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Le bal des chats

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Innocent Rouge what-if fic ft Marie and Andre cuz the titular song’s a bop. Enjoy this dumpster fire to your heart’s content.

“Once you wash that icing off of your face, come to Marie’s room to hear about her plan for the ball.” Marie uttered, once she and Andre left Jean-Louis to his usual activity of gorging on plates upon plates of food. As she saw the man go on ahead, Marie stopped momentarily, as if she forgot something important.

“Oh, and Blanka,” Marie called out as she turned her head to look back on the little monkey, “make sure that Jean-Louis doesn’t eat himself to death, yeah? Don’t want my dear husband choke on a bone before his first ball.” At her little mock question, Marie winked and the ever-mischievous animal stopped nibbling on the stolen chicken to “salute” Marie.

“Kikih!“

“Good girl.” Marie chuckled as she closed the door. As she made her way up to her room on the second floor, Marie was already forming a plan in her mind on how to embarrass the Queen of France. In one week, everyone will be talking about the airy step that Marie and her “husband” introduced to Versailles!

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With face and hair now cleaned and combed through of icing and crumbs, Andre rapped upon Marie’s door three times. “Lord Marie, it’s me, Andre.” Now well late into the evening, the valet held a candelabra, and Andre wondered what his master was going to do regarding her situation for the ball.

“Come in.”

Turning the handle on the door, Andre stepped inside and closed the door behind him. Seeing that Marie’s room was well lit from various other candles, Andre set the candelabra down on a nearby table. Marie was casually flipping through the pages of one of the books she found within the estate. It wasn’t out of genuine interest and more as a way to keep herself occupied as she waited for him.

“Hmph, took ya long enough.” Marie murmured after closing the book shut. She looked at the cover again before she threw it on a cushioned, ornamental chair near the window. Andre was unsure of Marie’s tone, although when she looked back at him, it was that same smile that she gave him hours before. Thank goodness, she isn’t angry at him at least. It was always difficult to tell whether Marie was joking or actually being critical of Andre.

“Ah, you wanted to discuss about the dinner party, right, Lord Marie?” Andre asked, as he collected himself. Marie nodded, her smile growing wider to show her pearly teeth gleam beneath the candlelight. “That’s right. Originally, Marie was thinking of bringing along a large doll to dance and throw around, perhaps even kiss it on the lips. However, Marie thought how boring it’d be to dance with something that can’t react.”

As she spoke, Marie walked a bit closer with her arms crossed. Andre took a few steps back and felt a heavy feeling in his stomach as her icy gaze came closer. “That’s why she’s decided that you, Andre, will come with Marie to Versailles as my partner for the couple’s dance.”

Andre blinked, not really believing what he was hearing. Silence stretched between master and servant until Andre finally responded, with his cheeks red as the blood that splattered all over Marie’s execution platform. Really, Marie wondered why she didn’t find the time to tease him more, seeing as how quickly he blushed.

“Y-y-y-you can’t be serious, Lord Marie?!” Andre stammered, shaking his hands as if to physically negate her words like a cloud of smoke. Surely she was just joking, right???!!!! Right??!!!

As if she read his thoughts, Marie replied coolly: “She’s serious, Andre. You will be going to this dance, like it or not.”

“B-but….what about Lord Jean-Louis…..what about the steps, w-what about-”

Marie shook her head before she let Andre finish his train of thought. “If you’re that worried about how Jean thinks, the most that he can do is just throw food at ya. Second, we have one week til the party, so that’s plenty of time for Marie to teach ya how to dance, Andre.” He merely nodded, cheeks still red.

Marie glanced back at the clock on the hearth to check the time. “It’s gettin’ late. Starting tomorrow, we’ll work on the dance, got it?”

“Yes, Lord Marie.” Andre replied, turning around to open the door. “Well, then, good night, Lord Marie.”

“ ‘night.”

It was going to be an interesting week indeed.

———————————————————————————————–

(“Even though I know what to do, I still can’t help but feel anxious, Lord Marie.” Andre confessed.)

As a richly decorated carriage entered the gates of the palace, there was a cry that the Jean-Louis Sanson couple had arrived. As the two entered the palace, there weren’t any obstacles until a couple of soldiers who were guarding the entrance to the Hall of Mirrors, where the party was held. Fortunately, once Marie pulled back the covering of her dress a bit to threaten the two with being cursed, the soldiers relented out of fear.

(“Just relax, Andre, and let Marie lead.” Marie replied to her servant as they stepped inside.)

In the Hall of Mirrors, beautiful men and ladies danced and made merry beneath glittering chandeliers, while Antoinette chatted gleefully to another nobleman. Every person was enjoying themselves except for the King himself, preferring to sit and look on the floor out of shame that he, like a toad, could never enter that beautiful flower garden himself.

“M-mademoiselle, please, stop!” Someone cried out, and that cry was what momentarily broke the spell, and the king’s depressing ruminations. Some nobles began whispering who the two people were, although Antoinette quickly saw that it was none other than Marie. Beside the executioner, was some young man whom she saw to be at Marie’s side from time to time - perhaps a servant?

“Monsieur,” Marie asked as she came closer to the first violinist in the ensemble, her arm around Andre’s, much to his chagrin with such close contact, “would you mind playing us this tune, in the style of a gavotte, of course?” Here, Marie whispered the melody in his ear, and the concertmaster gasped in shock.

“A-a gavotte?! We could never play a commoner’s tune such as that…!”

His comment was ignored, as Marie clasped Andre’s and had him place one hand on her shoulder. Marie grinned at him before loudly exclaiming to all at Versailles that “her husband” and she, Marie-Joseph Sanson, shall present a magnificent dance!

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Once the ensemble commenced, that was when the real festivities began! Grabbing Andre’s hand, Marie took the lead as the couple jumped, her dress bilowing around her like a red rose in full bloom. Andre tried his best to focus on the music and disregard the onlookers as Marie told him to. Once heels click-clacked on the polished floor, much to the surprise of everyone, the Prevote de L'Hotel quickly spun her attendant around as the lyrics fell from her blood-red lips. It was clear that Marie was dancing the man’s part of the gavotte, while the stumbling dark-haired servant took on the role of the "woman”.

Un gros chat se rendit au bal

Tikiti tom ta tikiti tom

Un gros chat se rendit au bal

Tikiti tom ti day

Un gros chat se rendit au bal

A pris ses bottes et son cheval

Me cax macari duck and a dil

Tikiti tom ti day

Antoinette couldn’t believe what she was seeing and hearing! Such crude steps and hackneyed notes were taking place at her party! Marie was doing her best to insult the Queen of France…..!

Au bal des chats et ds souris

Tikiti tom ta tikiti tom

Au bal des chats et des souris

Tikit tom tiday

Au bal des chats et des souris

À petits pas, rondes et quadrilles

Me cax macare duck and a dil

Tikiti tom ti day

Glancing at Antoinette, Marie narrowed her eyes in satisfaction. Good. Her plan was getting to the Queen already.

Hey Souris, veux-tu qu'on se marie?

Tikiti tom ta tikiti tom

Hey Souris, veux-tu qu'on se marie?

Tikiti tom ti lay

Hey Souris, veux-tu qu'on se marie?

J'ai de l'or et du crédit

Me cax macare duck and a dil

Tikiti tom ti day

Returning her gaze back at Andre, she quickly grabbing Andre by the waist. Having fun with her role as the “cat”, Marie lifted Andre’s chin as she sang the “proposal”. With such a rapid beat, the audience felt like they were transported from the court to a meadow where a large bonfire roared, where Marie, dressed in tattered clothes, was seducing a nervous young woman with pitch-black hair.

Suddenly, Andre yelped when he felt Marie pick him up by the waist and threw him upwards, much to everyone’s shock. Andre didn’t have much time to react, as Marie caught him as fast as she threw him, finishing the verse once Marie set him down. He blushed as he sang his “reply”, taking her hand as he twirled behind his master so that his arm was linked with hers.

Je n'veux pas me marier

Tikiti tom ta tikiti tom

Non je n'veux pas me marier

Tikiti tom ti day

Non je n'veux pas me marier

Je veux courir dans le blés

Me cax macare duck and a dill

Tikiti tom ti day

They returned to their original positions as the song wound to a close, with Marie smiling confidently towards the King and Queen, while Andre looked down with flushed cheeks. At the sight, the nobles, who were originally perplexed, were now in awe. Despite the ridiculousness of the dance, there was some beauty in it that couldn’t be ignored. Even His Majesty, so entertained, got up from his seat and applauded, yelling out “Olé!” or “Encore!”.

Looking up, Andre felt his face being pulled in by Marie’s hand until she pressed her lips against his. ‘L-Lord Marie??!!!’ Andre cried out in his mind until Marie broke away. All around her, Marie heard the shocked gasps and murmurs, although she didn’t give a shit about them. Andre quickly put a hand to his mouth as Marie laughed, turning her head to face the King and Queen once more.

“Your Majesty,” Marie spoke to Antoinette, clearly rubbing the entire spectacle in the Queen’s face, “thank you *so* much for inviting us to the ball and to have the honor of dancing in front of you and your husband. Now, if you’ll excuse us…”

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Leaving the Hall of Mirrors, Andre still covered his mouth and was silent, until Marie, teasingly asked him: “What’s wrong, Andre? Cat got your tongue?”