Hello I'm back!
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Summary: When Athos, Aramis and Porthos are captured they are forced to wait for a rescue that might never come.
Being captured was never a fun experience. In fact come to think of it this was magic number four.
The first time had been when I was a young musketeer almost a year before the Savoy nightmare. My first solo trip had ended with a broken ankle and me locked in a cell for almost two days before a familiar figure had burst through the doors. Marcel along with three others had by chance come across the remnants of my camp where I'd been captured. Thankfully those who had taken me were hardly prepared and had left a trail which the others had managed to follow. Turns out my captors had stumbled across me and thought they could make money with a ransom. They were wrong, dead wrong.
The second time was shortly after Porthos, Athos and I were joined together. We'd been on a delivery when we were set upon by bandits. I'm not truly sure whether this counts as being captured seeing as though they never got up back to wherever it was they were planning on taking us. Whomever had tied up Porthos had done a lousy job of it and he'd gotten loose halfway through the journey pummelling three of the guards before releasing myself and Athos.
The third time had happened shortly before D'Artagnan had joined up with us. Whilst escorting a lord over to Paris we'd been set upon by none other than the lords brother. Turns out he'd had no intentions of coming to Paris and explaining himself to the King, instead he planned out taking us out and escaping. Athos had taken exception to this and gotten us out of the cell with a well thought out plan which involved us apparently betraying France. Thankfully his plan had worked brilliantly and not only were we freed but our lovely companion had found himself in front of the King.
"Well this is a nice change of scenery." The voice beside me grumbles as he pulls on his chains once again breaking me from my thoughts.
"It's a prison cell." Athos deadpans from my other side.
"I was being sarcastic." Porthos mumbles as he makes another sharp tug on the thick chains around his wrist. It's useless of course and he knows that. There's no way we're getting through these without a key and the key is naturally in the hands of the ugliest guard I've ever had the displeasure of meeting.
For another moment we all fall back into a steady silence. How long it had been since we'd been captured I don't know but judging from the position of the sun in the sky it had to have been at least six hours. It was shortly after dawn that we'd gone on our way back to Paris, having stopped overnight to make camp. We'd barely made it a few feet on our way before the shot had rung out, thankfully only grazing Porthos' shoulder. The bandits had been on us in seconds and their sheer number had us completely overwhelmed.
"Do you think he got away?" It was Porthos who'd said the words but we were all thinking the same thing. Upon awaking in our wonderful cell I'd been both horrified and relieved to find that he wasn't with us. It was a double edged sword that was tearing the three of us apart. Not being with us could mean that he got away, it could mean that he's racing back to Paris to get the rest of the garrison to rain down on this place.
Only if he's alive of course. My treacherous mind supplies quite unhelpfully.
If he's not here then there's always the chance, it's always possible that he'd been wounded. Perhaps fatally wounded, maybe he was lying there in the cold air dying alone.
D'Artagnan please be okay. I've already sent up prayers for his safety but another one won't hurt.
"How's your shoulder?" I question Porthos as he grunts in what I've come to learn is pain. Not that he'd ever admit to it.
"S'fine. Listen-" Whatever he was planning on saying trails off at the distinct sound of the door above us opening.
"About damn time. I'm starving. Oi! What took you so long?" The guard that stumbles down the stairs isn't one I've seen before, not that I can see his face mind. Apparently guard is on the same wave length. "Who are you?"
Within a second Mr Ugly is on the floor and the 'guard' in question steps closer to the bars. Close enough to see who he really is.
"D'Artagnan! What are you doing here?" He tilts his head at my words as he pats down ugly guard for the key.
"Well I thought I'd just nip in for a stroll around, take in the sights, what do you think I'm doing!? Where is that blasted key!?" It takes another moment before he manages to track the key down and does so with a triumphant grin.
"How did you get in here?" Porthos questions as the lad manages to get the cell door unlocked.
"I got captured but I got loose on the way. I tried to get to you but I couldn't. Instead I followed them and sent word to Paris when I saw where you were."
"Then you naturally waited for Treville to send others before coming in here." Of course it's pointless saying it since we were at least a four hour ride from Paris and there's no way that word could have reached them and for help to get here that quickly.
"Well I thought about it but I changed my mind." Judging from the expression on his face waiting for help hadn't occurred to him at all. I want to roll my eyes but I refrain. He's trying to rescue us so telling him off can wait until we're safe at least. Apparently Athos doesn't have the same thought.
"You should have waited for back up you could have been killed." He's grateful of course he is but there's no way that he'll be able to actually tell the lad that, he's Athos after all.
"Well I wasn't and everything's fine so lets just go. Quickly!" As he finally manages to get us all unhooked it's only now I get chance to fully inspect the gunshot wound on Porthos' shoulder. Thankfully it's just a graze but that doesn't mean it's not going to get infected down here.
"Look Mis you can poke and prod me all you want later but can we get out of here first. I'm freezing my arse off!" Porthos' words break the tension and with a shake of the head Athos' follows our youngest member up the stairs. Stopping at the top D'Artagnan mutters a simple 'this way' before heading off down a smaller corridor. It surprises me that there are no voices around and for a moment I think ourselves lucky until a second thought occurs to me.
"D'Artagnan where are all the guards." He doesn't answer straight away which sends a shiver down my spine. When he does his words do little to lesson the fear in my heart. "D'Artagnan?"
"Currently they're on the other side of the compound looking for me but it won't be long before they realise they're chasing shadows so can we please get moving!?" There's more urgency in his voice than before, much more urgency.
We fall into silence as we allow our younger brother to lead us out. Having all been blind folded upon entry we were none the wiser as to where exactly we should be going. Thankfully whatever trap he'd led the guards into was keeping them occupied and we make it almost to the gate before we come to a halt.
Uttering a curse D'Artagnan pushes us behind the pillars.
"I thought it would take them longer." Looking round the stone pillar in front of me my eyes fall upon what appear to be no less than twelve men standing guard in front of the door. Well that's going to be a problem.
"How long do you think it will take them to know that we're gone?" Porthos questions with a grunt as I take the opportunity to look closer at his wound. It's not too deep thankfully but it will no doubt need stitches preferably in the not too distant future.
"Too soon to hang about here in the open." Gesturing to the room just off of the corridor we're standing in Athos ushers us in without a second thought. "Are there other ways out of here?"
"Just the one I came in through but given that I was seen I don't think that's going to be an option." So we're trapped. None of us say the words out loud but it's obvious we're all thinking the same thing here.
"How long ago did you send word?" Whatever answer he has is cut off as a flurry of boots outside the room has us all on guard. For a moment I fear the men outside will discover our position which right now would be a disaster. Out of the four of us only Athos and D'Artagnan are armed, Athos having grabbed the sword from Mr Ugly before leaving the cellar. Myself and Porthos are both wonderfully unarmed which combined with my friends wound was far from ideal to say the least. Thankfully, by some blessed miracle, the guards pass by our hide away.
"A couple of hours maybe. I sent word as soon as I could."
"And we're four hours away from Paris." Great. That means that even at best we've got at least six hours before reinforcements arrive.
"Actually we're not. I told you that I woke up on route and escaped right? Well from where we were I'd say that we were travelling back to Paris, or at least on that road. I followed them as close and I could and sent word when I saw where they were taking you. If we are where I think we are then we're only a couple of hours from Paris. Treville might have already gotten word and already be on his way." Finally a little bit of good news to this day. Of course if he's wrong then…
"Why the hell would they risk bringing us back to Paris? These guys stupid or what?" Porthos grunts as he looks between the three of us.
He's right. It doesn't make sense to capture the Kings Musketeers and then bring them closer to Paris instead of spiriting them away.
"We can figure out what they want after we escape, until then we need to focus on this. We can't over power them. They out number us and only myself and D'Artagnan are armed. Not to mention Porthos is injured." The large man merely mutters 'I'm fine' but his words are lost. Shallow the wound may be but it's still a gun shot wound. No matter how it appears a gun shot wound is always serious and should never be taken lightly.
"We only have to wait for a couple of hours for Treville. Keep hidden and stay out of sight. We don't have to fight them." Porthos points out however I know it won't work.
"That won't work forever. This is a finite space and sooner or later they're going to find us. We're at a distinct disadvantage since they know the building and we don't. When they find us we're going to have to fight. We've two of us unarmed and one injured." It's at this point that D'Artagnan decides to speak up.
"Actually…" I know what he's going to say before he opens his mouth. He removes his hand and pushes the shirt aside to reveal the bloodied tunic underneath.
"What happened?" Pushing the shirt away I take a good look at the wound and curse. Whilst the wound isn't as deep as the amount of blood would make it appear the amount of dirt covering his side doesn't fill me with much hope. We'll be lucky if they're both not carrying infections if we don't see to them soon.
"I got it trying to escape, I had to lie low for a while so…" He gestures to the dirt with an apologetic half smile which quickly goes to a wince when I further inspect the wound.
"Aramis?" Sighing I stand, knowing that there's little I can do, before addressing Athos.
"It's not going to kill him just yet but they both need seeing to sooner rather than later. The longer we wait the further we run the risk of infection." I can see the war battling within Athos. On the one hand we can't afford to hang around with open wounds, once infections set in people can go down very fast and very hard and infections can set in quicker than you think. On the other hand…
"We can't fight them. We'd struggle to take that number with all of us at full strength let alone with two injuries." Despite none of this being his fault guilt quickly covers my younger brothers face. Now's not the time. Making a mental note to have it out with him later over his bouts of self-inflicted guilt I push it to one side.
"We have to stay hidden and wait for reinforcements."
Reach us soon Treville.
And that's all for now. I wasn't intending on making this a two part series (and make no mistake that's ALL it's going to be) but trying to end it in one made it feel rushed and I can't stand rushing (not to mention I'm not entirely sure quite HOW I'm ending it yet). Next chapter will be the conclusion (in theory).
Until next time,