Fandom: FarfieVerse D/V! (MUNCLE)
2004 was a year when gay rights were talked about quite a lot in France, and it's precisely 40 years after the episode was aired for the first time.
This is intended as a sort of post-epi-well after-logue to Farf's series, just to get her to write some more.
Paris, 2004 They had just moved in, and already eight-year-old Camille was curious about their new neighbours.
" - Maman, pourquoi ils vivent ensemble, les deux vieux du premier? (Mum, why do the two old guys on the 2nd floor live together?)
- Pourquoi pas? (Why not?)
-Mais Mémé dit toujours que... (But Grandma always says that - )
- Mémé dit beaucoup de choses. Aide-moi à déballer." (Grandma always says a lot of things. Help me unpack.)
Camille was still curious, though, and decided on the next day to go and visit all their new neighbours. It was only polite, after all, and Camille had been brought up to be polite. Curiosity and anticipation warred when, at last, the child knocked on the old men's door.
There was a muffled sound and a cry that sounded like someone in pain, but Camille couldn't recognise the words. At last, the door jerked open. An old, tall, thin man was glaring down at the child through reading glasses perched low on his nose.
" - Euh, bonjour? (Er, hello?)
- Anton, I think I broke something!"
The voice was coming from another room. Camille thought the dark eyes of the man got even darker, but swallowed and went on in spite of his intimidating frown. The voice had sounded American, like the films Mum liked to watch. Camille wanted to be just like Katharine Hepburn (not Spencer Tracy)...
Right, the speech he'd rehearsed...
" - Ma maman et moi habitons au rez-de-chaussée, et nous venons d'emménager, et... (My mother & I live on the first floor and we've just moved in, and - )
- Vous avez une voiture? (do you have a car?)
- Euh, oui? (Er, yes?)
- Est-ce que ta maman peut nous emmener à l'hôpital? (can your mother take us to the hospital?)"
Camille's eyes got bigger. Had they fought? Had the tall, dark man injured the other one? He didn't sound American... More like Russian. There were a lot of Russians in Paris in the summer; Camille recognized the accent. What kind of idea was it, anyway, to go and visit people you don't know? Grandma certainly had a point - two men together, that was weird, and -
" - Oh, bonjour. Les nouveaux voisins, c'est Źa? Je m'appelle Michel, et lui c'est Antoine." (oh, hello. You're the new neighbours, right? I'm Michel, & this is Antoine)
Camille hadn't seen the American walk up to them. He was distinctly.... broader than the one who'd opened the door, and he was holding his wrist close to his chest.
" - Je crois que j'ai cassé mon poignet quand j'ai tombé." (I think I broke my wrist when I fell.) Michel winced when Antoine took his elbow and led him to a chair, but let him anyway. They didn't look like they had fought.
Antoine had left the door open, and Camille entered and followed them. Their flat was small, and the door led directly into a sitting room. Another door was ajar and led to a kitchen, and there were two other closed doors. Their bedrooms, probably. Or not, Camille thought as the taller man opened one and came out again with aspirin and some bandages. It was the bathroom. There was only one bedroom.
Grandma would not approve of any of her grandchildren being here.
But Camille stayed anyway, and watched as the two men, forgetful of their intruder, talked in low voices and Antoine wrapped Michel's wrist tightly. Michel, Camille decided, looked like a big, live, cuddly teddy bear. Antoine... had been scary at first, but as he was taking care of his companion his features had softened. And Michel watched him with a small smile.
" - Je peux aller demander à ma maman si elle peut vous emmener à l'hôpital." (I can go and ask my mum if she can take you to the hospital)
They both turned sharply at the sound of his voice as if they had completely forgotten the child's presence. They probably had. As Antoine opened his mouth, a somewhat dishevelled woman burst in.
" - Camille! Camille! Ah, te voilà! Qu'est-ce que tu fais ici? Camille ne vous a pas dérangé, au moins? Ah, vous vous Étes fait mal? La porte était ouverte et je suis entrée, je suis désolée..." (Camille! Camille! Ah, here you are! What are you doing here? I hope Camille hasn't bothered you too much! Oh, you're hurt! I'm sorry, the door was open and I entered...) Camille's mother took a breath and extended a hand. "Je m'appelle Carole." (I'm Carole)
The taller man gestured at his companion, then at himself. "Michel, et Antoine."
Carole looked at the man who had spoken. He still held his companion's arm between his long fingers, and hovered above him as if challenging anyone to hurt him. Even if he looked more frail. She swept her gaze around the flat, and saw pictures of the two men, sometimes with other people. On some of them, they were smiling at each other like her brother and his friend used to... Before. When Paul was still... still here. Carole shook herself.
" - Ah. Vous... vous avez besoin d'aller à l'hôpital? (Ah. Do you need to go to the hospital?)
- Oui. Je crois que le poignet de Michel a cassé. (yes. I think Michel's wrist is broken)
- Bon. Venez, je vous emmène." (Come, I'll drive you there)
Camille looked at the two men sitting close together. They were a bit like Uncle Paul and his friend, only much older. Three years ago, Mum had found Uncle Paul hanging from a beam after he and Grandma had shouted at each other for a whole evening. Since then, Grandma hated a lot of people, and Mum was a bit sad. Camille hadn't really understood then what had happened, but Mum had said Uncle Paul would never come and see them anymore. Camille had really liked him, though--he always had sweets with him. He had been only nineteen.
Michel winked at Camille and waved a pen.
" - Allez, viens, écris quelque chose sur le plâtre!" (Come on, write something on the plaster cast!)
Antoine smiled at them, and turned to Camille's mother.
" - Merci pour nous avoir emmenés. (thank you for driving us here)
- C'est normal... Et puis, Camille a l'air de vous apprécier. On ne connaît personne dans ce quartier, et j'ai besoin de conseils, savoir qui peut le garder quand je ne suis pas là, qui sont les bons docteurs, où est la meilleure boulangerie... Ce genre de choses. (that's ok. Besides, Camille seems to like you. And we don't know anyone in the neighbourhood, and I need some advice: someone to keep an eye on Camille when I'm not here, where to find the good doctors, the best bakery... This kind of things.)
- Michel et moi pouvons garder Camille. Comme merci." (Michel & I can help with Camille, as a thank-you) He paused. "Si vous voulez." (If you want)
Carole watched them. They looked like decent people. Paul... could not help anymore, and Camille's father had long disappeared. And her parents lived too far away to help, now. Maybe she could trade that for something... driving them around when they needed it?
" - Camille?
- Oh, oui, dis oui, maman, s'il te plaît! Michel a dit qu'il me montrerait comment faire des trucs cools avec mon cadeau d'anniversaire! (oh, yes, please, say yes! Michel said he'd show me how to make neat things with my birthday present!)
- On verra pour le set de chimie, Camille. Venez manger demain midi, et on en reparlera." (we'll see about the chemistry set, Camille. Come eat lunch tomorrow, and we'll talk about it)
Camille had been very fond of their two upstairs neighbours. They had died months ago, at the same time--Camille's mother suspected that the doctor had helped them leave this world together--and had been buried hand in hand. Camille still missed them and their stories of America, of Eastern Europe, of secret agents... But she had always preferred the stories of their lives, of how they had done everything to be together. It helped, sometimes. And it was a better story than Uncle Paul's. A story that made you hope, and work hard to make what you wanted most, what you really needed, come true. She owed them a lot.
Camille left a pink rose on their grave and walked away, a white chemist's coat flung on her arm.
Ze end. d/v page