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The wind through his feathers was a sensation unlike anything else. If he were honest with himself, he felt more at home up in the sky than he did trekking across the terrain. It was pleasant solitude since not many others could fly; he’d flown with Warren, of course, but only for training exercises. No one else had joined him in the air to simply have fun and zip around but that was okay with him. Flying was a way to clear his head and just be, to live in the moment - whether it was by watching the lights below, tailing ant-sized cars on their journeys home, or just spiraling and diving around through the dark.
The chilly 3am hour was spent with more of that spiraling and diving around since most of the population in the Upstate had gone to sleep and there weren’t any cars to follow. It was a nice little jaunt just to stretch his wings once more since the one had been broken from that snow creature. Much to his joy, it was only a tad sore, but holding up strong and not feeling stressed. That thought alone put a smile on his face; he hadn’t liked being grounded with a broken wing.
Those red wings pulled in close to his body and he allowed himself to simply freefall. The ground rose up steadily but he caught himself just in time, snapping the wings out to ride the wind. It was a dark countryside, maybe a pasture or just a stretch of uninhabited land, but it was a nice change to arc and curve with the rolling land.
Or at least what he could see of it.
The tree came out of nowhere. On a smooth upward curve, where he’d intended to climb back up into the sky, the branches of a tree snared him. Caught his wings on the downstroke. Whipped him around into the bulk of the naked canopy, branches snapped and cracked as he hurtled through them, various swears leaving his mouth as a result of being poked and stabbed until he fell face-first to the ground in a mess of feathers. A shower of broken sticks followed and peppered his back as he lay there motionless and groaned.
It was a cold night in a...wait, where was he again? Upstate New York? "Oh, that makes sense. That's where the name of the forum this thread is in." Wade muttered to himself as he headed along down the road, carrying a bag from Hardee's. Three Double Bacon Cheeseburgers and a bottle of Yum-Yum sauce he'd gotten from a not too far off Korean grocer.
Part of him was way more than willing to lay there face down in the grass and dirt and simply wallow in the shame of flying into a tree. It was like his old friend Manuelo had said when he’d flown off into the darkness: ”The darkness doesn’t mean anything, but a tree might. You overgrown canary.” Oh how those words haunted him when he flew low altitude at night.
Seeing a waving light was what caught his attention. The mutant’s head snapped up to see a… man in a red and black suit? An interesting suit. One that covered his entire body, face included. Instead of leaving him down on the ground - or worse - the man stooped to help him up, much to Jay’s surprise. He accepted the assistance and dusted off dirt and twig pieces while assessing the damage done. His shirt had been ripped and torn in the various places where branches snagged him, but the cuts and scrapes had healed up without any other sign that they’d happened. Other than that, the only thing damaged was his dignity.
”Yeah, that kinda hurt.” Jay gave the man a partial grin, one that faded quickly as the shame reared its ugly head again. ”But, um, thanks for helpin’ me. I was more than ready t’ jus’ stay layin’ there ‘n’ accept the fact I’d been taken down by a tree.”
Keeping his wings close to his back as naturally and comfortably as he could, the redhead’s curiosity piqued and his brows furrowed in thought while the masked man continued to question. ”The who? Not--not the Who, the other who--Wings who? Nevermind.” He gave a shake of the head and a dismissive wave of the hand in the hopes that his chopped and misguided train of thought would be forgotten. Moving onto the next question would hopefully help achieve that. ”Jay. I’m Jay. Who’re you? Please tell me it's Agent K.”
"Oh, c'mon. Guy like you being taken out by this son of a birch? Please." Wade snorted. "C'mon there, you can't do that. You got that whole...wings thing...going on for you. The trees are just jealous that they can't fly. Think of it like that."
Son of a birch. Now that got a chuckle. But, truthfully, it was also directed at the suited man’s attempt at what Jay assumed was lightening the mood - and it was working, really. Of course the mutant had been embarrassed over his mishap but it was three in the morning, he hadn’t expected anyone to be out and about in the rural part of the Upstate. He’d been quickly proven wrong, of course, but fortunately it didn’t appear that he was in bad company.
”Thanks,” he said, helping with brushing all the broken twigs off. One of the wings was pulled around to his front, some feathers askew due to a piece of stick being stuck there; it was pulled and the feathers were smoothed down. ”I’m, uh… not really from ‘round here.” Okay, so not an entire lie, but he wasn’t about to say he was from Xavier’s school, only because he never wanted to accidentally give away its location or lead someone to it that really shouldn’t be there. ”But I been flyin’ for a few hours now. I jus’ know I’m still in Upstate. I like t’ freefall, so I jus’... didn’t arc up soon enough.” A shrug moved his shoulders while his wing returned to its resting position at his back.
Slowly his face contorted with thought. Wings? No, he’d still never heard of it, so he shook his head a few times. ”Sorry, that was before my time. I only jus’ turned eighteen.” Or at least he really hoped he didn’t have a concussion that’d made him forget this… show, if that’s what it was. Could he even get concussions with this healing factor? He really didn’t want to find out.
But then Jay snorted in amusement, about to come back with a little quip when the man snapped with a ’shut up.’ For a moment, the mutant was taken aback, but chose to give the man the benefit of the doubt when he’d clarified that the demand wasn’t directed at him. (But then… who was it directed toward?) And then -- Deadpool? Oh, he’d heard some stories. Not very many, but enough to know a little about the man who’d helped him after the tree had won the first fight round. ”Nice meetin’ ya, then, Deadpool. ‘N’ sure, thanks. I appreciate it.” What was a 3am burger with a semi-stranger? Probably something his Ma would’ve warned him against, or at least told him to be careful, but what was the use when you couldn’t die? So he reached to take one of the burgers from the bag, pulling back the wrapper to reveal what he could already smell as being delicious. ”Hardee’s, huh? Personally my 3am choice is Waffle House, but t’ each their own.”
"See. That's one of the reasons I'm glad I can't fly." Wade said as he dug out one of the burgers, tossing one to the kid once he'd gotten him and (most of) the brush had been cleared off of him. "The temptation to do a couple passes at sorority houses would be too much." He pulled out the bottle of shrimp sauce and, after unwrapping a burger, drenched the patty in the sweet sauce. "Me, I prefer to work for my meals. Shrimp sauce?" He offered to the kid.
Frankly, the thought to do anything like that hadn’t ever crossed his mind. Flying past a sorority house? Not really something he thought he’d enjoy. Ever since Julia’s death, he really hadn’t had a hankering for female company (or even male, since he’d found himself quasi crushing on a guy a while back). He shrugged, pulling the wrapper of his burger down so that he could examine it first and find the best place for the first bite. ”Can’t fly in the daylight ‘less you wanna get caught ‘n’ cornered into the Accords,” he said, partially to reply to Deadpool and partially as a gruff admittance to the harsh reality. Looking at older femmes wasn’t worth being shot down.
”No thanks.” Declining the shrimp sauce, the redhead finally took a bite of the artery-clogging goodness. It’d been quite some time since he’d stepped foot inside a Hardee’s; he’d forgotten what most fast food tasted like, aside from that one diner relatively close to the school that he sometimes ventured to. He hummed quietly and contently to himself at the savory taste while the masked (well, semi-masked, since he’d rolled up the bottom half in order to eat) man went on with a monologue reminiscing about whatever shows he’d been reminded of. None of it struck any familiarity until The Golden Girls were mentioned, but even then he hadn’t seen any episode. All he knew was that Betty White was in it - wasn’t she the only one that mattered?
A snort of amusement sounded from Jay before he could stop it. Though he was quite intrigued. ”You… heal, too?” He asked almost hesitantly, pausing with his eating to watch Deadpool curiously. ”Or--or you jus’ stopped him from doin’ it?” Maybe a punch to the face stopped the cook. Maybe a fork stabbed into the hand since that seemed to be the man’s style from what little he’d heard of him.
Curiosity turned to confusion when there came a sharp command for… “guys” to stop? Plural? Jay tried to make his sideways glances discrete just to confirm that there weren’t other people nearby. He hadn’t heard anything, either, so who was being addressed? But Deadpool didn’t sound like he was talking to the young mutant, so the redhead took a little bite of burger to chew slowly and swallow, mulling over the question that was surely aimed at him. ”Yeah. Jus’ for kicks. Like I said, I don’t really wanna get shot down or forced into signing any Accords, so I only fly at night. For the most part, I gotta hide my wings, or, well, y’know.” Shoulders pulled up into a little shrug. ”I don’t wanna be grounded, so I’ll take what I can get. ‘Sides, the lights at night are beautiful.”
"Heh. Tell me about it." Wade said as he munched on a burger. "I was just going to go in for some hookers and blow and then I ended up meeting Not-Sam Elliot and signing 'em. Been a real pain in the ass ever since." That wasn't entirely true, of course. He could pretty much do what he liked indiscriminately and get a nice Karma Houdini about it. He broke a law? It was for the government and the Accords. He shot up a few people? Line of duty, defending the government and the Accords.
It also helped that Wade did his best to fly under the radar when out in the field. Usually, despite what some might think, people didn't even realize that he'd been involved to begin with.
Sometimes the thought of signing the Accords kept him awake at night. Being tracked, not being able to use your power… awful. Something he didn’t want to happen to him or any other mutant or powered person. Something that just made him shiver. He’d always heard rumors of everything done was monitored by the government, but for it to actually be true? For NATO to basically have tabs on him all the time made him uncomfortable. Besides, who were they to do that? What gave them the authority? And wasn’t it like history repeating itself?
He munched on his burger a little slower while those thoughts churned. For a moment, when Deadpool described his job, it sent Jay’s blood running frigid. The thought that the masked man had been sent for him flashed through his mind before the words put those fears to rest; still, his gut twisted anxiously in the moments after since there was no hiding from this guy that he was a mutant. Frankly, he’d never been more thankful for Hardee’s in his life.
And he was thankful that he’d swallowed the mouthful of food before learning just what had happened to the cook. Wrists shoved down a throat… he really didn’t want to picture that in his head (but tried to anyway, of course). Ouch. Made him want to rub his mouth and cheeks just to make sure the skin hadn’t been ripped. But something else stood out in the conversation that piqued his interest. ”You got a healin’ factor, too?”
Jay’s version of skydiving was certainly different than most everyone else’s since he could arc right back up and start it again. Hitting the ground, though, was something he didn’t really think of for a multitude of reasons. One, having far too much fun in the sky; two, hollow bones were only saved by durability and healing; and three, it sounded very painful.
”I’m not sure if I’d survive hittin’ the ground even with a healin’ factor.” He shook his head in thought, taking another bite and swallowing it. ”I mean, I’d probably break jus’ ‘bout every bone in my body ‘cause they’re hollow, but I’m pretty darn durable, but probably not that durable if I’m fallin’ from ten thousand feet.” Jay picked a loose piece of bread from the bun to eat it before it fell to the ground. ”I don’t think I really wanna find out jus’ how durable I am on purpose. Maybe... accidentally, rather.”
"C'mon, don't look so 'I just crapped my pants'. You're like...what? Five? I couldn't throw you to the wolves. Especially not a wolf that actually agreed to be in Lost In Space. I mean, you saw that, right? That was some horseshit. Putting Joey from Friends in a sci-fi movie." Wade quipped as he munched. "Maximum overhorseshit."
"Oh, yeah!" Wade nodded, then counted on his fingers as he held the burger in his other hand. "Let's see...I've been shot. Stabbed. Drowned. Burned. Frozen. Dismembered. Crushed. Even got liquefied once. Now that one was a bitch to bounce back from." He sighed. "But yeah, I always manage it. Thanks to my regeneration, I never stop flapping my lip off and enjoy the sweet, sweet privileges that come with never being able to die but feeling every single bit of the pain that gets inflicted upon you. It's a pain that reaches to the depths of my soul."
He took another munch of his burger. "And then, y'know, I usually shoot somebody in the dick. Circle of life and all. I'm pretty sure that's in the song, somewhere." Wade added. He listened as Jay explained a bit more about himself. "So...mutant? Or were you bitten by a radioactive bird? I only ask because either of them seems valid. I've seen some really, really crazy shit. Especially in the last few years."
"Oh, accidents are how I do eighty percent of my work!" Wade laughed. "I admit, though, never tried to drop myself from ten thousand feet without a parachute. But then again, who do I think I am? Captain America? Ha! My hair isn't nearly that perfect."
As much as he wasn’t too fond of the description, he had to admit that he was thankful Deadpool wasn’t about to chain him up and haul him away to the federal building. A blessing, really. And there again with the movies or shows he didn’t understand until he was able to piece together “Joey” and “Friends” (he was the one with the eyebrows, right?) and put the guy into a space scene. ”I, um…” Jay almost felt disappointed in himself for having to say no again. ”Can’t say I’ve seen Lost in Space, no.” So he then took a sheepish bite off the end of the burger.
It made sense that the man in the costume had endured far more than the redhead had. After all, Deadpool probably was a solid twenty years older, he figured. ”Liquified? Oh god.” That sounded terrible. Truthfully he couldn’t really mentally picture a device that could liquify a person unless it was a giant blender set to puree. ”I’ve never been shot, but I’ve had a hole blasted through my chest. Then I guess I drowned, I dunno, ‘cause after I’d apparently lost half my chest, I woke up underwater.” While holding his girlfriend’s dead body, but that fact was kept to himself. A shrug moved his shoulders. ”I still feel it all, too. I thought I’d died when I got that hole in my chest.”
It’d been terrifying. Being suffocated, Mr. Cabot having that malicious smile behind the armor suit’s face mask. Quite possibly the most scared he’d ever been in his life.
”Sure, let’s go with radioactive bird.” The smile that came to his face was a little forced but only a moment of registration passed before he gave a little genuine snicker once he realized that that would’ve entailed. ”No, uh, I’m a mutant. I can also do this--” then, perfectly mimicking Deadpool’s voice, he repeated the man’s words: ”I’ve seen some really, really crazy shit. Especially in the last few years.” Not all that impressive, but it was a fun party trick that usually amused people. Or freaked them out hearing their own voice come from someone else.
After taking a bite of the burger, Jay’s eyebrows rose up. ”Captain America did that?” Not that Jay ever needed a parachute, but still, the idea of someone without wings jumping out of a plane sans parachute was crazy. ”He does have perfect hair, I s’pose.”
"Ah, see...you kids got it so good now." Wade snorted. "Back in the day, if a movie sucked, all we had was word of mouth about how it sucked. Now, you guys can find your reviews and pirate things. Back then, we had to work to avoid suffering." He shook his head. "Seriously, though, I feel bad for Matt LeBlanc, man. Had a good run on Friends, made some shitty choices in movies...not to mention that spin-off...and then that British car show for ten minutes before he ended up on CBS."
"I mean, shit. David Schwimmer at least got to be the fucking neurotic giraffe in Madagascar. What'd Joey get? Screwed. Just plain screwed." He continued to munch as Jay went on. "Oh, yeah! Chest blown out. Hurts like a bitch, doesn't it?" The Merc With a Mouth sympathized, nodding. "You seem to have recovered pretty well, though. Provided you avoid those fuckin' trees." He hid a smirk in another bite of burger.
Wade grinned when Jay went with the story of the radioactive bird.
Part of him was rather regretful that he didn’t know much at all about the shows and people that Deadpool was going on and on about. Regardless, Jay still tried to appear interested - which he was - but felt awkward when he couldn’t agree or disagree with any of the specifics. ”Truth be told, I don’t really pay much attention t’ the reviews. Sometimes I do with the ratin’s, sure, but rarely. I only really watch Netflix ‘n’ even then it’s not very often.” Once again he shrugged while chewing on a mouthful of burger, occasionally glancing up at the half-masked man. David Schwimmer… the name didn’t ring a bell, but Madagascar did. Matt LeBlanc was drawing a blank as well though he dared to think that was the man who played Joey.
All of that was cast aside when Deadpool found great amusement in the voice mimicry. Truthfully, the redhead couldn’t help but beam a little; after everything that’d been happening, he felt he could smile and be happy over the fact that someone liked one of his powers (however useless he thought it was). Then, taking up Morgan Freeman’s voice: ”Ryan Reynolds? Is that your real name?” A curious tone, a slight cant of the head when he glanced back up at Deadpool.
So Captain America jumping out of a plane without a parachute was true. Mostly. Probably. Jay’s eyebrows rose up in surprise; but, really, what else did one expect from a super soldier like that? He could probably punch a hole through the hull of a battleship. And this friend - of sorts, apparently the one with the life-sucking boobs - had the idea that people would go nuts if Steve Rogers grew a beard. He mulled over the thought for a moment while absently chewing a mouthful of burger. ”I mean, he’s already a real good lookin’ guy, so I figure it’d fit him well if he did grow a beard. He could so pull off the ‘rugged lumberjack’ look.” Not that he had seen someone’s edit on that Tumblr website of Captain America in flannel looking all suave. Not at all. ”But I agree. They’d probably all go nuts.”
"Ah, yeah! Good ol' Netflix and krill." Wade nodded. "Wait, no...Netflix and bill...or is it Netflix and quill? Wait, do they even have Harry Potter on there? Anyway, Netflix and pills..."
Red brows furrowed in thought. ”Y’know, I actually don’t think Harry Potter is on Netflix.” Or if it was, it really wasn’t something he looked for to watch. He liked fantasy, sure, but Harry Potter just felt… sometimes overrated. But he still liked the movies. They just weren’t something he could watch over and over and over, or sit through every ABC Family Harry Potter Weekend. There again, Deadpool was barking out a command suddenly and then dismissing it as not being directed toward the mutant. He’d begun to suck in a breath to ask just who was supposed to shut up but the man clarified.
”Yeah, I get that.” The voice in his head had never gotten to the point where he felt the need to verbally tell it to be quiet, but he had his own ways of dealing with the relentless nagging: flying, reading, going nuts with X-Men training, throwing himself at anyone and everyone who needed help in the slightest, etc. His methods were more for distraction than confrontation. Which, well, avoidance wasn’t healthy, but he really didn’t want to talk about his problems with anyone. Didn’t want to revisit them at all.
And there was the distraction he needed. ”Sure. That ain’t a problem at all.” After picking a little piece of burger off and munching, swallowing, he easily slipped back into the voice of God: ”Rubber baby buggy bumpers.” With that taken care of, he took a bite out of his burger, humming over the delightful taste. Tom Jones was yet another mystery to Jay but he breezed over that in lieu of focusing back on Captain America. ”I mean, I don’t think there’s a look he couldn’t make look good. But I gotta say, I think my personal favorite would be the rugged look. He’s real handsome.”
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