|Race For Life
Author: btamamura PM
After D'Artagnan is bitten by a venomous snake, it's up to Albert to get the antidote from a chemist in Nice. But, with Milady also after the antidote, will he make it in time to save D'Artagnan's life?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Friendship - Albert de P. & C. D'Artagnan - Words: 3,127 - Published: 03-08-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7907582
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Albert the Fifth Musketeer, or the characters.
Notes: Okay, I know this story is pretty morbid for a series that is usually full of lighthearted humor, but when I feel morbid, it comes out in my writing. There is no slash at all, I just wanted to write another fic about brotherly bonds between Albert and D'Artagnan. I hope you enjoy this fic!
He set up the target on the back of the door, ready to practice shooting his newest batch of ammunition. It was important to make certain it broke correctly in order to take down his enemies more effeciently. Maybe I'd better check to see if anybody is coming before I take aim and fire. I don't think the Captain appreciates receiving spaghetti in the face every time he comes in to tell me something important, even if he doesn't always claim annoyance. So, he did just that. He approached the windows and looked out both. He was glad he'd checked, as he saw someone was running towards his workshop at a rapid pace. "Aramis? What's going on?"
The taller blond stopped and caught his breath before opening the door to the workshop. "It's D'Artagnan. On our way back, he was bitten by a snake. He's in the infirmary right now."
He nodded and dropped his blunderbuss, before running after Aramis in the direction of the infirmary.
Porthos and Athos were waiting outside for the doctor to give word on D'Artagnan's condition. They saw their comrades approaching quickly.
"What happened? What did the doctor say?" Albert questioned, worry evident in his voice.
"The doctor is examining him now. We told him that D'Artagnan had been bitten by a snake, he's trying to determine the danger," Athos explained.
"What kind of snake was it?"
"I saw it. It looked purple, nearly black, and had a yellow underbelly that stretched from its head to its tail," Porthos replied. He saw the smallest appeared faint. "Albert?"
"That snake..." He hurried into the infirmary.
"Albert, wait! We're not supposed to go in yet!"
The doctor looked up as he heard the door open forcefully. "I thought I told everyone to wait outside."
"Doctor, D'Artagnan was bitten by the most venomous snake in these parts. If you don't administer the antidote immediately, his life is at great risk," Albert commented.
"The most dangerous...? With the yellow underbelly and dark purple skin?"
The doctor winced. "I'm afraid I don't have any of that antidote."
"What...? So then, D'Artagnan will...?"
"My brother, he sends medicines and antidotes to me. He lives in Nice. If I had him deliver the antidote, it would be too late. D'Artagnan will need the antidote before 18 hours have passed, as that's when the venom will start to kill him. He only has 24 hours left to live."
"I'll get it myself then."
"Albert, what are you saying? Don't you know how far Nice is?"
"Yes, I do. But, I am certain I will make it there and back in time to save D'Artagnan's life." He looked to the unconscious man lying on the cot. "He'd do the same for me if I'd been bitten..."
"Alright. You can't miss his house. You'll be able to spot it almost as soon as you enter the town, it has a red cross on the sign."
"Alright, I understand." He approached D'Artagnan and patted the bed, afraid to make physical contact as it might help speed up the flow of the poison running through his veins. "Do not worry, D'Artagnan, I promise that I shall return in time to save you." He hurried out of the infirmary.
Little did everyone know, someone was spying on them and overheard the plan. Milady de Winter cackled to herself. "Looks like I'd better get to Nice and get all of the antidote before the pipsqueak does. With one Musketeer out of the way, our chances of victory will increase. Setting up that snake right where he'd be was a genius idea!" She climbed down the wall and hurried to her coach. "Coachman, to Nice!"
Albert made sure he had everything he'd need before mounting his trusty mule. "I might push you very hard today, and I apologise. But, D'Artagnan's life is counting on our speedy return." He gently kicked his heels into the equine's side to let it know it was time to move. "Hah!"
Athos, Aramis and Porthos watched as Albert rode out of the grounds of the mansion at top speed. "Good luck, Albert. We'll keep an eye on D'Artagnan while you're gone," Athos muttered.
The trip had been going smoothly, there had been no ambushes by the Cardinal's Guards, or by any bandits who think it wise to attack riders along the road. But, of course, everyone knows that when something needs to be done urgently, nothing will go as smoothly as it should.
Albert pulled back on the reins, his mule coming to a halt. The road before him was covered by numerous fallen trees. "That must be from the storm the other night. It doesn't look like there is any way to get around either. This means I will have to find a different road, but that will take longer. Think, Albert, how will you get over that? Over...? That's it!" He dismounted and hurriedly fixed the shoes on his mule. "We can't go through it and we can't go around it, so we'll go over it." He mounted the equine again. "Okay, take a running leap. I've given you the spring shoes, so you'll be able to leap over that mess."
The equine nodded. It stepped back, then started to gallop at top speed, before jumping. Thanks to the springs in the shoes it was wearing, it was able to leap right over the pile of trees and branches.
"That's good! Keep going! We have to make haste! D'Artagnan is counting on us!"
"Is there anything that can be done to cease the flow of the venom? Just while Albert's gone to get the antidote?" Porthos questioned.
The doctor shook his head. "We can only be thankful this venom isn't so quick that D'Artagnan would already be gone. I can give him medications for the symptoms he exhibits from the poison, but that's it. It's up to Albert to get that antidote."
Milady arrived first. She found the house that had been described. "Alright, time to get all of the antidotes." She stepped inside. "You're the one who makes up medications and antidotes, correct?"
The elder man nodded. "Yes, I am. Is there anything you're after, Madam?"
"Yes. I am afraid that many have been bitten by a terrible snake. The one with purple skin and a yellow underbelly. I'm going to need all of the antidote you have to treat them."
"Certainly. Just one minute." He hurried into the back, and returned a minute later with a large box. "This is all of them. I was going to send them into Paris tomorrow, but this is urgent. I hope you're not too late..."
"Yes, I hope so too. Thank you." She pushed the box outside the door, and had her coachman load it into the coach. "There." She climbed in. "Back to Paris. We can't let that pipsqueak catch up to us."
He cracked a whip and snapped the reins, sending the horses into motion.
Albert finally arrived in Nice. "That must be the place. It has the sign." He dismounted his mule and gave it a feeding bag. "We have a long journey ahead, you should eat what you can." He then made his way into the building. "Excuse me, is anybody here?"
The elder man stepped out. "Oh, you are a Musketeer, correct?"
"Yes. Your brother, our doctor, sent me here. One of my comrades was bitten by a snake with purple skin and a yellow underbelly, and we need the antidote urgently."
"I'm very sorry, but I just gave all of it to a woman who needs to treat many who were bitten by that same snake."
"A woman? Did you see what she looked like?"
"Long, black hair, wore a green dress...and I think I saw a glimpse of a tattoo on her shoulder."
"Is there anything else I can do?"
"Do you have anything that you can use to make the antidote?"
"No, not until next week...I'm very sorry..."
"Alright, I see. Thank you anyway, Sir." He sadly made his way out of the building and to his mule. "We have to try to catch up to Milady and get a vial of the antidote, otherwise..."
The mule abandoned eating, ready to get moving as soon as possible.
He mounted the equine, and gently kicked in his heels, causing the mule to start galloping. "Why would Milady be after all of the antidote? Her story was false; while that snake is dangerous, it has rarely been seen. Oh no...this can't be...the Cardinal and Milady arranged for this to happen? Is that why Milady took all of the antidote? So, we'd have no chance of saving D'Artagnan?"
Sensing the distress the rider was feeling, the mule decided to try to run at a faster speed. It understood the seriousness of the situation, and knew time was of the essence.
Four men paced around the infirmary. Time was quickly running out. "Where is he? He can't be much farther away, right?" Porthos asked.
"Nice is a fair distance, my friend. Though, you're right. Even at the speed his mule gallops at, he shouldn't be taking this long," Aramis added.
The doctor grew concerned. "We only have four more hours before the venom starts to kill him. By then, it will be too late to administer the antidote."
"Where are you, Albert...?"
His eyes widened in surprise. "That's Milady's carriage! We've caught up to her! Quickly, we must get a vial of antidote from her as soon as possible!"
The equine, determination shining in its eyes, nodded and picked up speed again. It whinnied.
"This is hard for you, I know. So, I appreciate you pushing yourself to the brink..." He looked to the carriage. "I need to get her to stop somehow...but, how?"
The mule then took a leap, right over the carriage, and landed on the road, a few feet away.
"Halt, Milady! I won't let you pass until you give me some of the antidote you took!"
Milady looked out the window. "Curses! How'd he get in front of us?"
"I mean it, Milady! Hand over one of those vials immediately!"
"Coachman, stop the coach. I want to deal with this pipsqueak on my own."
The man wearing dark clothing pulled back on the reins, causing the horses to halt.
Milady climbed out of the carriage. "Do you really think I will just hand over the antidote?"
"What you are doing is much worse than what you normally do, even though humiliating His Majesty is still pretty terrible. You're committing murder here, first by having that snake bite D'Artagnan, and then by keeping me from getting any of the antidote. He only has three more hours before the venom starts to kill him. Don't you know what the punishment for murder is? Surely it's not worth it, just to get one over on us."
"Nice try, but not even talking me out of it will get me to hand over any to you."
"I see. Then, I will have to use force." He brought out his blunderbuss, filled with his newest batch of ammunition. "I didn't want to have to use this on you, but you leave me with no choice." He took aim and fired, hitting her right in the face.
Milady growled as she wiped away the spaghetti sauce, though as per usual, she couldn't resist having a little taste, as she did like his bolognaise sauce. She immediately passed out.
"When she awakens, she'll be feeling rather unwell. Though right now, I have no time to worry about that." He pulled out a vial and placed it in Milady's hand. "Even though she tried to murder D'Artagnan, I still can't leave her suffering in such a manner." He then hurried into the coach and found the large box immediately. He pried it open and grabbed three vials, just to be safe. "Now, to hurry back. I only have under three hours." He jumped out of the carriage and mounted his mule. "Let's hurry!"
The pacing became more frantic. There was only half an hour left before the time was up. "Albert, where the devil are you?" Athos murmured.
The doctor looked to D'Artagnan, and moved to wipe the sweat from the brunette's brow. "It's not much longer."
"Albert will make it. He said he would, and he's never let us down before. And because it's D'Artagnan, there is no chance he'll fail to make it in time," Aramis assured.
Just as he'd said that, Albert burst into the infirmary. "Please tell me I made it..."
"You did. Just in time. The antidote?" The doctor asked, as he approached the petit male.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out all three vials.
"Excellent. I'll administer these right away."
The four Musketeers watched as the doctor filled a syringe with the antidote, and then injected it near the bite marks.
"I know Nice is a long way, but why did it take you so long?"
"There had been a storm that knocked down many trees, so I had to find a way to get past them. Then, Milady had taken all of the antidote, so I had to chase after her. And because of how hard it was pushing itself, my mule collapsed from fatigue just outside the city gates, but it nudged me to keep going on my own, so I'd had to run here."
"Milady was after the antidote too?"
"She set that snake up so D'Artagnan would be bitten, and then to prevent us from saving his life, she took all of the antidote from your brother, claiming that she knew many who had been bitten by it."
"I see. So, this time, they tried murder." He stepped away from D'Artagnan. "Now, all we can do is wait. He should wake in a couple of hours. We just need to let the poison get flushed out of his system, but for now, he's out of danger."
"Thank goodness...oh, thank goodness I'd made it in time..."
"You saved his life."
"How could I do anything else but at least try my absolute hardest? He's my brother...not literally, of course...so standing around and waiting for him to die was not an option."
"You should stay here and wait for him to wake up. We can go and get your mule, make sure it's rested enough to come back here," Porthos suggested.
"I appreciate that very much. Thank you." He watched as the Three Musketeers left the infirmary, before turning to D'Artagnan. "I'm sorry I left you waiting, but I got it. I only hope I really wasn't too late... When Aramis told me you'd been bitten by a snake, fear cleanched me like I'd never felt, and then I was certain I was going to faint when Porthos described it to me. You've survived much before, so for you to be taken out by a snake bite, I can imagine you'd be quite upset when you got up there and found out." He crossed his arms on the bedding and rested his head on them. "I'm a bit tired. I think for now, I might have a bit of a nap. I don't want to leave your side, so please don't mind me sleeping here." He closed his eyes, and soon, there were two slumbering males in the infirmary.
D'Artagnan stirred and opened his eyes. "What the...? What happened? Where am I?"
Albert also stirred as he heard the voice he'd feared he might never have heard again. "D'Artagnan?" He sat up and saw the older male was awake. His eyes widened. "You're awake! You're alive! Oh, thank goodness, D'Artagnan, you're awake!"
"Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be?"
"You don't remember?"
"Well, I remember falling off my horse, and then sharp pain in my leg, and then...nothing, other than your voice."
"It sounded distant and fuzzy, but I know it was your voice. You were talking about getting something."
"You'd heard me telling the doctor that I'd get your antidote from Nice."
"You were bitten by the most venomous snake in these parts. For you to be alive now is a miracle in itself. I got the antidote, but I took so long, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it in time. I would never have forgiven myself if I hadn't. But, I did make it back in time, and you're alive."
"There was something else I could hear you saying...something about me being your brother?"
"I do feel that way about you and the others. From our first mission together, how you'd helped console me when I'd admitted I felt I'd let everyone down...since then, I'd always considered you to be like an older brother, and my closest friend. Certainly, I consider the others to be dear friends, but I...I guess, I just felt closer to you."
"I'm glad. I have considered you to be a dear friend and brother for a long time now."
"I'm still a little tired..."
"It's not surprising, after what you went through."
"You look tired too. We may as well go back to sleep for a while."
And that was how they were found by their comrades and the doctor. D'Artagnan was lying on his back, hands over his chest, while Albert was resting his head on his arms, both in a peaceful state of slumber.