Yet another chapter! Sorry it took a while; I never really had a chance to write. I hope you enjoy this chapter, I actually really like it.

Please, don't forget to leave a favorite, follow, as well as a review if you can. I'd appreciate it. Prompts are also welcomed.

-M


Chapter Three: Recollections

Athos, Porthos, and d'Artagnan were sitting at Aramis' bedside, tiredly waiting for their brother to wake up from unconsciousness. They had already changed his bandages about an hour ago, and were now watching him sleep, praying for the marksman to open his eyes. After all, it was Aramis that had risked everything to protect the people he loved, getting captured by the enemy as a result.

When the remaining Inseparables finally found him almost a week later, he had been in a dank, dirty cell, chained on the cold ground and trembling in pain. Upon seeing his family in front of him, assuring him that they were really there, Aramis had promptly passed out, and had not woken up since. Only time would tell what would happen next.

Porthos sighed as he remembered what Aramis looked like when he finally realized that he was being rescued. There was so much anguish in his chocolate eyes, so much fear. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see.

Suddenly, the big man wanted to recall his life with Aramis. He wanted to think of the beautiful moments he had shared with his best friend, instead of the possibility of losing him. "You know, 'Mis was the first one to really talk to me when I came here. I had been sitting in the tavern, alone, and the next thing I know is Armais is across from and is offering to buy me a drink. Somehow, he sensed my loneliness. He saw something in me, and has never left my side since. Still don't know why." Smiling, Porthos sighed and placed his hand on top of Aramis', hating how weak his pulse was.

"If I'm being honest, neither do I," Athos revealed. His voice was tense and full of worry, an emotion he rarely let show unless something was seriously bothering him. "He also knew that I needed someone, and took it upon himself to be there for me. One time, I drank myself into a nasty stupor. He'd found me outside the garrison, helped me to my room, and sat with me through the night. When I woke up, he told me right then and there that he wasn't leaving until I had all of the alcohol out of my system for good. I knew that there was no getting out of it - Aramis would never even have heard of it - and listened. Though it wasn't permanent, I didn't drink for exactly two months all thanks to him. I don't think I've ever had anyone be so straight with me before. That's usually my job." Athos chuckled at the irony. "The strangest part was that Aramis was never angry with me for drinking again. I will never understand it."

"He's treated me like one of you the minute I joined you three." Even though d'Artagnan felt like a complete outsider listening to Porthos and Athos' recollections, he too, had some fond memories of his own. "While we were practicing our shots one day, he took the time to help my aim. He then told me about why he treats his weapons so well, and why I should as well. I'd never really thought about it up until that point. His lessons have been a blessing."

"He's learned a lot in his years as a soldier," Athos explained. "He's even taught us life lessons we will never forget."

"I'd love to continue learning from him if-" D'Artagnan immediately stopped and corrected himself. "When he awakens."

"'Mis will wake up, d'Artagnan," Porthos assured assertively. "It's not his time to leave us just yet. We still have too much to do together." He turned to his best friend and squeezed his calloused hand, saying, "So you have to open your eyes for me, 'Mis. Come back to us. We need you."

Three days later, Aramis really did open his eyes, finding his loyal brothers still waiting for him. All of them were smiling widely with pure relief and gratitude.

The End