Disclaimer: Do I look like a 200 hundred year old French writer? No? Then, I do not own.

A/N: This is in response to the forum challenge. Enjoy!


"-think you're so great! You're nothing but a simple boy!"
Only D'Artagnan heard the insult thrown at him over the nightly noise of the inn. He glanced over at the man leaning against bar, his hand going to his sword. But when he saw that the man was nearly falling over, the young man just shook his head and turned his back on the drunk.

Still, as he waited for the wine he'd asked for, D'Artagnan couldn't help but think over what the man had said. He knew he was still young and, thanks to his stature, would always look younger than what he was. It wasn't that part of the insult that nagged at his mind.

Simple. A small enough word, but one with complicated and various meanings.

Simple: of humble origin.

D'Artagnan wasn't ashamed that he came from humble origins. In his mind, they weren't so humble. Who else could boast of a father who had been a great musketeer, and was still remembered, spoken well of, by the captain of the musketeers? His father may be a modest farmer, but even that was nothing to scoff at. Without farmers, France would fall.

Simple: free from vanity.

There was no denying that his tastes were simple. Even the new suit from the king, D'Artagnan had made sure it was simple in look and design. He wasn't like Porthos, even though the giant of a man tried kept trying to convince him to have more embellishments on what he wore.

Simple: lacking in knowledge or expertise.

He wasn't an idiot. D'Artagnan had been well taught by both his parents. His father had taught him to handle a sword, and his mother had taught him to read. Even with this knowledge, D'Artagnan knew he would never be as learned as Aramis, and that there were still rules to learn and things to do. Still, there was nothing wrong with that.

Simple: free of complications.

The young man's life was uncomplicated. He was going to be a musketeer and he was going to court Constance, and that was all there was to it. So things might get in the way. At least D'Artagnan didn't have the complications that Athos carried.

Taking the bottle of wine, D'Artagnan turned to take it to his friends. As he wove his way through the crowd to the table in the corner, he decided it hadn't really been an insult. In fact, it may have been a compliment.

"What took you so long?" Porthos demanded. "I was beginning to think you got lost in the crowd. It wouldn't be so hard considering everyone is taller than you."

"Ha ha. Here's your wine," D'Artagnan said, setting the bottle on the table. He took his seat between Athos and Aramis. He put his cup forward to get his portion of the bottle.

"All right, what will we drink to now?" Aramis asked.

Swiftly, D'Artagnan glanced around the table. For all his vanity when it came to clothes, Porthos was not complicated in his loyalties. Learned as he was, Aramis led a modest life. Even Athos -complicated, moody Athos- everyone knew that Athos was not decietful.

It was as simple as that.

"To being simple," D'Artagnan proposed, lifting his cup. He smiled as the other three frowned at him and then exchanged looks. "What's wrong with being simple?"

Athos regarded him almost thoughtfully and then nodded. "Not a thing, D'Artagnan," he said, a smile tugging at his lips. "To being simple."

"Strange boy," Aramis said with a shrug. He raised his cup. "To being simple."

Porthos shrugged. "To being simple," he echoed. He finished his cup in one gulp and reached for the bottle. "This isn't going to last us long. Aramis, go get another bottle. D'Artagnan would take all night."

"We've barely even started this one," Aramis objected.

As the pair continued to debate, D'Artagnan leaned back in his chair. At that moment, everything was good.


A/N: Here is the abbreviated definition of simple:

free from guile (treacherous cunning, skillful deceit)

free from vanity

of humble origin

lacking in knowledge or expertise

free of complications

not limited or restricted

readily understood