Magnolias and Mardi Gras

Disclaimer: I do not own x-men in any way shape or form…except for the movies and comics I actually do own copies of those and I think I have a book somewhere too.

A.N. – so this is my first x-men fic! Really excited about it! My inspiration for this fic will come from numerous sources that are not limited to the movies, tv-shows and comics, my American history, and lit classes and *embarrassing* romance novels. PLEASE READ: this is an alternate universe fic, or an AU, that means it will not be taking place in any of the canon storylines and I can do whatever I want to it. This story takes place in the mid-1920s: the Roaring 20s, the Harlem Renaissance, the Jazz Age, Prohibition Era of bootleggers, speakeasies, Godfather-father-style gangsters, and late nights spent going from party to party drinking and smoking, and living life in the southern states and New England. Particularly Louisiana. Mutants do not exist in this reality…not as we know them anyway. If you have any further questions or any information you think could benefit this fic, or just want to say hi! please message me or better yet, leave a review.

Ooh and if anybody out there does fanart, I would love to see what they do with this fic!

Chapter One: A Palmer's Meeting

August 1926, Louisiana State Border

The carriage rolled along, hitting every bump, knocking around its four passengers. The sweltering heat and cramped space were almost as uncomfortable as being stuck in one place for hours on end without much difference to the scenery. Miss Anna-Marie D'Ancanto, of the Mississippi D'Ancanto's, was a wealthy, high-class, Southern belle with deep French roots. Having been orphaned years ago in what some called a tragic accident and others knew better, Anna-Marie was the only living heir to her family's fortune- she deeply regretted that she had not been born a boy, then the estate would belong to her entirely and would not be only a dowry for whomever her guardians decide was a suitable match for her- she was also the inheritor of some property belonging to a recently deceased relative. Aunt Irene, Destiny to her clients, was a woman of many talents in-spite of her blindness. She took care of Anna for many years following her parent's deaths and tried to do her best by her. She willed to Anna-Marie a house. The very house they had lived in during the Mardi Gras season one year, so long ago.

So now, here the auburn haired southern belle was, with her German acrobatic foster brother Kurt Wagner, his Russian artist friend Piotr Rasputin, and her Chicagoan best friend who was going to marry said Russian artist, Katherine Pryde, or Kitty as she preferred to be called.

Kurt sat directly opposite her, in a blue-gray suit setting off his shaggy black hair and bright brown eyes.

Kitty, to Anna's left, wore a lovely baby-blue afternoon dress with lace here and there, all the rage in Europe she's told, although it did compliment her eyes and dark brown hair nicely.

Anna herself wore a rather flattering dress of sage-green that brought out the color of her smoky green eyes and emphasized the slight tan to her pale skin.

Piotr, Kitty's fiancé, whom was completely an unacceptable match for the northern nouveau-riche girl, looked quite smart in his brown suit with the red handkerchief, a handsome man certainly, with his short black locks and eyes that could be soft and whimsical and at the same time as cold and piercing as metal armor.

They were a perfect match, romantically speaking of course. They deserved to be together, but her parents did not approve of a nameless boy from another country with hardly a ruble to his name. And here they all were, running off to the south in the hopes of having the lovebirds eloped as soon as possible, especially considering Miss. Pryde's current condition.

Yessir- Katherine "Kitty" ("Katya" to her soon to be husband) Pryde, had, in a night with no chaperone, a little too much wine and vodka, and the passion always between such lovers- had gone and found herself with child. Naturally Mr. Rasputin was the happiest of men, but others of their family (not to mention their schools) would not be so happy or forgiving. His reputation as an artist and teacher would be ruined, as would hers as an heiress and business-woman. A wedding was needed as soon as possible to rectify the situation.

And their dear friends, Anna and Kurt were all too willing to help them. So during their month of break from academics they decided to venture to the south, claim Anna's new property and deal with some unofficial business.

'We've been on the road for so long, it's nearing sunset, we'll need to find someplace to spend the night soon,' thought Anna-Marie. 'The next safe-house should be up ahead.'

She tapped a signal to the coachman on the top of the carriage, who tapped the return signal. The journey was so uneventful- during the day at least. At night the four friends and their guardians got to take off their bright, pretty things and become the creatures of the dark they really were. The selves they kept hidden from polite society.

Anna sighed, catching the attention of her companions, Kitty and Piotr holding hands feeling safe in the company of their friends, and Kurt who had been in the midst of a conversation with the other two about what they wanted for a ceremony.

Kurt, being a very religious Catholic, thought that the ceremony should be done in a cathedral, but as Kitty comes from a Jewish family and Piotr, himself is not a religious man- it had been decided that the wedding would be a small occasion held somewhere private with a rabbi if one can be found in Louisiana, or a justice of the peace. A larger ceremony could be held at a later time if the families so wish it. The couple themselves didn't care as long as they could finally be together.

"Is something wrong mien sweister?" Anna smiled at Kurt's German endearment for her. Only she would ever be allowed that title.

"Nothing Kurt, just wishing we were there already. Being on open road so much makes me nervous."

Kurt smiled slightly at his sister, she knew exactly what he was thinking too.

He was thinking about how his dear sister was the mother hen of their little group. Well it wasn't her fault that they always got in trouble when on their little jaunts.

She scowled at him. She only had to be a lady in public. Brothers and best-friends do not count as public.

Reaching across the space between them Anna pinched Kurt's arm.

"OW!"

"Don't be such a child Kurt."

"You just pinched me- now who's the childish one."

"I think you are both acting like children." Kitty, a little late for decorum dear.

The "children" stuck their tongues out at the happy couple causing the whole carriage to burst into laughter. Kitty's tinkling giggles, Piotr's deep resounding chuckles, and Kurt's near maniacal laughter overshadowed Anna's own breathless laugh.

She smiled brightly looking around the almost cramped space.

This was her family, they were not just her friends but her brothers and sister, their guardians Logan and Ororo, even now sitting out in the humid sunshine, were the closest thing to parents she had had in a long time, not to mention excellent teachers.

Anna jerked forward as the carriage came to an abrupt stop. She had managed to catch herself, but Kurt had landed on the floor while Kitty ended up in Piotr's lap. Not that that surprised anyone in the least.

The door to the carriage swung open, letting in the warm afternoon sunlight.

"What on-"

"Bonjour ma chere. My deepest apologies, but your little caravan seems to be carrying just a bit much for a journey to the Crescent City, and appears to have forgotten to pay de toll."

Anna turned and gasped at the smirk on the devilishly handsome, masked face. He reached a long fingered hand down to her soft hand and raised it to his lips. She nearly blushed. She immediately noticed the intense warmth of his hand and how she probably had sweaty palms.

"The name be Gambit chere, Prince of the Thieves Guild, and we'll be relieving you of your expensive belongings," he leered at her, his gaze wandering down from her rouge-stained lips to her bosom. "'Less you'd be more willing to give this old Cajun a kiss?"

Anna gaped for a moment, shocked at this bandit's audacity and arrogant confidence. Coming back to herself, she slowly raised the hand that monsieur Gambit refused to let go of and-

SMACK

- she slapped him across the face, leaving a pretty red mark over his slightly bristled cheek.

And she thought they weren't going to have any adventures on this trip.

End chapter to be continued in…

Chapter Two: Welcoming Party, Familiar Faces,

A.N. so Rogue and Gambit meet! And next chapter we see what happens with that and the little party's welcome into New Orleans. Sorry it's so short- I want to do more research on this time period so it's more realistic and historically accurate. Thank you for reading and I really appreciate it if you review! If you write more than something like "Good job! Update soon!" I will reply back! I love constructive criticism!

And on that note: I am finally done with classes just have one- I repeat ONE FINAL EXAM! Woohooo! And I go home on Friday!

Author's Note take 2: I decided to take another look at this chapter and story in general, and considering that I am becoming very knowledgeable in this time-period (It's always held particular fascination with me). So now, to make it a little easier on myself and my poor muse, this fic is no longer to be held during the mid to late 1800s but rather the amazing period of the Harlem Renaissance. If anyone wants a more exact idea of what I'm thinking…go watch The Princess and the Frog.