3. Walking by

He moved slowly through the streets of New Orlean´s French quarter that was full of celebrating people at this time of the year. The loud jazz music that came from all sides filled his ears and the smell of BBQ and hot bubbling gumbo filled his nose. He could already taste it on his tongue, the spice burning it deliciously.

His red on black eyes, covered by dark shades, moved aimlessly around the crowds, scanning every person intensely like a hungry snake searching for his next meal to satisfy his growing desire.

As he made his way down the street, taking deep sips of his bottle of Four Roses bourbon from time to time, he abruptly came to a halt. He run his hand throught his messy redish-brown hair as he took his last deep sip of bourbon and the bottle disappeared in one of his trench coat pockets. His eyes were fixed on the pretty blond on the other side of the street as a wide grin appeared on his face, his pearl white teeth glittering in the sun like those of a predator. Oh hell, he looked like one of those cartoon wolfs when their jaw drops to the floor when they see a pretty woman!

„Oh Ah looove Ma´di Gra´" he literally sang his words and licked his lips.

On the outside of a restaurant sat a nice platin blond woman in a skimpy nurse costume and hight killer heels. She was alone and obviously waiting for somebody, somebody who let her wait as she was nervously looking at her arm watch. He instinctively shuffled his card while ogling her.

Oh damn he really loved Mardi Grass. Almost as much as he loved the ladies.

„No fear chere, I won´ let yo´ wait." that infamous grin of his was priceless.

Wow... did I just see him drool? lol

His first step was to the girl but then he turned around and grabbed a little boy by the collar of his shirt. He smacked him on the back of his head as he struggled to get out of Remy´s tight grip.

Pardonnez-moi monsieur LeBeau" the little boy, not older then seven stopped struggling as Remy let go of him and gave him back his wallet. He fixed his gold curvy hair and looked sheepishly up at him.

„Watch ou´ boo where yo´r hands go. Yo´no´car´ ful enough. Go back hom´ to mon frére" he added as the little boy run back to his friends that watched and waited in the blind side street.

Ah the lil garçonnet´ those days" he said to himself and shook his head in amusement.

He hid his wallet and the cards he was shuffling before into one of the many inside pockets of his trench coat, fixed his shades and turned on his heel ready for some „action".

„Remy LeBeau, welcome home" said the familiar voice that made a shiver go down his spine.

He daren´t to turn around. He knew who she was, too well. He could hear her anger and bitterness and feel the smirk on her face grew. A smirk that, combined with the demonic gleam of pure hatred in her eyes, could make most men run away in fear.

He knew, after both patriarch decided that their marriage should prevent the war between the Guilds, his return home wouldn´t stay unnoticed from her. She always was in love with him and he couldn´t say no to bella femme like her even thought love was definitely not what he felt for her. But after incident with her brother Julian...well lets say things got complicated.

He put on his infamous cocky smirk and turned to face her.

„Bella Donna, long not seen"

XxX

Her walk was steady and calm. Her eyes never left the path she was walking on. Her hands were closed tightly around each other. The smell of the Mississippi surrounded her and the light breeze carried a familiar scent of spice and fire. She inhaled it deeply, letting it fill every cell of her entire being as she remembered.

Home, she whispered to herself.

The sky was white. Puffy little clouds became a wall of white that closed over the stunning blue of the southern hemisphere. But still the warm strokes of sunlight broke through it and made the river surface glister.

She kept herself away from the big over-crowded streets, walking in the shadow of the side streets watching the celebrations from the far. She wished to go closer but she didn´t like it. She hates it. She feared it. She always did since her mutation manifested. Being with so many people was a high risk of hurting them and herself.

Remembering the times when she was younger, when her powers weren´t there yet, her eyes became watery. Irene used to go with her to Mardi Grass. She loved the sounds and smells and tastes, back then.

"Hey Rogue... wait" she was pulled back to reality by someone calling for her. She turned around to see Lance and Fred running after her.

"Changed you´ mind, huh?"

"Wheres Todd?"said Lance after catching his breath again. Rogue was wearing his breads around her neck and couldn´t stop from toying with them.

"The frog face thought he saw Wanda and jumped off to go stalking, again." she rolled her eyes.

"He will never learn it, right?" added Fred.

Rogue just rolled her eyes again turning on her heel and ignorer the two guys following her.

"So why did you came after all?" she asked without stopping.

"Mystique´s gonna kill us for letting you three go just so easily anyway, so why not spend the last few hours of our lives outside from that boring stinky hotel. Can´t let you have all the fun alone!" Lance smirked.

Rogue tried so hard to ignore the two behind her chatting that she didn´t notice when the sounds of music and peoples laughter became lauder with every step. She awoke from her zombie-like walk when a couple of wild kids almost run into her. She froze like a statue not darent to even breath it. Her hands clutched tighter to her body.

It might wasn´t such a good idea to come here at all, she thought.

The adrenalin started to rush through her veins as she was about to flee when a light touch on her shoulder made her freeze again.

"Rogue...You okay?" both Lance and Fred looked at her with concern.

"Yeah Ahm fine sugah" she she forced a weak smile "just a little..crowded"

Lance gave her a comforting smile in return. There was something between the two of theme could always make her smile. He was always playing the hard loner but from the inside, he was a good guy. Oh and totally in love with the former X-men Katherine Pryde but thats a thats a different story.

"Well we could -"

"I´m hungry" Blob´s growling couldn´t be over-hear.

"Lets get something then"

"Gumbo!"

"Is that edible?!" Fred threw a questioning look at Rogue and rubbed his growling stomach.

"The best dahmn thing on mother earth, sugah!" Rogue put out her tongue at him with one hand on her crooked hip.

Blob still looked unsure if he could believe her.

"Like it ever mattered to you if it was or was NOT edible!" spat Lance "You ate chips and the sac they were in!" he burst out laughing.

"Hey!... It tasted good" Blob defended himself.

Now even Rogue couldn´t stop laughing. It was just too funny how Blob could be like a little whinny baby if it was about food.

"What about we check the restaurant over there?"

Lance headed them to where he pointed before. There were some obviously wasted girls in the side street and as they passed them, the girls thew some breads over Lances neck and giggled.

"They seem to like ya sugah" Rogue chuckled lightly over his reaction.

Blob ignored them both and the girls and sprinted, well as fast as an enormous guy could sprint, into the nearest restaurant. His nose was tickled but the spice and smell of cooking delicatessen of the Southern kitchen. He was like a madman driven by his hunger that could be never really satisfied.

"Seems like someones got the huger" Rogue couldn´t stop chuckling.