Disclaimer: I don't own chocolat or any of the characters or settings, allthough I wouldn't mind owning Roux. ; )

Authors Note: Maman is french for mother and I THINK it's pronounced ma-mon' email me if I'm wrong, I took french in first term and can't remember any of it. I know this is a short chapter, even by my standereds but hopefully they will get longer. This is the first in a trilogy of chocolat fics and it is sickeningly romantic, you have been warned.

Child Of The River And The Wind

Chapter 1- The Boats Move On In Autumn

"You're going to stay forever this time arn't you!" Anouk's joyful voice came from where it was buried in Roux's midriff "so I take it you're glad to see me" he laughed as he picked the little girl up and swung her round onto his shoulders. As he did his eyes met Vianne's and he saw she was crying, he opened his mouth to say something but Anouk got there first "Why are you crying Maman? Arn't you happy?" Vianne laughed "I'm crying because I'm happy" she said. Anouk thought about this, "well that's just silly." she stated and Vianne laughed again. Then she ran forward and wrapped her arm around the shoulders on which Anouk was perched. Roux kissed Vianne lightly and, from her vantage point, Anouk laughed and clapped.

Chalk scratched the blackboard above the rustling of whispers amongst the class. A boy turned to Anouk "I heard tell," he whispered behind his hand "that you're mother fell in love with one of the water rats, and she's gonna run off with him and leave you here all alone." Anouk glanced to check that the teachers back was turned before hissing her reply "If my mother runs away with the river people she will take me with her and then I will never have to see you ever again!" suddenly the teacher was standing over her "Anouk" said the feirce woman "do you have something you would like to share with the rest of the class?"

"no madam"

"good"

Vianne left Anouk with Josephine at Cafe Armande and wandered down to the river side. As usual she found Roux strumming at his gitaur, she smiled and called to him as she walked onto the small jetty. He took her hand and helped her onto the boat. When she had stepped gracefully down beside him he did not release her hand but brought it to his lips softly. She smiled a sad smile as the gesture brought back a memory of someone she had known many years ago.

They perched side by side on the edge of the boat, looking out across the glittering water as afternoon became evening "how long will you stay for?" Vianne asked, Roux looked at her but his eyes did not quite meet hers "The boats will carry on down the river at the beggining of Autumn" Vianne found his gaze and held it in hers "but what about you?"

"I don't know"