saga/title/fandom: Two Pair: Chapter Four That River In Egypt 1 (X-Men)

author: L.M. Griffin

rating/genre: (PG-13) - Romance/Drama

warnings: het,language, violence

summary: Through sick or sin, Gambit and Jubilee will be there for each other. (Gambit/Jubilee)

comments/disclaimers: Standard disclaimers apply.

Chapter Four: That River In Egypt 1

Four Months and a Half In:

"Okay, this had to be the most moronic, idiotic thing I could of done! I go two thousand freakin' miles AWAY from Westchester to NOT think about Remy Lebeau, and then I go to his hometown? This was not a good idea!" Jubilee groused to herself as she shoved her dark sunglasses up her nose, wiping sweat away from her brow as she pulled her dark hair into a short ponytail.

Sunlight poured down on the humid streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans. After finally smoothing the last few errant strands of hair into the ponytail, allowing air to finally reach the back of her neck, Jubilee began stalking down the cobbled street again. As she turned another corner, she was momentarily mullified by the rich beauty of the place. Exotic, enchanting, and down right intoxicating, New Orleans was indeed the perfect birthplace for Remy. It just - fit him.

Jubilee sighed and continued walking, muttering under her breath, "Sure...I'll forget him here. Not like this place is a freakin' shrine to him anyways. Whoops, forgot. It is."

Well, this walk wasn't helping. She had left the hotel she was shacking up in to try and get her mind clear enough to figure out why she was still here. It figured that going outside and actually SEEING New Orleans was just making matters worse. She hadn't meant to come here. Really. No lie. She and the Pack had started to travel North together, up through Kentucky, and into Virginia. That would have been the point where Jubilee had panicked, and left the Pack somewhere in Maryland. She couldn't go home. Not yet. Not with with her heart still...involved. Where every dream she had included a pair of remarkable crimson eyes.

So she headed south again...and ended smack dab in the middle of Louisiana. In the city of Remy's childhood no less, a place where she knew every street as if by heart through his stories. Heck, she even knew how to get to the air force base that he had stolen his first jet from. When he was twelve.

She began stalking through the streets again. She got some looks, some admiring for her own unique beauty, others for the fact that she was talking to herself. She paid them no mind, her thoughts elsewhere. Moving past a man in a fine green silk suit, she growled, "Hello Lee...smell the Freud here?! Subconscious desire, much!? I mean, c'mon girl! Coming here would be considered about as smart as robbing your own damned vault!"

The man in the suit froze in surprise, turning around to look at Jubilee. Tall and well muscled, with long brown hair bound into a long braid and thoughtful brown eyes, he looked to be in his fifties. He tilted his head, suddenly intrigued with the lovely young Asian woman babbling away as if there wasn't another person alive to hear her. Using a phrase he knew only too well, no less.

Five feet away, Jubilee stopped, and slapped her forehead. " 'Rob your own vault'? I'm using thief-speak now?? REMY LEBEAU, get out of my head! I'm trying to get AWAY from you, not obsess over you!" The man in the green suit had to fight off a sudden grin at the young woman's frustration. It was harder then he thought.

Jubilee, completely unaware of the attention she just garnered sighed. "What I wouldn't give for a wall to bang my head into. Many, many times." She started to move forward again, when the man's voice behind her froze her to the spot.

"Y'know Mm'selle, not many femmes wanna t'run away from my son. Quite de opposite 'n fact (much t'de chagrin of de fathers of Louisiana...). Major exception bein' dat Rogue girl, 'n yah definately look smarter den her," the man said mildly, his Cajun accent faultless and colored with something Jubilee catagorized as simply 'class'.

She closed her eyes tightly, and gritted her teeth together. No. No no no no. Her luck could not be this bad. She slowly turned on one heel, tilting her sunglasses down a tad so she could fix her blue eyes on him. Her voice slightly high, she said "Oh please, please tell me you aren't who I think you are?"

The older man's lips quirked for a moment, as he said calmly, "Well, mm'selle...guess it dep'nds on who you think I am, as to whether or not I'm acutu'lly dat person." He stuck his hands casually in his pockets, a gesture that was hauntingly familiar.

Jubilee put her hand to her forehead again as she groaned. "I think you're Jean Luc LeBeau, Remy's father. I also think I really want to bang my head into a wall. Hard. Right now." 'Great way to impress the father, Lee. Really,' she thought to herself. Now Jean Luc LeBeau probably thought she was a complete, raving loon who was obsessed with his son. Wait a second, why did she care what the Guild leader thought? It wasn't like she wanted to impress him.

Of course, explain that to her conscious desire to smooth down her cut-off yellow shirt with the sparkly blue star in the center, and her jean shorts to something less then wrinkled. Arugh. Meanwhile, Jean Luc LeBeau chuckled softly, before saying, "Oui, dat would be me. Now, since you seem t'be one, a stranger in our fair Nawlins, 'n two an 'associate' t'my son, p'haps I could entice you to a cup o' tea?"

"Tea. With you." Jubilee blinked in surprise. She had never been invited anywhere for tea. Heck, the only kind of tea she ever drank came from Snapple.

"Oui, moi." Jean Luc couldn't help smiling again. This girl was so... refreshing was the word he would go with. Blunt, but with an edge of tart sweetness.

"Uhm...where?" Jubilee queried, having a sudden horrid vision of being taken to 'tea' in some fancy restaurant with Remy's father, and her spilling hot tea on his lap. Or some other form of catastrophe.

"At m'home. It's only a few blocks from here," Jean Luc said, eyes twinkling mischeiviously as he added, "With many walls for yah t'bang yo'r head into, if yah so desire. Altho', I think it would be a horrible crime t'ruin such a belle face outta frustration over my scamp of a son." He half bowed, offering an arm to Jubilee.

A wry grin passed Jubilee's lips. "Well then, when you put that way..." She tucked her arm through Jean Luc's, and together they walked down the street, chatting like old friends.

Tea, Jubilee was soon to find out, was less of a elaborate act and more like a Southern pig-out on pastries. While sitting in the air- conditioned living room of the House LeBeau, (Which was so nice. New Orleans was beautiful, but the humidity was killing her.) Jean Luc entertained her with stories of Remy as a child. All the various scrapes the auburn-haired rascal gotten into, and that Jean Luc had had to, more often then not, pull Remy out of. Jubilee had heard many of the stories from Remy himself, but Jean told her a few more she didn't know, and filled in certain 'holes' that Remy left out.

In return, Jubilee told Jean Luc what Remy had been up to lately, filling him in on all the Remy gossip she could think of. Which was a lot, now that she came to think about it. Everyone's emails from home seemed to be filled with mentions of Remy. Jeez, did no one else have a life? Were they all living vicariously through Gumbo? However, Jean Luc seemed to appreciate all her talk; his eyes glowed with a soft longing Jubilee understood completely. It was hard for her to be apart from Remy; it must be ten times worse for a father who hadn't really seen his only son in over five years.

She finished off the story of Remy's latest dating disaster (something she was more then a little glad was over with). " then she stared at Remy, and said, 'What do I look like to you, some sort of bimbo? I know you were looking at that woman.' Now remember, this woman was a NUN, in her freaking HABIT, no less. So Remy replied tartly, 'Non. You look like an insanely jealous womon dat I have no clue why I was datin'. Bonne Nuit.' He threw a fifty on the table, apologized to the Sister and walked away."

Jean Luc tipped back his head and laughed heartily, then filled Jubilee's tea cup again. He shook his head, as he commented innocently, "Dat son of mine, he needs t'find h'mself a woman who can tolerate him. 'Nother crumpet?"

Jubilee waved her hand. "No way, those things are too addicting...and there isn't a woman alive who can tolerate Remy's difficult Cajun self twenty-four seven. I'm one of his best friends and he still manages to drive me up the wall." Jean Luc gave her a quiet look, but kept his thoughts to himself. Remy didn't have many people proclaiming to be his best anything. Jubilee, as far as Jean Luc could tell, knew more about his vagrant son then he did. It was a thought that comforted - and stung just a little.

She didn't notice the look however, as she took another sip from her cup. She lifted her gaze to look around, admiring the fine wood paneling and the antiques she was fairly sure Jean Luc hadn't come by legally. Her eyes fell on a picture over the mantle and she pushed herself out of her comfy chair to go look at it.

It was a picture of Remy as a teenage boy, that devilish smile no less captivating in his youth then it was now. She couldn't help but grin to herself as she turned her attention to the woman in the picture. "That's Tante Mattie, right? Your clan's traiteur?"

Jean Luc rose as well, standing beside her. His expressioned softened. "Oui. Dat was when Remy turned fourteen. Full member of de Clan by den. Tante insisted de boy have a real party, somethin' nice t'remember. Remy...never did have many happy birthdays. My boy, he's suffered lot more den he should have."

Jubilee's expression was quiet, as she said, "I know..." The pair continued to look at the picture for a few minutes silently, before Jubilee added, "Is it true? Can Tante Mattie see the past and future?"

"She has, on more den one occasion. She don't mind doin' a bit of seein' now 'd again, when it don't disturb her Catholic faith. You have somethin' you want to ask her, chere?" Jean Luc said innocently, his eyes flickering to the girl. Her gaze, he noted, never left Remy's face.

"Hmm? Well...I am kinda bumming around. Trying to find myself. Maybe if I talk to her, I could get a bit more...focus," Jubilee shrugged, keeping down the blush on her cheeks. "She's the real deal, right? I mean, I don't want to go there and find out some honky bull that I could of figured out on my own."

"Oh beli've me, chere," Jean Luc said calmly, "Mattie's de 'real deal'. Whatever you have questions 'bout, she'll have an answer for ya." Although Jean Luc already had a pretty good idea what Jubilee would ask about.

As the sun slowly dipped down over Lake Pontchartrain, Jean Luc's grey Cadillac pulled into the gravel drive that lead Tante Mattie's small house. Jubilee stepped out of the car, took a deep breath in, and nearly stumbled. Gardinias. The scent filled her senses, the rich perfume tickling her nose delightfully. A soft smile touched her lips, and she turned to follow Jean Luc into the frame house before her.

Tante Mattie, by normal practice, did not leave her altar lit. She only used her traiteur skills when Jean Luc, or any other of the Clan leaders, called upon her for Clan business. However, for some reason she had found it necessary to light the candles today. That sixth sense of hers had picked up on the fact that someone was coming to ask her some very important questions, so she'd best be ready. As Jean Luc and his 'guest' entered the house, Tante Mattie's senses moved past the older thief's aura and went straight to - yes, it was a young girl. She flexed her powers over the girl curiously...

And found herself swept away by a whirlpool of emotions coming from behind those icy blue orbs. Strength. Determination. Ancient wisdom of the words pain and heartache. A face that had worn many a mask. A loner, a survivor, a fighter. The glow of a bright, innocent soul. Purity wrapped in suffering and secrets.

Mattie wasn't sure what she found more disturbing: the fact that all this came from behind just one girl's face, or that this wasn't the first soul she had run across that looked like this. Only one other person, one man had an aura this turbulant. Strangely enough, it was this same man who swirled within this young woman's soul.

She gestured for Jubilee to sit beside her as she lit the candles around the altar, calling to the 'powers'. Jubilee said nothing, simply watched with strangly intent blue eyes, her face illuminated in the dim light. Jean Luc stood in the shadows by the door, watching the proceedings silently. Tante Mattie chanted a few words in the old tongue, swirling the smoke from the candles around her fingers. Through the smoke, images of a man and a woman appeared. Asian in appearance, they strongly resembled the girl beside her. Mattie watched the girl stiffen slightly as her expression became one of shocked surprise.

It was then that Mattie began to speak. "Well Ms. Jubilation Lee, you've come a long way from de mansions of Beverly Hills, non?" Jubilee froze for a moment, giving Mattie a long look, before nodding her head in silent consent. Mattie smiled sadly, before adding, "You were a only chile when they passed on - murdered by a man who claimed t'be their friend. Alone, yah learn'd de most basic rule of bein' an orphan. Survive. Whatever way yah can." The faintly hard look in the young woman's eyes confirmed what Mattie said. A very familiar look...

Mattie raised her hand, and the smoke shifted to different images, two men's faces; one with a smooth bald head, a thoughful look on his face. The other was a wild man, eyes glinting ferally. A look of rueful recognition worked over Jubilee's face. The black woman spoke thoughtfully, "You follow de path of de man who's become your father, de man simply called Logan. He's yo'r only family, one of yo'r best friends. You fight for de Dream of dis other man together - de dream of Charles Xavier, oui?"

Jubilee's chin lifted slightly, as she said firmly, "Humans and mutants co-inciding in peace. It's a dream worth fighting for - even though it ends up costing."

"Don't hafta tell me, girl. I know de prices fo' followin' your dreams. Howev'r, it's not your dreams for a better tomorrow dat take you so far from home. Yo'r head is takin' yah down one path. Yo'r heart..." Mattie raised her hand, and the smoke shifted into another face. A more familiar face to the older woman as she continued, folding her hands in her lap, "...takes you down another."

Remy's visage glowed before them, a soft smile working over his lips. Both Jean Luc and Mattie watched Jubilee closely, intently. They weren't disappointed. Jubilee's entire expression softened, and the look in those sapphire eyes was a mixture of longing, desire...and love. A complete love, a solid bond forged with friendship and trust. Jean Luc had seen that look few times in his life. Never in regards to his son. That alone gave him a glimmer of hope.

Mattie watched, brown eyes glowing as Jubilee gently reached up, tracing the phantom outline of Remy's clefted chin, a gesture that screamed more then just 'friendly' affection. She spoke softly, "Yah want t'love him, but yah keep runnin' away from him. Why?" Behind both women, Jean Luc tensed slightly.

Jubilee reluctantly turned her eyes back to Mattie, despair shining in their depths. "Because I don't want to lose him. I love him so much. I'm so...utterly miserable without him. If he found out I loved him, and he didn't love me in return..." She bowed her head slightly, pain radiating off her in waves.

Jean Luc let out the quietest of sighs. Thank God. Thank God. He had been afraid it was yet again like the others...but no, not this one. She really did love Remy. More importantly, she understood him, where the others had just barely scratched the surface, seeing only what they wished to see. He could see the difference in her eyes. Remy had let her see all the darker sides, and she had come out still wanting to be with him. Now, if he could only convince her to stay...or find a way to keep an eye on her when she finally left. All he needed was for her to stay in New Orleans for a little while longer while he thought of something.

Mattie could taste Jubilee's fears like a bad glass of wine. That he wouldn't love her for her age. For the pain he suffered through because of Belladonna, or Rogue. That he would be afraid to allow himself to love another 'innocent', like Genevieve. Or Remy simply didn't care for her in that fashion, and Jubilee's heart would never recover if that was the truth. Well, Mattie couldn't say they weren't truthful possibilites, except she was feeling some interesting patterns around Remy. Not all unfavorable for the girl. Not at all unfavorable.

However, she didn't want to get Jubilee's hopes up, so she said quietly, "Den yer jest gonna have ta trust your head for now, ch'ld, until it's time fo' your heart t'lead your way home."

Jubilee lifted her head, wiping away a single tear before sighing quietly, "When will I know when that is?"

"Well let's jest say ch'ld, it's gonna come out of the blue, like...," Tante closed her eyes for a moment, before adding wryly, " a lightn'ng bolt."

A wry look entered Jubilee's eyes. Gee, now everything made so much more sense. Not. Cryptic advice aside, she liked it here. She liked Jean Luc, and Tante Mattie as well. As it was with the Pack, it was a feeling of being home again. She moved her gaze to Jean Luc. "Mind if I bunk with you for a few weeks, Jean Luc? I kinda want to get my head...settled."

A slow smile worked over the older man's face, "Jubilee, I was hopin' you'd ask me that..."

Five and a Half Months In:

Subject: River Boat Queen


Yes, I know...long time, no write. I just left Nawlins (Yes, now I'm allowed to say that. Jean Luc gave me the okay. Nyener. ^_~ ) a few hours ago, and I already miss it. If there is something worthwhile about the South, it is this beautiful jewel of a city resting by the Mississippi. Am I waxing the light poetic? Yeah, but still...

There's just something in the air, a whisper of voices long ago. Everywhere I went, I thought of the thousands of stories each stone held, every tree and flower. I bet you know at least half of them, don't you Gumbo? I could feel you here too, and not just because you were born and raised here. It's because everyone seemed to know your name, and you might think it's all bad...but there are smiles too. Your city misses you, Remy. I could see it in the way the buildings you told me you haunted seemed to just sag there. The women's smiles aren't quite as bright, the children seem less joyful here.

Your father misses you too. Yes I know, long history, and a lot of it bad. But he loves you, and just how many fathers do you have anyway, bub? There are thousands of things I'd like to be able to say to my father, but I never can now. Jean Luc's still here. Am I going to stop nagging now? Yeah, but just to tell you that your father is one fun guy. I mean, how many people you know are going to take a girl for a nice sight-seeing tour of some of the richer Mansions in the Garden District? So it was at night and the owners didn't know we were was still a blast. Heh-heh.

Really though, we got some nice stuff! I'm sure you'll love what I picked out for you, and don't worry, it's not anything huge (Although I saw this Escher print you would of killed for, well, not literally. Too bulky though. We couldn't get it through the window.). Let's just's the final touch to your bedroom.

All right, time for all good little Firecrackers to hit the hay. Going through Missouri tomorrow. Oh yeah, cheers. Whoo.

Hey, in case I didn't mention it? I miss you.

Love and sparkles,


Remy scanned over the email, a soft smile working over his mouth. Oh, he wished he could have been there with her, walking the same streets she had. Seeing those eyes light up with every new wonder. He could have taken her hand as they ambled along the broad sidewalks of the Garden District by moonlight. Then under that big willow on First Street, he could have pulled her into his arms and...

Mon Dieu, Poppa had taken Jubilee out a job?!? Oh, now this was too amusing. Remy felt a laugh rumble in his throat as he finished reading. Lordy, he couldn't tell anyone about this. Logan might be amused, but Stormy would blow a gasket. As for the Professor, well, he'd have Remy's hide. Cooked Cajun style for good measure, no less.

Still, Jean Luc LeBeau and Jubilation Lee, casing mansions. The thought alone was enough to make Remy burst into snickers. He idly wondered just what the two had found together that they thought would make an appropriate present for him. Then he bit his lip nervously, as he suddenly had horrible visions of recieving some sort of vase or table with the words, 'Property of Anne Rice' stamped boldly on the side.

Non, Jubilee would never send him - oh yes, she would. A bead of sweat slowly trickled down Remy LeBeau's back. Oh merde.

Six Months In:

"Thank you very much," Ororo Munroe said smoothly, taking the package from the Federal Express delivery woman. It was a medium sized box, with FRAGILE printed all over it. Ororo took a moment while she closed the door to read the address. Kansas City. Well, Jubilee was certainly getting around to the garden spots of the United States.

Ororo sighed softly as she carried the box towards the kitchen. No, she wasn't angry with Jubilation. Perhaps a tad aggitated, but not angry. She simply believed that the young woman should be home. Fighting with the X-Men. Keeping Remy from dating half of the 'slut' population of New York City.

All right, so she was angry. She was highly annoyed with the both of them. Jubilee was in love with Remy. Therefore, she should have told him how she felt, instead of racing half way across the country for Goddess-knew-why reasons. Remy was in love with Jubilee. So instead of...doing what he was doing, he should have gone after her, not sat here waiting for her to come home. Yet Ororo bemoaning the utter stupidity of this entire situation was doing nothing. Perhaps then, it was time she took matters into her own hands...

She entered the kitchen, her eyebrows knitting together as she watched several members of the X-Men cluster around the window looking towards the boathouse. Putting the package down on the table, she moved next to Kitty Pryde and peered outside. Oh Bright Goddess; it was Remy and one of those 'women' that the X-Men had started dubbing the 'Jubilee-Skrulls'.

The Wind Rider's tone was dry as she commented, "Well now, what does our Cajun friend have on the menu today, my friends?"

"Slim brunette, Ororo. Her hair is curly, however. I'm taking two points off Skrull-ness for that," Kitty Pryde said, the expression on her face disapproving. Her eyes were fixed on the couple down on the lawn who were enjoying a 'romantic brunch'.

"Ja, but at least this one's eyes are blue. That is a minor improvement on the last one. She wore contacts," Kurt Wagner said, a wicked smirk working over his smooth elven face.

"The young woman does possess some of the more basic characteristics of Jubilee's personality, such as a sharp sense of caustic amusement, and a certain...avante guarde fashion motif," Hank McCoy said, rubbing his blue furred chin thoughtfully.

"Let's not forget the fact that she's a dancer. Swift and graceful on her dainty little feet. Gee, remind anyone here of someone we know?" Bobby Drake said with a high pitched voice, leaning on the edge of the window frame.

The five team members looked at each other. Then looked out the window at the couple. They exchanged glances again as they said in unison, "Jubilee-skrull."

"Someone needs to give Gambit a well deserved Clue-By-Four. He's struggling in the word 'delusional'." Bobby snorted softly, brushing blond-brown hair away from his face.

"Ja, mein fruend Remy is only fooling himself with these replicas of a certain 'Firecracker'," Kurt shook his head worriedly.

"Well, he honestly believes that these women will somehow fill the void which our dear Jubilation has left in the middle of his life. Of course, what he does not seem to realize that each one of these women is a pale shade to the true spirit he seeks," Hank said calmly, taking off his glasses and cleaning them. He added wryly, "In other words, my dear companions, that river in Egypt is flowing right through our backyard."

A masculine voice sounded behind them from the door leading to the living room, the British accent sarcastic. "Letssee. Delusional, skrull, 'n that river in Egypt. We're talkin' about our currently lovesick Cajun chum, ain't we?"

Peter Wisdom, former Black Air agent, former Excalibur member, former and now re-occuring love of Kitty Pryde's life, wandered into the kitchen, a cigarette hanging from his lips. A patch covered one eye (the patch being completely unnecessary, but Pete liked it), the other a sharp, icy blue. Four months ago, on a mission to England, he and the X-Men's paths had crossed again. He and Kitty were strained at first; but a night stuck together on the Moors (her fault), a bottle of particularily bad scotch (his fault), and some weepy-eyed confessions of pained love and lonliness (both of them) brought them back together. They were working hard to make the relationship work, and it wasn't exactly all daisies and sweetness. Still, both realized they were happier together than apart.

"Morning git," Kitty said, with that soft touch of affection. "Yeah, come and take a look at the latest Jubilee-skrull."

"Good morning, Peter." "Morning Pete." " 'Sup Wisdom?" came the various greetings from the other gathered X-Men. Wisdom grunted greetings to all as he made his way over to the window to peer out with the rest. He planted a soft kiss on Kitty's forehead, which she returned fondly.

"Is that her? Well, at least her hair is the right color," Wisdom said with a snort. "What number we up to? Four billion bimbos n' countin? LeBeau's doin' better business then Mc bloody Donald's."

"This would be Jubilee-skrull number 6, Peter...and her hair is brown, not black." Kurt said, laughing softly.

"Get outta here! Really?" Wisdom exclaimed, squinting with his one eye. "Well, I'm not really too sharp in the mornin' without m'coffee, Kurt. 'N yah got to remember - I've never seen this Jubilee bird."

"Believe me Wisdom when I say that girl out there is nothing like the real Firecracker." Bobby snorted softly, shifting around towards the kitchen table. His blue eyes widened, "Hey now, what's this Ororo?"

"It is a package for Remy, Robert. From Jubilation." Ororo allowed a small smile to pass her lips. At least Jubilee was a lot better at contacting Remy then Rogue had been. Jubilee sent numerous packages and emails, always letting Remy (and everyone else) know that she was thinking about him.

A wicked look suddenly bloomed in Wisdom's eye as he looked around the kitchen. "'Ey, who wants to see how fast a Jubilee-skrull can be left inna the proverbial dust for jest a sniff of the 'real Firecracker'?"

A evil look entered Bobby's eyes. "Oh, go for it Wisdom. This I have got to see."

"It would be an interesting study in human behavior," Hank mused quietly.

"What exactly are you going to do, Peter?" Ororo asked, her eyebrow raised slightly.

"Watch 'n learn, 'n learn," Wisdom said with a smirk, lifting the package up and heading towards the back door. The others looked at each other, then crowded around the window again. Wisdom stepped outside the door and, balancing the box under one arm, yelled down to the couple, "HEY, LEBEAU! Yah got a 'Fragile' package here!"

Remy looked up from where he was whispering sweet nothings into the Jubilee-skrull's ear (her name was actually Monica...), his crimson eyes narrowing as he yelled back, "'N I should care b'cause? Leave it in the house, WISDOM!"

Wisdom shrugged philosophically. He yelled back, as he started to turn around, "All-righty. But I'm sure that this package from JUBI- well damn, look at the boy run." He tried not to snicker as Remy, the mere thought of a package from Jubilee racing through his system excitedly, jumped off the blanket and charged up the lawn. Monica was left sitting there, her mouth hanging open with shock and anger.

"Gimme dat!" Remy snapped, grabbing the package from a smug looking Wisdom. He hugged the package to him, as if the box held the sender beneath the brown paper wrapping. He swept inside of the house, putting the package down on the counter and looking around for a pair of scissors.

Kurt cleared his throat and gestured to the counter right behind the Cajun, where a pair of scissors lay. Remy grunted his thanks and taking the scissors began to cut off the paper. The look on his face was that of the boy who just recieved the ten-speed bike for Christmas. Behind him, Wisdom had calmly closed the door and shared a knowing smirk with the X-Men.

Remy mindlessly ignored the amused looks on his teammate's faces as he tore into the box eagerly, throwing aside the paper and the wrappings inside to reveal...a lamp. But not just any lamp. An original Tiffany lamp. He crowed in delight, carefully pulling out the stained glass masterpiece and putting it on the table to admire.

There was a collective jaw drop from the others in the room. Hank spoke slowly, eyes wide with disbelief. " that an original 1929 Lily Design Tiffany Lamp? Worth $10,000 and some odd change?!?"

"Yep," Remy said, a mischevious twinkle in his eyes as he added slyly, "Poppa took Jubilee to some interesting places when she visited Nawlins."

"'Poppa'? As in your father, Remy?" Ororo said, silver eyes narrowing suddenly.

"Why yes, dat would be the man," Remy murmured innocently, as he rifled through the box. Oooh, card from Jubilee. He'd savor it later.

"Your father, Jean Luc LeBeau - the HEAD of the Thieves Guild in New Orleans??" Ororo's tone was dangerously soft.

"Mmm-hm." Remy was fighting hard not to laugh. Oh, this was just too good.

"REMY LEBEAU, do you mean to tell me YOUR FATHER, took JUBILEE..." Ororo sputtered. She couldn't even get the rest of the words out, she was so flabbergasted.

"On a 'tour' of de better Mansions in Nawlins? I b'live he did. Now, if y'all will excuse me, I gotta put my lamp away," Remy said, smirking. He carefully lifted the lamp up. He had the best place for it on his dresser table. Jubilee was right; it was the perfect, final touch.

"Sure go and put your...$10,000 lamp...away." Kitty said, her voice choked. The others were still in a state of shell shock, just staring at the Tiffany Lamp as if it were a bomb waiting to go off.

"Thanks Kitty, think I will," Remy said jauntily, walking out the back door towards the boat house. He dimly noticed that Monica had left. Ah well, he still had the lamp.

There was a long moment of silence in the kitchen, before Wisdom spoke up. "Well, anyone time that run inside?" Five sets of eyes moved towards him, their looks disbelieving.

Wisdom took a drag off his cigarette and shrugged. "Jest curious. C'mon now, people. It's jest a lamp. Breath."

There was a soft thump, as Ororo keeled right over in shocked anger. Her other teammates turned to stare at her prone form blankly for a long moment.

Wisdom quirked up his eyebrow. "'N I think someone ought to pick up Storm off the floor. That doesn't look like the most comfortable position 'n the world."

End Part One

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