Scenes from the Life of Madam and Monsieur Trousseau
A Work of Noir Fanfiction
By Kevin "Section Eight" Ma
This is a work of fiction, utilizing characters from the animated series Noir without its creator's permission. The author hopes he will not get sued. Much.
There are at eight apartments in the complex where Mireille lives. This is the story of the people in them.
Special thanks to
- the persons of the oyasumi.nu webboard for asking the question "Who else lives in Mireille's apartment complex?"
- the posters known as FacelessMinion and Swordskill, for editorial assistance
- the Stash Tea website for obscure tea knowledge
- the Maidens of Noir, Noir Screencaps, and Project Noir websites, for invaluable research resources
- all the Noir cast and crew
- Iron Sheik, for giving me an excuse to watch the show again
- Mom, for makeup tips.
Chapter 1: Every Ending…
As a soft October rain caressed the window of the apartment, Madame Trousseau shifted slightly in amongst her ever-growing nest of scarves, sweaters, and tea cosies, knitting. Time-worn fingers made slow, steady strokes along a never-ending river of woollen yarn spread across her cardigan, each click and clack of the needles in perfect time with the old parlour clock on the mantelpiece. Beside her, a candle whispered in a draft.
Monsieur Trousseau was stretched out on the chaise longue in front of the hearth, his hat upon his face, stone-still in his slumber. A thin blanket of dust had settled over him, adding further insulation to his threadbare, yet well-loved, quilt.
Madame Trousseau looked up from her knitting at the clock. Noting the time, she leaned over the side of her overstuffed chair (with its tartan slipcover, made of wool she'd scavenged from Peter's old sweaters), and picked up her cane. Stretching it across the living room, she gave one of Monsieur Trousseau's slippers a gentle prod. He snorted, twitched his well-waxed moustache, and then resumed his inaudible slumber. Satisfied he was still alive, she set down the cane and took up the wool.
"Now, where was I?" she wondered.
Raised voices echoed up from the streets below. As Madame Trousseau started a particularly complex double-underhook-and-stitch pattern, she heard a man say --
"And stay out, you bums!"
— Followed by a slammed door. As she mulled over where she left the tangerine yarn for the tassels, she tracked the man's progress as he stomped up the stairs, across the loose floorboard ("He still hasn't fixed that," she noted) around the corner, and up to the door.
"And that," said Peter Trousseau, as he flung it open, "is that!" The door crashed against the stop like a shot.
Monsieur Trousseau went from semi-recumbent to airborne in a heartbeat. "We're under attack! Argh!" In his scramble for his old pistol (long since pawned away), his feet had become tangled in his quilt, sending him crashing into three month's of Madame Trousseau's knitting, carefully positioned for just such an eventuality. "Mrffph?" he asked.
"It's just Peter," sighed his wife. "You shouldn't frighten him so, Peter."
"He should be in a home," said Peter, as he hung his coat over the radiator. "Like you."
"You wouldn't last five minutes without me, swine!" barked Monsieur Trousseau. "I rebuilt this house with my very own hands while you were nothing but a twinkle in your mother's eye, and…" Madame Trousseau returned to her knitting as the old drama played out again.
Several minutes later, after the Monsieur had hobbled off to the kitchen, she asked her son, "You saw them off then?"
"Yes, Mama," he said. "And turn on the lights, you're ruining your eyes!"
"The candle is light enough, Peter," she said, as her son flicked the switch. "And it saves on electricity."
"Mama," he replied, exasperated, "I think we can afford one light bulb."
"Back in the old days —"
"Augh, not the 'old days' again…"
"— we knew the importance of conservation. Your father was out of work —"
"— I was pregnant with Marien, the banks had just folded —"
"— and the Socialists —"
"MA!" Peter checked himself upon hearing a clatter from the kitchen. "I get it, okay, Mama?" he said, in a softer voice.
"That's a good son," she said, as he turned off the lamp. Peter flopped down in an easy chair and clicked on the television. "Don't watch TV in the dark, you'll ruin your eyes," said Madame Trousseau, as her son was already reaching for the light switch. Madame Trousseau clicked her needles in time with the clock, which chimed six times. "I'm still so sad to see them go," she sighed.
"Mama, they missed three months of rent, fought all the time, and then kicked down our door at four in the morning demanding we fix the hot water heater! Immediately!"
"But he was such a nice young man. The daughter showed far too much chest, but —"
"Whatever the case," said Peter, "those Saoh-Thomés are gone for good."
"And good riddance!" said Monsieur Trousseau, as he brought in the tea. "Damned foreigners flooding the countryside…"
"They're good for the economy, Toulouse," said Madame Trousseau, "the news-man said so."
"Bah!" He raised his cup and lost himself in the aroma.
"Anyway," said Peter, reclining, "I'll have to find a new tenant for the third floor. Probably put out an ad after I clean the place up. Can you look at the radiator tomorrow, Papa? I've got to repaint the walls."
Monsieur Trousseau smiled. "Where would you be without me, son?" he said.
"Closer to the TV," murmured his son.
"What!? You swine! Why, I —"
Madame Trousseau took up a new skein of wool.