fandom: French Court
rating: PG at most
pairing: Louis XIII/Richelieu
word count: 893
summary: Um, lots of random political intrigue - to get back story read my other fic #23 Lovers
authors notes if any: ...I have declared that history is bunk and I am re-writing it to my pleasure.
"C'est vrai my lord, I saw both of them, in bed." A hushed voice said, obviously suppressing a giggle. Concino smiled and patted the woman's cheek.
"You have done well Leonora." Leonora smiled and gave him a curtsy before exciting the room. Turning slowly he faced his mistress, Marie. "Well there you go, the key to your son's dethroning." The obese woman nodded, a satisfied smirk coming onto her face.
"Good, good. Both Richelieu and my son will be taken from power and hopefully…" She trailed off. Concino smirked and nodded.
"Exactement mon amoure." He murmured as he bowed from the room.
Pushing the paper away from him Louis rubbed his eyes. Three hours straight of going over lists for the Christmas Ball was not good for ones eyes.
"Three hundred guests attending, that means we need provisions for…oh god, at least five hundred." A groan escaped his lips as he mentally ran over the bill.
"…Next time get the guest list away from your mother's hands before she invites half of Europe." Armand muttered. Nodding Louis stood and strode over to the window. Looking out he could see bare outlines of the peasants working.
"I would hate to be them."
"A peasant." A warm arm wrapped around his waist, leaning back against Armand's chest Louis sighed.
"We are what God made us." The young king scowled as he twisted around in his advisor's arms.
"It's not that simple, we are what we make ourselves. We are what we want to be…"
"Ah, but God is who made us what we are, he was the one who made us who we are and therefore what we want to be. It is that simple and that's why it's so hard to understand." Louis said nothing, choosing instead to pout. His lower lip jutted out as he tilted his head to look at Armand. His brown eyes were watering slightly.
“You can blink your eyes you know, maybe then they won’t water.” Armand said passively as he ignored the younger man’s attempt at puppy dog eyes. Sighing Louis pulled away from Armand and walked back over to the desk and pushed the papers around on it.
"If I close my eyes do you think my work load will go away?" He asked wryly while turning to face the cardinal.
"I doubt it cherie." He paused, tilting his head to the side. "Work has a nasty habit of showing up when we least want it, like just around Christmas." He grinned and motioned to the trashcan. "But see, I have one of those magical cylinders too. I put my work in it and by morning it's gone." Louis laughed and shook his head.
"You jest." Armand gave him a quizzical look and Louis wondered whether or not the cardinal had been truthful. If he had been well…his work ethics weren't exactly ones to be in want of.
"Never mind that, it is late." He pinched out a candle. "Time for you to go to bed." Louis grinned and followed Armand out.
A week went by with decorations being put up, food ordered, and even more guests invited. The staff was stretched to the limits and Maria was contemplating hiring some more but according to the damn Cardinal the budget wouldn't support it. She then complained to Concino who, much to her annoyance, backed Armand on the matter. Then there was her son to consider. With each passing day he grew more popular with the people who demanded that he rule with out help from the queen regent. Finally the night had come much to the relief of well...everyone.
"Right this way Monsieur, Madame." The ball had started and people were being led into the grand hall. Candles lit up the room where decorations hung. It looked almost enchanted, or if it didn’t at first it certainly did after a few drinks.
"What do you think?" Armand whispered to Louis as the two mingled in the crowd doing their civic duty of saying hello to every significant person in the room.
"It's…grand." Louis replied as the two came upon Gaston, Louis's brother. "Bonjour." Louis said as he and his brother exchanged the required formal greetings. "Come, walk with us." Gaston nodded and joined his brother on his left (Armand on his right).
"There are heavy things afoot Louis." Gaston said once the three found a quiet corner to occupy. "I would be careful if I were you." Armand raised an eyebrow.
"Is that why you have been avoiding court?" He asked, his voice civil but the implications were obvious. Louis gave Armand a look then turned to his brother.
"Concino right? He and our mother?" Gaston nodded as the three looked across the hall at the couple. Concino was speaking with the minister of war from Sweden while Marie carried on with some no-name politician from the Holy Roman Empire.
"What do you know?" Louis swung his gaze back to his brother who merely smiled.
"I don’t know anything mon frère."
"The hell you do. You have spies here like everyone else. What is our mother planning?" Gaston held his hands up in defense.
"I wouldn't be able to tell you, my men have found out very little but, if I were you," He cast a look between Louis and Armand, "I would be a little more discrete." With that he walked away to join the rest of the crowd in their merry making.