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[Cable & Deadpool] Summers'son (4/?)

As promised, the next chapter is done! And while I'm making promises, the next couple of parts should be done much faster than this one was, going by the start I've got on them already.


Title: Summers’son
Summary: Settling into the 21st century is giving a teenaged Nathan some trouble.
Chapter: 4/?
Characters/Pairing: Nate/Wade (now with 75% more Blind Al!)
Rating: PG
Word count: 4400
Previous parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Notes: Just FTR, from here on we're into the part of the fic I mentioned in passing earlier where the timeline splits up; the following is probably best read as one way things at might (or might not) have gone for young Nate and Wade (albeit one the author got involved in enough that it will go on for a couple of chapters yet).



In the midst of school and homework and spending his free time hanging out with Wade when he's not occupied learning to filter out the worst of the psychic background noise or how to stop himself rearranging his furniture in his sleep, a life that Nathan had once been convinced he'd never settle into becomes almost comfortable. Almost, because there's no way that a few months of early 21st century life could make more than a dent in a thousand semi-conscious habits drilled into him over the first seventeen years, and getting used to the constant, low-grade mental alarm he feels whenever he remembers he's unarmed in public isn't the same as not experiencing it, but given the circumstances, 'almost' is not half bad.

Everything has fallen into such a familiar routine that it's quite the shock for Nathan to realise one day that he's known Wade for nearly four months now and he still hasn't gotten around to having the other conversation with him. Not the one that goes, 'I am aware you find other boys attractive and I want you to know it doesn't bother me', but the one that goes, 'Have you ever wondered whether you might be a mutant?'. It's a conversation he's been meaning to have with Wade since the day they met, one that might just change Wade's life, and now that he's finally gotten around to thinking about it in so many words, he can't make any sense of why he's put it off this long.

It's certainly not that he'd simply forgotten about it; every time he sees Wade it's there, nagging at him from the back of his mind. It's the one loose thread in the ugly web of secrets he's been tangled up in ever since Scott had the idea of sending him to a regular school (an idea he resents less now, having had long enough to appreciate that Scott may have had a point, but still resents nonetheless). Meeting Wade had been like being thrown a lifeline; even Scott can't expect him to keep his mutant nature from another mutant. When they'd first met he recalls having had the general intent to bring the subject up by the end of the week, but then it had seemed like a better idea to delay until he knew Wade a little better, and then... well, that's where he loses track of his own excuses because it's been months rather than days and he knows Wade better than he'd known some of his comrades in arms back home. The best excuse for why he's still putting it off is a vague idea that he hasn't found the right moment, but that sounds weak even in his own head. The only reason anyone goes on waiting for 'the right moment' for this long is if they're avoiding the battle.

What worries him most is that he hadn't even noticed he was doing it. The Askani have a number of cutting sayings on the subject of what sort of person it is who hides their motives so effectively that they themselves lose sight of them, and the whole pattern is so spectacularly unlike him that catching himself at is quite disturbing.

The answer when it comes to him – and it turns out to be so simple it takes all of five minutes of running the options against the feeling in his gut – is that the I-know-you-like-boys conversation and the could-you-be-a-mutant conversation were never so unrelated as he might have let himself believe. As much as he's hung on the idea of having one secret he can share, he's not so stupid that he could imagine there's anything in that whole tangled mess of lies that could come unravelled easily. It's not the idea of suggesting to Wade they might both be mutants that's making him hesitate, it's the fact that he can't admit he's a mutant without talking about his own powers, and short of outright lying about his telepathy, that means Nathan's going to have to admit he's been picking up stray thoughts from Wade since the day they met. And there they reach the part that would be awkward for both of them even if Wade's thoughts didn't regularly include a lot of elaborate sexual fantasies staring him.

It's not easy to convince yourself that you and your friend can talk through an issue like that when you can feel how scared he is by the thought you might ever find out.

Wade's not ashamed of his preferences, not really – he'd be the last person in the world to give a damn about conforming to societal expectations, and any half-formed, quasi-religious ideas that would cast his looks as karmic retribution for his preferences (or the other way around) he's long since abandoned along with the rest of the skin lotions, anti-allergen pills and other well-meant but useless relics lingering from his times with less well-suited foster families. He is, however, wired for a? rapid descent into a twitching wreck at the slightest threat of the rest of the school population finding out that his eyes drag at the sight of an attractive boy. There's a world of difference between being the ugly, unpopular freak with the attitude problem and being the ugly, unpopular gay freak, and it's the difference between qualifying for a minimal level of grudging respect and the knowledge people still laugh behind their hands at his better pranks, and just being a freak, no ifs or buts, go straight to freaksville, do not pass go. The social politics of high school grant just enough leeway for one to be gay or disfigured. Not both.

The point is, even if he's okay with it on his own terms – even if Theresa knows, and Weasel probably suspects, and Blind Al had him picked at twenty paces – Wade suffers from a very deep-seated fear of being found out. Nothing, but nothing, could have fed that fear more ammunition than developing a massive crush on his new best friend – or, to get events in their strict chronological sequence, making friends with his new best crush. He also suffers from a perfectly healthy teenaged libido, a spectacularly vivid imagination and a truly miserable record at keeping his resolutions about not thinking about sex in Nate's presence.

The combination has, to say the least, served as a marvellous incentive for Nathan to get his telepathic shielding back up to scratch in a hurry or risk of being hit with an emotional cocktail of guilt/fear/arousal overlaid with images of himself shirtless every time Wade's mind wanders, but even given his best attempts, things slip through. He'd have to admit that once in a while this might even have been deliberate, for try as he might it would have been hard not to develop a mild fascination with what pops up out of Wade's imagination. Wade's fantasy life runs the full spectrum from the innocent and mundane (the one where Wade does nothing more sexual than rub massage oil into Nate's back is oddly sweet, for example) to the exotic and, in many cases, biologically improbable (the fascination on tentacles Nathan thinks he's mostly figured out, the phallic connotations are hard to miss; the fascination with duct tape remains a mystery). Most of the enduring examples are far too obvious in motive to be all that revealing, but for every fantasy where Wade wakes up one morning to find his skin condition vanished and Nate suddenly unable to keep his hands off him, there's another where, for example, he wakes up to find he's turned female with the same result, and which Nathan can't make head or tail of (for all of Wade's many idiosyncrasies, gender dysphoria is certainly not among them). More than a few require one or both of them to be inebriated, if not outright drugged with some manner of dangerously potent aphrodisiac. It seems it's usually easier for Wade to construct wild and ridiculous scenarios than allow himself to contemplate the possibility that anything could happen between him and Nathan in real life.

What Wade's collection lacks is more than a very few which cast Nathan as the enthusiastic initiator, and even those that do usually hinge on the revelation that the 'Nate' involved is some kind of evil twin out to seduce Wade for his own nefarious purposes rather than the real thing. Nathan can only suppose this is his own fault; after making such a concentrated effort to avoid discussing his real preferences for Wade's sake it's only logical that Wade would assume he's either clueless about sex, functionally asexual or both, but the upshot has required himself to spend a lot of time gritting his teeth over echoes of an imaginary version of himself who's hopelessly mischaracterised. Life in the future may not have afforded him a lot of time to experiment with his peers, but even a couple of fumbling kisses in rare moments of peace and privacy and one almost-steady sort-of-girlfriend put him head and shoulders above anything Wade can boast, and that's even without factoring in the effect of having spent his formative years under the care of the Askani, whose favoured method of discouraging teenage sex involves making sure their wards know every possible gritty detail on the subject. Wade, meanwhile, despite many hours of concentrated effort, has yet to find a way to deactivate the porn filter Blind Al had installed on his computer.

He's not quite sure what it says about him that he's not nearly so bothered that his best friend frequently entertains graphic sexual fantasies about him as he is that the same friend is stuck with the impression he would be shy about the subject of sex.

There's just no easy way for Nathan to bring up the subject that isn't doomed to backfire. Wade has nightmares about him finding out. (He has not-nightmares that involve Nate finding out on a regular basis as well, but he tends to wake up from those feeling just as bad.) The last thing Wade needs is to have it thrown in his face that even his attempts at subtlety are all for naught, he feels guilty enough about his feelings already. Knowing that Nate doesn't mind his crush could hardly make much difference.

And that, albeit by a somewhat circuitous path, is at the root of why Nathan's been so reluctant to raise the mutant conversation with him. He hasn't been putting it off out of cowardice, he's been trying to give Wade the space to get over him.

For the space of about five minutes Nathan lets himself relax – it's a good reason, respectful of Wade's wishes, attached to a clear and specific end limit – before the logical problems start to pile up. Firstly, while the idea of waiting until Wade's crush on him inevitably petered out and faded into ancient history might have been defensible back when he'd been able to assume it would only last a week or two, it's now been the elephant in their relationship for four months solid. Wade's trying to get over him, he really is, and Nathan's done his best to respect that, but after a dozen attempts to divert himself back to his old assortment of fantasy boyfriends and celebrity crushes have come and gone without success, it's looking less and less likely that's ever going to happen. Even should fate conspire to make him wake up completely asexual first thing tomorrow morning the earliest Nathan would have any realistic chance of bringing up the subject of his telepathy without Wade's first thought being oh my god, he knows I used to want to tap that so hard whoever pulled me out would be the next king of England would still be several years away.

Secondly, between the shirt-stripping for distraction, shamelessly showing off his prowess at martial arts and responding with bursts of irrational jealousy at the first sign that Wade might be so much as starting to get over him, Nathan can't entirely claim that he's been helping matters.

What in the hell is wrong with him? Relationships, Nathan thinks gloomily, were always so much simpler than this back home. At this rate they're never going to be able to talk things out. Maybe he could just... gloss over the telepathy for the time being?

No, that's no kind of solution. This has gone beyond finding a way to tell Wade that he's probably a mutant, this is about how on earth he's let himself go on treating Wade's feelings for him like a short term issue for so long. Even now it's hard to make himself believe that it has gone on this long, when Wade's attraction never started with anything more than, 'whoa, he's hot!' – exactly the sort of skin-deep infatuation that ought to have crashed and burned when the reality of who Nathan was didn't match Wade's image. Instead, if anything as they've gotten to know each other it's only gotten worse.

And he has been avoiding the issue, mentally and psychically, or as much as that's possible with his powers still going through the telepathic equivalent of what his voice did when it started to break. It's not without justification; it would be so easy to accidentally nudge Wade one way or another otherwise, to say nothing of the violation of Wade's privacy or the denial that he – that they've both – been using to cope with the simple fact that Wade's infatuation isn't showing any signs of going away. Lately it's been taking too much of his concentration even to keep it off his mind. Bits of Wade's fantasies keep on slipping through – that shameful curiosity ensures it even when leaky shields don't. If anything he'd swear he's been getting worse lately; fragments of thoughts about him and Wade and sex keep popping up in his head unbidden even when Wade's not around-

...oh.

Well. That. Um.

For a long moment all Nathan can think is you were jealous when he stopped thinking about you – for all of half an hour he stopped thinking about you and you were jealous – what did you THINK that meant? He'd spent the rest of the evening coming up with an answer he was happy with at the time and he can't even remember what it was anymore.

It can't be that obvious, can it? He's not emotionally repressed, he's never been uncomfortable with his preferences – he's liked other people before, both those who were attainable and those who were anything but, but it's never snuck up on him like this. Then again, he's never liked anyone like Wade, who wants him and thinks he shouldn't want him in equal proportions and broadcasts both so loudly that reading his feelings telepathically feels like cheating. All those times he'd experienced a glow of smug satisfaction at the thought of how much more hopeless Wade would be over him if he only knew his best friend could take down any of his favourite action heroes single handed, all those ridiculous TV shows he'd sat through on Wade's couch just for the sake of spending time with him, all his frustration with how the Nate in Wade's fantasies is just that – a fantasy built out of the same misconceptions Nathan let him foster for what he'd convinced himself was Wade's own good when all he really wanted to do was admit he was glad Wade wasn't getting over him. What he feels for Wade has grown beyond empathy, beyond friendship, beyond appeasing his ego, far beyond any explanation but the simplest one either of them could have asked for. All this time he's been caught between his idea that Wade would get over him eventually and Wade's unshakable conviction that Nate could never like him back – how could they both have gotten each other so wrong?

For one bizarre moment Nathan actually panics at the thought of how he's going to break that to Wade – he knows he's nothing like the Nate Wade fantasises about, Wade would never be able to look at him the same way again if he knew how Nathan really thinks of him, what if...? A second later he thinks again and feels properly ridiculous for ever having that thought in the in the first place. As if Wade is likely to be unhappy Nate isn't as straight as he thought he was. He really has been spending too much time in Wade's head for his own good.

They've both spent so long basing their relationship on so many bad assumptions that thinking of the two of them as people who could be a couple is going to take some getting used to. Should be, even.

That is what he wants, isn't it?

Experimentally, he thinks about what it would be like to kiss Wade – really kiss him, without any of Wade's misplaced ideas about his inexperience to colour the image, and perversely, it's that that powers him over his last vestiges of hesitation. He pictures himself cornering Wade up against a wall, caging him in with his body and arms. Wade would flatten himself into the wallpaper in panic, not because he minded but because, pressed up close enough that Nathan could feel Wade's heartbeat louder than his own, he'd be terrified Nathan would notice how much he didn't mind. Even with Nathan moving in, leaning down through the few inches that separated their heights and tilting his head – even then he'd hang on to the conviction he'd misinterpreted the situation somehow and that there was a perfectly heterosexual explanation for whatever Nate was up to that would be obvious if he could only get his brain turning over again. He'd go on thinking that until the last possible moment, when they were close enough to taste each other's breath.

Just for that, Nathan imagines leaning in as slowly as he can bear, savouring the moment, giving Wade as much time as possible to realise this is really happening before their lips finally meet.

He thinks about all the times they'd spent curled up on the couch next to each other in front of the TV, working their way through Wade's list; those little moments of quiet that would follow the endcredits when Wade's incessant commentary would wind down to a halt because the end of the movie meant it was time for Nate to go home, and there was no way to say can't you hang around a little longer? that wouldn't make him sound like a total girl. So many opportunities when he could have turned to Wade and smiled and close the distance between them, Wade's lips barely open in surprise when Nathan presses his own against them.

He wonders what Wade's skin would feel like if he slipped his hands up under his shirt, textured and strange but Wade's unmistakably. He knows perfectly well Wade's never kissed anyone before. He'd be nervous, too eager to please to have any idea how to go about it, but Nathan can't imagine him being anything less than an enthusiastic learner. It dawns on him then that no matter how he starts this, when that moment hits when it sinks into Wade's head that Nathan wants him back, he's going to get to feel it with him.

Self-consciously, Nathan finds himself reaching down to adjust himself through his pants. If he goes on with that train of thought he's... going to be there a while.

I could do that to him for real, he thinks, and for a glorious while he stays there, almost giddy with the thought of how happy he's going to be able to make Wade. But it's possible that in the real world, pinning Wade up against the nearest surface and ambushing him with this out of the blue might not be the best way to raise the subject. Wade would probably accuse him of being his own evil twin

Actually, this is one he's going to have to put some thought into. Between the I-like-you conversation, the have-you-wondered-if-you're-a-mutant conversation and the I-can-read-your-mind-but-don't-worry-I-like-it-there conversation the list is stacking up, and hopelessly interconnected as they may be, if he dumps all that one Wade at once something is liable to short circuit.

He could just come out and tell Wade how he feels, but it seems less than honest not to admit up front how he could have been so confident that his confession would be well received. Without that context the whole thing is likely to seem like it came out of nowhere, and letting Wade think, even for a day or two, that all this has nothing to do with him having spent the last few months watching Wade picturing him tied up with duct tape on a daily basis.... Nathan grimaces; dishonesty doesn't even cover that. On the other hand, if he leads by confessing about his telepathy he's almost definitely going to end up fighting the uphill battle to explain that what Wade thinks about him is a good thing while Wade freaks out. Had he been born to be a poet rather than a soldier perhaps he'd be up to finding the words that would let him break both to Wade at once, but the mess he's made of this so far seems like fairly definitive evidence that he's not, and all he's likely to gain for trying is a headache.

Maybe... maybe what he needs is a third option. The root of the problem isn't that he's psychic or that he's taken such a stupid, backwards route to realising how he feels about Wade, it's that they've both been hiding behind the convenient fictions that 1) Wade will get over him and 2) that Nathan has no interest in boys. If he could just clear Wade up on the latter – slip it into conversation somewhere, it shouldn't be hard to do – that ought to get the ball rolling in the right direction. He'll need to give Wade a day or two for that to sink in, but Wade's not completely stupid – there's not bad odds that he might even guess that dropping that detail is Nate's way of building up to letting him know there's this one boy he likes in particular.

Settling on the plan doesn't come without a little reluctance – he'll miss the chance to blow Wade's mind, but it's obviously the only fair way to break the news. Given their history, even he could like me ought to be something Wade will find mind-blowing enough.

Nathan proceeds to spend the rest of the evening in a kind of pleasant daze, not noticing he's been wandering around with a half-smile plastered over his face until he catches Scott about to ask him what he's smiling about over dinner and clamps down on it too suddenly to leave any chance that Scott (whose powers of parental insight are developing by the day, lack of telepathy be damned) could miss why. He gets out of a lecture on misuse of his powers to pre-empt conversations only because Scott doesn't need to go to that much length when he's just about mastered the art of expressing his disappointment with one or two pointed comments and a meaningful look which, in light of earlier revelations about how much his telepathy had complicated his relationship with Wade rather than the opposite hits him right where he's still sensitive with even more impact than Scott could have intended. He doesn't get out of being asked what had him in such a good mood, and Askani knows he's not going to tell Scott the truth so he mutters something about having figured something out. Scott doesn't buy it but catches enough of a hint that his son is finally starting to feel at home in this century that he doesn't risk ruining it by pressing for details.

He's been in love barely an hour and already he's lost all talent at subtlety or discretion. It's a damn good thing he's got a plan for how to break this to Wade – left to his own devices he's not sure he'd be able to improvise his way through a simple conversation with him right now. He's going to feel like a right fool for taking so long to figure out something so simple for a long while yet, but none of this can make a dent in his good mood.

This lasts right up until he's getting ready for bed, much later that night, emotionally exhausted but still strung so high that it's an odds on bet whether he gets any sleep, when he suddenly wonders what Wade's doing right that moment – no more than a passing thought, except that when you're psychic, wondering and knowing are never far apart, and never closer than when you're tired and happy and your gifts are fluctuating on a hormonally sprung hair trigger.

And that is how Nathan catches Wade in the middle of enjoying the fantasy where Nate gets an erection at school that absolutely won't go away until Wade finds him hiding in an empty classroom and offers to 'help' with matters.

Circumstances being what they were, not all the carefully laid plans in the world could have prevented what Nathan did next.




Concluding Author's Notes:
1. Why yes most of Wade's fantasies are in fact playful nods to some of the prompts from the early pages of the kink meme. ;)
2. I wasn't originally going to cut this chapter off here, but it wound up so much longer than I'd expected that I eventually gave in and called it done. The good news is that the next chapter is very nearly finished though, and should be up very soon.



Part 5

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
livtheobsession
Apr. 11th, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you updated! This made my day, you don't even know! :D
rallamajoop
Apr. 11th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
This made my day, you don't even know! :D

Aww, entirely happy to oblige. ^_^
etrangere
Apr. 11th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
WOOT UPDATE!

Haha, loved all the kink meme references (especially all the evil twin ones XD)

It's interesting reading about Nate's thoughts, and how he has all those good intentions and PLANS! and stuff about how he's going to address the issue - and i get the same sense of impending, glorious, manipulative DISASTER from all of it that I had when I read Bujold's A Civil Campaign for the first time (which in case you don't know about it; is a big compliment ;))

Also that ending is evil.
rallamajoop
Apr. 11th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
Haha, loved all the kink meme references (especially all the evil twin ones XD)

*g* I was hoping a few of the established C&DP shippers around here would get a kick out of those.

(which in case you don't know about it; is a big compliment ;))

I do not, but I will definitely take the compliment. =D You're dead right of course - after 4000+ words of the protagonist sitting down and thinking calmly and rationally through his feelings, there is nothing to be done next but hurl it all right out the window. >D

Also that ending is evil.

Ahaha, guilty as charged there. (No prizes for guessing what most of my beta-reader's complaints about this chapter related to - though of course she still happily endorsed the idea of sicking that ending on other people.)
velithya
Apr. 11th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
It's funny when it happens to other people! :D
bachaboska
Apr. 11th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
Great chapter! I love this story to no end- and everything would be perfect if not for the meanest cliffhanger ever! I hope you'll update soon...
rallamajoop
Apr. 12th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
Heh, careful, that sounds like a challenge for me to come up with an even meaner cliffhanger, and considering how the end of the next chapter is shaping up... ;)

Anyway, thank you, and I hope not to keep you waiting too long.
verstehen
Apr. 11th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
I'll come back and read the rest in a minute, but I just got to the part about Wade's fantasies and busted out laughing! (If that isn't Wade breaking the fanfiction fourth wall, I don't know what is.)
rallamajoop
Apr. 12th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
Well spotted. *g* As soon as I realised there was an opening in this chapter to talk about Wade's fantasies in a bit of detail I couldn't resist going to the obvious source for inspiration - after all, if any character ought to be influenced by events on the far side of the fourth wall and really would have fantasies at least that weird and wonderful, it's gotta be Wade.
pingback_bot
Apr. 12th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
Volume 062, Issue 006
User etrangere referenced to your post from Volume 062, Issue 006 saying: [...] (Rated NC-17, Logan/Kurt) - wrote "Summers'son (4/?) " [...]
inheavenlygrass
Apr. 12th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
Wheee!!! New chapter! I'm thrilled that you posted something, I've been dying for some good fic. Also I'm going to get on the "that ending was evil" bandwagon and request smut ;). Wonderful job as always!
rallamajoop
Apr. 13th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
Well, not only is the next chapter up to betaing stage now, I am already a good couple of thousand words into the one after that, so trust me when I say I am doing my very best to make up for that long hiatus over the start of the year. ;) Guilty as charged on the ending, but you're certainly not on the wrong track about where it's heading next. *g*
merianmoriarty
Apr. 15th, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
fffffffffffffffft. this. oh, Nate...
rallamajoop
Apr. 15th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans... ;)
meisright
Apr. 17th, 2011 10:31 am (UTC)
Are you going to develop those nods into actual fill? : D
rallamajoop
Apr. 17th, 2011 11:31 am (UTC)
The nods to Wade's sexual fantasies, you mean? Suffice to say that the next chapter is going to go into considerably more detail on that subject. *g*
bloody_american
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)
Uh oh... that last line has me a bit. Worried. WHAT DID YOU DO NATE? *runs off to find out*
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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