Disclaimer: They belong elsewhere.

Notes: Completely pointless fluff. Set, probably some time when they weren't hanging around X-Force. Possibly before X-Force. (I don't know, my brain shut off some time last night).

Timey's fault.

Paperclips

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

Domino studiously ignored Nathan, her eyes fastened firmly on the pages in front of her. It was a difficult text to decipher, but she needed to read these last few chapters for class in the morning.

There was a sigh from the other side of the room.

She ignored it, turning the page and continuing to learn about invertebrates.

Something tugged at her hair. She flapped a hand at the errant lock, and resolutely continued the paragraph.

Another tug.

"Stop that."

Nathan looked up from his contemplation of the fingernails on one hand. "Stop what?"

With a scowl, Domino went back to her reading.

Two more tugs in rapid succession, and she jerked up, "NATE!"

The look he sent her was almost as soulful as it was innocent. She snorted, "Don't even try that look on me, mister."

"What look?"

"The innocent one. It doesn't work on a dirty old man like you."

He sighed, then slumped slightly. "If you say so."

Letting out a breath of her own in irritation, Domino went back to her textbook.

"We have nutella, you know."

Domino grunted, fiercely ignoring Nathan's attempts at conversation. Just why he couldn't take himself off and do something productive, like mow the lawn, or assassinate the mayor, or maybe even buy groceries, she didn't know.

A moment later, something small and metallic clattered onto the page of her book. She eyed the paperclip with misgiving, then looked slowly over at Nathan. "This has got to stop."

"I know. I'm feeling almost lonely."

"Are you." Her tone was mild. He should have known her long enough to be sufficiently warned.

He apparently wasn't paying enough attention. "Yes." He stretched, shooting a come-hither look at her. It almost made her laugh so comical and incongruous an expression it made on his face. "You could... come keep me company?"

"Could I."

"Yes." He paused as if realizing he'd said that once too often, then continued, hastily, "It wouldn't be too long, just a bit of your studying time, and then you could finish that dry book, and--"

"Nathan?"

Her tone finally penetrated, and he straightened, eyeing her. "Yes, Dom?"

"Take a pillow. And go sleep on the couch."

"Alone?"

"Yes." She smiled sweetly at him, "Alone."

Looking sad and crest-fallen, Nathan Dayspring picked up a pillow and disappeared from their shared study. Domino got back to work.

-finis-