bring your glory

by renegadekarma

They were supercriminals, after all, trained to steal from the rich and give to the poor without mercy.

Well, they’d mastered thievery but not being merciless, but perhaps that was why they were so successful.


There were the righteous and the sinful – and then there were Tatiana Penvrane and Benjamin Gray, who were a combination of the two.

Jewels overflowed from a safe in the living room, sapphires and rubies and diamonds spilling into one shimmering heap that Tatiana would have liked to bury herself in had Benjamin not tried to do the same thing the day before and scratched his arm on a sapphire edge.

“I think the jewelry store heist went fairly well,” she commented lazily as she lounged on a sofa by the jewels, picking up one at random and examining it before  dividing it into a different pile.

A head of blonde curls peeked up from the other sofa, where Benjamin was sitting cross-legged with a notebook in his lap. At first she thought that he hadn’t heard her, but after a moment, he added, “There’s quite a large collection of sapphires today. We’ll have to divide them into seventeen different groups.”

“And you’re sure that covers all of the people of Nottingham?” the brunette added, frowning.

The young man shook his head quickly, curls bouncing. “Nah, just part of it. The diamonds and rubies combined make up another part – we’re still short by nearly a million galleons if we want to get the people to be able to pay off their debts.”

Tatiana gaped. “A million? That’s a lot farther than I expected.” She cast a hazel gaze over the collection of jewels that she was sitting near. “We had to rob quite a few different jewelry stores to even get this far. I’m not sure how many more we can manage before they find us.”

“That’s why I’ve devised an excellent plan,” Benji piped up, tapping his pen against his temple. “We’re going to rob a bank.”

“Brilliant.”

“It is. It’ll be great, more fun than jewelry stores!”

“How is robbing a bank more fun than robbing some place with shiny things?” Tatiana challenged him.

The boy frowned and paused. “Well, I’m sure that bank tellers are much nicer than jewelry store salespeople! At least they’re not trying to sell us bracelets while we’re robbing them!”

Tatiana let out a short laugh. “Ah, that was funny. I don’t think she quite understood the concept of a robbery, but that lady was quite nice too. I’m glad that you swept the glass away from her when we escaped.”

“It was some of my best work,” Benj replied proudly, “Well, aside from that one time I made the ransom note for that Jones girl with an origami boat. That was pretty cool too.”

“And then you ended up tying her near the toilet so that she’d have it in case she needed it,” Tatiana added in memory, nodding approvingly, “That was kind.”

“Well, this bank robbery is going to be even better,” Benj added, lifting up his notebook and steering the conversation back into the direction that it had been headed before they’d begun to reminisce. “We’ll enter in right after opening hours –“

“But after the coffee break because we don’t want to interrupt that,” Tatiana added hurriedly.

The boy nodded and quickly scratched that into his outline. “Perfect. Okay, so around ten thirty or so in the morning, we’ll enter through the front door. You’ll wait in the left line and I’ll wait in the right, and whoever ends up in the front first can start the robbery.”

“Perfect,” Tatiana admitted after a moment with a nod before pausing, her lips curving downward slightly into a thoughtful frown. “Should I bake?”

“It’d be the best idea, yeah,” Benj added, shrugging his shoulders.

“Alright.” The young criminal gave her friend a perfunctory nod and a brief smile before swinging her feet off the couch. “You keep calculating, I’ll go start baking.” A pause, and then Tatiana added, “Since it’s a whole million, I’ll make something extra fudgy.”

“Brilliant,” Benj called as he turned back to his calculations.

***

“EVERYONE ON THE FLOOR, NOW… please?”

Hazel eyes blinked somewhat innocuously at the group of people that Benjamin had just ordered onto the ground as Tatiana moved from her spot in the line toward the front counter, leaning over the edge and mustering the brightest smile she could. “Hi, there! Could you please just empty today’s vault for us, and we’ll be on our way?”

The lady behind the counter gaped at the pair.

“Benj, this is your department,” the brunette added, somewhat exasperated as she tossed the sack toward her friend and took his spot with the gun (fake, of course, but none of the customers needed to know that now).

The boy took the sack and went to the counter. “Have I mentioned how lovely your hair looks today? I hate to be a bother, but if you could just hand over everything that you’ve collected, we’d like to let you all go. I know there’s a holiday weekend coming up, so it’s probably a rough time for you all.”

The lady was bewildered but she did as he asked, emptying all the money from the registers into the sack that Benj had held to her. Her movements were slow, but she was getting the work done nonetheless, and the young man shot a thumbs-up at the woman due to the success of their plan.

“Thank you!” he replied cheerfully as she returned with the bulging bag. “Oh, and just for the inconvenience – Tatty, did you bring them?”

“Of course,” she scoffed, mockingly offended at his question. She rummaged in her handbag with the free hand that wasn’t on the trigger and then tossed her friend the bag with baked goods inside.

“We made them extra fudgy. Have a good Christmas!” Benjamin told the lady they’d just robbed, and then gave a happy wave at the customers on the ground. “Shall we get out of here?”

“Yes, let’s,” Tatiana added, waving at the cowering customers before quickly pocketing the fake gun and slipping out of the bank behind Benjamin as quickly as she could.

***

“Just over one million,” Benjamin announced, and beside him, the brunette let out the breath that she’d been holding.

“Excellent. So that’s Nottingham covered, then?” Tatiana asked, her gaze flickering over the living room, which remained a somewhat disorganized collection of different piles and stacks of varying currency in the form of jewelry to galleons to quarters.

“Hopefully, if I’ve done my calculations right.” Benj squinted at his page and then nodded again.

“So… what next?” Tatiana added uncertainly. For months now, their stint as criminals had been merely to pay off all of the debts of the Nottingham residents, but now that they’d done that, she felt a bit purposeless. They were supercriminals, after all, trained to steal from the rich and give to the poor without mercy.

Well, they’d mastered thievery but not being merciless, but perhaps that was why they were so successful.

“I suppose we’ll move on to a different area. What do you think about heading north to Leeds next?” Benj concluded after a moment.

“Sounds good. Maybe they’ll get better criminal pictures of us there.” Tatiana pouted as she lifted the newspaper headline of that day: Notorious Robbers Robin and Marian Clear Out The Vaults of Hengist Bank. “Look, my hair looks absolutely rubbish in this photo!”

“It’s just the wind blowing it,” Benj added soothingly, patting the girl on the shoulder before glancing back down at the notebook. “Well, we’re done for the night, so you know what that means?”

“Time to finish knitting the horrible Christmas jumpers, yeah?”

“It’s like we’re on the same wavelength,” Benj grinned as he left to retrieve the ball of yarn and the sets of knitting needles.

And that was why, after a long day of theft, the two supercriminals sat side-by-side and bickered over how to cross-stitch a reindeer into their latest knitted creation.

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