TITLE: Someone Had To Be The First To Break/It Took A Cup Of Coffee

FANDOM: X-Men 616

CHARACTERS: Rogue, Gambit

RATING: Teen [Mild Language]

SUMMARY: Midnight in a crappy diner in the middle of nowhere. Two people meet and try the next steps in a familiar dance.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: For scribble_myname, aka unboundscribe.

A while back, she gave me the prompt "Rain, coffee, midnight: Rogue agreed to meet up with Gambit a loooooooong while after she broke up with him 'cause they were growing apart."
Rogue's tattoos are residual X-Treme X-Men love, just in case y'all wondered. Title(s) come from Savage Garden's "I Don't Know You Anymore" and Garbage's "Cup of Coffee".

This was posted in my LJ a while back, but I'm rather fond of it despite how short it is. I figured I'd share it here. Hopefully I'm not the only one who ends up partial to it.

The first thing he notices is the change in her clothing. A light raincoat discarded to the side means she's sitting there in a tee-shirt and jeans, still managing to look great.
(He'd always thought she'd had gorgeous arms, and the top shows them off well. It takes him a second to remember that those arms aren't his to covet anymore.)
The first thing she notices when he walks into the diner is that he's soaked to the skin. It's late, and he comes in from the dark only to shake his head, run a hand through his hair like it'll make a difference, and then spot her.
(She watches the way the rain has beaded in that auburn mop of his and the way it's running down his face. Any other time, she'd probably be fighting the urge to wipe it away.)
"Hey," Remy says, taking a seat.
"Hey," Marie replies.
Both of their voices are careful, their selected tones for the single word modulated to be neither too yielding nor too confrontational. This is a delicate balancing act right out the gate.
The waitress chooses that moment to come to the table and take their order.
"What can I get for you?"
"Coffee," Marie says. "Two cream, two sugar."
"I'll have a coffee too. Black."
They don't say anything, looking at the worn countertop between them as they wait for Doris or Darla or whatever the waitress' name was to come back. It's Darlene, they each note, as they glimpse the nametag of the middle-aged and tired-looking woman who sets their coffee down in front of them.
Marie takes her coffee in hand and blows gently before taking a tentative sip. Remy gulps back a scalding mouthful.
The coffee tastes like shit, but neither says anything to that effect. They're both too busy measuring one another.
"I'm glad you came," he finally says.
"I wasn't sure I was going to."
There's another pause as they consider their respective coffees. Marie sighs softly.
"I was just surprised to hear from you in the first place. You made it fairly clear that you didn't want to see me again."
"If I'm remembering right, it was pretty mutual."
"If I'm remembering right, you were the one who left."
"Then why are we even here?"
"Good question."
And with those words from his mouth, she's ready to rabbit. She rises from her seat and reaches for her coat. Her car's waiting outside, and she can be back on the highway in less than a minute. Actually showing up in the first place had taken a lot. It hardly surprises her that it's taken so little to make her bolt.
He doesn't regret the words, but knows he's going about this the wrong way. Remy knows she's going to bolt the second she does, and grabs for her, managing to catch her just above the wrist. His fingers itch to trace the delicate webs and interlaced lines that work their up along her arm in black tattoo ink the way he had back in Valle Soleada.
"Can we try that again? Please?"
Rogue struggles with herself, trying to decide if she wants to wrench her arm from his grip. He feels pathetic, and swallows the muddy aftertaste of his coffee.
She doesn't speak, but sits back down.
He lets her arm go, but his hand stays on the table near hers.