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You've Gotten Into My Bloodstream

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Some nights I thirst for real blood. For real knives. For real cries. And then the flash of steel from real guns, in real life, really fills my mind.

I really miss what really did exist, when I held your throat so tight.




The bottle was heavy where it dangled from Wade’s fingers, held lazily by the neck as he brought it back to his lips. The amber-colored liquid burned the raw skin of his mouth, swiping cold heat over his tongue and prickling his throat when he swallowed it down.

It was a comforting pain. Familiar. It lulled him into a dull numb ache that smothered the sharper, knife-edged agony still tearing at his insides. The deeper suffering that had sunk its teeth into him. The one he wasn’t thinking about.

“Come on, dude!” The greasy-haired, bespectacled man behind the bar flicked his dirty dishrag at Wade’s arm. “That’s my last fuckin’ Blue Label and I’m not getting another shipment of Johnny ‘till Wednesday.”

Wade didn’t even bother to shrug. He just took another swig of the top-shelf whiskey, letting a bit of it dribble down the scarred skin of his chin just to spite Weasel. He reached up with his other gloved hand to scratch at the edge of his mask, which was only rolled up to his nose even though there was no one else in Sister Margaret’s at the moment. It was still too early for the after-dinner crowd. He found himself wishing, once again, that the bottle and a half of hard liquor he’d downed in the last hour could knock him the fuck out. Or at least get him shit-faced enough that he couldn’t remember his name.

{I’d give anything. Kill anyone. Bend the fuck over and take it from the fucking Hulk if only we could get drunk. Black out drunk. Right now.}

[There are other ways. Just hang on until tonight.] White soothed them both, a calm patch of reason amidst the hurricane that had blown through Wade’s head. [We’ll be fine until then.]

Wade grunted his affirmation, though he didn’t let himself dwell long on the thought. “You know I’m good for it.” He mumbled to Weasel, a bit belatedly.

The bartender scoffed. “Yeah, fuck face. I know.” He started stacking glasses near the tap in preparation for the evening’s influx of patrons. “Shit. Never seen anyone take so many jobs in one weekend. Even you gotta take breaks, right? Give that trigger finger a little rest.”

[No. No breaks. Get back to your routine. The blood helps.]


[Helps you remember who you are.]

“I wouldn’t be taking this break if you would just give me another fucking mark.” Wade growled, flicking a peanut shell off the bar and hitting Weasel on the forehead.

“Ow! What the fuck, man.” He rubbed obligatorily between his eyes, shooting Wade a mildly irritated look. “I told you, I’m all out. You did nine fucking jobs in less than two days, Wilson. It usually takes a week to do that many when I’m dealing to the whole group.” He grimaced. “Jareth’s gonna be pissed tonight, by the way. And I’m gonna tell him it was you who took his card.”

Wade waved his bottle carelessly through the air, brushing Weasel off. “Like I couldn’t take a fucker who names himself after the mother-trucking Goblin King. Even if I could bleed out, I wouldn’t worry about that asshole’s cute little stilettos.”

[Bea and Arthur have much better extension than those idiotic blades. What kind of mercenary chooses a pocket knife as his weapon of choice, anyway?]

Wade nodded. “B and A would love to show off.” He muttered under his breath. His babies had had their thirst thoroughly quenched these past thirty-nine hours, but they could always spill a little more blood. Even better if it belonged to a merc.

“You’re in a mood.” Weasel remarked, voice taking on a more serious tone that had Wade tipping the Johnny Walker back to his lips to chug down the rest. He was pleased to see the bartender flinch at his blasphemous actions.

“What’s your damage? Cat run away cause even animals can’t stand your meat-grinder mug?” He gave up wiping uselessly at the counter top and crossed his arms to lean against the grimy surface instead. “Trouble in paradise? What’s the deal with your little – ”

The muzzle of Wade’s gun pressed tight to Weasel’s jaw, moving ever so slightly as the man jerked and swallowed, muscles shifting beneath his skin. Wade had drawn Dick (his Desert Eagle) before the next word could leave Weasel’s lips. He’d taken to wearing the larger pistol on his left hip, pushing Betty down to his right thigh holster. Second place was a bitch but Wade had been in a Dick mood lately.

“What now, Wade?” He kept his voice steady, but there was a flicker of nervousness in his watery eyes as he held completely still. “Did he – ”

Wade cocked the gun, the soft click echoing in the empty room.

Weasel’s breath hitched.

“Alright… Alright, fuck. New fuckin’ topic.”

Yellow whimpered pathetically in the back of Wade’s mind.

He slowly lowered the pistol, holding Weasel’s gaze for another lingering second before tucking Dick back into his warm leather holster.

“So what, you tellin’ me business is slow?” Wade picked up like nothing had happened, reaching across the counter for an unopened jar of maraschino cherries. “You don’t have a waiting list of the rich and powerful desperate to off their little problems?”

Weasel sniffed, a subtle show of his disgruntlement, and went back to wiping his perpetually filthy bar. “Naw. Business is the opposite of slow, but lots of the guys are out on jobs right now. And it’s usually more of a steady flow type thing; I don’t keep a list. I’m not an absolute idiot.”

[But he certainly plays one convincingly.]

“Coulda fooled me.” Wade remarked, tipping the glass jar to his lips and shaking several sugary-sweet cherries into his mouth. Weasel made a face and Wade chewed with his mouth open, purposefully letting the man catch glimpses of the mashed up red mess spread over his tongue.

“Do you have to do that? I already know you’re disgusting, you’ve got nothin’ to prove here.”

“It’s part of my aesthetic.” Wade declared, spraying little bits of artificial red over the surface of the bar.

Weasel made a retching sound low in his throat and reached out to wipe the mess up with his rag. “I’d hate to see your tumblr account, man.”

“Naw, my little rodent-faced friend. You’d love it. It’s all furry porn and dick pics. And unicorns. And unicorn dick pics.”

{And Spi– }

[Those all fit into the same category, Wade.]

“I never cease to be disturbed by you.” Weasel balled the soiled fabric up and tossed it into the trash, then looked around blankly as if unsure what to do with himself now that his beloved filthy old rag was gone.

Wade decided to help him out. “You got any new product for me to try out?” As well as managing a bar and the most prestigious mercenary ring this side of the ocean, Weasel was also a proficient arms dealer. He let Wade try out all his new equipment because, well, it was handy to have a test dummy who couldn’t die.

“Come back Tuesday.” He leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. “I’m gettin’ two dozen M40 snipers with new sights, supposed to have improved thermal imaging, and a crate of C4 from a new seller, need you to test the blast range.”

{We get to blow stuff up?} Yellow asked, pitifully hopeful.

“Oh goodie! Sounds fun. Like an absolute blast.”

Weasel was not amused. Admittedly, it hadn’t been one of Wade’s best puns. “Oh, and Frank is bringing a compound crossbow over. I’m not sure if I’ll have buyers, but I wanted to get the specs from you.”

“Easy peasy lemon squeezy.” The merc dumped another mouthful of cherries across his tongue so that his next words were muffled and wet. “Tell ‘im I want my RPG back. Fucker’s had it since November.”

“Will do, bro from another ho.” Weasel pulled a notepad and pen out from some drawer and jotted something down, hopefully a reminder to ask Frank for his motherfucking rocket launcher back. “I could get you a new one, though. Only ten, maybe twenty grand. It’s really a great – ”

He was cut off by the low-fi opening beat of Straight Outta Compton. Wade watched in disbelief as he put down the pen and fished his cellphone out of his pocket.

“Dude. You have not earned that ringtone.”

Weasel ignored him, turning away to answer with a casual, “Talk to me.”

{Ruthless, never seen, like a shadow in the dark.}

“Except when I unload.” Wade rapped under his breath, head bobbing to the beat. “You see a spark and jump over hesitation.”

[And hear the scream of the one who got the lead penetration.]

It was a good track. Wade made a mental note to update his hot pink iPod classic when he got the chance. The screen was badly cracked and uploading songs took fucking forever, but he kept using it because he’d stuck a limited-edition Hello Kitty sticker on the back in 2008 and replacing that shit would be hella difficult.

“Yeah. Okay, yup. We can do that. Uh, actually it might get done tonight… Yeah, I’ll text this number with confirmation.” Weasel wrapped up his conversation, which Wade had only bothered to catch half of.

“You got somethin’ for me?” He asked, posture never shifting from its relaxed slump on the bar stool although his focus was razor sharp, causing Weasel to lick his lips like the nervous little rat he was.

“Yes, actually.” Weasel slid a small white card across the bar. A name and address were scrawled on the back in the bartender’s messy handwriting.

[Fucking finally.]

“An address? That’s no fun, baby. At least make me work for it.” He took the card anyway, slipping it into his belt.

Weasel sighed. “I didn’t vet it. You wanna wait?”

“Hell no.” Wade was already sliding off the stool, pulling the edge of his mask down so he was fully covered once again.

“So you’re gonna check it out first? Make sure everything’s above board?” As much as it could be for a paid assassination, anyhow.

“Yeah, sure.” Probably not.

{Oh, let’s go.} Yellow’s tone was strained, needy and plaintive. {Can we go now, please?}

“Wade, look.” Wade leaned over the bar, as if getting closer would keep Wade from leaving. “I don’t know what’s happened, but – ”

Wade growled out a low, vicious warning, shooting Weasel a dangerous glare that would cause most who knew him to lose control of their bladders.

Weasel did have some self-preservation instincts, so he refrained from finishing that sentence. “Just… Don’t do anything to screw this network. I know your lazy ass wouldn’t want to have to find all your jobs on your own.”

Wade grunted in affirmation and turned to stride quickly out the front doors. He didn’t plan on lingering a second longer than he had to. Not when some poor fuck was out there waiting for him.

[Waiting for the sweet kiss of our blades.]

{Waiting to scream, bleed, cry, beg…}

Not when Wade had a job to do.

[Just like old times, baby.]




The address was a cramped little brownstone duplex in the Bronx. Wade didn’t have much cover to hide himself on the residential street at eight in the evening, the sun still casting an orange glow over the city as it set, but he didn’t really give a shit. Crouching down behind a modest silver Honda Civic parked near the corner, he watched through the windows of number forty-eight to see which apartments were currently occupied.

He glanced over a group of teenagers playing videogames on an oversized flat screen, stared for a minute at a couple making out in their kitchen (both were definitely over sixty years old, but the hotness factor was still a solid seven out of ten), and skipped by a sad woman cooking dinner and a family watching TV. Two of the apartments appeared to be empty of people and the other four had the curtains completely drawn. Number 3B, his target, was one of those.

“Looks like we’ll be going for the surprise behind door number three, Bob.”

{Let’s go. Go now, Wade, now! Right fucking now come on what the fuck are you even waiting for get your ass over there so we can get on with it already Wade come on!}

[Stop being so impatient. We’re already here.]

{But we haven’t unalived anyone in hours!}

“Yeah, like seven.” Wade muttered as he stood up and strolled casually towards the brownstone, slipping a lock-pick out of his belt as he climbed the three crumbling steps to the front door.

[We’re not a junkie whore, Yellow. We can control ourselves when it’s necessary.]

{I don’t know about that.}

[…No, I guess you’re right.]

Wade jiggled the pick just so and felt the metal click beneath his fingers as the locking mechanism released. He pulled the door open, pretending he’d let himself in like a normal person with a key, and slipped inside to a narrow hallway with one steep staircase straight ahead.

“Better get to it.” Wade muttered as he took the stairs three at a time, making his way quickly but silently up to the third floor. “If someone sees a grown man dressed up like some weird red leather daddy with giant swords and calls the fuzz, our evening of entertainment might be cut short.”

[At this time of night and in this location, it should be about twenty-eight minutes from the time someone puts in a call before dispatch gets to the building.]

{How the fuck do you know that?}

[I seem to be the only one who actually uses Wade’s brain.]

“Fair enough.” Wade conceded under his breath, pausing in front of 3B. He leaned in close, pressing his mask-covered ear to the thin wood of the door and listening for movement inside. All he could hear were the tinny echoes of overdramatic actors talking through some TV speakers, but that was enough of an indication that someone was probably home.

{Thank fuck. Bust the door in, Wade!}

[Right, because that’s the best way to enter a room when you have no idea what lies inside.]

Wade rolled his eyes at their bickering, but sank into the familiarity of it as he got to work with his lock pick one more time. Kicking in doors was a lot of fun, but he wanted as much time as he could get with his mark, so it seemed like a smart move to at least try to be subtle about this.

The lock clicked open beneath his hand, and he tucked the small metal tool away before slowly, carefully turning the door knob. He lay his free hand on Dick before silently swinging the door half-way open, just enough to slip inside quickly and glance around the apartment as he closed it again.

His mark was here, seated on the couch. He faced away from the door, watching television and showing no indication whatsoever that he was aware of Wade’s presence.


Wade stepped further in, taking the chance to check out the layout of the place before he called attention to himself. A hallway to his right seemed to lead to the bedroom and bathroom. Nothing on the left but a coat rack, and ahead was the living room, a small dining table, and what was clearly the kitchen off to the side. Three exit points (two large windows and the front door) with the possibility of a fourth in the bathroom, since it lay along the outer wall. Most likely knives in the kitchen and at least two dozen places to hide a weapon just in Wade’s sightline.

He moved without a sound, coming right up behind the couch now, and got a good look at the bald spot on the back of his mark’s head, surrounded by thin ginger hair. He was spread out on the cushions, a bud light in one hand and the other shoved down the front of his pants. Wade glanced up at the TV.

“Baywatch? You have got to be kidding me.” Wade exclaimed.

The man whipped around, jerking backwards off the couch in the process, tripped over himself, and spilled his beer all over the front of his pants.

{He finished already? Those beach bunnies are hardly prime wanking material.}

Wade leapt over the back of the couch before anyone could start shouting, putting himself between his mark and the TV, making the poor guy jerk around all over again, his eyes wild with shock and chest heaving.

“Who the hell – ”

Wade kicked him in the stomach, and he collapsed back onto the couch, gasping and gagging and clutching at his ribs like Wade had used a knife instead of his (admittedly very sturdy) boot.

[What a pussy.]

“Deadpool, at your service!” He reached up to tilt an invisible hat and gave the man a jaunty little bow. “And who might you be?”

He coughed, glaring up at Wade like he wasn’t sure whether to be terrified or furious. It was a look Wade was quite accustomed to. “What the fuck? Who the fuck – ”

Wade slapped him, snapping that ugly face to the side, before leaning in and grabbing his chin roughly between his leather-covered thumb and forefinger. He forced the man’s gaze back to him.

“Are you Jeremy Summers?”

The man writhed, trying to yank himself out of Wade’s grip, but he went still real quick when Wade shoved his gun in his face.

“Let me repeat that for you.” His voice went low, a growl of unadulterated intimidation. “Are. You. Jeremy. Summers.”

The man swallowed, Adam’s apple bobbing noticeably. “W-Who wants to know?”

Wade rolled his eyes, adding a slight head toss to make the gesture clear through the mask. “We went over that already, darling. Do try to keep up. I’m Deadpool, and you’re…” He released the guy’s chin, holding him still with Dick’s muzzle pressed up to his temple as he reached into the man’s pocket and dug around for a wallet.

{Yuck. We don’t wanna get in this one’s pants.}

“No shit.” He felt the folded leather and tugged it out, flipping it open one-handed to read the driver’s license under the smudged plastic window. “Aha! Nice to meet you, Jeremy.” He tossed the wallet aside. “We’re gonna have some fun tonight. You like fun?”

[Sure he does.]

“Sure you do. Everybody likes fun. Right, Yellow?”

{Right. So let’s get on with it and have some!}

“Always the impatient one. You like to take your time, don’t you Jeremy? Really savor the moment. Make it last. Edging for the win, am I right?”

Jeremy was starting to look really frightened now.


“Good. Me too.” Wade backed up a pace, removing Dick’s tip from Jeremy’s face and gesturing with the gun for him to get up.

{I think the authors are having a little too much fun with this whole Dick thing.}

[Do you care?]

{Not tonight!}

“Sit over there.” Wade directed, prodding his mark’s arm to get him to move into the dining room and take a seat in one of the flimsy chairs.

“What the hell do you want?” He asked as he sat, voice gruff though his eyes betrayed his terror.

Wade laughed. It was a hollow, brittle sound. “What do I want?”

{We want…}





[Shattered bones.]

{Black and blue.}




{Bleeding. Bleeding.}

“Yes.” Wade closed his eyes for just a moment, a breath, the buzz beneath his skin crawling over his ribs, up his throat, squeezing the air from his lungs. “Yes.” He drew a zip-tie from his belt and wrenched Jeremy’s hands behind the chair, securing them together with a quick yank, not bothering to be careful about cutting off blood flow. He wasn’t going to be here long enough to worry about that, unfortunately. Then he did the legs, easily capturing each flailing foot and tying it to the legs of the chair. “Hold still, now. You don’t want to be a bad boy for Daddy.”

“Wha – What do you want? You want money?”

“Not in the slightest!” He stood, crossing to the kitchen to start opening drawers and rifling around.

[Don’t bother.]

{Yeah, let’s just cut him already!}

He ignored them, shifting aside scissors and take-out menus, batteries and broken knick-knacks, silverware. Finding nothing incriminating, he moved to the cabinet beneath the sink. He tossed out cleaning supplies, rags, a rat trap. Growing frustrated, desperate, he stalked into the living room. He checked the couch cushions, because this idiot seemed like he might be that stupid. Nope.

[Give it up. We don’t need a reason; the name is enough.]

Grunting, Wade moved to the TV, where lifeguards with big jugs were running in slow motion across a beach, and slid his hand around the back of it.

“Bingo.” He grinned beneath the mask, wrenching the 9 mm Glock from where it was taped down and brandishing it at Jeremy. “You got a permit for this baby?” The weight suggested it was half-loaded.

Jeremy gaped at him. “What? I… I don’t…”


Wade shot him in the thigh.

There was a moment of shocked silence, the blast of the gunshot echoing in their ears. Then Jeremy started yelling.


Wade snickered, tossing the Glock onto the dining room table as he strode back in. “Ah, calm your fat titties, I didn’t even hit the artery.”

[If the cops weren’t already on their way, they will be now.]

{Doesn’t matter. We’ll have time.}

“Plenty.” Wade drew a balisong from his thigh, flipping it open with easy leisure.

Jeremy started struggling, ankles and wrists straining white against the plastic of the bindings. “What the fuck? What the fuck! Why the fuck are you doing this oh my god, OH MY GOD HELP! HELP SOMEBODEY HELP!”

[That won’t do.]

{The screaming does get a bit annoying after a while, doesn’t it?}

Wade sighed, taking a quick detour to the kitchen for some duct tape he’d seen in the drawer. He returned to slap a piece of it over his captive’s mouth, quieting the frantic yells into muffled, half-formed words that were no longer intelligible.

“There, now. Much better!” Wade patted Jeremy on the cheek, causing him to flinch terribly. “Let’s get started then, shall we?”

{Oh yes. Oh yes, we shall.}

Wade sank to his knees before his captive and stared into two watery green eyes, sclera bloodshot and pupils two pinpricks of black. His panic was practically palpable. Wade breathed it in.

“Say goodbye.” He raised his blade, tracing a slow, delicate line down the side of Jeremy’s face. Red bloomed in its wake, and a muted whimper broke past the makeshift gag.

{To your incest eyes.}

Wade moved down to a collar bone, etching a row of shallow red lines above the neck of his t-shirt.

[Blue blood.]

The knife found ribs, tracing their shape through cheap fabric that soon grew wet, stained a darker shade.

“Say why shattered glass.”

He was screaming behind the tape now, but Wade could hardly hear him, focused as he was on his work.

{Makes shattered ribs.}

Bare arms made a blank canvas, and Wade painted it red. His lines were beautiful, intentional, etching his mark into the ruined skin.

[The sounds of screaming.]

{Save us please.}

[Open wounds.]

“Drowned in kerosene.”

Skin looked so thin when it began to peel. When he placed the lines close enough, he could see the untouched space in between turn nearly translucent, a nick in the right direction had blood bubbling up from underneath, leaking out so beautifully.

He moved on to the thighs, avoiding the large wet stain already covering one leg and focusing on filling in the other surfaces. When his heart beat slow in his ears and the taste on his tongue was sweet with anticipation, he moved back to Jeremy’s face.

He sucked in ragged gasps of air, nostrils flaring, eyes dull with pain, and trembled beneath Wade’s gaze. His skin was shiny with sweat and tears and snot, pale and feverish all at once. A ravishing fucking mess.

Wade leaned in close, breath ghosting warm across the duct tape. “So, what do you think of me?”

{Is it a joke?}

[Or a part of me?]

Jeremy Summers shuddered, a pathetic, terrified whine leaking past the gag.

{Make threats to switchblade lovers.}

Wade disappeared the balisong and drew one of his katanas, the slide of metal on leather setting his nerves alight.

Jeremy struggled again, eyes going wide although his movements were weak and sluggish as he tossed his head in protest. Wade rose, grabbing him by the neck and planting one knee on the chair between his thighs.

“Okay, baby.”

He settled the tip of his blade beneath one heaving rib, angling it so it would slide cleanly past the spinal column, and took a deep breath.

Slowly, ever so slowly, he began to push in.

Jeremy jerked, voice cutting off with a mangled half-scream.

It really was like an addiction. The rush of power. The incredible feeling of someone’s entire life leaking away beneath your hands. Being responsible for something so final. So intimate. The sweet release. That easy, familiar ache of self-loathing.

Like a drug.

It took forty-nine seconds for Jeremy to die. He twitched weakly as the blade sank deeper, heaving breaths turning wet and labored as Wade pierced a lung. It wasn’t long after that, light slowly fading from his frantic eyes as Wade held him by the throat.

He went still for a while when silence fell, letting the relief sink into his bones, his mind a quiet sated stillness for just this moment.

Distantly, the quiet whine of sirens broke through the haze of calm.

[Alright. Let’s go now.]

Wade grunted softly, sliding his katana out with a low, slick, wet sound and sheathing her again, resigned to cleaning the blood off later.

He left Jeremy Summers for dead and climbed out the window, taking the three-story drop and smoothly scaling a chain link fence to go around the back of the property. He slipped out unseen on the next street over as the cops pulled up in front, lights flashing and sirens blaring.




The hazel eyes staring up at him were unimpressed and unintimidated, the sure sign of an experienced professional. Wade was grateful that this was the one he’d ended up with. Most would blanch at the sight of his suit and weapons, fumble for their phones and tremble with the urge to run away when they saw the bare apartment he took them to. Some asked him to take off the mask. Those never lasted long.

But this one wasn’t scared. She wasn’t anything, really, so maybe a healthy dose of fear might do her some good. But that wasn’t what Wade wanted. Not from this one.

“Turn around.” He demanded quietly, but firmly.

The woman stretched out on his bed, clad only in a sheer black thong, obediently rolled over onto her stomach and propped herself up on her knees and elbows, presenting her well-proportioned ass and shapely legs.

She was the kind of hooker Wade would have positively drooled over five years ago. Before paying people to sleep with him became too pitiful and sickening even for his twisted sense of right and wrong. Not that being a prostitute was wrong! It wasn’t. Hell, Wade had fallen in love with a lady of the night once upon a time, before the cancer and all that other shit. It hadn’t gone anywhere, but for a while Wade had thought it might last. Her name had started with a V, but he could hardly even remember her face now.

No. It was wrong to make them sleep with a man who could literally star in most people’s nightmares. He knew how disgusting he was; nobody should have to put up with that, even for an obscenely generous amount of money.

But this one seemed unfazed by him, and if he kept the mask and suit on then maybe he could avoid traumatizing her. He cleared his throat absent-mindedly, hands twitching at his sides as he tried to remember what to do next. The hooker (Miss Crystal Chandelier according to the website) seemed to take that as a sign to reach back and peel her underwear off, leaving her fully exposed to Wade’s blank gaze.

[Damn. She’s ready to go.]

Yes, Wade noted that White was right. It appeared that she had prepared both her entrances; a prudent thing to do in her line of work. No waiting around for preparation or relying on her body to react to strangers she probably didn’t find the least bit attractive. And no risk of an over-eager John hurting her because he couldn’t fucking wait to shove his dick into something.

Wade felt mildly ill.

[Quit stalling and get to it. She’s a beautiful fucking catch, Wade! Look at that ass… Very nice, am I right?]

Wade reached down to unbuckle his belt and unzip his pants, lowering them just enough to pull his cock out of the opening. It was soft in his leather-clad hand, apparently unaware of the current situation. Wade stared down at it in confusion.

{Wow. This is a first.}

[Jesus.] White hissed. [This is exactly why we need to do this. Fucking look at the hot girl on your bed, waiting for you to fuck her, and get it up like a fucking man.]

Crystal Chandelier glanced over her shoulder, long hair tumbling messily across her smooth back as she checked to see what was taking so long. The first sign of any emotion since she’d knocked on Wade’s door flickered across her face when she realized his predicament; amusement. But she didn’t laugh. She hummed softly and sat back up, shifting around to face Wade, who was considering shoving his uncooperative dick back where it came from and calling the whole thing off.

“Need a little help?” She asked kindly, a soft quirk to the edges of her cherry-red lips. Before Wade could respond, she leaned forward and caught the tip of his cock in her mouth, swiping her tongue over the slit.

Wade hissed softly, letting his hand drop away as if he’d been shocked. The hooker didn’t hesitate to take over, reaching up to wrap her fingers around his base as she slowly sank her mouth further down his soft length. It was warm. And wet. And she kept her teeth skillfully sheathed beneath her lips.

Wade felt himself growing hard from her ministrations, but he fixed his gaze on the wall across the room, unwilling to watch as she swirled her tongue deftly around his shaft and began to suck in earnest. He was still a red-blooded Canadian male, fucked up as he was, and his body reacted without any conscious involvement on his part. He was fully erect in less than half a minute.

“Mm.” Candy pulled off with a slick, muffled sound and Wade glanced down to see her stare at the head of his cock as she stroked him once, grip tight.

“You’re so big…” She purred before swallowing him down again.

Wade grunted, a harsh twist of wrong cutting into his gut.

He reached up with one hand to grab a fistful of her clearly bleached blond hair, the dark roots more obvious as his tight grip pulled at them. She started to moan, a loud, fake sound, but Wade yanked her off before he could feel the vibrations shoot through his groin.

“Turn around.” He muttered again, heart beginning to pound in his chest.

She did so without complaint, assuming the same position as before. Wade swallowed hard, reaching for the little foil square sitting on the bed beside her. He didn’t have anything and he couldn’t catch anything, but it was common curtesy in these sorts of situations so he ripped open the packet and shakily smoothed the condom down the length of his cock. He paused then, fingers wrapped around his base, and struggled to decide which hole he should put it in. He’d usually ask a girl before shoving anything up her ass, but this one was clearly prepared for it either way he went.

[Why are you acting like this is your first fucking time with a prostitute? Suck it up and stick it in, idiot.]

{Her skin is too tan.}

Wade gritted his teeth and lay one hand on her hip, guiding himself between the soft, full cheeks of her ass.

{Her hips are too wide.}

He pushed lightly at her entrance, the sensation on the head of his cock dulled slightly by the sheath of thin rubber between them.

{Her hair is the wrong color.}

The woman moaned, a breathy sound that prickled unpleasantly at the back of Wade’s neck, and pushed back encouragingly.

{Her voice is wrong.}

Wade was breathing faster, his stomach dropping as he felt himself breaching the slickened ring of muscle.

{Everything about her is wrong.}

She was wrong. This was wrong. It felt wrong.

{She’s not – }


Wade sucked in a ragged gasp and pulled back abruptly, breaking all contact with the woman. He turned his back to her, fingers a little clumsy as he peeled the condom off, letting it fall where it would, and tucked himself away. He had himself zipped and buckled back up in just a couple of seconds, but he didn’t turn back to look at her. He couldn’t.

“I already paid and left a generous tip, so don’t worry about that.” He crossed to the bedroom door. “You can stay as long as you like, I won’t be back.”

He slung his katanas on by the door and left the apartment before she could say a word, his stomach churning with a confusing mix of guilt and anger and self-disgust.

[Well. That certainly went well.]

“I don’t need to hear it.” Wade muttered, fingers itching for the pistol on his left hip. He made it to the street and ducked into the closest ally, turning in the direction of the temporary safe house they’d set up in a warehouse in Brooklyn.

[I know.] Wade wasn’t quite used to the new, kinder tone White had been taking lately, but he was grateful for it nevertheless. [It’s fine. We’ll get there.]

Wade tried not to think about that. Because the prospect of forgetting, getting back to the way things used to be…

He walked a little faster, eager to get back and end this day.

[Almost there.]

He kept his mind as blank as possible, latching onto a tune to hum under his breath, not letting his thoughts drift too far in a dangerous direction. Yellow picked it up after a few moments, a little lethargic on the uptake.

{Don’t speak. I know what you’re thinking.}

[I don’t need your reasons.]

{Don’t tell me ‘cause it hurts.}

“It’s all ending.” Wade sang softly, throat tight around the words.

[I gotta stop pretending who we are.]

{You and me, I can see us dying. Are we?}

He pulled a small silver key from a pouch on his belt and fit it into the padlock on the gate, relieved to slip past the chain-link fence into the small warehouse complex he’d been using for shipping purposes since he arrived in New York. He made a beeline for the building where he’d set up camp, absently taking note that the trip wires he’d laid out earlier were still intact.

[Home sweet home.] The edge of sarcasm to White’s words was gentler than usual.

“You betcha.” Wade muttered, shutting the sliding door behind him and bolting the heavy lock. He shrugged off Bea and Arthur, leaving them by a crate full of fragmentation grenades, and flung himself down on the mattress lying on the cement floor. It was stained and uncovered, but Wade wasn’t exactly concerned with hygiene right now.

[Another day done. Let’s take a rest, try again tomorrow.]


“Finally.” Wade breathed a reverent sigh of relief, slipping Dick from his holster and flipping the safety off. He slipped his mask off with the other hand and set it aside. He hated to remove it, but he was running low and hadn’t remembered to order more until this morning.

Eager, unwilling to wait a moment longer, Wade lay back and slid the cold, smooth muzzle of the Desert Eagle between his lips. The slight coppery tang of metal, the bitter taste of gun powder and oil against his tongue, soothed his nerves and slowed his heartbeat. The click of the hammer cocking was like flipping a switch, endorphins releasing and muscles melting into the broken springs of the mattress. He allowed himself a moment, relishing the sweet rush of relief flooding his veins, before tightening his finger on the trigger.

The days were long and the nights were longer, but at least he could spend them mostly unconscious.

Thank gods for small blessings.




The phone rang in the night.

It happened when Wade was conscious, an unfortunate necessity as he dug more bullets out of the case beside the mattress, and they all recognized the ringtone in an instant.

Yellow wanted to look. Wanted to hear the voicemail that beeped its presence from Wade’s pocket. But White knew.

White knew that it hurt too much to be alive right now.

He wasn’t awake to hear the second call.




Monday was difficult.

Wade hadn’t thought it could get any harder than it had been, each moment of breathing and living and thinking and feeling more painful than the last, but he was wrong.

No more jobs came down the pipeline from Sister Margaret’s, and Wade was too… Something. Too scared, or something to listen to his voicemails for a client of his own.

He spent the day, well, wandering, he guessed. He wasn’t sure. And that’s what really frightened him. Finding himself crouched behind the hydrangea bushes in the backyard of a worn, but well-kept house that he didn’t recognize, holding his gun at his side with no clue of how he got there, Wade tasted the bitter sharp poison of panic at the back of his throat.

Yellow thought they might be on a job, but Wade didn’t have a card on him and White assured them that they hadn’t checked their messages.

He counted his bullets and checked his hands and blades for blood on the way back into the city.

He just had to make it to the end of the day. Just make it until dark without going off again, and he could spend another night asleep.

He didn’t make it.

At half past six, against White’s desperate urgings, Wade found himself in Queens.

He climbed a familiar fire-escape to a familiar roof, and settled down into a familiar spot tucked beside what used to be a small garden. He stared across the street at a familiar building, eyes skimming down to find one very familiar window.

The blinds were up. They usually were. It made sense now; he wouldn’t want to have to make any noise raising them when he slipped through the window at night.

[He won’t be home. It’s too early – he’ll still be at his boyfriend’s.]

White didn’t twist the knife, but the word still cut sharp beneath his ribs.

He didn’t want him to be home. To see him… But fuck that was exactly what he wanted. He wanted it so bad he could puke.

He looked into the dim room, straining his eyes to catch the details of the posters on his wall, the books piled on his desk, the clothes lying crumpled on his hardwood floor. His gaze drifted over everything, taking it all in, and when he reached the bed, his breath caught in his throat.

He was there.

Wade hadn’t noticed at first, the shape beneath the navy sheets. Just the barest hint of thick, dark hair was visible against his pillow, above the drawn-up edge of the comforter.

He wasn’t moving.

Was he asleep?

As Wade watched, holding his breath as if a single movement could blow this mirage away like so much dust on the wind, he shifted.

He writhed, kicking the blankets down just slightly as he turned to bury his head in the pillow. The movement revealed his face. Just a bit, just for a moment, but it was enough to see.

To see the shape of his nose. The curve of his lips.

The shadow of his eyelashes.


Yellow whimpered brokenly, and Wade’s entire body strained forward. He felt breathless and sick and so full of need he was a heartbeat away from jumping off the roof.

[We need to go Wade.]

{No… No, he’s here. Peter’s here and we need him.}

[No. We need to leave. Now.]

But he couldn’t. He was glued to the spot, riveted, watching. Because he was still moving. His shoulders shook in hitching, uneven shudders, upsetting the sheets. Thin, pale fingers clutched at the pillow that hid his face.

{He hurts. Wade, he hurts.}

Wade’s whole heart ached, like it was trying to crawl up his throat and choke him.

{When he called us last night…}

[Alright, this isn’t working.]

{Do you think maybe… Something happened?}

[We can’t be here. We’ll never be able to forget if we’re so close to him.]

What if something happened? Because this… This didn’t just look like guilt. Wade wasn’t worth this.

[If you keep coming back here, you’ll get fucked over for good. We’ll be broken all over again and I’m sure as hell not gonna pick up the pieces this time. So we need to leave.]


[We need to.]


[Doesn’t matter.]


Suddenly, Peter went very still. A moment later, the bedroom door opened. Aunt May looked tired and sad and more than a little worried. She carried a plate with what looked like a bowl of soup and a few crackers on it. She set it on the desk beside his bed, where a full glass of water already sat on a coaster.

She said something, but Wade didn’t catch the shape of the words on her lips. He was watching Peter, who hadn’t moved an inch since she came in.

She sat on the edge of his bed and reached out, laying a hand on his back. He curled in on himself at the touch, gently flinching away.

{Something happened.}

[It doesn’t matter.]

Wade was already standing up. “He needs us.”

[He doesn’t.]

{But he hurts.}

It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that Wade’s heart was broken and each breath hurt when he looked at him. Peter. It didn’t matter because something happened and Wade had to know. He had to fix it.


Wade turned to stride back to the fire-escape.


Wade started the long climb down.

[I’m not letting him hurt us again.]

“You don’t get a say in this.”

[I’m not. Letting him hurt us. Again.]

Wade’s boots touched pavement and he turned towards Peter’s building.

He tried to step forward, but his legs jerked beneath him, muscles locking up.

He reached for his gun, fingers twitching against the grip, but he was too late.

Wade felt himself slipping. Slipping inside. Slipping away.

[I’m going to keep us safe, Wade.] His tone was gentle, and Wade was angry but he couldn’t hate him. Not even for this.

At least this way they wouldn’t be hurt more.

White turned them around, and took them out of Queens.

White bought the ticket – one way.

White packed their bag.

White got them to the airport for a six a.m. flight to Libya.

Wade watched the city lights shrink beneath them as they rose into the air and headed out over the Atlantic. The sky scrapers looked like toys. New York looked so small from this far away; so lonely.

He watched it disappear as they left.




Song Credits:

Chapter Title:
For Real – Okkervil River
Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A.
Love and Caring – Crystal Castles
Don’t Speak – No Doubt