A/N: Well what the heck. This was random. Ah well, it amuses me, not to mention it's nicer than what I've been writing. O.o

What's Chinese for Thief?

I see him hanging around outside of New Peaking, pretending to admire the strange Asian fish. But I know his game. He's waiting for some unsuspecting family to show up so he can take them by surprise and-

And here comes one now. They're the young budget type. The mother looks as if she could whip out her check book any moment to double check the balance. The father isn't much better. When they sit down he'll probably shout, "Just water!" before the waitress can ask what they'd like, and demand they only order what the specials are, even if little Sally there is allergic to shrimp.

They walk through the door and he slips in behind them, seemingly unnoticed. "Four, nonsmoking," the father says. The uninvited one trails behind them. The family sits down at a large corner booth, about four feet away from mine.

He mingles with the crowd at the buffet for a while, watching them. The waitress comes for their orders, leaves, and -then he strikes.

General Tao's chicken. Crab cakes. Lao Mien. Egg Drop Soup. Nothing in Chinese cuisine is safe from the greedy man with cheep tongs.

The family files out of the booth in an orderly fashion, and faster than you can say Year of the Boar he's sitting there cramming food in his mouth like it's going out of style.

I shake my head.

He does this every Saturday afternoon; waits for a family, comes in with them, then hit the buffet and leaves. It's terrible, the restaurant looses profit, it confuses the customers, and it must be stopped!

I intend to do just that.

"Sir, you can't do that," I say, making sure to have my displeased face firmly in place. He looks at me wide-eyed; like he'd been caught doing something wrong. Which he had.

Then he smiles attractively and nods. "Yeah, I know…" He takes a rather large bite of egg roll.

Mr. Budget is the first to return, plate heaped with whatever was on the three dollars off coupon in today's paper. He stares at the food fiend. "Sorry, wrong table," the offensive young man with the stolen food says and gets up.

He comes over and sits across from me. I impersonate a fish, trying to find the right words to express just how flabbergasted I am.

"This… this is my table!"

"You take care of a bunch of kids, don't you?" he asks while picking up a piece of beef, not missing a beat.

"What? How-"

He points at me with his chopsticks. "You're face. It's got this permanent 'Get your hand out of the cookie jar and stop putting the cat in the dryer,' look to it. How many? Three? Four?"

"Seven," I reply coolly.

"Seven!" He looks me up and down. "You've got some wife!"

I glower. "They're my aunt's kids. I just watch them while they're at work."

He nods and then shovels some vegetable fried rice into his mouth. "Must be tough," he says thoughtfully. "I mean, I've only got myself to look after so I've got no idea how hard that must be. How old are you anyway?"

"Eighteen in a month," I say.

"Same here. Well, in a week." He trails off.

"You've got soy sauce on your nose."

"Ah, thanks." He whips it off. "So today's your day off?"

"Ye- now wait! I don't even know you and you're asking all these questions and sitting at my table and stealing food and- why are you doing this?"

His grey eyes flash with humor. "Figured I'd get a kick out of bugging you before ya rat me out. I'm going to have to wash dishes for at least a year to work of the debt you're about to make me pay."

"What do you mean?"

"You're in here every Saturday, alone. I've seen you. You're going to turn me in for all those times too, right?"

My cheeks flush; embarrassed at being caught. "I won't turn you in," I mumble.

"You won't?" he asks, surprised. "That's so-"

"If you pay for your meal today," I speak over him, an emotion of triumph coming over me that I haven't felt since I'd successfully made Meg's birthday cake. He pouts, and I laugh.

"Where do your aunt's work?" he suddenly demands. I stop laughing abruptly and give him a quizzical glance. "They own the nail salon down the street…"

He stands up. "How about you don't tell on me, and I take you out on a date next Saturday."

Again with the fish impressions. They should just put me in the tank up front.

"Seven a good time for you?" he asks. I nod dumbly, still trying to figure out where in the hell that question had come from. He smiles and leaves.

The waitress comes over with the bill and a fortune cookie. She thanks me for coming; I thank her for the food. I give her the money and open the cookie, then realize that he'd gotten away.

"Dammit!" I shout. Mrs. Budget glares at me. I crack the cookie open with such zeal I almost rip the fortune in two. It flutters to the table and reads:

A love is in your future.

'Yeah,' I think. 'And a great pain in the ass.'


A/N: So there's no way that really happens in real life, but wouldn't it be sort of funny? "" I'm thinking of making a few one-shots about these two. Maybe one or two more. I want to introduce er, guy number one's family.