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I Think I Might've Inhaled You

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Peter

 

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Peter was having a bad day. A string of bad days, actually.

It had all started with the announcement of his upcoming chemistry test, which had caught Peter by surprise. Then there was the complication with the data he was analyzing for his internship at Oscorp, causing him hours upon hours of extra work. Then, of course, there were the beatings he had received the past two nights during patrol, leaving him black and blue and pained all over. (Apparently reciting chemistry formulas whilst fighting criminals isn’t exactly conducive to harm-free and successful victories. But hey, Peter is still learning. He’s only been a hero for like, six months. Cut him some slack.) And now there was the Harry problem.

“Come on, Peter. What’s the big deal? Why won’t you let me do this for you?”

Peter groaned, letting his head fall face-first into the chemistry book lying open on the table in front of him. His glasses pressed into his nose, causing some discomfort, but Peter was too fed up with everything to care. “I can’t even think about my birthday right now. And that’s not even considering the fact that I don’t want a party.” The frustration was clear in his voice. After all, he’d already told Harry at least five times that he absolutely did not want him spending money on a party he neither needed nor wanted. And he was trying, unsuccessfully so far, to cram some last minute studying in before his test seventh period. Couldn’t they just leave him alone for five measly minutes?

Of course not.

“Peter.” Harry began again, ignoring the resulting groan of frustration as if he couldn’t hear it over the clamoring noise of the cafeteria. “You’re turning sixteen in two weeks. Only two weeks. That’s hardly enough time to plan a proper celebration if you decide you want one.”

Peter raised his head from his book and looked pointedly across the table at Harry, who was lounging in his little plastic chair as if he were sitting comfortably on a fancy leather couch, his near-black hair falling artfully across his forehead. “I won’t want one. I promise. I swear on my test scores, which you know are very important to me.” And with that not-so-subtle hint that he wanted to be left alone, Peter looked back down at his book and tried to refocus on electron deterioration.

He should have known that it wasn’t going to be that easy.

“What if we want a party? Your birthday might just be an excuse to throw one.” MJ, always a fan of loopholes, pointed this out from her seat beside Peter, where she was sketching an admittedly beautiful rendition of Harry in her notebook. MJ was a good friend, she really was. And she was usually so good at knowing what Peter needed and doing her best to make it happen for him. So it was a bit surprising that she was currently making him want to throw his half-eaten lunch at her.

Peter heaved a sigh and ran his hands through his hair, probably making the unruly brown locks stick up in every direction even more than usual. “If you want to have a party on your own, you’re more than welcome to. Get Britney Spears to come play. Buy strobe lights. Hire strippers for all I care. But you are not spending that money for me. Besides, no one would want to come if you advertised it as Peter Parker’s fucking birthday bash. I have exactly three friends, and two-thirds of them are sitting at this table trying to convince me to have a party I don’t want.” Peter glared across the table at Harry after his little rant. It had been his idea, after all, and it would be him who would cover the undoubtedly large bill that would result from such a party.

MJ and Harry were silent for a moment, and Peter almost thought he had gotten through to them, then Harry said, “Britney Spears? When did you travel back to 2001?” Peter just closed his eyes, the weight of the last few days suddenly feeling very heavy on his shoulders. He couldn’t deal with this right now…

“Fine.” He mumbled, unable to believe that he was about to give in to this ridiculous idea.

“What was that?” Harry sat up in his seat, and when Peter peeked at him from under his eyelashes he could tell from Harry’s expression that he hadn’t really expected him to grant his approval.

Peter groaned again. “I said fine.” He snapped. “You can throw me a stupid party. But it can’t be big, okay? And don’t spend too much money.” He knew Harry would probably ignore both requests, but he had to at least try. He hated it when Harry spent money on him. It didn’t matter that Harry Osborn was a billionaire and Peter didn’t have twenty dollars to his name. In fact, that was all the more reason why he hated it. He didn’t like feeling like a charity case. “And now can I please study in peace?” There were only eight minutes left of lunch and he needed every second if he wanted to have any chance of acing the test.

Harry was grinning, and MJ had a smug little smile on her face as she looked back at her drawing. “No problem, Petey. No problem,” Harry said, leaning back in his chair again.

Peter just sighed and shook his head before making his best attempt at absorbing the information in his chemistry book via a combination of rushed reading and forced osmosis. The noise of the cafeteria made it difficult to concentrate, especially since Peter could hear every word that was spoken across the room and every clink of every piece of silverware against every plate. Thankfully, Peter had some practice tuning out the noise.

The rest of lunch was blessedly silent (at their table, anyway). MJ drew, Harry scrolled through something on his phone, and Peter studied. He felt like he was always studying. You know, when he wasn’t working at Oscorp or swinging through the city in a kick-ass suit, fighting crime.

But, you know. That’s life. Peter’s life, anyway.

 

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He ended up doing alright on the test, so that was at least one thing off Peter’s long list of lovely problems. He was talking through the answers with his friend Ned as they walked through the crowded hallway after the final bell of the day.

“Dude, it’s so unfair. I studied for days. Days and you forgot all about it until Monday and you still aced the test!” Ned was annoyed, as per usual, with Peter’s ability to glide through school with minimal effort. Well, it didn’t feel like minimal effort.

“I crammed, Ned. And it was just lucky that I had gone over all the topics on the test. I mean, she could have put ionic compounds on there. I didn’t study those at all.” That wasn’t exactly true, but he was trying to make Ned feel better.

“Whatever, dude. It’s still unfair. I had no idea what to do on question nine. The one about covalent bonds? We didn’t even go over it in class. And then she expects us…”

Peter had stopped listening. He felt a tingle crawling up his spine and forced himself to resist the urge to dodge out of the way or jump up and cling to the ceiling. He’d learned to control himself in school after his spidey sense resulted in a shockingly good performance during a game of dodge ball in gym a few months ago. It had taken weeks of acting clumsy and weak to convince his classmates that it had been a crazy fluke. So he forced himself to keep walking, cringing only slightly a second before a broad shoulder slammed into him, knocking him into the lockers.

“Oh, sorry. Didn’t see you there, Penis Parker.” Flash Thompson sneered at Peter from the middle of the hallway.

“Not cool, man.” Ned muttered, but he didn’t dare to step in. Somehow, Flash had an uncanny ability to punch people in the face on school grounds and never get caught. It was actually very annoying.

“No problem, Flash.” Peter responded, rubbing his shoulder as if it hurt and stepping in front of the lockers to hide the substantial dent he’d made in one of them. “I know it’s hard to move in a coordinated manner when you’re the size of an overgrown gorilla.”

Flash scowled and stepped forward as if to hit Peter again, but Peter just ducked out of the way and started weaving through the crowd towards the exit, Ned trailing after him. God, what Peter wouldn’t give to beat up Flash Thompson, just once… He could just imagine the asshole’s face when he realized Peter was stronger and faster and a hell of a lot better at punching people than Flash was. But alas, it could never happen. Not unless Flash decided to rob a bank tonight while Peter was patrolling… But he wouldn’t hold his breath.

He pushed through the front doors of Midtown High School and squinted into the sun, taking a breath of the warm spring air. As he started down the steps, Ned finally caught up to him.

“Dude, Flash sucks.”

“Yup.” That was the understatement of the year. Flash Thompson had made it his mission to torture Peter since the very first week he started at Midtown. Peter had been a freshman, nerdy and weak and easy prey. Flash, a sophomore jock at the time, needed someone to make his punching bag to support his fragile masculinity and reputation as a world-class jerk. It was a perfect combination.

Peter spotted Harry in the parking lot, leaning against the side of his ostentatious silver convertible, talking to some guy that Peter only knew by sight. He was going to walk the other way, just planning on catching a train over to Oscorp for his shift this afternoon, but Harry had keen eyesight.

“Peter!” He shouted, waving them over.

Peter sighed to himself but walked over, ignoring Ned’s statement that “oh my god, Harry Osborn is so cool. Doesn’t he just look so cool? I can’t believe you’re friends with him.”

“Me neither.” Peter muttered, coming up beside Harry’s car as the guy he had been talking to walked away, shooting Peter and Ned a look that seemed to say ‘why the fuck are you coming to talk to Harry?’ Peter had gotten used to those looks since he and Harry became friends last summer.

“Need a ride?” Harry asked, casually tossing his car keys and catching them in one hand.

“No, that’s okay. I’m just gonna take the subway.” Peter said, eyeing the expensive car almost suspiciously. He’d ridden in Harry’s car before, but it still felt weird. Too clean and nice and leathery.

Harry just rolled his eyes. “Get in, dork. We’re going to the same place.”

It was true. Peter worked at Oscorp four days a week and on three of those Harry worked there, too. Of course, they resided in very different departments. Peter was in the basement, mostly doing data analysis and cleaning the labs. Harry was on the top floor, meeting with executives and being groomed to someday take over the multi-billion dollar company. Peter took the subway to get to work and the bus to get home. Harry had his own reserved parking spot right next to the executive elevator. Peter turned to Ned. “What’re you doing?” Sometimes they walked to the subway together.

“I have chess club.” Ned reminded him. “See you later, dude. Have fun being a science nerd! Bye, Harry!” Ned waved at the older boy, who gave him a slightly confused look and didn’t respond, before walking back towards the school.

Ned and Harry didn’t really know each other. Like at all. Harry was a senior while Ned, Peter, and MJ were all sophomores. Ned and Peter had been friends since freshman year, bonding quickly over their nerd status and mutual love of science fiction. MJ and Peter had become friends fairly quickly, as well, although Peter had never really figured out how that had happened. MJ could be popular, if she wanted. She was beautiful and kind and talented. Everyone liked her. But for some reason she chose to hang out with two dorks who never would have dreamed of having a friend like her. And then there was Harry. Harry was so rich that he would have had no trouble making tons of friends even if he wasn’t strikingly handsome and smart to boot. But he was all of those things, and he still chose to befriend a wimpy kid who worked in the basement at his father’s company.

Peter really didn’t understand it, but he felt incredibly lucky to have all three of his friends. Even if they threw him unwanted parties and forced him to ride in expensive cars.

“Really, Harry, I don’t mind taking the train. I can just - “

“Shut up, Peter.” Harry said, but he was smiling as he walked around the car and opened the passenger door for Peter. “You’re going to let me drive you or I really will book Britney Spears for your party.”

Peter huffed out a sigh, but he got in anyway, setting his backpack carefully on the floor between his feet and snapping his seatbelt into place.

“We’re picking up MJ from door five.” Harry said as he slid into the driver’s seat and started the car. It wasn’t unusual for him to give MJ a ride after school. In Peter’s opinion, it made much more sense for the two of them to be friends, even with the age difference. They were both beautiful, well-liked, and sociable people. Peter had expected them to eventually get together, but that hadn’t happened yet despite them knowing each other for almost a year. They flirted sometimes, but nothing ever seemed to become of it.

“You wrapped up in that issue with the Gene X data?” Harry asked as they drove to the other side of the building. Peter wasn’t surprised that Harry knew about that. Part of his responsibilities was to collect updates from the department heads and prepare reports for his father.

“Yeah.” Peter sighed, looking out the window. “I’ve spent hours on it and I haven’t been able to make heads or tails of what’s wrong with it.” It was really starting to get on his nerves.

“Don’t worry.” Harry said. “You’ll figure it out. You’re like the smartest person working down there.”

Peter felt his cheeks grow slightly warm. “Yeah right.” He muttered, but Harry’s words brought a smile to his lips. He didn’t know why Harry said stuff like that sometimes. Probably just to be nice.

They pulled up outside door five and almost immediately MJ appeared, her arms full of art supplies. Harry got out to open the car door for her, and she slid into the back seat, depositing her stuff beside her.

“Hey.” She greeted them a bit breathlessly as Harry got back in his seat.

“Am I dropping you at the restaurant?” He asked.

“Yeah, thanks.” MJ’s father owned a diner just a few blocks from Peter’s building. They used to hang out there a lot, and the food was quite good. Peter wished he had more time to spend there, like he used to, but since he started his internship last summer and his, well, other extra-curricular activities (you know, fighting crime and saving lives) a few months ago, he hadn’t been around much.

“Whatcha making?” Peter asked, twisting around in his seat to look at MJ’s supplies while Harry pulled away from the school.

“Oh, just a project.” She replied cryptically. Peter was used to her being kind of secretive with her art before it was finished. She didn’t like people to see what she was doing until it was done. Peter understood that, and he didn’t push any further.

They spent the ride to the restaurant chatting easily about school and complaining about the traffic. Peter always found himself surprised by how well the three of them got along. For the last few years of his life, before he met them, Peter had only thought of himself as a nerd. A science-obsessed kid who was bound to be a pariah in high school and locked in a lab somewhere for the rest of his life after that. But then came along MJ. And Harry. And Spider-Man. Everything had changed so quickly, and sometimes Peter was still left reeling at how his life had turned out.

He was thinking about that as they pulled away from the diner, MJ having already disappeared inside with her backpack and armful of art stuff.

“A penny for your thoughts?” Harry asked after a minute.

“Hm?” Peter tore his gaze from the window and looked over at his friend. “Make that a hundred dollars and I might tell you.” He joked, smirking slightly.

“Okay.” Harry said without missing a beat, taking one hand off the steering wheel and leaning forward to reach into his back pocket for his wallet.

Peter laughed. “No, no, stop that. I’ll tell you. Free of charge.” He took a moment to gather his thoughts, looking out the window again. “I was just thinking about how different my life is now. Since I started this internship at Oscorp. Since I met you and MJ. I never thought things would go so… right for me.”

Harry was silent, prompting Peter to turn back towards him and study his profile. He was staring intently at the cars in front of him, a serious but distant look in his clear blue eyes. When he saw Peter looking, however, he softened his expression and smiled. “I’m glad things are going right for you, Peter. You deserve it, you know.”

Peter just shook his head slightly, bewildered. “I’ve always had such bad luck, but all of a sudden… I mean, this isn’t luck. Not really. I have you to thank. Well, you and your father. And MJ. You’re all so nice to me.” Norman Osborne wasn’t nice exactly, but he had given Peter this internship.

Harry shook his head, too, getting that frustrated look like he did sometimes when Peter gave voice to his confusion regarding their friendship. “Lighten up, Parker.” It was clear he was trying to shift the conversation in a different direction. “You’re not even sixteen yet. You need to get drunk a few times and crash a car. Then you can worry about your life path and all that shit.”

Peter chuckled. “That sounds like you, Osborn. Not me.” Harry smiled, and they began talking about the time Harry did get drunk and drive one of his dad’s cars into the Hudson River.

They arrived at Oscorp before long, driving up the parking structure in dizzying circles until they reached the top and pulled into Harry’s spot, which was marked with a plaque and everything.

“Thanks for the ride.” Peter said as he undid his belt and got out, swinging his backpack over his shoulder as he shut the car door carefully.

“Anytime, Petey.” Harry got out and locked the car with a push of a button and a fancy little beep.

They walked to the elevator bank and Peter pressed the button to go down. They took different elevators, since the one that went to the top floor needed a key-card to use. It dinged almost immediately and the doors slid open, but before Peter could get on, Harry caught hold of his arm.

“Don’t worry about the data issue, okay? No one expects the youngest employee in this whole company to solve all the problems.” Harry smiled slightly as he reached up with his other hand and brushed a bit of hair out of Peter’s eyes, his gaze growing distant. “Although I know you could.” He let his hand drop away, but his grip on Peter’s arm lingered for a moment before he let go. “See you, Parker.” Harry turned away to scan his card for the other elevator.

Peter looked at him for a second, his face warm and his heart beating a little too fast. “Yeah… Bye, Harry.” He turned and went into his normal-employees elevator, his mind struggling to catch up with his body. He stared at the buttons for a second before remembering which one to press, and the elevator doors slid closed with a soft whoosh. He breathed in, and out. Huh. Okay. That was new.

Harry was always nice to Peter. Too nice, really. And when he said things like that… Well, it confused Peter. Could you blame him? But he didn’t have time to be confused right now. So he shook it off and refocused his attention on the task at hand as the elevator arrived at his floor. He had problems to solve. And he would solve them, even if he wasn’t expected to. He just had to focus.

 

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At the end of another long day, Peter was preparing to go out. He hadn’t made any breakthroughs at Oscorp, but he felt like he was getting closer to the answer after another three hours of data manipulation. He’d taken the bus home and had dinner with his Aunt May (spaghetti and meatballs, if you must know). They’d watched some sort of talent show competition on television, then Peter spent a couple of hours doing homework. He was in all advanced classes, so he’d only gotten a little over half his work done by the time he ‘went to bed’ at ten thirty. He usually crammed the rest of his homework in on the bus to school and at lunch.

It was currently ten forty-five and, after making sure Aunt May had retired to her room to read, Peter was quietly slipping into his super cool spider suit. He absolutely loved this thing. Mr. Stark had made it for him just five weeks ago, and he didn’t even want to guess how much it cost.

But in Peter’s opinion, it was worth every penny. Not only did he look totally badass in it, but it really did boost his crime-fighting abilities. The web-shooters operated extremely smoothly and held a lot more web fluid than his homemade ones. The material was flexible and breathable, somehow keeping him at the exact right temperature no matter how cold or hot it was outside. It was also fireproof and deflected most knives, although it did nothing to cushion punches or kicks, and it probably wasn’t bullet proof (Peter hadn’t tested that out and he had no intention of doing so). The mask’s eye patches filtered light so he was never blinded and allowed him some pretty awesome night vision. His eyesight was already naturally improved, but even he couldn’t see in total darkness without the aid of the suit.

And Peter knew that wasn’t even the extent of what the suit could do. Mr. Stark had informed him that he would only be able to unlock the suit’s full capabilities once he’d gotten more experienced at, you know, being a superhero.

Peter silently set his unneeded glasses on his desk and pulled the mask over his head. His vision instantly dimmed, but in a way that allowed him to see more details rather than less. He stepped over the pile of clothes on his bedroom floor to his sixth-floor window. He clung carefully to the glass and slid the window open, only a near-silent whooshing noise to mark the movement. Peter swung one leg out of the window, then the other, and he sat on the sill looking down over his narrow street in his own little corner of New York.

He took a deep breath, the cool night air almost tasting sweeter through his Spider-Man mask, and smiled. This was his favorite part.

He leaned forward, teetering on the edge of the windowsill, and fell. The air rushed around him for one glorious moment, then Peter shot a web at the building across the street and caught himself, swinging forward with dizzying momentum, letting go, falling, and shooting another web. It was like a roller coaster ride that never got old.

Peter waited until he was a few blocks away from his apartment building before he really let himself go. He swung between buildings, did flips in midair, vaulted over rooftops, and let out an occasional whoop of joy. He really, really loved being Spider-Man.

When he got to downtown Manhattan, he forced himself to slow down, stopping on a rooftop of some big bank to catch his breath. He went all over the city on his patrols, but it seemed like most of the crime occurred here in Manhattan, so he frequented the island over the other boroughs of New York. Peter sat down on the parapet of the roof and dangled his legs over the edge, looking out over the lit-up city. It still took his breath away sometimes, how beautiful it was.

After enjoying the view for a minute, Peter decided it was time to get down to work. He closed his eyes and started to listen. It was just a cacophony of sound at first, too jumbled to distinguish anything specific through the din of car horns and voices and movement. But the more he focused, the more he could hear. People laughing loudly as they walked down the street, a cabby yelling about the traffic, a couple fighting (it didn’t sound violent), an umbrella salesman trying to sell his products to whoever passed by, a businessman talking angrily on the phone.

There… under all the rest, a voice. It was a woman, and she was definitely crying. “Please… please no, don’t! I don’t… Stop, please. No!” Peter shot to his feet, his mouth set in a grim line under his mask. He hated these situations. Why couldn’t criminals just stick to robbing banks and stealing bicycles?

He leapt off the roof and let himself fall for a moment, then shot a web and started swinging towards the source of that voice. It was about three blocks away. He landed on the roof of an apartment building and crouched on the edge to look down into the alley below.

There was the woman, pressed up against the bricks, mascara tracks marring her tear-stained face. She was dressed in a little black dress and heels, but Peter (inexperienced as he was with these things) couldn’t tell if she was a prostitute or just some girl trying to go out. It didn’t matter. Either way, the man with a knife to her throat and his hand inside her dress was definitely deserving of some hard jail time.

Peter clung to the side of the building and crawled silently down the wall until he was perched behind the man. Neither of them noticed him. He cleared his throat.

“Excuse me, sir? Did you buy her dinner first? Because I think there’s a bit of decorum that needs to be followed here.”

The man whipped around, and the woman gasped. “What the fuck?” The man exclaimed, releasing the woman to point his knife at Peter.

“Hey now… that’s just rude.” Peter shot a web at the knife and yanked it away from the man. It clattered to the ground safely out of reach. “I was just trying to give you some friendly advice, y’know? And that’s how you thank me?”

Maybe the man knew who Spider-Man was (he was gaining a bit of a reputation, after all), or maybe he was just freaked out about being caught and the fact that Peter was, you know, crouched on a wall. Whatever the reason, he chose to turn and run. They were so stupid when they tried to run.

“Not so fa-ast.” Peter called out in a sing-song voice. He shot a web at the man’s feet, causing him to trip and fall flat on his face with a surprised yell. “I’m not done talking to you. I think we need to have a little lesson on manners.” He jumped from the wall and landed in a crouch beside the man, who was attempting to wriggle away using just his arms. “Lesson one.” He stood up and aimed a kick (only with partial strength; he didn’t want to kill the guy) at the man’s stomach. “Assaulting people is not cool.”

The woman had been inching her way towards the alley exit, and at this point she took her chance to dodge past them and run out onto the main street. Peter let her go. He didn’t want her to be any more traumatized than she already was, even if having her stick around would have been helpful for when the police showed up.

Peter got a couple more good kicks in, taking grim satisfaction from the grunts of pain he received in response. He hauled the man to his feet (he was actually a good few inches taller than Peter) and webbed him to the wall. He wouldn’t be getting out of that anytime soon. He dug in the man’s pocket for his cell phone, making a retching sound in the back of his throat as he did so, then dialed the police with it. He left the phone on the line and tucked it back in the man’s pocket.

“When the police get here, you’re going to tell them what you did, alright?” Peter patted the man roughly on the cheek, making sure he had his full attention as those wide eyes focused on his mask. “I’ll be watching, understand? And if you don’t tell them the truth… Well, let’s just say I’ll have a few more lessons to teach you.” He waited until the man nodded his ascent, then turned and crawled back up to the roof of the apartment building, disappearing over the edge.

He waited around until the cops showed up about fifteen minutes later, and then listened in to make sure Mr. Rapist did as he was told. He did, thankfully. Peter hated it when he had to follow criminals around after the police left just to beat them up again. He didn’t feel like it did any good. But he couldn’t exactly go back on his word, now could he? He had a reputation to build and maintain.

He watched the police struggle to cut the man free of the webs. They handcuffed him and tucked him in to the police car, then they were gone. Peter allowed himself a small smile for a job well done. Things didn’t always turn out this nicely.

Just two nights ago, for example, Peter had dropped into the middle of a pretty big drug deal and things got messier than he’d anticipated. There had been four more guys hidden away in the truck, and Peter ended up facing eight of them all at once. He got quite a few bruises from that fight, and his ribs had only just stopped aching a few hours ago. But all’s well that ends well, right? He’d webbed those guys up good and as far as he knew, they were all safely in jail at the moment.

Peter stood up on the roof and took a deep breath, preparing to swing away to a higher vantage point to start listening again. Before he could move, however, he heard the unmistakable sound of a man screaming. And it was definitely close by.

He took a running start and leapt to the next roof. He ran about a block and a half across the tops of the buildings before he came to the right place, peering down into another dark alleyway.

The sight that greeted him was… unexpected. The man who had screamed was handcuffed to a dumpster. He was slumped down, clearly too weak to stand up fully, and was panting heavily, his eyes squinted in pain. His shirt was ripped open down the front and his chest, stomach, and face were littered with small, shallow cuts. He had what looked like a bullet wound in one of his legs.

Standing across from the tortured man, twirling a small knife dexterously between his fingers, was a hulking figure in a skin-tight red and black suit. He was masked, his eyes small white patches inside two large black pools. There were guns strapped to each of his hips and what looked like sword handles sticking up from his back. And it looked like he was… singing.

“I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums.” He nodded his head and shifted his hips as if he were listening to some unheard music. “Oh what a shame that you came here with someone… So while you’re here in my arms…”

The longer Peter looked, the more familiar this guy seemed. In fact, he was sure that he knew who this was. The name floated up from his subconscious: Deadpool. He didn’t know much about him; just that he killed people for money and caused a lot of trouble for the Avengers.

Peter drew in a sharp breath as the knife flicked from Deadpool’s hand and imbedded itself in the man’s handcuffed arm. He let out a short, strangled yell, but Deadpool didn’t flinch.

“Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young!” The masked man chuckled and sauntered forward as if he had all the time in the world. Peter could see the terror in his captive’s eyes as he looked at Deadpool, and his stomach twisted in disgust. This was not a good guy. This was why he got into the hero business in the first place.

Peter didn’t bother with crawling down the wall this time. He dropped straight from the roof, landing in a crouch behind Deadpool.

“Why do you guys always pick alleys? I mean, I dig the décor, but… A nice abandoned warehouse would be a nice change every once in a while.”

Deadpool turned on his heel to face Peter. He let out a strangely feminine scream upon seeing him and clapped both hands to his cheeks, his mask’s eyes somehow widening to complete his exaggeratedly surprised expression. “Oh no! A spider!”

Peter supposed he should be flattered that Deadpool at least recognized him, but somehow he wasn’t sure that was such a good thing right now. He straightened out of his crouch and carefully placed his middle fingers on his web-shooters, ready to act on a moments notice. “Why don’t you let our guest go, Deadpool? It looks like he’s had enough of your company.”

Deadpool stuck out his right hip and fanned at his face with one hand. If Peter could see through that mask, he was sure he’d see him batting his eyelashes. “Oh. Em. Gee. You know who I am! Well fuck me with a spoon and call me flattered, little spider!”

Before Peter could respond, Deadpool had drawn one of his guns and had it pointed straight at him. Peter made a noise in his throat that was part surprise and part disgust. That had happened fast… And he hated guns. Absolutely detested them ever since his uncle had been killed two years ago.

“What is it with you guys and your guns…” He muttered. He shot a web at the gun and jerked it from Deadpool’s hand, just as he’d done with the man’s knife earlier. He didn’t wait for a response, but ran forward and leapt up, flipping over Deadpool to land beside his unfortunate prisoner.

“Don’t worry, I’m gonna get you out of this.” He told the man, reaching for his handcuffs.

All of a sudden his spidey sense shot sharp and alarming down his spine. He acted on instinct, leaping out of the way and clinging to the wall above the dumpster. A small throwing knife bounced off the metal dumpster right where he’d been standing a half-second ago, making a harsh clanging sound as it hit.

“I think a certain itsy bitsy spider should crawl back up the water spout.” Deadpool warned, reaching back and drawing his swords with a chilling scraping sound. They looked pretty sharp.

Peter shot a web at Deadpool’s face, blinding him. While the mercenary was busy clawing at the webs to try and get them off, Peter dropped back down to the man and got his hands on the cuffs. He gritted his teeth and pulled. The metal snapped under his fingers and the man was no longer chained. “Run. Go call the police.” Peter ordered, helping the man to his feet and giving him a shove towards the alley exit.

Another intense tingle warned Peter to dodge out of the way as one definitely sharp blade swung past his head. “Not so fast, Casanova. Didn’t we warn you not to run from us?” Peter watched Deadpool stick out one foot, tripping the man as he tried to get away and sending him sprawling with a groan.

Peter scowled under his mask, dodging another swing of Deadpool’s sword and quickly webbing him around the middle. He pulled hard to send the larger fighter sprawling in the opposite direction. “Just let the poor guy go, Red. I think you’ve tortured him enough.”

Deadpool laughed as he got to his feet, a slightly hysterical edge to the sound. “Of course he doesn’t know… Well, we haven’t told him, have we?” He approached Peter, swinging his swords (katanas, something in Peter’s mind supplied) in wide, intimidating arcs. They circled each other slowly, Peter watching for an opportunity to get in under those blades and knock Deadpool down for good.

“We think you should know, itsy bitsy spider. That guy you’re saving works for a human trafficking ring as big as Kim Kardashian’s titties.” Peter chose to ignore that strange analogy, glancing over to see that the man he’d freed had taken his chance and run. He was no longer in the alley with them.

“It does too make sense…” Peter frowned slightly as he looked back at Deadpool, just in time to dodge another swing of the katanas and leap up onto the wall out of Deadpool’s reach. “Obviously I meant compared to other tits. You know, ‘cause Kim Kardashian’s tits are the biggest.”

Peter had no idea what Deadpool was talking about now, but he took the opportunity to shoot another web at him, intending to pull him down again. But Deadpool dodged the web with unexpected speed. “Hey, they are too! You take that back!” He swung again, lightning fast, and Peter just got out of the way, jumping higher up the wall. He felt a snag near his ankle and looked down to see a thin, inch long tear in his suit.

Peter gasped. “My suit!” He couldn’t believe it. Anger and indignation swelled in Peter’s chest and he found himself growling. “You are so going to regret that.” He shot a web at the top of the opposite building and swung out, both feet knocking into Deadpool’s chest with enough force to dent a car.

The mercenary stumbled backwards, laughing as Peter landed on top of the dumpster. “Hell yeah he is! And that ass… Mm.” He sheathed one of his katanas and pulled out another gun.

Peter grunted in frustration and jumped to the opposite wall, webbing the gun before it could be used and throwing it aside like the first one. “Who the fuck are you talking to?” He demanded, quickly growing tired of this bazaar fight he had found himself in.

Deadpool grew still, and looked up at Peter with his head tipped slightly to one side. He seemed to be listening to something. After a moment he said, “Just Ke$ha. I’ve got her on Bluetooth.”

Peter scoffed out a laugh, his anger dissolving, but he kept his guard up, ready to dodge another attack or tie Deadpool down with his webs (if he could catch the fast bastard). “Fine. Tell her Spider-Man says hi.”

Deadpool seemed to grin under his mask, and he sheathed his other katana, almost instantly relaxing into a more neutral stance. “Will do, buggy!”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Spiders are arachnids. Not insects.” That always got on his nerves. He glanced towards the entrance to the alley, wondering where that guy had run off to. “Was that man really working for a human trafficking ring?” He asked, surprised to find himself feeling slightly regretful about letting him go.

“Yup.” Deadpool popped the ‘p’ obnoxiously and started swinging his arms back and forth, rocking up and down on his feet.

Peter frowned down at him. “And you were… trying to get information out of him?”

Deadpool laughed again. “Something like that.”

Peter’s frown deepened. “Look, Red. You can’t just go around torturing people.”

Deadpool stilled and looked down slightly. “Well he doesn’t need to know that…” He muttered under his breath. Then, louder. “Yeah, sure, little spider. Whatever you say. Hey look. This has been fun and all, but I’ve gotta get going. Things to do, people to see, all that jazz.” He turned and jogged towards the main street, leaning down to scoop up one of his guns on the way.

“Hey, wait!” Peter wasn’t sure that he should just be letting this guy go. He’d definitely broken the law, and he was undoubtedly dangerous.

“Catcha later, Spidey-boy!” And then Deadpool was gone, disappeared around the corner.

Peter could chase after him, but he wasn’t even totally sure that he’d be able to subdue Deadpool if he did catch him, and that was a frightening realization.

With a sigh and a shake of his head, Peter decided to let it go for now. If he ran into Deadpool again, well, maybe he’d try his hand at taking him down. But for now, he had had a long day and he was pretty tired. He crawled back up to the roof and looked out over the city one more time, scanning the streets for a certain red-clad figure, but he saw nothing out of the ordinary.

He swung home, enjoying the journey a little less than usual (although at least he wasn’t returning home injured tonight). He landed on the side of his apartment building fifteen minutes later, crawled to his window, and carefully opened it as quietly as he could. He slipped into his room and listened for Aunt May. Her deep, even breaths from down the hall told him she was asleep, so he relaxed, falling onto his bed with a deep sigh.

He wriggled out of his suit and held it up to his face, looking for the tear that Deadpool had made. He found it on the back of the right leg and frowned, pinching the edges together as he thought about how to best stitch it back together. As he watched, the jagged edges seemed to cling together and reform into a solid piece of fabric once again. Peter gasped and ran his fingers over the area. It was perfectly smooth.

“Damn, this suit is cool…” He grinned. After tucking the suit away under his bed, he pulled out his laptop. He knew he should probably get to sleep, or at least finish his homework if he was going to stay up, but he was too curious. It took forever for his computer to boot up, and almost as long for the internet to start working (his laptop was more than a few years old). But that didn’t keep him from his search.

Peter stayed up until almost three a.m. googling everything he could about Deadpool.

 

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Song credits:

Work Title:
Bloodstream (Vampire Diaries Remix) - Stateless
Chapter Title:
Scenic World (Version) - Beirut
Lyrics:
Die Young - Ke$ha

 

********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Chapter Text

Wade

[White]
{Yellow}

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

“Damn, that boy was fine. I wonder how come we’ve never run into him before?” Wade slammed the door shut behind him and promptly flung himself down onto his ratty red velvet couch. He grunted slightly when he landed on his katanas, shifting onto his side so they were no longer digging into his back.

[We have seen him before. On all those youtube videos, remember?]

{But that was weeks ago, before we left for Germany. He was still wearing that red and blue sweat-suit outfit like some dorky kid.}

“Yeah, and now he’s sexy as fuck.”

{Dat ass, tho… Mm.}

[Shut up, Yellow. You think every other ass you see is god’s light shining from above.]

“Shining out of some guy’s ass.” Wade chimed in helpfully, and he and White cracked up.

{Hey… Not cool. We all like ass.}

[True.] White had to agree, despite his usual contrary attitude.

“Very true.” Wade sighed and pulled himself up into a sitting position, glancing around his semi-trashed apartment. It was one of many he owned around the city. He’d gotten into a habit lately of letting his current safe house get completely filthy and unlivable before simply up and moving to a new one. He didn’t have the time or the inclination to take care of his shit; he had too much money for that.

Wade stood and stretched his arms over his head, grinning briefly as his shoulders popped. That little spider had given him his first decent fight in weeks.

[Yeah, Germany was boring.]

{No it wasn’t! We got to blow stuff up!}

[Sure, but where were the knives? The slicing? The pretty pretty blood?]

While the boxes were arguing, Wade walked over to his fridge and rifled around for something to eat. He settled on some three-day-old Chinese food, pulling one of the take-out cartons off the shelf and setting it on the counter.

{We do love blood… Especially on nice, smooth young skin.}

[Yes… So lovely. I can’t believe the itsy spider took away our treat. And Casanova screamed so nicely for us...]

Wade pulled his mask off and tossed it aside, searching the kitchen drawers until he found a (maybe) clean fork. He grabbed the carton and started shoveling chicken fried rice into his mouth.

{Why did we settle on Casanova?}

[Cause he was a human trafficker.]

“It was supposed to be ironic.”

[Ew. Don’t talk with your mouth full.]

“I’ll do whatever the fuck I want, White! You’re not the boss of me.”

{I totally forgot why we started torturing him in the first place.}

[I can be the boss of you if I want. Don’t tempt me.]

Wade just rolled his eyes. He took the food back to the couch and grabbed his laptop off the coffee table, where it had been sitting in something sticky. Probably Mountain Dew. Maybe.

{But seriously. Did you see how cool Spidey looked dodging our katanas? Such grace. Such flexibility. Such raw sexual power.}

[We were all there, Yellow.]

Wade opened his internet browser and started humming under his breath as he navigated to youtube.

{Ooh! Yes yes! See if there’s some newer footage of our little spider friend.}

[Is that Cascada? Seriously?]

{Cause every time we touch I get this feeling, and every time we kiss I swear I could fly. Can’t you feel my heart beat fast, I want this to last, need you by my side!}

Wade stopped humming, not really in the mood for a sing-along. He’d found a video of “The Amazing Spider-Man” posted two weeks ago. It wasn’t very good camera work, clearly filmed from someone’s cellphone, but you could still see Spidey doing his thing. It looked like an apartment fire, and Spider-Man was swinging from window to window, carrying people down to safety.

{Ooh… Pretty fire…}

[Calm down, pyro. There aren’t even any explosions.]

Even as White spoke, several of the windows on the upper levels of the building blew out in a huge rush of flame and smoke. Spider-Man seemed to lose his grip for a moment - perhaps his web had snapped - and he fell several feet before catching himself on the side of the building. Wade found himself smiling as he watched the little spider crawling along the wall.

{Spider-Man, Spider-Man. Does whatever a spider can.} Yellow sang a nice little tune.

“What the fuck was that? Did you just make that up?”

{No, it’s Spider-Man’s theme song!}

“He has a theme song?” Damn, this guy was on it. Wade should come up with a theme song for Deadpool. He could force all his victims to sing it.

{Has that not happened yet? Never mind. Wrong timeline. Or universe? I don’t know.}

Wade watched the little blue and red figure in the video pull a few more people out of windows and then it was pretty much over. Spider-Man swung away and disappeared, and the rest of the video was just firemen shooting water at the building with their big phallic hoses.

{Aw… No one died. I don’t like this movie.}

[It wasn’t a movie, idiot.]

{I know! We should kill the itsy spider!}

[We could try…]

{You don’t think we could?}

“I don’t know.” Wade chimed in, his mouth full of food again. “He’s pretty quick. I don’t know if we could catch him.”

{I think we should try. It’ll be fun!}

[I’d like to see what’s under that suit. I bet he would bleed so nicely for us...]

Wade had clicked on another video. This one showed Spider-Man handing a bicycle back to some kid. He waved at the camera before swinging away, and Wade smiled.

“Yeah, alright. We can go spider hunting tomorrow night.”

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

It took Wade a few days to actually find Spider-Man. Admittedly, on the first two nights he got bored after an hour and just went to Sister Margaret’s.

He talked shit with Weasel, the loveable yet utterly disgusting (Wade’s favorite combination) bartender at the less-than-reputable establishment. He drank more than a couple bottles of liquor without getting the slightest bit buzzed. He got himself in a grand total of five bar fights (four of which he won, and the last only counted as loosing because he got one of his hands cut off - hey, they grow back). And he picked up a couple of easy hits. Overall, this was how Wade usually spent his time. When he wasn’t in the midst of a torture-slash-murder spree or busy jacking off to porn of questionable taste, that is.

On the third night, he really got down to business. He ran all over the city, mostly on rooftops (because that’s where spiders hung out, right?), keeping his eye out for a certain red and blue figure shining with the light of justice and goodness. No dice.

On the fourth night, Wade finally got lucky. He was wandering around the rooftops (as he was prone to do, now - he could feel a habit in the making), when he heard the unmistakable sounds of a fight. Wade always loved a good fight, so he made his way down the nearest fire escape and went to check it out.

Wade rounded a corner into the entrance of an alleyway and was met with a wonderful sight: Spider-Man was engaging five armed men in some truly inspiring violence while a richly dressed couple cowered in a corner.

[The little spider was right; why is it always alleys?]

{Maybe the writers aren’t original enough to think of anything else.}

Wade crossed his arms and leaned casually against the wall, smiling lightly as he settled in to watch the fight. Spider-Man’s acrobatics were admittedly impressive. He dodged each thrust of the attackers’ knives with apparent ease and shot webs with striking accuracy. Still, he was definitely outnumbered.

{Wow, look at the itsy spider move!}

[I hope he gets cut.]

{I don’t. I want him fresh for us.}

Wade waited for a particularly inopportune moment, when Spider-Man was surrounded by four of the men, to make a loud catcall and raise his right hand in a wave. “Hey, hot stuff!” He called to Spidey, grinning as seven heads whipped around to face him.

{Seven?}

[One of the guys looks like he’s unconscious. And there’s the couple in the corner; they seem really stupid for sticking around.]

The fighting didn’t pause for long. One of the men tried to take advantage of the spider’s distraction and lunged at him. It didn’t work. Spider-Man sprung into action with renewed vigor, flipping over the men and quickly webbing them up one by one.

As the tide turned, the would-be attackers seemed to realize they had lost. One of them turned and tried to run past Wade. Wade loved it when they ran. He drew one of his katanas and wound up to slice the guy cleanly in half, but something stopped him.

That something was a web. Wade let out a disgruntled “Hey!” as his second favorite blade was pulled out of his hands to skid unceremoniously across the ground.

[{Hey!}]

The runner didn’t get away. A web to the feet brought him down hard and Wade was almost sure he heard the lovely sound of skull hitting pavement. And with that, it was over. All the baddies lay around in various forms of tied up, and Spider-Man turned to the stupid couple who still hadn’t moved.

“You should go.” He told them. “Call the police, tell them where these guys are. And next time, maybe don’t take short cuts down dark alleys! I mean, have you watched a movie? Crime tv? You should get on that. Do some research.”

Wade snorted out a laugh, Spidey’s sense of humor catching him by surprise. As the couple rushed past him to get back to their well-lit boulevard of broken dreams, Wade slapped the guy playfully on the ass, eliciting a quiet yelp. “See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!” He sang after them.

[What was that? You call that clever?]

“Cleverer than you.” Wade muttered. He turned to watch Spider-Man pulling the incapacitated men into a neat little pile in the middle of the alley. He webbed them up some more, clearly making sure that none of them would wriggle free before the cops arrived.

Wade stepped forward to retrieve his katana, but Spider-Man blocked him, planting his foot on the sword’s handle so it couldn’t be picked up. Wade cringed at the rough treatment.

“What the hell are you doing?” The spider asked.

Wade looked behind him, then looked back at Spidey. He pointed a finger at his own chest. “Who, little old me?” He grinned. “I’m spider hunting!” His grin widened as he noticed Spider-Man stiffen slightly.

“Yeah, see, I couldn’t stop thinking about our little run-in the other night.” Wade clasped his hands behind his back and started pacing leisurely around Spidey, getting closer with each pass. “I just can’t seem to get it out of my head. It’s like there are these voices constantly yammering on about the itsy bitsy spider and his legendary ass.”

{Hey, that’s us!}

“I mean, was it as good for you as it was for me? Because I don’t want this to be a weird one-sided thing. Like, I’m some crazy obsessed stalker running around looking for you after just one night together. See, I was starting to think you were avoiding me, but now I - “

He was interrupted by a scoff. “Shut up, Deadpool.” Spider-Man leaned down and picked up the katana by its handle, examining it for a moment. Wade stepped closer, getting a bit nervous.

“Careful with that…”

{If he hurts our baby, we’ll kill him.} Yellow hissed.

[We’re already planning on that, idiot.]

Spider-Man hesitated for a moment, then held the sword out for Wade to take back. He took it, giving the blade a quick once-over to make sure it wasn’t scratched at all. It looked alright, but he’d be giving it a more thorough examination later. With a soft grunt of acceptance, Wade slid the katana back into its sheath.

“You can’t just go killing people.” Spider-Man stated, his voice heavy with disapproval. He even looked disapproving, standing there with his hands on his hips. It was adorable.

Wade chuckled, drew a gun from his hip holster and started spinning it around on his finger. “Baby, that’s what I do.”

{Yeah, baby. You tell him.}

“Besides; I was just trying to help! It looked like you had your hands full. Er, webs. Your webs were full. You know.”

[Smooth.]

“I was handling it just fine, thank you very much. I took care of it myself, see?” Spider-Man gestured behind him at the impressive collection of bound criminals.

“Yes, I see that. You got ‘em webbed up nice and good there. Is this the part where you eat them?”

Wade could almost see Spidey’s nose wrinkling under his mask. “Ew. Of course not.” He seemed to go still for a moment, as if he were considering something. Then, slowly, “Do you eat people?”

Wade burst out laughing, bending over almost double and clutching at his stomach with his gun-free hand. “Oh, that’s good… Ha, yeah… No, could you imagine? I’m batshit crazy, but no… No, I don’t do that.”

{Why don’t we eat people?}

[They probably wouldn’t taste very good.]

{How would we know unless we tried?}

Wade shook his head, his laughter fading. “No fucking way. We are not trying that.”

Spider-Man’s head turned sharply to the left, catching Wade’s attention. He seemed to be listening to something. A moment later, Wade could hear sirens in the distance.

“That’s my cue. Try to stay out of trouble, Red. Watch some afterschool specials. Learn something.” And with that, the spider had turned away and was already climbing the side of a building, heading up to the rooftop, no doubt.

Wade watched him with a goofy smile for a moment before following. He moved to the same building, tucking his gun into its holster as he did, and jumped up to grab the edge of the fire escape, easily pulling himself up and over the railing.

[You think he’s funny.] White accused as Wade started climbing.

{I think he’s funny, too!} Yellow said cheerfully.

[But you won’t hesitate to torture and kill him just because you’re developing a little crush.] White retorted.

“I am not developing a crush.” Wade growled indignantly.

{Ooh, we haven’t liked someone in ages!}

[That’s not the point.]

Wade reached the top of the building and silently stepped out onto the roof, quickly scanning the area for Spider-Man. He spotted him crouched at the edge, his back to Wade.

[Now’s our chance.]

{Catch him and make him bleed!}

[Shoot him from here. That should incapacitate him enough to take him somewhere more comfortable.]

{Less comfortable!} Yellow’s voice was filled with glee.

Wade crept forward on silent feet, his fingers inching closer to his gun.

{I can’t wait! I can’t wait to hear him scream.}

[Now. Shoot him now before he hears you.]

Wade’s fingers wrapped around the handle of his pistol, but he continued to inch forward.

“Get down, out of sight.”

Wade froze, shocked by the sound of Spidey’s quiet, commanding voice.

{How did he knew we were here?} Yellow whined in disappointment.

After a beat, Wade obeyed. He dropped to his stomach and crawled forwards until he was laying next to Spider-Man, peering over the edge of the roof. All five bad guys were still tied up below, and the sirens were much closer now.

“Aw, you’re waiting to make sure they get picked up okay? That’s so sweet,” Wade said cheerfully.

Spider-Man huffed out a sigh. “Keep your voice down, Deadpool.”

Wade smirked beneath his mask. “Oh, Spidey. I love it when you say my name.”

[I’d rather he were screaming it.] White muttered venomously.

Wade chuckled, and answered under his breath. “Aw, White… I thought you didn’t want to have sex with him.”

The silence he got in return was ice cold.

As they watched, two police cars pulled up at the alley entrance and the cops filed out to retrieve their cargo. Once all five men had been cut free, cuffed, tucked into the cars, and driven away, Spider-Man stood back up.

Wade followed, bouncing up and down slightly on his toes as he looked sideways at Spidey. “So…. Wanna get something to eat?”

{What?!?}

“What?”

[What.]

Wow. Unanimous reaction there. “Don’t spiders have to eat? Or do you only eat bugs, or something?”

“Gross. I eat normal food,” Spider-Man told him emphatically.

“Great! So…?”

Spider-Man hesitated, glancing away as he seemed to think it over.

[This is a bad idea.]

{Why? I’m kind of hungry.}

[Wade’s going to get attached. Then he’s not going to want to move forward with the blood and the screaming and the little bits of spider all over the walls.]

{Oh.}

Wade did his best to ignore the boxes. “My treat!” He offered, trying to sweeten the deal.

That seemed to do the trick. Spidey relaxed slightly and finally offered a shrug. “I guess that’d be okay.”

“Wonderful. Luke-warm acceptances are the best. So encouraging! So what should we have, Spidey-boy? Oh, I know this great place just a couple blocks away! They make the best tacos.”

{Oh my god tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos}

[Shut. Up.]

{tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos tacos}

[SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP]

Wade turned his head to the side and hissed at the boxes, “Both of you shut the fuck up! I’m trying to have a conversation here.”

{Wow. Rude.}

[We don’t appreciate that sort of language, young man.]

{Old man.}

[Old man. I think you need to learn some respect.]

“No.” Wade growled. “Don’t you dare-“

It was too late. Both boxes started screaming at the top of their lungs.

[{CAUSE YOU’RE HOT THEN YOU’RE COLD, YOU’RE YES THEN YOU’RE NO, YOU’RE IN THEN YOU’RE OUT, YOU’RE UP THEN YOU’RE DOWN, YOU’RE WRONG WHEN IT’S RIGHT, IT’S BLACK AND IT’S WHITE}]

Wade clutched at his head and groaned.

[{WE FIGHT WE BREAK UP, WE KISS WE MAKE UP. YOU DON’T REALLY WANT - }]

Suddenly, a soft touch on Wade’s arm made him jump. It startled the boxes right out of their torture singing, too. He turned back to see Spider-Man standing beside him, his arm outstretched, his fingers just inches from Wade’s arm before he let his hand fall back to his side.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

Wade just stared at him, shocked.

[He touched us.]

{ohmygod he touched us!}

It was a few seconds before Wade could formulate an answer. “Yeah. Yep, sure. I’m just dandy! How are you?”

Spider-Man seemed confused, even through the mask.

Wade sighed. “Just the voices in my head giving me a hard time. Nothing to worry your pretty little head about.” He tried to brush it off, but as he waited for Spidey’s response, his stomach twisted anxiously. It was no secret that Deadpool was insane. Spider-Man would probably want to give him a wide berth now that it was clear just how fucked in the head he actually was.

But Spider-Man showed no reaction to that confession other than a slight tilt of the head. “Alright.” He seemed to accept that easily enough. “So… tacos?”

{I like him. I like the little spider. Let’s keep him.}

[Oh no… Not you, too.]

Wade’s mouth slowly curled into a grin. “I will never answer no to that question.” He started bouncing up and down on his toes again. “Hey, I know. You stay here, I’ll go grab the food. Cause one incredibly sexy guy covered in red spandex is probably less conspicuous than two.”

Spider-Man chuckled. “Yeah, alright. I’ll wait here.”

“Okay!” Wade started backing towards the fire escape. “I’ll be back before you can say ‘Willem Dafoe’s giant eagle dick’ five times fast.’”

{We’re not that fast.}

[Why would he ever say that?]

“Don’t go anywhere, Spidey. You’ll break my fragile heart!” Wade turned and jumped onto the fire escape, sliding down the outside of one of the railings rather than running down all the stairs. He would have just jumped straight off the roof, but he wouldn’t be as fast if he had to limp to the taco stand on two broken legs.

[He’s gonna be gone when we get back.]

White started in as soon as Wade hit the ground, but he tried to ignore it, jogging towards his third-favorite taco stand (he was pretty sure he’d been to every single one in New York, so that was a pretty good rating).

{Naw… Spidey wouldn’t do that to us. He’s good and kind.}

[And we’re bloodthirsty murderers. Why would he ever want to hang out with us?]

White had a point there. Wade picked up the pace, reasoning that if he got back quickly enough, Spider-Man wouldn’t have a chance to realize how stupid it was to agree to a dinner-date with Deadpool.

{Oh em gee, you think this is a date?}

[Of course not. He wouldn’t be that stupid.]

“Of course it’s not a date date.” Wade huffed. “It’s just an expression.”

{Aw, I think it would be nice to date Spidey. Can you imagine how flexible he’d be in bed?}

[He’d never date us. Have you seen us?]

White was right, of course. Spider-Man was clearly stunning in the looks department, even if Wade couldn’t see his face. He, on the other hand, was probably the ugliest pile of shit in New York.

{Well, we could just kidnap him and then fuck him!}

“Ew. God, Yellow. No fucking way. We’re not rapists.” Wade’s face twisted in disgust just at the thought of that. He killed rapists. Preferably after cutting off their balls.

Even White had to agree with that, and Yellow was quickly scolded into submission.

When Wade finally reached the taco stand, he realized he had no idea what Spider-Man liked. So he ordered three of everything. And five chimichangas. In case Spidey wanted one.

The whole way back, Wade’s stomach was in knots. By the time the building was in view, White had successfully convinced him that the roof would be empty when he got back up there.

He climbed the fire escape anyway, the going a bit slow since both of his hands were weighed down with bags full of Mexican food. He took a deep breath as he passed the top floor, preparing himself for disappointment.

{Don’t worry. If he’s gone, we’ll just hunt him down again. And then we can do the whole killing thing. That’ll make you feel better!}

Yellow’s words of comfort weren’t all that comforting. When Wade stepped onto the roof, his eyes skimming over to where he’d left Spider-Man, his stomach sank.

[See? I told you. No one would stick around for us. Especially not a hot piece of ass with a trumped-up sense of morality like the spider.]

{No, no! Look! Over there!}

Wade glanced towards the other side of the roof, and there was Spidey, sitting on the edge, his feet dangling over the street below. Wade felt a smile spread over his face, and the rock in his stomach was replaced with a strange sort of warmth.

{See, White? You were wrong for once. What do you have to say for yourself?}

The silence said enough.

Wade walked over and plopped down beside Spider-Man, dangling his legs over the edge, too. “Here.” He said, placing one of the heavy bags in Spidey’s lap.

“What did you do, order everything on the menu?” He asked in disbelief.

Wade grinned. “Three of everything, actually.” He pulled a chimichanga out of his bag and set the rest between them. “I didn’t know what you wanted, so…”

Spider-Man laughed, and Wade felt warm all over. “I’m really not that picky. I would’ve eaten anything.” He pulled a taco out and eagerly unwrapped it, pausing only to roll his mask up over his mouth before he took a bite.

Wade stared, his eyes glued to that strip of smooth, perfect skin. Spidey’s jaw was angular in a boyish, sexy way, and the slope of his neck, the curve of his lips, they were almost pornographic.

[Oh, great… We’re in trouble now.]

“Shut up.” Wade breathed, tearing his eyes away.

“Hm?” Spider-Man turned to look at him, the taco already half-gone. It was like he was starving or something.

Wade just shook his head. “Nothing.”

[What do you think is gonna happen when you lift your mask and he sees the catastrophic mess that is your face?]

Wade swallowed thickly and glanced around. He shifted away from the edge of the roof, resting his back against an air vent a couple of feet away. The shadow of the vent fell across his face, and he was relatively sure that Spider-Man wouldn’t be able to see him. He carefully lifted his mask the minimal amount needed and unwrapped his food, licking his lips nervously.

Spidey was already digging in the bag for something else by the time Wade took his first bite.

“You afraid of heights?” The spider asked as he unwrapped a burrito.

Wade shrugged, swallowing his food before answering. “Sometimes, I guess.” It seemed like a good enough excuse for now.

[You can’t hide forever.]

{Oh, shut up. You’re just bitter because you were wrong.}

Wade decided to change the subject, try to keep Spidey distracted while he ate. “So where’d you get your kick-ass new suit? It makes your pert little ass look wonderful, by the way. Much better than those silly sweatpants you were wearing before.”

Spidey chuckled, but Wade could see the top of his neck growing slightly pink. “Well… Tony Stark made it for me, actually.”

{Yuck. That pretentious asshat eats dicks for breakfast.}

[What the fuck are you talking about?]

{Well, he does…}

Wade whistled. “Wow, the Tin Man? That’s some serious shit. Very impressive, Spidey.”

Spider-Man shrugged, but Wade could tell he was pleased with the compliment. “Yeah, I’m not really sure why he did it. I mean, this thing must be worth at least a million dollars. It’s fucking awesome, really.” He started kicking his feet over the open air, clearly eager to talk about his suit. “It regulates temperature somehow, probably through aerodynamic regulation of the fabric tension. And the eye lenses are filtered, so I’m never blinded. I even have night vision! And the web shooters are great. I can tell by examining them that they can switch to different functions, but I don’t have access to that, yet. Mr. Stark said-“

Spider-Man suddenly cut himself off, as if realizing that he probably shouldn’t be telling Deadpool all of that stuff.

Wade tried to smooth over the moment so things didn’t grow awkward. “That’s pretty badass. I wish my suit could do all that, but this baby is home-made.”

“You made that?” Spider-Man turned to look at him, and Wade regretted pulling the attention to himself. He quickly rolled his mask down to cover his mouth, glad that he’d practically inhaled the chimichanga with his usual speed. He could eat more later.

“Yep. And believe me, it did not look this hot the first few times I tried. This level of skin-tight sexiness took quite a bit of trial and error.”

{Remember all the times we stabbed ourselves with those tiny little needles?}

[Yeah, before this dumbass realized he should buy a sewing machine.]

Spider-Man was silent for a moment, looking Wade over. “I like it,” He finally said, and Wade could see his beautiful skin gaining color again.

He grinned, scooting back to the edge and dangling his legs over once more. “Thanks, sweet-cheeks.”

Spidey turned away, the color on his jaw darkening, and Wade’s grin widened. “So what turned you on to the crime-fighting business, little spider?”

Spidey shrugged and took another bite of his burrito, as if chewing would give him more time to think of an answer. Wade hummed under his breath while he waited.

{Can’t read my- Can’t read my- No you can’t read my poker face.}

[Why is our music taste such complete trash?]

{Hey. You cannot bash the illustrious Lady Gaga.}

“She is pretty fierce.”

“Huh?” Spider-Man was looking at him quizzically.

Wade shook his head. “Nothing, Spidey.”

Spider-Man finished chewing his bite. “Well… To answer your question, I guess it just seemed logical. I mean, I didn’t always have these abilities. I just got them a few months ago, actually, and this seemed like the best thing to use them for.”

Wade nodded, although he could definitely think of lots of other ways to use those powers. Spidey would make a kickass mercenary, for example.

“How did you get into the… killing people business?” Wade could see Spider-Man’s mouth twist in distaste, and he let out a hollow laugh.

“Oh, same reason pretty much. It just seemed logical.”

{Plus we love killing.}

[And cutting.]

{And burning.}

[Slicing.]

{Shooting.}

[Blood.]

{Guts.}

[{Screams.}]

Wade shook his head, trying to ignore the bloodthirsty voices. “I figured there are a lot of shitty people in the world, and the world could use fewer of those. So I do what I can to help control that particular population.”

Spider-Man was looking at him with interest again. “You only kill bad people?”

Wade shrugged. “Usually. Although I don’t always check that carefully.”

Spidey looked out over the street again, seemingly lost in thought for a minute. Suddenly, he stiffened. “What time is it?”

Wade turned his arm to look at the Hello Kitty watch strapped to his wrist, on top of the suit. “Uh… Almost two a.m. Why?”

Spider-Man dropped his half-eaten burrito back in the bag and stood up in a flash. “I gotta go.” He blurted out.

[You scared him off.]

“What, you got school in the morning?” Wade chuckled.

“I just… I have to go. It’s later than I realized.”

Wade stood up, too, his right hand coming to rest unconsciously on the handle of the gun on his hip. “Right… Okay. Well, swing safe, I guess.”

Spider-Man looked at him, rolling the bottom of his mask back over his mouth, hiding that sweet skin again. “Sure.” He stepped to the edge of the roof, but hesitated, still looking at Wade. “Thanks for the food. I’ll… See you around, Deadpool.”

And with that, he stepped over the edge and fell out of sight. Wade hurried forward to peer down towards the street, only see Spidey swinging away on his webs, his body bending in the most delicious ways.

{He said he’ll see us around!} Yellow squealed.

[He was probably just trying to be nice.]

{Oh, shut up. You’re just a sour puss.}

[You’re just an imbecile.]

For once, the boxes’ arguing did nothing to dampen Wade’s mood. He stared after Spider-Man even after the hero had disappeared around a corner, a grin lingering on his scarred lips.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Wade spent the next couple of days practically walking on air. He was so upbeat, in fact, that Weasel was utterly convinced that he’d started taking ecstasy. Wade reminded him that his healing factor made it nigh on impossible to get high or drunk. He even demonstrated by chugging an entire bottle of vodka. Weasel remained suspicious.

He went out every night and wandered the city, keeping an eye out for a certain red and blue spider. He gave massive tips to the guys who delivered his usual greasy take-out, skipped through Times Square (even stopping to take pictures with clueless tourists), and serenaded his victims. He was probably scaring them more with the euphoric singing than he usually did with threats and torture.

But it didn’t last.

[I told you it wouldn’t.]

After five nights with no sign of the slippery spider, Wade’s mood had dramatically soured.

[He’s avoiding you.]

“You think I don’t know that?”

{He might just be busy!}

[Busy avoiding us.]

“Busy spinning webs to catch more hapless mercenaries. Stupid, sticky, sexy webs.” Wade stopped to kick a car, trying his hardest to put a dent in its glossy black exterior. He only succeeded in fracturing some bones in his foot.

“Hey!” Exclaimed a woman dressed in Prada and carrying a Gucci purse. Wade was currently strolling down fifth avenue at ten-thirty at night. He’d been out for an hour, looking for the spider, and his dark mood was spreading.

“Oh, go fuck yourself.” Wade responded bitterly, kicking the car again just for good measure.

“I’ll fucking sue you, freak!”

Wade pulled one of his guns and had it pressed against the woman’s jaw in an instant. “Try it.” He growled.

She went stiff with a terrified squeak, and scrambled for her purse. “H-Here. Here, take it. Take the car. Take it all.”

Wade rolled his eyes, dropping the gun to his side and whirling around to face the crowded sidewalk. A few people were staring at him with wide, frightened eyes. He wasn’t exactly inconspicuous, walking through the middle of the shopping district dressed in bright red spandex and talking to himself.

“What the fuck are you looking it?” He snapped, waving his gun. The people ran away. He snorted, tucking the pistol away and continuing down the street. “People.” He muttered.

[Why don’t we go on a job? That always cheers you up.]

{Yeah! We can take our time. Do a little slicing before the dicing.}

Wade heaved a sigh, but decided that it was probably best to take out his frustration in a constructive way rather than attacking cars on the street. “Yeah, alright.” He conceded. “Let’s go kill someone.”

The shoppers on the sidewalk were giving him a wide berth.

Wade called Weasel and got a name. He was familiar with the person already, a drug kingpin who worked the lower east side, so he didn’t need to go home and perform his usual research. It probably would have been helpful for him to prepare a bit, maybe get the details about recent activity or security concerns. But he was feeling reckless and he knew where to look, so he went off full tilt.

It was hard to care about preparation when you couldn’t die.

So when Wade showed up at the abandoned warehouse where he knew they packaged the cocaine, he didn’t hesitate or stop to check things out before letting himself in through the front doors with a cheerful “Honey, I’m home!”

{Hey, a warehouse! What a nice change. The writers must have really wracked their brains for this one.}

[Ha ha. Your sarcasm is beyond reproof.]

Wade strode in, guns drawn, but came to a halt in the middle of the showroom floor. It was empty. Utterly empty of people.

Not empty of cocaine. Boxes were stacked along the walls, some of them open and half-packed with neat little bundles of white powder. Tables were lined up in the middle of the room, scales set up, some still tipped by piles of snow. Packages lay half-assembled. Workstations lay abandoned.

“Huh. Well this is a pickle.”

{Where are all our toys?} Yellow whined.

[Something made them leave in a hurry.]

Wade tipped his head to one side, listening. He could make out the faint sounds of yelling. And fighting. “Looks like we’ve got competition.”

{Let’s kill them! Let’s kill them!}

Wade made his way to the back of the warehouse and peered out the window. There was a parking lot in the back, and it was currently a flurry of activity.

[Oh no.]

{Our spider!!!}

It was, indeed, Spider-Man. He spun in the middle of it all, kicking and punching and webbing. He was taking hits every now and then, but he never let it break his stride. It was quite beautiful.

Except for the fact that he was hopelessly outnumbered and would probably be full of bullet holes soon, judging from the size of the semi-automatic assault rifles that were being handed out on the sidelines.

“Guess we better get down to business.” Wade muttered. He re-holstered one of his guns and pulled a grenade out of the grenade pouch on his utility belt. It was always best to make a grand entrance, he found.

Wade moved to the back door and kicked it open. He fired six shots in quick succession, taking out the nearest men, then pulled the pin from the grenade.

“Bombs away, ladies and gentlemen!” He made sure to aim his toss so the grenade would detonate far enough away from Spider-Man not to cause him any real damage.

{God, I love it when they scream.}

[Would you look at all that blood? Beautiful.]

Wade went to work, his ears ringing from the blast. He drew two more guns and took out all the men he could see holding rifles. The attention was shifting to him now, just as he’d intended, and Wade dropped the guns to draw his katanas as a group of cocaine-pushers rushed him.

Wade moved with surprising grace, spinning and slicing, almost as fast as Spider-Man moved. It was cathartic, painting the pavement with blood. Before he knew it, everyone in a ten-foot radius was dead or dying.

{Aw… There’s never enough to keep us busy.}

[There’s more over there with the spider.]

Spidey was faring better now, facing about ten of them instead of fifty. He’d webbed a few already and they lay scattered about like wriggling caterpillars stuck in their cocoons. Wade made his way over, grinning beneath his mask.

“Hey, Spidey! Caught too many bugs in your web, this time?” He greeted when he was within hearing distance. One of the men broke away and came for Deadpool with a knife. It was laughable. Wade raised his katanas, ready to slice the guy in half, but Spider-Man webbed the stupid criminal and pulled him out of the way.

{Hey. Not cool.}

“Don’t kill them.” He scolded, sounding a bit out of breath. He leaped out of the way of another attack only to be punched in the ribs when he landed. The one who got in the lucky hit was on the ground in less than a second.

Wade frowned slightly. “I’m just trying to help, little spider. It looked like you needed it.”

He didn’t receive a response; Spidey was too busy trying to web the last few guys.

[Ungrateful little bug. We should teach him some manners.]

{Hey, look! Isn’t that our guy?}

Wade glanced over to spot his target, the organizer of this whole operation. He was peering out from behind a car, his face a mask of rage, and that rage was focused on Spider-Man.

Wade smirked, sheathing his katanas and pulling a throwing knife from his belt. “Well, well, well. It looks like we’ll be collecting our reward after all.”

Then he saw the gun. The gun pointed at Spider-Man.

His smirk fell away, his eyes narrowing slightly. “No fucking way.” He growled. He stepped in front of Spidey, the knife leaving his fingers just as a shot rang out through the night air.

Darkness washed over his vision, sudden and harsh like an ocean wave.

[Oh no, not again.] White’s voice faded into the distance, washed away like everything else.

Yes, again.

For a while, there was nothing. That was the worst part. Just a void, never-ending.

Then, slowly, as if coming from a great distance, music faded in. The volume grew until it was all consuming, the bass and the synths vibrating through the emptiness of Wade’s skull.

It was Katy Perry singing Hot N Cold.

Jesus fuck not this shit again

There was nothing he could do about it. Suddenly, a cartoon unicorn sprang into existence. It galloped around, daisies and ice-cream and other obnoxious little cartoon items springing up behind it. It was joined by some regular horses, who seemed jealous of its luscious pink mane. The regular horses attacked the unicorn, tearing it to pieces and eating it.

[Wow. That’s fucked up.]

{Hey, we’re back!}

“Great… That’s just great.” Wade groaned. Head shots were the worst.

The real world was slowly returning, darkness and the smell of blood and burnt flesh filtering in as the music faded.

He forced his eyes open, blinking a few times to bring the world into focus. He was quite confused to see Spider-Man’s masked face looming over him.

Yellow gasped. {Have we died and gone to heaven?}

Wade flushed with warmth when he realized his head was lying in Spidey’s lap. He could feel warm hands cradling his neck and the back of his head, holding him there.

Wade shot up into a sitting position, running his fingers over his face to make sure his mask was still in place. He breathed a sigh of relief to feel that it was.

“What the fuck?” Spidey’s voice was high and anxious.

Wade glanced around to see that all the men were now either dead or webbed into immobility. He looked back at Spider-Man, keeping his mask expression neutral.

“Hey, Spidey-Boy.”

“You… You were dead!”

“Yep. That happens sometimes.”

Spider-Man moved onto his knees and reached for Wade’s face, taking hold before Wade could move away. He turned his head from side to side, as if looking for the bullet hole. “But… How?”

Wade pulled away, worried that the hole left in his mask would be large enough to see through. “Healing factor, sweet-cheeks. It’s kind of, like, unbeatable. You could cut me into lots of little pieces right now and I’d still come back! I’m like that scary monster in Greek mythology. What’s it called? That one with all the heads. You cut one off and like ten grow back. That’s basically me.” He was babbling, but it was just because the way Spidey was looking at him was giving him chills.

{Remember that time we jumped out of an airplane?}

[We’ve done that twice.]

{Oh yeah. Remember that time we drank the Joker’s special acid?}

[We never did that.]

{Oh… Wrong universe.}

“That’s amazing.” Spidey breathed, still staring.

Wade shifted uncomfortably under the spider’s gaze. “Aw, Spidey… Were you worried about me?”

Spider-Man was silent for a moment before getting to his feet. He pressed one hand to his ribs as he rose, seeming careful not to move too quickly. “Why did you do that?” He asked, his voice a mix of indignant, concerned and confused.

“Cause you were about to be shot.” Wade stood up as well, glancing over to see his target slumped against the car he’d been hiding behind, Wade’s throwing knife protruding from his neck. “And I can’t die.” He shrugged. “Seemed logical.”

Spider-Man was quiet, and staring again. Wade swallowed and shifted his feet.

“I can dodge bullets.” He finally said. “So don’t do that again, okay? You don’t need to get shot for me.”

Now it was Wade’s turn to stare. “You can dodge bullets?”

{Okay. That’s fucking cool. How come we can’t do that?}

Spider-Man nodded slightly. “Not because I’m that fast. I have… Well, I have a kind of… spider sense.” He seemed embarrassed to call it that. “It warns me when I’m in danger. And I can move out of the way. It’s a kind of instinct, I guess.”

Wade let out a low whistle, planting his hands on his hips. “Hot stuff, Spidey-Boy. I guess you would’ve been fine on your own, then.”

Spider-Man glanced around, and Wade could tell he was looking disapprovingly on the mess that Deadpool had made.

“Actually, I was kind of in over my head here.” He admitted quietly.

Wade chuckled. “Oh, really? I couldn’t tell.”

Spidey chuckled, too, and Wade felt warm.

Spider-Man went still, listening to something. “We should go.” He said. “The police are coming.”

Wade nodded. “Yeah, alright.” He reached back to make sure his katanas were safely in place. He could always get more guns and knives, but these babies were one of a kind.

Spider-Man gave him one last lingering look, freezing Wade in his spot. “See you, Deadpool. Try not to die too much.”

“Will do, little spider.” He raised one hand in farewell, watching Spidey shoot a web to the neighboring building and swing away.

{Okay. This is weird. How come I want to fuck him more than I want to cut him?}

[Because you’re an idiot.]

“Shut up, White.”

 

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Song credits:

Title:
Blindness - Metric
Lyrics:
Everytime We Touch - Cascada
Spider Man - The Greatest Ever Cartoon Television Themes
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
Poker Face - Lady Gaga

 

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Chapter Text

Peter

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

The sound of Peter’s alarm was the last thing he wanted to hear at six in the how-can-you-call-this-morning. It took all of his considerable self-control to stop himself from hurling the cheap clock across the room and shattering it into a million pieces. Instead, he blindly pressed the off button and forced himself to sit up, moving like a zombie with his eyes still closed. He swung his feet out over the edge of the bed and groaned as he stood, aching and cold and more exhausted than when he went to sleep three hours ago.

The last two weeks had passed in a blur for Peter. He’d been busy at Oscorp and as Spider-Man, and most nights he was only getting four hours of sleep or less. As much as he hated to admit it, Peter was still a growing boy who needed his rest, and he was starting to get a little ragged around the edges.

The most confusing part of his past two weeks was, without a doubt, his run-ins with a certain red-clad mercenary. Peter’s internet research had revealed a lot about Deadpool. He had a reputation as an insane, skilled, and disturbingly creative killer. He supposedly became Deadpool when he took part in some sort of initiative to create mutants. There weren’t a lot of details about what exactly happened, and none about who Deadpool was before this incident, but some websites claimed that he had been in some sort of accident, and that was what triggered his mutation. A couple of sites also speculated that this accident had left him disfigured in some way and shook some screws loose in his already off-kilter head. It was rumored that he had healing abilities so powerful that he couldn’t die, but Peter had been doubtful of that until he’d actually seen those powers in action.

He’d been shocked that Deadpool would put himself in harms way for Spider-Man, even if he knew he wouldn’t die. Not permanently, anyway. To be honest, he was still having a lot of trouble wrapping his mind around it. And he felt guilty, even if Deadpool had come back to life and didn’t seem any worse for wear. Peter could have avoided that bullet, but Deadpool couldn’t.

Admittedly, Peter had needed help. He’d been in way over his head at that warehouse, and he knew it had been a mistake to go there by himself. He’d gotten a tip from a drug-dealer he’d tied up, and he knew he had to check it out. His mistake had been deciding to engage the thugs when he got to the warehouse and saw what they were doing.

He would have called Mr. Stark, but it was definitely not a big enough problem to warrant Iron Man’s attention. He should have called the police, but he thought the criminals might bolt if they heard sirens, and then they would have started up the whole business somewhere else.

So he had decided to take care of it himself. It was stupid. Really stupid. It was hard to believe, but Peter knew he’d probably be dead (or at least very badly hurt) if Deadpool hadn’t shown up to help. He really would have preferred it if his savior hadn’t killed quite so many people, but that was a separate issue.

There was something bothering Peter even more than his own stupidity and his confusion over Deadpool’s willingness to die (sort of) for him: It was surprisingly easy to talk to the mercenary. Sure, he talked to voices that nobody else could hear, and some of his comments made Peter blush, but they still seemed to get along just fine. And that was concerning, wasn’t it? Peter saved people. He saved people from killers like Deadpool. He couldn’t be friends with killers like Deadpool. Even if he only killed bad guys (and Peter still wasn’t sure what he thought about that, or if he even completely believed it).

So why did he find himself keeping an eye out for red and black spandex whenever he was out patrolling? It wasn’t because he was afraid of running into Deadpool, even though he was fairly certain he should be.

He thought about that night on the roof with the tacos quite a lot. He couldn’t keep it off his mind, in fact. He searched through his memory for any clues that Deadpool had ulterior motives for being friendly. Was he trying to get close to Spider-Man just to use or hurt him in some way? Was he doing it all as a joke? It seemed possible, given his questionable sanity. But Peter thought he’d seemed honest, like he really wanted to hang out with Spider-Man. Like he’d been telling the truth when he said ‘you’ll break my fragile heart.’

Maybe Peter was just naïve.

Still, he couldn’t help himself from looking for Deadpool when he went out the last few nights. It had been five days, and there was no sign of him. It was likely that they were just missing each other; it was a big city, after all. But Peter still felt a bit anxious about it. He wasn’t sure he wanted Deadpool to disappear after dropping into his life so unexpectedly.

It had been five days since the warehouse fiasco, and today was Peter’s birthday.

He’d been dreading it all week. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to turn sixteen, he just didn’t want everyone to make a big deal about it. But it was clear that he wasn’t going to get what he wanted.

When he had managed to stumble in and out of the shower - scalding hot and then freezing cold: the only way to wake him up - and pull some clothes onto his sore, tired body, he made his way to the kitchen. Aunt May had cooked his favorite breakfast, pancakes and bacon, and had it sitting out for him.

He hated the fuss, but he couldn’t help but smile as he sat down to shovel the delicious food into his mouth. He thanked his Aunt when she came out of her room, slipping her nurse’s jacket on over her threadbare work shirt.

“Don’t speak with your mouth full, Peter.” She scolded him, but she had a gentle smile on her face.

She sat down at the table with Peter, a rare occurrence since they were both usually in a rush to get out the door in the morning. Peter looked at her as he took a bite of bacon, his heart clenching to see the grey in her hair and the dark circles under her eyes. She worked so hard to take care of them. Peter often thought about quitting his internship so that he could get a real job (one that paid, at least), but Aunt May would hear nothing of it. She was adamant that Peter worry about nothing other than doing well in school and gaining valuable experience in the field he hoped to enter one day. She didn’t know that he worried about a lot more than that… And he hoped she’d never find out.

“Are you working late again today?” He asked, careful to swallow his food before speaking this time.

“Afraid so.” Aunt May smiled tiredly. “But I should have the whole day off tomorrow.”

Peter nodded. “That’s good. Maybe we can do a movie marathon.” They hadn’t done that in a while, but it was one of their favorite ways to spend time together. Uncle Ben used to go all out on movie nights, buying snacks and soda and other rare treats. It made them both a little sad to do it without him, but it was also sort of a way to remember him.

Aunt May grinned. “Count on it.” She pulled her purse into her lap and started fishing around in it. “But we’re not getting anything with the word ‘chainsaw’ in the title. I think we both learned our lesson last time.”

Peter chuckled and nodded his agreement. “I’ll never be able to use a power saw again.”

“We both know you never used one before.” She shot back, making Peter grin. She seemed to find what she was looking for in her bag and she pulled it out, handing him a small, pristinely wrapped gift box. Peter’s heart sank, feeling extremely guilty that she had spent money on him. “Aunt May…” He took the box with a slight frown, but the look she gave him said that she would hear no protests.

When he opened it, he found a familiar watch with its worn leather band laying nestled inside tissue paper. It had belonged to his Uncle Ben. “Oh, Aunt May…” He carefully removed the watch, cradling it between his fingers and watching the tiny second hand ticking smoothly across the watch face.

“I had a new battery put in. I thought you might like to wear it.” She reached out and patted his free hand. Peter’s throat felt tight.

“Thank you.” He told her, meeting her eyes with a wavering smile. “I would love to wear it.” He slipped it on his wrist right then and there, fitting the prong through a hole in the leather band two sizes smaller than the one already worn from use.

“It looks very nice on you, Peter.” Aunt May told him. When he hugged her goodbye, they were both a little teary.

“Be careful tonight.” She told Peter as she smoothed down his hair (something she always attempted to do with limited success). “But have fun. You deserve it.”

“Yeah, I will. Thanks, Aunt May. I’ll see you in the morning.” He walked her to the door and locked it behind her even though he’d be leaving for school in just a few minutes (it was better to be safe than sorry in this neighborhood, even if he was Spider-Man).

The reminder of Harry’s party was enough to sour Peter’s entire day.

Yes, it was Harry’s party, not Peter’s. He’d never wanted it, and he was dreading it now more than ever. Harry and M.J. had been talking about it constantly all week. They went on and on about how lucky it was that Peter’s birthday fell on a Friday, so everyone could come. They obsessed over what DJ to get, what the facebook event should say (Peter didn’t have a facebook, so he never saw what they settled on), and how much alcohol they should buy.

It was going to be a miserable night.

At least Ned would be there, so Peter wouldn’t be totally alone in a corner. He’d be alone in a corner with Ned.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

“I’m taking you out for ice-cream.”

“What?” Peter stared across the top of the car at Harry. School had just ended, and Peter had met Harry outside in the parking lot. Ned had disappeared to go help M.J. get streamers from the art room or something like that. Peter had offered to come help, but he’d been practically pushed away and told that the ‘birthday boy’ shouldn’t have to help set up his own party.

“It’s your birthday, you get ice-cream.” Harry smirked at Peter, unlocking his convertible and getting in.

Peter followed, slipping into the passenger seat with care. “Not that I can argue with your logic, but aren’t we supposed to go to your house to start setting up for horror-fest 2017?”

“Ha ha. You’re very funny Peter. Very witty. Have I ever told you that?” Harry started the car and backed out of his spot. He turned to join the line of cars inching their way off school grounds.

“What about M.J. and Ned? Don’t we have to at least drive them to your place first?”

“No.” Harry gave Peter a smug look. “I’m having a car pick them up.”

Peter let out a groan, his head falling back against the comfortable leather headrest. “God, Harry. How much are you spending on this stupid party? No, don’t tell me. I really don’t want to know.”

Harry kept his mouth shut, but that smug look didn’t leave his face.

As they pulled out onto the street and started heading downtown, Harry turned on his radio to a generic top 100 station. It wasn’t really Peter’s taste, but it was Harry’s car and he wasn’t about to complain.

“You know, we really did look into getting Britney Spears for you. I know how you had your hopes up, but she wasn’t available. I’m sorry.” Harry tried to maintain his mock seriousness, but he couldn’t stop his mouth from twisting into a wry smile.

Peter rolled his eyes. “Gee, I’m heart broken. You better have a stripper or I’m boycotting the party.” Boycotting didn’t seem like a bad idea, especially if there was going to be a stripper. But Peter knew he could never do that to Harry and M.J. Not when they’d put so much effort into this. Even if it wasn’t what Peter wanted.

“Don’t worry, Petey. We’ll have more than one.” Harry winked at him, which was the only way Peter knew for sure that he was joking.

Traffic was bad, as it always was in the city, but the drive went quickly when Harry rolled down the roof and blasted bad pop radio, earning more than a couple of shouts and rude gestures from fellow drivers. Peter didn’t usually like attention (especially not the kind that got strangers yelling dirty words at you), but the way Harry seemed to enjoy flipping people off and dancing obnoxiously to Beyoncé at stoplights had Peter laughing along until they reached their destination.

Parking in New York is usually impossible, but Harry pulling into a mall parking garage charging twenty-five an hour without a second glance. Peter would complain, but he was learning that it didn’t do any good when it came to Harry spending money on him. Peter was a quick learner, he really was.

They found their way to some pretentious frozen yogurt store in the mall. Peter was apprehensive, but they apparently sold normal ice cream, too. Harry got something with coffee and a mature sounding name like ‘espresso bean.’ Peter got mint chocolate chip, his favorite since he was a little kid. They sat on the uncomfortable plastic chairs and watched rich middle-aged women and teenagers walking through the fashion mall.

“What do you think’s going on there?” Harry gestured with his plastic spoon at a couple standing in front of an Eddie Bauer display window. The man was older, probably close to sixty, his grey hair neatly combed and his clothing clearly designer. The girl was less than half his age, and she was hanging off his arm, talking animatedly about something they could see in the store.

“Personal shopper?” Peter suggested through a mouthful of ice cream.

Harry snickered. “You’re very optimistic. It’s sweet.”

“What, you think they’re fucking?”

Harry pretended to gasp, clutching at his heart with his free hand. “Language, Peter Parker. My goodness.”

Peter rolled his eyes, but he was grinning, too.

“Nice job with the Gene X data, by the way.” Harry scooped up some of his ice cream and offered it to Peter, who leaned over to eat it off the spoon. He made a face at the flavor, because to be honest he’d never been a big fan of coffee. “Dad won’t stop going on about how you saved the whole project.”

Peter felt his cheeks warm, but he accepted the praise with a small, self-satisfied smile. It had taken him a long time, but he’d finally solved the puzzle. It had been harder because the lab analysts weren’t allowed any identifying information about the data; they basically got numbers grouped into rows and columns, and were told to analyze it. Oscorp kept their projects secure that way, but Peter thought they risked road blocks like the one that almost crashed the Gene X project. “Thanks. It was easy once I figured out the right matrices to organize the data with. I mean, it wasn’t easy. I don’t mean to say it was easy for me because I’m smarter than anyone else working on it. I just got lucky.”

Harry chuckled softly, shaking his head. “You’re not lucky, Peter. You’re smart. No one else figured it out.”

Peter shrugged, keeping his eyes focused on his unnaturally green ice cream. “Well… I’m just glad I could help.”

Peter thought he heard Harry mumble something about someone being too humble and clueless for their own good, but he ignored it, savoring the last few bites of his frozen treat.

When they were both finished, Peter expected they’d head to Harry’s place, even if all he was allowed to do was sit around until the party started. Instead, Harry had another surprise up his sleeve. Apparently he enjoyed springing them on Peter.

“The party doesn’t start for another two hours. How about we catch a movie?”

Peter stared blankly. “Won’t that make us late?”

“It’s called being fashionably late. Especially when it’s your own party. It’ll make you cool, Peter. Don’t you want to be cool?” Harry was already leading them through the mall towards the big movie theatre at the opposite end.

Peter sighed, but acquiesced with a reluctant “Fine, I guess.” He was already going along with so much today, what was one more surrender?

Harry let Peter pick the movie, since it was his birthday, so Peter picked a documentary on black holes. It was only screening for a limited time and Peter had been wanting to see it. Harry bought the tickets with minimal commentary, only once calling Peter’s choice “about as cheerful as… well, black holes.” They got popcorn and a large coke to share.

As they sat in their seats and watched the previews, Peter shoveled popcorn into his mouth without hesitation. He used to be more conscious of what he ate, before the whole radioactive spider bite thing, but now he just ate without much thought. Sometimes he didn’t have much of an appetite, and he would forget to eat full meals for days on end. But other times he was famished. No matter what, he could put away a lot of food without feeling full. He had his fast spidey metabolism to thank for that.

He and Harry fought briefly over the soda before the lights went down and the feature film began. Peter was fascinated. He found the documentary so interesting, in fact, that he forgot to keep eating the popcorn. About half-way through, something pulled his attention from the screen.

Harry had slumped down in his seat, his arms crossed over his chest, and was now resting his head against Peter’s shoulder. Peter craned his neck to see Harry’s face, biting down on his bottom lip when he saw that Harry’s eyes were closed. Typical… He left Harry alone until the credits started rolling, at which point he stuck a popcorn kernel up Harry’s left nostril.

“Ugh, what… Fuck, Peter.” Harry sat up, his eyes slightly glazed, and blew the popcorn out of his nose.

Peter couldn’t hold back his laughter. “Serves you right…” He told the older boy. “You fell asleep at my birthday movie.”

“Well, it’s not my fault you picked literally the most boring movie showing at this theatre.” Harry ran a hand through his hair, somehow simultaneously smoothing it down and arranging it into its usual artful mess. “I mean, they couldn’t even get Morgan Freeman to narrate it.”

Peter shoved lightly at Harry’s shoulder, still grinning. He seemed to be doing that a lot today. He hadn’t expected to enjoy himself so much, not with the party from hell looming on his horizon, but Harry had almost made him forget about the social disaster that was going to be his evening.

They found Harry’s car in the lot and started towards his building, Harry paying a hundred dollars at the gate without so much as a blink.

“Thanks.” Peter said as they sat at a red light.

“What for?” Harry had one hand draped over the steering wheel, his other elbow resting casually on his windowsill.

“For the ice cream.” Peter smirked. “And for falling asleep on me at the most boring movie ever.”

Harry shook his head, but there was warmth in his smile and something else in his eyes as he glanced at Peter. “Don’t thank me yet, Parker. You haven’t even had your party yet.”

Peter just sighed, resigned to his fate.

Harry lived on the fiftieth floor of one of the nicest residential buildings in New York. In fact, his father owned the entire fiftieth floor, as well as the forty-eighth and forty-ninth. It was excessive, in Peter’s opinion. But then again, Peter lived in a three-room apartment in Queens, so what did he know?

His stomach had twisted itself in knots by the time they had parked and were riding the elevator up to the big five-oh. He watched the numbers light up one by one on the display panel above the doors.

“I hope you like beer-bong.” Harry chuckled, breaking the silence. Peter only grunted in reply. God, this was going to suck…

Forty-three, forty-four, forty-five…

Peter had expected to hear the music by now, especially with his enhanced hearing, but there was nothing. Maybe Harry’s apartment was soundproof, which would make throwing parties a lot easier, after all.

Something suddenly occurred to Peter. “Hey, where’s your dad?”

Harry kept his eyes on the ascending numbers. “Oh, he’s here somewhere.”

Peter frowned. “He doesn’t mind you throwing this party?”

Harry shook his head. “No, he doesn’t mind.”

Peter found that hard to believe. Norman Osborn was a strict man, and he never hid his displeasure about Harry’s less than rigid work ethic or fondness of parties. But he let it go, trying to wipe the frown off his face as the elevator slowed and finally drifted into place at the fiftieth floor.

He took a deep breath as the doors began to open with a ding, preparing himself for whatever was on the other side.

As the penthouse came into view, Peter’s jaw dropped in surprise.

There were no strobe lights. There was no mass of dancing bodies. No spilt drinks. No stage. No DJ. There wasn’t even music playing.

Instead, Ned and M.J. stood beneath a homemade birthday banner wearing paper hats. M.J. was grinning like she’d just won the lottery and Ned blew on one of those stupid little party horns, the kazoo-like noise the only thing breaking the silence. On a table behind them sat pizza boxes, drinks, and an anniversary edition box set of Battlestar Galactica.

“Wha…” Peter glanced around as if they were hiding the party somewhere else. “But… Where are all the people I hate?”

Harry took his arm and led him out of the elevator. M.J. couldn’t seem to hold in her gleeful laughter, clapping her hands in front of her. “Peter, you should see your face.”

Peter blinked at them, his expression just as confused as it was five seconds ago. “I don’t… But I thought you guys wanted like, a party.”

Harry turned Peter to face him, still holding on to his arm, and there was a smile on his mouth that was more warm than smug. “You said you only had three friends. Well… Here we are.”

Peter gaped at Harry for a moment, glanced over at Ned and M.J., then back at Harry. “Oh.” He breathed. He threw his arms around the older boy’s neck and buried his face in his shoulder, making Harry stumble slightly. “I can’t believe you did this.” He mumbled, his eyes burning lightly with unshed tears.

Harry chuckled, his arms sliding around Peter’s waist to hold him closer. “Aw, Petey… We know you hate real parties.”

Peter choked out a laugh, shoving Harry away gently as he pulled back. “Are you telling me this isn’t a real party?” He asked with mock indignation.

“Of course it’s a real party.” M.J. moved over to them, pulling Peter into a hug as well. “It’s a Peter Parker Party.”

Peter chuckled, giving M.J. a light squeeze before they separated again. He glanced at Ned, his cheeks split in a wide smile.

“Don’t expect one from me.” Ned said, grinning. “I’ll catch the next hug fest.”

Peter rolled his eyes, easily pulling Ned into a one-armed hug as he turned to survey the food and sci-fi DVDs.

“This is too fucking great.” Peter looked around at his friends one more time, an ache in his chest as he wondered how he ended up with such amazing people in his life. And that they cared about him this much, it seemed way too good to be true. “Thank you, guys.”

Harry waved his hand as if brushing Peter’s words away. “Shut up and get your pizza, Parker.”

Peter couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. “Yes, sir.”

They all got their food and sat down on the massive leather couch in Harry’s movie room (yes, he had a movie room). Harry put the first DVD in and Ned leaned over to Peter as the opening scene began.

“Can you believe we’re in Harry fucking Osborn’s house?” He whispered.

Peter snorted, speaking around a mouthful of pepperoni pizza. “It’s not a house, Ned.”

Ned huffed. “You know what I mean.” He hissed, nudging Peter’s side. “It’s like we’re actually cool!”

Peter couldn’t help but laugh.

He and Ned had seen the show before, of course, so they pointed out clues to each other and discussed the possibility of cylons existing in the real world. M.J. asked an occasional question, seeming fairly interested in the plot. Harry cracked a few jokes, but otherwise behaved himself.

Peter was over the moon. It was perfect. Just perfect.

After two episodes, Harry paused the show and disappeared. He came back a minute later with a giant plastic case of brownies and three nicely wrapped birthday presents.

Peter shook his head, his cheeks warming even as he grinned. “Nooo…” He protested. “You shouldn’t have gotten me anything.”

M.J. curled up against his side and hit him lightly on the arm. “Stop being such a sour puss and open your presents! We know you don’t like parties but you at least have to go through the motions. For the sake of us normal human beings.”

“Okay, okay…” He acquiesced with a chuckle, leaning forward to pluck the biggest box from the pile. It was surprisingly heavy.

“That’s from me.” Harry said, sitting down in a big leather armchair.

Peter smiled at him shyly before carefully peeling the wrapping paper away from the gift. As the picture on the box appeared, he gasped. “No…” He breathed. “Harry, there’s no fucking way I can accept this.” He looked up at his friend with wide brown eyes.

“You need it.” Harry said firmly.

“No, I… I have one already. I can’t… Harry, this is too expensive.” He looked back down at the clean white box, a pristine picture of the newest MacBook Pro floating ethereally above the text.

Harry crossed his arms over his chest. “Then think of it as a bonus for saving the project at Oscorp. We don’t pay you anyway, so this is the least we could do.”

Peter shook his head, but he could feel the desire itching at his fingertips. God, to have a computer like this… To not have to wait five minutes just for an application to load. He could do so much.

“Take it.” Harry pressed. “Otherwise it’ll just be going in the trash.”

Peter gasped again, clutching the box possessively to his chest. “You wouldn’t.”

Harry narrowed his eyes. “I would, and you know it.”

Peter bit down on his bottom lip and looked down at the box again. “Okay…” He finally said. “But only to save this marvelous machine from your careless paws.”

Harry smirked. “Fine with me.”

M.J. nudged Peter’s arm. “Open mine next.” She leaned forward and got it for him. “We can’t all drop thousands of dollars on your birthday present.” She shot a playful glare at Harry. “But I hope you like it anyway.”

“I’m sure I will.” He told her. Peter set his new laptop carefully aside and took the gift from M.J. It was thin and light, and Peter was gentle when he took off the wrapping paper. It took him a moment to figure out what he was looking at, but when he got it a warm smile spread over his face. “M.J…” He ran his hand over the front page.

It was a book. A comic book, to be exact. It was called ‘The Amazing Adventures of Peter Parker’ and it was definitely him on the cover, drawn in skillful detail and colored beautifully. He was wearing blue jeans and a red hoodie, standing in front of Midtown High School holding his textbooks. He looked like the nerd he was, glasses perched on his nose and his hair a mess like it always was. But M.J. had made him look good, somehow. Surely much better than he did in real life.

“Do you like it?” She asked, fingers clutching gently at his sleeve.

“I love it.” He flipped through the pages, his eyes running over the flawless illustrations. “This is incredible.” He told her, warmth spreading through his chest as he looked at a picture of he, M.J. and Harry sitting in the cafeteria together.

He closed the book and pulled M.J. into a hug. “Thank you.” He told her, smiling as she tucked her face into his shoulder. “I can’t wait to read it.”

“Me next, me next!” Peter pulled away to receive Ned’s present. He wasn’t so careful in tearing off the paper this time.

Peter laughed. “Yes… This is gonna be even cooler than the Death Star.” It was a Millennium Falcon Lego kit. He leaned over M.J. to bump fists with Ned. “Thanks, dude.”

Overall, it was the best birthday Peter had ever had.

They were all eating brownies and Peter was reverently reading the box for his new computer when there was a knock at the open door. Peter glanced up as Mr. Osborn (senior, that is) entered the room.

He was a tall man, and very imposing. He was almost fifty but you couldn’t tell if it weren’t for the streaks of grey through his otherwise thick black hair. He had a sharp gaze that made almost anyone who fell under it feel nervous, no matter the man’s mood. Peter put down the box and his brownie, quickly wiping his hands on his pants. He saw Harry straighten in his chair across the room, his face falling into the neutral expression he often wore around his father.

“Harry, I need to speak to you for a moment.” Norman cricked a finger at his son, summoning him with unquestionable authority. As Harry got up from his seat, Norman glanced over at Peter. His mouth spread into a smile, and Peter suppressed a frown as an uncomfortable tingle trickled down his neck.

“Ah, Mr. Parker. Happy birthday.”

Peter smiled politely. “Thank you, sir.”

“And good job on the Gene X project. Your work is truly impressive, especially for an intern.”

Peter blinked in surprise; Norman Osborn hardly ever gave praise. He knew from Harry that the man hadn’t praised his own son in months. “Thank you, sir. I appreciate that.”

Norman’s smile turned into something closer to a smirk. “Yes, well… If you keep it up, we’ll definitely have a place for you at the company.” His gaze turned back to Harry. “There might be an opening at the top if my son doesn’t get his act together.”

Peter licked his lips, unsure how to respond to that. Bitter concern rose in his chest as his gaze flickered to Harry’s guarded eyes and tight-lipped smile.

Norman spoke again after a moment, gesturing for Harry to leave the room with him. “Harry.” Was all he said, and the younger Osborn responded obediently.

Norman spared barely a glance for M.J. and Ned before he left the room, looking down at them as if they were mildly interesting insects he happened to spot in a place where they didn’t belong. Then he was gone, the door clicking shut behind he and Harry, and there was silence in the room.

Ned was the one to break it. “Ho-ly shit. That was Norman fucking Osborn?”

Peter nodded, his eyes still glued to the door.

“That guy was seriously scary.”

Peter had to admit, every encounter he had with the Oscorp CEO made him more unsettled than the last. He turned his head to the side and listened for the Osborns, hoping to catch some of their conversation. He knew it was a serious breech of privacy to listen in, but what use is super hearing if you can’t use it?

He tuned in to Norman’s low voice, ignoring M.J. and Ned’s chatter about Oscorp to focus on the conversation taking place in the hall. “Have you reconsidered, Harry? As I said before, Harvard Business is the best school you could hope to - “

“I told you.” Harry’s voice was tense, but even. “I decided on Columbia. I want to stay in the city, and their business school is just as - “

“I had hoped you would reconsider.” Norman’s responding tone was sharp and bitter. “It would be a shame if you couldn’t afford school because I cut you off.”

There was silence for a moment, and Peter found himself holding his breath.

“Dad, I’m sorry about the meeting. It’s just that project… I don’t like that - “

“We’ll talk about that later.” Norman cut Harry off decisively. “Go back to your little friends.” There were receding footsteps, as if Norman was walking away, then they paused. “I leave for Tokyo in the morning, so I’ll see you when I get back Monday afternoon. I expect you to be in the office after school.”

“Yes, sir.”

Peter focused his attention back on the room, pretending to listen to Ned prattle on about how many pools he thought the Osborn’s could afford. A moment later, the door slid open and Harry walked back to the couch, sitting down beside Peter with a sigh.

“Everything okay?” Peter asked.

“Yeah. He’s just pissed about something I said in a meeting earlier this week. It’s no big deal.” Peter watched Harry closely as the dark-haired boy leaned forward to get another brownie. Harry seemed to notice his stare, and arranged his mouth into a challenging smile. “Come on, you call this eating? There’s still two dozen brownies left.”

Peter, glad to lighten the mood, took the challenge seriously. Over the next two episodes of Battlestar, they finished off all the brownies. M.J. ate two more, Ned ate three. Harry ate three as well, and Peter ate seventeen. His spider powers were obviously being put to good use.

Peter had pretty much lost track of time since he was having so much fun, so he was surprised when M.J. checked her phone and announced that she had to get home before her dad threw a fit.

“Yeah, I should go too.” Ned stood up and stretched his arms over his head, letting out a loud yawn. “Thanks for having us over, Harry.” He grinned a little too enthusiastically at the host.

Harry nodded coolly. It was funny to see his friend acting so aloof with most other people, especially when he could be so kind to Peter. Those clear blue eyes moved to Peter. “You’re staying here, right?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I kind of already told Aunt May that I was.”

“Good.” Harry stood up to walk Ned and M.J. out, and Peter went to say goodbye, as well.

Harry pulled M.J. into a light hug as they neared the elevator. “See you later.” He told her, smirking as he ruffled her hair and she huffed at him. He offered Ned a half-hearted wave, and rolled his eyes when Ned responded with an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

“You taking the subway?” Ned asked M.J.

“Yeah. But could you wait downstairs for me? I’ll just be a minute.”

“Oh, uh… yeah, sure. No problem.” Ned pressed the button for the elevator and caught Peter’s eye, giving him a pointed look.

Peter frowned slightly, giving his friend a confused look in return.

“See ya, Peter. Happy birthday.” Ned was darting his eyes between Peter and M.J. as he spoke, only confusing Peter more.

“Yeah… Thanks. I’ll see you Monday.” He watched Ned get on the elevator, really having no clue what those strange moves had been about. He turned to M.J. with a smile, only to see her eyes flicker to Harry. She cleared her throat, and Harry chuckled dryly, running a hand through his hair.

“I’ll, uh… I’ll be in the kitchen.” He told Peter, a strangely annoyed look passing over his features as he turned and walked away.

Bewildered, Peter turned back to M.J. He looked at her for a moment before relaxing into a smile again. “Thanks for this, M.J. You and Harry are really amazing friends.”

M.J. smiled shyly. “Harry did most of the work.” She admitted. She stepped closer, tucking a strand of red hair behind her ear, and Peter’s smile turned quizzical.

She cleared her throat, and met his eyes. Her cheeks seemed a little more colored than they usually did. “Happy birthday, Peter.” Her hands came up to Peter’s chest, her fingers catching on his jacket as she leaned in. Her lips met his, clumsy and warm.

Peter jerked away, a surprised noise rising from his throat. “M.J…. What…?” He let out a nervous laugh. “What are you doing?”

She looked at him with wide, shocked eyes, and the tense silence dragged on for a few seconds. “Wow.” She finally said, her hands dropping from Peter as she stepped away.

Peter stared after her, realization slowly dawning on him like ice trickling through his veins. “M.J…”

She shook her head, and Peter was mortified to see tears rising to her pretty green eyes. “I’ll… I’ll see you around, Peter.” She turned to jab at the elevator button before folding her arms over her chest.

Suddenly Peter felt awful. There was a sinking in his stomach and a buzzing in his ears - he’d definitely made some sort of mistake. “M.J., wait.”

But the elevator arrived and M.J. stepped in, avoiding Peter’s eyes. “Happy birthday.” She mumbled as the doors slid shut.

Peter stood and stared at the elevator doors for a long time, trying to figure out what had just happened.

Slowly, still feeling shocked and incredibly guilty now, Peter turned and made his way to Harry’s giant kitchen in a bit of a daze. He found Harry leaning against the granite counter, his gaze focused down into the contents of the mug he cradled in his hand.

“So… Did she kiss you?”

Peter blinked at Harry in surprise. “Y-Yeah.” How had he known? Had everyone known? How come Peter hadn’t known?

Harry’s mouth twisted into a bitter smile. “Gee, that’s great. Peter’s first kiss.” He raised his gaze to Peter’s and his eyes were hard.

Peter’s stomach sunk further. Harry was clearly unhappy about something; how had he messed this up, too?

“Look, I’m kind of tired.” Harry set his mug in the sink and started to walk past Peter. “I think I’m just gonna go to bed.” He paused in the kitchen doorway. “Just pick any of the guest rooms, they’re all prepared. I’ll see you in the morning.” And with that he disappeared down the hall without another glance at Peter.

Peter stood in the kitchen, feeling like his heart was being squeezed by a giant fist. And he didn’t even know why. It was incredibly confusing.

He walked back out to the foyer, and the sight of the birthday banner made his throat burn. How was it that everything had been perfect just fifteen minutes ago, and now it felt like his whole world was falling apart? What had he done wrong?

He found his way back to the movie room and carefully packed his gifts in his backpack. He left a note for Harry on the kitchen counter thanking him for the party and saying that he’d gone home. He just couldn’t bear to stay here when it was clear that Harry didn’t want him around anymore.

So he took the elevator down fifty floors and walked out into the cool New York night, running the last half hour over and over in his head as he made his way to the subway.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Three hours later, Peter was sitting on the roof of a tall office building in the Bronx, his legs dangling carelessly over the edge. He had gone home when he left Harry’s, slipping in through his bedroom window so he wouldn’t wake his Aunt. But the oppressive silence had pressed in on him when he sat down on his bed, suddenly more lonely than it had ever been before. Unable to stand it, he’d put his Spider suit on and crawled back out into the night.

He didn’t usually like the Bronx much, but tonight it was what he needed. He could hear traffic and muted voices, the occasional shout or barking dog, but otherwise it was quiet. It wasn’t loud and bright and painfully alive like Midtown was at all hours of the night.

Peter hadn’t stopped any crime tonight. He should be making an effort, he knew that, but he’d ended up just spending the last hour sitting here shooting webs into the distance and thinking about what an idiot he’d been. He realized that Harry must like M.J., and that’s why he’d been so pissed at Peter. He didn’t understand why Harry hadn’t acted on his feelings or told Peter about them, but there could be a dozen reasons for that. The point was that Peter screwed up, and he somehow hurt two of the most important people in his life. He wouldn’t be surprised if they never wanted to speak to him again.

So he was sitting here, drowning himself in misery and wasting his web fluid. He couldn’t even be a good Spider-Man tonight.

He was trying once again to pick out all of the clues from this evening that might have indicated M.J.’s feelings for him. He was even tracing back through the week, going over every interaction he’d had with her, when a sound tickled his ear, standing out from the rest of the background noise.

Someone was singing, light and sweet. “Every night in my dreams, I see you… I feel you…” The singing dissolved into humming, and the voice was getting closer. It sounded maybe half a block away.

“Near… Far… Wherever you are,” The voice crooned, coaxing a gentle grin onto Peter’s face. He didn’t turn around yet, waiting for Deadpool to run across the last couple of buildings to find him. “I believe that the heart does go on. Once more, you open the door, and you’re here in my heart, and my heart will go on and - “

There was a flurry of movement behind Peter and he bit down on his bottom lip, waiting.

“Spidey-babe! Rose, darling!” Peter glanced back as Deadpool bounded over to him. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” He cried in a fake British accent. “The ship is sinking and we’ve got to jump!” He hurtled towards Peter, lunging down and sliding across the last few feet on his stomach like a baseball player diving for the base. He knocked into Peter with quite a bit of force, almost sending both of them hurtling over the edge of the roof.

Peter grunted, but managed to cling to the roof with his fingers and hold them both back. “Deadpool.” He greeted the mercenary, his voice strained after the overenthusiastic greeting.

Deadpool pulled himself up with a grin, brushing himself off as if he’d just been for a pleasant roll down a grassy hill. “Spider-Man.” He mimicked Peter’s tone, only slightly mocking. He checked to make sure his katanas were straight before sitting down properly beside Peter, also draping his legs over the edge.

“Seriously, Spidey, where have you been hiding those tight buns of yours?”

Peter chuckled, his neck feeling a bit warm. “I’ve been around.” He answered honestly. “I’ve patrolled every night since the warehouse.” In fact, he’d patrolled every night for the last two weeks, setting a punishing pace for himself. If he was being honest, he’d probably been avoiding taking a night off because he’d risk missing a run-in with Deadpool if the mouthy mercenary happened to be out at the same time in the same place. It seemed kind of silly when he thought about it.

“Really?” Deadpool huffed out a laugh. “Then we must have some serious romance-movie serendipity missed connections shit going on here. I’ve been out every night, too. I guess we’re just looking for each other at the wrong adult video stores.”

“Who said I was looking for you?” Peter smirked slightly, unable to stop himself from teasing.

“Ooh…” Deadpool hissed, clutching dramatically at his heart. “Ouch, Spidey. You got me right in the carotid artery.”

Peter let out a half-hearted chuckle. “Maybe we should pick a meeting place.” He suggested, then immediately felt ridiculous for saying it out loud. “I mean… Like just in case we really need to get a hold of each other for some reason. We could just check the spot occasionally. Or something.” God, what a stupid idea. He could feel his face turning red, and was once again glad that he was wearing his mask. Why the fuck would a hero and an assassin need to find each other?

But Deadpool seemed into the idea. “Shit, yeah. Good thinking, Spidey-boy, I knew you were the smart one.” He scoffed lightly under his breath. “Well, we sure aren’t. I mean, come on.”

“Do you know the Bank of America building on tenth street in Midtown?” Peter asked. It was one of his favorites, tall and easy to scale. Not to mention it was centrally located and only ten minutes from Peter’s place.

“The shiny one? Yep.” Deadpool nodded enthusiastically. “Yessiree I do.”

“Alright. That can be our spot, then.”

Peter wasn’t prepared for the giddy grin he could practically see through Deadpool’s mask, or the heavy, warm arm that was suddenly slung across his shoulders. “Our spot.” The red-clad man repeated, pulling Peter against his side. “Sounds like a perfect place for sordid midnight quickies between bursts of crime-fighting action.”

Peter’s face felt hot, as did the skin across his side and back where Deadpool’s body pressed against his. He made a small sound of protest, pushing away from the larger man’s heated body and disentangling himself from the strong arm that held him there. Deadpool released him easily, allowing Peter to restore a few inches of space between them. “Speaking of crime-fighting, webbed yourself any tasty bugs lately?”

Peter cleared his throat. “Sure. There was some asshole dressed up like Captain America who tried to rob a bank last night. That one was pretty entertaining.”

Deadpool chuckled. “Oh yeah, I heard about that. Is it true he even had his own shield?”

Peter smiled. “It was plastic.”

Deadpool laughed, and the sound of it sent a light tingle down Peter’s back. “Oh, that’s good. Gotta give the guy props for creativity, I guess.” He reached for his hip holster and slid out one of his guns.

Peter tensed, his smile dropping away.

Deadpool reached somewhere else on his belt and produced an oil-stained cloth. Peter watched closely as he dissembled the gun and began wiping down each piece. The subtle scent of gunpowder and gun oil filled the air, causing Peter’s nose to wrinkle slightly.

“What about tonight? Caught any fat flies in the Bronx?” Peter watched Deadpool’s fingers as he thoroughly, almost lovingly, slid the cloth around each piece. He felt his anxiety easing away as he watched the care with which Deadpool handled the weapon. It was hypnotic, almost soothing.

Peter sniffed and shook his head, looking back out over the horizon. “No… Not tonight.” His voice was tinged with the sadness that had haunted his last few hours, his exhaustion creeping up on him and weakening his control.

Something about that caught Deadpool’s attention, and his gaze was impossibly sharp behind the eyes of his mask as he looked at Peter.

“Why not?”

Peter shrugged, feeling childishly embarrassed that he’d allowed his silly personal drama to bleed into his night life. He was silent for a while, half hoping that Deadpool would just forget about it and start spouting nonsense about ships or something again. But that gaze was unrelenting.

He finally gave in with a dramatic sigh. “It’s my birthday today.” He admitted, the words hardly more than a mumble.

Deadpool blinked at him. “Gee, Spidey, contain your enthusiasm. I’ll have to use my horse sedatives on you. And then god knows what’ll happen because an unconscious spider, with that ass, and me, together, in the same place, well. You know.”

Peter felt the ghost of a smile flicker across his lips; he had no doubt that the sneaky mercenary really did have horse sedatives on him, hidden away in one of those pouches or pockets.

Deadpool went still, his eyes widening. “You’re right.” He swiftly and smoothly reassembled the weapon, setting his gun aside and starting to pat himself down as if searching for something. “Knock me out and fuck me with a machete, I didn’t get you anything!”

Peter’s smile was a bit wider now. “Of course you didn’t. Unless you also have psychic abilities, you couldn’t have known.” Not to mention that Deadpool getting Spider-Man a birthday present was like… something out of a weird comic book. The thought of comic books made Peter remember M.J.’s gift, and his smile faded quickly.

“Wait, wait, wait… Hold on to your seahorses…” He was digging through his pouches and pockets now. “I know I have it somewhere….” He paused, then reached around to a pouch on the back of his belt (really, how did he hide so much shit in there?). “Ah… Right. Thanks Yellow.”

Deadpool turned to face Peter, propping one leg up near his hip while the other remained dangling over the three-hundred foot drop. He was holding something in his large gloved hands, but Peter couldn’t see what it was.

He was probably imagining it, but for a moment it seemed like Deadpool hesitated, his fingers curling almost imperceptibly around whatever he was holding. But the moment passed and the loud-mouthed mercenary was holding his cupped hands out to Peter. “Happy birthday, Spidey-boy.”

Peter reached out and carefully picked up the paper thing nestled in the red fabric of Deadpool’s gloves. He stared at it for a moment before he really saw what it was, and he inhaled in gentle surprise when it became clear. It was a crane. A delicate paper crane made from a taco wrapper.

“Wow.” He whispered, staring down at it in surprise.

“Yeah, I know. It’s trash.” Deadpool picked up his gun again and resumed running the cloth over it, caressing it with mindless affection.

Peter quickly shook his head in protest. “No, it’s really beautiful.”

Deadpool snorted. “No, sweetums. I mean it’s literally trash. It’s a food wrapper.”

Peter rolled his eyes, but he couldn’t stop the slow, genuine smile from spreading across his mouth. “Yeah, I know. But it’s from that night on the roof, right?”

Deadpool went very still, but his eyes remained fixed on his gun. “He remembered.” He breathed, quietly enough that Peter wouldn’t have heard it if he didn’t have super hearing. “You didn’t think he would either.”

He straightened his shoulders and glanced sideways to meet Peter’s eyes. “Yeah. But don’t go getting any ideas. I’m not, like, obsessed with you or anything. Well, I mean I am. But that’s not what this is about. This is about tacos. Because tacos are god’s gift to mankind, and they deserve to be honored. So that’s why I was carrying around a crane made out of a taco wrapper. I used it in a special taco-worshipping ceremony. It’s definitely not a memento commemorating how pristine your ass looked on our first date.”

Peter stared at Deadpool’s mask, which had a strangely innocent expression, and after a moment of silence he burst into unexpected laughter. “Oh… my god…” He shook his head and set the paper crane on his thigh, careful not to crush it as he laughed. “You are so fucking strange.”

“The strangest!” Deadpool agreed cheerfully, and he seemed to be grinning under his mask.

Peter stared back out over the dingy city as his chuckles faded away, still smiling lightly. Deadpool always made things pretty weird, but he had an unlikely knack for making Peter smile, too. He was still confused about it, and confused about why Deadpool was so obsessed with him anyways (expect that could probably just be chalked up to the assassin’s questionable sanity). He let out a small sigh as his thoughts drifted back to the disaster that this night had become.

“So why are you so down and brown about your birthday, little spider?” Deadpool snorted softly, turning his head to the side to mumble something like, “Because brown is the worst color. We like red. And blue.”

Peter felt his lips twitch, but the smile stayed away this time. He sighed again and kicked his feet idly, tracing one finger lightly over the crane’s wings. “I was having a good day, actually. My friends… Well they threw me this party.”

“Ooh, parties! We love party stories.” Deadpool was listening intently, his attention focused for once.

Peter shook his head. “Not that kind of party. We were just hanging out and watching Battlestar Galactica and…” He felt his cheeks warming at his slip-up. Well, now Deadpool knew he was a dork; that’d really help his rep. “Anyway, it was perfect. But then, I… I screwed it up.”

Deadpool let the silence stretch for a few moments before breaking it. “What did you do, shit on the cake? Web up the guests? Fuck your friend’s mom?”

Peter scoffed. “No, I just… I didn’t realize something was going on that was going on, and I did something stupid because I was too blind to see what was right in front of me. And now two of my best friends can’t even stand to look at me.” His throat felt tight again, and he sniffed angrily. Why did he have to be so weak and clueless?

He dug his fingers into the edge of the roof and felt some of the cement crumble into his hand. He hurled it away, not bothering to watch how far it flew before falling back to earth. With his luck it would probably land on some poor unsuspecting birds. Or a puppy.

Deadpool let out a low whistle. “Fuck, Spidey. You’re hot when you’re angsty.”

Peter rolled his eyes, but the mercenary’s dirty mouth did lighten his mood a bit. He was still upset, but it was more of a drown-my-sorrows-in-ice-cream-and-chocolate-bars upset rather than an I-feel-like-the-only-person-in-the-world-and-I-wish-I-could-jump-off-this-roof upset.

Deadpool swung his feet around and rolled down onto his stomach, pulling a permanent marker from somewhere and uncapping it. He started humming under his breath as he doodled on the cement between them. Peter watched him draw a couple of stick figures, one obviously wearing the Deadpool mask (and sporting a suspiciously large fifth appendage that Peter tried to avoid studying too closely). The other looked a little misshapen, but it had a spider drawn on its chest, so Peter assumed that it was him. Deadpool drew a large circle between them and started marking a line of little posts on top of it.

“How many candles?” He asked.

Peter couldn’t help but grin at the drawing. “Eighteen.” He lied.

Deadpool froze, his head whipping up to stare at Peter. “What?” He asked, his voice flat.

Peter laughed weakly and rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously. He should have known it wouldn’t be so easy to fool the mercenary. “Alright, alright… Sixteen.”

There were several beats of silence, during which Peter started to feel nervous.

What?” If Deadpool’s tone had been flat before, it was sharp ice now, cracking and dangerous.

Peter tensed slightly, his fingers moving instinctually to his web shooters. “I’m… sixteen.” He repeated slowly.

Suddenly Deadpool was on his feet, and the gun he’d been handling earlier was back in his hand.

Peter sprung up, too, his heart rocketing into overtime as a sharp tingle shot down his spine. He backed up a few steps, his eyes fixed warily on Deadpool, but the mercenary’s attention didn’t seem to be on him anymore.

The great red and black figure started pacing, an erratic, slightly wild edge to his gate. “Fucking hell. Fuck. What the… Shit.” Peter swallowed, a heavy knot sinking into his stomach as he watched Deadpool. What had he done?

“Fucking pervert… God, and we… I know. Fuck. Just a fucking kid. Just a…” Deadpool gestured to himself as he paced, the barrel of the gun pressing briefly to his temple. “You don’t think I know that? FUCK! I fucking know. Disgusting.” He came to a sudden halt, the rise and fall of his chest much faster and heavier than it had been when they were talking.

Peter took a hesitant step forward, dread and guilt and fear consorting to make his voice weak and quiet when he asked, “Deadpool?” He cleared his throat to try again, but didn’t get the chance.

“SHUT UP!” The sudden shout made Peter jump. “It’s perverted. Fucking wrong. Fuck. But don’t… No, that’s not- Oh shut the fuck up you had just as many disgusting ideas as I did.” He was starting to pace again, and Peter’s eyes were glued to the gun he kept waving around; it was undoubtedly loaded.

“Deadpool.” He tried once more, his voice firmer this time, but the mercenary couldn’t hear him.

“Just a kid… A fucking kid. And we… We were going to… Yes, I fucking know. Well, you were the one who… No, we’re not gonna-“ Deadpool’s voice turned hard like ice again. “No Yellow. We are not fucking doing that. I’m sure he likes his blood right where it is.”

Peter felt a chill run through him. He’d known Deadpool was unstable. He killed people for a living, for fuck’s sake. Not to mention the whole hearing voices thing. But this… Peter hadn’t seen this before. He couldn’t deny that it scared him.

But he was Spider-Man, and this helpless feeling was making him ache. He had to do something. He took a deep breath and forced himself to move cautiously towards Deadpool. The larger man didn’t seem to notice him at all. When Peter was within reaching distance, he extended a hand and carefully caught Deadpool’s left forearm, pausing his tirade. “Deadpool.”

The mercenary jerked away as if he’d been burned and the gun was instantly trained on Peter.

Peter’s breath caught in his throat.

A moment passed as Deadpool stared, his chest heaving. Then he was gone, running towards the fire escape and hurling himself onto it, disappearing from Peter’s sight.

Peter swallowed, staring after him. He could follow, but it really didn’t seem like a good idea. Whatever had triggered Deadpool’s breakdown, it looked like Spider-Man’s presence would just make it worse.

Somehow, Peter had managed to fuck this up, too.

With a tight chest and a burning throat, Peter walked along the edge of the roof until he found the paper crane. He sat back down and cradled the gift in his lap, the misery of the day and the exhaustion of the last couple of weeks finally spilling over his cheeks in salty streaks, making his mask damp and sticky against his skin.

This had definitely not been his best birthday.

 

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Song Credits:

Title:
Beautiful Gas Mask - The Mountain Goats
Lyrics:
My Heart Will Go On - Céline Dion

 

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Chapter Text

Wade

[White]
{Yellow}

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

[You’re disgusting.]

{The worst. Fuck. You wanted to slice up a child.}

[You wanted to fuck him. You wanted to spread his little spider legs and shove your cock into his tight, sweet-]

“Shut up! Just shut the fuck up. I know. I know, okay? Fuck.”

Wade couldn’t find his safe house. He’d been running through the Bronx for fuck-knows how long, and he couldn’t find it. He couldn’t concentrate enough to figure out where he was. All he needed was thirty seconds of silence to figure his shit out and start moving in the right direction, but he was never going to get that.

{You still could, you know. Like I said… Just go back and tie him up in pretty silk rope.}

[Pull the spider’s mask off and look at his pretty baby face while you tear him apart.]

{Run your knives along his body, opening his smooth skin like tissue paper and watch the blood leak out like cum.}

[You’d like that, wouldn’t you?]

{It turns you on, doesn’t it?}

“Shut up shut up shut up… Please…” Wade whimpered, stumbling into a wall and coming to a halt, clutching at his head.

{It does.}

[You want to slide your cock through his blood, shove it in while you watch the life drain out of his eyes.]

Wade growled, turning to slam his head into the brick wall as if that could stop the boxes. “No. God, no… Just stop.”

{Remember all those plans we made? We were going to set a spider trap. We were going to lure him close until we could pounce. We were going to get our hands on that sweet, sweet ass and we were going to ravage him.}

[He’s sixteen, Wade. Sixteen.]

Wade groaned, a low, broken sound, and started running again. He just had to get away. He had to get somewhere.

{You’re such a fucking monster.}

[How could you ever think a sweet, innocent boy like that would want you?]

{He’d never want you. You were just deluding yourself.}

[You were too, Yellow.]

{That’s not the point. We’re going after Wade, here.}

[Right.]

{He’s a child, and you wanted him in your bed.}

[You wanted him on the rooftop.]

{You wanted him every which way and as filthy as possible.}

[He would never want that. He’s young, and good.]

{You were going to rape him.}

“No.” Wade snapped, his voice rough. “Never. I wasn’t going to…”

[You were. You wanted to.]

{And so much more. Remember that pretty image of spider-bits all over the walls? Spidey strapped down, squirming and screaming, that lithe body soaked in blood? You wanted that.}

[You still do.]

{You’re disgusting.}

Wade slammed the door shut behind him and leaned against it, panting hard. Somehow he’d found his way to a safe house. It was barren and dark and cold, but at least he wasn’t out on the street anymore.

[All those dirty comments you made… The boy was probably revolted.]

{You made him sick. He wanted to get away from your perverted advances but you just kept following him like a fucking tiger stalking its prey. You scared him.}

[No… No, he wasn’t scared of you. You’re too pathetic for that. He pitied you. That’s why he let you stick around so long.]

“Stop…” Wade gasped, sliding down the door to the floor and cradling his head in his hands. “He didn’t… I… I made him smile…”

{Just pity. He was just being nice to a miserable, damaged, ugly fuck-up.}

[That’s what he does. He’s a hero, remember?]

{And you… You’re just a snake. A disgusting, low-life monster. He’d never like you.}

[You don’t deserve him.]

“I never did.” Wade breathed, jerking the mask up over his mouth so he could suck more air into his aching lungs.

{Lusting after a little boy like some lecherous old man. You shouldn’t be allowed to breath air on the same earth as that kid.}

[You shouldn’t be allowed to breath at all. You don’t deserve it. You fucking monster. All you do is hurt people.]

“I know… I know.” Wade ran his hands over his face, hardly noticing the wetness dripping from under his mask, running in rivulets over his scarred cheeks.

{You thought only killing bad guys would make it okay, but it doesn’t. What you are can never be okay.}

[You’re a killer. It’s all you do. You crave it. You crave the blood and the screams. You want to hurt people. You like it. It gets you off.]

{You wanted to kill Spider-Man.}

[You wanted to torture him.]

{You wanted to fuck him.}

[A kid.]

Wade let out a broken sob. His favorite gun was cradled in his hand and he wasn’t sure how it got there. It didn’t matter.

{A sweet, good, innocent kid.}

[You’re a monster.]

{You don’t deserve to live.}

[You should die.]

{Spare the world your plague.}

[At least for a while.]

Wade raised the barrel to his temple, his hands shaking slightly as he choked back more tears.

{Go on. Do it.}

[Spider-Man won’t, even though he wants to. He’s too good. Too kind.]

{Do it for him. Do something right, for once.}

Wade knew he should do it. He wished it would last for Spider-Man. He wished that this time he wouldn’t come back. Everyone would be better off that way.

In the end, he didn’t do it for the kid. He did it for himself. He did it to have five minutes of empty, blissful nothingness.

The gun jumped in his hand, the sound shattering his eardrum before the bullet blew through his brain, slicing through it like a knife through rice pudding.

[See you soon…] White’s voice faded away with everything else.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Darkness. Silence.

Britney Spears singing Oops!… I Did It Again.

Another unicorn. Some teletubbies. A disturbing interaction between the two.

A dim light behind his eyelids. The faint sound of traffic from outside. A hard floor beneath his awkwardly slumped body. A sticky mess inside his mask.

[Well. That was - ]

Wade didn’t let White get more than three words out before he shot himself in the head again.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

The next day, Wade found enough energy to replace his mask with one that wasn’t caked in blood and didn’t have fifty bullet holes in it.

[I think last night was a bit excessive.] White was bitter. It almost sounded like he was pouting, but Wade ignored him as he left the apartment, slamming the door shut behind him.

{I thought it was fun!}

[You like disappearing for hours on end?]

{Oh, you meant that part. I meant the other part.}

“The part where you tortured me until I literally put a bullet in my brain just to shut you up.” Wade muttered, making his way down the stairs and out onto the street. The sun had risen at some point.

{Yeah, that part!}

[Still. Fifty-seven times is excessive.]

{How did you keep count?}

[I just did.]

{How?}

[I have my ways.]

{But how?}

[…Shut up.]

Wade passed a stand selling New York apparel and easily snatched a sweatshirt from the pile without being noticed, which was impressive since he was a six-foot two-inch man in a red skin-tight suit with swords strapped to his back. But hey, you see all kinds of shit in New York.

He rounded a corner and pulled the sweatshirt over his head, glancing down to see simple black fabric with the iconic “I <3 NY” design on the front. He pulled the hood up over his head. He had his mask on, but at least this way he was a little less conspicuous. Even if his swords made suspicious lumps beneath the fabric on the top of his shoulders.

{Where are we going?}

[Saint Margaret’s.]

{How do you know?}

[Yellow. We are in his head.]

{Oh. Right.}

Wade got to the familiar dump of a bar half an hour later, having tried, and failed, not to think about Spider-Man the whole way there. He kicked the door open with a bang, not bothering to notice that he’d broken the lock on his way in, and stalked over to the bar to throw himself onto one of the cracked stools.

“We’re closed, asshole.” Weasel shouted from the back, and Wade heard the distinctive crack of a rifle being cocked. He ignored the bartender, reaching over the bar to grab a bottle of the most expensive whisky. He threw off his hood, which had gotten a little hot on the walk over, and rolled his mask up to his nose with one hand, then took a swig from the bottle.

{Aw, poor Wadey… Don’t you remember you can’t get drunk?}

[Of course he remembers. He’s not a complete idiot like you are.]

“Thanks.” Wade mumbled, taking another generous drink from the dusty bottle. It burned on the way down. Good.

“You better be prepared to take a bullet, buddy, because I’m not-“ Weasel rounded the corner, and when he saw that it was Wade sitting at the bar, he slumped in relief. “What the fuck, man? What’re you doing here so early?” He set the rifle down on the counter and reached out to snatch the bottle from the mercenary.

“What time is it?” Wade asked, accepting the bottle of cheaper liquor that Weasel handed him instead.

“It’s like nine-thirty, dude.” The bartended grinned as he got a glass out and poured himself a drink from the expensive bottle. “Rough night?”

{The roughest.} Yellow purred.

[Dude. It wasn’t fun for us, either.]

“Something like that.” Wade raised his bottle to his lips and chugged a quarter of it. It was quite futile but he always tried anyway.

“Come on.” Weasel patted the bar between them. “Talk to your gal pal. What’s got your pretty pink panties in a twist?”

Wade sighed, staring at the label on the bottle. “Spider-Man.” He said simply.

Weasel groaned. “Oh no… Don’t tell me. I take it back. I don’t wanna hear any more of your fantasies. You’re obsessed, man. I mean, for the past two weeks all I’ve heard is Spider-Man this and Spider-Man that. Just fuck the guy already. For fuck’s sake!”

{That’s what I said.}

Wade grunted. “He’s a kid.”

Weasel made a face. “Uh… What?”

“I found out he’s just a kid.”

“Oh… Okay. Alright.” Weasel nodded slowly, his eyebrows raised over his glasses. “Well that adds a whole new level of freaky.” He raised his own glass to his lips to take a sip, like he was stalling to think of something else to say. “How old is he, then? Cause in the videos he seems… You know. Full grown.”

{And with the ass of a Greek fucking god.}

[An underage ass.] White reminded, always the wet noodle at every party.

Wade pursed his lips bitterly. “Sixteen.” He choked out.

There was a moment of silence. Then Weasel laughed. “Oh… Ha… God, Wade. You had me freaking out for a minute there. I thought you had some Lolita shit going on, you know?”

Wade frowned, staring at his friend in disbelief. “It’s not funny.” He growled. Weasel, of all people, knew that. It was to him that Wade had been coming for the past two weeks, spouting off all the dirty things he wanted to do to Spidey.

{Yeah, that’s right… And he means dirty.}

“Yeah, okay. It’s like illegal, or whatever. Barely. But he’s not a kid, Wade. I’m pretty sure sixteen is past the cutoff for pedophilia.”

Wade scoffed. “Right. Because that’s the standard I want to be holding myself to. Does this make me a pedophile? No? Okay, great. All engines are a go.”

{Seems fine to me.}

[You don’t have the best moral compass, Yellow.]

{Oh, and you do?}

[Touché.]

Weasel rolled his eyes. “Yeah, okay. Whatever. If you wanna do the whole poor me pity party thing, knock yourself out. Be my guest. Mi casa es su… Whatever. But it’s really not that big a deal.” He downed the rest of his drink before slamming the glass down on the bar. “I mean, you didn’t actually fuck him, did you?”

Wade shook his head.

“Then no harm no foul. And besides…” Weasel snickered. “Sixteen is practically grown as far as I’m concerned. I mean, you should see some of the hookers I’ve-“

Wade cut him off with a growl, his left hand snapping up to grip Weasel by the throat. “Do not finish that sentence.” He warned, his tone dark and threatening. “Spider-Man is not some cheap whore.”

[No. I’m sure he’d be very expensive.]

Wade shook his head violently, wishing he could reach in and grab White by the throat, too. Too bad it didn’t work that way. He let go of Weasel, who coughed and raised his hands to rub peevishly at his neck, and raised the bottle to his scarred lips again.

“Jesus fuck, man… Calm the fuck down.” The bartender muttered spitefully, going to fill his glass with water at the tap. “I knew you had a crush, but fuck… You’re a bit overprotective of some kid you’re not sleeping with.”

Wade heaved a sigh and rubbed tiredly at his eyes through the mask. You’d think being dead for most of the night would leave a guy well rested, but apparently that wasn’t how it worked. In Wade’s humble opinion, the way things worked should fuck off and change.

[He’s right, you know. You shouldn’t care so much about some kid you just met two weeks ago.]

{Aw, but… It’s Spidey! He’s so badass. And pretty. And he’s nice to us.}

“Only out of pity.” Wade hissed. “We established that last night, remember?”

{Well… Maybe we were just saying that to be mean.}

[I wasn’t.]

“Talkin’ to yourself again, Wilson?” Weasel had come back into arm’s reach, knowing Wade well enough to trust that he wouldn’t go full-frontal-freak-out like that again. Or at least, that he wouldn’t actually hurt Weasel if he did.

“What’s new, honey buns?” Wade shot back wearily. He finally gave in and peeled the mask off, tossing it onto the bar as he took a deep breath, finally free of the smothering material.

Weasel made a small retching noise in the back of his throat as he watched, his lip curling up in disgust. “Christ, Wade. I never fucking get used to that.”

{See? Not even Weasel likes your hideous face.}

Wade sneered. “Yeah, well at least I don’t have to look at your fugly mug in the mirror every morning. I think I might kill myself. Seriously, how do you get anyone to fuck you?”

Weasel chuckled. “Pay them, mostly.”

“I should have guessed.”

“Well at least I don’t look like two tomatoes shriveled up and died, and then a cat came along and ate them, and then shat them out, and then the tomato shits had a kid and that’s you.” Weasel picked up a dirty rag and started wiping the counter, grinning lightly.

[Wow. So eloquent.]

{Great visuals.}

Wade grinned back. “At least I don’t look like an albino snake had sex with a mongoose and their love child fucked your mom while she was high on shrooms and when you were born she thought you were a squirrel so she tried to crush your head with a pitcher of margaritas but she missed and you fell out of a window instead and you landed in a dumpster full of old socks and pickles and when they pulled you out you had a permanent smell so they dunked you in Lysol but it didn’t work so your mom kept you in drawer and only let you out to feed you acorns and bits of grass.”

Weasel stared at him in silence for a moment before slowly shaking his head. “Too far, man. Too. Far.”

{No! Not far enough!}

Wade shrugged. “When should I have stopped?”

“The beginning. Like, before you said the first word.”

Wade nodded seriously. “Okay. I’ll take that into consideration next time.”

Weasel hummed his approval and went back to rubbing unsuccessfully at spots on the counter.

Wade stared down at the liquor bottle again. “You gave me diluted vodka?” He gasped, outraged. “What the actual fuck, Weasel!”

[That bastard.]

{I knew you should have killed this degenerate years ago. Didn’t I tell you to kill him?}

[You tell Wade to kill everyone.]

{Well, he should listen to me more often.}

The bartender just scoffed. “You can’t get drunk, Wade. I don’t need to waste my alcohol on you. Besides, you never pay me, anyways.”

Now it was Wade’s turn to scoff dramatically. “I do too pay you. You damn well know that I bag more hits than any other asshole in this joint. And you get your cut, don’t think I don’t know.”

Weasel sniffed disdainfully. “Doesn’t mean I need you drinking half my liquor in one sitting.”

Wade rolled his eyes, but let it go. He took a half-hearted swig from the bottle before setting it down on the bar with unnecessary force.

Weasel was filling his own glass with normal, fully alcoholic vodka, followed by a splash of cranberry.

[Hasn’t anyone ever told you not to drink at nine-thirty in the morning?]

{Hasn’t anyone ever told you you’re an incessant prick?}

“Heard from Al recently?” Weasel asked as he took a dainty sip of his cocktail.

Wade shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.” He hadn’t really been keeping up with his messages. Several dozen safe houses and most of them had phones; some of those even had answering machines. “Last time I saw her she was bumming it in some nursing home in Queens.”

Weasel chuckled. “Is Blind Al finally losing her shit? She gone ‘round the bend? Does she need someone to change her adult diapers?”

Wade shook his head. “Nah, I think she just likes it there.”

Weasel let out a low whistle. “Jeez… She enjoys living in a depressing hellhole for the decrepit and dying. Guess living with you must have really been a special kind of horrible.”

Wade snorted. “I’ll have you know that I kicked her out.”

[No you didn’t.]

{He didn’t?}

[No. She got mad after Wade hid her dentures around the apartment and she split.]

{Oh yeah…} Yellow giggled. {We hid each tooth separately.}

“That’s not why…” Wade mumbled. “That was just the needle that broke the camel’s back.”

[Straw.]

“Whatever.” Wade slid the half-empty bottle from hand to hand, staring down at it sullenly. It didn’t matter why she left. She left, and Wade tried not to think about it. He’d been doing a good job of that, especially with Spidey as a distraction.

[Great… Now we’re thinking about the itsy spider again.]

{I think he’s pretty.}

[Have you not been paying attention since chapter two?]

Yellow gasped. {You broke the wall! You broke the wall! That’s my job, bitch!}

Wade let out a quiet groan, utterly sick of the boxes. “Shut up.” He muttered without much hope of anything changing. He could usually tolerate their chattering, but he just felt way too tired for their shit today.

Weasel ignored the mercenary’s muttering, as he usually did, and leaned down to rest his elbows on the bar. “Wade.”

His tone of voice caught Wade’s attention immediately, and he looked up at the bartender, forcing himself to focus.

“I’ve been hearing some things lately.”

[That’s ominous.]

Wade frowned, the serious look in his friend’s usually mirthful eyes making him nervous. “What kind of things?”

Weasel sighed and raised a hand to rub at the back of his neck, as if he were especially stressed and tense. “Bad things, man. Bad for you. I wasn’t sure I should bring it up, and now seems like an especially shitty time, but… The rumors are getting louder.”

Wade’s frown deepened, his eyes narrowing slightly as a knot formed in his stomach. “What. Things.” He repeated, voice low and dangerous.

{Don’t tell us Spider-Man’s dead!}

[Ugh, shut up, you idiot. We know what this must be about.]

{Weapon X.} Yellow’s voice was weak and quiet, and just the name made Wade want to shudder.

“Weapon X.” Weasel watched him carefully, as if unsure about how he would react to the news. When Wade said nothing and made no move, Weasel continued. “They’re not exactly back, but… Someone else has taken an interest. Taken up the mantel, if you will.”

Wade’s jaw was clenched so tightly he thought he might crack a tooth. It took some effort to speak, carefully uncurling his fists on the countertop. “Who?”

{Francis.} Yellow hissed. {That fucking snake.}

[We killed him.] White’s voice was reassuring for once, rather than mocking. [We killed him good.]

Weasel shook his head. “Don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows, yet. There’s just been some people… Anonymous fucks poking their noses in old shit, trying to pick up a scent.”

Wade let out a huff of air, not having realized he’d been holding his breath. “They won’t find shit worth smelling.” He’d burned it. Burned it all. And what he hadn’t burned the first time he’d tracked down and obliterated along with every soul that had anything to do with that wretched organization.

Weasel swallowed, and shook his head again. “That’s the thing…”

Wade froze.

“They, um…” Weasel shifted uncomfortably behind the bar. “People are saying… Well, it looks like… Like they have data. Lots of it. Somehow… Something must have slipped by. Some backup somewhere.”

Wade averted his gaze from the anxious bartender and forced himself to pick up the bottle without shattering it. He took a long drink. This shit didn’t even burn so it was hardly worth it, but he went through the motions anyway. After he slammed the bottle back onto the bar and wiped his mouth with the back of his gloved hand, he cleared his throat.

“Alright.”

Weasel stared. “Alright?” He repeated, incredulous.

{That’s it???}

[I’m actually gonna have to agree with Yellow here. Alright? That’s IT?]

{We need to hunt them down.}

[We need to make them bleed.]

{Make them scream.}

[Burn.]

[{DIE.}]

Wade stared out of the bar’s grimy front windows, his gaze cold and distant. “Yes. Alright.” He spoke to both Weasel and the boxes, voice even and calm. “I’ll kill them all.”

{Hell.}

[Yes.]

“In the meantime…” Wade slapped his right hand onto the counter, palm down. “Give me a name.”

Weasel grinned.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

“We can fight our desires.”

{Ooh, Ooh…}

“But when we start making fires…”

{We get ever so hot…}

[Whether we like it or not.]

Wade tapped his foot and nodded along to the music in his head, enjoying their little sing along as he stared through the scope on his sniper rifle. Singing kept his head empty, and it distracted the voices (a wonderful perk all on its own). He kept up with some humming while he cased the joint across the street, deciding on his next move.

This mark had a bit of security, which was why Wade was currently laying on a roof after nightfall, looking through his sights into the expensive Midtown apartment across the way, rather than slaughtering someone with his bare hands already. It would be simple enough just to wait for his guy to walk near the window and shoot him from here, but Wade wasn’t feeling particularly patient. If he tapped into the residual vestiges of his military discipline, he could probably do it, but he didn’t want to. And Deadpool tries to only do what Deadpool wants to do. It’s kind of a life philosophy.

So after ascertaining that the target was home (watching television in the bedroom, to be exact), and that there didn’t seem to be alarms on the window (it was on the twenty-first floor, after all), Wade packed up his rifle with quick and easy movements, tucking it back into his weapons bag and pulling out a grapple gun.

He shot it at the building across the way, where the grappling hook lodged into the brick just above the mark’s window, and secured his end of the line. Then he pulled out a Deadpool hook, custom made, and latched it over the grappling line, taking hold of it on both sides.

“I’m going in for the kill!” He sang out, pushing himself off the edge of the building with a climactic swell of music in his mind.

{I’m doing it for a thrill!}

Wade zipped down the line, his feet dangling over the street far, far below.

[Oh, I’m hoping you’ll understand…]

He burst through the window with a resounding crash and an inward explosion of shattering glass.

“And not let go of my hand.” Wade never stopped moving. He released the hook and landed on his feet, the powdered glass crunching beneath his boots. He ran further into the apartment, not wasting momentum, and gracefully ducked into a doorway he knew led to the kitchen. He drew several throwing knives from his belt, holding them between his fingers on both hands.

He could hear the target moving in the other room, no doubt getting up to come see what had happened.

{Oh, I just love this part!} Yellow let out a giddy squeal.

A young man, in his early thirties, came barreling out of the bedroom with a baseball bat clutched in his hands. Wade chuckled darkly, a knife flicking from his fingers to imbed itself in the man’s left bicep before he came more than four steps into the room. He screamed in pain and surprise, not having caught sight of Deadpool yet, and dropped the bat. It hit the ground with a hollow clatter.

Wade stepped out from the shadows, grinning beneath his mask. “You’ve been a naughty, naughty boy!” He waggled one index finger at the man, a Mr. Jackson McCabe, and shook his head, scolding.

Mr. McCabe clutched at his arm, and his eyes were wide and terrified when he looked at Deadpool. “W-What? I don’t… I’ve got money. I’ve got- I can pay you whatever you want.”

Wade just laughed and continued shaking his head. “I can be bought, Mr. McCabe, but I can’t be bribed!”

{What’s the difference?}

[It’s… subtle. You wouldn’t understand.]

“Besides!” Wade began twirling a knife in his right hand, the other knives held conspicuously in his left, and advanced slowly towards the target. “Like I said; you’ve been very, very naughty. I think Daddy needs to teach you a lesson.”

Jackson McCabe turned and tried to run. Wade had no idea where this guy thought he was going, because really. Did this seem like a situation you could escape from? No. But they always tried anyways. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.” He muttered, and threw another knife. This one found its home in the back of the man’s right leg, and he fell with another scream.

[Good thing his neighbors aren’t home.]

{Too bad we don’t kill the police!} Yellow countered cheerfully.

Wade walked towards Mr. McCabe, his pace leisurely. “What shall we do with you, hm? What shall we do with a thieving con artist like you?”

{Let’s play with him! Please, oh please!}

Deadpool stopped at Jackson’s feet, flipping another ready knife in his hand. The man rolled over onto his back, now clutching at his injured leg, and stared up at Wade. He was shaking, his chest heaving, breath coming out in little terrified gasps, and Wade could already see the sweat beading on his forehead.

Wade smiled.

He bent down and grabbed Mr. McCabe by the arms, earning a startled yelp from the man as he dragged him up and pushed him into a nearby chair. He stepped back and pointed with his knife. “Don’t. Move.” He ordered.

Wade found a small table lamp, unplugged it from the wall, and returned to tie Jackson’s wrists to the chair with the cord. “Don’t wanna waste my pretty pink handcuffs on you!” He admitted cheerfully. He stepped back to admire his handiwork. “Now. Where should we start?”

[The eyes.] White hissed.

{The face! Cut his face!}

Wade tut-tutted at the boxes’ suggestions. “So vicious. Why don’t we start off slow, hm?” He drew one of his katanas and pointed it at his mark, eyes trailing down the man’s trembling body.

“P-Please! Please, stop, please! I’ll… Whatever you want, I’ll give you anything! Please, just, stop. Please!” The man was a blubbering mess, and Wade rolled his eyes. He never had much patience for the criers.

“I haven’t even started yet!” He exclaimed, exasperation leaking into his tone. He stepped forward to rest the razor-sharp blade against Jackson’s side. The man flinched away, but couldn’t avoid the slow, lingering kiss of the sword.

He screamed again as the metal bit through his shirt and into his skin. “Please! Oh god, please! Please stop please oh god…”

{Music to our ears.}

[He really is a crybaby, isn’t he?]

Wade went for a thigh next. Then a hand. Finally a cheek. Jackson McCabe was sobbing as the blood dripped down his face. Wade let the cries wash over him, blanketing him in the warm embrace of pain and suffering.

He started humming again as he sheathed his katana and reached out to dig his fingers into the man’s opened thigh, earning another strangled scream. The blood was hot, even through his gloves.

“Come and take a walk on the wild side.” He sang, grabbing Jackson’s face to force the man to look at him while he dug around in his leg.

{Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain!}

[You like your girls insane.]

Wade leaned in until his victim’s ragged breath was ghosting over his mask, planting one knee between the man’s thighs. “Choose your last words.”

The sobbing and shaking and begging began anew as Deadpool pressed a small knife to his target’s throat.

{This is the last time.}

“{[Cause you and I, we were born to die.]}”

Wade swept the knife across delicate paper skin, slashing it open and releasing the torrent of sweet red blood. It spilled across Deadpool’s suit, darkening the red as Jackson McCabe choked and twitched, and Wade watched the life leak from his eyes.

He stayed there for a while even as his target grew cold and still. The boxes were blissfully silent, satiated for once, and he wanted to make it last as long as possible.

[We should go before the police come.]

Well, it couldn’t last forever.

{Yeah, since you refuse to kill them…} Yellow sounded slightly bitter.

Wade pushed away from his victim with a sigh, moving back to the gaping window to cut his line so no one else could use it. He exited through the front door and took the stairs down to the street. He passed an old lady on the steps, a doorman and a security guard in the lobby, but none of them commented on his outfit, his weapons, or the fact that he was covered in blood. Good old New York.

Wade walked blatantly down the street, humming under his breath. He always felt better after a hit.

[Where to now, boss?]

{I’m hungry!}

They were only a few blocks from Times Square, where Wade’s second favorite taco stand in the city resided, so he headed that way.

They were half a block away when Wade noticed something strange. The crowd of people clogging the sidewalks was rushing away from the square, a stark contrast to the usual steady stream into tourist central. When he paid closer attention, he could see fear on their faces, and urgency in their steps. Something was happening in Times Square. “Huh.”

[Bomb scare?] White guessed practically.

{Giant octopus?}

“I’m voting for the octopus!” Wade pushed his way through the river of people until he could round the corner and see what was going on in the brightly lit, neon world of the square.

At first, he couldn’t see anything. It just looked strangely empty. But then a flash of light like what you would see from a grenade drew his attention.

“Well, that’s new.” Wade watched with interest as a figure in a green suit zipped around the square on some sort of hover-sled. The green guy was dropping little orange bombs, which released flashes of light and clouds of some sort of opaque gas when they landed. The few people left on the street were coughing and collapsing, clearly hurt by whatever sort of gas it was. There were a few lonely screams in the night air.

{What is this guy, a scary Robin Hood?}

“Don’t think so.” Wade drew his katanas, considering how best to go about attacking this new villain. “Unless Robin Hood stole from the weapons depot and killed the poor.”

[Green Lantern?]

{Wrong universe. Hey! Quit stealing my shtick!}

[Oh, yeah. Ryan Reynolds makes a way better Deadpool anyway.]

{I hate you.}

Wade had worked out a plan of attack, and was just stepping forward to implement it when a familiar blur of red and blue stopped him in his tracks. Spider-Man swung down from a nearby building, landing in the middle of the square.

“Well, shit.” It was probably better if Spidey handled this, anyway. Deadpool wasn’t a hero. He didn’t want people getting the wrong idea about him, right?

[Let’s go.]

{No! I want to see Spidey kick this guy’s ass!}

[We don’t need to be here. Let’s go.]

Wade sheathed his katanas and hopped onto the hood of a nearby parked car to enjoy the show.

[You never listen to me.] White grumbled.

The green guy paused his incessant buzzing around to come hover in front of Spider-Man, several feet above him.

“Who are you supposed to be?” Wade could hear Spidey ask. “Robin Hood?”

{I said that! I said that! We’re twins!}

The green thing grinned, and it laughed. The sound was maniacal and unnatural, making Wade’s skin prickle with unease. “No, puny spider. I’m the Green Goblin. I’m here to… shake things up.” The goblin’s voice was chilling and unnatural as well, as if it were being run through some sort of voice-processing mechanism.

“Don’t shake too hard.” Said the spider. “You might hurt yourself.” And he shot a web, catching the Green Goblin’s arm.

Wade smiled. But before Spidey could pull the man from the air, the goblin reached over to grasp the web strand with his other hand. Wade saw electricity crackle and shoot down the line, and Spider-Man let out a startled yell as something on his wrist spat sparks, fizzled, and died. A small inkling of fear planted itself in Wade’s chest.

Spider-Man disconnected the web in an instant and flipped out of the way as the Green Goblin threw some sort of throwing blade at him. He landed in a crouch on top of a food truck. “Hey, Mr. Goblin!” He rolled away as another blade was thrown. “I’m kind of having a really shitty weekend. Think maybe we could wrap this up quickly?” He shot another web, which the green guy dodged.

“My pleasure.” Purred the goblin, and Wade’s stomach sank. The Green Goblin flew forward with impossible speed, heading straight for Spider-Man. Spidey started to leap out of the way, but the goblin was too fast. He grabbed the red and blue hero by his throat and lifted him into the air, flying away with the spider dangling from his hand.

Wade leapt to his feet, his heart skipping a beat. “Fuck.” He cursed, eyes glued to the pair as they rose higher and higher over the square. He drew his guns, but he couldn’t shoot for fear of hitting Spidey. This guy was too fast… He could shift their position in the instant it took Wade to pull the trigger.

He watched them struggle, and for a moment the goblin’s sled thing dipped a few feet, but he recovered. Then he dropped Spider-Man.

Wade’s heart stopped.

Spidey plummeted through the air for a moment before shooting a web from one arm and halting his fall by swinging clumsily to a giant lit-up billboard.

The goblin was laughing again, zipping around the square. He paused to hover across from the giant Forever 21, where two girls were trying to slip out of the store and run away unnoticed.

The police had arrived by this point, and their cars surrounded the square, acting as barricades for those coward cops to hide behind. The Green Goblin turned his hover-sled slightly and fired a rocket from the front. It sailed through the air with a sharp whistle and exploded into the side of an armored NYPD truck, flipping the vehicle up into the air. Wade started to run forward, but he knew it would be too late. The truck was going to land on those girls.

They screamed and ducked, and at the last moment the truck stopped, just feet from their pretty little heads.

Spider-Man was still on the billboard, feet braced against the edge and both hands clutching one thin web. He was holding up the truck.

Wade couldn’t believe what he was seeing, but he didn’t stop. He rushed to the girls and ushered them out from under the truck, shouting hoarsely. “Come on come on come on! Get out!”

Just as they were skittering out, clutching at each other, the truck jolted. Wade put a hand out as if he could stop it from falling, but he knew he wasn’t nearly strong enough to do so.

{Not like Spidey. Jesus fuck that kid is amazing.}

Once both tweens were safely running towards their precious police, the webbing snapped and the truck fell to the concrete with a crash of shattering glass and twisting metal. Wade looked up at Spidey, his heart pounding, only to watch as the young hero swayed on the edge, and fell.

“Oh fuck.” Wade darted forward and caught Spider-Man clumsily in his arms, his blood running cold when he saw the bat-shaped throwing disc lodged deep under his left ribs.

{Batman?} Yellow gasped, mortified.

[No, you idiot. This Green Goblin thing has a Halloween theme going on.]

{Oh, shit.}

Wade grunted as he felt a blade suddenly lodge in his shoulder, sharp and painful. But he was used to pain. He lay Spidey down on the pavement, his chest tightening as the boy’s head lolled to one side, and spun around.

He fired round after round at the Green Goblin, not stopping until the villain had turned tail and flew away, disappearing into the night.

Wade tore the throwing disc from his shoulder and dropped it to the ground with a clatter, turning to sweep Spidey back into his arms.

{Gentle, gentle!}

“I know.” He turned and started running, dodging around a police car to get out of the square. No on stopped him.

[What the hell are you doing?] White hissed, voice panicky.

Wade didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. White knew they had a safe house just a block and a half away. Even Yellow would remember, because they’d just moved into this one two days ago. He glanced down at Spidey as he darted down the correct street. The boy seemed to be unconscious. Wade didn’t remove the blade yet; he didn’t have anything to pack the wound and he’d fucking kill himself for good if he let Spidey bleed out in his arms.

[You. Can’t. Die.]

“I’d find a way.” Wade muttered, kicking the door to his building open and taking the stairs two at a time.

{Hurry!}

He kicked the door to his apartment open too, breaking the flimsy lock and the chain to boot (he’d left through the window yesterday - Spidey style). He rushed to his couch and carefully lay Spider-Man down, thankful that he hadn’t had time to spill anything gross on the furniture yet. “Hold on.” He said to the unconscious boy. “Just hold on, okay? Deadpool’s gonna take care of you.”

He dashed to the bathroom and rummaged desperately through whatever he kept under the sink and in the medicine cabinet. There wasn’t much. He huffed out a breath of relief when he found a first-aid kit. He didn’t usually keep medical shit lying around, because he didn’t need it himself. It was nothing short of a miracle that he happened to have supplies here.

{Maybe the writers just needed an easy fix. This is some real deus ex machina shit right here.}

[Not. The time.]

{Oh right, right. Spidey needs us. Hurry up!}

Wade heard a low moan from the living room and his breath caught in his throat. He rushed out to find Spider-Man trying to sit up on his couch, a hand clutched to the blade still protruding from his side. Wade hurried to press a gentle hand to Spidey’s chest, forcing him to lie back. “No, no. It’s okay, it’s okay. Just stay still, I’m gonna get this thing out of you, okay?”

Something Wade said must have calmed Spidey down, because he allowed himself to be pushed back into the couch and he lay still, panting heavily through his mask. “Wha… Where am I?”

“Casa de Deadpool.” Wade said, trying to keep his tone light as he pulled padding, bandages, alcohol, medical thread, and a needle from the first-aid kit, setting them all out on the coffee table. “You got shish-kabobbed by Robin Hood. But don’t you fret, little spider. Dr. Deadpool will fix you right up!”

A soft whimper from the couch made Wade’s heart clench, and his movements became slightly frantic as he tore the bandages and wound padding from their packages so they would be ready to use. He grabbed for the needle and thread, pausing only to rip his gloves off so that he could prepare the needle more quickly and efficiently.

{He’ll see our skin.}

[He’ll think we’re disgusting. If he doesn’t already.]

“It won’t matter what he thinks if he’s dead.” Wade muttered under his breath, concentrating on threading the needle.

Spidey coughed weakly and Wade spun around, bringing the alcohol and padding with him. “The… Green Goblin.” Spider-Man’s voice was shaky. Wade leaned in to take a closer look at the blade, which was more than half-way inside the boy’s abdomen. The edges were jagged, in the shape of bat wings. It was going to be a bitch to take out. “He… Didn’t turn me into… A frog, did he?”

Wade‘s head whipped up to stare at Spidey’s mask, overtaken by concern. Was Spider-Man fading so fast that he’d stopped making sense? Had he hit his head somehow when he fell?

[It’s a joke, idiot.]

{And not a very good one.}

Wade’s eyes widened. “Oh.” He let out a startled laugh, which sounded more anxious than amused. “No, Baby Boy. Don’t worry. No frogs here. Just spiders.”

He refocused his attention on the wound, noticing that Spidey’s breath seemed to hitch slightly. He’d have to hurry. “Okay, Spidey. This is gonna hurt, but I need you to stay with me, alright? Just stay focused on me.” He lay his hands gently on either side of the wound, and Spider-Man flinched as a trickle of blood leaked out. “You should probably hold on to something.”

“Okay.” Spidey’s response was hardly more than a whisper, but he listened to Wade and braced one hand against the back of the couch, his other hand coming to rest on Wade’s shoulder, fingers clutching lightly at his suit. Wade suppressed a shiver. He needed to focus.

{Don’t screw this up.} Yellow whispered. Even the boxes were keeping quiet.

“Okay.” He carefully wrapped one hand around the edge of the blade, making sure his grip was solid even as the sharp edges cut into his skin, and held Spidey’s hip down with his other hand. “Take a deep breath.” Spider-Man sucked in a breath of air. Wade yanked the blade out.

Spider-Man screamed. The sound made Wade cringe, and he was quick to press a cotton pad over the gash, which had immediately begun leaking blood at an alarming rate. Wade hissed as the bones in his shoulder creaked under Spidey’s clenching grip, but he didn’t allow it to distract him. The couch didn’t fare so well. Wade heard wood snap and the back of the couch was suddenly misshapen.

“It’s okay, Spidey. It’s okay.” Wade mindlessly tried to soothe the injured hero, keeping the pressure on the wound so that it might start clotting a little. “I know it hurts. Just hold on, okay? Now that we got that thing out, your healing factor can start working. If you have one of those.”

Spider-Man was breathing hard, in short little gasps, but his grip on Wade’s shoulder loosened and he managed to hold still. “Not… Like yours…” He said through gritted teeth.

Wade chuckled half-heartedly. “Of course not, Baby Boy. I’m a fucking rainbow unicorn. But regardless, you’ll be able to start healing now.” Wade lifted the pad slightly to peek at the gash. Another trickle of blood leaked out, still too heavy for Wade’s liking, and the pad was almost soaked through. He hoped to the gods there wasn’t any internal bleeding. He swallowed. “Don’t worry, okay? But I’m gonna have to stitch this baby up.”

Spidey nodded weakly. “Okay.”

Wade reached over for the threaded needle, keeping one hand on the wound, and stuck the needle between his teeth for easy access. “Okay.” He spoke around the needle, glancing up at Spider-Man’s mask. “I’ll need to disinfect the cut, then I can sew you up. It’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker, but I know you can handle it. Just hold on to me.” He could break Wade’s shoulder if he wanted; it was his left and that wouldn’t stop him from working a needle and thread.

He waited until Spidey nodded again, a little more shakily this time, then focused his attention on the wound. He tore the pad off and tossed it aside, immediately grasping the edges of the suit and trying to pull them apart so he’d have better access. The damn fabric wouldn’t rip, no matter how hard he tried, and Wade felt panic crawling up his throat as more precious spider blood leaked out. Suddenly, Spidey knocked his hands aside and reached down to lift the suit up at the waist. It peeled upwards like a shirt, leaving him bare from his hip to his ribs, and Wade was suddenly staring at pale, smooth skin stretched over lean, hard muscle, marred only by the fresh blood leaking from the cut.

[Not the time not the time!]

{I always though his suit was a onesie. Like footy pajamas.}

[Shut up, Yellow!]

Wade snapped out of it and reached for the alcohol, twisting the cap off in a hurry. “Take a breath.” He ordered, then doused the wound in the clear liquid.

Spider-Man whined and twisted, his hand crushing Wade’s shoulder in a vice-like grip. Wade pressed one hand down on Spidey’s bare hip to keep him still, ignoring the shock that ran through him like electricity as their skin touched.

{Oh fuck. We’re touching him.}

[Shut. The fuck. Up.]

Wade carefully took the needle from his teeth and held it in his right hand. “I’m gonna stitch you up now. Try to hold still.”

Spidey nodded.

Before Wade could start, he heard a loud thumping coming up the stairs outside of his apartment. He paused, suddenly getting a very bad feeling. Call it his Deadpool-Sense.

[No. Doesn’t work.]

{It doesn’t have the same ring to it.}

He made a snap decision and set the needle aside. He grabbed a clean wound pad and pressed it to the leaking gash. He took Spidey’s hand from his shoulder and pressed it over the pad. “Hold this here.” He ordered. “And don’t move. I’ll be right back.”

All of a sudden, the door burst open with a loud bang, rebounding off the wall on the other side. Wade stepped instantly between Spider-Man and the door, drawing fresh guns from his belt. There, outside Deadpool’s door, stood a giant metal robot guy in gold and red.

“Tin Man!” He greeted, raising his guns to point at the thing’s head, even though he knew they would be completely ineffective. “What brings you round here to my humble abode?”

Iron Man stepped forward, and Wade backed up, keeping pace and remaining between he and Spidey, his stance protective. “Where’s Spider-Man?” Iron Man’s mechanical voice was accusing and quite angry. “What have you done to him?”

{How did he know the spider was here?}

[He must have a tracker in the kid’s suit.]

{Dick-eating bastard.}

“I’m saving him, idiot. I thought all the tin man needs is a heart, but I must have it wrong. You’re clearly brainless.”

Iron Man raised his right hand, and Wade found himself staring into a circle of glowing death energy. He stood his ground, although he knew one blast from Tony Stark’s arc reactor would melt a hole right through his head. And not a small hole, either.

A weak sound from behind Wade made his fists clench tighter around his guns. “You should-“

Iron Man didn’t let Wade finish telling him to get the hell out. He turned his hand away and dealt the mercenary a vicious back-handed blow, knocking him aside so he could stride over to the couch.

Wade grunted, picking himself up from the floor and aiming his guns at Iron Man again. But he didn’t want any bullets ricocheting off that armor.

[We don’t have time for this shit.]

“M-Mr. Stark.” Spidey was trying to sit up. Wade crossed the room in an instant to stand protectively over the back of the couch.

“What the hell happened to you, kid? Never mind. We need to get you to a doctor.” Iron Man reached for Spidey, and Wade extended one arm to press a halting hand against the hero’s metal chest, right above that glowing reactor.

“I don’t think so.” Wade growled.

Iron Man scoffed. “You think I’m going to leave him here with you, Deadpool? You really are insane.”

“Mr. Stark…” Spidey seemed to be protesting, but Wade couldn’t stop to try to figure out why right now.

“If you move him, he’ll bleed out.” Wade hissed, trying to keep his voice low enough that Spidey wouldn’t hear him, but he knew he would. The boy had super hearing.

Iron Man paused, but only for a moment. “No, he still has time. I’ll take him to my personal medical unit.”

Wade frowned. “How do you know?”

He heard a quiet gasp from the couch. “You’ve been monitoring my health through the suit?” Spider-Man managed to sound indignant even as he shivered, hands both pressed to the wound in his side. “That’s a huge invasion of privacy, Mr. Stark.”

Iron Man looked abashed. If a giant metal robot suit could look abashed. But he didn’t back down. “You really expect me not to do anything when I get a notification that you’re mortally wounded? We need to get you to a doctor, kid. You’ve already lost a lot of blood. If we leave now-“

“No.”

Wade turned to stare at Spidey. The boy was staring defiantly up at Iron Man, his masked face set with determination.

A beat passed before Iron Man knocked Wade’s hand away. “You can’t be serious. You trust an unhinged killer to save your life?”

{Fat midget egotistical sociopath.}

[Asshole.]

Spider-Man never waivered. “He already did.”

{Oh. My god. I don’t care if he’s a kid. I’m in love.}

Wade looked back at Iron Man, a triumphant smile spreading across his face. “Hear that, Tin Man? We don’t need you. So why don’t you just skidaddle right on out of here?” He plucked the needle from where he’d discarded it on the coffee table and waved it in Iron Man’s inscrutable robot face. “Wouldn’t want my hand to slip, now would we? Daddy’s gonna need to concentrate.”

Iron Man looked at Spider-Man for a long, lingering moment. “You sure about this, kid?”

Spidey gave one curt nod.

“Your funeral.” Tony Stark muttered, before turning to Deadpool and shoving a vicious finger into his chest. “If you let the kid die, I’m going to put all of my considerable resources into finding a way to permanently end you. Got it?”

{Wow. That was almost scary.}

Wade nodded. Iron Man turned and left with loud, heavy footsteps, and he didn’t bother to shut the door behind him. “Fucking asshat.” Wade stepped to the door and closed it. The locks were busted. “No manners whatsoever, coming in to my home and breaking my shit.”

[We did that.]

A quiet gasp followed by a whimper pulled Wade’s attention back to Spidey.

{Oh shit. We need to hurry.}

Wade rushed back to the couch. Spidey was leaning back into the cushions and breathing hard. It looked like he’d barely been keeping it together for Tony Stark’s benefit. “Sorry, sorry.” He sat on the edge and lay his hands over Spidey’s, taking over putting pressure on the cut.

“Deadpool.” Spidey whimpered again, one hand coming back to its place on Wade’s shoulder. Wade felt like he might pass out.

[Not the time.]

“Right. Right, sorry. Okay. Just try to breath, okay? I’m gonna get this stitched up and then we’ll be good to go.” This pad was soaked through with blood, too. Wade tossed it aside. Fresh blood welled up, trickling away from the gaping gash as Wade adjusted his grip on the needle.

“It’s gonna hurt, but I need you to stay still. Okay, Baby Boy?” Another nod. Wade carefully pinched the edges of the cut together, earning a pained hiss from Spider-Man, and slid the needle through the skin. It had been a while since he’d done this, but he still remembered how. He’d had extensive training in trauma medicine in the military, and he’d even had to use it on more than one occasion. Back when he hung out with people he cared to save if they took a bullet to the leg or a knife to the gut. But that was a long time ago now.

Spider-Man endured the procedure with a stubborn strength that Wade couldn’t help but admire. He clenched his teeth and didn’t let another whimper pass his lips. He held perfectly still. Wade’s shoulder only felt like it might break a couple of times.

When Wade was done, he poured a little more alcohol over the area, washing some of the blood away and making Spidey shudder in a really distracting way. Then he gently lay a fresh cotton pad over the wound and carefully wrapped a bandage around the boy’s ribs, holding it all in place. He tried not to stare at all the smooth skin and flat, hard muscles that lay exposed beneath his hands.

“There.” He said when he’d finally finished, finding it hard to look into Spidey’s eye patches. “You’ll be up and flipping about, showing off that fine spider ass in no time.”

[I thought we weren’t saying shit like that anymore.]

“Right. Sorry. Reflex.” Wade pulled away with the intention of standing and cleaning up the used medical supplies, but Spider-Man caught one of his hands and held him there. Wade stopped breathing.

{He’s touching us.}

[I know. Fuck.]

{No. He’s touching us.}

Wade wasn’t wearing his gloves. He jerked his hand away with a small gasp, quickly turning to grab his gloves from the table and pull them over his scarred, unsteady hands. He swallowed, really unable to look at Spidey now.

A gentle touch on his arm made him turn back anyway, because how could he deny any request from Spidey, no matter how small? “I’m sorry,” said the young hero, his voice quiet but slightly rough.

Wade shook his head vehemently. “No no no. Fuck. I’m sorry.”

[He shouldn’t have had to see that.]

{It’s disgusting.}

Spidey tilted his head slightly to the side, as if confused. “Why are you sorry? You saved me, Deadpool.” There was an edge of disbelief to the boy’s tone, and Wade couldn’t bring himself to be surprised by it.

He just shrugged in response.

A few moments passed in silence, and Wade was suddenly very aware that he’d brought Spider-Man to his apartment. Like, the one he was actually living in now. He glanced around, trying to see it with fresh eyes as Spidey would. It wasn’t filthy yet, thank the gods. Although it was messy. Videogames and movies were strewn around the floor under the tv, sitting next to his Play Station. The kitchen counter was crowded with takeout containers, but they hadn’t developed any smells. The kitchen table held several guns in various stages of assembly along with cleaning supplies and extra bullets. A Captain America calendar hung from the bathroom door, and there were only two wet towels on the floor in there. His bedroom door was closed. That was good, since he didn’t really want Spidey to see the Spider-Man poster he had hanging over his bed. Or the sniper rifles, extensive collection of knives, and the flamethrower.

“Sorry about Mr. Stark.” Wade glanced at Spidey again, watching as the boy edged himself up against the couch cushion, one hand pressed to his side.

Wade snorted. “You’re not responsible for that walking Napoleonic complex. Besides, we all know why he’s called Iron Man.”

{Because he has an iron rod shoved so far up his ass it’s lodged in his brain!}

“Exactly.” Wade nodded. The kid was looking quizzical, though. “You know.” He gestured weakly in no particular direction. “Rod. Up the ass.”

Spidey snorted a soft, surprised laugh, but immediately hissed in pain at the movement. Wade bit his lip in sympathy.

There was a moment of almost companionable silence. “I, um…” Spider-Man took a deep breath and used one hand to push his mask up to his nose. “I looked for you at our… On the roof of the bank.”

Wade blinked, his jaw going slack in surprise. “You did?”

[No way.]

{We thought he’d never want to lay eyes on our sorry ass again!}

[He’s still just trying to be nice. That’s what he does.]

“Well… Yeah.” Spidey swallowed, and Wade’s eyes followed the bob of his Adam’s apple inside the pale, perfect skin of the spider’s neck. “After yesterday… I wasn’t sure… I was worried about you, I guess.”

Wade stared, shocked into silence.

{He was worried… About us?}

[See? I was right. He is way way way too good for us. Too nice and pure. And young. Too good. We should go far, far away before we manage to fuck him up.]

Spider-Man continued, oblivious to the impact his words had on Wade. “I waited around for a while, in case you came. I was there when I heard the commotion in Times Square. I left to… Well, you know.”

Wade found himself nodding automatically. “Right. Sorry… I should have come.”

{We really didn’t think he’d be there. Ever.}

Wade turned his head away and mumbled under his breath. “Yeah, and shame on us. We were stupid to think he wouldn't show. He’s way too kind for his own good.”

[Isn’t that the truth.]

Wade suddenly felt Spidey’s touch on his wrist like an electrical shock through the fabric of his suit. “Thanks, Red.” Spider-Man’s tone and the set of his jaw were far, far too earnest for Wade to stomach. “Really. I’d be dead without you.”

Wade shifted away, his heart pounding too hard to handle any more of the boy’s touch. “Don’t be stupid, kid.” He said, his voice turning unintentionally bitter. “Your precious Tony Stark would have saved you. He’s practically more of a stalker than I am.”

He saw Spidey’s jaw tighten. “That’s not fair. I’m trying to say thank you.”

Wade wasn’t sure how to respond to that. The boxes offered no suggestions. “Yeah, well… There’s no need, kid.” It was the least he could do.

Now Spidey’s mouth was twisting into a scowl. “I’m not a fucking kid. Why do you keep calling me that?”

“Oh, Iron Man’s allowed to call you a kid but I’m not? Talk about double standards.” Wade crossed his arms over his chest and watched as the skin on Spider-Man’s neck flushed pink.

“He always treats me like a kid. That doesn’t mean I am one. And I thought I could expect more from you.”

[Ouch.]

{Hot dog, the little spider’s really mad! How sexy.}

Wade scowled back. “You are a kid. You’re way too young to be… Whatever. You’re just a kid. And it’s wrong of me to treat you otherwise.”

{He has no idea how wrong…}

[Very, very wrong.]

Spidey clenched his teeth and growled. It was very hard for Wade not to think that was hot. “I. Am not. A kid.” He tried to sit up more fully, but clutched at his side with a pained gasp. That didn’t stop him from continuing his tirade. “I might be young, but that hardly means anything. It’s not like I haven’t seen things, or been through stuff. I’m not some innocent, naïve child. So stop fucking treating me like one.”

{What do you think he’s been through? Now I’m curious. You should ask him.}

“I’m not asking him,” Wade mumbled. He stared at Spidey for a moment, considering his words. It… kind of made sense.

[You just want it to make sense so you can stop feeling guilty.]

Wade ignored White. “Okay, Baby Boy. Sorry.”

Spidey’s throat and jaw flushed red, and he shifted in his seat slightly, his fingers fumbling to pull down the top of his suit as if he’d just remembered he was practically half naked. “Don’t call me that.” He mumbled, but he didn’t sound very convicted. Wade tried not to smile.

“Sorry.”

Spidey nodded slightly. They looked at each other for a moment. Suddenly, Wade could feel the younger boy’s eyes on him. It made his skin prickle.

“Why are you covered in blood?”

Wade looked away, his heart rate quickening slightly. “Oh, um… No reason. I was… Well, some of it’s yours.”

[A very, very small portion of it.]

“You were working, weren’t you?”

Wade couldn’t interpret Spider-Man’s tone, and he couldn’t bring himself to look at the boy. He wouldn’t have been able to tell anything from that mask, anyhow. He gave one reluctant nod, and waited for the scolding he was sure he’d receive.

A beat passed, then, “Was it a bad person?”

Wade turned to look at Spidey, surprised. “Um… Yeah. Pretty bad.”

Spidey hummed slightly, but made no comments otherwise.

{Gosh, why does he have to be so mysterious?}

[He hates it. He’s just pities us too much to say anything.]

Wade settled his hands awkwardly in his lap, unsure what else to say. Spidey raised a hand to the back of the couch, and seemed to be surveying the damage he’d done. It was rather impressive. “Sorry about that.” He mumbled.

Wade shook his head. “Don’t worry about. This couch is shit and it’s going to be covered in taco stains in a couple weeks anyway. Besides, it’s not like I don’t have enough money to buy ten thousand couches, easy.”

Spidey let out a gentle chuckle, shaking his head. Wade felt warm.

Spider-Man took a deep breath, then started to swing his legs down off the couch, grunting in pain at the movement, his teeth set.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” Wade placed a hand on Spidey’s chest, holding him there. “Where the hell do you think you’re going, little spider?”

Spider-Man stared at him blankly. “Home?” He asked.

Wade scoffed. “Oh yeah? What’re you gonna do, take a cab?”

Spidey glanced down at himself, as if just realizing that he’d hardly be able to walk, let alone swing through the city on one working web shooter. “Um… I guess so.”

Wade shook his head. “I don’t think so. You’re staying right here.” He pushed Spider-Man back into the couch cushions, cutting off the protests he was opening his mouth to make. “Just sleep for a few hours and you’ll probably be much better in the morning. But if you leave now, you might pop those stitches and end up bleeding out on fifth avenue.”

{We don’t want him bleeding out.}

[Not unless we’re doing it.]

{… We’ll see. That’s a discussion for another time.}

Spidey still seemed reluctant, but he allowed himself to be settled into a laying position once again. “I can only stay for a couple hours…” He warned, but his voice was already heavy with exhaustion.

“Yeah, yeah, sure.” Wade stood up and plucked a blanket from a nearby chair, unfolding it and laying it over Spidey. “Don’t worry your pretty little head, I’ll wake you up before dawn. Wouldn’t want to get caught in the harsh light of day sleeping in Deadpool’s apartment.”

Wade rushed away before Spidey could say anything else, afraid that if he stayed a second longer he’d be stuck forever staring at Spider-Man laying on his couch, fingers clutching gently at the top of Wade’s favorite pokémon blanket.

He found his way into his room and shut the door, sitting down on his bed in a bit of a daze.

{Spider-Man is sleeping on our couch.}

“I know.”

{Spider-Man has really nice hipbones.}

“I know.” Wade fell backwards onto the mattress, his arms falling spread eagle and his feet still planted on the ground.

He didn’t intend to sleep, but it wouldn’t hurt to close his eyes for just a second. He was suddenly exhausted…

“I can’t believe this is happening.” He breathed.

[Me neither. It’s horrible.]

{It’s the best fucking thing ever!}

[You’re such an idiot.]

“Spider-Man’s here…” Wade could feel himself drifting off, but there was nothing he could do about it.

When he woke up, the bright, hot sunlight of mid morning was streaming in through his window. He sat bolt upright, startled by the discomfort of waking up in his mask. He usually took it off to sleep. He blinked around the room, trying to remember if last night had been a dream or real life.

{Real life! Real life! Oh my god. Spidey!}

Wade jolted to his feet, throwing he bedroom door open and striding into the living room. His heart sank to see only an empty couch. At least the first aid kit was sitting out, providing some evidence that it hadn’t all been a fantastic dream.

[We should have expected him to be gone. He probably left as soon as we shut the bedroom door. Couldn’t wait to leave.]

{Hey, didn’t we establish that Spidey is a truly nice person? Wait. What’s that?}

Wade’s eyes fell on a slip of paper sitting on the coffee table. He stepped forward and picked it up, eyes skimming rapidly over the words. He read it over three times in a row, a smile slowly growing into a grin on his face.

Had to go home. Thanks for everything. Really.
I’m gonna take a few days off from Spider-Man because, well, you know.
Meet me Tuesday night on the roof?
-Spidey

He had drawn a small spider beside the signature.

{I’m dying. I’m literally dying.}

[Well… I guess he doesn’t hate us.]

“No. No, I don’t think he does.”

 

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Song Credits:

Title:
Zero - The Smashing Pumpkins
Lyrics:
Oops!... I Did It Again - Britney Spears
In For The Kill - La Roux
Born to Die - Lana Del Rey

 

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Chapter Text

Peter

 

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Peter’s stomach hurt. And it wasn’t because of the half-healed stab wound in his side. No. It was because he was headed to his first subject of the day, Trigonometry, and MJ was in his class.

He hadn’t seen or heard from either of his two best friends since the disastrous end to his birthday party. He’d considered texting them both many times, but he just couldn’t figure out what to say. He wanted to apologize, to Harry especially, but every text he typed out and read over seemed incredibly inadequate. Harry had done so much for Peter, and the younger boy had clearly just turned around and betrayed him. Sure, he hadn’t planned to kiss his friend’s crush, but he had. And that was a really shitty way to repay Harry’s boundless kindness.

He thought he should talk to MJ in person when he let her down. He’d gone over what he should say in his head dozens of time, but he was suddenly questioning every word of it as he dragged his feet down the hallway, just a few yards from his class. The bell would ring in a minute, and Peter was never late for class, but he was seriously considering skipping today. Just this once. Because his stomach was in knots and breaking his perfect attendance record might actually be worth it to avoid telling a beautiful, funny, amazing girl and his best friend that he didn’t like her back.

Really, was he insane? Peter had never in a million years expected someone as incredible as MJ to like him like that. He should be jumping at the opportunity to date her, but he… Just wasn’t. He could say it was because of Harry, and it was true that he wouldn’t for one second consider pursuing a relationship if it would hurt his best friend, but it was more than that. He couldn’t really picture himself with MJ, couldn’t really imagine being with her… non-platonically. He had in the past; that’s what made it so strange. He’d had the biggest crush on the redhead his freshman year, but those feelings had disappeared somewhere along the way.

How in the world was he supposed to tell her that without hurting her? Because he didn’t want to hurt her. No more than he already had, at least.

Peter lingered outside the door, letting other students brush past him to enter the room, a few casting curious looks in his direction. Finally, he worked up his courage and went in. He was Spider-Man, after all; if he couldn’t face one teenage girl then how the hell was he supposed to call himself a hero?

He took a deep breath when he spotted MJ sitting in her usual seat, right beside Peter’s, and made his way over to her. He felt like he might throw up as he pulled the chair out and sat down next to her, ignoring the twinge of pain in his side as he did so.

“Hi, Peter.” Peter blinked at MJ in surprise, not having expected her to speak first. Her voice was a bit distant, and she kept her eyes trained on the notebook in front of her instead of looking at him, but at least she was speaking to him.

“Hey…” He opened his backpack and went about taking out his supplies for class, mostly just to keep his hands busy and forestall talking to her. But it didn’t take long to set his notebook and pencil on the desk, and Peter was left with empty space and silence between them. He chewed on his bottom lip.

“Um… Could we, uh, talk?” He wasn’t sure how he should go about this sort of thing, and he found himself flinching slightly at how nervous he sounded.

She glanced at him for a moment, but looked away again too quickly for Peter to interpret the tone of her gaze. “Class is about to start.” She pointed out, distant but polite. Peter’s chest felt tight when he realized how cold she was being towards him. Had he really offended her that much?

“Oh, right. Well… Maybe we could-“ The bell rang, interrupting Peter. He cleared his throat, tried to start again, but MJ was staring down at her notebook, hear hair falling over her shoulder like a curtain, clearly not wanting to have this conversation. Their teacher called the students’ attention to the front of class and began the lesson before Peter could say anything else.

It was a sort of torture, sitting next to her for the next fifty minutes. He kept glancing over to see if she looked upset, or if she was looking at him, but each time he was met only with her cool indifference as she focused on her class work. Peter hardly heard a word out of his teacher’s mouth the whole period. He found himself wishing he were anywhere else, wishing he could think about anything else because this whole stupid situation was making him so anxious he thought he might have to ask for the bathroom pass to go throw up.

So he tried to distract himself. Peter cast around in his mind for something that would hold his attention, and he almost immediately thought of Deadpool. The mercenary was definitely the most interesting and confusing thing in Peter’s life right now, even with MJ and Harry both giving him the silent treatment (and that was really saying something).

He thought about Deadpool’s hands, which he’d seen as the mercenary stitched him up. It had shocked him a bit at first, to see all that scar-covered skin, but the more he thought about it the more it made sense. Deadpool had acted kind of strange when they ate tacos that one night. He had chalked it up to the guy just being a little off his rocker, but perhaps he’d been hiding his skin from Spider-Man. Was it possible that those scars extended to his face, as well? Peter was curious. And he felt bad for being curious, because of course no one wanted people gaping at their scars, but he couldn’t help it. He wanted to know what happened. And why.

Deadpool was an enigma. He killed people for money. Hell, he’d been covered in one of his victim’s blood Saturday night, and it terrified Peter how much that hadn’t bothered him. Peter didn’t like that Deadpool was a killer. But what really made him feel sick and confused and guilty as hell is how much he couldn’t find it in himself to feel upset about it. He’d sat there on Deadpool’s couch and looked at the blood on his suit, listened to Deadpool admit that he’d killed someone, and he’d just felt… Curious. And Spider-Man shouldn’t like Deadpool. He should at least try to reform the mercenary. Because Deadpool was insane and a killer, but he’d also saved Spider-Man’s life. Twice.

And so Peter was confused. And intrigued. And even more confused because he shouldn’t be intrigued. He shouldn’t be wondering about Deadpool and thinking about him in class, he shouldn’t be looking forward to their meeting on Tuesday night. Deadpool was extremely morally questionable, and Spider-Man was supposed to be the epitome of morality.

Needless to say, Peter thought himself in dizzying circles for the rest of class. He was so preoccupied, in fact, that he was startled when the bell finally rang at the end of the period. He turned back to MJ, but found that he hadn’t actually thought about what he would say to her. His hesitation lost him his chance. MJ offered him a tight smile as she gathered her things, a sadness in her pretty green eyes, and then she was leaving without another word. Peter felt miserable.

He couldn’t concentrate in his next class, either. Thankfully he had English third period, and they were going to the library to do research for a paper, so at least he wouldn’t have to pretend to be paying attention.

Peter was lingering morosely in the mythology section, fingering the books on the shelves with no real intention of removing them, when he felt a slight tingle run down his spine. He tensed and turned to look around the aisle, but there was no one there. He turned back to the shelves, frowning slightly. He had just spotted a book he actually needed and was reaching for it when someone grabbed him. One hand landed on his shoulder and the other folded over his eyes, blocking his vision.

Peter yelped softly and tried to twist away, ignoring the pain in his side at the movement. He was released and he spun around to stare at Harry, who was holding his hands up innocently and rolling his sky blue eyes. “It’s just me, scaredy cat. God.”

Peter huffed. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!” He resisted the urge to press his hand to his bandaged side. He lowered his voice so he wouldn’t call more attention to them. “What are you doing here? Don’t you have government right now?”

Harry folded his arms across his chest and shrugged, leaning casually back against a bookshelf and looking unfairly like a model in his subtle designer clothes. “I skipped.” He said simply.

Peter frowned, but decided this probably wasn’t the best time to scold the older boy. He didn’t want them to keep fighting, if that’s what they’d been doing. He took a deep breath, determined to make things right with Harry like he’d been unable to with MJ. “Look, I’m really sorry. I know you-“

Harry waved his hand in the air, brushing Peter aside as he had the annoying tendency to do when he didn’t like what the brown-eyed boy was saying. “Whatever. Don’t worry about it.” Peter frowned, but Harry went on before he could disagree. “So tell me. How’s MJ? Have you two made it official yet?” Peter could tell he was trying to be upbeat, but the tightness of his jaw betrayed his unhappiness.

Peter shook his head fervently. “No. Things are horrible with MJ. Ever since I pushed her away she won’t even talk to me. And this morning-“

Harry cut him off again, eyes widened slightly. “You pushed her away?”

“Well, yeah. I wasn’t exactly expecting it and… Harry, you should have told me you liked her. You should have told MJ. I mean, I’m sure she would much rather go out with you anyway. She probably only tried to kiss me because it was my birthday or something and she was trying to be nice. I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings so much but I guess I did because she won’t even…” Peter trailed off, giving Harry a questioning look. The older boy was grinning gently, his entire demeanor much more relaxed than it had been just a moment ago. He almost seemed… Relieved. “What?”

Harry shook his head in disbelief, letting out a light laugh. “Oh, Peter… You’re so fucking clueless. It’s adorable.”

Peter frowned sullenly. “That’s not true.”

Harry pushed away from the wall, unfolding his arms as he stepped closer to Peter. “I don’t like MJ, Petey.”

Peter’s expression turned confused, his eyebrows furrowing. “But then why…?”

Harry’s hands landed on Peter’s upper arms as he stepped even closer, his fingers curling lightly around his biceps. “Maybe this will clear things up.”

He held Peter’s perplexed gaze for a long, lingering moment, waiting until the confusion in those chocolate eyes had cleared into shock before he started to lean in.

Peter saw it coming. He was surprised as fuck, but he saw it coming this time (not like with MJ when one second she was standing there and the next second it was like she’d accidentally fallen onto his face). He saw it coming, and he could have pulled away. He could have leaned back. He could have put a hand up and stopped Harry.

But he didn’t.

Harry closed the last inch between them, and then his mouth was on Peter’s. His lips were cool and gentle, their pressure so light on Peter’s that he was surprised when his heart broke into a stuttering race and his cheeks suddenly felt very, very hot. He made a soft, surprised sound, and he heard Harry’s breath hitch.

And then Harry’s mouth was moving, and it felt so strange, and it made Peter’s knees feel kind of weak, but he tried to relax into it and maybe mimic what Harry was doing. And when his lips fell open and he felt the older boy’s breath warm across his tongue, he gasped lightly.

And then Harry was pulling away, their lips separating once more and cool air rushing in where there had just been heat. Peter’s eyes had drifted closed somewhere along the line, and now they flickered open to meet Harry’s gaze, which was filled with some intensity that Peter couldn’t read. His fingers had ended up curled around the hem of Harry’s shirt somehow.

Peter swallowed, his thoughts and heart racing. They were still close enough that Harry’s breath brushed over Peter’s jaw as he murmured, “See you around, Parker.” His hands slid down Peter’s arms before falling away, and he had that classic Harry smirk on his face as he stepped backwards, breaking Peter’s grip on his shirt.

Stunned into silence, Peter watched a small piece of his innocence walking away as Harry turned and disappeared around the corner of their aisle.

He stared in that direction for a long time, glassy eyed and disbelieving. “What. The fuck.” He breathed to himself.

Harry Osborn. Harry Osborn. Liked him. Peter Parker. Wait. Harry had been upset when MJ kissed him because Harry liked Peter? What. The fuck. This did not make sense. It made even less sense than MJ liking Peter.

Oh god, MJ. What was he supposed to say to her now?

Peter skipped lunch. He couldn’t deal with seeing either one of his friends, especially since he had no idea what to say to either of them and the thought of facing them right now made him feel sick. Even more sick than he’d felt that morning. So he skipped lunch and he hid in his chemistry class and he spent the rest of the day in a fog. He couldn’t focus on class at all. He even got called on in history and couldn’t answer the question; it was mortifying. And for as much time as he spent thinking round and round about how the hell Harry and MJ both liked him, trying to rationalize it or find some other explanation for their behavior, he spent just as much time thinking about Harry’s kiss.

Peter’s first kiss. His first real one, anyway, because that thing with MJ had been… well, not a kiss. But what happened in the library had been… And it had been with Harry. Peter had never thought about his friend that way. Never thought about a guy that way. But he couldn’t deny that it had been… Well, he hadn’t disliked it. Let’s leave it at that. And every time he thought about, thought about how Harry’s mouth had felt on his, his face and neck got hot and his pulse jumped at the memory. It was confusing. Quite confusing.

And to make matters worse, Ned was pestering him at the end of the day about exactly the things Peter did not want to talk about.

Dude you have to tell me what happened with MJ. Did she kiss you? She kissed you, right? Are you going out now? Why the hell didn’t you text me about it? Didn’t you see all my messages?” Ned paused his incessant questioning only to gasp and grab at Peter’s arm as they walked down the hallway. “Oh my god. Did you do more than kiss? Oh shit, tell me you did more than kiss.”

Peter groaned and shook his head, feeling a strong headache coming on. “No, Ned… God.”

Ned looked perplexed. “Wait. She didn’t kiss you? Or you didn’t do more than kiss?”

Peter shifted out of Ned’s grip, glancing around uncomfortably. The last thing he needed was to run into MJ or Harry right now. “Yeah, she kissed me…” He admitted reluctantly.

Ned let out a whoop and punched the air like some dumb jock or something. “Yes! I knew it. I totally knew it.”

Peter shook his head, frowning. “It didn’t go well. I… Well, I was surprised. And I kind of…”

Ned’s face fell. “Oh no… How did you mess this up, Parker?”

Peter scowled at his friend. “It’s not my fault! No one told me what was going on. I was just surprised and I pulled away, that’s all. And now MJ’s mad at me. Or hurt, or something. Anyway, she won’t talk to me. It sucks.”

Ned frowned sympathetically. “That does suck. But it’s also totally your fault.”

Peter sighed and rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” As if he wasn’t feeling guilty enough already. Besides, it was much more complicated than Ned knew. But he couldn’t tell Ned about Harry. Not yet. He was still too confused about it to discuss it with anyone.

“But you like her, too, right? I mean, you’re gonna try to make it up to her? Because you should. You know MJ, she’d forgive you. And then you could date! How fucking awesome would that be?”

Peter made a noncommittal noise, wishing this conversation would end already. He was saved from having to say anything further by a sharp tingle at the back of his neck. He gritted his teeth, resisting the urge to jump out of the way or duck. But when he saw the movement in his periphery, he flinched away to protect his injured side. The punch landed on his cheekbone instead of his nose, where it had undoubtedly been aimed. Peter grunted, stumbling into the bank of lockers, and tried not to react to the flash of pain in his side. At least his glasses hadn’t been broken this time.

“What. The fuck?” He spat, holding one hand to his cheek as he glared up at Flash Thompson.

“That’s for gym class, Pansy Parker. Next time, just stay in your nerd corner.” Flash grunted out his typically eloquent insult before stomping away with his posse, leaving Peter to glare daggers at his stupid broad back.

“What the fuck did I do in gym?” He fumed as Ned took his arm, helping him back into the center of the hallway.

“You really didn’t notice?” Ned looked at him incredulously. “You got him out in kickball. Nobody gets Flash out.”

Peter rolled his eyes, poking gently at his cheek, which was already tender. He’d no doubt have a lovely bruise in the next hour or so. “I wasn’t paying any attention. God. What a fucking prick.”

Ned nodded his agreement. As they neared the front doors of the school, Peter slowed to a stop. He didn’t want to run into Harry in the parking lot. “I, um… I forgot a book I need for homework.” Ned gave him a weird look, but Peter ignored it. “I gotta get it. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

“You don’t wanna come over today?” Ned asked hopefully. “We can start that model.”

Peter shook his head apologetically. “Can’t. Gotta go help Aunt May this afternoon. I’ll catch you later.” He didn’t wait for a response, spinning around and heading back in the direction of his locker.

He wandered around for a few minutes, keeping his eyes out for MJ, Peter, or Flash, before slipping out a side door and sneaking off campus like a juvenile delinquent. He didn’t fully relax until he’d walked all the way to the subway.

 

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Peter had been coerced into helping his Aunt at the nursing home. He didn’t really mind, especially since he was taking a forced break from crime fighting, at least until tomorrow. He used to go along with her a lot more before he became Spider-Man, but these past few months he just hadn’t really had time.

Aunt May was a perceptive woman, and she’d had no trouble noticing how sulky Peter was over the weekend (not that he was doing much to hide it, laying around in his pajamas, watching bad television and eating ice cream for hours on end). Saturday it really had just been a pity party. Peter had felt terrible about MJ and Harry, and the way Deadpool had left their chat on his birthday night had him inexplicably preoccupied. He and Aunt May had a movie marathon, as they’d planned, but Peter’s heart just wasn’t in it. He sat in silence most of the time, zoning out to whatever movie was on instead of cracking jokes like he usually did.

And Sunday he’d been laid up by the stab wound under his ribs. He put on a show of still being moody (which he was, although less so), so he could have an excuse to lie on the couch all day and hardly move. Just getting out of his Spidey suit and into his pajamas when he’d tumbled into his room at six in the morning had been hard enough, and he’d slept until noon after that.

So Aunt May was worried, and Peter felt bad about that. The last thing he wanted to do was make her worry, but he hoped that going with her as she made her rounds today would make her feel better. If he acted upbeat enough, she’d probably assume he had just had some sort of teenage-angst weekend (which was half the truth…) and let it go without further concern. It might be hard, since the incident in the library had Peter’s head as jumbled as if a hurricane was tearing through it, but he would try to put it out of his mind and act as normal as possible.

He made his way to the nurses’ station when he got to the facility, following the familiar path through the brightly lit hallways and trying not to let the old-people smell assault his heightened senses. It had been a while since he’d visited, but everything looked exactly the same. He plastered a grin on his face as he walked up to the counter and hoped it didn’t look too fake. “Hey, Aunt May!”

His Aunt held up one finger as she finished writing something on a chart, then raised her head to greet Peter. She raised an eyebrow at his over-enthusiastic expression. “Good afternoon, Peter. Are you particularly excited to be helping me today?”

Peter nodded, but tried to tone down the enthusiasm. “Yeah. I mean sure. Yeah. It’s been a while… I don’t mind.”

Aunt May’s eyes latched onto something, and she frowned slightly and reached forward, grabbing hold of Peter’s chin and tilting his head to the side. “What in the world happened to your face?”

Peter swallowed, remembering that his cheek must be sporting a dark purple bruise by now, and turned his head to break her grip on his chin. “Nothing. I fell in gym.” He lied. Aunt May gave him a hard look, but thankfully she let it go.

“I see.” Aunt May gave a little shake of her head, but offered Peter a smile. “Alright. Well, I hope you won’t mind being in charge of the food cart!”

Peter couldn’t help but groan in disappointment. Food duty was the worst. Well, okay, it wasn’t the worst, but it still kind of sucked. The prepackaged meals that were heated up and handed out looked even less appetizing than they smelled, and Peter would have to unwrap each one as he delivered them. And he wasn’t really sure why they served dinner at four in the afternoon, anyway. Maybe old people went to bed really early, but it still seemed strange to him. However, he wasn’t here to complain, so he acquiesced with a sigh. “Okay, fine.”

“That’s my boy!” Aunt May gathered her charts and headed towards the kitchens. Peter dropped his backpack behind the counter before following her. When he caught up to her halfway down the hall, she gave him an appraising look. “How was school?”

Peter shrugged. “Fine. Same as usual.” He avoided her gaze, knowing that if he made eye contact she’d probably see right through him. School hadn’t been fine. It hadn’t been the same as usual. It had been bizarre. And confusing. But he wasn’t ready to talk about it, and he was trying to get his Aunt not to worry about him.

Thankfully, she seemed to buy it. Or perhaps she was just extremely perceptive and could tell that Peter didn’t want to talk about whatever had been bothering him (Peter often suspected this was the case, since he probably couldn’t fool his Aunt as easily as he thought he could). Either way, they walked the rest of the way to the kitchens in comfortable silence.

Peter took the cart of little tv-dinner trays and wheeled it back into the hall, resisting the urge to hold his breath as the smell clouded his senses. It looked like mashed potatoes, mashed peas, and some sort of mystery meat today. Oh, and a brownie. Which also looked mashed. Things tended to be served mashed when most of the residents didn’t have all their teeth anymore.

“Mr. Evans if first!” Aunt May announced cheerfully. She knocked politely on the resident’s door when they got there, letting Peter and herself in when they received a verbal answer. Aunt May chatted warmly with the old man in the hospital bed, took his vitals and delivered his medicines, asked him a few health-related questions. Peter introduced himself, shook the man’s wrinkled hand, served the food.

It went on as such for several more residents. Some were more present than others, some were more cheerful than others. It wasn’t so bad, in the end. Peter even sort of enjoyed being doted on as “such a nice young man,” especially since it made his Aunt smile with pride.

When about half the food was gone from the cart (and Peter was getting concerned that the rest would be cooling too soon - probably a normal hazard of nursing home food), they arrived at the first room that had a visitor. They could hear the conversation from down the hall, a distinct difference from the sound of daytime television or talk radio. Not to mention the fact that both speakers seemed to be cursing quite a lot.

And one of the voices was achingly familiar.

Peter frowned slightly in confusion, trying to place where he had heard that voice before. His confusion increased when Aunt May stopped him a few doors away, a slight smile gracing her lips.

“It sounds like Al’s nephew is here. That’s good, I don’t think he’s been around in a while.” Peter nodded, although he wasn’t sure why Aunt May was taking the time to tell him this. May glanced towards the room, where the pair seemed to be in the midst of a quiet argument. “Wade is… Well, he’s a little peculiar.” She turned back to smile at Peter again, and he was surprised by the fondness in her expression. “But he’s really a very good boy. Always very polite, in his own way.”

“Okay…” Peter was really getting confused now. That seemed to be a theme today, and he was getting sick of it.

Aunt May sighed softly. “He was in some sort of accident and he’s quite sensitive about it. So don’t stare, alright?”

Peter blinked at her in surprise. “Oh. Okay, of course not.” That would be no problem. Peter was a very polite boy (as his aunt and uncle had raised him to be).

Peter followed his Aunt to the correct room, unintentionally listening in on what was being said between Al and her visitor.

“Don’t give me that shit, old woman. Not even Fluffy misses you.” There was that familiar voice again.

“Oh, put a goddamn sock in it, Wilson. Or on it. I’m sure you’re taking advantage of living alone by engaging in your favorite activity every five minutes.” Peter raised an eyebrow as they neared the door, surprised to hear such crass words from what sounded like a very old woman.

“Oh, Al. We both know that’s not my favorite activity.” Wade’s tone had turned dangerous, high and teasing with a sharp edge that made Peter’s skin tingle. It was just… so… familiar. “Maybe my second favorite. Besides, your presence never discouraged me before.”

“Oh, I know.” The old woman sounded bitter as Aunt May raised her hand to knock, interrupting the pair’s odd conversation.

Peter was frowning as Al called out “Come in!” in a much more pleasant tone than she’d just been using with her nephew.

He followed his Aunt inside, maneuvering the cart through the doorway as she greeted them. “Good afternoon, Al. Hello, Mr. Wilson. It’s so nice to see you again!” Peter got inside the room and his gaze slid over the old woman in a bright pink track suit and dark sunglasses sitting on the bed, then landed curiously on the man sitting in the visitor’s chair as he was nodding hello to Aunt May.

Peter gasped, his mouth falling open and his eyes widening.

The man’s face was covered in scars, rough and thick and identical to the scars on a certain mercenary’s hands. That voice. That tone. Those words. Deadpool. Deadpool was sitting in a nursing home. Deadpool was here, without his mask on.

Peter hadn’t realized he was staring, still shocked, until Aunt May admonished him with a sharp, “Peter!”

He blinked, closed his mouth and swallowed. He watched as something flashed in Wade’s ice blue eyes, angry and dangerous and broken. Then the man was pulling up the hood of his red Spider-Man sweatshirt, pulling it as low over his face as it would go, so Peter could hardly see his eyes anymore. Shit. Something ached fiercely in Peter’s chest as he realized how his reaction must have looked.

“S-Sorry. I’m sorry.” He looked down shamefully, trying to think of some excuse to explain his behavior, but there was none. He couldn’t exactly tell them he’d recognized Wade as the most infamous masked mercenary in the world.

“No problem, kid.” Wade’s voice was rougher than usual, lower, and Peter risked looking at him again, guilt thick in his stomach. “Should be fucking used to it by now.” He muttered, and Peter wished he could sink in to the floor and disappear. God, why didn’t he have time traveling abilities? Then he could go back ten seconds and not be a complete and utter asshole.

Aunt May was frowning at him and Peter felt terrible. “This is my nephew, Peter. I apologize for his thoughtlessness. Peter, this is Al and Wade.” Peter nodded awkwardly, getting a small wave from Al but no response from Wade.

He kept silent, still wishing he could disappear, and went to get Al a tray of food while May checked her vitals and asked how the old woman had been feeling. As he watched them, Peter realized that Al was blind. She didn’t look directly at May when they were speaking, and he couldn’t see her eyes behind those dark glasses.

He kept glancing furtively at Deadpool…. Well, Wade, but the mercenary kept his arms crossed over his chest and his head down, not saying anything else until Peter was unwrapping the food and laying it on the small table attached to the bed.

Wade leaned forward to look at the food, his eyes still hidden although Peter could see his mouth twisting into a small smile. “Look, Blind Al!” He snickered at his own wordplay, and Peter couldn’t help but smile, too. “They mashed up your food for you! Isn’t that nice?” He spoke with exaggerated excitement, reaching out to pluck the brownie from the plate. Al’s hand shot out with surprising speed and accuracy, slapping Wade’s fingers away from her desert.

“The food here is just fine, Wade. In fact, it’s much better than your cooking. If you can call that cooking.”

Wade let out an injured gasp, cradling his hand to his chest (Peter noticed that he was wearing gloves even though it was quite warm outside). “That’s low, old lady. We both know you would kill for my banana and peanut butter pancakes.”

Al picked up her brownie and took a bite. “Depends on who I’d have to kill.” She shot back.

Peter grinned. Even Aunt May had an amused smile on her face as she measured out Al’s medicine. “Now, now. Play nice, you two.”

“I will if she will!” Wade exclaimed, sitting back in his chair. He seemed more relaxed now. Although he didn’t take the hood off.

Peter leaned back against the wall by the door, watching Wade when he knew the man couldn’t see him. This was so strange. What were the odds that Deadpool would know someone who stayed in Spider-Man’s aunt’s nursing home? Okay, well, it was kind of a tenuous connection. But it seemed pretty far-fetched to Peter.

Still, it was clear that Wade didn’t know who Peter was. Peter smiled slightly at the irony as his gaze swept over the Spider-Man sweatshirt stretched across Wade’s broad shoulders. He looked different when he wasn’t in his skin-tight Deadpool suit. He still looked massive and dangerous, like he could knock anyone out with one punch, but he also looked… More gentle. Sitting there in jeans and purple Nike’s and that sweatshirt.

When Aunt May handed Al her little cup of pills, Wade’s hand shot out to snatch it up before she could take any. “They giving you the good stuff?” He asked, peering curiously at the collection of medication.

“Wade…” May gave the man a stern look, and Wade had the audacity to look sheepish as he handed the cup back to Al.

“Just curious!” He exclaimed, holding his hands up innocently. He leaned back in his chair and muttered quietly to himself, “Yeah… I wish we could, too.”

Suddenly, baby blue eyes flickered over to Peter, catching his gaze. Peter felt his cheeks warm as Wade looked at him, and resisted the urge to duck his head. A small, almost hesitant smirk drifted over Wade’s lips, and Peter felt his stomach twist slightly.

“Alright then! It was so nice to see you, Wade. Try not to tease Al too much, okay? Al, I’ll see you later tonight before lights out. You two have a good evening!” Peter refocused his attention on his Aunt as she wrapped things up, trying to ignore his burning cheeks.

“Bye.” He told the two of them a bit lamely, still thoroughly embarrassed by his idiocy when he came in. He took the cart back into the hallway and braced himself for the scolding he knew was coming his way.

Sure enough, as they started towards the next room, Aunt May made her displeasure known. “Peter Benjamin Parker, I did not raise you to be so inconsiderate.”

He hung his head, feeling eaten by the guilt. “I know… I’m sorry. I was just surprised. But that’s no excuse.”

Aunt May shook her head, lips pursed. “No, it’s not. I expect more of you.”

Peter swallowed. “I know.” His voice was hardly more than a whisper.

Aunt May sighed. “I don’t mean to be harsh with you, dear. It’s just that Wade is very sensitive about his skin. I know he might not seem like a sensitive guy, but he is. He’s really very sweet if you get to know him.”

Peter nodded, his thoughts racing as he tried to reconcile this image of Wade Wilson with the man he knew as Deadpool. It was kind of like he had two puzzle pieces in his hand, and they looked like they came from two completely different boxes, but somehow they still fit together. He thought over his interactions with Deadpool, picking out all of the small moments when the mercenary had shown some vulnerability. The crane. The care with which he stitched Peter up. The embarrassment about his hands. Those moments fit with Wade Wilson. And Wade’s anger, the jokes, the grace with which he moved. That was Deadpool.

Somehow, it worked.

Peter spent the next hour wondering about Wade Wilson. How had he become Deadpool? How did he get those scars? What did he do for a living, if he had another job? How did he know the blind old woman named Al? Because somehow Peter doubted that Wade was really her nephew.

He was so preoccupied that he completely forgot to freak out about the Harry situation.

By the time he had finished helping Aunt May with the rest of the rounds, returned the empty cart to the kitchen, and followed his Aunt back to the nurses’ station to pick up his bag, he had made a decision.

“Aunt May?” He asked as he slung his backpack over one shoulder.

“Hm?” She didn’t look up from the charts she was filing away.

“Um, can I go check if Wade Wilson is still here? I wanted to apologize to him. And maybe see if he wanted to go get dinner.”

Aunt May looked up at him, eyebrows arched slightly in surprise. “I think that’s a good idea, Peter. Why don’t you do that?”

Peter smiled. “Okay. Well, I’ll see you at home after your shift.” He always stayed up for her to come home before he went to bed (although he hardly ever actually went to bed, because, you know, Spider-Man).

“Alright. Be careful going home.” She had looked back down at her charts.

“Okay!” Peter was halfway down the hall when Aunt May called out again.

“You should ask Wade to walk you to the subway, dear! He’d be very good protection.”

Peter whirled around to stare at her, mortified. “Aunt May!” He shook his head at her grin, turning to continue on his way with slightly warmer cheeks.

Damn his flush-prone skin.

Peter stopped outside Al’s door, swallowing against the nervousness he felt rising up inside his veins. This might not be a good idea. If he really thought about it, how smart was it to let Deadpool get to know his secret identity? What if he eventually figured out who Peter was? On the other hand, was it fair of him to try to get to know Wade Wilson when he knew he was Deadpool? Wasn’t that a breach of privacy?

Before he had the chance to fall into full moral crisis mode, the door swung open. There stood Wade, staring down at Peter with a guarded, slightly suspicious expression. “I knew I heard a little puppy sniffing around out here.”

Peter bit down on his bottom lip, shifting his feet slightly as he shoved his hands in his pockets. “Sorry, I just… Um, I came to apologize.”

Wade’s eyes narrowed, but he relaxed his stance, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning one shoulder against the doorframe. Peter tried not to stare at the man’s bare head. He didn’t find the scars horrific, just… Interesting. And the line of Wade’s jaw, the curve of his cheekbones… Well, he wasn’t unattractive.

“Well?”

Peter blinked at Wade, his lips falling open as he realized he’d once again been staring. “Well, um, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.” Peter ran one hand through his hair, a nervous habit of his even though he knew it only made him look messier. “I was extremely rude and I let my Aunt May down and, well, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. That’s the last thing I want to do.”

Wade frowned at him, staring as if he was trying to figure something out, and Peter shifted uncomfortably. “It is new.” He finally muttered. “But I bet the nurse made him do it.”

Peter suppressed a smile. “My Aunt didn’t make me. I wanted to apologize. And I wanted to ask if you’d like to get a bite to eat.”

That really seemed to perplex Wade. He furrowed his brow, and Peter marveled at how expressive those blue eyes were. And then he looked suspicious again, and it made Peter sad to realize that Wade probably didn’t get asked to hang out with people very often. “Look. Thanks for the pity offer, but I don’t really think that’s a good idea, kid.” Wade stepped back and reached for the door, but Peter spoke up before he could be shut out.

“What about tacos?” He extended the offer like a metaphorical carrot, remembering that Deadpool once said he would never say no to tacos. Would Wade keep that promise?

Wade froze, staring at Peter again, both surprised and confused. A few moments passed in tense silence before he finally nodded. “Yeah… Okay.” He turned back to yell into the room behind him. “I’m out, Blindy! I got a much better offer. Catch ya on the flip side if you’re not dead next week.”

Peter raised his eyebrows at the strange goodbye, watching with some amusement as Wade slammed the door behind him, cutting off Al’s bored “fuck you” and stepped into the hallway.

“Your relationship with your aunt is very different from mine.” Peter stated wryly, earning a surprised look and a snort of laughter from Wade.

“True that, kid. True that.” They started down the hallway together, and Peter suddenly realized that he’d just invited Deadpool to have dinner with him. Outside of their masks. It was kind of a bid deal, but it was too late to go back on it now.

“How’d you know I liked tacos?” Wade asked with a sidelong glance.

Peter shrugged, avoiding his eyes. “Lucky guess.” He kept his hands shoved in his pockets, his gaze directed forwards as they walked. He wasn’t quite sure how he should act. He was afraid that just being himself would lead to Wade recognizing him, but maybe he was giving himself too much credit. Spider-Man had always been different from plain old Peter Parker. Spider-Man was more confident, more fearless. He was wittier and stronger, a better person. Peter was just… Peter. So maybe it was safe to be himself, after all.

And in the end, he kind of felt like he could trust Wade. He had saved Spider-Man. Twice. And despite how he made his living and what everyone else said about him, Deadpool seemed like a good guy to Peter.

So he decided to try and relax, and actually get to know Wade Wilson. As they pushed their way out of the front doors of the nursing home and into the bright late-afternoon sun, Peter risked another glance at the taller man. “So. What makes Wade Wilson tick?” He asked. It wasn’t the smoothest start to a conversation, but it was functional.

Wade chuckled, shaking his head slightly as he pulled his hood up over his face. Peter wasn’t sure if he did so to shield his skin from the sun, or to hide it from other people. “Many things, Peter, many things.” He seemed to think for a moment, tipping his head slightly to one side as if listening to something (his voices, Peter recognized). He finally raised a gloved hand and started ticking things off as he listed them. “Chimichangas, lemon bars, Spider-Man, pancakes, tootsie rolls, hot ass, my uh… job, tacos, gummy worms, and Spider-Man.” He ticked off his last finger and nodded approvingly.

Peter couldn’t help but grin. “You listed Spider-Man twice.”

“Oh, I know. That’s because I’m obsessed with him.” His tone was so matter of fact that Peter had to laugh.

“Yeah, I can see that.” He gestured to the sweatshirt. It was still strange to see his symbol on people’s clothes. He hadn’t wanted to copyright his look, even though Mr. Stark had advised him to, and now he was wondering if he’d made a mistake. But it wasn’t really a big deal, in the end. It was mostly harmless stuff like kids costumes and t-shirts. There was one pretty disturbing calendar (which he wouldn’t be surprised if Wade owned, actually), but otherwise Peter hadn’t been bothered by the products sold in his name.

“Oh! Oh shit!” Wade stopped walking and stared down at his hands, suddenly distraught.

Peter jerked to a stop, too, his stomach sinking. “What? What is it?”

Wade looked up at him, his expressive eyes full of despair. “I forgot Golden Girls! And now I don’t have enough fingers!”

Peter stared at him for a second, his mouth hanging open, then burst into laughter. “Oh… God, Wade, you scared me.” And there was Deadpool. It wasn’t so hard to see how the two of them were one and the same now. “You can have eleven things on your list, Sherlock.” Peter started walking again and Wade kept pace beside him. “I like Golden Girls, too.” He admitted.

Wade gave him a surprised look. “Aren’t you, like, in high school?” Peter nodded. “Then how do you know about Golden Girls? Only little old ladies watch Golden Girls.”

Peter raised an eyebrow at Wade. “Are you secretly a little old lady?”

Wade cracked a smile, and Peter was surprised by how nice it looked on the mercenary. He had often heard Deadpool smiling when he spoke through the mask, but he’d never seen it before. He found that he quite liked it.

“Would you be surprised if I said I was?” The corners of his mouth were still quirked upwards and there was a light in his eyes that made Peter want to grin.

He nodded gravely. “Yes, very surprised.”

“In that case…” Wade trailed off, his eyes suddenly focusing on something behind Peter. He stopped walking. Peter stopped too, confusion passing over his features. Before he could ask what was wrong, Wade had stepped into Peter’s space and was reaching around him for something. Peter inhaled sharply, smelling gunpowder and peppermint candy.

Wade stepped back after just a moment, holding a newspaper in his hands and staring intently at the front page. Peter turned around to look at the newsstand.

Plastered across the front page of every edition of the Daily Bugle was a color photograph of Spider-Man laying unconscious in Deadpool’s arms, the crumpled NYPD truck upside down in the background. The headline read: SPIDER FINALLY FALLEN FROM ITS WEB. And at the bottom of the page, in smaller print: How is masked killer, Deadpool, involved? (see page 4).

Peter frowned, but he didn’t bother to pick up the paper. He knew what sorts of things the Bugle wrote about him, and he’d decided long ago that reading it would only cause him trouble. It didn’t matter what they said; it only mattered that he was helping people.

Not that he’d been able to help anyone on Saturday night. He’d lost to the Green Goblin, and very badly. Spider-Man had never been defeated so soundly before. In fact, he’d never failed at all before that night. And now this new, highly dangerous criminal was still wandering free, able to attack the city at any time because Peter had been unable to stop him. Guilt settled heavy in his stomach, as it had many times over the past couple of days.

He had no excuses. He should have been faster, stronger, smarter. He’d never fought anyone that shut him down so easily. Even with Deadpool, he was evenly matched (if not even having a slight edge over the skilled mercenary). Hell, even with Captain America he hadn’t been so completely and utterly defeated.

The Green Goblin had knocked him down. Hard. All Peter could do was try to be ready for next time. And he didn’t plan on losing again.

Lost in his thoughts as he stared at the photo multiplied dozens of times across the newsstand, Peter didn’t realize for a while that Wade was muttering quietly to himself.

“Yeah, of course he saw… Well, wouldn’t you?” Wade tore the paper open, turning angrily to page four, the pages crumpling in his hands. “No… Well, I… Fuck, would you fucking look at this?” He shook his head, eyes narrowing as he read whatever the paper was saying. “Fucking ridiculous.”

Peter chewed on his bottom lip, watching Wade. He considered telling the mercenary just to ignore the stupid paper, like he did. They never printed the facts, anyway. They were just misguided assholes with nothing better to do than to make a public scandal out of the city’s heroes. But he’d seen Deadpool’s emotional sensitivity, and he didn’t want to make Wade more upset.

The salesman at the stand interrupted for him. “Hey, buddy. You gonna pay for that?” The middle-aged man sidled up to Wade, his balding head barely passing Wade’s shoulder. His New York accent was thick. “Cause I got people actually wanna make purchases, and they aint gonna buy a paper if its crumpled up and shit.”

Peter saw it coming, but that didn’t stop him from wincing when Wade grabbed the front of the man’s shirt and lifted him onto his toes, leaning down to growl in his face. “Fuck. Off.”

Peter hurried forward, placing one hand on Wade’s chest and gently pushing him away from the startled salesman. Wade released his hold with a huff and started walking away down the sidewalk, the paper still held messily in one hand.

Peter smiled apologetically at the man. “Sorry, sorry.” He dug in his pocket for his wallet and pulled out a couple of dollar bills. “Here. Sorry.”

The salesman took the cash but shook his head as he turned back to the stand, muttering something about “deranged fucking freaks.”

Peter turned and followed after Wade, jogging a few steps to catch up to him. “Hey.” He fell into step beside the mercenary and matched his pace. “You okay?”

Wade glanced sideways at Peter, looking as if he thought the boy were some kind of insane. “Fine.” He managed, his jaw still set tight. “It just burns me the fuck up to see the shit they write about Spider-Man.”

Peter sighed. “I wouldn’t worry about it. I mean, I’m sure most people know it’s not true. I can certainly tell it’s all bullshit. And Spider-Man probably tries to stay above all that, you know?”

Wade nodded seriously. “Right. Yeah. Because he has his head in the right place. Shit, that little spider’s smart.”

Peter bit down on his lip to suppress a smile, ducking his head to stare at the sidewalk.

Wade’s voice lowered to a murmur. “That’s not the point, White… Well yeah, I know, it’s just…” He sighed. “Whatever. Just fuck off.”

Peter though maybe it might be helpful for him to pull Wade’s attention away from the voices he heard. So far, they didn’t seem like the most pleasant conversationalists. “What about Deadpool?” He asked curiously, glancing up at Wade’s face, still half-hidden by his hood. He hadn’t even considered what the paper might say about the mercenary. Wasn’t Wade upset about that, too?

Wade just shrugged, but his face had gone suspiciously blank at the mention of his alter ego’s name. “That assassin guy? Dunno. I’m not really sure why Spidey’s hanging out with him.”

Peter frowned. “Well, it looks to me like Deadpool saved him. That seems pretty cool.” He directed his attention forwards and his next words were softer. “I know what people say about Deadpool, but I think maybe he could be a hero, too. If he tried.”

Wade was silent after that, and Peter started to get nervous so he glanced up at him again. Wade was staring at him, a strange expression in his eyes. Peter tried not to blush as the older man looked away with a quiet, “Maybe. Maybe not.”

They didn’t talk after that, and they reached the Mexican restaurant after another minute of walking. Peter led them inside; he’d been here a couple times before. “So, it’s not fancy or anything, but the food is really good.” He started towards the counter, eyes fixed on the menu above. “I know you like tacos, but their nacho supreme is to die for.”

“I know.” Wade came to stand beside him. “I’ve been here before.”

Peter looked at him in surprise. “You have? You should have said something. We can go somewhere else if you-“

“No.” Wade shook his head. “Here’s good. Besides, I’ve been to every Mexican place in New York.”

Peter stared at him for a moment. “Wow. That’s… impressive.”

Wade smirked slightly. “You aint seen nothin’ yet, kid.”

Peter chuckled and shook his head, stepping up to the register to order. He got the nachos. Wade got two tacos, two chimichangas, and the nachos, too. Peter took his wallet out to pay, hoping fervently that he had enough cash, but Wade beat him to it, handing the cashier a crisp hundred dollar bill.

Peter gaped. Just a little bit. “Wade, I… I was gonna pay. This is supposed to be an apology dinner. You didn’t have to…”

Wade scoffed. “Come on, kid. You look like you can’t even feed yourself properly, let alone a food vacuum like me. I got it. I’m loaded anyway.”

Peter flushed at the implication that he couldn’t afford to eat properly. “Whatever…” He muttered, taking a cup for water and going to find them a table. Why was it that everyone Peter hung out with seemed to be filthy rich?

He settled into a seat by the window, not looking up when Wade slid into the seat across from him. There was silence for a minute, but it wasn’t awkward. Not even when Wade started singing under his breath; something like “You make me… feel like I’m living a teenage dream… The way you turn me on… I can’t sleep…”

Peter tried not to laugh, unsure if it was actually loud enough that he would plausibly hear it without super hearing.

Their names were called and they both got up to retrieve their food, Peter stopping at the fountain to fill his cup with water before sitting back down. By the time he got back to the table, Wade had already eaten most of one taco.

He grinned as he slid into his seat. “You weren’t kidding about that vacuum comment.”

Wade shook his head seriously. “Mm mm.” He finished it off with one more bite and started opening a chimichanga. Peter started in on his nachos, resisting the urge to moan at how fantastic it tasted when he took the first bite. They ate in silence for a minute, just enjoying the food.

“So, who punched you in the face?”

Peter looked up at Wade, his eyes widening slightly. “Huh?” Clearly, a professional fighter like Deadpool would know a shiner when he saw one. “Oh, um… just some kid at school.” He looked back down at his nachos, willing his cheeks not to turn red. At least the bruise was probably faded to an unpleasant greenish-yellow now. Bruises only lasted a matter of hours on the surface of Peter’s skin.

“You know what you should do next time?” Peter glanced back up, quite apprehensive about whatever Wade was about to say.

“What?” He asked hesitantly.

“Just punch him in the balls.” Peter snorted a laugh. As if… But god, that would be hilarious. “No, I’m serious. You only have to do that once and they’ll lay off for the rest of time.”

Peter just shook his head. “It’s not exactly that simple.” Not when he could end up making Flash infertile or permanently knocking his balls into his body. Although both of those possibilities sounded pretty good to him. “Besides.” He smirked at Wade. “Who said it was a guy?”

Wade chuckled. “You’re saying a girl clocked you? Not that girls can’t throw mean punches. Trust me, they can. I know from first hand experience. Plus, you know, I’m not sexist or anything. I bet girls can punch harder than guys, actually. They’re probably way better at it.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Well, it wasn’t a girl. But it could have been. I did manage to upset one recently.” He looked back at his nachos, picking at them half-heartedly as he thought about MJ. He hadn’t thought about her all afternoon, and that just made him feel more guilty.

“Aw… Is wittle Petey having girl troubles?”

Peter shot him a glare. “No.” He resisted the urge to stick out his tongue at Wade. “Just a… misunderstanding.” Did that count as girl troubles? It didn’t matter. Peter hurried to change the subject because he really didn’t want to talk about this with Deadpool of all people. “So, what do you do? For your job?” He took a bite of food, curious as to what Wade’s cover story was.

Wade just shrugged, refocusing on his food as well. He spoke through a full mouth, making Peter’s nose wrinkle slightly in distaste. “I do contract work.”

Peter cocked his head to the side, interested. “What kind?”

“Military.” Wade stated his answer in a way that left no room for more questions. Peter was impressed.

“I see.” He mused on that, staring out the window as he munched on more nachos. It was clean, simple, and discreet. A perfect cover. Peter needed to think of one of those… Except he didn’t really because there was no doubt that he’d always need to have a normal job in addition to his hero activities. He didn’t exactly get paid for swinging around the city at night.

“You’re doing well, you know.”

Peter glanced back at Wade, confused by his suddenly bitter tone of voice. “Hm?”

Wade was looking down, the shadow of his hood falling over his eyes. “I know I’m not pretty to look at, but you’re hiding your disgust well. If you hadn’t shown your hand when you first saw me, I’d almost think you didn’t notice. Or didn’t care.”

Peter flushed with dark, hot shame. “Wade…”

“No, it’s fine.” His gaze flickered over Peter, then away, distant and guarded, resigned. “I’m used to it.”

Peter felt like his heart might be breaking.

Wade.” Peter reached out, brushing his fingers over Wade’s gloved hand where it lay on the table. Wade looked down at their hands as if Peter had just touched him with a dead fish. “I don’t care about your fucking skin.”

And he meant it. In that moment, Peter realized that he really didn’t care. Sure, it was shocking at first. And the scars really did seem to be everywhere (although Peter tried to keep himself from imagining the rest of Wade’s body, which was difficult since he could see pretty much everything through Deadpool’s skin-tight suit). But Wade’s skin wasn’t what made him Wade. Even in their short time together, Peter could tell that he was so, so much more than that. The scars didn’t even keep Peter from finding Wade attractive, he was surprised to realize.

He stared defiantly into Wade’s eyes, trying to seem honest and reassuring, and Wade looked back at him with confusion and suspicion and maybe a little bit of hope.

That was enough for now.

Peter pulled back with a small smile and started eating again, letting Wade sit in silence for a little while. It was probably pretty busy in his head right now.

After a minute, Wade cleared his throat and started in on his last taco, the rest of his food having already disappeared into his cavernous stomach. “So what do the kids do for fun these days?” He asked around a mouthful of taco, not quite meeting Peter’s eyes.

Peter shrugged, allowing Wade to move on as if the last part of their conversation hadn’t happened. “I don’t know. I’m not really your typical kid, I guess.” He smiled wryly at that. Most teenagers probably felt the same way, but Peter thought that maybe his claim had a little more validity than most. He picked up his last nacho and took a bite, chewing while he thought about it. “I do homework, mostly. And I have an internship in a research lab that keeps me pretty busy.”

Wade grinned, already balling up his empty taco wrapper and letting it fall onto his empty tray. “You’re a nerd. I knew it.”

Peter rolled his eyes, his neck feeling a little warm, but he couldn’t exactly deny it.

“It’s the glasses.” Wade said seriously, nodding to himself. “Very nerd hipster.”

Peter chuckled. People always fixated on the glasses, but it worked out well that way. It was probably the only disguise he needed to keep his secret identity solid. “So I’ve heard.” He admitted.

Wade smiled at him, and Peter smiled back. He thought maybe they could be friends. It was a strange thought, but a shockingly potent one. He, Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, wanted to be friends with Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool, with a fierceness that was entirely unexpected and illogical.

“Well… This has been a blast. Like, Space Mountain level, which is pretty good. Hey - Space Mountain is totally the best ride at Disney World.” Peter had a feeling those last words weren’t directed at him. “But I better get going.”

Wade started to push back his chair, but Peter halted him with a slightly desperate “Wait!” He’d just realized he had no way of finding Wade Wilson again, except maybe through his friend Al, but Aunt May had said Wade didn’t visit her that often. Peter leaned down to dig in his backpack, pulling out a notebook and a pen. He ripped a page from the notebook haphazardly, ending up with a jagged two-thirds page, which he folded in half and pressed onto the table to write on. He jotted down his name and phone number, hesitating only briefly before holding it out to Wade.

Wade was looking at his hand like it was a dead fish again. “Um… Look, kid. This has been fun. Like, you’re really funny. Seriously, great pity dinner. Or apology. Whatever. And don’t get me wrong, you definitely have the sexy nerd thing going on and your ass is almost as hot as Spider-Man’s, but… You’re kind of young for me.”

Peter blushed furiously, and knowing that his face looked like a ripe tomato only made him more embarrassed. “N-No… I’m not… I just thought we could be friends.” He stubbornly kept holding the paper out. “You’re fun to hang with, too. That’s all.”

Wade had that look in his eye again, like he was trying to figure out whether Peter was fucking with him, but he finally reached out and took Peter’s contact info. “Oh-kay…” He drew the word out, looking down at the paper as if Peter had written something much more interesting on it.

“Yeah. So… I guess the ball’s in your court.” Peter smiled, trying to make the exchange less awkward.

Wade just shook his head slightly, muttering something like, “Friends with a teenager… It is a new low.” Then, with a slight smile. “Or maybe I’m just starting a trend, here.”

Peter cleared his throat quietly, gathering up his tray as he prepared to leave. That seemed to get Wade’s attention. “Alright, Peter Parker.” Wade pushed back from the table, tucking the paper into his pocket, and stood as Peter did the same. “If I ever need a late night taco buddy or the opinion of a nerdy teenage boy, I’ll call you.”

Peter grinned. “Sounds good. Except… Don’t call me in the middle of the night. Aunt May worries if she hears the phone too late.” Not to mention, it might be a bit troublesome if Wade/Deadpool was trying to contact him while he was out as Spider-Man. He didn’t want the clever mercenary connecting any of the dots.

Wade nodded. “Will do. Kind woman, your Aunt.”

Peter nodded, too, quite solemnly. “She really is. But she works too hard.”

Wade smiled sadly. “Don’t all the kind people?”

Peter supposed there was some sad, but beautiful truth in that. “Yeah.” He agreed softly, looking into Wade’s bright blue eyes. God, how had he never known that these eyes were hiding under Deadpool’s mask?

Wade cleared his throat and broke their gaze. “Alright then. See you around, kid.”

“See you.” Peter let Wade leave first, watching him walking out of the restaurant and onto the sidewalk, which was bathed in the orangey glow of the setting sun. As soon as he had passed through the doors and entered the outside world, Wade’s shoulders had hunched as he bent his head and tucked his hands into the pocket of his Spidey sweatshirt.

It made Peter’s chest ache.

He got all the way home, two subway rides and forty minutes later, before he realized he hadn’t thought about Harry or MJ in hours.

Fuck. What was he supposed to do about that? It was gong to be hard to think of a solution if his every waking moment was so preoccupied by thoughts of Wade Wilson and his blue eyes and his stupid revealing costume.

For once, Peter was glad to have the night off from Spider-Man. It gave him time to think. Even if all he accomplished was deciding to ask Wade why he liked Spider-Man so much the next time he saw the mercenary outside their masks.

Peter actually went to bed when his Aunt got home. And he slept like a rock. And his side didn’t hurt him at all.

Deadpool really had done a good job stitching him up.

 

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Song Credits:

Title:
Disappear - Demo Version - Mikky Ekko
Lyrics:
Teenage Dream - Katy Perry

 

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Chapter Text

Wade

[White]
{Yellow}

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

“Hey, hey! You, you! I don’t like your girlfriend.” Wade sang cheerfully, and loudly, as he skipped down the street, drawing the usual stares.

{No way, no way, think you need a new one.}

“Hey, hey! You, you!” He reached out to young woman walking along the sidewalk, grabbing her by the arms and shaking her lightly. She shrieked. “I could be your girlfriend!”

The man she’d been walking with started yelling and hitting Wade on the arm, trying to separate him from the girl, but Deadpool just laughed, releasing her with no trouble and continuing on his merry way.

{Hey, hey! You, you! I know that you like me!}

[No way. No way.]

{No, it’s not a secret!}

“Hey, hey! You, you! I want to be your girlfriend.” Wade ducked into an alley and hoisted himself up onto the nearest fire escape, beginning his climb up to the roof still humming lightly to himself.

It was Tuesday night. He was going to meet Spider-Man at their spot. And nothing could ruin his mood.

Nope. Not even his failed attempts to identify whatever nasty bastard was trying to revamp Weapon X.

{Hey. I thought we weren’t thinking about that tonight!}

[We’re not. The writers just need to recap what’s been going on so our stupid readers don’t get lost.]

{STOP STEALING MY THING. And don’t insult the readers. We wouldn’t exist without them.}

[…You are probably very nice, readers. Please, keep enjoying this story. This utterly ridiculous side-tracking aside.]

{That’s better. Now where were we?}

Wade had failed to find any of the slimy snakes who’d been asking after Weapon X information.

{Oh, right.}

He’d spent all of Sunday and half of Monday following all the leads Weasel had been able to give him, and all of them had led him to a big fat zilch. Nada. Nothing whatsoever. If he didn’t trust his friend, and he was close to climbing onto the fence about that, he’d suspect that he was being strung along. It was quite frustrating, given that Wade was really not used to failure in this area. Tracking down bad guys was what he did. Like for a living. And he was usually very, very good at it.

[The best.]

{Really. The fucking best. They write stories about us.}

So, needless to say, Wade had been pissed. Pissed enough that he even stooped so low as to pay a visit to his least favorite blind old lady. He told himself it was just so he could ask her if she’d heard anything about these dickheads he was looking for.

[But really it’s because he missed her. The sensitive, clingy little man-child.]

{Whoa there, grumpy pants. Wade isn’t little.}

“That I am not.” Wade pulled himself up onto the roof of whatever building he’d climbed (he hadn’t been paying much attention). “And you know I mean that in the only way that really counts!”

[Yes, yes. We all know you have a big dick.]

{Not just big. Wade has a PhD!}

Anyway. Al had been no help, as per usual. But then Wade ran into that sexy little piece of ass named Peter Parker, so maybe it hadn’t been a complete waste of a trip. And the kid had been a total nerd, and probably not normal in the head since he’d asked Wade Wilson AKA Scarface to eat with him and then hadn’t puked his nachos all over the floor at the sight of that face consuming food. But whatever. He’d been pretty to look at for a while, and surprisingly funny. And witty. And nice.

{And those eyes…}

“Fucking chocolate candy Bambi eyes.”

{And that ass…}

“Mm. That ass.”

[Didn’t we not want to be pedophiles?]

{I think we decided sixteen was close enough to adulthood.}

[When did we decide that? And besides, how do we know Peter is sixteen? He seemed pretty young to me.]

{…He had a cell phone?}

[You clearly know nothing about kids.]

And the kid gave Wade his phone number, which practically made him certifiable all on its own. Wade hadn’t had the guts to use it yet, if he ever would, but he was pretty sure it was fake. If it wasn’t fake, then Peter Parker either had the most overgrown pity-organ in the whole world, or he had some serious childhood trauma that made him immune to the terror that was Wade’s horror-movie skin. Wade was hoping for the latter, although that was pretty selfish of him.

He glanced around for the direction he should be heading in. There it was, the giant silver skyscraper jutting proudly up above the skyline like a huge, shiny penis with ‘Bank of America’ tattooed in glowing lights across the head. It was fantastic.

“Itsy bitsy spider, here I come!” Wade started making his way across the rooftops, following the shining beacon of hope and glory that was ‘their spot’ as he took running leaps between the tightly packed buildings. Occasionally he’d have to climb a fire escape to a taller building or jump down a few floors when the rooftops didn’t line up. He sprained his ankles a few times, but that was no big deal. Those things healed faster than rabbits fucked.

When he finally made it to the roof of the hotel next door, Wade was pleasantly winded. “Nothing like a nice rooftop romp to get the blood flowing!”

{Or a romp between the sheets!}

[You prefer romping in less conventional places than that, Yellow.]

{Why, yes… Yes I do. Remember that time in the Toys R Us?}

[This is why people will think we’re pedophiles.]

{Well we weren’t fucking the kids… Just the cashier.}

[Back when Wade didn’t look like his skin got stuck in a blender and turned on high.]

Wade sighed, officially done with this conversation, and stared up at the smooth expanse of the side of ‘their’ building. Leave it to Spidey to pick one of the tallest spots in the city. Maybe he forgot that Deadpool couldn’t climb walls with his bare hands and banks have killer security. But it didn’t matter; Wade liked a challenge.

{Why were we in a kids’ toy store anyway?}

[Wade really wanted the newest World Barbie.] White’s tone was scathing. [You were always a bit off your rocker, weren’t you?]

“Hey, those things are collectables. And you learn as you play!” Wade took a scope from his utility belt and held it up to his eye, scanning the edge of the roof for obstacles. It seemed clear, so apparently Bank of America wasn’t concerned about people climbing ninety stories on the outside of the building to get onto the roof. “How do you two know about all that shit anyway?” He’d always been bugged by the fact that the boxes knew all of his life before he lost his marbles, too.

[Does no one else understand that we are in Wade’s head?]

Making his decision, Wade tucked the scope away and pulled out two hand-held suction cups. These babies were military-grade, the same shit the Navy Seals used. He strapped them on his hands and checked them on the surface of the roof. Perfect suction. He released them again with a press of his thumbs to the buttons on the sides, and backed up for a running start.

He was gonna do this Spidey-style.

“Bon voyage, mother fuckers!” Wade yelled gleefully as he took off, pushing away from the edge of the roof and leaping towards the shiny bank. He landed hard, the breath knocked out of him by the impact as his body bounced against the glass, but the suction cups caught and held. He risked a glance downwards, grinning at how tiny everything already looked on the street below. He started climbing.

{Don’t fall!} Yellow advised cheerfully.

The fall would certainly kill him. But that wasn’t really a problem. The problem would be delaying his meeting with his favorite little spider. So he wouldn’t fall.

Wade found a rhythm, attaching and releasing and pulling himself upwards one hand at a time. Good thing he was built as fuck and could easily move his considerable body weight using just his arms. It was taking a little longer than he’d thought it would, since the building was even taller than it looked, so he kicked it into gear and moved a little faster up the last few stories.

{Don’t want to keep Spidey waiting!}

[If he’s even gonna be there.]

{Shut up. You’re such a pessimist. Spider said he would meet us, and he’s too nice to break his word.}

“That’s right.” Wade grunted, pulling himself up to the last glass-sided floor of the skyscraper. His spider wouldn’t lie. He was only a couple feet from the roof when something red popped out over the edge, eliciting a startled “Huh!” from Wade.

“Need some help?” Spider-Man’s head tipped adorably to one side, and Wade was glad he hadn’t lost his grip and fallen to his death. That would have been inconvenient.

“Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick. You could’ve killed me, Spidey-Boy!” Wade released one hand and reached up to take Spidey’s extended arm. He resisted the urge to moan some nasty words as Spider-Man lifted him up and onto the ledge as if he weighed no more than a little black kitten. He stood up straight, a good six inches taller than Spidey, and pretended to brush himself off. “What were you tryin’ to do, Hans Gruber me?”

“You wish you could be Alan Rickman in Die Hard.”

The grin in Spidey’s voice made Wade’s heart soar. “I do wish that!” He did his fan girl voice. “Oh my god you totally get me!” Unable to contain himself, he reached out and wrapped his arms around Spidey’s waist, lifting him off the ground and spinning him around a couple of times. He figured the little hero wouldn’t want to be in his arms too long, even though he wasn’t pushing Wade away or knocking him over the head for being such a handsy asshole.

[Seriously. Can we talk about the pedophile issue again?]

{Shut up, already. No one cares.}

So Wade set Spidey back on the ground, but was surprised to find the kid laughing breathlessly, his hands trailing down Wade’s arms before dropping away as they separated. Suddenly, it was kind of hard for Wade to breath. He wanted to grab Spidey again. He wanted to wrap the kid up in his arms and clutch him close just to feel that body on his one more time. But he was already toeing the line… He’d decided that being attracted to a sixteen year old wasn’t the worst thing in the world, and a little flirting never hurt anyone, but he was going to do his best to keep his hands off the merchandise.

{The fine, fine merchandise… I still say it doesn’t matter. We should just fuck him, laws be damned. Since when have we cared about the law anyway?}

[We care about not hurting kids.]

{…Whatever.}

Suddenly, Wade remembered something. “Oh fucking hell! Fuck me with a chainsaw. Shit Spidey, I forgot. How’s your side, Baby Boy?” He reached for Spider-Man without thinking, running his fingers along his tight little waist until he felt the edge of his suit and pulled it up to check the bandaging. There wasn’t any, just a thin red line, like a newly closed wound. His body must have rejected the stitches as he healed; that was good.

Spider-Man went still, letting Wade look him over even though it sounded like he was holding his breath. “It’s, um… Fine, really. Almost completely healed.” His voice was a bit strained, so after Wade had sufficiently determined that Spidey was going to make a full and spectacular recovery, he tugged the suit back down and stepped away, giving the boy his space.

[See… He doesn’t want us touching him.]

Wade nodded, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in his stomach at White’s undeniable reminder. Yellow hadn’t even argued. “That’s great, Spidey. Now you can get back to webbing up all the bad little bugs.” Wade dropped down to sit on the ledge, dangling his legs over the side, and patted the cement next to him. “Come sit, stay a while.” It didn’t take long for the spider to sink down gracefully beside Wade, and he tried not to stare, looking out over the gorgeous view instead. “Catch any yet tonight?”

Spidey shook his head. “No, not yet. I came straight here.” Wade couldn’t help but smile at that.

“Sorry if I kept you waiting. Not all of us can skitter up walls like… Well, spiders.”

{Wow. You’re so clever.}

“Shut up.” He glanced sheepishly at Spidey. “Not you.”

Spider-Man chuckled lightly. “I know.” He glanced out over the buildings below. “How about we meet there, instead?” He was pointing down to the hotel Wade had started at: a nice Hilton.

Wade shook his head. “I don’t wanna drag you down, Spidey-Boy. Besides, you’re so worth the effort to get up here. Like climbing Rapunzel’s tower.”

[As if we weren’t creepy enough.]

{Hey, Rapunzel is cool!}

“You won’t be dragging me down, Pool.” Spider-Man’s voice was firm, leaving no room for debate. “I want to meet on that roof from now on, okay?”

Wade smirked beneath his mask. “Whatever you say, Baby Boy.”

Spidey looked away, almost immediately shifting in his seat as if suddenly uncomfortable. Wade knew he shouldn’t like the way Spidey reacted to that pet name… But he couldn’t help it. He must really be a sick bastard, because watching the little spider squirm was such a turn on.

{Mm, and he squirms so nicely…}

[He’d squirm nicely tied down to a table, too.]

{Yessss….} Yellow’s hiss of agreement was filled with desire, and Wade could feel his body beginning to react against his will.

Nope nope nope. Too far. Wade cleared his throat, forcing himself to look away again. “Did you fix your suit? The web shooter, I mean?” He figured the tear could just be sewn up, but he wondered if those things on Spidey’s wrists that allowed him to shoot his badass webs were difficult to replace. Had he needed to go to Tony Stark to have them fixed? Something inside Wade burned just a little bit at that thought.

“Wow, you’re observant.” Spidey sounded surprised, and Wade scoffed as he shook his head.

“Everyone always seems so shocked. It is kind of my job, you know. I notice things.” He reached out with one hand and tapped at Spidey’s left wrist. “So did you fix it?”

Spidey nodded, turning his arm over to look at the inside of his wrist, where Wade could see a small, sleek little box inside the sleeve. “Yeah. It just got fried from that charge Green Goblin released. I fiddled around with it some and got it back online.”

“Smarty pants.” Wade accused, although he was secretly endeared.

[Since when do you like nerds so much?]

{Just one nerd, idiot. Spider-Man is a very special case.}

[What about that Peter Parker kid? You thought he was sexy, too.]

{Okay, well…. Shut up.}

[Very eloquent. You have persuaded me with your intelligent arguments and valid points.]

“Deadpool?” Wade snapped his head down to look at Spidey, realizing with a light flush that he must have been spacing out.

“Sorry. What?”

Spidey shook his head. “I didn’t say anything. You just… Looked like you were distracted. Like too much was going on in your head.”

Wade chuckled. “You have no fucking idea, kid.” If he did, he wouldn’t be hanging around the insane mercenary. He shouldn’t be, anyway, but Wade was too selfish to tell him that.

Spider-Man brought his hands to his lap and fiddled with his fingers almost nervously. He looked like he was trying to work up the courage to say something.

[Oh god… Here it comes.]

{He’s gonna ask about us. I love it when people ask about us!}

Wade swallowed, bracing himself for the questions that would surely draw their pseudo-friendship to a close. They hadn’t lasted nearly as long as he would have liked, but there was nothing for it. He just couldn’t hide his crazy.

“They have names, right?” Wade blinked in surprise, completely thrown off by that particular question. “Like, colors?” He glanced at the mercenary when he didn’t receive an answer. “The, um, voices you hear?” He sounded nervous now. “I thought I heard you… Sorry. Never mind.”

Wade shook his head slowly. “No… You’re right. It’s just, now I’m surprised by how observant you are.” Spidey was looking down at his lap again, and Wade sighed. He didn’t exactly relish the idea of introducing Spidey to the deranged boxes in his head, but he couldn’t deny the kid anything. “There’re two. White and Yellow.”

{Ohmygod!} Yellow squealed obnoxiously. {Spider-Man knows my name!}

[Your name is a color. Spider-Man has known it since he was two.]

{Don’t spoil my fun, sour puss.}

Wade watched Spidey carefully, waiting for the moment when it finally sunk in that Deadpool was batshit crazy, full on mentally ill. He belonged in some sort of facility where he couldn’t hurt anyone but himself.

[Shut up about that.] White growled. [We all know you couldn’t handle being locked up again.]

Wade knew White was right, but that didn’t change the facts of the matter. The world would be safer without Wade Winston Wilson running free, wreaking his particular brand of havoc. So he was sure that when Spidey realized all of this, and he would because he was a smart kid, he’d want to stay as far away from Deadpool as possible. So Wade was surprised, to say the least, when Spider-Man just nodded, as if it was perfectly normal that the voices in his head had names. And that those names were colors. He wouldn’t get into the whole box thing with Spidey because that was just… Disturbing. He didn’t need the kid thinking about the fact that they were just characters in a story, doomed to be puppets on strings for all of eternity. Or thinking that Wade was losing his shit for saying so.

“Are they there… all the time?” Spidey sounded curious, not disturbed. And Wade was starting to question whether Spider-Man was all there himself. First the kid from the nursing home, now New York’s favorite neighborhood hero? What was happening to the kids these days?

{Yes sir, we are! We’re here! All the time! Nonstop! Twenty-four hours a day seven days a week fifty-two weeks a year! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH I’M TALKING TO SPIDEY!!!}

[SHUT UP HE CAN’T HEAR YOU.]

Wade winced. “Unfortunately.” He took a small breath. “Except when I die. But they always come back.”

Spidey tipped his head to the side, and if Wade wasn’t convinced that he couldn’t tell what the spider was thinking beneath that mask, he’d say the kid almost looked concerned. “Are they bothering you right now?”

Wade left out a weak, helpless laugh, shaking his head. “Are they… Ha, kid, they do nothing but bother me.”

[That’s rude.]

{Yeah, that’s no way to talk to your best friends! We’re with you through thick and thin.}

[Blood and guts.]

{Killing and dying and all that shit!}

[That’s all you do, after all. Kill and torture and hurt people.]

Wade wanted to tell the boxes that now was not the right time to start, but he was suddenly very aware of speaking to them in front of Spidey, so he kept his mouth shut.

{It’s your one talent!}

[And you love it… So don’t pretend that you’re really any different from us.]

A gentle touch on his arm pulled Wade’s attention away, and he looked down at Spidey questioningly. He probably wouldn’t ever get used to the hero’s tentative physical contact. Spider-Man didn’t say anything. He just curled his fingers around Wade’s forearm and shifted to face the mercenary, drawing one knee up to his chest while the other remained dangling over the drop off.

Wade’s breath caught in his throat as Spidey leaned in slightly, looking him straight in the eyes (or at least, straight in the eye patches of his mask). It felt like he was looking right into Wade’s mind. “White? Yellow?” Wade froze, feeling the boxes’ shock at being addressed directly. He watched with widening eyes as Spidey’s jaw set. “Stop it.” He said firmly.

There was silence.

Wade held his breath, listening to his heart beat in his ears, listening for something else, anything else… There was nothing.

“Ho… Ly… Shit…” Wade breathed the words out on a whisper, afraid to break the spell by speaking. Or moving.

He kept waiting. Nothing.

“Oh my god.”

“Did it work? Did they stop?” Wade stared at Spidey’s hopeful face, and he felt something snapping inside of him. This boy… This beautiful fucking amazing hero… He was… And Wade… Wade was in awe of him. And he realized, with a small twinge of terror but mostly just an ocean of resignation, that he was completely and utterly smitten with the kid.

“Yeah,” he breathed. “It worked.” Spidey probably didn’t know how fucking amazing that was, but Wade did. Nothing he’d ever tried had shut the boxes up. Nothing except putting a bullet through his brain.

“Good.” Spidey leaned back, releasing Wade’s arm with an air of satisfaction.

Wade still couldn’t stop staring. And it felt bizarre to have his head to himself. Too… empty. Too quiet. But he was going to relish every second of it anyway. They sat in companionable silence for a few moments, Spidey staring out at the view and Wade staring shamelessly at Spidey.

{Oh my god.} Yellow’s voice was muted, as if he was afraid to speak louder than a murmur. {He talked to us.}

[No one has done that before.]

Well, it was nice while it lasted. Wade wasn’t complaining; just that minute of quiet had been more than he could have ever hoped for. Spider-Man was a fucking miracle worker.

{It’s our Spidey… He’s special. Oh my god. He talked to us!}

[Yes, Ditto. We know.]

{No. HE TALKED TO US!} Wade tried not to wince at the sudden yell, very loud after the quiet. {OH MY GOD WE CAN TALK TO HIM WE CAN TALK TO SPIDEY WADE WADE TELL HIM WHAT WE’RE SAYING LET US TALK TO SPIDEY!!!!}

Wade frowned, shaking his head slightly because he didn’t want to let Spidey know they were back. But no fucking way. No way in hell he was ever letting these psychos talk to Spider-Man.

{YES YOU WILL! YOU WILL LET US TALK TO HIM OR I SWEAR TO GOD WE’LL MAKE YOUR LIFE SUCH HELL YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA. IT’LL BE WORSE THAN WE’VE EVER DONE, WORSE THAN WEAPON FUCKING X.}

Wade closed his eyes, took a deep breath, tried to ignore Yellow.

{I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD WADE YOU LET US TALK TO HIM RIGHT THIS INSTANT. WE NEVER GET TO TALK TO ANYONE EXCEPT FUCKING YOU AND WE FUCKING HATE YOU GODDAMNIT WADE LET US TALK TO SPIDEY!!!!!!!!!}

Wade clenched his jaw, settling in for whatever Yellow was about to do to punish his silence, but he was surprised to hear White join in, albeit much less loudly.

[Yellow’s right. And you know I don’t say that lightly. We never get to talk to anyone but you, you fucked up monster.]

{THAT’S FUCKING RIGHT. SO LET US TALK TO HIM OR WE’LL START SCREAMING! AND THINKING ABOUT FUCKING SPIDEY! AND KILLING HIM!}

[Making him scream. Bleed. Fucking him silly on this roof with a knife to his throat.]

{We’ll do it, too. We’ll make you do it. You know we can, Wade.}

A thrill of fear shot through him, and he let out a choked whimper, his fingers clutching painfully at the tops of his thighs. He tried to cover up the unintentional noise with a cough, but he’d drawn Spidey’s attention anyway.

The kid was looking at him now, and Wade didn’t like the way it felt like those sharp spider eyes could see right through Deadpool’s mask.

“Are they bothering you again?”

Wade shook his head mutely.

{FUCK YES WE ARE. YES WE ARE SPIDEY WE WANT TO TALK TO YOU!}

[Let us talk to him, Wade. You know we’ll do it. We don’t make idle threats.]

Wade shook his head again, clenching his mouth shut tight, and his eyes too for good measure. He could resist the boxes… He’d done it before.

[True. But think of all the times you couldn’t resist us. All those times you followed when we told you to… Sliced when we told you to… Killed when we told you to.]

{That’s right, Weakling Wade. You’re our bitch. Wanna find out what we can make you do?}

[I doubt Spidey will like it… He’d probably much prefer to simply talk to us. It would save him a lot of unnecessary pain, in the end.]

Wade swallowed, heart sinking into his stomach. He was going to have to run. If he got far enough away fast enough, they couldn’t make him do anything to Spider-Man. And gods, that really sucked balls. He’d been having such a nice night, and Spidey was being so goddamn perfect…

Another gentle touch on his arm made Wade almost jump out of his skin. “What are they saying?”

Wade’s eyes flew open so he could look sideways at Spidey’s earnest mask. The boy had moved a bit closer to him - close enough that Wade could hear his breath light and even through the mask.

{See! HE WANTS TO TALK TO US!}

Wade cleared his throat. “They, um… They want to talk to you.” Well, there he goes. This would be Spidey’s breaking point. He’d been weirdly accepting up until now, but asking someone to talk to the voices in your head? That was definitely crossing the line of sanity. It was way over the line. It was so far over the line, the line looked like a dot.

“Okay.” Wade’s eyes widened in shock. He almost wanted to shake the kid, to see if he could hear the loose screws in his head. Then again, who the hell was Wade Wilson to judge, of all people? “What do they want to say?”

Wade blinked, tipped his head to the side, waited. Nothing. He frowned, irritated with the boxes’ sudden lack of non-stop chatter. He turned away slightly and mumbled impatiently under his breath. “Well? Here’s your fucking chance. One thing each and that’s fucking it. I’m not going back and forth like a fucking translator all fucking night.”

More silence. Wade huffed, really getting pissed now. “Come on. You were just so fucking eager-“

{Hold your seahorses, Jesus tit fucker. We’re fucking thinking.}

[It’s a very important choice, since we only get to say one thing each.] White’s tone was scathing.

Wade frowned slightly, caught off guard by the boxes’ consideration. They were treating this extremely differently than they treated Wade every waking moment of every day. He turned back to Spidey with an apologetic frown that the kid probably couldn’t see. “Sorry.” He muttered. “They’re, um… Thinking.” He sounded like a fucking loon.

Spidey just nodded as if he understood.

Finally, Yellow spoke up. He sounded almost bashful, which was a whole new kind of weird for Wade. {Tell him… Tell him I think he’s really pretty. And I like it when he jumps off buildings.}

[Oh my god…]

“I am not telling him that.” Wade hissed.

{Hey! You said one thing each! DON’T FUCKING MAKE ME-}

“Fine! Okay, fine. Fucking hell.” Wade took deep breath and prepared for this to get very awkward, very fast. “Yellow wants to tell you… That, um… He thinks you’re, uh… Pretty. And he likes when you jump off buildings.” Wade reached up to rub at the back of his neck self-consciously.

There was a terrible moment of silence before Spidey let out a small, breathy laugh. “Okay… Well, thanks, Yellow. I, um, I like to jump off buildings. It’s fun.”

Wade stared. This kid…. Fuck.

{Oh my god I FUCKING LOVE YOU SPIDEY!!!! WADE TELL HIM I LOVE HIM!}

Wade just shook his head minutely. “Okay, then… White?” He muttered.

There was another moment of silence. [Tell him… He should be careful with us. We’re dangerous, and he’s bound to get hurt.]

Wade was stunned.

{Oh em gee! Are you starting to like Spidey, too? I knew you would! I knew you’d fall for him.}

[No…] White hissed. [I still want to slice him up. That’s exactly why… You know what, I’ve changed my mind. Tell him we want to-]

Wade shook his head. “No no no. No take backs.” It was actually a very good thing to say. Spidey should know what he was getting himself into. Wade took another deep breath, stealing himself for a different reason this time. He turned to look steadily into Spider-Man’s upturned mask.

“White says you should be careful with us. We’re not good. We’re dangerous, and we hurt people. We’ll hurt you too, eventually.”

[…You elaborated.]

Whatever. Wade waited, holding his breath, while Spidey seemed to really consider what he had said.

“Thank you, White. I’ll be careful. But…” Spidey tipped his head slightly to the side like an adorable little red puppy. “I’m not worried.” There was a gentleness in his voice that made Wade ache. “I think you’re a better person than you think you are.”

Wade shook his head slowly, but he didn’t argue. There would be plenty of time for Spider-Man to figure out on his own just how bad of a person Deadpool was. And he was too selfish to help that realization along any further tonight.

There was silence again as they stared at each other. It wasn’t awkward, and that in and of itself was amazing. Finally, the solemnness of the moment was getting to be too much for Wade. He thought he might try to kiss the kid if this went on too much longer. Or start crying. And neither option sounded like fun. (Well, the first one did, but this one-sided crush was going to stay safely in the no-touchy zone.) So he cleared his throat and looked away, out over the city.

{Kiss him! Kiss him!}

Wade ignored Yellow. “Did you ever figure out your friend problems? The whole ‘something was going on and I didn’t know it was going on and I did something wrong and now my friends won’t talk to me even though I’m the cutest damn thing this side of solar system so they’re clearly crazy for harboring any negative feelings towards me at all’ birthday fiasco?”

Spider-Man laughed, and Wade glowed just a little bit. “Um, kind of… But not really.” His smile clearly faded from his voice as he went on. “One of them still won’t talk to me. It’s totally my fault though, because I’m too much of a coward to explain things to her.”

Wade raised his eyebrows beneath his mask. “You? The amazing Spider-Man? A coward?”

{Never!} Yellow gasped.

Spidey sighed. “Yeah, well… It’s a different story without the mask on.”

“I feel that.” Wade nodded. “What about the other friend?”

Spider-Man shifted slightly, fidgeting with the fabric on one of his pant-legs. “Um… We’re not fighting anymore. I thought he liked my other friend… But when I told him that I wasn’t speaking to my other friend, he was surprised. And then-“

Wade cut him off with a frantic wave of his hand. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. If you want me to understand this story at all, you need to give these mystery friends of yours some names.”

Spidey nodded. “Right, um… We’ll call the first one M-Martha… And the second one… Herald.”

Wade snorted. “Those are the worst fake names I ever heard. Where did you get them, eighteen-twenty?”

Spidey shook his head, but Wade thought he could see a smile beneath that mask. “Anyway… Martha and I aren’t speaking because she, um… likes me. But I don’t think I like her back. And Herald was mad because he thought Martha and I were getting together. So I thought he liked Martha.”

[Oh my god. This is so high school musical.]

{Shut up! It’s fascinating!}

It was a little juvenile. But even more immature than the story was the twinge of jealousy Wade felt upon hearing that someone else was crushing on his Spidey.

{Well, who wouldn’t crush on him? He’s fucking hot. And sweet as honey. And kick ass, to boot.}

That was all true. Even White didn’t argue.

“But, um… When I told Herald that I didn’t like Martha back, he stopped being mad. And he… Well, he kind of… Told me that he liked me. Not her. And now we’re not fighting, but I’m really confused about what-“

Wade shook his head, his brain having gotten stuck about two sentences ago. “Wait. Hold up. Spidey, are you gay?”

Spidey seemed to shift uncomfortably, folding and unfolding his hands in his lap as he stared down. “N-No…. I mean, I don’t know…” His voice was adorably quiet and unsure. “I’ve liked girls before. But I….” He hesitated, and Wade watched his neck as he visibly swallowed. The next words came out in a rush. “I kissed a guy and I liked it.”

Yellow screamed. {HOOOOOLLLYYYYY FUUUUUCK. FUCK. YES.}

[Calm the fuck down. Just because likes guys doesn’t mean he would ever like us. Besides, still sixteen, remember? No touchy.]

Wade nodded easily, trying to ignore the boxes so he could stay calm. Spidey seemed surprisingly vulnerable here. “Sure, sure. No pressure, or anything. You can be whatever. You could be bi, or pan, or a fucking unicorn. No big deal.”

{Holy shit tits are we helping Spider-Man discover his sexuality? Ohmygod. Make him gay. MAKE HIM GAY!!!}

[That’s not how it works.]

Spidey ducked his head, and Wade thought it should be illegal to look that damn cute. “Thanks… I know. I’m just… Still thinking it all through, I guess.”

“Think away, Baby Boy. You’re young. No rush, you know?” He watched as Spidey nodded. He wished they were sitting a little closer so maybe he could press his arm up against Spidey’s shoulder.

[Stop that. No touching.]

{Spoilsport…}

Wade sighed. Spider-Man glanced up at him. “You do anything fun over the last couple days? You know, since saving my life and all?”

Wade shrugged. He couldn’t exactly tell him about the jobs he’d completed or the manhunt he’d begun. The failed manhunt.

{No thinking about it! We’re with Spidey! We have to be happy!}

“Right.” Wade kicked his feet back and forth over the edge. “Uh… I made some experimental taco pancakes. They didn’t turn out so well.”

Spidey snorted. “I can imagine. That’s like the worst food combination since fried ice cream.”

Wade let out a shocked gasp, raising one hand to his clutch over his heart. “You did not just say that. Fried ice cream is the literal shit!”

It almost looked like Spidey was rolling his eyes beneath that sexy mask. “Of course you would think that… You tried to make taco pancakes.”

Wade grinned. “That I did. And next time I make ‘em they’re not gonna taste like feet!”

[Yeah, those things were nasty.]

{I liked them.}

Spidey made a playful retching sound and nudged Deadpool’s shoulder with his own. Wade suddenly felt very warm.

{Oh, tell him about Peter!}

[That’s a bad idea.]

{No it’s not! Do it!}

Wade cleared his throat. “I, uh, met someone. I mean, not like… Just, I don’t meet new people very often, you know. Before I started following you around like one of those giant, man-eating dogs that thinks it’s still a puppy I’m pretty sure the only strangers I’d talked to in months were my marks…” Oh. Shit.

[Way to run your big mouth, asshole.]

“I mean… Just, um. Forget I said that.” Wade took a deep breath and forced the rest out in a rush so he didn’t have time to say more stupid things. “I met this kid at a nursing home and he was cool to me, which was weird, and he asked if I wanted tacos and I always want tacos and so I met a new person and his name is Peter.”

{Smooth.}

“Hey. I am smooth, assholes.” He hissed under his breath. He risked a wary glance at Spider-Man, who was suddenly expressing some extreme interest in a non-existent thread on the pant leg of his suit. He seemed remarkably uninterested in Wade’s little story.

{Maybe you made him uncomfortable mentioning all those people you kill.}

[Obviously.]

Spidey finally spoke up. “What were you doing in a nursing home?”

[That’s what he chooses to ask about?]

{I fucking love this kid.}

“Oh, this old lady I know lives there. We’re kind of like friends, but not really. Because I hate her fucking guts.” Wade was feeling fidgety, so he pulled a small knife from his belt and began flipping it in his palm.

Spidey was looking at him again. “How do you know her?” He seemed pretty curious about that part, and Wade gave him an inquisitive look.

“Um…”

{Don’t tell him!}

[No, I’m sure he’d love to know.] White’s voice was thick with sarcasm. [Tell him about how we kidnapped her and held her prisoner for close to ten years. I’m sure Spider-Man would totally be on board with that.]

“No need to get nasty.” Wade muttered. Then, raising his voice again. “We, uh, met through work.” That was true, at least. “She… hired me.” That was not true. But whatever. “And then she just wouldn’t go away. She’s kind of obsessed with me, you know. I’m like catnip to little old ladies.”

Spidey laughed, and Wade grinned. He loved it when he could make his little spider smile. “You can put that on your resume.”

Wade nodded. “Oh, I already have. ‘Romancer of the elderly.’ It’s right between ‘Dog whisperer’ and ‘Extreme stalking skills.’”

Spidey shook his head, laughing weakly. “What job are you trying to get, Red?” He quickly held up his hands, halting whatever Wade was about to respond with. “Never mind. I don’t want to know.”

{You sure don’t!}

[He already knows what we do.]

Spider-Man grabbed Wade’s left arm and lifted it towards him. Wade held his breath as Spidey turned his arm over to look at his wrist, reading the time from his watch. Wade looked too, realizing that they’d been sitting here for almost an hour.

{Time flies when you’re having fun!}

[He’s gonna say he needs to leave.]

“I should get to patrol.” Spidey released Wade’s arm, tone apologetic as he placed one hand on the ledge beside him and pushed up, rising gracefully to his feet.

[See? Sick of us already.]

Wade did the same, tucking his knife away before swinging his legs up onto the roof and practically jumping to his feet. “Sure. The good people of New York aren’t gonna save themselves, right?” He swung his arms back and forth, rocking on the balls of his feet. “Well, this has been fun, Spidey-Boy. Maybe we can do it again sometime.” He tried not to sound too hopeful. “You know, if you’re around. And I’m around. Whatever.”

Spidey looked up at Wade, raising one hand to rub at the back of his head as he seemed to consider something. “I was gonna ask if… If you want to come with me?”

Wade went still. “Come with you?”

{Like… With permission? Not just following him secretly like the creepy stalker we are?}

Spidey nodded. “Yeah. On patrol. You’ve had to save me twice already so clearly I could use the backup.”

[He’s just letting us tag along because he feels like he owes us.]

{At least he trusts us to watch his back!}

[You think he trusts us? He’ll probably be on his toes all night, watching over his shoulder, waiting for us to snap.]

{He’s asking us to come. He clearly wants us to in some capacity.}

[Who would want an assassin to come with them to help save people? That’s stupid.]

{Spidey isn’t stupid!}

[Exactly. So he must have some ulterior motive.]

Yellow was quiet for a moment, considering. {What if… he wants to change us?} His tone was hurt.

[Wants to save us. That would be just like him.]

{Poor, poor Spidey… We can’t be saved.}

[Obviously.]

“Deadpool?”

Wade blinked, suddenly realizing that he’d been standing still, staring at Spidey while he listened to the boxes’ conversation in his head. “Um, sorry. Yeah, what? Patrol. Sure, okay.”

He might as well go. Even if Spidey was just trying to make him better, or let him hang around out of pity, who was Wade to look a gift horse in the mouth? He got to spend more time with his favorite little spider and he might get to kick some ass while he did. It was a win-win. Even if Spider-Man would just end up disappointed in the end.

[He will.]

{Obviously.}

But Spidey looked happy for now, and that’s all that really mattered. “Cool! Well, um… We should probably go down there.” He nodded to the roof of the hotel, about twenty stories down. “I’ll hear better if I’m not so far up.”

“Sure, Spidey-Boy.” Wade brought his hands to his hips. “And don’t worry, okay? I won’t let anyone snap any compromising pics of the two of us. It wouldn’t be good for my rep, you know?” It would be worse for Spider-Man, and after what that lame-ass paper said about them, Wade was surprised Spidey was even willing to hang out with Deadpool, let alone be seen working with him.

Spidey shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. I don’t care what people know or what they think.” He planted one hand on his hip and raised the other to rub at the back of his head, face turned up as if he were looking at the sky. “I kind of thought what that paper said about us was funny.”

Wade gaped, his arms falling back to his sides. “Funny? They said you’d started taking jobs as a mercenary and I was fucking training you. And then they wondered if I was carrying you off to punish you for your failure.”

[It is kind of funny.]

{Wish we’d been carrying him off to punish him in other ways…}

Spidey just chuckled, hand falling gracefully from his head to his side. “Yeah. It’s ironic. Because I’m kind of training you, you know, to patrol with me.” His voice dropped an octave, a warning suddenly entering his tone. “And I’m the one who will punish you if you misbehave tonight.”

Wade’s mouth fell open, and a heated jolt of arousal traveled straight down to his dick.

{Oh…. Holy…. Fucking… Shit.}

[…Okay. I’ll admit that’s pretty hot.] White’s voice sounded slightly strained.

Wade nodded mutely, and wondered if Spidey had any idea of the effect his words were having. Probably not. Because he had that whole pure, young and innocent thing going on. Which just made it even hotter.

Spidey nodded, too, and stepped to the very edge of the roof. “Let’s go, then.”

Wade pushed all thoughts of spider-punishments from his mind, because it would not do to be hindered by a certain… anatomical problem while he joined Spider-Man on patrol. He pulled out a grappling hook and a length of rope, flashing a grin. “Wanna race?”

Spider-Man looked startled for a moment, but then he laughed. “Sure. But don’t cry when I kick your ass, Pool.”

Wade smirked. “Sure, Spidey. Except I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be your cute ass that’s getting kicked.”

“You know what?” He could hear the smirk in Spidey’s tone. “I’m gonna let you get a head start, Deadpool. Just to be nice.”

Oh, this was too good. “I won’t need it. But I’m not a chivalrous guy, so I’ll take it.” And with that, he secured the hook on the inside edge of the ledge running the perimeter of the roof and threaded the rope through his belt. Then he stepped backwards to the edge and leaned out over it, shooting Spidey a grin before he went. “See you on the other side, little spider. Don’t swallow too much of my dust on the way down.” He let go, falling over the side back first. He free fell for a couple of seconds, then tightened his hands around the rope and let his feet scrape the wall, slowing his descent slightly. It wouldn’t do to go splat, even if it meant he won. Because then he wouldn’t get to go on patrol.

{Holy titties on toast - look!}

Wade glanced up in time to see Spider-Man leaping off the roof, form lithe and perfect as he tucked his body into a gorgeous, headfirst dive.

“Holy fuck.”

{I think I just got hard.}

[You don’t have corporeal form, idiot.]

Wade didn’t even care about winning anymore. He just wanted to stare as Spidey cut through the air like the hottest skydiver ever. He passed Wade in a couple of seconds and waited until he was almost level with the Hilton roof before shooting a web at the building, pulling out of the dive to swing around and up, landing perfectly with cat-like grace in a crouch on the edge of the hotel.

Wade probably looked like a lumbering elephant in comparison, even as he came to a skillful halt across from the hotel roof, wrapped one hand around the rope, detached it from his belt, and pushed away hard from the wall so he could back flip onto the nearby ledge where Spidey perched. He landed with a huff.

“I call penalty. Because what you did should clearly be illegal.”

Spidey just laughed, straightening out of his crouch and looking down at the busy street below.

“I mean seriously. If I had known you were-“

“Sh.” Spider-Man cut him off gently, tipping his head to the side to indicate that he was listening to something. Wade forced his mouth shut, although it was difficult.

{Did you see him? Did you see how gorgeous he was?}

[It was… Mildly impressive.]

{Fuck you! That was the prettiest thing we’ve seen all year.}

[Prettier than the money launderer? He was quite the looker. Especially painted in such pretty, pretty red.]

{Oh yeah… He was gorgeous… But NOT PRETTIER THAN OUR SPIDEY!]

“Shut up.” Wade hissed beneath his breath.

He caught a quiet, almost amused sigh from Spidey before the hero turned west, his posture settling into his cute little ‘I mean business’ pose. “There’s a robbery, about two blocks that way.” He turned his head to look at Wade, and stared at him just long enough that Wade paid extra close attention to his next weighted words. “No. Killing. Think you can handle that?” He sounded serious, but not unkind.

[See? I knew it. Trying to save us.]

{Trying to save them maybe…}

Wade’s hands curled into determined fists at his sides, and he nodded. “I’m all over that, Baby Boy. For you, no un-aliving.”

Spider-Man paused, and he was looking at Wade like there was something he wanted to say, but the silence stretched on for several seconds.

{…But just for tonight, right? I mean, it’s not like we’re never gonna un-alive people again.}

Wade cleared his throat, breaking whatever spell had been holding Spidey’s attention. As the young hero looked away, Wade turned his head to mutter, “Of course, idiot. We have shit to do, you know.”

“Come on.” Spidey said, almost too softly for Wade to hear. Then he stepped to the edge of the roof, and held out his hand to Deadpool. Wade looked down at it as if Spider-Man was offering him a quick lift to Mars.

“Um… How exactly is this supposed to work? I weigh more than your average child, you know.” Even as he spoke, he remembered the amazing ease with which the little spider had pulled him up onto the roof earlier.

Spidey sighed, and Wade could just picture the eye roll. “I’m just gonna give you a lift to the ground, Pool. No need to get frisky.”

Wade grinned. “But frisky is my middle name.” He stepped forward, suppressing a shiver as he placed his hand in Spidey’s smaller, almost delicate palm.

“Then I guess you’ll just have to suppress your natural instincts for a little while.”

[That’s certainly true…]

{We can do it for yoooouuuuu Spidey-Babe!}

Spider-Man shot a web. Wade watched it attach to the building across the street, and he was unprepared when Spidey stepped off the roof with no warning, yanking Wade with him.

They fell, still clutching hands, and the rush of cool night air through Wade’s mask made his skin prickle. Then the web went taut, and their free fall leveled out into a smooth, stomach-dropping curve as Spidey swung them across the road, a few feet about the night traffic, Wade’s feet almost brushing the tops of the cars as he dangled from Spider-Man’s hand. And then they were slipping into an alley, and Spidey let go, dropping him to the ground before disconnecting his web and landing smoothly beside him.

Wade took a breath.

{Wow.}

“Yeah. Wow. If I could swing around like you, Spidey-Boy, I don’t think I’d ever touch down on solid ground again.”

Spider-Man offered him a brief, mask-covered grin. “That wasn’t even serious swinging, Red.” He turned his head sharply to the side, hearing something that caught his attention. When he spoke again, his tone was serious. “Let’s go. They’re taking off.” He didn’t wait for Wade to respond before he took off running.

Wade followed without hesitation, checking his katanas and guns as they left the alley, taking a sharp turn left and running down the nearly empty sidewalk.

{Damn, that spider’s fast! Look at him go!}

[It would be fun to try to catch him…]

“Not today.” Wade growled, his eyes migrating unbidden to Spidey’s perfect little ass as he ran, a few feet ahead of Wade.

{Damn, look at dat ass… Think he’s running just so we can keep up? I bet if we weren’t here he’d be swinging around or leaping across rooftops.}

[We can do that, too. The stupid itsy spider is underestimating us.]

Even Yellow was irked by that. {We can educate him on our particular skillset later…}

Wade huffed out a heavy breath, annoyed by the boxes’ sensitivity. Hell, it was probably better that Spidey did underestimate Deadpool. That way it might take him longer to realize what a cutthroat, professional killing machine he really was. They rounded another corner and flew past a convenience store with a broken window, alarms blazing into the already noisy New York night. They ran another block before they caught sight of the robbers, three guys with backpacks (probably full of cash and liquor) trying to dodge into a side street.

Spidey shot a web, catching the closest one in the legs. He fell with a sharp, surprised yelp. Wade reached for one of his side arms as the other two skidded to a stop and turned to face the hero and the mercenary.

{No guns!} Yellow reminded.

“Right.” Wade reached for his katanas instead, drawing them as he and Spidey slowed to a stop. He grinned as they began their face-off, thrilled and almost convinced this was just some elaborate hallucination as he stood next to Spider-Man, ready to fight crime.

“Didn’t your Mommy ever teach you not to touch things that don’t belong to you?” Spidey started in on his signature witty taunts, and Wade felt like he’d died and gone to heaven.

“Didn’t yours teach you to mind your own business?” Snapped one of the guys, pulling a knife from his belt.

{Ooh, a smart ass.}

“Clever mouth.” Commented Spidey, shooting a web at the aforementioned mouth and immediately sticking it shut. The guy started clawing at the webs, a wild look coming into his eyes when his scraping fingers did nothing.

[You got to cut if off, idiot. You have a fucking knife.]

But Spidey didn’t give him time to figure it out. He webbed the knife, and the guy’s hands, and his feet, and then there was nothing left to keep him from flopping over onto the ground and wriggling like a caterpillar.

“Fuck yeah!” Wade cheered, raising one katana into the air in a sort of victory salute. Seeing what had happened to his friends, there was real fear in the last man’s face, his stance defensive and desperate as he pulled a gun from his belt and pointed it, shaking slightly, at Spider-Man.

[Oh, come on. Who of the two of us is the most dangerous, here?]

{He probably doesn’t know who we are.}

[He will…]

Wade’s grin faded into a scowl. How come they were always trying to shoot Spider-Man? The kid was a saint. “Not cool.” He said, tone cold. And then he was surging forward, katana hissing through the air as he brought it down, quickly and efficiently severing the man’s hand at the wrist. Hand and gun fell to the ground, and there was a prolonged moment of silence before the screaming started.

“Fuck. Deadpool!” Wade turned to face Spider-Man, who was looking distraught as he moved forward to strip the shirt off the first guy he downed, balling it up and coming to press it against the gushing stump of a wrist left on guy number three.

“What?” Wade asked, bewildered.

{Why is he mad? We didn’t kill him!}

Spidey dug in the screaming guy’s pocket for a phone, which he pulled out and used to dial 911. “Hold this here until the ambulance comes, okay?” He ordered, waiting until the shaking, sobbing man had taken over holding the shirt before he stepped away. “Come on.” He practically growled at Wade, leading them around the corner and up onto a fire escape.

Wade followed, sheathing his katanas, still confused as hell. When they’d climbed to the third floor, Spidey whirled around to face him. “You can’t just go cutting off people’s limbs, Deadpool!”

Wade frowned. “But I didn’t kill him. And he had a gun! You hate guns.”

That seemed to bring Spider-Man up short, and he stared for a moment before replying. “Well, yeah… But… I can deal with guns, okay? No on needs to lose their hands.” He paused and looked away for a moment, thinking. “Look, you… You did well.”

Wade scoffed. “Um, obviously not…”

[I still don’t see what the problem is.]

{Me neither.}

Spidey shook his head. “No, you did. I just wasn’t clear enough. I try to stop criminals with as little force as possible, so no one gets hurt permanently, alright?”

Wade nodded slowly, although he didn’t really understand why. “Sure… no permanent injuries.”

[So no blows to the head, and no broken necks, spines, or femurs. And no severed limbs.]

Yellow whined. {But that’s so booooooring!}

“Exactly.” Spider-Man punched Wade’s shoulder lightly, and Wade felt the mood lightening. “Want to try again?”

He nodded. “Sure thing, Spidey. Lead the way.”

Spider-Man stepped to the edge of the fire escape, brushing against Wade’s arm as he did so, and listened again. Wade stayed still, not moving away and hardly daring to breath as he waited for Spidey to hear something.

After a few moments, the young hero went tense. “Come on.” Was all he said, launching himself over the railing and landing in a crouch on the ground below. Wade followed the same way, rolling when he landed so he wouldn’t sprain anything. Spidey was already running, so Wade followed. He pushed himself to catch up to the little spider, but even though he was several inches taller, he couldn’t close the distance.

[Guess we’ll have to get creative when we plan to catch him.]

They ran for a good three or four blocks this time, far enough and fast enough that Wade’s breath was coming a bit heavier when they finally skidded to a stop at the corner of an abandoned lot. The only car in sight was a large black Chevy Tahoe, into which a pair of men were lifting an unconscious woman. A few feet away, another man was struggling with a little girl, no more than eight years old, who was screaming and crying and kicking up a storm.

Wade’s stomach dropped, and his vision went red.

{Kill them.}

Wade stepped forward, hands landing on the handles of his favorite pistols, but he faltered, remembering who was standing beside him.

[Doesn’t matter. Kill them.]

And then Spidey was rushing past him, a blur of red and blue, and he attacked the men tucking the woman into the back seat with a swiftness and skill that screamed justice.

Wade snapped his jaw tight and turned his attention to the asshole manhandling the little girl. His hands twitched towards his katanas, but he held himself back. If he drew blades, this prick was not going to survive the night.

So he used his hands. He was on the guy before he knew what was happening, grabbing him by the throat and slamming him to the ground. He planted one heavy knee on the man’s stomach and pressed, smothering the elicited strangled gasp with a quick punch to the face.

{More.}

[Beat him to death.]

{He deserves it.}

Wade gritted his teeth, punching him again. And again.

But then he stopped.

{Come on!} Yellow hissed his displeasure as Wade pushed off the near-unconscious criminal and turned to the girl, who was sitting on the ground, legs pulled into her chest and face buried in her knees.

Wade knelt beside her, his chest aching with a fierce and sudden empathy. “It’s okay.” He murmured, placing one gentle hand on her back. “You’re okay now.” She raised her face, red and tear stained, and Wade swallowed. “You’re safe now. Spider-Man came to save you.”

“Y-You’re Spider-Man?” She asked, voice weak and shaky with tears.

Wade let out a weak breath of a laugh. “No, sweetie. He is.” He turned his head to nod at Spidey, who was lifting the woman from the car, cradling her in his arms as if she weighed nothing. The other men, three of them now, were webbed up on the ground at his feet. They were all sporting some vicious bruises on their faces.

“Thank you.” The girl’s voice was no more than a whisper, and Wade looked down at her in shock as she clutched at his arm, burying her face in his chest.

“Oh.”

{This is new.}

“Um… No problem, honey.” He glanced up at Spider-Man, who had reached them and was bending to lay the woman next to the girl.

“Is this your Mommy?” He asked her, voice soft and soothing. The girl nodded mutely, not letting go of Wade. “She’s gonna be okay, don’t worry.” Spidey pulled out a phone he must have taken off one of the men. “I’m gonna call the police and they’ll come take care of you and your mom, okay?”

He dialed, said a few quiet words into the receiver, and lay the phone down on the ground beside them. “We’re gonna go now, but we won’t be far, okay? We’ll make sure the police get here alright.” Spidey stood up, and Wade started to follow, but the little girl’s hands suddenly tightened on his sleeve.

“Don’t leave me!” She whimpered, and Wade thought his heart might drop right out of his chest.

“Don’t worry, honey, I won’t. I’ll stay right here until they come, okay?” He raised his arm and let her squirm into his side, glancing up at Spidey. “You go. I’ll be fine. I’ll, uh… See you tomorrow night, yeah?”

Spider-Man was staring at him, shock evident in every line of his body.

Wade frowned slightly, glancing downwards. “I won’t do anything… I’ll just sit with her until the police come and then I’ll slip away, all quiet like.”

Spidey cleared his throat. “No, um... That’s fine. That’s really good of you.” Wade’s eyes snapped back up to Spidey’s mask, surprised.

{He thinks we’re good?}

[This is pretty sickly sweet…]

Spidey nodded slightly, taking a step backwards. “Yeah. You did good, Red. I’ll, um… I’ll see you tomorrow.” He knew, as well as Wade did, that the police wouldn’t let Wade go without watching him like a hawk, so it wouldn’t be safe for him to meet up with Spider-Man again tonight.

Wade just watched, shocked into silence, as Spidey turned and shot a web, swinging away into the night like a graceful acrobat.

{We did good.} Yellow sounded awed.

[God… it’s disgusting.]

Wade swallowed, looking down at the girl who was hiding her face in his ribs, her little arms now wrapped around his broad torso as far as they could reach.

“No… It’s nice.”

He waited until he heard police sirens. When he tried to pull away, the girl clung to him like glue, so he kept waiting until the police had surrounded them, sirens blazing. He stayed calm as they pointed their guns at him, stayed calm as he carefully separated from the girl and walked to the perimeter, hands raised above his head.

He stayed calm as he dodged the grabby cops and took off running into the night, unwilling to spend hours sawing his hands off at the wrists if they cuffed him behind his back. He ended up at his place near Times Square, still a bit dazed from the events of the evening.

{Tonight was fucking awesome.}

“I’ll hop on that choo choo train.“ Wade muttered as he flung himself down on the couch, suddenly exhausted.

[Don’t get used to it.] White sounded bitter. [It won’t last. We all know it.]

{Oh, shut up. Can’t we have one happy night?}

White seethed in silence.

{Oh! I know what would make tonight even better!}

Wade grinned briefly, already thinking the same thing. He might as well test out that number, see if it was a fake. He pulled out his phone and typed out a quick message.

heeeeeeey

[Classy.]

A few minutes passed while Wade stared at the phone, waiting. It was long enough that he’d finally given up with a sigh and was about to tuck his phone back into its pouch when it vibrated in his hand.

Who’s this?

wade winston wilson who this?

Another minute, then the phone lit up again.

Peter. I gave you my number, remember?

{It wasn’t a fake!!! He really gave us his number!}

Wade grinned briefly. He quickly typed in a name for the contact, ‘Pretty Peter,’ before typing a response.

u betcha!
so watcha up to pete?

…I’m sleeping?

Wade turned his wrist to glance at his Hello Kitty watch. It was half past one in the morning.

[Must be a school night.]

is that why u took like five min to respond to my first txt? it took u that long to wake up?

There was another long minute before he got a response.

{Ooh, Pretty Peter is hiding something!}

I was falling asleep. Checked my phone one more time.

Wade snickered.

gotcha gotcha… u were “falling asleep”
don’t worry, i won’t tell anyone you were playing with ur wand, potter
i practice my spells all the time 2

{Oh my god! That’s so cute! I bet he has a really nice-}

“Shut up.”

Oh my god. I wasn’t doing that.

sure…

Another minute passed, and Wade was suddenly worried he had scared the kid off.

[What do you expect, talking to him like that?]

Is there a reason you’re texting me so late?

{Ouch. The claws come out.}

Wade frowned.

right, srry. did i wake ur aunt?

No, it’s fine. I just wondered why you were texting me now

just wanted to say hi
i’ll let you get 2 sleep
night peter

Goodnight Wade

{Aaaaaaawwww!}

Wade stared at the last text for a long time, a wide, stupid grin plastered onto his face.

[Oh my god… You’re fucking hopeless.]

 

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Song credits:

Title:
#1 Crush - Garbage
Lyrics:
Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne

 

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Chapter Text

Peter

 

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“Fucking hell…” Peter muttered testily to himself as he stared in the mirror, frustrated by his inability to make his hair do anything except stick up in every direction. He gave himself a final look-over and heaved a sigh. It would have to do. The red cardigan looked kind of stupid, like he was trying too hard, but he didn’t really want to show up wearing a t-shirt with some dorky science joke on it. Jeans seemed fine, because he wasn’t going for nice, and his ratty tennis shoes were about all he owned, so… Well, it was what it was.

He turned away, dismissing the insecurities from his mind, and made his way from the bathroom to the front door. He checked his pockets. Phone, wallet (which only contained ten dollars) and key. Good to go, then. He stared at his skateboard where it leaned against the wall for a second, considering whether or not he should take it, but ultimately decided against the idea. He didn’t want to look like more of a kid than he already did. With one last nervous breath, Peter opened his front door and stepped out into the dimly lit hallway, locking up behind himself.

It was Thursday. Thursday night, to be exact, and Peter had finally resolved to step up to the plate and deal with the two very important people he’d been avoiding all week. That’s right, Peter had been a complete coward. He could hardly look at MJ, spent his lunches hiding out in empty classrooms, and snuck out of school at the end of the day like a scared little child hiding from his crush.

Maybe that’s what he was. Regardless, life at school had been kind of a hellhole. He could only imagine what MJ and Harry must think of him, and it was making him sick. Even Ned knew something was going on and had been bugging Peter nonstop to suck it up and ask MJ out already. Ned wasn’t really on the same page as everyone else, as he usually tended not to be, but Peter was fine with it staying that way for now. He’d explain it all to his friend once he finally figured it out for himself.

The week so far had been a strange combination of misery and stupid, giddy excitement. Because for as horrible as things had been going with his friends, he’d been having a blast with Deadpool. Wade Wilson. Stupid Wade Winston Wilson. With his stupid adorable efforts to follow Spider-Man’s rules and his stupid dirty texts. And his stupid, inexplicable ability to occupy Peter’s mind when he had much more important things to think about. Like work. And school.

Work and school had both been kicking Peter’s ass. (His bitable ass, as Deadpool had called it the previous night, oblivious to the deep blush he brought to Spider-Man’s mortified face beneath the mask.) On top of a group project and two papers for his hardest classes, Peter had been given a whole new host of responsibilities at Oscorp. It was great, really, because it was kind of like he was being promoted (if unpaid high school interns can be promoted). But the extra work was wreaking havoc on his sleeping patterns. He was lucky if he got most of his homework done these days and he’d gotten yelled at for falling asleep in Spanish the day before. It hadn’t been pleasant. So Peter had done what needed to be done and taken a night off from Spider-Man. It wasn’t his preferred choice of what to drop from his laundry list of to-do items, but it would have to do. He couldn’t exactly quit his job at Oscorp or fail any of his classes, and if he went one more night without sleep he was going to drop dead.

So he should be resting, right? He should be using his one night off from being a crime-fighting, wise-cracking hero to catch up on some much needed sleep, right? Wrong. Peter needed to deal with the big fat Harry problem before his brain exploded, so he was using his free night to work out a solution once and for all.

Peter was confused about Harry. So, Peter did what he did best, and tried to analyze the situation objectively. First, he made a list of all the things he knew to be true. One: he had never thought of Harry, or any guy, in a sexual or romantic way before. Two: he had thought of girls that way. Not many, but a few over the past four years or so. Three: he hadn’t felt anything but confused when MJ kissed him. But when Harry kissed him, he’d felt…

And that was where things got complicated. He’d felt so many things, he wasn’t sure which was the most important. He’d felt shocked, and nervous, and scared of losing his friend if he rejected him like he had MJ. But he’d also felt, as much as it chagrined him to admit it, excited. And the actual kiss had been… nice. He never would have thought Harry’s lips could be so soft, or his touch so gentle when he held Peter in place. Just thinking about it caused Peter to flush all over, which was confusing on top of everything else. He could only guess that it meant that he was, in fact, attracted to Harry Osborn. That hypothesis was only supported by the fact that whenever Peter thought about the possibility of kissing Harry again, he felt nervous and very warm. Kind of like he used to feel when MJ would hold his hand the first half of freshman year, when he’d had a crush on her.

Did that mean he had a crush on Harry?

Maybe. But before he could think about that, Peter needed to figure out if he liked guys. Men. Penises. He’d never given much thought to his sexuality before. Not because he’d been avoiding the subject, but because he’d honestly just been focused on other things for the past few years. First it was getting good grades and getting into the best high school, then Uncle Ben had died, then it had been more school and then it was Spider-Man. And that, um, that pretty much summed up Peter’s life since he’d hit puberty. And now… Now there were so many questions that needed answering and he kind of felt like he’d fallen behind in some way. Like this was a test he was supposed to have studied for, but he’d forgotten about it and now the test was tomorrow and he wasn’t prepared.

So Peter decided to do what he did second best. Research.

When he got home from working at Oscorp that day he’d planted himself in front of his new laptop. It was the first time he was using it, because he’d been feeling too guilty to even open the box. But this was for a good cause. For Harry, really, so Peter was willing to set up the new computer because he had a feeling he was going to need the extra ram if he wanted to get his research done before the next turn of the century.

He started out simple. Google knew everything, right? So Peter asked it how to know if he was gay. The results weren’t all that helpful. He did think about Harry a lot… But not as much as he thought about other things. Like Deadpool. He did enjoy it when Harry touched him, and um, liked thinking about their kiss. But he did not want to be with Harry whenever he wasn’t with him. In fact, he’d been avoiding the older boy for three days now. And he didn’t have… Well… special dreams, about Harry or anyone else for that matter.

So he needed to try a different approach. Maybe if thinking about kissing guys other than his best friend (because wires could get crossed and feelings are confusing) was pleasant for Peter, that might clear up whether or not he just felt this way because it’s Harry specifically. So he typed in “guy on guy kissing” and clicked over to videos.

And oh, was that a bad idea. The videos Google was showing him were less the sweet, innocent high school kisses that Peter had been imagining, and more of the full frontal nudity variety. And they were definitely doing more than kissing. Peter clicked away from that page very quickly. Well… at least after no more than a minute or two, when he was sure that those images were permanently seared onto the surface of his brain.

Peter needed something else. Something that would actually tell him whether he liked guys in general, or just had feelings for Harry because of their friendship. He needed a real-world experience. So he gritted his teeth and did a little more internet searching. He quickly discarded the idea of hook-up apps, because he didn’t really want to end up being hacked to pieces in an abandoned shed on the edge of Queens. He needed to go somewhere he could flirt with someone without the expectation of taking it too far. And he needed to go somewhere the people might actually respond positively to his attempts (however awkward they might be) so that he could tell if he wanted someone else to be interested in him.

He needed to go to a gay bar.

So that’s how Peter ended up walking through Queens at 9:30pm, nervous as hell but determined not to pussy out of this one. He’d picked the nearest gay bar on Google Maps, wanting to be able to walk home quickly when he decided he wanted to leave. Aunt May was working a late shift and wouldn’t be home until almost midnight, so Peter had at least two hours to figure this stuff out. Hopefully that was enough time. He didn’t really know how these things worked.

It was only a fifteen-minute walk, and the night air was brisk although the day had been warm and sunny. Peter was glad he’d worn his cardigan, even if it looked stupid. When he finally arrived at his destination, he stood across the street and stared, hands shoved into his pockets.

This couldn’t be the right place. He looked left, and right, and turned around to look behind him. Nope… This was the only bar in sight. He squinted at the dingy neon sign even though his vision was better than perfect. Yeah… That definitely said “The Back End” even though a couple of the letters were flickering ominously. The whole front of the building reeked of derelict and disrepair. Peter could only hope that the inside was in better condition.

For a moment, he considered turning around and going home. But then he remembered that he’d been a coward for days now and it was about time he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and took it like a man. Or… Whatever overused platitude was appropriate for this situation.

So he took a deep breath and forced himself to cross the street. “Here goes nothing.” He muttered to himself as he raised a hand to pull open the door. He hesitated for just a moment, unable to shake a slightly ominous feeling from the back of his skull. But his spidey sense wasn’t going off, so he grasped the slightly grimy door handle and pulled, mentally bracing himself for whatever he might find on the other side.

It was… Not what he’d been expecting, that’s for sure. The lighting was dim, but not too dark. Instead of loud music and lewdly dancing men dressed provocatively, Peter was met with the sight of several middle-aged guys standing around a pool table and sitting at a very normal mahogany bar. The sound of classic rock played in the background and the smell of cigarette smoke and cheap beer washed over Peter as he stepped inside, almost overwhelming his heightened senses. As soon as the door swung shut behind him with a loud click, every face in the room turned towards him, and ten or so sets of eyes skimmed over his face and body, clearly taking stock of the new arrival.

Once again, Peter had the urge to turn around and go back home without a second glance. But once again, he told himself he was being a pussy and forced himself to put one foot in front of the other, swallowing and focusing his eyes on an empty stool at the bar until he’d moved through the room and finally reached it. He hoisted himself up and cleared his throat as he clasped his hands on the counter, listening carefully as the men went back to their game and conversations. He took a deep breath, relaxing only slightly as he raised his eyes to the menu behind the bar, his stomach still a mess of knots.

A man stepped into his line of vision, perhaps in his mid thirties or early forties, guarded brown eyes under a fringe of uncut bangs. “Can I get you something, kid?” Peter blinked at the bartender, unprepared to place an order of any sort. But, he realized belatedly, it would probably be rude to sit at a bar and not buy anything.

“Um…” He glanced back at the menu, but there was nothing listed that didn’t contain alcohol. “Do you have coke?” The man nodded, but the look on his face clearly said that he was confused as fuck about why Peter was here. “Okay. I’ll just, um, have that. A coke. Please.”

“You got it.” The bartender muttered, turning around to dig something out of a small fridge. Peter reached into his pocket for his wallet, but before he could pull it out, a large body slid into the empty seat beside him.

“Let me get that.” Said the newcomer, tossing a five-dollar bill on the counter as he grinned down at Peter.

Peter looked up, resisting the urge to lean away as he took in the lined face of a man that must have been at least fifty, watery blue eyes skimming over Peter’s face with an almost hungry look.

“Oh, um… No, that’s okay. I was going to-“

“Nonsense.” The man cut Peter off, clearly not taking his hesitant and unsure tone as authoritative in any way. “Let me buy you a drink.”

“Um…” Shit. Peter had clearly misinterpreted this situation. He should have left as soon as he saw what kind of place this was. He’d been so focused on pushing through this to the other side that he hadn’t been thinking clearly. And now he was stuck here… Getting hit on by old men, apparently.

The man in question didn’t seem at all deterred by Peter’s hesitation. He took the liberty of accepting the coke can from the bartender and offering it to Peter, who took it only because he couldn’t think of anything else to do. “So… What’s a pretty young thing like you doing in a place like this?”

Peter would have been relieved that it was clear he didn’t belong here if he wasn’t getting the distinct impression that this was a pick-up line of some sort. “Nothing. Actually, I just-“

He didn’t get to finish. Another man slid into the open space on the other side of Peter, crowding so close that Peter could feel the heat through his plaid shirt and smell the alcohol on his breath. Something sharp. Like the whiskey Uncle Ben used to drink. “Stop harassing him, Clint. Can’t you tell he isn’t here for the likes of you?”

Peter stiffened at the harsh Brooklyn accent at his shoulder, catching the darkening expression on ‘Clint’s’ face before turning to look at his new admirer. This man was younger, at least, but still not what Peter had been looking for. Not by a long shot. His closely trimmed dark beard and shaggy dark hair reeked of cigarette smoke and his muddy eyes looked sharp and dangerous. He stood at least a few inches taller than Peter and was undeniably more filled out. Peter swallowed, mentally panicking even as he tried to think of the most polite way to slip out and leave.

“Aw, come on, Darryl… I fucking got here first.” Clint sounded ticked off, but also unmistakably resigned. It was the resignation that sent a sharp tingle of warning down the back of Peter’s neck. And that was his cue to get the fuck out of here.

“Um, actually I was just gonna…” He trailed off, his throat going tight as ‘Darryl’ slung one heavy arm around his shoulder.

“Forget it, babe. Don’t let this old geezer scare you away.” Peter watched with a rapidly drying mouth as Clint pushed away from the bar with a huff and lumbered off towards the pool table, leaving Darryl and Peter alone. He looked up, trying to catch the bartender’s eye, but the man was studiously ignoring the entire interaction as he polished something behind the bar, his back to them. Darryl’s arm tightened around his shoulders, and Peter held back a squeak of discomfort. “My, my… You’re a shy one, aren’t you?”

Peter shook his head mutely, eyes lowering to the surface of the bar as he waited for his moment to disentangle himself and get. The hell. Out. Darryl only chuckled. “Aw… You’re such a pretty little twink.”

That was the last straw. Peter cleared his throat and carefully, but firmly, ducked out from under the man’s arm, sliding off the stool as he did so. “I was just leaving.” He managed to sound calm, although his heart was racing as he turned towards the door, leaving his drink forgotten behind him.

He got a few steps before Darryl was falling into step beside him, calloused hand coming up to grasp the back of Peter’s neck even as he flinched away. “Come on, babe… Don’t be like that. We’re just getting to know each other.”

Peter jerked away from the man’s touch and kept his focus on the door. He was half way across the room already. “No, I have to leave.” He muttered. He was almost there, just a few feet away, when Darryl slid in front of him, blocking his path. Peter frowned as he came to a sudden stop. He didn’t really want to fight his way out, but if he had to…

“Look at this boys.” Peter blinked in surprise as his new stalker called the attention of the other men in the room. “Our new guest is leaving already.” Peter shifted uncomfortably, glancing around at the other men whose focus was now directed at him, the dull background noise of conversation having ceased entirely. There were about eleven. Twelve, if you counted the bartender. Bad odds but Peter could take them if he had to. “Do we want him to leave?”

The other men shook their heads and muttered various “nopes” and “nu-uhs.” Darryl took a step towards Peter, the look in his eyes undeniably predatory, and Peter took an involuntary step backwards. The base of his neck was tingling insistently, uncomfortably.

“Ever heard of hotel California, kid?” Peter’s jaw tightened, but he nodded. Better to play along. Maybe he could slip out without too much hassle if he waited for the right moment. Darryl grinned. “Good. We hope you enjoy your stay.”

A few people chuckled quietly.

“You gonna share, Darryl?” Someone called, a gruff looking man leaning against the pool table holding the stick casually by his side. He looked like he knew how to handle it.

Darryl smirked, approaching Peter slowly until he could sling his arm around the teenager’s neck. Peter didn’t stop him. For now. “Maybe. If you’re very, very nice.” This earned him a few more chuckles. Peter went still, preparing to make a break for it. He’d try to run first, but if they stopped him again he’d fight. He would certainly have the element of surprise, so he had no doubts that he could get out alright.

But just as Peter was about to break away from Darryl’s hold and bolt for the door, his eyes flickered up to the corner of the room, where a camera was mounted, humming quietly.

Fuck.

Peter’s gaze skimmed the edges of the room and counted two more cameras, all working. He could hear them. His stomach sank and real fear settled into his skin for the first time that night. Cameras meant no super strength. No super speed. No fighting off twelve men all on his own to make a daring escape.

Darryl began to lead him back to the bar, and Peter let him. His mind was racing, but he couldn’t think of a way out of this when his heartbeat was pounding so loud in his ears. He hardly heard the bartender remind him that he hadn’t opened his coke as Darryl steered him back to the seat he’d just vacated.

Peter stopped before he could be pulled onto the stool, digging his feet in against Darryl’s guidance. That earned him a sharp look from the man, but he managed to arrange his face into an only slightly nervous smile. “I, um… I gotta use the restroom. I’ll just be a minute.” He ducked out from under the plaid-sleeved arm and took a tentative step towards the doorway next to the bar marked ‘bathroom’ by a sign that hung overhead. He waited for permission, insides churning.

Darryl just chuckled, but there was a warning glint in his eyes. “Sure, twink. But there aint no window in there, so don’t take too long.”

Peter nodded before turning and walking to the bathroom as quickly as he could without looking too urgent. He pulled open the door, slipped inside, and turned the lock behind him before breathing a long, shaky breath. It was a single restroom, thank god. It was grimy and had a distinctly unpleasant smell, but to Peter it was fucking comfortable compared to the larger room on the other side of the door.

He pulled out his phone, breathing another sigh of relief when he saw that he had a signal. Now he just had to decide who the fuck to call. He sure as hell couldn’t tell May where he was. Calling the police was out of the question. He tried to avoid contact with the cops as much as possible, given his nighttime activities. He couldn’t afford to be anywhere on their radar. Calling Harry was a possibility… But god, he’d be so embarrassed. His friend would undoubtedly show up with a couple of intimidating body guards and frisk Peter off in an expensive black town car. Not that Peter cared what these assholes at the bar thought. But for Harry to see him here… To have to save him from this. He’d die of shame. He’d never fucking live it down.

That kind of only left one person… And to be honest, it was probably the best person to call in this kind of situation, no matter how embarrassing it was for Peter. With a deep, resigned sigh, he pulled up Wade’s text messages and typed out a new one.

Hey, are you free?

He waited for a reply, practically holding his breath as he made an exerted effort not to snap the phone between his fingers. He really needed Wade to be free. Like right now. If he was out as Deadpool, completing a job, it could take hours before he responded… The seconds ticked by at an agonizing pace and Peter could feel the panic starting to rise in his chest.

He tamped it down when his phone finally vibrated, less than a minute after he sent his text.

well, im alone in my room w fluffy the unicorn, some lube, and my spiderman calendar
what do u think?

Peter resisted the urge to roll his eyes even as his cheeks grew warm. This was so not the time for Wade’s dirty jokes. Thankfully, another text quickly followed before Peter could even type a reply.

jk im free as a bird
whatcha need

Peter breathed out and told himself to relax. Wade would come if he asked.

I need your help. Can you come get me at the bar on 54th and Monroe blvd?

He didn’t even have time to start feeling nervous before Wade’s reply buzzed in his hand.

b right there

Peter took a deep breath and slipped his phone back into his pocket, feeling almost shaky with relief. It was kind of strange how he felt instantly better. Like the situation was already solved just because Wade was on his way. Peter knew it probably wouldn’t be that easy, but he was glad that he no longer felt coiled tight as a spring with anxiety and fear.

He wished he could linger in the bathroom for as long as possible, but he suspected that if he stayed locked away much longer Darryl or some of his friends would take the liberty of breaking down the door for him. So he ran a hand through his hair and took one more breath of piss-scented air, then let himself out into asshole-land once again. (Pun not intended.)

He dragged his feet a bit, but made his way back to the bar stool without complaint, trying not to look anyone in the eye. He slipped onto the seat and reached for his coke. It was still unopened so he flipped the tab, listening to it pop and hiss before bringing it to his mouth for a sip, just to kill time. He could do this. He could pretend he didn’t mind being here and stall long enough for Wade to arrive. He didn’t want to think of what might be attempted if he couldn’t stall them.

He didn’t want to think of what he would or wouldn’t do to stop them. Which was more important? His secret identity or his… safety? Hopefully he wouldn’t have to choose.

“You ignoring me now, pipsqueak?”

Peter shook his head and forced a smile as he set down his drink, glancing sideways to look at Darryl. He was leaning against the bar beside Peter, holding a glass of dark amber liquid in his left hand. Peter could smell it from where he sat, a sharp and burning scent with an almost woodsy current underneath. He resisted the urge to scrunch up his nose.

“Do… Do you, um, come here often?” Peter thought that maybe making conversation would be a good way to kill time. Probably better than any of his other options. He just needed to get this guy talking.

But Darryl just threw back his head and laughed. “You tryin’ to pick me up, boy?” He glanced over to the pool table. “Hear that, guys? The twink’s tryin’ to pick me up.” They all seemed to think it was rather funny. Peter worked to keep his expression from turning stormy. He had his frustration mostly wiped off his face by the time Darryl turned back to him. “You come here lookin’ for a nice bear like me, huh?” He sidled closer to his unwilling ‘twink’ and Peter leaned back instinctually.

He could tell Darryl didn’t like that, so he tried to think of something else he could say that would serve as an adequate distraction. “Y-yeah… I mean… Well, sure. You, um…” Peter was grasping at straws here. “You’re very… strong. W-what do you do for a living?” Well, it was better than nothing.

The bearded man paused, an almost suspicious look passing through his eyes before he seemed to decide that he might as well answer. “I work security for Yankee Stadium.” He seemed quite proud of that fact. “Me ‘n’ Bob do. Aint that right, Bob!” He raised his glass to a man across the room. This one was shorter but wider, the muscles clearly straining against the sleeves of his t-shirt.

“Hell yeah!” Bob replied, raising his beer bottle in agreement. God. You could fucking cut the testosterone with a knife.

“Oh, cool.” Peter faked another smile, and wondered if it was at all convincing. “What’s that like?”

Apparently he was convincing enough, because he got Darryl to prattle on about all the ‘freaks and weirdos’ he encountered at the stadium for a good few minutes. Bob even came over to tell about the time the FBI busted a drug ring at the stadium during a game. To hear him tell it, the security guys were elemental in bringing those drug dealers down. Somehow, Peter doubted that was true.

But he listened and he nodded along and he pretended to be interested.

And when Darryl wrapped his arm around Peter’s neck again, pulling him uncomfortable against his side, Peter tried not to show how disgusted he felt. But no matter how hard he tried to control his expression, he couldn’t stop from stiffening slightly as the back of his neck tingled sharply with warning. Darryl noticed.

“Relax, babe.” He crooned, setting his near-empty drink down on the bar and reaching over to rub Peter’s shoulder with one hand. “Hey, I know what’ll loosen you up… How ‘bout we take a look at Christian’s back room, eh?”

Peter swallowed hard, leaning away from the man’s unwanted touch, his skin beginning to crawl. “Oh, um… Actually, I’m uh, waiting for someone.”

“Oh, are you now?” The disbelief in Darryl’s voice was more than clear.

Peter nodded. “Yeah. My, um… I’m meeting him here. He should be here soon.” God, Peter hoped he would be here soon. That feeling of rising panic, like something bad was about to happen, was building in his chest.

Darryl just laughed and shook Peter back and forth with the arm still wrapped around his neck. “Look at that… The kid’s tryin’ to make me jealous.” Bob laughed too, clearly the lackey in their special little relationship.

Darryl leaned down so his breath ghosted hot and moist over Peter’s ear. “Maybe it’s working.” Peter cringed away, stomach churning. “But you won’t be thinkin’ of nobody else when I have you bent over in the back room. Oh, babe just you wait until I…”

Peter heard something, and his heart leapt in his chest. A car. A car door slamming. It had to be Wade. It had to. He jerked away from Darryl and stood up, eyes trained on the door.

Darryl grunted in displeasure. “Where d’you think you’re runnin’ off to?” He stepped in front of Peter and crowded him back against the bar, hands coming to land on his hips. Peter gasped, squirming slightly as the hard edge of the counter dug into his back even as Darryl’s hungry fingers dug into his hips.

“Get off.” He ordered, willing his voice to come out stronger than it felt. He could push him away. He could. But he was frozen there, petrified of revealing himself on camera.

“Play nice, twink.” Darryl growled, leaning down to attach his mouth to Peter’s neck.

Peter tried to squirm away, but the man’s hold on him was too firm. He could feel the panic rising up, closing off his throat.

Suddenly, the door burst open and hit the opposite wall with a loud bang.

Darryl went still, turned his head to see who was daring to interrupt them. And there stood Wade, already a few steps into the room as the door swung shut behind him. He loomed solid and dangerous, fists clenching at his sides as his sharp blue eyes found Peter’s. He was wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt, the hood drawn up over his head. But no gloves. And no mask.

He looked absolutely furious.

“Peter.” His spoken name was something between a greeting and a summons, a low rumble, a warning that called out to Peter. He felt his whole body straining towards the mercenary.

“Wade.” The word tore from his throat with urgency and relief, and Peter couldn’t even bring himself to care that it probably sounded more like a desperate plea than the nonchalant greeting he wished he could produce.

He jerked out of Darryl’s hold, which had turned stiff and weakened at the sight of the newcomer. He only got two steps, though, before a hand shot out to latch onto his wrist, holding him back. “Not so fast, twink.”

Peter didn’t even turn to look at his captor. His eyes stayed on Wade, watching as the mercenary’s expression darkened, turned even more dangerous than before.

“This is your only warning, Paul Bunyan.” Wade’s voice was a growl, aggressive enough to send small shocks of tingling warning down Peter’s spine. “Let. The boy. Go.”

Darryl’s grip turned bruising on Peter’s wrist, but he ignored it. He didn’t even flinch. Didn’t take his eyes from Wade’s face, full of such beautiful, ruinous anger.

“This is who you’re meeting, kid? This is your backdoor bandit?” Darryl snorted. “No wonder you came looking for me. This fucker’s uglier than Freddie Krueger.”

Peter could see the rage deadening Wade’s eyes, but he didn’t wait for him to snap. Peter snapped first. He spun around, his free hand coming up to slap Darryl viciously across the cheek.

“You shut your fucking mouth.” He spat, the anger that he hadn’t felt all evening rising up and overtaking him with a suddenness like an ocean wave knocking him down.

There was silence. Darryl stared at him for a moment, shock evident in his slack jaw and widened eyes. Then that shock turned into anger. “You’re gonna regret that, you little fucking-“

He didn’t get to finish. Wade moved fast, a blur to everyone but Peter, who was only able to catch his movements because of his heightened eyesight. The mercenary lunged forward, his fist coming up before Darryl could even register that he was being rushed. And then that fist connected with Darryl’s face, knocking his entire head backwards into the open air. The man crumpled, hard and fast, and hit the floor with a dull thud. He didn’t move after that.

There was stunned silence in the bar, everyone’s gaze focused on Darryl’s unconscious body, lying awkwardly next to the bar stools where he fell.

Peter stepped into Wade’s side, his heart pounding, and he didn’t question it when Wade wrapped his arm around his shoulders and his warmth and his smell, gun powder and oil and peppermint candy, felt like safety.

“Anyone else gonna have a problem?” Wade glared around the room. No one spoke. Bob took a step backwards.

Peter breathed a sigh of relief as Wade led him to the door and out into the night, the cold, fresh air tasting like heaven after all that smoke and alcohol. Peter shivered in spite of himself, and Wade’s arm tightened slightly around his shoulders before dropping away to open the car door for him.

Peter slipped in gladly, buckling his seat belt on autopilot as Wade walked around the car and got into the drivers seat. He started the car and pulled away from the bar in silence.

“Thank you.” Peter breathed, feeling nothing but relief now that they were out of that place.

“What the hell were you doing?” Peter blinked up at Wade, shocked by the fury in his tone. He noticed with considerable surprise that Wade’s hands were shaking where they clenched around the steering wheel.

“What?”

“What the fuck were you doing in a place like that? Did you want to get raped?” His tone was tight and vicious, and Peter flinched.

“N-No, I…” Wait. What could he even tell Wade? If he explained about trying to figure out his sexuality, Wade would no doubt start connecting the dots with what Spider-Man had told him a couple of nights ago. Shit. “Um… I just… I was trying to…”

Wade’s jaw was clenched so tight that his next words sounded muffled. “Were you trying to hook up with someone? Because kid. That is not the right fucking place for that.”

Peter cleared his throat and stared out of the front windshield. “Um… Y-Yeah. That’s what I was trying to do. But I obviously didn’t know what kind of bar that was.”

Wade breathed out through his nose. “A gay bar.”

Peter shook his head, his cheeks heating up slightly in the darkness of the car. “No, I knew that part… It just, clearly, wasn’t the right kind of gay bar… I guess. I don’t know.” It was embarrassing to realize how little Peter knew about this stuff. And even more embarrassing for it to become clear how poorly he’d planned this evening. He’d been so preoccupied with solving his problems tonight that he hadn’t even done any background research on where he was going. It was incredibly stupid of him.

Wade had gone silent, and when Peter glanced at him he couldn’t tell what was going on in the mercenary’s head. Then again, when could he ever? He looked away out of courtesy when Wade started mumbling to himself.

“No, of course he’s not gonna… Fuck no, Yellow. Just shut the fuck up.” A moment passed, and Wade cleared his throat. “You need to be more careful, Peter. Guys will do terrible shit for a sweet little thing like you.”

Peter flushed dark red, ducking his head to try and hide his embarrassment. Did Wade mean that he thought Peter was a sweet little thing? Or that disgusting assholes like Darryl did? It shouldn’t even matter. His point was clear. “Y-Yeah…” Peter shifted slightly in his seat. “I will be. Sorry.”

A few heartbeats passed in silence. “Where am I going, kid?” Peter raised his head to look out the window, staring around until they passed a street sign. They were about twenty blocks from Peter’s building. He hesitated for a moment, unsure of what address he should take them to, but then he realized that ship had sailed. Wade knew his name. Knew his Aunt. There was no doubt that he could find out where Peter lived if he wanted to. For some reason, that thought didn’t scare Peter as much as it probably should.

“Turn right at the next light.” He instructed. Wade nodded silently.

Peter relaxed back into his seat, suddenly exhausted. God, how could he have been so stupid? He should have done his research. He should have turned around and gone home as soon as he saw the place. Was he losing it? Had his intelligence dropped down to normal level or was he just overworked? Peter heaved a heavy sigh and took off his glasses, setting them in his lap so he could run both his hands over his face and through his hair.

“You okay?”

Peter glanced sideways at Wade, staring for just a second too long before he remembered to slip his glasses back on. “Um, yeah. I guess. I’m just… Really tired.” To Peter’s intense embarrassment, his voice went tight and shaky on his last words, and he could feel the frustration and exhaustion and helplessness conspiring to make his throat tighten.

Wade hummed in gentle sympathy. “You should get some sleep, then.” Peter let out a short, hollow laugh, and Wade smiled. Peter stared, because he liked that smile. Wade didn’t like being stared at, though, and as soon as Peter sensed his discomfort, he looked away again. “What’s been keeping you up? Too busy being a nerd?”

Peter nodded, because… Well, yeah, and he couldn’t exactly mention his nighttime activities. “Pretty much.” He admitted, staring out the window. “Turn left at the next street.”

Wade nodded. “So what. Building a paper mache volcano? Potato clock? Blowing shit up with your chemistry kit?”

Peter laughed. “No… Not quite.” He tipped his head back to let it sit against the headrest. “I have some papers. A project on the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire. And they’re giving me more serious stuff to do at my internship.”

Wade raised his eyebrows and nodded as if he were impressed. “Like what kind of stuff?” He asked, as if he were actually curious.

Peter shrugged, feeling kind of embarrassed. “Um… Like more data analysis, mostly. They’ve given me access to the more classified projects because I kind of helped make a breakthrough with some of their numbers last week. Apparently they were stuck and couldn’t do any more experiments until they figured out the stuff that I… Um, figured out.” It sounded so vague when he put that way. And it was vague, even to Peter, because they still wouldn’t tell him exactly what they were doing.

Wade let out a low whistle. “Shit. That sounds intense, Petey.”

Peter bit down on his bottom lip, caught by surprise when Wade called him by the nickname Harry so preferred to use. It didn’t feel the same when Wade said it. But it didn’t feel… Bad. “Yeah, I guess. Um, left again on Carleton.”

Wade hummed his acknowledgement and tapped his fingers on the steering wheel, clearly drumming along to some unheard music. Peter’s eyes trailed from the steering wheel over to the dashboard. It was a nice car, all black leather and glowing blue lights. Apparently working as an assassin paid well. Peter wasn’t the least bit surprised.

“I like your car.” He said, mostly to fill the silence.

“Oh. Thanks. But uh, it’s not exactly mine.”

Peter raised an eyebrow. “Whose is it?”

Wade smiled sheepishly. “Uh… My neighbor’s, I assume.”

Peter’s eyes went wide. “You stole a car?”

Wade raised one hand as if to wave him off. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll put it back right where I found it.”

Peter shook his head in disbelief. But really, he shouldn’t have been surprised. This was totally something Deadpool would do. Somehow, Peter couldn’t bring himself to feel as disapproving as he should. Wade had stolen it to come rescue him, after all.

They rode in comfortable silence for a minute, until Peter noticed that they were on his block.

“It’s the building on the corner. On the right.” Peter instructed quietly. Wade pulled up to the curb a few moments later, and both he and Peter stared up the old apartment building. It didn’t look too bad from this angle. Some of the bricks were crumbling, but at least this side didn’t have much graffiti on it.

Peter glanced sideways at Wade as he took his seatbelt off. He was looking down, face hidden by the edge of his hood as he turned the car off and reached for the door handle to let himself out. Peter followed, coming to stand on the sidewalk outside the front doors to the building. Wade came to a stop a couple feet away, his hands shoved in his pockets, unusually quiet.

Peter licked his lips. “Do you, um… Want to come in?”

Wade looked at him for a moment before smiling slightly and shaking his head. “Naw… I don’t think that’d be the best idea, Pete.”

Peter scuffed the tip of one shoe against the pavement. “My aunt’s not home yet.” He offered, then immediately blushed. Why would that matter, anyway?

Wade stared at him, gaze probing, before looking down at the ground and growling under his breath. “No. I fucking know. Shut it.” Peter looked down too, embarrassed that he’d even asked, and he heard Wade sigh. “Sorry, kid. I should be getting home. And you should get some sleep.”

Peter nodded, a bit dejectedly, before looking back up at Wade. “Thanks. For saving me back there.”

Wade looked shocked. “I didn’t… No problem. I mean of course. You can call me whenever you need anything. Okay? Really.”

Peter nodded, and before he really knew what he was doing he had stepped forward and raised his arms to wrap around Wade’s waist, his cheek coming to rest on Wade’s broad chest. “Okay.” He breathed.

Wade went stiff under Peter’s hug, but after a few seconds he thawed out and carefully, almost delicately wrapped his arms around Peter’s back in return, enveloping him. Peter sighed, relaxing into the intense warmth the radiated through Wade’s sweatshirt, letting the mercenary’s scent overwhelm his senses.

Suddenly, Peter had the distinct urge to tip his head back and press his lips to the underside of Wade’s chin where it rested on the top his head. As soon as he had the thought, heat shot through Peter’s stomach and he jerked back in surprise.

Wade’s arms fell away from him almost instantly, and Peter felt a little guilty. He smoothed his hands down Wade’s chest before pulling away completely, trying to ease the transition.

He looked up, meeting guarded, confused eyes under the shadow of Wade’s hood. His chest ached slightly, because this Wade was so different from Deadpool. The insecurity, the hesitation. But Peter was different without his mask on, too. He understood, even if it made him a little sad. He offered the mercenary a small smile. “Thanks. For everything. I’ll just… I’ll see you around. Or text you. Or something.” He shrugged, trying not to feel awkward.

Wade nodded slowly, offering Peter a tentative smile in return. “Alright, Peter. You do that.”

Peter’s smile widened into a grin as he turned and walked towards the door, pulling his key to the building from his pocket. He turned around one more time before letting himself in, offering Wade a small wave. Then he went inside. He couldn’t help but notice that Wade didn’t move from his spot on the sidewalk until the door had closed and locked behind Peter with a solid clank. He was waiting to make sure the teenager was locked safely away inside.

As Peter climbed the stairs to his floor, his thought about Wade. How he’d come without question when Peter asked for him. How upset he’d been to see a kid he hardly knew in danger like that. How his arms had felt wrapped around Peter, how gentle he’d been. And how Peter had felt that urge… That desire to press his lips against Wade’s scarred skin.

Peter shivered slightly as he thought about it, turning the key in his apartment door.

He realized something as he closed and locked the door behind him, collapsing onto the couch without bothering to take his shoes off. Even if it hadn’t happened how he’d planned it to, Peter had gotten his question answered tonight.

He could feel attracted to a guy other than Harry.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Peter yawned as he walked through the crowded hallways, mentally blocking out the grating sounds of hundreds of students yelling and laughing and slamming lockers. He’d meant to get a full night of sleep last night, he really had, but his mind had been too busy. He’d still gotten more than he usually did (a solid six hours), so at least he wouldn’t feel like death warmed over by the afternoon.

If Peter had learned anything from the catastrophe that was last night, it was not to be a coward and deal with his problems without any more procrastination.

Okay, if he learned anything from last night it was not to rush into situations without being prepared like a fucking idiot. But that wasn’t the point right now. He was going to talk to MJ, and he was going to do it this morning. No more avoiding her. He knew what he wanted to say, and he’d being lying awake in bed last night planning it all out. He was going to keep it simple, and hope for the best.

But of course, because he was Peter Parker, he’d slept through his alarm this morning and missed his usual train. So he wouldn’t be able to talk to her before class. But he wasn’t avoiding her! He wasn’t!

He slipped into his classroom right before the final bell, cringing lightly as it rang, the sound shrill and harsh to his sensitive ears. He slid into his seat beside MJ, who was drawing in her notebook and studiously ignoring him as she had for the past three mornings.

He leaned over towards her as he got his notebook out of his bag, lowering his voice because the teacher had started speaking. “Hey. Can we talk after class?”

MJ’s hand stilled over her paper and she turned to look at him, clearly startled. After a moment of hesitation, during which she seemed to search Peter’s eyes for some clue as to his intentions, she nodded.

Peter nodded too, and tried to offer her a smile. It probably came off as vaguely nervous and sick. Oh well. They both did their best to focus on class for the rest of the period. Peter rehearsed what he wanted to say in his head. It sounded stupider each time he went over it, but he was not going to let that stop him. This ridiculousness needed to end. Not to mention MJ deserved an explanation for his dickish behavior. Or as much of an explanation as he could give, at least.

Finally, after what seemed like hours but was really only fifty minutes, the bell rang again. MJ started to gather her things, so Peter did to. He could talk and walk. That should work.

He took a deep breath. “So… Um, first I wanted to say that I’m sorry.”

MJ was still looking at him like she wasn’t sure what he was trying to do, but she nodded in acceptance, so Peter went on with his pre-planned apology.

“I’ve been acting like a complete jerk. I should have just been honest with you, that I don’t… I don’t feel that way back. Now, I mean. Believe it or not, I was scared to talk to you because I really didn’t want to hurt you. Um… More than I already have, at least.” Shit. This was coming out really badly. “It’s just… I mean, it’s no excuse…”

He paused as they walked to the classroom door, squeezing in among the other students. When they reached the hallway he fell into step beside her. “It’s not an excuse, but I, um, was really surprised. When you… You know, kissed me.” He could feel his cheeks warming. “I really had no idea you liked me that way. If you even do. I mean, I don’t want to make assumptions. I mean… fuck.”

Peter ran a hand through his hair, distraught, but was caught by surprise when MJ laughed. He looked sideways at her, eyes widening slightly. Was this funny?

MJ shook her head, smiling lightly. “Okay, okay. I’m still kind of mad, but god Peter… You’re such a mess.” Peter resisted the urge to frown, confused about whether that was a compliment or an insult. “I guess I forgive you.”

Peter stared, almost running into someone’s instrument case as they turned a corner. “You… you do?”

MJ shrugged, and tucked her hair behind one ear. “I mean, yeah. I don’t want to stop being friends. I miss you, you big dope.”

Peter grinned, flooded with sudden, instant relief. “I miss you, too.” MJ smiled at that, and Peter couldn’t believe he’d waited this long to make things right between them. “And I really am sorry. Really. I didn’t even know what was going on, and then there was all the stuff with Harry, and I just didn’t know how to tell you-“

MJ paused him, laying a hand on his arm. “Yeah, about that. What has been going on with you and Harry? Because he’s been acting weird. Like really weird. And he won’t tell me what’s up.”

Peter blinked at her in surprise. “He didn’t tell you?” Somehow, in the last couple days, Peter had fallen under the impression that MJ and Harry must have been talking about him while he avoided them at lunch. Naturally, he assumed that Harry told MJ about liking Peter. And kissing him. The two had become pretty good friends… But clearly Peter was off the mark, as he so often seemed to be these days. It was a bit disheartening.

MJ raised her eyebrows at him, pulling them to a stop beside the door to her next class. “Tell me what?” Peter squirmed uncomfortably under her gaze. She gave him a look. “Peter Parker, you tell me right now what’s going on, or I swear to god…”

“Okay, okay!” Peter shook her hand off his arm and leaned back against the wall, his gaze falling to the floor. “Um…” He hadn’t exactly planned out how to tell her this… He stalled for a moment, scuffing his shoe against the edge of the wall. “Harry kind of…” He took a deep breath. “Well, after you kissed me…”

MJ let out a groan of frustration. “Just spit it out, already! Jesus Christ!”

Peter huffed. “Fine.” The rest of his words tumbled out in a rush. “Harry acted like he was mad after you kissed me and then when I told him I didn’t like you that way he was like ‘oh, great!’ And then I was like ‘yeah, you should have told MJ you liked her.’ Except then he was like, ‘I don’t like MJ, Peter, you’re such an idiot.’ And I was like ‘what?’ And then he kissed me.”

He fell silent, and when he glanced up at MJ she was staring at him with an open mouth. He looked down again. “Um… Yeah.” He raised a hand to the back of his neck, feeling his cheeks heating up with discomfort. “And then I kind of flipped out. Because I was confused. And that’s why I’ve been skipping lunch.”

There was a beat of silence, and then MJ started to shake her head, laughing in a disbelieving, almost self-deprecating way. “Oh… God. Wow. I feel stupid.”

Peter’s head whipped up to look at her, mortified. “No! No, no, no! I’m the stupid one.”

She reached up and ruffled his hair. Usually Peter hated that, but he let her do it without complaint. Just this once. “Such an idiot.” She muttered.

“Yeah. I am.”

She rolled her eyes. “Not you. Although you are, too. But Harry’s the idiot in this particular situation.”

Peter raised his eyebrows. “He is?”

MJ sighed as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Duh.” She took Peter’s hand and started playing with his fingers. “He’s older and more experienced. And he knows you. He should have known that you’d be totally clueless and freak out unnecessarily.”

Peter frowned, somehow feeling like that explanation was more insulting to him than to Harry. “I guess…”

MJ squeezed his hand. “So are you still confused?”

Peter blinked at her. “About what?”

She smirked. “About Harry. Are you still confused about Harry?”

“Oh.” He glanced away, suddenly uncomfortable again. “Well… Not exactly.”

“What does that mean?” She glanced around them at the thinning crowd. “And hurry up, you’ll be late.”

Peter huffed again. “I don’t know about Harry. I mean, I... I think I liked… It…” He shifted under MJ’s keen gaze. “But I don’t know if I want… That… I guess. I just know…” He took a shuddering breath. “That I, um… Like guys. Or, I can like guys. Now.” Peter fell silent, his stomach churning with nerves. Was this him, like, coming out? It hadn’t felt this awkward with Wade.

MJ didn’t let him feel nervous for long. “Cool.” She said casually. “Well, talk to Harry. Because I’m not gonna let you skip lunch today.” Peter gave her a questioning look, but she just smiled. “Now go to class, dork.”

And with that she was gone, dropping his hand and disappearing into her classroom. Peter stood staring after her for a moment before he realized the halls were almost empty. He speed-walked to his classroom and just reached the door as the bell rang.

Peter felt better now that things were cleared up with MJ. But as his classes passed and lunch approached, he started to feel nervous again. Now he’d have to face Harry. And as much as he’d agonized over it last night, he hadn’t been able to figure out the right thing to say. Or do. In fact, he was still swimming in an ocean of confusion and doubt when it came to Harry.

So as he was packing up his stuff at the sound of the bell, preparing to head to the cafeteria, he was started to mentally panic. Would Harry be mad that Peter had been avoiding him? Or worse, sad? What if he’d decided he didn’t like Peter anymore? Would that be a bad thing? The pang in Peter’s stomach told him that it might be. And that didn’t help with his confusion. No matter what, Peter wasn’t going to skip out on lunch. He’d resolved to face both of his friends today, and more importantly, MJ would stab him with a charcoal pencil if he didn’t show.

So Peter was building up his courage and worrying about how his hair looked when he left the classroom. He was so preoccupied that he didn’t notice the person standing outside the door until he ran right into them. “Shit, sorry!”

He looked up as two gentle hands caught his shoulders, steadying him. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of Harry standing there, looking simultaneously concerned and oddly determined. When he registered Peter’s shock, that Burberry-model face relaxed into a small smile. “Hey.” He let his hands fall away.

“Hey.” Peter breathed in reply, still reeling a bit from the older boy’s sudden and unexpected appearance.

Harry glanced around at the crowded hallway before nodding to the side, indicating that they should step out of the way. Peter following him obediently, and they walked down the hall a few steps before ducking into an alcove beside a bank of lockers.

Peter opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again when he realized he had no idea where to start.

Thankfully, Harry took care of that. “Sorry. I know you needed your space, and I’ve been trying to give it to you, but I just couldn’t stay away any longer.”

Peter blinked at him in surprise. “You… But I was the one avoiding you.”

Harry laughed breathily, tucking his hands into his pockets and leaning back against the wall. “You work in my father’s building. You don’t think I could have come found you?” Oh. Right. “Anyway. If you need more time, that’s fine. I just needed to see you. Wanted to know what you’re thinking, I guess.”

Harry looked down at the ground, his mouth twisting into a small, sad frown. When Peter looked closer, he realized that there were dark circles under Harry’s eyes and a distinctly exhausted look in the lines of his face. He even looked less put together than usual, although not by much. He was wearing Adidas sweatpants and a Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt, a noticeable difference from his usual off-the-runway look.

Peter frowned, his stomach sinking as he realized that his stupid freak out hadn’t just been affecting him alone. “I’m sorry.” He said instantly, reaching for Harry’s hand, only to hesitate, and let his own hand drop back down to his side. “I was being stupid. I… I don’t need space.”

Harry raised his eyes back to Peter’s, and there was a fond look in them as their gazes met. “You’re just saying that to make me feel better.” Harry stated matter-of-factly. “It’s okay. I know I kinda jumped into things without any warning. Sorry about that.”

Peter shook his head in denial. “No, it’s okay. I just… Was confused. And surprised.”

Harry nodded understandingly, but his eyes were turning sad. “I know. And look, I get it. You might not even swing that way, let alone feel that way about me. So it’s fine, you know. You don’t like me. It’s cool. But I hope we can keep being friends because I… I really like you Peter. I don’t want to lose you.”

Peter stared, made breathless by this stunning display of vulnerability from a boy who kept most people at a distance and had a relationship with his father that could optimistically be described as ‘professional.’ Suddenly, he wanted nothing more than to wrap Harry up in his arms and tell him that everything was going to be okay.

So he did.

Peter stepped forward, his arms wrapping easily around Harry’s neck as he pressed his face into the older boy’s collar, smelling the familiar scent of expensive aftershave and new clothes. “You won’t lose me.” He mumbled into the fabric of his shirt. “I promise.” He breathed out in relief as Harry relaxed against him, his arms snaking around Peter’s waist and holding him closer, cheek coming to rest against Peter’s hair.

They stood like that for a moment, both relieved to know that they weren’t losing each other. Then Peter pulled back slightly, his hands slipping down to curl against Harry’s chest as he realized that he had more to say.

“I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to give you the silent treatment and make you worry, I just… I didn’t know what to think.”

Harry shook his head, arms sliding away until just his hands remained gripping Peter gently by the waist. “Don’t even stress about it. And it wasn’t just you. My father has been… Well, worse than usual. Ever since he got back from his trip over the weekend… I don’t know. I mean, of course I was thinking about you. Wondering what was going through your head.”

Peter felt even more terrible for avoiding Harry these past couple days, especially since it was clear that his friend had needed him. He wished he could say something to make it better. “It’s not that I don’t like you… In that way… I’m just not sure. I mean, I don’t know. What I want.” He willed Harry to understand, because he didn’t want to cause the older boy any more anxiety.

Harry nodded at him. “That’s okay.” His expression turned thoughtful. “Did you like it when I kissed you?”

Peter felt his cheeks growing warm. “Um…” It wasn’t that he didn’t know, he was just embarrassed to say it out loud.

Harry seemed to take his reluctance to answer as uncertainty, because he smiled a small, sad smile. “Well… Maybe this will help.”

And then he was leaning in again, and it was like déjà vu as Peter watched him approaching, saw the kiss coming from miles away. His heart beat faster, his stomach dropped, and then Harry’s lips were pressing against his. Again.

Peter’s second kiss.

It was easier this time. Nicer, even. It wasn’t so unexpected or foreign when their lips began to move, molding together in some inexplicable, silent communication. And it was warm. And soft. And Peter could hear his heart beating in his ears. And when he sucked in a ragged breath, his teeth scraped against Harry’s bottom lip, so he bit down lightly.

Harry let out a short, startled moan, his hands tightening reflexively on Peter’s waist.

Peter jerked back in surprise and his eyes flew open. He met Harry’s gaze and was shocked to see those blue eyes darkened with something unfamiliar… Desire? Lust? Whatever it was made Peter feel hot and squirmy, and he lowered his eyes to escape the intensity. He swallowed.

Harry was breathing slightly harder than before, and it took a few moments for him to speak. “Did you… Like that?”

It seemed like such a silly question now. Peter just nodded mutely.

One of Harry’s hands fell away, only to reappear at Peter’s face, where he carefully brushed a few strands of hair off his forehead. Then his fingers were curling around Peter’s chin, easing his head up until he was making eye contact again.

“So… What’re you confused about?” He was smiling warmly, practically glowing with satisfaction and happiness. Peter felt terrible. He wanted to please his friend. He wanted to say yes. Let’s date. Whatever. Whatever you want.

But it was so much more complicated than that. Even if Peter did want to date Harry, would that be fair to him? Peter had a whole separate, secret life. One that he could never tell anyone about. Not even his boyfriend, if he ever had one.

Peter huffed in frustration and misery. “It’s just… I don’t know… If I want to date. You. I mean, I… I like this and all, and… And I love you, you know that.” The words caused his heart to stutter nervously. “But I don’t know… I just… You’re my best friend.”

Harry released his chin, but his gaze remained kind and warm. “Okay. Don’t worry about it, Petey, I understand.”

Peter looked at him with wide, pleading eyes. “You do?”

Harry nodded. “Of course. No pressure, okay? None at all.” He grinned briefly. “We can keep being friends. And maybe friends with… you know. Other stuff.” Peter didn’t look entirely convinced, so he went on. “It’ll be chill. No strings, no worries. Just us. Being friends.”

Peter nodded slowly. That sounded… Okay.

“Great.” Harry looked happy. So Peter was happy, too. It was nice not to be avoiding his best friends anymore. “Now that that’s settled, let’s get to lunch. I’m sure MJ is wondering where the hell we are.”

Peter groaned. “Oh no… She’s gonna kill me.”

Harry just laughed, grabbing Peter’s hand and threading their fingers together. Peter didn’t mind as he was pulled back into the now-empty hallway and led to the cafeteria.

But Harry didn’t let go when they got there. He held on to Peter’s hand as they wound there way through tables and chairs until they reached MJ who was smirking deviously at them. Peter’s cheeks were definitely some shade of red by this point.

“Oh. My god.” MJ grinned at them as they sat down, Harry pulling his chair a lot closer to Peter’s than he usually did. “You guys are too fucking cute.” She gasped, clapping her hands together. “Oh my god! Does this mean I have two gay best friends? Because that makes me twice as fabulous!”

Peter glared at her.

 

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Peter’s couldn’t wipe the wide smile from his face as he sailed through the air, flying and dipping in arc after dizzying arc as he swung through the city. It hadn’t felt this good to swing in weeks. He’d been run down, but tonight it felt like nothing could stop him.

He had his friends back. He was on the way to see Wade. Spider-Man would help some people tonight. So would Deadpool, for that matter. Everything felt like it was falling into place for the first time in a long time.

As he neared the Hilton hotel, he could spot a familiar red and black figure on the roof. He was practicing some deadly-looking ninja moves with his katanas, lunging and slicing and bending in a beautiful solo dance. Peter couldn’t help but grin as he swung through the air and severed his web, landing silently behind Deadpool, a good few yards away.

“Nice moves!” He called out, already taking a step towards the mercenary.

In the next second, several things happened all at once. A sharp, demanding shock of warning shot down Peter’s spine. Wade spun around to face him and all of a sudden a throwing knife was sailing through the air, straight towards Peter.

He dropped to the ground, heart leaping into this throat as the blade narrowly missed his head.

There was a beat before Deadpool gasped. “Oh, shit! Sorry, Spidey!”

Peter pushed himself up and got to his feet, adrenalin pounding through him, making his breath come quick. “What the fuck?” He yelled, throwing his hands in the air.

Deadpool moved towards him, sheathing his katanas and holding his hands out to Peter, as if he intended to pat him down for injuries. “I didn’t know it was you!”

Peter knocked Wade’s hands away as soon as he was within reach. “Who the fuck else would it be? Are you meeting other guys up here? You have other friends who dress up in costumes and can climb walls?” Peter hadn’t exactly climbed up here tonight, but that wasn’t the point.

Deadpool shook his head emphatically. “Sorry, sorry, sorry! I wasn’t thinking.”

Peter rolled his eyes, although he knew Wade couldn’t see it through the mask. “Well next time you do something to me without thinking, I hope it’s not deadly.” He could almost see Wade’s mouth falling open, and he fought the sudden urge to laugh.

Ignoring the way Wade was now staring at him in shock, Peter glanced around for the knife. It must have sailed over the edge of the roof, because he couldn’t see it anywhere. Hopefully it hadn’t hurt anyone on the ground. “Where the hell did that come from, anyway?” Both of Wade’s hands had been occupied when Peter surprised him.

“Oh…. Uh….” Wade clasped his hands behind his back and rocked forward onto his toes, suddenly avoiding Peter’s gaze. “Nowhere…” Peter raised his eyebrows at the suspiciously unnecessary shiftiness, but decided to let it go. He probably didn’t want to know, anyway.

“Okay.” He looked at Deadpool for another moment before glancing back over the city. Suddenly, all he could think about was seeing Wade last night. And how he’d wanted the mercenary to stay with him longer. Just to talk. Just to be there. Because being with Wade (as Deadpool too, if he was being honest) was weirdly comforting. Now he had to remember how to be Spider-Man. Not Peter.

Wade didn’t seem to mind his momentary distraction. “So how was your night off?” He skipped forward, invading Peter’s space. “Do anything fun? Use those pretty buns?” He made as if to grab Spidey’s ass, but Peter dodged him easily, smiling in spite of himself.

“No…” He scolded. Wade just shrugged as if to say ‘can you blame me for trying?’ Peter shook his head and tried to redirect the persistent mercenary. “What about you? What did you do last night?”

Deadpool bounced up and down on the balls of his feet like a kid who had done something particularly exciting. “I saved someone. All by myself!” He certainly sounded pleased with himself.

Peter grinned. “All by yourself? Wow. I guess the training wheels are coming off, Pool. Good job.”

Wade threw his hands into the air. “Don’t you even want to hear the story?”

Peter chuckled, but lowered himself onto the edge of the roof and patted the pavement next to him, inviting Wade to sit down. “Go ahead.”

Wade practically threw himself down at Peter’s side, clearly way too enthused about this whole thing. “Okay. So I was just doing my own thing, minding my own business, you know. Totally not jerking off to furry porn or anything weird like that.” Peter snorted, trying his hardest to hold back a laugh. Wade pointed an accusing finger at him. “Hush. I’m telling a story, here.” Peter nodded gravely. “So there I was, not doing anything remotely erotic, and this friend of mine texts me.” Peter smiled. It made him feel strangely happy to hear Wade refer to him as a friend. He had a feeling the mercenary didn’t have many of those. “And he’s like, help! I’m trapped somewhere and I need you to come save me. So I raced over there right away, and-“

“How did you get there?” Peter was grinning. He didn’t mind Wade embellishing the story, but he couldn’t resist messing with him just a tad.

“Um…” Wade shifted slightly. “That’s not the important part. Shut up and listen to the story.” Peter chuckled, but nodded his agreement. “So I get there, and I bust down the door, and these assholes have him cornered.” Wade had been gesturing dramatically up until this point, but now his hands clenched into fists where they were resting on his thighs. “And they’re about to… Hurt him.” For a moment, his voice went tight with anger, and Peter fell still at the memory of Wade in the bar. So beautifully furious and so very, very dangerous. Peter swallowed. There was a beat before Wade continued. “So I swoop in and knock the shithead out. I don’t even kill him! Even though I wanted to. I definitely wanted to.”

Peter suppressed a shiver at Wade’s tone. “Wow. Sounds like you were quite the hero.” He couldn’t believe how considerate Deadpool, of all people, was being by not mentioning all the embarrassing details of Peter’s damsel-in-distress episode.

“Aw, it was nothing.” Wade ducked his head and waved Peter away in a classis ‘aw shucks’ movement. A moment passed, then, “But I was, wasn’t I?”

Peter grinned. “Totally. I’m proud of you.”

Wade looked at him, and Peter could tell through the Deadpool mask that he was grinning back.

It was a nice moment. But it didn’t last. Wade ducked his head again to hiss under his breath. “No, idiot. So shut up about it, already.”

Peter’s smile faded away and he shifted a little closer to Wade’s side, trying to offer some silent comfort. “What’re they saying?” He asked.

He’d gotten quite the impression from what Yellow and White had chosen to say to him when he’d last asked about them. It was clear, at least to Peter, that the voices were like expressions of different parts of Wade. He thought that Yellow might be a representation of Wade’s impulses, judging by the compliment he’d paid Spider-Man. But that might be more than a bit of a stretch. And White seemed more like Wade’s doubts. Peter was more sure about that one, since White had attempted to warn Spidey away from Deadpool.

Wade sighed, his shoulders slumping slightly and his arm brushing against Peter’s at the motion. “White’s just reminding me that I’m not actually a hero.”

Peter frowned. “You are!” He protested. Then he realized that he should probably clarify. “At least, you are for some people. You were a hero for- Um… Your friend, last night.”

Wade shrugged. “Yeah. I guess. But it’s not like that cancels out all the bad shit I do every other day of the week.”

Peter looked out of the city, considering that. “Well… Maybe not. But if you keep patrolling with me and maybe, um…” He didn’t want to tell Deadpool to stop killing people. Even though he didn’t like it, Peter realized that that would be like telling Deadpool not to be who he was. That wasn’t exactly fair. “Just keep helping people. I think you can be a hero.”

Wade was looking at him rather intently. “You really think so?” There was a cautious, careful hope in the tilt of his head.

Peter nodded solemnly.

Wade seemed to smile. “Thanks, Baby Boy.”

Peter shrugged, feeling his cheeks growing a little warm.

Wade, as usual, seemed to sense when a subject change was in order. “So, little spider. Did you get a chance to deal with your boy troubles?” He leaned back, resting his elbows on the ground so he was reclining backwards as he looked up at Peter. “Did you get Aaron to figure out that Regina’s been cheating on him and he should really have been with you all along?” Peter chuckled at the Mean Girls reference. Before he could answer, Wade started singing in a falsetto voice. “I kissed a boy, and I liked it… The taste of his Old Spice chap stick.”

Peter scoffed in amusement. “What the fuck is Old Spice chap stick? That’s disgusting.”

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!” Wade sing-songed cheerily.

Peter rolled his eyes, laughter in his voice. “You’re so weird.”

“I know you are, but what am I?” Wade tipped his head to the side, growing serious once again. “So…?”

Peter took a breath, calming down after his laughter. “Yeah… Yeah I did deal with it, actually.”

Wade seemed to go strangely still. “Oh. Good. What, um… What did you decide?”

Peter looked away, kicking his legs over the open air. “Well…” It felt strange, to be telling Wade this all over again. “I decided I can be attracted to guys, I guess. So that makes me… Bi, or something. I don’t really think the labels matter.”

Wade nodded. “Yeah, labels are shit.” There was a beat of silence. “So… You and Harold are like, together now?” There was an edge to Wade’s voice that sounded almost like worry.

“Um…” Peter looked down at Deadpool’s blank mask. “No. I told him I didn’t want to date.”

“Oh.” Peter couldn’t help but notice how Wade’s demeanor seemed to immediately brighten. “Cool. I guess. Not for him. But whatever.” Wade sat up and slung one arm over Peter’s shoulders. “So Spidey’s single and ready to mingle. You gonna give the Iron Giant a call?”

Peter laughed and pushed Wade away playfully. “Shut up. That’s gross.” He was glad that Wade was happy, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that what he’d said was kind of a lie… He had technically told Harry he didn’t want to date, but they hadn’t exactly settled on strictly platonic terms, either. That kiss certainly hadn’t been platonic… He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t been honest with Wade, but he dismissed the musings from his mind. It didn’t matter. Wade was happy and Peter had his friends back and things were going well for once.

“Right. Of course. Age gap kinks are totally… You know. Ew. Like who would want that?” Wade sounded a bit manic. “Shut it, Yellow.”

Peter laughed, but he bumped shoulders with Wade so the mercenary would know he meant it good-naturedly. “I meant hooking up with Mr. Stark would be gross.” He shuddered a little just at the thought. “Not necessarily because he’s older than me.”

“Oh.” Wade seemed surprised by that, and then he went silent and seemed to be thinking for several long seconds. Peter wasn’t sure he wanted Wade to be thinking… whatever he was probably thinking. So he started climbing to his feet and hooked his hands under one of Wade’s massive biceps, pulling him up as well.

“Come on, Red. Let’s go be heroes.”

Wade leapt to his feet with surprising agility, shooting up like a jack rabbit and bouncing around like an overgrown (really overgrown) puppy that knew it was about to be taken on a walk.

“We can be heroes, forever and ever!” Wade sang, serenading Peter with an outstretched hand. “We can be heroes… Just for one day.”

Peter laughed, waving Wade away and walking over to the edge of the roof that bordered the less crowded street.

Wade followed, still singing enthusiastically. “Cause we’re lovers, and that is a fact!” He grabbed at Peter as if he were trying to pull him into a dramatic dip, but Peter slid agilely away before Wade could get a grip on him, still laughing lightly. “Yes we’re lovers!” He blew Peter a kiss. “And that is that.” Peter mimed catching it and throwing it over the edge of the roof.

Wade sucked in a sharp breath, planting his hands on his hips. “That was harsh, Spidey-boy. Harsh.”

“Hush. I’m trying to listen.” Peter shushed Wade playfully, and when silence fell he closed his eyes and broadened his focus.

Cars. Talking. Laughing. Footsteps. The whirs and bangs of construction. A dog barking. A baby crying. Horns honking.

Wade stepped closer to him, and Peter found himself growing distracted by the warmth he could feel radiating through Deadpool’s suit. He took a deep breath and forced himself to focus again.

A door slamming. Yelling. Pots and pans banging together. Another dog barking. Car breaks screeching. A woman crying.

Peter zeroed in on that. She was begging for someone to let her go. A moment later, a man’s voice could be heard telling her to shut up and stop moving. The woman cried harder.

Peter opened his eyes, mouth setting into a grim line. He turned to wade, who was close enough that Peter had to tilt his head back to look up at him. He held out his hand. “Ready to go save someone?”

This time, the grin beneath Deadpool’s mask was unmistakable. “Hell yeah.”

 

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Song Credits:

Title:
Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry
Lyrics:
I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry
Heroes - David Bowie

 

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Chapter Text

Wade

[White]
{Yellow}

 

*************************************************************************************************************************************

 

{Pew pew pew! Pew! Die alien scum, die!}

[You’re fighting aliens? I thought it was cowboys.]

{Weeeeoooooweeeeoooooweeeeoooooo BOOM! Take that, you ball-sucking d-bags!}

[How can they both suck scrotums and be them? Is that anatomically possible?]

{Duh. They’re alien cowboys. They can do anything.}

[Then how do they have sex?]

{Ever seen Pink Floyd’s The Wall? I’m imagining a big flower thing, and they open up, and one can become the catcher, if you know what I mean, while the other one becomes the pitcher, and its pollen stick thing is the penis. So in other words-}

[We got the metaphor, Yellow.]

{And then they’re just like eating each other whole and fucking to death like in the movie. And they have teeth! Really big teeth that can-}

[Interesting. So do they have different genders or are they all just intersex?]

{Hm… Intersex. So they can all fuck each other ALL THE TIME! Wouldn’t it be great if that was how the world was?}

[We’d never get anything done.]

“True that.” Wade muttered, finally interrupting the boxes’ drawn out conversation. He didn’t blame them. They needed to entertain themselves somehow while Wade sat here, completely motionless, watching the apartment through his scope. “Still, it wouldn’t kill you to help out every once in a while.” He mumbled under his breath, eyes still trained on the window he was watching.

{You don’t want our help. We suck at stakeouts.}

[You suck at stakeouts. You get distracted too easily.]

{Oh, and you don’t? Who was so interested in how the cowliens have sex?}

[What the fuck is a cowlien? That’s the stupidest name I’ve ever heard.]

{You’re just jealous that you didn’t come up with it first.}

[Oh yeah. Yeah, I’m jealous that I’m not stupider than a rock and less original than a grain of sand.]

{Hey. You fucking take that back.}

[I will not.]

{You will. You will TAKE THAT BACK YOU MOTHER FUCKING PIECE OF FILTHY TRASH.}

[God, you have no fucking finesse. You think that’s gonna convince me to do shit?]

{Oh, I can convince you.}

“Hey…” Wade growled a quiet warning, but neither box paid him the least bit of attention.

[Wanna bet? You couldn’t convince a fly to land on you even though you’re literally a pile of shit.]

{Oh… That’s fucking it. You’re definitely going to regret that.}

[Make. Me.]

{Uh oh. There you go again talking cinematic. Yeah, you! You’re charming, got everybody star struck.}

White was managing to maintain steely silence as Yellow began those first fateful lines of their least favorite song, but Wade couldn’t suppress a small groan. That awful catchy tune would be stuck in his head for days now.

{IF WE WERE A MOVIE, YOU’D BE THE RIGHT GUY! AND I’D BE THE BEST FRIEND, YOU’D FALL IN LOVE WITH!}

[Okay.] White’s voice was thick with frustration and resignation.

{IN THE END WE’D BE LAUGHING, WATCHING THE SUNSET FADE TO BLACK}

[I said okay. Shut up.]

{SHOW THE NAMES! PLAY THE HAPPY SONG!}

“Shhh.” Wade hissed before Yellow could start in on the next verse, already standing and folding his rifle up in fluid, easy motions.

[He’s here?]

“He’s here.”

{Oh, goodie!!!}

They had finally gotten a solid lead. It had never taken them this long before, but finally, a week and a half after they started their search, they had found one of the people looking into old Weapon X information.

[I still think it wouldn’t have taken this long if we hadn’t been so distracted.]

{Oh, shut it already. You like hanging with Spidey, too.}

[I do not. I tolerate it.]

{Tolerate it my ass! You lurve him almost as much as Wade and I do.}

“Uh, guys? Not like we haven’t had this argument a hundred times already, but do you think we could put it on hold until after the kidnapping, torture, and probably murder? Our dinner date is only gonna be out for an hour. Tops.” Wade was currently tight-rope walking the line he’d strung between the apartment building and the offices across the street where he’d been hiding out, lying in wait. He couldn’t afford to burst in through the window this time; it would be too conspicuous.

{Hold up. Merlin’s fine ass titties did you just say probably murder?}

[He must have been mistaken.] White’s voice was dangerously low. [He meant definitely. Right, Wade?]

Wade huffed. “Yeah, that’s what I meant. Duh.” This guy was Weapon X. Even if he wasn’t technically, he still was, you know? Any association with the former mutate-creating organization earned a guy a giant red X in Wade’s book. So yeah, he was gonna kill him. And hopefully Spidey just wouldn’t find out.

{You don’t think he knows we still take jobs?}

[We hardly do anymore.] White pointed out venomously. [Ever since we started patrolling with a fucking superhero.]

Wade gritted his teeth, cutting the line behind him and walking quickly and silently across the roof to slip open the vent access he’d unlocked (with a crowbar) earlier. “It’s only been a couple weeks. Not even. And we’ve been busy with other stuff, too. Like tracking down this son of a bitch. We haven’t had the time to take as many hits as usual.”

[Excuses.] White hissed. [You’ve been thinking you could be a hero, too. You’ve been thinking that maybe, if you team up with Spidey and stop killing people for shits and giggles-]

{And money.}

[And money, that you might be able to redeem yourself.]

{Poor Wadey, so stupid. You’ll always be a killer. You’re so soaked in the blood of your victims that you’ll never get the scent of it off your skin.}

[Wow, that was almost poetic.]

{Fuck yeah, it was.}

[Yellow’s right. You’re tainted. You can never be pure again.]

“I fucking know.” Wade growled. “Now shut up so I can focus.” He was army-crawling through the vents, cold metal pressing to his suit, sticking as he tried to force his way down the cramped tube. It was an extremely tight fit, given how large Wade was, and it was almost difficult to keep track of how many feet he’d traveled as he inched along.

{How did we do this earlier? It seemed easier a few hours ago.}

[Wade ate since then.]

“Are you calling me fat?” Wade quipped, finally coming to a stop right above what should be the living room of his mark’s apartment. He reached forward, grunting in discomfort as his elbows jammed against the sides of the vent, and popped the vent cover out. It clattered noisily to the floor below, but Wade wasn’t worried about noise inside the apartment. Not yet, anyway. He wriggled forward until his upper body was hanging out of the hole, his eyes skimming the motionless room behind his mask.

{Watch our babies!} Yellow squeaked as Wade prepared to drop down.

“I know, I know.” He made sure the katanas had clearance before gripping the edge of the vent and flipping himself down and out. He dropped silently to the floor, eyes scanning the apartment again. No movement.

He straightened up and walked over to the man slumped awkwardly against the side of the nondescript couch.

[He’s smaller than we thought he’d be.]

Wade nudged the unconscious man’s leg with his boot, his head tipped slightly to one side as he considered him. “Yeah… he’s kind of ratty, isn’t he?”

{Well, that is appropriate since he’s a fucking rat.}

Wade hummed his agreement and bent down to retrieve the small canister of gas (now empty) from under the couch. He pulled it out, reeling up the nearly invisible fishing line as well, and tucked it all inside one of his pouches. No need to leave any evidence with the Deadpool insignia on it. Not this time.

He’d come in a few hours ago, scoped the place out, searched it thoroughly. He hadn’t been able to find anything of relevance. Anything at all, really. The apartment was conspicuously bare. Just the standard sets of plain furniture, a television, a few generic sweaters and pants in the closet, a pair of shoes, a coat, take out boxes in the fridge. No papers, no books, no photographs or personal artifacts of any kind.

This guy was a professional.

It was a testament to just how professional he was that it had taken Deadpool this long to find him. And in the end it had been luck, really. None of the people he’d questioned had been able to tell him anything. The best he’d gotten was a description of a guy between thirty and forty years old, average height with dark hair. Like that was fucking helpful. His big break had been because of a taco. That’s right, a taco.

{One more reason to fucking love those things. Gifts from the gods, I say.}

[You’ll eat anything, Yellow. Don’t pretend otherwise.]

After questioning a relative of one of Weapon X’s old victims, Wade had been frustrated with the lack of information he received regarding the kind, mysterious visitor who’d come asking similar questions. When he was frustrated, he got hungry. And when he got hungry, he craved Mexican food. So he’d stepped into the international market across the street to pick up the necessary ingredients for tacos. And that was where, lo and behold, he’d spotted some very well placed security cameras. One of them had been knocked off course. It had been pointing across the street.

And that was how Wade had tracked down Mr. Smith. Mr. John Smith, if you could believe it. And Wade didn’t. He was sure that the name on the lease for this barren apartment was a pseudonym. Hopefully he could, er, persuade Mr. Smith to give up his real name, but it was starting to look like he might be a hard nut to crack.

[Mm, those are the best…]

{They’re the tastiest, once you finally get to their sweet red insides.}

[It’s so beautiful to see what’s left of them when they finally crack…]

{Oh, I just can’t wait to get started! Let’s start now. Right now.}

[He’s not even conscious.]

{So?}

“He won’t be able to answer any of our questions.” Wade pointed out plainly as he pulled twine out from one of his pouches. He would use fishing line again, but that stuff really cut into the skin and Wade didn’t want his friend’s extremities to be numb. He might have need of those.

[He won’t be able to scream for us.]

{Oh. Why didn’t you just say so? I guess we have to wait.}

Wade rolled his eyes, dragging a plain wooden chair in from the small kitchenette. “Upsy-daisy!” He exclaimed as he grabbed the unconscious man and heaved him up into the chair. He was a bit heavier than he looked. Wade tied his wrists and ankles to the arms and legs on the chair three times over with the twine, using his best knots. Then, just in case this guy really knew what he was doing, Wade patted him down for weapons (found none) and tied his torso to the chair as well. Then he pulled out some superglue and glued the chair to the ground. He’d have preferred something sturdier that couldn’t be picked up and broken by ramming into a wall, but this would have to do. The guy really didn’t own much furniture.

“Anything else?” Wade asked casually as he surveyed his hard work.

[What about the screaming?]

“Calm your titties, we’ll get to that. You’re so- Oh…. Oh, yeah.” Wade pulled out some duct tape and ripped a piece off, then pressed it over Mr. Smith’s mouth. “Hopefully he doesn’t have a head cold.” It wouldn’t do to have his informant suffocate before they got to the fun stuff. Wade stood and watched for a minute, and when it seemed like the guy was breathing alright, he turned and sank down easily onto the plain red couch.

[Now we wait.]

{Aw… I hate waiting.}

“I’m sure you’ll find someway to entertain yourself.” Wade kept his eyes fixed steadily on his mark, waiting for any twitch of movement, any sign of life.

Yellow did find a way to entertain himself, much to White and Wade’s dismay. It was thirty-six minutes later, when Wade was seriously considering putting a knife through his eye just to get a break, that Mr. Smith woke up.

He twitched first, a small movement at the fingers, and Wade was immediately on alert. Then he rolled his head to one side, a quiet groan muffled behind the tape. It took another minute before he could raise his head and blink his eyes open, staring around in confusion. When his eyes finally caught on Deadpool, sitting perfectly still on his couch, a look of confusion passed over his features. It took a few seconds for the confusion to clear into recognition, and then his plain brown eyes went dead.

“Fuck.” Wade cursed quietly, watching the tightening of the man’s jaw before he seemed to relax into the wooden chair, eyes going glassy and distant. This fucker knew how to dissociate. He knew what Wade was here for, and he was going to try to hold out on him.

{No one holds out on us…} Yellow hissed.

[No one.]

Wade stood in one fluid motion. “I guess we’re in for a long night, huh?” He smiled slowly beneath the mask. “That’s alright. I don’t mind.”

He took a knife out first. He preferred to start that way. It got the weak ones talking fast, and it gave the strong ones something to think about, something to ache and burn while he moved on to other things. And he knew just where to cut to inflict the most pain without risking too much blood loss.

Wade knelt down in front of his captive, reaching out and grabbing the man’s chin when he wouldn’t focus on Wade’s face. “I assume you don’t have anything to say before we get started?” He asked, keeping his tone pleasant. He got no response. “Oh good. I was hoping you wouldn’t choose the easy way out.”

Wade started humming The Sweet Escape as he unlaced Mr. Smith’s shoes and slid them off, along with his socks. He brought the tip of his knife to the delicate skin between the toes, and smiled as he felt the minute jerk in John’s leg.

He started slicing. Just paper-cut thin, shallow little openings. They wouldn’t even bleed much. But they would hurt like hell with every twitch of the toes or feet.

{If I could escape…} Yellow began singing along, tone gleeful. {And recreate a place that’s my own world. And I could be your favorite girl forever! We could make it better. Tell me boy, now wouldn’t that be sweet?}

[No one’s escaping tonight!] Even White was cheerful now.

Wade set the knife aside and stood up, reaching into his pouches for more tools. He lined them all up on the couch, right in Mr. Smith’s line of sight. A lighter. A pair of pliers. Several more knives. His smallest gun. A small bag of salt. A flask containing acid. A plastic bag. The fishing wire. And a pair of brass knuckles.

“I never got to go to superhero school.” Wade began casually, running his gloved fingers over the line of tools, as if considering which one to pick first.

[That’s because we’re not fucking heroes.]

Wade ignored White. “I wanted to, you know. I mean, before I met the tight-ass fuckers, I thought the X-Men were cool as shit. The Avengers, too, if we’re gonna be honest.”

{Yeah… We thought Black Widow was hot. But she’s just a cold hard bitch.}

[We still think she’s hot.]

{Not as hot as our spider!}

“Anyway, that ship sailed a long time ago. I went to a different kind of school.” Wade plucked the plastic bag from the line and began spreading it out in his hands. “I learned about pain.” He moved unhurriedly behind John’s chair, smiling as he noticed the man’s shoulders stiffening ever so slightly. “Learned the best ways to cause it. I got a lot of first hand experience, you know. Had the best teachers and everything.”

Wade paused there, tilting his head to the side in consideration. “I’m not sure I was one of their favorites, though. I’d ask them, but, well… They’re dead.” He brought the bag down in front of John’s face and pressed it down over his mouth and nose, pulling it back and tightening it behind his head.

To his credit, John Smith didn’t make a sound. He went tense. And after nearly a minute he began jolting slightly, hands and legs straining against his restraints, the veins in his neck standing out underneath thin paper skin.

Wade didn’t release him for another minute or so. This guy was trained, that was clear enough. He could handle Wade going a little hard on him. When he finally pulled the bag away from his face, John inhaled sharply through his nose, head falling forward, breath turning heavy and ragged.

Wade walked back around to the couch, completely at ease. He set the bag down in its spot and considered the other objects. “What next, hm?”

{The lighter. Set him on fire! Burn him up!!!} Yellow was getting too excited already.

[Cut him more…] White hissed. [Open him up for us. I want to see his sweet red blood… Then pour salt in his wounds. Oh, he’ll scream so sweetly…]

Wade chuckled to himself, hand landing on the pliers. “I think we’ll take it a bit more slowly than that. We’re here for the long haul, after all.” He turned back to his victim, who was clearly trying to calm his heart rate by taking measured breaths through his nose, nostrils flaring. His eyes weren’t as glassy as before when they caught sight of what Wade was holding.

Wade grinned. “What do you think, John? Can you do without a few fingernails?” He waited for a moment, as if the man could respond with tape over his mouth. “I’ll take that as a yes, then.”

 

****************************************************************************

 

Three hours later, John wasn’t much closer to cracking. Wade had to admire the guy for his resolve. Except wait, no he didn’t, because who had maintained a sense of humor and ruggedly good looks for months upon months of nonstop torture? Wade Winston Wilson. That’s who. So John Smith wasn’t shit.

{At least he’s finally making noise! Ah, sweet music to our ears…}

He was, in fact, making noise now. It had taken Wade breaking out the acid for him to start screaming hoarsely, and then he didn’t really stop. He was moaning brokenly now, head hanging limply over his legs, blood and tears dripping lazily from his cheeks to stain his jeans.

But screaming didn’t mean he was close to giving up information. It was one step closer, sure, but not that much closer. Wade asked him the questions, over and over as he burned the tips of his mangled fingers with the lighter.

“Who are you working for?”

No response.

“Where did you get the Weapon X data?”

Nothing but ragged breaths and whines of pain.

“What are you doing with it?”

Futile struggling against tightly knotted twine.

“What are you still looking for?”

More groans of pain, muffled by the duct tape.

Wade wasn’t concerned that his captive was gagged while he was asking his questions. If he decided he wanted to answer, he’d find a way. Besides, Wade wasn’t expecting him to crack just yet. But he wanted the questions to sink so deep into this man’s subconscious he’d be hearing them on repeat when he passed out from the pain.

White hissed in pleasure as they watched burnt flesh bubble beneath the flame of the lighter. [Yesss….. So beautiful.]

{Ugh. I think I’m getting hard.}

Wade rolled his eyes, pulling the lighter away before Yellow could get gross.

{Aaaaaaw! You’re so fucking mean.}

Wade set the lighter down beside his line of tools. He’d used maybe two thirds of them now, and he’d finish the rounds before he started repeating tactics. Wade liked variety; it kept things interesting. He turned to look at the man in the chair, still stubbornly holding on despite deteriorating around the edges.

“You want some water?” Wade asked cheerily. “You didn’t have much in your kitchen, but I think I could manage a glass of water if you ask nicely.”

Mr. Smith was staring at him with puffy, narrowed eyes. He was suspicious. Wade couldn’t blame him.

Wade shrugged. “Suit yourself. I just thought you might like a break before we move on to more exciting things.” He hadn’t used the salt yet.

He turned as if to select a new tool, but he was stopped by a muffled exclamation. He turned back, eyebrows raising. “Oh… You did want some water?” John nodded jerkily. “Well why didn’t you say so! Just a second, my friend.”

Wade skipped to the kitchen and pulled a glass from the barren cabinet. He filled it at the sink, and returned to the living room. He brought a hand up to John’s face, and the man flinched away. Wade smirked. “I’m just gonna take off your gag, love. You can’t really drink from your nose, can you?” The man straightened his head to allow Wade to reach the tape, but Wade hesitated. “You’re not going to scream, right?” He allowed an edge to enter his tone. John nodded.

Wade curled his fingers around the edge of the tape and pulled sharply, causing John to gasp as the adhesive was ripped off his skin. Wade gave him a moment before raising the glass. John leaned forward to bring his mouth to the edge, and Wade moved to meet him there. At the last moment, Wade raised the glass over the man’s head and poured it over him.

John gasped again, eyes widening in shock as water dripped from the tips of his hair.

“Who are you working for?”

The shock was turning into anger.

“Where did you get the Weapon X data?”

The anger was turning into rage, jaw clenching and eyes narrowing.

“What are you doing with it?”

“I know who you fucking are.” John growled, his voice painfully hoarse after the screaming.

[Fucking finally…]

{Hey, we were having fun!}

[Yeah, but once he talks we can kill him!]

{Oh, yeah. Good.}

Wade planted his hands on his hips. “Oh, good! I should hope so. I’m kind of famous, you know. Especially in your particular scene.”

John’s mouth was twisted into an ugly sneer. “I know all about what they did to you, Wade Wilson.”

Wade’s fingers twitched, but he kept himself in check. “Ooh, you know my name and my origin story. Shocking. Tell me more.”

John just laughed, weakly, hoarsely, maniacally. “They’ll want you back eventually, you know. You hold the answers. You’re what they’re looking for.”

Wade couldn’t stop his hands from clenching into fists this time. “Who?” He growled. He leaned in, placing his hands on John’s arms and shoving his face in John’s. “Who. Are you. Working for?”

John laughed again, closing his eyes. He laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

{Fucking little rat.} Yellow was furious. White was, too.

So was Wade.

“Fuck.” He pushed himself up and paced away, heart pounding. “Fuck.” He was still laughing.

Suddenly, Wade was beyond livid. Anger burned through him, hot and all consuming. How dare they. How dare they come back. Wade had annihilated them all. And now they were coming for him again.

Not again.

[Never again.]

{Never.}

Wade drew his katanas, static rushing in his ears. He turned back to John, who had only a moment for realization to enter his eyes, hardly fading into fear before the blades were swinging.

John Smith’s head rolled off his shoulders and hit the ground with a dull thud. Blood soaked down through his shirt slowly, steadily. The carpet was going to need to be replaced.

Wade stared, chest heaving. “Fuck!” He yelled, kicking the chair over so the man’s body lay beside his head.

He sheathed his katanas.

[This will send them a message.]

{Yeah. They can’t fuck with us.}

[We’re coming for them.]

{Every last one of them.}

“But we don’t even know who they are.” Wade stared helplessly down at the corpse he’d just made. Why couldn’t he have been fucking patient? For once in his goddamn life.

[We’ll find out.]

{We’ll keep hunting them.}

[To the ends of the fucking earth.]

{Universe, if we have to.}

Wade sighed, comforted in spite of himself. “I don’t think we’ll have to go that far.” He bent over Mr. Smiths body and started searching the pockets, just in case.

All he had on him was a wallet and apartment key. The wallet contained an ID, no doubt fake, and twenty dollars in cash. Wade had no use for either. Tucked into the back was a slip of paper. Wade pulled it out.

He unfolded it, and realized it was a check. A check for ten thousand dollars.

A check from Oscorp Industries.

“Oh.” Well, that made some sense.

Wade wasn’t sure whether this information was good or bad news. Oscorp had a shit ton of resources at their disposal. They could keep this stuff alive for a long time.

[It’s good news. We know who they are.]

{We can end them.}

Wade nodded slowly. He tucked the check back into Mr. Smith’s wallet, and slid the wallet back into his pants. Better if they didn’t know for sure that he’d seen it.

Then Wade moved back to the open vent in the ceiling and shimmied his way back to the roof, avoiding all of the cameras. And then he disappeared into the night.

 

*************************************************************************************************************************************

 

A few days later, Wade was back at the dingy nursing home where Al was staying. He was still confused as fuck about why she wanted to live here when she could probably afford the penthouse suite at the Conrad, but he wasn’t about to ask. Besides, it worked out fine for Wade because he might just run into a certain sexy little nerd who made his stomach do weird things.

{I still think he would have hooked up with us.}

[We’d just saved him from a bunch of pedophiles, you think he wanted us coming on to him? You’re fucking crazy.]

{Yeah… I guess you’re right. No one would want to hook up with Wade’s disgusting face, anyway.}

[Especially not a sweet young thing like Peter Parker.]

{Peter Benjamin Parker!} Yellow giggled.

Yes, okay. Wade had done some research on the kid. Nothing too invasive (he was a kid anyway; what would he have to hide?), but enough to find out the basics. Just things like his full name, address, school records (damn that kid was smart), and family history. His parents had died in a car crash when he was six, and his Aunt and Uncle had raised him after that. His Uncle was killed during an attempted robbery just two years ago. Oh, yeah. And Peter interned at Oscorp.

{Insert vaguely ominous music here.}

[What the fuck does that mean?]

{The readers know. Or… They’ll find out. Eventually.}

[You’re so weird.]

{Thank you.}

The kid hadn’t had an easy life, and it was clear that his aunt was struggling to make ends meet. It was a classic American story, similar to thousands of others, but for some reason it made Wade feel especially bad for young Peter. How in the world did a kid like that end up so sweet and kind? Wade had had a shitty childhood, too (although in very different ways than Peter did), and look what had happened to him. Fucked up, even before Weapon X and the boxes and Deadpool.

[Totally fucked up.]

Hell, he’d killed people for a living before he went insane. That was some serious childhood trauma right there.

So anyway, now he was sitting in Blind Al’s room, which smelled like old people because… Well, you know. And he was only half-hoping that the cute doe-eyed nephew of Al’s nurse would show up. It seemed unlikely, but you never know. Even Wade got lucky sometimes.

[Rarely.]

{Yeah, and like never in the sexual way.}

[Not since your face turned into meatloaf.]

{It’s lucky Al is blind, otherwise she would’ve left a lot sooner than she did!}

[It’s a fucking miracle that Peter can even stand to look at you.]

{Ooh, maybe he’s secretly blind, too!}

[He’s not blind, Yellow. Stop being an idiot.]

{…He could be. Daredevil does some crazy ass shit and he’s blind. I think. Wait, isn’t he?}

[Just shut up.]

{Wade should wear a mask all the time. Even when he’s not being Deadpool.}

[Yeah, like a ski mask that covers everything but his eyes.]

“That might look a little strange.” Wade snapped at them. “Since it’s the beginning of April and it’s already seventy fucking degrees outside.” It was already getting hard enough to pull off a hoodie in this weather. Wade fucking hated sunshine.

“You should take me on a walk.” Al demanded from her seat on the bed, where she was eating some soup. “If it’s as nice out as you say.”

“You can walk yourself, old woman. Jesus, what more do you want from me? I’m already watching your stupid daytime television with you.” Wade slumped lower in the armchair by the bed, crossing his arms over his chest as he stared up at the television mounted on the wall.

“You love Days of Our Lives, fuck face. Don’t try to tell me otherwise.”

“Shhhh!” Wade shushed her. “Daniella is confronting her sister about having their brother’s baby and I want to know if Jared woke up from that coma!”

{He wasn’t in a coma, he was faking it! He staged that car crash so he could get the treasure from his grandmother without Brendon finding out.}

“Oh, yeah. Damn, this show is intense.”

“Shhh!” Al hushed him sarcastically. Wade threw the remote at her. Then he leaned over and stole her soup.

They watched in silence for a few minutes, then Al decided to be nosey as soon as the commercial break started. “Are you fucking that kid?”

Wade choked on the soup. “What? What the fuck?”

{Peter or Spider-Man? Wait, how would she know about Spider-Man?}

Al was staring intently in his direction, and Wade had the sneaking suspicion that behind those dark sunglasses, her eyes were focused uncannily on his face. “The nurse’s nephew. The cute boy you left with last time you visited.”

Wade scowled. “How do you know he’s cute?”

Al shrugged. “I could practically hear you popping a boner from across the room.”

Wade rolled his eyes. “Now that’s just an outright lie. I didn’t even get hard. At that point in time. So shut your fucking mouth.”

Al snickered. “So you are fucking him?”

Wade coughed. “No. God. Why, do you think I could?”

[Pervert.]

Al shook her head. “Definitely not.”

Wade scowled. “Then why the fuck did you ask, old lady? It’s none of your goddamn business, anyway.”

“Well, if you’re trying to pick up jailbait in my nursing home room, I think I deserve to be in on the action.”

Wade raised his eyebrows at her. “You want some action with Peter? You’re like eighty.”

Al shot him a look. A blind look. “And how old are you, Wade Wilson?”

Yellow laughed. {She’s got you there, old man!}

“Shut up.” Wade hissed.

“But no.” Al reached for her glass of water. “I don’t want that kind of action. I want money.”

Wade gaped at her. “You want me to pay you? For what?”

Al sniffed demurely and took a sip before answering. “For the privilege of coming to visit me, of course.”

Wade scoffed. “You’re out of your fucking mind, woman. I think the dementia has finally caught up to you.”

Al just shrugged. “No problem. I’ll just call security and tell them a very scary man is trying to rape me.” She leaned over, setting the water down and reaching for the phone beside the bed.

Wade’s hand shot out, grabbing her wrist. Tightly. He stared at her, the air between them nearly crackling with sudden tension. Al’s expression remained carefully blank. After a few seconds, Wade relaxed his grip, and leaned back in his chair.

“Fine.” He snapped. “How much?”

Al sat back against her pillows with a satisfied smirk. “Two thousand.” Wade sighed. “Per visit.”

{Do it. It’s totally worth it to see those Bambi eyes again.}

[You don’t need to come here. You can just text him.]

{You think Wade has the balls to ask the kid out if they don’t run into each other in person?}

“I’m not asking him out.” Wade muttered. But he gave in with another sigh. “Fine.” He pulled out his checkbook and a red crayon, scribbled out a note for two thousand and handed it over. Al tucked it into her saggy old-woman bra.

Days of Our Lives was coming back on, but apparently Al wasn’t done bothering Wade. “Did you find out who’s restarting Weapon X?”

“I don’t know if that’s what they’re doing.” Wade responded automatically, although he had a pretty good idea that it was what they were doing after what John Smith told him.

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

Wade tapped his fingers restlessly on the arm of his chair. “Yeah. I did.”

“…And?”

Wade clenched his teeth. “And I’m dealing with it.”

There was silence for a few moments. “You’re scared.”

Wade’s head snapped to look at her, a heavy glare falling uselessly on blind eyes. “The fuck I am.” He growled.

Al just smiled thinly. “You are. Like a little boy. I’ve always been able to tell.”

{Fuck you, you wrinkly old hag.}

[Who the hell does she think she is? We’re not scared of shit.]

“Your radar’s fucking off.” Wade snapped. “I’m nothing except angry as hell.”

{That’s fucking right.}

Al’s smile widened. “You’re scared because you know they’ll be coming for you eventually. Coming to lock you up again.”

Wade stiffened.

[She’s gone too far.] White was livid.

{We’ll fucking show her who’s scared. Put her back, Wade.}

Wade’s jaw clenched, and unclenched. His hands were clutching the arms of the chair so tightly he thought they might break. The air thrummed with electric danger. “Do I need to put you back in The Box?” His voice was low and full of warning.

“Do I need to report a case of elder abuse?” That voice, light and young and smiling, was coming from the doorway.

{Oh no, Petey!} Yellow squeaked.

“No.” Said Al casually.

“Yes.” Said Wade at the same time, releasing his iron-grip on the chair as he turned to look at Peter.

And fuck. The kid was even hotter than Wade remembered. He was standing there in worn blue jeans and an adorable chemistry cat t-shirt, leaning against the doorjamb in a way that should be illegal with that unfairly sexy look of polite confusion spread across his boyish features. And fuck…

{Those eyes…}

[Stop drooling. He’ll notice.]

Peter was still looking confused, so Wade forced himself to focus on something other than the sexy mess of soft brown hair that was falling across his forehead. “Yes. She’s definitely abusing me. This elder is abusive.”

Peter blinked at him for a moment, then his mouth spread into a wide grin. “I’ll make a note on her chart. Aunt May will have to have words with her.”

Al shifted in her bed, crossing her arms over her chest. “I should have known you two assholes would gang up on me.” She grumbled.

Peter just laughed easily, and Wade tried not to acknowledge the fact that it was a little harder to breath when he made that beautiful sound.

[You’ve missed your calling all these years, Wade. You’re a fantastic stalker of teenage boys.]

“Shut it.” Wade breathed, watching closely as Peter pulled a small package out of his pocket. It was some sort of packaged desert, like a tasty cake.

{Whatever happened to Twinkies? Those things were the fucking bomb.}

Peter pushed off the doorframe and walked over to the side of Al’s bed, holding the treat out to her. “I swiped this from the nurse’s station; thought you might like it.”

Al seemed dumbfounded for a moment. Wade knew that she knew exactly where Peter was holding out the cake, so her hesitation in reaching up and taking it was purely surprise. “That’s… very nice of you, Peter. Thank you.”

Wade resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “Are you helping your aunt today?” He asked, trying not to sound too eager. What were the chances that he’d be helping out the one day that Wade decided to come visit?

{The writers must be getting lazy. Coincidences are such cliché literary devices.}

Peter stuck his hands in his pockets and shook his head. “No. I just came to get some money from my aunt for dinner. She’s working late again tonight.”

Wade frowned slightly. Now that he knew Peter Parker’s life story, it made sense why the kid was alone practically all the time. It must suck not to have anyone to come home to each evening. Not that Wade would know what that was like.

“So you’re not staying?” Wade asked, and he couldn’t totally hide the disappointment in his voice.

Peter smiled this adorable half-smile, and Wade couldn’t actually believe that it was directed at him. “Actually… I was hoping to run into you. Wanna grab dinner with me?”

Wade’s eyes widened slightly in surprise.

{Oh my god oh my god oh my god. Is Pretty Peter asking us out???}

[No. Of course not. He asked us go to dinner with him once before, and that was just out of pity.]

{Yeah, but this time he doesn’t have an excuse. And he came looking for us!} Yellow gasped. {I guess it wasn’t a coincidence! Sorry writers!}

[He probably feels like he owes us for saving his innocent young ass a couple weeks ago.]

{Oh… That’s probably true.}

“I think you broke him.” Al’s sarcastic tone pulled Wade from him mind, just in time to interrupt whatever embarrassing thing she was going to say next.

“Sure.” Wade hurried to respond. “Yeah. Sure. I mean, if you want to.”

Peter’s smile was practically blinding. “I do.” He said.

{Okay. I’m dying.}

[This sucks. I already have to deal with you two fawning over Spider-Man. Now this kid, too? It’s sickening.]

“Want to go right now? I’m totally done hanging out with this old hag. She was making us watch soap operas.”

Peter chuckled. “Shut up. You love soap operas.”

Wade blinked at him, caught off guard. “Well… Yeah, okay. How did you know that?”

Peter suddenly looked a little uncomfortable, and Wade could see the blood rising to his cheeks. “Just a guess. You seem like the kind of guy who… likes… that kind of stuff.”

[He’s hiding something.]

{What in the world would someone like Peter have to hide? You’re being paranoid.}

“See?” Al was unwrapping her desert quite noisily. “Even Peter can tell you’re a weepy mess of emotional drama.”

Wade reached over to take the remote off her bed, only to throw it at her again. He stood up in one smooth motion, easily dodging the pillow that Al threw at him in retaliation. “Shall we?” He asked Peter, striding to the door and holding it open.

“Bye, Al. Have a nice evening” Peter said politely before ducking under Wade’s outstretched arm to exit back into the hallway.

Wade fixed Al with a warning look that she probably couldn’t see. “Be good, old lady. Maybe I’ll come bust you out of this joint sometime.” She ate her tasty cake in silence as Wade stepped into the hall and closed the door behind him, not deigning his veiled threat with any response.

Wade fell into step beside Peter, suddenly a bit nervous to be hanging out with the kid again. He’d been very composed about Wade’s face the other two times they’d met (except for the first time he’d seen this fucked up mug, but that was to be expected). Wade was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for some sign that Peter was just being overly nice out of some twisted sense of morality or pity. Some indication that he was faking the friendliness, gagging on the inside.

But it didn’t come. Not yet. Peter just smiled up at him and asked, “So, where do you want to go? I know you like Mexican. Anything else tickle your taste buds?”

{I wish you would tickle our taste buds…}

Wade shrugged. “I’ll eat pretty much anything. Like, literally, I’ve eaten dog before. And horse. And snake. Um… And I think once I tried scorpion. That was cool. What do you like?”

Peter shook his head, with a clever little smirk. “I eat pretty much anything, too. Although I must say I’ve never eaten scorpion.” They pushed through the front doors of the nursing home and Wade pulled up his hood so it shaded his eyes. Peter dropped a skateboard to the ground and stepped onto it, coasting easily beside Wade.

{Where the fuck did that come from?}

[You were too busy staring at his fuck-me eyes to notice. He had it the whole time, idiot.]

{Ohmygod he’s too cute…}

“How about pizza?” Peter asked.

Wade grinned. “I love pizza.”

“Well, who doesn’t? That’s what I wanna know.”

“Only really, really sick people. The people who hate puppies and ice-cream and laugh when kittens get stuck in trees.”

Peter laughed. Wade felt happier than he had in days. Well, except for when he was with Spidey.

They went to Peter’s favorite pizza place: a hole-in-the-wall with peperoni and homemade tomato sauce that Wade would literally kill for. Wade slipped the cashier a hundred before Peter could get his wallet out, and any complaints that the boy made fell on deaf ears. Peter sat across from Wade while they ate, but it didn’t even seem to affect his appetite. In fact, he kept up with such witty conversation that Wade almost forgot he wasn’t wearing his mask. It was the nicest meal he’d had in a long time. He and Spidey grabbed tacos sometimes when there was a lull in crime, and that was nice. Of course it was. But Wade always made sure that he sat somewhere Spidey couldn’t see his face. And as great as his conversations with Spider-Man were (and they really really were), it felt nice to be able to see the other person’s eyes while they talked, and see their smile when they laughed, rather than just guess at what it looked like beneath the mask.

Even the boxes were kept mostly entertained while they ate and talked. When they finally finished, having devoured an entire extra-large pizza together, Wade was surprised to glance at the clock and see that it was already eight o’clock.

“It’s a school night, right? You need to go home and do homework or some shit like that?”

Peter chuckled gently and shook his head. “Nah… I did all my homework yesterday.” When Wade gave him an incredulous look, Peter just shrugged and pointed to himself. “Nerd, remember?”

Wade grinned. “Right.” Before he could stop himself or think through the stupidity of this idea, he asked, “Wanna come over to my place and play videogames for a while?”

[Oh no… You did not just ask out a high schooler.]

{Aaaaaaah Peter’s gonna come over! He’s gonna see our apartment! MAYBE HE’LL SEE OUR BED!}

[I wouldn’t count on it. Besides, our place is a mess. Do we really want him to see that?]

Wade was mortified by his own suggestion, but Peter seemed to like it, if his bright smile was anything to go by. “I’d love to.” He said.

Wade thought that maybe this kid had been dropped on his head one too many times as a baby.

But he wasn’t about to pass up some prime hangout time with his only normal friend (if that’s what they were), so he took Peter home with him. They chatted easily on the subway ride there. And when a couple of teenage girls caught sight of Wade’s face and moved to different seats, Peter pretended not to notice. He just kept talking as if nothing had happened, nearly succeeding in distracting Wade entirely. He couldn’t help but think of how Peter, sweet young Peter, had hit that dickwad at the bar when he’d insulted Wade. He still couldn’t quite wrap his mind around it, but it left Wade with a confusingly warm feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Wade had moved again, closer to where he and Spidey met almost every night, coincidentally.

[It wasn’t a coincidence.] White’s tone was scathing.

{Shut the fuck up already. We all know you secretly love him, too.}

So it was only a five-minute walk from the subway station, and this area wasn’t nearly as sketchy as most of his safe houses were. He was glad for that, because he didn’t want to take Peter anywhere unsafe. When they finally climbed the stairs in Wade’s building and stopped outside his door, Wade was starting to get nervous.

[Why did you think this was a good idea? He’s gonna think we’re slobs.]

{He might run away and never come back.}

[Did you even remember to hide all your weapons? What do you expect he’ll think if he sees our sniper rifle sitting on the kitchen counter?]

{Or our favorite pistol on the table beside our favorite chair?}

Wade bit down on his bottom lip as he hesitated, key in his hand. “Um… Could you, just, give me one minute before you come in? Sorry.”

Peter nodded. “Sure. No problem.”

Wade offered him an apologetic smile before unlocking the door and slipping in, pulling it shut right behind him so Peter wouldn’t get a peak inside.

“Fuck fuck fuck.” He cursed as he dashed into the kitchen, gathering up old take-out containers and dumping them in the trashcan without a bag. He shoved all of the dirty dishes into the sink, because that looked better than having them spread out over the whole counter. He grabbed a few knives from the couch (those would’ve hurt to sit on) and tossed them in his bedroom before slamming that door shut.

{Aw, he’s not gonna come to our bed?}

“Of course not. Jesus Christ. He’s a teenage boy. We’re just playing videogames.”

[You keep telling yourself that…]

Wade kicked a pile of dirty clothes into a corner, made sure that his Deadpool suit wasn’t there, and flung a blanket over his armchair so the bloodstains wouldn’t be visible. He glanced around frantically. The movies and videogames were still a mess, and the place wasn’t exactly spotless, but it would have to do.

Wade returned to the door and opened it for Peter. “Sorry about that. I had my, um… Underwear sitting out.”

[Smooth.]

Peter just smiled. The kid smiled a lot. “No problem.” He stepped in and glanced around with a curious look in his big brown eyes.

Wade glanced around, too, checking if he’d missed anything important. No guns, no knives, no visible bloodstains… He watched Peter move over to the fridge and stare at the pictures taped there with Hello Kitty tape.

Oh… yeah.

{That’s embarrassing.}

Peter was looking at the drawings Wade had made of he and Spider-Man. Well, of Deadpool and Spider-Man. They were done in crayon and were admittedly not very good. Hopefully Peter would just assume that some kid Wade knew had drawn them. That was his story, anyway, and he was sticking to it.

But when Peter turned back to Wade, he didn’t look confused or amused. He looked… kind of touched. Wade swallowed uncomfortably. “So, um… I’ve got pretty much all the classics. Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Mario Cart, Sonic the-“

Peter cut him off with a grin. “Mario Cart. I’m a fucking boss at Mario Cart.”

Wade raised his eyebrows. “Wait. You don’t think you can beat me, do you? Because I am the fucking world champion.”

Peter’s grin turned sly. “You’re on, Wade Wilson.”

They flung themselves down on the couch and Wade turned on the game. He picked Princess Peach and Peter picked Mario. It was a tight competition, and the trash talk was on point. Wade won the first tournament, just barely, but Peter won the second. As they played through a third round, Wade noticed that they had moved closer together on the couch. Peter’s right arm was pressed against his left, his thigh brushing against Wade’s. After that it was harder to focus on the game, and Peter pulled ahead for a final victory.

“In your face, Wade! Now you must admit that I am the superior racer.”

Wade jostled the kid with his shoulder. “I call foul. I think Princess Peach was distracted because she has a crush on Mario.”

Peter went still, and Wade did too, realizing his mistake a second too late.

[Now you’ve done it…]

Wade swallowed, his heart sinking as he realized that Peter would probably be scared off now. Because having some older deformed guy basically confess he has a crush on you? That wasn’t hot. That was creepy as fuck. Like, Phantom of the Opera creepy.

{Quasimodo creepy.}

But Peter continued on a moment later as if nothing had happened, stunning Wade yet again. “Want to have a rematch?” Peter asked.

[There’s definitely something wrong with him.]

{Shut up he’s perfect!}

Wade did. He really did want to keep playing videogames, continue having the only normal human interaction he’d had in weeks. But when he glanced at the clock, his heart skipped a beat.

“Oh, shit.” Peter looked up at him, suddenly concerned. Wade shook his head. “It’s just, um… It’s late.”

Peter looked at the clock, too. “It’s only ten thirty.”

“And it’s a school night. So you should be getting to bed, right?”

Peter looked back at him, and his eyes were full of hurt and confusion. Wade felt his heart breaking just a little bit. “No no no… I mean, I’m not trying to get rid of you. This has been fun. Like, really fun. It’s just… Um, I kind of have to meet someone soon.”

Peter’s confusion cleared into understanding. “Oh… Right. Okay. Well, I’ll just… I’ll go home then.”

They both stood up, Peter grabbed his skateboard and Wade shoved his hands in his pockets, unable to stop himself from feeling guilty. “Sorry.” He said as he walked Peter to the door.

Peter just shrugged. “No problem. I, um… I had fun to.” He paused beside the door and scuffed the toe of one shoe against the ground, looking down. Wade thought he was probably the cutest thing since kittens were invented. “Maybe we can do it again sometime?”

Wade nodded enthusiastically. “Definitely. For sure. Just text me anytime, Pete.”

“Okay.” Peter offered him a small smile, and Wade placed one hand gently on his back as he opened the door and guided Peter out.

“You okay to get home on your own?” Peter nodded, shifting his board from one hand to the other. “Great. I’ll see you later then.” He watched Peter walk down the hall before shutting his door and dashing to his bedroom to change into his suit.

{That was rude.}

“What?” Wade stripped in a hurry and hopped on one foot as he tried to pull the suit on one leg at a time.

{Kicking Petey out like that. He looked sad.}

Wade frowned. “He was fine. I explained that I had to meet someone. He understood.”

[You’re very good at hurting people, Wade.]

Wade paused, staring down at the Deadpool mask he now held in his hands. “Yeah… I know.” He pulled it on with a sigh and moved to his window to go meet Spider-Man.

Spidey was quiet that night. But then again, so was Deadpool. He was thinking about Peter. Which was strange, because usually Spidey commanded his undivided attention. But they stopped two robberies and an attempted rape and Spider-Man told him he was doing a good job, so overall it was a good night.

 

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Three nights later, they were out again. They really had quite a rhythm now, fighting together and rounding up the bad guys with maximum efficiency. Deadpool would distract the criminals from the ground, then Spider-Man would drop in from above, webbing them up before they knew what was happening. Deadpool handled the runners, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

[But still no killing or maiming… You’re going soft, Deadpool.]

Whatever. He and Spidey had it going on. They even had a rapport going with witty comments and jokes at the bad guys’ expense. It was fucking awesome. The most fun Wade had had in a long time.

[We should be focused. Focused on figuring out what to do about our Oscorp problem.]

{We should just go in guns blazing and kill them all.}

“I think it’ll require a little more finesse than that.” Wade muttered. He saw Spidey glance at him from across the roof, but the arachnid hero didn’t ask what he was talking about. Wade appreciated that Spidey wasn’t always asking about the conversations going on in his head. It would be hard to explain, not to mention embarrassing as fuck. Still, he started humming a tune and pretending that he hadn’t just been talking to himself.

{My anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hun.} Yellow started singing, and soon Wade was tapping his foot along with the beat. {Oh, baby. I want to get wit’cha, and take your picture.}

“My homeboys tried to warn me.” Wade swung his hips back and forth and waved a finger in front of him, dancing to the tune. “But with that butt you got makes me so horny!”

Spidey walked back towards him from where he’d been trying to listen for crimes, planting his hands on his hips as he came closer. “What the hell are you singing?”

Wade gasped, his hands flying to his cheeks in faux shock. “You don’t know Baby Got Back?” Spidey shook his head. “Oh, baby… You should know it. You got back.”

Spidey tipped his head slightly to one side. “Are you trying to say I have a big ass?”

Wade shook his head emphatically. “No no no… Just a perfect ass. The most perfect ass in the whole fucking universe.” He made as if the slap that perfect ass, but Spidey slid out of reach as easily as a cat dodges the clumsy grabs of a toddler.

[I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. There are tons of asses out there.]

{NO IT’S NOT. THIS ONE IS THE MOST PERFECT.}

Spidey shook his head, but Wade could tell he was amused. “Whatever you say, Pool.”

Wade grinned beneath his mask. “Ooh, that’s a dangerous thing to promise, Spidey-babe. I have a lot to say. Have I ever told you my opinions on baby sea turtles? Because those little fuckers are-“

Spidey cut him off suddenly, pressing one warm palm to the middle of his chest. Wade froze, watching as Spider-Man listened intently to something.

After a few seconds, he let his hand fall away. “Brooklyn Bridge.” Was all he said, voice tight with something between anger and anxiety. “I can’t wait. Just meet me there.”

And then he was gone, taking a running leap off the roof and disappearing into the night.

“Fuck.” Wade cursed. He didn’t wait more than a second before following, jumping across an alley to the next building, going over routes in his head to figure out the fastest way to get to the Brooklyn Bridge.

{What do you think it is? Aliens?}

[Terrorists?]

{That’s boring.} Yellow gasped. {Godzilla?}

“Shut up. I need to focus.” Wade ended up taking the subway, as lame as that was. It was the best he could do on short notice. He would have stolen a car, but traffic heading to the bridge at this time of night was a real bitch and he probably would have been better off running the whole way.

So he took the subway and he stood next to a giant group of Asian tourists. All of them stared at him for a good five minutes before asking him to take a picture with them. He did. Because why not? And ten minutes later he was getting off just a couple blocks from the bridge. He ran there, heart pounding as he considered what he might find.

He had to remind himself that Spider-Man couldn’t get hurt. He was too strong, and too good at what he did. Plus, if anything drastic did happen, the iron dick would come save him, right? Even though he hated the guy, Wade found himself hoping that was the case.

But Spidey wouldn’t be hurt. There had only been one person who had ever succeeded in hurting his favorite hero, and he…

Fuck. He was zipping over the bridge at dizzying speeds, dropping smoke bombs on the lines of stopped cars below him.

Police had cordoned off both ends of the bridge, and at this point it did look like most of the cars stuck on the bridge were abandoned. Wade glanced around desperately for a flash of red and blue, his heart in his throat.

{Oh no oh no oh no oh no where’s Spidey???}

[There! He’s there. On the right.]

Sure enough, Spider-Man was still kicking, swinging around the massive cables of the bridge to slam into Green Goblin’s side, almost knocking him from his hover sled.

“He seems okay, right?” Wade breathed, taking a running leap and flipping over the top of a police car to get onto the bridge.

{Yeah, he does. He seems good.}

Spidey was shooting webs from the top of the bridge now, covering parts of Green Goblin and his sled, but not allowing the webs to stay connected to him. He’d learned from what happened last time.

Wade wove through the stopped cars to get closer, drawing two guns from his belt. He was taking aim at the goblin, tracking him through the air and feeling out the timing when Spidey landed on the top of a car beside him with a loud thump. Wade jumped.

“Jesus fuck, Spidey! Give a guy some warning.”

“No killing.” Spider-Man said firmly, sounding a little out of breath.

“But-“

“No.” He seemed to give Wade a very pointed look. “The same rules apply.”

Wade frowned, but he tucked his guns away as Spidey shot another web and took off, going to meet the Green Goblin in the air once again. Wade watched, feeling vaguely sick, as the goblin threw blade after blade at Spider-Man, and Spidey dodged each one with preternatural grace.

Wade couldn’t do a fucking thing from down here.

Thankfully, Spidey seemed to be doing better this time. He shot one particularly well-aimed web at one of the hovercraft’s turbojets, clogging it. It practically exploded, blowing out with a rush of flame and smoke, and the goblin suddenly couldn’t fly straight. Spidey swung around the green asshole, beginning to web him up, but Green Goblin dropped several yards all at once and sped out towards the river, wobbling on his sled.

“Fuck.” Wade cursed, watching the goblin pass through the bridge cables and escape out over the open water. Spidey couldn’t follow him without anything to swing from, and soon the Green Goblin had disappeared from sight.

A moment later, Spidey landed at his side. Wade turned to look at him, and let out a shocked gasp. “You’re bleeding!” He grabbed Spidey’s arm and pulled it to him, examining the thin, shallow cut across his bicep.

Spider-Man jerked his arm away. “I’m fine.” He snapped. Wade stared, shocked by the venom in his hero’s usually kind and pleasant voice. Spidey let out a heavy sigh, looking down for a moment. “Sorry.” He still sounded tense, but Wade relaxed, understanding that the anger hadn’t been directed at him.

“It’s fine.” He said gently. He could see the cops starting to approach them from his periphery, so he took a step closer to Spidey. “We should go.” He told him.

Spidey nodded, and they headed for the edge of the bridge. They climbed up and walked along the ledge, out of the reach of the police, until they had dropped back down on the other side. He followed Spidey into the city, where they wove between buildings and turned around sharp corners to lose anyone that might be following them from the big scene they had left behind.

Wade wasn’t sure where exactly they were going. Spidey seemed a little lost in his thoughts, and Wade couldn’t even tell if he planned on stopping more crime tonight; the encounter with that nasty green guy must have shaken him up.

{We should have killed him…}

[It’s not our business. We’re not fucking heroes.]

{But he hurt our Spidey!}

“Hush. Spidey-boy did fine this time.” Wade muttered under his breath as he followed Spider-Man across a rooftop. He wanted to pull the hero from his thoughts, ask if he was okay, but he was selfish. He didn’t want the night to end any earlier than it had to, so he held his tongue.

Spidey stopped at the edge of the roof and stood staring down. Wade stepped up onto the ledge beside him. “Thinking of jumping?” He joked.

Spidey just shook his head, but Wade could imagine that he saw the edges of a smile beneath that inscrutable mask. “Fire escape.” The spider pointed out plainly. “You go first.”

Wade glanced over the edge, looking at the caged ladder that led straight down to the ground. “Aw, are you holding back for little old me? You can just jump down if you want to. Or crawl. Web. Whatever your little spider heart desires. I can jump too! I mean, I’ll probably break my legs. But those heal in like, five minutes. No biggie.”

{Remember when we jumped off the Empire State Building? That was fun.}

Spidey shook his head again, and this time Wade was sure the kid was grinning. “No way, Jose. Now get your ass down there.”

Wade smirked. “I love it when you talk about my ass, Spidey-babe.” He dodged the retaliatory strike at his arm and swung himself easily down onto the ladder.

He started descending, quick and efficient, and the rungs felt thin beneath his large gloved hands. Once he was a few feet down, Spider-Man swung over the edge and started down, too.

And oh. My. Gods.

Yellow squealed. Loudly. {Aaaaaaaah look at that fine spider ass!!!!!}

Wade did. He couldn’t help it. He stared up at the greatest fucking view in the world. He stared so hard he almost fell off the ladder when his foot went off one of the rungs.

If his head wasn’t full of the sound of Yellow making obscene noises, he would have thought that Spidey laughed. But that seemed improbable.

[Could that spandex get any tighter?]

It was a long journey down to the ground, but not nearly long enough. Even white was paying attention to that beautiful example of perfect physical form.

{Jesus fuck. Can you imagine all the things we could do with that ass?}

[To that ass…]

“I’d rather not.” Wade muttered, dropping the last few feet through empty air and landing lightly on the pavement of the alley. He didn’t exactly want to develop a problem right now (and he could not hide a thing in this suit).

He stepped back slightly to give Spidey room to drop down in front of him. When he did, Wade leaned in, crowding him against the wall as he placed his hands on the brick, one on either side of Spidey’s shoulders.

“That was quite the show, little spider.” He teased lightly, chest and stomach pressing up against Spidey’s back. He expected Spider-Man to brush him off like he usually did, push him away or duck under his arm with a laugh and a shake of the head, maybe a clever comment in return. The same had happened a couple dozen times over the last two weeks.

Only… He didn’t.

A couple of seconds passed and Wade tensed slightly, his skin tingling with warning as Spidey’s strange stillness set him on edge.

“Spidey?” He asked, voice tight with confusion.

Another moment passed, suspended in the cool night air, and then Spider-Man moved.

He leaned forward slightly, head bowing in something like submission, and his hands came up to press against the wall, framed by Wade’s. He made a small, helpless sound, something between a whine and a sigh, and he pushed his hips back.

Back into Wade’s.

Wade’s heart stopped.

“Oh.” He inhaled sharply, senses flooding with static as his blood rushed to the surface, heat flashing through his entire body. “Oh, Spidey…”

The boxes must have been stunned into silence. They must have been, because Wade’s head was empty as he pressed forward just slightly, gingerly bringing the front of his body fully flush against the back of Spidey’s.

And Spider-Man shuddered. And pressed back.

And fuck when did Wade get so hard so fast? Because it was undeniable now. He was pressed against the top of Spider-Man’s perfect ass and fuck. He couldn’t think.

“Oh, Baby Boy…” He tipped his head forward, curling around the young hero’s body until his face was pressed into his shoulder, mask and suit the only layers between them. And Spidey smelled sweet. Like laundry detergent and burnt sugar body wash.

And when he made that sound again, a helpless, needy whine, Wade thought he would lose his fucking mind.

He removed one hand from the wall and found his fingers pressed against the flat, hard planes of Spidey’s stomach. He hadn’t made the conscious decision to move them there. And Spider-Man pressed back, again, and Wade choked on an uncontrollable moan.

[Oh god…] White’s voice was thick with desire and disbelief. [This can’t really be happening…]

{Shut up shut up shut up!}

They went silent, blissfully silent once again, and Wade found his hand sliding down, fingers curling over one sharp hipbone. And Spidey was panting. Sharp, hot breaths that weren’t muffled at all by the damp fabric of his mask.

Wade sucked in air, unaware that he’d been holding his breath, and that sweet scent overwhelmed him like a drug. And then his hand was slipping further down, fire tearing through his veins when he felt how fucking hard Spidey was.

And then the boy jerked forward into Wade’s hand with a jagged gasp, and Wade’s hips snapped forward as well, his responding moan muffled in the juncture of Spidey’s neck and shoulder.

They both froze for a moment, Wade’s heart pounding frantically against his ribs, and it was almost like they were waiting for the spell to break.

But it didn’t.

They both started moving at the same time. Spidey tipped his head back, breath heavier than ever as it came to rest against Wade’s shoulder. And Wade pressed forward, pushing Spidey against the bricks as his other hand lifted away from the wall so that arm could wrap around the hero’s chest, holding him closer.

He kept his hand over the rigid line of Spider-Man’s cock, whimpering slightly when he could feel it jerk against his palm.

And then he was thrusting forward, unable to abort the frantic, shallow ruts as Spidey pushed back against him, meeting him every time, driving Wade fucking insane.

He was awash in thick, syrupy pleasure, unable to think, unable to stop. Spider-Man had him burning up like a virgin, and he was sure that he was going to end up coming in his suit like a fucking teenager in heat.

He couldn’t bring himself to care.

Spidey was making these quiet, desperate sounds that went straight to Wade’s dick. They were utterly pornographic. And when Wade started squeezing him gently in time to his uneven thrusts, Spider-Man stopped breathing.

Wade nuzzled into his neck, the fabric of his mask damp against his open mouth. “Breath, Baby Boy.” He urged breathlessly, feeling Spidey’s hips stutter against his as he kept up his previous pace. “Breath.”

Spider-Man sucked in a ragged breath, his whole body shuddering under Wade’s. And then his hips snapped forward, and Wade felt his cock jump against his palm. Spidey came with a low, muffled moan crawling up from behind clenched teeth.

“Oh, fuck…” Wade’s hips ground forward, and he could feel the heat twisting harshly in his stomach. “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck…” He sucked in a breath and bit down on Spidey’s shoulder, hard enough to leave imprints through mask and suit, and then he was tipping over the edge.

It was kind of like dying. Only instead of being washed over in darkness, he was drowning in white-hot bliss.

It lasted a few perfect seconds, Wades hips bucking uncontrollably as he rode it out, and then he was coming down, dick twitching with the aftershocks and the results of their tryst already cooling uncomfortably inside his suit. Wade unclamped his teeth from Spidey’s shoulder and slid his hands down to grip loosely at the hero’s hips. “Fuck, Spidey.” He breathed, heart still racing a mile a minute.

They stood like that for a few moments, Spidey’s head still resting on his shoulder, both panting gently as they recovered. Spider-Man came back to his senses first, straightening up and removing his hands from the wall (where Wade could see some of the brick had started to crumble). Wade stood up straight too and let his hands fall away when Spidey stepped to the side, slipping out from between Deadpool and the wall.

“Are you-“ Wade didn’t get to finish. Without pausing, without looking at him, Spider-Man shot a web and swung away, rounding the corner and disappearing from sight before Wade could blink.

Wade just stared, mind blank. Chest aching.

[What. The fuck just happened?]

{Oh my god. I can’t…. How…? I can’t even… Was that real life?}

[He left.]

{Holy fucking shit. Did that really just happen? Did we really just rub one out with fucking Spider-Man?}

[He just left us.]

{Shit shit fuck fuck fuck. That was Spidey. Spider-Man. Our Baby Boy.}

[He’s gone.]

“Shut up.” Wade’s voice was a hoarse croak, sounding as utterly torn up as he felt.

There was silence for a moment.

{Wait… He left?}

[We fucked it up. We really fucked it up.] Pain bled through the cracks in White’s voice, as unexpected as blood from a stone.

{You think we scared him away?}

[He’s gone, Yellow. Gone. Why can’t you get that through your thick fucking skull?]

{But…}

“Shut up!” Wade yelled, sudden and harsh, and his knuckles splintered when they connected with the wall. The pain was dull and aching. It didn’t compare. “Just… shut up.”

For once, the boxes listened.

 

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Song Credits:

Title:
Pretty Piece Of Flesh - One Inch Punch
Lyrics:
If We Were a Movie - Hannah Montana
The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot

 

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