Who: Kitty, Raven, Remy (and Pete in the background). What: hanging out at the museum. When: Now
Almost six months since her escape from Genosha and Kitty was still anxious about leaving the Tower for long periods of time. So far, there hadn’t been any whisper of anyone looking for her or the other escapees, but that didn’t stop her from staying vigilant when she wasn’t protected by the Tower. Still, she knew that as an almost twenty-two year old young woman, she needed to get out and start living her life again. Going to the museum with the girl who was becoming one of her closest friends and a cute guy was a perfect way to do that.
"So, is there anything in particular you guys want to see while we’re here?" she asked as they stood in the massive entry hall of The Met. There was no way they would get to see everything. Her personal favorites were the impressionists, but she had visited multiple times, so she figured she’d let her companions choose their first destinations.
Let it never be said that Remy LeBeau didn't appreciate pretty girls and fine art. He might not look the part, but he was all too happy to go to the museum. Not for the sake of only looking at the paintings, but because he considered it a form of window shopping. Walls needed decorated, after all.
Only maybe not in the Tower. He had other places to hang pictures up.
Remy was all smiles as they stood in the entrance, plucking up a combination map and exhibition brochures so he could look it over quickly.
"Impressionists are always appreciated," Remy said with a wink at the girls. "Dutch masterpieces would be good...or a New Look at de Old Masters."
Then his eyes latched on to something he would not be mentioning aloud. Because no way did he want to incriminate himself later on. A Fabergé eggs on loan for display.
Something from that was going to go missing. Time to case this place to see where all the holes in security were.
It had taken weeks for Raven to feel confident enough to leave the tower, without having to use the glamour spell Loki had placed on her, and even then it was only for short trips which had often left her feeling pretty tired after thanks to the amount of concentration needed to use her abilities to keep herself looking normal. This escapade of theirs was a personal test for her, to see if she could keep up the illusion herself while also being in public, and so far she was doing alright.
As they stepped in, her eyes - their original blue, currently - swept across the room, then shifted to the map Remy picked up. After a moment, she gave a shrug. "We can start wherever you want. Maybe at the far end and then make our way back here, to the front?" She wasn’t too invested in checking out the art, but it was a fun way to get a little culture in and spend time with her friend Kitty.
It also didn’t hurt that Remy was pretty easy on the eyes.
"Well, European art is to the left," Kitty said after looking at the map. "So we could start that way." The place was huge and easy to get lost in. Luckily, everything was well marked, so if you had a map, you could find what you wanted without too much trouble. "I wouldn’t mind seeing the Old Masters. I’m a big fan of the impressionists anyway."
And she would rather look at older art than anything modern and contemporary, so starting there suited her just fine. She glanced over at Raven and gave her an encouraging smile, knowing that her friend was a bit anxious about this outing.
Remy looked up, lobbing a smile at them both before he tucked the map into his back pocket. Wandering was one of the best ways to gather some insights about a space, anyway. It also made things look less suspicious.
"Ladies choice is good 'nuff by me," he replied, giving Raven a wink. "Where are my manners. Shall I offer you both an arm while we take a stroll through here?"
Far behind them, behind a pillar, Pete was tailing the trio. He was dead set on making sure that they weren't in danger. He wasn't sure what it was about Remy LeBeau that felt off - the sealed divorce settlement or that squeaky clean lifetime criminal record - but he felt in his guts that something was wrong.
And it wasn't anything to do with any warm and fuzzy friend feelings about Kitty Pride. At least that's what he was telling himself as he discreetly peeked around the corner, to see what direct they were moving off to.
Snagging a map for herself just in case she got lost, Raven returned Kitty’s smile with a grateful edge to it. She wasn’t sure if her nervousness was showing and hoped it wasn’t, so for the moment she slipped the map into a pocket and motioned for Kitty to lead the way.
"Who are the ‘Old Masters’ anyway? Do you mean Michaelangelo and Da Vinci, the big names?" She asked it curiously while dividing her attention between her companions and the art itself - as well as the other patrons. She hadn’t been in any large crowds in a long time and Raven couldn’t help but pick up on the little details regarding body language and appearance that she saw - probably thanks to the fact that her abilities were mainly centered around shape-shifting.
When Remy’s arm was offered, she gave another smile and slipped hers around it. The man seemed harmless enough, after all, and the whole point here was to do something fun together, the three of them.
Kitty decided to go ahead and take Remy’s other arm after Raven did. He was friendly and cute so there was no harm. It actually made her feel a bit safer, the three of them linked, so that no one could grab any of them. She was trying not to think about the fact that they’d all escaped from an insane island prison and that there might be forces of evil out there looking for them. They were just three young adults having a fun outing to a museum.
"It’s pretty much all the European artists from the 16th to 18th centuries," Kitty explained. "So you’ll probably see some paintings you know, but there’s also a good likelihood there will be more obscure works featured too."
"Chaton is correct," Remy cheerfully added. Having a pretty girl on each arm was enough to make up for that hangover he had after a kiss on the cheek from a certain southern belle. "We could see anything from your El Greco and Raphaels, to your Rubens, Caravaggios, and Rembrandts. Den there's de lesser knowns, but dat doesn't make them any less pretty to look at."
He certainly wasn't used to safety in numbers. He grew up picking pockets on streets full of tourists, mostly left to his own devices until he got adopted. It didn't mean he liked it. He wanted friends, like real friends, which his profession and their circumstances didn't often make possible.
It also didn't help that he was causally eyeing the security guards and ceiling cameras.
"Got any big names you'd like to see?" he asked Raven.
"That sounds cool, and definitely something not to pass up." Raven replied to Kitty as they started off down the hall. Smiling a little at Remy’s descriptions, Raven shifted her eyes to the works as they started to pass a few, and shook her head at the question.
"Not really. Never took any art history classes, so most of what I’ve heard of is just your normal famous works. I’m open to checking any of it out, though." At least by talking, she could ignore the nervousness she still felt at being out and about in general, afraid that at any moment she’d turn back into her blue form. As that thought crossed her mind, she glanced down at her hand on Remy’s arm as if to make sure it still looked the same, then gave the man himself a quick smile.
"What about you?"
The nickname still made Kitty blush though she kind of liked it. "I’ve always been a fan of the French painters," she said. "Monet, Renoir, Degas. Especially Degas since I took ballet lessons." His studies of dancers were incredible and she’d always wanted to be like them.
She was keeping a close eye on Raven and also on their surroundings, looking for anything that might seem out of place or dangerous. So far, no one seemed to be paying any attention to them and she assumed that Remy’s occasional glances around were checking for the same.
"It's ok if you don't. For what it's worth, I like de soft stuff too," Remy admitted with a wide smile. "I have never said no to a Monet."
Because he's stolen one before. From a collector in Paris. Not that he's volunteering that little piece of information or where it's being kept until he can resale it. Art is an investment, after all.
Ever observant, he noticed that Raven was being a bit self-conscious, and how Kitty kept checking on her and looking around a lot. He figured it might be nerves, since they were escapees from Genosha. He did his best not to mention it though, because calling out the elephant in the room might make things awkward and it wasn't like they couldn't defend themselves. Or he could at least try to defend both of them if anything happened.
"I am a lucky man to have you two beauties on my arm, an' one of them a dancer," Remy cheerfully told them as he casually eyed a security guard next to a security door marked employees only. They entered into the area with the Impressionist paintings. "Pretty sure I'm de envy of everyone in here."
Pete continued to tail them from a safe distance, always keeping himself out of their line of sight. That dodgy bugger was looking around a lot, and Raven - who he had yet to officially meet - looked nervous. Kitty seemed to be looking around a lot too. Whatever was going on, Pete meant to get to the bottom of it in the same dogged way that he tackled any officially sanctioned mission.
"Oh cool, I didn’t know you danced ballet," the blonde replied. "The closest to that I’ve ever come is probably the gymnastics classes I took years ago, part of an after-school program." Raven had to grin at Remy’s words, and shook her head a bit. "Pretty sure most of the people here are more interested in the art than us," she said dryly, especially as a couple in front of them stopped abruptly to look at a case containing several old pieces of jewelry and silver household items, and Raven was forced to let go of Remy to avoid running into the two.
Once they had passed and she could slip her arm around his again, she was starting to relax more, especially the further they walked without any incidents. "This place is amazing. Thanks for inviting me, Kitty." Raven was fully aware she was pretty much the ‘third wheel’ here, and accepted it without issue.
"I’m glad you came," Kitty replied, not thinking of Raven as a third wheel at all. It wasn’t as if this were a date or anything. It was just friends hanging out. Even if Remy had intended it to be a date, which she seriously doubted, she wouldn’t have considered it one. Dating was far from being a priority for now. "I bet gymnastics makes fighting a lot easier."
They’d both been taking self-defense lessons and even though it still didn’t quite come naturally to Kitty, she was a bit more confident in her ability to defend herself in an emergency situation. "And, yeah, I don’t think anyone is really paying attention to us," she said, agreeing with Raven. In fact, she knew that no one was paying attention to them because she was watching for it. "Had you ever been to New York before this?" she asked.
As far as Remy was concerned, the more wheels involved, the better and easier it was to roll through life. He was a full devotee to the ideology that the more, the merrier. This wasn't a date so much as a getting to know his fellows and foes, since things often ended up that way. Not that he wanted it to, but as a thief, he expected that trust issues were going to be an inevitability.
"You're both bendier than I am," Remy announced, even if that was a bit of a lie. He was an agile kid that grew up into a slippery adult. He looked at the display case as they passed it, heading toward a softly colored painting, depicting the ballerinas that Kitty had mentioned before.
"I've been here once or twice," he replied, looking over at Raven, waiting for her to reply.
After shooting her friend a smile - honestly, Raven was super grateful to have Kitty around in general and in her life - she grinned a little at the comments the others made about gymnastics and being bendy. "Yeah, it does in some ways. Most of what I’ve had to work on is the strength training." But she’d come a long way even just in the past several months.
Her gaze drifted to the painting they approached, and she shot a quick glance at the description to confirm it was one of the ones Kitty had mentioned, then met Remy’s eyes. "Yeah, I...was here before, for about three years. Before...the island." Considering the fact that they were in public, Raven didn’t think it was a good idea to openly discuss Genosha, but knew they’d know what she meant.
Discussing Genosha was definitely not a good idea and even hinting at it made Kitty a bit uncomfortable. "The strength training has taken some getting used to," she agreed. "But it’s important." Because she didn’t want to live the rest of her life in fear of being kidnapped again. Today was a good first step towards that.
"So, this one is my favorite," she said, pointing at one of the paintings.
"...I think we're all unexpectedly stronger after a very unwanted detour," Remy summarized, without naming any names or places. Even he got spooked like a rabbit in a den of foxes, and wanted to bounce. So that they didn't focus on that - and because he wanted to case the joint a little more - he looked at the painting with an appreciative eye and a wide smile. "I like dis one too. Maybe I’ll get you a replica, Chaton."
Hidden by a doorway and within earshot, Pete bristled. This seemed to be normal on the outside, to an observer. All three of them were keeping a watchful eye on their surroundings and no one wanted to mention Genosha out loud, which was a good thing.
Disappointingly, it meant that he couldn't find fault with LeBeau in the slightest. Even if there was something about that grinning idiot that he really, really didn't like.
He'd have to find a roundabout way to ask Kitty about it later. For now, he could finish the surveillance and get out of there without risking being noticed.
"You’re right about that," Raven agreed with Kitty about the strength training. Overall, she was glad she was stronger now - a part of her just wished that it hadn’t had to happen because of what she’d gone through. But now wasn’t really the time to worry about hoping or wishing for something different.
As the conversation shifted to the painting, Raven dutifully turned her eyes to it and smiled a little at Remy’s words, then shot a grin at her friend on his other side.
"If anything, I bet the gift shop has postcards of it. Or you know, those little journals with famous works as their covers." In fact, that might be a good future present for Kitty she herself should pick up. Noticing that there was another group behind them who wanted to see the painting, she gently urged them to go on. "Let’s see what else this place has in store for us."