A/N: I have never written anything in the straight-up X-Men universe before, so I hope I didn't screw it up terribly, but this one just kept nipping at the heels of my brain and kept out all the other fics I was trying to work on. So here it is. Be gentle. Actually, don't. But please do be nice.
"Gambit?" The woman's voice is soft, falling over his shoulder like a light breeze.
He breathes smoke in deeply, then watches it stream out of his mouth in a wispy cloud. She'll be frowning at him for that, the petite. Only she's not a petite. She's a woman. And it's killing him.
"Gambit?" This time her hand touches his shoulder and she's right behind him, and still he doesn't answer.
Just blowing out smoke, sitting on the dock, refusing to turn around and look at her.
He can hear the frown in her voice: "Are you all right?"
"Peachy." He stubs out the cig on the ground and finally acknowledges her presence by shoving over enough for her to sit beside him.
Stormy's frowning as she does. She's barefoot and drops her feet easily into the water to swing them back and forth like a girl.
She was a girl. She was his girl. Too old perhaps to be his daughter, but it hadn't felt like it when she called out to him from her bad dreams, curled up halfway in his lap when it was just too dark and too close, and looked up to him with those laughing, innocent blue eyes as she taught him pickpocket tricks and learned more advanced things in turn: breaking and entering, security systems, casing.
He smiles at her, but it's a twisted thing that can't believe his only family, his, is ripped away from him again, was never his. She wasn't really that child he'd taken in and hoped to raise better than Jean-Luc had even raised him. She was a woman, a goddess, an X-Man.
"What d' y' want, chère?" he asks softly, his hand on hers taking away the sting.
She frowns at him but then her head settles against his shoulder and he can't help but slide his arm around hers.
"Stay?" she asks.
His heartbeat seems to stop and he wonders for a moment if it really did. He sighs. "Don't belong here, Stormy. Y' know dat."
"Do not call me that."
He laughs and squeezes her arm affectionately. "Sure t'ing, Stormy."
She huffs a little but curls up halfway against him. He's sure he's going to die from not breathing, from this feeling inside of him. She's family. She's his.
"As long as y' like," he whispers softly.