Title: The Way We Are
Fandom: Marvel
Characters: Cable & Deadpool
Rating: PG-13 for language
Word Count: 1,622
Disclaimer: Marvel pwns us all. And Cable and Deadpool.
Notes: This takes place near the end of Issue #6, after Cable and Deadpool bodyslide back from Greymalkin to Deadpool's apartment and Wade tells Nate to GTFO. Even though this takes place before Divorce Can Be Tricky, The two are a consistent characterization of how I see Nate and Wade's relationship. Enjoy!


It doesn't have to be this way, he'd said.

I know.

Wade sat there in his smiley-face boxers, picking the stuffing out of the couch-arm with his Swiss-Army tweezers, shaping the little bits of fluff into a fuzzy snowman on the coffee table, and thinking about that first hit Tolliver'd hired him for. The familiar slice of the blade through flesh; the organic noises most people would have nightmares about -- Wade's nightmares were about clowns -- clowns and their stupid freakin' cream pies, what was the point of a cream pie anyway, a blueberry pie'd be much funnier, what with the ensuing despair of the victim after seeing all the purple stains -- hot water would take them right out; now why did he know that? But noooo, cream pies it was, because on top of clowns being scary and crazy (whooo-boy, were they crazy), they were cheap, too – just fill the crust with whipped cream and you get a cheap laugh, quantity over quality - they'd learned and never looked back. Why did he? He didn't like to look at clowns; those clowns in The Workshop, now they'd been a riot, he could still see their faces on the day he'd killed Worm, what a sight to see, how he'd laughed as he was hauled off to The Boardroom, where Killebrew made all his decisions, a whole quantity of them covered in blood and guts; laughed right in Francis's face, that clown. Man, he hated clowns. Didn't know a quality gag when they saw it. Yeah, that first hit, and the second, and who could remember how many more, and then Tolliver'd said, Time for the big job, with an odd note of glee in his voice, that usually flat and distantly cruel voice, man, Tolliver'd been the best murder-and-mayhem-providing boss around, but sometimes he'd given Wade the creepy-crawlies. And what was with the fedora and the rubber mask? Like a little kid on Halloween, with the rubber mask and the greedy anticipation in his voice, time for the big job.

Take out Cable. Sure, no prob. From all his intel the big goon didn't even have a healing factor or nothin', just some kinda weird metal arm. Easy job, not like fighting the Hulk or nothin'. The Hulk had green skin and giant fists and a killing move worth coveting, talk about professional jealousy, and what did Cable have compared to that? Go in, do it, get out. Easy.

Not what happened, though. Tolliver had crossed plans last minute, pulled Nessa back in; Tolliver owned her like he'd owned Wade and he'd suddenly decided he needed more intel before he blew the place to hell so BAM, outta nowhere nailed in the back by Nessa-playing-Domino right in the middle of a big sweaty fight with the guy with white hair (at his age? What'd he, fall in a vat of whitewash?) and big metal muscles. Those weird, ridged metal muscles. Right in the back, the bitch. And then that big goon had mailed him home. Comfortable ride, though; nowadays FedEx wasn't what it used to be - that day, he'd gone home all snug in that floofy brown packing hay, warm as a mouse in a bakery, had a nice dream about Bea and coconuts on the beach, felt like a tame roller-coaster ride. These days, it woulda been all thumps and broken bones; what was with service nowadays, wouldn't even let him mail a wildcat to an unsuspecting eBayer; it was never about the customer anymore, like that waitress who wouldn't serve him last week 'cause he was wearing grenades; everything was too PC now, what a world. Good thing that was the only time he ever had to go by mail, but man, was it embarrassing.

Oh, Tolliver didn't care that Deadpool had failed, he'd planned it all along to get Nessa back in with the group, but that stupid mook Cable had had to go and make him, Deadpool, a laughingstock. Why'd he gotta do that, was it necessary, really? Got off on mocking Wade, maybe – he did that a lot. Mocking and talking down to him. Damn him. And all the feebs at the bar for weeks afterward, man; he'd had to kill eight laughing dudes just to get some respect back, along with his usual free beers.

And then Nate stole Nessa, the big jerk. The intel trickled off, and suddenly his girl wasn't making a peep, nothing about the big blow-out date, the half-price sale on flying X-Force spleens and intestines, and Tolliver was getting that little lilt in his voice, the one that made Wade's boils kinda want to curl up and hide under each other, and Wade'd had to go and kick some sense into his little blue sexpot, tell her she had to blow the place soon before Tolliver got really annoyed, and all through the fight, he knew; he just knew – she'd fallen for that idealistic waste of space, with his gleaming muscles and his arsenal of ordnance and his stupid attempts to train his pathetic team of mutant losers to protect themselves, always looking after them, didn't want them to get even a scratch, and Wade remembered all the times he'd got knocked around before Weapon X -- his dad, that guy on the corner, those dudes at the bar that one time who'd taken exception to his remarks about their mullets -- he'd never had some big goon standing between him and the world like a clean, shiny shield and he'd turned out ok, y'know? But these little snot-nosed kids, what, they were mutants so they were special? Had to be protected, had to be coddled, no, don't get yourself set on fire, don't get yourself blown up, watch me, do what I do, I'll stand in front of you – well how were they ever gonna learn? Nate never got that, he always wanted to help people, but people needed to help themselves or they'd never change, didn't he see? And then Wade had gone and blown X-Force all to hell because he'd sure as hell learned and he knew how the world worked, and what did Cable know about anything? And Cable had come after him. Cable always came after him.

Every time it happened, every time they faced off, Cable would stand there with his mutant powers of pretty, or whatever that glowing eye was all about, such a know-it-all, looking like the righteous one, beating Deadpool down, trying to own him, to lord it over him and play him the way he played everyone else, what gave him the right to think he knew people just because he'd seen what the future held? Telling Wade what to do, like he was right just 'cause he could read minds and all, well he couldn't read Wade's mind, and that wasn't never gonna change, Nate thought he understood but he couldn't, really. Hell, half the time Wade didn't even understand. But he understood Nate. Always getting in the way, trying to protect the world from people like Deadpool, always on the other side, assuming the other side was right. Wade knew how wrong that hypothesis could be. And now Cable wanted to save the whole world; well this was going to be a laugh, sit back and watch it on TV, hah, cable TV, sharpening his knives, guns at the ready for when the big mook screwed it up, tried to take it all on himself; Deadpool still remembered fighting The Messiah and the way it felt, "saving the world." What a joke. This show was gonna be better than watching clowns in a Roman bear-pit. Hah, Gladiator Clowns. They should market that one; everyone would watch.

It doesn't have to be this way. Well how would it be, then, what, did Nate expect some kind of stupid buddy movie, Mel and Danny back to back, fighting for world peace or some shit, outfacing the odds just for the thrill of doing it together? What did he want, the A-Team? The freakin' Thundercats? Abbot and Costello, or maybe Bonnie and Clyde? Yeah, try Felix and Oscar in a Mexican stand-off. Wade had said I know, that he knew it could be different if he made the choice, but it couldn't, could it? Not really. Wasn't this the way they'd always been, fighting each other in the sewer tunnels under Tolliver's lair or in that old warehouse, the same old dance, a kick in the face, wasn't that what he should expect next? He knew he'd have to be ready, he'd kinda made a promise just now, to himself or maybe even to Nate; maybe it would turn out ok, maybe he still had a little hope, maybe there was a tiny, bright corner of his screwed-up mind that still thought it was possible to help people, maybe even him, but the rest of him knew it was all going south, almost like he could see the future just like Nate, and somebody might have to stop Cable, and that somebody, well...maybe he'd watch it unroll for awhile, maybe he'd sit back until the next episode, but he'd be ready, because this wasn't TV, he wanted the happy ending but he knew it wasn't coming, and with Cable around, something was going to explode. For now the couch was pretty damn comfortable, and he'd just squashed Mr. Fluffy Snowman and opened a cold brew, and the commercials were still running, and he was just leaning back, taking it all in, and life was ok, but when everything fell apart, which it would, of course...well, he had the keys to Nate's little kingdom now, and he'd be ready.