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Temporary House Guest

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Wade hit the wall hard enough to crack both it and his ribs.

Wow.

That hurt.

He stepped out of the indent and shook off the loose chunks of caulk and brick at a lazy pace, knowing the person who’d put him there would wait. Wade wheezed as he caught his breath and leaned forward to rest his hands on his upper thighs. He shivered as his healing factor kicked in and repaired the broken rib. The pain faded into his usual constant ache as it fixed itself up.

We should have seen that coming.

Wade shoved his swords back into their holsters and cracked his neck back and forth.

Time to get serious, huh?

We can handle that.

“You are not touching him,” Spider-Man said. He stood between Wade and his target with his hands up—still ready and raring to fight. A sliver of blood seeped through the thin rip in the fabric of his costume from where Wade’s swords had sliced him. The wound had healed enough to stop the blood flow but it still looked raw and painful. “Leave now, Deadpool.”

Change of plans.

Can we do that?

Our plans always involve killing anyone in the way of us killing our target.

Right. And Spider-Man’s the exception. We can’t kill him.

Which means…

“Change of plans,” Wade said under his breath. He pulled out his gun and pointed it at Spider-Man. I can shoot him without killing him. The hero stayed stubbornly in front of the wounded Norman Osborn with no fear of Wade’s bullets. “How good is your healing factor again? I’m debating a shot to the kneecap or the ribs since it’s very clear you’re not going to move.”

For some reason.

He’s a hero. It’s what they do—even for the bad guys.

Wade wouldn’t even ask why Spidey was defending the literal human monster behind him.

It’s what heroes like Spider-Man do.

But Wade had a job, too.

“I want to take you down and keep you down but not permanently, you know?” Wade continued when his thoughts returned to him. “I get the hero thing, I do. But I was paid in advance and I’m a man of my own word so, uh, Osborn’s got to go.”

“Then send the client a refund,” Spider-Man said. He remained unflinching—stubborn as a mule but with a way better ass to his name. “Because you are not killing him.”

“I’m not a refund sort of guy. It would destroy my credibility,” Wade said. He put his finger on the trigger and steadied his breath. Spidey can dodge bullets. We have to watch that. “So since I need to move you manually, I’d really like an answer to that earlier question about how good that healing factor of yours really is. Pretty please?”

“You figure it out,” Spider-Man said. Osborn moved behind him and the hero glanced at him before returning his focus to Wade. Spider-Man tensed and shifted his feet. The division of his attention was going to be his downfall, but he stayed in place. Spider-Man’s fist tightened. “Walk away, Wade.”

Oh, he pulled out the given name.

Spidey means business, too.

“We’ll start with the knees then,” Wade lied. He aimed the first shot toward the leg but changed direction fast enough to nick a rib when Spider-Man twisted in midair to dodge. He is so cool. Wade ran forward and kept firing. He sent a few stray shots toward Osborn but Spider-Man used his web to grab the man and yank him out of the way. “That’s cheating, Webs!”

“Are there rules?” Spider-Man called back. He dropped to miss the next bullet and stopped the following shot toward Osborn with yet another annoying web. “I was pretty sure this was a free-for-all.”

“Can’t argue with that.”

Spider-Man’s next web hit Wade’s gun, but he twisted it to the side fast enough to keep the barrel from getting clogged. He grabbed the webbing and yanked hard enough to pull the spider across the room and straight into Wade’s waiting boot. He kicked the bleeding slash and reopened the wood with a fresh gush of blood. Wade saw the twist of the man’s face beneath his mask from the pain, but it didn’t keep the hero down.

Here comes the punch.

Dodge. Fire.

Deadpool followed through and avoided Spider-Man’s fist before he shot again. The hero escaped with another scrape to his collection as he dropped his head and body back like he was in a life-or-death version of limbo.

Behind him, the rat Osborn had gotten to his feet and made a run for the door and Wade wasn’t the only one to notice. Spider-Man made sure to stay between Wade and the running man, backing up so he could dive into the next shot.

Time to up the playing field.

Wade fired rapidly and randomly, emptying the clip in the general direction of Spider-Man and Osborn.

Spider-Man—as Wade predicted he would—dove in front of at least one shot headed toward Osborn and took a direct hit to the stomach. The man went down but had no intention to stay down. He was halfway to his feet when Wade went for round two of his attack and pulled the explosive out of his bag. He watched Spider-Man’s head whip up with the motion but the bullet wound kept him from getting up fast enough to stop it.

The compact explosive sailed over the hero’s head, landing between Spider-Man and Osborn with a contrastingly large boom.

The explosion took out the entire floor and target alike.

Spider-Man shivered from his place covered in rubble near the mutilated body of the target draped over the hole in the destroyed doorway. Wade shook out his own joints, popping each one as his healing factor went to work once more. Always in motion. Always keeping us together. Poor Spider-Man didn’t have the same luxury. His costume had been shredded badly enough to reveal his open wounds. He’d shoved his mask halfway up his face to breathe with wet breaths.

Blood pooled under him, the hero swayed, but he managed to sit up.

His eyes were locked on Osborn.

“Dammit,” Spider-Man shouted, smacking his already bleeding hand into the floor. Wade heard the crack from across the room and hopped over on one foot while the other snapped back into place. Spider-Man dropped his head, his breath heavy. “Shit.”

Language.

He seems more upset than usual.

“You didn’t actually like that walking scum, did you?” Wade asked, motioning his hand toward the body. “This feels like way too much self hatred for the usual ‘I failed to save the bad guy from the mercenary’ sort of thing.”

Wade had seen that many times.

The hero failed to save the bad guy.

They put on a front of feeling bad.

They got over it.

Most heroes were just like Wade under the surface of their shiny images and adorable speeches. They wanted to see scum wiped off the face of the planet as badly as he did but had images to maintain.

Spider-Man dropped his head lower and bit his lip. His arm shook in frustrated rage and no quip escaped to lighten the mood.

The hero was wrecked.

He actually cared.

Always knew he was one of the different ones.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Wade said. He walked over to Osborn’s corpse and searched his memory for the proof of kill he needed. Photo was fine. Send it in a text. Wade pulled out his phone and snapped a pic of Osborn’s one open eye and the half of his face missing from the blast. Spider-Man made a disgusted whine behind him. Wade heard the shit of rubble as the hero continued to claw his way forward toward the dead body. “I won’t ask why you care, though. I don’t think I want to know.”

Wade sent the pic and received a confirmation of acceptance from the client a few seconds later.

Someone was waiting by the phone.

That someone really wanted Osborn dead.

The client promised Wade a tip and he chuckled as he dropped the body. He really really wanted that guy dead. There was nothing better than a satisfied custo—

A thump sounded behind Wade.

He turned over his shoulder and saw Spider-Man sprawled on his side, one leg bent awkwardly under him from where he’d fallen a few feet from where he’d landed after the explosion.

“Spider-Man?” Wade put his phone away and strode closer to the unconscious hero. With the hero’s back exposed, Wade could see where a sharp piece of metal had pierced his side. Symbolic. Between the gunshot and the metal, the poor guy was losing a lot of blood. Spider-Man and his shallow breaths were still wet with it. “I guess that answers the healing factor question.”

Wade himself had already healed after that nasty blast.

It’d been closer to him than us.

I know that.

Wade knelt next to the still hero. He pulled off a glove and pressed his fingers into the exposed neck from the rip in his costume. Wade found a steady pulse, but it was weak enough to be concerning.

What are our bets for a bad guy getting to him before an ambulance?

Bad bet. We already have our fingers on the guy’s neck.

The pulse remained soft and slow. Spidey wasn’t dying yet, but Wade figured Spider-Man wasn’t getting up on his own any time soon.

We could just leave. He’ll be fine.

Wade kept his fingers on Spider-Man’s throat.

He felt the pulse.

We do need to leave.

The big explosion did the job but it also attracted attention.

Sirens were in the distance and the building alarms came into focus after he stopped blocking them out. Deadpool kept his fingers on Spider-Man’s neck and bit his lip under the mask.

He really did need to leave.

Spider-Man would be found by the authorities.

With a dead Norman Osborn.

In a city that runs “Spider-Man is a Menace!” news articles every other day.

They’d eat “Spider-Man kills Norman Osborn” up in a heartbeat.

Which is ten times worse when you remember he really, really didn’t want that guy to die.

“Shit.”

They also will find out his identity either way if they don’t arrest him.

“I get it,” Wade said. He pried his fingers away from the soft skin and crawled over the unconscious hero to put his boot on the end of the metal bar in the Spider-Man’s side. He used his full weight to snap the bar in half while making sure the part imbedded in the hero’s side to keep the blood partway blocked. “I get it.”

He used a ripped piece of Spider-Man’s costume to secure the bar in place so it wouldn’t shift and lifted the man into his arms.

The alarms continued to blare in his ears as he hopped over Osborn through the hole in the wall and made his escape.


No apology would be enough.

The devastated look on Harry’s face would haunt Peter’s nightmares for years to come. His best friend’s knees hit the ground and he wailed, feeling the same grief deep in his chest that Peter had felt when Uncle Ben had been shot.

Peter’s eyes welled with tears of his own.

Norman Osborn hadn’t been a kind man.

He could even be an ass at times.

But he’d been loved.

“Harry,” Peter said. He stood in front of his friend, his mask in his hand and he fell to his knees before his best friend. I tried to save him. I couldn’t stop him. I wanted. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Peter’s mouth wouldn’t say what he wanted. He helplessly repeated the one word he could choke out: “Harry.”

“You did this,” Harry said. He looked up with furious, angry eyes that belonged to Norman Osborn. Harry shouted, “You killed him!”

Harry dove forward his hands meeting Peter’s throat.

“Up you go.”

Deadpool’s voice woke Peter with a start. The man’s large hand pressed on his shoulder, keeping him from jumping too high.

The mercenary spoke with a soft voice. “It was just a nightmare, Spidey.”

Peter turned his head to face the man. His mask itched where the fabric had been singed, but he could still feel it over his eyes and upper face. His protected identity was a welcome blessing, though Peter still felt uneasy as Deadpool sat on the side of the bed where he’d been tucked under the covers.

And everything hurt.

“It’s good to see you up. I was starting to get worried for a second there, Webs. On that note, I got the answer to my question by the way,” Deadpool said. He reached down and checked Peter’s pulse. His bumpy skin scraped against Peter’s and the mercenary hummed with an amused laugh under his breath. “Your healing factor is absolute shit.”

“Where are we?” Peter asked.  They were in a plain room with floral decor on the curtains and lampshades, but that didn’t tell him much. Peter had a good guess of where they could be, but he wanted Deadpool to confirm it. “Is this a hotel?”

“Nope! But you can expect excellent service from yours truly while you’re staying in my guest room,” Deadpool answered. “It’s normally for Al when I let her hang out here in my New York place, but I don’t think she’ll mind if you use it.”

“Al?”

“I’ll answer that if you ever meet her,” Deadpool said. He pulled his hand away and shoved it back into his glove. The man hopped up off the bed and brushed his hands against his costume. “In the meantime, how are you feeling? I bandaged you up but you’re still in rough shape.”

“Why am I here, Deadpool?” Peter asked. He tried to move his arm or sit up, but he felt too heavy to move. His energy had been zapped from him and Peter felt himself lucky he could find the strength to talk. “What’s the point of bringing me here?”

“I like you,” Deadpool said, shrugging hard enough to rattle the swords on his back. “If I left you at Osborn’s place, you’d probably have died. Still might, honestly. You bled a lot and I wouldn’t recommend moving too much.”

Peter could feel the truth in that statement through his lethargic body and the pain he felt with every breath.

“Go back to sleep,” Wade said, his voice almost a command. “I’ll wake you up if the nightmares come back.”

“I need to go home,” Peter said. He needed to see how Harry was doing. Peter had to call his Aunt May. He needed to tell MJ he was alright. Peter squeezed his eyes shut and steadied his breath. “I can’t stay here, Wade.”

“That’s the blood loss talking. We both know you can totally stay here for as long as I want you to,” Deadpool said. He reached over and pulled the blankets higher to Peter’s neck and tucked it under his shoulders. “Go back to sleep.”

Peter shivered from the repeated command.

There had been less kindness and more of a threat the second time around.

He shut his eyes and obeyed. Wade had the upper hand and Peter would need his strength if he wanted to get away later when the mercenary wasn’t looking.

“Good,” Deadpool said. He patted Peter on the head twice before he walked away from the bed. Peter heard the scrap of a chair across the carpet and felt the heavy thump that shook the floor when Deadpool dropped into it next to the bed. As Peter faded into another exhausted sleep, he heard Deadpool whisper, “I’ll make sure you keep breathing, so don’t worry.”

Peter met Harry again in his dreams, but this time Deadpool kept Harry and Peter separated as he sat between them.

Chapter Text

Peter had been with Deadpool for two days and still couldn’t stand on his own without falling over in pain.

Either his healing factor was on the fritz or he’d been hurt far worse than he’d realized in that explosion. Most of the injuries he’d sustained during his hero career were cured with a good night’s sleep and a few sore days, but he was still stuck in bed with a shockingly gentle caretaker.

“Easy,” Deadpool said, bracing Peter by the back as he helped him sit up. He gritted his teeth together as his mending insides stretched and bent. His skin crawled with every touch but Peter didn’t fight Deadpool while there was a real chance he could rip open the delicate stitches holding him together in a struggle. “That’s it. A quick bandage change and you can go back to sleep.”

Peter didn’t answer and kept his eyes on Deadpool’s hands. He watched the gloved fingers undo the bandages and reveal the wet, stitched wound on his stomach from where the bullet had entered. Peter exhaled slowly when he saw the wound and the clear signs of repair.

His healing factor was working—which meant if Peter had been a normal human he’d have been dead twice over with a wound like that.

“Sorry about that,” Deadpool said, gently poking the stomach wound. The man laughed and held his hand up, making a gun shape out of his fingers. He made a fake shot toward the wall. “I knew your hero instincts would make you jump in front of that bullet and shot anyway.”

Peter bit back his response. He’d take another five bullets if it kept Harry’s dad alive. Deadpool sensed his bad mood and went back to changing the bandages with a steady hand.

“At this rate, you’ll be back on your feet in a few more days and back out swinging in that city you love,” Deadpool said. He finished securing the last of the loose, clean bandages around Peter’s waist and ribs and pulled the blanket up to his waist. “Do you want to go back to sleep or sit up for a bit?”

“Up,” Peter said. He reached over with a shaking hand and grabbed a pillow, shoving it behind his own back with minimal pain. Peter wasn’t going to chat with Deadpool, but it’d be foolish to avoid answering basic care needs. “What time is it?”

“A little after five,” Deadpool said. He walked into the adjoined bathroom and washed his gloves in the sink. “Do you want dinner now or later?”

“I want a phone,” Peter said. He covered his face and put his hands under the mask to rub his eyes. The half mask needed washed but he couldn’t find the time. Deadpool had taken to hovering and barely left Peter’s side in his two days of confinement. “I do have friends who can pick me up and they don’t have to do it here. You can drop me off anywhere.”

“No can do,” Deadpool said. He returned to Peter’s bedside and patted him on the head. “My job, my gun, and my shot means it’s my responsibility to nurse you back into good health.”

“I want to go home,” Peter repeated. He motioned his hand down his bare chest and bandages in a sweeping motion. “I’m well enough to move so there’s no reason to stay here with you.”

“You’re still angry,” Deadpool said. He walked around and sat on the other side of the bed. He reached over and patted Peter’s leg through the blanket. “But you are in no shape to go anywhere and I don’t trust anyone else to treat you right in the mask. I said I’ll take responsibility and I’m going to do it.”

“The Fantastic Four and Avengers respect my identity and have better medical care,” Peter tried again. He felt the anger bubble in his chest and risked Deadpool’s temper to speak his mind. “And they aren’t murderers who kill people as easy as taking a walk.”

“I’ll give you a point for the second, but your argument is void from the first,” Deadpool said. He put his hand on his chest and tilted his head to the side. “My field training is not only top notch, but we both know they’re going to let your healing factor do most of the work. Whether you sit in my guest room or some lab, it’s all the same: sitting.”

“I see you ignored the part about finding your company repulsive.”

“I always do,” Deadpool said. He sat up against the bare headrest while the spare pillow sat behind Peter’s back. He crossed his arm on his chest and crossed his legs at the ankles. “Either way, this is my house and I make the rules. You’re not leaving until Dr. Deadpool gives you a clean bill of health.”

As soon as Peter found where Deadpool hid his web shooters and had the strength to punch him out, that would change.

“I can feel the glare of death through the mask and can almost hear your mental plotting,” Deadpool said. He turned toward Peter and motioned his hand toward his face. “And I can see it on those angry lips. You’re cute when you’re scary, you know that?”

“Deadpool,” Peter said. He reached over to grab the man’s uniform and twisted, dragging him closer. “You are going to give me a phone and I’m going to leave.”

“No, you’re not,” Deadpool said. He leaned over and pressed his fingers into the bandages under the blankets. Peter gasped and doubled over holding his gut at the wave of pain that raced through him from so little a touch. “You’re in no shape to get up and walk around. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of you and I enjoy your company. You’re staying.”

Peter bit his lip and curled in on himself. He breathed through his open mouth—how could a bullet wound still hurt so badly?

“Let’s watch some TV.” Deadpool opened a side table drawer and fished out a remote. “That’ll get your mind off the pain until dinner.”

Peter bit his lip and dug his fingers into his bandages as he steadied his breathing.

Ignoring Peter’s aching insides, Deadpool turned on the television mounted on the wall in front of the bed and flipped through channels. “Tell me when you see something you want to watch.”

He looked away from the television and refused to humor Deadpool. He wasn’t going to pretend to be his friend or play house. The man had killed Norman Osborn and he would be held accountable for it as soon as Peter escaped.

Just as soon as he could move without doubling over.

“It figures when I want TV to distract us there’s nothing good on,” Deadpool said. He flipped through three more channels before he stopped on a news station reporting on Norman Osborn’s murder. “We definitely don’t need to watch that.”

Harry Osborn walked onto screen as Deadpool lifted the remote.


“Don’t change the channel,” Spidey demanded, slamming his hand over Wade’s to stop him from hitting the remote. “Leave it here.”

Demanding, isn’t he?

It’s part of his charm.

I like it when he yells at us.

It’s been too long since we met someone who wasn’t scared of us.

For now.

“You really want to watch this?” Wade asked, nodding back at he screen. “We already know what happened to Osborn. You kinda lived it.”

Spidey let go of his arm and grabbed the blankets. “Be quiet.”

Wade snapped his mouth shut.

While he contemplated what could be so important about a news broadcast, the hero stared at the screen. If he leans farther any more he’ll rip his stitches open. Spider-Man breathed harder as he shifted to get a better look at the television, enraptured by the oh-so-entertaining content of a news show. Wade glanced at the TV again to pinpoint what exactly had caught Spidey’s attention—There was no way it was just the Osborn article—Or maybe it was about Osborn.

The mini one, anyway.

Harry Osborn: The offspring of his target.

Who had Spidey’s undivided attention.

“As many of you know,” Harry said, standing at a podium surrounded by reporters. “My father was killed two days ago leaving me in charge of Oscorp. I have my suspicions about who took my father’s life, and believe me, he will be found and brought to justice.”

Wade snorted and earned a smack from Spidey, though the arachnid didn’t look away from the screen.

“However, that is not the only crime of which this villain is guilty,” the mini Osborn said. He licked his lip and gripped the stands of the podium. “At the same time of my father’s death, my best friend Peter Parker went missing.”

Peter Parker?

Takes pictures of Spidey for the Bugle.

Wade snapped his finger next to him at the recollection. He remembered Parker! He looked the man up after seeing his name on the credit line for every single Spider-Man pic he cut out of the Bugle for his scrapbooks.

How can someone who works with Spidey keep company with scum like Osborn?

How could Spider-Man fight so fiercely to protect Norman Osborn?

“I do not believe it is a coincidence that my best friend went missing at the same time my father was murdered,” mini Osborn said. The man gripped the podium again and shifted his hands, barely containing his rage. “Or that he is known friends with Spider-Man, the last person spotted going into Oscorp on the day my father died.”

Oh no.

“I don’t know what you want from me and my family, Spider-Man, but you will return Peter to me alive or so help me,” Harry said into the microphone, snarling in a familiar way. The family resemblance is strong in that one. Mini Osborn smacked the podium. “I will stop at nothing to bring you to justice for both the murder of my father and for whatever you’ve done to Peter.”

Deadpool should have turned off the TV.

Didn’t we kidnap Spidey from the scene to prevent this?

“Harry,” Spider-Man whispered, his shoulders dropping. He fell back into the cushions and covered his face. “As if he didn’t hate me enough already.”

Why does Spidey care what mini Osborn thinks?

It’s not like he’s the one who’s friends with the—

Deadpool cut the thought off and tossed the remote on the bed toward Spider-Man. “I’m getting dinner. Enjoy watching people hate you if you want, but I recommend changing the channel.”

Spidey groaned and sunk into the bed, slumping under the covers and shoving the pillow behind him further up. He reached for the remote and turned off the television before tossing it on the side table.

The hero covered his face with both arms in a huff.

Being best friends with the mini Osborn would explain why he was so upset about daddy Osborn being our target.

It would.

Deadpool kept the bedroom door open and kept one eye on Webs as he went into his kitchen and pulled out a few pans to make a quick dinner.

And Peter Parker does take an awfully lot of good shots of Spider-Man.

Like he always knows where the guy is going to be.

He did.

Parker’s been missing for the same amount of time as Spider-Man.

“I get it!” Deadpool yelled. Spidey jumped in the other room before he jerked and rolled over. Deadpool winced and set the pan on the stove. He’d have to apologize later for startling the man when he was already in so much pain. Deadpool lowered his voice and shook his head. “I get it. There is a good chance we know who Spider-Man is now.”

Peter Parker.

“But I can’t know for sure unless I take his mask from him and check.”

Which would be a low blow for us.

Even worse than murdering Osborn in front of him.

He knew the risks of that! Spidey has no one to blame but himself for that!

Wade filled the pan with a light layer of oil and turned on the burner. He grabbed some vegetables and meat to fry and set them next to the stove.

Did anything change if he knew Spider-Man was Peter Parker?

Not really. We’re still keeping him here to make sure he doesn’t die.

It mostly proves that he has shit friends.

To go with his shit healing factor!

Wade dumped the finished meal onto a plate and grabbed some silverware. He carried it back into the other room and sat next to the bed in his chair. Spider-Man had slumped over on his side, holding himself and curled in.

“You need to eat something, buddy,” Wade said. “You can’t use that healing factor of yours without some energy to power it.”

“I’ll eat later,” Webs mumbled. He pulled the blanket over his head and huddled into a small ball under the covers. “Go away and let me sulk.”

Wade set the plate on the side table. “Don’t sulk too long or it’ll get cold.”

He left Spidey to eat alone in peace and returned to the couch. Wade pulled over his laptop and pulled up his favorite intel gathering program with a few clicks.

Peter Parker.

Wade wanted to know just how many people other than Osborn might be missing Spidey.

If it was only mini Osborn…all the more reason to keep him.