Emil Lapin sat in the dark, crowded movie theater alternately watching the man sitting next to him and the movie. In between his watching, Emil was silently wondering why he had agreed to go in the first place. He admitted to himself that he was enjoying watching his companion and the other people there more than the movie. He had never once in his whole life seen the large voodoo master known only as Gris-Gris crack a smile or enjoy anything other than killing. The fact that the assassin seemed to like the movie was the most entertaining thing there in Emil's opinion. But that didn't stop him from fidgiting. He was bored. They were only a few minutes into the movie and already he could think of half a dozen other things he'd rather be doing.
For his own part, Gris hadn't even wanted that annoying little red-haired brat of a thief to go to the movie with him. Ideally, he would have preferred to have Fifolet and Questa accompany him, but Questa was sick in bed with the flu, and Fifolet had been rather moody lately. Too moody for even Gris to deal with and Gris could be pretty moody himself. The only reason Emil went with him was because no one else wanted to see the movie, and Remy had insisted Gris not go alone. Gris hated that, but agreed, knowing that if Emil annoyed him too much, he could deal with it and face the wrath of Gambit later. Gris' instincts told him Emil was paying more attention to the people in the theater than to the movie; the young man's fidgiting was starting to drive him crazy. With a frustrated sigh, he turned to Emil, his dark eyes glaring right into Emil's blue ones.
"Sit still an' watch de movie, Lapin." He warned, his voice a menacing whisper.
"Ooooookay..." Emil replied, slightly frightened. He knew Gris hated him, and he knew that meant Gris wasn't above killing him right there, and he wanted to avoid that at all costs, so he quietly sat as still as he could and watched the rest of the movie without moving.
When the movie was over, Gris slipped silently out through the shadows ahead of the lines of people trying to exit. He leaned against the brick wall of the theater, well-hidden by the night and waited for Emil to get through the crowd and join him. His dark eyes watched closely as the movie-goers passed by, laughing and joking, discussing the movie with each other. Once Emil had joined him in the shadows of the warm New Orleans night, Gris started walking quickly towards home, keeping close to the buildings. He moved so swiftly Emil almost had to run to keep up to him, but he slowed the pace only slightly as they took a shortcut through Jackson Square.
"Y'know, we ain' runnin' a race, an' it ain' like Remy gave us a curfew or somethin'." Emil panted. "Slow down, would ya?"
"Why?" Gris replied shortly, not slowing down.
"Oh gee, I dunno. It's a nice night an' we're walkin'. You tell me." Emil's voice was bitingly sarcastic. Catching the vicious glare Gris cast him, he changed his tone and continued. "Tante Mattie would say we should enjoy it. It's not like any of us gets out a lot, y'know?"
Emil sighed and decided not to push it. Not directly, at any rate. He had another way to get Gris to slow down. "Nothin'. Nevermind."
"Dat's what I t'ought." Gris snapped, continuing through the park. He was entirely through the square before he realized Emil was no longer with him, but rather sitting on a park bench with a smirk on his pale face. Shaking his head, Gris muttered curses the whole way back to where Emil was and planted himself firmly in front of the bench Emil was on, towering over the younger man, arms folded across his chest, a stern, angry look on his face. "You are seriously tryin' my patience, t'ief."
Emil raised his eyebrows. "Oh really? I hadn't noticed."
Gris said nothing with words. Reaching over and using his external-given power, he pushed the bench and Emil right over onto the ground. His actions startled Emil, and gave Gris the opportunity he needed. He reached down and yanked Emil up from his sprawled position and slammed him against a nearby tree, knocking the wind out of him. Gris then let Emil go, and the young man collapsed on the ground under the tree, gasping for breath. He gave Emil a swift kick in the stomach for good measure, causing Emil to cry out in pain and curl up, gasping even harder. Then he righted the bench and sat on it, waiting. After what seemed to Emil like a very long time, the assassin spoke, his voice quiet and deadly.
"I could kill you, y'know."
Emil nodded slowly, glad his breathing was finally returning to normal. "Why'd you stop den?" He asked, leaning against the tree, tilting his head at Gris. He suddenly realized he was terrified; his whole body was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. He was alone with a professional assassin who hated him and had been wanting to kill him practically forever.
Gris could sense Emil's fear and chuckled softly in amusement over it. "What makes you t'ink I still won'?"
"Uhhhhh...." Emil stammered. He glanced around and realized that while he techincally could get up and dash away from Gris, the older man was quite a bit faster than he was, and would catch him easily. Catching people in order to kill them was part of Gris' training and abilities as an assassin.
"Dat's right, kid. You can escape, but not for long." Gris said, an evil sneer crossing his dark features. "I could kill you an' dere's no one here to stop me. How entertainin' it would be..."
Emil gulped, not caring if the whole world knew he was scared anymore. Even his voice was trembling. "Is dat...is dat why you didn' object t'me comin' wit' you to de movie?"
Gris shrugged and stood up, again towering over Emil.. "It was either you or LeBeau, since he didn' want me goin' out by m'self. You're an easier target den he is, so naturally I didn' object, non." He pulled Emil to his feet and pushed him against the tree, pinning him there with one strong hand on the thief's throat. He began applying pressure, making it harder and harder for Emil to breathe or stay conscious.
They were there, two dark shadows by the dark trees in the park, alone and unnoticed by anyone except the assembled thieves and assassins, who had gone to look for their missing friends when they hadn't returned. Gris was so intent on what he was doing that he didn't sense their arrival, and when Remy spoke, he was startled into letting Emil go just before the red-haired thief passed out.
"Part of de unification is not killin' each other."
When Gris let go in surprise, Emil crumpled to the ground again, trying to focus and shake himself into a fully-conscious state, while thinking that air had never tasted so good. Tears involuntarily sprung to his eyes and even more involuntarily streamed down his pale cheeks. He felt his friend Mercy behind him and instinctively leaned against her, exhausted. He watched in amazement as it was revealed that the other three thieves present, Theoren, Claude and Genard, all had guns pointed directly at Gris. The only other assassins there, Bella Donna and Singer, were on either side of Remy, looking disappointed at what they were seeing.
Seeing that Gris did not reply to Remy's statement, Bella Donna spoke. "Remy's right, Gris. Dere is no need of dis. We all know he can be annoyin', but dat don' mean he d'serves to die."
Gris looked down at Emil and Mercy with contempt and hatred, then returned his attention to the people confronting him. "An' if I don' agree wit' you, den what?"
"I don' know." Remy said. "But I do know we can' settle dis here. Too much chance of drawin' attention to ourselves." He turned to Bel. "Why don' you, Singer an' Gris go get Fifolet an' go to de mansion for de rest of de night? Come to de safehouse in de mornin' an' we'll try to figure dis out."
"Okay." Bel nodded and motioned for Gris and Singer to follow her. Once they were out of the park and earshot, Theoren, Claude and Genard put their guns away and joined the others, standing guard while Remy knelt down in front of Emil and Mercy.
Remy ruffled his best friend's thick red hair affectionately. "You okay, Red?"
Emil sighed. "Seems to me dis was too much of a price to pay jus' to see a movie I hated. Damned vampire movie puttin' him in a pissy mood. Ironically, he liked it. Musta had somethin' to do wit' de violence an' gore an' killin'. You shoulda let him go by himself, Rem."
"You didn' answer de question, Emil." Theoren commented.
"Am I okay? I dunno." Emil shrugged. "I'm tired. Can we go home now?"
"Yeah, sure we can." Remy replied, taking advantage of Mercy letting Emil out of her protective arms to give his cousin a hug as they started towards the safehouse. "It's okay. We'll deal wit' dis. Tomorrow."
Emil yawned and nodded. "Tomorrow's good..."