Liquid Sugar here, just wanting to say hello.
I have never read the original book, surprisingly enough, but I fell in love with the movie when I saw it. I think this may become a "what would've happened if?" series. Anyways, enjoy!
The diamonds tinkled cheerily on his belt, not at all reflecting the plight of their barer as D'Artagnan ran through the belly of the Cardinal's large airship. This whole thing for some lousy, gaudy jewelry that the fashion-obsessed King had to buy for Queen Anne on their anniversary. Probably the latest craze in somewhere remote, like Austria. It had seemed a good idea at the time to prove himself by accepting a request from a beautiful girl and go gallivanting on a wonderful adventure with three of his heroes, but now he was stuck on a ship five hundred feet in the air –during a thunderstorm no less- that was taking heavy damage from those same three men and beautiful girl. If he wasn't so cocky, and so desperate to prove himself to be a decent and brave sort of man to Constance, he might have thought rationally about chasing the Queen's jewels across the channel and back in only five days.
But no, he was never one for using his head, and what he now deemed to be a very small brain inside it, in the right situations. D'Artagnan just had to go after the diamonds.
The Cardinal's guards were fought off with barely a thought as he ran. His body was going through the practiced motions of flipping and wrestling and swordplay as his mind worked frantically. D'Artignan knew he had no way off of the airborne ship, no place to hide, and no idea where he was heading, but he knew he Rochefort was coming for him with –what he deemed- an unprovoked vengeance, and meeting him face to face would end in his own (probably painful) death. Lady Luck kissed him goodbye as he came to a small wooden door at the rear of the ship with a very big iron lock on one of the cannon decks. Unless he returned the way he came, it was his only way out of the room. He pulled and pushed, even slammed his shoulder into it, but the wood wouldn't give and nor would the lock break. Slow footsteps sounded behind D'Artignan and with panic beat wildly and fast, he turned.
The words exchanged between them were lost in the thundering pound of his heartbeat as D'Artagnan put on a brave face at Rochefort's raised guns and cold glare. He knew it was here that he would meet his untimely end. Alone in the floating lair of his enemy and without his friends by his side or anyone who could say he met an honorable end. He could argue that it had been a good first -and only- adventure, that at least Athos and the others could tell Father that he had died bravely, that his only son had died on a noble mission for the crown and keeping the peace in the King's palace. If retrieving a stolen necklace was considered a noble and important deed.
At least they could say that he, D'Artagnan, the unknown boy from an unknown town, was in favor with Louis XIII, King of France. That he had met many important people and seen the heart of the kingdom before his murder.
All too soon, their conversation was over. The time for taunts was over, and D'Artagnan knew he had mere minutes of his young life left. Silence rang between them, even over the clamor of the fight around the two. D'Artagnan could see a satisfied look in Rochefort's singular cold grey eye and a thin smirk placed upon his lips as the man savored the moment before he pulled back the trigger and killed him.
D'Artagnan didn't cower at the imposing figure before him, however, he stood tall and defiant, holding Rochefort's eye like Father had told him to when facing death. He could see the hammer go back on the ornate pistols as if time had slowed to a mere crawl. D'Artagnan took a deep steadying breath –his last of his short life- and the world exploded.
An angry roar ripped through the deck, louder than the shriek of swords clashing. Behind him the wall was demolished with the force of a cannonball. Wood, metal, and other bits of debris came flying towards him. However, D'Artagnan was less concerned with the debris as a burning pain made itself known and flared in his side and shoulder. He tried to take a breath, and found that he couldn't for the pain. Rochefort's bullets had hit their target, even with the impact of the cannonball throwing off his aim. The world swam before D'Artagnan's eyes. It seemed a chore to keep his eyes open and he became aware of a hot trickle snaking its way down his back and side. A dark mist seemed to fill his vision as the pain flared to the burning of a white-hot flame. He didn't notice when his knees buckled and he began to fall, and was unconscious before his head hit the floor.