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CablePool: A Conjoined Situation

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By the time everyone realised that getting Wade to stay relatively still for a couple of hours was going to be as simple as parking him in front of the nearest television set and handing him the remote, there wasn't much left to do but wait. Seating arrangements had caused some minor hiccups, but nothing a generous pile of cushions couldn't solve. The two of them couldn't easily face the same direction without one of them having to crane his neck around by a good sixty degrees, but Nate was accommodating enough to be willing to sacrifice his own angle on the screen for Wade's comfort which was mighty upstanding of him under the circumstances.

"Ooh~ so many channels, so little time! Wonder what they're showing down in Berlin tonight?" Some old black-and-white comedy sketch-thing, apparently. Sweet crunchy marshmallow Jesus, was it on every channel, or was the remote imploding under the strain of fourteen thousand simultaneous viewing options? Surely there had to be a porn channel somewhere on the German airwaves. "You need to start putting this in the pamphlets! The satellite with satellite! Cable: it's not just a name anymore, folks! It'll be standing room only on this raft before you can say, 'discount one-way ticket'!"

"I'll keep that in mind."

Was that the sound of dry skepticism that met Wade's ear? Well, whatever, not his funeral if this joint tanked overnight. His last funeral was a way better rated affair, even before the food-fight started. Even Wolverine showed up!

Mind you, ol' Logan would just about show up to the opening of an envelope nowadays. Wasn't hardly even special anymore.

"So," said Wade, "how much longer do we need to spend with our circulatory systems all cosy before you absorb enough of my healing factor that we can make like a banana and tear this juicy freakshow down the centre?"

"Probably another hour or so. As I'm sure I explained to you last time you asked the same question."

"You, Nate, are a man with no appreciation for expository dialogue. Next you'll be telling me you don't want to revisit the terrible irony of what we was talking about just as we came to be making the beast-with-two-fronts!"

"You mean my unfortunate attempt to explain to you that in the wake of the Façade incident, your healing factor-"

"-turned out to be the gift that was just for Christmas after all? Yeah, sucks to be you, but if we're not all mixed up genetically anymore, how could I not wonder aloud what was going to happen next time one of us said, 'Body-"

"Wade. This can still get worse for us."

"...said our unnecessarily complicated safeword, okay! Not my fault your teleport computer doesn't understand hypotheticals, is it?"

'What was going to happen' turned out to be 'everyone bitches Wade out for a bit for carelessness, then he and Nate get to give their internals a little private time together to negotiate some sort of truce'. At least neither of them had anywhere they desperately needed to be today.

"It's one of the more persistent flaws in the system, I have to agree," Nate conceded.

"Ya think?"

A brief downward slump in the region of Wade's right shoulder suggested a very light sort of sigh from the other party. "For the record," said Nate, sounding a little tired, "the presence of your cells in my body never was the issue. The last remnants of Techno-Organic mesh in yours was – and is, as we've well and truly proven today. When I first programmed the Bodyslide, that same TO made a highly convenient personal signature for the system lock onto. Of course, it was a little more unique then than it's since become."

"See, I'd buy that excuse for a nickel, except as I count it, you've had a solid twenty issues since to come up with a fix since!" Watch Nate talk his way out of that one without falling back on 'editorial mandate'.

"Well. I supposed I can't argue that one, no."

Elbowing Nate was a little tricky in their current configuration, but Wade had a crack at it anyway, and happily to took the resulting 'oof' as evidence of success. "C'mon, admit it – you liked the whole buddy-teleport thing we had going for us. No more having to be 'just in the neighbourhood' whenever you're casting about for a good excuse to drop in and share some manly bro-time with ol' Wade. Hey, my last few romantic comedies were based on worse!"

"Your last few what?"

"Whoops, am I mixing me up with Ryan Reynolds again?" Wade wiggled his elbow some more. "Bet you wouldn't mind if it was Mr Reynolds you were all mixed up with right now, huh, Nate? I mean, who would?"

A faint grunt was the only response.

"Hey, if that doesn't pan out, I bet we could make this work for us! By our powers combined, we would be Cable-Pool, the Merc with Two Mouths! If Matt Damon and the Farrellys could make it work for them, why not us?"

There was a short, significant pause. "That film constitutes an example of success to your mind?"

"No appreciation for the classics either, I see." There was a brief break in conversation as Wade found himself momentarily captivated by an infomercial demonstration of just how hard it could become to cut bread with only an ordinary bread-knife in your kitchen. Cutting edge journalism really didn't get much better than this.

"Wade," said Nate, a little strained, "What are you doing?"

"Watching TV, if that's not a little philosophically complex for you."

"Of course," said Nate. "Alright. What are you doing with your hand? Your right hand, if I need to be specific."

"Having a bit of a fiddle? Whaaaat, nudity in front of the staff's kosher in Askani-land, but a bit of a wank in front of the telly with your buds is crossing the line?"

"It wouldn't be, no," said Nate, voice edging into 'very distinctly strained', "but that depends on who, exactly, you're... fiddling with."

Oh. Oh. Whoops. Okay. "In my defence, that is a mistake anyone could have made under the circumstances."

The skin at Wade's neck stretched uncomfortably as Nate craned his head around to stare at him. "Is this your usual excuse when you get caught fondling another man's privates?"

"Well, normally if I've got my hands on another guy's bits, they're not gonna be attached to the guy much longer, so. Not that you need to worry about that. And they are attached to me right now, technically."

"One would still imagine," said Nate, "you'd notice the difference."

"Yeah, weird, huh?" Wade went in for one more surreptitious grope. "Nope, that's definitely doing something... maybe we've got some nerves crossed somewhere?"

"More likely there's some psychosomatic effect in play," Nate countered, dryly.

But for the television, there was silence again for a moment as Wade experimented a little with his reach.

"Wade."

"Yes?"

"Do you mind? That's still me you're fondling."

"Well it ain't like I an reach me right now, so. Hey, can you reach me?"

"I don't think I have the angle for it. Which is not the point."

"I can't reach much else from either from here. Besides, it's right there."

"Wade."

"Don't try and tell me you're not liking it. 'Cause I gotta tell you, Nate, that's one hell of a pistol in your pocket otherwise."

"Your, um. Elbow," said Nate, whose reflection in the window was beginning to look slightly flushed. "May be resting on my prostate."

Ooh, really? Now didn't that shine a rosy new light on a few little things. "Ooh, is it?" Wade wiggled his elbow a little more.

Nate groaned, and twitched under Wade's fingers. Score! "Are you sure you can't reach me?"

"Quite," said Nate. "Though... hm. My arm might be not be so far from... Let's see."

Sensation whipped through Wade's nethers like a hollow-point bullet on a mission. A happy-making mission. Look, see if you can metaphor worth a damn with an arm up your happy place. "Whoa. Do that some more! Do that some more and I swear to Zeus-God-of-Whores I will elbow you in the prostate until you come through your nose!"

"You do know how to sweet talk a man," said Nate, but he also did the thing again, so Wade had no complaints.

Several – well, alright, at least a couple – of very sticky minutes later, Wade was very happy to declare this the best Bodysliding accident of his career.

"So, Nate," he said aloud. "How much longer did you say it was gonna be before we could make like-"

"Probably about another half an hour," Nate managed, despite a certain amount of panting.

"Looks like you don't do hypothetical questions so well either. Hey, here's another good one: how's about we test how much of my healing factor you've got in your system already by checking on your recovery time." Wade stuck his hand back down Nate's pants.

He was pleased to report Nate passed the test with flying colours, even if that did mean conjoined time was not long thereafter sadly brought to its end.