|Fic: Tiny Terror
||[Sep. 2nd, 2010|12:42 pm]
Cable x Deadpool
Title: Tiny Terror
Pairing: None as of yet, though implied getting togetherness occurs
Fandom: Deadpool/Marvel/Cable and Deadpool
Summary: Wade gets shrunk with Pym Particles. Cable tries to ‘help’ and Wade calls him out on it. Two days later, the Hydra Base thing in Pakistan happens, but it’s AU from there.
Warnings: For those who really LOVE the whole Wade/Weasel/PeneTRAITOR thing, I apologize. This story negates that happening. While I enjoyed that arc, too, this is what my brain put together and the negation… yeah. ALSO: Remember the scene in the early part of Cable & Deadpool wherein Cable drags Wade to the U.N. teleconference, and then bodyslides them away again, with Wade returning to the X-Men while Cable returns to Providence? That’s my whole reasoning on the bodyslide thing I use later.
Acknowledgements: Thanks go to tinypinkmouse for being my beta-reader. Thanks also go to everyone else who so enthusiastically offered to beta for me! Y’all rock my socks with your helpfulness! If this story sucks, that's all on me; NOT the beta!
Disclaimer: I do not own Deadpool, Cable, and any other Marvel character referenced in the story; they are not mine. They are the property of their creators, Liefeld/Nicieza/Marvel. I am making no money off of this fanfiction.
“You have got to be kidding me.”
Deadpool turned around on the point of Rhino’s biggest horn, away from the reporter he’d been talking to. His turn was graceful; he never lost his balance and remained standing perfectly centered on the tip of the horn as he glared up at a familiar, and currently hated, man.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Wade growled.
Cable lifted both eyebrows. “Gareb saw the incident taking place and alerted me.”
“So you came all the way over from Fake-ass-name-istan to save Rhino from me? Awww. That’s our Savior; always so concerned about endangered species.”
Nathan frowned. “I came to see if you needed any help.”
Wade shuddered. “Thanks, but no thanks. Last time you decided to ‘help’ me, I had a hallucinogenic freak-out that makes Michael Richards look like the next Mr. Rogers.”
And there went Nate’s “I has a sad” face. “Wade… I only wanted—“
“Funny how your ‘I wants’ always end up with me getting the bum-rush.”
Deadpool leaped down from Rhino’s chained and unconscious body. With his head held high, still only three inches tall, Wade began walking away. Abruptly, he stopped and turned, pointing up at the other man.
“Y’know, Nate, I just don’t get – Jeebus Crisco in a biscuit, you are fucking Giganti-man or something! Dude, if one of us needs Pym Particle shrinkage, it definitely ain’t me. Or maybe it is me, ‘cause at least now I don’t have to worry about doin’ damage to some fine lady if—“
“Okay, you? Shut up. Every time you try to talk me into something, I do it knowing that I’m gonna end up getting fucked over. Not this time, Nate. D’you hear me? You don’t get to do this to me. You don’t get to turn me into your personal yo-yo.”
Wade began making the motions of playing with a yo-yo. “With every flick out, you extend a helping hand or trust or fucking symbolic thing like Key to the goddamned City. Every twirl in, you take it back. Oops! No, sorry. There was a hidden clause in the trust contract, and you broke it! Flick out – ‘I trust you, Wade!’ Twirl in – ‘But you’re still not good enough.’ Flick out – ‘Hey, thought I’d stop by to say hi since I’m in the area.’ Twirl in – ‘What’s that? You chose the side opposite from mine? No, sorry; now I gotta punish you for it by making it so nobody will hire you!’ Flick out – ‘Watch my back, Wade, even though all I’ve done so far is throw you away.’ Twirl in – ‘Psych! I’m throwing you away again, literally, say bye-bye to Rumekistan!’ Flick out—“
“I get it, Wade,” Nathan said, his voice low and dark with emotion.
Wade figured he felt all butthurt and was trying to make him feel guilty about it. Nuh-uh, no way, José! Not this time, not ever.
“I do not care that you are butthurt!” Wade snapped, pointing up at the other man again. “You fucked me over, Summers. If anyone has a right to feel butthurt, it’s me.”
Nathan went down on one knee so they could see each other better face-to-entire-body.
“It’s obvious that you do feel that way,” Nate said, his voice low and gentle. Gruff. Masculine. Wade hated him. “I… never really meant for that to happen. The opposite, in fact, Wade. I wanted you to come back to me.”
“So you can butthurt me all over again in new and unhappy ways? Because literally throwing me out of Rumekistan but keeping the others wasn’t enough? Do you know how much it hurt when I landed? My neck broke, my spine broke… everything broke! I lay there for hours, knitting back together, and a random goat found me and peed on my face! I was left lying in rocks and dirt, broken, with goat pee on my face! But that wasn’t enough for you! Apparently, I wasn’t broken and humiliated enough, because then you resorted to mind rape!”
Nathan, who was already wincing at the broken bones tirade, went absolutely pale and lurched backwards until he toppled over onto his backside.
Wade scrambled up onto one massive boot, stomped his way up Nate’s shinbone, and stood perched on the man’s knee with his hands on his hips.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Wade sneered. “You did what you did to my brain without permission. You invaded it, you tore open my synaptic hymen without any kind of howdy-do, and used my own fucked up memories to torture me. You raped my brain, Priscilla. Why the hell would you do that to someone you claim as a friend?”
Nathan looked like he was about to puke. Wade hoped he did, right in front of the cameras.
“Wade…” Nate reached his right hand forward, instinctively wanting to touch the other man in a reassuring manner. That Wade was actually smaller than some of his fingers at the moment stopped him, as did the katana that Wade swiftly pulled from its sheath. Tiny though the weapon was, it could still shred him to the bone if Wade wanted to do that bad enough.
Pulling his hand back, Nate tried again. “Wade, that… I’m sorry. That wasn’t—“
“What you meant to do,” Wade sneered. “You never mean it, Nate, but you never seem to mind doing it. What is it about me that makes it okay for heroes to do shit like that to me? I know I’m a mental whack-job, I know I’m a monster, but I never wanted t’ be, y’know? I just wanted to get my cancer fixed, and instead I get Mengele’d and turned into an unstable freak. That’s the hand I got dealt. Other guys and gals get dealt crappy hands, but the hero squad turns fucking cartwheels to help them get better or get over it or change things around. Me? I’m always the one thrown away. I get picked up, played with, and then thrown away.”
Wade sighed, crossing his arms over his chest as he scowled at Nate. The katana he still held dangled down the left side of his body.
“Bad guys, invading aliens, complete goddamned strangers get more compassion than I do – and you can’t tell me it’s just ‘cause of my runaway mouth and my charming demeanor. So why? Why is it the rest of the fucking universe gets sympathy and a ready helping hand, but I’m the one given grudging assistance and the bum-rush?”
Nate looked sad – no, he looked crushed. Like Wade had broken something inside him for a change.
“Wade, I’ll… do better,” said Nathan. “Come back with me. I’ll get you grown again and we can work this out. I’ll do better—“
Deadpool shook his head; held out one palm in a STOP gesture. Nate went silent and the onlookers waited to see what would happen next.
“You can’t do better,” Wade said, his voice low and gruff. “The sad truth of the matter, Nate, is that you were a better friend to me than I’ve ever had – except maybe for Weasel. Maybe it has to be this way. I’m too broken, I guess. Nobody takes care of broken things anymore. We just get sent to the landfill when we’re past the point of all usefulness.”
“You’re not, Wade. You’re not past that point and you don’t belong in a landfill,” Nathan said, shaking his head.
“I feel like it.” In that instant, Wade’s voice reflected how very tired he was. Sick and tired. “You gave it your best shot, Nate. I appreciate that, I really do. Not your fault you don’t have time for anything more than a patch-job. Not your fault I’m broken. You didn’t break me, and what did break me, I signed up for. And even though I really hate what you did to me with my own brain, I don’t hate you for it. Well… maybe a little bit. Okay, a lot, but in that I-say-I-hate-you-but-it’s-mostly-to-cover-up-how-betrayed-I-feel kind of way. Still, you were trying to do the best you could with what you had. Wasn’t your fault that the goods you were working with were already trashed.”
Abruptly, Wade stuck the katana into Nathan’s knee, prompting a flinch and a hiss of pain.
“But you don’t ever do that to me again,” the mercenary snarled. “I didn’t deserve being mind raped. Do it – or anything like it – again, and I’ll go rustle up the Ghost Rider and see to it he serves you up a dose of his Penance Stare. You’re not evil, so it won’t make you insane to the point of death, but I’m willing to bet my Bea Arthur collection it’ll still sting like a bitch of a bag of a thing.”
“No need to bother Ghost Rider,” Nate said, looking at the blood welling up around the mini-katana. “I won’t hurt you again.”
“Heroes don’t lie, Nate,” Wade said, jerking the sword free and making Cable flinch again. “So stop doing it. I’ll see ya ‘round. Try not to fuck things up until I’m at least big enough to come bail your big, half-metal ass out.”
“My ass is not half-metal.”
Wade sighed, leaped down, and walked away. The gathered crowd of onlookers parted for the three-inch figure, watching him go in silence.
Nathan sighed as he used the gravimetric shield to lift himself off the rubble-strewn street. He floated into the air and looked down, but Wade had already vanished from sight.
Another sigh, and then the alleged Savior of Our World flew into the night, heading back to Rumekistan.
Two days later, Wade was using a keycard on the inner lip lining of a hapless Hydra employee when he was abruptly plucked away into the air. The man he’d been tormenting whimpered with relief, but the sound quickly turned to fear and the green fabric covered form trembled harder on the floor.
Wade, seeing the faint blue glow that came with recognizable telekinesis (or, in some mutants’ cases, gravimetric shield), sighed roughly as he was turned to face his tormenter.
“Whaddya want now, Priscilla?” he asked, his tone of voice indicating long suffering. “I was just gonna get him to cooperate – I swear!”
“And once he’d carried you where you needed to go?” Cable asked wryly, holding his right hand palm up and floating Deadpool onto it. “Would he have been garroted? Stabbed? Shot?”
“Oh, God,” whimpered the Hydra agent on the floor.
“Shush, Fido,” Deadpool ordered the man. “I adopt strays, not kill them.”
“My name is Bob,” snapped the Hydra agent, “not Fido. And I’m not a—“
“I said: I don’t kill strays,” Wade repeated, and his tone had shifted to one of manic cheerfulness. “Sure you don’t want to be a stray?”
Bob, now sitting up, gulped loudly. “Uh… arf, I say!”
“Good boy, Bob. You’ll get a Scooby snack later. Hey, waitaminute! Bob? As in, blogger Bob?”
The Hydra mask eyeholes widened. “You’ve read it?”
“I did,” Weasel grunted, stepping out from behind Cable. “Kinda bland, and really? You joined without even checking to see if Hydra had dental?”
Bob, with blood running in a thick line over his lip and down his chin, scowled at the man with the Coke-bottle glasses and ruffled chicken hair.
“I have a family to provide for,” Bob shot back, “a wife and kids. I needed the money sooner rather than later.”
Nathan rolled his eyes even as Wade whistled sharply, and said, “Boys! Boys! If you don’t settle down and behave, I’m gonna put you in Time Out!”
Pouting, both Bob and Weasel looked away.
“Now,” Wade said, turning around on Nathan’s palm to look at the man directly, “what are you doing here?”
“I keep tabs on you, Wade. I like to know how you’re doing.” Nathan’s blue eye was warm as he looked at the tiny mercenary. “I found out about your mission and decided to come help you; to watch your back. Like a real friend would.”
“Is that some kinda crack at my expense?” Weasel grumbled, shooting Cable a glare.
“No,” Nathan replied. “No, Weasel – sorry. Just… Wade had a lot to say the last time I saw him—“
“When doesn’t he?”
“—and he made some very good points. I’ve been less of a friend and more of a hard-ass and he deserves better. That’s why I’m here. I just want to help. Really.”
“Uh-huh,” Wade said, his tone expressing his disbelief. He crossed his arms over his chest. “How much is this gonna cost me in terms of sermons and penance? Gonna skip the mind rape this time and go right to the real deal?”
To Wade’s shock, Nate shuddered (hard enough to drop Wade on his butt into the palm of Nate’s hand) and made a gagging noise.
Irritated, hurt, Wade muttered, “Look, I know I’m fuckin’ ugly, but you don’t—“
“No! No. That’s not it, Wade.” Oh, and there was Nate’s stomped-puppy-hurt look that made Wade feel like he’d committed a heinous sin. “I just… you really think I would do that to you?”
Bob was highly confused and he looked to Weasel for answers as the other man came closer. Weasel shook his head.
“They had a messy divorce,” the genius muttered. “Wish they’d just fuck and make up, already.”
Bob’s bright red blush seeped out from under the edges of his mask, his vivid embarrassment staining his skin all the way down to his chin.
Wade, still standing on Nate’s palm, was silent for a few moments. Then, he sighed, letting his arms fall away from his chest.
“No,” he admitted. “I mean, I definitely think that if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it. But I don’t think you’d try to hurt me or humiliate me that bad. You’re a hero, after all.”
“I’m not a hero, Wade. Just a guy who wants to do the right thing.”
“Yeah. Me, too… sometimes.”
Nate quirked a little smile. “Then, maybe we are heroes, after a fashion. After all, aren’t you here to rescue somebody even though you don’t like him?”
Wade scowled beneath his mask. “Altruism doesn’t have anything to do with it! I had four very good reasons for coming here!”
“He really did,” Weasel seconded, mind happily replaying the very pretty memory of those four reasons.
Nate sighed. “Perky breasts aside, you’re still doing the right thing, Wade. I’m prou—“
“No.” The word was snarled in a guttural tone even as Wade pulled guns from their holsters with both hands and aimed at Nate’s face. “Do not say those words. Do not say them to me, ever.”
Bob, eyes wide behind his mask, glanced at Weasel. Weasel quickly shook his head, signifying either an unwillingness to talk about it or that he didn’t know why. The gesture wasn’t clear.
Nathan and Wade stared each other down. Finally, Nathan nodded just a tiny bit and Wade put his guns away.
“Aren’t you supposed to be off mixing it up with Rogue and the rest of ‘em?” Wade grumbled.
Nathan raised an eyebrow. “How did you know about Rogue’s X-team?”
“Hey! Wikipedia wins.”
All three normal-sized men regarded the tiny figure with confusion and worry for a few moments.
Wade sighed. “Never mind. Let’s just go find Hayden and get the hell out of here. Hey! Weasel! Didn’t I leave you out on that cliff?”
“You did,” said Weasel dryly. “Cable spotted me as he came in and hauled me along with him.”
“Less chance of him getting left behind this way,” said Nathan, transferring Wade to his shoulder. Deadpool immediately scrambled up onto his head, settling amongst the thick strands of white hair and gripping several hairs as makeshift reins.
“Are you calling me careless? Yah! Giddyup!”
“I don’t know where to giddyup to, Wade – and, yes, you can be remarkably careless sometimes.”
Seeing what looked to be another marital spat brewing, Weasel sighed, grabbed Bob by the arm, and put a gun to his head. The other man went rigid and made a strangled noise of fear.
“Take us to wherever they’re holding Agent X,” Weasel said, “or I’m going to convince Deadpool that you’re not a stray.”
Bob gulped audibly. “This way!”
In the end, thanks to Cable being there, getting Hayden out of the Hydra complex went better than Wade had hoped for upon seeing the gargantuan mountain of flesh his doppelganger had become.
Using his gravimetric shield, Cable had floated Hayden along behind them as Wade – made bigger thanks to the Hydra scientists’ cache of Pym Particles – cleared a path and Weasel forced Bob along as a supposed hostage.
By the time Nathan bodyslide-by-five’d them out of there, Hydra had been left in complete disarray.
The Agency X headquarters suddenly became a lot more cramped with the bulk of Hayden filling the outer office. With Cable and Wade’s tall, muscular frames, space became sort of a premium.
Sandi and Outlaw, in the midst of lunch, stared at them all with wide and startled eyes.
Then, all hell broke loose.
While the girls swarmed over Hayden, and interrogated Weasel and Bob, Nathan ducked aside, pulling Wade with him. He kept pulling until they were shut away in the boss’ office, the closed door muting the sounds of expository shouting going on outside.
“You really wanna fight in close quarters like this?” Wade asked on a growl, and then yelped when Nathan flicked a finger and the Deadpool mask was pulled off of his head.
“I don’t want to fight,” Nathan replied, looking at Wade’s scarred face.
Wade Wilson was much more frightening without his mask, but still suited up. Not because of the messed up skin, but because he suddenly seemed more human. In his uniform, Wade looked like what he was: a very, very, very dangerous man, but with the mask on, there was no human element. With his face exposed, with those cold brown eyes visible, there was the sudden realization that a human man was capable of delivering great pain and violence.
Now, those cold brown eyes looked at Nathan warily. Clearly, Wade expected Cable to do something to him.
“So, what are you doing?” the shorter man challenged.
Nathan smiled. “Just talking, Wade; face-to-face.”
Wade grimaced and looked away. “Don’t see why you’d want to.”
“Because I like it better this way.”
The look Wade gave him let Nathan know the mercenary thought him to be crazy.
Nathan stepped closer. “Wade… thanks for letting me tag along on this mission.”
“Could I have stopped you?”
Nathan laughed. “Wade, at three inches tall, you took down the Rhino and terrified an entire bar full of cold-hearted, jaded, blood-thirsty mercenaries, as well as broke into and demoralized a Hydra complex.”
“Pffft. That’s Hydra; all you have to do is wave a Captain America poster around and they hit the deck crying for their mommies.”
“True enough. But the rest of it…”
Wade grinned, pleased with himself. “Yeah, the rest of it was pretty awesome.”
Nathan moved closer, gradually easing into Wade’s personal space. “Still, thanks for letting me tag along. I’m not done trying to make it up to you for being a crappy friend, but I like to think this mission…”
“Went a long way towards doing that?” Wade supplied. At Cable’s nod, the mercenary sighed and rubbed at the back of his head wearily. “Nate… I ain’t gonna pretend like everything’s suddenly cool between us. You hurt me, dude. I let you get close and you…”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
Wade snorted. “If you were really sorry, you’d have let our argument get posted in the news instead of havin’ Gareb scramble the news cameras and cellphones.”
Nathan grinned. “I’m not that sorry, Wade.”
“O’ course not.”
Nathan moved a little bit closer, now standing within a foot of his quarry. “Wade, you were right to call me on my behavior. My ‘I-know-everything’ complex, as you call it, tends to leave me short-sighted about peoples’ feelings.”
“You also tend to forget you don’t know everything,” Wade griped. “And if you knew everything about me, you’d know what I do to know-it-all messianic types that try to tell everyone what to do and how to do it.”
“You ‘Rochambeau’ them into submission.”
Wade’s eyes widened. “You know about that? And you still risked…”
Nathan moved closer; now standing directly in front of Wade, very much in his personal space.
“Wade,” he said seriously, “to help you, I’d risk anything.”
It was at that point that Wade noticed that Nathan was very much in his personal space and that the desk was directly behind him.
“You – uh – hey, Nate. Come here often?” he joked, nervous.
“What?! Nate, there is no reason for you to be this close to me unless you’re planning something completely inappropriate and unhygienic on Hayden’s desk!”
Nathan smirked, just a little bit. “And if I was…?”
Wade’s eyes went comically wide as he made an unintelligible noise. He draped backwards, propping himself up on his hands that he braced on the desk’s top, while Nathan leaned forward. Big, strong arms went to either side of Wade’s torso, and the two men stood in a poised, highly suggestive tableau.
“Do you want this?” Nathan asked, his voice low and gruff.
Uncertain that he did, uncertain as to what game Nate was playing, Wade slowly shook his head in stilted movements.
Nathan sighed. He tipped his head forward, resting his own forehead against Wade’s.
“I thought about what you said,” he told the mercenary. “You said that everyone gets help except you. I thought about how I’ve tried to help you and I realized it really didn’t seem that way to you. So, I’m going to do my best to be someone you can come to for help if or when you need it.”
Wade pulled his head back, shifting away from the feel of Nate’s skin against his and the feel of Nate’s breath puffing gently across his lips.
“Why?” he asked, quite blunt. “Why does it matter so much to you that I come to you?”
“Because I want to be the one that saves you.”
That wasn’t an answer that Wade had expected – or wanted.
“I don’t need saving,” he growled.
“And because I want you to be the one that saves me.”
An answer that was far too confusing. “Huh?”
“We make a good team,” Nathan said, still leaning into Wade’s personal space. “We’re each other’s checks and balances; each other’s yin and yang.”
“I don’t follow that fruity feng shwee stuff.”
“Pretty sure it’s pronounced fung shway. That’s beside the point. What I mean, Wade, is that I never expected it – not in a million years, literally – but you are one of the most important people in my life. You’re one of the people that matter the most to me. I don’t want to lose you, especially because of my own arrogance.”
Wade winced. “Nate…”
“Remember when I sealed the fractures in your mind?”
“Remember what I told you when you said you weren’t worth it?”
“That you knew I was just scared.”
“How did I know that?”
“Because you—“ Wade’s eyes widened again. “You read my mind.”
Nathan nodded. “Who else can do that?”
“…Nobody. You shouldn’t have been able to.”
“But I did. So I know how much you care about me.”
The mercenary closed his eyes. He was on the ropes, he was vulnerable, and he hated it. His hands clenched into fists as he fought to keep from grabbing his katanas and removing the perceived threat from existence.
Nathan touched his forehead to Wade’s again. “Not even Domino cares that much. You have… no idea, really, what it means to me that you give a damn about me.”
“Used to,” Wade muttered petulantly, eyes still closed. “Before the ruin-my-federally-funded-career thing. And the Rumekistan thing. And the mind rape thing.”
“I know. I figured as much. Which is why I’m trying to make it up to you, so you care that much again. I want you to feel like that again. I want to be worthy of it, because a man like you doesn’t give that much unless he feels he has a good reason to.”
That, right there, explained why Wade had tried for so long to play along with Nate’s “be better than a cold-blooded killer” idea. He’d wanted to be worthy of the compassion the other man had given him for no apparent reason. There weren’t many people willing to offer a monster like him something so precious, after all.
Are we back to being emo, then, little yellow boxes? Wade groused to the other part of his psyche.
Shut up, the other voice shot back. It looks like you’re about to be otherwise occupied.
Nate’s warm, flesh-and-blood hand cupped the left side of Wade’s face. Wade twitched and opened his eyes.
“Wade…?” the taller man queried. “You in there?”
“I’m right here, you ass,” Wade grumbled. “Just… trying to figure stuff out.”
“Are you willing to let me try repairing our friendship?”
“You gonna keep going Brokeback Mountain on me if I say no?”
Nathan grinned. “If it really bothered you, Wade, you’d have put your knee to work and gotten away from me by now.”
Wade snorted. “Just because I’m tolerant of other lifestyles does not mean—“
His voice sputtered away as Nathan’s lips touched his. The kiss, to his surprise, was not about dominance or proving a point.
It was simply a kiss, because Nate wanted to.
And if Wade, as he opened his mouth to allow the kiss, made a tiny hungering noise, then it was all in somebody’s imagination ‘cause he would never.
The kiss remained just a kiss. There was no sudden twining together; no grappling and clawing at each other as they rutted wildly on Hayden’s desk.
Wade still counted it as one of the best moments in his life – not that he’d ever tell anyone that; especially the smug-looking guy pulling away from him, looking all smug and stuff.
“I liked that,” Nathan said, his voice low and gruff.
“’You know’ as in you know you’re a good kisser? Or ‘you know’ like Han Solo knows things?”
Wade blinked. “Since when did you start channeling my unique and charming crack-addled personality?”
Nathan laughed quietly as he rested his head on Wade’s left shoulder.
Wade sneered at himself for being schmoopy as he let Nate stay there, and said, “Little of column A, little of column B.”
He felt Nate’s grin through the fabric of his uniform and wondered when in hell he’d lost his damned mind again as he brought a hand up to begin stroking Nate’s hair.
They stood like that for a few more moments. Then, with a clearly unenthusiastic sigh, Nathan stood up straight, pulling himself away from Wade. The two men looked at each other in silence. Then, Nate sighed again and took a deliberate step away, and then another one.
“I have to go,” he said, his voice heavy with reluctance. “I don’t want to. I want to stay and work things out with you.”
“But your team needs you,” Wade replied, and tried not to let his voice display his resentment.
“Yes.” Nathan tipped his head to one side. “When I have some free time, may I come back, Wade?”
“Is there any way I could stop you?”
Nathan grinned at the other man. “If I tell you, then you’d stop me.”
“Oh, what a tragedy that would be,” Wade shot back, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Seriously, Wade: may I come back?”
“You mean: can you try to ingratiate yourself back into my occasionally good graces?”
Wade thought about it, then shrugged. “Ahhhh, what the hell. Why not? We could use another hand around for a good game of poker.”
Nathan smirked. “Make it strip poker, and you’ve got yourself a deal.”
“Is there any other kind when a gal like Inez is playing?”
Nathan laughed, and Wade tried not to be a thirteen-year-old girl and feel a thrill at the sound of it.
“I have to go.”
“So you’ve said. Get outta here, already.”
The mercenary sighed roughly. “Alright, fine. If it helps you sleep better at night and you don’t start crying like a little girl that’s lost her favorite murderous dolly – not that I’m anything like that creepazoid Chucky – I will let you court me.”
Nathan’s eyes widened. “Court you?”
“What else would you call what you’re doing? By the way: I expect exceptionally fine chocolates, a decent bouquet and not some cheesy wildflower spur-of-the-cheap-moment crap, and if you ever want to make it to second base with me, you’d better be prepared to treat me like a princess.”
Nathan gave the other man a skeptical look. “A princess… right. An exceptionally male, especially temperamental princess?”
Wade beamed. “I knew you’d get me.”
Nathan laughed again. “Here’s hoping I do.” He snuck another kiss, and then stepped out of range, because the movement had been fast and Wade’s reflexes were lethal.
“I’m serious, lovebug,” Wade muttered, bringing his fist back down. “The instant you try to hide me away like I’m an embarrassment, we’re divorced again. And not only will I keep the house, the dog, and half your fortune, but your entrails, too.”
Nathan gave the other man a warm, earnest smile. “I won’t hide you, Wade. Bodyslide by two.”
Wade felt the teleportation effect kick in, but Nate had long ago figured out how to mentally divert their paths. So, he shimmered in place for a few moments while Nathan teleported away to wherever it was that Rogue and the rest of her team were waiting.
Sighing, wondering what he’d let himself in for, Wade stood up straight and stretched. Making his way over to the door, he opened it—
--and dodged to the side as the rest of Agency X, Weasel, and Bob fell into the office.
Muttered yowls and protests for Alex to get his bulk off of them wafted up as Wade sneered down at them.
“That’s what you get!” he said with immense satisfaction, and stomped his way up onto and over Hayden as he left the office, enjoying the grunts and shrieks from the others trapped beneath the doppelganger.