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[Cable & Deadpool] Good Intentions (2/?)

...has it really been five months since I posted part one of this? Oh %&#@.

It's been one of those years (cons and cosplay, hospital visits, other stories hijacking my brain, more cons, moving house, and I have not even posted about the uni situation online much). Meanwhile, the mental plan for this story just keeps getting bigger, and if I don't pick up the pace a whole lot I'm never going to finish the first arc, let alone the whole thing. -_-


Title: Good Intentions
Summary: Deadpool thought killing that 'Nathan' guy was going to be a fairly routine job. He couldn't have been more wrong.
Chapter: 2/?
Characters/Pairing: Cable/Deadpool, X-Force
Rating: NC-17 (over all), PG (this part)
Word Count: 4190
Previous Parts: Part 1




The rooftops of the warehouse district provided neither the fastest route through the area nor any real privacy, so there were likely a number of people in the area that day who heard contextless snatches of the 'conversation' making its swift-footed way over their heads. Piecing together the full narrative would have been a more difficult task. The path the voices followed was erratic in a way that would have had a parkour expert eagerly taking notes one minute, and sobbing into his hands the next, as it found excuses to go zigzagging between rooftops more than a dozen feet apart, or to scale obstacles that could have been easily avoided. Keeping up long enough to hear the whole thing would have taken someone with the tracking skills of a dedicated ninja (or, in a pinch, a seagull following a lucky flight path) – and even if one had been present, making sense of any of it all would still have been far beyond most listeners.

The assembled narrative went like this:

“Hey boss,” the first voice began. “I bet you're just on the edge of your seat waiting to hear how the job went last night, huh?” It wasn't a particularly nice voice, or a happy one – and nor, apparently, the voice of a man overly concerned by the risks to his job security posed by delivering the words 'hey boss' in tones most people usually reserve for statements like 'sure, let's try that! It only nearly got us killed the last fifteen times we tried it!'.

“Why yes, Deadpool, I trust you have a good explanation for why it took you nearly twenty-four hours to complete a relatively simple assassination task,” replied the second voice. While distinctly deeper than the first voice, the careful listener would have noted what made the difference was roughly that same quality that separated a normal voice from an exaggerated falsetto. The careful listener would also have noticed only one set of footsteps.

“Okay, y'see,” said the first voice, now adding a trace of nervousness to its many and varied qualities, “it was like this: when I got out of there my teleport belt was on the fritz, so I had to take the subway, but there was this whole thing with some guard who had this idea that I was supposed to pay for a ticket, so I missed my stop somehow, and then on the way out there were these mimes by the exit and you reasonably can't expect a guy to have to walk past mimes and not beat them all to a bloody pulp, can you? And... say, is that a new hat? I like it, nice, er, brim, it really brings out your, er, coat?”

“Truly fascinating, Deadpool,” said the second voice, “but even in your vocalised imagination, I am infinitely more interested in the question: were you successful?

“Was I successful? Well, look at it this way – if we're rating success on a scale from zero to ten, where ten is 'I iced the guy and made it home in time to catch the theme music on Scrubs' and a zero is 'I screwed it up so bad I came home with half the superhero population and the feds and an angry ex-wife I didn't even know you had on my tail' and – whoa – easy there, I'm not saying I did screw up, that was just to keep things in perspective, 'cause on that scale I'm rating at least a comfy seven-and-a-half...”

The second voice was not mollified by this eminently reasonable argument. “So what you are telling me is, you failed. Your target was not eliminated.”

“Okay, okay, yeah, maybe he's not feeling all that 'eliminated', but if we're getting technical, is it fair to heap all the blame on me?” the first voice complained, growing steadily more defensive. “Because I'm thinking when you sent me after the guy, I wasn't working with all the facts, boss. You say 'murder', I say 'how messy?', but from now on maybe I'm going to say, 'are you sure there's nothing you forgot to warn me about?' Like maybe the guy shoots laser-beams out of his nose or can hex you into doing the macarena for an hour with the power of his mind, or he can knock you off your feet by hitting a pressure point on your neck – or maybe he's just a kinky bastard with a thing for molesting his prisoners into submission and a really irritating smirk and a nice arse and really good hands...”

The footsteps slowed to a halt.

“What are you looking at, stupid bird!” the first voice snapped. There was a sudden squawk, and a hail of feathers.

When the speech began again, it came out somewhat more subdued.

“Okay, maybe wanna leave the 'who's fault' part out. Could just tell him I stuffed it, what's the worst he could do? Besides wiring my mouth shut and flaying half the flesh off my bones...”

After a minute had passed there was the loud thump of someone sitting down heavily on an old corrugated iron roof.

“Fuck,” muttered the voice quietly.

A while later, the footsteps started moving again, but what that meant after all the twists and turns the path had already taken would've been anyone's guess.

***

Tabitha was almost done reshelving the books displaced during the last incident in the library (and looking forward to spending some time with her kind of reading material, which contained more glossy colour pictures and would be out of date before it was a fraction of the age of anything on this shelf) when a voice said, “Hey X-Teen, you look like a chick who knows her way around; where do they file the overstuffed, cyborg G.I. Joes in this joint?”

She whipped around, mouth dropping open. The owner of the voice was wearing a familiar red and black costume, and twirling a gun in a debatably casual sort of way.

“A for arsehole, B for batshit, C for crazy or D for deadman? I was going to try 'psycho', but I never remember how you spell it.”

The rest of the books did not get shelved.

***

Twenty seconds passed between when Cable heard the fight start and the moment he burst into the library – a lifetime by battlefield reckoning (often literally). He already knew what he was going to see – you didn't quickly forget a voice like that one, especially not at that volume.

In point of fact, the first thing he saw was Shatterstar being hurled straight past him and into a bookshelf, which rocked back and forth precariously on impact, ejecting a load of anthropology hardbacks in protest. He slid to the floor, rolled to his feet and was just about to leap back into the fray when he realised everyone else in the room had caught sight of Cable standing in the doorway and frozen like guilty schoolchildren caught egging the headmaster's car.

It must have been the look on his face. They hadn't done anything wrong – most of them – but Cable wasn't in the mood to take prisoners. Lord knew he hadn't expected a lot from Deadpool, but even that had clearly been too much.

“Well, this is awkward,” said a gravely voice, and that was when Boomer took the chance to elbow Deadpool in the stomach and twist out of his grip, and Cannonball barrelled into him, not stopping until the interloper had been driven all the way into the far wall.

In any other circumstances, Cable would have been proud of them.

“Hold!” he yelled before Shatterstar leapt in and inflicted anything irreversible – then spent a dangerous moment wondering why he'd bothered. It was the rational option – it would be futile to imagine Wade was going to learn anything from pain alone no matter how badly he deserved it. It had been rational to accept Deadpool had double-crossed him from the moment he heard those noises, but there'd still been that last, stupid hope there might be any other explanation, and having that dashed hadn't left him feeling particularly rational. “Stand down, Cannonball; he's not getting up.”

“I was using that spine!” Deadpool gurgled.

Cable shot him a look, and watched Deadpool swallow nervously.

“Aha, nope, no getting up here. I'll just chill down here a while, wait for those vertebrae to knit...” Under Cable's glare, he trailed off. “Would you believe me if I told you this is not what it looks like?”

“Isn't it?” said Cable. Deadpool wilted a little more. If he thought he had any chance of making Cable believe that he was even more fool than he'd been given credit for.

“You get one chance to convince me it isn't,” Cable pronounced. “Count yourself lucky. If you'd injured anyone on my team...”

“I'm gonna want to think carefully about how I answer that one, aren't I?” said Deadpool, nervously.

“Only if you do it fast.”

“We caught him breaking in!” blurted Boomer, all in a too-defensive rush. “He was looking for you!”

The interruption could have been better timed. To be fair, none of the kids had the context to understand why Cable was taking this so personally; Boomer was confused, and worried, and just wanted to make sure none of it was her fault.

“Thank you, Boomer,” he said, teeth grinding over the words, “but you aren't the ones with anything to explain.”

“Anyone can see he came back to finish the job,” said Siryn; she'd been hovering on the edge of the fight when Cable came in, seeking an opening that would let her use her scream without hitting a teammate.

“I might not have been!” Deadpool protested.

“Sure, I bet 'deadman' is a term of endearment where you come from,” snapped Boomer.

“...harmless hyperbole?” Deadpool tried.

Deadpool,” growled Cable.

“Okay, okay, so the possibility that maybe this might be going to end in violence was on my mind when I got here. I'm a professional merc, you can't blame me for having a backup plan, like if negotiations went all 5th Element...”

“Strange how that happens when you start negotiations with your fists,” said Cable, missing the reference but catching the gist.

“They started it!”

“After you broke in.”

“Well, jeez, sorry if I thought maybe you would'a told them 'hey, send that Deadpool-guy in to see me if he comes past again, I made him this offer he'll want to talk about.'”

The tension in the room increased slightly.

“Cable, what's he talking about?” Cannonball asked, voice cautious.

“Or was I not supposed to mention that in front of the kids?” said Deadpool, with mock innocence.

Cable pushed aside an impulse to put his head in his hands. “Leave us,” he told the others.

“What, again?” said Boomer.

“There won't be a third time,” Cable said firmly, keeping his eyes on Deadpool.

He would have been more concerned if they hadn't been skeptical; good soldiers couldn't be expected to go on blindly accepting their leader's judgement for long when this was the result, but they filed out, Shatterstar muttering about honour in combat and trying too obviously to suppress a limp.

Another crime to be chalked down on Deadpool's list – and he'd already betrayed Cable's trust and forced him to question every (admittedly considerable) risk he'd taken in dealing with the mercenary since their first meeting, and was rapidly grinding Cable's patience down to razor-width. They'd be lucky if any of this was still salvageable.

“Well?” he prompted, after the footsteps in the hallway had faded, wanting nothing more than to get this over with. “Whatever you came to 'talk' about, now would be the time.”

Deadpool, who may have just realised that any hope he'd had that Cable would hold back evaporated with the audience, looked no less nervous.

“No fair heaping pressure on a guy with a broken spine,” he grumbled.

“Your spine isn't broken. I can see you moving your feet.”

“I could have a skull fracture?” Deadpool tried.

“That could be arranged.”

Deadpool shifted in a twitchy sort of way that suggested he was weighing his chances of making it to the exit against the very real risk of being seen moving. “Uh, I seem to have caught you in a bad mood, maybe I could come back later?”

“It's getting worse the longer you keep stalling for time,” Cable growled.

“Maybe I haven't made up my mind,” Deadpool grumbled, sounding petulant. “Maybe breaking in was one stupid, impulsive whim and what I really need is to be sent home to have a good think about what I've done. You did say you'd give me time to think about it!”

“I did,” Cable agreed. “You thanked me by breaking into my base again. Time's. Up.”

Deadpool hesitated. “...you don't feel like 'convincing' me some more, do you?”

Several hovering pieces in Cable's mental model of Deadpool's psyche slotted themselves into place, not all contributing to the picture in ways he liked. This time, the face-hand impulse won. “Is that what this is about?”

“I'm hovering right on the borderline! It could make all the difference!”

“And afterwards I suppose you'll tell me you still haven't decided,” Cable suggested icily, “and we can do this again next week?”

“Er...” Everything about Deadpool's demeanour implied he was finding that idea undeniably appealing. “I'm up for it if you are.” Somewhere around the end of the sentence, he made the mistake of making eye contact. “...you're not up for it, are you?”

“Deadpool, what part of my offer wasn't clear to you?”

“You wanna list?” With any chance of sex explicitly off the table, Deadpool was getting grouchier at a fairly spectacular rate.

“Try me.”

“Oh, lemme think,” Deadpool snarked, with an edge to his voice Cable remembered all too well from their encounter in the kitchen. “How about how I just bet this is the kind of outfit where I sign up and all is peachy and good until I have one little accident where some unlucky bystander gets a little bit dead, and I'm out like pouches on shoulderpads? (No offence, by the way.) Or if I'm wrong, then it's only because you don't even have that kind of cash you offered me and are obviously using your sexy, masculine wiles to seduce poor little innocently me into spilling all his juicy insider info about your arch-nemesis? How about the part where you seem to be under the impression that sleeping with me is a good idea?

Vicious accusations, but that didn't matter nearly as much as the content. “Now we're getting somewhere. Most of those reservations were quite reasonable.”

“Surprisingly reasonable guy, that's me.”

“And your solution is... that I sleep with you again?”

Again, that made Deadpool hesitate. “Okay, so I realise at first glance that doesn't make much sense...”

“Yes?”

“...but if you sit down and think about it for a bit, you'll be giving me some much needed time to think up a better way to spin this?”

“Wade,” said Cable, patience once more eroding rapidly, “you didn't actually have anything to talk to me about when you got here, did you? All those 'issues' you listed for me just now were the first three things off the top of your head. The only thing you had prepared when you got here was your fists.”

The way Deadpool's head twitched up at the sound of his real name was embarrassing. “Hey, I always said I came here to talk!” he protested. “Fighting was only the backup plan!”

And there Cable's patience finally snapped.

“Was it?” he yelled, kneeling so he could lean right in Deadpool's face; close enough to almost hear his pulse racing under his skin. “Why don't I tell you what I think your plan was? I think fighting your way in was the plan, and this was the backup. You were counting on still having a chance at getting back into Tolliver's good graces if you killed me today, and if you failed, you thought you could sing me a song about coming here to talk and walk away.”

The equipment that would have been needed to measure the time between the formation of the protest in Deadpool's brain and when it made it out of his mouth was probably too advanced even for Cable's period, and he saw it coming a mile away.

“Whatever excuse you're about to give me, don't. I gave you a chance to make something out of your last failure – a chance that was already far more than you deserved – and this is how you thank me for it!”

The motion of Deadpool's throat when he swallowed was even more obvious close up. “...can I talk yet?”

“I'm not done.” Getting himself under control somewhat, but not leaning back an inch, Cable continued, “Disappointing as you've been, I'm going to give you one last chance to change your mind. The one thing you have made very clear to me today is that, no matter what you convinced yourself you were here to do, you don't actually want to kill me, do you?”

The mask did very little to cover the deer in the headlights look he'd taken on. “I don't?”

“That's why you froze when you saw me burst in. You'd probably spent a long time planning what you were going to do when you saw me, but it all fell apart when you had to look me in the eye, didn't it? Set against any chance of getting captured and seduced again, I'll bet that going back to Tolliver didn't seem nearly as appealing. You want an excuse to take me up on my offer. You just don't want to admit you want it.”

“Fucking hate it when you pull that psycho-anal shit,” Deadpool muttered.

Cable straightened himself up, trading proximity in for height. “And I hate having my time wasted.”

With Cable out of his face, Deadpool pulled at his collar and seemed to start breathing again. There was a dangerous moment where Cable would've sworn he was tensing to spring back into his witty rejoinder routine again, but it faltered before it ever got off the ground. Something very much like grudging honesty took its place. “Sheesh, okay, your offer sounds great – it sounds too good to be true. 'Scuse me for wondering where the catch is.”

“The only catch is that you'll be doing my kind of work – and you already knew that, or you wouldn't have asked me whether you'll be fired for collateral damage. This is going to be a far sight from what you're accustomed to doing for a living, but whatever you've heard about the X-Men's attitude to casualties doesn't apply to my team.”

“...so, this isn't one of those ultra-heroic power-of-love-and-sacrifice-and-the-name-of-the-moon-type gigs?” Deadpool sounded disbelieving, and possibly just a little bit disappointed.

“I wouldn't be hiring you if I had jobs requiring subtlety in mind. And while I'm addressing your concerns, if you're worried about whether I've got the funds to pay the salary I offered you, I'd be happy to show you the state of the relevant accounts – and pay you your first month in advance.”

“You're not worried I'm gonna run off with it?” said Deadpool. The idea of being trusted that much seemed to make him faintly uncomfortable.

“That would be where those perks we discussed come in.”

“And what's it going to do for my professional reputation if it gets around that I'll switch sides for a bigger paycheck?”

“Do you have a reputation?”

“I'd like to have one some day, thank you very much!”

“Then why not let me help you establish one as a man in high demand, who's worth a decent salary? Finally, Wade,” Cable went on before there could be any more interruptions, “since you've gone to so much effort to stress your 'professional' status, I don't expect you to share any details about past employers. I don't have any reason to believe you've ever met Tolliver face to face, do I?”

“Huh. Guess not.”

There was a pause, while Deadpool appeared to think seriously about this.

“Anything else?” Cable prompted.

“I'm gonna have to put up with you pulling this psychology crap a lot, aren't I?”

“No-one said this job was going to be perfect.”

“You do realise I'm under a contract requiring me to give fourteen days notice before any acts of shocking betrayal...”

“Nothing shocking about leaving for a better offer, is there?”

He'd thought they were finally getting somewhere, but over the next several seconds he was treated to the sight of everything readable in Deadpool's face retreating behind the fabric of his mask.

“Just so I'm clear,” said Deadpool, “do I have what you would call a choice here? If I say no, exactly what are my odds of getting out of here without getting shot in the head?”

“If you say no, you leave in one piece. But you won't get another chance to change your mind.”

“And if it doesn't work out for me I can leave any time, right?”

“Absolutely.” When Deadpool didn't immediately reply, he added, “Is that a yes?”

Fine, you were right,” Deadpool admitted, grudgingly. “I don't really want to kill you. What I really want to do is punch your face in a couple times, no offence.”

It would have been more convincingly threatening earlier in the conversation. “Is that before or after you have me 'convince' you some more?”

“Probably before. After sex I get all mellow and snugly and I'm useless at violence for a couple of hours.” Deadpool fidgeted on the floor for another couple of seconds, then pulled himself to his feet. “So it's like this,” he said, looking Cable right in the eye, “if I go back to Tolliver now, I get punished for screwing up. If I take you up on this, I get a pay rise, and I keep all my teeth. Even if I think you're a nutjob, I'd be nuts not to take the job, right?”

“Sounds fair,” said Cable, not sure quite what point Wade was making.

“So what I'm saying is, I'm taking the job for the very reasonable hourly rates and lack of the involuntary torture clause. Not for the sex. The sex is just the rose in the tip jar that brightens my day but does not replace the tip or get you better service. Are we clear?”

Ah. “Crystal.”

“Are you sure we're clear? Because there's this thing on your face that looks a lot like it might be some kind of a smirk.”

“It's just something I do sometimes.”

“As long as we're clear. So,” he added, pushing off the wall and approaching Cable in a meaningful way, “any thoughts on how we should celebrate?”

You almost had to admire his single-mindedness. “Is this really the time?”

“I took the job! That I'm not taking for the sex. I did mention that, right?”

“And thanks to your abject failure to figure that out before you got here, my team is waiting down the hall for an explanation as to why I've left you in one piece this long. I don't think they deserve to be kept in suspense, do you?”

“Oh,” said Wade. “Right. Them.”

“If they aren't enthusiastic about the thought of working with you, that's going to be on your shoulders.”

Deadpool looked sheepish. “I could pass it off as a humorous misunderstanding?”

“I don't think they found it very funny.”

“Is Hallmark making 'sorry for punching your face in' cards yet?”

“Not that I know of.”

“Then I guess you'll just have to tell them what an upstanding professional I am in my field and how you have total faith in me.”

Cable looked at him.

“You're the one who was so sure hiring me was a good idea!”

“You have no idea how much I'm questioning it already,” Cable assured him, leading the way out. “They're my team. Let me handle it.”

Out of the corner of his eye he caught sight of Deadpool shrugging. “You're the boss.”

“Now you're getting the idea.”



Chapter 3

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
rallamajoop
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
=D Thanks!
expired_sanity
Apr. 27th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Over the past couple weeks or so I've been reading most of your Deadpool/Cable fics, and I am in love with your portrayal of them and their relationship. You have unlimited hugs from me!
Also, the first bit of this part of the fic is exceptionally well done. I've never seen a mock conversation pulled off so effectively! I can't wait to see where you take this arc.
rallamajoop
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
The two of them have really taken over my brain for a big chunk of the last year or so. XD; Glad you've been enjoying the result - there's a lot more fic for this fandom still in my in-progress pile, believe me!

Also, the first bit of this part of the fic is exceptionally well done. I've never seen a mock conversation pulled off so effectively!

Wow, really? Thanks! It's probably one of those things that works better when you've got a character as insane as Wade to work with.

I can't wait to see where you take this arc.

...me neither, in some respects. For a fic that started with such a gratuitous premise, I've wound up with a huge pile of plot points to juggle over the next few chapters.
expired_sanity
Apr. 29th, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
The point of view you did the mock conversation in, the way you assembled it, and the seagull/ninja bit actually kind of reminded me of Terry Pratchett's style (the unique voice he gives the narration, the way he doesn't explain too much, allowing the reader to figure it out and engage more with the material, and his wit and random quips).

there's a lot more fic for this fandom still in my in-progress pile
Yay! I shall eagerly await its arrival on my computer screen.
rallamajoop
Apr. 29th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
As a huge Terry Pratchett fan, I will take that as a big compliment. ^_^ And hope it's not a bad thing if I might have wound up consciously or subconsciously picking up a few elements of his style in all those years of reading and rereading Discworld. >.>

Yay! I shall eagerly await its arrival on my computer screen.

Well, one of the sillier ones them should be up tonight, if all goes well. ^^;
expired_sanity
May. 1st, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
I hoped you would, and any Pratchett elements in a fic makes it 100x better.
livtheobsession
Apr. 27th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
I love how bitchy they are to each other! You are really good at keeping them in character. :-) I'm wondering how Wade and Terry will get along in this story too. I can't wait to read more! Also, I loved this part:

“Are you sure we're clear? Because there's this thing on your face that looks a lot like it might be some kind of a smirk.”

“It's just something I do sometimes.”

rallamajoop
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
It was a messy, messy scene to write between the two of them, I'm glad you thought the characterisation still worked throughout. =D

I'm wondering how Wade and Terry will get along in this story too.

Probably not as well as in the regular 'verse, given how they met here, but I've got some scenes planned with them later on. It'd feel wrong not to give them some kind of relationship, even in an AU this wild, y'know?

Also, I loved this part.

*g* My beta-reader did too - it got me a comment to the effect of, "you're going to have to get used to seeing that expression a lot, Wade!"
sarkywoman
Apr. 27th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
So cool! I really like Wade's twisty-turny, self-loathing, survival-based thought processes.
rallamajoop
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
Thanks! Aha, Wade's just all over the place in this chapter, isn't he? Most of the time spent on this chapter was just trying to untangle all those twisty-turny bits into something that would still get them to the end of the scene. ^^;
sharp_tongue
Apr. 29th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
I've re-read this three or four times now and am as tickled each time as I was the first. There's something about the banter than just makes me grin. I love them, especially the way you write them!
rallamajoop
Apr. 29th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
Thanks muchly! ^_^ The conversation between them took so many revisions before I was happy with it, so it's incredibly gratifying to hear someone really enjoyed the final version. :3
bachaboska
Apr. 30th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
i love this story...Deadpool needs more Cable'Priscilla'messiah's love- thats for sure! :D
rallamajoop
Apr. 30th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
Well, he will be getting plenty of it from here on out. ;)
(Deleted comment)
rallamajoop
May. 3rd, 2010 08:17 am (UTC)
Not exactly familiar with the quote, but I appreciate the enthusiasm! XD;
belle_favrielle
May. 4th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
AWESOME. I need this fic in my life everyday. EVERYDAY.
rallamajoop
May. 4th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it. ^_^ And, well, it's likely to take me a good while yet to finish, if that helps. And not just because of the embarrassingly long gaps between certain chapters. >.>
black_shiro
May. 20th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
It's awesome! And awwwwwwwww i really, really want to see more! *____* 8D
rallamajoop
May. 22nd, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
Thank you! And regarding more, I'm sending the next chapter off to my beta reader this afternoon. :3
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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