A/N: Written for an LJ writing challenge by in_the_blue.
All my life I've been searching for something...
Remy LeBeau steps into the diner in a poor mood. He's sopping wet from the falling rain outside and his street map is now a blurry mass of running ink. He throws the useless piece of paper on the edge of a corner table and sits down behind it to run his hands through his hair and try to rack some sort of idea of what he's doing and where he's going out of his brains. More fool him for thinking the map would give him a hint of a direction.
He's been searching his whole life and never finding.
"Ya look tired, sugah," a soft voice, as weary as his own, washes over him. Southern, angelic.
Remy looks up, startled.
The waitress is a petite thing, mass of auburn curls caught back in a ponytail, snowy bangs over her forehead, bright, green eyes. She's got her head tilted just so as if she's trying to read him, and her eyes are soft with concern.
"'M fine," he answers quickly. He glances downward for a nametag. It's missing. He frowns.
She smiles at him then, and the brilliance nearly knocks him for a loop. "Coffee?"
"Oui." Coffee actually sounds good and smells better—how exactly did he miss that she had it in her hand?—and tastes like good coffee ought to taste. "Y' make this?" he asks her.
She hesitates, then nods. She puts a finger to her lips. "But don't tell the cook that. He thinks he makes the best coffee north of the Dixie line."
Remy chuckles lightly. She makes him think of home. The thought turns bitter. It's a home that was never really his.
She seems to notice his mood change and glances upward at the clock before sliding into the seat across from him. "Ah'm Rogue."
The name startles him, but it makes him smile. "A proper southern belle, I take it."
"Don't push it, swamp rat." But there's a hint of a smile tugging at her lips.
He drinks his coffee, knowing he hasn't even begun to push it. "Gambit."
Rogue pokes one finger into the sodden mess of street map, and he frowns sourly. "Lookin' for somethin', Gambit?" She seems to disapprove of the name choice.
He rolls his eyes. Like Rogue can talk. But he shrugs. "Some maps are useless in de rain."
She nods and pulls her hands into her lap. "Others aren't. Where ya headed?"
"Wish I knew," he mutters before he can swallow the words back. Remy catches his breath, that he's made the admission, then covers it by downing more of the coffee.
Rogue reaches out for his mug and refills it. "Ah know a place," she says casually, but her gaze sidles away under his and he knows somehow it matters to her.
He wonders if she matters to him. He sips the coffee, studies her flushed face. "What kind of place?"
She shrugs. Dancing green eyes come back up to meet his. "A place for the rest of us who don't know where to go."
Remy doesn't answer. Time ticks by, her break is over, and she's off and waitressing the rest of the diner again. But by the time she's wiping down tables and raising an eyebrow at him that it's time to close, he nods at her. She looks startled, then understands. A few moments later, she's grabbed her coat and is standing beside him.
"Walk me home?"
"Only for you, ma chérie."