So...*sigh*...this is the last chapter. I didn't realize it was here until I sat down to actually continue on with the story. I remember opening my laptop and going to my master file (which holds all the chapters together in one place) and thinking, "Holy crap. It's time." I'll do a bigger author's note at the end, but first, a concern: I haven't had any reviewers in two chapters, which is certainly alarming. Did I lose you guys when we were so close to the end? What happened? Maybe I shoudn't have killed Felix (though it sounds sadistic, I enjoyed those chapters) and cut straight to this chapter? Idk...But anyway, for those of you reading, I hope you enjoy the final installment of How Cora Met Wade: A Seductress Sidestory.
Cora stretched out her back, running her fingers over the silk sheets. Opening her eyes, she looked out the window. Instead of seeing the usual view of Wade's apartment, she saw a brilliant cityscape and a sliver of a bay. It was a postcard view, this window was. She never realized how beautiful Hong Kong was until she saw it in real life.
Sitting up, she heard the water running, only to be shut off moments later. It was weird, she never heard Wade get up that morning; jetlag may have been to blame for that. Yawning, she pulled herself out of bed and dug in her suitcase for something to wear. Settling for a pair of khaki shorts and a purple tank top, she walked out into the hall and slid into the now vacant bathroom. After brushing her teeth and washing her face, she stood in the doorway and listened. The floor creaked further in the apartment; it sounded like Wade was in the kitchen.
Cora hastily ran her fingers through her hair in an effort to tame her brown locks as she padded down the hallway.
"Hey Wade, I'm…" she trailed off when she saw him leaning against the kitchen counter. She let a grin slip on her face as she looked at him; even in a pair of ratty shorts, he looked like a sculpted Greek god. He smirked at her ogling before speaking into the phone he was holding.
"Colonel William Stryker, please." At those words, she faltered. Grabbing her purse off the counter, she mouthed the word 'store' before sliding on a pair of sandals and heading out the door. As soon as she entered the elevator, she leaned against the wall and let her head tip back.
She knew it was coming; she had known ever since she remembered who Stryker was. She just didn't know how to tell Wade that she couldn't go with him. With a 'DING!' from the elevator, she shoved the thoughts aside and walked out of the building. Instead of walking to the supermarket, she headed towards a farmer's market that was a few blocks away. She could feel tears tickling the backs of her eyes, just waiting to well up at the most inopportune moment.
With a great deal of effort, she managed to keep them down as she meandered through the stands of melons, beans, rice and other foods. She let her thoughts wander, trying to think of somebody else who could help Wade. She thought of the X-Men; they had access to tons of state-of-the-art medical equipment. Glancing at her watch, she decided to call them. Pulling out her phone, she dialed quickly and waited.
"Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, how may I help you?" It was Storm.
"Hey 'Ro." Cora said, her voice close to quivering.
"Hey girl! What's up?"
"Nothin' much. Can I talk to the Professor?" There was silence on the other end for a moment; Ororo wasn't stupid. She could tell something was wrong.
"Sure, give me a second." She stood in silence for a few moments before the familiar English voice came on the line.
"Hello Cora, what a pleasure to have you call." Her throat tightened slightly as she started walking again.
"Hey Professor. I was wonderin' if…if yah knew any good oncologists?"
"You aren't sick, are you?" His voice was worried. Perhaps the distance between them kept him from reading her mind. That, or he was a good actor.
"Not me." She said softly, feeling tears sting her eyes. "A friend. He has one option, but it's not a good one."
"Let me get to Cerebro Cora." Xavier said, his voice calm again. They hung up and she resorted to idling between a stall selling fresh seafood and a man selling watermelons out of the back of his truck. Suddenly, a voice that didn't belong broke through her thoughts.
"I used Cerebro and found your friend Mr. Wilson. His condition is surprisingly advanced. I couldn't find any doctor's capable of healing him." Cora's knees nearly gave out beneath her. Grabbing her bag, she made her way unsteadily away from the farmer's market.
"I'm sorry I couldn't help you. It seems his other option is his only choice." Sighing softly, she forced herself to sound calm in her mind.
"Thank yah for tryin' Professor. It's not yahr fault." With that, she felt him leave her mind, making it feel oddly empty. Slowly, she walked back towards the apartment, trying to enjoy the summer air, the bright sunshine, and the breeze that was causing her hair to fly around her face.
All too soon, she was standing outside their building. Heaving a sigh, she walked in and took the elevator to the top floor. Opening the door, she heard Wade milling around the kitchen still.
"Why are yah packin'?" she asked, dropping the bag of groceries on the counter. He had a duffel bag sitting on the kitchen counter, opened to reveal that most of the clothes he had packed for Hong Kong were haphazardly placed inside. He looked at her, slightly confused.
"I took the offer." He continued throwing clothes in the bag. "Stryker said he'd be happy to have you. So go pack up and we can get going!" he said grinning at her. Gritting her teeth, she swallowed. She would hate herself for this, but she had to do this. For both of them.
"I'm not so sure about this Stryker guy, he sounds kind of shady. I mean, he won' tell yah anything 'bout what he's hirin' yah for." When he didn't answer, she continued. "I don't think yah should go with me." As she said it, she slid around the counter and wrapped her arms around his bare waist. She tried to be subtle, but her nerves got the best of her and her mutation spiked. He stalled in his packing, his body relaxing against hers for a moment.
"Play fair Cora." He murmured, knowing she was trying to change the plan. "Sure, Stryker's being kind of shady, but everybody we work for is that way. Now go pack so we can go." He sounded impatient, though she didn't really blame him. His life literally rested in the hands of Stryker. Trying to keep her face neutral, she bit back the tears threatening to spill over.
"I'm not goin' with yah." Her voice was surprisingly strong for the way she felt. He froze, looking at her with wide eyes. They both knew what those words meant. Since he had given up his old apartment and both were getting their cell phone numbers changed to avoid enemies they had made in their time as mercenaries, there would be no way to find each other if they split up. For Cora, Wade was like trying to cup water in your hands. As hard as she tried, she could never keep it from leaking through the cracks and disappearing. For a fleeting moment, she felt his emotions shift. He was thinking about changing his mind and staying.
"Why not?" he asked.
"I have a bad feelin' about him…" Hoping she had a sturdy enough poker face, she continued on with her twisted truth. "I'm not sure what it is, but I feel like…he's done somethin' bad." He frowned, looking at his bag as if her were about to just tip all of its contents out.
"But yah have to go!" she said suddenly, realizing he was serious about changing his mind.
"But I don't want to go without you." His voice was soft, almost like a child's.
"Yah are not dyin' for me! Yah're takin' yahr ass to Stryker and gettin' yahrself fixed!" she nearly yelled, tears beginning to leak from the corners of her eyes. He looked surprised by her outburst as he dropped the last of his clothes in the bag and headed towards the bedroom. After gathering the last of his things, he grabbed his backup pair of katana swords and made his way back to the kitchen.
Cora looked like she had been crying; though there weren't any tears on her cheeks, her eyes were rimmed in red. Dropping the last of his things in his bag and zipping it, he turned to her. Pressing the sheathed blades into her hands, he gripped her chin and made her look at him.
"Keep practicing love. You've got talent." Grabbing his duffel bag, he swung it over his shoulder and stood before her. She was biting her lip and looking off to the side, the tell-tell sign that she was close to bursting in tears.
"I wish you'd come with me…" He said softly, grabbing her hand. "But if you don't want to, I won't make you. Once this Stryker guy heals me up and lets me go, I'll come looking for you. I l…" He faltered for a moment, unnerved by how shaken he was feeling. A woman's tears had never torn him up before. "I'll miss you." He kissed her cheek softly before releasing her hand. Before she could speak, he was out the door, the muffled sound of the elevator door closing confirming he was gone.
Wade slowly walked into his new room, scowling at how plain it was. Shutting the door behind him, he dropped his duffel bag in the floor and unzipped it. Instead of taking everything out neatly (I will not iron those for you again, Wade Wilson!), he dumped the contents out on his bed and began the grueling process of sorting everything out into drawers. Shirts were hung up in the closet, socks and boxers in the top drawer of his dresser, cargo pants in the drawer below that; he had nearly everything in its place when a paper caught his eye. Unfolding it, he saw it was a piece of stationary from the apartment.
I'm sorry for the way I acted. I had to get you to go to Stryker without me. I would have come if it had been any other person in the world but him. He did things to me in the past, horrible things. Things I've worked to forget, though they still haunt me. I couldn't let you let this opportunity slip away though; we both know he's your only chance. Just know that I did what I did out of love. Sometimes things aren't fair I guess. I'm sure you'll find someone better after all this is over. Work hard, get cured, and try not to cause too much trouble.
He traced his finger over her signature as he mulled over the words. "…though they still haunt me…" Wade stared at the words, an idea forming in this mind. Could Stryker be the man that tested on her at Three Mile Island? He pushed the thought aside as he looked at one small word inked on the page.
He had never said it to her. He knew how much that meant to her, believing her powers would never allow her to have a real relationship with somebody. She was wrong though. Sometime during his visit to Xavier's, he knew. He knew he loved her. He had thought about it before then, but he knew without a shadow of a doubt after meeting her friends and seeing her at her old school.
Sighing, he folded the paper back up and slid it in one of the dresser drawers. Looking back on the bed, he cringed at the next item he saw. The black, velvety box demanded his attention as he sat down beside it. Grabbing it, he flipped the lid open to reveal a simple diamond ring. The silver band caught the overhead light and flashed slightly as he tilted it.
He had planned on telling her he loved her when he proposed. It was all shot to hell now though. Standing up, he placed the box in the same drawer as the letter and stormed out of the room.
I know I skewed the break-up scene from the one given in Seductress. I had to change it to fit with the story line better, seeing how the one from Seductress was written quite a few months ago, long before this fic was even a plot bunny. I was nearly ready to edit and post when the little Wade in my mind (the one that seems to break through the fourth wall and interrupt my stories! Lol.) led me to the little plot niblet that was the last section of this chapter. As weird as it sounds, I fell in love with the CoraxWade pairing while writing this story just as much as I fell for the CoraxRemy pairing. It broke my heart to split the two up instead of leaving them in eternal fan fiction bliss. So those emotions sort of translated into the latter portion of this. Sort of adds a new facet to things I guess...
Anyway, onto the official stuff! A huge thank you to my lovely reviewers who helped me keep my chin up and muse going strong when I felt like stopping! ThisSideortheOther and nekuranekomegami, thank you so much for sticking with this story and reviewing regularly! You don't know how much it meant to have some readers out there telling me they liked what I was writing. You guys rule and deserve something ultra-super-mega awesome for your awesomeness! Now onto nostalgia...it's weird...looking back. Back when Cora was nothing more than an idea that popped up in my pea brain one day...Now, she's the main character of two fics. It's crazy to think she's done unless I get struck with some crazy, suger-induced plot bunny that won't shut up! Hahaha! Anyway, as far as my writing goes, I'm going to take a break from X-Men writing. Not permanently though! I'm going to finish my Green Mile story and work on my others that I've started but haven't posted (My WadexOC story and a Saving Private fic mainly).
Until next time readers,