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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24


Written by Elena Zovatto
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 6

It was a lot like skydiving -- as has been said before, you can practice all you want on the ground, but it's not until you jump from ten thousand feet that you know if you're SOL or not. I guess family is no different from other relationships in that respect...

We went down to dinner, still nattering away.

Once at the table, however, it was clear that I had a little problem -- one that was about six feet, five inches and two hundred and fifty pounds of attitude.

I couldn't really blame Bishop -- we hadn't exactly had a pleasant first meeting. Especially since he had annoyed me enough to make me let loose a wiseass Freudian remark -- insult a man's genitalia, and you've got an enemy for life. I didn't regret saying it though.

At the gate, he had shown all the self-righteous assurance I've come to despise in most "authority figures", especially cops. Don't get me wrong -- I know there are a lot of good ones out there. I've even met a few; but they seem to be outnumbered at times by the ones who get off on wielding their petty power.

I have a very short fuse for that kind of nonsense.

Still, Bishop meant something to Remy...the least I could do was try to get along with the man.

*No time like the present* I sighed to myself.


"What?" he almost, but didn't quite, snarl at me.

"You're a cop. I'm not. Nobody is saying we have to like each other. But could we please just tolerate one another while I'm here? I'm willing to do it for Remy if you are. Deal?"

He hesitated for a moment before nodding his head.

"Deal," he conceded.

I extended my hand. It was clear that he didn't want to take it, but he did anyway. Still, that was that -- I would abide by our truce as long as he did.

After that, the atmosphere in the room improved considerably: The rest of the meal was pleasant enough, and uneventful. We were just getting up from the table, when Scott got our attention.

"Gambit, Riposte...the rest of us were wondering if you've made plans for the evening. If not, we would like to take you both out tonight -- after all, family reunions don't happen every day."

I glanced over at Remy.

"We didn' have anyt'ing set..." he said as he turned to me, then continued, "what do you say, chère? You up for a night out?"

"I'm always up for a night out," I replied with a grin.

"Of course, I'll be more ready when my luggage arrives..."

"Y'look great as you are, ma soeur -- de usual, Scott?"

"Harry's it is..."

It was at that moment that Grognard arrived at the gatehouse with my luggage. When the car pulled up alongside the Jaguar, there were a few raised eyebrows. I hadn't told him which car to take, so he had come in his favorite -- the Rolls. Granted, that car couldn't be traced to me, and it blended in well enough with these surroundings, but I really would have preferred something a little more low-key.

Remy went down to the car with me, and took my suitcase from Grognard with a smile. My old friend didn't even blink when he saw my male counterpart; he simply nodded and intoned:

"Maître Remy, je présume?"4

My brother was a little flustered by that form of address, but he took it in stride.

His duty done, Grognard departed, and I scooted upstairs for a quick shower and change before we went out to the bar.

I was looking forward to a little fun.

It was a good night.

When Reine came down de stairs, I t'ink every man in de room was starin'. She had let her hair down, an' de outfit she was wearing...

Black velvet leggings, a red leather halter top dat matched her eye colour, an' high-heeled ankle boots; she looked like she jus' stepped off the catwalk in Paris.

We took de two vans down to Harry's -- Logan an' Jean were the designated drivers, as usual.

Turns out my sister is a lot like me...

De drinks started arrivin' at our table almost b'fore we sat down. Seems like we both inspire...generosity...in de opposite sex. An' she played the room like de professional she was. She had even managed t' get Bishop to relax a little -- I didn' even think dat was possible.

Watchin' her, I started wondering what kind o' life she had when she was comin' up. It was clear enough dat she had a lot o' schooling -- she had gotten in a technical conversation wit' Beast, and that was gen'rally a mistake, but she managed t' hold her own. She had all de trappin's of money, but that wasn't t' say it had always been so. T'ief of her calibre can get rich pretty quick, as I know from experience. Made me wonder how she got to t'ievin' in the first place. I was goin' to have t'ask her sometime...

All I knew, wasn't our real family dat brought her up, any more than they did me.

I still couldn' quite believe that I had a sister...de idea was growin' on me fast, though. Dey say that family is the one place y' go where they have t' take you in, an' I didn' think it would be too long b'fore I needed another refuge. Mebbe I had finally found one...as long as Reine never found out de truth, either.

She an' Logan were up playin' pool, and she was just as good as she was wit' cards...must be de genes. I joined in for a few games, an' it really became somet'ing of a duel between us, wit' neither gettin' the advantage for more than a shot at a time. I was so wrapped up in de game, I was almos' able to ignore Rogue an' Joseph, which was a relief.

When we were done at the table, we rejoined de others. They had jus' been talkin' about music, and Reine said she was a real blues fan. Dat's when Bobby made a mistake.

"Blues?... yeah right. Have you ever noticed that people with no worries tend to like really hurting music? I think most of them just want to gloat over how the other half lives..."

He was jus' joking, but she didn't t'ink it was funny. Her expression and voice didn' change, but her eyes... I only seen dat look before in the mirror...

Bobby didn' seem to notice.

"That depends on what you classify as 'no worries'..." she said softly.

"Come on...are you going to tell us you've got the blues?"

She just smiled as she got up.

"Hold that thought, Mr. Drake."

She walked over to where de band was gettin' ready for the next set. I had noticed that she had been talkin' with dem earlier, an' they had seemed to reach some kind o' agreement. She joined them as they made their way to de stage. Instead of jus' warming up for a bit, they started playin' and she stood at de mike.

It was an old Delta blues song done wit' a rocking beat -- a song dat I knew all too well.

I went down to the Crossroads -- fell down on my knees

Asked the Lord above, have mercy, save this poor child if you please

Her voice was as beautiful as de rest of her, but although de sound was rich, it was full of pain -- like a velvet pouch full o' broken glass.

Standing down at the Crossroads -- tried to flag a ride

Didn't nobody seem to know me, everybody passed me by

An' not just pain, eit'er -- my empathic sense was goin' like wild. She was givin' off anger in waves, enough t' make my head ache in reaction . Old feelings, an' deep, were drivin' her voice.

Sun's going down boys -- you're not going to catch me here

I haven't got no loving sweet man, got no one to feel my care

Loneliness -- resignation? Her feelings were hittin' a really familiar chord wit' me. I glanced over at Rogue an' Joe, but it didn' hurt as much as usual. Dat's the magic o' the blues -- helps to know someone else out there hurts de way you do. The song was comin' to an end, an' everyone was riveted to the stage. I felt her sing de last verse, more than heard it.

Run, you can run -- tell my friend, boy, Willie Brown

Lord, I'm standing at the Crossroads, I believe I'm sinking down...

Amen, ma soeur...

The music died. After a moment o' silence, de applause started, but Reine wasn' waiting around for it. She was already on her way back to our table, where dere were a lot o' surprised faces -- but mine wasn't one of them. When she arrived, she jus' looked straight at Bobby, an' said:

"In the words of Mr. Waters...'You're damn right I got the blues'..."

"You go, chère." I spoke quietly.

Our eyes met across de table, an' we bot' saw the same thing -- understanding.

"Buy you one, petit frère?"

"T'ought you'd never ask," I said with a half-smile.

We went up to de bar together, an' I was thinkin'.

*Dis could be the start of a beautiful friendship...*

a. Scientific note: Half-identical twins are actually among the more recent discoveries in human genetics (well, recent as in the last three years or so). However, from the research on the subject I remember reading, this trait is not genetically possible except in same-sex twins. But that's the real world -- this is fanfiction. This is my story, and therefore it's my world, and I thought this would be an interesting avenue to explore. Reality be damned...:-)


1. ....old sister.

2. Yes, my room, or the roof.

3. Your room, if you please.

4. Master Remy, I presume?

Musical note: The song Reine sang is a slightly altered version of the Robert Johnson classic, "Crossroad Blues".


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