Disclaimer: Characters and Premise are borrowed from the Marvel, I'm not making any money.

It wasn't hard to find the center of the problem, not when there was a dragon made purely of flames hovering over Bourbon Street.

The teens gathered beneath it didn't look anywhere near as impressive. Six kids no older than Remy and his friends in ragged jeans and tee shirts each wearing a scarf with an 'M' on it tied around their upper arm.

"Yo're not Magneto's normal crew," Remy said. "Not even dat bunch of fanatics callin' demselves his acolytes... I ran into dem once, dey los'."

"You're a mutant too," a boy with longish brown hair, who appeared to be the gang's nominal leader, said. "Why aren't you with us?"

" 'Cause I ain't some mindless wannabe wit' rein bettah to do wit' m' time dan knock down buildin's... dat was one of yo' makin' de earthquakes, neh?" Remy replied.

The boy stretched out a hand toward Remy in reply and the earth heaved in response. Remy and Belle rode out the waves like surfers. "This seemed like as good a way as any to get the big man's attention. Destroying one of their historic cities."

"Bad choice, dis be our city," Belle said. "An' dere hell to pay for messin' wit' it, wit' us."

"As if you could stop us flatscan," a red-haired teen standing at the earth-shaker's shoulder laughed. "Haven't you heard the news? Your race is joining the dodo."

At his gesture the fire dragon blew a mouthful of flames at a nearby building only to have it's fire met by a blast of water from a fire hose. As the dragon died under the deluge of water Singer and Pierre waved cheerfully.

"Rusty!" the fire-wielder yelled and a younger boy, twelve or thirteen by Remy's estimation, sent a gout of flame toward the fire- wielder.

"Separate dem!" Remy yelled. Pierre and Singer turned the hose on Rusty, not quite managing to put out his fire, but effectively driving him away from the red-haired teen.

"I hope yo're powerless on your own," Lapin said diving at the fire-wielder. He drove his shoulder into the other teen's stomach, further separating him from the younger fire-starter.

"Leave him alone!" a young girl yelled diving into the stream of water directed at Rusty. It parted around her as if sheeting off a fresh wax job.

Several more Guild members joined the fray, helping Lapin carry his target further from the rest of the gang.

"Pyro!" the earth-shaker yelled.

"No worries," Pyro yelled back, digging a lighter out of his pocket.

A flick of the lighter and a wall of flames drove back the Guild members.

"Hell!" Lapin swore. "Guys, water!"

The earth-shaker turned his attention back to Remy and Belle, this time his quake knocked both of them off their feet. Remy threw a charged card into the ground at his feet, returning the favor.

****** ****** ******

Henri Lebeau found himself facing off against a dark skinned girl with cropped hair. "I hate hittin' a lady," he began, she just grinned. Henri shrugged, threw a punch then started cursing, cradling a potentially broken hand to his chest. "Dat'll teach me to forget m' manners," he muttered. "A little help here!"

****** ****** ******

As soon as the fire hose was off the youngest members of the gang the pair regrouped and started looking to see which of their friends was in the most trouble.

" 'Lo petites," Jean-Luc said quietly. "Why yo' causin' dis fuss?"

The boy's flames brightened as he stepped protectively in front of his friend.

" 'M not out to hurt yo'," Jean-Luc said. "Jus' a mite protective of m' home. Yo' understand dat don' yo'?"

"All humans want to hurt us," the girl said.

"Skids don't talk to him!" Rusty cried.

Jean-Luc ignored the boy's outburst. "Did I come to your home, threaten yo'?" he asked. " 'Sides if we were out to hurt mutants yo' really t'ink m' nephew, de one wit' de strikin' eyes, would've been s' quick to oppose yo'?"

"Magneto says it's our world now, we don't have to hide or be scared of you any more!" Skids yelled petulantly.

Jean-Luc sighed. "Do yo' hear anyt'ing I say?" he asked. "Yo' barkin' up de wrong tree chile. M' clan, m' family 'ncludes bot' human an' mutant... An' WE wan' no part of your Magneto's fool war. We all get 'long jus' fine."

****** ****** ******

Fifolet blinked in amazement as his fist passed through the scowling blonde girl he was faced off against. "I didn' do dat!" he exclaimed.

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Belle yelled a warning to Remy. As one of the tremors threatened to bring a building down on top of him.

The russet haired teen dove for a nearby alley hoping to find shelter from the falling masonry as his bride tossed a knife at the source of the earthquakes. The unstable footing through off Belle's normally impeccable aim leaving the dark haired teen bleeding heavily from a wound to the shoulder rather than dead from a knife to through his heart.

****** ****** ******

Lapin and several other Guild members were in the process of tying up the drenched Pyro while checking his pockets for any other incendiary devices.

****** ****** ******

Henri commanded an increasingly large number of Guild members to dog pile on the gang's invulnerable strong woman gradually turning the tide of the battle against her.

****** ****** ******

Remy stared at the pile of rubble separating him from the battle trying to decide if it would be quicker to climb over or go around when an ice cold blast of hate brought him spinning around, a fan of cards held defensively before him.

Julien smiled slowly, madness glinting in his dark eyes. "Did yo' honestly t'ink I'd 'llow ma soeur to marry a man born wit'out de Goddess' blessin' an' a half caste T'ief at dat?"

"How hard did I hit yo'?" Remy asked in disbelief. "Your 'Goddess' is rien mais a teke on an ego-trip who we barbequed only a few months back."

"A god can't die," Julien replied, raising a hand palm outward.

Remy swore as some sort of energy beam erupted from Julien's hand. "Belle won' be 'ppriciatin' us, eit'er of us, dyin' on her weddin' day," he pointed out. "I wouldn' t'ink bein' de survivor of dis fight be much of a prize."

"It be a battle," Julien said with a shrug. "Who's to say how yo' died."

Remy dodged another blast and used a card to tumble Julien from his perch. " 'Member las' time? Yo' los'. Dis won' time won' be any differen'."

"Oh dis is gonna be all different," Julien said firing another blast at Remy.

He twisted to one side; letting the beams shoot past him then tackled Julien.

Julien struggled, pinned beneath Remy. "Yo' can't win," he cried. "De Benefactress loves me, she promised me!"

"Yo' loosin' it homme," Remy said, pressing a glowing card to Julien's throat to discourage struggling.

"She rose from de dead! She is de real t'ing!" Julien insisted. "She will give me what she promised."

"What did she promise yo'?" Remy demanded.

"Power," Julien said grinning. "An' dat yo' an' m' sister's bastard chile won' be born."

The card in Remy's hand blazed like a miniature sun. "Dat bettah not be a t'reat," Remy said coldly. "Yo're not de only one who can make accidents happen."

Remy jumped to his feet, tossing Julien away from him as he threw the card into the air.

They both hit the ground, throwing their hands over their heads to shield themselves from the blast.

Julien looked from the scorched building faces above them to Remy. "Mon Dieu," he swore noting the blast radius from a single card.

Remy stood slowly. "De power, it be gettin' stronger. If I were yo', I'd leave me an' Belle 'lone, neh?"

****** ****** ******

Fifolet and the formerly scowling blonde traded ineffectual blows, two ghosts, not quite in phase passing through one another trying not to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

****** ****** ******

Henri watched his prisoner struggling futilely against four sets of handcuffs, yards of rope, several chains and nearly a six rolls of duct tape.

****** ****** ******

Pierre and Singer stood ready with the fire hose, waiting for Jean-Luc's signal.

"What yo' want wit' followin' a madman like Magneto. Yo're jus' kids, do yo' really want to be killin' people?" Jean-Luc asked.

"We don't want to be hunted anymore," Rusty said. "Sentinels, hate groups, now the government says we have to them who we are and how they can hurt us or else we're criminals... What are they going to use that stuff for? To Arrest us? Cage us? Kill us?"

"I wouldn' be registerin' m'self," Jean-Luc said. " 'Course hangin' up a sign dat says 'disruptive mutants be here' ain't what I'd be doin' eider."

"Magneto will find us," Skids said.

****** ****** ******

A ring of thieves and assassins crawled toward the gang's dark haired leader as the very earth tried to throw them back. Blood oozed between the teen's fingers as he fought to stem the flow from the wound Belle had inflicted. With a low moan he collapsed to his knees.

"Lance!" Skids cried as she and Rusty tried to go to his aid.

Fifolet's opponent suddenly turned deadly serious moving through the battle like a specter she dashed to Lance's side. Even as the Guilds closed in on them they held a quick conference then the girl turned and fled.

"Get out of here!" Lance yelled to Rusty and Skids. "Scanner'll explain!"

As the young friends paused indecisively a blast of water knocked Rusty off his feet, his head cracked against the sidewalk and he lost consciousness, his flames died away.

Biting back tears Skids fled. Hands intended to restrain slid ineffectually off her frictionless skin. Powerless to stop her the Thieves stood back and watched her flee. An Assassin drew a bead on the back of her head; Lapin deflected the man's shot into the air.

"Stupid T'ief, she got 'way!" the Assassin snarled reaiming his gun at the young thief's chest.

"De femme's not even thirteen," Lapin protested angrily.

"Dey were goin' to destroy our home!" the Assassin snapped.

Mercy laid a knife against the side of the Assassin's throat. "Dey'll be no killin' today," she said. " 'Less yo' volunteer to go second."

"Assassins don' take prisoner," Marius said his voice raised to carry across the erstwhile battlefield. "Dey be yo're problem Jean- Luc. Dey bust up de city 'gain an' I hol' de T'ieves 'sponsible."

"D'accord," Jean-Luc replied. "Mattie, see to it dat boy don' bleed to death. Theoren, when she be done get dem back to de house, do whatevah yo' t'ink necessary to make dem secure den see to it dey get some food. Remy, ain't yo' got somewhere to be?"

****** ****** ******

The bride's dress was darkened with ash; the groom's suit was torn and covered with dirt. The church ceiling sported a nasty crack and the congregation sported fresh bandages.

The priest decided to forgo his sermon and married Belladonna Boudreaux and Remy Lebeau with all due haste to free the wedding party up so they could return to the work of clearing away the evidence of the battle.

****** ****** *****

"Mais no one can say our marriage didn' start wit' a bang," Belle said chuckling softly as she snuggled into Remy's arms.

Uncertain of where they were expected to live now that they were married they'd ended up spending the night in Belle's secret nitch behind the church's angel.

"Do yo' t'ink I made a mistake not killin' Julien when I had de chance?" Remy asked.

"I can take care of mon frere," Belle said. "If he needs killin' I'll do it."

Remy nodded feeling relieved. "Don' turn your back on him Belle, I t'ink he be crazy."

"Mebbe," Belle said. "I don' want to talk 'bout dis."

Remy pulled her closer, wrapping the blanket they'd found in the church around them more tightly. Together they fell asleep watching the stars come out.

Remy woke to the feel of Belle carefully untangling herself from him. "Where yo' goin' s' early?" he murmured sleepily.

"I don' want to go s'soon," Belle whispered leaning in to kiss him. "Mais, I got a job, m' first solo."

"Stay," Remy said catching her wrist.

"Dis was set up 'fore I even knew 'bout de bebe," Belle said. "Dis is m' rite of passage, if I screw it up I won' be an Assassin."

"Would dat be s'bad?"



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