disclaimer: Oddly, Remy LeBeau, Jacob Gavin Jr, the New Son, Sekmeht Conoway and various other characters don't belong to me. They belong to Marvel Comics and at the moment I'd say Fabian Nicieza are doing much better with them than I ever could. I hope he keeps them for a long, long time.

original characters: There are however characters in there that *do* belong to me. Do not touch them without my permission. It would be very bad for your health. They are: All people connected to Early Dawn Auction House as well as all people connected to the Luscious Laetitia.

thank you's: To Rose and evenstar who beta'd this thing (I really couldn't have done it without them). To Kirarose who gave me the addys to a bunch of Cajun cooking sites as well as told me her favorite dishes. And to Shade for the kind words on my first try on a Remy/Jake story.

feedback, archiving: Well, it would be nice to know that the 103 revisions meant something, so, hell, yes. I'm on my knees here. Please? With sugar on it even? And about the archiving… I believe the expression is: Ask and ye shall recieve?

about the story: This thing turns AU after the Sunset Dawn trilogy, which means that whatever the New Son is currently working at, is elegantly ignored here. And my guild has a bit more than 8 people in it. Also I'm Evil. Very much so. You'll see.

translations: Cher(e) = dear \ D'accord = okay \ Bien = good \

discription: While on a mission from the New Son, Jake says something he never intended to say and then we get to visit a place Jake frequents rather often. Yes, I do suck at these things. How ever did you guess?

by Sascha

"Hey, Jake?"

There were times Jake truly regretted having ever met one Remy LeBeau. This was definitely one of those time. "What?" he growled in reply and glared at the screen.

He would have preferred to direct the glare at Remy, but seeing as Jake was sitting alone in his office, looking up files on the computer while Remy was perched on a ledge outside Daynare's window… Long-distance glaring was not in Jake’s repertoire.

This was the sixth time Remy had interrupted him, and all the times before he'd just wanted to rile him about Jackie. Jake was, quite frankly, getting fed up with hearing about Jackie. He didn't like Jackie. At all. He certainly didn't want to be her. Seeing as it was Remy's fault that he was, the least Remy could've done was to have the decency to lay off the jokes.

That was obviously expecting too much from Remy. Jake couldn't really blame him for it. He would've done the same - with relish - had the situation been reversed. It was still, however, extremly annoying and Jake didn't like it one bit.

"I think I recognize the darkhaired one."

Finally! Something useful! Jake looked at the overview picture and realised something. "There are fifteen dark haired people in there!"

"Yah, but I mean the one with the ..." there was a pause as Remy tried to come up with a good euphemism of 'really big knockers'. Jake had started to take offence to hearing such terms after overhearing some guys referring to his breasts in much the same way Remy was thinking. "... Pamela Anderson equipment."

"I didn't know any of the X-women were there..." Jake scrolled down his list of images and enlarged the one of the woman he thought Remy was talking about.

There was a snort of amusement from Remy, then he continued. "It's Cora Sandelle. Works on a now-and-again basis for Valemont. Though what a drug dealer wants with an antique is beyond me."

The antique in question was a gold tiara set with rubies of various sizes and clarity. It was close to 1000 years old, extremely rare, valuable and, according to the New Son, a very powerful magick enhancer. The New Son had sent Remy and Jake out to get it. He had, true to form, not told them *why*. Much to Remy's irritation and Jake... Well, his exact response had been: "Who cares? Won't be hurting anybody and I'm getting paid, aren't I? I *am* getting paid, right?"

Remy had just sighed and wondered if it was too late to call Sekmeht. Or maybe the Mengo brothers. Yeah, the Mengo brothers would probably jump at the chance to work for the New Son. They would get to use their guns again and... Okay, maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all.

"Sandelle, Cora, Valemont. Got'cha. Anybody else you recognize?" Jake typed in the information and went back to his search. So far there had only been two matches - Rij Alison, South African millionaire with a fondness for obscure artifacts, and Greg Hassle, ex-director of Hassle Inc and, incidentally, a member of the Hellfire Club - but Jake was pretty sure he'd get all the faces matched with a name sooner or later. "Maybe Valemont's branching out?"

"Into what?" Remy replied. "Selling weird mystical antiques to school kids?"

"Well, magick and stuff like that are hot among kids today. Just look at Buffy and ... Is that Lilac Mar?" Jake stared incredulously at the screen. "What in hell is she doing there?"

"Where is she?" Remy's voice had dropped the teasing undertone he'd kept during the conversation so far and adopted a more business-like quality. Lilac Mar meant big trouble. The statuesque blonde was suspected to be immortal - she was definitely immoral - and she was known to possess mystical powers. Neither Remy nor Jake knew her personally, but they'd heard of her. What they'd heard had not been nice.

"Over by that enormous sofa, talking to short, fat and ugly. Remy, if Mar wants the tiara, she's not going to let it go easily."

"I know." There was a slight pause again as Remy changed position on the ledge. "Okay, I see her."


"For what I can see, it looks like you're right. That's definitely Mar. Hold on, I'll get you a better picture."

Jake watched as the window he kept open for Remy's transmissions was filled with close ups of Mar. He was already tapping into the security cameras for overview photos, and Remy'd gotten some pretty good shots of most of the guests arriving, which was what they were using for reference. Remy's current position on the ledge was in case he could snap up something useful through a listening device. They'd figured it wouldn't hurt to be ready though, so Remy'd brought the camera with him. Better safe than sorry and all that.

"It's her," Jake confirmed after having compared the pictures to the ones in the FBI database. Being connected everywhere frequently paid off.

"Yah." Jake could practically hear the wheels turning in Remy's head through the listening gear. "Okay, we've a change of plans."

"We do?"

"Yah. We can't let Mar get her claws in the tiara. If she does, she'll never let it go."

"And Mar having the tiara would be a Very Bad Thing," Jake agreed. Not to mention it would make it even harder for them to get it for the New Son. "Okay, what's that strange mind of yours come up with now?"

"I'm gonna get off this ledge, change into a tux, pick you up and then we're gonna crash the party."

Jake nodded to himself. "Okay, that makes sense." Then he backtracked. "No, it doesn't. Tux? Pick me up? What the hell are you planning?"

"Wait and see," Remy replied. "Make the search engine give an automatic notification to the watch when there's a match. ...And dress up."

"I'm not an idiot, Remy. And what do you mean, dress up? What? You think I've been out shopping for nice dresses lately or something?"

"I figured you'd have them already..."

"I hate you."

There was a pause.

"What about a tux? I know you, you probably have a whole collection of them stashed away somewhere."

"Yeah I do, but for some weird reason they don't really fit anymore. You know who's fault that it?"

Remy ignored the barb. "You can 'shift, can't you?"

Good point. "Give me an hour. Won't last though."

"I know, but how long?"

"Twenty-four hours at the most."

"Should be more than enough."

"I think she thinks I'm your boy-toy," Jake commented, nodding slightly towards Lilac Mar. They'd been at the combined party and auction for two hours now. During that time, Remy had showed his considerable acting talents and all the attendants - save those who were paranoid beyond any chance of help - believed the new New Orleans Guildmaster was out to make business contacts for future use. They weren't entirely wrong.

"Now, why would you think she'd think that?" Remy gave him an 'I'm the most innocent person in the world' look. Considering who he was, he couldn't really pull it off.

"That's what she told me."

"I see."

Jake gave him a pointed look. "She also told me that you said I like being whipped."

Remy scratched his neck. "You know, I can't remember..."

"And then she told sordid details of our love life. First, I had no idea you had that much of an imagination and second, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?!"

Remy winced and looked around to see if anybody had noticed Jake's outburst. Maybe he should have told Jake...? Nah. Then he would have missed Jake's current expression. He really would have hated to have missed Jake's current expression. "Keep your voice down."

"I'll consider it once you've explained to me why you thought it necessary to make Mar believe we've a S&M relationship!"

"Do you know Emma Frost?"

"What the hell has she -- "

"Just answer the question."

"Don't know her personally, but I know she runs Frost Enterprises. Now, *why* -- "

"Well," Remy interrupted. "Frost knows Mar and she keeps information about people she knows in a nice little file on her computer. I hacked into it sometime ago (you wouldn't believe some of the things she knows) and one of the things she's got typed up about Mar is that she's a dominatrix."

Jake crossed his arms over his chest. "The point still escapes me."

"Well, I was thinking of a way to keep her distracted while ... "

Jake gaped, then stared in horror at him. "No!"

"Why not?"

"Whips? Chains? Toys? *Evil woman with magickal powers*?!"

"I'm told it can be quite -- "


"Why not? Just a quick fuck with..." Remy trailed off at the furious look on Jake's face.

"I said no! I'm not a whore for Christ's sake!" Jake realised belatedly that he'd overreacted. He should have joked it away. Or simply refused and not said anything about it. He definitely should not have shouted at Remy. He stared wide-eyed at Remy. "I..."

"It's okay. It's fine," Remy said quickly. He held his hands up in a 'I surrender' gesture. "You don't wanna do it, you don't wanna do it."

Jake grinned tentatively. "You know I have a low threshold for pain..."

He almost let out a relieved breath when Remy smiled back and quipped; "Yes, I remember your reaction when we came back."

"Hey, I'd just travelled 100 years forwards in time, okay? I was perfectly entitled to hogging the shower for 6 hours! Especially considering how I travelled." Back to safe. They were okay now.

"...I was thinking more of the incessant whining..."

"I do not whine!"

Remy snorted. "And that was a blatant lie if I've ever heard one."

"Well, even if I did whine, which I didn't, I was perfectly entitled to that too."

"I didn't," Remy pointed out. "And I travelled 100 years forwards in time also."

"No, you just blew up a nearby barn," Jake said dryly, inspecting his nails. "You scared the shit out of those chickens. 'Least I didn't bother anybody but you. If I did whine, which by the way I didn't."

"I meant to do that."

"Riiight." Jake gave him a doubting look. "You sound about as believable as Sek when she told me that she wasn't looking at your butt."

Remy arched his eyebrows consideringly. "When did she say that? Oh look. Isn't that Murrey Malley?"

Jake turned around and glanced in the direction Remy had nodded. He soon spotted a slim red head with a big nose standing a little behind him, talking to some blonde. He grabbed a glass of champagne from the table, then turned again. "Yup, that's him." He went back to the first question. "During the plane ride to Latveria."

"How come I can't remember it?"

Jake shrugged and sipped in the champagne. "You were talking to the pilot, I think."

"Oh." Remy seemed to ponder on that for a while, then he changed the subject. "So where do you know Malley from?"

"I worked for him once," Jake informed Remy. "He takes everything personally. You know the saying 'don't shoot the messenger'? Well, he didn't abide by it. Don't think I've ever been shot so many times before. Fourth time I quit. Dad had a fit. Spent two days lecturing me on how important it was for clients to be able to trust Infonet. Bloody bastard."

Remy chuckled. He gave Jake a half-serious, half-mischevious look. "Let me guess, you hate him?"

Jake shook his head with a grin. "Nope, I reserve that for people who really deserve it."

"Hey, I've never shot you once!" Remy protested.

"No, you just hacked off one of my fingers!"

"You're still whining about that?" Remy tsk'ed and shook his head sadly. "You're such a cry-baby, Jake."

"See how you'd like it if I hacked off one of your fingers," Jake muttered sulkily. He looked over Remy's shoulder and his eyes widened. "Oh hell."


"Dominatrix delux is headed this way."

Remy seemed to perk up at the news. "She is? Great! I can't wait to have another talk with her. She's really quite an interesting person..."

"Why am I thinking it's her cleavage you find interesting, not her personality?"

"I think you're mistaking me for yourself," Remy grinned. "Are you sure you don't want to..."

"Hell yes!" Jake noted worriedly that Mar was closing in on them. Closing. Closing. She walked past him and strok up a conversation with someone standing some feet behind him, and Jake could actually breathe again.

"Okay, so if not Mar, who would you have sex with? In this room, I mean."

Jake, who was too occoupied by thanking every deity he knew of, didn't think of what he was actually saying before he said it. "You."

A split second later he realised what he'd said. I did not just say that. I did not just say that. I did not... Oh fuck. I did. He grimaced and hesitantly looked over at Remy.

...Who appeared to be in some kind of shock. Finally, after a lot of blinking, Remy said something. "What? I mean... What?"

Jake wondered if there was anyway he could make Remy believe he'd been joking. He considered his reaction when he realised what he's said and decided that that would take a much better liar than he was. Or a more gullible idiot than Remy was. So he said, in a strange fit of honesty, "I'm in love with you."

Remy blinked again. "You're what? Really?"

"No, I enjoy making an idiot of myself, and that's why I told you I'm in love with you." Jake's voice oozed with sarcasm. "Yes, really. I can't believe you didn't know that. Sek even knows."

She didn't. Nobody knew (well, the New Son probably knew. He seemed to know everything). Jake would have been very happy to have kept things that way. He'd been supressing the emotion very nicely, thank you very much. I have got to learn to shut to fuck up!

"Then apparently I'm an oblivious, unsensitive moron," Remy said, frowning. "I suppose there's no way I'm gonna get people to believe I'm a lowlevel empath now. Look, Jake, I... We'll talk later. Mar's headed for the tiara."

He tracked the blonde's way over to the tiara which was showcased in the middle of the room. Thankfully, the room was packed with potential buyers, so it would take her a minute or so to get her hands on the antique. More so if someone engaged her in a conversation.

"But the auction hasn't started yet!" Jake protested as he trailed along after Remy who was heading straight for the showcase.

"For some reason, I don't think she cares."

The beautiful sorceress proved Remy right as she elbowed her way towards the showcase (when necessary. It wasn't that crowded) with much haste. Jake amused himself by throwing a running commentary as he continued to trail along after Remy. He knew he wouldn't be able to help Remy anyway so why not?

"Well, this looks like it's gonna be a close race, Teddy. Couldn't agree more, Ed! Sorceress Dominatrix has a small lead on Cajun Thief at the moment, but we all know how quickly these things change. And we're seeing an example of that right now, Teddy, as it seems like Cajun Thief has taken the lead. Quite right, Ed. Sorceress Dominatrix appears to have been caught up in a conversation with the Southern Gentleman and is loosing precious seconds here! Aaaand... She's off again! Woohoo, this is a truly exciting race, Teddy! Couldn't have said it better myself, Ed!"

"Jake! Shut up and follow me!" Remy's exasperated voice drifted back at him.

Jake saluted and clicked his heels together, feeling slightly childish, but unable to resist. "Yes, sir!"

They got the tiara of course. But not before Remy did some neck-breaking acrobatics, there was a ridiculous chase around the room with everybody tossing the tiara to everybody else and Jake, having finally become exasperated with the whole thing, grabbed a near-by bodyguard's gun (the bodyguard was busy staring wide-eyed at tiara-tossing) and pointed it at the room in general, shouting: "Freeze!"

Everybody froze.

Remy grabbed the tiara and jumped out the window and Jake slowly backed over to the door. He quickly opened it, turned and sprinted down the hallway. He wondered if he'd get a bonus for the gun-thing. He deserved a bonus for the gun-thing. He really did.

"So, you love me," Remy said three days later. He was sitting on Jake's kitchen counter and watching Jake make coffee. The last days had been exhausting. First there had been this thing with the X-Men (Iceman had showed up with evil villain of the week on his tail) and then he had to sit through a twelve hour long guild meeting. Those who thought being in charge of a couple of hundred thieves was fun obviously hadn't ever had the job.

The fact that a good 70% of them also wanted him dead and the remaining 30% thought he was a moron who'd get himself killed anyway, did nothing to improve the situation.

"Mmm-mm." Jake nodded. He opened up a cabinet door and took out two cups.

"And you're sure about that?"

"Mmm-mm." Jake nodded again.

"Why?" Remy looked curiously over at the other man, absent mindedly shuffling a deck of cards with his hands.

Jake turned his head slightly to look surprised at him. "What?"

"There's got to be a reason. Nobody just loves somebody for no reason at all." Remy accepted the cup Jake offered him, and looked expectantly at the blue-eyed man -- Woman really, but Remy was unable to think of Jake as a woman. There was just something so... Jake about him, no matter what he looked like that Remy couldn't forget. He was so used to Jake changing his appearance at the drop of a hat anyway, it didn't matter much to him that Jake was currently female.

Granted, he did stare a bit, but that was mostly to annoy Jake.

"Well, it certainly isn't 'cause of your good manners," Jake grumbled. He sat down in the chair next to the one Remy was currently resting his feet on. He put his cup down on the counter, placed his elbows on either side of it and folded his hands thoughtfully under his chin. "You really wanna know?"

Remy nodded, a curious expression on his face. "Yah."

"Now I think... It's because you're determined and loyal and honourable and funny and... And lots of things. 'Cause you're you, I guess." Jake shrugged and looked down at his coffee. "And 'sides you're really good lookin'."

"And you want to have sex with me?"

Jake looked up again, the tip of his ears having turned red. "You still remember that, huh? Yeah, well, that'll pass. I think."

"You want it to pass?" Remy was slightly hurt by the thought, which was weird because what did he have to be hurt about? It wasn't like *he* was in love with Jake or anything.

"No. I mean... Yes. I suppose." Jake drew his fingers through his hair. "I... Well, it's *you*. You know? You're not precisely who I'd chose to fall in love with. You're the wrong sex for one."

"So... You don't." Remy paused, wondering what the hell he was doing. Jake tilted his head, absently tossing his long hair out of the way, and looked at him with friendly curiousity. Remy decided that, hell, things had already gone off track, he might as well continue. "You don't want me to. . .to love you?"

"Oh of course I want you to love me!" Jake laughed, his eyes twinkling merrily, once he'd gotten over his surprise at the question. "I just don't think you've got guts." His eyebrows arched challenging and a teasing grin appeared on his face. "I'm quite a handful, you know."

Remy stared baffled at him for a second, then groaned and closed his eyes. How could he have forgotten? He was dealing with Jake here, and if there was one thing he knew for certain it was that Jake would never act the way he expected him to. During the time they'd spent in 1891, he'd learned that Jake had one heck of a twisted sense of humor also. He probably thought this whole conversation utterly hilarious. Remy gave him a suspicius look and was rewarded with a wink and an even wider grin.

"You're not taking this seriously any longer," he accused.

Jake lost the playful expression.

"I can't afford to," he said quietly as he got up off his chair, grabbed his now empty cup and walked over to the dishwasher.

Remy frowned thoughtfully and started shuffling the cards again. I can't afford to? What did he mean by that? What was it he could lose by taking this seriously? Hadn't he already given up a hell of a lot? Certainly more than Remy ever would have.

Jake bent down to grab one of those little dishwasher powder soaps, displaying for a moment a very nice backside. He straightened up again, dropped the soap in soap-compartment, kicked the dishwasher's door closed and turned it on. He hesitated a second, then turned around to look at Remy. A small smile was playing on his lips. "I was thinking..."

Remy arched an eyebrow questionly.

"Wanna go out on a date?"

Jake always makes jokes when he's scared.

Remy gave a small start at the thought. Where had that come from? Jake wasn't scared, he was playing for Christ's sakes! He looked. Yeah, Jake was giving him this little grin and that was definitely a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Then he really looked and noted something that he hadn't seen before. Jake was wound up so tightly he was bound to have back and neck pains later on. There were faint lines of worry on his face and before saying anything, he seemed to weigh everything on a mental scale.

"Have dinner somewhere," Jake continued. "I know a nice exclusive resturant over at ninth and Ben. Dad owns half of it actually. They serve Cajun cuisine also. I think."

"Sure, why not?" Remy grinned at the surprised look Jake gave him. He jumped off the counter. "I'm always in the mood for some Cajun cuisine."

"You're sure?"

"Would I kid about something as serious as food?" he asked rhetorically . "Now, do I have to drop by the boat house and change, or is this okay?"

He motioned for the jeans (for once a pair without holes in) and the sweater he had on. Jake gave him a once over. Remy was only mildly surprised when he noted that the look lingered on certain parts of his anatomy much the same way his lingered on Jake's. Jake tended to bite Remy's head off when he noticed it though.

"You're fine," Jake said finally. "Okay then. Let's go?"

"Lead the way, mon capitain!" Remy grinned.

Jake gave him a very odd look, seemed about to say something, changed his mind and grabbed his keys instead. "Whatever you say, Picard."

Jake's resturant turned out being the 'Luscious Laetitia', a place Remy'd always assumed was a strip joint. Or at least a bar. Fairly much anything other than an exclusive resturant. But according to Jake, it was. It certainly didn't look like one. It even had a red neon sign over the door where only half the light was working.

Remy wondered briefly what Ororo would say if he suggested they'd go have dinner at a place called 'Luscious Laetitia'. She'd probably arch her snow-white eyebrows and stare regally at him. Maybe even tell him that such childish behavior was beneath him, but since she was his friend she would be willing to overlook that. Provided he helped her fertilize her plants. Hm. Maybe he wouldn't ask her. That stuff smelled.

"Jackie!" the bouncer exclaimed merrily as Jake and Remy approached him. He was a tall, bulky, black man wearing what Remy labeled 'advanced rap' with a hint of 'la familia'. "And with a date too! Now I seen it all! Not a bad example of the species either I see." He looked Remy up and down for a while. "Not bad at all. When's the wedding? Should I inform Callahan he better start booking tables?"

Jake flushed red. "Tony, do you live to embarress me?"

The bouncer grinned. "Yes. Now where's my manners? I'm Akhenaton Bonede, but just call me Tony. And you are?"

"Remy LeBeau. I'm just a friend." Remy regarded the bouncer with the same interest as the other man had given him.

"Well, now that we're all very good friends, are you gonna let us in?" Jake asked impatiently.

"Naturally!" Bonede stepped away from the door he'd been blocking. "You do realise that I'm going to ask Shep for all the sordid details later?"

Jake sighed. "Dad told me never to fraternize with the help. I see now how right he was."

Bonede just laughed at him and motioned for them to walk inside.

As a jarring contrast to how it had looked from the outside, what Remy entered looked like a cross between a hotel-lobby and a library. There were well-filled bookshelves up against all over the eastern wall, on various tables there were board-games set up, couches spread around with adjourning tables and straight ahead were what looked like an information desk. And there were people of both genders everywhere. Some of them dressed as casually as Remy and Jake were and some dressed to the nines. Some talking to one another, others reading, drinking, or playing board-games.

"What is this? The unisex version of an old boys club?" Remy wondered.

Jake shrugged. "Yeah. Kinda. Dad started it before I was born. It was supposed to be a place for his employers to relax and hang out. Not before long it grew pretty big and he got a partner. Now it's pretty much *the* place for all the local super-business people to hang out. I'm kinda surprised you didn't know about it."

"I've been out of the loop far too long. By the way, why didn't you bite his head off for calling you Jackie?"

"He think's I am Jackie."

"You are."

"No, I mean, he thinks I'm really a woman. My own heretofore unknown twin sister actually. I'm not as thrilled about being embarrassed as you and Tony seem to think, and explaining to people how I ended up this way would take some time. So as long as I'm stuck like this, I'm Jackie, not Jake," Jake said matter of factly. "Actually, you, Fonty, dad and the New Son are the only ones who know who I really am. 'Sides me, I mean."

"You're gonna make some shrink very rich someday," Remy said.

"I'll just bill it to you."

"I bet you will." Remy looked around the room one more time. "Didn't you say something about Cajun cuisine?"

"Oh right. That's up the stairs. C'mon." Jake headed for the desk with Remy trailing along behind him and trying to place a name to all the faces he saw. If he wasn't mistaken, those two gentlemen playing chess over in the corner, were Rij Alison and Greg Hassle. Now that could be useful information someday.

"Hey, Makeda," Jake smiled to the regal woman standing behind the desk. She smiled back. "My friend and I would like a table upstairs. Is there any available?"

"For you? Always." Makeda pushed a botton under the desk and a door-sized part of the nearby wall disappeared, revealing the stairs up to the second floor. "When's that brother of yours ducking in here again? It's been almost a year now since the last time he was here."

"Tell me about it," Jake muttered. Louder: "I'll tell him you asked for him."

"You do that," Makeda nodded.

Jake started walking towards the stairs, then stopped. "Remy? You coming?"

Remy was shook out of his musings on how useful this place could become later. "What? Oh. Right behind you."

A woman who looked like the female version of the bouncer met them at the top of the stairs. Her black hair was braided into lots of small braids and she wore a green silk dress. She grinned brightly at them as they approached her. "So you finally decided to stop by us again? Who's the hottie?"

Jake gave her an exasperated look and introduced them. "Remy, this is Hatshepsut Bonede. Tony's sister and twice as annoying. Shep, this is Remy LeBeau.”

Remy stepped forewards to shake her hand. She had a strong, firm handshake and Remy wouldn't have been at all surprised to hear that she doubled as a bouncer for time to time. Apparently muscles ran in the family. Well, he'd seen worse family traits...

"You're the one Bonede was going to pump for information later?"

Hatshepsut grinned brightly. "He said that?"

Jake muttered something under his breath which sounded like "I knew this was a mistake".

Remy ignored him and nodded. This woman seemed to know Jake pretty well and he was suddenly determinded to find out as much about him as he could. Hatshepsut was just a convenient place to start. He had realised that although he counted Jake as his only close male friend (though the male part could be debated at the moment), he didn't know very much about him beyond the fact that he smoked Cohibas, watched Star Trek and hated being a woman.

"Have you known Ja -" Jake elbowed him in the ribs. Remy glared at him before continuing. "Jackie for long?"

Hatshepsut shook her head. "No, I've only known her for about six months. I've known her brother since he was old enough to hit on me, though."

"Really?" Remy arched his eyebrows in interest.

"Oh yes! I don't have count of how many times I've turned him down over the years," Hatshepsut laughed. "You wouldn't believe some of the lines he's got!"

Jake turned an fascinating shade of scarlet. "Yes, yes, this is all very intriguing, I'm sure, but I'm starving here!"

"Oh of course! Follow me." Hatshepsut started walking and motioned for them to follow her. They walked down a long hallway, not stopping until they'd reached the end. Hatshepsut opened the door to the left and waved them inside. It was a small, intimate room with only a few items of furniture in it; A table for two in the middle of the room, a minibar over in the back corner and a big, soft looking couch set against the wall. There were no windows in the room, but plenty to lamps to light the room up.

Hatshepsut waited until they'd entered the room, then asked for their orders.

"I'll have the usual and Remy'll have..." Jake trailed off and glanced over at Remy. "What'll you have?"

"Do you have red jambalaya?" Remy asked hopefully, suppressing the urge to look puppy-dog eyed at Hatshepsut.

She nodded. "I'm fairly certain we do." She smiled. "Now you two get comfortable and I'll send Siam up with the food as soon as it's done."

Jake stared at her. "Siam? Oh no. Not the kid..."

"...Who is absolutely and totally in love with you," Hatshepsut finished. "Yup, that's the one. I think he needs to see that he's got no chance against handsome over there."

Now this was interesting, Remy thought. Jake just continued staring at Hatshepsut as thought he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Before the silence could get uncomfortable, Remy slipped an arm over Jake's shoulder and dragged him closer.

"Not a chance," he agreed. He gave Hatshepsut a brilliant smile. "I plan to marry this lovely lady someday."

Jake made a choked noise.

Hatshepsut laughed. "I wish you both luck. Especially you, Remy. If Jackie resembles her brother as much as I think she does, you're going to need it."


"Oh I can handle her," Remy insured her. "You just have to know which buttons to... ehm... push."

"I bet," Hatshepsut winked.

"Hey! I'm still here, you know!"

"We know, cher." Seconds later he was gasping for breath as Jake elbowed him in the gut and stepped away from him. He rubbed his stomach. "Shit, Jake! What was that for?"

"I see you're going to need that luck..." Hatshepsut laughed. She didn't seem to notice Remy's slip of the tongue.

Jake folded his arms over his breasts and glared at both Remy and Hatshepsut. "One, I don't like being talked about as though I wasn't here. Two, don't call me chere."

"And remember, I want invitations to the wedding!" Shep told them with a grin before she left the room again.

Jake hid his face in his hands and groaned. "What was I thinking, bringing you here?"

"That I wouldn't be able to resist the cooking here and would be willing to do whatever you asked in order to get some of that lobster?" Remy suggested and looked hungrily at Jake's plate. He'd finished his meal some time ago and had been eyeing Jake's ever since.

"If only..." Jake looked up. "Jesus, Remy! Don't you have food at your place or something? Here! Knock yourself out!"

He pushed his plate towards Remy who grabbed it eagerly with a bright "T'anks!"

Jake shook his head. This was unbelievable. Here he'd been worrying for three - Three bloody days! - about Remy's reaction to hearing that he was in love with him. He'd been prepared for their friendship to come to an abrupt halt, for Remy to tease him mercilessly, for... For anything other than the non-reaction Remy was having. Bastard. He was acting as though nothing at happened at all! He paused. No, that wasn't entirely true. Remy'd been very interested back at his place, but now...

Jake might not be the casanova of the century, but he was used to his dates paying him slightly more attention than they did to their food. Even if the date didn't think it was a real date. He folded his arms over his breasts (now that was a surreal thought), and contemplated being insulted. He decided he was entitled.

"You enjoy the food here, I see," he said, the sarcasm clear in his voice.

Remy looked up from his food and grinned at him. "It's delicious. You should try it."

"You may not remember this, but you took my food five minutes ago."

"You did say I could," Remy said and returned to shuffling mushrooms into his mouth. He had a ...nice... mouth. Nice lips. Nice teeth. Was probably one heck of a kisser too. One of those who could make you see stars and make your feet go all wobbly... Jake quickly abandoned that train of thought and glared at him instead.

"That's beside the point. And besides, one of the privileges of being a woman is that I can change my mind whenever I want."

"You want lobster? Fine." Remy spit a piece on his fork, leaned forwards over the table and presented the piece to a startled Jake. Jake opened his mouth automatically and swallowed it. Remy gave him a smile and plopped back into his chair.

Jake opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before he was able to say anything. He wasn't quite sure what it was he was so upset about, but he knew there was something. "What the hell was that all about?"

Remy gave him an innocent look. "What?"

"That! That... That food-thing."

Remy shrugged. "Nothing. I just. You said you wanted a piece."

"No, I said I wanted the whole thing."

Remy gave him that teasing smile again and suddenly Jake knew exactly what it was he was angry about. He more or less jumped off his chair. "You son of a bitch. I can't believe... You're fucking leading me on!"

"What?" Remy stared at him, lobster forgotten. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Jake gestured angrily towards the table. "You're flirting with me! No. No, you're... You're..."

"We've always been flirting, Jake," Remy said reasonably, putting his fork down. He pushed away from the table and got up. "I didn't realise it before, but..."

Jake gave him a disbelieving look. "Get real. Or better yet, stop treating me like I'm... Like I'm your boyfriend or something."

"Girlfriend," Remy corrected absently. He seemed to have fallen in deep thought. He was standing absolutely still next to his chair with a frown on his face. ”You’d be my girlfriend.”

"What?" Jake honestly couldn't believe what he was hearing. Remy could not have said that. It was impossible.

"Your body is female at the moment, so technically, you'd be my girlfriend."

"I am really hating you right now."

That woke Remy up from his musings. His eyes widened as he realised what he'd said. "No! That wasn't what I..." He stopped. "I do know who you are, Jake."

"Do you? Are you sure about that? Because I never noticed you looking at me like that when I was a man. I'm not going to stay like this, you know."

"Of course I know. Hence the 'at the moment'," pointed out Remy.

"Still... You..."

"Jake, if I had... Propositioned to you before you spent several months as a female, would you even have thought about it before you turned me down?"

Jake lowered his look to the floor, thinking it over. He slowly shook his head and looked back up. "No. I suppose not."

"See?" Remy regarded him for second, then seemed to come to a decision. "Jake, you've always been diffrent from other men - "

"Gee, thanks a lot. Just what I needed to hear right now," Jake muttered.

Remy sighed in exasperation. "Shut up for a second and listen, okay? Bien. What I was trying to say before you interrupted me, was that I don't make friends easily. Especially not with men. I'm not entirely sure why."

"Are you kidding?" Jake couldn't keep quiet. "The way you are? You're like sex personified, okay? You could make even the most dedicated hetrosexual ponder the possibilities of playing for both teams. I mean, you flirt constantly."

"Funny, I've always sort of assumed it's because I'm such a loner," Remy grinned wryly.


"Okay, okay." Remy shrugged. "Part of it is conscious, but most of it isn't. It's just who I am."

"I know. So what where you saying before I interrupted you again?"

"That I..." He seemed to be stuck. "That we're... I didn't think about you... Because we’re friends, you know, and…"

Jake grinned suddenly as he understood what Remy was trying to say. "We're friends so you never thought of me in a sexual way?"

"Yeah. Exactly. I don't have that many friends and sex and friendship usually doesn't mix very well. You're a friend, so..." Remy shrugged.

"And then I went and screwed it up by saying what I did." Jake sighed.

Remy shook his head. "You didn't screw up anything."

"I didn't?"

"No. Actually, you made me think." Remy frowned. "And… I am attracted to you, you know. To you. Not just to the body you’ve got right now."

”You are?”


There was a silence as they both looked at each other, waiting for the other to make the next move.

Remy scratched his neck. "Y'know, this would have been a lot easier if you'd still been male."

Jake blinked. That was about the last thing he'd expected to hear from Remy. Not that he'd didn't agree, but... "What? How come?"

"Then it’s possible you wouldn't verbally fry me if I kissed you," Remy replied.

"What makes you think I'd do that now?"

"Are you saying you wouldn't?"

Jake grinned. "You'll have to try and find out..."

They looked at each other again. A second later Jake was finding the wall behind Remy's shoulder extremly interesting, while Remy seemed to find the remains of his (that would be Jake's) food very intriguing.

Remy sighed and looked up. "This is getting ridiculous."

"You're telling me. Okay, just... Stay there, and I'll..." Jake trailed off, gesturing at Remy. He'd never expected it to be this awkward. Okay, he hadn't expected this at all But if he had been, he certainly would have thought things would move somewhat faster towards sex. Or at least some serious necking.

Remy nodded. "D'accord."

Jake took three steps forwards. He swallowed nervously, tilted his head to look up at Remy and put his arms around Remy's neck. Remy put his arms around Jake's waist, bent his head and... their lips met.

Jake moaned softly. He'd been right; Remy really was a great kisser. Dedicated to the cause and everything.

There was a knock on the door. Jake registred it opening somewhere at the back of his head, but was far to caught up in kissing Remy to pay it any attention. He'd been thinking about this ever since they'd returned from 1891 and he wasn't about to let anything stop him from enjoying it now. That was, until someone spoke.

"Ms. Gavin, I'm sorry but... Oh. Um. Excuse me."

They reluctantly parted and looked towards the door, where a redfaced teenage boy was standing. "I'm so sorry, Ms. Gavin, but Mr. Daynare insisted on seeing you."

Jake frowned. Daynare? Why did that name sound familiar? Oh yes. The auctionist. He cast a puzzled look at Remy who shrugged. He sighed. So much for the now... "All right, send him in, Siam."

Siam disappeared out the door, and a moment later a dignified gentleman with salt and pepper hair walked in. Jake recognized him immidiately from the auction three days ago. He'd kept to the big buyers, Jake remembered. Rij Alison, Greg Hassle, Catherine Southern and the likes. He appeared startled for a second upon noticing Remy's presence in the room, but he gathered himself quickly together.

"You must pardon me for intruding, Miss Gavin," Daynare began. "But this is about a rather urgent matter. I do hope you'll hear me out."

Jake made an encuraging nod, wishing he'd hurry up and get it over with.

"As I suspect you already know, my name is Edward Daynare and I am the owner of Early Dawn Auction House." Daynare paused, looking expectantly over at Jake.

"Seeing as you seem to know me already, I suppose introducing myself is a waste of time," Jake commented. "But for conventions sake; I'm Jacqueline Gavin and this is Remy LeBeau. Now what do you want?"

"I have come to request a favor of sorts from you."

Jake stared. "Excuse me?"

"Would you rather I reported the theft of the tiara to the police?" Daynare asked solemnly, gaze never wavering away from Jake’s face. Jake grimaced at the thought.

"I suppose it wouldn't do much good if I told you I had no idea what you where talking about?" He gave Daynare a hopeful look.

"Not with him in the same room, no." Daynare nodded towards Remy. "I must admit I was expecting your brother, but I suppose it doesn't matter which one of you it is."

"What's the favor?" Remy wanted to know.

"Oh it's nothing, really. Just a matter of retrieving a property of mine."

"Why am I thinking it's not going to be all that easy?" Jake muttered. "So who's got that thing of yours now?"

Daynare frowned at him. "It's not a 'thing'. It's a very valuable necklace. Henry VIII had it made to --"

"Yeah, yeah," Jake interrupted. "But who's got the thing - Necklace?"

"One Cora Sandelle."

Jake and Remy exchanged a look.

"I'll need to see a photo of the necklace," Remy said.

Daynare put his hand in a jacket-pocket and pulled up a photo which he handed to Jake. Jake handed it over to Remy, who studied it closely.



"Would be hard to sell a thing like that. Of course, you could take it apart," Remy admitted. "But judging from the photo, it's worth more the way it is."

”It is,” Daynare nodded. His opinion of Remy seemed to have gone up a notch.

”How did Sandelle get her hands on the necklace?” Jake asked. ”I’m assuming she didn’t buy it from you?”

”No, that she didn’t. She took it during the turmoil your brother and Mr. LeBeau here, caused during the auction three days ago.”

Remy arched his eyebrows. ”So that’s why you’re asking us to get it back?”

”It’s the least you can do.” Daynare fished a card out of his pocket and handed it to Jake. ”Here. It’s got my personal phone number and address. Contact me as soon as you’ve obtained the necklace.”

Jake glanced down at the card. ”You do understand that we’re not going to do this just out of the goodness of our hearts?”

”Naturally. I’m certain we can agree on a… finders fee when you have the necklace.”


”I bid you farewell for now and good luck,” Daynare said, bowed slightly in Jake’s direction and left the room.

Jake and Remy looked at each other. Jake sighed. ”Well, isn’t this going to be fun…”

Remy grinned at him. ”Oh come on! It won’t be that bad. And there is an advantage to it…”

”Yeah? What?”

”You get an excuse to spend a lot of time with yours truly.”

”Oh go shoot yourself.”

Remy laughed.

”Really, your ego is getting far out of hand,” Jake said. ”I never should have told you.”

Remy tapped Jake’s nose with his finger. ”Oh, but then I wouldn’t have done this…” He bent his head and stole a kiss.

”Good point,” Jake said when he was able to speak again.

Remy grinned at him. ”I thought so.”

The End!

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