a prequel piece to Lighting Fires (part of Blood & Tears). the dark secret that set Wade on the path to becoming General Blackblade.

warnings: AU - Fateverse. sci-fi. one-sided slash. mass destruction of the planet earth. language: pg-13 (for f*** and g**damn).

pairing: one-sided Wade/Nate.

timeline: about 2,000+ years before Lighting Fires.

disclaimer: marvel owns all the characters, i just made more alternate universe versions of them.

notes: 1) Narcissus was the guy in Greek myth who was so vain that he fell in love with his reflection and drowned trying to reach it. the title is a play on the famous Oppenheimer quote (which is paraphrased from a translation of the Bhagavad Gita) "now i am become death, destroyer of worlds." 2) all you need to know about the Sculptor is that she's kinda evil, she can change the way people look (permanently), and she eats worlds. 3) a mulligan is a do-over in golf.

visit The Fateverse Glossary (merianmoriarty (dot) deviantart (dot) com/art/Fateverse-Glossary-174203180) for terms, concepts, Nodes, and important people.

Narcissus, Destroyer of Worlds

When they land from the slide, they're alone—the Sculptor has been left behind, which is just as well, since Wade thinks he'll never want to see her face again for as the rest of…pretty much forever.

He feels sick. Sick of himself. Sick of fucking up.

Sick of the disappointed look Nate's giving him.

Nate turns slowly to survey the world they've landed in. "So this is the GX bundle. What a bleak, bleak place. Fitting for exile, I think."

Wade's hands start to shake, so he clenches them. "Please," he says. "Please, you can't leave me here. I didn't mean to do it. You know I didn't. Nate?"

Nate doesn't believe him. He can tell by the look in those cold, mismatched eyes.

But it's the truth. Wade never had a clue that the Sculptor seriously, literally meant she was going to suck the life out of the planet. He figured it was hyperbole, because Galactus is the only guy Wade's ever heard of who actually eats planets.

All he knew was that she said she could make him beautiful, and she did, and the only thing she wanted in return was for him to keep Nate busy in some other timeline while she chowed down.

"Stay here," Nate says. "Live for centuries with your nice new face, knowing what it cost, knowing that people died. In two thousand years, this world's Nathan will be born. Who knows? Maybe you'll befriend him and betray him, too."

The word betray rips through Wade like a bullet. "No!" he cries, and his voice cracks. "No, I didn't. Please. I'm sorry."

Nate wrinkles his nose in disdain. "You're not."

Desperation turns to sudden anger. Wade wants to punch that look of disgust off Nate's handsome face for not understanding. "Fuck you, you don't know what it's like!"

To be ugly.

To be hated.

To be in love with your stupid perfect best friend.

"I don't," Nate replies calmly. "But you do. And now you're going to know what it's like for a whole world to only see your pretty face and your blood-stained hands. Goodbye, Wade."

And he's gone, just like that. Just slid away somewhere else in the timestream, leaving Wade stranded and with no chance of getting the last word.

He can't believe it for a moment; he stands there, gaping at the place where Nate was. Then the anger comes back.

"Fucking coward!" screams Wade. "You useless, spineless, fucking politically-correct know-it-all!"

He kicks the dirt and wishes he had something to throw and someone to throw it at.

"I love you, goddammit!" he shrieks at the top of his lungs, and stomps his foot for lack of anything else to do.

He's crying now, but he doesn't care since there's no one there to see it. He's shaking and panting and trying not to sob, but he can feel hysteria starting to take hold.

And he's losing it. He's fucking losing it.

"Please come back? Nate? Nathan?"

No one answers. Of course, no one answers.

It's not like Nate's just hiding behind a curtain, waiting to jump out and shake his finger once he figures Wade's learned his lesson.

So Wade sits down in the barren wasteland and cries and cries and cries.

And then his mind wanders back to something Nate said, and he abruptly stops crying.

In two thousand years, this world's Nathan will be born.

Two thousand? No sweat. He's already two hundred and three, and showing no signs of slowing down.

He wipes his face on his sleeve. "Okay. Let's take a mulligan on that relationship, huh?"