Differences of Opinion

Sequel to "Twist of Fate" finds Jean-Luc and Tante Mattie discussing recent events and how to deal with the future.

"While I'm glad dey're safe, Jean-Luc, I don' approve of what you've done." Mattie said in a slightly scolding voice.

"Mattie, I can' expect you to understand, not fully. Dis was somet'ing I had to do. Do you t'ink dey would have survived if I hadn' come along when I did?" Jean-Luc replied.

Mattie sighed. "Perhaps not, mon ami, but I understand more den you're givin' me credit for."

"How so?" Jean-Luc asked, curious.

"I have been aware for many years dat we are not alone. De spirits of de dead Thieves are always wit' us. I have never been oblivious to dat." Mattie explained.

Jean-Luc was startled by her admission. "Den you…?"

"Know 'bout de dream you had? Oui." Mattie confirmed. "Mais, dey shouldn' have interfered."

"Mattie, dey interfered for a very good reason!" Jean-Luc exclaimed. "De lives of de people dey care 'bout were at risk an' Remy couldn' come to help. Dey had to do somet'ing, non?"

"Non, dey didn'. Dey have been gone a long time now, Jean-Luc, even Henri. Dey have forgotten de importance of de prophecies." Mattie said firmly. "An' I t'ink maybe you have as well."

It was Jean-Luc's turn to sigh. "What was I s'posed to do, Mattie, if doin' what I did was wrong?"

"De prophecies are not to be taken lightly. You, 'bove all else, should know dat. Dose foolish ghosts should have aussi, mais, I t'ink dey've forgotten." Mattie replied. "You did well in keepin' wit' what de prophecies said until you had dat dream. You should've stayed put an' let t'ings work demselves out."

"Dey would've died, Mattie, don' you realize dat? Dey would have been killed one by one, until dey were all dead! An' yet you're sayin' I was s'posed to stay away an' do not'ing even t'ough I knew what was happenin'?"

"Are you sayin' I wouldn' have helped dem?" Mattie demanded.

"I don' know, Mattie! For cryin' out loud, de prophecies say de two Guilds are s'posed to be unified, but how can dey be when one side tries to kill de other?" Jean-Luc asked. "Mattie, look, I know you would have helped dem. Mais, I also t'ink you would've failed. Bella Donna has a mind of her own an' she wouldn' have listened to you."

"You went 'gainst de prophecies b'cause a bunch of ghosts told you to, Jean-Luc. Dat may be forgotten, but you can' stay. Don' continue to breach de prophecies. Dey exist for a reason." Mattie answered.

"Do dey? Dey don' really seem to know what's best for de Guild, not from what I can tell anyway." Jean-Luc retorted angrily.

"In spite of de conflicts it is best de Guild remain unified an' it is best dat Remy be de one to lead dat Guild to de resurrection. Dat is what de prophecies say an' I b'lieve it." Mattie explained.

"So you want me to leave, 'gain? Is dat what you're sayin', mon amie?"

"Jean-Luc, I don' want you to leave any more den de rest of dem, but I also t'ink you should do as de prophecies tell you to do."

Jean-Luc sighed again. "Has it crossed your mind dat maybe I can' leave 'gain? You weren' dere when I rescued dem, you don' know what I t'ought, how I felt. I love dem, Mattie. I can' b'lieve dey'd be better off without me here."

"An' has it occurred to you dat I know all dat, Jean-Luc? Mais, I also know how strong dey are, 'specially as a group. Dey would have found a way out, even if no one had come to save dem."

"Do you really t'ink so I don'. I know dey're strong, but I also know dere weaknesses. So does Belle. She would have used what she knows 'gainst dem an' all would've been lost." Jean-Luc said softly. "B'cause she failed dis time, she'll try 'gain, an' maybe next time she'll succeed."

"An' maybe she won' try 'gain," Mattie replied. "Belle isn' stupid, Jean-Luc. She knows de importance of de unification."

"De unification was an' is a huge mistake!" Jean-Luc exclaimed. "Dose 'foolish ghosts' you spoke of know more den you t'ink, an' dey told me dat."

"An' you b'lieve dem?"

"Seriously, oui, I do." Jean-Luc confirmed. "'Specially after what I saw yesterday. An' in spite of de prophecies, I am not leavin', nor is de unification goin' to continue at dis time."

"You're makin' a huge mistake of your own, mon ami." Mattie sighed. "Mais, I respect you an' love you enough to stand by you even t'ough I t'ink you're wrong."

"Is it wrong to want what you feel is de best for de people you love, Mattie? I don' t'ink it is, an' dat's all I'm doin'." Jean-Luc explained. "I'm not sayin' de prophecies won' come to pass, in fact, dey probably will. Mais, de timin' was all wrong b'fore. When de time is right, we'll do it 'gain, an' hopefully it will work."

"I t'ink you're wrong. But where on earth did you learn to argue a case like dat?" Mattie asked.

"Whether I'm wrong or not remains to be seen, mon amie. An' I learned dat art from you, remember?" Jean-Luc answered.

"Remind me not to teach anyone else dat, will you?"

"Oh no! You teach dat to whoever you want to, Mattie! How else will anyone ever win an argument 'gainst you?"

"You really t'ink you're funny, don' you?" Mattie sulked.

"Jean-Luc laughed. "I try, Mattie. I do try."