responding to a prompt from Tabitha-Kittywitch over at deviantART.

warnings: slash. goofiness. fairly 616-ish, perhaps a little au. spoilers, i guess...for some of the pre-Civil War stuff. language: pg-13 (primetime tv plus s***).

pairing: Nate/Wade (Cable/Deadpool, for those just joining us).

timeline: sometime just prior to Civil War, methinks. i have really crappy continuity here, tho - some things are out-of-order or just wrong compared to canon. XD;;

disclaimer: marvel owns Cable & Deadpool, disney owns marvel. "Mister Messiah-Super-Jesus-Mutie-Man" was coined by Tabitha-Kittywitch.

notes: 1) all of the food Wade got for Nate really is good for you when you're sick. XD 2) as far as i know, there is no real "Complete Idiot's Guide to the Common Cold." 3) i'm told (by multiple Astaire fans) Roberta is the best Astaire/Rogers movie. i've only seen two, and i didn't really get them, so...i'll totally take their word for it.

p.s. Irene was totally laughing her ass off until she thought Nate might have been brain-damaged by Wade's bedside manner.

Fools Don't Catch Cold

Sunlight streamed through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Not for the first time, Nathan cursed them. They were pretty, and they were great for letting him survey the city without leaving his quarters, but in times of headaches and light sensitivity, they were downright agonizing.

"Polarize widdows," he managed to croak out, and the light dimmed a bit (but not really enough).

He couldn't breathe properly, his head felt like a cotton-filled balloon, his eyes were concentrated balls of pain…for the first time in a long time, the great Cable Askani'son had a cold.

If he'd possessed the will to move, he might have called Irene to bring him some cold pills and a few boxes of tissues.

As it was, someone was buzzing at his door.

Correction, someone buzzed 'shave and a haircut' at his door.

"Oh, doh," he groaned, burying his head under his pillow and hoping he could convince Wade he wasn't home.

No such luck…

The door slid open.

Well, it had really been a matter of either giving Wade the override codes or risking him breaking in through the balcony, so of course Wade could get into just about any room on Providence.

"Priscilla, my dear!" the mercenary called. "Just checking in after the whole 'oh-em-gee powers exhausted and both of us dumped in the freezing cold ocean' adventure. That was crazy, huh? 'Specially that part with the shark. Fun times."

Footsteps skipped from the outer room into Nathan's bedroom.

"Awwww, izzums got a widdle sniffle-wiffle? So even infallible super-duper future-soldiers can get sick! Somehow, I had a feeling something like this would come up…the whole thing yesterday was very plot-devicey. Even the shark. Admit it, Mister Messiah-Super-Jesus-Mutie-Man, you're mortal like the rest of us poor schmucks."

Nathan stayed sheltered under his pillow, but pointed toward the sound of Wade's voice. "This is all your fauldt."

"Yes, because you totally needed to rescue me from getting sliced into kibbles 'n bits right after stopping a big huge explosion when I woulda gone back together just fine," came the snide retort.

"You bight dot have," Nathan grumbled.

Wade stole the pillow. "You were worried about me!" he crowed. "You weawwy do wuv me!"

"Wade!" Nathan wailed, shielding his eyes from the light.

But Wade just snickered unrepentantly and danced a little jig. "Poor baby. Should I get you some tea? Some chicken soup? What do future-mommies give growing messiahs when they catch cold?"

"Id doesd't batter," he dismissed, rolling to face away from the windows. "Just led be sleep id off, I'll be fide by toborrow."

"Don't say that," tsked Wade. "Daddy Wade's here to nurse you back to health, Natey-poo."

"Oh, god…"

"First things first, you need to sit up a little, so you don't fill your pwecious widdle tummy with snot."

"Thad's disgusdigg, Wade."

But he didn't seem to have the strength to fight back when Wade propped him up on a few pillows. "Aaand now we get you a cold compress so your brain doesn't bake itself. Be right back, two shakes…" Wade skipped off (to where, there was no real knowing) and came back with a cloth-wrapped bundle that turned out to be an ice pack.

"Wade, you really dod't have to do this."

Wade paused in arranging the ice pack, marched around into Nathan's line of sight.

Nathan found himself on the receiving end of one of Wade's famous pouts. He sighed as best he could. "…could you brigg be sobe tissues, please?"

"Comin' right up!" Wade chirped happily. "Should I go change into a nurse's outfit? I have one somewhere…it's a pink mini. Got the little hat 'n everything."

"Ugh. Doh. Please. Ridiculous crossdressigg cad be obitted."

"You sure? I'm way hotter than Heath Ledger in a nurse's outfit, and the dress is a lot cuter. Think Uhura's uniform in powder pink and with cute little frilly bloomers."

That could join the growing list of mental images Nate didn't need to have of someone with whom he was regularly seen in public. He hoped that his fever would hide the fact that he was blushing. "Wade."

"Right, Kleenex. And chicken soup, because everybody knows that chicken soup is what you feed sick people. Unless they're vegetarians. Then only perverse meat-loving vegetarian-haters like me feed 'em chicken soup. I digress." And he skipped off again.

Even under normal circumstances, Wade had a tendency to give Nathan headaches. With a fever and a cold, Nathan was starting to wish that Irene or Gareb (or even Prester John) would come and save him (preferrably with several rolls of duct tape in hand).

It was a surprisingly long time before Wade returned (Nathan had at first dared to hope that he might have gotten side-tracked and forgotten all about him, then feared that Wade was more likely to have insisted on changing into the nurse's costume), and when he did, he had his arms full of what looked like a random assortment of things.

The tissues were there, thank goodness, and were handed over posthaste (just in time to stop an embarrassing drip from escaping his left nostril).

There were boxes and bottles of various shapes, sizes, and colors—all bore labels that included either the word "cold" or the word "flu."

There were oranges. There were cans of tuna. There was a carton of eggs. There was a jug of milk. There was a can of chicken soup.

There was (quite worryingly) a book titled "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Common Cold," and Wade seemed to be trying to read it while he dumped things on the bed.

"Says here that zinc does about a zillion important things," Wade noted, sounding surprised.

"Where did you ged thad boogk?"

Wade looked up from examining drug labels. "Hm? Oh. It's Irene's."

He looked on helplessly while Wade started making a little mosaic on the bedclothes out of pills and capsules. "I hope you dod't thigk I'b goig to swallow all of thad."

"Nah, I just thought it'd be funny to make you wrinkle your forehead. You just need one of these, and a couple of these, and…maybe one of these wouldn't hurt. The rest can come from food."

"Like the chickedd soup you deglegted to heat up? Or put id a bowl?"

Wade pouted at him again. "I was getting to that part! I only got the two arms, and I didn't wanna drop the eggs, so I figured I'd make more than one trip. Hmph, so there. Now, if you'll excuse me, Mr. Grumpypants, I'll go get the bowl and the blender and all the rest."

"The bledder?" Nathan echoed feebly. Yes, he could see it now…Wade would dump everything into the blender and gleefully mash the puree button. He'd probably bring a funnel, too, the better to pour it down Nathan's throat despite struggling and flailing. And an apron, in case it spilled. He knew even his telepathy was a lost cause after this latest save-the-world-and-Wade-at-the-same-time stunt, but he still tried to call Irene and beg her to come to his rescue.

"Yeah," Wade said, as if it were the most obvious tool in the world for treating a cold. "How else 'm I supposed to make you a magical cure-all smoothie to go with your soup?"

"Oh, god," Nathan sighed again, but Wade was already gone.

His phone rang, and he managed to grab it by virtue of having long arms.

"Cable," he answered, barely catching his ice pack as it slipped down his forehead.

*Jeez, you really are sick,* Irene mused on the other end of the line. *You sound like shit.*

"Thagk you for thad asdute observatiod, Biss Berryweather."

*Has your little nurse managed to poison you yet?*

He groaned. "You sedt hib up here. I cad't believe you sedt hib up here. You sicced Wade od be."

*But he's so cute when he's trying to be helpful… When he came back to borrow my book and some supplies, he made that Sad Puppy Face that he does so well. I was powerless to resist.*

"Add you wadted to teach be a lessod about dosigg idto other people's biserable busidess?"

*And that. Yes.*

"This is paybagk for lettig Prester Johd tagke care of you lasd bodth whed you had a cold?"


Nathan made a sour face. "Irede, sobetibes you cad be a spideful bitch."

When she started laughing, he hung up on her.

"Who was that, my widdle techno-organic sugarplum?" Wade asked, setting down dishes and a blender and a few other odds and ends.

"Wrogg dubber," Nathan muttered.

"If you say so, cuddle-buns."

"Wade, whad exagdly are you puttigg id thad bledder?"

"Secret recipe," Wade said, stepping between Nathan and the blender.

Nathan must have made a horrified face, because Wade rolled his eyes with a theatrical sigh.

"Think of it as a cross between a protein shake and a smoothie. Nothing toxic or life-threatening to a normal, squishy person—like, say, Irene—is going in here. Innocent bystanders could drink it and be fine and dandy. Scout's honor."

"Whad coudtry od the pladet would led you be a boy scoud?" Nathan said incredulously. "Latveria?"

"That's mean," Wade primly sniffed, turning around to start sticking things into the blender. "I can do all sorts of boy-scouty things without having to add 'Doom commands!' at the end. I can make a campfire. I can pitch a tent. I can navigate a little old lady from point A to point B without her being hit by vehicles or weaponry of any kind. Cap taught me how to knit, even. So, there ya go. Arts 'n crafts."

Nathan thought he must be going crazy. He wondered if this was how Wade felt all the time, and was abruptly sorry for being quite so short-tempered with him as a general rule. "Cap?" he echoed weakly. "Cap as id Steve Rogers Cap? Cap as id Captaid Aberica Cap?"

Wade just nodded and kept mixing whatever bizarre 'non-toxic' concoction this 'cure-all smoothie' of his was. "Yeah, when he came to scope the place out last week. Crochet, too. Refused to make macaroni sculptures with me, though. I even told him I was the official mascot of Providence, but he still wouldn't do it."

"Add sidce whed are you the 'official bascot'? Sidce whed do we eved have ad 'official bascot'?"

"That's what Irene has down as my occupation on the census," Wade said matter-of-factly, and turned the blender on. Then he threw something over his shoulder that hit Nathan lightly in the face.

"Whad the—"

Orange peels. One shaped like a flower, one like a long spiral.

"Wade, why did you just—"

"To prove I peeled 'em first," Wade called over the sound of the blender. "I know you were gonna ask with that suspicious, distrusting face of yours."

Nathan sighed and set the peels aside on the bedtable, where his phone had been.

"They're good oranges," Wade assured him, putting a hand on the lid and swirling the blender in a practiced motion before flicking it off. "You can tell 'cause the rind is thin but the zest is thick. If you could smell right now, you'd say they smelled awesome. Or, well, you wouldn't say awesome, because that's not one of your usual words, but y'know what I mean."

"I'b sure I dever really do," Nathan muttered, looking around for something to do. If Wade was intending to take care of him all day, he probably wouldn't get back to sleep, so there had to be something he could do to take his focus off Wade's questionable bedside manner.

Books? Nowhere in reach, and trusting Wade to fetch one would lead to him reading goodness-knows-what.

Conversation? …with Wade? Right. No.

Board games? Definitely no. Somehow, they always led to things like uncomfortable conversations and gratuitous nudity (mostly because Wade insisted on playing strip versions of almost everything).

Movies or television?


Maybe he could get Wade sidetracked with a movie and be left in peace.

"Wade, surely you'll get bored watchigg be eat," he began in a sympathetic tone. "I thigk I rebebber Irede sayigg sobethigg about havigg brought all her favorite Bogart bovies whed she boved id. She has the addiversary editiod of Casabladca. She has a really big TV, too."

Wade just poured the smoothie into a glass and held it out expectantly. "Bottoms up, pookie. And no matter how you try to sweet talk me, I'm not abandoning you in your sickly, pathetic plight. You're way too cute when you try to be commanding with a stuffy nose. Try to get rid of me one more time and I'll be back with my nurse's outfit and the first season of Maude."

Nathan sighed, tossing the handful of pills into his mouth before daring to wash it down with the frothy, faintly orange liquid.

Okay, so it wasn't all that bad (as smoothies went). Swallowing with a stopped-up nose meant that his ears kept popping, but it also meant that he couldn't taste everything that was in the so-called 'cure-all.' In fact, all he could taste was orange, with a slightly buttermilk-flavored aftertaste.

Wade was looking smug again, but quickly set about turning on a portable burner and doing things to the chicken soup.

So Nathan waited, trying not to think about what Wade might be tossing into the soup pan, and alternately sipped his smoothie and blew his nose.

He hadn't even noticed he'd finished the smoothie until Wade took the empty glass away and gave him a spoon and a bowl of soup instead. He couldn't taste much of the soup, but it was warm and filling, and made him feel pleasantly drowsy.

All right, so the pillow-stealing and the aggressive cheerfulness and the worrying sidetracks made Wade's bedside manner less-than-ideal…but the smoothie hadn't been bad, and the soup had been downright good, and he didn't feel like he'd been poisoned by any of the medicine Wade had given him. And as much as he loved keeping people from killing each other, it was nice to be free from responsibilities and have someone else taking care of him for a change.

Well, if he had to be sick and put up with Wade being all…hovering and solicitous…he might as well enjoy himself.

"My feet are cold," he announced.

Wade 'happened' to have a hot water bottle ready.

"You've got a budch of busicals id your roob, right?"

"Wanna watch one?" Wade asked, perking up.

"The wud with Fred Astaire siggigg 'I Wod't Dadce.' Have you got thad wud?"

Wade made a face. "But he did better movies than Roberta. How about Swing Time? Or Shall We Dance?"

"Doh," Nathan said. "I wadt to watch Roberta. Add you're goigg to watch id with be. Add I wadt popcord—the good stuff, dot the gederic."

"Oh-kayyy," grumbled Wade, slouching out of the room.

Wade giving up any argumant without half an hour of whining, wheedling, and negotiation was a pleasant novelty. "I bay have to get sick bore ofted," Nathan mused.

It turned out that Wade brought all three movies, 'so they wouldn't run out of stuff to watch.' He also brought popcorn. As soon as the disk was in the player, he took his usual spot, snuggled up and using Nathan's shoulder as a headrest. And in spite of his protests, he quoted half the dialog and sang along with all the songs.

In the middle of the fashion show scene, Nathan noticed he was dozing off, but he didn't worry about it much—for once, he had nowhere to be, no pressing errand to rush off to as soon as the movie was over. So he'd end up missing the last dance number, big deal. He could always make Wade watch it again sometime. Right now, he was just too tired and comfortable not to fall asleep.

The next day, when he was feeling healthy enough to work again, he scared the hell out of Irene with nothing more than a broad smile and a cheerful 'thanks for yesterday.'