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[Cable & Deadpool] Summers'son

Some stories write themselves. Others make you work for every word. Still others crash your headspace uninvited and force you to write them down just so you can get them out of your head and get back to the one you were trying to work on again*, which is the only excuse I've got for how I just wrote 3000 words of a Cable/Deadpool high school AU.

Arguably, it's less of a real alternate universe than an alternate timeline** where Nate happens to be of about high school age when he returns to the present, though this breaks down a bit when I have to justify what Wade's doing in the same age bracket. *waves hand* Clearly meeting Wade is the most important thing that ever happened to Nate, so the universe would have to shift to accommodate the event.

Ahem.

Just to clarify, this is a one-shot fic - no plans to continue it beyond this snippet. I have far too many unfinished AUs sitting around already.

* Right now this would be part two of Good Intentions, which has been nearly done since December, but wound up badly bogged down in the second category ever since. ><
** What I'd give for better accepted fandom terminology to distinguish between the two.


Title: Summers'son
Summary: WHAT IF NATE WAS A NEW KID IN HIGH SCHOOL AND WADE IS THE UNPOPULAR FREAK THAT NO-ONE UNDERSTANDS!!! WHAT WILL HAPPEN????R&R!!! Settling into the 21st century is giving a teenaged Nathan some trouble.
Characters/Paring: Nate/Wade
Rating: PG
Word Count: 3060
Warnings: Questionable attempts at cliche subversion



His first day of school is predictably awkward.

There used to be a school for mutants in this century, but Nathan arrived back here a couple of months too late – or too early, according to the more optimistic of the remaining X-Men. He'd have liked to hear more about it, but the one time he tried asking Scott he watched the man shut down – physically and mentally – behind the few details he revealed, so he supposes he'll have to wait until that wound is a little less fresh, or until he next sees the others from the old team. He wishes it was easier to think of Scott as his father, but the few memories he still retains from before he was sent to the future don't gel easily with the reality. After two failed relationships with not-quite-the-same-woman, all Scott has left to show for it is a long-lost teenaged son who came back to him a virtual stranger, and he's determined to give them both some chance at a 'normal' life – even if it means uprooting them halfway across the country and inflicting a boy from a war-torn future on an ordinary high school until he settles into this century. Maybe the others are right, and within a year he'll be able to transfer to somewhere that won't force him to keep as many secrets, but Nathan isn't in the habit of getting his hopes too high.

Education where Nathan grew up meant reading and writing, basic mathematics, a smattering of history and science, and years of hard training in the art of staying alive. The Askani have a deep respect for the value of knowledge, but there's never any time to teach their children more than the essentials. He knows how to jury-rig a damaged plasma rifle to run off a spare battery, how to field-dress a gut wound, the complete history of the New Canaanite uprising, and a dozen useful tricks for decrypting a coded enemy message. He doesn't understand the difference between IBM and Macintosh, the stages of cell division, the significance of the Vietnam War, why his English teacher gets so excited about the work of T.S. Eliot, or any part of the American political and legal system. (Nor do any of his classmates on that last count, but that's not very comforting either.) One teacher has already asked point blank what on earth he's been doing with all his school years thus far to come away so lacking in what she sees as the basics of common knowledge. She probably wouldn't have been very impressed with the real answer.

The classes he's being enrolled in are meant for students two years younger than him, and between his height and build he sticks out among their numbers like a sore thumb. The official story is that he spent his childhood in and out of treatment for a life-threatening, genetic medical condition. The vein of genuine truth in that version of events doesn't make the dishonesty sit much more comfortably. He feels more like a professional spy than a real student – what else would you call someone who needs such an elaborate cover story just to avoid suspicion?

His telepathy has saved him from a couple of awkward moments, and distracted him badly at a couple of wrong ones. With the last of the TO virus finally purged from his body his powers are growing by the day, but control is going to get harder before it gets easier again, and all the thoughts he overhears in this time are so foreign. Everyone here is so pampered and comfortable; they don't have to worry about whether the next mission will be their last, so they spend their energy on school grades or money, or whether the cute girl in chem class will ever notice them, or whether their shoes are out of fashion, or whether their mother's boyfriend is going to move in, or the incomprehensible social politics that seem to govern their age group. They learn about the reality of war in school, but it might as well be something from another planet for all it means to them. There's so much more variety and so much less focus; it's like being cured of colour blindness to find yourself in a cotton-candy world with no words for black or white.

This is where he needs to be; this era is the key point to stop Apocalypse's rise to power before it can begin. He just isn't sure how comfortable he is with the thought that this is the kind of world his clan fought so long and hard to restore.

The telepathic overload isn't so bad in class, where most (or at least some) of the other students are focusing on the subject. The echo of the lesson that comes back filtered through their own experiences can be quite enlightening, especially when he needs a quick translation for one of the more obscure language terms from this century.

His first lunch break is... a different experience.

Tuning out the worst of the mindless psychic background noise is the first trick any psychic learns, by sheer force of will if necessary, since the alternative involves going stark raving mad within a month. Nathan's only just learning that it doesn't work so well when everything around him is so unfamiliar that his instincts have a dozen different things flagged as potential dangers before he can correct them – and his telepathy is operating at higher volume than he's ever had to deal with, so he's been on edge since the first thing that morning. One of the few signatures he never learnt to filter out is the sight of himself being watched through a stranger's eyes – that one pierces through the background chatter as clear as someone calling his name. In fact, he's spent most of his life training himself to listen for it – a stranger watching him may well be doing so through sniper sights.

Everyone is a stranger to him here. If Scott had hoped he'd be able blend into the sea of anonymous faces of two thousand other students well enough to avoid attention, he hadn't counted on just how much his son was going to stand out.

There are probably only a dozen people out of the hundreds in the cafeteria who notice him when he walks in, but even that's too many.

...hey, new kid? Wonder where he's from.
...whoa, how have I not noticed
him before? What a cutie!
...looky-looky, it's that noob from English. What was he, raised in a cave? Freak.
...check out the build on that guy. Five bucks says he's on the football team by Friday.


With the state of Nathan's nerves every mental voice sounds like a gunshot – hostile, friendly, it doesn't make a difference. Classroom introductions went by without making him break a sweat, but this attention is coming from a dozen directions in a crowd and all his instincts are screaming that any of them could be an enemy agent.

Someone jostles him from behind, and Nathan comes this close to responding to the 'threat' by swinging around and punching them in the face before he catches himself. He's not coping, he should turn around right now and get out of here, find somewhere quiet to get a grip on himself – but if he does that he's only going to attract more attention and that's the last thing he can afford. He's going to have to learn how to deal with this sooner or later, and if trial by fire is the only way to learn – then it's the only way to learn.

...ha, transfer kids. Enjoy the easy times while they last, dickhead, because you are in for a world of pain if you think that attitude's going to fly in this joint.

He joins the end of the cafeteria queue, and tries not to look as self-conscious as he feels. Evidence suggests this backfires badly.

...has that guy bleached his fringe? Just his fringe? Has that ever been in fashion on this planet?
...shitshitshit just what I fucking need, some foreign asshole is gonna walk in here and take my spot on the team just coz he's a million feet tall...


Puzzled, Nathan looks around, and quickly spots a boy only a few feet behind him in the queue who's a good head taller than he is. Why is he getting noticed for his height? Is it something about his posture? It would be just his luck if even the way he carries himself is enough to make him stand out.

...aww, poor sweetheart looks so lost. I should go say hi, see if he needs a friend. See if he's doing anything Saturday night...
...wow, where have they been hiding
dat piece of ass? Shit, don't crane. Someone is going to see you craning. Anyway he's probably one of those stuck-up rich jocks from some private school who won't give you the time of day which is a fucking waste if you ask me, not that he'd go out with me anyway...

Someone across the room is picturing him naked – wait, correction, that's just the last one again. Of all the irrational taboos in this century, he's never going to understand the obsession people here have with nudity.

Naked-imaginary-Nathan is now inviting his imagine-er over for a closer look.

At least that's familiar territory. Funny thing to find halfway comforting, but people's fantasies are one thing he's used to overhearing. Some things don't change no matter what year it is.

More to the point, it's one of few stranger-thoughts he has plenty of practice filtering out.

He risks a look around the room and spots at least three faces looking quickly away, and almost misses it when he reaches the front of the queue.

The worst of the food here is better than the reconstituted sludge from the bottom of the emergency supplies back home, but nothing looks very appetising to him today.

***

His second day seems to be going better until he gets to gym class. It's not that he has any trouble with the general idea of sports, but even eight hours sleep barely took the edge off yesterday's headache, and the last thing he needs is to be thrown into a competitive game he's never played before, where all the thoughts he's picking up from the other team are intentionally threatening. One fumble of the ball from him in the midst of so many distractions, and the thoughts coming from his own team aren't much friendlier.

Telepathy isn't the only problem. So far, everyone else has been assuming the time that one guy went flying off his feet was just a bad stumble, but he can't count on being that lucky if reflex kicks in again.

And volleyball is supposed to be one of the less violent sports on the curriculum.

Relief finally comes at halfway through the class, by which time he's so obviously dizzy and disoriented that the coach lets him go sit down on the benches and catch his breath. Elaborate cover stories involving degenerative diseases do have the odd benefit – at least when there's an element of truth to them.

It's not the sitting down that helps so much as that the rest of his class are now too busy with the game to pay much attention to him, but it makes the difference he needs. Nathan rests his head in his hands and goes through a meditative technique the Askani taught him back when his powers first emerged. He wonders if he can convince Scott to let him miss school until his telepathy levels out again – except that at the rate it's been increasing over the last week he's starting to worry it's never going to level out.

The exercise works unusually well, especially considering the volume of background noise around this place. So well he doesn't notice anyone approaching until there's a bottle full of water being stuck in his face.

Nathan glances up and finds himself looking into a face covered in a grotesquely fascinating network of scar tissue. The hand holding the bottle out to him is coated in more of the same.

The most startling part is actually to find himself recognising their owner – not because they've been introduced, but he's noticed the other boy around the school hallways once or twice. He's hard to miss, equally because of the skin and the wide berth much of the student population tends to give him. There's more than his appearance to blame for the latter, both the thoughts and the comments Nate's heard in his presence tag him as a trouble maker. Given that, and what Nathan's gathered about what passes for 'humour' around this school, he's probably going to be allowed to drink half the water before being told it has someone else's spit in it.

There's an easy way of checking up on that one.

...whoa, he didn't even flinch! 'Course he's probably going to accuse me of pissing in the bottle or something like the rest of them would...

There's no sense of any bad intentions, just low expectations. Feeling somewhat chastised, Nathan accepts the water quickly.

“Thanks.” He means it, he hadn't even noticed how thirsty he was until now.

His benefactor shrugs it off. “No sweat. Now when Mrs Ampersand asks me why I took a million years getting back from the gents I can tell her I was distributing water to poor, helpless, dehydration victims and I won't even be...” he trails off, suddenly very distracted by the motion of Nathan's throat as he downs half the bottle without coming up for air, and it's only then that he clicks that it's not just the face that's familiar – this is the same guy from the cafeteria yesterday who took one look at him and decided he was a stuck up bastard who'd probably look really hot in the nude.

And people here think he's the weird one.

He figures he should still probably make an effort to be polite, since he's being given a chance to prove his non-bastardness. He is feeling better for the drink.

“Nathan Summers,” he says, holding out a hand and trying to look grateful.

The other boy stares at the hand for a second before replying, which is Nathan's first reminder that no-one else he's met in his own age group has bothered shaking hands.

“Wade Wilson,” the boy replies after only slightly too long a pause, putting his hand in Nathan's, “and 'cause I know you're about to ask, this exciting skin condition of mine is called...”

“I wasn't,” says Nathan. “Going to ask,” he clarifies, when Wade gives him another funny look.

“Hey, everyone does,” Wade protests. “Right after, 'is it contagious?'”

“I was assuming it was the kind of question you'd get sick of answering,” says Nathan. This is when he realises he's still just holding Wade's hand, so he gives it a quick shake and lets go. No cringing away from the texture of his skin. No dragging his fingers to explore the stranger ridges either. He's seen worse, back home.

He practically hears Wade's heart flutter. It might be kinder to be cruel, he doesn't want to lead Wade on – but Nathan's finding him oddly likeable, despite all his quirks. Maybe it's the effect of meeting someone else who's an outsider here. Or that – no matter what he's been told about his 'skin condition' – it's plain to Nathan that Wade's every bit as much a mutant as he is.

“So, Nate,” Wade says quickly, with only the slightest of stammers, “since we're sharing awkward personal details here, does the thought of volleyball always make you always feel faint?”

Nathan was waiting for that one, just as surely as Wade was waiting for the skin question. He really isn't in the mood for another round of his cover story.

“It's a long story,” he hedges.

“Awesome!” says Wade, plonking himself down on the bench beside Nathan. “I needed an excuse to put off going back to class.”

Nathan stares at him for a long moment, trying to come up with a way of phrasing the answer that he can stomach. Much to his surprise, what comes out of his mouth is, “My mother died in a freak accident involving a volleyball.”

Wade finds this completely hilarious. The laughter comes to an abrupt end with a snort. “Wait, you weren't serious, were you? We had this teacher once who made us take this class on 'risk in the home' and you would not believe the stats on how many deaths each year get caused by accidents involving 'cushions, pillow cases and bedclothes'...”

Now it's Nathan's turn to laugh. “Completely not serious, don't worry.” He pauses to consider. “Pillow cases?”

“And yet they're still legal in nearly fifty states! The state of this country, huh?”

Over on the court, the coach blows a whistle and the rest of the class heads for the change rooms. Nathan shrugs apologetically and offers Wade the rest of the water back.

“Keep it,” says Wade, waving him away. “What's one bottle of overpriced, totally-honestly-from-the-lost-springs-of-Mt-Naturefairy vending machine water between buds?”

Nathan nods. “Nice meeting you, Wade.” He means it too, even without the part where even a non-psychic could've heard that little trace of desperate hope attached to Wade's last word.

“Uhh, sure, you too, Nate!” Wade mutters back quickly, and scampers off to face the wrath of Mrs... whatever her real name is. It's easier to block out his thoughts the further away he gets (and Nate is feeling voyeuristic enough for one conversation), but he has a feeling he's made Wade's week.

He has a feeling Scott's not going to think much of his new friend, mutant or otherwise.

He's not going to care.




ETA: ...I wasn't planning to write more of this, I swear, but...

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
ficcentricity
Mar. 16th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
Questionable attempts at cliche subversion

IMO, it was definitely a success! I really enjoyed reading this!♥♥♥ I'm a gigantic sucker for high school AUs, and your characterization is spot on; Nate would have a hard time blending in. And why he felt so out-of-place (duh, he came from a wartorn future obviously) is explained in a non-intrusive, natural way. :D I also liked the cross-section of thoughts Nate picked up on, totally realistic and hilarious.

May I just say once more: ♥♥♥ I really love a lot of things about your writing, like how you handle character dynamics and especially how realistic and obviously well thought-out this is. IN CONCLUSION, A+, WOULD READ AGAIN
rallamajoop
Mar. 17th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Me, I'm just a sucker for AUs in general (though you may have noticed that by now ^^;).

Nate would have a hard time blending in. And why he felt so out-of-place (duh, he came from a wartorn future obviously) is explained in a non-intrusive, natural way. :D

Mm, I could have gone into more detail there, but we all know where Nate grew up, so there didn't seem to be any need to over-labour the point. He's probably never going to care about how he doesn't fit in as much as most outsiders (including Wade, who spends his whole life pretending not to care), but ooh boy is the culture shock getting him bad.

I also liked the cross-section of thoughts Nate picked up on, totally realistic and hilarious.

And it's totally not like half the fun of this story was writing in a world where Nate can hear Wade's thoughts. *cough*

especially how realistic and obviously well thought-out this is.

Ahahaha, ideas that sit in your headspace for a month before you finally give up and write them probably do end up seeming 'well thought-out'.

I am very pleased this lived up to the expectations of a connoisseur of the genre. *g* It's always nice to hear from you. <3
iambickilometer
Mar. 16th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Okay, so Cable/Deadpool ain't really my thing, but I really wanted to see how well you'd pulled off the high school AU trope. And you pulled it off really well. I'm glad I read this, it was really fun.
rallamajoop
Mar. 17th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
Ooh, thanks! Even more so if you wouldn't usually go looking for fic for this pairing - glad you liked this take on them. ^_^
(Deleted comment)
rallamajoop
Mar. 17th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
Thanks! ^_^
prue84
Mar. 17th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
I couldn't expect less from you, and you never fail to meet my expectations. Always IC characters, always a great reading! <3

And... can I hug Wade here? Poor little thing! *purr*
rallamajoop
Mar. 17th, 2010 05:42 am (UTC)
Thank you, and glad you're still reading after that big four-month hiatus of mine. ^^;

And... can I hug Wade here? Poor little thing! *purr*

Poor little teen!Wade did just have a very good day. Though he is probably doomed to spend a fair while trying (and failing) to get over a massive crush on his new best friend before said best friend starts crushing back, so a hug or two might not go amiss. (Unless it's from Nate, which would be very welcome but only make things worse.)
(no subject) - prue84 - Mar. 17th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
gigglingkat
Mar. 17th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
velithya recced you but didn't bother to comment!

This? is FABULOUS - and I totally respect your desire not to write more.


No. Really.


This is me. Being respectful.


Not pointing out that Nate/Wade at a pep rally - or car wash for the volleyball team - would be made of sparkly crack and win.


Not pointing out that Wade would want to use Nate's TK to toilet paper the principal's office.

Completely understanding how you wouldn't want to write about how Wade deliberately projecting porn when he learns about the telepathy.


Or how they react with Wade's yellow boxes appear.


I completely understand and respect you for it.
rallamajoop
Mar. 17th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Well, she did beta it for me - and made it clear what she was going to do as soon as I posted it, so I'd call that commenting in advance.

Not pointing out that Nate/Wade at a pep rally - or car wash for the volleyball team - would be made of sparkly crack and win.

Nate needs to stay far away from the latter in case it gives him traumatic volleyball-flashbacks. And they don't have the former down my end of the world, so obviously I am underqualified to write about them. *cough*

Not pointing out that Wade would want to use Nate's TK to toilet paper the principal's office.

Completely understanding how you wouldn't want to write about how Wade deliberately projecting porn when he learns about the telepathy.


Ahaha, he so would on both accounts!

<.< Hey, if anyone else wants to pick up any of those ideas and run with them in this 'verse, I'm not going to complain.

Or how they react with Wade's yellow boxes appear.

One of the ideas that didn't quite make it into this story a passing comment about Nate noticing something strangely yellow about Wade's thoughts.

I completely understand and respect you for it.

I CAN TELL. =P

Seriously, the enthusiasm is completely welcome, and I have a bunch of leftover mental notes about the backstory of this 'verse, but nothing that shows much promise of turning into more story.
(no subject) - velithya - Mar. 17th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gigglingkat - Mar. 17th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
zerstoerung
Mar. 17th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
Well, wasn't that the most adorkable thing I have read in a while! The line about the freak volleyball accident? Beautiful.

He practically hears Wade's heart flutter Wade's totally twitterpated, ain't he?
rallamajoop
Mar. 17th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
Gotta be the most shameless fluff I've written in ages too, glad it went down well. =D

The line about the freak volleyball accident? Beautiful.

Something about Wade's sense of humour rubs off on people. Within five minutes, in Nate's case.

Wade's totally twitterpated, ain't he?

Wade just went to talk to that hot new guy in the hope of proving to himself that Nate was going to be an utter jerk who wasn't worth crushing on*. Instead, the new guy turned out to be friendly, makes dumb vollyball jokes and actually seems to like him! Wade's got it bad.

*That's his story and he's sticking to it, anyway.
flidgetjerome
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
Why is this not a "What If" or an Exiles verse or something yet? :D
rallamajoop
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:33 am (UTC)
Because they haven't come to terms with the fact the answer is 'He and Wade would've gotten together much earlier' ;) Because Marvel never return my calls. :( They did create Nate Grey some years back, just with a regrettable lack of highschool hijinks.
(Deleted comment)
threegoldfish
Mar. 17th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
IAWTC.
(no subject) - rallamajoop - Mar. 18th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
tsukinofaerii
Mar. 17th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
Here via velithya

OMG, this is so adorable. Just ridiculously cute. Poor Wade. He's such a sad puppy dog! :( High school can be so rough. (hugs him)
rallamajoop
Mar. 19th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
^_^ Thanks!

Teen Wade came out as such a total woobie when he finally showed up in this. High school is also occasionally where you meet a hot, badass mutant from the future who likes you from the first day you meet, but mostly - when you stand out like Wade does - yeah, it's gotta be pretty rough.
(Deleted comment)
rallamajoop
Mar. 24th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
Poor high school AUs, they have such a miserable reputation. Really they can be quite nice when you get to know them! (Or maybe that's just when you find one that isn't being written by a 13 year old Mary Sue writer who hasn't yet found the spellcheck. =P )

Uh, I appreciate the enthusiasm, but as I said both here and in the extra section, I never had any intention of continuing this fic. It's just meant as a one-shot with maybe some vague hints as to what might happen to them in future.
crimsonquills
Mar. 28th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
This AU is made of awesome. *grins* And I love that last line. The thought of Scott's reaction to Wade makes me LOL and LOL.
rallamajoop
Mar. 29th, 2010 02:19 am (UTC)
=D Thanks! I was on a real cliche fic binge that month. ^^;

You know, I never did get as far as thinking out how Scott would actually react when he inevitably meets Wade. It would probably be some mix of, 'I should be pleased that my son who grew up in a apocalyptic future is settling in and making friends, and I am all in favour of encouraging friendship with people who have been persecuted for their differences' and 'WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SOMEONE LIKE HIM?' Even more so when they inevitably end up dating.
(no subject) - crimsonquills - Apr. 1st, 2010 06:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rallamajoop - Apr. 1st, 2010 07:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crimsonquills - Apr. 5th, 2010 12:19 am (UTC) - Expand
ceanshinythings
Apr. 16th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to let you know that I recced this: http://ceanshinythings.livejournal.com/355596.html
silvarbelle
Jul. 24th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
This story: *goes on list of favoritest favorites EVER*

Or, as Wade would say: Me = Likey... and who the hell ever says "likey" like that? Unless it's a Chinese with a bad accent trying to pick up trade. Likey-Likey, fo' dolla? Five dolla? Mo'? ....CHIMICHANGA CHOW MEIN. I need this. I need exactly this.
rallamajoop
Jul. 25th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
Aha, glad you liked it. *g* Actually, contrary to everything said at the top, I've even been thinking a bit about writing some more in this 'verse - probably not a proper second chapter, but at least a bunch of odd scenes that might-or-might-not happen somewhere in the future that keep bugging me. We'll if/when I get around to it. ^^;
(no subject) - silvarbelle - Jul. 25th, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
bloody_american
Oct. 13th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
Oh wow. This is. alkdjfkl Nate in high school. Holy crap. I pretty much adore everything about this, I mean the amount of thought you put into it is pretty incredible. And the way Wade and Nate meet at the end is kind of unbearably sweet. Anyone who's good to Wade (despite all his Wade-ness) is a winner in my book which is why I often have conflicting emotions about canon!Nate so yay for au!Nate. <3

Edited at 2011-10-13 05:28 am (UTC)
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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