AN: hey so I'm Becca. This is my first Musketeers fanfic. Aramis is my favourite as you'll come to realise even though he doesn't have an easy time of it here. None of them do. Anyway, hope you enjoy. Please review. Becca x

Aramis waited in his office for the Captain of the Musketeers to meet him. He was looking forward to seeing D'Artagnan again as he hadn't in a while. He'd been too busy with affairs of state and his friend with training the new cadets with the help of wife Constance. The two had become closer once Porthos and Athos were gone. They were the last ones left so the friendship they held was even more vital. It wasn't the same, but they had to salvage what they could.

When Aramis' predecessor Treville had been in power as First Minister, he kept a good relationship with the men he was in charge of as Captain. Aramis intended to do the same, for Treville's memory if anything. D'Artagnan, Porthos and Athos would be as dear to him as they always had been. That would never change.

Treville. Everyday Aramis thought of him. He still, after all these years, found it difficult to fill the shoes of a great man, a man who had made such an impact on his life from a young cadet to one of the greatest Musketeers they had ever seen. He wondered if his former Captain would be proud of him now, of all of them. Of D'Artagnan who now held another of Treville's old positions as Captain who had joined the Musketeers at such a young age, firstly there to settle a vendetta with Athos before becoming firm friends before gaining his commission protecting his Captain then becoming one himself. Of Porthos, who was at the front in a position of power, fighting for what was right and just and fair and teaching his men to do the same. Protecting France face to face with those who would see it destroyed, especially since Louis died and Anne became regent. And, of course, of Athos, another of thier former Captains and the best swordsman in the regiment who, after years of pain and anguish, had finally decided to let go and follow his own path, away from everything he knew. Aramis or D'Artagnan in no way blamed Athos for leaving, though it took D'Artagnan a while to get his head round the position his friend had handed to him.

Aramis saw his friend, his brother, walk through the door and a huge grin spread on his face. He got up from behind the table and stretched his arms out, embracing the Captain. He returned to his seat and D'Artagnan took one opposite the table. Soon, both were talking and laughing like old times. It just didn't feel right without the General and the former Captain however. They had always been the four of them. And that had all changed in an instant.

Aramis knew though. He'd been on Athos' side too. He had left them for four years before and became a monk at the monastery at Douai. He'd left them brokenhearted with his choice to give up his commission. In a chance encounter with his friends, he knew the path he had chosen was entirely the wrong one and returned to Paris with his brothers. The right decision in the end.

"So how's training the new cadets going?" Aramis asked his brother, eager to know what D'Artagnan had been up to.

"Well, we have six new recruits. I sought them out personally. There's one in particular I would like you to meet. If you get a chance come to the Garrison. You'll agree with my choice with him." Aramis was confused. Who could it be? Clearly someone he'd met before. If D'Artagnan considered him to be so important, Aramis would do as the Captain asked. He would go later today after the council meeting.

"How do you think Athos is getting on?" The Captain asked the Minister. Athos had kept in touch with them for the first year or so, but had slowly stopped writing to them. It saddened the two, but what could they do? Athos had Sylvie, and a new place to live. Maybe he wanted to forget everything about his old life. Including the men he regarded as brothers.

The two friends say in silence for a few moments, contemplating the fate of thier brothers. D'Artagnan soon left as Aramis had to prepare for the council meeting which started in fifteen minutes. He felt good about speaking to his friend. This mystery cadet was playing on his mind though. He was itching to find out who it was. If D'Artagnan had recruited him personally, he would be good. Aramis remembered the day the Captain arrived at the Garrison. He'd fought with Athos because he thought the latter had killed his father, which turned out to be untrue. Aramis had been shocked then about the level of skill and determination the young boy already brought. He knew then he would be an asset to the regiment. His thoughts were confirmed when D'Artagnan beat Labarge in the Musketeers' challenge against the Red Guards, commanded at that point by the First Minister then, Cardinal Richlieu. Once Treville had disbanded the Red Guards during his reign as regent, Aramis had advised Anne to do the same. She agreed.

Aramis walked into the council chamber where it was filled with the exception of Anne, the Queen. Anne and Aramis kept a closely guarded secret. A secret which no-one alive apart from the two of them, D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, Sylvie and Constance knew about. And they would make sure it remained that way.

Aramis was the father of the Dauphin, publicly the son to the late King Louis and the Queen. It had been a fleeting night, when both of them were hurting. Aramis found, that in his new position as First Minister, he was able to watch his son grow and play and love. And that in itself was enough for him. He was frustrated he couldn't connect with him in the way a father would, however he could be there for him and would help him grow up and become a great King.

Aramis took the spot to the left to the head of the table where the Queen would sit when she entered, which she shortly did. The council rose and greeted Her Majesty before the meeting began. Aramis was very much at the centre of proceedings and other members of the council had voiced to him about the shock of his quick rise to power, as they had done with Treville many years ago. Aramis still thought of himself as a Musketeer at heart, but knew that this was where he belonged, by Anne's side, in a position to protect France and his son. Aramis couldn't resist but glance at the Queen from time to time, the woman he had solely loved for years. Sometimes she ignored him, and sometimes she returned the looks, giving a small smile.

Soon the council meeting was over and Aramis made his way to the Garrison, eager to see what D'Artagnan had in store for him.