Shrimpin' -or- Bonding for the X-Gene Inclined




"So..." Scott shoved his baseball cap back.

"So," Remy replied, tilting his cowboy hat forward.



Looking out into the horizon-- the ruby quartz protected Scott's eyes against the setting sun's rays-- Scott counted the bobbing buoys for the umpteenth time. He then checked the coiled ropes on the deck and compared their GPS coordinates against a map. He looked out at the horizon once more. He stretched.


"Shrimpin'." Remy hadn't moved since they cast the nest. Hell, he barely moved his lips when he talked.

"Is this it? We just... sit here and drink beer?"

"An' eat peanuts." He might have smiled.

Scott tapped his hands against the railing. "To what purpose? Can't we just leave the nets there and do something else in the meantime?"


"Why not?"

"'Cuz. We're shrimpin'." Remy slumped further into his collapsible chair, one leg flung over the arm, his arm extended behind his head, the rest of his spine curved to the point where the possibility that he owned bones neared zilch.

"Are there even shrimp this close to the coast?"

"'Prolly not. And if they are, they're swimmin' in contaminants from the factories on the coast. Prolly have fifteen legs, twelve eyes, and extra heads. Plus, I think the nets had holes in 'em."

"So we are, in fact, on a boat that doesn't work fishing for mutant shrimp that may not even exist."


Scott exploded. "Then why are we here?"

Finally, Remy showed some sign of life. He cracked one eye open. "You gotta learn to relax, Scotty."

"Gambit." The tone Scott used had been known to render hardened soldiers into quivering masses. Remy was immune.

"Here we are, privy to one of the best sunsets this side of the Atlantic an' you're whinin' like a rusty red cart with a hound dog on Canal Street at midnight."

Scott blinked. "That made no sense."

"Ain't supposed to."

"You made that up."


"To drive me nuts."


Scott collapsed into the other chair. "What did I do to deserve this?"

"Think it had something to do with your wife dyin', you goin' out with a rank bitch an' expecting her to act nice, and then getting' surprised when she mentally squeezed your balls into paste." Swinging one arm down to grab his beer, he glugged down a mouthful, sighed with gusto, and dropped the bottle back down under his seat.

Half tempted to throw something at him, Scott decided to drink beer as well. He needed the alcohol. "So what did you do to deserve spending off days with me?"

"Whole business with Apocalypse and becoming Death, Wielder of Deadly Flatulence. Xavier thought I needed some downtime for havin' the lamest power known to man."

Scott winced. "On the other hand, I think I lucked out."

"Yeah. You may have gotten screwed but you got tail. Me, I got thrown over for a reject from The O.C." Remy cocked an eyebrow at him. "You let him in the team, if I recollect correctly."

"We needed the manpower," he said, shrugging. "You were too busy posing on the roof."

"Thinking. I was thinking."

"Oh, is that what Calvin Klein calls it?"

Shaking his head just enough to keep his cowboy hat from moving, Remy said, "This is why your relationships never work out, Scotty. You turn everything into a snark."

"I'm sure turning everything into a sexual innuendo has worked brilliantly for you. How many times have you been dumped by the same woman? Five, six times?"

Remy glared. "Now you're getting petty."

"I'm on a non-working mutant shrimp boat off the coast of Buttfuck, Mississippi with warm beer, a hairy Cajun, and half a tonne of mutant shrimp. Meanwhile, my school is overrun by my current girlfriend, my non-dead wife, and a woman who pranced around me in a bathing suit, ribbons, and jet fuel for two years. All I have left is petty."

"Good point."

The boat rocked. In the horizon, the last bit of sunlight made is escape, bathing the men in florid purple light.





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