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for mamoeru

5

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Buck Tick // R&R Newsmaker January 1993 / Atsushi Sakurai & Hisashi Imai

I’m doing well, but I see some people on my dashboard are not and I wish to heaven I could do more than just see and acknowledge that. But since I can’t, I made this for everyone who’s having a hard time right now. It probably doesn’t mean much since I’m across the internet, but I mean it when I say I do care about you and hope so much whatever you’re going through improves.

And so we meet again p8

Anne found herself alone once again and she felt on the floor crying silently, wondering how it was possible that they had destroyed everything once again.

Sometimes later she found the strength to leave that place and return to the Palace.
Once she entered in her private chambers, she found Bess there, her niece was reading a passage from the Odysseus to a bunch of young ladies, but when she met her aunt’s eyes, she soon realized that something was wrong and dismissed the whole group.

“What’s happened?” she asked worried coming closer to Anne, but the other woman didn’t reply, she just stood there avoiding her niece’s gaze so Bess talked once again, asking the same thing, this time with a softer voice “What’s happened?”
“Nothing” Anne replied with a slightly tremor in her voice, still avoiding Bess’s look and this made her niece even more anxious, so she insisted once again “What’s happened?” and saying so she eventually reached Anne and the two of them hugged and Anne felt devastated, now she was really breaking down, shaking and almost crying.

“Ssshhh… It can’t be that bad” Bess said worried
“You’re right, it’s not” Anne said breathing heavily “It’s just..over, done, finished”
“Is this about Oliver?” Bess asked noticing her aunt’s strange tone and then Anne simply nodded, looking away trying so hard not to cry out
“I’m sorry” the girl said honestly
“I thought… I thought he would have believed me this time, I thought he would have listened to my reasons, I… thought he would have had faith in me” Anne said closing her eyes before counting “I was such a fool, Bess”
“I’m sorry” Bess repeated once again, feeling useless  
“I will never love anyone else, never again” Anne said with the voice and the expression of Milady de Winter and Bess got scared “No, no. I won’t accept that. You are hurt now but you won’t let him win. You’ll love again and he’ll regret leaving you and hurting you like this, I can promise you that”
In that moment Anne shook her head heavily “No. Love is weakness, love is a dangerous disadvantage, caring is not an advantage and I will never love a man ever again”
“No… Aunt”
“Yes” and that was her final word on the matter

That same night Athos started drinking heavily again, losing his senses in the tavern, only to be found by his longtime friend Porthos, who dragged him out of there and brought him to his place. Porthos had seen his friends in similar conditions in many occasion but this time it was different, he could barley speak or stand right, or think, he even feared he might have taken some kind of drugs, then he whispered a name and everything became clearer.

“Anne…” Athos paused for some seconds before continuing “I love her”
“I know” Porthos said understanding, of course he loved her, everyone knew it.
“She’s a murdering whore” Athos continued and then he paused again, his eyes lost, his mind mainly absent “and I love her”
“You’ll think about this tomorrow, mate. Now sleep” Porthos insisted
“Tomorrow she’ll be in the King’s arms. Again” he said sad and angry, then after some seconds he added something “I should be too”
“What? In the King’s arms?” Porthos said laughing amused
“No. Into some-else’s arms”
“You? You who didn’t move on in 10 years?” Porthos asked skeptical
“She has, so should I” Athos said closing his eyes but once he did that the only imagine he got was the one of his beloved Anne between his sheets only some hours before “But I love her” he acknowledged. Porthos looked at him feeling sorry for his friend “Sleep. Tomorrow you won’t even remember this conversation”
“But I’ll still love her. I will always love her”

And then Athos finally felt asleep and he dreamed his wife, the murdering whore that Catherine described him and of his wife, the Anne that used to run in the fields with him, and then of his wife, Milady the Winter, the liar and the Cardinal’s spy that kissed him in the alley and then again, his wife, Anne, his love that helped them against Rochefort and his wife the King’s whore. He hated her and yet he realized he couldn’t help but love her too.

The next morning he woke up with no memories of the previous night but smelling forget me nots as if they were all around him.

In the following moths Athos tried to forget about his wife and failed. Each time the memories became unbearable he drawn himself into alcohol and one of his friends dragged him home, each time more annoyed. D’Artagnan started even to help him silently, covering for him each time he was to drunk to make reasonable decisions or to attend a royal event and he didn’t even noticed, Constance announced they were pregnant and he didn’t even notice that.

Days and moths went by and Athos could barley register the difference between night and day, then something woke him up, a rumor circulating in the tavern, a whisper, becoming each second more insistent.

The King’s mistress is with a child

His heart stopped for a moment, he lost a beat

The King’s mistress is with a child

He had heard right

The King’s mistress is with a child
The King’s mistress is with a child

Anne was the Kind’s mistress, he thought scared.
Anne, his wife, his love, the liar and the murder was with a child, a child, his Anne, his beloved Anne… Anne… Anne…

Someone came closer to him, calling him “Athos?” “Athos?” “Athos?” each time with a louder voice. Then he turned in the voice’s direction and he realized it was Porthos “Are ok?” his friend asked him insistently “Do you want to talk about this?”
“No” he replied without even realizing he was
“Are you sure? You seem…upset” Hearing Athos made him almost laugh and so he smirked in his friend’s direction, then Porthos continued “Yeah, you’re right, you’re always upset when she’s concern, but you look…strange this, stranger than usual” Porthos said looking at him “Do you mind to tell me what’s going on?”
“She’s with a child” Athos simply replied
“Yes, I’ve heard, this must be…tough” he commented, not sure on what to say
“She is my wife”
“She’s the King’s mistress now” Porthos pointed out
“How long…?”
“How long what?” Porthos asked confused
“When did…when did I start, restart to drink like this?”
“I don’t know, three months ago? Four? I don’t remember…Why?”
“How far is she? Do you know?” Athos screamed finding grip on his shoulder
“What do you mean?”
“She is a killer… and a liar…. and a murdering whore and my wife… And her child… her child it might me mine, I think it might be mine or a royal bastard. But he could me mine”
“What…? What do you mean…?”
“I’m not sure, I can’t be sure about it but… the child might be mine” he said once again before passing out

The next morning Athos woke up with an awful headache and a bad presentiment

“Good mooring Captain” a voice he recognized as Porthos said and turning he meet his friends gaze on him
“Please, please don’t talk this loud” he said feeling all the symptoms of the hungover
“Take this” his friend said giving him a glass “It’s water” he pointed out seeing disappointment in Athos’s eyes “Rehydration should help you, drink”
“Why are you here?” Athos said annoyed. It was common for him to have blackouts after his nights at the tavern, what was not so common was to find one of his friends still with him the morning after.
“I’m happy to see you too, mate”
“Why are you here?” Athos repeated even more annoyed
“We need to discuss something”
“We?”
“Your wife. We need to discuss your wife”
“Anne…?”
“The dowager Duchess of Buckingham is rumored to be with a child”
“So it was not just a bad dream” Athos acknowledge hitting his head
“No, it’s pretty real, the King’s mistr…”
“Anne” Athos corrected him whispering angrily before realizing he was
But Porthos continued nevertheless “The King’s mistress, I was saying, is rumored to be with a child” he waited for some seconds before continuing not sure if Athos could remember everything of the conversation of the night before, then eventually he spoke again “You say the child could be yours” he whispered, waiting for his friend to react somehow but he didn’t. He just stayed there paralyzed without saying a single word, so after a short pause Porthos continued “Would you mind to explain, please…? Are the two of you having an affair?” he asked hesitantly

After a long pause he finally managed to answer and he simply said “No”

No, he was not having an affair with his own wife, Athos thought, of that at least he was sure, but he had no intention of discussing his relationship with Anne any longer but unfortunately Porthos had no intention of dropping the subject so easily so after some seconds he spoke again “Ok, so what’s… between you two?”
“Nothing, we are over” Athos said mad “This time for good” he added some seconds later sadly
“I see…So why do you think her child is yours?” he waited for a moment before continuing “Why?”
“Four months ago she… got jealous seeing me talking with her niece”
“Her niece?”
“Lady Elizabeth Talbot, her English nice by marriage. Anyway…she got jealous and she…I mean we…” Athos looked away embarrassed and Porthos understood what he wanted to say.
“I see. That’s all?”
“No, some days later she came to my Office and…she found out that I came to the crossroads and…we had another moment”
“Wow”
“Yes”
“So… the real question now is… why aren’t the two of you far away living your happily ever after?”

“Because she doesn’t love me, she never did” he said calmly but mad
“That’s a lie” Porthos replied seriously
“No, I don’t think so, for what is worth I think that she was sincere 5 years ago, when she asked you to go away with her, when she claimed she wanted a better life…. and she actually managed that… She hasn’t killed anyone in the last 5 years, as long as we know at least”
“Yes, you’re right. I think… But she didn’t kill anyone just because she didn’t have to” he said bitterly
“Which proves she’s actually changed, mate”
Athos reflected about it for a while, then he spoke again giving his friend some further detail
“I asked her to run away with me”
“What?”
“Four months ago, after we… I asked her to marry me again and to run away and she…she said no”
“Oh”
“So she clearly isn’t in love with me. She’s in love with money and status and since I can’t give them to her, she’s not interested in me, she never was interested in me in the first place”
“She…”
“Oh no you’re right, she is, of course she is. If she need someone to screw she is, but that’s all. She isn’t interested in having a real relationship with me, she…she doesn’t love me, she never did and never will. It was all a lie, the person I love doesn’t even exist” he said with the saddest tone Porthos had ever heard from him and the only think that he managed to say was a sincere “I’m sorry”
Athos nodded in return appreciating it, then he simply said sadly “I don’t even know why I still care”
“This baby…”
“What’s the matter anyway? It’s not like I’ll raise him, the King loves her and will acknowledge the child, I’ll have to…”
“Yes, you’ll have to keep distance, you are the Captain of the King’s Musketeers, Louis can’t have any doubts about your loyalty” Porthos said touching his shoulder “Do you hear me?? You would put your own life at risk”
“I know” Athos replied looking away
“You can’t be her child’s father, you’ll never be his father”
“I know. I shouldn’t bother. Probably he is not even mine anyway”
and those were the last words he was willing to say on the matter

In the following days Athos tried not to think about that news and failed miserably and got drunk as a result, several times. Eventually he couldn’t help it anymore and started visiting the palace, hoping to find a moment to speak with her alone, to… clarify everything with her, but Anne constantly avoided him. Only 10 days after he finally managed to have a talk with her.

Anne went to the confessor after the Mass, as she used to do everyday since her official return to Court. She did that, even if she didn’t believe in God, she never did and never felt the impulse to, but she had to admit that she didn’t dislike the idea of the function so much, it was a moment of the day she took only for herself, to think, to reflect, to remember. Then, obviously she had to go to the priest and fake a stupid confession, but she had to admit that she found that part pretty amusing, even if she didn’t randomly kill Priests any longer…

“Forgive me Father, for I’ve sinned” she whispered, ready to start the act
But the priest had an unexpected voice, a voice she once knew really well and with a trembling voice he said a name, her name “Anne…”
“Athos! What are you doing here?” she said moving slightly, visibly upset  
“Don’t go, please…” he begged her hesitantly
“Why? Why should I stay, Captain?” she said angrily
“Stay… Stay, it’s better like this, the others will suspect if you leave so soon, you know that”
Anne reflexed upon it for some seconds and eventually she had to agree with him “Fair enough”
They stayed like that, Athos looking for his wife’s eyes, Anne avoiding her husband’s gaze on her.

Then eventually Athos found the courage to ask what she had always wanted to “So is it true?”
“What?” Anne asked without understanding
“Are you… Are you with a child?” he asked looking at her sadly
“What does it matter to you? Now that you know that I never loved you, now that you have finally understood what I wanted from you” she said bitterly and hurt.
Athos knew that tone and for a moment he felt the impulse to hug her tight to tell her that everything was going to be ok, but it was just a moment, then he remembered she still was the liar that had left him for her lover, the King. She was still the one that had always chosen power and money above everything else, above him, then he remembered that she was also Anne, the love of his life and his tone became more tender “I’m not here to argue, Anne. I just want to know… Is it true? Are you with a child?”
Anne closed her eyes, putting the hands on her womb before answering. A simple, short, quick answer, whispered with an incredibly sad tone “Yes”
“Is it his? Or…” he asked hesitantly
“Yes my chid is his, he will always be his” officially at least, she thought.

Those words hurt him deeply, but he had to know everything, he had to be sure before letting her go, so he simply whispered with a broken voice “Could it be mine?”
“What do you want to know? What do you need to hear?” she whispered angrily
“I… be honest, for once, just once. Aren’t you tired of this? Is it… mine?”
He was right. She was tired of that… anger that was devouring them so she tried to be honest, really honest with him “I…don’t know. It might be yours, I don’t know” she said sadly, then she remembered that there was no hope in her anymore and he was responsible for that. He had taken everything from, her love, her passion, her happiness and now she was stuck in that awful situation and with a child on the road. She remembered all this and her eyes changed again and her voice became the one of Milady de Winter and her anger became more evident “What did you expect from a woman like me?”
“Anne…”

But he never managed to finish that sentence, since Anne was already gone.

He left too, in a hurry, hoping that no-one would have noticed him, unfortunately someone did.

“Athos?” An hesitant female voice asked and he turned meeting Constance’s eyes that were tracing around him “Constance” he said and the woman kept looking at him speechless “What are you doing here? What..?” Then she noticed that Milady de Winter was leaving the Church and understood everything “Is this about her?” she asked shocked and his silence was the loudest explanation “Oh my God it’s about her, I though her influence over you was over” she said sadly, then she took his hand and brought him in a private room whispering “Come with me now”

Away from indiscreet eyes yelled at him “Are you out of your mind?”
“It’s none of your business and I needed to see her, I…” Athos said trying to defend himself
“What is about her that makes you still care?” she replied still overwhelmed and he didn’t gave her a proper a reply but her expression spoke loudly and once again Constance understood and without realizing she was she touched her womb “The child? Is about this?” she whispered kindly
“It might be mine, maybe, maybe…” he replied looking away
Constance nodded firmly and then eventually she decided to share something with him “Fine, I’m telling you something now and you have to listen carefully” after a moment of silence she continued “The King is dying”
“What?” Athos replied genuinely surprised
“The King is ill, the physician don’t know exactly what’s going on, but he’s extremely ill. He can’t eat and… he vomits all the time, he has… several stomach diseases and the tuberculosis is wearing on him each day more, he bleeds all the time, his intestines are ulcerated, they don’t think he will last long”
“Oh my God…this is… a shock…”
“I know”
“What are we talking about? Months?”
“Weeks is more accurate”

Then a knowledge hit him suddenly and he asked a question, one whose answer he feared more than anything else “How long…since… since when…you know about this?”
“4 months, more or less”
“and she…?”
“She’s the closest thing to a friend he has, she was probably the first to know”
“4 moths ago…”
“Yes”

What have I done? He thought understanding everything in a second. 4 months, their encounters, her inability to leave with him…4 moths before…

“So Athos, please, please, for your sake…for her sake…for the child’s sake… Keep away, stay distant from them…for now at least” Constance said before disappearing

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