Disclaimer: Marvel/X-men are not affiliated with me. I don't own Mardi Gras. And no matter how many pennies I throw into that fountain neither becomes a truth.

In retrospect, this was probably a bad idea.

Now that she was here, she was almost positive it was a bad idea. And if she had come alone, she would most likely go sit in her hotel room the whole remainder of the trip. But, she'd been strong armed into having Kitty accompany her.

So here she was, a rogue in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday. And the only thing she could think about was whose city this was.

Everything reminded her of him. And that was half the problem.

Rogue had been warranted this vacation. After all of the events caused by Apocalypse, she had worked harder on controlling her powers. Her logic was that Mesmero had made it possible for her to control powers that she had previously absorbed from others, so figuring that out was half the work. After that she had hoped it would be easier to regulate her absorption.

She had spent countless hours alone in her room trying to figure out how to control others powers and her own. Once she'd mastered others, she had tried her own. And with minimal assistance from the Professor she had reached a goal. She was able to turn off her powers for a total of two hours thirty-seven minutes and forty-three seconds. They had timed it exactly.

It wasn't complete control, but Rogue would take what she could get. She was no longer untouchable; she just had a time limit.

That was what brought her to the Big Easy on the anniversary of her kidnapping to that very place. It was a celebration for her, in recognition of her achievement thus far. She had wanted to take Wanda along, to have a fellow Goth, but due to team alignment that request had been denied. So she got Kitty instead.

In and of itself that wasn't too horrid, she did share a room with the girl after all. But that fact was that Kitty had sabotaged the whole trip.

It began before they even left. Rogue had packed her bags last minute before they left to discourage any mischief. But a timely stink bomb outside their door sent her after a fleeing Bobby.

Kitty had then, she could only assume, phased through the wall and then sorted through Rogue's belongings to as she would put it, "put some color in her life". All Rogue knew was when she arrived at their hotel in New Orleans she was missing all of her makeup and had only a small selection of black clothing articles.

Petty as it was, she hadn't talked to Kitty for a whole day in retribution. The valley girl had almost imploded as a result.

So here she was, the fearsome Rogue, dressed in her favorite black jeans and a hunter green tank top. Kitty had had the sense to at least not include bright colors. Her arms were completely exposed and it still made her nervous. Her hair had grown out slightly more and it fell in the natural waves she tried to hide with a straightener (which was also conveniently missing in her baggage).

She had two strands of gaudy beads hung around her neck. She hadn't earned the, despite the frat boys' begging. Kitty had been beside herself to see how many guys had approached a usually antisocial Goth. It had only reaffirmed her assessment that taking Rogue's makeup was for the best.

Rogue vowed to pay her back somehow, maybe with something slimy.

Either way, she was finding it to be relaxing to be in a city where no one really knew who she was. Problem was everywhere she looked, she saw him. It was his home after all.

The scent was the first thing to remind her, that aroma of spice and tobacco with a hint of bayou. It swirled around her in waves and made her think back to the days she'd spent solely with him. Then it was the way everyone talked. Their lilt filled with interchangeable French among the southern twang. She supposed practicing her French was a good exercise but hearing someone else call her "chére" without his masculine rumble felt empty.

It was bad enough with those things before Kitty drug her into the very place she'd eaten jambalaya with him. And then as they walked along, they'd seen a street magician. He'd been vying for any customers and the brunette couldn't resist.

"'ello belle filles! Come an' pick a card from ol' Simon," he'd beckoned with a fanned deck of cards.

Kitty ever the adventurous, pulled them over. "Like, pick one Rogue."

Reluctantly, she'd done as instructed and pulled out none other than the Queen of Hearts. As if she needed any more reminders.

"Ah, the Queen," Simon drawled with a wicked grin. "Let's see who be de match f' such a woman." His aged fingers had shifted through the deck before pulling out one of the jokers. A genuine smile crossed his lips as he showed her. "Bonne chance wit' dis one."

"Rotten luck not picking the King," Kitty muttered as she moved them down the street.

Rogue was too preoccupied with what she had seen, Joker and the Queen of Hearts. From absorbing him, she knew he associated himself as a Joker even though he called himself a King of Hearts and used the Ace of Spades as his calling card. And he had given her his lady luck.

At some point while Rogue was in the midst of her thoughts, Kitty had managed to wrestle two beers from one of the venders. Apparently what happened in the Big Easy, stayed in the Big Easy. Not to mention the kitty cat wanted her southern friend to take advantage of her newfound freedom.

Despite the alcohol's affect, two things stayed on Rogue's mind: him and her time remaining. Forty-seven minutes and twenty nine seconds. There was no reason for her to keep track, her phone would go off five minutes before her freedom died. She was paranoid about it though.

She was sitting on a statue of a lions head. She had the perfect view from up there. Every so often she would raise her glass to a wayward passerby. Otherwise she went unnoticed while Kitty went in search of something sweet.

It was while she took another drag of her amber liquid that she saw him.

At first, Rogue had denied it was him at all. The likelihood was just too far off. But then subtle things had caught her eye: the worn trench that sat across her shoulders, auburn hair that was longer than she remembered it and yet more to his taste. She saw the way his body moved with a fluidity through the large crowds.

Then he'd stopped by a curvy blonde woman and she'd unconsciously clenched her beer tighter. She'd tapped into Logan's enhanced senses then before she knew it. She was curious, so sue her.


"Cher y' made it."

"Wouldn't miss dis day f' de world Belle," he embraced the woman and placed a small kiss on her cheek.

"Y' just happy cause dis makes it easier f' y' to take all dere money," she condescended in a rather teasing way as she linked her arm with his own.

He seemed taken aback. The hand to his heart certainly indicated as much. "Why chérie y' know dat hurts. T'ief like moi don't need no help," he extracted a black wallet from his palm as proof.

The blonde hit him in response. She otherwise dismissed it though. "I brought an extra because of y'. Dat ones empty."

"Now Belle," he patronized, "can y' see any point in me takin' an empty wallet?"

She rolled her eyes and dug into her pocket to take out an identical wallet. She opened it with a smirk only to have it fall moments later. "Why y' little—give it here!"

He laughed easily. "So we don't doubting m' skills?"

"Oui, but only until I can kill y'."

"Dat'd involve y' catchin' me first, hein?" he wore his lazy grin that fit the contours of his face perfectly.

"Dere's one way dats always worked," and without any more preamble she had captured his lips with her own. True to form, his arms had found their way around her waist to pull her closer. The pair took no notice to those around them.


But Rogue saw it all. She took an extra long drink from her clear plastic cup. There was a nice heady feel before it evaporated due to the healing factor that went with the enhanced senses.

Finally when she was taking another draught, she noticed red on black eyes in her direction. They locked together, until she heard someone call her name. Looking down she noticed Kitty standing at the statues base with a treat in her hand. Green eyes flicked back to starring at exotic ones. "Remy…" she breathed.

"What did you say Rogue?" Kitty looked up from the merriment on the street below.

Rogue looked down at her friend again. "Nuthin' Kit," she responded before jumping down. She landed near her friend and dusted off her jeans. She latched unto the younger girls arms. "Come on, Ah'm not feeling so good anymore."

"What? Aw, Rogue!"

"Ah need to at least go and cover up before Ah max out. Let's go," she insisted pulling them towards a wall. Kitty protested slightly before huffing and dropping her treat and phasing them through the brick.


"Rems y' alright? It was just a kiss after all."

He looked down at the blonde near him and smirked. "Oui Belle, m' fine," except that he wasn't. It was after she had jokingly kissed him that he'd seen a girl atop a lion statue. She had dark reddish hair with a shocking white streak. But it was her green eyes that captured him. They were Rogue's eyes.

She had been wearing clothes with plenty of skin though, and that was different than the Goth he knew. Not to mention the lack of gothic clothing on her. And why would she be in New Orleans?

Surely it wasn't to visit him. He must have been imagining things. But he could have sworn he saw her and another brunette literally go straight through a wall. He wouldn't have thought up that. Yet, it didn't seem likely. But since when had things gone in Remy's favor? Not for along time.

"Y' know m' sure someone's going' to hurt me f' dat kiss y' just gave me."

Belladonna laughed. "Mine or yours?"

"Mine? I don't have none," he stated quite arrogantly, mostly to hide his confusion.

"Oh really?" she raised an eyebrow. "So dat fille y' brought around last year was nothin'?"

"Had t' bring someone to distract y'r crazy brother. Besides she'd been in New York for over a year now," he pointed it out as if it made a difference. Problem was he wasn't so sure about the fact anymore.

"Well, y' stay in denial all y' want Remy. But y' as crazy f' dat girl as y' are wit' cards."

"T'ink I'll stick to cards. Dey a little more reliable den women," Remy danced out of her reach before she could hit him. They melted into the crowd, just two friends enjoying one another's company, one with another on their mind all the while.

It was the night of mystery and magic, alive with the spirits of the cities inhabitants. It was Mardi Gras down in the city of New Orleans.

Author's Note: Alright, so I felt like writing a little short for the great holiday of Mardi Gras. Yay. And this would be the by product of that. Basically its just Rogue and Remy with a chance encounter yet not encountering each other while both down there. And oh yeah, Belladonna makes a guest appearance. They're just friends. Leave a note with some love or hate.