After a particularly difficult battle against a HYDRA faction that had left them bloody, bruised and tired, both agreed to use Wade’s teleporter to get them home to mend their wounds and cuddle their tiredness away, but as soon as the light enveloped them, they sensed that something had gone horribly wrong. Instead of their living-room in Queens, the sight that greeted them was that of a camp entrance, where they could see a bunch of armoured kids training with all kinds of swords, bows and spears, and even hand-to-hand combat. Kids who stopped dead in their tracks when they caught sight of a really beaten up masked man with a tattered suit, carrying a second one, missing his right arm, his left leg and several chunks of his chest and seemingly bleeding himself to death.
“I’m going to take a long shot here… and say that we are not in Queens, baby boy,” Wade grunted. Peter could only agree. Whatever that place was, it made his spider sense go haywire, sensing the power that irradiated from the campers kids in matching orange T-shirts. It was buzzing at the base of his skull. They didn’t know who all these teenagers were, but they outnumbered them and were extremely powerful, some of them even bloodthirsty.
It was something neither of them had ever seen before.
They saw one of the campers running off somewhere and shouting something about getting someone while two mounted figures were cautiously galloping towards them. Peter’s grip on Wade’s waist tightened and he tried to remember when during the teleportation could he have hit his head and started hallucinating, because there was no way he could believe his eyes.
“No fucking way.” Wade gasped. For once, it seemed like the Merc with a Mouth had been rendered speechless. He turned to Peter, wanting him to confirm that everything was alright and it was just his mind playing tricks on him, but, seeing how tense the vigilante’s grip on his thigh was and how tight he was holding his hand, Wade knew he had no choice but come to terms with the fact that it was not a mounted person who stood before them but, in fact a centaur, a creature he had always thought a myth. From the waist up, he was a middle-age man with bushy eyebrows and beard and greying hair, wearing a frayed tweed jacket, but from the waist down, instead of two human legs, a white stallion body stood, towering over them. Behind him, hugging him by the waist was a tall and slender teenager. Her fiery red hair was messy and with many splatters of paint, so were her face and clothes. She jumped off the creature’s back and, never leaving its side, looked at Peter and Wade in the eyes as if she was trying to find something in there. She seemed content with what she saw, because she whispered something into the centaur’s ear and it nodded.
“If you were able to get here, it means that you are able to see through the Mist. My name is Chiron,” the creature greeted them. Behind him, a group of people had already formed and the rest of the campers were rapidly approaching them, murmuring among each other and glancing towards the strangers. “The Oracle has deemed them worthy.” Chiron announced to the group behind him. “Will, Clarisse, take them to the infirmary. Leo and Piper, go get the rest of the cabin leaders. We will have an emergency meeting with the rest of the counsellors afterwards. In the meantime, why don’t you tell us who you are and how you got here?”
“And what’s the deal with the costumes?” someone shouted and laughter ensued.
“He kicks the bad guys’ asses on a daily basis and you don’t know him? Shame on you, kids.” Wade raised his head and started talking before Peter could even attempt to stop him. The blood loss was making Wade’s brain fuzzy and was having even less control over his words than usual. Wade smooched his temple over the mask.“This guy with the cute spandex butt is my baby-boy!” Wade exclaimed happily and rested his head on Peter’s. “New York’s very own wall-crawler, the Amazing Spiderman!” he laughed and tried to kiss Peter’s cheek where the mask was ragged, but the younger man refused, a deep blush appearing on his cheeks.
“I shouldn’t have reattached your jaw,” Peter muttered, annoyed, but still refused to let his boyfriend go when the campers approached them. “Guide us, we’ll follow.”
“As for me…”
“Shut up, Deadpool,” Peter grunted as they followed the ever-growing crowd across strawberry fields until they reached a big blue wooden house, where a group of similar-looking blond boys and girls promptly rushed them to an enormous infirmary with dozens of beds, some of them occupied. They were lay on the far end of the ward and were stripped off their suits, though both of them refused to have their masks removed. Wade was the most reluctant one and tried to have Peter healed first. One of the campers started singing a song and soon enough, Peter was out like a light. Wade was not so lucky. The voices kept him wide awake.
“Only members of the Apollo Cabin and Chiron will stay here. The rest, out.” Will commanded and closed the doors. He then formed groups of three, two demigods and a satyr, and assigned one group to each of the newcomers. Despite not having the luxury of using nectar and ambrosia to help them heal faster- after all, they were mortal and the gods’ food would turn them into ashes-, they worked quickly and efficiently, disinfecting and stitching the wounds. Will applied tourniquets to stop Deadpool’s bleeding and did his best to ignore his very vocal arguing to leave him alone and that he would be fine on his own. Will was used to dealing with demigods trying to act strong and independent and refusing to get proper treatment. If he could make Nico di Angelo shut up and let him do his job, he could certainly heal this guy. Will frowned as he disinfected Deadpool’s chest wounds and prepared a needle to start stitching him up. After years of quests and wars, he was immune to seeing nasty scars, but the ones that covered every inch of the stranger's body were something he had never seen before. They shifted across his chest. Will nearly jumped out of his skin and dropped the needle when he saw the wounds on his chest starting to close by themselves, right before his eyes.
A healing factor was something he was not prepared for. Not at all. Will was astonished. It was the first time he had ever seen someone healing that way besides Percy Jackson, but that only happened when he was near water, because of the whole being a child of Poseidon thing. Maybe this man was an unclaimed demigod? But then, why didn't the nectar work?
“Told ya. I’ll be fine.” The man rose up and got rid of the tourniquets, his legs already re-growing. “Give it a couple of hours. The nerves are always the ones that take the longest to regenerate. T’comes in handy when you are on battle, though.” he tried to laugh it off but his voice was strained and full of feelings. Anger, regret, fear… Sadness. “Hey, do you think you and the rest could turn around for a minute or two? I need to change my mask. The one I’m using is no more and I wouldn’t want to traumatize you.” He wasn’t asking. He grabbed his belt and opened one of its pouches, taking out two new masks. The first one was black and red, the second was red and blue with a web pattern. Everyone did as they were told and turned their backs on the scarred man.
Will heard a rustle and a zip being closed before he decided to slowly turn around. The man had his new mask on and the holes on his chest were no more than a memory. He used his hands to lift himself up and get more comfortable before answering.
“How is he?” he asked, suddenly concerned, looking at the sleeping figure in front of him. The healers had just finished mending his wounds and was left to rest and to recover their energies. Spiderman was on the bed opposite to his, snoring softly. Wade smiled. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him sleeping so peacefully. I could use some sleep too.”
“I could sing, if you want.” Will offered.
“Nah, kid. Thanks anyway. It won’t work on me. But you can put these by his side, so he can change it when he wakes up.” Deadpool gave him the red and blue mask and then turned his back on Will.
Will complied and went out of the infirmary. He went to the room where Chiron, Rachel and the other counsellors were gathering. They had a lot to discuss and would want all the details about the newcomers.
Will and the others came back to the infirmary right after the camp activities ended. They brought with them two orange T-shirts, jeans and shoes from the camp store for the masked men to wear. At the meeting, Will explained what he had seen and shared his theory about them being unclaimed demigods. Annabeth frowned deeply at the mention of Spiderman but said nothing. Both Nico and Percy were curious about Deadpool’s self-healing abilities. Clarisse was amazed by his bloodlust and was excited about fighting them both. The rest of them were wary and just listened to what Will had to say. They had all agreed to have them at dinner so they could introduce themselves officially. Maybe they would be claimed by their godly parent. If not, they would take them to the Big House where they would decide what they would do with them.
Once they entered the infirmary, they approached the two beds at the far end of the room, where the men were still sleeping. They had changed their masks. Will took a deep breath and reached out to softly shake Spiderman’s shoulder, as he was the nearest one but just before Will could touch him, Spiderman jumped out of the bed and clung to the ceiling on all fours. Annabeth screamed, jolting Deadpool awake. He too got out of bed and adopted a defensive stance – the same the counsellors adopted – until they registered where they were. Everyone choked a scream or gasped when they saw Deadpool standing in his boxers. Some of them had only heard about him appearing without his legs, but Rachel, Leo, Piper, Will and Clarisse had seen him like that. They all looked up when they heard a rustle and they saw that Spiderman had retreated to the far corner of the ceiling, scanning the group of people that had arrived.
“Come back down, baby boy, before you reopen those.” Deadpool smiled, pointing at Spiderman’s bandages. “Don’t make me get a broom like last time.” He looked at Deadpool, the white of his masked eyes mimicking his blinking for a moment before jumping from his cornered spot and swiftly landing on Deadpool’s shoulders. “That’s my baby boy!” he patted his legs.
Will cleared his throat and interceded. “We brought you some clean clothes, seeing as your costumes are all ragged and bloody. It’s almost dinner time and we wanted you to come.” The two of them thanked the campers and quickly got dressed. Never once did they remove their masks.
“Thanks for the clothes and the invitation.” Peter bowed his head in appreciation. “We look forward to dinner.”
Will nodded. “There are also some things we have to explain to you before we leave. About this camp and its members. And we have some questions for you.” He waited until they nodded slowly. “This is a camp for special people. We are half-bloods. One of our parents is a mortal. The other one, is a god.” It was never easy to break that kind of news to people and Will expected the masked men to laugh and be incredulous about it, but he and the rest of the counsellors were baffled when the newcomers spoke.
“Well, looks like Thor was right,” said Spiderman and the other two nodded, amused.
“Thor?” asked Annabeth, surprised. “As in Norse god Thor?”
“Yeah, the pretty blond in tights and a hammer. I wouldn’t say no if he came and…”
“Deadpool...” Spiderman warned, interrupting his ramble.
“Yeah, yeah, okay. Gods and humans, the birds and the bees. That’s cool.”
“So, you can be a child of any god?” asked Spiderman, amazed.
“No.” Rachel shook her head. “This is a Greek camp, only children of the Olympians can stay here. Each god has a Cabin where their kids live and train, and each Cabin has a Head, a counsellor. That’s them.” She turned to the group at her sides. “Before we leave, we wanted to introduce ourselves formally. My name is Rachel Elizabeth Dare. I’m the current vessel for the spirit of the Oracle of Delphi.”
Will stepped forward and offered his hand to the duo. “My name is Will Solace, son of Apollo, god of Sun, Music and Medicine.”
“Thank you for patching us up.” Will could tell they were smiling under their masks as they bowed their heads. He shook hands with each of them. Their grip was firm. “You brought us to the infirmary, too.” Spiderman offered his hand to Clarisse.
“Yeah. I’m Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares, god of War, Violence and Bloodlust.” Her grip was stronger than they had expected and much shorter. Her eyes were defiant, challenging. She wanted to see how much it would take for her to defeat them in a fight. She puffed her chest and straightened her back, trying to appear bigger, broader, much more threatening. When she turned to Deadpool, she liked his name and his smell -he reeked of blood and death-, she was greeted with a pat on her head and a deep laugh from him.
“I like this one.” he stated. He lifted his mask just above his nose, so she could see a heavily scarred jaw and very white teeth. She promised herself she would tear down his smile tooth by tooth. “She looks like she can put up a good fight.” She shooed his hand away and glared at him before retreating.
A couple then stepped forward, their hands intertwined. “I’m Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus, God of blacksmiths and fire.” He said with a huge smile on his face. “And I’m Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, goddess of Love.” She greeted them with her free hand. Her voice was soft and gentle and it made the masked men relax a little.
One by one, all the counsellors greeted them. Some of them were friendly, others were merely cordial and a few were cautious towards them. The trio tried their best to keep up with all the names and abilities of the gods. Even with their prior mythology knowledge, they felt overwhelmed. There were so many.
Finally, the last three demigods walked over to them to introduce themselves and Deadpool, and Spiderman were greeted by an enormous wave of power that made their shoulders tense and to adopt a discreet defensive stance. They were three. A tall blond with eyes as blue as the sky itself, with a military aura surrounding him –he was also the only one who was wearing a purple shirt instead of an orange one and matching purple-framed glasses- “I’m Jason Grace, son of Jupiter, god of the skies.”; a tanned, dark haired boy with stormy green eyes that glistened with trouble. “My name is Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, god of the sea.”
“Nico di Angelo.” the last one stated simply. He was dangerously thin and ghostly pale. He had dark eyes and even darker shadows underneath. When Deadpool met his gaze, he felt terribly uncomfortable and felt the urge to look away, his hand tingling when they touched.
“You smell like death.” Deadpool finished and watched as the kid tensed his shoulders. Nico held his hand a little too long and scrutinized him. Deadpool could feel his heart beating fast and loudly in his chest. He dropped his hand and seemed to fall into a deep thought. “But Death – she didn’t tell me she got a kid… Of course she would have told me if she did… Wow. That was so uncalled for, White.” He was talking to himself. “Wait. Repeat that, Yellow. No, not that stupid song. What you said about…” Deadpool gasped and turned to the counsellors, fixing his gaze on the group in front of him, the demigods looked at him suspiciously. “Yo, guys, answer me this: Does the name Avengers ring a bell to you? No? Good, they are all a bunch of assholes –except for you, baby boy-.” He turned his head to Spiderman. “Focus, Deadpool. Think about this for a minute, guys. No one here recognised our names or suits. Death has a kid. I’m betting my chimichanga nights that if we go to Queens right now, neither our safe houses no May will be there.” He said, his voice serious.
“…What do you mean, Deadpool?” He asked, his voice almost a whisper.
“Look, the Ponydude here is real, something we have never seen in our lives. And we have seen all kinds of weird. I’m starting to think that my teleporter did not just not take us to Queens. I don’t think we are even in our universe.” The two of them looked at each other and frowned. The whole group fell silent, trying to process what Deadpool had just said.
“We should probably go now.” Rachel cleared her throat and clapped her hands, trying to lighten the dark atmosphere. “Dinner is about to start.” She urged everybody out of the infirmary. “We will be waiting outside.”
Neither of them dared to speak a word.
“We… won’t be sure until we go there but… If that’s true…?” Wade trailed off.
“We will cross that bridge when we get there.” Peter cut him off, pressing their foreheads together. “Wade, come here.” He pulled the other man closer and hugged him tight. He felt a pair of arms covering him and the warmth of the older man enveloped him. He lifted his mask just avobe the note and leaned over, joining their lips. It was an urgent, hungry kiss. He tried to bring them closer, pouring his fear, his anger, and his anxiety on the kiss and in the way he clung onto him. Wade’s lips were rough, calloused. Peter’s were soft and tender. The contrast was something that had always driven them crazy. It was an addiction. “We will go and check it out tonight, okay?” After a few minutes, they pulled apart, both of them out of breath, gasping for air with their foreheads touching. “The two of us? We are in this together until the end.” They agreed and exited the infirmary after one last silent kiss.