Diversions

Disclaimer: I don't own The New Avengers, nor the characters of Mike Gambit, Purdey, and John Steed. They're the property of The Avengers (Film and TV) Enterprises. This story is written for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.

Author's Notes: I saw this AU writing meme around the internet, and thought I'd give it a whirl. The idea is to take a character/pairing and write something for them for each of ten different alternate universes. I opted for Purdey and Gambit, and really enjoyed it as a fun writing exercise that let me push the characters in some "out there" directions. Some of the pieces are very brief, others are a little longer, but I hope you'll enjoy them for the bit of fun that they are.


Prompt: Wild West

"I didn't expect to see you here this evening, Sheriff Gambit," Purdey opined as she slid onto the bar stool next to the town's resident lawman. "Did you come to see the show?"

The sheriff idly swirled the scotch in his glass and smiled appreciatively at the dancehall girl. "You danced beautifully, as always," he complimented. "There isn't a woman alive with your talent and skill."

"Thank you, Sheriff," Purdey replied graciously. "But I don't imagine you abandoned your post just to come here and flatter me."

"I wish that was the case, ma'am," Sheriff Gambit sighed. "But you're right. I have a proposition for you."

Purdey's demeanour instantly turned icy, the feather in her headband quivering dangerously. "I'm not that kind of girl, Sheriff," she said frostily.

Sheriff Gambit held up his hands defensively. "You misunderstand me, ma'am. I need your help."

Purdey still looked unconvinced. "What kind of help?" she asked suspiciously.

Sheriff Gambit took a piece of paper out of his pocket and unfolded it. "There's a notorious bankrobber on the loose. He's hit several of the nearby towns, and I've heard tell he means to visit ours next. They call him Black Hat, and he always covers his face." Purdey slid the paper toward her and realised that it was a wanted poster. The artist's illustration depicted a man wearing a black hat, while a bandanna covered the lower half of his face. "Rumour has it he can't resist visiting a town's dancehall before he pulls off a heist. I was hoping you could keep an eye out for him, maybe make a few inquiries and see if you can identify him."

Purdey cocked her head to one side. "Why me?"

"Because from what I've heard from the other fellows who've 'propositioned' you, you know how to handle yourself. And you're the cleverest person I've ever met." Sheriff Gambit held out a hand beseechingly. "Please, ma'am. You'd be doing this town a great service, and there's a large reward on offer if you help me make an arrest."

Purdey eyed his hand for a moment, then took it and shook it heartily. "You have a deal, Sheriff."

"Excellent!" Sheriff Gambit enthused, raising his glass in a toast. "I'm looking forward to working with you. I think we'll make a good team."

Purdey took the drink the barman offered her and raised it in return. "Do you know something, Sheriff? I think you're right."