?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

[Cable & Deadpool] Good Intentions (4/?)

Really meant to have this up sooner - the finished draft has been done since the middle of June. It's kinda been one of those months.

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: 4/?
Characters/Pairing: Cable/Deadpool, X-Force
Rating: NC-17 (over all), PG (this part)
Word Count: 6130
Previous Parts: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3



Domino had been in her quarters, shaking with fury. For the last hour.

Goddamn him and all his spawn to the umpteenth generation, what was Nate thinking? Out of all his enemies, out of all Tolliver's associates, he'd hired Deadpool? If this was all some elaborate ruse – some sort of 'to fool your enemies, first fool your friends' variety of self-referential non-logic – she was never going to forgive him. Even if she did get the chance.

What could Deadpool possibly have said that would make Nate trust him? It shouldn't matter one whit that Nate hadn't dealt with him before, he had to be able to tell what kind of monster he was dealing with. Didn't he have the faintest idea what lengths Tolliver would go to get a loyal agent onto his team?

A squeak of hysterical laughter caught in her throat at that thought, making her cough and hiccup her way back to remembering how to breathe without swallowing her own tongue. She held her face in her hands and refused to let it turn into sobbing. Oh god, she was this close to losing it. Nate would probably say not even Tolliver would try something so obvious. He might even be more right than he knew.

Did he know? Did he suspect? Was all this Cable playing his games with everyone on both sides at once? She couldn't put it past him. You could know the man for years and still not hardly know him. Trust Nate to make the one mistake that not even she could hope to protect him from.

No matter how she turned it over in her head, it always came back to the same never-ending cycle of useless contradictions. She had to make him understand that he couldn't trust Deadpool, but how could she do that without losing his trust herself? And if he didn't trust her, who would be left to protect him from this insane mistake he was making? Why would he even consider hiring Deadpool if not as a way to get to Tolliver, but if he knew the first thing about Tolliver, why would he ever think this was a good idea? The last thing she could afford to do was nothing, but what was she supposed to do?

She told herself Domino would have known how to handle this, Domino would never have hesitated so long caught between a bad option and a worse one, that Domino would never have spent an hour shaking hard enough to make her chair skitter over the floor, paralysed in indecision. Pacing had stopped it for a while; it felt almost productive for the first dozen laps of the room, but after that it rapidly became pathetic. She couldn't think when she was this angry, but anger was the only refuge she had against dissolving into gibbering panic, and it was becoming less effective by the circuit.

The inescapable truth was that she knew she was avoiding the one real option she had left, and it was getting harder not to think about it every time she came back to it. Call Tolliver, don't let anything on. Ask him what the hell he was playing at sending Deadpool in to mess with her job. Tell him Cable was suspicious, she couldn't take risks. Tell him she needed more time.

Domino would have done such a better job of this.

Domino would have known better than to get involved with the likes of Tolliver in the first place.

Holding the receiver tightly made it easier to keep her hands steady. Teeth gritted so they wouldn't chatter, she made herself dial the number correctly, first time.

On the second ring, a creaking floorboard in the hallway made her jump halfway out of her skin. She slammed the phone back on to the receiver, but took more care in walking softly to the door. She picked a number at random, counted to it, and wrenched the door open in one sudden movement. Deadpool had hardly begun to stumble through before she had him by the wrist, and then had it twisted behind him, shoving him to the floor with a knee in the middle of his back.

“Hey, timeout, timeout! I never said 'go' yet!” Deadpool protested. With a note of grudging respect, he added, “How'd you do that?”

“Just lucky,” said Domino, twisting the arm further until he yelped and toned down the struggling. “Give me one reason why I shouldn't snap your neck.”

“Hi, 'Nessa, nice to see you too, and I'll give you two: it won't take, and you'll have to explain to Cable why his newest employee has a broken neck.”

“Because I caught him trying to break down my door?”

“I was gonna yell, 'surprise!' – why does no-one appreciate a good surprise anymore? Should warn ya, he might find it awfully convenient you found an excuse to break the neck of the guy who just told him all about how you're a spy.”

“You told him what?” She knew it. If Deadpool could get her out of the way, there'd be no-one between him and whatever Tolliver had sent him here for.

“Yeah, he wanted to have a think about how to deal with it or something, but he's bound to be on his way down any time now. Your word against mine, Nessie.”

“Stop calling me that!”

“I thought you liked 'Nessie'. It was 'Ashley' or 'Mary Kate' you always hated.”

“Cut the crap, Deadpool-”

“I'm hurt, Nessie, you know you can call me Wade.”

“This was Tolliver's idea, wasn't it? What's he playing at?”

“I dunno, seems like someone was dragging her heels planting some bomb or other, ringing any bells? You know how Mr Tolliver gets when he's getting impatient...”

He didn't stop there, but far more important was the faint, metallic sound in the middle of 'impatient' that had nothing to do with Deadpool's voice, and that was just enough warning for her to pin Deadpool's free hand by the wrist before the dagger ended up in her leg. Unfortunately, the only warning she got that she'd shifted too much of her weight was Deadpool flipping her off his back as he rolled out from underneath. The dagger skittered out of his grasp, and she grabbed for it blind, got it by the handle as they were both finding their balance, and had it turned on him in the next breath.

“Lucky for me, huh?” said Deadpool, as he weaved away from the blade. “You realise Cable pays three times his base salary? Not to mention the perks – you've got to ask about the perks. Hey, maybe you already have, he and the real Domino had some kinda thing going once, right?”

“I am Domino!” she shrieked, stabbing wildly. Too slow to pull the blow when Deadpool dodged, the dagger wound up buried in the side of the table, and the second she wasted pulling it free was time for Deadpool to land a kick that threw her halfway across the room.

“Been telling yourself that in front of the mirror a lot, huh Nessa?” he said, advancing on her in no particular hurry. “Getting a bit caught up in the role? That why you never checked in? Y'know, Cable's got this whole package plan for folks like us who always wanted to switch sides but never knew how to start. 'Course, the whole lying to him thing probably would've put a bit of a crimp on that.”

Domino drew herself into a crouch, still feeling the echo of the hard texture of the floor against her hip, the harder knowledge that Domino would never have made a mistake like that. Probably wouldn't have had nearly as much trouble tuning out all the nonsense Deadpool kept spewing either. “Just like that you're on his side now? You?

Deadpool shrugged, and leaned out of the way of her next punch in the same movement. “Okay, so maybe I didn't wanna buy what he was selling right away, so much as I called him crazy mofo and nearly shot him in the kneecaps, but that Nate-ster just had to have me on his team.” A returning punch stung against her arm as she blocked it. “Crazy, I know, but he thinks I've got it in me to hang with the heroic types, and what do I know, maybe he's right. But I did kill a perfectly innocent seagull while I was thinking it over if that makes you feel any better.” She had to dive to get out of the way of his next blow, but at least she managed it with some grace, rolled on landing and had the fallen dagger back in her hand by the time she was up again. She threw it without looking, trusting to luck it'd connect. Luck didn't fail her.

“Hey!” Deadpool protested, staring at the dagger sticking out of his side, which meant he was looking down, which meant he was completely off guard when she threw everything into a kick to his jaw. Deadpool went over backwards, hit the table on his way down and skidded across it into the wall behind.

The dagger protruded awkwardly from his torso, buried almost to the hilt. Domino marched over, grabbed it and pushed, and there was no 'almost' left.

“Cable might believe you,” she hissed, holding the dagger in place as Deadpool twitched and gurgled – a flick of the wrist and she could twist it clean around its axis, could slice him open to the throat, “but he doesn't know you like I do, and I am not letting you do this!”

“I think you've done enough,” said a voice that did not belong to Deadpool.

Domino's first thought as her head whipped around to see the intimidating bulk of Cable's body standing in her doorway was how hadn't she seen him until now? How long had he been there?

The second was that never in their acquaintance had she ever seen him so furious.

***

Rage proved disappointingly ineffective at clouding Cable's view of the scene. Suspicions weren't proof, no matter how justified, but nor had expectations done much to soften the blow.

For a long moment, there was nothing Cable would have liked more than to drag her bodily off Wade, slam her into the nearest hard surface and conduct the remainder of this with five metallic fingers wrapped around her throat; and it would have had little to do with the damage she'd done to Wade, little even to do with the real threat she posed his organisation, and everything to do with the most personal betrayal he'd ever experienced. Domino, of all people – whom he'd never thought twice about trusting with the young lives of his team, with all his doubts about their weaknesses, with all his plans. Whom he'd nearly invited back to his bed again on more than one occasion.

Suspicions weren't proof; he hadn't known when Wade went ahead which of the two of them was the traitor, or who he would have preferred out of a woman he'd trusted so long and a man he'd risked so much by trusting at all; but to have Wade proven truthful was no satisfaction at all. On the scale of damning admissions of guilt, she'd hardly delivered the triumphant monologue of a supervillain, but neither had she left him in the mood to make much of what little doubt remained.

“Let him up,” he ordered.

“Cable, he...” Anything he couldn't have guessed about the look on his face was right there, reflected in hers.

Let. Him. Up. And then, why don't we have a little talk about just how well you know Wade?”

Though she obeyed, movements sharp with her own reluctance, she wasn't giving up without a fight. “Nate, can't you see what he's doing? He's trying to turn us against each other!”

Answer the question, Domino – or whoever you are.”

“Sorry Nate, she's really good at this,” Deadpool put in, waving vaguely at them from the table. “That was the best I could get out of her. Bet I can tell you what number she was dialling before I came in but.”

Cable watched 'Domino' grimace. “So I've met him before, is that any of your business? You don't know every job I've taken since Six Pack crashed and burned – you don't know half the creeps I've had to deal with.”

“...I'm fine, by the way, just a flesh wound, thanks for caring...”

“You'll forgive me,” said Cable, “for wondering why you didn't bring that up when you were trying to convince me of what a mistake I was making by hiring him.”

“Have you considered that maybe it was a job I didn't want to talk about? You're allowed your secrets.” It was impressive, in a way that was very difficult to appreciate at the moment, how fast she'd returned to indignant fury; the fear that had been plain in her eyes when she saw him in the doorway was all but gone.

“This one matters. While you're at it, why don't you remind me, just how did we meet Grizzly?”

“Grizzly?” That surprised her. “What does Grizzly have... Nate, you're still stuck on that thing with Grizzly? This is about Deadpool, it's not about him!”

“You're right, Grizzly has nothing to do with this,” Cable agreed. “I should never have brought him up from the start. Would you like to tell me why?”

Domino stared at him in furious silence, but behind the façade, Cable could hear her panicking the way Domino would never panic.

“Why don't you tell me, Nate?” she said.

“Is that how this is going to be?”

If silence had ever spoken volumes, hers may as well have been a signed confession, and that was when Cable realised that in every way that mattered, that was it, not a shred of doubt remaining. Everything from here could only be detail.

“Fine,” he said, a sudden dryness to his throat. “We met Grizzly in a bar. He was out of work, and had had more to drink than he could handle. I stepped in when it became obvious that if I didn't, he was going to pick a fight with someone even less able to deal with him. The alcohol barely slowed him down; I had to knock him out with a psychic blow, and I spent the next twenty four hours with a worse headache than the one he woke up with.

“Do I need to spell this out for you? He made a mistake, but he never meant to hurt anyone, least of all any of us. He couldn't believe we wanted to hire him after he sobered up. We never saw him that apologetic again – he wouldn't touch alcohol for months after. There's a world of difference between meeting someone during a drunken brawl and meeting them when they've been hired to bring back your head, and if you'd actually known what happened, you wouldn't have missed the chance to tell me that.”

He could have left it there, but she'd paid his intelligence one more insult that day, and he wouldn't let her forget it. “You actually had me wondering what you meant when you said I'd changed. I should have realised it was the classic diversionary tactic – you knew you'd pushed the role too far, you had to make me think anything that felt wrong was my fault. And you still haven't managed to come up with a convincing story for how you 'know' Deadpool.”

She'd done a very good job with the indignation once she found her stride, but by the time Cable finished, it was all gone.

“This is the last chance I'm going to give you to come clean on your own terms,” he pronounced, and within ten seconds, everything in her posture had drooped in surrender. It was some small relief to have no surprise left.

“My name is Vanessa Carlyle. Copycat. I'm supposed to get everything when I shift – looks, powers, even their memories,” she admitted – Domino's face, Domino's voice, but not Domino's words. “I suppose sometimes I don't get all the details. I'm sorry,” she said, and the worthless sincerity behind it made his jaw ache. “I never meant...”

“To deceive me?”

“I didn't have a choice!” she protested, begging him to believe her. “I never wanted to hurt any of you! Jesus, Nate, why do you think I never planted the bomb?”

Why she imagined for one second that he cared about her excuses was the greater mystery. Later, maybe, when time had taken the edge of his anger, but for now it was all he could do to keep his response to a curt, “I don't think you have permission to call me that.”

Cable. I... I didn't have a choice. Tolliver was blackmailing me.”

“Blackmailing you how?”

The woman who'd just introduced herself as 'Copycat' fell back into the tight-lipped silence that Cable was fast learning to loathe.

“Young mutants in this day and age haven't the best record for falling on their feet,” he said, thinking aloud. “Their families reject them, society itself rejects them, leaving them with nothing but their own resources and resentment to fall back on. The ease of committing fraud using a power like yours might become very tempting to a young woman in that situation. Am I on the right track?”

“It wasn't like that!” The protest was as good as a declaration of the opposite. “I tried to turn Tolliver down, but he set me up!”

“Don't you dare ask me for sympathy!” Cable growled. “You had a thousand chances to come to me with this of your own volition, and still you forced me to drag it from you every step of the way!”

She was trembling when he finished, the Domino persona all but vanished. If he hadn't seen first hand what an accomplished actress she could be, it might have been easier to feel sorry for her; though after all she'd done even that was doubtful. Righteous anger never mixed well with pity and disgust.

“What are you going to do to me?” she asked, finally out of excuses.

“I haven't decided,” he said. “But you are going to start by dropping this façade. I'm not going to deal with you any longer while you're wearing her face!”

“...I can't,” she said quietly.

Try harder.”

“You don't get it Na-Cable. I honestly can't, it doesn't work that way. It's not that easy to control. I pick up bits of people on the street all the time without even wanting to, but I've never had to impersonate someone this long before – had to fool someone who was telepathic – on top of everything else! I've spent every night and day since I got here dreading that I'd slip up. Every waking moment focusing on nothing but being her!

Cable was unmoved. “Deadpool? You know... whoever you said she is, a lot better than I do.”

Deadpool shrugged. “She could be telling the truth, boss. She always did have this problem with performance anxiety, came and went a lot.”

Copycat glared at both of them. “For so long I was so scared you were already suspicious. I mean, I know you slept with the real Domino, but suddenly, you just weren't interested? By the time I was sure that...”

“Ooh, Natey, don't tell me that was when you had your big revelation about preferring steak to seafood, if you know what I mean.” said Deadpool.

“Wade,” Cable warned.

“I'm just trying to break up the tension!” said Deadpool, with a lot of inappropriate hand gestures. “And by tension I do mean the sexual kind. She wants you, you don't want her looking like the gal you used to want, and me I'm just generally easy. Nothing we couldn't resolve with a quick threesome...”

“Wade, you are not helping,” Cable snapped. “Please be quiet.” He turned back to the shapeshifter with what little patience he had left. “I trusted you. I vouched for you to a team that trusted me! If you'd told me the truth I would have helped you, but you wasted your chance, and that's the decision you have to live with. This conversation is not over, but I don't care to hear any more of your issues or your excuses while the real Domino is in enemy hands. And for your own sake, you had better hope I find her alive!”

Copycat nodded, miserably. “I can tell you where she is. They took me down to see her after they brought her in; she wasn't conscious at the time...”

“The location will do fine, thank you,” said Cable, shortly.

“She's in a tunnel under his villa, in Italy – Sardegna. I've only been there a few times, but I can probably show you the way if...”

Deadpool coughed loudly. Cable glanced in his direction.

“You have something to contribute?”

Deadpool shrugged. “You know I'm still on the fence on the whole thing with being unprofessional about my ex-boss, but if she's going to tell you anyway, I've got the coords programmed on the speed-dial on my teleport belt.”

“Perfect,” said Cable, and looked back to the shapeshifter. “I suggest you spend the time we're away thinking very hard about losing that face.”

“Cable,” she said urgently as he turned away, “there's something else you should know. Tolliver didn't just want me to kill you, he wanted me to make sure you knew who it was who planted the bomb before it went off. He wanted you to think it was the real Domino who betrayed you. He wanted you to hurt. And he's kept her alive this long because he wanted her to know how you died before he killed her too. Just... be careful.”

“I don't need your concern,” Cable told her, which had the benefit of being true, and reminded himself that her words weren't news, he knew the root of Tolliver's hatred too well. If it settled in his chest with all the ease of a leaden weight, well, it was in good company with the rest of the baggage of the day.

And the day wasn't over yet.

***

By the time they emerged from Domino's room, Cannonball, Sunspot, Rictor and Wolfsbane were congregated in the corridor outside, caught in the tail end of a debate about whether it was as bad as it sounded, and who was going to risk disturbing an angry Cable to find out. Cable strode into their midst pushing Copycat in front of him, rage not much abated, caring little for how much they had or hadn't heard.

“I want everyone ready to move within five minutes,” he ordered. “We're taking the fight to Tolliver.”

“Not bad,” said Deadpool, peering over his shoulder. “Very dramatic. Good posing. Full-page spread material, hands down – inspirational stuff. Might have wanted to lead with the 'and Domino's a clone-bot' bit though, for the readers picking up with this issue.”

“Domino's what?” said Cannonball, eyeing Deadpool with suspicion.

“Tolliver's own, personal femmebot-transformer-call girl! Whoa, okay, I just grossed me out.”

Sunspot looked from Cable to Deadpool to Domino and back again. “Wait a second here, we're not just taking his word for that?”

“I don't have to, she's confessed to everything,” Cable explained. “The real Domino has been a prisoner of Tolliver since this impostor took her place, and I don't intend to leave her there one minute longer than I have to. Cannonball, Sunspot – find the others, bring them up to speed, and let them know they've got four minutes left to get back here.”

The boys nodded and ran off.

“Wolfsbane, I want you to stay here and watch her,” said Cable, pointing at Copycat. “Full wolf form, you might have some senses she'll find harder to fool.”

“You're leaving her here with some traitor alone?” Rictor protested.

“No, I'm leaving you with her,” said Cable. “And I do mean, watch her. She claims she's stuck in this form, but she's a shapeshifter, and until I know her abilities don't include shrinking her hands out of her restraints, I'm assuming they do. Do not take your eyes off her, do not trust a word she says.”

“Deadpool,” he went on, holding out a hand, “I'm going to need to borrow that belt.”

A raised eyebrow from Wade suggested, to Cable's eye, that he didn't see what was stopping Cable from coming on over and having a nice, close look at his belt while he was wearing it, but he unbuckled it and handed it over. “Don't wanna step on any toes while you're getting your leadership on over there, but is now a good time to ask a question?”

“Is it relevant?”

“Oh ye of little faith, I'll have you know I find that comment very offensive to the comically gifted and/or morally impaired. Seriously, Nate, do I have to join the party for this one? I know we talked about how I don't really wanna make a habit of dishing on my exes a couple of times already today, but if spilling the beans about 'Nessa was only stretching it a little, and showing you a few harmless numbers didn't count for much, then charging in all guns blazing – that might where people would draw the line...”

Cable hesitated. Having Wade on board would have been invaluable; he was the only man they had who'd ever seen the location they were headed for, who had any idea what kind of resistance they could expect to face, and insofar as there'd ever been any justification behind his concerns that his inside knowledge was the only thing he was being hired for, it seemed rather late for him to remember it now. But if he was experiencing any conflict over his loyalties... “It's alright, Wade. We did talk about it, and you've more than earned your salary already today.”

“Okay, cool,” said Deadpool, though he looked a little conflicted as he accepted his belt back. “I'll just chill around here, watch some TV...” He trailed off, which twigged as odd behaviour for him even on such short acquaintance, but Siryn was flying down the hallway, the rest of the team close behind, and there were more immediate things to think about.

“Cable!” Siryn cried, landing in front of him. “Is it true? Domino's really...”

“It's true,” said a voice, and everyone was surprised to realise it had come from Copycat. “What?” she snapped at Cable. “You know, he knows,” she twitched her head at Deadpool, “you've already told all of them, what's the point in hiding it now?”

There were exactly three seconds of stunned silence, before the corridor erupted with the noise of everyone deciding they had questions for her at once.

“Silence!” Cable yelled, above the din. “There will be a time for explanations, and that time is after we get back. Listen carefully, I'm only going to lay this out once: the real Domino is being held in a tunnel underneath one of Tolliver's Italian properties. He doesn't know we're coming, but we will meet resistance. They have a hostage and I'm not going to tolerate any mistakes. No-one breathes without my orders until we find her, and once we do, our only priority is getting everyone out. If we do meet Tolliver himself, you're to leave him to me. Understood?”

Among the chorus of variants on 'yessir!', one nervous voice (Sunspot again) said, “You did just say Italy?

“I did.”

“But how are we getting there? It's got to be hours away, even in the Blackbird.”

“Then it's a good thing we're not taking the Blackbird,” said Cable, and flicked open the communicator in his wrist. “Professor, Bodyslide by six.”

Their arrival on the other side was marked by someone shrieking. Fortunately, it wasn't Siryn.

“Holy... molian fishsticks, Cable!” said Boomer, apparently not done shrieking. “Was that you? You did that, and don't try and deny it! Warn a girl, next time, Jesus!

“Quiet your nonsense,” said Shatterstar, angrily. “One would think you'd never been through a teleport device before.”

“Again with the warn a girl part, Goldilocks!”

“Cable?” called Cannonball, taking in his surroundings – the clutter of interlocking metallic panels and bare circuitry covering the walls on both sides of the corridor – with a little more grace, “Where are we?”

“Welcome to Greymalkin, Sam,” said Cable.

“That ought to be my line,” said the voice of the Professor. “And to yourself, Nathan, welcome back.”

“My pleasure, Professor. Perhaps you'd like to answer Cannonball's other question.”

“Of course. Samuel Guthrie, you currently orbiting the planet Earth at an altitude of approximately thirty-six thousand kilometres, aboard the space station Greymalkin, activated on ...”

“I'm sure they have the idea, Professor,” said Cable. “What you need to know is that Greymalkin is fitted with a long-distance teleportation matrix which I can activate by voice command. As soon as I've input the coordinates of Tolliver's base, it can take us there. Professor?” Cable read aloud the string of numbers he'd copied from Deadpool's belt.

“Input and confirmed. Targeting now,” said the Professor.

“Intercom links in the armoury still functioning?” There had been no opportunity to arm himself before they left home, but nor had there been the need – and nor was there any need to wait in once place once the Professor finished.

“As always, Nathan.”

“Good,” said Cable, and set off down the corridor, X-Force trailing wide-eyed behind him.

“You have access to a satellite?” said Sam.

“Not access. I have a satellite.”

“A crude way to phrase it, but broadly correct,” the Professor agreed.

“You didn't think to maybe, I dunno, mention this before?” asked Sam, incredulous.

“Need to know basis, Sam. The fewer who know about Greymalkin, the less the risk to me.” Reaching the door to the armoury, Cable keyed in the unlock code and waited as it rolled ponderously upwards. “I include in that the risk certain authorities will learn the existence of an unregistered space station floating over their heads, the risk of hostile parties learning I can transport to any part of the planet at will, and the risk that I or any of you come to rely on it more than is wise.”

“Geez,” said Sam, on his first sight of the long racks of (to his view) futuristic guns and ammunition which lined all four walls of the armoury. “Now I believe this place belongs to you.”

“At the 'risk' of sounding paranoid,” said Siryn, “this isn't leading into you wiping all our minds on the way out or something, is it?”

“Not at all, Theresa,” said Cable, making his selections. “I simply judged that the value of getting us all to Italy with speed was more than worth the minor cost of revealing Greymalkin to all of you. I knew the time for that was coming, it has simply come a little sooner than expected.”

“I have a lock on the coordinates you specified, Nathan,” said the Professor.

“Excellent, Professor. What can you tell us about them?”

“The location fits the description of a private, high-end villa of medium sized, distinguished from its neighbours by the presence of a helipad on the southern roof and high security fencing surrounding the perimeter.”

“Domino should be in a tunnel underneath.”

“There is indeed a network of old tunnels running partially beneath the villa.”

“Can you get a lock on any signs of life inside?” Cable asked.

“Negative, interference from a combination of the ground covering and an unidentified electromagnetic source prevents me. However, I have located an outlet on the seaward side which could be used to gain access.”

“We'll take it. Put us down there on my mark.”

“As you say, Nathan.”

“Anyone else missing that time Magneto was in charge about now?” muttered Boomer, behind him.

“Boomer, you shouldn't say that,” said Sam.

“Then how about I just think it real loud and hope he doesn't hear?”

Cable ignored them. “Last warning,” he called to the team. “From here on, it's for real.”

Sam hesitated a moment, then said, “I hate to bring this up, but anyone could tell you you're taking this really personal and this could be the last chance I'll get...”

“Make it quick, Sam.”

“Are you sure Tolliver doesn't know we're coming? Domino and Deadpool were both working for him, but neither of them came along... how do we know we're not walking into a trap?”

“We don't,” said Cable. “And you're not wrong, I am taking this personally. It could be affecting my judgement. But the only reason any of us are alive now could be because Tolliver's shapeshifter lost her nerve. If I have to deal with any more of his traps, I'll take them head on, expecting the worse. I ask you all again, are you ready?”

The team exchanged glances one last time. “Ready as we'll ever be, Cable,” said Cannonball.

“Good. Professor? Mark.”

***

No-one screamed on the second teleport, Sardegna greeting them with the fading light of sunset. The 'entrance' was no more than an outlet pipe for an old drainage system, and whether or not it was officially still functioning in capacity, it had continued to drain without obstruction. The water pouring from it into the ocean smelt unpleasantly organic and wasn't quite knee deep, but the rocks outside were slippery with algae and slime, the tunnel itself not much better, and it was plain they were all going to be thoroughly damp by the time they made it inside.

Cable led the way. Sound echoed inside the tunnel (the smell too, if that was possible) in a manner that it took a few moments to adjust to, but after those few moments had passed he hadn't shaken the idea that there was something in the gloom ahead, splashing around the way running water shouldn't. He held a hand up to silence the team behind him, raised his gun and inched forward as quietly as he could, hugging the side of the tunnel. He hadn't been mistaken – whatever was he could hear splashing around was muttering to itself.

“Whoa!” said a figure emerging from the gloom, with a voice Cable would have recognised anywhere. “Is that you, Nate? So I just lost about a year off my life, how're you?”

“Deadpool.” Cable didn't immediately lower his gun, but internally he relaxed. “We weren't expecting to see you here.”

Deadpool shrugged sheepishly. “Well, I had the address and the invite and my own ride, and then I remembered there's never anything on TV on Wednesday nights anymore, so I thought, what the hell. You know?”

After the events of the last hour it was strange to feel himself smile, here of all places. Cable thumbed behind him, to where the rest of X-Force were waiting. “Join the party.”

“Awesome. You guys leave me any cake?”

“We hadn't even started yet.”

Having Deadpool along for this might not negate any of Sam's concerns about the risk that they were walking into a trap, but Cable would be glad for it without reservation. Almost hard to believe it had been barely a couple of hours ago that it had taken so much effort to make Wade admit he might want to take the job at all.

It had been a long day – but it was going to be a lot longer before it was over.



Chapter 5


Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
bats_eye
Jul. 13th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
Hey. I saw the link over at cabledeadpool and just read through this story and it's terrific. A bit less of the two boys interacting this chapter but it's such a great, and convincing, AU that I don't mind too much. I'm honestly gripped. Great characterisation all round, too.

I've also friended you (so tell me if you mind and I'll defriend you obviously) because this isn't the first time I've read a fic by you and thought it was wonderful. I loved your 'sunscrean' one too.

(Also, and ahh this is getting so long, but I've just been strolling through your C&D tag and a lot of what you've said about old school X-force really interest me. Because I RP Cable and I had a similar thing where I loved the character in his C&D days and then I read the old stuff later and suddenly he's just not very interesting. Not the least because he's quite stereotypical as a humourless manly soldiery soldier in a way that the later Fabian version, with his dry sense of humour and evident enjoyment of mind games, really isn't. Like you said somewhere there's enough clues early on (the Tyler arc in particular) to show the guy he later becomes but X-Force Cable just isn't that great a character. I kind of mentally read him as being still traumatised and so not at his best, while the more relaxed, idealistic Cable from later on is closer to who he normally is. Which is why I like this story so much because it's Cable acting a little more sympathetic than he was at the time and more like himself, really. And it's nice to see him reach that stage a bit earlier in this AU though not unrealistically so.)
rallamajoop
Jul. 14th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
Hey, don't worry about leaving a long comment, I love getting long comments! And I am completely not bothered by being friended at random either.

A bit less of the two boys interacting this chapter but it's such a great, and convincing, AU that I don't mind too much. I'm honestly gripped. Great characterisation all round, too.

Yay, thanks! =D There's not going to be that much of them interacting in the next chapter either, I'm afraid, but sometimes that's what you get when you hit the plotty bits.

Because I RP Cable and I had a similar thing where I loved the character in his C&D days and then I read the old stuff later and suddenly he's just not very interesting.

I did that in reverse - I had just enough passing familiarity with his old stuff to know it by reputation, and so was hugely surprised when I liked the C&DP version so much.

the later Fabian version

Technically they're both the Fabian version, since Nicieza was writing for him way back through a lot of his X-Force days too. But back then Liefeld was allowed to do most of the broad plotting work as well as the art, and the writers were only there to fill in the scripts, and it really shows.

I kind of mentally read him as being still traumatised and so not at his best, while the more relaxed, idealistic Cable from later on is closer to who he normally is.

I'd say yes and no there. He's absolutely not at his best in the early X-Force issues: he'd lost both his wife and son and there are a lot of hints that he'd done his best to shut himself down emotionally to cope, to the point of falling into a 'the end justifies the means (even if the means involves shooting my own teammate in the spine)' mindset. But from there on you can see him improving - like, there are distinct steps along the way where you can see him changing (learning about his past, about Stryfe, making up with Six Pack, and finally starting to go out of his way to bond with X-Force) and in ways that did make a lot of logical story sense in context.

But that said, I think what made the most difference to who he becomes by C&DP is the fact that he's finally achieved his life goals (ie, defeated Apocalypse), obtained near god-like power, spent some time moping around and wondering what's left to do with his life and finally figured out the answer is: whatever he wants. And I think the result is that he's mellowed out into someone a lot more pleasant than he ever was before, even when his family was still alive. It's the first time in his life he's ever felt that in control of his environment.

(tl;dr + a whole lot of personal interpretation - uh, I'm maybe a little too fond of this topic. ^^; )

That said, the way he's portrayed in some of those early X-Force issues is just so over the top that I've kind of mentally retconned the worst of it away.

Which is why I like this story so much because it's Cable acting a little more sympathetic than he was at the time and more like himself, really. And it's nice to see him reach that stage a bit earlier in this AU though not unrealistically so.

I'm glad to hear it, even though I do occasionally feel like I'm cheating by writing him as this friendly at this stage of the chronology. I do actually have some quite involved mental reasoning as to what made the difference to his character in this AU, but I won't get to talking about it in-story for a little while yet.
bats_eye
Jul. 14th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Oh dear god, Part 1 of 2
I think I'm a little too fond of this topic, too. :) It's something I've been thinking about a lot without really talking about so you're getting this splurge. Apologies in advance. More tl;dr + a whole lot of personal interpretation from me.

Technically they're both the Fabian version, since Nicieza was writing for him way back through a lot of his X-Force days too.

Sure, I put that badly. I meant the later Fabian version as opposed to the earlier Fabian version. Because, with all due respect to the likes of Loeb and Liefeld (and Simonson for that matter), he wrote a lot of the defining stuff. And its the contrast between his early 90s Cable and his late 2000s Cable thats the most striking. Not the least because its, at least meant to be, the same writer.

He's absolutely not at his best in the early X-Force issues: he'd lost both his wife and son and there are a lot of hints that he'd done his best to shut himself down emotionally to cope, to the point of falling into a 'the end justifies the means (even if the means involves shooting my own teammate in the spine)' mindset.

Oh yeah sure. I mean he monologues often enough about how he's completely hardened himself and forgotten how to feel. And, its totally forgivable given what happened to him. (His rebellion was reduced from a vast army to four people hiding in an abandoned house, his wife died, he thought that he killed his own son, he fled his home to a completely foreign land to fight the war on a new level, he betrayed the best new friends he made, and all his worst enemies escaped and are still active.) And yeah you can see him get over a lot of it in the course of the comics. There's a lot of talk both with Domino and X-force about him allowing himself to love and hope again and you can see that carry on to his later Fabian self.

I would separate that from the ruthlessness though because I don't think he ever really gets over that. I think C&D era Cable would still shoot his own teammate (even a non healing power Deadpool) in the spine if he thought it was worth it, though I don't think revenge would be enough any more. C&D era Cable values friendships a lot more but he isn't any more functional about how he gets them and acts in them. It's just he's moved from being ruthless, manipulative and cold to ruthless, manipulative and warm.

And I think the result is that he's mellowed out into someone a lot more pleasant than he ever was before, even when his family was still alive. It's the first time in his life he's ever felt that in control of his environment.

I agree that he's a lot more mature, (not the least because he allows himself to act so juvenile at times) but my interpretation is different here. Because yes, he does achieve his life goals, he outlives both apocalypse and Stryfe, he cures his TO, he even meets Tylers ghost and sees him at peace, but he makes clear that he thinks that those are only temporary victories and that the real work is still to be done. The TO will come back, he flat out says that he thinks apocalypse will return again soon, the worlds still a mess etc. I don't think he believes himself to be in as much control as he pretends he is. He even says in issue 41 that he keeps allowing himself to believe that he's found the solution to the problems with the world (and he trys lots of different tacts in Cable and Soldier X due to different writers that work nicely for this) but he always expects to be let down and it doesn't even surprise him when he has to start from scratch again. I think the whole 'I'm entirely confident' front he's got on is at least partially for other people's benefit. (Though the arrogance is very real). Otherwise he would fall apart a lot more when everything spirals out of control in C&D 41 and 42 then he does.

So I kind of see the C&D era Cable as similar to how Cable always is whenever he allowed himself to believe. (And there's a few flashbacks to the early days of the war, pre wife's death, that I think back me up there. Cable 1/2 where he meets Moira and the traveler bits of C&D 26-27 have him behaving much more like 2000s era Cable.)

Whereas the X-force Era Cable (and the raising Hope era) is him very much not allowing himself to hope.
rallamajoop
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:02 am (UTC)
Re: Oh dear god, Part 1 of 2
I would separate that from the ruthlessness though because I don't think he ever really gets over that. I think C&D era Cable would still shoot his own teammate (even a non healing power Deadpool) in the spine if he thought it was worth it,

You know, I hadn't thought about it that way, but I think you have a good point there. He's still flying very close to the moral borderline in D&DP (see esp: all the times he lies to people to manipulate them one way or another, the Apocalypse stunt, etc), he just manages to make you notice it a little less because his overall goals have shifted more to encouraging world peace than crushing the world's enemies. (And because his methods have shifted more towards letting Deadpool shoot him in the head than him shooting someone else.)

It's just he's moved from being ruthless, manipulative and cold to ruthless, manipulative and warm.

Mm, well put. It's a crying shame Cable got stolen by another series and killed off, I feel like they never got very far at all into exploring the implications of all that.

I don't think he believes himself to be in as much control as he pretends he is.

No, that is also true. The fact that he can make everyone else think he's in control is more important than whether he actually is or not. But I do think that he's a rare example of a character who's actually been changed for the better by becoming ridiculously powerful (initially his telekinesis, which lives on in a sense through him owning Providence even after he gets depowered), in that it's made him far less paranoid and a lot less angry - he never flies into the rages he got in his X-Force days by C&DP. And I have trouble picturing him changing that much without having defeated Apocalypse and become uber-powerful.

and the traveler bits of C&D 26-27 have him behaving much more like 2000s era Cable.

You know, I'd actually forgotten about those - which is odd, because that is pretty much exactly the take on Cable I'm writing here. With that in mind I definitely see where you're coming from with your interpretation of him. I guess the only reason I'm not sure if I entirely agree is that I know that the only reason he's being written that way now is because he's changed so much, so Nicieza is writing him as 'today's Cable gone back 20 years' rather than '90's Cable gone back 5' (and given that that scene is shown filtered through his own perception, maybe his current persona is influencing how he comes across?) - and I'm sure that outside of C&DP no-one ever has (or ever will) portrayed him as being able to believe that much at that stage in his life, and I'm not entirely sure how to weight the different interpretations.

Maybe another way of looking at it would be that the old Cable is a version who has that much belief because it was before he ever realised he could lose, until he lost his wife and son and changed his whole outlook. Then C&DP Cable is a version who's gotten that belief back through realising that just because he can lose, doesn't mean he should base his life around assuming he will.

(On a tangent, now I kinda want to see a story which starts in his past with your take on Cable and shows how he goes from there to X-Force Cable. It'd have to be truly heartbreaking, but it could be a really powerful story.)

Whereas the X-force Era Cable (and the raising Hope era) is him very much not allowing himself to hope.

He certainly did go back to a lot of his X-Force ways during the Hope era. I just wish it hadn't been made to feel so much like they'd just forgotten all of C&DP ever happened.

The main difference is that this Cable is capable of seeing the victim rather than the villain in Wade...Just not to the extent of 2000s Cable who never met an enemy he didn't want to recruit.

Quoting these bits too because I think they're a really good way of describing his mindset. *g*
(Anonymous)
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
Re: Oh dear god, Part 1 of 2
It's a crying shame Cable got stolen by another series and killed off, I feel like they never got very far at all into exploring the implications of all that.

So say us all, man. Not that what we got wasn't great but I wouldn't have minded if that series went on for ever.

But I do think that he's a rare example of a character who's actually been changed for the better by becoming ridiculously powerful (initially his telekinesis, which lives on in a sense through him owning Providence even after he gets depowered), in that it's made him far less paranoid and a lot less angry - he never flies into the rages he got in his X-Force days by C&DP

Yeah, I agree with that. I think he's still angry in his C&D days (I think a man who loves the idea of a peaceful world so much can't help but be angry about what it is instead) but he's a lot better at controlling and using that anger. Where as in his X-Force days he just blows up.

Maybe another way of looking at it would be that the old Cable is a version who has that much belief because it was before he ever realised he could lose, until he lost his wife and son and changed his whole outlook. Then C&DP Cable is a version who's gotten that belief back through realising that just because he can lose, doesn't mean he should base his life around assuming he will.

Well put. I also think C&Dp Era Cable is someone who knows he can cope with losing (he literally gives up everything he has when he runs away with Hope for example) so he's less effected by the fear of it happening.

(On a tangent, now I kinda want to see a story which starts in his past with your take on Cable and shows how he goes from there to X-Force Cable. It'd have to be truly heartbreaking, but it could be a really powerful story.)

Oh god yes. I think it would be a little too harrowing for me but it could be really powerful. Sort of thing I think canon might be interested in actually. They're fond of their man pain.

Incidentally, I've just been reading the earlier bits again because I really do love this story. (I love their banter so much. One of the things I like so much about Cable is that he's a lot funnier then he's often given credit for.) Is the fact that he knows about Madelyne, ahead of schedule, a clue into why his heads different in this AU?
bats_eye
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:14 am (UTC)
That was me, btw. Forgot to sign in.
rallamajoop
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Well put. I also think C&Dp Era Cable is someone who knows he can cope with losing (he literally gives up everything he has when he runs away with Hope for example) so he's less effected by the fear of it happening.

I mostly count the Hope stuff as post-C&D-era myself, since it was all done by different writers who I don't think remembered Providence ever existed at all. :/

Is the fact that he knows about Madelyne, ahead of schedule, a clue into why his heads different in this AU?

Suffice to say the two are not unconnected.
bats_eye
Jul. 15th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've barely read any of the post C&D stuff just because that version of Cable doesn't appeal to me. (And I'm weirdly a lot more discerning about new stuff than back issues).

But just the actual idea of him leaving everything to go and fight elsewhere, I like. It fits my view of him.
rallamajoop
Jul. 16th, 2010 06:05 am (UTC)
And I'm weirdly a lot more discerning about new stuff than back issues

Likewise, though I don't think it's that weird. The back issues can mostly be read as a logical journey by which Cable got to be the guy in C&DP, whereas everything since seems to be ignoring the characterisation of him I liked so much (erasing his sense of humour, never mentioning Providence, retconning in the idea his whole life was about finding Hope, etc) without any in-universe explanation for why he changed. Even the Jeff Loeb era Cable sometimes seems to have more sense of humour than the Hope era Cable.

But just the actual idea of him leaving everything to go and fight elsewhere, I like. It fits my view of him.

The sad thing about the whole Hope plotline is that I'm sure I would have loved it if it wasn't for the problems I mentioned above - I mean, big, badass Cable bringing up a cute little girl? SIGN ME UP! I like most of how Hope's developed too. It's just a shame about the timing and execution. (And the writer's tendency to randomly throw in space sharks and cockroach men and little girls being made to watch their own mothers graphically gunned down in front of their eyes in full page spreads of gory glory. >_<)
bats_eye
Jul. 14th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
Part 2 of 2
Which is why I'm less bothered by him being friendly in this story (though I'm dying to find out your reasoning).

Because, I always think of Cable as very image conscious. He thinks very carefully about what he does and what effect that will have. If he doesn't want to get close to X-Force (because he ends up shooting most of the people he does get close to and he'd rather he didn't care) then he'll act in a way that will discourage that. But that doesn't necessary mean that he's not capable of acting in another way if it fits his goals better. I don't think he would expect be too upset if he had to shoot Wade so he can allow himself to be friendly, if it serves his cause, and it won't give him a weakness.

The main difference is that this Cable is capable of seeing the victim rather than the villain in Wade whereas I think X-Force Cable was too angry at the world and its injustices for that (though he did work with AIM and Hydra if I recall so he obviously is capable of putting that anger aside. Just not to the extent of 2000s Cable who never met an enemy he didn't want to recruit).
tinypinkmouse
Jul. 14th, 2010 10:41 am (UTC)
How did I completely miss the just recently posted new part? God, I must be blind and stupid.

Anyway, the story so far is still abosultely awesome. And I still wan't to hug Wade and keep on hugging him.

I like Vanessa's pov. I never could make my mind up about her, half the time I like her and half the time I just think she's annoying. I still don't know how I feel about her here, but I do like the way you wrote her pov. And I do feel a bit sorry for her, becuase she really does care for Nate and she is caught in a shitty situation. And yeah, she isn't exactly wrong about Deadpool.

Seeing the rest of X-force was nice. Honestly I thought I'd just think they were distracting me from the Nate/Wade-ness, but I really liked seeing them. And the end... oh... okay, so it has me all antsy for more, but Deadpool and Cable and... I'm just going to sit here with hearts in my eyes for a while.

The only thing that has me a bit confused is that for the life of me I can't remember how much Cable knows about Toliver at this point. I fail. Again.
rallamajoop
Jul. 14th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
Well, I didn't actually remember to go back an add a link from the last chapter to this one until a little while ago, so that probably didn't help.

Anyway, the story so far is still abosultely awesome. And I still wan't to hug Wade and keep on hugging him.

I was thinking I hadn't given Wade much of a role in this part, but I'm glad you enjoyed what screentime he got.

I like Vanessa's pov. I never could make my mind up about her, half the time I like her and half the time I just think she's annoying. I still don't know how I feel about her here, but I do like the way you wrote her pov. And I do feel a bit sorry for her, becuase she really does care for Nate and she is caught in a shitty situation. And yeah, she isn't exactly wrong about Deadpool.

I do like her myself, though she's a bit inconsistently characterised (especially by certain later writers who's contributions I am still in denial about). There are a lot of hints in the comics that the shapeshifting thing really wasn't that healthy for her emotionally that never got developed as much as I wanted them to be, so I definitely wanted to have a go at filling in some of the gaps in this fic.

Seeing the rest of X-force was nice. Honestly I thought I'd just think they were distracting me from the Nate/Wade-ness, but I really liked seeing them.

I honestly have a hard time writing them. I usually like the junior teams, but I have a hard time working up much interest in most of the X-Force members. But they're too important to this time period not to take a significant role.

The only thing that has me a bit confused is that for the life of me I can't remember how much Cable knows about Toliver at this point.

In canon, or in this fic? Because the two are not the same, but in canon, he didn't know much at all. I think he'd taken some jobs for Tolliver back in his Six Pack days, and was blaming the fact Tolliver was after him entirely on that.
tinypinkmouse
Jul. 14th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Well I was thinking about what Cable knew about Tolliver in canon, thanks for the clarification. Obviously I'll just have to wait to find out what the situation is in this fic... oh god, now I'll go on and think about it until I find out...
inheavenlygrass
Jul. 15th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
Wheee! New chapter! It's 1:23am so I won't be able to give coherent feedback right now so let it suffice to say that I'm so very very addicted to this fic and seeing a new chapter posted made me squee with joy. I also love the character analysiis that you guys are doing in the comments, I'm a sucker for that stuff. Can't wait for the next part (and for more wade/nate porn cause I'm a perv :D)
rallamajoop
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:27 am (UTC)
Nice to see it being enjoyed. *g*

I also love the character analysiis that you guys are doing in the comments, I'm a sucker for that stuff.

Oh me too. And it may be still going.

I'm hoping I'll be able to get the next chapter up a little sooner, but it's going to be a tough one to write. Can't really promise any more smut for a while (we're right into the plot right now), but we'll see where it goes.
akira17
Sep. 20th, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
this is soooooooooooooo good
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

Tags

Latest Month

July 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Keri Maijala