There's one thing that Logan has found really interesting for the last two weeks. Within days of this Gambit kid's arrival at the Institute, it was clear to a number of the X-Men that he had some sort of nonsexual connection with Storm, and although Logan very much liked having everyone keep their secrets, Gambit's surprise and curiosity about Storm's current lifestyle made Logan wonder if she had a past as a troublemaker. Red Eyes' reaction to learning that his former acquaintance/friend/whatever had a teaching job really proved that Logan knew little about the woman beyond her talents and core character. .

After tagging along for a low-key X-Men mission in which he played the role of pilot, Gambit checked out the stunning vision in black, silver and mocha, saying, "Now it makes sense, mon amie; of course you do this."

The Gambit kid had a lot of energy and the kind of charm that would make Logan nauseous if he weren't so good at leaving the room two words into the Cajun twenty-something's first sentence. Gambit was now on good terms with a number of girls and women at the mansion-to varying but appropriate degrees, mind you-and with Logan personally, he got along fairly well, since he sometimes had interesting little memories from his own travels. During each of those very brief encounters, Logan's mind got around to his own spurts of drifting, and the fact that it had been roughly six months since he'd returned to the Institute. That's an unsettling thought for the grizzled mutant with weird hair; The simple fact that there've been some significant changes in his life this year is no excuse. He has come to terms with his mutation and similarities to the permanently-insatiable murderer known as Sabertooth, the fact that he can trust Natalya to sleep beside him, the Professor's death, and the tragic case of his inability to ever completely decipher real memories from false ones…Though he needs to be totally honest with himself and say that this is the most he'll probably ever accept the memory thing. It's always going to make him (say it!) sad and frustrated, but that should just come in spurts-you know, when it's triggered-and Natalya's kind of careful about that, because it's one of those difficult things to handle properly.

Anyway, it was now time to move on, and something had started up that very familiar restless feeling, and instead of throwing some belongings into a bag and taking off on the late Cyclops' motorcycle, he found himself leaning against Natalya's fridge, his truck in her driveway, a cold beer in hand. He heard a chuckle.

"Drinking already? What time is it?"

It had been days since he had felt this relaxed. He angled his body, ready to receive. "It's four-somethin'."

Natalya's fingers curled around his belt and he met her gaze. Her eyes were f***ing shining.

"What's goin' on?" he asked.

She dragged her teeth over a spot on his neck.

"Just thinking a lot." she said, quickly running her hands down the prominent muscles in his arms. "When you leave again…" He didn't like where this was going. "Please consider taking me with you."

Then she kissed his mouth firmly, and he figured that meant she might not want a verbal response, so he rubbed her back, kissed her temple, hoped she had an idea of what he was thinking. Being the kind of male he is, the statement seemed like it had come from nowhere, and listening to it was a little uncomfortable, but he had to keep it in mind. What would it be like to have her around when he was on the road? Right now, anyway, Natalya was safe, warm, curvy, reliable, and her skin was reading material. Logan traced the wistful Rafael cherub high on Natalya's arm, its limbs folded and face tilted upward.

This day was turning into one long epiphany. Tonight, he'd have to take Storm aside for a minute, go over a couple of things.

Natalya kissed the base of his throat.

"Would you give two weeks' notice to the bar?" Logan asked in that gravelly voice.

Her mouth fell open, eyes widened. "Я не думаю, что вы действительно считаю." She swallowed. "Yeah?"

He smirked down at her. "Yeah."

Her hands slid to his hips, holding just a little tighter, and she winked. "I'm in."


Jimmy: "Nucky, all I want is an opportunity."

Nucky: "This is America, kid. Who the fuck is stopping you?"

- "Boardwalk Empire"

This story is one I'm a little proud of. It's another reason why GoingVintage can suck it.