Chapter 1: Pre-Wooing
If Peter Parker had been in the business of handing out gold stars or pats on the back he definitely felt he deserved at least a dozen of either at the end of his first month as Spider-Man. The first several for how quickly he had come to accept the whole “being a superhero” deal. The second four or five for how he hadn’t allowed himself to use that as an excuse to stop turning in his music homework, no matter how much he sucked at it. The final few for how he was managing to burn the candle at ends he hadn’t known candles had. Peter could only conclude that spiders would make great Wall Street traders, being-arachnids aside.
All things considered, he wasn’t burned out, just say, high schooler-aiming-for-Harvard burned out. It was manageable. Writing test answers with an arm that jarred thanks to [enter Villain of the Week here] was a chore and washing his suit nightly in a 24 hour Laundromat in Chinatown while he sat in his tighty whities to keep from arousing Aunt May’s suspicions about his new-found clean-freak tendencies was an especial bitch but it was all doable.
What wasn’t so doable, Peter knew by week six of the gig, was any kind of normal human social interaction. Luckily, Peter was still down in metaphorical basement of Midtown High’s popularity ranking so the change in his behaviour wasn't even noticed. The only complication came in the shape of Gwen Stacy and her insistence on being a super-smart, super-friendly, super-sharp honor roll student who had to ask him, at every turn, how he was faring.
Peter thought about it from her point-of-view, the guppy-like delay before he remembered to give a practiced, casual smile and a shrugged “Nothing, nah, it’s all cool”. In his head, Peter filtered through replies of “I have Captain America’s number in my cell-phone. He gave me a shoulder squeeze. I kind of don’t ever want to wash it now” and “Sorry, I’m trying to think how to defeat a guy who dresses up like an evil mechanical cephalopod but you were saying?” and “I’m deciding how to let down the Avengers about joining their group, how’s “It’s not you, it’s me” sound to you?”.
He found himself looking into Gwen’s face and wondering how exactly it was that he felt about her, about "things". Was he was sad that he couldn’t bring himself to give a no-holds barred account of all the Spider-Man madness, AKA The Really Bad Plan (hey, he’d read comics as a kid: girlfriends and sidekicks. It was always the girlfriends and sidekicks, right?)? Or, was it that he wasn’t actually sad? Wasn’t sad because at least he had someone who was determined to be his friend in spite of the insanity he was learning to doggy paddle in.
He didn’t have the luxury of the time to come to any conclusions. For the first time in his life Peter found himself using the calendar app on his smart phone religiously. Chemistry homework at four, punch out Boomerang at six, get home in time to peel potatoes with aunt May at eight. It mostly worked.
He blamed his college applications. Peter seriously did not have time for all the ass-kissing. He'd been forced to cut another hour off his already pretty lean nightly sleep. A whole hour, just to make the time to search his soul for reasons why he wanted to attend college aside from maybe one day having a job and income that would enable him to live someplace where he has didn’t have to defend socks strewn on his bedroom floor and the use of towels until they started to crunch. The change to his schedule threw him right back off balance again, leaving him yawning when he was supposed to be shooting webs, blinking back sleep when he should have been scampering out of sight.
The boomerang that whizzed towards his head should, by rights, have sliced clean through his neck at the jugular. Instead, it had landed on the floor with a “plunk” and the night air had jarred with the grate of metal on metal and then with gunfire at close quarters. Peter had been left, stock still and eyes wide in the aftermath. A beat later, a wet slap of flesh hit the concrete and the boy was left staring at Boomerang and thinking how the guy wasn’t that bad, attempts on his life aside. When the villain started whimpering a second later about how badly his throwing hand hurt, Peter let out the breath he hadn’t know he was holding.
A huge figure stepped out of the shadows. Peter filled with dread as his gaze panned up and up and up some more until he was looking into a mask that reminded him of those knock-off “Spideyman” costumes he’d seen on eBay, shipping out of Hong Kong in 16-25 working days.
“Oh god, I’ve got a fanboy” Peter’s brain offered. A second later, he caught sight of – holy fuck, who even owned katanas outside of Japanese cartoons? – and then added in the boomerang-falling-out-of-the-air-plus-well-aimed-gunfire to correct himself: “Oh god I’ve got a ninja stalker”.
“Hey,” the figure’s voice was no better, gravelly and foreboding, “Might want to be more careful in the future if you wanna keep your brains where you like ‘em."
Peter stared back in wide-eyed awe-cum-horror. The moment lasted all of five seconds. Then the ninja-man began... gushing.
“Homygod it’s Spider-Man. You know you’ve got a song now, right? It’s catchy; I was singing it in the shower this morning. Man, I wish I’d packed a Sharpie in my belt; I’d totally get you to sign my suit, maybe some other time. Hey, if you like waffles we could get those. Not right now, I’ve got a date with a sweaty Russian guy. By date I mean strangling him with his own intestines-"
Peter found the wherewithal and breath to interject only to be blown back by the ninja who, apparently, didn’t suffer from such mortal weaknesses as needing to take in oxygen.
“So this has been awesome and we need to do it again sometime real soon. I’ll add you on Facebook. Don’t worry, I’ll find you: I’m really good at spotting the fake accounts. You oughta sue over those by the way: they’ve said some pretty defamatory stuff. Defamatory and homoerotic. Oh and you can follow me on Twitter too if that’s your thing, you seem like a guy who tweets. So. I’ll go. Can I- can I just touch you real quick-“ Peter watched, dazedly, as he got gently prodded in the arm by one large glove-clad index finger, “Best. Day. Okay, don’t go walking into any more death traps without me now, y’hear! Holla atcha your boy!”
Without a sound, the man had disappeared, hands on his mask-shaped belt-buckle. Peter turned in a slow 360, eyes trained on the darkness for any movement, spidey sense thrumming with expectation and readiness. Nothing. Back facing front, he heard Boomerang muttering a string of curses, not, he realised, aimed at him but at some... Dead...fool? Deadpool.
So then there’d been this guy. After that, the balance of Peter’s life had tipped pretty heavily towards things making no goddamn sense at all.
Optimistically, Peter had initially chalked the ninja-stalker-shoot-out encounter up to a less-than-kosher hotdog he’d scarfed down in Alphabet City. He had committed the well-learned lesson that 50 cents was too little to pay for a hotdog only to return home to a Friend Request from a “Dead Pool”. The sickly feeling had lingered for hours after that.
His research into the guy didn’t help either. Between history homework, awkward conversations in highly coded language with Gwen at lunch about his do-goodery and an attempt to build up a photography portfolio that didn’t consist solely of action shots of him in an onesie, Peter tried to contact Avengers, Fantastic Fours, X-Men, to shed light on the encounter. The replies he received were curiously monosyllabic:
“No. Just no.”
Wolverine had started a countdown from five and Peter had taken that as a sign to go and buy those groceries aunt May had asked him to pick up.
Another week had passed before a Facebook message arrived from Dead Pool. The twist in Peter's stomach had turned 25-cent-hotdog bad on its arrival because, by then, he’d grappled enough first and second-hand accounts together to know about Weasels, Blind Als and that one incident with the unsuspecting guy who preferred the Star Wars prequels (which, Peter kind of agreed was unforgiveable, in a blood-shed-free way).
The message had read:
Hey Spidey, whaddup?
So I’ve been thinkin’ and wonderin’ and then I saw that one issue where Northstar hooked up with his BF and I decided that the world’s ready for gay
superheroes antiheroes me. But you can’t just be gay, right? You need someone to be gay at. That’s where you come in.
Petey, I’m going to woo you. Prepare yourself (not like sexually, though if you wanna skip right to the end of the plan that’s cool). Prepare yourself for five stages of wooing.
Love and kisses,
P.S. Please find attached a wooing schedule.
“How do I stop the advances of a pushy faux-homosexual gun-for-hire?" returned no results on Google.
Chapter 2: Stage 1: Make him a mix-tape
Wade Wilson's handy wooing tip #1: Mix-tapes are like Viagra taken aurally. Or something.
After their initial meeting, Deadpool and Spider-Man had magically begun to bump into each other at every turn. Peter was willing to give Deadpool the benefit of the doubt when they brushed shoulders in a bodega; other times were less excusable. Running into one another in the Subway tunnel to Flatbrush Avenue, for example. “Just happening” to be lounging around on the roof of the MetLife building, for another. To Peter’s relief, Deadpool had the decency to keep from referencing the Facebook message in person. Then again, on one occasion, the reason had less to do with decency and more to do with the monkey “all up in (Deadpool’s) grill” (Deadpool’s words).Within three minutes of escalating violence, the monkey hadn’t so much been up in his grill as shooting the mercenary clean through the forehead.
“JESUS CHRIST!” Peter yelled out without even realising he’d spoken at all. Nauseated and numb, he was left staring at the shattered stump that had once been the man’s neck.
He yelled again, louder still, when the head grew back.
“Ouch, okay, new ears, be gentle with me,” Deadpool grumbled, shoving a new mask on in a practiced motion before Peter could register anything other than “bald”, “Didn’t tell you about the healing factor, huh?”
“Christ,” Deadpool finished for him, rolling his new head in experimental circles, “Yeah, I got it.”
“That monkey is an asshole.”
Deadpool clapped a hand on his shoulder and if it got a little brain matter on Peter’s suit, the boy decided to let it slide.
“Truer words. C’mon, let’s get a brewski.”
It was only when they were both groaning from brain freeze that Peter fully formed the thought that the Canadian (he was sure of it, no one talked about bacon that much) had taken a headshot for him. He doubted they made greetings cards, thanking people for that.
[Photograph of a mix-tape in a cracked case, complete with play-list written in red and black:
(1) A little respect - Wheatus
(2) Kiss me - New Found Glory < totes should
(3) The Bad Touch - Bloodhound Gang < classic
(4) I miss you - blink 182 *
(5) Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne < allowed, I'm Canadian < Fuck yeah
Wa (Deadpool symbol)
* or I would if you went someplace.
DON'T GO WHERE I CAN'T FOLLOW!!!]
The call came about a week after the Hit-Monkey incident while Peter sat at his desk, reading Romeo and Juliet with a hand propping up his chin and eyes that grew heavier with each line. He blindly reached out for the phone, sparing the wall clock a glance: 2 am.
“Hello? Who is this?”
Ah. Right. “Walter? Hit-Walrus is all yours.”
“Walter?” the voice down the line was baffled, “Wrong number dude.”
“Yeah. Wait, Petey, you think my name is Walter?”
“Well you started to write your name on the mixtape and there was a W and a so-“
“Wade. Okay? If you must know, it’s Wade. Wade Wilson. Before you call me fucking Waldo.”
Peter made a mental note to call Wade Waldo at the next and every available opportunity that presented itself. Then again, knowing the man’s name without a face to put it to was more frustrating, if anything.
“Right, so... You made me a mix tape.”
“I totally made you a mix tape,” the mercenary agreed, tone the epitome of “and you’re welcome”.
“Uh, how old are you?”
That, amazingly, derailed the motor-mouth who squawked indignantly long enough for Peter to flag a passage of Shakespeare with his highlighter. Finally, Wade gabbled out, “That was your first thought? Seriously? How old am I? Why did that even occur to you?”
“Well this music is kind of old.”
“Old? How is it old? It’s like the 90s!”
“Yeah, which are like a couple of decades ago.”
“Wait, hold old are you?” Wade pressed. Peter stifled a yawn but not the accompanying eye roll.
“I’m in my last year of high school: 16. Born in 1996.”
Peter had the forethought to hold the phone away from his ear as Wade screeched.
“HOW ARE YOU EVEN ALIVE??”
“So, how old are you?”
“...Great, Chris Hansen is gonna ask me to have a seat. Just FYI, you’re legal where I’m from. Kinda. Mostly,” then, after a reluctant beat the man added, “26.”
“Right. Great. And I’m legal where I’m from in like a month for what it’s worth.”
Wade made a noise approaching a whine. Having come back to his debatable “senses”, he piped up.
“So, you hot for me now?”
“Wheatus doesn’t really sexually excite me, sorry to break it to you,” Peter smirked, flipping the cassette case over in his free hand, “By the way, I just downloaded the songs on Spotify, I don’t even own a cassette player.”
“I was gonna blast them out on a boom-box at your bedroom window but, yeah, I couldn’t find one.”
“Sure,” Peter put the case down and rubbed at the bridge of his nose under his glasses, “Wade, look, I don’t know how you think this could ever work if I’ve never even see your face,” not that that was even the biggest problem with the plan, Peter thought but neglected to say, “I can’t date a red panda.”
“Ouch. Do I mock your little onesie?”
“All the time.”
“No, I mock your scrawny ass in it. Big difference.”
“You’re avoiding the point.”
“Like a pro,” Nothing but Wade’s breathing came down the line for a few moments, followed by a sigh, “...No dice Spidey. Later.”
The line went dead and Peter set the phone back on the desktop with a frown. Midway through Act 1, Scene 3, he turned to his laptop long enough to open Spotify and rename one playlist from “Deadpool” to “Wade’s Mix”.
Chapter 3: Stage 2: Take him out to dinner
Wade Wilson's handy wooing tip #2: Bonus points if dinner is Tex-Mex. Bonus-bonus points if it's straight up Mexican.
Peter wasn’t sure what it said about him that he began to accept – grudgingly, very grudgingly – that Deadpool was, for all intents and purposes, stalking him. Maybe it was because that way he knew where one crazy, violent guy was, at least. The man was undoubtedly useful in a gun-fight too and, on more than one occasion, had actually driven bad guys away with the threat of talking at them. And, though Peter tried to doubt it, he kind of enjoyed the man’s company. For the first time, Peter found himself the marginally cooler hero in a team up and even his more obscure pop culture references met with approval where Deadpool was concerned.
All of which was insanely dangerous because it acted as a rosy tint on the truth. As though to compensate, Peter had taken to thinking that over, practically a mantra, each night. Wade Wilson was dangerous. Dangerous, practically psychotic, unhinged and amoral. He was noone’s friend. He was about as unpredictable a lone-gunman as you could ask for and one day, the man was going to do something very, very bad.
It still left a raw, acidic taste in Peter’s mouth when the day came and he was left looking down at the cooling body of a police officer, face up on the sidewalk under the glow of a flickering streetlight. The taste grew thanks to how long it had taken Peter to identify how the man had died. Literally minutes after finding the body, he’d spotted the small, wet, red-black dot of an entry wound at the man’s temple. His brain had instantly offered him one option as to who could make a shot that subtle, that professional.
Speaking of the devil, the mercenary had appeared in the gloom minutes later because, why not? Unhinged, Peter had thought it a dozen times already. He thought it every night before he climbed out of his bedroom window, suit-filled backpack slung over one shoulder. He let it play through his head as he shivered and slipped into the suit on a rooftop, a different one each time, just in case, shoving his jeans and t-shirt into the backpack and leaving it for morning. Unhinged. Unpredictable. Unbelievably dangerous.
“Don't think you need to be so quiet, he's not sleeping, Spidey,” Deadpool said and it was like a dam burst inside Peter. Like, somehow, if the mercenary had just slunk off, maybe Peter would have just accepted the scene quietly, alerted the police, been done with it. And that thought alone left the hair on the back of his neck standing on end because it said something about him, he knew.
So instead, Peter said it all.
“You’re a murderer.”
Even through the mask, the mercenary visibly started. His shoulders pulled back, not so much in threat as in defense.
“Yeah,” he agreed, neutrally, to his credit.
“You kill people,” Peter could hear the quaver in his own tone, “For money. How fucking twisted is that? It’s not even because you hate them or they suffered some injustice on you or anything. You just kill people so that you can buy-“
“Groceries. Dry cleaning. Take-out,” Deadpool supplied.
“Is it good money at least?” Peter demanded, hearing his own voice rise, “Or is it just for the thrill? Or because you’re bored? What is it?”
“This wasn’t me,” Deadpool said and Peter felt his anger ramp up still further, bubbling in him but unable to escape because, irony of ironies, of his damn morals.
“Like hell it wasn’t you. So, c’mon,” Peter said, trying to force some pitch black humour into his tone, “Give me a quote. Cop, what’s that gonna set me back? How much did it cost somebody to get you to kill this human being?”
“He was in vice,” Wade offered, “And he really enjoyed his job, if you know what I mean.”
“And how do you even know that, if he wasn’t your target?”
“He wasn’t. My target shot him. He shot back, my guy’s off dying somewhere,” and sure enough, the man sounded peeved.
Peter ducked his head in a harsh, ugly laugh. By the time he had lifted it, and because, apparently, there wasn't enough red spandex on one street corner, Murdock had materialised near-silently at his side. It didn't escape Peter's notice that the man positioned himself between him and Deadpool.
“I could hear you three blocks over,” Daredevil offered by way of greeting.
“You sure as hell couldn’t see us,” Deadpool retorted and Peter could only cough out a noise of disgust because of course Deadpool would.
“Deadpool. Long time no see.”
In spite of the actual thrum of physical anger running through him, Peter started at Murdock’s tone. It was... friendly. Weary, true, but with an undercurrent of warmth. Like, Peter realised as he placed it, his own around Deadpool, usually. Peter looked between the two, eyebrows drawn beneath his mask.
“DD, we need to turn this guy in already, to a prison, a hospital, whatever. He just murdered this cop. I found the body about a half hour ago and he showed up, minutes later. I shouldn’t have been humouring him so long, I’m sorry. I could have stopped this. I should have told you he was in town. Everyone says he’s a-“
Murdock held up a silencing hand and, what with the horns and the generally ominious air he gave off as standard, Peter stumbled into silence. The lawyer faced Deadpool and asked, tersely.
“Is this you? I thought you’d started to develop a conscience.”
“No. Not me. The cop took out my target though so that’s a pay check down the latrine,” Deadpool gestured to a trickle of blood on the ground and Daredevil’s nostrils twitched in a sniff.
“Someone’s bleeding from an artery.”
“Probably dead on 19th.”
“Glad you didn’t break your streak, Wilson. It’s been a while since I had good grounds to hit you with my billy-club,” with a fluid turn, Murdock faced Peter once more, “He’s telling the truth. The perpetrator is bleeding out a block over. Not your concern any more. Play nice or I’ll be forced to separate you both, which’d be a shame, considering,” the man said, ambiguously in Peter’s opinion, before plunging back into the shadows. The boy turned awkwardly back to a slump-shouldered Deadpool.
“Hey, um, I’m sor-“
The Canadian shrugged and headed down the deserted street. Peter trailed him, his attempts at apologies growing softer and softer as the man sped up with each failed sentence. Fearing that Wade would simply hit his transporter button, Peter changed tact.
“You know you could tick off stage two of your wooing plan right now.”
At that, the man came to a gradual halt, glancing back.
“There’s a taco place near here that’s still open? It’s 3am.”
There was – Peter was a teenager, teenagers thought with their stomachs and his teenager sense was rarely wrong – and inside of five minutes they were wolfing down chicken tacos with extra hot sauce. Deadpool rolled his mask up just enough to uncover his mouth and Peter did his best not to stare at the skin on his chin and neck, covered in glistening sores that somehow keep rising, falling, moving about the skin but never looking anything other than tender and raw. The man made an obvious bit to block as much of his lower face as he could from view with the taco and the foil wrapped about it. With bite, the silence grew more companionable until Peter naturally went and ruined it by speaking up.
“But you were going to kill a guy tonight. You said. That cop, he shot your target.”
“A pimp who’s shot his girls before now,” Wade agreed and there was something dark and unexplained in his tone that Peter didn’t feel it appropriate to mention.
“Doesn’t make it right.”
“Makes it righter than shooting a kid,” Wade said, without room for argument. Peter went back to picking at his taco uneasily.
“My skillset is pretty limited,” the Canadian admitted after a while, “Though I have moved more into maiming in recent issues. Like, kneecapping, dismembering,” he mumbled through a mouthful of taco. For not the first time, Peter just let the apparent Wade-Wilson-thinks-he-inhabits-a-comic-book situation slide because he didn’t feel up to dealing with that too tonight, “Tessa used to say I was better than killing. I’m not so sure. Horny’s right though: kinda started growing a conscience recently,” he shot Peter a sidelong look, “You’re even worse than Tessa. “With great power comes great responsibility,” come on," after a beat and a sigh Wade pressed on, "Look, I don’t like,” he grimaced, tried again, “Okay, scratch that from the record, I do like it. I like tripping blind old ladies and I like punching my best friend because it’s really funny when you hit someone and their eyes go all bulgy but... I don’t want to like it anymore. I just want-“
Wade’s smile grew more sloping and sad.
“A shiny Avengers membership card in my wallet between my gym membership and my loyalty card for the adult book store.”
“I hear it gets you discounts at Trader Joes.”
“I heard it entitles you to one free blow job from Tony Stark.”
Peter broke his promise to himself to remain at least a little cold with Deadpool for the remainder of the night and threatened to spray the floor with lettuce with his laugh.
They parted ways after their fourth taco when the hot sauce really starts to take its ominous toll.
“Okay, there's definitely a rumble going on in the jungle now, I’m gonna head.”
“Did not need to know," Peter said solemnly, patting his mouth with a napkin, "Um, can I ask you something?"
"You just did. Well done."
"Funny. Why were you there still?” Peter added, “At 18th Street, I mean, if your target was already bleeding out?” the uncomfortable pause was answer enough, “Look, if you say you were looking out for me-“
““Boohoo I’m Spider-Man and I can take care of myself thanks to my candy coated shell of teenage angst”, yeah, I get that you can handle it,” Wade dismissed as he wiped his mouth clean of guacamole on the back of one glove and rolled his mask back into place, “But did you ever think that maybe I’ve been enjoying our little team ups? Later Parker,” and with that the man disappeared from sight.
Honestly, Peter couldn't say that that possibility had crossed his mind.
Chapter 4: Stage 3: Watch them while they sleep
Wade Wilson’s handy wooing tip #3: Chicks love vampires. So, if you can, be a vampire. If you can’t, apply these steps for similar results:
Step 1: Throw some motherfucking trees around.
Step 2: Glitter. Apply liberally.
Step 3: Remember that restraining orders are just suggestions. Persevere!
Two additional warnings:
1) This chapter is something of a mood whiplash. Clearly-mentally-unstable!Wade and Actually-in-danger!Peter here which might not be for everybody.
2) My own personal headcanon take on Wade's scars and healing factor.
It would be going too far to say there were villains Peter “liked”. Peter “liked” SLR cameras and when jeans entered that sweet spot in their lifespan where they were as soft as pajama pants but not worn through in the ass. “Like” was something you did on Facebook. Peter, understandably, had no super villains added on Facebook.
He did, however, have a sort of unofficial scale by which he judged them. The scale ranged from “Piss me off a little” to “Holy crap just move to Wakanda and leave me alone already, I do not have time to deal with this, seriously, I’m a high schooler”. The guys with costumes lovingly made by their moms were right down the bottom of the scale, for example. Hell, sometimes Peter kind of liked the excuse to get out of the house and meet “interesting” new people. It was almost like getting a free pass to ComiCon.
Chameleon, on the other hand. Put simply, the man was a total asshat. The reason was obvious: his “power” was one that made Peter’s stomach knot. It wasn’t even how Chameleon could disguise himself as other people. It was the fact that that sewed doubt in Peter’s mind every time he saw any of his fellow heroes. It was, Peter had thought on more than one occasion, as though someone had actively designed a super-villain intended to bring a teenager down using their Achilles’ Heel: their social paranoia riddled self-esteem.
Granted Peter was too busy scaling skyscrapers and rescuing old ladies to let worries about his esteem in the super hero community bug him, but he was human and he was a teenager. A little bit of doubt was inevitable. Was he an asset? Or was he just a well-meaning, wannabe kid that everyone felt obliged to babysit?
The first few times he’d run into a handful of different heroes and found them “off”: colder, blunter or conversely more coddling or overly friendly – Peter hadn’t registered the change for what it actually was. That was when he’d gotten a punch to the face or a boot to the chest. After that, Peter had woken up to the realisation that Chameleon really, really needed a brochure selling the finer points of life in Wakanda.
That was his defence. Chameleon-induced paranoia and the midterms that had snuck up on him out of nowhere. The potent combination had left Peter swinging through New York in a sleep-deprived, bruised-and-beaten stupor. He was exhausted. He’d forgotten more often than he’d remembered in recent days to wash his suit and so was also kind of funky. He was in no state to differentiate between reality and mimicry.
That was why he’d not bought it when Deadpool had spent over five minutes being civil, not even cracking a crude joke. And rather than try, once again, to wheedle with Chameleon to at least punch rather than kick him because the guy’s boots hurt, Peter changed tact entirely. He lunged forward and, with a quick flick of his wrist, ripped the mask off “Deadpool”’s face.
The change was instant.
For a moment, Wade had simply frozen, eyes wide. The next, his hands had flown up and over his bowed head, hugging it defensively.
“Give. It. Back,” he ground out, voice the deepest Peter had heard it.
It took his brain registering what he had seen to freeze Peter to the spot. However long that was in real time was too clearly long and the next he knew, the night air was thick with bullets. One hand shielding his face, the mercenary managed to shoot with all his usual, horrifying accuracy. Heart in his mouth, Peter did his best just to dodge the torrent, leaping onto the building’s bricked off water tower, the mask still held in the white knuckled grip of one hand. His heart pounded in his chest. Peter knew it had little to do with the exertion of the jump.
“You know I’ve always wondered,” Deadpool called out at the tower’s base. The hair on the back of Peter’s neck stuck up on end. His spidey sense, apparently overwhelmed at the erratic firing below him, had gone offline entirely. Peter couldn’t place the tone but, even in his alarm, he suddenly recalled the reaction of one hero at hearing the name “Deadpool”.
With a physical shiver of realisation, Peter understood where they had been coming from.
“I’ve always wondered what happens when you chop off some of a spider’s legs. I mean they’ve got a clusterfuck of ‘em already, surely they’d be alright with less,” Deadpool let off a few more shots from his automatic to punctuate the point, “Come down already, lemme test my theory Spidey.”
As he settled into the horror of the situation he was well and truly stuck in, Peter came to his senses enough to throw the mask out over the edge of the tower with a dart of his hand. To Peter’s relief, that earned him a longer pause in the gunfire. He waited. The pause seemed to go on indefinitely and, tentatively, Peter climbed back down, not even sure if the mercenary was still on the rooftop or whether he had teleported away.
With another flinch, he spotted the man as he carefully eased around one corner of the tower, crouched down on his haunches against another wall of the water tower and talking to himself in a soft but frantic whisper. Peter pulled away from the wall enough to study the man in earnest, mouth working behind the mask, and made out three distinct voices, each attempting to overwhelm the rest.
“Wade?” he croaked. There was no change. Peter waited, watching and waiting, eyes growing hotter with each passing minute.
“Wade? You’ve got to snap out of this. Please snap out of this. You’re scaring me.”
The voices, it seemed, were trying to decide on a list of countries that considered roasted spider a delicacy. The lowest and most reasoned voice, not the one Wade usually used, reminded the other two that “he” wasn’t actually a spider and that that constituted a little thing known as “cannibalism”.
“Does it hurt?” Peter tried instead. To the boy’s surprise, Wade ground to a halt. His head turned slowly and, eventually, he looked up to meet Peter’s gaze. The mercenary’s hands stilled at his sides and stopped toying with the debris of ruined bricks and crumpled bullets.
“What?” he asked, hoarse and genuinely surprised.
“The... Your skin,” Peter pressed on. In spite of a flash of fear that ran up the length of his spine, he stepped closer, pulled off his own mask and let his reddened eyes and genuine interest show, “It looks... sore.”
The Canadian’s fingers twitched upwards, towards his mask, before balling a second later into tight fists which Wade pushed down against the rooftop.
“You’ve read all the back issues, right?”
Peter did his best to translate.
“I know about Weapon X and the cancer, yeah.”
“Cancer versus a healing factor. I wound up with a little from column A and a little from column B.”
“So you’ve still got cancer?”
“Exactly,” Wade agreed with a nod, “And yes.”
“Yes, it hurts,” for a moment, Wade’s voice was raw, a thread pulled far too taut and threatening to snap entirely, “All the time. The skin’s the least of it.”
Peter didn’t allow himself to be as distasteful as to try “imagining” and empathising. He dwelled instead on Wade’s voice and decided, at the very least, to kick Chameleon in the fucking balls for all of this.
“I’m,” it sounded so inadequate and tiny to Peter’s own ears, even though his sentiment was genuine, “Sorry.”
Wade shrugged, clambering to his feet.
“As Shakespeare said, “Shit happens”.”
Peter didn’t want to take the easy way out. He didn’t, but there was no denying how exhausted he was in the aftermath of what had happened. The question slipped out anyway.
“Did you just quote Leprechaun?”
“No,” Wade’s voice levelled out and turned into something far more familiar, “I quoted Leprechaun 4: Leprechaun in Space, AKA the best movie in the Leprechaun franchise. You busy?”
“Then we’re marathoning. To the Deadpool-mobile!” To the untrained ear it sounded as light and zany as ever.
A short, nauseating teleporter trip later and the pair had materialised in Wade’s pokey apartment in San Francisco. They had crashed onto a dilapidated couch, each leaning heavily over an arm and as far away from the other as was possible. And while Peter had made a quick, instinctive catalogue of the best hiding places and exit routes the loft space had to offer, Wade had clearly made just as cautious a sidelong study of the teenager.
“It’s okay if you want to go,” Wade had said, at last, resigned. Peter had caught himself, mid-glance toward a skylight to look back to the man. The Canadian continued, “It happens. I do these things then people go. So, go. It’s okay.”
“You tried to kill me,” Peter agreed, softly, “If I hadn’t been quicker than you-“
Wade appeared to curl in on himself, appearing no less gigantic in spite of the motion. Just audible over the sound of a fight scene on the boxy television set, he gave an “mm” of agreement.
“Do you want to kill me?”
“I like you,” Wade said, in apparent answer, “That doesn’t tend to go well. For anyone.”
“So,” and Peter went quiet as he tried – much to his own brain’s bafflement – to try to come up with a solution, “...Let me know. Like,” Wade tilted his head in confusion, “...A warning. If, you know... things aren’t going so good for you and I can just, leave, come back later.”
“I punched Tessa once. I thought I was getting better,” Wade said into one fabric clad knee.
“You haven’t killed anyone in a while, you said,” Peter pointed out, just as quietly, in light of recent events just an hour previous.
“You sure you don’t want to go home? Just take the teleporter belt, seriously, Weas can make me another if I threaten enough.”
Peter did his best not to grimace at the slip, shaking his head.
“I’ve got to stay until the bit where Leprechaun explodes out of the guy’s penis. That’s law.”
Wade’s shoulders relaxed minutely at that. They relaxed more when Leprechaun did just that. By the time the mercenary had unearthed a bottle of Mountain Dew and a bag of Cheetos, offering them to Peter with a minute, but unmistakable, “I’m sorry”, the pair had stopped hanging onto their respective couch arms like lifesavers and sprawled across the couch.
By the time the mad scientist had become a crappily costumed-and-make-up-ed scorpion, spider, blob man-thing, the pair had begun instinctively passing the soda bottle and chips bag back and forth, taking swigs of drink and handfuls of snacks without even tearing their eyes off the screen. The pattern had only faltered when Peter had held out the Cheetos for longer than the few expected seconds, turned, and found Wade pulling his mask off to drop onto the floor.
“Man that thing itches,” the man admitted in a mutter. He gave his nose a scratch that looked curiously delicate for a man of his size. The motion still managed to leave an angry red mark in its wake before the skin reformed, bruised, scarred then started over again.
“You wear it at home?” Peter asked, the Mountain Dew halfway to his mouth.
“Nah, not when it’s just Al, I mean, she’s blind. And ugly,” the Canadian shrugged, “But, you’re not an ugly old blind lady.”
“Not that I know about,” Peter agreed. Wade’s lip twitched.
“One time, I took off the mask and this girl I was macking on threw up on my shoe,” Peter’s nose wrinkled and Wade added, “Mainly because I took a step back, totally would have been in my face otherwise. People aren’t a fan of,” he gestured to his face generally.
“It’s not... good,” Peter said, which was an understatement if ever there was one, “But it’s not like you can help it. I mean, the farting you can totally help-“
“Nice, fart jokes. Really easing the tension there Parker.”
Peter downed the Mountain Dew to prevent himself from saying anything sincere. Still, a moment later the pair had instinctively caught one another’s eye and shared an awkward little smile before stretching out further on the couch, limbs threatening to intertwine.
“You know what I just realised?” Wade mumbled around the neck of the almost drained soda bottle. Peter made a noise of acknowledgement and the Canadian waggled the bottle, “Indirect kissing.”
Peter balled and threw the empty Cheetos packet at Wade’s head.
Sneaking up on Peter had become near enough impossible in light of his spidey sense (which he seriously needed to rename to something cooler, Peter spent no small amount of time thinking). In spite of that, Peter had near enough jumped a mile at the realisation that Wade Wilson was sat on his porch roof, staring into his bedroom window in full Deadpool regalia because Deadpool was sat on his porch roof staring into his bedroom.
“Christ!“ Peter leaped out of bed sporting his Captain America boxers and a freaked-out-as-holy-fuck stare, “Wade? What the hell are you doing here?”
“You’ve seen the wooing schedule,” Wade slid in through the window with ease to straighten up and consider Peter’s bedroom with not even slightly veiled interest, “Stage three: that Edward Cullen watch you while you sleep shit chicks think is so hot nowadays.”
It went some way to explain why Wade was single, Peter thought. He had been about to point out as much, too, when he had watched, stomach sinking, how Wade’s hand had darted out to pick up the framed photo on his desk.
“Put that down,” the boy snapped, instantly. The photo was a couple of years old now, one of himself, Uncle Ben and Aunt May, grinning in the sunshine on a trip they’d taken to DC. Peter had taken it using the timer on his then-new camera, had the shot developed before he’d lost the memory card. He remembered how their opened mouthed grins had come from the inadvertent photos Peter had taken of his own puzzled gawps as he’d attempted to set the timer correctly. As the human equivalent of an non-house broken and extremely erratic puppy, Wade went ahead and picked the frame up regardless and began to study the photograph inside.
“Wade, I’m not even kidding, if... if you shoot that, or rip it or-“
At that, the Canadian froze. He carefully rolled his mask up and off with his free hand and looked Peter dead in the eye. Even in the gloom of his bedroom, Peter could make out the emotion on Wade’s face – concern.
“This your uncle?”
Peter offered a nod.
“He didn’t like photographs, said he always had his eyes closed or the flash made his glasses light up,” Peter murmured into the gloom, watching as Wade replaced the frame with painstaking precision, exactly where he had found it, “I don’t many of him. That one’s my favourite.”
“When did he-“
“A year ago,” Peter sat back down on the edge of his bed. He unearthed a hoodie from under the bed and slipped it on, wrapping it about him with his shoulders hunched beneath the cold fabric. With a sickening jolt, Peter added hoarsely, “One year exactly. Shit, it was today. How did I... Shit.”
Instead of dwelling on that thought, Peter studied Wade instead, trying to read the expression on the man’s scarred, warping face. Optimistically the boy interpreted it as a desire to help, if at a total dead loss as to how to. Uncomfortably, the mercenary sat beside him on the end of the bed, clunking a little with the weight of all his belts and weaponry.
“That sucks ass,” he murmured. Peter couldn’t help a sad little laugh at that.
“It seriously does,” he agreed, ignoring – as, thankfully, did Wade, his own choked tone.
“My mom died when I was a kid,” Wade offered after a while, quietly, “Worse, my dad didn’t. Hated that bastard,” a beat, “I think that’s how it went,” another, “Depends who’s writing me.”
“Wade,” Peter gave a shake of his head.
“Sorry. I’m not good-“
“I know. That’s okay,” Peter shoved his hands into the pockets of his hoodie and shuffled further along the bed until he was practically flopped against Wade’s side. Beside him the man’s shoulders relaxed.
“I mean, I’d offer to slice and dice the guy who did it,” Wade mumbled out, “But your whole catchphrase.”
“I prefer “ethos”,” Peter half-yawned, too tired to fathom out whether the hand at his back was just Wade keeping balance on his too-soft mattress or an arm slung about him, “Thanks.”
He gave another one shouldered shrug, “I don’t know. For not drawing out half my rogues’ gallery on your way over here,” at least, to the best of his knowledge, his spidey sense having practically gone off-line now, the street outside was so sleepy.
“Told you: growing a conscience.”
“Is that like with a Chia pet?” Peter garbled out tiredly. He felt Wade give a low laugh at his side.
“Exactly like that.”
The shadows had visibly moved across the floor by the time Aunt May’s voice, sleepy but concerned, sounded at Peter’s door.
“Peter? Who’s in there with you?”
“Shit,” Peter mouthed, leaping silently to his feet to wave his hands frantically at Wade, who was already throwing the mask back over his head, “Teleport.”
In a whisper that carried far too well, the man hissed, “I took a sleeper train! And a bus! Weas is fixing my belt!”
“Because it’s been a while and you’re my bud and today is-“ Wade clamped his mouth shut. Peter looked at the man in disbelief before finding enough voice to murmur.
“...You just levelled up on having a conscience.”
“Awesome. But your aunt’s still out there.”
“Shit,” Peter ran a hand through his already mad looking bed hair, “Okay. Okay, I’ve got this. Just, don’t kill her or-”
“What? How could I do that? That’s like one of the comic book ten commandments!”
“And no talking,” Peter amended as he walked to his door, May’s knocks coming a little firmer now, “Just go with me on this.”
Peter opened the door with a wide, if sleepy smile, blocking Aunt May’s view of the room.
“Hey, sorry,” Peter rubbed at his face, if only to keep from looking right into his aunt’s thoroughly concerned face, “Let me explain.”
“That would be a start,” May said, giving him a classic, “open this door right now, Peter Parker” eye narrow. Peter could practically hear the countdown from ten.
“Okay. Yeah, I have a friend in my room, I’m sorry but it’s just... He’s Canadian,” at his back he heard a surprised snort and wanted nothing better than to stamp on Wade’s foot in warning, “And he was in town at a party. A fancy dress party. And, well, he got lost but he knew where I lived, so,” Peter rattled off. Then, slowly, he opened the door to reveal Deadpool, Aunt May giving a gasp at his back. To his credit, Wade rolled up his mask enough to reveal a pleasant smile.
“Hi Mrs Parker, I’m sorry if I woke you,” Wade said, sounding impossibly Canadian, perhaps in an attempt to aid weight to Peter’s claims, “I was really lost, you see. I fell asleep on a bus and the next thing I knew, I was in Queens. Meant to go West, wound up going East I guess. I was looking for the Port Authority.”
“What’s your costume?” May asked, eyes wide as they roved over the man’s katanas, grenades, automatic machine guns and shurikens.
“Spider-Man,” Wade offered without, apparently, a thought. May mulled this over before smiling back.
“It’s very accurate.”
Peter did his best not to look alarmed, insulted or thoroughly betrayed. His expression shut down entirely with the effort, one cheek giving a solitary twitch.
“I’m sorry it’s so early,” Wade added, “Peter was just explaining which trains I need to take and then, well, he started telling me about his Uncle Ben,” the man admitted, “He sounds like a great man, Ma’am. I’m really sorry for your loss.”
May’s expression softened imperceptibly, smile tinged with sadness as she nodded.
“Do you need a lift to the subway Walter? Is it really a good idea to get on a train with all those fake weapons? They might cause a panic.”
“Oh, it’s fine really, at this time of night I’ll look the least crazy person on there,” Wade joked and, Peter to his amazement, watched as May laughed along with him.
“Well alright, if you’re sure. Give Peter a ring when you get to the Port Authority so I know that you’re getting home safe.”
“Of course,” Wade nodded, turning to Peter to smile, “Thanks again for the help Peter.”
“Yeah, uh,” Peter said, tone dazed, “...No problem.”
With that, Peter watched as Wade clanked his way downstairs and out the front door. From his bedroom window he caught sight of the man giving him a momentary double thumbs up before striding down the road, near invisible in the gloom between each puddle of light given off by the streetlights.
“Where did you meet Walter?”
“Oh, he goes to ESU,” Peter lied easily as he turned back to face his aunt with a smile, “He gave Gwen and I a tour of the campus a couple of weeks ago and we hit it off. He’s still kinda new to New York though so,” he shrugged the end of his sentence.
May took his explanation in with a nod. Then, in an apparent departure from sanity, she chose to say, “Peter, you’d tell me if you were doing drugs, wouldn’t you?”
Because, apparently, he didn’t have enough to deal with without his aunt suspecting that he was a pothead, too.
Chapter 5: Stage 4: Poetry
Wade Wilson's handy wooing tip #4: Everyone loves poetry. How else d'you think Bill Shakespeare bagged himself six wives?
(A/N: Wade Wilson failed English and History).
"Sonnet #36: How Hot Are You (on a scale of One to Hot)? by Wade W. Wilson
You are the sexiest spider themed superhero out there, Spidey,
Someone else said it was Black Widow but they lied-ee,
You are like, seriously smoking hot,
Which means I like you a lot,
But FYI I would still like you if you weren't,
Because you're just a really good human being - erent,
And I get that I'm not but you're like good enough for two people
and then I feel bad when I punch guys hard enough to make them cry for their mamas,
Okay so this stopped rhyming so I'm going to say it's free form.
Words all over
Which was when Peter clicked "delete".
Chapter 6: Stage 5: Serenade the crap out of them
((A/N: sorry for the delay, life happened. One chapter to go! Enjoy!))
Wade Wilson's handy wooing tip #5: Artists that can be used for serenading purposes include:
It was Gwen’s voice that finally pulled Peter’s attention away from staring, guppy-like, at the cryptic ciphers that made up last year’s physics final paper.
“We don’t even have a mascot, do we?”
They didn’t. Peter might have avoided competitive sports like crazy but he knew that Midtown wasn’t the easier thing to link to an animal. Maybe a diseased looking pigeon? Or a cockroach? Certainly not a panda but, sure enough, a panda ambled its way along the bleachers opposite.
“What’s a panda even got to do with Midtown?” he asked aloud around the chewed up end of his ballpoint. He jotted down a few “??”s next to a particularly baffling question then went back to studying the mascot. The panda and the microphone it was holding with its convenient opposable thumb. Over the tinny speakers faint strains of Franki Valli sounded out as the costume wearer insisted that somebody was just too good to be true.
“...I swear I’ve seen this movie,” Gwen got out, beating Peter to the punch. A second later and the alarm bells were ringing in Peter's brain.
“Oh shit,” the boy launched himself to his feet, charging across the field to yells from his gym teacher, demanding to know why he’d never tried out for track. He’d tackled the panda to the ground in under a minute, the microphone falling away with a muffled clunk to even more yells demanding to know why he’d never tried out for the football team.
“Wade?!” Peter hissed.
“I attached a copy of the wooing schedule!” Wade hissed right back, winded, through the mesh neck of the panda costume. The panda continued to grin idiotically into Peter’s face as the boy straddled the dumpy costume, “How did you not see this coming?”
“I thought that maybe you weren’t crazy enough to come to my school and serenade me!”
“...Oh come on, this is classic Deadpool,” Wade dismissed with a huff.
“Jesus,” Peter’s spidey senses (arachnid awareness? Not much better) told him Gwen was heading over to see what was going on, much to the boy’s delight, “You’re not wearing your suit under that thing are you?”
“Of course not, the BO would be off the scale. Just some sweats, bandana over my face.”
“Okay. Okay that’ll work, take this off already.”
“So, you’re familiar with panda boy?” Gwen said, tone laced with humour, “Or do you really want to kill an endangered species, Parker?”
“No, it’s a friend of mine, a really stupid friend,” Peter bit out as Wade wriggled out of the costume to reveal a slightly sweaty t-shirt, sweats and a gangland-style bandana tied up over his nose, beanie pulled down so low that only his eyes and hairless eyebrows peeked out.
Gwen, to her credit, took the man’s appearance in stride, giving him a wryly amused nod of greeting before glancing to Peter.
“A friend from school or from,” there was a subtle shift in her expression, “Camp?”
The number of code-words Gwen had concocted to use when talking about Spider-Man was truly impressive. Peter threatened to smile at her tact but stopped dead in his tracks as Wade glanced between the pair and actually went so far as to jab an accusatory finger at Gwen.
“Holy shit, you know about Spider-Man.”
“Yeah,” Gwen agreed, arms crossed in apparent defiance, “So who are you?”
“Never heard of you.”
“Good, that’s good. I’d explain further but then I’d have to kill you. Call me Wade.”
Gwen shot him a less-than-convinced smile in return.
“Nice to see Spider-Man is a little more popular than Peter.”
“Cruel,” Peter smirked, doing his best to walk the trio back towards the bleachers and his schoolwork, abandoning the empty panda costume as though it were a cocoon Wade had just emerged from.
To Peter’s despair, Gwen was intent on asking Wade as many questions as would fit into their free period, ranging from what it was that Peter did all night, how good he was at it and how anyone went about acquiring a rogue’s gallery, anyway. Wade hugged one knee to his chest, his other leg hanging down between the benches in a lazy metronome swing as he answered each question with varying levels of accuracy, honesty and embellishment. Peter, meanwhile, did his best to affect an equally lazy pose and a wide smile. In reality the muscles of his arms were tensed and ready to push him off the bench. He wasn’t sure he could explain why: to fight Wade, perhaps, to clamp a hand over his mouth, possibly. Whatever it was he preparing for didn’t come. Peter waited and waited, jaw gritted and Wade remained… sensical. Rational. Peter caught the man shooting him the occasional, practically daring glance. Peter returned the looks, letting the surprise show in his eyes.
“Okay, I probably ought to go,” Wade said when the bell rang for class, the reluctance in his tone seemingly real, “You know, adult hanging out with kids, Chris Hansen-“
“You’ve gotta lay off the Dateline jokes.”
Wade did a little telephone gesture with one hand, “Holla at me, a’ight? Gwen, s’been a pleasure.”
“Hey, Wilson,” Gwen held up a hand to halt the man’s progress back towards the husk of the panda costume. Wade halted in his tracks like a soldier brought to attention which, Peter supposed, he had been once upon a time, “Promise me something.”
“Well, I never was a boy scout but sure, lay it on me.”
“Look out for Peter.”
Wade’s response was instantaneous.
“Oh? Why? I mean, if you’re a mercenary,” both Wade and Peter stared, dumbstruck at Gwen. The girl gave a disbelieving sigh and held up her iPhone as she offered, “Boys. It’s called Google.”
Wade took a moment to consider, leaving Peter to watch the man with genuine interest. There was a split second when Peter prepared himself to laugh at some godawful joke of Wade’s. It didn’t come. Dawning realization spread across Wade’s face and the man said, simply, “Because Spider-Man’s my hero,” before disappearing from sight, panda costume in tow.
Gwen gave nothing more than a disinterested nod when Peter mumbled something vague and specious about teleporters. Instead, the girl’s attention was trained on the hint of a smile Peter couldn’t quite shake off his face.
“So, he’s your “friend”, huh?” she smirked as she shuffled her work into a neat pile.
Peter was about to agree when he caught the intonation.
“It’s not fair if you have a secret language but don’t let me have the dictionary,” he said with a disproving wag of his Physics paper.
It came to Peter when he spotted the little Deadpool symbol doodled on the bottom of his notes that he’d been the one to tell the godawful joke and run after all. Hell, Peter thought with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, he hadn’t even needed a teleporter.
Chapter 7: Stage 6: ???
Stage 6 - ???
[There is no stage six in Wade W. Wilson’s wooing schedule.]
A/N: please don’t give me that look… first the laptop I wrote the final chapter on broke, then I graduated and got one of those job things (wouldn’t recommend) and now, four years later, here I am. Thank Mr Reynolds and the long awaited movie for giving me the motivation to finally rewrite the not-even-that-long final chapter. Hope you enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Peter’s first month as Spiderman soon grew into his first season, his first half a year and finally, his first year. Definitely cause to give himself a gold star, but, sure enough, Wade beat him to the punch.
“You lifted this scene straight out of Sixteen Candles.”
“I thought you weren’t even a twinkle in your dad’s eye when that came out,” the man retorted, looking undeniably crestfallen over the elaborate cake perched on the picnic table between them. Peter tried not to let his growling stomach distract him from the knowledge that the cake explained the smashed window he had seen in a Chinatown bakery en route to the vest-pocket park Wade was hanging out in that night.
“Sure, but I’ve got Netflix. See, gramps, Netflix is-”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Wade wafted one dismissive gloved hand, careful not to put out the single candle with the motion, “You gonna blow my candle or what?”
“Bet you’d like that,” Peter couldn’t resist. He went ahead and blew out the candle with a mutter of, “I’m billing you for that broken window.”
Wade used one katana to slice the cake (surprisingly nimbly). Peter plucked the slice from the proffered flat of Wade’s blade, taking a bite as the man set to cutting a second, “And I’ll pay you with cash from thugs I’ve shaken down, what’s new?”
Peter had no witty retort so settled for trying not to dwell too long on how Wade knew that his favourite flavour was sweet yam (because the only explanation was that they were friends and, more than that, that they probably spent more time together than he spent with Gwen, with aunt May, with-).
They got through a good third of the cake before, in Wade’s words, “they threatened to ruin the lines of their suits” and decamped to the park’s lone equipment: two swings in dire need of oiling.
For a few minutes, the pair creaked back and forth, until Peter found himself laughing at the ridiculousness of it all: him, a man possessed with the ability to swing between skyscrapers and his unhinged, Canadian BFF, clearly muttering “whee” under his breath on every pass of the swing.
Sure enough, Wade joined in with a gravelly chuckle of his own and, to Peter’s horror, it was everything he could do to keep from either: 1) throwing up or 2) leaning over and - what?
Shaking Wade (‘s absurdly broad shoulders) for robbing a hard working Chinese family’s small business? Shoving him to the floor (and climbing on top of him)? Getting some much needed sleep (in a certain crummy apartment in San Francisco)? Opening his mouth (and mashing it against Wade’s?) and berating the Canadian?
He settled for seeing what words came spilling out of his mouth and surprised himself with:
“So what’s stage six?”
Being the master of obscure references, Wade groaned and hung his still mask-free head for a moment before grinning in a way that showed off all his celebrity-worthy teeth in a wolf-like grin.
“C’mon, I’m still smarting about you crapping all over my wooing schedule, could you try to be cooler about it?”
Peter returned a near feral grin as, against all better judgment, he carried on flapping his mouth.
“Well, I thought of one. A stage six.”
“Oh?” the word was dragged out and deeply suspicious, Wade’s bald eyebrows drawn.
“...You could try just, y’know, asking me on a date.”
Wade’s feet hit the floor, the Canadian nearly face planting into the tarmac below with the abrupt halt.
Peter was quickly forced to execute an equally hasty stop on his own swing as the Canadian came to stand, and then, to get down on one knee in front of him.
“Jeez, did you want me to kick you in the head?”
“Hey, you don’t know what I’m into,” Wade retorted, adding a quick, “Well, not all of it. Peter Parker-”
“Yeah?” Peter managed to drag the word out impressively, ignoring the way his heart fluttered in a decidedly undignified manner in his throat.
“Will you go on a date with me?”
“...Two weeks, no criminal activity.”
Wade’s expression turned pinched.
“I can give you one week, misdemeanours only, no felonies.”
Peter stood and stuck out a hand for Wade to shake.
“Deal,” Wade, predictably, gave it a kiss, “Hope you like mexican wrestling, nudie bars and Peruvian food.”
The end! I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the time to write about The Date of the Century (and Wade giving up crime for Lent), but if anyone wants to have a crack at it, feel free!