Disclaimer: The character's respective
counterparts in the general X-reality are owned by Marvel
Note: This story takes place in a francophone area,
so many expressions are French. We don't write the dialogue's
in French because 1) we don't think you would like - especially
the ones who don't speak French 2) we already have to struggle
with one foreign language (and we ARE strugglin'!) a second
one would be too much. And our French is even worse than our
English, so you can imagine what would come out ;) But prepare!
One day we'll write a story about someone German and there,
the dialogue's will be authentic *evil grin*
KazeRogue & Michi-chan
Seals of Power
Jacqueline opened the door of the carriage with numb fingers,
but not as numb as she felt inside. Though the corpse of her
father laid next to her, she couldn't yet believe that he
was gone forever. She left the carriage and looked at her
birthplace with tired eyes, the mansion had never seemed so
empty before. Jacqueline saw Mme Corbeau standing at the front
door and froze. She saw compassion in the elder woman's eyes,
compassion and love. Tears welled up in her eyes and she threw
herself in Irene's arms.
"He's dead, Irene!" Jacqueline sobbed. "My father is dead.
Dead! And it's all my fault!"
Irene stroked her hair soothingly.
"No, dear, it's not your fault. Don't you ever think that
what happened is your fault. It's this damned thief's fault.
And he will pay for it!" These last words she spoke with narrowed
eyes and a coldness in her voice that mirrored Jacqueline's
Remy LeBeau stomped angrily through the thieves' hideout,
a little hut in the forest in which he and his followers had
waylaid rich travelers recently. The redheaded girl, slouched
in a chair next to him, looked up grinning.
"Do you want me to show him who's in command here?" She said
while stroking over the blade of her knife.
The leader of the thieves seized her. She was loyal, ready
to kill or die for him in an instant. And barely 15 years
old. He smiled sadly.
"Don't cross him, do ya hear me? Chatton is out of your league,
don't get yourself killed. I can deal with him myself."
The young criminal left the hut, jaw firmly set, to let actions
follow his words. The giant thief he was searching sat on
a treestump, grinding his saber. He looked up, a vicious glow
in his narrow eyes, when he heard the other one approaching.
"Now, now, look who's there! Came to punish me fer savin'
yer hide, LeBeau?"
"Non, to punish ya for not following m'orders. I said 'no
dead', 'member?" LeBeau glared at the elder man.
"What shall I say, he freaked out." Chatton didn't even try
to hide his contended smile.
"I could 'ave easily dealt wit' 'im m'self. I don' need anybody
ta babysit me, compris?"
"'kay, I'm sorry. Won't happen again." Chatton held out his
hand and after a moment of hesitation, the young thief took
it. He was going to play nice. Fer now.
The rain splatted in her face but she couldn't care less.
The other attendants of the Comte's funeral might think that
it was a mixture of the rain and her own tears that wetted
her face, but it wasn't. Jacqueline hadn't cried since her
conversation with Irene. A cold determination had overcome
her and she would cry only after she had revenged her father.
And then, she would cry of joy. Her grip tightened around
the long curved dagger, that has been in her family for decades.
With this dagger, she would rip the thief's worthless heart
She felt Irene's hand on her shoulder and looked up. The
elder woman smiled reassuringly. She knew what the young woman
was thinking of and couldn't approve more. She had looked
after her since she had been a little girl, had taught her
to have her own will and, if necessary, fight for it.
The priest, père Wagner, had finished his sermon. Jacqueline,
though having learnt Latin despite her being a woman, had
no clue what it has been about. The empty phrases about a
soul returning to the Lord could offer no solace to her tortured
heart. They were spoken at every funeral, nobody would see
that her father had been someone special. And now his memory
was sullied by a cowardly murder. But she would wash it clean.
With dignity, she strode to her fathers tomb to lay down
the bouquet she was holding. With cold eyes she looked at
the words inscribed on the marble stone: Requiescat in pace.
Her lips trembled in determination. There was still something
left to do before they both would be able to find peace.
Jacqueline had been raised as a noblewoman, to keep perfect
manners in every situation - though she'd never been good
in that department -, and she knew she should accept the attendants'
condolences, but she couldn't. They imagined to see a young
mourning girl and wouldn't expect her to tear their cold,
hypocritical eyes out of their sockets. They weren't here
to pay their last respects to the Comte. Most of them were
certainly wondering how to appropriate the dead man's land
even now, while the ceremony. Jacqueline would surely receive
a few 'interesting' proposals of young men soon. She knew
that she would never be allowed to keep the country on her
own. But for the time being, her uncle would conduct her possessions
as her guardian, until she found a worthy husband. First,
she could thus attend to the task at hand, anything that happened
later didn't matter to her at all. She lived for the revenge.
The servant that held her umbrella sneezed and Jacqueline
pulled her out of her thoughts. She turned around to find
herself alone aside from the servant. She hadn't noticed anyone
else leaving, her uncle and Irene had been so courteous as
to take care of the guests and not let them disturb her. With
a sigh Jacqueline turned around to leave the cemetery and
drive home. In her carriage, her uncle waited for her.
"Gavroche, I'm glad you're coming. I was afraid you would
freeze to death. How do you feel?" Her uncle smiled at her
warmly despite the sadness in his normally twinkling eyes.
He had used his old nickname for her, gavroche - little girl,
brat - a piece of normality in the insanity her life had become.
Jaqueline managed to smile back and sat down opposite to him.
"I feel good, oncle. Under the circumstances." Henry looked
at her sympathetically.
"I know, it's hard for me, too. But we will pull through.
I'll do my best to help you, but you know you can't live on
Her smile became sardonic.
"Yes, I know, oncle. But I think I can survive being no man's
puppet for a little while longer."
Henry was surprised to see his niece so angry. He hadn't
meant to offend her in any way. He surely was sorry for her
losing the only parent she had ever known, but he was responsible
for her future. And he wouldn't decide behind her back.
Do you want to return to the convent?" He asked instead.
Jacqueline seemed to ponder over that for a few seconds.
Then, she shook her head.
"Non. It's time I take my life in my own hands and not hide
anymore..." her gaze got lost in the distance and Henry decided
to leave her to her thoughts.
Irene Corbeau carefully went upstairs trying not to let hot
wax from the candle she carried spill over her hands. She
headed towards her protegee's room, being worried about the
young girl. Since the girl's mother had died at her birth,
she had taken over that role, coming to love Jacqueline like
her own child. And she wanted her to find happiness in a world
that wasn't too nice to young women. So she had taught her
to be free. And now she had to watch her heart's only joy
risking her young life in order to find her freedom again.
Her freedom from the bounds of honor that made her thrive
for revenge. But her heart sang when she thought about the
girls willpower to get through with this task. She had taught
The elder woman opened the door of her foster-daughter's
room and was surprised to see her not only awake but fully
dressed in tight deerskin trousers, a white blouse and a leather
waistcoat. She was putting on knee-high riding boots when
she noticed Irene's presence.
"René", the young girl started, using her old nickname for
Mme Corbeau, but the elder woman cut her off.
"Where to?" she simply asked.
Jacqueline's expression turned deadly serious.
"The woods." She put on the other boot.
"They will kill you."
"Not before I got my revenge."
"I understand you, but don't throw your life away like this.
Please, I thought I had taught you to prepare your actions.
Without a plan you will get yourself killed."
"I don't care." Jacqueline stared at her boots, not able
to meet Irene's shocked eyes. Suddenly she felt firm hands
on her shoulders, forcing her to look at the woman that has
been a mother to her.
"Are you stupid? Do you think your father would want that?
You want revenge? Fine, you have my support, absolutely. But
I won't watch you die. You are too young and have your whole
life ahead of you to throw it away just to take some dirty
thief's life. Understood?"
"Yes..." the young girls voice was barely audible.
Mme Corbeau sighed and let go of her. She regained her composure
and straightened her skirts. She stroked over her protegee's
hair kissed her forehead.
"Good night, Jacqueline."
"Good night, René."
When Irene had left the room, Jacqueline looked at the dagger
on her table. She took it in her hand, tracing it's curves
with her index finger. Suddenly she clenched her fist around
the blade and watched the dark blood run from her palm.
"Sorry, René." She whispered as she climbed out of her bedroom
Continued in Chapter
Note: I'm sorry that this is so
short, but I wanted to get it out asap and I won't have much
time to write anytime soon. And my dear co-author hasn't done
much for this (*hint, hint*, Michi, c'mon, wake up!)
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