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I lost my money, shame, and dignity on a bright and cheerful Tuesday morning

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Sometimes strange things happen .


Sometimes stranger things happen.

Sometimes strange and stranger things happen in the exact same moment and snowball into a mountain of fuckedupness that even the bravest of souls wouldn’t touch.

It was a strange thing that put the ‘heroes’ ( and that term is used lightly) of New York in one place. It was a stranger thing still that they all managed to fall into a somewhat peaceful existence with each other.

It spiraled into a mountain of fuckedupness when for some reason, they all decided to stay in that one place for extended periods of time.

It was simple government matters fueling their decision-making process- nothing more nothing less.

A strange thing to top all strange things.

Perhaps the strangest thing of all.

Today, Johnny is thinking of strange things.

Like how he, a nonmutant, ended up in a ‘mutie’ slum.

How things like a mutant slum even existed in this day in age.

How he still hadn’t gotten up the balls to call his sister and maybe work a way out of this mess.

And, the most important strange thing of all… how Wade could sleep upside down like a bat. Feet straight up on the back side of the couch and head on the floor.

A healing factor surely doesn’t negate neck pain.

And judging by the angle of his neck- there will be neck pain.

It’s not the weirdest thing that’s happened in this house- especially where Wade is concerned.

There’s the fact that Wade is in costume all day everyday. The fact that he eats an indescribable amount of Mexican food. The fact that every car he ever gets in takes on a distinct odor that no one can exactly place…. it adds up.

No. Sleeping like a bat isn’t the strangest thing Wade’s done in this house.

Speaking of houses, the ‘house’ Mr. Storm finds himself in hasn’t been changed since the eighties. Like- at all.

The linoleum tile in the kitchen is snagged in odd places- making it hazardous for those members of the household who come in a little inebriated…. which is all of them.

Outside of the kitchen, there is a small entryway, the front door being directly in front of a case of wooden stairs that have seen better days. They also happen to be hazardous for those members of the household who come in a little inebriated… which is still all of them.

Up the jagged stairs, past the hideous floral wallpaper that lines the walls, are three bedrooms.

Three bedrooms sound pretty roomy…

If you happen to have a proper number of people in them.

These bedrooms do not have the proper number of people in them. Not in the slightest.

One of the bedrooms, the one done in shades of heinous purple, is the ‘ladies’ room. It houses three women of varying ages and abilities- none of whom are particularly happy about it.

The room across from the purple room is one in white. Looking much like a ‘safe room’ at some mental hospital. This houses four men. Four grown men.

It was the look of the room and the fuckedupness of Wade himself that lead to him deciding to line the walls with padding. Padding that he refused to say where he got, but that consequently made him two hundred dollars short for his part in the monthly expenses.

Goodbye, internet and cable.

Those bills are so fleeting. Johnny takes a moment of pause to wonder if those bills have been paid this month.

A quick look at his phone and the lacking internet connection tells him that they have not.

Add that on to the fact that the power was also cut.

Which means that he’ll end up in some restaurant trying to charge his phone later. Won’t be the first time- won’t by the last.

Bills are supposed to be Wade’s thing.

Apart from the mercenary gig.. which isn’t going well… he refuses to get a job.

Says it’s against his religion.

So Peter put him in charge of the household items. Like bills.

Johnny and the others regard this as one of Peter’s many fuck ups.

Peter stands firm that Wade needs more responsibility.

Johnny argued that fact when Wade spent the power bill on tequila and Mexican food.

Made for one hell of a night in retrospect.

Peter still insisted on the responsibility thing.

Johnny understands that’s it a personal thing for Peter… but making Wade his little ‘test subject’ for this instilled responsibility is causing Johnny a lot of stress.

Wade is home all of the time and nothing is ever really cleaned or taken care of.

The living room Wade is currently taking up is the only ‘clean’ room of the house. Heh. Clean.

Johnny pauses to think of how the term ‘clean’ means different things to different members of the household.

Domino, for example, prefers for there to be at least no clutter on the floor.

Johnny himself prefers that there be no obvious trash on the counters as well as no clutter on the floor.

Peter is a little lazy in his cleaning habits- usually leaving small amounts of webbing lying about after his ‘stealth’ missions and being a somewhat sloppy eater.

Laura would prefer everything to be almost sterile. Sterile in the medical sense. Having grown up in a facility like she did- Johnny doesn’t find that too surprising.

Wade is a walking, talking, natural disaster. Toilets, kitchens, bedrooms- give him a room and he will destroy it.

Daken would prefer to burn the entire house to the ground in a heap of rubble to ‘cleanse it’. That or… he just wants to see something burn. Living in the slums was never really Daken’s style though. He adjusted to his change of lifestyle very poorly. Which is why must nights you can find him on the brink of overdose passed out in one of the bathtubs. Johnny doubts he’s used his bed in weeks.

Alison is just as bad as Daken, in a worse way. She, being a pop diva, also did not take her shifted environment well. Though she’s been through her share of hard times before- Alison had accepted that she was going to be in a more … secure environment. Her abrupt shifted environment just didn’t set well with her. More so the part where they lost track of the numerous disbanded x-men.

The x-men weren’t the only team to disband. Not by a long shot. 

To settle the disputes of the decade- the caped disputes- the government efficiently shut down over three-fourths of the superhero teams. The community all but disappeared.

Government teams such as The Thunderbolts are still in action. Team members being held in high regards by the public as outstanding individuals that were representing the good will of the government towards the meta community. The audition list was three pages long.

You'd have to put him under extreme distress ( or get him very drunk) to make Johnny admit he auditioned himself.

The laws that killed the heroes hit the teams where they could be hurt- money. Restrictions.

It was a successful end to the several ‘civil wars’ the superhumans raged.

By the end of it- there were four. No one could stand the fact that villains were going unchallenged and the civilians were being injured in this midst of these ‘disagreements’.

Superhuman registration… mutant registration… it didn’t matter anymore.

A solid vote jailed most of the supporters of the schools and such- all legally of course.

Superhuman lawyers couldn't touch these laws with a stick.

The heroes were hit where the law could do the most damage all while staying legal. 


Funding.

Schools closed down right and left.

There are no institutions left to mold the young minds of heroes or mutants.

Even Tony Stark fell on hard times.

Johnny thinks about him sourly. Stark had the good sense to get out of the country.

Using the money he gained from his business that wasn’t affiliated with the Avengers- which wasn’t much- but it was a hell of a lot more than what Johnny and company were left with.

He also begrudgingly notes that Reed and Sue did the same.

Reed using the same route that Tony had.

Of course, they tried to take him with them- but it was a matter of pride then. 

He wasn’t ready to give up his way of life.

So he stayed on the sinking ship.

Bouncing from one doomed team to the next.

…..Until he found himself homeless.

And if there’s one look Johnny Storm cannot rock… it’s homelessness.

Luckily Peter happened to have thought on his feet and scored a place in this dump with Domino and Laura- at that point the only two x-men he could find in the city. He saw Johnny in the street and took him home. Got him a job. Got him clothes. Saved his life, now that Johnny thinks about it.

Johnny did the same thing for Daken- who was shell-shocked, to say the least.

He thought his time as a criminal would not be affected by the laws or lack of superheroes.

He quickly discovered that he was wrong. Very, very wrong.


The villains are now the military’s problem. They’ve come up with ‘unique’ methods of ‘taking care’ of them.

Daken- who had been taking money from his long time “Master” was cut off on all fronts. He couldn’t recover in time. By the time the dust settled, he’d avoided a firing squad and was left with a total of five dollars to his name.

Johnny took him home.

Daken got himself a job- however. Refusing to take any more ‘handouts’.

He won’t say what it is- but it pays more than most people in the house and he’s got a very nice phone out of the deal.

Whatever it is- Johnny notes with a frown- it gives Daken a lot of free time. If there’s one thing you should never give Daken Akihiro- it’s free time.

The only one who could keep their original job (Outside of super heroing) was Alison.

However, mutant discrimination is at an all time high. No one wants to buy songs or attend concerts of a ‘mutie bitch’.

Alison was brought on by Domino… who went back to merc work but is having as much luck with it as Wade is.

Wade, doing the worst of the bunch, is strangely the most optimistic. Johnny blames it on the fact that he’s batshit crazy.

This all brings us to the last room of the house and therefore the last member of the household. The room to the right of the men’s room that houses one occupant. No one outside of this occupant knows what the room looks like. No one outside of it’s occupant is allowed in the room.

Johnny swears he gets his own room because he’s the biggest.

Really it’s because no one wants to fight him for it.

Even Daken refused to take a swing at him- even though he’d beaten him the past.

Johnny’s never really sure how to make heads or tails of Victor.

Victor of the Creed Variety- not the ‘Doom” variety. The latter having been shot at least eight times in the head in rapid succession.

Reed was actually somewhat appalled . Johnny didn’t really know what he ,himself, felt about it- not yet anyway.

To be honest lately- Johnny hasn’t given much thought to anything.

Anything except- that is- how Wade is sleeping in his current position.

The stairs creak, stealing his attention from Wade to whoever’s decided to encroach upon his morning's solitude.

Johnny usually spends the hours between 5 AM and 8 AM by himself, sitting at this ratty, circular table and stripping the green paint off chip by chip.

Alison has repeatedly told him to stop- that the table isn’t the nicest thing, but sadly is one of the few good things they own.

That’s funny.

Nice.

The stairs creak again.

Peter turns up at the bottom of the stairs in a disheveled sort of fashion.

Hair mussed, donning a pair of boxers and a t-shirt., bleary-eyed from sleep.

HIs boxers are actually spiderman boxers- which Johnny finds hilarious. He thinks he looks like an overgrown man child.

Peter observes his surroundings before jerking a thumb to Wade. “Is he breathing?”

Johnny shrugs, aimlessly swiping his finger across the screen of his smartphone.

“Well did you check?”

Johnny looks up for a second before shrugging again.

Peter sighs and pads into the living room, feet slapping the wood floor with an obscene loudness that Johnny’s hung over brain isn’t willing to accept as reasonable.

“Wade,” Peter says.

The man doesn’t respond.

“Get up.”

He nudges him with a bare foot.

Wade twitches.

“Get up!” Peter repeats more urgently.

Wade lets out a snort.

“He’s breathing.” Johnny calls. “Leave him alone.”


Peter shakes his head before coming back into the kitchen. “The powers still out.” He states, motioning around him.

“Yup.” Johnny goes back to his phone.

“And he’s passed out.”

“Yup.”

“And he smells like a brewery.”

Johnny glances up. “Your point?”

Peter pinches the bridge of his nose. “My point is that the asshole used the power money to get wasted again.”

“You put him in charge of the bills.” Johnny says pointedly.

“Because he’s not doing anything else!” Peter sighs in an exasperated manner.

“Then kick him out.” Johnny says with a shrug.

Peter walks over to the stove. “Yea- that’ll work.” He mashes the buttons before groaning.

“Electric stove.” Johnny calls, looking back down at his phone.

“Thanks, Storm.” Peter growls.

“Guess that means I’m cooking?” Johnny muses.

“Well… it’s winter.” Peter runs his fingers through his hair. “We have no heat, electricity, or hot water….”

Johnny raises an eyebrow.

“You’re a literal torch.” Peter groans. “Don’t go all Diva on me. Ali has more than covered that department.”

“You’re calling me a diva?” Johnny chuckles.

“Just heat the damn house, Johnny.” Peter groans. “It’s your natural ability. Use it for something other than setting the neighbors trash on fire.”

“Yea sure- that only means that I”ll be exerting energy basically running the household until the power comes back on.”

As for the trash- if they didn’t want burning garbage, they’d stop leaving it in front of the house.

Peter snorts. “Maybe Ali will have you heat her bath again.”

Johnny takes a moment to think of the possibilities that might bring.

It would definitely make the whole thing worth it.

“Maybe…” Johnny looks back up. “Got a shoot today? Or are you doing more illegal ‘Spidey’ work?”

“Shoot,” Peter says. “Spidey work is kinda in a slump.”

Johnny nods. “That’s why I quit trying.”

It’s a sore spot between the two friends. 

Johnny not using his powers for the better good.

“Whens the last time you flew, Johnny?”

Johnny has to think about it.

“Ah…”

“When?” Peter presses.

“That time the cop in the helicopter tried to clip me.” Johnny says testily.

Peter sighs. “It doesn’t mean you should quit trying.”

“Agree to disagree.” Johnny snorts.

The two are silent for a few moments before the quiet is interrupted by someone stomping down the stairs.

“Wade!”

“Dom is up.” Johnny goes back to his screen while Peter moves further into the kitchen to escape the oncoming rage storm.

Wade groans.

Neena appears at the bottom of the stairs wrapped in a bath towel. Her black hair wet from the shower that was without a doubt freezing. The white towel compliments her pale skin and the two men can’t help but glance at her …. well proportioned body- shall we say?

That is to say that the woman was very, very, blessed in both the chest and posterior regions.

Johnny looks up from his screen and smiles. “Morning.”

The woman turns to him with a snarl.”Shut it.”

Johnny holds his hands skyward. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Wade!” She stomps into the living room and slams her foot into his chest.

“Wha- what??” Wade wheezes, rolling onto his side in a ball.

“There’s no hot water!” Domino seethes.

“So???”

“There's no heat!” She growls.

“So???”

“There’s no electricity!” She stomps him again.

“I’m sensing some hostility here.” Wade wheezes again.

“Damn right you are!” She kicks in him the side several times. “Why didn’t you pay the fucking bill???”

“I was gonna,” Wade says defensively. “I got distracted!’

“What could possibly distract you!!?”

“I’ll show you.” He offers.

Dom taps her foot. “IT had better be pretty fucking important Wade.”

“Oh, it is.” The masked man- Wade never takes off his mask- sits up and walks towards the front door, into the coat closet.

“Ta da!” He motions in the closet like show girl wanna be.

Dom secures her towel and joins him at the closet.

“You fucking idiot!!” She hisses. “Where are you even going to put it??”

“Somewhere up high.” Wade says with a nod.

“How did you get it here?”

“Are you going to punch me?”

Dom nods.

“Hard?”

She nods again. 

“Then I’m not telling.” Wade uncovers his mouth and sticks his tongue out at Neena, who promptly punches him in the face.

“Take it back- Wade.” She growls.

“What’d he buy?” Peter sounds hesitant to ask.

“A fucking cannon.” Dom secures her towel again. “Hey, torch. Can I get a favor?”

“I’m eating breakfast first.” Johnny interrupts.

“Come on Johnny…. I run the water, you stick your finger in it- it takes two seconds.”

“Yea- but then I end up doing it for everyone. And I already have to do all the cooking.”

“We can cook in the fire pit outside.” She says dismissively.


“That I have to light and maintain.” Johnny growls.

“Come on Torchie.” She sings. “I’ll let you see my tits.”

Johnny crosses his arm. “Not much of a bribe, Dom. Everyone’s seen them.”

Neena crosses her arms. “Come on Johnny.” She says seriously. “I have to go meet a guy and I smell like cigarettes and pot.”

If this household were to bottle up its essence- that would be the name. Cigarettes and Pot.

“Who’s smoking Pot in the house?” Peter asks judgmentally.

“Mr ‘I don’t want to heat the bath water up’ and Daken.”

“Who’s got money for Pot??” Peter demands.

“Daken.” Johnny sighs. “He got some cash for doing a job that he won’t tell me about.”

It’s a real mystery what Daken does. 

The whole house is interested in that bit of information.

“Well, he could use it-“ 



“He paid Wade’s part of the Rent with it. Go easy on him.”

“Who paid my part of the rent?” Wade stands behind Neena and takes a nut shot for it.

“Daken did.” She growls. “Get a job- dumb ass. We can’t keep paying for you.”

“Victor doesn’t have a job and I don’t see you guys bitching at him.” Wade says through obvious pain.

“Well, do you want to tell Sabertooth to get a job?” Johnny asks.

“Not particularly.” Wade straightens up. “I don’t like getting ouchies and I’m down to my last uniform.”

“Then wash them.” Neena growls.

“No power.” He sticks his tongue out at her again.

“Then pay the fucking bill!” Neena says in exasperation.

“I spent the money on a cannon!” Wade flings his arms wide. “To protect our home from invaders!”

“What invaders???” Neena demands.

“The ones that are inevitably going to come for my gold.”

“What gold?”



“The gold I’ll get from my next gig.”

The two mercs will go back and forth for hours. The others have learned to just move around it.

Peter turns to Johnny and says over the bickering, “Any way you could pitch in extra cash to get the lights back on?”

Johnny shakes his head. “I gave it all to Wade.”

“Right…..” 



“Which was your idea.” He says pointedly.

“I know.” Peter holds up a hand to shush him. “I know. I”ll take over the bills again.”

“Thank you!” Neena says loudly.

“Ditto.” Wade pulls his mask down. “What’s for breakfast?”

“Breakfast is for smart people who don’t spend their power bill money on cannons.” She seethes. “So you get none.”

“You'll be grateful for the cannon when the invaders come,” Wade says with a nod.

“It’s like talking to a child,” Dom says under her breath.

“Actually,” Peter drawls. “Nobodies getting breakfast.”

“Come again?” Wade leans in the doorway.

Peter goes to the cabinets lining the walls and opens them, one by one.

Empty.

Every single cabinet out of the six they have.

“Who was supposed to do the groceries?” Neena growls.

“Uh… Alison if I remember.” Johnny says thoughtfully. “It’s not like her to forget.”

“So.. no power. No heat. NO food…..”

More footsteps echo down the stairs.

“Why are all of you so fucking loud?” Daken seethes, fingers to his temple.

“Wade spent the bill money,” Neena says with a nod to him. “And we have no food.”

“What’s the bill?” Daken sighs.

“…. 600 altogether.” Peter says.

“And we’ve already paid rent?”

“Yea.” Johnny answers.

Daken, still wearing his clothes from the night before fishes out his wallet. “Here.” He counts out several hundred dollar bills before putting the wallet back into the gray dress pants.

“Where the fuck did that come from?” Neena asks- eyes wide.

“Picked up a side job.” Daken yawns. “Get the fucking heat turned back on.”

Peter picks the money off the table. “I’ll do it on my way to work.”

“Right… and the food?” Wade asks.

“I”ll go to a drive thru for breakfast,” Daken says with another yawn.

“Doughnuts?” Wade says hopefully.

“Maybe.” Daken replies.

“Maybe? What do you mean maybe?”

“I mean maybe.” Daken shrugs. “Where are my keys?”

The room is silent.

The kind of silence that comes when you’re about to deliver very bad news.

Daken walks out of the kitchen and into the entry way, digging through the bowl designated for keys and the area all around it.

“Where are my keys?” He asks again, coming back into the kitchen.

Johnny looks around the room hoping someone will be brave enough to break the silence.

“Daken,” Peter steps up to save the day. Still a hero at heart. “You know how you like to get fucked up beyond all reason?”

Daken just nods.

No denying it around here. How are any of the others to judge? Johnny knows he can’t.

“You wrecked your car.”

“I… what?”



“Wrecked it. Wrapped it around a light post.”

“No, no, no.” Daken goes to the front door and steps onto the porch.

Everyone can hear the loud “FUCK” that follows.

“He’s taking that well.” Neena comments.

“Better than Laura did.”

Laura neither smokes nor drinks. She’s painfully sober twenty- four seven.

The others are a bit of a burden to her.

She happened to be sharing Daken’s car with him.

When he came staggering in last night laughing about the damage he caused- she did not take it well.

The front door open and shuts quickly.

Daken jogs- that’s what that little movement he’s doing is- back into the kitchen.

“Does she know yet?” He whispers

The assembled group nods.

“She put you in time out,” Wade recalls. “Halfway through the party.”

‘Time out’. There’s a notion. 

Laura seeks to train Daken to be a fully functional member of society.

IE not a villain.

Not an anti-hero.

A good guy.

So, she invented a system of ‘time outs’. Daken does something naughty- he gets put in time out.

Which is to say he get’s handcuffed to an object and forced to watch either educational ‘stimuli’ or Disney movies.

He hates it but is often too fucked up to stop her.

“Fuck.”

“Act remorseful or she’ll do it again,” Neena warns. “You pissed her off.”

“I pissed HER off?? It’s my fucking car.”

Johnny will miss that car. It was the nicest one the group had.

“Here.” Johnny rustles around on the table until he finds Daken’s now useless keys and throws then to him. “Not much good to you now.”

Daken snarls at him.

“Need a ride to work?” Neena asks innocently.

A way to see what he does exactly.

Johnny sees her taking a chance and slightly hopes it pays off.

“I’ll work from home today.” Daken says coldly.

“Need a computer?” She offers.

“I have one.”

Neena frowns.

it was a nice try.

Without meaning to everyone in the room is staring at Daken.

“What?” He finally asks.

“There’s.. uh. no internet.” Peter offers.

“Oh.” 

The room gets a small feeling in it that can only be coming from Daken.

“I can easily give you a ride….” Neena offers again.

Daken crosses his arms and looks to be in thought. “No- I’ll manage.” He nods to the room before heading back up the stairs.

Once out of earshot- Johnny hopes- and he’s behind a closed door, Neena sighs.

“What the fuck does he do???” She asks in exasperation.

“You think it’s illegal?” Peter questions thoughtfully.

“Knowing Daken?” Johnny muses.

“Definitely Illegal,” Peter says with a smile.

“He can give hand jobs in a back alley for five bucks a pop for all I care,” Wade says happily. “The bills are paid. That’s all that matters.”

The group turns to him. “You're returning that fucking cannon.” Neena says after a small pause.

“I need it for the invasion!” Wade protests again.

And they’re off.

Johnny listens to Wade’s half-hearted rebuttals. 

Invasion? Check. Comic book character ramblings? Check. The idea that he’s something stuck in a computer like matrix. Check.

All of his excuses for his behavior are all here.

The argument ends when Neena knocks him into unconsciousness.

Wade ends up face down on the table, Peter leaves to get dressed for his photo shoot, and Johnny is coerced into going with Neena to heat up her bathwater.

And so ends Johnny’s musing for the morning.

Chapter Text

Sometimes, you get overwhelmed. It happens to everyone.


When you have bills to meet and you’re making less than 500 bucks a month, you’re bound to feel some pressure.

Especially in a house filled with so many people.

You have to depend on the people you’re living with to do their share.

As far as the housing situation goes, Johnny and Peter could leave any moment they wanted to- if they could afford it. They’re not mutants. The actual mutants would have an impossible time finding housing outside of their slum sweet slum.

It’s a lot to take in and process.

Neena has had a lot on her plate here lately.

It goes beyond making her half of the bills.

Logically- in this city- she knows she’s an attractive woman. Selling herself would be easy. But she hasn’t lost that much dignity yet.

Not that that wasn’t something that was an option. 

She knows Laura has done it in the past and has a suspicion that she may have started doing it again. But really- how do you call someone out on that?

No, Dom firmly settles (once again) on not selling her body.

She has to find another way to make a quick buck. And by quick, she means very quick. As in Olympic sprinter quality quick.

The merc gig is failing miserably. With the new laws in place, everyone’s afraid of being labeled a ‘villain’ and ending up at the mercy of the government.

IE no one is paying for contract killings because they’re too chicken shit.

She had a meeting today- really. She bathed and everything. It wasn't a lie to get Johnny to heat up bathwater for her. (Regardless of what the man will say when she comes home empty handed.)

The guy chickened out and never showed.

She was going to go home and crawl into bed while the others were out when she caught a familiar face out of her peripheral.

Now, logically, she knows that privacy in the house is scarce and what the members do outside should be their own business.

This logic was overwhelmed by the fact that Dom really needs to know where Daken is getting his money from.

Really, really, really badly.

It’s a secret that she just knows will turn her day around.

So she trails him all through the city, looking at the happy ‘normal’ people begrudgingly.

All the pretty women laughing and smiling.

She bets they had hot water this morning. And heat. And food.

Her stomach growls in protest of the thought.

In her musings, she almost loses Daken. She looks around in somewhat of a panic before finding him again.

He’s not dressed like he usually is.

She notes the difference in his hair more than anything. It’s still wet. She can see a slightly damp spot on the t-shirt. It’s not entirely noticeable- but Dom can tell the difference.


Honestly, Dom has never seen a man with hair like Daken’s.

Sure- it’s a mohawk. But it’s so long and shiny. So smooth.

She knows this on a personal level as he often falls asleep on her lap.

She’d claim there was something sexual there but while Daken is Bi- she’s seen him lean a lot more to the fella's side of things here lately.

Much to his roommate's complaints.

Apparently, the best way to run Peter Parker out of a bedroom is to introduce him to two men having sex.

That or the fact that Daken had drunkenly invited him to join them.

Clothing wise- he’s dressed down. A t-shirt and jeans. Daken never wears this look out of the house. Never.

To Dom, this is just more and more interesting.

Trailing Daken is proving to be fairly easy after her one little misstep. Either he’s not on his guard or with her luck (and you just know her luck is good) Daken hasn’t picked up her scent.

Dom’s mind races with ideas of what Daken could be doing. He’s walked all the way from their place to a more mid-class neighborhood. With actual nice houses and cars. No beer bottles on the lawns. Recycling bins at the curb. Nice.

At first, her suspicions were that he was doing contract killings himself. But now- she’s not so sure. Like she said- the merc gig isn’t going well for either her or Wade. And they’re two of the best (well… maybe not Wade- but he has his moments) .

When Daken stops outside a shitty strip club- she has to keep from laughing. 

Well… laughing loudly anyway.

Visiting a strip club at noon seems a little desperate.

These places are usually night time retreats.

Dom can’t wait to bust his balls for this. She can imagine just how sweet that’s going to feel.

She has to wait to trail him in the club. There’s no telling if he’s made it past the bouncers yet.

As she’s waiting she takes a moment to watch the clientele entering the club.

Mostly overweight, balding, white men in business suits.

Some in nice cars (Mid-life crisis anyone?) Some in shitty cars, a few on bikes, and one of a moped.

It takes all that’s in her not to slash the moped’s tires. Those things are far too slow. A personal pet peeve of hers. She’d very much like to do her civil duty and take one off the road.

When she’s sure it’s been ten minutes, she straightens herself up. Pulls her black tank top down a smidge, showing off more cleavage and the tip of her black bra, and sets into motion with a slight sway her her hips. 

Sexy is what she needs to be if she wants to get into the club without paying a cover.

Like she’s ever been charged to get into a club anyway.

Luck probably has something to do with, But Dom likes to think it might be half her.

The glass lining the front of the building at blacked out, of course, and a Neon Pink sign say “Cassidy’s” in flashing letters.

Opening the door she’s hit with the smell of cigarettes.

Much worse than home.

Cheap streamer like fixtures hangs from the ceiling with beaded curtains, barring the view of the stage.

A thought hits her. And it’s a killer thought.

What if he’s not seeing the strippers? What if he started stripping? He’s built for it. Surely he has the upper body strength. And with advanced hearing he’s bound to be good and picking up a rhythm.

She recalls drunken nights at clubs dancing on a pole with him before. He was good at it.

The thought makes her giggle.

She’s still giggling when she reaches the bouncer.

A big white guy, overweight in the musclebound steroid user kind of way. “Can I help you, sweetie?”

That brings her to attention. Almost to a fighting stance- really.

Dom puts up with a lot of asshole men in her line of work.

But the ‘sweeties and the dolls’ are too much for her. 

Needless to say, the giggling is now gone.

“I'm looking for a friend.” She leans over the podium he’s standing behind, being sure to show the right amount of cleavage, and laughs. “He just came in here a few moments ago…. he left his keys at home.”

The man smiles, showing silver teeth. “You Steven’s bitch?”

Dom tries her best not to growl at him.

“No. I’m Daken’s roommate.”

“Oh.” HIs smile grows. “Oh. Then uh... you single sweetheart?”

“As single as you want me to be.” She whispers, trailing a finger down his chin. “I gotta get Daken’s keys to him, though.”

He smiles. “Yea sure.” He ushers her through the needed curtain.

The room is done up in shades of pink that match the sign outside. Dom has to give them props for consistency.

It’s Not Daken’s style at all. The lighting is dim, even at this hour.

When she thinks of Daken she thinks of high-end call girls, champagne, blow, and good lighting. Like he would do things proudly, in a lit room. He wouldn’t hide his deeds in a dark and shady place like this.

“Here ya go, sweetie.” The man offers her a ticket stub. “You go wait on those couches over there, and go in when your number’s called.”

“And Daken-“



“You'll find him.” The man snorts. “Come see me after?”

The couches smell like smoke. They're this sticky blue material. Probably sticky from one too many beers spilled.

Dom becomes more and more interested. She can’t help it.

She takes a moment to think of what would happen if Daken knew she had followed him. She firmly decided that she no longer cared. She’d stumbled onto something here and planned to see it through to the end.

The lounge is set up around two wooden doors, one with a ‘do not enter’ sign and one with an ‘occupied’.

The plot thickens.

Is Daken a customer?

IS he a worker? 

Dom has a moment of pure horror. “Was Wade right?” She muses quietly.

It’a train wreck she can’t avoid.

She catches the eyes of the man waiting with her. 

he wears tiny glasses over alcohol laden eyes. Under a tiny mustache, he licks his lips nervously. “You done this before?” His voice cracks.

She takes him in for a second, observes in all the ways she was trained to and decides that flirty is the best path to take with him. “No sir.” She smiles. “This is my first time.”

“It’s a blast.” He says with a grin. “Better than anything I’ve had in a while.”

Was Daken dealing drugs at the club? 

Surely he wouldn’t be divulging his own personal stash.

A man exits it the ‘occupied’ room and taps the gentlemen Dom has been talking to on his shoulder.

The man sways to his feet, taking a staggering step forward, before looking back. “Sweetheart, if you’re nervous… you could come in with me. They do couples here.” he hiccups. “I don’t bite.”

Dom figured that this was a sign of luck.

And she never disputes her luck.

She offers him a smile and stands to her feet, walking with him into the room.

The Room is a small dark room with a singular fluorescent light overhead. There’s a small wooden bench under the light that faces a wall of mesh netting. Dom doesn't have a clue what’s going on, but never being one to step away from a challenge, continues on her way.

That is to say- she was interested.

“I want it nice and quick.” The man beside her says. “And my lady friend will take the same.” He turns to her. “You’ll thank me for that. The work up sessions are a little overwhelming at first.”

No sound comes from behind the mesh but Dom is hit with a sudden, knee shaking need. A need that could only mean one thing.

Mutant powers. 

Mind control or... 

Pheromones? 

Her skin quivers and she’s very close to jumping her male companion and riding him to the ground. 

It’s that sudden. 

The feeling is stopped by a thought. A memory of some sort.

This is fun and all… But it reminds her of something.

It reminds her of a drunk night she spent with Daken when he ‘shared’ his high. It had been amazing. And it felt a lot like what is happening in this moment.

The man beside her his groaning. “Yea baby.” He hiccups again. “Daddy likes it like that.”

The feeling…

Dom feels a bit of disgust mixed with it. She doubts the man felt it.

“Come on honey.. gimme more.”

The feeling increases.

Dom feels light headed with pleasure.

She has to think around it.

This is exactly like sharing a high.

This is exactly what pheromone manipulation feels like. 

She bursts laughing. “Daken???”

The feeling is cut off immediately.

“Wha…?” Her companion slurs.

“Oh no honey, don’t stop on my account.” She laughs. “Give Daddy what he likes.” She walks over to the mesh and starts to peel it back.

There’s quiet.

“Don’t talk to her, sweetie.” The man says to Dom. “IT’s okay baby. I”m a friend of muties. You don’t have to be shamed.” He calls to his 'baby' on the other side of the mesh. 

“Yea Daken,” Dom calls with another laugh. “Don’t be ashamed, baby. Use your powers to jack off drunk old men.” She continues to mess with the mesh. “How is this working? There’s a window in between you Herbert the Pervert and they cover it up with-“ As she pulls the mesh up, it’s yanked back down.

“Hey- now.” The man gets up in Dom’s face before grabbing her hand and pulling it away from the mesh. “She’s in there trying to work for a buck. Have some respect.”

“Oh, I respect ‘her’.” She makes finger quotations around the word. “Working for a buck- are you? How much does this pay? 50 bucks a pop- something like that? You had six hundred dollars on hand this morning. Do you just sit here and do this all day?”

Using his powers like this must be exhausting.

This doesn’t mean that Dom isn’t going to bust his balls for it.

“Lady- I think you need to leave.” The man growls.

“Oh wow. Logan would be turning in his grave if he knew you were using your powers like this!” Dom baits him with the only bait that she knows will get a response. “Tell me- I’m curious. Is this playing into your daddy issues? Do you feel like you’re really sticking it to him by doing this?”

“Fuck you, Dom!” Comes his immediate reply.

Daken never fails to disappoint.

The man falls to his knees in a useless puddle, his pants soaked in the crotch region.

“This is how you make your money?”

Daken sighs. “Some of it.”

“How much?”

The mesh in front of her pulls up revealing Daken with crossed arms and scowl on his face. “Enough.”

“This is why you didn’t want a ride?”

“Yes.” He looks less angry.

Dom smiles. “My little sex worker.” She pinches his cheek.



“Don’t touch me.” He grabs her by the wrist and pulls her hand away. 


“Seriously- A strip club?” She grins ear to ear. “Can you get the guys in for free? They’d love that shit!”

“Drop it, Dom.” Daken growls.

They look at each other for a long moment. “Do you at least get free drinks?” She asks with a smile.

Daken glares at her. “And if I do?”

Dom puts a hand on her hip. “Then we go to the bar and have a nice little chat about why I shouldn’t tell the others about your little secret.”

“You're blackmailing me for free booze?” He sounds impressed and has just the slightest smirk on his face.

“Yes.” She answers with a smile and a nod.

“People who blackmail me end up in pieces.” Daken threatens half-heartedly.

“If you chop me into pieces, then who will be there to make sure you don’t drown in a puddle of puke tonight?”

Daken actually chuckles. “I guess you do have your uses.”

Dom looks at the drunk man on the floor. “You gonna leave him there?”

Daken looks at him with disinterest. “He’ll be fine. He’s usually passed out by now anyway.”

Neena nods and walks to the door, watching Daken do the same.

They exit their respective doors at the same time. Daken offers a hand to her, and she takes it, smiling like she was hand and hand with the love of her life.

When they get to the bar, she does a small spin into one of the seats.

“Made a new friend?” The bartender, a slender woman with brown hair peppered with gray asks in a voice that’s rough from one too many cigarettes smoked in her lifetime.

The bar is the only well-lit part of the room. It’s long, curved, and wooden. The stools all have pink cushions, matching the room- of course. Everything here is matchy- matchy. Behind the woman are rows and rows of liquor bottles. Ranging from the cheapest of vodkas to some pretty high shelf tequila.

She’d be happy to spend some time here, that’s for sure.

She can get past the fact that’s it’s noon, as well. When the booze is free- who is she to say ‘no’?’

“Sam, this is my roommate.” Daken lounges against the bar. “One of them.”

“Look at that skin.” The woman says. “Either you’re albino or a mutie.” Sam leans onto the bar. “Which one is it?”

“Mutie.” Dom puts her elbow on the bar and leans into her hand, closer towards the woman.

“Yea? Do any work like him?” She jerks her thumb to Daken.

Dom shakes her head.

Sam chuckles. “Shame. If I could, I’d have twenty more of him.” She pours two shots of whiskey and passes them to the two. “Drink up.” She directs her attention to Daken. “Your favorite customer is heading in the door.”

Daken looks over Dom’s shoulder. “Look at that. What are the odds that he’d show up just when my shift started?” He asks coldly.

“He promises not to touch you,” Sam says. “I threatened to call the cops on him if he does it again.” The woman smiles. “I got the same deal set up with you as I do my girls. No touching- okay? Relax.”

“Like that will stop him.” Daken growls . “I told you I wouldn’t do him anymore.”

Sam shakes her head. “And I told you that you don’t get to pick the clients. We already rigged you up a second room and the netting. That’s all you’re getting.”

“He groped me.” Daken hisses.

“He was drunk,” Sam says with a shrug.



“They’re all drunk.” Daken growls. “IT’s not an excuse.”

“Just get him off.” Sam groans. “Seriously- you asked for work. I turn you down. I catch you doing this fucking voodoo whatever the fuck you call it on my clients in the parking lot and, out of the goodness of my heart, give you a job instead of calling the cops. Now- tell me honey, where in that statement does it sound like you have any grounds to deny me my requests?”

Daken knocks back his whiskey. “Give me five more of these.” He shakes the shot glass.

“You got it.” Sam smiles.

Dom isn’t sure how she feels about that conversation.

Dom can’t stop her mind from roaming. Daken didn’t defend himself?

She can’t fathom it. She can’t even begin to understand it.

Dom knows for certain that if there’s one person qualified to take care of themselves- it’s Daken Akihiro. 



She knows that he’s the one person no one has to worry about.

“He groped you?” She asks finally. She had been trying to approach this with a little more class… but firmly decided that there was no other way to go about it. “Why didn’t you just stab him?”

Daken glares at her. “I forgot my knife.”

“Your-“ 



“My knife,” He says pointedly. “I forgot it.”

Dom wonders why he hasn’t told them about his claws.

Logically it makes sense she supposes. Work would be hard to come by for a mutant with built in weapons. She just can’t imagine him not using them. They’re part of him. He’s definitely not shy at the house or any club or party they’ve been to.

Again, she tells herself, it makes sense. But Daken doesn’t let people touch him without his consent. He’s big on personal space. She knows this.

“He’s a little handsy- I’ll give you that,” Sam says looking up from her pouring. “But stabbing him would have been uncalled for.”

“How'd he even see you?”

“Came through the netting,” Daken says. “Practically dry humped me.”

Dom looks at the man in question from across the bar. Currently, he’s at the stage. There’s a blue light illuminating a single dancer.

A redhead in a purple g-string.

The man himself is a platinum blond in a muscle shirt. His hair is spiked, his jeans are tighter than his shirt- if that was possible- and he’s a good six feet.

Dom feels the best way to describe him is ‘imposing.’

The red head on the pole has a smile for him, of course, but he’s not paying her much mind.

Dom feels a great sense of sympathy for strippers who work days.

The pay is bound to be horrible.

The blonde man flicks his eyes over in the direction of the bar. The direction of Daken.

Dom has seen people moon over Daken before. Men follow him around at parties like lost puppies. But this one… she can see why he doesn’t care for him.

“Wow. Daken- I gotta say when we were talking about what you did… I didn’t think it would be this.” Dom watches the blonde man go to the ‘occupied’ room. The dancer seems to release some tension when he leaves.

Daken snorts. “Like this is the worst thing I could be doing.”

“So… is this your side job.. or your job job?”

He just smiles.

“You’re not going to tell me?” Dom asks with a smirk.

Daken arches an eyebrow before turning to Sam.“Get her drunk will you?” He points to Dom as Sam lines the glasses up. “She’s blackmailing me.”

“Blackmailing you?” Sam smiles at her. “My kind of woman.”

“Wild little thing,” Daken says smirking at Dom. “Might just be.”

Daken stands at the bar and knocks back the shots one by one.

When he finishes the fifth he pulls a small grimace and rolls his shoulders. “Ladies.” He says in parting.

“Keep it to five minutes max.” Sam orders.

“Sir yes sir!” He salutes while walking off.

“Fuck you.” She calls to his retreating form. “So,” She turns to Dom, “Dudes or chicks?”

Dom blinks in confusion.

Sam motions to her. “Are you into dudes or chicks?”

It’s not the direction Dom though the conversation would go in, but she can roll with it.

“Dudes.” She answers, motioning to her empty glass. 

Sam takes the glass and refills it.

“Five of my special cocktails and you’ll give chicks a try.” Sam raises an eyebrow. “Wanna put a bet on it?”

Dom chuckles. “I”m flattered.”

“I like muties,” Sam says with a shrug. “You guys have some beautiful women.”

“Yea?”

It’s not a lie. Out of all the mutants she’s met- Dom’s yet to see an unattractive woman. She herself is about a 9. A 10 if she’s wearing a pushup.

Now several scientists and bigwigs have tried to explain this mystery. All the scientific minds have written it off as unexplainable at this point.

It’s one of nature's true unsolved mysteries.

Sam nods. “My ex could control plants. Used it to grow pot. Made a lot of money.” She motions to the bar around her. “Helped me start this place.”

“Things went badly I’m guessing?” Dom takes a moment to think about the several stereotypes of having heart to hearts with the bartender.

She could find herself in the midst of some country western bullshit if she’s not careful.

Granted living in New York you don’t find many southerners or westerners for that matter. So the likelihood is slim.

Sam passes her the glass. “Got shot by a cop.” She’s frowning.

Dom shoots the whiskey with little thought to the fact that she has to drive home.

Her luck will get her there, she knows it.

“Sorry.” She grimaces.

“She survived,” Sam continues. “But ended up in jail. They say she attacked him.”

“Wow.” A typical story nowadays most unfortunately.

“She broke up with me after her trial. Wanted to put distance between the business and herself so it wouldn’t be affected.”

It’s a nice thought.

Not a perfect romance Dom muses. But in this city, it’s a good one.

“You named the bar after her?”

Sam nods. “Cashed in on men's’ ‘baser’ desires.”

Dom passes her back the empty glass.

Sam nods towards the stage. “You dance?”

Dom snorts, taking back the glass as it’s passed to her. “Not well.”

“You wanna learn?”

Dom shakes her head and leans further over the bar. “I’m starting to think you wanna see me naked, Sam.”

Sam grins. “A body like that? You can’t blame a girl for trying.”

Dom knocks back her shot.

She's doing well so far, but if she keeps going at this rate- she’ll end passed out on the bar.

“Got anything other than whiskey?” She asks.

“How about one of those cocktails?” Sam says, looking down at Dom’s empty glass. “Since you’re drinking on the house. Should have the best- right?”

Dome smiles. “Right.”

Sam turns her back, picks a large glass out of the tray of clean glasses sitting under the rows of alcohol and starts to mix various liquors together in quick procession. Too quickly for Dom to follow.

“Secret recipe?” Dom asks.

Sam nods, not looking back at her. “My cocktails were made up by Cassidy and I. No one else has them.”

She passes a glass filled with milky blue liquid.

“No ice?” Dom picks it up.

“Nope.” Sam puts both hands on the bar and leans over. “Give it try.”

Dom takes a sip.

IT’s that moment of anticipation you get when you’re trying something new and don’t know if it’s good or bad yet. If you’ll like it or not. Like standing on the knife's edge.

Luckily for Dom (And Sam) the drink is good. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and sour. Having a vague taste of citrus mixed in.

Dom’s sip turns to a gulp. “It’s good.” She says with a smile once she’s swallowed.

“It’s called ‘Fuck Me Hard, Dirty, and Sideways’.” She smiles. “Cassidy named it.”

“Creative woman.” Dom returns her a smile.

Sam is quiet, looking in the direction of the doors Daken is behind.

“What’s his secret?” She asks, nodding in his direction.

“Secret?”

“His powers.” Sam clarifies. “What’s he do to them?”

Dom shrugs. “I don’t know.” She lies.

Of course, she knows. But Daken didn’t tell Sam about his claws… and he obviously hasn’t told her about his pheromones. It’s not Dom’s place to our him if he doesn’t want the woman to know.

As cool as she may be with ‘Muties’ a misstep could mean that Daken’s out of a job. And based off of how well things went this morning- Daken needs his job.

“IT’s a hell of a gift.” Sam muses. “Can he use it on other things?”

Dom takes another swig. “Like other emotions?”



“Besides sex.”

That doesn’t seem too personal to give away. “Yea.”

“Like….” Same motions with her hands for Dom to give her more information.

“He shared a high with me one time,” Dom recalls. “It was amazing.”

“Wait- wait- wait- He can get people high?”

Dom nods. 

“Without drugs?”

Dom shakes her head. “No. He needs to be high to make it happen.”

“I see….”

Dom puts a hand to her chin and leans on it, feeling the booze soak into her body.

“So… what? Blow? Crack? Pot?”

“I think it was acid.” Dom recalls.

The ‘occupied door’ opens up and the blonde makes his way to the bar. “Sam!” He calls, sounding more than a little upset.

“Bart!” She calls back, mimicking his tone.

“Tell your mutie in there that I’d like to see a little more skin during our sessions.”

“I told you-you can't touch him,” Sam says in a growl. “He doesn’t have to show you shit.”

“Doesn’t mean he can’t perform.” Bart growls right back at her.

“He’s not a performer,” Sam says simply, moving away from Dom and picking some empty glasses off the bar.

“Bullshit.” The man spits on the floor. “Body like that- he’s a performer.”

“You shouldn’t know hat his body looks like.” Sam leans on the bar again. “You're taking the mystery out of it.”

“It’s not the same now that I’ve seen him,” Bart admits. “I want to see more of him. It’ll ‘enhance the experience’.”

“Too fucking bad dick weed.” Dom says, side-eyeing him.

“Did I talk to you bitch?” Bart demands.

“No.” she says simply.


“Then keep out of it.” He growls, turning back to Sam. “Tell him to come out here,” He says. “I want to see him.”

“He did what you wanted,” Sam says. “And he’s not even obligated to do that.”

“Yea?” The man seethes. “Well, let me tell you about his ‘obligations’,” He holds up a finger. “To get his customers off in a timely and legal manner,” he holds up another finger. “And to provide great customer service.”

“And did he do that?” Sam asks semi-patiently.

“He won’t fucking talk to me!” Bart thunders.

“He doesn’t talk to the clients,” Sam says. “It ruins the experience.”

“I wanna hear that sweet voice of his.” Bart insists. “And I wanna see him.”

“Too bad,” Sam says. “He doesn't owe you shit.”

“Send him out.” Bart demands.

“Why so testy today- hmm?” Sam asks.

“Because your mutie is a rude asshole!”

Dom can’t take any more of this.

“Because he won’t talk to you?” She asks with nothing but heat in her tone.

“Did I ASK YOU?” The man yells in her face.

“NO.” She yells back.

“Come on Bart.” Sam sighs. “Take it down a notch. You're all hyped up. You on coke again?”

Bart flicks his eyes between Dom and Sam. “Maybe.”

“Then maybe you should go home.” Sam says.

“Tell that mutie fuck to come out here and I will go home.”

“He’s not coming out here.” Sam says sternly.


“Then I’ll go to him.” Bart snarls, turning away from the bar.

“Hold it right there asshole.” Dom has had enough of this.

Underneath the Merc outside, she likes to think she’s still a hero. At least in some aspects.

Plus- if Daken retaliates and the cops get involved, he’ll be out of a job and possibly be put in jail. Or worse. A firing squad.

And she can’t lose one of her roommates right now. Not over something this stupid.

Peter would like that reasoning. He’s always trying to get them to think of each other as a team. And even though all of them have more than enough experience being on a team- it’s a hard task for him.

“Did I say anything to you?” He demands.

“You’re being an asshole to a friend of mine.” She says evenly. “Keep it up and I will escort you out of the building.”

He snorts . “You and what army?”

Cliche line if she’s ever heard one.

Dom keeps her eyes forward but draws her handgun out of the holster hidden under her shirt. “No army.” She finally turns to him. “Just me.”

Bart puts his hands up. “Uh…. Sam?”

Sam shrugs. “You threatened the well-being of one of my employees. This good woman stepped in to help.”

“Bullshit- I did!” he yells.

“That’s what I’ll tell the cops,” Sam says with a smile. “And they’ll take my word over a musclebound coke head.”

“Fucking bitches.” he growls.

“Did you pay?” Sam asks.

“Like hell I’m paying.” He growls, hands still in the air.

Dom looks at his obviously wet crotch. “You look like you enjoyed yourself.” She says, clicking the safety off the gun. “Pay the woman.”

Bart digs into his pocket and fishes out several twenties.”Take it.” He says quickly. “Just take it.”

“Don’t come back in here, Bart.” Sam says. “If this lovely lady catches you, you’re a dead man.”

Bart just nods.

“Walk out of here real peaceful like with your hands on your head.” Dom orders. “Got it?”

“Yes.”

“Yes, what?” Dom is grinning.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“That’s what I thought.”

Bart walks out towards the door quickly, hands over his head.

Sam looks Dom over. “Definitely my kind of woman.” She says with a grin. “You got a name?”

“Dom.” She offers sam a smile and holsters the gun. “At your service.” 



“You muties and your names.” Sam laughs good-naturedly. “You got a job?”

Job?

“Not a steady one.” She admits. 

Best not to mention the Merc gig. Though the alcohol is starting to kick in as far as loose lips are concerned. Best to keep everything under wraps.

Sam smiles. “You looking for one?”

Dom thinks it over.

This is once again a sign of luck. “Do I have to dance?”

Sam chuckles. “No.” She vaguely to where the gun is holstered. “I need security. Keep the girls safe. A little thing like you? No one would expect it.”

Daken’s door opens up and he comes back towards the bar.

“You okay?” Sam breaks from her conversation with Dom.

“Fucker asked me out.” Daken seethes.

Dom has to laugh. That’s why he was so upset.

Entitled asshole.

“What’s going on out here?” He motions to Sam who pours him another shot of whiskey.

Dom smiles. “I just got a job.”

She knows Daken won’t take this well.


This is his secret job after all.

He inhales deeply. “How the fuck is this supposed to be a secret if you work here?” He demands.

“I won’t tell the others where I work.” She muses. “It will be both of our secrets.”

Daken just sighs. “Fuck it all Dom.”

“It’s luck.” She says simply.

“Luck my ass.”

“So….” Sam drawls. “Do we have a deal?”


Dom smiles and extends her hand. “Deal.”

And so ends the merc’s job hunt for the day.

Overall, Dom counts this as a great success.

Chapter Text

People have changes of heart.

Whether it be by means of touching moments or fucked up personality changing voodoo shit- people change.

Change is what prompted Victor to lay low when all this shit started.

To not make scenes or be noticeable.

He’s here because he has cash and he brought home a fucked up Daken on one of his first nights in the neighborhood.

He thinks that the man’s seen better days. He’s having a rough patch, to say the least… and Victor’s seen him go through some rough patches already.

To secure his spot in the household, he put Daken to bed. They had booze and smokes, so he invited himself in and indulged. He was talking to Alison, a beautiful woman if there ever was one, when Peter stormed into the house in a frenzy. Overhearing the man’s plight of not being able to pay the bills and not really having a place of his own, he pitched the idea in a slightly imposing manner and secured himself the spot.

Kicked Peter out of his room and moved in by the next afternoon. Not like he really had much to move in.

He’d already been crashing on people’s couches.

Mainly his on and off again lover, Raven. The mother of the child that he is very happy is dead.

It was bad breeding in his mind. He didn’t have a clue now, looking back on it, why she kept it.

They’re like fire and gasoline- those two. A kid and matches. California and Wildfires. Hairspray and an open flame.

Victor can’t think of a comparison between the two of them that doesn’t relate to fire.

That should say something about the kind of people they are.

Or were.

'Were.' He thinks.

He’s doing better.

She’s a little off put by this whole mess as well. 

Being a shape shifter Victor just assumed she’d blend in. But Raven- Raven doesn’t like not having money. Raven didn't like it when half her henchmen were stolen. Raven didn’t like it when all her assets were cut off. 

And now Raven, the once mighty a proud Mystique, is just what Victor always saw her for.

Broke and ugly.

But not him. He’s trying to be better. He’s trying to improve upon himself. All that nice shit that people talk about in self-help books.

In a sense, he’s trying to patch things up with the people he has wronged. He finds that in wronging them- he’s left most of them for dead.

So he tries to make it better while thinking exactly of who he wronged and how his actions as going to bring him some sense of peace about it.

He thinks about Logan.

How the two of them fought for decades on end.

He theorizes (as much as Sabertooth can theorize) that by taking care of Logan’s ‘runts’- he’ll be honoring his greatest enemy and therefore working towards some sort of catharsis.

Victor knows that Laura has proven to take care of herself. And Daken when the moment arises.

Daken- he’s a mess. He brings home men who run all over him while he’s fucked up.

Now- Victor doesn’t mind that. If you get fucked up and you can’t stop them from playing you- that’s on you. You lose money or (in some cases) blood- that’s on you. You shouldn’t have gotten that out of it.

But Daken whimpers most pathetically when he get’s too fucked up. Like a puppy.

It’s hard to hear.

Then they're the ‘chicks’ he finds himself surrounded by.

Dom is okay. She takes care of herself much like Laura does.

But Alison.

What can Victor say about Alison?

She’s a tiny little thing. Packs a punch, though- that much he knows.

She turns noise into energy. ‘And damn,’ He thinks, ‘this house has a lot of noise.’

Alison likes to drink.

She’ll do other things- sure. But her method is almost always the bottle.

She gets fucked up and passes out.

It takes a lot out of Victor not to take advantage. 

Good guy. He tells himself. Remember that. You're a good guy.

But fuck. Alison does not make it easy on him.

When she’s sober, she teases.

She knows what effect she has on him, and does it anyway.

Though, to be fair, it’s not just him. She’s like that with all the guys.

Just a natural born flirt.

As far as Victor knows, living in a house with four other men- no one is hitting that.

In fact, Daken’s the only one that’s seen her naked.

To be honest, it’s because she’s one the household members who shower early in the night- which is shortly after Daken starts his evening.. let’s call them ‘doses’.

He’ll climb into the shower with anyone basically.

It’s not entirely sexual and usually, a punch to the face or chest will get him to leave.

Victor is slightly sour about the relationship Daken gets to have with the women.

Sure he’s a guy….

But he fucks guys. They have more in common.

Alison… Victor might entertain the thought of fucking a man if it would guarantee being able to climb into the shower with her anytime he wanted.

There was commotion this morning ( or was it last night? Victor will be fucked if he knows.) Wade fucked up- again. Like the million of other times, he’s fucked up at this point.

Victor places the blame on Peter. Wade is his little pet project- someone needs to take care of him.

And even though he and Victor are usually the only two members of the household home during the days- they don’t interact much.

Usually, he does what he’s doing right now- sits on his bed, watches the TV and drinks.

Today there’s no TV.

The half full bottle of Rum is here , however, and he intends to make the most of that.

The room is dark and cluttered with his various articles of clothing. Besides the large bed and piles of blankets, there’s nothing in this room.

Clothing and Liquor bottles don’t count.

To his mind, the room is practically empty.

Could be the Rum talking- but it’s kind of an eerily lonesome feeling.

The problem with drinking Rum for Victor is that inevitably he will have to piss. Which means leaving his little sanctuary and going to parts of the house inhabited by the others.

And honestly at this moment if it doesn’t have a pair of tits- he doesn’t want to talk to it.

Be that as it may, he’s not nearly drunk enough to for it to be considered acceptable to piss on his carpet.

And if the dumbasses knew he did to avoid them- he’d never hear the end of it.

So he staggers to his feet, the alcohol hitting him even more so as he straightens up, and opens the door.

In the hallway Alison, speak of the devil, and Laura are arguing.

Alison has her back to him. He takes a moment to enjoy the view.

IE, as per her usual pre-party night ritual- Alison is pantsless.

Laura catches his eyes, her own narrowing.

“See something you like- Creed?” She growls.

He crosses his arms and leans against the door. “Maybe.”

The blonde turns her attention to him . “Perv.”

“Put it on display- expect it to get looked at.” He retaliates

“I can wear whatever I want to in my own home.” Alison says, turning back to Laura.

“And I can look at whatever I want to in my own home.” Victor retorts.

The view is good.

Better if the underwear showed more… but sexy enough for him. The gray and black garment rides up nicely enough.

Laura’s dressed in her usual semi-slutty getup.

Black crop top, short skirt, hair down- something that screams ‘pretty’. And ‘easy’ for that matter.

For some reason, however, the clone is off limits.

He wants to say that this is a nod towards Logan- again- but in reality, he’s not sure what happens if she a gets pregnant. And she doesn't even know if that’s possible. So no one else does either.

Best to avoid the situation altogether.

The two women are arguing over sleeping arrangements- their favorite argument.

“If  you’d take the spot by the window-“ Alison says heatedly.

“I don’t want the spot by the window, Alison!” Laura cuts her off. “You sleep by the window, I sleep by the wall. That’s how it is.”

“Dom said-“ 



“I'm not Dom!” Laura growls.

“One of you ladies could sleep in here.” Creed offers. “Big room and all.”

“Shove it- perv.” Alison growls.

“That’s what I’m offering here, sweetheart.” He chuckles, quickly moving past the pair before the energy projectile pelts where he was standing.

It’s gonna be one of those mornings.

OR afternoons- respectively

When you’re as old as Victor is, you have some cash lying about. Which means you get to lay on your ass all day and do nothing. You lose track of time eventually.

And Vitor never bothered to get a phone or even a clock.

It’s helped him stay out of the job field- which honestly- no one would hire him.

He heard there’s a special place they put regenerators who happen to be caught by the law.

Some dark hell pit where science loving fucks go on a field day with them.

Rumors don’t scare Victor- but he doesn’t intend to push his luck and find out if these are true.

Speaking of hell pits…

The house is a wreck. Everything reeks.

Walking into the living room he sees a total of two discarded water bongs and an ashtray of five or so roaches.

Mr. Storm has obviously had a very good time before going to work.

Victor hates that he has to walk downstairs and through the living room to get to the ‘men’s room’.

OF course, you can use the ‘ladies room’ if you want, but they’ve got all of their products everywhere.

And as masculine, as Victor is… the man just isn’t comfortable seeing that many tampons. 

There. He thought it.

Didn’t say it.

But he thought it.

Usually, the broads he hangs around have a little mystery to them.

Living with three women has left no mystery for any of the men involved.

The men’s bathroom is down the stairs, through the living room, and off towards the back door.

The door is off just a tiny bit, meaning there's a good two-inch gap between the door and the carpet. Someone tried to kick it in.

Probably Peter while playing mother hen to Wade.

Victor doesn't have a fucking clue what the relationship is between those two and honestly- he doesn't want to know.

As far as he picked up Pete’s a bit of a prude.

Wade is… well, Wade.

Out of all his years, Victor’s never quite met someone like Wade.

And that’s not necessarily a good thing.

He goes to open the door to find it locked.

He takes a small sniff and smells tacos.

Speak of the devil.

“Ocupado!” Wade says through the door.

“Hurry it up!” Victor growls.

“No can do my large amigo,” Wade says. “Taking the browns to the super bowl.”

Fuck.

Victor looks back in the living room and sees not one but three empty Taco Bell bags.

“Fuck it, Wilson,” He growls. “You couldn’t use the john upstairs?”

“Missus Wolvie threatened to disembowel me if I used their toilet again,” Wade pauses. “And I’m pretty much doing that myself right now- if you get my drift.”

Victor snarls as he turns away from the door.

He quickly moves back up the stairs past the women again.

“If you’d just move your bed-“ Alison is still on this?

“Move your fucking bed, junior.” He growls, pushing past them into the bathroom.

The bathroom is the cleanest room in the house, sanitation-wise.

But there’s no less clutter.

Shampoos, lotions, perfumes, skin cream, makeup, tampons, wet towels, sponges- he doesn’t know where they get the cash for this shit.

On the side of the tub ( the girls get a tub. Not like any of the guys would use it if they had it, but the option would be nice) is a purely masculine set of bottles.

“Daken uses their bathroom?” He growls. “Little fuck.”

Not wanting to spend any more time in the bathroom, Victor finishes up quickly and heads back out the door.

“You didn’t wash your hands,” Laura says.

“And?”

“And you pissed with the door open.” Alison complains.

He raises an eyebrow. “Like what you see sweetheart?”

Alison smiles. “Little small for a guy your size- don’t you think?” She asks sweetly.

The only comeback he has for that is taking her pretty little head, so he snarls and heads back to his room.

Things are pretty quiet for a while.

About ten minutes of sitting on his bed drinking and the power cut back on.

There are obvious cries of joy throughout the household.

When it’s gone quiet for a few minutes the cries of joy turn to distress.

Outside the door, he hears a “Fuck. He set the front bushes on fire again.” And scampering of feet down the stairs.

He wants to ignore it… but it that idiot man-child sets the house fire (again) they’re going to be kicked out for sure.

He begrudgingly gets to his feet, taking the almost empty bottle of Rum with him.

Every household member on hand is on the front lawn, trying to coax down Johnny, who’s fully engulfed in flames.

The white house is already singed in some places, the paint chipping off the sides and everything.

The yard is also singed. Some of the spots are crispy underfoot from previous fires.

Right now, a small clump of bushes and a small area of the lawn are ablaze.

Johnny is very adamant that these fires stay lit. He usually is when he’s like this.

It’s a pain in the ass for everyone.

“I mean… fuck them,” he slurs. “Fuck them!”

“Johnny, sweetie,” Alison says. “Come here. Flame off and come here.”

“Fuck you!” He chuckles. “I’mma set their pool on fire.”

“Johnny!” Laura snaps. “You set the lawn on fire. Put it out, now!”

“I can burn water.” He says excitedly. “You… you wanna see.” He looks over the women’s shoulder to Victor. “You wanna see me burn water?” He slurs.

“No.” Victor leans on the side of the porch. “Put the fucking fire out.”

The front porch has a small area off to the side. Several white plastic chairs are put around a small wicker table that houses four ash trays.

Everyone has to be happy with the chair arrangements because Johnny, being much in a state like he is now, melted them to the cement of the porch.

“It’s my baby.” Johnny gasps , sounding personally offended. Hand to the chest and everything.

“Put the baby to bed.” Alison tries in a ‘soothing’ voice. “Put the baby to bed, and come inside.”

This is something Johnny does when he’s wasted.

He makes fires and becomes overly attached to them. Getting him to put them out takes serious effort.

A thorough ass kicking from Victor himself got the man to realize that doing this inside was a bad idea.

“Why aren’t you at work?” Victor wants to ask the real questions.

Johnny looks confused. “Work?”

“Work. The place that pays you?”

“I started a grease fire.”

Johnny works at a restaurant. A shitty one. Like the smallest step up from fast food.

“And.. they sent you home?” Laura presses.

“They don’t know it was me,” He whispers. “The think the grease trap malfunctioned.”

“Why are you here, Storm?” Victor asks again.

“Half day!” Johnny cries happily, making a small fireball and juggling it over his head between his hands. “I’m a circus clown!”

“You're on fire,” Victor says pointedly.

“I can set water on fire.” Johnny says with a nod. “let’s go to the neighbor's pool.”

The neighbors have called the cops on Johnny, Wade, and Daken for invading their pool. All on separate occasions.

“Go set the bathtub on fire then,” Victor growls.

Johnny gasps. “No fire in the house, Victor.”

“Why are you drunk?” Laura crosses her arms, sidestepping the growing flame on the lawn that’s creeping up towards the steps to the porch- which happen to be wooden.

“Hit the bar on the way home.” Johnny nods. “I was bored.” He gestures to Victor’s rum. “Gimme some would you?”

“Like hell.” Victor snorts.

“Imma march over there.” Johnny slurs. “I want in that pool.”

“You go anywhere near that house and I will hose you off myself.” Victor threatens.

“I’ll set you on fire if you touch that hose.” Johnny threatens.

“Did you drink Rum again?” Laura asks, side-eyeing the fire.

“Burning bush,” Johnny says. “It’s a sign from god!”

“It’s a sign from an inebriated asshole who’s going to get the police called him.” Laura corrects. “Did you drink Rum?” Her language has gotten a tad rougher since she moved in. Victor doesn’t know if she’s ever sworn heavily around Logan or the X-men- but she sure as hell does now.

Johnny shakes his head. “Tequila.”

“Add that to the list.” Alison says under her breath, teeth chattering. She moves closer to the burning bushes, trying to combat her state of undress with the open flame.

“Look how big you are,” Johnny says to the bushes.

“Johnny,” Victor growls. “Put the god damn fires out. It’s getting too close to the house.”

“The house is fine.” Johnny waves his flaming hand through the air, sending sparks on the grass. By accident or on purpose, Victor isn’t sure. “You need a friend,” Johnny says to the bushes before looking around. “This will do.”

Victor growls before marching off the porch and picking up the water hose. The wheel to turn on the hose sticks, even for Victor. It takes about thirty seconds to get the spigot to release the desired water pressure. He grabs the black hose by the opening (like they’d have an attachment for it) and presses a finger over the opening to create a jet of water.

Johnny frantically throws a fireball at him, catching him in the shoulder.

Victor decides to give him that one because he’s so fucked up.

“Don't!” Johnny cries a second before he’s blasted in the face.

Victor would be lying if he didn’t say that this felt a little good.

Johnny lets off giant pillars of steam as he’s hit by the water and cries.

“Stop!” He yells.

“Go out or pass out, dumbass.” Victor orders.

“I'm melting!” Johnny hiccups before ‘flaming off’ and curling into a ball. Victor turns the hose on the bushes and the yard.

“Come on Johnny.” Alison bends down and puts an arm around him. “Come on inside. You're all wet.”

“My babies.” He hiccups.

“You can make more later,” Alison promises. “We’ll have a bonfire tonight. You can make that.”

Johnny sniffs. “M’kay.”

“Okay.” Alison shuffles him into the house.

“It’s three in the afternoon,” Laura says to their retreating forms. “Why are you drunk at three in the afternoon?”

Victor stands at the door watching Laura, who has her head in her hands. “This household needs serious counseling about its drug and alcohol abuse.” She says, looking up at Victor.

Victor raises the bottle of rum to his lips, takes a swig, and then raises it over his head as if toasting her. “Good luck with that sweetheart.”

The sound of a car backfiring takes their attention to the road, killing whatever Laura was going to say.

Dom’s silver Honda pulls into the street, swerving like crazy but missing every single obstacle in its path.

Dom’s obviously driving.

The car pulls in front of the house and stops. The engine sounds completely dreadful, the tires need air, and the radio is too loud.

Some obnoxious pop song blares through the rolled up windows.

Dom opens the driver side door and literally falls onto the asphalt.

“I’m okay.” She slurs.

“You're drunk too???” Laura asks in exasperation.

“Lookit,” Dom says with a smile, motioning to the passenger side of the car. “I found Daken.”

The door opens up and he exits much more gracefully. “I told her to let me drive.” He says coldly.

“Pussy.” Dom laughs.

Daken sighs and steps over her and into the yard.

“I see Johnny’s home early.” He nods to Victor. “And the elusive Sabertooth has left its den.”

“Fuck brain needed hosed off.” Victor explains.

“Poor Johnny.” Dom picks herself up off the sidewalk. “You should go make him tea, Daken. He likes it when you make his tea.”

Daken groans. “I'm too sober for this shit.”

He digs into his pocket and retrieves a couple of pills. Popping them in his mouth and dry swallowing.

Laura glares at him. “Could you not do drugs on the front lawn?”

“Are you asking?”



“Demanding.” She crosses her arms. 

“Try rephrasing.” Daken snorts, putting an arm around Dom. “Let’s get you inside.”

Dom nods, taking uneven steps but missing every obstacle in her way.

Her powers are a point of amazement for Victor.

“Hey,” Dom stops at Laura. “I got a job.”

“Wonderful.” Laura even offers her a smile.

“Web’s is gonna be thrilled. It’s 100% legal!”

“Even better.”

Dom sniffs the air. “It smells like burning.”

Everyone’s quiet as Dom is escorted into the house and set at the table in the chair opposite of the one Johnny’s sitting in.

Victor follows them inside and decides to hang out in the kitchen for a while to see if these drunk ass holes are going to do anything more entertaining.

Johnny is igniting his index finger on his right hand and blowing it out. Over and over.

Dom is making small talk with Daken.

“Make us tea.” Dom orders.

“I don’t want to.” Daken slumps down into the last available seat.

“Are we throwing another party tonight?” Johnny asks.

“We’re doing a bonfire.” Alison walks back into the kitchen, still pantsless.

“Are those mine?” Dom points to the gray and black striped panties.

“They were in my clothes.”


“But are they mine?” 

Alison shrugs.

Victor will never understand women.

You wouldn’t catch any of these guys sharing clothes like that. 

That would have been a fight right there.

The two women let the topic go and things quietly return to where they were before Johnny came home and tried to commit arson.

Basically- boring.

So Victor decides that if there's not going to be any fun down here that he’s going to go back to bed.

If they plan on partying again tonight- he’ll need to sleep off his current buzz to make way for a new one.

So he lumbers back up the stairs, falls into his spacious bed and passes out in a record-breaking span of five minutes.

In the distance, there’s a distinct “Johnny NO!”

But Victor is too far gone to hear it. 

And if he were to hear it, he probably would be too comfortable to stop it.

Thus ends the exciting morning/afternoon.

Most likely paving the way for an even more exciting evening.

Chapter Text

Hardship is something every single person on the planet is bound to face at one point in their lives or another.

That’s just how being human works.

Or mutant- respectively.

Laura Kinney has undergone her fair share of hardships- to say the least.

She was off put by the x-men being disbanded but she learned to cope. She lost most of the people she’d come to consider friends and teammates…. but that was nothing. She kept in contact with a few and they seem to be having a little better go of it than she is.

Mainly doing restaurant and retail jobs.

That was never in Laura’s ‘bag of tricks’ - as Wade likes to call it.

She was advised to go back to something she had before the hero ‘gig’.

She took that to heart as much as she could.

Or she tried to. It was a valiant effort on her part. 

She was quickly reminded that before the hero gig she was a weapon. And that goes against everything she believes in nowadays.

So, with that in mind, she went back to the only job she knew outside of heroing and killing- sex.

It’s not so bad. It’s an easy way to pick up a few bucks at the very least. 

She’s her own pimp this time around and she likes it better that way.

It gives her time to take care of the house.

The others are hardly appreciative, however. The number of small fires she’s put out after they all pass out is alarming. Whether it be from someone passing out with a lit cigarette, someone dropping a blunt on the carpet and not realizing it, or from Johnny getting inebriated and losing control of his powers momentarily. Laura keeps the place standing and receives no thanks.

They credit Wade with the housework and she doesn’t really have it in her to correct them.

That way if she does a poor job on a certain day, say this morning, no one can blame her.

They're all too busy spending their days scrambling for money and spending their nights trying to escape their personal ‘demons’. Laura has never seen so much alcohol in her young life.

Laura doesn't smoke, drink, or party. Yet she’s been surrounded by it every day and night for the last year. She expects tonight to be no different.

Alison has been getting ready for tonight's party for the last three hours.

Laura can’t for the life of her understand why…. the same five or six people show up every night. 

It’s not like they haven't seen her before.

Laura is lounging on her bed. She happily notes that is still by the wall. Her argument with Alison was settled by a drunk Neena.

Again, Laura doesn’t care much for drinking… but she was happy that Alison was not willing to fight with an inebriated Dom over the issue.

According to Laura’s phone , it’s about seven.

That gives her about an hour and thirty minutes before the real noise starts.

Her room is still a horrid shade of purple. None of the women can agree on a color of paint and they really don’t have the spare cash laying around to buy paint anyway- so it stays purple.

All of the beds are cheap. Made of pale wood that’s barely wood at all. Enough so, however, to give horrible splinters.

Two of the beds are pushed against the wall (Laura’s and Neena’s) and one is turned sideways and stretched between the other two so as to give the women some room to move about.

Downstairs she can hear her housemates bustling about.

The sound of clinking beer bottles and the smell of marijuana drifts upstairs.

Not wanting to deal with that just yet she watches Alison try yet another wig on.

Laura wonders why she cut her hair short in the first place if she insists on wearing wigs.

“Do you like the blue?”

Alison turns around from her mirror that’s mounted to the wall by command strips and duct tape.

“What are you wearing?”

“Clothes.” Alison frowns. “Do you like the hair?”



Laura looks at Alison’s skin tight bra and skirt combo.

“No.” She answers honestly. “It makes you look cheap.”

“Cheap??” Alison growls.

“Cheap.” Laura repeats.

And she should know.

She’s made quite a name for herself in certain parts of the city. She’s anything but ‘cheap’.

Alison huffs and takes the wig off, settling on a pink one instead.

It won’t fix her problem- but Laura decides to let that go.

After settling the wig problem, Alison starts to shift through the various clear drawers of her rolling compartment contraption sitting to the side of the mirror. 

The first drawer has hair things. The second has makeup and the third houses about three pairs of Alison’s favorite shoes. Of course, being the Diva she is, Alison has more in the closet, but these pairs are her ‘absolutes’.

Watching Ali get dressed is amusing. Laura’s never really ‘dolled up’ -as Logan used to call it- but watching other women do it is fascinating. The things they do, the steps they take, the careful thought and consideration they put into these matters- It takes a level of dedication that in some small way, makes Laura admire them.

Besides the small smells and noises from downstairs, it’s been pretty quiet.

At this time in the night usually, everyone is either in the kitchen eating or in the living room drinking. Since there’s no food in the house as of yet (which the housemates have thanked Alison for, repeatedly) she guesses that they’ve moved on to the drinking portion of the night. They can be without food, they can be without power, they can be without heat in the middle of winter- but they are never- ever- without alcohol.

She worries about them for that very reason.

Laura hears one of her housemates approach the door before they softly knock.

Whoever it is, she can’t get a good scent off of them. So either she’s off her game, her it’s someone who doesn’t want to be sensed. Dom and Daken are both good at doing this. Daken out of power set and Dom out of sheer luck.

“Come in!” Alison doesn’t even ask who it is.

She’s bad at doing this. Both Wade and Peter have seen Laura naked because of it.

“Laura,” Daken sounds far more drugged than when she last talked to him as he swings the door open, “Laura… move over.’”

He saunters into the room and falls into the bed with her.

“Awh… poor little junkie.” Alison teases. “Tuckered out already?”

“Shut up.” Daken points in her direction while laying face down in Laura’s pillows.

“Is there something you want?” Laura asks semi-patiently.

Daken shakes his head.

“Then get out, Daken.” Laura says, moving over slightly as he’s somewhat pushing her off of the bed.

He shakes his head again. “Don’t make me go.” He pleads.

His phone makes a buzzing noise from his pocket.

He hides his face further.

The two are bound to be related.

“Guy troubles again honey?” Alison asks, still playing with the wig. Alison is all knowing around the house. Good drama is just that- Good drama.

Daken nods.

Laura seethes on the inside. Guy troubles.

She hates the men Daken brings around.

When he’s sober he’s fine.

When he’s intoxicated he makes mistake after mistake and ends up in the hands of these men who don’t respect him.

That’s the part that gets Laura.

Daken is a piece of work- but he deserves to be respected. Especially by his romantic interests.

“Which one?” She sighs. She should know if there’s someone she’s going to have to kick out of the house tonight. She likes to know these things up front.

“Marcus.”

Marcus is Daken’s main problem. They had ‘history’ in California. Daken’s wording. Laura has no idea about anything further than that because he won’t elaborate.

He sounds downtrodden every time they talk about Marcus- however, and the actions are starting to paint an unpleasant picture.

“Is he coming tonight?” Alison asks.

Daken grunts in response.

“Don’t fuck him in my bed again,” Alison warns. “I blind you if you do.”

Daken grunts again.

“What happened to Steven?” Laura hates to ask. He wasn’t the best- but he wasn’t the worst.

“He’s in jail,” Daken says dismissively before going completely quiet.

The room is quiet as they wait for Daken to elaborate. The more time that passes, the more convinced Laura becomes that Daken’s forgotten he was talking to them.

“What for?” Talking to Daken when he’s like this is almost impossible. She nudges him as she says it.

“Oh.” He mumbles. “Possession.”

“Of drugs?” Alison pries, moving over from her mirror to the center of the room while putting on a pair of earrings.

The conversation is once again moving.

It’s surprising that Laura, who’s very comfortable with awkward silences, is always the one to break them.



Daken shakes his head. “Of the mayor.”

Now is not the time for unruly mutants disregarding the rules and using their powers.

Laura thought everyone in the mutant community knew that.

“Ouch.” Alison hisses. “Yea- I read about that now that I think about it. He’s going to be doing some hard time.”

Daken shrugs, his position on the bed making the gesture awkward.

Steven was a bit of an idiot.

Laura finds no need to sugar coat that.

He and Daken were extremely ill-suited for one another.

That does not mean, however, that Daken should go running back to Marcus.

“Why is Marcus coming over? “ Laura hates to feed this conversation. She was actually hoping to get some sleep before the house becomes a noise violation. “I thought you two were on a ‘break’ after he helped you overdose and left.”

“You can’t be on a break if you were never dating,” Daken laughs. “I don’t ‘date’.”

Of course. Because dating might lead to a suitable match and Daken destroys every chance he gets at being normal.

“Maybe you should,” Alison says offhandedly. “Find someone nice, emphasis on the nice, and enjoy yourself.”

“Enjoy myself?” He scoffs.

“Dates,” Ali says with a nod. “Hand holding. Cuddling. Love making. Go see movies, go to parks, go meet the parents- all that chick flick stuff.”

“That sounds dreadful.” Daken says, turning his head over and smirking at her.

“Why are you here- Daken?” Laura repeats. “If you’re not going to take advice, why are you in here?”

“I want company.” Is his muffled reply as he ends up face down in the pillows again.

“Then go talk to the people downstairs.” Laura says shortly.

“I want your company.” Daken turns his head again, looking at her through heavy-lidded eyes. “Downstairs stinks.”

“If you wanted to enjoy my company, you wouldn’t have gotten high. You know I have very little tolerance for you when you’re like this.”

There’s a pause.

Laura can hear Alison rummaging through her drawers and chuckling.

For the rest of the house, Daken and Laura’s sibling-like relationship is somewhat funny. More so the part where she acts like the ‘big sister’ even though she’s a good fifty years younger than him.

“You’re mad that I wrecked the car?”

Laura sighs. “Not currently, no.” She no longer wants to play Daken’s games. If she was doing so in the first place. She tries to feed these interactions as little as humanly possible.

“You're mad that I wrecked the car.” He repeats.

“No- Daken. That has nothing to do with my emotional state at the moment.”

“Because they say you were pretty mad last night.” He continues.

“Daken-“

“And I knocked the power out of that light post.”

“I'm not mad!” She snaps.

He pauses, turning over onto his side to look at her. “You sound mad.”

Laura nudges Daken off the bed and onto the floor. “Go away, Daken.” She orders.

“Laura…” He groans. “Don’t make me go.”

“GO!” She snaps.

“Why?”

Alison chuckles at her mirror. “He’s trying to bond with you.” She calls. “Don’t make him leave.”

“You're being bothersome,” Laura says coldly. “Go somewhere else.”

Daken gets to his feet. “Fine.” He snaps. “Fine. IF my own flesh and blood won’t talk to me- fine.”

Laura feels bad for a second but then strengthens her resolve. “Come back when you’re sober. I’d be more than happy to bond with you then.”

“Whatever.” He mutters, walking out the door and shutting it behind him.

The room goes back to its previous state. 

Laura knows that Daken will be fine.

He tends to get clingy when his high reaches a certain state. She always keeps an eye on the house at night, but it’s hard to do with Daken attached to her arm.

“I hate Marcus,” Alison says after a few minutes of silence. “He fucks him up too much.”

“Daken can care for himself.” It’s true. He hasn't died yet. Marcus’s pills used to come with a side effect that it burnt out healing factors. Daken's new drug of choice is something else entirely. Daken found it long before Marcus contacted him. The fact that Marcus happened to be dealing was just a very unlucky coincidence

Laura turns on her side, face in her pillows. She smells cigarettes now from where Daken was laying. “Damnit.” She swears.

Alison starts her vigorous makeup routine and Laura tries her best to ignore the lingering smell of smoke.

To her distress, the smell get’s stronger as the minutes go by.

It takes a moment to realize that someone’s at the door again.

If it’s Daken, she swears he will be having a ‘time out’ for bothering people.

“Alison?” Johnny is at the door.

Alison stops mid-mascara and goes to the door. “What?” She opens it a tad.

When she’s doing her makeup is the only time she doesn’t swing it wide open. 

Then- and only then- she needs her privacy.

“There’s some guy here for you.” Johnny tags a drag of the cigarette resting between his lips before exhaling, smoke running out of his mouth as he follows with,“Says he’s from your Label.”

Alison leans back and sighs “Fuck” as aggressively as one can for that action.

“Don’t shoot the messenger.” Johnny takes a drag again.

Alison straightens back up. “Fine. Thanks, Johnny.”

Johnny smiles a little. “It’ll be okay.” He offers are a shoulder pat. He leans in the doorway as she exits. “Hey,” He’s not as drunk as he was, but she can tell he’s still pretty buzzed. “Laura?”

“Yes?” She can be more patient with drunkenness than illegal intoxication. At least the cops won’t arrest Johnny for being drunk.

As long as he’s in his own home- at any rate.

“What’d you do to Daken?” He inhales again. “Dude’s upset and all I can get out of it is your name.”

“Fuck.” She growls.

Johnny exhales smoke into the hallway.

“Why are you smoking up here?” Laura demands, angry at the Daken laced information and taking it out on Johnny.

It’s not logical, but it makes her feel better.

“Because I live here.” He raises an eyebrow.

“The house smells like smoke and ash when you walk around smoking. I hope you know that.”

“Get the Febreze then.” He says with a shrug.

A silent moment passes between the two.

“So are you gonna fix the Daken thing or…. are we gonna let it explode as he gets fucked up?”

“He wasn’t that upset when he left.” She tries to dismiss.

“Yea, I think the four or five pills he just took has something to do with it.”

Daken knows no moderation.

He is an over indulgent, deadly, man-child.

That’s a recurring theme in this house. It’s everyone’s favorite insult. Laura can’t remember who started saying it, but along the way, everyone’s picked it up.

At some points, it’s a running gag.

At others, it’s truly offensive.

“Why do all of you let him routinely ingest the large amount of drugs that he does?” She says in exasperation.

“Because,” Johnny inhales again, “He broke the stairs when we flushed his pills at that ‘intervention’ we tried.”

Laura begrudgingly accepts this.

“Fine.” She exhales slowly. “Fine. I will deal with Daken.”

Johnny nods. “Good.”

Laura rolls out of bed and gathers her shorts from the floor.

Johnny covers his eyes with his hand as she pulls them up. 

“Did not know you were pantsless.” He says. “Sorry.”

“I’m wearing underclothing.” She says dismissively. “You can look now.”

The two of them walk out the bedroom and to the stairs in silence.

Johnny takes the steps at slow and leisurely pace while Laura takes them quickly.

“Daken?” She calls at the bottom.

The house is slightly cleaner than last she left it.

She noted earlier that Peter was upset about his shoot today. He probably came home and straightened up to ease his frustrations in a healthy manner. 

Peter always tries to use healthy coping mechanisms first. The partying comes because he wants to have fun- not for an unhealthy reason. Laura highly respects him for that.

“Over here, Wolvie. ” Wade calls her into the living room.

The living room is composed of a large brown leather couch and two mismatched armchairs. One stationary, one a recliner. The furniture is spread out before a massive TV screen and a small glass coffee table sits in the dead center of the setup.

It doesn’t seat all of them and there’s usually several fights for who ends up seated on the floor.

“Don’t call me ‘Wolvie’,” Laura says dismissively. “I don’t own that title anymore.”

Wolverine was one of the heroes the government wanted to recruit.

Only, Logan is dead. Has been for a while.

So They found Laura and ‘offered’ her the job. More of a , ‘we’re taking this name if you’re attached to it, you’re coming too’ kind of deal. 

Laura weighed out her options and firmly decided that she did not want to be owned by the government. It was too reminiscent of her upbringing.

So she lost the “Wolverine” title.

They have someone who is related to Logan in no way at all, prancing around in his suit with a pair of energy claws projected by old Stark tech.

Laura finds it disgusting.

“You'll always be Wolvie to me.” Wade says in a tone that could be seen as encouraging. He’s got Daken’s head in his lap and is calmly stroking his hair. His other hand is running something over Daken’s skin. UP and down his arm. Something small. Like a toy truck tire.



“Gimme.” Daken orders childishly.

Wade moves his fingers from Daken's arm to his face. He holds his fingers an inch from his mouth.

The thing in his hand turns out to be a pill, pinched between his thumb and his index finger. Which Laura doesn’t find surprising for Daken to be ingesting at this point and time. She does, however, find it surprising that Wade’s feeding them to him.

“Ask nicely.” Wade says in a tone you would use for a naughty child.

“It’s mine.” Daken growls. “Give it.”

“Nope.” Wade quickly jerks the item to his mouth and swallows.

Daken makes a sound of pure annoyance.

Laura is confused as to what she’s seeing.

Wade watches her for a second before saying, “Peter put me in charge of Daken’s drugs. We knew we couldn’t keep him out of them… but he thought I could slow down the process by a few hours.” He smiles. “I’m useful.” He said that with the pride of a twelve-year-old showing off something they’d done for a parent.

Laura crosses her arms.

“Another.” Daken orders.

“How is this going to work if you’re taking the pills?” She asks.

“Got that covered.” Wade holds a gloved hand to her, the pill he ‘swallowed’ still intact. “Ta- da!” he smiles through his mask. “He’s been asking for this one for twenty minutes.”

It’s not a bad plan in the slightest.

Laura will give this to Peter- overlooking his habit of putting too much faith in people- he’s a very clever man.

Laura puts her hands on the back of the couch, leaning over.

Daken’s eyes are glassy. “X.” He greets when he sees her watching.

“Daken.” She replies. “Johnny said you were upset?”

“I’m not.” He looks confused. “Why would he say that?”

“You're not upset?” Laura tries to get him to be honest. It’s very much Daken’s style to lie. Especially when he’s high.



“Not since he curled up with Wade.” Victor looks up from his magazine across the room.

His choice of clothing and magazine Laura finds off-putting.

Laura looks at him in disgust. “Could you not read Playboys while sitting in the living room?”

The other’s are slightly afraid of Victor. Laura refuses to be on the principle of the thing. No one should fear him. They should stand up to him and make him act like a civil human being.

Creed smiles. “It’s not like I’m jerking it.”

“You could get dressed as well.” She side eyes his shirtless, quite hairy, body.

“If it bothers you so much- don’t look.” Creed says dismissively.

Creed is, to his credit, wearing pants this time.

Laura would just prefer if he would also wear a shirt.

He’s in the biggest chair in the room. It looks comically small as he sits in it.

The pornographic magazine is something he’s often seen with.

In fact- it’s quite odd to see him without one.

Laura knows he was with Mystique before this. She wishes he would satisfy is sexual frustration with her and not be so perverted all of the time.

She doesn’t care for her sake so much- but it’s the principle of the thing.

“Gimme.” Daken says to Wade.

“Ah no my little junkie.” Wade coos to him. “You gotta do a trick first.”

Victor looks over from his armchair. “This oughta be good.”

“Trick?” Daken pouts.

Wade runs the pill down the bridge of his nose. “Say the alphabet backwards.”

“Cold, Wilson.” Victor chuckles.

“All of it?” Daken sounds to be in shock.

Wade dangles the pill over his nose. “All 28 letters, Sunshine.”

“THere’s only 26 letters in the alphabet, Wade.” Laura informs.

"Well-“



Laura can’t hear his reply as she’s very much surprisingly jerked from the room.

She spins around to claw her assailant, but the man jumps across the room, ending up hanging from the ceiling. “Easy!”

“Do not grab me!” She orders angrily.

“Sorry!” Peter says quickly. “Sorry- it’s an emergency.” He sways a little on the ceiling, just a small little side step. He also, Laura notes, mispronounced the word ‘emergency’.

Laura takes in his strange expression. “What is it?”

“It’s Ali.”

Laura’s nerves go on attention. “What’s wrong with her?”

“She’s being sued and her record label just dropped her.” He whispers.

That’s a lot to process.

“She’s being sued?” She asks.

“Big time.” Peter takes another side step motion on the ceiling, his eyes looking just a tiny bit cloudy.

“What is she being sued for??”

Peter drops from the ceiling, landing on his feet with a grace that an actual spider would envy. “Get this,” He says. “False advertising.” He raises his eyebrows.

“False advertising?”

He nods. “Some ‘human activists’ group said she tricked humans into paying her money by not telling them she was a mutant. They want a refund for concert tickets and downloaded content.”



Human activists are a relatively new thing. Not a far cry from the Friends of Humanity to be honest. They just do a lot more things by the light of day.

“You’re kidding. She’s a public mutant. I thought everyone knew.”

“Ali’s a wreck.” Peter says quietly, but he’s smirking. “She won’t have any money when this is done.” He waves his hands in front of him. “Like none.”

Laura puts her hands on her hips, tilts her head back, and sighs. This is not what they needed right now. “We have to get her a job.” She says finally.

“Yea? And how are we gonna do that?” He’s smiling the most unnerving smile.

Laura has seen Peter drunk of several occasions. But this isn’t Peter acting drunk. This is something else. She hates to pry but he’s acting more and more like one of the members of the household who ingest something a little different than alcohol.

Laura sighs again. “I don’t know. Surely she can do something other than sing.”

Peter shakes his head. “We’ll figure it out- I’m sure…. it’s just… she’s going to get alcohol poisoning tonight if someone doesn’t watch her.”

Peter’s real intentions are now painfully evident.

“You are not assigning me a drunk.” She seethes. “I told you I wouldn’t do this-“



“It’s just for tonight.” Peter says, hands in front of him with a ‘calm down’ like gesture.

“She vomits!” She snaps. 

“They all vomit!” Peter retorts.

“They all vomit!” Peter retorts.

Laura puts a hand on the back of her neck and looks to the side. “What are you doing tonight?”

“Well… uh.. it’s kinda funny really-“ Peter runs his fingers through his slightly messy hair. “I uh… ate a brownie from the kitchen,”

“No, you didn’t,” Laura cuts in, “because the number one rule is not to eat any baked goods that you didn’t see the baking process of.”

“We don’t have any food!” Peter snaps. “I was hungry!”

“What did you do after the brownie? With luck, it’s just cannabis. You can work through cannabis.” She motions for him to continue with her hand

“Well, after the brownie, I drank a soda.”

“Go on.”

Peter giggles. “Wade laced it with something….. I wasn’t supposed to get ahold of it.”

What? “No, no, no. Peter- two people have to stay sober. That’s the rule.”

Peter shrugs. “It’s kinda starting to hit me a little…”

“No- NO.” She slaps his face. “No, Peter. Two of us have to stay sober.”

“The drink was laced with Ecstasy.” Dom is sitting at the table, unnoticed until she spoke. “I saw him do it.”

“Fuck.” Peter groans. “Not again.”

Not again is an understatement.

This is the third time this has happened to Peter. Laura’s starting to think it’s becoming intentional. Especially since it’s usually Wade who leaves the items around.

One day, Laura will sit them down and figure out exactly what the two have going on between them. There’s definitely something ‘off’. She just doesn’t know what.

If it involves Wade drugging Peter- whether it be on accident or purposefully- it’s not healthy and it needs to be stopped.

“You got a free trip , Parker!” Wade calls from the living room. “No bitching!”

“No bitching.” Peter repeats under his breath with a giggle.

“Come sit down Spidey.” Dom advises. “It’ll hit you like a brick to the face.”

Peter looks at Laura for a minute before shrugging and joining Dom at the table.

“What about you, Dom?” Laura turns to her before groaning.

Dom has a small clear water bong in her lap and lighter in her hand.

“What?” She laughs. “I was told that I didn’t have to babysit tonight.”

“I cannot take care of this many people!” Laura says angrily.

“Go ask Creed.” Dom says dismissively.

It’s… not a bad idea. She doesn’t recall seeing him with a drink in his hand.

She walks back into the living room and takes a deep breath.

“P,O,M,L,K,J, I, H,” Daken looks expectantly at Wade.

“You forgot ’N', runt.” Victor chuckles.

Laura looks at him closely. No alcohol bottles. No drug paraphilia. It looks hopeful.

“Victor,” She approaches the ring of couches and chairs. “Could I ask you for a favor?”

He looks over Wade and Daken to her.

“Am I going to like it?”

“Probably not.” She answers honestly.

He stares at her with a look that’s hard to decipher.

“I need help babysitting.” Laura says in a serious tone.

Victor burst out laughing. “That’ll happen.”

“Peter is drugged because of Wade-“ She says pointedly towards the man on the couch, “And I need a hand.”

“Get Johnny.” Victor goes back to his magazine.

“Already drunk!” Johnny calls from the stairs.

“Dom!” Victor calls, looking towards the kitchen.

“Lighting up in the kitchen!” She calls back.

“Wade-“



“No.” Laura says sternly. “We let him watch Dom once and they both ended up in the hospital.”

Not by means of drugs- thankfully. More so, they both got drunk and decided to play with handguns.

“Alison-“ 



“Alison is the one who needs watching.”

Creed’s eyes light up. “Oh. You could have lead with that.”

Laura growls at him. “If you touch her- I will maim you.”

Victor holds his hands skyward. “Wouldn’t dream of it kiddo.”

“I’m sure.” Laura walks to the couch and looks down at Wade. “No more lacing food items with drugs.” She says sternly.

“Gimme.” Daken spokes like she hadn’t.

“Sorry buddy.” Wade pretends to eat the pill again. “You didn’t get to ‘A’.”

“Wade.” She snaps.



“At the rate Junior here’s going, he’ll be sober enough to help in an hour or so.” Wade nods his head. “I’m helping.”

Laura watches Daken go from pouty to angry. “Give it to me.” He growls.

“He’s going to stab you.” She warns.

“We’re playing a game.” Wade pushes her worries aside with a wave of his hand. Daken tracks the hand through the air as it’s still got the pill in it. “Sing the Sesame Street’ theme song,” Wade says in a sing-song tone. “Come on. Sing!”

“Dumbass.” Victor sets aside his magazine and stands to his feet. “Where’s the princess now?”

“Front lawn.” Peter is heavily leaning in the doorway of the kitchen. “Why are you all so small?”

“I’ll go-“ 



“Wait!” Dom jumps from her chair and goes running towards Victor with a bottle in her hand. “Give Ali this.”

Victor lifts the bottle. “What is this shit?”

“It’s vodka.” Dom says like it’s the most obvious thing int he world.

“I see that,” Victor growls. “Where the fuck did you get this cheap ass shit from?”

“The liquor store,” Dom growls back. “It’s her favorite. They were having a sale. I guess it’ll come in handy.”

“Sing little buddy.” Wade teases, playing with the pill over Daken’s face.

“He’s going to stab you.” Laura says distractedly. She’s sure she’s already said it once. 

There are two many conversations running to keep track.

“Little cub won’t stab me!“ Wade gasps. “We’re playing a game!”



“Give me the god damn pill!” Daken demands, extending both sets of his claws into Wade’s thighs.

“OW!” Wade dangles the pill in front of him again. “Claws out.” He yelps.

Daken complies with a smile. 

“Here.” He drops the green pill onto Daken’s awaiting tongue. “Gotta get me a pair of claws.” He mutters. “Or a bone saw.” He watches Daken’s hands with an interest that can only be described as ‘unhealthy’. “Junior- do your’s grow back?”

“Hmmm?”

“Wade!” Laura snaps. “You’re not taking his claws!”

“I’d pay him for them!” Wade says defensively.

“No, Wade.” Laura growls. “Don’t talk about it with him this high. He might consider it.”

Daken curls back up into his lap like an overgrown house cat. “Pet me.” He orders.

“Such a good kitty.” Wade coos, shooing Laura away with his hand. "You wanna give me those claws- don't you? Good kitty."

Daken smiles happily.

“Don’t get blood on the couch. “Dom says in a gasp. “That’s leather!”

“Suit soaked it up.” Wade says dismissively. “Ain’t that right - Lil buddy?”

“Pet me.” Daken orders again.

Wade laughs. “It’s like a kitty cat.” He turns to Laura and Dom. “With longer claws.”

Everyone stares and Wade and Daken’s odd display of affection for a moment.

Laura decides to pretend like she isn’t seeing it and continue on with her night.

“Think juniors next victim is gonna be Wade.” Victor is still looking at the pair.

Daken has had several housemates as ‘victims. They all have.

‘Victims’ are the people you drunkenly engage in sexual situations with that are not intended.

“I certainly hope not.” Laura sighs, begrudgingly thinking of the awkward encounters she could possibly be forced to endure if that ever came to pass. “I’m going to check on Alison.” She says in parting.

She moves away from the living room to the front door, grabbing her coat off of the back of the coat closet and securing it tightly.

Ali is sitting on the steps to the house, empty bottle in her hands.

“Alison?”

She doesn’t look up as Laura approaches.

“Fuckers.” She says without looking. “God damn mother fuckers.”

“How bad is it?” Laura takes a seat beside her.

“I called my lawyer,” Alison says with a sigh. “She thinks we can reach a settlement.”

“That’s good- right?” Laura offers.

Alison shakes her head. She’s taken off the wig.

“It’ll take all my cash by the time it’s done.”

Laura thinks for a second. “You could go back to playing gigs.” She says.

“Who’s going to hire me?” Alison sounds tearful. “Everyone hates mutants again.”

“They’ve always hated mutants.” Laura tries to push it aside.

“Yes, but it hasn’t been this bad in a while.”

“It’ll get better,” Laura says. “It can’t get any worse.”

Alison turns to her. “Never say that,” She says. “It could always get worse.”

Laura silently agrees. She was just trying to cheer Alison up.

She knows that she’ll have to choose her words more carefully.

“What are you going to do?” Laura asks.

Alison smiles sadly. “I’m gonna get drunk off my ass and deal with it in the morning.” She rest her head in a cradle she’s made of arms by resting them on her knees. “What else can I do?” She asks hopelessly.

Laura usually wouldn’t advise that. But this is an emergency situation. Emergency situations call for different protocols.

“If that helps.” Laura offers her friend a smile.

They sit in silence for a few moments, watching the dark street become illuminated by the street lights.

In the distance, there are sirens- the lullaby of the city.

“Alison,” Victor says from the door. “Dom got you this.” He walks out and passes the bottle to her.

“Ah,” Ali sits up and reaches a hand out for the bottle. “Maybe if I get drunk- things will be okay.”

Laura has a gut feeling that that is not a correct assumption.

She lets that go, however.

She’s learned that sometimes people don’t need to know the truth.

And though she’s not a fan of flat out lying to her friends, she can abide with half-truths until they are in a position to accept it fully.

Laura gets up from her spot on the porch and prepares herself for what is bound to be a very, very, very, taxing night.

Chapter Text

Being high is fun.

if it’s a good high, that is.

Ask any junkie.

Daken doesn’t like that word. ‘Junkie’. He refuses to be labeled by it.

“Hey, baby.” His vision swims back into focus. “Baby, baby, baby.” The man repeats. “How much did my little junkie take?”

“Marcus?” He slurs.

The kitchen is too bright. 

Even though in reality one of three light bulbs under the spinning ceiling fan has burnt out- casting most of the room into odd shadow like light.

“Shh, shh.” The man mutters. “Up, up, up.” He pushes on Daken until he’s lifted in the air before being sat on something.

The sound of doors being opened up repeatedly is funny to Daken’s ears.

Daken is seated on top of the counter, leaning heavily against Marcus as the other man searches the kitchen.

Marcus is still as attractive as Daken remembers.

Maybe more so.

Black hair, shining eyes, stubble on his chin- he still looks the part of Hollywood actor.

Daken takes a moment to look at him- as much as Daken can look at anything in this moment. 

Marcus coming back into his life was unexpected. Right now- he says it's a good thing. 

Daken has no idea exactly how Marcus got out of prison, but he’s betting it wasn’t done legally. 

“No food?”

To Daken, the world is a mix of colors and blurs. His vision will focus, and then lose focus for no apparent reason.

Daken zones back in. “Pot brownies.” He mumbles, motioning in the general direction of the other kitchen counter.

“That’s it?” Marcus says in a disappointed tone.

Daken thinks he’s nodding.

Things go blurry again.

“Open up.” Marcus is pushing a piece of brownie into a half unconscious Daken’s mouth. 



The man doesn’t know how to tell him he’s not hungry.

Not hungry and nauseous- come to think of it. 

This started off as an okay high. 

Currently, Daken's not so sure of it. 

'“It’s yummy.” Marcus bribes.

Daken vaguely shakes his head.

“It’ll enhance your high.”

Daken likes the idea of high being enhanced. Marcus said that three pills ago. 



Daken just doesn't feel exactly right at this moment. He thinks the high being taken to the next level will be helpful.

“There’s my boy.” Marcus praises. 

Daken is having a hard time swallowing.

“Water?” He croaks.

“I gotcha.” Marcus disappears for a moment before coming back with a cup of vodka, unbeknownst to Daken, who takes a large gulp.

Marcus quickly covers his mouth with his hand. “Swallow.” He instructs . “No gagging.”

Daken can’t help but tear up as the liquid overtakes his senses. It burns the entire way down into his stomach, leaving a sickly sweet aftertaste. 

Needless to say, he’s not choking on the brownie anymore.

Marcus uncovers his mouth. “Good boy.”

“Marcus?”

“The one and only.” The man grins. “Baby, do you know why I get you high like this?”

Daken zones back out until the man lightly taps his face.

“Daken? Why do I get you high like this?”

Daken feels insanely ill.

“ Gonna puke.” He mutters.

“Not until you answer me.” Marcus smiles. “Why do I get you high like this?”

Daken doesn’t know. 

Daken doesn’t want to know. 

Daken wants to puke. That’s it.

“Because-“ 





“Because you fucked me over, sweetness,” Marcus says. “And now I fuck you over.”

Daken can’t focus on that.

“Gonna puke.” He repeats.

“Lean over the sink.” Marcus flashes a white toothed smile.

Daken thinks Marcus is so wise. So knowledgeable. In all his years he’s never met one like Marcus.

He vomits messily into the sink, the vodka coming back up in painful waves, mixing with the brownie in a disgusting display of alcohol, stomach acid, and solid food.

Daken thinks there's almost an amount of beauty to it. In some sort of ironic way that he could figure out if he weren't fucked up. 

“Puking,” Marcus tuts. “Here.” He offers him another pill. "You don't wanna come down- do you?" 

Daken shakes his head. “No more.” He slurs.

“No more?” Marcus sounds shocked. “Then you’re ready for bed?”

“Uh uh.”

“Wanna take a bath?”

“No, no, no.” Daken shakes his head.

“Off the counter.” Marcus orders with a frown.

Daken can't for the life of him understand why Marcus would be upset. 

Daken tries to do as he’s told but slips and falls on his face on the dirty kitchen floor.

“Dak-“



“Woah.” Dom comes into the kitchen in staggering steps. “Daken?”

“Uh uh.” He shakes his head on the floor.

“You okay?” She side steps. “He okay?” She asks Marcus.

“I don’t wanna go to bed.” Daken mumbles from the floor.

“We’re fine,” Marcus says. “How are you tonight?”

Dom eyes him suspiciously. “Daken,” She bends down. “Sweetie,”

“The floor is nice.” He rubs his hands on it.

“The floor is nice.” Dom sits down beside him. She rubs her palms along it. “Why are we on the floor?” She giggles suddenly.

“The floor is nice?” Marcus offers with a nervous laugh. “Dom- sweetie, how fucked up are you?”

Anyone in their right minds would see that Marcus Roston is up to something nefarious.

However, there are only two people in this house in their right minds at the moment, and they are both trying to put out a fire in the back yard.

“Pretty fucked up.” The woman laughs.

It’s obvious by her state of undress at the moment that she’s telling the truth. Dom’s one of those people who losing clothing the more they drink. Right now she’s down to boy-shorts and her tank top.

“Fucked up enough to not remember this?” Marcus questions.

“Remember what?” Dom sounds confused as she rubs her hands on the floor.

“That’s my girl.”

Dom stares at Marcus and Daken. “Daken… doesn’t look right.” Dom mumbles, leaning forward and nudging him.

Marcus gets a look of concentration on his face.

Daken resits Dom's nudges, trying to push her away with his hand and having no luck. 

“Dom?” Marcus questions. “Do you wanna feel good?”

“Dom?” Daken groans. “that’s Dom?”

“I fucking love feeling good.” She whispers in the most serious tone she can manage.

“Great!” Marcus fishes a pill out of his pocket. “Take one for me?”

Dom eyes the green pill with suspicion.

“Be a good girl.” Marcus soothes. “Take a pill for me.”

Daken twists himself on the floor, to where he’s looking at Marcus.

His nose is bleeding- which is a universal sign to stop.

Daken doesn't seem to be heeding this sign. 

Dom tilts her head and looks at him. “Daken, you’re bleeding!” She gasps. "Why are you bleeding?"

Daken nods. “I don’t feel good.”

The world has gone gray for him and his body is hurting in ways he’s never felt before.

Marcus turns to him. “Oh, baby.” He coos. “I can make you feel better.”

Daken licks his chapped lips. “Make me feel better.” He pleads.

“Look.” Marcus digs in his pocket again. “I have a pill for both of you!” He says cheerfully.

“I don’t take pills.” Dom rubs her palms across the linoleum again. “Feels good.” She slurs.

“This one is a special pill,” Marcus promises. “Isn't that right Daken?”

Daken brings his knees to his chest, hoping to stop the pain. “I don’t feel good.”

He can't fathom why he feels this way. It's unlike any high he's ever experienced. 

“Here baby,” Marcus gently cups his head, pressing the pill through his lips and encouraging him to swallow.

Daken tosses his head a little, almost as in protest.

But he knows Marcus wouldn't hurt him. 

“His color’s not right.” Dom slurs. “I gotta…” She sways to her feet. “I gotta tell Laura.”

“No, no, no!” Marcus says quickly. “Don’t tell Laura…. Daken will get in trouble!”

“Trouble?”

“Trouble?” Daken slurs quietly.

Daken doesn’t want to be in trouble with Laura. He wanted to do better tonight.

He didn’t even want Marcus to come over.

But then Marcus arrived and started giving him pills. New pills. Pills that hadn’t made it to the streets just yet.

Daken felt, in his own odd way, honored.

He felt that maybe Marcus felt something for him.

Something, in his drugged mind, like what Alison was talking about earlier.

Marcus nods. “And you don’t want to get him in trouble- do you?”

Dom shakes her head quickly.

“I got one for you too, pretty girl.” Marcus offers. “Want me to feed it to you?”

Daken shakes his head on the floor.

Things do not feel good for him right now.

A wiser person would have noted that he was showing signs of an overdose about thirty minutes ago.

But… the wise people aren’t in at the moment.

Dom opens her mouth and sticks out her tongue, sitting on the floor again.

“Good girl.” Marcus praises, placing the pill on her tongue and offering her a smile. “That’ll make you feel good.”

She nods, reaching out and petting Daken. “Daken,” She soothes. “You're so hot.”

“He is hot.” Marcus agrees.

Daken doesn’t feel hot at the moment.

There's vomit on his shirt and the knees to his pants are dirty. 

This was once and expensive outfit. 

He can't remember when it stopped being expensive. 

“No.” Dom slurs. “No, he’s got a fever.”

Marcus sighs. “These people.” He mutters under his breath. “Daken, honey?” he says out loud, “Do you want to take that bath now?”

“Daken needs to see Laura.” Dom repeats. “I gotta go-“ She tries to stand to her feet, but can’t. “Marcus- go get Laura.” She orders weakly.

“Hmm… no sweetie. You'll both get in trouble now.”

“I don’t feel good,” Daken says quietly.

“He doesn’t feel good.” Dom repeats. “We need to tell Laura.”

“Fuck Laura,” Marcus says sternly. “We all need to enjoy our high.”

“Please.” Daken whimpers.

He doesn't understand anything anymore. The lights are bright- yet the world is gray around the edges. He feels like he could puke again at any moment. 

“He doesn't feel good!” Dom says and in a surge of willpower, pulls herself to her feet.

“Dom, Dom, Dom,” Marcus says quickly, getting to his feet and putting hands on her shoulders. “He’s alright.”

The back door swings open and Victor comes in, pants singed and looking to be in a foul mood. He stops and stares for as second. “The fuck is going on in here?” he demands when he sees Marcus holding Dom and Daken curled up on the floor.

“Noth-“ 



Why would Marcus not tell Victor what's going on? 

“Daken doesn’t feel good!” Dom cries over Marcus. “Get Laura!”

“Holy fuck.” Victor curses, going to Daken and checking his pulse. “Roston?” He growls. “You do this?”

“Eh,” Marcus takes a step back. “Eh- no, no. This is a misunderstand-“

Daken doesn't think Marcus would do this on purpose... 

But then again- Daken isn't thinking much of anything right now. 



“Was going on?” The back door swings open more gently than before. Johnny stares at the scene. “Was’ wrong with Daken?” he hiccups.

“He took too much.” Dom slurs.

“Roston- did you do this?” Victor repeats.

“By accident,” Marcus says quickly.

“Was wrong with Daken?” Johnny says more heatedly.

“Fuck head got him to OD,” Victor growls. “AGAIN.”

“OD?”

“Overdose,” Victor says to Johnny. “Go outside and get Laura. We may need to take him to the hospital.”

“Don’t feel good.” Daken moans.

“Daken?” Johnny sounds heartbroken. “No, no man. Don’t OD.”

“Feel…” Daken is foaming at the mouth a little.

“I know kid.” Victor looks down at him in concentration, possibly trying to remember what to do when someone ODs. Having lived through the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s he’s seen his fair share most likely.

“Marcus… did it on purpose?” Johnny stands in the doorway trying to put the pieces together.

“Marcus did what on purpose?” Wade asks from the other door.

“Holy fuck,” Marcus says with a jump. “Look- it was an accident.”

Daken is vaguely connecting what they're saying.

He notes how spooked Marcus looks. 

"What was an accident?" Wade sounds to be very sober at the moment.

When shit is going down that could possibly lead to someone getting hurt- you do not want Deadpool to be sober in any way shape or form.

"Pretty boy here," Victor jerks his thumb to Marcus, "Got Daken to OD. Again."

"This is purely an accident!" Marcus laughs nervously. "Make him puke- he'll be fine."

“Uh huh.” Wade crosses his arms. “And I’m having a hot threeway with Oprah and Natalie Dormer.”

“He did on purpose??” Johnny repeats.

“Uh-“ 

Marcus goes to back up, but Wade isn’t moving.

“Look-“



“What’s going on?” Peter joins the group behind Wade.

Daken likes that all his housemates are here.

He doesn't understand what’s going on, but it’s nice to hear their voices.

“Get Laura,” Victor growls at Johnny. “NOW.”

“He… he did it on purpose?” He seems sincerely upset. “Why?”

“Pick him up,” Wade says. “In case he has to puke.”

“Go get Laura, Johnny!” Victor snaps.

Johnny stumbles out the back door and takes off at a run.

Daken likes the idea of being held. He feels simultaneously hot and cold and doesn’t like it at all.

Victor lifts him into his arms. “Easy kiddo.”

“Feel good.” Daken slurs, closing his eyes. “‘posed to feel good.”

“I’ll just-“



“Pete- web him to the floor,” Wade says.

Peter , who had luckily been showing off his web shooters, still had them on. He shoots several layers of the thick webbing onto Marcus’s hands and feet, pinning him to the kitchen floor in a massive web like contraption.

“Gotcha.” He smiles. It’s messy- that’s for sure. But on the bright side- Marcus is definitely not going anywhere.

“Thanks, babe,” Wade says. “Now go get me my katana. Ya know- the really sharp one?”

Peter's eyes him with wide eyes. “Wade.” He hisses. His face is almost comical.

“Like they’re going to remember.” Wade waves him off. “Sharp and shiny- okay? Remember- sharp and shiny.”

Peter nods and jogs up the stairs.

“Babe?” Victor looks up from Daken.

Daken tosses his head a little, feeling vomit rise in the back of his throat. It's stuck there. He dosesn't know how to get it unstuck. 


Wade chuckles. “Dude- right now? Not the time.”

“Putting a pin in it.” Victor says in agreement.

Laura comes rushing through the door with Johnny at her heels. “What happened?”

“This is a horrible misunderstanding!” Marcus yells, straining against his confinement.

Daken lays heavier into Victor’s arms.

He's too high. This is a misunderstanding. 

He knows he has to say something on Marcus's behalf... but he doesn't know what to say. 

“Oh no, no, no.” Laura rushes over. “Daken?”

He just shakes his head. 

Daken doesn't want to upset Laura. But he doesn’t know what else to do.

He thinks maybe, just maybe, he took too much.

He didn’t know his limits on this new pill so he treated it like the old one.

“He’s gotta puke.” Wade walks past Marcus and shoves his fingers into Daken’s mouth. “Right there… “ He continues to gag him even as Daken starts to heave. “Paint the floor buddy.”

“He did it!” Dom points at Marcus. She puts a hand on her stomach. “I don’t feel too good either.” She says quietly.

“Misunder-“ He watches Peter come back into the room with Wade’s requested Katana. “Wait!” He yelps. “Come on now… wait! This is a misunderstanding!”

“Soooooo… if you had to pick a favorite body part- what would it be?” Wade steps away from Daken just as the man vomits. “And who would your preferred dismemberer be? We’re all about customer service.” He whispers the last part.

Things are starting to go slow in Daken’s mind, even as he’s puking.

“Dom- keys.” Laura orders.

Dom stumbles and falls to her knees.

“Dom?” Laura rushes to her. “Dom,” She puts her hands on her face. “She’s blacking out!” She says urgently.

“Marcus…” Daken throws his hands in that direction.

“Marcus? Did he give her something?” Victor asks.

Daken can’t respond.

“Daken!” Victor snaps, giving him a shake. “Did he give Dom something?”

Daken gives the slightest of nods, eyes focusing on Victor’s worried face. 

Victor is never worried. Daken knows this must be bad.

“Call 911.” Laura demands.

“No-“ Wade cuts in. “We can’t afford it.” 

Daken knows it’s bad when Deadpool starts to make sense. “You gotta take ‘em in the car.”

“The car?” Laura helplessly looks between them. “But Dom-“ 

“



“We gotta hurry.” Wade orders , putting his blade on the table. “Parker- you keep up with everyone’s shit- where are Dom’s keys?”

Peter blinks in confusion. 





“The keys- Parker- the keys??” Victor demands.

“Key bowl!” He stumbles over his feet and retrieves them.

“Thanks.”

“Johnny- open the front door.” Laura orders.

“Gonna set that bitch on fire.” Johnny is muttering. Along with several other threatening phrases.

"This is way overblown." Marcus is pleading from the kitchen. "We can settle this! It was an accident!"

“Where- going?” Daken faded out for part of that sentence.

“Going to see the doctor,” Wade says, taking Dom into his arms. “Gonna get you all patched up.”

Wade carries Dom and Victor carries Daken, the two of them are laid as carefully as possible into the back seat of Dom’s car.

Daken can hear Marcus screaming from the house.

“Take back roads,” Victor says from the curb. “Stay off the highway.”

Backroads? 

Daken thinks of how bumpy that ride will be. 

He's not looking forward to it on his unsettled stomach. 

“Here,” He throws Wade a jacket. “Take your mask off. They can’t tag you as meta coming through the door.”

Wade growls his agreement.

“Hospital is twenty minutes away.”Victor continues his instructions. 

She nods and quickly scrambles into the driver's seat. 


“Vic- not-“ Daken fades out again.

“Can’t go to a hospital, Daken,” Victor says. “You guys can pass. I can’t.”

Wade jumps into the passenger seat much more gracefully than Laura had. 

“Keep dick head in the kitchen?” he asks. “I wanna try out my new katana.”

“Gotcha.” Victor chuckles darkly.

“Brand new,” Wade turns to Laura. “Haven’t even named it yet.”

Laura starts the car, having to do so several times before the engine turns. 

She guns it down the street which is empty at this time of night.

The car is silent.

Daken hears Dom vomit noisily.

In the dark of the car, everything has an orange tint to it. Orange halos outside of the windows are visible through Daken's heavy-lidded eyes. 

Street lamps are such a simple thing. 

Daken can easily remember being in a time and place without them. Where everything was dark. 

Daken misses the dark as he lays perfectly still with Dom's knees jammed into one of his kidneys. 

Orange lights. So... pretty almost. He thinks. 

Outside in the orange, snow starts to trickle down. 

Dom interrupts his observations by vomiting. 

It lands on his shirt, the floor, and some of the seat. He tries to look at her to discern if she's choking or not. However, trying to shift is position proves impossibly painful and nauseating. 

“Is she rolled over?” Laura asks urgently.



Wade leans into the backseat and pushes on the heap of limbs that make up Dom and Daken right now. 

“She’s got puke all over her face- but yea. She’s turned over.” He shifts his attention from Dom to Daken, “Buddy,” He asks in a gentle tone that Daken's not sure he's heard him use before, “How many pills did that dickweed give you?”

Daken listlessly moves his hand, trying to show fingers.

“Five?” Wade tries to make out his movements in the dark, having no luck.

“N—no.” Daken wheezes.

“Four?”

“Uh uh.”

“Higher?”

He nods with all the energy he can put into it.

“Six?”

Daken shakes his head again.

“Eight?”

“H—-higher”

“Ten?”

“Ten.” Daken wheezes. “Ten.”

“And Dom only took one?”

Daken turns his head to the side, losing focus again. 

“Daken,” Wade snaps near his face. “Dom only took one?”

“o-one.” He nods and stammers. “One.”

The world is such a mix of oddness for Daken right now. He can only imagine what Dom is feeling.

Time drips by slowly.

Conversation drifts back from the front seat, but it doesn’t make sense to him.

“Peter.” He catches. “You.” Something else. “Long?”

Things are muffled.

“Month. Secret. Wraps.” Deadpool responds. “He’s shy. Sensibility. Awkward. Ya know?”

Daken can’t make sense of their conversation.

“Nothing.” Laura is saying. “It’s.” Muffled. “Judge.” More mumbles. “Peter.”

“Not.” Wade responds. “When. Ready.”

Daken wishes he could hear what they were saying.

“NO rush,” Wade says.

Everything goes quiet as Daken passes out.

Laura pulls into in front of the emergency room and runs in for help, bringing the front desk nursing staff with her to assess the situation. 

One look in the car and they're phoning on their walkies for backup. 

Soon nurses have swarmed the car and are pulling them out, putting them on gurneys and rolling them inside.

Daken opens his eyes in time to see them shoving a tube down Dom’s throat as she’s wheeled away from him.

“Go.” Laura’s chopped up sentences. “With Daken.”

Wade nods, at least the blur of Wade does and follows Dom.

He hears his name and tries to respond.

“Honey. Keep. Look. Light.” The woman over him has a mask over her face. “bright. Pupils. Dilated.” 


A nurse is shining something in his face.

“Family?” Another nurse is asking Laura.

“Sister.”

He doesn’t know what’s happening, but he’s moving.

They do all sorts of things in the hours that follow. Drugs that make him puke. Iv’s that break his skin. Lights in his eyes. People offering him Gatorade and tubes. So many tubes.

This is not like last time.

“Keep him overnight.” He hears his first full sentence in hours. “For Observation.”

It's a welcome sound.

“And my other friend?” Daken thinks that Laura looks so... tiny. So.. young. 

She ran out into the snow with no coat.. no... Daken looks at her feet. Her bare feet. 

So, so , young. He owes her something. He doesn't know what- but it's something big. 

“Only had a little in her system.” The nurse answers. 

Daken’s room is dark.

He’s in a small glass cubicle-like room with the curtains drawn over the windows. The only lights are coming off of the heart monitor he’s attached to. The beeps are insanely loud. 

“Thank you,” Laura says.

“Sure, honey.” The nurse passes her something Daken can’t see. “Press the call button if you need anything.”

Laura walks back into the room, noticing his open eyes. “Hey,” She bends over the bed as she stretches a blanket over him. “The doctor’s say you’re going to be fine.”She motions to his IV-less arm. “And you started to heal over the needle- so your healing factor is functional. It should take care of the damage by morning.” She pats his arm. “The nurse is a friend of Dom’s… we’re not gonna have to pay much for this.”

“Dom?” He chokes through a tube.

“She’s fine,” Laura says gently. “She threw a lot of it up. Doctors say she was lucky.” Laura offers him a smile.

Daken closes his eyes.

“Daken,” Laura says, still at his side. “Marcus tried to kill you tonight.”

He tries to shake his head. 



“No bullshit." She says sternly. “He did. He overdosed you on purpose.”

“It’s- new pill.”

Daken doesn't know why he's trying to defend Marcus. 

Surely his tie to the drugs isn't that strong. 

He doesn't know what to think of himself in this moment. 

“That ‘pill’ is not a drug,” Laura says gently. “They use it to euthanize mutants in prisons.”

Daken has to admit he’s shocked.

“It’s poison,” Laura says. “And he’s about to start pushing it on the streets.”

That doesn’t make sense to Daken.

“Marcus- mutant.”

“Yea- we’ve got to figure that part out still.” She says, pushes back messy hair from her face. “Victor , Peter, and Johnny have him back at the house. He’s not going anywhere. Alison may or may not have permanently blinded him… we're not sure.”

Laura's a wreck. Daken can't stop looking at her. 

Would he have done this for someone at her age? 

Would the thought have even occurred to him? 

Why does he mean so much to her?

“Fuck.” He exhales. He's confused on so many levels. Confused and so, so tired. 

She nods, holding his hand. “Daken… maybe it’s time to take a look at your.. habits?”

He shakes his head weakly.

“Can we at least agree that you won’t take anything new?”

He nods to her. He can give her that. 

“And you won’t take more than three within a three-hour span?”

“Laura-“ 



“Please, Daken.” Laura looks down. “You’re the last piece I have of my family.” She sounds very sad. Very sad and very serious “And I thought you were going to die.”

Maybe it’s the leftover drugs.

Maybe the excitement of the night.

But for whatever reason, He nods. “Okay.” He wheezes.

“Thank you.” Laura adjusts his blanket and then goes to the door. “Get some sleep.”

Tonight could have ended a dozen of different ways. Daken is thinking of all of them.

They all end in death.

He thinks about, and it’s odd for him, the mutants in the slums like where he lives. The junkies. The ones that in a few short weeks will be ingesting this drug.

He thinks about Marcus.

He thinks about how all of his housemates had his back tonight. How easily they slid into protective mode- even though they were partying as hard as he was.

And most of all- he thinks about revenge.

Marcus has to pay.

IF he saves a couple of hundred lives- fine so be it.

But Marcus, Marcus is a dead man.

IT’s not the nicest of thoughts, but it’s the one that put Daken to sleep.

Chapter Text

Alison woke up in the yard, not ten minutes ago with the worst hangover of her life.

It is something to truly behold.

Her fingers are numb and stiff, there’s dirt in her hair, and her shoes are melted, sitting on the grass beside her.

Now, some of her powers can acquire quite a bit of heat, so she’ not going to blame Johnny just yet…. but if he did it, he owes her 200 bucks. No exceptions.

She can’t for the life of her remember last night.

Thinking of the shoes gives her some small comfort. Something to be actively angry about while she deals with whatever mess she made last night.

Looking around the yard she sees the usual amount of scorch marks and discarded beer bottles. It seems pretty normal.

But something in her gut says that last night was anything but.

Her feeling is confirmed when she looks towards the house and sees the back door blown off its hinges. There’s a similar explosion-like incident in the middle of the back gate. 

Someone ran straight through the house and then straight through the fence.

This doesn’t look like Johnny shenanigans- either.

She sees adult man-sized footsteps in the small patches of snow-

Alison's brain stops mid-thought.

Snow? 

Alison is now fuming. They let her sleep outside in the snow??

Ali pulls herself up, noticing that someone had at least had the decency to cover her with a coat.

By the size of it- Victor.

Sure it would have been better if he drug her into the house…. but hey. It’s a step up from being left out in her skirt and bra.

She gathers herself and the coat and stands to her feet.

“Ouch.” Taking a step forward she realizes that she’s twisted her ankle. Again.

Alison limps up the stairs and into the house, stopping in the kitchen at the sight of two of her housemates unconscious on the floor.

For a moment she thinks it’s normal drunk shenanigans- but the longer she looks the more she starts to get the sinking feeling in her gut that something is wrong.

“Peter!” She goes to the nearest body. “Wake up!”

“Hmmm… no school on Tuesdays.” He mutters.

Alison breathes a sigh of relief. If he’s breathing, he’s alive. If he’s alive- there’s no need to panic. 

She has to will herself to relax. 

Something in her just will not let her lower her guard.

“Peter,” She says, shaking him gently. “What happened to the door?”

“Door?” He says groggily. “Shut it, please. It’s freezing.” he curls into his arm, hiding his face in the floor.

“It’s off its hinges.” She shakes him again.

The kitchen is a wreck. Someone’s vomited on the floor. The puddle has an impressive set of skid marks in it, meaning someone has also slid in said vomit. 



One of Wade’s blades is unsheathed, sitting at the table in broad daylight.

Alison thinks to herself- When will that man learn not to play with his toys at parties?

“That’s because the angry man knocked it down.” Peter snores.

“What angry man?” Alison nudges him again.

At the nudging, Peter shoots straight up eyes immediately going to the center of the room. “They angry man!” He says, still sleep-drunk. “Johnny!” he yells, not seeing the man beside him.

“Hmm… close the door.” Johnny shivers. “The light’s too bright.”

“He’s gone!” Peter says hoarsely, reaching over to Johnny and shaking him by the leg. “Johnny- look.”

“Is a nice dream.” Johnny groans. “With… burgers.” The blonde blinks as he sits up.

“He’s gone!” Peter repeats, standing to his feet.

“Who’s gone?” Johnny yawns.



“Marcus!” Peter says in a panic, motioning to a pile of torn webbing in the middle of the kitchen floor.

“Who?”

“The asshole we were supposed to be watching!” Peter hisses.

Johnny covers his mouth. “Oh fuck.” He sits up straight. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.” He looks around helplessly. “We lost the bad guy??” He looks like he’s going to be sick. “I’m gonna puke.”

“This is not good,” Peter says seriously. “Fuck. We let him go?”

“We lost the bad guy!” Johnny says frantically. “We fell asleep and LOST the bad guy!”

There’s a chuckle from the table. “You didn’t lose him.” Victor is sitting at the table, running one set of claws over the paint chips and drinking a cup of coffee with a discarded newspaper in his lap. Alison muses that it’s too early for his playboy. To be honest, Alison is so caught up in her own hangover that she didn’t notice him. “He blasted you unconscious. I tracked him for a while, but the fucker jumped off a bridge to lose me.”

“Who is this?” Alison tries to put together what happened last night. She shifts her weight before wincing. “Owwww.”

“Yea, you twisted your ankle,” Victor says, nodding towards her. “I left you in the yard thinking the snow would ice it.”

“You left me in the snow to ice my ankle???” Alison demands, hands held into claws in her frustration at that comment.

“Not important!” Peter snaps. “Where’s Marcus??”

Marcus? Daken’s friend?

She remembers there being some kind of altercation…. just not what kind exactly. Apparently, it had something to do with him?

“Left as soon as he could see again.” Victor nods to Alison. “Overall it was a good idea princess. When we find him again, maybe you make a permanent thing?”

“I… blinded somebody?” Alison asks in shock.

“Yep.”

“Why did I blind Marcus?” She asks in confusion.

“He OD’d Daken and Dom,” Victor says. “You thought it would hold him here for a while.”

Johnny and Peter look between each other. “How long have we been out? How long have you been awake?” Johnny asks, rubbing his head again. “Ouch.” He groans after a few seconds of prodding. “I feel like I have a concussion.”

“I just got back.” He picks up the cup of coffee in a McDonald's cup. “See? Stopped for coffee on the way.” He stares at him for a second. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you did have one. He slammed you two around like rag dolls.”

“What car did you take?” Alison asks, getting up from her crouched position and walking to the table where, she’s happy to note, there’s a bag of food. 

She unhappily notes, however, the pain in her right ankle.

“I didn’t take a car,” Victor says. “You can’t track in a car.”

“So we still have a working vehicle?”

“Why- you going somewhere?” 

Victor growls. 



Alison curses the sun coming in through the blinds. “I gotta meet my lawyer.” She groans.

“Well.. you might have to postpone,” Victor says. “Dom, Daken, Laura, and Wade are at the hospital.”

“The….hospital?”

Peter groans from his spot on the floor, squirming around with his hands in his jeans pocket while he tries to fish out his phone. “I don’t have any texts.” He says somewhat sourly. “They said they’d text.”

“I told them you two were down before I went after Marcus,” Victor says. “The bastard lost me. Do you know how hard is to lose me??” He sounds personally offended.

“Why aren’t you banged up on the floor?” Johnny puts a hand on the back of his head. “Ow.”

“I was in the john.”

“So… Marcus got away then?” Alison asks, just to be sure.

“Yep. I tracked him until about five before turning back.”

“Merry fucking Christmas.” Johnny groans.

“Few weeks off.” Victor stops peeling the paint, drawing Alison’s attention to his very, very, dangerous claws. They seem to be reflecting the sunlight coming in through the window in a somewhat menacing way. “So.” He says, leaning forward. “What are we gonna do?”

“About what?” Alison digs through the bag and picks out a sausage biscuit. IT’s cold- but that hardly matters to her at this point.

“That fuckhead poisoned them. Wilson said it’s a drug they use against mutants in prisons.”

“Like containment drug or-“ Johnny stops as he sees Victor’s unchanging, grim face.

“The kind of drug that sends you to that happy farm in the sky.” He says. “And he’s pushing it.”

“Wow.” Peter runs a hand over the back of his head. “Ah-“

“We’re probably the last trained metas in the city.” Victor continues. “Unless you want to go around gathering up mutants and taking the time to train them- we’re all we got.”

“It would take too long.” Alison muses. “If he pushes the drug in a place like this,” She motions around her, “Mutants will die by the dozens.”

Victor nods. “That’s what I’m thinking.” He looks around the house. “Roston chose his territory very carefully.”

Peter eyes the group with a look that’s hard for Alison to decipher. “If there’s a drug for mutants… you think they'd release a strain for all metas?” He asks finally. “How many people could they possibly kill with it?”

“I don’t see why not.” Victor crosses his arms and leans back in the chair. “They’re going to wipe us all out.” He looks to the side. “Wouldn’t be the first time they’ve tried,” he growls.

“Only the one’s who happen to be into illegal drugs.” Johnny tries to sound upbeat but fails. The more awake he becomes, Alison notes, the more worried his expression becomes.

Victor gets to his feet. “You're a science geek, Parker.” He goes to the counter and picks something up. “You take a look at it.” he passes him a green pill with no markings on it. “To me, looks like it could be ground up pretty easily. Put in water. Put in food.”

“How contained is it?” Johnny asks.

“Daken said it was a new pill last night.” Victor looks around the room. “Don’t know if it’s new to him- or new in general.” he crosses his arms. “So I ask again- What’re we gonna do?”

Peter rests his hand on his chin while looking at the pill. “I guess we could do some recon. Start investigating recent overdoses. See how many of those were mutants.”

“It’s a good place to start.” Johnny agrees.

Peter glances at him. “We could use a lab….”

Johnny shakes his head. “The only one’s I know have been repossessed by the government.”

“Any chance you’re still in contact with Reed?” Peter offers, so, so, quietly.

Alison knows he’s hesitant to ask. Over the last year of knowing Johnny, the one thing you cannot talk to him about his Reed Richards.

Johnny inhales deeply. “I haven’t talked to any of them in a year and a half.”

“Any of them?” Alison is shocked. Family is something that always been important to the Fantastic Four. Them leaving Johnny was weird, but having no contact with him at all had to be the weirdest thing she could imagine for them.

Johnny nods.

“Maybe it’s time to mend some bridges.” Peter says.

Johnny exhales slowly. “Maybe.”

“Laura, Daken, and I will go track down Roston,” Victor says in the quiet. “His scent’s all over the house. If we narrow down his possible areas of operation, we can sniff him out.”

“Right,” Peter says thoughtfully. “And when you find him?”

Victor smiles. “I promised Wade he could test his new Katana.”

Peter sighs, but nods. “Right. I’d hate to deny him his daily dose of violence.”

“Hey,” Victor chuckles. “Don’t knock it.”

Alison looks at her friends. “Are Dom and Daken okay? Do they need anything?”

“Apparently the drug has a nasty withdrawal side effect for those who do by some miracle survive it,” Victor says. “They were hit with an overdose last night and then this morning hit with withdrawal symptoms.”

“Jesus.” Johnny whispers , putting a hand over his mouth.

“Dom is in intensive care, they say her heart stopped.” Victor continues.

“And Daken?” Johnny asks quietly.

“Trying to tough it out .He took so much… it’s probably the highest dose anyone taken at this point. They’re not sure what it will do to him.”

“IS he hurting? Seizing? Comma? What’s going on with him?” Johnny demands.

Everyone stares at his sudden intensity.

“Few seizures,” Victor says. “Some swelling of the brain. High fever. Internal bleeding.”

“Fuck.” Peter hisses.

“We can start the day by making a call to their jobs- and-“ Alison starts to think logically. Step by step- whe needs to be done?



“Already done.” Victor cuts in. “Wade and Laura took care of everything this morning.”

“Oh.” Alison eats some of the forgotten biscuit in her hand. “Then we clean the house and head to the hospital.” She says firmly.

“Clean the house?” Victor asks in disbelief. “They’re in the hospital and you want to clean the fucking house?”

“IT’s a disaster,” Alison growls. “I want it clean so they can come home to it in a better state than when they left it.”

“It’s not a bad idea,” Peter puts himself between Alison and Victor. Probably hoping to head off an argument.

“And when we get to the hospital- what then?” Victor presses.

“We see that they’re okay,” Johnny says, sternly. “We have to go check on them.”

“We could probably probe Daken about where to find Marcus,” Peter says.

Alison notices a slight change in Johnny’s expression. 

Just the tiniest of bits.

“I got a three thirty shift today,” Johnny says thoughtfully. “I can stay until then.”

“I’m off today.” Peter says.


“And Victor and I don’t work,” Alison says. “We can all go to the hospital and sit with them. Take it in shifts.”

There's a sound of mutual agreement from the group.

“Everyone grab something to eat.” She orders. “We don’t have time for anyone to puke this morning.”

The two men on the floor join her at the table and grab food, eating in silence.

Over the next hour, they clean the house from top to bottom. Eventually removing two trash bags of empty bottles and dumping out all ten of the ashtrays placed around the house.

“Good,” Alison says when they met back at the door. “Johnny and Peter take Pete’s car.” She orders. “Victor you ride with me.”

"Is your car even working?" Johnny asks. "I never got around to looking at it." 

Alison shrugs. "We can't all fit in Peter's truck. We'll just have to see how it goes." 

The men mobilize relatively easily, She’s happy to note.

She chalks that up to them being scared by last night’s events. In a way, she’s glad she’s not the only one.

Driving on her ankle is miserable. She’s tempted to tell Victor to take over at least ten times on the twenty minutes drive- but she resists. She will not let this be a problem today. 

She repeats to herself, “mind over matter” about fifty times.

Alison weaves through the busy hospital parking lot, having to slam the breaks several times for asshole not looking when they back up.

The last time, Victor hisses. “Damn it, princess!” He growls. “You trying to break my neck- or what?”

“Sorry.” She grouses. “It’s this GRANDMA in front of me! “She yells out her window at the driver in the other vehicle.

Peter’s red (why is everything with him red) truck pulls into a spot on the other side of the lot, having gotten here a good three minutes earlier.

“Just park here,” Victor growls. “Please.”

“Fine!” She was hoping to get a spot closer- her ankle being considered, but she resigns herself to the fact that she’s going to have to walk on it.

Victor happily removes himself from the car, waiting in front as she painfully shuffles to her feet.

“Parker and Johnny are in front of the building.” He points.

Alison nods and starts to hobble towards them.

“Jesus princess.” Victor chuckles. “I could carry you if you’re going to be this much of a bitch about it.”

“Shove it.” She growls.

“You okay?” Peter is asking Johnny when they rejoin in front of the hospital. “You’re shaking man.”

“It’s nothing.” Johnny sounds a bit on the verge of tears.

“They’re gonna be okay- Johnny,” Peter says. “It’s… they’re gonna be okay.”

“It’s nothing.” Johnny repeats.

It’s always ‘nothing’ with Johnny.

“Hey.” She nods to them. “Let’s head in.”

The hospital is done in shades of brown. Relaxing- Alison guesses. 

She supposes that when a place is full of sick people- it’s supposed to be in comforting colors.

The floors are gray tile, shining reflectively off the overhead lights, bringing Alison’s headache to the forefront of her mind.

She hobbles over to the nurse’s help desk, watching the woman behind it blatantly stare at Victor, who’s a good head taller than most everyone in the room.

“Hey,” She says, to get the elderly woman behind the counters attention. “I’m looking for-“



“ER’s in the other building.” The woman says shortly.

“Uh no- thank you. But I’m looking for some friends of mine? Neena Thurman and Daken Akihiro?”

“The muties.” The woman spits. “Yea- they’re here.”

Alison waits for a moment in silence. “Could you tell me where?” She asks finally.

The woman sighs. “Room 345.” She looks over Alison’s shoulder. “You and your friends cause any trouble and I’ll have you escorted out by the police.” She growls.

“Got it,” Alison says, backing up. “No trouble.”

“What’s that about?” Johnny asks when she rejoins them.



“Victor can’t pass. They know we’re meta.” Alison says quietly

“Go fucking figure.” Victor growls.

She looks at him sympathetically for a moment. “Room 345.” She says finally. “NO one causes any trouble.”

The group nods.

“And we’re taking the elevator.” Alison grouses. “This ankle is killing me.”

They make their way to the room after getting lost several times. 

Finally, out of sheer frustration, Victor takes the lead and just sniffs Daken and Neena out.

“Everyone on their best behavior.” She whispers, holding the men in the hall. “Say nothing that would upset them.” She turns to Victor. “That means no drilling Daken for information right away- got it?”

He exhales. “Yes princess,” He growls. “I got it.”

“Good.” She takes a moment to collect herself before stepping in the room. “Hey, guys!” She says cheerfully. “How ya feeling?”

Dom and Daken look like death.

No- that’s too kind.

They look worse than death.

“Hey, gang,” Wade calls from a chair across the room. “Oh, I just love reunions.”

“Shut-“ Daken wheezes, but doesn’t finish.

“Shh, shh, little one.” Wade calls. “Save your energy for when I really piss you off.”

Daken nods.

Laura gives Alison a hug and nods to the rest. “You made it.”

Alison smells the lingering smell of smoke on her.

“You took a shower yet- girlie?” She teases.

Laura shakes her head.

“You’re.. not wearing shoes,” Alison notes. “Or pants.”

Her legs look very pale in her very short- shorts.

“The Nurse brought me some scrubs,” Laura says dismissively. “I haven’t had time to change yet.”

“I’ll tell you what,” Alison says, “I’ll run back to the house in a bit and get you some change of clothes. That way you can get a shower here and get changed.” She smiles. “Or, at the very least, put shoes on.”

Laura nods. “I would be very grateful.”

Alison smiles. “NO problem at all.” She looks at her friends in the bed. “You guys hang in there- you hear me? I did a whole fuck lot of cleaning so you could come home to a nice house. You owe me.”

Dom chuckles and Daken’s mouth twitches like he wants to smile, but stops himself at the last minute.

“I can't believe you’re all here so early,” Laura says, looking at them with a smile.

“We thought we could all take turns sitting with them.” Peter offers. “If momma wolverine will let us.” He adds.

“You do look tired , Laura.” Alison adds.

“I’m fine.” Laura rubs her eyes, in a sleep filled gesture.

“I told her I could sit with both of them,” Wade says. “But nooo.”

Peter moves past Daken and Laura to go see Dom.

“You look like shit.” He says to her. “Not like the good shit either- like the poop emoji? More like ,ya know- the warmed up kind.”

Alison could point out that at no point in his life should he ever say this to a woman, but she lets it go. Joking makes him feel better. Who’s she to deny him that pleasure?

Dom smiles and weakly lifts her hands, probably intending to flip him off, but running out of strength half way through.

“Should have called you to bring me some clothes.” Wade says to Peter.

“You should have called me period.” Peter grouses.

Chalk that up to yet another odd exchange between the two men.


Alison loves drama. And gossip. And fuck if she isn’t picking something up on Wade and Peter.

OF course, she’d never ask them in front of the others… so she plans to get some one on one time with each of them. See how it goes.

Wade shrugs. “How’s dickweed?”

Victor lounges on the wall between the two beds. “He got away.”

“He got away??” Laura sounds floored.

“Ah fuck it.” Wade groans. “Now we gotta chase him down.”

“I tracked him all night,” Victor says to Laura. “He jumped off a bridge to get away….. I don’t know where it spits him out, but a dude with power like that? There’s no doubt he survived.”

“Fuck.” Daken wheezes.

“Think he might come back for junior.” Victor nods to Daken. “Seems to have a personal beef with him.”

“Victor,” Alison growls in a whisper. “Not on the list of things to bring up right now.”

Laura crosses her arms.

Alison hadn’t even thought of that. Of course, Marcus wanted to poison Daken. Dom was probably just a witness.

“I can stop him.” Laura says.

“Not if he’s here.” Victor says quietly.

“If Daken goes home, I go home.” Dom says quietly.

Daken looks over them to Johnny, who’s been quiet this whole interaction.

Johnny sees him looking and joins him by the bed. “No dying.” He orders. “You hear me? You still owe me fifty bucks- and I plan to collect.”

Daken smiles, it’s small and painfilled.

Johnny smiles too. “So… Marcus?” He asks. “That’s a done thing- right?”

To that Daken shakes his head.

Alison is the only one who knows what’s going on.

“I’m sorry,” Daken says quietly . “I should have.. ..listened.”

“I shouldn’t have pushed.” Johnny says.

The whole group is staring at them.

Daken shakes his head again. “It’s on me.”

Johnny lowers his head. “You need anything? Clothes? Toothbrush?”

“No.” Daken wheezes. He looks up at Johnny. “Don’t leave me,” he whispers. “In case.. he comes back.”

Daken doesn't admit that he needs help. And he sure as fuck isn’t open about it. Alison knows exactly what she’s seeing, but likes watching it slowly filter into the other’s senses.

“So how long have you two been-“ 



“Wade!” Peter snaps.

Alison knows things because Alison observes.

One drunken night she stumbled into the bathroom and found Johnny and Daken… what’s a nice phrase to use here?

Going at it like bunnies? 

That’s something her dad said once upon a time.

She kept her mouth shut- like she always does- however.

“Don’t stare.” Peter growls at Victor and Wade.

“K… i… ss….” Dom coughs. “You get it.” She wheezes.

It brings a sudden bout of laughter to the group.

A laugh that comes from there being far too much worry that’s been released all at once.


Alison likes that kind of laugh.

Johnny takes Daken’s hand, holding it.

Apparently, near death experiences cancel out secrecy.

“Ya know-“ Wade drawls. “A lot makes sense now.”

“Drop it.” Peter hisses.

“What?” He seems baffled as to Peter’s reaction. 

Alison has to laugh at his face. It’s so rare that they actually get to see Wade’s real expressions.

Everyone settles into the pattern of useless chit chat until the nurse comes wheeling a cart. 

“Okay, party kids.” She says to her patients. “Don’t give me any-“ 

She stops. 

“You've got more guests.” The nurse is a round Black woman with a warm smile. “Look at that.”

She pushes past Alison and Johnny to Daken’s bedside. “Got you some pain meds.” She says cheerfully. “Open up.”

He complies a little too eagerly, Alison notes.

“Here’s some juice.” The woman holds a clear plastic cup to his lips. “There ya go.” She moves over to Dom. “And you my friend,” She looks at her chart. “Have been seizure free for the last two hours.” She smiles. “Look at you.” She observes the heart beat monitor. “Nice strong heart.” She says. “You're one lucky woman.”

Dom returns her smile, though her’s is pale.

“Got you some pain meds as well.” The woman places the pills in her mouth. “And here’s your juice.” She turns to the gathered friends. “Gotta do some clean up.” She warns them. “Might see more of your friends than you’re comfortable with.”

The group is silent.

“In other words,” The nurse says pleasantly, “Everybody out.”

“Gotta go outside,” Johnny says to Daken. “‘kay?”

Daken nods, eyes on the blanket.


“‘kay.” Johnny says quietly to himself, squeezing Daken’s hand before retreating from the nurse.

As they’re exiting Alison hears Creed’s rough voice say, “So does he top or… what? How’s that work?”

Johnny’s groan is heard very clearly.

“Laura?” Alison calls to the woman, who’s still standing at Daken’s bedside.



“Marcus is a shapeshifter.” She says thoughtfully.

“And?”

“I have to stay with Daken in case he’s infiltrated the hospital.” She says simply.

“OH.” Alison didn’t think of it like that… but then she’s still slightly hungover.

“Okay, wild child.” The nurse says to Dom, “Gonna take off your blankets and wash you up real good.” The Nurse pulls a curtain that sits on the side of the wall all the way around Dom’s bed. Completely enclosing it.

Daken side eyes the nurse with weary eyes.

“Hey,” Alison walks to him and takes his hand, “We’ll stay with you. If it’s Marcus- we can help.”

He shakes his head. “Not that.”

“Oh?”

Laura smirks. “He doesn't like it when they bathe him.”

He nods.

Alison has to smile. “Well suck it up, princess.” She orders. “Enjoy it while you have it because we aren’t doing it for you when you leave here.” She pats Laura’s shoulder. “I’ll be out in the hall.” She offers Daken A smile. “Relax, okay? Try to relax.”

The other’s are lounged in the hallway, staring at Johnny, who is blushing.

“Leave him alone.” Peter is ordering. “It’s personal.”

“What’s personal?” She joins them, hands in the pocket of her jeans that she had the good sense to change into. She’s lucky she didn’t have frostbite this morning.

“Johnny and Daken.” Wade sings. “Sitting in a tree.”

“IT’s not funny, Wade.” Peter snaps.

“We’re not a couple,” Johnny says. “We just fuck.”

“You don’t have to explain anything,” Peter says. “Wade needs to shut up.”

“What? I can’t inquire about my friend’s love lives now?”

“Love life is a little strong,” Johnny crosses his arms.

“You stud you.” Wade punches his arm. “So… top or bottom? Want to get a good picture of it.”

“Stop it, Wade!” Peter snaps.

Wade eyes him cautiously. “Okay- Parker. yeesh. Calm down. I’m just teasing-“ 



“Well, it’s not funny!” Peter snaps again, walking away.

“Peter!” Wade calls after him. “Come on webs! It was a joke!”

“What’s got his panties in a bunch?” Victor asks.

“Eh… I gotta go check on him.” Wade says, hand on the back of his head. “Any chance one of you brought my mask? They think I escaped from the burn unit.”

Ah. Alison doesn't have a response for him, so she just shakes her head.

“Ah, forget it.” He waves it away with his hand. “Yo Pete!” He takes off at a jog down the hall. “Wait up!”

“I”m gonna go find some coffee.” Johnny says, excusing himself.

Alison and Victor watch him go, both standing silently for a moment.

“Johnny and Daken are fucking?” Victor asks, watching the hallway where all three of the other men have just retreated too.

“IT would appear so.” Alison says with a nod, feeling slightly awkward for reasons she’s not sure of.

“How long until those two come out the closet?” He asks with a raised eyebrow.

Alison snorts. “Like Wade was ever in.” She pats Victor’s shoulder and walks back into the room, enjoying the look of confusion on his face.

Chapter Text

Peter and Wade have a strange relationship.

They always have. They probably always will.

But, Peter begrudgingly notes, the lunatic has his charms.

No one really pries too much into why Wade is at the house. Or why he gets away with so much when doing so little. An occasional barb here and there, like when Wade spent the bill money, but nothing too in depth.

Soon, with recent events being thrown into light, they’ll have a lot of questions-Peter just knows it.

And Peter honestly isn’t sure he’s ready to answer those questions.

He walks down the hospital halls with his hands in his pockets.

The world has changed, he thinks. 

It’s so much darker than it used to be. 

So much dirtier.

What’s he doing with his life if he’s not out helping alleviate it?

His friends almost died- in front of him.

The fact that the man who did it got away isn’t sitting well with him either.

Peter’s usually an easy going guy. So fun to be around. Quick with a quip for everything.

Lately, there’s been very little of that.

He misses it.

The only time he feels remotely like his old self, strangely, is when he and Wade are alone.

Maybe that’s the driving reason behind this thing the two of them have going on between them.

He doesn't know what to call it.

They’re ‘dating’- yes. But they show no signs of endearment/ physical affection when around the others- which is always.

Wade drives him to the brink of insanity- but for some fucked up reason, Peter loves every minute of it.

They had a fight over the cannon. A big one.

Peter’s honestly surprised that no one called them out on it.

Peter supposes that today’s outburst is still a remnant of the fact that he’s not completely over it yet.

And he knows, he knows, that holding onto that shit isn’t healthy.

He can’t even give himself a break this morning.

That should say something about the state of things.

Peter ends up in the cafeteria, watching early morning doctor’s and surgeons eat their cheaply made meals in peace. IT’s nice.

He doesn't happen to have any cash on him, but would absolutely love something to eat.

He skipped out on eating too much this morning. Too much on his mind.

The smell of food gets closer and closer, making him turn his head and end up with a doughnut squished against his face.

“Look,” Wade says with a smile. “A peace offering.”

Peter pushes Wade’s hand away and wipes the glaze off his face. “Thanks.” He snaps.

“You won’t believe the perils I went through for this , the prized glazed doughnut,” Wade says dramatically. “The tears, the sweat, the poor nurse’s I’ve mentally scared.” He continues. “Twas my shining moment.”

Peter finds himself grinning against his will. “‘Bout time you had one- don’t you think?”

Wade sits down in the chair next to him.

“Ouch.” He puts his hand over his chest, which is still covered in the hot jacket so as to hide the obvious red suit beneath it. “You mad?” He asks after a second.


Peter crosses his arms on the table and lays his head into the space they create. “A little.” He says honestly.

Wade places the doughnut in front of him, sitting it down and patting it twice with his gloved hand.

“Why?”

Peter groans. “I just am.”

“For no reason?” Wade lays his head in his arms, copying Peter’s body language to a T. He turns his head so he’s facing him.

“No, there’s a reason,” Peter growls, turning his face to look at Wade.

“And you’re not going to tell me?” Wade asks.

“Figure it out,” Peter says dismissively.

He’s not known for being passive aggressive- but then again until last night he wasn’t known to take hard drugs. Wade can bring changes about in a person.

Wade is quiet for a second, “Well, dear Watson,” He begins, “I deduced that you were angry when I had failed to deliver unto you an electronic message composed of cellular data and text,”



“That’s a start.” Peter agrees.

“No interrupting when I’m deducing.” Wade admonishes with a smile.

“My bad.” Peter finds himself grinning slightly.

“My investigation further leads me to believe you were angry whilst I was giving my chum a good ribbing about his homosexual relations with the son of my other chum who is also my chum.”

“‘Ribbing’? Is that what you’re calling that?”

“My suspicions were confirmed when you stormed away from our collected party and ignored my following you for ten minutes.”

“You cracked another one, Sherlock,” Peter says with a smirk, in spite of himself.

“Johnny was fine with me teasing him,” Wade says quietly. “I didn’t overstep any ‘sacred boundaries’ in the guy code.”

“He was embarrassed.” Peter snaps. “Quite obviously embarrassed.”

“NO more so than he would have been if I teasing him about a chick,” Wade says pointedly. “Storm rolls however he wants to roll.” He raises up from the table, putting his elbow on the table and resting his chin in his hand. “He’s not that prudish.”

“Oh- I’m prudish now??” Peter demands.

“Are you like trying to fight with me?” Wade asks with a smile. “Cause I think you’re trying to do one of those relationships fight things and I shall have no part of it, good sir.”

“Well.. you just called me a prude.” Peter says pointedly.

“Babe- I can’t call you by anything other than your name. No pet names. No nicknames. I can’t touch you. We can’t have sex if anyone is home. We’re not allowed to talk about the fact that we’re in a relationship, and you go out of your way to make it seem like there’s nothing going on between us.” He adds, “And you clam up when anything comes out that might even allude to gay sex. Like you’re offended by the very thought of it when we both know that you are very much not offended by it.”

Peter has to stare at him before sighing. “I know, I know. It’s just-“



“IT’s just what? You’re embarrassed because I’m nuts? Scarred? Violent? Because let me tell you this miss ma’am, Junior in there is every one of those things- he’s just prettier. And Johnny wasn’t ashamed to hold his hand.”

“Wade-“



“Oh yeah.” Wade nods. “It’s real style Dr. Phil time talking.”

“Don’t talk Doctor Phil to me.” Peter begs.



Wade stares at him blankly for a second before saying in a heavily western accent, “Young man it seems to me that your problem is that you are in a serious case of self-denial. And like we say in Texas-“



“That’s enough.” Peter is actually laughing. “You’re right. Okay? No more Dr. Phil. You’re right.”

“Yea? Well, that little introspection doesn't come cheap.” Wade reaches over and takes the doughnut. “I’m eating this. It’s my fee.”

“That’s fair.” Peter agrees, watching him for a second.

Wade is… his own person. He always has been. He always will be. 

Maybe that’s what Peter finds most alluring.

“IF you’re making sexy eyes at me, I’m gonna need a ten minute warm up.” Wade says with a full mouth. “Hospitals give me a serious case of limp dick.” He shudders. “All those wrinkley dying people. Yuck.”

“Insensitive much , Wade?” He laughs.

“What?” Wade looks at him, smiling. “I’m telling the truth. A hospital fuck will cost you a ten-minute hummer. That’s just the facts of life.”

Peter leans into him, nudging him with his shoulder. “You’d really tell the other’s about us?”

Wade nods, taking more than half the doughnut in his mouth. “I worked hard to catch your sexy ass.” He says with a full mouth. “It’ll be my crowning achievement.”

Peter laughs again.

“I like it when you laugh,” Wade says in a rare moment of seriousness. “Sounds good. A serious Spidey is no Spidey at all.”

They look at each other for a moment.

“IS that a ‘kiss me’ signal or…. ya know I’m bad at reading those,” Wade says in a stage whisper. “So if you want me to cross the sacred barrier….”

“YEs.” Peter groans. “Yes, Wade.”

“Oh good.” Wade leans in and pecks him on the lips, leaving behind some leftover glaze from the doughnut.

“We should get back to the others.” Peter says when they pull back.

Wade nods. “Yea… I but they’ve brought them breakfast right now.” He says thoughtfully. “Dom’s a bit of a scraper, but I think I could get Daken’s.” He taps his finger to his lips. “If you’d get his hands... .it could work.”

Peter groans, getting up to his feet. “Of course you would think of that.”

Wade nods. “Oh most definitely.” He says with a nod. “Hospital food is like my fav. Powdered eggs and faken all day every day.”

Peter chuckles before outstretching his hand.

Wade leans forward and high fives him. “Good job team!” He cheers.

“No, Wade.” Peter shakes his head. “Take my hand. You said Johnny wasn’t ashamed to take Daken’s hand…. so take my hand.”

“Awwwwhhhh shucks Parker.” Wade takes his hand.

IT’s awkward for a moment. Peter isn’t sure he likes the way people are looking at them.

But then Wade is jabbering on about some sort of nonsense- and he forgets how people are looking at him.

They walk back to the room in a comfortable kind of ease stopping at the door when they hear a string of uncomfortable noises.

Needless to say- their moment is ruined.

“Just do it in the bucket, sweetie.” The Nurse from before is ordering. “Honey- the bucket.” She says again.

“Daken- use the bucket.” Laura says loudly.

The two men look between in each other. “What’s going on in there?” Peter asks cautiously.



“Something to do with a bucket?” Wade says with a shrug. “Let’s find out.” He enters the room before yelling, “Christ Junior!” He sounds beyond disgusted. “Fuck it’s like the ‘Exorcist’ in here!” He sticks his head into the hallway. “Make me a bet.” He says quickly.

“What?” Peter asks.

“Bet me he can’t get the wall.” Wade motions with his hand quickly.

“Bet you what?” Peter says listening to the noises of horror.

“Five bucks.” Wade snaps. “Bet me five bucks that junior can’t hit the wall.”

Peter doesn’t know why but hastily says, “Fine. I bet you five bucks he can’t hit the wall.”

Wade nods, pulling his head back into the room. 

There’s another horrible series of vomiting noises as second before Wade sticks his head back out. “You owe me five bucks.” He says in total seriousness.

Peter doesn’t know if that’s a sign that he should come in or not, so he stays in the hall, leaned against the wall with his arm’s crossed.

“Move- Wilson.” Victor steps out looking a little pale. “He just made me gag.” He announces. "The fuck is wrong with me?”

There’s a sound of messy, messy, vomiting that seems to be echoing from the room.

“Fuck!” Dom says loudly.

“Honey, if you’d just give her that pan on the counter over there,” The Nurse is saying.


Peter can’t resist the urge to know what’s going on.

he walks into the room to see the floor, Daken’s bed, the nurse, and most of Daken covered in vomit.

On the other side of him, Dom’s made an equally impressive puddle. Her skin is deathly pale, even more so for her. The signature black spot around her eye looks more gray than black at this point.

Peter’s never seen Dom looks so ill. 

And that’s saying something. The woman is a heavy drinker. The number of times he’s helped her into the bathroom to puke is staggering.

“Bucket, sweetie.” The nurse is saying sweetly while holding a bucket to Daken’s face. She turns to Alison. “Ma’am if you’d please hold that bin under her chin.” She offers her a smile. “Breakfast doesn’t seem to be sitting well with them.”

Daken pushes away from the nurse, making a bigger mess.

“Come on….” His body is wracked with tremors and moving erratically. The nurse reports that he’s seizing into her walkie. “Oh, christ.”

“Dom!” Alison calls. “What’s wrong?? Wh-“ 



“Give her room!” The Nurse orders. “Back up and give her room!”

“Dom?” Alison backs away. “Dom!”

“What’s happening?” Peter asks, getting no answer from anyone.

The Nurse asks for any backup they have available while she starts removing tubes and wires.

Dom’s heartbeat monitor starts making noises that Peter knows aren’t good.

Wade sidesteps a puddle of vomit nearest Daken’s bed. “Turn your head!” He instructs. “Twitch that way!” He motions with his hand. “That way junior!”

Soon the room is swarmed with more nurses.

“Out!” A pale doctor with blonde hair orders loudly to the others. “Now!” She orders.

“What’s going on??” Peter demands as they’re pushed out of the room.

“He started seizing,” Johnny says in somewhat shock. “Foaming, shaking, puking…. it was so sudden. He's…” He stops, motioning behind him to the room. “And then she-“



“We get it torchie.” Wade shushes him, almost gently. “Take five.”

Laura stands in the doorway, watching- face pale.

“Dom’s throwing up blood.” She states. “I can see it from here.”

Alison wraps her arms around her. “They’re gonna be okay- right? PLease tell me they're going to be okay.”


Peter doesn’t think so. This isn’t like any withdrawal he’s ever seen or read about.

"If not that'll be a hell of a rent hike." Wade says wistfully.

"Wade!" Peter hisses. "Not now!"

Victor and Alison are focused on Laura, who seems to be falling apart at the seams. Peter is more focused on Johnny.


He has tears in his eyes but is avidly avoiding eye contact so none of the others see. When he catches him looking, Johnny mutters, “I’m going to kill this bastard. He can’t get away with this”

Victor stands over Laura, looking in the room. “Dom’s seizing just got worse….” He says. “If they don’t do something she’s gonna choke.”

“Hey!” Wade calls into the room. “She’s choking!”

A nurse glares at him. 

“Lady- don’t make me come in there!” He yells.

Dom is turned to her side, allowing vomit to pour out of her mouth.

“That’s what I thought.” Wade says under his breath.

Peter knows he and Dom have a history. He’s not jealous. The two are more chummy than anything.

He knows how much seeing her hurt is probably upsetting him.

Peter also knows that Wade being …..well Wade will not allow him to properly process any of these emotions, leaving him to deflect with a mountain of unwanted humor that will grate on everyone’s last nerve.

IT’s either humor or violence with Wade. Sometimes both.

All in all, he’s glad Wade is unarmed right now.

The nurses and doctors all talk at once, more of them joining the room by the minute.

“You all need to leave.” A doctor says, passing them. His gray hair and bespeckled face leave no room for argument. He looks more like a police officer than a doctor.“Go wait in the lobby- please. You're in the way and we might need to call more people.”

“No- they can’t be left alone!” Laura tries to grab the doctor. “Someone is trying to poison them!”



“Lady,” The man pulls her hands off him, “They succeeded. Make room so we can do our jobs or your friends will die- got it?”

Victor wraps an arm around Laura’s waist and pulls her off in the direction of the Lobby. “There’s nothing we can do.” He whispers. “Not if you don’t wanna get kicked out of the hospital before we can take them home.”

It’s dread filled walk to the lobby on this floor. The room is not occupied- thankfully, but no one takes any of the available seats.

The calm nature of the colors and tiles, do nothing to calm them.

In the corner of the lobby, held a lot by a large metal stand, is an equally large TV screen. It’s playing some early morning News show. Happy smiling faces and all.

Peter isn’t feeling it this morning. 

Who wants to know fifteen ways to cook a gluten-free Christmas dinner when people are poisoning themselves?

Victor and Laura track every person that goes towards the room. Quite visibly too.

Johnny is mumbling something under his breath .

Alison looks like she may be praying- something Peter wouldn’t have pegged her for.

Wade is unusually quiet. Which is either bad or really, really bad.

All the other’s can do is stand and wait.

Peter knows that Laura and Victor can hear much more than them- so he watches them. Trying to see if it’s any worse or better than he thinks it is.

An hour of standing in tense silence and the blonde doctor from the room comes out.

“Please, follow me into the conference room.” She says, removing her gloves and tossing them in a trash can by the wall “All of you.”

The doctor is coated in vomit and blood. She looks very thrilled about her job.

Peter expects this to be some kind of anti-mutant spiel she’s about to throw at them.

The group is solemn as they follow her.

Wade puts a hand on Peter’s shoulder. “If shit goes down…. do you have anything on you?”

He shakes his head. “It’ll be hand to hand.”

Wade nods. “And to think that I left that katana on the table.” He smiles. “You pick the best dates, babe.”

Peter half chuckles, appreciating Wade’s humor, but not willing to give himself over to it fully.

The conference room is a large room with an oval table in it. It’s surrounded by heavily cushioned brown leather rolling chairs that look like they’d be comfortable. The colors of the room are browns and greens- reminding Peter of nature. This is supposed to be a ‘safe’ place. A place of comfort.

This is probably where they take people to tell them their loved ones are beyond help.

Peter prays to every god he can think of that this isn’t one of those conversations.

The group fills the room quietly, no one even bothering to look at one another. 

When the last person is through the door and the door is shut, the doctor turns to them.

“I am aware that this is a mutant problem.” She says sternly.

“Is it withdrawals ?” Laura cuts her off. “They were suffering from withdrawals this morning.”

The woman shakes her head. “The toxin is fresh. It’s a new dose of poison.”

“How??” Peter demands. “We were with them the entire time!”

“Someone slipped it in the food. They both ate ten minutes before the incident.” The doctor says. “And it wasn’t just your friends. There are twelve other cases within the last hour alone.” She pinches the bridge of her nose. “We have a great suspicion it’s in the food.”

“Twelve other…. “ Peter is floored. “They… how is that possible?”

“The compound started showing up last week.” She informs. “All the patients have been mutants and all the incidents have been fatal.” She has a no-nonsense kind of tone about her. “The drugs kill rate is 100%.”

“Christ.” Peter looks at Johnny again, who seems intently focused on the oval table.

“Look- mutant, human- it doesn't matter.” The doctor says. “I care about my patients. I am a doctor. I take my job very seriously.”

Well… that’s good at least.

At least the conversation is moving in a different direction than what Peter had originally thought.

“Listen to me very carefully- I have done fifteen of these cases already.” She pauses, looking around the room. “Your friends are not safe here… but they’ are strong. They’re faring better than all of the other patients and this is their what- second dose?” She looks to them.

“Yes.” Laura answers. “This is their second dose.”

“Then they’re an exception to the drugs kill rate.” The Doctor says. “And believe me- it is designed for nothing less than murder.”

“But- you said there were twelve other cases within the last hour- “ Peter tries.



“They’re either dying or dead.” She informs. “The flat lines are being reported by the minute. Your friends are lucky they’ve survived this long. I doubt their luck will be repeated a third time.” The woman crosses her arms. “We need to take evasive action. IF there’s a chance that I can get someone- hell two people in this case- to walk away from this breathing- then I’m sure as fuck going to take it.”

“What are you saying?” Victor growls.

“I”m saying,” The woman looks at him through cautious, wary, eyes before looking down. “That we need to get them stable and get them home. They can not eat, drink, or receive any further medication from this hospital. I can’t say what’s been infected and what hasn’t.”

Peter could not have imagined a worse outcome.

Other than flat out death- he supposes.

“You expect us to pay for a job you didn’t do?” Wade says darkly.

“Pay? No.” The woman says. “We won’t charge you… the hospital thinks you’ll sue. And if you sue- the other patient’s families will sue- it will be a mess.”

“How could we possibly take care of them better than a hospital?” Laura crosses her arms, her tone nothing but worried.

“Your friends are fighting.” The doctor says. “The man is healing faster than anything I’ve ever seen- his system just needs help. Water. Food. Things he can’t get here.”

“And Dom?” Peter asks.

“Luckiest woman I’ve ever seen.” The Doctor says. “Her injuries are worse than last night… and none the less lethal, but she's got about a 95% chance of walking this one off.”

“So… what? What do we do now?” Johnny asks, voice small and lost.

Peter can tell how hard he’s taking this.

“Go to the town over,” The doctor says, fishing two scripts out of her pocket. “Get these filled,” She passes Johnny two prescriptions, “Go to the groceries there. Get bottled water, sealed food, canned goods- anything that you can tell hasn’t visibly been tampered with.” She watches the group for a moment. “IF things get bad- to the point of death bad- take them to a hospital out of state. I’m sure whatever outbreak this hasn't spread that far yet.”

Peter is having a hard time taking this in. For all his intelligence, he just can’t fathom it.

“Take ‘em home. Get ‘em better. Watch what they eat?” Wade asks.

“Watch what all of you eat.” She orders. “I”m willing to bet that at least half of you are mutants. If you don't have a healing factor like him or whatever fucked up thing she does- don’t risk it.”

There’s silence around the room.

“I’ve pumped their stomachs.” She informs. “They’ve stopped seizing- for all intents and purposes they’re stable enough to travel. Take them home. Immediately.”

“Right.” Peter voices, seeing as no one else seems to want to say anything.

“The nurse’s will help you get them to the car.” The doctor says. “I wish you all the best of luck. Please be careful.” She nods to them and exits the room.

“So much for containment.” Peter says into the silence.

Peter doesn't understand how it's already spread.

He remembers Daken saying it was new...

If it's spread this far already, and within the last week- that means Marcus isn't the only supplier.

"It's already on the streets." Johnny voices his concern before he could. "Marcus isn't the only one pushing it."

“This is the low-end hospital,” Laura says grimly. “If the mutants in this part of the city are having medical problems- they’ll come here.”

“Wanna bet the hospital won’t tell them that they will be poisoned?” Wade asks darkly. “We need to leave a warning. Graffiti the building or something.”

Everyone stares at him.

“Yea,” He continues. “Big black letters,” He waves his hand in the air as he says “To whom it may concern,”


“Enough.” Johnny snaps.

Wade grumbles something to himself that Peter doesn’t quite hear.

“This is too fast for Roston,” Victor adds after staring between Johnny and Wade. “He’s good- but ain't that good.”

“We can figure it out at home.” Peter instructs. It’s time for someone to take charge. And lo’ and behold- it looks that that person will be him. Again. “Alison, go to the next town over and get the pills and groceries.”

Alison has been eerily quiet this whole time. She just nods.

“Take my truck.” Peter hands her the keys. “It will haul more. Don't worry about the cash- get as much as you can- okay?” She nods again. “So with my truck down, we have Alison’s car and Dom’s. We put someone in the front and then someone in the back with one of the sickies.”

“Dibs on Dom!” Wade says quickly.

The group stares at him for a long moment.

“What?” He asks defensively. “Daken’s a puker.”

“Right,” Peter looks at him with a ‘knock it off’ look. “Daken in the back of Dom’s car- it’s a little roomier. Laura- ride with him, Johnny drive.” The group nods.
“Victor, Wade, and I will take Dom.”

The group nods.

“Alison- is your phone charged?” Peter asks.

The woman nods.

“Hey,” He pats her shoulder. “It’s okay. We got this.”

She nods again.

“Okay.” He says. “Keep your phone on you- in case something else happens.”

ALison doesn’t say anything.

“Alison,” Peter says. “I need you to talk to me.”

“Yes.” She sighs. “Yes. I”ll keep my phone on me.”

“Good.”


The group stares at her as she starts to shake.

Peter’s not sure what’s going on with her. 

For a terrifying moment, he wonders if she’s eaten anything here.

He watches her for a moment and doesn't see any other concerning signs.

“Princess needs someone to go with her,” Victor says into the dense silence that’s been creating by everyone observing her. “She’s shell-shocked. Who knows what will happen if we let her go by herself.”

Peter remembers her limp earlier- as well. The twisted ankle. Poor Alison is having a rough day today.

“Victor should go with Alison,” Johnny says. “If she wrecks the truck we’ll be down another car. And Dom and Alison’s are on borrowed time as it is.”

Everyone mutters in agreement.

“Right,” Peter voices said agreement. “Victor go with Alison.”

Wade walks to the large wooden door in the room, looking out the window. “Hall’s pretty clear.” He says quietly. “We should get back to the sickies before someone dopes them again.”

“Good idea,” Peter says with a nod. “Everyone know what they’re doing?”

Sounds of acknowledgment ring throughout the room. “Good to know.” He motions for Wade to open the door and walks out into the deceptively calm hallway.

Peter doesn't exactly know what’s happening- but he’s never been one to just let things go. Especially with this many lives on the line.

He theorizes that once he’s got everyone where they need to be, he could do a little ‘recon’ himself. Go to the larger part of the city and do some work- Spidey style.

He doesn't have a shoot until Friday. It’s Wednesday today. It’ll give him a good chunk of time to figure something out.

As they’re all walking back to the room, Wade puts his hand on his shoulder. “Hey,” He whispers.

Peter looks back to him, expecting something sweet after their conversation earlier this morning.



Wade grins. “I am spray painting this building.” He whispers. “Keep the car running for me?”

“What-“ 

Wade is already jogging away.

Peter doesn’t know why- but Wade’s departure just makes him laugh.

And laughter is something he really needed at the moment.

Hell, it’s something they all need at the moment.

With a drug designed to kill half the cities population leaking into the streets and hospital, the man who they thought was pushing it on the loose, and their friends in the midst of a health crisis, they could use a little pick me up.

“So there’s a guy who walks into a bar.” Peter drawls, feeling tired.

“What?” Laura turns around with a raised eyebrow.

“There’s a guy who walks into a bar.” Peter repeats, talking very much with hands- a habit he does when he’s nervous. That is to say, gesturing wildly while he speaks. “IT’s a joke.”

“A joke?” Victor looks down at him.

“A joke.” Peter repeats. “We need to hear a joke.”

Everyone is silent before Johnny sighs. “Alright Pete,” HE says. “What happens next?”

“A guy walks into a bar,” Peter says, “And his friend ducks.”

Everyone is quiet.

“What?” Victor asks.

“His friend ducks,” Peter says . “He walked into a bar.”

There's a long stretch of silence.

"Come on!" Peter encourages. "We walked into the bar."

“That was not a very good joke.” Laura says with a smile.

“Yea?” Peter chuckles. “You got a better one?”

“Not really.” Laura is smiling, though. “But that was very bad.”

“Yea…” Johnny smirks. “Not your best work.”

“I’m under pressure here.” Peter nudges Johnny in the shoulder.

They stop at the room. 

Dom is awake and waves them over. “What’d they say?” She says tiredly.

“We’re taking you home.” Peter replies.



“Now?” Dom looks shocked.

“Drugs in the hospital.” Alison informs. “You're not safe here.”

Dom nods. “Gotcha.”

“You ready to sit up?” Victor asks her.

“No.” She wheezes. “But I’ll try.”

Victor helps her sit up in the bed, Dom wincing and straining the whole time.

“She can’t walk out of here.” Alison says.

“I can carry her.” Peter offers.

“They said the nurses’ would help.” Johnny tries.



“No one else touches them.” Laura says sternly, going to Daken’s beside. She looks at him for a moment before putting a hand on his forehead. “You’re hot.” She says.


He makes a groaning noise.

“Not much,” Dom inhales, “Of a talker.”

“At least he’s not vomiting.” Peter puts his arms under dom. “Up we go.” He lifts her, not really having to strain too much. “I got her.” he looks down at the woman, who’s got her eyes shut and her face scrunched in pain.

Victor does the same for Daken, who doesn’t react at all.

“We’re ready.” He says.

Peter nods. “Roll out then.”

Dom rests uneasily in his arms. He tries to make the walk as smooth as possible, but it’s not comfortable for anyone.

When they finally make to Alison’s car, He gently lays her down on the back, watching her immediately curl into a ball.

He closes the door and looks at Victor and Alison, the only two that accompanied him to this side of the lot. “Neena’s hurting badly.” He says.

Alison crosses her arms, holding herself by the elbows. “She’ll feel better when you get her home.” She says. “Watch the brakes- they’re going bad.”

Peter nods. “Get Gatorade from the store. “ he tells them. “Lots of it.” He fishes in his pocket and pulls out his credit card. The one that they only use for emergencies.

At least three people in the household have one and if the emergency proves to affect the whole house, everyone pitches in to pay off the bill.

“Do what you have to.” He tells them, passing the blue rectangle of plastic to Victor. “And be careful.”

“We got it.” Victor says. “Make sure no one dies while we’re gone.”

“I will certainly try my best.” Peter says with a nod. 

Victor walks off in the general direction of Peter’s truck, leaving Alison behind momentarily.

“Take care of ‘em- okay?” She says after a few moments of looking in the car.

“They’ll be fine.” Peter says gently.


The air is colder than it was this morning, he sees his breath come out in puffs.

In the distance, there’s a large commotion. He sees someone running towards the parking lot at full speed.

“What the-“



“That’s Wade.” Peter sighs. “He tagged the building.”

“He….”



“I guess I”m the getaway car.” Peter sighs, opening the door and sitting down before adjusting the seat. “It’s… stuck.” He grunts.



“Push hard.” Alison instructs. “Ol’ Steph's a good car, but she's stubborn.”

“I’m sure.” he grouses.

The commotion dies down just as Wade enters the parking lot. “Lost ‘em.” He says with a smile.

Alison rolls her eyes.

“Take care of them.” She repeats. “Please.”

Peter nods.

Alison looks at Wade with a smirk.

“All of them.”

He returns her smile. “Gotcha.”


Wade puts his hands in his jacket pockets, bending over to look in the car. “Well doesn’t she look comfy.” He smiles at Peter. “Better get her home before she wakes up.”

With that, the friends depart Peter hoping to avoid any vomiting sessions but knowing that in Alison’s less than perfect car- that’s probably not going to happen.

Chapter Text

As someone who’s had the big “C” himself - Wade finds that he really doesn’t like sick people.

The smells, the crying, the groaning- it annoys him.

He’s sad that his friends are ill- of course, he is. He’ s not completely heartless.

He just wishes they weren’t being such little bitches about it.

‘Oh, I almost died now I have to puke on the floor” He mocks in his head over and over again. He doesn’t remember being half this whiney when he actually was dying.

“I need to use the little boy's room!” He calls for the third time, banging on the door to the ‘ladies room’. “Johnny moved in downstairs!”

There’s movement in the bathroom before the door is cracked. “I’m soaking Dom In the tub. You can’t come in.” Laura says through the crack.

“Like I haven’t seen her naked before!” Wade whines. “I won’t look.” He bargains. “I pinky promise. I gotta piss.” He gives her his best puppy dog eyes. “Plllllleeassssssseeeee.”

Laura eyes him for a second before opening the door fully.

“You're a peach.” He walks into the room and get’s a wonderful view of Dom, naked as the day she was born, surrounded by ice and water. “Lookin’ good.” He gives her two thumbs up.

Dom hisses, rolling her head to the side. “Was he doing in here?”

“You said you wouldn’t look!” Laura growls, glaring at him.

“I lied!” He laughs, walking to the toilet and turning his back to them.

“If it makes you feel better,” He looks at Laura. “You look great too. Nice….” He looks her over. “Underwear?” He offers.

Laura is dressed in an oversized t-shirt and a pair of large, unflattering underwear.

“Stop looking at me.” She growls, pulling her hair up and tying it behind her head. “Stop looking in general.”

Even Wade can feel how tense this silence is. “If you glare at me it’s gonna crawl back up.” He warns. “We’ll be here all day.”

“Agh.” Dom groans. “Shut up.” She makes several attempts to put her hand on her forehead, displacing the water each time. Finally, she gives up and lets her hand fall, splashing a few cubes of ice onto the floor.

“Shhhhh sickie chickie. You’re giving me performance anxiety.” He looks over his shoulder. “Where’d you get the ice?”

“Called in a friend.” Laura continues to glare at him.

“Ohhhhh. Miss Wolvie had a gentlemen caller?” Wade pries.

“I didn’t say that.” She growls.


Wade is interested. 

Mainly because their freezer does not make ice at the moment and Laura hasn’t left the house since they got here.

She called a friend who could make ice- Wade ponders. Probably one of those x-chumps she keeps in her phone.

Ice boy or whatever. Wade’s not sure.

“Turn around.” Laura growls.

“Oh so you can look at me- but I can’t look at you?”

“Do you want to lose your genitalia?” Laura asks with a mocking tone of patience.

Wade thinks about calling her bluff but recalls the number of times he’s actually seen her engaging in the act of bluffing. Which is a total sum of zero. “No thank you.” He turns his head and stares at the wall. 

There're smudges of a squished roach behind the toilet. And here he thought the ladies would be ‘classy’. He can’t help but look at it. He hands it to the ladies- at least they’re not afraid to squish their own bugs. He’s known some women in the past that absolutely piss themselves if a roach comes anywhere near them.

Not the women of the household- though. Tough as nails.

“Smells like lavender.” He starts to converse. “I like it. Better than the smell of death and stomach acid.”

“Stop talking.” Laura orders.

It’s not a rewarding piss. As soon as he’s done, before he can even shake, Laura is turning him around and shoving him out the door.

When it’s slammed at his back, leaving him in the hallway with his dick still in his hands, he takes a moment to think of the perfect thing to say to her.

He’s still thinking when he hears, “There a reason you’re in the hallway with your hand on your junk?”

“Love of my life.” He grins. “Gimme a hand-“



“Wade” Peter snorts.

“EY. Give me a Handey.”

Peter groans, moving the large laundry basket he’s holding his arms to the floor.

“What???” Wade laughs. “It’s been alllll morning.”

He puts himself away and stares at Peter. “You're wearing that wonderful shade of ‘got my ass handed to me in the kitchen last night’ purple…”



“Bruises.” Peter corrects with a smirk. “Those are bruises, Wade.” 



“Sexy as fuck.” He motions to his outfit. “You've lost some clothes…”



Peter’s down to his boxers. Not the Spiderman ones that Wade likes- the normal black ones. 

Wade decides his outfit is boring and in need of some sprucing up before anything fun can happen.

“Daken threw up on them.” Peter waves his hand in front of himself. “I don’t have any clean pants.” He looks Wade over for a second.

“And those,” Wade points to the basket. “Are all of your pants?”

“No.He got the curtains too.” He nudges the laundry basket with his bare foot.

“So both of us are out of pants?” Wade rolls his tongue in a cat calling manner. “More fun for us- right?” He offers.

“Yeah right.” Peter continues. “Fun.”

Wade moves a little closer to him. “I can make it fun.” He offers.

Peter looks to the side. “You want to make it fun, Wade?”

Wade nods. “Oh, yea.”

“You want to do something for me that will really turn me on?”

Wade nods vigorously.

“Awesome.” Peter grins. “You can do the laundry.”

Wade’s brain goes from turned on to confused. “What?”

“You said you wanted to turn me on,” Peter says innocently. “Nothing turns me on more than someone doing the housework so I don’t have to.”

“That’s a bait and switch and I won’t have any part of it.” Wade shakes his head.

“Will you please do the laundry, Wade?” Peter asks sweetly. “Please?”

“Laundry is yucky.” He sticks his tongue out. “Speaking of laundry- where’s my suit?”

Peter groans. “I’m not your wife. I don’t keep up with your clothes.” He stares him down. “Could you please do the laundry? I have to get back in the room.” He looks at Wade with sincere eyes. “Please.” He repeats. “I really need your help.”

“Why would you go back in the room with him?” Wade asks in a tone of disgust. “He’s puking.”

“His brain is swelling,” Peter says like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “I can’t leave him alone.” He pinches the bridge of his nose, leaning into his hand. “You’re really not going to help me?”

Wade stares at him for a long second. “Why does this end in my doing the laundry again? This doesn’t seem to add up to me doing the laundry. Daken did the puking, so rationally Daken should do the laundry.”

“He can’t move- Wade.” Peter crosses his arms. “Look- that suit is wrecked and you said you don’t have anymore. You need to do a load anyway. Just throw it in with yours.”

“I”m,” Wade looks around. “Out of suits.” He says.

“Right,” Peter says in agreement. “So go to the room, gather them up, put them in the basket and then take the whole thing downstairs and throw them in the washer.” Peter smiles. “Simple.”

“I’m out of suits.” Wade repeats ,smiling at him.

“Why do I get the feeling that that phrase is going to lead to something unpleasant?” Peter says in a helpless manner.

“No suit means no clothes.” Wade says.

“So?”

“So I have nothing to wear.” Wade tries to patiently help Peter along to his way of thinking. “Could lead to something very pleasant.”

Normally this would be an easy solution- put on something else.

But nothing is ever easy with Wade.

Why should it be? 

Wade lives to make things interesting. He finds them easier to deal with that way.

“Put on something else.” Peter says with a shrug. “Just do the laundry.” He looks at Wade with what Wade refers to as the ‘honey do’ look. He uses it when he’s telling Wade what to do- and Wade is on to his game. 

Those round eyes looking off to the side all innocent like. Oh no, sir. Wade knows what’s going on here.

“Nope.” Wade smiles, walking into his bedroom. “Hey sickie.” he greets Daken. “Feeling any better?”

Daken opens one eye and glares at him.

“Might wanna close that.” Wade warns, pulling off his suit and feeling the air against his skin. “Oh, yeah,” He approves. “This feels much better.”

“I’m gonna puke.” Daken groans. “Put your pants on.”

“Don’t like what you see don’t look Mr. looky loo.”

“Wade-“ Peter stops in the door and stares at him. “You're not serious.”

“Go about your business Nurse Parker.” Wade flops down on his bed and crosses his legs, doing the same with his arms behind his head.

Wade’s bed is the one of the four that’s furthest from the door, beside Peter’s off to the left. 

The men’s room houses the beds ‘military bunk style’- as Wade calls it.

That is to say, they’re all in a row stretching across the room from wall to wall and leave very little room to move about.

From the Bed Wade’s on, he can easily reach over and bug his ‘neighbor’ who just so happens to be Peter.

The room is filthy- which drives the others insane.

But Wade likes it.

He finds it cozy.

Reminiscent of his apartment- now that he thinks about it. 

Wade wonders whatever happened to his apartment. When he couldn’t afford his rent, he just disappeared and came here. Didn’t cut the lights off. Didn’t tell his landlord. Just took his stuff and left.

“Can you at least put your robe on?” Peter grouses from the doorway.

“We both know you love it.” Wade says dismissively, shaking the foot of his crossed leg. “Do you think I’d look good in fingernail polish?” He asks.

“What?”



“Fingernail polish.” Wade motion in Daken’s direction. “Like Junior wears.”

Peter crosses his arms, leans his head back, and exhales slowly. “Your response to me asking you to do the laundry was to get naked?” He demands.

“Fingernail polish?”

“Wade.” Peter snaps.

“I”m thinking purple.” Wade responds, giving his foot a shake again.

“Why can’t you do one simple task for me?” Peter says after obviously counting to ten.

“Why couldn’t you give me a handey in the hallway?” Wade retorts.

“Wade!” Peter snaps.

 “Shut up.” Daken groans. “Shut up, shut up.”

“Easy.” Peter shushes. “Take it it easy.” He glares at Wade. “Do the laundry.” He says much more quietly.

“Do you think Alison has purple nail polish?” Wade asks, none the less loudly.

“Do the fucking laundry.” Peter hisses. He moves to Daken’s bed, wedged between his and Johnny’s, and pulls the sheet up his back. “How’s it going?”

“Yea junior- how’s it going?” Wade repeats. “Got any nail polish I can borrow?”

“Wade.” Peter growls. “Laundry.”

“I feel like shit.” Daken groans. “Get him out of here.”

“I live here, good sir.” Wade gasps. “I’m here to help.”

“Have you drunk any of your water?” Peter asks helpfully. “You’d feel better if you drank some water.”

“Nurse?” Wade calls, looking over at the two men.

Peter continues to mess around with the cup of water by Daken’s bed.

“Oh, nurse?” He calls again.

“Alison texted about five minutes ago.” Peter says to Daken. “They’ve got some painkillers on the way. Not the good stuff- but it'll help some."

“Nurse?”

“And,” Peter glares at Wade, “Some soup.”

“Nurse Parker?” Wade asks, louder than before.

Peter straightens up. “What Wade?”

Wade grins. “My pillows need to be fluffed.”

“Fluff them yourself.” Peter orders.

Wade enjoys this part of his and Peter’s routine far too much. “Can’t.” He fails his arms off to his sides. “I’m broken.”

“You are not-“ 



“Wanna bet?” Wade moves to dislocate his shoulder- but Peter runs over and stops him. 



“Fine!” He says quickly. “I’ll fluff your damn pillows.”

He reaches behind Wade to grab the pillow, but Wade quickly moves and pulls him into bed with him.

“Wade!” Peter snaps.

Wade holds him sideways and kisses the back of his neck. “Yes?” he says along his skin. 



”Not now.” Peter growls.

“Junior’s in and out.” Wade says dismissively. “If you keep your somewhat girlish squeals down- you’ll be fine.”

“Wade-“ 

Wade kisses his neck again. 

“Wade-“ It’s a little less stern.

“Hmm?”

Daken lets out a small snore.

“Well look at that.” Wade whispers. “The baby’s asleep.” He smiles.

Wade likes sex.

Wade likes having sex.

Wade enjoys pretty much anything to do with sex regardless of gender. Sex is awesome. 

Just make sure they’re over eighteen and you use a rubber. That’s his motto.

Peter, Wade notes, is a little gun shy about sex with him.


Wade thinks that just adds to the ‘mystery’ of their relationship.

“You can top.” He offers.

Peter chuckles. “Don’t I always?”

“Well, there was that one time…. remember? Wendy’s bathroom?”

“If I was drunk it doesn’t count.” Peter looks over at Daken. “You think he’ll stay out long enough?”

“Oh, you are considering it now, hmm?” Wade asks with a chuckle.

“If we can do so without bothering Daken.” Peter says. “And you do the laundry afterward.”

“Are you really afraid that Daken- Daken who sleeps with everyone- would be ‘off put’ if he saw us fucking?” Wade whispers.

“I think…” Peter stops. “Well… no. I suppose not.”

“Then what’re you worried about?” Wade pauses. “Or do sick people turn you off? Sick people kinda turn me off.”

“Well,” Peter muses. “The room smells like vomit and he’s.. making noises. It’s not exactly sexy.”

“You could wear headphones?” Wade offers.

“And miss out on you babbling??” Peter says in awe.

Wade smirks. “Come on Spidey. The house is as empty as it’s going to get for a while.”

On the other bed there’s a forceful, “Just fuck and get it over with!”

Both men turn their attention to Daken.

“Please.” He says sleepily. “The suspense is killing me.”

“You heard him.” Wade says with a nod.

Peter stares at him for a second. “You’re doing the laundry.” He orders. “And we’re using the lube I like- not that weird one.”

“‘Weird’ or just ‘different’?” Wade muses.

“Weird.” Peter smiles.

Daken starts snoring again.

Wade reaches behind him and gropes Peter quite thoroughly. “Before he wakes up again.” He urges.

Peter sighs. “You’re still doing the damn laundry.”

“Gimme thirty minutes and I’ll do whatever the fuck you tell me to.” Wade offers.

Peter stares at him before shrugging. “Thirty minutes.” He puts his phone on the table. “I’m timing it.”

—————————————————————————

Wade thinks the world looks better after sex.

He stands at the washer machine trying to reminder the trick to get it to work.

Finally, he does what he always does when he wants to fix something- beats it repeatedly until it surrenders it’s willfulness and starts to work.

This works for TVs, toasters, washer machines- but not toilets. No. The toilet makes you it’s bitch and everyone knows it. At least that is, according to Wade.

“Pukey sheets.” He grumbles. “Pukey pants. Pukey drapes.”

This is Wade's third load of laundry. Peter made a fair exchange- Wade will give him that... but three loads? 

Wade hates doing laundry. Three loads actually means six loads if you count in the three extra times he put the clothing into the dryer. That's six loads too many in Wade's book. 

A final kick and the washer machine starts making noises.

Not exactly the correct noises it’s supposed to make- but Wade assumes the best and dumps a very sizable amount of laundry detergent on top of the clothing.

“That should do it.” He closes the lid and exits the small laundry room, heading into the kitchen.

“You doing laundry?” Alison asks as she tugs in an armful of grocery bags through the front door.

“Yep.” He puts his hands on his hips. “I’m not throwing in of your clothes in, though. The laundry ship has sailed.

“Would you mind-“ She stops as she moves into full view of him. “Oh, my god. You're naked.”

“Yep.” He repeats. “Whata ya need?”

“Never mind.” She hisses, hobbling over to the kitchen counter. “I got it.”

The door opens again followed by an immediate. “Fuck, Wilson! You think anyone wants to see that?”

“I can think of a few people.” He fires back defensively.

“Oh?” Victor snorts.

Wade crosses his arms against the cold.

“How’re Dom and Daken?” Alison takes a step and hisses, stopping and lifting her right foot in the air.

“Dom’s on ice and Daken’s sleeping like a zombie baby.”

“A… what the fuck is a zombie baby?” Victor demands, setting down several grocery bags on the counter.

“Go look at Daken. He’s sleeping like a baby but he looks like he’s dead.” Wade shrugs. “Zombie baby.”

He walks to the counter and starts to dig through the bags. “Lots of corn.” He notes.

“Could you please put pants on?” Alison begs.

Wade smirks at her. “Why all the corn?”

“Pants?”

“Corn?”

“Argh!” Alison shuffles through the bags , slapping his hand away from them. “We got all the canned veggies. They had a lot of corn.”

“Yuck.” Wade sticks his tongue out. “Corn is only useful with meat, sauce, and beans. In a burrito. We should all get burritos.”

“No fast food,” Victor says, setting down more groceries. “Not until we know how contained it is.”

“What???” Wade’s mouth is on the floor. “I can't have tacos because her highness and Dom got poisoned?”

“And twelve other people at a HOSPITAL,” Alison says pointedly. “Containment is an issue and we can’t handle another person going down for this.” She looks him over. “It’s an ‘all hands on deck’ situation.”

“Fine.” Wade grouses. “Fine. No fast food.”

Wade moves onto another bag. And then another. And then-

“Where is the meat?” He finally asks. “Still in the truck?”

“Can’t tell if meat’s been tampered with.” Victor says, walking to the front door and shutting it firmly.

“No MEAT? No fast food and no MEAT?” Wade shakes his head. “Uh uh. This shit ain't gonna fly!”

“We’ll get meat. “ Victor growls at him. “I’m taking Laura hunting.”

“Hunting?” Wade perks up. “As in guns and blades and pointy things killing Bambi's?”

Victor stares wade over. “Yea.” He says finally.

“And…. anyone can go for the common good- right?”

“What?” Victor growls.

“More hunters means more food.”

“You don’t hunt.” Alison says dismissively.

“I’m a merc!” Wade says in distress.

“Hunting people and hunting animals are completely different.” Victor crosses his arms.

“Oh?” Wade puts his hand on his hip and assumes his best ‘bossy’ position. “Let me tell you something-“



“You're loud. You can’t track. You can’t scent things. We’ll have to worry about you getting lost. And guns make too much noise.” Victor rattles off his list and then stares at him. “Any questions?”

“No guns. Got it.” Wade says with a nod. “When do we leave?”

Alison looks between the two men. “Just let him go.” She says. “What can it hurt? We need the food.”

Victor growls something along the lines of ‘fuck me’ before saying, “Fine. We’re leaving in an hour.”

“Awesome.” Wade says cheerfully.



Victor glares at him. “And put your damn pants on.”

“Please.” Alison seconds Victor’s plea.

“You got it.” Wade nods, turning heel and heading up the stairs.

He barges into the room and starts digging through Peter’s things.

“Whoah, whoah, hold up!” Peter flips himself off the bed and joins Wade. “What’re you doing?”

Wade glances at him. “I’m borrowing your clothes.”

Peter looks a little dazed. “Why?”

“I’m going hunting.” Wade smiles, leaning in to kiss him quickly before looking down. “You need help taking care of your little buddy there?”

Peter follows his gaze to his midsection.

“No.” He yawns. “Hand me some pants.”

“Are you coming too?” Wade asks. “I don’t see you much as a hunter. Being part spider and all.”

“One, I can hunt if I want,” Peter holds a finger with one hand while taking the jeans Wade offers him with the other. “And two, for the last time, I am not part spider.”

“Sure, sure. Just some cocky story of being bit by a spider.”

“Radioactive spider.” Peter groans. “How many times do I have to tell you-“ 



“That you weren’t born in the amazons amongst other spider people and sent to our world to learn our ways and report back to your tribal leader with our greatest weaknesses?” Wade leans in and kisses him. “About fifty more until it sticks.”

Peter chuckles. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

Wade digs under Peter’s bed and pulls out a few blades.

Peter sighs loudly. “What are those doing under my bed?”

“For protection,” Wade says with a nod. “In case you can’t get to your web shooters.”

Peter pauses.

Wade nods to his stunned form. “Just lookin’ out for you babe.” He smiles, picking up two medium sized blades and a small hunting knife. “In case you’re wondering,” He whispers, “You use the pointy end to stab people.”

“Thanks.” He says quietly.

Wade nods. “Now,” he stands up, “I’m gonna go bring home the bacon. Or deer. Or rabbits.”

Peter nods. “Good luck.”

Wade returns his nod and exits the room, heading down the stairs happily.

He’s never been much for hunting animals but if his own personal diet is on the line- you can bet your ass he’s going to be killing something big.

The thought brings a smile to his face.

Chapter Text

For a man who can control fire and heat at will- Johnny Storm has burnt a lot of food this evening.

His mind's just not in it.


If he didn’t need the shift to put gas in his car- he would have called in.

Johnny’s known to be very… let’s say ‘distractible’.

It’s just something to do with his personality. Right now he’s decided it’s somewhat of a flaw.

He can’t get over almost losing Daken. Every time He tries to think about it- something just goes off in him.

His pot buddy. Wingman. And recently - very, very recently- fuck buddy.

And Dom! That would have been a tragedy! Johnny loves Dom.

Her jokes. Her laugh.

Dom.

He can’t stop thinking about how all those innocent people died this morning. Or about who might be behind it.

“Hey pretty boy, when they say ‘well done’ they don’t mean charcoal.” Ronny, some college sophomore with a pink semi- mohawk semi- whatever the fuck that is, is standing in the doorway of the kitchen, holding a very burnt steak. “Are you trying to make me lose tips?”

Johnny gives him the once over. “Sorry, Ronny.” He says finally. “Lot on my mind.”

“Yea- sure, sure.” The kid says patronizingly. “Let’s just let the meta fuck everything up because he’s having a bad day.”

“Hey,” Johnny growls. “I said I was sorry.”

“You threatening me fire boy?” Ronny holds his skinny arms skyward. “I”m feeling a little threatened.”

Ronny, for the record, has tried to get Johnny fired a total of six times at this point. Johnny, for the record, has been working here three months.

“I’m not threatening you.” Johnny groans. “Chill out.”

Johnny has been enticed into fights, reported for stealing food, smoking on the job- All sorts of things.

Needless to say, Johnny’s holding a grudge.

He wouldn’t purposefully mess with someone else’s lively hood- no. But the fact that his screwups happen to be affecting the most obnoxious person at the job isn’t exactly something Johnny would label as entirely bad.

“I’m telling Mark,” Ronny says with a nod. “You’re a danger to everyone.”

“Sure, Ronny,” Johnny says dismissively. “Tell Mark.”

He focuses his attention back to this grease pit of a kitchen.

Tiny, wet, noisy.

He’s one of two people cooking today- and to be honest- he’s about done.

The other cook, Craig is a large white man with a buzz cut and a gruff, growling voice. He’s outside having a smoke break right now. It’s something that’s not supposed to happen when you’re on the grill, but no one seems to want to stop him.

The thought of arguing with Mark brings a grimace to Johnny’s face.

Mark is an overweight, unattractive man (Johnny doesn’t mean to be rude when he says this- but it’s true), with a neck beard. He’s a few years older than Johnny and takes his job far too seriously. He also, Johnny recalls, has a habit of pretending like he knows everything- even when he doesn't. He’s inserted himself into several of Johnny’s conversations about his old superhero life- even though Mark himself has no powers. He’s quick with an insult on something he deems ‘unlikeable’ but very, very defensive when it comes to his involvement in matters.

Most importantly- movies.


Johnny and Mark fight over movies.

Johnny doesn’t know if this puts him in Mark’s good graces or not- and he doesn’t want to know.

Mark happens to be a bit of a phobic when it comes to anything different. He’s racist, sexist, a homophobe- all the things that make Johnny want to slap a person.

Johnny fits into many of his shit categories. He got the job because Mark didn’t recognize him at first. When he found out who Johnny was- or used to be, as it were- he couldn’t properly fire him.

Johnny hates his interactions with Mark with a passion.

If he loses this job- however- he doesn’t know what he’ll do.

Time slips by as Johnny tries to focus on not burning this massive cut of beef in front of him.

Well done. 

Who orders a steak well done- he ponders. Johnny thinks it’s downright unamerican.

“Storm.” Mark barks as he comes into the kitchen. “Do you know how much many I pay each week for the meat you’re fucking up?”

Johnny hums to himself. “Judging by the piss poor quality? About 20 bucks?” He offers.

Mark stands beside him, arms crossed. “Oh, you’ve got jokes now?”

Johnny nods. “Yes, sir. Jokes and puns. Puns are my specialty.”

For the record, when trying to keep your job- this is not how you should speak to your boss.

“How about you make steaks your specialty?” Mark says impatiently.

“Yes, sir.” Johnny focuses a small amount of energy on the stove in front of him, adding more heat. The steak starts to smoke instantly. “Fuck.” he groans.

“See? See right there.” Ronny joins the two men at the grill. “Freaky shit like that is what I'm telling you about! He looked at it! The freak burnt the steak by looking at it!’

“I’m a little distracted.” Johnny starts to explain. “My friends are in the hospital and-“



“I didn’t ask for your sob story- freak.” Mark seethes.

“Hey,” Johnny turns to him. “Don’t call me ‘freak’ man. I don’t like it.”

“Don’t change the fact that it’s true.” Ronny sneers.

“Ronny,” Johnny says lowly. “No one is talking to you.”

“He’s downright hostile, Mark!” Ronny says, motioning to Johnny. “You hear him?”

Mark nods. “Oh, I hear him.”

“Look- I’m sorry I burnt the food. I’ll be more careful and-“



“You'll pay for each cut you’ve fucked up today- is what you’ll do.” Mark says with a nod. “And each one you fuck up in the future.”

“You can’t be serious.” Johnny puts down his spatula.

“Two sirloins and a rib eye- Mark,” Ronny says with a smile in Johnny’s direction. “That's what he’s fucked up this afternoon. And that’s just from my tables.”

“Right so… let’s call it 70 bucks?” Mark says.

“70 dollars? Your whole week's supply isn’t worth that much!”

“You want a job or not freak?” Mark asks. “70 bucks for what you’ve fucked up and oh let’s say… 20 bucks for each one you fuck up in the future.”

“That’s more than I make in a day!” Johnny says.

“Then you’ll have to more careful- won’t you?” Mark says cruelly.


Johnny crosses his arms. “Antonio fucked up five orders last week and you didn’t charge him.”

“Well Antonio isn’t a walking fire hazard- now is he?” Mark asks with a smirk.

“Oh fuck you.” Johnny seethes. “You fucking pig.”

The room is tense.

In the silence, you can hear one of the dishwashers sniggering.

Probably Kevin now that Johnny thinks about it. He heard him in the background earlier.

“What did you say?” Mark hisses.

“I called you a fucking pig.” Johnny slams the metal utensil down on the grill, making it bounce off the heated surface and fall to the floor.

“Pick that up, pay me my money, and do your fucking job.” Mark orders.

“How about you pay me my money?” Johnny counters. “You know- the last paycheck you stiffed me?”

“I didn’t stiff you-“ 



“Yes, you did.” Johnny corrects. “About two hundred bucks.”

Mark smirks. “How about I keep that to pay for your little fuck ups tonight?”

Johnny glares at him. “You were only charging me seventy!”

“Price went up while we were talking.” Mark sneers. “It’s a roller coaster in the meat market right now.”

Johnny exhales slowly, feeling his rage burn inside him.

“Ya know what?” He jerks off his apron. “Keep the money. Keep the job. And Mark,” he turns to the man. “Go fuck yourself.”

Johnny is not keeping this job at this point.


He figures it’s better to quit than be fired by these assholes.

“Storm-“ 

Johnny turns his attention to the food on the neighboring stove, squinting a little, and pushing enough heat into it to make every single item of the three orders burst into flames.

“Storm!” Mark orders.

“Consider that my two weeks.” Johnny flips him the bird and hastily exits the kitchen.

When he’s in his car, he puts his head on the steering wheel, slamming it a few times. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.” He hisses before turning the key and pulling out of the small parking lot.

Peter is going to kill him. 

This is the third time this has happened to him.
He spends the whole ride home thinking about it.

When he pulls in the drive the sun is setting and he’s greeted by the sight of Victor and Wade moving a very large deer out of the back of peter’s truck. Very Large. Very out of place.

He parks the car and rolls down the window.

“You couldn’t have gotten something smaller?” He has to admit that he’s smiling.

Wade pats the deer on its side. “I caught him!” He calls. “Named him Wilbur!”

Johnny rolls up the window and exits the car, locking it behind him while he shakes his head. “Isn’t Wilbur a pig?” He says. “And alive at the end?”

“Look who’s well read,” Wade says with a grin.

Johnny wonders if someone should praise him on still being out of his mask.

Then again- maybe it’s best if they all ignore it so Wade doesn’t feel self-conscious. 

Johnny smirks at the thought of it.

Wade- self-conscious.

“The fuck are you two talking about?” Victor asks, taking the buck from Wade and hoisting it onto his shoulder.

“It’s a book,” Wade says with a nod. “About a spider and a pig. And the spider dies at the end and it’s very sad.” He glances at Johnny. “Torchie gets it.”

Johnny nods. “Sue made me read it when we were kids.” He chuckles to himself. “Thought I wasn't reading enough in school.”

He didn’t mean for that statement to bear so much weight, but it falls like a stone in between them.

Wade nods, looking back to the buck. “So… how do we clean it?”

Victor starts to walk to the gate that leads to the back yard. “I’ll take care of it.” He says dismissively. “Someone start cooking something. I’m fucking starved.”

Johnny and Wade stand in silence for a second before Wade says, “So, I’m gonna break this little ‘invisible tip toe line’ everyone’s going to walk,” He says, crossing his arms. “Have you talked to your people? Pete needs a lab. He thought-“ 

“I know what he thought.” Johnny says with a sigh. “I know. And I will… eventually.”

“Eventually- huh?”

Johnny nods. “Things didn't exactly end on good terms.”

Wade snorts. “Like I hadn’t noticed.” He motions to the space around him. “Slumming it really isn't your style torchie.”

“Yea well…” Johnny reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pack of Newports, putting one in between his lips and igniting his indexing finger. He holds it to the cigarette and takes a long drag, exhaling with a sigh.

“That is so fucking classy.” Wade says.

Johnny takes the cigarette from his lips and smiles. “I know right?”

He puts out his finger and walks towards the house.

“How’s Dom?” He asks, standing at the steps.

“Better.” Wade falls into step behind him. “Sitting in the living room and everything. Perky.”

“Great!” Johnny smiles before taking another drag. “And Daken?”

“Doing just fine,” Wade says. “We’re feeding him popsicles. Apparently- and this is a shocker to me- he’s never had one.”

Johnny stops moving. “How can you never have a popsicle?”

Wade shrugs. “Something about sugar and artificial coloring.” He laughs a little. “It’s actually kind of cute. “ He leans into Johnny and whispers, “He’ll stab you if you tell him that, though.”

Johnny grins. “Good to know.”

The house is still clean from this morning, Johnny is happy to note.

Like Wade said, Dom is set up on the couch, a blanket draped over her shoulders and her attention set on Laura and Alison, who are in the two chairs.

“Do you have to smoke as soon as you come in the house?” Laura complains, turning her eyes to him.
.
Johnny takes another drag. “Yea. I don’t smoke in the car.”

“But you smoke in the house?” She presses.

“Leave him alone.” Dom says somewhat weakly. “Let the man smoke in peace.” She motions to Johnny. “Let me bum one?”

“Dom-“ Alison starts.

Dom shakes her head. “I almost died- twice. I’m having a god damn cigarette.”

Johnny walks over to her, flicking his ash into the available ashtray in front of her on the table, and passing her a cigarette. She’s not as deathly pale as she was- he’s happy to note. The black around her eye is once again black and not that freaky gray-ish.

He puts his cigarette between his lips to free up his hand, and ignites his forefinger again, letting Dom lean in and inhale until her cigarette is lit.

“Thanks.” She says with a nod. “Owe you one.”

Johnny smiles. “Just focus on getting better- ‘kay?”

Dom smiles. “Got that covered.”

“Ladies.” He nods to the room, ignoring Alison’s pointed glares.

“Johnny…” Peter is standing in the Kitchen doorway wiping his hands on a dish towel. “You're home early… and You’ve got that look.”

Peter is shirtless- which is something that in the cold- he probably should not be doing.

“And you’re not wearing a shirt.” Johnny says .

Peter frowns. “Fixing the sink. It got wet.” He motions behind him. “Why are you home?”

“Well…” Johnny takes a drag. “It’s a funny story actually.”

“Like ‘ha ha’ funny or ‘we’re going to be down about two hundred bucks funny?” Peter crosses his arms. “Cause I could really use a laugh right about now.”

Johnny looks to the ground. “Ah… Peter,” he says tentatively. “You might want one of these. For stress?” He offers him a cigarette.

“You lost your job.” Peter groans.

“I QUIT my job.” Johnny corrects, extinguishes the fire from his cigarette and throwing it into the trash can by the door to the kitchen, having to lean around Peter to do so.

Both rooms go quiet.

“Why Johnny, why?” Peter says in distress.

“They were racist assholes who were going to make me pay like 200 bucks to keep working there.” Johnny answers.

Peter exhales slowly. “That’s… not a bad reason.” He eyes Johnny sternly. “But you’ve got to get another- okay?”

“Sir, yes sir.” Johnny salutes him before squeezing past him into the kitchen and going to the refrigerator. He opens the door to the freezer side and digs through the various assortment of foods, finding a box of popsicles and sorting through them. Daken likes cherries, so he picks the red.

“We’re cooking dinner.” Peter says.

“I thought you were fixing the sink.” Johnny says distractedly.

Peter motions to the stove where there are two shabby looking pots, the larger one with a sizable dent in the side. A dent which, now that Johnny recalls, he made by slamming it into Victor’s head once upon a foolish night when they were both drunk.

“Laura’s cooking.” Peter looks around Johnny to the living room. “Well… she’s supposed to be anyway.” he focuses back on Johnny. “At any rate- we’re almost done and it’s rude-“

“I’m not gonna spoil my dinner, momma spidey.” Johnny shushes. “Where’s Daken?”

“Sleeping.” Laura’s voice behind him makes him jump. She pushes past the two men and over to the worn out stove that is just balancing on the line between working and busted. “He should be anyway.”

“How’s he doing?” Johnny presses.

“He has a fever and a lot of pain.” Laura says. “And an upset stomach”

“But…. no bleeding?”

Laura looks over her shoulder with a small smile. “NO bleeding.” She affirms.

“He’s still laid up in bed if you want to see him.” Peter nods to the popsicle. “Wade told you about the popsicles -huh?”

Johnny nods with a grin. “I’m gonna go give him shit for it.”

Peter chuckles. “Watch the claws. He had a fever earlier and got into some kind of confused state. Took Wade’s hand off.”

“Ah.”

“That’s why he’s upstairs instead of down here with Dom.”

“If you’re going to see him,” Laura says without looking at him. “Please make sure he’s drinking water. I had to take away a bottle of vodka.” She says in a quieter tone, “I don’t know what he was thinking.”

“Gotcha.” Johnny says.

He leaves the kitchen and heads up the stairs, noting that the one closest to the top is loose again. He’ll have to tell Peter.

Though pretty much everyone is capable of doing so- Peter does most of the maintenance on the house. It’s a role he just happened to fall into.

He knocks on the door to his bedroom softly. With Daken’s hearing, he knows the man can hear him at whatever volume he happens to use, but opts for a softer one in case there happens to be a lingering headache.

“Decent?” He calls softly.

“What?” IS a slurred reply.

“Are you decent?” He repeats.

There’s silence. “Come in.” Daken says in form of an answer.

He pushes the door in, smiling. “You are not.” He says teasingly when he says a half dressed Daken face down on his mattress. “What happened to your clothes?”

“Fucking Wade did Laundry.” Daken grumbles, turning over on his bed to look at Johnny. “He took them.”

“Deadpool did laundry?”

Daken nods into the mattress. “Peter has him whipped.”

“Whipped?”

Daken makes a weak whipping sound. “Man must have a golden dick.”

Johnny burst out laughing. “What?”

Daken shakes his head. “Nevermind.” He pauses before adding, “Why are you home?”

“Quit my job.” Johnny says with a nod.

Johnny looks around the dark room, noting that it’s been cleaned again since he left.

He doesn’t miss the vomit or the smell. He’s glad for the change.

Daken takes his phone off the mattress beside him. “Got fired from mine.” He says sleepily, motioning with the phone. “Called an hour ago. Too much ‘anti-mutant shit’ going around.” He puts the phone down. “I’m bad for business.”

“Did you lose both of them?” Johnny asks in awe.

“Just the one that got me out of the house.” Daken nods to Johnny’s hand. “Is that for me?”

Johnny grins. “Wade said you’d never had a popsicle before.”

“I’ve had several since I told him that.” Daken smirks. “He brought one of each color.”

“Awh. So sweet.” Johnny teases.

“Lots of sugar, so yes. It was sweet.”

“Do you have a favorite?” Johnny asks.

“I like the red ones.” Daken says quietly, closing his eyes. “Did you bring me a red one?”

Johnny’s grin widens. “I actually did bring you a red one. I thought you’d like the cherry flavor.”

Daken returns his smile. “You remembered.”

Johnny nods. “Of course I did.”

“Brownie points.” Daken says in a happy yet tired tone.

“I thought I could feed you one?” Johnny asks with feigned innocence.

“Hmm,” Daken hums. “And what would I owe you for your service?”

Johnny thinks of the several possibilities before remembering that Daken is very much bed ridden. “I’ll let you know at a later date.” He says, feeling completely unsexy in doing so.

Daken tries to prop himself up but fails, ending flat on his back looking up at the ceiling. “Ouch.” He hisses.

Johnny takes a seat beside him on the bed. “So… do you want it?”

Daken looks at the offered treat, still wrapped in its white casing. “I guess. Since you’ve come all this way.”

Johnny starts to unwrap the popsicle, being careful not to handle it too much with his hotter than average body temperature being taken into account.

“I like red.” Daken says sleepily. “I’m glad you brought the red one.”

“Everyone likes red.” Johnny says. “It’s universal.” He holds the treat to Daken, watching the man takes a bite, not really trying to be sexy or charming- like he usually is. What with this being a perfect time to be seductive… it’s very out of character for him not to try. “Feeling pretty rough- huh?” He questions softly.

“IF Marcus knows what’s good for him he’ll have left the state.” Daken says lowly, taking another bite.

Johnny reaches over and takes his hand with one hand while holding the popsicle to his mouth with the other. “We’ll find him.” He promises.

“It won’t stop the drug from hitting the streets- though.” Daken says darkly, taking a smaller bite.

The mood of the room is quiet and dark. Depressing almost.

“We’ll find a way to stop that too.” Johnny assures. “Peter is coming up with something…and he’s the closest thing we’ve got to a genius.” He watches Daken for a second. “Another bite?” He asks when he notices the man nodding off.

Daken opens his eyes again and takes another small bite. “Done.” He says afterward.

Johnny looks at the popsicle, still half there.

“I”ll throw this one out then.” He stands from the bed and walks to the far side of the room, placing the sticky iced treat into the trash can Peter keeps by his bed.

“Johnny?” Daken seems to almost slur his words.

“Yea?”

Johnny doesn’t know if it’s internal problems or actual sleepiness that’s making Daken sound this way- but he decides he doesn’t like it.

“Come lay with me.” Daken orders.

Johnny smiles, walking back over to the bed. “Big spoon or little spoon?” He questions.

Daken smiles lazily. “Big.”

Johnny lays down behind him, wrapping an arm around his waist. “Like this?”

Daken nods. “Perfect.”

Johnny massages his skin where his fingers touch, gently kneading the muscles.

“Mmm.” Daken says. “Feel’s good.”

“oh yeah?” Johnny takes his hand and moves it up to Daken’s shoulder. “How bout now?”

Daken weakly nods.

“If you’d like,” Johnny says gently. “You could turn over on your stomach and I could give you a massage.”

Johnny, for reasons unknown, is actually very good at massages. Often , members of the house will sit at his feet and bother him until he rubs either their necks or shoulders. He’s always hesitant to do so because it sets off a chain reaction in the house.

He’s used this maneuver to get Daken into bed very recently. Though he doesn’t plan on doing so tonight, the memory of the instance beforehand makes him a little hot under the collar.

“I’d like that.” Daken says quietly.

“Good. Anything to make you feel better.”

Daken tries to turn over a few times but finally shakes his head. “Not happening.” He says quietly.

“Sore? Sick? Tired?” Johnny probes.

“All of the above.” Daken exhales, sounding pained.

Johnny repositions the two of them back to their original position.

The two are silent for a few moments before Daken asks quietly, “Are you angry about Marcus?”

JOhnny is taken aback for a second.

“No.” He says gently. “No, Daken. Of course not.”

Daken fumbles for his phone. “You will be.” He weakly presses the phone into Johnny’s hands. “He texted me.”

Johnny frowns. “He knows you're alive? Did you text back? Did you tell him where you were?”

Daken shakes his head. “No.”

“No to what?” Johnny presses.

“No to everything.” Daken groans and tries to sit up again. This time, Johnny pushes him down.

“Rest.” Johnny insists before frowning again. “Can I read the message?”

Daken nods weakly, laying back and closing his eyes.

Johnny touches the phone tentatively. It’s a lot nicer than his phone, more expensive. He doesn’t want to get mad and accidentally overheat it.

The message is not pleasant.

‘Darling, I know you’re still kicking. My little cock roach Here’s what we’re going to do- you’re going to call your little friends off of me. Because I’ve got what you need, darling. And you know I do. I've told every supplier in the city not to sell to you. So, you come to me. I’ll give you a nice dose. For free- might I add. A peace offering. I don’t want you dead- I just wanted you to suffer. Come see me, my little junkie. Come see me and get your fix.’

Johnny finishes reading, still frowning. “Daken-“ 



“He cut me off.” Daken says quietly. “I tried to call my dealer- he won’t even speak to me.”

“Daken-“ Johnny tries again.

“I can’t be sober Johnny.” Daken says. “I can’t.”

“I’ll get you pot.” Johnny offers. “Good pot.”

“I don’t want pot.”

“They can’t poison pot.” Johnny defends his decision. “I’ll get you the good stuff. I’ve still got that awesome bong- you know the really big one?”

Daken smiles. “I know you do.”

“Just please,” Johnny pleads. “Don’t answer Marcus. Don’t go anywhere near him.”

“He knows where I am.” Daken informs. “I don’t need to go near him. He’ll eventually come to me. He’ll-“ Daken stops, looking towards the door.

Victor’s form casts a large shadow in the small light coming in from the hallway.

“Roston knows where you are.” He says. “And he knows you’re alive?”

Daken growls, “That’s not your business.”

“It is my business.” Victor corrects. “I’m keeping you alive.”

“I don’t need-“



“You’re an addict.” Victor presses. “When you need that next fix- there’s no telling what you’ll do.”

“Ah-“



“And Roston can come here in disguise. He could be anyone.”

Johnny runs a hand through his hair, distractedly. “Victor’s right.” He says. “You’re not safe here. None of the mutants are.”

“What do you propose we do?” Daken sighs.

“Vacation.” Victor says. “All of us.”

“Va-“


“With what money?” Johnny scoffs.

“Don’t need money.” Victor informs. “We’ll go out in the woods.”

“The woods?” Daken asks.

Victor nods. “I’ve called in a friend.”

Johnny notes that he really doesn’t want to meet any of Victor’s ‘friends’. But it doesn’t seem like they’ll have much of a choice.

“And the others are just going to go with this?” He asks.

Victor nods. “Wasn’t my idea. It’s Laura’s. I agree with her. We need to leave. ASAP.”

“And you’re friend has a place to stay?”

Victor nods. “Real secret like. No one knows it but me and her.”

So it’s a her. Johnny thinks to himself.

A her.

Intrigued he asks, “And your friend will help us?”

Daken snorts, though it sounds weak. “OF course she will. Mystique is always up for ‘helping the cause’.”

Victor nods. “Right. Mutants are dying. That affects her as much as it does us. She’s got a motive to help us.”

Johnny pales at the thought of having the devious shape-shifter anywhere near him.

Victor comes into the room, throwing a bag on the bad. “Pack his shit.” He orders Johnny.

“What about the house?”

Victor looks around him. “Trust me- it’ll be here when we get back. Bills are paid and no one is stupid enough to break in.” He nods to the bag. “Warm clothes.” He then directs his attention to Daken. “You don’t die on me- got it? I’m keeping you alive if it kills me.”

Daken sighs. “Do I want to know why you care?”

Victor shakes his head. “Probably not.”

“It’s got something to do with him, doesn’t it?”

Victor shrugs. “Maybe.”

“And now you’re involving her.”

“I thought you liked her.” Victor says with a chuckle.

“No one ‘likes’ Mystique.” Daken pauses. “Except for you.”

“Good.” Victor nods. “That’ll keep you safe.”

Johnny watches the two before saying, “Daken’s not road ready. He’s in a lot of pain.”

“Thought about that.” Victor reaches into his pocket a pulls out a large plastic baggy containing some sort of clumped substance. “Here.” He tosses it to Johnny. “It’s the shit they give cancer patients. High grade.”

Johnny picks up the baggy of pot, looking at it as well as he can in the dark.

“Get him lit.” Victor instructs. “Then move him.” He jerks his thumb to the hallway. “Already gave some to Dom. Chick’s orbiting the moon.” He crosses his arm. “Brought booze and smokes in town today. We won’t be bored.”

Johnny nods. “You thought of this earlier then.”

Victor chuckles. “Laura’s a smart kid. She thought of it as soon as we left the hospital. We’ve been waiting for you to get here.”

Johnny nods for the second time.

“Get to it.” Victor orders, turning around. “We’re leaving in thirty.”

There are a few moments of silence after the man departs.

Daken is smiling. “You have to get me high.” He says in a sing-song tone.

Johnny grins. “Bowl or bong?”

“No joint?”



“No rolling paper.”

Johnny knows Daken’s smoking habits. He knows he’d actually prefer a cigar wrapping.

The process is easy enough. Buy the cigar like product, slit it open, put the weed inside, roll it up- simple.

He doesn’t have time to roll a blunt, though. Not if they’re leaving in thirty minutes.

He’s not ashamed to say he’s relatively bad at it. Daken is far better, but Johnny thinks it would be rude to make him roll his own ‘medication’ at this point.

“Bowl,” Daken says. “The nice one.”

“Gotcha.” Johnny removes himself from the bed and walks to the wall. “Hide your eyes.” He instructs. “I have to turn the lights on .”

Daken responds with a grunt.

Johnny digs through his things for a moment before reaching under his bed and pulling out a black shoe box. He rummages through it for a moment before retrieving the long, multi-colored glass pipe like object and examines it in his right hand. with his other hand, he removes a rather large tobacco grinder.

Within the next five minutes, he grinds up the weed, places it in the bowl, and uses his forefinger to light the top.


Daken inhales, expertly if Johnny were to say so himself, exhaling as the smell of skunk and must hits the room.

Daken pushes the bowl towards Johnny, who refuses. “I’m driving.” He explains. “I don’t like to smoke and then drive.”

Daken nods and takes another puff.

They do this for about fifteen minutes, Johnny having to stop and grind up some more of the plant- at Daken’s insistence.

Daken lays back on the bed, smiling.

“Feel good?” Johnny rummages through his dresser, pulling out jeans, hoodies, over shirts, undershirts, long sleeves- everything he can think of.

Daken nods. “Thank you.”

Johnny smiles, taking the baggy and rolling it up. He hides it inside one of Daken’s shirts and places it in the bag. “You’re ready to go.”

“Where are we going again?”

“Vacation.” Johnny informs. “In the woods. It’ll be great.”

“Until Alison starts bitching.” Daken chuckles.

Johnny smiles. “Until Alison starts bitching.” he agrees.

Johnny is a little worried, he’ll admit that to himself.

Their involving Mystique in the matter just doesn't sit right with him.

He knows , however, that there really aren’t that many options at this point.

Accepting whatever is going to come his way, He gently supports Daken down the stairs and out to his car. Setting him up as comfortably as possibly in a nest of pillows and blankets. When he’s satisfied that the man is comfortable and strapped in, he opens the driver's door and leans in to crank the heat.


When he straightens up to look at his friends who are all boarding themselves between the three vehicles, he jumps to see Laura leaning in the passenger seat. On her is a large duffle bag, strung across her shoulder. She sets it on the floor board.

“He smells like marijuana.” She wrinkles her nose.

“Yea- Victor-“



“I know.” She leans into the back seat and sprays a single puff of an air freshener can she’s holding. “In case we get pulled over.” She informs before plopping down in the seat and closing the door.

“You're riding with us then?”

She nods. “Peter, Wade, Alison and Domino are In Alison’s car. Victor is in Peter’s truck. They’re all ready to go.”

“Dom good?”

Laura gets a look of concentration on her face. “She’s talking to the car.”

“Ha!” Daken mumbles from the back seat. “Funny funny lady.”

“Shush.” Laura orders. “Rest.” She digs into the bag and pulls out an orange. “Eat this. You get hungry when you smoke.”

“I want french fries.” Daken announces lazily.

“You can have an orange.” Laura insists, passing it back to him.

“Orange?”

“Orange.” She informs. “It’s good for you. French fries will be too heavy on your stomach. We don’t have time for you to stop and puke.”

Johnny eyes him through the window. “All set?” He asks, watching the man fumble with his claws, messily peeling the fruit.

Daken nods. “I really wanted french fries, though.”

Laura eyes him for a moment. “Eat your fruit.”

Daken nods to himself. “Hello, not french fries.” He addresses the orange.

Johnny can't help but smile. Peter’s truck starts to pull out of the driveway, followed by Alison’s car, signaling that it’s time to get moving.

Johnny seats himself in the car, his nice blue one- the only one he has left from his old life- and closes the door.

“Ready?”

His passenger's nod.

“Off we go then.”

He tries to keep his worries to a minimum, knowing that both Daken and Laura can probably sense when he’s upset.

He tries but feels like he’s failing.

As He follows Alison’s shitty car outside of the neighborhood, he gets this feeling of relief. It washes over him.

he turns to Laura with a smile, to find her smiling too.

“Daken feels good.” She informs. “He likes that we’re leaving.”

Johnny nods. “Thanks for sharing buddy.”

Daken nods off in the back seat.

Another feeling intrudes in the car, one of secureness. Safety almost.

It reminds Johnny of being back in the Baxter Building , surrounded by his family. Knowing that there was nothing in the world that could hurt him.

Laura chuckles to herself. “He feels safe.” She infers.

Johnny smiles again. “Good to know.”

It is good to know.

As the group heads off into the unknown, it’s good that at least one of them is feeling secure about it.

Johnny pushes this aside and lets himself feel what Daken is emoting. Finding it easier and easier to just enjoy the ride the further they get from the house.

By the time they hit the interstate- his worries are gone completely.

Chapter Text

“Stop jostling the car.” Dom’s voice shakes as she voices her very much repeated complaint.

Dom finds herself on the downhill side of what was a very good high.

She finds herself on the downhill side of what was a very good high while being crammed into the back seat with Wade- of all people- going over a very bumpy road.

All in all, it’s not how she wanted to come down.

In fact, now that she’s thinking about it- she can’t imagine a single person in the history of mankind who would want to come down in this manner.

To Dom- it seems downright torturous.

“I’m not doing it on purpose!” Alison says, sounding tired.

Alison is rightfully exhausted. 

Dom can easily forgive her for being a little snappish.

When Victor had said they were leaving the city, he didn’t mention that they were leaving the state. And the state beside it. Hell- Dom, at the moment, doesn’t even know where they are.

Every time the Truck in front of their caravan makes a turn down a dusty old back road- she expects it to be coming to an end.

“Ya!” Wade says. “She missed that last pothole!”

“That’s not a pothole, it’s a bump in a shitty road,” Peter says from the front. “Ali, if you want- I can take over driving. We’ll call up to Victor and tell him to pull over.”

“Yea- because that worked so well last time.” Dom rolls her eyes and winces. “Please Ali, for the love of god, less bumpy.” Dom feels the pain from earlier starting to creep into the front of her mind. “Or let me light up again.”

“Oh, yeah!” Wade says happily. “Let her light up again! We can hotbox the car. Everyone wins that way!” ”

“You're not smoking weed in the car,” Peter says, turning to face the backseat and it’s passengers. “I’m sorry. We can’t go to jail.”

“Who’s going to stop us out here, a scarecrow?” Dom says grumpily.

Dom’s observation comes from the fact that they are surrounded by corn fields on both sides of the car.

She noted that it looked like a horror film and held on to her gun a little more tightly until Peter insisted she put it on the floor and stop holding it.

She keeps checking to make sure it’s there, ready to hide if they do somehow manage to run against a cop.

“That last one looked like a snitch.” Wade says. “The one before that was a drug lord, though. We would have been cool with him.”

Dom looks at Wade pointedly.

“What?” He questions. “I’m on your side!”

“NO, you’re not.” She growls.

“Am too.”



“Are not.” She snaps.

“AM TOO.” He insists, loudly, while sticking his tongue out.

“Wade don’t bait her,” Peter says firmly. “No one is smoking until we get to the woods where no one can smell it.”

Dom and Wade groan loudly , but it falls on Peter’s deaf ears. 

Dom winces at the idea of this forever long road trip with no help from a substance of some shape or form.

“What is he doing?” Alison whispers to herself, looking out the darkened window and slowing the car to a stop as Victor hits the brakes, stops the truck, and exits the vehicle, going off to the side of the road, barely visible in the headlights.

“Potty break.” Wade says with a yawn.

“He’s not-“ Alison groans. “eww. Guys are gross.”

“We should switch drivers while we’re stopped,” Peter says to her.

She nods, unbuckling her seat belt.

“Don’t get out of the car!” Dom exclaims. “Have you seen a horror movie? Any horror movie? At all?”

“Calm down,” Peter says with a smile. “We’re all armed.”

Dom exhales slowly. “Fine.” She says. “Fine. If you want to get abducted by the children of the corn- go for it.”

Behind them in the other car, Laura exits the passenger seat and goes off to the side of the road.

“She’s-“ Dom turns her head forward quickly. “God. IS everyone going to pee in this corn field?”

“Good for the plants.” Wade smiles, opening his door and joining the two on the side of the road, getting far too close to Victor and receiving a harsh push to the ground because of it.

Peter and Alison switch places, Alison hobbling over to the passenger seat and sitting down with a sigh. “Three states.” She complains. “We drove three states before he would stop.”

Outside the window, Wade get’s up from the ground and walks further into the corn field, retrieving several stalks and bringing them back to the car.

“What are you doing with that?” Peter demands.

“A token of my love.” Wade says with a grin, offering him one of the fuzzy ears of corn, stalk attached.

Peter takes it with a sigh, handing it to Alison.

“Behave.” He growls.

Dom isn’t sure if that’s a Wade thing or a couple thing. The more she spends time alone with them, the more she get’s the feeling that they’re an item.

It could be the weed. 

She thinks it’s the weed.

Peter with Wade? Even if Peter was gay, she theorizes that Wade would be the exact opposite of what he was looking for in a partner.

In fact, she can’t think of a single person who would be willingly looking for someone like Wade.

“It’s kinda sweet.” Alison says sleepily.

“Flowers are sweet.” Dom says. “Corn is weird.”

“Wade is weird.” Peter says though he’s smirking.

“If you don’t stop picking on me, I’ll start singing again.” Wade threatens.

The entire car groans.

Wade proceeded to sing a mashup of all the “Backstreet Boys” songs he could remember all sewn together in what he called a ‘mega jam’. Loudly. Off key. And for the longest hour of Dom’s life.

“Please,” Peter begs. “Don’t.”

“I bet Johnny would let Daken serenade him.” Wade pouts.

“I’m sure Daken wouldn’t choose the Backstreet Boys.” Dom rubs her temple.

“You think he’s into J-Pop?” Wade ponders, sitting in the car and pulling one of Dom’s many blankets onto his lap.

“Because he’s Asian?”

“No!” Wade defends. “Racist. Because he’s Japanese.”

“With that reasoning, shouldn’t you be listening to Justin Bieber?” Peter asks.

“Because…”



“He’s Canadian?” Peter supplies.

“Ah. The great motherland.” Wade says with a grin. “And there’s nothing wrong with The Bieb. Pop music is a cultural phenomenon.”

“Sure.” Dom says, watching Victor make his way over to the car. Peter rolls down the window, letting more cold air in. “How much longer?” She asks impatiently.

Victor leans against the car. “Three more hours. Give or take an hour.” He informs. “You alright princess?”

“I”m in pain.” Alison motions to her ankle. “It’s a bad sprain.”

Victor nods to Dom in the back. “Smoke some pot. I bet Dom would like some. The pain meds they gave turned out to be shit. Some fuck up at the pharmacy…. unless you want to eat a fist full of aspirin, the weed is your best option.” ”

“I would like to smoke, actually.” Dom agrees. “But Peter won’t let me light up in the car.”

“Then do it outside the car.” Victor says as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.


“Here?” Dom looks around. “In a corn field. At one in the morning.”

“You scared or something?” Victor asks, raising an eyebrow.

“It’s a horror movie trope for a reason!” She exclaims. “Have none of you seen the movies?”

“With your luck, you’re not going to be attacked in a corn field.” Victor assures. “I can’t pick up a single scent that isn’t us, corn, and dirt. You'll be fine.”

There’s silence in the car before Dom opens the door, staggering to her feet. “Open the trunk.” She demands, looking around a little cautiously.

She’s got to make a decision…. continue to be in pain, or tempt fate.

Dom decides she’s pretty decent at tempting fate and surviving. She figures it might be worth a shot at feeling better.

“Dom- you can’t be serious.” Peter says distraughtly.

Alison opens her door as well. “Open the trunk.” She repeats Dom’s statement. “While I can still stand on this thing.”

Laura makes her way over to the car from the darkness. “What are you doing?”

with both the doors open, the car’s interior lights are casting an ungodly light onto the night around it. Peter and Wade have shielded their eyes while the two women stumble forward.

“Peter won’t let us smoke in the car.” Dom sways on her feet. “We’re going to do it on the side of the road.”

Laura raises an eyebrow. “Daken is in pain. You should take him with you.”

“Laura- seriously.” Peter pleads. “We can’t let them do this on the side of the road! What if they get caught?”

“The pain medication is not adequate.” Laura says, almost clinically. “Cannabis is a useful alternative.” She nods to the women. “I’ll go get Daken.”

Peter groans and pops the trunk. “It’s in your bag.” He says in defeat.

“Who’s bag?” Alison asks.

“Mine.” Dom says with a nod. “I remember packing it.”

“Cool.” Alison wraps her arm around Dom and helps her to the back of the car.

Dom pulls her hoodie sleeves further down her arms until her wrists are hidden and digs through her bags.

The car’s trunk lights are busted, so finding the needed materials for an outdoor bake prove to be difficult. By the time she’s found the pot and the bowl, Johnny has removed Daken from the car and sat him carefully in the snow, surrounded by corn stalks and fairly hidden from the view of any potential drivers.

The women stumble over to him, sitting down with clumsy little half steps.

Johnny passes Dom the grinder. “Got it?” He questions.

She nods, taking the metal object, cold to the touch, and starting the process.

Ten minutes later the bowl has been passed five times amongst the group, refilled, re-lit, and set in the snow.

“Corn.” Alison says. “I hate corn.”

“City girl.” Dom laughs.

“Like you’re not?” Alison grins.

“I’m adjustable.”

Daken chuckles. “Neither of you could handle the fifties.”

They eye him. “Fifties?”

he nods, leaning back against Johnny, who’s sat down beside him, keeping him warm with small touches and elevated body heat.

“You were alive in the fifties?” Dom asks.

Daken nods. “Born after World War Two.” He chuckles. “I’m old. But not old old. More like young old. I got a lot of years ahead of me.”

“Does that not freak you out?” Alison asks, looking over at him.

“I survived wars, Y2K, 2012… nothing throws me.”

“Ready to get back in the car grandpa?” Johnny teases.

“No.” Daken takes a fist full of snow, jerkily shoving it in Johnny’s face. It dissolves into steam almost immediately. “Awh.” He groans childishly, trying again to receive the same result.

“That’s no fun.” Alison complains, picking up some snow herself and throwing it sloppily in Johnny’s direction.

“You missed.” Dom scoops up some snow as well, nailing Johnny in the cheek with it.

Johnny wipes the melted snow off his face. “Ha ha, guys.” He says. “Very funny.”

Daken offers him another handful, putting it a few inches from his face. “Turn it to water for me?” he pleads. “I”m thirsty.”

“You have water in the car.” Johnny says gently.

“Turn it all to water!” Alison says with glee. “Can you?”

“Yes.” Johnny says with a nod. “But you’ll all get wet.”

“Can you dry us off?” Dom asks.

“Dry us off.” Daken says with a nod.

Johnny kisses his forehead. “Back to the cars stoners. No more messing with the snow.”

Johnny and Daken have been a lot more… touchy since the hospital.

Dom knows they're not exclusive- Daken said something about it earlier- but there is no denying that they enjoy each other’s company.

Dom thinks it’s sweet in some way.

That maybe that’s what Daken needs to be a little less…. pointy.

Pointy is the only adjective Dom can call to her mind in her present state. She doesn’t mind at all that her cognitive abilities have been compromised.

At this point in a high, according to several people who have been known to enjoy the occasional toke, no one really minds.

“What about popcorn?” Alison asks.

“What about it?”

Alison motions to the corn. “Can you make some?”

Johnny shakes his head. “I don’t think so.”

“And you won’t make water?” Daken pouts.


“No, Daken.” Johnny says. “I won’t make water.”

“How about a campfire?” Dom asks.

“We don't need a campfire.” Johnny says. “We’re all getting back in the car- remember?”

Dom and Alison look at each other before simultaneously scooping handfuls of snow and throwing them at Johnny.

“Knock it off.”Johnny growls, wiping water from his face.

“Show us some fire.” Alison begs. “Please. It’d be so cool right now.”

Johnny groans, holding his out in front of them. They watch intently as the hand ignites, fire flowing like liquid from fingertips to wrists. The glow is bright and warming in the dark.

Daken leans forward only to be pushed back. “Don’t touch.” Johnny orders.

Alison leans forward as well. “That’s such a cool power.” She says. “Like this,” She throws up a jet of sparks, high into the air. Making a light show.

“Hey!” Peter calls from the car. “You’re going to give away our position!”

Alison giggles sheepishly. “My bad.”

Johnny extinguishes his hand and grins. “Satisfied?”

The inebriated three nod.

“Good.”

As much as Dom is enjoying her time out of the car- she understands that it must come to an end.

This realization is helped along by the fact that Johnny is being a particularly poor sport about her attempts to turn him into a snowman.

“Ladies?” Johnny nudges Dom’s thigh with his foot. “Can you get back to the car?”

“Can we get back to the car?” Alison scoffs. “We’re fucking incredible. Of course we can get back to the car!”

She stands to her feet in an unsteady motion before pulling Dom up with her. “Come on sickie.” She orders. “Back to your nest.”

The two hobble over to the car where Peter and Wade are having some kind of altercation.

“I don’t want that in my face, Wade!” Peter whines.

Wade continues to hold an icicle through Peter’s open window.

Victor stands off to the side watching with a frown.

“I want to show you a trick!” Wade insists.

“I don’t want to see a trick!”

“It’s-“



“I don’t want to think about how you know this trick- Wilson.” Victor growls.

Wade turns to him. “I’m trying to show the two of you. Teach it to your girlfriends. Boyfriends. However, you roll.”

“What’s going on?” Alison mutters.

Dom observes the scene for as second. “I think Wade is deep throating an icicle.”

All of the men turn to them.

Peter turns a shade of red that would compliment his spiderman get up perfectly. “Hey guys.” he glares at Wade.

Wade nods to Alison. “Can you deep throat?”

“What??” Alison growls.

“Not me-“ Wade says quickly. “I was just showing them a trick I learned.”

“You…” Dom stops. “Wait, wait , wait. You sucked a guy off.”

Wade nods. “With this awesome trick I’m trying to teach them.”

“Bet Peter already knows it.” Dom whispers to Alison before the two dissolve into giggles.

Peter continues to blush. “That’s enough.” He snaps. “Everyone back in the car.”

Dom is well aware that if you leave a group of men alone for a long period of time some of the conversation is bound to get… ‘weird’. At least, that is, from a woman’s perspective.

However, she must admit, she did not expect in any way shape or form for Wade to be attempting to give them blowjob advice. Let alone, for that matter, a demonstration.

Dom thinks for the thousandth time that in all her years, which aren’t many- she knows, that she’s never met someone like Wade.

He has to be either Weapon X’s greatest embarrassment, all mental issues considered, or counted as one of it’s greatest successes. She supposes, it all depends on where you’re standing.

Wade nudges Alison out of the way and takes the passenger seat. When she stares at him in confusion he adds, “Elevate your foot.”

Which makes sense to Dom.

Driving on that ankle was probably very unpleasant.

Victor makes his way back to his truck in the moments that follow, and after a brief pause, the caravan is moving again.

In her pot-induced haze, Dom relaxes into the fuzzy warmth of the several blankets draped over her. She sees Alison lazily drawing patterns on the window of the car with her finger. She draws a few of her own, not really paying much attention.

She zones in, however when she hears- 

“Look,” it’s a whisper. “I’ll tell them- okay? I’ll tell them. Just.. please. No more sucking off inanimate objects.”

“Gotcha,” Wade says a moment before shoving his head in Peter’s lap.

“What are you doing!?” Peter yells, swerving into the other lane which is luckily empty.

“You said no objects,” Wade picks his head up halfway.

“I'm driving!” Peter yelps as Wade bends down again.

“Then keep your eyes on the road.” Wade says simply.

Dom quickly closes her eyes, smirking.

It’s not the pot.

That makes her happy for some reason.

“They’re asleep.”

Happy enough, or perhaps drugged enough, not to say anything to the fact that Wade is trying to perform oral sex while two other people are in the car.

Some small part of Dom is disturbed. That’s drowned out by a very odd, very infrequent, part of her mind that is saying “Awh” very loudly. Drowning out all other objections.

When she’s in her right mind, she’s sure she’ll say something.

She looks over at Alison and notices the woman dozing off. 

“No-“ Peter yelps. “They’re not!”

“They’re too high then.” Wade says dismissively.

“Wade!”

Alison wakes with a start.

“Stop yelling.” She mumbles.

“Sorry.” Peter says quickly.

“I'm not.” Wade informs, head still in Peter’s lap.

“Wade…” Peter growls.

“Was going on?” Alison leans between the front two seats. Wade pulls his head up and goes back to his side of the car.

“Nothing much,” Wade says as if he hadn’t been caught. “How’s you?”

“You two… are buddies right?” Dom asks, leaning forward with Alison.

“Right.” Peter says quickly. “We’re buddies.”

The chance has arisen to give her housemates shit. Dom never misses a chance to do this. She doesn’t plan to let this chance go untaken.

“Buddies who suck each other’s dicks or just buddies?” Alison questions with a giggle, nudging Dom in the shoulder.

“Look-“ 



“So… what? Fuck buddies? Boyfriends?” Dom leans against Alison. “Lovers?” She stretches the word out.

“I’ll let him field that one.” Wade chuckles.

“Well?” Alison presses.

“Well-“ Peter stops. “It’s like.. complicated.”

“Well?” Alison says again.

“Can’t we all go back to listening to the radio or something?” Peter says, gripping the steering wheel tightly.

“Come on Petey.” Dom sings. “You can tell me.”

“Fine.” Peter snaps. “Fine. He’s my boyfriend. My loud, inappropriate, insane, boyfriend. Are you satisfied now? I don’t get why everyone in this house has to be in each other’s business 24/7!”

“We’re not in the house anymore.” Wade says in a stage whisper.

Peter groans. “Shut up, Wade.”

“Careful. They know we’re a couple now. They can say you’re verbally abusing me.” Wade smiles toothily.

“I’m not-“ Peter directs his attention to the women in the back. “I'm not.” He says quickly. “I wouldn’t do that. I would never-“



“Relax Spidey.” Wade laughs. “Relax… it’s just a normal day… night…. mad escape out of the city. Ya know how these things go.”

Dom smiles. “Knew it.” She nods her head sagely. “Worst kept secret in the world.”

“Well… don’t tell anyone else.” Peter says. He turns his head back to her for a second. “Please.”

“Spidey just admit it.” Wade says. “You can’t keep your hands off of me. I’m irresistible.”

“I’m not ready for everyone to know.” Peter growls.

Alison snorts. “Like they don’t already.”

Peter glares at her in the rearview.

“Pretty sure you guys get drunk and fool around in the bathroom.” She continues. “Like Daken and Johnny- only quieter.”

“Damn.” Dom sighs. “Is everyone getting laid besides me?”

Alison laughs. “No. Laura isn-“



“She had Angel over the other day.” Dom recalls. “The one from the past?”

“She had an x-man over?” Wade asks with wide eyes. “In our humble abode?”

“What are you trying to say about x-men?” Dom growls.

“Nothing.” Wade says quickly, turning around.

The car sits in silence for a few moments before Wade sighs far too loudly. “I forgot my uniforms.” He says sadly.

“You’ll be fine.” Peter assures him- almost gently.

“What if I get a gig?”

“How're you going to get a gig out here?” Dom scoffs.

“I have my ways.” He says, almost sagely.

“You’ll be fine.” Peter repeats. “You look fine.”

Wade snorts.

Peter turns his head and looks at him. “What?”

The two fall into silence.

For the rest of the ride, Dom and Alison curl up together to preserve a little more warmth while Peter and Wade have quiet conversations about, from what Dom can hear, completely random, off the wall topics that she has no desire to put any input into.

This goes on for a very long three hours.

They pass no one on the roads they travel, allowing a lot of wiggle room where speed is concerned.

She’s passing out when she’s hears a faint.

“Say it. Say it spidey…. say it and I’ll leave you alone.”

Peter chuckles and says something very lowly. SO low she can't hear him.

“Awh,” Wade she does hear. “Just like a romance novel!”

When Dom looks out her window, she notices that they’ve moved into some kind of forest.

With much anticipation, the truck in front of them slows to halt and takes a turn down a long driveway.

They take the driveway for about two minutes before coming up to a small, poorly maintained , cabin.

“OH fuck no.” She growls.

“I’m with Dom.” Wade says. “There’s no way we’re all gonna fit.”

In front of the cabin, a woman is standing with her arms crossed, dressed in black leather.

“Have I mentioned how much I hate working with Mystique?” Alison asks lowly.

“It’s been noted.” Peter says.

“Well… I do.” She repeats from earlier. “We can't trust her.”

“We’re working on the old ‘an enemy of my enemy is my friend’ principle.” Peter says quietly. “But we’re definitely watching her.”

Dom watches as Victor exits the truck, saying something to the blue woman, who in turn smiles.

“Anyone else get the feeling that Victor set this up so he could have a fuck buddy on hand?” Dom says into the car.

Wade, Peter and Alison all raise their hands.

Dom sighs. “I thought so.”