Temporary Solutions (Part Two)
Disclaimer: Do not own. I actually can't think of anything to write here. It's amazing. Just R/R. It makes me very happy, really.
Wanda opened her eyes and looked around. She groaned as she became aware of the throbbing pain in her head.
"Never again," she muttered to herself, "Oh there's no harm in a beer or two or four." She closed her eyes. The sunlight from her window was blinding. It only succeeded in making her headache and her mood worse.
'How dare it be pleasant outside,' she thought to herself as she tried to concentrate enough to make it rain, 'I'll show the world. By God, if I have to be miserable then it does too.' Her headache spiked up and she let out another cry of pain as she stopped.
"Note to self," she mumbled, "Don't hex with a hangover." She rolled over away from the accursed sunlight and tried to go back to bed. There was a knock at the door. Either that or her headache had gotten worse. Wanda decided it was both.
"Open," she said groggily. Toad opened the door and shuffled in.
"Morning," he said as he hopped up into a chair next to her bed, "You still alive?"
"Unfortunately," replied Wanda, "Morning, Todd."
"You must be bad," said Toad, "You used my real name." Both he and Wanda smiled.
"Could you close the blinds?" she asked, "The light's really irritating."
"Sure," replied Toad as he wrapped his tongue around the little plastic bar and pulled down the shade while remaining in his chair.
"That's really gross," said Wanda as she rolled onto her stomach and buried her face in her pillow.
"That's funny," said Toad with a smile, "Last night you said it was 'incredibly sexy'. That's a direct quote too." Wanda groaned again. Last night had been a complete disaster.
"Yeah, well anything I said last night is off the record," she replied, "I'm telling you now I think it's revolting."
"Aw, you don't mean that," assured Toad, "You're just cranky."
"How do you know that?" asked Wanda, her voice muffled by the pillow.
"Because you're smiling," said Toad. Wanda looked up at him. Damn him for being right.
"Okay, so maybe I don't think you're as disgusting as I used to," she admitted, "but I still say it's really gross."
"Fair enough, snugglebunny," replied Toad, "So, should I sign you up for Alcoholics Anonymous?"
"No, I think I'm a convert for life," stated Wanda. Toad smiled and nodded his head. It was good to hear.
"Toad?" asked Wanda, "Did you let me get drunk last night on purpose?" Toad hung his head and nodded.
"But not for the reason you're thinkin' of," he explained before Wanda could explode, "I figured it was best for you to learn your lesson the hard way."
"And I thought I was cruel," said Wanda, "You never mentioned hangovers."
"You're not supposed to learn about those till you get 'em," said Toad, "My old man did the same thing with me and cigarettes. When I was like eleven or twelve I decided to start smokin' cause all the cool kids did it. My dad was like, 'Here son, light up.' I took one puff and coughed so much I thought I'd hacked up a lung. I never touched the things since."
"Todd," said Wanda, "I want to thank you for last night. You were an absolute prince and it was very noble of you to resist taking advantage of me even though the temptation must've been awful."
"Well, it was," admitted Toad sheepishly, "I think if Lance hadn't walked in when he did I would've ran out of ideas. You seducin' me wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I let you start drinkin'."
"I'm sorry," apologized Wanda again, "I just wasn't myself."
"It's okay," assured Toad, "You just better realize how close we both came to makin' a huge mistake."
"I wouldn't exactly call it that," replied Wanda, "a mistake sure but a not a huge one. Would you?"
"If you were drunk then yeah," said Toad, "Wanda, the last thing on this planet I'd want to do is hurt you. Actually, if I did it probably would be the last thing I did on this planet."
"Good to hear," replied Wanda, "The first part I mean."
"Hey, Wanda?" asked Toad, "Exactly how much talking did the alcohol do last night?" Wanda pulled the pillow over her face to keep him from seeing her blush.
"What exactly do you mean?" she asked as she removed the pillow once her face had returned to normal.
"I mean is there the slightest chance you might actually love me?" asked Toad, the hope apparent in his eyes. Wanda sighed. It always came back to this.
"I don't know," she replied truthfully, "Do I tolerate you? Well, yeah sure. Do I consider you a friend? Well, after last night it'd be hard not to. Do I love you? I don't know and I don't wanna think about it right now."
"Okay," said Toad as he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek, "That's good enough for me." He turned to go. Wanda's hand touched the spot where he had kissed her. It was sticky with slime.
"I'll bring ya some aspirin," said Toad as he closed the door behind him, "Get some rest, okay?"
"Okay," replied Wanda as she stared at the strand of slime between her fingers. She heard the door close but kept her attention on the slime. She put her finger to her lips and licked it. It tasted absolutely repugnant but there was another flavor in there too. His flavor. She remembered last night when they had kissed, when his slime had tasted like sweet honey. It had felt so good to finally be affectionate with someone, to kiss them, to caress them, to love them.
"No," she mumbled as she grabbed a Kleenex from her dresser and wiped off her fingers, "I was drunk. Everything's better when you're drunk, when you're not yourself. Everything's prettier, nicer, happier when you don't have to be in control."
It was, it had been. She had felt so free, no walls or barriers or anything. She had never felt like that around someone, never loved someone like that. The only people she loved were Father and Pietro and that was just family love. This was a different love, a more intimate one. She had wanted him, every inch of his body. She had wanted to feel him, to taste him, to feel him inside her.
"Oh God," she groaned as she clawed at her head. Damn her brain straight to Hell for thinking such things. This was Toad. He didn't bathe, he smelled like roadkill, he spat slime, and he had that revolting tongue. No one could ever love someone like that, could they? In that way?
'I could,' she thought. No, that wasn't possible. She was the Scarlet Witch; she didn't fall in love especially with people like Toad. She rolled over and closed her eyes. She was going back to sleep. She wasn't up to thinking about this right now.
'That's right,' she thought as she began to slide back to sleep, 'Just sleep, it'll all make sense later when you feel better. Just drift . . . just sleep.' She thought no more. Instead she dreamed; she dreamt a slightly different version of last night. In this version Lance didn't interrupt them, neither of them fought it, and they went as far as it would take them. It was pure heaven, better than any intoxicant.
Lance heard someone come down the stairs. He stopped flipping through channels and saw it was Tabby. Apparently she had helped herself to a shower.
"Sleep well?" asked Lance.
"Always," replied Tabby, "Did get a tad lonely though." She grinned at him and snatched the remote.
"Hey," complained Lance as she changed the channel, "I was usin' that."
"And now you're not," finished Tabby. Lance sighed. It was like she lived here all over again.
"Why do you do that?" he asked, "You always do stuff like this. You act like the whole world revolves around you."
"Because I can," replied Tabby simply. Lance sighed. Women.
"That's not a good enough answer," he replied, "I just wanna know why you act this way."
"You really wanna know?" asked Tabby as she looked him dead in the eye, "I'll tell ya. All my life all I've ever heard was 'You're wrong', 'Do it this way', 'Why do you have to be such a screw-up', 'Do it my way because I said so', shit like that. I just got tired of taking it so I started doing things my way and found out I liked it."
Lance didn't say anything. Why was it every girl that walked into the house had to have so much emotional baggage? Rogue had it, Tabby apparently had it, and Wanda had it times ten. Was it like a prerequisite or something?
"Hey, Lance?" asked Tabby, "How come you guys let Psycho Smurfette kick me out?" Lance didn't really know why. He had felt bad for a little bit but then Wanda had cut loose and his survival instincts kicked into overdrive. Sure Tabby wasn't the greatest housemate but everybody needed some place to belong.
"I don't know," he replied, "Look, it's not like I was particularly for it or anything. You're lucky you weren't around when Mystique was. She's the boss, what she says goes."
"That's a complete load," replied Tabby, "Why do you take shit from her? What's she gonna do to you?"
"It's not just her," explained Lance, "You don't know the half of it. Things have gotten completely screwed up. We're mixed up in something we shouldn't even be involved in."
"Lance, I know the score," replied Tabby, "You're workin' for big, bad Magneto now. I do hear things at the mansion, you know?"
"Look, if it were as easy as you say then we would've already done it," explained Lance, "but things are complicated, Tabby. You can't just do what you want all the time."
Tabby just smiled and shook her head sadly. Lance knew she was making more sense than him. The simple fact was it was that easy. If they just kicked Pietro out and told Magneto not to come bother them then their problems would be over. Unfortunately, there would be the inevitable backlash. Eventually, Magneto would either kill them or force them to help him again. Some choice.
Lance didn't even notice when Tabby got up and walked over to him. He did notice, however, when she kissed him on the lips.
"What?" he asked as they separated but Tabby put her finger on his lips to shush him.
"Yes, you can," she said simply with a mischievous smile, "Think about it, Lancey."
"Wait, what just happened?" asked Lance, slightly confused.
"I did what I wanted," said Tabby, "What I waited a long time to do." Lance looked at her. Did she love him? Was that it?
"Wait a minute," he said, "Are you sayin' that . . ."
"Give the boy a prize," smirked Tabby, "Yeah, Lance, I had a thing for you while you were busy chasin' after Kitty. I didn't wanna screw it up for you though because you actually looked happy for once so I kept it to myself."
"What about now?" he asked. That was the question, wasn't it? How did he feel about her? Sure he had fun hanging out with her last night, more fun than he'd ever had with Kitty. He felt like he could finally be himself for once.
"Who knows," replied Tabby, "Like you said, things are complicated. That was just to see what things could've been like."
"So what could it have been like?" asked Lance.
"Like I finally found a place to belong," replied Tabby, "Like I finally found someone I could be myself around." She moved towards the door. Lance watched her go.
"I'll tell Kitty you said hello when she gets back," said Tabby, "Oh and Lance, don't worry about what people will say if we start something. I'm the bad seed at the mansion, remember?"
"Okay," said Lance as Tabby left. Well, that had been awkward. He didn't really know what to think now. Him and Tabby? It was certainly more likely than him and Kitty but still he just didn't know. He liked her and everything and last night had been fun but did he really want every night to be last night? Was walking on the wild side any way to live the rest of your life?
"Who was that?" asked Wanda as she came down the stairs. Lance arched his eyebrow. She really didn't need to be up.
"Tabby," replied Lance, "She used to live here. You kinda took her place. She ran into us last night and spent the night here."
"Oh," said Wanda as she looked at the glass on the floor, "Uhm, do you mind if I fix that?"
"Are you sure you're up for it?" asked Lance skeptically.
"Yeah," replied Wanda as she held up her hand. Instantly the shards of glass reconfigured themselves back into a window and five empty bottles. Wanda groaned as she sat down on the couch.
"You okay?" asked Lance.
"Not really," replied Wanda as she laid down on the couch. Lance moved over to a chair next to the couch.
"Hey, Lance?" asked Wanda quietly, "How do you know when you're in love?" Lance was silent for a moment. He wasn't sure how to answer it.
"You just do," he said, "It's not something you can describe, really. You just know it."
"What if you're not sure?" asked Wanda, "Does that mean you're not in love?"
"Maybe," replied Lance, "or it could mean you are but you're just scared of it." Wanda's face soured. Apparently that was not a desired response.
"Give Todd a chance," suggested Lance as he got up to throw away the bottles, "He's a really good guy and he really cares about you." Wanda nodded as she stared at the ceiling. Well of course he loved her, she could see that. That wasn't the problem. The problem was her. She wasn't sure if she loved him too. She looked over at the TV. She needed a distraction, a safe one this time. She looked around for the remote but couldn't find it. She pulled a pillow over her head and tried going back to sleep. Alcohol, TV, sleep, they were all just distractions to take her mind off her problems. In the end, all they really were were just temporary solutions.