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It all started with Peter finding out that Wade kissing him made the voices in the merc’s head go away. At first, it had just Deadpool being obnoxious and Spiderman being supremely uncomfortable in spandex, the former making no effort to hide his crush on the latter, regardless of how often he was rebuffed by Peter’s awkward squawks.  But then Wade had stopped his borderline-manhandling long enough to be serious for one minute, and had admitted that teasing Spidey distracted him from the insanity between his ears. 

Insane-Deadpool was just about the worst thing known to man, all of the Avengers had agreed, and it was a common enough occurrence that trusting Wade on a day-to-day basis was hard. An idea nagged at Peter’s brain that, if he could help Deadpool center himself, he should, but that would mean enduring more awkwardness with the merc-with-a-mouth. 

But wasn’t that was heroes did?  Take one for the team? That was how it had always worked in Peter’s experience, so he dialed back his avoidance of Deadpool a little – let the man catch up with him more often.  He didn’t completely mind Wade’s handsiness, because he knew that Wade meant well, and Peter was pretty sure he was bisexual anyway – and if anyone had a gorgeous build to admire, it was Deadpool. 

But the kiss… It caught Peter by surprise, when Wade pushed him up against the wall, playful smirk already visible with his mask pulled up over the scarred tip of his nose.  By Deadpool’s standards, it was a pretty harmless expression, and Peter could tell by now that Wade didn’t think he was doing anything wrong – sort of like a puppy that had been allowed to jump up on the couch, and now saw no problem with jumping up on the bed, too.  Wade couldn’t tell the difference.  Peter hadn’t webbed him to the wall in at least a week, even though Deadpool’s hands (to say nothing of his atrocious innuendos) had wandered a bit. 

Besides that, Peter logically knew that Wade was just seeking silence in his head.  If kissing Spiderman could give him that, then he should let him, right?  Peter made a few noises of embarrassment and surprise as gloved fingertips found the lower edge of his mask, grazing the skin of his neck, but he didn’t really do anything to stop his mask from being pulled upwards.  He felt as if he were failing in his duty somehow when he caught Deadpool’s wrists to prevent the mask of being pulled off entirely. Even if this helped Wade center himself – if just teasing Peter and making him blush distracted Deadpool, then kissing should mute the voices entirely, and that would hopefully lead to fewer psychotic breaks that made the whole team angry – Peter couldn’t bring himself to reveal his identity for it.  It felt so petty, to hold onto anonymity when he was pretty sure that S.H.I.E.L.D. knew everything down to his favorite color, but panic bubbled in his chest nonetheless as the mask rolled up to his nose.  The relief that flooded him was ridiculous when Wade didn’t push it. “Shy there, Spidey?” the man chuckled insuppressibly, smile still stretched as wide as a child’s when presented with a handful of candy. 

Peter made himself nod and didn’t even bother to hide the bright red color infusing his cheeks. “Even my own grandmother doesn’t get to see under this mask,” he joked as lightly as he could. He was pretty good at levity in tight situations.  The rest of him was simply waiting – not tensely, but watchfully – to see what Deadpool would do, or want. The hand on his mask had lowered to rest against the brick behind him, framing his shoulders with power.

“Does your grandmother get to do this?” Deadpool asked cheekily, and finally moved forward.

Although he’d lie and deny it, Peter had next to no experience with kissing.  Gwen had been a wonderful kisser, but between her work schedule and his heroic pastime, there hadn’t actually been that much room for lip-locking. Most of their bonding time together had actually been spent talking and/or just being close to one another, because that took less energy when the days got long and hard. Plus, Gwen was dead, and that thought alone made Peter want to flinch and hide inside himself and never come out. Wade’s lips as they touched his were dry and chapped, textured with scars in a way that Peter didn’t even have words to describe, but he still couldn’t help but think of Gwen in the act of kissing. 

The bittersweet, confusing pain of the memory was the only thing that detracted from the utter embarrassment of honestly having no idea how to kiss.  Gwen was the good kisser, in Peter’s memory, and he just went along and hoped he wasn’t too bad – he hoped that a sub-par kiss from/with Spiderman would work to center Deadpool, because it was all Peter was qualified to give.  He gasped and squeaked a little bit (increasing his embarrassment, because the sound was the opposite of manly) as Deadpool’s teeth scraped his lower lip, but when Deadpool froze, making as if to pull away, Peter scrambled to rectify the situation.

Keep calm, Spidey.  This isn’t exactly a bad experience on your end, but if you lose Wade now…’ Then he’d feel like an absolute cesspool of guilt, and everyone would probably have to deal with psycho-Wade, so he forced his hands into action and reached up to grab Deadpool’s head, pulling him back in. 

That must have been the right thing to do, because while Wade’s kiss before had been surprisingly tentative, it was heated now.  Despite his scarred complexion and infuriating personality, Wade must have gotten some practice at kissing somewhere, because he was awfully good at it. Even though Peter was embarrassed, uncomfortable, and trying to keep it together, he had to admit that there was nothing he specifically disliked about the experience. Really, the only thing that made his heart twist painfully in his chest was that this wasn’t…wasn’t exactly someone had had chosen, or someone who had chosen him.  After all, Wade only liked him because something about Spiderman distracted him from the crazy, and Peter was going with it because it was the right thing to do. Right now, Wade was kissing him as if the cure to all of his ills was hidden somewhere in Peter’s mouth – as if Peter’s breath was a poison that killed the monsters in Wade’s head on contact. Now that Peter had encouraged him, re-initiating the kiss himself, Wade didn’t see any reason to hold back.

Everything after that…was a bit of a blur.  Wade, being typical Wade, started whooping and hollering once he finally pulled back and personal spaces were returned to more or less normal.  Wade was full of delight, though, clearly ecstatic about the kissing, and that made Peter feel good.  When he got his breath back a bit, Peter bandied retorts with him a little, assuring Wade that the kiss hadn’t been half-bad when the merc had suddenly grown concerned about that.  When Wade didn’t make any comment about Peter’s kissing, Peter just flushed and tugged his mask back down to hide it, determined not to ask how obvious his inexperience was. With his mask back down, hiding his face, Peter breathed easier, feeling little quivers of success skitter up his limbs as he took in how relaxed and happy Deadpool was. His own red-and-black mask still rolled up, the man’s scars were visible, twisting the designs of his face, but that didn’t make the broad smile any less dazzling. 

Deadpool remained chipper and loud and obnoxiously smug for the rest of the day, and Peter bore it stoically, dishing out the right amount of verbal sarcasm in return to hold his ground.  It was remarkably easy to keep up the chatter with Deadpool, even as they hunted down crime and did their jobs.  It was only at the end of the day, when Peter was just waving a hand tiredly and saying he had to web home, that Deadpool came in close again.  Peter halted, expecting another kiss and readying himself to return it, and was surprised when Wade’s mask remained down and his hand instead just landed on Peter’s shoulder. 

“Thanks, Spidey,” came the soft, unexpectedly sober voice, as Deadpool gave a gentle and hesitant squeeze of his hand.  “For…I don’t know…shutting up the voices in my head.”  Peter sensed more than saw the cheeky grin that expanded beneath the spandex. “You’re going to have to add that to your list of spidey-powers!  Ability to beat annoying mental voices senseless with a single smack of your lips!”

“Okay, that ‘thank you’ sounded a lot better before you moved on to explain it,” Peter pointed out, giving a little surprised chuckle.  He hadn’t expected the gratitude – at least not in such explicit terms. Then again, if anyone was candid, it was Deadpool.  Apparently when he’d gotten voices in his head, he’d lost the filter most people had between their brains and their mouths.  “Still, don’t sweat it. Glad I could help.  Anytime.”

“Anytime?” The mask did nothing to hide the obviously waggling eyebrows, somehow, as Wade leaned closer suggestively.

Peter jumped, nearly webbing Deadpool’s feet to the cement out of reflex.  “That’s not-!  I mean…well…” He stopped the outright denial from slipping out of his mouth, even though that had been his knee-jerk response. The kiss hadn’t been bad – no matter how he looked at it, he remembered it as being extremely physically pleasurable – but the thought of kissing someone who didn’t really have an interest in a relationship with him was just wrong in Peter’s mind. Gwen had liked him (maybe even loved him, if words could be believed), and had wrapped her life around his vigilante side and science nerd side unabashedly.  Wade just liked that he could find peace in his mind by teasing a certain Spiderman. 

Preferences like that came separate to keeping a deadly mutant on the straight-and-narrow, though, so Peter swallowed the uncertainty churning like a vat of acid in his stomach and instead threw out more flippantly, “Seriously, Wade, are you ever professional for more than two minutes?!  One kiss and you’re insufferable…”  He forced a chuckle at the end to lighten it, because no matter the other factors, he had no want to hurt Deadpool’s feelings.  After all, Wade had no idea that Peter was uncomfortable. 

“I’m not the one throwing out words like ‘anytime’ in regards to smooching, sweet cakes,” Wade lifted one finger to remind, even as he stood back.  “You can’t just be hypothetical about things like that! Guns, explosives, amputation, Swiss cheese – that you can mess around about.”

Peter was unsure whether to be amused, worried, or flustered by the order of priorities. He settled for an odd choking noise that was somewhere between a chuckle and a worried cough. “Umm…I don’t think that’s the wises way to look at that, Wade.”

“Oh, you get what I meant.”

~^~

After that, kissing Deadpool became something of a regular thing.  Sometimes, it was a rather nice way to make Wade be quiet, but most of the time it just seemed that Wade couldn’t get enough of them.  Peter didn’t know anything about being driven crazy by voices in one’s head, but he understood inner demons, and most of all he could understand how nice it was to have them go away for a bit.  Peter’s demons only went away when he was in the middle of a good fight, slinging webs and witty comebacks like they were going out of style and taking down bad-guys – because that’s what he was good at.

Sometimes, the only thing he was better at was lying to himself, like when he told himself that he was fine, and he was handling it, and the way he had decided to live his life was working for him. 

The lies finally buckled when he was at Wade’s run-down apartment, about a week and a half after he began helping the merc out by being his distraction.  Wade had just finished not-dying (meaning Peter had lugged him back to his flat in multiple, bloody pieces, the merc talking the whole way), something that Peter would never stop being unsettled by.  Wade was back in one piece now, though, and back to his usual, incorrigible tricks.  He’d already said so many innuendos that Peter was sure he’d never stop blushing until the day he died, and when he ‘accidentally’ tripped onto the couch, he brought Peter down with him. Both of them were still in their superhero get-ups, but Wade’s was bloodied and ripped in places, and the merc suddenly reached up and tugged off his mask, revealing scarred skin.

Peter had gotten used to the view, although this was the first time he'd seen Wade's entire face.  He often wondered, when he saw snatches of Deadpool that revealed the extent of his scarred nature, if Wade Wilson had been a handsome man before the all cancer.  Whenever he removed is mask even a little bit, Peter could see the strong bone-structure beneath the marked skin.  People said beauty was only skin deep, Peter reflected as he now sat and stared somewhat distractedly at Wade’s scarred face, but ugliness was often the same way.  If one ignored the voices in his head, Wade only had the thinnest outer layer of ugly. Peter was just musing on that, finding it oddly…comforting…when Wade leaned forward and caught him in a kiss, never being a patient person.  The first kiss was Deadpool’s chapped lips against spandex, playfully pecking the material. While Peter made surprised, indignant noises, Deadpool’s fingers hooked in the smaller man’s mask, rolling it up so that he could touch skin with skin. 

Sometimes, at times like this, Peter wished that Deadpool actually liked him.  Or he wished that this wasn’t just Peter helping Deadpool out, but instead some sort of budding…something.  The Avengers had remarked (in varying degrees of uncomfortable, lewd, or suggestive) on the new ‘team dynamic’ between Spiderman and Deadpool. This was mainly because Deadpool had a childish sense of humor and had wasted no time in grabbing Spidey during meetings, or when they were all working as a group so there were watching eyes.  Peter batted at him and made scolding noises, but he never actually did enough to make Deadpool think that he wasn’t just playing around – because the other thing that the older superheroes had commented on was how level Deadpool was of late.  Peter had almost sighed in relief when he’d gotten signs that his efforts were working, in turning the Avengers’ biggest pain into a less dangerous asset.

Still, it was hard to feel proud of himself when his life just felt messed up, and the closest thing he had for a shoulder to cry on was a merc with a mouth who liked to kiss him but how didn’t really know who he was. 

Spiderman caught bad guys. Spiderman got blamed for violence in the papers. 

Peter Parker went to classes and turned in pictures to the newspaper for some cash. Peter Parker mourned all of the people he’d got killed and tried to live day-to-day by helping people, even when that life-line felt more like a noose, choking him even as it kept him afloat.

At one time, Spiderman and Peter Parker had been separate, and usually only one of them had their lives in the toilet.  After he got his girlfriend killed and he wasn’t brave enough to save his other best friend, Harry, before the terminally ill young man had gone ballistic…after all that, it seemed like nothing was right anymore, regardless of whether Peter wore a mask.

Maybe it had been a harder day than usual – maybe Peter was shaken up by having just seen Wade hacked to pieces, and then having to sit and wait while those pieces melded back together again in a morass of blood.  Both were probably true, and Peter was thinking heavily of how he was never good enough, and how he never saved people, and how the best he could do in life were little, random things like kiss Wade Wilson to make his head a quiet place. He helped other people in other ways, too, without thinking: giving a smile when he wanted to cry, telling a battered Phil Coulson that he could handle clean-up, when really he was nursing broken ribs and just wanted to curl up and let them knit.  With each deed, he hoped he could make a better hero of himself…

But at moments like this, he realized that he wasn’t exactly succeeding so much as he was falling apart more slowly. 

Peter hadn’t realized that Wade had pulled the Spiderman mask off his face, completely baring his head for the first time.  It took a few seconds to realize that he didn’t have spandex matting his hair down to his head, and that neither of them were moving.  The shock settled in very slowly, giving Peter time to consider how exactly he should react to this: should he be mad?  Afraid?  He was supposed to be keeping Wade sane, so his reaction should probably be something that didn’t unsettle the unstable merc too much…

“It’s okay.” Wade’s voice, with its surprisingly hard tone, snapped Peter’s attention to him.  Since they were both unmasked right now, it was easy to see the granite expression that had unexpectedly settled over Deadpool’s features, making the scars suddenly seem deeper and more imposing.  Peter was trying to get his brain to catch up with the bewildering change when Deadpool dropped his hands and sat back aloofly, all of his greedy cuddliness gone.  “You don’t have to kiss me if you don’t want to.  I know perfectly well how I look.”  When Peter opened his mouth to protest, Wade lifted a hand between them, cutting him off, “Don’t lie, Spidey – that pretty face of yours isn’t made for it. I can see now that you don’t want to kiss me any more than you want to stick your hand in a blender and push ‘purée’.” Wade’s eyes were shockingly cold as they turned and caught Peter’s startled ones, his low voice finishing almost viciously, “It’s harder to lie without the mask on, isn’t it?”

“Wha-? What-?!  No – Wade, that isn’t-!” Peter started to stutter, sitting up and trying to figure out how he’d messed this up so fast.

“Stop trying to save your butt, Spidey, cute as it may be,” Deadpool dismissed, something brittle in his features, as if the mask he wore cut both ways.  He folded his muscular arms across his broad chest, looking away and trying to appear distanced, even though the flexing of his shoulders gave away how upset he was.  That, and the bit about masks and lying was true: Wade wasn’t doing a stellar job of hiding the truth on his face either.  He looked as hurt as an un-killable merc could possibly look, and he started hunting for his mask to hide his scarred visage in an almost frenzied way a second later. “And don’t apologize to save my feelings, either – I know every time I take off my mask that it’s a risk. I’m glad you had the decency not to run away screaming.” 

“Wade.” Peter’s voice was soft and nearly a whimper, so maybe it was the sudden vulnerability that had Wade turning back.

The younger man was sitting very still, his eyes closed.  He hadn’t tried to put his mask back on, because there was no point, and his hair was sticking up in all directions.  The voices in Wade’s head were turning back on, but even they had to admit that the rumpled look was a good one on Spidey – honestly, that adorable little face would look good in pretty much any condition. 

Except…defeated.

“Wade,” Peter continued in a voice that said something in him had given out.  He’d fought four different villains today, watched innocent bystanders get injured in each instance, had seen Wade’s blood and bones all over the alley in a way that no normal person could survive, and now he’d had Wade blow up at him.  He didn’t know what else to do but buckle.  “I don’t care about your scars.  That’s not why I was hesitating.”

“Oh?” Wade challenged, not ready to play nice yet.  His mask was tugged back on.

Peter still didn’t try to retrieve his, or even move from the couch, despite the fact that he was sharing it with an angry and unpredictable Deadpool.  Peter’s arms merely slackened, falling between his knees so that his hands dangled from loose wrists against the cushions, and he rock his head back in an exhaustion that he hadn’t been able to shake since Gwen died. Actually, the exhaustion had gotten worse with every day, with every thankless thing he did for other people. “I’m sorry, Wade, I didn’t mean to make you upset.”  He meant to sit up again and prompt another kiss, knowing that other people would want him to settle Wade down, but the darkness behind his eyelids was just to welcoming, and he couldn’t do it.  Spiderman remained slouched on Deadpool’s couch, the blue-and-red suit defining the slight flexion of his ribs with ever slow inhale and exhale.  He wondered if the breathing would just stop if he got any more tired. 

Wade wasn’t a moron, and as angry and humiliated as he was about his scars, he could tell that something was very wrong with the man beneath the Spiderman mask.  When he placed a hesitant hand on one lean shoulder, however, Peter said as if murmuring into a dream, “You said that when I was around, your head was a quieter place, so…so I stuck around.  And then, I figured, the kissing helped…so I did that. It wasn’t bad! Honest, it wasn’t. I like kissing you…I think.” A halfhearted blush touched his cheeks as he shifted away from Wade’s hand.  “But lately, when I help people, it feels like I’m giving away little pieces of myself, and I’m not getting them back, Wade,” Peter finished in a small, animal whimper, like something trapped and fragile being threatened. The image was furthered by Peter sitting up a bit and drawing his feet up onto the couch, scooting aside a bit so that he could wedge tiredly against the armrest.  His eyes were open now, but fixed on some sort of nothing between his knees. 

“I’m supposed to help people, Wade, but I must be awfully bad at it, because it feels like every time I help someone out nowadays, it gets harder, and I want to do it less and less,” Peter tried to explain with pained resignation. 

Then, unexpectedly, the young man rallied.  He took a breath – he’d taken hundreds like this before, bracing breaths to firm the crumbling foundation he was standing on – and straightened his spine, sitting up marginally more. “But I can do it,” he said, and it was clear he was convincing himself most of all, “Okay, no more whiney-Spidey time. Sorry about that, Wade, I don’t know what got into me.  Just ignore all that I just said.”  He tried on a smile – was it as chipped and brittle as it felt?  He tried to make it fit better, but it felt like jamming a broken hand into a snug glove (which he actually had experience with). 

Still, it must have worked and he must have been doing something right, because Deadpool stopped being menacing and aloof and instead leaned forward again.  Peter sighed in relief, and tipped his head to accept the kiss he saw descending towards him.  He was surprised when, instead, Deadpool merely loomed over him and nuzzled down into his hair.  When Peter turned his head desperately to try and catch the wayward kiss that he’d so totally killed earlier, he was startled to find strong fingers catching his chin and holding his head still.  He made a surprised little noise, protesting, “No – Wade!  Seriously, I have no problem with kissing you. And if it makes your life easier, I’m more than happy to kiss you – I’d be a horrible person otherwise.”

There was a bit of scrambling, as Peter tried to pit his spider-strength with Deadpool’s just-plain-brute-strength, but Wade apparently knew what he wanted and it wasn’t a mouth-to-mouth connection with Spiderman right now. Instead, he wrapped Peter in his arms without warning, dragging him to his chest in a bear-hug that was immune to flailing limbs.  Peter continued to struggle indignantly for a moment, but his brain realized that his ears hadn’t been hearing Wade talk for at least a full minute.  That got him to freeze, because the world would probably stop turning before Wade Wilson clammed up.  “Wade…?” he asked worriedly, voice muffled a little bit against the underside of Deadpool’s neck.  The silence was more terrifying somehow than seeing the man running free with explosives. “What are you doing?”

A hand rubbed up and down Peter’s back, hesitant at first, then a hair more sure.  When Wade finally spoke, it was with calmness and sincerity that was rare to him, “I’m trying to give you your pieces back, Spidey. I didn’t realize I’d been taking any, or I’d have stopped and…I don’t know…talked.  I’m good at talking, if you haven’t noticed.”

Peter tried to push back so he could see Deadpool’s face, or at least his mask, but Wade’s arms just tightened like a pair of pythons, and Wade shifted until Peter was bundled in his lap.  Instead of making protesting noises, Peter felt all arguments die in his chest as a shudder went through him.  A thin whimper came out of his throat instead of words, as he felt Deadpool’s bones and muscles press into him.  It was more impossibly good than he could imagine.

What made the hug even better was when Deadpool added, quite sensibly, “I don’t want anything from you, Spidey.  Not right now. Shit, you should have told me you were falling to pieces.  I know a bit about that.”

That startled a snort of almost-laughter out of Peter, even as he considered if his manliness would ever recover from all of this.  He was in Deadpool’s lap getting a hug.  An attack-hug, because he hadn’t had any choice or warning in the matter. And it had all started by him getting a kiss.  So instead of acknowledging Wade’s statement, he tried to save face and joke, “I must be really bad at this kissing thing.  Does this count as being friend-zoned?  I definitely feel a bit friend-zoned.”

Deadpool when ominously silent, but then he propped his feet up on the coffee-table, lifting his knees up to further fortify his embrace even while Peter weekly protested. “Come on, Web-head, you kiss like a dream – even before I saw that pretty face of yours, I knew I was locking lips with hot stuff.  I just don’t want to kiss you right now, because you don’t want to kiss me.”  He said it so lightly, without an ounce of offence, tipping his feet from time to time to rock his partner gently. 

Somewhere along the line, Peter’s hands had lifted so that they were clutching at Deadpool’s ribs, as if afraid the large merc would finally listen to him and try to let him go. “It’s not that I don’t want to kiss you,” Peter tried to salvage the situation without lying – because he was pretty sure that Wade was still watching his face, “It’s just that…”  He sighed, upset because he didn’t have the words to describe the tangled knot of emotions in his chest.  Even worse, he was sure that the hot sensation around his eyes meant that he was about to cry from the frustration of it all.  Trying to squeeze back the tears, he buried his face in the hollow of Wade’s throat for some stolen comfort as he attempted to explain again, “It’s just that… I’ve only dated one girl!” ‘Gwen.’ He kept her name safe and secret inside of himself, as if he had to protect her from everything all over again.

Wade’s body jerked in surprise.  “What? Seriously?  One girl?  You’re a hot-rod, Spide7, how can you have only dated one girl?!”

“Spidey is a hot-rod. Peter Parker is a nerd. I’ve dated one girl.”

Wade settled back, his muscles playing out and loosening beneath Peter’s curled body. The merc was a mass of power in a red and black spandex parcel.  “Wow,” he breathed.  “I’ve got a face that looks like it went through a meet-grinder – a whole body, in fact – and I’ve dated more girls than that.”

“Thanks, Wade,” Peter snarked without lifting his head.  The sarcasm was the first natural thing he’d done today since dragging Wade back to his apartment to heal.  “Way to make a guy feel better.  The real problem is that I’m used to…relationships.  I kiss people when I’m in relationships.”

“And what are we?” Wade sounded sincerely perplexed, or else he was still marveling over Peter’s lack of a love-life.

Figuring he’d already ruined pretty much everything with his babbling, Peter sighed, released Wade to instead curl his arms protectively around his middle, and muttered into the merc’s chest, “I’m the thing that makes the voices in your head go away. You’re not interested in me.”

“And if I was?” There was still that light tone in Wade’s voice that was hard to decipher, making it sound more like he was curious than offended so far.  Peter counted that as a win: he was hoping to salvage this situation at least enough so that he wouldn’t have an angry/emotionally catastrophic Deadpool on his hands. He flinched at the thought of the Avengers catching wind of how efficiently he’d ‘ruined’ their super-powered mercenary.  “Come on, Petey, I asked you a question, fair and square.”

“Fine, I’ll answer, but don’t call me Petey,” Peter gave in with a defeated sigh, knowing that he’d give anything to Deadpool at this point, if it would fix things. It took a moment to realize that he was giving pieces of himself away again; the realization made him curl his knees up closer, as if against pain.  He was so hollow inside that every new piece he gave felt like a vital organ being ripped away, but he didn’t know if he could stop doing it. “If you were actually interested in me – which you’re not, unless you like skinny nerd dudes who only look interesting when wrapped up in a blue-and-red skintight suit – then I’d be fine with kissing or whatever, because…well, you’re built…” Peter couldn’t think of anyone with a body as impressive as Wade’s, and he was pretty sure he’d have turned gay if he hadn’t been interested already.  “You’re also a great kisser, so it doesn’t matter that I can’t kiss worth a plugged nickel.”

Peter was sure that Wade would go into a monologue about how outdated plugged-nickel references were, or at least start in on some sort of sexual reference, but the larger man didn’t take the bait.  Instead, he shifted a bit, so that he was leaning back, knees still up with his feet on the coffee-table amidst the fast-food wrappers.  He seemed quite content to become Peter’s own personal bed, and weathered another weak escape-attempt by the younger man.  “So you think that you’re a bad kisser?” was what he finally decided to say.

“I haven’t had any practice,” Peter’s face flamed with embarrassment.  “I don’t know what I’m doing.”  That somehow felt true for more than just kissing. He hugged himself harder to try to keep all of his pieces together, to keep the last ones from flying away.

Deadpool’s hand stroked up his back, a warm sweep from the base of his spine up to his neck, while the man’s other hand remained wrapped around his ribs.  “And you think that I only grab your butt and kiss you senseless because it makes the voices go away?”

Peter said nothing. Something inside of him was starting to hurt, and he’d given up on identifying what it was – everything inside hurt, so one more stab was hard to delineate from the general mass. He was a mess inside, plain and simple, and suddenly he wanted nothing more than to just mute Deadpool and enjoy the unexpected hugging and no-strings-attached petting. “Wade, can we just stop talking about this?  I already had to see you die today, and I’ve seen too many people I care about die, even though you, at least, come back.”

“I’ve just got one question left, Spidey, promise,” Deadpool assured him, patting his back between his shoulder-blades before simply looping his arms over Peter’s waist. It was a comfortable, heavy weight, and for a second Peter sank into the steady rise and fall of Wade’s muscular chest beneath him.  Wade’s voice dropped a subtle octave as he laid out his last question slowly but surely, “What if…the reason you make the voices shut up…is because I really, really like you?”

Peter froze, wondering if insanity was contagious.  He pushed up with a hand on either of Wade’s pectoral muscles, until he could look down into that black-on-red mask.  “What do you…?” His tongue rebelled; he didn’t want to ask.  He pushed the question out anyway after clearing his throat.  “What do you mean by that?” 

It was easy to tell, even with a mask, that Deadpool was smiling widely up at him. “Seriously, Spidey, you didn’t know? I think you’re the coolest thing since grenade launchers were made!  I’m not listening to voices in my head when you’re around because all I can think is: Wow, I’d tap that.”

Peter felt himself flush crimson to his ears, especially because he was more or less straddling the merc right now, feeling defined abdominal muscles flexing lightly beneath his thighs. Spandex didn’t do a ton to hide a person’s body, honestly, but that wasn’t what Peter suddenly feel naked. He felt vulnerable and small and so surprised he wasn’t sure whether was dreaming or not.  “So…you like me?  Really like me, or think-I’m-funny-enough-not-to-kill-me-sort-of like-me?”

“Both. If we’re working with full-disclosure here, I’d also make sure not to kill you because you’re super-funny. But the other thing, too. Can you stop just staring like that? It’s creepy – and that’s coming from a guy who talks to himself and cuddles with edged weaponry.”

Seeming to ignore the statement, Peter wordlessly shifted is weight to free up one hand, using that hand to hook his fingers under the edge of Deadpool’s mask.  The merc stiffened, his hands coming up to grip Peter’s thighs in reflexive warning, but the larger man didn’t protest as the material was slowly tugged from his neck, to his nose, and finally completely off to reveal a scarred face, bald head, and cautious eyes.  Peter took that all in with something akin to awe instead of disgust. Before Wade’s mouth could start going again and ruin the fragile moment, Peter leaned down suddenly, pressing his lips against Wade’s. 

There was an ice-thin moment where nothing happened, and it was clear that Deadpool was working very hard to control himself.  His hands itched to move, but all they did was tighten and flex against the muscles of Peter’s legs, kneading it through the suit while he let Peter completely control the kiss.

It was hesitant and timid and brief, but when Peter pulled back, his eyes looked less hollow and sad. “I just…” he said a little breathily, going to run a nervous hand back through his hair before he realized he was still holding Deadpool’s mask.  He gave it back.  “I just wanted to see…if it was better…now that I wasn’t kissing someone I thought didn’t care about me.” A shy smile spread slowly across his face, even as his eyebrows lifted slightly in a hopeful expression – as if hoping that the smile was working, and wouldn’t be rebuffed as he tried to be cute.  “It was pretty nice.”

After a second of honest shock, Deadpool’s face split in a grin that threatened to swallow his face. “Awww, you’re adorable, Petey! But if I’d known you were comparing kisses, you should have warned me – I could have made it worth your while.” He winked lewdly, and this time Peter just laughed.  Laughed, and rolled his eyes when Deadpool made obnoxious kissy-faces, and gave in to another kiss. Despite Wade’s promise/threat, the kiss was very chaste and careful, more like the tentative first attempts on a first date, and then Wade crushed the smaller man to him again in a hug. The gusting exhale on Peter’s part was partially due to Wade’s grip and partially due to exhausted relief. He felt as if he’d been up for months, the nightmare of the world keeping him awake after Gwen’s death. Now…now comfort seeped into him along with Wade’s ambient warmth, and the arms around him didn’t feel demanding – they felt safe and protective. 

“No more giving pieces of yourself away, Petey.  Not until I give you a few more back,” Wade murmured down into his hair as the two made themselves comfortable.