”Oh, boo hoo. 'I'm a lonely and misunderstood freak of nature! No one loves me!'”
“Wow. That's cruel.”
“No, it's me...Or at least, it used to be me. I've been where you are – I could have been you.”
- Deadpool (vol.3)#21: Monkey Business
Some days... okay so most days of late, Peter Parker really didn't enjoy having an over-active conscience. Especially when said conscience lead him to pause mid-swoop over a particularly gruesome alleyway as he finished patrolling just so that he could help out a guy who he knew would make him regret each and every moment of it. Especially when that guy was Deadpool. Or at least, half of him.
Peter landed on an uneven floor with a soft thwomp and surveyed the scene. It was probably the new number one in his Top 10 of Mutilated Bodies to See Before You Die list.
Blood was sluicing into dirty rainwater from the horrifying wound that quite literally separated the man's upper torso from his legs, and god-knows what was spilling into the streets, but Peter was pretty certain that one part should not have been green. Suddenly the prospect of that Sloppy Joe he was saving for after work seemed much less appealing.
And worst of all, Deadpool was not only still alive, but still conscious. No wait, even worse, he was still talking.
If it had been any other day Peter would have shrugged and walked away. Deadpool would heal. Eventually. He could live with that.
Very fortunately for a certain not quite hero, not quite anti hero, this was not any other day.
[Well that and this'd be a real crappy short story otherwise. Rock on authorial intent, I say.]
Peter swore softly and took a step toward a muttering Wade Wilson, who appeared to be engaged in a debate with himself on the merits (or lack thereof) of cheap plot devices. '..but seriously, why do I always have to get the shitty end of the stick?'
He finally acknowledged Peter's presence. 'Hey! Spidey!' He offered an awkward wave. 'No hug? But we're going to banter right? You seriously have no idea how much I miss the banter.'
Peter's eyes narrowed.
'Oh for... Deadpool, how are you even talking to me right now?'
'Mutant exposition factor.' Deadpool shrugged, or at least attempted to and ended up rolling over on to his side. 'Ah, 'tis but a flesh wound. I think I've got sometime between three panels and half an hour before everything grows back, so give a guy a hand wouldya? Or y'know, a couple of legs? Yeah, lame joke, right I know.'
'You are possibly the most messed-up person I have ever met.'
Although he did get points for the Monty Python reference.
'You know usually people add a couple'a choice adjectives in the middle of that, so I'm gonna guess we're bonding.'
Peter shook his head. Forget “possibly”.
He swallowed back bile and found himself dragging a pair of legs to the top half of Deadpool only to hear the two connect with a sickening wet noise. There was then what anyone who knew Deadpool to be a very long silence. At least a full minute, Peter estimated. No movement, nothing. Could he actually be - ?
A gloved hand grabbed Peter's before he got the chance to check under a blood-soaked mask for breath.
'Not until the third date Spidey. What kinda guy do you think I am?' Wade ground out as he waggled a foot experimentally. Well whaddya know? Even put 'em back facing the right way round too. Might be nice to appreciate your own shapely butt, but... [Butt but! Heh.] He really didn't think that'd work out so great for too long. 'Too many problems walking backwards forwards...'
Peter tugged his hand away and felt stupidly relieved that Deadpool couldn't see his look of horror.
'I thought you might actually be - '
Wade slowly started to sit up and leaned against the nearest a wall. Was that a huge wedge of gum pressing into his back? [Eww. Nothing worse than people who just spit out their gum everywhere. Gets caught in your clothes, on your shoes...]
'What? Dead dead? Bitten the big one? Joined the choir invisible? [Yeah, like they'd have me up there? Can't even hold a tune in a bucket. Do they even have buckets in Heaven?] 'Nah. Anyways, you're missing out on the real criminals around here Spidey.' He jabbed a finger in Peter's direction. 'Wriggleys.'
Wade shifted and clenched his jaw as one great big salsa dancing party of pain shot through his body as his healing factor kicked into overdrive. He would hunt down every single one of those minty fresh bastards and stuff 'em to bursting with gum right up the -
'Gum?! You've just been hacked in two and you're - ' Pausing, Peter remembered just who exactly he was talking to and sighed, forcing some perspective. 'What happened, Deadpool? You have a lover's tiff with Bullseye?'
Damnit, was Peter going to have to take him somewhere to have time to heal again? But who would take him in this time? The X-Men were too far, and Peter couldn't think of a single Avenger Deadpool hasn't ticked off, fought with, flirted inappropriately with or kicked in the balls, literally or figuratively. The Richards' had already made their anti-Deadpool position quite clear and Matt... Matt was not an option right now.
'Aw, please. Don't sully our strictly professional relationship like that. That's just so cheap. Besides, I'm the innocent victim here. And by victim I mean Frankie got a lucky shot in with a chainsaw. Just one. Well maybe three but definitely no more than eight.' Wade cocked his head. 'Bet it looked pretty cool though, right?'
Peter crossed his arms. 'No you just look “pretty” awful. What did you do and why exactly shouldn't I be leaving you gift-wrapped for the cops?'
'Hey, this was a totally legit good guy gig! I took out a one hundred percent gen-u-ine evil dick of a dictator. One shot, nice and clean, everybody's happy.'
'Peter stared at him for a moment, pieces fitting together. 'Perez?' The usually secretive South American dictator was famous for his ethnic cleansing policies, not to mention his fetish for pre-pubescent girls. He was also famous for being very dead that afternoon and not a pretty corpse.
'You took him out, so why did the Punisher do this?' If Deadpool had to kill anyone, Peter reluctantly conceded, he could think of worse targets. Was Frank Castle simply keen to take the mouthy merc out once and for all?
Deadpool flicked an errant piece of gum from his knee. 'Yeah well, Pez guy's bitten the big one, but Frankie got all sneaky and caught me at it. Talk about timing! The one freaking moment in his life ol' Pez Pop helps a kitten out a tree?,' [Or does something else Spidey widey doesn't need to have an image of crawlin' in his noggin] He mimed a gunshot, 'And Frankie sees me whack him and starts to get all in my face about it.' He grimaced, and Peter caught the movement under otherwise smooth lines of the mask. That had to hurt didn't it? Serious Grade A pain factor. Peter's fingers itched.
'He probably didn't know what Perez looked like. I didn't until they reported him dead. Which, by the way is still not the way to get yourself into the Big Book of Heroes, Deadpool. Have you ever listened to a word I've said?'
'Uh, something about monkeys never forgetting?'
Peter sighed again. He was beginning to feel borderline asthmatic. 'This was all just about your ego, wasn't it?'
That was it, time to go Pete, move it along, try to ignore something resembling disappointment in the pit of your stomach. He flicked out a strand of webbing toward the top of the nearest building.
'Nonono, wait!' Wade protested. 'Damnit this was one of those stupid U2 gigs!'
'Y'know. Pro Bono?'
A small tug and he had released the webbing.'It's pronounced bone-oh not bon-oh, genius.'
'So yeah, that was a freebie to some oppressed Latino babe with some serious... assets who I was totally not,' he quickly added at Peter's withering glare, 'planning on suggesting she repay me with some kind of favour involving three family size tubs of banana yoghurt and a bouncy castle.'
Peter shook his head and watched as Deadpool absently rubbed a grimy glove against his thigh.
'I'm not a complete monster, you know,' Wade added, his voice relatively soft. 'You shoulda heard was he was doing with her kid sister, Spidey...No. Wait, Not heard. Hearing would be bad for you.' He shook his head. 'You might not like it, but we both know the Earth just got a little less loathsome a place to be.'
Peter considered his options. Deadpool didn't seem to be getting up any time soon. The sun was impatiently making its way toward the horizon, and Peter really wasn't keen on leaving NY garbage collectors with a babbling bloodbath on their hands. There was only one thing for it, wasn't there?
Wade glanced at the hand offered to him. 'Hey Spidey, you legit?'
'Yeah, you know. Legal? Drinking, soldiering, screwing, all the fun stuff? I can never remember which universe this is supposed to be in, and technically you oughta be like sixty by now anyway, but if I don't make sure, the fangirls will freak.'
Peter opened his mouth, then promptly closed it. Just ignore all the other stuff. Focus on getting him out of here. 'Yeah. I'm legal.'
Wade grasped the hand and rose somewhat shakily to his feet, but Peter could not miss the shit-eating grin that spread over masked features. 'Awesome! Best news I've heard all day. I am so getting laid. Now tell me honestly Doc. Will I ever tap dance again? 'Cause I couldn't before and that would really -'
Acting on automatic, Peter grabbed and steadied the suddenly barely conscious form of Deadpool, not for the last time thanking his superhuman reflexes. At such abruptly close proximity, Peter expected him to well... smell bad, somehow. Cheap junk food or something. He wrinkled his nose. No, just blood of course and maybe something... spicy? And he was very warm too. Well that was weird. No, scratch that. Sniffing people you randomly picked up in an alleyway was weird. What on Earth was he doing?
He easily manoeuvred Wade into a fireman's lift. 'Just can't resist a damsel in distress, I guess.'
'Hey look we share the same red,' Wade murmured sleepily from his new Spidey-assisted vantage-point. 'It's density.'
'It's destiny, and you are not getting laid, Deadpool,' Peter muttered as he began to haul his new house guest toward his apartment like some kind of heavily armed sack of potatoes, 'but you are probably gonna bleed all over my new couch. Which you can pay for.'
Wade mumbled something about poor room service and a freshly buttered Eva Mendes before appearing to finally pass out. Peter thanked the heavens for small mercies.
The truth was, Peter admitted to himself, he was lonely, and miserable, and he needed some kind of distraction. Even a giant trouble-shaped one. At least he knew what to expect from Deadpool: Chaos.
That was not some seriously screwed-up reasoning at all, oh no.
He kept walking.
Oh yes. Any other day and this would so not be happening.
Peter later blamed the dozen or so recent late night slash early mornings slash heartbreak for his lack of basic observational skills.
Dumping Deadpool on his soon-to-be-ruined couch his background suspicions were confirmed when a very loud, very unconvincing snore issued from behind Wade's mask as he promptly sprawled out over the furniture, clearly making himself more than reasonably comfortable for someone who apparently needed time to heal mortal wounds. Peter figured that it probably was only a few minutes before he was back to normal. Whatever normal was for Deadpool.
He rubbed his face with the heel of his hand and yawned. It really must've been the lack of sleep driving him nuts, because there was no way in hell Spider-Man was having a slumber party with someone whose idea of fun was helping little old ladies into oncoming traffic.
It was late, Peter reminded himself, and with any luck, Deadpool would be gone in the morning. He'd removed all the weapons he could find hidden around Wade's person, because he was sad, not stupid.
Just go to bed now, get your hour and a half's worth of sleep, and do not give in to the temptation to drop a certain jerkface from the top of the building and see what shape he makes when he hits the ground.
Peter turned on his heel and headed for bed. This was definitely a victory for sanity.
Peter woke to a crash and...feathers?
Jumping from his bed he skidded into the kitchen to stare at what looked like the site of a small ritual sacrifice. Grey feathers covered the floor and a small pigeon was absently pecking at a blackened slice of toast. His gaze then travelled up to the blood dripping into the sink from a still dampish Deadpool mask which was hastily snatched and tugged on almost before his eyes had time to focus on a face. The room smelled of gas, and smoke was floating rather ominously from a spluttering frying pan.
'What the hell?!
'I made breakfast.' Wade offered, poking at what appeared to be the remains of a rasher of very overdone bacon.
'Your little kitchen sucks, Spidey. I mean, seriously! You don't even have a proper freezer, there's no Canadian bacon, and the lack of – oh hey, it's the bird right?' Wade appeared to notice it for the first time. 'It kinda crashed in here a moment ago, cute lil' parasite infested guy. Oh yes you are,' he grinned, offering it a juicy rind of fat.
Peter had dealt with innumerable crises, villains, deaths natural disasters, not to mention terrible haircuts during his time as Spider-Man. He was okay with that. Well, not okay, but he understood that. That was all part of the job. This... This was something else.
'Step away from the cooker and put the bacon down,' Peter commanded, disaster mode belatedly kicking in.
'Hey, I was just trying to say thanks for the pickup last night, and I thought - '
'No, you didn't think! That'd be your problem Deadpool.' Peter said, awkwardly attempting to usher the slightly distressed looking bird towards the nearest open window, offering the charred piece of bread as an incentive. The bird obligingly hopped out, seemingly recovered, and Peter slammed the window shut with a little too much force. The Green Goblin, The Lizard, terrorists, pissed-off Nordic gods... All deal-able, he reminded himself. He could deal with this. Wait, did Deadpool count as a natural disaster?
'Well someone woke up on the wrong side of the web this morning,' remarked Wade who casually tossed an offending bit of gristle into the sink with a splat.
'Original. How about you go share your zinger with one of your millions of friends? Sorry, that'd be imaginary friends, wouldn't it?' Okay, so that was low, and Deadpool probably didn't deserve that, but Peter was having a foul day so far, and it was only 6am.
[Oh, snap! What crawled up his ass and died, then left him with little pissy spider babies and no child support? Yeah, so that's a weird metaphor even for me.]
Wade shrugged nonchalantly and headed for the door. 'Okie dokie, Spidey, guess it must be that time of the month for you guys to chew off your girlfriend's head or somethin' - '
'That's a preying mantis.'
'- because you are seriously acting like a dick right now.' [Oh yeah! How'd you like them ironic apples with a side of 'I'm too awesome for this argument', buddy? Ha! Because that friends comment totally doesn't bother me. At all. Nope. Oh hey, he's got a Captain America fridge magnet set? That was so cool.]
Peter appeared in front of the door and slammed it shut a millimetre in front of Wade's face. 'Oh no. You're not getting away from this mess that easy.'
'Clean.' Peer tossed a pair of bright yellow washing-up gloves towards a suddenly confused merc. 'You're gonna help me clean this up, and then as a special gift Deadpool, I'm going to let you walk out of here like a regular civilised person.' I guess he tried with the whole breakfast thing. Wasn't that worth something coming from someone like him? Wow, okay so maybe that did sound kind of douchey.
Wade regarded the gloves with a special look of disdain most people reserved for people who talked at the theatre.'Do I look like a girl to you? I mean, sure there was that one [maybe two or three?] time with the dress [totally pulled it off though] but other than that I am totally your manly Bar Bee Q flamin' heterosexual man. Of manliness and definitely of not cleaning.'
Peter couldn't suppress an amused smile. 'Flaming heterosexual? I'm going to start up a Twitter feed and inform the world just how lame you've become, ridiculous quote by quote. Might be bad for your business, but hey, I'm sure everyone will get a good laugh out of it.' He'd be damned if he was going to let Deadpool get the upper hand on this occasion. Especially as he just made him smile for the first time in far too long.
'Shut up and tell me where the stupid mop is.'
Victory! This was way, way too satisfying. Peter reminded himself that getting some healthier hobbies should be pretty high up on his 'to do' list.
'But, uh, one thing, Spidey - ?'
'It's Peter, out of costume. I thought even you managed to figure that out by now.' That really didn't sound as snarky as he wanted it to be. Damn.
'One thing, Petey' Wade grinned that wicked grin which suddenly made Peter feel like a rug was being swept from under him. 'You might want to put some pants on.'
Wade continued, unabashed. 'I mean I'm all for strangely attractive young men and their polka-dotty underwear [Polka's a good word, isn't it? Polka dots, polka dancing, all very jaunty.], but I'm thinking you're gonna - '
A blur of skin [I spy with my little eye something beginning with blushing like a schoolgirl. Dingdingding!] made its way back to the bedroom, but when Peter returned, the kitchen was still a mess: only a mess without a Deadpool at the centre of it A round sticky note with Deadpool's logo on the back was attached to the fridge. Peter scowled at the hastily scrawled text covering it.
'Jerk,' Peter muttered as he crumpled up the paper in his hand and aimed for the bin. He paused, and uncrumpled the note, staring. Huh. He wrote 'Wade.'
He stared again.
Wait a minute, how the hell did the guy get his own stationary? And why was one of his fridge magnets missing?
Chapter 2: Be My Yoko Ono (pt.2)
Wade was confused. This admittedly, was not an unknown occurrence, because as he was happy to confess, he was not perhaps the brightest crayon in the box [more like the funny coloured one – Puce, that's it! - they always put in that nobody uses. The one the weird kid at the back of class would pick his nose with], but in this case, he had been pretty sure he had a handle on the situation
Very generically canon for Amazing Spider-Man and Deadpool. I apologise in advance if I contradict canon accidentally etc.
Because nobody asked for it: part 2!
By the next day things had seemed to return to normal for Peter. No sign of annoyingly chatty assassins, no major catastrophes, just regular crimes committed by not-so-regular people. It was almost boring. Wait. What was he thinking? He could deal with boring for a little while. Boring could be a treasure for someone in his line of work. Yes, quiet and safe and why was there a new family size pack of bacon in his fridge? Correction, Canadian bacon. Canadian bacon with another one of those little sticky notes attached to it.
Peter scrutinised the packaging for any obvious tampering, checked the refrigerator shelves for hidden cannisters of toxic gas or C-4, and then made himself a BLT.
He slid a nail over the logo paper, half expecting it to reveal a concealed coat of asbestos. No, still nothing.
That was it. He was really going to have to ask Wade where he could get that done.
Then things started to get ridiculous.
Over the last week Peter had been 'gifted' with yet more pork product, a rubber duck which had apparently been enthusiastically coloured-in to resemble his Spider-Man costume, and the kind of pink frilly apron he didn't expect anyone would use for cooking or cleaning, unless they featured in one of those films involving scantily clad housewives and plumbers with bushy moustaches and a disproportionately large pipe. All secreted around his apartment whilst he was working. All from the same source.
When the couch arrived that Saturday evening, he was ready to snap.
He had walked to his door, felt that something again was amiss and opened it to see the couch. It was a nice couch, understand. Not too large, not too small, perfectly tasteful. Nice and plain and black. The bright red cushions with Deadpool's logo repeatedly covering them were not exactly subtle, however.
Peter felt a warning tingle and glanced outside to the roof of the next block of apartments. A flash of read and the reflective glare of metal gave his observer's game away.
'Son of a-'
He changed clothes in moments and leapt out of the open window to catch up with his 'benefactor'.
[Oops. Busted. Guess Spidey's probably running and shaking his fist at me now because he's so grateful, right? Right?!]
Peter landing inches from Wade's foot meant that he automatically jumped backward a few paces, balance impeded. [He must be super duper happy about the couch. To the point of grabbing a fistful o' costume and slamming me against the floor repeatedly. Aw, c'mon! It's been like a dozen pages of story already! Aren't I due for a hug or something?] Before he had the chance to open that infamous mouth, Peter had straddled him, and had Wade's skull pressed against solid concrete
'Why are you stalking me?'
Peter's grip tightened. 'The stupid things you keep leaving in my apartment! Were they your idea of a threat?'
Wade was confused. This admittedly, was not an unknown occurrence, because as he was happy to confess, he was not perhaps the brightest crayon in the box [more like the funny coloured one – Puce, that's it! - they always put in that nobody uses. The one the weird kid at the back of class would pick his nose with], but in this case, he had been pretty sure he had a handle on the situation. Right up until that very moment.
'Well?!' Peter could almost hear cogs and gears whirring into action.
Wade scratched his head. 'Threat? No way! They were just gifts! What colour is puce anyway?'
Peter loosened his grip and stared at Deadpool like he was one of those alarm-clock bomb deelies you got in the old Loony Tunes cartoons which had been stopped a second before exploding. Then of course they blew up in the coyote's face every single time. Wade always loved that part.
'Gifts?' Peter repeated.
Wade nodded and slowly moved back to to his feet. 'Well, I kinda owed you for the couch and breakfast and shit, then I saw the rubber duckie and thought it looked pretty cool. Hey, do you actually take baths, Spidey? What with them being your ultimate weak spot 'n all.'
'And the apron?'
'Thought it'd bring out your eyes.'
Peter resisted the urge to howl, but relaxed his stance a little.
'So this is your idea of, what? Friendly advances?'
Wade beamed. 'Exactly!'
'Friends do not break into each other's houses and leave stuff there that might give away their secret identity!' Peter paused and his voice became notably lower. 'Nor do they point weapons at each other. Makes things kinda socially awkward.'
'I'm not pointing a -' Wade glanced at the gun he had trained on Peter's head and chuckled. 'Well blow me six ways to Sunday. Force of habit?'
Peter really didn't want to have to do this on the one night they were repeating the very first episode of Battlestar Galactica (classic series, of course). He also didn't want to fight over what essentially appeared to be a case of epic fail in in Basic Communication 101.
'Put it down, Deadpool and we can talk, or else you'll wish you never started this borderline sugar daddy thing we've got going on here.' Peter shuddered. 'That's possibly the skeeviest thing I've ever said.'
Wade frowned. 'You worried about your rep or something?' He tossed the weapon from one hand to another with an unnecessary flourish. 'Think Big Iron Brother's gonna be watching you from his secret ninja squirrel surveillance cameras he's got all over the place?' [Well what else would you use if you're planning on watching an entire city? Cats? Waaaay too obvious.]
'Dude, seriously? Tony doesn't have - '
'Okay, okay, I'll do you a favour, no biggie,' said Wade as he fired.
He got two shots out before the gun was yanked from his grasp and he was reacquainted with the floor, face first. [Hey, concrete! Short time no see. You done something different with your surfacing?]
'You shot at me, you jackass! You really are insane.' Peter wasn't sure if he was more annoyed at Deadpool getting a shot at him, or that he'd momentarily trusted him to do otherwise.
Peter flipped him over. 'What?'
'I said you're welcome.'
'C'mon Spidey, I knew you'd get out of the way in time! You're all kinds of fast and you're like those gymnast girls in the Olympics, and besides, my aim was off at least like twenty degrees.' Wade frowned, and his mask crinkled just a little. 'I'm not gonna shoot a pal, now am I? I mean, not in a fatal area.' [Or when they don't have cool TK powers to bounce stuff off in a totally Matrix-y fashion.]
Was this what it was like being inside Deadpool's head?, Peter numbly wondered as he slowly, very slowly let go of Wade once more, tossing the gun out of reach. Because this right here was really screwed-up. By shooting at him, Deadpool was, in his own way, trying to, what... protect him? Something must have snapped inside Peter's head because it almost made some kind of sense. He could feel a headache coming on.
'Are you actually serious about this?'
'Absolutely. I've shot Bob at least three times, and he hasn't died once!'
'Peter's jaw stiffened. You're not helping yourself here, Wilson. You just wanting a buddy to share those spandex-riding-up-in-awkward-places stories isn't cutting it with me.'
Wade scowled and muttered something so quietly Peter almost thought he imagined it. 'You what?'
The volume suddenly returned to normal as Wade dragged out each word like a particularly difficult kicking and screaming child. 'I said I thought about what you said. I mean, I hadn't really thought much about it until just now, but I did, so it still counts,' he hastily continued, 'but you said you could've been like me once, something like that. So I figured...Maybe I could be like you. A bit. I mean, with a better costume and sex life of course.'
Peter needed a beer. Scratch that, he needed a small brewery.
'I am going back into my apartment, Wade, ' said Peter very slowly, steel in his voice, 'and you are going to follow me. And we are going to have a little chat. You got that?'
Wade saluted smartly. 'Sir, yes, sir! Are you going to tell me what my major malfunction is?'
Peter's eyes narrowed. 'Don't tempt me.'
'Ground rules,' stated Peter as soon as the door slammed shut behind them. 'One,' he tugged off his mask, craving fresh air, 'You do not shoot at me, or in fact anybody at all. That also includes stabbing, slashing or exploding people.' He looked at Deadpool who was flexing gloved fingers, searching for an invisible speck of dirt. 'Well?'
'I got it, alright? No killing.' Wade sighed. 'Which I actually was totally trying to do already, except for that one tiny assassination. And I really don't think that should count as I wasn't getting paid or-'
Peter crossed his arms over his chest. 'That's the golden rule, Deadpool. You want to try the pals thing, then you've got to show you're worth being a pal with. You seriously hurt anyone and I will come after you. Are we absolutely crystal clear on that?'
'As clear as that window over Power Girl's boobs.' Wade wavered. 'I mean... I'll do my best.' [Because I can't go promising something like that for real when I don't trust me not to do it. I'm very tricky like that. Wouldn't trust me as far as I could throw me. Although...I could throw me pretty far, actually so maybe I should trust me more?]
Peter flopped onto the couch beside him, mentally filing away the uncertain tone that crept into Wade's voice, yet pressing onward. 'Second rule is; don't try and buy my friendship. That's just so...tacky.' In fact, Wade noticed, Peter was sitting so closely they were practically touching. Touching. In a non violent, 'hey it's cool we're just a couple of dudes hanging out together' kind of way. It was doing funny things to Wade's insides, Fluttery feelings he definitely didn't feel around Weas or Bob. He heard delighted singsonging. [Someone's got a cru-ush, someone's got a - Oh crap, that'd be me.]
'Um, okay then.' Wade shifted a little, pretending to stretch. 'Anything else? The chance to win fabulous prizes and an exclusive chequebook and pen? Oooh, no wait, is it my turn now?'
'One more thing,' Peter added, his usual light tone momentarily vanishing. 'Don't think I suddenly trust you now, Wilson. That has to be earned, and so far you are not giving me much reason to do so. You say you want to be like me -'
'Less 'Jungle Book', more 'Karate Kid' here, okay?'
'-so remember that means I expect more of you than anyone else might do. You can't handle that? Fine. Leave now and don't come back.'
There was a pause.
'Good,' said Peter.
'Good,' agreed Wade.
'Stop repeating what I just said.'
'No, you stop – Oh, right. So is that it? I'd get a gang tattoo or something,' Wade shrugged and poked at his forearm, 'but they just won't stick.'
Peter relaxed back into his seat again and arched an eyebrow. 'That's it for now I guess.' His gaze shifted to glance at his not nearly totally touching each other on a couch mate's. 'You have rules for me?' He seemed far too amused by the prospect.
'I can do rules! Uh, one: No swimming when the red flag is up. Two, no talking through Golden Girls. Three...umm...something about truth, justice and the American way? No wait, that's DC.'
'Beer.' Wade nodded approvingly. 'Now there's an American institution I can really get behind.'
Peter paused, considering something. 'You can't even get drunk off this can you?'
'Not really. I'm just a slave to peer pressure.'
Peter got up and headed for the fridge, tossing his gloves onto the counter. He nodded to a still fully costumed Wade. 'You can take the mask off now y'know.' He smirked a little. 'I have already seen your face, and I promise not to give your 'top secret known only to everyone with a phonebook' identity away.'
Wade moved a hand to the bottom of his mask and rolled it up just enough so he could take a pull of his drink. 'Nah, we're good. Don't want you thinking we're gonna start holding hands or something'.' [or make you upchuck a week's worth of breakfast.]
Peter took a long swig of his drink and frowned. What had changed in the last few weeks to make Deadpool of all people shy?
Days passed [Way to go with the lazy writing, author chick], and it reached a point where they would meet at Peter's apartment almost every evening to talk about the usual kinds of things your average spandex-clad superhero type (or borderline antihero in certain people's cases) would talk about; sports, tv, bloodstains on non-drier friendly fabrics, borderline apocalypse [Or was that Apocalypse?], and of course women. It was becoming disturbingly familiar. Yes, fun times all round with Spider-Man and his new bestest psychotic bud. This had to be wrong on at least sixteen levels.
The thing was, little was actually changing. Peter was still working his ass off day and night, and Wade, although Peter had to admit was not causing quite as much mass havoc as usual (so maybe he might have even been helpful that previous night. It was kinda nice to have backup.), was still – no – Peter refused to use the 'S' word. Deadpool was not shy. The Merc with a Mouth did not back off from anything, even if it was in his best interest to do so. Wade had absolutely no qualms about throwing himself into any given situation, as Peter had witnessed, looking up from hand planted firmly in his own face, so no, he couldn't think of it in that way. What he did think was that it was silly and unnecessary and he wasn't sure if he wanted to laugh or cry. Then again, Wade appeared to have that sort of effect on most.
Peter was running out of patience over the whole mask thing. It was time for some tough love. [Oooh. Kinky! Hey wait, am I able to read his inner monologue now? I think my head hurts from smashing that fourth wall one too many times.]
Peter started at Wade from their usual positions on the sofa and decided to plunge in, head first. Parker speciality, naturally.
'This is bullshit.'
Wade turned to meet his gaze, and Peter didn't need to see his face for the amusement to show through.
'Gasp!' Wade exclaimed, Demi Moore tones cranked up to full falsetto. 'Language, young man! I should put you over my knee!' [Oh yeah. Spanking Spider-Man? Totally knocking 'Wielding Thor's “hammer”' (ifyouknowwhatImean) off the top spot on my Avenger-related kink list. Not that there was a list. Not that there was anything wrong with having a list.]
'I'm sick of pussyfooting about with you about this, Wilson. It's time for a change.'
'Heh. You said puss-'
'Can it, I'm being serious!'
Wade placed a gloved finger to where his lips should be seen. 'Use your inside voice, Petey. You're gonna get your neighbours all grouchy and then I'll never be able enjoy this piece of high class light entertainment until at least a week on Friday when they repeat it.' [If Spidey starts with any variety of That Talk again then I get to kick his ass and steal all his Lone Ranger DVDs, right?]
'You're in my apartment, Wade.' Peter's voice softened. 'You know exactly who I am, what I do and what I look like because for some insane reason-'
'Or plot device'
'-I decided to trust you with that information.' Peter continued. 'So do the same for me, wouldya? Take off the damn mask.'
'But it gives me an irresistible air of mystery.' Wade immediately shot back, words starting to tumble from his lips more furiously than ever. He offered an exaggerated pout as back-up.
Peter stood his ground. 'You didn't have a problem with it before, so why now? Unless of course' Peter let the words dangle like proverbial forbidden fruit, 'you've got a thing for me?' It was supposed to be a goading joke, but as soon as those words left Peter's lips he wanted to reach out and tug then all back, every one.
Wade visibly tensed, then swiftly made sure Peter got the full brunt of his longest 'You're kidding right, but secretly oh god you're spot on' laugh. 'Are you kidding me? You're like, twelve and a pipsqueak and you eat things like rocket salad, and I am absolutely not gay. Or bi or tri or whatever the hell it is.' He paused. 'Not that there's anything wrong with that.'
'So take it off and prove to me how much you don't care about what I think.' Peter was in Wade's face now, only a thin sheet of material dividing them. 'You were pro-registration, weren't you? So stop being such a damn hypocrite.' Peter reached out toward Wade's neck and and noticed the change in his eyes an instant too late. Obviously he'd gone too far.
'Fuck you Spidey,' said Wade as he neatly snapped Peter's wrist.
Peter gasped sharply at the sudden barrage of pain and the world went blurry for a second. His wrist, his hand, his heart... He wasn't sure what hurt most.
'And now you've gone and hurt my feelings,' Wade's voice was deathly cold as he stood and silently walked to the door. Everything seemed to be floating away, impossible to grasp.
'It's just Deadpool to you, Peter,' spat Wade as he opened the door to leave, then slamming it so hard afterwards the frame trembled.
[Well, fuck me. Forget to take those DVDs.]
Peter grimaced as the bones in his hand very slowly started to mend. He really had to remember not to piss off loose cannons with superhuman abilities. Oh, wait. He was Spider-Man.
'That went well.' Peter muttered to no-one in particular.
Of course, things only got worse when the old blind lady showed up the next day.
Chapter 3: Be My Yoko Ono (pt.3)
Peter took a long breath and wished for some kind of handy executive stress toy he could repeatedly smash against a hard surface. Preferably one that strongly resembled Deadpool's head.
Very generically canon for Amazing Spider-Man and Deadpool. I apologise in advance if I contradict canon accidentally etc.
When Peter carefully opened the door (only using one hand sucked. And great, now he was thinking about masturbation jokes. Wa- Deadpool's juvenile brand of humour really was infectious), at 7am that morning a multitude of possible unusual and strange sights flitted past his mind's eye. Strangely enough, not one of them was of an older, clearly blind woman who jarred her foot in the door before Peter had the chance to react appropriately.
'You'd better be Peter Parker,' she scowled underneath large tinted glasses, 'because I've knocked on every other damn door in this place and they all said you were the feeb with the weird noises going on every other night.'
'Uh, yes, that'd be me,' Peter frowned. 'Can I help you ma'am with-'
'Her white cane flew upward and Peter narrowly avoided being soundly whacked in a particularly delicate area.
'Whoa there cowboy!' Peter stepped back and watched as the cane rose again as the surprisingly violent old lady attempted to aim for a higher target. 'What the heck is it with me and the visually impaired?' He attempted to shut the door, but she had already pushed through into the room, glowering.
'Don't you dare call me ma'am again,' said the irritable very-probably-crazy-lady as she violently gesticulated with her cane. 'My name is Blind Alfred to you, kiddo, and you can throw me out or call the police or whatever right after you hear me out. Not a moment before, got that?'
Peter blinked and weighed up his options. Granted, she might be some kind of ninja stealth granny assassin sent there to kick his ass, but then there was also the strong possibility she might just be a very upset (possibly a bit loopy) person who just needed to talk. 'I got it.' he said and closed the door, cautiously leading her to his couch.
Peter Parker had learned never to underestimate an older woman who had a point to make, and he was pretty sure he could forcibly remove her should the need arise. He took a long thoughtful look at his guest who perched herself at the edge of her seat, then promptly sat beside her.
'Would you mind telling me why you're here?' he asked as reasonably as possible, absently rubbing a finger over the bandages he'd awkwardly managed to wrap around his healing wrist. Patrol was not going to be a barrel of laughs tonight.
Blind Al shifted on the couch and rubbed a calloused thumb over the top of her cane, unknowingly matching his movements.
'Wade,' she stated, and Peter's heart sunk. 'You need to do something about him. Now. Yesterday would have been better.' Her jaw tightened. 'I am not giving up on that stupid, selfish jackass after all this time. Not when you've got so close to making him less terrible.'
There was a very long pause whilst Peter attempted to gather his thoughts. He decided to start with something innocuous.
'How do you know Wade?'
'I'm his part-time lap dancer and bingo partner' she snapped. 'What does it matter? He's a friend, alright? He dropped by, told me what happened, and he probably left out a whole heap of detail-'
'Like snapping my wrist like a Kit-Kat?.'
Al's expression softened for a moment. 'He really does like you then.' She sighed and continued, 'But you boys need to go kiss and make up somethin' fierce because otherwise...' Her voice trailed off.
Peter suddenly realised his fingers were digging into the arms of the couch hard enough to leave gouges in the fabric. 'Because what?' He's dangerous, upset, he could do anything. Anything. And it would be on Peter's conscience regardless.
'Because I think we really might lose him.' She tapped a finger against her forehead. 'Not that he's ever been there before, but he's really been trying.' Her gaze seemed to find Peter's face. 'For you.' She scowled again, but there was no real anger in it. 'You crazy couple of fruits.'
Peter swallowed, fervently attempting to ignore the last comment. 'You can't really be telling me this is the worst fight he's ever got into before? He's not exactly some delicate flower, Mrs...um, Alfred.'
'Of course not! Have you been listening to a word I've been saying?' Al sighed dramatically and shook her head, murmuring to herself. 'He's going to be so p-o'd when he finds out I did this, so I gotta make sure I'm going to get something out of this trip, understand?' She rapped her fingers over her knee and muttered something incomprehensible about a damned aquarium trip.
'He'll hurt you?' Instantly concerned, Peter's train of thought derailed. Would Wade actually...? How could anyone harm an elderly blind lady, even if she was so incredibly... feisty?
Al barked out a sharp laugh. 'Don't be ridiculous. We're much more creative than that.' She waved a hand dismissively. 'This isn't about me 'n Wade. I'm just a pal, and you're clearly his unobtainable crush of the decade, so You. Go. Fix. Him.' She jabbed a finger on each word.
Crush? Peter was crush material? Not just Spider-Man, but genial niceguy Peter Parker? And Wade... Wade wanted- ? Okay, so maybe he had more than an inkling, but these things were difficult to tell when it came to someone like Deadpool whose idea of a romantic night out and casual carnage only differed when it came to affixing a carnation to his grenades.
Peter was going to need a moment to process all this. 'Well...Thank you for the visit, ' he began.
Al reached out a fumbling hand and touched Peter's arm. 'Look, I'm sorry I was a bit... well, you understand, right? I'm not exactly used to dealing with actual reasonable people who don't leave live frogs in your underwear drawer just because they wanted to see the expression on your face.' As if sensing Peter's own horrified expression she continued, 'He got the Ex Lax in his cereal so we broke even. But you really have helped, kid. Given him – God I can't believe I'm saying it – hope? And I'm sick of things getting better then suddenly learning about his heart got drop-kicked with steel-capped boots again.' She slowly manoeuvred her way to the door. 'Too many people have let him down. Think you could actually break that cycle?'
'I'll give him a call.'
'Good, because I really can't stand it when he starts bitching like a fourteen year old girl who's been dumped at Prom.'
Al nodded firmly and Peter made sure she left the building safely before returning to his room and staring at the phone. He didn't want to dwell too long on the fact that he'd just been emotionally blackmailed by a little old lady he didn't even know into apologising for something that wasn't his fault. Because therein would lie sanity, clearly.
'So, no pressure then.' He picked up a phonebook and flipped to the small advert featured under Waste Management advertisements. 'I figured I was due a reminder about responsibility around now anyway.' And dialled.
It was a damn lucky thing that Peter had a crush too.
'Wade-' Peter began, and the line dropped dead.
He sighed. So this was how it was going to be?
He dialled again.
Peter dialled again. And again. And again. On the eighth try, and after a torrent of abusive and anatomically incorrect suggestions, Peter finally got a sentence in, pride firmly lodged in his gut.
'I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, okay?'
There was a long pause.
'How did you get this number?'
Peter sighed. 'You put an ad in the business section of the phonebook, Wade.' His was the only one there. Of course. Who else would have been dumb enough or ballsy enough to so something like that?, Peter wondered, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. But seriously though, who on Earth didn't use Google nowadays? '”Establishment provocateur” ring any bells?'
'Oh yeah, I forgot about those.!Pretty sweet moniker I know, but I thought I got rid of them after that One World Church– Hey! I'm still mad at you!'
Peter took a long breath and wished for some kind of handy executive stress toy he could repeatedly smash against a hard surface. Preferably one that strongly resembled Deadpool's head. 'I'm not exactly dedicating a shrine to you either, you know. Have you any idea how difficult it is do shoot webbing when your hand is dangling by an actual thread?'
'I liked this conversation better when you were apologising. Get back to that part. Possibly through the use of some kind of delightfully quirky Down With Love style split screen phonecall effect.'
'I'm not going to apologise for wanting to see you properly. I just wanted,' Peter's face suddenly became alarmingly pink, 'I just wanted to get to know you a little better.' He let a note of disappointment creep into his voice. 'But if you're not comfortable with that then I guess we can just go back to how things were before. I just thought we could be close. I mean not like-' Peter frowned. This was the longest he'd talked to Wade before without being interrupted. 'Are you still there?'
'You're not talking a lot. It's kinda weirding me out man,' Peter confessed, shifting awkwardly on his seat.
Peter bit back a smart reply. 'What're you thinking about?' Now there was a question for the ages.
'Chicken feet and those little cups you get in Chinese take-out with the sauce. Why don't they do little bottles? And why I should trust you because you're probably going to run off [and find someone better] or die all nobly and be resurrected and then lose all chemistry with me, or somethin' like that.'
'You really don't know me that well, do you?' Peter smiled. 'I don't give up. I thought you didn't too.'
Wade's voice was painfully brittle. 'Yeah, funny thing about that whole having hope in stuff gig? Crashed and burned a long time ago, big ole' flames, train-wrecks, high octane explosions, the whole Michael Bay shebang. So I'm sticking with what I know. Don't take what you can't afford to keep.'
'Everyone should be able to afford hope.' Peter's voice softened whilst the echoes of an old conversation reverberated in Wade's mind for an all too fleeting moment. [Stupid Nate. Stupid re-hash of crap I should've forgotten about six times over by now. Stupid stupid remembering brain!]
'Sweet pogo hoppin' Jesus, Pete,' Wade suddenly sounded unspeakably tired, 'You're too damn young for all this.'
'And gifted and white, but what're you gonna do about it?' Peter attempted a cheeky smile he hoped the other man would somehow sense. 'Aww, c'mon dude, you're not going to make me say it, are you?' Please don't make me say it. There could be Feelings afterwards. Awkwardness.
Peter grit his jaw for a moment. Why was he doing this again? Wade was driving him crazy, had previously thrown him off a bridge, shot at him and now stole his best pop culture quips all the time. He was basically a terrible person. A terrible person who Peter knew wanted to be more. A person Peter knew in his gut did actually have the capacity to be more. A person who despite everything made him smile and felt strangely comfortable with. A person he could maybe-. He swallowed hard. Was it suddenly getting really hot in here or what?
'I believe in you, okay?' Peter blurted out. 'There, I said it, and I meant it, and you don't get to hold this over my head forever because then you really will be the most unbearable person on the planet.'
There was another long pause. This was starting to feel like some kind of medieval torture. Death by slow drip of conversation, dredged out over what felt like eons.
'You're just saying that because you think I'm gonna go off at the deep end and napalm a puppy orphanage or something.'
Peter shook his head, then remembered he was on the phone. 'Believe me, I'd rather see you try so I could use the excuse to go pummel some sense into you. This is my least favourite option.' He scratched his nose. 'I need you to trust me on this one, Wade. I need you not to suck, and I need you to know that I'm just as dumb as you are because I'm simply refusing to give up on this. So yeah, you might be able to sing all the theme songs to every sitcom from the '80's but I can tell you each episode number and airing date of all four Star Trek series-'
'Dude, Enterprise does not count. Seriously.'
Wade make a reluctant noise of agreement.
'And,' Peter continued, 'I can and will share them with you on repeat until you agree to get your ass over here and we can talk properly. Don't make me do the Rules of Acquisition too.' He wasn't a fanboy, he just had a really good memory. Honest.
'Fine,' Wade huffed, and slammed down the phone.
It was stupid and foolish and probably nuts of him, but Peter still couldn't wipe the smile from his face for the next hour.
Minutes, then hours drifted past, and Peter managed a half-hearted patrol during the day as his 'accident' gave him an excuse to take a day off his civilian work. He didn't know when to expect Wade – the man had a personal teleporter and was notoriously unpredictable – so he decided to get on with things as normally as possible. And absolutely not wait around like some doe-eyed kid with a first crush.
When he heard knocking at his door, Peter steeled himself for another wrathful pensioner (Wade wasn't exactly the type to knock), but to his surprise it was only the pizza delivery guy.
Wait a minute, he hadn't ordered pizza.
'Howdy do good fellow! Freshly baked in your local finest house 'o carbs and melted cheesy goodness,' announced the delivery guy, barging through the door, dropping three large boxes onto the nearest table. All courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood-'
'Deadpool?!' Peter exclaimed as he noticed the familiar logo adorning Wade's belt.
'Well see that does sound kinda catchy, now you say it. You don't have it TM'd or anything do you?'
'There was a queue at the patent's office.' Peter barely managed to reduce his grin to a more socially acceptable level than full-on manic. He cocked his head and glanced at the very unremarkable looking figure before him, taking a few seconds to put the pieces together. Of course. Holographic projector. Very clever little bit of tech, but it made his senses feel like they were plugged into all the wrong sockets. 'Nice makeup.' He just couldn't stop himself from those little bantering jibes. It was bad enough with Johnny Storm, but Wade just seemed to bring out the very worst in him. 'Your mom do it for you?'
'Aww, you jealous of the boys with the better toys, Spidey?' Wade countered in as light a tone as possible before switching the projection off to reveal himself wearing just a tee-shirt and jeans. [Well there you go. Let the puking commence. Or ever worse, pity.] He stared at Peter defiantly, making sure their eyes locked.
Peter finally allowed himself a proper smile and grabbed the nearest box to him, gaze unwavering.
[He's smiling? Like this is all normal and he's not even reacting, and he's smiling?! Why is he smiling at me like that?]
'Because maybe I'm glad to see you, dummy.' Peter grabbed a slice and yelped as his fingers were attacked by melted cheese with a slightly lower core temperature than of molten lava. 'You said that last part out loud, by the way,' he added as he took a hasty bite.
'And that's it?'
Peter wiped a greasy finger on his jeans. 'Oh right – thanks for the pizza. Exactly what I needed. Although three super topped extra larges is maybe a little ambitious?'
[He doesn't even have the decency to act like he's pretending to not flinch or look all thoughtful and sad or anything? \Man, what a cop-out! Stupid accepting hippie-lovin' bunny strokin' open-minded freak. I don't know if he's even worth getting a second entry in that kink fantasy list which totally does not exist.]
'You look disappointed,' Peter remarked as he searched the nearest cupboard for refreshments, holding back a small wince as his hand banged against the fridge door.
Wade frowned as Peter offered him a bottle. 'Nah, I just...' He stared at Peter's healing wrist and felt something approximating the sensation of a cheese-grater rubbing against his heart. Oh yes, that would probably be guilt. 'How's the hand?' Nearly all healed up good as new, right? Nothing that's going to stop you joining the football team, or winning the State Final in cheerleading and ruin your life or anything? 'Cause I saw a Lifetime movie about this crippled kid once, and I think it really helped me out understanding my sensitivity issues.'
Peter chewed on the remnants of his first slice and reached for another. 'Is this your version of an apology?'
'I'll be fine.'
[Fuckity fuck with a maraschino cherry on top. Pete was fine, and still acting like this was all okay, and clearly something Very Bad (with capitals!) must be about to happen right now. Because, no-one this perfect is going to be giving me the time of day for this long. Maybe it's an hallucination? Yeah, that must be it! I mean, it's not like the one with him in the wedding dress and the backing singers from West Side Story, but sometimes I guess I'm just not that imaginative.]
'...and then I was thinking we could wrestle naked in the chocolate pudding with Miss Marvel, and-'
Peter smirked. 'I wondered when you'd start tuning-in.'
'You are so childish,' Wade scowled, shoving a large piece of pizza into his mouth and chewing with enthusiastic vigour.
His companion's smile only grew bigger. 'You're welcome.'
It was getting so late by the time Wade got up to leave that Peter made dismissive gestures and offered the use of his couch for the rest of the night – er morning.
Wade hesitated for a microsecond before tossing his boots off and throwing himself across the length of the couch, Peter still sprawled in the middle.
'Oof! Hey, y'know there are sprays you can buy for getting rid of that Limburger feet stink.' Peter said, half-heartedly attempting to dislodge a long, heavy, and really rather shapely, considering everything, denim-clad leg from his lap.
'Bite my delightfully toned tushie, Spidey. I'm tired now and you just happened to be in my way.'
Peter offered a lacklustre pout. 'My legs will go numb.'
'And the award for lamest possible injury every sustained in the history of Marvel goes to... Wait for it, the judges are still making their decision over you or that one time when one of the X-Chicks [Now wasn't that the name of that swingin' club in Bangkok with those hot stubbly girls?] got an earring caught in their hair. Oooh, it's a close call. One final vote turns the tables! Congratulations, Petey – you're officially the most adorably pathetic guy in the 616!'
The cushion hit Wade's head with a surprisingly large amount of force.
'Do you only stop talking when you're asleep?'
'Apparently I provide a very insightful Director's Commentary on the really good dreams,' Wade said as he tucked the cushion under his head and closed his eyes.
\Peter slouched down a little and tried to rest his hands without looking like he was attempting to feel Wade up. He tried several positions and eventually gave in and let them rest over a warm, firm thigh. Just how does he stay in shape after eating nothing but junk? Does that healing factor fight off the flab too?
He glanced over at Wade and took the opportunity to study his sleeping features. Did it hurt? was his primary concern. From the bits and pieces of Wade's history he'd managed to cobble together (“Army. Merc. Cancer. Phenomenal cosmic powers. Here,” which Peter maintained did not constitute a life story), he strongly suspected that it probably did. Not pretty, was his second thought. Never going to be pretty, he knew that. But that was okay with him. That was just Wade.
It wasn't the scars on the outside he was concerned about.
Chapter 4: Be My Yoko Ono (pt.4/4)
Peter really should have known better than to jinx himself so thoroughly.
Very generically canon for Amazing Spider-Man and Deadpool. I apologise in advance if I contradict canon accidentally etc.
In those brief blissful moments of hazy confusion before consciousness fully dawned, Peter was sure that he'd spent one of the best nights of his life with a borderline psychotic ex-mercenary who brought him pizza and who he was pretty sure wanted to kill him. Or was that kiss? He blinked, an unfamiliar weight pinning him to his seat, and heard someone muttering something about Rob Lowe, a coy llama, and the love that doth not speak its name.
Ooohhkay then. Not a dream.
His eyes darted to the clock on his wall, and in a rare moment of fortune, he realised he still had a few minutes left before he had to get up for work. Even better, his wrist felt fine. He took off the support bandage and flexed his fingers, pleased.
'All tippity top and Bristol fashion again? Why is Bristol fashionable anyway? I mean, man, what is it with those English mooks and their stupid made-up-'
Oh look who was awake.
Peter smacked Wade soundly across the back of his head with a perfectly healed hand. 'Well, whaddya know? Good as new.'
'You couldn't have just bent a steel girder or something?' Wade suggested, absently rubbing over the spot.
'Nope,' Peter cheerfully retorted, shoving Wade off the couch as he got up. 'I don't have any spares, and besides, I figured your skull is at least twice as thick.' He stretched and pretended not to notice Wade remembering how relatively uncovered he was, reaching for his baseball cap. Hmm. Definitely work needed in that department. But there was progress, finally, and strangely, it made Peter feel much more grounded about the whole crazy situation.
'You're not one of those weirdos who goes “jogging” in the morning and eats yoghurt for breakfast are you?' Wade asked, tugging the cap firmly on. 'Because I got my standards, you know.' He leaned over and grabbed a slice of congealed pizza that had fallen onto the floor [Score! Breakfast!] and took a bite. It only had a little schmutz on it after all.
Peter made exaggerated gagging noises. 'You are every lowlife frat house's dream guy.'
' Animal House, House, House...' came the badly sung reply, 'Dean Wormer tried to shut us doo-wn and something something jailbait girls...'
'Okay,' said Peter, dowsing himself in deodorant in lieu of an actual shower. He was not picking up Wade's habits. Oh no. This was just a one-off instance of severe bachelordom. 'and we are outta here!'
'What?!' Wade frowned. 'I thought we were bonding. Wasn't there some serious bondage happening there?' He waved a finger. 'I mean, not the kinky stuff, unless you like-
'I have to go to work, and I'm going to be late unless you move your ass now.' Peter tugged off his slept in shirt and quickly pulled on a relatively clean one and started grabbing seemingly random scraps of paper from the floor.
'Are you blowing me off for that cheap slut Mistress Minimum Wage?'
'Yes!' said Peter, thrusting a pair of boots at him. 'So go find a nice old lady to help across the street or something, or go watch that Rambo-fest they've got on at the cinema across the block, go do anything, but you are not staying here and destroying my apartment.'
'I wouldn't destroy your little Spider-Cave,' Wade tried his best to look offended. 'I could guard it and keep it very shiny and undamaged for a whole day, you know.'
'No you couldn't.'
[Nah I really couldn't]
'So maybe there's a point in there somewhere,' Wade grudgingly admitted as he hopped out of the room with one boot on. 'But I could totally- Wait. What were we talking about again?'
'Bye!' said Peter as he cheerfully slammed the door, headed for the stairs. 'Don't do something that'll end up with me swearing some kind of blood oath.'
And with that, Peter disappeared, leaving a decidedly baffled Wade in his wake.
'Did I just score there without actually scoring?' He tugged on his other boot and flicked the holographic projector back on, displaying a 30-something year old redheaded male with appropriately adorable freckles. 'Now now, what to do with our fearless hero...?' he pondered, finishing his still perfectly serviceable slice of pizza. 'Gonna have to keep up with this whole good citizen hoopla for as least as long as a few issues-um-pages before it all goes to merry Hades in a breadbasket when I get screwed over sooo... ' he paused, considering his options. 'Little old ladies, huh? I could do that. Especially if they had Bea's sturdy-'
A head poked out from a door across the hallway. 'Uh, mister, you're kinda talking real loud to yourself. Think you could keep it down?'
'It's called first person narrative, ignoramus!' Wade retorted as he jumped from the nearest window to the streets below.
All in all, it had been a pretty good day for Peter. He'd managed to get in to work with a whole minute to spare without anyone appearing to notice that he hadn't showered or had a shave. The day had passed relatively uneventfully, and he'd felt a stupid little smile pass his lips more often than he cared to admit when he thought about what he might be returning to. Things were looking up.
Right up until the moment when he swung open the forced door to his apartment and saw Wade, back in full costume, covered with blood, staring at the blade in his hand. Sitting on the couch like a broken puppet slung on a shelf.
Peter really should have known better than to jinx himself so thoroughly.
He gently closed the door and tried not to assume the worst. No, not just the worst, the cool objective part of his brain reminded him, but the most logical most obvious thing he knew about Deadpool. He was a killer. Stone cold fact. Facts had become much less reassuring these days.
Peter took a slow step forward in the direction of the couch's worryingly silent occupant. 'What happened?' His voice was calm. Not point in antagonising him.
Wade stared at the floor. 'Little old ladies, you said.' His voice was rougher than usual as he let the sword fall from his fingers.
Peter's blood ran cold. No. He wouldn't. He simply couldn't-. Just no.
Wade continued, oblivious. 'Two ran away, but I managed to get one across the street all safe, y'know? She was cute, in a Blanche kind of way I guess, but when I looked back I saw she was headed for a real nasty bit of town, and then they were following her, Pete. She barely had a fuckin' dime on her.' He looked up at Peter and suddenly everything became devastatingly clear.
Peter's heart felt the clutches of an invisible fist. He moved closer, joining him on the couch. 'And then?'
'Three of 'em against one little octogenarian with a bad dye job? You work it out, genius!' Wade's hand clenched and unclenched a couple of times before he seemed to calm, shaking his head. 'I ran – I really did run Pete, I promise you I ran as fast as I could, but she was just a mess on the floor when I got there. So I lost my temper just a lil' bit.' He laughed, bitter and hollow. 'I can't even remember what I did to 'em, Spidey. Could be morgue material, or maybe just stuck sipping meals through a straw.' He pulled off a glove and threw it to the floor. 'I think I might have a few anger issues maybe...may be a little crazy dangerous too?'
Peter oh-so carefully tugged off the blood-spattered mask and tossed it to the side, resting a hand on Wade's shoulder. Without realising, he started rubbing his thumb in soothing little circles.
'Guess I really screwed it up this time, huh? Good ole 'Pool, always there to dish out a handy bit of homicide when no-one else'll do it.' Wade continued, his eyes unbearably wide, so clear, so lucid. He looked...heartbroken. 'Outta the club now. I know. I'll try to forget the secret handshake and-'
He was cut short as soft lips pressed against his own in a brief but surprisingly tender kiss.
'You need to go take a shower,' said Peter, breaking the kiss, gently ushering him into the bathroom like a sleepy child before bedtime. 'Bathe, and I'll clean this up, don't worry about it.'
And for once in his existence, Wade did exactly as he was told.
Peter did his best to clean up the smears of blood and god-knows-what before Wade had finished in the bathroom. It was far easier to focus on that than what had just happened. What with the misery and the talking and the lips touching lips. What a damn mess this all was.
He picked up a glove and remnants of costume between two fingers, sniffed, frowned, and threw them in the trash. Wade could afford replacements. Which of course lead him neatly to the question – just what was Wade going to wear? Peter was 5'10'' with an athlete's build, and Wade had to be at least 6'2'' and all muscle. Not exactly Bestest Fashion Friends 4Eva.
The question was answered for him as Wade stepped out in a clean Deadpool costume, sans mask or gloves. 'Always keep one spare,' he offered in explanation, his voice flat. 'I get blown up a lot.'
'Oh,' said Peter, effortlessly displaying his verbal genius.
He meant to move, to simply stride over to Wade and maybe repeat that little lip on lip action maybe once or twice or six times. It was weirdly nice, okay, better than nice, and he just wanted to check if it would feel the same again. You know. For scientific purposes. Or comfort? That was a valid excuse, right? Only his brain and his feet weren't talking to each other for some reason, and so he stood there, and said 'Oh' again.
Wade looked at him. Hard. Shook his head. 'Yeah,' he drawled, 'so I'm just gonna go now, break out the rubbing alcohol and Milli Vanilli's greatest hits, have myself a merry little shindig in Casa Dead. Don't soil yourself, I'll probably have forgotten most of this in five minutes anyway.' [Especially the kissing part. Banished right to the back of that special little room in the brain along with Priscilla and Terry. It's okay though, they've got tv and wi-fi in there. Hey, no cable/Cable gag? Eh, too easy. Besides, that whole being treated like a real boy thing was getting older than that 'Arrow to the knee' meme.]
He started to pull on his mask when a hand grabbed his shoulder firmly.
'Don't,' said Peter. 'I mean. Go.' He shook his head as if throwing off some invisible force. 'I mean, don't go.'
Wade arched a non-existent eyebrow. 'Why not?'
'Because I really don't think you should be alone right now.' Wade's features hardened, but Peter continued. 'And because I'm asking you to stay.'
Wade offered a lacklustre shrug. 'Nah, I don't think so. It was fun 'n all, Spidey but let's face it, this whole “pals” thing was never going to last anyway. I just proved it. So I figure, hey, might as well nip it in the balls right now, just in case we start sharing underoos and arguing over who gets to keep grammy's best willow china in the pre-nup.'
'No.' There was that voice again. The one that made Decisions.
'Sphincter says what?'
Peter tightened his grip. 'No. I'm not letting you run away from this so easily.'
'You really got a thing for thinkin' I've got it easy, don't you?' Wade snarled, jerking away from the touch. [The nice tingly touch that's not just in Wade's Happy Fun Zone, The one that makes me want to pretend real hard that I might just be worth it.]
'I do know that running away is easy!' Peter shot back. 'And I know this would be so much easier on me too if I didn't give a crap or kinda just want tomaybekissyouagain?'
Wade glanced at Peter's reddening face and folded his arms over his chest. 'Did I make you all gay for me, Spidey?'
'Shut up,' muttered Peter as he mimicked his stance. 'I'm not exactly used to this kind of thing and I know you like me, but you've still got to be a jerk about it, haven't you?' He could feel himself rambling. 'And I'm a guy, and you're a guy, and this is just so-'
'Weird and fucked up?'
'Welcome to my life.' Wade made a grand sweeping motion. 'Kinda like a Bob Hope concert. You think it's all gonna be japes and laughs, but then it turns out he died a decade ago and the corpse is still stinking up the joint. But hey, you do get a free lobotomy with every Happy Meal.'
'I'm not exactly a stranger to weird, you know. I mean-' Peter gestured to himself. 'Radioactive spider? Seriously? You could not make this stuff up.'
'I reeeeeaaally think you'll find that you could.'
Peter was starting to get one of those headaches again. 'That's not the point.'
'So what is the point?' Wade frowned. 'No, seriously. I wasn't really paying attention for a minute back there.'
'The point is that you're not doomed. This isn't just Fate or Karma or whatever. You get to be your own man, and god yes this sounds clichéd as hell I know, but it's true.' Peter simply couldn't believe in a world without choice, because without that, he would never have the chance to make the right decision. Then what would be the point?
[Ain't they just the cutest when they still believe in stuff?] 'I keep getting told this and I keep getting beat down, Pete,' Wade sighed 'What's so different about this time?'
Wade appeared to consider this very carefully. He cocked his head, scrutinised Peter's face, paused as he pretended to squish the other man's head between a finger and thumb, then shrugged again helplessly.
'...so is this the part where we finally finally for real pinky swear get to kiss 'n stuff? Because I watched 'Moonlighting' and I know this could ruin our whole unresolved sexual tension thing, so there's some pretty darn skippy serious pressure going on here.'
'I guess so?' What had he just agreed to? Sometimes Wade distracted him so much with talking he almost forgot about the important things. Like kissing. Oh yes, that was it.
Peter realised he should have reacted sooner, because things were abruptly digressing into the adult version of Reading Rainbow.
'-and then you get to tell me that you've always had a thing for a certain type of guy with a pert cancerous butt and his own set of katanas, and then suddenly there's a strategically placed curtain or something as we get down to some serious-'
'You've not been thinking about this at all before, now have you?'
'...and then finally (shut up, this is the best part!) we shoot an Iron Chef special with the Fantastic Four and the Olsen twins but Sue Richards cheats and makes your clothes keep turning invisible with magical barbecue sauce, and you're like, “Oh no, my poor exposed nubile body! Wade, you simply must lick-” what?'
'I'm trying to work out just who's crazier-' This relentless smiling was really starting to make Peter's cheeks ache.
'I prefer “reality adjacent” Sounds so much cooler, plus-.'
[-you can oh oh oh kissing now. Whimper. Kissing is good. Kissing and touching right there and go find someone else's yellow boxes to read, you buncha pervs.]
Peter looked up from his new position on the floor as he reluctantly broke off a wildly enthusiastic kiss, panting. 'Oxygen. An issue.' He tugged Wade back for another round. 'Okay, we're good now.'
At some point they may have ended up on the ceiling.
'So,' Wade smirked as he landed far too gracefully on the floor for a man of his brawny stature, in Peter's opinion. 'You wanna, you know...?'
'Want to what?'
Wade nodded to the open window and a sky full of twinkling lights. 'I always wanted to kick a little Spidey ass on a national monument or somewhere dramatically appropriate.'
'Then I guess you're going to have to wait a very long time,' grinned Peter tugging his mask on and soaring into the cool night air. 'Last one to the top of the Empire State Building is lamer than your right hook!'
'Hey!' Wade yelled after him, yanking on his own mask and swan diving through the window. 'I woulda been called Iron Fist if it wasn't already taken!' He neatly somersaulted over a nearby street lamp. 'Well at least it's not some lame-ass bug name, because that would just be humiliating.'
Peter glanced behind him and whooped as he saw Wade starting to catch up. 'Yeah, right! In your dreams, fanboy.'
'Every night, Spidey. Every single night.'