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But Today My Heart Swings

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There’s snow drifting in through the broken windows that empty out onto the vacant loading docks illuminated by dim streetlights. November is a little early for snow, even in the Northeast where the weather seems to do whatever it wants whenever it wants, but the novelty of the first year’s snow is lost on Peter. He hears the crunch of glass underfoot from the window he broke, littered on the floor of the warehouse he shouldn’t be in in an area of upper bay he’s never been before. There are sounds from outside the building that could be close or could be far; he hears a police siren that sounds like it’s heading in the opposite direction that gets drowned out by the sound of the warehouse door crashing to the floor in a flurry of dust and splinters. There’s the distinct cacophony of gunfire and yelling around him that bounces off the metal walls until he can’t discern how far away anyone is or even how many people are rushing towards the katana wielding madman who apparently got tired of waiting for the party and brought the party to them.

The moment Deadpool kicks the warehouse door down, boots trailing bloody footprints and with three bullet holes already clear through his left shoulder, Peter knows he’s fucked up. Before the mercenary’s grand entrance there had still been some irrational part of Peter’s subconscious that would have swore up and down that he totally still had this entire thing under control. He’s been tied to a metal chair, bleeding out of the gash they left on his side, for an indiscernible amount of time and he can’t remember the last time his ears were ringing this badly, but he totally still had it under control. The threshold for his mistakes should probably be smaller at this point, but even he has to admit that when Deadpool shows up things are probably about as bad as they’re going to get.

Peter had sort of made Happy a promise to lay low and keep himself out of city-destroying trouble  and, while he thinks he could argue about the details of that promise until he’s blue in the face, he’s pretty sure this is the exact opposite of “laying low.” Karen would tell him the definition of “laying low” and precisely how he’s fucked this night up, but she’s in his mask and he’s pretty sure they destroyed that sometime between taking turns bruising his face and injecting him with their science experiment of the day. She would probably also give him some fairly concerning information regarding the exact amount of blood he’s lost and how blood is required for squishy humans to live, but she can’t so he’s going to pretend everything is fine. Anyway he slices it there’s no real denying the difference between stopping little old ladies from getting mugged in dark alleys and getting kidnapped by the drug lord he wasn’t even supposed to be tailing for the last two weeks. This isn’t even anywhere near his own neighborhood - or even anywhere he’s that familiar with - but he’d managed to get the warehouse location out of a particularly mouthy goon and sitting on that information and doing nothing had felt crazy when he knows how dangerous the chemicals these guys distribute are.

Peter doesn’t really have any idea how long he’s been tied to this metal chair or how long he’s been bleeding. He’s lightheaded, and feels mildly delirious from both panic and blood loss, and his accelerated healing has apparently taken a sabbatical because he hasn’t seen or heard from it in however-agonizingly-long he’s been here. There are two sloppy puncture wounds on his upper arm and he’s a little apprehensive about the fact they have probably injected him with the very same drugs he had intended to stop them from distributing in the first place. There’s a really good chance that whatever drug they injected him with is messing with his ability to heal himself; there’s a really good chance that whatever they’ve injected him with is the reason he feels like peeling his skin away from his bones piece by piece.

There is a spreading puddle of gore and blood trailing to the floor grate in the center of the room and Peter thinks it says a lot about his current state of well being that he doesn’t feel bile rising up in the back of his throat like normal. It probably says a lot about his current state that seeing Deadpool brings him some sense of relief instead of hesitant trepidation. Although he knows there’s a really good chance that Deadpool is probably angry, since he’d been tracking this operation for weeks before Peter had gotten involved and Peter had promised that he would keep him in the loop. This is probably one of those shows of trust that Peter has invariably messed up without intending to. He should really stop promising people that he’s not going to do dangerously stupid things on a whim.

“What did I fucking say?!” Deadpool yells from across the room as though on cue, skewering someone in a lab coat with one katana like they’re made of paper and flinging the second katana through the eye socket of an approaching goon wielding nunchucks. “‘ Don’t go into the drug lord’s sex den without me.’ I was very specific!”

Okay, definitely angry. That’s probably not a good sign. That’s probably pretty high up there on the list of things he definitely doesn’t need to make his evening worse. He thinks he should be angry at himself too for being so reckless, for trying to do too much, but he’s not. He should be angry he got himself caught, that he’s still so green that some mobsters on patrol can still get the jump on him, but he’s not angry. His heart is beating frantically, his pulse racing, and he realizes, almost hysterically, that he might be afraid. He’s almost one hundred percent sure that the Avengers do not get scared in the middle of battle - that they don’t let nameless goons get the jump on them in the first place - but that thought doesn’t do anything to calm him down. He’s pretty sure the Avengers don’t accidentally almost become sex slaves.

Stupid, ’ Peter thinks, for the hundredth time that evening. ‘ You should have just stayed home tonight.

Something rolls against the leg of the chair he’s strapped to and Peter diligently does not look at it, but he’s pretty sure that it’s a severed head. He swallows around the thickness in his throat and closes his eyes; it does nothing to alleviate the ringing in his ears and the pounding in his head that he can’t seem to shake. He tries to focus just on breathing, tries to calm down his already over-stimulated senses that are going haywire. The metal of the chair is cold against where it’s digging into his arms, but the feeling of feverish pressure building in his head, in the base of his throat, makes his entire body feel like he’s been lit on fire; the swell of panic he continues to swallow heavily around isn’t getting better. The sound of mayhem around him has quieted, but there’s still a surplus of adrenaline running through him, coupled with whatever they injected him with that is totally messing with his senses, and he’s trying his best to just remain calm - to just breathe.

“Spidey, did you know your insides are on your outsides?” Deadpool asks from much closer and the grimy, bloody fingertips of his gloved hands are in Peter’s hair, pulling his head back to maybe make sure he’s still conscious - still alive - and the panic Peter’s been trying to contain leaps into his throat along with his heart. He should jerk away immediately and make at least some effort to hide his face, but it’s not like there’s anywhere from him to go and he finds that he’s frozen in place regardless, watching the shift of expression in Deadpool’s mask change to something indiscernible. This is definitely not laying low.

Deadpool flexes his fingers momentarily - maybe in surprise, maybe something else entirely - and the tightening of the hand in his hair sends a strange pulse of pain through Peter’s skull and down his spine that isn’t pain at all. He feels the static shock of it all the way into his fingertips, like a live wire he shouldn’t have touched, and, because the situation is truly not embarrassing enough as it is, Peter gasps loud enough that he’s for sure everyone in New York must be able to hear him. He feels the flush flooding his cheeks immediately and tries desperately to will the floor to open up and swallow him whole.

“Well don’t you look like the poster child for an after school special?” Wade continues, a little too  merrily, like he’s determined to ignore the several elephants in the room that are threatening to trample over him at a moment’s notice. He untangles his fingers from Peter’s hair and moves behind the chair to cut his arms free. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to take candy from strangers?”

“Dude, can we please have this conversation another time?” Peter asks, tense with humiliation and from the pain pulsing from his side. He almost falls out of the chair once his arms are untied, but Deadpool’s hand is on his shoulder, steadying him from where he’s begun to sway, and Peter tries to ignore the warmth of him. “Or maybe never. Never would be best.”

There’s a tightness in Wade’s movements, in his words, that Peter doesn’t think he’s imagining; so that means Wade is pissed and he doesn’t have any idea what to do with that in his current state; he barely knows how to deal with Deadpool when he’s at full health and in his own element.

Wade kneels beside him and holds up a hand where two fingers are missing, bloody and severed at the knuckle, and says, “How many fingers am I holding up?”

Peter’s stomach turns again, but he breathes through his nose and says, “I think I’ve been drugged.”

“Bzzt. Wrong. The correct answer is three.”

He jerks instinctively the moment he feels Deadpool’s hand curl around his arm, but there’s nowhere to go other than onto his head on the floor, and Wade’s grip keeps him upright regardless. He struggles to keep breathing normally, to not do anything else to make his situation a thousand times worse, but Wade’s hands on him feel like brands he can’t ignore.

“I thought you were a card carrying member of the Avengers club now, Spidey. If I were you I might complain about their roadside assistance.”

Despite the splintering pain in his side - in his head, in his chest - Peter manages to not puke all over both of them. “Yeah, well, I might have disabled the tracker in my suit.”

“That sounds super smart,” Deadpool replies, low and thoughtful, and Peter doesn’t punch him in the jaw when he slides an arm underneath his legs and picks him up like he weighs nothing. He’s unnaturally warm and his suit is slick with blood, some his own and some from the men he’s left littering the room; the bullet holes aren’t bleeding any longer but have left the mess of his shoulder sticky and dark. Peter tries to focus on breathing, on staying awake, and not on how he can feel the muscles in Wade’s arm move - not on how he can distinctly feel every press of the fingers curled around his upper thigh. It should be impossible to ignore the hole they left in his side, but there’s something to be said about the teenage brain’s ability to ignore the danger, and the pain, and instead focus on the fact that this is possibly the first time another human person has intentionally put their hands on him without wanting to crush his windpipe.

Outside the warehouse it’s snowing harder, drifting down from the meager glow of the streetlights like they’re in A Christmas Story, and the air is crisp cold. Peter is trying to decide the closest area near his house he can convince Deadpool to drop him off at, without somehow also giving away where he lives, but they’re already heading in the opposite direction at a brisk enough pace that he must have an idea of where they’re going. There’s a brief moment of panic that settles in his chest again as he realizes he’s basically allowing himself to be taken to another unknown location by someone he essentially doesn’t even know, but he also realizes his choices are dwindling quickly; his current injuries are far and beyond his own first aid knowledge.

They’re in a sea of  mostly abandoned warehouses and it’s in the middle of the night, but it’s still mildly impressive that Wade is able to get them through the city unnoticed. He doesn’t think ‘subtle’ is typically a word he would use to describe Deadpool, but maybe there’s a time and a place for everything. Which - honestly - nobody else needs to see him without his mask on and he really can’t chance running across either someone he knows or someone with a vendetta, but still . He’s pretty sure that on Tony Stark’s List of People Who Should Not Know Spiderman’s Secret Identity there is probably a picture of Deadpool somewhere in at least the top five.

He realizes, as they get further into a neighborhood he’s never been in, that Wade has been unusually, disturbingly quiet. That’s probably a bad sign, but it’s hard to focus on Wade’s issues when Peter feels like he might try to claw his way out of his own skin. The pull of it is tight and confining, like it’s been stretched over his bones and muscles wrong, and like every movement is tearing it seam by seam.  The warmth of someone else is not helping - is definitely making it worse. He tries not to tense with every movement, with every time Wade readjusts his weight, but it’s difficult to pretend this is normal. It’s difficult to let himself relax and trust someone else when it feels like that’s the moment everything is going to inevitably go to shit.

Peter doesn’t know how long it takes them to get to the truly forgettable apartment complex that Wade apparently lives in, but he’s jostled back awake as Wade lowers him back to his own feet and rifles through one of the approximately ten thousand pouches on his person for the door key. There’s an overhead light blinking and buzzing terribly, on the verge of going out entirely, and the wave of vertigo that suddenly washes over Peter is unexpected and terrible. He slumps against the side of the building, nausea and dizziness rushing back to greet him, and it’s only Wade’s hand fisted in the back of his suit that keeps him upright. The weight of it is comforting, and distressing, and Peter ignores the goosebumps that prickle out across his skin like a rash.

“Hang on, princess,” Wade says, patting another pocket with his free hand before giving up entirely and banging on the door like it’s not the middle of the night. “Al! Hey, Al! Open up, buddy!”

Peter brushes a cold hand against his clammy face and tries not to vomit. “Wade, wait-”

There’s movement from inside and Peter has another sudden moment of panic, at the growing list of people who are apparently going to know Spiderman is a high school student from Queens, but this night is already so out of his control that he finds it difficult to do more than cling to the doorway and try not to fall over. He realizes, sort of hysterically, that he’s still not healing himself and that he’s still bleeding - all over the entryway and down the side of the doorframe like he’s a victim in a slasher film.

There’s the sound of a deadbolt turning and the door is barely unlocked before Wade is pushing it open, nearly knocking over the older woman on the other side, and pulling Peter into the dimly lit apartment. The apartment itself is too much for Peter to take in when his head is already spinning; he tries to focus on the red and black of Wade’s suit, anything to keep him steady, but trying to walk is already apparently too much for him. He stumbles over his own feet twice before Wade turns and, without preamble, picks him back up and deposits him on a musty couch that desperately needs reupholstering.

“We agreed no more hookers on the sofa, Wade,” the woman - Al, presumably - says from the entryway. “At least put some plastic down.”

Blood rises so fast to Peter’s face he feels like he might pass out again. Wade is already wrist deep in a Dora the Explorer tackle box masquerading as a first aid kit, rifling through bandages and some truly terrifying looking needles, and he doesn’t seem to be paying her much mind. He’s removed his mask sometime between the door and the couch and Peter is trying not to stare - trying not to follow the lines of seemingly endless scars that trail down underneath his collar - and failing miserably.

“Don’t mind the blind woman stumbling around in the background,” he says, emerging from the tackle box with scissors that have definitely seen better days. “She followed me home from the supermarket one day and now she thinks she lives here.”

“Well, I am bleeding on your couch,” Peter concedes, because he feels like he’s pretty much bled all over the East side at this point, including on Deadpool himself and onto the already filthy rugs strewn across the floor, and he’s just delirious enough from the drugs in his system and the panic still fluttering around in his chest to be concerned about being rude. His hands are shaking and that’s probably not normal. “I usually heal way faster than this. I think - I think something might be really wrong with me.”

“You mean something besides the Ecstasy cocktail they injected you with?” Wade asks, voice placating, like speaking to a scared chihuahua. “If you’d like to phone a friend before we get this shitshow started now would be the time.”

He still has Happy’s number in his phone of course, but he thinks that this is probably one of those things that looks really, really bad. He thinks that there’s a really good chance that this is the exact sort of thing that Happy was afraid of him doing when he said Peter should maybe do a better job taking care of himself. It’s been a solid six days since Peter last called to check in and he feels like this is maybe not something he should mention the next time he gives his weekly report. This is definitely the kind of thing that looks bad on about six different levels and it hasn’t been that long since he rode a flaming airplane into New York City. He thinks having to say he’s at Deadpool’s apartment and high on sexual stimulants would probably not help matters any.

‘He saved your life, ’ he realizes, maybe a little late. Maybe that’s the weirdest part of all of this. Maybe the weirdest part of all of this is that, at the end of the day, it was Deadpool who noticed he was missing and knew where to find him. Because sure they know each other and sure they’ve crossed paths a couple of times, but Peter definitely wouldn’t call them ‘friends.’ They’re not even two different sides of the same coin so much as they are different currencies all together and he’s only recently decided Wade probably isn’t an immediate danger if left unprovoked. That’s nowhere near close to being on the ‘ hey I noticed you were about to become a face on a milk carton’ territory that it appears they’re in.

“Gonna take your silence as two thumbs way up,” Wade says, and that’s all the warning Peter gets before he’s cutting away at the mess of shredded Stark technology and woven fibers that are plastered to his ribcage. There’s a sense of urgency to Wade’s movements that are a little worrisome - because if he thinks they’re in a hurry then Peter is probably screwed - and it’s definitely not the time or the place to become suddenly obsessed with the drag of Wade’s gloves across his stomach. Peter can feel his face flushing again, up his neck to the tip of his ears, and, yeah, apparently this night can get even more embarrassing. Although he should really be in too much pain - should have lost too much blood - to even be able to care that Deadpool is all but straddling his thighs while he tears pieces of Peter’s suit apart.

There are a lot of things that changed when he got bit by that spider, but the awkwardness and mortification that comes with being a teenager and being inexplicably turned on by every little thing was not one of them. Peter is stupidly aware that he is sixteen and his body is actively trying to socially ostracize him every chance it can possibly get, but this is different in ways he can’t even really comprehend. It’s not like an awkward boner when he wakes up from a dream about really raunchy pancakes or when he’s suddenly finding something sexual about bunsen burners in the middle of chemistry lab - this is wildly different in a way he has no real comparison for.

“I’m sorry I didn’t wait for you,” Peter says, finally, shifting uncomfortably and trying desperately to convince his body he’s not turned on by the guy who may or may not get off on decapitating people on a regular basis. “I told you I would and I didn’t. This is all my fault.”

“McGruff the Crime Dog would be very disappointed in you, Spidey,” Wade replies, half listening, impatiently emptying a bottle of Dasani over the mess on Peter’s side and, by proxy, part of the couch. He peels his gloves off and throws them onto the coffee table. “But I knew you were gonna break your pinky promise. You do-gooder types are all so self-sacrificing.”

“No, I-” Peter tries and loses his train of thought entirely the moment Wade’s bare fingers - scarred and rough and strong - slide across his stomach. His words stutter across his tongue, caught in his throat and forgotten. He’s trying to remind himself everything Wade told him about the drug - everything about how it operates and how it makes you feel - but he’s realizing now maybe he hadn’t listened as well as he should’ve. He’s thinking maybe if he had spent less time thinking ‘ well it won’t happen to me ’ that he might not be in this situation.

The ringing in his ears is replaced by the rush of blood back to his face, by the absence of burning up his torso, by the sudden quelling of pain he shouldn’t be able to forget. Wade’s hands feel like brands against him, searing fingerprints into his skin, and the sudden coil of heat in his stomach is almost overwhelming. Wade’s fingers skirt along the edge of the wound on his side, along furiously tender skin, and it doesn’t hurt but it aches . He feels it in the tips of his own fingers, down into the base of his spine like a shock, and it’s all he can do to reach out and grab both of Wade’s wrists in a moment of complete and utter panic. He inhales slowly, shakily, with his heart pounding so loudly he’s absolutely certain Wade can hear it. His face - his neck, his chest - feels unbearably hot, like a burn he can’t escape; the feel of Wade’s rough skin in his hands makes his mouth dry.

“After school special,” Wade repeats, accusingly. It’s easy to feel the tension in his shoulders all the way down into the muscles of his hands, but his expression is steeled into something unreadable.  

“Please don’t make this worse,” Peter manages. “I know. I messed up. I really messed up.”

He thinks that is probably definitely an understatement at this point. He thinks there are layers upon layers to this ever growing mistake that he doesn’t even currently have the mental capacity to consider yet. He thinks this is one of those mistakes that is going to keep him up for the next week, while he fights against the urge to go and make a dozen more of them.

“My guess is you have some catching up to do if you’re going to be on the Avengers’ level of fucking up,” Wade replies easily, but he doesn’t rotate his wrists out of Peter’s grip. He’s heavy - the weight of him across Peter’s thighs is impossible to ignore - and every shift, every muscle moved, Peter feels his skin prickling all up and down his spine.  “You’re not bleeding out your eyeballs yet, so that’s something.”

“Is that a possibility?!” Peter chokes out, but his eyes stay focused on the clasp of their hands, on the scars decorating Wade’s arms. “I thought you said it was - I thought it was just an experimental sex drug!”

“Extra experimental,” Wade agrees and nods his head in Peter’s direction.  “So you wanna bleed out on my couch or you wanna let me sew you back up? I know what I’d pick, but I don’t want to assume.”

Peter’s trying to think rationally - he really is - but he’s failing miserably. He should call Happy and ask for help - he should go anywhere else but here - but the longer he thinks about doing it the less he finds he wants to. The pain in his side is so much easier to ignore with Wade’s skin under his hands, with his pulse underneath his thumb. The pain is just a dull throb now, one that gets duller and fainter when he sits up, letting go of Wade’s hands long enough to wrap them around the straps of his suit and pull him forward. This is a bad idea - this is the absolute worst of ideas - but Peter doesn’t know if his body and his mind are still on speaking terms, because he’s apparently going through with it anyway. It is hard to think about what a bad idea it is, because the moment he leans up and presses his mouth to Wade’s the pounding in his head and the ringing in his ears fade into the background like they’ve been waiting for him to do it all night. Maybe it’s a bad idea - maybe it’s the worst idea - but he’s already made like two hundred bad decisions tonight and one more added onto the pile is probably not a big deal.

Wade is blissfully warm against him, but Peter only has a brief moment to appreciate it before Wade curls one large hand around his right hip and flattens the other against his shoulder, pushing him away until his back is against the sofa again. The popcorn ceiling greets him like an old friend and Peter’s breath leaves him in a rush, half in surprise and half from the force, but he doesn’t let go of Wade’s suit. He probably should, because Wade looks a little more unhinged than Peter typically likes directed at him from someone whose morals are a little dicey even on his better days, but his good judgment has apparently flown out the window. He can feel the press of Wade’s thumb against his collarbone and it makes his mouth dry.

“Whoa, okay, guess you’re not metabolizing that shit quite as well as we’d hoped,” Wade says and there’s a tightness in his voice that is unsettling. “Although I’m pretty sure they gave you a lethal dose and you’re not dead yet, so that’s a plus, right? Definitely good they didn’t test it on spider-infused humans first thing.”

“‘ Well you’re not dead yet ’ is the least reassuring thing I’ve ever been told,” Peter can feel the flush of embarrassment creeping back up his neck like it never left. He tries not to focus on the warmth of Wade’s skin, on the weight of him pinning him to the sofa, on the strange stab of rejection he should be used to by this point. He continues, carefully, “Am I getting worse? Is that what you’re saying?”

“I’m saying that there’s a really good reason I said to wait for me. I’m immune to the fuck-or-die fever drugs and you’re not. What part of that was complicated for you? I can’t die, Spidey - that’s the party trick. That’s what we lead with - not with our adolescent charm and braindead sense of self preservation-”

Peter feels his ears burning and says, despite how much he probably shouldn’t, despite how baseless it probably is, “I get that you’re disappointed I didn’t turn out to be someone else, but I can’t put the mask back on and go back to being whoever you wanted before you got me instead-”

Fingers grip his chin, hard enough to bruise, and Peter’s breath catches again.

“What I want isn’t up for discussion, Petey,” he says, low and careful, and Peter knows he should pretend that’s not his name - that Deadpool knows absolutely nothing at all - but the fingers holding his face make it hard to remember that’s something he should be concerned with. “That ship has been assembled, christened, set out to sea, and sunk like the fucking Titanic.”

Peter breathes in, as steady as he can, and his fingers flex around the nylon straps he’s still holding onto. He would think he was imagining the curl of Wade’s fingers into his hip, tracing the outline of his hipbones, except that he can feel it so distinctly even through his suit that he might as well not be wearing anything at all. Despite however much he attempts to shift, he is uncomfortably hard and Wade’s breath on his face makes him ache in a way he’s not at all used to. This is a definite difference between him alone in his room with all of his unrealistic fantasies and the actual feel of a muscular body pressing him down into the couch cushions with just his hands. Peter doesn’t know how much of his attraction to Wade is because of the chemicals in his system and that’s a little terrifying - that’s maybe some information about himself that he probably could have gone a little longer without needing to psychoanalyze at this exact moment.

“Has it?” he asks, breathless and a little wired on whatever is coursing through his system that doesn’t belong. It feels as though he has been poured back into his skin, ounce by ounce, and the wrongness that settles in him is overwhelming. He wants to cling to Wade’s familiarity, to the absurdity of imagining Wade is somehow safe. Despite the haze that hasn’t left him since they tied him to that chair, despite the self-doubt he can’t ever seem to shake, he can see by the change in Wade’s expression - subtle, minute - that he’s not unaffected.

“I think this is one of those universes where touching you puts me on one of those lists that makes Captain America give me the extra frowny face,” Wade says, but his hand is large and warm on Peter’s hip. He’s missing his ring and index fingers. “I’ve got shit in my fridge that’s older than you.”

“I’m sixteen,” Peter deadpans and part of him can’t believe they’re having this conversation, but of course that’s what the problem is - because that’s what the problem always is. Too young to be an Avenger, too young to be Spiderman, too young to know what is and isn’t for his own good. He thinks maybe it’s too late to pretend he’s just a typical sixteen year old; he thinks maybe you lose the ability to pretend your life is normal the moment men start building machines to kill you. He doesn’t think anyone has figured out that it’s impossible to go back to the way things were before.

“Of course you’re a teenager, ” Wade continues, like Peter is continuing to ruin his day on purpose. “Fuck you very much, universe. I have had it up to here with your shit.”

He thinks about pointing out that Deadpool kills people for a living, that he’s been entrenched in far worse things for far longer than Peter has been Spiderman, but he thinks maybe that’s not the point. Because he thinks about asking ‘ what’s the difference?’ and thinks, maybe - maybe - that he doesn’t want to know; he thinks the difference is him and that’s strange - that’s terrifying.

Peter forces himself to let go, to lower his arms back to his sides. His fingers are itching to touch the scars along Wade’s jaw, along where the neckline of his suit begins and ends, but that’s a line of thinking he can’t let himself follow. The throbbing in his side is steady and sharp as though the warmth of Wade’s hands is no longer enough; the press of Wade’s hands through what’s left of his suit is maddening - is impossible to ignore.

“I think it’s getting worse,” Peter admits, when he smells the tang of copper - his own blood - in the air again; when he realizes all he can think about is the feel of Wade’s mouth against his own. He regrets his words the moment they’re out of his mouth, because he’s barely done speaking before Wade is withdrawing his hands and sliding off of him to stand next to the couch. It’s one smooth movement, like maybe he’s been considering doing it for a while, but it feels like something has slammed into Peter’s chest like a freight train. The pulse of cold dread that settles into the back of his spine is almost paralyzing, almost worse than when they had first started sawing into his side.

There’s the telltale sound of supplies in the tackle box being moved around. He can’t see the expression on Wade’s face - can’t focus on anything but the stark, cold weight that settles into his ribcage - and can’t place the emotion in the other man’s voice when he says, from too far away, “You should really reconsider putting that bat signal in the sky.”

“Who would I even call?” Peter asks, through the clench of his teeth. He inhales deeply and forces himself to sit up, one hand instinctively going to cover the wound on his side. He exhales slowly, inhales shakily, his lungs burning; his fingers are wet. “How many people do you think I have on my ‘Willing To Assist Me In The Event of Life Altering Sex Drugs’ list? Because, let me tell you, it’s an incredibly, embarrassingly short list. I’m not exactly running with the popular crowd, even as Spiderman.”

Peter jumps when he feels fingers back against his bare stomach, warm and curling around what’s left of the top of his suit, but he’s too taken aback to do anything but freeze in place. He blinks a few times and Wade isn’t far away at all - he’s close, absolutely too close, and kneeling on the floor next to the sofa like he thinks Peter is all out of bad ideas for the night.

“If you think this is the safer alternative you clearly haven’t been reading the footnotes,” Wade explains easily, like they’re talking about the weather. “The hero you’re looking for is in another castle, Peter.”

There’s a reply on the tip of Peter’s tongue, but it gets caught in his throat when Wade peels the top of the Spiderman suit over the cuts and bruises littering Peter’s arms and shoulders. The pull of the fabric over his skin is sticky and cumbersome - the suit tears and frays before it’s off of him entirely - and, when Wade pulls it over his head and tosses it to the side, Peter can practically feel the air rush back into his lungs. It feels as though he’s mounted an insurmountable peak, as though he’s surfaced an endless depth. He doesn’t realize he is panting, as though nearly suffocated, until he sees Wade grow unnervingly still.

Peter swallows thickly and he can feel the blush blossoming across the bridge of his nose. He tries to reason with himself that, despite the fact that he typically seems completely allergic to making moral decisions, Wade has never really given him a reason not to trust him. Maybe that doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it means everything when they’re hurtling dangerously towards a ledge they will probably not be able to crawl their way back up onto. Maybe these are the kind of mistakes you make when you step outside and tell the world you’re ready for whatever it has to throw at you.

The tingling in his limbs, like static in his veins, doesn’t ease up any when he moves to the edge of the couch and, slowly and deliberately, reaches out to slide his shaking hand along Wade’s scarred cheek. He can feel the tension in the muscles in Wade’s jaw tighten in response, like a warning, and Peter’s heart feels like it’s burning a hole through his ribcage.

“I’m not your responsibility,” he says finally, his voice surprisingly steady. When he doesn’t get a reply he takes a deep breath and continues, “And I’m not asking you to be a hero, but I need your help.”

“They really nerfed your spidey senses this time around,” Wade replies, and he is gripping the Lack coffee table so tightly Peter can see his knuckles turn white. He tries to ignore the way it makes his pulse quicken. “This is right about the time you should be stringing me to a ceiling fan.”

“Maybe you’re just not a threat to me,” Peter hazards and leans forward to find Wade’s mouth again. There is a noise from the back of Wade’s throat that isn’t a protest, but the free hand that encircles one of his arms most definitely is; the dig of fingers into his bicep, into bruises and scrapes, is firm and painful and unnervingly good. The warmth Wade is radiating is almost overwhelming, the slightest touch of his skin against Peter’s wrist is overwhelming, but it feels impossibly easy all of a sudden. Peter hears a gasp that sounds far away, but realizes it’s from his own mouth when he hears the sound of cheap wood cracking in two places under the stress of Wade’s grip. Then there’s the slow drag of Wade’s mouth against his own, rough and far more skilled, and it is so unbelievably hot that Peter gives up on all pretenses of trying to ease slowly into this.

He smears blood along the curve of Wade’s clothed shoulder when he curls his hand there to steady himself, when he uses the solid weight of him to slide over into the small space left between the sofa and the coffee table where Wade is still sitting.  Peter moves into his lap, legs on either side of his thighs, and his breath catches in his throat, a rasp of sound into Wade’s mouth, when his erection finally makes contact with Wade’s body. Wade’s other hand smooths against the small of his back, scars and calluses rough against the softness of his skin, and presses into Peter’s mouth until it’s all he can do to cling to Wade’s shoulder and gasp into his mouth like he’s suffocating.

He doesn’t know if his side is still bleeding, but his body is on fire and Wade’s mouth is so hot and slick against his that it feels like his organs could cinder to ash and he wouldn’t notice. Wade is hard against him, the length of him huge against Peter’s thighs, and every single minute since Wade found him feels like it’s led to this moment. Every agonized breath he’s taken since they injected him with whatever-it-was feels like it led him to the dusty floor of Deadpool’s apartment, grinding against another man’s erection and choking on his tongue, and isn’t that a weird turn of events from how he’d planned his evening to go?

Wade releases his wrist to move his grip to the exposed curve of Peter’s hipbones, his other hand sliding around to the other hip like a mirror, and the press of his fingers into the already-bruised bones should be painful but it’s not - it’s almost too good. The muscles in Wade’s shoulders ripple underneath Peter’s fingertips when the hands on him move his hips like he weighs nothing, when Wade aligns the lock of their hips so perfectly that all Peter can feel is the unbearable slide of Wade’s clothed clock against his own. He chokes into the lips on his, breath stuttering in his chest.

“I’m definitely going back to Hell for this,” Wade says, against his mouth, and his voice is rough, strained. He rocks Peter’s hips agonizingly slowly against him again and Peter makes the same choking noise again, because there are plenty of ways left for him to embarrass himself tonight. He can feel his cock physically throb as a spurt of pre-come slicks against his thighs and into the fabric of his suit. He does not miss the clench of Wade’s fingers into his skin and, when he opens eyes he hadn’t realized he’d even closed, Wade leans forward and captures his mouth again, licks his way in past Peter’s teeth like he knows it’s exactly what he wants. And it must be, because it’s all Peter can do to cling to him and try not to feel like he’s being consumed entirely by Wade’s mouth - his hands - the skip in his breathing every time Peter clumsily rolls his hips.

This is not how Peter expected his first time to go - or his second time - or any time at all. He thinks maybe it wouldn’t matter if he weren’t a virgin; he thinks maybe the possessive clench of Wade’s hands on him - the careful movements of his mouth, the distant awe in the dark of his eyes - is not something he could ever possibly have experience with.

It is impossible to feel the slickness of Wade’s cock through the thickness of the Deadpool suit, but the heat of him, of the way the curve of his shaft rubs against his, is unfathomably perfect. Peter tries to remember there is a blind woman in the apartment who can likely hear them, but there’s only so quiet he can be. He realizes it is not only Wade’s grip on him that is moving his hips, realizes that he is grinding down into Wade’s lap shamelessly and breathlessly all on his own volition. He is desperate to feel Wade’s skin, hot and wet, on his own, but doesn’t think he could remove himself to stand on unsteady legs even if Hulk burst through the wall. Pleasure is pulsing through him like an electrical current, starting from the aching head of his cock outward, and he’s never felt like this unhinged in his entire life.

Peter doesn’t know how long they’ve been at it, but it’s already too much. He’s had too much stimulation before this, too much of whatever strangeness is running through his veins, and the urge to come is becoming harder and harder to resist. He can feel the building tension at the base of his cock, a pressure growing, his balls tightening. He is burning - absolutely, literally burning - with pleasure and - it’s just too much.

“Wade,” he breathes, and he’s not sure why - maybe to warn him, but he loses his voice somewhere in the thought. The rhythmic drag of Wade’s cock against his own is too much and it sends him reeling over the edge. He squeezes his eyes shut so tight he can see pinpricks of light from underneath his eyelids. He can feel his cock throbbing with release, the inside of his thighs sticky with sweat and come alike, and his hips are still moving underneath Wade’s grip. He pulls away from his mouth with a harsh gasp, unable to register anything but the waves that threaten to knock him over entirely. He doesn’t think he’s ever come so hard in his life, to the point where he forgets entirely that he is injured - that he is in Deadpool’s lap - that his entire world has been upended in an evening.

Peter buries his face in the curve of Wade’s neck, hips twitching and shoulders jolting, his breath wet against his skin. It feels as though his bones have been pulled out of his body in one fell swoop, to leave him with nothing holding him up but the weight of Wade underneath him and the searing pain working its way back into the curve of his neck. It takes more effort than it should to pull air into his lungs, to breathe normally and steadily. His heart is beating heavily against his chest and he tries not to think about the spectacularly awkward position he has put himself in; he tries not to think about what will happen when he moves his face away from Wade’s neck.

Fortunately, because he is who he is, Wade makes their awkward situation one hundred times worse without any prompting.

“Huh,” he says, tactless as always, “that was fast.”

Peter bristles defensively, cheeks flushing against his own will, and pulls back to stare at him incredulously, “Dude, seriously? Could you wait like five whole minutes before you act like a giant asshole?”

“Probably not,” Wade assures him and Peter feels his hand move gently over where the gaping hole in his side is still far too sensitive to be prodded. The bleeding has, for the moment, stopped and the thin beginnings of new skin are smooth and tender around the edges. Peter’s flush deepens, but Wade continues on, unperturbed, “I want some of whatever cocktail they pumped you full of, Spidey. It’s gonna take me days to grow back these fingers and you’re already Wolverine-ing your skin back together over here.”

“I can’t say I recommend it,” Peter manages and attempts to drag himself upright, only to find that his legs are still as unstable as they’ve been all night. There are strong hands on his arms again, helping him back to his feet. The ringing is back again, distant in the back of Peter’s head, but, when he tilts his head, he finds that the wound on his side looks more like road rash than shark bite victim. The skin is still incredibly tender, but the roughness of Wade’s fingers dragging across it experimentally is not nearly as painful as it had been. Something is still tingling in the base of his spine, like a reminder there’s something wrong.

He tries desperately to not look as mortified as he feels, but he’s probably failing something spectacular. He is unnervingly aware of the fact that Deadpool is still obviously hard and he thinks about saying something - opens his mouth once or twice - but can’t seem to think of anything to say that doesn’t make him want to crawl under the couch and die.  Maybe they’re supposed to pretend nothing happened - maybe they’re supposed to pretend everything is still perfectly fine. Maybe he’s supposed to pretend he’s fine.

Wade grabs the pistols off of the coffee table and makes his way down a hallway illuminated by three plug-in air fresheners. Peter doesn’t know if he’s supposed to follow, until Wade calls back, almost as an afterthought, “I did promise not to fuck anyone on the sofa, so I hope you’re not attached to the idea.”

The flush on Peter’s face spreads down his neck and onto his chest like a fever. He watches Wade shoulder open a door that is only slightly the wrong size for the doorway it has been attached to and tries to calm the panic that is settling into every joint in his body like an old friend. There is a clutch in his chest that is tight - like a fist digging fingers into his lungs - that is partly him freaking out and partly whatever is in his body trying to actively overcome his own biology to kill him.

He thinks he’s absurdly calm considering the situation. He thinks there should be freaking out -  there should be a lot of freaking out. Peter thinks he might be freaking out about how much he’s managed to not freak out, so maybe that’s a compromise. Maybe this should be the part where he calls Happy and explains that some people went places they shouldn’t have and did things they definitely shouldn’t have. He thinks there is probably something the Avengers could do to help him - maybe an antidote or maybe some special healing sleep or maybe - maybe -

‘Or maybe you’d be giving one of them a Vegas-style lapdance instead ,’ he thinks to himself, and can’t help the pit that grows in his stomach. He sways slightly on his feet and grips the edge of the couch until the room decides it’s going to stay still. Outside, through floral curtains and surprisingly clean glass, it’s still heavily snowing.

And maybe he should call someone, but he doesn’t. Instead he gingerly follows Deadpool into what can only be his bedroom and tries not to think on how weird that is. The wound at his size is throbbing painfully again, but still isn’t bleeding and that’s gotta count for something. It doesn’t help at all with the tendrils of doubt that have wormed their way into his limbs, have made him stiff and uneasy with uncertainty. It doesn’t help with the pounding in his head that reminds him how long this day has been, how it is still dragging laboriously along.

There are unicorn stickers along the doorframe and a machete on a dresser that is missing two drawers. Peter steps around a stack of Juggs magazines and barely catches the threadbare towel that is chucked at his head.

“I think we can both agree you smell like KFC leftovers in a stripclub bathroom,” Wade tells him, hands on his shoulders to steer him towards the dimly lit bathroom with hideously yellow tile lining the walls. Peter wants to point out that he’s pretty sure Wade has intestines smeared across the bottom of his boots, that his suit is still smeared with blood - some Peter’s and some the men from earlier - but he doesn’t.  Instead he lets himself be guided into the bathroom and tries not to close his eyes, tries not to lean into the fingers pressed into his shoulders. He should be exhausted, should be so bone-dead tired that all he should be considering is curling up and sleeping on the bath mat, but of course he’s not. He’s far too busy being acutely aware of how small the bathroom is, of how close they are, of how he’s already half-hard again just from the feeling of Wade’s hands on him. Wade lets go of him to turn the water on and Peter wants to climb him like a tree.

The bathroom mirror is already foggy and it feels like someone is drilling through Peter’s head with a pencil. They’re probably a little late for modesty, but Peter still hesitates before slowly starting to peel the rest of his suit off. Every single muscle in his body aches in protest of his very existence, in protest of the eleven unsuccessful attempts it takes him to get his legs out of his suit.  It eventually takes the two of them to get him out of the remains of his suit, which is embarrassing in its own right, but he’s naked and Wade’s hands are on him and nothing else seems important. He steps carefully into the shower, underneath water that is not quite hot enough but that is too hard against his skin, pelting against all the bruises and cuts he’s done his best to ignore.

He exhales loudly into the spray and leans against the grimy tiles, watches the pink tinted water sluice down into the drain from his skin. There isn’t a muscle in his body that isn’t protesting against his every movement, against his apparently abysmal decision making skills. The shower bar seems sturdy at least, enough so that he feels pretty confident that if he clings to it he probably won’t brain himself on the bathroom tiles the moment the vertigo decides he’s been upright for far too long.

Peter sees movement out of the corner of his eyes and turns as carefully as he can, so he doesn’t slip and go flying out of the bathtub and across the floor, but Wade hasn’t left. The panic that had slowly been working itself back into a frenzy calms for a second, before he realizes Wade is unzipping his own suit and Peter wonders if this is what it’s like to have a heart attack; he’s dying at sixteen - there’s no other excuse for why his body is betraying him horribly.

Wade moves into the shower and he’s all broad muscle and scarred skin - far, far too much skin - and Peter feels like the shower is the single smallest space he’s ever been in in his life. Wade’s hand curls around Peter’s upper arm to steady him and Peter’s libido is actively trying to kill him.

The pressure in the back of his head is building again like a crescendo, to match the ringing that never truly stopped, and it’s terrifying. Every breath he forces in through his teeth feels like a chore, aches in every purpling bruise building underneath his skin right down to the wound at his side that’s trailing pink water down his legs. The thrumming in his veins feels like pins and needles in the tips of his fingers, in the back of his throat, in the pounding of his heart against his chest. If he could ask Karen he knows she would say his heart rate is spiking, that his elevated blood pressure is putting undue strain on heart, that he shouldn’t have gone into the warehouse. He tries not to lean into the warmth of Wade’s skin and imagines he doesn’t taste blood in his own mouth.

He’s also incredibly, mind-numbingly horny and apparently one orgasm wasn’t enough to satisfy whatever drug they pumped through his system because his dick is very interested in their nakedness. His dick is very interested in doing whatever it takes to work through this problem.

“The yellow boxes are having a field day over my life choices right now,” Wade tells him, sounding oddly resigned. “When SHIELD encases my body in carbonite promise you’ll delete my browser history.”

Some part of him realizes that he has placed an immeasurable, unprecedented amount of trust in Wade to carry him through this as unscathed as possible. Despite their differences and despite the rumors and despite Deadpool’s reputation, Peter realizes he’s almost blindly trusted him to be someone better than anyone else has ever given him credit for.

“Look, if you don’t - ” Peter swallows hard, mouth dry, resisting the urge to reach out and smooth  his fingers across Wade’s chest. “I can call someone else. I could -”

“I didn’t say that,” Wade says, leaning down - and for a moment Peter thinks he’s going to kiss him, but instead he braces a hand behind him on the shower and continues, voice steady, “I’m just saying... you’re sure there’s nobody on that list of yours you’d rather have fuck you?”

He flushes to the roots of his hair, but Wade’s words bypass his brain and go directly to his dick. His knuckles are white from where he’s gripping the shower rail and maybe it’s the chemicals messing with his common sense, or maybe it’s the buzzing in his head that is slowly driving him crazy. Maybe it’s the uncharacteristic seriousness in Wade’s face that makes Peter feel like he’s losing his mind. Maybe the drugs have nothing to do with the coil of heat in his stomach when he thinks of someone wanting him so desperately.

“Yeah,” he says, finally. “I’m sure.”