Template:Featured Articles/8-2018

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David North/Maverick: Two X-Force prodigals catch up over dinner.

"You found me."

Felicia sounded pleased, standing from the small, balcony table she'd been seated at, and taking a step towards him in greeting. The ocean was at her back, the sky starting to go golden with the advancing sunset, and she pushed up her sunglasses into her hair. "Not that I had any doubts," she said, kissing his cheek gently, her hand on his shoulder to balance against her heeled sandals.

"You were not hiding," he replied easily, agreeable mood apparent in both tenor and tone of his voice. A warm palm came up to rest against her shoulder blade as North returned her greeting in kind. "At least, not that I could tell."

Smiling, Felicia folded herself back into her chair, gesturing to the one across from her as if he had flown to sit anywhere else. "Not from you, no. I suppose not," she said, returning her sunglasses to the bridge of her nose. Her smile, her gestures, had been sincere, but her eyes, tired. "I figured you'd be okay with seafood, wine, and a view."

"I am." He settled in across from her and topped up her wine glass before filling his. Her weariness had not gone unnoticed, but while his own eyes narrowed briefly behind the reflective lenses of his sunglasses, he chose not to comment on it unless she brought it up first, turning instead to sweep his gaze across the expanse of ocean presented before them. "As long as there are mussels."

Felicia took a sip of her wine, gently clinking the base of her glass against the rim of his as she lifted it to her mouth, giving him a lingering look. "Almost certainly. It's another vessel for the best bread in the world," she said, glancing away to the view when he looked back at her. "I wasn't sure when you were getting here so I've already ordered some oysters. Since you're so nice to meet me here, I'll share."

"How have you been, Mr North?"

"Busy," he replied, turning back to catch her in the corner of his eye. "Idle. You know how it is." They had both been absent from their usual headquarters the past year or so, each occupying their time with tasks in their respective corners of the European continent. "It seems that my 'work' wrapped up a lot quieter than yours."

Mouth twisting, Felicia's smile turned into something forced. "I'm pretty sure nuclear explosions have wrapped up quieter," she said, forgoing the illusion and tipping half her glass of wine down her throat. "How does it go? Hurry up and wait, then hurry up some more and have to spend the next two weeks shaking any potential tails in case there is a hit on you because you're pretty sure being a brunette for a year didn't make you suddenly have a new face?"

She cleared her throat. "Something like that. Anyway, I haven't been paying attention, what did you say you were doing? Other than being busy and idle?"

"Rebuilding the intelligence network. Doing grunt work and setting up safe houses. Tracking down my allegedly deceased brother," North shrugged, one shoulder rising and falling, both casual and dismissive in the single gesture. He picked up a delicate, almost translucent piece of prawn with his fork for further study. "Almost time to head back to our headquarters."

It had been more than year, after all. Perhaps someone had blown the mansion up in the meantime.