Disclaimer: I own nothing! All characters depicted belong to Marvel and no one else, though I would kidnap them if I could…
PS- I know I wrote no powers in the summary, but I kept Remy's eyes red on black, because...well I just can't see him with anything else, ya know?
"Remy!" Jean Luc's angry voice cut through the young man's thoughts, "Are ya even listenin'?"
The lanky, well toned young man nodded absently, his unnatural red on black eyes wandering to the window that opened to the warm evening air. No, he wasn't really listening, he didn't want to do another job, he'd much rather be having fun and living it up before his arranged marriage, but at least this got him away from his clingy bride for a couple of weeks.
"Oui, M'Kraan Crystal, Mississippi, unveiling, got it." Remy knew the important parts.
Jean Luc sighed. His adoptive son was bored with these heists, he knew that, but Remy was the best, he made the thieves' guild's work look easy. That's why he was bored, it didn't just look easy for him, it was, but this was important. The crystal he was talking about was the stuff of legends. It was said that it was once guarded by an unimaginable force called the Phoenix, it had destroyed many worlds. Realizing the danger it posed, it had to be destroyed, it was shattered by the Phoenix, it's remains spread around the earth. The cult of the Shi'ar were said to be trying to rebuild the mysterious crystal and another shard had surfaced. They wanted it, but it had been bought by a woman who intended on auctioning it off in another form. The cult knew they could never match any bid that the rich southern socialites would make, so they had hired the guild, knowing their reputation would serve them well. Jean Luc knew his son heard none of these things and smiled, well if Remy wouldn't listen to the background info that he had acquired then Remy could suffer the consequences, Jean Luc knew the crystal would be as good as theirs, but he also knew Remy would be in for a challenge. He chuckled to himself and handed over the address with the invite he had managed to get for his cocky son.
Remy raised his eyebrow towards his adoptive father.
"Jus' watch out for de femmes boy."
Remy parked his bike outside the huge Victorian style mansion where the unveiling was being held. The house screamed old money, passed down from family member to family member along with the family fortune. The current owner of the home and vast fortune was the second wife and current widow of Owen Raven, Raven Darkholme, who had chosen to keep her maiden name due to the absurdity of having the same first and last name. Remy knew of her, knew that her husband's death had fallen under suspicious circumstances, as did his first wife's before him, but when you had as much money as Ms. Darkholme now had no questions were asked. Raven was known for getting her hands dirty business wise, and anyone who opposed her was usually silenced fairly quickly, her associates taking care of the messy details. She held money and that held power.
Jean Luc had said it would be a fairly formal event, so he had rented a nice tux. He took out a smoke and lit it while he watched from the shadows of one of the huge oaks that stood on the property. It was big, and he couldn't help but wonder why all the fuss for a little jewel. Remy made note of the amount of single men going in. It seemed odd as most men would hire a young lady if they didn't have a companion of their own, but none of these men looked embarrassed to be alone, quite the opposite, they looked happy to just be invited.
Done with his smoke, Remy decided it was time to grace the crowd with his own presence. There was a huge young man about his age, and four times his girth, at the door collecting invitations and letting people in. He gave Remy a strange look before grabbing the small card in Remy's hand and standing aside for him. Remy just grinned, knowing his strange eyes would cause some funny looks. They always did.
Someone took Remy's coat and he was shown to the beautiful ballroom. People in expensive silk gowns and fine tux's milled about; talking, eating, drinking and admiring the beautiful necklace that lay within a display case at the bottom of the double staircase that lead into the ballroom. Remy was a little confused by the fact that the necklace was out in the open. If this was an unveiling, shouldn't it be hidden until the moment of the unveiling?
Remy took a glass of champagne from one of the many servers and casually made his way to the case. It was a beautiful piece. The light pink crystal shimmered softly in the display's lighting, encased in a simple gold frame, hanging from a thin gold chain. It wasn't intricate, but it was elegant.
Normally an unveiling would be a fairly simple job. He would be able to swipe the item before the unveiling and be long gone before anyone even knew that it had been stolen, but with the necklace out in the open it wouldn't be possible. Remy would have to call Jean-Luc and tell him that he would be staying longer then anticipated in order to wait for the right opportunity, which suited Remy just fine, able to be away from Belladonna without her questioning his every move.
So Remy mingled with some of the other guests, unsure of how long the whole affair would take. He was eager to leave, finding the whole thing slightly dull and very pretentious, but he knew he had to stay until at least the main event, whatever it was, incase he missed some key piece of information that he would need for later. Finally, the fairly large doorman had entered the ballroom, closing the doors behind him which indicated that all the guests had arrived and that they could now precede with the main event.
A tall regal looking woman dressed in a midnight blue ball gown that contrasted nicely with her straight red hair and amber eyes took her cue and approached the display case. Remy knew immediately that she was the infamous Ms. Darkholme. Silence spread through the vast room as she held her hand in the air, signaling that she would like to speak.
"Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for being here tonight, as it is a proud and joyous occasion. We are all here to celebrate the birthday of my lovely step-daughter, who has finally reached the age of adulthood. I would like to introduce to you…Anna Raven." Ms. Darkholme's gloved hand directed everyone's attention to the top of the stairs.
A gentle applause started throughout the crowd as the young woman descended the staircase gracefully, escorted by a young man, who, Remy assumed, was Ms. Darkholme's oldest son, Kurt Wagner. Remy couldn't help but stare as he softly clapped his hands together, slightly stunned.
Anna's hair was done up in a very intricate twist, soft ringlets of auburn hanging down here and there, her strange white bangs swept to the side and held in place with a jeweled barrette. She wore a low cut spaghetti strap white satin gown, the jeweled bodice hugging all of her very well developed curves to her mid hip before the shirt flared out elegantly around her, and white satin gloves that reached up to mid arm. As she looked shyly around at the crowd that awaited her, a soft timid smile graced her red lips, making her look absolutely beautiful, as thought she were about to be married, instead of it just being her birthday.
As Anna stopped to stand beside her step-mother, the clapping faded and Remy had to stop himself from laughing. He was at a debutante ball. He couldn't believe it. The auction tonight wasn't for the necklace; it was for the hand of the stunning creature before them. His night had just gotten somewhat more interesting.
"Ah, Anna, you are so beautiful tonight and I wanted to help you celebrate by giving you this lovely necklace, though it could never match your beauty." Ms. Darkholme lifted the necklace and fastened it around Anna's neck, who smiled somewhat awkwardly at her surrogate mother.
"Now, let's eat, drink and have a good time." Ms. Darkholme announced as she cued the small orchestra in the corner to begin playing.
Remy watched as Anna and her step-mother approached the bachelors in the crowd, Ms. Darkholme introducing Anna first, who curtsied politely before engaging in some form of conversation in which she would look down and giggle shyly. It seemed to Remy, that he would be able to charm this girl fairly easily, he wondered if he would be able to do it in one night, getting the necklace and, perhaps something fun for himself as well.
Remy smiled at the dirty thoughts that seemed to be perpetually running through his head as he looked Anna up and down. She was a beauty, there was no mistake about that, even if she did come off as a bit of a priss, giggling and playing the timid girl. Remy wondered how much of it was an act to get one of the rich businessmen to show some interest in her.
He had to wait an hour, but Ms. Darkholme finally left Anna's side, allowing her to socialize as she pleased. Instead of approaching any of the young men she had met, Anna went straight to the punch and poured herself a drink. Remy took his opportunity to chat the girl up, quickly strutting towards her, only to be stopped by the girl's step-brother accompanied by the fat doorman and two others; a lanky blonde, blue eyed guy with a twisted grin on his face and a solidly build tanned young man with brown hair and eyes. The four of them blocked Remy from his prize, who stood drinking her punch while staring at them curiously.
"Ve know who you are, thief." Kurt stated coldly in a thick German accent. "You can remain for the rest of the party but you are not to go near mein sister. You are below her."
Not wanting to start a confrontation right then and there, especially since it seemed like he had been made, Remy held up his hands in defeat. He bowed gracefully and stood to walk away, throwing a quick wink to the curious debutante before making his way through the crowd. He couldn't have been absolutely sure, but he thought he had seen her sigh with a slight pout on her lips before she turned to glare at her step-brother.
It was several hours later that the ball finally dispersed, the last of the guests leaving once they had had their final fill of food and drink. Remy lingered in the darkness outside, sticking to the shadows so not to be seen. He had memorized the blueprints to the huge house and knew that the window two floors above him was Anna's room. There was a huge oak tree outside it that reached far beyond the window. Remy figured he could climb the tree, pick the window lock and charm the girl into bed, then leave with the necklace. It seemed like a good plan in his head, but the only problem was that Anna's step-brother and his little gang had chosen the tall oak as the spot where they could hang out and smoke after the party, Remy having to wait for them to be finished. So Remy stuck to the shadows and listened as the young men talked about the girl that seemed to be on everyone's minds right now.
"Wow, Dom, have you ever seen Anna looking so beautiful? She looked like an angel tonight." The big guy said to the stout tan boy. It suddenly occurred to Remy that these were the 'associates' Jean-Luc had told him about. Dominic, Fred and John. Young and stupid hired muscle.
Dominic only nodded at Fred as he took a drag from his smoke.
Anna's step-brother frowned at them, obviously not happy with their choice of conversation, but not stopping it either. He grabbed one of the branches over his head and pulled himself up to sit on it, seemingly more comfortable there than on the ground.
"Ah, I'd 'ave ta disagree witcha there, Freddy, my boy. I've seen the sheila dressed up in much more…alluring attire." The blond named John laughed with a heavy Australian accent. He played with his lighter as he remembered said outfits, a twisted grin coming to his lips.
"Yea? And when would that have been Johnny?" A female southern drawl suddenly came from above the boys, causing them to jump. The leaves rustled madly as Anna abruptly jumped down from the branch she had been sitting on. Her attire had changed drastically since the ball, her gown thrown off in favor of a pair of hip hugging blue jeans and a revealing low cut black tank top. Her hair cascaded to her shoulders in silky waves, the moon catching her white streak. The only things that remained the same were the long silk gloves that she had been wearing, which seemed slightly odd for the humid summer night and the necklace she had been given by her step-mother. The new look, it seemed, had a new attitude to go with it. Remy watched as the girl who had blushed and giggled and looked away so timidly at the ball, walked straight up to John, never taking her eyes off his as she shoved a gloved hand straight into his pocket.
"Perhaps when ya sneak past mah room again an' again, hoping to catch a glimpse of meh changing?" John, who had looked nervous as Anna had walked up to him, now grinned as she removed her hand, a cigarette between her long fingers. She slipped the smoke between her full lips and waited for John to light it.
"Oi, sheila, ain't my fault ya like ta change witcha door open." John chuckled as he lifted the lighter to the end of the smoke. He seemed to be the only one of the boys who found any of the conversation funny. Anna just smiled as she inhaled, purposely exaggerating the rising of her chest so that John could take a good look at her cleavage.
Remy watched with a grin. This girl was no fragile flower, he knew that now and it made him smile, liking a challenge. He noticed that Dominic and Fred looked alarmed at her presence, and though they didn't take their eyes off of her, they stayed silent. Kurt however, was obviously angry. He pushed himself off the branch he had been sitting on and grabbed Anna by the wrist, spinning her around to face him, Anna wincing noticeably.
"Isn't it a little warm for gloves mein sister?" Kurt asked suspiciously, noticing the strange choice in clothing for such a hot night.
Anna blew smoke in Kurt's face, causing him to start coughing and let go of her wrist, before she retorted.
"Ain't it rude ta ask such personal questions of a lady?"
Remy heard John snort in the background.
"Sheila, since when didcha ever consider yaself a lady?"
Anna glared at John, giving Kurt the opportunity to grab her arm once more and tear off her glove. Anna gasped and Kurt's tone became darker.
"You promised our mother that you vould stop this Anna. Look at this!" Kurt yelled as he shoved Anna's arm into her face. Once again, the girl winced, closing her eyes in an effort not to look at her own skin. Remy couldn't see what was there, taking a guess; he figured it was probably some sort of tattoo to rebel against her family.
Anna tore her arm away from Kurt and snatched her glove out of his hand.
"Mah mother?! Mah mother is dead Kurt! That woman don't care about us! Or did ya'll forget how she sent ya away ta Germany without any consideration to what ya'll may have wanted or needed?!" Anna's hands were in the air, the cigarette still held between her fingers, as she questioned Kurt angrily. The rest of the small group only watched the two siblings as though it was an everyday thing for them.
"She sent me avay so that your good name vould not be tarnished. Because it vas the proper thing to do. Ve are not related and are the same age, ve could not live together vithout people talking. She did it so you would stay pure." Kurt answered her steadily.
Anna just smiled at Kurt.
"An' how much do ya'll reckon she's auctionin' that purity off for now Kurt? There were some very rich men here tonight…"
"Anna, she is not auctioning you off. She is only trying to find you a suitable husband. Someone worthy of your stature, who can take care of you." Kurt's tone softened slightly as he tried to explain his mother's actions to Anna.
Anna's face softened as she took another drag of her smoke. She looked to the ground, shoving the toe of her boot into the dirt aimlessly.
"An' what was wrong with Cody? He made meh happy. Ah loved him. What was so wrong about that?" Anna asked quietly.
Kurt took a step closer to Anna, taking her hand in his.
"He could never have given you what you deserve Anna, do you not see that? He would never have been able to support you, let alone a family." Kurt explained softly. Anna looked up, her eyes big as she spoke in little more than a whisper.
"What about ya'll? What's so wrong about that?"
Kurt looked up suddenly. A strange grin had formed on Anna's lips as she looked at Kurt seductively, her tone becoming far sultrier.
Anna took a step forward, Kurt took a step back.
"Ah know ya think about meh Kurt. That ya want meh. What would be so wrong about it? We ain't really related or anythang." Anna asked as she took a few more steps forward, backing Kurt into the oak tree. She slid a finger down his chest before looking into his eyes once more.
"Ah think it'd be fun."
Anna reeled backwards, John catching her as she held her fingers to her now swelling cheek, the sting from her brother's hand burning. She stood up, fire flashing in her green eyes.
"What the fuck Kurt?! Ah was just kiddin'! What the hell is ya problem?!"
"You are nothing but a cheap tease. Start acting like a proper lady, or I vill be forced to beat some sense into you."
"Is that a challenge?"
"It could be, that is up to you mein sister."
Kurt and Anna glared at each other, waiting for the other to make a move. Finally Anna dropped her cigarette to the ground, crushing it out beneath her boot.
"Screw ya'll, Ah'm bored." Anna said as she turned and started to walk off into the darkness.
"Anna! Where are you going? Come back here or I vill be forced to get mother!" Kurt yelled after her.
Anna ignored Kurt's threat; flipping him off over her shoulder as she strode out of sight.