderstanding, it must have been.
"You told that to Gaston just a few hours ago." He told her flatly.
"Yes, I've told it to Gaston. I've told it to Emma, I've told to Jane, I've even told it to your brothers!" She cried.
"So if you hate it so much why didn't you ever tell me?!" He shouted.
"I only hate it when someone else calls me Belle. It's only okay when you say it Adam, I thought we were on the same page with that!" She yelled.
"Oh Belle, I'm so sorry. I misunderstood." He stuttered, pulling her into a tight embrace.
"Say it again. Please." She whispered.
"Belle, Belle, Belle, my Belle." He murmured, mumbling the last one.
It takes a lot to make me pretty anger
and very sad
and I'm looking towards the outcome
there must some hidden reason
-" Madi Don't Leave'" PlayRadioPlay!
*** I tried to make the names match B&B best I could. The beast isn't really given a name, I googled it and read Adam a few times, so hence that. Belle, Gaston, Chip are right from the musical. Lucas is Lumiere and Cole is Cogsworth. The plot however is not at all related to the musical