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Through The Lens

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Peter Parker hated high school. With a passion. Of course, he understood that everyone hated high school, but not everyone hated high school the way he hated high school. Especially new high schools, with unhelpful classmates and confusing hallways and a map that makes no sense no matter which way you turned it. Because high school was the worst.

Another student bumped into Peter’s side, not even acknowledging him before moving on. He was the–fourth? Fifth?–person to hit him since Aunt May had dropped him off barely ten minutes ago. Peter had to refrain from snapping something back. Getting punched on the first day wouldn’t really be good for him. And besides, he knew that he didn’t tend to stand out. Five times is definitely something he can handle, considering it’s probably the first of five hundr–

Someone else bumped into Peter.

Scratch that, five is my new limit .

Peter let out the most annoyed noise he could think of (which sounded like a whale trying to play a piccolo) and turned around to see who had hit him for the sixth time, ready to either shout at them (if they were small) or run like hell (if they were anywhere close to his physique).

Then he saw the most obviously rich boy he’d ever seen in his life. His hair was dark and artfully styled back, just barely brushing the bottoms of his ears. Messy, but flatteringly so. His clothes could only be described as “grunge”, with the dark ripped jeans and fancy flannel over a vintage band t-shirt and the converse that were just messy enough to be cool. Everything looked like garbage, but it also looked like fancy garbage that probably cost more than May’s rent.

Rich Boy didn’t even have a backpack.

“That was probably the funniest noise I’ve ever heard out of this place. And I heard Clint scream at a mouse once, so that’s saying something.” Rich Boy snorted.

Peter blinked, still shocked. “What?”

“That noise? Your stellar imitation of a donkey being steamrolled?”

Peter scrunched his nose. “I feel like there’d be a lot more crunching involved.”

Rich Boy laughed. “Fair enough. What’s with the map?” he asked, changing subjects and grabbing the map out of Peter’s hands. “You new here?”

Peter gingerly plucked the map back from him. “No, I just carry the map around as memorabilia from hell.”

RIch Boy narrowed his eyes. “I don’t appreciate the sass, newbie.” he said, sticking a finger in Peter’s face.

Peter took two seconds to deliberate if it was worth sassing him back again, then decided that pissing off a very rich person was probably not the greatest idea. He gave in. “Yes, I’m new. Happy?”

Rich Boy considered, crossing his arms, then shook his head. “Not even close. How about we–”

A monotone bell cuts into his sentence, ringing three times. There’s a moment where Peter thinks he’s already late for his first class, but there’s still a swarm of people around him. Must be a warning bell?

“Damn. Walk and talk?” Richie offered, holding out an arm.

“Only if the talking involves directions to room D135.” Peter answered, ignoring the arm.

“I believe it’s thataway,” Rich Boy said, accompanied by a vague pointing, “so we’ll get there. Plus, you’re new, so no one cares if you’re late.”

“Half of that answer was helpful.” Peter mumbled, following Rich Boy as he started making his way down the hall.

Either Rich Boy didn’t hear him, or he ignored him. “So, what’s your name?”

“Peter. You?”

“Tony,” he answered, offering out a hand that Peter took. “Tony Stark. What brings you to our fine establishment today, Peter?”

Where have I heard that name? “My aunt got a job here.”

“Unfortunate. This town sucks ass. Got any fantastic career plans lined up?”

Peter cocked an eyebrow, slightly surprised that he hadn’t said anything about the fact that he said aunt and not parents . And that he had just called the small town in California with nice weather and nice nature boring. “You ask a lot of questions.”

Rich Boy–Tony–nudged him until he turned right, into a hall with one side almost completely glass. “I happen to like information, judgy-pants. Career plans?”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Engineering or photography. Maybe something that combines them.”

“Huh. I’ll keep that in mind. Oh, here’s your stop.” he announced, gesturing to the door next to Peter.

Peter turned and looked, and sure enough, they were in front of room D135. That had gone faster than he expected. “Didn’t you point in the other direction when I asked?”

Tony shrugged. “Pointing is rude.”

“It’s a door.” Peter pointed out. “It can’t tell if you’re pointing at it.”

“It still has feelings.”

“Mhmm. Well, thanks for the directions.” Peter said, nodding at the door.

“Anytime. See you around.” Tony said, flashing a white smile and walking away before Peter could say anything else.

The few people left in the hall seemed to stop and stare at him as he walked past. He didn’t even seem to notice, which was odd. Peter guessed he must be used to it, though he didn’t know why.



The rest of the day passed (thankfully) much more uneventfully. Peter, despite his horrific social skills, had actually made a couple more acquaintances. He only spoke to whoever he ended up sitting next to, which included a dramatic boy named Bucky in english (who spent most of his time texting someone else anyway), a conspiracy theorist named “Weasel” in calculus (who tried to convince him to stuff tin foil in his ears), a terrifying redhead named Natasha who he had in both French and history (who he had quickly discovered was basically a deadly mom friend), a surprisingly nice boy named Bruce in science (who was so nerdy it put Peter to shame), and strangely enough, Clint in his computer science class (who turned out to be hilarious and never shut up about Natasha). They all seemed to like him well enough, and they all seemed to know Tony, which was weird, to say the least.

Peter wondered whether or not that was a coincidence as he walked into his last class, which he hoped would become his favorite. Unlike his last high school, this one actually offered a photography course, and Peter was beyond excited. It was probably the only good thing to come out of the whole move. Well, that, and potentially gaining a rich friend with other friends all over the place. And May’s better-paying job.

A quick scan of the room when Peter walked in confirmed that, as expected, he didn’t know anyone in the room, and what he had hoped for, the class seemed to be small. The room was set up almost like a science lab, with one row of tables on each side of the room. He picked an empty one close to the middle and secretly hoped no one would sit with him.

He settled in as the bell rang, looking around to see if he stuck out too much. Some people sat together, others sat alone, and no one even seemed to consider Peter’s table. It was kind of nice, if not a little strange. There were only nine people in his class, and they all seemed to be content with leaving him alone.

Well, except for the fact that they all seemed to be...staring at him. Whenever he caught someone’s eye they’d look away, but they were definitely staring. He checked his clothes for any stains or other flaws, but found nothing. He looked around, but he couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary around him. He hoped they just didn’t like that he was new.

The teacher walked up to the front of the room as the final bell rang. He was a dark-haired man who seemed to be in his late twenties, with the usual slightly-trashy outfit of an art teacher, including terrible red reflective sunglasses. “Alright, everyone, we’ve got someone new today. Peter, would you like to say something about yourself?” he asked, in a tone that was more of a command than a question.

Peter gave a small sigh before he opened his mouth to answer. He’d already had to “say something about himself” six times today. He didn’t really see the appeal in repeating it. “I’m–”

He was interrupted as the door opened again, letting in a tall boy with an unhappy look on his face. As soon as Peter saw him, his heart sank.

The boy was significantly taller than Peter, with slightly-overgrown blonde hair. He had on torn jeans and a black thermal, which somehow made him look scarier than his scowl. It almost looked like it was the only facial expression he knew how to make. And, to top it all off, he had a rather nasty-looking scar running from just in front of his ear to under the middle of his jaw. He was easily ten times more terrifying than anyone at Peter’s old school.

He walked in about two steps before he stopped, staring–glaring–right at Peter. The room seemed to freeze for a moment.

Then the boy he crossed the room in three strides and practically threw himself into the chair next to Peter, and Peter nearly shrieked. The movement was quick, unexpected, and demonstrated that this scary new person definitely had some power to them. Peter nearly fell out of his chair because holy hell that was terrifying .

He suddenly realized why everyone had been staring at him. And he wanted to die.

The teacher seemed unimpressed, marking the boy tardy without giving him a second glance. “Sorry for the interruption, Peter. Were you going to say something?”

Peter stammered for a second, still very much stunned by the–upon closer inspection, yep, totally ripped –boy next to him. He struggled to face forwards. “Um, no. I’m just Peter.”

“You’re just dead, is what you are.” someone muttered behind him, causing a slightly-nervous laughter to wave across the room. The boy didn’t seem to react.

“Well then, let’s get started, shall we?” the teacher began, and Peter didn’t hear anything else.

The boy turned to him and glared again. “You’re in my seat.” he informed him, and his voice almost shocked Peter as much as his entrance. It was low and raspy, and shook Peter to his core.

Peter briefly wondered if he looked as terrified as he felt. “I figured that out–” he started, then almost squeaked at the scowl he got in response. “Uh, I won’t sit here tomorrow. My bad.” he finished quickly, giving him a scared smile.

The boy tilted his head. “Good choice, spider. You new?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. Peter nodded. The boy snorted. “Figures.”

Peter spent the rest of the class wondering when he was suddenly going to get sucker-punched, like what happens in comics. Fortunately, the boy seemed content with ignoring him. Neither of them said anything else, excluding when Peter was given a debriefing on the current class project, which ended in two days so he was being excluded from it.

“Maybe you can just help Mr. Wilson with his.” the teacher–who Peter discovered actually had a name, Mr. Summers–had added at the end, indicating the teenage embodiment of intimidation next to him. Wilson had flashed a sarcastic grin and given him a thumbs-up, revealing a hitchhiker’s thumb.

The rest of class was spent in terrifying silence. The bell seemed to take years to ring. Peter practically ran out of the room when it finally did, praying that Wilson wouldn’t follow him. He darted between the crowds to get out of the stupid building as fast as possible, making to the front of the building surprisingly fast for only half-knowing where he was going. When he got to the front, he pulled out his phone, mapped out his address, and walked straight home, not bothering to risk a bus.



Peter had never been so glad to get back to an empty new house. It was a cozy little house, but it was still eerily unpacked, with boxes and miscellaneous items scattered everywhere. The living room still had a sheet over the windows, seeing as May had yet to take Peter with her to go pick out curtains. The only room that had been fully unpacked was the kitchen, which Peter stopped in to grab an apple before heading up to his room, dodging boxes on his way.

His bedroom, though sparse and partially unpacked, didn’t feel much different from his old room. It had the same small, cozy feel to it. Peter had unpacked his photos first and put them up in their usual places above his bed. Second had been his bed sheets, followed by his camera equipment.

The fact that clothes came last probably says something about my priorities.

Peter grabbed his laptop and flopped down on his bed. He needed to end his day on a good note. At least, that’s what May always said. And good notes usually involved his friends. Peter grinned and called Harry, his best friend from back home.

Talking with Harry greatly increased his mood. Though his friend was busy with school and preparing to inherit an enormous science empire, he still always seemed to make time for him–a feat that took much more effort than Peter thought he deserved. He’d mentioned it once, but Harry had promptly called him an idiot, but an idiot totally worth the effort.

The topic of school had come up fairly quickly during the call, to no one’s surprise. Peter had easily recounted his day, noting the strange amount of people who had seemed to like him, and the one person who really seemed to not.

“Wilson?” Harry had said. “I can look into it, if you want.”

“Nah, I’m not wor–”

“If you say ‘worth the effort’, I’ll punch you myself, Parker.”

And after some slightly pointless arguing, Peter had agreed to let him look into it, even if he knew it was just an excuse for Harry to both worry about him and not do business work. Harry seemed to have taken a particular liking to both after he’d moved away.

Peter rolled his eyes at the memory as he pulled out his homework. Let him worry.



May had gotten home about an hour after Peter’s call with Harry, and they both quickly decided that cooking was off the table, so she had ordered them a pizza. May had told him all about her day (work was lovely, and Peter had smiled at the way her face had lit up), and he had told her about his (leaving out his last class, because that’s the last thing she needs to worry about), he retreated to his room to get through his absolute mountain of homework.

He had gotten about halfway through the ridiculous amount of notes his history and science teachers had given him when his phone buzzed again. Expecting it to be Harry, he was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t.

Natasha: I’m giving Tony your number.

Peter snorted and typed back. Natasha had asked for his number in history, the second class they had together. Somehow, this turn of events didn’t surprise him. Everything seemed to tie back to Tony.

Peter: Go ahead.

Natasha: You’ve been warned.

Peter grinned and went back to his homework for a minute before his phone buzzed not once, but five times, with almost no time in between.

Unknown number: if it isn’t my favorite nerd

Unknown number: you’re a NERD

Unknown number: this is your conscience speaking

Unknown number: and I say you’re a NERD

Unknown number: and I say im bored as hell so entertain me again

Peter: Again?

Unknown number: that noise was a CLASSIC

Peter rolled his eyes, but let himself enjoy the warm feeling being liked was bringing. He closed his textbook and typed out a response.

Peter: Sure it was.

Unknown number: ooooooooh wait YOUR CONSCIENCE HAS AN IDEA

Peter: A good idea or a bad idea?

Unknown number: YES

Peter frowned at the text, not really having a good response to Tony’s...whatever that was.

After a minute, his phone gave him a new alert.

New group chat: THE AVENGERS (assemble, bitches)

Peter chuckled at the title and investigated the group chat. It had ten people in it, and almost instantly, five of them commented about Peter’s sudden addition.

Tony: Peter’s an avenger now no takebacks

Unknown number: you’ve known him for ONE DAY, Tony

Unknown number #2: cmon man the chat has like two million people

Unknown number #3: Peter from chem?

Unknown number #4: we can’t hit double digits guys that’s ridiculous

Natasha: all of you shut up it’s too late to undo it

Peter widened his eyes at Natasha’s sudden defense. Apparently, everyone else (whoever that was) did too, because no one said anything for a solid ten minutes.

And then, finally:

Tony: I win. double digits, bitches.

Peter had absolutely no idea why Tony had taken such a sudden liking to him, and he really couldn’t make himself care. After a couple minutes, the chat started up again, and Peter’s addition wasn’t mentioned again.

Peter ended up finishing the rest of his homework much slower than usual, enjoying watching the banter of the chat. He’d put names to six of the numbers by the end of the night: Clint, Bruce, someone named Thor (which, really, how is that a real name ), Tony’s friend Rhodey (who he hadn’t yet determined the first name of), someone named Steve, and Steve’s friend Sam. It only left one number, though from context, he was starting to guess it was Bucky.

Peter stretched and rose to go brush his teeth and wash his face. He said goodnight to May on his way back, and climbed into bed, the exhaustion of his day finally catching up with him. Sleep had almost reached him when his phone buzzed again. He groaned and picked up his phone, squinting when it nearly blinded him. To his surprise, it wasn’t from the chat or from Harry. It wasn’t from anyone he knew.

Unknown number: nighty night, spidey.

Peter stared at his phone. It couldn’t be possible. It’d been one day.


Chapter Text

The curtains in Peter’s bedroom blew around with the morning breeze, letting the light make patterns across the ceiling. He stared up at the shadows and wondered how hard it would be to fake being sick until winter break. Or until the end of the year. Or at least until Wilson got suspended and/or went to prison. Whichever came first.

“Peter, you’re going to be late, sweetie!” Aunt May called from her bedroom.

Peter groaned and rolled over, smushing his face into his pillow. Unfortunately, May was right. She wasn’t going to let him skip his second day of school. He sat in the comfort of his bed for another moment before he slowly pushed himself upright and grabbed his phone off of his desk. No new messages from the chat. More importantly, no new messages from Wilson. He never responded to the ominous message from the previous night, even if he had thought of a million answers to it before he had finally fallen asleep (and dreamt of giant spiders that kept giving him swirlies, which was stupid because no one did that anymore).

Peter walked over to his dresser and pulled out a navy thermal, pulling it over his head as he walked to the bathroom. He quickly went through his routine, peeing first, washing his hands and face after (and wishing he could make himself look less tired) before he walked back to his room to switch his pajama pants for jeans. He shoved his homework into his backpack and slung it onto his shoulders as he walked down to the kitchen.

He saw Aunt May at the kitchen table, eating breakfast and reading a newspaper, because she was perfectly old-fashioned. She also preferred to get ready after her breakfast; her hair was still in a messy bun and she was still wearing her pajamas. May looked up from her bowl of oatmeal and smiled at him as he walked in.  “Morning, sweetie.”

Peter smiled back and grabbed a cereal box from the pantry and a bowl from the cabinet, which by some miracle, he found on the first try. “Morning.”

“Ready for day two?”

“So ready.” Peter said, sarcastic. He walked over to the fridge and pulled out the milk. “School is the best.

May rolled her eyes at him. “It’s far too early for sarcasm, isn’t it?”

Peter chuckled and sat down across from her at the table. “Probably. It’s been scientifically proven that school starts way too early, you know.”

“I know, sweetie, but unfortunately, you still have to go to school on time.” she said, quickly finishing off her oatmeal in two bites. “Eat some breakfast quick, and I’ll drop you off.”

Peter nodded through the biggest bite of cereal he could get into his mouth and gave May a thumbs-up. She laughed and ruffled his hair before she dropped her bowl in the sink and headed back upstairs to finish getting ready. Peter finished his breakfast in ten more bites and got halfway through rinsing out his and May’s dishes when his phone buzzed from its spot on the table.

Peter jumped about ten feet in the air and dropped the bowl with a loud clank. He put a hand over his heart and tried to take a breath, but for some reason–it didn’t work.

He used his other hand to support himself on the counter and tried again. Nothing happened. He couldn’t breathe. What kind of idiot can’t breathe? Breathing–breathing was an easy thing. He should be able to breathe. Why can’t he breathe?

Peter stood in the kitchen and silently panicked. Some dull voice in his mind wondered if he was really about to die from forgetting how to breathe. He wouldn’t really doubt it at this point.

Peter swallowed and and clenched the countertop harder, with both hands. He leaned over the sink and hoped he wouldn’t see his cereal again. It was just a text message. It shouldn’t be able to do–this. Whatever this was.

Some part of Peter knew that it wasn’t just a text message, but every other part of him seemed very focused on reminding him that he needed air, and that without air, he would die rather quickly.

Stop panicking, Peter. You can do thi–wait a minute.

Suddenly, that dull voice in his head got much louder and much more logical as he put together what was going on.

The panic attacks are back. That’s what’s happening. You’re panicking.

Peter would have face-palmed if he didn’t have so many other things going on at that moment. He really should have recognized his panic attack so much earlier than this.

Come on, Peter, focus. You know how to breathe–I hope. Inhaling would be a good start. Let’s start with that.

Peter closed his eyes and forced an almost painful breath in through his nose. Then, slowly, he pushed it back out. He repeated the process until his head stopped hurting him. It was a good minute of just breathing before he released his death grip on the counter and inched over to the kitchen table.

He stared down at his phone like it was a bomb on the table. At this point, he really wanted to just throw his phone across the room, but he forced the urge down and looked at the message from... Tony.

It was just a text message...from Tony. It wasn’t even from–nope, he wasn’t gonna think about that. He shook his head once to clear it and unlocked his phone.

Tony: what are you doing friday

Peter: This Friday? As

Tony: yeah that’s the one

Peter: Nothing, currently

Tony: you are now

Peter sighed and shoved his phone into his pocket. He walked out to the living room and grabbed his backpack from its spot next to the couch. “May, we gotta go!”



“Dude, you look like you’re about to blow up.” Clint commented, poking Peter’s bouncing leg with his chewed pencil.

Peter jumped and batted him away, then continued with his nervous bouncing. “I’m not gonna blow up.”

Clint rolled his eyes and swiveled his chair to face him. “What’s got your knickers in a twist?”

Peter slowed his bouncing and turned to cock his head at Clint. “That saying doesn’t belong in this century.”

Clint shrugged and resumed chewing his pencil. “Tony uses it all the time. I just like saying ‘knickers’.”

Peter chuckled and scrunched his nose at Clint’s habit. “You sound like you’re eighty.”

“Well, Bucky and Steve sound like they’re ninety, so I still win.”

“Bucky spends way more time on his phone than a ninety-year-old would.” Peter pointed out, glancing at the clock behind Clint’s head again. Six minutes.

“Fine, then he can be a hundred. Still older than me, that’s all that matters.” Clint decided, nodding in satisfaction. “Steve’s only ninety though.”

“I’ve never even met Steve. What makes him ninety?”

Clint clucked and shook his head. “Poor Peter. So in the dark.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Not surprising. Will he be at whatever is happening with Tony after school?”

Clint nodded. “Probably. Tony likes getting the whole group together for his little shindigs.”


“Agreed. So, what’s got your knickers in a twist?”

Peter laughed at the saying again. “I can’t take that question seriously. Pick a different one.”

“What’s got your panties in a twist?” Clint tried with a cheeky grin.

“Try again.”

Clint paused and made a bad thinking face, then lit up when he got an idea. “Why ist thou wearing a frown?” Clint tried again, faking a Shakespeare pose.

“You’re a dork.” Peter said, feeling like it needed to be voiced before he continued. “I’m nervous.”

There was a pause. Peter looked back at the clock and watched the seconds tick by. Clint watched him for a moment, looking between Peter and the clock. Then snapped his fingers in Peter’s face to get his attention back. Peter scrunched his nose and pushed Clint’s hand out of his face. “What?”


Peter looked dumbly back at him, confused. “And what?”

Clint rolled his eyes. “You can’t just say ‘I’m nervous’ and leave it at that.”

“Why not?”

Clint cocked his head at him. “Because–that’s not how it works? You gotta finish the thought.”

Peter’s eyes widened in understanding. “Oh. Right. I’m just nervous about–about the shindig later.” he lied, flicking his gaze back to the clock once. Two minutes.

Clint narrowed his eyes at him. Peter gave him a very unconvincing smile back. Clint only narrowed his eyes further. “Liar.” Clint accused, but didn’t press further.

Peter let out his breath and focused on the clock. 



To say Peter had ran to his final class of the day would be an overstatement, but saying he had walked like a normal person would be a big fat lie. He probably looked something like a five-year-old trying to learn how to skip, but with a really heavy backpack. Going at a slightly-abnormal speed. Down two flights of stairs.

But, despite looking like an asshat, he had managed to get to the room before Wilson did. He entered the room louder than he’d intended, causing the two other students in the room who had gotten there before him to give him funny looks. He ignored it and picked the table at the very front of the room, closest to the door. His memory was failing him on who had sat there yesterday, though it didn’t really matter. It wasn’t Wilson. Peter put down his things and pulled out the book he was currently reading–Cujo, because he needed more scary things in his life–and poorly attempted to distract himself until the bell rang.

The door opened again and Peter’s head snapped up so quickly it hurt. A girl who sat in the back walked in and went to her seat. Peter shoved the anxiety that had risen back down his throat and forced himself to look back down at his book.

Chances are, he’ll sit in his usual spot, you’ll sit here, and you’ll never speak again. Everything will be fine.

Another full minute passed before the door opened again, and Peter made himself keep looking down. Footsteps thudded in, much heavier than the girl’s had been. They made their way to Peter’s table and stopped in front of him.

Under the table, Peter could just barely see the big combat boots that belonged to none other than First-Name-Still-Unknown Wilson.

“Spidey, this hurts.” Wilson said, voice low and scratchy.

Peter very, very slowly looked up at Wilson. He wasn’t in all black today, to Peter’s surprise. He had on blue jeans with holes in the knees and a light grey thermal that really proved how much muscle he had. As Peter’s gaze finally rose up to his face, he saw something else that surprised him. Wilson had his hair tied back. The scariest person in Peter’s life was currently wearing a man bun–of sorts. It was slightly messy, like it had been there all day. It didn’t stop Wilson from looking like he wanted to maim Peter, but it somehow made him...less scary. Peter gulped–hoped it wasn’t audible–and met Wilson’s piercing gaze.

Wilson quirked an eyebrow at him. “You moved tables.”

Peter just stared for a minute, before realizing Wilson was waiting for an answer. “Uh, yeah. I did.”

Wilson mocked looking hurt. “What, did you not like sitting with me?”

Peter gripped his book hard to stop his hands from shaking. “It–It just didn’t seem like you liked sitting with me. So I moved.”

Wilson’s face changed, just barely. At first, Peter couldn’t tell what it had changed to. Wilson sort of...squinted at him, and tilted his head just a little bit. It was only there for an instant before it was gone, replaced by that sarcastic look again. “Now, why would you think that?” he asked, but his voice was just slightly less sure than it had been before.

Somehow, Peter’s answer had confused him.

Peter opened his mouth to answer, but nothing came out. He stared at Wilson for another moment, then knew he wasn’t going to come up with an answer, so his gaze dropped back down to his lap. He could barely hear Wilson chuckle to himself over the bell ringing. Wilson sat down in the seat next to Peter’s.

After a moment, Mr. Summers got up to the front of the class and started talking, saying something about how today was the last day to finish the project Peter had been excused from. Peter looked over at Wilson again. He saw two things that he hadn’t been expecting.

First, Wilson actually seemed to be paying attention, which was...surprising. At first, Peter had thought maybe he had just caught him in a moment where he happened to be facing forwards, but after the third time he’d looked up at him, Wilson still hadn’t looked back. He seemed to actually care about what Mr. Summers was saying.

Second, Wilson’s scar was almost worse up close. He had sat on Peter’s right side, giving him a perfect view. It started just in front his right ear and curved down to stop under the line of his jaw. Peter couldn’t tell how old it was, but it seemed new enough to still hurt. After all, it was almost half an inch thick. Peter briefly wondered what had caused it when Wilson suddenly looked over and met his eye.

There was one terrifying moment when their eyes met, Peter’s boring brown against Wilson’s piercing blue before Peter snapped his gaze back to the front and felt his cheeks warm. He suddenly felt guilty for staring for so long. And stupid for thinking Wilson wouldn’t notice. He could feel Wilson staring at him for a full minute before he turned back to the front. After a moment, he saw Wilson slowly tug the hair tie out of his hair, making it fall back to cover up his face. Against his will, Peter’s leg started bouncing again.

Everything in Peter wanted to look back at Wilson, even though he knew it was a bad idea. He didn’t want to look at the scar again–he wasn’t that stupid–he wanted to judge how mad Wilson looked. Peter decided to risk it and glanced over.

As soon as he did, Wilson looked back at him. Peter met his glare and froze.

Wilson’s expression was something very far from friendly. “See something you like?”

“I–No. I mean, not no–I–I don’t know.” Peter stammered.

Wilson cocked his head at him. “You don’t know?”

“Um, no?” Peter tried, cringing at himself. “I mean–I just–” Peter stopped and huffed a slightly-frustrated breath. “I’m–indifferent.”

Wilson rolled his eyes. “You’re real great with words, spidey.”

“Uh, thanks–Wilson.”

Wilson gave him a funny look and raised an eyebrow. “Wilson?”

Peter felt himself blush. Had he heard it wrong yesterday? “Isn’t that your name?”

Wilson looked at him like he was crazy. Which, in all honesty, wasn’t all that far off. “Well, yeah. It’s my last name.”

“ is your name?” Peter asked.

Wilson rolled his eyes and suddenly turned back to the front. “It’s honestly a miracle no one’s punched you if you go around using only last names.”

Apparently, Wilson was very good at switching from threatening to semi-friendly and Peter was apparently very bad at keeping up. He tried for friendly again. “Just give it some time.”

Wilson’s mouth moved into a devilish smirk. His scar stretched around it. So, that’s terrifying. “Alright. I give it about ten minutes.”

Peter frowned. Ten minutes? They were in the middle of class. Mr. Summers was in the middle of some teacher-speech about editing. Wilson couldn’t just punch him in the middle of class. Peter looked up at the clock.

There were ten minutes left in class. When the hell did that happen?

Peter was suddenly very scared for the quality of his facial features. He looked back at Wilson and said something that, in hindsight, was a really stupid thing to say. “Did you just arrange a time to hit me?”

Wilson grinned again. “Seems so. Why don’t you pick the place?”

“Wha–What?” Peter stammered, both very scared and very confused.

“You’ve got nine minutes, so I’d pick somewhere close. Closer the better.” Wilson said, giving him a grin that was way too friendly.

Peter gaped back at him and said something even stupider . “Um, no.”

Wilson’s expression stopped being friendly. “No?”

Peter sat up slightly straighter, though he was still several inches shorter than Wilson. “Yeah. Wait–no. No. I won’t pick a place.” he said, defiant.

Wilson laughed . “You can’t really stand up for yourself when I’ve got a foot on you, spidey. But if you insist, I’ll pick.” he said, then hummed and looked around the room. He pointed to the table from yesterday, causing the person sitting there to look up and frown at him. “How about over there?”

Peter flicked his gaze over to the table and swallowed. “Or–or we could not do that. Maybe just pretend we did?” he proposed, giving Wilson an enthusiastic smile.

Wilson mocked thinking about it and shook his head. “Nope, definitely gonna happen. Three strikes, spidey. You’re out.”

“Three strikes?”

Wilson scoffed. “I’m not heartless, spidey. I don’t just hit people willy-nilly. Takes three strikes first. For example,” he held up a hand and started to count off as he spoke, “you decided to sit at my table, which was stupid. Strike one. Then, you left me all alone and hurt my feelings. Strike two. And finally, we have strike three, calling people by last names is rude. Oh, as is staring for several minutes. Hey, that’s four, actually. Does that mean I get to hit you twice?”

By some miracle, Peter didn’t piss his pants.

Wilson shakes his head. “Nah, that’d be overkill. We’ll just wait ‘til you fuck up two more times.”

Peter stared at him in shock. This is it. This is how I die. Psychopathic bully. “Uh, sounds like a plan?”

Wilson grinned at him. “Excellent. Six minutes, spidey.”

Peter internally groaned and put his arms on the table and rested his chin on top, not looking at Wilson. Wilson chuckled. And, because he was a psychopathic asshole, he didn’t say anything else for the rest of class.

Peter didn’t say anything either, to be fair. He was too busy preparing himself for the fact that he was going to get hit very hard in about–time check–two minutes. He was going to get punched in two minutes because the scariest teenager in human history had planned a time and place for it. Part of Peter wondered if the whole thing was just some mind game or unfortunate joke. Then he saw Wilson’s–which, he really should figure out his first name–biceps and realized that no, it probably wasn’t.

Then, to Peter’s dismay, the bell rang.

A sane person, at this point, would have run as fast as humanly possible out the door and never looked back. Unfortunately for Peter, he just froze in his seat as his other classmates left. He looked around for Mr. Summers, hoping he would notice that he wasn’t leaving, but he left almost immediately after his classmates did. Peter and Wilson both watched him go out.

“That’s some poor teacher behavior right there. Leaving two students unattended after school on a Friday? Not to mention one of them is me. ” Wilson commented, gesturing at the door.

Peter squinted at him. “You knew he was going to just leave like that?”

Wilson shrugged. “Considering he has for the last million Fridays, I had a feeling.”

Peter struggled to not shout in frustration. This felt like a normal conversation. This should not feel like a normal conversation. “What the fuck?” he suddenly exclaimed.

Wilson stared at him in surprise. “Yes, spidey?”

Peter’s frustration suddenly won out over his fear. “What the fuck is happening?”

“Well, lots of things. Depends on who you ask. But, since you’re asking me, spidey, the answer is I’m gonna sucker-punch you in that corner just as soon as I determine whether or not you’re gonna piss yourself when you stand up.”

Peter somehow got more frustrated. “My name isn’t ‘Spidey’, it’s Peter. And just–stop with this weird friendly thing!”

“‘Weird friendly thing’?” Wilson asked him, looking genuinely confused and just slightly angry.

“Whatever the hell you want to call it. This,” Peter said, gesturing between them, “is really weird and confusing and if you’re gonna punch me just do it and be mean and leave it at that. Enough with the normal conversations with threats mixed in. It’s confusing.” Peter declared, looking Wilson in his stupid blue eyes.

Wilson glared back and stood up, towering over Peter. Peter looked up and leaned back in his chair. “Fine, Petey. I’m so sorry I confused your poor little brain. No more niceness.” he suddenly moved and leaned over Peter, bracing himself on the table and the back of Peter’s chair and shoving his face only inches from Peter’s. “All scary, all the time. This better?”

Peter froze and just stared. Wilson didn’t move, and neither did he. After a minute of awkward breathing in each others’ faces, Peter swallowed and nodded. “Sure. Much better. Glad we settled it.” he rambled.

Wilson stood up straight and grabbed Peter by the upper arms and hoisted him forcefully to his feet like he was a doll. Peter made a rather undignified noise of fear. Wilson still stayed close to him, though not as close as before.

Then, out of nowhere, Wilson’s fist smacked into Peter’s cheekbone.

Peter yelped and fell to the ground, half-smacking the table on his way down. He pressed a hand to his face and looked back up at Wilson, who looked very angry. Wilson suddenly moved forward and Peter held his other hand up to try and block another blow–but Wilson just bent over him and grabbed his backpack.

“For the record, the name’s Wade.” Wilson growled him, then stormed out.

Peter sat on the ground and held his face, which felt like it was on fire. He tried to process what had just happened but his brain couldn’t make sense of any of it. He had no idea what the fuck Wils– Wade was trying to do. He didn’t even know if he wanted to know.

Then Peter’s phone buzzed and he nearly screamed. He scrambled to get it out of his pocket and just hoped it wasn’t Wade. It wasn’t. It was something even worse.

Tony: need a ride to the shindig?

Son of a BITCH.

Chapter Text

Peter, though he couldn’t see shit out of his right eye and his face felt like it was on fire, had somehow managed to type back a legible response to Tony and tell him that he needed a ride. He had about five minutes to get out to the parking lot, where Tony said he’d find him and pick him up (or, at least that’s what Peter thought it said).

Still sitting on the floor of the photography room, he slowly started poking himself to see if he had managed to hurt himself further on the way down after Wade had hit him.

Luckily, Peter wasn’t very heavy, so when he had hit the table, he hadn’t hit it too hard. From past experience, he could tell that he’d probably have a nice bruise on his side, upper arm, and face, but other than that, he was fine. He slowly got to his feet and picked up his backpack before he headed out of the room.

As he walked down the still slightly-confusing hallways, Peter very quickly discovered that he was paranoid as fuck. He kept looking back over his shoulder, as if Wade were suddenly going to appear and knock the lights out of him.

But, as any logical person would have expected, Wade was nowhere to be found. Peter made it out to the parking lot fairly quickly and looked around for Tony, even if he had no idea what he was looking for. He plopped himself down on the edge of the curb and waited.

After a minute, Tony pulled up, but it was not in the car Peter was expecting. He had been expecting some sort of sports car, or something sleek that maybe spat fire when it went fast. Definitely not the very old, slightly-dented blue pickup that Tony was currently waving at him from, with Clint right next to him. But after seeing Tony in it, it was almost like he couldn’t see Tony with anything else.

Peter grinned at the car and got in, happy for once that he was small. If he was any larger, the squeeze of three people would definitely get claustrophobic. Clint grinned back at him and scooted over to make more room.

Tony smiled at him when he got in, then started to drive towards the exit of the parking lot. “Mornin’ Peter.”

Peter chuckled and shoved his backpack between his feet. “It’s three in the afternoon.”

“Excited for the shindig?” Clint asked.

“As excited as I can be for something I know absolutely nothing about.” Peter answered.

Tony snorted. “Don’t expect much.”

“What should I be expecting?”

Clint made a dramatic thinking face. “Gross PDA, the occasional beer, bad pizza, and Tony trying to hide a boner.” he listed, and Tony shot him a deadly glare for the last one.

Peter scrunched his nose at him and carefully avoided eye contact with Tony. “That’s...disturbing.”

Clint laughed and Tony hit the back of his head. “So is ninety percent of this group.”

Peter raised an eyebrow. “Only ninety?”

“Well, I would say all, but Tony refuses to admit that Steve is a disturbing little fucker. So it’s at ninety.”

“Okay, seriously, who the hell is Steve?” Peter asked, looking between them.

Clint looked up at him. “Oh, right. You haven’t met him. Basically, he’s a tiny little art student with fluffy hair and Tony’s in love with him. Oh, and he hangs out with Bucky and Sam a lot.”

I am not in love with Steve. ” Tony hissed at Clint, though the blush on his cheeks said otherwise.

“Mhmm. And I don’t love Nat’s jean collection.”

Tony put a hand on Clint’s face and shoved him back into Peter, where he settled on Peter’s shoulder. “I am not in love with Steve.” he said again, but he had a look of someone who was at least a little bit in love.

Clint just laughed and then started to snuggle into Peter’s side. Well, he snuggled into Peter’s shoulder and arm. Peter looked down at him. “That can’t be comfortable.”

Clint frowned at his predicament. “No kidding. You’re like a sea urchin. Do you have anything but bones?”

“I think there’s a pancreas somewhere.”

Clint shifted again and tried to get comfortable. It wasn’t going very well. After a moment, he grabbed hold of Peter’s arm and put it over his shoulders. “Better.”

Tony briefly looked over at them and snorted at Clint. “You’re like a dog. But worse.”

“You’re in love with Steve.” Clint retaliated without opening his eyes.

“Shut the fuck up, Barton.”

Clint just laughed, shaking Peter with him. Peter rolled his eyes and shifted some so he was more comfortable. He leaned his head against the window and closed his eyes for the rest of the ride.

When he opened them, it was because the car had stopped. Peter blinked open his eyes and looked around. Apparently, shindigs occurred in the middle of nowhere, in a log cabin.

Only vaguely like a horror movie.

He shook Clint–who was still tucked against his side and snoring–and started to get out. After a moment of confusion, Clint followed. Tony led them into the cabin, which, really, was nicer than should be allowed.

“It’s my mom’s. Tastefully decorated and mostly douche-free.” Tony commented as they went in.

“Mostly?” Peter asked, looking around the small living room. It was tastefully decorated. And, strangely, empty.

“Clint’s here.” Tony answered, and Clint gave them a thumbs-up before he headed off to the kitchen.

Suddenly, they heard a chorus of laughter. Peter and Tony both looked in that direction, and Tony grinned. “Off we go.” he announced, then started walking.

Peter followed him and they ended up in the den, where there were lots of people scattered on various pieces of furniture and focusing on the really big flat screen mounted on the wall. He spotted Nat perched on the arm of a couch, with Bruce from chemistry sitting next to her. Both looked up when they entered, but Nat was too focused on her round of MarioKart to wave, so Bruce did it for her. Next to Bruce was someone Peter didn’t know, and they had their feet by Bruce and their head firmly planted in Bucky’s lap.

In the chair in the corner, deeply invested in the race, sat a massive man with blonde hair who Peter realized must be Thor. He gave Peter a brilliant grin and went back to what appeared to be losing his race.

Then, on a loveseat all by himself, was a Peter-sized blonde guy with nerdy glasses and an actual sketchbook in his lap. As if he needed something else to confirm it, Tony instantly walked over and planted himself on the other end of the seat.

Huh. So that’s Steve.

Clint came in behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. He used his other hand–which had a water bottle in it–to point at people around the room. “Let’s see here. That’s Tony,” he said, to which Tony flipped him off, “that’s Nat, that’s Bruce, that’s Bucky, that’s Sam being gross with PDA, that’s Thor, and Rhodey’s...somewhere.”

“Bathroom.” Steve chimed in. “Also, you forgot me.”

“Correction: I ignored you.” Clint responded. Steve stuck out his tongue and stretched his feet into Tony’s lap, who started messing with his toes.

Peter chuckled and moved to sit next to Bruce’s feet, who smiled at him. Rhodey entered a few minutes later, groaned at Tony’s stealing of his spot, then just sat on him. Peter laughed at them and stretched out his legs under the coffee table in front of him.

Suddenly, Sam reached down and poked Peter on his cheekbone. Peter yelped and flinched, causing Bruce, Nat, and Bucky to all stare at him. He gingerly held a hand to his face and gaped at Sam. “What was that for?”

Sam frowned at him. “Haven’t you been at school for like, two days?”

“Yeah, why?”

“And you already got hit?”

Peter sighed. “Yeah, why?”

“White people. I swear.” Sam muttered, then he squinted at Peter. “Who was it?”

Bruce suddenly leaned down and tilted Peter’s head up to look at his bruise. “That’s pretty bad. You sure he didn’t damage your eye socket?”

Peter cringed. “I hope not.”

Sam snapped his fingers at Peter until he looked over. Bruce released his face and ruffled his hair. “Yo, purple face. Who hit you?”

“Oh god, is it really purple already?” Peter complained, wishing for a mirror.

Sam chuckled. “Nah. Awkwardly yellow. Hey, Buck,” he looked back and poked Bucky until he looked down, “how beefy would someone have to be to do this?”

Bucky examined Peter’s bruise and thought about it. “Dunno. You-sized, at least.”

Peter looked at Sam’s biceps, which were actually pretty close to Wils–Wade’s. “Close.” he admitted.

Sam looked back up at Bucky. “Know anybody?”

Peter looked between them in confusion. “Do you just know every buff person in your school?”

Bucky shrugged. “Most, since they use the workout rooms.”

Peter definitely didn’t stare at Bucky’s biceps for a second and get jealous. Definitely not. “That’s ridiculous.”

Bucky and Sam appeared to ignore him. Bucky started to list off names. “There’s Pietro, but he’s basically a flower. Could be Nathan, but he’s too busy having his head up his stuck-up ass–wait, who’s that douche who always hangs out with him?”

Sam made a face of distaste. “Other Wilson?”

Peter gaped at them, for both their buff knowledge and the fact that they had gotten the right answer . “Oh my god.”

They looked back at him. “What? Nathan hit you? How the fuck did you manage that?” Bucky asked, looking at Peter funny.

“What? No. I have no idea who that is. The other one. One of the Wilsons, I think. Why are there two?”

Bucky snorted. “One of them currently has his heavy-ass head in my lap and gives the occasional decent blowjob–” Sam smacked him and Peter widened his eyes at his sudden realization, “–and the other one is doucheness personified.”

Peter chuckled. “Sam Wilson, then?”

Sam offered him a hand to shake, which Peter shook. “The one and only, complete with occasional subpar blowjobs.”

“Peter Parker.” Peter laughed, scrunching his nose up.

“Nice to meet you.”

Peter grinned at him and turned back to the tv, where a race was ending with three players in first, second, and third, and the fourth player in dead last. No one in the room seemed to be terribly surprised.

“This game is not at all like true driving!” Thor boomed, and suddenly Peter realized why he sat slightly isolated from everyone else.

Clint stuck his tongue out at him. “The game is for children.”

Thor just frowned at his controller like it had offended him. “I do not appreciate its inaccuracies.”

Pretty much everyone rolled their eyes at Thor, other than Steve and Tony, who were too busy focusing on whatever Steve had drawn. Huh. Guess Clint wasn’t lying.

Nat handed her controller down to Peter. “Try not to suck as bad as Thor.”

Peter chuckled. His sixteen years of being a nerd hadn’t failed him in this aspect. “I’ll do my best.”



Peter opened his eyes just a crack, only to discover that the sun was in the perfect position to go through the gap in his curtains to shine in his eyes. He groaned and rolled over, but now he couldn’t fall back asleep with the light in his room. After a minute of just trying to ignore it, he gave up and sat up straight, groaning again for good measure.

He shoved a hand under his pillow and pulled out his phone. No new messages. And it was half-past noon.

After about five minutes of stumbling around upstairs through a very sleepy version of his morning routine, Peter made it downstairs to find May unpacking some of the boxes still in the living room. She looked up when he came in and chuckled at him. “This is what you get for staying out so late.”

Peter just groaned again. “Do you think that it’s more appropriate to eat breakfast or lunch right now?”

“Why don’t I order some takeout? I was getting hungry anyway.” May offered, because bless her soul.

Peter grinned. “You’re the best.”

“Trust me, I know.” she said, grinning back at Peter.

Peter laughed and started to unpack boxes as May went to go order food. As he looked around the little house, placing their old knick-knacks on whatever surface he could find (really, who needs a snowglobe with a horseshoe in it?), he thought about last night again.

As expected, Peter had ended up having the night of his life. He’d destroyed everyone at MarioKart for nearly an hour, and after that, he’d fit right in. He’d found out a couple things about everyone here and there (Sam was in the group because he and Bucky had a thing, Steve wanted to do art for a living, Nat’s favorite color was red, etc) and, to his slight annoyance, had had to show off his bruise to everyone as it started darkening through the night. He’d checked the mirror this morning, he now had a full-on black eye.

Not that he cared anymore. Honestly, he didn’t. Let Wade come at him all he wanted. He had buff friends now. Most of which had offered to knock the lights out of Wade if he ever came near Peter again.

Peter smiled at the memory. Peter smiled at the stupid knick-knacks. He smiled at the whole stupid house and May ordering Thai or something awesome like that and just let himself have one little moment of happiness.

Because for once, things could be looking up. And that was fuckin’ awesome.

Chapter Text

By the time Peter had gotten to his last class of the day, he was about ready to slam his head in a door. No one would shut up about his black eye (“Dude, did you get punched?” “No, I ran into a tall doorknob.”) and he was starting to think that every time someone mentioned it, it got more sore.

He was so done with everything that when he walked into his class and saw Wade waiting for him at the table they’d sat at on Friday, he just sat down next to him, put his head down, and didn’t say a word. To his surprise, Wade didn’t try to bother him.

After the bell rang, Mr. Summers got to the front of the class. “Alright, guys, new project today. Hope you enjoyed your weekend, because you won’t have another free one for the next two months.”

Peter picked up his head as the class made a groan.

“Kidding, kidding. Well, slightly kidding. Next project is kind of a biggie.” Mr. Summers said, then started to walk around and pass out papers. Peter accepted his and looked it over.

Project: Through the Lens.

“This is a partner project that is worth a pretty big chunk of your grade, so make it count. Luckily for your simple student minds, it’s pretty straightforward: get to know your partner–make some friendship bracelets and all that jazz–then make a project showing the person you know them to be. You get about 150 pictures per project, so make each one count. When I look them over, I really want a good feel for your partner. Teach me something I never would have guessed about them.

“This project is one of my favorites each year, so I’m counting on you guys to not make it boring. Please, for the love of God, don’t just take pictures of your partner posing with random things around their houses. I’ll revoke your camera privileges for life. Life.”

Everyone gave him that funny you’re a teacher so I have to pretend you’re funny laugh and started to look over their papers. Peter did the same, and he had to say, this project looked awesome. He loved this kind of photography. Candid shots that told someone’s story.

A picture says a thousand words. And I can take 150 of them.

Mr. Summers cleared his throat and Peter looked back up at him. “Your first assignment tonight will be to start getting to know your partners. Exchange numbers in class and use some of the surveys up here–” he gestured at his desk, “–to get some background information.”

A girl behind Peter raised her hand. “Do we get to pick our partners?”

Mr. Summers shook his head. “Unfortunately, that would defeat the purpose. So I made a handy-dandy little list. For example, you are with…” he looked down and checked, then looked back up when he found her name. “Maria.”

The girl and Maria looked at each other, made that weird expression people have when they’re stuck with something unfamiliar. Mr. Summers ignored it and cleared his throat. “As for other partners, we’ve got…” he started to list everyone. Peter tuned him out until he heard his name.

“...And last but not least, we’ve got Peter Parker and Wade Wilson.”

Peter’s heart sank straight to hell. Of course this had to happen. He glanced over at Wade, who, to his surprise, frowned back at him. “Why did I have to get stuck with you?” Wade asked, as if Peter would know.

Peter rolled his eyes. “Seriously? You punched me. And you’re complaining?”

“You should be thanking me, if anything.”


“Purple is a fantastic color on you.” Wade said, making it sound like a genuine compliment. “You should wear it more often.”

Peter just stared it him with a very, very confused face. “Are you serious?”

Wade shrugged. “Sure.”

Peter wanted to throttle him. BEING NICE IS NOT HOW BULLYING WORKS. He was starting to come up with comebacks in his head, then realized that most of them would end up with his head in a toilet, so ended up with a very lame, “I don’t like you.”

Wade had a moment of pause. “Well, yeah. I don’t like you.” he responded, unsure.

“Really? I hadn’t noticed.” Peter muttered, sarcastic and annoyed.

Wade glared at him. “Maybe it’s ‘cause you can’t see.” he muttered back, and Peter came very close to smacking him.

But he didn’t, and they settled into silence. Peter looked over the project again, now dreading just how much time he was going to have to spend with Wilson. This project was going to take ten weeks. Ten weeks of having to work with probably the most infuriatingly scary person in the universe, who didn’t want to work with him either.

Speak of the devil, Wade poked Peter in the arm. “Spidey.”

“My name isn’t Spidey, Wade.”


“Not a chance.”

“Fine. Then you get to be Bob.”

Peter rubbed a hand over his face. “What do you want?”

Wade pointed at his paper. “Day one, compañero.

Peter glanced down at the calendar attached to the project. Day One: Exchange names and numbers. “My name is Peter. Call me Peter once, and I’ll give you my number.”

“But Spidey is so much cooler.” Wade protested.

“Either call me Peter or give me your phone number. Your choice.”

Wade sighed. “Whatever. Gimme your phone.”

Peter didn’t hesitate. “No.”

“I kinda need it to put my number in, Spidey.” Wade said, like he was talking to a five-year-old.

Peter just glared at him. “Give me yours and I’ll put mine in.”

Wade squinted right back, then, to Peter’s surprise, pulled his phone out of his pocket and handed it to him. It had a funny red-and-black design on the case, almost like a mask.

Peter looked down at it and frowned. “You might wanna unlock it first.”

Wade let out a very dramatic sigh, then unlocked his phone and handed it back. Peter resisted rolling his eyes and, instead of putting his number in the contacts, just opened up a new message and sent himself a text, being careful not to snoop. Now I can actually prove he’s stalking me. Stalker.

He watched as his phone received the text, and to his surprise, it was from a different number than the one that had texted him that first day. He stared at the screen like it had betrayed him.

What. The. Fuck.

“Are you done yet?” Wade asked, looking at his phone, which was still in Peter’s hand.

Peter snapped out of his shock and handed it over clumsily, almost dropping it. “Uh, yeah. Take it.”

Wade gave him a funny look, checked that Peter had actually put his number in, then left him alone until the bell rang. Peter just spent the next fifteen minutes or so staring at the messages and wondering how the fuck this was possible. It had to be Wade who’d sent it. It had to be. Wade was the only person who’d ever called him “Spidey” (which he really didn’t understand, but that doesn’t matter). And it’s not like he’d told anyone about his Wade problem, other than Bucky and Sam, but he hadn’t told them about the nickname.

Peter suddenly felt way more concerned for his well-being than any sixteen-year-old should have to feel.



Despite the fact that Peter had only been home for an hour, it felt like his phone had been buzzing for ten years. Because apparently, even though Wade Wilson was the most annoyingly confusing person Peter had ever met, he managed to be even worse over text.

And Peter had given him his number to use as he pleased.

Wade: petey

Wade: petey

Wade: spidey spidey spidey

This had been going on for the last hour. 60 minutes, people.

Wade: I know your phone works

Peter honestly started to think old people were onto something when they said technology was stupid. Side note, Wade is stupid . And annoying. Peter was mainly just reading his texts to make sure they didn’t turn into death threats again (that had been a fun five-minute heart attack).

Wade: can i take a picture of your face

Peter had begun to regret every decision he had made today. Most recently, he had made the horrendous mistake of responding once 27 minutes ago, and now Wade wouldn’t leave him alone. The six-foot-four, buff as all hell, heartless bully who had punched him in the face three days ago wouldn’t stop texting him. And now he wanted a picture of his face. Because fuck normal bully behavior.

Peter sighed and realized he actually had to respond, or else Wade was just going to take a picture of him with his stupid black eye.

Peter: No.

Wade: he speaks!

Wade: why not

Peter: For a lot of reasons.

Wade: what

Peter glared at his phone and maybe enjoyed his next response a little bit too much. Even if messing with Wade was a terrible idea.

Peter: I look terrible in purple.

Wade didn’t respond for a couple minutes, which both made him feel smug and scared. Smared, if you will.

By the time Wade actually did respond, Peter had set his phone down to try and actually get homework done. He only groaned a little bit when he picked it up.

Wade: I could hit you again ya know

Peter widened his eyes somewhat. Chances were, Wade wasn’t kidding. Because he was an asshole and he hated–hated?–Peter. He decided to check–just to be sure.

Peter: Seriously?

Wade: well yeah

Wade: maybe not around so many tables tho

Peter blinked. Did Wade actually...feel guilty that Peter had hit a table?

Peter: ?

Wade: do you not remember smacking a table in your flail of pain

You are literally the worst bully in the history of bullies.

Peter: You’re a terrible bully.

Wade: but i punched you

Peter paused. On one hand, he could rant at Wade for being an asshat, but on the other hand, he could just give Wade ideas on how to be worse. Neither option seemed super great.

He decided to go with some light ranting.

Peter: But you don’t talk like a bully.

Wade: ……...?????????

Peter: You gave me warning before hitting me, then said you’d hit me again, but gave me an option with less pain. That’s weird.

Wade: common courtesy

Peter: That’s not something people normally do after punching someone.

Wade: fine then next time I’ll just hit you with a table

Peter: ...Not what I meant

Wade: too late it’s happening

Peter: Seriously?

Wade: idk maybe

Peter, strangely enough, chuckled. Someone had literally just stated their intention to hit him with a table, and he laughed. That, and the last text made it seem like maybe this time he was kidding.

Peter: That could make our project slightly difficult.

Wade: nerd

Peter rolled his eyes and put down his phone. He felt slightly more confident that Wade wasn’t going to walk into class tomorrow and turn him into a table-shaped pancake, so he deemed it safe to stop responding. He opened his chemistry book and started on his assignment.

He had just about finished it when May got home. Peter looked at her and grinned as she came in, talking to someone on the phone. She grinned back and took a minute to finish her call. “How was school?”

“Good. We got a new project in photography class.”

“That’s exciting. What’s it about?” May asked, sitting down on the couch next to him and taking off her shoes.

“Portfolios. It’s a partner project.”

“Oh, you love those! Got a good partner?”

“Yeah,” Peter answered, only lying a little bit. “I think it’ll be...interesting, to say the least.”

“I’d love to see it when you finish, Peter.”

“That’ll be in about two months.”

May made a face of surprise and whistled. “That’s a doozy. Keep me updated, alright? I’m gonna go start dinner, then we can talk more about it.”

“Sounds good.” Peter said as May stood and ruffled his hair on her way to the kitchen. Peter stayed in the living room for a little while longer before he got up to go help. May just grinned at him again and started to boss him around.

Dinner ended up being pasta with rolls, and Peter got stuck with watching the noodles go around and around in the pot for ten minutes and making sure the sauce didn’t burn. Though, considering his history with cooking, he was surprised May even trusted him with that. Halfway through cooking, he’d scrunched his nose up at the silence of the kitchen and hunted around his room until he’d found the radio they had from the apartment.

And honestly, he and May knew way too many eighties pop hits.

They had just about finished setting up the table and getting food (and finishing out a lovely karaoke to Hit Me With Your Best Shot ) when May got another phone call.

She frowned and looked at Peter with guilt. “This might take a while. Start without me if you think it’s getting cold, okay?”

Peter nodded. “Yeah, go ahead.”

May smiled gratefully at him and headed upstairs. To be honest, Peter wasn’t entirely sure what she did for a living (something in accounting, but May preferred to keep her work at her work). But she always made sure to put him first, so he didn’t mind. He sat down at the table, grabbed a roll, and took a bite as he pulled his phone out of his pocket.

He only had one new message, from about ten minutes ago.

Wade: do you like dogs or cats better

Peter raised an eyebrow, but typed out a response.

Peter: Dogs, but I like both. Why?

Wade: quiz thingy. favorite color

Peter: For the project? That’s due Friday. And blue.

Wade: well im bored so I filled my half out

Wade: winter or summer

For some reason, Wade didn’t seem like the person who did homework when he got bored, but Peter wasn’t about to complain.

Peter: Summer, definitely. Snow sucks.

Wade: never seen it. favorite sitcom

Peter: Parks and Recreation

Wade: also never seen it.

You’re like the bully version of Jean Ralphio. Seems fitting.

Wade: favorite video game

Peter: Maybe Overwatch?

Wade: lame

Peter rolled his eyes, not surprised. He waited for Wade’s next question, but it didn’t seem to be arriving any time soon.

Peter: Is that all the questions?

Wade: no but the rest are stupid

Peter: You asked me five questions.

Wade: do you like spiders, spidey

Peter glared at his screen and finished off his roll, considering starting on dinner and leaving a plate for May.

Peter: I’m not afraid of them, but I don’t like them.

Wade: lame

Peter didn’t really see how his answer was lame, but whatever. He got himself a plate and put his phone back in his pocket.

May finally came back down about ten minutes later, only to apologize and take a plate back upstairs with her. Catching up with work from her transfer had kinda been kicking her butt lately, so Peter didn’t complain. It gave him time to finish up his homework in the living room.

Though it would be much easier if Wade wasn’t so committed to interrupting him every five minutes. Apparently, he had nothing better to do.

Wade: spidey

Wade: stop ignoring meeee

Wade: petey

Wade: what’s your last name

Wade: what’s your middle name

Wade: do you have a pet turtle

Wade: how heavy do you think tables are

Peter finally slammed his textbook shut after text number seven and gave in.

Peter: I am not answering that.

Wade: were you ignoring me, spidey

Peter: Yes.

Wade: r00d

Peter: Is there a point to this?

Wade: entertainment, mainly

Wade: do you wanna hang out at your house or my house or like a park or some shit

Peter: What?

Wade: this weekend. hw

Peter leaned to his backpack and pulled out the project paper. Sure enough, his homework was to meet up with Wade over the weekend.

And hopefully not get hit with a table in the process.

Peter sighed and realized that he was most likely going to end up being punched at least one more time before the project was over. Even if Wade was in a friendly mood right now, he doubted it would last for two months.

Peter: Depends on whether or not I could get a ride.

Wade: i’ve got a bike

Peter took a little too long to realize “bike” meant “motorcycle”.

Peter: I’d rather not die, but thanks.

Wade: then i’ll just go to your house

Peter: Works for me.

Peter typed out his address and sent it, along with the time of eleven o’clock on Saturday morning, only feeling a little nervous about the fact he’d probably just invited a murderer into his house. Though dying by a project partner would be a fitting tribute to the life of Peter Parker, it’s not really how he wants to go out.

Maybe he’ll just start with trying not to get punched by Saturday. That seems reasonable.

I mean, it’s only a really weird guy who punched me and feels guilty about it but also threatened to hit me with a table.

Honestly, what could go wrong?

Chapter Text

Peter definitely wasn’t sulking into his turkey sandwich. Because even though it was Friday, and even though Wade had spent all week bothering him with stupid questions and trying to take pictures of him with his black eye (which was fading, and was now a greenish color), Peter Parker thought himself to be above sulking into a sandwich.

He was, however, frowning at it really hard.

“Did your sandwich offend you or something?” Weasel asked him through a mouthful of whatever it was the school was serving today. Weasel had offered to sit with him on his first day, and now it was just routine. That, and Weasel was funny.

Peter briefly tried to not-frown. “I don’t think so. It’s been pretty good to me so far.”

“Got a thing against tables, then? Chairs? Floors? Bacteria?”

Peter scrunched his nose, briefly remembering hitting the table in the photography room. Then again, it wasn’t the table’s fault its corners were evil. “I’ve got a thing against life. Does that involve tables?”

Weasel instantly jumped at his chance. “Well, according to some alternate universe theories–”

“Rhetorical question.” Peter interrupted, because he had learned the hard way that Weasel can go on for nearly fifteen minutes before even giving Peter a chance to interject. “I’m just not looking forward to the weekend.”

Weasel just blinked at him. “Did you just say you’re not excited for the weekend? Are you planning on dying or something?”

Peter had to struggle a little bit to not say not intentionally. “I hope not. Remember my douchey photography partner?”

“Punchy-pants?” Weasel asked, waving his hand at Peter’s face.

Peter nodded. “Yeah. He’s coming over tomorrow for the project. It’s required.”

Weasel winced. “Ouch. Literally.”

“Yeah. But, luckily, we don’t have to do much, so maybe I can get it over with in like an hour, not piss him off by some miracle, and he’ll leave and my face will be intact.” Peter said. He’d only looked over the schedule a million times, and he knew that they only needed fifteen pictures, which could easily be done in an hour. If Wade cooperated.

Which he probably wouldn’t.

“So,” Weasel started, taking another slightly too-big bite, “you ever gonna actually tell me who hit you? Because I think it’s obvious that we’ve both been the victims of knuckle sandwiches before.”

Weasel did have a point. Peter took a drink of his water and shrugged. “Wade Wilson. Douche extraordinaire. Really buff guy. Weird scar on his fa–”

“Wait, Wade punched you?” Weasel interrupted, gaping at him.

Peter raised an eyebrow. “Uh, yes?”

Weasel smacked his forehead, putting something together Peter didn’t understand. “I am such an idiot. You’re Spidey!”

Peter spent a good ten seconds staring at Weasel in silence, trying to figure out how the fuck Weasel knew that. “What the fuck?”

Weasel still had a look of epiphany. “I’m friends with Wade! He talks about you, but he only calls you ‘Spidey’, so I didn’t put it together. But now it totally makes sense.”

“You’re friends with Wade?” Peter exclaimed. And more importantly, he talks about me?

“Well, yeah. I have been for like, forever. You should have told me, dude!” Weasel punched his arm.

Peter rolled his eyes. “What would that have done?”

Weasel paused. “Well, to be honest, not much, but I could probably have stopped him from hitting you if I said I was friends with you.”

Peter considered smacking himself. Or Weasel. Or both. He was honestly still shocked that Wade had any friends, to be honest. “Why are you even friends with him?”

“He’s not that bad, when he’s not being a douche. He has a heart, it’s just Grinch-sized. Before the Whos fucked with his anatomy.”

“Somehow, I find that hard to believe.” Peter said, flatly.

Weasel narrowed his eyes a little bit. “Alright, I get you had a bad experience and all, but really, he’s not terrible. It just takes a little while.”

“I have less than twenty-four hours.”

Weasel snorted. “You’re fucked.”

Peter smacked him. “Dude!”

Weasel just laughed at him, the bastard. “Just try not to piss him off.”

Peter glared. “Right, because that’s absolutely what I was doing before.”

Weasel paused. “Okay, fair. I’ll ask him what you did, then you can just not do that.”

“Wait, won’t that just make it worse?”

“Nah. I’ll be smooth.” Weasel said, adding a bad ‘smooth’ hand gesture.

Peter frowned, this time at a water bottle. Somehow, I doubt that.



“Spidey. Smile.” Wade said, holding up his camera and grinning.

Peter, for the ten-millionth time, held up a hand to cover the bruised side of his face. “No.”

“You’re no fun.” Wade grumbled, eventually putting his camera down. Peter waited another minute or so before he put his hand down. “Can’t you just smile for one picture?”


Wade muttered something under his breath and pulled out his phone. After a few seconds, he put his head down on his arms. Peter let out a relieved breath and tried to focus on his work again. He only looked back at Wade when he realized that it had been nearly fifteen minutes since Wade had said anything. Maybe he fell asleep. Peter glanced over at him again.

Surprisingly, Wade hadn’t fallen asleep, like Peter had guessed. His eyes were open, and he had the same grimace on his face that he’d had when Peter had first met him. Peter briefly wondered if he’d done something to upset him, but he hadn’t done anything different from any other day this week.

He’s got a heart. It’s just Grinch-sized.

Peter sighed. “You okay?” he asked, gently poking Wade’s arm.

Wade glared at him. “What do you care?” he snapped, making Peter flinch back. For half a second, it looked like guilt crossed over Wade’s face, but it was gone too fast to tell.

Peter quickly raised his hands in defense. “Just wondering if I did anything. That’s it.”

Wade kept glaring at him. “You’ve been doing the exact same thing you’ve been doing all week.”

“Well–yeah.” Peter admitted, stumbling some over the words.

“Then that’s a shit reason. What the fuck do you want, Peter?”

Peter stared at him for a moment. “Did you just call me Peter?”

Wade paused. Judging by his face, he hadn’t realized he did. “I did.” he responded, his voice daring Peter to say anything else in the matter.

Peter gulped and hoped Wade didn’t notice. “Last time you got in a bad mood, I made it worse and then it took you less than a week to punch me. I was trying to avoid that again.” he said, hoping that it wouldn’t make things worse.

Wade gave him a funny look. “I’m not gonna hit you.” he muttered, sounding...defeated.

Despite the fact that it should’ve felt nice to hear that, it didn’t. He wasn’t used to seeing Wade sad. “Okay. Thanks.” he answered, lamely and too late.

“Don’t mention it.”

Peter frowned. He didn’t know why, but he wanted to help. Only he had no idea how.

Well, what makes him happy?

Peter thought about it. He hadn’t really seen Wade very happy yet. He’d seen him come close, but that was only when…

“Wade, where’s your camera?”

Wade squinted at him. “What?”

“Camera.” Peter said, more confident.

Wade slowly reached down into his backpack and handed his camera to him. Peter flicked it on, made sure it was in working order, then made a stupid face and took a picture of himself. Satisfied, he handed the camera back to Wade.

Wade, who was looking at him like he had lost his mind. “What was that for?”

Peter shrugged. “One picture down.”

Wade turned the camera back on and looked at the picture. Then he laughed at it. A full, happy laugh that made Peter smile. “This picture is awful.”

Peter scrunched his nose. “Really?”

Wade leaned over and showed him. Sure enough, it was bad. Peter was making a funny face, which he’d intended, but it was slightly blurry, and his bruise was making the whole thing look weird. Peter made a disgusted face. “I look terrible.”

“You really do. I’m framing this.”

Peter rolled his eyes, but felt strangely accomplished. Wade seemed out of his funk. “Good to know.”

Wade grinned at the stupid thing until the bell rang.



Peter had been pacing for the better part of an hour. Some part of his brain knew that he wasn’t going to die–especially whatever part of him had given Wade the selfie of the year–but the inner nerd in him had already put together twelve scenarios that ended up with him in some horrible ditch somewhere.

He still wasn’t entirely sure why he had taken the picture for Wade yesterday. Currently, his theory was that May had raised him too well, but that one didn’t hold much ground because he felt bad blaming her for anything. His second theory was slightly more appealing–but only slightly.

His second theory involved Wade not being an asshole, but Peter was fairly sure that he wasn’t mentally prepared for that.

Which is why he was pacing around his bedroom. His–bully? Classmate? Acquaintance? He didn’t know–was coming over. And he had absolutely no idea how to feel about it, but scared was currently winning out over everything else.

Maybe he won’t be mean today. You did give him a selfie.

Peter sighed and flopped down onto his bed. He glanced over at his alarm clock; he still had about a half hour until Wade was supposed to arrive. He stopped staring at the clock and looked out his window, not that it had much of a view. All he could see was the backyard, and the only interesting thing there was the old shed the previous owner’s had left behind, along with all of their stuff. Aunt May had wanted him to go through it and see if there was anything useful, but he hadn’t found the time yet.

You have time now, since Wade is isn’t coming for thirty minutes.

He was fully aware of the irony in wanting Wade to get here sooner so he wouldn’t have to think about it for much longer. He huffed out a frustrated breath and grabbed his phone. Surprisingly, there was a text waiting for him.

Weasel: so i was thinkin about u not gettin punchd in the face again

Peter quirked an eyebrow at the screen, intrigued. And slightly annoyed at Weasel’s atrocious texting style.

Peter: Yes?

Weasel: I got nothin

Peter groaned at him. Through a phone screen.

Peter: You’re an asshole.

Weasel: r00d

Peter: Not helping.

Weasel: did u rlly give him that selfie voluntary

Peter: If you meant voluntarily, then yes.

Weasel: fu

Weasel: that pic was awful

Peter: Thanks, Weasel.

Whatever Weasel responded with, Peter missed, because someone knocked on the front door. Peter looked at the time again. If it was Wade, he was nearly twenty minutes early.

He got up and bolted down the stairs and through the kitchen, stopping in front of the door. Once he got there, he hesitated at the door handle. Part of him was tempted to go hide in his room, anxiety rising in his chest.

No. You can do this.

He took a breath and held it as he swung the door open, revealing Wade. He was wearing dark jeans and a red thermal, and he had his hair tied back, though pieces were falling into his face. He looked significantly less threatening with a ponytail, though Peter had no idea why.

Neither of them moved for a moment. Wade rocked back and forth on his feet and ran a hand through the pieces of hair that had fallen out of his hair tie. “You gonna let me in?”

“Oh, right.” Peter snapped out of his staring and stepped aside, gesturing into the house. He hoped Wade wouldn’t mind the fact that there were still a couple of boxes lying around. “Come in.”

Wade nodded and stepped in, looking a little bit out of place. He set his bag down on by the door and looked around. “Nice house.”

“Thanks.” Peter said, and then neither of them seemed to have anything else to say.

Wade suddenly crossed the room and headed into the kitchen before Peter could say anything. Peter, after a moment of confusion, followed.

Wade opened up his fridge and started hunting through it. Peter frowned at him, but Wade didn’t seem to be messing up anything, so he just sat on the counter and watched. After a minute, Wade pulled out an apple and a bottle of water, holding the apple with his teeth to shut the fridge.

“How long have you lived here?” Wade asked through his apple.

Peter had to think about it. “About a month? I only moved in a couple days before I went to school.”

Wade nodded, then paused to eat a couple bites of apple. “So,” he started, then swallowed his bite, “you got a plan or somethin’?”

“For the project?” Peter asked. Wade nodded. “Sort of. All we have to do is take fifteen pictures, so it shouldn’t take too long.”

“What do you want to take pictures of?”

Peter smiled a little bit, pleasantly surprised that Wade was agreeing with him. “I don’t know, really. I don’t really know if my house would be the best location to take pictures of you.”

Wade rolled his eyes. “It’s a school project. No one cares.”

Peter glared at him. “I do.”

“I don’t.”

“Why not?”

Wade shrugged. “Doesn’t really matter at this point.”

Peter frowned. “The project just started.”

Wade sighed. “ High school. Not the project.”


“Yeah, oh. Not all of us are young and spry, Spidey.” Wade said, talking to Peter like he was five.

And here I thought we were finally past ‘Spidey’. “How old are you?” Peter blurted.

Wade chuckled. “Eighteen soon. You?”

“Sixteen.” Peter answered, then muttered, “infinitely more young and spry than seventeen.

Wade laughed, then started to head back to the living room. “Come on, purple face. Get your camera.”

“It’s upstairs. Be right back.” Peter hopped off the counter and ran upstairs, grabbing his camera quickly before he headed back down. He found Wade holding his and fiddling with it. He looked up from it when Peter walked back in.

Then he aimed it and promptly blinded Peter with the flash.

“Dude, why?” Peter said a little louder than necessary, blinking over and over.

Wade just laughed. “Thirteen to go.”

Peter glared at him, then looked down at his own camera. As Wade got distracted with looking at his picture, he turned his own camera on. “Wade.”

Wade looked up, and Peter snapped a picture with flash on. Wade made a funny noise of alarm and held up his hands in defense. After a moment of recovery, he glared back at Peter. “That was low.”

“That was the intention.”


“Douche.” Peter retaliated.



“That’s the same thing.”

“No it’s not.”

“Totally is.”

Peter rolled his eyes and sat down on the opposite end of the couch from Wade. “Whatever. What do you want pictures of?”

“Dunno. Got a lizard?”

“Wha–why would I have a lizard?”

“Feels right. Preferably an evil one.”

Peter slowly shook his head. “I don’t have a lizard.”

“That’s stupid.” Wade said, standing and starting to walk out of the room again. “Where’s your room?”

Peter hesitated. Even if Wade was being unusually nice, he had kind of promised himself he would keep him contained to the first floor. He really didn’t want to give Wade new things to tease him about, even if he was slightly proud of how it was set up.

Wade seemed to sense his hesitation. “Or not,” he said, sitting back down, though now in the chair near the walkway to the kitchen. “That’s cool, too.”

Peter felt a little guilty. “I didn’t mean to–”

Wade held up his hands. “I get it. I wouldn’t trust me either.”

Even if it was true, Wade voicing Peter’s logic made him feel worse. Peter stared down at his camera, honestly wishing the thing could tell him what to do. Unfortunately, it lacked an AI feature. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Wade tried to assure him, but it sounded a little fake to both of them.

Peter tried to think of other places. It took him a minute before he finally came up with one. “What about the backyard?”

“What’s in it?” Wade asked, latching on to the idea like Peter had hoped he would.

“I honestly don’t know. Whoever last lived here left a shed full of stuff, but my aunt and I haven’t opened it yet.”

“Your aunt?” Wade asked. To Peter’s surprise, he almost instantly looked guilty for asking it. “Never mind.”

Peter shook his head. “It’s fine. I’ve lived with my aunt for pretty much my whole life.”

“Oh. Cool?” Wade tried.

“Cool.” Peter confirmed, then stood up to head to the backyard. Wade got up and followed, slightly closer than Peter would have liked.

When they got to the back door, Peter handed Wade his camera and tried to get it open. The door decided to not cooperate with him. It was unlocked, but the handle wouldn’t move, no matter how hard he would turn it. After his fifth attempt to open it, he groaned and backed away in defeat.

“It’s stuck.” he announced, as if Wade didn’t know.

Wade chuckled. “I can see that. Want me to try?”

“Be my guest. But try not to break anything.” Peter warned.

Wade nodded. “Aye-aye, captain.” he saluted, then handed Peter the cameras. Peter went back a step. Wade gripped the handle and turned hard, his arms honestly looking like they might rip through his thermal. Peter tried not to be jealous and failed. After a second, there was a loud pop and the door swung open.

Wade, after making sure the handle wasn’t broken, looked at Peter victoriously. “Ta-da.” he announced, looking proud of himself.

Peter handed him back his camera. “Yeah, yeah. My face and I were already aware you were buff.”

Wade rolled his eyes. “Maybe I should remind it.” he muttered, and Peter paled and stopped following him. Wade turned back around, saw his face, and rolled his eyes. “Dude, I’m kidding.”

Peter tried to slow his heart rate. It wasn’t going well. “Uh, right.”

Wade looked around the yard, spotting the shed. “Wanna go see if there’s a dead body in your shed?”

“There’s probably just going to be a lot of old garden tools.”

“Probably not.”

Peter tilted his head. “Why not?”

“Does it look like anybody gardened this?” Wade asked, gesturing at the slightly-dead yard around them as he headed towards the shed.

Peter looked around. He had a point. He followed Wade over to the shed. When they reached it, Wade frowned at the door. More specifically, its lock–or lack thereof. All the door had was a piece of metal that had to be turned to open the latch.

“It’s a good thing you have a fence.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Nothing in the shed is even ours.”

Wade shrugged. “Still.”

Peter gestured at the door. “You gonna open it or what?”

Wade rolled his eyes back at him and dramatically turned the ‘key’. Then he held open the door and looked in. Peter stepped slightly closer to him to look inside.

Inside, there was almost nothing. There was a rusty bike, a baseball bat, a lawn chair, and what appeared to be a cobweb metropolis . Nonetheless, Wade held up his camera and snapped a picture. “Imma call that one, ‘ boring shed’.

Peter had to agree; this was really boring. “I never said it would be interesting.”

Wade pushed the door all the way open and stepped inside. “Come on, pose with the cloud of cobwebs.”

Peter stepped in and ducked under a cobweb to get on the other side of the shed from Wade, in front of the bulk of the cobwebs. “What’s the purpose of this?”

“Show an accurate representation of your brain activity.”

Peter groaned. “That wasn’t even clev–”


“Goddammit, Wade!” Peter shouted, rubbing his eyes and trying to see again. “What was that for?”

Wade just laughed at him. “That was perfect.”

“You do realize all of your pictures are going to be blurry shots of me looking alarmed, right?”

“Not true. The selfie you took makes it look like you’re in pain.” Wade pointed out, leaning against the wall.

Peter opened his mouth to respond and got cut off by a gust of wind. They both looked up as the wind howled over the roof–

Then the door slammed shut and they heard an awful click, and they were plunged into darkness.

Peter heard Wade walk over to the door, panic slowly rising in his chest. Don’t be locked. Don’t be locked. Don’t be–

“It’s locked.”

Chapter Text

“What do you mean it’s locked?” Peter demanded, trying not to panic.

Wade sighed. “I mean it won’t open, Spidey. That’s what locked means.”

“It’s doesn’t even have a lock!” Peter said, raising his voice. “It just has the–”

It just has the turning piece, which technically locks the door.

Wade chuckled. “Little late on the realization there, huh?”

Peter glared at the dark spot where he assumed Wade was. It was pitch-black dark; maybe this is what Wade’s soul looked like. “You’re a dick.”

“And your insults are terrible. Doesn’t change the fact that we’re stuck in a shed.” Wade said. After a moment, Peter heard a noise that sounded like Wade was sitting down. Please, by all means. Get comfortable.

Peter started to shift his weight from foot to foot. “Can’t you break the door or something?”

Wade sighed at him. “First, no. Second, I can hear you pacing or whatever it is you’re doing, so stop it.”

Peter, out of spite, did it harder, making the floor creak. Wade groaned, then suddenly Peter was hit with something roughly the size of a football. He shrieked and flailed out of the way, but lost his balance and hit the floor with a thud.

“What did you just hit me with?” Peter demanded, trying to force his eyes to see something.

“A shoe. Just stay sitting down, spidey. It’s more relaxing.”

Peter snorted. “Sure it is. Sitting down makes this whole thing so much better.”

“I still have one shoe left, ya’ know.”

Peter stuck his tongue out at where he assumed Wade was, then fell silent. He huffed and leaned back against the wall. “So, I take it you also left your phone inside?” he asked the darkness.

Another object came through the darkness and smacked into the wall about an inch from Peter’s head. Peter screamed again and fell over onto his side. “Are you trying to give me another black eye?”

“It’s not my fault you ask stupid questions.” Wade huffed.

Peter tapped around the floor until he found the object he was looking for, then he chucked it back at Wade as hard as he could. It hit Wade with a very satisfying thud.

Annoyingly, Wade made a much manlier grunt of pain than Peter did. There was a beat of silence and Peter froze, semi-expecting another shoe. To his surprise, he didn’t get one, Wade just laughed and mumbled, “Thanks for the shoe back, spidey.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “You’re welcome.”

“So, what’s the plan, exactly?”

Peter shrugged. “I don’t know. No one gets home for another couple hours. Maybe we just wait until then?”

“Nothing better to do.” Wade agreed, though he didn’t sound excited about it.

They fell into silence again, though Wade was filling it by tapping out rhythms on the floor with his fingers. Peter tipped his head back and closed his eyes. It didn’t really make a difference. Peter wasn’t sure how long they sat there, but it had to have been for a while, because when he wiped a hand across his brow it came back gross and sweaty. It was starting to get hot.

Peter’s anxiety started to rise again. He hated being hot. It was sticky and made him feel like he was melting.

“We need to get out of here.” he announced, suddenly getting to his feet (and maybe almost falling over).

He heard Wade grunt and stand up with him. “I’m all for escaping our seven minutes of heaven too, spidey, but we don’t really have a way to do that.”

Peter struggled to not try and strangle him. “I’m sure we can come up with something.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, Wade. Can you get the door open at all?”

Wade walked over to the door and grunted as he pushed at it. He actually got it open a sliver, making both of them wince at the sudden light, but he couldn’t get it open more than a half-inch. “Even you aren’t that skinny.”

“Got any other ideas?” Peter tried, hoping for a miracle.

“Other than pushing at the sole exit of your shed, no. You?”

Peter sighed and started to pace. “No,” he admitted. An irrational part of his brain started to wonder whether or not this was how he was going to die.

He grimaced at the thought. If he died right now, he would probably go down as having one of the saddest lives ever. No parents, he’s only ever really had one true friend, and he would be found dead in a shed with his bully. Not to mention he was a virgin, too, but that was besides the point. He knew he wasn’t alone on that front, at least.

Wade clicked his tongue, interrupting Peter’s dilemma. “So, does your nerd brain have a plan or something? Because it’s getting hot and–”

Something in Peter kinda...snapped. Looking back on it, he doesn’t really know why he snapped, but it probably had something to do with the fact that he hated Wade Wilson and he had now been stuck in a shed for close to and hour. “Oh my god, shut the fuck up.”

Wade paused. “What?”

Peter opened his mouth to tell him to shut up again, but nothing came out. Confused, he paused and tried again, but only managed some sort of strangled squeaking sound. His head started to feel kinda fuzzy, almost like he was underwater for too long. Some part of him heard Wade say something, but it was too hot and too dark and too cramped to hear anything and oh my god Peter can’t breathe–

Suddenly, a hand found Peter’s shoulder, and he rather violently smacked it away and scrambled to get away because he could not handle anything touching him right now. He smacked into the far wall and tried to get air. Or to be able to see what the fuck had just touched him. At this point, he would accept any form of change to his current situation. Somewhere, he could hear someone making really weird gasping noises, but they sounded so far away–

“Peter, breathe, come on!” a voice interrupted his thoughts. It didn’t sound like a very nice voice, but Peter also didn’t trust his hearing right now.

“Peter, please breathe. Just give me something, here. An inhale, maybe.” the voice tried.

Peter squeezed his eyes shut. He recognized that voice. He hated that voice. It was scratchy and deep and came straight out of nightmares.


“Peter? I can’t tell if you’re breathing or if you’ve just stopped trying to breathe. It’s–dark and I can’t see you.”

Peter focused on his voice. He focused hard and tried to do what Wade was telling him. With a tremendous amount of effort, he breathed in through his nose as much as he could, ignoring the fact that it felt like he was inhaling soup the air was so hot and gross.

“That sounded...promising. Um, try exhaling?” Wade tried.

Peter slowly obeyed, breathing out through his mouth. Then, he tried again, inhaling through his nose and out through his mouth over and over until he stopped feeling like his head was gonna explode. To his surprise, Wade stayed quiet for the whole thing.

After about five minutes of standing there slightly feeling like he was glued to the plywood behind him, Peter broke the silence. “Hey, Wade?” he asked softly, though it sounded loud.

“Yeah?” Wade said immediately, keeping the same volume level Peter had. Peter was grateful for it; he felt exhausted.

“Please break down the door to the shed. It’s plywood. It can’t be that hard to break.”

Wade paused. “I mean, I can try, but I feel like we should probably talk about what just happ–”

“No. Door, now.” Peter ordered, pointing at nothing.

Wade sighed, then handed Peter his camera–which, in all honesty, Peter had forgotten they had cameras at all–started to walk around. Peter could hear him patting around the walls until he hit one that rattled a little bit. “Won’t your aunt be mad or something? If suddenly your shed is missing a door?”

Whatever energy Peter had left at that point left him. Aunt May would definitely be furious. “No, I don’t think my aunt will care. Smash away.” he lied, defeated and tired.

“Okay,” Wade said, unsure, then he backed up near Peter again. “let’s hope I don’t miss.”

Then, he ran and slammed into the door, shattering it to a million pieces and flooding the shed with light. Peter winced and held up a hand to cover his eyes, then stepped out through the wreckage to freedom.

Wade, by some miracle, stayed on his feet for the whole thing. He looked back at Peter and watched him as he stepped out. “I–uh–I broke your door.”

“Yeah, thanks.” Peter said awkwardly, walking past him and opening the door to get inside the house. The cool air of the kitchen felt like heaven. He beelined for the fridge and heard Wade follow him in as he pulled out two bottles of water. He waved one at Wade, who came up and grabbed it from him.

Then he promptly downed the entire thing in the time it took Peter to drink half of his. Peter rolled his eyes at him and propped himself up on the counter. Wade squished his water bottle in his hands and started to fiddle with it. He was obviously debating saying something, and watching him was almost painful.

Peter sighed and rolled his eyes. “For fuck’s sake, just say it.”

“Say what?” Wade asked, looking alarmed.

“Whatever it is you want to. I’ve heard pretty much everything; just do your worst.” Peter said, holding his arms out. Might as well get it over with.

Wade paused. “Does–does that happen a lot?” he managed.

Peter frowned. He had been half-expecting mockery. “Um, not a lot, ” Peter started, not really knowing how to say that Wade was the cause without making it weird, “just–happens when I get stressed out.”

“Oh. Okay.” Wade said. thinking. He seemed satisfied with Peter’s answer, but still conflicted about something else. Peter was halfway to opening his mouth again when Wade suddenly threw his bottle into the trash and walked over to Peter . Peter half-curled in on himself out of instinct, earning an eye-roll from Wade, who gently grabbed his camera from Peter’s hand. “I’m going for the camera, not your throat, spidey. Calm yourself.”

“Right.” Peter nodded.

Wade rolled his eyes again. “I’m gonna go take a lot of pictures of a broken shed and call it a day, since you look like absolute shit right now and I don’t think you want any pictures of that. Sound good to you?”

Peter rolled his eyes, but appreciated the idea. “Sounds good. I’ll just–take pictures of you doing that, I guess.”

Wade grinned at him, and Peter stared for probably longer than what was acceptable. He didn’t think he’d ever actually seen Wade with a genuine smile. It looked good on him.

Wade finally broke the moment and exited the house again, Peter following a minute later. As they went back out, Peter got a better look at just how badly they’d fucked up the yard.

The shed door was in two major pieces, but there were splinters of it everywhere. It looked like someone had set off a bomb in the shed. The whole thing was ridiculous. Peter found himself laughing at it before he registered just how funny it was.

Wade turned back to look at him, then started chuckling with him, until they were both laughing so hard it was a struggle to not drop their cameras. Wade ended up being the one who got himself under control first, and aimed his camera at the disaster of the yard and took a couple pictures.

Then, after what looked like a moment of debating, he turned and snapped a picture of a still-slightly-laughing Peter. Peter managed to stop laughing and took a picture back in retaliation. To his annoyance, when he looked at the photo, Wade looked good in it.

Peter groaned at it and Wade came closer to look at it. “What’s wrong with it?”

“You look good in it.” Peter complained, pouting like a little kid.

“That’s ‘cause you got my good side,” Wade shrugged, then backed up and posed with his face looking the other way. “Try this instead.”

Peter frowned. With Wade looking this way–to Peter’s right–it gave the camera a nice view of his scar. “You really want me to take a picture like that?” Peter blurted, then immediately realized how shitty that sounded. Suddenly, Wade’s demeanor changed and his smile vanished.  Peter shook his head. “Wait, no–”

“Why not? I mean, what could possibly be wrong with this angle?” Wade accused, voice getting nasty.

Peter winced. “I didn’t mean it like that, Wade–”

“Then how did you mean it, spidey, huh? Explain it to me.” Wade demanded, getting in Peter’s face.

Peter, unfortunately, had no idea how to explain it. He opened his mouth a few times, but never actually got any words out. Eventually, Wade just sighed and pushed past him, heading back inside.

“Wade, wait!” Peter called after him, jogging to catch up. He found Wade in the living room, rather angrily stuffing his things into his backpack. “I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t mean to–”

“Just shut up.” Wade cut him off, slinging his backpack onto his shoulder. “It’s not like any of it’s new information for me. I’m fully aware it’s not a nice thing to have in a photo. I got the pictures I need, and I’m sure you can make up whatever you don’t have. See you Monday.”

And then Wade stormed off, getting out of Peter’s reach before he even had a chance to try and stop him. The front door slammed, and Peter was alone.

When Monday finally arrived, Peter really wasn’t looking forward to it. He’d spent most of Sunday cleaning up the shed door–May was, to put it lightly, not happy about it–and trying to find a way to apologize to Wade. Neither activity had been pleasant, and since May had denied him a broom, neither activity had gone very well. All he’d come up with was two splinters and a guilty conscience.

That, and the awful memory of having a panic attack in front of Wade Wilson. Peter had never had a panic attack in front of anyone before, and he wasn’t very excited that Wade was now the first. Especially since Peter had managed to insult him barely ten minutes later.

Which he felt awful about. He felt like a complete jackass, and he didn’t know how to apologize for it. He’d typed out nearly twenty crappy apologies to Wade on Sunday, but none of them had actually been sent.

Peter winced at the memory as he dropped himself into his seat for history class. He had history with Nat, though she spent most of the time either on her phone or tormenting their pervert of a teacher.

She looked up when Peter sat down. “Jeez, sit down harder, why don’t you.”

Peter glared at her, then glared harder when she calmly cocked an eyebrow in response. “Maybe I will.” he mocked, then dramatically dropped his backpack.

“Someone’s having a good day.”

Peter, feeling it was acceptable, flipped her the finger.

Nat held up her hands in annoyed surrender. “Fine, fine. Enjoy your angst.”

Peter sighed, figuring he should try and not piss off any more people. “Sorry. Bad weekend.”

“It’s alright,” she shrugged, then folded her hands under his chin and leaned towards Peter. “Wanna talk about it?”

Peter snorted. “Yeah, I’m sure you wouldn’t try to meddle at all.”

Nat tried not to smile, then failed at the end. “Fair point. But to be fair, by methods are flawless.”

“I prefer to deal with my problems on my own, thanks.”

“Fine, then I won’t mess with it.” Nat said, sitting up a little straighter. “How about I just give you advice?”

Peter thought about it. “Alright, deal.”

Nat seemed surprised that Peter had actually accepted, but pleased nonetheless. “So, what seems to be the problem?”

Peter had to pause again. He didn’t really know how much he could actually tell to someone else. Especially someone who would definitely try and punch Wade, who (by some miracle) didn’t deserve it. This time.

“Well, I hung out with someone this weekend–”

“A special friend?” she interrupted, wiggling her eyebrows.

Definitely ‘special’, though not it the way you’re thinking. “No. A normal friend.”

“Sure. Continue.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Anyway, we hung out, and it was kinda...weird.”


Peter shrugged. “Well, we got locked in a shed, for one thing–yeah, I know, it was weird,” he added when Nat gave him a very confused look, “and then–stuff happened, and I thought we were cool, but then I said something douchey and now I think he hates me again. Which is understandable, because I was a dick.”

Natasha took a moment to process Peter’s (admittedly, very vague) story. “Just checking, you didn’t fuck this friend in the shed, did you?”

“Jesus, no.”

She nodded. “Got it. Did you try apologizing?”

“Kind of. He was angry.” Peter admitted, thinking back to how hurt Wade had been.

“Well, maybe just give him time to cool off, then apologize. Or just don’t hang out with him.”

Peter slowly nodded, thinking. “I still have to hang out with him, but time could work. Hopefully he doesn’t like holding grudges.” he muttered at the end, under the tardy bell. Nat shrugged and turned to face the front of the class, and Peter did the same.

Unfortunately, as soon as the teacher began to speak, Peter realized that time wasn’t exactly on his side. He had to see Wade in roughly–he glanced at the clock to check–two hours.

Two hours was not a very long time to come up with an apology. Hell, he’d already had an entire day to and look how well that had gone. He’d tried everything from paragraphs to practically writing Wade a novel on how he didn’t mind his scar, and everything had just felt pathetic.

Peter internally groaned and folded his arms on his desk, then rested his chin on them. Maybe I’m just overthinking this. It’s not like Wade would want a paragraph. He’d stop reading at the fourth word.

Peter frowned. Maybe he really was overthinking this. If he wanted to patch whatever it was that Peter and Wade had settled into post-punching, he needed to do it in a way that Wade would actually respond to.

Before he could think to hard about it, Peter pulled out his phone and typed out ‘ I’m sorry ’ to Wade and hit send.

As expected, Wade didn’t respond immediately, so Peter placed his phone on his thigh and tried to pay attention to the rest of the class, eventually latching on to something about the Industrial Revolution and smiling at some of Nat’s smartass comments about it.

At the end of the class, he’d still received no response. He shoved his phone into his pocket, ignored Nat’s semi-concerned look (he probably looked worse than he had at the beginning of class) and pushed his way out into the hallway.

He got about ten feet from the door when his phone buzzed. He scrambled to get it out of his pocket, as if speed would somehow make the message better.

Wade: for what?

Peter frowned. Is this some sort of guilt-trip thing? He chewed his bottom lip and decided to just cover all of his bases.

Peter: For Saturday

Wade: Don’t be.

Peter felt a strange combination of relief and confusion. For one thing, none of Wade’s texts had ever actually included capitalization before. Was that significant? Probably not.

But did seem kind of important. Like Wade really meant it, which could mean one of two things: either he really didn’t want Peter to worry about it...or he was still pissed and being difficult about it. Peter didn’t know which to believe.

And unfortunately, he wouldn’t know which one was true until he actually faced Wade in person.

One hour and thirty-six minutes to go.

Seeing Wade again after one-hour-and-thirty-six-minutes of being in a state of controlled panic was...anti-climactic, to say the least.

Peter had already been in his seat for a few minutes when Wade finally walked in, which wasn’t exactly unusual. He sat down next to Peter, pulled out his phone, and just sat there. The lesson began, everyone pulled out their materials to turn in the work from the weekend, and nothing happened.

To anyone who wasn’t frantically psycho-analyzing Wade, he wasn’t any different from every other day. He was still wearing the dark clothes (a navy t-shirt with jeans) that he always did. He was still refusing to pay attention to class in favor of his phone, like he always did. To everyone else in the class, Wade was acting completely normal.

To Peter, however, he was acting super weird. Normally, by now, he’d have stolen something of Peter’s to mess with (or just keep, which he has done before) or called him ‘spidey’ to annoy him or done whatever he could to either pester or terrify Peter. But today, he hadn’t done any of it. He just sat there, on his phone, not even glancing at Peter once–which was impressive, because Peter was definitely staring.

Eventually, Peter just had to give up on staring so hard because he was missing a good eighty-percent of what Mr. Summers was saying. He still felt guilty, but it wasn’t like he could do anything about it with a class happening around him.

I can talk to him after class, though.

Peter looked up at the clock; he still had twenty-five minutes to go. He nodded to himself and huffed out a determined breath. He could do this. He could totally–

His phone buzzed and scared the absolute shit out of him. Peter squeaked–hoped no one heard it–and pulled it out of his pocket.

Wade: stop staring at me or I swear to god I will punch you again

It took every ounce of Peter’s willpower to not look up at Wade. After a moment of recovering from the realization that Wade knew he was staring, Peter typed out a response, deciding he might as well go for it.

Peter: Can we talk? After class?

Wade: why?

Peter huffed out a breath and wondered how to respond. He still didn’t know Wade very well–which kind of surprised him, in all honesty, because he felt like did Saturday–and he didn’t know how to convince him to stay. His phone buzzed again before he could decide.

Wade: do you actually have anything to say other than another apology?

Peter blinked. Did he have anything else?  

Peter: I don’t know.

Peter sent the response before his brain could tell him that was a really bad response. Like, really bad. There was no chance of Wade actually talking to him now. Next to him, he saw Wade’s expression change, but he couldn’t see well enough out of his peripheral vision to see what it changed to.

There was a considerable pause before Wade finally responded.

Wade: after class. I’ll walk you to the parking lot

Peter widened his eyes at his phone, which probably looked stupid. He heard Wade sigh next to him and he forced his face to get normal again. Gently, he put his phone in his pocket, folded his arms on his desk, and put his head down to listen to Mr. Summers drone on about the importance of backup files. He actually managed to not look at Wade a single time until the bell finally rang.

It took about four seconds for the room to clear of students, and only about a minute for Mr. Summers to leave, who gave them an annoyed wave as he left.

Wade sighed and stood up, Peter scrambling to do the same, which earned him an eyeroll. “Will you calm down?” Wade snapped at him.

Peter froze. “I–I can try.”

Wade just rolled his eyes again. “Forget it. Come on.” he said, reaching down to grab his backpack as Peter (more slowly) did the same. Then they left, Wade leading the way.

Despite the fact that it was Peter’s idea to ‘talk’ in the first place, he had trouble actually starting a conversation. They got nearly halfway to the parking lot before Wade got annoyed with him.

“Was there a point to this?” he asked, turning to face Peter and stopping them. “Because I’m pretty sure you missed it.”

Peter stopped with him and found himself looking Wade in the eyes, which was intimidating, to say the least. Wade stared at him, slightly tilting his head, just waiting. Say something, or I’m leaving.

“I’m sorry I got you locked in a shed.” Peter blurted, then almost smacked himself in the forehead.

Wade gave him an appropriately confused look. “Wha–”

“And for saying the wrong things. I was still tired from–from what happened and I didn’t mean what I said and I’m sorry.” Peter finished, cutting him off.

Wade didn’t say anything, he just kept staring at him with his surprisingly bright grey-blue eyes. It was a little off-putting. Peter was starting to understand what it felt like to have someone staring into your soul. Eventually, he couldn’t stand the silence, so he just–kept talking.

“I know that it was shitty,” he started slowly, “and I know that I can’t really take it back or fix it. But I wanted to try, because it felt like you didn’t hate me as much anymore as you did... before, ” he said, not really wanting to go back to the topic of punching, “and I’d rather have a– friend than an enemy.” he finished kind of lamely, hoping that ‘friend’ wasn’t too strong of a word to describe whatever the fuck he had with Wade.

Wade cocked an eyebrow at him, then just started walking again. Peter blinked at the spot where he had been two seconds ago, shocked, then jogged to catch up. “What? Nothing?” he demanded, keeping up with Wade’s massive strides.

“Seems like you’ve got it covered.” Wade answered, shrugging.

Peter felt himself get slightly annoyed. “That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

Peter was the one who stopped this time. Wade seemed to consider stopping with him for half a second, then kept walking. Peter chewed his lip. Not good enough. He took a breath. “No.”

Wade stopped and turned around. “No?”

No. ” Peter said, more firmly, then angrily walked over to Wade and stood maybe a little too close. “Not good enough.”

“Not good enough? What the fuck do you want, spidey?” Wade snapped.

That!” Peter snapped back, making Wade lean back just a little bit. “A reaction. Is that really too much to ask for?”

Wade looked him over once. Peter was close; his face was only inches from Wade’s, and neither of them seemed to back down. Wade’s face looked conflicted, and he stayed silent.

For a moment, neither of them moved. At this point, there was no one left in the halls; they were completely alone. It was just them.

Normally, knowing that they were alone would have terrified Peter. But for some reason, this time was different. He felt brave, even if he knew it was stupid. He kept his face determined and didn’t break the eye contact.

“I’m trying to apologize, alright? I know it may be some kind of foreign concept to you or something, but typically, when someone does that, you should at least answer them. ” Peter said, glaring a little bit. “I mean, do something. Accept it, refuse it, I don’t care. Hell, punch me again if you want, if that’s what you want to do.”

Wade suddenly broke the mini staring contest that had been happening and started to walk away again. Peter tried to grab his arm–

–and then a fist contacted with his stomach and Peter collapsed to the ground, knocking the wind out of him.

“Son of a– fuck! ” someone swore, and Peter realized that it wasn’t him. His entire abdomen was screaming at him in pain. Trying to stop himself from crying like an idiot, he forced himself to look back up at Wade.

Wade, who was swearing at something–himself? Peter?–and shaking out his hand. He looked down at Peter a moment after Peter looked at him and froze.

“Shit, I–I’m–” Wade tried, then cut himself off. He took a deep breath, never taking his eyes off of Peter, who was still in a heap on the ground. “I’m sorry.”

Peter slowly started to stand up, then nearly fell down when he saw Wade’s hand coming at him again. He froze, expecting another hit, but nothing came.

Wade wasn’t hitting him, he was offering him a hand to stand up. Very, very slowly, Peter took it and Wade helped him up, though Peter couldn’t stand up straight. Wade immediately backed off of him as soon as Peter at least had some balance.

“Did you just apologize for hitting me?” Peter asked, still slightly out of breath.

“I didn’t mean to.” Wade insisted.

Peter frowned. “What, like it was just your natural reaction?”

“Uh, yeah. I guess.”

“Really?” he asked, looking Wade in the eye.

“Yeah.” Wade answered, meeting his gaze.

Peter looked him over. “Does it happen a lot?”

Wade shrugged and kicked at the ground, looking at his feet. “Enough.”

Peter sighed. Wade looked surprisingly guilty. He opened his mouth to say something, but got cut off by his phone ringing. After a second of both of them doing nothing about it, Wade gestured at him. “Aren’t you going to answer it?”

Peter snapped out of it. “Right,” he nodded, then pulled out his phone and answered. “Hello?”

“Peter? Where are you?”

It was Tony, who had offered to give him a ride home on Friday. Peter swore and ran a hand through his hair. “Right, you were supposed to give me a ride home.”

“Well, yeah. Is that no longer the plan?”

Peter paused, looking at Wade, who offered no help. Peter internally groaned, realizing there was no way Tony wouldn’t notice him practically dying at every bump. “No, it’s not. I forgot and took the bus. Sorry, Tony.” he lied, and Wade looked up at him in shock.

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Sorry again. Bye.” he said, then hung up.

Wade waited until he was sure the call was over before he spoke. “I can take you home, if you want.”

Peter frowned. “Don’t you have a motorcycle?”

“Yeah. I could ask to borrow a friend’s car, though, if you want.”

Peter debated. He could definitely use a ride, though he didn’t really want to have to wait for whoever they would be getting the car from. And May would kill him if she ever found out he rode on a motorcycle.

Wade seemed to sense his hesitation. “Look, I’ll just text him and get his keys from his locker. It’s not a big deal, he’s gonna be here for another hour at least.”

Peter shook his head, some stupid part of his brain refusing to make anyone go out of their way. “It’s fine, we can take the bike. Just–don’t crash it?”

Wade laughed. “You don’t live very far away. I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

Peter nodded, only half-believing that, then started walking again. Wade quickly followed, eventually taking the lead when Peter realized he had no idea where they were going. Eventually, they ended up in front of a black motorcycle, and Peter quickly shoved down the anxiety he got just from looking at it.

“Ballpark, what are the chances I’m going to die?” he joked, staring at it.

Wade shrugged and handed him a helmet. “Fifty percent?” he offered. Peter widened his eyes at him and Wade laughed. “Kidding. You live like ten minutes away, you’ll be fine.”

“That’s so reassuring.” Peter deadpanned, watching as Wade put his helmet on and started the engine. The bike roared to life and Wade patted the seat behind him.

Slowly, Peter made his way over, sitting where Wade told him to. After a second, Wade reached back and grabbed his hands, wrapping them around his torso. Peter obediently clasped them together, and then they started to move, and Peter’s grip got infinitely tighter. He swore he felt Wade laugh, but he didn’t even care.

Once they really got moving, it got better. The sensation of moving that fast in the open was definitely strange, but Peter could definitely see the appeal. It was strangely freeing.

They arrived at his house much faster than he expected, Wade slowing the bike to stop near his mailbox. After a second of struggling to detach himself from Wade and the bike, Peter took off his helmet and handed it back. Wade took off his own helmet and turned the bike off.

“I know you didn’t mean it.” he blurted, looking at Peter guiltily.

Peter blinked at him a few times. “So I got punched for nothing? ” he exclaimed, then started laughing.

Wade started to lightly laugh with him. “You kinda did. My bad.”

“You little–ow, ow!” Peter winced as the laughing started to hurt. Somehow, it made him laugh harder, which just hurt more. He was soon both doubled over in laughter and pain.

Wade wasn’t helping, because he was laughing, too. It turned out his laugh was one of the most contagious laughs Peter had ever heard.

“Jesus, are you okay?” Wade managed between laughs, gently getting off the bike to try and help Peter stand.

Peter grabbed onto his arm and managed to calm down. “Yeah, I’m good. Can we agree to not punch me anymore?”

Wade nodded. “I’ll do my best. Don’t be annoying.”

“Try not to punch your feelings.” Peter retaliated, earning a glare.

“Not helping your cause.” Wade pointed out, but then he was grinning again. Peter grinned back. Wade’s smile was nice.

They spent a moment just kind of...staring at each other, though it wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as any of the other times. They were both still grinning, and Peter was still grabbing Wade’s arm for support.

Suddenly, Wade cleared his throat and stepped away from Peter, back towards his bike. “I gotta–um–gotta get home.”

Peter snapped out of it. “Right. Thanks for the ride.”

“No problem.” Wade muttered, then shoved his helmet back on, started the bike, and sped off at a speed that felt slightly faster than necessary.

Peter stayed in his yard, watching him go until he made a turn and disappeared from sight, his hand still feeling like it was burning from where he had been touching Wade, and felt a whole new kind of anxiety start to flutter in his gut.

Chapter Text

When Peter strolled into science class the next morning, he was already in a slightly-bad mood. His stomach was still sore and today was just one of those days where everything seemed to annoy him. He made his way to his seat and hoped for a peaceful class.

Bruce looked up from the book he was reading and smiled at Peter as he sat. “Morning.”

Peter smiled back. “Morning. Whatcha’ reading?”

“A nerd book. I’m trying to win a bet.” Bruce answered.

“Against Tony, I’m guessing?”

“Yep.” Bruce nodded, looking back down at his book. “Seeing who can finish it first and remember the most stuff about it. Oh, so if you wouldn’t mind–”

“–you’d like me to take notes for you? Yeah, sure.” Peter laughed, grabbing Bruce’s notebook from him. This happened a lot. In return, Bruce helped him out with French and English homework. “Kick his ass.”

“On it.” Bruce smiled, then went back to his book. Peter got out his own book and waited for the bell to ring. He’d brought Carrie today. It was one of his favorites, and was proving a good distraction from everything else life was throwing at him.

Then, a couple seconds before the bell rang, one of Peter’s least favorite people made his grand entrance into chemistry class. The door was rather violently opened, slamming into the wall, and in walked Flash Thompson.

Flash, Peter had quickly learned, was a painfully stereotypical bully. He spent most of his time–or at least, most of the time Peter observed–tormenting every physically weak person he could find. It was ridiculous and stupid. Whatever time he had left over from that, he spent talking about basketball. He was also quite possibly the dumbest person Peter had ever met.

It had also taken Flash about ten seconds to make Peter one of his many, many targets. Luckily, it all seemed to be just about annoying Peter, not about hurting him. Flash had stolen and broken a couple of his things, but so far, hadn’t actually harmed him.

“Good morning, Puny Parker.” he sneered, stopping in front of Peter’s desk, looming over him and Bruce.

Peter struggled to not roll his eyes. “What do you want, Flash?”

“Oh, you know,” Flash said, feigning nonchalance. “Not much. Been looking for a good book lately. Know of any?”

Peter froze. He knew what was next. “Flash, don’t–”

Right on cue, Flash snatched Peter’s book from his hands. “This one seems good. What do you think, Banner?”

Bruce didn’t even bother looking up, he just flipped Flash off and went back to his book. Peter didn’t take his eyes off of his book in Flash’s hand. He clenched a hand into a fist to stop himself from trying to grab it back. This was not a battle he could win with brawn. “Flash, do you really want to read Carrie? I mean, it’s a classic, but it might be a little scary for you.”

Flash glared at him as an answer, and Peter could practically hear the gears in his head trying to turn. It was obvious he was trying to come up with a good comeback, and it was painfully obvious when he realized he couldn’t.

Eventually, the teacher–a very nerdy man named Mr. McCoy–yelled at him to sit back down. Flash grumbled and obeyed, taking Peter’s book with him.

Peter stood up and tried to catch him. No, you can’t have that one. “Wait, Flash–”

“I’m starting class, Mr. Parker. Continue your conversation after the lesson.” Mr. McCoy said using his teacher voice.

Flash sneered at him one last time and made a show of going to his seat, dangling the book like a toy. He slid into his chair and placed the book on top of his desk. He left it there for the entire class, occasionally flipping through it–or, when he caught Peter looking at it, bending the spine.

Peter slowly felt himself going crazy as the class went on. He wrote down notes whenever he could make himself pay attention, but for the majority of it, he was trying to plot a way to get his book back. Hopefully Bruce won’t mind the gaps.

When the bell finally rang, Peter nearly tripped over his feet trying to catch Flash before he got out the door. He barely managed to grab his arm and stop him. “Give me back my book.”

Flash shook Peter off. “Nah, I’d rather not. Fuck off, Parker.”

Peter watched him start to leave, trying to think of something to get it back. “Flash, come on. It’s just a book.”

“Then why do you want it so bad, huh? What’s so special about it?”

Peter bit his lip, hesitating. When Flash started to walk away again, he caved. “It’s my dad’s, okay? I need it back.”

Flash, to his credit, did seem to pause just a little bit before his trademark sneer came back. “Too bad, Parker. It’s mine now.” he declared, then turned and dove into the chaos of the hallway.

“Flash,” Peter tried, but Flash just flipped him off–book in hand–and kept walking. “Flash!”

Flash turned a corner, and Peter knew his book was gone. He didn’t know where Flash was going, and by tomorrow, his book would probably be in a dumpster somewhere. Peter felt something tugging in his chest, that stupid, familiar, shitty feeling.

Bruce came up behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. “Sorry about your book, man. I can get Tony to buy you another, if you want.”

“No.” Peter snapped, maybe a little bit too harshly. Bruce slowly removed his hand and Peter sighed. “Sorry. Just–it’s not mine. I need it back.”

Bruce seemed to think for a minute. “I’ll text the group, see if anyone has him next class. If they do, we’ll get it back.”

Peter gave him a small smile. Worth a shot. “Thanks.”

Bruce smiled back then headed off to his next class, weaving through the crowd with his nose in his book. Almost as soon as he did, Peter felt his smile fade away.

He headed off to his next class mostly on muscle memory, not really paying attention to where he was going. He couldn’t stop thinking about his book.

The thing was, Peter didn’t remember much about his parents. He was young when they died. May and Ben had told him as much as they could, but he still felt like he didn’t really know them.

After everything happened, May and Ben had given him what they could of his parents’ possessions. Most of them were in a storage locker right now, but Peter always kept a couple in his room, no matter what. They were his most prized possessions.

He had a box of old jewelry on his desk. He had an old dress shirt hanging in his closet. He had a painfully worn-out set of the Harry Potter books from his mother that he had read over and over again.

He also had a few popular creepy books left to him by his father, and Carrie had always been his favorite. He had understood what it felt like to be the outcast, and even if he couldn’t destroy everyone who had ever teased him, his preteen self had liked to think it was possible.

His current self just liked to think that his dad was there whenever he decided to reread it. He wasn’t a big believer in spirits, but there was something about his parents’ books that made him feel less...alone.

Only now it’s gone, and I can’t even do anything about–

“Hey, Spidey!” a familiar voice suddenly cut into Peter’s thoughts.

Peter turned and saw Wade jogging to catch up with him. Peter, despite his mood, stopped and waited for him. “Hey, Wade.”

Wade caught up and smiled at him, then seemed to notice Peter’s...face. “Somethin’ wrong?”

Peter shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Anything I can do?” Wade asked, surprising him.

Peter looked at him for a moment, trying to debate if Wade was trying to fuck with him. “Unlikely.”

Wade snorted. “Fair enough. What’s your next class?”

Peter narrowed his eyes. “Why?”

“Is it skippable?”

Peter immediately shook his head. “I am not skipping a class. Especially not with you.

Wade mocked offense. “ Rude, but that was about what I expected.”

Peter chuckled. “Then why offer?”

“I’ve got a free period. Can’t hurt to ask.” Wade said, adjusting his backpack strap.

“Tell that to my ribcage.”

Wade snorted. “Fair point.”

They walked in silence for a bit, Peter walking slightly slower to delay their arrival to his next class so he could keep walking with him. He found himself looking around the halls for Flash, even though he’d gone the opposite direction.

Unsurprisingly, it was Wade who broke the silence. He took a big step and went in front of Peter, blocking him. “What’s wrong with you?” he demanded, crossing his arms.

Peter struggled not to crash into Wade’s chest. “Nothing, Wade. Move.”

“You look like someone ran over your puppy.” Wade said, raising an eyebrow.

Peter rolled his eyes and gave him an overly-enthusiastic smile. “All better. Now will you move?”

Wade pretended to think about it. “Nope. What’s your next class again?”

“Still not skipping, Wade.”

“Right, because there’s a stick up your ass.”

Peter rolled his eyes again. “Are you done? I’m going to be late.”

Wade looked behind them, as if he knew what the destination was. “Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll let you go.”

Peter thought about it. He definitely wasn’t telling Wade about the book, but he had to tell him something. “Fine.”

Wade gestured for Peter to continue when he didn’t. Peter sighed. “Someone did something shitty to me in chemistry. Happy?” he asked, then tried to push around him.

Wade caught his arm and spun him back around to face him. “What the fuck does that mean?”

“It means you’re not the only one who messes with me, Wade. I’m having a bad day, can I go to class now?” Peter asked, looking back at him with a defeated expression. Wade had a weird look on his face and Peter didn’t know what to make of it.

“Who else messes with you?” Wade demanded, not letting go.

Peter shrugged. “Why do you care?”

Wade seemed slightly flustered by the question. “I don’t.”

Peter tilted his head at him. Wade was lying, but he didn’t know why. “Then why are you still holding on to me?”

Wade looked him up and down once, then released him. “Forget it. Go to class.”

Peter stared at him. After a minute, Wade started to squirm under his gaze, but he didn’t walk away. Peter slowly backed away a few steps, then fully turned and walked into his class, leaving Wade behind.

He made it into class about two seconds before the bell rang, sitting down in his usual spot and preparing for forty-five minutes of being sad about his book. He made short conversation with the people around him until class started, then settled in for boredom.

While his teacher was droning on about something to do with To Kill a Mockingbird, Peter found himself thinking about his book and making himself miserable. He pulled out his phone and typed out a text he hoped he wouldn’t regret.

Peter: What are you doing?

The response was much faster than Peter expected.

Wade: what?

Peter: You said you had a free period, what are you doing with it?

Wade: is this a lame attempt at saying you want to skip?

Peter rolled his eyes at his phone and double-checked to make sure his teacher hadn’t noticed anything.

Peter: No. I’m just bored.

Wade: mhmm

Wade: im using it to get food and then coming back

Peter: No time for punching nerds or criminal behavior?

Wade: depends

Peter: On what?

Wade: who ran over your puppy

Peter rolled his eyes harder.

Peter: Why do you care?

It took a minute for Wade to respond again, and Peter wondered if he’d said the wrong thing.

Wade: you seemed really sad

Peter raised an eyebrow at his screen.

Peter: Were you worried about me?

There was a pause before the next text, long enough that Peter put his phone down and had tried to start paying attention to class again, assuming that Wade was just going to dodge his question.

Wade: yes

Peter paused and reread the text to make sure his eyes hadn’t tricked him. Inexplicably, his mind went back to being in the shed, when Wade had almost freaked out as much as he had. After that whole catastrophe, Peter could see why he would be concerned about him.

Peter: I’m fine, really. I swear.

Wade: then tell me what happened

Peter: No

Wade: why not?

Peter: Because it’s stupid and you’ll think it’s stupid

Wade decided to take an annoyingly long time to respond again. At this point, Peter’s English class was almost over. Peter was surprised when he felt his phone buzz again.

Wade: i’ll buy you food if you tell me what’s wrong

Peter: Really?

Wade: yep

Peter debated. It wasn’t like there was anything Wade could really do about it. Plus, free food was free food.

Peter: A dick in chem stole my favorite book.

Wade: who?

Peter: Doesn’t matter. He’ll probably throw it away the first chance he has.

Wade: I can get it back for you.

Peter paused. Why would you want to?

Peter: why?

Wade: I owe you

Peter: for what?

Wade: just fucking tell me who

Suddenly, the bell rang, and Peter’s class scrambled to get out the door. Lunch was next. Peter shoved his stuff back into his backpack and headed out.

Peter: I’ll tell you if you bring me food.

Peter waited for a response, but didn’t get one. He frowned at his phone, put it away in his pocket, and headed off to lunch.

“So, you think he’ll get rid of the book?”

Peter sighed and nodded, leaning his water bottle back and forth. “Even if he doesn’t, he’ll just leave it in his house to collect dust and I’ll never see it again.”

“Sorry man.” Weasel shrugged, taking a drink of his soda. “Sure you’re not gonna eat anything?” he asked for the third time, nodding his head at Peter’s barely-touched lunch.

“Not hungry.” Peter said for the third time, resting his chin on his hand.

Weasel frowned, but let it go and changed the subject. “So, how’s it going with Wade?”

Peter glared at him for bringing it up, but eventually conceded. “I don’t know. It’s weird.”


Peter nodded. “I don’t think we’re friends, but I also don’t think we hate each other.”

“Did you manage to avoid being assaulted when you hung out?” Weasel asked, taking a large bite of whatever was being served for lunch today.

Peter nodded again. Technically, he had avoided physical confrontation until yesterday, when Wade had panic-punched him.

It still didn’t take away from the fact that Saturday had been very weird, and Peter didn’t really feel like thinking about it again.

“Yeah, but it still wasn’t exactly a good experience.”

Weasel gave him a pitiful look. “This universe is really not kind to you.”

Peter flipped him off. “You’re a dick, Weas–”

“Heads up.” Weasel interrupted, nodding his head at something behind Peter. Peter frowned and turned around slowly.

Wade was walking over, paper bag in hand. He threw himself into the seat next to Peter and placed the bag in his lap. It smelled like food, and suddenly Peter felt guilty for asking for it, since he’d pretty much lost all of his appetite over the stupid book.

Wade gestured at the bag. “There. Food. Who the fuck took your book?”

Peter sighed and Weasel narrowed his eyes at him, suspicious. “Wait, you told him about the book?”

“Yeah, I did. Didn’t tell him who took it, though.” Peter answered, leaning back in his chair so Weasel and Wade wouldn’t be talking over him. Wade flipped him off at his answer.

“Why do you care?” Weasel asked Wade, giving him a judgemental look.

“Since when do you sit with Weasel at lunch?” Wade asked Peter, pointedly ignoring the question.

Peter rolled his eyes and investigated the bag, revealing a burger and fries. “He offered on my first day and I went with it.”

Wade put an arm over the back of Peter’s chair and leaned down to pluck a fry out of the bag, ignoring Peter’s face of protest. After he got it, he left his arm, just scooting closer to Peter so he was comfortable. Peter rolled his eyes and leaned the bag in his direction.

Weasel, after a moment of debating it, tried to reach and take one for himself. To both his and Peter’s surprise, Wade reached over and roughly smacked his hand away. “No.”

Weasel looked offended and cradled his hand. “He’s not gonna eat it anyway! He’s all depressed over his book.”

Wade raised an eyebrow at Peter, which was surprisingly effective since his face was still close. Peter sighed and ate a fry, even though he really wasn’t hungry. “I’m fine.”

Wade seemed content and looked over at Weasel. “Weas, who took his book?”

“Can I have a fry if I tell you?” Weasel said, still eyeing the bag.

“One,” Wade said, and Weasel instantly snatched one, making Peter laugh. “Jesus, try not to choke.”

“Flash.” Weasel said through his food

Peter smacked him. “Seriously?”

“He gave me a fry!”

“You could have just taken it and not told him .” Peter pointed out, rolling his eyes.

“Wait, Flash Thompson? The idiot on the football team? Since when can he even read?” Wade demanded, looking at Peter like he was crazy.

Peter sighed and leaned forward, folding his arms on the table and flopping his head onto them. Wade pulled the bag out from his lap and put it on the table so he didn’t squish it. “Yeah, that one.”

“Does he have this lunch?” Wade asked, and Peter felt his arm move on the back of his chair. He briefly picked his head up and saw him scanning the cafeteria.

“I don’t know.” Peter muttered into his elbow as he put his head down. There was a beat of silence, and Peter didn’t have to look up to know Wade was still trying to find him. “Leave it alone, Wade.”

Eventually, he felt Wade relax next to him, though it seemed to take some effort. “Why the fuck did he mess with you, anyway?”

“Because he’s an asshat? Fuck if I know.” Peter said, sitting back up. “I said something smart and he couldn’t keep up, so he got mad and stole it.”

Wade had a scowl on his face, but kept quiet. Peter was slightly grateful for it.

Weasel stared at Wade’s expression, then started looking between Wade and Peter. “Why do you care so much?” he demanded, poking Wade in the chest.

Wade glared at him. “I don’t. Do you care about those glasses?” he asked, narrowing his eyes.

Weasel stared at Wade hard for a minute, and Wade glared right back, daring him to say something. It was almost painful to watch him debate whether or not it was worth it to say what he obviously wanted to. Eventually, Weasel looked away (and kept his glasses intact), but his face was smug.

Peter looked between them like they were crazy. Weasel looked like he knew a million-dollar secret and Wade suddenly wouldn’t stop fidgeting. Peter had obviously missed something, but had no idea when he had missed it.

He sighed and grabbed another fry, breaking the mood. Wade had a scowl on his face for the rest of lunch, but kept quiet, occasionally stealing fries and some of Peter’s water. Weasel never stopped grinning, though he at least attempted to make conversation.

The bell rang fifteen minutes later, and Peter was still confused, but he didn’t really care. He found himself looking for Flash Thompson as he wove through the halls to his next class, but he was nowhere to be found.

When Wade arrived to photography class fashionably late, something was different. At first, Peter couldn’t figure out why, and then he noticed it–Wade was walking into a class and smiling. Wade, for unknown reasons, was happy to be in class.

Wade grinned a little wider when he saw Peter and practically stomped across the room, disrupting class as much as he could. Peter looked up from his (admittedly pathetic) position with his head on his arms and rolled his eyes at him.

Then Wade dropped a book onto the desk two inches from Peter’s face.

Peter widened his eyes and snatched it up as Wade sat down next to him. “Oh my god.”

Wade grinned at him. “That is the right book, right?”

“Yeah, it is.” Peter confirmed, still not really believing that he was holding his copy of Carrie in his hands again. “How did you even…?” he trailed off.

“Flash deserved it. What was so special about it, anyway?”

Peter hesitated, then looked at Wade again. At this point, he was struggling not to cry in relief. “It was my dad’s.”

Wade raised his eyebrows and whistled. “Dang. And you brought it to school?

Peter shrugged. “Not my best decision.”

Wade shook his head and laughed, settling further into his seat. Peter looked over at him and felt...weird. He felt that same weird flutter he’d felt when Wade had driven off from his house yesterday. Wade looked back at him and smiled, a genuine one that made Peter smile back.

Peter broke the eye contact and waved the book in front of his face to hide his blush. “Thank you.”

Wade smiled at him. “You’re welcome, spidey.”

Peter carefully but his book back in his backpack and turned back to Wade. “So, how badly did you beat him?”

“Flash?” Wade asked, and Peter nodded. He shrugged. “Not too bad. Worse than you, better than Bob.”

“Who’s Bob?”

“Old punching bag. Moved away a couple months before you showed up.”

“So I’m a replacement punching bag, then?” Peter asked, chuckling.

“Definitely. How’s the spleen, by the way?”

“Bruised. Looks like Picasso barfed on my ribcage.”

Wade laughed and ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah, I figured.”

Peter rolled his eyes but kept smiling. He opened his mouth to snap out a sarcastic retort, but his phone buzzed and cut him off. Frowning, he dug it out of his pocket.

Bruce: so, apparently, Wade Wilson beat the shit out of Flash and stole your book from him

Bruce: I think your book might be a lost cause.

Peter grinned and looked back up at Wade, who looked intrigued. “Word got around you beat the crap out of Flash.” he said, holding up the phone for Wade to see.

Wade smirked and Peter swore he saw him blush. “Might wanna tell him that your book is safe.”

“Right.” Peter agreed.

Peter: Long story, but Wade got me my book back. It’s in my backpack.

Bruce: how did you manage that?

Peter: I don’t really know.

Peter looked back up at Wade after he sent the last text. Wade didn’t look back this time; he was looking down at his phone. Peter stared for probably a bit too long, and he would have for longer if his phone hadn’t buzzed again. This time, it wasn’t from Bruce.

Sam: why did wade wilson steal your book from flash

Peter: how did you know about that?

Sam: Bruce had me on lookout for flash

Peter: Right.

Sam: does wade still have your book?

Peter: No, he gave it back to me.

Sam: …..????? What

Peter: Complicated.

Sam: didn’t he punch you?

Peter sighed. Yeah, he did.

Peter: Twice, actually.

Sam: Did you pay him or something?

Peter: No. I’ll explain Friday. Coming to the shindig thingy?

Sam: Yeah. See you then.

Peter put his phone away and tried to pay attention to class, but for some reason, Wade was making it difficult. He wasn’t doing it intentionally; Peter just kept feeling like he had to say something else to him.

Wade looked over at him (after Peter had probably looked at him a dozen times) and frowned. “Do we have to go over the staring thing again, or…?”

Peter snapped out of it. “No. My bad.”

Wade chuckled and rolled his eyes. “Pay attention to class, spidey. Some of us are trying to learn in peace.”

Despite the fact that Peter had a million comebacks for that, he held his tongue and turned back to the front of the room. He saw Wade struggle not to laugh out of the corner of his eye, but they managed to keep quiet for the rest of the class.

Towards the end of the period, Wade leaned over to him. “Need another ride home?”

Peter considered. He really liked the motorcycle, but he also really wasn’t supposed to be on a motorcycle.

Teenage rebellion won over fear of May. “Sure. But if my aunt sees your bike, you have to answer to her.”

“Deal.” Wade agreed, grinning at him.

Peter grinned back and felt those flutters again. They were kind of starting to grow on him. And terrify him. It was a slightly confusing mix of both, but he didn’t really care. The good side was winning.

“So, is this a regular thing now?” Wade asked, leaning against the handlebars of the bike as Peter got up and stood by his mailbox.

Peter shrugged and grinned; he officially loved riding the motorcycle. “You’re the one who offered.”

“Fair enough. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

Peter nodded. “Yep.”

Wade smiled, then started the bike back up again. Peter bit his lip. He reached out and grabbed Wade’s arm at the last second, only slightly scaring him.

“Jesus, what?”

Peter froze a little bit, hand still on his arm. “Just–thanks for getting my book back. You didn’t have to.”

Wade seemed to freeze a little bit, too. “I wanted to.”

They stared at each other for a minute, with Peter awkwardly bent over to look Wade in the eye. Eventually, his back complained, and he stood up straight and took his hand off, running it through his hair. He coughed and broke whatever had settled over them. “I’ll–I’ll see you tomorrow, Wade.”

“Right.” Wade agreed, snapping out of it with him, then staring down at his bike. “See you tomorrow.”

Peter gave him a small smile and turned away, walking up to his door. Behind him, he could hear Wade’s motorcycle humming. He kept expecting to hear it start to move away, but it seemed to stay, despite the fact that he was walking to his door very slowly . He turned back to see what was happening when he reached his front door.

Wade was still on his bike, but as soon as Peter turned, he got up and jogged over to him. Peter felt a confused expression cross his face as Wade approached. “Wha–”

Then, rather suddenly, Wade grabbed his face and kissed him. He kissed Peter hard. It was short, it was intense, and it was over before Peter could even fully register what was happening.

Wade pulled back and stared at him for half a second, still holding his face. Wade looked him up and down once, then ran back to his bike, revved it, and was gone in under ten seconds.

Peter stood on his porch for a solid five minutes before he even bothered to close his mouth from its shocked position. He stared at the spot where Wade had been on his bike, and stared at the street where he had turned and disappeared. His brain appeared to be short-circuiting. He couldn’t make himself move. Eventually, one crystal-clear thought broke through, over and over and over.

What just happened?

Chapter Text

Peter had never really been good at handling surprises. Once, when he was eight, a girl had kissed him on a playground. He’d been so shocked–and confused, because she had basically attacked his face with hers–that he’d panicked and screamed in her face.

Looking back on it, that was nothing compared to what’s happening to him right now. In fact, he would much rather have just screamed in Wade’s face.

Because this–on his bed, staring at the ceiling, stuck in existential crisis mode–was so much worse.

Peter sighed and scrubbed a hand over his face. He’s been laying on his bed for roughly an hour, trying to process what exactly happened that led to– that. Wade kissing him. Without permission. Without saying a word, without staying, without an explanation.

The whole thing had happened so fast. Peter had played the moment over and over in his head, trying to slow it down, trying to analyze it as much as he could, but he had almost nothing to work with. It had only taken Wade maybe twenty seconds to get off of his bike, kiss him, get back on, and leave. Twenty seconds to turn Peter’s whole world upside down.

It had been less than a minute, and yet here he was, thinking about it for over an hour, like an idiot. An idiot who really didn’t understand why Wade Wilson, of all people, had decided to kiss him.

That was what was bothering him most. The why of the whole thing. Up until an hour ago, Peter hadn’t even been sure that Wade considered him a friend–definitely not anything more than that. But Wade wouldn’t do something like this just to mess with Peter, would he? Sure, he was an asshole from time to time, but would he really take it this far?

Peter thought back to the kiss again. More specifically, he thought back to Wade’s face after the kiss. At this point, he was fairly sure that that image would be burned in his mind forever.

Because Wade hadn’t looked like he was doing it just to fuck with Peter. In fact, it had looked like the complete opposite–he’d looked almost afraid. Like he had messed up somehow. Peter, despite everything, almost wished he’d had his camera to take a picture of the whole thing.

Hell, if he’d had a camera, he’d have a picture of his first real–

“Peter! Are you home?” May’s voice suddenly rang through the house.

Peter sat up and swung his legs off the bed, groaning when his knee popped. “Yeah, May, upstairs!”

Stretching, he stood up and quickly made his way downstairs, where he found May in the kitchen, along with some heavenly smelling cartons of what appeared to be chinese food sitting on the counter behind her. She smiled at him when he came in, looking up from the mail she was going through.

“Anything good in there?” Peter asked, lifting himself up onto a portion of the counter not occupied with food.

“Bills and junk. How was your day?”

Peter hesitated for half a second. “Fine.”

May, of course, noticed. She raised an eyebrow at him and put down her stack of papers. “That didn’t sound very convincing.”

Peter chuckled. “It was–interesting, to say the least.”

“What happened?”

Peter hesitated for longer. On one hand, it could lead to a conversation he really didn’t want to have, but on the other hand, he needed another opinion. He sighed and braced himself for every kind of reaction. “I got kissed today.”

May didn’t even bother attempting to hide her surprise. “Oh! Well, that’s...interesting.”

Peter laughed. “Yeah, that’s kind of my reaction, too.”

May paused, thinking. “How do you feel about it?”

“I don’t know, honestly,” Peter said, running a hand through his hair. “It’s–confusing? It kind of came out of nowhere.”

“Well, do you like them back?”

“I have no idea.” Peter answered honestly, shrugging. “But I have to see him again anyw–” he stopped and froze. He hadn’t really meant to say ‘him’.

May looked at him with a slightly-surprised look, her mouth silently forming an ‘o’. “Him?” she asked, though she didn’t sound nearly as judgemental as Peter had feared she would. She just sounded curious.

“Uh, yeah,” he admitted, running a hand through his hair. “His name is Wade.”

May nodded, thinking. “Do you like him back?”

Peter hesitated. “I–I don’t know, really. I haven’t known him for that long and everything kind of came out of nowhere.”

“You do seem a little frazzled from the whole thing,” May admitted, giving him a look of motherly concern, “but it could still work out in the end. Have you spoken to him yet?”

“No. I don’t know what to say that won’t make things explode.”

“Give yourself some time to think about it, honey. In the meantime, let’s eat some dinner.”

Peter walked over to help her sort through the food. He managed to keep a smile on his face all the way through dinner, despite having a feeling that things probably weren’t going to turn out okay.

He was Peter Parker. Nothing ever really turned out okay.

Peter, for numerous reasons, really didn’t like having to ask people for help. It felt like being a burden, and even if his friends had told him it was okay, he never felt like it was.

Which is why he felt really, really guilty for tapping on Natasha’s shoulder in English, especially since he’d been a jackass the last time they’d spoken in class. But he needed an expert’s help, and he wasn’t sure anyone could read people like she could.

She turned around and flipped her perfect hair over her shoulder and out of her way. “Yes?”

“I have, a, um, I have–” Peter cut himself off and cleared his throat. “I have a problem. And I was wondering if you could give me advice.”

Natasha cocked her head at him, staring at him like he was a puzzle. “This is a romantic problem, isn’t it?”

Peter sighed, dropping his chin into one hand. “Maybe.”

Nat smirked at him, now fully interested. “Spill.”

Peter took a deep breath and really, really hoped he wouldn’t regret this. “I got kissed yesterday.”

“By who?” she demanded, widening her green eyes at him.

“Classified. It was out-of-the-blue and I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, did you enjoy it?”

Peter paused. He hadn’t really thought about if he had enjoyed it or not. At the time, he was a little busy panicking. He hadn’t taken the time to think about enjoying it.

Though, come to think of it, he had, just a little bit. It had been the most shocking thing that’s ever happened to him, but he hadn’t found it unpleasant. “I think I did.”

“You think you did?”

“I don’t really have any other experience in the matter.”

Nat rolled her eyes at him. “Take a guess, then.”

“I liked it?” Peter tried, then nodded. “Yeah. I liked it.” he said more confidently.

“Then what’s the problem?”

Peter hesitated, and Nat raised an eyebrow at him. After a moment of debating, Peter settled on a lame, “Can you keep a secret?”

“No, everyone confides in me because I’m a huge gossip.” she deadpanned.

Peter glared at her. “I’m serious.”

“Yes, I can keep a secret.”

Peter nodded and took in a breath, then kind of spit out everything at once. “This guy in my photography class scares the shit out of me and we’re partners on this huge project and at first I was scared I was going to die but then he kissed me on my porch and it was weird and honestly I’m just scared he’s going to punch me again.” he rambled, a little out of breath at the end.

Natasha took a moment to process. “A guy who punched you kissed you?”

“Yeah. And I have to see him today and he’s kinda sucky at the whole emotions thing, and he might hit me.”

She–understandably–looked at him like he was crazy. “And you’re sure he likes you?”

“No! I’m not!” Peter exclaimed, groaning. “I have no idea! He’s honest-to-god crazy and for all I know it could be some sick joke.”

Nat’s expression suddenly shifted to something darker. “Who the fuck is this guy, anyway?” she demanded.

Peter knew that look. That was the look of I’m-gonna-fuck-somebody-up. “Natasha, no.”

“Do you really think there’s a possibility he kissed you as a joke? When you’re this upset about it?”

Peter sighed. “I don’t know.” he admitted, looking down and away from her piercing gaze.

Nat was silent for a minute, long enough that Peter eventually looked back up at her. She had an angry version of her thinking face on. Another minute passed before she spoke again.

“You’re not really one to confront people.” she started, saying it like a fact, not a question, “So even if I told you to, you wouldn’t be the one to break the silence that I’m assuming started when he kissed you.”


“Then you’ll just have to wait to see him in person, and tell me what happens after that.” Nat declared, then turned back around.

Peter blinked. “Wait, what? That’s it?”

“It’s not like I have a lot to go on, Peter. A name would help.”

“Not a chance.”

“Then that’s all I got.”

Peter huffed and laid his head down on his arms. It was going to be a very, very long day.

If there was one thing that Peter was looking forward to doing even less than seeing Wade, it would be seeing Flash Thompson again. Even Bruce had given him a concerned look when he had settled into his desk.

Unfortunately for him, the second Flash walked into chemistry class, he made a beeline for Peter and grabbed his arm, violently pulling him up from his desk and getting in his face. He had a bruise covering his jaw, along with a cut that Peter suddenly realized came from Wade’s ring that he always wore.

“You got a fuckin’ bodyguard now, Parker?” Flash spat, shaking him.

Peter froze. “I–um–I didn’t–”

“Didn’t what, huh? Didn’t what? ” Flash demanded, his voice dropping to something that Peter really didn’t like.

Bruce got up and tried to get between them. “Flash, leave him alone.”

“Fuck off, bookworm, this isn’t your business.” Flash snapped, shoving Bruce out of the way and quite literally dragging Peter across the room, ensuring that everyone–except, of course, the teacher–saw them leave. Distantly, Peter heard Bruce shouting at them, but Flash ignored him. Peter tried to get out of his grip, but all he ended up doing was tripping over his own feet.

Flash dragged him out of the room, into the thinning sea of people trying to get to class, none of whom decided to intervene. He paused, scanned the hallway, then dragged them both to a bathroom. As soon as the door swung shut behind them, he slammed Peter into a stall door. Peter shouted and crumpled to the floor. Flash immediately kicked him, landing all of his football-strength on his ankle, of all places.

“I didn’t ask him to do anything! I tried to tell him not to!” Peter shouted, holding his hands up in defense.

“Doesn’t fuckin’ matter! ” Flash shouted, then kicked Peter hard right where Wade had punched him earlier.

Peter felt the air leave his lungs at the impact. He coughed a couple times before he could even breathe again. “Flash, please–”

Flash grabbed his collar, forcing Peter to look up, then punched him in the jaw, not breaking it by some honest-to-god miracle, then punched him again, effectively breaking his nose. Peter didn’t even make an attempt to sit back up. He could taste blood.

“Control your fucking boyfriend, Parker, or next time, you won’t get up.” Flash spat at him, then left Peter in a heap on the floor, the door slamming shut behind him.

Peter waited a couple minutes, hearing the bell ring, making sure no one was going to come after him, then he cried. He cried first at the pain exploding all over him, then he cried harder for how unfair the whole thing was, then he was just crying because he couldn’t make himself stop. It was probably a good fifteen minutes before he could make himself breathe properly, and another five just to ensure that he wasn’t going to start crying again.

Taking a deep breath, Peter tentatively tried to stand up. Immediately, his injured ankle protested, but he didn’t think it was broken. He’d broken it once in gym class a few years ago; that had hurt much worse. Broken or not, it was obvious he couldn’t walk on it very well.

He patted himself down for other injuries. Most noticeable was the pain exploding from his chest where Flash had managed to hit where Wade had hit, probably bruising a rib. Luckily, his breathing seemed to be fine, but it only made getting around harder.

In short, there was no way that Peter could make it anywhere without someone noticing that he had just been used as a punching bag. As much as he hated to admit it, he needed help.

And unfortunately, he only knew one person who would be willing to leave class to help him. Swallowing both his pride and his fear, Peter pulled his phone out of his back pocket, grateful Flash hadn’t stolen or broken it.

Peter: I need your help.

Peter held his breath for a second after he sent it, hoping he wouldn’t regret this. He didn’t get an immediate response, and suddenly he was scared he wasn’t going to get one at all.

Then, thank god, his phone buzzed.

Wade: what happened?

Peter almost started crying again in relief.

Peter: Can you get out of your current class?

Wade: yes. are you okay?

Peter: No. I’m stuck in the bathroom in the science hallway.

Wade: stuck?

Peter: I can’t walk.

Wade: what happened?

Wade: spidey?

Wade: omw

Peter sighed and locked his phone again, then slowly lowered himself to the ground. Sending back a response seemed counter-productive, since he knew Wade would stop to beat the shit out of (and maybe murder) Flash before he got to Peter.

About three minutes later, the door opened, and Peter prepared to hide in a stall before he heard a quiet, “Spidey?”

“Over here.” Peter answered, then he heard a couple heavy footsteps before Wade came into view.

Almost immediately, Wade dropped down to Peter’s level and started to frantically check him over. “What the fuck happened to you?” he demanded, looking panicked.

Peter winced when Wade hit the sore spot on his arm, batting him away. “I don’t want to talk about it. Can you help me get out of here?”

Wade hesitated, obviously wanting to ask again, but he held his tongue. “And go where?”

Peter paused. He hadn’t gotten that far. “I don’t know, but I can’t go back to class.”

Wade nodded. “Okay. Lunch starts in about ten minutes, want to just wait it out?” he offered, slowly sitting down cross-legged in front of Peter and dropping his backpack next to him.

Peter nodded back, then gingerly leaned his head back on the wall he was leaning against. Wade seemed to be looking him over again, trying to assess the damage. One of his hands was drumming patterns onto his knee, and Peter knew that he was trying hard not to fidget any more than that. After a second, he stood up and grabbed a paper towel, then wet it in the sink.

He came back and set it gently in Peter’s hand. “You have blood all over your face.”

Peter groaned. “Sounds about right. My nose is broken.”

Wade winced. “Does it need to be reset?”

“Probably. I’ll get my aunt to do it later.”

“I can, if you want.”

Peter blinked. “Really?”

“Sure.” Wade shrugged, though it failed at being nonchalant.

“Okay.” Peter said, then sat up a little bit.

Very slowly, Wade placed one hand on the side of Peter’s face, then held the other one just above the bridge of his nose. “This is gonna hurt like a motherfucker.”

“I know–son of a bitch! ” Peter shouted when Wade suddenly snapped it back in place. “Mother fucker!”

Instantly, more blood started to flow. Peter probably had it all over his shirt by now. He used the paper towel Wade had given him and started to wash off his face, figuring he’d just have to deal with the stains later. When he pulled it back, he frowned at how red it was. Wade saw it, too, and sighed before he got up to get more.

He sat back down and handed them to Peter, then sat in silence as he finished cleaning up what he could. When Peter was done, he took all of the bloody ones and threw them in the trash, then sat back down next to Peter instead of in front of him.

He managed to stay quiet for about three seconds after that. “Who did this?”

Peter sighed. “Doesn’t matter.”

“Like hell it doesn’t matter, they broke your nose.” Wade snapped, and he sounded more angry than Peter had expected.

When Peter looked at him, he suddenly had the worst flashback to that first day he’d ever seen him. He had that same, horrible, murderous expression on his face that day, too. It had scared the shit out of him then and it sure as hell did now. Peter stared at him for a long moment, Wade looking back at him with that awful expression.

“It doesn’t matter, Wade.” Peter said slowly, fighting the sudden urge he had to run away from Wade as fast as he could. “It’s not like you can do anything about it now.”

Wade huffed and rolled his eyes. “I can, actually. I can fucking kill them.”

“No, you can’t.”

“Wanna bet?” Wade practically growled, then suddenly stood up, making Peter flinch just a little bit. He started pacing. “I could destroy them. I should destroy them. Who the fuck do they think they are, anyway? Just going around hitting people like–like–” he stammered, then stopped, frustrated.

Peter sighed. He was slightly starting to regret texting Wade. “Why are you even so upset about it?”

Wade paused in his pacing and looked at him. He seemed caught off guard by the question. “I–I'm not."

“Oh, really?” Peter said, raising a very sarcastic eyebrow.

Wade glared back at him. “I'm not.” he said with more confidence.

Slowly, and painfully, Peter started to stand up. Wade walked over and offered him a hand, which he took and used to heave himself to his one good foot. He attempted testing his weight on his bad ankle, but all that did was hurt like a motherfucker. “Ow, bad idea.” he whined, leaning his weight on Wade.

“Think it’s broken?” Wade asked, looking at him with concern and slowly putting his arm around Peter.

“I hope not.” Peter said, then looked down at Wade’s hand, which was around his arm. It wasn’t like Wade hadn’t ever touched him before, but for some reason this felt...different.

Probably because he kissed you yesterday.

Peter blinked. How in the hell had he forgotten? Wade had kissed him yesterday. Wade had kissed him yesterday.

Rather abruptly, Peter jerked away from him and nearly ended up on the floor again, barely keeping his balance. Wade tried to grab onto him again to steady him, but Peter slapped his hands away. “Don’t you dare.” he snapped.

“What did I do?” Wade asked, panicked and trying very hard to not touch Peter. It was painfully obvious he still wanted to.

“You kissed me!” Peter yelled, shoving him. His ribcage screamed at him for the sudden movement. To his dismay, Wade barely moved.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. As soon as the words left Peter’s mouth, his face fell. Peter ignored him and pressed on. “And then you ran away. Who the fuck does that?” Peter said, shoving him again. This time, he lost his balance and started to fall down.

Wade swore and caught him, ignoring the fact that Peter slapped him at least ten times in the process. As soon as he was stable, Wade let him go and stepped back out of range. Peter leaned against the bathroom wall and glared at him. “Why did you do that?”

Wade sighed and ran a hand through his hair, looking down and not answering. Peter just got angrier at him.

“I mean, we had just moved past the not-wanting-to-bash-my-face-in phase. You could have at least given me some warning before we just skipped over the let’s-be-friends thing. But no, you–you did that ,” Peter stumbled over his words a little bit, not really wanted to say ‘kissed’ again, “and then you just drove away on your stupid motorcycle and left me on my fucking porch!”

When he finished, he was breathing angrily and glaring as hard as he could at Wade, who couldn’t really make himself look at Peter for more than a couple of seconds. The silence of the bathroom–excluding Peter’s breathing–was deafening. Wade wouldn’t say anything.

“For the love of god say something. ” Peter snapped at him.

Wade huffed and started pacing. “I don’t–I didn’t–” he started, then cut himself off and made a frustrated noise. Eventually, he ended up with, “I’m sorry.”

“You’d fucking better be.” Peter said, but it lacked bite. Wade seemed more upset than Peter thought he would be. He paused, until Wade eventually had to look back up at him. “Why did you do that?”

“I–I don’t know.” Wade admitted. “It’s not I planned it.”

Part of me thought you did, and now I feel a little bad about it. “So, what, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing?”

Wade shrugged, which kind of served as an answer. “I’m sorry. It was stupid and I shouldn’t of–I should have known you weren’t…” he trailed off.

Peter bit his lip. “I take it that you...are, then?” he asked awkwardly, hoping Wade would get it.

Wade nodded, scratching the back of his neck. “I’m not–I like both.” he admitted. “I’ve never really had a preference.”

For some reason, that didn’t really surprise Peter. “Does anyone else know?”

“Weasel.” Wade said, shrugging. “Nathan, who I doubt you know. A girl I dated a while back. You.”

Peter nodded, looking down at his feet. “So…why did you kiss me?” he asked again, because Wade hadn’t really answered.

Wade shrugged. “Probably because I like you.”

Peter froze, wholly unprepared for that. “You wha–”

He was cut off by the bell ringing through the speakers, signaling that he should be going to lunch. Peter swore. “That’s the lunch bell.”

“That it is.” Wade agreed, then looked around, suddenly puzzled. “Where’s your stuff?”

Peter groaned. “It’s still in chemistry. I didn’t get a chance to grab it before I got my ass kicked.”

Wade sighed. “You ever gonna tell me who did this?”

“If I did, you’d make it worse.”

“That’s fair. Which room?”

“McCoy. I’ll come with you.” he said, then started to hop over to the door.

Wade groaned, making Peter stop. “You’re just gonna get knocked over. Stay here until the hall clears, I’ll get your stuff.”

“You don’t know where it is.” Peter frowned.

Wade frowned right back. “Then how would you like to get to class? Because you kind of look like shit and you can’t walk.”

Peter opened his mouth and closed it again. It wouldn’t exactly be an easy task, considering he only had one good foot. Not to mention the broken nose, probably bruised ribs, and bloody shirt. “I don’t know.”

Wade paused and bit his lip. “Where are we on the whole ‘touching’ thing?”


“I have an idea, but last time I touched you, you slapped me. A lot.” Wade said, acting like it had actually hurt.

Peter rolled his eyes. “What’s your idea?”

“First,” Wade started, then went over to his backpack and pulled out a jacket, “put this on, because your nerd shirt looks like you murdered someone in it.”

Peter made a face at him and accepted the jacket, slowly putting it on and zipping it up. The sleeves fell past his fingertips. Wade grinned at him when he made a face at them.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll grow into it.” he joked, and Peter glared. Wade chuckled, then turned around in front of Peter, so his back was facing him. “Now hop on.”

“You are not giving me a piggyback ride. No way.” Peter said, shaking his head furiously.

Wade turned back around and made a face. “Well, that’s all I got, spidey.”

Peter scrunched his nose up. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have any other ideas, either. “Fine.”

“You sure?”

“Nope. Turn around.”

Wade shrugged and did just that, then awkwardly squatted in front of him so Peter didn’t have to jump. Before he could talk himself out of it, Peter hopped on. Wade easily held his weight and put his hands under Peter’s knees. Peter gently put his arms around Wade’s neck.

“This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.”

“Probably.” Wade agreed, then turned and grabbed his backpack from the floor and handed it to Peter. “You good?”

Peter nodded. “Walk fast.”

Wade chuckled and headed out of the bathroom, into the lovely storm of people still in the hallway. Almost as soon as he did, anyone who saw him practically fell over themselves to get out of his way. Peter snorted, and was strangely a little grateful that Wade was so scary.

The feeling faded when he realized just how many of them were openly staring at them. His anxiety kicked in and Peter really wished Wade would move faster. He pressed his face into Wade’s shoulder, trying to hide his face under his arm. After a minute, they got back to his chemistry classroom and everything wasn’t so loud and terrible.

“You okay, spidey?” Wade asked, shaking him a little bit.

“I hate people.” Peter replied, picking his head up just enough to see. “My stuff’s over there.” he pointed.

Wade nodded and walked over, picking up his stuff. “You didn’t happen to get a book stolen today, did you?”

Peter groaned. “I fucking hope not. I’d rather not get beat up again.”

Wade stopped, and suddenly Peter realized he’d fucked up. “What?”

“Nothing.” Peter said, a little too quickly. “I said nothing.”

Wade awkwardly tried to look at him while Peter was on his back. It didn’t really work, so he backed up and deposited Peter onto a desk. “Flash fucking Thompson did this, didn’t he? Because I hit him.” Wade’s face got a lot more angry. “I’m gonna fucking kill him.”

Peter stared at him, wide-eyed. After a moment, he huffed and started heading for the door. Peter panicked, realizing that he couldn’t get up and stop him. Think of something, think of something, think of something!

“I didn’t hate it when you kissed me.” he blurted, then almost smacked himself.


By some miracle, Wade stopped and turned back around. “What?”

“I–um–I didn’t hate it.”

Wade gave him a funny look, then walked back and sat down on the desk in front of Peter. “Aren’t you straight?”

Peter frowned. “I don’t really know. I’ve never really thought about it.”


“I’ve kinda had a lot going on.”

Wade nodded and dropped it. “So, you’re not mad that I did it?”

“No, I’m still mad.” Peter said, looking at his lap. “You didn’t ask first and you didn’t explain after. It wasn’t fair to just spring it on me.”

Wade bit his lip. “I’m sorry.”

There was a beat of silence. “So, you like me, then?”

Wade looked up at him and Peter swore he saw a blush. “Yeah, I guess.”

Peter found himself blushing, too. “I think you might be the first.”

“Ever?” Wade asked, laughing lightly.

“Ever.” Peter confirmed, laughing with him. Wade rolled his eyes and stood up, offering him a hand. Peter let himself be pulled to his feet.

“Can you walk?”

“Not really, no.”

“You still okay with a piggyback ride? I think the hallways are empty.” Wade offered, craning his neck to look out the door.

Peter considered it. Despite looking like an idiots, the piggyback arrangement had worked pretty well. “Sure, why not.”

Wade smiled and handed Peter his backpack, who put it on his back, then he turned so Peter could jump on. He did, and then Wade picked up his own backpack, and they were off.

“Wait, where are we going?” Peter asked when Wade was in the now-empty hallway.

“The cafeteria?”

Peter paused and thought back to the last time they’d had lunch together. Suddenly, he hit Wade on the shoulder. “Oh my god, Weasel knows, doesn’t he?”

“Knows what?”

“That you liked me. Like me. Whatever.”

Wade chuckled. “Yeah, he figured it out yesterday. Doesn’t know I kissed you, though.”

“Good. Let’s keep it that way.” Peter said, then rested his chin on Wade’s shoulder. He wasn’t entirely sure how, but Wade seemed to always be warm. Wade chuckled and adjusted his grip, but that was the only indication he’d noticed Peter had moved.

They walked in silence for a while, Wade glaring at anyone they passed while Peter ducked his head down. They got almost all the way to the cafeteria before Wade spoke again.

“So, about Flash–”

“Don’t even think about it.” Peter snapped. “You beat him up again and I’ll probably end up in a ditch somewhere.”

“I’d put him in a ditch first.” Wade muttered, then pushed open the door to the cafeteria. Peter immediately shoved his face back down into his shoulder because everyone was staring . “If you don’t want people to look  at you, you could put the hood up, spidey.”

Peter furrowed his eyebrows. “How does it not bother you?”


“Everyone’s staring.”

Wade shrugged. “I’m kinda used to it, with my face and everything.”

Peter instantly felt like an idiot. “Oh. Right.”

“Used to being invisible, spidey?” Wade teased, then stopped walking. Peter picked his head up and noticed they were at his usual table, where Weasel was sitting and looking at them with a very strange look.

With only a little bit of awkwardness, Wade managed to deposit him in a chair without dropping anything. Weasel looked at both of them like they were crazy. “Did you fucking punch him again?”

“Flash did.” Peter replied.

“So...Wade gave you a pity-back ride?”

Peter rolled his eyes at the pun. “Something’s wrong with my ankle. And my ribs. And my nose.”

Weasel winced. “Ouch.”

Peter grunted in agreement and leaned back in his chair. Next to him, Wade looked downright murderous. Peter slapped his chest. “No murdering Flash.”

“He broke your fucking nose.” Wade protested, crossing his arms.

“He only did it because you punched him to get my book back. Did you really have to use the hand with the ring?”

Wade’s face fell. “Wait, what?”

“Dude, Wade got you punched? That sucks.” Weasel snorted into his water bottle, earning glares from both Wade and Peter.

Wade turned back to Peter. “Did he actually say that?”

Peter sighed. “Yeah, he did. But you’re not allowed to hit him again.” he added quickly when Wade’s expression turned dark again.

Weasel, naturally, seemed to find all of this funny. “Good luck with that.”

“I’ll give you a fucking swirly, Hammer.” Wade warned.

Weasel muttered something into his food and shut up after that. Wade gave him one final threatening eyebrow-raise and left him alone. “This is my fault, isn’t it?”

Peter bit his lip. “Maybe a little. But it was kinda worth it. I love that book.”

Wade sighed. He seemed to want to say something else, but he held his tongue. Peter decided it was best to just leave it and the rest of lunch was sat in relative silence. Near the end of it, Peter’s phone buzzed in his pocket. It was annoyingly difficult to get out of his pocket with Wade’s stupid sleeves.

Wade noticed, and laughed at him. “Do you want me to take it back?”

“No.” Peter said with stubbornness, lifting his chin. Wade rolled his eyes and laughed at him.

Peter flipped him off–which was ineffective because the sleeve got caught on his knuckles–and looked down at his phone.

Unknown number: what happened to your pretty face, spidey?

Peter froze. It couldn’t–it didn’t–this didn’t make sense. It was from the same number from weeks ago. He had never bothered to delete it, even if he hated it. He’d kept it just in case...well, in case this happened.

He had never found out who had sent it.

Wade tapped his shoulder, making Peter jump. “Jeez, spidey, you okay?”

“Uh, yeah.” Peter answered, shaking his head to clear it. “Fine.”

“You sure?” Weasel asked, because apparently Peter’s face was not convincing.

“Yeah.” Peter said with more confidence. “I just got a weird text. I think it’s from the wrong number.”

“What’s it say?” Wade asked.

Peter hesitated. As far as he was aware, Wade was the only one who called him ‘spidey’. He sighed and showed Wade the text.

“Who the fuck is that?” Wade demanded, immediately concerned.

“I don’t know.” Peter mumbled, wrapping his arms around himself. He’d hoped it was over with that one text. Part of him had still thought it was Wade. “I thought it was over.”

Weasel frowned at his phone, which Wade was showing to him. “Who else even calls you spidey?”

“Nobody.” Peter said, trying to ignore the anxiety rising in his chest. Wade frowned at him and started typing something on his phone. Peter sat up and tried to grab it back. “Hey, what are you doing?”

“Nothing bad!” Wade insisted, then he handed it back. Peter snatched it and looked at what he’d said.

Peter: who is this?

Peter smacked him. “I wasn’t gonna respond!”

“Well, now you did.” Wade shrugged, then looked at his watch. “You need a lift to your next class?”

Peter’s phone buzzed in his hand, interrupting them. Before Wade could grab it, Peter put it out of his reach and read the text.

Unknown number: just someone who’s concerned for your pretty face.

Slowly, he turned the phone to Wade, then to Weasel. Neither of their reactions made Peter feel any better about the whole thing.

“At this point, he’s not the only one concerned about your pretty face.” Wade muttered, looking worried.

Peter suddenly shoved his phone back in his pocket, somewhat breaking the dark mood over the table. He started to stand up, which immediately caused Wade to do the same. “Forget it. I’m leaving it alone.”

“You can’t just leave it alone, spid–Peter.” Wade said, wincing at the nickname, which was now ruined. “This shit isn’t normal.”

“It’s not your shit to deal with, so stay out of it.” Peter warned, sticking a finger in his face.

Wade very obviously wanted to protest. “Will you at least say something if it gets worse?”

He and Weasel looked at him with surprisingly concerned looks. Peter wasn’t sure he’d ever made friends this fast. “Fine.”

Wade raised an eyebrow, seeming suspicious, but let it go. “Fine. Need a lift?”

Peter sighed; his foot still hurt like a bitch. “Yeah. I’m keeping the jacket.” he said, tugging the sleeves down. It felt safe.

Wade rolled his eyes and turned around. “Just shut up and get on.”

Peter did as he was told, ignoring Weasel’s shout of ‘that’s what she said’ and burying his face in Wade’s shoulder again, occasionally mumbling directions so Wade would actually get him to the right place. He couldn’t manage to shake the feeling that something was very, very wrong.

He just didn’t know what.

Chapter Text

“Man, why is it every time I see you, your face is fucked up?”

Peter turned and glared at Sam, who gently grabbed his chin to investigate his berry-colored nose as Peter sat down next to him on the couch. “Bad luck.”

“Did fucking Wilson do this again? I’m gonna kill him.” Sam huffed.

Peter shook his head. “Different guy.”

Sam rolled his eyes and released his face. “Are you attempting to get killed or something?”

Clint snorted and crashed down on the other side of Peter. “If he is, he’s succeeding.”

Two seconds later, Nat crashed on the other side of Clint, half on top of him. “Is this about that guy who kissed you?”

Simultaneously, Sam and Clint whipped their heads around to stare at Peter as he groaned and internally punched Nat in the face.

Clint laughed and offered Peter a high-five. “Dude, nice!”

Peter glared and shoved his hand away. “Nat, why?”

She shrugged and laid her head on Clint’s shoulder, who grinned and put an arm around her shoulders. “Needed some entertainment. Watching video games and Tony pine after Steve is only entertaining for so long.”

“I’m not pining. ” Tony yelled from across the room, while sitting on the loveseat across the room with Steve’s head in his lap. Everyone collectively rolled their eyes at him–including Steve–before they turned back to their conversations.

Sam tapped Peter’s shoulder. “So, what, you got game for gettin’ ass and gettin’ punched?”

Nat snorted and Peter groaned. “Apparently, yes. Neither goes well for me.”

“No kidding. Looked in a mirror lately?” Clint mocked, and Peter glared at him again.

“Fuck off. This wasn’t even my fault!”

They all kind of looked at him with a look of ‘ go on ’ until Peter sighed and got the message. He looked at Sam. “Remember when Bruce asked you to look out for Flash? Because he stole my book?”

Slowly and suspiciously, Sam nodded. “Yeah, and you said Wilson got it back for you, which still makes absolutely no sense.”

Peter nodded. “He did, even though I didn’t ask him to. In fact, I asked him to leave it alone.” he said, slightly pouting at the memory. “But he didn’t, and he beat up Flash to get it back.”

“And then Flash beat you up for it.” Sam finished, sighing and giving Peter a pitiful look. Peter shrugged, not really having anything else to say. He’d already told the story twice–once to Tony, who’d laughed and flicked his nose, and once to May, who had been furious –and he’d discovered there wasn’t really a lot to it.

Sam flicked him. “So, what’s your deal with Wilson, then? Did you cast a voodoo spell on him or something?”

“Ooh, voodoo!” Clint sang, wiggling his fingers in everyone’s faces. As a retort, Nat bit one.

“I’m not entirely sure what I did, but it sure as hell wasn’t voodoo. ” Peter said, raising an eyebrow at Clint, who pouted and rubbed his finger. “I guess he just realized it’d be better if he didn’t punch someone he’d have to be around so much.”

“Don’t you just have the one class together?” Bucky asked from his position on the floor, leaning against Sam’s legs. Peter gave him a funny look–he didn’t remember telling that to anyone but Sam. Bucky noticed his expression and shrugged, poking Sam in the knee. “He lives to gossip.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Glad to know my pathetic social life is worthy of your time.”

Everyone around him laughed, which earned them all the finger. Sam just gave him a barely-guilty shrug. “He texts a lot. Gotta keep it interesting.”

To answer your question, ” Peter said loudly, shutting down Bucky, who was about to open his mouth, “yes, it’s just the one class, but we’re working together on this huge project and we have to hang out on the time.”

Suddenly, next to him, Natasha made a noise that was very, very close to a squeal. They all looked at her in shock, though Peter’s was closer to a look of horror, realizing that she was putting pieces together. She abruptly stood up and grabbed Peter’s hand, pulling him up and away from the rest of them. “Side bar. Now.”

“Hey, slow down!” Peter exclaimed, barely staying on his feet. It had only been three days since the beatdown, and his ankle still didn’t like moving too fast.

Natasha, naturally, went faster, then tugged them both into a bedroom down the hall from the kitchen. There were lots of superhero posters on the walls and various pieces of broken technology on the shelves. The room must be Tony’s.

As soon as she closed the door behind herself, Nat turned to Peter and started smacking him. “You fucking idiot!” she snapped, hitting him with each word.

Peter squeaked and jumped away from her. “I’ve been hit enough already, lay off!”

“Wade Wilson? Seriously?” she hissed, looking like she really wanted to smack him again.

Peter sighed. “It wasn’t like I intended for this to happen.”

“Do you even realize some of the shit he’s done? He’s insane.

“What?” Peter frowned. He knew Wade was a little... off , but it didn’t seem like he’d do anything bad enough for Natasha to think he was extreme. “What do you mean?”

Natasha angry-sighed. “Of course he wouldn’t tell you.” she muttered, scrubbing a hand over her face. “Look, Peter, I don’t know what he’s told you, but he’s done some bad stuff. Like, struggled to stay out of prison, bad.”

“Like what?” Peter demanded.

“He spent a good two years in juvie, for one thing. That’s where he met that guy Nathan he always hangs out with.”

Peter blinked. Two years? “What for?”

“Assault and battery.” she answered, shrugging. “Nathan was in for vandalism.”

Peter wasn’t even surprised that she knew that off the top of her head. “Who did he beat up?”

Nat chewed the inside of her cheek. “I don’t know. He never told anyone. But I’m willing to bet it’s whoever fucked up his face, because he didn’t have the scar before he left, and when he came back, his face looked like someone put it through a paper shredder.”

“Hey,” Peter warned, and she backed off.

“Sorry, too far. I just–stay away from him. Please.”

Peter huffed. This was sort of...overwhelming. He didn’t even think it was possible for Natasha to fear anything, but she seemed–she seemed scared for him.

He didn’t think anyone but May ever really cared enough to do that.

“Look, Nat, I really don’t think he’s gonna hurt me.” he said, because that was the truth.

She sighed. “Literally everything about him says otherwise.”

“Well, I don’t.” Peter shrugged.

Nat frowned. “What?”

“Look, the guy kissed me and it was kind of the worst thing in the world.” Peter admitted, and Nat started glaring again, “But he didn’t do it to hurt me. He did it because he’s impulsive and has the worst self-control I think I’ve ever seen. Not because he’s a bad person who wants anyone’s head on a platter. He just sucks at public image.”

Nat raised an eyebrow. “‘He just sucks at public image’? Seriously?”

Peter shrugged. “Best I got. And, hey, literally everyone here could bench press me, so I’m sure I’ll be okay.”

Nat very obviously wasn’t okay with it–not by a long shot–but after a moment, she nodded and opened the bedroom door, gesturing for Peter to lead the way back. He did, and when they returned to the den, he was painfully aware that everyone was staring at him.

To a point where everyone who was currently playing some multiplayer shooting game blew up. It snapped them all out of it for a couple of seconds, but after about it minute, it was obvious that they were all trying not to look. No one said a word for nearly ten minutes, and Peter was very close to just getting up and walking home because fuck this.

Eventually and unsurprisingly, Tony broke the silence.

“So, Peter,” he started, and all eyes turned to him, “who ya’ fucking?”

Next to him, Steve choked on his drink.

No one.” Peter snapped, feeling a blush creep up his neck.

“Right, so that’s obviously a lie. Nat, do you know who he’s fucking?”

Natasha nodded and glared at Peter, who just prayed she would keep her cherry-red lips shut. “I do, but good luck getting it out of me.”

Peter nearly kissed her. Tony groaned. “You can’t keep secrets, that’s not how the group works!”

“Tony, we literally started the group because you had a secret crush on artsy-fartsy over there.” Bucky pointed out, gesturing at Steve, who blushed.

“That wasn’t a secret from all of you. ” Tony retorted, angrily gesturing at everyone else then crossing his arms like a child. It was painfully obvious he was used to getting what he wanted.

Peter rolled his eyes. “Tony, it’s not a serious thing, but if it escalates, you’ll be the first to know. Deal?”

Tony considered him. “Deal.”

“Great. Now someone hand me a controller so I can shoot my feelings.” Peter demanded, earning a decent laugh from the group and Clint’s controller.

Peter sighed in relief and started to help the group clear levels, completely failing his objective to clear his head.

“May, I’m home!” Peter called into the house, though not too loudly, because there was a fair chance May was asleep. Peter was discovering quickly that Tony’s get-togethers tended to have kind of late hours. It was about two in the morning right now, and he was really just hoping to get to bed without having to be berated for breaking curfew.

And he had school tomorrow, which was sure to be a delight with only four hours of sleep. Thank god for getting my homework done before I left.

Peter quietly went upstairs, sending May a text that he had gotten home safe so he could at least say he tried to keep her in the loop on his way. After he was safely inside his room without disturbing anything, he stripped down to his boxers and climbed into bed.

Of course, because the universe hates him, his phone buzzed from its spot on his desk about two seconds before he fell asleep. Peter groaned and shoved his face further into his pillow. It was only one text–it could wait until morning.

Then it buzzed again. Then two more times. Because his phone was an asshole. He really consider muting it before bed in the future.

Peter slowly stood up, stumbled over to his desk, and checked his phone, wincing at the sudden artificial brightness.

Wade: spiiiiiiiiidey

Of course.

Wade: you’re probably asleep youre a goody two shoes

Wade: spidey spidey spidey spidey wake up

Peter frowned. If Wade wanted his attention this late, this was bound to be bad. He debated just going back to sleep, but curiosity was getting the better of him.

Peter: Go to bed.


Peter scrunched his nose at the nickname. Wade had managed to convince him to let him keep using it, even if it felt a little weird after the texts. He was slowly getting used to it.

Peter: Can I help you?

Wade: im so booooored spidey

Peter: What am I supposed to do?

Wade: be entertaining, duh.

Peter rolled his eyes. It was too late–early?–for this.

Peter: Go to bed. I’m sure your dreams will be entertaining.

Wade: but sleep is sooo far away and you’re right here

Peter: Wade. We’re texting. I’m not close to you.

Wade: how do u know

Peter paused. He–he wouldn’t, would he?

Peter: are you at home?

Wade: home is where the heart is baby boy

Wade: ….so yes

It is too late for this bullshit. I just wanted some sleep.

Peter: What does that mean?

Wade didn’t respond. This was probably the only time that Peter wanted him to text. It was now–Peter checked the time– 2:28 a.m. and he had school tomorrow, dammit.

Peter sighed and shoved a hand through his hair. He was just gonna have to hope Wade had gone to bed like a normal person and fallen asleep. Because that was definitely the likely result.

He waited nearly ten minutes before he decided that Wade really wasn’t going to respond. Leaving his phone on vibrate, Peter walked away from his desk and crawled back in bed.

About thirty minutes passed before he realized that he wasn’t going to sleep until he got some sort of answer from Wade. He grumbled and threw the covers off of himself, again, and walked back over to his phone.

Peter: Will you respond please I need sleep

About a minute later, he got a response!

Wade: i have made a mistake

Peter: ???????

Wade: what are the chances I could crash on your couch?

Peter: What have you done?

Wade: ….nothin

Peter: Wade.

Wade stopped responding.

Peter: Wade?

Peter waited for a response. He didn’t get one. Part of him briefly wondered if Wade was suddenly homeless, but the logical part reminded him that Wade probably wouldn’t turn to Peter first. That, and Wade had offered for them to hang out at his house a couple times.

Didn’t stop him from worrying about why Wade needed a couch to crash on, though. After a moment of deliberation, Peter did something kind of...stupid.

Wade picked up on the third ring.

“Hey, spidey.” Wade greeted, and his voice was softer than Peter had expected.

“Are you okay?” Peter asked, skipping over a greeting.

Wade laughed. “Yeah. Just broke curfew.”

Peter frowned. “Why did you ask to crash on my couch?”

He could practically hear Wade’s shrug. “Well, Logan’s pretty strict, so if I break curfew, I gotta find somewhere else to crash until morning. He likes his sleep.”

“Who’s Logan?” Peter blurted, then regretted it. He was fully aware that it was a stupid question, it was just three in the morning.

Luckily, Wade didn’t seem to care. “Foster dad. Short buff guy. Has a thing for justice and a good beer.”

Peter thought back to his conversation with Natasha. She hadn’t mentioned that Wade didn’t live with his parents. Maybe she really didn’t know everything. “Sounds...interesting.”

“It is.” Wade laughed.

A couple beats of silence passed, with both of them just...breathing into their phones. It should have been awkward, but it wasn’t.

Naturally, Wade was the one who broke it.

“Why are you up this late, spidey?”

Peter shrugged. “Went to this get-together thing, it ended later than I thought. I broke curfew, too.”

Wade gasped. “Well, whaddya know, spidey has friends and a wild side.”

Peter really wanted to glare at him. Or flip him off. He settled for starting to pace around his bedroom. “Fuck off.”

Wade laughed harder, making Peter laugh with him. It died out slowly, then another one of those not-awkward silences set in. Peter was the one to break it this time.

“Do you have anywhere to go?” he asked, hoping he wasn’t about to regret this.

Wade paused. “I can see if Nathan’s up, or if Weasel is still willing to sneak me in through a window. I’ll be fine.”

Something strangely like disappointment rose up in Peter’s chest. He squished it down. “Well, good. Let me know if neither works out.”

“Am I being invited for a sleepover?” Wade asked, and Peter could picture his stupid, giddy grin.

“A last-resort sleepover only.” Peter warned.

“I’ll make sure to let you know if I need it. Go to sleep, Petey.”

Peter smiled. “Bye, Wade.”

“Adios, baby boy.” Wade said, then hung up.

Peter put his phone back down and went to sleep for real, the new nickname ringing through his ears. He really shouldn’t like the nicknames. He still doesn’t really know why he does.

Peter, for the first time in his life, got to a class late. Like, very late. Maybe if it had been only by a couple seconds, or a minute, he wouldn’t feel so bad about it, but he was nearly five minutes late because he had gone to the wrong class.

Fuck sleep deprivation. Fuck Wade and his stupid late night antics. Peter was tired, and now he was late.

And, thanks to Flash, he still couldn’t really run all that well, so he was left to just speed-walking as fast as he possibly could. When he finally opened the door to photography, he was slightly out of breath, his ankle was protesting, and he was very, very cranky.

“There you are, Mr. Parker.” Mr. Summers announced, loudly. “I almost marked you absent. Got a pass?”

Embarrassed, Peter quickly shook his head and beelined for his seat next to Wade. Mr. Summers didn’t say anything else to him, just marked him tardy and continued with class, talking about the next goal everyone was supposed to meet by Monday.

Wade–who, by the way, had never actually made it to class before Peter until today–leaned over to him. “Get lost?”

“Fuck off,” Peter mumbled, putting his head down on his arms. Wade shifted next to him and put an arm over his shoulders.


Peter picked his head up just enough to glare at him. “How are you not?

Wade shrugged and rubbed Peter’s arm. Normally, Peter would shrug him off, but it felt nice and he was tired, so he didn’t care. “Dunno. I crashed at Weasel’s place around four, slept through first hour, then his dad kicked me out so I showed up here.”

“I hate you.” Peter snapped, but he yawned at the end so the effect was lost.

Wade laughed, making Peter smile a little bit. “Aw, does somebody need a nap?” he cooed.

Peter flipped him off with both hands and dropped his head back down into his arms. “Fuck off.”

Wade just laughed again and let it drop. After a minute, he removed his arm and ruffled the hair at the nape of Peter’s neck as he pulled it back. He was definitely taking advantage of Peter’s sleepy state; he was being much more affectionate than usual.

Not that Peter really minded, honestly. If he really wanted Wade off, he’d shove him off. It just felt nice.

“Hey, you still wanna work on the project right after school? We can move it to tomorrow if you want. Or at least push it back a couple hours.”

Peter shook his head. “Nah, might as well get it over with.”

“Gonna fall asleep on me?” Wade asked, and Peter looked up to see him grinning.

“No.” Peter replied, and sat up to prove his point. Wade rolled his eyes.

“Mhmm. Sure.”

Peter flipped him off again and settled in for a forty-five minutes of trying to prove his point.

It was much easier said than done, but he managed to stay awake for the entire class. He definitely missed the entire lesson, because he couldn’t possibly stay awake and pay attention, but he did it.

When the bell finally rang, Wade got up before Peter did, offering him a hand when Peter didn’t immediately get up. Peter glared, but accepted the hand anyway and started walking with him to the parking lot. They had agreed earlier to just take Wade’s bike; it made everything easier.

“So, what are the chances you’re gonna fall off my bike on the way there?” Wade asked, giving him a shit-eating grin.

“Zero, unless you crash.” Peter replied, adjusting the straps on his backpack. Riding the bike always gave him crazy adrenaline–if anything, it would wake him up. He stood back some and waited until Wade gestured for him to get on. He quickly got comfortable and hooked his arms around Wade’s middle.

Then they were off, and Peter was instantly more awake. He didn’t think he’d ever get tired of the bike. He loved the wind, the weightlessness, all of it. As always, he hated that he lived so damn close to the school. And that Wade totally broke the speed limit on the way there.

Wade killed the engine in front of Peter’s house and they headed inside, Wade immediately heading for the kitchen.

“Make yourself at home, why don’t you?” Peter called after him, dropping his backpack by the door before he followed.

He came in to see Wade’s head pop up from inside the fridge. “I’m hungry.” he said guiltily, pouting.

Peter laughed. “There’s leftover tacos, if you want.”

“TACOS!” Wade screamed, then held up the tupperware like a trophy. Peter winced at the sudden noise and held up his arms to shush him.

“Jesus, why are you so loud?”

“It’s tacos, spidey. It’s worthy of the noise.”

Peter glared and went back to the living room. He pulled his camera out of his backpack and strolled back to the kitchen. Wade was leaning against the counter and staring at the microwave like it was holding his child.

Peter grinned and snapped a picture. Wade’s gaze snapped over to him when he heard the click. “Hey, the bond between a man and his food is private!”

“Right, because I’m not going to use this wonderful picture of you staring at a plate of tacos like it’s your long lost love.”

Wade just stuck his tongue out at him, which Peter took another picture of. When he heard the camera shutter, he started laughing, which Peter got another picture of. At this rate, he’d be able to sleep in like, an hour, tops.

The microwave beeped, signalling that the love of Wade’s life was ready for him. He clapped like a child and pulled it out, then sat back down on the counter with the plate in his lap.

Peter looked between Wade and the dining table that was five feet away. “Dude, really?”

Wade shrugged through a huge mouthful of food. “Didn’t wanna wait that long.”

“Four steps. Tops.”

Wade glared at him. “Fuck off, I’m hungry.”

Peter rolled his eyes and went back into the living room, grabbing a book off of the arm of the couch and killing time with it. It was one of May’s murder-y books that he could never figure out why she liked, until he’d read one. Now he liked them just as much as she did.

A couple minutes later, Wade came back in and crashed down next to Peter. “Whatcha’ reading?”

“None of your business.” Peter closed the book and put it back.

“Was it a dirty book?” Wade stage-whispered, leaning close to his face.

Peter put his hand on Wade’s face and shoved him away, laughing. As he did, Wade licked his palm. “Oh, gross!” Peter shouted, shoving him harder in the shoulders.

Wade just grinned at him and shoved him back. Peter glared and shoved him again. Then Wade shoved him again. Peter retaliated by kicking him, and Wade responded to that by just tackling him into the couch.

Peter yelped and fought him for about two seconds before he realized it was hopeless. Wade was bigger, much stronger, and had the element of surprise on his side. It didn’t even seem to take him any effort. It took maybe five seconds for Wade to completely pin him down, placing his hands on the side of Peter’s head and putting a knee between his legs.

Peter froze. Wade was very, very close to his face. He had never been this close to him. He’d been close, sure–that just seemed to be his nature–but never two inches from his face close. It was making it really hard not to stare at….everything.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what he ended up doing. He stared at Wade’s face, took in every detail he could. The blue eyes that always seemed to get brighter when he laughed, the funny bump in his nose where it looked like someone had broken it (which, really, wouldn’t be surprising), the slight blonde stubble across his jaw…and the scar.

Peter still had no idea what the scar was from. He knew better than to pry, so he’d never asked, even if he really wanted to. Because in all honesty, Peter didn’t think it was ugly or gross, he just thought it was interesting . It’s what made Wade’s face his. It was obvious that Wade himself didn’t think that, but Peter figured if it was on his face, he wouldn’t either.

But it wasn’t on his face, it was on Wade’s. So he was totally going to stare at it for just a little bit longer. He took in all the details like it was the first time he was seeing it. His eyes followed the start of it–just in front of his ear and making a jagged line down his face–to the thicker parts–on his cheek, where it was slightly worse and always stretched when he smiled–and all the way down to the end–where it stopped just under his jaw, ending the jagged way it started.

Yeah, Peter liked his scar.

After he ran his gaze up and down the scar once, he flicked it back up to Wade’s eyes. Wade was already looking back at him, and Peter swears he was blushing. Those stupid butterflies–which, honestly, were more like angry pigeons–were making a comeback. It felt like the kiss all over again.

“I win.” Wade said softly, smiling.

Peter smiled back and let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “You kind of have every unfair advantage possible.”

“True.” Wade agreed, then rather obviously did what Peter had done two seconds ago, staring at different parts of his face.

It felt like being under a spotlight, and Peter wasn’t sure he liked it. His nose was still bruised, and he knew for a fact that that wasn’t pretty. Hell, he didn’t really think any of his face was pretty, but they could have at least picked a better day to study each other’s faces.

To prove his point, Wade was totally staring at his nose. “I really should have just killed Flash when I had the chance.”

“Right, because that would have solved all of your problems.”

Wade gave him a look, and Peter grinned at him. “I’m sorry, did you like having a broken nose?”

“Definitely. Adds to my street cred.” Peter joked.

Wade chuckled, then got a little bit too quiet for Peter’s liking. They stared at each other for a minute–Peter taking in the silvery streaks in Wade’s eyes more than anything else–before Wade broke the silence and blurted, “I really want to kiss you.”

Peter instantly felt his butterflies–pigeons?–turn to something he didn’t like as much. He didn’t know why he hadn’t been expecting it to turn this way, especially since Wade was on top of him. This is exactly the kind of shit they use in movies before people just started shoving their tongues at each other.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a movie, so Peter lightly shook his head, even though he was slightly afraid that it was gonna make Wade run off like last time.

But it didn’t. Wade just nodded, like he had expected it. “Figured. Just thought I’d check.”

Peter smiled at him, slowly feeling his anxiety go away. “Hey, you’re improving.”

“I try.” Wade said smugly.

Peter snorted. “Rarely.”

“Only for you, baby boy.” Wade said, then winked.

Peter rolled his eyes and poked Wade in the side, only blushing a little bit. “Off.”

Despite the fact that he really seemed to not want to do that, Wade pushed himself up and off of Peter, sitting up his side of the couch. Peter did the same, scooting himself backwards so he was leaning against the arm of the couch with his feet towards Wade. If he stretched his legs fully, they would have been in his lap, but he had one hanging off the couch and the other tucked under his knee. It was surprisingly comfortable.

Wade drummed his fingers on his leg. “So, what now?”

“Project.” Peter answered with a yawn. “Go get your camera.”

Wade nodded and sprung up from the couch, heading for the kitchen again. Peter didn’t bother following–he was way too comfortable. He closed his eyes and waited for Wade’s footsteps to come back.

The only thing he heard was a camera shutter very close to his face. He jumped and blinked his eyes open, seeing Wade about a foot away with his camera, grinning at him.

“Did you just take a picture of me sleeping? Seriously?” Peter demanded, yawning again.

Wade looked at the picture on his camera. “It’s actually a solid picture. I’m keepin’ it.”

Peter groaned and stood up, walking past Wade, who started following him. He grabbed his camera on the way, then headed into his bedroom. After shutting the curtains a little bit, just barely keeping enough light for decent pictures, he sat down on his bed, leaning against the wall. When he looked back up, Wade was hesitating at the door. “What?”

Wade looked up at him, then shrugged and snapped a picture of Peter on his bed and walked in. “Nothin. I like your room.”

“Thanks.” Peter replied, crossing his legs.

Wade smiled in response and sat down next to him, touching their shoulders. “I like the covers.” he commented, running his hand over Peter’s bed.

The covers were about three years old and black with white spiderwebs. Peter laughed and snapped a picture of Wade with them, who stuck out his tongue. “They’re old. And dorky.”

“Exactly. They’re just like you. Except not old.” Wade added, frowning. Peter snapped another picture. As he looked down at his camera to check out the picture, Wade snapped a picture back.

This continued for about ten minutes, them just snapping pictures of one another on the bed. They kept moving with each picture, trying to get weirder angles, and when they were done, they were both leaning against the headboard, Peter’s head on Wade’s shoulder as they looked through the pictures on his camera. Peter probably ended up taking double the pictures he needed, though he questioned how many were actually usable.

“I’m totally gonna fail this project.” Peter declared, leaning over and putting his camera on his bedside table.

“Oh, definitely. You got paired up with me.” Wade agreed, placing his head on top of Peter’s when he leaned back over. A piece of his hair fell into Peter’s face, tickling his nose.

They looked at pictures for a while, and Peter wasn’t gonna lie, he saw maybe three of them before he fell asleep.

When he woke up, his head was in someone’s lap and he was very confused. The room was significantly darker than before, and his face felt scratchy from….something. He yawned and scrubbed a hand over his face, realizing that it was from the jeans of whoever he was sleeping on.

Wait, who exactly am I sleeping on?

Peter turned his head up. Apparently, he had fallen asleep in Wade’s lap. As he looked up, Wade looked down at him and smiled. To Peter’s surprise, he was holding a book in the hand not sitting on Peter’s shoulder.

He also had a hand on Peter’s shoulder, just sitting there, which Peter somehow hadn’t noticed.

“Morning.” Wade greeted.

“Uh, hi.” Peter greeted back, his voice a little scratchy. “What time is it?”

“Almost seven. Your aunt is downstairs, by the way. She said hi.”

Peter blinked a couple times, trying to wake himself up, but not yet willing to sit up. “You met my aunt?”

Wade frowned. “Was I not supposed to?”

Peter opened his mouth, then closed it again. “Well, no, you meeting her is fine, I just–I kinda told her about the kiss. Now she probably knows it was you.”

Wade raised his eyebrows. “You told your aunt?”

“I was freaking out! And I kinda tell her everything.” Peter admitted.

Wade, surprisingly, didn’t really seem to upset about it. “Well, too late now to do anything. Wanna go eat food? I was invited to dinner.”

Peter chuckled. Of course May invited Wade to dinner, she was too nice not to. “Sure. Know what we’re having?”

“I believe it was pork chops.” Wade answered, dog-earing his page and putting his book down.

Peter stretched and sat up, groaning when a couple parts in his back popped. He swung his legs off the bed and stood up a little shakily. Wade laughed at him, but he decided to ignore it and headed downstairs, trying to wake himself up in the process. Wade followed.

Sure enough, when he got there, May was sitting at the dining table with her laptop, and he could smell pork chops. She looked up when they entered and smiled. “Hey, sleepyhead. Get a good nap?”

Peter blushed. “Yep. Um, I guess you already met, but this is my photography project partner, Wade.”

Wade waved. “Hi, again.”

May gave him one of her warmest smiles that she reserved for Peter’s friends–he didn’t have very many, so it was rare–and waved back. “Hi, Wade. You boys ready for dinner?”

Peter nodded eagerly. He was hungry. May just laughed and stood up, heading over to get everything ready. Peter and Wade offered to help, but she just shushed them until it was time to get plates together. It was probably five minutes before they were all at the table with their food.

To Peter’s surprise, it wasn’t really all that awkward.

“So, Wade, are you in Peter’s grade?” May asked.

He shook his head. “Nah, I’m a senior.”

May nodded. “Got any plans for the future?”

Peter turned to look at Wade for the answer. He didn’t even know if Wade was planning to do anything. “I’m thinking of going into the army, actually.”

Peter blinked. That was...surprising, but it kind of made sense. May seemed to be equally surprised. “Wow. I hope that goes well for you.”

“Thanks.” Wade smiled, then took another bite of mashed potatoes.

Peter smiled at him, then went back to his food. After that, the conversation managed to stay pretty normal. They talked about the project, which Wade actually knew more about than Peter had previously thought, May asked Wade about cool things to see around the area, and Wade asked her some questions in return. He was surprisingly good at keeping a good conversation and not being weird.

Then, after dinner, Wade packed up his stuff and they headed outside to his bike. It was almost dark out at this point; the streetlights were on. Peter walked out next to Wade, watching as he settled his stuff onto his bike.

“Military, huh?” he asked, leaning against his mailbox.

“Yep. That was always the plan.”

“It suits you.” Peter said honestly, because that’s all he could see Wade doing.

Wade smiled at him and started up the bike. “Tell May thanks for dinner, okay?”

Peter smiled back. “Will do. I’m gonna go back inside now, and you’re not gonna kiss me. Cool?”

Wade laughed. “Aye-aye, captain. See you later, spidey.”

Peter waved him off and walked back, hearing the motorcycle charge away. He got back inside–kiss-free–and went to help May with the dishes.

She was almost done when he got there, but he helped her put them all away. He liked the routine.  After they were done, he went to grab his backpack to finish up his homework before bed. “See you in the morning, May.”

She smiled at him as he walked by, then called out before he got to the stairs. “Peter!”

He turned back. “Yeah?”

She winked. “I like him.”

Peter widened his eyes, then very awkwardly nodded and ran up the stairs as fast at he possibly could. He didn’t think he’d ever blushed so hard in his life.

I am so, so screwed.

Chapter Text

“Spidey, I got a plan.”

Peter smiled and looked up from his book. Absolutely nothing good could come from those words coming from Wade . “That’s a first.”

Wade rolled his eyes and pushed a piece of hair behind his ear. It was getting long; Peter vaguely wondered when he’d last gotten it cut. “I’m gonna ignore that. Wanna hear my plan?”

Peter snorted. “I’m sure it’s a wonderful plan. Hit me.”

“We should hang out at my place!” Wade announced.

Peter’s eyes widened. Wade was finally inviting him over. He’d been waiting for this for weeks. “I–um–yeah.” he stammered, awkwardly nodding.

Wade frowned. “I mean, if you don’t want to–”

“No!” Peter said a little too loudly. A couple people around them looked up and Peter felt his cheeks go red. “I–I want to.”

Wade grinned. “Good. Saturday work?”

Peter thought about it, then nodded. “Yeah. Saturday.”

“Then my plan is now in action.” Wade declared, looking proud of himself.

Something about the way he said it made Peter pause. “Why do I feel like that’s not the whole plan?”

“All in good time, spidey.” Wade said, folding his hands behind his head. “All in good time.”

“You are so weird.” Peter said, turning back to his book, secretly thrilled by this conversation. He’d been waiting for Wade to finally ask him over for almost three weeks. Wade had been to his house twice and even met May–it was about time Peter got something.

And dammit, he was excited.

By all logical standpoints, Peter should not be as nervous as he is. It’s just Wade. He’s hung out with Wade twice now. They see each other every day. Every conversation they have feels natural and nice. Peter is genuinely excited to hang out with him.

So why did he get those awful butterflies when he thought about hanging out at Wade’s house? Why did he have this bad feeling about it? It felt like this was the exposition to a story he didn’t want to read.

Peter sighed. He’d been overthinking this from the second Wade had dropped him off at his house after school yesterday. He hated every second of it.

“You okay, sweetie?” May asked, breaking his train of thought.

Peter looked over at her from the front seat and gave her a slightly-fake smile. “Totally.”

May gave him a look. “You can do a lot of things well, but lying is not one of them.”

“That’s–yeah, okay.” Peter admitted, defeated.

“Everything okay?” May asked.

Peter sighed. “Being a teenager sucks.”

May laughed. “That’s a fair statement. Is this about Wade?”

Peter silently cursed May’s ability to just know. Even if it was fairly obvious, considering they were on their way to Wade’s house. “Yeah, it is.”

May nodded, thinking. “Still complicated?”

“Very.” Peter confirmed, leaning his elbow against the car door. “It’s all kinda...messy.”

“I take it you still haven’t kissed him, then?” May asked, giving him an evil smile.

“May!” Peter felt his cheeks go red. Bringing up kissing was not something he wanted to do on the way to Wade’s. May just laughed because she’s evil. “I don’t want to–it’s not–I don’t like this conversation.”

May laughed a little harder. “Okay, okay. What’s scaring you?”

Peter sighed. “I don’t know. I think he really likes me, I just don’t know why.

“Do you feel the same way?” May asked, looking over at him.

“I have no idea. I don’t know what it feels like to like someone like he likes me.”

May gave him one of those looks of wisdom that Peter had really been hoping for. “Well, honey, what do you think of when you think of him? What’s the first thing that pops into your head?”

Peter thought about it. When he thought of Wade, the first thing that usually popped into his head was… “His smile. Or his laugh. He laughs at all of my jokes, even when they’re really, really bad.” he said, smiling and thinking a little harder. “He started sitting with me at lunch because I was upset one day and he wanted to make me feel better, and then he just stayed because he liked sitting with me. Then he beat up some guy just because he’d made me sad.” Peter said, currently unable to shut his mouth. “He pretends that he doesn’t care about anything to everybody but me and I think it’s ridiculous but it’s also the best thing in the world. He tries so hard for the things he cares about, and I think...” he trailed off and blushed. He hadn’t really meant to have a speech about Wade.

May was smiling at him. “You think what, honey?”

Peter bit his lip. “I–I think he really cares about me.”

The car suddenly started to stop. Peter looked out the window; they were at Wade’s house. May stopped the car fully and turned to Peter. “I think he does too, Peter. And I know that that probably scares you a little bit, but that’s just part of life. Just because it scares you, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.”

Peter stared at her for a moment. She was unfairly wise. He considered saying that out loud, but eventually just settled for, “You’re a good aunt, May.”

“I try.” she laughed, then waved her hand at him. “Now go in there and be a teenager.”

Peter laughed and opened his door. “Bye, May.”

“Love you, Peter.”

“Love you, too.” Peter said, then got out and closed his door. May blew him a dramatic kiss before he pulled away, leaving Peter awkwardly standing in Wade’s driveway.

He turned and looked at the house. It was small, but impeccably well-kept. It wasn’t really a house that Peter had pictured Wade living in–it was much...cleaner. Wade really wasn’t lying when he’d said that Logan liked things orderly. The lawn was cut and nicely green, their garden was full of flowers and there wasn’t a weed in sight, even the old pickup in the garage was spotless. The only thing that seemed out of place was Wade’s bike, which had a considerable amount of dirt on it. Peter suspected that was why it was parked in the street.

Peter smiled at the bike. That stupid bike. He loved that thing, even though he was well aware that he wasn’t allowed to. There was just something about the rush of it that he couldn’t let go.

Peter shook his head. He was stalling by thinking about a motorcycle. Adjusting the straps of his backpack, he gathered his courage and walked up the stone path to the front door and knocked three times. No more than two seconds passed before the door flung open, revealing Wade with a brilliant smile on his face.

Suddenly, all of Peter’s butterflies went away.

“Hey, spidey.”

Peter matched his smile. “Hey.”

Wade stared at him for a minute, rather obviously just staring at him. Peter made a half-assed attempt to not stare back, but he lost that battle very fast. Wade was wearing a t-shirt and crossing his arms and that was just not fair.

Then a breeze blew by and Peter was suddenly reminded that he had forgotten his jacket and it was cold. He shivered and shifted a little bit.

Wade snapped out of it and moved to the side. “Want to come inside?”

“That would be nice.” Peter said, then stepped in.

When he did, he immediately started searching the room for...well, for anything of interest, really. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to look at. The front door led right to the living room, which had an old couch, a recliner, and a simple entertainment system with a tv and a rather large collection of either movies or video games. There weren’t even any magazines on the coffee table. Despite the sparseness, it still felt like a home.

“Nice place.” Peter commented, dropping his bag by the door.

Wade shrugged. “It’s not mine.”

“Doesn’t mean it’s not nice.” Peter pointed out, flopping down on a couch.

“That’s fair.” Wade agreed, sitting down next to him.

Peter drummed his fingers on his leg. “So, is Logan here?”

Wade shook his head. “Nah, he’s out grocery shopping. Should be back fairly soon, though.”

Peter nodded. “Cool.”

There was a pause. Peter started leg drumming again, then noticed that Wade was doing it, too. After a moment, Peter started to try and match him, but he quickly discovered that it wasn’t exactly an easy task.

Especially after Wade noticed him doing it and started to make it impossible. Eventually, Peter made a noise of frustration and smacked his hand. “Time to do something else.”

Wade laughed, tipping his hand back a little bit when he did it. “Okay, okay. What do you wanna do?”

Peter thought about it. In all honesty, he just wanted to snoop for about six hours, but something told him that would be a bad thing to say. He looked around, hoping the room would give him a better suggestion. “How about watch a movie?”

Wade followed his gaze to the entertainment system. “Sure. Got a movie in mind?”

“Nope. Surprise me.”

Wade grinned and got up, pulling out a movie and putting it in. He flicked on the tv, grabbed a remote, then flopped back down on the couch much closer to Peter.

Peter ignored it and settled in to watch–whatever it was that Wade had picked out. “What did you pick?”

Star Wars. The new one.”

Peter grinned. “Dude, nice.”

“Figured you’d like it.” Wade said, grinning as the main theme started to play.

It took a second for that statement to sink in for Peter. “Wait, do you not like Star Wars ?”

Wade shrugged. “I don’t hate it. I’m just not crazy about it.”

“Then why pick it?”

“Because you like it.” Wade said, like it was obvious.

Peter just kinda...stared at him for a moment, to a point where Wade started to squirm just a little bit. Peter opened his mouth, then realized anything he said about it would just make Wade more uncomfortable.

Instead, he just settled for turning back to the movie and letting it go. He felt Wade relax next to him.

Then, Peter decided to do something probably stupid, but something that he really wanted to do. Even if it was a little terrifying.

Just because it scares you, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying.

Using whatever courage he had left, Peter lifted Wade’s arm, leaned against his side, and dropped Wade’s arm over his shoulders. He felt Wade tense up for a second, and suddenly he worried he had done the wrong thing. He suddenly felt awful, like he’d assumed something wrong or made him uncomfortable or–

Then, just like that, Wade relaxed and pulled Peter a little closer, shifting to get more comfortable and rubbing Peter’s arm. Peter let out a breath he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding. He settled himself in to Wade’s side, resting his head on his chest, and watched. That’s how they stayed for the rest of the movie–for the most part.

It wasn’t really like Peter had intended to move during the movie, that’s just kinda what ended up happening. It had started with Peter putting his feet up underneath him on the couch. Then, a little while later, after lots of slow shifting, he’d ended up with his head in Wade’s lap and his feet stretched out behind him on the arm of the couch. A little while later, Wade ended up sideways, his feet on either side of Peter and his head on the other arm. By the time the credits were rolling, Peter had somehow managed to scoot up about two feet, and now he was here, with his head on Wade’s chest, one of Wade’s arms over his back, and Wade’s legs around his.

It should be more awkward than it is. It should be terrifying, being this close to somebody else who had kissed him. Who he had thought about kissing back. Everything about what was happening should be shooting off fireworks in Peter’s brain.

But it just...wasn’t. It wasn’t awkward. It was calm, and relaxing, and Wade made him feel safe. Instead of fireworks, there was just a nice feeling of quiet.

And then the credits were rolling, and Peter realized that one of them had to get up. He sighed and looked up at Wade, half-expecting to see him staring back.

Instead, he was met with closed eyes, a slightly-open mouth, and soft snoring. Wade was out. Wade was out cold.

Peter decided against taking offense from the fact that Wade had fallen asleep during Star Wars, of all things, and instead decided to just stare at his face a lot. Whenever Wade’s awake, he always looks away when he catches Peter staring at him. This was kind of the perfect opportunity to look. So he was definitely going to–

Suddenly, the door swung open and a short, grumpy, very buff man carrying groceries charged through, scaring the absolute bejeezus out of Peter and shocking Wade so badly that Peter went flying off of him and crashed to the floor.

There was a moment when all of them froze–Wade in a shocked position on the couch, the man Peter assumed had to be Logan staring at both of them with a funny look, and Peter on the floor –before eventually Wade coughed and said, “Welcome home, Logan.”

“You Peter?” Logan asked gruffly, waving one hand in Peter’s direction.

Wade rolled his eyes and Peter nearly shit himself. “Yes, that’s Peter.”

Logan gave Peter a once-over, grunted, then moved on and walked into the kitchen. After he left, Wade groaned and rubbed a hand over his face and Peter remained frozen to the floor.

“How long was I out?” Wade asked, nudging Peter with his foot.

Peter had to think about the last time he had actually seen Wade awake. “What was the last thing you saw in the movie?”

“I believe an orange soccer ball flipped some guy off.”

Peter laughed. “Then about an hour and a half.”

Wade nodded. “Got it. Oh, that was Logan, by the way.”

“Yeah, I kinda gathered that. Why is he so scary?

Wade laughed. “He’s not that bad, he was just in the military and it never rubbed off. He’s a hardass, but he’s a fair hardass.”

Peter considered that, and somehow, he was still terrified. “But does he ever get less scary?”

“Not really, no.” Wade admitted, standing up and stretching.

He extended a hand to Peter, who took it and was heaved to his feet. “Wonderful.”

Wade lazily rubbed a hand over Peter’s back a couple times, making Peter’s poor heart skip a beat. “You get used to it. Want some food?”

“Uh, sure.” Peter said, suddenly short-circuited from the contact. It felt like home.

Wade gave him a funny look (probably because Peter looked funny) then led him to the kitchen, where Logan was busy putting things away. Even with his back turned to them, Logan still managed to be the most threatening person Peter had ever seen. And Peter had met Wade before.

Hey, maybe this is where he gets it from.

The kitchen matched the rest of the house–small, sparse, but still comfortable. Wade walked in and leaned against the counter across from Logan, and Peter would be lying if he said he didn’t make sure to do the same on Wade’s left side, putting Wade between him and Logan.

Wade, of course, noticed. He looked down at Peter (who, honestly, was hiding behind Wade’s massive frame) and chuckled, then tilted himself a little bit, so that Peter was more hidden.

Peter could have kissed him right then and there.

“Did you want something?” Logan barked, not looking up.

“We were hoping for some food.” Wade said.

Logan nodded, then tossed some random package of food over his shoulder at Wade, who caught it and put it in the cabinet behind him. Peter flinched. “Order a pizza if you want.”

“Will do.” Wade said, then caught the next object that was thrown at him and put it away before he turned to Peter. “Want anything to drink?”

“Water.” Peter admitted, and as soon as he did, Logan chucked a water bottle over his shoulder at him. By some miracle, he caught it, though he may have flinched again in the process. Wade gave him fake applause and Peter flipped him off.

Wade laughed and started to leave, pulling Peter with him as he opened his water bottle. “We’re gonna hang out in my room. Shout if you need to reach any high shelves.” he said, obviously mocking him.

Logan just flipped him off. “No fucking.”

Peter choked on his water, hard. He immediately started coughing, not to mention panicking because oh my god Wade’s foster dad just said that.

Wade swore and started to clap Peter on the back until his lungs calmed the fuck down. “Jesus, Logan, you’re gonna kill him.”

Logan, to his credit, did at least turn around to see if Peter was about to die in his kitchen. “I mean that.” he warned, glaring at Peter.

Peter shook his head as hard as he could. “I–I’m not–I don’t want– that. ” he stammered, still slightly-coughing.

Wade groaned and pulled Peter out of the kitchen, then decided to ignore Logan’s shout of ‘open-door policy’ and led Peter to a bedroom then slammed the door shut. He leaned against the door for a moment, forcing out a breath through his nose.

Peter gently sat down on the unmade bed behind him. “So...Logan’s fun.”

Wade laughed, tilting his head back against the door. “He’s something.

“That’s–yeah, that’s a pretty good way to put it.” Peter admitted.

Wade walked over and sat down next to Peter, running his hand through his hair. “Sorry about his lack of filter. And that you almost hacked up a lung.”

“It’s alright.” Peter said, despite the fact that he had briefly been worried of dying in Wade’s kitchen. “May’s said stuff like that too–though not with that exact phrasing.” he added when Wade’s eyes went wide.

Wade shook his head. “She’s too nice for that. I call bullshit.”

“You can’t call bullshit, you’ve met her once!” Peter exclaimed, smacking him.

“And? I am an excellent people person.”

Peter gave him a flat look. “Okay, I’m calling bullshit on that.”

Wade laughed, not even making an attempt to deny it. “Fine, but I’m still calling bullshit on Aunt May. She trusts you too much.”

“It’s not a matter of trusting me as a person, it’s a matter of trusting me not to be an idiot.” Peter said. “And I’m kind of awful at it.”

“See, that I believe!”

Peter glared at him. “Dickwad.”



“Hey, you’re the bullshitter, I still don’t believe you.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Fine, then how do I convince you?”

“Name one person she’s had to tell you to leave the door open with.” Wade said, crossing his arms.

Peter opened his mouth, then immediately shut it. There was really only one person who May had ever told him to keep the door open for.

And he was sitting a foot away.

Peter bit his lip. He had listened to May’s advice earlier, and it had paid off. Might as well try again. “Well, there’s only really been one.”

Wade paused. “Really?”

Peter nodded. “Believe it or not, I’m not that desirable.”

There was a beat filled with silence and a lot of eye contact. Wade’s gaze flicked over Peter’s face a couple times, before it most definitely settled on his mouth.

“I call bullshit.” he whispered, and that was it.

Peter closed the distance between them and practically threw himself at Wade, kissing him with everything he had. Wade made a tiny noise of surprise–which, really, how had he not seen that coming–then wrapped his arms around Peter’s middle and pulled him into his lap, kissing him back just as hard. Peter wrapped his arms around Wade’s neck and ran a hand through his hair just because he could, even though it destroyed the man-bun Wade had had it in. Wade laughed against his mouth and ran one of his own hands through Peter’s hair in revenge.

Peter wasn’t really sure how long the kiss lasted, to be honest. It could have been twelve seconds, it could have been twelve days. It didn’t really matter. He had finally kissed Wade. For real.

He had finally kissed Wade.

Wade ended up being the one who broke the kiss, pulling back a little bit and letting both of them catch their breath. Peter huffed out half of a laugh and put his forehead on Wade’s shoulder. Wade laughed and kissed his ear, of all places. “Hey, spidey.”

“God, please tell me you’re not gonna make me get up so you can run away.”

Wade, thank god, laughed at his joke. “No, no. Something else.” he said, nudging Peter’s shoulder so he sat back up.


Wade bit his lip, which was slightly more red than before. “We should go on a date.”

Peter blinked. “Okay.”

Wade gave him one of those smiles Peter loved too much. “Really?”

“Definitely.” Peter confirmed, smiling back.

“Awesome.” Wade said, a little breathless. “We should totallly–”

Suddenly, the door burst open, with a slightly-pissed Logan on the other side. Peter made a rather undignified noise and nearly went crashing to the floor again, but Wade’s arm tightened around his middle and caught him.

Door. Open. ” Logan growled at them, then stormed off. Peter nearly pissed himself for like the fourth time that day.

Wade just groaned and rubbed his hand over Peter’s back, and Peter was really getting the feeling that he was going to like that way too much. They sat in silence for a second, the only real noise in the room coming from Wade’s hand on his back and the faint sound of the tv from the living room. Despite the fact that Peter had just made out with someone and was still sitting in their lap, it wasn’t all that awkward. Naturally, Wade was the one to break the silence.

“Next time, we’re totally making out at your house.”

Chapter Text

Peter didn’t think he had ever woken up happy on a Monday. Mondays were supposed to be bad. He could probably dig through his closet and find a t-shirt that said so. It was just–a thing.

And yet, here he was, walking through the halls of a high school, and he couldn’t stop smiling. His backpack straps were digging into his shoulder, he was fairly sure one of his shoelaces had come untied a few minutes ago, and he had a test in his first class, and none of it even fazed him. He was just happy.

This could quite possibly be the best week of his life, and it was Monday.

Well, that would be counting Saturday as the first day of the week. That was officially the best day of his life. Saturday had been full of movies, greasy pizza, and lots and lots of Wade. Peter didn’t think he’d ever spent so much time around anyone but May and still wanted to spend more time with them afterwards. It had actually pained him to go home.

And then, naturally, he’d spent the next day non-stop texting him. Wade had been–still was–over the moon that Peter had agreed to a date. Apparently, he was so excited that he decided to plan the whole thing himself and keep Peter in the dark. All Peter knew was the date: Friday. Five more days.

This was totally going to be the best week of his life.

Peter smiled and pulled his phone out of his pocket. Unsurprisingly, he had a text from Wade.

Wade: wanna skip class and make out in a closet

Peter: Unfortunately for you, I value my education.

Wade: boooooo

Wade: wanna make out before class then

Peter: There’s like five minutes. The bell would ring before we managed to meet up.

Wade: wanna bet

Peter rolled his eyes (despite the fact that he was smiling) and started typing out a mildly-snarky response when two gloved hands suddenly covered his eyes.

“Guess who?” came a familiar scratchy voice.

“Luke Skywalker?” Peter guessed, raising an eyebrow and hoping that he could feel it through his gloves.

“Who the hell is that?” Wade asked, removing his hands.

“Okay, you did not just–” Peter started as he whipped around to face him, then he saw Wade’s shit-eating grin. He punched Wade in the arm. “You asshole.”

“Dude, everyone knows who Lake Slywarper is.” Wade said, making Peter want to smack him again.

Peter struggled not to retaliate with something nerdy he’d regret later. “How did you know where my first class was?”

Wade shrugged, pulling off his gloves and stuffing them into his pocket. Peter suspected it was finally getting too cold to ride without them. “You said it was English a while back.”

“I didn’t tell you which one. ” Peter pointed out, leaning against the wall behind him.

Wade leaned next to him, casually grabbing Peter’s hand and changing the subject. “I think yesterday may have been the longest day of my life.”

Peter raised an eyebrow. “How so?”

Well,” Wade said dramatically, making Peter laugh, “first, there was no you in it, so it was already awful because I couldn’t do this –” he held up their hands, “–and then I forgot that Weasel had asked me to help him move some shit on Saturday, so I had to go do it Sunday, and his neighbor is the weirdest woman on the planet, so it took like five hours to move all her shit.”

“You helped him move his weird neighbor’s stuff?” Peter asked.

“I kinda owed him one, so yeah. She’s this old blind lady–Weasel literally calls her ‘Blind Al’.”

“Is that why she’s weird?”

“Nah, that was just why we had to move her stuff. She’s just–weird.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “You’re weird.”

“You’re weird er. ” Wade said, sticking his tongue out. Peter sticks his out back. “You wanna hang out tomorrow, weirdo?”

“If I’m not doing anything else, sure.” Peter said, shrugging and trying not to look like that was the best idea in the world. Judging by the grin Wade had, he was failing.

“Perfect. We can–shit, why is he coming over here?”

Peter frowned and turned around, seeing Tony heading over to them with a funny look on his face. “What, Tony?”

“Yeah, Tony. Pretentious douchebag.” Wade muttered the last part as Tony came within earshot. He let go of Peter’s hand. “I’ll catch you later, spidey.”

Peter blinked. “Wait, what? What’s wrong with Tony?”

Wade sighed. “Nothing. Just–I’ll see you in class, okay?”

Peter hesitated, wanting to push further, but Tony was within earshot now, so he nodded and let him go. “See you later.”

Just as Wade started to walk away, Peter heard from behind him, “Hey, Wilson!”

Wade groaned and turned around; Peter froze. “What, Stark?”

Tony reached them, placing himself next to Peter, just slightly in front of him, putting himself between Wade and Peter. Something about it put Peter on edge. “Mornin’, fellas.”

“Hey, Tony.” Peter greeted, trying not to look as on-guard as he felt. Wade looked downright murderous.

Tony gave both of them a not-quite-real smile.  “Hey, Parker. Ready to go to English?”

Peter frowned. “You don’t have English with me.”

Tony suddenly looked...pained. “Then I’ll walk you.”

Wade glared at him; Peter was still confused. “I–um–okay.” he said when Tony gave him a look. He turned back to Wade, hoping his face was apologetic. “See you later?”

Wade nodded once, rather obviously holding something back, then sauntered off. Peter would probably text him later and make sure he doesn’t commit some form of crime. After he left, Peter turned to Tony, who was still watching where Wade had gone as if he would pop up again. “Dude, what the hell was that?”

“Is that guy still bothering you?” Tony asked.

Peter blinked. “What?”

“Is he still being a dick?”

“Wha–No!” Peter shook his head. “I was just talking to him.”

Tony frowned. “Isn’t that the guy who thought your face was a punching bag.”

Peter winced. Somehow, he had managed to forget that everyone in his friend group knew that Wade had hit him. Multiple times. “It–it is.”

“So, what the fuck was that then? You’re just buddy-buddy?”

Peter paused. He really didn’t want to lie, but he also knew that if he told Tony the truth. So, he sort of–compromised. “No, I wouldn’t really call it–‘buddy buddy’.”

Technically, it wasn’t lying. Right?

Tony was most definitely looking at him like he was insane. Peter didn’t blame him; he probably looked like he was about to spontaneously combust. His face felt like it was on fire he was starting to blush that hard. “ Right.” he said, the word drawn out and judgemental, “are you sure he’s not bothering you? You look kinda–off.”

Peter put on the fakest smile his face had ever made. “He’s not bothering me. It’s fine. I’m gonna go to class.”

Tony honestly looked concerned; Peter felt bad he couldn’t fix it. Something just told him that telling Tony about anything would end poorly. He turned to leave, but Tony grabbed his arm. “Are you sure you’re okay? Wilson’s bad news, don’t try and handle him alo–”

“Why does everyone keep saying that about him?” Peter interrupted, slightly ticked. “You all act like he’s the devil or something. Have any of you actually had a real conversation with him? Ever?”

Tony paused, letting go of him. “Peter, he’s crazy. Like, legitimately crazy. Like, spent a year–”

“–in juvie, yeah, I know.” Peter finished, sounding bored. “That doesn’t mean he’s just compelled to be a maniac in everything he does.”

“He hit you the first day he met you.”

Peter paused. Technically, it hadn’t been the first day , but it had been in the first week. “That was–provoked.”

“Right, because you’re threatening.” Tony deadpanned.

“It was different!” Peter insisted, which got an eye-roll from Tony. “I actually started talking to him after that, and he hasn’t–” he cut himself off. He couldn’t say ‘he hasn’t hit me since’. That was a lie.

Tony seemed to catch his hesitation. “Take it from a crazy person,” he gestured at himself, “you don’t wanna mess with that kind of crazy.”

“Wade isn’t crazy.” Peter said, confident in that, at least.

Tony paused, thinking. “How much do you actually know about him?”

Peter frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Like, anything about him before his sophomore year? Being briefly incarcerated? The scar?

Peter opened his mouth, then shut it. He thought about it. He didn’t know anything about any of those things. Tony started looking at him with a that’s-what-I-thought face. Peter glared at him. “Why do you care so much, anyway?”

Tony shrugged casually, like this whole conversation was normal. “You’re an Avenger–”

“Still not sure what that means.”

“–we look out for each other.” Tony finished, ignoring Peter’s interjection.

Peter paused. He kind of forget that...that’s what friends were supposed to do. Look out for other friends.

It was probably sad that he had forgotten, but that was for another time.

“Look, Tony, I appreciate it, but I don’t–I don’t need your help.” Peter said, backing up towards his class. “Really, I can handle it.”

“Just–ask him about at least some of it, alright? Before it bites you in the ass.” Tony asked, letting him go this time.

Peter bit the inside of his cheek. After a moment, he nodded, then turned into his class, leaving Tony and his stupid Wade-enigmas behind. As he walked in the door, he shot Wade a text requesting he not murder anyone. He got a skull emoji in response.

He tried to pay attention to his class, but he couldn’t get the conversation out of his mind. It was stupid. This whole thing was stupid. Tony was just trying to mess with him; that had to be it. Wade couldn’t be that bad.


Peter’s mood hadn’t really improved by lunch. He had tried to pay attention to his classes, read his current book ( Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, since he was feeling nostalgic), but nothing could get Tony’s words out of his head.

Mainly because the more he thought about them, the more he realized Tony was right. He knew almost nothing about Wade’s life, other than basic preferences and how hard he punched. It was vaguely alarming. Pretty much his entire Saturday had been spent either laying-on-top-of or kissing someone he knew nothing about.

Was this a problem normal people had?

“What, do you have a thing against leftover pizza, too?” Weasel quipped, breaking his train of thought.

Peter blinked. “What?”

“You’re sulking at pepperoni.”

Peter looked down; sure enough, he had been staring at pizza while deep in thought. He managed a half-smile. “I should learn to internally sulk.”

“Probably. What’s got you down?”

Peter hesitated, looking around. Wade was nowhere in sight; maybe he was skipping lunch today? “I–I mean–Can you–” Peter tried, and failed. He huffed out a breath and tried to start over. “Can you keep a secret?”

“One-hundred-percent no.” Weasel shook his head.

Peter smacked him. “Seriously! It’s...Wade related.” he admitted.

Weasel raised an eyebrow. “Fine, just this once.”

Wow, that totally sounded trustworthy. “How much do you know about Wade?”

Weasel frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Like, how long have you known him? I was just wondering about–I mean, I haven’t know him that long, and–”

“–and I’m gonna take a wild guess you wanna know why he was all fucked up a couple years ago?” Weasel finished.

Peter winced. It sounded way douche-ier than he wanted it to. He immediately wanted to take it back. “You know what? Forget I said that. Conversation cancelled.”

Weasel rolled his eyes. “You are way too nice for your own good, you know that?”

“Conversation cancel–”

“It was probably a good choice to not ask Wade first, actually.” Weasel said, and Peter stopped. That didn’t sound right.


“Well, he doesn’t really like talking about it himself. Not to mention he seems to really like you for...some reason I haven’t seen yet,” he says, giving Peter a once-over, “so he probably wouldn’t tell you himself even if you asked really nicely. ” he finished the last part with an annoyingly suggestive wink.

“Still, isn’t it kind of a dick move to not hear it from him?”

Weasel shrugged. “It would be, if it was from pretty much anyone other than me, Summers, or Logan. But luckily for you, I’m me, so it’s chill.”

Peter drew his eyebrows together. “That made no sense.”

Weasel held up a finger and ate a bite of sandwich. “We’re like, the only three people in the whole goddamn school who don’t think Wade is crazy. Well, four, including you.”

Peter blinked. “Is there a point here?”

“I’m not gonna try and make it seem like he’s awful, basically. I’m on his side.”

Peter paused. That did make it seem a little bit better. Better than asking anyone in his other friend group, anyway. “So, what, you’ll tell the pretty version?”

“Basically, yeah.”

Peter nodded, slowly. “And you’re sure he won’t mind you telling me?”

Weasel nodded with confidence. “Definitely.”

Peter hesitated. On one hand, slightly violating privacy, but on the other hand...asking Wade could go kind of poorly. He did tend to hit his feelings. Peter kind of liked his nose and ribs being in their original positions.

He sighed. “Okay, go.”

Weasel grinned and cracked his knuckles. “Alright, storytellin’ time. How much do you know?”

“He lives with Logan and has a strict curfew. Oh, and he met Nathan in juvie and was there for a year. That’s about it.”

Weasel blinked. “So, next to nothing?”

“Pretty much.”

“I’ll just give you the basics, then. Wade can tell you the rest if he wants.” Weasel said, then cleared his throat. “We’ll start off with some exposition: Wade’s dad is a dick. Like, not the normal, ‘oh my dad is such a douchebag he’s mean to my mom and drinks a lot’ version of being a dick. No, this was like the his dad beats him and his mom and then gets absolutely shitfaced version.”

Peter widened his eyes. He hadn’t been expecting that right off the bat. Weasel ignored him and continued. “And Wade put up with this for a really long time. Like, he was too small to do anything about it for a while, since he was a kid. He just kinda had to shut up and take it. He got out sometimes, like to my house for sleepovers and stuff like that, and I knew about it, but that was pretty much the only relief he got.

“But eventually, he started getting all behemoth-sized like he is now, and as he got older, it got a little more out of control. His dad is kind of a control freak, and Wade, being Wade, was kind of a hard teenager to control, so they started fighting more. His dad started hitting Wade way more. It’s kind of a miracle his face isn’t more fucked up than it is.”

“Wait.” Peter interrupted. “He got that scar from getting punched?

Weasel shook his head. “No, I’m getting there. Because now we can get to the good stuff.”

Peter had no idea how whatever he was about to hear was considered the ‘good part’, but he nodded anyway.

“Right, so, this is where it gets a little fuzzy,” Weasel admitted, “but I’m gonna do my best here. I know the gist, but Wade isn’t exactly an open book, so if you want more details, that’s your job.”

Weasel paused, took a breath, and began. “One night, about two and a half years ago at this point, his dad comes home trashed. Something bad at work or something happened, and he’s fucking drunk and fucking angry. He starts breaking shit, going bonkers, and at first, it was okay, because that’s all he was doing, was breaking stuff around the house, until he goes and turns on Wade’s mom.”

Peter’s eyes widen a little further.

“Yeah, I know. Anyway, Wade, for some reason, decided enough was enough, and tried to fight his dad. Which was arguably the stupidest thing he’s ever done, because Wade’s dad was just as big as he is, but hey, his funeral.

“So he goes up, pulls his mom away, and fights him, and it gets ugly pretty fast. There’s a lot of screaming, apparently lots of blood, and in the end, by some miracle, Wade comes out on top, and his dad–” Weasel hesitated, “–his dad died.”

Peter freezes. “Wait, what? Wade killed his dad?”

Weasel shrugged, searching for words. “Well, yes and no–”

“Weasel, what the fuck? ” Peter exclaimed, shouting a little bit and standing.

“Wait, Peter, that’s not the end of the–”

Peter took his next couple breaths so hard they hurt his throat. Weasel kept trying to talk to him, but he couldn’t hear anything he was saying. It sounded like he was a million miles away.

It–it couldn’t be true, could it? Wade couldn’t have...he wouldn’t have…

He did.

Weasel lays a hand on his arm, saying something that Peter knows is important, but the contact sets him off. It’s too much all at once and he needs to get away. He does the only thing he can think of to make it stop.

He runs.

Well, ‘run’ is probably too weak of a word. Peter doesn’t just run out of the cafeteria, he sprints. He carries himself as fast as his legs carry him and he flies. He can hear Weasel calling after him, he can see people staring at him, but he doesn’t care. He needed to get out of there now.

In all honesty, Peter doesn’t really remember much about what happened after he made it out of the cafeteria doors. He knows he ran, he remembers his lungs absolutely hating him for making him run during a panic attack, but he didn’t remember actually going anywhere.

So he was a little disoriented when he suddenly ran into a tree. Hard.

Peter crashed to the ground, landing hard on his ass. The fall snaps him out of it, forces him to actually stop and look around. He’s out in front of the school; he crashed into one of the oak trees lining the road leading up to the building. There’s dead leaves surrounding his feet. It’s cold.

Peter doesn’t get up from his position in front of the tree, he just shifts over to lean his back against the bark and just lets himself feel what comes next. Looking back on it, it was probably a good decision not to stand up. It all hits him at once, like a wave of awful crashing over him.

Wade came out on top, and his dad–his dad died.

What the hell had that meant? His dad had just– died? What had happened? Had Wade hit him too hard? Had he just gone crazy and strangled him, or something worse? Was enough finally enough?

That had to be why he had spent a whole year in fucking juvenile detention. It was a surprise it wasn’t prison, really. He must have been too young to be tried as an adult. Two and a half years–he’d been what, fifteen? Maybe fourteen? It didn’t really matter. He still killed his dad.

Peter couldn’t believe it–it didn’t feel real, but at the same sort of made sense . Things started to come together that hadn’t made sense before.

Wade hated his scar . Most people with some form of scar like that would, but not as much as he does. If Wade had gotten that scar that night, it would explain pretty much every reaction to it Peter had seen.

Everyone thought Wade was crazy . Peter had thought it was just because he was a little–different, but this...this made sense. Peter, take it from a crazy person, you don’t want to mess with that kind of crazy.

Peter was starting to hyperventilate. His phone buzzed in his pocket; it was probably Weasel, or worse, Wade, but Peter couldn’t make his hands stop shaking enough for him to check it. It really didn’t help that it was cold and he hadn’t grabbed his jacket. He shivered and wrapped his arms around his knees.

He just–he didn’t know what to do. He shouldn’t have asked Weasel. He shouldn’t have let Tony get to him. None of this should have happened.

None of it. This whole thing was a mistake. You should have just let Wade be a bully and left it at that.

Peter frowned. That wasn’t how he wanted to feel, but he didn’t have much of a choice. Even if it had been an accident, there wasn’t a way to make it right. He couldn’t deal with it if Wade had actually killed his father. He had kissed a killer. He could actually say that he’d kissed a killer.

Well, technically, Weasel just said he died. He didn’t confirm Wade killed him.

Peter blinked. What was the end of the story again? Weasel had said something about an ending, hadn’t he? The whole thing was a little fuzzy. But he had said something about what had actually happened–there was no way he hadn’t.

Peter just couldn’t remember what it was. Which meant he had to go back and face Weasel. And probably Wade. The chances that Weasel hadn’t told Wade about this were pretty low.

Peter’s phone buzzed again, this time with a longer duration. After a second, it buzzed again. Someone was calling him. Somehow, he managed to get his phone out of his pocket and accept the call.

“Hello?” he said, and his voice sounded scratchy.

“Spidey? Where are you?” Wade.

Hearing Wade’s voice sent a strange wave of warmth and chill through him all at once, almost making him sick. Peter’s voice was quiet.“Outside.”

“Outs–what? What are you doing outside?” Wade sounded a little frantic, but relieved that Peter was talking to him.

“I don’t really know. I ran and ended up hitting a tree.”

“You hit a tree?” Wade sounded about as confused as Peter felt.

Peter shrugged, looking up at the branches above him. “Yeah.”

Wade paused for a moment. “Are you okay?”

Peter thought about it. “I’m cold.”

He heard Wade swear on the other end of the line. “Can you give me a more specific location than ‘outside’, Spidey? I’ll come get you.”

Something about the idea of seeing Wade strung a deep chord of nope in Peter’s chest. “I don’t–I don’t think–”

Suddenly, Peter cut himself off and froze. He could see someone in the distance with a phone to their ear. They were tall and blonde, and looked like Wade from far away.

But then they got a little closer, and Peter could tell it wasn’t Wade. He let out a sigh of relief; it was just Flash.

Just as he did, Flash looked over, like he had somehow heard him. Peter froze again, a chill going over him that struck deeper than the cold.

“Peter? Are you okay? What happened?” Wade’s voice cut through his thoughts.

Flash squinted at him, looked around, then started making his way towards him. Peter started to try and move and hide, but it was too late. Flash had already seen him. Peter leaned against the tree, closed his eyes, and hoped that somehow Wade would materialize out of thin air and help him.

“Peter, answer me. What’s going on?”

Suddenly, Peter’s phone got plucked out of his hand. He jumped, flashing his eyes open, only to find himself looking at into Flash’s still-slightly-purplish ones. Flash gave him one of the scariest grins Peter had ever seen.

“Peter’s a little held up at the moment. Maybe try again later.” Flash says, then hangs up the phone and drops it to the ground. Peter tries to stay still; his freezing limbs won’t let him.

“Been a while, Parker. Let’s catch up, shall we?”

Chapter Text

Wade was having a pretty good day, overall. Sure, his morning had been a little rough– thanks, Stark –but even then, it was hard to keep him down for long today.

He had a date with Peter Friday. A real date. Not one of those stupid sexual-tension-filled photography playdates like before. He got to take Peter somewhere where he didn’t have to awkwardly shift away from Peter every time Logan came into the room. If he was lucky, he could even make out with him uninterrupted for more than three minutes.

Wade grinned as he walked down the hall, thinking about the previous weekend. Peter, despite being very obviously nervous and inexperienced, had picked up kissing pretty damn quickly. And from what Wade could tell, he definitely still wanted to get better.

And Wade was more than happy to keep teaching him.

Wade chuckled to himself and pulled out his phone, figuring that if he didn’t have any texts from Peter, he could send him something lewd just because he could. To his surprise, almost instantly after he pulled it out, it started ringing in his hand.

In hindsight, Wade should have realized something was wrong the moment Weasel’s name popped up on his phone. Anytime Weasel called him, it usually meant he either needed Wade’s reputation to scare someone off, or like last weekend, his muscles to do something his nerdy noodle-arms couldn’t.

Needless to say, Wade wasn’t excited to see the call on his way to lunch. Was it really something that couldn’t wait two minutes?

“I’m gonna be there in two minutes, Weas, could it really not wait?” he snapped.

“Peter asked about why you were so fucked up and I tried to tell him what happened but he didn’t let me finished and I think he thinks you killed your dad and he freaked out and I didn’t know he could run that fast and now I can’t find him and please don’t kill me!” Weasel shouted into the phone as fast as he could.

Wade’s heart sunk through the floor. He stopped walking, ignoring the fact that he was now effectively blocking a doorway. “You what?

“I’m sorry! He didn’t let me finish the story, he just froze for a second, and it was fucking weird, and then he took off like he was on fire or something. I don’t know where he went and I’m kinda worried about him.”

Wade forced out a breath through his nose. Anger wouldn’t do him a ton of good right now, but holy fuck he was mad at Weasel. As soon as he found Peter, he was going to throttle him. Pop Goes the Weasel is about to have a whole new meaning.

“Wade? Are you still there?”

Wade forced himself to take another slow breath. “Check the bathrooms. If you find him, call me and keep your goddamn mouth shut.

“Uh, okay. Bathrooms. Got it. Where are you going to look?”

“I’ll try and call him.”

“Sounds like a–”

“–and think of ways to rip your fucking head off.” Wade interrupted.

Weasel stopped short. “I’m sorry, Wade. Really.” he said, softer. “I know you like him. I do, too. I thought he’d get it.”

Wade sighed. I thought he would, too. “It’s not like it matters now. Just find him.”

“Okay.” Weasel said, and hung up.

Wade shoved his phone into his pocket with maybe too much force and leaned against the doorway, scrubbing a hand over his face and through his hair. At this point, the hallway was nearly empty, with passing period over. The few stragglers left gave him funny looks. It was probably an interesting sight; the most hated guy in school mid-crisis. He wanted to punch the stupid looks off their faces.

No, he didn’t have time for that. He had to find Peter before he ended up blabbing to the whole school. Not that Wade really thought he would, but Weasel said he was really freaked out.

Wade frowned. Peter wasn’t really one to run from his problems like that. Well, not literally, at least. It just seemed a little...out of character.

He just froze, and it was fucking weird, then he took off like he was on fire or something.

That didn’t really sound like Peter was just ‘freaking out’. Peter just freaked out by stuttering over his words and looking like he might piss himself. Wade should know; he terrified Peter for nearly a month. This didn’t feel like that.

It didn’t sound like Peter was freaking out. It sounded like he was having a panic attack.

Wade snapped out every swear word he knew and pulled his phone back out, punching in Peter’s number quickly and holding it up to his ear. The fear of Peter’s rejection had suddenly morphed into something else, something slightly more protective. Wade could handle it if one more person thought he was delusional; he couldn’t handle it if anyone thought that about Peter.

He had to find him before anyone else did.

“Hello?” Peter suddenly answered, and Wade let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

“Spidey? Where are you?”

Peter’s voice was quiet.“Outside.”

Wade blinked, but immediately started walking towards the nearest exit. Peter hated being outside, especially now that it was getting a little colder. “Outs–what? What are you doing outside?”

“I don’t really know. I ran and ended up hitting a tree.”

Wade frowned. Peter sounded confused more than anything. “You hit a tree?”

Wade could almost hear Peter’s shrug through the phone. “Yeah.”

Something about his answer seemed a Like Peter’s head was somewhere else. Something uncomfortably like anxiety settled in Wade’s chest. “Are you okay?”

A pause. “I’m cold.”

Wade swore, then immediately hoped Peter didn’t hear it. “Can you give me a more specific location than ‘outside’, Spidey? I’ll come get you.”

“I don’t–I don’t think–” Peter started, then cut himself off. Wade waited for him to finish, but nothing happened. Had something happened to him?

“Peter? Are you okay? What happened?” Wade asked, starting to head for the doors leading outside.

Peter didn’t respond. Wade’s anxiety grew; a sudden, sharp reminder of that time in the shed suddenly flashed through his mind.

“Peter, answer me. What’s going on?”

There was suddenly a weird noise from Peter’s end. It took a moment for Wade to place what it was–Peter was passing his phone to someone else. Wade let out a sigh of relief; Weasel had probably found him–

“Peter’s a little held up at the moment. Maybe try again later.” a voice snapped into the phone, then hung up. Wade’s heart sunk straight past the floor, all the way to hell.


Why did it always have to be that guy? Couldn’t he just take a break from being a douchebag to Peter for just one day? Was that really too much to ask?

Wade shook his head. It didn’t matter. He had seen how bad it was last time Flash had beaten him up.

He wasn’t about to let it happen again.

At this point, Wade was at the exit. He chucked his backpack at the wall behind him and took off as fast as he could around the school, looking for any sign of commotion or Peter. He got nearly halfway around the school, still hugging close to the walls, when out of nowhere, a door opened and smacked him hard in the face, sending him sprawling to the ground with a hard thud.

Wade swore from his spot on the ground, too dazed to get up immediately. It looked like he was going to have to murder two people today instead of one.

“Well, whaddya know, luck is on my side today.” a voice over him announced.

Wade only knew one person who announced himself like that. He swore louder. “Of all the people in this goddamn school.” he muttered.

Through his eyelids, Wade saw a shadow move over him. He blinked his eyes open and saw none other than Tony fucking Stark standing over him, looking way too smug for Wade’s liking. “Been looking for you, Scarface.”

Wade ignored him. He didn’t have time for Stark’s stupid antics. He pushed himself to his feet, ignoring the pain in his palms where he’d scraped them, and shoved Stark out of the way. “I don’t care. Pick another time.”

Stark grabbed his arm. Wade nearly punched him. “ What, Stark?”

“I said, I was looking for you. I know that you don’t have much resembling a brain up there–” he gestured at Wade’s head, “–but I thought you could figure out that that meant I wanted to talk.”

“Pick. Another. Time.” Wade growled, ripping his arm out of Stark’s grip.

Stark let him go this time. Wade let out a sigh of relief and kept walking.

“It’s about Peter.” Stark suddenly calls out behind him.

Wade turned around. “So is this, asshole!” he shouts back, then turns around again and takes off running, not bothering to look back.

After a moment, he hears Stark running after him, because apparently he’s that much of an asshole. “Wilson, wait!”

Since Wade s also an asshole, he just runs faster. Stark called after him, but he didn’t bother listening.

Then, in the trees in front of the school, he sees him. Peter was sitting underneath one of the trees, hugging his knees. He looked terrified, and for good reason.

Flash was standing in front of him, leaning up in his face and saying something that Peter obviously wasn’t a fan of. Wade didn’t know what the fuck Flash’s problem was, but he knew it was about to come to an end.

Then, to Wade’s surprise, Flash stepped back. Wade slowed himself down to a jog. He could hear Stark catching up behind him.

Was Flash just there to yell at Peter? Or was he going to–

Peter started to stand up. Flash socked him in the face.

Wade saw red.

He ran over as fast as he could, grabbed Flash by the collar, and slammed his head into Flash’s nose. Hard.

Flash cried out and pressed his hands to his face. “Fucking fuck!”

“What the fuck is your problem?” Wade shouted at him, shoving him hard in the chest. Flash lost his balance and fell onto his ass. “Can’t you leave him alone for one fucking minute?”

Flash didn’t respond with words; instead, he got up and charged at Wade like it was a fucking football game. Wade stepped slightly to his left and pushed Flash off, using his momentum to send him sprawling onto the ground again.

Behind him, Wade heard someone spit. He turned around. Peter was on his feet by now, leaning on Stark, and it was obvious he had just spit blood out of his mouth. Part of his jaw was starting to swell up; Wade guessed that Flash had hit him and Peter had bitten his cheek.

It struck Wade in that moment that he probably should have checked on him sooner. He turned back, gave Flash a nice kick to the face, then walked over to Peter.

Well, he tried to. As soon as he got within five feet, Stark let go of Peter and put himself between them. “You back the fuck up, Wilson.”

Wade rolled his eyes. “In case you can’t tell, Boy Wonder, I’m not angry at him. I’m not gonna hurt him.”

“You already have.” Stark said coldly, glaring.

Wade froze, faltering. “That was before–” he started, then cut himself off. Behind Stark, Peter’s eyes went wide.

Stark glared at him harder. “Before what?

“Before nothing!” Peter interjected before Wade could answer. He quickly moved and put himself between Wade and Stark. He was still a little shaky on his feet. “Leave it alone, Tony. Flash is just a stereotypical bully and I’m an easy target. That’s it.”

Behind all of them, Flash snorts from his spot on the ground. “If even Wilson can tap that, you must be even easier than I thought.”

Stark’s eyes went wide and Peter and Wade went pale. Peter looked between Wade and Stark, and he looked terrified. Stark, on the other hand, looked like he wanted to put Wade’s head on a stick. “What in the hell is going–”

“Hey! What’s going on over there?” a new voice calls out, making all of them turn.

Wade swore. Walking towards them with his annoyingly authoritative gait was arguably the most hated teacher in the school.

Mr. Lehnsherr.

It took him about thirty seconds to get over to them. None of them said anything as he approached. As soon as he got close, he saw the rough state of Flash and Peter’s faces. His face immediately morphed into something angrier. “Are you boys fighting out here?”

To Wade’s disbelief, Stark pointed at him. “He started it.”

Everyone else looked at him in shock. Then, they all opened their mouths at once.

“Okay, I am not the one who–”

“He didn’t–”

“It was his fault–”

“No it wasn’t, it was his –”

“He just came out of nowhere–”

Enough!” Lehnsherr yelled at all of them, effectively shutting everyone up. “All of you, principal’s office. Now.

Wade was quickly discovering that being in a room with Flash Thompson, Tony Stark, and Peter Parker all at the same time was a bad combo. Especially when two hated him and the other currently thought he was a literal murderer.

Wade sighed and tilted his head back against the wall behind him, eyes closed. Peter probably hated him, or thought he was some sort of horrible monster.

He hadn’t even looked in Wade’s direction since they’d all sat down in the various chairs scattered around the outside of the principal’s office. He’d sat down in the chair farthest away from Wade–across the walkway and five chairs over–then curled up, buried his head in his arms, and he hadn’t moved since. Stark had taken the chair two down from Peter and had almost immediately nodded off. Wade had tried to sneak glances at Peter as often as he could, looking for any sort of sign that Peter didn’t hate him, but it was hard to do without Stark noticing.

Suddenly, the door to the principal’s office opened with considerable force, disturbing Stark’s nap and making Peter and Wade jump. Flash walked out of the room, followed by the principal in his motorized wheelchair. Flash looked so angry Wade was legitimately concerned that he might blow up right then and there.

“Mr. Thompson, you may go back to class. Mr. Stark, I’d like to hear your side of the story next, please.” Dr. Xavier announced, and Stark yawned before he got up and entered his office. Peter watched him go, then lowered his head back down after the door shut with a definitive click.

Now that there was no one else to see them (other than the secretary, but he didn’t give a rat’s ass about anything and spent all of his time on Facebook), Wade stared at Peter openly. He didn’t look all that different from this morning. His hands were a little dirty from being outside. One of his shoes was untied.

He still looked like he was cold.

Wade glanced up and down the hall, made sure that no one was really looking, then got up and walked over to Peter’s chair, taking his hoodie off on the way. Peter didn’t look up. Slowly, Wade reached out a hand and gently shook Peter’s shoulder.

His head jerked up and those pretty brown eyes looked at him, scared. Wade tried to ignore it and held the hoodie out to him.

Peter shook his head minutely. “I’m okay.”

Wade rolled his eyes. “Just take it.” he said, shaking it.

Peter looked like he might protest again, but Wade gave him a look, so he shut up and accepted the hoodie. He shrugged it on over his head and Wade sat down in the chair next to him.

Neither of them spoke for about a minute. Peter rested his chin on folded arms with his legs pulled up on the chair. Wade had no idea how he managed it–he couldn’t even manage to fit one leg comfortably on the chair, let alone both.

“This thing is huge.” Peter suddenly muttered, glancing down at the ends of the sleeves. They easily covered his hands.

Wade blinked. Out of the million things either of them could have said, that was not what he was expecting. “I’m like a foot taller than you, what did you expect?”

Peter shrugged, not answering immediately. Then, after a moment, almost too low for Wade to hear, he said, “I don’t really know anymore.”

Wade bit his lip. “Spidey–”

“What happened, Wade?” Peter whispered, finally looking at him with wide, slightly fearful eyes.

Wade struggled for words for a second, not really able to focus on words when Peter was just staring like that. But, unfortunately, because he’s never known how to shut his mouth, he blurts, “I didn’t kill my dad.”

Peter paused, then to Wade’s surprise, he says much louder than before, “Oh thank god ,” and runs his hands through his hair, visibly relieved. “Oh god, I thought you had actually killed someone and I was freaking out and I ran away from Weasel and my backpack is probably still in the cafeteria and thank god you didn’t kill your dad–”

“That’s not the end of the story.” Wade interrupted, making Peter stop short.

Peter looked at him, and the fear returned to his face . “Wait, what?”

“I–I didn’t kill him, but...I saw it happen.” Wade admitted, looking down at his hands.

Wade heard Peter’s breath catch in his throat. He waited for the inevitable response: pity, discomfort, or his personal least favorite, the sympathetic shoulder pat followed by an awkward: “that’s rough, buddy.”

But none of it came. Wade waited. Peter stayed silent. Out of the corner of his eye, Wade saw Peter’s head move so he wasn’t looking at him anymore. Had it really already come to that? Peter couldn’t even look at him?

Wade sighed and started to stand. If Peter didn’t want to look at him, he wasn’t going to make it worse–

Peter suddenly caught him by the hand. Wade froze, turning and looking at where Peter’s hand was clasped around his, then let his gaze go over his arm until it landed on Peter’s eyes, which were looking at him and filled with tears.

“I saw my uncle get shot in front of me.” Peter whispered.

Wade stopped breathing.

“It–it was awful. I watched the guy–just some random mugger back in New York, they never even found out who–shoot him, take his wallet, and run. My uncle barely even had twenty bucks on him. He died for pocket change. ” Peter said, spitting the last words with more spite than the rest.

Wade swallowed, trying to ignore the tears pricking his eyes. When he spoke, his voice was even softer than Peter's. “My dad got shot outside of a bar. I watched it happen and then I tried to kill the guy who shot him.” Peter’s eyes widened, but Wade shook his head. “I wasn’t a match for him, not by a long shot. He didn’t bother shooting me; he just picked up a broken bottle in the alley, and...” Wade trailed off, not wanting to finish. He vaguely gestured at his face, knowing that Peter would put together the rest.

Wade slowly sat back down. “I’d never been more angry in my life.” he admitted, and for once, he felt like the person he was talking to would actually understand him. “My dad was awful. He was the worst person I’ve ever known. He was an alcoholic, abusive, and every day of my life I wanted to see him dead. And it still fucking hurt when he died.”

Peter didn’t say anything, just gripped his hand harder. There was a beat of silence before he spoke. “I was angry, too. I didn’t even get a name. I had this huge, ugly ball of anger and I had nothing to take it out on." he paused. "I still don’t.”

Wade frowned slightly. He had been plenty angry, too. But he’d taken it out with punches, with working out, with snapping at anything that even slightly bothered him. Peter wasn’t one to do any of those things. Wade had no idea how someone like him would cope. “What did you do?”

There was a slightly longer silence. Wade suddenly feared he had pushed a little too far; he was about to take back the question when Peter spoke again. He said it like he was ashamed.

“I took it out on myself.”

Wade froze. “What?”

Peter took back his hand, curling in on himself. “I took it all out on myself. I blamed myself for everything–I was there. I could have stopped him .”

Wade shook his head. “Spidey, it wasn’t–”

“–my fault, yeah. That’s what everyone said. I hated it. It felt like everyone was just lying to me, so I just stopped talking to anyone about it. I stopped talking to everyone in general.” he admitted, with a sort of breathy laugh that Wade wasn’t a large fan of. “It sucked. I’d never felt more alone in my life. I just wanted to talk to my uncle again, but I couldn't.”

Wade really wanted to hug Peter so tight it would be hard for him to breathe, but something told him to keep his hands to himself. He settled for changing the subject back to him.

“I just wanted a rematch.” he said, and Peter looked at him like he was crazy. Wade shrugged. “I had a name, I had a face. I wasn’t angry at him for killing my dad, necessarily; anyone who knew him wanted to put a bullet in him. I was just angry that I had lost the fight.”

Slowly, a goofy, shocked smile formed on his face. “That is the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. But,” he added before Wade could start to frown, “I think I get it.”

Wade suddenly found himself smiling back. He threw an arm around Peter’s shoulders, wishing there wasn’t an armrest between them. “I thought you would.”

Peter smiled, something small and genuine, and leaned his head on Wade’s shoulder. They both seemed content to just sit there for a little while, the only noises in the room coming from the secretary updating his status and the hum of the air vents.

Eventually, the door opened again, and Wade smoothly removed his arm before Stark could see anything. Stark noticed that he had moved, however, and shot him a glare before he sauntered out of the room, looking generally pissed off.

Dr. Xavier gestured at Peter. “Mr. Parker, you’re next.”

Peter huffed out a determined breath before he stood up and started walking. Then, midway through, he stopped. He walked back over to Wade, who looked up at him expectantly.

“I’ve never told anyone all of that before. Not even May.” he said.

Wade blinked. “Why not?”

Peter shrugged. “I’ve never found anyone who I thought would understand.”

Then he turned and walked into the principal’s office. Wade watched the door slowly close behind him, craning his neck just a little bit to try and look at him until the very moment he vanished from sight. The door shut with one loud, final click.

Wade knew he was alone, but at the same time, he had never felt less alone in his life.

Chapter Text

Peter had never been this nervous in his life. His leg was bouncing so hard he was probably starting an earthquake, his heartbeat was so loud in his ears he could barely hear himself think, and he was fairly certain that he could pass out at literally any moment.

Getting in trouble was just not something he was used to. He was used to being bullied–he could write a book on being bullied–but being in the principal’s office? This was so, so much worse. The office was suffocating. Everything was incredibly pristine: the mahogany desk was clear of any clutter, the carpet seemed freshly cleaned, every piece of art on the wall was spotless. The room made this whole ordeal feel strangely impersonal, like this space was only used for discipline, not as an office where an actual person spent time.

“So, Mr. Parker,” the principal began, snapping Peter out of his thoughts, “you seem to be stuck in the middle of all of this. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Stark have given me some...interesting stories, to say the least, but I’d really like to hear your side.” he said, tapping his desk once at the end of his sentence.

Peter looked up from his lap. “I–I don’t really–have a side.” he stammered. “I mean–I do, obviously I do because I was there–I just…” he trailed off, biting his lip.

“...Don’t want to get anyone else in trouble?” the principal finished, raising an eyebrow.

Peter nodded, looking back down at his lap.

Dr. Xavier drummed his fingers on his desk, thinking. “Why don’t you just start from the beginning, then? Just the basics, but I will eventually need you to confirm names. Start from the first time you had an altercation with Mr. Wilson.”

Peter blinked at him. “What?”

The principal frowned. “You did have an encounter with him about a month and a half ago, didn’t you?”

“This–this is about Flash, though. Not Wade. Flash started the fight today.” Peter insisted.

“They were both involved in the altercation.” Dr. Xavier reminded him, making Peter blush for forgetting. “But judging from what Mr. Stark and Mr. Thompson have said, this was not something that started today. According to Mr. Stark especially, you have had quite the rough start here, and you truly should have said something sooner, Peter.”

Peter blushed harder and shook his head. “They probably blew it way out of proportion. It really wasn’t that bad–”

The principal cut him off. “I have reason to believe you were involved in five fights in less than two months, Mr. Parker. Is that wrong?”

Peter stopped. It hadn’t been that bad...had it? That number seemed way too high. Besides, they weren’t even really fights, anyway. It was all just Peter sitting there while someone else beat the crap out of him. He paused and thought back.

First, it had been the punch in the photography room with Wade. That one had hurt like a motherfucker, but at least it had been over fast.

Second had been the gut-punch, also from Wade. Also hurt like a motherfucker, also over very quickly. That one didn’t even count as a fight, really. Peter went down after one punch.

Third was the bathroom beatdown from Flash, which had technically followed a fight between Wade and Flash, but Peter had only been...indirectly involved in that, so it didn’t count.

This whole ordeal would be number four, and yeah, this probably counted as a real fight.

So, almost five. Maybe four and a half; he could arguably be blamed for Wade beating up Flash.

“Mr. Parker? Is that number accurate?”

Everything in Peter wanted to shake his head and say no, but he couldn’t lie. It was pretty obvious that Tony and Flash hadn’t. Tony hated Wade and Flash, and Flash hated Wade and Peter, so chances were that between both of their stories, they had admitted everything. Lying would just dig him into a deeper hole.

Wait, no. Not everything. Neither of them new about when Wade had punched him in the hallway. They had been alone. So he didn’t have to say anything about that.

Slowly, he nodded. “Four.” he said, including the fight between Wade and Flash.

The principal sighed at him. “I appreciate your honesty, Peter, but unfortunately for both of us, that makes your situation a lot worse.”

“Worse?” Peter echoed.

“Even one fight is a problem, and it’s something we take very seriously. But this appears to be something else entirely. Four fights all involving the same group of students–on school grounds, no less,” he sighs, “we’ve just never encountered something like this.

“So, Mr. Parker, I’m going to listen to your story, and Mr. Wilson’s after, and then it’s my job to decide exactly how to punish all of you. If it were up to Mr. Lensherr,” he said, gesturing to the wall to his right, where the vice principal’s office was located, “he would have expelled you all immediately.”

Peter’s eyes widened. May would destroy him if he got expelled.

“But,” the principal quickly amended at Peter’s look, “I don’t want to expel anyone, if I can avoid it. You have good grades, and your teachers seem to think you have a good head on your shoulders, you’ve just gotten mixed up in some bad things and with some bad people. And I, for one, would really like to know how exactly that happened. So start from the beginning, and we can get all of this sorted out. Sound like a plan?”

Peter nodded. Anything was better than getting expelled. Dr. Xavier smiled at him, then gestured for him to start.

Peter took a breath. “You wanted me to start with the time–the time Wade hit me after school?” he started, already feeling bad for saying it. He wanted to avoid getting expelled, but he didn’t want to get someone else expelled in the process. He didn’t want to paint Wade as the bad guy in all of this.

“Yes, unless that wasn’t your first incident.”

Peter shook his head. “That was the first. It was after school, after the last class of the day we have together.”

Dr. Xavier looked at a paper on his desk. “That would, correct?”

“Yeah, photography.” Peter confirmed, then didn’t know where to go from there.

Dr. Xavier looked at him expectantly. “Mr. Parker?”

Peter bit his lip. “I…” he trailed off. “Can I just say something first? Unrelated to the–testimony?”

Dr. Xavier seemed surprised. “I don’t see why not.” he said slowly, lacing his fingers together.

Peter clenched a fist over his knee and took a breath. “I get why you have to know everything–like, obviously I do–but a lot of it is honestly in the past and it’s not a problem anymore. I don’t–it just–it feels like throwing them under the bus. All I’m doing is bringing up the past and digging everyone into a deeper hole. ”

The principal gave him a sympathetic look. “Peter, I know that you may be scared of Mr. Thompson or Mr. Wilson retaliating, but–”

“That’s not what I meant.” Peter interrupted, then immediately regretted it from the look on the principal’s face, but to his surprise, Dr. Xavier gestured for him to go on. “I’m not scared of either of them. I might not like one of them, but that doesn’t mean I want to drag him through the mud.”

Dr. Xavier paused, thinking. “Mr. Parker, you’re obviously a good kid. And not wanting to bring others down is a good thing, but I am afraid that I need the whole story. I’m not trying to antagonize anyone here–truly, I’m not–and you don’t have to either. Just tell me your experience, and tell it honestly, and everything will be fine.”

Peter had a very strong suspicion that everything would not be fine, but he didn’t have a choice. Dr. Xavier looked expectantly at him.

Peter paused. He sighed. And he told the principal almost everything.

He told him how Wade had punched him in the photography room. How Flash had stolen his book. What Wade had done to get it back. The bathroom fight. Everything he knew about the fight outside. Almost everything.

He didn’t talk about when Wade had hit him in the hallway. No one knew about it, and he didn’t think anyone else needed to know. Wade knew that no one else knew about it; Peter hoped that he would trust him enough to know he kept his mouth shut.

Initially, when he had started talking, he had sort of hoped that he would feel better than he had holding it all in, but when he was done, he didn’t feel like there was a weight off of his shoulders. He thought that maybe telling someone would make him feel better, but if anything, he felt worse. Like the weight had almost doubled on him. He just felt guilty .

Eventually, his story was over. He opened the door to the office, stepping back out into the little hallway. Wade was still in the same chair that Peter had left him in; he was asleep. The sound of the door opening startled him; he jolted upright in his chair before he saw it was Peter and he seemed to relax.

Peter had no idea how he looked, but it couldn’t have been good, because Wade immediately looked concerned when he saw him. Peter faked a smile and looked away.

Dr. Xavier followed close behind him in his chair. “Mr. Wilson, it’s finally your turn. Mr. Parker, you can stay here if you would like to–there’s not much time left in the day. You might also want to go grab your things from wherever they are.” he added at the end, because Peter’s backpack was still M.I.A. He had never retrieved it from the cafeteria after his...untimely exit.

Peter blushed and nodded as Wade stood up and headed for the door. He caught Peter’s arm as he passed.

“You okay?” he asked, raising his eyebrows at him.

Peter nodded. “I just didn’t like going back to everything.”

Wade frowned. “Everything?”

“Tony and Flash went before me.” Peter explained.

Wade rolled his eyes. “Wonderful. Well, this oughta be fun. Oh, and Weasel’s got chemistry last, he’ll probably still have your stuff.”

Peter nodded. “Right. I’ll find him–probably. Good luck.”

Wade smiled at him, rubbed his hand over Peter’s arm briefly, then followed Dr. Xavier back into the horrible Office of Doom, as Peter was now calling it. The door closed with its horrible finality, and Peter was alone.

Well, there was still a secretary, but Peter didn’t know his name and was pretty sure the guy hadn’t looked up from his computer this whole time, so that didn’t count. Basically alone.

After about thirty seconds of just...awkwardly standing outside of the principal’s office, Peter set off to go find his stuff. The secretary didn’t even spare him a glance as he walked out.

He got about three feet before he realized he had absolutely no idea where he was going. Wade had said “chemistry”, but that wasn’t exactly specific enough to get him through the right door. And Weasel was still in the middle of a class and probably hadn’t decided to carry Peter’s backpack with him throughout the entire day.

It took Peter a little to long to remember cell phones existed. It had been a long day, okay?

Peter: Hey, where’s my backpack?

Weasel: oh my god you’re ALIVE???

Weasel: it’s in wade’s locker w wade’s backpack

Weasel: did you get expelled

Weasel: or suspended

Weasel: or perhaps spanked with a paddle

Peter could practically feel a headache forming.

Peter: I don’t know

Peter: Where exactly is Wade’s locker?

Weasel: in the math wing

Weasel: i doubt he actually knows where it is

Peter: Can I have something more specific than ‘math wing’? Like a locker number?

Weasel: i dont fuckin know which number it is

Weasel: just gimme a minute i’ll get it

Peter: Great.

Peter put his phone away and headed for the math wing. He didn’t really know what to do when he got there. After waiting almost five minutes, he almost gave up and went back to the office, but Weasel came around the corner just as he started to leave.

“What took you so long?” Peter asked as Weasel walked past him up to a locker towards the end of the hall.

“I had to convince my teacher that I needed my backpack to go to the bathroom.” Weasel answered, and sure enough, he had his backpack.

“And you actually did it?” Peter gestured at the backpack.

“It was more that he just gave up. We were both aware that I wasn’t coming back.” Weasel said, starting to put in the combination. “What ended up going down after you Naruto-ran from the cafeteria?”

Peter rolled his eyes. “More than you have time for.”

Weasel rolled his eyes. “Talk fast.”

Peter huffed. “I don’t remember how, but I ended up outside, and then Flash was outside–yeah, I had the same reaction,” he says when Weasel looks at him with wide eyes, “then Flash hit me because he’s an asshole, and Wade and Tony kinda came out of nowhere–”

“Wade and Tony?

“Yeah, I’m still not sure how exactly Tony get there. But he was, and after Wade started hitting Flash, Lensherr showed up and we all got busted.”

Weasel winced. “Ouch. What’s your punishment?”

“That’s the thing–we don’t know.” Peter admitted.


“The principal wanted to hear all of our stories individually, and he picked Flash and Tony to go before me and Wade, and they brought up everything.

Weasel suddenly got the locker open, maybe a little louder than necessary. “Well, shit.” he muttered, handing Peter both backpacks. “That’s bad.”

“Yeah. I know.” Peter agreed.

Weasel sighed. “Wade’s totally getting expelled.”

“I hope not. He doesn’t deserve it.”

Weasel suddenly snorted, making Peter look over in surprise. “Oh no, he one-hundred percent deserves it. Do you know the shit he’s done? You should have seen Bob.

Peter rolled his eyes. “Fine, he doesn’t deserve it for this.

Weasel smiled and nodded. “Closer. Are you going back to the office?”

“Yeah, I have a feeling Wade will want to commit murder and I should probably stop him from doing that.”

Abruptly, the smile fell from Weasel’s face. He looked down at his feet.

Peter frowned. “What?”

“I–Sorry about earlier. I’m not a very good storyteller, I guess.” Weasel muttered, giving a laugh that didn’t have any humor behind it. “I really didn’t mean to freak you out like that.”

“You’re really not,” Peter agreed, “but it’s fine; Wade and I cleared it up.”


“Yeah, and he somehow managed to not make it sound like he murdered his dad.” Peter said, only a little bit salty.

“Yeah–my bad?” Weasel offered.

Peter just rolled his eyes. “Thanks for not losing my backpack, Weasel. And for finding Wade’s.”

Weasel shrugged. “No problem. Text me when you get your death sentence.”

Peter flipped him off as he walked away. As he turned the corner leaving Weasel and the math wing behind, his phone buzzed. He pulled out his phone and kept walking.

Nat: are you okay?

Peter huffed out an annoyed breath. He had sort of forgotten that Tony was probably going to tell everyone in the entire goddamn school.

Peter: How much did Tony tell you?

Nat: a lot

Nat: are you still trying to bang wilson?

Nat: er, wade wilson?

Peter widened his eyes maybe a little too much at his phone.

Peter: None of your business.

Nat: so yes

Nat: try not to die

Peter furrowed his eyebrows. He was expecting something more along the lines of ‘Wade is the spawn of Satan’, but this was...nicer.

Peter: I’ll do my best.

Nat: and maybe let him kill flash honestly the world would be better off

Peter: Noted, but I don’t think murder is the best route.

Nat: i mean

Peter: No.

Nat: lol fair enough

Peter smiled and put his phone away, then pulled open the door to the office. By pure coincidence, as soon as he did, Wade opened up the door to the Office of Doom and walked out, followed by the principal. Wade, surprisingly, didn’t look defeated or murderous like Peter would have expected; he just looked annoyed. He brightened when he saw Peter.

“Alright, Mr. Wilson, you can just wait here until the end of the day and wait for–ah, there he is.” Dr. Xavier finished as he noticed Peter as well.

Peter awkwardly waved with the hand not holding a backpack and walked over. Wade grinned at him.

Dr. Xavier looked them both over. “Well, I’m sure this had been a long day for everyone. There’s only a couple minutes left, boys, just wait it out here.” he said, then went back into his office.

After about three seconds of being alone, Peter groaned and shoved his face into his hands. “Oh my god.

Wade started to laugh. “So this was fun.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in my life. I think I’m going to have a headache until I die.”

Wade laughed. “Probably. Are you okay?”

Peter peeked out through his fingers. “Other than a now-constant anxiety sprouting from not knowing my punishment for this complete disaster, yes.”

“And your face?”

“Nah, that’ll be fine. You’ve hit it harder.” Peter joked, and Wade glared at him.


Peter grinned at him, putting his hands back at his sides. “Just for the record, this is by far the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me. Everyone here is bonkers.”

Wade shrugged. “Probably. I mean, Tony’s filthy rich so he just does whatever he wants, Weasel should probably be on the FBI’s most wanted list, and who knows what the fuck is wrong with Flash.”

“And you.” Peter added, because he’s an asshole.

“And me. I’m definitely the worst. Fights, threats, skipping, making out in the office...the list goes on.”

Peter frowned. “When have you ever made out in the office?” he asked, then it dawned on him.

Wade wiggled his eyebrows. “Right now.”

“No .

“Just once?”

No. ” Peter said with more determination.

“It’s been such a long day, spidey.”

Peter sighed. He looked around briefly, noting that the secretary still hadn’t looked up, then he grabbed Wade’s t-shirt and tugged him down to kiss him. It was short and most of it consisted of Wade making a funny mmph noise of surprise, but it still made Peter blush.

“Never again.” Peter said firmly, though he assumed the blush made it much less believable.

“Sure, sure.” Wade agreed with a stupid grin on his face. After a second, he frowned. “Hey, what are you gonna tell May?”

Peter’s face fell. Somehow, throughout everything today–which, good lord, today felt like it had taken three chapters to complete–he had forgotten about May. Or maybe he had just pushed it out of his mind temporarily. But oh god, he had to tell May.

Having a life had been nice while it lasted. Because even if he had survived all of this, he would not survive May.

“Oh my god, I’m going to die.”

Wade laughed. “Probably. At least I will, too.”

“That does not make it better!” Peter exclaimed.

There was a pause, long enough that Peter thought maybe the conversation was over. Then, out of nowhere:

“Can we at least make out in hell?”

And finally, after everything to happen today, the sound of Peter smacking his forehead is what made the secretary look up.

Chapter Text

In the end, no one dies, but Peter does get a week of out-of-school suspension and about a month of detention, along with required regular meetings with the guidance counselor to make sure no one tries to set him on fire in math class. It was definitely not something he wanted on his permanent record, and definitely not something that had been fun to explain to May.

Well, he’d had to explain half of it. They’d called her and told them everything they knew, but Peter was still left to explain how exactly Wade had gone from bully to...something else, and how exactly he had managed to get himself into four fights in a little over two months at a new school. It was arguably the worst night of his life. May was currently beyond furious at him–not just for getting suspended, but for keeping everything from her. Peter may have cried. Twice.

Wade–by some miracle–had somehow not gotten expelled. He and Flash both had two weeks suspension and double the detention Peter did, but they were both still enrolled. Though Peter hadn’t spoken to Flash, he was undoubtedly furious and would probably put up some sort of a fight about having equal punishment with Wade, and some part of him feared physical retaliation, but that could wait until Flash came back to school.

According to Nat, Tony had just gotten two week’s detention for knowing about it and not saying anything. His dad had taken his phone away for it, so Peter hadn’t really spoken to him, but he had a hunch that Tony would be saltier than any of them.

It wasn’t the best scenario, but it wasn’t the worst, either. Spending a week out of school would definitely be weird, but he’d live.

“Peter! I’m leaving!” May called from downstairs.

Speaking of suspensions, today was Peter’s first day of house arrest. Peter swung his legs off his bed and quickly trotted down the stairs. He wondered if May was still as mad as she had been last night when she’d started thinking of tasks for him to do while he was home.

May was swinging her work bag onto her shoulder and doing final touch-ups to her hair in the mirror in the living room when Peter came in. She didn’t look up. “Chore list is in the kitchen. If they’re not done, there will be hell to pay.” she snapped, turning around and angrily pointing at him.

So, May was definitely still pissed.

Peter nodded. “Yeah, I know. The–what am I cleaning today?”

May cocked an eyebrow. “The entire house.”

“The entire house will be spotless. ” Peter finished with a big, fake smile, only slightly freaking out at that answer.

May glared at him. “I’ll be back at five thirty. Don’t do anything stupid.”

Peter just nodded again, looking at his feet, and May seemed satisfied. She walked over, pressed an angry kiss to his bed-head, then left, leaving him alone.

Despite the fact that he had kind of started to look forward to spending an entire day alone, the instant the door closed, Peter wanted her to walk back in. When the door closed, it truly dawned on him that he was going to be completely alone for eight hours for the next five days.

This was going to be super, super boring.

Peter sighed and walked into the kitchen, feeling that standing in front of the door waiting for May to come back wouldn’t go very well for anyone. He grabbed a bowl and a box of probably artery-clogging cereal for breakfast, then picked up the list and looked it over. May wasn’t kidding; he had something to do in almost all areas of the house.

There wasn’t much sense in delaying it; Peter had never been much of a procrastinator. He ate his cereal, changed into shorts and an old t-shirt, hooked up his phone to a speaker to blast music throughout the house, and got to work.


The main problem with having no school for an entire week was realizing just how boring being alone was. In short bursts, it was fantastic, but Peter had done every chore on his list (and done them fantastically, thank you very much) and he still had nearly four hours until May got home, and he had no way to kill that time. He didn’t have much homework, he could only stare at the tv for so long before he felt like he was just wasting his time, and May had taken away his books for the week.

He was running out of ideas already and he was barely halfway through Monday.

Well, that wasn’t exactly true. He definitely had ideas on what to do, he just had no way to execute them. He didn’t have his license (or a car, for that matter) and May had forbade him from hanging out with his friends until the week was over. So even if he wanted to go grocery shopping or buy light bulbs to replace the dead one in the hallway, he couldn’t.

Being suspended really sucked.

Peter looked at the clock. Four hours to go.

After looking at the clock twice in five minutes and determining that yes, he still really had four hours to kill, Peter sighed, stood up from his spot on the couch and went upstairs to get his laptop. Since he needed it for school (and didn’t really use it for recreation all that much anyway), May had let him keep it for the week.

Though Peter couldn’t yet determine if it was a good thing or a bad thing, his photography project was due the Monday he went back to school. He was...excited, to say the least. Though it had taken getting punched twice, being kissed on his porch, and, in a way, getting suspended, Peter was proud of what it was turning out to be. All that was left to do was finish editing, set up an order, and he’d be ready to present everything on Monday.

Peter grinned as he pulled up his selection of pictures. He was pumped to present his project. Because he wasn’t just presenting to his class–he was presenting it to the whole school. All of the projects would be on display for the entire day in the art hallway, and according to Wade and Weasel, a lot of the teachers use it as an excuse to not teach for the day while they take all of their classes down to look at them.

Normally, presenting something Peter had made to the entire student body would make him shit his pants, but this was different. He was goddamn proud of this. He didn’t care who saw it, he was still going to be goddamn proud of it. And if Flash or anyone else tried to give him shit for it, Peter could just gently remind them of the subject of the project.

There were at least ten pictures of Wade in either a tank top or slightly-too-tight t-shirt. And one of his bloody knuckles after he beat the shit out of Flash, but Peter was still considering whether or not to include that on a school project. Maybe he could keep that one for himself. Either way, the message would get across.

After Peter had finished editing about ten photos, his phone buzzed.

Wade: i’ve already run out of things to do.

Peter grinned.

Peter: I ran out like an hour ago. I’m doing homework.

Wade: okay well i’m not THAT desperate but i am pretty desperate

Wade: how much you wanna bet i can get on the roof without a ladder

Peter: Nothing, because you’ll just use a trash can instead.

Wade: lame

Wade: but yeah

Peter rolled his eyes.

Peter: go read a book

Wade: you go read a book

Peter: I would if I could.

Wade: ….?????

Peter sighed at his screen, already accepting that he was never going to live this down.

Peter: May took my books away for the week.

There was a pause, and then Wade was calling him. Peter sighed again and answered. “Hello?”

He could barely get even that out before the sound of Wade’s laughter came bursting through the phone.

Wade. ” he tried after the laughter had gone on for nearly thirty seconds.

“I’m sorry, I just–she took your books away?” Wade managed between giggles.

“I like to read!” Peter defended, starting a whole new bout of laughter. This time, Peter laughed with him. “It’s not like I have much else to do.”

“But still–no books? Really?”

Peter had to pause again so Wade could laugh. “Was there another point to this phone call?” he huffed.

“Nope. Just to laugh at you.” Peter could picture his shit-eating grin.

“Right. Well, I’m going to go back to homework now, have fun killing yourself trying to get on your roof.”

Wade groaned. “Really? You’re picking homework over me?”

“Homework doesn’t laugh at me.” Peter pointed out. “If it helps, I’m picking homework that has your face all over it.”

“Well, that makes it slightly better.”

Peter smiled. “Is it just me, or is it weird that it’s due Monday? Like, it’s finally over.”

“Yeah, it almost feels like a book ending or something.” Wade agreed.

“Who would write a book about doing a photography project?” Peter asked, chuckling.

“It wouldn’t be about the project, it’d be about us. Obviously. A fantastic love story.”

“Love story?”

Wade hummed in agreement. “It’s how we met, sweetums .”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Alright, Romeo, calm down. I’m gonna work on this, you should do the same.”

Spidey ,” Wade stretched the word. “Don’t leave me alone. I’m so bored.”

“I believe in you. Bye, Wade.”


Peter hung up, knowing that Wade could easily keep talking for another hour. But he wanted to get work done, so that’s what he was going to do.

About ten seconds later, he got a text. Peter rolled his eyes, hoping Wade really wasn’t that desperate for entertainment.

To his surprise, it wasn’t from Wade.

Unknown number: Did he really get you suspended?

Peter froze for a good minute before he typed a response.

Peter: Who is this?

Unknown number: All he’s going to do is hurt you, Peter.

Peter could feel his heart getting slowly faster, like it was trying to copy the tempo of the Jaws theme. Anxiety and fear swelled in his chest, making him feel like he was drowning. Did they...know? He hadn’t told anyone other than Weasel, and he assumed Wade hadn’t, either. No one else could possibly know. He didn’t respond.

Unknown number: You deserve someone better than him.

It was getting a little bit harder to deny that no one else knew. But who else could know? More importantly, who knew who would do this?

Peter: Who is this?

Unknown number: Does it matter? I’m telling you the truth.

Peter would have laughed if he weren’t so close to pissing himself. It was probably the most condescending thing he’d ever heard.

Peter: You’re telling me an opinion.

Unknown number: An opinion shared by everyone except you. Doesn’t that say something?

Somewhere, deep in the horrible twisted mess of fear in Peter’s chest, something was starting to change. It wasn’t fear anymore, exactly. It was sharper, brighter. Like someone had lit a match in his chest.

A very small, very angry match.

Peter: No, it doesn’t. Leave me alone.

Unknown number: It should.

Unknown number: You can do so much better. You’ll see.

Peter paused, blinked. Reread the text again.

Peter: I’ll see?

Unknown number: You’ll see you can do better.

Peter: Did you consider that maybe I don’t want to do better?

Peter only has to assume that he either didn’t give the response they wanted or they got preoccupied in some other way, because there was no response. He waited five minutes, then ten, then twenty. Nothing.

Eventually, after about twenty-three minutes (not that Peter was counting or anything), he had to give up and move on to something else. Sitting around staring at a phone with zero new messages would get him nowhere.

He checked the clock. Three hours to go.

This was going to be a long, long week.

Chapter Text

Peter never thought he would be excited to be back in school, and yet, here he was, staring at the boring brick building like it was Buckingham Palace.

Today was finally not going to be a boring day.

“I never thought I’d be sort of excited to be here, ya know?” a voice suddenly said behind him, before a heavy arm wrapped around his shoulders.

“You should seriously consider a career as a psychic.” Peter said, smiling and looking up at Wade.


“Wade, how are you at school right now?”

Wade shrugged. “I have to set up the project, so I’m allowed to be here for an hour. It’s probably the stupidest plot device to get me here I’ve ever heard of.”

Peter nodded and decided to ignore that last part. “Fair enough. I think you could really have a career as a scary psychic.”

“The scar would totally sell it.” Wade agreed, smiling back down at him. “So, you ready for the big stupid fancy project thing?”

“I think you mean the big fancy epic project thing, and yes.”

Wade laughed, ruffled Peter’s hair, then let him go and started walking in. Grumbling and fixing his hair, Peter followed. About three seconds later, his smile re-appeared because nothing was going to ruin this day.

“You need shorter legs.” Peter said when he finally caught up.

“That could be arranged. How much do you think I would get for selling my shins?” Wade quipped.

Peter laughed, then paused, letting Wade get a few steps away. “Hey, Wade?”

Wade turned. “I think you forgot to walk.”

“Wade, seriously.”

Wade frowned and closed the distance. “What’s up?”

“I think I wanna tell people.”

Wade frowned a little harder. “Tell people…?”

Peter hesitated, struggled with words for a moment, then awkwardly gestured between them. Wade looked bewildered.

“Is your hand having a stroke?” he asked, cracking a smile.

Peter glared. “You know what? Forget it. FORGET IT.” he yelled, throwing his hands up and dramatically stormed away.

Wade caught his arm. “Alright, alright. Are you serious?”

Peter shrugged. “I mean, I’m annoyed at having to hide it, I’m about to present one hundred and fifty pictures of you to the entire school, and I know you can beat up anyone who says anything bad about it.”

Wade looked at him in shock for a second, then laughed. “Okay, I’m down. Oh, can I tell Flash? I wanna rub it in his face.”

“Is he here?” Peter asked, eyes going wide.

“Nah, I’m gonna write him a letter and leave it at his house.”

Peter raised an eyebrow. “That sounds suspiciously mellow.”

Wade shrugged. “The letter may be attached to a brick.”

Peter rolled his eyes. Above them, a warning bell rang out through the speaker system. Peter sighed. “Come on, let’s go set up out projects.”

“But I don’t wanna.” Wade complained.

“Well that’s unfortunate. ” Peter retorted in the same voice, then headed in the direction of the gallery and ignored Wade’s loud sound of protest. Eventually, he followed, and he only complained six times until they got there. They split up to their respective areas when they arrived and got to work.

Then, miraculously, forty-five minutes later, everything was set up. The pictures were in place, Peter had double-checked to make sure Wade’s pictures were all in place, and everything looked great. After Wade had managed to sneak in a kiss before he left, there was nothing left to do but go back to class and try not to think about the fact that almost everyone in school was about to see his heart and soul on display.

Despite the fact that it should be terrifying, he wasn’t nervous at all. He couldn’t wait for his friends to see it. Not to mention he could finally stop trying to hide Wade from all of them. For once, he was excited for a school day and nothing could mess it up.

Nothing was going to ruin this day.


Sam: if other Wilson dumps you, can I punch him in the face?

Peter: Sure, but be warned, he likes revenge.


Bruce: You’re dating Wilson? Officially?

Peter: Yep.

Bruce: Didn’t he punch you in the face?

Peter: Yep.

Bruce: Right. Have fun.


Weasel: yours is better

Weasel: bloody knuckles was my favorite

Weasel: next time add more blood

Peter: Noted.


Clint: it’s about time you got some ass

Peter: Thanks, Clint.

Natasha: I’m proud of you.

Peter: Thank you.

“So? How’s the porn show going?”

Peter choked on his water. “Never call it that again. Ever.”

Weasel snorted and ate a fry. “I mean, there were pictures of Wade everywhere.

“But he wasn’t naked! ” Peter exclaimed, feeling his cheeks get hot.

“Aw, you’re blushing!”

Peter glared. “I hate you.”

Weasel grinned. “I know. Seriously though, how do people like the porn gallery?”

Peter huffed out a breath through his nose, deciding to just ignore it and move on because Weasel was not going to ruin this day. “I think it’s going okay. No one’s set it on fire yet, so I’m taking that as a good sign.”

“That’s good. I think my class is going down there next hour to take a look for the third time today.”

“Don’t set it on fire.”

“I’ll do my best. Oh, and does it–I mean–how do I put this...lightly...” Weasel trailed off.

Peter made a gesture for him to go on. “Yes?”

“Were you planning on still hiding the fact that you and Wade are doing it?” Weasel blurted, apparently throwing ‘lightly’ out  the window. “Because it does a terrible job.”

Peter took a moment to shove down the urge to slap him. “We are not doing it. And it doesn’t. Hide it, I mean. We’re–um–kind of done with the secret thing. I don’t really care anymore, and Wade never did, and I’m fairly sure Wade managed to sneak in a photo of him kissing my cheek somewhere, so I’m just kind of saying screw it.”

Weasel seemed impressed. “Good for you, man. Not afraid of Flash anymore?”



Peter shrugged. “He’ll get over it. Probably. Or if he doesn’t, Natasha will force him to.”

Weasel nodded. “That sounds about right. Who knows so far?”

“Most of Tony’s group has sent me something about it, mainly just excluding Tony. I’m expecting something in person and probably angry from him.”

“He does have a flair for the dramatic .” Weasel said, striking a dramatic pose with his arm over his face.

Peter laughed. “Yeah, I’ve got him in class next period. It should be...something.”

Weasel gave him a pat on the shoulder. “It’s probably gonna suck. Just try not to let it ruin your day, alright?”

Peter smiled. “I’ll do my best.”


Three hours after setting it up, Peter was finding he was still proud of his project. Since it was set up to portray Wade and his personality, his layout had ended up slightly disheveled, but all the pictures were still visible and everything still made sense. Pictures that involved more of Wade’s face–like the one where he was sticking out his tongue and reaching out to push Peter’s camera away–were more centered towards the middle, and the ones more focused on environment–like the one of Wade lounging on his bed with a comic of some superhero wearing red and black who Peter had never heard of–were more towards the outside.

Looking at it again, it was nearly impossible to not notice that Peter was dating Wade. Or, at the very least, that he liked him. A surprising amount of the pictures were centered around a muscular part of Wade, or showed Wade giving him one of those smiles he loved so much, or a picture of the two of them that was just a little too close to be considered platonic.

That, and there was one very clear picture of the time Wade had fallen asleep with his head on Peter’s chest. That one kind of made it obvious.

Wade’s project, to Peter’s slight surprise, was pretty put together. It wasn’t necessarily Peter’s favorite thing in the world to look at (it was completely covered in his face, after all), but it was well done. Nearly half of them, Peter was discovering, he didn’t even remember Wade taking. One of him reading a book here, another of him staring at his camera with his tongue out there. It was a little strange that Peter didn’t remember those at all, but then again, he did look very interested in his camera. Maybe he was just less observant than he thought.

Upon getting a better look at the display, Peter was realizing that maybe Wade was being slightly less subtle about their relationship than Wade had been.

If Peter’s display had been softly hinting that he and Wade were a thing, Wade’s display was screaming it from the rooftops.

About a quarter of the photos were of Peter making goofy faces at the camera. There was one of him sound asleep in Wade’s lap from the first time Wade came over and met May. At least fifteen were scattered around of Wade hugging Peter in some way.

And smack-dab in the middle of everything was a picture Peter had taken of himself. Slightly blurry, slightly tilted. His tongue was sticking out. An enormous, ugly, purple bruise was splattered across his face. It was probably the most unflattering picture of him here.

But it was undoubtedly his favorite.

It was the picture that had started everything all those weeks ago. The first nice thing Peter had done for Wade to try and make things better. The first time he’d ever made Wade really smile.

That was probably when Peter had first realized that Wade wasn’t such a douchebag after all.

He’d honestly forgotten about it, it was so long ago. But now that he was here, seeing it again, he couldn’t stop staring at what had to be the worst photo of him in existence and wondering how hard it would be to get a copy and frame it.

“That picture is really, really bad.” a voice suddenly said behind him, cutting through his thoughts.

Peter jumped and turned around. “Oh, hey.”

Tony gave him an only slightly-awkward smile. “Welcome back.”

“Thanks. And yeah, I agree, it really is awful.” Peter winced at the picture, suddenly realizing that half the school had probably seen it by now.

“For the record, I totally saw it coming.” Tony blurted after a silence had settled between them.


“This whole thing.” Tony said, gesturing vaguely at Wade’s project. “Hugging. Canoodling. Really bad selfies.”

Peter chuckled. “Dating?”

Tony scrunched up his nose. “That’s a gross word.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “Well, unfortunately, that’s what it is.”

Tony fell silent at that, and after a moment, Peter did, too. They both looked at the displays for a minute before either of them spoke again.

“So, that’s what it is, then? It’s a serious thing?” Tony asked quietly.

“Yeah, it is. It has been for a while, actually.” Peter admitted.

Tony nodded. “Not gonna lie, I’m not a fan.”

“Wow, I never would have guessed that!” Peter with sarcastic surprise.

“Ha-ha.” Tony stuck his tongue out at him. “Don’t expect me to invite him to anything anytime soon.”

Peter snorted. “Even if you did, he wouldn’t show up.”

Tony shrugged. “Fair enough. Should I remind you this will probably end in flames?”


“Noted. Am I allowed to send Sam and Bucky after him when you inevitably break up in a horrible way?”

Peter sighed. “ No. Sam already asked, anyway. He can send himself.”

Tony grinned. “Good to know. Well, if any of that changes, let me know. I’m gonna go look at the project full of awkward cleavage shots.”

Peter laughed and watched him walk away with a slight spring in his step. He turned back to look at Wade’s project again. About thirty seconds later, his phone buzzed.

Unknown number: Now that he’s gone, feeling up for a trip to the photography room?

Peter froze. He looked up from his phone and looked at everyone in the room. Unfortunately, it was a room completely full with people and about a third of them were on their phones. None of them were looking at him.

He looked back at his phone. He didn’t know what to do. Did he respond? Did he just let it go? If he did respond, what did he even say?

He reread the message again. It was bait. It was painfully obvious it was bait. Peter just didn’t know what it was bait for.

A good eighty percent of his being wanted to never respond to this number ever again and just let it die out. He was graduating in a little over a year, and chances were, whatever this was, it couldn’t possibly last that long.

Unfortunately, the other twenty percent of him really didn’t want to have to deal with this anymore. He was sick of having a vague fear of his phone and he didn’t want it to have to last until he graduated.

Peter clenched his jaw, huffed a breath out of his nose, and typed a response.

Peter: Why should I?

To Peter’s extreme annoyance, he didn’t get a response. He waited for ten minutes (and probably checked his phone about twenty times over that time), but got nothing. It was infuriating.

When the tenth minute finally ticked by, Peter had pretty much lost all of his patience. He looked around the room one more time. No one was looking at him. Tony caught his eye once and looked concerned, but Peter shook his head and looked back down at his phone. No response.

Peter debated what to do. He could just ignore it. It would nag at him all day and probably make him paranoid, but he could ignore it.

Then would ruin his day. And whoever this was had no right to ruin his day. It had been such a good day. This asshole shouldn’t get to ruin it with one text.

No, they didn’t get to do that. They didn’t get to mess up his day. Peter could handle whatever the hell was in the photography room, and he was still going to have a good day. He had absolutely no reason to be scared. He had survived telling the entire school he was dating Wade; how much worse could this possibly be?

Peter glanced around the room one last time, this time not looking for suspicious characters, but to make sure no one was paying much attention to him. Tony had his back turned to him.

He shoved his phone in his pocket and started to weave his way through the crowd and out of the room. Once he was out, he looked around, made sure no teachers were around, then he set off towards the photography room.

It only took him a couple minutes to get there. As he walked, he found himself increasingly paranoid, but somehow, no less determined. He didn’t even care what was behind the door. He just wanted it to be over.

When he arrived, he reached for the handle, then hesitated. His hand hovered over it for just a second, just one second of hesitation before he made his decision, grabbed the handle, and opened the door. He wasn’t scared. He could do this.

He took a breath, pulled the door all the way open, and stepped inside.

And he was horrified.

It was everywhere. It was everywhere.

Peter was everywhere.

He was all over the walls. Taped to the dry erase board. Scattered all over the tables. Everywhere he looked, he saw himself.

The entire photography room was covered in pictures of Peter. And it was horrifying. It was the most terrifying thing he’d ever seen. It made every horror movie he’d ever seen combined seem like an internet video of kittens.

In almost all of the pictures, it was obvious Peter didn’t know they were being taken. A snapshot from across the cafeteria of him and Weasel looking at Weasel’s phone. A lot of the back of Peter’s head when he was in class. It was like being trapped in a room of the world’s worst mirrors.

At the sound of the door opening, the kid perched on top of a table near the back of the room looked up from his camera, blonde hair flopping into his face. When he saw Peter, his face lit up. “Peter! Hey!” he exclaimed, hopping up.

Peter immediately stepped back. He recognized the kid, but he couldn’t remember his name or where exactly he’d seen him.

Then, after a moment, it clicked.


Eddie’s smile grew wider. “You remembered!” he said, then gestured around the room. “So, what do you think? Way better than Wade’s .” he said the last word like it left a bad taste in his mouth.

Peter immediately took another step back. This was not happening. This was not happening.

The more he looked at Eddie’s face, the more he realized how much he’d been seeing it around. He sat two desks to Peter’s left in math. His lunch table was just to the right of Peter and Weasel’s.

Eddie sat behind him in photography class.

Suddenly, that text from his first day flashed back to him. Nighty night, spidey. Peter had always thought that had been Wade, somehow. He was the only one who had ever called him “spidey”.

But it hadn’t been someone who’d called him spidey. It had been someone who had overheard it.

“What–” Peter started, but it came out terrified, so he cleared his throat and tried again. “What is this?”

Eddie frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I don’t–it’s–it’s been you this whole time?” Peter stammered.

“Well, yeah.” Eddie shrugged, and it looked strangely bashful and disturbing at the same time. “I didn’t have the confidence to come talk to you, so I got your number and tried to do it that way, but you never texted me back…” he trailed off for a minute, and the smile fell from his face. “And then you got partnered up with him and everything fell apart.”

Peter tried desperately to keep the fear off of his face and was pretty sure he was failing. He couldn’t stop looking at himself splattered across the walls. “What?”

“He hurt you, Peter!” Eddie suddenly exclaimed, and Peter flinched. “He hit you! Twice! And then you–you started dating him? Who does that?”

“I–I don’t–” Peter tried. “I’m–sorry?”

“You don’t have to be sorry. ” Eddie said, like it was the most ridiculous thing in the world. “Just break up with him and get over this weird stockholm syndrome thing you’ve got going on.”

Peter suddenly snapped his gaze away from the wall and back at Eddie. “What?”

“He’s obviously bad for you. Just break up with him.”

“! No. I’m not going to break up with him.”

Eddie gave him a funny look. “Why not? He’s wrong for you!”

Peter shook his head. “That’s not your decision to make.”

“Yes, it is! ” Eddie exclaimed, taking a large step towards Peter. “Look around!” he gestured all around him. “I did all of this for you! I wasn’t even your partner and I still did better than he did. I know you, Peter. I get you. In a way that Wade never could.”

“No, you don’t.” Peter said, stepping back.

“Yes, I do!” Eddie countered, closing the distance between them again.

“No, you don’t! ” Peter yelled and shoved him away. “This–” he gestured wildly around the room, “–this is crazy! It’s not ‘getting to know me’, it’s taking pictures of me without my permission for weeks! How can you–how can you not see the difference?”

Eddie deflated, looking down at his feet. “What are you saying?” he asked quietly.

Peter took another small step back. “I’m not breaking up with Wade. Take all of these down, delete them, and leave me alone.”

Eddie’s gaze shifted back up to Peter. “You can’t do that.”

Peter raised a cautious eyebrow. “Can’t do what?”

“You can’t go back to him !” Eddie shouted. “We’re meant to be together! Not you and him. Us!

Peter was really starting to regret his decision to not ignore the text. He started to slowly start to make his way back to the door. “Look, I’m sorry, but we’re not –”

“Are you trying to leave?

Peter froze. “...No?”

Something alarmingly close to rage flashed across Eddie’s face. “We’re not done talking, Peter. We’re not done until you agree that Wade is wrong for you.”

Peter took another step back. He was practically at the door now. “No, I think we’re gonna be done now . Please never speak to me again.”

Eddie looked angrier. Peter had that anxious, icky feeling that he usually got before someone punched him.

He honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Eddie punched him.

“Peter, you can’t just–you can’t just walk away from this.”

Peter’s hand wrapped around the door handle. “Actually, I can.” he said, then turned it and booked it–

–and smacked straight into Mr. Summers’ chest. After both of them made an awkward “oof” sound, Mr. Summers looked down at him, confused. “Peter? What are you doing here?”

Peter had never been so relieved to see those ugly red sunglasses. “Please take me back to the displays. Or to the principal’s office if I’m in trouble. Anywhere but here.”

Mr. Summers only got more confused. “What? What are you talking ab–Eddie?” he suddenly asked, after taking a step past Peter into the room. “Why are you here with…” he trailed off, seeing everything in the room. Eddie suddenly went pale.

Mr. Summers spent about a solid minute looking at everything. No one moved, until finally, Mr. Summers leaned down to Peter and quietly asked, “What is this?”

“I honestly don’t know.” Peter replied just as quietly. “But I didn’t know he was taking any of these, and I’m slightly concerned he’s going to hit me.”

Mr. Summers slowly nodded, seeming to try and decide what to do. “Go back to the displays. I’ll take him to the principal’s office, and we can get everything worked out.”

Peter nodded once, waited for Mr. Summers to block Eddie’s path to him, then took off down the hall full speed and didn’t look back.


“Peter, where have you–what happened to you?” Tony asked when Peter came running up to him extremely out of breath.

“I think I just confronted someone who’s been stalking me, I think. No, I don’t think. I know. They were stalking me.”

Tony’s eyes went wide. “What?”

Peter ran a hand through his hair and tried to get his breathing under control. “There were pictures everywhere, Tony. All of me. I didn’t even–I didn’t even see him take them…” he trailed off, voice cracking.

Tony gently put a hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Peter, what happened?”

“I don’t know! ” Peter exclaimed, and suddenly it was like a dam broke. All at once, everything crazy that had just happened crashed down on him. He felt tears prick at the corners of his eyes and he felt himself start to panic.

Tony seemed to feel it, too. “Okay, okay. Never mind. Um, let’s go to the bathroom, alright?” he said gently, then quickly started pushing Peter out of the crowd until they reached the bathroom.

As soon as the door closed, Peter immediately started sobbing. It had to be at least two minutes before he could even begin to think about explaining anything to Tony, who just sat quietly next to him and let him get through it. A couple people tried to get in, but Tony was quick to kick them out.

About five minutes later, Peter had calmed down enough to try talking. When he looked up at Tony with puffy eyes, Tony had a look of interest on his face that was badly trying to mask the fact that he was very interested in what Peter was about to say.

After taking a few breaths purely to calm himself down, Peter decided to keep it short. “Someone’s been stalking me, and they confronted me about ten minutes ago.”

Tony obviously had a million responses to that, and struggled for a second before he settled on, “Are you okay?”

No. ” Peter immediately responded. “You should have seen the room. There had to have been at least two hundred pictures of me, and I didn’t remember him taking any of them.”

Tony’s eyes went impossibly wider. “ What?

Peter nodded. “I think it was meant to be a mock photography project. I don’t really know. He wanted me to break up with Wade.”

Tony, to Peter’s surprise, nodded. “He said something about being with you, too, right?”

Peter frowned at him. “Uh, yeah. How did you know that?”

“That’s usually how it goes. Stalkers get obsessed, their reality changes, and then it all comes crashing down.” When Peter only looked more confused, Tony clarified, “We did a unit on it in psych class.”

“Oh.” Peter said, understanding. “Well, yeah. That’s what happened.”

Tony nodded, then they sat in silence for a few moments before he spoke again. “So, Summers saw all two hundred pictures of you?”

Peter nodded back. “Yeah. Said he was gonna take the kid to the principal’s office.”

“Oh, fun. Bet you can’t wait to get back there.”

Peter groaned. “It’s my first day back.

Tony laughed. “Yeah, it went pretty well for you, didn’t it?”

“It was supposed to be a good day.” Peter said, letting his head thunk against the wall behind him.

“It still could be.” Tony replied, and Peter looked at him in surprise. “I mean, it would be a lot worse if Summers hadn’t shown up. But he did. So it can be over.”

Peter hadn’t really thought of it like that. Tony had a point; it could finally be over.

“Or, if they don’t punish him, you could always have your boyfriend murder him.”

Peter rolled his eyes and shoved Tony as he started to laugh.. “Ha-ha. Hilarious.”

Just as Tony was about to respond with something snarky, the door opened. Tony got up to shoo away the intruder, but it was Mr. Summers who was poking his head in. “Oh, there you are, Peter. Mind taking a walk with me to the principal’s office?”

“Do I really have a choice?” Peter asked as Tony quietly snuck out around Mr. Summers.

“Not really, no. But you’re not in trouble, if that helps..” Mr. Summers said with a slightly-too-eager smile and a thumbs-up.

“I don’t really know if it does.” Peter muttered under his breath as he stood up and exited the bathroom.

As they started to walk back to the horrible, evil Office of Doom, they walked by the projects again, and Peter’s eye found Wade’s project.

He saw the pictures of himself and suddenly, the whole thing was ruined for him. He couldn’t look at it anymore. Some part of him wondered if he’d ever be able to look at a picture of himself again without having to think of this shitshow of a day. It was probably for the best that he wasn’t a huge fan of selfies.

He sighed as he walked by, keeping his gaze to his feet. He was supposed to love Wade’s project. It wasn’t supposed to make him want to throw up.

This was supposed to be his day to not worry about anything and just enjoy everything. And now, it was ruined. It was completely ruined.

Nothing could ever fix this day.


“Mr. Parker, I’m very sorry that you have to be in here so soon.” Dr. Xavier started, folding his hands on his desk. “From what we’ve seen so far, it doesn’t seem like any of this is your fault, but unfortunately, I still have to get your side of the story.”

Peter sighed. “Yeah, I know.”

“So, when did everything begin with Mr. Brock?” the principal asked, and it took Peter a moment to realize that was Eddie. Peter didn’t even know his last name.

“The first day I came to school.” Peter answered.

Dr. Xavier looked at him in shock. “Your first day? Why didn’t we hear of this sooner?”

“Because it was just that day, it was only one text, and I thought it was someone else at first. He only texted me again several weeks later, then again last week, and then today, he...well.”

“Made the display in the photography room, yes.” Dr. Xavier finished, nodding. “Mr. Summers is currently in the process of taking that down.”

Peter nodded, and stopped himself from asking if they could burn the whole thing. “Okay.”

“How well did you know Mr. Brock before this incident?”

“I didn’t even know his last name until you said it.” Peter admitted.

Dr. Xavier seemed surprised. “You aren’t friends?”

Peter frowned. “No?”

“Mr. Brock led me to believe that you two were close.”

Peter felt his eyes go wide. “ What?

“I had a feeling he may have exaggerated, but I didn’t realize how much. Peter, we think Mr. Brock may have been stalking you, and led himself to believe you were much closer than you truly were.”

NO SHIT. “Oh, really?” Peter said, desperately trying to keep sarcasm out of his voice.

Dr. Xavier nodded, apparently not noticing anything. “We think all of the pictures he took were taken here on campus, but if we find any that aren’t, we may have to get the police involved.”

“Wait, what? No, I–I don’t want that.” Peter said, shaking his head.

“Well, Mr. Parker, it may not be up to–”

“Just make him leave me alone from now on. That’s it. I don’t care about anything else, just make him leave me alone.”

Dr. Xavier hesitated. “Alright, Mr. Parker. We can work something out. We’ve called your aunt, and she told us she would arrive soon. Why don’t we wait for her and make a plan for how to deal with it?”

Peter was beginning to suspect he didn’t really have a choice.


“Peter, sweetheart, do you want to go get some rest? I still have some work to do, so you can go take a nap if you’d like.” May said as they walked through the front door.

“No, I’m good.” Peter replied. He was exhausted from the hour long discussion between May, Peter, and Dr. Xavier, but he didn’t want to go to sleep. He was vaguely afraid that he wouldn’t be able to sleep for a while. “Would it–would it be okay if I had Wade over?”

May debated for a moment before she nodded. Apparently the pity for Peter’s rough day was working wonders. “Not for too long, though.”

Peter nodded, then watched her retreat upstairs to do her work. When she was gone, he pulled out his phone and called Wade. He picked up on the second ring.

“Aren’t you supposed to be at school?” Wade mumbled through the phone. It sounded like he’d been asleep.

“It’s like one in the afternoon, shouldn’t you be awake?” Peter retorted, smiling.

“Touché. What’s up?”

“Can you come over? I got sent home.”

There was some rustling on Wade’s end. “What? Seriously? For what?”

“Remember that weird creepy texter person?” Peter asked. “From lunch a few weeks back?”

Wade paused. “Yeah,” he said slowly, like he was suspicious. “What happened?”

“I’ll explain when you get here, just–can you come over?”

“I’ll be right there.” Wade said, and hung up.

Then, fifteen minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Peter bolted from his spot on the couch, threw the door open, and practically crushed Wade in a hug, ignoring the loud oof sound of all the air leaving Wade’s chest.

“Holy–what happened to you?” Wade asked, sounding very concerned. Peter just shook his head, not wanting to speak for a minute, and after a moment, Wade’s arms wrapped around him and held him just as tight as Peter was squeezing him.

Wade didn’t let go until Peter did. Peter wasn’t really sure how long they were standing there, awkwardly hugging on his front porch, but he was grateful that Wade just...let it happen.

Eventually, Peter did let go, and they went inside and sat down on the couch. After Peter situated himself on the couch so he was cuddled up to Wade’s side, he took a breath, wrapped his arm around Wade’s middle, and told him everything that happened.

Wade sat silent for a moment, processing, before he spoke. “So, it was the kid who sat behind us? The whole time?”

Peter nodded. “Yep.”

“And now he’s–what, suspended?”

Peter shrugged. “I think so. The principal said they were considering even something like expulsion, which I think might be a little much, but they’re still deciding what to do.”

Wade whistled. “Fun. Are you okay?”

“No.” Peter answered, and grabbed on to him just a little tighter.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, Peter enjoying just being held for a little while. It was Wade who eventually broke the silence.

“I think it’s good this happened.”


“Okay, not like–that this psycho did this to you, but that he was stupid enough to do what he did and get caught. It’s over. He can’t try anything anymore–you know who he is.”

“That’s kind of what Tony said, actually.” Peter said, surprised that they had thought of the same thing.

“Well, for once, he’s right.” Wade admitted. “Like, this was probably the worst day you’ll ever have in high school, but it’s over. And you don’t have to worry about him anymore.”

Peter smiled. “I like thinking about it like that.”

Wade smiled back. “Good.”

They fell back into silence again, but this time it was different. Peter felt happier, like he could finally close a bad chapter on his life. Wade was right; Eddie couldn’t ever bother him again. And since he had shown his project today, he didn’t have to hide Wade from anyone anymore.

Eddie had ruined his day. Peter gave him that. He had taken his good day and thrown it into a blender.

But Wade had done the impossible and put it back together. And Peter didn’t have to hide that from anyone. It was...strangely freeing. He wasn’t afraid of anything anymore.

Things could actually get better, and this time, nothing could ruin them.

Peter smiled to himself and snuggled further into Wade’s side. In response, Wade wrapped his arm around him a little tighter and shifted to make both of them more comfortable.

Yeah, he was going to be just fine.



“Wade, where are you? You’re late, and I’m starting to worry you stood me up. Call me back.” Peter said into Wade’s voicemail, making it the third one in ten minutes.

Suddenly, a gloved hand went over Peter’s eyes, scaring the living daylights out of him. “Guess who?”

“Oh my god, Wade, don’t do that!” Peter exclaimed, shoving the hand away and turning around to see Wade grinning at him.

Wade leaned in and pecked him on the cheek in greeting. “Sorry I’m late. I had to get your present!”

“My what? What did you–” Peter stopped, seeing the bag Wade was holding in his other hand. “Is that a fish?

“Yeah!” Wade said cheerfully, holding up the bag with a goldfish in it. “I thought it was appropriate.”

“Wade. We’re at an aquarium.

Wade seemed confused. “And?”

“You don’t just get to bring your own fish! What am I even supposed to do with it?”

Wade thought about it. “Wanna go feed it to a whale?”

Peter rolled his eyes. “I don’t even think they have whales.”

“Well that’s lame. I’m gonna go try anyway.” Wade announced, then turned and started to go off in search of a whale.

“No you will not –Wade!” Peter exclaimed when Wade took off as Peter tried to stop him.

Peter sighed and ran after him. When he finally caught up, he found Wade staring open-mouthed at an enormous fish tank full of tropical fish.

“I wanna be a fish.” Wade said when Peter walked up next to him.

“Of course you do.” Peter replied, still out of breath.

Wade looked over at him and grinned, then held out the fish. “Happy anniversary.”

Peter smiled back, accepting the gift. One year, and he still found Wade’s stupid antics just as endearing.

“Happy anniversary, Wade.”