Wade screeched as he tore around another corner of hallway, wheels sliding sideways as he went speeds a wheelchair was never meant to travel. And barely stopped before he accidentally plowed into the two teenagers coming down the hall from the other direction.
Yukio giggled while Soni rolled her eyes. "I don't think the Professor would be happy if you broke his chair..." the typically bored sounding young woman commented.
Wade ignored her in favor of staring at the oriental girl. "I've never seen her before, but Soni seems to know her. Plot development? Possible romance? What's going on?!" he rambled at the nearby security camera.
"Yukio is a member of the school. I came to help them pack up for the move to the compound and we're dating now..." Soni said blandly, shaking her head minutely at Yukio, who was looking around curiously, trying to figure out who Wade was talking to.
"I'm Yukio." The other girl gave a tiny bow to Wade.
"It is a pleasure to meet you. M'lady!" Wade said with a flourish, bending at the waist, taking her hand and kissing it.
Yukio's giggle was cut short as the alarms to call the X-Men blared.
Hearing the alarm, Colossus wasted no time in heading towards Wade, Soni and Yukio. "We are needed," he declared. "I will explain on the way there." He looked at his brother and the wheelchair Wade was in. "I hope you have not damaged that."
Wade hopped up and made to follow Colossus. "Nothing a little spit and polish won’t take care of." He grinned at his brother.
Colossus shook his head. "I will allow you to explain to him," he commented, leading the way onto the plane.
"Maybe he can just read my mind? That's easier than explaining...." Wade settled into a seat.
Colossus sat next to Wade, on the seat specially designed for his build. "If he doesn't, I am certain you can use some encouragement to tell him."
Wade looked at Colossus and shook his head with wide eyes.
"What are we going to do?" Yukio asked curiously.
Colossus began to explain to them just what they were doing and where they were going.
Things had gone to plan, up to and until the moment Wade realized that the creeps running the 'home' were abusing the children. He hadn't meant to react. It was instinct. Unfortunately, since his instincts had always leaned toward death and mayhem, it wasn't until the SWAT team called in to assist had put the collar on him and he immediately began to feel sick that he came to his senses and realized he'd murdered the scum in front of the police force and the evening news. He couldn't face his brother, not wanting to see the shame and disappointment in Colossus's eyes.
Colossus tried to stop Wade from being taken away. The collar around his brother's neck had weakened Wade; made it possible for the cancer to take hold once more. But even with Soni and Yukio, he couldn't stop the authorities from taking Wade to the ice box. He did manage to promise his brother that he'd get Wade out before the man was dragged away, though.
Wade had been put into a cell with Russell. He'd been up front with the kid. The collar taking his abilities left him in bad shape, unable to defend himself, let alone the kid. He'd encouraged the kid to become friends with other inmates... someone who could actually help him.
Russell really didn't know what to do. He was talking a big game, but the two of them had already been beaten up once; and while he pretended to be fine with the bruises, he was really just scared...deep down, where he didn't think anyone could see. And the only person he knew didn't seem to want to know him at all.
Ajax had been surprised to see the one who'd put him behind bars, in the same lock-up as him. He'd viewed it as opportunity for payback; and had taken amusement from watching the other inmates harass and torment his once enemy. He soon tired of watching, though, and began looking for his own chance to make Wade Wilson rue his life. Until he realized... Wade Wilson was attempting to protect a kid. Granted, he was going about it in a really shitty way, especially since the kid didn't understand, but still. Trying to protect the kid would at least earn him a reprieve from Ajax, if not everyone else.
And then he watched as Russell made friends with Jaugernaut and realized... the kid was going to get himself killed. And then someone was actually there, trying to kill the kid, and the whole place was in chaos. He saw Wilson trying to protect the kid, but even though the collar was removed, there were too many obstacles for him to get through. Ajax decided he'd protect the kid. Succeed where Deadpool had failed. Motioning toward Angel, he moved to follow and help the kid.
Wade saw the kid leaving and relaxed. Then he saw his past enemy and panicked again. This was turning out to be a complete clusterfuck. He wished his family was able to help.
Angel, mostly keeping to herself apart from when she was with Ajax, didn't waste any time in following her former leader. She might not have her powers still, due to the collar, but it didn't mean she couldn't still fight.
When it was all said and done, Wade had a new friend/sister in Domino; his family had come to help (despite his screw up); his former enemies Ajax and Angel were helping him try and change the kid's life direction; and Cable had agreed that he wouldn't kill Russell if Wade was able to stop the kid from becoming a killer. He wasn't entirely clear on what happened, but he knew Cable had saved his life and got stuck in his past because of it. He also knew Colossus was unhappy about something, but damned if he could figure out what. Well...maybe he could figure out what. He just wasn't clear on the why.
The whole gang, including Russell, Cable, Ajax and Angel, had returned to the mansion to finish up packing for the school to move to the compound. Wade took a moment to locate Colossus in a corner of the house when no one was around. "Hey, big guy..." he said hesitantly. He couldn't help feeling like he was in trouble, even if he didn't know why.
Colossus was very carefully packing away some books when Wade approached. He set down the pile he was holding and then turned to his brother. "Wade." His voice was calm, if more quiet than usual.
Wade was unusually at a loss for words. He bit his lip and, looking into Colossus' face, tried to figure out what to say. "I... I'd apologize, but since I'm stupid and can't figure out what I did wrong that has made you so sad...." He grimaced, then swallowed and let his gaze fall to the floor.
"Really, Wade?" Colossus reached out and placed a giant hand on his brother's shoulder, squeezing gently. "You truly have no idea why I'd be unhappy with your behaviour and getting yourself arrested?"
Wade bit his lip and glanced up. "I... I was arrested because I killed someone. You don't want me to kill anymore. Not if it isn't absolutely unavoidable. This was avoidable if I hadn't let my emotions take over?" He winced.
"Getting yourself arrested and imprisoned without your abilities...victim to the cancer that ravaged your body...wasn’t unavoidable, brother," Colossus said seriously, before pulling Wade into a tight embrace.
"Oh..." Wade's voice went quiet, but then he wrapped his arms around his brother and held on just as tightly. "I'm sorry I worried... scared... you. If I'd have thought first, it wouldn't have happened... " His voice was soft and apologetic. "How can I make it better? Make it right?" He suspected he knew, but he wanted to hear his brother say it, just in case he was wrong again.
"I want to make sure you never do anything so reckless and dangerous again," Colossus replied. "So, I am going to punish you for nearly taking yourself away from me. I am going to spank you."
"Yeah... thought you might. I deserve it..." Wade admitted sadly. He hated punishment spankings. The pain was the same, but the feels hurt so much more!
Colossus kept his arms tightly around Wade as he led his brother to what used to be his room. The bed had yet to be dismantled and Colossus took a seat, draping Wade across his lap before baring him.
Wade immediately began crying, but it wasn't the caterwauling, attention grabbing wails he normally exhibited. It was silent and hesitant, as if he felt he didn't deserve to let himself cry. "I'm sorry, Big Guy..." he whispered contritely.
"I know, brother." Colossus rubbed Wade's back a moment or two and then lifted his hand, bringing it down in a firm swat that he then repeated; always careful with his strength while handling his brother.
The sting was predictable, as was the ache that quickly grew with each swat. Wade's tears continued to fall and it didn’t take long for him to begin squirming. The sting didn't feel good when he knew it was because he'd hurt his brother.
Colossus tightened his hold on Wade, covering every inch of his brother's backside in the burning swats. "You could have taken yourself away from me," he scolded.
"I didn' mean to!" he couldn't help but blurt, needing Colossus to know it hadn't been deliberate. "I just acted. Know it was wrong 'n I'm so sorry... but I didn’ mean to!" His crying became a bit more vocal as it increased in intensity.
"I know you intended to do the right thing, but you nearly cost me my brother. And I will not allow that." Colossus began to swat a bit harder and faster, wrapping his arm firmly around Wade's waist.
"You won't let me take myself from you... even by accident..." Wade said in acknowledgment, before he completely lost his ability to hold still and began to squirm with abandon, counting on Colossus' firm grip to keep him safely in place. He also began sobbing, the knowledge that he was loved and needed so much making it impossible not to react.
"I need you, Wade," Colossus stated. "I need you alive. I need my brother."
"I need you too, Big Guy... and I really am sorry!" Wade sobbed, before letting himself go limp over his brother's knee.
Bringing the spanking to a stop, Colossus gathered Wade into his arms, hugging his brother tightly on his lap.
Wade snuggled close and tight to his brother, nuzzling into Colossus' chest. "I'm sorry... love you... don’t wanna hurt you... don’t wanna leave you...."
"I don't want to lose you, Wade." Colossus tightened his embrace around his brother. "I can't lose you, my brother."
"I'll do better... think before I do stuff, so you won't lose me. Can't always count on Cable to go back in time to save me and I really don’t wanna leave you..." Wade whispered.
"Good." Colossus cuddled Wade, snuggling his brother. "I forgive you."
At the words of forgiveness. Wade was finally able to relax completely and let his tears stop. "I love you, Big Guy," he whispered, once he was finally calm and just snuggling close.
"I love you, Wade," Colossus responded. "I'm very glad you're safe."
"Thanks to you..." Wade smiled up at his brother. He continued to cuddle a few more moments before saying, "Cable and Ajax and Angel have nowhere to go... and Ajax and Angel are fugitives like Rusty and me...."
Colossus nodded. "The addition to the home means there would be enough space for them to stay at the compound."
Wade nodded. "Since the school is being moved there till it's safe for the kids to be back here...I noticed you and Cable talking. He going to be family?" Wade hadn't failed to notice how quickly family units formed with people living in the compound.
"I believe he's leaning in that direction," Colossus replied honestly.
"Yeah. He was law... or close to it anyway. Think it bothers him that Rusty, me, Ajax and Angel are loose? I mean, should I give him space?" Wade asked.
"I'm not sure he knows what to think," Colossus said. "We've had time to get used to all of this. I don't think pulling back is right, though. He hides it, but he cares. If he didn't, he wouldn't have given up trying to get home to save you."
"Yeah... so guess I just be my normal self and eventually, he'll be dragged into the family." Wade grinned.
Colossus smiled. "Perhaps you will answer to him as well as to me," he commented.
"Somehow, that seems very possible..." Wade snorted.
"When you are ready, we can join the others," Colossus said. "But until then, I will continue to hold and cuddle you."
"Okay..." Wade snuggled closer.
Ajax had an odd look on his face as he walked back into the room where Soni, Yukio, Vanessa, Domino, Angel, Russell and Cable had congregated for lunch. There were only a few rooms left to pack before they could take everything to the compound and begin unpacking, settling everyone into their new home.
"You heard something..." Soni said knowingly
"Yeah. But. It can't have been what I thought it was... could it?" Ajax looked at Vanessa.
Vanessa reached for a plate of food, even as she asked, "It wouldn't happen to have been a spanking, would it? Thanks to Wade, virtually everyone knows just how Colossus handles him."
Cable raised his eyebrows, but all he muttered was, "Good to know someone's keeping him in line."
"You mean... it was what it sounded like?" Ajax was incredulous.
Vanessa shrugged. "Stick around long enough and you'll kind of get used to it."
Ajax blinked. "It happens a lot?!"
"Enough times that I doubt, very much, anyone is surprised by it for long," Vanessa commented. "Mostly thanks to Wade. He's not exactly subtle."
Russell was beginning to look somewhat worried. "That happens to everyone?"
"Everyone, with an authority figure, who can't seem to keep from breaking the family rule. And since everyone has at least one person they answer to...." Soni shrugged. It wasn't like she habitually took chances with her life, so she didn't tend to worry about it.
Ajax relaxed slightly. "And those without an authority figure?"
Vanessa snorted softly. "Eventually, everyone gets adopted or adopts, sooner or later. So long as they stick around."
"Hmm." Cable had a thoughtful look on his face. "Can't really say I think it's a bad idea."
Ajax turned surprised eyes on the older man. "How do you figure? I mean... yeah. Russell needs someone, as he's still a kid. Yukio and Soni likely do as well, at least till they're legal. But Wade, despite his behavior, is adult. What she's describing sounds like adults being adopted...." He glanced toward Vanessa for confirmation.
Vanessa nodded. "They do. Everyone's part of a big family."
"No one's lonely." Angel's comment was almost to herself. "Must be nice."
Ajax turned to face Angel. "We aren't alone...."
"Not right now," Angel agreed.
"It seems you don't need to be anymore," Cable commented.
"Yeah... maybe... " Ajax said hesitantly. He didn't know who'd want to adopt him anyway. And he didn't envision himself adopting.
"It'll be good if you stick around. Looks like I'll be staying here a while too." Cable's comment was really directed to all of the newcomers; at least those who hadn't already found a place.
"Well. Unless we find a way to remain hidden from the authorities... " Ajax sighed. "We're all wanted...."
Cable nodded. "Far as I'm concerned? You're welcome to stick with me."
"Really?" Ajax eyed Cable dubiously. "Aren’t you the law in your time? I'm as far from a good guy as you can get; attempting to save the kid was an anomaly. Years of being locked up without my abilities didn't change anything...."
Cable shrugged. "I'm not in my time. And maybe one good deed doesn't make up for all the bad ones, but it means you're not beyond hope."
"You say that now. First time I do something not quite legal and..." Ajax paused, because he didn't know exactly what Cable would do... he just knew the man wouldn't like it if he did something illegal.
Cable looked slowly round at the others and then said, "Seems to me there's a way of dealing with bad behaviour already working."
Ajax's mouth dropped open wordlessly. There were no words to say. It was obvious Cable was serious.
Russell looked like he really wasn't sure what to think, but when Vanessa filled his plate with more food, he obediently began to eat.
Cable indicated the free chair between him and Angel. "You gonna sit down and eat, kid?" he asked Ajax.
Ajax quickly sat, then blushed at how quickly he'd obeyed the older man. He was still feeling knocked sideways at discovering adults were spanked in Wade's family, he supposed. It certainly wasn’t because he felt drawn to Cable or what he offered... or that he didn't want to find out if the older man would spank him for any reason.
Cable gently squeezed Ajax's shoulder as the younger man sat down. "Good," he murmured, so that only Ajax would hear him.
Ajax gave Cable a crooked grin at the words, relaxing as he realized his actions had made the older man happy... and he liked making the older man happy. He glanced at Angel. "You want to stay with them? Even with...?" He made a slight swatting motion with his hand.
"They all seem happy," Angel commented. "Even with that." She didn't believe they'd never be in trouble; but maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
"I'd like both of you to stay," Cable said, his voice low but still serious.
"Yeah ... so would I!" Wade said, having walked in just in time to hear Cable.
Ajax sighed. "I can't say the offer isn't tempting. It's probably the safest place we could be..." He paused. "If you like the idea, then I think we should. Stay." He glanced at Angel.
"This is somewhere you'll belong." Cable glanced at the other family members and made the decision he'd been leaning towards since meeting them. "With me," he added.
"That would be nice," Angel said softly.
Ajax slanted his head. "Like them?" he asked, glancing at Wade and Colossus. "Or different?" He meant if Cable would consider him a brother, but given the fact spanking had been brought up, it was just as possible he meant if Cable would punish him in that manner.
"Different. Like full-out adoption," Cable stated outright. "A family, with everything that that entails."
"That... that gives us even more protection... " Ajax glanced at Angel. "What do you think?" He was inclined to agree but wanted her to have a voice in the final decision.
"There's only been us for as long as I can remember," Angel said quietly. "I'd like to have a family."
Ajax nodded. "Me too, sis..." He smiled at her, before looking at Cable. "So... we get to call you Dad?"
Cable smiled. "I think that's the general idea," he commented.
"Oh yay!" Wade clapped his hands and bounced in place. "I love watching new families form! Speaking of which..." He glanced at Vanessa, then slanted his head toward Russell. "What do you think, Sweet Pea?"
"I thought we just needed to make it official." Vanessa smiled at Wade.
Russell looked at them both, as if he wasn't sure he understood. "You're talking about adopting me?"
"Well, yeah..." Wade said, suddenly looking unsure of himself. Maybe Russell didn't want to be part of his family. "A hero needs his right-hand man, after all.... and... I find myself caring 'bout you, kid. Love you, even. If you want, I... I'd like to make you ours... officially...."
"No one ever wanted me before," Russell said quietly. "I... want it. To be part of your family," he admitted.
Wade's grin was huge. "Great! I'll just have cousin Tony's lawyers get the appropriate documents for us to sign when we call them to help with our fugitive status issues!"
"That sounds like it's not the first time something like that's happened," Angel said. "If you've got lawyers specifically for that."
Wade just giggled.
Ajax raised an eyebrow, glancing at Vanessa and Colossus, hoping they could explain.
"You are not the only ones to join the family with a somewhat more colourful past," Colossus said.
"Yeah. Cousin Grant? Was HYDRA. And the Winter Soldier will be one of your uncles...." Wade grinned happily.
"Just how many people are there in the family?" Angel asked curiously.
Wade made an odd face and began counting on his fingers. When he ran out of fingers, he grabbed Colossus' hand and began to count on his fingers.
"Enough that an entire floor of the compound is designated the family floor. Another floor was designated for the X-Men and Charles' school... at least till the mansion stops coming under attack," Soni said, eating her food calmly. She was used to Wade's antics by now.
"That's a lot of people, I'm assuming," Cable commented. "I take it there is plenty of room."
Vanessa nodded. "It's underground, which makes it easier to add in new floors."
"Easier to protect, too... another reason Charles decided to move the school there when he was invited to. Between the X-Men and the Avengers... the kiddies are well guarded...." Wade finally sat and dished himself up some dinner. "Soon as we're moved, we're gonna call the teachers and they'll retrieve the students from where they're hiding after the last attack."
Colossus sat next to his brother, reaching out to feed himself as well. "It'll be better for all involved," he stated.
"Think there'll be a place for me there?" Domino finally spoke up, having remained quiet through most of the conversation. "I know luck isn't really a teachable thing, but I'm willing to do anything or work anywhere if teachers aren't needed." She said nothing about joining a family herself. If it was meant to be, her luck would make certain it happened.
Cable looked at her. "I think there's a place for you there...and with the rest of us, if you'd like to be a part of this family," he stated outright.
"You mean being adopted by you?" Domino looked toward Cable. "So... you'd adopt all of us 'cept Rusty, cuz Wade and Vanessa are 'dopting him.... and Vanessa because she's married to Wade?"
Cable looked around at the others and nodded. "Yeah. That sounds about right," he agreed.
Wade's eyes widened. "You know what this means, Big Guy?" He turned toward Colossus. "We have an official head of family!"
"And another person to help keep you out of mischief, Wade," Colossus commented, with a small amount of humour.
"Oh... you say the nicest things!" Wade winked and grinned before shoving a bit of food into his mouth.
Shaking his head with a trace of amusement, Cable resumed eating, glancing around at his newly acquired kids to make sure they were eating as well.
It didn't take long to finish eating and clean up. Soon, they were supervising the loading of boxes and furniture into moving vans; all hired by Tony. Several hours later and the last van was on its way to the compound. All that was left to do was shut off unnecessary utilities and lock up.
Cable stayed close to his newest children. The paperwork had yet to be finalised, but as far as he was concerned, they were his now. It probably should concern him, just how quickly he'd decided they were his, but something about it all just felt right.
"So. I'm guessing we need to fly the X-Men's jet back to the compound. All other vehicles were put on the trucks or taken by their owners..." Wade glanced at Colossus for confirmation.
Colossus nodded. "That is correct," he agreed with his brother.
Soni didn't wait for an invitation. She headed to the jet, Yukio following closely.
"I guess we're off, then..." Wade shrugged, motioning everyone forward.
The others followed quickly behind, each finding a place on the jet.
It was several days later, and they had got everything unpacked and set up for the school. Personal item boxes were left in individual rooms for when their owners returned. The newly formed family had spent time getting to know each other and their new roles.
Wade was getting bored, though. It was clear because he'd taken to harassing and teasing the rest of the family; but in particular, he was doing everything possible to get under Cable's skin.
Ajax was helping his newfound brother with the harassing and teasing because he needed to see how far he could push the older man, but also because it was helping him and Wade mend fences and grow closer.
Domino just shook her head as she watched them plan yet another annoying prank. "Didn't he tell you both to stay inside?" She specifically remembered Cable telling them all to stay inside, even though he hadn't given a reason.
Angel hadn't joined in with her brothers, though she also hadn't made any attempt to stop either of them with their pranks. At Domino's words, she glanced up from the book she was reading. "Could we have some peace for five minutes?"
Wade sighed. "Okay. You'll get five minutes. I think Vanessa was about to banish me to the couch in the family room if we bothered her again anyway...." He wandered down the hall, Ajax trailing.
"We're really going outside? Outright disobedience?" Ajax asked, as Wade made his way to the exit.
"Do you really want to stay inside?" Wade asked rhetorically.
Ajax shrugged and followed.
A few seconds after they left, Veronica was informing Cable that they'd left and asking what she should do, since their presence had the potential to mess up the rookies' field test.
Cable sighed at the response. "I'll go and retrieve them," he informed the AI. "If you can, let the others know they're there." He headed outside the compound, tracking his sons.
"I have done so sir. Their instructors say they are taking a fifteen-minute break, so if you can retrieve them before it ends...." the AI responded.
"Thank you," Cable responded, continuing to head in the direction of Wade and Ajax.
"And these are the tree houses... because Kara and Bobbi seem enamored of trees..." Wade showed Ajax the spot.
"Dad's coming..." Ajax mumbled, noting Cable coming their way.
Cable didn't speak until he was close enough to his sons that he could do so without raising his voice. "I told you not to come outside."
"Inside was boooooring!" Wade sing-songed.
Ajax just shrugged, not quite meeting Cable's gaze. He wasn't about to say he did it because he was told not to.
"As I'm about to punish you both, I doubt you'll be bored for long," Cable stated, reaching out to grasp both of them.
Wade's eyes widened. Maybe he should have expected this, but he'd thought it would take a little more to reach the point of punishment. "But... we only did one thing you told us not to!" he whined.
Again, Ajax didn't say anything. He'd pushed to get a response. It actually made him feel good to know Cable would take charge and not let him push.
"It doesn't matter if you do one thing or ten things that I've told you not to," Cable replied. "Disobedience will get you punished." He began to lead them both back into the compound.
"So... no disobeying no matter what... got it!" Wade sounded entirely, too happy about being punished.
Ajax snorted. "Good to know the limits..." he mumbled.
Cable kept a tight hold of both of them as he led them to his room. Closing the door, he turned to face his sons. "I don't think I need to go into anymore detail about just what you did that was wrong."
For the first time since Cable caught up to him, Wade looked worried. Cable seemed really upset at them. "Uh... we didn't cause problems going out, did we?" He bit his lip.
Ajax frowned, looking worried himself. "Kinda late for us to wonder that..." he said uncertainly.
"There was training going on," Cable explained. "I didn't tell you both about it because I didn't think I needed to explain why I was telling you not to do something."
Both younger men looked sheepish and had the beginnings of shame forming on their faces.
"I... uh... you shouldn't have needed to..." Ajax agreed reluctantly.
Resting his hands, mechanical and flesh, on their shoulders, Cable said gently, "I understand you didn't mean any harm, but if you're bored, there are better ways to handle that."
"Yeah. I know you're right. I just wanted to see what you'd do..." Wade admitted.
Ajax scratched his ear and blushed. "Me too...."
Cable shook his head and sighed. "Well, you're both about to get a demonstration of that."
"I... I don't suppose you could let us off with a warning?" Ajax asked nervously. Wade seemed okay with the idea that he'd be punished, which wasn't surprising, considering he had been okay with Colossus punishing him where everyone could hear. Ajax hadn't been accountable to anyone else for years, though and knowing he was about to be was nerve wracking.
"You already knew what was going to happen," Cable replied. He gently squeezed Ajax's shoulder and then walked Wade over to one of the corners. "Stand here until I tell you otherwise."
"Yeah. Okay, daaaaaddy..." Wade grinned cheekily and faced the corner.
He was entirely, too happy about being in trouble, Ajax decided. He swallowed hard, leaning toward Cable.
Cable led Ajax towards the bed and took a seat, drawing his son across his lap and securing Ajax in place with his mechanical arm wrapped around his waist. He then proceeded to bare Ajax.
"...Crap... no one said it'd be bare!" Ajax whimpered in nearly a whisper, turning red. He didn't fight, though, moving however his father directed. He'd all but asked for this, after all.
Cable rubbed his back gently in response for a moment or two and then lifted his hand, bringing it down in a firm swat, and then delivered a matching smack.
Ajax swallowed a yelp, surprised how the sharp sting nearly immediately caused his eyes to begin watering. "I shouldn't have pushed..." he admitted, regretting too late.
"You shouldn't have," Cable agreed, settling into a pattern of swats down to his son's thighs before starting over from the top. "I hope that, next time you're tempted to push, you'll remember this."
"Yes, sir... I will..." Ajax hissed out, beginning to squirm as the burn increased.
Completing the second circuit, Cable began a third, going a fraction harder and faster. "Even if you do push me again, it won't make a difference," he promised. "I won't budge."
"I... I believe you..." Ajax whimpered, tears sliding down his face. He squirmed a bit more, then gave up. His father's grip was too strong. Going limp, he just accepted the punishment. He'd asked for it. He wouldn't try and get away any more.
Cable stopped spanking and wasted no time in gathering his son into his arms, on his lap, hugging Ajax close and tight to himself.
Ajax tensed slightly, not having expected comfort after. "Th... that's it?" He was confused. He'd deliberately disobeyed a direct order for no other reason than to force Cable to act. Shouldn't it be more painful?
"It's not about causing you pain, kid, but giving you consequences. Letting you know that, no matter what happens, I'm not going to give up on you or let you go." Cable tightened his embrace.
"So... you just wanted to make sure I knew you meant what you said, and you'd follow through?" Ajax asked, pressing closer despite his initial reservations.
"You said you were pushing to see what I'd do," Cable pointed out.
Ajax blushed and slumped, nodding. "Yessir. I was... guess now I know... " His tone was sheepish.
Cable stroked his fingers through Ajax's hair. "And I hope you also know that I won't stop acting. Or decide things are too much and leave."
Ajax looked up. "I do know..." He smiled crookedly.
"Good." Cable held his son for a bit longer before he said softly, "Go and take your brother's place in the corner."
"Yessir..." Ajax impulsively hugged his father before standing and making sure his clothing was straightened. He then moved to where Wade stood. As soon as Wade stepped back, he took his place.
Wade slowly turned and walked to Cable. "All things considered," he said, "I could have gotten your attention and tested your resolve in a better way that wouldn't have caused problems for other people...." He sighed.
Cable nodded. "You could have avoided getting your brother into trouble," he agreed, reaching out to draw Wade across his lap, securing his son with an arm wrapped around his waist.
"It didn't really take much arm pulling, to be fair... but you're right, of course..." Wade sighed again.
"I'll prove it to you, too, as many times as I have to." Cable rubbed Wade's back a moment or two before baring him and bringing his hand down in a firm swat that he then repeated.
"You won't have to prove it more than once... not to say I won't get onto trouble, but it won't be cuz I need you to prove anything..." Wade rambled, then yelped at the swat.
"I'm glad to hear that." Cable settled into a pattern of swats, going down to Wade's thighs before starting over from the top, the same way he had with Ajax.
"You are?" Wade yelped again, not caring in the least that Ajax could hear his reactions. " I just admitted I'd prolly get in trouble again...."
"I'm glad that you don't need me to prove myself to you," Cable said, starting a third circuit of swats and going a fraction harder and faster. "That you're prepared to trust me."
"Course I trust you! You used your only chance to go home to save my life!" Wade's yelp sounded more like a choked off sob. By this point, he was squirming like a worm on a hook. He wasn't crying; but that's because he'd actually wanted this response from Cable. He'd wanted to see if his brother was right and he'd found someone else who'd actually care about what he did enough to step in. He was relieved and happy to find out he had; too happy to cry from pain.
"That doesn't mean you trust me enough to be your dad and to take you in hand when necessary," Cable pointed out, his grip on Wade still firm and secure.
"True... I do. But... that's more cuz of our connection than anything. You feel it, don’t you?" Wade asked, hissing as the sting became strong enough to bring tears to his eyes.
"Why do you think I'm here? Why I stayed?" Cable asked outright.
"I... I hoped it wasn't my imagination. I mean... I talk to peeps no one else can see... I could have been imagining a connection..." Wade whimpered, knowing Cable actually cared causing him to begin crying where the spanking hadn't.
"You weren't imagining it, son." Cable brought the spanking to a stop and wasted no time gathering Wade into his arms, hugging him tightly.
"That makes me feel good, dad..." Wade snuggled close. "I'm glad you're here now..." he whispered.
"Me too." Cable hugged Wade tightly to himself.
Wade continued to snuggle until he was able to control his tears. Finally, calm, he asked, "We didn't cause any bad problems, did we?"
"No. Veronica passed it on to the others and they took a break." Cable situated Wade carefully before he called out to Ajax, "You can come back over and cuddle, son."
Wade hitched his clothing back into place when he noticed Ajax blushing.
Ajax came over and let Cable position him. "We're really family...."
Cable pulled Ajax onto his lap as well, cuddling both of his sons. "That's right. And I'll continue showing you both that."
"You... you won't regret staying here, I hope..." Wade looked down. "You saved my life, but now you can't see your family...."
"That's not true." Cable touched Wade's cheek. "I have family right here."
"You aren't upset?" Wade looked up, searching his father's face.
"It was my decision," Cable replied. "You're still alive. That's what's important."
Wade threw his arms around Cable in a tight hug. "Maybe we'll find a way to fix the device. You can travel back and forth...." He left unsaid that if they couldn't, Wade would make sure to check up on his kid sister as soon as she was born. Until Cable could safely do so without running into his future self.
"I know they're alive. That's enough for now." Cable hugged Wade as tightly in return.
"That's the biggest thing, really. We can find a solution for everything else..." Ajax suggested.
Cable nodded. "And in the meantime, I have my sons and daughters here to take care of."
Ajax nodded. "Wanna go meet up with the rest of your kids, dad?"
Wade giggled. "You've gotta be close to tying, if not outright passing, Uncle Phil for amount of kids you have."
"It's not a competition." Cable was smiling, though, as he helped his sons to stand before getting up himself.
"Maybe not, but everyone is sure to be surprised..." Wade grinned again as he and Ajax followed their father out into the main area.
"I'm sure they will be." Checking with the AIs, Cable headed towards where the rest of his family was.
"Sorry to interrupt, but teachers are beginning to arrive with students. Shall I direct them to the school level?" Friday asked the group, not certain who was in charge yet.
"I'm sure that would be best," Cable answered. "Let them know that, if they need any help, we'll be there."
"Of course, sir." The AI sounded relieved that someone had taken charge.
Wade glanced around at the rest of the family. "Maybe until they all get settled in more firmly, we can have them join the family meals. Tables are big enough, since everyone else is still on vacation...."
"Sounds good to me... more the merrier and all that..." Domino shrugged, glancing toward Cable uncertainly. Only reason she hadn't joined her two brothers, despite her reminding them they’d been told not to go out, was her luck had caused her to get caught up in a conversation with Colossus and they'd left without her.
Cable nodded. "We can go and meet them. Help them with anything they need and make the offer."
Colossus stood with a nod. "I am ready to help," he declared.
"Let's go introduce ourselves, then..." Ajax smiled.
Cable waited for the rest of his children to be ready and then led them to meet the students and teachers from the school.
Domino found herself moving closer to Cable when she met everyone. The children were one thing, but meeting X-Men like Beast, Orora, Cyclops, or Jean Gray? She'd been a fangirl of theirs ever since she'd developed her unusual powers. The only reason she hadn't been nervous around Colossus was because she'd met him while trying to save Russell... by the time things had calmed down enough for her to pay attention to the fact he was Colossus, he was her brother.
Cable wrapped his arm around Domino's shoulders automatically, but there was quite an odd look on his face, especially as he met Scott and Jean. Almost, but not quite, one of disbelief. After all, there was no mistaking who they were.
Scott noticed the odd look and glanced toward Jean, wondering if she picked up any stray thoughts from the man that would indicate why he was looking at them oddly. Jean hadn't noticed, as one of the younger students had distracted her with an issue. Scott looked at Colossus questioningly.
Colossus glanced at his father, a slightly concerned look on his face, and moved a bit closer to Cable. "Are you all right, Dad?" he asked.
"I'm fine." The response was given automatically; his thoughts were less easy to control. I should have prepared better to see my parents....
Jean may have been paying too much attention to her student to notice the look on Cable's face, but it was impossible for her to miss the stray thought in his head, since it was almost screaming from him and he hadn't been able to control it. Her eyes widened, and she quickly looked at him, her mouth dropping open.
Scott noticed her reaction, becoming worried and moving closer. "Jean?"
"Y... you're from the future..." Jean said quietly. It wasn't a question.
Cable nodded. It wasn't as if it was a secret; and he knew that she would have heard the thought from his mind. He hadn't been able to stop it. "Yeah. I'm from the future," he answered.
Jean nodded, as if she had expected him to confirm her words and not argue them. "...And we're...?" She glanced at Scott, taking his hand, while moving her other hand up to cover her heart, indicating she was talking of Scott and herself. She didn't finish the words, though, in case Cable hadn't wanted everyone to know.
Scott just looked between Jean and Cable in confusion. "We're what?" he asked, the confusion in his tone as clear as the look on his face.
"My parents." Cable didn't see the need to sugarcoat it; but he kept his voice low, not wanting to broadcast the fact to everyone who was around.
Scott inhaled sharply at that, while Jean let out the breath she'd been holding. "Then I'm guessing you need to be careful what you talk to us about or tell us..." She smiled faintly.
Cable nodded. "But I'd like to talk to you both. Just generally." He kept his thoughts firmly under control; ironically, a trick he'd been taught by his own mother.
Jean smiled a bit more obviously when she realized he was keeping her out of his thoughts; and knew that she'd likely been the one to teach him how. "I'd like that too, I think."
"I am sorry for interrupting." Friday spoke up, drawing everyone's attention again. "But Master Stark's private jet has returned from retrieving Dr. Pym and his family. They may need some assistance, as there's one passenger who needs to be put into cryo-stasis as soon as possible...."
Wade blinked. "We have a cryo-machine?"
"Yes, Master Wade. It is in the SHIELD medical area; although I believe they wish to move it to the family medical area. That is likely what they need your assistance with. Moving the machine," Friday responded.
Cable took a deep breath. "We can talk more later." He addressed all of his family along with Scott and Jean. "In the meantime, perhaps only a few of us should go and help with the machine, so as not to overwhelm the newcomers."
"If we're trying to avoid overwhelming them, then I probably should head to my room until they've settled in..." Wade shrugged with a grin. He knew his brand of insanity tended to confuse people at the best of times.
Soni nodded. "Yeah. I can meet them once they're settled...."
"On the off chance they know who I am, it's probably better that I get introduced when they aren't worried about someone else..." Ajax blushed.
Domino glanced at the three of her siblings who had said they were going to their room, then looked at Cable. "I think maybe I could actually be useful to them... if that's okay, Dad? Being as I carry my luck with me, maybe being there when they get her into the cryo-thingy will make things smoother?"
Cable nodded. "That would probably be a good idea," he agreed with Domino. "No one needs to go to their room, but we can at least show them where they can get settled in and come and meet everyone when things are a bit calmer." He waited for an acknowledgement and then wrapped an arm around Domino's waist to guide her out of the area.
"You should continue to help the kids settle into the dorms... I think I'll go meet the newcomers and see if they need my help with anything..." Jean said to Scott, quickly leaving with Cable and Domino.
The rest of Cable's family did as suggested heading back to their own floor, so they could begin cooking dinner. With the arrival of the other family, they knew they needed to take a bit more extra time in-order for it to be ready in time.
It hadn't taken long to get Ava put into the cryo-machine and for Hank and the newer members of his family to get settled into their rooms in the compound. Several hours later, those who were able to, were gathering together for a family meal and to meet the people who had been brought into the family.