Percy opened his eyes groggily, feeling disoriented and confused. The first step after waking up is to assess one's surroundings, to determine where one is. In Percy's case, preferably in his room at Blakeney Manor.

Let's see; the familiar wallpaper of his room: not check. His rather large bed: not check. Marguerite: also not check. So he wasn't in his room.

Since he wasn't in his room and given his line of work, Percy felt it was a safe bet to assume he was in a French prison of some kind. Observations made that a very likely circumstance. Stone walls: check. Dripping sounds: check. Poor lighting: check. An absolutely dreadful smell: check. Extremely dirty and likely poorly educated guards somewhere in his line of sight: check. And most importantly, being restrained in some sort of way: check.

He pursed his lips. Now he remembered. There had been a family, the Bissets, whose loyalties were with the old king and his regime. Their only hope was for him, the Scarlet Pimpernel, to spirit them away to England. They had made it out of Paris and were nearing the coast when they realized their pursuit had closed in. He had sent his men on ahead with the Bissets while staying behind with a loaded pistol.

Contrary to what Chauvelin, Marguerite, and his men often thought, Percy was not a reckless man. He took risks, yes, but they were always calculated risks. He did nothing without planning, without finding out all the facts, listing his options, and weighing the pros and cons. Maybe his reputation for being reckless came from his propensity to not consider a danger to himself as a con worth considering.

He had counted out his options, limited as they were, and decided on a plan that, with what he knew of the French revolutionaries, would ensure the safety of the Bissets and his men. When faced with the choice of either capturing a family of aristocrat sympathizers or the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Frenchmen would leap at the chance to take the greatest enemy of the Republic.

Andrew and Antony had been rather difficult to persuade to let him stay, arguing even as the soldiers closed in. Percy had attempted to laugh their concerns off, to act like he was merely going to a party as the foppish Sir Percy Blakeney, but they had refused to back down. After that, he had dropped the forced gaiety and commanded them quite sternly to leave, reminding them of the lives of the Bissets, and of Suzanne and Yvonne, who waited for the two of them in England. After extracting promises from them, that they would obey his orders and give Marguerite his love, he had sent them off.

Percy shook himself back to his present situation. He needed to be in the moment, to evaluate. Con: he had been captured by the French. Con: his arms were chained to the wall above his head; always an annoyance. Con: he was fairly certain he had a concussion. Con: there was a bullet wound in his leg. Con: his actions had annoyed the Republic government to the point that the best he could hope for would be a trip to the guillotine. Quick and theoretically painless, not that he had ever tested that theory, but he'd still die. Pro: the Bissets and his men had been given a chance to escape. Pro: Andrew, Antony, and the rest of his men would continue the operation just fine without him. Pro: Marguerite was safe in England with Armand to look after her. Pro: Chauvelin was currently in disgrace, so no attempts to besmirch his name or give him a scoundrel's death. Pro: he wasn't dead yet.

He smiled. Five cons to five pros. Not bad. And seeing as how all five of the cons only affected him, not bad at all.

Now, assets. He had his wits. That was pretty good by itself. He had his - mostly - healthy and quite strong body. He had the general stupidity of those in the French government. That one never failed him.

He also had lockpicks. Most of them were hidden in his coat, which was unfortunately now gone, but there was still one left in his right boot. However, he doubted his six-foot frame was flexible enough for him to get his boot to his hands, plus he really didn't care for the idea of the guards looking in on him while he was in that rather undignified position. The lockpick was out of the question for now. So he was left with his wits, his body, and the French government's stupidity. All in all, not bad.

Footsteps sounded outside his cell and Percy brought his attention to them, a slightly difficult task with his massive headache, but he managed. He always managed. Three sets of footsteps. Probably a French official and his two guards. Wonderful.

He heard a voice talking in commanding French to the guards outside his cell. There was something familiar about the voice, if only his ears weren't ringing. "-ordres de Robespierre lui-même pour lui apporter le Pimpernel Écarlate. Il souhaite voir son ennemi avant l'exécution."

Robespierre wanted to see him?

The official walked in, flanked by his two guards. Percy looked at the official's face and carefully kept a smile back. As skilled as the disguise is, Andrew's features are obvious to him. Quick glances at the two guards confirmed them to be Antony and Philip.

Andrew spoke pompously, with a thick French accent. "So, Pimpernel," he spat - very convincingly, Percy thought proudly, "it seems your crimes have caught up with you at last. Citizen Robespierre wishes to see you before you are sent on your way to Madame Guillotine."

Antony and Philip grabbed him and dragged him out, rough due to the need to convince the real guards. Percy understood it - he'd instructed them on what to do for similar occasions - but that didn't mean his head or his leg did.

Speaking of his head, the nausea and the ringing were starting to get worse. His head lolled slightly. He hissed, barely audible. "'Oulkes."

Andrew turned slightly as they made their way to a carriage outside the prison, then turned around fully. No one was near enough to hear anything. "Percy?"

"G'd 'ob. 'M proud 'f 'ou." And he was. "'Oulkes?"

"Yes, Percy?"

"Think 'm gonn' pass ou-"


Antony and Philip grunted as their chief went limp in their arms. Andrew smiled slightly as they pulled him along into the carriage, panting. Percy wasn't a small man, being over six feet of pure muscle. But his mind quickly went to the state of his chief.

He signaled the drivers, Saint and Michael, to drive off, then closed the carriage door, sitting with the unconscious Percy, while Antony and Phillip rode as escorts on their own mounts.

Percy didn't look the worst Andrew had ever seen him, but he didn't look well.

The trip to the Daydream went as smoothly as possible. No one stopped them, their forged passes and well-rehearsed excuses working perfectly. As soon as all of the men and the still-unconscious Percy were aboard, Briggs set out across the channel for England.

Andrew took it upon himself to care for his beloved leader. He now suspected a concussion and regretted allowing Percy to stay unconscious, but he had not thought about it at the time. The wound in the leg was also troubling, untreated as it had been.

After removing the bullet, cleaning the wound, and bandaging it as best he could, he felt there was nothing for him to do but wait for Percy to wake up.

About halfway across the channel, Andrew had nearly fallen asleep next to his chief's bedside when a slight moan jerked him fully awake. The bed's occupant stirred slightly and opened his eyes.

"Percy! You're awake!"

"I've come to that conclusion myself." The Scarlet Pimpernel remarked drily as he pushed himself into a sitting position. "Tell me, Ffoulkes, did the Bissets make it?"

"Yes, Hastings took them."

"Good."

Andrew breathed deeply, gaining courage for the very un-British thing he was about to do, then plunged ahead. "Percy, I'm really glad you're alright. I was so worried!"

Covertly inching himself nearer to the edge of the bed, Percy smiled fondly. "There was no need, though I appreciate the sentiment. I was quite alright. And anyway, you and the rest of the men would have done fine without me."

"Do you honestly believe that?" Andrew asked quietly. Taking Percy's silence for confirmation, he shook his head. "I think you underestimated your importance to the League. How could you think-what do you think you're doing?!"

Guilty, Percy paused in his disembarkment from the bed. Gently but firmly, Andrew pushed his still-slightly-weak superior back onto the bed. "Stay in there until we reach England."

"Fine. But I'm walking off this ship in my usual clothes."

Shaking his head, Andrew started to leave the room, but Percy called out. "Ffoulkes?"

"Yes, Percy?"

"Don't tell Marguerite." His voice was quiet.

"She'll probably figure it out for herself, but I won't."

"Zounds, man!" Percy exclaimed, back to true British behavior. "I'm offended at your lack of confidence in my acting abilities, my dear Ffoulkes"

He paused, struggling through something in his mind. "One more thing."

"Of course, Percy."

"Thank you, Andrew."

Turned away as he was, Andrew knew Percy couldn't see the small smile on his face, but he probably knew anyway. "Anytime."