BtVS by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Marvel U by the parent company and its many artists/writers.

Yep, have released Olaf the Troll from 'Triangle' two episodes early. My thanks to BuffyWorld dot com for reference material including shooting scripts full of stage directions and cut , why him? Ever since reading Speaker-to-Customers' Merry Sport at Twisting the Hellmouth - tthfanfic dot org slash Story-9152 - I've wanted to see Olaf as a useful member of the Scoobies, although his Olaf, by the power of coolness, has cleric abilities. Oh, yes. The linked fic, while, in my opinion, very cute, definitely earns its FR21 rating. :)


Deciding discretion was the better part of valor, Remy decided to instruct Olaf in the fine art of the fist bump, to avoid any accidentally mangled limbs that might come with a handshake from one as strong as the troll. This resulted in several odd glances from the assorted heroes present. Remy sighed. He kept forgetting that he was several years in his respective past and that it was possible that the gesture of greeting hadn't spread that widely yet.

Laying on the charm, in hopes of avoiding future complications should the troll become uncontrolled, Remy made proper introductions. "I'm th' newcomer to dis group of heroes, much as yourself. I'm a mutant, which apparently tends more to th' scientific end of the spectrum than the outright mystical. The name is Remy. The blonde one is my long-lost sister, Tara. Th' friendly but possibly misguided redhead is her girlfriend, Willow. Giles is th' level-headed one with the glasses. Anya's the voice of experience and Xander is her current beloved boyfriend. I don't know much about him, but he can swing a pretty mean sword-"

Tara broke off further comment from Remy by walking up and grabbing his arm tightly.

"What's th' matter, cherie?" Remy's eyes shone with concern and a dash of annoyance. "Gambit be sorry if he was monopolizing the conversation. He jus-"

"Something's going on with you," Tara muttered through gritted teeth, before speaking again in a louder, calm voice. "Hey, guys. We're going to step outside and have a bit of a friendly, family chat. Things should be busy for awhile around here, so you won't miss us too much."

Olaf smiled. "Do not tarry too long, slender woman. Any relative of a warrior with such an exquisite staff is a friend of mine."

Tara turned around to see that Remy had withdrawn his telescopic staff from wherever he carried it. He was leaning on the metal weapon in such a way as to suggest that, were the circumstances different, he'd be doing tricks.

Tara hit her brother in the arm and stormed out of the room.

Remy rubbed the spot bemusedly and followed.

##

Tara walked out the front door of the Magic Box and stood there for a few seconds, blinking in the sunlight. Looking over her shoulder at Remy, she sighed.

He sidled up next to her and smiled. "Something tells me dis conversation best be held over lunch."

She shook her head, a slight smile crossing her face. "There's a sandwich shop up here," Tara said as they began to walk across the street. "I feel like having something solid on rye."

"Been a while since I had a good Reuben. Oh, wait," Remy said, tugging lightly at Tara's sleeve as something caught his eye. "There's a Mexican place over there and it looks like they might actually put some effort into th' food."

As they stood in the shade of the building, looking in, Remy continued speaking. "You don't get many of these places where I live. Sure, you can find anything in New York City proper, but we live in the rural end of Westchester County and they jus' don't seem to pop up dat often. Or th' rest of the East Coast for that matter."

"There's a reason for that," Tara said, after they placed their order. "It's bad business sense. I have a friend who tried to open up a chain of restaurants in the Midwest, like people enjoy out here. Almost nobody came. They didn't know what to expect. Some of the people who showed up returned with their friends later on, but it wasn't enough to keep a business thriving. He had to pack his bags and come back home. I guess this means you've been in California before?"

Remy nodded. "I've been everywhere."

"Huh."

Remy thanked the waitress politely, with a bit of his normal flair. "Well," he said, after his first mouthful of food. "They don't know what they're missing."

##

"There it is again." Tara frowned. "Every time you meet someone new your aura flares. More than that, a bit of theirs changes color, like some of yours is rubbing off on them."

"Ah." Remy coughed into his fist. "There is a reason for dat. Not one I mention too often. Y'see, I have a bit of a charm power. Helps people take kindly t' me, sometimes lets me talk 'em into things they wouldn't do otherwise, although th' really showy stuff only happens if a person's 'normal' without a lot of life experience. Outside of a few who happen t' be extremely susceptible to it, doesn't help too much if they're already angry or suspicious. And, if someone's in the know 'bout my power, they're basically immune, can't often get more'n a smile. When we first met, I was a bit more awkward than even the rather unusual circumstances would call for. Busy concentrating, suppressing that bit of myself, holding it back, so there wouldn't be a possibility of tainting our first meeting wi' it. Of course, I could've bypassed th' possibility by warning you about it in advance, but you can understand me being a slight bit paranoid, no?"

"Huh," Tara said, thinking back to the semi-naked man clinging to the top of a flagpole she'd seen earlier in the day. "I guess we've already seen some of your work?"

"Oh, him?" Remy waved his hand. "That wasn't jus' th' charm. I may have worked a bit of hypnosis into my persuasion techniques and th' guy really wanted to get on my good side. Simple matter of talking him up to the top of the pole and having him wrap his own arms through th' climbing gear behind his back in a way he couldn't see properly and wouldn't be able to readily undo on his own. No really important bits were showing so th' results shouldn't be too severe."

Remy leaned back in his chair and stared out the window. "I figure fair punishment for few weeks' work and a nice amount of money is a stunt aimed at getting you kicked out of where you were doing it and hardship concernin' the school you'd been putting time and effort into. His face wasn't something you could see where we were standing, but dat was Rodney, your neighbor across th' hall at the dorm. He's been spying on you for your dad, ever since th' old man came to town and made him an offer, reportin' in by phone every few days."

Tara bit her lip and tilted her head in thought.

"I'm sorry." Remy said, sounding sincere. "I know I should've let you fight your own battles, but I jus' didn't want to wait."

"No." Tara sighed. "Right now, just another thing showing off how odd things are. You're being protective and strange. We're basically strangers. I get that. I just can't fit you into my world view and, in addition to everything else, it's bothering me. Despite what you said about being a mutant - and Giles backing that up - I was certain you were demon from your dad's side, making you my half-brother. Spike's reaction to you means you're basically human."

Tara wrapped one hand around her fist and rested her arms on the table, leaning forward slightly. "Pretty quickly after that, when I've started to believe that things make sense, I find out you're from an alternate reality. Now, I believe that our... my family has roots that tie us to this specific time and place, but I'm beginning to doubt..."

Remy patted her hands, causing her to look up. "I understand," he said, warmly. "First thing I need to do is track down th' mutants of dis reality and see how closely they resemble me and those of mine. Not to mention you on th' off chance something's hidden. If they match up wi' me then we've eliminated one way of finding out the truth. If not, then clearly someone on my side of the border has some explaining to do. Do not worry. Gambit has some experience in these matters."

Her eyes narrowed slightly as she tried to give an expression somewhere between a smile and a frown. "Just what, exactly, is it that you do?"

Remy took a long drink of water to help keep a frown off his face. He knew this would be coming eventually, but that didn't make it any easier.

"Well, Gambit, he is very glad he not having to explain this cold, without letting you on about other realities, because dat would jus' be silly. I do whatever I want to do. My favorite combination of things jus' happens to be stealing stuff to save th' world with. I'm a thief and a very good one at dat. Trained by the best of th' guild that pretty much ran my New Orleans, not counting the parts ruled by th' assassins and odder groups yet. Thieving is against the general moral code of my reality too, but I never claimed to be that good of a person."

Tara's face paled slightly. "That explains dad's car. It... It's kinda hard to judge. Willow helped break into the local armory once to steal some needed weaponry. A government-employed scientist tried to kill Buffy. She's sort of a sanctioned vigilante and we're... support. There's plenty of legal means to hurt people. The question is, can I trust you enough to know, deep down, you're not making the world worse by the things you do."

"Heh." Remy almost kept the worry from his eyes. "No way to tell in the long run what is because of me and what is not. I do believe dat I have done a good job of cleaning up most of my own messes. Gambit is not one to lay th' blame on others. I know I have friends back home who are willing to lay their lives down for me, much as I would for them, so I must be doing something right, no?"

Tara tilted her head, showing off a small smile. "I guess that sort of answers my question about what you'll be doing besides tracking down mysteries when you leave here."

"Beyond th' fact dat I find practicing my skills quite fun, keeping everyone a bit suspicious helps offset this charm power hanging on my shoulders," Remy said with a wink. "Otherwise, things become a bit too easy, and dat be good for no-one."

Neither of them wanting to affect the uneasy peace, they finished their meal in silence.

##

Tara took the opportunity, once the table had been cleared, to lean forward. "So, let me guess." She placed her elbows on the table and rested her head in her hands. "You have a crack team of shadowy heroes - half mutants, half mages - that run around the world investigating suspicious archaeological digs and dabbling in cybercrime against oppressive corporations, barely managing to stay off the public radar no matter how high profile your cases get?"

"Nah, no real magic users. We're kind of the P.R. team for mutantkind, which means we strap on fancy costumes, usually wi' robes and capes for the ones who can fly and solve problems with our fists to take the spotlight off your average joe with three eyes who just wants to hold a job with a decent wage. The more of us doing good in the media... Well, there's a lot less of us then there used to be and it hasn't really made the racism any easier to deal with. As for why we're public with powers in the first place? It's kind of hard to keep a low profile when the local demons have enough power to pull off a transitory full-manifestation soul-corrupting planar merge with most of New York City." Remy grinned at the look on Tara's face. "And I haven't even mentioned the aliens yet."