Subject: OTL: X-Force, Pete Wisdom It Can't Just be Intellectual... PG13 Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 15:41:37 -0700 From: Ana Lyssie Cotton

Disclaimer: Marvel owns them, I merely borrow them, play with them, and put them back in the box mildly scratched.

Notes: Fits into canon, somewhat. Sometime after Wisdom was foisted on X-Force. Blame this one on Kossie. And thanks to Lynx, who liked it.

Dedication: To TimeJynxChaosChild, Happy Birthday. eg

It Can't Just be Intellectual.
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

She couldn't believe it had happened. Some part of her didn't want to. But it had. She'd kissed him.

They'd fought and sniped at each other, and then... and then she'd kissed him. HIM. Tasting of cigarettes, he was.

She hated him. Didn't she? For coming in and taking over the team without a by-your-leave, or even asking them if it was ok?

He was irritating, annoying, and called them all stupid.
Condescending was the word. And yet they learned from him.
Through all of his stupid commentary, and boozing, they learned.

Not that that was a bad thing, but she didn't WANT to see him as redeemable. She wanted to see him as an evil figure, cloaked in mystery, needing to be Smited and vanquished.

Except...

He really was a good kisser.

--

Stupid kids. So he had to deal with them on a daily basis,
thanks to his promise to HER. Didn't mean he had to like them.
Didn't mean he had to--

No. Best not think of that. Instead, have another drink. Another smoke. Y'know, they say that smoking and drinking increase risk of lung and heart diseases by more the fifty percent. What a concept. Drinking and smoking yourself to death.

She would like that, Pryde would. Like to know that he'd self-destructed while she soared. It would give her a twisted sense of satisfaction to know he'd killed himself. And she could do nothing.

He winced. To be fair, Pryde might actually miss him--when she wasn't screwing Fallon.

Not that she was. He knew she wasn't. He also knew he was beginning to get obsessed with her. Of course, he hadn't actually thought of her for months, and was doing so now in an effort to remember what happens when you fall for a member of the X-clan.

And he wasn't falling for one. Not at all. His kissing young Tabitha had been a momentary impulse. Besides, she was a female,
and he was a male. It was logical that they would kiss,
sometime.

He'd never kissed Domino, though. Or Moira. Or Meggan. Or Rahne.
Or Scicluna. In fact, he'd only ever kissed Kitty a lot, and the other faceless, nameless girlfriends he'd once had.

With a shake of his wrist, he stubbed out the end of his cigarette and then expertly lit another with the lighter in his hand.

He would just have to ignore it, like it never happened. After all, she wasn't all that old, she probably wouldn't remember it,
or care.

Perfect.

--

Tabitha Smith kicked a wall tiredly as she stalked back towards her quarters. Wisdom, the asshole, had seen fit to have them train and drill for four flonqing hours. It was all she could do to stagger back to her room after that. Everything ached, even walking hurt. Standing hurt, sitting hurt--hopefully, laying down wouldn't hurt.

"Hey, Tab." A hand touched her shoulder, "You okay?"

Sam Guthrie, reliable, dependable, blond and cute. She mustered a smile as she turned to him, "Just tired, Sam."

He slipped an arm around her shoulders and half-hugged her,
"Cable would be proud of you."

She snorted, "If Cable were here, I wouldn't be a mass of bruises." She winced and shrugged out of his hug, "Anyway, he's not. Wisdom is."

"Only because Domino sent him."

"Why do we need him, anyway?"

"I'm not sure. I think it's because Dom was worried about us.
And he has helped us--you're doing better in training than you ever have before."

"Yeah. Maybe." They'd arrived at her room. She opened the door and turned to look up at Sam. "I'll see you later."

And she slipped in and closed the door, thus missing the disappointed look in Sam's eyes.

--

Pete Wisdom took another sip of the gin he'd unearthed and sighed as it went down. It tasted horrible, but it was the only alcohol left.

"Sir?"

The voice belonged to Guthrie. Pete opened one eye and studied the young man. He was brave, resourceful, a survivor. "Wot?"

"I think you're being a little hard on some of us."

"Really?"

"Yes. Tabitha, especially. She seems to be exhausted quite easily."

"Really."

Sam nodded, eyes narrowing as he studied Pete. "You're drunk."

"Not yet."

"Ah'm still havin' a hard time believing Domino sent you to us."

"Are you."

"Yes." Sam snorted, "Hell, man, you're an asshole, and you don't like us above half. Why would she send YOU?"

"I don't know. Why would she?"

"Because she'd know you would honour your promise. That you'd be dedicated to keeping us alive, if not safe. That--" Sam snorted,
"Stupid, stupid, stupid." He looked at Wisdom, something akin to surprise in his eyes, "She sent you because you were the only one she could trust."

Wisdom blinked, "Really?"

Sam nodded, his lips twisting into a half-smile, "Welcome to X-Force, sir."

--

"Sir?"

Pete looked up from his fifth glass of the awful gin. His vision wasn't too steady, thanks to the affects of it. He thought it was Smith, but he wasn't sure, "Wot?"

She leaned against the desk and reached out, swiping his glass.
A sniff confirmed its contents, AND that she didNOT want to drink it. With a shrug, she tossed it back, anyway. It burned as it went down and she doubled over, coughing.

He watched her cough, disinterested. Except that she still had his glass. He snagged the neck of the bottle and pulled it to his lips for a swig. She was still coughing, "Nasty stuff."

"Yeah." She slowly straightened and looked at him, "Sir?"

"Wot?" He took another drink.

"Why did you kiss me?"

It was his turn to cough, the gin burning its way into his lungs.

She waited patiently until he'd finished, then asked him again.

"Why? Dunno."

"You don't know? Interesting." She crossed her arms and looked him up and down. "Not that you look like much, Wisdom, but there must have been some reason Pryde let you slip through her fingers. What was it? You don't screw well? I mean, you kiss well, but that doesn't mean a damned thing."

He gaped at her a moment, then drew himself straighter, glaring,
"None of your damned business."

"I will admit," she continued, as if to herself, "Pryde has good taste in men. For the most part."

He still continued to stare at her.

"Anyway, let me guess. You were drunk. You mistook me for someone else. And, I'm female. So, BAM! instant kiss karma. Am I right?"

Yes. All he had to do was say yes, and he'd be off the hook.
He'd never have to worry about her pestering him again. "No."

"Really?" Tabitha stepped closer to him, her eyes flashing dangerously, "Then why?"

"I..." He licked his lips, trying to think straight, and ended up downing another shot of gin.

Tabitha followed the motion of Pete's tongue with her eyes,
surprised that it fixated her so. "You?" She prompted, when he drank two more shots, and seemed disinclined to continue.

"I wanted to."

She snorted, "Oh, good reason. I'll remember that when they're carting me to jail for killing you and Sabes. 'I wanted to'
I'll say. And everything will be fine and hunky-dory. NOT"
Leaning over him, she grabbed his lapels and dropped into his lap. "Especially, when I liked the kiss."

Automatically, one arm wrapped around her waist, steadying her on his lap. He blinked and tried to remove her then, but she clung like a burr, face inches from his own. Her lips were close enough to kiss. So he did.

Moments later, he jerked his head back, or tried to. She had a firm grip on the back of it, and kept it close to her lips.
Drifting back into muzziness, he decided that was okay.

Tabitha was the one who finally pulled away to nestle her head against his shoulder and sigh.

"I can't feel my legs."

"Oh, sor-RY. Excuse me, let me get off of them." She stood and glared at him a moment, then chuckled, "Pryde definitely had good taste."

"She did?"

"Yeah. Good night, Wisdom."

He stared after her as she sauntered out of the room. She really was too young. Younger than Kitty. Just because he liked kissing her, liked holding her, that meant nothing. Right?

Right.

-finis-

'Innuendo and out the other.

p a href"ana.htm"Back to Ana's page/abr a "Back to the Main Page/abr a "Email the author/abr iSubreality, Bobby The G-String of Bobby Drake Aug 17, 2000 02:18 PDT/ibr © 2001 Ana Cotton /body /html