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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14


Written by Monica Tamaru
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 2

“Guys! This is Jean. She’s my new roommate. Jean this is Jubilee, Bobby and Peter. Marie should be around here somewhere.” The group gave Jean a cursory glance before making room. Kitty immediately launched into a story about gym class, competing with Jubilee to be the loudest. Jean sat silently, trying not to laugh over the girl’s antics. She nibbled on a roll while immediately searching out the exits.

Bobby was trying to ask Jean questions about herself, but could barely get a word in edgewise. His blue eyes were filled with mischief and he had a warm smile that made Jean feel at ease. Harmless was the first word that popped into her mind.

“So where are you from?”

“Boston,” Jean said quickly, stuffing some roast beef into her mouth. Mmmmm. Yum.

“Hey, guess what? Betsy said she saw an incredibly hot guy coming out of Xavier’s office today.” Jubilee shouted across the table. She had on an incredibly yellow jacket, even though it was close to eighty degrees outside. “It’s about time this school got a decent looking guy.”

Bobby and Peter glared at her.

“Oh yeah, well…” Peter never had a chance. Both girls had already moved to the next topic.

“Who’s that with Marie?” Kitty asked, jaw hanging to the ground. Remy was sauntering across the room, enjoying the many speculative looks he got. His eyes brightened when he found Jean. Marie was trailing slightly behind him, a sullen look across her face. Jean was sure Remy had pissed her off and couldn’t care less.

Remy didn’t glance back at his guide and plopped down next to Jean. Slight surprise registered when Marie followed him to the table, but Remy was ignoring her quite well.

“What is all that about?” Jean whispered to him, indicating Marie.

“Later,” he said. Putting on a brilliant smile that made Jean roll her eyes, he turned to Kitty, who was still gaping. “Bonjour mademoiselle. I am Remy, Jeannie’s brother.”

“Kitty.” Jean stared at the motormouth. Where was the incessant chatting, giggling and gossiping? Kitty had a goofy grin on her face.

“Hi, I’m Jubilee,” the teen said, pushing Kitty aside. She grinned at Remy, getting one in return before Remy could check his reaction. “This is Peter and Bobby.”

Remy nodded to the boys, who were regarding him carefully, and grabbed an apple off Jean’s tray. She gave him a withering look before calmly taking back her apple and shoving him in the direction of food. Kitty and Jubilee were at it again, and Jean delighted in their friendly bickering. It had been a long time since she felt so…normal.

-----Six years ago-----

“Is Remy coming home, mama?” ten-year-old Jean asked, bouncing up and down on the couch. She loved it when her brother came to live with them. Jean Luc demanded Remy’s time for half the year so that he could teach his son the family business. Jean didn’t know what it was, but she knew she didn’t like it when Remy went away. Especially since mama married Erik. Jean didn’t like Erik.

“Yes, Jeannie. Now stop jumping on the furniture.” Mama smiled despite the rebuke. She had soft red hair that curled around her shoulders. Jean loved to wrap her fingers around those curls. The sun hit the top of her head, and it looked like a fiery nimbus. It was her eyes that Jean didn’t like. The gray was sad and lonely.

Jean couldn’t sit still. She missed her brother who was her only source of companionship. The kids at school didn’t like her much because she was so far ahead of them. The teachers didn’t like her much because they mistook her shyness for arrogance. It was okay because she didn’t like them much either. She kept running to the window to see if the cab was there yet, causing her mother to glance worryingly at the bedroom where Erik was passed out.

“I’m here!” Remy announced, expecting his mother and sister to drop everything to greet him, which they promptly did. He dropped his duffle bag in the hall and stripped out of his jacket as he ran to the living room. His shaggy hair hung into his eyes, but he refused to have it cut. Jean threw her skinny arms around his neck and mama pulled them both into a hug. Even as he protested about being squeezed, he hugged them both back fiercely. Things were as they should be once again.


Bobby didn’t like him. That wasn’t quite correct. Bobby couldn’t stand him. Bobby had never been very confident about himself, and those mocking glances and biting retorts made him feel unimportant. And angry. In less than a day he had all the girls hanging on his every badly pronounced word. He knew Remy could speak perfect English because he heard him talking to Jean in the hall, but that damned accent seemed to draw girls to him like bees to honey. Except for Marie. She didn’t think he was so great. Bobby leaned back in his bed, and then let out a grunt. Shoving the books that were hidden under his pillow onto the ground, he wanted to close his eyes just for a minute before he had to leave again.

The door slammed open and Remy stalked into the room. He had taken the longest test of his life and he wasn’t happy about it. Locked in a tiny white room with nothing but a folding table and chair was enough to drive him crazy. Ignoring Bobby’s yell, he went straight to the window and climbed out onto the roof.

Hope he breaks his pretty face. Bobby thought sourly. He glanced over to the meticulously straightened desk and bed, and grimaced. There was only so much a guy could take. He slammed the window closed before running out of the room to make it to class.

Remy climbed to the top of the roof and took a deep breath. The dark clouds rolling overhead that foretold rain for the evening matched his mood perfectly. The air had a bite to it that made Remy wish he got his jacket back from Jean, but he simply leaned back and closed his eyes. He was tired. Life tired. He got out a cigarette and took a deep drag. Jean hated it when he smoked, and as far as she was concerned he had quit, but as the smoke filled his lungs he became calm. His hands stopped shaking as he thought about this school. Though there was something strange about this place, he was more concerned that it was clean, warm and safe. He knew Xavier would be surprised at Jean’s test scores. In fact, he couldn’t wait to see his expression when he saw them.

Remy hadn’t had formal schooling since the sixth grade, the year his mother died. Jean managed to get through eighth grade at Remy’s insistence, but she was a genius so he knew she wouldn’t be that far behind. What if they told him to leave? Could he leave Jean? Remy lowered his head into his hands. He’d be damned if he dragged Jean away from this gift. He wouldn’t watch her starve and freeze her life away. The rain began to fall, but Remy just sat there, the depressing thoughts tumbling about his head. A flash of lightening flashed and he sighed, brought back to reality. Cold, harsh reality. He climbed back down to find the window locked closed. A bad sign for sure.

“Look at these scores! They’re phenomenal. Jean Grey registers as a genius. Remy figured out college level calculus. With a fifth grade education! They are also well versed in literature, art and music,” Hank said, poring over the printouts. He easily tuned out the other staff members as he immersed himself in the numbers. Xavier often despaired over his preference to zone out the real world for his own world.

The staff was assembled in the lower level war room. This level’s purpose was security and information. Nobody but the staff knew of its existence. They ran everything from these rooms.

“Well, that was rather unexpected,” Ororo said, absently flipping through the results. She wasn’t interested about these two in the least. Logan squeezed her leg under the table and they were going to have some off time together as soon as they got out of there. Logan didn’t really care either. He didn’t like being surprised, but Ororo’s foot rubbing up and down his leg made it difficult to think of the issue.

“We spent a lot of time in the library. They don’ ask too many questions when y’ have a book in front of y’. It was a good way t’ keep warm,” Remy said, leaning against the door frame. He had a bored expression on his face and his ankles were crossed casually. “So what do y’ have down here that y’ have it all guarded. It took me a couple of hours t’ get in.”

“Couple hours!” Scott choked out. He was stunned at seeing Remy there. He was even more surprised to hear how easily he got in. The other teachers stared at him, silent. Except Hank, who still hadn’t looked up from the report. Remy enjoyed the attention, and waited a couple of seconds before answering.

“Yeah. The wiring’s a bitch t’ get through. Maybe t’ree steps from bein’ impossible. Nice place down here.” The room looked like a control room for NASA. A huge screen covered one wall and computers were scattered around the room. The shiny mahogany table stretched across the entire room. At each seat was a computer screen and telephone. On the monitors were headshots of Jean and himself that were at least a year old. His eyes narrowed. “So did y’ find out my Jeannie’s a genius? Do y’ think that test even touched how much she knows? I expected more from a school as expensive as this. I’ll give y’ two days t’ fix the security on anything y’ don’ want me messing with.” He left as silently as he had entered.

The room remained still and quiet, all eyes watching the departing figure.

“Well what the hell do we do about this?” Logan said, practically gnashing his teeth together. No more playing around. Ororo closed her eyes as she saw all her plans being flushed down the toilet. A moment later, she was composed and cool. “He probably already got into the system.”

Xavier had a curious grin on his face. “I am almost positive he has. He can’t know what he was looking at. Plus, why would he risk the advantages he has here? He saw a challenge and overcame it. Exactly what we encourage from our students.”

We can’t risk that some fucking kid will unmake everything we have been working toward all these years. I say throw them back on the streets and cut our loses. Watch them for a couple of years, just in case.” Ororo slightly nodded, the serene expression never slipping from her face. Hank never indicated he even heard a word, though his eyes skittered around furiously. Only Scott looked a bit uneasy, but he didn’t say a word. All eyes turned to Xavier.

“Now Logan, we’ve been watching them for years. You of all people should know how much we need them. Remy will easily fill our electronics gap, as he has proven. Now this girl proves to be more than dead weight. We just need to gain their trust. A couple of counseling sessions will do wonders, I am sure. Plus where are they going to go? Who are they going to tell?” Xavier steepled his fingers under his chin. “Scott, you have two days. If he gets into the system again, I will be very unhappy.”

Remy raced to the girls’ dormitory. He ignored the scattered the greetings and gave an impatient knock before opening the door to Jean’s room. She raised her eyebrows, trying to fight a grin. He scowled at her and quickly assumed his casual demeanor. He pulled a chair over to her and waited for her to speak.

Jean decided to ignore his drop in composure. “Look what I found, Rem.” She turned to gage his reaction.

On the screen was a blueprint of the school. Jean turned layers on and off and the sewer, electrical, and the security plans were visible. Remy stared at the screen, trying to memorize as much as possible. He let out a low whistle, his only sign of approval.

“I was there today,” Remy said absently, pointing to a small section in the lower level. “I didn’t know how big this place really is. How hard was it to get? Will they know you got it?”

Jean grinned at him. Though Remy was great at anything electrical, it was Jean who worked the computer systems with ease. Their strengths worked well with each other. “It was pretty bad. They have more fucking safeties then the CIA. They shouldn’t be able to detect it, though. I didn’t go in too deeply.”

“Watch your language,” Remy said, turning his attention to frowning at is sister.

“Why didn’t you take me? What are they hiding down there?” Jean asked, ignoring the criticism. Hypocrite!

“I only had a few minutes down there. There are a bunch of small rooms and it would have taken too long to check them all. They do have a huge file room with info on all the kids. They were keeping tabs on us for years. I thought Xavier wanted you, but now I’m not so sure.” He was troubled. He had to seriously consider staying here among these people who wanted to use them in some way or leaving and facing…who knows what. Was the known evil the lesser of the two?

“Do we have to leave?” Jean tried to keep the despair out of her voice. She hated moving around so much, but she would follow Remy anywhere.

“I don’t know yet. We need to get in there and figure out exactly what they want. They are beefing up security as we speak. We need to get you a laptop and I need my tools. You’re going to have to cover for me this weekend. I should only be gone for a few hours.”

“How are you going to get a laptop?” Jean raised her hand as Remy opened his mouth to answer. “Never mind. I don’t want to know. Be careful.”

“Always.” The door clicked open and Marie walked in. She smiled at Jean and tried to ignore Remy. She did glance his way to see if he noticed her ignoring him. He easily caught her glance at grinned lazily at her. She angrily grabbed a book and stalked out.

“What did you do to her? Not that I care that she doesn’t like you, but I have to live with her,” Jean said. She shut down the computer and moved back over to her area, lying across the bed.

“Nothin’. She likes me, jus’ not ready t’ admit it yet.” He shrugged, but Jean could tell that Marie had flustered him.

“You’re so egotistical. She probably just doesn’t like you. It is possible, despite how irresistible you think you are.” Not bloody likely. Jean would watch Marie carefully. Her brother didn’t know what was good for him when it came to girls.

“It’s a curse, this undeniable charm.” His tone was flat and he left suddenly. Jean frowned. Belle. It always came back to Belle.

----------2 yrs. ago-----------

Jean stared at the little blonde urchin that followed her brother into the alley that was doubling as their home. She looked every bit as raggedy as Remy and herself, but the girl held herself like a queen. Jean turned to glare at her brother, who had the grace to blush.

“Hey Jeannie. This is Belle. She’s goin’ t’ take us t’ Brooklyn.” They needed to get out of Manhattan for a while. Somebody was watching them. Remy tossed Jean a sandwich from his pocket, and began gathering their things.

Belle stared back at Jean. There was only mild curiosity in her look. Belle was a pretty girl with dirty blonde hair to her shoulders and wide blue eyes. She had skinny arms and scarred knees. Jean decided not to like her. Remy smiled at the girl and Jean narrowed her eyes. She wasn’t going to like Belle at all.

“Let’s go.” Remy said, throwing Jean her sweatshirt. She put it on while stuffing the sandwich down her throat and quickly ran to catch up as Remy and Belle walked off.

Jean had tons of questions, but she held them patiently as the navigated through the city streets and the underground. Nobody spoke until they reached a small restaurant on the fringes of Brooklyn.

“Stay here while I tell Julian that I’m back. Don’t talk to anyone and stay here!” Belle said, glancing around the smoky room. She sounded a bit agitated as she headed to the back.

“What the hell are you doing?! Why are we here following some girl that came out of nowhere? Are you crazy?” Jean rounded on Remy, eyes shooting sparks. Remy shrugged meekly.

“She told me her family was in the business. Our business. We needed to get out for a bit anyway. If it doesn’t work, we’ll move on like always,” he said, his voice pitched to be soothing. It usually always got him his way. He forgot Jean was immune to his numerous charms.

“Why is it that all a pretty girl has to do is smile and wave, and suddenly you lose whatever sense you ever had? Don’t you think that this could be serious trouble?” Jean glared at him, but she lowered her voice to a furious whisper. Remy didn’t say anything, but he shot her a look to kill. Jean didn’t relent.

“Okay, I like her. She’s cute. It’ll be okay.”

“Papa said it was okay for you guys to come in,” Belle said cheerfully. There was something in her tome that made Jean weary. Glancing at Remy, she noticed that he noticed it too. She refused to move.

“Well, come on you guys! He’s waiting.” Jean backed up slowly, getting ready to spring into action. She backed into something solid.

Looking all around them, men had crawled from the shadows to form a tight circle around them. A vise-like grip encircled Jean’s arms and dragged her further into the building’s depths. She struggled furiously, but she may as well been trying to dig through stone with toothpick. The huge man laughed at her pitiful attempts. Remy jumped on the man’s back and flashed a blade from his pocket. Before he could drive it home, strong arms jerked him back, causing the blade to clatter harmlessly to the ground. He saw Jean’s eyes wide with fear, and then nothing.

Belle was the daughter of Marius Bordreaux who had a blood feud with Jean-Luc LeBeau, Remy’s father. The feud just took a step up. Or so they thought.

“Remy?” Jean whispered, crawling over to where his body was laying. So still. Blood clotted around his mouth and an ugly bruise was forming on his cheek. The light from a streetlamp was the only light in the small room where they were locked in. Jean wondered how long they had been there. She picked up his hand and laid beside him. “Please get up, Remy. Please get up!”

She repeated the prayer over and over again until she drifted off into fretful sleep. Remy never moved a muscle.

Remy stared down at Jean’s sleeping form. He had scrutinized the hinges and their situation looked bleak. He was hurt pretty badly and he wouldn’t be able to put up much of a resistance for a while anyway. She didn’t look to hurt from what he could see. That scared him even more.

“Remy!” Jean exclaimed, running to him. She very carefully embraced him and then peered at his face, which didn’t look so pretty anymore.

He smiled slightly, holding her tightly. “Did they hurt you?”

“No.” She held herself completely still and answered without hesitation. He knew she was lying anyway. She never could lie to him. He began to rub her back; something their mother did to comfort them.

“Tell me.”

Jean looked up at him and saw the anguish on his face. She cupped his chin. “Nothing happened that hasn’t happened before. I’m okay.”

Remy murmured his apologies, his words tripping over each other. When he ran out of words in English, he switched to French. Jean was trying to soothe him when they heard the footsteps in the hall. They froze immediately.

Marius was going to use them as bait to bring Jean-Luc to New York. Remy quickly set them straight on the current situation.

“I haven’ seen my pere for two years. He has a legit’met son now. No need for me. You, on the ot’er hand, can use me. We came looking for work. I’m elite.”

“I haven’t heard of a son. I don’t believe you.” Marius’ steely gray eyes pierced into Remy’s. Remy shrugged nonchalantly.

“They shipped him t’ the wife’s family. T’ keep him away from Guild business.” Marius finally looked unsure.

“I’ll be looking into this. If I find out you’re lying, I will personally skin you and your pretty little sister alive.” He stomped off, yelling for his son. “Julian!”

“Is it true, Rem?” Jean said softly once they were back in the room. He was silent. She poked him in the ribs and he let out a hiss of pain. She immediately leapt away from him. “Take off your shirt, now!”

He took his time obeying, and Jean, impatient, just lifted the shirt over his head. She sucked her breath in when she got a good look at the damage. The ribs were a collage of blue, yellow, purple and green painted over his thin body. Jean ran a finger over the ribs, tried to ignore the moan of agony and was satisfied as she determined nothing was broken. She allowed him to dress again.

“Geez, you’re bossy,” he grumbled. “Of course it’s true. Do you honestly think we’d be slumming around New York if my father still needed me? I was the heir to the patriarch of the Thieves Guild!”

There was nothing left to do but wait.

“I found you were telling the truth.” The words came out haltingly. Remy and Jean had been finally allowed out of the cramped, dark room a week later. They had been kept alive, no more than that. Belle was seated next to her father, a sullen expression on her face. She avoided looking at Remy though he glared at her with murder in his eyes despite barely being able to stand on his own. “And I’ve decided to take you up on your offer. There’s a job at the MOMA I need you to set up…”

Planning the heist went smoothly. Neither Remy nor Jean would actually be on scene, but they took care of all the technical aspects of the job. Taking the first half of their payment, they quietly snuck off into the alley.


Belle’s face was plastered all over the front page. An anonymous tip led police to daughter’s secret stash. Father was shocked at daughter’s secret life.


Remy eased his way out of the mansion to the roof. Jean had pulled up the map of all the security devices to see if there was a path they could take around them. No such luck. Remy carefully paced the roof, counting off his steps. The wind was calm and the night was foggy. He couldn’t ask for better conditions. Checking his watch, he got into position. Jean could only give him two thirty second spurts to get out of the area. The streetlight flickered off in the distance.

Go! He ran to the edge of the roof, his soft footfalls giving no indication to the patrons below that anything was amiss, and leapt into a nearby tree. He dropped into a crouch, and then sprinted towards the fountain. The streetlights flickered back on and Remy held his breath as he began to count methodically again. A figure approached an upstairs window, and Remy tried to shrink further into the shadows. The person didn’t move, but there was nothing he could do about it now. The lights flickered off again and Remy, following the high wall, quickly climbed and found himself on the other side. Pulling on his trench coat, he stopped running once he was around the corner and sauntered into the swirling fog.


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