I needed a slight break from my work on Long Black Gloves. I needed to spit out a one shot so that I could unclog my brain for a bit before returning to that story. Which is why I present you with this bit of Remy LeBeau goodness.
Remy LeBeau wasn't always the stud you know him as today.
Oh sure, I was an adorable little baby. But it's hard not to be an adorable baby. I mean, have you looked at babies? They got them itty-bitty bodies wit' itty-bitty fingers and even itty-bittier fingernails. How can somethin' so small not be adorable? The only thing more 'dorable would be a puppy.
There ain't such thing as an ugly puppy. 'Cause even the most unsightly little guys are still cute 'cause they're frickin' puppies. Puppies!
And if you put a baby and a puppy together, don' get much cuter than that. Unless, of course, the baby and the puppy are fallin' asleep. Hmm….
I was a cute little baby. That ain't hard though. And as a kid, I was cute in a dirty, homeless sorta way. I coulda used a few more pounds though. But back then, I won' much concerned 'bout how the ladies reacted to my smile. I was tryin' to get by and not end up all dead in a corner or somethin'. If I was lucky though, a person wouldn' be too put off by my filthy body and tangled hair. And if I was really lucky, they wouldn't be freaked out by my eyes.
After that, I was golden.
But most people don' pay the homeless, scraggly boy much attention. And those who did, usually don' much care for the homeless scraggly boy wit' the freaky eyes. There are exceptions, but not usually.
I won' much to look at.
But Jean-Luc? He didn' care 'bout that stuff. He cared 'bout me stealin'. And that worked quite nicely. As I grew up and became a LeBeau, I discovered they was a little more acceptin' of my looks. Some more than others. 'Specially Tante. That don' mean that she won't tough as nails wit' me. It jus' means that a pair of Remy LeBeau puppy dog eyes might get me outta a whoopin' if I caught her in the right mood.
That was 'tween the ages eight to 'bout twelve. Then that thing that happens to all them cute littluns happened to Remy, makin' them not so cute no more. That's right.
Though I ain't too happy 'bout it, me and puberty weren' the best of friends. No sir. Any chance of cute I had was not only destroyed, but it was locked up in a room wit' knives, guns, baseball bats, and a honey badger. Then that room wit' the knives, guns, baseball bats, and the honey badger was blown up. Then the ashes of that room were shot off into the deepest, darkest, unknownest corners of the galaxy, jus' to be safe.
Oh. And jus' for the record, Remy don' condone abuse toward honey badgers. I ain' got nothin' 'ginst them or anythin'. I only picked them 'cause they crazy.
Go 'head and Google 'em. Not only is they tough as nails, but they're also insane. Crazy. Maybe durin' your Google search, you'll come 'cross that video of a honey badger attackin' and killin' and eating a Puff Adder. If you don' know what that is, Remy will be happy to inform you that the Puffer Adder is a snake found in Africa that is responsible for the most snake bite related deaths on the continent. Even more than the Black Mamba. The Puffer Adder has tissue destroyin' venom, which Remy shouldn' have to tell you is a very not good thing.
Anyway, there's this video of a honey badger killin' an eatin' an Adder. After munchin' on it for a few minutes, the little devils rolls over and dies. Then, after a few minutes, it un-dies and get's right back to life like nothin' happened.
I think Logan outta start callin' himself Honey Badger 'stead of Wolverine. Sure, it ain't as scary but more fittin'. Wanna know the kick in the head? That little honey badger that was almost sent to honey badger heaven from chewin' on an Adder got back up and kept on eatin' it.
See what Remy means? Those little bastards are tough.
Now why was I talkin' 'bout honey badgers in the first place? Something to do wit' a room…? Oh yeah.
To put it bluntly, Remy was butt-ugly in the puberty years. I was riddled wit' acne and I had to have braces and I was gangly and awkward lookin'. See, I was gettin' tall but hadn't become accustomed to havin' all that extra height. Or the added inches on my arms and legs. I was clumsier than a blind, two-legged cat.
Not that I got anythin' 'ginst blind two-legged cats. Remy's sure those little guys are real troopers.
But the fact is, I was an ugly…tween? Is that what they're called? Tween. I don't know. Either way, I wasn' the most pleasant sight to look at. And wit' puberty, my makin' t'ings go boom powers decided to drop in, say hello, and make themselves known. So not only was I jugglin' a squeaky voice and long legs I didn' know how to work, but now I had to worry 'bout blowin' up anythin' I touched.
Do you know how…miserable it is to be a teen or tween or whatever the hell it's called who's hormones are goin' into overdrive but you're afraid to touch? Touch anythin'. That includes yourself. And yes, they may be a little bit of too much information, but the fact of matter is, puberty was a little harder on me than others 'cause there was a constant fear of Lorena Bobbitting yourself.
I got used to it after awhile. I kinda had to. No time to dwell on acne solutions when there were people like Tony Stark in the world who had money jus' lyin' 'round waitin' to be stolen. Plus, Jean-Luc had unofficially appointed me as the Prince of Thieves. That's a lotta responsibility. And a lotta work.
All that work had some interestin' results on Remy's body. I said it once and I say it again: constant evasion of law does a body good.
Not that I noticed. I had accepted my fate as pimply, gangly loser. Nevermind the fact that all my thievin' had helped me become more graceful, which made operatin' my new long body easier. Nevermind that all that runnin' and jumpin' and evadin' and fightin' had started makin' bands of muscle appear all over my body. Nevermind that my voice stopped squeakin' and had finally settled in what would later be described to be a "seductive baraton."
I didn' even notice.
Thinkin' back now, I do 'member the occasional double take people would throw my way when I passed by. The lingerin' eye of a pretty girl. But I had jus' chalked it up to me bein' all hideous and they were shocked at my deformed…form. And my lack of haircut.
No matter what point I was at in my life, it always seemed like I needed a haircut.
But then one day, somethin' changed.
No. I don' mean my body changed. It did, but gradually. No. What changed on jus' a normal day was Remy's perception of himself. I still ain't sure why it was that day outta all the others. It won' a special day.
Jus' a day.
I was 'bout sixteen. The Prince of Thieves. The LeBeau's prized, cherished gift. The best there was at his craft. A teenager. A teenager who had jus' gotten home from a long day of breakin' and enterin' and was stinky and smelly and in need of a shower. So I cranked the water up to a nice, scaldin' hot and showered. When I was done, I wrapped a towel 'round my waist and crossed the room.
And I passed a mirror.
A full length mirror. And for whatever reason, I backtracked and looked at that mirror. I looked at my body in that mirror. How I had never noticed, I ain't sure. But for the first time in my life, I found myself attractive.
No. Not attractive.
I was sexy. And you know it.
And if you don' know it, please take a few moments to get back onto Google and do an image search of me. Go on. I dare you. Do it. You won' be disappointed.
And if you do happen to know what I look like, go 'head and Google image search me too. You know you were lookin' for an excuse to do so. So go 'head.
You're back? Lust satisfied? That's good.
Anyway. I was lookin' in that mirror and I was noticn' muscles on me that I hadn' noticed before. I was seein' my shoulders were broader than I had originally perceived. My tummy was not only toned, but decorated wit' these interestin' muscles. Six of them. My arms were all long and wrapped up in bands of muscles.
Hell, I even had nice feet.
Then I looked up at my face and saw that it had cleared up a lot since I was twelve. A whole lot. Now, there was tanned skin. Dark, flawless skin. And all that hair that constantly needed cuttin' was fallin' 'round my shoulders. But for once, I didn' look…bad. Quite the opposite.
Then I decided to smile.
Do I really gotta tell you how that ended?
But I still wasn' the Remy LeBeau you swoon after today. 'Cause I couldn' believe the ugly ducklin' had turned into the sexy swan. I needed proof. And I needed practice.
So that night, I pulled on a dark t-shirt and some jeans and went out where all the other teenagers hung out at. A shoppin' center with a movie theater and book store smack dab in the middle. I had been there before, but mostly to steal stuff. That means I had to be as unnoticeable as possible. But even when I wasn' stealing—or at least, when I wasn' actively stealin'—I kept my head down to save the world the pain of havin' to look at my face.
Not that night.
That night, I kept my held head up high for everyone to see. And I saw the girls turnin' 'round to take a second look. I even got a dude to turn 'round but I won' much pleased 'bout that, no matter how flatterin' it may have been.
Then this pretty red head looked my way. And I looked hers. As I passed by her, I decided to see if I really was as attractive as I suspected (spoiler alert: I was).
A little blush crept into her cheeks, she looked down, but smiled back.
It was like the planets aligned. The world suddenly made sense.
I went home that night and looked at myself in the mirror again. It seemed as if smilin' was my Ace. I wondered how far I could run wit' it. How powerful it could become. So I started usin' it in the field. Flash a grin at a pretty secretary and she would be willin' to tell 'bout when her very rich boss wouldn' be home. Give the female security guard a rakish smirk and she would be willin' to let me go wit'out showin' her my ID, jus' this once. And wit' practice, I realized there was one smile more effective than the others.
I practiced that smile in the mirror almost every night. It took a little work but I finally perfected it.
One side of my mouth needed to tug a little higher than the other so it was crocked. My eyebrow had to quirk jus' so. My hair hooded my mischievous eyes in a way so that they were still visible, but now there was an air of mystery.
And that was the birth of The Smolder.
And don' you dare say not one word 'bout that stupid thief from that stupid Disney movie. I had the original Smolder and Disney is lucky I don' sue them for copyright infringement or somethin'.
After perfectin' The Smolder, I decided I needed to go out and try it out right away. And I found the perfect target. A blonde wit' wavy hair and bright blue eyes and a face sweeter than sugar and honey. She was the picture of perfection, I thought at the time. So I waltzed right up to her.
"Bonjour," I said in a seductive baraton, unveilin' The Smolder. "I'm Remy LeBeau. And who might you be?"
She giggled, battin' her long eyelashes. "Belladonna."
Moral of the story, kids: wit' great power does come great responsibly.
So use your smolder wisely.