|The paths we choose
Author: FictionWriter09 PM
Athos and Milady had a daughter, who for her own protection was given to the D'artagnan's. Growing up she knew nothing of her father, and dealt with the abuse of a mother who was in and out of her life. 17 years later she decides to put an end to it ...but will things go as planned?Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Adventure - Athos & Milady de Winter - Chapters: 10 - Words: 42,506 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 09-19-12 - Published: 03-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7964891
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own NOTHING!
"Athos!" Milady called as she strode across the hall.
"Charlotte," Athos grinned, as he walked up to her and kissed her hand. "I was beginning to think you had forgotten about me."
She smiled. "Hardly, in fact I'm here to thank you for the gift you've given me."
He gave her a puzzled look. "Gift?"
"Oh, you see, I'm with child...yours of course."
Athos stiffened "Are you certain?"
"Yes," Milady said.
Athos couldn't believe it, he had never imagined himself as a father...not that the thought didn't seem slightly appealing. But what did he know about being a father? Other than that every decision he made would affect that child's life. Besides, he didn't have the best experience with his own family.
Yet it was for those very reasons that he vowed to give this child the best life he could give.
He just hoped Aramis and Porthos didn't find out or he'd never hear the end of it.
As the weeks passed the rest of the Musketeers soon found out about Milady's pregnancy and to Athos' relief they didn't tease him as he thought they would. In fact, Aramis and Porthos seemed more excited than Athos.
"I can't believe it, in a few years we'll either have a little Athos or a little Milady running around." Porthos laughed.
"I wouldn't be so sure of that my friend...for we may not be able to keep the baby." Athos said grimly.
"What makes you say that?" asked Aramis.
"Well think of it, we're musketeers, Charlotte is our ally, if any of our enemies were to find out about the baby, they would probably do anything to get their hands on it and use it has leverage. Besides, what would happen to the baby if something happened to me or Charlotte? You know what things are like for orphans, in these times," Athos said.
Silence followed his words, and the truth behind them until Porthos straightened up, a bright look in his eyes. "Why, Athos you're already on your way to becoming a father, worrying over nonsense. I mean, come on. You have me and Aramis to help keep the baby safe; that said, if anything does happen to you two the baby won't be an orphan, because it will have two uncles to take care of it.
"Agreed," said Aramis, setting his glass of wine on the table. "Now I propose a toast, to the future, and whatever it may bring."
Nines months came and as Milady's pregnancy progressed she took a break from missions and the musketeers went back to the way things were before her.
Until late one Summer afternoon the baby was born, a girl. And if Athos though he had panicked when he found out he was going to be a father, it was nothing compared to when the midwife placed his daughter in his arms, the moment he stepped into the doorway of the apartment where Charlotte was staying. Instantly he looked to Aramis and Porthos for help, but the two were too busy trying to hide their laughter at the sight of the normally, calm and collected Athos; having a conniption over holding his daughter.
He glared at them, before turning his attention back to the squirming girl.
"Alright hush now, you're fine, I won't drop you...I hope," he muttered.
At the sound of her father's voice, the baby slowly stopped squirming, opening her eyes to reveal big deep blue eyes, as she stared at him wide-eyed, carefully lifting her small hand to touch his face, but squirmed a little as she came in contact with his beard, choosing instead to cling to the fabric of his shirt.
Athos couldn't resist a chuckle, as she then tried to insert her fist into her mouth. "You are a curious one aren't you-" He stopped short, realizing his daughter didn't have a name. 'Well we'll just have to change that' he thought as he sat down on a nearby barrel. After all, names were important, especially for nobility.
Athos thought for a while, and couldn't seemed to think of anything that fit, and just when he was about to give and wait until he could speak with Charlotte to see if she had any ideas, it hit him; Regina.
He tested the name a few times and realized it was perfect for his daughter.
Wait, did he just think that? He realized; yes, yes he had.'
"I'm doomed!" He groaned, earning him a look from the other musketeers.
The months passed and Regina grew into a happy and playful six-month-old, if not albeit spoiled by her parents.
"Porthos, don't you dare drop her," Athos warned one day, as he poured a glass of wine for both Aramis and himself.
"Don't worry, I got her." Porthos grinned as he threw Regina up slightly and caught her. He and Aramis had stopped by that day; Porthos, because he wanted to visit his new found playmate; and Aramis because he too wanted to see the baby, -not that he would admit mind you, that appeared to have turned their friend around for the better. Since Regina's birth Athos had appeared less cold, and, dare Aramis say it, happier.
"Athos!" Porthos groaned.
"Yes Porthos, is something wrong?" Athos asked, feigning innocence, Aramis snickered, realizing what had happened.
"Your kid just threw up on me!" Porthos whined as he handed Regina back to Athos.
"Well it is your fault for making her sick," Aramis noted, handing Porthos a rag.
Porthos just glared and wiped off his shirt, and than when Aramis wasn't looking Porthos took the opportunity to knock the latter down and the two began wrestling on the floor.
It was at that moment that Milady decided to walk in. She took one look at the scene and shook her head "I don't even want to know." She said, stroking her daughter's hair as she sat next to Athos, who simply chuckled.
Sure, Regina had been quite unexpected but she had certainly livened things up.
But things wouldn't stay that way for long.
France was slowly getting deeper and deeper into trouble, and soon had to permanently instate the musketeers. Forcing Athos and Milady to give Regina up. So they sent her to live with a family in Gascony, who had a son about her age. The father of the family also happened to be a former musketeer and a good friend of Monsieur Treville.
Milady held her daughter close for a moment, before handing her to Athos, who also held her for a moment, then placed a small silver necklace around her neck; which was round with flowers engraved on one side and the words: 'Together in Paris' on the other,
"We'll meet again one day, I promise." He whispered before handing her over, along with a sword, that was to be hers when she was old enough to use it.
Little did he know that at the time, those two seemingly insignificant items, her only link to him for the next 17 years, would be one of her few comforts in life.
July 1628-17 years later, Venice, Italy.
Regina nervously paced outside of the Cathedral as she waited for 'her mother' to finish her job.
You see, without Athos' knowledge, Milady had constantly visited Regina, trying to manipulate her; trying to get her to follow in her footsteps. But Milady failed to take into account that Regina had more of her father in her than her mother, and being raised by the D'artagnans, Regina constantly rebelled against her and slowly began to realize what kind of person her mother was.
But it was only recently that she truly learned how terrible her mother was. A few months ago during her last visit to her mother's, her mother offered to arrange for Regina to meet her father. But not until after Regina overheard that she was planning to poison her father and the other musketeers.
So tonight, Regina would be meeting him for the first time...well that she could remember anyways, and she would admit she was more than a little nervous, and she was still trying to figure out a way to warn them, without getting him killed.
And for a moment she couldn't help but laugh at herself for worrying over people she had never met...she still remembered when she first learned who her father was.
Nine years ago.
Eight year old Regina ran through the garden at Buckingham estates. She was currently playing a game that her and her 'cousin' Mordaunt had made, one of them would try and run from one end of the garden to the other without the other catching them, and today it was Regina's turn to run.
She had paused to catch her breath, when arms grabbed her around the waist from behind, causing her to shriek in surprise.
"Caught you!" Mordaunt laughed, as he spun her around before playfully dropping her on the ground.
"No fair! How come you always catch me?" She pouted.
"Because," he said, as he helped her up. "I'm a boy and you're girl, that's the way it is and I'll always be faster than you."
"Yeah? Well, one day I will catch you and you'll be sorry," she declared, even as Mordaunt dragged her by the hand into the tea room.
As Mordaunt took a seat across from Regina he frowned slightly, the table was set for four but Milady and Lord Buckingham were nowhere in sight. But he brushed it off as they were probably in a meeting or something.
"Bah, they'll probably be here -" he stopped, realizing Regina was no longer at the table but heading towards the slightly ajar door of Buckingham's study.
"Idiot girl," he muttered.
Careful as not to alert them to her presence, Regina pressed her ear to the wall and listened : " I mean Regina has already figured out that I'm not her father. So are you sure she doesn't know, about Athos? " asked Buckingham.
Regina was curious. 'Athos? The musketeer?' She wondered. She had heard of Athos before, in the stories of the musketeers from Uncle Bertrand - no he wasn't her real Uncle, but he and his wife Josephine had raised her all her life so they were like family. 'What did he have to do with her father?'
"Of course not, if she knew her father was a musketeer. We'd have a disaster!" Her mother all but shouted.
Regina barley stifled a gasp.'the Athos, from the musketeers was her father?' She couldn't believe it, yet at the same time it instilled a hope in her. Maybe he would be nice to her. Not that her Mother wasn't nice, but she wasn't as nice to her as Aunt Josephine was to Charles...and sometimes her mother could be mean.
Suddenly her mother and Buckingham stopped talking which meant they were preparing to come out into the tea room, so Regina scrambled to get back into her chair before she was noticed.
"Come Along, Regina." Milady said, recalling Regina from her memories as she suddenly appeared alongside of her.
Quickly, Regina strode to keep pace with her mother as they journeyed outside of the Parish and down the many walkways alongside the water's edge.
And every time they passed a door or a corridor, Regina would get this sinking feeling that they would be caught. But they weren't, and continued on with their journey until at last they reached their destination; a dock, that just so happened to be patrolled by a guard
Regina instantly backed herself against a column as not to be seen. However, her mother did not. She seemed to be waiting for something, as she hid just barely in the shadows.
There was a sudden disturbance in the water, and the footsteps of the pacing guard stopped. Out of nowhere the sound of an arrow being fired, followed by a gasp and a splash pierced the air, and instantly the shouts and footsteps of guards grew near.
Regina tensed. 'Surely they would be discovered!' she thought, reaching for her sword. Milady however seemed to be enjoying the scene, as more arrows sounded and the noises of the guards ceased.
Milady's eyes took on a mischievous glint at the sound of someone emerging from the water and she stepped forward.
Curious Regina slowly stepped out from behind the column to watch the scene play out.
A few feet away, a man clad in black stepped onto the dock; he had yet to notice Milady.
'He seems familiar' Regina thought, as she edged closer to get a better look, eyes widening as she realized that her mother had a pistol to the man's head and he held a dagger to her abdomen.
"Don't; getting careless?" her mother asked.
"The feeling is mutual," the man replied.
"For future reference, "I love you" would have been a more suitable reply," her mother said, as the two dropped their weapons.
The man smirked slightly and pulled her in for a kiss. And it was then Regina realized that the man was none other than her father, Athos! However, her shock was replaced by disgust as she continued to watch the revolting scene in front of her.
"You know, you could have just said hello," Athos noted, as they broke apart.
"Now what would be the fun in that?" Milady smirked.
Athos shook his head. "So, how was the bishop?"
"Not as good as you."Milady chuckled as she produced a key from her dress, and Regina put a hand over her mouth to keep from being sick as images she did not need appeared in her head.
Athos rolled his eyes. " You are incorrigible."
"I bet you say that to all the girls." Milady said, as she pulled him in for another kiss.
When at last the two broke apart, Athos remembered what else had been arranged that night. "Is she here?" he asked urgently.
Milady simply shifted her gaze to the left, as if she somehow knew her daughter was standing behind her.
Athos followed her gaze and his eyes widened. There, not even five feet away, stood his daughter. Slowly, he let go of Milady's hand and beckoned Regina forward. As she stepped forward both father and daughter marveled at the resemblance they shared.
"Papa?" Regina finally managed to stammer, reaching out a hesitant hand only to have her nerves get the better of her.
Athos noticed this and grasped her wrist before she could pull back all the way. "It's alright, I don't bite." He chuckled.
That was all it took and Regina collapsed against him, enjoying the feeling as he wrapped his arms around her. And for the first time she actually felt safe.
"Look how you have grown." Athos whispered, as he finally pulled away from her, causing her to blush.
Regina didn't know what to say, all her life she had wanted to have a father -one that was actually her own. And now that he was here it felt like a dream, one she never wanted to end.
Athos' had similar thoughts; for seventeen years he wondered if he had made the right decision all those years ago and would often wonder what had become of her. While he was pleased to see she had grown into a beautiful, happy young woman, at the same time his heart felt heavy at the realization she didn't need him.
If only he knew how wrong he was.
Eventually the three journeyed to what appeared to be an abandoned church. Upon entering, Regina instinctively took out the rosary she kept on her arm, as she hung back in wonder.
"You're late." Porthos complained as he saw Athos and Milady walk in.
"Well, I had more important matters to attend to first," Athos replied.
"Such as?" Aramis asked.
"Porthos, Aramis; I would like to reintroduce you to my daughter Regina," Athos said.
Porthos and Aramis stared in shock, as Regina moved to stand next to her father. She was about 5"4, her dark brown hair was in a braid, and her eyes were identical to her father's, in fact the only trace of her mother that they could find was her skin color and slightly pointed features.
Porthos was the first to recover. "Why, the last time we saw you, you were just a baby lass! It's good to see you all grown up." he grinned, reaching out to shake her hand. "Oh, and you may call me Uncle Porthos, if you wish."
She smiled as she shook his hand, failing to notice as her rosary slid to her wrist, but Aramis did.
"You are a woman of God," he said.
Regina turned to him
"I am servant of Him as well," he explained, pulling out his own rosary. "I know, a musketeer and a servant of God, absurd. I'm Aramis by the way."
"Well, Aramis I don't think it's absurd at all. In fact one day I myself plan to become a musketeer," she admitted.
This did not sit well with Athos, Regina could easily be outnumbered and get hurt. The thought of something happening that would cause him to lose the daughter he just got back made him worry. Yet at the same time he felt proud that his daughter wanted to follow in his footsteps.
"Alright, now that reintroductions are done with, we have work to do," Milady interrupted.
"This way." Aramis said as they journeyed further into the church.
As they went lower and lower into the church, Regina considered warning her father at that moment, before things got bad, but knew she couldn't without risk of her mother finding out. So against her instincts, she kept quiet.
"Stop!" Aramis suddenly hissed as they reached a pair of double doors. "Guards, twenty of them! Get back."
Instantly they took cover; Porthos, Athos, and Regina on one side, Aramis and Milady on the other.
"I think it's time Regina proved just how much like her father she really is." Milady whispered, gesturing to the sword at her daughter's waist.
Regina stared at her mother incredulously. She didn't really expect her to go up against those guards, did she? It would be twenty against one, there's no way she'd make it out alive. Then again, she realized that was what her mother was probably counting on.
Taking a deep breath and stamping down her fear, she stood creeping slowly into the doorway. Only to have Athos grab her arm and pull her back into the shadows.
"No, you can't, it's too dangerous!" He hissed.
"I'll be alright." She insisted, as she let go of his hand.
But Athos refused, drawing his sword and following her. Porthos and Aramis were about to go after the duo, but Milady held up her hand and signaled them not too.
So as the minutes ticked by they waited; listening to the sounds of sword clashing, and the occasional shout of warning from either Athos or Regina. At last the noises ceased and everything was silent.
"All clear!" Athos shouted, just as they were about to come rushing in.
As they entered, they were amazed to find both Regina and Athos unharmed and all the guards dead.
"Well I guess what they say is true; like father like daughter." Porthos chuckled, as Regina began a short prayer for the men she had just killed.
'Men had died at her hand!' The thought bothered her very much. Of course, she knew that if she was to become a musketeer there was a chance that lives would end on her account. But that didn't mean she was okay with it.
Especially since these men were only doing their job. She sighed as she finished her prayer, what more could she do?
"So, where are we anyway?" she asked, as she joined the others.
"Da Vinci's vault, Leonardo used it to protect his greatest; plans & inventions," Athos said as they approached three golden squares that were embedded in the floor.
"Alright, everyone ready?" he asked, as Porthos, Aramis and Milady produced their keys. "On three; ...one...two...three!"
The moment the keys were in place, the locks clicked into place and the floor rumbled as stairs appeared in the floor.
Athos turned towards Regina. "Your mother's job is done, you two head back we'll meet at the rendezvous point."
Milady chuckled. "We came together, we go together."
Regina nodded. "I'm not leaving you."
Athos was about to object but found he couldn't, simply sighing as Milady grabbed their daughter and led her below, leaving Porthos, Aramis and himself no choice but to follow.
Unfortunately, their mission wasn't getting any simpler. Upon entering the vault, they came to a corridor, which -thanks to Athos, was revealed to be booby-trapped.
But surprisingly it was Milady who came to their rescue; by using the skills she had tried to teach her daughter, she managed to disable the taps and led them to the archive. And though she hated to admit it, having never seen her mother in action, Regina was quite impressed by her mother's abilities.
"You'd better hurry, the guards change in five minutes or less!" Aramis warned, as Milady began searching through the old documents, letters and plans.
"Less!" shouted Regina, as several bullets flew over her head.
Left with no choice, they began to return fire. But unfortunately this also set off the traps, which were slowly cutting off their exit.
"What now?" asked Porthos after several minutes of fighting, during which the guards had advanced.
"C'est la vie?" Aramis offered.
That's when Regina remembered the round of ammunition she had stolen from Lord Buckingham. "Papa, catch." she said as she threw it.
Athos caught it and grinned. "Contingency plan! Brilliant!"
"Got it!" Milady shouted from somewhere behind them.
Carefully Athos set the ammunition on a nearby lamp.
"Athos! You do know what's up there, don't you? Aramis questioned, his eyes wide, realizing what Athos was about to do.
"I suggest you hold your breath."
The moment the lamp and ammunition were ignited the room exploded knocking them all off their feet as the vault filled with water.
Quickly, they all headed for the surface. Milady surfaced first followed by Athos who glanced around, before giving Regina a hand as she surfaced beside them.
"Go on, say it." He smirked.
"I love you," Milady growled playfully as Aramis and Porthos surfaced.
"That was brilliant," chuckled Porthos, splashing at Regina.
She laughed, wiping her wet hair out of her face. She was running out of time, -if she didn't act soon...terrible things would happen.
"You know, I'd hate to ruin the moment. But perhaps we could go elsewhere, where it's dry?" Aramis interrupted.
Porthos nodded. "For once the Priest is right."
Needing no further encouragement they headed for a safe place on shore.
It was only near dawn when Milady spotted an old abandoned place they could take shelter.
Since then they had dried off before changing into a spare set of clothes and were letting all of what happened that night sink in. Except Regina, who kept a sharp eye on her parents as she chatted with Aramis and Porthos. She needed to warn them, yet still she had no plan.
"Well, Let's have a toast"Porthos said, bringing out a bottle of wine, as they toasted, "All for one, and one for All."
"So what will you do next?" Regina asked curiously, as she set her goblet down.
"Back to Paris, I guess." Athos sighed, as he picked up -the miraculously dry, plans up from the table.
"And then what?"
"Wherever they send us. Whatever France needs."
"We're warriors, it's who we are, it's what we do." Aramis put in, trying to make it easier as he imagined how Regina must feel at the news.
"But I will be seeing more of you. That is if you'll allow it." Athos said, pulling Regina into a hug.
"I will." She said, returning the hug. And as they broke apart, she was determined to protect her father and the other musketeers. So before the other could defend herself, Regina spun around, pulled her sword and held it to her mother's throat.
Athos was alarmed. "Regina, what are you-"
"What I should have done earlier." She glared at her mother. "Tell him, or I will."
Milady narrowed her gaze on her daughter.
"What's all this about?" asked Porthos warily.
Regina glared at her mother. "It's about the truth: like the fact that she only ever got pregnant was so she could use me against the three of you. Or that she tricked my father into giving me up."
"What?"asked Athos, a sinking feeling in his stomach.
"It get's better, she visited me once a month, we'd go to her estate in the country, and than in the summer and winter we'd go to London." She paused before she went too far.
Milady hmmed, sending her daughter a deadly look before turning her attention to Athos. "I love you...you do know that right?"
"Then please try and understand, this isn't easy. But she is telling the truth, it has been nothing personal, just business. He made me a better offer and we needed the leverage."
Regina raised her sword to strike but her knees buckled and she collapsed, thankfully Athos caught her before she hit the floor.
For one terrifying moment Athos' heart stopped until Aramis reached over and checked Regina's pulse. "She's still alive." He reassured.
Athos was slightly relieved. "Regina, wake up love." He whispered.
"Ah, Athos!" An all to familiar voice gloated
"Buckingham!" Athos gasped, as the musketeers raised their weapons in defense only to have Porthos and Aramis collapse moments later. Athos would have followed but he was still holding Regina up. It was only than that the thought occurred to him.
'No...she wouldn't, yes she would...But Regina, her-my daughter?' Thought Athos as his eyes darted to their discarded goblets.
"A toxin," Buckingham nodded stepping closer. "And in case you're wondering, it wasn't in your drink it was on your cup; inactive 'til it came in contact with the liquid," he added, as Milady removed Regina from Athos weakened grasp.
"No, let me go, you vile bitch - Papa!" Regina suddenly screamed as Milady dragged her out. "Fight it...Papa!"
"Although," Buckingham muttered. "I must thank you, for procuring the plans for me. Now not only is England ahead, but I didn't have to lift a finger," he gloated, wrenching the plans out of Athos' hands. "Word of advice? Trust no one, you'll live longer."
Buckingham turned. "You know Athos, I've had my eye on her a long time and I must say your daughter is strong, I wonder how long it would take until she breaks?"
Despite his inability to stand Athos reached for his sword "Buckingham, you touch her in any way and I will hunt you down and kill you!" he growled weakly.
Buckingham scoffed and walked back towards Milady. "I must say, that was harsh even by my standards; I only took away his pride -you took away the thing he loved most."
She shrugged, and together the two left, leaving the image of the retreating forms of his lover and archenemy and the distant protests of his endangered daughter the last thing Athos knew before he slipped into unconsciousness.
Outside the building, Regina was still weakly struggling against whoever her mother had handed her over too.
"Stop struggling!" A voice hissed as hands tightened their hold on her. She'd know that voice anywhere...but it couldn't be...?
"Mordaunt!" She gasped weakly as blackness started to take over again.
"Yes, I'm going to help you, but I can't if you keep struggling!" He muttered.
And that was the last she heard.
The next Regina awoke, she was on a ship that was probably caught up in storm. The room lurched making her nauseous and disoriented as her vision swam...Or maybe that was just the toxin.
"You aren't really going to torture her are you?" said a voice that she recognized yet couldn't place.
"No," replied another voice that made her uneasy. "no, she's a child, besides she isn't that much to look at...But out of curiosity; why would it bother you if I did?"
"Because," began the first voice. "I may not care for her, but I am a man of morals and I just don't think it would be right to torture a helpless woman."
"Well, don't worry," said a feminine voice, that made Regina angry. "That was only a ploy to drive them mad. Once we get back to the estate she'll be put in her room and when she wakes she'll be disowned and that will be the last of her."
Those words rang in her ears as Regina again lost consciousness.
Noon the next day.
The feeling of someone touching a cold cloth to her head brought her back, with a gasp she bolted upright in her bed.
"Regina!" Arms suddenly encircled her protectively ,"Regina calm down! It's me, it's *Gwen, you're safe now."
She pulled back relief suddenly taken over her at the sight of lady-in-waiting/friend. "Oh Gwen." She murmured squinting through the sunlight coming from the nearby window, it took her only a minute to recognize where she was; her old bedroom in her mother's estate.
After a while and still slightly disoriented, she staggered towards her vanity, trying to recall what had happened, and all at once the memories came flooding back. At that moment Regina's was filled with so much anger and pain that she couldn't help it when she slammed her fist into the nearby wall before breaking down into sobs.
'She failed...how could she have let this happen?'
Allowing Gwen to hold and comfort her, Regina finally calmed down & knew what she had to do; despite the fear in her heart that she might not live long enough to succeed, she knew she had to leave; there was literally nothing left for her here.
So once she had changed into her clothes: -a shirt, trousers and boots, she was about to start packing when she turned and saw Gwen had all of their luggage.
"I'm coming with you."
Regina smiled before removing a floorboard to which: the silver hair brush and mirror set from Mordaunt, the sword Athos gave her and her pistol would have rested. But Gwen had already packed them and smiled at the grateful look Regina gave her when she realized where they were.
Once they was sure they had everything, servant & mistress slowly crept out of the room and into the corridor and began making thier way out of the estate.
They were making their way to the stables when arms grabbed Regina from behind. She screamed and fought back -with Gwen's help.
"Ow, stop! You silly girl it's me!"
"Mordaunt?" She stammered, as she was let go.
"What do you want?" Gwen growled standing in front of Regina protectively
"Mo-Milady wishes to speak with Regina," he responded, as if it were nothing out of the ordinary.
"I should have figured...let's get this over with." Regina muttered, and was surprised when he held out his arm for her to take. "Hold on, why are you acting like a gentleman and why did you help me last night?"
"I am a man of morals and don't believe it's right to bring any harm to a helpless woman." He was silent for a moment, and then decided to mock her. "Besides you don't really think it's safe for you to walk these halls after what you pulled last night, do you?"
And though she knew he was mocking her, Regina couldn't help but be reminded of how close they were...before everything fell apart.
Four years ago, Tower of London.
As lady-like and gentleman-like as possible -at Milady's own instructions; Mordaunt and Regina entered Buckingham's study.
The adults in the room; Milady, Buckingham, and a nobleman, simply looked up as the two made their way to the couch- where the son and daughter of the nobleman sat.
At first they thought they were going to have to sit through another formal meeting, which Mordaunt enjoyed and Regina hated, but as they listened, they realized this wasn't the type of meeting they were used too.
No, Regina realized it was something much worse, it was a meeting alright; a meeting to arrange for her to marry the nobleman's son!
Horrified, she realized she had to stop them...but how?
"Alright, let's get this contract signed!" said the nobleman.
"NO!" Regina involuntarily screamed, causing all attention to turn to her.
"Oh don't you worry, your parents are only trying to do what's best for you," the nobleman tried to placate her, unfortunately it only made her snap.
"Parents? First off, that coward," She pointed at Buckingham. "Is NOT my father. Second I'm not English, I'M French and so is my mother and my real father. Besides, she ," Here she pointed to her mother, "Has no right arranging this marriage. She tricked my father into giving up for adoption to a couple in the French countryside, when I was a baby."
The room went silent for a few minutes, but once the adults recovered, Milady gave her daughter a deadly look as she stood and ordered Mordaunt and Regina back to their room.
And though in the back of her mind she knew she would pay for what she had done, Regina couldn't help smiling out of relief and triumph as she caught a glimpse of the nobleman tearing up the marriage contract.
It was half an hour before Milady stormed into the common room that separated Mordaunt's room from Regina's. -During which time she and Buckingham had to make sure that the noble family wouldn't let loose the information they had overheard.
The moment her mother entered the room, Regina tried to get away; but it was too late.
Milady's hand landed heavily across Regina's cheek, the force knocking her off balance.
"Do you know what you have done?...And how do you know about Athos! Regina DeWinter answer me!" Milady screamed angrily, as she shook her daughter by the shoulders.
"I...I...overheard you, five summers ago," she stammered, not daring to say that she had also asked Uncle Bertrand.
Milady dropped her, trying to figure out how to use the situation to her advantage.
As she picked herself off the floor Regina felt a surge of anger run through her. "I hate you, I wish my father was here instead of you!" Doing the only thing she could, she ran out of the room and into the corridors.
It was long after twilight had given way to the night, when Gwen had found her; "I was so worried!" she cried. As the two made their way back toward Regina's room. However the moment they reached the common room, they regretted it.
Regina had opened the door and just taken a few steps inside when the hilt of a sword -her sword, -struck her in the forehead.
"My Lady!" Gwen screamed.
"You traitor! How dare you say those things to Milady!" Mordaunt screamed at Regina, as she placed a hand to her forehead while the room spun momentarily.
For a moment, she didn't answer, her eyes focused on what had just hit her. "Where did you get this!"
"I found it, behind your vanity...why did you hide it? And you still didn't answer my question."
"One: what I do with my possessions, is none of your business. Second; again it's none of your concern why I did it, but it's the truth. She is the most foul woman to ever walk the planet."
Mordaunt sneered "I should have known...after all, what more could be expected from the French bastard daughter of a glorified solider." He smirked knowing he had stuck a nerve.
Naturally Regina retaliated "At least I have parents."
In that moment, they simply glared at each other, realizing their friendship was destroyed.
Not looking Mordaunt in the eye, she picked up her sword and allowed Gwen to lead her across the common room to her bedroom. Locking the door behind her, Regina pried open a loose floorboard, setting her sword, spare clothes and other valuable items inside before closing it and laying down on her bed.
A few minutes later she heard a door open and slam shut, signaling Mordaunt had gone to bed as well.
The next morning, it was no surprise when Regina & Gwen found themselves needing to head back to Gascony earlier than planned.
"I'll warn you once, you may be the tool I need to get to the musketeers, but tell anyone what has happened and you'll regret it." Milady said simply before walking away, as Regina climbed into the carriage.
That was the last time Regina visited or spoke to her mother, until she arranged for her to meet the musketeers.
So much had changed since then, However there was no more time for reminiscing as they approached Milady's study. "I'll be right here." Gwen soothed. Knowing she wasn't allowed in.
In hind-sight, they should have knocked, for as the two walked in they caught Buckingham and Milady in a very compromising-not to mention mentally scarring-position.
"Ah, Regina there you are," Milady said acting as if nothing had happened.
When she got no reply except a glare she continued. "You know why you're here? You're being disowned. I tried being patient, I tried to teach you, I would have given you anything you wanted and all you had to do was listen. But you've refused, and now have caused a lot of trouble." Milady paused "What I want to know is why, why did you do it?"
Regina didn't reply.
"Milady, dear, it's obvious she's not going to cooperate so just give her the document and let us be done with her," Buckingham groaned impatiently.
Milady nodded and picked up an envelope from a chest on the desk, and handed it to her daughter. "As of this moment you are no longer Regina de Winter, you will now go by your birth name Regina Elizabeth de la fere." she said.
Regina excepted it wordlessly and headed for the door. But not before she raised her hand and struck her mother across the face.
Quick as she could, Regina grabbed Gwen and dashed to the stables, not bothering too look if they were being followed.
They entered, making note of the approaching storm.
"No need to steal one," Mordaunt noted as Regina began opening one of the stalls.
She jumped, not realizing she had been followed. "And how else are we supposed to get out of here?" Gwen had a horse-Chestnut, but he wasn't strong enough to carry them and their luggage.
"On your own horse," he said as he led her around back, where a black Arabian mare, geared and saddled in dark leather, waited. "Her name's Calypso."
"Oh...well..thanks." She approached the horse, trying not to show how much she already loved the her. She patted its head, and let it sniff her before she mounted.
However, before she set off, she turned toward Mordaunt. "Thank you, Mordaunt...for everything."
He simply nodded. "If we ever meet again perhaps it will be on better terms."
Regina said nothing, only flicked Calypso's reins and took off toward the open gate Gwen not far behind, neither looking back.
After all, they would need to stay focused if they was to survive the seven day trip back to Gascony on their own.
End Chapter I.
Author's Note Important: Again a tremendous thanks to LadyWallace, for being the best Beta ever, and for helping clean up and help through the mess I made of accidentally replacing chapter one with chapter eight, hence the re write of this chapter.
* Gwen is from BBC Merlin I do NOT own her. In this story she is Regina's servant. Background- she was Regina's lady-in-waiting I don't have all the details yet so.
Also for future reference Regina's birthday is: August 15, 1611