The Tale of Aramis and Christelle

By: Raven in Red

Athos had a wife at one point, D'Artagnan has Anne, and Porthos has all his favorite women, but what about Aramis? Why doesn't he have someone to love? Meet Christelle, who follows the Four Musketeers through the events of The Man in the Iron Mask.

Chapter Eight

Philippe was taken to the palace while Christelle was locked away in the Bastille. She gave up trying to fight. It was hopeless. She was going to die in prison without ever seeing Aramis again. She wept bitter tears, wanting only to be able to apologize for the pain she had put him through.

All night, Christelle sat alone in her dark, windowless cell, her clothes getting dirtier by the second. Soon she felt just like all the other prisoners, dirty and without hope. Eventually, she had cried all her tears away and could only sit in silence. No one was there to comfort her or offer her a small shred of hope.

Then, the next morning, she received a miracle. Someone came to her cell, probably to bring her meal, but she saw that it was D'Artagnan. He unlocked the door and walked in. He looked sad while she looked angry.

"Why are you here?" she asked calmly.

"I am here to make right the wrongs I have committed against you," D'Artagnan sighed. He reached out and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"If you're here to free me, I refuse to go," Christelle said bitterly.

"Christelle…" he sighed, "I am only trying to help you and Philippe."

"You serve the king," Christelle sighed as well. "You have sworn an oath of honor which can never be broken. I get it."

"I will return for you before midnight," said D'Artagnan in a stubborn tone as he prepared to leave. "And I will get a message to the others."

"Wait!" Christelle stopped him. "Thank you." She reached out and gave her friend a hug. "And I'm sorry."

"I will be back," D'Artagnan promised. "And you will see Aramis again."

"Oh, thank you!" Christelle hugged him one more time before he finally left. Once the door was shut, she knelt down and clasped her hands together in prayer. "Thank you, God, for this great miracle!" All day, she thought of nothing but Aramis and how she would actually be able to see him again.

Finally, after many long and lonely hours, D'Artagnan finally returned. He supplied Christelle with the uniform worn by the Bastille guards so that she would not be discovered. He then stationed her by one of the main entrances, where she waited for the others.

Just before midnight, she heard a knock at the main doorway. She opened the hatch and peered out.

"Open up! We have a prisoner!"

Recognizing the voice as that of Porthos, she smiled and took the slip of paper he passed through the gap to her. She then opened the door and allowed them to pass. She noticed that they were all in their old black Musketeer uniforms. Athos was covered with a shabby blanket to make him look like a prisoner. For a brief moment, Christelle locked eyes with Aramis, who smiled gratefully but said nothing. He made the others aware of her presence.

"Bring him down to level three," Christelle ordered in a deep voice, trying to sound like a guard. "The captain will see to the document."

Once they were all safely down in one of the corridors, Athos cast away the blanket, revealing his own uniform. Aramis approached Christelle.

"Are you alright, my dear?" he asked gently. Christelle nodded and accepted a kiss from him.

"It worked!" Porthos sighed with relief.

"Well, it's a prison. Of course there's no trouble getting in. The problems will come when we want to get out," Athos said, just before they were all forced to hide. A line of guards jogged past, probably indicating the changing of the guard. A bell started to ring.

"It's midnight! We have ten minutes!" Aramis whispered, leading them down a hallway. They reached the lowermost level. "Down there," he gestured toward a door. They approached a guard sitting at a small table. With a single punch, he was unconscious on the floor. While Christelle kept watch, the others began rifling through his pockets, looking for the key to Philippe's cell.

"Is this what you're looking for?" someone asked. They all turned toward the cell to see a Royal Musketeer, dangling the key in question from his finger. He stepped back into the cell.

"The key," Athos drew his pistol.

"No," the Musketeer refused. "Remember this?" he gestured at Philippe. "You look so sad. There's nothing left of him anyway, just a sniveling, drooling-" He was cut off by Philippe, who knocked him out with a hard strike from the mask.

"I knew you would come for me!" he said gratefully.

"We feared the mask would destroy you," Athos sighed.

"I wear the mask," declared Philippe, "It does not wear me!" With that, the door was unlocked and Philippe was led out. The group then retraced their steps through the prison, eventually coming face-to-face with D'Artagnan, their swords drawn at him.