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I Got a Feeling Like I'm Tired of the Flow

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Two hours after she receives an urgent summons from Wolverine, Betsy walks into X-Force headquarters to find Wade - and it is Wade now, in civilian clothes, the mask nowhere in sight - alone, sprawled in a chair in front of a portrait of the original X-Force.

"If Logan meant to talk me into coming back, I assumed he would do it himself," Betsy says.

"Well, he growled at me, all mangy cur like and you would not believe the breath on that guy, someone get him a breath mint - and said something that to the untrained ear, might have been your name. So here I am," Wade says, still not looking at her.

"At least he didn't send Jean-Philippe," Betsy mutters, leaning against the table.

"Oh he quit too, didn't you get the telegraph? But uh, I do dig this whole thing you're doing here, existential crisis, soul-searching via a sassy attitude and ill advised sex. Very Buffy Season Six."

"What? No, never mind. I don't want to know how you know."

"Frenchie talks in his drunken, passed out sleep. Drools, too," Wade answers anyway, and Betsy huffs, annoyed.

"I gave my reasons for quitting. I have no intention of returning," she says, crossing her arms. "What are you doing here?"

"I thought we went over this already - mangy cur, growled in my face..."

"I meant, what are you even still doing here in the first place, Wade? The X-Force is a mutant organization. You were never a mutant and now you're just a human. And don't give me that crap about the money being good, I know you never cashed those checks."

Her tone is firm, the words meant to cut, because it's all she feels like doing these days. She has tried to regain her calm but all of the meditation in the world has not drowned out the need to scream her rage into the abyss, to rail against the choices she's made and where they have taken her. She is angry, the kind of angry that makes her crave the X-Force and the outlet that it provides her, but she doesn't want to need this team - not anymore.

Betsy is unprepared for Wade turning to face her for the first time. She once thought that seeing underneath the mask would make him less beguiling. She's wrong. Even supposedly cured and looking more handsome than she'd like to admit, he is still one of the most baffling people she's ever met.

"You really don't know?" Wade asks, taking a slurp from one of Logan's beer cans. "Someone didn't read comic books in the noughties. And are we really calling it that? The noughties? Terrible name - "

"Be serious, Wade," Betsy interrupts, before he goes off on one of his rants.

"I am." Wade taps a finger thoughtfully against the table. "We've all lost people, lost ourselves along the way. It's why we're here. It's why we're good at this. You know, Bets, there's a Journey song that's perfect for this moment..."

Sometimes she can't figure out if he does this on purpose, his own peculiar human form of misdirection, a way to get ahead, but then she remembers her brief forays inside his mind, and she can't imagine the serum did anything to help that. Trying to have a straight conversation with Wade is like trying to shoot a fly from a few yards away.

Not impossible but really fucking difficult.

Betsy pushes off from the table. "Tell Logan if he wants to convince me to come back, he's going to need to do better than this. See you around, Wade."

She doesn't admit, as she makes her way back home, that the fact that she came at all is more telling than she fully realizes. She is drawn ever back to the X-Force and everything that it stands for, for all that can be ugly and nasty and dark. The darkness has taken root and the gaping wound where her sorrow should be still festers . Only in a gang of murderers disguised as heroes (or is it, as Wade would say, the other way around?), each one more fucked up than the next and all the better for admitting it, will she feel at home in her own skin once more.

Betsy will find her way back again.

"Yes, you will," Wade says to the empty room.

He uses a knife that he keeps tucked in his boot to open up another can of beer and waves the can in the direction of the portrait in front of him. "Here's to you, buddy."