Gunn's hands trail over her back as they kiss, and she shivers, sending sparks trailing over her skin and onto his. He startles back, nervous, and then laughs. "Still got the mojo?"
"Apparently." Gwen watches the sparks disappear again, then stretches an arm out and points, away from Gunn. Opens the window inside her mind and watches with pleasure as a jolt of lightning gathers in her palm, flying across the room when she releases it.
Then, quick as that, she runs the same palm down Gunn's arm and there isn't so much as a crackle of static electricity.
They grin in tandem.
The morning after, Gwen feels pretty damn awkward, but she finds it's easy enough to disguise that with her special brand of patented I-don't-give-a-fuck.
Gunn only smiles at her, though, as he dons his suit again, straightening his tie like he's still imagining he's an international superspy.
It's hot, but she shakes it off and smirks. "Listen, Gunn, I don't--"
"Don't want me to get the wrong idea?" he cuts in. "Don't think we should get too serious? Don't do relationships?"
She shrugs uneasily, and when he plants a kiss on her lips, she's surprised.
Gunn smiles. "I got it. But if you ever change your mind..."
She doesn't feel more than a twinge when he walks out the door. She's not a relationship girl, anyway, she tells herself.
Six Months Later
It's been a while since Gwen's been out of the country, and right now America's no good for her. She feels the need to add to her collection, so she heads halfway across the world.
Africa's nice; it's got plenty of overconfident billionaires who don't expect professional thieves to come knocking at their doors. She spends two and a half weeks flitting from mansion to skyscraper to mansion, not for any specific purpose but fun.
She keeps some of the smaller loot--a couple of statuettes, a small tapestry, a rare book--and sells the rest. Overconfident billionaires, it turns out, are more eager to buy after they've been robbed.
And not a demon to be seen.
She's kind of loving it.
Gwen has a routine. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, she luxuriates in the services her hotel provides for high rollers such as herself. There's an exclusive rooftop pool, a spa that Hollywood celebrities would gag for, and the finest cuisine in the Southern hemisphere.
On Wednesdays, she insinuates herself into cocktail parties and ballroom dances, identifying marks and gathering information.
On Fridays, she meditates and consumes an alarming amount of high-protein foods.
On the weekends, she works.
She gains access into safes as if they'd sent her the codes in advance. Security is usually the usual group of mindless thugs, and avoiding them is as easy as zapping them.
She celebrates by heading to clubs, arms bare, and dancing with the prettiest boys and girls she can find. She lets them run their hands over her, then she picks the ones she likes the best, takes them back to her suite, and fucks them until the sun rises.
It's a good life.
One night, the loudspeakers break down, and she's pissy for a while. She had actually been enjoying the music for once, and not just the grind of the bass, counterpoint to the writhing of couple surrounding her, arms and legs and lips.
When the music stops, they drift away, and Gwen hates the feel of the sweat drying on her skin, hates being still and quiet and boring. She wants to dance.
She'll settle for a drink, though, and she swaggers to the bar, aware of every gaze following her. She throws an extra swing into her hips as she leans against the bar and orders a rum and coke.
After she gets it, she scans the area nearby, looking for an empty seat.
That's when she sees the man with one eye.
"This seat taken?" She slides into the chair opposite him with the confidence of someone who's never been turned down. (She hasn't.)
He shrugs, takes another draught of his beer, and she admires the line of his throat.
"My name's Gwen," she ventures, sipping her own drink.
He's cute, and the patch hints at a story she wouldn't mind hearing, if she could get him to even smile at her, but the most she can read is amusement in his eyes.
"What's your story, Xander?" She leans forward, making sure to show maximum cleavage.
"I know a girl like you," he says. "Like, in the biblical sense." For a second, he looks like a teenager. She likes it.
Daring, she places a hand over his, revels, as always, at the feel of bare skin. "I'd remember that, I think."
Three rounds later, she's still got his hand under hers, and she's halfway in love with his laugh, if nothing else. She finishes her last drink, a frothy confection that's more smoothie than anything else, and then slips one foot out of her sandal and runs it up his calf. "This doesn't seem like your kind of place, Xander."
He laughs. "It's not, but a guy at my hotel said it was the only decent place to get a drink." He signals to a waitress, but orders a soda instead of another beer.
She pouts. "You're not running out on me, are you?"
Xander shakes his head. "I just want to keep my head." His gaze drifts over the crowd, and she feels like she's losing her grip on him.
"Speaking of which," she blurts out, "what's with the eye?"
His entire body stills, and suddenly she knows, in the pit of her stomach, what the story really is.
She's seen too much freaky shit go down to not recognize its aftermath.
"I was in Los Angeles when the sun went out," she explains, and something like kinship slides over his face.
"You're still alive," he replies. "Congratulations."
She sips her drink, ice-cold water with a slice of lemon, and nods. "Where are you from?"
She chokes, coughs for a full minute, and realizes he's been rubbing small circles in her back. "You're still alive," she echoes. "Congratulations."
They clink their glasses together.
Time passes, and despite the moment's kinship, Gwen's still not getting through to him, and the night is getting old. There's still plenty of flesh on the dance floor, but she doesn't want them anymore. She wants him.
"Wanna get out of here?" She puts her hand on his, again, but lets a spark jump between them.
He startles, stares at her, then laughs.
"Why not?" he asks the ceiling, and when he returns his gaze to her, she can't help but laugh, too.
Their all the way to the exit before she recalls the opulence of her penthouse, and it feels wrong to bring him there, unnatural. "Your place?" she asks hopefully.
"Yeah." He grins, and suddenly he's ten years younger. "That okay?"
"Yeah." She starts to lean in, to kiss him, but then stops, suddenly nervous.
He's the one to breach the awkwardness, reaches out and runs a hand down her arm. Kisses her, instead.
Something like electricity runs through her, and Gwen pulls back, panicking. "Are you okay?"
He tilts his head and smiles. "Never been better." Then he kisses her again, and she knows exactly how he feels.