1963-06-09 - Bourbon at the Bar
Summary: Rogue and Gambit meet up again and that latter finds that prejudice can happen in the north too.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
gambit rogue 

Saturday, he said. Saturday, as if either of them night ever be prone to making it that long. Fate has other plans.

Evening settles upon the heart of New York, where the thrumming electricity of human hands converges in a sea of pedestrians in suits and chequered yellow cabs feeding the monster moving to the suburbs. Those who tarry have their choices aplenty: retailers, landmarks, watering holes. Many of these charge a premium for the privilege, drinks at double the cost anywhere else in the boroughs, and quadruple outside the City That Never Sleeps. They peer for a New York minute up at the high towers bronzed by the glancing sunlight and painted in lurid red where a few of those deepening beams strike just so. The spectacle might make the sheepish and craven uneasy, but so many are just trying to get from here to blessed there. In a crush of so many souls, then, space is at the maximum premium developers can think to charge and still none of them completely crush the redheaded girl walking along the fringes.

She takes a risk, straddling the curb, ignoring the wolf whistles and crude gestures of the cabbies. It's all in a day's work just to tread the boards from Off Broadway towards the nearest possibility of dinner, because sure as sunshine, she won't be getting food any time soon. And all those bodies leave her jittery, arms wrapped around herself, walking ever so carefully lest it give her away. A longing look thrown to the sky; Ms. Scarlett would be up there, if she could be.


"Mademoiselle?" asks Remy LeBeau as he walks up alongside her. He doesn't make eye contact, and is in fact still wearing those sunglasses of his anyways. But he looks out over the people even as he draw carelessly from his cigarette.

"If I din know no betta' I'd bet you was followin' ole Remy."

As someone walks by, Rogue will be able to tell there's a slight of hand, and then Remy is sliding something into his own pocket, just as easy putting a nickel in a soda pop machine.

"All these people and we still end up in stride. Sounds about like fate, doncha reckon?"


French isn't common enough in New York to warrant someone accepting its presence at face value. At least not when one is Rogue, and the slouching beast of Babylon chooses to take the face of a Bayou man. Her sunglasses still perch upon her nose as a field of anonymity from anyone taking a second look at irises a little too like cut emeralds to be wholly natural. She flirts with the border of a soon-to-be hippie movement where bright colours and sunny ways compensate for other oddities.

But she breathes in the smoke and the underlying scent, and memory kicks in to help. "It wouldn't be polite to even reward that with a reply, sugar," she replies, purring that terminal R instead of letting it hang.

So long as he isn't trying to stuff his hand into one of her six pockets, Rogue will let that slide. A sharp look from the corner of her eye settles upon Remy, and her lips soften, firming up an instant later. Whatever she might say isn't said. Instead she considers it. "All these people blockin' up the way. You ever miss having a proper street to walk down?"


"Oui et non," Remy says with a shrug of the shoulders. "Dependin' upon what I'm hopin to find on dose streets. Jus' out on a promenade, then N'awlins works well. But my business brings me t' these parts."

Remy chuckles at Rogue.

"Come on, walking is for the workers." He reaches out towards her to pull her arm gently towards a bar that sits off the beaten path. Not hard enough to pull her against her will if she protests of course.


"Comme ci, comma ca?" The wobble of her hand means Rogue breaks the deathgrip she has crossed over her chest, though she still manages not to brush anyone squeezing past to get a bite to eat or catch a show before the church bells and tickerboards read the turn of the hour. "Your business. And just what would that happen to be, a man so silver-tongued as yourself?"

A guess might hover behind the mask of her fair features, but she does not venture quite there. Not yet. Nonetheless, when he pulls her along, the redhead follows if only because a couple tends to fend off the unwanted advances of a crowd better than not. Nothing like the magic of a trenchcoat; she might consider it. A bar will suit as much as any.


"Not sure if you'd believe ole Remy, were he to tell you," Remy replies. The inside of the bar is dark, just the way Remy likes it. It's dark, dingy, and there's country western music playing in the background as the pair find a secluded little bench towards the back. "But, eder way, you gun find out at some point."

Remy raises hands towards the barkeep and flashes two fingers. In just a moment there's a bottle of bourbon and two glasses. The cajun begins rifling through a wallet, different than the one he had yesterday, and pulls out some cash. "You wantin' sometin to chase dis wit?"


"Try me." The words fall like cards to the tabletop, presenting a pair of queens as it were. Pretty little summer child might not suit the sort of place he brings her into, but she doesn't dash her hat away at least. The sunglasses end up discarded after a moment, plucked from the slope of her nose, and then guided back into her pocket. "Supposing I will, why not cut it off at the pass and have up. Everyone in New York is a displaced prince, an oil baron, or some fabulous story. Save myself, but then I don't need that."

She leans against the bar, giving the tender behind it a polite nod. Doesn't hurt to keep kind with that. "Why'd I ever want to kill the taste? Proper bourbon is a powerful thing. Though I hear a dill pickle ain't bad. Nor a third of whiskey and two thirds ginger ale, over ice."


"Music to my ears, chere," Remy responds as Scarlett decides she wouldn't want to ruin the taste of the bourbon. "Ginger ale, by all means, ma petite chou." He sits back a bit and pours her a small glass of the brown, potent and pungent drink.

"Well," he says, careful not to show the bartender what's behind the shades. "I guess I could tell you that I'm one of dose people yo mamma been tellin' ya ta stay way from." Behind his glasses are a pair of black and red eyes. "Boys like me get shot in the wrong part of town. Ole Remy wants to do sometin bout that. So ole Remy doin' sometin 'bout that."


"My mama doesn't tell me anything of the sort, Monsieur LeBeau. Seeing that we haven't spoken in some years, she gets no say in the conversation about what company I keep." The note in her voice is quiet, a hidden thorn among the gerbera daisy petals. Not rebuke to him; a hint of some calamity acknowledged, and no more.

Who, exactly, wants ginger ale with all this? It at least has the right quality of a bite, a snap to the tongue. Rogue picks up the glass and raises in a toast. "Salut. To doing something 'bout things. And todestiny." The corner of her mouth lifts for an instant before she takes a sip of that moody, dark drink that cuts to the core and gives no quarter.

It goes down for her like it's sweet tea. One long, measured drink, all the while those tiger-bright eyes locked onto him. Uppin' the ante, is she?


"Bien sur," Remy says as he lifts the glass to his lips and drinks as well. The glass comes down upon the table lightly as he exhales and grins. "To destiny."


"What the hell you doin in my bar, freak?"

It appears that Remy's attempts at keeping a low profile have been thwarted, and that shotgun at the end of the bar, aimed at his chest, seems to say the barkeep is not a fan of mutants.

Remy, for what it's worth, attempts to talk his way out of it. With his sunglasses in one hand and the bottle in the other, he gives a 'who me' sort of expression with his hands. "Come on, Jensen, dere ain't no reason to get all hot and bothered."


A round chambered in a shotgun is the very sort of romantic gesture a girl wants. "That isn't the kind of wedding I was dreaming of," deadpans the lithe young woman still standing against the bar. She nudges the stool back with her foot as a precaution.

She tips her head towards that long metal stock, and the barkeep mounted behind like some kind of immovable object. "Why, aren't we mighty fortunate to be living in the free world where peace gets a chance, not like in the U.S.S.R." Her mild tone doesn't quite match up with the shudder. They might mistake her for being repulsed, anxious and afraid all in the same go. "Here a lady's dollar buys an honest drink, and goes with the grace of God to boot. And good fellows like you, Mr. Jensen, was it? Protecting a girl's good name."

Long fingers toy with the end of her braid, twirling around the tip like a paintbrush. With the hat on, the white streak is barely visible at all, mingled in, and it's nothing odd with the bohemians and folk sorts around. "I'm just afraid if you insist marrying us is the only thing to keep the peace, we're going to have to find a guru and a pastor to do this right. Supposin' that St. Patrick's Cathedral over on Fifth is still open at this hour?"


"I do suppose it is, love! Jus' gotta get my good suit on and I'll be fixin' for the altar," Remy says. As Rogue has Jensen's attention, the Cajun steals an opportunity for another drink.

"Girl, you shouldn't be spending time with this freak. I'm going to call the cops. In this part of town, these folks aren't allowed. I know a guy at the precinct and he takes care of this sort of situation." He means hands out beat downs to mutants of course, but Remy plays up just being confused. "Moi?" he says, motioning to himself.


Rogue nods, the soft contour of her rose mouth set into a thoughtful line. "Finding a proper guru may be more difficult, but we can swing by the Village. Surely someone knows where to find one at this hour."

She keeps playing with the end of her braid, weaving and unplaiting the locks. "Sir, you're scaring me with that gun. I mean no disrespect, it's just awfully close, and… well." Her liquid gaze tips upwards through her lashes, and the line of her mouth dissolves with the slightest quiver. Patriarchy can take a knife through the heart when a girl just might cry on the spot. "I can't be asking you to have any trouble on my account. If the police get involved, then you know the reporters and newspaper men come right down, maybe TV reporters, and then—" A breath. "The activists. And oh, that could get right ugly when all you're trying to do is the right thing. You let me get him over to the church and you know Father William there? Why, he'll assuredly get this all right as rain." Including, evidently, a shotgun wedding.


"You know this piece of trash is a mutant and you want to help him?" Jensen seems absolutely disgusted as he looks at Rogue with eyes that mix derision and incredulous abhorrence.

The good news is he lowers the shotgun.

"I don't care what you say, you two psychos. Get the hell out of here and don't come back."

Remy is already taking the bottle and lifting it in a toast to Jensen as he slides it in the pocket of his trench. "About that weddin'," Remy says as he slides the sunglasses back into place. "Not sure if I can afford a proper dowry."


"We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 12." Rogue speaks very quietly, gaze still adverted. "Matthew 25, too, where Christ witnesses what we do for others as what we do to Him. I've been raised a good girl. I may despise everything his kind are down to the marrow with every ounce of what I am, but a greater man than I taught love and respect for even the deepest sinner."

She steps back and turns behind Remy. It's a strange thing that she shadows him, letting him lead the way as a woman is wont to do. But physically she interposes herself between his back and any stray knives or shots or words, looks that burn. All the while, she adopts that quiet posture suitable for a bohemian gone introspective. "I'm a peace-lover, monsieur, and have no use for money except paying for the odd bottle of bourbon. Sure you will do just fine."


"Aint sure how likely peace is in da long term, chere," says Remy as he reaches a hand up trying to hail a cab. "Iffen you wanna cancel on Saturday night, I understand. But do ole Remy a favor, don't tell him now." He smiles at Rogue, half sure this may be the last time he sees her, and slides the bottle of bourbon into her hand.

From there he reaches to the door handle of the taxi cab and opens it up.


When they slip into the greater night, the Big Apple gets its bite out of them to swallow them up. A shake of the young woman's head doesn't dispel her sunset, wide-brimmed hat or the crackling fire surfacing about nine steps from the bar. "I don't look kindly on men like that, much less those who wager pointing a gun at another person maeks it all right. So we're squared on that. And neither am I particularly religious but it puts them in their place, half the time."

The memories simply dwell under the surface, borrowed, beggared, stolen. The slip of neroli fragrant at her pulse points does it now, even as she flexes her hands into fists. She has to ease it back, or else the bottle he hands her is likely to explode into so many shattered, pulverized patches. God may forgive. Will man? "You aren't alone, Remy LeBeau. So he can take a flying leap off the Empire State Building, and see where that lands him. I haven't got a reason for… any of this, but you don't deserve that. You miss that Saturday and I will tie you to a chair and make you listen to four of my lectures at Columbia, you hear?"


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