Disclaimer: The characters of Le Chevalier D'Eon do not belong to me.
Warnings? Has D'Eon and Durand messing about in a dark alley.
It started when their target was sighted in a somewhat unsavoury part of town. "Well, here's the dress, two of you decide who's going to wear it," Master Teillagory said when he returned to the safehouse before sunset. Robin was too young to hang about such a seedy neighbourhood unnoticed while the oldest knight had volunteered to watch the river in case their target tried to make a run for it through the back. Since Durand's shoulders were broader and definitely screamed 'male', it was the slimmer D'Eon who had to play the part of lady of the night.
The street was bustling with the real whores and their clients by the time D'Eon's transformation was complete. Both knights walked leisurely, acting their part. Both sides of the streets were lined with shady establishments promising sinful pleasures. Their target was hidden somewhere among them.
"D'Eon, you're a whore, not some sister nun from the convent. Act like one," Durand whispered as he pulled his fellow knight closer to him. D'Eon scowled and leaned against Durand's shoulder. His face had been garishly made-up. His hair was let down and hung limply over his shoulders. The tawdry dress and patched shawl completed the look. Their eyes scanned the street. It was Durand who spotted him first. Their target was at a window overlooking the street.
"Damn!" he hissed when the target looked their way. Durand knew he would be recognized dressed as he was in his own clothes. "D'Eon, the second window on the red house," he hissed as he forced the younger knight against the alley wall so that his back was towards the target. D'Eon looked up, seeking their target. D'Eon could be mistaken as another woman, one of the many poor unfortunates in the street. "Durand, he isn't moving away…" D'Eon whispered. Their target seemed suddenly interested in the goings-on in the street.
Durand cursed. They must act their parts as prostitute and client or their target would get suspicious. "Think passionate," he whispered. It struck him again how much his friend resembled his dead colleague. He grabbed D'Eon by the shoulders and pressed his body flush again the younger knight. D'Eon gasped, probably because the pommel of Durand's rapier was poking him in a rather ticklish spot. Durand buried his face against D'Eon's shoulder. D'Eon squirmed uncomfortably. His slender hands wound into Durand's mane. Durand's warm breath against his neck was uncomfortable.
Then he heard those words gasped against his skin. "Lia, I need you…" D'Eon's knee instinctively went up and into the older knight's flesh.
"What happened back there?" Teillagory growled as he yanked off his sodden boots. Robin was stoking the fire. Their target had fled. Telliagory had fallen into the river trying to give chase. Durand was still limping. D'Eon was sullen. He had washed the powder off and changed back into his own clothes. It was Durand who spoke. "He kneed me…"
"Oh Sir Durand, you must have done something really perverted for Sir D'Eon to knee you there…" Robin jibed. Durand shot him a glare, which Robin ignored. "Master Teillagory, we must get you out of your clothes before you catch a cold," he insisted. The old knight pulled off his coat with the page's help.
"You two hand over your weapons. Go upstairs and stay there until you've worked out things out," he ordered. Sullenly, the two knights mounted the stairs of the safehouse.
"Master, is it alright to leave them like that?" Robin asked. If the pair came to blows…
"Well, their weapons are down here, aren't they?" Teillagory shrugged and sneezed. "If anyone gets rowdy, I'll nip up and put them back in their place."
"What was that for?" Durand complained and sat on a chair by the window. "What you said back there, 'Lia, I need you'… Were you sleeping with my sister?" D'Eon demanded as he sat on his bed, facing his fellow knight. D'Eon was angry. "Did you ever harbour any dishonourable intent regarding my sister?"
"Of course not!" Durand replied. "Damn it, if I were, I wouldn't be standing here. This is your sister, Lia de Beaumont, we are talking about. We did work together for a while but that was all…"
"You weren't lovers?" D'Eon sounded confused. "No, our relationship was purely professional. Your sister was a professional and one of the best," Durand replied. "Lia was impossible at times." He turned to look out the window. The last missions they did together were exasperating. It was with some relief that they were assigned to separate missions.
"Who's being impossible, Durand?" Lia. She had possessed her brother's body while his back was turned. Durand's hands went to the window sill. Lia sounded angry. "Don't be foolish, Durand. You wouldn't be much use breaking your legs jumping into the street…" there was a jesting tone in her voice.
Durand turned back. D'Eon's body was still sitting on the edge of his bed. The smile on his face was that half-teasing one Lia used when they were allowed a lull during their missions. This was the Lia he knew. Not the fierce avenger she had been appearing as since her death.
"Lia, why did you ask to be transferred out?"
"Because my partner started acting in an unprofessional manner." She tilted her head in that manner he was so fond of.
"I wasn't! We've been working together since we were fourteen."
"Then somewhere along you realised I'm not some skinny little boy who's good with a sword. You're impossible…"
"You kept putting yourself into danger, Lia. I didn't want you hurt or…"
"I can take care of myself, Durand! I'm not some weak female who needs to be protected, you should know that. Or did you suddenly see me as a pair of these?" Lia tore open the front of D'Eon's shirt, quite forgetting that she was now in possession of her brother's male body. A flash of pain washed over her face when the realisation dawned on her. "I don't need your protecting, Durand…" she looked down. Her fingers folded the front of D'Eon's shirt close demurely. "Was it because of my gender that you feel obliged to shield me? Start to look on me differently? I don't need that… I can take care of myself. You should know that."
"You were the one who wound up floating down the Seine in a casket, Lia." Durand shot back. He immediately regretted it. Lia gasped as if he had struck her. "Lia, what happened to you? Who did it?" he asked her.
She shook her head. "I can't say…" She clasped her head as if in pain.
"You told D'Eon I was one of the best, were you lying?" she asked. D'Eon's body was trembling like a leaf. "Yet I lost the Royal Psalms…" Lia's tears ran down D'Eon's cheeks. Durand brushed away her tears with his handkerchief.
"No. That's the truth. We know that. D'Eon, me and the others. You don't have to prove anything to us. Go home into the light, Lia. We will retrieve the songs. I don't want to see you like this… All this rage and pain, they don't suit you, Lia. Please be at peace…" He placed an arm around the younger knight's shoulders.
"Durand, I can't. I must see it through… you said it yourself. You need me…" D'Eon's body slumped backwards across the bed. Lia was gone.
"Durand?" D'Eon sat up rubbing his temples. "She was here, wasn't she?" His head was throbbing. Durand nodded. He blinked away the tears in his eyes. "You were in love with Lia, weren't you?" D'Eon asked, finally understanding. "Did she know?" Durand shook his head. "Maybe… but her heart belongs to another…"
D'Eon flopped back onto his bed and was soon snoring. His encounters with Lia always left him spent.
Downstairs, Teillagory inspected D'Eon's weapon. The slight red tinge on the blade was gone. His clothes were still drying by the fire. Robin cautiously mounted the stairs and peered into the room. Silently, he tiptoed back to the old knight.
"Well, Sir D'Eon has gone to bed. Sir Durand is still up and looking out the window," he reported. Whatever quarrel there was, it had blown over. "It's late. We should be getting some rest too," the old knight said. The page nodded.
Please review. How did it go? Sounds kinda lame.