|Just Passing Through|
|What: Two friends have a chance to get to know each other better.|
Not often does a job lead her outside of Gotham but tonight's an exception. It promises to pay well otherwise she probably wouldn't have even cared to consider it to begin with. It's all money that'll go towards her foundation, of course. Money that should keep her foundation funded for a good long while. And, as it has been said, money is indeed a good motivator.
The location is an upscale jewelry store that has quite a selection of diamonds, the shop owned by Freddie Malcone. Malcone is one of the Mafia's bigger players and someone who pissed off the wrong person. Selina's employer is not known to her by name but it was made known to her that he wants for nothing but Malcone to be ruined in every single way possible. The first step is to break in and steal the diamonds that he prides himself in, all pieces that sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, and to make it look like he's guilty of trying to defraud the insurance company.
It's currently around two in the morning and Selina - Catwoman - is sitting on the ledge of a nearby building's roof, giving herself a bit more time before getting to work.
Remy has shed his civilian persona for this evening's activities. Tonight he's Gambit, gentleman thief and rogue agent. He's traded his casual clothing for body armor, plated boots, and snug combat gear.
He's said before that he's in love with Manhattan, and it's true. The buildings are generally quite close together and their heights tend to scale up and down gradually, making it easy to vault, leap, and climb between all but the tallest. He's just finishing up a break in his rooftop adventures, as is evidenced by a spent cigarette butt spiraling away and falling twenty stories to the pavement. An errant beam of light glints against a brushed steel flask as the Cajun takes a bracing swig. Then he's off again, using his staff to assist his jumps when necessary, occasionally using old telephone cables as improvised ziplines, and generally having a great deal of fun.
When he spots a shadowy figure perched not-too-distantly, he slows his progress to a crawl and flattens himself behind some cover. From there, his approach is careful. Methodical. Most of all, it's silent.
He's good. Probably just about on par with Batman where moving stealthily goes which means Catwoman is utterly unaware that she is not alone. Soon she regains her feet and uncoils her whip, the length of which easily reaches ten feet, if not more.
"Okay. Let's do this," she utters to herself just before leaping off of the roof, using her whip as a swinging point once she gets it lashed around the support of a fire escape. It sends her into a graceful arc that brings her mere feet from the sidewalk across the way.
Cursing breathlessly, Gambit skids to a stop in the exact spot where he'd seen the huddled shape a moment after it disappears from view. "What de..." He peers over the side of the building and swears again, this time louder. "Merde. Down. They always go down. Need to get better at down, Remy."
For now, he follows his prey from the rooftops. He's careful to avoid crossing the paths of any lights, and especially when it comes to keeping his distance. "Who ARE you... ?" he whispers to himself. He's observing from ten stories up and has yet to get a good look.
If Gambit was close enough he'd catch the soft slither of leather as it slides free from the bar, gravity doing the rest when it comes time to land. A graceful tuck and roll puts the lady thief on her feet, not too far from an alley and the side entry into the shop.
Most people would break out the lockpicks but not Catwoman. She instead uses a claw, the tip of which suddenly protrudes from the index finger of a glove. It is slipped into the lock... ah. There. Takes a moment but she eventually gets it and the door pops open. The black clad feline-like woman slips in, disappearing from view.
Like a expert gymnast on a high bar, Gambit levers his body over the edge of the roof, flips around, and scales his way down. When he encounters the open door, he cocks his head to the side and drops the remaining ten feet to the sidewalk. He stows his staff, tugs the wrinkles out of his coat, and strides into the jewelry store as if he owns the place. His glowing eyes are visible even in semi-darkness, proving just enough light to make certain his mischevious grin and stubbled cheeks are always visible. "Mmmm," he rumbles pleasantly. "Diamonds. Gambit positively love diamonds."
Catwoman spins around, exhaling so sharply that she sounds almost like a hissing cat. "Who a... are you one of Malcone's men?" There's a pause and then she looks at Gambit more fully, starting at his feet and stopping at those eerily glowing eyes of his. "No, I suppose you're not. You're not well dressed enough to be one of his mooks."
Selina takes him in a bit more fully before it dawns on her and she can not help but to smile albeit for reasons left known by her alone. She knows this man.
Shrugging a shoulder, Catwoman starts to head towards a safe. "I hope you're not here to try and stop me."
Gambit trails one finger lazily along a glass countertop. His glove traces a slow, swaying line a few inches behind his body as he steps closer to the woman. He looks her up and down and back up again, completely unrepentant but also somehow respectful. He maintains an old-fashioned reserve is both bearing and posture, save for that trailing finger.
"No," he finally answers her. Now his hand lifts to stroke at his chin thoughtfully. "Just curious. Nice outfit. Very... streamlined."
How he's acting has Selina pausing before she begins to attempt to crack the safe, the way she does so speaking of a well practiced hand and ear. "I see..." The words slow and then trail into silence when her costume's complimented, it getting her to raise a brow. That threw her and she stops the slow turning of the safe's dial, her bemused expression easy to make out despite how her face is mostly concealed.
"So you always butt in when people are trying to break in and make bad jokes about their costumes in a bad... ugh. Nevermind."
"Yes, I do," Gambit replies pleasantly. He approaches from behind and tiptoes up high enough to peek at her safe-cracking technique. "And I wasn't joking. Was nicer than saying, "Hi. I enjoy your boobs." No?"
He shrugs and spreads his hands helplessly. "Want some help? I practice on dis model before."
The safe would have been open by now but she's distracted thanks to Remy being noisy as well as nosy. His peeking nets him getting an elbow shot towards his gut but regardless of if it makes contact or not she's wheeling around to glare at him.
"Do not even mention my..." A hand comes up to be waved at chest-level on herself. "And no. I'll get the damn safe open on my own if you would just shut the hell up for more than a few seconds."
Returning to her work, she continues to work the dial around to the right and then the left and then the right again, only changing directions after a soft *click* she picks up on is issued.
"Oof!" Gambit grunts. He winces and rubs briefly at his abdomen. "Nice shot," he acknowledges.
He flits away, instead taking up position next to a display case with promising-looking contents. A few seconds of snipping wires, a few more with a small, bodkin-like instrument probing at the lock, and he's in. He wastes no time while pawing through the contents, indescriminately stuffing handfuls of rings, bracelets, and necklaces into his pockets. A king's ransom slips between his fingers as he finishes up and moves on to the next case.
"Why you so testy?" he asks as he goes to work on his second lock. "I've been nothin' but polite. Well. Mostly."
"Because we're short on time," she first points out, Catwoman including him in that because he is inside here with her. "The silent alarm is due to go off at any moment and I, for one, do not feel up for a fight with a bunch of big, burly Mafia mooks. Secondly..." She looks over her shoulder and snorts, that being when she notices how Remy is helping himself to ill-gotten gains of his own.
Shaking her head, Selina pulls on the safe lever which opens the door. And now it's time for a bit of a snatch-and-grab of her own. The diamonds she was hired to get are in a lock box, seperated from the lesser expensive gems that are in it as well, those also taken. "Hurry up."
When the second case falls to his tender touch, Gambit dives on rows of finely crafted watches. All but two are ferried into the depths of his coat, and those only left behind because they're extremely gaudy.
"Coming, dear," he singsongs. Rather than biting, his sarcasm is lighthearted and friendly. Now that his pockets are considerably heavier, he gives them a gentle pat and smiles winningly. As he passes his fellow thief, he pauses, furrows his brow, and peers at her closely. "Have we met before?" he queries. "There's something awfully familiar about you."
It is too late, unfortunately. Catwoman's prodding and Gambit's complying is all for naught as several large SUVs pull up, bathing the interior of the shop with light from their headlights as they didn't bother to park along the curb. In their haste to figure out what is going on the pulled up facing it, driving up onto the sidewalk to do so.
"Save the witty banter for later," Catwoman hisses angrily as she slams the safe closed, the rush in doing so causing it to bounce back open and go bashing into the wall noisily. Gritting her teeth, she looks at the air vent but dismisses that as the men who number seven in total enter, noticing the thieves immediately.
"Whoops," Gambit says, shrugging. "Oh well. In for a penny, in for a pound."
He draws his staff from inside his coat and telescopes it to its full length. The tip is brought to bear on the advancing men. "Gambit don't warn lightly, and never twice. Go home before I get upset wit' you, mes amis."
"Don't suppose you know if dere's a back way outta here?" he drawls over his shoulder, his voice held low to keep the new arrivals from hearing.
The men are not cowed at all by the slender Cajun and his staff and are quick to swagger closer with the leader who is a good six and a half feet tall and at least 300 pounds of mass. "Yeah, you see," the head goon says, sounding like a New Jersey guido. "Our boss doesn't like people in his place after hours, y'know? So yous and your hot little piece of ass are goin' to be comin' with us and tell him why you were in here." And to punctuate the 'request' he pulls out a .45 and his pals pull out guns as well, all of various makes and calliber.
Selina looks behind her and notices the fire escape that leads to the other alley (one that intersects the one the door she went into faces) but it's push bar arm is chained in such a manner that it's not moving. "Crap... isn't there regulations against that," she grumbles, hiking a thumb towards it while addressing her compatriot in crime. "Looks blocked," she explains before looking at the other men. She has her whip but the store's too small to use it effectively and the use of her bolas would be equally difficult to throw. Looks like Gambit is going to be the hero tonight.
Gambit seems fairly relaxed, all things considered. He also doesn't seem surprised that the mooks didn't heed his warning. "They never listen," he mumbles quietly.
The Cajun can dodge bullets, but not from that many angles. Choosing discretion over destruction, he dives behind a display case and uses it for cover. He gives his companion a wave to indicate she should join him. Despite the pending threat, he still doesn't look unduly concerned. "You might wanna get down," he advises. "Dis gonna get worse before it get better."
The swarthy thief pulls a deck of playing cards from one of his pockets and fishes a few from the top of the pile.
Catwoman's fast on her feet but that's almost not fast enough as she barely gets ducked behind the counter before the men start shooting. Broken glass and ruined jewelry goes flying into the air and the sound of bullets richocheting off of the metal frames makes for a horrible noise.
The cards get her notice and Selina wrinkles her nose, Remy glared at as she watches. "This is no time for card tricks. How about trying to figure out how to get the chain off the door so we can get out of here... hopefully alive and fully intact?"
One, two, three, the cards all light up in turn, taking on a deep, angry red glow. Gambit tosses them with a backhanded swing of his arm, taking out not only the chain, but the entire door when they detonate. Bits of wood and plaster mix in with the other debris raining down on them. He raises an eyebrow and tosses his head in the direction of the smoking hole. "You were saying?"
The guys who are still shooting get a bit of a shock and the gunfire soon sputters to a halt. Someone just bought them both some time. Time the Cat is all too happy to take advantage of.
One... two... and she's bolting, heading for the door. One of the thugs does notice her and takes a pot shot, grazing the woman right along the side. Not enough to do more than rend the leather of her costume but it is enough to get her moving as fast as her legs will go.
"Hey!" Gambit shouts. "Dat's no way to treat a lady!"
Now he launches cards off one after another, laying down covering fire and sending an explosive message. After shooting a half-dozen parting gifts at the crowd of thugs, he leaps to his feet and dashes out the door. "I t'ink it's time for us to disappear, chaton," he suggests. "I don't know 'bout you, but I don't wanna be here when they come lookin' for us."
Selina grabs for Remy's hand once he's out and she leads him towards a safe place to lay low for a while, it being a small storage area built into a storefront a block or so down the back alley. It's something she discovered upon scoping out the location and mentally stored away just in case something like this happened. She puts a finger to her mouth once they're inside and the entry point's concealed, cleverly hidden by boxes that are almost too heavy for her to move.
The plan works as the men run by, their presence made known by their angry shouts and the leader's loudly-given instructions which eventually drop off.
Ever casual, Gambit plops down on a crate, kicks his feet out, and leans back with his hands pillowed comfortably behind his head. He stays quiet as requested, but his inhuman eyes are back to studying his parter in crime. Her cheekbones and chin. The point of her nose and the contours of her lips. His brow furrows deeply as he takes a deep, slow breath through his mouth, but he remains silent.
The danger passes and the Cat sighs, chuckling. At least she still has her diamonds and other gems are still in her possession. And with how everything turned out they shouldn't have the police called on them since to do so would draw attention to Malcone and his questionable activities.
Without thinking, Selina slides her goggles up onto her forehead, further exposing her identity to Remy, too worn out to even remember he is here currently.
"Holy shit! I knew it!" Remy somehow manages to shout and keep his voice down at the same time. "It's you!" he hisses. "Mimi... why didn't you say somet'ing?"
Though he seems a bit put upon, he still crosses the scant space that separates them and reaches out to her, though only to point at the bullet burn in her leather outfit. "You okay? Not hit?"
Okay, the proverbial cat is out of the imaginary bag. "What was I supposed to say," she asks once he calms down, her mouth held in a faintly amused and slightly sheepish grin. "That I commit acts of thievery to get money for my foundation to go with the donations I'm lucky to get?" She shakes her head. "Going to turn me in now?"
Remy's question has her looking at where her costume got winged; the leather's gouged but she's otherwise fine. "It didn't break the skin... so yes, I am fine." Annoyed that she'll have to repair her costume but she's okay.
Remy looks flabbergasted. "Turn you in? Are you crazy? T'ink I should turn myself in, too?" Despite the crispness of his words, he's smiling. He reaches out again, this time toward Selina's arm. He stops short of touching her, instead letting his fingers hover chastely a bare inch from her elbow.
Several long, quiet seconds pass before his hand drifts upward. He lifts her chin with one fingertip, just enough to make eye contact. "You not de only one wit' secrets, chere. I keep yours if you keep mine."
The aborted touch is taken in stride as is the one he actually completes, her eyes lifting easily to his. "I won't tell anyone," Selina promises sincerely. She won't. She's very good at keeping secrets, after all. Her own as well as others. "How did you find me?"
"Just passin' t'rough," Remy replies calmly. "Saw you on de roof across de street and got curious, so I came to investigate. Little did I know, right?" Shaking his head, he withdraws and leans heavily against the wall. "Man. Some night."