Click of glass on his table. An alien sound. He didn't have any glasses; too expensive these days, all he had was plastic. That was all most people had. And he most certainly did not have any whiskey to put into a glass. But he could smell whiskey.
His eyes were useless now, first things to go when age caught up with him. What a long chase that had been. He had led old age on a merry chase but now it was finally here. In a way it was a relief.
Now he was almost blind without his glasses and his hearing was not what it used to be. Still good, as good as any normal person's but not extraordinary like it had been. Only the nose was still up to its old standards.
He could smell cigarettes, rare commodity in these troubled days. He could smell aftershave – expensive, always expensive on this person. And leather, old honest to god leather – when all he had on was synthetic fibers that made him itch. It was like all the small and good things of the past had come to haunt him.
He took his glasses off the table and put them on. He wanted to see the man that was here now. He hadn't seen him in a long time. Could have if he only would have wanted to, dared to. This man had not made his whereabouts a secret like he had. The world had eyes on him all the time but still these eyes saw nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Insane. This is what they said about this man. But if anyone would have seen what this man saw on a daily basis they would have blown their brains out long ago.
Now, looking at the visitor, he was amazed at how good he still looked, after all these years. By the lines on his face he could not be judged over forty but by his bone white hair he should be well over sixty. Both numbers were totally wrong. He was far older than that, both in body and mind.
He was just sitting there, small smile on his face, letting him look his fill, not speaking.
He remembered times when the hair had been brown not white, the smile warm not cynical, the eyes bright and present not turned to times and places far away. Not that he himself was better off; they were both too old now, but his memory had never been that good while other ones had always been excellent – a curse for some.
He was probably the only one alive now who remembered the name Gambit and knew to attach it to this man. He was only one to remember the cards and southern charm; as well as only one to remember the pain that had killed Gambit in front of his eyes. Had watched on how every piece that was Remy was chopped off and methodically destroyed, until only LeBeau was left. More of a concept than a man. No one would know or even dare to call him by anything else than the last name. Most didn't dear even that and called him 'Witness.' Some say that name with reverence, most with fear and hate. He is not loved. He doesn't want to be loved. Respect is enough, that and fear. He has plenty of both.
The Witness – only obvious mutant on Fortune 100 list, if anyone would still make such lists. His corporate power equals that of any country, surpasses them even. His hand reaches father than anyone else's, both to underworld and politics. Nothing happens that he is no aware of or approve of. Effectively the most powerful man alive, now sitting in his dingy one room apartment, in a neighborhood of whores and criminals.
Idly he wondered over the security detail. How many men and women in dark clothes armed to the teeth were placed on roof tops and alleys around his home? Too many for him to count or even to care about.
Whiskey swirled in a glass. Cold in his mouth, smooth and fiery on its way down. Excellent quality.
He knows of course why the man who once was Gambit is here now, on this day. This is the day that he is going to die. Not a sad day. This is something that has been coming a long time. He has cheated death too many times to not know its final inevitability. Now he goes out quietly and with no fuss. The whiskey is a nice touch.
He should say something. Call this man by a name but which one to choose? None feel right or fitting. So, he calls him not by a name but by a characteristic.
"I'll be seeing you, old fox."
There were times when he had called this man 'kid.' Noting would be less fitting now. The smile on the other man's face is almost genuine mirth. He raises his glass and salutes him.
"I look forward to hunting along side you again, old wolf."
Cajun accent is almost totally gone. Pity, it was always one of the more charming qualities. He will be taking a lot of things about this man to the grave. Most of all he will leave him alone into a world that hates him, but only for a while.
They will indeed hunt together again, one day, soon.