Hi everyone! This is my first Musketeers story, YAY! So I've been a die-hard Musketeers fanfic for the last three years and I finally found the courage to post a story! Really have always wanted to explore my favorite threesome (sorry no d'Artagnan in this one) so here it is! Please leave a nice review. I'm always open to constructive criticism, but we all want support, right? Disclaimer: I do not own anything with the BBC Musketeers. Just like playing in this world! :)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything with the BBC Musketeers. Just like playing in this world! :)
I'll try to post as often as I can. I'm homeschooled, so sometimes homework gets in the way. But, I won't leave the story for long, promise!
Now enough of my blab and on to the story!
If Aramis would have been able to describe Athos in one word that night it would be, somber.
Both he and Porthos had stayed behind in the tavern that night, entertaining themselves with cards and a few drinks. They both felt the need to keep an eye on their brother, who had taken it upon himself to sit in the farthest corner of the room with a mug of wine in his hands.
"I don't like it," Aramis sighed glancing at the swordsmen for the hundredth time, "He shouldn't be drinking now."
Porthos nodded somberly and turned to steal a glance where Aramis had been looking.
"I know," He shook his head, "But, you know how he gets. Besides, it's better that he's here where we can watch him, than somewhere alone."
Aramis knew his brother was right, but it didn't make it any easier to bear. For the last week, Athos' depressed state had only grown worse. Both men knew it was due to the fact that his demon of a wife had insisted on flaunting herself in the palace, right before his eyes.
He had hoped that Athos would try his best to ignore Milady, but it was easier said than done. Aramis could only imagine what Athos must be feeling now. To be witnessing the woman he loved shaming herself with the man they had sworn to protect. It just seemed to drive Athos on edge. So every night since her appearance, he had come to their local tavern to drown his sorrows in alcohol.
Aramis ran a hand through his hair in dismay and leaned forward in his chair.
"You and I both know what the drinking will do to him."
"Yeah, but if it brings him some comfort, I'm willing to let him have it," Porthos whispered almost as if he was afraid of being overheard.
The look on the Spaniard's face read the thoughts loud and clear. Aramis was having a difficult time letting Athos wallow in his self-pity. Porthos, having grown up in the Court of Miracles, witnessed at a young age many drunkards who had found their healing in a drink. He knew that some demons were best kept silenced rather than prodded out.
Aramis, on the other hand, knew that Athos' drinking would solve nothing except open the wound wider. He also did not like the fact that their brother had been refusing their attempts at helping him. Athos had made it quite clear to them both that he did not wish for their company.
But, Aramis saw the lies behind it all.
"Porthos," He said, "I know that he feels the need to drink because of her memory, but it won't help him heal. What he needs right now, more than anything else are his brothers."
Porthos felt his heart warm a bit at the insight and devotion that showed through Aramis' eyes.
"I know that brother," He replied, "But, some things we just can't heal. Athos needs to learn to forget her, not ignore her."
"I agree. And the best way to that is to hold his hand as he tries," Aramis smirked lightly, "You both would do the same thing for me."
Porthos had to admit that the Spaniard had won with that argument.
"Alright ya sap," He grinned, "Let's see what we can do."
A bright smile that could chase away any shadows was his reward.
Aramis promptly arose from his seat and made his way silently over to the brooding man in the corner. Porthos followed right behind him, eager to help in any way that he could.
He wasn't sure how Aramis planned to get through to an intoxicated Athos at this point. While he agreed with everything his brother had said, he also knew that convincing Athos to listen would be another battle. It was not that Porthos didn't want to help, but he was unsure how he could. Especially when Athos was so determined to push them away.
Although something deep in Porthos' heart had him believing that this was not the man's intention. Because of his anger over the recent events and his somber mood in general, it seemed as if Athos truly wished to be left alone.
Yet this could not be true. Because every night when Aramis had offered that they accompany him to the tavern, Athos had accepted with a quiet nod. He did not actively ask for their company, but he did not deny it either.
Which meant in Porthos' mind, that there was hope.
And if anyone could get through to Athos' wounded heart, it would be Aramis. Kind, sweet, gentle Aramis, who only ever wished to see his brothers happy. The marksman seemed to have a glow around him that shouted comfort. Porthos just prayed that it would be enough to push past Athos' demons.
Aramis had by now sat himself down right next to Athos, who had his head bowed in exhaustion and seemed to be nodding off in his seat.
"Athos?" Aramis whispered gently as if he was talking to a small child, "Are you alright?"
"Fine." Came the gruff response. Porthos couldn't help but wince a bit. Athos sounded as exhausted as he looked.
"It's getting late and we'll need to be up early for morning muster," The other man kept his tone light, "What do you say Porthos and I get you home?"
"I'm fine," Athos lifted his head slightly to gaze ahead, "You two go on."
Before Aramis could speak, Porthos cut in.
"I don't think that's such a good idea, brother," The bigger man tried to keep his tone warm, but the concern was coloring it, "You've had quite a load to drink there. It might be safer if we all leave together."
"If you are implying that I cannot seem to hold my own liquor, don't," Athos replied coldly but oddly blank, "I'll be fit for duty in the morning. You need not trouble yourselves on my account."
Porthos took a deep breath trying to ignore the stiff words. He had to mentally remind himself that one, Athos was slightly intoxicated. Two, he was in a dark place now and couldn't seem to muster any feelings for anyone.
Aramis seemed to be uncomfortable as well with Athos' tone. He fixed his warm and caring gaze at the man, but still, Athos refused to meet his eyes.
"Of course you'll be fine tomorrow, no one is saying that you won't be," He spoke again, "But Porthos and I are worried about you. You've been keeping to yourself lately, sitting here alone and drinking."
"And I already stated that you have no reason to worry," Athos then decided to steal a glance at the marksman, "I'm fine."
Aramis sighed. He felt like he was getting nowhere with his brother. He knew getting through to Athos was going to be difficult, but he wanted to save the deeper conversations for when they were in private.
"No you're not, Athos," Aramis leaned closer, "We know what's bothering you and you need to be back at the Garrison, not sitting here drinking away your troubles."
"I think you both should leave now." Athos shifted away from Aramis and glanced at Porthos, "I don't need a keeper."
"We're not trying to be your keeper, Athos." Porthos sighed wishing the stubborn man would listen to reason.
"Then if you don't mind," Athos lifted his mug, "I'm going to drink here alone." The last word was harsher.
Both Aramis and Porthos looked at each, silently communicating what needed to be done. Porthos knew he could easily pick Athos up and drag him out of the tavern, kicking and thrashing all the way back. However, there was the matter of Athos's honor to maintain and they also didn't want things to have to get violent.
Aramis looked at Porthos, silently pleading to try once more. He was not going to leave Athos here all night alone. It was simply out of the question. Porthos nodded back indicating that he agreed.
They would stay here if it took all night or longer.
"Athos," Aramis sighed rubbing his eyes tiredly, "Please come home with us? We can't leave you here like this."
"Why not?" Came the sudden hard reply, "I want you to. I don't want you here. You've followed me here every night. I don't want you, get out!"
Porthos felt his heart tighten not only at Athos' words but also at the hurt that was evident in Aramis' eyes. He seemed to have unshed tears in them but quickly blinked them away.
"I know you're hurting, but now isn't a good time to-"
"What? Tell you what I truly feel?" Athos turned back to look at Aramis, "I don't expect you to understand. You, who shamelessly parades yourself for the affection of every female in Paris. Are you going to honestly tell me that you know a damn thing about real love? You are nothing but an indecorous womanizer!"
Aramis took in a sharp intake of air, trying to ignore the hurtful words that spilled out like venom. Athos also seemed to realize how vindictive the words were and shut his eyes in shame. He obviously had regretted what was said, but Porthos noticed that Aramis' eyes held no anger or malice, only sympathy. Yet it seemed as if Athos did not want sympathy either.
"Listen Athos..." Aramis reached out to lay a comforting hand on the Lieutenant's shoulder, but Athos only flinched away as if he had been burned. Aramis only squeezed the tense shoulder harder, trying to provide what little comfort he could.
"I know you still care for her, but she is not going to give you an ounce of anything good in life." The hushed voice was replaced with a slight firmness. Aramis still sounded gentle, but his tone was one that was obviously trying to get through to the man.
"Leave me," Athos ordered.
"No," Aramis shook his head, "I'm not going to leave you along with thoughts of her all night. What kind of brother would I be if I did that?"
"You either face her with us or ignore her with us," Porthos spoke up, "But either way, you will have us by your side."
"I don't want you by my side," Athos growled, "I don't want you here at all! Just go!"
"You can't ignore this," Aramis whispered intently, "You can't ignore her."
The reaction was sudden and quick, but one Porthos was sure he would never forget.
Athos shoved Aramis' hand off him and turned around quickly, striking Aramis in the face so hard that the marksman fell the floor with a loud thud. Porthos hadn't been able to think fast enough to catch him and now he laid back wiping the blood from his now split lip.
"I don't want you here!" Athos shouted and stood up ready to do some more possible damage to the undefended man.
He leaned forward and kicked Aramis soundly in ribs, making the man curl into a ball to defend himself. Porthos bolted like lightning, terrified that Athos would really hurt him. He grabbed Athos in a bear hug from behind and pulled him back from the Spaniard.
"Athos stop!" Porthos yelled hanging onto the intoxicated man with all his might. Porthos had always known that he was the biggest among the three of them, but he never thought that he would have to use his size against them. The thought only made his throat tighten.
"Everything you did was a lie!" Athos kicked out in the air and thrashed against Porthos' hold, but he was not able to escape the larger man's hold, "You're a monster! You're evil! You'll never change, never!"
Aramis stared up at his brother with a concerned frown marring his features. He did not know what had possessed Athos so suddenly, but he was intent on making him stop.
"Calm down, Athos!" Porthos shouted again holding Athos' arms as the soldier attempted to throw Porthos back against the wall.
"Get off me!" Athos shouted back, "I hope you die! Why can't you die?" He was staring at Aramis, but the marksman knew he did not know where he was, "Why can't you just die?"
Aramis didn't know what to do. Athos was growing more crazed. Afraid that someone would call the Red Guards and they would all be locked up, Aramis stepped forward and did the only thing he could think of.
"ATHOS!" He yelled as loud as he could, slapping the man hard across the face, "Stop, it's us!"