Title: Lookin' for some happiness
Warnings: This part worksafe, some violence.
First part of my fill for this prompt on the Cable & Deadpool kinkmeme.
Note: I'm declaring this set around the end of C&DP 39. Just imagine there were a couple of anime-filler-arc-style extra weeks between Wade killing T-Ray and the Hecatomb thing on Providence, during which Deadpool hung around running errands for Agency X and Cable had nothing better to do than stalk Wade. It's his second-favourite hobby anyway, right?
To be fair, there were reasons he didn’t notice right away that there was something wrong, good sound reasons. Mostly to do with the fact that, whatever else he might be, Wade was actually pretty damn at his job. He’d been a merc for years before he got the healing factor, and he almost never got injured on jobs involving regular humans. So it wasn’t until he was fighting Bullseye, (and that wasn’t even a job, just a ran-into-each-other-in-an-alley, hey-how’ve-you-been kinda fight) that anybody managed to land a hit on him. He still didn’t notice right away, not until Bullseye stopped moving, out of arm’s reach, and just stared at him.
“What?” he demanded, confused.
"What's wrong with you?" Bullseye snapped, and pointed at his chest. Wade looked down, and said "Huh. Weird," because broken glass was nasty, but the gash across his ribs hadn't been... well, any worse than it was now. Which meant it hadn't healed at all in the past five-or-so minutes. Poking didn't improve matters, although it definitely hurt, and Bullseye was still staring at him, although his expression had gone from confused to... something Wade didn't recognise. Wade frowned at him, but then got distracted by the light reflecting off the shard of broken window still in Bullseye's hand.
Bullseye looked down at the glass too, then backed up a step, and said sharply, "Deadpool?"
"Huh? What's your problem?"
"You should probably get that looked at. Let me know if whatever you've got's contagious. See you around." And with that, he left. In a manly-not-running-away fashion that meant he totally was, the big weenie.
[You'd think he'd never stabbed anybody before.]
"Maybe he just remembered he left the iron on or something." Wade poked his side again, but it hadn't changed. Actually, it was still bleeding quite a lot, and he was starting to feel dizzy.
[Probably oughta do something about that.]
"Don't exactly carry band-aids, though, do I? Not even nifty ones with pictures of superheroes on them." Rummaging in his pouches did come up with a tube of superglue, though, and that pretty much stopped the bleeding, though he was definitely writing these gloves off now that three of the fingers were stuck together. At least they weren't glued to his chest, that would've been annoying.
[Gonna suck trying to get the bits of uniform outta that later.]
"Eh. I think I want Wolverine bandaids. For the irony. Or maybe Terry. I bet I'd feel better right away with those."
Wade glared. "No. Jerk." He wasn't sure if he meant the box or Cable, but it didn't matter. Just to spite them both, he spent the rest of his slightly-unsteady (and luckily not very long) trip home deciding that what he really wanted were Thor bandaids. Because Thor was a god, which beat out wannabe-messiah anyday.
Then he had to scrounge around his apartment for medical supplies, and he was pretty sure you weren't meant to stitch wounds with sewing thread, but whatever, he was tired and starting to ache all over. The shoulder he'd landed on when Bullseye tossed him through that wall was the worst of it, coming up with massive rapidly-darkening bruises, but he hadn't felt this rotten in quite a while. Whatever it was had his healing factor on the fritz this time was definitely going to die.
It hadn't gotten any better by morning, worse really with the way the aches had settled in, and he actually had a crick in his neck from sleeping on the couch. And the gash in his ribs was hot to the touch, hotter than his skin, which felt clammy and...
"This all adds up to something. Now if I could only remember what..."
[I think that’s what doctors are for...]
"Aw, c'mon, I watch TV, I can figure this out. Probably involves bed rest and lots of fluids. And not in a fun way. Besides, when the old healing factor kicks back in it'll all fix up by itself. Unless it already has and this stuff is special? Maybe Lester's been messing around with black magic or something. Should check that first."
Which was of course why he was leaning over the kitchen sink carving a smiley face into his arm when Cable decided to drop in unannounced.
"Word. Need to find a way to high-five you guys. That would be awesome."
"Wade? What are you doing?" Aww, Cable was making a concerned-face, like he was worried and hadn't just turned up because he wanted something.
Oh, speaking of... "What do you want?"
"Just a few answers, Wade. What’s going on?"
"I'll give you four. Four's a good number. Sounds like 'death'. The answer to your first question is: carving a smiley face into my arm. ‘What’s going on?’ will be number two if I answer it, but you probably oughta be more specific."
"Specific. Very well," Nate looked angry now, and- Hey, the smiley face wasn't finished!
"I was using that!" Wade made a grabby-hand at the knife, but Cable slammed it down on the draining board and got into his personal space. He looked Wade right in the eye and said, very deliberately, "What happened to you last night that left you staggering around so disorientated that you walked into traffic and caused an accident?"
"Did I? Huh. I ran into Bullseye in an alley, an' a good time was had by all, until he ran off on me. Mighta been a head injury or two involved. Perfectly good reason for not obeying the road rules."
Cable was frowning now, back to looking concerned rather than furious, so Wade gave him a shove with his good arm, got the guy out of his personal space. Unfortunately this also let him get a good look at the damage.
"Wade... While I can believe you got into another fight this morning, I doubt you would have bothered stitching yourself up. What- why haven't your injuries healed?"
Wade sighed. "Don't know. Really. No clue. Just happened. One question to go."
Nate was still frowning, and he was too close again, tipping Wade's chin up with careful fingers and staring into his eyes.
[Hey, whoa! Divorced, remember? Also really pissed off about the 'I see dead people' episode?]
"Yeah, but his hands are cold," Wade mumbled, leaning into the touch. Mmm, metal fingers felt really nice, who knew?
"Wade, your pupils are uneven and you have a serious fever. You need a doctor. You- come back to Providence with me and we can find out what's wrong with you. Please, Wade?"
[Yeah, sure, trust the guy who thinks it's okay to make you hallucinate and almost go on a killing spree if it gets you to go back to him. Worst ex ever.]
"Hmm. Maybe. Depends. You do this?" Nate flinched.
[Ouch. It's like kicking a puppy. A really adorable puppy. That just ate your favourite pair of shoes.]
Surprisingly accurate, since it turned out Nate did damn good puppy eyes considering one of them glowed. "Wade, I- I know you don't have much reason to trust me at the moment, but I swear I didn't do this to you."
The cold hands still felt really good, and Nate had said please, and was still touching him. On purpose, even, cupping Wade's face and stroking his thumbs along Wade's cheeks.
"Dirty cheater." Wade definitely wasn't leaning into the touches. Or maybe he was, but only because he was feeling dizzy again. Wait, there was something important-
"Mkay, but if I say I'm leavin', that's it, right? Y'let me off th' hippy-go-round and no take-backs."
"Yes, of course, as soon as you want to leave. I wouldn't force you to stay, Wade, I promise." He was doing the intensely-earnest thing that made Wade want to believe every word and also laugh at him, because anything that serious deserved mockery. He was a bit too sore for laughing, though, and he was really tired now, so he went with option (a).
"Alrighty. Wake me when we get there."
He would have snickered at the panicky expression on Nate's face, but he was busy passing out (not swooning, because that would be girly) and the last thing he heard was "Bodyslide by two!"
Everything was pretty fuzzy for a while, though Wade vaguely remembered Nate being there, telling him not to attack the doctors. He’d missed having somebody to watch his back, so he tried hard not to hurt anybody, even when they jabbed him with needles. After that everything went black, then there were colours again as he dreamed of different doctors, of harsh fluorescents and flickering candlelight, cold fingers twined with his own, and woke with a clearer head than he'd had in years and a bone-deep ache of longing.
He was in some kind of infirmary; he was guessing Providence even though Nate wasn't there, just some doctor-lady, and not even a hot one. She seemed friendly enough, but all doctors did when they wanted something from you, at least at first.
Wade managed a sort of croaking noise; she handed him a glass of water, and correctly interpreted the noise as an invitation to talk.
"You've been sedated for two days,” she informed him, sounding very professional, “we thought it was best while you were feverish." Which probably meant ‘so Our Savior didn’t have to sit on you for the safety of your doctors’, but if she wasn’t going to mention it, neither was he.
“Your temperature is still slightly elevated, but the fever appears to have broken. We had to reopen the wound in your shoulder and clean it; there were pieces of glass and bits of your costume still in there. Did you clean it out at all before you sewed it up?” Whoa, lost the professional tone for exasperated there, “Also you have two cracked ribs, you dislocated your shoulder at some point, and you have a concussion, which might excuse the poor judgement."
Wade cleared his throat experimentally. "Nah, that's all me, sister. Anything else? Know what's up with my healing factor?"
"From what we can tell, your healing factor isn't gone, it's just stopped functioning for some reason. There are some trace elements in your system that shouldn't be there, so we're going to run some more tests. "
[Oh, look. A doctor who wants to run tests. Why'd I agree to this again?]
Well, if his healing factor was turned off, looks like the brain-flux (and ew, that sounded disgusting) wasn't to blame for the little yellow boxes.
"Also, you, ah-"
Wade looked at the doctor. She looked like someone trying to come up with a good way to give really bad news. Wade took pity on her. "Have cancer? In an all-over-the-place, terminal, kind of way? Yeah, knew that. And my sell-by date’s comin’ up fast, right? Probably weeks, in the single digits."
"Uh, yes. You-” She paused, then put the professional tone back on, “There are a number of treatment options we can consider, while we work on fixing the problem with your healing factor. Would you like to-"
Wade cut her off with a vague sort of gesture. "I'll think about it and get back to you, okay? Let me know if you got anything healing-factor-wise.”
"Oh, of course, take your time.” She shifted awkwardly. “Just, ah, not too much? The longer you delay, the more limited your options.” She turned to leave, then turned back again. “Oh, Mr Summers should be here soon; he asked to be informed when you regained consciousness."
"Yeah, sure, guess I oughta thank him an' all."
Doctor-lady left, then, and Wade sat in the bed and stared down at his hands. Cold fingers, he remembered, long and pale, and he wasn't much for dancing but she’d had a good time anyway, and the way she'd been delighted but mistrustful, like nobody ever really wanted her, and oh, but he knew how that felt. It was so much easier to focus like this, to remember, when his brain didn't skip around like a badly scratched record. Too bad it was going to kill him, right? Except, he might still have an appointment to keep...
[Nice thought for me, but what if she got bored waiting?]
Well, she did seem the patient type, so he was just going to hope she’d understand about his having been unavoidably detained. Too bad taking flowers and/or chocolate wouldn’t really work, but he figured there'd be time enough to make it up to her. All the time they'd ever want.
Wade had never been much for planning, but some things required careful thought. Well, there was a dizzying array of options, but all he really needed was to pick a partner for his last dance. Somebody who’d get it, who could follow through with no problems, and would. But he didn’t want just anybody either... He eventually got down to three possibles, and he was pretty sure he knew who he wanted but it'd be nice to talk it over with somebody, so maybe he should go see-
Maybe he should go see how Weasel was doing anyway. It'd be pretty rude to check out and leave his best friend in the lurch.
[And what about Agency X?]
"They'll be okay. Alex is useless these days, but the girls are tough, and I’m sure they’ll remember to feed Bob. They can always hire somebody else. Tasky might do it if they asked nicely..."
"Might do what?" Nate asked, gracing the room with his godlike presence.
[Yup, still angry with him.]
"Wasn't talking to you, snoopy. Am now, though, so thanks. Mostly for not dropping me on the floor or drawing on my face in permanent marker; I appreciate that sort of thing.”
Nate sighed, coming over to sit on the side of Wade’s bed. “You do have low expectations of people, don’t you?”
“Hey, I like to think of myself as a realist, ell-oh-ell, semi-colon-right-bracket,” Wade muttered, “and since I’m usually right, I don’t see the problem.”
“You shouldn’t have to be this bitter,” Nate murmured, resting the back of his flesh hand against Wade’s forehead, “and I’m sorry that I’ve been living down to your expectations lately.”
Wade batted the hand away irritably. “I’m fine now, the doctor-lady said so. All patched up and good as slightly-used. Anyway, I got some things need doing, so tell your cultist-minions to hurry it up if they want more blood or whatever."
"They aren't minions," Nate corrected mildly, folding his hands in his lap, "and you should stay in bed, at least until your injuries heal. What do you need done?"
"Gotta go see a friend, kinda left him hanging. Not exactly something I can delegate, but thanks for the offer. So, scientists, yes or no? And can we bodyslide back to my apartment or do I have to walk?"
"We can bodyslide, it's no problem. But are you sure it can't wait?"
"Yep. Very urgent. Gotta a timetable here, and 'resting' is in the box marked 'later', okay?"
"Well, at least it's on there somewhere,” Cable muttered, his expression going distant. “I've paged the medical team, and they should be here momentarily."
"Okay, cool. Just so long as they keep their drugs to themselves."
"What are you talking about?"
"You're making that face. The one that says, 'Someone's doing something stupid in front of me; I must fix it!'.” Cable frowned indignantly, so Wade sat up, getting a little closer; it was hard to be intimidating when you were flat on your back. “Fair warning: you start doing anything to me 'for my own good', like having me involuntarily sedated?” Wade poked Cable in the chest sharply for emphasis, as he growled “I will mess you up before I leave. Got that?"
"I assure you, you've made your feelings on the matter very clear." Ha, Nate was getting snippy; knew the guilt-trip wouldn't last.
[Too bad, was nice having him being all obliging, if a bit Stepford-creepy. Let's see if I can get off the island before he reverts to default...]
Nate looked like he wanted to say something else, but the doctor-lady came in with a small army of assistants, and they hovered in a respectful way near the door until Nate got off the bed. Then they descended on Wade like a cloud of mosquitoes, taking blood and poking around his bruises and checking his reflexes and asking questions. Nate stayed, leaning against the wall with his arms folded and apparently paying close attention, but Wade had seen him take calls with his fake telepathy before, and he was pretty sure Nate was working.
Eventually the swarm buzzed away, replete with tissue samples and data, and it was just the two of them again.
"Alrighty," Wade said, climbing out of the bed and stretching, testing all his limbs. Nothing fell off, and he wasn't even dizzy, so he was counting that as a win. "Let's get this comedy act on the road, shall we?"
"If you're ready?" Nate still looked displeased about the whole thing, but either he was taking that threat to heart,
[Yeah, sure, 'cause loads of people are scared of terminal cancer patients. What am I going to do, bleed on him?]
or else this was some sort of humour-the-dying-schmuck routine, in which case Wade was damn well never talking to him again. "All limbs present and accounted for. And I'm still wearing my boxers, luckily, so that's everything."
Cable nodded sharply, Wade said, “Bodyslide by two!” and the infirmary was abruptly empty.
Wade padded around the apartment putting on his uniform and collecting weapons, while Nate lingered awkwardly in the corner, watching him.
[Yeah, that’s getting weird. Nate needs a new hobby; maybe get him a telescope?]
And Wade must have been staring back too long, because Nate obviously felt like he had to make conversation. "Why are we a comedy act? Considering everything we've been through, I don't think anyone would find our lives amusing."
"Of course they would.” Wade waved a hand absently, “I mean, sure, it's a black/gallows/Yorkshire kinda humour, but you've got to laugh. Otherwise you'd just start screaming, right?"
"Right." And look, he was actually smiling! "And let's face it, once you started..."
"Exactly! And then we'd get cancelled, because nobody wants to read issue after issue of two guys having nervous breakdowns."
Nate's smile faded. "You- I thought the comic-book thing was a side-effect of your healing factor?"
"Nah, my short attention span, memory issues, and telepathy-immunity were side effects of the healing factor. The yellow boxes and accompanying 'delusions' are side effects of being so crazy I'm the only sane person here."
"Ah." There was quiet for a few minutes, as Wade finished strapping on his swords and bounced on his toes to check everything was settled. Then he did a lazy handspring, making sure to use his right arm so as to avoid embarassing whimpering noises, and landed neatly in front of Nate.
"So, I'm good to go, what are you going to do?"
"I thought you were just going to visit Weasel." Nate was wearing his 'stupidity detected' face again, and that wasn't good. "So why are you wearing all that?"
"Whaat, a guy can't dress up to go see his favourite arms dealer?"
"Wade." Nate gave him a Serious Look.
[Does he really think that'll work?]
"Nate." Wade met his stare easily. "It's none of your business. Don't you have important saviour-of-the-world stuff to be doing?"
Nate dropped his gaze. "I suppose. I just- want you to know that you're not alone. I'm sure that we'll find a way to fix your healing factor, but you might want to consider treatment in the meantime." Wade spun on his heel sharply, and began to rummage in a drawer.
[Sure I had some more grenades in here. You can never have too many grenades!]
"Wade, I'm not trying to upset you." Nate wasn't encroaching on his personal space, so Wade could just keep on ignoring him.
"They've come a long way since the last time you had to worry about medical assistance." Nate was starting to sound frustrated again... "I just want to make sure you're okay while they're finding an answer. Wade!"
Nate grabbed his shoulder, pulling him around, so Wade flowed with the motion, broke his grip, and stepped out of reach again.
"It's my life, Nate, not yours. And what I wanna do with it right now is go square things with Weaz, get my affairs in order and all that. I told you before, I ain't an optimist. What I do believe in is bein' prepared for the worst. So get outta my face, and maybe we'll talk later, okay?"
"Best you're gettin'."
"I don't like it. But-" Nate sighed, scrubbed a hand over his face. "If this is what you need to do, then... Can I drop you somewhere?"
Wade gave him a suspicious look, but he didn't seem to be plotting anything.
"Pakistan. I can give you latitude and longitude if you're feeling particularly obliging."
"I'll take you wherever you like if you'll at least promise to be careful."
"I promise," Wade told him, fishing out the scrap of paper with the coordinates on it. "And- thanks."
"What for this time? Not putting a 'kick me' sign on your back?"
Wade grinned at him cheerfully. "While I do appreciate that, no. Just-" Wade tilted his head down, stared very intently at the thing he was fidgeting with, which happened to be a grenade. "For caring. Most people would have given up by now but- You're still trying, and it means a lot to me. Do wish you didn't have such freakin' creepy ways of showing it, though."
"Um," Nate looked away too, and they both hesitated, then Wade held out the paper.
"Drop me here, and I'll be careful."
TO fingers brushed spandex glove. "Thank you."
Breaking into a Hydra base was never particularly hard.
Wade hummed the Mission Impossible theme very quietly as he slunk around corners and dodged guards, looking for a likely place to store prisoners. It was odd actually bothering to avoid guards, although it did make it easier not to kill them.
[Hiding from Hydra: amusing rhyme, but so wrong...]
It took quite a bit of skulking about to find Weasel, because he wasn't exactly locked up. He was in a bright, spacious, well-appointed lab tinkering with some sort of machine.
Wade settled behind the nearest ventilation grate, then whispered, "Weaz, hey!" The jolt and muffled squeak were amusing, and he found his mouth curling into a wide, pleased grin.
[Bob’s cute, but replacing Weaz was never really going to work...]
Weasel stared around the room frantically before noticing Wade waving at him from behind the grate. "Wade?"
"Hey, whatcha doin'? I gotta say, I was expecting something more dungeon and less high-tech lab. This looks nice!"
"Uh, yeah,” Weasel muttered, sitting back at the bench and trying to look nonchalant, “I said 'Hail Hydra' a lot and promised to build them a cool new weapon." He glanced about nervously again, then admitted in a whisper, "I have a cunning plan."
"Ooh, I love those. Do you need any help?"
"Depends. Have you totally blown my cover?"
"Nope. I am as impossible to detect as a shadow on a moonless night."
"Really?” The disbelief was not flattering.
Wade pouted. “I find your lack of faith disturbing. And it should be fine unless you talking to me blows it.”
Weasel snickered. “I often mutter to myself when I’m working, so nobody’ll notice. And I guess I didn't hear any gunfire or explosions or alarms or anything. Are you feeling okay?"
"Not too bad, all things considered." Wade paused thoughtfully.
[Well, I was figuring T-Ray, but maybe...]
"Do you have access to the whole network? I've been a little off since I let those guys dose me with Pym particles, and I was wondering if they'd messed me up somehow."
"Uh, sure, I can check. Gimme a little time, I'll get back to you."
Wade curled up as comfortably as possible in the cramped ducting, and hoped it wasn’t too long; he was a lot more likely to wind up literally cramped without the boosted metabolism keeping his circulation in top form.
He was just trying to flex his left leg without making any noise when he heard Weasel give a muffled curse. "Oh my god. Wade, is your healing factor working? Tell me you didn’t break into a Hydra base without it!”
“I... didn’t break into a Hydra base without my healing factor?” Technically true, since Nate’s doctor said it was just switched off, not gone...
“Oh god, you’re lying, aren’t you? I suppose that explains why you didn’t just walk in the front door and start a firefight, for which I’m extremely thankful, by the way... But Wade, are you- I mean, you have-”
[Here we go again. It's not like it’s a difficult word...]
“Cancer. It’s not that hard to say. And yeah, limited timeframe here, so less stammering. What did the files say?”
“That they, uh, infected you with nanobots designed to suppress your healing factor? I won’t bother with all the science behind it,”
“Too long, didn’t read,” Wade agreed helpfully. “Also, quick is good.”
“Yeah. It’s apparently something they came up with to fight Wolverine, but they hadn’t had an opportunity to test it, and since you have the same healing factor and you were right there in the lab not actually killing everybody, they figured it was the best chance they had for a field trial before they tried throwing it at an angry Wolverine.”
Wade chuckled. “Yeah, that’s a bit drastic, and doesn’t leave a lot of room for error. Can’t really blame them... Okay, so is it reversible?”
Weasel typed a bit more, muttered under his breath, then said, “As far as I can tell, if you could find a way to neutralise the nanobots, your healing should just kick right back in.”
“Ah. Easy as falling off a log,” Wade said flatly.
“Wade? It’s good news, right? It might take a day or two for me to rig something up, but I could-“
“Nah, stick to your project. I mean, your new friends might get a little suspicious if you start working on a cure for their new weapon, right? If you can send the lot to Providence, Nate’s got a bunch of scientists working on it.”
“Oh." Weasel had an odd look on his face, his shoulders tense. "You sure? I mean, yeah, Cable’s got a whole lot of brilliant doctors and scientists and future technology on his little island paradise, but-“ Weasel paused, then deflated. “I forgot my argument. Fine, I’ll send the whole lot to Cable, let him fix you. I guess that’ll make you even for the alien-baby thing, anyway.”
“Hey, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the thought, Weaz. I mean, you’re my best bud, my go-to guy for all the important stuff. I just- well, I’d rather you didn’t get mixed up in this mess, especially if you’ve got your cunning plan to worry about. Oh, while I think of it, if you do need backup later? Your best bet would be Agency X, ‘cause I might be... indisposed. Oh, hey, and you can meet Bob. I stole him from Hydra last time I was here, and he’s Agency X’s pet now. You’ll like him, he’s like a- is it hamsters that faint when you make loud noises?”
“Ah, I think so?”
“Yeah, so he’s just like a hamster, except, y’know, person-shaped. And a minion. You could boss him around.”
“Oh, okay. Um, thanks, Wade.” Weasel looked a little awkward. “Just- easy on the compliments, alright? You're making me nervous. Oh, did you want me to send anything with the info? To Cable, I mean.”
“Hm? S’pose I should tell him thanks, and sorry. Can you put that in?”
“Will he know what you’re talking about?”
“He’ll figure it out. Well, no, he’ll probably get it completely backwards, but it’s fine either way.”
"Are you two still, y’know, fighting? I really don’t want him to get angry and blame me for it; he’s kinda dangerous."
"Nah, even if he picks somebody else to blame, it won't be you. Oh, hey, can you find somebody for me?"
"A particular somebody? Or are you just feeling lonesome?"
"Hey, I can find my own company, thanks. Got a hot date later with an old flame, she really digs the terminal cancer thing. Anyway, I'm looking for Wolverine, and doesn't Hydra keep tabs on him?"
Wade had a little trouble getting on a flight out of Pakistan, and it involved a lot more sneaking, but it did help that he’d stashed most of the flashier gear; he wasn’t expecting to need it for this. It took a day and a half to reach the place Wolverine was staying, but it was definitely worth the effort, because he was camping out all by himself in the woods, getting in touch with nature or whatever. So of course Wade had to give creeping up on him a go, even if it was doomed to fail.
Which it was; as Wade snuck up behind him, Wolverine sniffed. “Unless you’re aiming to get gutted and tossed in the river, Wilson, turn around and walk right back the way you came.”
"And what if that’s exactly what I was aiming for?" Wade asked, settling against the tree he’d been hiding behind and folding his arms.
Logan snorted. "Your funeral, bub."
"Guess so. Will you show up for it?”
“Your funeral? Maybe to make sure you’re really dead. What do-“ Wolverine sniffed again, paused thoughtfully and looked at Wade. “You’re dying.”
[Finally, somebody who’ll actually say it!]
Wade shrugged. "Yeah. That change your answer?"
Logan stared at him intently, while Wade fought the urge to fidget, or hum 'Wild Thing' under his breath.
[Nope, doing that. Oops...]
Fortunately, Logan just said, “What happened?" But then, he didn’t get out much.
"Short version: Hydra.” Wade waved a hand vaguely. “Weaponised-science thing. You should probably have a chat with Nate later, he's got all the info."
"Yeah, and I bet he'll be real pleased to see me after I gut you, bub.” Wolverine said dryly. “Why me, anyway?"
Wade tipped his head to one side, gave the man his best grin. “Aww, c’mon Wolvie, after all the time we've known each other? I was pretty sure you had dibs..."
Logan actually laughed, a short harsh chuckle, and said, "Fine, but I don't do flowers; what's your poison?"
"These days? Uh, medicinal alcohol, in large quantities."
Another snort. “Figures.” But then he shot out his claws with that really cool ‘snikt’ noise, and Wade pulled his swords, and then it was on.
Wade found himself remembering a whole lot of things he hadn't needed to worry about in years: the way the half-healed gash in his side limited his movements; how repeatedly blocking Wolverine's viciously-hard blows made him ache from fingertips to shoulder; how weird it was to need all his air for fighting and not be able to talk; how all the shallow wounds he was collecting gradually wore him down; how he felt it in his teeth when his sword scraped along adamantium-coated bone; the way a hand went numb when the sword was knocked out of it; the dizzying hammer-blow of pain from a fistful of claws slamming into his chest.
Wade coughed wetly, his knees buckling as Logan's claws retracted with a grating rasp. "Thanks, Logan," he managed through a mouthful of blood.
"Most annoying man I know," Logan muttered, but the hands lowering him to the ground were gentle. Everything was fading out fast, but Wade could see a dark figure behind Logan's shoulder, reaching long, pale fingers towards him.
[Hey babe, lookin' good...]
Then his eyelids were falling shut and the world faded away in a wash of blue light.
Wade opened his eyes to a white room full of hospital equipment that looked suspiciously familiar.
[Whoa, déjà vu all over again. Wanna bet it’s not the afterlife?]
The ache in his chest was familiar too, but so much worse, like somebody had ripped out his heart and stomped on it repeatedly.
[And then put it back in, obviously, or I'd have just grown a new one.]
Wade felt the laugh tickling at the back of his throat, but it tasted a little too much like hysterical cackling and he pressed a hand against his mouth to keep it in, found his face was wet, and scrubbed at it roughly.
[Fuck. Losing all my mancards here.]
"Wade?" Nate's voice was hoarse and groggy and very close; Wade turned his head and found that Nate had apparently decided to sleep in a chair next to the bed. He blinked dazedly at Wade, blinked some more, then abruptly sat up like he'd been stung by something.
"Wade! You're awake!"
Wade stared at him. Yes, definitely awake. And, aside from the (probably psychosomatic) pain in his chest, he felt... normal. Normal for him, anyway: no injuries, healing factor humming away in its endless struggle with his cancer, brain as tingly as a mouthful of pop-rocks washed down with Coke...
Wade closed his eyes again.
Unfortunately this didn't make the world go away. It didn't even make Nate go away, because he sat on the bed again and began talking. "Wade? Wade, talk to me. You were clinically dead for almost ten minutes, I thought- we think your healing factor should have repaired any brain damage, but we need to check. The medical team should be here shortly, do you remember what happened?”
Wade stared hard at the inside of his eyelids. He felt oddly empty, hollowed out, like he was nothing more than a host-body for an immortal parasite. Being awake sucked, and he’d been dreaming about something, something nice, and hadn’t wanted to wake up yet. Maybe he could go back to sleep if he tried really hard...
[Ten minutes is a pretty short date. I mean, ‘leave ‘em wanting more’ is one thing, but I hope I didn’t leave in the middle of something. She might not come back, and then what’ve I got to look forward to...]
Nate was shaking his shoulder now, saying something about brainwaves and some machine made of letters. “Wade, I know you’re awake. I need to-”
[Persistent, isn’t he.]
Wade opened his eyes again, knocked Nate's hand away from his shoulder, and sat up. Nate was still talking, and wasn't it funny, that all Wade had to do to get his complete attention was ignore him? He moved on to telling Wade about the cure they'd found, which had apparently involved making his immune system destroy the nanobots and sounded depressingly permanent.
Wade stared down at his hands and said nothing. He felt tired, and he wanted his mask and he wanted a drink and to go home- there was a glass of water on top of one of the beeping machines, so that was easy. The water tasted awful, or maybe that was his mouth; he was pretty sure he hadn't brushed his teeth while he was dead. Still, that was one thing down. There was a pile of familiar red-and-black fabric on a table at the end of the bed, draped over a pair of swords, so the mask should be easy too. As to getting off the floating rock...
[Nobody in their right mind would try to keep a deranged killer on an island full of civilians, right? It'd be like trapping a fox in a box full of baby ducks. In socks. But a fox in socks wouldn't be able to catch a duckling. Although I bet it’d be hilarious watching it try. Bastards. So- wait, what was the point again?]
Tuning back in to what Nate was saying didn't help much, although he'd finished with the technobabble. His voice was low and earnest now, "-and I know you wouldn't want to go through that again, Wade, and how much you need to do things on your own terms, so I do understand why you did that, I do. I just wish you'd talked to me first, so I could have told you how close we were, that you wouldn't have to spend weeks dying while we tried to find a cure.”
He was staring at Wade intensely, and when Wade met his eyes, Nate gave him an oddly shaky sort of smile. “Wade? Are you- can you talk?”
[Would he even listen? Not like he paid attention to the ‘involuntary medical-’ Oh. Right.]
The water glass was still half full,
[Or half empty, maybe?]
and it made for a rather impressive explosion of bright fragments and water when Wade smashed it on Nate’s face. Not a whole lot of damage, maybe some bruising and shallow scratches, but it did shut him up very effectively. He made a stunned sort of noise, and there was more of that dazed blinking, while Wade yanked away IV needles and sensor pads and a catheter [ouch!] and got out of the bed. With perfect timing, the doctor-lady and her minions came swarming in, where they began buzzing around Nate in dismay and circling Wade warily.
Wade ignored them in favour of pulling on his Deadpool costume, which someone had repaired, fastening his weapons harness and settling his swords.
He was almost out of the room when Nate spoke again. "Wade," he said softly, "Please." Wade hesitated in the doorway, but didn't turn around. "At- at least tell me if it worked. How do you feel?"
Ok. He could find words for that. "Like I'm dying of cancer," he rasped out. "So, back to normal." Then he walked out, and kept walking. Nate must have given some major orders, because he got on a transport out with no trouble despite bring really obviously armed, and they didn't even bother to ask where he was going.
The door to his apartment was slightly open, but Wade still felt too hollow to react to much, so he just wandered in. Wasn't as though he had much worth stealing in there anyway, it was barely a step up from the boltholes he maintained in other places.
[Gonna be pissed if they took the TV.]
Well, there was that. Weirdly enough, not only was the TV still there, it looked like his surprise visitor had actually left something. A large cardboard box, with a note on top of it, was sitting on his couch.
"Well, what's the worst it could do? Blow me up?"
[Turn you into a rainbow-coloured My Little Pony?]
The box wasn’t ticking, though it did clink in a promising way, so Wade picked up the note. It said 'Your boyfriend's a clingy jerk. Thought you might want this anyway'. There was no name, but the box was full of bottles, most of which said things like 'For external use only' on the label, so that was... Nice, actually. A faint tickle of warm fuzziness in the empty cavern of his soul.
[Just get a blog already, why don't you?]
"Hey, if I was gonna write poetry, it'd be dirty limericks, and you know it."
[People might appreciate that. At least they'd be short.]
Wade snorted, shifted the box to the floor, and flopped on the couch. He grabbed a bottle, clicked the TV on, and settled down to drown the emptiness with infomercials and rubbing alcohol.
cracks in the head
- C&DP fic, Lookin' for some happiness, part 1