|Here There Be Lovers, Dreamers and Monsters (a Cable & Deadpool fanfic)
||[Sep. 6th, 2008|01:55 am]
Cable x Deadpool
Title: Here There Be Lovers, Dreamers, and Monsters|
Fandom: Marvel, Cable & Deadpool
Rating: Worksafe in this chapter
Summary: A high school AU featuring Nathan Summers and Wade Wilson.
Wade is a slacker, a careless boy content to go through his high school years doing the bare minimum of work. Nathan is a history teacher, recently having left a preparatory academy to come teach at a public school. He is determined to see that none of his students fail his class, and success appears imminent--except for one Wade Wilson. Curiosity begets attraction and the effect snowballs from there...
Notes: Written mostly because i love poking fun at the setting, and because imagining the characters IN said setting was initially hilarious. Beta’d by the indefatigably patient and phenomenally observant reddqueen , to whom I am forever indebted.
Monday was a hot, piss-tinted day, the heat of summer still seeping up from the blacktop and the sidewalk and, coupled with the hot breeze, serving more to roast any pedestrians alive than actually soothe them.
In groups of two or three, teenagers sauntered or stalled for time as they made their way to the first day of school. All tended in the general direction of the high school. The school was a collection of six non-descript beige buildings, horrifically post-modern in their design and construction. Their exteriors were corrugated like cardboard and the doors and windows, bordered in black metal, looked more like small glass cutouts suspended on the buildings than actual vistas out of them. Some group of overzealous teachers had put up signs in bright colors, which cheerfully welcomed the students back to the new year. Unfortunately, a few had already been half-torn down, and others had sagged from the walls, the adhesive on the tape gone soft and slightly melted with the heat.
Wade Wilson pedaled down the street, astride a bike that didn’t belong to him. It was a very nice bike, black, with chrome stunt pegs and chromed chain handlebars and spokes. Someone (not him) liked it an awful lot, which was part of the reason he’d stolen it in the first place.
He had to keep ducking overhanging tree boughs to avoid mussing his still-drying spiked hair; mustn’t muss the do, he thought, and idly hopped the bike off the curb. A small white car swerved to avoid him, its horn blaring, but he only stopped in his tracks in the middle of the street and flipped them the bird, muttering but still grinning, his dark eyes darting around, before he continued on.
Jack “the Weasel” saw him coming before anyone else did, and very briefly considered hiding before he saw some of the other students—Luke Cage, that creepy quiet Asian kid who liked cats a little bit too much, and their collective friends congregating near the doorway. It was either certain death by bully, or—
“Heya, Weas my man, ol’ buddy ol’ pal!” Wade swung the bike around, the tires humming against the pavement, and dismounted with one smooth movement. In the same fluid sweep he caught Weasel in his own version of a hug (read: headlock-and-noogie combo), and then shoved him away.
“Ya look skinnier, man. You eating?”
“Isn’t that Johnny Hurtado’s bike? Wade, you didn’t—”
“Johnny and I had a nice little talk. He was cool enough to lend me his bike. It’s all right,” Wade said, gesturing with open palms. But his grin was dangerous, almost feral, and “Weasel” was certain it hid something much darker. It never made any difference whether he angsted over things Wade did or not; he’d make the same mistake the next day, and by that point, he knew it was useless to correct the other boy.
“I see you changed the gauge of your nose-ring.”
“Ayup! You think any of the ladies’ll notice?”
“Sure…” Weasel said. He stopped to take a serious look at the other boy. Wade was taller than he was, with hair that was a dark sandy blond that lightened to the color of dark wheat some summers. Most currently it was spiked upright in various different directions. He was well-built, with a body that half the football team envied, and a constantly-expanding collection of rather disturbing scars, the explanations for which he changed every time he was asked about them.
The most current was on his neck, a pinkish welt with a crusted edge that looked like it might have been inflicted by a broken chain-link fence.
Or a wire clothes hanger. Weasel had learned not to ask. Wade was dangerous when asked too many serious questions. As it was, he stood still for the moment, fiddling with the piercing in his nose. He had a darkly handsome face, possessed mainly by the anti-heroes in the video games Weasel was immensely fond of, and dark brown eyes. He might have been handsome, Weasel thought objectively, and not without a pang of envy. Yes, the girls would have noticed.
Wade spotted a trio of boys in black, each wearing enough chains dangling from their bodies to stock a hardware store. He cupped his hands around his mouth, sucked in a breath, and bellowed, “YO, COCKMONGLERS!”
Weasel sighed. This was the part where he quietly slunk out of view…
The day dragged on.
Wade suffered through three periods, almost died when one teacher—a particularly touchy-feely guy—had insisted they all form their desks into a circle and introduce themselves. He’d spun them a clever little tale about how his dear ol’ dad was maimed in The War and how he had to work three jobs to support he, his father, and his seven younger brothers (and one little mentally-disabled sister, bless her heart). The students who knew him (and that was most of the population of the classroom) either rolled their eyes or choked back their laughter; but the teacher sat teary-eyed, swallowing every word, nodding sympathetic encouragement. After Wade finished, he asked him to stay after class. Wade agreed, and the teacher sat him down an gave him a serious heart-to-heart talk which ended with Wade managing to concoct another tale about how he had ‘so little time for homework, after all, he had to help his sister with her physical therapy and teach his younger brothers how to read and treat gunshot wounds’. The teacher, all sympathy and eyes brimming with tears, had been ever-so-understanding; so understanding, in fact, that Wade knew it wouldn’t matter if he skipped every period of that class all year—the man would never fail him.
He found Weasel standing in the hallway, fiddling with the palm-pilot the school’s thieves hungered after, but didn’t dare steal. It was a known, but unspoken fact, that the so-called Weasel was Wade Wilson’s best friend.
After Wade stole said palm-pilot, twiddled it for a moment, and grew thoroughly bored with it, he tossed it back at Weasel, who barely caught it and hastily stuffed it into his backpack. His actions were so perfect they were almost on-cue, and in the next instant the bell rang. They sauntered into the classroom, sat in the back corner with the goth-kids and the people who were either too drunk or high to be bothered to find their actual seats. It was easy to be invisible when surrounded by students who were obviously worse-off than they were. Wade kicked his feet up onto the backrest of the chair in front of him, which was occupied by a thin, shivering young man wearing, despite the heat, a ratty gray hooded sweatshirt, the hood up, and long baggy dark blue jeans that had seen better days. His ‘tattered, grungy look’ obviously wasn’t a fashion choice, but a lifestyle consequence, and he perched in his chair like a frightened rabbit, glancing around with wild, darting bloodshot eyes.
Wade sneered, partially in amusement, and leaned over to elbow Weasel. “Tweaker. Fuckin’ A, I swear.”
Weasel said nothing. Tweaker shuddered head-to-toe and began to chew his fingernails. Wade watched him actually tear off skin and spit it out. His hands, already pale and wasted, had weird, irregular skin growths around the nails—he’d been at this awhile. Wade knew he was probably close to passing out or throwing up or both, but saying something wouldn’t have fixed anything. Habit was habit.
He looked back down at his nicked and tagged desk. Someone had decided a girl named Wanda was a bitch, and had been good enough to leave her phone number “for a good time, if you want to get fucking herpes”. Finding the desk’s other graffiti incredibly unimpressive, he stared up at the pressboard panels of the ceiling, and had decided a good way to pass the period—History of the Americas—would be counting all the black dimples in one panel.
Why did those panels have those little dimples, anyway? So the asbestos had a maximum surface area to prevent fire? Maximum surface to shed its little cancer-causing particles onto the students’ ever-so-eager heads…?
Tweaker’s shivering intensified. Suddenly he tottered upright and lurched to the door. Wade saw that he made it out into the hall and around the corner before there was a lull, followed abruptly by a few screams. People went rushing from every direction; even ten or so from the classroom ran down the hall to “investigate”. Wade saw quite a few pull out their camera-phones. He himself made no attempt to move. Weasel pulled out his palm pilot and, other students absent, began to fiddle with it again. Wade yawned hugely.
“Twenty bucks he’s in the ER, lives, and will do it again.”
“Wasn’t that…never mind. Yeah, he’ll be back.” Weasel glanced at Wade, and saw that he had scooted lower in his seat, the better to rest the back of his neck against the seat. Then, as Wade was beginning to abandon all hope for fourth period, the new teacher strode into the room.
The girls stared. The boys stared.
He strode to the board, setting down his expensive dark-brown leather briefcase on the corner of the desk as he went, and wrote his name on the board in blue marker: Mr. Summers. Approximately half the class thought it was a fitting name for a porn star; but the moment he turned around, the other half weren’t thinking anymore at all.
Wade did both.
Mr. Summers was very tall, with incredibly broad shoulders, and the kind of musculature that some athletes crave and others shoot steroids in an attempt to get—more commonly attributed to statues of Greco-Roman gods than any living man. His legs were like the trunks of trees, and the khaki slacks stretched nearly taut over his thick thighs. His forearms were thicker around than Wade’s bicep, and he himself was no waifish lad. On his left wrist he wore a chunky silver watch, which probably cost more money than the sum total of everything Wade had stolen and hawked over the course of the past year. His hair was brown, just barely touched with gray, and the minute he turned around, the entire class stopped thinking.
He had a square head, a high, broad forehead bordered with short brown hair, and a cowlick of white hair in the center of his forehead, slightly longer than the rest and curly. His eyes were an unbelievable shade of blue, with crows’ feet at the corners, and when he smiled it was ‘civilized’: mysterious, guarded, friendly without being completely open or closed—the prescribed and measured smile practiced by kings and politicians. His nose was slightly crooked and had been broken maybe once. Wade wondered how a man as blatantly rich as he was could possibly have ever broken his nose. Probably fighting over polo ponies or whose yacht crossed the finish line first, he mused. He smirked.
The class watched as he leaned forward, and pressed his palms down flat against the surface of the desk’s top.
“Good morning, class. My name is Mr. Summers. I have no intention of running this classroom like a prison, so if any of you feel the need to act like prisoners, you should leave now.”
No one moved.
His voice was deep, and rich, and would have been better for an actor, Wade thought.
His smirk was almost playful as he straightened up, then. “Well! That’s good. Now that you know my name, I’d like to learn yours.”
He picked up the attendance sheet and sat down, producing a large, expensive silver pen from the briefcase. Wade watched the play of the muscles under the skin of the man’s forearms as he absently fiddled with the pen with inexplicable interest.
When Mr. Summers reached Wade’s name, he huddled lower in his chair and very purposefully did not continue to stare at him. He repeated it, and glanced up from his attendance roster, his eyes roving over the crowd of students.
“Wade—” Weasel began, and nudged his shoulder. Wade, still silent, did not respond. He was staring at Mr. Summers, hard, as though he were sizing him up, deciding whether to fawn or try to fight.
“Yeah,” Wade said, after allowing the silence to continue on just long enough to be awkward.
“Mr. Wilson, I presume?” Mr. Summers said, and smirked. “Testing the new teacher, are we?”
And then he chuckled a little, and continued calling roll.
Once finished, he sat back and looked at the class.
“Now that protocol’s out of the way, let’s get down to the real business,” he said, and smiled again.
Wade raised his hand. Mr. Summers nodded at him. “Yes. You have a question, I assume?”
“What happened to Mrs. Bierbach?”
Mr. Summers paused for a long moment. “Would you believe me if I told you she was crushed flat by a stampede of overeager students on their way to school this morning?”
Some of the other kids snickered at that. Mr. Summers smiled then, his eyes darting out at other faces, before he laughed as well. He stood half leaning and half sitting on the desktop, to the desk’s right side, with the attendance sheet still held in his hand.
“In all honesty, I am not certain what happened to Mrs. Bierbach. But since we’re asking questions about teachers…”
“Where did you used to teach?” a girl asked. Wade recognized her as Tabitha Smith, amateur pyromaniac and explosion freak extraordinaire. He wondered if she’d ask where he parked his car next, so she could stick an M-80 in the tailpipe. It occurred to him very briefly that he should probably warn Mr. Summers, but he only smirked, and said nothing.
“At the Xavier Academy. It’s a preparatory school in New York.” He said.
Wade snorted, just loudly enough to be heard. Mr. Summers turned to look at him, one eyebrow raised.
“Something you wanted to say, Mr. Wilson?”
“You used to teach at a prep school? Why’d you quit?” Wade paused. “Or did you actually quit?”
Mr. Summers chuckled again. “I suppose that’s an indirect way to ask a direct question. I quit because I wanted to see more of the world. For a while between jobs I just drove around the countryside. But after that I realized that I still wanted to teach; but I still wanted a change in surroundings. So I took a job here.” He smiled and spread his hands expressively. “And now I’m sitting and getting to know you fine folks.”
Wade wondered how much of what he was saying was the truth. But as he continued to talk, answering their questions, and asking the names of the students who’d asked them, Wade’s suspicions began to ebb. Mr. Summers answered all the questions candidly, cracked a few jokes, and gave them a brief writing assignment: they were to write a short essay on what they expected to learn from his class.
He spent twenty minutes after school sitting on the emergency steps facing the football field, writing the essay. Once finished, he stuffed his tattered notebook into his backpack and wandered home, meditatively kicking at sprinklers and walking in front of moving cars along his way.
It was after class the next day, and Wade had not slept that night.
He was presently standing there cursing himself for getting caught napping in class, waiting for Mr. Summers to hand him the Pink Detention Slip of Doom, or start lecturing him, or something, his earlier attempt to sneak out having been thwarted miserably when Mr. Summers had cleared his throat before he had a chance to try to blend with the crowd.
He blamed them for not wearing neon-green shirts. How could a herd of teenagers be a proper mindless herd if they didn’t all dress alike? And by dressing alike, he meant ‘dressing like him’, which, neon green t-shirt and baggy black pants aside, would have included three or so more piercings than most people were comfortable with.
“Damn bunch of whining crybabies with your low pain thresholds and mainstream fashion senses!”
“Wade.” Mr. Summers said.
“Yeah?” He twitched.
“I’d like to ask you to stop falling asleep in my class.”
“Oh, it’s okay. You can just go ahead and give me an F, I don’t mind,” Wade said. “I’m used to it.”
He started to turn, but Mr. Summers’ sigh prompted him to turn around.
“Or, y’know, a detention. I don’t mind those either.”
“Your essay was clever. Very well-written, too…although I wasn’t certain it was possible to fit so many obscure pop-culture references into only three paragraphs prior to reading it...” Mr. Summers trailed off into a significant pause. Wade fidgeted, but felt as if he was rooted to the spot.
“Ok. Thanks. And, uh…I won’t take any more naps in this period, scout’s honor. Can I go now?”
“I get the feeling we got off on the wrong foot.” Mr. Summers said.
“Yeah, about that wrong foot. I have this genetic thing where I was born with two left ones, so I’m never on the right one, see? Unfortunate mutation, means I have to wear special shoes. But at least I’m not as bad as my retarded little sister, bless her heart. Have I told you about my sister? Liefeld-Land syndrome. Affects her face, looks like she’s always either scowling or trying to pinch out a big one. Much worse than me. And I spent all last night trying to convince her that the toilet wasn’t a monster that wanted to eat her. She’s supposed to have graduated to asking to use the potty. They were gonna put her on a Discovery Channel show and everything. We’ve been really busy chasing the paparazzi away from our house. You’d be surprised how much med school students will pay for candid pics of a little girl with a disease so rare it affects one in a trillion. But it’s nothing, really. Can I go now?”
Mr. Summers, whose face had gradually been changing from sober disbelief into a smile, actually sat back and laughed.
“Wade, have you ever considered a career as a writer?”
Wade was taken aback for all of a second. “Hey! Don’t laugh! I’ll have you know my sister’s condition is very serious! She has to poop in a bag! You have no idea what it’s like when we have Mexican food for dinner on family night!”
Wade’s plan to annoy the man until he sent him away had already backfired horribly. Instead of being peeved that his student was so clearly wasting his time, Mr. Summers was only amused. Wade wasn’t sure if he admired him or thought the man slightly crazy for that.
But the older man only shook his head, and looked back at Wade. He was still smiling, though, one hand on the desktop and his chin resting on the knuckles of the other. The hand with the shiny, expensive watch was the one under his chin, and Wade couldn’t stop staring at it. Of course, said hand was also in a close proximity to the older man’s face, so Wade was also indirectly staring at Mr. Summers’ face. But as his mind was forming another rambling statement, and as hard as he was trying to fight the urge to blurt it out, Mr. Summers continued speaking.
“You’re obviously a very intelligent young man, Wade. And while you never did mention what you wanted to learn from this class in your essay, I hope to find out over the school year. I’d like to help you harness your potential, maybe channel some of your energy and imagination into something productive.” Said with a smile.
Wade felt as if the bones in his legs had been replaced with long helium balloons.