Caffeinated Magpie

By Skandranon

Summary : A certain person contemplates his lover, Gambit. Sort of a crossover, because the person's not an X-men. Not telling you who it is, though. I'm evil like that.

It's his thief instincts. Ever since he discovered he could steal from me without facing my wrath, he's been taking full advantage. Every "Hello" makeout session, he fingers my wallet, my keys, my Rolex. Once my shoelaces. But he always gives them back, or leaves them where I'd find them, or buys me an upgrade. Sometimes I find my credit account maxed out, sometimes the garage "loses" my third favorite Ferrari. But other times I find solid gold combs I didn't know I owned, or a couple thousand in foreign currency tucked into my underwear drawer, from countries I've never been to.

He comes and goes as he pleases, more coming than going. He always brings me a present as apology if he shows up uninvited, usually booze, and he looks so damned cheeky, sitting on my windowsill, that I couldn't possibly refuse him. He does what he likes, when he likes, and not before he wants to. He takes full advantage of my room service, even if I'm not home, and watches my TV when I'm asleep. He never says goodbye, rarely says hello, but frequently tells me when he's "borrowed" something. Usually in the form of a post-it note stuck to my day ledger. Whether or not I get the borrowed item back is another matter entirely.

I take other people as dates to social functions. Women, young and beautiful, thin and vapid, rich or popular and happy to be on my arm. I don't show up at his home without a damn good excuse for being there. My favorite is a charity I'm setting up to aid mutants. Not in my name, of course. I don't speak to him while I'm there, or even look at him, but guaranteed when I'll leave, he'll be smuggled in my backseat. Once in the trunk.

I started dating him because he was so very different, but since then, I've come to care for him because he's so very similar. We can talk business. We can talk art. He's got a head for finances like you wouldn't believe, and a taste for aesthetics that makes him look stunning. He's delectable in custom formal wear, but he only dresses up to two-step with me around my bedroom.

He's rich too, it turns out. Private financial empire of his own. Not his own money, of course, but fenced well enough that it can't be traced. Some of it's probably my money, actually.

He could've just asked me, and I would've given him whatever he wanted. But it's not in his nature to ask.

And yet, he is different, in ways my previous lovers could never compete with. Arrogant, gentle, playful, undemanding, stubborn. A thief, a joker, a liar, a hero. A darling, a jerk. With the instincts of a caffeinated magpie.

We first met through Warren Worthington III, the bastard, who invited me to visit his team's headquarters. I'm shaking hands all around, and this red eyed devil with a handsome face comes up and, grin wide and toothy, apologizes for me "losing" that prototype disk in New Orleans a month back.

As I was leaving, I found a disk in my pocket. I also found he'd programmed his phone number into my cell. And I was missing $300.

I've been hooked on him ever since.

I don't know where we're going, or what could possibly come from this. I don't know if he really cares for me, or if it's just a fling. I don't know if I really care for him. I know what the press would say, if they found out, and what my board of directors would say. I could estimate the decibel level at which Pepper would scream at me if she found out who's been switching her perfume with a brand that, honestly, smells better on her.

But I watch him snoring next to me, drooling down his stubble, and I couldn't care less.

He never talks about Her. If I hadn't done a thorough background check on him, I wouldn't even know about Her. I've met her, the handful of times I did come visit his home, and she's never said a word about it. He doesn't carry a picture of her, or a lock of hair or a letter or anything. He just gets rip-roaringly drunk once in a while, and convinces me to join him, since he knows I have no willpower against alcohol, and we have furious, angry sex until the bruises leave us winded. And then he rolls over and sobs silently into a pillow for a while, and I pretend I'm asleep. I learned my lesson the first time I tried to comfort him.

But most of the time, we get along smashingly. He loves a good time, and so do I. He enjoys the finer things in life, and I like watching him enjoy them. He likes watching me do paperwork, and I find it terribly distracting, but the sex afterwards is worth it.

He likes stealing my things, and I like waiting to see how he'll make it up to me.

We're doomed from the start, because we haven't given ourselves any room to grow. I can't take him out in public, and he won't introduce me to his family. I've never caught him lying to me, but I'm sure he's done it, the same as I'm sure he knows more about me than he lets on, and has secrets he'll never, ever tell me. We never said we're monogamous, and we've probably never been monogamous. I know I haven't. But he doesn't play around in front of me, and I don't bring my girls home, because he might be there. He never gives me notice, after all.

And in all, we do pretty well. He shows up, we chat, we enjoy each other's company, we grab something to eat, and then we do some more enjoying of each other.

Hands like satin, that man has. Hands that have never seen a day of hard work, only days of challenging, exciting play. Delicate, long hands, with deft fingers and the most amazing accuracy. Blessed hands, cursed hands too. He's a horrible tease with them.

Most of all, he knows how to make me laugh. He's not even funny, and I laugh. His very nature throws me. He delights in the unexpected, in surprising and confusing me. Especially confusing me. He alters his habits just to remind me to not get used to them. Don't take me for granted, it says. Don't take this for granted.

Don't worry, I don't. But it's nice while it lasts.

Here's to us, Remy. Here's to hedonism in a time of severity. Screw the future, and pass the vodka.

Author's Notes - I was introduced to this character by a friend, and found him charming. On another note, the "prototype disk in New Orleans" is canon, Gambit fourth series, #2.