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A Lesson In Manners

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“Wake up, boy!  The Musketeers are just a dream!”



A Lesson In Manners


            “May I have this dance?” Porthos drunkenly slurred from underneath the broken bench.  Athos gave him a contemplative look before punching him square in the jaw and emitting a little snicker, as he downed the contents of his bottle.

            “Hey, what’d you do that for?” d’Artagnan gave his companion a stupefied look.

            “He deserved it,” Athos shrugged and extended a hand to his fallen comrade.  “Get up, Porthos.”  The man on the floor graciously accepted the proffered appendage and allowed Athos to pull him back up to his feet.

            “That’s it,” said Porthos, brushing the bench chips off of his trousers.  “I’m not speaking with you anymore.  Tonight.”

            “Thank you,” Athos replied, refilling his cup with more wine.

            “I’m going over there,” Porthos pointed to the other corner of the tavern, where Aramis was still chatting up the barmaids.  “And making drunken passes at your lover.”

            “What?!” d’Artagnan exclaimed, his bafflement ever increasing.

            “Sharing is caring,” Athos replied with another dismissive shrug.

            “One for all!” Porthos added, cheerfully saluting the two men.

            “Never mind him,” Athos made a vague gesture towards the rest of their companions.  “You were saying something about drinking anything I put in front of you?”

            “I did,” d’Artagnan confirmed.

            “Well,” Athos continued, producing another bottle from somewhere seemingly in the ether, “Let us put your money where your mouth is.”

            “On my face,” d’Artagnan nodded, gravely.

            Athos gave him an inquisitive look and refilled the young man’s cup.



            D’Artagnan was not sure exactly at what point of the night he started to slur his words.

            “And then, I was all, ‘Bring your own!’” he was saying, giggling into his hands.  “And that was how I met Porthos.”

            “Fascinating,” Athos nodded, his face resting on his wrist, as he eyed the young man with a clouded gaze.

            “Yeah, so, and then, Aramis totally fell on me, like, out of nowhere!”

            “From Heaven?” Athos suggested, his finger slowly circling the rim of his long-empty cup.

            “No,” d’Artagnan shook his head, “I think… just…. from upstairs?”

            “Are you certain?”

            “Um..,” the boy shook his head.  “He landed right on top of me!”

            “Hmmm, lucky boy.”

            “Nothing.  Go on.”

            “I don’t really…. yeah…. It’s …. not important.  Where did they go, anyways?”  D’Artagnan cast another confused look around the abandoned tavern.

            “Upstairs.  Sleep.”  Athos stood up and adjusted his clothes.  “Will you come?”

            “Yes, sir,” d’Artagnan tried to get up and stumbled, falling over into the older man’s arms.

            “Kids these days positively cannot drink!” Athos mumbled, shaking his blond mane of hair.  “Come on, boy.  Time to go to bed,” he added with a soft chuckle.

            “Yes, sir,” d’Artagnan mumbled again, leaning on the musketeer for support.

            He did not quite remember how, but somehow d’Artagnan was maneuvered safely up the stairs and into a small guest room.  Giving the space a casual inspection, Athos leaned the boy against the wall, where the latter remained, in a quasi-slumped state of exhaustion.

            “Oh no.  Looks like there is only one bed.  And it’s small.”  Athos crossed his arms across his chest and gave d’Artagnan a slow, measured look.  D’Artagnan felt something quiver in his loins.

            “Gawmph phrrrr,” the young man emitted from some place he could not identify.

            “You what me now?”


            “Hmm.” There was something almost sinister in Athos’s eyes that made d’Artagnan very uncertain of what he was actually trying to say in the first place.

            “D’Artagnan,” said Athos, emphasizing the TAN.  “This is conduct unbecoming a musketeer.”

            “Mphhhh.  Lust,” the young man mumbled, his eyes suddenly becoming very large, commensurate with the tent in his trousers.

            “Oh, no, no, no,” Athos shook his head, and expediently flipped the young man around, so that his face was now pressed against the cold timbers of the wall.  “This is not how we talk to our elders.”  D’Artagnan felt something rebelling inside him and wanted to scream.  Instead, he emitted an involuntary moan.  “Do you remember the first time we met, d’Artagnan?” Athos brought his lips very close to the boy’s ear as he whispered this inquiry.

            “Yes, sir,” the boy mumbled into the wall.

            “Then you will recall I promised you a lesson in manners?”

            “Yes, sir.”  D’Artagnan felt the strings of his trousers being unlaced by invisible fingers.

            “D’Artagnan,” the heat from the older man’s breath was softly tickling the boy’s earlobe, sending shivers of desire up and down his spine.  “Has anyone ever told you before that you’re a little bitch?  No?  Well.  Allow ME.”  A cold wind blew across d’Artagnan’s behind, followed incredibly closely by a well-aimed slap that rippled through his exposed skin.

            “Hey!” the boy exclaimed and tried to pry himself off the wall, only to be pushed deftly back into in.

            “D’Artagnan, you’re going to have to learn to take it like a man, if you’re planning on fraternizing with real men!”

            The boy sobbed a bit, tears of humiliation stinging his clear blue eyes.  This was definitely not what he had been hoping for, though, he had to admit, the development did not diminish his erection in the least.

            “I’m sorry, sir,” he breathed out and leaned closer into the wall, predominantly for support.

            “Good,” Athos resumed his position behind the boy.  “Now.  Where were we?” he asked, absentmindedly caressing d’Artagnan’s exposed buttocks.  “Ah yes.  You’re a brat!”  D’Artagnan was the receiver of another sharp slap on the ass.  “And … your … impoverished… vocabulary..,” Athos punctuated his tirade with more slaps.”…is an insult…. to the English… language!  That’s right ENGLISH!”  Slap.  “French too.”  Slap.

            “God, oh God, I’m sorry,” d’Artagnan moaned into the wall.  “I mean, don’t stop!”

            “You are a truly fascinating beast, d’Artagnan,” Athos added with another slap.  “If my hand was not getting so tired, I would continue, if for no other reason then in the hopes that each time I hit you on the ass, something is added to your dark void of a brain.”

            “I lust you,” d’Artagnan intoned in response.

            “Yes, I was afraid you might say that.”

            “No, seriously, you’re like, way hot,” the boy groaned.  To his utter astonishment, his trousers were suddenly pulled back up.

            “Get out,” Athos stated in his habitually husky and composed manner.


            “You heard me.  Out.”



            “But you…”

            “No I didn’t.”

            “But I…”

            “Leaving.  You are leaving.”

            “Where am I supposed to go sleep?”  the boy asked, retying the strings on his attire and scratching his head.

            “In the stable.  With the horses.  Obviously.”

            “Fine,” d’Artagnan pouted and cast another sheepish look in his companion’s direction.  “But I’m going to tell on you the first chance I get!”

            “To whom?”

            “To… I don’t know.  To Aramis!”

            “Don’t worry, d’Artagnan,” Athos responded calmly, with mock politeness holding the door open for the young man.  “I’ll tell him myself, later tonight.”

            And with these words, the door was shut in d’Artagnan’s face.  His lesson was over.