Author's Notes: I own Milliah Korsokov, Anya Korsokov, Tom Hitachi, Dmitri Hitachi, Yae Hitachi, and Colette Monique. All other characters are owned by Tow Ubukata.
This is the sequel to Fidèle à la Parole. Please read and review that before you read this This is in Milliah's point of view.
Chapter One: Disguises
"DAMN!" It had been months, but I was still feeling the pain from Voronsoff's stab wound. He was my stepfather a very long time ago, and now he was the thing I feared the most. I want to kill him for abusing and murdering my mother, and I've had dreams about how I'd kill him, but now I'm not so sure he would die by my hands.
The five of us were on their way to Saint Petersburg now, silently riding. We were dying of boredom, when the carriages came to a stop.
"Finally..." I was not myself anymore. I was disguised as my son, Dmitri, and I was going back to my motherland Russia.
I stepped on to the ground, stumbling toward the blue lake. It shimmered like sapphires, shining in the sunlight. How I wanted to jump in to the water and splash around, but I knew it would reveal my identity. So far Robin was the only one who knew, but I could see that D'eon was suspecting something, and I can't tell if he's figured it out. Telliagory is clueless, as always. I just can't Durand figure it out, not yet anyway.
I collapsed on the ground, feeling the soft green grass against my skin. I've missed the warmth of the sun, and it felt amazing just being outside, for I haven't been outside in a REALLY long time. I missed it almost as much as I missed being myself.
I could show my true colors as a man and not be discriminated against, though. I didn't have to be a woman. Although my corset was tighter than hell, I actually liked certain freedoms that came with being a man.
Durand lay down next to me. "You must be very nervous about going home."
I looked at him. "You have no idea…"
"Why? It's not like you're going to England or somewhere hostile to Frenchmen."
I shivered. Even in the heat, the mention of Saint Petersburg seemed cold to me. It reminded me of the days when Mom was alive, when Voronsoff would beat her senseless, the days when I would crawl up on the roof and cry. It was the only place where I could be alone. When Mom married Voronsoff, we moved to the questionable neighborhood where he lived, though our residence was much nicer. I didn't know why, but Voronsoff refused to stay in the palace with my mother and me. We were honored in the palace, my mother and I. We were the Empress' granddaughter and daughter in law. My father ran away years ago, for he decided that his other wife and kids were more important. But nevertheless, I lived a happy early childhood in the palace before my mother met the noble, Voronsoff.
"I really don't think that my mom would want me to talk about it, okay?" I wanted to tell him everything. He knew the base, but not the details. And I could not tell him as Dmitri, because he would ask why "my mom" would tell me all of this.
I can now see how awkward it must've been for Dmitri when I dated men when he was little.
My mind floated to the letter. Why do I tell these things to a son who has never known a father? Maybe I'm a bad mom, but if that's true, then why did Dmitri turn out so well? He is a responsible boy, a knight, and even a member of Le Secret du Roi. I wished my mind was clear so I could concentrate, and figure out what was going on.
It was hard to know what to do, and hard to know how to handle things. Especially as Dmitri, although I thought I was doing a great job.
Robin and Durand were bickering about taking naps again, and I was simply lost in thought. There wasn't really anything too serious going on at that moment, so I thought it was okay to doze off.
I had a strange dream, and I don't know how to describe it. Weird, maybe, but vivid at the very least.
Durand was there, and Robin, D'eon, and Telliagory. We were all just sitting by a lake. We were elated and just enjoying ourselves. It almost reminded me of Aunt Gidra's fairytale wedding. We got the Royal Psalms back, and were okay. D'eon and Anna were married, and my Dmitri was there with some girl of who I do not know. Empress Elizaveta and Queen Marie were present with Prince Auguste, although her husband Louis XV was not. My mother was there. My husband was there, and so was my lost daughter, Yae. Lia and Maximillien were there, too. All of my long lost, old and new friends. It seemed peaceful, and everyone had the biggest smile on their faces, everyone except me. I looked at myself and realized that I was in disguise still, but as I did it faded away. All my worries faded away in a second, everything wrong with me was gone, and the true me, the true Milliah emerged from me, wearing my favorite traditional Russian gown. I joined everyone else, smiling, enjoying every minute of the pure bliss. But then, one by one, all my comrades, friends and family faded away. They slipped away from my grasp. One by one, Marie, Anya, Anna, Auguste, Yae, Elizaveta, D'eon, Gidra, Yae, Tom, Robin, Telliagory, Dmitri all faded away. Durand was still by my side while I tried to catch them before they were gone forever. But in my quest to capture them and hold on, Durand remained by me. I turned to him.
"Why do you stay by my side? Why don't you try to save them?" I asked.
He took my hands into his. "Because, Milliah, we are all destined to fade away. We are given this small gift of life, we treasure it, and then we disappear."
With those last words, I saw his image blow away into dust. I had tried to save him as I did everyone else, but it was hopeless.
"It's my fault…I let them get away." Tears formed in my eyes.
To my surprise, I looked up and saw Durand standing over me. I was completely soaked with water, from head to toe. Luckily, I still looked like a man, so nobody would be suspicious. I looked around me and saw that I was in a pit of sand, even closer to the lake than when I remembered falling asleep.
"It was hilarious! You were running toward the lake, screaming 'Come back!' at a duck! It was scared shitless of you!" Durand was chuckling, still over me, and suddenly, a memory flashed in my mind. It was the night I shared a bed with him.
I could see it in his eyes, too.
He stood up, feeling violated. "Uhhh…Sorry about that…"
I blushed. "It's alright, pervert."
I walked into the water, for I was already soaked, so what did it matter? I cupped my hands, filling them with water, completely aware of Durand trying to sneak up on me.
Did he underestimate my senses as a man, too?
I splashed him with water. Within minutes, we were all splashing in the water, when the carriage drivers yelled at us.
"Come on! We need to get to Cologne before sunset!"
So we got back into the damn carriage, not wanting to piss them off more than we had when we asked to go to Saint Petersburg. On the way up, I rode with D'eon and Robin, but not liking the awkward silence and watching D'eon giggle when he re-read Anna's letters a million and a half times, I rode with Durand and Telliagory. I was prepared for more awkward silence, when I heard Telliagory tell a story of his days in the French Army.
"…And I cut off his head!" He snorted and chuckled like I'd never seen him before. I've never really heard him talk much, unless he was saying something wise or old-mannish, but he was seemingly hilarious now.
I wonder why, but as a man I can understand my comrades more. Now being the same gender as me, they realize that they don't have to put on the whole "gentlemen" act. The truth is: it's really just an act. When men are either by themselves on with other men, they tend to be more crudely humorous. They think that it is no way to act around a woman (although it really isn't).
Durand looked at me. It was in a completely different way than he had before the fire. He looked at me like I was just a comrade, someone who was just another guy, like him. I loved and hated it at the same time. It had its ups and downs, like not feeling the passion that was once there, but being finally recognized for what you truly are: a warrior, a swordsman, call it what you will.
I had to look away. What was he thinking? How did he feel? Maybe in due time, I would come to find out how he truly felt about me, before I "died".
"What's the matter M…" Oops. "I mean, Dmitri?"
Did he seriously almost call me Milliah? Did he know?
"Sorry…It's just that you look so much like her…"
We didn't really talk much about my "death". Robin and I did, but not the others. At least, they didn't talk about it with me. Honestly, I almost wish I had died, or I hadn't dressed like this. But it was too late to turn back now.
"Nothing's wrong, I'm just in a little pain." I tried to smile, but the wound…the pain…
"What happened to you? You are always complaining about your stomach."
I flinched. "I was in a fight with a guy on campus. He wanted to take my wallet…"
"So I punched him and he pulled out a knife..."
Would he believe it?
"Wow…Did it hurt?"
I reached over and punched him in the gut that he apparently didn't have. I could remember a few things from our "special night", but I didn't remember him being built. Nonetheless, it definitely hurt him.
"God, how I miss the awkward silence…"
"NO! YOU CAN'T GO BACK!"
I looked over at Telliagory. "Oops…That came out a little…loud…"
Oh great. More silence.
It wasn't too far now to Cologne, the city famous for its perfumed water. I thought I might buy some for after my plan was finished. In fact, I thought I might take a break from the whole "disguise". Maybe I could have a little me time.
I had decided that sometime after we arrived in Russia, I would reveal my identity to Durand. I had to, because I couldn't hold it any longer. I knew that I had to pick a precise time and place, or it could cost me, and I had to discreetly figure out how Durand would feel if I somehow came back to life.
Was I dead to him? Or was there some little part of him hoping I was still alive? I wish I could just rip off these man clothes and tell him the truth, but I knew that being a member of Le Secret du Roi, the mission always came before one's feelings.
Why was I even loyal to the king? In all honesty, I believe that he is simply discarding knights without any honor whatsoever, but I was not as open to betrayal as Maximillien. I almost wanted to tell Durand and the others what Maximillien had been up to lately, particularly in the Revolutionary Brethren, but I decided that they would ask way too many questions.
Maximillien Robespierre, a name I hadn't thought of in depth for a very long time. The last time I saw that bastard, he was attacking me with his entire army of gay little poet buddies.
Cologne came into sight, and brought with it an endless amount of conversation between Durand and Telliagory.
It was still a long, long way to Saint Petersburg.