Sunday at the Zoo

Remy settled on the bench next to his erstwhile girlfriend and handed her the strawberry ice cream cone he'd gotten her. He stared across the way at the polar bear enclosure. The fake white ice made him frown. The poor bears had to be dying in this heat. He'd been out in the cold they were born to. Even at its coldest Central Park was nothing like those barren expanses of snow. He pulled one foot up onto the bench and watched the shadows of the leaves play on the ground. It was a lovely spring day. The snow had melted away weeks ago and the trees were all in bloom.

He could hear children laughing and running around in the small zoo. There were bright red and shiny silver balloons dancing around them, attached to children's wrists and strollers. He had wanted children once, long ago when his bride's kiss held the promise of the future. He watched an ice cream smeared face run by. He still wanted children. He wanted his house in the French Quarter and his pretty blonde assassin. He wanted a dog and a cat and a couple of fish. He wanted to steal for his living and forget the darkness that marred his heart.

He watched a drop of melted pink ice cream drip down onto Rogue's green glove. He leaned over to lick it up and she flinched away. He sighed and retreated back to his place. His trench-coat hung open, the brisk spring air nipping at his leg where the ripped jeans exposed it. "Let's go see the monkey's. Word is they look a lot like Henri."

She snorted indelicately. "Don't believe everything you hear, sugah."

He sighed again, not bothering to move. "Rogue?"

"What?" She spoke around a mouthful of ice cream.

"I don't love y'," he said flatly. "This ain't goin' to work. We're over. For good this time."

She stared at him, eyes wide and shocked. "Sugah?"

"Mebbe we stay friends. We make good partners fo' sure, but as lovers? Non, no more games, Rogue. My heart can't take it."

A single tear worked its way down her cheek. "Is there someone else? You ain't serious?"

He looked at her. Her tears didn't shake him. That, more than anything informed him that he was right. He didn't love her. He didn't particularly care about her pain anymore. "I am. Y' okay to get home or y' want m' to drive y'?"

Her green eyes flashed in anger. "You are a cold bastard, Remy LeBeau. I hope ya rot in Hell."

"I'll see y' there then," he snapped back. He left her there, not angry. He was disappointed more than anything. She hadn't even tried to save it. Relief flooded him as he walked past the caged animals. He deftly avoided the children weaving back and forth. He looked up at the perfectly blue sky and painting perfect clouds. He smiled to himself. By the time he reached the gates, he was whistling.


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