Check Please

April 02, 2016:

Rogue and Gambit meet with one of his contacts about the Genoshan intel the X-Men now have.

Characters

NPCs: Lapkin (Remy's cousin another thief) , Liz (Double R Cafe waitress)

Mentions: Fantomex

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

No sun today it tried several times to peak past Atlantic wind pushed clouds but the rain just didn't want to go away. A wind is mixed in with it making the downpour extra cold, not something that really bother his companion but Remy isn't empowered by a powerhouse alien-human hybrid like her so he makes do with his usual trench coat and the added bit of a scarf and mitten over top his fingerless gloves. Yes mittens.

"Jus' a little more ahead, chere." A little ahead where? Rogue was bored as far as he could tell back at the Mansion and Gambit is always doing something or has something to do when hes not lazying about like some fat alley cat. Extra company was always a plus.
Brooklyn thats all she knew and he had a friend to meet. "I woulda planned for a picnic but the weather… " As much as an apology as she'll get while they stomp through the shower.

No, Rogue may not be bothered by the rain and the chill it carries, but she still dresses like it possibly could. No head covering, and it is apparent they have walked for a bit in this windy hybrid of winter to spring downpour - rain cold enough it's relentless cold slaps could almost be ice. May as well be to those untolerant.

Pieces of her hair have pulled from the loose pony tail, leaving bits of auburn and white to stick to cheeks and along her neck with saturation, shoulders shrugged up to ease the collar of brown leather jacket more to sweep along jaw while hands thrust in her pockets hold it tight against her.

Jeans were a stonewashed fade, but now they were darkening with the gathering of rain, especially around the tattered ends at the heels of boots, ripped deliberately up the backs to allow space for her to cowgirl up without interference. In fact all of the tattering on clothing is from "natural causes", not bought that way.

"Ah'm in it anyway, picnic or not Remy, we're wet, and now Ah'm gettin' hungry. Hope your friend has hospitality." Pausing her chin lowers to hide the smirk. "Or you at least order a girl takeout." Tch, if she is hungry enough Rogue'll get it her damn self, but his apology set him up for the ribbing.

Remy's mouth opens and closes a handsome half-smile is all he can manage at Rogue's words as they round the corner of the block.
"We be okay… see." An up nod is directed towards a small diner across the road, it's own corner lot between two buildings it almost looks out of place. Like it was plucked from the early 1900s and dropped dead center of a rundown modern city backdrop.

The Double R Diner even though the suspended old timely red, white and yellow stripped board says RR Cafe. Reason for the name? Used to be a railroad that runs through here. Since those times It's been dropped to subway level beneath. At times it actually makes the cafe itself rumble but nothing like it used to be known for.
"He in there an' so be our salvation. You can thank me later."

"My hero!" Rogue states with the touch of amusement in her southern accented vocals. The rest of it was sheer honesty, and even that could be heard because, well.. greasy spoon diners are near and dear to a southern gals heart and she can smell the Crisco on the wind. Maybe even the burger buns toasted with real butter.

Steps pick up a hitch now, and as soon as the walk signal lights up for them to cross Remy will find his arm looped with her own and he is (just barely) lifted from the ground to make their trek across the street a fast glide instead of a slow sloshy walk. But once the curb is hit his arm is released and distance between them placed.

"And who is this friend of yours anyway?" Now that food and "salvation" are just around the corner, down to business.

"Always, chere." Remy assures, "Whoah, slow it down. Dis only like our 2nd date." The lift and low glide across the road by Rogue's surprisingly strong limbs has him chuckling. Even once they're touching down and she is quickly severing connection.

"My cousin." The thief states just as they enter through the door and the bell chimes. The inside of the diner is reds, a tasteful yellow and whites classic colors fitting the entire theme of the Double RR. Likely they've changed very little around the place over the years aside from maintenance. Comfortable and nicely upholstered vinyl benches surround a U shaped center bar with stools, the seats of each matching the booth coverings. The smell is a mixture of cherry pie, lemons, coffee, cooking grease, meat and of course people. Tiny fans keep just a light bit of air going through an otherwise warmly controlled climate, the place can simply be described as downright homey.
"Back dere, corner booth." A motion to a man in the back, blondish red hair, slender with a goatee and hair pulled back in to a ponytail, a tablet phone pulled up in front of him and being thumbed through, little laughs coming out of him here and there, until his blue-grey eyes drift up to see Remy and Anna-Marie, "Cousin! Bonjour." The man effortlessly glides to his feet and embraces Remy in a quick hug, shoulder pat and step away.

"Oh, who be dis?" Another Cajun. Doubtful Rogue is surprised as they both cock up those half-grins her direction.
"She a friend an' I seen 'er first. You know de rules, Lapkin."
"Aw but see, finders keepers not count 'round teeves. You know dem rules too, homme."

Both men stare at each other. Lapkins accent is notably thicker than Remy's, likely he spends more time down south and back 'home' than the X-Men's Ragin' Cajun.
"Both you, sit down, Norma make a fine bit o' food. Best you get up deez parts, her doughnuts even real made from New Orleans folk. Dey real worth it."
Gambit motions Rogue in to the booth before him which a daring smile appears from Lapkin and he does the same.
"I promise you, belle femme. Remy got nothin' on dis."

A voice clears, "Holy cow girl, careful. Those are two devils in flesh if I ever seen them." An attractive and thin curly haired blond woman stands nearby with menus in hand, an old pale yellow and white outfit to match this place. Hair in a bun and large smile. "I'm Liz, I'm serving you tonight. Coffee?"

"Ah'm hungry. Second date and you're starvin' me sugah. Not a good start." The bell to the diner chimes and the approach of their company does not surprise Rogue in the slightest, though the banter between them has the flush rising. A light red creeping up from beneath the collar of her coat, up her neck and to cheeks. But with that blush she looks down and the slide of wet strands of hair suits to cover the expression, unnameable while her hands curl in front of her in their gloves, moving back into her pockets.

"Now now, Ah'm not a piece of meat, but I could go for one, medium rare." The look came and went, the smile offered to the two genuine and growing as Liz's interjection plays a part in saving the moment.

Sliding into the booth side Remy had offered she accepts a menu and speaks lowly while opening it, but enough so that Liz can capture it. "Yes, but I have always been accustomed to creatures with horns. I got this." A wink to Liz and then a nod. "Coffee'd be great. Lapkins, Ah'm Anna-Marie."

"Jus' Lapkin, Anna-Marie, lovely name, chere." The blond Cajun says as he seats himself opposite her and Remy.
Remy chuckles in that deep smooth manner of his, "I win again, cousin."
"She no piece of meat, Remy, no way to treat a lady." A wink from Lapkin.
A sidelong glance to Rogue and her fellow X-Men slides in beside her, it's obvious hes teasing to tug at her a bit. Leaning to whisper, "So, you agree dis is a second date, huh?"

"Medium rare steak. Got it, just so you know, meatloaf is house special tonight and it is homemade as it gets. It is just amazing… Norma has perfected it. Three coffees will be right up."
"I'll jus' take a banana cream pie."
"You'll love it." The waitress assures and hurries off.
"You see why I choose dis place of all places? Coulda been Lafayette Metropolis but here, this worth it." Lapkin insists.
"Fo sure, cuz. I delivered that thing you sent, it in good hands now but your hand off, it attract a real nasty sort. You knew they tailin' you?" Remy inquires, his voice serious now.
"I did. I figure you slip up or find a way to deal, guess I shoulda warn but no time really. They were sweatin' me good and you know this wasn't official guild bidness, you know how mad dey be they know I still hook you up." Lapkin says with a level of serious to match.
"We good, famille after all, non?" Gambit shrugs and drapes one arm over the back of Rogue's seat. Not touching her but he is teasing a fingertip along her jacket. Always one to push. He know exactly what happens if they do touch but it's still fun to test it, to push the boundaries. Just flirt around it. A challenge, challenges are what Remy lives for after all.
"You decode it? I made it real simple to do, even a blunt tool like you coulda dun it." The blond man inquire.
"Me, oh yeah, no sweat." A lie. Beast decoded it, Remy didn't even try."

The mention of meatloaf though has Rogues thoughts on meal doubling back, but it was also meant to be a press of jest back at Remy and his cousin, and now an order was placed she was thinking was all wrong. Leave it to Remy…

Spine goes ramrod straight, shoulders squaring and the menu held up in front of her snaps straight in lamination that has it making a reverberating noise beneath the pulled tension of gloved hands. He was touching her, even through layers of leather and cloth along the stretch of back and between shoulders she felt the threat of possibility… And her time to switch her order passed because she seized up like a deer and all voluntary movement shut down. Even come backs.

"If the people so concerned about that feed do not kill you for having it and decoding it, Ah'm gonna if you do not remove your hand from my back." Leaning back Remy's way her own tease is offered as she daringly hovers her profile centimeters from his own. "And that third date won't even be a chance." A small kiss blow and the menu is slowly, deliberately folded into place, set down, and a hand even runs over the top of it to assure a wrinkle free order from her clutches.

"Sugah."

A clear of her throat then and now those vibrant green eyes are upon Lapkin. "So you were the Filmer of that horror?" And there it is, that waver in southern accent that tells of a high emotion about to pique.

Lapkin paues and both of his brow arch, "Real spitfire there, Rem. You best watch yoself."
Remy's hand lifts up defensively, "C'mon, petite. That jus' good manners, try'n to make you feel comfortable is all." Beyond the lip of those shades he always wears his red eyes flash daringly just once.

"Oh dat horrible lil piece o' film. No, someone I know, he got his hands on that. Got the dish an' all, guess he been watchin' Genosha for a while. I jus' a middle man." Lapkin pause as Liz their waitress returns with coffee and a slice of pie, a slice with snowy peaks of meringue. Tiny sprinkles across the tops of it.
"Bon appetit." Liz says in a sloppy mimic of the two Cajuns. She is trying.
"Merci, Liz. It looks delicious." Gambit says while pushing his shades back over his eyes.
"Tol' you cuz, de best."
"The rest of your orders will be out soon." A graceful turn and the woman saunters off.

Once out of earhot Lapkin picks up again, "Fantomex. Dat is name. He French but it soun' funny. I can hook you up wid him real soon…
"Fantomex, huh? Funny name to go with funny french eh?" Gambit adds to what Lapkin is saying, "Why you involved though. You strictly Guild business when you're not slippin' me things, whats going on?"
Lapkin sighs and leans back slurping his coffee loudly while studying Rogue's pretty features and that out of place white strip of hair, "You a lovely one, Anna-Marie. What you see in him?"
"I asked you a question, Lap. Why you involved?" Gambit asserts.
Lapkin rolls his head from side to side then looks at the two of them, "It Guild business Remy, not yours. You… dun need to hear it."
If sparks could fly across the table between the two men Rogue would be seeing them now. Glasses hiding mutant red eyes lock on blue-greys.

Rogue accepts her coffee with a grateful smile to Liz, the interruption much needed as she is fighting that red down from rising again along cheeks. Bashful? No, not in the slightest, Rogue knows exactly who and what she is in the mirror. Proud of it? Yes. can she bask in it? Not fully. And the blush is masking frustration in her mutant ability as well as the anger - a mask for the fear. She could not even pet one of Remy's cats while she fed them, without gloves on and fully covered because they loved to climbthe things deserving most of their affection. Cats.

While Remy gives her that stare over glasses, she gives him one in kind, arms come to fold in front of her across the table top, propping her up in a light lean while she has a mini-stare-off with Gambit and listens to Lapkin, the evidence of her acute attention to the man as he spoke coming with an up tilt of chin.

Fantomex? Unknown. But Lapkin's own remarks towards her as well as the final ones towards Remy have her sitting back in the booth with a thump that rushes air passed her lips and a southern smile full of sweetness that would murder the yellow off daisies flashes the whites of teeth. "Ah see in 'im what I would love to see in a man like you," A brief rise and fall of those green eyes upon Lapkin and Rogue leans forward, leather coat moaning as she about has half of the table cleared in her press to get closer while she murmurs. "Passion."

The single word rocks Rogue back from that lifted lean from her booth, two fingers pressing to her lips and lowering to blow Lapkin a kiss. "Now, stop tryin' to use me to derail the conversation at hand sugah, people are dyin' and blood is starting to stain your hands - red ain't your color."

"Oh she good." Lapkin laughs.
Remy grins. Almost proudly.
"Where you pick dis one up?"
"She pick me." And threw him in to a wall. Gambit recalls the first meeting, the Darkhold curse, the transfer of it from her to him. A selfish part of him is just happy the mind meld never revealed his own secrets, things he'd rather forget himself. The Dwarf's voice and whatever he was encouraging so overshadowing it made reality and memory seem trivial, "Dat a long story for 'nother time. Go on, Lapkin. De lady ask'n nicely, you dun wanna see her get angry like… It hurts."
Lapkin's laugh dies down and he finishes his coffee sliding the empty mug to the edge of the table, "No, she right. Red ain't a good color on us teevs, dat de whole reason I hook up with Fantomex. See… de others in de guild dey wanna hook up wid Genosha. Do some dirty work for 'em. Promise a lot of cash dollar in de process."
"No! Thats insanity. Genosha is full of monsters, they're evil Lapkin. Blood and misery is all they work in… " Gambit's voice rises.
"Yeah, they is. Dat why I bring you dees tings, cousin." The Guild Thief replies quietly. "Keep it down… you gettin' sloppy."
"Yeah yeah, jus' dis nonsense and that they even consider this… just… its bit too much to process." Remy explains.

Liz is on her way back with Rogue's meal, the steak set down and she steps away without a word. She heard the lifting of voices and is giving them their privacy.

"You'n yours need to fix dis Remy. Expose it, do somethin… anytin'… de Guild, de families they don't need involved in this…" Lapkin's expression says he truly believes this. No psionics required to see this much.

Liz is once more given a pearly thank you in reflection of the smile, a smile that is a lie in lieu of the discussion being had at this table. There is no way to be remotely smiling at the heart of this, let alone hungry. When Remy's voice rises, Rogue reaches to the side, almost as if she would rest her hand upon his arm in calm, but it sets before him instead, a gloved finger barely grazing him. The attempt was there, he'd get it.

The plate is set down before Rogue, and the knife as well as fork are held aloft only to tap down on the meat and rest crossed over the top of it. "So what if we get you to deposit a tracker onto one of your thieves when they take a job, you send us a disposable signal to let us know to pay attention and we move in? If you an yours don't like the color red maybe a few hiccups by us and ours will be deterrent enough to get you and yours, the families… Away. Ain't no one should be gettin' this hurt Lapkin. Maybe this Fantomex can help some more?"

Lapkin laughs, "Sorry belle Anna-Marie, dat not how it works. Dis all de involvement I got, res' all on you an' what you do wid what I gave you." He stretches then pushes up to a stand, "I'mma leave now though, head on back down to Lafayette where de others wait. I hope you an' yours can fix dis Rem LeBeau." A tip of his head to Rogue and the Guild Thief departs, tugging a long tailed jacket up and on before takes off.

Remy is still angry or simply confused enough to just be quiet while Lapkin departs. Not even bothering so much as to give the man a scowl for good measure, it ain't his cousins fault anyways. The man is trying to help him and of course himself.
"Make no sense. No way no how… " Realizing hes talking out loud Gambit looks over at Rogue, his quick to smile face attempting one and failing, "Mebbe we call dis one a bust, chere. Perhaps numba 3 be a better one."
"Liz, check please, p'tite."

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