Pairing(s): Isabela Madrigal x fem!reader
Warnings: there are some lines that can maybe be triggering for people with religious trauma linked to their sexuality
Summary: Trying to reach the standards of perfection set out for her for her whole life, Isabela hid so many things about who she actually was, like her favourite flower and the flutter of her heart for a particular girl in Encanto.
A/N: I'm not sure if this a request or not, but it's Isabela's lesbian arc <3
That word was engraved into Isabela's head since she was a child, her gift receiving was almost a confirmation of what she was expected to be. Trees, palms, vines, plants of all sorts, but flowers, flowers equalled perfection, so flowers were the way to go.
Her clothes didn't have a wrinkle, not a single frame with a colour that didn't match her perfect pink pallet. Her hair was brushed to perfection. Her gentle movements were perfect. Her public smiles were rehearsed every morning until they were perfect. Her flowers and bouquets were perfectly symmetrical, solidly colourful. The man written into her life in a future marriage was perfect. Every part of her existence spilled beauty and graciousness, it all was modelled to achieve perfection.
As Isabela started growing into adulthood, she envisaged the fact that the havoc that lived deep within her would be significantly more complex to love than her perfect carcass, and as much as she feared the day she wasn't tall enough to reach the standards set out for her, the thought of said complexity didn't keep her away at night.
Mistake me not, the feeling of her own abundance of power trying to escape from her fingertips in response to the chaotic beating of her heart did make her feel a particular kind of anxiety that made her want to crawl out of her skin, but she wasn't particularly scared of the darkness that flew through her veins.
However, there was something about herself she couldn't help but feel pure terror at.
Isabela didn't know when had it been that she fell in love with Y/N. She had distinctive memories of her from throughout their lives, like when they were six years old, she took a pair of scissors in school and “learned” to cut her own hair, and didn't allow anyone to ever do it for her again, or the time that she smeared on herself some strange ointment her mom had bought and set her own hands on fire for the children's entertainment in a night of velitas, but there wasn't one specific moment Isabela could link to her infatuation for Y/N. Maybe she had just been born loving her and like that she had grown up.
Rather than learning subtlety on her devotion with the years, the more extensive was the wreckage of her nerves the older she got. Her knees faltered whenever Y/N walked near her and she resented not having Dolores' gift to melt in her voice whenever she was within ten feet, her voice came out in a falter if Y/N happened to salute her first when giving each other the morning greetings and she forgot how to breath at the prospect of a lengthy conversation.
Sometimes she wondered if Mariano had ever noticed her attention shift whenever she caught so much as a glimpse of her, and maybe that was the reason his fancying got more serious when they were all seventeen and Y/N came out.
It was a simple thing really, someone asked her about the man she would one day like to marry to which she simply answered that she wanted to one day love a woman, not a man, and the confession rolled throughout Encanto causing many different reactions.
For Isabela, it didn't change much, even if her orientation meant that she had a chance to make Y/N the recipient of her desires, the prospect of their love was still impossible for everyone expected her to end up wedded to Mariano, but still she couldn't help but wonder what would the people that whispered the word ‘sinner’ behind Y/N's back do if they found out that the very own Isabela Madrigal shared those same affections?
What would her mother say? Her father? Her sisters? The priest? Her abuela? The thought alone of Alma Madrigal made Isabela bury her secret deep into her chest in hopes that her ribcage would serve as a jail for her urges.
But still, as wrong and as sinful as it may be, she allowed herself pieces of fantasy. She would stay up until late hours of the night, shifting around in her bed, romancing how it would feel to have Y/N's fingers running through her head, how her strokes must feel, how soft her lips must be.
She dreamed of a world where she could exist without being perfect and she could kiss her without feeling like she was doing something wrong.
Isabela Madrigal lived every passing day drowning in her tender love for Y/N.
For Y/N, however, the story was quite different. She couldn't say she had ever seen Isabela past her last name until the day casa Madrigal crumbled, when all of Encanto erupted in colorful flowers and succulents of all kinds, a variety of plants she had never seen before, and looked up to the roof of the house to find her with her little sister, Mirabel, experimenting chaotically with a rainbow of flowers, different from her usual orchids and bougainvilleans.
Her dress was stained with black, while her hair had splatters of colour all through its length, more clouds of whatever dust had painted her kept exploding into the air. As if she was seeing her for the first time, she couldn't take her eyes off of her.
It wasn't that she had ignored her existence up until that point, she knew very well who Isabela was and they had talked a couple times throughout their lives, but they were so exceedingly different that they never happened to occur on the same wanders.
Like everyone on their grade, Y/N had once desperately wanted to be Isabela's friend, but she had quickly realized her self cut hair and messy way of things didn't fit every well with the girl's perfect walk through life. They grew up being nothing more than acquaintances.
Their first ever bonding moment happened the day the reconstruction of casa Madrigal begun, after everyone in town finished cleaning the debris, when Y/N invited Isa over to her house for a moment before the Sun set.
She couldn't help but notice the way the girl flicked her wrists out of habit, the way she did the day before when magic spilled from her fingers. Y/N was not magical around plants, but maybe seeing the flowers on her garden would bring Isabela some comfort.
To her, it wasn't much, different kinds of orchids, begonias, geraniums and tulips, happy and healthy on their bushes, but she was pretty sure that Isabela, who'd had the ability to create those and more out of air, wouldn't be very impressed by it. It came to her with big surprise when the girl inspected all the flowers in the garden, one by one, with amazement.
"You can choose from any of these when the garden can be redone," Y/N offered with a shrug, "I have all the seeds."
The twinkle on Isabela's eyes at her offering made her heart flutter strangely, so she looked away nervously, but the girl kept her eyes on her profile.
Her house had fallen into the ground, she had lost her powers and her whole world had taken a turn in a matter of a week, but for the first time in her life, she was filled with possibilities.
It really took them no time to slip into a friendship that was far too intimate not to have strangers' eyes land upon it, but now Isabela didn't pay attention to the whispers behind her back as she brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, as Y/N greeted her with a kiss on her cheek every morning.
Isabela was finally succumbing to all the urges she had pushed back for most of her life, allowing herself to be draped by the flames that burned her chest, to evoke all the chaotic nature her divinity couldn't exist without. And Y/N was simply entranced watching her grow into it all.
"What's your favourite flower?" Y/N asked her in her room, as they selected the seeds for the garden.
"Sundews," Isabela answered without missing a beat, making her friend chuckle, "it's a carnivorous plant, maybe not a flower itself, but it's the one I like the most."
Isabela's favourite flower being carnivorous actually made quite a lot of sense. "I imagined it would be bougainvilleans."
"Oh, no," she quickly shook her head, although she could understand the confusion, "bougainvilleans were more of a popular demand thing, but they are not my favourite. Sometimes they look more like leaves and they can small really awkward when the air is humid." The girl raised her eyes up to her companion, who was containing a laugh, and dropped her shoulders. "Bougainvilleans are your favourite flower, aren't they?"
"I'm sorry." Isabela apologized, stiffing her laugh in the palm of her hand, while Y/N laughed freely at her rant.
"I've never noticed the smell you say, but I really like them." She said with a giggle. "They were your first flower, when you got your gift, and since then Encanto has always been covered with them. I get that they may have tired you, but the world wouldn't have been as pretty without them."
Isabela gazed at her talk about her flowers, he heart thundering at the thought that Y/N's favourite flower was her favourite thanks to her. Suddenly, bougainvilleans weren't that bad anymore.
Y/N showed her a seed envelope with a drawing of said flowers and shot her a mocking smile. "I guess you won't need these."
The Madrigal girl took the seeds from her hand. "I'll put them for you."
A blush crept up to her cheeks, and she didn't bother to hide it.
Soon after starting to work on the garden, when all the structure of the new casa Madrigal was finished, Y/N found out gardening was the only way to keep Isabela still. Never would she have guessed all the hyperactivity her friend was hiding in her demeanor.
How on earth had she managed to hide the urge to jump up and down whenever she walked for all those years, Y/N wondered, when ever since the candle had blown out Isabela was practically buzzing with energy. Even when she was staining her hair with whatever pigments they could get out petals, she had to tell her to be still for a moment.
The house was close to be finished when she realized she was in love with Isabela.
"Isa," she called one morning with a basket full of clothes, "I gotta go do some laundry to the river, care to join me?"
She didn't need to ask twice for Isabela to hand the basket over to her sister and walk down to the river by her side.
It was a sunny, humid day, the kind of day Isabela had said made bougainvilleans smell weird, but whatever particular scent that came out of them under that weather hid below the smells of the other plants that nurtured from their proximity to the river.
They both felt the Sun burn on top of their cheeks as they kneeled on the side of the river, Y/N poured all the clothes into the water while Isabela watched her movements in silence. She didn't know any other person that preferred to wash clothes by hitting them against the rocks on the riverside instead of doing at home, even as the water froze her fingers from time to time.
Isabela ignored the first splatter of water, taking it for an accident, but after it happened again, and again, and again, it just wasn't an accident. Finally, she dipped her hand in the water and brought a bunch of water up to Y/N's face, who looked back at her with indignation before returning the attack.
Quickly it became a full blown water battle between them, which only ended when Isabela pushed Y/N into the water and the girl dragged her in with her.
"Idiot." Isabela laughed as they stood up out of the water.
Y/N nudged her wet hair into Isabela's face, cutting off her laughter to shut her eyes and her mouth before any hair got in. She was pushing her attacker by the shoulders with no actual strength, for she did not actually wanted her to step away, even if her nudging was uncomfortable.
The girl accidentally grazed her friend's lips with her own, when trying to nudge her forehead, and Isabela couldn't help but lean into her touch, making Y/N pull her face a few inches away and open her eyes. Isabela's head filled with insecurity at the thought of having just ruined their friendship, but when she saw that the girl wasn't putting any more distance between their faces, she decided to taunt the destiny once more.
That first, sole peck in their lips was enough to send their hearts into cardiac arrest, only looking at each other's curious eyes for a moment after it before their lips collided again and any gaps between their bodies were closed. Y/N's hands nestled in the back of Isabela's head, tangling in her hair, while Isabela's arms wrapped Y/N's waist, one of her hands traveling up her spine to the back of her neck.
Suddenly, the whole world started spinning around them, the earth under their feet was shaking but truly the whole planet could've crumbled around them and they wouldn't have noticed. Isabela furrowed her brows as her mind went back to all the nights she had spent fantasizing about what her dreams would taste like and she squeezed her beloved's waist tighter, there was no telling where Isabela's body ended and Y/N's started.
She melted under her touch, became ash in her mouth, her mind swirled around all the daydreams the girl in front her had starred and recognized that beyond the magic, beyond old blessings and sacrifices, her fate was in Y/N cradling her face as she kissed her.
"Isabela, your girlfriend's here!" Camilo kept yelling even after months had passed since that non-verbal confession of love.