Disclaimer: I don't own anything. All rights belong to Alexandre Dumas and the BBC.
Author's note: No, this is not the multi chaptered story I promised (I'm still working on my current one, which is a Sequel to 'To New Shores'). This one is a multi chaptered story though.
This was written about two years ago, and I found it on my computer. I've almost forgotten I wrote this once. I roughly worked over it, but I believe it's noticeable that this was written in early 2017 where I had just gotten started in writing. It's not that original and a little cliché. Still, if you're in for a little Adventure / h/c story with all four involved (but a slight focus on Athos and especially Aramis, if I recall correctly) give it a try. I thought I spent too much time writing this back then to just let it rot on my computer. Enjoy.
Chapter 1: The Bar Fight
„I cannot believe it. I thought you had learned your lesson, but clearly, I was mistaken."
Tréville glowed with anger, with his hands on his desk and his eyes resting furiously on the three men standing in front of him.
Athos, Porthos and Aramis all stood side by side, an anxious d'Artagnan a little further on the left, eyes burning holes into the ground. The three men Tréville was so angry with didn't make a sound.
"Arguing with the red guard isn't news for me, I've received multiple reports about it over the last few years. But fighting ten of them at once? Two of them won't be able to do their duty because of this brawl for at least a week."
Tréville took in a deep breath and focused on the three of them again.
"So, you'd better have a good reason for this."
The captain saw d'Artagnan gulping, but the Gascon knew Tréville's anger wasn't directed at him. Because he hadn't participated in this particular fight between the three mature musketeers and ten red guards last night at a tavern.
Tréville's gaze wandered over his three seasoned soldiers. Porthos stood up straight, arms folded in front of his chest and biting his lip nervously. He sported a black eye as well, but he didn't seem to have a good answer for his captain.
Aramis was a picture of pure innocence, his hat pulled down as far as possible so that his eyes were plunged into shadows. His hands were folded behind his back and he still showed off a deep bruise on the right side of his face across his jaw line, his body nervously rocking back and forth.
Athos stared blankly at Tréville, his face not giving away anything. His fingers were closed around his weapon belt and he seemed to wait until one of the others said something.
"With all respect, Sir, we just did our job."
That was Porthos' voice.
Tréville rounded his desk and stopped in front of the tall musketeer.
"Is that so? What was the occasion that you needed to step into so vigorously?"
Porthos stared at his captain, at a loss of what to say.
"Defending the honor of his majesty the King," Aramis chipped in, coming to his friend's aid, with a face that spoke of upright honesty.
Tréville looked at the marksman and raised an eyebrow, knowing his soldier's acting skills too well.
"Really? Are you sure they just didn't lose a bitter word about one of your latest amorous conquests?"
Honest and pure betrayal was written over Aramis' face for a second, but then he clasped his hand over his heart in a dramatic gesture.
"I'm wounded, captain. I expected you to know me better than to lose my temper over such little things."
"Yes, no idea how that came to my mind," he said with a sarcastic tone in his voice. "Anyway, alright. What did they say?"
Porthos, nowhere near as good an actor as Aramis, raised his voice.
"Called him an immature child. Incapable of ruling the country, and having terrible judgment."
Tréville huffed a weak laughter as an answer, absolutely not buying the story. The red guards had many things to say about the king, but those weren't things they would say to trigger the wrath of his musketeers.
"They cannot insult someone with the truth, and you gentlemen know that. Well, at least partially the truth."
The three musketeers all looked at the captain with a mixture of shock and amusement. Even Athos' mouth twitched as he tried to suppress an amused smile.
Tréville swallowed down the rest of the sentence quickly and glared at his men with an ice-cold expression.
"I never said such things officially."
The three of them nodded briefly, and Tréville knew they would never tell on him.
Tréville sighed and ran a hand over his face, looking desperately at Athos.
"Anything to add?"
The former nobleman shook his head slightly.
"Alright. D'Artagnan? Clear this up, please. We still have jobs to do and you three…" he eyed the three named men angrily, "…are just wasting time."
D'Artagnan hesitated, looking at Athos as if waiting for confirmation to tell the truth.
Athos gestured him to spill all of it freely, and Aramis and Porthos groaned.
The Gascon waited for another second, before he stood up straight and took in a deep breath.
"Long version or short version?"
"Start with the short one, please."
"Aramis needed to show off his skills with the pistol, Porthos had money riding on it, and Athos has a lack of compassion for people who feel threatened."
Tréville opened his mouth in an attempt to reprimand his musketeers, but he wasn't quite sure what to say.
"I guess I'll need the long version."
D'Artagnan leaned against the wall, clearly uncomfortable with telling the whole story.
"Well, we went out to enjoy the evening. And the red guards happened to be there as well. It started off friendly, everybody was minding their own businesses. Until…"
"Until one of them started waving with his pistol and more or less accidentally happened to hit Athos' bottle", Porthos interrupted, as if he wanted to make sure d'Artagnan was telling the truth.
Tréville raised his hand to shush the musketeer.
"D'Artagnan", he said and looked at the young man expectantly, "carry on."
"He was celebrating this a little too much and soon, the usual 'who is better than who' started. He stated that the musketeer regiment is a disgrace and we are just, and I'm quoting here, 'stupid drunkards in the unjust favor of the King with a wannabe captain'."
Tréville frowned. It was nothing he hadn't heard before.
"So we decided to make a little competition," d'Artagnan continued and nervously glanced at his companions, "and Porthos and Aramis suggested their usual melon game. Only this time, they used three apples and the man balancing it on his head and shoulders was a red guard."
Tréville groaned. He knew where this was going.
"Aramis indeed did shoot it off his head and shoulders but he might've slightly grazed the man's shoulder. So of course, they…"
Tréville stopped him with a movement of his hand and walked up to Aramis.
"Just that I get this clear, you failed to make a perfect shot?"
Aramis merely shrugged.
"I was drunk. I shot the apples anyway, didn't I?"
Tréville's face was only inches away from Aramis'. He didn't look as content as the marksman.
"You wounded a red guard. Over nothing but your pride and ambition."
"And my money…" Porthos mumbled in a weak attempt to rescue his friend from the captain's wrath.
"I don't see how you fit into all of this," Tréville said as he eyed Athos intensely and d'Artagnan continued.
"Aramis, being his usual self, thought he could offer the man some medical care for the...you know his accidental scratch," and the Gascon really spat that word, "…he received from that. He, of course, refused and started yelling insults at everyone. Athos told him to stop being such a pitiful wimp."
"You barely say anything when I need you too, but in that particular moment you couldn't keep your mouth shut?" he asked Athos reproachful, but his words barely reached the swordsman.
He just shrugged.
"The man was exaggerating," Aramis interfered, "Athos was merely saying what everybody was thinking."
Tréville sat down on his desk and returned his attention to d'Artagnan.
D'Artagnan pointed at his comrades, who all looked rather worn out and each of them carried impressive bruising.
"I think the rest explains itself. A fist fight broke out, and Athos, Porthos and Aramis took them all down. I've got to admit, it was a little bit impressive."
Tréville couldn't help but being a little bit impressed. He loved these men like his own sons, but sometimes, their passion for a good fight and their temper gave him too much of a headache.
"Take the day off. Think about what you've done. I never want to see that again. Dismissed," he barked and the three of them narrowed their eyes in surprise.
Aramis and Porthos as well as d'Artagnan turned on their heels and made their way out of there, Athos was a little slower.
"Athos," Tréville called and the swordsman looked at him over his shoulder.
"Whatever sort of training you are practicing whenever I am not there to witness it, good job."
Athos tilted his head.
"It's our one and only goal to impress you, Sir."
"Just…get out of here."
A few hours later, d'Artagnan was sparring with Porthos in the courtyard of the musketeer garrison. Since they had a day off, they had no guard duties to attend to and d'Artagnan, ambitious as usual, came up with the idea of training.
Mysteriously, Aramis and Athos had disappeared shortly after, stating they had important businesses to take care of, so that left him with Porthos.
He landed a good strike on the taller musketeer and Porthos stumbled back, groaning slightly.
"You know, I knew you would be a little worn out after last night. The red guards did put up a fair fight after all," d'Artagnan teased his friend and Porthos laughed it off.
"Rubbish. I can still crush you without even trying."
D'Artagnan smirked, used his friend's inattention to his advantage and disarmed Porthos after three other quick attacks and pushed him into the mud with his boot.
"I wasn't even trying."
D'Artagnan chuckled and lent his friend a helping hand.
"Sure. I wouldn't think anything different."
Porthos grunted and stalked over to the table near the captain's office and took a deep sip out of a bottle of wine.
D'Artagnan joined him, leaned against the wooden surface and started to clean the blade of his main gauche, while Porthos finished the bottle quickly.
D'Artagnan raised an eyebrow.
"You know, I thought after last night, you would've had enough."
Porthos shrugged and eyed him intensely.
"You know as well as I do that most of the wine went to Athos."
"Still, he seemed far better off this morning than you and Aramis did."
Porthos sighed and shook his head lightly.
"Well, he has more practice, I'd say."
D'Artagnan smiled and fastened his main gauche at his weapon belt again.
"Speaking of Athos, you've any idea where he went? If he didn't want to do some training he could've just said so."
Porthos tapped his shoulder in a reassuring manner.
"As far as I know, he wanted to go to the blacksmith. He murmured something about his new dagger."
"Dunno, but he took off into the church's direction. So, he's probably there. And I'm not planning to disturb him."
D'Artagnan shook his head and looked at Porthos.
"That man is a contradiction in himself."
Porthos laughed and squeezed the Gascon's shoulder as he stood up.
"Took you long enough to realize. Anyway, see ya tomorrow at morning muster."
And he turned on the heel and headed towards the gate, d'Artagnan followed him quickly and accompanied him out of the garrison.
"Where are you going?"
Porthos glared at him, obviously amused.
"Personal affairs I have to attend to near Notre-Dame. And also…", he said and tilted his head towards a young woman that hurried over to them, who d'Artagnan recognized as Constance, "I think you have some jobs to do. Constance…." Porthos took off his hat as a greeting.
"See you later, d'Artagnan."
And the tall man quickly headed off towards Notre-Dame.
D'Artagnan immediately returned his attention to the woman standing in front of him. Constance Bonacieux, her long hair tied behind her neck and in a beautiful blue dress she wore often ever since she was in service of the Queen.
"Constance," he said and smiled at her, "what can I do for you?"
Constance shyly returned the smile.
"The Queen dismissed me from her services for today since I have a lot to do at home. I was hoping you could help me with some of it. You know, lifting heavy boxes and stuff like that."
She stared at the ground, as if she was scared of what he was going to say.
"Well, I could never turn down your wishes. Fortunately, I have a day off, so I'm free."
She smiled at him relieved, and took him by the hand as she dragged him to her house.
The next morning
D'Artagnan nervously shifted from one foot to the other, the feeling of unease slowly creeping into his consciousness.
He was standing at morning muster, together with the rest of the musketeer garrison, while Tréville was giving the orders for the day.
The captain's eyes met d'Artagnan's multiple times and by the look of it, d'Artagnan was in deep trouble.
Because every musketeer was lined up in front of Tréville. All but three.
Porthos, Athos and Aramis were missing. And that was very unusual.
So there were two options.
One, the three of them and d'Artagnan were supposed to be somewhere and d'Artagnan forgot it completely. Which meant that the Captain was most likely just waiting for the others to disappear before he'd murder d'Artagnan.
Two, they simply didn't attend morning muster. And they must have a pretty good reason to do so. Athos was far too duteous to miss his orders for the day, and Aramis and Porthos surely learnt their lesson all the previous times and wouldn't dare to trigger the captain's wrath any more.
Tréville finished his monologue and dismissed them, but gestured that d'Artagnan should stay while the other musketeers quickly hurried to do their duty.
D'Artagnan swallowed down the lump in his throat and stayed as the captain took the few steps over to him, his face a mask of anger and discontent.
"So, d'Artagnan, you better tell me what's going on or you'll be mucking out the stables for a week."
The captain sounded downright furious.
D'Artagnan was stunned for a second, but he bravely met the captain's gaze and withstood it with an honest expression.
"I swear, I have no idea."
The captain's lips trembled. He murdered d'Artagnan with his eyes.
"I'm aware of your infinite loyalty to these three stupid idiots but I swear to God, if you don't tell me where they are right now…"
"I'm telling you, I don't know."
"And I'm supposed to believe that, am I?"
"Captain Tréville!" a female voice sounded from the garrison's gate and the two men turned around to see Constance. She gracefully made her way over to them and looked at them curiously.
"Madame Bonacieux," Tréville started and raised a hand before Constance could say anything, "just a moment, please. I need to learn from my fellow soldier what he knows about the whereabouts of three of my musketeers."
Constance's gaze wandered over them multiple times, analyzed d'Artagnan's absolute innocent face until she understood.
"Captain, d'Artagnan spent the day yesterday at my house, helping me out. He hasn't seen anyone since yesterday."
Tréville frowned, but nodded.
"Alright. Madame, what can I do for you?"
Constance held out a little letter, with the royal sigil on it.
"From her majesty, the Queen."
Tréville took it and tilted his head.
"Thank you. Now, d'Artagnan…"
D'Artagnan raised an eyebrow.
"Since you apparently have no clue where the others are, do you have an idea where they might have gone?"
D'Artagnan shook his head, thinking.
"Last thing I know is that Porthos wanted to meet someone near Notre-Dame. Aramis went to church and Athos wanted to get his new dagger from the blacksmith."
"Okay. The four of you and I were supposed to accompany the Spanish ambassador for today. I'm going to do that alone, maybe I'll take a cadet with me. You have my permission to search for the three of them. I have business to attend to later at the palace, but I'll join you later on."
D'Artagnan nodded, hurrying over to stables to get a horse ready.
"D'Artagnan!" the captain called and the Gascon turned around again, impatiently waiting for whatever the captain was about to say.
D'Artagnan nodded and led his horse out of the box, tied it to a rod and saddled it.