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I've Been Thinking

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Spider-Man sits down carefully next to the merc, who's flopped out on his back, and tries to rub the soreness out of his shoulders. Deadpool groans, "You know what's not this exhausting? Guns. There's way less effort involved."

"Don't you feel like a hero?" Spidey asks, laying back on the concrete of the rooftop they're on.

"I feel like I've been tenderized." the merc answers. "With like, one of those big ass metal mallets."

"Then, congrats. That's what it feels like." he fights his eyes not to close. "It's a workout."

"How close is your spider-cave?" Deadpool asks, rolling onto his side. "My place is far and I'm tired."

"You are not spending the night with me." Spidey sighs.

"Please?" the merc whines. "I'll stay on the couch all night and I'll make breakfast."

"We don't even know each other." he yawns, "I mean, we do, but...secret identities.

"You know who I am." the merc argues. "It's on the internet for everyone to see. Wade Wilson, google me."

"I'm scared of what I'd find." Spidey chuckles. "Still, though. I haven't seen you."

Deadpool rolls onto his back again and mumbles to himself. He sounds like he's arguing, but Spidey is used to this after years of knowing him. The merc sighs, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

Spidey perks and sits up at that proposition, curious. "Okay."

"That easy, huh?" the merc laughs, "Wow, if I'd known that's all it would take, I would've asked sooner. Well, let's see it, baby boy."

"You're probably a stud, right? That attitude." Spidey says, and the merc breaks into a fit of giggles, rolling onto his stomach and pounding the ground with the side of his fist a few times. "Like Tony Stark. He's attractive and kind of full of himself."

"Are-are you telling me- D-do you wanna fuck Iron Man?" the merc asks, barely recovered from his fit of laughter.

"T-that's not what I said!" Spidey feels his face turn bright red under the mask. "I just-he's- people find him attractive and he's got an ego..." he huffs and pulls his mask off.

Wade sits up and coos, pinching the younger man's cheeks. "Oh my god, look at you!" the brunet slaps his hands away. "You're so cute! How old are you?"

"I'm twenty-two." Wade squishes his face between his palms and Spidey pushes the merc's hands away again. "Get on with it."

"Are you this impatient in bed?" Wade asks, and Spidey flushes again, this time clearly visible.

"Shut up!" the brunet frowns. "It's your turn."

"Alright, alright. I gotta warn you, it's not what you're expecting."

"Not Stark?" Spidey quips. "So, more like Captain America, or like-"

The mask comes off and Spidey feels like an immense jackass for two reasons: 1) the comments and 2) he's too shocked to speak and lets silence drag on. "So?"

"Um." Spidey says helpfully. He wishes he could just stop staring with wide eyes. He gets lost in thoughts like 'how the fuck did that happen' and completely forgets that he should react in some way.

"I'm gonna-I'll just...I'll put it back on-" Wade says, quieter than Spidey has ever heard him.

"Peter Parker." Spidey blurts out. "M-my name."

"Are...are you telling me that you take selfies for a living?" Wade seems so surprised by this that he forgets to put the mask back in place.

"Let's go, shall we?"

---

"Look, I'm-" Peter says, after they've polished off half a pizza that Peter managed to find in his freezer. "I'm sorry I freaked out, I just-"

"S'alright." the merc shrugs. "I've seen worse." he stuffs more pizza into his mouth.

"I was really expecting you to be hot?" Peter says, "I just-I'm gonna shut up now."

---

Peter goes to bed after Wade falls asleep on the couch. Unfortunately, he forgets the entire night in a half-asleep haze and walks into the kitchen the next morning with bleary eyes and no pants. The whistle he gets from the merc makes him yelp and nearly drop the mug of coffee he retrieved when he got there.

"Sorry I scared you, baby boy." Wade laughs, clearly not sorry. "You have amazing legs. Hot damn."

"Thanks, I guess." Peter blushes, sitting down at the table and sighing into his mug.

"Hey, I don't mean to pry." Wade says slowly. Peter raises his eyebrows but says nothing about Wade's lack of care for privacy. "Your fridge is kinda...empty."

"I need to go shopping." Peter lies. He has maybe fifty dollars to his name and his bills are already past due.

"Do you need a roommate, or?"

"I guess it wouldn't hurt." Peter shrugs. "Wait, do you mean- you mean you?"

"Awww...but I made you breakfast." Wade pouts, laying out a nice breakfast for Peter. Eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, toast, etc.

"Did you go shopping?" Peter asks, and Wade nods. "You didn't have to do that..."

"I mean, I did." Wade says. "I promised I'd make breakfast and you didn't have anything in your fridge."

"That's not true." Peter argues, mouth full of toast. "There's stuff in there."

"Oh?" Wade opens it. "Leftover pizza, leftover McDonald's-gross-a bottle of water, I don't know what the fuck that is, and then the groceries I bought."

"Okay, so I need to shop. Sue me."

"I don't think you could afford for me to sue you." Wade says. "C'mon, we could be roomies! I could pay half of the rent, we could stay up late and gossip- like a really long sleepover!"

"I'll think about it." Peter says.

"Yes!"

---

"You can't be serious." Daredevil says. "Deadpool? As a roommate? Listen to yourself."

"What? What's wrong with that?" Peter asks. "He's not that bad."

"The two of you argue constantly!"

"You and I argue too. We're arguing right now. We're still friends." Peter says. "I really do need a roomie."

"Not Deadpool." Daredevil says. "A co-worker, a friend, a stranger. But not Deadpool. You'll argue even more than usual and I'll pay for it."

"I think I'm gonna let him move in." Peter says, ignoring the other. "I have another bedroom."

Daredevil sighs. "Don't say I didn't warn you."

---

"Merry Christmas!" Wade says, slipping into the window, tripping over a lamp cord, and landing on his stomach on the floor.

"Christmas is two weeks away." Peter sighs, helping the merc up. "And you can use the door."

"That's no fun!" Wade complains. "You know what is? Decorating."

"Wade-"

"Decking the halls, donning our gay apparel-"

"Wade."

"Yes, baby?" Wade asks sweetly.

"I've been thinking. And I think..." he pauses. He knows that this is his last chance to back out of the decision. "I think it'd be great if you moved in."

Wade tackles him with a hug and Peter can visualize hearts flying from the merc's head. "Oh, Petey! I'm so happy!"

"Really?" Peter asks, voice strained from the merc's grip on him. "I couldn't tell."

"Do I get to sleep in your bed?" Wade asks, finally detangling his limbs from Peter's.

"No." Peter says. "My aunt is getting a new mattress for her guest bedroom, so I asked fro the old one. One thing, though: she wants to meet you. She insisted."

"Oh, um." Wade's tone is stiff. "You don't think my face'll freak her out?"

"Nah. She'd be too polite to say anything, even if." Peter says. "She really, really wants me to have friends."

---

"So, how'd we meet?" Peter asks over lunch.

"I'm hurt, baby boy. How could you not remember?" Wade sniffles dramatically.

"No, I remember that." Peter says, "I mean, what're we going to tell my aunt? We need to work out a story."

"Oh." Wade stops his pouting. "Well, you're a photographer and I'm clearly a model."

"Y'know-"

"Oh, or I'm a guard at where you work." Wade babbles. "Or we got set up on a blind date-"

"The model thing could work."

"Excuse me?" Wade sounds shocked. "You've seen me."

"When I was in college, I did a project that included taking photos of volunteers with scars." Peter says. "A 'you're still beautiful' thing."

"Um."

"I met with a lot of people who changed their mind and decided not to go through with it." he continues. "I still have a few phone numbers, so...it's believable, it has basis in truth."

"...Sure." Wade says, "You're weirdly good at lying."

"I've been pretending that I'm not something since I was fifteen." Peter says. "Lots of practice."

Chapter Text

"I need to introduce her to someone." Wade says, but Preston immediately shakes her head. "Totally safe, guy wouldn't hurt a fly-well..." he ponders that. "Oh god, Spidey doesn't eat flies, does he?"

"Wilson..." She sighs. "You know how dangerous it is for people to know about her."

"I do, and I've thought about it a lot." Wade says. "This is the guy who has kept his identity safe from the Avengers for years, even working with them all the time. He can keep a secret, and he will keep this one if he knows it."

"He'll know Ellie's identity, but we won't know his." Her eyes narrow. "Unless you do know who he is."

"I-" Wade pauses.

{you can't give up Spidey!}
[who does she think she is?]
{she's holding the ultimate bait}

"This is a test, isn't it?" Wade says. "You're testing me. If I tell you Spidey's identity,"

{idenTIDDY}
[oh my god]

"then you won't trust me to keep Ellie a secret. Well, I'm learning and I'm not gonna fail your stupid tests anymore."

Preston gives him a hint of a smile before her face turns very stern. "I'm going to put m faith in you on this. You know who he is, you trust him. After Christmas, we can discuss this more. Let's get through that first."

{because you fucked it up last year}
[she still hasn't forgiven you]
{I don't think Ellie has either}
[good]

Wade nods. "I'm not going to disappoint everyone this year, I promise."

"Make that promise mean something."

---

"He's been gone all day after some vague crap about a job this morning." Peter huffs and Matt sighs again. "Why would he brush it off unless it's something he doesn't want me to know about?"

"I don't know." Matt rests his forehead on the cafe table they've been sitting at for over an hour while Peter complains. Which is exactly what Matt knew would happen if Wade and Peter moved in together.

"I don't get it." Peter continues. "He hasn't taken a lethal job in a long time. He's not even covered in weapons whenever I see him anymore, usually."

Matt wishes and has prayed for Peter to talk about something besides Wade Wilson. So far those prayers have gone unanswered, so here he is. Suffering. "So, maybe it's something else." he mumbles against the table.

"But what?"

"Maybe, if you don't pry, he'll just tell you." Matt suggests because he's a good friend and no matter how much he wishes Peter would talk and think about him as often as he does Wade, it isn't going to happen. He knows that.

---

"Okay," Peter says after Wade has been home for an hour, singing songs from various kids' shows nonstop. "where were you?"

Wade turns, confused. "I'm making dinner for you and this is how I'm repaid?" he huffs dramatically.

"You disappeared for a whole day." Peter says, "And you were really vague this morning. I'm worried. Wade, if you're doing the killing jobs again, I-"

"Whoa, whoa, calm down." Wade says. "I know lethal jobs are a no-no. Unless they're S.H.I.E.L.D. sanctioned."

"So, no killing?" Peter asks. "Then what're you hiding for me? We're friends, Wade... You do know that you can trust me, right?"

"Of course." Wade smiles. "And I do. This isn't about me not trusting you. I'm hoping all the secrets can be out soon. I'm working on it. It just...it's complicated."

"I'm a little worried." Peter's brows draw together.

"Don't be. It's a good secret."

---

"Nervous?" Peter asks when the cab drops them off in front of his aunt's house.

"Not at all. Why would I be nervous?" Wade lies. "This is only one of the most important people in your life."

"Unless you wanna sleep on the couch forever, you better suck it up." Peter puts a hand on Wade's shoulder and squeezes gently.

"Yeah, okay." Wade takes a deep breath. "Okay."

{I can't wait to see how you fuck this up}
[we aren't exactly the type you bring home to meet the family]
{I wouldn't bring us home to meet a goldfish}

"Shut up." Wade grumbles to the boxes.

"How did we meet?" Peter asks, and it takes Wade a minute to remember that they planned a story.

"You were gonna take photos of my fucked up face and tell me I'm pretty, but I chickened out." Wade says.

"That's the gist of it..." Peter rings his aunt's doorbell. "Just be yourself."

"That's like, your worst idea ever-" he is cut off by May Parker opening the door and pulling Peter into a tight hug.

"May, you just saw me last week." Peter laughs when she pulls away. "This is Wade."

"It's nice to meet you." Wade says, voice bit strained and hands shoved in his pockets. It isn't often a stranger gets to see him without a mask.

[there's a reason for that]
{we're gonna give her a heart attack!}
[at least then she won't have to look at us anymore]
{true}
[lucky]
{remember dying?}
[do I ever]
{ever since the little princess came into the picture, there've been no 'naps'. it's bullshit}
[it's been loud for so long]

Wade tries to shake those thoughts away as he is led into a dining room. May Parker is clearly the world's most polite person ever, as she doesn't stare or make any comments about his appearance. "I hope you boys don't mind me testing these recipes on you. I'm having a little get together for Christmas and I want it to be perfect."

Wade stares at the bountiful meal she puts in front of them and wonders how anyone could ever think this was a bad thing.

{only time we've ever been happy to be a test subject}
[I'm sure something will find a way to go wrong]
{oh, of course, but, at least, we'll be well fed}

"So," May starts after they've been eating for a few minutes, "how did you two meet?"

"Wade was a volunteer for a project I did in sophomore year of college." Peter says easily. "We've sort of been in touch since, and both needed another income for rent, so..."

"I'm glad you didn't just find someone on Craigslist." May says. "So, Wade, what do you do for a living?"

Wade pauses mid-bite and glances at Peter. "Private security." he says slowly. A lie, but sort of true, in a way.

[did we learn something about lying from Peter Parker?]
{Petey is a bad influence!}
[I guess so]

"Oh, that sounds interesting." She says nicely. "A bit dangerous."

"Well, not much damage left to do." Wade says amused, then remembers that he's with normal people who aren't totally desensitized to pain, torture, and death.

{you fucking idiot}
[and here is the fuck up]
{brought to you by our very own Wade Wilson}

"Your sense of humor isn't damaged, for sure." May smiles softly.

"Yeah, Wade always has something witty to say." Peter says. "It's one of my favorite things about him."

{what is hapPENING}
[Peter is saying nice things about us]
{IS HE INSANE}
[no, we are]
{he has a favorite thing about us!}
['one of']
{he has multiple favorite things about us!}

As they're leaving, Wade hears May say "Your boyfriend seems nice." It takes every ounce of his self-control not to laugh.

He claps his hands over his mouth and snickers when Peter splutters "M-my boyfriend?"

She ushers them out before Peter has a chance to correct her.

---

They go shopping for Christmas decorations at Wade's insistence. "You haven't had a tree up since you moved out of your aunt's?" Wade gasps and Peter nods. "Unacceptable."

"Why is it unacceptable?" Peter asks, amused. "I know lots of people my age who don't celebrate anymore."

"Unfortunately, you live with me." Wade grins.

{is he going to give us some millennial bullshit about it being a capitalist, consumer holiday}
[well, he is poor]
{so are we, lately}
[it's just a phase]
{you think the big guy will go back to what makes it rain?}
[without a doubt]

He loses Peter in a toy aisle so he can have a private moment. Preston said he was only allowed to get one gift. How in the hell is he supposed to just choose one? Introducing her to Spidey would've been a great gift, but Preston didn't go for it at all. After a while, he settles on an imitation, a Spider-Man figure.

"Really?" Peter shakes his head, coming to stand next to Wade.

"I'm proud of you. You used to be a menace and now the Avengers are using your image for marketing." Wade smiles. "Seriously, though. You did good for yourself."

Peter looks a little taken aback, blushing and rubbing the back of his neck. "Thanks..."

---

After four hours of arguing over where to put the tree and an additional hour of untangling Wade from the tinsel, they get through the actual decorating pretty fast. The tree isn't too tall for Peter to put the star on top, but Wade lifts him up anyway, just in case.

"I gotta say, it's nice. "Peter says when they're done. "It's still a totally bogus holiday, but it's pretty."

"Listen, about this 'bogus holiday', I'm not gonna be home with you for it." Wade says a little sheepishly. "Work, y'know."

"That sucks." Peter says. "I was gonna bake cookies and everything!"

"Don't joke about cookies, Mr. Parker."

"Okay, but I was gonna share the tube of cookie dough with you." Peter admits. "I have never baked cookies without supervision. Ever."

"How have you survived this long without me?" Wade asks. "When I get back, we're baking cookies."

"Yeah, well, buy more cookie dough on your way home, because that in the fridge isn't going to be there when you get back."

Chapter Text

{you're totally gonna fuck this up}
[just like last year]
{and you're gonna break her}
[ruin her]
{make her like you}
[you don't want that]
(shut up)

Wade leans his head back on the couch and tries to focus on the Christmas cartoon specials instead of them.

{as if you could!}
[what sort of Christmas will this be with us anyway]
(a good one)
{oooooh}
[rude]
{fucking burned you}
[I'm hurt]
(good)
{OOOOOH}
[wow]
{you're gonna pay for that later}

"You okay?" Ellie asks, poking him in the side.

[no]
{are ya gonna lie to the princess?}
[he has to]
{but he's not supposed to!}
[if it's for her own good, it's okay]
{then why the fuck did he even say that he is her dad? why tell the truth about that?}
[he's stupid]
(shut up)
[no]

He lifts his head and meets her full of concern eyes. "Cartoons just give me tooth aches 'cause they're so cute."

"You can't get tooth aches." she says. "You can eat as much candy as you want and you never get cavities."

{that's one way to look at it}

"Kinda an unfair trade-off." he says. "No tooth aches, but this face."

"Did I mention as much candy as you want?" She insists. "Everyone's ugly. If they're not ugly on the outside, then they're ugly on the inside."

{wise statement}
[but we're ugly both ways]

"Not you though." Wade says. "You're the perfect exception. Beautiful inside and out." a sick feeling forms in his stomach because everyone includes her and that's not okay.

"Kids don't count, 'cause they're not finished." she says. "Even Cap beat people up for Bucky. That was ugly and he's pretty perfect."

"Where'd you hear that?"

{tiny spy}

"Nowhere." she turns pointedly back to the TV. "I don't eavesdrop. Nope."

{TINY SPY}
[definitely our kid]
{except like, way cooler}
[yeah]
{bet she gets her own comic someday}
[I can't wait for her to get whitewashed and oversexualized /sarcasm]
{what is her superhero name gonna be}
[depends on her origin story]
{daughterpool}
[...]
{she's gonna be so cool}

"Ellie, what do you wanna be when you grow up?" Wade asks.

{A SPY}
[she sort of is already a spy]

"I'm ten." she answers immediately. "Who knows?"

[a realistic approach to life]
{sounds like the ideology of someone who won't go to college}
[probably best, tuition costs are so high]
{superheroes and spies don't need college anyway}

"Oh, I know!" she says "I'm gonna pull fire alarms in banks on Wall Street and then blow them up when everyone is outside."

[of course, neither do anarchists and mercenaries]
{YES}
[and that seems like what she's leaning towards]
{I APPROVE}

"Why?" Wade asks, concern and a little guilty sense of pride in his tone. She plans to get everyone to safety first, at least? That's gotta count for something.

"They're jerks." she shrugs. "They don't know what it's like to not have a job, and they should. So then, they'll give loans to people who need them instead of being greedy capitalist pigs."

[anarchist it is]

 

---

 

"Remind me why we're out in the cold." Peter says, teeth chattering.

"Your landlady asked me to clear the plot behind the building so she can set up a tent for a horseshoe tossing tournament." Johnny answers. "And since I'm a public figure with a reputation to maintain, I said sure."

"What?" Peter's brows knit together. "That is the weirdest sentence I've ever heard in my entire life."

"Yeah. Well, I'm Human Torch, I'm a brand, dude." Johnny shrugs, then clucks his tongue. "Do British people who don't know who I am just think I'm a light?"

"Johnny..." Peter sighs.

"Dark room? Never fear, flashlight man is here!" the blond laughs. "I'd make a great cave tour guide."

"You'd be the worst. You'd shut off and scare people."

"Yeah..." Johnny laughs again. "Or, instead of flashlight, what about-"

"I'm gonna stop you right there because I know exactly where you're going with that." Peter rubs the bridge of his nose.

"I mean, technically..."

"Johnny, no." the blond shoots him a shameless grin.

 

---

 

Wade isn't sure what jolts him awake. If it was a nightmare, he doesn't remember it. Thankfully, since they're never remotely okay. He hears the hum of electricity through the house and remembers where he is and why. He sits up and he can see onto the bed from where he was sleeping on the floor. His back is complaining, but he doesn't mind. It's worth it, she's worth it. Tiny sleeping angel brings a smile to his face, but it doesn't last.

[you don't deserve this]
{even though she is yours}
[you don't deserve her]
{you're pretending to be dad, good ol' pops}
(I am her dad)
{you spared some love juice to create her. good job. doesn't make you a father}
[didn't make your dad a father]
{exactly}

"I'm trying." he whispers, head in his hands.

[you're only going to get her killed]
{fuck that, think about how much it must suck to have a dad like us}
[ew]
{RIGHT}

"Come on, not here." he hisses. "Not again."

[you better leave, then]
{this breakdown train is already rollin'}
[wouldn't want to ruin her Christmas morning with our shit]
{and your face}

He gets up and paces next to the door of her room, padding back and forth as quietly as he can. It isn't enough, so he goes to pace by the front door.

{JUST LEAVE}
[let her be happy and safe]
{LEAVE}
(no)
{STOP TRYING TO FUCK UP HER LIFE}
[she'd be better off without you]
(no)
[and you know that's true]

He breathes deep, lungs shaking with the panic rising in his chest.

(not here, not here, not now, not after everything)

Preston would never keep him from her completely, no matter how badly he fucks up, but it will never be like it is now. And Ellie will never trust him again if he leaves. So he slips on his boots and walks out onto the empty sidewalk. New York's light pollution disrupts the view of the stars and everything is so fucking still. He pulls out his phone and tries to wait for the minutes to tick over, but it takes too long.

[time definitely stopped]
{nothing's real}
[not that it ever was]
{we die and nothing matters}
[maybe we died a long time ago]
{the big guy as a ghost who doesn't know he's dead?}
[or we're in hell, doomed to fuck up always, to relive all the bad parts over and over again]
{sounds reasonable}

He scrolls his contacts up and down before deciding on one who might still be up, or who'll answer anyway. It rings five times before he gets a sleepy "It's four in the morning."

"Hey, baby boy." Wade smiles a little.

[could be his voicemail]
{this is like the millionth time we've called this late}
[no way to know it's real]

"Something's wrong." Peter slurs. "Talk to me."

"I'm just..." he glances around at the complete nothing. "Y'know when you look around and nothing's movin' and it's quiet and you feel like you're the only one left?"

"All through the house, not a creature was stirring." he says, a bit of amusement in his voice. "Except Wade Wilson, who was having an existential crisis."

"That doesn't rhyme." Wade complains, but he can feel a bit of the tension in his chest easing away.

"Narratives don't have to." Peter says, and Wade can hear him yawn and stretch. "How was your Christmas?"

"Surprisingly okay." Wade says. "No deaths, and I'm still in one piece. Physically, at least."

"I'm glad you're okay." Peter's voice goes soft. "And that you know you can call me like this."

[he told us ages ago to call if we ever needed to talk]
{and the big guy is taking that as serious?}
[apparently, it is]
{oh}

"How was yours?" Wade asks.

"I enjoyed my cookie dough and Johnny came over for a bit." he says. "He brought mistletoe because...well, because he's Johnny."

"Oh boy." Wade rolls his eyes. "I'm jealous."

"No you're not."

"Oh, I am." Wade jokes. "Burnin' up with jealousy. I'm on my way over right now to claim what's mine."

Peter giggles. "Night, Wade."

"Goodnight, Petey." Wade says. "Dream of sugarplums or whatever."

 

"Where'd you go?" a small, sleepy voice asks when he shuts the door to her room again.

"Needed some air." he sits beside the bed again and meets her eyes. They're wild with fear. "I'm right here."

"You left last Christmas." she says, and his heart shatters. "Please stay."

"I'm stayin' this time, I swear." he says, voice cracking. He pulls his knees to his chest and rests his chin on them. He feels her hand clench on the shoulder of his shirt, a vice grip he could easily escape, but refuses to.

{you've already hurt her, broken her heart}
[this all seems familiar]
{remember knock knock, who's there}

"Shhhh..." he hisses.

[at this rate, she's going to be just as fucked up as we are]
{and it'll be your fault}

Her hand stays tight and twisted in the fabric even as she drifts off to sleep. She wants him to stay. Kids never know what's good for them.

[you wanted your dad to stay too]
{yeah}
[keep that in mind]

After she has been asleep for a while, her grip loosens and he scoots away from her and into a corner, not that being crowded by walls helps.

[there was a time last year when she wanted to be dead]
{you caused that}
[it's what Preston doesn't like you]
{the princess would be better off dead than with a dad like you anyway}
[agreed]
{someone should put her out of her misery}
[if you weren't so pathetic, you could do it]
{but you're pathetic}

"Shut up." he whimpers. "Please..."

{stop begging}
[if you're going to stay and ruin her life, you deserve to suffer]
{so sit and take it}
[or leave]
{like you know you should}
[you know she'd be better off without you]
{so get the fuck out}

"No." he keeps his voice as quiet as possible, but he worries that she will hear anyway. "She deserves a good dad and I'm gonna be that for her even if it kills me. There's nothing you can say to stop me."

{we'll see about that}
[you can't be good]
{it's never worth trying}

 

---

 

He's awake when she wakes up. He's exhausted and they never shut up and it breaks his heart to see how she scrunches her eyes closed tighter like she doesn't want to look around because he might be gone again, but...the look of pure joy when she sees that he is still there is irreplaceable.

 

"Here." she says, pulling something out of her pocket after she finishes opening all her gifts. "For you, so you always know I love you." she slips a braided bracelet onto his wrist.

[nothing like wearing a beacon of weakness where everyone can see it]
{our heart just swelled like ten sizes}

"Thank you..." he mumbles.

"Are you crying?"

"N-no." he sniffs and slides a hand under his mask to wipe tears away. "I love you too, Ellie."

"I know."

 

Preston calls him into the kitchen after a while to speak privately. "Would he come today?" she asks. "I wasn't going to think about this until after New Years, but you've been doing well and...maybe it's time I trust you a little."

[trust us?]
{she's lost it!}

"I can call him and find out." Wade says nervously. "He's probably not still asleep."

 

"Okay, I'm out here in the 'burbs." Peter says when Wade greets him a block away. "In my suit. Care to tell me why that is?"

"I need to introduce you to someone." Wade says. His heart is hammering away like it's trying to escape his rib cage. "Remember when I said I was working on getting everything out in the open?"

Peter nods and lets the other lead him down the street. "You said you had a good secret."

"Yeah...and maybe I should give you some warning first, because it's-"

The secret doesn't give him a chance before she full on sprints out to meet them on the lawn. "This is the best Christmas ever."

Wade lifts her up onto his shoulders. "Spidey, meet Ellie...my daughter."

Peter feels his world grind to a halt. This is probably the absolute last thing he expected. Why is that, though? Wade is good with kids. And people tend to be shallow and cruel, but Wade could definitely talk someone into bed so it's not like he couldn't- Peter realizes abruptly that he should be saying something.

"Nice to meet you." he says.

"Dad talks about you all the time." She beams. "About how cool and amazing you are."

"Ellie, please..." Wade sighs. "Let's get out of the cold."

 

Preston sends Ellie to her room, much to her displeasure, so that the adults can talk.

"Okay..." Peter says, tired of sitting in silence with the three of them just staring at each other like the worst game of poker ever. "I've made a decision because I want you to be able to trust me. I get why you can't."

"Ellie is extremely high profile. I just want her to be safe." Preston says. 

"And there's a power imbalance with me knowing that she exists and you knowing nothing about me, so..." he sighs. "I want to make something very clear before I do this."

"Go on."

"This information is passing between me and the guardian of my friend's kid. This has nothing to do with S.H.I.E.L.D." he continues, "If I wanted S.H.I.E.L.D. to know, I'd tell Coulson or Hill or Stark, etc. But I'm not, because I'm not currently comfortable with that many people knowing who I am."

"You know she's way more trustworthy than me, right?" Wade asks.

Preston suppresses a smile. "Apparently, he doesn't think so." Wade is quiet for the rest of the conversation.

Chapter Text

When they get home, Wade flops face first down on the air mattress he bought for until they get the real deal from Peter's aunt. Peter follows him to his room. "Long day?"

"Yeah..." Wade mumbles. "I mean, not that it's not a worthwhile thing. I don't regret spending Christmas with her, I just-I'm a huge fuck up and pretending to be less of one is exhausting."

"I'm going over to my aunt's later. Are you gonna be okay?"

"This about last night?" Wade lifts his head a bit to look at Peter and the brunet nods. "I'm fine, baby boy. It happens."

"Okay." Peter says softly.

---

Wade wakes up to cold water being dumped on his head, which is one of the top ten worst things that could happen. He grits his teeth and tries not to scream while every nerve in his body lights on fire. He struggles, trying to remember how he got here. He fell asleep at his and Peter's place. Then what? Then what?

[is Peter here too?]
{he could be dead}
[he went to his aunt's]
{doesn't mean he got there safely}

"Wake up!" A hand slaps him across his face. Not a voice he recognizes, but it's not like his memory functions at 100%, so that doesn't mean anything.

Then he woke up a few hours later. Peter wasn't home. So he went...somewhere. Well, all that really matters is that Peter isn't involved.

[probably a concussion]
{we weren't home so Petey is safe}
[well there's the silver lining]

"I'm gonna make you pay." The voice says. Wade still doesn't open his eyes.

[clearly, you did something]
{when?}
[who knows?]

---

Sure, he has experienced worse torture, but it's never fun. It's really, really not fun.

[i like the usual ending]
{are we gonna get the good one?}
[i hope so]
{seems like this is the only way we're gonna get it}
[i miss dying]

Sure enough, a gun cocks. Whoever this person is, and Wade doesn't know because he refused to look, they don't know about his regenerative abilities.

[finally]
{YES}
[sweet, sweet death]

Shaky hands make you miss the important stuff. Shaky hands don't let you kill instantly. Shaky hands make the victim suffer more.

{STOP FIGHTING IT}
[we want to die]
(they couldn't have hit wherever the fuck you guys are, could they? would've been too good)
[you'll get a break if you just let go, just relax]
{JUST DIE ALREADY}

He feels cold but not and shivers like he's...scared.

(am I going into shock?)
[when was the last time that happened?]
{JUST DIE}
[why are you scared? it's not forever]

He is scared.

(i don't want to die)
[you don't have a choice]
{LET IT HAPPEN}
[that cold, sick feeling is you bleeding out faster than you can heal]
{DIE}
[an artery got opened. we are going to die]
(no)
{WHAT THE FUCK MAN}
[just relax. it's going to happen either way]
(NO)
{DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE}

Yellow's chanting chases him into unconsciousness.

---

"I have no idea where he could've gone." Peter says restlessly. He can see Ellie through the window and he knows that look, that feeling. He has felt it.

"I hate to say it, but..." Preston sighs.

"No." Peter insists. "No, all of his weapons are still at my place. His go bag, everything. Something's wrong."

"He could have other stashes." She shakes hear head. "Look, I don't want it to be the reason he's gone, but we can't rule out the possibility. This wouldn't be the first time he gave up, it probably won't be the last either. He has been under a lot of pressure and he usually runs when things get tough."

"He just doesn't want to hurt anymore..."

"I know." She says. "But the fact remains."

Peter wants to be mad, but she's right. Wade isn't known for sticking around. "I want to believe he's serious this time."

"Me too." She looks out the window sadly. "I'm not ready for this again."

"Was it bad?" He asks.

She nods. "He wasn't even in her life until a little over a year ago. I was raising her. She's mine, too. Family isn't all about genes."

"I know."

"She only just let him back in." She says. "Before that, it was the cold shoulder. She put him through hell."

---

"I shouldn't have left him alone." Peter says.

Mat squeezes the younger man's shoulder. "This isn't your fault. He always comes back."

Peter can't say that if Wade took a job that led him to kill, he could lose a lot of progress with his daughter, so he continues with the guilty conscience. "He was vulnerable and I left. It is my fault. Whatever happened, I could've stopped it."

"You can't save everyone."

"Yes, I can." Peter insists. Because he knows that statement means Wade can't be saved and he knows that's not true. He can feel it.

---

[you know what he's going to think]
{what they're all going to think}
[where they think you've been]
{doesn't matter what's true}
[it never does]

"Maybe I should just...go." He whispers to the door of Peter's apartment. "If it's already ruined, what's the point?"

[good plan]
{running away, i like it, it's my favorite kind of plan}

"Petey yells at me a lot, so...it won't hurt so much." He sighs, reasoning with himself. "And then, if he doesn't believe me...I'll know. Because he's believed me before." He knocks on the door before he loses his nerve.

[this is a mistake]
{RUN FORREST RUN}

The door creaks open to Peter still mostly dressed. Just his shoes and belt off and his shirt twisted. Wade feels like a deer in headlights. Nothing good can come. Nothing good ever comes.

"Peter..." He mumbles. "I-"

[don't cry]
{you fucking wuss}
[don't be that weak]
{don't be such a baby}
[Deadpool is always fine, remember]

Peter pulls him into the apartment and shuts the door. "Where...?"

"I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't, I swear." He babbles. "No one is gonna believe me, they never do. Something always goes wrong and it's my own stupid fucking fault every fucking times and now-now because of something I did, probably years ago, something I don't even fucking remember- I'm going to lose everything. Again. Why do I even keep trying?"

"I'm so sorry." Peter says, and his voice cracks. He wraps his arms around Wade but the merc doesn't respond to the touch.

{say what now}

"Why are you sorry?" Wade asks. His arms still hang limply at his sides. There's too much going on to deal with. One thing at a time.

"You'd just been through something stressful and I left you here alone." Peter says. "I shouldn't have."

Wade almost wants to laugh. Or cry. Out of relief, hysterically. "I didn't kill anyone." He says instead.

"I'm glad, but that's not why I'm sorry." Peter let's him go. "Preston isn't happy."

"Of course." Wade feels drained and blank and empty and numb. He knew something like this would happen. He just assumed that he would actually do something to cause it.

{a perfect time to give up}
[Ellie will have a happier life this way]
{trying isn't worth it}
[something always goes wrong anyway]

"Wade." Peter puts his hands on the other's shoulders and squeezes. "Wade, I know that thousand yard stare. Don't give up."

"Why the fuck not?" He pushes Peter's hands off. "I'm bad, bad shut happens. I'm good, bad shit still happens. So why shouldn't I give up?"

"Because I've never seen you work so hard for anyone or anything." Peter says. "I know you don't want to throw it all away, not after so much."

"But everything is fucked up."

"Life is a series of fuck ups, you either deal with them and get the brief happiness that comes after, or you give up and accept eternal misery." Peter says. "Don't you want to be happy at least sometimes?"

"But..."

"Stay, work this out." Peter sighs. He hovers his hands over Wade's shoulders but drops them after a few seconds. "You don't have to do this alone anymore."

---

"You can do this." Peter says. They've been sitting on the curb a few houses down from Preston's for several minutes now.

"I don't know." Wade bites back a whimper.

{stop being so fucking weak}
[we saw this coming]
{you're such a pathetic piece of shit}
[we even prepared for it]
{and you're still gonna cry, aren't you}
[yes]
{suck it the fuck up}

"I'm right here with you."

[not that we deserve it]
{'cause we definitely don't}

"Let's get this over with." Wade sighs heavily. "Then I can figure out how to deal with it."

{click click bang}
[ideally]

---

"He didn't do anything wrong." Peter says.

"I appreciate how concerned you are, and I would love to believe that, but I can't just take him at his word." Preston says. "I've given him the benefit of the doubt before and it was a mistake."

"He's telling the truth."

{wow, we're right here}

Wade looks out the window into the backyard, where Ellie is kicking up dirt and idly twisting in a swing. He gets up and goes outside after Preston says she's going to investigate his claims. Ellie needs a goodbye. If he waits, there might not be another chance.

She barely glances up at him when he takes the second swing next to her. "If you didn't do anything, why are you in trouble?" She mumbles.

"Preston doesn't trust me." He answers. "And I get that. I...you know I'm not the best role model, right?"

She nods. "There are worse, but yeah."

"And I've done a lot of things. I know know how many are bad, but a lot of people think a lot of them are. And I've never kept up the hero act this long." He continues. "So...everyone expects me to screw up. I've never given anyone a reason to think I won't."

"I'm sorry I make your life harder." She says honestly. His heart breaks when she looks up with teary eyes.

"No, no." She blinks and looks down. "Ellie, look at me."

She shakes her head and let's out a sob. "I'm sorry."

"You didn't do anything wrong. This isn't your fault. It's mine, and I'm trying to fix it." He babbles. Anything to get her to stop crying, to stop feeling guilty. "My life isn't meaningless anymore, Ellie, and that's because of you. I never even wanted to try to get my life together before you, now I don't just want to try, I want to succeed."

She nods quickly, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. "Okay."

{what's that saying about where apples fall}

"I'm gonna fix this." He says. He isn't confident, but damn it, he's going to try. "I may not be able to come see you for a while, but it won't be like this forever."

{sure}
[don't make promises you can't keep]

She gives him a sad smile and nods again.

---

Peter leaves Wade on the sofa and goes to the basement of the building when they get home. He doesn't want to, but laundry has to get done. He is gone for 6 minutes maximum. Wade isn't on the couch when he returns and his heart starts hammer out of control in his chest.

"Calm down." He says to himself, a pretty useless command. He hadn't seen that tortured look in Wade's eyes in a long time and there aren't words to describe how completely and totally he hoped he would never see it again.

He breathes a sigh of relief when he finds Wade sitting cross-legged on his bed with a photo album open on his lap. "Didn't think to check my room." He says. "What're you snooping in?"

"Found this a while ago." Wade answers, tilting the album so Peter can see the title on it. "Your college projects cheer me up."

"Oh god." Peter laughs and takes a seat next to him. "I bet they do, some of them are awful."

"Nah, just really cheesy and cliché." Wade flips through a few pages. "Did you really go out on the street asking people to empty their pockets and show you what they had?"

"Okay, it sounds creepy." Peter admits. "But picture me as a college freshman."

"Oh, go on~" Peter rolls his eyes at the lilt in Wade's voice.

"Scrawny, wide eyed, with the stereotypical geek attire: white button ups with bright argyle sweater vests- it was ridiculous." Peter says. "And carrying around a camera and stammering because I wasn't used to talking to strangers. I wore clips in my hair. It was like I was taken from a high school anime and put in the real world."

"Tell me you have pictures of yourself from then."

"I do, but they're hidden way better than this was." Peter laughs, then his expression turns more thoughtful. "So...do you have any favorites?"

Wade does. He has a few in particular. When he first found the album, he searched cover to cover for the project they used in their fake story. He's not ready to admit how beautiful they looked in the row labeled 'photo 1: before', nor is he ready to wonder if he could be as happy about a picture of himself as the same people are in the row labeled 'photo 2: after'. Nothing about their appearances changed, except their perception of it. Peter helped them genuinely feel okay and happy about themselves.

No, definitely not ready to touch that. So, he flicks past that project to one labeled 'Hope'.

"Why these?" Peter asks.

Wade shrugs. "They're...I dunno. Personal, intimate."

"...Thanks." Peter blushes and bites back a smile. "My professor didn't get it. I nearly failed."

"Rude bitch." Wade scoffs. "You can't decide what gives other people hope." He smooths a hand over the pages and sighs. "Wish I knew what gives me hope, I could sure use some right now."

Peter places his hand gently on top of Wade's before he can stop himself. "I won't let you get punished for something you didn't do." He says, threading his fingers between Wade's. "I promise."

Wade's eyes are sad when he looks at Peter. "Okay." He says, even though he doesn't sound like he believes it.

Chapter Text

He feels fear prickling under his skin, making his hair stand on end and a pool of blood squelching beneath his feet. In the middle of a mass of carnage, not for the first time, is his dear friend Deadpool. "Why?" he hears himself ask, but he feels disembodied. "After everything, why?"

The blank white eyes of the mask have never been quite as terrifying as they are now. "You can't save everyone." he says. "And you sure as hell can't save me."


Peter jolts awake, his heart pounding in his chest. "Just a bad dream." he says to himself. "One that could easily come true..." he sighs, because it has happened before. He can't forget all the times he has seen Wade kill people, but...Wade keeps saying that it is in the past, for good this time. With all his heart, he wants to believe that. To some extent, he does, but he can't give up being cautious yet.

He knocks softly on Wade's door. It's late, but he knows the other is probably still awake. He sits on the edge of the bed when Wade scoots over to make room. "You okay?"

"I'm never gonna see her again." Wade says, his voice quiet and uneven, not at all like his usual, loud and enthusastic self.

"That's not true." Peter insists, shifting to lay next to him. "Things will get back to normal soon."

"No, I'm serious." Wade sighs. "This is how shit always goes in my life. I get a taste of a better life and then the rug gets pulled out from under me. The other shoe drops. All those other sayings people use when everything goes sideways. My life is beyond sideways, it's fucking upside down. All the time."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm tired of everything hurting and I'm tired of fucking everything up, but it just won't stop. And there's nothing I can do to make it stop. Not good enough anyway." Wade sits up abruptly and swings his legs off the bed. "I need to get out of here for a while. I'll be back."


Peter slips his suit on and follows because he can't get his spidey sense to calm down. Something is wrong. They come to a stop in an abandoned warehouse and Peter watches from behind a stack of crates as Wade sits down on the floor against a wall, murmuring to himself and pulling his mask off.

He is across the room and on top of Wade before the pistol even goes into his mouth, heart racing worse than it had about the nightmare. "Wade." he says, because he doesn't know what else to say. He shakes his head, pulling the gun loose from the merc's hand, unloading it, and switching the safety on before setting it carefully on the concrete floor next to them.

"Fancy meetin' you here." Wade says weakly. There is the most defeated look in his eyes and it breaks Peter's heart.

"Wade." He says again, and sighs.

"Yeah, that's my name."

"Let's go home and change, I need to show you something." Peter says. "Please?"

"Okay."

---

He leads Wade out onto a pedestrian bridge, counting posts as he goes. Wade eyes him skeptically but stays quiet, which keeps Peter's mind foggy with worry. He stops at the fifty-second post and sits, sliding his legs out, straddling one of the posts. "Sit with me." He points to a carving on the post between them.

"It'll be okay." Wade reads outloud. "Why'd you bring me here, Petey?"

"I made that. I was...fourteen, I think. Just before the spider-bite." Peter says. He doesn't flinch at the way Wade's eyes fill with even deeper sadness. "I walked this bridge for hours. Aunt may was livid when I got home. It was right about here that I decided I wasn't ready to die."

"Why are you telling me this?" Wade asks.

"Because I was alone, and I wish I'd had someone tell me what it says on this post." Peter says honestly.

"I'm not gonna be okay."

"Not all the time, but it isn't always this bad." Peter says. "I just...you're not alone, okay?"

They are quiet for a while, the sounds of NYC around them, before Wade speaks again. "This is that set in your photo album, Hope. The one you failed."

"Almost failed. It felt to intimate to explain so I just..."

"Batted your eyelashes at the professors and wore tight jeans to show off your even tighter ass?" Wade asks, a grin spreading across his face.

"Okay, but when do I not wear tight jeans?" Peter asks before he can stop himself.

"Oh my god."

"No, no. I told a bogus story about my dad." Peter says quickly. "And got a pity B."

"Lying and using your moneymaker. And people think I'm a bad influence on you." Wade laughs.

"They haven't met me during finals." Peter says. "Anything goes."

---

They return home to find a note on their door saying that a fumigator is coming to the building the next morning and they need to get the hell out. How many hotels are available for last minute booking the night before Valentine's Day? None. They manage to find a room in a pretty seedy area, with one full size bed. Peter falls asleep before he can complain.


He wakes up and groans. He is sore from so many nights patrolling-the holiday season is a busy time for a hero-and pain sparks throught the tension in his shoulders. The cheap bed didn't help much. He sits up and blinks, assessing his surroundings. Shirt twisted uncomfortably around him, seams in his jeans leaving indents on his skin, drool dried on his cheek. Yeah, he's a mess. He flops back down with a heavy sigh and hears Wade huff a laugh from across the room.

"Thirsty?" Wade asks, glancing away from the window he had been staring out of. Rain drums on the glass loud enough to hear over the hum of the heating unit in the room. Peter nods and graciously accepts the bottle of water Wade tosses his way.

Peter grimaces at the sour taste in his mouth-really should've brushed his teeth before passing out. "You okay?" He asks, voice rough from sleep. After what he has been through lately, Peter is doubly worried. Wade had gotten used to seeing or at least talking to Ellie every day, and now that privilege has been ripped away while S.H.I.E.L.D. investigates the validity of his story. There hasn't been any contact since just after Christmas. Wade doesn't say anything, but Peter knows this is killing him. Literally, in a way, considering what he saw the day before. "Wade?" Peter presses when the merc doesn't answer.

"She won't admit it, but thunder scares her a little." Wade says. "Usually she'll call and I distract her somehow."

Peter drags himself out of bed and sits in the chair opposite to Wade's. "She's tough. She'll be okay."

"I know, I just..." He sighs. "She's tough as nails and braver than I am, but I don't want her to have to be. I don't want her to have to struggle through something and be okay at the end. I just want things to be okay for her, always."

"You can't protect her from everything."

"I can barely protect her from myself." Wade says. "She deserves way better than a fuck up like me-at least she knows that...I think-I hope."

"She knows you're trying-"

"And now, after everything, after all the bad things I've actually done, this is what's going to take her away from me." His tone turns bitter and he pulls his feet onto the chair, knees to his chest. "I didn't do anything wrong this time."

"I know that, and Preston is going to prove that." Peter says, but Wade shakes his head. "I know this is hard for you, but Preston needs to be sure and she's not going to give ground on this. She had to see Ellie Christmas before last."

"Thanks for bringing that up, I'd almost forgotten." Wade says sarcastically.

"Sorry, I just-she wants Ellie to be happy just as much as you do, and she knows that you make Ellie happy. This isn't permanent." He says. "But you're going to have to do this her way."

"This is still my own stupid fucking fault." Wade grumbles. "Even when I don't actively sabotage something, some shit from my past comes around to do it for me."

"It's gonna be okay." Peter says, and the certainty in his voice makes Wade look up. "Have you slept?" Wade shakes his head. "When was the last time you slept?"

Wade looks away and then glances at his phone on the window sill. "She might call..." He says pitifully.

"Then I'll answer." Peter sighs. "Don't break the streak of taking care of yourself you had going before Christmas."

"If I sleep, I'm just gonna have bad dreams." He mumbles, blinking hard. It shows that he is forcing himself to stay awake. "It'd been a long time since... I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to die or even be that hurt."

"I'm so sorry."

Wade laughs a bit. "It's stupid, but I was scared while it was happening. Like I'd actually die. I was scared. What an idiot."

"You're exhausted, please at least try to sleep. I'm right here if you need me." He pats Wade's shoulder and the merc nods, yawning.

---

Peter watches Wade sleep in that wickedly uncomfortable chair (not that the bed is much better, but at least it has room to stretch out) for a while before sighing and getting up. He slips his arms under Wade's knees and shoulders and lifts him easily. He expects more of a reaction than the confused, slightly panicked mumble he gets.

"Shh...It's just me." He whipsers. Wade slurs something about spider strength and goes lax again. Peter can't help the smile that forms on his face. Who would've known Wade Wilson could be adorable?

Wade stretches out as soon as Peter sets him down on the bed, joints popping as he sighs happily. Peter supposes that Wade has slept on worse beds. "Thanks." Wade murmurs.

Peter slips his fingers under the mask and it's really telling of how much Wade trusts him that he barely reacts. "Would you be more comfortable without this?" He asks quietly.

"You're the one who'll be seein' my face." Wade slurs. "G'head."

The merc reaches up and scratches his nose when Peter pulls the mask off, but makes no more move to cover his face. To be fair, it could be that he is just too exhausted to give a fuck. Peter is suddenly overwhelmed with warm affection and reaches out, brushing his fingers against Wade's cheek. Then, he blushes and retracts his hand because what the fuck. He spends the next almost seven hours working on research on his laptop and not thinking about it. It's the longest he has ever seen Wade sleep in one go. Usually, the merc drifts for a few hours and then he's back up for some reason or another, always a different excuse.

Peter yawns and shifts onto his side on the bed, his back to Wade. His laptop needs to charge and cool off, so he may as well nap. He is almost asleep when he feels Wade scoot closer and sling an arm over his waist. He is used to this. The fire escape goes to the window in his bedroom and sometimes Wade is too tired to get to his own bed and Peter is too tired to do anything about it. He isn't that tired now, but...Wade's breathing is steady and relaxed and Peter knows the merc is worn out, so he doesn't disturb him.

---

When he wakes up three hours later, Wade is still asleep. He half rolls over, unable to fully change position since Wade cuddles with a vice grip, and pokes the merc in the shoulder until he grumbles unhappily and nuzzles under Peter's chin. It is equal parts frustrating and endearing, but his breath is hot on Peter's neck and nope, that's not happening. Peter isn't awake enough to deal with that. He pushes Wade's head back a respectable distance and tries to wriggle free without waking the merc. Which Wade is absolutely not allowing, apparently.

Peter sighs, resigned to his fate (and his uncalled for spark of arousal, seriously what the fuck), and squirms into an at least somewhat decent position, facing away from Wade. The merc snuggles closer and hums in contentment. Peter doesn't know why the lightest sleeper he has ever met in his entire life has suddenly decided that he isn't going to be disturbed unless the world is literally ending, and maybe not even then.

"Happy Valentine's Day." the merc says, voice deeper and even more gravelly than usual. Peter swallows thickly (he hasn't gotten laid in a while, okay?). Wade rolls onto his back, stretches and groans. "Holy fuck, how long did I sleep?"

Peter clears his throat before speaking. He'll blame any leftover hoarseness on sleep. "Ten hours." He says after glancing at the clock on the bedside table.

"Wow..." Wade says. "I can't remember the last time I slept that long."

"Feel any better?"

Wade opens his mouth to reply, then glances out the window and winces. "Was there thunder?" He asks quietly.

"Just rain, don't worry." Peter says. "Happy Valentine's Day, Wade."

Chapter Text

Around noon on the fourth day in the shittiest motel on the planet, Wade goes out to get food for them. Peter idly browses the internet and tries very hard not to think about the weird, one-sided sexual tension he experienced. He remembers what he thought of Wade before he saw what was under the mask; he thought Wade would be attractive, but does that mean that he thinks Wade is? There is a line between those two things...somewhere...not that he can find it. But then, it is a moot point, really, since he very clearly is attracted to Wade. To his voice, for sure...

He answers his phone when he sees Preston's contact pop up. "Hello?"

"Hi, Peter. How's Wade?" She asks. Peter would be more worried about the possible outcomes for this whole situation if Preston did not care for Wade as much as she does.

"He's okay." Peter says. "I mean, he's upset, but... I'm hopeful."

"That's good." She sighs. "I worry about him. I feel like I adopted him as much as I have Ellie."

"I think you should let him see her." He says. "I know you said no contact until this is worked out, but-"

"It'll just make things more difficult, for both of them." She replies.

"How do you know that, though?" He asks. "It could be good for them. I just don't see how isolation benefits anyone."

"It makes it less complicated if it turns out that he's lying." She says. "And before you start with me about this, I want him to be good just as much as you do, and I know he can be. That's why it's so frustrating when he goes back to old habits."

"I know." Peter sighs. "I just- I don't like seeing him suffer."

"Me either." They are silent for a few moments, neither wanting to argue it. They fully agree, they just both have a lot of emotional investment in Wade. Which is, historically, a risky move. "I have to go, I'll call if anything changes."

---

Wade comes back with two large pizzas, which Peter thinks is actually a bit overkill. Peter does not mention the phone call with Preston.

"So..." Peter says after several mintues of watching Wade chew. "How many times have you..." It is a tricky thing to mention, he thinks. Maybe even way too personal.

Wade hums, questioning. "What's on your mind?"

"In the warehouse, what you were gonna do." Peter says quietly. "How long has that been going on?"

Wade shrugs, "My memory is kinda fucked up, y'know." He says. "Before Ellie was born, but I don't know how long before."

"Jesus." Peter breathes. "Is it so bad?"

"Sometimes." Wade says, then points to Peter with a grin. "You have been a great distraction for the past few years, though."

"I'm glad." Peter feels his heart in his throat and tries to will himself not to cry.

"Not somethin' I ever thought we'd have in common though- I mean, sort of at least." Wade says, taking another bite of pizza. "You look like you have it all together."

"I can't even imagine having it together." Peter laughs. "It's more like I have it in a wobbly stack and I'm getting ready to shout "Jenga!" at any moment."

---

After five days of sleeping in the same lumpy bed, they can finally go home- thankfully, since Peter does not think he would have survived another night like that. They are about twenty feet from their apartment when Wade gets this look on his face, turns a hundred and eighty degrees, and walks back to the stairwell. Peter does not have time to question him, but he understands when he looks to their door and sees Ellie there, sleeping, propped against the wall. She cannot have been waiting there for long, otherwise Preston would have called them by now, but he doubts that matters to Wade. The other man's mind is often very cruel to him. He remembers something Wade mentioned to him once in passing about his own dad leaving. It was way more dark than this is, but again, he doubts it matters.

 

Wade can feel his heart hammering in his ears even past the ringing that is blaring like a siren has been shoved into his mouth. She is not even supposed to be here, but she is and he wasn't.

{how long do you think she's been there?}
[all day, maybe]
{fuuuuck. do you think she knocked?}
[probably]
{familiar? knock knock who's there. we keep coming back to this and he never learns!}
[and now she's been through exactly what she has]

"It's not the fucking same." He grits out, but the sound of his voice is drowned out by laughter. "Shut up, shut up, oh fucking please shut up..."

{if it's not the same, why are you out here?}
[you ran away, that makes it worse]
{are you gonna start doing the other stuff your dad did}
[low]
{not if it's true}

"It's not." He says. He hates how weak and upset he sounds. "I'm not, and I'm going back up there. And I'm gonna be a dad. And you can't fucking stop me."

[can't we?]
{i mean, we have a bunch of times before}
[why is now so different?]
{because of spidey?}
[he doesn't really care]
{he does, but only because that's who he is. he's the good guy. he cares. even about monsters like us}
[if he knew how much of a monster we are, he would stop caring]
{probably, if he knows whats good for him he will}

 

Peter sighs heavily and crouches next to her. "Hey," he says, tapping her shoulder gently. "nice to see you again."

Her eyes blink open and she yawns. "Hi, Pete." she glances around and then looks back at him, sadness in her eyes. "Where..."

"He'll be back in a minute." Peter says. He's sure of that. "Come in, I wanna talk to you for a minute."

She nods and follows him in. "I don't mean to upset him..."

Peter thinks, not for the first time, that Ellie is a lot like Wade. "That's part of what I want to talk about." He flicks the light on in Wade's room.

All the weapons are locked safely away except for the sheathed katanas, which are mounted on the wall above his bed. There is nothing too questionable lying around. Peter knows that Wade always intended for her to visit. The fact that his room has not devolved into chaos tells him that Wade has not given up hope just yet.

She looks up at Peter, confused. He smiles. "I've known Wade for a long time now, and I've seen a lot of places he's stayed." he says. "Weapons and half-eaten takeout laying everywhere, dufflebags of dirty clothes-if he had any with him besides the suit. Do you know why?"

"No." she answers. "Maybe he's just a slob." she almost smiles.

"Well, kinda, but it's more than that." Peter chuckles. "He wasn't planning on staying in those places, so it didn't matter what they looked like, but here, he has everything put away and cleanish. It's liveable."

"So, you think he'll stay?" She asks.

"Yes." Peter says. She perks up at that. "Do I think he won't run off for a few days? No, but that's not because he doesn't want to be here. It's not your fault, either. He's just...he's terrified."

"I know he's trying..." she sighs. "I guess I shouldn't be so hard on him."

"In my experience, he does best when he's held accountable." Peter says. "You do know that he adores you, right?"

"Yeah."

"You guys havin' a sappy moment without me?" Wade says from the doorway. "I don't know if I'm happy or jealous."

"Dad!" Ellie shouts, her face breaking into a grin. She runs and jumps into his arms.

"What's up, Ellie-belly?" Wade asks after he sets her down.

"Peter says you're gonna stay." she says.

"I hope he's right." Ellie might be too young to pick up on the sadness in Wade's voice, but Peter is not. "Y'know, I hate to mention it now because I'm so happy to see you, but...did you skip school to come here?"

Ellie shakes her head. "I'm sorry, I just..."

"You got nothin' to apologize for." Wade says. "I mean..." he glances at Peter, "School is important and all, but not so much that one day is the end of the world. Emily is gonna worry though."

"I'll make sure she knows it's not your fault." She says determindly. "'Cause it's not."

"I know. I still have to call her." Wade says. Ellie sighs. "I know, I know. Rules are boring, but you gotta listen sometimes. Even when you don't want to."

Chapter Text

Wade has just pulled his phone out of his pocket when Preston calls. He answers immediately. "Wade, I just got a call from–"

Her voice is panicked so he does not prolong her worrying. "The school, yeah. The spy-in-training found out where I live, and...well."

"So, she's with you?" Preston sighs in relief. "I can't believe this."

"Can't you? Pretty sure skipping school comes from my genes." Wade laughs. "She's fine."

"Okay, I'm on my way to pick her up." She says. "See you in a bit."

"She's not gonna let me stay, is she?" Ellie pouts. "Spies don't need school!"

{that's what i said!}
[almost your exact words]
{freaky}
[it's like someone is trying to create a parallel]

"Spies need some school." Peter says. "For the social skills, at least."

"Boo." Ellie deadpans. "Socializing is like the worst part."

"Being a spy involves a lot of socializing." Peter says. "And working in teams sometimes."

"That's why I'm a mercenary." Wade says. "I may as well wear a big sign that says: "does not play well with others". A neon one that flashes."

"You team up with Spidey a lot." Ellie says. "Especially lately."

"I know, I know." Wade sighs. "It's charity really. He's such a nerd." He fake whispers.

"Hey, I'm right here, ass." Peter says, then claps his hand over his mouth. "Shit, I'm sorry-wait-fuck."

"Wow. Three different bad words." Ellie laughs. Wade is shaking his head.

"Pete, man, she's ten."

"I've heard worse." She says, shrugging. "Like-"

"No-no, no. You don't have to say 'em." Wade says. "I wanna keep this idea that you're completely innocent, never heard a swear in your life. Even if it's a fairytale."

"This is New York City, dad. Yesterday a kindergartener called me a b-"

"Noooo." Wade puts his fingers in his ears. "I can't hear you."

---

Preston definitely has the look of a parent whose kid went missing, and it stings. Wade knows it is his fault. If he was not in Ellie's life, she would never run away from home, she would have a normal life, like she had before. Seeing her still improves his mood.

[selfish]
{you're in a good mood for ruining her life, jackass}
[selfish]
{SHE'D BE BETTER OFF IF YOU LEFT HER ALONE AND YOU KNOW IT}
[why do you keep tr-]

"Hey, you okay?" Peter interrupts their degradation, putting his hand on Wade's shoulder. It does not stop them, but sort of drowns them out just a little. Wade forces himself to focus on Peter and not the voices.

[rude]
{fucker, how dare he}
[we just want what's best for Ellie]

"Yeah." Wade lies. "It's just, y'know. It's hard. Whatever, I can deal with it." He says it with more confidence than he has. A lot more.

He tosses and turns all night in bed listening to the usual arguments for why he is such a piece of shit. He ran out of hope a long time ago that the repetitiveness would make it hurt less after a while. That has never been the case. It always hurts the same amount or more. It's like poker. It calls or raises and the stakes just keep getting higher.

[we're poker now, apparently]
{we were the core of a planet a minute ago}
[that's later]
{yeah but it was written just a minute ago}
[don't be so meta]
{anyway, poker, I can work with that}
[i'm sensing a song]
{you got it}
[siiiiigh]
{on a warm summer's eve, on a train bound for nowhere, i met up with the gambler}

Wade sighs and pulls a pillow over his head. He wants to sleep but he knows that is not going to happen. Not when yellow gets started singing. It is always a long night when that happens.

{hey rude}
[it could be a worse song]
{you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run}
[it all comes back to this]
{big guy should walk away}
[or run]

"Every hand's a winner and every hand's a loser. It's about playin' the cards, right? So I'm gonna play my fuckin' cards."

{but you're a loser}
[you literally never get a winning hand]
{because you're a loser}

"Stop. Go back to singing." Wade sighs again.

{but the author doesn't want to copy anymore lyrics}
[stop being so meta]
{it's true}

---

Wade goes for a walk around seven in the morning, when he comes back, he has three bags on his arms. He walks in to the sound of Peter swearing a video game.

{the comics might be PG but guess what, this fan fiction ain't!}
[thank god]

"Did you know the DVD rental shop down the street is closing?" Wade asks.

Peter pauses his game and stares at the older man for a minute. "...DVD rental places still exist?"

"Oh my god, millennials." Wade sighs. "With your Netflix and your holo-"

"Hulu." Peter corrects. "It's like all ads."

"Can't wait thirty seconds for your entire show." Wade sets the bags on the kitchen counter. "D'yah know how many commercials and movie previews I watched?"

"It's not my fault your era was tech-suck." Peter laughs, following the other into the kitchen. "The dark ages before DVR and Netflix."

"Had to walk 10 miles uphill through snow to watch an episode of Tom & Jerry." Wade shakes his fist at the ceiling.

"Is that show that old?"

"Hey!" Wade gasps. "It started in the nineteen forties actually-"

"And how old were you then?" Peter asks.

"Negative forty." Wade answers."I think? Somethin' like that."

"So, you're thirty six?" Peter says. "You're barely not a millennial!"

Wade fake gasps exaggeratedly. "How dare you? That's like– I can't believe you'd say that, Pete." He puts his hand on his heart and sniffles. "I'm hurt, really I am. I bought all these movies at eighty percent off to watch with you, and this is how you repay me."

"What'd you get?" Peter asks, trying to peek over Wade's shoulder to no avail.

"No, baby boy. You owe me, a respectable generation X kid, an apology." Wade turns to face Peter and crosses his arms. "No movies until you say sorry."

Peter frowns and then leans up on his tiptoes, pecking a quick kiss on Wade's cheek. "Sorry." He says sweetly, then pulls the bags further over to look inside.

{wtf the fuck}
[we aren't wearing the mask, and he...]
{he jusT!!!}
[he just...]

Wade touches his fingertips gently to his cheek and stares in awe at Peter as the younger rambles about the movie choices.

"The old robo-cop?" Peter cringes. "Oh, I can just imagine the special effects in this..."

Wade shakes his head to clear it. "Robo-cop holds up just fine. It's a classic."

"Mean Girls? Are we gonna paint each other's nails too?" Peter asks.

"Depends." Wade shrugs. "What colors do you have? I'm more of a summer."

Peter laughs. "I think I have some black nail polish around here somewhere, actually. From like, an old Halloween costume."

"Or your scene phase." Wade adds.

"I did not go through a scene phase." Peter says, sounding offended.

"I don't believe you and neither does your closet full of skinny jeans." Wade grins. "Did you have blue hair too?"

---

Peter complains through half the movies about scientific inaccuracies, Wade talks about other movies the actors have been in and who would have been a better casting choice. They barely pay attention to half an hour out of three full length movies between their discussions.

"Y'know..." Peter says through a mouthful of popcorn, "We could make that fake photoshoot a reality."

"Huh?" Wade tears his eyes away from the screen.

{mean girls rachel mcadams or the notebook rachel mcadams?}
[the kiss in the notebook was way more intense]
{well yeah. regina hadn't been separated from her love by her parents. amy poehler isn't that kind of mom}
[the mothers in those two movies are weirdly similar though]
{okay, I'll bite}
[well, we don't know it, but amy poehler mom probably had a young love with a poor man too, and yet she married a rich guy, but she's clearly not very happy with her life]
{yeah, I guess. the massive plastic knockers don't say happy middle aged gal}
[neither does the living vicariously through her high school daughter and her friends and boyfriend]
{huh. a comparison i wouldn't have made but it's...weirdly on point}

"Wade?" Peter waves his hand in front of the older man.

"Sorry, something interesting, I'll tell you later. What's this about a fake photoshoot now?" Wade asks.

"I mean, the shoot wasn't fake, but- you know, what we told my aunt." Peter explains. "It helped some of the others with their self image, and I just–"

"I don't think it's a good idea." Wade says, voice dropping low.

{you're damn right it's not}
[why would anyone want us immortalized]
{we already are immortal you dope}
[not that way]

"Why?" Peter asks. "I'm not gonna press d you don't want to. I'm just curious..."

"Taking pictures of me isn't gonna fix anything." Wade says. "You don't want this immortalized."

"You're not a monster, Wade." Peter argues. Wade opens his mouth to speak, but Peter interrupts. "You don't look like one either."

"You're just bein' nice. I appreciate it, but don't lie to me." Wade sighs.

"Do you even consider the possibility that in not lying?" Wade looks at him skeptically. "My first adversary turned into a fucking lizard, man. You're not that bad looking."

Wade bursts out laughing. After he composes himself, wiping away tears. "Better than a lizard scientist. Okay, I'll take it."

---

"Do you ever worry about Ellie having an X gene?" Peter asks on the sixth movie.

Wade's mood drop is visible. "Every damn second of every day."

"Well...I mean, scientifically speaking, evolution has a way of fixing things. So, maybe–"

"Maybe she won't have anything at all, and she can live a normal life." Wade interrupts.

"You weren't born the way you are. All I mean is that whatever some evil scientists messed up, nature can fix." Peter says. "And then she could have a painless healing factor. Which is...good, right?"

"Until people want to steal it and start poking holes in her." Wade says. "Ask Logan. He knows. It's not all rainbows and sunshine having an ultra powerful healing factor."

"I'm sorry."

"The only people who want to be immortal are the ones who aren't." Wade says, and sighs deeply. "I know you're just curious, but... I don't want to talk about it."

---

Wade does not want to talk about it, but that can't stop Peter from thinking about it. All day the next day. In class. When he is supposed to be paying attention.

"Are you alright?" Johnny asks when they get together for lunch between classes. "You're a little out of it."

"Yeah, I'm great." Peter says. "I just didn't get a lot of sleep last night 'cause of an impromptu movie marathon."

"Just making sure." Johnny says, concern creasing his brow. "Never know when you're wearing long sleeves."

"It's February, Johnny." Peter huffs a laugh. "And it's been years since...what you're thinking."

"But you still can't say it." Johnny frowns.

Peter doesn't notice how he tugs his sleeves over his hands. "The word makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, okay. I don't like thinking about it." The cloth is thin enough over his arms that he can feel the bumps of scars if he presses. "Don't worry, man. I'm...better than ever, actually."

"I'm glad." Johnny says. "Okay, change of subject, finals are coming up."

Peter almost chokes on his burger. "That's so much worse. Don't remind me!"

"It's gonna happen."

"I'm living in a fantasy right now where that stretch of surviving on coffee and junk food doesn't exist." Peter says. "Finals is a dirty word. The dirtiest. And not in a fun way."

"This kills the man." Johnny lays his head on the table they are seated at.

"That meme is so outdated." Peter grimaces.

"Don't talk to me or my forty thousand tumblr followers ever again." Johnny replies.

"You don't have that many followers." Peter says. "No way, not when you're a walking meme. Can you even say anything besides a meme?"

"Speech.exe is not responding."

"Johnny, please." Peter snickers.

---

Peter knows that he really needs to stop staring at Wade. Because Wade thinks that staring equals bad things. He has only just gotten comfortable enough to walk around without the mask.

Ignoring his better judgement, Peter remarks to himself that it is just Wade's skin and brain that are fucked up, and the middle seems fine. Logically, Peter knows that Wade has cancer throughout his body, but you can't tell just by looking. There is certainly nothing visibly wrong with the broad shoulders or rippling muscle.

He props his head on his hand, still watching as Wade folds clean laundry in the living room (more space to work in). He is supposed to be studying but science keeps drifting into Wade, Wade, Wade. How he's like the Earth itself, spinning round and round the sun, on the precipice of burning up or freezing over. Shifting and scarred on the surface, always at risk of a meltdown at the center, and functional in-between. Despite it all, perfect and full of potential.

But then, Wade is kind of planetary in general. There is a gravity around him that pulls others in. Get too close too fast and you burst into flames. Breaking through the atmosphere requires patience and bravery-

"Where are you, baby boy?" Wade asks, ruffling Peter's hair as he passes.

Peter clears his throat, telling himself the blush on his cheeks is embarrassment. "Space."

Wade laughs. "Get a picture of Earth while you're out there."

He would like to– metaphor continuing: Wade is Earth. He doubts the other is ever going to allow it, but he can dream.

Chapter Text

Peter sees Wade's face go from happy to completely blank in a split second before he ends the call on his phone and sets it down on the coffee table. He doesn't scoot closer on the sofa. He wants to , but he does not.

"What's wrong?" Peter asks, concern heavy in his voice.

"They found him." Wade says. His brows draw together. "They found the guy that killed me after Christmas."

"Really?"

"Turned himself in...couldn't live with the guilt..." Wade shakes his head. "This doesn't make sense. No, good shit like this does not happen to me. What's the catch?"

Peter can't tell if Wade is talking to him or to yellow and white, so he does not reply. Wade keeps going. "I don't..even..." His words are punctuated by heavy breaths.

"Hey, it's okay." Peter says, giving in and scooting closer. "It's working out, alright? You'll get to see Ellie regularly again."

"Yeah, but, I-" Wade puts his face in his hands. "I never actually thought that was gonna happen. I prepared every day for this to get worse. I never thought it would get better. Nothing ever does."

"This did." Peter says.

---

An hour later at a secure SHIELD location, Wade identifies the man. "I'm sorry I didn't believe you." Emily says.

"No, I get it. Don't be sorry." Wade sighs. "You're lookin' out for Ellie. I really couldn't ask for a better guardian for her."

"I'm glad this worked out." She says. "I kinda like having you around." She glances at a file folder in her hands.

"You'll change your tune about that." Wade laughs.

"There is something I have to discuss with you. Business." She sighs like she does not want to say what she has to. "There's a contract that SHIELD wants you to sign, preventative measures."

"Okay?" Wade's brows draw together in confusion.

"The gist of it is if you take a lethal job that isn't sanctioned by SHIELD, full custody of Ellie goes to me, and a restraining order gets issued against you." She says. "I suggested primary custody goes to me, like it has been. I don't know where the rest of this came from."

"What the fuck." Peter, who had been quiet until this point, says. "I've been to your house, it's not spectacular or new or paid for by SHIELD. Ellie's in public school, supplies paid for out of pocket by your or Wade. But now suddenly they give a shit about Ellie?"

"No, they want me out of the game. Finally got a way to do it." Wade sighs. "It doesn't matter, I'll sign it."

"Wade, don't-" Peter starts.

"No, look, okay." Wade argues. "I haven't killed anybody for almost a year, unless they shot at me first. So, it doesn't matter. I just want to be there for Ellie. Nothing else matters."

"It does- you matter, Wade. This isn't fair. We could get a lawyer to look over this. I know a guy-"

"Peter, thanks, but no thanks. This is a corner I've been painting myself into for years. I'm not gonna get a better deal, even if I could afford lawyers now." Wade says. "I'm good. This contract isn't gonna get used because I'm not gonna fuck up."

[that's incredibly optimistic]
{katanas hung up on the wall and now this bullshit}
[ellie would love it if we just ran away with her]
{hell yeah. living on the run, eating cheap takeout. we've lived that way for a while now}
[we weren't a lot older than her when that started]
{was it 'we' that far back?}
[it depends on who's writing]

"Are you sure?" Emily asks. "I can try to talk to someone...at least get the restraining order removed."

"Nope, doesn't matter. Get a pen before I bitch out." Wade says.

---

They have lived together long enough for Peter to recognize Wade's bad days. Days when the merc lays on the couch semi-fetal position, wearing the mask that he almost never wears now unless they're on patrol. Days when not even the Golden Girls can cheer him up.

"Do you think it counts for the contract if the person I shoot is me?" Wade asks from the couch. "I mean, is it really killing if the person you kill comes back?"

"I don't know." Peter says. "But I like having you alive all the time and not just most of the time."

Wade chuckles mirthlessly. "Sure."

"Do you want to get out of the apartment for a while? Or order dinner in? I don't have to work today so I'm all yours." Peter says.

{too good, too pure}
[pure pity, is what it is]
{a perfect cinnamon roll, our spidey}
[cinnamon rolls are good]
{I know right, tasty, covered in sticky white stuff}
[webs, in this analogy?]
{whatever helps you sleep at night}
[...you're disgusting]
{;))}

Wade covers his head with his arms. "It's not even the boxes today. They're fine. They're just-well." He decides it is better not to go into detail at the moment. "It's just me."

[when isn't it you? even when it's us, it's also you]
{damn right we're fine. fine AF}
[please stop]
{TOO HOT}
[no]
{hot damn}
[no]

"Come on." Peter says, going over and tugging Wade's arms until he gets up. "Tacos, rooftop. It'll solve every problem."

"Can't I wallow in self pity?" Wade sighs.

"Not unless there's a taco in your hand, Wade, no."

---

"There was a time when I could pass a psychological evaluation, y'know." Wade says. "I was in special ops, 37 confirmed kills. And then I was like, this is just murder, and I didn't want to do it, and I refused to do a few things. And so I got discharged. So, broke shit I was, put my skills to use again. I thought, as a mercenary, that's great I'll get to choose what I want to do."

"What happened?" Peter asks.

"Well, it's sort of illegal, and I was always a bit of a fuck up anyway, but it was okay. I had a few friends, a decent career, great success record with it. I did what I thought was right, killed who deserved it, did a lot of pro bono. Even met someone, Vanessa, and proposed to her on Christmas." Wade continues. "And it was gonna be great, I could see a future in my life. Then I blacked out, hospital, hospital, blah blah later, oh yeah Wade you know how your life is going great? Yeah, you're dying."

"Cancer, right."

Wade nods. "Oh yeah, a lot of it, basically everywhere." He sighs. "Nessa wouldn't give it up. All sorts of treatments, nothing worked, I knew it wasn't gonna work. Some experimental shit. I ended up killing some fucker for lying to dying people and scamming them out of money their family was gonna need to bury them. She didn't need to see that, so I fucked off. And then Weapon X shows up, and they say I'll be a hero, superhero, like Captain America. Well, turns out, I'm not pretty pure Steve Rogers and my doctor wasn't a good escaped nazi slave doctor, my doctor was a fucking mad scientist piece of shit dry cleaner asshole fuck-sorry, anyway."

"Whatever happened to Vanessa?" Peter asks.

"We actually got back together when I rescued her from that fucker, she was trying to be all cool with my fucked up looks and stuff, and y'know, I thought maybe, for a minute, but it wasn't the same. I wasn't the same. I wasn't the guy she fell for, I was never gonna be him again. Not just looks, but fuck. You think I'm messed up now? Try right after the fact. Anyway, my insecurity and bullshit brain sank that really quick." Wade replies. "I haven't spoken to her in a while. I don't think she hates me, but whatever."

"Maybe you should call her, catch up." Peter says. "It's nice to have friends, even exes."

"Maybe." Wade shrugs. "I do have one friend from before. And I would never, like, never in a million fucking years would have guessed Weasel would be the guy to stick by me. He's not the type. He's the flakiest fuck I've ever met in my life. He's great, don't get me wrong. He just doesn't like anything complicated and hard to deal with, and you know me. I'm about as hard to deal with as they come."

"Only sometimes."

"Hey, rude." Wade fake pouts.

"Hey, no one is sunshine all the time." Peter shrugs. "I'm not."

"Wrong. You're all sunshine, baby boy." Wade grins, and Peter can't help but smile too. "I should introduce you to Weasel. I think the two of you went to the same school, but, doesn't mean you met."

Chapter Text

There is something enthralling about watching Wade sing. Now that the mask is off, Peter can see how emotive Wade is, carrying the mood of the song and his expression. Lyrics fall from his lips so perfectly, who can blame Peter if it draws his attention?

"I see something on the surface, well, it kinda makes me nervous. Who says that you deserve this and what kind of God would serve this? We will cure this dirty old disease." Wade sings

Peter suddenly reminded of the times Wade almost kissed him–as a joke, obviously. It has not happened in a while, but Wade has been trying to be more mature. Wade would grab him by the waist and pull him close, rambling about something, anything. It was always so sudden that Peter would freeze a little. His spider-sense never seem to mind, it did not see Wade as a threat. It's not like a post-combat smooch would have been emotionally damaging. He would have been embarrassed, he thinks, but they would have laughed it off.

That begs the question, though, of what it would be like to kiss Wade. There is a reckless quality to Wade that paints him as the Bad Boy™, but Peter is pretty sure that is just because the Deadpool suit looks badass. Wade, when he's not Deadpool, wears old faded t-shirts with superhero logos on them, and he is really exactly the kind of guy you could introduce to your family–carefully. He makes the best pancakes and jokes 90% of the time. Who wouldn't want to know him?

Peter sort of wants to stick his head into the washing machine as soon as he gets out a load of laundry. Maybe that would wash the thoughts from his mind. It is not like this is warranted. Wade hasn't done anything to provoke the sudden mild obsession. In fact, it could be argued that he has done the opposite. He used to try to kiss Spider-Man all the time, but now? Not so much.

"You live in your head, dontcha?" Wade asks taking the basket of laundry from the younger man.

"Sorry, Johnny mentioned finals the other day and I can't stop thinking about it." Among other things, he adds to himself.

"Finals, huh? I didn't go to college, what's that like?" Wade asks.

"You're more than welcome to take them for me if you want the full college experience." Peter jokes.

"Only if you wanna fail."

"You watch enough science fiction that you could bullshit your way through my classes." Peter says. "Freshman year, Johnny and I had the same physics class and instead of studying, you watched all the Star Treks. He got a C minus."

"No shit?"

"No shit." Peter laughs. "I mean, he's pretty smart, but so are you." Peter is pretty sure he sees Wade blush, but he doesn't stick around to see, especially not after the thought he's been having this morning.

---

"She gets offered a sleepover with all her friends, cake, pizza, the whole nine yards, but she wants to come here and have a cake and pizza with just us?" Wade says for probably the sixth time that night. "Honestly, I don't get it."

[me either]
{you're annoying as shit why would she want you}

"Maybe she wants to spend her birthday with the one and only Spider-Man." Peter jokes.

"Ha-ha." Wade says sarcastically. "Hey, stop-" he pulls the spoon out of Peter's mouth and tosses it into the sink. "Don't eat all the frosting. Go eat some real food."

"Yes, daddy."

[oh]
{well that's going right to the spank bank}
[he can't be flirting]
{does it matter}
[no, not really]

"So..." Peter says, popping a hotpocket into the microwave, "When is your birthday?"

Wade stares at him blankly for a few seconds before shrugging. "February sometime. I haven't celebrated since...well. I don't really age anymore, so there's no point."

"No point?" Peter seems shocked. "Cake, presents, party. What's not to love about that?"

[people looking at us]
{having to take off the mask to eat and show our disgusting face}
[people expecting us to be happy]
{no friends}
[no one knows what to get us as a gift]

Wade shrugs again. "Didn't have anyone to celebrate with."

"You have me." Peter argues.

That makes Wade smile, despite the boxes immediately insisting that this friendship won't last. "Thanks, baby boy."

---

They have a great time after Ellie comes over. Streamers, confetti, glitter-the apartment is a huge mess-and the grand finale: the cake. Chocolate chocolate chip with chocolate frosting. Wade spent all day on it, totally homemade.

Gifts are secondary to the day, according to Ellie herself. She opened them and thanked Peter and Wade, but was more interested in playing hide and seek with them than playing with toys. She can do that any day. Of course, Peter wins hide and seek by sticking to the ceiling of a closet.

At the end of the festivities, Ellie stares at the eleven candles on her cake and ponders.

{wish for a different dad}
[or for this one to die]
{it's what we wish for every year}
[which?]
{both}
[if we had a different dad, would we want to die?]
{don't go too deep, you'll drown}

"Whatcha wishing for?" Wade asks.

Ellie shrugs. "I already got my wish, I'm here with you."

[oh god]
{my fuckin heart}
[kill me]
{precious cinnamon roll, too good, too pure}
[ugh, between the sweetness and your memes I'm going to be sick]
{hey fuck off you're ruining the cutest moment ever}
[ugh]

Wade clutches his chest dramatically. "Right in the feels." Ellie giggles and blows out her candles.

"So what did you decide to wish for?" Peter asks.

"If I tell you, it won't come true." She says.

{I still say wish for a different dad}
[well]
{well what? we fucking suck}
[the cake is great, and we are the reason Spider-Man is here]
{are you saying the big guy did good?}
[just this once, maybe. we'll fuck it up later, for sure, but just this once, he did okay]
{okay, that sounds fake but okay}

"But like I said, my biggest wish of the year already came true." She grins.

{things are going like ominously well}
[maybe this is just a fan fiction where everything is happy, like an "everyone lives" au]
{someone is really optimistic today}
[yeah, you're right. we just aren't that lucky.]

Chapter Text

Wade trusts Peter completely with his appearance now, and Peter thinks the excessive fake confidence is starting to blend into something genuine. He hopes, at least. The same can't be said of Wade around anyone else. No matter how many people Peter glares at in this city, Wade still jumps up and retreats to his room when someone knocks on the door. Even though it is usually Johnny, like it is now.

"Look who I found wandering around the airport." Johnny says, ushering the girls in.

"You're such a dad." MJ giggles.

"All you're missing are khaki shorts, thinning hair, and a baseball cap." Peter snorts.

"Are you gonna let me walk you down the aisle, then, MJ?" Johnny asks. "Not that I'm eager to give you away or anything."

"Haven't decided who's walking and who's waiting yet." She says.

"I'll be dad to either." Johnny shrugs. "Just call me daddy." He waggles his eyebrows suggestively and Gwen rolls her eyes.

"Stop calling yourself 'daddy' or you'll be sitting in the pews with the rest of the guests." Gwen says.

"Cruel!"

Wade watches this exchange from the doorway of his room. He has heard about Gwen and MJ, but never met them, and he's not keen on them meeting him.

[this is what it's like to live in a house of twenty somethings.]
{wild}
[next they'll be saying memes]
{they probably have already and you're too old to recognize them}

Peter glances at Wade and clears his throat, but Wade doesn't budge.

[he's embarrassed but he's too polite not to introduce you]
{poor kid's about to lose all his friends for us}
[maybe not Johnny]
{Johnny hangs out with the Thing, so he's used to it!}
[i doubt the same can be said of the other two]
{grunge ex girlfriend and studious ex girlfriend}
[is it weird that 50% of peter’s friend group is made up of his exes]
{don't you mean 66%? Oh, you're actually counting the big guy}
[they hang out enough to consider it]

Peter gets up from the couch and starts down the hall, no doubt to drag Wade out to meet his friends.

{does he want to lose his friends}
[evidently]

Wade sort of zones out in terror before Peter’s hand waves in front of his face. “And you say I'm the space cadet.” Peter smirks. “C’mon.”

“Uh, you forget what I look like?” He says. “I'm not exactly Netflix and chill friendly.”

“I don't think you know what that means-whatever. Look, Gwen was an intern at the place I got bit by the super spider, she's just going to be curious, and the four of us have been friends practically since middle school.”

[meaning they've spent time with the Thing]
{yikes, hope. I hate hope.}
[it’s a disgusting emotion that leads to disappointment]

“Peter…”

“Just for one minute. Then you can go back to hiding in your room. Please? For me?” Peter pouts.

{evil!}
[pure, unadulterated evil]

“Fine. one minute. Just one.” Wade relents.

All in all, it's not as terrible as he was expecting. Gwen covers her mouth in shock, but it's pity instead of disgust. He can't tell which is worse.

“Gnarly.” MJ says. “Did you kill whoever did that to you?”

Gwen spats her arm. “You can't just ask someone if they killed someone.”

“Sick Mean Girls reference. Was that on purpose?” Johnny giggles. Gwen shakes her head at him.

“I mean, he is Deadpool. Or do you not read the news?” MJ says.

“Yes, I killed him, but it wasn't satisfying because he didn't feel pain.” Wade says.

“That sucks.” MJ says.

There's a silence that stretches on for more than a few seconds.

[so, of course,]
{the big guy bolts}

–––

"There are a bunch of twenty year olds in my apartment." Wade says.

"I don't get it, why is this a problem?" Weasel asks.

"Well, my roomie and his friends. Y’know, it'd be awkward with the roommate, Guy's not my type, the girls are dating each other-" Wade explains.

"And you left?"

"Yeah?"

"We can't be friends anymore.”

"Oh fuck off, you've seen me." Wade says grumpily.

“Wade, it's practically-no it actually is an MTV spring break special in your apartment and you left.” Weasel shakes his head.

“One of them is the human torch.” Wade says. “And, contrary to his abilities, it's not as hot there as you're imagining.”

“As if you'd know!” Weasel says. “Jokes aside, how's the room-mate thing going?”

Wade sighs heavily. “It's fine.”

“Doesn't sound like you actually mean fine.”

“No, I- it is, it's fine.” Wade says. “It's just that ‘fine’ is usually an omen of bad times for me.”

“Well, not really an omen, you just self-sabotage a lot. In bigger, grander ways each time.” Weasel shrugs.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”

“Hey, I believe in you. I know all your dirty little secrets, like how you actually like helping people for free.” Weasel says. “That Wade Wilson still exists. Y’know, he's drowning in the Deadpool persona under several gallons of blood, behind sixty or so emotional walls, but he still exists.”

“I signed a contract with S.H.I.E.L.D.” Wade sighs. “And if I fuck up, it'll be my worst fuck up ever. I'll lose something very important to me. Forever.”

{if?}
[if.]
{wishful thinking}

“So don't fuck up.” Weasel says. “What are you not supposed to do?”

“Kill.” Wade says. “Without permission at least.”

“For like a year or something?”

“No… Never again.” Wade says.

Weasel’s eyes widen. “Wow.”

[one can only have so much faith]
{weasel has a stupid amount of faith in us}

“Yeah, wow.” Wade laughs. “And I agreed to it.”

“What could S.H.I.E.L.D. possibly have that you want that fucking bad?” Weasel asks.

“Weasel.” Wade says, looking stern. “I'm going to tell you something that very few people alive today know.”

“O..kay?” Weasel’s face wrinkles in confusion as Wade takes both his hands in his own. “You're being extra weird.”

“Shut up.” Wade says. “I'm trying to have a moment with you. Don't ruin it.”

“Are you about to reveal the secrets of the universe to me or something?”

“No, those are boring.” Wade says, then he takes a deep breath.. “I…have a daughter.”

Weasel is silent for a few minutes. “I knew it.”

“Not the response I was expecting. What do you mean you knew?” Wade asks, dropping Weasel’s hands.

“You've been humming the SpongeBob theme for like two weeks. It's getting on my last god damn nerve!”

“It's catchy.” Wade mutters.

“How old is she?”

“She just turned eleven.” Wade says. “Someone from S.H.I.E.L.D. has had custody since her mom died. I've…been around, on and off. On for almost a full year.”

“And she's not…” He falters “Uh…”

“Not so far, no. Hopefully never. I handled it great, imagine how a kid would deal with this.” He gestures to himself, his scars. “But… She's a lot like me. She's so much like me, it's freaking me the fuck out.”

“How’s she like you?” Weasel asks.

“Breaking into her guardian’s office to look at classified files, skipping school to see me when she wasn't supposed to. I don't know how she found out where I live, but she did. She told me she was gonna blow up banks on Wall Street because bankers are ‘greedy capitalist pigs’. Her words.” Wade says.

“She has something you didn't have, though.” Weasel says. “A decent father.”

{oh, as if}
[he’a joking, right?]
{no, he's just a fucking idiot}

“Knock it off, you're gonna make me cry.” Wade laughs.

“I'm serious.” Weasel says. “You're not the best, and I'm sure you'll make four thousand mistakes before she's grown, but you're there for her and you worry about her. That's more than a lot of people get. It's more than you had.”

“Ya sap.” Wade says in an accusing tone. “Sometimes I forget you knew me when I actually told people things.”

“Are we seeing it? History? The end of Deadpool?” Weasel jokes.

“Nah, just the end of Deadpool killing.”

{then what's the fucking point}
[you were named after a betting pool for people trying to kill each other]
{it's in your blood, it's in your origin story}
[is spider-man going to stop shooting webs?]
{fuck no, it's his thing!}
[are we going to stop killing?]
{fuck no, that's our thing!}

Chapter Text

Weasel hoists himself up onto the bar and stands up on it. He uses his sleeve to erase Wade’s name out of the winner column. “Well, if you’re going straight, there's no reason for this to stay up. I mean, the board’s staying because there's not gonna be a solidarity movement or anything, but still. You're off. No more Deadpool in the dead pool.”

{i’m gonna cry}
[he is pretty precious]

“You don’t have to do that.” Wade says. “I still go on missions for S.H.I.E.L.D.”

“You can’t die.” Weasel says. “And kills for a government entity are too boring and sad to put up here.”

“With all the shit the Avengers go up against, they’re bound to find something that can kill me eventually.” Wade says.

{yay! that’s the spirit}
[oh the sweet embrace of eternal death. don’t tempt us like that]
{yeah, rude}

“Don’t say that.” Weasel says, getting down off the bar.

[is he sad?]
{why the fuck would he be sad if we died?}
[maybe because we’re his only friend]

“Why not? It’s true.” Wade sighs. “You’re right, though, it’s not gonna happen. I’m not that lucky.”

“That’s not what I mean.” Weasel says. “I don’t want you to die. I don’t think anyone wants that.”

“How can you say that with confidence? Someone shot me in the head literally a month ago.”

“Okay, one person wants you dead. So what?” Weasel shrugs. “And I can say it confidently because you had a one hundred percent success rate. The people who wanted you dead before a few months ago would die before their dream came true.”

“Thanks.”

 

---

 

The next afternoon, Wade feels off kilter, which is not uncommon for him. He is sure some would say that he is always off kilter. Either way, it’s a feeling he knows well.

{ah, the 100% success rate}
[that was nice]
{100% fail suck rate now}
[I agree. we suck 100% of the time now]
{no killing, no solo missions}
[the hello kitty taser is nice]
{not as good as hello kitty grenades}
[for sure]

“Are you guys gonna keep going like this all day?” Wade asks out loud. Peter is in class, so there is no one around to hear him talk to himself. Not that Peter ever really seems bothered by it.

[Pete is a good guy]
{a real sweetheart; a standup guy}
[we’re going to ruin him]
{oh, for sure}
[or get him killed, whichever comes first]
{poor Petey, his guts spilling out on the floor}
[how did it happen?]
{i was thinking a standard disembowelment, maybe with a hunting knife}

“Don’t start that.” Wade says, not that it will do any good. He knows from experience that derailing them is usually a lost cause.

[good choice; kind of painless with a sharp knife, though]
{you’re right! serrated, bread knife?}
[that goofy one with the Captain America handle]
{for sure. it would be here. someone breaks in looking for the big guy, can’t find him}
[Peter, being the self-sacrificing hero that he is, defends us]
{they’re in the kitchen, Peter keeps his web-shooters in there}
[in that little marijuana box on top of the fridge]
{killer grabs the knife}
[it’s always there; there’s never any bread to cut]
{it goes into his soft belly real nice}
[don’t play into the twinkie fantasy. he’s spider-man and the knife is serrated]
{fine. it takes a few tries to get it in; it’s jagged, it rips, it hurts like hell}

“Please stop.” Wade whimpers, futily covering his ears.

[Peter says “please stop”]
{great addition, big guy. nice to see you participating for once}
[the killer doesn’t stop]
{oh no, of course not! blood is going everywhere by now}
[so visible on that dingy white linoleum]
{he’d make pretty noises, dying}

“Alright, that’s enough.” Wade grumbles. “I’m fed up with your shit.”

[it’s amazing how he thinks that will have any effect on us]
{yeah, it’s never worked before, but surely this time!}

Wade calls Emily, who picks up after a few rings. “Wade? You okay?”

{HAH!}
[that’s a stupid question]

“Not really, but that’s nothing new.” Wade answers. “I just…”

“You can tell me anything.” She says, and Wade snorts. “Really, Wade. Is there anything I haven’t already heard?”

“Doesn’t mean I wanna share.” He says. “I need to be alone for a few days, I just didn’t want you to freak out like before.”

“Well, as long as you’re not taking a job without telling me…”

“It’s not a job.: Wade says. “Just me shutting down and not-not doing anything.”

“Alright. I trust you.” She ends the call.

{bad move}

Wade hesitates going into the kitchen, but his key to the apartment is in there. Part of him wants to say ‘fuck it’ and leave the key here, but another part likes the idea of sneaking in when he returns. That way, he could avoid the hug he got last time,. At the moment, that’s appealing. The Captain America bread knife is exactly where it always is, only now it seems like it’s waiting to gut its owner.

Yellow and White were so descriptive that he can almost see their scenario. What makes it worse is that it’s entirely possible. The flashing number for voicemail breaks him out of the visual and, for some reason, he presses play.

“Listen, I don’t know if you know or care that much, or if you’re even home…” It’s Weasel, which Wade thinks is weird. He just gave him the number last night. “Bit Wade left the bar last night with glazed eyes. I don’t know if you know what I mean by that and if you don’t, I don’t want to tell you...so, just…”

“Out with it, man. I’ve got plans.” Wade says to the answering machine as Weasel fumbles for words. “You know that.”

“Just keep an eye on him, okay?” Voicemail Weasel continues, “If you even get this message. I hope you’re home tomorrow, because if Wade hears it first, he’s just gonna-”

“Message erased.” The robotic voice of the answering machine says.

[he knows us really well]
{too well}

“I don’t need anyone to ‘keep an eye’ on me, okay, Weasel.” Wade says to the machine. “When did everyone get so concerned with me? I have a kid and suddenly everyone thinks I need to fit into some sort of suburban box or something.”

{square peg}
[round hole]
{not even a fun hole}
[suburban holes are generally sad and seldom used]

 

---

 

“Have you heard from Wade?” Peter says into the phone without preamble. “He’s been gone all day, I think. He was here when I left this morning, then I got back this afternoon and he was gone. It’s just...it’s getting late, and-”

“He called me earlier.” Emily says, interrupting Peter’s worried babbling. “He said he needs a few days to himself.”

“And that’s normal?” Peter asks.

“About as normal as ait ever is with him, I guess.” She says. “We can’t sit on him twenty-four/seven to make sure that he stays out of trouble. He’s an adult, he can take care of himself.”

“I’ve tried calling him and he won’t answer.” Peter says.

“Is it going to voicemail?” She asks.

“Yeah, but-”

“Then he hasn’t snapped it in half.” She says. “So relax. I can give you some contacts to check in with if that will make you feel better.”

“Thanks.”

 

The list of Wade’s friends is a short one. Most of them don’t pick up the phone, and the one who does is Weasel. Peter remembers Wade referring to Weasel as his oldest friend.

“I’m Peter, Wade’s roommate.” Peter says when Weasel answers, “I was just wondering if you knew where he was.”

“Well, fuck.” Weasel sighs. “I guess you didn’t get my message.”

“What message?” Peter asks.

“Yeah. I knew he was gonna delete it. I knew it.” Weasel says. “Why don't you listen to your voicemail before you leave in the morning.”

“Wade always gets them and acts them out later…” Peter says sheepishly. “So, what was it?”

“This is a really awkward, sensitive thing to discuss on the phone…” Weasel says.

“But it was fine for voicemail?” Peter scoffs.

 

“Yeah, okay. I see your point.” Weasel says. “Wade left yesterday with a weird look.”

“Weird look?” Peter asks “What kind of weird look?”

“Yeah, like...glazed eyes, introspective, probably dissociating.” Weasel says.

“Fuck , and he’s been gone all day!”

“So you do know what I mean.” Weasel says, sounding proud for a moment, but then his voice drops. “Shit.”

“Yeah, shit.” Peter agrees. “So, any idea where he could be?”

“I don’t know.” Weasel says, and Peter can imagine him shrugging. “Probably a really dirty motel where people won’t think twice about the sound of a gunshot.”

Peter’s spider-sense is going crazy, but he can’t express that to Weasel. “That narrows it down.”

“Well, what do you expect me to say?” Weasel asks. “That I know exactly where he’s gonna go to eat a bullet? Any place will do for that.”

It’s not like Peter didn’t know what Wade is doing, but hearing it so bluntly chokes him up. “How can you be so casual about this?” Peter snaps. “You’re supposed to be his friend.”

“First of all: fuck you. How long have you even known Wade?” Weasel retorts. “Second of all: I’m not casual. I’m freaking out, this is just what my voice sounds like.”

“Okay, I’m sorry.” Peter sighs. “I just-”

“You’re the bitchiest roommate Wade has ever had. Did you see him at all last night? Did you just ignore the look in his eyes, and now you call me bitching about how I should care more?” Weasel continues. “There, is that caring enough for you?”

“Yes, and like I said, I’m sorry.”

“Alright, good…” They are silent for a moment. “Did he take the suit?”

“He must’ve, because it’s not here.” Peter says.

“Well there you go. Call sleazy motels and ask if there’s a guy in a red and black suit staying there.” Weasel says. “I have to get back to work before there’s a riot.”

Chapter Text

Wade can’t get the images of Peter dead on their kitchen floor out of his mind. It is vivid, completely awful, and not helped by the fact that Wade knows how heavy the smell of blood can hang in the air after a fresh kill. Of course, he knows that Yellow and White are right. Someone always comes along and fucks things up for him, and it’s always his fault. It would make no sense for this dreamlike life he is living right now to continue. Wade Wilson only ever gets happy endings in the fanfictions of young women, and even they often rip his happiness away. Life isn’t fiction, so it will undoubtedly be worse. If he could end it, he would. He has gone to the ends of the earth and space time, looking for a way to remove himself, and by association misery, from the world. Each time he has failed to find a way or has been thwarted by friends who then die because of something he does.

[we will get Peter hurt, possibly killed]
{Ellie too}
[it’s not an if. there is no historical evidence that it won’t happen]
{we should…}
[get it over with]
{rip off the band-aid}
[put Peter out of his misery]
{before someone else does it crueler}
[it’d be kinder, in the end]

Everything had been going well since the contract was signed, he had been doing well. Or so he thought. Obviously, he was wrong, as usual. He has been doing everything right. The katanas are hung up, he got on with S.H.I.E.L.D. and signed that awful contract they asked him to. A steady job, steady pay, steady apartment, a roommate who also has a steady job. Emily has been trying to talk to him about shared custody, which she has said in the past would probably never happen. Peter is always trying to tell him that it’s his lifestyle that makes him bad, but it’s not. It’s something inherently defective in him, something that has always been broken, will always be broken.

{we’re gonna end the world one day}
[that’s inevitable]
{you doomed the world because you were too chickenshit to die}
[it was even a good death]
{a common one}
[a natural one]
{and you lived for no reason}
[Vanessa lost you anyway]
{and you’ve done so much bad shit since}
[all you can do is give the world a break for a few hours]
{and you’re even refusing to do that}
[childish]
{selfish}
[cowardly]

There is a knock at the door, which is a surprise, since no one should be able to find him. He has a list of hideouts longer than Mr Fantastic can stretch out his arm. No one could be (un)lucky enough to find him. He ignores it, because maybe someone got the wrong room, knocked on the wrong door. Unfortunately, they don’t go away. They reveal themselves.

“I know you’re in there, Wade.” Of course it would be Peter fucking Parker. Why wouldn’t it be? He’s the boy wonder, he can do anything. He can even find a moral degenerate in a shitty motel in a shitty part of town when there are so many just like it in New York City. “Don’t make me break this door. We can’t afford to pay the damages.”

He opens the door after another round of knocking. “How? How in the fuck did you-”

“This place has a very high ‘skeeve factor’ on a few websites. There have been six domestic disputes involving guns here, just in the last year. A few dozen bullets fired, nine people dead. Who would notice one more gunshot?” Peter says. “I did call a few and ask about a guy wearing a red and black leather suit with a mask. You’re pretty recognizable, but do you know how many fucking shady motels there are? A lot.”

“I didn’t ask you to come looking for me.” Wade says defensively. “You could’ve spent the night doing literally anything else.”

“Yeah, you’d like that.” Peter says. “If I was less annoying and just let you...do what you were gonna do here.”

[i expected him to be upset]
{he is, but he isn’t}
[he got here in time]
{so he’s being a little shit}

“Basically.” Wade says.

“Tough luck. I brought Chinese food.” Peter says. “So, what’s up? What happened?”

“I’m alive.” Wade replies. “Generally that leads to a lot of bad shit.”

“Wade.” Peter says. “You’re not as bad as you think you are.”

“Oh really?” Wade laughs mirthlessly. “Before you got here, I was imagining killing you. Before I left our apartment, I was imagining someone else killing you. There, you know what’s wrong now. Happy?”

Peter blinks in shock silence for a solid minute and a half, at least. When he speaks, he is very quiet. “Is it because I made you meet my friends?”

[of course]
{that good ol’ guilty conscience}
[he always blames himself]
{when really, we’re to blame}

“It’s nothing you did.” Wade says. “It’s just who I am.”

“Wait, why was someone else killing me?” Peter asks. “I’m a joy to be around.”

Wade bites his lip to keep from laughing, and he is glad Peter can’t see him through the mask. He hates that Peter can tug a genuine smile out of him right now. “Because of me.”

“You do realize that I can defend myself, right?”

“When I was kidnapped and killed, that could easily have been you. Only, you wouldn’t come back. If you die, you’re just dead. It’s over.” Wade says. “I mean, someone could keep me locked up for years, torturing me, killing me repeatedly. I could come out of that just as fine as I am now.”

“Okay.” Peter says. “Why were you killing me?”

“Aside from being a huge fuck up with a fucked up brain?” Wade asks. “Everyone who has ever gotten close to me dies. And they don’t die quickly, or easily. They suffer and they die screaming and crying.”

“Weasel is still alive.” Peter argues.

“Weasel runs a bar for bikers and mercenaries. No one would dare.” Wade says.

“And Vanessa’s alive.” Peter says. “And Emily.”

“Okay, fine, it’s just because I’m a piece of shit, then.” Wade’s voice cracks. “Damn it.”

“You’re not.” Peter says softly. “You’re my friend.”

“Why do I imagine killing people that I-” Wade stops short and is again glad of the mask, because his eyes go wide. Peter doesn’t give the pause a second thought, as Wade is upset and his voice was already breaking anyway.

{love?}
[don’t say it]
{but he thought it}
[he can’t mean it]
{feels like he does}

“That I care about…” He says, instead of that other thing. Instead of the scariest word on the planet, in the universe. Instead of what he meant.

“I don’t know.” Peter says, and then his arms around Wade. Somehow, that’s worse. “But you could never kill me anyway.”

“Pete…”

“I’m serious. I’m stronger than you and I go up against people with guns all the time. I could take you, no problem.” Peter says. “I promise.”

---

When they get home, there is a message on their answering machine. Wade gets it, as usual. It’s half Weasel leaving a ridiculous wrong-number, prank call voicemail in an equally ridiculous voice and half Weasel laughing hysterically. Peter is looking very sheepish in the doorway to the kitchen when Wade turns around.

“I can’t believe you told him about that.” Wade says.

Chapter Text

“You haven’t had a place this clean since you lived with Al.” Weasel says, looking around. It seems like the lack of clutter, disrepair, and empty food containers is making him uncomfortable. Uninhabitable spaces are what he is used to Wade living in.

“That’s not sayin’ much. The place with Al was pretty messy.” Wade says.

“Nah, that was just clutter. It was stuff.” Weasel argues. “Places you’ve lived between then and now have been pig sties.”

“Well, as it turns out, work that’s not freelance doesn’t pay as much.” Wade says. “I can’t afford all that junk anymore, so I’ve switched to minimalism. It’s oddly fulfilling.”

Weasel looks mildly horrified. “How much money are you making, then?”

“There’s two things you never ask a lady, Weasel. How old she is, and how much she makes.” Wade says.

“I thought the second one was not to ask how much she weighs.” Weasel says.

“If you care about that, I guess.” Wade shrugs.

In the middle of their conversation, MJ lets herself into the apartment. That, as Wade learned recently, was a common occurrence before he moved in.

“I disagree.” She says, surprising both of them since they had not been paying attention. “I think you should always ask how old someone is, if you’re not sure. Seventeen year olds and eighteen year olds look about the same, but one sends you to jail and the other just makes you creepy.”

“Uh, who are you?” Weasel asks.

“Peter’s friend.” She says.

“Wait, is this one of Peter’s exes you were talking about? Are we talking about the same science nerd photographer, or?” Weasel looks back and forth between Wade and MJ. “How?”

She shrugs. “What can I say, he's cute.”

“He is pretty cute.” Wade agrees. He considers adding something about Peter’s ass, but Weasel has been the unfortunate listener of many, many late-night rants about Spider-Man’s ass. He decides not to take the (mild, though it is) risk.

{DAT ASS}

“But you were also hanging out with the Human Torch, right?” Weasel asks. “Why wouldn’t you date him?”

“Why don’t you date him, Weasel?” Wade asks, laughing.

“He’s not my type.” He says. “I just, I don’t get it.”

“Johnny is ten times the nerd Peter ever could be.” MJ says. “And looks aren’t everything.”

“Johnny is a giant nerd. I’m not giving him my phone number. He wakes Peter up in the middle of the night with memes at least once a week.” Wade says.

“Hey do you have any beer?” Weasel asks.

“We are literally about to go to a bar, Weasel.” Wade says.

“Yeah, but the drinks aren’t free there.” Weasel says, and walks into the kitchen. “Why is your fridge covered in paper?”

“No reason!” Wade follows him and sweeps all the magnets onto the floor, scattering the notes. “It’s just grocery lists and stuff.”

“Okay.” Weasel looks at him skeptically for a moment. “You know you didn’t get rid of them, right? They’re right there and I can still read them.”

“Yeah, I know that, Weasel.” Wade says. “Of course I know that.”

(Damn it)
{yeah what were you hoping for there}
[a wormhole]

Weasel picks up a few of the notes off of the floor and stares at them for a long time while Wade fidgets. MJ does not join them in the kitchen because she has undoubtedly already seen everything written and stuck to the fridge. Most of them really are grocery lists and reminders to pay the bills, but one written on a sheet of notebook paper is a series of ridiculous nicknames, another where Peter and Wade have been taking turns insulting each other. There’s also one that just says “Succ” in Peter’s handwriting. Weasel misses the one that says “Hey good lookin, whatcha got cookin? Please make breakfast for me, I’m so hungry” from Peter.

[i don’t understand what you’re trying to hide]

Weasel picks up another. “I heard you like tacos so I got you some tacos with tacos. Bitches love tacos.” He reads. “What kind of dimension have I stepped into?”

“Those are private conversations that I have in my own home.” Wade says, taking the notes out of Weasel’s hands. He begins picking the others up off the floor.

“Don’t forget to sleep and eat breakfast, sweetie.” Weasel finally comes across a few written by Wade. “Heart, heart, drawing of the sleeping emoji, drawing of pancakes.”

“Weasel.”

“Today reminds me of you….hot af.”

Wade snatches it out of his hand. “Okay, I get it, you think this is hilarious.”

“Well, I mean, Wade…” He trails off, and decides to leave it at that. He can see that Wade is starting to bristle for real, and there has already been one incident this week.

{what he thinks is that you’re pathetic}
[you flirting with Peter is pretty pathetic]
{right?}

“It is hilarious. It’s hysterical.” Wade continues.

“I just can’t believe he’s corrupting you with the meme language.” Weasel says. It seems to work as a diffusal, as he hoped it would. Wade stops stiffly picking up notes and looks at him. “I mean, I feel betrayed that you’d use ‘af’.”

“It started out ironically, but…” Wade explains.

“What the fuck does ‘succ’ mean?” He asks. “Is that like, ‘you suck’?”

“Weasel, you’re younger than me.” Wade says. “Why don’t you tell me what it means?”

“So are you two gonna try to translate teenspeak all day or are we actually gonna go to this bar?” MJ asks, joining them in the kitchen. “Oh, by the way, I’m coming too. Peter’s gonna be late this evening.”

“Something up?” Wade asks. Peter left for work with his suit this morning, and Wade knows that MJ knows what Peter does with his spare time.

“Yeah, staying late at the Bugle. He’s got back-up though. He said he’d be home for dinner so…” She looks down at her phone and reads, “Tell my househusband I want pancakes.”

“Househusband.” Weasel repeats.

“Tell him I still make more money than he does.” Wade says. “But also, okay.”

 

---

 

They have been there for about an hour before MJ notices the photo tucked into a memo board behind the bar. “Oh my god, is that what I think it is?”

Weasel waits for Wade’s approval before handing it to her. “Yeah.” He says. “Wow, that must’ve been like…thirteen years ago.”

“Something like that.” Wade agrees.

“God, you guys are old.” MJ says. She holds the photo up to compare it to Wade now. “You don’t really look that much different.”

“I can’t tell if that’s a compliment to me now or an insult to me in the past.” Wade says.

“No, I mean. I can tell it’s you.” She says. “You should let Peter see this.”

“No thanks.” Wade says.

“Why not?” She asks. “He wants a picture of you so bad, and you don’t act like you want to take one now. Bird, meet stone.”

“At some point you just get tired of people looking at you and thinking ‘oh, you used to be so good looking’.” Wade says.

“Speaking of familiarities.” Weasel says. “Have we met before?”

“Are you trying to flirt with me?” MJ asks.

“No, I’m serious.” He says. “It’s been bothering me all day. I mean, I know I didn’t go out with you or anything. You’re so far out of my league, you’re football and I’m like...water baseball.”

“Is that a thing?” She asks.

“Exactly.”

She hesitates and shifts in her seat. “Well… Alright, well. We met five years ago.” She says. “And I had a black eye.”

Weasel is silent for a moment, thinking, and then his eyes light up with recognition. “Oh! Oh, right-oh.. Fuck.”

She nods. “Yeah, oh fuck.” She turns to Wade, who is looking back and forth between them with a confused expression. “I came into this bar five years ago and tried to hire a mercenary.”

“What?” Wade asks. “....Why?”

“Because my mom had died a few weeks before, and my dad punched me in the face on prom night.” She says. “And some other stuff, but mostly that.”

“Does Peter know?” Wade asks.

“No, and you’re not gonna tell him.” She says. “He hates my dad as much as anyone, but you know how he is about morality.”

“Wow, this is not how I expected today to be.” Weasel says.

“That goes for you too.” She says, turning her attention to Weasel and pointing at him. “You keep your mouth shut about it.”

“Okay.” He says, holding up his hands. “I’ve literally only talked to Peter once, but okay.”

Chapter Text

“Oh,” MJ says, looking at her phone. “My other half is calling. I'll be back in a minute.”

“Uh, are you sure it's a good idea to go outside alone?” Weasel asks. “This area isn't exactly…”

“Yeah, but if it makes you feel better, I'll take someone with me.” She says.

“Not really-”

“Paul!” She calls to someone in the back of the bar. A burly man in his late fifties comes over and claps her on the back. She shrugs at Weasel and Wade’s confused faces. “I know people.”

“Who is she?” Weasel asks after she is out the door.

Wade shakes his head. “She’s a redhead, Weasel. Isn't that how it goes? They're more badass. Evolution by persecution or some shit.”

“I guess.” Weasel says. “So…” He leans on the bar.

“What?”

Weasel stares at him for a solid minute and a half. Wade is usually made uncomfortable by people staring at him, but he and Weasel have already moved past his face. “About those notes on your fridge.”

Wade rolls his eyes. “Yeah, what about ‘em?”

“What's goin’ on, man?” Weasel asks.

“I can't have inside jokes with my roommate?” Wade huffs. “It's who I am. I flirted my ass off with Al.”

“And-”

{[and]}

“Yeah, and.” He interrupts. “No need to bring up the past.”

“Sorry. I know you don't like talking about him.” Weasel says. “I gotta learn to keep my mouth shut.”

“Whatever. It's fine.”

MJ comes back in and informs them that she has to go. She leaves them in silence.

---

“Is it wrong of me to wish for criminals?” Peter asks, his voice slightly muffled by his mask. Matt chuckles from where he is sitting, next to Peter on the ledge of a building. “It's just been so quiet lately. Makes me itchy.”

“I think they're all just training new professional hitmen.” Matt says. “Deadpool was the best, wasn't he?”

“So he says. 100% success rating.” Peter says. “Still, he couldn't have been that integral to the structure of crime.”

“He was an international assassin with no moral hang-ups, who wasn't loyal to any group.” Matt says. “A lot of illicit activity runs through the docks and to other countries. It makes sense that every faction losing the guarantee of success would slow things down.”

“I guess.”

“For a little while, at least.” He continues. “It'll pick back up. No one is irreplaceable.”

“Know any other mercenaries who literally can't die?” Peter asks.

“Seven billion people on the planet, there’s bound to be someone.” Matt says. “I don't know, maybe he is one of a kind.”

“I really can't imagine another Wade.” Peter says. “It's a weird, uncomfortable thought.”

“So, you two are friends, right?”

“Wh-yeah?” Peter flusters at the suddenness of the question. “Why do you ask?”

“Just friends?”

Peter knows that Matt can hear the slight uptick in his heart-rate. The devil is a walking lie detector. “Yeah.”

“Okay.” Matt says, and Peter wonders why he doesn't push it further. He changes the subject, sort of. “I can't believe he’s working for SHIELD.”

“I know right?” Peter agrees. He can't tell Matt about the contract Wade signed. That stupid fucking contract. Peter thinks about it daily and he's sure that his life is being shortened by the anger.

“So, what’s new with you?” Matt asks.

“Well, finals are soon, so I’m in hell.” He says. Matt nods understandingly. “And I think I’m gonna take the suggestion Stark gave me seven years ago, and apply for the internship.”

“He won’t just give it to you?” Matt asks.

“He probably would, but…” Peter sighs. “I just, I don’t want to get anything for free, you know? I wanna earn it.”

“Not many people can claim superheroism as an extracurricular activity.” Matt says. “Does he still call and check in on you?”

“Not as much as he used to.” Peter says. “About once a month or so.”

---

"I can't believe this is the first time I've been to your new place. It's not like I got you a job or anything." Clint says.

Wade waits until the other is looking at him again to speak. "Yeah, well, things have been complicated." He says. "And thanks...for the..you know."

"For some reason, Emily thought I'd have a problem with you working with S.H.I.E.L.D." Clint says.

"Didn't I try to kill you once?" Wade asks.

The blond shrugs. "So did Nat, more times than you did... Look, it's a dangerous life."

"When you slept with someone called 'the black widow' you knew what you were getting into." Wade says.

"Most spiders do that, not just the widows."

{that's...kinda hot}
[gross]
{yeah maybe, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong}

Clint walks over to the fridge, and why is everyone attracted to it anyway? It's like they know something is there. "Isn't this sweet." He says, smiling at Wade. "You know, Nat and I do this too."

"We're just friends." Wade says.

"Yeah?" He tilts his head to one side. "I'm glad you've got someone to be silly with, anyway. I still keep hoping you'll meet somebody."

"Keep dreamin'." Wade rolls his eyes. "That's not gonna happen."

"Everyone I know with scars has said that-"

"It's not just the scars, bird boy, I'm me." Wade says.

"You just need to meet someone in this profession. So when you say 'listen, I've killed some people' their response is 'ok cool, I'm craving Thai food for dinner'." Clint says.

"I just wanna choke you for being so lucky."

"I'm not talking about me! Nat doesn't like Thai food." Clint says. "See? It's about having shit in common with your significant other. Stop pining over people with normal lives, because yeah, that's not gonna happen. That's not gonna happen for anyone in the business of killing and/or saving the world. Even Tony Stark's beautiful face isn't gonna help him be with anyone living an average nine to five life."

Wade is silent for a minute. "What the fuck is normal anyway?"

[not you]

"I have no idea. I just know it's not you or me, or basically anyone I know." Clint says. "And listen, I'm sorry I got so real on you there."

"It's fine." Wade says.

Spider-Man opens the window before either of them speaks again, and he clearly wasn't expecting company. He hesitates before sliding inside anyway and sitting on the kitchen counter. "Is Peter around?" He asks.

Wade's lips quirk but he contains his amusement. "Nah. Whatcha need?"

"I really....I need to pee." Wade can hear the annoyance in his voice, because Peter likes to come home and immediately strip out of the spandex. He walks around without pants for about twenty minutes, usually. It is one of Wade's favorite Spidey phenomenons.

"You know where the toilet is, have at it."

Clint turns back to Wade after Spidey has shut the door. "Superhero comes through your window at seven pm without so much as a knock. Not a normal life, now is it?" He winks and Wade rolls his eyes at him.

Peter leaves through the window again a few minutes later, probably to sit on the roof until Clint is gone. He takes slice of leftover pizza out of the fridge on his way out. Peter told Emily that Stark does not know his secret identity; Wade found out later that that was a lie, but that Stark is the only one who knows.

Wade gets a text from Peter a few minutes later that says. "I'm still hungry and spandex is uncomfortable af". He smiles.

"Alright, Peter is on his way home and Spidey probably came over here to discuss business, so you gotta go." He says to Clint.

"What, I don't get to meet the roomie and Spider-Man photographer extraordinaire?" Clint asks, disappointed.

"Not tonight." He says.

"Alright, well behave yourself, Wade." Clint says on his way out. "And good luck." He winks again.

"Fuck you." Wade says after him, but Clint probably doesn't catch it before he turns his back.

[no amount of luck in the world would work]

Wade turns back toward the kitchen and Peter is somehow already through the window and out of the bottom of his suit. It is possible he was taking it off as he was coming through the window, that flexible fuck.

"It's so hot." He complains.

"That's just you." Wade says.

[legs]
{and that damn fine ass}
[just in the open like that]

"Ha ha, very funny." Peter rolls his eyes. "Food." He opens the fridge.

"I put in an order as Clint was leaving." He looks down at his phone. "ETA ten minutes on the best tacos you've ever had."

"I thought that little place three blocks down didn't deliver?"

"No, no, we've been friends long enough for me to reveal my secret to you." Wade says.

"That you're actually a taco chef?" Peter asks, and Wade snorts. "How could you never tell me this?"

 

When they get their food, Wade can feel Peter staring at him. This is actually not uncommon, and Wade has not yet found the right words to question it. Not really, at least. “Do I have something in my teeth?” He asks.

Peter feels like he has become very attuned to Wade’s moods, and the quiet, introspective look concerns him. “What’s up?” He asks and Wade just stares at him. “Bad day?”

“Nah.” Wade says, looking away. He really is starting to hate how intuitive Peter is. “Just ex talk.”

“Vanessa?”

{he’s right to assume she’s the only one}
[she is the only one we’ve mentioned]
{still}

“Someone else.” Wade says. “Don’t wanna talk about it, though.”

“Oh.” Peter says. “Okay.”

{why does he look upset}

“Hey, I'm sorry I didn't make pancakes.” He says. “I just…” He waves his hands in vague gestures.

“It's okay.” Peter says, seeming to shake off whatever upset him. “You shared your secret taco restaurant with me and that's better than pancakes. More special.”

[you shouldn't have special things]
{with someone this pretty}
[and this sweet]

He keeps staring, and Wade feels like he's being investigated under a blacklight. You can't hide anything under those. He can't hide anything from Peter. “Oh my god, what?” He asks, finally snapping a little. He had been almost squirming under the scrutiny.

“What?” Peter asks, confused.

[could he really have been staring without knowing]
{how can you look at this face and not notice}

“You've been staring at me for like fifteen minutes.” Wade says.

“Oh, shit, sorry.” Peter says. “I was just thinking about something Daredevil said.”

“Was it that my face holds the keys to the universe?”

“No.” Peter is silent for a moment. “The city has been really quiet lately, and he thinks it's because you're not an assassin anymore. The best gun for hire is no longer available to stir shit up.”

“Shit stirring was one of my specialty.” Wade says. “I don't know, I guess it's possible. More likely they're all down below, plotting how to fuck each other up.”

“Don't sell yourself short. You could bring peace to the world.” He says. “But, uh, no pressure.”

“S’not like a I really have a choice.” Wade says.

Peter frowns. “I know.” He has always been more upset about that contract than Wade. “But you don't need a piece of paper to be a hero.”

“It's not like I've had much luck being good without one.” Wade says. “And I'll never be a hero, so…”

“You're wrong.” Peter says, and he sounds really offended. He doesn't elaborate on this point.

“I-”

“No, I don't wanna hear it.” Peter says. “I can take lots of self-deprecation from you, but I won't have you saying you're not a hero. Maybe you're not one all the time, but sometimes, and that means something.”

“Okay.” Wade concedes. He doesn't believe in that, but he is not going to fight when Peter is clearly so passionate.

“Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go study for the week of satan’s asshole.” Peter says, standing up. He explains when Wade looks at him in confusion. “Finals.”

“Why do you even worry about that? Aren't you a genius?” Wade asks.

“Genius has nothing to do with it. Tests are about information memorization.” Peter says. “Fuck, if that's what you think it means, no wonder you don't think you're smart.”

“I'm not.”

“Wrong again.” Peter says, but he's not as upset this time.

“See, I'm wrong all the time.”

“Not having faith in yourself is an entirely different thing than being stupid.” Peter says. “You have a terrible memory, maybe, but that's not your fault.”

Chapter Text

Wade lays awake in his bed, staring at the ceiling, as he has done for so very many nights in his life. He feels...drained. The urge to eat a bullet has subsided, at least as much as it ever does, but he still feels more empty than usual.

[i don't know why you're surprised]
{it's always like this after someone mentions him}
[cable]

“Don't say his name or he might show up.” Wade says. “I've had enough emotional storms this week, can I avoid more?”

[probably not]

There is more than heartache on his mind, though. One thing is the question of why Peter was upset when he said he didn't want to talk about that particular ex. He isn't jealous, of course. Wade knows that. The only other explanation is that Peter is sad that Wade did not want to share with him, and that makes no sense. This beautiful spider pal of his cares about him, and he has no idea why the fuck.

[he’s just a really good person]
{friendly neighborhood spider-man}

Another thing on his mind is that Clint and Weasel picked up right away that Wade isn't staying where he belongs on the feelings scale.

[you’re barely deserving of friendship from Peter]
{you mean he’s not}
[he is while he's working for SHIELD]
{which won't last}
[exactly, hence ‘while’]

“I've always had a crush on Spidey. I don't know why you're over-analyzing it now.” Wade says.

[because now it has spread to his secret identity, and he's your roommate]
{just let him ruin it, we might get a good fuck out of it}
[but what about Peter]
{who cares}

“I do.” Wade groans and rolls over onto his stomach. “Clint wishing me good luck, what a fucking idiot. Good luck ruining someone’s life, right?”

[right]

“Good luck preventing Peter from finding love one day.” He continues. “Good luck fucking up the only thing going okay in my life right now.”

[you’re too dependent on Peter already]
{back off, clingy}
[he isn't going to be there when it all goes down]
{which it will}
[don’t get used to not being alone, it'll only hurt more in the end]

Wade sighs. “It'll go away, anyway. It's just ‘cause he's nice to me.”

{shoutout to that one time he thought we were hot before we took the mask off}
[the entire five years we knew him]
{thought we looked like Tony Stark or Steve Rogers}
[such a pure, sweet spider]

“Will you let me sleep?”

{lol}
[it’s not our fault that you're sleepy while we’re trying to have a conversation]
{right?}

He stands up and walks to Peter’s room. Peter is still awake and sitting on his bed, surrounded by textbooks and notebooks. He looks up when Wade opens his door. “What’s wrong?” He asks.

Wade bites back a grin at the glasses resting too far down Peter’s nose. The brunet doesn't need them, and hasn't needed them since he was fifteen. “So cute in your glasses.” He says, and Peter shakes his head, smiling. “I can't sleep.”

“Is computer science boring to you?” Peter asks.

Wade shrugs. “I guess.”

“Then sit.” Peter says. “I'll read out loud until you pass out from boredom.”

{dependent}
[he isn't going to be around to solve all of your problems forever]
{stop doing this to yourself}
[it’s just going to break your heart in the end]
{and there definitely will be an end}
[there always is]
{a great, fiery, crash and comedown end}

 

---

 

Wade sleeps in Peter’s bed quite a bit more often than Peter would ever admit to anyone. The first time it happened was in the middle of December. It was really cold and Peter was trying to keep the heating bill down, and as it turns out, Wade puts off a lot of warmth. The second time was after Wade was kidnapped and killed, and how could Peter kick him out and still have a clear conscience? Then, their apartment was fumigated and they shared a single bed hotel room. So far, Wade has kept his hands to himself, and Peter doesn’t mind him being there. His hands often twitch in his sleep, Peter has noticed. He doesn’t dare ask what Wade dreams about. Half because if Wade doesn’t remember the dream, he doesn’t want to remind him of it. Half because he doesn’t want to know.

Peter does not realize that he has been staring at Wade sleeping until he gets a text from Johnny that says “if I write ‘therefore’ one more time I’m going to eat one of the Thing’s shoes”.

He texts back “Therefore, you shouldn’t write it again”. Johnny messages back the upside down smile emoji. He knows that the blond will get him back for that at some point, but he doesn’t care. He yawns, stretching, and gets up to make coffee before he gets too sleepy to do it. If Gwen or his aunt May knew that he was skipping sleep to study, they would ground him in his own home. It’s when he pours the coffee all over himself and barely feels the heat that he thinks maybe he should get some sleep. He grabs the first thing off the top of the clean laundry and changes into it. The hoodie is far too big for him and on some other plane of existence where he is still fully awake and lucid, he knows that it isn’t his, that it’s Wade’s. On this plane, though, his eyes are drooping closed, he just spilled coffee on himself, and he doesn’t care. He clears his study supplies off of the bed, and gets into bed next to Wade, wearing Wade’s hoodie. His brain doesn’t provide him with any final thoughts on the consequences of this action before he falls asleep.

 

---

 

Wade wakes up staring at what, at first, he thinks is his mask. Then, his sleepy blinking clears his vision up some and he realizes that it isn’t his mask, it’s his logo. He doesn’t know how he could be staring at his own hoodie from that angle, and he wonders if perhaps his neck is broken. But no, it was too fucking hot to have put that on last night. No, Peter is wearing it. The incessant morning babble of Yellow and White that he can’t even hear yet stops on a dime as they all come to that realization at the same time.

He uncurls from the ball he was sleeping in and stands up. Usually, when he wakes up in Peter’s bed, there is nothing there to startle or confuse him. Today is not one of those days. “Am I still asleep?” He asks the room quietly. “Is this a dream?”

{if it is, then let’s do something}
[but what if it isn’t]
{who cares? spidey is wearing our clothes}

Wade rubs his eyes and looks again, thinking that maybe he was hallucinating, but no. His eyes did not deceive him. Peter is, in fact, wearing a Deadpool hoodie, and he is fast asleep. “It’s too early in the morning for something like this.” He says. “I can’t process it.”

{let’s summarize:}
[peter is wearing your clothes]
{and not a whole lot of any-fucking-thing else}
[it’s not consent, but it’s a topic of discussion when he wakes up]
{that is absolutely zero fun}

“You’re out-numbered.” Wade says, and goes to his own room, to go back to sleep and maybe forget what he just saw, maybe wake up in a world where things are good and no one is testing his moral resolve.

{good fucking luck forgetting that}

Chapter Text

When Wade wakes up again, he has not forgotten the sight of Peter wearing his hoodie and only his hoodie. If anything, he remembers it more clearly now than ever; remembers it more clearly than he, or perhaps anyone in the history of the universe, has ever remembered anything. Peter is so tired and overworked that it is entirely possible that he picked up the first clean thing without even noticing what it was, but some other things are also possible, and he can't decide which is explanation is more wild. The former seems more likely.

This isn't helped by the fact that when he rolls over, surprise. Peter is in his bed. Which, in and of itself, isn't that uncommon. Peter and Wade have completely lost a lot of boundaries already, even though they haven't been living together long. But this is the worst time for this to happen. His breaths get shorter, and it has nothing to do with panic. Okay, maybe it's about 1% panic. The rest is arousal. “I can't do this.” He whispers.

{it's not like this is the first time you've whacked it to Spider-Man}
(You guys were the ones over-analyzing it before, not me)
{that was before he wore our hoodie and got us all hot and bothered, then got into our bed}

Wade pulls his pillow over his face.

(If I just smother myself, I won't have to deal with any of this)
{kinky}
[autoeroticasphyxiation]
{do you think Petey would choke us}
[he’s definitely strong enough]
{god help us}

Feelings of guilt and embarrassment don’t stop him for long, and he slides his hand into his boxers, wrapping his fingers around his already half hard cock. The boxes are right, this is not the first time that Spider-Man has been the subject of his fantasies. That ass is legendary. To see Peter wearing his clothes was just…entirely too much.

Wade tries to convince himself to leave, leave right now, but he can't. The thought of Peter in his clothes and only his clothes forces him to a standstill. His heart is pounding against his chest. He can hear it ringing in his ear, and he hasn't even started yet. He looks over to Peter, at the arch of his back, the crook of his neck and how his chest rises and falls; he's perfect, utterly perfect, and Wade wants nothing more than to lean over and -
No, no, no don't be stupid. Just - just breathe. Breathe and - and what if he's caught? The thought alone makes his boxers start to constrict. Shit. His cock rises his hand and he slowly, not once taking his eyes off of Peter he starts to stroke the length of his member. He bites his lower lip, silencing a moan as Peter shifts in his sleep"

---

Wade stares at Peter’s still sleeping form and feels incredibly guilty. He gets out of bed and cleans up quickly, leaving no trace behind.

[i don't mean to burst your bubble]
{gross}
[but you just jerked off to your friend/roommate]
{yep}
[while he was in your bed]
{kinky, satisfying, what's not to like}
[the very same friend/roommate that you are going to have to say good morning to not long from now]
{while he's wearing what made you horny in the first place}
[and you're going to have to pretend that it didn't and that you didn't just-]
{shake hands with the milkman}
[...not what I was going to say, but sure]
{tickle your pickle}
[why are they all food related]
{it's time for breakfast]

“He can never, never know about this.” He whispers to himself.

{could he have known about the other times? dummy}

---

Peter pretends that there is absolutely nothing abnormal about this morning at all. It’s laundry day and he doesn’t have anything to change into anyway, even if he wanted to. He doesn’t, because Wade’s hoodie is sinfully soft. He thinks that maybe Wade has washed it repeatedly to wear it in and make it bearable for himself. The thought makes him frown. He can’t help but feel the need to save Wade from his pain, even though he literally can’t do anything about it.

As he rummages around the cabinets for coffee creamer and something vaguely breakfast-like, he is very aware that Wade is staring at him. They have not spoken yet this morning, neither of them daring to end the silence, or question Peter’s actions. He expected Wade to laugh about it and make a bunch of jokes at his expense, and he doesn’t want to think about what it means that Wade is quiet. The other is just watching him, elbow on table, chin propped on his hand. Peter doesn’t know about his expression, or lack thereof, because he is pointedly refusing to stare and wait for a reaction, insistent on acting like today is an average day and he is wearing his own clothes.

“So, uh…” Wade says after about five more minutes of nothing. Peter doesn’t respond. “It’s supposed to be a hot one today.”

Peter hums in agreement, not facing Wade. He frowns again, remembering how Johnny always questions him when he wears long sleeves. He has considered telling Wade about his scars on multiple occasions, but it just feels too late now. They’ve been living together for five months now, and Peter thinks that Wade might be upset by his lack of trust. Wade has shown him everything. His scars, his sadness, his daughter. Peter couldn’t show him this one little thing? This one thing that doesn’t even affect him anymore? No, the moment is long past. Maybe there will be another one in the future, but Peter doesn’t look forward to it, either way.

“Well, I wear a full body suit most of the time, so…” Peter shrugs. “I guess I’m just used to it.”

That’s not necessarily a lie, but it’s also not the truth. He is used to wearing a spandex suit that covers his whole body, even in the summer, but the suit isn’t what got him used to it. He started wearing long sleeves when he was thirteen years old, to hide the scars from his aunt. Wearing the suit in the dead of a summer drought and lying about pain came naturally after that. Peter stopped wondering a long time ago if it should bother him how well and often he lies to people that he cares about.

“True.” Wade says. “But, uh, the suit’s yours.”

Peter nods, but again, he doesn’t turn around. “Yeah, it is.” He says.

Wade is quiet again, and he must be unsure of how to deal with Peter’s straightforward answer. “And that’s not.” He says finally.

“Yeah.” Peter says. He sighs and faces Wade. “I’m sorry. I just- I spilled coffee on myself last night and I just grabbed something without looking.”

“You didn’t change.” Wade says.

“No. No I didn’t.” Peter spins around again so that Wade can’t see him blushing. “It’s your fault for having such stupid soft clothes.”

Wade laughs at that, and it eases Peter’s fraying nerves a bit. “Well, you can keep it until winter, baby boy. It’s too fucking hot.”

 

---

 

The only thing Wade really misses about living alone is being able to wander around naked after a shower. Clothes are uncomfortable for him at all times, but especially when he's damp and they cling. It's also a blessing in the dead of summer.

He had been in the shower when Peter left, and he's honestly relieved. Peter has seen so much of him recently, physically and emotionally. It has him kind of nervous. People don't usually stick around after the big reveal- well, to be honest no one has stuck around.

Wade is in the kitchen shoving a handful of yesterday’s french fries into his mouth when the door opens, and he almost chokes.

“I forgot my-” Peter starts before he gets the door open, but the sight he gets of Wade standing nude in front of the fridge stops him in his tracks. “K-keys.” He finally stutters out.

They both stare at each other for a long moment, Peter’s face getting redder by the second. “Well, I have to- I- bye Wade!” Peter shouts cheerily as he flees from the room, locking the door behind him this time.

{Spider-Man saw the dick}
[god bless and save that boy]
{he fled from the dick}
[who wouldn’t]
{did you see how red his face got? precious}
[he was embarrassed]
{an angel}
[he is still wearing our hoodie]
{the universe is pushing this awfully hard}
[it’s not the universe]

Wade counts their amusement at this as a win, at least they aren't torturing him. He shuts the fridge, finally chewing the gob full of fries. He stares at the clutter of notes and jokes and wonders. He wonders what everyone else sees when they look at this, because clearly they see something that gives them pause, makes them worry, makes Clint amused. And fuck Clint, if it was anyone else, if he has said anything else, Wade wouldn't be strung out questioning everything like he is now. MJ made no comments about it besides laughing, and it's impossible to tell what she was laughing at because some of the jokes (his jokes, definitely not Peter’s) are really funny. Weasel responded only with concern, and Wade took that as Weasel worrying about him flirting with someone so far out of his league. Clint...is harder to ignore. His take implicates that Wade isn't the only one flirting, and Wade has no idea what to do with that.

All the clean laundry is in Peter’s room because they have not sorted through it yet, which is unfortunate. There are mirrors in Peter’s room. He can't help catching a glimpse of himself. Surely not, he thinks, his mind still on what Clint said. Surely not, he thinks, begrudgingly staring at himself. Embarrassment, revulsion, that's all that sent Peter out of the door. Nothing else. It couldn't possibly be anything else.

[he forgot his keys]

Wade pulls his eyes away from his reflection and quickly finds something to put on. Anything, at this point, just to cover it up. He is reminded in the most horrible way why all the mirrors in his former homes were broken or covered. He had almost forgotten, living with someone who doesn't grimace every time they see him. “Yeah, I know why he came back. Why couldn't he have just gotten his keys to begin with? He didn't need to see that. No one needs to. No one wants to.”

[no, he forgot them the second time]
{with his red face, wearing our clothes}

“This is worse than anything else you do to me.” Wade says.

[he read to us last night]
{if you remember, he thought we were hot before the mask came off}
[i remember]
{who do you call when you're upset}
[he kissed us without the mask on]
{on the cheek but whatever}

“Stop it.” Wade says. They're bad when they're hopeless. They're worse when they're hopeful.

{he was upset when we refused to talk about Nate}
[he wasn't sad]

“No.” Wade says defiantly, uselessly.

{[he was jealous]}

“No.” He says again. “That's just- it's not a thing, okay. I'm finally getting to somewhere okay in my life, and I don't need you or me or anyone else ruining it with feelings I don't need and don't want.”

{yeah throw your tantrum}
[anger never changes the truth]
{panic all you want}
[fear never changes the truth]

“The truth is that I'm unattractive and unlovable. It's an easy, simple fact that shouldn't be messed with.” Wade says. “I'm lucky to have a friend at all, why do you want to ruin it?”

{we don't, we like this set up}
[it’s your racing heart that's doing the ruining]

Chapter Text

Shockingly, it had taken less time to convince Preston to let Ellie meet Weasel than Peter. Maybe because they’ve been friends for so long. Anyone that sticks around like that has to be trustworthy, right? At least sort of. Or..maybe the unthinkable has happened: Emily is finally starting to trust him.

[big mistake]
{the biggest}

Of course, he wouldn’t take his eleven year old to a bar full of bikers and mercenaries. No, just an empty one about two hours before it opens. There is only one guy waiting at the door, and he’s fast asleep on the sidewalk. No threat. Ellie doesn’t seem perturbed about it anyway.

“Your friend works here?” She asks, looking up at him.

“He owns it.” He answers.

“Oh. That’s weird.” She says. When he looks at her oddly she elaborates. “Mom was snooping in his business last night, and I saw the photos. He just didn’t look like a business owner. I guess you really can’t judge a book by its cover.”

“What does a business owner look like?” Wade asks.

“There are a few types. You’ve got your Mr. I’m Better, like Tony Stark. Then there’s the Just Out of College Tech Startup- Peter. And last there’s really old guys in white suits that say their name a lot.” She says.

“Doug Dimmadome?” He asks.

“Owner of the Dimmsdale Dimmadome. Yes, I am talking about Doug Dimmadome, owner of the Dimmsdale Dimmadome.”

---

When they get in the bar, Weasel can’t seem to find his tongue. Wade can’t blame him, really. He never imagined he would have kids either. Even before he got fucked up, there were only a few moments that he thought...maybe.

“Yeah, I can kind of see it around the eyes.” Weasel says after a silence that probably wasn’t as long as Wade felt like it was.

After Wade goes to the bathroom, Weasel pulls the photo of Wade and Vanessa pre-Weapon X down out from behind the bar and stares at it for a moment. Wade doesn’t like anyone he knows seeing it, and Weasel gets that. He gives it to Ellie anyway. She looks confused for a second before her eyes light up with recognition.

“Don’t tell him you have that.” Weasel says. “I guess it upsets him to see it now…”

“Who’s that with him?” She asks.

“His fiance.” Weasel answers, and Ellie looks up from the photo with surprise. “He never told you about her?”

“No…” she says. “It’s so weird to imagine your parents with a life before you were born- or before you met them. I mean, I knew he didn’t just suddenly start existing at my door one day, but…it felt like he did.”

“And you don’t know anything about his life and who he was before he was deadpool?” Weasel asks, and Ellie shakes her head. “God damn it, he’s always doing that.”

Weasel sighs, but he doesn’t get a chance to elaborate as Wade comes back. Ellie stuffs the photo into her pocket before he can see that she has it. Weasel just hopes that Wade does not notice that it’s gone. He doesn’t want to have that conversation.

 

---

 

“It’s been forever since we had threeway.” Wade says to Daredevil as Spidey hops a ways down the fire escape to take a call from his aunt. “I’m always down for a little ménage à trois with the Devil and baby boy.”

[gross]
{he already doesn’t like you, why make it worse}

The other sighs, but doesn’t turn to face him, and Wade knows that he is being judged hard. The devil is silent long enough for Wade to start getting uncomfortable before he comes completely out of left field. “Do you have feelings for Peter?”

{excuuuse me??}
[he’s right]
{yeah, but still! it’s not his business}

“Uh...wh- I- what do you mean?” Wade stammers.

[smooth]
{yeah, he’s totally unaware of your secret now}

“I meant exactly what I asked.” he says. “Do you have feelings- romantic feelings -for Peter?”

“We’re just friends.” Wade says, which is a sensible reply that doesn’t give away anything at all, and then he starts to ramble. “I mean- I mean it’s not like anything would happen if I did. It’s not like it would matter. You haven’t seen my face, but I’m sure you’ve- you know, you’ve heard about it. You know I’m fucked up, face, body, mind, and personality. I have like no redeeming qualities at all. I have this charming, sparkling personality, but I know my sense of humor is fucked and- just, you know, everything about it me is terrible and I don’t know why he even wants to be friends with me in the first place.”

“Wow.” the devil says, “Okay. That...sort of answers my question.”

Wade ignores him and continues the word vomit. “This isn’t a romance story. My life’s never a romance story. It’s always been a shit show and it always will be. Occasionally I’ll get something good in my life, but it’s only so it can be ripped from me dramatically.”

“So...you do.” he says. “You do have feelings for him.”

“I didn’t say that.” Wade says.

{you kind of did tho}

“No, you didn’t say those words.” the devil says.

“I just mean… If I did- which I don’t -even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. It doesn’t matter.”

He doesn’t know who the devil is, not really, but he has heard Peter say on multiple occasions that he’s a walking lie detector. So he must notice that when Peter comes back up to them, that Wade’s heart speeds up. He must hear the change in his voice. He must know that Peter’s presence alone makes Wade happier.

[he knows]
{he knows}

“What were you guys talking about?” Peter asks.

Wade fumbles for an answer, and the devil beats him to it. “Threeways.” he says.

Peter laughs and rolls his eyes, clapping Wade on the shoulder. “Of course you were. And without me? Rude.”

“Yeah, especially since you’re the glue that holds us together, baby.” Wade says.

{what if the devil reveals your secret to the spider?}

Chapter Text

Daredevil gets a call from one of his “real” friends and has to head home, leaving Peter and Wade alone. For once, Wade wishes he wasn’t alone with Peter. He is still very antsy after his talk with the devil.

{the fuckin devil, indeed}
[he called us out]
{RUDE}

Now he’s alone with Peter, and though he can’t see his face, he knows that the spider is just as cute as ever. At least he isn’t wearing Wade’s hoodie anymore. Wade didn’t think he could take much more of that. They follow Pete’s spidey senses to a robbery and stop it without much trouble. Wade takes a bullet to the leg, but it’s hardly the worst injury he has ever had. A car pulls up and stops on the side of the street while they’re sitting in an alley waiting for him to heal-hamstring, nasty business. It’s nicer than is normal for this neighborhood. Way, way nicer. Wade tenses up, and when Tony Stark steps out, he doesn’t really relax. Peter flusters immediately, even though he won’t admit it, he has a total science boner for Stark.

“Hey, Mr. Stark.” Peter says, and he falters for a minute before Tony gives him a one-armed hug. “What’re you doing out here?”

“Checking up on us?” Wade asks from where he’s still sitting on the ground.

“No, I was just in the neighborhood and saw my favorite new superhero. I thought I’d stop and say hi.” Tony says. “How’ve you been, Peter?”

“Good, good. Grades are good, studying for finals, fighting crime.” Peter says. “Got a roommate.” He gestures to Wade.

“I see…” Tony says skeptically.

“Why are you in the neighborhood?” Wade asks. “Trying to get your car jacked?”

Tony laughs, “Last minute adjustments for something tomorrow. Pepper offered me to a school, so I’ll talk about how to succeed and the internship, etcetera.” he says.

“Aren’t you just a peach.” Wade says. Tony ignores him.

“Speaking of, Peter. You should apply, for real this time. Don’t just use me as an excuse to sneak out of class.” he says. “It’s a paid position.”

“I’ll think about it.” Peter says. “It’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too.” He eyes Wade again.

“Hey, you don’t have to worry about me, genius.” Wade says. “I’ve gone straight-well, morally. I still think you’re hot as fuck. You’re like...spank me and buy me a porsche hot. A walking daddy kink.”

[wow]

Tony stares at him for a solid minute and then gets back in his car. Peter turns to Wade, and even with the mask, Wade knows he’s glaring. “Oh my god.” Peter says.

---

The next day, Peter does apply for an internship with Stark. Wade worries that he’s pushing himself too hard, but he doesn’t know what gives him the right to give anyone advice about anything, so he keeps his worry to himself. The next few weeks pass without issue, until Peter announces that he’s throwing a party to welcome himself to work. Wade locks that fact away until the day of the party, and then locks himself in his room before the guests even arrive. Peter swore up and down that no one would mind, but Wade would rather not take chances.

Of course, Peter isn’t the only one who thinks his scars don’t matter. “Come on.” MJ says from outside his door. “You’re not totally unlikable, get your ass out here.”

“No.” Wade says.

“It’s a room full of drunk college kids. They’re not even gonna notice.” She says. “Plus Peter wants you to be out here, he’s making those soppy puppy eyes.”

Wade sighs. He knows exactly what she’s talking about. Peter is the worst about sad looks. He’s just so damn cute and his eyes are so bright and when he makes the puppy eyes, the world falls to its knees. He cracks the door open. “Five minutes, and I’m gonna set a timer.” He says.

It really isn’t as bad as the boxes have been cracking it up to be all week. After the initial shock passes, everyone goes back to drinking and playing twister-a bad combo, if Wade had to say. He has some fun, even if he does follow Peter around the whole night. Near the end of the night, when almost everyone has caught a cab home and only Peter’s close friends are left, Peter catches him in the hall.

“Thank you for coming to the party.” He slurs. “You didn’t have to.”

“You know I’d do anything for you.” Wade says. “You and your damn sad puppy eyes.”

Peter giggles and stumbles forward. “I know.”

[what is he doing]
{don’t you know drunk flirting when ya see it?}

When Peter pushes up onto his tiptoes and leans forward more, Wade catches his face with a hand, squeezing his cheeks. “What are you doing?”

“Well,” Peter says, his ability to talk hindered by the alcohol and the fact that Wade is squishing his cheeks, “I was gonna kiss you.”

“Peter, you’re drunk.” Wade says, shaking his head. “You’re so drunk, and you’re so nice.”

“I know you are but what am I?” Peter says.

“See? Drunk as a fuckin skunk.”

{do it, tho}
[you could kiss him right now]
{he even wants you to}
(no he doesn’t, he’s drunk)

“Come on, let’s get you into bed.” Wade says, lifting Peter up bridal style.

“Oh, well if you insist.” Peter laughs. Wade sees Daredevil, who he met for real tonight, hovering at the end of the hallway. Peter’s guardian angel. Wade ignores him.

He tosses Peter on the bed and pulls off his shoes, then tucks him in. “You’re not getting in too?”

“Not a chance in hell.” Wade says, and kisses his forehead. “There’s your kiss, now go to sleep, baby boy.”

Peter does as he’s told and soon, he’s snoring. Matt blocks Wade in the hallway for a second when they meet. Neither says anything for a minute. “He alright?”

“He’s fine.” Wade says, recognizing the posture of a protector instantly. “You got a problem with me?”

Matt backs off at the warning tone. “Well, if he’s okay, then I guess I’ll get going.”

“I think that’d be best.” Wade frowns.

{can you blame him for thinking the worst about you?}
[i don’t]
{me either, totally valid}
[we are a monster, after all]
{just not quite that kind}

Chapter Text

Wade wakes up the next day pretty worried about what’ll happen now. He has become so dependent on Peter’s friendship, if Peter starts acting weird around him now because of something he did while he was drunk….Wade doesn’t know what he’ll do. He doesn’t really have a plan B.

[when has he ever had a plan B]
{when has he ever had a plan A}

As he creeps into the kitchen slowly, like a wary cat, he smells bacon. That’s weird, because in all the time he has lived here, Peter has never cooked breakfast. Peter rarely cooks at all, except things like mac n cheese or microwave meals.

“Hey Pete…” He says. May as well get it over with, whatever it may be. “Uh, hangover food?”

“My uncle only drank on Christmas. Merry eggnog or whatever. He was such a lightweight because he never drank any other time of year.” Peter says, and Wade can’t see the tears welling up in his eyes, but he can hear Peter’s voice cracking a little. “And Christmas morning, I’d be so sad because my mom and dad were gone. Ben said that's what breakfast is good for… Soaking up alcohol and sadness.”

“A wise man.” Wade says.

“Yeah, he was.” Peter sniffs as he flips a pancake. “So...I talked to Matt this morning.”

[oh shit]
{here it comes, he’s gonna tell you to get out for sure. matt probably made some shit up}

“Yeah?” Wade asks. “I’m- it’s no big deal, you know? I’m so irresistible. No one can keep their hands off me.”

Peter laughs, but it’s not the kind of laughed at that usually happens to Wade. Peter sounds relieved, like the tension they both felt in the air has been broken. “No, I just...thanks, Wade.”

“For what?” Wade asks. “For not kissing you when you were blackout drunk? I’d never take advantage like that.”

“I know.” Peter says, and that catches Wade a bit off guard. Peter sounds so sure. “It’s just that I’ve been to parties in the past and, well things happen sometimes. Just, thanks okay? Can we move on and just- just forget about it?”

[of course]
{who’d want to remember even almost kissing us}
[not someone so pretty, for sure]

“Forget about what?” Wade asks, cocking his head to the side like he really doesn’t know.

“Thanks.” Peter says, and again he looks relieved. “So do you want blueberries in your pancakes, or-”

Wade scoffs and reaches into the cabinet above Peter’s head. “No? Do you take me for some kind of chump who likes fruit? Chocolate chip all the way.”

“You heathen.” Peter pokes him in the ribs. “You gotta get your fruit and veg somehow.”

“Don’t you know the food pyramid is some illuminati bullshit?”

Peter shoos him away from the stove, fearing judgment about his inferior cooking, and serves breakfast a few minutes later. Once they’re seated, he takes a few bites, savoring them, and then waits for Wade’s mouth to be full of an entire pancake before he springs the idea he’s had in his mind since they first decided on their cover story.

“I want to do the photoshoot with you.” He says. Wade’s eyes widen but he’s physically incapable of immediately refusing or brushing it off like he usually would. “I think it would be good for you, and no one would ever have to see them but me. We can burn all of them afterwards. I know this is a lot to ask and I know you would normally never, ever, in a million years agree to do this- but it’s me. Don’t you know by now that I don’t- that-” He stops short, because he’s thinking again of the incident with his keys. Not that it’s often that he isn’t thinking about it.

[not happening]
{never in a million years}

Wade carefully swallows the mouthful so that he doesn’t choke, and they sit in still silence for a solid minute before Wade finally answers. “Okay.” He says slowly.

[what]
{WHAT}

“What?” Peter says, sounding surprised. “Wait, really?” His face lights up in a way that makes Wade think, no matter what happens, this will be worth it.

“Yes.” Wade says. “I trust you.”

“Okay.” Peter says, “Okay, I’ll get my stuff ready and-”

“No, no. Sit.” Wade scolds him as he starts to get up. “Finish breakfast first.”

---

“I don’t want to drag you down to the campus art studio where someone might walk in, so we’ll have to make do here.” Peter says as he changes the sheets on his bed (currently some tacky geometric pattern) to plain black ones. He takes the top sheet and tapes it to the wall right up against the ceiling. Wade thinks it seems like Peter has done this before, and he wonders who else and what else Peter has been photographing in his bed.

Wade sits down on the foot of the bed while Peter sets up the lighting equipment and his camera, feeling a lot less confident than he did earlier when his mouth was full of chocolate chip pancake.

“Okay, take off your clothes.” Peter says when he is done setting everything up.

“What?” Wade asks.

“Down to your briefs, come on.” Peter says.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” Wade puts up his hands. “If you want nudes, you gotta ask for them one of two ways: 3am in a one to five word text message or in essay format. Nothing else is acceptable.”

Peter doesn’t bat an eye at his jokes or stalling. “Is it a nude if you’re still wearing your underwear?”

{he’s got you there}

Even though Wade has been in his underwear around Peter several times, it suddenly feels like a big deal. He manages to get his pants off without too much fuss, but for some reason, his shirt is a different story. Maybe he is just trying to stall this as long as possible, even though he agreed to the ordeal.

Peter sighs and shakes his head, then walks over and unceremoniously pulls Wade’s shirt over his head. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.” Not that he’d ever admit this to anyone, or really even himself, but Peter isn’t at all unhappy about the prospect of seeing Wade mostly naked again. “Okay. All set.”

“It’s not fair.” Wade says. “I’m practically naked here, and you’re over there with all of your clothes still on.”

They lock eyes for a minute, and there’s a glint in Peter’s that Wade doesn’t recognize. Peter unbuttons, unzips, and lets his pants fall to his feet. “Better?” He asks.

“I….was joking.” Wade admits.

“Don’t test me, Wilson.” Wade finally submits. How could he not when Peter is so confident and powerful here? Why would he want to?

{it’s hot, tbh}

Wade doesn’t think anyone has ever taken glamour shots of him. No one has ever wanted to...except Peter...for some reason. He tries not to think to hard about all of it in general, especially not about how Peter keeps getting closer and closer to him. At some point, Peter winds up kneeling on the bed, staring down at Wade through the lense.

Abruptly, he lowers his camera, and he is very clearly trying to hide a grin. He leans in close enough that Wade’s breath catches in his throat, and he whispers, “What do you call the security outside of a Samsung Store? Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Wade is so caught off guard that he instantly bursts out laughing, which is just what Peter wanted. He knows that Wade didn’t do this for himself, and that these pictures aren’t going to be some sort of life-changing experience that will make him love himself. He knew right from the beginning that if he wanted a picture of Wade smiling, he was going to have to work for it.

Well, he wins.

Chapter Text

Wade can’t believe how commonplace this is now. A year ago, if you had told him that he and Spider-Man would be shopping together on the regular, and that Spider-Man would be holding his hand the entire time they’re in the store...well, he might have shot you in the face for telling such a cruel lie. Here they are, though. It all started as a way to keep Wade from buying weird, random crap that they don’t need. Peter started holding his hand to keep up with him in stores.

It’s so common, in fact, that he doesn’t even really notice it anymore. They go through a door with a little bell and before the door even hits the stopper that keeps it from slamming closed, Peter’s fingers are laced with his own.

He wouldn’t have noticed it today, had Ellie not pointed it out. Literally, pointed, and said “what the hell?”.

Peter and Wade both look down at their interlocked hands, then back up at Ellie. Wade doesn’t know what to say, or how to say it. Lucky for him, Peter explains it. “He kept trying to buy stuff we don’t need and can’t afford.” He says. “Honestly, I feel like I work four jobs and only one of them pays anything worth getting out of bed for.”

Peter sighs heavily and lets Ellie lead with the shopping cart. “Maybe you should sue for copyright infringement.” Wade says as Ellie drops a pack of Spider-Man pencils into the cart.

“Wouldn’t stand a chance against their lawyers.” Peter says.

“I’m sure Matt would take you up pro bono. He’s the type.” Wade says.

“A better idea would be to go back into freelance photography.” Peter says, then glances at Wade. “I don’t know if you’d be comfortable with having people in the apartment that often, though. It was kind of a...social...business.”

{he used to take porn shots}
[after the ordeal with our photos, I think you might be right]
{there was no “how’s this gonna work” when he set up the bed}
[he already knew exactly how]
{he’d done it before!}

“How is an art field your most profitable career?” Wade asks. “I thought all artists were starving artist until they randomly become famous.”

“I don’t know, I guess I’m doing something wrong in every other field.” Peter says.

{or something very right in the photography field wink wink}
[did you just say wink wink]

“Maybe I should get into an art.” Ellie says. “Drop out and draw comics or something.” She frowns at a notebook.

“Hey, I still graduated.” Peter says. “School is important.”

“Oh really? ‘Cause I heard mom say that Tony Stark had to convince you to stay in school. And that it wasn’t easy.” She counters, and Peter just stares at her blankly for a solid minute.

“I...don’t have a comeback.” He admits, finally. “Stay in school.”

She sighs in exasperation. “Fiiine.”

–––

With the hand holding still in the back of his mind, Peter goes down to their little corner grocery shop - and since when did it become theirs, he asks himself - alone, leaving Wade and Ellie watching cartoons back at their place.

He has a list, made by Wade, because Wade is the one who cooks more often than not - and that’s for their health. Peter is an awful cook 99% of the time. Anyone else looking at the list wouldn’t know what the hell to get, because it says things like “pan lube (haha get it, cuz I’m pan but also pans are pans)”, and that’s just butter. Peter doesn’t want to talk about the brief pickling phase when he had to buy cucumbers, he just thanks whatever higher power exists that no one saw those lists.

“You have such a filthy mind.” He whispers to his list, then he pulls out his phone to text Wade. He types “if butter is pan lube & ur pan does that mean ur gonna cover urself in butter”

A few seconds later he gets “no we’re out” as a reply. He decides to leave it at that.

Hand condoms is pretty self-explanatory. Wade isn’t the first one to make that joke. Those are of the utmost importance, because lemonade is essential. Could you imagine being covered in small wounds and fucking around with lemons?

He finally gets through this masterpiece of a list and heads to the checkout counter. The clerks are usually very chatty, but then Wade is usually here and he is very chatty. After a few seconds of ringing him up in silence, the checkout lady finally speaks. “No husband today?”

That stops Peter dead in his tracks, and the change he was digging out of his pockets falls to the floor. “Uh...sorry, what?”

“Your husband!” She repeats, as if it’s nothing. “We all crack up at his dumb jokes when he’s in here...he’s pretty loud.”

“Well...he-he’s not my..” He stammers, but he can’t really get it out. He’s sure that his face is as red as a tomato. It’s a shame they weren’t on the list for comparison’s sake.

“Oh!” She says, then she does the motion of zipping her lips and throwing away the key. It’s entirely clear that she doesn’t believe him. “Gotcha. Well, let your friend know that we missed him.”

The word “husband” echoes in Peter’s mind the whole way home.

–––

Peter waits until after Ellie goes home to bring up the event at the grocery store. For a while, he wasn’t even sure that he wanted to talk about it at all. It’s just so bizzare.

“The people at the grocery store miss you.” He says, because that’s the not embarrassing part. “They think you’re funny.”

“Well, of course they do.” Wade says. “I’m fuckin’ hilarious.”

“They also think….that we’re married.” He says, and averts his gaze to the floor.

“What?” Wade asks, and then he starts laughing. “They can’t be serious, right? I mean...the two of us, married? No.”

Peter can’t place why, but the solid statement of “no” hurts. “Is it that wild of a concept?” he asks.

“Yeah.” Wade says. “Look at me, and then look at you.”

{what is this, an old spice commercial}

“I have looked at you.” Peter says. “Anyway, we do kind of act married.”

“Maybe we should stop, then.” Wade says. “I wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea, think you’re with some freak like me.”

Wade.” Peter says, and he puts his hand on Wade’s shoulder. “I don’t give a fuck what other people think. It’s been fun living with you, and we know the truth. I couldn’t care less if people think we’re married, let them.”

“You really feel that way?” Wade asks.

“Yeah.” Peter says. “Absolutely. I only told you because I thought it was funny - and a little embarrassing.”

“I don’t wanna damage your reputation.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that.” Peter says. “J Jonah Jameson is on that case.”

Chapter Text

While it was a long hassle to get pictures of Wade without his mask and cover, Peter learns that it’s almost nothing to Wade to be photographed as Deadpool. In fact, he doesn’t even have to ask. Wade has been photobombing him all night, which gives him an idea. Deadpool’s reputation is...less than sterling. To be honest, Spider-Man’s isn’t that great either, but people know he’s trying to help. Maybe they could think that about Wade too.

“I want to get some of these published.” Peter says when they take a break. “You need some serious PR and this could be just the thing.”

“Or it could ruin your reputation.” Wade says.

“I mean, if we were doing anything besides catching criminals, maybe.” Peter says. “My reputation is already crap. If people think I’m rehabilitating mercenaries, it might help, honestly.”

“I don’t know…” Wade says skeptically. “But if you think it’ll help, go for it.”

[you trust him so much]
{trusting people never works out for us! stop!}

“I do.”

 

The next day, when he presents the pictures to his boss, J Jonah Jameson reacts as expected. He is ecstatic that Spider-Man is hanging out with a known semi-villain. Peter just hopes that public opinion swings the way that he predicted, and doesn’t go the way Wade said it would. Although, it isn’t as if his reputation has ever been that great. It has certainly been worse, and he survived then.

“I know Spider-Man is a menace and all,” he says to his boss, “but I have it from two sources that Deadpool has quit the mercenary game.”

“So he’s just a vigilante now? Great, just what we need.” Jameson says. “Another menace in a red suit. Who are your sources?”

Peter almost doesn’t want to say it after the red suit comment. “Daredevil...and Spider-Man…” He says quietly, and then he continues because he hasn’t gotten himself into enough hot water here. “The three of them are uh, calling themselves the Red Team.”

“Of course they are.”

Peter sees the draft of the print later that day about the mysterious and menacing red team.

–––

Wade leaves Peter alone that evening, because he finally has time to develop the photos they took of the unmasked Wade Wilson. He has a job to do with SHIELD, and honestly he isn’t that keen to see the photos anyway. It’s his first real deal thing with SHIELD since he agreed to work for them.

{i still say that was a bad idea}
[i agree]
{dunno why tf you’d want to immortalize your face}

The com crackles again and Clint’s voice comes over the line, “Come in team Alpha.” He says. “Team Omega wants you to know that Nat is very cute.”

The other agents and Natasha, who are in the car with Wade, all sigh. Wade taps his com and answers. “Is it Alpha, Beta, and Omega because there are three cars, or are you just into that fanfic thing?”

{who put us in team Alpha}
[someone who wants super-spy to keep a close eye on us]

“That’s for me to know and you to find out.” Clint says.

“Just say when.” Wade says. “It’s a date.”

He looks over at Nat, who mouths “I’ll fucking crush you.” and laughs nervously.

“Nat, don’t be mean.” Clint says, because he knows her well enough to know how she reacted.

Someone from team Beta comes in over the speaker, someone Wade doesn’t recognize. “Will you shut the fuck up?” They say. “We’re here on a job, not your honeymoon.”

“You better get used to this real quick, new guy.” One of the agents in Alpha car says. “They are at this every second they’re together - I don’t know why Fury and Coulson even send ‘em out together. It’s not like Clint needs to babysit her anymore.”

“I’m right here.” Nat says.

“Babysit?” Wade asks. “I find it pretty hard to believe red needed babysitting.”

“Oh my god, man.” The agent says. “Our kill count sky-rocketed when they brought her in. Had to do something about that, it looks bad, so they brought in her recruiter to babysit.”

“So this is like a habit Clint has?” Wade asks. “Adopting murderous maniacs? No offense.”

“None taken.” Nat says. “He also has a stray dog he took in.”

“So…” Wade says. “You guys seem to like gossip. Deal me in. What’s the dish on the Avengers?”

“Subtle.” Nat says, and Wade shrugs.

The agents look at each other and then at Nat, who sighs. One of them speaks. “Well stark proposed to his assistant a few years ago, but they’re still planning the wedding.”

“She’s the CEO of Stark Industries now, have some fucking respect.” Agent 2 says.

“Sorry. It’s hard to keep up with Tony’s love life… it’s like a bad soap opera.” Agent 1 says.

“Besides, I heard that was a publicity stunt after Spider-Man didn’t join the Avengers.” Agent 2 looks at Wade. “You’re in tight with him, right? Who the fuck turns down an invitation to join the Avengers?”

“Uhh…” Wade says helpfully. “A high school kid who doesn’t wanna drop out, I guess?”

“Oh my god is he that young?” Agent 1 asks. “I thought he was like an adult, what is like eighteen?”

“He’s in his twenties, but I’m not really supposed to talk about him.” Wade says. “He’s a secretive guy.”

“So that’s why Stark started that high school intern thing.” Agent 2 says. “I just assumed he had a kid.”

“I mean, who knows, Spider-Man might be his kid.” Agent 1 says. “Tony isn’t exactly a nun.”

“If you guys are done,” Clint says, “we’re here. Maybe we should get on with the mission.”

“Shit, were our coms on that whole time?” Agent 1 asks. There’s a chorus of “yes”s over the speakers.

–––

Peter has gotten to the point where he hates being home alone. He had gotten used to it, but then Wade moved in. Now he gets antsy when the apartment is quiet. His friends can’t complain, though, it means they get invited over more.

After MJ absolutely trashes the three of them in MarioKart, Johnny announces that he’s ordering a giant pizza, the biggest ever made. He ends up only ordering a large.

Even though his home is full of sound and friends, Peter still feels off. He is preoccupied with...some things… “What’s up?” Gwen asks, because of course she notices.

“It’s nothing, really.” Peter says.

“Come on.” MJ says. “You know the rules, none of us are allowed to keep big secrets anymore.”

Peter sighs heavily and ruffles his own hair. “I’m just...kinda…” He sighs again. “Having a..Uh…”

“Out with it!” Gwen says.

Peter’s face turns bright red and he hides it in the neck of his shirt. “I’m kinda having a sexuality crisis.” He drops his shirt in time to see Gwen and MJ exchange a look. “What was that for?”

“What?” MJ asks.

“That look.” Peter says. “You two shared a look. What was it for?”

“There was no look.” Gwen lies.

“Yeah, I saw it too- but also, sexuality crisis?” Johnny says, his attention split evenly. “What the hell? Did my stunning good looks finally get to you? It’s okay, I figured it would happen eventually. Just let me know if you need to get it out of your system, name a time and place. I’ll be there.”

“Johnny, shut up.” MJ says. “Okay, there was a look, but like… we kinda already figured that out.”

“What do you mean?” Peter asks.

“Well…” Gwen’s eyes drift to the kitchen, specifically the paper covered fridge. “We have a theory.”

Peter didn’t think he could get more embarrassed, he was wrong. “Also, I’m willing to bet good money…” MJ walks over to the walk in closet that was a poor architectural design choice for a living room, but a great find for a photographer. Peter is up and blocking the door before she can get to it.

“You can’t go in. The development process is delicate, you know that.” Peter says. “We took film together.”

“Are they photos of him?” MJ whispers.

No.” Peter lies.

“Don’t whisper.” Johnny says. “I’m already so confused, don’t keep any more secrets.”

“Peter has a crush on Wade.” MJ says loud enough that they can all hear.

“I do not.” Peter says. “That’s- it’s absolutely- totally ridiculous, I can’t believe you’d say that- I don’t-“

“Okay.” MJ puts her hands up in surrender, but she’s grinning like the cat who got the canary. “Whatever you say, man.”

“Mean.” Peter says. He can’t think of an insult better than that because his brain is spinning completely out of control in embarrassment.

Chapter Text

Wade turns in at around 3am, leaving his shoes and most of his suit strewn about the living room and hallway. He doesn’t know when Peter’s bed became open to him at any time, but it has. The first few times he slept there, Yellow and White lost their shit. How could he deserve to do something like that? So he stopped...but then something magical happened. He woke up one day and Peter was in his bed. Neither of them prefer sleeping alone these days. The boundaries aren’t just broken, they’ve been swept up and neatly disposed of in the trash. They’re gone.

Peter is facedown in his mattress when Wade opens the door. He briefly looks up, but doesn’t change his position. Wade flops down next to him and sighs. He’s tired, but in a good way. There was a comradery with the SHIELD agents that has him thinking that maybe he’s been wrong about working in teams all this time, maybe it’s not so bad having someone around to watch your back.

{until you ruin it}
[which you will]
{it’ll all go up in flames}
[it always does]

He cracks his eyes open to find Peter staring at him, as the brunette often is. Wade still doesn’t understand why, but he is beyond the point of being made uncomfortable by it (at least most of the time, everyone has bad days). There’s a look on Peter’s face that he is just too sleepy to try and decipher. “What’re you doin’ up so late?” He asks, his words slurring a bit.

“I got in about an hour ago, but I wanted to make sure you got home safe.” Peter says.

Wade chuckles. “I’ll always come back safe to you, baby boy.” He says, and Peter feels his heart speed up just a little.

“Wade, I think I need to tell you something.” Peter says. “I think...I might- maybe have… feelings for you-“ He is interrupted by Wade starting to snore. A part of Peter is relieved that Wade wasn’t awake to hear his confession. He knows all that Wade has on his plate right now, and how hard that has been for him. It’s so, so selfish to even consider piling more on. That’s what he’d be doing, adding more confusion into Wade’s life.

Peter rolls over and opens his nightstand drawer, storing the newly developed photo inside. When he had heard Wade’s footsteps in the hall, he quickly laid flat on top of it to hide it. He doesn’t even want to think about Wade’s reaction if he had seen Peter staring at a picture of him at 3am. Sighing, he pulls the covers up to his chin. “Goodnight, Wade.”

–––

Peter had hoped that he would wake up before Wade, so that he could be out first and not have to see him. He just needs some time to get over being embarrassed and confused, and he’ll be good. He wasn’t so lucky. He just hopes that Wade doesn’t notice any distance and think it’s something else, something bad.

“I slept like a fuckin’ baby.” Wade says, yawning at the dining table.

“Did you have a good first mission?” Peter asks.

“It was...great actually.” Wade admits. “A lot better than I expected. The SHIELD agents gossip like little old women.”

“Yeah? What’d they say?” Peter can already feel himself slipping back into the comfortable life he and Wade have been building here, like nothing happened last night. He didn’t think that would be possible, but here he is. Here they are.

“That Stark proposed to Pepper Potts because you didn’t want to join the Avengers- they think you’re out of your mind, by the way.” Wade says.

“I knew it!” Peter says. “He swore that he hadn’t actually planned a press release for my joining and I knew he was lying. I can’t believe he proposed as a cover.”

“Yeah, apparently he bought the ring like...four years before he proposed, and he’d just been carrying it around ever since.” Wade says. “Playboy my ass, shoulda known he was a hopeless, soppy romantic.”

–––

Peter drops by his aunt’s place later to see her, because she has been calling him all week. He knows, he’s a terrible nephew...but he’s so busy between school and his three jobs. He stops dead in the kitchen because, seated at the tiny dining table in front of the window that lets in the most sunlight, is Tony freaking Stark. “Uh.” Peter says, glancing at his little paper bag of croissants.

“Peter!” Tony says. “How’s it going? Haven’t seen you in a while.”

“It’s...fine.” Peter says. “You know, school’s tiring, but I’m managing.”

“I was having a great chat with your Aunt May.” Tony says. “She was telling me all about your new boyfriend.” May slaps him on the arm.

Peter honestly feels like he might pass out. Does everyone have to get involved in this? “That’s weird, because I don’t have a boyfriend.” Peter says, brushing it off. “When would I have the time?”

“Pretty easy when they live with you.” Tony says. “Anyway, I gotta get going. Give me a call sometime, both of you.”

“Maaay.” Peter whines after Tony is gone. “He doesn’t need to know my personal business…”

“Someone needs to know, and you don’t seem keen on knowing it yourself.” She says. “Come on, honey, when are you going to ask him out?”

Peter sits down, puts his head on the table, and sighs heavily. “You’ve been talking to MJ.”

“Maybe.” She says.

Peter groans and sits up to glare out of the window at MJ’s aunt’s house. “It’s just a little crush, alright?” He admits. “Doesn’t mean it needs to become anything. Besides, he’s got so much going on in his life right now, he doesn’t need any relationship drama on top of it…”

“Peter, maybe I’m wrong, but he seems like the type to always have a lot going on in his life.” She says. “MJ thinks he likes you too.”

“I know he does.” Peter says, thinking of all the times before they moved in together that Wade hit on him. Sure, he was joking sometimes...but only half-joking, and only because he didn’t think Peter would ever, in a million years, respond to it.

“So what’s the problem?”

“I don’t know.” Peter admits. It’s not the whole truth. There are a million problems. Wade’s past, Wade’s uncertain future, neither of them have the time or energy right now, Wade is trying to get his relationship with his daughter back on track, the ex Wade won’t talk about….and those are just Wade’s issues. Peter is still keeping a pretty big secret that he should’ve told Wade a long time ago, he’s in the middle of trying to refigure his sexuality, he has not a single second of free time between the Bugle, college, the internship, and being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

“You do like him.” May says, watching Peter get lost in thought.

Peter takes a deep breath. “Aunt May, I think I’m in love with him.”

Chapter Text

After a few days, things have settled down a bit. Not that Wade even knew Peter was unsettled, or at least, he didn’t say anything. Again, Peter is surprised by how easy it was to slip back into what he can only describe as domestic bliss. In the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday, Tony calls him. He only answers because he is between classes with nothing else to do. He certainly doesn’t feel like talking about his friendship with Wade, even though everyone else seems to find it so interesting.

“How’s my favorite New York City bug?” Tony asks, and Peter has to resist the urge to laugh.

“I’m fine.” Peter says. “Overworked, stressed, underpaid- not that I’m asking for a raise. I mean, you pay above minimum wage, it’s just...I’m not only working for you…”

“Why don’t you quit and pick up more hours at Stark Industries, or something else?”

“Because working at the Bugle helps me control my reputation.” Peter says.

“It does? Really?” Tony doesn’t sound convinced and Peter can’t really blame him for that. “Well...what if I had an offer that would help your reputation?”

“Do you?” Peter asks.

“Yes. No use beating around the bush, you know I want you on the Avengers.” Tony says. “You won’t exactly get paid, but you will get a card hooked to the expense account and a room at the manor, rent free.”

“That...sounds amazing.” Peter admits. “I can’t leave Wade hanging like that. He can’t pay both halves of the rent on that apartment anymore.”

Anymore?” Tony asks. Even though he swears up and down that he doesn’t view himself as a father figure for Peter, his tone says otherwise.

“I...plead the fifth…” Peter says. “Look, that’s not the point. I can’t uproot and just go anymore. I have a life now, I… I have responsibilities.”

“You have a boyfriend.”

“No!” Peter hears how high pitched his voice gets. “No, oh my god. Wade is not my boyfriend, why does everyone think he is?”

“Because you say things like ‘I have a life now, I can’t just leave everything behind’.” Tony says. “Look, I’m not asking for a decision today. Just...now you know the offer stands.”

“I’ll think about it.” Peter says, and then they hang up. Peter thinks about it for a total of six seconds, most of which are used up on thinking about Wade.

–––

Just as he is leaving one of the classes they don’t share, Peter spots Johnny heading towards him with an introspective look. “I really don’t think I can do another serious talk today.” Peter says when Johnny is within earshot. “Definitely not if it’s about Wade.”

“It’s not.” Johnny says, and then he pops the hem of Peter’s long sleeve against his wrist. “What’s up? All summer, man. I didn’t ask, but I can’t stand it anymore.”

“Oh.” Peter says, and then sighs. “Right, I just… I maybe, possibly haven’t told Wade about it.”

“You what?” Johnny asks, looking a little shocked. “Peter, it’s been almost a year!”

“I know! I know that. You think I don’t know I’ve made a mistake and backed myself into a corner?” Peter says. “Now do you see why the whole crush thing is such a…thing?”

“Yeah.” Johnny says, nodding. “Yeah, you can’t start a relationship founded on secrets. Why are you hiding it anyway? Your scars are nothing to be ashamed of.”

“I don’t know!” Peter says. “I didn’t know if things were going to get serious enough, I didn’t know he’d stay long enough for things to get serious enough… I kept putting off telling him and now it’s too late. He’ll think I don’t trust him.”

“No he won’t.” Johnny says. “Who in the world could possibly understand more?”

Peter sighs. “I just…”

“Don’t hide because you think you don’t deserve what you want.” Johnny says. “I don’t think there is a reason. I think you’re self-sabotaging.”

“That’s deep.” Peter says. “I don’t know. Maybe you’re right.”

“I’m always right…” Johnny says. “Oh, unrelated note: your aunt wants you and Wade to come over for dinner with the rest of us. I mean...we’re all gonna go whether you do or not because she’s an amazing cook and we’re all starving college students.”

“Johnny you’re a Fantastic Four. You want me to believe they don’t feed you over there?”

“They don’t know me like May knows me.” Johnny says.

“That’s not creepy at all.” Peter says.

–––

Peter tries to get to his aunt’s place early, so that MJ doesn’t have time to start the gossip up...unfortunately, MJ is unbeatable. “Heeey, Peter!” She says with a giant grin on her face when he walks into the kitchen. May wouldn’t tell her, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t pick it up out of context clues anyway...MJ is like that. “Wade.” she nods at him when he comes in behind Peter.

“You can’t just drop a dinner party on someone in the middle of the day… I almost burned the apartment down trying to get these done in time.” Wade says, setting a tupperware full of chocolate chip cookies on the counter.

“Oh, that’s so sweet… you didn’t have to bring anything.” May says, and Wade huffs like it should be obvious that yes, he did have to. Peter’s mind is drawn back to a thought he has had before and continues to have, that Wade would be a pretty good boyfriend to bring home to meet the folks. Apparently he was right about that...since his whole little self-made family seems to be rooting for them to get together, some more forcefully than others.

After a little while, May shoos them all out of the kitchen except Wade, because the chefs need space. “I think he warmed up to her faster than I did.” MJ says. “He’s practically part of the family.”

“I know…” Peter says. He doesn’t feel right talking about Wade, since gossip hasn’t been kind to him in the past...but all he wants to talk about is Wade. Hell, all he thinks about is Wade. “It’s been almost a year and that’s so...wild.”

“You guys doing anything for the anniversary?” She asks. “Any special plans?”

“I don’t know if he does.” Peter says. “He’s really serious about Christmas, though, so I’m sure that comes first.”

“Follow-up: what are you getting him for Christmas?” She asks. Peter fumbles for an answer, because he hasn’t thought about it. Because it’s only August.

For some reason (because his brain hates him), lingerie crosses his mind. He doesn’t even suss out the details of who would be wearing it before his face turns tomato red and he has to count back from ten in his head. “Uh, n-no.” He says, and clears his throat. “I hadn’t-hadn’t given it much thought, actually.”

“Uh huh, sure.” She says, seeming completely unconvinced. She lets it go, which Peter will be forever thankful for.

Dinner is served after Johnny and Gwen arrive a little while later. Johnny, as always, gets showered in affection by May. She always said he never got enough of that at home, and that’s why his personality is so...Johnny. Wade has somehow found a “kiss the cook” apron, totally by accident, and it not a set-up by May or MJ at all. It’s weird- good weird -to Peter, seeing Wade be as at ease in a group of people as he is when it’s just him and Peter. MJ kicks Peter under the table, because he’s staring.

“This has got to be...like literally, the best mac and cheese in the world.” Johnny says after a single bite. “I know I say that every time, but...seriously.”

Wade, who has a mouth full of sloppy joe, nods in agreement. There’s sauce running down his hands, and while Wade has never really been a neat eater, this is him in rare form. Comfortable. Completely and utterly at home. Looking at him, he realizes the answer to the question Tony asked him at lunch. He wouldn’t trade this moment for the biggest, most luxurious suite in the Avengers Manor.

He goes out on the porch to deliver that news as soon as dinner is done and everyone has settled in to dunk cookies into milk at the table. The phone rings a few times and he starts to feel the bite of winter’s approach in the wind before Tony answers. “I’ve made up my mind.” He says.

“Oh, wow. That fast?” Tony says.

“I hope you didn’t set up another press thing.” Peter says, and Tony sighs. “I just can’t right now. I’ve got too much life going on and...it’s good. It’s really good. I feel better about where I am right now than I have in, well ever.”

“I’m glad, Peter.” Tony says. “I want you in the Avengers, of course, but if you’re happy...I’m happy for you.”

Peter doesn’t voice his skepticism on that. Tony has never made his dislike or distrust of Wade a secret, and now he thinks Peter might be dating the guy he openly distrusts and dislikes. “Thanks. I’m glad you understand.”

“Goodnight, Peter.” Tony says, and hangs up.

Wade claps him on the shoulder just as he hangs up. “Understand what?” he asks with a mouthful of cookie. “Sorry, didn’t mean to overhear.”

“Stark made another offer, asked me to join the Avengers.” Peter says.

“What?” Wade gasps. “Congratulations, man, thats-”

“I said no...again.” Peter says, and then he continues because Wade looks dumbfounded. “I’m enjoying this duo- sometimes trio with Daredevil -thing we have going on. I don’t need a fancy room in a mansion with a bunch of people I don’t really know, or complex equipment, or... any of that. I’m-I’m happy right here.” With you, he thinks, but doesn’t say.

Wade gets an odd, thoughtful look on his face and then stares up at the sky for a minute. Peter’s eyes never leave Wade’s face. “I’m pretty happy too, honestly.” Wade says. “I mean, I have days that I think I’ll probably always have, but...yeah.”

Peter feels himself grinning, and Wade blushes when he looks back down at Peter and finds him staring and smiling...again. He feels Wade’s hand slide up his shoulder ever so slightly until Wade’s thumb brushes his neck and he shivers. “Wade…” Peter’s voice is hushed, but the other man drops his hand and averts his eyes.

“Sorry...uh…” He coughs awkwardly. “We should- we should go back inside and help with the dishes.” He doesn’t wait around for Peter before going back inside.

“What the fuck just happened?” Peter whispers quietly to himself.

–––

He follows after a few minutes and finds Wade and his aunt washing dishes in silence, which she is too polite to feel off-put by. “Why don’t you let us take care of it, May?” He asks, feeling a little bad that he’s not just asking out of the kindness of his heart. She nods and lets him take over.

Wade is clearly on edge. Even more so now that he is alone in a room with Peter. Pete wants to tell him everything, wants to tell him about how he feels and how he was going to let Wade kiss him...but his heart breaks for the terror in Wade’s eyes when the other man finally meets his gaze. He’s scared that he fucked something up. Peter can’t pile on now. Wade deserves to feel happy and secure.

“Speaking of our sometimes trio.” Peter says. “When I was turning in the photos of our team-up to Jameson, I might have given us a name...which he ran with. We’re a very menacing Red Team…”

Wade stops scrubbing the plate he’s holding. “That’s…creative.”

Peter laughs. “I know, I know, but he put me on the spot. I had to come up with something.”

“You are a huge dork, Peter Parker.” Wade says, and the smile on his face when he shakes his head makes Peter relax.

Happy, comfortable. No matter what happens, this is his life now.

Chapter Text

Wade worked on Ellie’s costume for months, and it paid off. It’s a stunningly accurate Wolverine costume. Peter had to talk him out of actually using sharp claws. He settled for plastic instead of metal, thank god. Wade rented himself a pretty good Storm costume, and Peter broke the X-Men theme by dragging a three year old dracula costume out of his closet - which Wade is disappointed about.

“It’s so cheap to reuse costumes.” Wade says.

“Like any of those beer guzzling jackasses from the sixth least popular halloween kegger of 2013 are going to see me.” Peter scoffs. “It’s a good costume!”

While it’s true that Peter looks great, Wade doesn’t think that has anything to do with the costume. Sure, the goth/emo aesthetic suits him, but… cutie pie Peter Parker would look amazing in anything.

{4 out of 5 dentists agree}
[he is the amazing spider-man after all]

“Most of those guys probably had whoops babies and ended up out to a suburb, which is where we’re going.” Wade says.

“I still had red hair and wore my glasses back then.” Peter says. “They won’t know who I am.”

“Exactly how big of a nerd are you?” Ellie asks.

“Rude,” Peter says, “but yeah, I was a huge nerd.”

Was?” Wade asks.

“We look flawless.” Ellie says, ignoring Peter’s glare at Wade. “Squad goals, even if Peter isn’t an X-Man.”

“He’s reusing-an-old-costume-man.” Wade says.

Ellie looks at Wade thoughtfully, completely ignoring their married couple bickering. She’s used to that by now. “Dad, can we get a picture together, all three of us? Please?”

Wade’s stomach ties in knots and he forgets all about Peter’s old costume. He is glad he isn’t really Storm and doesn’t control the weather. Rain, sleet, hail, and tornadoes all at once. He is dead silent for what seems like an eternity, and Peter - poor Peter, standing there holding the instax camera he borrowed from MJ even though he thinks anything but developing photos by hand is sacrilege - just stands there like a deer in headlights. He knows how much Wade hates being photographed, which is why Wade’s reply shocks him.

“Sure.” Wade says. Maybe his voice isn’t steady, and maybe he feels a little sick to his stomach, but he said it.

Peter jumps at the chance before Wade changes his mind. The three of them huddle together and Peter snaps the photo when they pose. It doesn’t take long for the picture to become visible, and honestly, Peter is glad that Wade never looked at the photos he took before. Not that he doesn’t like those...this one is just more candid, more real, more Wade. He wants to keep it, but Ellie was the one who asked for the photo, so he hands it off to her.

She stares at it for a minute and then beams at Wade. “Thanks, dad.” she says. She has Wade’s smile, Peter notices. She’s desperate for memories with him - real, tangible memories that she can hold in her hands in case he leaves again. Peter can sympathize with that. He wishes he had more pictures with his parents, even a quarter as many as he has with his friends and May. He’d take even a few. They weren’t home much...they thought there would be more time.

“Anything for you.” Wade says.

[don’t make promises you can’t keep]
{yeah, you know you’re gonna abandon her again}
[and she’ll be broken]
{like you}

Wade smiles despite what they’re saying. They might be right, they probably are...they have a disturbing habit of being right in the worst way. It doesn’t matter, Ellie doesn’t know and never needs to know what they say or that they exist at all.

[it’s hereditary, you know]
(I know)
{so are X genes}
(I know)
[look at all the horrible little gifts you might have given her]
(shut up)
{shoulda had a vasectomy before weapon X}
(shut up)

“Do you want a copy?” Ellie asks, look at Peter. “You're a photograph nerd, I know, and I can use the copier at school for free.”

“That’s free now?” Peter asks, shocked.

She blinks. “Sure.”

“Make two copies.” Wade says. “I want one for my wallet.”

{are you out of your fucking mind?!?!?}
[it’s the day when the dead walk the earth, the dead being his confidence]
{it’ll re-die tomorrow}
[and we’ll all have regrets]
{typical of a morning after!}

“Really?” Ellie asks.

“Yeah, I worked hard on that costume, and the only picture I have of you is when you were little.” He says. “I need an update.”

 

---

 

“Let’s get this show on the road.” Ellie says as soon asher shoes touch the sidewalk of the middle class neighborhood they decided to trick or treat in. Homeowner's association sdo a great job of guilting people into giving kids a great halloween.

“We’ve got a haunted house to hit up at eight.” Peter says. “I have an alarm set in my phone so we don’t miss it.”

“You millennials and your phones.” Wade says. “What happened to telling time by the placement of the moon?”

“Okay, what time is it?” Peter asks, crossing his arms.

Wade stares up at the moon for a minute and then huffs. “Well, if you don’t know, I’m not telling you.”

 

“It’s about six.” Ellie says. “Generation Z is prepared for the fall of civilization.”

“So we have about two hours to get as much candy out of these credit-debted but still keeping up appearances yuppies as possible.” Wade says. “Easy.”

 

---

 

It is easy, as it turns out. What isn’t easy is keeping Peter from eating all the candy as they walk. “Quit!” Ellie shouts, smacking his hand away from the bucket yet again. “I’m the kid here.”

“I’m not picky, just give me whatever you don’t want.” Peter says.

“No, that’s for school tomorrow.” she says. “Terry Mackey is bringing the cards for five card stud, and he always brings more than one deck because his dad is a dealer in Atlantic City and he knows his business.”

“Is that still going on?” Peter asks. “Does Mr. Berkowitz let you use his room during lunch for a bag of skittles?”

“He retired two years ago, we play in the old projection room now.” she says. “I did play my first game in his room, though.”

“What the fuck kind of school is this?” Wade asks.

“Public.” Peter and Ellie say in unison.

“Anyway,” Ellie says, “I hate milk duds, but they’re one of the highest valued candies, so stop eating them. Do you know how good my poker face is, Peter? Do you? Do you know you’re looking at the two time five card stud champion?”

“Sorry, I didn’t realize.” Peter says. “It’s an honor, champion.”

“Yeesh, does this tween poker club have a bouncer?” Wade asks.

“Yeah, Jerry the janitor.” she says. “We pay him in pixie stix and he uses the sticks to hide coke.”

Still?” Peter asks.

“What the fuck?” Wade asks again.

 

---

 

Candy in tow, they make it to the haunted house just in time. Luckily, Peter knows just who he is dealing with and purchased tickets ahead of time. Ellie bounds past everyone in line, shouting “Move it or lose it, suckers!”

Wade hangs back with Peter while Ellie waits for them impatiently at the entrance. “Can you believe there was a time I didn’t think she was my kid?” He whispers to Peter.

“Seriously?” Peter laughs. He’s sure that there are a lot of things that Wade is hoping Ellie won’t inherit, probably every trait he has. Wade is good at overlooking his own good qualities. Tonight is really the first time Peter has spent enough time with her to get to know her. She has the same arrogant bravado that was all Peter knew of Wade for a long time, only hers doesn’t seem to be fake.

“Yeah, she’s a great kid.” Peter frowns. That would be why Wade doubted being her father, of course. “I was thinkin’-”

“Come on!” Ellie runs back to pull them on into the haunted house. “You two giant chickens. Dad, you’re over six feet tall, you’re not allowed to be scared of this baby stuff.”

“Oh, that’s the reason?” Wade asks, laughing at how excited she is about this. She’s always really excited about spending time with him. Since this is really the longest they’ve spent together out of extreme, life or death, peril, it makes sense that she’s like this.

{TOO HAPPY}
[i agree, something is about to go wrong]
{we’re right on the fringe of everything falling apart}
[i know they say it’s always darkest before the dawn, and it’s not how the physical world works, but-]
{it’s always happy before shit fucks up}
[...more or less what i was going to say]

 

---

 

It’s harder to ignore them when he’s laying in his bed alone. Historically, what they said has been accurate. All his life, he’s had moments where he was so, so happy...and then everything goes to shit. It’s one of the main reason why he led such an unfulfilling, tragic life up until this point. You can’t fall down if you don’t get up to begin with. His eyes are closed and he’s lost in thought, so the bed bouncing startles him.

“Hey.” Peter says, popping a milk dud into his mouth. Ellie finally relented them to him right before she had to leave. That makes him happy. He’s glad she and Peter get along. He’s glad that she wasn’t disappointed by one of her heroes - he knows that can be hell.

“Hey.” Wade says back.

“What were you gonna say before we went in?” Peter asks, and Wade hums as a response. He’s been tired and laying in this bed for over an hour, but for some reason it’s only now that Peter is here that he is starting to doze off.

[you feel safe]
{big mistake}

“You said ‘I was thinking’ and then Ellie dragged us into the haunted house.” Peter says. “What’s on your mind?”

“Oh, right.” Wade says. “The dinner we had with your aunt got me thinkin’ about how we should let her meet Ellie.”

{we??}
[you’re not married]
{despite what the grocery store people think}

“Really?” Peter asks. “You think Preston would go for it?”

Wade shrugs. “Maybe. May’s a good person and she deserves to know about the guy living in her nephew’s apartment.”

“You could tell her more than that, you know.” Peter says. “Barring the superhero stuff, because I don’t want her to know I’m out fighting crime in the middle of the night instead of getting eight hours of sleep.”

“What, tell her that I was a murderer for most of my life? That I’ve killed people brutally, disgustingly?” Wade asks.

“No.” Peter says softly. “Tell her you weren’t just willing, but were eager to give up really the only lifestyle you’d ever known for your daughter. Tell her you used to pay my rent because I’m too stubborn to ask for help, and that I never asked you to - and actually specifically asked you not to - you just did it anyway. Tell her you bought a whole months of groceries and put them in my fridge even though I only said you could stay one night.”

“You’re my friend, why wouldn’t I?” Wade asks. “You are a stubborn little asshole, that’s for sure. Didn’t you punch me for paying your rent once?”

Peter nods sheepishly. “You’re one of the good guys, Wade.”

[remind me why you didn’t kiss him on the porch the other night]

Chapter Text

After some convincing, Emily agrees to let Ellie go over to May Parker’s house for thanksgiving. Peter assures her that Gwen and MJ are out of town and that Johnny is giving dinner at the Baxter building another go, so no one will be there besides him, Wade, May, and Ellie. They head over at around six in the morning to help cook, which Ellie is not happy about.

“She raised me from the time I was six years old.” Peter says on the way over.

“So, you lost your parents too?” Ellie says. Peter notices the way Wade flinches at that. “I barely remember my mom…”

Peter nods. “Same. The only real memory I have of my parents is them telling me goodbye before they got on that plane that they died on.”

“Wow, that’s dark.” Ellie says.

{are you sure you’re not from the dc universe}
[don’t]
{would you rather I talk about “so you lost your parents too” instead?}
[definitely don’t do that]

“It’s thanksgiving, we shouldn’t be talking about such sad stuff.” Peter says. “What’s everyone thankful for?”

“Real thanksgiving was in October.” Wade says, and Peter chuckles. In all honesty, Wade hasn’t given any thought to what he is thankful for. His life has been shit for so long that scraping the bottom of the barrel for reasons to be thankful got too depressing to do. It’s a habit, at this point. “I’m thankful for Clint sticking his neck out for me again, even though he has in the past and it’s backfired. I’m thankful for Peter going splitsies with me on rent because there’s no way I could afford a place of my own anymore. I’m thankful for Emily letting me spend today with you.”

Ellie’s smile makes all of this worth it. It doesn’t even matter that she said she lost her parents. She got one of them back, and she has Emily, Emily’s husband and son, Peter, and now she’ll have May Parker. She has a bigger support group than he ever could’ve dreamed of having. He knows, no matter what happens with him, she’ll be fine. She’s stronger than he ever was. If he was to leave again, she would be heartbroken, but she would survive. It’s him that would wither and fade away, he knows, because she would never speak to him again.

“I’m thankful for you being here.” Ellie says.

“Me too.” Peter says, echoing her statement.

[fools]

 

---

 

Peter goes in first, because he feels that it’s best to give May some sort of warning. “Aunt May, Wade and I have a surprise for you.”

“Did you tell him how you feel?” She asks immediately. In retrospect, he should’ve worded what he said differently, but he forgot that he told her about his feelings.

“No.” Peter says. “It’s not that, it’s something else. Sit, sit.” He pats the couch in the living room and then rushes to open the door.

Wade and Ellie step inside and shut the door, and Wade puts a hand on Ellie’s shoulder. “May, this is my daughter, Ellie.”

May’s hands go up to cover her mouth, and she looks up at Peter, then back at the two of them. “You never said you had a kid.” She says.

“I’m kind of a secret.” Ellie says. May doesn’t ask any questions. Maybe she doesn’t want to know why an eleven year old needs to be a secret. Ellie elaborates anyway. “And also kind of a big deal, introducing me to people has to be pre-approved by like four different people at this point. Plus, it’s really early in the morning, so...honestly even I’m surprised I agreed.”

May chuckles and smiles at Wade. “Well, I see where you get your personality from.” She says. “Alright, let’s get started on dinner.”

“At...this hour?” Ellie asks. “Wait, does this mean I’m helping cook?” She looks up at Wade with a sour, tired expression.

“Yes.” He says.

“But dad, I’m a modern woman, I don’t cook.” She says. “I can either learn to cook or go to college!”

Peter snorts and goes into the kitchen with May. “Ellie..” Wade sighs. “You can do both.”

“What? That’s not what Hollywood taught me!”

May’s laughing can be heard from the living room, and then she pokes her head back in. “Do you want to help butcher the turkey?”

Ellie stares at her a minute, blinking in confusion, before answering. “Yes, of course I do.”

 

Peter gets kicked out of the kitchen early on, banished to the living room and tv while he peels potatoes. Ellie joins him after she helps butcher and butterfly the turkey - it’ll cook more evenly that way. Wade is a little sad that Ellie doesn’t seem to have an interest in cooking.

“She’s a good kid.” May says as she hands another stick of butter to Wade to rub on the turkey. He thinks it might be excessive, but he’s not going to complain.

“Yeah…” He says. “Her sense of humor is a little dark, but that’s my fault.”

“What do you mean?”

“I haven’t been that great of a father.” He admits, sighing. “I didn’t meet her until she was seven - I’d seen her, I kept up with her, but I was...I don’t know, I was afraid? Then, after she finally got to meet me, I disappeared for almost a year. After that, I showed up for birthdays, the occasional Easter, but...I wasn’t there for her. I vanished again the Christmas before last, and I thought she was never gonna forgive me for it. She didn’t talk to me for months. That was - look at me, a lot of bad things have happened to me. That was the worst. I wasn’t sure I was gonna make it through that.”

“Oh.” May says, and she’s very quiet.

[too much]

Wade cringes. “She’s well looked after, by someone I trust… but it’s not the same. I know it’s not the same.”

{STOP}

“Wade,” May says, and she puts a hand on his shoulder, which startles him. “I don’t know what’s troubled you so much in the past, but I think you’re doing just fine. You’re here now, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I guess.” He nods. “A whole year now, actually. A new, not so impressive record. Still, I just worry...I worry all the time that I’m fucking her up, you know? I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve got issues.”

“Answer one question for me?” He nods, so she keeps going. “Would you drop anything, anytime, and go to her if she needed your help?”

“Yeah.”

“Then don’t worry so much.” She says. “You’re gonna be fine, and so is she.”

Chapter Text

Wade couldn’t tell you why Ellie wants to visit Weasel again. She hasn’t given him a reason, but here they are at the doors to his bar at seven in the morning again. Only, this time, Preston is with them. It’s a school day and she isn’t about to let Ellie miss anymore school.

“I’m gonna start charging for these early wake-up calls.” Weasel says, yawning.

“You’re telling me.” Ellie says. “I had to get up at five in the morning so I could go over to Peter’s aunt’s and cook. Manual labor was expected of me and no one even warned me.”

“Wow.” Weasel says.

“Anyway, I have something to give you.” She says, and she pulls a photo out of her backpack. Weasel knows exactly what it is, and his face goes a little pale. He didn’t particularly want Wade to know that he gave her that. “I don’t need it anymore.”

Wade gives him a look that says they’ll discuss it later, but he doesn’t say anything about it. “Why… I mean, you could’ve kept it.” Weasel says.

She pulls out a second photo, the one that Peter took of her, himself, and Wade on Halloween. “I told you, I don’t need it anymore.” She’s grinning from ear to ear. “I’ve got a real one.”

Weasel takes the picture and looks it over. What a morning punch in the face. “You know the other one was real too, right?” He asks.

“Yeah, but that was before I was born. That was someone else’s family.” She says. “This one is mine- well, part of it.”

“That’s...That’s a great photo.” He says, giving it back to her and yawning again.

Ellie glances over to where Emily is standing with her arms crossed. “Well, I gotta go to school now.” She sticks out her tongue in disgust.

 

---

 

“Why did you give her that?” Wade asks when Weasel puts the picture back in its place behind the bar. “Why did you even tell her that was me?”

Weasel rubs his eyes. “I don’t know.” He says.

“Bullshit you don’t know.” Wade says in a ‘you’re in trouble’ voice, which Weasel is never interested in hearing.

“Alright, fine.” Weasel says. “I knew you wouldn’t tell her anything about you that wasn’t about you being so bad, such a terrible person, use me as a bad fucking example and do nothing I do. Kids don’t listen to that shit.”

“What’d you tell her?” Wade asks.

“Nothing. You came back before I got a chance.” Weasel says. “And for the record, I didn’t tell her it was you, she recognized you.”

“You shouldn’t have given it to her.” Wade shakes his head. “You didn’t even ask…”

“I knew you’d say no.”

“Of course I would’ve said no!” Wade yells. “Why does she need to know who I used to be? She’s never gonna meet that version of me. She’s never gonna have that un-fucked up Wade Wilson for a dad.”

“Okay, first of all, you were fucked up back then too, and you know it.” Weasel says, which Wade has to agree with. “And second, alright, I didn’t ask. Fuck me. What did you plan on happening if you run out on her again? She’d have nothing to remember you by.”

Wade stands up and the stool screeches against the floor. Weasel puts his hands up. “Whoa.” Weasel says. “Too far, I get it, but it’s true. Not to be a downer, but that’s why she’s so happy about that picture.”

Wade puts his head on the counter because he knows it’s the truth. “Fuck.” He grumbles.

“It’s a picture of her dad.” Weasel says. “Not some fictional, far off Wade Wilson that she’ll never know, but the dad she does know.”

“Fuck you.” Wade says into the counter.

[i told you that you were too happy]
{confirmed}
[ellie is still not sure we won’t abandon her]
{would you be???}
[she’ll never be sure]

“Me or you?” Weasel asks.

“Both.” Wade sighs. He pulls his stool back up and sits down again, all without lifting his head, which is a pretty cool feat.

“Look, I’m sorry.” Weasel says. He is, kind of, at least for saying it all at once and so harshly. “That guy in the picture isn’t dead.”

Wade props his chin on the counter. “He can’t die, not really.”

“Not what I mean.” Weasel says. “He’s not dead. I just saw him, in the photo your daughter has in her backpack. You’re...you’re really happy over there, aren’t you?”

{sometimes, maybe, a little}
[as happy as we can be]

“I guess.” Wade says.

Weasel rolls his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose. “God, I don’t know why I even asked.” He sighs. “Remember all that shit I said about the cute little notes on your fridge? Forget it, forget all of it. I was wrong. Chase your dreams, Wade. Be the good guy, because I want my friend back instead of this sad sack of shit that’s sitting at my bar at seven in the morning on a weekday. I’ve seen more than enough of him. He’s broken my tables, pissed on my floor, and drank all my liquor for free way too many times. If you’re happy, be happy. Stop fighting it.”

“That’s...deep.” Wade says. “And bold of you to assume I’m happy.”

“I’ve known you for more than half my life, Wade. Oh god, I’ve known you for more than half of my entire life…” He shakes his head. “If anyone can see through the seventeen layers of sarcasm you put on every morning, it’s me. And guess fucking what! You’re happy! You’re in love with him!”

Wade’s stomach jumps up into his throat and he’s sure he goes completely pale. “Don’t say that.”

“Why?” Weasel asks.

“Because…”

[it’s terrifying]
{I’M SHOOK}
[shut up]

“Why?” Weasel asks again. “Because it’s true?”

“Because every time I think about it I feel sick to my stomach.” Wade says. “Because he knows how to find me and stop me from hurting myself, and he’ll drop whatever he’s doing to save me. Because he puts chocolate chips in the basket at the grocery store and he doesn’t even like chocolate chips in his pancakes. And there’s a height difference so my clothes are way too big on him-”

“When was he wearing your clothes?” Weasel’s eyebrows go up in surprise. This whole thing runs deeper than he thought it did.

“He. Stole. My. Hoodie. You know the one I made a long time ago and wore to death? There’s holes in both sleeves because I kept picking at them.” Wade says. “He’s so fucking cute in it, I can’t stand to think about it.”

“Wow.”

“I know you think I should just...stay in my place, and I know you’re right.” Wade says. “I don’t deserve anything from him, and I’m taking huge risks just staying there. I know I should leave. You think I don’t know that?”

“You...really misunderstood what I meant when I was freaked out about all those notes…” Weasel says.

“Huh?” Wade’s eyes squint. “What...what did you mean?”

Weasel is silent for a moment. “I just don’t want you to get your heart broken again.” he says. “But I was right about one thing. It...is not just you.”

“What do you mean?” Wade asks.

“All that shit you just said, and the whole thing on the fridge…” He almost doesn’t want to say it. He doesn’t want Wade to get his hopes up, god forbid he’s wrong. Wade’s heart is extremely fragile, it always has been. It’s the only breakable thing left of him, and it’s made of glass.

{ONCE HAD LOOOVE AND IT WAS A GAS}
[i love blondie]
{SOON FOUND OUT, HAD A HEART OF GLASS}
[and this song is appropriate to our past]
{SEEMED LIKE THE REAL THING, ONLY TO FIIIIIiiiiIIIND}

“Spit it out, Weasel.” Wade says.

“I think he’s in just as deep.” Weasel says, and Wade sits up so straight so fast that he almost falls off of the stool he’s sitting on. Because now it isn’t just Clint who thinks Peter is flirting with him, it’s Weasel. It’s pessimist patty. Wade made up a patty cake rhyme about him. He patty caked with Cable against his will with the rhyme - and that wasn’t easy to do with that terminator arm of his.

“The fuck did you just say to me?” Wade asks. “I’m serious, I don’t think I heard you right.”

“You gotta get over this, Wade.” Weasel says. “You can’t keep coming in here and getting shocked every time someone wants to fuck you. It’s happened multiple times since you got your avocado face. You’re funny, and sometimes… sometimes that’s all you need.”

“When did we get there? You were saying he had a crush on me, I guess because I’m funny! When did we get to ‘he wants to fuck you’?” Wade asks, getting a bit hysterical.

“Why the fuck else is he wearing your clothes?” Weasel asks.

“What am I supposed to do with this, Weasel?” Wade asks. “What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?”

“Nothing!” Weasel shouts, exasperated. “Don’t do anything other than relax and stop pity partying yourself. If something is happening and you want it to, stop fighting it. You’re scared of love, I get it. It’s a dirty word for you, but here you are with your heart on your sleeve again because you’ve never learned a single fucking lesson in your life, and from the way you’re freaking out about it, it’s already too late to put it back in your chest.”

“Shut up.” Wade says, because he doesn’t know what else to say.

“I’m just so tired, Wade.” He says.

“Isn’t everyone tired of me?” Wade says.

“That is...exactly what I’m talking about. That, right there.” Weasel says, rubbing his eyes again. It’s just way too early in the morning for this shit. “Go home to your boyfriend.”

“He’s not-“ Wade starts, but he gets too flustered to continue, and storms out.

Chapter Text

“Good morning, baby boy!” Wade shouts. He jumps onto Peter’s bed, bouncing the sleeping brunet. Wade stands over him, grinning ear to ear with his hands behind his back. “Do you know what today is?”

Peter blinks in confusion and rubs his eyes. “Hnn?” He lays his head back on the bed, and Wade laughs. “Rude awakening day?” Peter asks, finally.

“Nooo, but good guess.” Wade lets himself fall to his knees on the bed, jostling Peter again. He almost falls over because he isn’t using his arms to help balance himself. This clues Peter into the fact that he’s hiding something behind his back.

“Whatcha got there?” Peter asks.

“Guess the day first!” Wade says. He’s practically bouncing with excitement. Peter smiles, because it’s good to see Wade so alive with energy. He has been pretty down lately, and Peter missed the bubbly Wade.

[it’s like last chapter never happened]
{can someone say AVOIDING IT}

“Well, it’s not Christmas yet...Thanksgiving is over- Oh!” His eyes light up when he realizes. “It’s been a year since you moved in, hasn’t it?”

Wade nods, his head bobbing exaggeratedly. “I got you something.” He says. “It was actually gonna be a Christmas gift, but you said last year that Christmas isn’t really your thing, and it turns out I have to go out of town until Christmas day, so… I figured today is a better day.”

“I haven’t gotten you anything yet…” Peter says sheepishly. “I get paid tomorrow.”

“You don’t have to get me anything, Petey-pie.” Wade dumps a wrapped box with a comically large bow onto Peter’s chest. “You gave me a home last year, like the little lost puppy I am.”

{and emotional support!}
[and, for whatever reason, affection]

Peter sits up and starts unwrapping the present with Wade cheering him on, quietly saying “open it, open it, open it” the whole time. He pulls the paper away to reveal a set of 1000 thread count egyptian cotton sheets.

“Holy hell…” Peter says reverently, swiping his fingers across the fabric.

“Right?” Wade says. “I bet you’ve never known such luxury in your life.”

“Wade, this must’ve been expensive.” Peter says, looking up at Wade with the big doe eyes that Wade adores so much. “Thank you.”

He sits up and wraps his arms around Wade tightly, with his head resting on Wade’s shoulder. Wade’s heart skips a little and he has to take a second to keep himself together. He hugs Peter back just as tightly. “I’m glad you like them, baby boy. You’re worth every penny.”

“I’m gonna make this up to you, I swear.” Peter says when he pulls back.

“Don’t feel obligated.” Wade says. “But don’t go expecting gifts like this all the time, because I can’t be your sugar daddy anymore. You’re getting socks for Christmas.”

Peter laughs. “That’s fine, my feet are always cold anyway.”

“I know! You’re always sticking your ice toes to my back.” Wade says. “Are you sure you don’t have ice powers?”

“Ice-Spider?”

“That’d be your ship name with Loki.” Wade says. “You ever heard of Frostiron?”

“...No, I can’t say I have.” Peter says, almost giggling again. He never really questions where Wade gets all this random, other-worldly knowledge from. “I’m guessing it’s Loki and Ironman, right?”

“Bingo!” Wade slams the bed with his open palms and bounces Peter again, which makes the brunet squeal and start laughing. “You’re getting the hang of the shipping business after all these years. I’m so proud, I could cry.”

“Don’t cry on my new sheets.” Peter says, curling up with them protectively. Wade responds by tickling him until he is shrieking and out of breath from laughing. God only knows what their neighbors must think at this point.

Wade then drags him, panting, out of bed. “I made breakfast too, Petey!” Peter doesn’t think he’ll be needing coffee this morning.

 

---

 

“It’s still weird having you drop me off for school.” Ellie says.

“I know, right? I’m not really a morning person.” Wade agrees. “It’s all just so…”

“Bright, yeah. I must get that from you.” She says. “I hate daylight and I wanna be a vampire.”

“Hey...you know, I have to go out of town for a few days.” He says. He regrets bringing it up even though he has to. She stops in her tracks, turns her head to look at him, and her expression is one of pure fear. “I’ll be back really late on Christmas eve, so I won’t...Ellie, I’ll see you Christmas morning, I swear.”

“But…” She says. Her eyes are killing him. She’s scared. He did that.

“I swear.” He says again. “It’s a mission from SHIELD, I’ll be back. Even if something did happen and put me out of commission for longer than a few days, and I miss Christmas. We’ll have our own Christmas. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t go...but I don’t. I have to.”

“Wade?” Both of their heads whip around at the same time to see MJ Watson herself standing at the edge of the intersection right outside the school. Wade’s whole head is buzzing, and he feels like he might pass out. Surely Emily can’t be mad about this, right? It was her idea for him to take Ellie to school. It’s not his fault.

They stand still as MJ approaches and then stops in front of them. “My sister has a doctor’s appointment, so I’m just dropping my nephews off.” She gestures to the two boys behind her, both of them look to be under ten years old. “Did..not expect to see you here.”

She looks at Ellie, who waves. Ellie looks at Wade, and then back at MJ before turning her attention to the boys. “Hey, race you?” She says, and they follow her lead as she takes off sprinting towards the school. Wade crosses ‘emotional confrontation avoidance’ off his list of traits that Ellie has inherited from him.

“So…” MJ says awkwardly. “Should I leave, or…”

“I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you can guess what I’m doing here.” Wade says, and MJ nods. “And that you should never, ever say a word about it.”

She nods again. “Does Peter know?”

“Yes, he does, but introducing her to people is...tricky.” He says. “Someone kidnapped and shot me in the head less than a year ago. No one can know about her.”

“I get it.” She says. “I saw nothing, and the boys don’t even know who you are.”

“Good. So we have an understanding.”

 

The boxes harass him the whole way home, and he suddenly feels all the eyes of the world on him again. He shouldn’t walk down any street for any length of time, shouldn’t be allowed to, but cabs are expensive these days. He isn’t exactly raking in the dough anymore.

{you were too happy again this morning!!}
[you don’t deserve anniversaries]
{only bad ones}
[you should’ve stayed upset about what Weasel said instead of getting excited, it would’ve been better in the long run]
{we’ve told you over and over again, happiness is bad news}

He takes the stairs up to their apartment to burn off some of the nervous energy. Then, he goes straight to Peter’s room when he’s inside because he doesn’t see the brunet anywhere in the front rooms. Peter looks up from a book he’s reading on his brand new soft as heaven and made for sin sheets.

[what for]
{emotional dependency thing again?}

“Today’s your day off, right?” Wade asks, and Peter nods. He seems a little startled by how Wade burst into his room with such a random question. “We should get our friends together, all of ‘em, before Weasel has to go to work. I’ll call Ness too… It’s time you met some of my people.”

{THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA}
[I agree]
{WHAT ARE YOU THINKING}
[he isn’t, clearly]

“Uh...alright.” Peter says. “Is something wrong? You seem a little...intense.”

“Everything’s good.” He lies. “All good, I just… this is what normal people do. They get together with their friends and do things, do group activities. Oh! We should go bowling. Do people still go bowling?”

“I think so?”

 

---

 

Somehow, as if by magic, all of their schedules line up perfectly. Peter has to admit being a little nervous, especially since he gave Weasel shit on the phone during their only interaction. Then there’s Vanessa...Wade’s ex-fiance. Peter isn’t jealous. No, he’ll admit he’s nervous, but not jealous. No sir. He feels a little better when he meets Weasel and suddenly isn’t the most awkward person in the room.

“I can’t believe you’re dragging me outside when it’s daylight.” Weasel says to Wade when they’re all there.

“What’re you complaining about? The Torch is here, Weasel. Don’t you wanna make your move?” Wade claps him on the back and laughs when Weasel sighs.

“Don’t start with me.” Weasel says.

Vanessa and Gwen are the last two to arrive. Vanessa hugs Wade around the neck and Peter suddenly feels his heart in his throat. This is...going to be a long afternoon. “I was wondering when you’d finally stop being a sad boy.” she says. “Missed you.”

She whispers something in Wade’s ear while making broken eye contact with Peter, which Wade responds to by blushing and saying “Yeah, well”.

Peter spends most of the outing being sour. He doesn’t bowl well, either, as it turns out. Wade is winning, to no one’s surprise. After Peter’s third gutter ball, he says he’ll go get beers for all of them. Alcohol is a really bad idea at this point, he knows. He doesn’t have the best history with that. His alcohol tolerance is worse than his bowling game. He’s so lost in his own head that he doesn’t even notice that Vanessa followed him until she taps him on the shoulder. He almost spills the tray of beers he was handed.

“Can I talk to you?” She asks, and he nods. “You don’t seem like you’re having a good time.”

“Shit, I don’t mean to, it’s just…” He can’t exactly tell her the truth. “I don’t know if Wade told you, I work three jobs so I’m sort of permanently exhausted.”

“Is it me?” She asks, and Peter’s heart is in his throat again. “You wanna know what I whispered in his ear earlier. I told him that I think you’re cute.”

“Uh.” Peter says, because what the hell else is he supposed to say to that?

“Don’t worry, there’s nothing going on between us anymore.” She says. “We still have the chemistry, you can’t really get rid of that, but...it’s just friends now. Even if he hasn’t talked to me in a while.”

“That’s just been my experience being friends with Wade.” Peter says. “He ghosts sometimes, but he always comes back and even picks up conversations like they didn’t end.”

“Yeah.” She laughs. “You want some tips?”

“What..kind of tips?” He asks. He thinks, after their long friendship and especially this past year of living with Wade, that he kind of has him figured out.

“Sex tips.” She says, like it’s nothing.

“Wh-what? Why...why would I need- I don’t- I-” He splutters, and she looks like she’s trying not to laugh.

“Okay, I can keep them to myself.” She says, and she starts to turn around and go back to the rest of the group.

Peter realizes that he has a quick decision to make, and he doesn’t know how to make the right one. Oh well… May always told him to follow his heart. “Wait.” He says.

“I thought so.” She turns back to him with a grin. “Well, off the top of my head, wearing his clothes. I think it’s kind of a possession thing? I don’t know, but it drives him crazy. If you ever need to get your way, that’s how you do it.”

“Okay.” Peter says, remembering how unexpectedly quiet Wade had been when he caught Peter wearing his hoodie. Is this what that was about? “What else?” He’s here now, may as well dive into this conversation, learn all he can. It’s not like he is getting anywhere on his own. He lets Wade’s ex-fiance give him sexy tips about a man that he isn’t even dating, because he is Peter Parker and he makes weird, bad life choices. He tries not to think too hard about it.

 

---

 

Technically, he was lying to Wade before. He had bought him something for their anniversary already…it just wasn’t in yet. That’s one of the pitfalls of ordering things online - sometimes it doesn’t get to you in time. His package comes the day before Wade has to leave. He waits on it all day and then whisks it off to his room as soon as he picks it up, so he’s sure that Wade knows it’s a gift for him.

Peter just hopes he made the right decision. It’s not like Wade talked on and on about this or anything, it was just an offhand comment from years ago. Wade is at his door when he opens it, present - now wrapped - in hand.

“What’s that?” Wade asks.

“Anniversary gift.” Peter says. “It’s been in the mail a while.”

“But you said-“

“I wanted it to be a surprise.” Peter steps out and shuts his door, which leaves the two of them standing very close together. He hands the box to Wade. “So, open it. Be surprised.”

Wade puts a little space between them so that he has room to do so, and then he stares at the bottle he pulls out of the box for a while. “Fabric softener.” He says. “Peter- Pete, how do you even know about this? I don’t remember saying anything.”

“You said something about it after you wore my suit.” Peter says.

“That was like three years ago, how did you…” Wade trails off.

“Anyway, I noticed you haven’t had any since you moved in here.” Peter says. “So, I thought…”

“I mean, that’s because it’s $18 for a pint of it.” Wade says, and then he grins. “You really didn’t have to get me anything.”

Peter wraps his arms around Wade. “I wanted to, though. I wanted to spoil you for once.”

Wade giggles and hugs Peter back. “Well, I’m thoroughly spoiled, baby boy. Thank you.”

Chapter Text

Peter still can’t get over how much he loves these sheets. It’s the greatest gift he has ever gotten, he thinks as he slides back and stretches out like a sunning cat. Wade has brought an era of soft things into his life, with his superior knowledge of laundry and fabric softeners. Which is why it’s not his fault that he has stolen Wade’s shirt...again. Not that Wade - or anyone - knows. Peter was so embarrassed by the hoodie incident and he’s been...secretly wearing his roommate’s clothes. He would never say that out loud, because it would sound way, way weirder...especially if they knew what Vanessa told him.

“Speak of the devil.” He says to himself when his phone chimes with Wade’s text tone.

“What r u wearing” it reads, and Peter’s heart skips a little. Of course, Wade doesn’t know what he’s wearing and this can’t be anything other than a joke.

“Clothes” he texts back, since he’s a sarcastic little shit. “What about u?” He adds after a few seconds.

“Nothin, I just got out of the shower” is the response to that. Peter doesn’t really know what to do with it. Wade’s on a mission with SHIELD, and he was probably grimy, sweaty and all too likely covered in blood. Peter knows that, logically, but his mind couldn’t be farther away.

“How r the sheets there?” He asks, because he still doesn’t know how to respond to Wade saying he’s naked. Apparently that was a thing before Wade moved in with him, because he can recall a time he caught Wade naked just out of the shower. Peter has never been one of those people to be nude whenever. He hates wearing pants, but he doesn’t want to be completely uncovered.

“OK.” Wade replies. “Good enough to lay on”

“You could be home on these nice ones you got me.” Peter types and sends before completely processing it.

It takes...a minute for Wade to reply. A very long minute that Peter spends with his face in his pillow. Why? Why say that? “Then I couldn’t be naked” is Wade’s response.

Peter thinks carefully about what his reply should be, and then still makes a bad life choice. “Says who?”

Again, Wade’s response is very slow. He isn’t usually a slow texter, so Peter knows he must be either A) laughing his ass off or B) utterly confused. Peter is currently the latter, and it’s his own damn fault. It takes so long that Peter thinks that maybe Wade abandoned this whole conversation - if you can call it a conversation - but eventually, his phone makes a noise. “U want me naked and vulnerable in ur bed I see! Well I’m sorry Petey I’m saving myself for marriage”

Good ol’ Wade Wilson deflection. He’s always been good at that. Unfortunately for him, for both of them, Peter isn’t done making bad decisions this evening. “You’d have to be naked here because I stole your clothes again”

“Like all of them?” Wade asks.

“I’m wearing ur shirt” he sends it, looks at it, and then his face lights up like a traffic light that’s telling him to oh god stop right now, what the fuck are you doing.

He definitely has enough time to sit and think about the decisions he has made tonight and all his life this time. He doesn’t know how they got into this game of chicken - sexting chicken. They’ve played many different games of chicken since they met. They’ve always been really competitive, and neither of them really knows how to stop at an appropriate time. They got kicked out of a buffet once because they wouldn’t admit they were full and back out. Peter threw up afterwards.

“What else?” Wade asks after an eon.

Peter’s breath leaves him in a rush, and he rolls over on his back to stare at the ceiling. He then looks down at his bare, pasty legs. The Spider-Man suit doesn’t make it easy or even possible to get a tan. He tugs at the shirt and looks at the little Deadpool logo on the right breast of the shirt. There’s one just like it on the back. It’s super worn in, and it’s almost transparent at this point. There’s what looks like a cigarette burn near the hem on the left side. Peter loves it anyway.

“Nothing” he texts back, because it’s the truth. Not because he wants to win this game of chicken, or because he is undeniably attracted to Wade, or because he makes bad life choices, but because...it is the truth. At least that’s what he’s going to tell himself.

Wade doesn’t reply for a while, so he decides to keep going. “These sheets are so, so soft. I keep rubbing my legs on them and I’ve been doing that pretty much all day. I haven’t been naked on them yet.”

“I’m jealous” Wade replies. “They’re amazing when ur naked”

Peter, who knows that he is already in too deep, sits up and pulls his- Wade’s shirt over his head. He then slips his briefs off and tosses both articles of clothing aside. He stretches out on the bed again, and as Wade said, it’s amazing. “Ur right” he texts.

“Guess what I’m wearing now” Peter texts because Wade doesn’t reply, even though he knows his last message makes it very clear that he took off his- Wade’s clothes.

“A full three piece suit because you’re a man of god and will attend church” Wade replies. Peter laughs, almost hysterically. It’s not that funny. He knows it’s not.

“Guess again.” He texts, complete with punctuation, because apparently he isn’t fucking around.

“Hmm okay. You’re complete bare ass naked laying on those sweet Egyptian cotton sheets I got you for Christmas. You’re thinkin ‘damn Wade knows his fabric’ and you’re squirming in them because it just feels so fucking good” is the reply he gets, and a few seconds later his phone vibrates in his hands again. “Soft and silky like the caress of a lover, the kind that makes you beg and plead for every touch of their fingers. And you’re rubbing your body into that soft, soft sheet because that’s what you want. You want that touch. You wanna beg.”

Peter was wrong, it’s Wade that isn’t fucking around, and Wade is not fucking around a whole lot more. Peter may as well have sent him a vocabulary list by comparison. His heart rate is up and he can feel the heat of arousal twisting low in his belly. He wasn’t even a little ready for a message like that.

“Egyptian cotton is made for fuckin, baby boy”

Oh.

With a message like that, he has to wonder if Wade still thinks this is a joke...or if he’s serious, because for Peter, things have just gotten extremely, dangerously serious.

“It’s just a game.” He thinks to himself as he lowers his hand to his erect cock and strokes it. He intends to reassure himself more, but all of his denials get lost in the thought of Wade whispering that last message in his ear. Wade’s voice would be deep and husky like it was on Valentine’s Day when they had to share a bed. That was the day Peter had the sudden, uncomfortable realization that he is attracted to that unfairly sexy voice.

This isn’t the first time he has had naughty thoughts about Wade, it’s just the first time he has let them get this far. Now he has to admit that he wants Wade to fuck him, because that’s where his mind has gone. The motions of his hand pause when a new thought occurs to him. He pulls Wade’s shirt back on - it’s almost as soft as the sheets and as a bonus, it smells like Wade - and he goes to the other man’s room. He feels a bit weird being in here, bottomless and with a hard dick, but he doesn’t really have a choice.

He spends a few minutes rummaging through the nightstand before he finds what he’s looking for. He never thought that he’d be staring down a bottle of lube and completely upending his sexuality at this point in his life, but here he is. Here he is indeed, stealing his roommate’s shirt, lube, and jerking off to him. For a minute, he thinks about climbing into Wade’s bed too, because at this point he doesn’t know what’s left of his dignity or boundaries. He doesn’t, he likes the sheets way too much.

His heart is pounding when he uncaps the lubricant, pours some into his hand, and spreads it across his fingers. He thought he might get to this eventually in his life - because it’s not only guys who like cock who have a prostate. He just...didn’t think it would be so soon. Or that he would be alone. He definitely didn’t think it would have anything to do with Wade Wilson. Still, it’s Wade’s fingers he imagines instead of his own when he leans back, closes his eyes, and rubs at his tight hole with slick fingers.

He has seen girls do this to themselves, and he has seen a couple (or maybe a few more than that) gay pornos where guys fingered themselves - out of benign curiosity, or at least that’s what he told himself at the time. Maybe not so innocent after all. The first finger slips in pretty easily, but the lube is cold and makes him gasp. When he eases the second finger in, he’s thinking about Wade’s hands and how long and thick his fingers are. The thought brings a blush to his cheeks. Wade would have more idea of what the fuck to do here. He knows that. The bottle is half empty.

What Peter does have an idea of, from various anatomy books and even some memes Johnny has sent him, is where the sweet spot is. The first brush of his fingers against it makes his back arch a little, so he presses harder. He has to bite his lip to keep from moaning Wade’s name. God, what has gotten into him? He strokes his leaking erection with his free hand while the fingers inside him thrust into his prostate. His cock twitches and he cums hard with a choked groan. As he lays on his bed panting and filthy with lube and cum, he thinks he ought to be embarrassed by how quick that was. He would be, if he wasn’t so dazed from the orgasm.

His breathing has almost returned to normal when he remembers that he put Wade’s shirt back on. He jumps up off of the bed, but he wobbles and almost falls because his legs are still unsteady. Shockingly, the sheets are still clean. Looking down, though, Wade’s shirt is an entirely different story. He rushes to the bathroom and turns the tap on cold. Regrettably, this isn’t the first time he’s had a cotton cleaning emergency like this.

While running the shirt under the cold water, he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and has to look up. “Wow.” He says to himself. “Look at you, you didn’t check yourself and see what happened? You fuckin’ wrecked yourself.” His hair is sticking out everywhere, his face is red, and there’s still a light sheen of sweat on his body. He opens the medicine cabinet so that he doesn’t have to look anymore, he’s too embarrassed.

 

–––

 

Wade stares at his phone and the last messages he sent. It’s...been a little while. At first he thought Peter must be coming up with something really good and really funny as a response. Now, his bag of chips is empty, and he has nothing to distract himself from this open, silent void that Peter’s text tone left behind.

[what has it been now?]
{a thousand years!}

“Sixteen minutes.” Wade says aloud after checking the time-stamp. “Sixteen whole minutes of nothing… did I go too far?”

[it was pretty out there]
{don’t you always go too far}

Suddenly he doesn’t feel so great about the game. Sure, it’s not the first time they’ve played like this. Peter is just...usually very sarcastic in his replies, and he has never been wearing Wade’s clothes during it before. He thinks he needs a second opinion.

He gets up and puts on clothes so he can walk down the hall to Clint’s room. Natasha isn’t on any of the hotel records, of course, but he knows that she’ll be in there too. She opens the door a few seconds after he knocks.

“What’s up?” She asks.

“I...need advice.” He looks past her to where Clint is sitting on the edge of the bed, remote control in hand and mouth slightly agape. He looks like he has been there for a while.

Natasha goes over and taps him on the shoulder, startling him out of his tv trance. “Wade needs you.” She says. It’s a bold thing to say about someone who prides himself on never needing anyone, ever (even if that is an awful, terrible, long-running lie).

Clint grabs his hearing aids off the nightstand and follows Wade back to his room. Wade doesn’t say a word until the door is shut. “So, I did something stupid.” He says, once they’re safe inside.

“How?” Clint asks. “You haven’t left the room... What’d you do?”

He opens the messages and hands his phone to Clint, because he doesn’t think he could read it now. “This.” He says.

Clint is silent while he reads, and then he grins, which Wade thinks is rude and uncalled for. “Holy shit.” Clint says. “Can I use that last line?”

“Uh, okay.” Wade says. “It’s been like twenty minutes and he hasn’t said anything.”

“He’s jerking off.” Clint says so abruptly and matter of fact that Wade can’t think of a single thing to say, he just makes some sort of confused, choking noise in response. Clint’s grin gets bigger, which again, is rude as hell.

“It’s not funny.” Wade says when he gets his tongue untied. “It’s not a joke.”

“You don’t think it’s possible?” Clint asks.

“No.” Wade answers immediately.

“Well what other explanation is there?”

Wade’s voice ceases to work again and he throws his arms up in the air. Clint has a point, and he hates that. Peter has never, in the history of their friendship, had a problem with telling him that he overstepped a line. He’ll let Wade tightrope walk across it all day and all night, but the moment it’s crossed, baby boy is a force to be reckoned with. So he wouldn’t give Wade the cold shoulder, he would’ve said something. Weasel’s statement from before echos in his head “you can’t keep coming in here and getting shocked every time someone wants to fuck you”. His friends have reached a consensus, and he doesn’t know what to feel about that - other than terror.

{THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER EXPLANATION}
[he got sucked into another dimension]
{NO ONE WANTS TO FUCK YOU}

“But…” Wade says and then doesn’t continue. The sentence is lost.

“Goodnight, Wade.” Clint says, and his voice is a little softer, a little less...Clint Barton. “Maybe he fell asleep?”

It’s a lie made up to appease Wade, and Wade knows it. He knows Clint doesn’t believe it. He just doesn’t know what to do with any of this. “Night.” He says in a kind of squeaky, embarrassing voice. Then, he passes out from stress like a pet traumatized by a vet visit.

 

–––

 

“Sorry I fell asleep” is the response Wade gets in the morning. He wakes up with his heart racing and his head already spinning. So, he had nothing to worry about at all. Peter is tired, he’s always tired. He’s the sleepiest person Wade has ever met.

He lays flat on his back in bed and sighs in relief. “Sure u did” he texts back, because it’s safe now.

“I’m gonna do laundry today, is there anything u want to go in the wash?” Peter asks.

“Whatever shirt ur wearing. Get ur spider cooties out of it before I get back”

The only response he gets after that is “lol”.

 

–––

 

When he gets back, Peter has indeed done the laundry. A couple of pairs of jeans, a bunch of unpaired socks, some of Peter’s shirts, and a single Deadpool shirt (it’s old, from the OG days of Wade making his own merchandise). He puts it on.

{why does it feel like we’re playing with fire}

Peter is eating a bowl of cereal when Wade walks into the kitchen and opens the fridge. Of course the brunet didn’t do any shopping the three days he was gone. He’ll just have whatever sugar-filled nonsense cereal Peter is having. For someone who is such a snob about eating fruit in his pancakes instead of chocolate chips, Peter does eat a lot of unhealthy food.

Wade hears a choked noise behind him and almost drops the milk. He turns to see Peter’s tomato red face and milk dribbling down his chin because he choked on his cereal. Peter is frantically trying to clean up himself up and his face is only getting redder. Wade looks down at the emblem on his shirt, back up at Peter, and cocks his head to the side. “Made a mess there, baby boy.” He says. Peter makes some sort of wheezing noise and looks at Wade with wide eyes.

[ah, there’s the fire]

Chapter Text

Wade is glad, for once and the first time, that he has to leave his and Peter’s place. He’d has to change shirts to even get Peter to look at him, and he doesn’t want to think about that. He’s on a new mission now, to not disappoint his daughter on Christmas day. Things went smoothly and he got back on schedule, which she still doesn’t know. The moment he opens the door, he’s ambushed by Ellie jumping into his arms. Of course she would be watching through the window or standing by the door instead of opening her gifts.

“I’m so glad you’re here!” She says. He hugs her and then sets her down.

“I told you I’d be back.” He says, and she’s beaming. Whatever happens with Peter doesn’t matter right now. Only one thing matters: Ellie.

“Now I can open my presents.” She says. “And you can open yours.”

“You got me something?” He asks her, and then he looks up at Preston, who shrugs.

“Here. You first.” She says, holding out a small white envelope that looks stuffed.

When he opens it, he finds a bunch of small bills. Ones, tens, and a few twenties, a lot of them. About three hundred dollars worth of them. “What-what is this?”

“You gave up your business for me.” She says. “You used to buy me lots of stuff whenever you came to see me - and I don’t care about that, I’d rather just see you. I know you can’t buy all that anymore, and I know that means you can’t buy things you need anymore either, like pain killers.”

“How do you even know that?” He asks.

“I raked leaves all fall, I’ve been shoveling snow for the past month, and I sold the halloween candy I won in five stud.” She says, ignoring his question. “Dad, I want you to have it. I don’t need anything.”

Wade tries to fight back the tears in his eyes, but he can’t, so he pulls her into a hug instead. “Thanks, kiddo.” He says. “You know you didn’t have to do this.”

“I wanted to.” She says. “You can stop beating yourself up now. I forgive you.”

He starts openly weeping at that, because it’s not something that he ever expected to hear. He would understand if she didn’t, if she never trusted him again. How could he not? She pats his back while he cries, like he thinks no kid should have to do with their parent.

[she’ll regret this]
{if she lives that long}

 

---

 

“Remember when you asked about my friendship with Wade?” Peter asks from his perch at the corner of the rooftop. Matt is sitting beside him with his head tilted to the right, listening in on the city.

“Yeah, and you lied when you answered.” Matt says, without missing a beat.

Peter is silent for a long, long time. Yes, when Matt asked if they were just friends, Peter might have lied and said they were. Can it really be considered a lie when you aren’t sure what the answer is? He decides not to acknowledge that comment, anyway. “Well, there was a, uh…a happening.” He says. He can’t put it another way. He doesn’t want to try.

Matt sighs heavily, slowly. “I knew this was going to happen.” He says. “I knew it.”

“Did you get a premonition?” Peter asks jokingly, trying to lighten the mood. He kind of wishes he hadn’t said anything.

“No.” Matt says. “I’m gonna be frank with you, it’s a bad idea.”

Peter frowns. “Why?”

“Because, If you’re not careful, you’ll end up tearing each other apart.” Matt says. “You’ve never really been dumped and Wade is a flight risk with a porcelain heart. And he is good at breaking his own heart.”

“I know that already.” Peter says.

“He’ll make one misstep and consider the whole thing over. He’ll leave. You might never see him again.” Matt says. “He’ll think he’s protecting you, and he’ll never get over it.”

“What do you think I should do, then, if you’re such an expert?” Peter asks. He’s a little annoyed, but he did bring the topic on himself. He can’t necessarily say that Matt is wrong, either.

Matt shrugs in response. “When you figure out how to deal with testy lovers, let me know.”

 

---

 

“I don’t care that we didn’t get invited to the Avengers New Year’s party.” Peter says for the third time today. The end of the year is approaching and with it, the fabled, coveted Avengers New Year’s party. “I mean, why would we be. We’re not Avengers.”

“Except you could’ve been, but you said no.” Wade points out, and Peter sighs.

“Is Stark snubbing me because I said no?” Peter asks, and Wade shrugs. “Whatever, we’ll just have our own party. Call up your friends. I’ll call mine. We’ll have a great time right here. Who needs a mansion?”

Wade chuckles, because it’s funny seeing Peter all in a tizzy. Especially since Peter has been avoiding him since he got back after Christmas. Not that he hasn’t also been avoiding Peter. “I really only have two people to invite.” Wade says. “And one of them is a bartender.”

“And I’ve only got four.” Peter says. “Okay, that’s fine. It means less liquor and food we need to buy!”

“It’s gonna be a hot party with seven, maybe eight people if the party goes until after three.” Wade says.

“Don’t be a party pooper, Wade.” Peter puts his hands on his hips and Wade smirks.

[there he goes again]
{mamma mia}
[sucking us back into the comfort zone]
{when he could be sucking us in other ways}

“What are your resolutions?” Wade asks, to distract himself from the boxes.

Peter looks at the ceiling and stays that way for a minute. His resolution is to stop being such a coward about his feelings for Wade, so until midnight on the last day of the year, he’s free to be just as much of a wuss as he wants to be. “To graduate college.” Peter says. “And to quit one of my jobs. I’m getting to old for this shit.”

“You’re twenty three.” Wade says, laughing. “Where are you old?”

“My bones, Wade, my bones.” Peter sighs.

 

---

 

Vanessa winks at Peter on her way in, and he flushes. Wade still wonders what the hell they talked about at the bowling alley. MJ, who Wade hasn’t spoken to since their little run-in, corners him soon after the party starts.

“We can’t talk about it.” Wade says immediately.

“It’s not that. All water under the bridge there, I get it.” She says. “This is about Peter.”

“...Peter?” Wade asks, confused.

“Yes, Peter.” MJ says. “He hasn’t had his heart broken before, not really. Gwen and I both broke up with him, but it wasn’t like that. He knew, he supported us.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Wade asks.

“Don’t play dumb.” She says. “This is pure big sister rage energy coming at you right here. If you break him, I’ll rip your balls of and feed them to you.”

{hot}

“They’ll grow back…” Wade says.

“That just means I’ll get to do it a second time. Don’t fuck with me.” She says. Part of him thinks it’s funny, since he is a highly trained, immortal mercenary and she, by all appearances, is a short, scrawny-armed college student. Part of him is terrified because she is dead serious.

“Got it.”

“Good.” She smiles. “Now we can go back to being friends.”

[we’re friends?]

“Uh...okay?” Wade says, still deeply confused by this whole conversation.

 

---

 

Predictably, Peter gets drunk. He’s a lightweight who doesn’t know what he can and can’t handle. After everyone goes home, Wade is left to care for him again. Not that he minds, because Peter’s splotchy, red, drunk face is cute.

[he tried to kiss us last time]

“When will I learn?” Peter asks, his voice echoed by the toilet he’s currently leaning over.

Wade laughs, because it’s just too cute, his little drunk Petey. “No idea. As Weasel reminded me the other day, I’ve never learned a lesson.” He says. “Let me know when you figure it out.”

[your little drunk Petey?]
{ours}

“Ugh.” Peter groans and sits back on the tile floor. He looks up at Wade, who is leaning against the sink. The same sink he washed the shirt out in, which he can’t bear to think about right now. He’s sure that he looks just as much like a hot mess now as he did then. “I envisioned tonight going a lot better than it did.”

“What’re you talkin’ about?” Wade asks. “Everybody had fun.”

“Did you?” Peter asks.

[aside from that weird interaction with MJ]

“Yeah.” Wade says. “Small get togethers are better for me than big parties anyway. You ready for bed?” He holds out his hand and helps Peter stand up.

Peter is still very wobbly and sick looking. “Carry me…” He says, but he squeals when Wade picks him up bridal style. “I didn’t think you’d actually pick me up.”

“Peter, how long have you known me?” Wade asks.

“Right, true. I don’t know what I was thinking.” Peter laughs. “It’s just...you’ve been distant the past week.”

“So have you.” Wade points out.

“I don’t wanna be that way.” Peter says. “You’re my best friend.”

“That’s some shade on your other friends.” Wade says after he puts Peter down on sheets he wishes he could hop into too, but he won’t. He doesn’t want a repeat of the last time Peter was drunk.

“Not really...They’re all close friends, but you…” Peter says, and then he’s interrupted by Wade pulling his blanket up over his mouth and tucking him in. He tugs it back down. “You get me.”

“You’re a sweetheart when you’re drunk.” Wade kisses Peter’s forehead before going over to shut the light off.

When his hand touches the doorknob, he hears Peter grumble in discomfort again. “Please stay.” Peter says softly. “Please...I don’t feel good.”

“That’s because you’re drunk, Petey-pie.” Wade says. He hesitates in the doorway.

{do it}
[don’t you dare get in bed with him, he’s drunk]
{do it}

“If it’s about last time, I swear I’ll behave.” Peter says, and he sits up in bed. Wade can see the hall light glimmering on his eyes. “Please, just stay? I need you.”

Wade’s heart shatters into a thousand pieces. “Okay.” He says softly.

[this is a bad idea]
{it is and i’m so on board}

Wade sinks into the soft sheets and snuggles up to Peter, putting his arms around him. Peter sighs happily and falls asleep almost immediately. Sure, they’ve slept in the same bed multiple times now, but this is...different. This is cuddling. This is him left awake to listen to Peter’s quiet, even breathing. “God damn it.” He whispers into Peter’s back. “You’re breaking my heart every day and you have no idea.”

Chapter Text

Peter wakes up at four in the morning, which he never does, and probably will never do again. He gets up this early because he has a plan. Earlier in the week, he stashed streamers, confetti, and glitter under his bed. Their kitchen is going to be ruined after today, but he doesn’t care. Peter has never made a cake in his life that wasn’t out of a box, and he’s terrified of doing it today. He does it anyway. He has never made frosting before, but he does that anyway too. When he’s done, he has a pretty impressive cake to show for his work. It’s cooked through and the frosting tastes good, which is all he can hope for with his skills.

Similarly to how Wade woke him up on their roomie anniversary, Peter switches the light on and gets on the bed. He bounces it while softly repeating “Wade, Wade, Wade” over and over until the other opens one eye. “Get up, I have a surprise for you.”

“Is it a good surprise?” Wade asks groggily.

“I hope so.” Peter says. “Come on.” He grabs Wade’s hand and pulls him up out of the bed, dragging him to the kitchen, also similarly to their anniversary.

Wade stares at the cake for a minute and then looks at Peter, bewildered. “What’s this?” He asks.

“Today is sometime in February.” Peter says. “Happy birthday, Wade.”

“You made me a cake?” Wade asks, and Peter nods. “And covered the kitchen in glitter and confetti?”

“And streamers.” Peter points them out. “The cake is from scratch, too. I got up early to do all this.”

“...Why?” Wade asks quietly.

“Because it’s your birthday...sort of.” Peter grins. Wade isn’t freaking out yet, which he thinks must be a good sign. “It was already past February when you told me last year, so I’ve been waiting. I’ve been looking up cake recipes for months now. I wanted to surprise you...so, surprise!”

Wade stares at the cake a little longer, and then his eyes follow the line of streamers that Peter draped over every piece of furniture in their kitchen. “It’s…Pete…” his voice sounds shaky, then he turns and pulls Peter into a tight hug. “It’s a great surprise. Thank you.”

“Are you crying?” Peter asks, a smile on his face.

“No, you’re crying.” Wade says. “You fucking sap. You threw me a surprise party.”

“I don’t know, I think you’re the sap.” Peter counters. “You’re crying because I made you a cake.”

“Shut up, sap.” Wade says, and Peter giggles. Wade still hasn’t let go of him, and he really doesn’t mind. He could live like this.

 

---

 

“So, what’re we doing for Valentine’s Day, lover boy?” Wade asks Peter suddenly, during a Lost rerun marathon. Peter’s heart flutters.

“Well, sweetheart…” Peter says, sitting up. He had been laying on the couch with his feet in Wade’s lap. A risky move, his recent behavior considered. “We’re both broke, so...I don’t know.”

Wade grins, happy that Peter picked up the nickname game. “You know I’m a master chef. Tell me what you want and I’ll make it, but pick something fancy.”

“Should I run out and get candles?” Peter asks. “And rose petals?”

“If you don’t mind.” Wade says. “You know I like atmosphere.”

Peter giggles. “There’s still glitter on the floor from your birthday, so we’re good there.”

“You ever have creme brulee?” Wade asks.

“Oh, no. No. No blowtorches in my kitchen!” Peter says, and Wade laughs.

“It’s your kitchen is it? I don’t see you complaining when I’m making you every meal you eat.” Wade says. “Besides, you can put it under the broiler. The torch is just for flair.”

“Okay, I’m willing to consider it without open flames.” Peter says.

“Scouts’ honor.”

 

---

 

Peter tries to help in the kitchen, but Wade keeps punting him out with hip bumps. “I can chop vegetables, you know.” Peter says. “I’m not completely useless. Your cake was proof of that.”

“I don’t want you lifting not a one of your pretty little fingers, baby boy.” Wade says. “Let me treat you.”

“But you always cook.” Peter whines. Wade has been extra, extra affectionate with him since he made that birthday cake. He doesn’t mind...but it’s killing him.

“That’s because I love doing it, silly.” Wade says. “You’re always so complimentary of my cooking, too, which is a bonus. It’s like you never tasted food before - which I know isn’t true, because your aunt is a fantastic cook.”

“Can you imagine what I was eating when I moved out?” Peter asks. “I ate...so many ramen noodle cups.”

“You can make those good, too.” Wade says. “That’s something else I need to show you...dressing up microwave meals.”

“Why? Do you plan on moving out and not cooking for me?” Peter asks.

“I mean…” Wade’s voice gets quieter. “I assume you’ll get married one day, start a family, all that.”

“Maybe, but can’t I just hire you as my personal chef?” He doesn’t say how utterly unlikely it is that he’ll ever get married now that he knows how he feels about Wade. It’s not impossible, but he can’t imagine it.

Wade snorts. “What are you gonna pay me with?”

“Praise.” Peter says. “And I’ll let you win in monopoly.”

“Every time?” Wade asks.

“Every single time.” Peter nods.

“Okay, deal.” Wade says. “I’m your cook for life.”

Peter grins, because that sounds just perfect, if he’s honest.

 

---

 

They set the table with candles, turn the lights down, and fling rose petals all over their house. Peter thinks to himself that this doesn’t look like the living space of “just friends” at all, but he doesn’t say it. He wonders how far Wade is willing to carry this joke, since he was willing to take the sexting game pretty far. Peter took it farther. All the way, in fact. So, if Wade thinks he can take this Valentine’s Day ruse into the bedroom...he’s right. Peter almost hopes he does, even though he’s terrified that Wade will suddenly come to the realization that he isn’t joking and freak out.

“This is really nice.” Wade says. “I missed doing this shit.”

“You’re a romantic at heart, I know.” Peter says. “You’ve said so.”

“Well, no one ever believes me, but it’s true.” Wade says, twisting pasta on his fork. “I love all this sappy stuff. I always have...just haven’t had anyone to do it with for a while.”

“I’m glad I can be of assistance.” Peter says, and he hums when he tastes the food. “Excellent as always.”

“You say assistance as if you’re not enjoying this just as much as I am.” Wade says. “You’re a sap, too. I’ve known it for a long time now.”

“Oh you have, have you?” Peter grins. “What else do you know about me?” Peter props his chin on his hand and bats his eyelashes. He’s being dramatic and knows he must look pretty ridiculous, but Wade thinks it’s funny. That’s all that matters.

“Wow, Leo much? Asking me about yourself.” Wade laughs. “I know you’re a really, really good friend to have in bad times. I’ve fucked you over so many times and yet here you are. I don’t get it Pete, but thanks.”

“I’ve always believed in you, that’s why.” Peter says without hesitation, and Wade pauses mid-bite to stare at him.

“Thanks.” Wade repeats quietly.

“I know some things about you, too.” Peter says.

“Impossible.” Wade says, smirking. “I’m an enigma of mystery and confusion.”

Peter smiles. “You’re loyal to your friends, you’re a good dad.” He says, watching Wade’s face intently. “And you have the most gorgeous, genuine smile that I’ve ever seen.”

{ex-fucking-scuse me?}
[gorgeous]
{what the fuck are you talking about, Peter?}
[it’s been a long time since we heard that word]

He knows that he is pushing his luck, because Wade glances up with that fear in his eyes again. Peter doesn’t know who hurt him, but he’s just going to keep tiptoeing over these eggshells until he gets somewhere. He’s never been one to give up easily, after all. Wade doesn’t really acknowledge the comment, but he is very quiet for the rest of the day. They watch a show from the recommended list on Netflix, and, for once, they don’t talk over the TV. Not that Peter is paying anymore attention than usual. He has his head in Wade’s lap, and he’s staring up at him. Wade has been absent-mindedly petting his hair for a while.

“Wade, how many times have you had your heartbroken?” Peter asks, out of the blue. Wade’s hand stops moving in Peter’s hair and he looks down at the brunet with a confused expression.

“That’s a weird question.” He says.

“Is it?” Peter asks. “I mean...it’s Valentine’s Day, and we’re both single. It’s kind of relevant.” Plus, Peter wants to know who hurt Wade so much that he gets scared whenever Peter nudges the boundaries of their friendship.

“Okay… Do you mean by significant others or just in general?” Wade asks.

“Partners.” Peter says.

Wade sighs and looks up at the ceiling. “I don’t know… kinda lost count. There was a guy that broke my heart a few times. Looking back, though...I really shoulda known better than to fall for him.”

“That’s not always how it works.” Peter says. “Sometimes your heart just says ‘fuck you’ and does whatever it wants.”

Wade laughs. “Ain’t that the truth? I’ve been married four times now.”

“Jeez.” Peter says. “You know, in some states, you can’t even get married again.

“I hope that’s not a thing in New York.” Wade says.

“Why? You planning on asking anyone?” Peter asks. “The clerks at the grocery store will be devastated if it’s not me.”

“Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint them.” Wade chuckles. “Besides, who else would I marry other than the great Spider-Man?”

 

They stay like that until after dark, long after Peter starts yawning. Wade sticks his finger in Peter’s mouth after the sixth time in a row he yawns, and Peter bites down lightly. “Go to bed if you’re tired, baby boy.” Wade says.

Peter releases his finger and sits up, stretching. “I guess I should.” He says.

“You need your beauty sleep.” Wade says, even though he really just wishes Peter would lay back down and fall asleep in his lap.

Peter lingers on the couch, staring down the hall at his bedroom door. He doesn’t really want to go. “Well, night…” He says quietly and stands up. He glances back at Wade before he goes.

[what are you doing]
{will you just kiss him already}
[you’re killing us]
(I don’t want to ruin it, I don’t want to ruin him)
{get it over with}

Wade is tense until he hears Peter’s bedroom door shut. At this point, everyone he knows is telling him to go for it. He knows what’s stopping him. It’s the thought of everything going south after the fact. He doesn’t think he could take it again, and he has too much in his hands to throw away now.

Chapter Text

Peter wakes up first for once, and again he’s glad that Wade seems to be sleeping through the night more. He lays there, all calm and content in his nice, soft sheets, until he remembers what the day is. “School is over!” He shouts at full volume. “Fuck yes!”

Wade opens his door a few seconds later. “You scared the hell out of me.” He says. “What are you shouting about?”

 

“I graduate today!” Peter says excitedly.

“Oh shit, that’s right.” Wade says, and he sits on the bed next to Peter. “I’m proud of you, baby boy. Maybe now you’ll finally be able to get some sleep.”

“I know, right?” Peter lays back and sighs, closing his eyes. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do with all the extra hours. Maybe I’ll take up hobby photography again...I miss it.”

“No, sleep.” Wade says.

“There’s a graduation party tonight. You wanna come?” Peter asks. He cracks one eye open to see Wade frowning. “You don’t have to.”

Peter’s phone rings before Wade can reply, and it’s Tony Stark, so Peter has to answer. “Good morning, Mr. Stark.” He says.

“Hey, Peter.” Tony says. “I just called to congratulate you! I’m proud of you, I really am.”

Peter grins dumbly. “Thanks, I appreciate it.”

“Okay, so I didn’t just call to congratulate you.” Tony admits. “I want to set up a meeting with you...and Wade Wilson.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah, you heard right.” Tony says. “Don’t worry about it, just come by around noon tomorrow. I know you’re both free.”

“O...kay…” Peter says. “Bye Mr. Stark.”

“Please call me Tony. You’re too old to call me Mister now. It’s getting weird.” Tony says. “Goodbye, Peter.”

“Well, that’s a thing.” Peter says, putting his phone down. “Stark wants to meet with us.”

“...Us?” Wade asks, confused.

“Yeah. He asked for you by name.” Peter says.

“Oh, that can’t be good.” Wade rubs the back of his neck. “I don’t remember doin’ anything...doesn’t mean I didn’t.”

“He didn’t sound mad. Maybe it’s all good.” Peter says. “So, about that party. You in?”

“Yeah, sure.” Wade says. “What’s the worst that could happen.”

 

---

 

Wade didn’t go to college, so he didn’t know how wild and reckless college kids could get. He assumed that movies were exaggerating, but they weren’t. In fact, no movie prepared him for Peter’s fellow graduates. They’re destroying the campus quad at this point. Peter isn’t involved in all of that, at least, but he is...again...drunk. Which Wade is worried about because of a previous conversation they had about keggers. Wade hasn’t left his side all night, not that Peter seems to mind that.

“Pete, you know we have to meet with Tony tomorrow, right?” Wade asks him for not the first time.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine!” Peter says. “I’m in my twenties. Hangovers aren’t real.”

“That’s not true.” Wade says. “I’ve seen you hungover.”

“It’s all a clever ruse.” Peter giggles, stumbling into him. Wade catches the brunet in his arms to keep him from falling down. “You know, Wade, I really… You’re a great person and I-” He stops short and his face pales.

“Don’t do it.” Wade says, right before Peter falls to his knees and retches until he’s dry heaving.

“I wanna go home.” He says, spit running down his chin. “Wade, I wanna go home.”

“Okay, baby boy.”

 

---

 

Peter groans when Wade turns his light on at eleven the next day. He let the spider sleep as long as he could. “Petey-pie, time to wake up.”

“No…” Peter pulls his pillow over his face. “Please turn the light off…”

“That bad, huh?” Wade asks. “You were in rare form last night.”

“God, I feel awful. What did I even do?” Peter asks.

“You threw up practically on me.” Wade admits. “I mean, you missed- mostly.”

“I’m so sorry.” Peter says. “Did you carry me home?”

“I’m glad I didn’t go to college.” Wade says. Not that it saved him any trouble, but still. He chooses not to tell Peter that, yes, he did carry him home.

“I need a shower...and aspirin.” Peter says, clutching his head. “Tony’s gonna think I’m a hot mess.”

“You are a hot mess.” Wade says, and Peter sighs.

“Thanks.”

 

---

 

Half an hour later, Peter looks somewhat presentable, and they are standing outside of the Avengers’ manor. Wade has never been inside before, so he is extremely excited about it. Peter still feels like shit. They’re greeted by a small-framed man who looks petrified of Wade, and they’re ushered into an office that Peter assumes is Tony’s. Tony joins them a few minutes later, looking a little disgruntled.

He smiles when he sees the dark circles under Peter’s eyes and the way he is still holding his head. “Rough night?”

“You have no idea.” Wade answers for him.

Tony sits in a chair on the other side of a desk in the middle of the room. Of course it’d be in the middle of the room, it’s Tony Stark. He takes a breath before he speaks. “I’m just gonna cut to the chase.” He says. “Peter, you know you’re wanted here.”

{since when is Stark in charge of the Avengers}
[he was basically the initial member]
{true, but cap’s first movie was “The First Avenger”}
[so? movie directors and writers can be wrong. just look at Age of Ultron]
{ugh, yeah, okay}

Peter nods. “And I’ve told you no more than once.”

“Yeah.” He glances at Wade. “Well, now I’m extending that invitation to both of you.”

{...’scuse me?}
[I think he just asked us to join the Avengers]
{whaaat?}

Peter’s eyebrows furrow, but it’s Wade who reacts first. “What? What the fuck? Me? Are you serious?”

“The answer to all four of those questions is: yes.” Tony says. “There’s been a discussion - a long one, believe me. An agreement was reached, and so…” He gestures to the two of them.

“Me?” Wade asks again. “Holy fuck, what?”

“Are you finished?” Tony asks.

“No, I’m not finished!” Wade says, a grin lighting up his face, which makes Peter smile a little. “You’re talking about making me an Avenger. Me.”

“You come with references. Glowing recommendations.” Tony says. “Two of which are from existing Avengers. I’m guessing you know who those two are.”

“Oh my god, I’m gonna kiss Clint right on his beautiful, stupid mouth!” Wade shouts at maximum volume, and something clatters outside the office. “Is he here? I’m willing to do it, right here, right now.”

“Alright, alright, calm down.” Tony says. “Okay, we know what your answer is. Peter, what about you?”

Peter looks at Wade and then back at Tony. “Do we have to move in?” He asks, thinking about all the nights he’s shared his bed with Wade and how he doesn’t want to lose that.

“Not if you don’t want to, but the rooms will be available whenever.” Tony says.

“Then, I’m in.” He says. He doesn’t care that he just gave away that the reason he said no the most recent time was definitely Wade. His head hurts too much, and he isn’t sure he’d care anyway. Tony already thinks there might be something between them…and he’s inclined to let him, because in Peter’s opinion, there is something going on between them. He isn’t sure what, but it’s something.

“Well, then this meeting went great. You two can go home if you want.” Tony says. “We’ll give you a call if something comes up.”

“I’m gonna avenge the shit out of whatever happens.” Wade says, and then turns to Peter. “I’m an Avenger! Petey! I’m a hero!”

Tony sighs and leaves the room, which frees the air up for Peter to say whatever he wants. “You’ve always been a hero, you’re just gonna get an ID card that says it now.” Wade’s face flushes and Peter smiles. Definitely something.

 

---

 

On their way out, they linger near the floor to ceiling windows to catch the view. Upstate New York really is beautiful. Just as they tear themselves away from the scene, they bump into none other than Clint Barton.

“Hey, Wade!” He says, pulling him into a hug. Wade hugs him tighter and Peter can see tears forming in the corners of his eyes when they part.

“I really appreciate this.” Wade says. “I won’t let you down.”

{whoa whoa whoa}
[don’t make promises like that]

“I know you won’t.” Clint says, and then he turns to Peter. “You gonna introduce me to your friend?”

Peter speaks before Wade can. “I guess I should tell you now. I mean, we’re gonna be working together.” He holds out his hand for Clint to shake. “Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man.”

Clint shakes his hand. “Welcome to the team, Peter.” He says.

“Hey, I’m gonna go take the Uber, if that’s alright with you?” Peter asks Wade.

“Yeah.” Wade says. “I know you had a tough night.”

“We need to catch up anyway.” Clint says, shaking Wade by the shoulder. His grip is pretty tight.

When Peter gets into the elevator, Clint turns back to Wade. “Oh. My. God.”

“Sheesh, you sound like Janice from Friends.” Wade huffs, brushing Clint’s hand off his arm. “What’s the big deal?”

“What’s the big deal?” Clint repeats, louder. “Peter is Spider-Man. Your Peter is Spider-Man. And you two- oh my god!”

“We’re not-“

“I know, I know, but...still. You’ve always had a crush on Spider-Man.” Clint says. “And now you’re living with him. So, this is why I couldn’t meet your roomie before now.”

“Yeah. Peter’s pretty careful with his identity.” Wade says. “Honestly, it’s great. He’s a great roommate. I think he brings out a better side of me- uh, I mean- he holds me accountable for my actions, so…”

Clint grins. “I’m happy that you’re doing well.” He says. “You look… lighter.”

“Man, I feel lighter. I feel better than I have in years. It’s not all because of him, but he’s a part of it.” Wade says, staring down the hall at the elevator.

“Looks like you’re downright twitterpated.” Clint says, and Wade snaps back to attention. “Don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true.”

Wade starts to deny it, because that’s what he’s used to doing, but it keeps getting caught in his throat. “Shut up.” He settles on, finally, and then he changes the subject. “Oh yeah, you said you were gonna steal my line. How’d that work out for you?”

Clint blushes a bit and glances at his feet. “Well, uh, let’s just say you’re a wordsmith and leave it at that.” He looks past Wade to Stark’s office. “I came up here to talk to Tony, I just remembered. I’ll see you around!” He pats Wade’s back as he passes.

 

---

 

Peter is in bed again when Wade gets home. The last of their Advil was exhausted earlier trying to get him ready to meet with Stark, so Wade rifles through his bedside tables for anything like that. He doesn’t want his baby boy to be in pain, of course. What strikes him as odd is that he doesn’t have any lube - he usually stays on top of that. A Boy Scout is always prepared for any eventuality. He could’ve sworn he had half a bottle left somewhere, but obviously not.

“I’m gonna have to go shopping tomorrow.” Wade says, handing Peter the bottle of pills and a glass of water. “And you need to hydrate.”

“Are we out of something?” Peter asks.

“Yeah, TMI, but I’m out of lube.” Wade says. “Can’t have that.”

“Wow, really?” Peter says, as if he doesn’t know exactly how and why Wade is out. As if the bottle isn’t now in his bedside table. “That’s like one constant with you. You always have KY or something.”

“Right? It’s a whole new me and all, but that’s a core trait I’d like to hang onto.”

Chapter Text

A heatwave hit NYC around June 12th and since then it’s just been hanging the fuck around. Peter is sprawled on the sofa in just his briefs and a long sleeve shirt and he is suffering. “Just put something cooler on.” Wade says for about the twentieth time. “Seriously. I don’t get what you’re trying to accomplish here.”

Peter responds by pulling the sleeves down even tighter on his arms than they had been, holding the seams in his clenched hands. “No.” he says, indignant. If he does, then Wade is going to see some things and know some things that he should’ve seen and known a long time ago.

“Heatstroke’s not as cool as you think it is.” Wade is dignified as ever, wearing just a loose shirt and boxers, which makes Peter’s heart beat off kilter. “Aren’t you supposed to be boy genius?”

“Shuuuut uuuup.” Peter whines. The heat is doing nothing for his mood. “It’s not your problem, I don’t know why you care.”

“Well sorry for not wanting you to die, I guess?” Wade pushes up from the chair he claimed for himself when he moved in. “Just.” He sits next to Peter in the small space on the sofa that doesn’t contain one of Peter’s limbs. “You’re so weird sometimes, and it’s me saying that.”

Peter only feels Wade’s hand on his wrist for a split second before his right sleeve is pushed up. “Don’t!” he shouts, uselessly. Wade’s thumb brushes over one of the little, years old scars there and he exhales audibly, shakily. Peter wrenches his hand away from Wade, snatches his sleeve back down, and stomps to his room.

He slams the door and throws himself face-down on his bed. He’s not even sure why. He’s not mad. It’s not like Wade was being unreasonable. Peter, wearing long sleeves in 100°F weather, is the unreasonable one here, and he knows that, but he didn’t want Wade to see. Because it’s selfish, right? After this long of hiding them when Wade so unflinchingly bares everything to Peter, trusts him that much. Peter thinks it must seem like he doesn’t trust Wade, and that’s not true.

Wade knocks on his door softly. “I’m sorry.” He says. Peter sighs heavily into his pillow. “I wouldn’t have done that if I had any idea. It’s not my business. Don’t be mad?”

Peter was very content to continue hiding himself away until that last part silently cracked his heart. He sits up. “I’m not mad.” He sighs again. “No way you could’ve known. It’s not like I ever said anything.”

“There was only so much of my baby boy wearing long sleeves in a god-awful heat wave I could take. Surprised you haven’t already passed out any.” Wade says, a bit lighter.

“Don’t stand out there and talk at the door. You can come in.” Peter says, and the door opens before he even finishes the sentence. He pushes up his sleeves, since there’s no use not doing that now. “Sit.” He pats the bed next to him.

Wade sits and crosses his legs. “So.” He says unhelpfully. “This weather, am I right?”

Peter can’t stop the grin that spreads on his face. “They’re old scars. From before I was Spider-Man.”

“I can see that. Some on both arms, too. Why?” Wade nods, but doesn’t seem like he wants the answer to that yet. He reaches for Peter’s wrist, but stops the action halfway with an uncertain look on his face. Peter holds out his arm for inspection. “I just. If you were still doing this to yourself, with your healing factor. No one would even know. You’ve been scuffed up since I moved in. Little ones like this, it’s an hour at most, right?” Peter nods and Wade frowns. “You seem pretty sure of that.”

“Sophomore year I sprained my wrist and had to wear a brace. I couldn’t really…uh.” He swallows, not sure how to continue that. Wade switches from watching his eyes to looking at and gently running his fingers over the scars. “I didn’t do it often, but I’d pick at them while they were healing so they’d last longer. And that was the-that was the part that, I don’t know, I guess…helped the most. Not that it ever really…” He sighs in frustration. Why is it so hard?

“I guess that didn’t really work when you got your healing factor.” Wade says, his voice quiet.

“Right.” Peter says. “I figured that out when my uncle was murdered. I hadn’t done it in a year but that night it was just…appealing. It was always just a short term fix, and an hour made it not worth it anymore. Then I started beating up criminals as Spider-Man, and that’s pretty therapeutic. So, I mean. It’s in the past. Don’t look so worried.”

“Why hide them?” Wade asks, finally looking up at Peter for more than 3 seconds. “It’s not like I was gonna judge you for it.”

“I know.” Peter pulls his arm away from Wade again and rubs the back of his neck. “I guess at first I didn’t really know how well this arrangement was going to work out, so I didn’t want to get that personal. Then later I felt like if I showed you, I’d seem like a giant asshole who didn’t trust you, and that’s not what it is.”

“You were way too young to have to fight that hard…” Wade says. His hands flex where they’re perched on his knees. “But those little marks, those are proof that you were bigger and badder than what was hurting you. You won and you’re here and that’s all that matters. I don’t know where I’d be if not for you…”

Wade looks down at his lap and clasps his hands together, feeling at some of his own scars there. Peter studies his face for a minute. Some of what he just said sounded like he didn’t mean to say it. Peter is about to ask if he is okay when Wade’s eyes meet his again and what Peter sees there stops everything he could’ve said in its tracks. Wade’s hands may be rough, but his touch is soft when he cups Peter’s cheek and leans forward to kiss him. Peter barely has time to realize that it’s happening before Wade is pulling away, shaking his head.

“I-I’m sorry.” Wade says. “I shouldn’t have done that, I just- I was thinking about what woulda happened if...if you weren’t here and I never met you. My life would be so much worse, and I just...I don’t know- I shouldn’t have. Pete, please don’t be mad-“

Peter isn’t having any of that. That was a short, guilty kiss - he wants time to savor the moment, this moment that he has been waiting literally more than a year for. He wants it to be amazing for both of them...and that won’t happen unless Wade is a thousand percent sure that he means it. He grabs the neck of Wade’s shirt and pulls him forward into a new kiss, a better kiss. Wade makes a squeaky noise of surprise as he is yanked and it takes takes a few seconds for him to react, blinking hard like he thinks this might not be real. Peter moves his hands up to frame Wade’s face and tilts his own head for a better angle and Wade gets the memo. He slides his hands up Peter’s arms and down to his waist, clenching the fabric in his hands and pulling Peter closer.

When he’s imagined kissing Wade, and he has, Peter never pictured gentle. He always thought that, if this happened, it’d be as their alter egos. Not to say that he never imagined something that wasn’t fueled by adrenaline and sexual tension, but when he did, he envisioned plenty of nervous giggling and full on laughing at teeth and noses bumping together. His heart jumps at the thought of that. For all he loves the hot and heavy alleyway groping and moaning daydreams that fill his mind if he takes a shower too warm, stays in bed a little too long in the morning, lingers his gaze a little too long on Wade when they’re out and about as Spider-Man and Deadpool, something about the softer side of where his imagination goes with Wade always gives him the most butterflies.

Or at least it did, until he actually kissed Wade. Now he’s sure that an entire migratory clan of monarch butterflies has landed in his stomach - in a good way. Wade is an amazing kisser. Peter moans softly and moves to straddle the other man’s thighs. He feels Wade tug him even closer, until they’re chest to chest and his shirt is twisted up in Wade’s clenched fists.

Wade backs off in the middle of Peter’s less than focused train of thought and licks his lips. Peter can’t even pretend to ignore the shiver that tingles up his spine. “Are you-You…Do-Why?” Wade mumbles. Peter moves his hands to Wade’s shoulders and he can feel the unsteady inhale and exhale.

There are a hundred things that Peter could say. A hundred reasons he could give. That he wants this, that he’s wanted this for a year, that it’s all he can think about, that he admitted to his aunt he’s in love with Wade - holy shit is he ever - but actions speak louder than words. Peter peppers kisses along Wade’s jaw to the hollow of his throat and bites down. Wade’s breath hitches and a whine escapes his lips. Peter can feel his pulse hammering - it’s not the only thing he feels, a certain something poking him in the ass considered - as he presses open mouthed kisses back up Wade’s neck to his lips, sliding his tongue along the scarred skin.

When their lips meet again, Wade pushes him back onto the bed and slips his tongue in to meet Peter’s. Peter realizes that Wade is between his open legs and could be doing much, much more than whatever wonderful thing he’s doing with his tongue that’s making Peter’s toes curl, but his hand stays on Peter’s stomach, a barrier. He knows that Peter probably hasn’t been with another man before.

Peter moans when Wade moves to suck bruises onto his neck, and his eyelids flutter. He arches his back and reaches to push Wade’s hand out of the way, making the other man fall on top of him. Good, that’s exactly where he wants the bulk of Wade’s weight, pressing down on him, and god, Wade is always so warm. “Off.” He says, breathless and hoarse, tugging at Wade’s shirt. “Take it off. I want you.”

Wade groans in response and sits up a bit to pull his shirt over his head. He then snatches Peter’s up. “Same with you. God, Peter...what the fuck took us so long?” Peter shifts to let Wade undress him, and it’s obvious that was a good move by Wade’s hungry growl. Peter thinks he might have ripped the shirt if it hadn’t slipped off so readily.

Wade sucks Peter’s neck, biting and groaning when Peter rocks his hips up. Now this, this meets Peter’s expectations. Finally, Wade lets go of whatever thought had him holding back and believing Peter didn’t really want this and sets a quick pace, rolling his hips in a way that makes Peter’s head spin. Peter presses his heels into Wade’s ass as an encouragement. “Fuck.” Peter gasps into Wade’s ear, and he revels in the moan Wade responds with.

It’s no surprise that the Merc with a Mouth is vocal in bed. Peter expected that, but he wasn’t prepared for how hot it’s making him feel. With how Wade is biting and basically ruining Peter’s neck, he’s trying to be quiet because he thinks Peter would be embarrassed if their neighbors heard anything. Peter braces himself, flips them over, and kisses him deeply, swallowing those beautiful moans instead of letting them get lost. “Make some noise for me, baby, it’s okay.”

Wade gasps, looking at Peter with wild, desperate desire in his eyes. His grip is tight on Peter’s hips as he starts babbling. “God, baby boy- what- You’re so gorgeous, oh my god, I… sweet, sweet Petey- baby, please-“ It hits the brunet suddenly that oh shit, Wade’s close. Peter rolls his hips and watches Wade’s head fall back on the pillow. “Oh fuck-“

Peter feels Wade’s jerking hips beneath him and smirks. He did that. The neighbors are bound to know what they’re up to now, if they didn’t already. He’s practically trembling when Wade looks up at him with hazy eyes. “Wade…” he moans, shifting on top of him. Peter’s head lolls back when Wade palms him roughly through his briefs. It takes seconds to finish him off, and he cums, shaking.

He rolls off Wade after he finishes, and they lay there panting at the ceiling for a few minutes. “That really just happen?” Wade asks.

“Yeah.” Peter says, breathless.

“What the fuck was that line, Peter? Since when do you call me baby?”

Peter chuckles and turns his head to look at Wade’s bewildered expression. “Since it makes you cum.” He says, and he swears he sees a blush paint Wade’s cheeks. Peter slips out of his now soiled briefs and sighs as he sinks into those divine sheets. “You were right Wade, they’re made for it.”

“Oh, now I’m hoping this heatwave lasts forever.” Wade says, and Peter shoots him a glance. Wade rolls onto his side and sweeps his eyes shamelessly over Peter’s naked body. Where was that confidence a minute ago? “Why don’t you turn over and show me what else you got to offer?” Peter rolls his eyes, but feels the blush creep onto his cheeks and down his chest. Wade follows it with a brush of his fingers.

Peter shivers and huffs a laugh. “Maybe next time.” He lets his eyes close.

Wade’s hand comes to a halt on his stomach. “Next time?” He asks, his voice quiet and insecure.

Peter forces his eyes open, even though he feels like he could sleep for the next few days. “You think you can get me off like that just once? C'mon.” He rolls onto his side and scoots until he’s flush against Wade. “By the way, you should probably change these...or just take ‘em off.” He runs a finger under the waistband of Wade’s boxers and snaps it lightly against Wade’s hip.

Peter is mumbling, sleepy in a post-orgasmic haze, and he can’t get what he knows has to be the dopiest grin off his face. Wade rubs Peter’s back for a minute before deciding that, yeah, he can follow that advice. He pulls his underwear off and lets Peter scoot even closer. “Naughty!” Wade gasps, when Peter’s hand immediately goes to his exposed member. “Don’t expect anything spectacular now. You shoulda done this a few minutes ago if you wanted a show.”

Peter giggles. “Sorry, been wondering since I saw you naked that one time…” He says. Wade continues absently stroking Peter’s back like he was before Peter prompted him to take his boxers off. Peter is careful to be gentle with his touching, because Wade is probably still really sensitive. He can’t help but be curious about what kind of dick comes with a Wade Wilson ego, even if the bravado is often fake. He’s soft now, of course, but he’s still definitely not small. “So when can I get the full show?” He asks in a hushed whisper.

Wade yawns and mumbles, “Wake me up in five.” His breathing starts to even out and slow down. Peter sighs happily and wraps his arms around Wade.

“I love you.” He says in a whisper against Wade’s chest. “I’ll make sure you hear that one day.”

Chapter Text

Waking up with Peter laying on his chest is really the first time Wade has felt content in a long, long time. For some reason, Peter likes him. For some reason, Peter believes in him. Maybe the spider-boy is just a saint, here to love the unloved and sinful. Unfortunately, his contentment is shattered by reality. The pure, plain and simple reality that he is Wade Winston Wilson.

[you’re just kidding yourself]
{how could he ever like a waste of space like you}
[even if he does, you don’t deserve him]
{pretending to be good doesn’t make you good}
[you’ve gotten greedy]
{taking more than you deserve}
[taking love]
{you never deserve love}

He slides Peter off of his chest, gets out of the bed, and starts looking for something to cover up with. He had fantasized so many times about this happening, and it still beat his best dreams (not in terms of kinkiness, but…). He should be happy about this happening, but he just feels uneasy. He feels like he is on the precipice of ruining everything.

{you are}
[can you be on the precipice of ruining everything when you’re already ruining everything?]

“Shut up.” He whispers to himself. “Just...shut up. You don’t have to pile it on, I already know.”

Peter mumbles unintelligibly and stretches. His eyes flutter open and land on Wade, who stands there, completely naked and afraid. “Where ya goin’?” He asks sleepily.

“I just, I can’t do this.” Wade says. That seems to wake Peter up more, and the brunet sits up in bed. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry… I just…” He waves his hands in the air trying to get the point across, but he doesn’t know what to say.

“I don’t know if I’m awake enough to have the ‘you’re not a bad person’ talk yet. Can you give me like three minutes and a cup of coffee first?” Peter asks.

“It’s not that.” Wade says. “Well, it is, but it’s not.”

“Okay.”

Wade sighs. “I’m doing the worst job of explaining this, but…” He desperately searches for something, anything, to cover up with.

“I’ve already seen you naked, there’s no point hiding now.” Peter says.

{damn, baby boy hittin’ us with those facts}
[there’s always a point in hiding]
{well, yeah}

Wade pulls the top sheet up around himself anyway. “It is that, but it’s not just that.” He says. “I have so much going on right now. Emily is basically sharing custody with me, which she said she’d never do. I have a job with regular hours. The katanas are up, I haven’t taken a freelance job that requires killing in more than a year.”

“It’s a whole new world for you.” Peter says. “I’m proud of you, Wade-”

“Shut up.” Wade says, and Peter smiles. “Look, it’s not- It’s not that I don’t want this, I do. I just don’t think I can handle another new thing right now.”

“And I’m proud of you for that too.” Peter says.

[what]
{who the fuck is happy getting dumped}
[he is getting dumped by us, to be fair]
{why the fuck are we dumping this hot piece of ass?}

“I’m sorry, what?” Wade asks in disbelief.

“It’s disappointing for me, sure, but… Think, a year or two ago, this wouldn’t have factored in your decision. You would’ve piled me on as another way to self-destruct without batting an eye.” Peter says. “You’ve never cared about yourself before.”

“I-” Wade stops. Does he care about himself? It doesn’t feel like he does, but Peter has a point. He has never, in the past, been one to say ‘too much’ to anything.

“I just hope this doesn’t stop you from sleeping in my bed during the winter because you’re like a portable heater and I would definitely miss the warmth.” Peter says.

Wade feels a smile start to tug at his lips, despite the fact that he wants to fade from existence. “Of course not… Winter is a while away, I should be over it by then, right?”

Peter stands up and stretches, yawning, and Wade’s breath catches in his throat. He didn’t get a good, full look at him before. Peter rummages through his drawers for new underwear and then bends over for Wade’s shirt. “I’m stealing this, by the way.” He says before he pulls it over his head.

“I changed my mind.” Wade says, and Peter glances up at him with all too innocent looking eyes. “I wanna have sex with you again.”

“Is it gonna upset you?” Peter asks.

“What’s one more emotional crisis?” Wade asks. “Up against the thousands I’ve had, this would be the best one.”

Peter grins. “No.”

“But…” He can feel himself pouting, and it scares him a little how Peter is already pulling him back into their little bubble of intimacy. It’s just...so easy.

“What you can do…” Peter says, coming over to rest his arms on Wade’s shoulders. “Is kiss me, maybe take me to dinner later. If you want any of that, I mean.”

Peter looks just as unsure as Wade feels, and for some reason, that makes Wade less scared about it all. He leans in and pecks a kiss on Peter’s lips, and leaves it at that. He doesn’t need to take it all at once, he realizes. That’s what he did last night, and yet...Peter is still here, with his arms about Wade’s neck, smiling up at him like there’s nothing else in the world that matters. “Where do you wanna go?” Wade asks.

“You pick.” Peter says. “You know all the good restaurants.”

He lets go of the sheet, which still stays up a bit because of how tight he had it pulled around himself, and wraps his arms around Peter. “This feels...so normal.” He says, sounding surprised.

“Yeah, it does.” Peter says, looking happy and content. Wade wishes he could be there with him. He’s close, but there’s a nagging voice in his head - two, actually - that says this is about to shatter, that it’s not real.

[it is about to shatter]
{and it’s not real}

“I think I might deserve something normal.” Wade says, ignoring them. “Normal-adjacent, at least.”

{NO YOU DO NOT}

Those are big words from Wade, and Peter knows it. He agrees, wholeheartedly. He rests his head on Wade’s chest, expecting to find the racing heart he has found so many times before, but instead...Wade is calm, his heartbeat is nice and even and slow. “I think so, too.”

Chapter Text

Wade has been crying since he found out that Ellie wants to go trick or treating with some of her school friends this year, instead of with him and Peter. There are several ways that Wade cries, and Peter knows that this one is a safe one. It’s a normal one. It’s just Wade being dramatic about normal, average life stuff.

 

“She’s gonna be a teenager, Pete!” Wade says, his lip quivering. “What am I gonna do then? How am I gonna not kill every boy that looks at her?”

 

“I fully think that isn’t gonna be a problem.” Peter says. Ellie has been in multiple fist fights at school, so he can’t imagine dating is going to be a thing they really have to go through. She’s more interested in making money and causing trouble than typical teen stuff. “Is she liking school anymore now that she can take extracurricular classes?”

 

“They don’t offer espionage and anarchy, so no, not really.” Wade says, and Peter snorts.

 

“That’s more of an after school activity.” Peter says.

 

“I don’t like the thought of her out there alone.”

 

“Wade…” Peter pulls Wade’s head to his chest. “It’s a whole group of kids she’s with. They’ll look out for each other.”

 

Less than an hour later, Wade gets a text from Preston detailing that Ellie ditched her friends and picked the lock on a neighbor’s door.


---


“Oh my god, Ellie, I can't believe you broke into someone’s house. You're lucky Preston was the one who caught you and not the police.” Wade says, facepalming. “Why?”

 

{stupid question}

[you know exactly why]

 

“It’s not like I ran away from home or anything!” She argues. “I was two blocks south, dad.”

 

“That's not an answer.” He sighs.

 

Natasha is watching them both with about half of her attention. The other half is lovingly devoted to the bag of flaming hot Cheetos she got from the vending machine on the way in. She knows as well as Wade does that Ellie isn't exactly a normal kid.

 

“The guy’s a spy. I was looking for…” She looks down at the floor, “evidence. I know it sounds ridiculous.”

 

Nat had pulled out records on the owner of the home Ellie broke into as soon as they were in the HQ, before this little argument broke out. With her noncheeto-y hand, she picks up a page with the owner’s picture on it and stares at it while she listens.

 

“A spy.” Wade repeats. “What did he do to make you think that?”

 

“He's always in mom’s business!”

 

“Maybe he's just nosy.” Wade says. “Lots of people are. Like, I don't know, people who break into other people's houses.”

 

“He asks about work. When he comes to the rare dinner parties he's always getting ‘lost’ on his way to the bathroom.” She says. “He's snooping. I don't know what for, because I'm 12 and don't work for shield.”

 

{tiny spy is now actual spy}

[a spy hunter]

{what's the difference}

 

Nat presses the comm button on the desk she's sitting at. “Get Director Fury on the line.” She says.

 

“Wow, really!?” Ellie exclaims, forgetting that she is in trouble.

 

{bonafide, Black Widow approved spy}

 

“So what’d you find in there?” Nat asks. Wade is still stunned in silence. Not that he didn't think his daughter would be good at espionage, just that he didn't think she would start so young.

 

“Well, I was rudely interrupted by my punk bitch friends ratting me out, so nothing.” She says. “I didn't touch anything except the lock.”

 

“When did you learn to pick locks?” Wade asks. “I didn't teach you that one.”

 

“There are a lot of weird kids at school. I'm a weird kid. I hang out with them.” She says. “Terry built a flamethrower and set his neighbor on fire.”

 

Wade stares at her. “What?” His voice is higher pitched than normal.

 

“It was an accident.”


---


Natasha holds Wade back after Emily takes Ellie home. “I’ve been waiting for an appropriate moment to tell you this, but I don’t think there will ever be one.” She says.

 

Wade’s head tilts in confusion. “This sounds...bad.”

 

“It’s about Ellie.” She says, and Wade’s stomach feels like it’s doing somersaults. “I debated on not telling you at all, but Clint insisted. So, here it is.” She pulls out a few pieces of paper that are stapled together and hands them to him.

 

It’s a bunch of scientific nonsense that he doesn’t really understand, but it makes him very nervous all the same. “What am I looking at here?” He asks.

 

“Your daughter’s DNA profile.” She says. His hands clench. She points to one line on the spreadsheet. “Preston talked about wanting this done for a while, and she finally gave in. There’s zero possibility that Ellie isn’t a mutant.”

 

“No, no…” He says.

 

{HOW LONG HAVE WE BEEN SAYING THIS}

[it hurts more than expected]

 

“What do I do now?” Wade asks. “Have you told Preston?”

 

“Yes, she’s known for about two weeks now. Like I said, I’ve been waiting for the right time to tell you.” She says.

 

“Does Ellie know?” He asks, and Nat just nods in response to that one.

 

“Is she showing signs?”

 

“No...nothing…” Wade says. Not that Ellie wouldn’t tell a soul even if she was. She doesn’t want him to know. She always tries to protect him. “Thank you for telling me.”

 

“You good?” She asks, looking at him out of the corners of her eyes, with her head tilted. “Clint has been worried about this. He doesn’t want you disappearing on us again. You’re an Avenger now, you have responsibilities.”

 

“What are the odds it’s dormant?” He asks quietly.

 

“I’d say about fifty-fifty.” She says, and he sighs.

 

“I’m not going anywhere.” He says. “How could I?”


---


Peter’s spidey sense is making him antsy for a whole fifteen minutes before Wade even gets home. Of course, Wade texted him to tell him that Ellie was okay, but he didn’t say anything else. That alone worries Peter. He doesn’t know what to think about the added bonus that his senses are going off. He’s sitting up in bed when Wade opens the door to his room. He doesn’t think he has ever seen Wade look so tortured.

 

“What’s wrong?” He asks before Wade has a chance to speak. He holds his arms out and Wade collapses into them readily. “Tell me.”

 

“Ellie’s a mutant.” Wade says, not lifting his head off of Peter’s chest. He feels Peter rubbing his back between his shoulders after he says that. Peter doesn’t know how he could possibly comfort him with words.

 

“Wade...I’m so sorry.” He says. “I’m so, so sorry… Maybe it won’t be as bad as it sounds? Maybe it’s something else? Maybe her bio mom had a mutation?”

 

None of that appeases Wade’s mood. “I wouldn’t be that lucky.”

 

“It’s not about your luck.” Peter says. “She’ll be okay, Wade… I know it seems really bad right now, and you’re scared. Ellie is a tough kid, and she has what you didn’t have: emotional support.”

 

{ya got us there}

[we never had that]

{emotional support who?}

 

“I know, I just- I wanted her to have a happy childhood.” Wade says. He pulls the blankets up and over his head, still with Peter’s arms around him. “I wanna go to sleep and start this whole day over. I don’t want to live in this universe anymore, it’s going shit just like all the rest of them.”

 

Peter takes a minute to adjust the covers and cuddles up to Wade. “Take a nap, I’ve got you.”

 

“Are you gonna be here when I wake up?” Wade asks. “Because I’m gonna wake up screaming. I know I am.”

 

“Yeah, unless I have to pee or something.” Peter says, and it puts the smallest, weakest smile on Wade’s face.