Disclaimer: The characters belong to Marvel Comics.


Pros and Cons
By Reverdy


"What are you doing here, Remy?"

Glancing up from the screen of Jake's laptop, Remy grinned at Jake's bed-head and disgruntled expression.

"What does it look like I'm doing?"

"It looks like you broke into my house, hacked into my files, and woke me up at-" He glanced at the clock. "five o'clock in the morning! Give me one good reason not to throw your lanky butt out of here!"

"I made coffee," Remy replied.

"Oh." Jake paused. "Well, then I guess that makes everything alright then doesn't it?"

"You being sarcastic?"

"Remy, it's five in the morning," sighed Jake. "I can't even tell if I'm being sarcastic."

"Drink your coffee, Jake. It'll make you feel better."

Heeding Remy's advice, Jake wandered over to his good buddy, Mr. Coffee. He had to admit that Remy always made great coffee.

"So are you going to answer my question?"

"What was your question?"

"I asked what are you doing here."

"I need info on the Kingpin. There wasn't much on him the X-Men's database. I tried Emma Frost's files and Reed Richards's, but dey weren't much help either. So I decided to see you."

"You could've called."

"True, but den I would've missed out on seeing your p.j.s," Remy laughed, eying the cute little sheep on Jake's pajamas.

"I hate you," grumbled Jake, but not even he believed that anymore. Cheering up a little, he asked, "Why are you suddenly interested in the Kingpin."

"I have reason t'believe dat he's trying to expand his opperation into my territory."

"Your territory?"

"Well, de Guild's territory."

"And that would be bad?" asked Jake, sinking into his favorite chair and reaching for the newspaper.

"Yes, dat would be bad! It'd ignite a war dat would not only threaten us but would also place thousands of innocents at risk! I can't let that happen." His jaw tightened and his eyes burned with an angry determination that almost frightened Jake.

He pitied whoever was on the receiving end of that fury. Remy wasn't the free-spirited, careless pretty-boy he appeared to be. He genuinely cared about people and felt that it was his responsibility to help almost everyone. Combined with his power, talent, and resourcefulness, his sense of duty made him a force to be reckoned with. Jake had to admit that he admired that about Remy.

"So, do you need any help?"

"Nah," replied Remy. "I could use some breakfast, though."

"Are you always hungry?"

"Non, not all of de time. Just most of the time."

"I'll see if I have anything." Rooting through his refrigerator, Jake realized that he didn't have much of an offering. Globe-hopping and international espionage didn't leave a lot of time for grocery shopping.

"How about pizza?"

"What kind?"

"Uhm..." Jake peeled away the plastic to find out. "Eew. The moldy kind."

"No, thanks. What else?"

"There's leftover pie, which is also moldy, and bagels."

"Moldy bagels?" Remy asked cautiously.

"No, blueberry."

"Blueberry's good." Remy's voice grew distant.

"Personally, I don't like blueberry, so if you want to finish them, that's okay." Remy didn't answer. Jake looked up to find him studying something intently with a mischevious little smile on his face. That smile made Jake nervous.

"Rem, what are you reading?"

"Hmm? Oh, nothing," Remy quickly replied. He clicked the mouse a few times. Jake walked over to peer over his shoulder, but the only thing that was on the screen was the desktop.

"What were you looking at?" asked Jake suspiciously.

"Nothing!" Remy repeated, inching toward the printer as it began to print.

"Oh, no, you don't!" Jake lunged toward the printer. Unfortunately, Remy was faster. "Give it to me ,Remy!" Jake tried to snatch it away from him but Remy was stronger, too. With one swift motion, Remy pushed him to the ground and sat on him with his feet on Jake's arms.

"You really want to know what I was reading?" Jake heard the teasing note in Remy's voice and knew that his worst fear had come true. Remy had found his list.

"No! Remy, I swear I'm gonna kick your ass if you read that!"

Remy ignored him and cleared his throat. "Ahem. "The Pros and Cons of Being a Woman". I t'ink I'll start with the pros 'cause dey're funnier."

"Please stop!"

"Pro #1- wearing silk panties."

"I'll give you anything! My car, money, my eternal soul, ANYTHING!"

"Pro #2-not having to use public urinals."

"I promise I'll never whine again!"

His pleas fell upon deaf ears. Laughing hysterically, Remy continued to read the hated list. Jake would never forgive his therapist for making him write that thing. She said that it would help him learn to deal with his situation. Somehow Jake doubted that any good could come out of this humiliation. By number twenty, he had resigned himself to his fate. The growing shame within him stole his voice and his will to fight. Remy would read his entire list; he'd discover his most secret secret.

"And now we've reached de end," Remy announced. "#25 on Jake's list of things that are nice about being a woman. And it is -- oh." Remy stopped.

Jake knew that he would die of embarrassment. Remy _knew_. Now, things would be weird between them. They wouldn't be able to talk and joke around anymore. Their friendship was over. Jake had never been able to make friends easily. The people he did befriend rarely stuck around very long. He and Remy had been friends for almost a year. A year might not be very long for a normal person, but for Jake it was an eternity. Remy was one of a small number of people that Jake cared about and loved.

He felt Remy move off him.

Keeping his eyes closed, he began to count.

Although it wasn't logical, he figured that Remy would be gone when he reached one hundred.

'...98,99,100.'He opened his eyes to find Remy staring at him.

"What were you doing?"

"Counting."

"Why?"

"I was waiting for you to leave." Jake studied the wall, the bookshelf, his hands, anything other than Remy.

"You want me to leave?" Remy asked quietly.

"No, but you're going to."

"Who says?"

"What?"

"Who says dat I'm going to leave?"

"Well, aren't you?" Blue eyes searched Remy's face for some clue as to what was going on behind that inscruntiable mask.

"Of course not. I haven't had breakfast yet."

"Oh." Jake couldn't think of anything to say; but as his mother always said "When you don't know what to say, do." Of course, seeing as how the only "doing" she ever did always involved the college boys she picked up on her way to work, her advice probably wasn't the best to follow. Even so, he was hungry.

"Okay. I'll start breakfast then."

"D'accord. Hey, can I change somethin' on your list?"

"Sure." Carefully avoiding Remy's eyes, Jake edged past him into the kitchen. As began preparing the breakfast things, he could he the scratch of Remy's writing.

Remy came to help him, and, as he searched for another clean plate, his eyes fell on the list Remy had left on the table.

Originally, Jake had written "Remy acts like he might like me."

Remy had crossed out most of number twenty-five and had written one word to replace those he had crossed out. Now it said "Remy loves me."

Looking up, Jake found Remy watching him again. He was trying to decide what to say when the smell of burning bagels reached his nose. Startled out of his daze, he hurried to save breakfast.

After the danger was averted and they had eaten everything in sight, Jake began to realize that not only were they still friends, but they could possibly be more.

"Remy?"

"Yeah Jake?" yawned Remy. His cheek was flattened against the table, and his out-flung arms almost brushed Jake's.

"Me, too."

"What?"

Jake pointed to his list. "Me, too." He gestured to himself, then at the word "love", and then at Remy.

"Oh." It wasn't a very articulate answer, but the smile Remy gave him spoke volumes.



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