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Sex, Lies and Arguing About Chores

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Peter Parker is lying in bed with his eyes closed waiting for his alarm to sound so he can hit snooze and ignore it. This has become a ritual. Every day he wakes up before his alarm goes off and hits snooze until the very last possible minute, trying to delay the inevitable moment when he has to get up and go to work, where he can be both yelled at and bored.

His dreams were full of things and people he can't quite remember and which fade faster the more he tries to grasp at them. He is left nothing but an impression of a man whose face is blank but also familiar.

He sighs as the dream slips away and drapes an arm over his eyes to try and block out the sunlight as it streams through the large window and falls in stripes across his face. He generally likes summer but apparently the weather is now conspiring to get him out of bed, which he is not ok with. After a few minutes of trying to ignore it he groans and rises reluctantly from the sheets to shuffle off to the bathroom, naked and zombie-like.

In the bathroom he takes a piss then stares at himself in the mirror as he washes his hands. He looks tired. Burning the candle at both ends is starting to take its toll. He's only 23 but he thinks he looks older, there are mauve shadows under his brown eyes and his skin looks sallow, like he doesn't see enough sun. His dark hair sticks up in random directions; he would try and fix it but it never makes a difference. It has a mind of its own. He runs a hand over his chin and decides that he can go without shaving today. Leaning across the small tiled floor he turns on the shower over the bath. If he tries hard enough he can touch all the walls at once in this room.

The shower is warm and he lingers too long, letting the water soak away some of his tension at the thought of work and his boss and the fact that he is broke and alone and has no life. Well in fact he has two lives but that is part of the problem.

He gets out of the shower and grabs a towel to scrub his hair dry as he wonders back into the bedroom. On the floor is the discarded evidence of one of his lives. His red and blue Spiderman suit lies at the foot of the bed where he dropped it as he stripped off and fell into bed at 3am that morning. The clock on his phone lights up as the snoozed alarm goes off again, 07:45, he has fifteen minutes to get dressed, eat and get to work. He's going to be late again.

He dresses quickly, pulling on yesterday's jeans and a clean, long sleeved t-shirt. He shoves the mask, Spider-suit and his wallet into his backpack, puts on his sneakers and goes into the kitchen.

He stares despondently at the contents of the fridge, which only tells him what he already suspected; that no food has miraculously appeared over-night and he still has nothing but stale bread, mustard and dubious milk. He needs to find time and money to go shopping again. He gives up on the idea of breakfast for the third day running, grabs his keys and skateboard and hurries out of the front door, only going back once to collect the phone that he left on the nightstand.

He grabs his mail in the lobby as he passes and shoves it in his back pocket, drops the board on the sun-drenched sidewalk and weaves his way with practiced ease through the morning pedestrian traffic.

***

When he arrives at the towering glass offices of The Daily Bugle Peter picks up his board and walks as fast as he can without running across the lobby, jumps in an empty lift and pushes the button for his floor.

He stifles a yawn as the door opens onto the bustling newsroom where his colleagues are already busy constructing their reader’s opinions for the next day. He walks past his editor’s office casually, as if he's not 30 minutes late and makes it unscathed to one of the tiny cubicles that are laughingly referred to, in a fit of corporate pseudo-egalitarianism, as offices. He sits down and turns on his computer and is straight away lost in a pile of tedious emails. He doesn't notice the looming figure of J Jonah Jameson approaching until it's too late to escape.

"Parker!"

He jumps and spins in his chair, "Sir?"

"What have you got for me kid? I need some more pictures of that Spider-menace!"

Like everything Jameson says, the words are uttered at a volume more appropriate for leading a rally.

Peter takes a thumb drive from his pocket and holds it up.

"Got them here sir."

He might technically be a (very) junior photo-journalist / glorified re-toucher at the Bugle but the real reason Jameson keeps him on is because of his unique access to his 'friend' Spiderman and his ability to provide images to feed Jameson's almost alarming obsession with proving Spiderman to be the villain he, and by extension a large proportion of his readership, firmly believes him to be. So he takes selfies for a living. Nothing about his life makes sense.

Jameson looks at him narrowly and sniffs, "Ok kid, find me a good image to go with the front page story. Something that says 'out-of-control-vigilante.'"

Peter nods and Jameson disappears to spread fear and confusion to other areas of the building.

Peter didn't mention that he has no idea what the front page story is. He turns back to his computer and looks for the files that his colleagues are working on. The front page is almost entirely taken up with a giant banner headline proclaiming - 'Killer Spiderman! The Proof!'

Peter's eyes widen. What the hell? He's pretty sure he hasn't killed anyone - he thinks he'd remember - although he was pretty tired last night and he'd definitely had faintly murderous thoughts about the dude in front of him at the late night fast food place who refused to make up his mind. Pretty sure he didn't actually kill him though.

As he reads down the copy he feels himself start to break out in a cold sweat. The story has several reliable sounding eye-witness reports of a man wearing a red suit, whom each witness identifies as Spiderman, killing a man who was apparently threatening a woman in the street in Manhattan last night. According to the witnesses the killer was heavily armed and killed the man with a 'Samurai sword'. Peter wracks his brains to think who it could be or why someone would want to frame him for the murder of some street thug. The description doesn't really fit any other superheroes or villains he knows of and he can't think why anyone would want to frame him this week. He hasn't really been involved in much besides rounding up petty criminals and sleeping at his desk recently. He has no idea what to do. If he agrees to give Jameson a picture of himself to use then the city is suddenly going to think it has proof that Spiderman is a killer, which is going to make his work almost impossible, but if he refuses he will probably lose his job. Shit.

In another file he finds a couple of images supplied by the eyewitnesses. They're all blurry, out of focus camera phone pictures taken from a distance but they show a tall, broad man in a red and black suit and mask, which, Peter thinks with a sniff, doesn't look anything like his. The man appears to be holding the unfortunate mugger aloft, speared on the end of two Katanas like a shish kabob. There also appears to be a lot of blood. Perhaps he could convince Jameson to use that image instead? Feed him some BS about it being more immediate and edgy than one of his images, which after all don't show the attack itself. That way, even if a few idiots do think it's Spiderman, hopefully most will realise it's not, even with the screeching headline.

He emails the image and his suggestion to Jameson and tries to get back to work on some other pictures but his concentration is shot. Who the hell is the man in red? Is he intentionally trying to frame him for the murder or is it just a coincidence?

After an hour he realises he has done nothing but stare through his screen, lost in his worries. He sighs and gets up in search of coffee.

***

As he leans against the counter in the small office kitchen, drinking stewed coffee, Peter remembers the mail he picked up on his way out. He pulls the letters out of his back pocket and thumbs through them. Bills, invitations to acquire more debt, flyers, other assorted junk mail and a letter from his landlord. He looks at the last one with a sense of impending doom and opens it slowly. It’s not exactly what he feared, he’s not being evicted - He has no real reason to think he would be but for some reason every time he gets a letter from his landlord he expects the worst - It is however the second worst option; his rent is going up.

Peter stares at the new monthly figure and his heart sinks. There is no way he can afford it on his paltry salary. He would get another job but with his meagre qualifications he’s never going to get a better paid job - unless he’s lucky enough to find another newspaper editor equally obsessed with Spiderman - and his responsibilities as Spiderman mean he has no time to do anything else.

More than anything he wants to go back to college. He had dropped out when his aunt got sick, he was all she had and that was his fault. While he cared for her he started selling selfies to the paper on the side to help make ends meet. When she died, Jameson, despite being the asshole he so often is, gave him the job he has now mostly out of pity and as a way to keep him from selling the Spiderman pictures to his rivals. Now he finds himself completely stuck. They'd had to sell his aunt’s house to pay her medical bills, both of them moving into the apartment he still lives in now until in the end she had gone into Hospital. She had managed to leave him some money and he has used that to keep a roof over his head and food in his stomach for the last two years but it has all but run out now. He’s living pay check to pay check and he can’t see any way to get out.

He walks slowly back to his desk feeling utterly dejected and kind of wanting to cry. He sits and drinks his coffee and tries to think of a solution.

The only thing he can think of, something he’s been vaguely toying with for a while, is the possibility of getting a room-mate. He doesn’t really have any close friends that he could share with, he lost contact with a lot of people while he was caring for his aunt. Mary-Jane moved away to LA and, although he speaks to her now and again, she has her own life and friends and career. He still occasionally sees Harry and Flash but Harry is too rich to need to slum it with a roommate and he's pretty sure if he had to live with Flash he'd end up killing him inside of a week. The only other friend he'd had was Gwen....

Some of his colleagues at the Bugle are nice but he’s not really 'friends' with any of them. Being Spiderman makes it difficult to make new friends and it would definitely make it difficult to have a room-mate. Which is what has been putting him off – he can’t risk someone finding out who he is. He can't do what he does effectively if everyone knows who he is, half the criminals in the city want him dead and they wouldn't hesitate to go through the people he cares for to get to him, not to mention the fact that much of the other half the of city, the ones who agree with Jameson, want Spiderman behind bars. Being alone is just another part of the responsibility he has chosen to take on.

He shakes his head, mentally scolding himself for being a massive emo douche. Being alone might suit the 'tortured hero' thing but it doesn't suit the 'broke twenty-something who doesn't want to end up on the streets' thing so he's gonna have to suck it up, find someone to share with, and hope for the best.

He has no real idea how to even go about looking for a roommate. He googles for a bit and decides to put an ad on Craigslist because a) it's free, b) it seems fairly popular and c) it's free.

Room To Rent - Queens, NY...

He begins writing his ad, filling it with as many subtle 'not a psycho' indications as he can think of while trying to be clear but polite about not wanting any losers, junkies, dealers, murderers or loud obnoxious assholes in return. When he feels it is suitably fool-proof he adds his secondary email address, clicks 'it is not ok to contact the poster with other goods or services' and posts the ad.

***

The rest of the day is spent Photoshopping, drinking shit coffee, chatting, eating the stale donuts left in the kitchen with a sign saying 'help yourself', compulsively checking his email and arguing with and eventually convincing Jameson over his idea for the front cover image. This victory does a lot to alleviate his worries about the problems of his alter ego but the lack of emails doesn't do much to help with Peter Parker's problem.

How come there haven't been any answers yet? How long does it usually take to get replies? Was there something wrong with the ad? Has he accidentally hinted at being an axe murderer?

***

By the time he feels he can reasonably get away with leaving for the day he is mentally exhausted and really not in the mood for patrolling. He drags himself out of the office with a vague wave to his colleagues and heads back home, dodging through the sweaty and heat-angered crowds again.

He stops at a bodega near his apartment and stands staring at the colourful packets and cans of food he can't really afford. He grabs some ramen noodles and pays for them before he can convince himself to spend money he can't spare on more food. The elderly woman behind the counter smiles and greets him by name; he's been coming in here for a long time and she had been friends with his aunt.

"How is that nice girlfriend of yours?" She asks in her heavily accented English. Peter smiles faintly.

"She's fine."

He doesn't have the heart to tell her that Gwen is gone too. That is his fault but he can't begin to explain.

These last few years have been really, really bad.

"You should marry her, no good to be all alone." She says adamantly. Peter smiles and nods. She's right, it is no good.

As he walks the short distance back to his apartment the sun might be bright, no sign of evening shadows yet, but he is surrounded by ghosts.

***

He eats the Ramen sitting on the comfortable old burgundy couch that had graced the living room of his aunt and uncle's house when he was a kid. When he and his aunt moved he had brought as much of her furniture as would fit in this smaller place. The couch, a battered leather armchair that had been his uncles, his bed, his aunts bed, a couple of old chests and dressers and an old wooden dining table and chairs because, by some miracle, this place has room for one in the kitchen. He doesn't remember the last time he sat at it to eat.

Now he is sitting with his socked feet up on the cheap IKEA coffee table and watching the news on his old giant CRT TV through the steam that curls from the bowl of noodles he balances on his chest. There's a bit more coverage of the mystery red-suit guy from Jameson's pictures - the other news agencies are being slightly more reticent about declaring Spiderman the culprit but they all make thinly-veiled references to the resemblance. Like it's somehow his fault that this guy dresses like him. He can't help it if the guy has excellent taste. He sighs. He definitely needs to find this guy though. He really can't have some maniac who looks like him going about skewering people in broad daylight - or in any light really.

He finishes the noodles and puts the bowl on the table. He scrubs his hands over his face, trying to summon the energy to go out again. He knows he has to do it. This is his real job and most days he enjoys it. But there are also days when he'd kill to not have to go out there alone and look for trouble. To have one morning when he doesn't wake up exhausted, covered with fading bruises and half-healed wounds.

Ah well.

He gets up and goes to change.

Chapter Text

After a couple of hours swinging from roof to roof and only one half-assed mugger caught, Peter is about to call it a night. The heat seems to be keeping crime down more effectively than even he can. No one wants to move much in this weather. As he grimaces at the sticky feeling of over-heated spandex he thinks he doesn't blame them.

***

Deadpool sits on the top of a flat-roofed deco building somewhere downtown swinging his legs over the edge and scrolling through his phone. He is humming to himself as well, something that might be Beyoncé. He is armed to the teeth and covered head to toe in black and red Kevlar, leather and blood. He is full of nervous energy, can't stay still. He rocks from side to side on his butt like a child that needs to pee but doesn't want to stop what they're doing.

Today was a huge success. He got the last member of Francis's gang and a good lead on where his nemesis is hanging out. Everything’s coming up Deadpool – for once. It's funny, he thinks, that he has become the kind of person who has a nemesis. He always thought he'd be someone else's. But, he thinks, you are someone else's - Nemesisism is definitely a two way street. Isn't it? It would be sad if someone was your nemesis but you weren't theirs. Like unrequited love.

The last part of the plan is in place and he's going tonight. That prick won't see it coming. He opens a massive metal case that sits on the roof next to him and lifts out a huge rocket launcher. He hefts the weapon onto his shoulder and sets the sight on the empty lot opposite, where a small group of men in expensive black suits stand by expensive black cars, incongruous amongst the brick dust and wind-blown trash. They are watching some unmarked vans pull up. He grins under the mask and flicks the cover off a dangerous looking red switch. He watches people get out of the van and start unloading boxes, carrying them towards the men in black.

One man stands back a little, tall with a shaved head and a small smirk twisting his lip. His leather clad arms are folded across his chest as he watches the other men work with minimal interest.

Deadpool almost growls under his breath. "There you are you motherfucking dicknut. Oh I'm gonna fuck you up Francis."

He waits until most of the men reach the centre of the lot and then he flicks the switch.

***

Peter catches a glimpse of red on a roof top and is about to drop down and check it out when he is hit by a massive wave of prickling, shrill Spidey-sense that makes his hair stand on end and every nerve ending scream at him. As he lands in an awkward heap on the roof, the world around him has become nothing but fire and noise.

***

With a deafening roar and a billowing tower of fire one of the shiny black cars explodes. Dust spreads across the lot, obscuring everything from view. Pieces of car and pieces of henchman shoot out in all directions, pebble-dashing the buildings on either side. Peter staggers upright, ears still ringing and sees the man from Jameson's pictures sitting on the edge of the roof with a ridiculously huge gun balanced on his equally huge shoulders.

"Oh Frannnciiiiss?” He calls out in a rough but singsong voice.

He puts the weapon down at his side, stands up and, drawing twin Katanas from the scabbards on his back, steps off the edge of the building. Just before he drops out of sight Peter shoots a web at his back and arrests his fall sharply. He hears the man in red yell, “What the shit!?” as he crashes against the concrete wall and feels violent twisting and pulling on the web. It takes most of Peter’s strength to haul the bigger man back up and over the edge of the roof.

The man lands heavily on his back and tilts his head back to look behind him. When he sees Peter he stops moving for a moment.

"You're upside down," he says.

Peter looks down at him, frowning behind the mask. This was not exactly the opening gambit he had expected. None of his prepared remarks are suitable here.

"No, you're upside down," he says finally.

Deadpool rolls over until he's lying on his stomach and the white eyes of his mask seem to widen. He puts his hands to his face, resting on his elbows and making an excited noise.

“Oh Em Gee! It is you! Spidey!” he grins widely, previous plans apparently forgotten and bounces to his feet, shoving the swords back into their holders, “What brings you here? I'm Deadpool by the way - huuuge fan."

The name is vaguely familiar, maybe he heard a couple of the X-Men talking about him? He doesn’t remember any of it being very flattering. He crosses his arms and looks disapproving.

“I know who you are,” he lies.

“Spiderman knows who I am!” Deadpool says, clutching his hands to his heart and fake-swooning, “You're just how I dreamt you'd be…scratch that, I certainly haven't dreamt about you. Haha. Ha...But wow…look at you though. Yum.”

Peter has to stop himself from laughing at this unexpected display. It really should make him more uncomfortable than it does and this guy just killed a whole load of people so he should probably pull himself together, web him to the wall and call the cops. He sighs and is just about to tell Deadpool to shut up when the smell of gasoline and smoke from the explosion drifts past them and suddenly Deadpool’s head whips around to look back at the scene of the crime. Most of the smoke has cleared, there are quite a few dead guys and several alive ones yelling at each other.

“Shit! Fuck!” he snaps back to Spiderman, "Can I get a rain-check hot-stuff? Great to meet you but I'm kinda in the middle of something here." He turns, ready to jump again but before he can Peter reaches out and shoots a web into the back of his suit yanking him back again.

This time, when Deadpool turns he is full of fury. He cuts through the web without a glance and has his blade at Spider-Man's throat a split second later. Peter’s breath catches in his throat. Surprised, he doesn't fight back as Deadpool walks him purposefully backwards until he's got him pinned against an aircon duct, his heels hitting the metal with a resounding clang. Deadpool presses the blade gently along his neck, cutting a tiny, thin line in the shiny fabric. Peter's heart is pounding.

"What. The fuck. Do you want?" Deadpool asks lowly, "I'm kinda busy here Spidey, it's been a long day (also a long two years) I have a nemesis to kill and you are seriously cramping my fucking style."

Peter pulls himself together enough to grab the arm holding the Katana and shove it away from his neck, pushing it up behind Deadpool's back. He puts his mouth close to Deadpool’s ear. "Sorry to interrupt but it looked like you just killed a whole bunch of people. I don't approve of that in general, but I particularly don't approve when you do it dressed as me." He hisses angrily over the other man's squeak of surprise.

"What? I'm not dressed as you. I'm dressed as me."

"Which happens to look a lot like me."

"Maybe a bit. It was absolutely (mostly) not intentional though. Call it an homage," Deadpool twists his body to try and get out of Peter's grip, "How are you so fucking strong? You're all wiry and short! It's not fair!" His demeanour has changed again. Petulant now, all trace of terrifying killer gone again.

Peter tightens his grip and Deadpool groans in a way that for some reason makes him want to blush and when he speaks again his voice has dropped, as if he's speaking to someone else.

"Well yeah obviously, it's stupidly hot! I'd like to see you guys get manhandled by him and not pop a boner."

Peter frowns and lets go of Deadpool quickly, backing off and holding up his hands, "Ok, didn't need to know that."

"Wasn't talking to you." Deadpool says dismissively. He looks around and grins. "Guess it worked though. Catch y' later Spidey!"

Before Peter can gather his faculties Deadpool has taken a running jump off the edge of the building and disappeared into the chaos.

Peter stands on the edge and looks down. He can see glimpses of him walking through the smoke and rubble, swinging his swords in lazy circles and calling to someone.

"Where you at Francis? Come out, come out, where ever you are! I've got pointy things with your name on."

For a moment Peter is almost mesmerised by him. Deadpool moves with complete assurance despite his unfocused persona. He is huge, not much taller than Peter but built like a brick-shithouse. His shoulders and chest are twice the size of Peter’s and Peter isn't a small guy. The red and black suit - which, ok, up close is not that similar to his - it's just unfortunate that a lot people in the city don't pay much attention to detail – shows off every muscle and plane of his body perfectly. The mask, weirdly expressive for something that covers his whole face, hints at a strong, chiselled jaw line. If it wasn't for the small issue of his being a killer and almost certainly nuts, this guy would totally be his type. Peter sighs and shakes his head, exasperated with himself. Focus Parker. Go down there, grab Deadpool and haul him off to the police station. Then go and have a fucking cold shower.

Chapter Text

Peter jumps down into the dust blown concrete of the lot, he casts around for the other man but for a moment there is no sign of him. He picks his way carefully over the rubble, bits of car and bits of people and tries not to look too closely at any of it. There are a few apparently intact bodies too, lying in the debris, faces shrouded in dust and streaked with blood. He realises he is shaking, not from fear but from anger. How dare this guy come to his city and do this? All thoughts of his physical attraction to Deadpool are wiped out by fury and disgust. He is going to take this guy down.

He rounds the corner of one of few remaining walls and there he is. Deadpool is sitting astride another man, a man with a shaved head and a crooked, cruel smile. The man is pinned to the ground by the two Katanas – one has been thrust through each of his shoulders in to the ground. Blood runs down the black leather of his jacket. Deadpool is holding a gun to the centre of the mans forehead. He presses the metal into the mans skin as he speaks.

“What do you mean you can't fix me? You said you could fix me Francis you fuck!”

The man beneath him laughs and spits blood in his face. “Are you seriously that fucking stupid?” He speaks with an English accent, his voice is thin and snide.

“There's nothing that can fix that freak show mate. You'd better get used to it.”

Deadpool lets out a roar of pure frustration and rage. He shakes his head as if trying to clear something away, scrubbing at his temples, gun still clutched in his red gloved hand.

“Fuck!” he spits, “Fuck, shit, fuck fuck mother fucking cocksucker.” He puts the gun back, muzzle digging into the skin of the mans forehead. The man just smiles that cold smile.

Deadpool's finger seems to tighten on the trigger and Peter calls out before he knows what he's doing.

“Stop!”

Deadpool freezes and turns towards him, the other man – Francis? Turns too, rolling his eyes when he sees Peter.

“Get outta here Spiderkid – this ain't your business,” Deadpool says, his voice tight and harsh.

“What the fuck are you doing!” Peter yells, “What the hell makes you think you can come to New York and start killing people and blowing stuff up? Did you think no one would notice? This is New York for Gods sake! More superheroes per square inch than the rest of the world combined!”

Deadpool shrugs, “Yeah can't say the opinions of other spandex wearing freaks were high on my list of worries. Kinda focuses on making this asshole..” he slams the mans head into the ground with a wet crunch, “..pay.”

“Look, I don't know what the deal is with you guys but I do know killing him won't make you feel better.”

“Au contraire Webs. It's going to make me feel soooo much better. Like ice cream and rainbows and chimichangas and blowjobs kind of better.” Deadpool answers, turning his focus back to the man on the floor. “If you knew what this piece of greasy dogshit did to me you’d understand. But I haven't got time to give you the cliff notes and also, as I said - it ain't none of your business. But I really don't wanna do this in front of my hero so…” he makes a shooing gesture in Peter's direction.

Peter folds his arms, “Well I'm not going anywhere so you're going to have to. If I'm really your hero then you know I'm right about this.” He has no idea how to process being this mans hero – that’s a nightmare to ponder later.

Deadpool says nothing for a while and then sighs deeply and sits back, easing off the pressure of the gun at Francis’ head. He looks around at Peter with an exasperated air.

“C’mon webs, you're killin’ me here. Can't you just let me have my revenge in peace?”

Peter shakes his head, “If this guy really hurt you or anyone else let's call the cops and take him in.” And you with him, he thinks.

There is a noise somewhere between a gurgle, a cough and a laugh from Francis.

“Fuck, you've come all this way and you're gonna pussy out now? You sad, pathetic freak. You couldn't save her and now you can't even get revenge properly. You really are a fucking waste of skin aren't you?”

He pauses and lifts his head up, grinning through blood stained teeth. His words are goading, biting and twisted.

“What's my name?” he hisses.

Deadpool sighs deeply and presses the gun to the man’s head again, “Who fucking cares,” he says and pulls the trigger without a flicker.

There's a violent spasm of movement from Francis and then he is still. Peter drags in a huge breath, chokes and feels like he might throw up. He'd thought he was getting through to Deadpool, he thought he was listening. Holy shit...

Deadpool gets up and pushes the gun back into a thigh holster. He looks down at the body for a while in silence, blood seeps out from under Francis’ skull, shiny and dark against the dry dusty concrete. Peter can't move, shock roots him to the spot. The sound of the gun rings in his ears. It's not as if it's the first time he's seen someone killed but it's the first time he's seen someone executed right in front of him.

“Sorry ‘bout that webs,” Deadpool sounds deflated; exhausted and quiet, “I’m not cut out for hero-ing.” He turns to walk away.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Peter yells, suddenly finding his voice, “You shot him! Right in front of me! You shot him in the freaking head!”

“Yep,” Deadpool says, popping the P.

“Why?!”

Deadpool looks at him and shrugs, “Aw we ain't got time for my origin story now Spidey.”

“Make time.” Peter's voice is cold. He has no idea why he hasn't just webbed the guy to the wall and called the cops already but he needs to know what the hell he’s walked into here.

Deadpool takes in Peter's furious stance and sighs, “Ok fine, it's clumsy exposition time! Gather round kids. Army, mercenary, cancer, Weapon X, Francis, torture, got me some super awesome super powers, escaped, he killed my girl, I hunted him down, I killed him.” He shrugs, “Huh. Guess it doesn't really take that much time to tell. Anyway, like I said, not your business Spidey. l’d love to be a hero like you and always do the right thing but I'm more of a right-now-thing kinda guy.”

Peter can see the tension in Deadpool's body. The tight shoulders, clenched jaw, fierce attempt at levity covering something terrible.

“He killed someone you loved?”

Deadpool gives a small nod, “Yep. Nessa and me, we were gonna be forever. You know? She matched my crazy.”

Peter nods, not knowing what to say. It doesn't excuse Deadpool's actions but it does explain them. It's not like he can't relate. There but for the grace of God and all that…

“So, you gonna turn me in?” Deadpool asks.

Peter still says nothing. He really, really should turn the guy in. Why doesn't he want to?

“What are you going to do if I don't?” He asks.

Deadpool shrugs again. “Who the fuck knows. Sleep? Eat? Been hunting this fucker for two years. What do you do when you've got revenge?”

“Leave.” Peter says, “Leave New York, don't kill any more people.”

“S’all I’m good at baby boy.”

“Don't call me that,” Peter says, mouth twisting.

“Find something else. Get the hell out of my city and I won't stop you.”

“Like to see you try.”

“You really wouldn't.”

They stare at each other, tension crackling across the short distance. After a moment Peter turns away.

“Go. If I hear of anything that even sounds like you I will be back.”

Deadpool says nothing. Peter walks away still not sure why he's even entertaining the idea of letting him go.

As he reaches the edge of the roof and prepares to swing away he hears a low whistle from behind him and Deadpool calls out, “I hate to see you leave but I love to watch you go!”

Peter silently gives him the finger and jumps into the hot darkness.

***

Back at his apartment Peter strips off his mask and suit and flops down on his bed. He's still trying to process everything that happened. Why the fuck had he let him go? Because he knows what it's like to want revenge so desperately that it consumes you? Makes you do crazy things? Lose yourself in it.

He runs a hand over his face, pushing sweat dampened hair away. That doesn't make it ok. He should have taken him in. Perhaps he will just leave town like Peter asked?

He huffs a small laugh. Somehow he's pretty certain that's not the last he's going to see of Deadpool.

It's so hot. The air is still and humid, the window is open and he can hear the sounds of the street below. The odd car and disembodied shout. His Spidey-sense is tingling on the kind of low level alert that it always has on nights like this. He wonders if he should go out again. He's still wondering as he falls asleep.

The man in red is in his dreams. All muscle and heat.

“You know you want me baby boy.” He says and Peter bites his lip and groans because he really does. He knows there is a reason why he shouldn't but he can't quite remember.

He walks towards the other man slowly and places a hand on his chest. The red Kevlar is warm and solid. He runs his hand down, over the ridges of Deadpool's stomach muscles to where he can feel him, hot and hard under his touch. He presses his thigh between Deadpool's legs and feels a deep groan vibrate in the mans chest.

Deadpool grinds against him and Peter lets out a shuddery sigh. He reaches up to pull at the edges of the other mans mask, peels it up slowly and suddenly there is a gun in his face. The cold silver barrel pushes against his lips through his mask.

Deadpool shakes his head and pulls the trigger.

Peter wakes with a start, drenched with sweat, heart pounding fit to burst, mouth open. He sits up, naked above the sheets, breathless and so, so hard. He moans despite himself. Fuck! This is really not good.

Chapter Text

The sunlight wakes him. He is twisted in the covers, skin already too hot where the sun falls across him. He sits up sharply, panicked because he hasn't heard the alarm. It's only as he reaches for his phone that he remembers it's Saturday. Thank god for the weekend. He groans and stretches and looks down to where his morning wood tents the sheet. Memories of yesterday come flooding back and he rolls his eyes.

He had forced himself to ignore the dream last night, ignore his hard on and go back to sleep. He doesn't remember any more dreams after that but his sleep had been fitful, restless and hot. His skin is clammy and his head hurts from sleeping with the sun in his eyes. He gets up slowly and pads to the bathroom for a shower, feeling groggy and out of sorts.

He stands in the shower and let's the water wash away the sleep and sticky heat. He is still hard and much as he tries to ignore it the ache settles low in his groin, demanding his attention. His hand passes over his cock as he washes himself and he groans at the slight friction. He closes his eyes under the spray of water and wraps his hand around himself. He's just going to take care of this and not think, he tells himself but his brain is already betraying him with images of his dream, and entirely new images of the man in red looking down at him on his knees, of swallowing down his huge, hard cock, the feel of warm flesh between his lips. He moans as he thrusts into the warm wet channel of his hand, bracing his hand against the slippery shower wall. He screws up his eyes, trying to dispel the images but there's no going back now. He imagines Deadpool's hand in his hair, dragging gloved fingers over his scalp as he fucks his mouth. His hand is moving faster now, sliding over his cock, dragging quiet moans and curses from his throat. In his mind Deadpool groans and hot come fills his mouth, spilling from his swollen lips. “Oh fuck!” He gasps and comes hard, coating his hand with white that is instantly washed away by the shower.

He drops his head against his arm, panting and angry at himself. What does this mean? Why the hell is he jerking off over some guy who a) he doesn't know and b) is a fucking psychopath. Who literally blew someone's brains out in front of him without a flicker of emotion? He feels sick as the memory rolls over him. The splattering shock of blood, bone-deep horror followed by the unwanted pang of sympathy.

He turns off the water and shudders in the warm air. Maybe it was just something he needed to get out of his system? It's been too long since he last had sex, or met someone he thought was attractive, even longer since that someone was a man. It's an itch that he hasn't scratched in a long time and Deadpool just pushed all his buttons at once. Anger and fear and lust and empathy - it's a dangerous mixture.

When he gets back to the bedroom his phone screen is lit up and when he picks it up he realises he has new emails. All enquires about the room. Finally. His fingers tingle and his heart beats faster as he looks at the messages. This is it. He's really going to do this. He's going to share his house with a stranger. He sits down on the bed and opens the first email.

It’s from a middle-aged guy looking for a place to sleep during the week to save a commute to and from the city every night. He seems ok but Peter is really looking for someone more his age – and someone who will be around more permanently – not just passing through. The second is from a girl called Jane, a physics student. She sounds nice enough but he suddenly finds that the idea of sharing his life with another woman, even platonically, after Gwen, twists his gut and makes his heart race although he knows he is being stupid. There are a couple from people who Peter can instantly tell are just not his type, they sound obnoxious – already demanding things of him before they've even seen the place.

Then there is one from a man called Wade. He’s a bit older than Peter but not by much, the tone of his email is slightly odd; disjointed somehow but very funny. He finds himself smiling as he reads it. Although ostensibly an enquiry about the room it devolves into a discourse on the relative merits of various 80’s sitcoms and several promises to make him the best pancakes he's ever tasted. The guy sounds, frankly, like a loony but he also sounds like fun. Perhaps he needs some fun. Squashing the voice inside that wants him to go for someone dull and normal, Peter replies and invites Wade over to see the room.

He wonders for a moment if it's stupid to invite a guy he's never met over to his house when he's alone, but the realisation that he can pretty much kick the ass of any regular human puts that concern to rest.

He lies back down, letting the remaining moisture from the shower cool his skin and trying not to think about Deadpool. He doesn't have a lot of success in this and after a few minutes he gets out his phone again and googles him. He finds a couple of pictures like the ones he'd seen at the Bugle and, surprisingly, a Facebook page.

There are several selfies, complete with V signs and Instagram filter flowers and hearts. The banner shows Deadpool in his full suit and full compliment of weapons reclining on a fur rug in front of a fireplace. It looks like a fancy room, he wonders briefly whose it was? He clicks on to the bio – feeling like a massive creep. No. This is not creeping, it's research. Know your enemy…His brain laughs at him. Keep telling yourself that.

The bio just says ‘The Merc with the Mouth’ and there's a cellphone number. Peter laughs, Deadpool had mentioned that he used to be a mercenary. Do mercenaries advertise on Facebook? Apparently so. There are also links to fan pages for various heroes – including one called Dat Ass which just seems to feature pictures of Captain America’s butt in all it’s spandex clad glory and, he realises as he scrolls - with a blush that turns his whole face lobster pink – his own ass. Jesus Christ. People are weird. He throws the phone down on the bed and covers his face, trying not to grin. He really shouldn't find that flattering at all.

He is so screwed.

***

When the doorbell rings four hours later, Peter is in the middle of a desperate attempt to make the place look more presentable. He had gotten up, gone out to get coffee and milk and cookies, feeling that he ought to have something to offer his visitor. He had then got home, sat in front of the TV and proceeded to eat most of the cookies. It was only with half an hour to spare that the mess that surrounded him had filtered into his consciousness and he’d suddenly remembered that he was supposed to be persuading someone to come and live here.

He has spent 20 minutes rushing around shoving things into trash bags, cupboards, under the bed, under the rug. Gathering up all of his clothes from the bedroom floor, particularly his suit – cursing himself for almost leaving it in view and throwing them into the hamper he's surprised to discover in the corner.

He glances into the spare room, home to a small closet, a blanket chest and an old, unmade bed. He hadn't wanted to keep his aunt’s bed after she died but it had taken him a year to bring himself to let it go. He had replaced it with a cheap one from goodwill, back before he was completely broke, because he felt vaguely that a spare room ought to have a bed, despite the fact that he never had visitors. No one had ever slept in it.

He hopes it doesn't look too uninviting. He finds an old blue duvet folded in the closet and shakes it out, wrinkling his nose at the smell of dust. He puts it over the bed and opens the drapes. He looks back at the bed and sighs. The room feels sad, he can't imagine why anyone would want to live here. It's just a box full of bad memories. He makes his way back to the living room, closing the door behind him.

He stands in the middle of the room and swallows nervously as he takes in the view. The place still looks messy to him, and drab and boring. He fusses with the pictures and magazines on the table, wondering if he should make coffee now or wait? Does Wade like coffee? What if he doesn't? He looks at the remaining cookies – what if he doesn't like nuts? What if he's allergic? Oh god he could kill him! He should have asked! He wonders if he has time to go back to the store. He looks at the clock and decides that he doesn't. He sits awkwardly on the couch, fingers fidgeting, drumming on his knee. Fuck it. He gets up again and grabs his jacket ready to go out. No. Shit what if he's early?

“Sit down for god’s sake. Get a grip. The cookies will be fine.” He says aloud. There is a knock at the door and his heart jumps.

He sucks in a deep breath and opens the door. The man on the other side of it is huge. That's the first impression Peter gets. He's about 6 inches taller than Peter with broad shoulders and a wide chest. He's wearing jeans and a black hoodie with the hood pulled up despite the heat. The fabric of the hoodie pulls taught over his biceps and shoulders as he raises his arm and gives a little wave. Peter blinks and suddenly the man’s face under the shadow of the hoodie comes into focus and Peter hears himself gasp involuntarily - his face seems to be completely covered in scar tissue. Old, shiny pink ridges and fresher looking angry red welts criss-cross the man’s skin, apparently continuing on down his neck and up under the hood. The man is smiling, showing perfect white teeth, incongruous against the ruined face, but there is a hard, guarded look in his blue eyes and Peter realises he is staring. He flushes, swallows and makes himself smile back.

“Hi! You must be Wade?” He says, internally cringing at the false lightness he can hear in his voice.

“Surprise!” Wade says cheerfully. “Sorry about my face.”

Peter chokes, “It's…no it's fine…I mean…I don't…um.”

Wade raises an eyebrow – or what would have been an eyebrow – and Peter would really like the ground to swallow him up right about now as he desperately struggles to find the right words to convey that it doesn't bother him and also that he hasn't even noticed. He has definitely noticed and it is currently bothering him quite a lot. It looks painful, it makes him want to wince and shudder at the same time and he desperately wants to know what happened to the man but asking that at this point would definitely be rude. So he just nods vigorously and knows he looks like an idiot.

Wade breaks into a grin, wariness vanishing as soon as it had appeared. “You're cute.” He says and walks past Peter into the apartment.

Peter, feeling entirely wrong-footed, blushes slightly, frowns at himself for doing so, then follows the other man inside, closing the door behind him.

He watches Wade poke around the room, relaxed, like he already lives here. Peter clears his throat as Wade browses the books on his shelves and peers out of the windows. This is already not going anything like how he had planned.

“Um…so this is it.” He spreads his hands to indicate the flat in general.

He points to the doorway to the left, “That's the kitchen, and there's a bathroom through there,” he points again, “and that's my room and this would be yours.”
He walks over to the door to the small spare room and pushes it open. Wade comes up behind him and looks over his shoulder. To Peter the room still looks depressing and shabby but Wade doesn't seem to think so.

“Sweet,” he says happily and goes in. He looks out of the bedroom window too and then sits on the bed, bouncing experimentally and grinning. He looks delighted and Peter can't help the smile that pulls at the edges of his mouth in response.

“It's not much I'm afraid, it's been empty for a while so it needs an airing and some stuff to make it look lived in again,” Peter says.

Wade nods and falls back into the duvet with a whump and lies stretched out on the bed.

“I like it,” he says to the ceiling.

“Oh. Good,” Peter is unsure if it is good or not. He suddenly can't think of anything to say.

Wade sits up and looks at him expectantly. “So – that cool?”

Peter pushes a hand through his hair. “Um well I do have other people interested…” he lies feeling a bit panicked, “Perhaps we should get to know each other a bit more?”

Wade smiles the most lascivious smile Peter has ever had directed at him and with that face it is almost terrifying.

“Well if you insist,” Wade says, patting the bed next to him.

Peter blushes to the ends of his hair and stammers hurriedly, “I…I mean like um…what do you do? I don't really know anything about you. I don't know your last name!”

Wade laughs, “S’ok Petey, I'm just fuckin with you.” He gets up and sticks out his hand. “Wade Wilson, at your service.”

Peter takes his hand and Wade bends in a formal bow, raises Peter's hand to his lips and kisses it. Peter jumps, yanks his hand back and stares at him.

“What the hell man?”

Wade cracks up, seemingly unconcerned. “OMG your face!”

He gets up and walks back out to the living room. Peter stares after him non-plussed then finds himself following and wondering why he doesn't just tell him to get out. This guy is just too weird.

Wade is now sitting on the couch with his mouth full of cookies. Guess he's not allergic, Peter thinks as he sits in the old armchair opposite him.

“So what do you do?” he asks again, attempting to regain some semblance of control over the proceedings.

Wade makes an unintelligible noise through a mouthful of cookie and Peter winces as he sprays crumbs on the furniture.

Wade swallows and tries again, “M’freelance,” he says, as if that explains everything.

Peter frowns, “A freelance what?”

“Um…exterminator?” Wade says, somewhat unconvincingly, “Used to be in the army. In Canada. Now I'm kinda doing my own thing.”

“You're Canadian?”

Wade grins proudly, “Yes ma'am,” he says, “100% prime Canadian bacon.” He thumps his chesta and Peter laughs despite himself.

“So what brings you to New York?”

“Work,” Wade shrugs, “I go where the work is. Just finished a big job that brought me here, figure imma stay for a bit. Seems like there's plenty of work here.” He grins again and for some reason Peter feels cold for a moment, “Lots of vermin.”

Peter nods slowly, “Yeah, rats as big as dogs if you believe the tabloids.”

“Which I always do,” Wade agrees, “The King is not dead baby!”

Peter laughs again and wonders why he was worried a moment ago.

“So, the army? Was that where…” he tails off, almost clapping a hand to his mouth. Shit! What the hell did he say that for?

Wade says nothing for a second and then shakes his head briefly, “Nope this shit is a more recent modification. A fire,” he says shortly.

“Oh god, I'm sorry.”

Wade nods and shrugs. “Shit happens.”

Peter has no idea what to say next, he has hundreds of questions but the look in Wade's eyes suggests this is not the time. Before he can think of a way to change the subject Wade beats him to it.

“So what do you do?” he asks.

“I work for a newspaper, The Bugle, I'm a photographer – sort of,” Peter sighs.

“Hey cool! That's an awesome job!”

“It might be if it actually paid well. As it is I'm basically just a re-toucher. I never get to go out and take pictures, except of…” He tails off, suddenly worried that telling Wade that he takes pictures of Spiderman will give him away. No, it's ok. It's not like that part is a secret.

“Of what?” Wade asks, then his eyes light up, “Hey do you know the dude who takes those pictures of Spiderman they're always printing? That guy’s pictures are fucking awesome.”

Peter smiles, feeling a tiny bit smug and utterly relieved to have moved the conversation away from horrible experiences and disfiguring injuries. “Um…well actually…”

Wade gasps, hands on his heart, “OMG Petey! Is—is that you?” He clasps his hands together and sighs up at the ceiling, “I'm sooo jealous! Do you know him? What's he like? Isn't he just so…”

Peter smiles.

“…fuckable.”

Peter's smile freezes and he’s pretty sure his face is going to catch fire but Wade doesn't notice. “Good God that ass Pete! It's just…” He trails off, eyes still fixed on some internal vision Peter really, really doesn't want to know about.

Peter is silent, shocked into speechlessness. After a couple of seconds Wade looks around, cocking his head on one side. “Wassup Petey?”

“Stop calling me Petey,” Peter snaps, sharper than he'd intended, trying to hide his embarrassment.

“Sorry Petey,” Wade frowns, “Did I say something wrong?” He stops, “Oh god are you and Spiderman…” He breaks off to make an obscene gesture and Peter hides his face in his hands, certain he's either going to give the game away or spontaneously combust, and hoping fervently for the latter.

“Jesus no!” he says from behind his hands, shaking his head furiously.

“Oh,” Wade shrugs, “So what then?”

He turns to look at Peter through narrowed eyes, “You're not homophobic are you?” His tone makes Peter pretty certain that if he said yes it would be one of the last things he ever did. He shivers despite the heat that still crawls over his skin.

“No of course not!” he says indignantly, “I…” he tails off, unsure what to say.

Wade smiles, “Good ‘cos I'm an equal opportunities kinda guy.”

Peter clears his suddenly dry throat. “Um--cool. I—well--me too actually,” he says, kicking himself for acting like some stupid nervous teenager. What the hell is wrong with him? This guy has him completely off guard.

Wade puts his hand up and looks at Peter significantly, raising an invisible eyebrow. It takes Peter a moment to work out what he wants and then he smiles and high fives him.

“Wooo!” Wade grins like a lunatic and then shoves another cookie in his mouth. “Oh we’re gonna get on famously Petey, I just know it.”

***

Two hours later Peter leans back hard against the door he has just closed behind Wade and tries to gather his thoughts. He feels oddly out of breath, like he's just run a marathon. Which, after trying to keep up with Wade’s wild swings of conversational direction and mood, he sort of has.

He's still very confused and, in a way, slightly relieved that Wade’s gone – but he is grinning and his stomach hurts from laughing and he can't remember the last time that happened.

Once they'd high-fived and Peter stopped feeling incredibly awkward, it seemed like Wade had made himself at home and Peter was just along for the ride. Peter found that he didn't really mind that much. Once they'd talked about the money side of things he was content to listen to Wade chatter on about heroes and TV shows and movies and some actor called Andrew Garfield of whom he was apparently a huge fan – well, a huge fan of his ass anyway. Peter had never even heard of him and found himself wondering if he was a figment of Wade's feverish imagination. He laughed anyway though.

Occasionally, through the stupid jokes and single-entendre’s, he had thought he caught the odd glimpse of something jagged; a broken edge inexpertly covered. This was what had made him pause, made him tell Wade that he still had people to see and that he would let him know about the flat the next day. He needed to think about this - did he really want to live with someone who seemed a little – unstable? Wade was definitely funny and, ironically, despite his crush on Spiderman and his almost continuous lewd comments, in the end he had made Peter feel relaxed and comfortable but there had been moments when he seemed to turn on a dime and suddenly the mood changed. It's not that Peter is afraid of him, once again – super strength – but he does have a burning desire to avoid any unnecessary drama in his life. He just wants someone interesting but not too crazy to share his space with – that doesn't seem too much to ask.

He goes over to sit on the couch again, sipping the last of the cooling coffee in his mug and suddenly the whole room seems weirdly silent. Is it always this quiet here? Even the traffic outside seems muted and distant. Slowly he feels the lightness fade, a weight seems to return to his shoulders and all he can think about is how much he doesn't want to go to work on Monday and, one by one, all his problems come crashing back. He flicks on the TV to try and distract himself but after a few minutes of channel hopping he gives up. He sits back and closes his eyes, thinks back to the last couple of hours and realises he really doesn't care if Wade is completely fucking certifiable – he needs someone who makes him laugh like that.

He takes out his phone and texts the number Wade gave him.

[Hey. The room is yours if you want it. Peter]

His finger hovers over the emojis – should he add a smiley face? A couple of x’s? Too much? After staring at the message for a whole minute he shakes his head, annoyed at himself and presses send.

The reply comes back before he has time to put the phone down and it is nothing but a string of emojis – grinning faces, heart eyes, hearts, fireworks, about 20 x’s and, for some reason a skull and a happy turd.

[I'll take that as a yes then? :-) When can u move in?]

[How bout tomorrow? :-D xxxxx]

Peter's eyes widen, he thought he'd have a bit more time to get used to the idea but, ah well, no time like the present.

He smiles at the phone and replies.

[Awesome]

Chapter Text

This is not awesome. This is a nightmare and Peter has made a terrible mistake.

Wade is singing – loudly and off-key – as he arranges his crap in his room. Peter stands awkwardly in the doorway, watching him as he dances around the room in cargo shorts and a hoodie, shaking his ass to his butchered version of Shake It Off. Wade doesn’t have a lot of possessions but he does have a lot of crap. There are three boxes on the bed which appear to contain nothing but comic books, superhero memorabilia, a plushy unicorn and what appears to be a worryingly large bottle of lube, which Peter has decided to pretend he hasn't noticed. There are also a couple of trash bags filled with clothes and a large metal trunk which contains, “exterminator stuff – probably best not to open it Petey, it's just poisons and shit.”

Peter narrows his eyes at the trunk, the urge to open it is making his fingers itch but he probably shouldn't completely disregard his roommates’ privacy on their first day.

“Can I help?” he asks, not for the first time, raising an eyebrow at the piles of paper and action figures spilling onto the floor.

Wade turns to him with a manic smile on his scarred face. He swoops over and before Peter knows what’s happening he has grabbed him by the waist and is twirling him around the floor of his room, still singing.

“What the shit Wade!” Peter squeaks, trying to twist out of his grip. Wade grasps him tighter, pulling him towards him as he spins.

“Look at this place! Isn't it neat Petey! Ha - neatey Petey! But look - I have a floor - with carpet! And shelves and a bed and…” he tails off and spins them again, apparently ecstatic.

Peter shrugs, which is not easily achieved in Wade’s embrace, “It’s just the spare room.”

“This is an embarrassment of riches after some of the shitholes I’ve been crashing in kiddo.”

Peter makes a face at the nick-name but feels a smile curl his lips. The room certainly doesn't seem as depressing as it had the other day. It's brighter, more like it was before his aunt went into the hospital. Before it was the spare room

Wade lifts him up without warning, still spinning and Peter’s eyes widen in shock, his feet dangle and he braces his hands against Wade’s shoulders as strong arms wrap around his ass. He looks down into Wade's brilliant blue eyes and he can't help returning his wide smile, despite the alarm screeching in his head, warning him not to go down that road.

“Well far be it for me to question your low standards. I’m glad you like it,” he laughs.

Wade gives him a squeeze which presses his face against Peter’s stomach for a moment. This is odd right? Peter thinks to himself. Why doesn’t it feel odd? Wade lowers him back to the ground and Peter makes a futile effort to straighten his hair and collect himself. He clears his throat and puts his hands on his hips, the room is spinning gently.

“So do you want help or not?” he asks, aiming for casual and missing.

Wade shakes his head, already moving away, back to mouthing along to the music. If he's noticed the weird crack in Peter's voice he doesn't mention it.

“Nah, nearly done,” he looks over his shoulder slyly, “could use a coffee though?” he suggests hopefully. Peter sighs and rolls his eyes.

“Don’t think I’m making a habit of this. Next time you can make your own damn coffee.”

“Thanks Petey!” Wade calls as Peter heads to the kitchen.

Peter rolls his eyes, “Yeah, yeah.”

Peter leans against the counter as he waits for the coffee to brew, drumming a spoon against his hand. He replays his impromptu dance with Wade and feels something distinctly odd in the pit of his stomach. Something like butterflies. He also realises that he is grinning widely as he listens to Wade singing in the other room. Fuck. This is very not good. His plan to avoid starvation and destitution by sharing his home with someone was not meant to include developing a crush on said person.

***

Wade stops singing as he puts away the last few bits of clothing and sits on the bed. He looks around at his new room; he can hardly remember the last time he had this much space to himself. Not since back when he lived with Vanessa. He swallows against the lump that suddenly appears in his throat, tries to ignore the guilty tide that rises.

[Well this is cosy]

He sighs, he'd figured it wouldn't be long before the peanut gallery showed up.

{Very domestic}

Shut up.

[Didn’t say a word]

He scrubs his hands over his face, the voices are silent for a moment but it's the kind of silence that begs to be filled.

{He's cute}

Yep

{He seems nice}

Yep

{He didn't throw up when he saw your face}

Nope

{And that ass!}

[That is a good ass to have]

Oh god yes

{Sooooo…}

[You wanna fuck him?]

{Shut up, we’re trying to be classy}

[Ha]

{We can be classy}

[The big guy wouldn't know class if it bit him in the ass]

Hello? I'm right here douchebags

{Shut up, this doesn't concern you}

Really? You're gonna fuck him without me?

{Oh if only we could}

[I don't like him]

You don't like anyone.

{True}

[He’s too nice - he's hiding something]

{So are we}

[Whatever, he's just too nice. Why would he want to share his home with us? Why didn't he just shut the door in our face? Let alone ask us back? He smiles and laughs and doesn't look like he's trying not to vomit. What's wrong with him?]

{Well you might have a point there}

There is nothing wrong with him you assholes! He's perfect! He's sweet and kind and beautiful and fuckable and I have no fucking clue why but he tolerates me so I would like to just enjoy that for as long as his delusional state lasts. So shut the fuck up, both of you.

With a Herculean effort of will Wade silences the boxes for the time being and gets up from the bed. He follows the smell of coffee to the small kitchenette where Peter is standing facing away from him, staring vacantly at the wall. His dark brown hair is just a little long, curling around the nape of his neck and over his ears, it sticks out on top in random directions and Wade really, really wants to run his hands through it. He lets his gaze fall onto that perfect ass again, thanking the hipster gods for the creation of tight jeans.

He really is perfect. Shame he'd run screaming if he knew the truth. The boxes are right. As usual. Oh well, a man can dream right? Well actually in his case, a man can have horrifying nightmares...

***

Why couldn't I have just gone with the business guy? Peter thinks. He had seemed nice and middle-aged and dull. Dull is exactly what he needs, not someone who – he suddenly realises – is exactly what he's apparently been craving recently. Was that why he'd been so willing to overlook Wades obvious eccentricities? Way to think with your downstairs brain idiot. He catches himself glaring reproachfully at his own crotch and sighs deeply. Well, you've made your bed so you're going to have to lie in it. Just make sure it’s just your bed you're lying in dumbass.

“What?”

Peter jumps and spins around to see Wade leaning on the doorframe and watching him with a crooked smile. Had he said the thing about the bed out loud? Wade is leering at him but he's fairly sure that's just his default expression. As he looks at him Peter realises he is already noticing the scars less - he's stopped having to force himself to meet his gaze when he wants to look away, when he watches Wade now he sees his unashamed leer and his guarded eyes before the angry marks and grooves that cover his face and head. Wade still has his hood up though, it casts a deep shadow over half his face and makes him seem slightly threatening, even when he is behaving like a child on a sugar-high. Peter shivers unconsciously.

He shrugs, “Nothing. Do you want milk and sugar?”

Smooth. He’ll never see through that masterful distraction.

But Wade just nods.

Peter pours the coffee and dumps a spoonful of sugar in his cup, “How many?” he asks, spoon hovering. Wade just grins so he puts in two and looks at him expectantly. Wade nods his head so Peter adds another...and another...and another...and...Wade just keeps nodding. After the fifth spoonful Peter shakes his head.

"No. I refuse. Five is the limit. If you die I'm going to have to look for another roommate," he hands the mug to Wade who takes it and laughs.

"I wouldn't worry about that Petey."

"You probably should," Peter says, sipping his own coffee and making a face as Wade downs a huge mouthful of what must be essentially molten sugar.

Wade sighs, "Perfect," he says and his eyes are fixed on Peter's when he speaks.

Peter pretends he hasn't noticed, which would work if it wasn't for the blush that threatens to set his ears alight. "Good," he says with only a very small squeak.

"So I'm done with all that shit," Wade waves a hand in the direction of his room, "what do you do for fun 'round here?"

Peter grits his teeth against all the suggestions that are trying to force their way out of his mouth and shrugs, "I don't know really. Watch TV? Or a movie? Um..." he tails off, embarrassed at his lack of ideas. He's used to being dull, he likes being dull.

Wade rolls his eyes and walks over to the TV. He pokes about and comes up with a handful of video games. He holds them up and waves them, "Mario Kart?"

Peter nods, he can't remember the last time he played a game with someone else. If he plays at all these days it’s a couple of hours of some single player shoot-em-up. Mario Kart used to be totally his thing though, he's gonna kick Wade's ass. Using his Spider powers to play video games might be kind of cheating but screw it.

Wade throws a controller at him and he catches it without looking, then, afraid that Wade will notice his reflexes, drops it again on purpose.

"Shit," he mutters, picking it up. Wade just laughs and they both drop onto either end of the couch and wait for the game to load.

Wade squints at the screen and shakes his head, "This TV is shit Pete," he says with a sigh, "if I'm gonna live here I'mma have to get us a new one."

Peter laughs, "If you can afford a new TV be my guest."

Wade doesn’t reply, the game loads and they start playing after a short argument about who gets to be Princess Peach, which Peter loses because he is trying to make a good impression on his new roommate and hair pulling is not going to work on someone with no hair.

***

Peter plays dirty. Wade has lost 4 of the 5 games they've played so far. This is unheard of. He has literally never met anyone who can beat him at Mario Kart. Peter can move in ways that Wade can't even see. He keeps trying to catch him out but every time he glances over Peter is just button-smashing and moving the controller in ways that definitely won't help his character - who is not Princess Peach because Suck It Parker.

“Ha! Suck it Wilson!”

Wades head snaps around as the Princess flies off the Rainbow Road again.

“How? How are you doing this you total asshole!”

Peter smirks and shrugs with a look of confusion that Wade doesn't buy for one minute.

“Just lucky I guess.”

“Bite me.”

Peter laughs and Wade finds himself smiling at the sound despite himself. He shoves a handful of chips into his mouth from the bag beside him with one hand while he manoeuvres the controller with the other. Peter reaches over and grabs some, brushing his hand against Wades calf. Peter freezes for a second before jerking his hand away. Wade looks down and his focus is shot, all he can think of is Peters warm fingers against his skin. His throat is dry and Peach is long gone.

“Fuck!”

After a beat of silence that he may have imagined, Peter cackles, “Aw tough break Wade,” and zooms on ahead.

Wade stares at him, wide eyed. Was that…was that intentional? No. The way he'd pulled his hand back wasn't fake – unless he hadn't bargained on how much the feeling of touching Wades skin would freak him out.

***

Peter is trying to pretend he hasn't noticed how Wade is looking at him. Shit. He really shouldn't have touched him, but he didn’t do it on purpose. He didn't even think until he felt the strangely warm and bumpy texture of his skin under his fingertips. It was unexpected, shocking even, but not unpleasant. Now all he can think is that Wade is thinking he recoiled in horror. Should he touch him again? Should he say something? Or just carry on as if nothing happened? That seems like the best option for now. Sweet sweet denial.

He carries on playing, racing on and calling to Wade to get his shit together until, after a few seconds, Wade looks back at the screen and resumes the chase. He's back to yelling obscenities in moments but something about him is quieter somehow, like he's watching Peter at the same time. It's an odd feeling.

They finish the game, Wade rallies in the next lap but eventually manages to drag defeat from the jaws of victory and spin off into the void at the last moment.

“Fuck yes! I fucking rule! Suck on that!” Peter yells, nothing if not magnanimous in victory. Wade is looking at him with an odd half-smile and Peter almost wants to ask him what's wrong, or apologise for the stray touch, when he is suddenly pinned to the couch because, in a blur of movement, Wade has shoved him over and sat on him. He gasps for air and struggles under the weight crushing him.

“Jesus Wade! Get off me you douche!”

Wade shakes his head and starts another game, “No can do. You need a handicap.”

“So you're sitting on me?”

“Yep, your ass is very comfortable by the way.”

“Um…thanks?”

Wade waves a hand airily, “De nada.”

Peter rolls his eyes and tries in vain to get comfortable, “I can't breathe you dick,” he wheezes.

Wade sighs and wriggles a little, freeing Peter just enough to let him suck in a huge breath. He looks up at Wade who is focused on the game. He looks happy again, no longer watching Peter out of the corner of his eye. Maybe he’d imagined it anyway.

Wade is heavy, he looks like he's made of nothing but muscle and from the solid weight of him that is definitely the case. He perches on Peter’s butt like a huge weird Buddha, his legs crossed in front of him. The skin of his legs and feet is just like his face, marked with ridges and channels, bumps and pock-marks. He desperately wants to ask about them but he won't. Not yet. Instead he stretches out his arm with some difficulty and snags his controller off the floor where he dropped it. Handicap or no handicap, he's going to kick some ass.

***

An hour later and Wade has slid down the couch, his legs are flung over Peter’s back in a half hearted attempt to keep him pinned but it's hardly worth it, his clearly brilliant plan has utterly failed. Peter will not stop fucking winning.

“Bastard,” he hisses under his breath as the princess goes flying again. Peter gives a wheezy laugh and twists to look at him with a grin of triumph. Again.

“Give it up Wilson,” he says, “admit defeat like a man and go and make me a coffee.”

“Never!”

Peter rolls his eyes and turns awkwardly back to the screen, “You are a sucker for punishment.”

Wade smirks, “Oh you know it baby,” he says lowly, grinning as Peter rolls his eyes, exasperation not quite hiding his blush, “Aw c’mon, you walked right into that one.”

“Literally everything is an innuendo to you, it's basically impossible to not walk into one.”

Wade laughs and takes advantage of Peter’s distraction to pull ahead in the race. He's just taken the lead when the sound of Kelis’ Milkshake blares from his pocket.

“Fuck! Shit fuck bastard!”

Wade throws the controller down and digs around in the various pockets of his shorts to find his phone. Peter thoughtfully pauses the game as Wade glares at the caller ID, rolls his eyes and sighs deeply, “Gimme a minute Petey, gotta take this.” He struggles to drag himself up from his awkward position on the couch as he answers the phone, “Wilson.” He walks into his room and shuts the door behind him, as it closes Peter hears him say, “What, where, when and how much?”

Peter stares at the frozen figures on the screen as he waits. He really wants to know who Wade is speaking to. Despite the weirdly great afternoon they've had, Peter still knows next to nothing about him. Does he have friends? Family? A lover? Presumably not judging by the way he flirts – but you never know. Wade hasn't asked him about any of those things so he hasn't really found an opportunity to bring it up. He should probably either just ask or stop worrying. There’ll be plenty of time to talk about that stuff when he's settled in a bit more. For now he’s really enjoying just having a friend who makes him laugh, sometimes despite himself - Wade makes jokes he really shouldn't laugh at - but there's something freeing about his company.

After about 15 minutes and a variety of crashing and clanging noises, Wade’s bedroom door opens and he steps out. He has changed into long sweatpants and he is carrying a giant Hello Kitty duffle bag over his shoulder.

He gives Peter an apologetic look. “Sorry Petey, duty calls,” He hefts the bag higher on his back, “Dunno how long I'll be. Don't wait up.” He waves.

Peter twists round to look at him over the back of the couch. “Everything ok?”

Wade grins, “Yep, s’all good. Just work. Gotta take it when it comes up right? So I can pay for all this awesomeness!”

Peter smiles, “Guess so. I had a great time today,” he says before blinking in surprise, he hadn't quite expected to say that but, what the hell, it was true.

Wades answering smile is worth the temporary embarrassment, “Yeah me too Petey, you’re pretty awesome. And I don't just mean your ass.”

Peter laughs, “Gee thanks,” he says, waving as Wade turns back to the door, “happy hunting?”

Wade stops for a moment with his hand on the door handle and a questioning look on his face.

“Bugs? Or Rats, or whatever?” Peter says.

Understanding dawns and Wade grins, “Hell yeah, they won't know what hit ‘em! Catchya later Petey-pie,” he blows Peter a kiss and is gone. The silence that descends after the door closes is even louder than the last time he left.

Peter looks at the door for a moment, then shrugs and turns back to the TV. He flicks off the game and channel hops for a few minutes. He's 10 minutes into a re-run of Friends when he glances to the window and realised it's already dark outside. He gets up, stretching out the kinks in his squashed back and stands looking out at the lights of the city. He closes his eyes and lets his Spidey-sense reach out into the darkness. Almost immediately he feels several tingling pulses run up his spine, a tiny high pitched whine in his ear like a mosquito. People need him again. Time to get going.

He goes to his room and changes into his suit and puts on a pair of old sweatpants and a hoodie that he will leave in a alley somewhere – he can't risk anyone seeing him leave his apartment in costume. He shoves the mask, gloves and web-shooters in a backpack, slings it over his shoulder and goes to leave. As he's about to open the door he suddenly realises he might still be out when his new roommate returns. He pulls a notepad and a pen from a drawer and stands, pen poised as he tries to come up with a plausible excuse. In the end he decides that vague is better – giving too much detail in a lie is a rookie mistake – so he just writes Gone to see a friend, back later. Don't wait up. P.

He puts the note on the kitchen counter and goes to work.

Chapter Text

An hour ago Wade had changed into his suit in the alley behind the apartment, casting furtive glances up at the windows, willing Peter not to look out. It had crossed his mind that he could have found somewhere more discrete to make his transformation into Deadpool and he had wondered if part of him wanted to be found out, to get it over with and know now how Peter would react. He also wondered which part of him that was, there were so many it was sometimes hard to keep track.

But no one did see him and now he is across town, crouching in a condemned apartment block, squinting through his binoculars at the newer, shinier apartment block opposite. This area is up-and-coming.

This is his third condemned apartment block this week, they were almost starting to feel like home - he's lost track of the nights spent lying amongst the dust and broken furniture of places like this - but now he has an apartment! A bedroom, a kitchen, a couch, a hot roommate. All that good stuff. Wade smiles to himself at the thought of his afternoon with Peter; it's been a long time since anyone has put up with him for as long as this. Sometimes other supers will tolerate him for a while but it always ends in tears, or blood. Peter actually seems to like him, or he does a good job of pretending. Wade could get used to that.

[Yeah that's probably not a good idea chief]

“Fuck off I’m working,” Wade growls and, as if the words were his cue, a young man in a suit and dark overcoat enters the living room of the opposite apartment. He has blond hair and a handsome, if somewhat bland, face. He puts down an expensive looking briefcase, takes off his coat and jacket, throws them over the back of an uncomfortable looking chair, kicks off his shiny shoes and sits down on the arm of the cream leather couch. He flicks on the huge TV and flips channels disinterestedly while he loosens his tie.

Wade puts down the binoculars and picks up his rifle, bracing it against his shoulder as he watches though the scope, the cross-hairs hovering above the man’s head.

There is a dossier on Wade’s phone and as usual he has only glanced at it but a glance was enough. The pictures of the aftermath of this killer’s handiwork would haunt the dreams of anyone who didn’t already have worse stuff up there. There aren’t supposed to be people like that but if anyone knows that’s bullshit, it’s Wade.

The man runs his hand over his smooth, straight hair and stretches his shoulders. The bell must have rung because he smiles a small smile, gets up and opens the door that leads to the hall. On the other side is a woman of indeterminate age, cheaply dressed in a short red pleather dress and a black and white fake-fur coat with more than a hint of skunk about it. Her short hair is bottle blonde and brittle, her face a mask of cheap make-up. He greets her and gestures in welcome, her smile behind his back as she follows him is thin and chilly.

“Oh let’s do this.” Wade grins.

The woman walks over to the giant window and she stares out of the window. For a split second her eyes seem too yellow in the glow of street lamps and all of a sudden the blinds lower like narrowing eyes, obscuring the huge windows and Wade lowers the rifle, hissing through his teeth. Shit. Plan B.

“Fuck. We’re gonna have to do this the old fashioned way.”

He drops the rifle back into the Hello Kitty bag and shoves it under a pile of wood. He has everything else he needs stashed in his pouches and strapped to his body.

He goes back to the broken window and looks down into the darkened street. With a shrug he takes a flying leap out of the window, aiming roughly for a pile of trash by the wall and takes off running the moment he hits the ground, not stopping to take account of injuries sustained. Something in his knee crunches unpleasantly, making him wince slightly as he runs, but it will heal. No time now.

He runs for the entrance way to the apartment building, pell-mell through the glass lobby, ignoring the yells of the security guards, through the door to the stairwell and up four floors without a pause. He stands by the door to the corridor, not even a little out of breath, draws a gun from his thigh holster and pulls the slide back as quietly as he can. He opens the door slowly and looks out into the nondescript hallway with its mass produced ‘artwork’ and pale pink and grey walls. How do people live in places like this without going nuts? It must be like living in an office block.

“Oh well, let's give them a night to fucking remember,” he says with a grin as he strides down the hall and kicks down the door to the apartment he'd been watching.

The door explodes in a shower of splinters - shoddy workmanship – and Wade pauses for a moment until he hears a muffled yell from a room to his left. He kicks his way through that one as well and finds the blond man lying naked on the rug by the bed, while the woman kneels over him, pinning his arms to the floor. She has driven a long silver knife into his chest, blood bubbles up and pours down his flank in crimson rivulets.

Her head snaps around to face Wade as he enters, her eyes flash gold and she hisses. With a growl she is up and hurling herself at him before he can make a move, he flails as she wraps around him like a murderous octopus and they both crash to the floor. The woman, or whatever she is, is unnaturally strong, fighting like a banshee, clawing and gouging and making a sound that he's pretty sure will be featuring in his nightmares for a good while. The man lying on the rug is making a wet, choking noise that sounds distressingly unhealthy.

Wade manages to fling her off, sending her crashing into the TV at the foot of the bed. Broken glass flies but scarcely seems to slow her down before she's back on her feet and throwing herself toward him again. This time however she doesn’t stop, she runs past him and out to the living room, Wade lets fly two rounds in her direction but she’s way ahead of him, darting out of the open door faster than anyone in 6 inch Lucite heels should really be able to run.

“Motherfucker!”

Wade follows her to the door and fires twice more down the corridor just for the sake of it but she’s long gone. He drops his head back and gives a groan of frustration.

“Fuck! Fuck. Fuck. Fuuuuuckkk!”

Back in the bedroom he looks down at the man coughing blood onto the floor; that can't be good. He kneels next to him and frowns at the knife in his chest, the blood drooling from his mouth. He can already hear sirens in the distance, courtesy of the gunshots.

“Well this is a fine mess you've gotten into isn't it? Bet you weren't expecting that,” he says conversationally. The man coughs stickily, “Well that's easy for you to say,” Wade nods. He pauses, looking around at the minimalist, beige room, “Man, do you have something against comfort? Doesn't look like anyone even lives here. This is like some kinda Patrick Bateman shit right here. If I hadn't had the dossier – which I totally did actually read by the way – sort of – I’d have figured you for a serial killer purely based on the interior décor. Did you even try not to be such a cliché?”

The man's eyes are wide and he tries to speak but nothing comes out, Wade sighs and presses the barrel of his gun against the man's forehead, “This feels kinda redundant to tell the truth,” he admits, “That whatever-the-hell-that-was pretty much did the job for me. Shoulda let you two take each other out – you kinda deserved each other - but you’re supposed to be my hit and I need to get paid so I can make it fucking rain for my baby boy. Well he ain't mine yet but I've got dreams y’know. Anyway, I still gotta keep a roof over my head, so…”

By the time the police arrive and storm into the apartment, the man who'd gutted his way through a slew of women over the last few months is already dead from a combination of a gunshot wound to the head and the attempted removal of his heart with what appears to be someone's bare hand.

When the police find the boxes of ‘souvenirs’ hidden in the freezer they become a lot less interested in finding the man's killer.

Wade is long gone. Back in the abandoned building he collects his Hello Kitty bag and strips off the blood soaked suit. He puts the sweatpants and hoodie back on and does his best to clean up most of the other, more visible blood before he heads for home.

***

Peter swings back toward his apartment with arms that feel like lead. His shoulders scream and if it wasn’t for the pain he's pretty sure he would actually be asleep in mid-air. He hasn't had a night this busy for a while, he’d caught five muggers, foiled three minor robberies and beat the ever living shit out of an attempted rapist, dropped them all off at the police station and received nothing but suspicion and resentment in return, as usual. As he escorted the victims home he tried to reminding himself that they were what mattered, not the appreciation – or lack of it - of the police.

As he approaches home he slows, there is a light on in his apartment so Wade must be back. Quickly he drops down to the alley behind his building and changes quickly into his regular clothes, stashes his suit and mask in his backpack and slings it over his shoulder.

***

“Hey Petey!...Holy shit what happened to you?!”

Peter freezes in the doorway, eyes wide – what has he forgotten, how has he given himself away? Wade was lying on the couch, playing with his phone and ignoring the TV when Peter entered, he is now sitting bolt upright and staring at him with a panicked expression. Peter raises a hand to his cheek tentatively and feels something warm and sticky, he pulls his hand away and sees dark, partially clotted blood. Crap! Quick, think of something! Why am I covered in cuts and bruises?

“No big deal, I kinda got mugged,” he says trying for casual and immediately regretting it when Wade’s expression darkens.

“What?” Wade’s voice is low, almost a growl. Peter’s heart thumps against his chest. What the hell? Wade is right in front of him now, glaring at the wound on his cheek. He looks furious. His jaw is clenched as he reaches out and grips Peter’s jaw carefully, turning his head to see more clearly, eyes scanning for further injuries, “Who did this? What did he look like?” he demands, “I will fuck him the fuck up.”

Peter swallows hard, shit, shit this was a bad idea. Abort! Abort!He smiles and shrugs, trying to hide his wince at the pain in his shoulders lest he set off another wave of whatever the hell is going on here.

“I don't know…didn't get a good look at him, he had a hoodie on. It's fine, it doesn't feel as bad as it looks.” he can’t bring himself to meet Wade’s gaze.

Wade still looks furious but conflicted, as if he's torn between roaming the streets looking for the (imaginary) mugger and never leaving Peter alone again. In the end he takes Peter by the wrist and drags him back to the couch.

“You gotta take it easy ok? Sit down, relax, I'll…um…” he looks about, “You got first aid stuff?”

Peter nods, still a little disoriented by all the attention. He points to the bathroom, “Cabinet,” he says, trying to get up, “I’ll get it.”

Wade’s already there, “S’ok, sit,” he says firmly. Peter sits back down.

Wade comes back with arms full of supplies, trailing half unrolled gauze and cotton wool balls. “Wow, you've really got all the bases covered,” he says as he unloads alcohol, suture, sterile needles, scalpel blades, bandaids, tape, bandages and god knows what else onto the coffee table.

Peter clears his throat, trying to think of a reason why a man who works as a journalist would have what is essentially a field surgery kit in his bathroom. He decides to just nod and say nothing.

Wade takes one of the cotton wool balls and pours on some alcohol, he holds it up, “Might sting,” he says apologetically. Peter nods and watches Wade as he presses the wool to his wound, blotting at the almost dried blood carefully. It does sting, a bit, but Peter's well used to it by now although the ethanol fumes make his eyes water. Wade is focussed on his work, he bites his lip as he concentrates. His teeth seem weirdly perfect against his scarred skin. Peter watches him and feels something flutter in his stomach.

It is so strange to be the object of such singular focus. He can't remember the last time someone paid this much attention to him. Most of the time he relishes the anonymity, wants people to ignore him, forget him, that's part of what having a secret identity is about. The closer they look the more likely they are to see through the disguise. But sometimes it's hard being alone and knowing that he should stay that way because, in the end, not being alone always brings pain and danger and suffering and death.

Wade is surprisingly gentle for someone so huge and so brash. He moves carefully, patting at the wound, creating a growing pile of bloody cottonwool, until he is satisfied that it's clean. He looks up when he's done and Peter, caught unawares, finds himself staring into bright blue eyes inches from his own. He blinks in surprise and almost chokes. As he takes in his unexpectedly extreme-close-up view of Wade’s face, his eyes, high cheekbones, strong jawline, wide mouth, Peter realises, with a degree of shock, that Wade is actually beautiful. Like, behind the scars and wounds that hide him he is genuinely, properly, intimidatingly gorgeous. This is something of a revelation.

Neither of them move for whole seconds.

Wade’s focus is no less intense now, his eyes are slightly narrowed like he's trying to figure something out.

Peter swallows hard, he's pretty sure he can hear his own heartbeat, he wouldn't be surprised if Wade could hear it. He's sure he's seconds away from grabbing his brand new roommate by the back of the head and kissing him like his life depends on it, when Wade smiles and sits back.

“Don't think you need stitches, not that deep.”

Peter nods and doesn't trust himself to speak for a moment. He knows the wound is already healing, by tomorrow it will be almost gone – another thing he’ll have to explain. See, this is why it's dangerous to let people get too close. He’ll notice the healing.

“Thanks Wade,” he says after a moment.

“S’ok…you sure you don't know who did it?” he asks, sounding dangerous again.

“No, sorry, didn't get a good look really. One strung out white dude in a hoodie looks pretty much like another you know?”

Wade nods, “Well, if you see him again point him out.”

Peter nods, finding himself feeling scared on behalf of a man he made up. He really wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Wade. He sighs, “I'm beat man, I'm gonna go crash. Thanks for the assist.” He gets up, patting Wade’s shoulder as he passes.

Wade looks up at him, a thoughtful expression on his face, “Ok Petey. Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.”

Peter laughs, “I'll have you know we don't have bed bugs in this house,” He sniffs hautily.

As he walks to his room he passes Wade’s hold-all, as he glances down at it, smiling at the Hello Kitty design, he notices something that makes him yelp.

Wade looks over, “S’up?”

Peter points at the large red stain on the side of the bag which is dangerously close to ruining the carpet, “What the fuck is that!” he exclaims, trying not to sound too horrified, because he's pretty sure it's blood.

Wade is up and vaulting over the back of the couch before he can take another breath, he grabs the bag, holding it aloft and checking for other stains, “Shit! My bad!” he says.

Peter stares at him in mute horror, “Is that…?”

Wade looks almost embarrassed, “Yeah it’s blood, I mean…it’s rat blood. It got on my work clothes, I put them in the bag and…”

“Rat blood!” Peter looks at him incredulously, “What the fuck do you use to kill them? A fucking chainsaw?”

Wade shakes his head, a tiny smirk in the corner of his mouth, “It was a bit of a tricky one…more than I was expecting. Had to get creative.”

Peter shudders, he dreads to think what that consisted of, “Nice,” he says, making a face, “Well just…please don't get rat blood on the carpet in the future – I can't believe that's a thing I'm having to say by the way - and please, please don't wash your work clothes in my machine. There's a laundry at the end of the block.”

Wade grins, “No probs Petey.”

Peter yawns and realises he is far too tired to deal with rat blood, injuries and inappropriate crushes.

“Good night Wade.”

“Night Petey.”

***

After Peter’s gone Wade lets out a relieved breath, throws his bag in the kitchen sink and stands alone, staring out of the window. Fuck! Way to nearly give the fucking game away on the first day.

[You really are a useless sack of shit aren't you]

{That was totally amateur hour big guy}

“I really don't need you assholes to tell me that.”

{Nice job grossing him out with the rat blood though}

“Yeah, well I figured it would be less mentally scarring than admitting it was human blood.”

{Point.}

[He’s gonna find out one of these days though and then…so long apartment, so long new friend, so long everything…you'll be back sleeping on trash in alleys and it'll just be the three of us again. Like it always is in the end.]

“Fuck you.”

Wade considers the last hour, the utter rage he had felt when Peter said he’d been mugged. The thought of it still makes his hands clench into fists at his sides. He is going to find the asshole who did it if he has to kill every skinny white guy in a hoodie between here and Jersey. He hadn’t expect to react so violently but it had felt almost sacrilegious. How could someone harm Peter? Peter is perfect.

{But it did mean we got to help him. We got to sit close to him, stare at that beautiful face…and, is it just me or did anyone else think he looked like he…was kinda into us? When we were patching him up?}

There is silence from all three of them for a moment while they consider this possibility. Wade replays the moment he and Peter had looked at each other, the flush on Peter’s skin, his dilated pupils. Then the hand on his shoulder as he passed that lingered a split second too long. He had definitely been aware of something different there. Is there a chance that Perfect Peter is into him?

[Fuck no! Have you seen him? What the fuck would he want with you?]

Oh yeah. Good point.

Chapter Text

Peter lies in his bed and stares at the patches of moonlight on the ceiling. He might be too tired to deal with any of the things going on in his life but his brain clearly doesn't give a shit about that and is determined to spend the night picking over every moment of the day instead. The last few hours seem to be the moments which feature most in the mental movie that plays out across the white plaster above him. He can't stop thinking about Wade. That's what it comes down to. He can still feel the texture of his fingers against his skin, how his breath shortened and his heart jumped at Wade's surge of protective rage, his own surprise at the strength of his reaction. He remembers the feel of Wades shoulder under his hand, solid and warm, he knows he lingered there a moment too long. He hopes Wade didn't notice. Or perhaps he hopes he did?

The couch in the living room creaks, footsteps on protesting floorboards, a tired sigh, opening doors. Wade is going to bed he supposes. He finds himself straining to catch every sound, building a picture in his head of each movement, each expression. What is Wade thinking? Is he thinking about Peter? There is no reason why he should be.

***

Wade turns off the TV and rolls his head on heavy shoulders with a sigh. He gets up and glances towards Peter's closed door. The voices argue about whether he should knock before he smothers them into submission and opens the bathroom door instead. He turns on the shower, purposefully ignoring his reflection in the mirror over the sink and carelessly strips off his clothes, dropping them in a heap on the cracked linoleum floor. He stands under the spray and lets the water cascade over him. The water feels cool despite the steam that rises around him, it always does; he runs hot. It hurts too, each droplet smacks against his skin like a pin prick, a thousand points of brief pain that drape over him like a electric web. He doesn't really notice anymore but he does remember that he used to enjoy showers. He heaves a breath, shoulders and chest lifting and falling heavily as he drops his head forward, feeling the pull of the tendons in his neck. His healing factor means he never has specific aches and pains - just a generalised, background level agony that crawls under his skin as it fights to heal or destroy itself.

He closes his eyes and immediately sees messy brown hair and big dark eyes looking back at him. Holy shit this kid is hot.

At heart he knows the chances of Peter being attracted to him too are ridiculously remote, but he also saw him looking at him while he was patching him up. Something about Peter doesn't quite add up, something is hidden. Although maybe that's just his projection of his own secret. Wishful thinking perhaps?

But who knows what would have happened if he had leaned forward a bit? If he had closed that gap?

[You would have gotten a smack in the mouth]

{Or a blow job!}

[Or a kick in the nuts]

Ssh, listen!

" But what if Yellow's right? Ok maybe not a blow job-"

{Although ideally yes. Have you seen that mouth? Or, or! We could suck him off! Ohhh God can you imagine...fuck I bet he tastes like fucking ice cream and rainbows...}

"-fuck! Ok so yes ideally blow jobs for everyone. But, just in case we're getting ahead of ourselves here. What if he just kissed back?"

[Then you'd be a shitty fiancé]

Wade's eyes snap open like he's been slapped. The warmth he had started to feel tingling through his body as Yellow described his fantasy is gone in a flash. He growls under his breath and slams a fist into the wall before he even realises what he is doing. Tiles explode around his hand, shards falling into the tub at his feet, the powdery remains of the piece that took the brunt of his anger coats his hand, mixing with the blood that splashes into the water and swirls away down the drain like something from a bad horror movie.

He stands still, head bent, shoulders heaving, tears threatening to spill over, although he knows there's no point in crying now. She's gone. Gone two years now

[Doesn't matter. You made a promise jackass, you fucked up and you don't get to be happy now. That's how it works.]

{Cut the big guy some slack. He can't help being a fuck-up. He should still be able to get some ass.}

"Wade! You ok?" Peter's voice, calling though the door, sounds like it's in the room. Wade almost slips as his head snaps up, his thoughts pulled sharply away from the voices' argument. He looks around at the destruction of the bath tiles and screws his eyes up, cursing under his breath.

"Yeah!" he calls back, hoping he sounds casual and not broken, "Slipped," he adds, rolling his eyes at himself.

There's a pause and then an unconvinced, "Ok cool," followed by silence of the heavy, unfinished type before Peter's voice comes again, "You sure you're ok?

Wade grits his teeth because he wants to say 'No,' but now's not the time for that. It's never time for that. He realises he's nodding and instead says, "Yeah Petey, I'm peachy."

"K'."

There's no more sound from Peter. Wade leans back against the wall and sighs heavily. Shaken out of the spiral of self-loathing and recrimination that usually follows any thought of his past, his anger and guilt are fading back into the distance. Even the voices are silent all of a sudden.

He imagines Peter standing outside of the bathroom door, all scruffy bed-head and...what does he sleep in? Shorts? Pyjamas? Nothing? His mouth goes a little dry at the vision of naked, sleep-warm, confused Peter. He had been worried about him. Not about the bathroom, not about the tiles, it was Wade he had asked about, he had just been concerned that he was hurt. He hears a creak from the next room, Peter getting back into bed? Now all he can see is Peter again, part of him wants to ignore it, knows there's no point to this, to setting himself up for more nothing and no-one. But this kid is something else, something special maybe? He imagines him lying in his bed on the other side of the wall, listening. He wonders what he looks like naked, he might carry himself like a skinny nerd but he thinks Peter is deceptively strong, he's got some muscles under those hipstery shirts. He imagines flawless, gold skin, dark hair, smooth muscle and a crooked, self deprecating smile. Then he's thinking about lips again and his hand has found it's way down to his hardening cock. He begins to stroke himself slowly as he imagines those lips against his own skin.

***

Peter lies in bed, tension ringing through his body, alert to every small sound from the next room. He has no idea what the fuck happened in there a moment ago but he had been about 1 second away from busting the door in and saving Wade from whatever it was. Wade said he was ok though, so, although he wasn't entirely convinced, and after a few moments contemplation of the etiquette of kicking the door in anyway, he'd gone back to bed. Now he feels like an over tightened bow string.

Mostly he can hear water. The walls are apparently paper-thin because it feels like Wade is having his shower in the corner of his room. Over the water he makes out the squeak of bare feet on the enamel tub, the plasticky rustle of the shower curtain, a breathless moan...oh.

He turns to face the wall, eyes wide as if that will enhance his hearing, which is fairly enhanced already. Maybe it was just a sigh? A -long day thank god for hot water- kind of sigh?

No. There it is again, it's definitely more of a moan, an -oh fuck that's good baby, don't stop- kind of a moan.

Peter is hard almost instantaneously, he's faintly surprised that he doesn't feel dizzy from the rush of blood to his cock. The ragged, wanton sound of Wade's voice bypasses his brain completely and goes straight down south. His breathing is shallow, he tries to ignore the sounds, to think of something else. He can't lie here and jerk off to the sound of his new roommate - who he barely knows - jerking off in the shower. It's too weird and creepy and wrong and his palm is already pushing down on his erection where it strains against the fabric of his underwear. The sudden pressure and friction make him gasp and groan before he clamps a hand over his mouth, eyes wide as the pleasure uncurls inside him.

***

Wade is almost lost in building pleasure, the slide of his water-slick hand over his taut hot skin, the visions of Peter in his head, looking up at him from where he kneels, hands grasping Wade's ass, beautiful mouth wrapped around his cock as it disappears down his throat. The heat is building in Wades gut, he imagines the feel of Peter's warm, wet lips dragging over his skin, his tongue slipping and swirling around his erection, dragging involuntary, wrecked noises from his throat. On his knees Peter gasps loudly and Wade's hand stills as he realises that contribution wasn't supplied by his imagination. He freezes, eyes narrowed, not breathing. A shaky groan follows the gasp, then a muffled sound and the quiet but distinct creak of bedsprings.

Holy shitsnacks! Be still my fucking heart. Oh baby boy are you jerking it too? Goddammit that's not fair - I wanna see! Wanna see you stroke yourself, wanna see you come all over yourself - or preferably me!

"Oh fuck!"

***

"Oh fuck!"

Wade's voice is clear through the wall, Peter would give pretty much anything to see him right now. He imagines him with his head back, throat exposed, arm and back muscles shifting and flexing as he moves. Do the scars cover his whole body? What would those hands feel like wrapped around his cock? What would it be like to suck him off? What would he taste of? What would he feel like inside him? He needs the answers to all of these questions now.

"Oh god! Oh fuck Wade! Fuck me!" His hand still covers his mouth, half obscuring his words, he's too far gone to care now, his back arches as he comes hard over his hand and stomach with another, muffled, cry.

***

At the sound of Peter's orgasm, Wade comes before he can process exactly what words he thought he heard, splashing white against the brick dust and blood streaked wall of the shower.

"Oh fuck yes! Peter!"

He realises what he has said only as the sound of blood pounding in his ears begins to fade away.

Shit, shit, shit.

He turns off the shower. The silence that descends on the small apartment is total, breathless, and embarrassed.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER EIGHT

Peter lies completely still. His back is rigid, his hand rests against his softening cock, he's unpleasantly sticky and sweaty but he can't bring himself to move. He can't hear a sound from the bathroom, it's as if the apartment froze the moment the water shut off. Is Wade still in there? Did he hear what Peter said? Did Peter really hear him say what he thought he said? What the hell happens now?

If Wade did say what he thought he said, then the problem they have is that they're both attracted too each other. Which is only an issue because they've only just met and they're living together - supposedly platonically - and screwing your roommate is a recipe for disaster.

But what if Wade didn't say what Peter thought he heard him say, but he did hear Peter say what he did say? Because that is just horrifyingly, unendingly, never-look-him-in-the-eye-again, toe-curlingly fucking mortifying. It's one thing for Wade to flirt with him but that doesn't mean he actually wants to know that Peter is jerking off over him jerking off.

This is all getting seriously confusing.

***

It's only when his body suddenly gives a wracking shiver that Wade realises he is still standing, naked and soaking wet and rapidly freezing, under the dripping shower head. Rivulets of cooling water run down his back and legs and splash into the bathtub. He blinks and tries to come back to himself. He is still breathing heavily.

Holy shit! What the fuck just happened?

{You came like a fucking firehose because you heard Petey jerking it over you in the next room}

[At least that's what your stupid, lust damaged brain thought it heard. Do you really think that's likely? But hey, you yelled out his name loud enough to wake the dead, so probably time to go get packing before he kicks you out for being a pervert.]

{Don't listen to him. That was 100% your name he yelled! Let's go see him, maybe he's up for another round? In company this time?}

[In your dreams]

{Do it! Go get him tiger!}

"Shut up!" Wade hisses under his breath.

***

What the hell are you going to do now?

Peter sighs heavily and leans over to grab a t-shirt off the floor. He gives himself a cursory wipe clean and then falls back on to bed with a thump. Something is going to have to be done about this situation.

Is it though? There's always the option of pretending nothing happened - that's a good option.

He contemplates the awkwardness and the tiptoeing around each other that the next day - and god knows how many days after that - is inevitably going to bring. Someone needs to be a grown up about this. He's pretty sure he heard what he heard and he certainly said what he said so they need to face this - whatever it is - between them and they're going to have to agree that it's a bad idea. They hardly know each other, they're completely different people, totally incompatible, and lust - even if it is mutual - is not enough. It will all end badly. Peter isn't even looking for a relationship anyway.

They need to get this out in the open right now.

He throws off the covers, gets up and goes to the door. Just as he's about to open it he stops, looks down with a grimace and rolls his eyes at himself, opens a drawer, strips off his boxers and pulls on some clean sleep pants instead.

Right. Let's try that again.

***

There's just no way we heard what we heard, ok?

[No argument here]

{But...}

No. We're not that lucky.

[Got that right.]

{But what if...}

Wade lets out an angry breath, shoves the wet shower curtain back and climbs out of the tub, he grabs a towel from the rail and wraps it around his waist.

"Right. I'll fucking prove it," he shoves the door open, wet feet almost skidding on the cold floor in his haste.

"Owwww fuck!"

There is a sharp cry of pain and he pulls the door back to reveal Peter, naked from the waist up, holding his nose as blood bubbles between his fingers. Wade's eyes widen and he slaps both hands over his mouth in horror, "Holy shit Petey! OMG I'm so sorry!"

Peter glares at him balefully over the hand that covers his bleeding nose.

"Ge be sub tissue," he says, pointing into the bathroom and sounding like he's in the advanced stages of a head cold, "Idiot."

Wade turns back and grabs a huge handful of toilet paper which he thrusts into Peter's waiting hands. Peter rolls his eyes at the heap and carefully moves his bloody hands and presses the wad to his face.

"You ok Petey?" Wade asks.

Peter raises his eyebrows, "Oh yed ib find, can't you teb?"

Wade frowns, translating in his head, "Sorry," he says again looking down. He tries not to think about the fact that his imagination was clearly right about Peter's body - his skin is so smooth and his muscles might not be huge but they're well defined and kind of perfect. Wade finds his eyes following the sparse trail of dark hair down from Peter's naval to the waistband of the loose pants that sit low on his hips. He swallows unconsciously. His entire head is suddenly filled with the memory of what he'd been doing just minutes earlier, it is apparently very hard to focus with the subject of your very recent masturbatory fantasies standing in front of you half naked.

"Wade," Peter's voice cuts into his revere and he looks up sharply. The younger man is looking at him pointedly over his handful of tissue and blood, "I said I thing I need to sit down."

Wade nods, shakes his head to clear it, grabs Peter by the arm and leads him back into his room and sits him down on the bed. Peter looks a little surprised at being manhandled into his own bedroom but he sits anyway.

"Lean your head forward," Wade says, "Pinch your nose up here," he demonstrates and Peter copies him, dropping his head forward over his lap.

"Shit I'm so sorry Petey-pie," Wade says again, "Look at you, you're all bloody and sticky and half-naked and..." he trails off. Peter looks at him sideways, eyebrow raised. Wade coughs and grins awkwardly, rubbing the back of his head, "Soooo...I was just coming to see you."

Peter's eyes widen, "You were?"

Wade nods then blinks rapidly as he tries frantically to come up with a reason that isn't, I wanted to prove to the voices in my head that you weren't jerking off over me. For some reason that doesn't seem like such a good conversation starter now.

"I...couldn't find the towels..."

Peter frowns at the floor and then slowly raises his head and fixes his gaze on the blue, slightly threadbare towel wrapped around Wade's waist. Wade screws his eyes shut and tries to ignore the laughter in his head, "I mean...more towels...other towels, I wanted one for my...well not my hair but, you know just...if I needed a towel another time...I thought I should ask where, um...where they might be...?"

{Masterful job big guy! Not weird at all!}

"Bite me," Wade hisses under his breath.

Peter nods distractedly but doesn't look at Wade for a moment, when he does his face is weirdly flushed, "Right," he nods, letting his head flop down again, "good...good question. They're in the clodit in the bathroomb," he makes a vague gesture at the wall adjoining the bathroom.

"You ok?" Wade asks, Peter's cheeks are red and his breathing seems a bit shallow.

Peter nods furiously, still grasping his nose, eyes still fixed on his feet, "Yeb, yes...yeah I'b fine, it’s just, y'know, this kinda hurts and I'm kinda tired. I should probably..."

Wade nods, feeling like he's missing something, "Sure, I'm sorry, can I get you anything?"

Peter shakes his head, "No 'm good, thing the bleeding's stobbed..." he pulls away the tissue tentatively and pokes at his nose, "Don' think id broken," he decides. He clears his throat, “Night Wade.”

Wade looks down at him unhappily, he doesn't know what to say, the wind has well and truly gone from his sails. What he really wants to do, he realises, is grab Peter and kiss him like his life depends on it, but that is not going to happen for various reasons, not the least of which is that he just slammed a door into his face. Instead he says, “Night Petey,” and gives Peter’s shoulder a brief pat which becomes a small squeeze and heads to his room.

***

Peter watches Wade leave the room and then slumps back onto the bed again. His nose throbs with pain and he can feel the itchy blocked feeling of blood clotting in his nostrils. This was definitely not how he had intended any of that encounter to go. He supposed maybe it had alleviated some of the tension that he had felt brewing? Maybe that would have been true if he hadn't suddenly found himself fixated on Wade’s towel-covered crotch, for some reason unable to look away from the quite impressive bulge in the front that appeared as he moved. So in the end he'd just managed to embarrass himself further by staring at Wade’s dick and blushing like a giggly schoolgirl. So much for being the grown-up about the situation.

Maybe things will all make sense in the morning, he thinks with a deep sigh, as he rolls onto his side. He can still feel the warmth of Wade’s hand on his shoulder as he falls asleep.

***

Wade lies in his new bed in his new room and frowns at the ceiling. Everything smells of cleaning products and fabric conditioner and he definitely feels like there's something going on that he doesn't understand – all of which are things he hates. He'd gone out there with the intention of confronting Peter, working out what the fuck is going on between them, but then all that had flown out of the window because it's hard to ask someone if they’ve got the hots for you when you've just smashed them in the face. Now he just feels like shit and despite all the blood and shock it was still pretty clear that Peter was definitely embarrassed, it had felt like he was pretty desperate to get rid of him.

[Well that pretty much proves it doesn't it? He's not likely to be jerking off over you if he’s that embarrassed being near you is he?]

He didn't seem angry though, just awkward.

{Maybe it was just the facial trauma?}

That makes me feel better.

{That's what we’re here for buddy}

Wade rubs his hands over his face and gives a long groan before rolls over to stare out of the window at the glow of the street lamps and the slowly moving blocks of light from passing cars that slide over his ceiling.

***

The next morning Peter is woken by an amazing smell, something rich and sweet that he hasn't smelled since he was a kid. He gets up without even glancing at his alarm and pads out into the living room, scrubbing the sleep out of his eyes and wincing when he touches his bruised nose. He follows the scent to the kitchen and finds Wade standing at the stove in nothing but sleep pants, making pancakes and whistling tunelessly to himself. Peter watches him for a moment and a crooked smile pulls at his lips. His fingers twitch with the desire to run his hands up Wade’s broad back. He licks his lips quickly, wondering what it would be like to just cross the room and kiss the back of his neck. Just as he feels his feet start to move Wade turns around suddenly with a wide grin, “Hey! Morning Petey, I think I mentioned something about pancakes in my email? I figured now would be a good time to make good on the promise.”

Peter stops, trying to look like he wasn't lurking in the doorway like a creeper and smiles, “Sounds awesome. There was mention of the best pancakes ever? That's a pretty big claim mister.”

Wade nods, “Yep, you just wait, oh Pete of little faith.”

Peter laughs and takes a seat at the long-neglected dining table. Wade has laid out plates and cutlery and there’s butter and maple syrup that Peter is sure he didn't own before. A noise from the other side of the kitchen makes him look up to see a shiny coffee maker that was definitely not there yesterday.

“Where did that come from?” he asks, pointing.

Wade glances over, “S’mine. Had it in storage, went out and got it back this morning, along with some groceries.”

Peter looks at the clock on the wall, it's 7am, “What time did you get up?” he asks incredulously, the idea of getting up before 7am filling him with dread.

“I dunno, like 5 maybe? Couldn't sleep and I felt bad for…y’know. That,” Wade points at his face and Peter groans, touching his hand carefully to his nose again.

“Is it bad?” he asks, gingerly pressing at the swelling he feels.

“Nah, you can hardly see it…I mean…well it’ll probably go down soon.” Wade’s enthusiastic but unconvincing attempt at a reassuring smile makes Peter lurch for the nearest reflective surface. He stares at himself in the side of the shiny toaster and groans deeply. Two black eyes squint back at him in annoyance.

“Shit,” he sighs, putting the toaster back and dropping his head into his hands, “How the fuck am I going to explain this at work?”

Wade looks unhappy, “Sorry,” he says, “Can I help? I know my way around a make-up kit.”

Peter rolls his eyes, “Of course you do. I think I'll give that a miss though, you've been enough help already”

Wade puts a plate down in front of Peter and suddenly all his worry and annoyance and pain fade away in the face of a massive stack of pancakes and bacon. They look amazing and they smell even better. He opens the syrup, pours some on and takes a bite. Wade is entirely correct – these are the best pancakes he's ever tasted.

“Oh my god Wade!” he says around a mouthful, “These are freakin' amazing! That's it, sorry you can never leave.”

Wade grins and sits down with his own food, “S’ok with me.”

Peter eats his breakfast in record time and then sits, idly trailing his finger through the syrup on his plate and licking it clean as he watches Wade eat. He's thinking about last night again, about what he'd been about to say to Wade before the unfortunate door/nose incident. Should he bring it up now? An odd strangled noise breaks him out of his thoughts and he looks up to see Wade staring at him. He takes his syrup-coated finger out of his mouth and frowns, “Sorry did you say something?”

Wade closes his eyes for a second, “You cannot just sit at the breakfast table doing…that. It's kind of distracting,” he says.

Peter blinks in confusion and then blushes beet red when he catches Wade’s drift. He gets up more abruptly than he’d intended, suddenly awkward in the heat of Wade’s gaze.

“I’m gonna hit the shower,” he says, laughing to hide his embarrassment.

***

“Wade! What the fuck have you done to the fucking bathroom!?”

Chapter Text

Oh. Yeah. In all the excitement Wade has maybe forgotten about the gaping hole in the bathroom wall. He screws up his eyes for a moment and tries to come up with a plausible excuse. While he's thinking, his mouth opens and he finds that he has already called back, “Spider!”

There is silence for a moment, the kind of silence which suggests someone is trying hard not to lose their shit.

“Spider?”

“It was really fucking massive Petey, you should have seen it. I don't mind saying I squealed like a little girl,” he yells, waving his hands in a way that describes a spider of truly ridiculous proportions, even though Peter can't see him.

“I didn’t hear--” Peter’s voice tails off sharply, as he remembers what he did hear. When he speaks again he sounds exasperated, “Aren't you supposed to be an exterminator? Isn't dealing with bugs kinda in your wheelhouse? This is what happened when I asked if you were ok, isn't it? You said it was nothing! This is not nothing! I need to go to work and the bath is full of fucking rubble!”

Wade mutters curses under his breath, this is why it's important to think through your BS before you open your stupid mouth, he thinks at himself angrily. Aloud he says, “It surprised me.”

Peter laughs dryly, “They do that,” he says, sticking his head out of the bathroom again, “I'm going attempt to have a shower and then while I'm out you can fucking fix it.” He slams the door behind him.

Wade lets out a relieved breath, then immediately wonders how the hell he’s going to go about fixing the wall. The fuck does he know about home improvement?

To the internet!

***

Peter picks all the broken ceramic shards out of the shower and throws them into the trash with a sigh. Spider my ass, he thinks, if that's true then Wade is really, really not cut out to be an exterminator. But given what he does know – or thinks he knows – about what Wade was doing in here later last night, what does this mean? Also why Spider? Was it a hint? Does Wade know his secret? Or was it just a stupid coincidence? He sighs, it’s probably best not to think about any of it right now.

He showers quickly, carefully avoiding the hole and the sharp ends of tiles still in place. When he's finished he climbs out and stands in front of the mirror brushing his teeth and staring into the face of a man who clearly did not get enough sleep. The bruises however are already a lot fainter than they had looked reflected in the toaster. He really hopes Wade doesn’t notice his strangely fast healing.

He remembers the look in Wade’s eyes as he watched him sucking syrup off his fingers (which he had absolutely not meant in an intentionally sexy way) and he can see the flush creep over his own face in the mirror. Ok so he is ridiculously attracted to Wade and he’s pretty sure Wade is attracted to him too. He’s not entirely sure what it is about the other man that he finds so compelling. Wade is weird and unpredictable and, without wanting to be too cruel, he looks like he’s been hit by a bus - in the face - but there is something completely addictive about him. Something raw and intense but also funny and amiable - a strange mixture of sexy and silly that has very little to do with the way he looks. Well mostly – he does also have some serious muscles going on under those hoodies and Peter would be lying if he said they didn’t feature in his equation too.

However the point, which he has been trying to convince himself of since last night, is that getting into a relationship with someone who you a) don’t really know, b) is possibly a tiny bit unstable and c) you share a house with, and need to continue sharing a house with in order to avoid being chucked onto the street – is probably a bad idea. He’s just going to have to pretend he’s not attracted to Wade and get over it. Perhaps he should take this as a sign that he should start dating again? Find someone nice and normal who doesn’t live in his house.

He spits in the sink and rolls his eyes at his reflection.

***

Back in the kitchen Wade has cleared away all the plates and done the washing up. Might as well try and make a good impression for as long as he can. He is sitting in front of his old, Captain America-sticker-covered laptop waiting for it to boot up. The process always takes ages because, in all honesty, the computer is riddled with every virus it's possible to catch - the only downside to his extensive and eclectic collection of porn. While he waits he is trying not to think about Peter licking his fingers, about the flicker of his tongue, the sticky-wet pop as he dragged his finger between his lips, his small smile at the sweet taste, or the way he started and blushed when Wade asked him to stop.

By the time Peter has come out of the bathroom, got dressed, and collected his stuff for work, Wade has completely failed to focus on the task at hand and is instead sitting in front of the laptop, staring into space with a stupid expression on his face. It takes Peter two attempts to attract his attention.

“…Wade!”

He re-focuses to see Peter standing on the other side of the table, fully dressed with a bag slung over his shoulder. Wade blinks, “Sorry Petey, I was miles away.” He can't help the way his smile comes out as more of a leer. Now he's looking at Peter again all he can see is sexy finger sucking and if he's not careful it's going to cause him a slight problem. He shifts awkwardly in his seat.

Peter frowns, “I'm going to work. You need to fix that wall while I'm gone dude. Ok?”

Wade nods, head full of visions of big dark eyes and wet, soft lips and quick tongue, and parts of his own anatomy. He tries to look like he's actually paying attention, blinks, nods again, but it's proving hard – in more ways than one.

“Ok?” Peter says again.

“Yes. Yep. Definitely. Yes. I will…do that. Do…the thing. Whatever it is you just said.” Wade scrubs his hands over his face, “Fuck! You’ve broken me Petey. You and your fucking syrup.”

Peter rolls his eyes, “You'll get over it,” he says, “See you later man, have a good day. Thanks for breakfast.”

As Peter opens the door to a hallway full of other people leaving for work, Wade jumps up and calls out dramatically, “I’ll never get over it baby! Don't leave me! Did last night mean nothing to you?”

Peter turns to him wide-eyed, equal parts mortified and amused as people turn to stare at them. Was that…? Did he mean…? Last night, last night? He looks back at Wade, grinning in the doorway and decides that right now, it doesn’t matter. Trying not to laugh, he flips him off and closes the door in his face.

***

Peter can still feel the heat of his face as he walks down the hall, deliberately trying to avoid the concerned and amused glances from the other occupants. He wants to be annoyed but it's not working because every time he thinks of Wade, regardless of the confusion and embarrassment, he laughs - even in the middle of the street as he weaves through the commuters - it's making him look like a crazy person.

This unexpected and admittedly dumb happiness soon grinds to a halt however. The moment he enters the Bugle building a weight settles on his shoulders again - one he hasn't felt all weekend. He feels himself slump, the familiar dull grey boredom smothers him again. He sighs heavily and drags himself into the lift and up to his cubicle/office.

***

Meanwhile, Wade is standing in their bathroom with his hands on his hips, surveying the damage. Peter had disposed of the larger chunks of broken white tile and grout, all that's left is some damp plaster dust and the hole in the wall. The hole doesn't seem as bad as it had before, it's just the tiles that are broken, not the wall itself. Success!

He looks at the smashed tiles for a moment longer and then sighs. Nope. A solution is not presenting itself. This is really not his forte. He shrugs and goes back to the living room, grabs his wallet and keys and, pulling his cap and hood down low, heads out into the now deserted corridor.

Fuck home improvements – lets go shopping!

In his head there is much rejoicing.

***

Several hours later Wade barges through the door of notorious crappy dive-bar and international house of mercenaries Sister Margaret's. He drags his considerable collection of bags and parcels past the few customers, some of whom nod to him in half-assed greeting and some of whom snarl angrily as he passes. He grins at them all and heads toward the bar, dumps the bags at his feet and leans against the sticky, scratched woodwork.

“Barkeep!” He yells in an imperious tone, thumping a fist on the bar.

At the other end of the counter a small man with glasses and wild dark-blond hair looks up slowly from what appears to be a well-thumbed copy of some celebrity gossip mag and flips him off.

“Bite me Wade.”

Wade makes a face, “Nah, I don't think there's any diseases I can actually catch but I'd rather not find out.”

“Fuck you, incredible melting man.”

Wade grins and claps a hand over his heart, “I'm wounded. Your wit is devastating Weasel, you myopic shitheel. Put your spank mag down and get me a fucking beer.”

With a deep, long-suffering sigh Weasel moves away from his magazine and begins to pour Wade a drink. He eyes the pile of bags at Wade’s feet. “Been shoplifting again?”

“Au contraire asshole. I’ll have you know I bought this shit. Legit. From shops.”

“Fuck me. She must be expensive.”

“Once again, fuck you. This is for me – us – my roommate and I.”

Weasel laughs as he puts the beer on the bar and holds out his hand for payment. “You have a roommate? A consenting human roommate? Not a pigeon or a kidnap victim or a wino who doesn't even know you're there?”

Wade ignores the expectant hand until Weasel drops it with a sigh. “Screw you, the kidnap thing was only the one time,” Wade says, “and yes. A real, genuine, awesome, kind, funny, hot roommate who likes me.”

“So you're completely fucking delusional now?”

“No! I swear on Entertainment Weekly. He is completely fucking perfect and completely, totally real.”

Weasel’s eyebrows shoot up, “He?!”

“Did I fucking stutter?”

Weasel shrugs, “Well ok then. I guess I didn't…”

“What?”

“Nothin’. So anyway, my point still stands – are you sure you haven't just crashed this poor unfortunates’ life and refused to go away? I'm just asking as a friend.”

“No, and also bite me. He wanted a roommate, I wanted a room, so…I think it's fate Weas’. He's so freakin’ hot.” Wade’s voice pitches to a desperate whine, “He's got these eyes like…like…I dunno - like something I’d write fucking poetry about if I could - and this mouth, and his ass - Oh my god dude, his ass - it's like a work of art. You could bounce a whole bucket of quarters off it. It's like Spiderman level perfect. And he's so fuckin’ nice! And he doesn't look like he's going to vomit or cry when he looks at me, and he does this thing with Maple Syrup that--”

“—ok! That's all the rhapsodising I can stomach for one day,” Weasel interrupts quickly, “So does he know about…”

Wade drops his head onto the bar with a thunk, “No. He thinks this happened in a fire and I kind of told him I'm an exterminator.”

Weasel laughs until tears well up in his eyes, “An exterminator! That's one word for it. Fuck’s sake Wade.”

“Well what was I supposed to say dickhead? I’m actually a fucking professional killer, oh and also I'm completely indestructible – but we’re still cool right? I think he actually maybe likes me. I don't want to fuck it up yet.”

Weasel holds up his hands in surrender, “It's your shit-show man. You gotta do what you gotta do.”

“Yeah I do,” Wade agrees, “So anyway who do I need to blow around here to get another job? I kinda spent all my money.”

Weasel grimaces and rolls his eyes at the same time, which is a sight to behold – and people call Wade ugly. “Way to go idiot,” Weasel says, “And also, no one – please don't blow anyone -- at least not while I'm here.”

Wade makes a disbelieving noise and waves a hand dismissively, “Whatever, you know you want me.”

Weasel looks faintly green around the gills and shakes his head firmly, “I really, really don't. Might as well stick my dick in roadkill.”

“Like you've never done that before.”

“Touché.” Weasel turns around and takes down scrap of paper from where it was pinned to the wall behind the bar, “Much as I love this witty repartee I do have another job for you asshole,” he says, holding it up.

Wade bounces on his heels and grins, holding out his hand to Weasel, “Gimme, gimme, gimme!”

Weasel sighs and hands it over, “Here. Some dude left his number, said he's got a job, asked for you.”

“Me specifically?”

“Yeah. What can I say? You're a rising star, it's the indestructible thing – it gets you noticed. As does blowing up entire blocks with a Howitzer.”

“One, it was a rocket launcher, and two, it was only a vacant lot, not a whole block.”

Weasel shrugs, “Well whatever. You're flavour of the month for some fucking reason. Enjoy it while it lasts.”

Wade wiggles the piece of paper between his fingers, “I intend to.”

“Well if you're gonna keep buying shit for this probably-jailbait-roommate you're gonna have to.”

“He’s not jailbait!” Wade exclaims indignantly, “He’s at least…22? Probably?”

“Hopefully!”

“Bite me.”

“Fuck no.”

 

***

 

Peter is staring out of the office window vacantly, watching a few birds swoop past in the brilliant sunshine. He has long since completely zoned out of whatever he was supposed to be doing and is in the middle of a vivid daydream about abs and pancake syrup. It’s kind of pathetic really and if he stopped to focus for a moment he’d probably feel bad, but there is nothing happening - he has no new pictures of himself and Jameson is not currently on his case - so he can’t help it if his mind wonders and anyway it’s not exactly like he’s fantasising about anyone in particular. The person he’s thinking of could be anyone – anyone of a certain build, with eyes that are a certain shade of blue, and a certain wolfish grin – anyone at all. Mixed in with all the images of this completely non-specific, generic man are flashes of something else though, flashes of red and black and steel. His subconscious seems to be torn between his crush and Spiderman’s…not crush! Professional interest. Professional interest that he sometimes jerks off over…

The ping sound of an incoming email makes him jump slightly and he glances down at the screen guiltily, almost expecting an angry message from IT, chastising him for looking at porn in the privacy of his own head while at work. Instead he sees a name he hasn’t seen in a while – Mary-Jane.

He opens the mail and immediately finds himself smiling. It’s been a few years now since they dated but they talk on the phone and email every few months. Mary-Jane is doing well, travelling the world as a model and trying to break into acting. He's ridiculously happy for her, despite the occasional pang of jealousy, which he always feels instantly guilty for.

‘Hi Tiger!’ Her email starts the same way it always does. He rolls his eyes but he secretly loves the nickname. ‘How's things in the big city? I've just got back from Paris, so exhausted! It was a great shoot though, still can't quite believe I get to do these things you know? My agent called me this morning to say they want me to audition for a new show on the CW. All very hush hush at the moment but wish me luck Tiger. So what are you doing at the moment? Are you looking after yourself? You'd better be!’

There's that green eyed monster again, just for a second though. Mainly he feels proud. She deserves this, she has worked so hard for everything she has. She's going to be a star, he know it. He smiles as he presses Reply.

‘Hey MJ, that all sounds amazing! How was Paris? Still on my list of places to visit someday. I'm good, just staring into space at work at the moment. I've got a roommate! Finally caved in. I know, you were right, I should have done it ages ago but you know me – I like my own company a bit too much. Still it's going well so far, he's pretty cool and me makes me laugh. Break a leg at the audition! (Is that the right thing to say? It sounds wrong!) I know you'll get it. x’

He presses Send and sits watching the screen as if the reply might appear immediately like a text. After a few seconds he shakes his head and goes back to staring at the picture he's supposed to be working on. Thirty seconds later his email pings again. MJ’s reply is almost in all caps and strewn with a frankly unnecessary amount of exclamation points.

‘OMG TIGER! A Roommate!! AT LAST! Who is he? What's his name? What does he look like? IS HE CUTE!!!?’

Peter laughs aloud, drawing a questioning look from his colleague at the next desk, he looks down embarrassed and hits reply,

‘Lol, I love that you are excited about MY life! And it's not like I'm a hermit or something. I do have friends! Anyway, since you asked, his name is Wade, he's a little bit older than me, he's tall, he has blue eyes, he's really funny, he sucks at Mario Kart and yeah, I guess he's cute, if you like the whole muscle bound thing?’

Which I do, he adds to himself as he hits Send again. Seconds later his phone bleeps and he takes it out to see a text message from MJ.

-This is not a conversation for email! OMG Tiger! R u in love?!-

-What! No!- he replies hurriedly.

-Yeah ok whatever. Yet u know he has blue eyes? I don't know my roommates eye colour! U r so in love-

-Screw U! :-) I am not in love with him-

-;-P Lust then?-

He laughs again then replies -Maybe- before he can stop himself.

-Ha! Knew it! U r so transparent Tiger-

-Whateva-

-Does he like u?-

Peters finger hovers over the keypad. Does he?

-Well?!-

-I don't know. He flirts with me but maybe that's just how he is?-

-Nonsense! No way he could resist u-

-Whatever. I don't know.-

-I know. He wants u Tiger-

-You don't even know him!-

-Iknow u-

Peter blushes and is about to reply when another text comes in, this time from Wade.

-Hey Peteypie!! How's work? I'm gonna b out this eve. Got another job. I'll see u later ok? W xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo-

Peter smiles at the pet name and the line of hugs and kisses and then let's his head fall onto his desk. He is so screwed. He looks up again and replies,

-K. Hope it goes ok. Remember, no blood in the washing machine!- his fingers hover again for a moment before he adds -xoxo- and presses send quickly.

Another message from MJ comes in,

-Sorry, didn't mean to freak u out :-(-

-U didn't. Sorry, just replying to another msg-

-Was it from Waaaddeeeee?-

-Maybe-

-You lurve himmmm-

-Shut it you-

-;-P-

-That is not helpful-

-Lol what did he say?-

-That he would be out working tonight-

-Awwww-

-And he added a bunch of kisses…-

-Ooooo! A bunch? How many?-

-Like 10-

-OMG Pete! And you're not sure if he likes you? U R so dense!-

-Gee thanks-

-Lol well U R-

-I have work to do you know. I can't spend all day discussing my crush like a teenage girl-

-Ha! So u do have a crush?-

Peter blushes again and closes his eyes. Dammit!

-Well I said maybe didn't I?-

-Well I AM a girl, although sadly no longer a teenage one, and I know about these things. Trust me.-

-It's complicated-

-Everything always is. Doesn't mean you don't try.-

-We’re roommates. What if he doesn't feel the same and it's awkward? What if he does feel the same and it's still awkward!-

-You're grown men. You'll figure it out. You've got to go for these things Pete. Besides – what if it's not awkward???-

-I guess-

-You know I'm right. Go get him Tiger!-

-Lol we’ll see-

-Iwant a progress report tomorrow-

-Maybe…maybe I'll just leave you hanging-

-Dick! Tomorrow ok? Bye 4 now-

-Bye MJ. Take care xx -

-U2 xx -

It's only as he reopens his work that he realises he never even thought to mention Wade’s scars when she asked what he looked like.

Peter sits back and stares out of the window again. Maybe she's right? You never know until you try, right?

Chapter Text

Wade dumps the bags and boxes on the floor of the apartment and drops heavily onto the couch, sighing deeply.

“Fuuuuck!” he says with feeling. He has managed to spend a sizeable chunk of the money he made from killing the serial killer but it was worth it. New TV, new Xbox and PS4 (because why the hell not), a shitload of games and enough food and booze to fill the fridge and cupboards to bursting. All bought with lovely, untraceable cash. Having crammed it all into a cab (except the TV which is being delivered later) and dragged it all out at this end he is mildly exhausted and distinctly sweaty.

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the scrap of paper Weasel had given him. Time to top up the bank balance.

He dials the number on the shitty burner phone he bought for this very purpose, after a couple of rings a man answers, he sounds nervous.

“H-hello?”

“Wade Wilson.”

“Oh…yes…” his voice is quiet, choked. Wade says nothing, waits.

“I…I need. There's this guy. He won't leave me alone. He…he's always there. When I go out. At work. He calls me…I can't take it anymore. It’s been years. I need him to go away.”

***

After he gets off the phone Wade spends a couple of hours setting up all the stuff he bought then looks around the room, grinning to himself as he imagines Peter’s face when he comes home.

[Yeah I'm sure he’ll be delighted. Buying tons of shit for someone you just met - that's not weird at all]

{It is a tiny bit weird}

[Way to spot the sarcasm]

“Bite me, he's going to love it!”

[Definitely. He’ll definitely either love it or kick us out on our ass. I mean I certainly doesn't look like we’re trying to buy our way into his pants]

{It does look a bit like that}

[Oh for fuck’s sake. I am surrounded by idiots]

“I just want to make this place better! For both of us. He's broke, I'm not broke – QED. Anyway I refuse to live anywhere with a 22” TV. It's barbaric.”

[We’re more used to a 0” TV]

“Well yeah, lately. But what's the point of making all the merc money if I can't buy shit?”

The voices do the mental equivalent of a shrug and Wade grins in smug triumph. He needs this. It's been too long since he had four walls to call home.

[Or anyone to come home to]

He freezes in the middle of the lounge, surrounded by the stuff he's set up, the empty packaging, wrapping and evidence of domesticity. He can almost see her. The curve of the shadow by the door - that could be her - the flash when he blinks in the sunlight from the window. His heart is racing. He screws his eyes shut. He sees her smiling at him, her mouth is wide and generous and he feels himself smiling back, she looks happy.

[She’s not happy, she's dead. She's dead and you're playing house with some twink]

In his head her smile drops away, now she looks angry. She reaches a hand out to him but it’s nothing but bone, it glows white in the sunlight. He swallows and recoils. His eyes snap open and he is alone. His face is wet, his palms hurt, and when he looks down he sees small, half-moon shaped cuts where his nails have dug in, as he watches they disappear, vanishing to leave perfectly imperfect flesh in their place. He takes a breath that makes his whole body shudder. He blinks, refocuses.

“It's not like that,” he says and hates the way his voice sounds petulant. He picks up the remote, turns on the old TV and searches for comfort. He finds a rerun of Golden Girls and sits, focusing on the screen.

“It's not the same,” he whispers, “It's ok.”

The voices say nothing.

***

By the time 5pm rolls around Peter has managed to work himself into a minor panic about what to do when he sees Wade again. The events of the previous night and MJ’s insistence that he “go get him” swirl around his head until the tension makes his heart thump and his hands clammy. He procrastinates for a while, pretending to be hard at work until all his colleagues have left, then finally decides to go straight out on patrol without going home. He knows it’s stupid, he knows Wade said he would be out anyway but he really doesn't want to risk running into him and saying or doing something dumb. Also, as well as the issue of his stupid crush, there is the problem of the two black eyes he no longer has. They'd been seriously noticeable this morning but, thanks to his accelerated healing abilities, they are now completely gone – how the fuck is he going to explain that?

***

Out of the office Peter changes in an alley and webs himself up to the roofs. He swings quietly between buildings for a while, letting the familiar sensation of flying, the rush of warm air and muffled sounds of the city soothe his frayed nerves. For once Spiderman’s life seems so much less complicated than Peter Parker’s.

Eventually he drops down and sits on the edge of a building, listening and watching dusk creep over the city. As always, at first glance it all seems very peaceful from up here but within moments his hackles are up, his scalp prickling under the mask. He looks around for the source of the alarm. A shout from the street below and he drops down as a gunshot reverberates around the walls. A man in a blood stained grey suit runs past him.

“Help me!” the man yells at him as he passes, “He's a fucking psycho!”

Peter looks back the way the man has come. A man in a horribly familiar red suit is approaching. His breath stutters and his heart sinks at the same time. Deadpool. When he catches sight of Spiderman he grins and waves with the gun he holds in one hand. The other hand holds one of his Katanas. “Spidey! What up? Long time no see!”

Peter narrows his eyes as Deadpool takes aim with the gun and fires at the man, who is now backed up against the chain-link fence that forms the end of the alley. Peter spins and yanks the man out of the way a split second before and the bullet strikes the fence, raising a shower of sparks. As Deadpool advances Peter plants himself in front of his target.

“Didn't I tell you to get out of town?” he says.

Deadpool stops and looks thoughtful. “Probably. It sounds like something you'd say.”

“And yet…” Peter gestures to the man, “I can't help noticing you're still here, and still shooting at people?”

Deadpool nods, putting the gun and sword away. “You're a smart kid Spidey. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Peter takes a step toward him. “More than I can say for you,” he says as Deadpool tries to dodge around him to grab the guy, Peter launches a fist and catches Deadpool square on the jaw. He staggers back, landing heavily on his butt on the floor.

“Ow! Fuck Spidey! What's your problem? I'm workin’ here!”

Peter grabs him by his suit and drags him up. “No. You're not. I told you to get lost, you didn't listen so I'm taking you in.” He turns, making to drag Deadpool after him but the merc twists and with a truly stomach-turning wrenching sound he pulls himself out of Peter’s grasp. Peter turns at the sound and sees Deadpool standing with his arm hanging limply at his side. As he watches in horrified fascination, it suddenly jerks, popping back into place with a similarly nauseating sound, ripped sinew and broken bone repair themselves as he watches. He feels slightly ill. It's only as he stares in horror that he notices a large knife sticking out of Deadpool’s back and blood pouring from the wound, camouflaged by the red suit. Peter jumps back. “What the fuck!” he exclaims, “Do—do you know you have a knife in your back?” he asks, feeling slightly stupid.

Deadpool twists to look over his own shoulder, grabs the knife and pulls it out. More blood bubbles out as Peter watches queasily. “Yeah, and that fucker put it there,” Deadpool growls, pointing the dripping knife at the man who had been taking the opportunity of their distraction to shuffle slowly back the way he came. Deadpool lunges at the man, clamping a hand onto his wrist. "Nice try douchehole," he grins, pressing the bloody second-hand knife to the man's throat.

"For any particular reason?"

Peter asks.

“Possibly because he thought I was going to kill him?”

“And why would he think that?”

“Maybe because I was trying to choke him with his tie.”

“Why were you trying to choke him?” Peter asks patiently.

“Because I was trying to make it look like an accident,” Deadpool replies with equal patience.

Peter ignores the question of how being strangled by ones own clothes might look accidental and instead asks, “Why?”

“Because he's a scumbag stalker and he’s been making someone's life a fucking misery and they've had enough.”

“Who paid you?”

“That’s need to know baby boy.”

“Don't call me that.”

“Aww but you're so cute when you're angry.”

Peter grits his teeth, “Shut up Deadpool. If this guy is a stalker we’ll take him to the police.”

Deadpool shakes his head, “Nuh-uh, no can do Spidey. The job was to kill him. No body, no Benjamins.”

“Tough. It's that or I drag your ass in too.”

“Aw c’mon Spidey. I've got expenses! I've gotta live too!” The merc whines.

“Not my problem. Find another job. In another city.”

Deadpool tightens his grip on the man in the hoodie, arm muscles bulging as he moves and Peter is suddenly hit by a flash of his fantasy of a few nights earlier. His face heats up. Oh for god’s sake. Not the time!

“No. I like it here,” Deadpool smirks, “Think I'm gonna stay.”

“Leave. This. City. I won't ask you again.”

Deadpool cocks his head, “You gonna make me baby boy?”

Peter swallows and tries to look threatening and not like he's hoping the cup of his suit hides the hard-on he can feel stirring, “Yes.”

No one says anything for a moment until the guy in the suit speaks, “So if you guys are gonna fuck can you just let me go?”

Spell broken and full of embarrassed rage Peter turns on him, “The only place you’re going is jail asshole.”

Wade grins, “Wooo! I love it when you get all menacing baby boy. But the man does raise an interesting point.”

Peter just drops his head forward and sighs deeply, not deigning to respond. Don’t engage.

“Aww…spoilsport,” Deadpool's pout is somehow visible despite his mask.

“We’re taking him in then you are leaving. For good,” Peter says firmly when he looks back up.

“Nope.”

“You either leave or you stop killing.”

Deadpool is silent for a minute then throws up his arms in exasperation, “You got me over a barrel here Spidey!” It only takes a second before his frustration morphs into a leer and he adds, “Which could be fun-“

“For god's sake Deadpool! This is serious,” Peter exclaims, pretending that his treacherous brain hadn't instantly supplied him the same image. He sighs, “It's simple. We take him to the police, they lock him up and we go on with our work. Except you don't. You find yourself another line of work. You've got useful skills right? Aren't you fucking unkillable? Use that. Help people.”

“I am helping people baby boy. Some things the cops can't do. They don't give a fuck about some dude being stalked by some creep he used to screw. He's tried all the regular shit, he's done everything you're supposed to do and nothing changed. He's shit outta luck. I’m the 5th emergency service baby.”

Peter stares at him, he wants to argue but Deadpool is right. There's no way the cops are gonna lock the guy up if he doesn't physically attack or threaten his victim. But he can't just let Deadpool kill the guy.

As they stare at each other, locked in some kind of moral stalemate, the guy in the suit moves. Lightning fast, he twists the knife from Deadpool's hand and jams it suddenly and viciously into his neck. Blood erupts like a fountain. A wing-shaped arterial spray decorating the alley wall. Deadpool drops to one knee abruptly, letting go of the guy and grabbing at his neck. The man is already gone, running as fast as he can up the alley, launching himself at the metal fence and scrambling up, the chainlinks rattling as he climbs.

Peter drops to his knees beside Deadpool, staring in horror, scarcely sparing a glance for the escaping stalker. The blood shows no signs of slowing. Squirting between the fingers of Deadpool’s glove where he presses his hand to his neck. Peter’s mouth is dry, he reaches out, desperate not to think of…not to see his uncle…He is not equipped for this. His heart is deafening him. He clamps a hand over Deadpool’s and presses down hard, ignoring the warm wetness that soaks through his glove in seconds. “Deadpool!” his voice sounds panicky and shrill to him, too young, “Stay with me ok? Can you get up? I’ll get you to the hospital ok? Hang on man.”

There is so much blood. Blood doesn’t often feature in his life, at least not in this quantity. He clamps his mouth shut against the scream of panic that is clawing at his throat. Deadpool turns his head as another pulse of blood washes down his neck, soaking the shoulder of Peter’s suit. He crumples into the dirt, pulling Peter down with him. Peter tries to gather him into his arms, preparing to lift him while keeping pressure on the wound.

“S’ok baby boy,” Deadpool’s words are slurred already, “Think I'm gonna have to take a bit of a time-out. Won't be long. Rain check?”

Peter stares and nods dumbly as, with a hideous, gargling noise, Deadpool goes limp and slumps against him. The whole alley is silent, he can't even hear the city. The usual racket is dulled by the terrible row in his head. His pulse is thumping, blood is rushing in his ears, he can feel every beat of his heart. Blood trickles over his hand where it is still pressed awkwardly to Deadpool's neck but it has slowed to a sticky ooze rather than the dramatic arcing spray. He'd never even realised blood could actually do that. He shudders and closes his eyes, fighting rising nausea. He sits still, looking down at the corpse in his lap. Is it really a corpse? Presumably Deadpool will…resurrect? Is that what happens? This is a pretty fucking major injury. Can he come back from this? They say he can heal from anything and he hadn't seemed that bothered before he… If he does come back will he want Peter here? How long will it take? Should he just go and leave him to it? He's really not sure of the etiquette.

He carefully peels his blood-soaked hand away from the wound in Deadpool’s neck and peers carefully through the small, neat cut in the red leather. Already he thinks he can see the deep gash shrinking. He watches fascinated, and only slightly disgusted, as the edges of flesh draw together and seal up. In a few moments the wound is entirely gone, leaving only scars, which will undoubtedly heal soon themselves.

A huge, rattling intake of breath makes him jump and when he looks down Deadpool is back, his chest rising and falling and the eyes of his mask wide as he stares up at him. Peter smiles, blinks and takes a deep breath while trying to make it look like he hadn’t been holding it. “Good to have you back,” he says.

Deadpool coughs and struggles to sit up, Peter realises he still has his arms wrapped around him and releases him hurriedly. Deadpool waves at Peter to turn around. Peter frowns for a moment then turns his head and hears the creaking of leather and a lot of horrible wet coughing, gasping and spitting before a hoarse voice says, “K’.”

When he turns back Deadpool’s mask seems unchanged but there is more blood on the floor than he remembers.

“Thanks for waiting Spidey,” Deadpool says hoarsely, he sounds surprised but not annoyed.

Peter shrugs. “Well it didn't seem right to leave you,” he says, embarrassed.

“You'd be amazed how few people seem to agree with that sentiment.”

Peter doesn't know how to answer but he suddenly feels a bit sorry for Deadpool.

“Your mark got away,” he says, for something to say, faintly annoyed at himself for his apologetic tone.

Wade nods, “Oh well, C’est la Vie.”

Peter narrows his eyes, “C’est la vie? Seriously? That's all you’ve got to say after the dude killed you?”

“Well yeah, for now. Soon I’ll find him and then I'll say, ‘Hello asshole, remember me? Let me introduce you to your spleen,’ but it's been a long night and I'm fucking tired.”

“No. No Killing. This doesn't change anything Deadpool.”

“Nope, you're right there Spideybabe, it doesn't. As I said before, I'd love to do things your way but I'm not cut out for hero-ing so I'll be over here murdering scumbags and making the big bucks.”

“Then I will stop you.” Peter says, his voice low, a promise not a threat.

Deadpool shrugs and turns away. “You gotta do what you gotta do kiddo. Just not tonight ok? I need sleep.”

Peter watches the merc go, his shoulders slumped and head bowed as he traipses into the darkness without a backward glance. Part of Peter’s mind, the part than insists that Deadpool is just a villain, just another addition to his rogues gallery, yells at him to carry on the fight. Tackle him while he’s weakened, take him in. But he doesn't. He watches instead.

***

Wade strips off his torn and bloody suit in the alley behind the apartment, looking up at the windows again. This time they’re darkened; Peter is not home yet. At least he’ll have time to clean up without fielding any awkward questions, he tells himself, pretending he wasn't hoping to come back to warmth and friendship and home.

Inside the apartment Wade turns on all the lights, dumps his duffle bag on the floor and jumps straight in the shower. He stands under the spray and yawns a jaw-cracking yawn. He watches the rusty-orange of old dried blood trickle down his body and pour down the drain and he contemplates his day. All in all it hadn't been a great one. A promising start admittedly, but any day when you end up dead, even if only briefly, can't really be counted as a win.

“Fucking Spiderman,” he says to himself out loud, “Why does he have to keep showing up with his amazing ass and his fucking holier-than-thou attitude?”

[You need to get paid, not get hooked into some philosophical bs. It's ok to kill bad guys if we’re being paid. We discussed this.]

“Yeah, it's just a job. I’m not hurting anyone.”

{No one that matters anyway.}

“But Spidey doesn't like it.”

[Does that matter?]

It’s starting to he thinks.

{But it's like you said. Sometimes the cops don't do shit, so who you gonna call?}

Wade nods, it's not that he doesn't agree with the boxes – for a change - it's just that it feels wrong. The moment he sees that fucking webhead all his confident assurance that the mark deserves to be un-alived is suddenly gone.

[Yeah well, trouble is this time you let the fucking mark get away asshole]

“Not much I could do about that, I was dead at the time.”

[Excuses. You let him get the drop on you in the first place – you’re losing your edge.]

{Now we’re gonna have to find him again.}

“Yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna be much of a challenge. The asshole was sitting outside the dude’s house in his car like some fucking movie cliché stalker. He aint smart." At least Wade doesn't need to worry about his client. They'd already agreed that he would be well out of the city, somewhere no one knew about and, most importantly, that he would stay in said secret location until Wade told him the coast was clear. The problem now is how to take the mark out without a) being massively obvious and b) attracting the attention of Spidey.

“It's going to have to be a sniper job.” He says aloud. He sighs deeply and drops his head forward, letting the stinging drops fall on the back of his head. Steam rises around him, his skin feels clean and almost normal again. As normal as it gets. He cranes his neck and feels a slight twinge where the knife that killed him sliced his artery. He runs a hand carefully over his neck, no sign remains of the fatal blow. His gaze falls on the still-cracked tiling. “Shit!” He forgot about fixing the tiles, “Baby boy is gonna kill me.” He'd gotten as far as buying stuff to fix it but he still has no fucking clue what to do.

As he reaches to turn off the water the door buzzer goes off. Shit! He grabs a towel and wraps it around himself. He grabs one of the guns from the suit on the floor and holds it to the side as he peers through the peephole. Looking back at him is a middle-aged man in a coverall, delivery guy. Wade runs back to his room, throws on a hoodie and sweatpants and goes back to open the door, shoving his bloodstained bag where the door will hide it. There are two guys and a huge box containing the TV he bought. He grins and surreptitiously shoves the gun into his waistband.

“Hallelujah! Just in fucking time!” he says, stepping back to let them in. The two men grunt a vague acknowledgment and manhandle the giant box into the apartment. Wade rubs his hands together as they put down the box and look up at him expectantly. That is the moment when they notice his face. The taller of the two men steps back in surprise, “Holy fucking shit!” he says abruptly.

The other one looks confused for a moment and then horrified as he catches a glimpse under the hoodie. He makes a gagging noise. “What the fuck!?” he says, backing away. Both men back up so quickly that the door closes behind them and at the sound they instantly panic, spining around. One spots the bag of what appears to be blood stained clothes. "Shit! He's a fucking psycho!" He lunges at Wade, trying to shove him away while the other tries to kick him in the nuts. Wade grabs his leg and pulls him off balance while letting the other one's momentum send him sprawling on the floor. When he jumps up again Wade grabs him in a headlock and places a foot squarely on the other one's chest. He pulls the gun out and holds it to the head of the one standing.

“Oh you picked the wrong day to pull this shit boys.” He looks at them, wondering what the hell to do now. Suddenly an epiphany strikes. “What do you assholes know about tiling?”

***

Peter drags himself along the corridor and almost falls against the door to his apartment. As he does, the door is flung open and he very nearly does crash into the room beyond. His fall is arrested by the solid figure of Wade in the doorway.

“Hey Petey!” Wade greets him with an enveloping hug and he actually lets his eyes close for a second, breathing in the clean but slightly animalistic scent of him. With a deep breath he pulls himself together and stands up straight.

“Hey Wade,” he says with a small smile. Wade looks very happy, grinning and relaxed, his blue eyes shining. All of MJ’s advice is echoing around Peter's head and he suddenly wants to blurt out all of his feelings. As he opens his mouth though his eye is drawn to the changes to the room. He stares at the giant TV and new electronics. “What the fuck Wade?” he exclaims.

Wade grins widely. “I got some stuff,” he says proudly.

Peter goes over to the TV and runs a hand over it, “I can't afford this.” He says quietly. He looks around and spots the new games consoles, his eyes widen. Holy shit! This is kind of awesome, but he's also slightly freaking out. Did Wade buy this shit for him because…Does he think…? Is this an underhand way to get into his pants? Not that he'd really need one…but…Does he want Peter to be beholden to him? Is this weird?

“That’s why I bought it,” Wade says, sounding a bit awkward underneath his excitement, “You don't owe me nothing. This shit is for me really, but I'll probably let you share.”

“I…thank you.” Peter says, stunned.

“S’ok, If I'm gonna live here I'm not gonna be squinting at that old piece of crap,” he gestures at the old TV where he'd dumped it on the floor, “I just got paid a shitload from the Rat thing, what's the point in earning if I can't spoil us?”

When Peter looks into his eyes he sees nothing but honesty. He doesn't feel any danger or ulterior motive. He grins, “This is fucking amazing dude! Thank you!”

Wade smiles and his shoulders seem to drop in relief, he throws a controller to Peter. “Think fast kiddo.”

Peter catches it and drops down onto the couch. “Mario Kart?” he asks and Wade nods happily and sits down next to him, draping his long legs over Peter's lap.

The game starts up and Peter looks down at Wade's legs, enjoying the warmth and weight in his lap. It feels comfortable and right. All the worries of his other life are ebbing away. It's good to be home.

Wait up, I gotta go to the bathroom.” he says before he gets too engrossed in the game. He puts down the controller and heads to the bathroom, opening the door just as Wade says, “Shit! Pete, hold up!”

Peter takes in the scene inside and turns back to his roommate, “Wade why are there two delivery men doing a shitty job of tiling the bathroom?”

Chapter Text

“Ummmm…”

“Wade?”

One of the men in the bathroom struggles to his feet looking terrified and pointing at Wade. “He--”

Behind Peter’s back Wade raises a hand and points two fingers at his temple. The man stops abruptly and gives Peter a sickly grin.

“We…um…we are...”


“Family!” the other man blurts out. The first man spins to stare at him.

“Distant…um…distant cousins?”

Wade rolls his eyes at them and throws up his hands, converting this gesture into an attempt at a casual head scratch as Peter turns to look at him.

“Yes!” Wade nods manically. Peter narrows his eyes at him, deeply confused. “Pete, meet cousins Jack and…Jim. I dragged them over here to help with this tiling shit. I tried Petey, I really tried. But it turns I know sweet fuck all about home improvement. Unless we’re talking ‘bout the TV show. Cos you know I love me some nineties classics and don't tell me you never had a crush on JTT.”

Peter rolls his eyes. “Riiight…nice to meet you guys.” he says to the ‘cousins’.

The two men wave nervously.

“Yeah. Nice to see you again boys,” Wade says, “great job. You should probably be heading off now. Didn't you have that thing to get to? Thanks for your help. Maybe I'll see you again soon?”

The men nod. “Yeah we gotta visit our mother,” one of them says as they slide out of the room, smiling as they pass Peter and trying not to run out the door. They call out hurried goodbyes as they leave.

“Hey!” Wade calls as they're half out the door. “Don't forget these.” He holds up two wallets. One of the men holds out a hand and grabs them. Wade grins. “Nice driving license pictures guys.” he says, “I see you've moved. I might come round sometime.”

The door slams behind them.

Peter is so confused. Wades family, if that's what they are, are definitely weird as hell. But then so is Wade. He has no idea what was going on there but as he looks into the bathroom he thinks the tiles don't look half bad.

***

It's been two weeks since the “bathroom incident”.

The distraction of the unexpected guests had put paid to any ideas Peter may have had that night about telling Wade how he felt about him. When they’d left he was so confused and tired that declarations of lust (?) were suddenly the last thing on his mind and since then an opportunity hasn't seemed to present itself. So, taking it as a sign, he has decided to put any romantic feelings aside and focus on developing his friendship and roommate-ship with Wade instead.

After a day of suspicious looks and Peter being convinced that there was something about the mysterious cousins that didn't add up, they’d both apparently forgotten all about it and gotten right back to joking and flirting like stupid teenagers. Peter tries not to think about how attracted to Wade he is though, and he definitely doesn't want Wade to hear him jerking off again. Conversely, he hasn’t heard anything along those lines from Wade since that one night. Gradually he finds himself slipping back to being unsure if Wade wants him in that way at all.

Ironically, despite all this, Peter can't remember the last time he was as happy as he is now. The pall of loneliness he had barely even noticed creeping over his life has been lifted like dust sheets from furniture in a locked up room. He feels lighter. He looks forward to going home at the end of the day, he has someone to talk to, watch TV with, play games with or just be with. Someone who makes the apartment feel more like a home than it has in years.

Work, however is still tedious and somewhat soul crushing.

“Parker!” The window-rattling voice of Jameson behind him sends Peter's heart jumping in his chest. He spins on his chair to see the pugnacious editor storming across the office towards him with a face like thunder, waving a sheaf of papers. He sighs deeply. What fresh hell is this?

***

The apartment door slams open and Wade leans a bloody hand on the doorframe. He drops the bag with his suit and guns in at his feet and groans deeply, dropping his head forward. He pulls his hand away and rolls his eyes in annoyance when he sees the bloody print on the woodwork. He rubs at it ineffectively with his sleeve which just succeeds in smearing it over a wider area and then decides to ignore it instead. He walks to the end of the sofa and tips straight over the arm to land prone and heavy along the length of it. His face is smushed into the cushions and he grunts as some of the air is pushed out of his lungs but he still can’t find the energy to move. He’s done. It’s done, job done. One dead stalker, one happy customer, one fatter bank balance.

It had not been easy. The plan had been to take the dude out from a distance – nice clean sniper job. However he had suddenly realised that was going to make it too obvious that someone had been hired to do it which would in turn make his client, who harboured a well-known grudge/hatred of the guy, suspect numero uno. That was not going to work so he devised plan B (or technically plan C), somewhat on the fly. Plan B/C consisted of stealing a car and running the guy over with it. Plan B/C was not one of his best or most refined plans but it did get the job done. It did not, however include the part where he shot the guy in the neck so he could see how he liked it – which had been his favourite part of plan A/B – but need’s must and all that.

[Spidey won’t approve of that]

No. That’s why I’m not gonna tell him.

[He’ll find out – he’ll know it was you.]

No he won’t, and if he asks, I’ll lie.

{Brilliant plan.}

Thanks, glad you approve. Now fuck off and leave me in peace for five minutes.

[Rude.]

The voices aren’t wrong. Wade knows there’s a good chance that if Spidey hears about the ‘accident’ he will figure things out. Especially if any witnesses mention the guy in the red suit…

Why does he even give a shit anyway? What the fuck does it matter what Spiderman thinks? He does his hero thing, Wade does his merc thing and they are not in any way related.

[Just because he’s got a nice ass and you’ve had a crush on him for years.]

{He’s not gonna be your friend and it doesn’t matter if he’s your enemy. We can take him. He doesn’t get to stop us making a living.}

Wade nods slowly, face still pressed into the sofa cushions. He mumbles something muffled about it not being fair to stop someone earning a somewhat dishonest living and how he’s providing a necessary service and he’s just not cut out to be a hero and anyway he hates Spidey and his self-righteousness and his spandex and his amazing butt. Then he goes quiet for a while.

After a minute or two he turns himself over with a groan of effort and lies staring up at the ceiling. He raises his hands slowly in front of his face and looks at the sticky blood that is congealing on them. Well he’d had to check the guy was definitely dead…

He moves his fingers and wonders what it would be like to come home after a job not covered in other people’s blood.

[Boring.]

But what if I could be a hero? Because I think right now I might be a villain.

{Bullshit. You’re an antihero. That’s the coolest of all archetypes.}

That’s true.

[Plus you’re way too fucked up to be a hero.]

Also true.

He nods. The thing is, to be a hero you have to believe in something. Truth, justice and the Canadian way. Or the inherent goodness in all people or whatever the fuck these spandex-clad loons believe in that makes them do this shit. He’s pretty sure he doesn’t believe any of that, or in anything else along those lines. He believes in Mexican food, comfort, sex, money and Bea Arthur and really, what else does a growing young man need?

Maybe though…one day?

He drags himself up from the couch and off to the bathroom to scrub off the aftermath of today’s antihero-ing.

***

Peter looks at the pile of his pictures that Jameson had dumped on his desk. Apparently, according to his rant of moments earlier, these are not the kind of pictures he wants. Peter has completely failed to catch Spiderman doing anything criminal or in any way menacing and this is at odds with the Bugle’s avowed stance that he is, in fact, a menace. Peter had tried to explain that Spiderman hadn’t actually done anything terrible that he could have taken pictures of, but that only seemed to make Jameson angrier. Peter got the distinct impression that he felt that this lack of exciting criminal behaviour was Peter’s fault – which in a way, it was.

Eventually Jameson seemed to have come to the end of his Spiderman anger quotient for the day and retreated to his office in a cloud of threats and promises that if Peter didn’t find some better images, he could find another job. Fantastic. Just what he needed.

Before he had really thought about it he had texted Wade.

-Fuck!-

The reply came back in seconds.

-Right now?-

He grinned despite himself and rolled his eyes.

-Ha Ha. No I mean fuck as in my life is fucked-

-Oh. Is that it? Welcome to the club-

-My boss is an asshole  -

-What’s he done? D’ya want me to kill him?-

-XD Maybe. That should probably be plan B. He’s pissed about my Spidey pics-

-What? Blasphemy! Your Spidey pics are amazing! They do it for me anyway…-

Peter felt his skin prickle, he rolled his eyes at himself.

-Oookaay…good to know, thanks for sharing-

-My pleasure ;-) but anyway, what’s his problem?-

-Apparently I'm not making him seem dangerous enough-

-Qué?-

-Jameson has a hard on for Spiderman being a crook-

He reads the sentence he just sent and shudders involuntarily. Poor choice of words Peter.

-Well I understand the first bit ;p… but why a crook?-

Peter rolls his eyes again. He saw that one coming. He decides to ignore the innuendo for now.

-Fuck knows. Because it sells papers I guess? Or maybe just because he’s a weirdo with arachnophobia issues?-

-How could anyone hate Spidey?! He’s so cute-

Before Peter can even think he has tapped out and sent a reply that, to his horror appears to say, -Oh...I’m kinda jealous-

He screws his eyes closed and claps his free hand to his face. What the fuck are you doing Parker?

The reply comes back in seconds, with a string of shocked and sad emoji’s.

-Aw no bb-boy! U know it’s all U!-

Peter squints at the screen through his fingers and feels his skin heating up under his hand. The grin on his face is idiotic and he knows it. Not knowing how to reply he just sends a laughing face and puts the phone down on his desk. He turns back to his computer, trying to pretend he’s not watching the phone out of the corner of his eye. When he sees it light up he unconsciously clenches his fists, willing himself not to reach for it instantly. After a couple of minutes staring through his screen and not taking in a thing he sighs, shakes his head, and reaches for the phone. Just as his fingers touch it though, someone lands a heavy hand on his shoulder and he looks up with a start, feeling oddly guilty.

Ben Urich is standing behind him, dressed in his usual shapeless trench-coat and checked shirt. Peter wonders if he has an entire closet full of identical shirts.

“Grab your gear Pete, I’ve come to take you away from all this.” he says with a small smile, pushing his glasses up his nose.

Peter gets up, pocketing his phone quickly, not wanting Ben to see whatever is on his screen. Not that he would care. He grabs his jacket and swings his camera bag over his shoulder. “Where we going?” he asks as he follows Ben out of the newsroom.

“Murder and mayhem; the usual…”

“Huh. Must be a Tuesday.”

***
The crime scene Ben drags him to is an odd one. It appears to be a straightforward hit-and-run. Horrible but run of the mill for the city. There's a big red sedan stopped on a quiet residential street. There are cars parked all along both sides of the road but this one isn't so much parked as it is abandoned. One wheel is up on the sidewalk and the drivers side door panel is scratched down to the shining metal where it had presumably hit the wall. The victim, who was under the car if the pool of blood is anything to go by, is being lifted onto a gurney. Peter follows Ben as he pushes through the bystanders to get to the police cordon. He's still not sure why they're here until Ben starts speaking to the guys manning the cordon. “Hey Mike,” he calls to an officer he clearly knows. Mike is a tall cop with a paunch and thinning hair, he sighs when he sees Ben and Peter.

“What do you want Ulrich?” he asks, “Nothing to see here, just a hit and run.”

“Really?” Ben sounds unconvinced. “So it's not true what people are saying about Spiderman being the driver?”

Peter feels like there’s a lead weight in the pit of his stomach. His hands shake as he grips his camera tighter. What the fuck is going on? He swallows hard, trying to keep his face neutral as his mind races.

“Witnesses online are saying a man in a red suit was driving. They're saying it was Spiderman.” Ben insists. Officer Mike shrugs.

“No comment.”

Red suit.

The dead man is being wheeled past to the waiting ambulance, a coroner is about to zip up the bag. “Hey,” Peter calls, “wait.” The coroners assistant looks around as Peter approaches them, before they can react he pulls the bag aside and looks down at the body. It's the stalker. The man from the alley. The one that (almost) got away.

“Hey, get lost,” the coroner says, shoving Peter away and zipping the bag closed. “You guys are freaking ghouls. Get the hell out of here asshole.”

Peter puts on a chastened expression and stands back, letting them load the body into the ambulance. He is so angry he can't speak. He wants to find Deadpool now, he wants to kick the shit out of him. How could he have been stupid enough to think he wouldn't come back for this guy. How could he have let him get away? He's as much responsible for this as Deadpool. This guy is dead because of him.

He somehow gets through the rest of Ben’s questioning of the officers and bystanders without losing his shit. He takes pictures of the scene and then they head back to the office.

When they get back he grabs his stuff and heads straight out, changing in the alley before setting out in search of Deadpool. He checks his phone as he leaves and sees another text from Wade.

–Sorry. Didn’t mean 2 freak u out. Jk-

He's confused for a moment until he remembers the earlier message. He had kind of left Wade hanging there.

He hurriedly replies –Sorry! You didn't freak me out at all. Couldn't reply. Had to go out. Back now but I got to wk late :-( See you later xxx—

A reply arrived instantly with just a big smiley face, followed by another that read –k sorry u have 2 wrk late. C u l8r—

Peter smiles and heads out to find the man who is rapidly becoming his arch nemesis.

***

It's hours later when he arrives home. He had no luck finding Deadpool. The bastard always seems to turn up when he doesn't want him but now he does want him, he's vanished. Maybe he's left town? He sighs, he's not that lucky. He's sure the asshole has just gone to ground. He'll be back. For now Peter just wants to sleep. He can hardly stay on his feet, righteous fury is the only thing keeping him moving.

When he opens the apartment door he is immediately struck by the most amazing smell, which very nearly blasts the all consuming anger out of his head. It is rich, spicy and savoury and it makes his mouth water.

“Petey?” Wade’s voice sounds from the kitchen and he sticks his head around the doorway. “Hey!” he grins. He looks happy to see Peter. Peter can't remember the last time anyone looked happy to see him. For his part he doesn't think he's ever been as happy to see anyone as he is to see Wade right now.

“Hey. What smells amazing and can I have some? I will trade you a kidney if necessary.”

Wade smiles. “I'm all good for kidneys thanks. Got all the ones I need. I'll probably let you have some of this anyway. Seeing as I made it for you.”

Peter raises his eyebrows in surprise. “For me? What's the occasion?”

Wade shrugs. “Your shit day?” he replies. “Seemed like you were having a pretty sucky one, so I wanted to do something to make it suck less…” he trails off, looking awkward.

Peter feels like something wants to burst out of his chest – in a good, non-Alien kind of way. “Thank you,” he says quietly, not quite trusting himself to speak louder.

“S’all good.” Wade disappears back into the kitchen for a moment then comes back, grabbing Peter by the arm and leading him to the couch. “Sit.” he says and pushes him gently down while pressing a bottle of beer into his hand.

Peter looks at the bottle stupidly and back up at Wade. “For me?”

“No it's mine, I just want you to hold it.” Wade rolls his eyes. “Sit. Drink. Talk. Or don't – whatever you want. You've had a shit day. It happens.”

Peter nods. “Yeah I have. It was weird and shit and boring and horrible and I'm so tired I can hardly see straight but this is the best thing I have ever come home to. Thank you.”

Wade waves a dismissive hand. “Aw shucks Petey. Least I can do when you put up with my weird moods and my fucking horrible face and let me live in this awesome crib and don't kick me to the curb when I do stupid shit like dragging people you don't know in to work in your apartment and then forgetting about them. I'm sorry I'm a dumbass. And you're awesome Pete.”

While Peter is staring up at him, trying to find the words to respond, Wade ducks out, back into the kitchen. He comes back with two plates of what Peter is pretty sure is the most amazing Chilli he's ever smelled and his own bottle of beer. He hands one bowl to Peter and sits on the couch next to him.

“Bon apertit,” he says and raises his bottle. Peter smiles widely and clinks his own bottle against it.

“Salut.”

They eat in silence for a while. Wade flicking idly through tv channels while Peter racks his brain for a suitable response to Wade’s earlier apology and glowing tribute to him. He hasn't even thought about the bathroom incident lately, he is surprised it's still playing on Wade’s mind. He watches the other man absently shovelling food into his mouth and staring at the TV. Not everyone's idea of beauty maybe but to Peter his face is definitely not fucking horrible, in fact it’s fucking gorgeous.

Stop thinking like this. It’s a terrible, terrible idea fraught with pitfalls and potential disasters. You've just got this, you can't afford to lose it all now.

“Fuck. Why do you have to be my fucking room-mate,” Peter breathes as he stares at Wade’s profile, his strong jawline and the t-shirt that pulls taut across huge shoulders as he moves. Peter's fingers twitch with the desire to dig his fingers into those muscles.

Wade turns sharply to look at him with an expression of confused hurt tinged with anger.

Peter claps his hand over his mouth. “Oh fuck I didn't mean that how it sounded. I'm pretty sure I didn't mean to say it out loud at all actually,” he mumbles, wondering how he's going to talk his way out of this one. Wade is still frowning at him. He can't think of a single plausible explanation for his words so instead he just shrugs and tells the truth, because he is tired and angry and he hasn't eaten for hours and the one bottle of beer has gone to his head.

“I meant that I wish you weren't my roommate because I really want to kiss you right now, but I'm pretty sure that kissing your roommate is a bad idea because what if it's weird? Or what if it's not and you end up having sex and what if that's weird? Or it's not weird and you end up dating but then you split up and--” Peter’s rambling diatribe is cut off mid-panic by Wade kissing him.

Chapter Text

When Wade pulls back, breaking the kiss, Peter carries on speaking as if nothing has happened. “--then we couldn't be roommates anymore, which would suck because I fucking love living with you dude.” He stops. Aware that something has happened that he should be reacting to. He feels the ghost of pressure and warmth on his lips and he blinks. Wade is looking at him, eyebrows raised in confusion.

Wade kissed me.

There it is. The penny drops. Peter frowns. That doesn't seem likely at all. He was the one who wanted to do the kissing. Wade doesn't want that.

“You kissed me!”

Wade shrugs, as if he's trying for jokey nonchalance. The crack in his defences is so wide Peter could drive a truck through it, but it's closing fast. “Yeah well…you wouldn't stop talking.”

“But—What if…” Peter trails off as his doubts are drowned out by a much louder voice that says, Fuck It. We’re adults. We’ll figure it out.

He’s had enough of screwing around. He grabs Wade by the back of his neck, surges forward and crushes their lips together again.

Wade squeaks in surprise and flails for a moment before he gets with the program, grabs Peter’s head and shoves his tongue down his throat, rough fingers curling around his jawline. Holy fuck. Peter gasps for breath, gripping Wade’s head, tilting his mouth toward him, biting gently at his scarred lips, plunging his tongue in as Wade opens his mouth wider in response. Wade’s mouth, like every other part of him, radiates heat. His lips are softer than he expected somehow, as if his skin is all new. He tastes like spice and beer. Peter groans as his tongue slides against Wade’s and he runs his hands greedily over the muscles he's had his eyes on for so long. They feel every bit as good as they look, solid and warm. He moans against Wade’s mouth, digging his fingers into huge biceps.

Wade runs his hands down Peter’s back, smoothing over planes of lean muscle and, tentatively, sliding further downwards. Peter grins against his lips and reaches back to grab Wade’s hands and plant them both firmly on his ass. He is rewarded with a broken moan that goes straight to his cock as Wade squeezes hard and lifts him with ridiculous ease into his lap. Although Peter knows he could lift Wade just as easily, he would have to admit the fact that Wade can manhandle him without the benefit of super strength does make him shiver. He shoves his hands under Wade’s t-shirt and pushes it up, running his fingers over the scarred ridges of his abs. He feels Wade’s stomach muscles twitch under his touch and glances up into bright blue eyes, pupils blown wide with lust and just a hint of fear. Does he still think Peter doesn't really want him? Fuck that shit. Peter shoves the t-shirt higher. “Get this off,” he demands.

Wade complies. “Eager thing aren't you.”

“Fuck yes. I've been wanting to do this for months.”

Wade groans. “Fuck you’re sexy baby boy. How the shit did I get this lucky?”

“Fuck luck. Have you seen you? You're so fucking hot.” Peter gasps, leaning down to kiss Wade’s neck, over his collarbone, sucking small marks and trailing kisses down his chest as he grips his shoulders. When he flicks his tongue over a hard nipple Wade hisses and bucks against him, grinding a sizeable bulge against him. Peter grins in surprise and sucks at the nipple again, breaking off with a groan as Wade grips his ass tighter, digging fingers into his muscles and grinding against Peter’s own erection which is threatening to bust the zipper of his pants.

“Oh fuck me Petey, wanna get my hands on you…” Wade’s fingers fumble at the hem of Peter’s shirt and the buttons of his fly. Peter takes over, stripping off his own shirt, yanking it over his head and throwing it behind him to land in a heap with Wade’s.

Wade sits back for a moment as he stares at Peter in amazement. He runs his hands almost reverently over Peter's skin, rough fingers leaving trails of prickling heat in their wake. He murmurs to himself in disbelief. “Fuck you're perfect.”

Peter smiles, suddenly shy again for a moment under such an intense gaze. Then he reaches down and presses a hand against the tent in Wade’s jeans and slides a hand along the rigid length under the fabric. “Holy shit Wade,” he breathes, dragging his zipper down and reaching inside, sitting back so he can get his hands on Wade’s cock. His eyes widen as his fingers wrap around it, huge and hard under his touch. It's been a long time since he had another man’s cock in his hand and he's pretty sure he's never even seen one this big. He swallows hard, mouth suddenly dry, heart hammering. Well here's a size kink he never knew he had. His brain laughs at him. Really, you never knew that? He flushes and leans down slowly to flick his tongue over the head.

Wade lets out a wrecked groan and digs his fingers into Peter's sides. “Oh baby boy you're gonna kill me—“

With a wicked smirk Peter opens his mouth wider and sinks down as far as he can go, trying not to gag as Wade’s cock hits the back of his throat. It feels amazing; his skin is far from smooth even here, ridges and bumps slide over his tongue but despite the uneven texture, it feels like red hot silk. He worries vaguely that the scars might be painful, that he might be hurting him, but judging by the sounds coming from Wade’s throat and the way his eyes seem to have rolled back into his head, he figures he's doing ok.

Wade’s hands hover over his head as if he wants to grab his hair. The idea of Wade fucking into his mouth makes Peter’s own cock jump, pre-come dampening the front of his underwear. He shifts, pushing his cock against Wade’s leg as he sucks and bobs his head, opening his throat and sliding his tongue over the slit, tasting bitter salt.

“Jesus Petey you gotta stop.” Wade grabs his shoulder and pulls him up. Peter looks up, briefly hurt. “This is gonna be over way too soon if you don't stop.” Wade pants, “Fuckin’ all over, if you catch my drift?”

Peter grins at him and licks his lips, Wade drags him into a filthy kiss, licking his own taste from Peter’s mouth. Fire shoots down Peter’s spine as he fumbles with his own fly, dragging his pants down as best he can without breaking the kiss. Wade reaches blindly for him, wrapping a hand around his weeping cock and stroking him roughly. Peter almost cries out, biting at Wade’s lip as his hand slides over his length. He's not going to last long either. He reaches down to take Wade’s cock in his hand again, fingers stretching to encircle him as they kiss, all tongue and teeth and incoherent half-words. Peter raises himself on his knees either side of Wade’s lap and moves forward until Wade’s cock is under him, pressing at his hole.

Wade goes stock still and Peter opens his eyes to see an expression of shocked lust. He smiles, pushing down against Wade, pressing himself against his length. Considering only moments ago he was trying to talk himself out of kissing Wade he's aware he's gone from 0 to 60 in record time but now he knows what he wants. He wants Wade’s cock inside him, maybe more than he's ever wanted anything or anyone before.

“Need you to fuck me,” he whispers against Wade’s ear.

Wade groans and shoves him down, hands hard on his hips. “Holy zombie Jesus, you don't fuck about do you?” he says, gravel filled voice deeper than ever. He looks around the room, searching for something. “You got…”

Peter nods and gets up, kicking his pants off as he stands. “Stay there,” he commands.

Wade salutes lazily. “I may never move again.”

Peter rolls his eyes and heads to his room, grabs lube and a condom that is still just about in-date. It's been a depressingly long time since he'd last needed one.

When he walks back into the living room Wade is exactly where he left him, sprawled on the couch, legs apart, pants off now, holding his cock in one hand and jacking himself slowly while he watches Peter. His chest muscles flex as he moves his hand over his cock. He grins and Peter can almost feel the heat of his gaze as it trails over his body. His own erection bobs as he walks over. As he watches Wade he does briefly wonder how the hell he’s going to manage this with a cock that size, especially when it's been a while. Oh well, only one way to find out.

He carefully sits back astride Wade’s lap and Wade immediately grabs his ass and pulls him down again, grinding his cock into the space behind Peter's balls as he kisses him roughly. Peter drags his hands away from their unending exploration of Wade’s muscles to grab the condom. He looks at Wade, raising a questioning eyebrow. Wade nods furiously and Peter grins, rolling the condom over his length. He pours a handful of lube into his palm and slicks it over of Wade’s cock, fist moving slowly. Then, as Wade watches wide-eyed, he reaches behind himself and slides two slicked up fingers into his hole. He’s careful at first, circling and twisting them slowly as he presses in, baring down, gritting his teeth against the burn, getting used to the stretch. It has been a while and he knows he should take things slower this first time, but he really doesn't want to. He wants Wade to fuck him now. He feels like he's been waiting months for this.

Wade watches with rapt attention as he moves his fingers faster, adding another, willing his muscles to relax. He begins to kiss Peter’s neck, nipping and licking, sending waves of pleasure through Peter’s body, then pulls back again, eyes hooded as he watches Peter finger himself.

“That is the hottest thing I have ever seen. Look at you. You are like a billion times hotter than I ever imagined, and I have a fucking awesome imagination.”

Peter smirks. “Oh you imagined this huh?” he asks slyly.

“Fuck yes! Also I should probably mention that you need to be quieter when you jerk off.”

Peter flushes pink at the memory. “I could say the same to you," he whispers, dragging his teeth across Wade’s earlobe.

Wade groans. “I didn't freak you out?”

Peter shakes his head. “No it was…inspiring,” he says, breath hitching as his fingers brush his prostate.

Wade shudders and mouthes at his shoulder. “You ready baby boy? I'm not gonna last much longer watching you do that.”

Peter removes his fingers, feeling suddenly empty and sits up on his knees. Wade runs his hands down his back, squeezing his ass again. He looks questioningly at Peter. “You sure?” he asks, still sounding like he expects to wake up any moment. Peter nods and sinks slowly down, swallowing in anticipation as he feels the blunt head of Wade’s cock pushing into his hole.

The burn and stretch is briefly agonising at first, even with the prep. Peter cries out in a mixture of pain and pleasure and drops his head forward against Wade’s neck, breathing hard. He feels the vibration under his cheek as Wade makes a sound almost like a growl, deep in his throat, his entire body seeming taut, stomach muscles tensing as he fights the urge to thrust.

“Holy mother fucking crap Petey. Fuuuuuck…” Wade tightens his grip, blunt nails digging into Peter’s skin, leaving marks that he hopes won't fade too quickly. “Fuck me, you feel good. You're so fucking tight.”

Peter moans a wordless response, too far gone for speech. Finally he feels himself relax enough to manage one word, breathed against boiling skin. “Move.”

Wade doesn't need telling twice. He thrusts up as Peter bares down on him. Sweat-soaked skin slaps, Peter’s eyes water, his thighs burn as he lifts himself again, feeling Wade’s cock sliding in and out of him, every thrust hitting the sweet spot and sending sparks showering through his blood. Heat coils in his belly.

“Fuck Wade. Oh shit that feels good, fuck me.” He doesn't even know where these words are coming from. He's never usually this vocal but he just can't stop himself. If he paused to think about it he’d probably spontaneously combust from sheer mortification but as it is, telling Wade exactly what he wants really turns him on.

Wade doesn't speak, he just pushes his hips up to meet Peter’s every move. His broken moans become gasping grunts and breathless, meaningless sounds as Peter writhes on his cock, his own bouncing and dripping against Wade’s stomach. The fire is spreading through Peter’s body with every thrust. He grips Wade’s shoulders, crushes their mouths together and swallows Wade’s warning as he comes hard, painting Wade’s abs with streaks of white, biting his lip until he draws blood. As he comes he feels Wade give one last, stuttering thrust as he comes inside him with a deep groan, almost like he's in pain.

Suddenly boneless, Peter collapses against Wade’s chest. Huge arms wrap around him, his damp hair sticks to scarred, sweat drenched skin. There is silence except for panting and the hammering of Wade’s heart under his head.

Despite the thundering of his own heart Peter is floating. His head is spinning but calm. He can't remember the last time he felt so utterly safe and relaxed. His bones have turned to jelly and his skin tingles all over.

Wade reaches down and pinches Peter's ass hard.

“Ow! What was that for?”

“Just checking if I'm dreaming. It didn't hurt so I'm guessing I am. Which is ok, it's an awesome dream.” Wade says, sounding philosophical.

Peter smacks his arm. “That was me dumbass. You're supposed to pinch yourself.”

“Ah…” a pause, “so this isn't a dream?”

Peter grins and presses his lips to Wade’s damp skin. “No,” he says, “Unless it's one of those mass hallucinations,” he adds thoughtfully as he lifts himself carefully off Wade’s softening cock before lying back against his chest.

Wade grins and drags his nails gently up his back, making him shiver. Peter's eyelids feel heavy. He should go to bed but he doesn't want to move.