You made me realize that's it's all a lie
And it comes as no surprise
Stay for awhile
Stay because you make me smile
There's no compromise
--Seether, Fur Cue
It was nearly noon when Peter descended the steps that lead to the front door of Wade’s apartment. He’d been there before, briefly, when Deadpool had been too injured to drag himself home. That had also been the night that he’d learned a little bit about Deadpool’s healing factor. Peter decided then and there he never wanted to watch a person regrow a limb ever again.
He had to knock on the door three times before he heard movement inside the apartment. Wade must have still been asleep. Maybe he’d stayed up late patrolling? However, it wasn’t Wade that opened the door. Instead the door cracked open to show a young girl, no older than 8 or 9 by Peter’s estimate staring up at him. She had dark skin, and thick curly hair, and what were unmistakably Wade’s bright blue eyes. “Um. Hi. I’m looking for Wade?”
“ Papi’s asleep.” She said before shutting the door.
Wade has a kid? Deadpool has a kid?! Peter knocked again. The girl opened the door again, letting it catch on the chain lock. “I’m sorry. I’m a friend of your...dad. I kind of wanted to talk to him. Can I come in?”
The girl looked him up and down. “Who are you?”
“My name is Peter.”
She looked thoughtful. “Parker?”
Peter smiled. “Yeah. That’s me.”
The girl shut the door again, but Peter could hear her messing with the chain. He was pretty sure he heard her jumping to reach it. After a moment the door opened properly. “You can come in. Papi told me about you.”
Peter walked in, dropping his backpack next to the door. The inside was pretty much how he’d remembered. Small and barely furnished. It seemed too small to be comfortable for both Wade and a kid. Peter noticed that the couch was a pull-out, and had been made up. Presumably that’s where the girl was sleeping. “What’s your name?”
“Eleanor… I like Ellie, though.”
Peter squatted down until he was eye-level with her, “It’s nice to meet you, Ellie.” He offered his hand and grinned when she shook it. “ Papi’s bedroom is over there, right?” He gestured to the closed door down the hallway.
Peter knocked on the bedroom door. “Wade? You alive in there?”
He could hear Wade breathing, so he was definitely alive. Deep, even breaths that told Peter he was also still asleep. “Wade!” He pounded on the door. Still nothing. Peter looked back to Ellie, who just shrugged.
“We were up late watching cartoons.” She offered.
“You still managed to get up at a normal hour.”
Ellie smiled. “The city is noisy. It’s hard to sleep in when everyone else is up.”
Huh. Ellie wasn’t wrong, but it also wasn’t something Peter tended to notice anymore. Hadn’t for a long time. He checked his watch: 12:13. “You hungry, Ellie?”
“I ate breakfast.” She said quickly. “But, yeah. I am kind of hungry.”
“How about I make you some lunch while we wait for Papi to wake up? That sound good?”
“Yeah!” Ellie lead him, unnecessarily, to the kitchenette. Opening the fridge Peter found mostly condiments, some frozen corn dogs, and quite a few frozen vegetables. Nothing terribly substantial. The cupboards fared a bit better, but after a quick look Peter still found himself frowning.
“I think a quick shopping trip is in order.” He announced. As soon as he said it, though, he realized how uneasy he felt with the idea of leaving Ellie basically alone. She didn’t seem to be tall enough to properly lock the door behind him, either. “How old are you, Ellie?”
“Seven! I’ll be 8 in two months, though!” Yeah, Peter was definitely not leaving her all alone.
“WADE!” He called when he got back to the door. He tried the door and was surprised to find it unlocked. “Oh. Ok, then.” He slowly opened the door and stuck his head inside. There was the mess he’d been expecting to find. He stepped carefully around the bizarre detritus until he was standing next to Wade’s bed. “Hey. Wake up!” He gently shook Wade’s shoulder. “Deadpool.” He hissed.
Nothing. Apparently Wade was capable of sleeping through a natural disaster. Or something was wrong. Peter grabbed his wrist to check his pulse. His heartbeat and breathing seemed fine.
He pulled the sleeve of his hoodie back, letting him access his web shooters. “Check your phone,” He shot onto the wall. He quickly followed that by sending Wade a text, “Ellie is with me. We went to get food. Be Back Soon.”
“Do you have a key?” Peter asked after closing the bedroom door.
“No. I’m not here much.”
Peter decided that he would make sure that Wade had a key made for Ellie before she came back. In the meantime, as sneakily as he could manage, he quickly webbed the door locked in lieu of a key.
As soon as they reached the top of the steps Ellie grabbed Peter’s hand, walking on the inside of the sidewalk, keeping Peter between her and the lunch-time traffic. “So, what do you like to eat, Ellie?”
“Everything!” She replied with enthusiasm.
Peter laughed. “Alright, can you narrow that down a bit?”
“Uuum. Mexican food?”
Like father, like daughter , Peter noted. “Oh yeah? What’s your favorite?”
“ Tacos Al Pastor .”
Peter grabbed his phone with his free hand, googling that. “Those look delicious. And also like something I can’t make in Wade’s kitchen.”
“Boo,” Ellie pouted. “ Taco de pollo ?”
“ De pollo ?” Another quick google. Chicken tacos . “Yeah, I can make those.”
“ ¡Yupi! ”
Peter let Ellie lead the way as they gathered ingredients. “ Tortillas de maíz. Pollo. Cilantro. Lima. Tomates. Cebolla roja. Pimientos poblanos. ” She taught him the Spanish names as they picked up the items. Corn tortillas, chicken, cilantro, limes, tomatoes, red onion, poblano peppers.
“Where did you learn Spanish, Ellie?” Peter asked as they walked back, again hand-in-hand.
“ Mi Mami … My mom. She taught me.” Her grip tightened in Peter’s hand. “English, too.”
“She did a great job.” He said, carefully. He had a feeling he’d stumbled onto something that Ellie didn’t want to talk about. That feeling was reinforced as she remained quiet the rest of the walk home.
Wade was still asleep when they returned. Still, Peter was kind of glad that Wade hadn’t woken up with them gone. He shot off another text, “We’re back. Making lunch. Come eat.”
Cooking didn’t take very long, since Peter had opted for some rotisserie chicken. Apparently the smell of food was enough to get Wade to wake up. “What the fuck ?” They heard from the bedroom. That would be Wade finding his webbed message, Peter guessed. There was more swearing, this time considerably quieter.
“ Papi ’s awake.” Ellie grinned from her seat on the couch.
The bedroom door slammed open and Peter barely had time to take in Wade’s appearance--jeans, Golden Girls t-shirt, and a baseball cap--before he was being shoved against the fridge, Wade’s hand around his throat.
“What the shit, Parker?” Wade hissed.
Peter made a choked noise, and pried Wade’s--Deadpool’s--fingers from his neck. “Sorry,” he coughed.
“You can’t just take off with people’s kids , Pete. You--” Wade glanced around. “Did you cook?”
Peter nodded. “Yeah. I told you I was making lunch.”
Wade narrowed his eyes and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He stared at the phone silently for a moment. “I didn’t read your second text.”
Wade cleared his throat. “I kind of got to, “Ellie is with me” and went from there.”
“Oh.” Peter sidestepped Wade, returning to the tacos he had been preparing. “I did try to wake you up.”
“Yeah. You were dead to the world.”
“Good morning, Papi !” Ellie called.
“Hi, Sweet Pea!” Wade waved and grinned at his daughter. “What time did she wake up?”
“No idea. She was awake when I got here. Around an hour or so ago.”
Peter glanced over to see Wade frowning. “She could have woken me up.”
“She said you guys stayed up watching cartoons?”
“Yeah.” Wade’s smile returned. “Have you seen Miraculous ? It’s adorable.”
Peter hadn’t heard of it, much less seen it. Ellie appeared by their side before he had the chance to say so, wrapping her arms around Wade. “Did you sleep well?”
“I did!” Wade knelt down, returning the hug. “What about you?”
“I slept ok.” She told him. “I got up at 8.”
Peter hadn’t even been awake at 8. “You could have woken me up, kiddo.”
“You needed your sleep, Papi . Besides, hanging out with Peter is fun!”
Peter felt himself blush as two sets of blue eyes focused on him. “Food’s ready.”
Ellie happily grabbed the plate that Peter offered her, and returned to her seat on the couch. A moment later he heard the TV turn on and an upbeat song started playing. Judging from the lyrics, it sounded like she’d started watching more Miraculous .
Wade hung back, still standing next to Peter. “Sorry.” He muttered. “For attacking you.”
Peter shrugged. “I took off with your kid. I’m sure I’d attack me too in the same situation.”
Wade huffed a laugh and shook his head. “It wasn’t really even that. It’s…” He paused. “I only get to see Ellie once a month. And that’s assuming nothing dangerous comes up. And after everything that went down in Africa, I really dropped the ball. I’m angry at myself, not at you.”
Peter nodded. The last week had been hectic for everyone, he supposed. “Might I offer you a taco in this trying time?”
Wade snorted as he took the food.
They ate quietly, watching the cartoon from the kitchenette. Wade was right: it was cute. It was vibrant and colorful, and the animation was fluid. He couldn’t help but grin as he watched the heroine swing herself around the streets of Paris using, what Ellie informed him was, a magical yo-yo.
After they’d eaten Peter quickly washed the dishes--he was the one who barged in and dirtied them up, Wade , let him clean it up--before the three of them curled up on the couch for another episode of the French cartoon.
“You’re a good cook, Peter.”
Peter smiled, “I had an amazing helper!” He patted Ellie on the head.
“ Papi , can we color?”
“Oh, I don’t know if Peter would want to--”
“Peter! Do you want to color with me?”
“If it’s ok with Papi , I’d love to color with you!”
Wade shot him what looked like an apologetic smile, which was ridiculous, because there was no way Peter wasn’t going to color with a sweet kid like Ellie.
Another two episodes passed as Peter and Ellie drew: Peter doing his best to draw Ellie in the style of Miraculous . “But I could be a spider!” She offered.
“Yeah? A spider?”
“Yeah! Like Spider-Man! He’s so great! Did you know that when he’s not helping The Avengers, he does stuff like helping cats out of trees? And getting ladies’ purses back for them, and…” Peter was pretty sure this was how he was going to die. He was going to be overwhelmed by a 7-year-old’s praise and die from sheer love and joy.
Peter was saved from having to try to come up with a reply to Ellie’s gushing by a knock at the door. He watched Wade move silently from the couch to the door, peering through the doorhole. Suddenly Wade’s posture relaxed and he unlocked the door, opening it widely.
“Emily! Shane!” Ellie jumped up from the couch, taking Peter’s drawing with her. “Look, look! Peter drew me as a superhero! I have a Spider Miraculous! It’s the headband, see?” A man and woman, presumably Emily and Shane, walked into the apartment, oohing and ahhing over the drawing that Ellie showed them. A young boy followed them into the apartment. He returned Peter’s grin with a shy smile.
“Jeff! You gotta come meet Peter!” Ellie took the boy’s hand and dragged him back to the couch. “Peter, next time will you draw Jeff, too?”
“I’d love too.” Jeff kept himself partially behind Ellie, although Peter had a feeling it was more because of Ellie’s burst of energy than any wariness he had of Peter.
“Thank you.” Jeff said quietly. “Could...could you draw me with a dog?”
“Of course. What kind of dogs do you like, Jeff?”
“Poodles,” he said, as though challenging Peter to make fun of it.
“I like poodles, too. I’ll be sure to draw something great for you.”
“Ellie, get your stuff.” Emily called from the door.
Ellie let go of Jeff’s hand and bounced around the room, gathering her belongings and throwing them haphazardly into a backpack.
Peter walked with Jeff over to Emily and Shane, introducing himself.
“It’s nice to meet you, Peter.” Shane said, shaking his hand.
“Do you know Wade from work?” Emily asked.
Wade laughed, “Nah. We just live in the same neighborhood.”
“ Hasta luego, Papi ,” Ellie said after she’d gathered her things. “ Te extrañaré mucho !”
“ Hasta pronto, mi hermosa hija .” Wade returned.
Once the door was shut and locked, and Wade had turned back to him, Peter fixed him with a questioning look. “We kind of know each other from work, though?”
Wade shrugged. “Yeah, but you’re keeping your identity on the downlow, right? If I told them I knew a 17-year-old from work, they’d know you were Spider-Man.”
Peter paused. “Wait. So...they know you’re Deadpool?”
Peter blinked. That seemed strange, but he wasn’t going to question it. It worked for them. Instead he busied himself helping Wade return the couch to its normal position. “Ellie’s a really sweet kid.”
“She is.” Wade agreed. “Emily and Shane are working on the paperwork to adopt her properly.”
“Oh. I’m sorry.”
He shook his head. “Don’t be sorry, it’s a good thing. She deserves a nice stable life. Which isn’t exactly something I can provide, you know?”
“Still. That sounds rough.”
“Thank you.” Wade stood up straight, admiring their work on the couch. “Wow. It’s Sunday afternoon. You just wasted your whole day here, huh? Don’t you have homework or something you should be doing?”
Peter rolled his eyes. “No. Well, ok, yes. But no. I didn’t waste the day. I had a great time.”
“Why’d you come over to begin with? I assume you hadn’t been planning to hang out with my daughter.”
“Oh. It wasn’t anything important. I just wanted to talk to you about something, but, yeah, I got a bit distracted.”
“Alright. You want a beer?”
“...I’m 17?” Wade just looked at him. “And can’t get drunk.”
“Neither can I,” Wade pulled two bottles from the fridge, “so, what’s the harm?”
“Good point.” Peter said, taking the bottle and twisting it open.
Wade chuckled. “That wasn’t a twist-off.”
“It is, now.” Peter said, taking a sip. It was vile . That must have shown on his face given how hard Wade was suddenly laughing at him. He made exaggerated gagging sounds and held the bottle away from him.
Wade was nearly doubled over laughing as he took the bottle back from him. “That was great. You want something else to drink? Water? Milk? Um,” he checked the fridge, “orange juice?”
“Water’s fine, I guess.”
Wade tossed a bottle of water to him. “So, what were you wanting to talk about?”
Peter followed Wade back to the couch. “We’re friends, right?”
Wade gave him a questioning look, “Yeah? I mean, I woke up to a note saying you’d taken my daughter and my first instinct wasn’t to find a creative way to murder you. So, yeah, I’d say we’re friends.”
“You choked me.”
“Which wasn’t me murdering you.”
“You should know that when you say things like that, it’s really scary. Like, legitimately terrifying.”
Peter balked. “Right. Ok. So, we’re friends. Does that mean you don’t just see me as a little kid, then? Or like a sidekick or something?”
Wade, for his part, looked mostly bewildered. “Of course not. If anything, I think I’m your sidekick, Spidey.”
Peter chuckled. “Good. I, uh, I have something I want to tell you. Promise me you won’t freak out.”
“You’re kind of making me nervous here, I gotta be honest.”
“Sorry! It’s just… I think I might be bi?”
Wade blinked, then grinned, giving him two thumbs up. “That’s great! Congratulations on the self-discovery!” He pulled Peter into a rough half-hug.
Peter let out a small squeak, “Th-thanks? I wasn’t done, though.” Wade let him go, and Peter shifted away slightly. Wade was still smiling, and Peter could tell he had his full attention, and probably also the most open body posture he’d ever seen Wade manage.
Peter could feel himself going red. He knew that if he didn’t manage to get this out now, he’d wuss out and probably never manage it. “Ijust--Ireallylikeyou,” he rushed out, cringing as he heard his voice crack.
Wade’s smile faltered slightly. “Oh.” He paused, not breaking eye contact. “Peter, honestly, I’m flattered.” Peter had been wrong. This was how he was going to die: of shame and embarrassment. “You’re a great guy, but--”
“But I’m a kid.” Peter finished.
Wade nodded slowly, “You being 17 is a factor, yes,” he admitted. “But that’s not the only one. Or even the biggest one. I’m...not good. For you. For anyone. And you deserve--”
“Fuck that.” Peter said suddenly. “If you don’t like me, that’s fine. But just say that. Don’t sit there and...and fucking patronize me.”
“I’m not patronizing you. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m dangerous. People I care about tend to have really bad things happen to them. Usually because of me. Sometimes directly caused by me .”
Peter crossed his arms. “You can’t hurt me. I proved that earlier. And we both know I can take you in a fight! You don’t get to decide what I do or don’t deserve.”
“Pete, sit back down,” Wade said softly.
Peter didn’t realize he’d even stood up. He made himself sit back down, and pulled his legs up to his chest, wrapping his arms around them. “Sorry,” he whispered.
Wade laughed, “Right, because you’ve never seen me have an emotional outburst.”
Peter buried his face against his knees, “Still. I’m sitting here telling you off for treating me like a kid, and then I just go and act like one.”
“Peter, I like you. You’re a good person. And I’m also pretty sure you’re looking for something more than just a good lay.”
“A good...oh!” Peter shifted, hiding his face from view. “What if I said that all I wanted was sex?”
He could hear Wade roll his eyes. “Then I’d kick you out for lying to me.”
“Maybe. But I’m ok with that, because I’m right.”
Peter grumbled against his legs.
“Besides, I’m not the sort of guy you’d want to take home to May.”
“Why not? May likes you.”
“I think her opinion of me might change if I started dating her underage nephew.”
Peter looked over at Wade. “17 is the age of consent in New York.”
Wade barked a laugh. “Did you look that up?”
“For this conversation?”
Peter wondered if it was possible to blush any harder. “Maybe.”
“Did you think it would work?”
“No, not really.” Peter admitted.
Wade laid a hand on his shoulder, and let out a long sigh. “Peter. Go home. Do your homework. Take some of this incredible food home to May. Find a nice guy or girl who isn’t a crazy hitman. Fall in love with them. Get treated right.”
Peter stood from the couch and stalked to the door. He grabbed his backpack and was out the door without looking back. He took off towards home, running as fast and as hard as he could until there was a stitch in his side and his lungs burned, and then he just kept running until he was back at the apartment he shared with May. He walked past her wordlessly and curled up in his room refusing to cry.