|...Of The Wrong Kind|
|What: Remy and Rogue try to get a bit of shopping in at the mall but are interrupted when they have to save a teen from the mall cops.|
"I could be de perfect man," Remy muses aloud. "I take you away you from scary, bad people. Give you a safe place to stay. And den I offer to take you shopping."
Oh, hubris. Remy is loaded down with shopping bags, but not too heavily. Most of them are filled with sensible items, too. Pricey ones, but sensible all the same. Towels. Soaps. Pillowcases. The small things that are necessary for turning one of his hideouts into a female-friendly apartment for Rogue.
Having 'borrowed' a car, the Cajun took them on a long, winding drive out of the city. Somewhere they can be seen without being recognized. Somewhere quieter. A mall in Westchester County. It's teeming with life in the early afternoon, filled with throngs of teenagers, mothers with children in tow, quiet old couples, and every other imaginable sort of shopper.
"And ya even carry mah bags for me. Definitely a keeper," Rogue adds, smiling as they continue on their way. At first she wasn't even able to do that, too afraid that they are being followed by one of the Brotherhood to truly enjoy herself but as the day continued the fear started to ebb, leaving her feeling relaxed, happy and able to enjoy the company she finds herself in.
"An' remember. Ah don't need anythin' special, Remy. A few basic necessities and Ah'll be as right as rain." She says this while trying not to notice how several teen girls are looking at her, most likely because of her hair and the way she dresses, the way they stare bringing the phrase 'mean girls' to mind. How she can be as powerful as she is and still be bothered by glares from girls half her age is beyond comprehension but they do and she's quick to try and carefully link arms with her companion.
After a few more minutes her stomach growls, causing the belle to blush in embarrassment. "Ah think Ah'm hungry," she says after leaning in, wanting to whisper that, sudden bashfulness taking hold.
Peace is a wonderful thing. But not if you're Jubilation Lee. She likes things loud.
And this is the perfect kind of loud, to her mind. To the oohing and ahhing of a small crowd that's gathered near one of the mall fountains, she's really letting her fireworks sparkle and shine in a flashy lightshow for their benefit. Reds, blues, yellows, streaking above heads and swirling around support columns to burst near the ceiling in harmless bursts of colored light.
The first show's free, usually, but there are coins coming in anyway, bouncing around the teen's blue-booted feet. Jubilee doesn't have to fake a smile, seeing that. It never hurts to have a little spending money!
"You don't say?" Remy chuckles. The growl was louder than Rogue's whisper, after all. "I could eat. Normally I'm not big on de food court, but I'm not gon' lie. I could murder a half-dozen soft pretzels right now."
That's when the lightshow catches his attention. He stops in his tracks, his eyes widening behind his glasses. He's got on his old plum-tinted ones, concealing his red-on-black eyes from casual observers. Jeans. Faded and snug, but still comfortable. A white t-shirt, also fitted. And his ever-present coat. The leather swirls around his calves when he comes to an abrupt halt. "Is dat what I think it is?" he asks Rogue quietly, his muscles tensing for the action that always seems to follow a display of metahuman abilities.
"Ah could killl for one of 'em drinks from Orange Julias, myself," comes a confession on the heel of Remy's own, the thought of something cold and with a billion calories more than what's good for a person to consume in a /lifetime/ very appealing.
Of course the thought of food and how many crunches she'll have to do after partaking in such a delight's put on hold when she looks up, the illuminary display directly in her line of sight when she turns away from the Cajun. "Ah have no clue what tha' is," she whispers, her eyes going wide.
At first she is afeared that they found her and are going to cause problems but then, after a slight mental rundown, she finds herself able to relax when she concludes that with the realization that whomever that might be is most likely not out to get them. "Should we investigate or jus' go and get ourselves some grub?"
And the lights spiral and circle, burst and flash! Jubilee sends them into merry little orbits around hanging plants, and, just for fun, one or two people who've gotten a little closer than the rest of the spectators, with predictably impressed results. A cute guy is edging a little closer, and she gives him a twinkle-eyed smile, then playfully blows him a kiss. Timing it just right, she turns the figurative kiss into a literal pink plasmoid that spirals slowly up to his lips and bursts into colormatched twinkles that glitter about him harmlessly for an instant, leaving him looking at them in surprised awe. Laughter follows, and even more coins hit the tiles around her.
But that demands a finale. She slows down the plasmoids, clustering them near the ceiling above her head in a balloonish cloud... and then sends them scattering off in all directions, bursting them in rings around the audience, though still far above their heads. OOH! AH!
Silence falls, and the performer takes a properly showy bow. "Thank you!" she says brightly, once the applause dies down. "Next show in an hour!"
Caught in the afterglow of a successful performance (and the gathering of all those coins), she doesn't notice mall security beginning to slip into the slowly-dispersing crowd. Uh-oh...
"Dis isn't good," Remy says, his voice low and ominous. "We should go over dere. Whoever it is must not know..." A quick headshake. "Dey just don't know, I guess. What can happen."
His feet are already moving again. Eyes trained to spot holes in the world's finest security systems are more than a match for the average rent-a-cop. Remy sees them a mile away, leading Rogue toward the girl who is the apparent source of the light show. "C'mon," he urges. "We have to at least warn her. And I get a feeling those guards aren't just passing through."
Rouge has to agree with her date. She's seen what kind of reaction that people have towards those who are different from them with the most of those reactions being very negative in nature. It's why she grabs for Remy's warm even as he's trying to push forward himself, willing, able and ready to plow over innocent bystanders to get to the source of that little show.
Rogue makes with the whole 'excuse me, pardon me' routine as they go, the longer this takes getting her to almost panic before she can even reach the edge of the impromptu audience, "Ah ain't got a very good feelin' about this, Swamp Rat," she announces, not too concerned over who hears them now. Thankfully things are calm and people do not appear to be ready to play lynch mob just yet but it only takes one bad apple to turn a lovely afternoon out into a full on riot.
Jubilee finally gets all that change gathered up. Some goes into one capacious coat pocket, some into another, and there's still more left! The last of it into the pockets of her shorts. She notices the weight instantly. Oh, it's gonna be fun counting all this up!
And then she notices brown uniforms through the last of the dispersing crowd. "Oh, fudgesicles... what do /they/ want? I haven't even fingered anything!"
When the Cajun and the southern belle finally shove their way through the crowd, they find security guards beginning to encircle a small, lithe Chinese-American girl in showy boots and gloves, a skimpy sleeveless top, less skimpy shorts that look like they're barely staying up, and a completely unnecessary yellow raincoat. It has to be a costume. Does anyone really dress like that?
She's just a girl. A teenager. Remy's face is expressive. His warring emotions are clearly visible. Confusion. Aggravation. Concern. "We gotta get her outta here," he murmurs to Rogue. "She like us. And she just a kid, me."
He's rummaging through one shopping bag after another. It takes him a moment, but he finds what he's looking for. A long scarf, which he holds loosely between his hands. Then he turns to Rogue and arches an inquiring eyebrow. His look says it all.
'I'm going in. Are you with me?'
At this point she has no idea what Remy is planning but by this point Rogue has learned to put her trust in him which is what prompts her to follow him. "Ah got yer back," she whispers, not bothering to give a second thought as to the items they have purchased. They'll probably be discarded so his hands can be free and won't be there when they get done with this since people can't seem to turn free high-end stuff down.
Rogue falls back a bit, letting Remy go first, her hands coming up to draw the hood of her dark shirt up over her head. No point in getting herself outed as a 'freak', the white streak often making people think the worst of her or, if not that, that she has not left the 90s punk look behind.
"Um, good day, officers!" Jubilee says brightly, managing a brilliant, if plastic, smile for the nice gentlemen. "Is there a problem?"
Wrong question. "Miss, we're going to have to ask you to leave," says the man in charge, a clean-cut sort with mirrorshades. Inside.
"Yeah! Go hang out with the other freaks!" bellows the token chubby guy, clenching a big, doughy fist menacingly. One can almost see the 'Friends Of Humanity' pin he should be wearing. "This mall's for /normal/ people!" The three other guards nod in agreement.
"Um, okay! I can leave..." Jubilee replies. And finds that she only way out is backwards, with them all surrounding her. And there's a fountain there. "If you could maybe move over a little..?"
Silence. Steely stares. And then Chubby starts getting out the cuffs. His three friends are drawing their nightsticks. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Those perceptive, red-on-black eyes take in the entire situation in just a few seconds. One way or another, this is going to get messy.
Remy's collision with the first security guard isn't particularly subtle. It knocks them both into a second guard. Then, with fast, nimble flourishes, he uses the scarf to tie one of the man's hands to his own neck, then around the neck and hand of the second. When he pushes the pair away, they're a thoroughly disabled jumble of limbs, barely able to keep from strangling themselves.
Grinning, the Cajun turns to face the remaining rent-a-cops. "If I were you, I'd leave. Quietly. Before I get angry and do something you'll regret. You ought to be ashamed, pickin' on a lil' girl."
And while the people are getting the love from LeBeau the woman who has come with her is on the move as well but while the jerks are Remy's concern her own concern is over the girl as well as the rent-a-cops that look to see her out. "Well, there you are," she says while reaching out for Jubilee, trying very hard to conceal her drawl. "Mother has been wondering where you got yourself off to. She's all distraught over how you ran off like you did."
Now, how is she going to be explaining to the security about her relationship to Jubilee? Well, it's easy.
"Forgive me. She is not normally such a handful but she's been acting out horribly." A glance is given to Jubes as she adds with a cat-ate-canary grin, "Isn't that right, Suzie?"
Jubilee's eyes narrow at the sight of the cuffs. No way, no how! She sets her feet subtly, ready to fight or flee as the opportunity presents itself, and her hands clench into fists...
And then suddenly two of her would-be escorts tumble to the floor, wrapped up in an expensive scarf! The others are left staring at a brown-haired guy with a prominent Cajun accent and a good sense of how touchy this whole situation really is. Mirrorshades starts to open his mouth, then shuts it, as if thinking the whole thing over.
But he doesn't get to say anything, because now here's somebody else coming in, scolding the mutie... er, /kid/ they were about to apprehend! The situation's getting more complicated and confusing by the second. Even Chubby is left standing with his mouth hanging open.
Jubilee herself blinks at the sight of the hand reaching her way, glove and all. But she's a quick study, and her face becomes pouty instantly. "Aw, Desiree! She never lets me have any fun..." she whines, taking the hand. "I feel like /you/ know me better than she does, and we don't even have the same dad!"
"I'm Hans," Remy says, making no attempt to hide his accent, which is as thick as molasses. "Dis why you don't mess with my sisters. You think she act out, wait 'til you see me."
Grinning toothily, he takes a few steps backward, then pulls a courtly bow from the waist before scooping up the shopping bags he dropped. The scarf, however, is left behind. "Let's go, ladies."
Just a motley crew they are the three of them. Must be part of those families that adopt children from all over the country. Or at least that's what Rogue hopes they'll come to think. Taking Remy's arm and smiling at him with wide eyes, she can't help but to laugh at how big this whole confound confab is becoming.
"Come on. Hans," she says while tugging the ragtag pair off, barring any further problems with the mall security people.
No more is said until she's certain that they are out of earshot before she sighs, obviously relieved. "Ah do declare. That was about twenty kinds of insane. Remind me not to go to this mall again." Shame, too. She never got her drink.
"Regular bull in a china shop," Jubilee confirms. That's his story, and she's stickin' to it. And together the three 'siblings' stroll away from the flabbergasted security personnel, who are now helping their strangling co-workers out of that scarf. Pity to leave it behind, really. It was cashmere. Still, maybe they'll argue over it. Whatever they do, they don't seem interested in bothering mutant girls anymore, and they don't follow.
Jubilee does her best to keep up a nonchalant pace, but Rogue's legs are longer and the teen's shorts are doing their best to fall, leaving her quick-stepping and stumbling along with her two rescuers. "I do declare, I'm /soooo/ thankful you two came along," she says, keeping her voice down and trying not to smile. "I think I would've been tenderized in another minute. Though I'm kinda having trouble imagining angels of mercy named Desiree and Hans... especially angels with accents like yours." Yup, she heard Rogue's through the pretense, good as it was.
"I'm Remy. This is Rogue. And you're welcome, p'tit." Remy's chuckling and shaking his head. With a flick of his wrist, he produces a business card. All it has on it is a phone number. "I think we need to talk, you and me. Call dis number. For now, though, I think it's best we all disappear."
He lifts a shopping bag-laden arm to point at the guards. They're collecting themselves. Regrouping. More importantly, they're keying their radios.
"Good luck, p'tit," he bids the girl a final farewell. "And try to be careful about drawing attention. Can be dangerous, me."