Wade Wilson was great at pretending everything was always peachy, but Ellie wasn’t a kid anymore and she could see how lonely he was ever since her mom passed away. It wasn’t that her dad wasn’t trying, he just didn’t have much luck – his last boyfriend Nathan suddenly decided he had better things to do like saving the world or whatever, and his last girlfriend Shiklah kind of turned out to be a demon queen straight from hell so she had to go.
Ellie didn’t mind that it was just the two of them, really, because Wade was a great dad and they were fine on their own, but fine wasn’t really enough. She didn’t want it to be enough for the man who’s been through a lot and sacrificed everything for her. He deserved a little bit of extra happiness and Ellie was determined to help him get it. She simply didn’t know how – until her teacher stayed for tacos one evening and then kind of stayed, period.
At first, she was just happy that someone she liked, and even trusted, got along with her dad, which was an impressive feat on its own. Every time Peter came by, which luckily stopped being a moral issue after Wade made him pancakes, he stayed a little bit longer until, eventually, he spent one night on their couch and gained the status of the family pet spider (Wade didn’t believe in cats ever since Mr. Crusty Bottoms decided to move out with the demon girlfriend).
Ellie wasn’t any expert on romance but she wasn’t blind either. She could see Peter’s lingering looks and carefully hidden blushes when Wade said one of his inappropriate haha-I’m-kidding-but-I’m-one-hundred-percent-down-if-you’re-down jokes. No matter how subtle Peter though he was being, it was pretty obvious he wasn’t immune to Wade’s odd charm, not that Ellie could blame him. Her dad, on the other hand, wasn’t subtle at all.
“You need to transfer schools, I feel uncomfortable with you knowing I want to fuck your teacher.”
“Sure this is what you want, mister manly macho man,” drawled Ellie, rolling her eyes. “As if I didn’t see the wedding dress designs. They’re crappy, by the way. Hire a professional.”
Wade gasped theatrically, putting a hand over his chest. “You’re lucky I can’t get up, young lady, because I would-”
“Follow me to school and hide under my desk so you could sigh dreamily while Peter was boring us to death with physics? Come on, dad. You know you can’t lie to me.”
Wade grumbled something petulantly under his breath, but Ellie didn’t miss the way the tips of his ears turned bright pink. It was kind of sweet, or would be, if it wasn’t also kind of gross – old people in love, ew. She sighed and patted her dad on the head, grinning as he tried to swat her hand away, and blew him a kiss before she walked out of the house, ironically, because he was the sap, not her.
She couldn’t help but space out during the lessons, especially during Peter’s class, because all she could think about while he droned about whatever boring subject they were currently on, was Peter wearing one of Wade’s embarrassing t-shirts as he placed a plate of waffles in front of her. She frowned at the memory because, sure, it was a really nice Saturday but nothing to be daydreaming about, especially considering that what she wanted was a boyfriend for Wade, not another dad, thank you very much; the one she had was enough.
“Eleanor, stay after class.”
She startled at the sound of Peter’s voice, ducking her head to avoid his undoubtedly scornful expression. “Sorry, Pe- Parker. Mr. Parker. Ugh. Sorry.”
She resisted the urge to hide her face in her hand when she heard several giggles – she was definitelynot staying after class, not after a fail like that. She promised Peter she would behave herself at school and treat him like any other teacher, all the gods knew he wasn’t treating her any differently. She could feel his eyes on her, but refused to meet them, determinedly staring at her textbook until the bell finally rang. She probably would have snuck out but Peter was watching her like a hawk and before Ellie could devise any strategy, she was faced with her teacher’s concerned look.
“What’s going on, Ellie? Is- is it your dad?”
Ellie blinked, surprised. “No, dad’s fine. Everything’s fine.”
Peter sighed in relief, before composing himself and clearing his throat awkwardly. “So, um, h-how- How is he.”
Ellie’s eyes hurt with the urge to roll. Peter hasn’t come by recently, too busy being a respectful member of society, no doubt, and he was probably worried, maybe even missed Wade, not that he would ever admit that; and here she thought Peter was supposed to be a grownup. She shrugged nonchalantly, pretending to inspect her nails.
“He’s bored so he started bringing home hookers and prank-calling the president again,” she deadpanned, watching Peter eyes widen in terror. “I’m joking. Geez, chill. Why don’t you ask him yourself?”
Peter ducked his head, clearing his throat again. “It’s not really… you know, any of my business. Just curious…”
Ellie was unable to hold back the eye-roll this time. It was really sad to watch how those two kept dancing around the giant elephant in the room, and pretty tiring too. She could understand her dad – no one would ever blame him for being insecure – but Peter’s obliviousness was seriously starting to worry her. He clearly liked Wade, who was never the one for sending mixed signals, so what the hell?
“So, if it isn’t about Wade, what’s going on with you?”
Ellie cursed inwardly and faked a laugh. “Oh, nothing, haha, just, you know, teenager-y stuff! Sorry, the spacing out thing won’t happen again, promise! So I gotta go now, do more… teenager-y stuff, heh. Okay, bye!”
She fled the classroom, groaning in embarrassment – let no one say that Wade never thought her anything, because he taught her everything she knew, smooth talk included. She considered taking a detour to the nurse’s office and asking Gwen if Peter has been so thick-headed when they were dating, but she really didn’t want to explain how she knew that.
Instead, she went straight home and took out her frustration on Wade, mostly by pretending there was no sugar at home and she was too busy with homework to buy any. Her dad probably cried tears as bitter as his coffee, and that was going to have to suffice, for now, because Ellie really did have a lot to do. What was she actually doing with her afternoon, however, was doing research on an entirely different subject than anything she had at school.
She, Eleanor Wilson, matchmaker extraordinaire, was going to get Wade and Peter together.
Ellie Wilson was probably the worst matchmaker ever. Not only every single one of her elaborate ploys failed, but her dad caught on her shenanigans pretty fast. She wasn’t sure what gave her away, but it was probably the general lack of subtlety to all her actions, crowned with that one time she “accidentally” pushed Peter, who face-planted right into Wade’s lap. She’s be lying if she said she wasn’t anticipating The Talk while she sat on the couch, curled in on herself, with Wade staring at her and making faces until she cracked.
“I was just trying to help,” she muttered petulantly. .
“Oh, you are helping, Ellie,” said Wade, not bothering to hide his sarcasm. “With making me a registered sex offender.”
Ellie groaned, crossing her arms on her chest. “You’re being melodramatic, dad! It’ll work. It did in that one yaoi I’ve read…”
“Is this how you spend my money?! Unbelievable. I am speechless. I’m never speechless. You’ve made me speechless.”
“I found it in your room dad,” she deadpanned.
Wade spluttered indignantly, flailing and screeching incoherently for a while. “In any case! Cut it out! Whatever you were thinking you were doing, it stops now. I’m serious, Ellie. It’s not something-” Wade sighed, rubbing his face. “I… appreciate the thought, but- It’s not something you can do anything about.”
“Someone should…” she muttered, staring pointedly at her knees.
Her dad didn’t reply and she could hear his wheelchair squeak, but she refused to look up until she heard him rummaging the kitchen. She listened in, but Wade wasn’t mumbling to himself like he usually did, and Ellie felt a pang of guilt – he was quiet only when he was really hurt and it was her fault, as much as she wanted to pin this one on Peter.
Biting her lip, she briefly considered slipping out to her room and pretending nothing happened but, as odd as they were as a family, they always confronted their issues, one way or another. The current situation warranted at least making sure they were okay, so Ellie followed her father into the kitchen to help him out with dinner. But Wade was just contemplating take out menus, frowning at them as if they were making the choice difficult for him.
“I really am sorry, you know,” she said. “But I did get your crotch in close proximity to Peter’s face…”
Wade huffed, slipping the heap of menus across the table. “Yes, and for that you get to order pizza. You’re grounded for all the rest, though.”
Ellie grinned, grabbing the phone, because that wasn’t even punishment – Golden Girls marathons were punishment. The air between them was cleared by the time Wade contaminated it with his toxic burps and Ellie almost forgot that Wade was still depressed about the whole futile thing with Peter and would go back to his pointless sulking as soon as she went to sleep. Wade could act like a quitter all he wanted, but she definitely wasn’t and if he didn’t want her help, she’d just have to get someone else to help him.
Aunt Inez was always on the move, but she liked visiting friends around Thanksgiving. A little incentive from Ellie in the form of a few phone conversations about how dejected Wade has been lately was only going to help Inez decide which friends to visit this year. All Ellie had to do after that, was introduce her to Peter and she’s got herself the perfect solution. People protected their territory when it was threatened, right? Peter would simply have to make a move. If it was good enough to work in yaoi, it was good enough for her.
She asked Peter over under the pretense of moving the couch, seeing as Wade couldn’t really help her with that and it worked perfectly as an valid excuse. Peter seemed too distracted to even ask any questions on their way to the house, constantly fixing his clothes and hair. The most amazing part was that he wasn’t even aware of that, and Ellie would think it was cute if it wasn’t so annoying. Predictably, he was suddenly brought back down to earth after realizing that Wade wasn’t home.
“I thought you said your dad doesn’t leave the house,” he muttered, frowning.
Ellie shrugged. “Inez always kidnaps him whenever she’s in town.
“Yeah, dad’s old flame, from before he met my mom. They’re still pretty close, though. That’s why we’re moving the couch. She’s staying with us.”
She watched Peter swallow as his scowl deepened. She resisted the urge to whoop with joy – she’s got him on the hook, but it was too soon for the victory dance. The confused frown didn’t leave Peter’s face the whole time they were moving the dumb piece of furniture, and Ellie was honestly shocked it didn’t crush his feet even once, considering his daze. She started to get honestly worried when Peter’s coffee went cold while he kept staring at the table like it held the answers to the greatest question of the universe.
“That Inez,” he finally blurted out. “Is she staying for Thanksgiving?”
It was Ellie’s turn to frown. “That’s the idea… Not that we’re complaining, you know. It’s not really fun if it’s just the two of us. Why?”
“I see,” whispered Peter, nodding. “Because, you know, I thought so too because, um… It’s just me and my Aunt too, and- I kind of thought we could- Never mind. It’s a family holiday and you guys clearly have it covered.”
Ellie reflexively punched Peter’s shoulder. “Stop being a tsundere! You’re no less family than Inez is and you know it!”
“Hey!” hissed Peter, rubbing his arm. “What’s a tsundere.”
Just as Ellie was about to get into a detailed explanation, the door opened and Inez pushed Wade’s wheelchair inside, all giggling and bickering. Ellie could practically hear Peter’s heart drop to the pit of his stomach, but before anyone could faint – mostly Ellie, who hadn’t anticipated Peter getting the wrong idea – Inez swooped in and saved the day.
“Well, isn’t he a cutie,” she cooed, leering.
Wade cleared his throat, chuckling awkwardly. “Yeah, and he’s all ours! He cooks, he cleans, still working on getting him into a maid uniform, but you know me, I don’t give up easily!”
The moment Peter didn’t instantly counter Wade with even lamer joke, Ellie knew she screwed up, and bad. She kept watching Peter’s face, but it was kind of blank, so she decided to check with her dad – he, on the other hand, looked like he was regretting every single life choice that had lead him to conceiving his daughter. Ellie, swallowed, giggling hysterically.
“Hoo boy, awkward~! Classic dad-forgot-to-tell-his-boyfriend-about-his-girlfriend, ha ha…”
“I’m not his boyfriend!”
“I’m not his girlfriend!” protested Inez at the same time. “Wait, you’re not his boyfriend? How come? He’s been spewing poetics about you the entire day, all romantical and shit!”
“Oh, God,” groaned Wade, hiding his face in his hands.
“You have?” blurted out Peter, blushing.
“Oh, God,” moaned Ellie, mortified by this development.
“He thinks you’re the best thing since Bea Arthur,” Inez cheerfully informed Peter.
“Oh, God,” repeated Wade, trying to roll as far away as possible.
Unfortunately for him, Inez was stronger than she looked, and she wouldn’t even let him budge from the spot. He cursed and thrashed, and Ellie was worried for a second he would fall off the wheelchair, but Inez grinned and wrapped her arms around his chest, rubbing his cheeks with her face.
“Aw, did we embarrass you, Wadey, you poor thing…”
“I’m gonna kill every last one of you!” growled Wade, blushing to the tips of his ears. “Not you, though, Peter. You’re just a victim, like me. Just them. I’ve killed people, you know. And I’ve had a lot of free time to take up odd interests. They’ll never find your bodies.”
Inez laughed even louder. “Sure they won’t! Ugh, you’re just too adorable! I could eat you up! Whatever happened to us!” She placed a wet kiss on Wade’s cheek and released him from her clutches, waving at Ellie. “Come on, Els! Grownups are going to have a little chat, this is no place for us, young and uninhibited spirits!”
Ellie nodded dumbly and followed Inez outside, too stunned to fully realize the extent of the trouble she was going to be in when they came back. But there were no repercussions, as impossible as it sounded, and not only because she was technically under Inez’s protection. Judging by the lack of wrecked furniture and the giddy smile donning Wade’s face, his conversation with Peter must have gone well, but Ellie was afraid to ask, in case her father actually had a mental breakdown and became a vegetable.
“So, is she fired?” asked Inez, like it was nothing, and Ellie wanted to disappear.
Wade laughed. “Fired?! She’s getting a raise! And you! You gotta buy a house here or something, because I see a lot of sleepovers in Ellie’s future and that nerd doesn’t have any friends except herteacher.”
“Hey, I have friends!” she protested.
Her dad faked a gasp. “It speaks! Relax, kid. I’m not mad at you. I probably would be, like, a lot, but all’s well that ends well and all that. Daddy’s gonna be getting laid~ Whoo-hoo!”
And gross it was. If Peter and Wade were annoying when they weren’t together, they were sickening as a couple. Ellie needed to go to college, like, yesterday, or at least change schools – knowing your teacher liked your dad was one thing, knowing he saw him naked was another. Still, if living with Wade has taught her anything, it was resistance to nearly unbearable levels of discomfort. Wade was happy – she could handle her dad being the teenage girl in their house.
Inez decided to visit different friends for Thanksgiving, claiming other people’s happiness depressed her too much to have anything to be thankful for. Peter was inconsolable, because he was dying to learn embarrassing things from Wade’s past, but his aunt kept him busy enough with dinner preparation to spare everyone his whining. May Parker was a godsend, and it took Ellie less than an hour to start getting worried about Wade dumping Peter for her.
It was loud at the table, which wasn’t too surprising with Wade in the room, but it was a different kind of loud – a kind that brought a nostalgic smile to Ellie’s face, a kind that reminded her of her mom. Everything smelled heavenly, and Ellie only slightly regretted that it wasn’t their usual Thanksgiving dinner, when they wouldn’t even bother being thankful if it stopped them from eating.
“I’m still upset I don’t get to sit next to the most beautiful lady in the entire New York state…” whined Wade, faking a pout.
Peter rolled his eyes, somehow managing to make it look fond. “Yeah, I wish Inez were here too…”
“What?! I’m talking about May!”
May giggled, fanning herself. “Oh Wade, you’re too sweet! Doesn’t mean you get the pie before the turkey. Now come on, everyone, we’ve got some thanking to do.”
Ellie took her father’s hand, barely stopping herself from grinning like an idiot when Wade winked at her, and as she watched Peter and Wade’s intertwined fingers, she couldn’t help but agree with May.