Coming Or Not?

He tried to avoid her, once the door was finished he stayed onshore and worked on the newest song he felt. The wind was perfect here, calm and settled and wonderful to writing music too. At least with the mood he was in, normally he'd play in the midst of a storm with the wind howling and the rain battering down, but something here seemed... right.

Vianne was unlike anyone he'd ever met before, she didn't conform to the townspeople's sense of duty and law. She opened her store to him and whichever crewmember wished to step inside the door. The boycotting immorality didn't apply to her and she refused to even look at the signs as she went passed.

It was a way of life for us, there were very few places we could go to escape the condemnation of the righteous. Ireland was one of them, his hometown where a welcome was always ready and coin always willingly given. Hospitality was in their blood, that and taking care of what meant something to them.

A river rat's life was much different, they didn't have to worry about anything other than making sure supplies were always at hand and their boats would hold up to the weather. Life was always unpredictable and accommodating to nature's unavoidable wrath.

There are some who cannot fathom such a life, but for those who could... they would never lack for anything. Roux didn't expect anything except that the pitch and wood stay firm, and those he traveled with were faithful.

Other than that he used the sky to navigate by, and the atmosphere of the night and day to compose his songs. He had no home, not even his boats. They were just a means to get from place to place. It was dangerous to put down roots, to make an inanimate object into something that mattered.

A home. He didn't know much about that, what he did know of homes was that a rare few carried it inside of them. That's what made a house a home, the inner warmth and pure joy of living. Why did one need four walls and objects?

He sighed as he looked out into the waters of the ocean, ever changing and never still. It was a blessing, but a curse as well. He sometimes allowed himself to think about what life would be like should he really settle down and set down roots himself.

He'd be packed and sailing by the end of that thought. This was the first time he actually had stayed to think it out.

Vianne.

She defied all laws, but still made them feel welcome. Roux didn't have that same compassion towards them. He could recite everything the clergy men had told them, he had words of pity and condemnation burned into his mind.

I'm sorry for the path you've chosen, it's not your fault you're a riverrat! Filthy animals, you don't have the right to abide in the same room as us! Attend mass with us, wash clean the darkness of your souls

Ever trying to change man from what he was. They were never content with anyone until they had become the model villager content to wallow away what little time was left on rules and morals.

Just the thought of the disdain in their eyes, the fact that some of them refused to offer them simple services others took for granted, made him angry enough to start knocking heads together. He didn't though, if he resorted to such tactics he would be no better than they.

"Will you play pirates with me again?" Anouk asked watching him play guitar from the dock.

"Does your mother know you're here?" he asked lowering the volume of the music a little, but still continuing to play. The sound was a soft melody of sadness and grief, he could no more stop playing than cut off his own hand.

"She doesn't mind." Anouk smiled, "Pantoufle wanted to walk by the water."

Pantoufle was her imaginary friend, the kangaroo who was injured in a war so he could no longer hop. Roux had never had an imaginary friend, the only thing that had ever mattered to him was his guitar.

They'd been through a lot together, it had been a way for him to express things he couldn't say. Bright, sad, angry, reckless any who heard his music felt the same, they understood things through his music.

"Maybe later." He said, but not unkindly.

"Alright." She climbed aboard the boat and sat cross-legged to watch him. "Do you mind?"

"Whatever suits you." He didn't mind, she was always quiet when he was composing, it was as if she understood the complexity of what he was feeling and was loathe to disturb it.

He could be happy here, this was the first place aside from Ireland where he might be able to stay without feeling the wind pulling him to places yet unexplored. This was also the first place he had been where his mind hadn't shied away from the thought.

Remembering the way Vianne was willing to sacrifice her life for her daughter, and almost did at the fire. He knew he'd do anything to protect Anouk from harm, not only that but Vianne as well. Would he be able to sail away from them and not think about returning?

"It's so sad." Anouk remarked quietly, "Your song, why is it so sad?"

"I don't know." He shrugged, "Does it bother you?"

"No." the wind made the leaves on the trees rustle, "I'd better get back now, Pantoufle says it's time to go."

"Take care, and don't run. The rocks are sharp there." He remembered how one little boy had nearly broken his ankle on the way.

"I won't." she smiled and impulsively gave him a hug. "Don't be sad. Come visit us if you are, Mama will make you happy again."

"That she will." Roux grinned. "That she will."

Months passed and he couldn't get the little village out of his mind. Passing through the streets of Ireland he saw a sign for fresh chocolates. Vianne still didn't know what his favorite was, strange how he wanted to tell her. Or rather he wanted to see the look of mischief in her eyes when picked the wrong one just to get him to come back again.

He wondered how the door had held up, and wanted to find that out too. Making up his mind he ignored the slanted glances directed his way and went back to the docks. It was time to go home.