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[Cable & Deadpool] Summers'son (2/?)

So, here we go, the first part of the continuation of that Cable/Deadpool High School AU that I totally wasn’t going to continue. *cough* Goddamnit, you lot stop smirking.

Honestly, most of my original reasons for not continuing this fic still stand. The basic problem is that there isn’t one but two main story lines going on here, one of which is the story of how Nathan grows up to rally the superhero population of the 21st century to take down Apocalypse for good and fulfil his destiny, etc, and the other of which is the story of how Nathan deals with the asinine teen drama of high school and presumably gets together with Wade, and those are not exactly what you’d call compatible sources of driving conflict. While maybe there’s a way to get all that to mesh into a coherent whole without the result turning into the Marvel version of Full Metal Panic, it hasn’t come to me yet*. What that means is that although I’ve got north of 10,000 words written on this AU now, you will be hard pressed to find anything within resembling an actual plot. It’s far more like a bunch of random scenes that probably happen to them at some point, presented in what may be roughly chronological order. In fact, as testament to just how much trouble I’ve had finding any direction for this thing that will stick, later on you can expect some of the scenes to start contradicting each other in major and irreconcilable ways.

For now, have a couple of extra scenes of Wade and Nathan getting to know each other better, plus a bit of Scott not totally sucking at being a father, just because I can.

* Well, y’know, that is short of turning this into some kind of Nate-And-Wade-Do-Highschool-And-Save-The-World version of Catch 22, but I don’t think I’m up to tackling that disturbingly attractive as the idea may be.


Title: Summers’son
Summary: Settling into the 21st century is giving a teenaged Nathan some trouble.
Chapter: 2/?
Characters/Pairing: Nate/Wade, plus a little talk of past Scott/Jean, guest staring Weasel and Terry
Rating: PG (for now *dundundun*)
Word count: 5440
Previous parts: Part 1



The clock on the microwave says 2:36 AM when Nathan staggers into the kitchen. After waking up in complete darkness the greenish glow of the numbers is almost bright enough to see by, glaring out of the shadows like a judgement on his nerve being up at this hour. Nathan runs a hand along the wall until he finds the light switch, winces as his eyes adjust, presses his hands onto the kitchen table and breathes.

The edge of the table is hard and sharp, the grain of the wood just deep enough to keep the texture short of smooth, equal under both of his palms. It's not reassuring, exactly, but it's real, and that will have to be enough.

After a minute, there's the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs, then Scott's voice calling, “Nathan?” He comes to a stop in the hallway, answer sighted before it can reply.

“Sorry,” Nathan says. “I didn't mean to wake you.”

Scott steps into the doorway but pauses there, keeping his distance careful. “Bad dream?”

Nathan wants to deny it – he's still not properly awake, he hardly knows Scott, and admitting to any weakness feels like too much – but it's a stupid impulse made entirely out of misplaced pride, and Scott already knows the answer. He gives a short nod.

“You want to talk about it?”

“Not really. I... may have broken my wardrobe,” Nathan admits. And blown out a light bulb. Or two.

“That would be the crunch I heard,” observes Scott, moving into the kitchen to lean against the table beside him. “Don't worry about the wardrobe – it was an Ikea job, we used to buy them in bulk back at Xavier's.” Nathan feels more than he sees the flash of sympathy in the look Scott gives him. “This may not be much comfort, but after everything you've been through, I'd be more worried if you didn't get nightmares.”

Scott's still not sure how to be a father, but he's been a teacher for most of his adult life, and mutant teenagers staggering out of bed at two AM – that, he thinks he knows how to deal with. The presumption that he can be so easily lumped in with any other teen – the feeling that Scott actually relaxed a bit that it was 'just' a nightmare – stings against Nathan's ego in ways that don't improve his mood.

Scott may have a point, even if it's not the one he probably thinks. It's been barely a month by his own reckoning since he was cured of the TO virus; it's only natural he should be getting nightmares where the infection comes back – where he looks down at his arm and sees the metal crawling out of his pores and devouring his flesh before his eyes. He used to; dreams where every time he looked down the mesh would have spread a little further over his skin; where he'd see his body torn open by mine shrapnel only to watch the metal worm eagerly in to fill the gap; where he could feel it clawing its way through his chest, into his lungs, eroding all the humanity left in his body from the within. He'd wake up with his heart hammering against his ribs and the taste of steel on his lips. In the worst dreams the infection doesn't stop with him.

But that was before they found the cure he'd never really hoped for and he'd woken up in a stranger's body, and a lifetime's worth of learning to compensate for the fact that his left side weighs half as much again as his right has all gone to waste. He's barely past the stage of startling every time something brushes against his left arm and he feels it. He's practically had to learn how to run all over again from scratch. What's happened to his psionics is even worse.

He should be getting nightmares where the infection comes back. Instead, he dreams himself into the midst of a firefight, the Askani clan by his side, the Canaanites advancing in a wave that never seems to end. There's a gun in his hands, but he can't seem to make it work, and when he raises his arm to shield himself from a hail of enemy fire the metal cracks on impact and flakes away in sheets; it's no more than the thinnest skin over living flesh that offers no resistance as the bullets tear muscle from bone. Too late, he remembers why, reaches for his enemies with his mind, but he can't get a grip on them. He tries to shield himself but they rip right through, and in his panic he lashes out with all his power, finally hears the screams of his enemies – all but drowned out by the screams of his friends.

“I didn't used to,” he says. It comes out short, and he can't really pretend he hadn't meant it to. “Not like this.”

“You didn't used to be able to levitate furniture in your sleep either,” Scott points out, reasonably. “Look, Nathan – we all get this. Everyone whose powers give them more than good luck or bad breath. Most of us are through the worst of it by fourteen or fifteen – you're just getting it a little later.”

“I've always had my powers.” He must sound like a petulant child.

“You've had some powers, you've never had them change overnight before. That's going to be a shock to your system whether it happens when you're twelve or when you're twenty five.”

Nathan's meant to be the psychic one, so it's embarrassing that he doesn't get beyond the idea that Scott had meant something specific by that example until Scott's filling in the answer for him. “Your mother was forever moving things around in her sleep. There was one night when she and I were still... well. Somehow she rearranged all the drawers in our room while we were asleep; when I went looking for my training tracksuit in the morning I got a handful of her underwear instead. She always said she couldn't even remember what she'd been dreaming about afterwards.”

Your mother – he's never sure whether Scott's talking about Jean or Madelyne when he says that. This time, evidently he means Jean.

“That doesn't sound like a nightmare,” says Nathan.

“That time? Probably just stress,” agrees Scott, sounding far away. “The real nightmares were worse. The drawer incident just makes for the better story.”

Scott's trying to distract him, to lighten the mood, and Nathan can't quite resent him for it, even if it isn't working. He's thinking aloud, or not thinking at all, when he starts to ask, “Did she ever...?” He catches himself before he can finish, but his meaning must have been pretty clear.

“Hurt me?” Scott finishes for him. “No. Not even once.”

It would be so easy to find out for sure if Scott's lying, but for once in his life, Nathan isn't sure he wants to know.

It's impossible for Nathan to so much as look around himself these days without being reminded how many times over he shouldn't be here. The woman who should have been his mother died before he was ever conceived and returned too late, but in her absence the universe sent Scott a clone named Madelyne Pryor to fill in the gap, and barely left her her sanity long enough to play her intended role. He should have died in infancy, consumed by the TO virus, but time itself looped backwards over its tracks to find a way to save him. He should never have been cured. There should never have been a way for him to be sent back here, old beyond his years, carrying the weight of a thousand years on his shoulders. Anyone could have told them it was far too much to hope for.

He should be four years old, according to his birth certificate, growing up in peace without the slightest notion of what the future will be if he fails. So many people, friend and foe alike, have sacrificed so much to bring him to this point. It's taken miracle after miracle that he should ever have lived this long at all, let alone been given the chance to make it up to all of them.

Instead, it seems he can't even convince his subconscious that he was ever worth the bother. He feels so wretchedly ungrateful.

“How long does it take for the nightmares to go away?” he asks.

Something drops in Scott's demeanour. He looks Nathan right in the eye when he says, “Who said they go away?”

Nathan looks back, but the best he can do is make eye contact with his own reflection in the ruby-tinted lenses of Scott's sunglasses, and somehow it's not until then that it dawns on him that Scott stopped to put them on, even for a conversation with his own son in the middle of the night – like he does before ever daring to open his eyes in the morning, every morning since he was younger than Nathan is now.

Nathan appreciates his honesty more than he would have false comfort, and all of a sudden it feels like the height of arrogance that he'd ever imagined his father wouldn't understand.

“But it does get better once your powers settle down; when you're back in control,” says Scott, and whatever it was that dropped out is back again, hardly a beat later. “What do you say we get out of the city this weekend? I've been letting you slack off too long, it's high time we found you some out-of-the-way spot where you can stretch your mental muscles properly for a change.”

“I thought you wanted me to start on something small,” says Nathan.

“That was before I knew you were up to shifting your wardrobe around,” says Scott. “Trust me on this one: the big stuff is easy, threading a needle is where it you hit the sweat and tears. We'll work our way back down after we know where your new weight limit is sitting.”

Nathan nods again, silently. As long as no-one is pretending it'll fix his problems overnight, it's a good plan.

“You feeling ready to get back to sleep?” Scott asks.

He is feeling better, but the idea of trying to get back to sleep remains singularly unattractive. He shakes his head. “Not yet.”

Scott just rolls his shoulders and walks around the table towards the fridge. “Well, in that case, it may be too early for breakfast and a little late for a midnight snack, but I'm sure we can rummage something up.”

The clock on the microwave is much less threatening when it's busy counting down the time left before the hamburgers are done.

Nathan wakes up on the living room couch the next morning, a blanket hanging loosely over his shoulders, the early morning light streaming in around the vertical blinds.

He doesn't remember dreaming about anything.

***

Their second meeting happens a day later when Wade comes flying past him around the corner of the gym and flattens himself against the wall, eyes flicking urgently back and forth for a better hiding place.

Nathan reminds himself that there are no gunshots, that no-one is in any real danger, and says, “Wade?”

Back home, they'd once sprung a memorable raid on a Canaanite installation that was just on the cusp of perfecting a new model of panther-like, AI-guided war machine, only to arrive in time to see it all go horribly wrong as the entire prototype batch turned on its creators, one of whom had been running for all his life with three of them on his heels and the exit in sight just as Nathan's team came bursting in through it from the other side.

The mental impression of two very different kinds of panic colliding head-on in the man's mind at that moment and the state of Wade's mind when he sees Nathan standing there have more in common than he'd ever expected to see again.

“Nate?” Wade breathes, voice squeakier than Nathan remembers it being. “Oh hey. What's up?”

“What's going on?” Nathan asks.

Wade gets as far as, “I was just... uh... just about to... just looking for the...” before it somehow turns into a desperate, “Is anyone coming?”

“Just one,” says Nate, before he can think better of it. It's automatic – he's used to questions like that being a lot more important. Fortunately, Wade is too busy panicking to ask him how he'd known without so much as glancing over his shoulder, and the sound of respectably modest heels over bitumen reaches them barely a second later anyway. It's coming from the opposite direction to wherever Wade came from, but the pace suggests the wearer means business.

Wade's state of panic ratchets up another notch. “Shit. Shit shit shit shit shittity-” He knows no-one saw him but he's barely around the corner and if they catch him running away... what the hell high school, there's always a delivery van (abandoned with the back doors open and lots of nice big empty boxes and no-one ever looks behind them) parked around here at this time of day (or was that Thursdays? shit). He's so going to get detention again for this – and it would be totally worth only now he's going to get caught right in front of Nate (stupid sexy Nate) and he's never going to live it down and this is officially the worst.. .

“Wade, I can see you from here and don't you think about running!” yells a voice, and Wade freezes.

“I didn't do it!” he yelps.

Nathan looks around and is startled to recognise the woman coming towards them as the same Mrs Hinrichs who has so far spent two classes with him somewhere between frustrated and merely bemused by his inability to name a single person who has ever been president of the United States and vague idea that the Civil War and the American War of Independence were different names for the same event. Apparently she also knows Wade.

It's possible everyone at the school knows Wade. Nathan's starting to get the idea he doesn't leave an impression so much as a blast radius.

“Well,” says Mrs Hinrichs, looking straight past Nathan, “you can tell Mr Bernon all about everything you 'didn't do' in his office. Now.

Wade gives Nathan one last, desperate look. Struck by a burst of inspiration that he's not entirely sure was his own, Nathan finds himself asking, “Is something wrong? Wade was just showing me around the school. That isn't against the rules, is it?”

Mrs Hinrichs turns to Nathan just in time to miss Wade's eyes widening. “Nathan, surely someone showed you around on your first day.”

“Yes, but it was a bit rushed,” Nathan says. “Wade offered to fill in some of the gaps.”

Did you know, Mrs H,” Wade says, recovering fast, “that no-one thought to show my bud Nate here the secret back way into the main building through the window near the drainpipe on the second floor that is so very useful when you're running late (or have to make an innocent stop past the box with volume controls to the PA system on your way to class)? Told him the sordid tale of Mr Netherfield who had to leave teaching for 'medical reasons' or shown him the exact place Mr N. was caught smoking a 'home-rolled (ahem) cigarette' behind the gym? Warned him about what really goes into the cafeteria meatloaf or what happens when you pour coke on their mashed potatoes? Showed him-”

“Wade,” Mrs Hinrichs warns.

“'Cause I don't know about the rest of the school population, Mrs H., but some of us were raised to be more neighbourly than that.”

Mrs Hinrichs narrows her eyes at them in a way that makes Nathan wonder how he'd ever imagined she'd take his alibi for Wade at face value. She's seen too much of Wade's past misbehaviour to expect any better; the year he spent in one of her own classes is not an experience she'll soon forget. Truth be told she's always felt a little too sorry for him to loathe him to the degree most of his other instructors reach by the end of a semester's worth of trying to keep his attention, but there comes a point where even the least fortunate among us have to own their own actions and Wade might well have been born beyond it. Nathan had seemed like a nice boy, if a little behind, and she'd hoped he'd find a better class of friends than this. It's probably too much to hope he'll be a good influence on Wade; the opposite is far more likely. She's going to regret giving them a chance to prove her wrong, she just knows it.

Out loud, she says, “Nathan, for your own sake, think carefully about any advice of his you take to heart, will you? Lord knows most of the stories the other students tell you about him are likely to be exaggerated and it's not my job to tell you who your friends are, but the teaching staff aren't the only ones around here who's lives he's made more difficult.”

She doesn't wait for an answer; with that delivered, she goes straight past them, heels clicking around the corner out of sight.

Wade's eyes (and tongue, the moment her back is turned) follow her until he's comfortably sure she's out of earshot, and then he's only got eyes for Nathan. “You are my new best friend,” he breathes.

The actual emotion he's feeling for Nathan is perhaps a little more intense than 'friendship', but as polite fictions go it's fairly benign. Nathan gives him a one-shouldered shrug. “Owed you a favour. Going to tell me what that was all about?”

Wade stares at him for a second too long before answering. In his mind, the impulse to play down his latest prank erupts, and is swiftly buried under a solid resolution that he is not (not not not) going to act like a love-sick girl and make out like he's anything he's not just to impress the hot new guy who's actually talking to him for some reason.

“They think I toilet papered the headmaster's car,” he says, flicking his fingernails like it's no big deal.

Nathan feels like he's missing something. “Did you?”

“Yeah, but that's not the point, is it?”

Nathan stares at him. 'Why' seems like the wrong question. 'What is the point' doesn't seem much better. The ocean's worth of animosity in Wade's mind directed towards the teaching staff in general and the principal in particular are the best answer he's going to get. He doesn't feel any desire to pry any deeper.

It's a mindset that takes a bit of work to get his head around. Back home, the chain of command was something you didn't question; there was too much at stake. On the other hand, back home, it was taken for granted you’d have seen the battlefield by the time you were fourteen, if not much earlier. Here, where the young are hardly allowed to make a decision in their own right before their eighteenth birthdays, maybe it's not so hard to imagine why someone like Wade would feel the need to rebel against the structure by any means available.

“So,” he says instead, “do I get that tour for real?”

It's definitely the right answer. Wade brightens in a way that's starting to become quite familiar. “Hehe, oh you bet! C'mon!”

***

Wade may not be popular with the rest of the student body, but Nathan is not by any means the only friend he's got. In the time B.N. (Before Nathan), the prime candidate for the position of Wade's best friend was a boy whose name is Jack Hammer, but who everyone who's not a teacher calls 'Weasel'. His official place in the school hierarchy is somewhere among the science nerds, just not – apparently – as the kind that any of the other science nerds talk to if they can avoid it. He's the kind of science nerd who spent several weeks last summer with Wade in an abandoned lot behind Wade's house making notes on how to get the biggest possible explosion out of a home-made coke-bottle bomb until they both got bored with the limitations of mixing shredded aluminium cans and household cleaning fluid and were caught attempting to siphon petrol out of Weasel's father's car. He refuses to get directly involved in most of Wade's on-campus pranks, though he will sometimes draw up schematics for them.

The bigger surprise among Wade's few friends is his relationship with Theresa O'Rouke Cassidy, a girl who is not only indisputably beautiful by anyone's standard but generally accepted to be the single biggest reason why the school choir was forced to buy itself a bigger trophy cabinet at the beginning of the year. She's not exactly in Wade's 'group', so to speak; she has her own friends, but she will say hi to him in the hallway without fail, and sometimes, bucking every unspoken rule of the student social system, even wander over to Wade and Weasel's cafeteria table and spend minutes at a time screwing up her face into exaggerated expressions of distaste to hide how much she wants to smile at his terrible jokes.

Nathan wouldn't have thought anything of it, but Wade seemed so convinced when they first met that attractive people didn't ever associate with him that it throws him when he's first introduced to 'Terry', who doesn't seem to fit into Wade's mental model any better than Nathan does. Theresa arches her eyebrows at him in return, and Nathan is reminded that he's not the only person in this century who can, occasionally, make a pretty decent guess at what's going on in someone else's head.

“How did you get to know Wade?” he asks her, later, when they run into each other without Wade to mediate.

“Is that your way of asking why someone like me would hang around with the likes of Wade?” she returns, point blank. She has the kind of Irish accent that doesn't even exist anymore where Nathan comes from, and not for the first time he's glad to have the mental echo of what she means to fall back on in case he gets bogged down under all the unfamiliar vowels.

It seems safer to stick with honesty. “It crossed my mind,” he admits. “Hardly anyone else around here seems like they'd give him the time of day.”

“Hardly anyone else here moved from Ireland to live with their father when they were fourteen either,” says Theresa. “I caught hell for my accent from the moment I walked through those doors, and Wade was the first boy here to stand up for me. He wouldn't thank me for trying to tell you he's any better than what he lets most of 'em think, but you'd be blind to believe it doesn't get to him. Most 'a the time he doesn't get the chance to be anything else.”

Nathan isn't sure how to respond to that. Even he might not have been nearly as fast to accept so much as a bottle of water from him if he hadn't been able to see inside Wade's head.

“He means well,” he tries.

Theresa gives him a long, shrewd look, like she's weighing probabilities in her head with him as the scales. Nathan wonders if she's always this blunt, and how much of her relationship with Wade comes from how neither bother to mince their words.

After a bit, she says, “He's got a terrible crush on you,” and watches him carefully for his response.

“I'd... noticed,” Nathan admits. “He told you?”

Theresa snorts. “He didn't have to. Wade's many things but 'subtle' is none of them. He let it slip out that he likes boys more than girls months ago, and you're exactly his type. And if he finds out I told you that, he might never forgive me.” She doesn't sound scared by the prospect. She's just letting him know the stakes.

“Why are you telling me?” he asks.

“Because if you're going to freak out about it and break his heart, I'd rather you did it now than later when he's had time to get attached.”

Nathan wonders if there's a way he can explain that where he comes from, they don't even have a word for homophobia. That he grew up around people who'd been brought up to look to him as some sort of messiah since before he was old enough to walk, and that he's been hearing it in their minds all his life. That it's practically a relief to deal with a friend with a crush that doesn't originate from anything more dramatic than the fact he's (apparently) good looking, and doesn't flinch away from a handshake with someone with scar tissue all the way to his fingertips.

“I'm not going to freak out,” he says. “It doesn't bother me.”

“Really,” says Theresa.

“It'll probably wear off when he gets to know me better,” says Nathan.

Theresa – who has had a lot longer to get to know Wade than he has – looks very, very skeptical about that idea, but whatever test she was putting him through, he seems to have passed it.

***

Though he may have bought himself some time with the volleyball joke, Wade is neither so hopelessly smitten nor (contrary to the belief of his teachers) so ignorant that it's not going to dawn on him that his new friend is a bit... odd. Sooner or later he's going to notice that Nathan doesn't know a 747 from a 7/11 or Krispy Kremes from Crusty the Clown, and a cover story built out of half-truths and lies is still better than no explanation at all. It'll have to be enough that he's gotten out of introducing himself with a falsehood; next time the subject comes up, Nathan resolves not to avoid it.

The subject doesn't come up in their next couple of meetings (and if he's resolved not to avoid it, he's in no great rush to raise it either), but by the end of the week it's more or less moot because the school grapevine has beaten him to it. Wade makes himself sound fairly casual when he asks if Nate wants to hang out after school, but under the mental litany of don't make it sound like you're asking him on a date don'tdon'tdon't make it sound like you're asking him on a date, Nathan can feel him buzzing with curiosity. He's spent all week trying to figure his new friend out, but Nathan doesn't fit neatly into any of his usual boxes. This is just the breakthrough he's overdue for.

“So Nate, let's talk about you,” he says at the first opportunity. “I know you just moved here, but I didn't catch where you moved from.”

Nathan looks at him sideways and smiles despite himself. He can only wish he could be as casual about this subject as Wade's being. “Someone told you, didn't they?”

Wade smiles sheepishly back. “Well, yeah, but you can't blame me for wanting to hear it from you. The school rumour mill is churning out the story that you're, like, some kind of major medical miracle.”

Nathan says, “I suppose you could put it that way.”

“Aw, no need to be modest, Nate-y,” says Wade, slapping him on the back. “No really, how would you put it? Weas said he heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy who heard it from you, but this is the same Weas who believed the rumour that Mr Weatherborn was a brain-sucking alien for a whole week before he found out I was the one that started it.”

“How much did you hear?” Nathan replies, knowing he's cheating but still dealing with a crippling lack of enthusiasm for volunteering anything he doesn't have to.

“Uh, genetic thing,” Wade sounds like he's going through a mental checklist, “you grew up in a hospital, but now you're all better? I'm figuring there's a bit missing in the middle somewhere.”

“Actually, that's about the size of it.” It's almost exactly as much as he's told everyone who didn't ask for more. (It would be closer to the truth to call it something he'd contracted as a baby, though inasmuch as the root problem involves being a second-generation member of the X-Men, he supposes 'genetic thing' isn't a bad descriptor. It's nothing like the lie in 'hospital'.)

“So what kinda genetic thing was it?” says Wade. “I can ask that, right?”

Nathan had hoped maybe Wade's own experience with awkward questions might discourage him from prying, but on the contrary, it's becoming apparent he feels it's his turn to grill someone else about their medical history. There's a part of Wade – that part that still can't get his head around the idea that someone as good looking as Nate actually wants to hang out with him – that's relieved that Nathan is, in his own way, a total weirdo.

If only he knew.

Nathan takes a deep breath. “The kind that gives you partial paralysis down the left half of your body, then spreads to several of your internal organs and leaves you reliant on high-tech machinery to keep them running. Scrambles your vision and hearing in some creative ways too.”

“Whoa.” Wade, possessor of one of the most active imaginations Nathan has ever encountered, is having real trouble picturing him with anything less than full mobility. “What was that like?”

“It's a bit hard to describe. To tell you the truth, I'm still getting used to moving and hearing things 'normally'.” That much is true.

“So.... this is your first year in a regular school? Damn. That's gotta be a head trip.”

“You have no idea,” Nathan promises him.

“Hey, I bet we could trade weird doctor stories!” Wade sounds altogether too cheerful about the prospect. “You'd win, but I got to be prodded and probed by every dermatologist on this side of the country before they gave up, though they never let me get to miss school over it.”

It probably says a lot about Wade's life that he can pronounce 'dermatologist'. “To be honest, Wade, I get a little tired of talking about it.”

Wade shrugs it off. “That's cool. For what it's worth, you totally don't come across like a guy who lived in a box most of his life.”

Nathan tries to figure out what he's supposed to make of that statement. “Thank you, I think?”

Wade snickers at him. “I mean it, I wouldn't have had a clue! I gotta say, Nate, you're really not built like a guy who's spent the last fifteen years in bed.”

Nathan follows Wade's gaze down to his forearm. Letting himself tense up over the uncomfortable subject isn't doing anything to mask the muscle tone. Trust Wade to notice. “Actually, staying in good physical shape was one way to slow how fast it spread. Doctor's orders.”

Wade scratches an arm, still staring at Nathan's forearm. “Think you lost me somewhere between 'hooked up to a bunch of beeping machines in bed' and 'grew up in a private gym'.”

Nathan does his best to laugh it off. “Physical therapy – I think most hospitals are equipped for it. I might have given you the wrong idea about how much time I spent bedridden.”

Wade still looks a little unconvinced that one can be fit enough to pump weights but not make it to class. He's starting to get dangerously close to questions that fall outside the level of detail Nathan is equipped to deal with.

“I've put on a lot of extra weight just in the last few months since they gave me the all-clear,” he explains. “Actually, I'm still a lot less toned on my bad side. Look, I'll show you,” he adds on a whim.

The look on Wade's face the moment he realises that Nate is about to take off his shirt right in front of him is quite spectacular.

He feels a little guilty about resorting to such unfair tactics, but as a means to shut Wade's brain down long enough for Nathan to steer the conversation on to other topics, it works like a charm.

He's sure Wade will forgive him eventually.



Part 3

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
soapcat
Sep. 28th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
I UM. I LOVE THIS.

...I just...reaaaaallly want to see it continue.
rallamajoop
Sep. 29th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
*g* Glad to hear it.

...I just...reaaaaallly want to see it continue.

Given that the next part is with my beta-reader already, the odds of that should be pretty good. ;)
nope_de_plume
Sep. 28th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oh man you're writing more of this, YAY! I love how you write Nate, it's all so in character.

And I love protective Terry <3

rallamajoop
Sep. 29th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Oh man you're writing more of this, YAY!

I kinda didn't mean to, it just kept nagging at me until I did though I'd be lying it I said I wasn't having a lot of fun with it.

it's all so in character

^^; I can only hope so, they're both really different versions of themselves in this AU.

And I love protective Terry <3

She's a character I've never written for before (beyond a few background appearances in Good Intentions), but she fit in well as Wade's one 'normal' friend. She sure did pick up a hell of a protective streak fast, glad you liked the result. *g*
crimsonquills
Sep. 29th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Even if you never intended to write more of this, I'm mean and am very, very glad the bunny kidnapped your brain and made you continue it! *grins*

Progression of scenes or not, I really like seeing what everyone is like in a high school setting, and how the personalities translate, and comparing it to my own high school experience, even if that was much less exciting.

I liked Nate's scene with Scott a lot, but I'm going to be totally predictable and admit that the last four paragraphs are my favorite part. :-D
rallamajoop
Sep. 30th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
I can't pretend to be too disappointed to be getting more out of this universe. ;) (Excepting the vague guilt of wasting time on something this silly when I haven't updated my other big WIP for this fandom since July. And a little mild terror at just how long it's getting.)

I really like seeing what everyone is like in a high school setting, and how the personalities translate

To be honest I keep feeling like I should be writing Nate with more of an edge to him, given his background, but probably wouldn't be having as much fun with this if I let myself get too stuck on realism. ^^; Weasel and Terry, on the other hand, slotted right on into this world without a hitch.

I liked Nate's scene with Scott

Thanks! After our brief chat about Scott in this AU on the last part, I'm pleased I managed to get around my misgivings about how to write for Scott long enough to work that scene in.

but I'm going to be totally predictable and admit that the last four paragraphs are my favorite part. :-D

Heh, there was good reason I saved that bit for last!
merianmoriarty
Sep. 30th, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. <3

XD
rallamajoop
Sep. 30th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
XD How eloquently put!
merianmoriarty
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
tease!Nate stole all my eloquence. he's evil that way.

wade: *asks inconvenient, persistent questions*
nate: *takes shirt off*
wade: O_O *loses powers of speech*
rallamajoop
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
*g* He's working on developing his manipulative streak nice and early, that Nate.
flight_wo_wings
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
Hey, just wanted to let you know that some of your lurkers will also glad to see this continued! (And by some of your lurkers, I mean me.)

Seeing a Scott who isn't a raging asshole was weird, but in a good way. And I really like how you've adapted Nate and Wade to the setting. Nate kind of reminds me of a few comics I've flipped through where he was doing the whole X-Man thing -- you know, the period when he was really skinny and pretty boyish? -- only more so. And Wade's just awesome. ^^ I know you said trying to make it all work was practically making you tear your hair out in frustration (you mean you didn't say that? well, close enough) but I know I'd really like to see some of the "Nate saves the world" subplot. If only see how Wade adapts to it all. Does he still have a healing factor in this setting?
rallamajoop
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
Well, thank you very much for de-lurking long enough to say so! =D Few things get me more enthusiastic about writing the next part of something than hearing people liked the last one :3

Seeing a Scott who isn't a raging asshole was weird, but in a good way.

Yeah, he seems like a character who's had a pretty bad run in the comics for a long time in terms of how he gets portrayed. For this AU I wanted to have a go at showing him in a more sympathetic light.

Nate kind of reminds me of a few comics I've flipped through where he was doing the whole X-Man thing -- you know, the period when he was really skinny and pretty boyish?

Technically I think that was Nate Grey, his clone, and in all ways but genetics a completely different guy. Teen!Nate looks just like him though.

I know you said trying to make it all work was practically making you tear your hair out in frustration (you mean you didn't say that? well, close enough)

Aha, it really wasn't that dramatic. More like a case of me just poking at it mentally from time to time, getting all these random ideas for random scenes but no plot to make it all hang together and justify writing any of them.

I know I'd really like to see some of the "Nate saves the world" subplot. If only see how Wade adapts to it all. Does he still have a healing factor in this setting?

You may see that yet, it depends on how a couple of other scenes I've got in mind come together. Wade does definitely have his healing factor in this 'verse - I'm not so cruel I'd leave him with that skin condition with nothing to show for it. It just hasn't quite come up in-story yet.
flight_wo_wings
Oct. 1st, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Few things get me more enthusiastic about writing the next part of something than hearing people liked the last one :3

Yay! Mission accomplished!

Technically I think that was Nate Grey, his clone, and in all ways but genetics a completely different guy. Teen!Nate looks just like him though.

Oh no, now you know just how ignorant I am of Marvel canon! XD; Like I said, I'd just flipped through a few issues featuring him...I'm one of those fans who wouldn't know Cable from Adam if it weren't for C&DP.

But regardless, I've been really enjoying your stories! I'm glad to hear that Wade's still god his healing factor -- taking it away really would have been sadistic -- and I hope the next part will be ready soon! Thanks again!
navisx
Oct. 3rd, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
This was great... so will there be more?
rallamajoop
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
Of course! Note the '(2/?)' in the title. ;) As I mentioned in a comment above, I've already sent the next part off to my beta reader (who is out of the country right now, unfortunately, and will probably not be able to get it back to me for a while, but there will very definitely be more to come on this story!)
ldydragon7
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:19 am (UTC)
Really happy to see you continuing in this verse (even though it distracts you from 'Good Intentions' which I'm also looking forward to whenever the next chapter's ready). Teen!Nate trying to adjust to high school life is just too much fun and of course all his interactions with Wade have been wonderful. Protective!Terry is love and just seems so right for this verse. I also really enjoyed the conversation with Scott. The way he's been written in the comics lately have really been turning me off to the character, so its really refreshing to see you bring him back to 'the old days' so to speak where he's not a complete douche. Also as someone else pointed out- Nate being manipulative? Check. :D (Its okay Nate, we ~and Wade~ love you anyways ... most of the time :P )
rallamajoop
Oct. 27th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
(even though it distracts you from 'Good Intentions' which I'm also looking forward to whenever the next chapter's ready)

Oh, I am completely guilty of letting myself start far too many WIPs at once. >.> But let's just say when my beta reader gets back at the end of this week, she is going to have at least 9500 words of assorted fic waiting for her.

I also really enjoyed the conversation with Scott. The way he's been written in the comics lately have really been turning me off to the character, so its really refreshing to see you bring him back to 'the old days' so to speak where he's not a complete douche.

To be honest, I'm not even sure where most of my Scott characterisation comes from (other than some sort of general fannish osmosis) because I've hardly read anything that would classify as 'the old days'. But I did want to show him in a sympathetic light for the purposes of this verse, and I'm always glad to hear people even like the non-Nate/Wade bits. *g*

Also as someone else pointed out- Nate being manipulative? Check. :D (Its okay Nate, we ~and Wade~ love you anyways ... most of the time :P )

Only very casually manipulative, but it is indeed a slippery slope he's on there. Still, this is one transgression that Wade is hardly likely to hold against him.

bloody_american
Oct. 13th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
Ha. HA. HAA~ Nate is such a quick thinker isn't he? *siiigh* Still loving this. On to the next.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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