Chapter two!!!! Ok, that was a lot more exclamation points than I ever want to use at the end of one sentence again.

Oh, I almost forgot, I have no idea what Louisiana middle school days are like. At my middle school, we had homeroom and second period in the same place, but we'll pretend it's different there, even if it isn't.

[X-x-X-x-X]

After History was Writing and Grammar with Miss Kay. After W.G. was French, a language Marie already half-knew, and most of the class was either native or natively fluent in, Remy being native.

Suddenly paranoid for her brother, she went up to the teacher. "Mah brother's a seventh grader, ma'am. Does he take language?"

"Seventh graders have French also."

Marie sighed unhappily, returning to her seat – by Remy, as it was in all her classes so far.

"What is it, petite chere?"

"Mah li'l brother's still strugglin' with English. Addin' ANOTHER language . . ." she trailed off with another sigh.

"Quoi?"

"Mah HALF-brother was born n' raised in Germany. Ah've been learnin' his language since Ah was six, but he's only been workin' on his English for a few years."

"You know German?"

"Ja," was all he caught. "Native fluency," she remarked in English. "Ah've been workin' on Français for two 're three years, not nearly as long."

"How good are you?"

"Tres magnifique, if I do say so myself, Monsieur LeBeau, but far from perfect."

Remy gave her a calculating look. "You're an incredible fille, cheré."

She merely grinned.

Lunch

Lunch was largely uneventful. Kurt and Lapin and some other relatives and friends of the LeBeau boys sat with the eighth grade duo, along with several simpering girls gazing wistfully at the tall, dark, and handsome Cajun and drooling guys ogling Marie and avoiding Kurt as best they could.

On a completely different subject, Kurt and Lapin, it appeared, also had all the same classes.

"So we LeBeaus're tuggin' 'round you Darkholmes?" murmured Lapin. "I dunno, sounds odd to me. This school has so many classes; the likelihood of this is small, about ten, maybe twenty to one by estimate."

"Shut yer trap, Lapin, jus' be happy de way t'ings are," Remy rolled his eyes.

"Actually," Kurt fidgeted slightly, "I t'ink zis vas our muzzer's doink."

"Quoi?" the LeBeaus inquired in unison, mouths open.

Kurt sighed. He grabbed Lapin's arm and yanked up the sleeve, displaying the other boy's Thief Guild tattoo. "You two are in de T'ieves Guild, ja? Haven't you heard dat a t'ief for 'ire is comink in, a specialist in disguise?"

"Oui," Remy said, just as Lapin declined. "Remember, little cousin, Remy's much higher up den you."

"Oui, you little Prince of T'ieves," growled the younger of the two.

"You're Jean-Luc's son," gasped Marie quietly. There was a nod. "Ah thought the name was familiah. Mahght's well tell 'em 'bout momma, Kurt."

"Our muzzer is Raven Darkholme, de chameleon, de mistress of disguise."

"Ah . . . Remy's heard of her. She n' ma pére are pullin' off a heist t'gedder."

"Yeah, but that's not everythin'. Momma's joinin' th' Thieves' Guild."

Remy and Lapin gaped.

"But – dat's so rare it's unheard of!"

"What?"

"An outsider – joinin' one a' de Guilds! Dey're bot' fam'ly owned, an' fam'ly kep'," Lapin protested.

"Both? Who's th' othah Guild?"

Remy's voice was lowered even further. "Y've nev'r heard of de Assassins? Jus' as we are t'ieves for 'ire, dey are killers for pay. But de similarities end at management – the Boudreaux (is that the head family? I honestly have no idea.) clan is de mos' rut'less in de city, an' dat's sayin' somet'in'. At least we t'ieves, we LeBeaus, 'ave honor, we don't waste lives, we don't torture and rape. But dey 'ave no mercy, no honor at all. Deir children are just as rut'less, just as soulless as de adults."

"You've had a lot a' tahme ta think about this, haven't ya?"

"Oui, chere. Remy's been a t'ief in dis Guild since Remy was nine, an' Remy's known about de rivalry since Remy was four," said the Cajun in third person, sincerely irritating Marie and confusing the hell out of Kurt.

"Are we dat infamous?" Lapin turned to his cousin, confusing the half- siblings.

"Oui, cher, even on de streets, we knew about de Assassins an' de T'ieves. Remy 'as always been a t'ief an' a t'ief's supporter. My maman was killed by de damn assassin fuckers," he growled, spitting out first person like it hurt him even more than the sentence.

"What – I don' undahstand. You were on th' streets?"

"Remy was an orphan on de streets since four, yes. Tried to pick Jean Luc's pocket when Remy was nine, nearly got his arm broken . . . Jean Luc took Remy in, adopted him as a second son, taught 'im 'ow to burgle, 'ow to TRULY steal," the eighth grader said, sighing happily when he thought of his father. "But Remy goin' on an' on 'bout 'imself, what's yer life like, chere?"

"Mah father abandoned mah mother, who put me in th' care of a friend a' hers' nanny, despicable woman, that damn nanny. She went ta Germany on a mission, had Kurt there an' left 'im with another friend. She came back, raised me for a few months, had another mission, went an' raised Kurt for a few months – her job requires a lot a' movement, a lot a' flexibility, an' a lot a' disguises. Fahnally, Kurt was old enough ta come to America, an' live with me an' Momma. We still moved aroun' a lot, but since Kurt an' Ah could be trusted to lie to anyone who needed lyin' to, we weren't a "liahbility" anymawh," she air-quoted disdainfully. "Her boss's words – not hers." She sighed. "Momma would do anythin' for that man an' his "cause,"" she air-quoted again.

The four of them fell into a depressed silence, quietly contemplating their shit-worthy home-lives. Then the bell rang.

[X-x-X-x-X]

Wow that sucked. I'm sorry, but right now I'm in a love-hate relationship with volume three of Gravitation. I love it and hate it at the same time, and I'm halfway through reading it – since I read as many pages as I can stomach between paragraphs.

Also, it's my last night at my grandparents house, and I really wanted to crank this out since I don't have any discs with me sweatdrops so I could post it right here and now. Except, I'll have to wait thirty minutes because it's 8:30 and I'm not allowed to get on the internet (damn dial-up old fashioned grandparents – at least they have this lovely Dell) until 9:00. So. I'll post it then. You'll be happy. Aiie, and I need to get cracking on a new chappie for my Toad story. Yeah right. That'll be up in MONTHS. Is being pessimistic. Really though, I'll try. But Gravitation is killing my soul. Fingers itch to return to the adventures of Shuichi Shindou.

Damn. Well, see ya.

--Chroni