Wolvie Femmes * Old Faces

 

 

 

 

 

   Jason sat alone sipping his orange juice at lunch trying not to hear Afterburn, Jubilee and Kitty cackling about the ‘big’ date. He was still getting laughed at by everyone for listening to them and he felt stupid, and gullible. He sighed and rested his face on his hand. He ran his other hand through his hair which was now green and black streaked. He had bought dye that took three days to wash out so until then he was stuck with his punk look. A new bout of laughter caught his attention and he felt their eyes on him. Then he heard Afterburn whisper loudly. “He actually took a chicken?” He could feel his face turning red but he loved Rayne and she was worth the torment.

 

           He had wrestled with the decision to ask her out because of the labs and everything they had been through. He was afraid she wouldn’t have anything to do with her because of his part at the labs. Images that had been buried deep in his subconscious mind were coming to the surface more frequently now. Horrible memories of himself being forced to do things to the other captive mutants hurt. It made him feel sick and he half wished he couldn’t remember any of it. How could he expect Rayne to like him, much less love him, after what he recalled he did to her there. ‘It wasn’t my fault.’  He kept reminding himself.

 

        He remembered Rayne’s eyes looking at him in terror when he held her under water. He could do nothing but what was bid of him by the scientist no matter how hard he tried to break free of their control. When he had seen Rayne at Xavier’s wandering alone in the hallway he tried to avoid her because he was afraid of what she might do to him. He figured she must surely remember him and might be vengeful even though at that time he didn’t recall as much about the labs as he did now. However, when he watched her dance in the rain one night he saw a fun loving carefree spirit and he wanted to get to know her better. He felt sorry for her true, but his feelings went deeper then pity. At least he hoped so. Jason thought about Rayne’s amber eyes and how much he liked looking into their depths whenever he could steal the chance. Not at all like Afterburn’s harsh fiery eyes.  He felt himself sigh again and looked at the untouched food in front of him in the cafeteria table. Then he glanced over at the three cackling girls at the opposite table who didn’t relent at all. He subtly flipped Afterburn off and she laughed but Kitty and Jubilee were none the wiser to the joke.

 

       Everybody looked up to the doors as they were slung open abruptly by Bobby and Rogue. The twosome divided up as Rogue made a bee-line for the girls and Bobby sauntered over to Jason.

 

      “Gracias, amigo,” Jason hissed. “Your advice was bull shit and you let me go through with it.”

 

        Bobby shook the negative comments off and met his eye, “forget that.” He pushed a finger in Jason’s face, “Rayne’s in trouble.”

 

        Jason pushed the finger annoyed, “WHAT?” A million thoughts ran through his mind. Rayne lived at the Adam’s house and it wouldn’t be easy to get a car to get there. But what had happened to her, “Por que?”

 

        “Remy left so Hayley followed him then Rayne left too,” Bobby shrugged “We overhead Alex talking to Storm and Ororo said it sounded like Remy had left to take care of some bad business concerning Rayne.”

 

        “Storm said this when?” Jason was really confused now. “Where did they all go?”

 

        “Earlier,” Bobby grabbed the untouched fries on Jason’s plate, “Jordan said they went to the Bayou.”

 

         Jason screwed up his face, “Bayou? Por que el Bayou.”

 

         “Not sure,” Bobby kept shoving the fries in his mouth oblivious to Jason’s upset demeanor.

 

          Jason stood up and muttered an excuse me as Bobby raised an eyebrow at him.

 

          “Take it out in the danger room,” Bobby said. “It’s a lot safer.”

 

 

 

 

 

            When Justice arrived at the mansion he saw Rayne pacing just inside the front door, and when he unlocked the door she came flying outside and began pacing about on the porch. “Hold your horses young lady.”  He said in his best John Wayne imitation. “I have to reset the alarm.”  Then he looked at Rayne who just had on a long sleeved shirt and jeans. “Um, I guess I should have told you to bring along a change of clothes.”

 

            Rayne looked at him sideways. “Why? Where’s Remy?”

 

            Justice cleared his throat and braced himself. “Well, it seems he booked a flight to New Orleans.”

 

            Rayne stood stock still and her face became ghostly white. Then she started pacing again and mumbling. “Ah can’t go there. Ah can’t go there. Why did he go there? Essex isn’t in Louisiana he’s in Los Angeles.”

 

            Justice watched as she became more frantic. He left the security controls and pulled something out of his pocket. “I told you I had something to help.” He held up the device. “Look what I have.”

 

            Rayne stopped and regarded the high tech gadget in his hand. “What is that?”

 

            “This.” Justice straightened up and puffed his chest out. “This is an image inducer.”

 

            “Oh right, de thing that makes ya look like someone else.” Rayne wrung her hands nervously. “But does it work alright?”

 

            Justice smiled broadly, “Works like a charm, mon ami.” Rayne looked skeptical and he added. “I have taken the liberty to pre-program it for you. Here, let me show you.” He wrapped the band around Rayne’s wrist and activated it.

 

            “Ah don’t feel any different. Is it working?” Rayne looked down and saw that her clothes were the same and her hands looked the same.

 

            Ahhh! It’s working just fine. Have a look.” He pointed to the mirror like surface of the crystal pains of the front door.

 

            Rayne adjusted her eyes to look at her reflection. She squinted and touched the glass. “Is that what Ah look like to you, blonde hair and blue eyes?”

 

            Justice puffed his chest out more. “Yes ma’am. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about people recognizing you now.” He was delighted that his program turned out so well. 

 

            Rayne scoffed, “Oui but, I have blonde hair!”

 

            “So?” Justice didn’t see anything wrong with that. “You might want to disguise your voice as well. You know, talk less New Orleans style.”

 

            Rayne laughed. “Most people in New Orleans talk like dey are from New York, chere.”

 

            “They do?” Justice looked puzzled, “Then why do you talk like you do?”

 

            Rayne flashed him a cocky smile, “Because I like to.”

 

            “Why you little…” Justice waggled his finger at her ;“You little imposter!”

 

            Rayne giggled and looked at her reflection again. “Hmm, I don’t know how to talk like a blonde though. How’s this.” She flipped a hand through her hair and wiggled her hips. “Yo stud muffin, how’s about youze helping me out here. I need to find my pain in the ass brother.” She snickered.

 

            Justice just stood with his mouth open. “Um…”

 

            Non? Ok, how about this.” She jumped up and straddled his waist with her legs, grabbed onto his shoulders and looked coyly in his face. “Could you help poor little, ole me you big, brawny, hunk a man you?”

 

            Justice’s eyes got big around and he stammered, “I uh…”

 

            Rayne jumped down and laughed so hard she held her sides. “Dis could be fun.”

 

            “Oh yeah,” Justice mumbled, “I’ve created a monster.”

 

            “Justice, don’t just stand there. We have ta find Remy.” Rayne started off for the car.

 

            Justice shook his head and looked to the sky, “Why? Why am I doing this?”

 

           

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          Wolverine sat on a horse in the middle of an open field inhaling scents that intoxicated him. Nothing crude but natural scents, he smelled the deer and the pine. The scent of fresh water less than a mile a way tickled his nose. He wanted to share this with Ally and the twins and it was then he realized it. He was finally happy, the lone wolf with roots?

 

     ‘Wolf?’ The nickname floated through his mind. Amber was still Magneto’s property and he wanted her back. He had to admit the kid had gotten a few good licks on him and her fighting style had improved. He only wished that they could friendly spar so he knew what she could really do.

 

       He was happier than he could ever remember being. He would trap something during the day, bring home and clean it then Ally would cook it for dinner. He would take the children into the sunshine and introduce them to nature. Every night he would finish the day with Allyson in his arms. He was more than happy, he was at peace. Yet, something tugged at him and it wouldn’t stop pulling at his mind. It wouldn’t let him rest. He knew it was Amber and he knew he needed her too. He grunted producing a stogie from the pocket of his jacket and lit it. The horse complained with a light whinnying and stomped his feet lightly. Logan smiled despite himself and thought how the children had named the horse smoke because of its gray coloring, yet the horse despised it when Logan lit a cigar. He let the puff of smoke go in the form of ring as he began to wonder what his in laws were up to. Were they as happy as he was with Allyson?

 

 

 

 

 

      “Stop it, Michael!” Ally yelled chasing her son down the hall with his diaper in hand. She stopped short and grabbed her belly. The newest baby didn’t like the chase. Amber toddled after her mother giggling with her sandwich all over her face. Ally spun to see her daughter and wondered which child needed her more.

 

       All could feel Aramis getting closer and sighed as she ran on after Michael. The young boy squealed in protest that his mother had caught him and kicked his feet playfully at her. Ally used her telekinesis to block his kicks but the little telepath blocked her defense.

 

      Aramis ran in with much cleaner Amber and gave the young boy a calmer emotion as everything became quieter quickly. “Where is Logan?”

 

      Ally sighed, “he’s hunting.” She tiredly pushed a tendril of out of eyes and thought what she didn’t want to say out loud, ‘if this was domestic life then it sucked.’ She was tired all the time with her pregnancy much less chasing the twins and entertaining Paris each time he showed up unannounced. She sighed knowing she was just frustrated but still wanted to do everything herself. She finally turned to Aramis, “maybe we can have lunch with the children on the sun porch so they can see Logan return home.” Ally smiled at the thought. The children always got so excited when they saw him returning home on Smoke. She saw the children also brighten at the idea of seeing their daddy.

 

      

      “Is everything all right?” Aramis asked obviously knowing Ally’s emotions already.

 

      Ally sighed knowing she couldn’t hide it from Aramis. She watched the twins running for the sun porch and she began to carry the rest of the lunch to the sun porch. “I just thought my happily ever after would have been more a fairy tale.”

 

       Aramis cocked an eyebrow, “You are both happier than any that I have encountered.” Aramis was happy here as well aside from Logan’s temper and restlessness she found that they kept pretty calm around this home. She was glad she didn’t have to deal with all of the teen anxieties that she had before at the X mansion. She was happy where she was and just wished that Allyson would see how good it was. She was sure it was merely the fatigue of the pregnancy. “It will all work out in time and it is not as bad as you might fear.”

 

       Ally nodded wishing she could carry the plates with a little more grace. She wondered if she would get over this negative feeling and was tempted to ask Aramis to help her with her misplaced feelings.

 

       Amber and Michael began to shout excitedly and she looked to see Logan returning on Smoke early. Suddenly her husband had made light of all of her fears and worries and she simply smiled at the sight of him.

 

      Ally thought of a life not being mutant and it was something she had wanted a long time. Here it was and she would make the best of it. Logan knew how she felt about it and he was doing his best not to use most of his gifts.  Life has it bad spots but it was good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         Remy walked along the all too familiar streets with a sigh. This place he had called home and it was his stomping ground for as long as he could remember but he wanted to be home with Rayne and Hayley. He wanted to chase them with whipped cream and laugh when one of them had landed a lucky shot on him.  He heard familiar music wafting in the air and had to admit that he missed this atmosphere. Friendly faces mumbling Louisiana style greetings and people playing music in the streets of the market square. He was tempted to stop and listen for a minute. He also thought of the home he had here and sighed wished he could show Hayley. He was tired of feeling like a pauper next to Justice but Remy wasn’t one to brag about these things. He notices a few acquaintances and noticed that they were pointing at him.

 

        ‘De noticed Gambit already eh?’ He gave them a crooked grin and turned his head hoping they wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. He knew of a few people he wanted to find who might now where to find Essex and began to scan the crowds with a new eye. Trying to forget the ambiance that engulfed his Cajun senses or he tried to avoid the glares of women he had ‘known’. He stopped into a familiar shop hoping to get out of the public’s eye. ‘Time to t’ink like de t’ief again,’ Had he gotten so soft being around Hayley and that little palace, so soft that he had enjoyed the stares and that people had seemed to notice he had changed.  He exhaled sharply as he felt difference of the dark shop from the bright lights outside. He set his jaw not afraid of what the people thought because he was Gambit and he could handle himself no matter what the Bayou would throw at him. He heard a gasp and noticed a guy holding a magazine as it dropped to the ground along with the man’s jaw.

 

       “Remy?” The man looked like he’d seen a ghost; “Whayodoin’ here?”

 

       Remy recognized him as being a thief right away and swaggered over to him, “Ah’m just visiting de relations.” Remy smiled seeing the other gentleman with cigarette dangling from his mouth. ‘Smoking indoors again’, Remy smiled inwardly. That was one of the things he missed was the casual atmosphere. He thought about how many time he had taken his cigarette outside for respect for Xavier’s school and Hayley’s home.

 

       Yo’ poppa, Rem?” The man drawled taking a long drag on his cigarette.

 

        Oui,” He silently tried to recall this thief’s name. “Jacques, what’s new on de street de days?” He hoped he had guessed his name correctly.

 

        Not’ing much,” Jacques looked Remy up and down taking in the rich clothing that covered him. The leather duster that was over his normal clothing and the man immediately knew why a thief would wear such a garment. He thought of all the things that Remy could store in there. He rubbed his jaw sizing Remy up wondering if he was still as tough as he used to be. “Yo’ still a t’ief, Rem? Do yo’ still live by de code? Yo’ keep up with everyt’ing? Yo’ still look as strong as yo’ did.”

 

 

        Remy cocked an eyebrow, “Yo’ got some ideas yo’ shouldn’t Jacques?” He could spot the other thief’s challenge a mile away. “Yo’ wan’ tango wit’ me?”

 

        “Nah Rem,” The man dismissed the idea quickly remembering the legend this thief was. He had picked up his treacherous thoughts right away so he could only think that the other thief was still on top of his game. “Ah wouldn’t do dat to yo’.” He sighed thinking how close he might have come to doing something mad and remembered this was Jean Luc’s son. “T’ings change wit’ de assasins and we got to stay on guard.”

 

       “How’s dat?” Remy lowered his eyebrows at the other man. “T’ings look de same;” Remy gave him a disarming smile and lit his own cigarette.

 

       “Belle don’ like t’ings to stay de same long.” He smiled coyly.

 

       “Yeah,” He forgot about Belle and wondered how long it would be before the word got to her that he was here. He butted his cigarette and cocked an eyebrow seeing others looking in at him throw the shops windows. “Listen, Ah’m lookin’ for someone.”

 

       “Really now?” He smiled wondering if it was a woman. He gestured to the district of some local houses of ill repute.  Dere’s Madame Toulouse’s.”

 

        Remy smiled forgetting the reputation he had as a playboy but shook his head, “Nah, don’ need dat. Ah got my own femme.”

 

       Oui, but does de femme ‘ave yo’?” He chuckled.

 

       Remy’s head spun momentarily as he realized something, “Oui, she does.” He admitted as Jacques dropped his cigarette at the news. Gambit chuckled, picked up the cigarette and handed it to the dumbfounded thief.

 

     At that the man took a hard drag and eyed him suspiciously.

 Yo’ married den?”

 

       Remy tossed his hands up in protest as if he didn’t want to hear it, “Married non? Just happy wit’ dis one, for a while.” There was no sense in divulging too much information. There was some honor among these thieves but gossip was never part of any code especially when he thought of the whole Bayou knowing his business. He was private and he liked it like that. ‘Never show dem yo’r hand,’ he thought to himself. He just wanted to know where Essex was. Getting Rayne out of trouble was his top priority right now.

 

 

      “Lord ‘ave mercy! Is dat Remy Le Beau?” A voice called out from the door of the shop.

 

       Remy reached inside of his pocket ready for anything hoping that wasn’t an assassin behind that gruff voice. He found his deck of cards in his duster pocket and ready himself for a battle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Hayley walked tiredly through the street and noticed that with her pregnancy her senses were heightened, not like Logan’s but she felt as if her senses tingled with a life of their own. The music that filled the air was much like the music that she had heard pouring from Rayne’s room. The whole place seemed mysterious and cool but she wondered if that was because of the fog that rolled in. She noticed men watching her and she ducked into a shop to get a hat or something to hide in to draw less attention to her. She was glad she had worn clothing to hide her pregnancy because she didn’t want people noticing that too. She was sure it would be one way of remembering her and she hoped to blend in a little more. As she went to enter the shop a man scrambled to open the door for her.

 

        Hayley smiled at the handsome man, “thank you.”

 

       Yo’ not from around here,” the man smiled boldly following her into the shop.

 

       Hayley laughed, “What makes you say that?” She looked around the shop for a coat to hide herself in.

 

       He moved closer, “Ah’d remember you, chere.” He winked watching her vivid blue eyes.

 

       Hayley kept the thoughts of disgust to herself and turned to him with a beaming smile, “really?” She wanted to avoid causing any undue attention to herself. She removed a large coat from the wrack and wrapped it around her for size.

 

      The man retrieved a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket much the way Remy would have done and her heart sank a little. She missed him. She then noticed that the man wore fingerless gloves like Remy would on occasion. Usually when he was ‘working’.

 

     “We can talk about it over a meal, chere,” He grinned over his now lit cigaratte.

 

    He looked too charming for Hayley’s comfort and she began to suspect that she was being marked. “I’m not really hungry but maybe we could have coffee,” Perhaps she could use this chance meeting to garnish information about Remy. She didn’t know if this man was a thief but he looked the sort to know something usful. She draped the coat over her arm and proceeded to the counter as the man followed her slowly with a cocky walk. As she pulled a card from her pocket to pay for the coat she didn’t notice the wicked gleam in his eye.

 

      “Coffee would be a nice start.” leaned on the counter wondering how much this femme was worth and why she was here. “Ah know a place jus’ down de way a bit.” He boldly reached up and touched her hair enjoying the silky texture. He loved that she turned to him with a slightly shocked expression that he had violated her space. He was certain she wasn’t from around there now. She smelled of money and that made his smile broaden. He was going to enjoy this coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Rayne wriggled in her airplane seat sourly, “for a while Ah t’ought you were going to drive to de bayou.” She teased Justice watching out the plane’s window as it taxied out.

 

       Justice sighed, “It would have been nice to have had my own car down there.” He followed Rayne’s gaze, “Although, I think I could have ran us there quicker.” He gave her a playful punch.

 

      “Even Ah could run us dere faster, chere,” Rayne sighed. She knew they were that far behind them but she wanted to be there now, with her brother. “Why’d he take Hayley?”

 

      “Hayley followed him there,” Justice looked at the crew moving around the plane.

 

      Rayne jumped in her seat, “she gone get killed dere!” Rayne snickered a little, “mebbe just robbed.” She thought of the thieves that preyed on tourist like Hayley or even Justice but she would keep Justice’s pockets safe. He would just have to lead her to Rem.

 

       Justice sighed checking his cell phone, “Good to know where were going is so honest.” He knew he would need to get them a hotel room if only just for storing the few things he had. He thought about the overnight clothing he had and the electronics he brought. “Better to go in with just the bare necessasities?”

 

       Rayne gave him a crooked smile and nodded. She was used to it, she had grown up there and she knew what to expect. She was excited to see the Bayou again and her family. She bit her lip hoping Remy didn’t do anything stupid to protect her. She would go to hell and back for her brother but she couldn’t stand the idea of losing him again. They found each other and they would always be a part of each other’s lives. She smiled thinking of that and sighed. She could imagine them older and living down the street from each other.

 

      “Buck and a half for your thoughts?” Justice’s voice interrupted her. She looked over to see his lopsided grin, “inflation;” he shrugged.

 

      Yo’ crazy,” she smiled. “Yo’ know dat right?”

 

      Justice settled back pointing to the signs of eminent take off. The sign to fasten seatbelts was on and the crew was bustling for take off. Justice sighed fastening his seatbelt; “Crazy as a fox.”

 

       Rayne fastened her own, “Ah t’ink dats why Ah like yo’.” Rayne began to think about her future with Remy living down the street and there was one thing she would change. She would want Justice living nearby as well. If Remy did end up with Hayley then Justice would make it easier to handle. She felt Justice’s hand on hers and he squeezed it lightly as she looked up at him.

 

      “We’ll find them,” Justice looked out the window hoping they were out of trouble. He didn’t feel anything abnormal from Hayley but he didn’t want to pry further. He was afraid of throwing her a warning or bothering her at a bad time. He also wanted to preserve his strength for finding them.  He met Rayne’s eyes, “I won’t let anything happen to you either, really.”

 

       Rayne’s eyes went to the stewardess who smiled brightly holding a small foil package, “Nuts?” The woman held a brightly colored foil package up for viewing.

 

      Oui,” Rayne smiled glancing at Justice, “He sure is.” Rayne chuckled watching Justice drop his own package as he looked at her with an expression of amusement.

 

      Touche’, Cher.” He laughed, opened his nuts with his teeth and knew it would be an interesting trip to say the least.