DISCLAIMER: Any character you recognize is the property of Marvel Comics and is used without permission for entertainment purposes only.

Warning: This story may deal with adult issues, so be forewarned.

Just Lucky, I Guess


DuAnn Cowart


For the first time in a week she woke up without a headache or a hangover or both. Though still tired, she felt infinitely better than she had the night before. Rolling out of bed with her usual half-hearted grumbling, she grabbed her bathrobe from the door and headed out into the hall to hop in the shower before anyone else did.

Still sleepy, she trudged out into the empty hallway wiping the matter from her eyes. When she got about halfway down the hall, though, she saw the steam coming from the crack between the bathroom door and the floor. She swore under her breath "If whoever that is has used all the hot water I'm gonna schedule them seven extra workout sessions under my *direct* supervision." She knocked on the door "Hey! That's enough- Cut it off, now!" The splashing of the shower ceased almost immediately. A few minutes later a sheepish Rictor emerged, a purple towel wrapped around his trim waist.

"Sorry, Dom," he grinned. "I just got in a little while ago- Me an' Tab went out clubbin' and the smoke got all in my hair- had to wash it out. There's plenty of water left, though." He twisted his long brown mane, water dripping out of it onto the tile floor.

She stifled a yawn and closed the door on him. The mirrors were fogged with condensation and the air thick and steamy from Ric's long shower. Turning on the fan, she dropped her robe on the counter and grinned. Wonder of wonders, the tub was actually clean! She usually had to settle for one of the incredibly spacious bathroom's huge shower stalls for hygene's sake, but this morning the massive antique-style tub actually sparkled white. 'Cleaning lady musta come,' she noted in satisfaction. The mansion employed several beta-and gamma-level mutants in positions such as these- while provided a stable income they were also taught how to contol their mutations, however slight they were.

The entire room had been designed with the greater bulk of many of the male inhabitants of the home in mind, and as a result the fixtures were considerably larger than the norm. She didn't mind, especially on mornings like this one when she'd gotten up early enough to enjoy a long, hot bath in a tub large enough to almost swim in. Turning on the water, she reached under the cabinet and grabbed one of Terry's many bottles of scented bath oils and poured it in. Smiling slightly, she moved Caliban's rubber duck from the rushing bubbles and gently sat it on the counter near her robe. Easing into the water, she settled herself in amongst the lilac-scented bubbles and breathed a sigh of relief. Her eyes closed in relaxation, and she swiftly drifted back to sleep.

She was sitting at the end of a long formal dining table, tied to the chair with wire cable. Hulking armed guards stood on either side of her, and the obligatory inhibitor collar was fastened snugly around her neck. She looked down the length of the table and through a bleary haze saw the arms dealer Tolliver, a merc she'd worked with a few times Deadpool and a strange brown-haired woman deep in conversation. She thought she saw the woman cast a look of pity in her direction, but she wasn't sure. The drugs she'd been slipped had done their work too well, it was all she could do to focus her gaze. She blinked in surprise- they'd really given her way too high a dosage, because where the brown haired woman had been there stood a woman who looked rather like herself. Odd.

One of the guards poked her in the ribs with a baton and she laughed sarcastically. "Very original. Did you think up that one all by yourself or did you have help?" Her voice lowered "Don't even *think* about touching me again, you slimy bastard. I've killed tougher things than you with my pinkie toe."

The man looked at her stupidly but his companion laughed. "Oh, don't worry, sweetheart, we wouldn't think about it. Buzz an' me here wanna keep our jobs. The boss wants you all for himself- says he wants to sample the old man's goods before he takes you out, whatever the hell that means. I've learned not to ask. Oh, good..." He nodded at a tiny man who'd come in a side entrance. Leering at her, the man pulled a hypodermic needle out of a pocket in his vest and injected her in her exposed arm. The room immediately began to swirl.

On the other side of the spinning room she thought she saw the hooded Tolliver nod his head. Deadpool and the woman- who now looked just like her, she noticed, stood to leave. Walking by her chair, Deadpool rapped his knuckles three times on her skull. "Too bad, Petey," he rumbled "I hated to do it to ya, but them's the breaks." Turning to the other woman, he motioned to the door. "C'mon, Vanessa, time to make the donuts. Mr. Tolliver here's got work to do." She thought she heard the woman whisper a soft "I'm sorry," but she wasn't sure.

After they left, the shrouded figure rose silently. Walking over to her chair, he sat down on the edge of the table. Removing the mask, a handsome young blond man smiled maliciously. "Well, now, the infamous Domino. I've heard legends about you all of my life."

She spat weakly "Screw you, you sheep-buggering fugwit. You don't know jack shit about me." His eyes widened in surprise.

"Oh, you can talk, eh? I'd have thought with the sedative Pico here" he motioned to the diminutive man now standing beside him "just administered that you'd barely be able to think, much less speak. Impressive." He was quiet for a moment. "You are, of course, right."

She glared at him and mumbled in a tone laced with venom "Of course I'm right, you motherless bastard. What the hell do you want with me?"

His gaze narrowed but he replied in the same cheerful tone "I'm beginning to understand why the old man found you so fascinating. I was just going to kill you, but now I think I'll keep you around a while." He cupped her chin roughly, thumb carressing her bruised lips. "I think you'll even grow to like it."

Snarling, she bit into his thumb. He yelped and wrenched it away from her, motioning to the startled guards to keep back. "Stay back, you idiots!" Ignoring the gash on his thumb, he shook his head "Good help is so hard to find. But you, dear Domino, are a treasure! We'll have a wonderful time retraining you- just imagine! Oh, the fun we'll have..." His eyes glinted dangerously.

A drop of blood from his thumb pooled at the corner of her mouth and she licked it, grinning ferally at him. "Do your best, asshole."

He nodded sincerely. "Oh, we will." And for the next year, he had, and she remembered it all.

"Hey! Heyyyyy! Whoever's in there, unlock the door! We've been waitin' out here for thirty minutes, and Cable's gonna kill us if we're late for the session! Hurry up!" The pounding on the door finally broke through the darkness of the dream and she jumped up out of the water, gasping for breath and her heart pounding in her chest. Her hands shook uncontrollably. 'That was so realistic...oh I thought I was back there...' Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm herself 'Chill out, Dom, it was just a dream. Just a dream.' Shivering, she stepped out of the now lukewarm water, slipping on her robe and wrapping a towel around her wet hair.

Opening the door, she stepped through the waiting team without a word. Tabitha started to complain again but at the ashen expression on Domino's face thought twice of it. Watching the lone figure walk slowly down the hall, arms clenched to her side, Tabitha decided 'I'll let her slide this time.'