|Coffee, Family And Angst|
|What: Remy and Rogue meet in Gotham for coffee. Subjects like the fight he got injured in and family are touched upon. Some topics are easier than others to broach.|
Remy's summons came via phone call. Want to meet for a cup of coffee? He gave Rogue the address of a little place called the Abbey that's only a short walk away for him. Still, his winded by the time he gets there.
His cognac-tinted glasses cover his still-sore eyes, but there's no hiding his pink cheeks and forehead. He's still healing from being sprayed with acid. His cuts have mended enough that he's removed most of his bandages, though one above his eye is still pressed shut with butterfly closures and the scratches on his hands and face are visible. When he moves, he lacks his usual feline grace. He carries himself a bit gingerly, though he does a fairly good job of hiding it.
He's found a table near the window where Rogue will be able to see him as she approaches. He's wearing loose, comfortable clothing; soft slacks, a long-sleeved shirt made of a thin fabric that flows around him, and his trademark coat is slung across the back of his chair.
Truth of the matter is that Rogue could not get to Gotham fast enough, the speed she considers topped out for herself not even enough to get her there quick enough to make her happy. The brief time it takes to get to her destination is spent thinking, mulling over Remy's invitation. The worry she had felt since he disappeared was something she tried to keep to herself, not wanting him to feel smothered or babied by her, but the concern returns, leaving her with ice in her gut once she lands and walks the last block and a half to the coffee shop.
Remy isn't noticed from outside so she misses the fact that he has been injured at first and she's totally unprepared for what she sees once she's inside and goes to sit across from the man, her shock registering on her expression via heavy creases that line her brow and the way her eyes start to tear up. "Ah was wonderin' if ya were a'ight," she whispers. It's very clear that he is by no means okay.
Like a true gentleman, Remy stands when Rogue arrives and doesn't sit back down until she's taken her seat at the table. It's an old-fashioned gesture. Almost eccentrically so. He's smiling lopsidedly as he slides his chair back up to the table. "I'm fine, I'm fine," he insists, waving a hand dismissively. "I just didn't wanna worry you when my face looked all gross."
The smile disappears and he cocks his head to the side a fraction. "I'm touched dat you were concerned, chere. S'fine. I lose a fight. Happens to de best of us."
"It looks like ya go big when ya do lose one." God, why does it have to be so difficult to be witty and charming during times like this? Especially for her? Rogue would love to be able to laugh and make cute little jokes about how he looks like warmed-over death but the levity just does not come to her and she falls quiet for a second, going through things she has had on her mind.
The silence eventually breaks at the same time she reaches over, trying to touch Remy's hand with her own if she's able to. "Ah wouldn't have minded horribly," Rogue whispers. "Ah still would have liked to be there to help." A little twitch curls the right corner of her mouth for a half a second, the smile minute and fleeting. "Ah think ya look handsome even after bein' beaten tarless."
Remy lets out a low, self-deprecating chuckle. "Yeah. He got me pretty good. I wouldn't have minded a hand at de time. I been doin' my homework, though. When I go after dis guy again, I plan to bring friends."
He gives Rogue hand a reassuring squeeze. "You tell me beautiful lies, p'tit. I'm all pink and cut up. And my ribs been beat on like a drum." Another laugh, this one even warmer than the last one. "So, how you liking de new place?"
Remy has gone above and beyond to give her a home, something she hasn't experienced in quite some time. Yes, Mystique did try but she was also using Rogue and it kind of negated anything that might've felt homey if anything else was true. "It is perfect," she answers, just shy of being totally truthful. It has been a little too quiet since he went on his job and Rogue has been feeling a bit lonely, but she will not admit that out of fear of coming across as ungrateful or unappreciative of Remy's efforts to give her a place to live. "Ya should come by soon. See what Ah did to the place. Ya might not recognize it."
Answer given, she turns her head slightly, looking at their reflection in the large pane of glass while not bothering to let the world beyond the window register. "Jus' what did ya get into," she asks, trying to get some answers out of him without prying too much.
The subject of the apartment visit is left to the side for the moment. Remy opens his mouth to answer the deeper, more difficult question when the waitress arrives, rescuing him. Mouth still wide open, he lets out a laugh and shrugs apologetically to Rogue. Saved by the proverbial bell, at least for a few seconds.
"I have a single espresso, please," Remy says. He pauses and taps thoughtfully on his lower lip. "Better make it a double. And plenty of cream with it. What you have, belle?"
"Ah'd like the largest mocha ya'll have, extra whipped cream, please," is what she asks for, deciding that if this conversation is going to be as lengthy as she thinks it might then extra sugar to go with all the caffeine might be what she'll need to get herself through it.
Ordering done, Rogue angles her head to the side and looks at Remy a bit more fully; starting from forehead to chin, she takes stock of what of his injuries can be seen. None of them look bad but she's still frowning by the time she's done. "Ya don't have to answer me if ya don't wanna," she asks, an out offered in case he doesn't want to tell her what happened.
"No, no," Remy replies once the waitress has left to get their drinks. "S'okay. Assassin's Guild came looking for me again. Just one guy, but he dangerous. Found me at one of my safehouses not too far from here. I got away, but he bang me up pretty good and spray poison in my face."
He lowers his glasses, revealing eyes that are still clouded over. While he's regained enough of his vision to (usually) keep from bumping into things, it's clear that they're still healing. After a few seconds, he lifts his glasses back into place. "Dat was de worst. I have friends here in de city. I get help, I get patched up, I crash on de couch. Y'know. I can see a bit now. It gets better every day."
The explanation is worry-making enough as is but when Remy shows her the damage the poison did she blinks once, too... shocked? That doesn't begin to describe her reaction. Rogue is floored. It is what holds her tongue, numb now to the point of being mute. Hard to say how long she stays like that but at least a minute passes before her brain reboots and she remembers how to form words mentally and manages to get them to come out of her mouth.
In a voice that cracks several times she whispers, what surprise she had felt now anger Remy will be able to hear. "Let me help ya, Remy. Ah... Ah want to be counted as one of the ones who wants to help..."
"Hey, hey," Remy says, smiling and giving Rogue a playful cuff on the shoulder. "Chin up, mimi. I'd love to have your help when de time come. Dis guy, he was crazy. Nothing I do could--"
He pauses as the waitress arrives with their drinks. After she's set them down and departed, Remy busies himself for a moment with adding cream to his espresso. With delicate flicks of his wrist, he creates arcs and loops and whirls that eventually form three interlocking hearts. They stand out brightly against the black coffee as he holds it up for Rogue. "Nice, eh?"
Rogue isn't sure how to take the light punch, it as confusing to her as just about everything else in regards to the swamp rat does. It makes her feel like one of the guys which is nice as it means he's comfortable with her but on the other side of the coin she doesn't want him to see her in that light, damnit. "Ah noticed that it's the crazy ones that are usually also the most careless. We should be able to handle 'im jus' fine, Cajun."
An elbow is bent and rested against the table and her chin is brought to rest upon the back of that satin-draped hand, the artistic display creating a little smile and a dreamy look on Rogue's face. "That's lovely. Where did ya learn how to do that?"
"New Orleans," Remy replies. "Used to start my day with one of dese every morning."
Even with his eyes fogged, the work is impeccable. Finally, though, it's time to drink. He sips without stirring, savoring the mixture of flavors and textures. Rich, cold cream. Thick, hot espresso. The Cajun lets out a small, pleased noise that originates somewhere in the back of his throat. "So good," he murmurs.
He glances back up at Rogue. "Sorry. I keep beating around de bush. Dis guy, he could do all sorts of strange things. I give you de whole rundown later. He not gonna be an easy one to take down, but we get him. I have more help. Some friends I introduce you to soon."
"Maybe after we're all done with this problem of yers ya can take me down there," she whispers, her tone hopeful. Being a belle from Mississippi, herself, the South is held near and dear to her heart. "Ah'd love to see New Orleans through yer eyes."
Any daydreaming that could be had is shoved aside when LeBeau remembers what they had been talking about, Rogue pausing to let that sink in as well as how they are not in the best place to continue this. "Ah'd love to meet 'em. Jus' name the time and place and Ah'll be there with bells on."
"Yeah," Remy replies, his voice a bit distant. Sad, even. "You can meet dem. I'm sure dey would love you. 'cept Laura, but she's just cranky."
He pauses to takes a deep breath and swirl a spoon through his coffee, eliminating what remains of the three hearts. "I can't ever go back to New Orleans." Now the reason for his subdued tone comes out. "I been exiled by de people who're trying to kill me. For a while I thought they forgot about me, but I guess I was wrong."
"Hey, what's wrong?" Rogue is uncertain. Is it her saying how she'd like to hit New Orleans with him that caused him to sound like that or is her wanting to meet his friends? Couldn't be the latter, could it? Heck, he brought them up to begin with so it couldn't be. Leaves only one thing, in her opinion.
Her head bows slightly, causing a lock of white hair to fall against her forehead, it long enough to conceal that side of her face from brow to just below that cheek bone. "Ah'm sorry. Ah had no idea." With how little she knows about him it is to be expected that blunders will occur but it doesn't make her feel any better about it.
Remy's smile is quickly back on his face. "Hey. No worries, chere," he assures her. "You didn't know. And it's nothing new. I just get homesick sometimes. But home is where de heart is. Lately, dat's been Gotham and New York."
He seizes on the opportunity to shift topics, but not before reaching out and giving Rogue's hand another reassuring squeeze. "Other than de whole guy trying to kill me, Gotham has been good. I meet Esme, Phoebe, and Sophie. Good girls. We been taking care of each other. Dey like us. Different." Thoughtful, sympathetic lines crease his forehead as he considers the girls who've quickly become like his little sisters. They smooth out and a crooked smile takes over. "And den dere's surly lil' Laura."
"They sound wonderful," she says among a laugh, genuine pleasure at how he has people looking out for him when she's unable to ringing in her voice. "Ah can't wait to meet 'em, Remy." The smile fades a tiny bit as she gives him one more look, her eyes settling on the cut upon his forehead. "Ah jus' wish Ah could be here for ya more. Ah don't like knowin' ya get hurt." Not that there was a lot she oculd do from where she was when the fight took place but she still feels guilty. Like she some how let him down.
The first drink of her drink is hurriedly followed by a second and then several more large sips, the mocha having cooled off enough for her to be able to partake swiftly without scalding her mouth.
"We'll have to set that up sometime soon, then," Remy says, also chuckling. He gives his coffee another swirl, then takes another sip. "I dunno. Being around them, it feels like having a family. Or what I imagine having a family is supposed to feel like. We cook and clean and look out for each other. De girls kept me fed and bandaged for the first couple days when I was pretty much a zombie. It's... nice."
The more Remy speaks about his relationship with the girls the more Rogue thinks and the more she thinks she finds herself longing. A family. Not having been a part of a healthy family since she ran away, Rogue almost can't remember what it feels like to be wanted and nurtured and a part of something that is mutually benefiting and... just perfect. With her chin still held cupped within one hand and the holding Remy's, she looks distracted and just shy of like she isn't even hearing him anymore. It's only when he stops that she comes to, her gaze quickly focusing again. "It does sound nice," she whispers, not daring to speak too loudly.
Another squeeze of Rogue's gloved hand. Remy gives her a supportive smile. "I'll bring you by," he promises. "We'll all have dinner together or something. If we can get Laura to sit still long enough." The last bit is said with a chuckle in his voice.
When the waitress comes back around, he waves off her offer for another round and pays for the coffees, along with a generous tip. "I should probably be getting back," he explains. "I was allowed to go out alone on de condition dat I not be out too late. Dey're really pulling de mother hen thing. Wanna walk with me for a bit?"
"It's alright, Remy. Don't force the gal if she ain't able to settle down fer long. Ah understand how it can be." Rising to her feet now that the bill is settled, a hand is held out, Remy allowed to take it as he will once he too has risen. "Ah thought it was the boy who was supposed to be the escort," Rogue teases, her cheery mood returning now that she had a chance to shake off the angst. "C'mon. Let's getcha home before those girls start to worry and come lookin' for ya."
Remy lets out a snorting laugh as he hauls himself to his feet, actually taking Rogue's hand and using a little assistance on the way up. He winces as he finds his balance. "Nng," he grunts, touching his fingertips gently against his chest. "Stiffened up while I was sitting dere. I'm lucky you're here to protect me. Gotham can be dangerous at night."
Still grinning, he leads Rogue toward the door. He stays close enough to lean on her, though. Just slightly. "It's not far. We be back in a jiff."
The painful manner Remy stands tugs on her heartstrings, eliciting a sigh from Rouge. Once he has his balance she slides as close as possible, content to let him use her as a leaning post as it seems he is not able to move without support. "How did ya get to the cafe on yer own..."
Being outside sets her right and Rogue's able to shake off the lingering sadness she could not rid herself of previous to this moment, what counts as fresh air in the city clearing her head almost instantly. "Jus' tell me where to go, Cajun. Ah'll make sure ya get back safe and sound."
"I walked. Slowly." Grinning gamely, Remy leans against Rogue and leads her in the direction of the apartment he's currently sharing with Laura and the triplets. Luckily, it's all well-lit streets and populated areas. Little chance of trouble. "And if dere's one thing I know, chere," he continues. "It's dat I can trust you."