Title: Thunderbolts

Author: Blackheart Dracon

Beta: Microsoft Office Word

Fandom: The Three Musketeers (2011 film)

Characters: Rochefort, D'Artagnan

Rating: T for swearing and physical pain

Genre: Drama, Action, POV

Warning: CD (character's death)

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Alexander Dumas. The original description of the duel belongs to Suthern-bell85 (terribly sorry for commandeering it (nautical term), but I simply didn't have the film).

Summary: The duel on Notre-Dame's roof between Rochefort and D'Artagnan, from Rochefort's POV. Character study.

A/N: I tried to write such a story since I have seen the film. It is a view from the absolutely different side – the "villain" side, some of you'd say. And I want to show you, that there is no villain side in the film (and in the book).

When I read the book (it was a really long time ago), I at once joined the cardinal's side. My favorite characters became Jussac (doesn't matter that he appeared only once) and Rochefort. I don't say about Richelieu, he's no comment.

When I watched the film my first thought was: oh, my God! What's the… they have done to the book and to the plot? But then I calmed down, switched my brain off and watched it for the second time. And I really enjoyed then=)

I fell in love with Mikkelsen's Rochefort from the first time. He is a great actor; I have already seen him in several films. And I thought of writing a fanfic about his Rochefort. I tried for, maybe, three times – I couldn't. So I forgot about this idea. But on the 3d of December I had a dream. And I saw Rochefort in it. He grinned at me and said: "Don't try to be with me. Be me." He winked me with his only eye and vanished. When I awoke, I laughed firstly. Then, I made myself try to write not "he thought", but "I thought". And it helped! Not long ago I read "Dead by Sunset" by Suthern-bell85. So this is a kind of answer.

Try to understand Rochefort, because he'll be talking to you as friend to friend and telling you the truth. Believe him.

For I'm not a native speaker, I apologize for some mistakes might still be there.

"We will fight, and you will die" © Elisabeth Swann (PotC AWE)

I jumped on to the narrow ledge of Notre-Dame from the torn shrouds of our "sunken" ship. I knew that Jussac would deal with getting himself and the others down, so I didn't have to worry about that. The only thing I carried about now – were the diamonds, which I had to get to Richelieu. I had to do it as fast as I could.

With the corner of my eye I saw something moving towards me. And that was that nasty bastard, D'Artagnan, who came flying on a rope from our ship. He landed on the ledge, and although he slipped and nearly fell, he raised his sword and pointed it at my throat.

I can't say I was amazed with his trick, but I was… well, impressed, maybe. I turned my head to see the rope flying away. Then I turned my head back.

"I still have the diamonds – what do you propose to do about that?" I asked, raising my right eyebrow, and held out the shining stones.

"Kill you!" D'Artagnan answered heatedly with his sword still at my throat.

I sighed at his words. There, on the ship, I had nearly killed him. He had been an obstacle on my way and he'd needed to be removed. Now I was bored with him, tired of him. Did he really think he could kill me? Looking in his eyes, I understood that he did. But he was just a child, who barely knew life and its rules. And I was a man with a great deal of experience, because for many years I've been playing dangerous games with Fortune and have been winning ever since. It was simply funny of this boy to try to disorder my plans. But, as I have already understood, he was a great stubborn. Then, in Meung, I showed I won't be merciful to him for the first and last time. I didn't intend to kill him – I fired at him and wounded him. I know, he thought I was a coward, because I didn't duel him. But he would die fast soon in a battle with me. He thought I was afraid of him – ha!

"If you insist" I said with a bored look on my face, tucking the diamonds to my belt and pulling my sword out.

So, D'Artagnan has chosen his fate. We will fight and he will die. Well, it wasn't me, who wanted his death this time – it was him, entirely.

We were ready now. A thunderbolt roared over us. The wind started blowing fiercer.

I put my blade down, waiting D'Artagnan to attack. He, baring the tension no longer, made his lung. I blocked each of his parries easily and advanced. Suddenly, I saw an opening and flashed my blade towards his leg.

We froze. It's an instinct – to freeze, when the first blood appears. We both glanced at the wound.

"Close" I commented.

At the same moment, our swords crossed, we raised our heads and looked at each other. D'Artagnan attacked, and after several blocks and parries I managed to cut his right arm. He stepped back, looking astonished. With my speed, I guess.

We continued fighting. The foolish boy looked less self-confident now – he really needed to think about all the stuff before swearing to kill me.

Now, I thought of a trick, which might end our duel. I left my head unprotected – on purpose, of course, and waited. D'Artagnan did exactly what I wanted him to – he swung his sword towards my head. I ducked, bent and hit the boy on the leg. He fell on one knee, too late realizing his mistake. I flashed my blade towards his neck. But he rolled over, an inch from the edge, saving his head on his shoulders.

Well… with this thick I was amazed. I didn't let it be seen, of course, but deeply inside, I felt the strength in him, the will to win, even if it caused him terrible wounds. I even felt something like… respect.

My blade went down, but D'Artagnan blocked it, with his sword above his head. Jumping to his feet, he swung his sword at me, making me take a step back. He continued his advance by bringing his fist towards me. I ducked and unsheathed my dagger, trying to pierce D'Artagnan through, but the nasty boy caught my hand and held it tightly. He was now with his back to me, so close, that I could hear him breathing heavily. He was certainly loosing strength with each moment.

With my left hand blocked, I had to operate with my sword again. I struck at the boy's head; he blocked and turned, swinging his blade at my stomach. I jumped backwards. He went on, aiming at my chest, but I blocked his sword, by crossing my own blades down on his and then swinging them at his face. He ducked and aimed again, now at my throat. I moved my body back, feet standing as they were, and bet off D'Artagnan's sword with the dagger and cut him across his ribs with my sword. The boy gasped in pain and stepped back with his arm pressed against his side. I attacked, swinging my blades towards him. D'Artagnan blocked my dagger with his blade and was left to bring his left hand in order to stop my sword. Pushing my blade aside he twisted his sword to the left, making me drop the dagger. Then his sword flashed to my head, I bent, letting the blade cut the air above. He aimed at my right leg, I blocked, and then, all of a sudden, I was open. D'Artagnan saw it, of course, and run his sword between my upper ribs, under the right collarbone. That was bloody painful, I'd say. You haven't heard me telling you that – all right?

That moment I remembered Richelieu, long ago telling me that even a wound must be made an advantage. That was right after I had lost my left eye. So, I decided to make this wound an advantage too. I embraced D'Artagnan's blade with my left gloved hand (in this point I was much cleverer than my opponent, whose hands were bare), sneering at his unsuccessful attempts to pull the sword out of me, and, trying not to hiss from pain, swung my sword at his head. He ducked and I, finally letting his blade go, hit him hard in the face with my jackboot, making him fall on his back.

D'Artagnan now was on the very edge of the roof and, after several parries, I grabbed the boy's throat with my free hand and bent him backwards. He struggled and pushed me away by closing my eye with his hand. I stepped back and hardly kept balance, when D'Artagnan hit me on my leg (this whelp learned fast, I admit). Then I leaped forward and grabbed his wrist. The boy clutched my own wrist to save himself from the fall to the deadly abyss.

I pushed a secret button on the hilt of my sword, and a smaller blade appeared from the back of the hilt. I cut D'Artagnan's cheek with it. With a gasp the boy let my wrist go and fell, dropping his sword, with his back forward. "It's over" I thought, as I watched him falling. Somewhere inside, I felt even sorry that the duel was ended. He had been a good opponent.

But the little brat managed to grab by the neck one of the many gargoyles down there to stop falling. I murmured a curse, admitted the boy's dexterity by saluting him with my sword, and lunged towards something, which reminded me of stairs, to make my way down the roof.

I know, I wasn't playing fairly with that little blade, but firstly, I have already warned D'Artagnan about my game rules, and, secondly, I was forced to play dirty after I'd lost my eye. It's very hard to fence with only one eye opened – have you ever tried to? You constantly loose yourself in space and you can't even determine the distance between yourself and your opponent. So, you have to invent little tricks, that'll help you to win. And I became the master of those tricks. I became a serpent, a viper, that'll bite you the moment you don't expect her to attack. Anyone, who dared to face me in a duel, had died or been seriously wounded. No one ever won a battle with me since the one, when I'd lost my eye. I quickly earned a reputation of a fierce swordsman, who is known not only by his fencing qualifications but by his tricks as well. I had developed two general advantages – speed and craft.

I've made my way down now. D'Artagnan had already climbed up and was now glancing at his sword, which was lying between me and him. I rushed forward, swiping my sword at the boy, but he ducked, jumped and slid across the roof to pick up his sword with his left hand. I forced him to step back. D'Artagnan twisted around and changed hands.

I felt his exhaustion; I could see drops of sweat on his brow. The end of my hunt was near.

I managed to force the boy to the very edge of the roof, so that he was standing on the neck of another gargoyle. I paused, as in the beginning lowering my blade, and waited D'Artagnan to attack. He did, I blocked and advanced, making him retreat. Step by step I made him stand at the very edge of the gargoyle. I cut his right arm once more and swung at his legs, making him jump. I swung again, now at his chest, and aimed for his throat. He started back to avoid my stab. But he lost his balance and caught my blade with his already wounded left hand, desperately trying not to fall down.

The only thing I needed to do was to let my sword go. And then D'Artagnan would fall down and our duel would be over. But I didn't. I don't know why, but I didn't. Maybe, that was a sort of my weakness… But I had never felt any weakness before killing anybody. I really, really don't know why I haven't let that bloody blade go. I had to.

D'Artagnan restored his balance at last and leaped forward. I blocked and wrapped my left hand around the boy's throat. I was angry with myself and pushed D'Artagnan to the edge. He struggled and twice tried to throw me over his shoulder. That was funny, really.

With all his strength, which was left, he managed to free from my grip, but I was successful to disarm him. His sword went flying into the air, leaving its master trapped between the wall and my blade, pressing against his chest. The hunt was over.

But, once again today, I was hesitating. The boy looked calmly into my eye and, suddenly, I understood that didn't want to kill him any longer.

"You should have stayed in Gascony, boy" I said with a menace in my voice, lying to myself. I respected him now.

He looked up. I followed his glance to see his own sword, landing into his master's hand.

D'Artagnan lunged forward, and, with strange calmness, I understood that I won't be able to block.

I watched as the sharp blade went into my chest and took a step backwards under the power of the stab. I was surprised that I felt no pain – only heat rushed through my veins, leaving terrible cold after it.

"You should have apologized to my horse" replied D'Artagnan, still holding the hilt.

Oh, what a stubborn. I wanted to sneer, but my lips disobeyed me. The boy let the hilt go and then I felt pain. Unendurable pain, incomparable even to the one when I'd lost my eye. I clenched my teeth to keep myself from a groan.

D'Artagnan neared me and took the diamonds from my belt. We met each other's gaze, and in the boy's eyes I saw the feeling of a winner.

"Oh, what a dolt I am" I thought "Why have I been hesitating twice?"

D'Artagnan stepped back. I glanced at the sword, which was still in me. "D'Artagnan" – was engraved on the hilt. Family sword… I clutched the blade and tried to pull it out, but suddenly I felt terrible weakness and my hand dropped down. I staggered, not able to stand any longer, blackness covering my vision. I looked D'Artagnan in the eyes before I fell. The last thought was: "He turned me from a hunter to prey. Well done, boy". I managed to sneer at last and then I felt no more.