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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

Zero Tolerance: No Man or Woman has the Right - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Cat Smith
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

The house was a majestic, three storied building in the Garden District of New Orleans. It was a grand, old fashioned reminder of better, classier times gone by, in the city. A dark figure stood at the doorway, fumbling with some keys. Upon closer inspection, the onlooker would find him to be a rather shady looking character, black leather jacket and pants, and sunglasses, even though it was the middle of the night. As he glanced around, the moonlight glinted off them eerily.

If anyone was watching, though, this man wasn't bothered. It was his house. Anyone who knew him would know why he was wearing the sunglasses. Usually, he just wore them to hide his mutant eyes - they were enough to scare most people, being red, and glowing as they did. But tonight, they were also to hide the large purple bruise under his left eye. Coughing, he swore under his breath and put the bag he was carrying down. He found the right key, and slotted it into the door, not an easy thing to do with two broken fingers; but this man was an expert at getting into places in... unusual conditions.

Though, he pondered, being in this state wasn't exactly unusual any more. With a sigh, he picked up the bag and entered the house. He hung his jacket up on a hook in the hallway and opened the front door. The sight that greeted him was horrifying.

"Therese!?" He fell to the floor, where his five year old daughter lay unconscious, bruising, and he was pretty sure, with some broken bones. Anger filled him, and he looked up, hearing a singing voice from the kitchen. Stroking Therese's cheek, he got up and silently stalked over to the kitchen door. Opening it, he saw his wife, sipping bourbon, and singing a happy little tune. He blonde beauty smiled at him.

"Bonjour, Remy! Y' wan' play?"

She stood, walking over to him and unbuttoning his shirt. She kissed him roughly, giggling. Remy pushed her away.

"Belle, you bitch. You crazy bitch! I gon' kill you f' what you done t' Terri!"

She shrugged, and reached out, one hand stroking his nipple, the other slid down between his legs. Eyes flashing in anger, he pushed her away again. Noticing some cutlery on the side, he picked it up and tried to charge it with his mutant power to fill inanimate objects with kinetic energy. The charge was weak, however, due to him not using the ability for a long time, his own weakness, and his fear of charging too much - he had only a little control over the power. He threw the glowing items at her, but she dodged, and they went thru the window, with a relatively undramatic *BOOM!*.

Belles violet eyes narrowed, and she stood tall, still, her arms folded. Her husband glared at her. He opened his mouth to say something that was no doubt rude and nasty, but before he could, her foot shot out, lightening fast, and hit him in the stomach. As he doubled over, falling to his knees, she smiled. That had probably re-opened the wound from last week, when he'd gotten into her and her brothers way during a job. Belle had enjoyed that, tying him up, slowly torturing him into submission using assorted drugs and pain. She smiled at the memory. It had been wonderful.

"Was that the best you could do? How pathetic!" she taunted, standing on his already half- broken hand. She noticed his grimace of pain, and with a smile, went on. "You used to be so much better... a better fighter, a better lover... except for last week, of course..."


She ground her foot on his hand, but he didn't make a sound. Thieves didn't, for fear of being caught. So they put up with the pain. "But now, you're like your daughter. Pathetic."

Remy glared up at her, his black eye making Belle smile. "She's y' daughter. How can y' do dis t' her?"

Belle cocked her head, thinking, then backhanded her husband onto his back, and climbed on top of him. "Because," she growled, "She's stupid. She takes after her fucking father." Her hand snaked down, unbuttoning his fly. Remy tried to push her off him, but her leg snapped out, landing smartly on his arm, creating a nice *snap* when it hit. Remy only glared at her in silence, his eyes watering from the pain. Belle knew exactly how to take her husband down. Wait till he was weak - and she was sure he was, perhaps that nasty belly wound had gotten infected? - and take him. Simple. And she made sure he was always weak, so that she had the advantage - man were naturally stronger than women, so Belle made sure there was always a nice reason for Remy to be weaker than her - a concussion, a broken limb or two, a couple or five nasty cuts and bruises... it was not only helpful, it was fun too. And usually, he fought back very little, for the sake of his precious daughter, so that Belle wold hurt him instead of her.

"Y' know, LeBeau, dis is y' own fault, what happen t' her?"

"Wha' y' talkin' ‘bout?"

"You should be here protectin' the chile, not off galavantin' wit' some whore."

"I was gettin' groceries. Food, y' know? Us humans need dat."

Belle gave a short, barking laugh, and her eyes gleamed madly. "Oh, but y'ain't human. Y' a mutie freak. Maybe I should turn y'over t' de Friends a Humanity? I sure dey do somethin' nice t' y'." She leaned down and kissed him passionately, her anger turning to desire, her hands running over his body. Her kissing him was a mistake. He head-butted her, got up, ignoring the dizziness, and kicked her in the head, causing her to fall backward and hit her head on the cooker with a resounding *clang*. Remy looked at her suspiciously, but when she didn't move, went over to her and checked her pulse.

Hmmp. She still alive. He looked away, wincing in pain. Good. Unlike you, girl, I ain't a killer.

Ignoring his own injuries, he wet a tea towel and went into the front room. He put the cloth on his daughters head, waking her. She coughed violently, and Remy frowned.

"Da...Daddy?" She wheezed. Remy squeezed her hand, wanting to hug her but afraid of broken ribs.

"Petite, can y' walk? I know it hurts, but dis real important." He looked at her legs. There were a few bruises, but nothing was swollen. He helped her stand up, and was satisfied she could walk by herself. "Okay, Terri? I need y' t' go upstairs and get some clothes an' some stuff y' cain't bear t' leave behind in a bag. Dis real important, chere, so hurry."

He picked her up with his good arm, wincing as she brushed past the wound in his stomach. Carrying her upstairs, he let her go into her bedroom as he went in the bathroom to clean himself up a little. Glancing in the mirror, he grimaced. He looked awful. His black eye was horribly swollen, his shirt was soaked with blood, and his arm hurt horribly - he was surprised it wasn't a compound fracture. Taking off his shirt, he turned the tap on, and used the towel to clean the blood away. Opening the medicine cabinet, he took out a bandage and a sling. With some difficulty, he managed to one-handadly wrap the bandage around his middle, using his teeth to help tie the knot. Leaving his shirt where it was, he grabbed his shower bag, and threw painkillers into it, along with a special herbic blend to help breathing that Tante Mattie had given him. Also grabbing some scissors, several rolls of bandage, and filling a few bottles with water, they also went in the bag.

As he went along the hall to his own room, he checked on Terri. She was putting her clothes into a pink Minnie Mouse rucksack, and he could see a teddy bear poking out of the top of it. Smiling, he entered his own room.

Letting his breath out slowly, he ran out hand thru his waist-length auburn hair and looked around, wondering what he could get in a hurry - Belle wouldn't be out long, he knew. He hauled a small suitcase from the top of the mahogany wardrobe. Into this went some clothes out of his drawers, and all the contents of his top drawer. It was just his ‘junk' - all the stuff that was important to him, and probably no-one else. This included photo's of his family and friends, poems he'd written in hospital, his diary, a chain with a crucifix that was given to him by Tante Mattie, as well as things he liked or needed - a few sleepers, paper and pens, his and Terri's passports, batteries, and a maglite. He grabbed a few things for Therese, like books, cassettes, a mini TV, and a few games, and pitched them into a Cat rucksack. Giving the room a last sweep, he then took the bottom out of his drawer and took out the bank card and money that was there. The money totalled about $800, and the bank card was to an account that Belle didn't know he had - Remy'd been saving up for an occasion like this. Grabbing the two bags, with some difficulty, he hurriedly went into Therese's room.

"Petite? Y' ready?"

Big blue eyes looked up at him, shining. "Daddy, why we have to go?" she asked as she slung the bag over her shoulder. Remy knelt down, understanding her worry.

"‘Cause I don' want Mommy t' hurt y' any more. I love y', chile, an' I wan' make sure y' safe."

She looked at him, and then smiled bravely. "I don't want Mommy t' hurt you either, Da." Giving her a quick, light hug, he then led her down-stairs. He opened the car door, and let Terri in, then shoved the luggage in. He went back inside the house, and grabbed the bag full of groceries, his mind busy, wondering where they should go. As he sat down in the car and started the engine, he decided LA would probably be the best place - it was very easy for a man to die, then be reborn there, without anyone batting an eyelid.

Looking over at his daughter, she was asleep. He frowned at that, wondering if she might have a concussion. Shaking her gently, she woke, and he nodded his head, she was probably fine. Not wanting to risk it, he told her to stay awake until they reached a service station.

They reached one at just after 3 in the morning. Remy was exhausted and he felt awful. He had more important things to worry about though. He pulled his daughter close, and examined her head. There seemed to be no bleeding, though, and her eyes focussed fine.

Nodding, staisfied, he got some gas, and went into the shop. A tired looking young lady was sat, blearily reading a battered copy of ‘Cosmopolitan'. Without looking up at her customer, she asked;

"Can I help you?" In that monotonus voice that said ‘I'm paid to do this, and that's the only reason I'm here. Hurry up and get out.' Remy, taking the hint just fine, replied in the negative and went over to the fridge to get something to eat and drink. Taking the items, which turned out to be a few bottles of coke, a pack of cheese sandwiches and a Cornish pasty, to the counter, he yawned again, and stretched his aching bones. For the first time, the girl looked at him.

"Ya know, if ya want ta fahnd somewhere ta sleep, there's a Holiday Inn just down the road a l'il."

Remy looked up, finding her accent a little thicker than he was used to. He wondered just how far he'd come, and with a glance at his watch, found he'd been driving for four hours.

Mon dieu!! Where de hell am I!? He found himself asking the woman the same question.

Remy could see her face change as her training came to life - it was like magic, changing from grumpy and tired to bright and chirpy in an instant.

"You're just a few miles west of Houston, Texas, home of the Space Project!!" A few moments after those words had been said, she blinked, then frowned in confusion as she wondered what had just happened. Tring to hide his smile, Remy paid for the goods and gas and left.

Settling back down in the car, he handed a sandwich and half of the pasty to Therese. Also, he handed a bottle of cola. He'd gotten cola because he knew they couldn't get much sleep, as Belle would be awake and storming after them right now. They had maybe a couple of hours, as Belle's first thought would have been that they'd gone to France, to live with some of Remy's uncles there. It wouldn't, however, be too long before she found them.

As she finished off her sandwich, Therese looked up at her daddy, rubbing her eyes. "Da, I'm tired."

Absent-mindedly telling her not to rub her eyes, she'd make them sore, he agreed with her. "But we on' get a hotel room in a mo', den we're off to LA!" Remy looked down at his daughters confused expression, then clarifed. "Hollywood, chere, where all de movie stars live!!"

Terri's expression lightened considerably, and she was happy for the rest of the short ride to the Holiday Inn.

Bright sun streamed through the windows of the hotel room, awakening Remy LeBeau. With a groan, he stirred, and gasped at the pain his arm and stomach brought. Screwing his face up, he took several deep breaths.

Dat's it, Remy, take it easy, he told himself. Sitting up in the bed, he stroked his daughter's face with a smile, then went to the bathroom to try and freshen up. Letting his breath out, he turned on the shower, and stared at it for a moment, hypnotised by the pattering of the water on the blue, tiled floor of the cubicle. Shaking off the effect, he then stripped off, and stepped into the stream of hot water. Adjusting the temperature slightly to accommodate his desires, he let the blood, dirt, and Belle's degradations toward him wash away with the water. With a sigh, he climbed out of the cubicle, and padded, dripping, across the floor.

Looking at himself in the large mirror, he looked at his reflection. He saw a man in his mid- twenties, with long, waist-length red-brown hair, a goatee beard and moustache, and eerie red-on-black eyes. As he looked further down, at his injured body, he gently fingered his stomach wound. It wasn't healing very well, and he added that to the list of things to tell the doctor when they reached a hospital in LA. Wrapping a towel around himself, he wandered into the main room, and fumbled in his bag for the first aid kit, and a change of clothes. Before going back to the bathroom, he checked to see if his still-sleeping daughter was alright. She was fine. Back in the bathroom again, he unrolled a fresh bandage, and wrapped it around himself. Satisfied at the tightness of it, he them looked at his arm. He couldn't move his wrist, it just fell, limply when he tried to move it. With a sigh, he got the wrist support from the first aid kit, and put it on, being careful not to jar his broken hand - it would have to do until they got to LA, where Remy felt safe that they could see a doctor - Houston was a little too near to New Orleans for his comfort zone.

Looking at his Rolex, he frowned as he saw it was 8am. They'd have to get a move on soon, before Belle found them, and he knew she would, with her pet telepath, Gisèle, her reluctant partner. In LA, though Belle wouldn't dare to go near them, as the Southern Calafornia guild knew her face very well from the time she and her brother had gone on a killing spree there for a millionaire business man after killing all his rivals. The guilds had an agreement - Louisiana was Belle's guild's playing ground, California the other guild's, and everywhere else, providing there was no assassins guild there, was open to anyone. But Belle had broken the rule, and there was, to Remy's knowledge, now a price on her head if she entered California again.

Safe in that knowledge, he got dressed, and then went into the bedroom to wake Therese. Remy noted her wheezing with some concern, and checked her ribs. They were definatly broken, and he conceded that he would have to get the girl to a hospital as soon as possible. Meanwhile, though, he had to get her wounds cleaned, and get her looking more presentable. He looked thru her bag, asking what she wanted to wear.

"Minnie," was her concise answer. Remy grinned at her. She loved her Minnie Mouse outfit, with its eared headband. Catching his finger on something sharp, he pulled it out to find that it was indeed, her Minnie ears. He handed them to her, and she was about to put them on when Remy stopped her.

"No, chere! You'll hurt de cut on your head." Taking her, and her clothes into the bathroom, he started running the water again, only a great deal cooler than he'd ran it at. Putting her in the cubicle, she flinched under his hands as the stinging water ran into her cuts.

"Ow! Daddy, it hurts!"

"I know, Terri, but we havta get y' cuts clean or they'll go bad." With that, she let him do so, and watched as the red-tinted water ran down the plug-hole. Soon, the water was turned off, and Remy wrapped her in a fluffy towel. He dried her, then dressed her. Checking for still- bleeding cuts, he stuck a band-aid on them, to stop the bleeding.

"All better, hon?" He asked, and was rewarded with a big grin and a kiss on the tip of his nose. Giving her a little hug, Remy then pushed her towards the bed-room, and told her to get something to eat out of the bag of groceries. When she was gone, he looked in the mirror, and decided what to do to make himself a little less conspicuous. Before he could change his hind, he shaved off his beard, and cut his hair to the jaw-line. Looking in the mirror, he was surprised to see a stranger look back at him. Smiling, he walked in the front room, to see Therese with crisp packets, chocolate wrappings, and juice-boxes scattered around her. She smiled up at him, and he shook his head.

"Therese, when I said to get something to eat, I didn't mean make a mess! Clean up, gal."

Grudgingly, with a pout that would have made the best model jealous, she did as she was asked. Grabbing something for himself to eat, Remy packed the bags, then checked the room. Satisfied he had left anything, they went downstairs to check out.

Two hours and a taxi ride later, Remy and Therese LeBeau stepped into Houston International Airport. A pair of new, silver rimmed Ray-Bans sat on the bridge of Remy's nose, to hide his eyes, and $300 was in his hand, that he'd been paid for his car.

Now, hopefully, there's a flight to LA in a few hours. Walking over to Delta Airlines check in, he found there was one, so he booked two seats in standard class, and sat down to wait.

After a bit of cajoling, he took Therese to buy something to do on the flight. Evantually, they found a colouring book and some brightly hued pens, and a magnetic copy of snakes and ladders. As they were walking back to their seat, the announcer made last calls for their flight.

Oh, merde, dats what I get for not lis'nin'! Hurrying to the plane, Remy noticed Gisèle. Quickening his step, he hoped she wouldn't see them. Reaching the flight attendant on the door, she told them they were just in time, and as soon as they sat down the big doors were closed. Although Belle couldn't follow them on this plane, she now knew where they were going. Remy just hoped she wouldn't be stupid enough to follow them.


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