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Have Your Cake or Eat It

Chapter Text

Peter had been single for quite some time now. Not that he could do much about it. Saving New York from the bad guys had kept his dance card full enough. Joining the Avengers increased the workload. Saving multiple earths left him with little time to sleep, much less anything else.

However, there were always those still moments in between one big disaster and another relentless bad guy. In those times, Peter thought about Mary Jane. Those thoughts used to keep him going back when he was desperately searching for her. Now, they left behind an exhausting sadness.

See, when Peter had finally found Mary Jane, it was on a world ravaged by war. Mary Jane had taken on his role as Spider-man. She put everything she had into helping out the innocent citizens crippled by the horrors of a global war. The thing was, she was helping.

Smart, tenacious, and always with a generous heart, she had won the people over. They rallied behind her, supporting her cause for peace. They loved her and she loved them. So when Peter found her, she cried and told him she couldn’t leave.

“Of course you can’t leave.” He had said. “That’s why I love you.”

They stayed with one another that night. It had been loving and passionate, a combining of souls, their skin practically becoming one with the other. Peter could have sworn even their heartbeats aligned that night. It was beautiful. It was a farewell.

Peter couldn’t leave his world behind as much as she couldn’t leave her newfound one. They hadn’t seen each other since.

When Peter finally came back home, it was to find his Earth to be much the same as it always was. His presence, or lack thereof, hadn’t made that much of a difference. Sure, there was still crime to fight and people who had missed him, but the world didn’t collapse due to his absence.

That made him happy, of course, but it also left him feeling a bit redundant. For all the world saving he was doing, was he really all that needed? Maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal if he took a break for a while.

In so thinking, he stayed for a month solid with Aunt May, unmasking himself to her the first day. She had been in shock at first, already upset at his long absence, and as explanation all he said was, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Apparently, Uncle Ben had said that often enough for Aunt May to recognize it for what it was. She cried and hugged Peter, begging him to be safe and at least let her know if he was going to end up missing for a while so she didn’t worry. Peter agreed and they enjoyed the month of peacefulness in each other’s company.

But Peter had easily grown restless at his inactivity. Though Aunt May seemed completely understanding of the situation and encouraged him to go do what he needed to. So Peter went back to fighting the good fight. Booking himself solid and helping out whenever called upon.

Though in a way, it was lonely. Peter didn’t really have friends. Of course, Peter barely saw the light of day. Spider-man was always front and center. The superhero had partners, maybe a few he could call his friends, but hardly anything more than that. For the most part, all Peter had was Aunt May, which he did his best to stay grateful for. He loved Aunt May and couldn’t imagine his life without her.

Really, the only person he could solidly refer to as a friend was Deadpool. And how sad was that? Of course, that was mostly because Deadpool was relentless, had a weird crush on Spidey’s ass, was never insulted by Peter’s anger or sudden disappearances, and was entirely crazy.

So it was that when Madame Web showed up with an important task, Peter didn’t hesitate to go, happy for another distraction. He shot Aunt May an email and let Madame Web take him to the next disaster.

Except, it wasn’t quite what he expected.

Chapter Text

“So this world has all the same people but with slightly different events, but Peter Parker is still Spider-man?” Peter clarified, looking around the other Peter’s decently sized but lived in apartment.

“Yes. He has been missing for three days. I can tell he is not dead, but I don’t understand why I can’t track him in the worlds. This earth doesn’t have near the level of enemies that others do. I assume this is some plan from a powerful mastermind of a different dimension who needs something from the kidnapped Peter.” Madame Web stared unerringly at Peter in an unnerving way, the end of her dress spiraling in such a manner that it looked like a coiled snake ready to strike.

“It is important that as few people of this world know about the other earths as possible.” She stressed again. “Too many curious minds draws too much attention from evil forces. This world has seen much of peace and happier fate lines than most. That balance needs to be maintained.”

“Got it. So just keep low and pretend I’m me. But not me. How hard can it be?” Peter sighed. Maybe he could pretend to have amnesia.

Madame Web handed him a book. “This Peter seems to have kept a diary. I was not able to peruse much of it. Perhaps you will find it useful.”

Peter took the book. “Yeah. I’ll read it over before letting people know I’ve popped back up. Or he’s popped back up. Alternate me’s are confusing. I never know what to call myself.”

“Things here may not be as active as you are used to. Do try not to stir up trouble.”

“Ha! Sure. I could use some down time, though. I’ll be fine.”

“Good luck, Spider-man.”

Peter gave her a salute and Madame Web vanished in a warping of spacetime that always caused Peter’s eyes to cross. With a sigh, Peter plopped down onto the overstuffed couch (Other Peter sure had good taste in furniture) and looked down at the journal in his hands. How hard would it be to play himself?

Peter pulled off his mask and dropped it beside him before running his fingers over the well worn edges of the journal. Opening the book, he started reading the first few lines:

I’ve never written in a journal before. I don’t really know how to do this. Do I talk to myself? Talk at the journal? “Dear Diary, I have no idea what I’m doing. Yours truly, Peter.” Maybe this was a bad idea… But I have to have some way to collect my thoughts? Well, first order of business - I solemnly swear I will not write chemical formulas in this journal.

Well, this was certainly a Peter Parker he could relate to. It was like reading his own internal monologue. Which was creepy. But he guessed it made sense? He kept reading.

It should totally not be difficult to come out of the closet when you have two dads. Maybe I’m nervous because I never even knew I was in the closet? Falling for a guy wasn’t really something I expected to happen.

“...What?!” Peter burst out, his voice loud in the quiet room. This was far more than a slight difference in time lines. Was he still with this guy? Was he going to have to play boyfriend to a man he didn’t know? Were they living together?

Looking up, Peter scanned the room in growing panic. It was a large space. Much larger than a single person needed. And Peter had never pushed for more than what he needed in life. He had a wild hope that the other Peter just enjoyed more space or had a roommate, but a gut feeling told him that was wrong. Him and the mysterious boyfriend were likely sharing this house.

Eyes snapping back to the book, Peter started reading as fast as possible. Maybe they were still in the dating phase. Maybe they broke up. It was a big enough book, plenty could have happened!

About halfway through the book, Peter had discovered a lot of things. The person Other Peter fell for was never referred to by name, since he was paranoid that someone would find the book before he was ready to tell his parents. By context clues, Peter found out he had been orphaned and adopted at a very young age.

Though it took a while to accept it, he finally realized that it was Tony Stark who had adopted Other Peter. The journal didn’t go into details, but Peter desperately wanted to know how that happened. He also wanted to know what it was like to grow up with a family. He found himself strangely jealous over that, even though Tony being his father still seemed so unnatural.

His other dad was referred to as “Papa” and Peter was having a hard time figuring out who it was. Or perhaps he didn’t know the person from his world so it was impossible to deduce. For the time being, Peter let it go and focused on other things.

It seemed the person Peter was dating had been someone the Avengers rescued from a terrible agency trying to create mutant weapons to sell. They lured people in with a cure for cancer, pumped them full of something to trigger latent mutant genes, and then tortured them until they either died or mutated. Many of those who had been a part of the experiments had lost their minds during the torture sessions.

Thankfully, they had rescued the future boyfriend before that happened. Other Peter and the man had quickly become friends and Other Peter dedicated himself to treating the other’s cancer. The cancer was severe but it was fast spreading, more so than most cancers were. Other Peter was convinced that the person’s latent mutant genes had something to do with the fast growing cancer.

He had been right. Taking his theory and findings to Bruce Banner, the two of them created a successful compound that stopped the cancer’s accelerated growth. At that point, they were better able to focus on removing the tumors. That turned out easier than expected as the man healed faster than normal.

It was determined that some of the mutant genes had activated, accelerating the man’s healing ability to the point he could regrow healthy tissue. It wasn’t at a fast enough rate to put him in the league of, say, Wolverine, but it was enough to save his life. The operations were always a success and within two years, every bit of cancer was removed leaving behind new and healthy tissue.

When the person had been declared cancer free, he had cried in Other Peter’s arms. The journal read: And he said, “I don’t deserve a second chance and I don’t deserve someone like you putting so much effort into me. I’ve never been a good person, but it’s so much more obvious next to you.” I wanted to scold him for putting me on a pedestal again and berating himself for a past he had tried so hard to make up for, but before I could he said those words. “I’m sorry for falling in love with you.”

And I was so happy. I had been fighting myself for so long about what I felt and hearing him say that was such a relief. He felt the same. I didn’t have to fight anymore. So I kissed him. Our first kiss, full of tears and unexpected mutual feelings. I’ll never forget that moment.

That last line made Peter indescribably nervous. This Peter was happy and head over heels in love. His boyfriend was dependent on that Peter’s love and support. Current Peter didn’t want to do anything to ruin that. The couple deserved happiness. Some alternate version of himself should have a happy ending.

Yet Peter was quite sure he would mess this up somehow. Sure, they probably wouldn’t guess he was from an alternate dimension, but they might assume he was a clone or a shapeshifter. Those had been unnervingly common amongst the worlds and there were bound to be some here as well. That wouldn’t end well and everyone would surely be hurt over it. This world deserved its happiness and Peter needed to see that through.

Of course, that meant lying to everyone and pretending to be in love with someone he didn’t know. That made him feel like a horrible person, but what other option was there? For right now, his best bet was to fake amnesia (which wouldn’t be hard since he didn’t know anything) and stay silent as much as possible. Learn about his surroundings and act accordingly.

Maybe he could hack into the computers at Avengers Tower and watch the video feeds to get an idea of how he was supposed to interact with others. Surely he shared little mannerisms with his boyfriend that would be important to mimick. Not to mention, he needed to know who his other parent was.

Peter looked down at the journal. Should he read more or find a computer and start hacking? Which was more pressing? And what if Tony’s computers managed to see him ping the system? Would everyone rush over to the apartment and start jabbering at Peter about what happened? He wasn’t prepared for that. He needed a solid story.

Wracking his brain, Peter tried to think of a villain that would have the ability to scramble his memory. He’d also need to look them up to see if they existed in this verse. Peter sighed and scrubbed at his face. This was way harder that Madame Web had let on. Then again, she probably didn’t keep up with the finer details enough to realize things were so different here. There were a lot of alternate worlds out there. Peter wasn’t sure how she managed to keep up with them all as well as she did.

Before Peter could think of what else to do, the door latch on the front door unlocked. Peter was on his feet in an instant, the book tumbling to the couch cushion beside him and one hand gripping at his mask. However, he froze in uncertainty. Anyone unlocking the door wouldn’t be a bad guy. It was likely the boyfriend. Hiding from him would only make matters worse later. Or should he continue to hide until he had a better understanding of this world?

His indecision cost him too much time and the door was opened to the downward turned head of a very, very handsome man. Peter’s brain ground to a halt as he just gaped at the person. He had no idea who this was, but he looked like a prime cut of man meat. Peter couldn’t really blame Other Peter for falling for him. And he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was the boyfriend. The descriptions in the journal didn’t do him justice, though.

The blonde hair lifted to show off dazzling blue eyes that were tinted with strained sadness. However, upon seeing Peter they widened almost comically large. Peter opened and shut his mouth, unable to think of what to say.

“Peter?” Was the hopeful question, as if he didn’t dare believe it.

For the second time, Peter’s brain shut down. He recognized that voice. It was the voice of the only friend he had. The voice that yapped at him non-stop so he would never be able to mistake the sound of it. Suddenly, the information in the journal clicked into place.

“Wade?” Peter choked out.

With a cry, Wade launched himself at Peter, wrapping his arms around the smaller man and shaking with barely contained tears. “Fuck! Peter! Where have you been? We’ve been so worried! Are you hurt? Does anyone else know you’re here? Are you being followed? What’s going on?”

Yep. Definitely Wade. Peter just couldn’t quite wrap his head around it. This was what Wade looked like before Weapon X? No wonder the man had issues with his skin. Underneath the shock of it all, curiosity was building with massive force. He’d be able to find out what Wade was really like. Who the man was before the insanity set it. He almost felt giddy with the possibilities of it all.

Wade pulled back and took hold of Peter’s face with both of his hands. His eyes were red rimmed and filled with unshed tears that were emphasized by his quivering lower lip. “Talk to me, Baby Boy. Please. Please tell me you’re okay.”

Peter’s heart constricted in the face of all that emotion and he helplessly waved a hand at the journal. “I’m missing bits of my memory. A lot of bits.” he said quietly.

The look in Wade’s eyes was heartbreaking. “Do you remember me?”

“Yes.” It was technically the truth. “I don’t remember things that happened. But I know you like chimichangas.” Peter was absolutely certain that every Wade Wilson liked chimichangas.

Wade let out a choked sob as he nodded and then hugged Peter again who weakly hugged him back, trying to comfort the poor man. “Do you remember that I love you?” Wade’s voice was thick.

“Yes.” It was in the journal. So it wasn’t a lie?

“Do you-” But Wade couldn’t ask it. The unfinished question hung in the air between them, building tension in the room.

“I love you.” Peter lied, mimicking the way he used to say it to Mary Jane.

Wade let out another sob and trembled violently, tears leaking down his face. “I love you. I love you, Peter Benjamin Parker-Stark.”

That’s a really long name. Peter thought wildly. Then the next moment he was being kissed. It was tender and longing and full of love. Unable to bring himself to do anything else, Peter kissed back.

His first kiss since leaving Mary Jane. With a man. With Deadpool.

Chapter Text

Peter was quickly changed into regular clothes and then rushed off to Avengers Tower. Wade was going a mile a minute, calling everyone and explaining Peter’s loss of memory. Even before they left the house, Wade had managed to pick out clothes for Peter, pack a bag, make Peter eat something, and text half his contacts list in under five minutes. It left Peter little time to think.

After they were already in the car it occurred to Peter that he left the journal on the couch. Maybe that was okay. He probably wouldn’t have much time to read it once they made it to the Tower. They intended to run scans to make sure he was healthy and figure out why he couldn’t remember anything. Of course, they wouldn’t find anything but Peter wasn’t going to say that.

For the most part, Peter kept quiet. Which was easy to do with Wade rambling in a non-stop panic. That also kept Wade distracted enough for Peter to stare at at the larger man since he couldn’t help himself. The bone structure, the muscles, the voice, the eyes. They were definitely Deadpool’s. But everything else was so massively different.

Or were they that different? Currently, Wade probably wasn’t acting like himself being that he was worried for Peter. So maybe the two had a lot more in common than Peter was giving them credit for. Well, aside from the insanity part.

Suddenly Wade started firing off questions, apparently prompted by whoever was on the phone. “Do you feel dizziness or nausea? Do you have a headache? Are you sensitive to light?”

“I don’t have concussion symptoms, no.” Peter calmly responded. “Just… disorientation?” Well, not for medical reasons, but it was certainly true.

“Do you have numbness or tingling in any of your limbs?”

“No.” Peter sighed and resigned himself to the flood of medical questions. They finally ended as they pulled into Avengers Tower. It seemed whoever was on the other end decided they were close enough to finish up once they were in the lab.

Apparently, Peter and Wade had their own parking spots right by the private elevator. That was sure convenient. He supposed it made sense, though.

Wade finally put his phone away when they were in the elevator. Peter just watched the floor numbers go by, unsure of what to do now. Carefully, Wade reached out and entwined their fingers together, his thumb tracing calming circles on Peter’s hand. It had been a long time since someone had tried to comfort Peter like that. He gave Wade a small - and totally not shy, he was a grown man, damn it - smile.

“It’s okay, Baby Boy. I’m right here. We’ll get this figured out.” Wade said softly. The love that shown in his eyes nearly choked the air right out of Peter. He hadn’t realized how much he had missed that kind of look until this moment.

The doors dinged and Wade lead them hand in hand down the hallway. They didn’t make it very far before a very distraught Tony was running towards them.

“Peter!”

“Ah! Um… Dad.” Peter faltered, unsure of how their interactions usually went.

Then Tony was hugging him with firm arms wrapped around as much of Peter’s torso as possible. Peter’s face was pressed into Tony’s shoulder and he was getting a nose full of cologne. Belatedly, he hugged Tony back.

“You’ve had us worried sick, son.” Tony’s voice was thick. “Your Papa’s following a lead, but we sent him a message. He should be back as soon as possible.”

But Peter was hardly paying attention. His heart had constricted and his fingers had tightened their grip on the back of Tony’s shirt. Nobody had called him son in years. Peter hadn’t expected the flood of emotions all of this would bring.

“Come on,” Tony said, finally releasing his grip. “Let’s get you looked over.”

Tony kept one arm around Peter’s shoulders and Wade linked their hands again on the other side. The three of them set off down the hallway towards the labs. It was probably a good thing they were leading the way because there was no way Peter could have been walking on his own right then. The world swirled and tilted around him as he fought an influx of conflicting emotions.

Three days. Other Peter had been gone three days. Peter had once been missing for almost a year and the only one who showed serious concern had been Aunt May. She was the only one who cried over him. Yet here it seemed his disappearance was of top priority and everyone was shedding tears. In only three days.

Family, friends, lover, people that missed him and cared about him. People that loved him. That was all Peter had ever dreamed of having. Jealousy and melancholy warred in his chest for dominance. He desperately wanted to protect this world for Other Peter. But he couldn’t deny the not so small part of him that hoped Other Peter never came back.

Guilt flared through him. Peter still had Aunt May. He still had people back home to protect. He had friends… Sort of. But he couldn’t just take over someone else’s life just because the grass was greener. He wasn’t that kind of person, however much he wanted to be at the moment.

They entered the lab to find Bruce already setting things up. “Peter! It’s so good to see you back safe.” Setting down a tablet, Bruce walked over to give Peter a short and friendly hug that ended with a quick slap on the back. “Don’t make us worry like that.”

Peter did his best to return Bruce’s smile. Peter wasn’t used to a Bruce this chipper and friendly, though he had always gotten along with the man just fine.

“Alright! Hop up on the table and we’ll start a scan to make sure nothing bad is happening.” Bruce said, going back into science mode. That was something Peter was more used to dealing with.

Following directions, Peter went over to the medical table and stretched out on it, hands at his side. He knew from experience to stay as still as possible. The scanner took it’s sweet time and Bruce was entirely focused on the readout. Wade and Tony stood behind Bruce, muttering to each other over who knew what.

Iron Man and Deadpool getting along. Peter never thought he’d live to see the day.

The scanner finally beeped and Bruce allowed Peter to sit up as he walked over with a tablet to share the findings with the patient first hand. “No signs of concussion, but there are a few odd brain wave patterns the sensors are having a hard time determining. It may be from your brain trying to heal the damage to your memory, however. There are a few ligaments that seem to be in the last stages of healing, but otherwise I don’t see any damage.”

The ligaments were probably from when he was thrown into a wall via his leg last week. His joints didn’t hurt, so that was a good thing.

“We’ll take a blood sample and run a full panel just in case someone tried to slip you something. The memory loss could be chemical.”

Peter nodded and held out his arm as Bruce took the sample. The DNA structure of most Peters were the same, only altered if their powers were different (or if Venom took complete control, like in that one verse). Since Other Peter was confirmed by Madame Web as having the same powers, Peter wasn’t worried about what the blood sample would show.

Out of nowhere, Steve burst into the room, still suited up in his Captain America outfit. Crying Peter’s name, he ran across the room and wrapped Peter in a too strong hug. Peter repeatedly slapped Steve’s arm, trying to tap out.

“Pops! You keep hugging him like that and he’s no longer going to be in one piece!” Tony scolded.

Wait. Pops? No. No it couldn’t be.

Steve pulled back to look Peter in the eyes, one hands petting Peter’s hair. Steve’s eyes were filled to the brim with tears. “We’ve been so worried about you! Don’t ever scare your Papa like that again, okay?”

Peter nodded dumbly, his brain not keeping up with what was happening. He was still firmly in denial of this situation. Then Tony walked over and gave Steve a loving kiss on the cheek. They wrapped an arm around one another and smiled down at Peter as Wade appeared at Peter’s side, one hand rubbing Peter’s arm affectionately.

“The family is all together again.” Steve said, with a loving smile.

“Yeah…” Peter said weakly.

Peter was in a daze for the next few hours. This was determined as a possible side effect of the memory loss, so people did their best to work with Peter, fretting over him constantly. The truth was, Peter was just overwhelmed. This was too much. What possible timeline ends with Tony and Steve getting married, adopting Peter, and Peter falling in love with Deadpool? How does that even happen?!

Before Peter could make sense of anything, they were all sitting down to dinner. The four of them. Family dinner. Peter looked at Wade, mind racing. Were they married? Engaged? Or just together? How long had it been since they first got together? Him and Tony seemed to be getting along well enough. And the couple lived together so it was definitely a serious relationship.

Wade caught Peter’s stare. “What is it, Baby Boy?”

“Um…” How much should Peter ask? “I’m having a hard time figuring out when things happened…”

“Ask us anything, Peter.” Steve said adamantly. “The more you talk about it, the more it could jog your memory.”

“How old was I when I was adopted?” The question fell out of Peter’s mouth without further thought. It was the one question he’s been dying to know since he picked up that journal.

Steve made a noise, as if it hurt him that Peter couldn’t remember. Tony calmly filled in the information. “You were picked up by CPS at the age of six and I applied to adopt you when you were eight. Do you remember when we first met at the Stark science fair?”

Actually, Peter did. It wasn’t really a science fair, but of course Tony would call it that. Peter had always been too smart for his own good. He had applied to the Inventors & Innovators Fair in elementary school and his teachers had though it cute right up until he was accepted. Tony had stopped by and talked to him during that time, setting off Peter’s first star struck celebrity moment.

“Everyone was shocked I made it through.” Peter chose his words carefully. Though the same event happened in both worlds, how it happened could have subtle differences. However, Peter was certain that his teacher’s surprise at being accepted at such a young age would have been the same.

“You would have stagnated in public schools.” Tony pointed a fork at him. “A tiny genius like you needed a genius father.”

Wade chuckled and Steve rolled his eyes. This seemed to be a long running inside joke and Peter smiled appropriately.

“You’ve always been known for your modesty.” Steve said before looking at Peter concerned. “Do you not have an appetite?”

Peter jumped a little, remembering the food in front of him. “Ah! Sorry. I keep getting distracted.”

Once Peter started eating, he realized how ravenous he was. He hadn’t had a real home cooked meal since he had stayed with Aunt May last. It tasted amazing. His now hearty appetite seemed to please Steve immensely.

“I want you guys to stay here tonight in case there are any complications with Peter’s condition.” Tony said in a voice the brooked no argument. “I have your room ready.”

“I already packed a bag.” Wade smirked.

“You’re getting the hang of this.” Tony said with a raised eyebrow.

“You’re a very protective father.” Wade stated. “But that’s what I like about you.”

“That’s not what you were saying before.”

“Well before you were trying to stop me from deflowering your Petey. We’ve gotten past that now.” Wade gave a wide grin, Steve snorted, and Tony scowled at them both.

Okay, maybe Wade wasn’t so different after all.

“Keep the hanky panky to a minimum until Peter starts to feel better.” Steve said in his everybody-get-along voice.

“Who the hell calls it hanky panky?” Tony scoffed.

“Would you rather I refer to our son’s sexual exploits as something else?” Steve raised an eyebrow.

They continued to banter with Wade joining in when he could get a word in edgewise. Peter was again distracted. Yes, boyfriends - especially steady, long term boyfriends - meant sex. Would Peter have to have sex with Wade as part of the charade? Was that cheating or not? More importantly, he had no idea how to have sex with a man.

Well, to be perfectly honest, that had been explored a little with Felicia. She was quite the dominant woman and had pushed for a little strap-on play. One or two fingers had felt weird, but not terrible. However, Peter never got much out of it and things didn’t progress further since they’d broken up fairly quickly.

Peter was quite certain Wade was bigger than one or two fingers. Would it be obvious he didn’t know how to have sex? But he couldn’t put the man off forever. It could spell disaster for the relationship fairly quickly. Peter sent a quick prayer to Madame Web to find Other Peter asap.

“Peter?” Snapping back to the present, Peter looked up to three sets of eyes.

“Sorry. I’m just tired.” Peter mumbled, finishing off his food so he didn’t have to speak further.

“Of course you are!” Wade fretted. “A long night’s sleep will help you feel better in no time.”

In a flurry of voices and movement that Peter just couldn’t keep up with, everyone made plans for the next day. Then the couples went their separate ways. It was a good thing everyone thought Peter had suffered brain trauma, because he was sure acting like it. Things were just going too fast to keep up with and the list of questions needing to be answered was growing by the minute.

When they arrived at their room, Peter looked around at yet another surprise. This must have been the room he grew up in. It was covered in things that reminded Peter of himself. Snapshots littered the walls around framed photos of places he remembers taking pictures of in his own life. Tony must have decorated Peter’s room with Peter’s own photography at some point.

It never once occurred to him what that kind of gesture would have meant to him. Living with Aunt May and Uncle Ben had always meant funds were tight, so even if they had wanted to, they wouldn’t have been able to. But this. This room was filled with everything Peter could have let himself want as a teen.

“You okay, Baby Boy?” Wade’s voice was an almost whisper. He was looking at Peter with such concern.

“It’s just… Sometimes I think I remember something… But I can’t quite place it.” It was as true of an answer as any. The room was filled with almost memories and what-could-have-been’s that mirrored Peter’s own life in a strange ways. “Like… I remember what I felt about that picture.”

Peter walked up to the picture in question. A tree in partial bloom that stood on the outskirts of a park. Some of the branches were dead and never grew leaves in the spring. But some would be full to brim with life. Peter always loved the juxtaposition of that tree. He had taken this exact picture himself, but it looked so much better framed on a large printed canvas as it was now, surrounded by 4x6 photos of similar nature shots.

“But I don’t remember when I took it.” Peter finally finished, running his fingers over the textured canvas. That was true on both accounts. Even the picture he had of this tree had been taken so long ago he couldn’t exactly say when.

Warm arms wrapped around him from behind and Peter did his best to stay relaxed at the feeling. “It’s okay. It’s going to be okay. We’ll figure out what went wrong and fix it.”

“What if my memory never comes back?” Peter blurted. There was the chance that Other Peter would die if Madame Web couldn’t find him in time. If that happened, would Peter stay here? Continue to live this perfect life he always wanted?

“Then we’ll make new memories. I’m not going anywhere, Baby Boy.” Wade said with such soft emotion. Peter felt a kiss pressed to his cheek and couldn’t resist closing his eyes and leaning back into Wade’s strong frame.

So this was what it felt like to be surrounded by the body of someone who loved you? Who was trying to protect you from the world in a uselessly physical motion? It wasn’t a bad feeling. In fact, Peter was reveling in the feeling of it. He understood why the women in his life had melted in his arms when he had done that to them.

Soon Wade had them changed into pajamas. He put them to bed and turned out the lights. He pressed his broad chest to Peter’s back and wrapped his arms around the smaller man. Wade pressed soft kisses to Peter’s hair and mumbled words of comfort.

Peter closed watery eyes and sent another prayer to Madame Web. Find Other Peter soon… Just not tonight.

Chapter Text

Peter awoke to the feeling of being restrained. It took a few moments for him to breathe through the sudden adrenaline spike to realize why that was. There was a very large, heavily muscled man lying on top of him, limbs wrapped around his frame like an octopus.

Peter was being aggressively snuggled by Deadpool. Well, Wade. Peter wasn’t sure the Wade of this world had ever actually been Deadpool. Perhaps the journal would shed some light on that. He needed to finish reading it, but he didn’t have it with him.

Well, he was in Avengers Tower, it’d be easier to get into the computers from here. He could go with his other plan and scour the databases for information. Of course, that would require Wade not being wrapped around him so tight it made Venom look damn near unobtrusive.

“Wade,” Peter poked the man’s arm. “Wade, wake up.” Nothing. “Fine, don’t wake up, but move enough for me to get up.”

There was a grumble at that and a tighter squeezing of limbs. Peter’s air huffed out of him. “Gah! Wade. I need air. And now I need to pee.”

A low rumbling chuckle was the response and Peter could feel the noise vibrate in his chest. He most certainly did not enjoy the sensation. That would have been preposterous. His breathing quickened only because of his bladder’s urgency. Nothing more!

“You can take a shower first then, I’m hitting snooze.” Wade mumbled before releasing Peter reluctantly.

Wiggling the rest of the way out of Wade’s arm, Peter stood up and had a slight moment of disorientation. He didn’t know this room, thus he didn’t know where the bathroom was. It didn’t take long to spot the cracked open door that lead to tile, however, and Peter made his way over.

The bathroom was, of course, large and well appointed. On the sink was a toothbrush holder with two toothbrushes. One red and blue, the other red and black. Peter could guess whose belonged to who. The almost parallels of this world really threw Peter for a loop.

When Peter was done with his morning ritual and freshly showered with a towel around his waist, it occurred to him that he hadn’t brought clothes in with him. That would have been fine were it not for the fact he was dating Wade. Being shirtless around his own Deadpool would have been pushing things enough, surely dating meant Wade would pounce him on the spot.

Of course, he couldn’t just stay in the bathroom all day and asking Wade to pass him clothes would sound suspicious. Gritting his teeth, Peter nervously opened the door and tried to pad as softly as he could over to the closet in the corner. Wade was still in bed. Maybe he was asleep?

Peter made it to the closet with no incident. Sliding the door over into the wall, he had a hard time controlling his expression at what he saw. It wasn’t like he’d never seen a large walk-in closet before. He’d just never seen one so decidedly him.

The front half was filled with clothes all in Peter’s nerdy style. The back was filled with half finished projects, well worn notebooks, old textbooks, reference books, and photography equipment. He was pretty sure he had a dream about heaven in high school and it looked like this closet. Peter almost swooned.

So distracted was he, that he didn’t notice Wade walking up until arms wrapped around his naked torso. Peter just barely managed to suppress the very manly squeak that tried to get out of him. Wade’s large hands splayed out on his torso as Wade pressed his face into Peter’s damp hair.

“Good morning.” Rumbled a voice heavy with sleep.

“Good… morning…” Peter mumbled, his voice barely audible.

A kiss was pressed to Peter’s cheek. “I’ll see you at breakfast?”

“Yeah.”

Wade’s hands slid along Peter’s skin, holding contact until Wade was out of range. Peter did not at all shiver over how good it felt. “I packed your deodorant. It’s in the bag by the bed.” Wade said over his shoulder.

“Thanks.”

Then Wade was in the bathroom, leaving Peter to catch his breath and try to focus on getting dressed. There were a few odd moments where he didn’t know where to find things, but other than that he was dressed fairly quickly. He wanted out of the room before Wade decided to walk out naked.

Darting out into the hallway, Peter made his way to the main living area. They were on a private floor of the tower meant only for the Stark family. It contained an open floor plan for the kitchen, living room, and dining area with a large windowed view of the city. There were multiple rooms for various things, including the master bedroom and Peter’s room with attached bathrooms, and even a small workshop area. All of it was large and state of the art because Tony.

Walking into the kitchen, Peter saw a sight he would never be able to unsee. Tony had Steve pressed up against a counter. Tony’s hands were down the other man’s pants, clutching two handfuls of Steve’s round ass. Steve’s hands were buried in Tony’s hair, tugging gently. They were nose to nose and giving each other very challenging yet sexual looks.

Peter made a very undignified noise of shock before whirling around to face the other direction, his hands coming up to cover his eyes. When he went back home, he’d never be able to look either of them in the eye ever again.

“You don’t have to act like a teenager just because you caught your parents kissing.” Steve said, and Peter could hear the eyeroll.

“Well, it was a little more than kissing.” Tony’s voice was heavy with implications.

Peter made another strangled noise and Steve smacked Tony on the arm with a chuckled “stop.” Following orders, Tony went to go set the table as Steve finished up with breakfast.

“You feeling better today, Peter?” Steve asked.

Finally feeling the coast was clear, Peter turned back around and hoped he wasn’t blushing. “A little.”

“I’ve been keeping track of the results of the scan and blood sample as they’re being analyzed.” Tony said. “I’ll let you know the minute we know something.”

“Thanks.” Peter didn’t know what else to say, really.

“You need anything? Anything that you can think of that might help?” Steve asked.

Maybe Peter could twist this to his advantage so they didn’t realize why he wanted to dive into the tower’s computer systems. “Yeah, I was wondering if I had anything in the system I was working on. Maybe my projects will help get my mind running again.”

Tony shook a finger at Peter as he ran off to the living area. “That’s a good idea! Great idea. Plus it could help you look at things from a different angle. How many people get to look at their own work as a new set of eyes?”

“Tony…” Steve scolded, not liking how casual Tony was being over Peter’s memory loss.

“It’s fine.” Peter interjected. “May as well make the best of the situation, right?”

“That’s my boy!” Tony crowed as he jogged back over with a Stark pad, typing away at it. “I set all your stuff on the mainscreen for easy access! At least, the ones I know about.”

Peter smiled. He sometimes started and dropped projects in a matter of hours and completely forgot about them. Made sense that Tony wouldn’t know about them all. Science felt like a safe subject. It seemed both Peters had that in common.

Even though Peter was more than ready to delve into the work, swept away in the curiosity of what Other Peter was working on, Steve told them to hold off and sit down for breakfast. The boys reluctantly walked over to the table right as Wade was walking down the hall.

“Perfect timing!” Wade literally patted himself on the back.

Breakfast was a lively affair. Tony and Steve bantered almost constantly and Wade was more than happy to join in, often switching sides of an argument halfway through just to watch the two get flustered. Peter found himself dragged into a debate or laughing at the others on more than one occasion. The three men would give Peter such warm and loving smiles that happened so easily. Peter’s chest had never felt so warm.

Breakfast had only just been cleared from the table when Natasha started demanding entrance to the floor in order to talk with Peter. Tony was arguing with her image that was displayed next to the elevator entrance.

“This is a safe zone! No interrogations in the house!”

“I’m not going to interrogate him!” Natasha snapped.

“You interrogate people when you ask them if they want creamer in their coffee! It’s in your very blood. I bet you interrogate during sex! You’re a monster!”

“I swear, Tony, if you don’t stop bringing up my sex life-”

“See! Threats are already happening!”

“Tony. You agreed for her to be his godmother, you know.” Steve pointed out to contradict Tony’s spoken dislike.

“Because she was supposed to put the fear of god in him whenever he decided to be rebellious! How was I supposed to know that’s not what it meant?!”

Wade cackled from his spot on the couch.

“Let me in, damn it! I’m officially family!” Natasha argued.

“In the same way Maleficent is officially a fairy!” Tony shot back.

Peter sighed and walked over to the console to press the button that would allow Natasha access. “Be nice- dad.” Peter caught himself just in time on the last word so he didn’t accidentally say “Tony.” Though “dad” felt like a strangely foreign word on his tongue.

Thank you, Peter.” Natasha said with a raised eyebrow before her image blinked out.

“You just invited evil into our home, you know that?” Tony scowled.

“When are you going to get over that time she kicked your ass?” Steve called from the kitchen.

“Oh, are we pretending it was only the one time?” Wade looked up from his phone in surprise, as if the rules of conduct had suddenly been changed.

“I hope you all get cursed.” Tony complained as he stalked off to his workshop. Peter wasn’t sure why that upset Tony so much. Everyone had been taken down by Natasha in hand to hand combat at least once in their lives.

As Peter waited for the elevator, he considered how unaffected he was to learn that Black Widow was his godmother. Maybe he was just incapable of feeling any further shock after everything that had happened.

The elevator opened to a very calm looking Natasha. She gave Peter a friendly smile and a nod before walking past him to the table they had just been eating at. “Come talk to me, Peter.”

“Take it easy on him, Nat.” Steve called.

Peter obediently sat down across from Natasha, knowing the kind of bad things that happened when you didn’t follow her orders. They shared friendly smiles that seemed ominous somehow. Peter knew she was going to question him in various ways and he would need to answer as well as he could. He couldn’t feign ignorance on everything. That wouldn’t work out well in the long run.

“What’s the first rule of combat that I taught you?” Natasha started.

Wade scoffed. “What part of memory loss are you not catching on to?”

“I’ve heard he can’t remember events, but he still knows things. Like our names and faces.” She turned back to Peter. “Right?”

Peter nodded. Actually, he had trained with Natasha once upon a time and she had soundly kicked his ass, despite his spidey sense. Maybe their “first rule” wasn’t the same, but the general idea of the rules should be, even if they were out of order. Natasha would accept that, he knew. So he answered with what he’d actually learned from those training sessions.

“You have five senses - six in my case - so if your eyes are on the enemy, your other senses should be everywhere else in case of another attack.”

Natasha gave him a nod that told Peter he got it right. “You were named after someone. Who?”

“My Uncle Ben.”

“Wait wait wait!” Wade hopped up from the couch and walked over. “You think he’s not Peter?”

“It doesn’t matter what I think.” Natasha scolded. “What matters is following protocol, which all of you have resoundly ignored.”

“You think I wouldn’t know Peter from an imposter?”

“You think you’d know the difference between a clone?”

Peter had personal experience with that and he could easily say that no, Wade wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

“We’re mapping his DNA currently.” Tony added, walking back into the room.

“That can take days.” Natasha argued. “How much information can be collected in that amount of time?”

“He hadn’t even done anything!” Wade shot back.

“Yet.” Natasha stated.

The boys went to argue again and Peter held up his hands. “Whoa! Guys. Seriously. I’d be pretty mad if I was kidnapped and nobody came to rescue me and I finally escaped only to find a clone of me living my life. It’s fine.”

“Peter’s right. Let her do her job.” Steve said as he walked in to sit beside Peter. “I’ll make sure things don’t get out of hand.” Steve, ever the voice of compromise.

The questions didn’t last that long and they all lined up pretty well with what Peter knew. Natasha seemed satisfied, Steve seemed relieved, but Tony and Wade still looked mad.

“The scan shows the abnormal brain patterns could be PTSD trauma. I don’t want you triggering something.” Tony was practically shaking with anger as he shoved the readout under Natasha’s nose.

It wasn’t the diagnosis that surprised Peter, he knew he had PTSD from various things, it was that Other Peter apparently didn’t. Did Other Peter not have the same major fights and losses? Or had he just received therapy afterwards to prevent any serious emotional damage? That was something else Peter needed to look up so he didn’t make any mistakes.

“This could also be a trigger implant.” Natasha pointed out.

“It takes more than three days to brainwash a person.” Wade argued.

“There are many techniques. We should call in the expert on that.”

Tony bristled. “You mean Bucky?” He spat the name.

“Tony,” Steve said in a calming manner. “It’s not a bad idea.”

Apparently, that was not the right thing to say. “So you wanna lock our son away and get back with your ex?”

“Don’t attack me like that! I haven’t seen Bucky in years. Why do you hate him so much?”

“You invited him to our wedding.” Tony stated flatly, as if that explained everything.

“He’s my friend!”

Tony didn’t stay to listen, just whirled around and stormed off.

“You better go after him.” Wade pointed out to Steve.

“I suggest chocolates.” Natasha offered.

Steve cursed and jumped out of his seat to go after Tony. Peter wasn’t as shocked about that previous relationship. He had wondered about it himself after seeing the two around each other and how protective Steve was of Bucky. At least, they were like that in his world. Maybe there were some things that weren’t so different here.

“I’ll call in Bucky.” Natasha said, getting up from the table. “In the meantime, stay out of trouble.”

Wade frowned at that but Peter just smiled. “Thank you for stopping by to check on me.”

This time, Natasha’s smile was a lot warmer. “Thanks for being the one level headed member of this family.” She winked when Peter laughed and then left.

“So what now, Baby Boy?” Wade asked, walking over to run his fingers through Peter’s hair.

“Mm,” Peter picked up the Stark pad. “I guess I’ll start looking over my projects.”

“And that’s how I know you’re my Peter.” Wade said with a bit of humor in his voice.

Peter laughed, but it died off when his chin was tilted up. This time the kiss wasn’t as chaste as the ones Wade had given him previously. It baffled Peter why Wade’s very obviously male lips didn’t bother him considering he had only ever been with women previously. Yet, there he was, kissing back, enjoying the intimacy his body had been craving for years.

When they broke apart, Wade had heat in his eyes and Peter instinctively knew what the man wanted. A part of him wanted it too, even though the rest of him feared it for various reasons. But it wasn’t the fear that stopped him.

He’s not mine. Peter thought. “We shouldn’t get too distracted.” he said out loud, trying to make it sound natural.

Wade pouted. “Science always steals you away from me.” But he winked afterwards and headed back to the couch stating he was going to watch a movie.

Looking down at the Stark pad in his hands, Peter let his shoulders sag a little. Things were already getting unnecessarily complicated. First thing he needed to do when he got back home was to join a dating service. Banishing such thoughts from his mind, he opened up the first file on the pad.

Chapter Text

What Peter should have done was hack into the system and scour it for information about Other Peter. What he did was get entirely caught up in Other Peter’s work. What was supposed to be a cursory glance to throw off suspicions ended up with holographic screens surrounding him as he made separate notes and adjusted formulas based on his own trial and error.

But he couldn’t help it. Everything was absolutely fascinating. There were theories in here that Peter had never had the time to get around to, so seeing the effort that had gone into them left him feeling practically giddy.

So engrossed was he, that he didn’t notice someone walking up behind him. He jumped at the feeling of a hand dropping on his shoulder. Looking around, he met the handsome smiling face of Wade.

“Baby Boy, you need to eat something.”

Peter looked at the time. It was already after lunch. “Sorry! I just… There was so much material-”

Wade laughed. “It’s fine! I’m glad you were getting into it. You finally looked focused. I was getting worried about you.” Wade leveled such a loving smile on Peter that he almost felt guilty. He wasn’t doing a great job at making people not worry over him, as was the mission’s purpose.

“Just… Let me finish up this note.” Peter turned back around to complete the process he was working on.

“You look like you’re changing the entire formula.” Wade pointed out.

Well, that did it. Peter was launching into an explanation of why things wouldn’t work as originally theorized and what book he was referencing for the reasons. Before he could stop himself, he was excitedly pointing out the places of change and how that would affect the end result. Wade made a agreeing noise behind him and Peter’s excitement plummeted.

People hated it when he rambled like this. They didn’t understand what he was talking about and couldn’t fathom why he all but fangirled over it. Even other scientists would tell Peter he needed to calm down. When people were nice, they just made agreeing noises, coddling Peter and paying him no attention until he clued in and was embarrassed. Only Gwen ever seemed to enjoy the discussions with Peter and thinking of Gwen only depressed him.

“I’m sorry… I’m boring you.” Peter mumbled as he cut himself off. Finishing up his notes in hurried silence.

A hand grabbed his chin and turned his face to meet Wade’s bright blue eyes. “What was that? You know I love it when you talk science at me. I love watching you be so excited about something. Makes me not feel alone about my obsession with Golden Girls.”

A laugh burst out of Peter before he could help it. Of course both Wades had that in common. Peter wondered if it was something left over from Wade’s childhood but couldn’t ask. What if that was something they already discussed? Memory loss or not, Peter needed to act like he knew as much as possible.

Wade’s head tilted to the side and an easy smile pulled at his lips. “I also like that you don’t talk down to me like everyone else does just because I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re a great teacher, Petey. When you get excited, I get excited, and then I remember stuff. I’m smarter every time you talk.”

Peter blushed. Hard. Nobody, and he did mean nobody, had ever said something remotely like that to him before. He tried to open his mouth to speak, but couldn’t think of the right things to say.

“Fuck, you’re sexy when you blush.” Wade’s voice was low and sultry. Peter’s mouth suddenly went dry.

Then Wade’s lips were on his, and it was a kiss unlike any he had experienced before. It was primal and hard, it felt like he was going to be devoured and forced to enjoy it. Peter made a small sound in his throat as he scrambled to keep up with it all. That only seemed to spur Wade on, his teeth scraping along Peter’s lips and tongue.

Peter’s body was reacting. His skin tingled, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, and blood pooled in his nether regions. A numbness was building in the back of his mind that whispered at him to lay down on the table and let the beast above him do what it wanted. Yet another part of him pushed back, screaming at Peter to give what he got and throw Wade up against a wall, force Wade to obey his commands.

This was unlike anything he’d ever felt. He shivered violently and Wade moaned, one hand running across Peter’s back, the other burying itself in the wild tuft of brown hair. It felt good. It felt too good. A panicked voice of reason was screaming somewhere in his mind that this was happening with a man. Wasn’t Peter supposed to be straight?

That’s what Other Peter thought, too. Shit, did this Wade have some kind of sex super power? The ability to get any person in bed, despite their prefered gender? I must never tell Deadpool of this power.

Someone cleared their throat very loudly and the two sprung apart like guilty teenagers. Peter had never been more grateful for a cock block in his entire life. Steve was standing there with arms crossed and an eyebrow raised. “I’d like to keep my table PG, thank you.”

Again, Peter blushed hard enough he thought he would spout a nose bleed. He was barely able to get enough breath. The world was spinning over the sudden implications to Peter’s sexuality. What the hell had just happened? Why did Wade have this effect on him?

“Aww, Pops! There’s a right of passage for couples to sully something in their parent’s homes. I will happily take your bed, though. It’s gigantic! And the mirrors! Was that your request or Tony’s?”

Steve scowled and fought his own blush. “Stay out of our room, Wade.” The man in question opened his mouth to shoot something back, but Steve cut him off. “Feed your man.”

“Right! Food! You want pancakes, Baby Boy?”

“We already ate breakfast.” Peter was doing his best to recover, but his voice still sounded shaky.

“Since when are pancakes reserved for breakfast?” Wade looked genuinely confused.

Steve sighed. “Remember, Pete. You picked him.” With that he took hold of Wade’s arm and dragged him off to the kitchen to make something quick to eat.

Peter turned back to the displays and closed them down, trying desperately not to think about his body’s all to happy reaction to Wade’s attentions. It was just because it had been a long time since he was intimate, right? Once it was out of his system, this wouldn’t happen again. And if he tried really hard, he almost believed that lie.

In the afternoon, Peter got back on track and started looking through the systems. The first thing he discovered was that Other Peter was a hugger. It wasn’t that everyone was attacking him with hugs, it was that they expected Peter to initiate them. Peter hadn’t had the opportunity for that much physical contact in his life, so that trait seemed decidedly odd.

Peter also sneakily listened to some sound clips of Other Peter saying people’s names so he would know the kind of inflection needed. He searched for any possible hidden handshakes as well, but none seemed to come up. That was a good thing. He just knew he’d ruin it if he tried.

Lastly, it occurred to Peter that Other Peter would need to know, in detail, everything that happened in his absence. So Peter set up a highly secured file and started logging in every detail. Including the embarrassing moments along with profuse apologies for kissing Wade so intimately.

He finished right before dinner. When he closed everything down, Wade walked up behind him and started rubbing his shoulders. It felt heavenly and Peter couldn’t help but let out a moan of appreciation.

“You’ve been working non-stop, Petey. You’re not going to recover your memory by pushing yourself too hard. The experts say to relax and let it happen by immersing yourself in familiar environments.”

“Have you been doing research?” Peter smirked.

“I’m a google expert in the field at this point!”

Peter laughed. “I’m glad I have such a knowledgeable person by my side, then.”

Wade slid his hands around to wrap his arms across Peter’s shoulders. He buried his face into Peter’s wild hair. “I was so scared.” he whispered. “I know you need your space, and I’m trying, but I just want to wrap myself around you and never let you out of my sight again.”

A lump formed in Peter’s throat and he swallowed hard around it before lifting up his hands to hold onto Wade’s arms. Peter didn’t know how to comfort this man. He knew Wade, yet he didn’t. What would Peter say to Deadpool if the merc was feeling insecure and scared of losing someone?

“Well, thanks to my Spider strength, I can easily carry you around if you decide to merge with my body like an angler fish.”

As intended, Wade laughed. “This is why I love you, Baby Boy.” Wade started leaving kisses behind Peter’s ear, which turned out to be a surprisingly sensitive place. Peter shuddered, which only encouraged Wade more.

“Bucky should be here tomorrow.” Steve said as he walked by, successfully saving Peter for the second time that day. “Your dad’s locked himself away in the lab. Can you coax him out? We’ll all take a break and watch a movie, okay?”

“I’ll help!” Wade said to Peter, standing up straight. “Tony loves me!”

Steve rolled his eyes and Peter laughed. When Peter stood up, Wade went bounding off towards the lab excitedly shouting for “daddy” and Peter ran after him hoping to prevent any completely warranted violence on Tony’s part.

Chapter Text

Sometimes when life was hard, the taco shells were stale, and every person you walked by had something mean to say, it could make a person feel a little lonely. Maybe it had something to do with the blood stained satin dress that strained to conform around Deadpool’s bulging muscles and weapon laden suit. Or maybe it was because he pissed off one too many superheroes today.

Deadpool didn’t think landing on the news was that big of a deal to the other superheroes. They got to be on the news all the time. So when the camera started swinging around in his direction, he just knew he had to be dressed for the occasion (Thus the dress.) before skewering a bad guy on his katanas (Thus the blood.) and giving the camera man a happy thumbs up. (Thus the angry superheroes and passersby.)

Ungrateful, the lot of them. He had full intentions of mailing them giant envelopes full of glitter.

Whenever Deadpool felt particularly lonely, there was one person guaranteed to cheer him up: His friendly neighborhood Spidey-booty. So immediately Deadpool had run off on a search for his beloved. Not to mention, he wanted to show off his lovely dress. Yet, Spider-man had been elusive in Deadpool’s attempts to find him.

“I just saw him, like, two days ago! And he wasn’t in the fight just now. What could have happened? … Le gasp! You think he’s really been Spidey-napped?! What if he just overslept? … That’s a good idea. … Of course I like ketchup, but you don’t put that on a hotdog in Chicago!”

Deadpool continued rambling to himself, causing more looks from the people he passed on the sidewalk. He knew Spider-man’s identity and where the man lived, so he headed on over and invited himself in via a window. Alas, no Peter Parker.

So Deadpool raided what little food was available in the apartment before leaving the dress on a table along with a little love note. He bet Peter would look amazing in that dress. Deadpool idly wondered how much alcohol it would take to get Peter drunk enough to try the scrap of satin on. The merc sighed dreamily.

There was another place Deadpool could check, though Peter didn’t know that Deadpool knew where Aunt May lived. Peter probably wouldn’t be happy about Deadpool dropping by, buuut… He had to make sure Spidey wasn’t hurt or kidnapped, right? After all, it had been two whole days since his (possible) disappearance. Totally had nothing to do with Deadpool’s selfish loneliness. Nope. Not at all.

So Deadpool high tailed it over to Aunt May’s and proceeded to peek through the windows, trying to catch sight of Peter. He tapped on the window to Peter’s room that Aunt May kept aside for him and whispered his name not so quietly. But there was no response.

As Deadpool later dangled from the window ledge looking into the kitchen, the door a few feet down opened and there stood an exasperated Aunt May, raising an eyebrow at him. In a panic, Deadpool lost his grip and plopped to the ground, landing on his rear.

“Uhhh… You have a very lovely home.” Deadpool said.

“Why thank you, dear. Are you looking for someone?”

“Yeeeeah… Is Spi-Peter here?”

“He’s out of town, currently.”

Deadpool’s shoulders dropped. “Oh…”

“Are you planning on kidnapping me?”

Deadpool’s head shot up. “Wha- No! Does that happen a lot?”

Aunt May shrugged. “It’s happened before.” She tilted her head at him, getting a better look at his outfit. “You’re his friend aren’t you?”

“Uhhh…” Did Spider-man even consider them friends?

“The one with the guns that always gets him in trouble with the press.”

Deadpool dropped his head guiltily. “Yeah… That’s me.”

Aunt May hummed. “Come inside. Do you like coffee?”

For a long time, all he could do was gape. “More of a hot chocolate fan.” he said weakly.

“Oh, good. Me too. I’ll put some on.”

Stunned, Deadpool followed her in the house. Spider-man was totally going to kick his ass for this. But if a motherly woman told you to come inside for hot chocolate, you damn well followed their orders.

Deadpool sat at the homey kitchen table as Aunt May went about making the hot chocolate. With milk. On the stovetop. Bless this woman.

“Sooo, what town did he go out of town to?”

“Apparently another earth.”

“He’s dimension hopping again?! Just when we managed to get him off the pipe.”

“I was lucky to get an email from him before he left. He couldn’t even tell me how long he’d be gone.” She sighed. “At least he told me he was leaving this time instead of letting me worry for months.”

“That must have sucked.” Deadpool said sympathetically.

“Mm, it did indeed suck.” Aunt May turned around and placed the steaming mugs onto the table. Deadpool’s mug was almost overflowing with tiny marshmallows. This woman was a saint.

“So we just gotta sit here and wait?” Deadpool pouted, desperately wanting to drink the hot chocolate, but not wanting to roll up his mask.

“I suppose you’re not as used to that as I am.” She said kindly.

“No… Usually, I’m helping him fight the bad guys. Can’t believe he didn’t invite me.” He was aware he sounded like a sullen three year old.

“I’m sure there was a reason he couldn’t bring you along.” She comforted.

“Or he just didn’t want to deal with me…” Okay, maybe he hadn’t taken the comments he got today as well as he wanted to pretend he did.

“Nonsense, you’re his friend.”

“I’m his partner. Sometimes. When he’s willing to put up with me. And I force him to let me tag along.”

“The poor thing didn’t have many friends growing up. They didn’t understand him and teased him a lot. He tried to hide that from us because he was always so worried about troubling us. However, when he did have friends he cherished them and let himself relax in ways he normally wouldn’t. Even his posture is different. That’s how I knew he’s your friend.”

Deadpool looked up, the white eyes of his mark going wide. “You’re not makin’ that up?” It sounded too good to be true.

“He talks about you, you know. Laughs at the jokes you two shared and excitedly tells me about how you know where all the best Mexican food in town is. He took me to a few of those places.”

Deadpool wanted to coo over how cute and flattering that was, but his shock left him in dumbfounded silence. Aunt May just smiled at him. “Drink your cocoa, dear.”

Slowly, Deadpool lifted his mask just high enough to obey the order, nervously watching for some horrified reaction. But Aunt May just continued to smile at him in that calm manner of hers. The steaming chocolate drink was absolutely divine, and he groaned at how good it tasted. They sat and drank their nectar of the gods in silence for a while.

“You know…” Deadpool finally spoke up. “I bet friends would protect their friend’s family while they were out of town.” He nervously shuffled his feet after the statement, unable to look May in the eyes.

The older woman gave him a knowing look, recognizing the lonely insecurity for what it was. After all, Peter had suffered from it quite a bit in his life. “I’m a lonely old woman. It’d be nice to have some company once in awhile.”

Deadpool’s head snapped up in excitement. “Yeah? Really? Yeah? I mean. I’m good at hanging out. Being company. I’m good company. Promise.” He fidgeted, trying to get his mouth under control before the woman regretted her decision. “You wanna watch Golden Girls?”

“Oh! I was just about to do that before you came over. The re-runs are playing for the next few hours.”

“Sweet!”

With that, they took their drinks and went to watch TV.

Chapter Text

Admittedly, Peter was a little distracted about what to say for when Bucky showed up the next day. However, he should have been more prepared for going to bed that night. Peter had barely managed to get his pajama pants pulled on when Wade suddenly pounced.

Again, it was that primal kiss from before, the one that wreaked havoc on Peter’s brain. This time, it was accompanied by Wade’s roaming hands, gliding across Peter’s naked torso. In under a minute, Peter’s legs gave out which caused Wade to hoist the smaller man up by a firm grip on that round ass and carry Peter over to the bed.

Peter was a lost cause. The kiss tasted like mint from their freshly brushed teeth. Wade’s hands were almost hot, radiating heat everywhere they traveled. The contact points along their legs tingled with an almost electric current. Before Peter could stop himself, his hands had run up the length of Wade’s arms, across the neck, and buried themselves into soft blonde locks.

There wasn’t just sexual need happening, there was a battle. Peter instinctively tried to take over the kiss time and time again, only for Wade to suddenly get the upper hand once more. The familiar buzz of adrenaline sang through Peter’s veins, melding seamlessly with the cloud of lust that washed through his system and left his head feeling muted.

Big warm hands traveled down Peter’s torso and dipped into the waistband of his pants. They gripped his hips firmly and dragged Peter forward to meet Wade’s own thrust. Their obvious need ground against each other causing Peter to hitch his breath and Wade to moan.

Sudden clarity ripped through Peter’s mind. There would be no convenient Steve to walk in on them now. Things were going to progress unless Peter put a stop to it. But should Peter stop it? Wouldn’t it cause more suspicion and problems if Peter suddenly cut off all sexual advances?

What if it didn’t go that far? Being in Tony’s house, maybe they wouldn’t go all the way. However, even if they didn’t, was Peter ready for that? He didn’t even know how he felt about what was happening on the most simplistic level: sexual contact with a man. More or less how he felt about doing this with someone else’s partner. Even if that someone else was technically himself. Sorta.

Peter’s mind was too fuzzy to deal with this. He didn’t know what to do and he didn’t know how many answers he’d get to his questions even if he thought about this for hours with a clear head. His body froze with uncertainty.

Wade noticed, and quickly stopped his attack, hands going stiff with worry. “Peter? What’s wrong, Baby Boy?”

“Uhh…” Peter looked at Wade in a panic. What was he supposed to say? “My head feels funny.” He blurted. It was mostly the truth.

Panic transferred to Wade. “Are you okay? Do you need a doctor? Funny how? Headache funny or seizure funny? Should I get your parents? Is this my fault? I shouldn’t have got your blood pressure up!”

Peter held up calming hands. “Whoa whoa whoa! It’s okay. It’s okay. I just suddenly feel really anxious and I’m having a hard time concentrating. I feel… sleepy.” Peter did his best to make this sound like a medical condition.

“Is it the PTSD? Fuck, Petey, what did they do to you?” Wade’s face crumpled and he looked both on the verge of tears and ready to run off to kill someone. Instead, he wrapped his arms around Peter’s shoulders and hugged the man close, leaving small kisses in the tousled brown hair.

For a time, Peter just comforted Wade, running his hands up and down the bare skin of Wade’s back in soothing motions. The skin was so smooth under Peter’s fingers. It felt so oddly out of place. Peter had never known Deadpool before the scars.

“Why does it feel like you’re trying to take care of me?” Wade chuckled.

“Because I’m not the only one who’s scared.” Peter said softly, and it was the truth.

“Damn it, Baby Boy. I love you so much.” Wade’s soft confession was so full of emotion that Peter could barely breathe. He squeezed his eyes closed hard and fought off the feelings that were attacking him. He wanted this. He didn’t care that it was a man in his arms. He wanted this devotion and love. And it hurt that it wasn’t his.

Soon after they were back in their usual positions of Peter being the little spoon, engulfed by Wade’s body who seemed to be trying to cocoon Peter in safety. It took a long time for Peter to fall asleep. However, sleep was not the escape it needed to be.

Driven by the day’s memories and worries, Peter’s dreams were plagued with flashbacks of Gwen, escalating to her untimely death. Horror, guilt, pain, and regret smothered Peter. He relived the scene over and over, as if he could somehow change the outcome. Gwen accused him of killing her. Or killing so many people that Peter didn’t save and instead let turn into monsters.

Then Venom was there, choking him, pouring into his very cells through his nose and mouth. Peter couldn’t breathe. He fought the symbiote with everything he had, but every time he pulled it off, it would slip through his hands and attack more of him. It paralyzed him and reverberated its triumph through his body.

You can kill. You will kill. You are one of us. You have fallen from grace, Peter Parker!

Peter tried to scream, but nothing came out. He thrashed about, trying to open his eyes. When he did, it was only to watch himself third person in the black clad suit. Venom was in Aunt May’s house, grinning wickedly at the pool of blood surrounding it. It somehow looked at the incorporeal watching Peter.

You are one of us. There will be no person left on this planet who can hurt or oppose us. We will give you your freedom from pain, Peter Parker. You want this!

“NO!” Peter woke to find himself clinging to the corner of the room, hands on the ceiling, a foot on either wall. He was covered in sweat, his heart beating wildly. Tears were streaming down his face.

It took a long time for Peter to understand what he was seeing. He didn’t recognize the room and that made his already fear-stricken body panic even more. His breaths were coming too fast. It tunneled his vision and caused his ears to ring. When things finally came back into focus, his eyes landed on the canvas framed print of the tree from the park. It calmed him considerably.

Often, Peter wondered if Venom had done something permanent to his mind. No matter what sad or frightening dream started, it ended with Venom taking over and killing those Peter cared about. With Venom insisting that Peter wanted it. They were thoughts and visions that Venom had used to try and take control of Peter once upon a time. But they didn’t leave just because he had managed to rid himself of the symbiote.

In the next moment, the grief of watching Gwen’s death at his own hands ripped through him again. A long pained keening ripped from his already sore throat and he shoved his face into one of his arms. Every time he thought he had moved on, something like this would happen and it would all rush back. Mary Jane had been a saint, helping him through it every time. But Mary Jane was no longer here. Yet another loss.

“PETER!”

It finally occurred to him that someone was shouting his name. Over and over, the words falling over and into each other. But there was nobody there to call his name in such a masculine voice. He was hallucinating it. Uncle Ben had died. That was his fault too. Peter sobbed.

“BABY BOY!”

Peter’s attacks offered a whole slew of hallucinations, but none of them ever called him that. It was odd. What face was his mind putting with that voice? Slowly, Peter turned his head and the world followed in clips and chunks of reality. When it settled, Peter was met with the anxiety ridden face of a handsome blonde, looking up at him with such worry.

Deadpool calls me Baby Boy. His mind belatedly offered. That was true, but Deadpool wasn’t there. Just the blonde. Had they met before?

As Peter’s vision stabilized further, he noticed two other people standing around the mysterious person. He knew them. Tony and Steve. Iron Man and Captain America. Both in their pajamas. That was odd…

Then Peter’s mind was fully awake in an instant, the hallucinations that were left fell away and Peter became very aware of his surroundings. Shit. What had he done? Had he said anything during his attack? Did he ruin it? Did they know he wasn’t their Peter?

Worse, had he cried out some woman’s name in Wade’s arms? That was cruel any way you looked at it. Was that why Wade looked so upset? Peter was good at nothing but pushing people away and it looked like he was going to leave that as his gift for Other Peter to find.

The emotional turmoil had not evaporated with Peter’s awareness. No, now it just took the form of a whole new kind of anxiety. A panic attack was brewing inside his chest and he didn’t know how to stop it. He felt so weak during times like these. He took a desperate breath, knowing it would be the last one he’d easily obtain until this passed. Then it hit him.

Peter dropped from his position and hit the floor hard, instantly curling in on himself. His chest constricted and he gasped in short, rapid breaths. His frame shook violently. At any moment the others were going to have him in cuffs, locked to a table and sedated, experimented on to see what and who he was. It was one of his greatest fears.

However, that didn’t happen. Something much more remarkable did. He was surrounded on all sides by comforting arms and soothing words. They were holding him up and Wade had hold of Peter’s face, coaching Peter on how to breathe normally. Wade’s thumbs gently stroked the damp skin of Peter’s cheeks. There was nothing but love in those blue eyes.

“We got you, Baby Boy. We got you. Nobody’s going to hurt you. We’re right here.” Wade rambled constantly in between his encouragements for Peter to breath slowly, in and out.

Tony and Steve were on either side, running comforting hands up and down Peter’s back, whispering words filled with paternal worry and love. Tony hand one hand gripping Peter’s almost a little too hard, like he was unable to control his emotions in the face of his son’s. Steve was sitting up straight, being the backbone for anyone that might crumple.

This was too much. Peter had never had this. Had never experienced it. The second he was able to breathe enough air, he was sobbing. But his weakness and hysterics didn’t run them off. They stayed and they held him together. They encouraged him to cry as much as he needed to in order to let it all out. And he found he couldn’t deny them.

Peter didn’t know how long it took, but eventually his tears ran out, and with it all of his energy. He slumped forward into Wade’s warm arms and let himself be cradled in the pile of hugs surrounding him. At some point, he must have passed out because he woke to being carried and placed on the bed. Someone cleaned the tears and snot from his face. Then the warm protective body of Wade was surrounding him again causing Peter to let out a content sigh.

Though he didn’t know it, Tony and Steve stayed in the room a long time, quietly discussing what had happened and what Peter would need in order to overcome his trauma. As worried parents, they wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep for a long time.

As for Wade, he fell asleep stroking Peter’s hair.

Chapter Text

The next day Peter awoke groggily. He felt like he’d been hit by a truck. Yeah, a truck full of emotional baggage.

Opening his eyes, Peter found that he was cradled in Wade’s arms, facing that broad chest. Tiling his head up, he noticed that Wade still sported a small frown of concern and drawn eyebrows on his sleeping face. Peter sighed. The whole episode last night had been exactly what he was afraid of happening. If he was lucky, he’d be able to play it off as part of his “kidnapping”. One could hope.

Though it had to be noted that within the past few years, every time Peter had a night terror induced panic attack, he’d have to sit there by himself until it ended or his hyperventilation knocked him back out. Having not just one person, but a whole group of them there to help Peter had been an unusual experience. But a very welcome one.

Perhaps he should seek out some therapy when he went back home. He shouldn’t just take these things in stride as something normal. Surely this wasn’t healthy for him in the long run. And it was obvious now that at some point, it would negatively affect his missions.

With a groan, Peter sat up, unwinding Wade’s arms as he went. In doing so, Wade woke with a start, eyes wild for a moment before settling on Peter. Wade sat up too.

“Sorry for waking you.” Peter mumbled.

“No! Don’t be.” Wade tried to keep his voice down, despite his excitable nature. “I want to make sure you’re okay. Are you okay?”

Peter looked away. “Yeah. Just… tired, I guess… I’m sorry for what happened.”

“Nonono!” Wade took Peter’s face in his hands. “Don’t say that. Don’t ever try to hide something like that or apologize for it. I’m your partner, Peter. I should be there to help you through this. You should trust me with anything that hurts you. That’s what partners do.”

What was he supposed to say to that? It was true. That’s what partners did. But Peter wasn’t really Wade’s partner. “Sorry. I guess I’m still a little shaken.”

Wade’s lips quirked. “Stop apologizing.” He teased.

A small smile pulled at Peter’s lips. “Sorry.”

The morning was a flurry of activity despite everyone being tired from lack of sleep. Peter had never been more fretted over in his life and it quickly became annoying. He at one point had to yank his toast out of Steve’s hands to keep the man from buttering it for Peter. Then he had to threaten Wade for trying to cut up his sausage patties. Finally, he had to argue with Tony about whether or not he should spend the day in bed drinking chicken broth.

“Making me feel invalid isn’t helping!” Peter finally snapped and they all responded by looking like kicked puppies. Which made Peter feel guilty, which just made him more annoyed.

By the time the door chime indicated that Natasha and Bucky had arrived, Peter was relieved despite the fact that he was entirely unprepared to talk to Bucky. Peter beat Tony to the call pad and approved them access before they could be locked out.

“We now know officially that it’s PTSD and not a trigger. You don’t have to talk to him.” Tony scolded.

“I’m sure they’re worried, too. So I should talk to them.” Peter argued back.

“Besides,” Steve interjected. “Bucky put together the PTSD support group for Superheroes. We have even more reason to talk to him now.”

Tony whirled around and glared at Steve. “He doesn’t even do anything in that group! He just put it together!”

“He’s shy!”

“Shy? Is that really what you’re going with? You like the shy and bashful ones that stare at everyone with a suspicious frown?” Tony snapped.

Steve groaned. “Please don’t do this right now.”

“Oh! Are my emotions inconvenient to you? I suppose you wouldn’t notice them since you don’t notice anything but Bucky when he’s around.”

“That’s not true!”

“Is it not? I was wearing an ivory Armani tuxedo at our wedding, Steve. ARMANI. And Mr. Men’s Wearhouse walks in and you can’t keep your eyes off of him!”

“Tony! You have to talk to the guests you invite to your wedding. I did the same thing to everyone else.”

ARMANI, STEVE!”

Peter sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. Maybe he wasn’t so jealous of Other Peter after all.

The elevator dinged and everyone tensed for various reasons. When the doors opened, Natasha just raised an eyebrow at the scene, but Bucky looked just as stoic as usual. He stepped out of the elevator and nodded at Tony who stuck his nose in the air and stormed off. Bucky’s eyebrows furrowed and Steve jumped forward to fix it. Wade sighed and shook his head since that wasn’t going to help things with Tony at all.

They all ended up sitting at the table sans Tony and Steve explained what happened the night before. Bucky pulled a phone from his pocket and quietly stated that he was sending information via email to Peter. Coping mechanisms to help with different types of trauma.

“Do you remember what your dream was about?” Bucky asked, his face still maintaining that emotionless frown.

“Uhm… It was a lot of broken images…” Peter said quietly. He needed more information on Other Peter before he could answer this.

“I heard him say the name ‘Gwen’ before he jumped to the ceiling.” Wade said.

Peter paled. That was exactly what he didn’t need everyone knowing.

“Peter!” Steve turned concerned eyes to the person in question. “Are you obsessing over it again? I thought we’d gotten past this. It wasn’t your fault that something almost happened to Gwen.”

The world seemed to freeze for a moment. Almost? What did he mean by “almost”? Was Gwen still alive?

“There could have been some triggering event that related to the old trauma.” Bucky was saying. “If the mind can’t deal with the current events and is shutting it out, it can latch on to past events as a way to process.”

They continued talking about the implications of that, but Peter couldn’t keep track. He felt sick. If Gwen was alive, why weren’t they together? Did she hate him for almost killing her? Was she paralyzed somehow from the fall? Was he the cause of it? Did she somehow intrinsically know that she died in another reality and hated Peter for it?

“Baby Boy,” The voice sounded like it was underwater and he could barely hear it over the ringing in his ears. “Focus on me.” The voice was so calm comparably to Peter’s mind. “It’s okay. Everything is alright. It’s okay. You can come back here. I got you.”

The world slowly came back into focus. Bucky was leaning over, coaching Wade on what to say and how to say it. Steve had a protective arm around Peter and Wade was kneeling in front of him holding his hands. Peter took a deep and shaky breath.

“I need to see that she’s alive.” Peter whispered, be damned the consequences of this later. “I dreamed she died.”

Steve started reassuring Peter that Gwen was fine and Natasha was already working with Jarvis to establish a video link. In a few minutes a Stark pad was slid over in front of Peter and there she was. She was in London. Giving a dissertation. Looking so natural with the lab coat and high ponytail. Her face fierce as she stated her findings. It was everything Peter had deprived her of. Peter’s fingers hovered over her image.

“I don’t understand. Who is it?” Wade asked, sounding upset at being confused and left out of such an obviously important conversation.

“They dated for a time in high school.” Steve said. “The Green Goblin knocked her down an old clock tower right as we showed up on the scene. Peter shot a web to catch her, but the force of stopping so fast could have caused serious spinal damage. Tony managed to send part of his suit to her in time to stabilize her spine so it wouldn’t happen.”

“Did she blame him for it?” Wade asked the question Peter was dying to know.

“No. They broke up simply because they were kids on different paths. That and her dad gave Peter a lot of trouble after that incident. They haven’t spoken in years, but they’re still friends as far as I know. Peter went through a hard time when he realized what could have happened, but we worked him through it.”

“Peter.” Bucky’s voice held an order and Peter’s head snapped up in reflex. “Did someone die while you were gone?” He asked softly.

No. He wasn’t prepared to have this conversation yet. He was still reeling at everything that was just revealed. If he talked, he would ruin everything. He abruptly stood up and everyone jumped up with him.

“I have to poop.” Peter blurted and everyone gave him surprised looks. Not waiting any longer, Peter sprinted to his room and locked the door.

Chapter Text

Once inside the room, Peter collapsed to all fours and focused on breathing. This world was no longer comforting. It was torture. He had a fleeting panicked moment where he considered that his mind was ensnared by some villain and this was all a made up dream. But he knew better.

Lurching over to the desk, Peter turned on the desktop computer there and started checking the security on it. Other Peter had set up some serious loopholes to allow him in the system without being seen. As a teenager in Tony’s house, that was likely a necessity if he had wanted to stay informed. Whatever the reason, Peter was grateful for it.

Rapid fire, Peter started looking people up. Dr Connors was still the Lizard, but he was caught and currently in a decent facility with doctors trying to suppress the mutation and recover the mind.

The Green Goblin disappeared and was assumed dead. The Hobgoblin never existed as Harry’s father had succumbed to his disease before a cure could be found. Autopsy on the body had produced a medicine that would slow Harry’s disease to the point he’d die of old age before he died of his condition. Since Other Peter moved schools, Harry and Peter never met so they were never friends.

Mary Jane was traveling the globe, pursuing her career. They had also never met. Gwen and Peter had met at Oscorp and worked together there in high school, despite the fact they went to different schools. According to the SHIELD database, Gwen occasionally took on the role of Spider-woman when needed, which is why her and Peter still had a friendly relationship. Though they rarely saw each other out of costume.

Looking at his own SHIELD file (Other Peter had copied them onto his computer long ago), it showed a psych analyses, which meant Other Peter had been in therapy. It explained a lot. It also showed Spider-man as responsible for zero deaths. Peter let out a shaky breath at that.

Simply because he was curious, Peter looked up Deadpool, but there were no hits. He looked up Wade’s file and read it over. Everything up until Weapon X had still happened. Which meant there was no Ellie. Though Peter had never met Deadpool’s daughter, there was something melancholy about that.

Other Peter had an entire file set aside with all the information he knew about his lost family. Peter’s parents were still scientists, Aunt May and Uncle Ben had watched Peter often, but an accident occurred that took out all of them. Peter wondered if it was someone after his parent’s research. That was never determined, according to the file.

The more information Peter looked up, the more he realized that not all happy endings were perfect. There were a lot of people Other Peter never got to know and Peter found that sad. Those people had been important and had helped define Peter’s life and goals. It seemed odd for them not to be so influential here.

Peter looked up Venom. That incident had happened and Other Peter had come far closer to pure mayhem than Peter had. Other Peter had been in therapy and Spider-man out of commision for months afterwards. Apparently resurgences of that trauma happened at random, just like Peter now. He could use that.

Venom was currently being control by Flash, just like in his world. Who would have guessed it?

With a sigh, Peter leaned back and tapped his finger on the table, considering all the information on the screen. There was a part of Peter that was still freaking out over Gwen, but he didn’t have the luxury of a mental breakdown right now. That would catch up to him later, but he had far more experience with suppressing his emotions than Other Peter apparently did.

Right now, Peter needed to take this opportunity for a moment alone to form a coherent plan. He could admit to having a night terror caused by a Venom flashback and all the people he’d almost killed during that time. Including, according to the file, Steve and Tony. He could state that in his dream, Venom had told Peter that he killed Gwen. Sticking to as much truth as possible would be best in keeping his story straight in the long run.

At this point, the others probably thought that Peter had killed someone while he was missing. Either a villain or some innocent passerby in a fight. Peter should probably leave it at that. He wouldn’t be able to confirm or deny anything, but likely if that had happened Other Peter would have had a mental breakdown of the likes they thought Peter had.

So, he would stick with that and encourage them to that conclusion for the time being. It would be best. If Peter had another emotional episode or attack, it could be explained away easily this time. The relief of having a solid plan caused Peter’s shoulders to drop.

Clicking around for any further information, Peter came across a folder that said “you_will_regret_opening_this_dad” and Peter couldn’t help but be curious. Inside was a massive amount of pictures of Other Peter and Wade. They all seemed like normal couple photos. That was until one turned out to be a video. Peter gaped at the positions he could apparently accomplish during sex before he shut down the file with smashing of buttons.

Peter scrubbed at his face, suddenly remembering his other dilemma: To sex or not to sex with Wade. There wasn’t really a good answer with that one.

There was a soft knock on the door and Peter quickly closed everything out on the screen. “Peter?” It was Bucky. “I’m not going to make you talk about anything. I promise. Can I come in?”

Slowly, Peter went over to the door and peeked out of it. Sure enough, Bucky was alone. That seemed like a miracle and Peter let that show on his face.

“It took a lot of convincing for them to let me come alone.” Bucky simply stated.

Peter opened the door and let the man through, closing and locking it back behind him. Peter went and sat back in the computer chair. Bucky pulled a stool from the corner and set it down across from Peter before taking the seat. For some time, they just looked at each other awkwardly.

“I both do and don’t remember when I was a kid.” Bucky stated randomly. “That may never change, but my situation is a lot different from yours.”

Oh. He’s trying to comfort me. “I’m sure it’ll get better with time…”

Bucky nodded once, his eyebrows furrowed in what looked like a frown but probably wasn’t. “You’ll read what I sent you?”

“Yes. Promise.”

He gave another curt nod. “You should rest today. Don’t let anyone push you. You gotta go at your own rate of processing.”

“Thanks.” Why was Bucky always so grumpy looking?

“Look, kid. Can I ask you something off topic?”

“Sure?” Peter hoped he could answer it correctly.

“Why does Tony hate me?” Bucky sounded genuinely confused.

Peter gaped at him. “Didn’t you used to date Ste-Papa?”

Bucky shrugged. “Sorta? We fooled around when we couldn’t get girls before we joined the military. But we were just good friends. I don’t see how that has any relevance now. That was before Tony was even born.”

Poor Bucky. He didn’t get it at all. “Steve is always trying to take care of you.” Peter pointed out.

“I tell him not to.” Bucky defended. “I get that I’m bad at socializing, all considering, but I don’t like being treated like a kid.” His frown deepened.

Peter couldn’t help but smile a little. “Well, Papa is worried everyone will hate you and so he tries to fix everything. That’s just how he is. Dad thinks that means he’s still hung up on you and gets jealous. But Papa doesn’t know that’s the reason Dad is mad and Dad doesn't understand why Papa can’t understand that so he assumes Papa is doing it on purpose or something.”

“So he’s just mad at Steve?”

“Nooo,” Peter rubbed his neck, but decided to just come out and say it. “You look angry all the time, so Dad thinks you hate him for stealing your man. Or something like that.”

This was very obvious, considering the dynamics of everyone thus far. Peter was surprised Natasha hadn’t explained this to Bucky already. So he asked that.

Bucky shrugged. “She said I needed to figure it out for myself. That if she told me, I wouldn’t learn anything. And that if need be, I’d learn the hard way and never forget it.”

“That’s cold.”

“She is.”

Peter chuckled. “Maybe try not scowling so much. Or just talking to To-Dad?”

“He won’t talk to me.” Bucky all but scowled, but Peter was pretty sure it was supposed to be a pout. He tried not to snicker at it.

“He can be pretty difficult. Just make sure Papa doesn’t come with you to try and fix it. Corner Dad if you need to.”

Bucky gave that single swift nod again. “Yes, attacking this head on may be the best plan of action. Thank you for being honest with me, Peter.”

Maybe this would turn out terribly, but things couldn’t keep going the way they were, Peter supposed. Bucky was a nice guy if one could get past his constant angry face. Maybe Tony could figure that out for himself soon.

“Hey, Bucky. You think you can keep them out a little while longer?”

Bucky made a valiant attempt at a smile and Peter returned it encouragingly. “Yeah. Take your time. Message me if you need anything.”

“Thanks.”

Once Bucky was gone, Peter turned back to the computer. He had an awful lot to report to Other Peter. He best get writing.

Chapter Text

Over the next few days, Peter attended one of the PTSD support group meetings and read through everything Bucky had sent him. He made his own notes about how things were set up and created file folder for himself. He planned on taking the information with him back home. Maybe the Bucky he knew would be interested in setting one up. It was definitely needed among the Superheroes of any world.

Steve and Tony continued to fret over Peter, so he took to begging off to the lab. The lab was an easy way to escape everyone else and keep his own mind off his worries. Also, helping Other Peter’s projects felt like a good way to apologize for the mess he was stirring up in the other man’s life.

Wade apparently seemed to think that Peter’s trauma was causing him to not be sexually active. At first, that seemed like a good thing. Until Wade decided to combat this by making Peter crave having sex. This meant that Wade took every opportunity to turn Peter on throughout the day. Peter didn’t even know he had that many erogenous zones.

More than once, Peter had to sneak off to the bathroom when everyone was occupied and “relieve the pressure” as it were. Even when Felicia had been at her friskiest, things hadn’t gotten this bad for Peter. It made him morbidly embarrassed, but also extremely confused since the cause of it was a man. Granted, the sexiest man Peter had ever seen… But a man none the less.

Though it occurred to Peter that he really didn’t have that much of an issue with sexuality. He was only obsessing over it because it was happening to him and it seemed so out of the blue. Other Peter had talked about those exact things in the journal, so maybe that was why Peter was able to understand it better himself.

On the fourth day, Wade had insisted on immersing Peter in another familiar environment: their apartment. Tony and Steve argued the point and Peter was silently rooting for them. Being alone with Wade all the time would mean more opportunities to drive Peter crazy. He was sexually frustrated enough as it was without Wade’s help, thank you very much.

However, it seemed Wade was winning this round so Peter jumped in and said going back to the apartment would be a good opportunity to start patrolling as Spider-man again. That caused an uproar as intended. Nobody wanted to let Peter go out yet. What was unexpected was when Tony suddenly agreed to it.

“If that’s what you feel like you need to do, then maybe it is.” He stated.

“And if that triggers something?” Steve flailed his arms.

“Then it means his mind is dealing with it and maybe he’ll be able to get his memory back.” Tony argued back, crossing his arms. Everyone just stared at him. “What? I read the paperwork.”

Steve sighed and decided after everything with Bucky, he didn’t want to start another fight with Tony. “Fine. But if anything happens, you come back here immediately. And we’ll know if anything happens.”

“Because you’ll be stalking Peter while he’s patrolling?” Wade raised an eyebrow.

“Of course I will! What kind of a father do you think I am?” Tony declared.

Peter sighed. This wasn’t how he wanted things to go at all. “Are we having lunch here first?” he asked in hopes of a delay.

After lunch, Wade re-packed their bag and they headed back to the apartment. Peter was extremely nervous about the whole thing. Did Wade work? Surely he didn’t just sit at home doing nothing. That seemed very un-Wade like. At least, from what he knew about Deadpool. And thus far, this Wade seemed to have a desire to be constantly busy, even if just on his phone. Maybe if Wade worked all day and Peter patrolled all night, he could avoid too much alone time.

When they entered the apartment, Peter immediately noticed the forgotten journal still on the couch. He went over and picked it up, skimming through the pages to find where he left off.

“Peter?” Wade questioned as he watched.

“I think I’m going to read this.” Peter said quietly and sat down to do just that. To his relief, Wade didn’t argue and left him to it.

The journal did in fact let Peter know that Wade had a job working for Stark Industries. Of course Wade worked there. Other Peter did too, fairly often. Apparently, anything Other Peter developed, Tony promoted through his company, but gave all the proceeds to Other Peter. Which meant Other Peter was pretty well off and could easily support himself and Wade. However, Wade was given employment to keep the man from falling back to his only set of marketable skills: killing people.

The rest of the entries in the journal went on to talk about how they had moved in together and the troubles of domestic life that seemed so trivial but turned out to be so important. Peter had found that out himself the hard way, but Other Peter didn’t seem to have as much relationship experience. Despite that, Wade was understanding and willing to talk and work things out even in the middle of an argument.

It seemed odd that Wade was so level headed. After all, these same arguments had lead to Mary Jane storming off for weeks at a time. But then, Wade was older than any of them. Maybe that maturity accounted for something. Peter tried to imagine Deadpool being so calm and collected in the face of an emotional outburst and simply couldn’t picture it.

Bringing himself back to the main issue, perhaps tonight Peter could convince Wade to go back to work. If Peter stayed out all night as Spider-man and then slept all day, it would do wonders to keep the two men apart. Peter needed all the help he could get. As much as he didn’t want to ruin Other Peter’s relationship, if something happened and Wade found out who Peter really was…

Peter couldn’t bring himself to hurt Wade like that if such a scenario were to occur.

So they talked about Wade going back to work over dinner. Wade tried to reject the idea, of course, but Peter pointed out that both of them going stir crazy by just sitting around wasn’t going to help anything. They needed to reestablish their previous routines. After all, Wade had pushed to go back to the apartment for exactly that reason. Eventually, Wade caved and agreed.

Though he was still uncertain about Peter going on patrol. He stood in the doorway frowning as Peter changed into costume in their bedroom. “Are you sure about this?”

“While I’m sitting around doing nothing, there are people out there that need help.” Peter defended. That was an old argument he was used to as he often had it with anyone that debated that Peter needed more time to himself. Though he was starting to think that maybe those people had a point Peter hadn’t previously understood.

“There are plenty of other Superheroes out there. Along with, ya know, the police force.” Wade grumbled.

Peter smirked. Nobody had argued the police line with him in a long time. He pulled on the bottom of the suit, noticing how well made it was. Likely Tony’s influence. He was facing away from Wade, but he was pretty sure the man was checking out his ass.

“Wait.” Wade ordered before Peter could get the fabric completely over his hips. He pulled them up anyways, worried what Wade intended. But Wade grabbed Peter’s wrist and pulled the fabric back down over Peter’s right hip bone.

“What?” Peter was confused over the look on Wade’s face. It looked like Wade was trying to remember something and failing.

“When did you get this scar?”

Looking down, Peter noticed the thin white line Wade was referring to. It was obviously old and Peter couldn’t at all place when he’d gotten it. It could have been skateboard related for all he knew. Peter was covered in little scars like that and had been ever since he was a kid. Either from skateboarding tricks gone wrong, bullying, or Spider-man fiascos. It was impossible to tell where any of them came from anymore.

However, just because Wade wanted to turn a childhood scar into some possible torture that accounted for Peter’s memory loss, didn’t mean Peter was going to go along with it. They all wanted an excuse to keep Peter inside, but it wasn’t a good idea. They needed distance between them if everything was going to turn out okay. But it was tough to accomplish that when he couldn’t explain to anyone why.

“Who knows?” Peter shrugged. “I’m surprised you even saw it, it’s so light. Maybe if I tanned more it wouldn’t be noticeable.”

Wade was still frowning. “I guess the light caught it just right.”

“Don’t worry. A scar like that doesn’t form in a week. I’m sure it’s something old.” Hopefully Other Peter didn’t come back with a body full of fresh and healing scrapes. Wade would have a heart attack.

“Yeah. You’re right. It can’t be anything new.” Wade smiled and Peter returned it reassuringly as he finished getting dressed.

“Alright. I’ll be back later.” Peter tugged on his mask and made to leave the room, but Wade caught his arm, giving Peter a look of such devastating concern.

“Please come back safe.”

Peter leaned over and kissed Wade on the cheek through his mask. “Everything will be fine. Get some sleep.”

Wade returned a worried smile and Peter decided to duck out before the guilt from that look made him stay. If possible, Peter would have stayed out of the suit and remained in the comfort of their home. It would have been less risky that way since going out meant acting for the world and not just Other Peter’s family. However, Wade wasn’t making this easy on Peter so drastic times called for drastic measures. Besides, as long as Spider-man kept to petty criminals, things would be okay.

I wonder what Other Peter is dealing with right now? Peter mused.

Chapter Text

The city was quiet and Peter was grateful for that. For a long time he just swung around, reveling in the feeling of flying. It was a great stress reliever, always had been, as it allowed him to free his mind and focus only on the rush of falling and the exertion of swinging along the web. Maybe he should just do this all night. It would definitely mean he would pass out as soon as his head hit the pillow.

At some point he took a break, simply watching the lights of New York as they bustled below him, even this late at night. Something buzzed by and out of sight near the corner of his eye, but he didn’t bother with it. It was likely a babysitter robot Tony had promised to send after him. Well, if that was the case, maybe he should make it look like he was doing something.

Jumping off the building he was on, he took off to an area known for its higher crimes and hung out within view of a few pawn and gold shops. Sure enough, two would be thieves shot the lock off of one of the doors and darted inside, ready to grab what they could. Spider-man swung down and rolled inside the building to confront them.

“Sorry guys, looks like the place is closed. Maybe you should pawn your guns during business hours.”

“It’s Spider-man!” One of them shouted.

“Oh Em Gee!” Spider-man slapped his hands to the sides of his face in shock. “It’s Captain Obvious! I’m a huge fan.”

The other man pulled up his gun and pointed it in Spider-man’s face. “This ain’t none of your business, Legs.”

“Ya know, I thought people called me that because of the symbol, but it’s the suit, isn’t it?” Spider-man shuffled his legs around to pose them, which sufficiently stunned the robbers.

Taking advantage of that, Spider-man webbed both of the guns, sending them flying across the room to stick to random displays. Peter noted they were laser guns. He was surprised. Nobody had pulled a gun like that on him in a long time. His webbing gummed up the exhaust and the blowback of trying to fire it afterwards was not good. Ever since the first incident hit the papers, criminals would hide the guns if they saw Spider-man coming.

“Alright boys, let’s take a walk and talk about why guns are bad.” Spider-man webbed Captain Obvious up tight when he tried to run. The man went down hard enough Peter winced under his mask.

The other guy dove for his gun. It was hanging onto the display by just a few thin threads, enough to maneuver it around. He pointed it in Spider-man’s general direction. Time slowed and suddenly Peter recognized the man. This was the first victim of the laser gun explosion. It had never happened in this world apparently, but fate seemed determined to fix that problem.

The man had ended up in the ICU for weeks. He survived, but it had been a close call. He ended up in a class action lawsuit against the gun’s manufacturers. A different way to get money, Peter supposed. Still, this was a different situation and things might not turn out the same.

“No! Stop!” Spider-man shot out his arm, trying to web the guy in time, panic infusing his voice. His Spider sense was screaming alarm bells in his head.

The guy grinned and fired. The gun whined, the pitch getting dangerously higher. The webbing hit the guy in the chest and sent him flying backwards seconds before the gun exploded. Peter was painfully reminded of how much power those small guns had packed inside of them.

The resulting explosion launched him through the window and out into the street. The inside of the shop turned into tiny bits of shrapnel. An E.M.P burst took out the power on everything in a half mile radius. Somewhere far behind Peter, a Stark bot fell from the sky and shattered on the ground.

Peter was hardly aware of any of it. His ears were ringing and the world was going by in slow motion. His healing factor was desperately trying to fix the damage done from the concussive blast. Feet were running all around in different directions, some towards the blast, and some away. Other people were on the ground, gawkers who had snuck up to get a peek of Spider-man in action and were caught in the backlash.

Groaning, Peter tried to roll over enough to push up off the ground with his arm, but the movement proved to be too much and he blacked out. When he came to, familiar metal boots were running in his direction. It took him longer than he would have liked to figure out who they belonged to.

Blinking again, Peter found himself propped up against a wall, Iron Man’s mask in front of him. He was asking if Spider-man was alright, over and over, but the words were muffled. Peter tried to say he would be fine if he could just rest a moment, that the civilians needed help, but it came out garbled.

Another blink, Iron Man was talking to someone behind him. There were cops and firemen everywhere. Captain America was running around talking to people and working with the citizens. An EMT bent down and blocked Peter’s view before taking his vitals. Satisfied that everything was being handled, Peter let himself close his eyes and rest for a moment.

He woke up in Stark Tower, sans Spider-man outfit just as Bruce was finishing patching him up. Nobody else seemed to be in the room yet. Peter’s groan of pain got the man’s attention. He walked over and smiled down at Peter.

“Mornin’, sunshine. You’ve got no lasting injuries. Just a bunch of bruising.”

Peter scrubbed his hands over his face. “Are they ever going to let me out of his tower again?” he muttered.

“Well, let’s just say I’m going to start calling you Rapunzel from now on.” Bruce gently patted Peter on the shoulder before walking off to do something important and give Peter a moment to contemplate his situation.

He wondered if they figured out yet that it was the gun and the webbing that caused the explosion. The newspapers were going to have a field day, just like they had on his world. Though honestly, it had turned out to be a good thing. It got the word out and laser guns had gone through a major reform after that. Not to mention, it reduced the amount of guns that people pointed at Spider-man. That was always a plus. Peter should make sure Tony doesn’t try to cover it up.

Peter also worried about the robbers. They had been inside the building. The blast would have thrown them into brick walls, unlike the window Peter had been launched through. Of course, those windows had had bars. Maybe that’s why his back hurt so bad.

On his world the blast had happened in the streets and took out a block full of windows, lacerating everyone inside those buildings. On the one hand, containing the blast may have turned out better for the random passersby. On the other, it would have turned out much worse for the robbers. Peter couldn’t stop fretting over the unknown details.

The fact that nobody was in the room with him other than Bruce was probably a bad thing. Tony was likely dealing with the press and Steve with the cops. Wade was likely having a panic attack. Things just couldn’t have gone simply, could they? How the hell was he going to talk the over-protective trio into letting him out of the house again?

Peter sighed and closed his eyes again. It was going to be a long night.

A loud banging interrupted Peter’s moment of silence. The door to the room was practically rattling with the force of the knocking. “Damn it, Banner! Let me the fuck in!”

Bruce raised an eyebrow at Peter and said dryly. “Your prince charming.” Then he buzzed the door open.

Wade burst in wild and dangerous, looking for the first time like the Deadpool Peter knew. The minute Wade’s eyes fell on Peter, who was struggling to sit up, all that anger seemed to vanish in an instant. He ran over to gently help Peter sit up, running his hands all over to make sure his lover was indeed in one piece.

“They had the roads blocked, it took forever to get here, there are reporters clogging up every entrance into the tower, I can’t get a hold of Tony or Steve, nobody called me until just now-” Wade was babbling and Peter softly pressed his fingers to Wade’s lips to stop the flow of words.

“I’m sore, but I’m fine. The others are busy at the site of the accident. And it was an accident. But they need to take care of the civilians first, Wade. I’m alright. Nothing a good night’s sleep won’t fix. Breathe.”

Wade obeyed and took a shaky breath. “You said everything would be fine.” Came the broken whisper.

Peter felt amazingly guilty at that. “It was an accident. And look,” Peter held up his arms and turned them over. “I’m in one piece.”

Tears filled Wade’s eyes but they didn’t fall. “How was it an accident?” His voice sounded like he wanted to go out and kill the person who did this.

“My webbing jammed in the exhaust of the laser gun. It overheated and exploded. Believe me, that guy didn’t want that to happen as much as I didn’t.” Peter looked down, fiddling with his hands. “Speaking of… Have you heard anything about what happened at the accident site?”

“I was told there were no reported casualties so far.” Bruce softly mentioned from across the room. Peter’s shoulders dropped with relief.

Wade was suddenly peppering kisses across Peter’s face rapid fire, breath unsteady. Peter sat still under the onslaught, knowing that this was for Wade’s comfort more than his own. Finally, Wade broke down and wrapped himself around Peter, desperately trying to hide the fact he was crying.

Peter rubbed Wade’s back as he drown in guilt. He was nothing but trouble to this family and he had no idea how to comfort Wade in a way that would help. What Wade needed was his partner. What he had was a Peter who didn’t even remember how comfort and intimacy worked.

“I love you.” Peter whispered since it was the only appropriate thing he could think of to say.

Chapter Text

It turned out that Tony was in fact trying to cover up what happened. Peter argued that hard, insisting that whatever backlash to his reputation was worth it if it meant that people knew and were safer. Peter wasn’t the only person that could clog the exhaust on a laser weapon. Wade was on Tony’s side, not wanting to bring any trouble down on Peter’s head.

Steve however was on Peter’s side. He was proud that Peter wanted to do the right thing and what was best for others even if it wasn’t best for him. The argument became heated and Peter had very strange flashbacks of the Civil War that happened in his world between Tony and Steve. So Peter took all of it on his shoulders. He declared that if Tony didn’t find a way to fix it and let everyone know about the exhaust problem, Peter would personally hold a press conference and do it himself.

Despite the backlash this would have on Other Peter’s life, Peter couldn’t let this slide. Both robbers had ended up in the ICU this time and it was very touch and go. That was Peter’s fault for not recognizing what was happening sooner. He refused to let anyone else get hurt in the future, or accidentally hurt by Other Peter, just because Tony wanted Spider-man to save face.

It took a long time, but when Wade finally caved based on the guilt written across Peter’s face, Tony angrily agreed to Peter’s demands.

“This is going to ground you, ya know?” Tony snapped. “You won’t be saving anyone until this blows over. All eyes will be looking for Spider-man.”

Peter looked at Wade. “Then I guess I’ll have to leave it to the other superheroes and the police force.”

Tony scoffed and stormed off, already dialing numbers on his phone. Wade gave Peter a sad little smile, knowing that Peter would find this harder than he was pretending it would be. Frankly, when this happened in his own world, Peter answered to nobody but himself and had gone out anyways after the incident thinking that he could prove to the world that he would continue to be the hero no matter what. That had been a hard lesson to learn: that sometimes people need time to see past the shock and realize the details of a matter. Peter wouldn’t fight being off the streets this time.

Steve clapped Peter on the shoulder. “You did the right thing, son.”

Peter gave a tired smile. “Thanks, Papa.”

They went to bed that night in the Tower but the next day Wade and Peter headed back to the apartment. This time Steve and Tony were on the same side arguing that Peter should stay. Before the incident, Peter would have agreed, but now they were going to keep too close of an eye on him. That was the last thing Peter needed right now despite their good intentions.

So with a promise to stay indoors, the couple left. Wade declared that they needed a break from all the drama and the rest of the day would be spent curled on the couch watching movies. Peter readily agreed. It had been a long time since he had just vegged out on the couch and the past week had been plenty stressful. Wade ordered take-out, and they avoided all news sources. It was a relaxing day.

The night not so much. Now that exhaustion wasn’t keeping him asleep, Peter’s mind raced with fragmented dreams and nightmares. They didn’t result in a night terror thankfully, but they did result in a serious lack of sleep. By four in the morning, he was watching the clock tick by, unable to be fully awake, but also unable to get any more rest. So he just laid there in Wade’s arms and listened to the comforting lull of the man’s breathing.

It was a shock when his phone went off and he snatched it up quickly to silence it. Wiggling out of bed, he ran into the hallways to make sure he didn’t wake up Wade. Annoyed that it was probably Tony already checking on him this early, Peter didn’t look at the caller ID and answered in a huff.

“Do you know what time it is?” Peter snapped, trying to keep his voice down.

“I do not, since I am in London.”

All the breath left Peter in a rush and for a moment it felt like his heart stopped. It took him three tries to finally speak. “Gwen?”

“Good morning to you too, Pete.” He could hear her smile through the phone.

Peter choked on any further words and dropped to his knees, one arm wrapped around his chest, trying to contain the pain he felt. It was Gwen. She was alive and on the phone with him. She was her bright happy self like she always had been before he-

“Peter? Hey… Listen, your Dad called me though I’m not supposed to tell you that. I heard you were having issues again about the incident.”

“You died.” Peter whispered, unable to contain the emotion he felt. Leaning forward he pressed his face into the carpet as he hugged the phone to his ear like a lifeline.

“I’m right here, Peter. Nothing happened. Sure, something could have happened, but that wasn’t your fault. We were both young and stupid. It was my decision to follow you that day. The resulting factors were on my head. But thankfully we got help and everything turned out okay.”

With a valiant effort, Peter took in a deep breath and swallowed the lump in his throat, managing to speak without sobbing. “But what if you did? What if nobody was there? What if I killed you?”

Gwen sighed hard enough the phone crackled. “Fine. Okay. I’m dead. You’re talking to my ghost.” Peter choked at that. “It’s still not your fault. Even if you had known what might have happened, did you know how to compensate for it at the time?” She paused, but only for half a second. “No. You didn’t. So what were you supposed to do? Just watch me fall? Of course not. I’d have been super pissed if you had. You would have shot that web anyways and hoped for the best.”

“But-”

“Not buts! Even now you might still panic and do something wrong. But you know what you didn’t do to me and won’t do to anyone else? Shove them down a clock tower. Put them in the position to be shoved down a clock tower. You didn’t want me anywhere near that fight, Peter. It was my decision and I’d make it again even if I knew I’d die.”

“Why?”

“Because I love you. Maybe not as much as you and that tall drink of water love each other, but I do. You’re my friend. And at the time, you were my whole world. But as your friend, if you’re in trouble, I’m gonna be there. Risk and all. That’s why I’m Spider-woman. Are you going to tell Spider-woman sit at home and wait for the men to handle it?”

Peter let out a breath of a laugh. “You’d kick my ass.”

“Damn right I would! You gonna tell your boyfriend to sit at home when he feels like he can make a difference and save your reckless ass?” Again she paused but not long enough to wait for an answer. “Maybe you would, but I bet he won’t listen and he better not sit on his ass or I’ll kick his too.”

“No… He wouldn’t…” Not just Wade, Peter realized. Deadpool wouldn’t either, and not only because he was immortal.

“Exactly. We all love you Peter. So stop trying to go it alone and getting yourself in trouble because you’re afraid. And stop obsessing over every little mistake. Yeah, shit happens. Bad shit happens. But if I died trying to save your life, you better not waste the rest of yours being afraid to live.”

At that, Peter couldn’t hold back. He let out a chest wracking sob before clamping down again, trying his best not to cry in front of Gwen.

“Peter,” Gwen’s voice had gone soft, in a way that Peter barely remembered these days. She reserved it for those times they were alone and she let herself feel too much. “Promise me that no matter what bad things happen or who you lose in your life in whatever way… You won’t stop living.”

“Gwen…” Peter choked. He didn’t know if he could make that promise. Not anymore. Not after everything that had happened in his life that he couldn’t even begin to tell her about.

“It’s not fair, Peter. It’s not fair to the people that died hoping you would go on living. So please. Promise me.”

“...I promise.” It was barely audible, broken, and full of too much pain. But it was a promise made, and it was made to Gwen, and Peter wouldn’t go back on it.

“Good boy.” The smile was back in Gwen’s voice and Peter could perfectly imagine it.

“Thank you…”

“Call me anytime you need me, okay Peter?”

“I will.”

When they said their goodbyes, Peter gently placed the phone on the floor, wrapped his other arm around his chest and sobbed. He pressed his face hard into the carpet to muffle the sound as he wanted to be left alone in his pain, but was unable to move just yet. His frame trembled violently as he released years of built up agony that he had kept so close to his heart for so long. He didn’t just cry over Gwen, he cried over everyone that had died and wished he would keep living. His tears an apology for how poor of a job he’d been doing so far.

It took a long time for him to finally calm back down and when he did, he went straight to the bathroom to take the longest hot shower he could. What he didn’t see was Wade’s figure, hidden in the shadows of their bedroom, face contorted in confusion, pain… and fear.

Chapter Text

Deadpool was in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees and shooting at chipmunks. He couldn’t land a single shot. He cursed the chittering rodents fluently. Three of them had t-shirts on and randomly sang popular songs. Deadpool wasn’t sure which chipmunks were real and which were hallucinations. Or if any of them were real at all. Or if the forest was real.

He’d been like this for three days now. It wasn’t like he hadn’t lost touch with reality before. It was that it rarely happened for this long. He knew part of that was because of his own anxiety and swirling thoughts. The boxes were rambling incessantly at this point. He’d shot himself twice over it but that had only bought a few minutes of peace.

The problem was he was obsessing over Peter. Ever since he started spending so much time with Aunt May, he’d learned so many little things about the man’s life. Aunt May had effectively convinced Deadpool that Spider-man saw the merc as a friend. Something Deadpool had previously repeatedly told himself wasn’t possible.

Even White had grudgingly agreed that Spider-man really did see Deadpool as more than just an annoyance. However, Yellow was now adamantly certain that wishful thinking could make anything come true. Since then, the box had rambled non-stop about Peter in bed, Peter on a date, Peter cuddling on the couch, Peter in various outfits, Peter saying sweet words and compliments. At first the fantasies those comments had elicited had been nice.

Until White started fighting back that “costumed friends” was better than anything they could have hoped for and to give up on the rest. The never ending tirade of how the fantasies would never happen along with all of the merc’s flaws to back up the statements wasn’t helping Deadpool stay rational. Yellow didn’t even bother to listen to White, and chanted his positive daydreams over and over and over…

When it first started happening, Deadpool had run far away to make sure Aunt May didn’t get caught up in his insanity. When the hallucinations started becoming obvious, he just hoped he really was lost in the woods and wasn’t actually in a populated suburb. He had begged the boxes for a moment of quiet, something he rarely did as threatening was more his style, but even that had been pointless. They weren’t listening to a thing he said.

And what was Deadpool to do? It wasn’t like Spider-man was there to give him straight answers to the boxes’ questions. Spider-man was gone and who knew when he’d be back? For all Deadpool knew, Spider-man would fall in love with someone perfect, never to return. Maybe if Deadpool wasn’t so ugly and wasn’t so crazy and wasn’t so- Yeah, male, as White oh so helpfully pointed out. When had Peter ever been with anyone but hot girls?

Of course, he couldn’t keep going on like this. Even if Spider-man never gave him the time of day, he didn’t want to lose this friendship he hadn’t even known he had. The best way to keep this thing between them was for Deadpool to stop un-aliving people at will, not destroy things wantonly, possibly cuss less, keep Aunt May safe, and pretend to be saner than he was.

“Yellow,” Deadpool rasped. He hadn’t realized he was screaming enough to damage his vocal chords. They were healing fast enough, though. “I’ll make you a deal. We’ll try. We’ll try and win Spidey over. But you gotta work with me.”

There was a pause before he continued on. “We’ll plant that garden Aunt May wants, and take out the trash, and protect her from bad guys. We’ll save people on the street and turn criminals into the police like Spidey does. We’ll try to be nicer to people and work on not looking so crazy. That’s the only way it’ll work.”

The chipmunks were singing Hopelessly Devoted To You and Deadpool did his best to tune them out as he bargained with Yellow and told White to shut up. Suddenly there was a new hallucination. Zenpool was standing in front of him, looking down his judging nose at Deadpool.

“If you mean it, if you are willing to try to gain control over yourself, I will help you.”

“I mean it.”

“Even if Peter will not want you in the end? Even if it means doing this for yourself?”

The boxes started screaming all kinds of things and Deadpool winced, dropping to his knees. The monk-like man before him touched his temple and the voices were abruptly muffled. He shook with the relief of it.

“You’re inside my head, too. How do you figure that another crazy part of me is gonna help the rest of me get sane?”

“Precisely because I am you. Because I am a fractured potential of yourself. This will be a hard road that will leave you with only one voice in the end. Are you willing to walk that path? Not just for others, but for yourself?”

Deadpool really thought about that. The boxes started out as a way to combat the loneliness and distract from the horrific damage to mind, body, and soul that Weapon X had caused. Since then, they’d taken on a life of their own. An unforeseen consequence and not one he was capable of undoing anymore.

“Yes. I’ll do it. Maximum fucking effort.”

Zenpool nodded once and tapped Deadpool’s forehead. The action caused all hallucinations to vanish. Around Deadpool was a wasteland of shattered trees and ammo shells. His katanas were covered in nicks. He had no bullets lefts. There were in fact no animals around, just an almost crater made by his violent actions.

This had definitely gotten out of control. He needed to focus on getting better, no matter what the cost. Or else one day he would go too far and his mind would be unable to recover. And the world would be unable to recover from him.

Getting up, Deadpool brushed himself off and put all of his weapons back on his person. “Well, I better get started on planting that garden.” Surely that was pretty zen-like, right?

Chapter Text

Over the next few days Peter dutifully stayed locked up inside the apartment. At first, Wade had been concerned, but Peter was reassuring about how he understood the need to lie low while things blew over. Once the incident died down and the public eye turned towards laser gun reform, Spider-man would be safe to return to crime fighting. Wade seemed to accept that Peter was okay and left the subject alone.

In the meantime, Peter buried himself in work. He was either writing the details of his day in the document saved for Other Peter, helping with Other Peter’s work, or putting together information Peter wanted to take back home with him. There were a lot of things this world had accomplished that his own world had not. More downtime between missions meant the geniuses of the world had more time to work on developing new things. So Peter may as well take advantage of that.

Wade also kept himself busy doing work from home, catching up on the job he’d been neglecting since Peter showed up. That was a good thing, as it kept the man distracted and allowed Peter room to breathe. In light of Peter’s injuries, Wade also backed off sexually. Peter was incredibly grateful for that.

In between their work they ate, talked, and watched movies. Wade spent a lot of time talking about their past dates, that Peter only knew bits and pieces of from the journal. That didn’t bother Wade too much as he seemed to be using it as a way to jog Peter’s memories.

They also watched what was apparently Other Peter’s favorite movies to help with the memories, too. Peter didn’t recognize about half of them, but tried to be appropriately entertained by them as he wondered if they were really Wade’s favorites and Other Peter had just coddled the man.

The worst thing Wade did was talk to Peter while Peter was attempting to bathe. It seemed this was just a thing Wade did and since they were dating, Peter knew he shouldn’t be self conscious about it. But he was. Wade’s eyes strayed all over Peter’s wet body, making the smaller man desperately try to hide his blush. It made Peter nervous, but Wade never followed the act with anything sexual. Peter was pretty sure it was a not so subtle way to make sure he was healing well.

Of course, eventually the night terrors returned. This time when he woke up in a cold sweat, Wade was still asleep. He must have not yelled anything for once. That was good. Peter took comfort in Wade’s protective frame as he got his breathing back under control. When he was finally calm and convinced he wasn’t going to have a panic attack, he made a valiant attempt at going back to sleep.

That was not happening. WIth a sigh, Peter carefully got out of bed so as not to wake Wade and tip toed into the kitchen. Sitting at the table, he started up a Stark pad and hacked into the Tower to get a peek at things. This was significantly easier ever since he discovered Other Peter’s built in backdoor.

Learning about Other Peter helped distract Peter and keep his mind focused on the mission. It also made him feel like he was doing something important instead of just lounging around and killing time. The least he could do was keep this world in one piece and not screw everything up like he always managed to do back home.

As he was looking over a file on Peter’s training records, a knife was suddenly pressed to his throat from behind. Peter froze in shock. His spider sense hadn’t gone off at all and he hadn’t heard a sound. In the dark of the kitchen with only the glow of the pad and the microwave clock, Peter couldn’t see who was behind him. The knife prevented him from turning to get a better view.

“Who are you?” Wade’s voice was low and deadly. Yet, Peter had spent enough time with the man to know the difference between him putting on a show and him being dangerous. Deadpool was dangerous. Wade was scared.

“What makes you think I’m not me?” Peter asked quietly.

“The fact that you’ve hacked the system to look up information about yourself is a pretty good indicator.”

Peter looked at the display in front of him. “I don’t remember anything. I’m trying to-”

“That’s a lie. You know a lot. You just don’t know all the right things.” Wade growled.

Well, Peter couldn’t argue that one. It was spot on. He stayed silent, his mind racing as he tried to come up with the right thing to say.

“I’ve been studying you. Do you think I don’t know every last inch of Peter’s body? That I don’t know his taste in movies? Food? Games? That I don’t know his sense of humor, his goals, or the way he thinks? What makes him happy, excited, or sad? You think I don’t know his flaws? His shortcomings? Things that I try my hardest to balance out because I love him?”

Guilt swelled inside of Peter as he listened to Wade’s voice shake with emotion. Wade was right. It was stupid of Peter to think he could have fooled someone so in love for so long. Wade wasn’t an idiot, but Peter sure felt like one right now.

With a sigh, Peter pressed his neck forward into the knife. Wade quickly moved it out of the way with a hiss. “What are you doing?! This thing is real!”

“Threats work better if you mean them, you know.” Peter turned and gave Wade an appropriately chastised look. “My spider sense never went off. I know you won’t hurt me.” He nodded his chin towards the light switch. “Hit the lights, let’s talk.”

Wade hesitated, unsure of exactly what was happening. Slowly he backed up and flipped on the light. Peter squinted a bit at the sudden brightness, but otherwise didn’t move. He kept his hands palm down on the table where Wade could see them. They stared at each other for a long moment before Wade spoke.

“Who are you?”

Carefully, slowly, Peter lifted his hand and shut down the Stark pad. Then he placed his open palm on it so that his skin could grip it and pick it up off the table. Peter gradually moved his hand around in different directions to show he had the same grip ability as Spider-man. Then he let his skin relax so the tablet could slide down his tilted hand and back onto the table. Wade watched it all in stony silence.

“My name is Peter Parker. Just Parker. I was raised by my Aunt and Uncle after my parents died.”

Again they stared at each other for a long time. “I don’t think I understand what you’re trying to say.” Wade sounded like he was getting angry.

“You saw my DNA results. Exact match. That’s because I am Peter, but I’m not the Peter you know, you’re right about that. I will tell you everything, but there’s a reason I kept it secret. I don’t want to hurt you, or anyone else on this world. I’m trying to save it. So please, listen to everything. Okay?”

Wade shook slightly as he gripped the knife in his hand with so much force, Peter wouldn’t have been surprised if it left dents in the metal. When Wade finally seemed to get himself under control, he gritted out, “Where’s my Peter?”

At that, Peter could no longer maintain eye contact. He stared at the table and tried to get the guilt and worry under control before it showed on his face and sent Wade into a blind panic. “We don’t know. We’re looking for him.”

Wade choked, paused, and then asked in a strained and angry voice, “Who’s we?”

So Peter explained Madame Web and the alternate earths. How Peter was a Spider-man with experience in traveling between them. That Other Peter had gone missing and that Madame Web enlisted Peter’s help as she searched. Why this world had to stay hidden by keeping the occupants in the dark about the alternate earths.

“Why?!” Wade suddenly cut in, pacing the kitchen floor. “Why not just tell us from the beginning? Just us! Just his family!”

Peter sighed and leaned back in the chair. “Can you tell me that the three of you wouldn’t have immediately thrown caution to the wind in order to search for him as well? That you could just sit here and wait? Even if you could, there’s not a Tony in all the worlds that wouldn’t have broken the rules in order to investigate the mystery of dimensional travel. And doing that secretly and experimentally is practically inviting trouble.”

“Trouble?!” Wade exploded. “And what about the trouble Peter is in?!”

“So Peter wants you to risk the lives of everyone on this planet in order to send a team of his loved ones on a mission they are inexperienced, untrained, and unprepared to handle all in order to find him and possibly die in the process?”

When Wade had no response, Peter kept going. “Even if you wanted to go, we can’t. I can’t leave here without Madame Web. I don’t know the secret to dimensional travel. I’m just a passenger.”

“If there are really as many worlds as you claim and your spider goddess thing doesn’t even know who took him, how the hell is she going to find him? What if she’s too late?”

“I’ve lost someone in the worlds before. I found her myself since Madame Web could not track her. When I found her, she was saving the world and she didn’t even have any powers. Do you think your Peter can’t take care of himself?”

“Not if he’s up against someone who can take on the mystical being who bounces you around worlds!” Wade raged, flailing his arms.

“There’s a chance Madame Web has already found him, but they can’t come back until they finish things so that this world remains safe. Doing anything drastic now could jeopardize everything Peter is trying to do to protect you, his family, and everyone else on this planet.”

Wade dropped down into one of the chairs, his shoulder drooping in defeat, the knife clattering onto the floor beside him. “Two weeks…” He said weakly. “He’s been gone two weeks…”

Peter looked down at his fingers, unable to think of anything to say to that. Everyone had been so upset at the three day mark. Two weeks must feel like an eternity to Wade.

“And what have I been doing?” Wade’s voice sounded thick and he was staring into space at nothing. “Making house with some stranger? Cheating on him? Happily sitting on my ass watching movies as I hold another man while he’s off who knows where? Trapped in a dungeon. Being tortured. Fighting for his life. Wondering if he’ll even see us again.” Wade’s voice broke.

Peter felt like a bucket of ice water had been dumped on him. There were a lot of excuses he wanted to make, but none of them would help right now. So instead he said very quietly, “I’m so sorry, Wade. I never wanted to hurt you.”

Wade pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes and stayed like that for a long time. The silence in the kitchen felt so loud. Peter found himself on the verge of tears. It had really started to feel like Wade was at least his friend. The caring and support received from him, along with everyone else, had been precious to Peter. That was ruined now. Wade hated him and had every right to.

Suddenly, Wade dropped his hands and looked at Peter in pained revelation. “Gwen died.” He said quietly. “She died on your world.”

That felt like a punch in the gut. Peter’s eyes teared up and he wrapped his arms around himself as he stared at his feet. “Yes. I didn’t know Iron Man at that time. There was nobody else there. When my web stopped her fall so suddenly-” But he choked up and went silent, unable to finish the sentence. The conversation with this world’s Gwen had helped a lot, but talking about it so bluntly was not something he was yet prepared for.

After a long pause Wade spoke. “I’ve killed a lot of people in my time… On purpose. I can tell you that what happened was an accident and it wasn’t your fault. You know that, right?”

Peter looked up in shock, a tear escaping down his cheek at the movement. “Why-” he choked, swallowed, and tried again. “Why are trying to comfort me? You should hate me. You should be focused on-”

“I’m upset. You’re right. But I’m not mad at you.” Wade looked so conflicted for a moment. “It’s weird that you both are and aren’t the Peter I know. But the fact is, you’re both good people. I can tell. You both have this pureness around you that makes you want to save the world. At the very least I could call you a comrade in arms. But instead I’ll call you a friend. A friend I’m really really mad at right now, but a friend who has also gone through some shitty times. I don’t hate you. And I’m sorry you lost someone.”

Peter smiled and let out a single sob at the same time. “I’ve lost so many people. I’m the world’s worst at pushing people away or getting them killed. I was so afraid I’d ruin his happiness here. That my bad luck would destroy not only my life, but the life of a Peter surrounded by so much love.” More tears escaped Peter’s eyes but he didn’t fight them. “I’m sorry, Wade. I tried so hard not to destroy things that I hurt you twice as much.”

They were quiet for a while, both thinking over things and taking a moment to compose their frazzled emotions. Finally Wade sat up straight and reached out a hand towards Peter. “Hi, my name is Wade Winston Wilson.”

With a small smile, Peter shook the offered hand. “Hi, my name is Peter Benjamin Parker.”

“Would you like to join me in a drink, Parker? Because I could sure use one right now.”

“That sounds like a perfect idea, yes. I’ve been needing a drink since I got here.”

With a nod, Wade got up to grab some shot glasses and a bottle of Jack. It was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

Peter winced at the burn of the liquid as he took the shot. It had been a long time since he drank. His body metabolized it fast, but he hated being compromised in case he needed to be Spider-man. Since that wasn’t really a concern right now, Peter didn’t allow himself to worry about it and instead accepted a second refill.

“So you know all the same people on your world?” Wade asked, nursing his third shot already.

“Not exactly. I went to public school so some people in my life growing up are different. I do work with the Avengers, though. But Tony and Steve aren’t an item.”

Wade raised his eyebrows in surprise. “They’re dating other people or they broke up?”

“Well… Tony was with Pepper for a while, and Steve had this weird thing with Sharon for a bit, but neither of them seem to keep a steady girlfriend.”

“Girlfriend?”

Peter grinned. “You have no idea how shocked I was to see those two together. I’m never going to be able to look the Steve and Tony I know in the eye again.”

“Ha! Maybe that’s why they can’t date long. They belong together.”

“You might be onto something.” Peter poured himself another shot. “Then again, it’s still weird to see. This world seems to have a much higher tolerance for gay couples.”

“Tolerance? Is being gay bad on your world?”

“Not exactly… We just have a more vocal group of people who are against it.”

“That sounds shitty.”

“Yeah…”

They lapsed into silence for a moment, thinking about the differences in their lives. Then Wade asked the question Peter had been hoping to avoid. “What about me? Peter only dated women before me, so I assume you’re the same.”

Peter spun the shot glass in his fingers, watching the liquid twirl inside. “Yeah. I was surprised you two were dating… In fact, I didn’t recognize you when you first walked in. Just your voice.”

“Am I a superhero on your world?” Wade looked pretty impressed with himself and Peter swallowed nervously.

“You… escaped Weapon X on your own. After they mutated you. After your mind… broke. You burned the whole place down.”

Wade was silent for a long time before asking, “What did I mutate into?”

“You can heal. Insanely fast. I’ve seen you regrow a hand. But your cancer also mutated. It attacks you constantly and you heal it just as fast. It makes your skin… Well, you don’t ever leave your suit.”

At that, Wade took another shot and let out a shaky breath. “No wonder you see this world as full of happy endings.”

“It definitely has its upsides.”

“So I’m a villain?”

“Not exactly.” Peter threw back the rest of his shot and refilled. “You’re a mercenary.”

“Of course I am.” Wade gave a bitter laugh. “My only marketable set of skills.”

“It’s not nearly so bad when he’s around Spider-man. We’re friends, in a weird way. I can get him to behave and follow my rules most of the time when we’re teamed up. He’s a lot better than he used to be.”

“But still crazy.”

“He has worn a dress into battle before.”

At that, Wade gave a genuine laugh and Peter couldn’t help but smile a little in return. “What’s my costumed name?”

“Deadpool.”

Wade paused and gave it a lot of thought. “That’s a fucking awesome name, though.”

Peter chuckled. “After getting to know you, there’s still a lot of you in there. It’s those parts that I’m friends with.”

“What are the crazy parts like?”

“Well, he still doesn’t understand why killing is bad, though he can’t actually use the word ‘kill’. He says ‘un-alive’ instead.” Wade snorted. “He has no concept of personal space and he never ever shuts up. His moods swing easily. He makes strange references to people that don’t exist. And he talks to what he calls the ‘boxes’ though I have no idea what he means by that.”

“Like thought boxes? The kind you see in comic books?”

Peter gaped, wide eyed, at Wade in sudden realization. “Thought boxes! That makes so much sense! He’s arguing with his inner monologue!”

Wade shrugged. “I was really into comics as a kid. They were my only means of escape in an abusive childhood. So I figure if I was tortured, that’s what I’d go to in order to cope.”

“You have no idea how much that answers about his behavior.” Peter sat there stunned for a moment as he thought it all over.

In the silence, Wade asked a new question. “So the medication you created to slow down my cancer doesn’t work on the mutated cancer?”

Peter blinked, looking back up at Wade. “There was never even a chance to look into it. Deadpool is a loner and he’s dangerous to be around for long periods of time. He doesn’t trust anyone and they don’t trust him.”

With a few taps on the Stark pad, Peter brought up the file he was taking home with him, including the formula Other Peter had created for the cancer. “I don’t know if it will work, but I’m taking it home with me. There’s a good chance he won’t work with me. He’s afraid of labs. I don’t blame him. I have bad experiences there, too. I’ll probably have to augment the formula based on any tissue samples I can collect from him.”

“But you’ll try?” Wade asked quietly.

“I’ll try.” Peter smiled at Wade. “I’ll always work on it. And I’ll pass it down to another generation if I have to. You're both my friends, so I’ll do what it takes.”

“The healing makes me live longer?” Wade picked up on the other generation comment.

“You’re immortal, actually.”

At that, Wade took another shot. “That’s shitty.”

“Yeah…”

Leaning back in his chair, Wade sighed. “I’ll admit, I’m pretty narcissistic. If my skin was destroyed by the mutation, that’s probably causing half my issues.”

“I can’t argue with that.”

“We have Image Inducers here. Do you not have them on your world? Maybe it could help.”

“We do, but he’s not allowed to have one. We’ve confiscated three of them so far because he abuses the hell out of them. He once set up a fortune telling shop for three months and traveled around with the sole purpose of messing with mutants, heros, and villains he knew. Right up until Wolverine caught him.”

Wade started snickering, maybe more than was called for since he had drank so much. “I would totally do that now.”

Peter grinned. “You probably would.”

After Wade had calmed down again, he started thinking on it. “What if the Inducer only had one person it could show?”

“It would take a while to augment it so that he couldn’t hack it and change it.”

“He wouldn’t want to change it if it was a perfectly rendered image of a person long lost.”

Peter looked up into Wade’s bright blue eyes and smiled. “Can you get your hands on the tech?”

“Of course I can! Besides, this will keep us busy and doing something useful as we sit on our asses.”

Peter refilled their shot glasses and held his up in a toast. “To saving Deadpool.”

Wade smirked and clinked the glasses. “Thanks for not giving up on me, Peter. In any world.”

Chapter Text

“The extra bedroom is an office-lab thing. Why can’t you just bring the stuff here?” Peter asked as Wade was getting dressed to go to Avengers Tower.

“It’ll be easier to wipe the programming on an already made Image Inducer and then take the basic program and re-write it to our needs. You said so yourself.”

It was true, they had talked for a long time on the best method to go about this. “Yeah, but that requires a lot of tech.”

“Tech that’s available at the Tower.” Wade argued. “I know we told everyone we’d stay inside, but being inside the Tower is the same difference.”

“That’s not what I’m worried about.”

Wade paused as he was buttoning up a shirt and turned to look at Peter who was leaning up against the wall and staring at the floor. “You mean acting like a couple? We’ve already been doing that.”

“No. I’ve already been doing that. And I feel guilty enough about it as it is. You think nobody is going to notice that you’re suddenly not handsy with me?”

Frowning, Wade slowly fixed the collar of his shirt. “We aren’t constantly all over each other.”

“That’s a lie and you know it. Besides, even if you did play your usual part I-” But Peter stopped, looking uncomfortable and started fidgeting with his hands.

“You what?” Wade prompted into the silence.

Peter let out a loud breath before deciding to just blurt it out. “Me and your Peter are the same person in different timelines. You affect Peter. He even wrote about it in his journal. How he didn’t understand why he was so attracted to a guy when he never was before. And, well, I’ve had to experience that first hand.”

Though it needed to be talked about, Peter really didn’t want to. He blushed furiously, refusing to look at Wade and plowed on. “If we reset the program and rebuild it, we’ll be using you as the basis of the image rendered. Which means you’ll need to be naked for the computer to scan you.”

“And you’ll be distracted?” Wade sounded vaguely amused.

Peter finally turned to look at the man with a glare. “I’m serious, Wade. I react when I see you and I react when you touch me and I don’t really know what to do about that. If I could avoid this conversation, I would. But it’s important to keep up the act around the others. How are you going to respond to me… responding to you? You have to act like you’re in love with someone I’m not. And even if your mind knows that, our bodies don’t know anything is off. On a biological level.”

Wade sighed and plopped down on the bed, fiddling with the socks in his hands. “I don’t think I can feel more guilty than I already do. I knew something was off, and I pushed for intimacy anyways.”

“That doesn’t count. You didn’t know for sure and the alternative was too painful for you to accept at the time.” Peter said as compassionately as he could. “Can you hold my hand as we walk into the tower? Can you casually lean over and kiss me? Can you look at me the same way you did last week?”

“It’s just acting.” Wade argued stubbornly, but he still kept his eyes on the socks in his hands.

“And when your body reacts to your acting and mine responds, then what? Are you going to get mad at me? At yourself? Are you going to get depressed and drown in guilt?”

“We don’t know how much time we have.” Wade stated quietly. “Peter could be back tomorrow. I’m hoping and praying for that. But what then? What about the me in your world? I’m obsessed about it now.”

“Wade…”

The blonde head lifted and those blue eyes held so much fear as they met Peter’s. “How many days away from that was I when the Avengers found me? How close was I to going crazy? To mutating? I have to believe that if the worst were to happen, there would still be a chance at salvation.”

Walking over, Peter sat down on the bed beside Wade, offering comfort in proximity. “Even before meeting you in this world, I’ve always believed that. I just don’t want you to push yourself to a breaking point right now that could have been avoided.”

Wade’s warm hand came up and his fingers brushed against the side of Peter’s cheek. Peter inhaled sharply, his eyes snapping up to meet Wade’s. With a heartbreakingly sad look, Wade leaned down and gently kissed Peter. The electric zap of their lips was undeniable. The heat between them raised the fine hairs on the back of each other’s necks.

Pulling away, Wade gave a sad little smile as Peter tried to catch his breath. “Our bodies do the acting for us.” he pointed out.

“Other than the fact that you look at me like I’m a ghost.” But it lacked the proper scolding tone for a reprimand.

“I need to do this project. If a ‘happy ending’ doesn’t happen this time with Peter, I need to know I was able to at least help someone else achieve theirs. I’m willing to do whatever it takes, and a little acting between us is something I can handle.”

“And when Peter does come back safe and sound?”

Wade smiled a little at how “when” and not “if” was used. “Leave that to me and Peter to work out.”

“I don’t want to ruin-”

“You’re not. This is my decision. Besides, have a little more faith in your counterpart. We’re all adults here making adult decisions.”

Peter dropped his shoulders in defeat. “Alright, I’ll stop obsessing over it.”

Wade grinned. “You two really are alike, you know.” Refocusing, he started putting on his socks. “Now get dressed, we need to hole ourselves up in a lab before there are enough people awake to try and talk to us.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Peter got up and finally started looking for clothes to wear.

Chapter Text

Peter and Wade had managed to hole themselves up in a lab the entire day. Wade had cut the audio to the room so they could speak freely without things becoming a problem later. Re-writing the program had gone fairly smoothly and took less time than either of them expected. Recording Wade’s movements for image rendering had taken up a huge chunk of time, but Peter had been able to multitask during that to get a jump start on the rest of the program.

By the time it was late enough to start thinking about dinner, they were at the stage of picking out clothing designs. Wade was filling the Image Inducer with styles he liked, along with anything he found particularly amusing just in case Deadpool would enjoy it. Peter was considering having food sent up to them when the someone abruptly burst through the door.

They turned to see a very disheveled Clint who was aggressively pointing at them and waggling his finger. Peter panicked a little and leaned over to Wade.

“He doesn’t have his hearing aids in and I’m bad at sign, is that going to be noticeable?” Peter whispered urgently.

“Wait, what?” Wade turned to look at Peter in confusion.

Peter blinked. “Isn’t he deaf?”

Wade’s eyes went wide. “Clint’s deaf?!” He said a little too loud.

“’m not deaf!” Clint slurred. “’m jus’ drunk!”

The couple looked back at Clint in surprise. “Drunk?” Peter asked.

“Yer jus’ jealous ‘cause tha painkillers work on me. Benefits of not bein’ super.”

Wade raised his eyebrows at that, but Peter was worried. “Are you hurt? You should lay down somewhere and get some rest.”

“‘M patched up!” Clint argued and stumbled over to a seat, all but falling into it. “You two,” He waved a finger erratically between the two. “Been weird lately.”

Peter tensed up in panic, but Wade just crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow. “Is that so?”

“It’s like you two-” Clint leaned forward dramatically. “Are from a diff’ernt dimension!” He added hand gestures to the last word for extra emphasis.

All the blood in Peter’s face drained and Wade seemed stunned to silence at well. Then suddenly Clint burst out laughing, holding his stomach tightly to keep from hurting himself.

“You shoul’ see the looks on yer faces!” Clint roared, tears of laughter falling down his face.

Wade frowned. “Have you been watching Twilight Zone reruns again?”

“Don’ dis mah hobby!” Clint pouted, his mood swinging drastically.

“You really need to find a new show.” Wade rolled his eyes as Peter remembered how to breathe again. That had been one of the most panic inducing moments of his life.

“You needa fin’ a new show.” Clint groused before his drunk mind flipped to the next topic. “You guys are soooo sweet together.” He sighed. “Mah hand won’ tell me it loves me.” He dissolved into snickering at that.

“Oookay,” Wade walked over to a Stark pad. “I’m calling your babysitter.”

“Nooo!” Clint wailed as he slouched in the chair. “Don’ wanna sleep.”

Wade ignored that and contacted Natasha, sending a quick text. Peter walked over to Clint and started an examination to make sure Clint was indeed patched up correctly and wasn’t compromising the bandages by flailing around.

“Peterrrrrrrr.” Clint moaned.

“What? Does it hurt to move it?” Peter asked, gently flexing Clint’s wrist.

“I like banana bread.”

Peter sighed. Drunk Clint was an odd thing to witness. “Sure, banana bread is tasty.”

“You and I remember Budapest very differently.”

“Okay.” Peter could only raise his eyebrows at that.

A few minutes later Natasha came to pick up her escaped patient. Clint made a valiant effort to hide behind a stool. With a grumble, she backed Clint into a corner so he couldn’t bolt and then took hold of his shirt collar.

“Sorry about this, guys.” She grabbed one of Clint’s flailing wrists and put it in a hold. “He gets really weird on painkillers.”

“Is he alright?” Peter asked worriedly.

“Oh, he’s fine. We just doped him up to cauterize where he ripped his toenail off.”

Both Wade and Peter hissed in sympathetic pain, causing Natasha to chuckle like the sadist she was.

“What are you guys up to, anyways?” Peter tensed at Natasha’s too casual question, but Wade responded easily.

“Trying to convince Peter to wear a tracker for when he goes out. We’re looking into the options that’ll keep it from being a liability.”

“I can think of three people off the top of my head who could use it against me.” Peter said, and it was true, he could.

Natasha chuckled and wished the both of them good luck in their debate before dragging away the pouting Clint. Once they were gone, Peter breathed a huge sigh of relief. “Can we work on this at the apartment from now on?”

Wade chuckled. “I suppose you have a point.” He walked over and started finishing a few things up on the program. “After we set this, all you have to do is finish coding it and set the security locks on it. That can be done from home.”

Peter nodded, walking over to help. “Now that we’ve been seen, we probably have to stop by and see the parents before we leave.”

“Definitely, or else we’ll never live it down. But that shouldn’t be too hard.”

“Yeah…” He was used to acting in front of Tony and Steve, but Wade wasn’t.

However, it turned out he had no need to worry. The family dinner went by much like the others had and Wade’s casual touches stayed the same. Peter determinately kept a smile on his face the entire time and tried not to think too much about it.

The lie Wade had told Natasha was used again for their reason about being in the Tower. Tony unsurprisingly agreed with Wade, but Steve thought about the long term applications of a tracker and agreed with Peter that it was a risk. Peter felt odd debating it, as it wasn’t even a real issue. Then again, maybe it would be in the future for Other Peter and he should give his best argument for the man’s sake.

Eventually, they headed home. It was late and after having so little sleep the night before, they were both yawning. Wade went to put the Image Inducer in the work room and Peter started searching through cabinets, but had no idea where things were kept.

“Wade!” Peter called through the house.

“Yeah?”

“Where is the extra bedding?” Surely they didn’t just own the one set of sheets.

Wade popped up around the corner as Peter was looking in the bedroom closet. “Why?”

“I wanted to lay down a sheet over the couch so I wouldn’t get it too dirty. Plus, I need a blanket. I suppose I can just take the pillow from the bed unless there’s an extra one.”

“You’re sleeping on the couch?” Wade sounded hurt.

Turning around, Peter looked at Wade in uncertainty. “Aren’t you mad?” Peter asked softly.

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve been sleeping in the same bed as a stranger.” At Wade’s conflicted look, Peter kept going. “Are you really okay with sharing a bed with someone that’s not who it should be? When you and I both know that once you’re asleep, you’ll wrap around me like usual?”

“I can’t sleep if you’re not there.”

“But I’m not-”

“But I can pretend that you are. That’s unfair to me, you, and Peter. I get that. It’s a selfish thing that I want.” Wade ran his fingers through his hair and looked away. “Do you dislike it?”

Peter shuffled around a little bit. He really shouldn’t answer this question honestly, but he couldn’t help it. “I feel safe in your arms.” Peter admitted very, very quietly.

Wade immediately walked over and hugged Peter who instantly relaxed into Wade’s strong frame. “I know logically it makes no sense to feel like Peter is rejecting me… But please indulge me. Please.”

Guilt gnawed at Peter’s gut due to how relieved he felt at those words. He was already used to the feel of Wade’s arms. They made him feel safe and relaxed. He was able to sleep and convince himself that everything would turn out okay. It was for exactly that reason that he wanted to do what was right and stay away from Wade in private. Because it wasn’t fair. To any of them.

“Okay.” Peter heard himself agree. Despite the guilt and despite the knowledge that it was a farce for them both, Peter and Wade fell asleep easily that night.

Chapter Text

For the next week things fell into a pattern. Peter worked on the Image Inducer and other projects at the apartment, and Wade started going back to work. When they had meals together they acted like acquaintances. When they watched movies on the couch they acted like close friends. When they slept they acted like long time lovers while holding each other close throughout the night.

Neither of them spoke of it any further than that. In the mornings they would go back to being the strangers they were to each other and pretending that the nights never happened. The only thing that kept Peter from being drowned in guilt was that nothing happened any further than that. They held each other, but it ended there. No kissing, no straying hands, no sex.

Still, Peter wrote every day in the file for Other Peter about how sorry he was that it was happening. Hopefully, Other Peter wouldn’t blame Wade for what happened and take any anger out on Peter instead. Peter felt deserving of that.

Otherwise, Peter focused his attention on his projects. Once the program for the Image Inducer was complete, he copied it to have it on hand just in case something happened to the one he was bringing back. After that, he was able to put it all the safety protocols on the one he had to keep Deadpool from messing with it. Peter intended to lock it down so tight, even he wouldn’t be able to get back into it.

By the end of the week, Peter barely had anything left to keep him occupied. He started spot cleaning the house in order to focus his restless energy. Though Wade had raised his eyebrows at the apartment that night, he mercifully hadn’t said anything about it. Things changed finally at 2pm on a Tuesday as Peter was watching a youtube video on how to fold a fitted sheet and failing at mimicking the process.

The world around Peter warped and twisted and suddenly standing in the living room was Madame Web and another Spider-man. For a moment, Peter was stunned at how abrupt their sudden appearance was after so much time of hearing nothing. Before Peter could say anything the other Spider-man dropped to his hands and knees and started dry heaving.

“We took a complicated route to throw off any possible spies.” Madame Web said, ignoring the reaction and focusing on Peter. “I will give you both some time to collaborate your stories. In the meantime, I shall verify that everything is secure. Be ready to depart after that.”

At Peter’s nod, Madame Web warped away leaving Peter to blink a few times to clear his skewed vision. Afterwards, he immediately dropped to his knees and pulled off the mask of his heaving companion.

“Deep breaths. Slow. In and out. Focus on a single point in the carpet until it stops spinning.” Peter coached. He had taken a bumpy ride before and the first few times were horrible for nausea, he knew from experience.

When the other man was finally breathing steady he looked up at Peter. It was eerie, seeing himself staring back at him. The mirror of himself was staring in fascination at Peter, likely unused to the concept of multiple Peters.

“Hi,” Peter said, smiling a little. “I’m Peter Benjamin Parker.”

“Hi…” Was the breathy response. “I’m Peter Benjamin Parker-Stark.”

“It’s good to have you back.” Peter said genuinely. “Your dads are driving me crazy.”

Other Peter let out an exhausted chuckle. “I never thought that I’d miss that as much as I have these past few weeks.”

Peter gave a knowing smile before wrapping an arm around the other’s waist. “Let’s get you to the kitchen so you can drink some water.”

Once Other Peter no longer looked so green, Peter asked what he’d been dying to since he arrived. “So what happened?”

The man sighed and leaned back in the chair, one hand still wrapped lightly around the glass. “I’m sure you’re expecting some epic tale of adventure and mystery and intrigue. Honestly, I should probably make one up so I sound cooler.”

“Some experiences don’t make the best campfire stories.”

“Tell me about it.” Other Peter scrubbed one hand over his face for a moment. “So I get zapped out of existence and deposited in some throne room by a bunch of magicians just for them to say, ‘Who the hell is that?’”

Peter raised his eyebrows. “They weren’t after you?”

“Apparently not. They weren’t after anyone, actually. They were trying to resurrect some avatar of guidance to continue peace in their lands. There wasn’t even a problem to fix! Well, they decided I was an unknown factor and they didn’t want me screwing with their world. So they locked me up in the fanciest set of rooms I’ve ever laid eyes on and all but pampered me while I stayed there as long as I didn’t leave the rooms.”

Other Peter took a long drink of water before smacking the glass back on the table. “Apparently, the magic ward they used to keep their world safe hid me from gods and other interdimensional persons, including Madame Web who I didn’t even know existed. They found some badass seer to ‘contact my goddess’ and sent her a message. Then bam! Some weird woman I’ve never seen before shows up and says she’s taking me home.”

“Did she tell you about me?”

“That she put a decoy in life to impersonate me? Yep. She told me.” Other Peter gave Peter a funny look. “But won’t you be missing back in your world?”

“Aunt May knows I’m on a mission and nobody else bothers with my whereabouts so much.”

“Aunt May? As in… my Aunt May?”

Peter smiled softly. “Yeah. When my parents died, Aunt May and Uncle Ben took me in and raised me. Uncle Ben died when I was in high school, but I still have Aunt May.”

“So you were never adopted?”

Peter shook his head. “Madame Web doesn’t keep track of the little things, and don’t get me wrong, I get why. Still, being adopted by Iron Man and Captain America would have been a useful heads up.”

Other Peter chuckled at that. “I suppose it’d be weird for anyone if they weren’t expecting it… How many things are different here than in your world?”

“A lot, but at the same time a lot of things are the same. It’s extremely weird.” They both laughed at that. “I went to a different school and only met The Avengers after college, so we grew up with different people.”

“What about Wade?” Peter suddenly asked. “You said only Aunt May kept tabs on you.”

Peter looked away at that. “Things are… different… when it comes to Wade. I didn’t meet him for a long time, and in the meantime I almost got married to a woman you’ve never even met here.”

“Almost?”

“Circumstances changed.” Peter said vaguely, deciding not to get into that complicated situation. “But having spent so much time together here with Wade, perhaps that will change my perspective on the Wade I know in mine.”

Other Peter grinned. “You won’t regret it. He’s amazing.” Then something seemed to occur to him. “Madame Web said nobody could know about the other Earths. Does Wade…” But he couldn’t finish asking the question.

“Wade knows. He figured it out. Nobody else knows and it has to stay that way.” Peter stood up to retrieve a Stark pad and brought it over to set in front of Other Peter. Peter let the man watch as he tapped in the code for the secured file he wrote for Other Peter. “This is a play by play of everything that happened while I was here. You’ll need to know it in detail.”

They spent the next few hours going over the entries and Peter answered any necessary questions. He stayed quiet and subdued otherwise, ready and willing to receive Other Peter’s wrath. However, other than asking a few questions, Other Peter stayed remarkably calm as he read through the majority of it.

When the pad was set down on the table, the soft clack sounded painfully loud in the quiet kitchen. “I’m sorry.” Peter said quietly, staring at this hands from where he sat at the table across from Other Peter.

There was a long sigh from across the table. “I’m not mad, exactly. I understand why things happened the way they did. I can’t say I’m happy about it, but I’m not mad.”

Peter dropped his head into his hands with a groan. “I’d feel better if you were angry and yelling at me.”

“Ha! Well… What can I say? Papa spent a long time beating calm and rational thoughts into me, no matter how much Dad tried to contradict those lessons.”

Dropping his hands, Peter looked up and brown eyes met equally brown eyes. “I really am sorry about everything that happened. I just want you two to be happy. You both deserve that. And you love each other so much.”

Other Peter’s eyes teared up a little, but he tried to laugh it off with a shrug. “If I get rage level angry later, I’ll blame it all on Madame Web.” They both chuckled some at that before Other Peter sobered and said quietly, “I’ve missed him so much.”

“He’s missed you, too. Completely inconsolable, that one.”

A watery chuckle was the response, as Other Peter rubbed at one of his eyes with the heel of his hand. “I really love him, you know?”

Peter smiled. “I know.”

The sound of a door clacking open sounded through the apartment. Other Peter’s eyes went wide, but Peter got up to head to the kitchen entrance. If it was anyone other than Wade, he needed to distract them.

“Peter?” Wade called as Peter rounded the corner. “There you are. I was thinking of ordering out. What are you in the mood for?”

“It’s clear.” Peter called over his shoulder.

Other Peter was maskless, but otherwise still had on his suit. It flashed by in a blur of red and blue as he launched himself across the room at Wade. Other Peter’s arms and legs were wrapped around Wade’s torso and Wade had one arm looped under butt and around shoulder blades in an instant. They were a mess of tears, unintelligible words, and rapid kisses.

When the couple dropped to the floor in a tangle of limbs, Peter couldn’t help but chuckle at them. They were adorable and loving. Peter was having a hard time keeping the ball of emotion in his throat from tearing up his eyes.

After a long time, they finally pulled apart enough to look back at Peter. Wade spoke first. “Everything’s okay?”

Peter smiled. “Everything’s okay.”

“You’re leaving?”

“Yeah… I am.”

Other Peter whispered something to Wade and stood up, pulling his boyfriend up as well. Wade walked over to stand in front of Peter and it looked like Wade wanted to say something, but was unable to get anything out. Instead, Wade wrapped his arms around Peter in a hug who returned it with equal finality.

After that Peter got changed into the suit he showed up in, grabbing the items he needed to take with him. Madame Web materialized soon after that, which caused Wade to jump clean out of his skin. Other Peter couldn’t stop laughing at the reaction.

“Things are finalized?” Madame Web asked Peter.

“Yes.”

She turned and nodded at the couple. “Your world is safe as long as the secret is kept. Be careful and take care of one another.”

Other Peter nodded at Madame Web, still somewhat apprehensive about the woman. However, Wade’s eyes were on Peter. “Good luck.” he said quietly.

Peter smiled. “Stay safe.”

Wade smiled and Other Peter waved. The world spiraled into a blur of colors and light. Then Peter was gone.

Chapter Text

When Peter was dropped off into his apartment, he took a moment to just enjoy the solitude of it. It was a mess and not nearly as fancy as the Tower or Wade’s apartment, but it was a home he had made for himself and it felt nice coming back to it.

There was a satin dress covered in dried blood that was spread out on the table. A little note was on top. It wasn’t signed, but Peter knew who it was from. Picking it up, he read the short message. I know from personal experience that this is very comfy, even when you’re on the job. It’ll look great on dat ass.

Instead of being annoyed like he usually would have been, Peter smiled a little at it. It meant he had been missed and as crazy as the dress was, it was still a present. Peter palmed the device in his pocket. He had a present to give as well.

However, first thing first, he needed to see Aunt May.

“Peter!” Aunt May cried before she ran across the room to hug him as he entered the house.

Grinning broadly, Peter squeezed Aunt May tight, taking it all in. “I missed you.”

“Oh, darling! I missed you, too!” With one last tight squeeze, he pulled back and took Peter’s face in her hands. “Are you okay? Were you hurt?”

Peter chuckled. “I’m fine. It was… a very different mission.”

“Sit down! Sit down! I’ll make you some hot chocolate and you tell me all about it.”

As Aunt May busied herself in the kitchen, Peter slowly walked around looking at everything. There were no fancy electronics or designer clothes or framed artwork. In fact, the place was full of little things that had been done to patch it up and keep things standing. But that’s what made it home. His home.

Walking over to the window, Peter looked out expecting a familiar sight, but was surprised at what he saw. “Did you spend the whole time setting up that garden? That looks like a lot of work!”

“Oh! Isn’t it lovely? You’re friend helped me set it up. He did most of the hard parts, don’t worry about me.”

Peter turned to Aunt May in confusion. “My friend?”

“Yes, yes, that Deadpool fellow you’re always telling me about.”

At that, Peter paled significantly. “He came over here? He knows where you live?”

“Calm down, dear.” Aunt May set down two mugs of hot chocolate and waved at Peter to sit with her at the table. “I remember you said he was unstable. He did have an episode, but he left the moment he felt it coming on.”

Sitting down, Peter fiddled with his cup in worry. “That’s still really dangerous.”

“He’s been working hard to turn over a new leaf lately. You should look him up on the news.”

Aunt May had a knowing smirk as she sipped her drink. Peter pulled out his phone and did a quick search for recent news on the man. The more Peter read, the more his eyebrows rose. “I was inspired by Spider-man and I’m trying to live up to his example?” Peter read the quote in disbelief.

“Yes. That day he came back after his episode, he seemed much more collected. He hasn’t killed a single person since. Told me he wanted to do your job helping the little people while you were busy saving the world.”

“I don’t understand…” Of all the times Peter had left for extended periods, Deadpool had never done such a thing. No, when Spider-man wasn’t around to flirt with, Deadpool had taken mercenary jobs to stay occupied.

“That may have to do with me.” Aunt May admitted. “I let him know that you saw him as a friend. At first he didn’t seem to believe me and obsessed over it constantly. I would hear him arguing with himself about it. Then something changed and he accepted that you cared about him. Since then, he’s been doing a lot of good things.”

Peter blinked at Aunt May in shock. That was all it took for Deadpool to change? He just wanted a friend? The guilt of that felt heavy in Peter’s stomach. He should have tried harder to make their friendship more concrete. “How often was he over here?”

“Quite a bit. We watched Golden Girls marathons usually.”

Laughter burst out of Peter sudden and loud. Of course they had. Peter scrubbed his face and sighed. “Well, things are going to be much more interesting now when I tell you my story.”

“Tell me, then! Don’t keep me waiting.” Aunt May smiled widely and Peter chuckled.

“I hope you’re ready to have a whole new image on Captain America.”

A long time later as Peter left Aunt May’s, he thought about everything that had happened in his absence and what his next move should be. Aunt May had seemed entirely unsurprised that an alternate Peter had ended up with Wade and even less surprised that the Wade in this world was Deadpool. Peter wasn’t sure how he felt about that. She had been very excited about the PTSD support group and agreed with Peter on his plans to set one up right away.

Still, his first priority should be finding Deadpool. Or at least it would have been if Deadpool hadn’t suddenly become so hard to find. After three days, it occurred to Peter the man was hiding. For what reason, only Deadpool’s fractured mind could say. So instead Peter focused on his other priorities.

Bucky was very interested in the information Peter brought back about the program. It was apparently an idea Bucky had been fiddling with for a while, but didn’t know how to implement. After a few phone calls, he had a whole group of people happy and ready to help get things started. Peter helped out whenever he could. The first meeting should happen within a month. That left Peter with a smile every time he thought about it.

Talking to Tony again had been a trip. Peter wasn’t able to look the man in the eye the entire time. Thankfully, Tony was a busy person and hadn’t stayed long for the conversation. Peter left the Tower with permission to use the labs there for when he started on the formula for Deadpool’s cancer. Things were working out. Or they would be, if Deadpool would show his face.

The fifth day back as Spider-man was swinging through the city at night, he saw the red and black clad figure shimmying up a ladder of a multi-story building. Peter swung over to intercept and landed in front of Deadpool. The man in question tensed for a moment before walking out on the landing, acting as if nothing was wrong.

“Spidey! Long time no see!”

Peter tilted his head and had the disorienting moment of seeing the move out of the corner of his eye. Beside them was a large pane window that reflected their imagine due to the darkness around them. “Why have you been avoiding me?”

“Avoiding? Why would I do that? No no no. I always want to see my favorite booty!”

“You went to Aunt May’s.”

Deadpool had the grace to look guilty, curling in his shoulders and rubbing the back of his head. “I was jus’ lookin’ for you, is all. I didn’t mean for her to see me.” He pouted as he scuffed his foot on the concrete below their feet.

“I’m not mad.”

Deadpool’s head snapped up in surprise. “You’re not?”

“Thanks for watching over her.”

The wide grin was obvious even through the mask. “No problemo, Spidey! Anytime!”

“And thanks for keeping a safe distance when you were having a hard time.”

Deadpool looked stricken then. “How did you know that? Did she know that? She didn’t act like she knew that.”

“She knew. It’s okay.”

“It’s not okay…” Deadpool mumbled. “But thanks for sayin’.”

“You’ve been busy since I was gone.”

“I… I’ve been trying… But I’m not very good at it yet. The boxes still get loud sometimes and people really annoy me a lot but I know I’m not supposed to un-alive ‘em just ‘cause of that and-”

“We’re starting a support group for superheroes. You should come.”

“But…” Deadpool looked at his reflection and then looked away. “I don’t really qualify.”

“You do. Besides, I’ll be there.”

“What? Why you?”

Peter chuckled wryly. “I have issues, too. We all do.”

Deadpool started and stopped a lot of things he wanted to say before blurting out, “Did you like the garden?”

“It’s really nice. I especially liked the tiny picket fence.”

Wringing his hands together, Deadpool grinned bashfully. “Aww, you sweet talker.”

“I have a present for you.”

“For me?” Deadpool slapped his hands to his face in dramatic surprise before pressing one hand to his heart. “You shouldn’t have!”

Peter pulled out the Image Inducer and placed it around Deadpool’s wrist. Deadpool laughed at it. “You’ll get in trouble when they find out I have this. I’m banned from them!”

“This one’s special. It only has one setting.”

“Then it better be a handsome!” Deadpool chuckled as he turned to face his reflection. “With lots of muscles and a chiseled jaw and-”

Peter activated it and for once Deadpool was silent. Before them stood Wade. The device was able to replicate expressions perfectly, even through Deadpool’s mask. Currently, Wade’s face was a mixture of shock and confusion. The image was such a perfect fit, that all of Deadpool’s weapons stood out against the street clothes the device was displaying.

“What…” Deadpool breathed, but couldn’t continue.

“It has an array of clothing options.” Peter said and pressed a button, making the shirt disappear and show a torso comprised of smooth skin. “It doesn’t change texture of course, but you can do anything else with the image.”

Deadpool lifted his fingers and traced a thin white scar that slashed across his left pec. “I got this in the military.” He whispered. “My first scar. I was so angry about it... You couldn’t have known that.”

“It’s a long story-” But Peter didn’t get to finish. His spider sense went off and he ducked just in time. Deadpool’s katana slicing through the air above him.

Wade’s face was contorted in pain and rage as he attacked relentlessly. Peter was barely able to keep ahead of Deadpool, climbing the wall in a panic. Deadpool was hot on his heels, jumping up to the next landing, pursuing Spider-man to the roof.

As Peter fought to not get shot and pin down Deadpool’s arms with webbing, he noticed something. The image could translate what was happening to Deadpool’s facial features despite the mask. Tears were streaming down Wade’s perfect cheekbones. It tugged at Peter’s heart hard. This wasn’t how he wanted this to go. He never meant to hurt Deadpool.

Eventually, Peter was able to web Deadpool’s arms and legs up against the water tank to the building. The man thrashed and cursed, but no actual words formed and the tears never stopped. Breathing heavily Peter walked up to Deadpool slowly, trying to calm the man down with soothing noises.

“Why?!” Deadpool choked out. “Why would you torture me with this? Is this what you want?!”

Carefully, Peter worked the webbing away from the device and turned it off. Deadpool’s costume blinked back into existence. “I didn’t make this for me.”

“He’s gone! He’s dead! That’s not me! Not anymore!”

“It is you.” Peter assured. “And you deserve to be able to have a normal life. A life that was taken from you when you were mutated.”

Deadpool let out a sob and thrashed against the webbing again before going limp. After a pause Peter reached up and pulled off Deadpool’s mask. The man fought Peter’s determined grip by tossing his head around, but eventually Deadpool’s face was bared to the cool night air. He futilely tried to hide it against his shoulder.

“I didn’t make that for me. In fact, it wasn’t even my idea. It was yours.”

“What?” Deadpool cut his eyes over in confusion to look at Spider-man.

“The world I was in had a copy of everyone. You never mutated there. You sent this back with me as a gift to yourself.”

Slowly, Deadpool turned his head back to stare into Spider-man’s mask. “You have the weirdest story arcs.”

Peter smiled a little and decided to speak Deadpool’s language. He pulled off his mask as well and waited a moment before speaking. “I’d like to establish a new love interest. Take things in a more progressive direction. If you’re willing to work with me on getting you stable and healthy. Both physically and mentally.”

Deadpool’s eyes widened almost comically large. “You’re lying.”

“I’m not.” Peter placed his hands lightly over Deadp-Wade’s scarred face. “I don’t care what you look like. The Image Inducer isn’t for me. I only want to fix you so that you don’t have to be in pain all the time. So that you can live a more normal life. Or at least, as normal as main characters can be.”

“Why?” Wade breathed.

“Because I want you to be happy.” Peter smiled. “Can I help you achieve that?”

Big fat tears grew and fell from Wade’s eyes, getting trapped in the various injuries littering his face. “Why?”

“Because you’re important to me. And I honestly believe that you can make me very happy, too.” Peter tilted his head, a ghost of a smile playing on his lips. “Would you be interested in the position of new love interest? It’ll be a slow burn, friends to lovers kind of thing, a dash of medical drama, but I think it’ll have a happy ending.”

“The fans would love it.” Wade whispered.

Peter grinned. “Yeah. Me too.”

Leaning forward, Peter pressed his lips against Wade’s. There was a lot different. The textured scars, the tough and raw skin side by side, the trembling caused Wade’s fear of rejection. However, there was a lot the same. The electric tingle, the rush of need, the glowing heat of Wade’s body.

When Wade finally kissed back, the primal fight of it wasn’t there. In it’s place was the desperate need to be accepted. So Peter accepted Wade for all that he was and all that he could be in the future. One day, they would have that primal battle of their lips and Peter would eventually succumb to it, letting it run its natural course.

But for now, Peter would be Wade’s strength. And tomorrow, they will write a new story. Together.

Chapter Text

Meanwhile, on an Other world…

“If you don’t stop with the lingering hugs, your family is going to think something is wrong with you. It’s been two weeks already.” Wade teased.

“I can play it off on the ‘returned memory’ thing for at least another month.” Peter replied haughtily as he climbed back onto the bed to straddle Wade’s waist. “And the ‘kidnapping’ thing should buy me another week in bed with you.” Peter grinned seductively.

Wade chuckled and pulled Peter down for a kiss, their naked bodies pushing against each other in all the right ways. The kiss was long and lingering, full of emotion but lazy from post coital bliss.

When they pulled away, Wade ran his fingers through Peter’s hair lovingly. “They referred to this as a land of happy endings, you know. I can’t help but agree with them currently.”

Peter chuckled. “Well, then good thing our luck rubbed off on Just Parker.” Peter used the nickname he had made up for the Spider-man he had met only briefly.

“Oh? You think things are working out?”

“Mm, I can feel it in my bones!”

Wade chuckled. “How are they doing, then?”

Peter made little patterns on Wade’s chest with his finger. “I can predict the whole thing. It’ll be bumpy at first and they’ll have a hard time understanding each other. They’ll say ‘Oh, but we could communicate so well as friends, why is it different now?’ But eventually they’ll learn to read each other’s emotions easier and things will begin to change for the better.

“Then the treatments will start to work, and with that will come more confidence and stability. Things won’t end up perfect, but it won’t matter. They’ll love each other no matter what’s on the outside or what internal conflicts they have. When they finally believe that one will always accept the other, things will move forward quickly.

“They’ll spend a week in bed, exploring and learning each other, building a framework of sexual knowledge to help their relationship in the future. After that, moving in together won’t even be a big deal. They’ll be dying for it. Lots of fights will happen at first as they step on each other’s toes and find pet peeves they didn’t know they had, and they’ll fuck it out afterwards every time. But that will settle down quickly.

“At last, they will start to fully open up, become vulnerable and trusting with one another. When that happens, they’ll be more open with the world about their relationship. Of course, nobody could say a thing to them about it because it’s obvious how much they love each other and how good they are for each other.

“I imagine life in their world will never be boring, but they’ll always have each other to come home to. Definitely a happy ending.”

Wade dropped short kisses against Peter’s lips over and over again. “I hope that happens.”

“Don’t worry. It will.” Peter smiled broadly, dropping another kiss to Wade’s lips.

“You are my unshakable strength that gives me peace and I love you.” Wade murmured against Peter’s lips.

“You are the warm light that keeps me happy and I love you.” Peter whispered in return.

When their lips met it did not ring loud enough to be heard throughout all the Earths. It simply hummed a giddy note for only two souls to enjoy.