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“Motherfucking cactus!”

 

Peter starts laughing before he’s even found him, can just imagine Wade with little bits of cactus sticking out of his fingers.  He finally picks out a bag of soil, dumps it into their carriage, and goes around to the aisle with the cacti, smiling when he finds him.  “What did you do?” he asks.

 

“Motherfucking cactus,” Wade mutters, carefully pulling a piece out of his thumb.  There are no less than five cacti sitting on the shelf next to him, so Peter sets about putting them in the carriage before he peeks into the pocket of Wade’s sweatshirt, reaching in to give Florence a little pet between her ears.  “Someone started shouting about birds, in a fuckin’ Home Depot, who woulda fuckin’ thought it, right, and Flo went bonkers.”

 

“About the shouting or the birds?” Peter says, and laughs at Wade’s resulting expression.

 

“Flo, you devil!” he exclaims, tugging her out of his pocket and holding her up, Simba style.  She meows in aggravation, and he drops her onto his shoulder, purring right along with her as she wraps her tail around his neck.  “Oh, what kind did ya get?” Wade asks when he spots the soil, “Cos mama done said that good beginnins make for good endins, done said that every little bits of the roots that poke on up tells you what kind of a monster you gone be when you grow big and strong, and listen, okay, spidey, listen, I fuckin’ hate children, I ain’t never having them.”

 

“Why’s that?” Peter asks, not paying attention while he looks at the different pots.

 

“Little fucker over there’s staring at me like I’m some fuckin’ clown.  Yo, you see the news, Batman’s on the run!”

 

“Who?”

 

Batman, spidey, jeeznus, you’re never paying attention.”  Wade makes a dramatic sweeping gesture with his arm, which Florence is upset with him about, but he just continues on, “Them clowns were doing the bee-bop all around, and he came in like Mary Poppins, sweepin’ out them chimneys.  Ugh, are we getting food soon?  We’ve been poking at these cacti for freaking ever, and Flo’s gonna eat me soon, Petey.”

 

“Would you stop that?” Peter says, flicking him before he sets a pot down, “Give me Florence.  She’s going to bite you because you’re flailing about.”

 

Wade sighs loudly, but does as he’s told, trading him cat for carriage.  “Okay, look,” Wade says when they get in line, pivoting to face away from Peter and pointing at you, the reader, “I know, fourth wall break, we’ll all be okay.  It’s been, holy shiznat, two years?  Well, listen up, buttercups, time’s a done fastin’ forward, and we’re at a whole freaking new year now!  Things have changed.  Bruce and Tony broke up because they entered an alternate universe where the writer had fanciful dreams about Tony with Bucky, woah.  Wrap your head around that nonsense.  I’m kidding, calm down.  Our fearless science boyfriends are still doing the wham bam bang, as are me and the spidey.  Last time we done did the shake shake bang, we’d been dating for four years, and now we’re at freaking six, when the hell did that happen, oh my holy magic.  Me and the spidey’s been good, you know, full of things like happiness and joy, all a bunch of mushy goop if you ask me, which he doesn’t, but—” Wade sighs loudly, rolling his eyes, “Okay, I’ve only got thirty whole more seconds until my freeze frame runs out.  Keepin’ up with the times, baby, it’s the summer of ’16, and we gone boogy.”

 

“Wade,” Peter says, nudging him, “Who the hell are you talking to?”

 

“Spidey!” Wade yelps, and then drops a shoulder into his ribs, hoisting him into the air.

 

“Florence!” Peter yells even as she skids out of his pocket, runs down Wade’s back, and darts off somewhere to hide.

 

“Oh my god, the pussy!” Wade shrieks before he drops Peter bodily onto the ground and runs after her.

 

Peter sighs and closes his eyes, trying to pretend everyone’s not staring at him before he gets to his feet and pushes his carriage forward, starting to unload their new plants on the belt.

 

He’s outside and nearly finished packing the car he’s pretending Wade didn’t steal from one of their neighbors, when Wade comes waltzing over, talking a mile a minute, “I’m telling you, they should be showering you in gold for all the damn good you do, the least they could do was lend you their car.”

 

“You stole it,” Peter accuses, dropping into the passenger seat.  He takes Florence from Wade when he gets in, and then they’re off to finish their errands, find something for lunch, and head back home.  They spend the rest of their Saturday lounging, and it takes a full twenty-four hours before their lives dump straight back into shitsville.

 

——

 

“Too fast for freedom—”

 

“Quiet,” Peter mutters.

 

“Then come back over here,” Wade says, rolling over onto his back.  When Peter doesn’t respond, he keeps singing, “Now I’m dancing with Delilah, and her vision is mine.  A different kind of danger in the daylight.  Took anything to cut you, I can find a different kind of danger in the daylight.”

 

“’Mere,” Peter says, peeking over at him through the hammock.

 

Wade sighs and stretches, cat-like, meowing at Florence when she meows at him.  He pads over to the edge of the loft, and though he assumes it’s coming, he still smiles shyly when he hears Peter’s camera click.  “Gimme that, my itsy bitsy spider,” he says, reaching out.  Though Peter hands it over, he hides, and Wade steps back, getting his whole body in the shot.  He creeps back over after, yells, “Selfie!” as he tickles Peter, and licks his face when he surfaces with a surprised laugh.

 

“Ew, gross, cooties!” Peter whines, so Wade jumps in the hammock with him and starts blowing raspberries everywhere he can reach.  “Oi, assface!” Peter shrieks, jabbing him in the ribs.

 

Wade settles, snuggling against him and picking up Peter’s book.  “Whatcha readin’?” he asks as he starts flipping through.

 

“Kerouac,” Peter says, “We should watch that movie.”

 

Kill Your DarlingsYes, oh my god, it looked boss.  Also, my book is better.”

 

He grabs Peter’s hand and tries to web his book, but misses, so Peter gets it for him.  “Finnegan’s Wake,” Peter reads, “You like Joyce?  Really?”

 

“I only read foreigners.  America sucks.”

 

“It does,” Peter agrees sadly.

 

“Let’s celebrate by having tacos tonight!”

 

“Homemade ones.”

 

“TACO PARTY!”

 

Wade flails, the hammock swings wildly, Peter shrieks, and somehow, they don’t die.  However, they do end up in a pile on the first floor, Wade cushioning their fall, and Peter’s heart is thudding hard against his chest when he pushes against Wade’s shoulders and looks down at him.

 

“The fuck is your problem?” he says, and he means it a little.

 

“Strung up, strung out for your love!” Wade exclaims, flinging his arms out, and Peter just sighs and sits back on his heels.  “Hang in, hung up, it’s so rough,” Wade keeps going, squirming beneath Peter until he gets up, and then he’s left dancing on the floor as he goes on, “I’m wrung and ringing out.  Why can’t you let me know?”

 

“Florence!” Peter calls as he heads into the kitchen.

 

There’s a small crash from somewhere in the apartment, and Peter lifts an eyebrow, though he continues on to the fridge, reaching up for the canister of cat food they keep up there.  Eventually, Florence comes stumbling into sight, stretching languidly as she enters the kitchen, and she tucks in to her dinner.

 

“I want lemonade,” Wade says after a period of silence, and Peter looks over at him, shaking his head as he finds him still spread out on the ground.  His heart is still beating a little hard, and he’s trying not to think about the three seconds he’d been free-falling, tumbling from the hammock before crashing to certain death, but it’s the way Wade had twisted, hiding all of Peter’s breakables, tucking around him until he was safe before his back thudded against the ground.

 

He wonders if it even hurt.

 

“Idea,” Peter says suddenly, turning toward him, “You have a mission.”

 

Wade’s on his feet before Peter’s blinked, and then he’s in front of him when his eyes are open again.  “Now the sun is up, and I’m going blind,” he says softly before he steps in closer, hands coming up to trace lightly over Peter’s jaw, the backs of his fingers following the line of it until he can curl his hands around, tip him toward him, mouth fitting easily against his.  “I’m sorry I threw you out of the hammock,” Wade kisses the apology into the corner of his mouth.  “I’m sorry your heart beat, beat, beat out of time, and I’ll do my best to match it to mine,” he kisses the words into the heat of his mouth, and then he kisses him again, soft and slow and longing.  Peter holds on as best as he can, and then Wade finally pulls back and asks, “Is it a mission that requires a list?”

 

“There are more than two things you’ve been tasked to return to base.”

 

“A list, then,” Wade says, and he kisses Peter a final time before going up into the loft.  Peter watches him rummage around for a moment before he turns back to the fridge and taps a rhythm out against his thigh as he looks into it.

 

“We have no food,” he assess finally, and then sighs—he hates food shopping.  “What do you want for dinner this week?” he tosses over his shoulder.

 

“Tacos tonight,” Wade reminds, and Peter smiles fondly, “You want sushi, you kept talking about it last night.”

 

“I’m not making sushi,” Peter says, making a face.

 

“Yeah, but I’m good at it,” Wade says, and Peter looks over in time to see him winking, “I learned on that trip to—” he waves his hand about flippantly.

 

“Mhm,” Peter says, turning back to the fridge, “Tacos, sushi, lasagna, stir fry, uh—”

 

“Aunt May’s mac n cheese.”

 

“I’m not—”

 

I’m calling Aunt May to invite us over for dinner!” Wade trills, and that’s the end of that.

 

Peter finishes making up a list of food that they need, and then he texts Johnny, how empty is your fridge?

 

He gets to work on Wade’s list, and they meet at the foot of the stairs to the loft.  He hands him his list as Johnny types back, fucking mind reader.  I’m on my way to yours?

 

Peter sends back a confirmation, and then finds proper clothes to wear.  Wade makes grumbling noises over his list until he reaches the front door, and then he says, “One of these is impossible.”

 

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” Peter says with a wicked grin, and then Wade’s gone.

 

He takes the stairs slowly, thumbing through his contacts as he’s going.  When he gets to Matt’s name, he dials, and he’s just coming down the second flight when Matt answers, “Matt Murdock speaking.”

 

“Matt Murdock speaking, are you working?  What an atrocity.”

 

“Wade,” Matt says, and Wade can hear something like a smile in his voice, “I was about to take a break.  What did you have in mind?”

 

“I’ve been tasked with buying an orchid.”

 

“I am exceptionally good at that.”

 

“Foggy keeps reminding me every time I’m in your office.”

 

“You’re never in my office,” Matt says, and Wade can hear him shuffling around.

 

“I am absolutely in your office,” Wade says, “Your desk is in front of the window because you enjoy the sun, assfart.”

 

“You’re gross.”

 

“I am,” Wade sighs, “I’ll shove something tasty in your mouth.”

 

“Place it gently in my hand,” Matt says, and then he hangs up.

 

Wade just grins and jogs down the rest of the stairs, waves to Daniel on his way out, and makes a face at the sun when he gets outside.  He hates the heat, hates that his jeans are already feeling too heavy for the weather, hates that Peter put shorts? on his list because he knows how much he hates them, but he also knows how much he probably needs them.  They’re supposed to have an awful summer, and he’s really not ready to spend it in clothes that cover his scars.

 

With a disgruntled noise, Wade lets his motorcycle roar to life, tucking his hat away before he heads out.  He meets Matt at his favorite hipster place, somewhere that sells wraps and tea and fruit, and Wade continues making his noises as he nudges past people in line until he can find Matt.

 

“This menu is for the birds,” he says before he brushes a hand over his right elbow, letting him know where he is.

 

Matt raps his ankle lovingly with his cane.  “Someone once described one of the spicy wraps that they have,” he says, pointing vaguely at the menu, “I’m sure you’d like it.”

 

“Do you know what you’re having?”

 

“I usually have something different every time,” Matt says, moving up in line when he feels Wade’s fingers skim over his arm.  “Who’s working?”

 

Wade looks over at the employees hurrying around behind the front counter and says, “Caroline.”

 

Matt nods appreciatively and says, “So, why the phone call?”

 

“Peter gave me a list,” Wade says, sticking his hands in his pockets both out of instinct and to check he still has his list, “He’s food shopping with Johnny, so I’m doing the other errands.  How’s the wedding planning coming?  This is actually the longest engagement I’ve ever been privy to, Murdock.  You ever gonna tie the knot with lady luck?”

 

“Good, good,” Matt says, “Still a ways away, so it shouldn’t be too much for—”

 

Matthew,” Wade says suddenly, grabbing his other arm to try to spook him.  Matt just raps him harder on the ankle this time, and Wade makes a face, hopping onto one foot.  Matt bounces the cane back and forth as Wade says, “Bachelor party.”  Someone laughs at him, and Wade stops moving, looking for the source of the noise.

 

Matt stops abruptly.  “No,” he says, with finality.

 

“Fuck you,” Wade snorts, “It’s happening, even if you don’t come.  Do you have friends?  If you do, I have no idea who they are.  I’ll invite Foggy.  And me.  And Peter.  I think that’s good enough.  What can we four amigos get up to?  Oh, I know, oh, this is going to be fun.  I’ll ask Foggy if you have friends.  Do you?  I don’t.”

 

“Wade.”

 

“Listen, so—” Wade focuses on Matt’s face, tries not to hear the second snigger before there’s a whisper, something derogatory and not meant for his ears, but he can still hear it, and he knows Matt can, as well, “—we need to also figure out if I need to figure out any important details.  Am I responsible for anything?  I don’t think I should be.  Peter wants me to buy shorts.”  He doesn’t mean to say it, he means to just keep talking, but it’s almost their turn in line, and the person who’d laughed at him isn’t bothering to whisper now.

 

“Wonder if he walked into a fucking fire, what a moron,” a female voice says, and Wade turns around, faces forward.

 

“Probably did,” her boyfriend says, “Betcha that’s why he’s hiding his ugly mug.  Oh look, he’s not dancing anymore, poor monkey.”

 

“Wade—”

 

“Did you hear about my last job?  75k, set me and the spidey up real nice, ain’t need no killin’s anytime soon, so that’s nice.  Gonna get us a sweet little set up for a while, and I think I might buy him a present just for being good.”

 

Matt sighs.  “Who, him?”

 

“No, me, silly,” Wade says, “I been being good for a while now.  It’s tearin’ me up inside, tearin’ my heart in two, but I like being good with my spidey.  Hey, you remember Aunt May?”

 

“I do.  Hello Caroline,” Matt says as they step up to the counter.

 

“Every time,” Caroline says sweetly, her blonde ponytail swinging as she cocks her head to the side, “How do you know?”

 

“My dear companion informed me this time,” Matt says, reaching out for Wade and patting him gently on the arm.  Wade doesn’t say anything when his hand stays there afterward, holding onto him.  Matt orders while Wade looks over the menu, and then when Matt squeezes his arm, he orders.

 

They find somewhere to sit, and they chat for a bit until someone comes over with their food.  And though they’re not sniggering and whispering about him anymore, Wade can’t help but glance over at the couple every once in a while—once, he catches the girl’s gaze, and she immediately leans across the table to her boyfriend, who blatantly stares at him, and he pulls his hood up.

 

When they get outside, Matt folds up his cane deftly, pockets it, and loops his arm through Wade’s.  “Orchids, right?” he asks.

 

“Orchid, singular,” Wade says softly.

 

“Stop thinking about it,” Matt says.

 

“Kind of fucking hard not to,” he mutters, and he doesn’t mean to be short with Matt, but he just fucking hates people.

 

“Listen, I know it sucks, but—”

 

“But nothing,” Wade says, taking his arm away, “Everywhere I fucking go, someone has something to say, and I can’t just expect Peter or you or someone else to be there to try to fucking stand up for me or tell me it’s going to be alright.  I’m not—fuck, I’m not an invalid, but people think they can just say whatever the fuck their twisted little noggin’s come up with.  I’ll see you later, Matt.”

 

“Wade—”

 

“Keep it horny, devil,” Wade grumbles, and then he’s gone, leaving Matt to frown in his wake.

 

——

 

“No, but honestly, man, she’s fucking beautiful,” Johnny says over Chipotle around two.

 

“Tell me you’re going to one of her classes,” Daniel says, reaching for his drink, “I honestly cannot imagine you doing yoga.”

 

“Oh, it’s gonna be fucking terrible,” Johnny says, “I can’t even touch my toes!  Bet you can,” he adds, elbowing Peter.

 

“Well, duh,” Peter says around a mouthful of burrito.

 

Wait,” Johnny says, turning bodily.  Harry starts laughing immediately from next to Daniel, who looks between them in confusion.  “Can you do a split?”  Peter swallows, grabs his drink, and shrugs one shoulder.  “Bitch ass, I hate you, you totally can!  You’re not allowed to come to this class with me.  You’ll make me look shameful.  Harry, take a Saturday off, you’re coming.”

 

“Fuck that,” Harry says, stabbing a stray bean.

 

“That’s not exactly surprising, is it?” Peter says, lifting an eyebrow at him, “I mean—considering.”

 

“Okay,” Daniel says, waving his fork at them, “Okay.”

 

Harry lowers his fork at his tone, glancing at him and then at Peter, who gives his best awkward smile.  “I feel like this conversation is about to tank,” he says.

 

“Are you Spiderman?” Daniel asks.

 

Johnny barks out a laugh, head tipping back against the seat while Harry chokes on his drink.  Peter just bites into his burrito again and says, “This shit is not as good at that Mexican place around the corner.  Why do you keep making me come here?”

 

“Alright, fancypants,” Johnny grumbles, lifting his head to glare at Peter, “Just because you and Wilson are fucking—connoisseurs at Mexican food.”

 

“One dollar word right there,” Harry says, going back to his food.

 

“Oh my god,” Daniel says, “I knew it.”

 

Peter starts to respond, lets out this broken half-noise, and keeps eating, trying to figure out the best way to put this.  He’s been waiting for his landlord to ask him for a little while, particularly after the last battle he was thrown through the grinder with when the call to assemble came, and then there was that time, autumn of last year, when Wade showed up in their lobby missing a boot and with a foot just finished growing, and Daniel looked convinced.

 

“I was going to tell you eventually,” Peter says finally.

 

“That’s a lie,” Johnny says.

 

“Yeah, it is,” Peter says, “More just waiting for you to ask.  We haven’t exactly been discreet.  Sorry?”

 

“Holy shit,” Daniel says, “You’re Spiderman.”

 

Peter grins and says, “Yeah, sometimes.  But listen, no one knows outside of the Avengers, and—”

 

“You’re discussing your superhero identity in Chipotle,” Harry reminds him.

 

“Regardless,” Peter says, throwing a piece of lettuce as Harry, “I’m begging you, man.”

 

“Yeah, of course,” Daniel says, nodding quickly, “I won’t tell anyone.  I—wait.  We?”

 

“Uh,” Peter says.

 

“Wait, wait, wait,” Johnny says, laughing, “What was it you called Wade that time?  A curator?”

 

“I mean, he does collect things,” Peter says, shoulders shrugging up by his ears as Johnny starts jostling him.

 

“If by things, you mean limbs,” he says, and Peter frowns.

 

“This is so not lunch appropriate talk,” Peter says, and Harry nods in agreement, “Wade’s not part of the Avengers, or—fuck, I don’t know, even a superhero.”

 

“He’s a villain?” Daniel whispers.

 

“No!” Peter says, “He’s—just not always a good guy.”

 

“Okay, so are we admitting now that your boyfriend is a fucking psychopath?” Johnny says, not looking at Peter.

 

“Don’t be a dick,” Peter warns him.

 

“I’m just saying—”

 

“Johnny—”

 

“He kills people for a living, and you’re somehow okay with that.”  Daniel drops his fork.  Harry clears his throat, and looks away.  Peter turns to Johnny, fuming.  “Don’t look at me like that,” he says, “You keep shacking up with him, that’s on you.  I’m just saying, it’s a little morally interesting that, as Spiderman, you’re chill with your significant other being a mercenary.”

 

“At least he’s not an asshole,” Peter says, a muscle twitching in his jaw.

 

“Oh please, yes, he is,” Johnny says.

 

“Agreed,” Daniel says, and it breaks whatever spell had settled over them, “But also, now I’m afraid to take your rent.”

 

“Hey, I’ll live rent-free, if you want,” Peter says, forcing himself to smirk and look away from Johnny.

 

“Not that afraid,” Daniel says, and they all end up laughing.

 

——

 

Peter gets a text around four from Wade, I hate the fucking world, so I’m discovering myself at the bottom of a bottle, bye bye bye.

 

Have you been listening to NSync? he types back because he has to know.

 

He’s finished putting away the groceries before he gets a response, I built this ship to wreck.

 

What’s wrong?

 

There’s no response after that, not after Peter’s shower, not after he’s played with Florence for a while, not even after he’s nearly finished with dinner, and he’s checked his phone for what feels like the four hundred and seventy-eighth time.  Finally, he gives in and calls him, and from the second Wade picks up, he’s rambling, “Spideyyyyy, I knew you were gonna call eventually, and look at you, punchin’ in my numbas, showing me the good ole one two three.  Listen, I was hanging out with some fellas, and they got talkin’ to me, and they saids they had someone they might be needin’ killed, and I saids, well fellas, I might so happen to know a guy who does some killin’s sometimes, so—”

 

“Are you drunk?” Peter asks, a little astonished, “Can you even get drunk?”

 

Apparently,” Wade says, and then he hiccups, “Apparently, there’s this stuff, spidey, there’s this stuff that Thor’s got, and oh man, he only lets Cappy have it, right, but I stoled some of it, and it’s in my body, spidey!  I can feel it in my little wiggly body parts.  I don’t like some of my parts.  Mama done said this would happen, she said I would be growin’ up a fool, a fag, a freaky deaky ducky doo, and someday, I’d be squeakin’ on out, showin’ them ladies I don’t wanna be lickin’, and all a sudden, there’d be Miss Giggles and Mister Whisper, and they would be sittin’ behind them hands, asking if I walked into a fucking fire, what a fucking moron, and mama done said they’d be doin’ that if I’d be movin’ and groovin’ with them boys, and—”

 

“You’re my head,” Peter sings softly, “You’re my heart.”

 

Wade breaks a fraction, “When it’s over, you’re the start.”

 

There’s a great, big silence, and then Peter asks, “When are you coming home?”

 

Wade grumbles incoherently, there’s a sound like him shuffling, and then Wade’s back, “On my way.”

 

“Do you want to—” but he’s cut off as Wade hangs up.  He stares at his phone in mild surprise before shrugging and leaving it on the island before he heads off for the loft.

 

When Wade gets back, he’s nothing short of a mess, and, in all their years together, Peter has never had to put him back together like this.

 

The door opens, and Peter doesn’t move at first from his place on the sofa in the loft, waiting for Wade to come join him, but then he’s still sitting there, still waiting, and so he marks the page in his book and looks over, frowns when he finds Wade’s figure slumped by the door.

 

“Wade?” he calls, already unfolding from the sofa.

 

One of Wade’s feet kicks out, and then he’s sliding down the wall, head dropping back against the doorframe as Peter hurries down the ladder and over to him.  “Hey,” he says softly, dropping to a knee, “Are you okay?”

 

He’s pale, but otherwise, he just looks tired, and then he opens his eyes, and it looks like something is haunting him.  “Hi,” he mumbles, looking a little bleary.

 

“Come on,” Peter says, reaching for him, “Come up to bed, and talk to me.”

 

Wade flinches away from his outstretched hand, head tipping to the side as his eyes shut again.  “Wade—” but Peter breaks off, brow furrowing as he sees a smear of red across the back of Wade’s head.  He leans forward, following the trail of it, and then he feels like he’s going to vomit, or worse, but he forces himself to sit down across from Wade, pressing his back against the wall opposite the door.  Finally, after he’s swallowed down bile, he asks, “Why does it look like you shot yourself in the head?”

 

Wade laughs humorlessly, his shoulders just twitching at first until they jump up toward his ears, and, without warning, he’s crying.

 

Fuck.  He doesn’t mean to, doesn’t want Peter to see him like this, but he doesn’t think he can stand, and so he just chokes it back.  There’s so much sorrow building in his chest that he can’t, and his head hurts like someone’s put a hole through it—fuck, that was him.

 

“I went—” he tries, but it’s nearly drowned him, and his chin drops forward, this noise ripping its way through his throat and into the space between them.  “Peter,” he whispers.

 

Peter’s there in an instant, dropping his legs on either side of Wade’s, arms looping around him as he draws him close, and Wade exhales something that sounds like fear and desperation against Peter’s chest.  “I got you,” Peter promises, hands pressing warm and solid against him.  Wade hiccups past whatever normalcy is trying to play at today and straight into hysteria, lets Peter anchor him down as he throws his grief from his body.

 

It starts to subside eventually, and Wade lets out a soft, barely there groan as it does.  “Can you walk?” Peter asks.

 

Wade nods slowly, so Peter unfolds from around him and helps him to his feet.  He expects them to turn right and go up to their bed, but Peter steers him toward the left, taking the stairs up into the other half of their apartment.  They pass Wade’s armory and go into the bathroom, where Peter closes the lid on the toilet and eases him down before he starts moving about.

 

Wade watches him tiredly as he starts to draw a bath before he comes back over, and he nearly breaks again when Peter curls his fingers around Wade’s jaw, tipping him up so he can press a kiss to his forehead.  As it is, a few tears slip past his carefully crumbling walls.

 

Peter suppresses a shudder when he sees the state Wade’s head is in.  Though it’s mostly smoothed out again, there’s still a small hole at the back of his head, some of the skin raised and raw looking.  He carefully cleans around it with a warm, damp hand towel before he sets to stripping Wade of the rest of his clothes.  The rest of his body isn’t in much better condition, with wicked bruises forming around his ribs, one of his knees just pointing in the wrong direction, though Wade hums when he sees it and cracks it back.  Peter looks away, covering his mouth, and he waits until Wade grunts before he turns back, biting his lip when he sees the raw, red line around Wade’s throat.  “Did someone do this to you?” he asks, touching it lightly with the tips of his fingers.

 

Wade closes his eyes.  “That, yes,” he says finally.

 

Peter just nods before pulling him to his feet and getting him out of his pants.  When he’s naked, he gives him a nudge over to the bath, but Wade stands there, looking so helpless, that Peter quickly strips down, and gets in with him.  He settles in first, letting Wade lower down between his legs and carefully sink back against him.  He drops his head against Peter’s shoulder, head lolling in so his nose bumps his jaw, and says, “It’s in my head.”

 

“The bullet?” Peter says, horrified.

 

“No,” Wade says, and presses closer to Peter, his next exhale coming out rough, “Their words.”

 

“Wade,” Peter says, curling tighter around him, one hand coming up to rest over his heart, “I’m so sorry.”

 

“I shouldn’t have let it bother me.”  Peter can hear how awful his voice sounds now, how torn apart it is, like that was the last function to come back after his head started to heal.  “I was with Murdock.  Called me a fucking moron, said I looked—looked—shit.”

 

“Wade, it’s okay,” Peter tries to soothe him.

 

“It’s not,” Wade gasps, his shoulders jumping up again before his whole body is shaking, “Said I looked like I walked through a fucking fire, and it’s so much worse because fire wouldn’t fucking do this, fire wouldn’t fucking hurt this much, but take away all your oxygen, every single fucking breath, and this is what you’re left with even though it feels like I’m on fucking fire sometimes.  Fuck, it hurts.”

 

His nose slips past Peter’s jaw as his forehead thuds there, all of his sharp edges trying to cut him open.  “What hurts?” Peter asks, “How can I help?”

 

“Make it stop,” Wade pleads, one of his hands finding Peter’s arm in the water and clinging to him, “Please make it stop, Peter.”

 

“I don’t—okay,” Peter decides, tangling their fingers together and lifting his other hand to curl around the side of Wade’s head, hold him close.

 

He doesn’t know how long they’re in the bath, just that it starts to cool, and Wade doesn’t move.  Eventually, Peter’s cold, and he can’t stop the way his body shivers at the change in temperature.  It starts to occur to him, though, that Wade either can’t move or just isn’t going to, and so he does it for him, gets them out of the bath and dried off.  He tries to pat him dry carefully because Wade’s face is twisted in pain, and the one time Peter tries to rub the towel over him, he starts crying.

 

God, he’s never seen him like this, and he doesn’t know what to do.

 

“Do you think you could stand some clothes?” Peter asks, “Maybe just a loose shirt?”

 

“One of yours?” Wade mumbles as Peter takes his hand and leads him out of the bathroom, leaving his bloody clothes behind.

 

“And then maybe a little food?”  Wade nods slowly.

 

He leaves Wade in the kitchen, grabs him a pair of briefs and his NASA shirt that Wade’s always stealing, setting them on the counter before he turns toward the fridge, digging out his dinner from earlier.  Wade’s just tugging the shirt over his head when he puts it in the microwave, and he watches his eyes squeeze shut as he does so, so he decides tea is in order, as well.

 

“Alright,” he says, setting a plate down in front of Wade.  Florence has joined them, curled up in his lap, and Wade is slowly petting her, his shoulders sagging down.  “Wade?” he tries.

 

“Yeah, I’m here,” Wade says, lifting his head and looking over at him blearily.

 

“Why don’t you eat something, and then we can go to bed?”

 

He nods without seeming to realize he’s doing so, and Peter just—doesn’t know what to do.  He makes them both tea, drinking his while he watches Wade pick listlessly at his food.  He finishes half of it before he gives up, dropping his arms onto the table, head thudding down.  Florence meows sadly up at him, and Wade offers her a small smile.

 

“Alright,” Peter says suddenly, getting up, “What did they look like?”

 

Wade lifts his head, watching on, baffled, as Peter dumps his plate in the sink and starts to head for the door.  “Peter,” Wade says, scooping Florence up and shifting her to his shoulder as he gets off the stool, “What are you doing?”

 

“Gonna go beat the shit out of whoever made you feel like this,” Peter says, shrugging into his jacket, “Clearly, they deserve to die.”  He drops onto the floor to yank on his Converse, and Wade just stares at him in awe.

 

“I love you,” he says quietly.

 

“I know,” Peter says, yanking on the other shoe, “So, who was it?  Do we know them?”

 

Wade sighs and comes over, slapping Peter’s hands away from his feet before he hauls him upright and pulls them together.  “This is enough,” he whispers.

 

Peter relaxes, hands coming up to dig in against Wade’s back.  “I’m sorry,” he says, “People suck.”

 

“They do,” Wade agrees, burrowing a little deeper, if only to hide his grin as he says, “Besides, aren’t you supposed to stay with someone when they’re suicidal?  Hey, you could form your own little solo man act.  Pull a Kevin Hart—Peter Parker, Death Watch.  Oh!  That’s my new boyband name!”


“Dick,” Peter says, reaching up to flick his ear before he steps back, “You need more than one person for a boyband.”

 

“Well, you’re in.  With an ass like that,” Wade whistles, “Maybe you should just be one of our backup dancers, actually.  Shake, shake, shake.”  Wade starts shaking his hips to each side, stopping only when Peter smiles at him.

 

“Better?” Peter asks.

 

“Ha,” Wade says, “Not even close.  Maybe I’ll die in my sleep.”  And then he’s gone, taking Florence with him as he heads for the loft.

 

Peter toes out of his shoes and follows him.

 

——

 

Wade wakes not knowing where he is, jerks up out of darkness, and throws the weight that’s on his chest off, scrambling backward as he yanks a gun from underneath the bed and takes aim.

 

“Shit!” Peter yells as he rolls and hits the floor, hands coming up to cover his ears as Wade lets off one round.

 

Wade lets out this awful noise when the shattering of the bullet pulls him back, throws him into the here and now, into Peter peering over the bed and Florence hiding beneath the blankets.  “Wade?” Peter asks.

 

“I’ll run,” Wade says, and Peter vaults over the bed, colliding with him even as Wade starts to turn away.

 

“Absolutely not,” Peter says, trying to steer him back to the bed.

 

“I almost just shot you!” Wade yells, trying to throw Peter off of him.

 

“Then why bother warning me that you were gonna fucking run?” Peter says, dropping a shoulder and tossing him onto the bed.  He clambers on top of him, knees pinning his arms to his sides as he curls his hands around Wade’s bald head and drops his forehead to his.  “Breathe with me,” he says, “Come on.  In, slow.”

 

“You can’t just—”

 

“I can, and I fucking will.  Pay attention,” Peter says before he leans down to kiss him.  It’s a quick thing, meant to center, and it does the trick.  Wade’s exhale rushes out, and his next inhale matches Peter’s.  “At least it wasn’t a pigeon,” Peter says, and Wade blinks at him.

 

“Listen, Petey, you better be careful, or we’ll be dealing with—”

 

“You smell good,” Peter interrupts, dropping his head down to tuck into Wade’s neck, kissing the stretch of skin he finds there.

 

“That man done killed woman to get his perfume, spidey.”

 

“Have you even seen that movie?”

 

Dance Moms.  The TV show.”

 

Peter shouts in surprise when Wade throws him off, and then he’s coming around to lay on his side as Peter does the same, facing him.  “The war has escalated,” Wade tells him in confidence, “I was outside yesterday, right, checking up on the state of the world, seeing if the Avengers had put out the bat signal yet cos they’re always fucking up everything, honestly, and there they was.  Normal as shit pigeon and then one of those monsters, just puffin’ out like fuckin’—marshmallows, spidey.  I just about done eated it, watching it hop around like it ain’t got a care in the world, little squishies up inside its belly, and just imagine, bitin’ into a pigeon and whomp, fuckin’ Rice Krispies.  Spidey.”

 

“We should make Rice Krispies,” Peter says, flipping his hand so that it’s facing up on the bed.

 

Wade’s smile is warmer than the sun when he winds their fingers together and says, “You can do that?”

 

“I’ll find a recipe.”

 

“I betcha Rice Krispies smell like sunshine and petunias, or maybe like skinning some girl and shucking up her bodily fluids to make a perfume.  I done tellin’ ya, spidey, I seen that movie, and it was fuckin’ crazy, like nothing I ain’t ever witnessed before.  Imagine, right, I’ma come sniffin’ up at yo behind, and suddenly, there it is, I’m snatching off your hair, and that fuckin’ bird’s nest, right, you’d make such a good perfume, but—”

 

“I might cut it,” Peter says.

 

“Oh my god,” Wade says, “Get a fuckin’ undercut, I dare you, that’d make me so horny.  That’s how I done used to wear my hairs when I had them.  And okay, why do we call it a haircut, right?  You gettin’ one hair cut every time you go?  That’s a waste of money.  I get them all cut.  I get hairscut.”

 

Peter giggles unexpectedly, turning his face into his shoulder.  Wade scoots closer to him, continuing on as he slides a foot between Peter’s legs.  “I’ma gonna skin you alive and drip your innards into a tank and call it perfume, baby boy, wear it on all of my hairs and watch it seep into my pores.  Oh, Flo would be so mad, I’d have to skin her, too.  NOPE.  Peter!  That was rude, how dare you suggest that!”

 

“Have you ever even seen Dance Moms before?”

 

“I met her, spidey, and I skinned her alive, but I ain’t wearin’ her like a perfume, she smells like burning children.  Mama done said that burnin’s good for the soul, so she used to stick me in the oven and tell me she was gone bake me til I was nice and sweet, ready to come out like a pretty little boy, shining and sparkling, and then she done sended me off to kindergarten.  Spidey.”

 

“I’m trying to imagine you in kindergarten,” Peter says before lifting their hands to kiss his knuckles.

 

“I shat on the teacher’s desk the first day,” Wade says.

 

“No, you didn’t,” Peter says, grinning at him.

 

“No, I didn’t,” Wade agrees, “It was inside her drawer.  She didn’t find it until the second day, and then she turned bright purple, like she was gone scream her little head off, told me that I was going down to the principal’s office right now, ain’t no ifs ands or butts about it, so I told the mister principal that my mama done said I had to mark my territory and show them what a good boy I was.  I started watching Dance Moms after that cos then I was getting myself expelled by first grade, so I decided I was gonna be a star and tap dance my way into America’s heart.  Canada’s, oh my god, that was close.”

 

“Are you actually an American citizen?” Peter asks.

 

“In some universes,” Wade says before he’s pushing upright suddenly, knocking Peter over onto his back and crowding him against the mattress, knees tucking up near his ribs as he winds his arms tightly around him, face disappearing into his shoulder.  “My bones hurt,” he mumbles, his words muffled.

 

“You’re safe,” Peter says, pressing a kiss to the shell of Wade’s ear.

 

“I know,” Wade says, “Thank you.”

 

——

 

In the morning, Peter wakes to an empty, cold bed.  He pushes up onto one elbow as he rubs sleep out of his eyes with the other hand, looking around until he spots Wade at the stove.  “Wade,” he groans, dropping back into his pillows, “What day is it?”

 

“Sunday,” Wade says.

 

“That was yesterday,” Peter says, “What time is it?”

 

Wade doesn’t answer, and so Peter fumbles along their nightstand until he can find his glasses and phone, and he squints when he unlocks his phone.  It’s late, later than it should be, and he almost panics when Wade says, “It’s a holiday, stop freaking out, cutie toosh.”

 

“The fuck holiday is it?”

 

“I dunno, that one with the fireworks.”

 

“It’s fourth of July?” Peter says, looking over at him.

 

He’s still in Peter’s NASA shirt and no pants, and he looks a little softer than he did yesterday, though Peter watches him lift a hand to rub at the back of his head before he gathers two plates and heads back his way.

 

“Nah, that other one,” Wade says as he makes his way up the ladder, “The other flag one.  It’s June, Peter.  Listen, get up, you’re being a lazy bum, and I made you a fucking omelet worthy of a fucking medal.”

 

Peter scoots back until he can rest against their pillows, taking the plates from Wade before he gets back in bed, leaning their shoulders together as they eat.  “So I did something,” Wade says, spearing a mushroom, “Something bad.”

 

“Is it worse than last night?”

 

“Shit, you were there for that?” Wade says, and Peter sighs at him, “Listen, spidey, I mighta tried to blow my brains out, and it didn’t work, so I called up the summer lady to give my brains a little helpin’s.”

 

“Violet?” Peter says, “Really?”

 

Wade shrugs one shoulder, chewing.  “Might help,” he says, and then nudges Peter with his elbow, “Listen, this story’s borin’ as fuck so far, ain’t done nothin’ but watch me fall apart for 6500 fucking words, so what do you say we give it the ole shake shack and start over?”

 

“What’d you have in mind?” Peter asks, cooing when Florence comes over the lip of the loft, stretching.

 

“Pretend the boxes aren’t scrambling for safety,” Wade says, offering a sliver of cheese to Florence, “Or, movie marathon.”

 

“If you say Jurassic Park—”

 

“The other dinosaurs feared the T-Rex!” Wade shrieks, throwing his plate through the air as he snaps his arms in and attacks Peter with his elbows pinned to his sides.  Peter tries to escape, but Wade pins him, tickling until he can muck up Peter’s shirt enough to get to his stomach and blow a wild raspberry.

 

“The worst!” Peter yells, and that’s how they end up on the floor, laughing and out of breath.  “Okay,” Peter says at length, though he leans over to kiss Wade before he continues, “Before the dinosaur marathon commences, I have adult things to discuss with you.”

 

“Hey, sugar cakes, me too!” Wade says.

 

Neither of them get up, though, content to lie together on the floor.  “Number one,” Peter says, “Aunt May’s is happening on Thursday.  Is one of your adult things that you actually accepted a job?”

 

“Yessums, sweetums, I did—ums?”

 

“That was poorly constructed.”

 

“I’ll poorly unconstruct you,” Wade threatens, and bites him.

 

Really, it’s just a quick scrape of his teeth over Peter’s shoulder, and it’s through cotton, but they still end up fused together, and somehow, Peter loses his shirt, Wade draws blood somewhere, and Peter is forced to thud his head back and say, “Wade, wait.  I wasn’t done.”

 

“You keep talking, then, baby boy,” Wade says, mouthing down his front.

 

“Tony asked if I’d swing by the compound for a bit, help him on this tech he and Bruce are working on to help Bucky,” Peter says quickly, and Wade stops at his boxers, looking up at him.

 

“Really?” he says, “He’s gonna play with that brain?  He gonna be around when they bring him in?”

 

“Said he was leaving the country, or something equally dramatic,” Peter says, “When’s your job?”

 

“Leaving Tuesday,” Wade says, “That alright with you?”

 

“How long?”

 

Wade kisses Peter’s hip and says, “Couple weeks, probably.”

 

Peter swallows past his uncertainty and pulls at Wade until he can kiss him.  “Just come back,” Peter presses the words into his mouth.

 

“Jack,” Wade gasps as he rolls off of him, “Jack, come back!”


“Oh, fuck you,” Peter says, but he’s laughing when he finally climbs back into bed.

 

——

 

When Tuesday rolls around, Wade’s up early, and though Peter has work in a few hours, he’s still asleep when he finishes packing.  He leaves him with a kiss on the jaw and a whispered promise to be back soon before he’s leaving through the front door.

 

Daniel’s already up and out, sorting mail when he jogs down the last of the steps.  “Morning, Wade,” he says politely, “You’re up early.”

 

“Early bird dismembers the worm,” Wade says cheerfully, “See you in a few weeks, lander.”  He salutes on his way out, and Daniel just lifts a hand in a wave.

 

He pauses at his bike, duffle slung across his shoulders, and digs out his phone to send a message Johnny’s way, heading out for a few weeks, take care of the spidey, will ya?

 

He and Johnny’s relationship is civil at best, straight up murderous at worst, but they’ve come to agree on a few things, like communication about where Wade is just in case something happens.  And thus, his response is short, but expected, be safe, thanks for the heads up.

 

In a perfect world, Wade would love nothing more than to rip Johnny’s spineless bones from his body and warp them into something vaguely resembling his fury.  He still remembers, vividly, the image his brain first supplied when he heard about the sofa incident in their last apartment, and really, he’d just about gotten over that when Peter called him in some of the worst pain of his life due to an Avengers battle during a small job last year, spilling his guts about Johnny drunk and naked in their bed.  He had severely bruised ribs and could barely make it up the ladder, but he’d still managed to convince Wade to stay put, said he’d called just to give his hands something to do other than throw Johnny from their terrace.  He’s Peter best friend, though, and so Wade keeps swallowing down the fire that wants to erupt.

 

And so, he’s not sure why, twenty minutes away from the loft, his phone rings, and it’s Johnny.  He patches it through to an earphone he nicked from Tony and says, “What?”

 

“You weren’t answering your texts,” Johnny says, “What’s a few weeks mean, exactly?”


“Dude, I don’t know,” Wade says, “I’ll check in with him every Thursday if I’m not dead.  The fuck you care for?”

 

“Calm down, Wilson,” Johnny mutters, “I was gonna see if he wanted to take a small road trip, just wanted to get a nod from his keeper, if that’s al-fucking-right with you.”

 

There are a million words that Wade wants to snap at him, but instead, he says, “He’s perfectly capable of making his own decisions.  I’ll be back when the job is done,” and hangs up on him.  God, he fucking despises him.

 

Something pulls him in a different direction, and when Wade next looks up, he’s sitting outside of a familiar building.  “What the fuck ever, right,” he says with a sigh before he kills the engine and swings a leg off.

 

“Yo freak!” someone shouts as he’s approaching the front steps.

 

Wade closes his eyes, shoulders hitching up toward his ears before he turns.

 

“Hospital’s the other way, might want to get those burns looked at,” some asshole says before he starts to turn away.

 

A woman gets out of a car that’s just parked as Wade shrugs out of his duffle, dropping it onto the ground behind him.  “Hey dickwad,” he snaps, stepping toward him.

 

The woman beats him to it, “Do you really think that was an appropriate thing to say?”


“Lady, chill, ain’t your business,” the man says.

 

“You’re standing on government property,” she says coldly, “And if you’re going to attack my patients while doing so, then I’ll have to give Director Fury a call.  Does that sound fair to you?”

 

Wade blinks.  He knows that voice, and when the woman finally turns toward him, there’s this overwhelming sense of relief that he wasn’t expecting.  “Wade,” Violet says warmly, coming over to him, “What are you doing here?”

 

“I was, uh—” he breaks off, reaching up out of habit to rub at the back of his head, which is still sore.  He shrugs, and Violet smiles.

 

“Would you like to come inside?” she asks.

 

“Is that okay?”

 

“That is entirely up to you, Wade,” Violet says, walking past him, “My first appointment isn’t for another hour.”

 

Wade weighs his options.  No one’s going to notice if he’s late to starting the job, but if he misses important intel because he’s busy stumbling through feelings, it could cost him.  He looks over at Violet and thinks about Peter’s face when he’d put one and two together, come to the conclusion that Wade was teetering right on the edge of something worse than either of them could handle.

 

“It’s good to see you again,” Violet says when he picks up his duffle bag and walks up the steps toward her.

 

——

 

Peter’s been in this lab forever when he hears, “Why is the child here?”

 

Peter points to himself even as he looks up and over, his eyes going wide when he finds Bucky standing there with Steve.  “Yes, you,” Tony answers the finger Peter’s still pointing at himself.

 

“I’m not a child,” he says indignantly, “Who the fuck said I was a child?”

 

“You sound like one behind that mask,” Bucky says.

 

“Well, fuck you, too,” Peter snaps, and then turns back to his desk, throwing a piece of violent code at something and successfully distracting himself.

 

“Look, I’m not happy about you being here, either,” Tony snarls, “But don’t piss off the help.”

 

Peter groans when the same error code comes up and lets his eyes drift to the clock in the corner of his screen.  It’s just past nine in the morning, but he didn’t sleep much the night before, and so it comes out a bit angrily when he says, “I’m getting breakfast and coffee from down the street.  Tony?”

 

“Usual,” Tony says, frowning at a formula with Bruce.

 

“Bruce?” Peter asks, twisting to each side in his chair.

 

“If you’d be so kind, yes,” Bruce says without looking up, “Thank you, Peter.”

 

Peter grunts to let them know he’s heard as he pats down his pants, digs out his phone when he finds what pocket he stowed it in, and dials Wade.  He spends a good six rings trying to locate his skateboard, and finally finds it when Wade answers, “Sugar tits, it’s early.”

 

“Are you sleeping?” Peter asks, dropping the board onto the ground and yelling something incomprehensible when Tony tries to reprimand him for doing so.

 

“For once, somehow,” Wade mumbles, and Peter smiles, imagining him still tucked up in bed.

 

“What time is it where you are?”

 

Wade grumbles and shifts, yawns into the phone before he says, “I can’t see the clock.  It’s early.  The stars are out, and the moon is full as fuck.  Wait, so I found this badass app, right, and it tells you what percentage we’re at with the moon.  So tomorrow’s a full moon, rock on, and I get this little message from the app today, I’m about to do it.  Fuckin’ cutest little app ever, I fuckin’ love it.”

 

“You should get Snapchat,” Peter says when he’s out on the street, “Go back to sleep, I’ll talk to you later.”

 

“Nah, spidey, it’s Thursday, Thor’s day, your day.  You should be god of thunder, you’re way cuter than him.”

 

“You sure about that?”

 

“Right, fuckin’ Hemsworth, smokin’ hot and all that shit.  All three of them, it isn’t fair, just bruising the ego of every good-lookin’ Aussie I’ve come across this week.  They’re fucking fine as hell, but they’re all self-conscious thinking about what them Hemsworth brothers are totin’ around.  Spidey, so there was this pigeon the other day, right, I thought I was gonna shit myself, this thing was so big.”

 

“Sure it wasn’t a kangaroo?”

 

“Booked myself a fuckin’ safari, yes I did.”

 

“Rude!” Peter exclaims, pulling up to a stop at a crosswalk, “I want to do that so bad.  When is it?”

 

“Later today.  Makin’ it a new rule, right, that I gots to have a little bit o’ fun on each trip, so I’m getting you bitchin’ souvenirs.  Hey, listen, you road tripping soon?”

 

“Johnny told you?” Peter says, hitting the street again when the walk sign comes on.

 

“Mentioned it.  He was being a shithead when he did, but still mentioned it.  I think we should hit up Disneyworld when I get back, have us a little adventure down south,” Wade says, and whatever he plans to say next gets lost in a yawn.

 

“I’m getting bagels,” Peter says, “Pick a flavor, and I’ll send it your way.”

 

“Aw man, you getting them from that place, spidey, with the little minions running around back?  This one time, I was in Shanghai or Sri Lanka or Syracuse, whichever s-hole I was bumping that year, and there were these Syrians running the show behind the scenes, like some Wizard of Oz shit, pull back the screen and boo!  There’s a green moon looking out at you.  Hey, you ever met that Gamora chick?  She’s green.  It’s weird.  I fancy myself a little Pratt every once in a while, too.  Shit, you know what, six plus five equals Owen fuck me up the ass Grady looks a lot like that fella that runs the Milano, you know what I’m saying?”

 

“Not even remotely,” Peter says, pulling his phone away to connect to an earphone so he can use his arm to hold onto his skateboard as he enters the shop, “Keep talking, I’m gonna order.”

 

“I was having this thought, okay, and I think—”

 

“Hi, yes, can I have an everything bagel with onion and chive cream cheese.  Toasted, yes, thank you.”

 

“Baby boy, your breath is gonna smell like fuckin’ vomit later unless that’s for the pops.  He still mad at Cap, and trying to stink him out of the lab?  I wanna get a little nasty, Peter, stick your fingers up my butt.”

 

“Yes—what,” Peter says, derailed.

 

“You get all the funs, spidey, I want some!” Wade whines.

 

“You orderin’, or what, kid?”

 

“Yeah, sorry, shit.  Wildberry with regular, two plain with regular, and an onion with regular.  Five coffees, I’ll follow—yeah, thanks,” Peter says, going down to the other side of the counter to work out the coffees.

 

“Thought I might give it a try, you know,” Wade continues, “I done seen it happen on the interwebs, and even if not, I mighta tried it myself a few times.”

 

“Jesus, Wade, are you—there is a god.  I’m going religious, you heard it here first,” Peter says, and Wade’s laugh is loud and open.

 

“The Amish know where it’s at it, working through nothin’ but fuckin’ missionary.  I like you on your back, spidey, but I might like you better on top.”

 

“I’m—” Peter turns away from the counter, trying to keep his voice low, “—a little bit selfish, admittedly.”

 

“Oh ho!” Wade yells, “You like my dick in your butt!”

 

“God, don’t be so crude about it,” Peter says, shaking his head.

 

Peter,” Wade moans—fucking moans—and Peter swallows with difficulty.  “What are you wearing?” Wade asks.

 

“I’m not—answering that,” Peter says before he collects his order, “Thank you.”

 

“Bet you’re wearing those tight fucking jeans,” Wade says, and now Peter can hear him shifting in bed, imagines him kicking off the blankets and shucking down his pants, “God, I love your cock in those.  I can always tell when you’re getting interested, always know when you’re fucking hot for me.”

 

“Wade,” Peter warns, dropping his board onto the sidewalk, “Foul play.”

 

“Fuck, Peter, I’m so fucking hard right now, just want to be inside of you.  Why oh why did my baby leave, I shoulda stuck it where the sun don’t shine before I left.”

 

“Still wondering why you didn’t,” Peter mutters, trying to focus on his route instead of how uncomfortably tight his jeans are becoming.

 

Wade groans, this low, wrecked thing.  “Shoulda said something, baby boy,” he murmurs, “I bet your fingers feel like fucking spider legs, all spindly and shit, god, I wish you were here right now.  I’m not nearly—”

 

Wade.”

 

“Ugh, fine,” Wade concedes, voice shifting into a normal register, “Gonna make me lie here, miserable and lonely.”

 

Peter smiles and says, “We should try sex toys.”

 

“Holy fuck.”

 

“Now that I have your attention, how are you?”

 

“Aw, rude,” Wade whines, shifting again, “Get me all riled up, and then snatch it away.  Spidey.  I only tried to blow my brains against the wall once, it’s not like I sat there clicking away, shee-yit.  Plus, I went and saw the doctor lady the other morning, and she said my brains are only a little bit scrambled, not poached.  But hey, girl, I said get your filthy finger out of my pie, tell me how my little lovely Flo is doing, I miss her little peets.”

 

“They’re called feet, stop calling them peets, it’s fucking obnoxious,” Peter mutters, picking up his board once he’s reached the compound again, “Also, I’m about to go down into the lab with Captain fucking America whom I’m still mad at, thank you very much.”

 

“He did drop a truck on you,” Wade agrees.

 

“And the fucking Winter Soldier.”

 

“Oh my god,” Wade says, his voice pitching high, “I want to meet him so bad, he’s such a legend, spidey, it’s so not fair that you’re going to be in the same room as him!  Will you tell him I say hi?  He’s like the Britney Spears of Assassin’s Creed, makes the rest of us amateurs look like little tweakers running amok.”

 

“I honestly didn’t understand half of that question.  Bagels and coffee, devour at will,” he adds when he gets inside the lab.  He takes his own bagel and coffee over to his desk, where Steve is casually looking through some of the papers scattered around.  He drops into his chair and kicks away, spinning so his back is to Steve as he asks, “Want me to let you go?”

 

“To sleep?” Wade says, “Sleep is for the weak, and I’m still kickin’ it in the good ole land of—” Peter smiles at the yawn that tears through the other line.  “Aw, ballsack,” Wade mumbles.

 

“Go to sleep, babe.  I’ll talk to you later.”

 

“I’ll be dreaming of your ass,” Wade says, “And you fingers up mine.”

 

“Nope,” Peter says, pulling his knees up, feet tucking around the edge of his chair, “Something nice.”

 

Wade hums, there’s the sound of him moving, and then he says, “And oh, my love, remind me what was it that I said?  I can’t help but pull the earth around me, to make my bed.”

 

Peter smiles, leaning his temple against his knees as he sings, soft enough that no one will hear, “Good god, under starless skies, we are lost.  And into the breach, we got tossed, and the water’s coming in fast.”

 

“Did I build this ship to wreck?” Wade asks him.

 

“Go to sleep, Wade,” Peter whispers.

 

“I’ll miss you forever,” Wade says, words slurring together, “I love you.”

 

“I love you more than the moon,” Peter says, and he hangs up because he knows Wade won’t.

 

Peter takes a moment to just sit there, enjoying the nearness of Wade that sits still in him, the sound of his voice lulling him toward something like calm.  He closes his eyes, tries to imagine what Wade must look like now, sheets drawn up around his shoulders and breaths fanning soft over his pillow, and he wishes he was right next to him, curled close and sharing space.

 

“Peter,” Tony says, “Back on earth yet?”

 

Peter sighs, but lifts his head, spinning in his chair to offer a tired smile.  “Present and accounted for,” he says before he sips his coffee.

 

——

 

Between work and the lab, Peter gets home so infrequently that when his next weekend shows up, he’s getting in at four on Saturday morning.  He fumbles with his keys at the front door, drops them, and leans his forehead against the door for a few long moments before he kneels in the dark to try to find them.  When he does eventually get through the front door and into the lobby, Daniel’s door is just opening.

 

“Peter?” he asks around a yawn, “Is that you, or a burglar?”

 

“I could be Mrs. Manacker,” Peter says as he glares at the mailboxes.

 

“I don’t think she’s ever seen this hour in her life,” Daniel says, “What are you doing getting in so late?”

 

“Work,” Peter mumbles, unlocking his mailbox.  There are two envelopes inside from Wade, if the scratchy handwriting is anything to judge by, and he turns, leaning back against the wall as he sifts through the rest.  “What are you doing up?” Peter asks without looking up.

 

“Heard someone trying to break into my building,” Daniel says, and Peter snorts.

 

“Sorry,” he says, “Been helping a friend out with some tech he’s having trouble with.  We finished it up, though, so back to normal hours.  Hey, cool if I pay rent a week early?” he adds when he gets to the first of Wade’s envelopes, and it’s full of cash.

 

“Right now?” Daniel asks, “Uh yeah, let me grab my book.”


“Sorry, Jesus,” Peter says, pushing away from the wall, “I don’t know what day it is, let alone what time, clearly.  I’ll catch up with you later.”

 

“No, Peter, it’s fine,” Daniel says, turning back toward his door, “One less to keep track of.  I swear, half the time Mrs. Manacker doesn’t know what month it is.”

 

“She doesn’t,” Peter says, “She wished me a happy new year last week.”

 

Daniel’s laugh tapers off as he disappears into his apartment, and Peter quickly counts out their rent from Wade’s money, pockets the rest, and opens the second envelope.  “Aw, fuck Wade,” he mutters, quickly closing it and stuffing it into the pocket of his sweatshirt.  He stretches his mouth, trying to get rid of the awful taste rising up at the sight of one of his pinky toes.

 

“Alright, so you saved my ass,” Daniel says as he comes back out, “Totally forgot I’m showing one of the lofts tomorrow, and I’ve got an appointment at the same time.”

 

“Those damn teeth pullers,” Peter says, handing over the money.

 

“Wade’s turn?” Daniel guesses as he takes it, counting.

 

“He’s still grasping the concept of a bank, let alone a joint one.”

 

“You guys have a joint account?” Daniel asks, not looking up even as one of his eyebrows goes up.

 

“Been together long enough, might as well.  Actually—is it June?”

 

“Really?”

 

“Man, I don’t know,” Peter says, and Daniel laughs again, “I thought it was July the other day.  I think we missed our anniversary.  Again.”

 

“Sounds like there’s a story there,” Daniel says, marking their next month’s rent off in his book.

 

“We forget every year,” Peter says, “I honestly have no idea what the real date is, but we decided one time to make it a summer month, and I can’t remember if it was June or July.  Wait, you’re showing one of the lofts?  Which one?  Who moved out?”

 

“Third floor, actually,” Daniel says, “Finally found someone that’s interested, and they finished up the kitchen and bathroom a couple weeks ago, so the apartment’s good to go.”

 

“Shit, no way,” Peter says, “Man, that’s weird.  Two years alone on that floor, and we’re finally getting neighbors?  Badass.”

 

“You’re not mad?” Daniel asks.

 

“Dude, it’s your building,” Peter says, “You put up with our shit, so I don’t care who lives here.  Well, I promise to be good tomorrow.  Catch you on the flipside?”

 

“I’ll be around, yeah,” Daniel says, closing his book, “Have a good night, Peter.”

 

Peter heads for the stairs, taking them quickly, thinking about Florence waiting for him and his bed.  He pauses on his floor, casting a glance across the landing at the door opposite.  The third floor had been empty entirely when they first moved in, and Daniel’s been struggling to fill the other room, but with the renovations they’ve been doing, even Peter’s curious what it looks like in there now.

 

He fights with the door, groans when he can’t seem to make his key work, and then starts talking when he hears Florence on the other side, “I know, sweetie, I’m coming, just one—fucking Christ, I need to go to bed.”  He scoops her up as soon as he’s inside, nuzzling close to her as he toes out of his shoes, closes the door, and locks up.

 

He loses his jacket and pants before he’s even made it to the ladder, drops Florence on the bed to twist out of his shirt, and then he’s collapsing in next to her.  He smiles when she tries to wriggle beneath his face, so he turns onto his side and pulls her close, stretching one hand out to lie against Wade’s side and pretend he’s there.

 

Miles away, Wade kicks through a jammed door, steps out into the sun, and closes his eyes, inhaling.  It’s time to go home.

 

——

 

Peter wakes up around noon to Florence chasing the demons in her head around the apartment and his stomach grumbling unforgivingly.  He rolls over, whining when his glasses squish against his face, and so he rolls onto his back, head tipping to the side to watch Florence beat the shit out of the furniture around her.

 

“Honey, did someone say something mean to you?” Peter asks tiredly.

 

Florence pauses on the arm of the sofa, head twisting to the side as her pupils blow wide, and then she’s sprinting off to go deal with one of the walls that the sun is shining off of.  Peter just laughs and stretches, fingers and toes spreading wide.  From somewhere nearby, his phone buzzes, and he turns toward the noise, pulling it out from underneath one of their pillows.

 

I’m stuck in fucking customs, motherfucking hubbard.

 

Peter laughs at the text, and slowly types back, I’m still in bed.  Fell asleep with my glasses on.

 

Aw, little spidey, too tired to be blind.  Now the sun is up, and I’m going blind.  Holding on for your call, another drink just to pass the time.  I CAN NEVER SAY NO.

 

Are you even allowed your phone in customs?

 

NOPE

 

Peter smiles and turns over again, watching Florence bounce along the countertop, chasing a hair tie because Wade bought a pack for her one time, before it sails off the edge, shortly followed by her.

 

Florence is chasing demons.

 

Holy water cannot help you now.

 

Peter looks up when there’s noise outside the door, Florence mimicking him, and then he remembers Daniel’s showing the apartment across the hall today, and he hits the call button as he scrambles out of bed, making for the ladder.

 

“Spidey, I ain’t supposed to be textin’ the words, never mind singin’ you the tunes in real life, you gonna get me in trouble!”

 

“You’ll do that all by yourself,” Peter says, hurrying down the ladder and heading for the door, “Someone might be moving in next door.”

 

“Shut the front door!” Wade exclaims, “Who is it?  Are they nasty?”

 

“Hang on, I’m checking.”  Peter stops by his door, looking out through the peephole.  “Goddamn it, I missed them,” he says, “They’re already inside.  I completely forgot.”

 

You nasty,” Wade says, “Not paying attention to the good ole—oh shit, I’m getting yelled at.  They’re mad I’m wearing the red suit so bad guys don’t see me bleed.”

 

“You’re still in the suit, and in customs?  Bad idea, Wade Wilson.”

 

“Bad Deadpool,” Wade agrees before the line goes dead, and Peter leaves the peephole behind to scrounge up something for lunch.

 

The news tells him it’s beautiful out, and Florence yells at him enough that he takes her along when he leaves, backpack slung over his shoulders and camera in hand.  Wade thought teaching her how to walk like a dog might be a fun side project, and so now she’s trotting along with a harness strapped to her, a leash hanging out of Peter’s pocket.

 

When he gets downstairs, Daniel’s there with two women, showing them around the small lobby.  One of them has short, brown hair cut around her jaw and a smile that looks a little sharp around the edges, wearing a short and colorful summer dress; the other has even shorter, darker hair, this mass of curls that Wade would undoubtedly comment on, wearing ripped shorts and a loose top.  “Ah,” he says when he spots Peter, “Lucky timing.  Peter would actually be your neighbor.”

 

“Oh, are you looking at the apartment on the third floor?” he asks, stopping at the bottom of the stairs.  Florence yells on her way by, and he laughs, letting her wander over toward the doors to sit there, harness on, waiting impatiently.  “It’s amazing,” he says, “Really great neighborhood, too.”

 

“It seems to not get as much action as Manhattan, yes,” the one with the shorter hair says, “Nice to meet you, Peter.  Name’s Pru.”  She holds out a hand, and Peter shakes it, smiling.  “And this is my girlfriend, Sadie.  How do you like it here?”

 

“I’m not leaving anytime soon,” he says, “Daniel’s great, and the loft alone is worth it.”

 

“Do you live alone?” Sadie asks.

 

“Well, there’s Flo,” he says, looking over toward the doors, where she’s glaring at him, “Who is demanding a faster pace, clearly.  Sorry, we’ve got squirrels to chase and all that.  I hope I’ll see you again soon.”  He leaves them with another smile before he heads over to the door, opening it up and letting her out.

 

Peter spends his afternoon wandering the park, laughing over Florence’s antics and snapping pictures of her and their surrounding environment.  After a few hours, though, she’s curled up next to him, napping in the sun while he reads, and it never occurs to him that Wade might have been stuck in customs in the US.

 

He’s halfway through Dracula because Wade insisted on reading and watching monster stories this month when he realizes there’s someone sitting next to him.  He jumps straight off the bench, startling Florence in the process, who starts to protest until she sees who it is, and she runs over to Wade, climbing right up his arm and onto his shoulder.

 

“Jesus Christ, man, you—oh,” he breaks off when he turns and finds Wade smiling at him.  Peter starts forward, and stops.  He’s wearing shorts, cargo ones with a million pockets, hightop red Converse, and a short sleeve black shirt.

 

“Gross, don’t do that,” Wade says, lifting his legs to fold them beneath him, “Lookin’ at me like you’re surprised or something.”

 

“You’re gonna get a sunburn, showing that much skin to the world,” Peter says, and steps forward, leaning down to kiss him even as Wade tips his head up.  He holds onto him, fingers wrapping tight around Wade’s jaw, thumbs digging in against the bone there, doesn’t think about who might be looking at them and he kisses him long and slow, pours all of his missing into his mouth.

 

“Mm,” Wade hums when he pulls back, “Missed that fine spandex ass of yours, too, spidey,” and promptly unbalances Peter until he can crash into the space next to him.

 

“How was Australia?” Peter asks, folding his legs so that his knee rests on top of Wade’s.

 

“It was a firefight!” Wade yells, throwing up his arms and quite nearly throwing Florence.  She clings to him, though, claws sinking in, and he coos when he realizes her terror, yanking her off his shoulder to hold close to his chest, nose burying into her fur.  “So I seen these little pussies over there, you know,” Wade starts, setting Florence on his lap so he can throw his arms around the bench, one hooking around Peter’s shoulders, “And really, they wasn’t little, big fuckin’ monsters.”

 

“On the safari that you went on without me?” Peter accuses.

 

“Listen, spidey, it was a beautiful goddamn day, and I wasn’t about to waste a perfectly good set of binoculars playing peeping Tom, ya hear, so I took them and a rifle, mind you, out onto the hay ride, and we was trampin’ all around, just enjoying the fresh air and fresher elephants, watching them kayaking around everywhere, but we wasn’t even near the watering hole, so that was confusing as fuck.  But, hear me out, okay, there was also this lion that comes running up, full tilt, gonna whisper us right into the ground, unalive us for sure, and this little snake charmer comes roaring to life next to me.  Real spittin’ image of Dwayne Johnson, scared my shits halfway out my ass, spidey, and he starts strumming this ukulele.  Like, where the fuck were you eve hiding that shit, man?  This one time—”

 

“At band camp,” Peter supplies.

 

Oh my god, my pops once sent me to band camp, thought it’d set me straight, right, so there I was, mindin’ my own business and fuckin’ any stick that happened to show its ugly face at me, but then pops finds out that it’s military camp that you send your chickens to when they need neck stranglin’s, so—”

 

“The snake charmer,” Peter puts him back on track.

 

Wade grins and slaps the inside of his thigh, but Peter just rolls his eyes and scoots closer, smiles when Wade presses a kiss to his temple before he continues, “So, the Rock, capital T for the The, get it right, The Rock whips a ukulele out of his butthole just like that time Ryan Reynolds proposed to his lady friend with a ring pop, and I hope to all of Thor’s gods, spidey, I fuckin’ hope they give him a boyfriend in the sequel cos, you know what, Deadpool’s bisexual.  He’s very sexual.  About the bicycles.”

 

“So, what happened with the lion?” Peter asks, reaching for his camera when Florence gives up on trying to get comfortable in Wade’s lap and goes to lounge in the grass.

 

“What lion?  What the fuck are you talking about, Peter?  Running around with lions when we’ve got a perfectly respectable topic at hand—I was thinking about trying lipstick.  Give you little kiss marks all over your body, and then the sex toys.  How they even do that, though, make the perfect little kiss mark, just a pair of lips all over your body.  Spidey, I wanna suck your cock.”

 

Fuck,” Peter says, dropping one hand away from his camera to curl around Wade’s thigh, fingers digging into the muscle there, “Yes, please.”

 

“I’m still about the fingers up my butt situation, though.  I wanna give it a try.”

 

“I’m down for that,” Peter says, “But also, your mouth, my dick, please and thank you.”

 

“So demanding,” Wade sighs, “Is it really summer?  I miss fall.  I miss apples.  Spidey, are you part of that lame ass hipster percentage that enjoys pumpkin everything?  Pumpkin pies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin seeds, babies smeared with pumpkin guts and skewered like a shish kebab, pumpkin scented fucking everything, candles and cats and collectibles, the whole nine yards.  I ain’t likin’ pumpkins, not one bit, except for that one time, in that alternate universe, when you was a tiny speck of a thing, and you carved half my face, half your face onto the wall of a pumpkin, told me I was your favorite, and then we went to a haunted house parade, I was wearin’ mummy shit over the suit, and you was—somethin’, I don’t know.”

 

“How many alternate universes have you been to?” Peter asks, turning to capture Wade with his camera.

 

“Only the ones with you and me in it,” Wade says, and offers Peter a small, but genuine smile.

 

The camera clicks, and Peter lowers it, his own smile wide and a little bit ridiculous.  “Are we always together?” he asks.

 

“If not, I like to give one of us a nudge in the right direction.  However,” Wade sighs loudly, “there was that one time, in the MCU, when you were still in love with Gwen, so I gave up on that one.  You guys were cute.”

 

Peter frowns suddenly, looking away, and Wade makes a face, clearly realizing his mistake.  “Aw, spidey,” he says, the hand on his shoulder squeezing before he tugs him in close, “I’m sorry, baby boy, I didn’t mean to stir up old sadnesses.”

 

“It’s okay,” Peter says, leaning into him, “I’ve got you now.”

 

“Forever and always and ever,” Wade says, and then, out of nowhere, he’s slapping a hand on Peter’s thigh again, sharp enough this time that Peter jumps and whines.  “I just done had the best idea in all of the alternate universes,” Wade says.

 

“I hope it doesn’t involve anymore slapping,” Peter grumbles, rubbing his thigh, “And no, that includes spanking.”

 

“What’d I tell you, mister not listening pants?” Wade says, “I’m all set with the spanking.  This lady one time, right, back when I was still doing the pussy dance, she—”

 

“This universe, Wade,” Peter says.

 

“Right.  Let’s get married,” he says.

 

Peter blinks, holding his gaze, trying to see if he’s joking or not.  When he sees nothing but something that looks like hope that Wade is trying desperately to disguise, his smile comes easily as he says, “Okay.  When?”

 

“Tomorrow,” Wade says, “Tonight.  Let’s do it tonight.  We’ll go to city hall, do it old school.  We’ll elope!”

 

Peter thinks about Gwen, about how he’d imagined, briefly, what she would look like walking down an aisle toward him, dressed in a gorgeous white gown, and he realizes that that dream died years ago, long before he started dating Wade.  He doesn’t need that, and, right now, doesn’t particularly want that.  It’s not them, a big affair, but this, a quiet, spontaneous thing, is the definition of their lives.

 

“Yeah,” Peter says, reaching up for the hand on his shoulder and tangling their fingers together, “I like that.  I’m calling Aunt May first, though.”

 

“She’s gonna be so mad!” Wade yells even as Peter digs out his phone with his other hand, “If you’re calling May, I’m giving Murdock the ole one five six.  I need me a best man.  You should give McStormface a shout, too, and the Har Har.  Listen, are you joshing me?”

 

Wade looks so unsure that Peter pauses in dialing May, leans over, and kisses him.  “I love you,” he kisses the words right into his mouth, “I will never stop loving you.”

 

“I love you, Peter,” Wade says when Peter pulls back, and he kisses his jaw before texting Matt.

 

May is mad.  She yells at Peter about making on-the-spot decisions, tells him to hand over the phone to Wade, and Peter watches more emotions than he thinks Wade is capable of pass over his face until he hands it back, and May says, “We’re going out to dinner after.  Do you have a suit?  I don’t care if you’re doing it this way, but you’ll look damn respectable for your wedding day, Peter.”

 

Johnny is, surprisingly, enthusiastic.  He lets out a wild yell when Peter tells him, says that that means they need to have a belated bachelor party now, and promises to wear his best suit for May’s sake.  Matt’s with Elektra when he calls, so he invites her, as well, and then he turns to Peter and asks, “The Avengers?”

 

“Fuck no,” Peter says, and Wade laughs, “I’ve had enough of their meddling for several lifetimes.  Come on, husband.”

 

Wade makes the most absurd noise at that as Peter gets up, shouldering his backpack.  They swing by the apartment to change, where Daniel’s talking to a couple of guys standing outside a moving van.  “Hey!” Peter says when he sees him, “Is that couple moving in?”

 

“Yes, I’m so excited,” Daniel says, turning away from the moving guys, “Wade, good to see you back.  Job good?”

 

“Curated lots of shit, heck yeah,” Wade says, “Are they a fun couple?  Do they do drugs?”


“They’re women,” Peter says, herding Wade toward the doors, “We’ll be out the rest of the night, sorry we can’t stay to help them move in.”

 

“No worries,” Daniel says, hands dropping into his pockets, “Have fun.”

 

He watches them go, and Wade doesn’t miss the slight frown.  “He wants to eat yo ass, spidey,” Wade says as they head up the stairs.

 

“Too bad I’m about to be taken forever,” Peter says, shrugging.

 

“By the same dick, no less.  Oh, that reminds me.”  Wade reaches forward, grabbing Peter’s wrist and spinning him so that he hits the wall, Florence trotting past them up the stairs as Wade steps in, crowding him against the wall.  He kisses Peter with weeks of wanting him, teeth scraping over his bottom lip before he’s licking into his mouth, humming when Peter responds in like, hands wrapping around Wade’s hips and drawing him close.

 

Wade lets one of his hands skip down Peter’s side and slide around to curl against his hardening cock, his jeans leaving not much to the imagination.  He pulls back from Peter’s mouth to kiss along his jaw and up to his ear, nibbling lightly before he says, “I hear pre-marital sex sends you to hell.”

 

“I’d go to hell for you any day,” Peter says and pushes away from the wall, taking Wade by the hand and leading him up the stairs.

 

They barely make it to their floor before Wade’s hands are on him again, circling his waist as he bites the back of Peter’s neck, soothes it with his tongue, and then shifts his collar down so he can tease his shoulder with his teeth.  “Wade,” Peter says breathlessly as he tries to get his keys out of his pocket even as Wade rubs his hand over his dick, his mouth hot and insistent on every inch of skin he can find.

 

The door across the hall opens, Peter drops his keys, and Wade leans against the wall, kicking one foot back to steady himself as he tries to unnoticeably catch his breath.  “Mother of Satan,” Peter grumbles as he stoops to get his keys.

 

“Hey lesbians,” Wade says delightedly, and Peter nearly drops them again.

 

Wade,” he snaps as he straightens, and all of the anger bleeds right out of him when he turns and looks at him, hands tucked into his pockets, but so much bare skin everywhere, his arms and his legs, and the slope of his bald head.  His shirt is loose, but even still, he can see the lines of muscles in his arms shifting as he forces himself to remain still.  He looks over when Peter says his name, tongue darting out to wet his mouth, and Peter really needs to get inside and out of these jeans.

 

“That’s fucking rude,” Pru says, stopping abruptly, “And who are you?”

 

“That is fucking rude,” Peter agrees.

 

“What, I’m just making an observation,” Wade says, shrugging one shoulder, “You’re lesbians, and you’re taking too goddamn long to open the door so I can fuck you stupid.”

 

Peter is a little bit rooted to the spot until Wade clears his throat, casting him a meaningful glance, and then he says, “Right.  Pru, Sadie, this is my—”

 

“Oh, say it,” Wade says, grinning widely.

 

“This is my husband,” Peter says happily, “Wade, our new neighbors.  Be good.”

 

He gets their door open, Florence darts through the opening, and Wade says, “Friendly neighborhood Deadpool, pleased to make your acquaintance,” and shoves Peter through the door.  He’s barely out of his backpack before Wade’s kicking the door shut and twisting out of his shirt, taking two long strides and pulling Peter back against him, quickly undoing his jeans and dropping a hand beneath to pull a low noise from Peter.

 

“You wanna—shit,” Peter says, head dropping back against the wall as Wade’s fingers wrap around and squeeze, his teeth trailing along his throat.

 

“I want,” Wade says, other hand coming up to shove Peter’s jeans down, “to taste you.”  He drops to his knees before Peter’s ready for him to be gone, and his tongue is dragging up Peter’s cock, and he groans, fingers fisting in the hair until he lets one of them stray over to Wade’s head, resting there.  Wade’s mouth is warm and wet and fucking amazing when he swallows Peter down, humming as his nose brushes the hem of his shirt, and then he’s backing off, coming down to suck at the head of Peter’s cock, tongue pressing flat over.  Peter’s nails drag up over his head, his other hand coming up to press his knuckles against his mouth, trying to muffle the shout that wants to trip out of him.

 

Wade pulls off, sitting back on his heels as he looks up at Peter, one of his hands pressing down against his own cock, hard and aching beneath his shorts.  “I wanna fuck you, Peter,” he says, and Peter looks down at him, chest rising quick as he takes him in.

 

“Converse are a bitch to get off,” Peter says, and then pushes away from the wall, easily stepping out of his own shoes and kicking off his jeans before he pads naked through the apartment, dropping his shirt by the ladder before he climbs up.

 

Wade hurries to follow him, yanking off his Converse and stumbling out of his shorts, taking the ladder three steps at a time and quite nearly jumping into their bed.  It’s not on the floor anymore, and Wade spies Florence hiding beneath it on his way up.  When he arrives, Peter’s got one hand on his dick, stroking slowly, the other twisted behind him, one finger in his ass.

 

“Fucking rude,” Wade says, fingers circling his wrist and easing his hand away before he snatches up the lube and quickly coats his fingers, kissing Peter as he replaces his finger, a moan tripping out into Peter’s mouth as he does.  “Fucking missed you,” Wade murmurs as he kisses down to his chest, pausing to lick at one of his nipples.

 

Peter lets out a soft noise as Wade eases another finger in, and then his mouth is on his cock again, stirring fire in Peter’s blood.  Wade stretches him slowly, mouth teasing and moving just so, just enough that Peter’s left on edge until he’s pulling at him and saying, “Fuck, hurry up, I need—” and breaks off with a shout when Wade slides inside.

 

Wade bites him, something fierce and sharp, as his hips roll, and Peter’s nails dig into his shoulders, holding on.  “Fucking missed you,” Wade echoes, reaching for one of Peter’s legs and hooking it around his elbow first, bowing his knee in toward his ribs.  “Oh spidey, you flexible as shit,” he groans, forehead thudding against Peter’s jaw, “Betcha you could split them legs any which way.  You ready, snookums?”

 

“Wade, god—fuck me, please.”

 

“As you wish,” Wade says, and shrugs under Peter’s leg, tossing it over his shoulder.  Peter reaches for him, and he goes, hips rolling again so only the head of his cock is inside of him, and he groans when Peter’s body follows him, tries to take him back in.  He rocks back toward him, sets an easy, slow pace that Peter is not having.

 

“Wade,” he whines, top of his foot pressing against the back of Wade’s head, “Please.  We’ll take it slow later, promise, you can do—fuck, anything you want, I just—I need—Wade.”

 

“What do you need, baby boy?” Wade kisses the words against his skin, a hot path along his jaw and down his throat, over to his collarbone, where he bites him again, bruises and marks him.

 

“I need—” Peter breaks off in a whine, trying to shift closer to him, trying to take him in farther, and Wade pulls out until even he hates himself, just enough that Peter swears colorfully at him.

 

“That was beautiful,” Wade says, “But use your grown-up words, Petey.”

 

“Fuck you,” Peter says, head dropping back, baring his throat.  Wade swears softly and mouths up his throat, bites his chin, and then kisses his mouth, this sharp thing of Peter’s teeth clacking against his before they’re realigning, and Peter is quick and begging, kissing him like he’s never going to have another chance.

 

Wade eases all the way out, grins against Peter’s mouth when he makes a noise of utter frustration even as he slides a hand along his side, pushing his thigh down toward the bed before he takes his own cock in hand, guiding it back toward Peter’s ass and nudging there lightly.

 

“What do you need?” he asks again, pushing just inside, just enough that his breath stutters out of him.

 

Fuck,” Peter moans, hips lifting off the bed as he reaches for him, “I need you, Wade.  I need you to fuck me.”

 

“How?”

 

“Hard, Jesus.”

 

“Thanks, but just Wade today,” he says, and then slides in when Peter starts to retort, hips slapping against Peter’s ass, rising a blush in his wake.  He doesn’t give him a second to anticipate his next move, instead sets a brutal rhythm that leaves Peter teetering on the edge of something loud.

 

“Yes, yes, god, fuck—Wade, yes,” Peter stammers out, thigh tensing against Wade’s shoulder, shifting higher up.  Wade presses against him, kissing down his sternum and then stopping at his belly before he straightens up onto his knees, hands curling tight around Peter’s hips and lifting his lower back up off the bed.

 

He looks beautiful like this, one leg splayed out, the other wrapped tight around Wade’s shoulder, lips swollen and parted, cock hard and just waiting.  “Peter,” he says softly, kissing his ankle as he shifts him higher, knees spreading so he has balance.

 

Peter wraps a hand around his dick, and then he’s moving in time with Wade, fist getting faster and tighter as Wade fucks into him, moans as Peter’s ass clenches around him, helps pull him closer and closer to that blinding edge.

 

Peter,” he says, his voice an absolute wreck.  Peter moves without warning, leg sliding off of Wade’s shoulder and dropping back toward the bed.  His other leg loops around, toes tucking around Wade’s shins and pinning him in place, gives Wade the opportunity to absolutely abuse him, fingers digging bruises into his hips and cock trapped in that tight heat.

 

“Fucking shit, Wade, I’m close,” Peter says.

 

“Not yet,” Wade pants, “Wait for me, baby boy.”

 

Peter lets out this obscene noise, but the sight of his hand slowing and then sliding down to curl tightly around the base of his cock is enough to sucker punch anyone.  He watches Peter’s thumb swipe up and against the top of his cock, looks up to find Peter looking down at him with these dark, heavy eyes.


“Goddamn,” Wade says, hips stuttering out of rhythm and slowing until he’s just rocking gently.

 

Peter’s teeth flash in a grin before he’s licking his bottom lip, teeth following to scrape over, and Wade groans softly, shifting and sinking deeper, stilling there.  Peter lets out a moan that’s half exhale as the head of his cock presses against his prostate, and then his hand slides back up, thumb looping the crown before he’s dragging it along the slit, hips rolling down and closer to Wade, ass flush with his lap.

 

Wade lets one of his hands drift away from his hip to knead against Peter’s thigh as he watches him jerk himself, fingers flexing and curling tighter before he’s jumping back into a quicker pace.  A flush rises up on his chest, creeps up toward his neck as he looks up at Wade, watches him watching him.

 

“You like that?” Peter says, his voice dropping low.

 

“Like watching you please yourself?” Wade says, licking his lips, “Fuckin’ yeah, I do.”

 

“I hate when you’re gone,” Peter says, “Gotta use my fingers and pretend it’s you inside of me, and it’s never good enough, never—fuck, you feel so good, Wade.”

 

Wade shifts, and it sets off a chain reaction.  Peter’s hand slides up and stills, thumb digging in and up as he shouts, back bowing further off the bed as he comes, and Wade fucks into him quickly, lets the way Peter’s ass is tightening pull him over, head dropping back as he keeps moving, cock throbbing as he comes into Peter’s ass, this low, wrecked noise scraping raw through him.

 

“Shit,” Peter says when Wade lifts his head.

 

“If I could stay right here and fuck you again,” Wade says before he leans forward, kissing Peter as he eases out of him before he drops onto his back.

 

“We didn’t set a time,” Peter says, reaching over to lay a hand against Wade’s chest, feeling for his stuttering heart, “Gimme—twenty minutes.”

 

“Only twenty?” Wade says, grinning as he leans over to kiss Peter’s shoulder.

 

“I missed you,” Peter admits, and is about to roll over toward him when he remembers the mess on his stomach.  “Gross,” he says, pushing upright and looking around.  Wade grabs his right hand, nearly unbalancing him, and presses against his wrist, webs shooting out and hitting their target.

 

“Yee-haw!” Wade exclaims as Peter catches the towel.  He wipes himself down, tosses it to Wade, and then flops back, stretching.

 

“Should probably set a time, though,” he says, reaching for his phone where he left it on their nightstand.  He sends a group text out for them to meet in two hours at city hall, puts it on vibrate, and rolls over on top of Wade.

 

It takes them thirty minutes, but they’re so busy relearning the shape of each other’s mouths after three weeks apart that Peter almost forgot they had other plans.  It’s not until he can feel Wade hardening beneath him that he pulls away, reaching for the lube.  He stretches himself quickly, distracting Wade with another kiss, and then he’s rising up onto his knees and taking.  Wade comes first, loudly and after some of the dirtiest phrases Peter thinks he’s ever heard, and then Wade tips him over onto his back and swallows him down, and Peter’s gone in seconds.

 

After, Peter demands they shower and get ready, and though Wade tries to cop a feel in the shower, Peter pins him against the wall and kisses him until he’s blinking stupidly, and that settles it.

 

They get dressed in the fanciest, and only, suits that they have, Peter jumps on Wade’s back as he’s locking up, and he carries him, piggy back, down the stairs.  They take Wade’s bike to city hall, where May is already there, arranging everything, and she’s crying when she embraces them both.

 

It turns out to be one of the best nights either of them has ever experienced.  Their time at city hall is short, rounding out at about forty minutes, and then they’re leaving for a restaurant of May’s choosing.  Johnny, Matt, Elektra, and Harry join them, and it’s a night of laughter and joy all around.

 

It’s not until they get home that it really sinks in, though.

 

“Holy shit,” Peter says when Wade parks his bike, “We just got married.”

 

“We basically already were, hot cakes,” Wade says, waiting for Peter to get off before he follows suit, ducking and wrapping his arms around Peter’s waist and hauling him close.  “Made me open a freaking joint bank account with you, jeeznus.  And here I thought I was a grown frickin’ baby, but then you come along, breaking all the rules.”

 

“Wait!  Shit!”

 

“What?”  Wade releases him, looking around.

 

“What’s today’s date?” Peter says, patting around his front and down to his sides until he finds his phone, “We have to actually remember this one.  June 17th.  Don’t forget that.”  He points at Wade, who crosses his heart and then drops a shoulder, charging forward and hoisting Peter into the air.

 

“Wade!” he yelps, banging off his back.

 

“I’m carrying you bridal style off to have my wicked way with you!” Wade yells, heading for their building.

 

“I think bridal style looks differently than this,” Peter says, taking advantage of his position and squeezing Wade’s ass.

 

“Oh, spidey, gettin’ frisky,” Wade says before he tosses Peter up and forward, trusting him to land on his feet, “Hey lander, how’s it hanging?  Oh gross, Wilson, why.  Did you know that’s a euphemism for your dick?”

 

“Evening, Wade,” Daniel says evenly, “Neighbors are all moved in.  How was your night out?”

 

“It was great,” Peter says, coming in after Wade, “We—”

 

“We’re husbands now,” Wade says, and then runs up the first flight, leaving Peter behind.

 

“You’re—what—congrats!” Daniel finally decides on, forcing a smile, “That’s—that’s great, Peter.”

 

“Yeah, it is,” Peter says, watching Wade cartwheel on the second landing, “I’m gonna—yeah.  Have a good night!”  He heads off after him, laughing when he finds Wade standing on his hands, trying to walk toward the stairs.  “Come on, you big goon,” he says, tickling his side.

 

Wade shrieks and flails over, landing in a heap, but quickly jumping up when he sees Peter halfway up the stairs.  He slows when he reaches him, winding their fingers together and tugging Peter over to kiss him.  “I can’t believe that ass is legally mine,” he says, and Peter laughs loudly.

 

——

 

In the morning, when Peter wakes, Wade is still there, nose tucked into his ribs and legs tangled with his.  He’s breathing softly, still asleep, but he’s so warm and heavy that Peter never wants to move, wants to lie here with him curled close for the rest of the day.  He turns his head, dropping a kiss onto his bald head, and Wade’s breathing shifts as he stirs a little, trying to move closer and revealing the hard curve of his dick.  Peter laughs quietly, reaching down with his left arm to trace the lines of Wade’s scars.

 

He can’t believe they really did this, can’t quite grasp the fact that he’s married, that he has a fucking husband.  Holy shit.  He remembers thinking about it years ago, and that same feeling of contentment floods through him.  He’s happy here, with Wade, and he wouldn’t trade what they have for the world.

 

“Mm, spidey,” Wade mumbles, moving again, thigh tucking up beneath Peter’s, rubbing lightly against his balls as his cock shifts against Peter’s hip, a little insistent.

 

“You’re still asleep, sh,” Peter says, though he reaches out with his right hand, grumbles when he can’t reach across the bed, and then remembers that they collapsed naked and exhausted last night, and there’s likely still lube under one of the pillows.  He finds it, smirks something halfway toward evil, and flicks open the cap, coating his right fingers liberally before he’s manhandling Wade with his left hand, pushing at him until he rolls over onto his other side.

 

“Rude,” Wade sighs, grabbing one of the pillows to curl around, one knee tucking up against it.

 

Peter inches forward, runs his nose between Wade’s shoulders, along his spine, and then kisses the nape of his neck, grinning when Wade groans softly.  “Good morning,” he whispers against his neck before he rubs one finger against his hole.

 

Wade’s breath shatters on the exhale, fingers tightening around the pillow, and Peter gently eases inside, closes his eyes when Wade makes this quiet, high noise.  He bites him to distract him, teeth pulling sharply at that spot at the back of his neck, sinks down to the second knuckle when Wade outright moans, head tipping farther forward.

 

Peter pushes up onto his free elbow, finger sliding further in as he starts mouthing across Wade’s shoulders, pausing to lick before he bites, smirking when he sees his skin flush red and angry under his touch.  “You awake?” he asks as he kisses the sharp edge of his jaw.

 

He waits until he can see Wade open his mouth to answer, and then he eases a second finger inside, grins when he muffles his groan against the pillow.  “Speechless Deadpool?” Peter teases, kissing up to his ear, tracing the shell of it with his tongue.

 

“You—fuck,” Wade’s voice dissolves as Peter bites his ear, a quick nip of his teeth before he’s reaching forward, kissing the corner of Wade’s mouth.  “Fuckin’ hell, Peter,” Wade says, and twists so he can kiss him, licking into his mouth, his moan tripping down Peter’s throat as Peter stretches his fingers, reaching.  Wade pulls away quickly when Peter shifts, third finger just pressing against his hole, and the pads of his fingers skim across Wade’s prostate.

 

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Wade pants, pressing down against Peter’s hand, his knuckles going white where they’re gripping the pillow.

 

“Mm,” Peter hums in agreement, dropping his forehead to lean against the side of Wade’s neck, “Can I fuck you?”

 

“Oh god, yes,” Wade says, but doesn’t move, and Peter lifts his head, opens his eyes and looks down at him.  “Just—” Wade breaks off, biting the corner of his lip, brow furrowing down.

 

“Stop me if you need to,” Peter says for him, and Wade nods.

 

He kisses him again, tries to reassure him, and Wade melts into the distraction as Peter pushes a third finger in, stretches until Wade’s pulling away, and there he is again, “Fuck, spidey, your fingers in my butt, who woulda thunk it.”

 

“I’ll do you one better,” Peter says, and pulls away, reaching back for the lube again.

 

“Oh snap, that’s—jiminy cricket.”  Wade watches him, chin tucked against his shoulder as Peter strokes a hand over his cock, and god, he can’t imagine what this is going to feel like, and he’s so fucking hard just thinking about it that he moves back toward Wade eagerly, guides his cock to his ass, and kisses his shoulder as he gently presses into him, stops when Wade exhales, hard.

 

“You good?” he asks.

 

Shit,” is Wade’s response.

 

“If this is all it takes to shut you up,” Peter says, and then presses in a little further when Wade tries to prove him wrong.

 

Wade’s voice gets lower and louder until Peter’s gasping for breath, his cock absolutely aching inside of Wade’s tight, hot ass, and he drops his forehead between his shoulders, one arm ducking beneath him to curl around, fingers spreading over his sternum.  “Holy fuck, I knew I loved your cock, spidey, but tuckin’ it up inside my butt, Jesus is real.”

 

Peter laughs even as he reaches his right hand around to curl against Wade’s thigh and lift his leg, spreading him open as he guides it around to tuck behind Peter.  “Fuck yes,” Wade says before he shifts down, trying to take Peter in deeper.

 

“You know what would be awesome?” Peter says, just breathing in the smell of Wade, of leather and sweat and their shared detergent and something that resembles an explosive device and just home.

 

“Threesome,” Wade says as he reaches up to wind his fingers with Peter’s.


“Fuck yeah,” Peter says, “Honest to Satan.”

 

Wade shifts again, rolls his hips, and groans at the way that feels.  “Spidey, I’m gonna come if you talk dirty like that, but fuckin’ mad rabbits, can you just—for a second, okay—just imagine someone crowdin’ up behind you, fillin’ you while you’re fillin’ me.  Fuck, I’d about die.  Foursome.”

 

“Too many limbs,” Peter says, “Lots of math.”

 

“I ain’t good at math,” Wade says, and it’s the last coherent sentence he manages.

 

Peter eases out, slowly rocking back in, getting used to the feel of Wade until he’s starting to build a rhythm, this easy climb as they fuse at their nerve endings, like wires braided together.  Wade is a mess within minutes, this broken litany of sound and jumbled words that crash together when Peter reaches around a hand to curl around his cock, stroking him in time with his hips.  His fingers are wound tight with Peter’s, like he’s holding on, and Peter only checks once that he’s okay, that this isn’t too much, to which Wade’s ass tightens around him, and Peter nearly falls face first into his orgasm.  He manages to quell the oncoming tide, though, wants to feel Wade come before him, and god, it’s good when it happens.

 

Wade warns him without seeming to realize he is, his toes twisting to tuck under Peter’s thigh as his legs spread wider, back bowing away from him as he tries to get more of him, keep him inside, and Peter’s breaths fan hot and short against his spine as he thrusts quickly, just enough to build friction between them but trapping himself inside of his ass as much as possible.

 

Fuck, Peter,” he pants, head pushing back against his shoulder.  Peter kisses the top of his head, and then presses his temple there, watching Wade unravel as he keeps trying to melt back into Peter, and then his other leg kicks out, heel rubbing along Peter’s shin before he flings a hand back to grip at Peter, finds his hip and pins him in place.

 

Peter presses the flat of his thumb over the head of Wade’s cock, and he presses impossibly closer, shouting as he shakes apart in Peter’s arms, ass fluttering wonderfully around Peter’s dick and tugging him right over after him.  When Peter starts to come down, still holding on tightly, Wade is breathing hard, and his hand is shaking where it’s resting against the bed.

 

“Hey,” Peter whispers, reaching for his hand, “Are you okay?”

 

“Yeah, just—” he breaks off, closing his eyes and turning his face away.

 

“Wade, what?” Peter says, kissing his shoulder, “Talk to me.”

 

“I’m just—” his voice stutters off into a noise that threatens to rip at the seams, and Peter decides to wait him out, stays right where he is, as close to Wade as he’ll ever get, and he thinks that’s what does the trick.  “Just realizing how lucky I am,” he says finally, though he doesn’t open his eyes.

 

“Wade,” Peter sighs, kissing his shoulder again, “I—”

 

“Not done,” Wade says quickly, and Peter leans against his shoulder, watching his face stagger through fear and uncertainty and, finally, something close to peace.  Finally, he opens his eyes, which are dry but a little red-rimmed, and smiles up at Peter.  “Thank you,” he says.

 

“For what?  Loving you?” Peter says, and shrugs one shoulder, “It’s the easiest thing in the world.”

 

“Fuck you,” Wade says, and Peter nods, wrapping tighter around him as Wade breaks a little, burying his face in Wade’s neck and wrapping both legs around the one.  “Goddamn it, spidey,” he mutters after a few moments, “Always making me ruin the sexy times.”

 

“Just—shit,” Peter groans when Wade lifts the leg still tucked behind him, shifting so that Peter slides out of him.

 

Wade exhales like he’s surprised, and then he says, “We done made a mess out of the bed.”

 

“Yeah, and we’ve got shit piling up everywhere.  Laundry day,” Peter declares.

 

“On our honeymoon!” Wade whines.

 

Peter kisses his jaw, lightning quick, and says, “I’ll suck your dick later if you help me.”

 

“Rock on, spidey jams,” Wade says, and rolls out of bed.

 

Because anything approaching normal would be abnormal for them, they spend their “honeymoon” doing spring cleaning.  Wade decides they deserve a feast of a breakfast after their morning in bed, so he starts cooking while Peter strips the bed and starts throwing anything he can find into their hamper.  He pulls on a pair of shorts, forgoes a hunt for a shirt when everything just needs washing, and stops in the kitchen to distract Wade with a kiss that somehow ends up with him on the counter and Wade between his legs, their mouths moving lazily until one of the pancakes tries to burn, and Peter’s not interesting enough to derail him from pancakes.

 

Florence is halfway to joining him when Wade fills her food bowl, and so he’s left leaving alone.  “Hey neighbor,” he says when he spots Pru and Sadie doing the same thing.

 

“Oh good,” Sadie says, smiling, “We were planning on stopping by Daniel’s to see if he could point us in the right direction.”

 

“It’s easy,” Peter says, heading for the stairs, “Only problem is the no elevator.  I swear, I don’t know how Mrs. Manacker gets upstairs.  She lives on the fourth floor, shit ton of cats.  I don’t even like lugging litter up three flights, and I’ve only got the one.”

 

“She’s so adorable,” Pru says, “You’ll have to let us come play sometime.  What’s her name?”

 

“Florence, after Wade’s favorite singer.  She’s almost three now, I can’t believe it.”

 

“How long have you and Wade been married?” Sadie asks as they come out onto the second floor.

 

“Uh,” Peter pauses, checking his watch, “About twelve hours, maybe?”

 

“Holy shit, really?  You got married yesterday?”

 

Peter shrugs.  “Seemed like the next logical step.  We’ve been together for a few years, and it’s not the first time we’ve thought about it, so.”

 

“Wow,” Pru says, smiling, “That’s awesome.”

 

Peter casts a smile over his shoulder and says, “You should come over for dinner sometime.  Welcoming party and all that jazz.”

 

“That would be amazing,” Sadie says, elbowing Pru, “Really, thank you, Peter.”

 

“Yeah, of course,” Peter says, grinning when they come down into the lobby, and Daniel’s grandmother is out yelling at the plants there.  “Good morning, Mrs. Johnson,” he says pleasantly.

 

“Oh, fuck you!” she snarls, turning and squinting at him, “Which fag are you?”

 

“Not the handsome one,” Peter says, already heading around the stairs for the door at the back, “But I’ll send him down with good news, if you’re available.”

 

“For that sweet sunshine, I’m always available.  Daniel!  Put on the kettle, and do it quickly!”

 

“What the hell?” Sadie says as soon as they’re in the basement.

 

“I know, she’s—something,” Peter says, dropping his hamper by one of the machines, “But she’s really nice under all of that generational bullshit.”

 

“Are you sure?” Pru mutters as Sadie jumps on top of one of the machines, folding her legs.

 

“Well,” Peter says, pausing as he opens the door, “She’s nice to Wade, and not a lot of people are, so I’m kind of biased.”

 

“Nosy Nelly,” Sadie warns as Pru turns to face him.

 

“Do the not nice people include our landlord?” Pru asks, “He gave us a heads up about Wade, told us not to stare or you’d yell at us.”

 

What?” Peter says, dropping his handful of clothes.

 

“It was weird,” Sadie says, glancing at Pru, “We weren’t really sure what to make of him, but the loft is amazing, and the rent’s really great for this part of Queens.  Plus, we liked the idea of only having one neighbor, and you seemed nice.  Fuck ever if the landlord’s got his panties in a twist, right?  So we shrugged it off and decided to take the place, but now, I’m a little concerned.”

 

“No,” Peter says quickly, shaking his head, and he can’t believe he’s about to come to his defense, but, “Daniel’s not a bad guy, I just think—I dunno, his grandmother puts a lot of bad vibes out, makes him feel like shit for being gay, and he and Wade definitely got off on the wrong foot, but—wait, told you not to stare?  At what?”

 

“Pru,” Sadie tries to stop her.

 

“His scars, I imagine,” Pru says.

 

“Oh,” Peter says, and turns back to the machine.

 

“Peter,” Sadie says softly.

 

“No, it’s fine,” he says, and starts loading again, “I just—I’m used to them, so I forget other people aren’t.  Whatever.”

 

“How’d it happen?” Pru asks.

 

“Oh my god, will you stop?” Sadie snaps, “Now you’re just being rude.”

 

“What, I can’t be curious?” Pru says.

 

“Guys, really,” Peter says, glancing at them, “It’s okay.  He was—in an accident when he was younger.  Happened way before I knew him.  But enough about us—how’d you guys meet?”

 

“College,” Pru says like it’s a chore, rolling her eyes, “We’re one of those stereotypes.”

 

“But it’s cute!” Sadie says, smiling fondly at her, “We both had these miserable roommates our first year, but they were friends with each other, so they introduced us, and it was like magic from there.”

 

“Not true,” Pru says, “You refused to let me take you on a date.”

 

“I was still on again off again with boys,” Sadie says, waving a hand dismissively, “I was scared about settling down.  Obviously, it was worth it.”

 

Though Pru looks absolutely put off about Sadie’s optimism, she still kisses her softly, and Peter smiles as he finishes loading up the machine.  They walk back up together, Peter promising Daniel’s grandmother that Wade will be down after breakfast, and then they’re coming up with a loose dinner plan for later that week before he goes inside to the most heavenly smell.

 

“Goddamn, you nasty,” Wade says, brandishing a spatula at him.


“What?” Peter says, eyebrows shooting up.

 

“Spidey, I done bruised you real good.”

 

“Oh no, come on, I went downstairs without a shirt on,” Peter says even as he twists around, trying to see what Wade’s referencing.  There’s a small bruise blossoming on his hip where Wade had been holding on this morning, but then he spots the one at his lower back in the shape of Wade’s mouth, a bite that had left him muffling his scream with his fist.

 

“You came right when I did that,” Wade says, grinning as he reminisces, “Hadn’t gotten you that riled up in a while, but I’ma do it again today.”

 

“Thank god our walls aren’t thin anymore,” Peter says, dumping down at the island, “I’m starving.”

 

“Hogwarts is always a home to those who are lookin’ for help, or whatever,” Wade says, gesturing at the spectacular spread of food he’s made, “Or food.  I like their feasts.  Peter.  We should get a house elf, that’d be fuckin’ amazeballs.”

 

After breakfast, Peter swats Wade’s hands away and tells him he’d like to digest for at least four seconds before sex, and that’s how they end up cleaning.  Really, it’s Wade’s idea because his hands and brain are still feeling a little like someone else’s after this morning, so he pops downstairs for tea, and then comes back up to the armory, sliding open the door that faces the rest of the apartment so he can sit on the edge and still talk to Peter while he takes apart various guns.

 

Peter spends his time watering the actual wall of plants they have, climbing up the walls to get the hanging ones, organizes his lab, and cleans the entire kitchen before he remembers to say, “Oh!  I invited our new neighbors over for dinner this week.”

 

“The lesbians?” Wade says, looking along the length of his katana as he holds it out straight.

 

“Promise you’ll be polite?” Peter asks, and Wade snorts.  “Yeah, thought so.  I’m gonna go change the laundry, unless—” he trails off, still in the middle of putting their alcohol back together after he’s finished dusting, and he hears Wade huff a laugh before he’s jumping down from the armory.

 

“I gotchu, spidey poo,” he says, stretching to each side.  He stops by Peter to kiss his shoulder and palm his dick through his shorts, pressing a whispered promise to make him scream when he gets back into his spine as he mouths down it, and then he’s gone before Peter has time to react.

 

Pru’s in the basement when he gets down there, and he frowns as he comes down the stairs.  He’s in shorts because they’ve been inside all day, and short sleeves, as well, because Peter took all of his long sleeves to wash, and he feels her gaze drift over him as he reaches the end of the stairs.  “Wade, right?” she says when he opens the machine and starts switching to the dryer.

 

He grunts an affirmative, not looking at her, though she speaks again, “Congrats on your nuptials.  That must be exciting.”

 

“Ha, nuptials, sounds like nipples,” Wade says without thinking, and then shrugs, plunging into the deep end, “Me and the webhead been fuckin’ around too long not to, and mama done said I would find meself a happy go lucky feller in the end.  Wait, nope, felony.  She always did think I’d be a felon, and what’d ya know, half right, I suppose, but then I landed me a fella, too.  Score!  Oh, those were a mess,” he adds when he puts the sheets in.

 

Pru is smiling delightedly when he glances at her, and it sets him on edge a little.  “Sadie’s always telling me it’s dangerous to have one-sided conversations in public, but I think it makes life more fun,” she says, and then Wade’s grinning, too.

 

“Most people call it a mental illness,” Wade says, and Pru laughs, shaking her head as she turns back to the dryer, setting it to run.  “Hey, mental illnesses aren’t all the bads they cracked up to be,” he says, “I been doin’ therapy for years now, first time with the spidey, now all by my lonesome, and it’s dog gone fun.  They just let you talk about all your fucked up little wigglies, and ain’t nobody gonna call you weird.”

 

“Exactly,” Pru says, “It’s good to meet a kindred soul.”

 

“Ha!” Wade exclaims at this, and somehow, he doesn’t feel as uncomfortable walking back up to their floor with her.

 

“Catch you on the flipside,” she says at her door, and Wade makes a wild gesture with his arm on his way in.

 

He nearly forgot about his promise to Peter until he walks in on him at the island, elbows holding him as he leans forward, sorting mail, just asking for it, and Wade comes up behind him, hand cupping his ass and squeezing as his other one reaches around to do the same to his dick.  “Mm, I love your ass, spidey,” he says, nosing at the back of his neck before he finally lays a wet kiss there.

 

Peter’s voice is steady when he answers, “Not sure I believe you.”

 

Wade looks up and over his shoulder, finds him reading through a bill, and almost growls.  He is going to ruin him.  He kisses the slope where neck meets shoulder, laves his tongue over, and then bites him, hard enough that Peter’s next inhale is sharp and quick.  He sucks at the skin, hand sliding beneath Peter’s shorts to squeeze his ass, and when he releases him, his neck is definitely going to bruise.

 

“Bastard,” Peter mutters, glancing at it, “Every fucking time I take off the mask, and there’s a—what are you doing?”  Peter looks over his shoulder as Wade undoes his shorts and drops to his knees, reaching up to kiss the small of his back.

 

“Gonna make you fuckin’ scream, baby boy,” Wade mutters before he curls both hands around Peter’s ass, nails digging and marking him as he spreads him, laying reverent, wet kisses along his skin until he reaches his hole, and he licks over it, tip of his tongue coming up to press lightly.

 

“Foul play,” Peter says, and then his head thuds against the island.

 

It’s been a long time since they’ve done this, Wade’s tongue in his ass, and Peter is dangerously closing to coming when Wade pushes inside, letting out a low, humming noise.  The one time he tries to reach for his cock, Wade’s gone, slapping his hand away and fucking biting his ass, and Peter flinches, swearing at him.  And so, he fists his hands up on the island, trying to find something to ground himself down as Wade tears him apart, slides two fingers in with his tongue and just fucking destroys any self-control Peter has left.

 

He’s a mess when Wade finally pulls back, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth.  His voice is rough and pitched low enough that Peter’s cock aches when he says, “You got a foul mouth, Parker.”

 

Peter reaches for him, and Wade goes even as Peter pulls at him, turns so that his back hits the island, and kisses Wade like he’s never going to have another chance.  He can’t help the whine that stumbles out when Wade ghosts the pad of his fingers over his already sensitive hole, and then he’s pulling away with a soft keen when Wade pushes inside again.

 

“I need you,” he says, hands find purchase on Wade’s shoulders, gripping tightly.

 

“Not yet,” Wade purrs, mouthing down Peter’s neck, pausing to lick a circle over his sternum before he bites him again, and then Peter snaps.

 

Fuck,” he groans before he pushes Wade away, turns so his back is to Wade again, and reaches behind him, fingers curling tightly around Wade’s dick.  “Now,” he says, and Wade lets out this obscene noise before he steps in, nudges Peter’s hand out of the way, and fills him.

 

Peter is almost ashamed of how quickly he creeps right up to that edge, fire licking down his spine, but Wade is all hard edges, the only sound in the apartment Peter’s voice pitching higher and Wade’s hips slapping against his ass.  He reaches a hand back to hold onto him, nails scraping over his neck and head, and Wade groans, this low, trembling thing that lets Peter know how far away he is.  Sometimes, when he gets like this, his mind in seven different universes and his body coiled tight, he’s still hard when Peter comes, but he doesn’t want that right now, wants to bring him over to the edge with him, and though it physically pains him to do so, Peter grabs onto one of Wade’s wrists, groaning in frustration when he starts to slow.

 

“Spidey,” Wade whines, dropping his head between his shoulders, “What?”

 

“I wanna see you,” Peter says, and then steps away, biting his lip hard enough that it almost splits apart when Wade slides out.

 

“Motherfucker,” Wade growls, and then he’s caging Peter in against the island, cock nudging at his ass as his blunt nails trail over his belly and his teeth find something, anything, to sink into.  Peter drops a hand to his cock, wraps tight fingers around the base, and swears recreationally at how badly he wants to let go.

 

“Sofa,” Peter says finally, pushing them away from the island, “Come on, move.”

 

Wade looks like he might hit him when he turns around, so he steps in close and kisses him, pulls him back to planet earth and holds onto him when a tremble runs through him.  Wade all but throws him onto the sofa, and Peter’s legs drop open as he settles on one knee, pulls him close, and bows down toward him, mouth fitting against his as Peter lifts one foot to press against his lower back, which Wade groans at, dropping his forehead to Peter’s shoulder and fucking into him quickly.

 

“Fuck, Wade,” Peter gasps, head tipping back.  He doesn’t mean to scratch him, knows that it hurts sometimes, but Wade sobs into his shoulder, pleasure sparking through him at the way Peter’s nails feel over his back.

 

“Don’t stop,” he pleads, and Peter digs one hand in against his side, dragging over his ribs, as the other pulls up toward his shoulders, and Wade muffles his shout against his shoulder, hips slowing, but thrusting hard, hard enough that Peter knows he’s going to be sore later, and then he shifts, and the head of his cock passes over his prostate, throws fire in his veins, and Peter presses against Wade all over as his orgasm rolls through him.

 

Wade follows him, drawn over by Peter’s fingers and his legs and everything that’s grounding him down, and he’s still panting when Peter says, “Aw shit, made you bleed.”  Wade just laughs, letting his weight down on him.

 

“Fuckin’ tired,” Wade mumbles, turning his head to rest against Peter’s shoulder so he can breathe easier, “Holy Christmas.”

 

“Good honeymoon so far?” Peter asks, and Wade laughs again, hiding it in Peter’s neck as Peter winds his arms around him and keeps him close.

 

——

 

They end up in bed early that night, after watching a movie that dissolves into slow, lazy sex during the credits, and then, it’s back to real life.  Wade drives Peter to work in the morning because why the hell not, brings bagels to Matt’s office, and, when he’s turning down their street, frowns when he sees Johnny’s truck parked outside.

 

He parks, kills the engine, and sits there for a moment, looking over at the empty front seat.  It makes him itchy, knowing that Johnny’s here, so he texts Peter, storm’s here, any reason why?

 

Peter doesn’t respond until he’s heading for their building.  No idea.  Can’t talk, sorry.

 

Wade sighs, but pockets his phone and lets himself in, offering Johnny a half-smile when he finds him chatting with Daniel.  “Hey Wilson,” Johnny says pleasantly, “Just the man I was looking for.”

 

“Peter’s at work,” Wade says, shoving his hands in his pockets.  He wore jeans today, thank someone, and he has to stop himself from hitching up the hood on his sweatshirt.

 

“Yeah, I know,” Johnny says, still with that easy smile, “Was hoping we could talk.”

 

Wade shrugs and heads for the stairs, leaving Johnny to follow him.  “How’s being married?” Johnny asks when he catches up with him.

 

“Same as before,” Wade says, not looking over at him, “Me and the spidey been together long enough, it doesn’t really put a dent in it.  Just another notch in the belt.”’

 

“That’s all he is to you?” Johnny says.

 

“Man, don’t be an asshole and try to twist my words around like some shit ass Ferris wheel.  You know what I mean.”

 

“Not sure I do, actually,” Johnny says, and Wade knows what he’s doing, knows that he’s baiting him, and he hates that he rises to it.

 

“You wanna fuckin’ tango, just say it, Storm.  I’m not doin’ this dance around the issue at hand bullshit with you anymore.”

 

They round the second landing, and Johnny grabs him by the elbow, pulls him to a stop.  “I just want to make sure Peter hasn’t made a mistake,” he says, lifting his hands like he’s afraid Wade will hit him.

 

He almost does.

 

But Peter likes where they live now, likes the people and even their shitty ass landlord, and so instead of absolutely demolishing Johnny like he wants to, he walks away from him, taking the stairs up to the last floor.

 

Johnny follows silently, and they get into the apartment before he says, “Listen, if you’re just going to end up bailing on him again, just get it over with, and do it now.”

 

“Fucking really?” Wade says, turning to face him, “That’s what you’re still dangling over my head like some fuckin’ piece of mistletoe?  Jesus, Johnny, grow the fuck up, get rid of that infant status.  That was years ago, and I’m not about to blow this shit out the water again.  We worked through that, so you need to let it the fuck go, or I’ma start singin’ about snowmen at you.”

 

“Dude, you broke him,” Johnny says, and finally, there it is—anger.  “I couldn’t put those fucking pieces back together,” he goes on, taking a step forward, “You literally ripped him apart.  All that shit that he went through, that’s on you, and it’s my duty, as his friend, to make sure you don’t go and fuck up his life again.”

 

“What more do you want from me, asshole?” Wade says, sidestepping him and heading for the kitchen.  He reaches up for one of their less expensive whiskeys and drinks straight from it.  “I went to fucking therapy with him, cleared up all our shit, and it’s never been like that since then.  I even bent to your stupid ass rule, gave you a heads up anytime I was takin’ off for more than a couple days.  Jesus, goddamn merc with a mouth bendin’ over with his ass ripe for the takin’ just so you can try to cop a feel.  Back the fuck up,” he adds when Johnny tries to round the island.

 

“Afraid I’ll hit you, and then you’ll have to explain to Peter why I’ve got a black eye?” Johnny challenges, making the corner and stopping in front of Wade.  “You’re a piece of shit, Wilson,” he snarls, “You’re just stringing him along until the next great adventure comes jumping onto crazy town.  Even if you stick around, it’s only a matter of time before you stab him again.  Or worse.”

 

Wade thinks about the sound Peter had made just before the gun went off, and he can’t respond.

 

“Shut up,” Johnny says, stepping forward again, “You already did worse, didn’t you, asshole?”  Johnny lifts a hand, jabs a finger against his chest.  “I’d leave if I were you.”

 

Wade barks an empty laugh, takes a swig from the bottle again, and turns to face Johnny.  “In case you’d forgotten, which, empty frat boy brain, sorry, you’re standing in my kitchen, turd burglar.”

 

“Realistically,” Johnny says, his mouth twisting into something awful that barely resembles a smile, “What is this to you?  Just a pit stop between daddy touched me and drink myself to death?”

 

Wade thinks, later, that Johnny didn’t think he’d actually hit him, but then he’s on the ground, swearing loudly as he holds his nose, blood pouring from between his fingers.  Wade stalks past him, breaths coming short and fast, and Johnny reaches out a sticky hand, grabs his ankle, and yanks, unbalancing him.  He scrambles upright before Wade can catch himself on the island and tackles him.

 

“It’s only a matter of time before you pick up and leave again!  Probably just like your old man, too sick and fucking tired of putting up with your psycho ass bullshit!” Johnny screams, hitting him between the shoulders so that Wade’s face smacks off the ground before he throws an arm around his throat and pulls him into a headlock.

 

Wade throws his head back, smacks Johnny’s nose from hurting to broken, twists out from his loosened hold, and delivers three nasty blows, one to his ribs, an uppercut to the jaw, and then a swift kick to one of his knees, sending him sprawling.  Wade starts forward, and Johnny skids across the ground, trying to get to his feet and failing when Wade kicks him again.  He stops, chest heaving, and stares down at him, thinking about how easy it would be.

 

Kick his knee in the opposite direction and cripple him from standing again, break his jaw against the island, and then grab a knife and plunge it into his ribs.

 

Johnny spits blood at him.  “Just wait until I’ve found out you did something like this to him, and I’ll fucking murder you.  Don’t even pretend you aren’t capable of it.  You’re a hitman, Wade.  You can’t be trusted to take care of him.”

 

“When you gonna get it through that thick fuckin’ skull of yours that Peter doesn’t need taking care of?  He’s a grown ass man.  He doesn’t need your pity party.”

 

“He—”

 

“Get the fuck out of my house.”

 

Johnny opens his mouth, but Wade turns and makes a quick getaway, through the living room and into the hall by the door, taking the stairs up and around to his armory.  He paces the room in a square, following the walls, until he hears the front door open and close, and then he picks up a gun and sets it underneath his jaw.

 

The metal is cold and solid, and it only takes a second before it’s clattering to the ground, and Wade lifts both hands to his head, nails digging in against his skull as he tries to breathe.

 

He can’t.

 

His exhale comes out ragged and clipped, and then he can’t quite bring himself to inhale, just feels like it’s all trapped out there in the world around him, none for the taking.  He can feel it all over again, the lack of oxygen ripping at his skin, his throat closing in until it was nothing but raw skin rubbing together, and his knees hit the floor, body folding over on itself.

 

He knows Johnny is right, knows it’s only a matter of time before everything that’s ever happened to him stirs something black in his soul and spills evil down his throat.  He can see Peter, dead, a gun in his shaking hand, and it’s his fault, it’s his fault, it’s his—Wade reaches for the gun and fires off a single round.

 

——

 

Johnny’s almost on the second landing when he hears it.  He jars to a stop, one hand holding onto the railing and the other pressed against his nose, and closes his eyes, teeth gritting as he waits.  Nothing follows, and he swears softly before turning around and jogging back up the stairs.

 

Peter’s new neighbor, the one with the short hair, is just coming out of their apartment when he makes it back onto the third floor.  “What the hell was that?” she says as soon as she sees him, and then, “What the hell happened to you?”

 

“Uh,” Johnny says, and tries the door.  It’s still unlocked, and he sighs, stepping in.  “Just a little ole scrap,” he says over his shoulder before he’s inside and closing the door.  “Wade?” he calls uncertainly.

 

He looks over to the right, but doesn’t find anything amiss on the loft, and so he turns left, taking the stairs up and heading past the armory to check the bathroom.  “Wade?”  He tries the door to the armory, but it’s locked, and he frowns, leaning against it, trying to listen for anything.  “Come on, man,” he says, trying the handle again, “Are you okay?”

 

There’s nothing, and something like dread settles in Johnny’s stomach.  He steps back, drops his shoulder, and hits the door, groaning when it doesn’t budge.  “Motherfucker, you better not be dead,” he mutters before he runs at it again.

 

The door bursts open, and Johnny falls through, stumbling to keep his balance.  “Shit,” he says when he spots Wade because—well, shit.

 

Wade is lying on his side, and there’s a gaping hole in the back of his head, blood and brain matter soaking the floor behind him.

 

Johnny sprints forward, skidding to a halt on his other side and dropping to his knees.  He feels for a pulse, swears when he can’t find one, and yanks the gun from Wade’s hand, flicking the safety on before he tosses it aside.  “Dude, don’t do this,” he says, giving his shoulder a shake, “Come on.  Wake up.”

 

Wade’s limp body doesn’t respond.

 

Johnny knows that he can’t die, knows that he’ll likely regenerate, knows that this isn’t permanent, but it still feels terrifying, looking down at him and knowing that, right now, he is dead.

 

“Fuck,” Johnny says, jerking to his feet.  He paces away, trying to figure out what to do, trying to decide if he should call Peter or just handle this, this thing that he caused.  It occurs to him all at once that this is his fault, that he pushed Wade this far, and then his feet are stumbling over one another in his haste to get out of the armory and into the bathroom.

 

He lets up his lunch, knuckles going white where he’s gripping the edge of the toilet.  He can’t do this anymore.  God, he hates himself for stepping in between them again, for trying to push at the edges of their relationship and rip them apart.  He can’t even imagine the kind of commitment Peter feels if he’s putting up with this.

 

Johnny flushes, wipes his mouth, and goes back to stand in the doorway of the armory.  He watches a few of Wade’s fingers twitch, and then sighs, eyes closing as his shoulders sink.  “I’m sorry,” he whispers before he turns out and back to the bathroom to find something to clean Wade up with.

 

When he gets back, a small first aid kit and a towel in hand, Wade’s breaths are coming in quick, hitched gasps, like he can’t quite figure out how to make his lungs work.  Johnny settles behind him and touches his shoulder gently, frowns when Wade flinches badly, trying to curl in on himself.  His body won’t cooperate, though, is still too far gone, and all he manages is a quiet, painful noise.

 

The hole at the back of his head is starting to stitch itself back together, skin growing in, but Johnny still dumps some antiseptic on a hand towel and gently rubs away the gore.  He’s just finishing and is prepared to face whatever fury Wade’s got to throw at him when Wade says, his voice raw, “Peter?”

 

“At work still,” Johnny says, “It’s Johnny.”  Wade doesn’t move, doesn’t react, doesn’t do anything, and that’s possibly what scares Johnny most.  “Wade?” he says.

 

“Get out,” Wade says hollowly.

 

“Yeah, no,” Johnny says and then gets up, coming around to sit on his other side, “You just shot yourself in the head, man.”  Wade’s eyes are closed, and his breaths are still coming hard.  “Wade, I’m sorry,” Johnny says softly, picking at the hem of his shorts, “I didn’t think—I didn’t mean—fuck, man, this is bad.  This shit between us is fucking toxic.”

 

Wade is silent for a moment longer before his hand drops down to press against the ground and push himself upright.  It’s an obvious struggle, but when Johnny tries to help him, Wade snaps a vicious glare at him, and he retreats.  Wade sags back against the wall behind him, legs at an awkward angle, and says, “Don’t make this about yourself.  This shit is mine, not yours.”

 

“Wade—”

 

“Nope,” Wade says, shaking his head slowly, “You wanna apologize for being an absolute fucking lowlife piece of shit, you go ahead, but not for this.”

 

“Dude,” Johnny says, eyebrows going up, “You just shot yourself in the head after we fought.  I think this is kind of my fault.”

 

Wade barks an empty laugh, head tipping back as his eyes close again.  Johnny swallows past a lump rising in his throat at the gunpowder residue beneath his jaw.  “What is it?” Wade asks.

 

“What?”

 

“Do you still love him, or something equally as queer?”

 

Johnny refrains from rolling his eyes.  “I don’t—I don’t know,” he admits, looking down at his lap and pulling at a thread in his shorts again, “I’d like to say no, but I’m not sure that’s the truth.”


“You know there’s the whole speak now or forever whole your peace bullcrap, right?  Mama done said—”

 

Wade,” Johnny cuts him off.

 

Wade just steamrolls right over him, “Mama done said those who speak are sinners, shoulda just let the fags get on with their merry way, but she woulda stood up and said the blackout words, woulda shoulda coulda, woulda said, ain’t no way my God-lovin’ son’s takin’ it up the butt, no siree, but the webhead done tried it out anyway, and mama woulda been fuckin’ horrified, bad as apes takin’ over the world.  She kept wishin’ for that, hoped they might snatch me up in an alien sacrifice, and—”

 

“I’m done,” Johnny says quickly.

 

Wade lifts his head, looks at him like he doesn’t believe him.  “Fuckin’ prove it,” he says.

 

“How long does it take you to regenerate fully?” Johnny asks.

 

“Getting there,” Wade says, looking down toward his legs, grimacing when one of them is slow to move as he tries to shift it into something more comfortable.  “Other shit doesn’t take as long, but a bullet in the brains will do the trick.”


“Has Peter ever seen this?”

 

Wade swallows, head tipping back against the wall again.  “Once,” he says, “Not the first time.”

 

“If I didn’t come back, would you have told him?”

 

“Yes,” Wade says, and his voice aches with something awful enough that Johnny believes him.

 

“I’m gonna make some soup, or something equally as queer,” he says as he gets up, “You got a favorite?”

 

Wade hums softly.  “Tomato,” he finally settles on.

 

“You gonna do it again?” Johnny asks, foot nudging the gun farther away.

 

“Don’t think so,” Wade mumbles.

 

Johnny leaves him to it, then, heading back downstairs and into the kitchen.  There’s blood under his nails and a smear of something on his wrist, and he almost vomits again, but instead scrubs them clean in the sink before he rummages the cabinets until he can find food.

 

Peter calls two hours later.  He hears Wade’s phone ringing over in the loft, and Johnny waits it out, glancing over at where Wade’s on the sofa, out cold.  It had taken another twenty minutes before he could manage to make it downstairs, and then Johnny had told him he was on suicide watch, and he wasn’t leaving until Peter came home.  He hadn’t really expected Wade to agree to that, but then he’d passed out on the sofa, either not caring or his body just giving up, and Johnny’s been fucking around on Peter’s laptop since.

 

His phone rings next, and he answers immediately.  “Hey,” he says, trying to figure out how the hell he’s going to do this.

 

“I tried calling Wade,” Peter says quickly, “but he didn’t answer.  He said you were at the apartment earlier.  Everything okay?”

 

Johnny sighs, looking over toward the sofa again.  “Okay,” he says slowly, “I’m really sorry.  I didn’t—I didn’t mean for it to go so far.  We—got in a fight.  It was stupid.  I shouldn’t have even gone there.  I just—I was worried about you, and—”

 

“No,” Peter says, and Johnny’s fingers close in a fist.


“What?” he says.

 

“I’m not doing this with you again,” Peter says, “If you have a problem with our relationship, maybe you should have done that speak now or forever hold your peace bullshit.  He’s my husband, Johnny.  Get over it.  I’m not interested in you.”

 

“Peter, it’s not—”

 

“It is,” Peter says, “I know that you still carry a torch, or whatever, but let it the fuck go.  I told you what would happen if you pursued this again.  I’m not doing this with you.”

 

Johnny is silent for a long moment before he says, “Okay.  I’m sorry.  I, uh—it got nasty, and I was—I was on my way out when I heard—Jesus.  He shot himself in the head.  I’m still here.  Cleaned him up, and he’s asleep right now.  I’m so sorry, Peter.  I never wanted this to happen.”

 

Peter hangs up.  Johnny pulls his phone away in shock, and he’s still blinking in confusion when a text comes through, I have to go back to work.  You hurt him again, and I’ll put you in the fucking ground.

 

——

 

Peter leaves as soon as he possibly can without pissing off Jameson.  He webs home, too on edge to sit through the slow train, and he’s just got his keys in the door when Pru steps out into the hallway and says, “Peter?”

 

“Yeah, what’s up?” Peter says, turning halfway as he unlocks the door and pushes it open.

 

“Is everything okay?” she asks frowning, “We heard—noise.  Daniel’s been at work all day, so we couldn’t ask him to check, but it sounded like—I dunno, like a gunshot.  Your friend’s been in there, too.”

 

Peter pauses over the threshold, relaxing a little when he sees Wade on the sofa to his immediate right, breathing slowly.

 

“Yeah,” Peter says, nodding quickly, “Everything’s good.”

 

He steps inside, closing the door behind him, and drops his backpack as he comes over.  He can see Johnny in his periphery, in the kitchen, but he ignores him as he kneels by the sofa and reaches a hand up to settle over Wade’s bald head, thumb rubbing a circle over his temple.  Wade stirs as soon as he touches him, groaning as he turns into the pillow.  Peter frowns at the angry, raised skin at the back of his head.  “Wade,” he says softly, leaning forward to kiss just above his eyebrow.

 

Wade’s shoulder jumps, and Peter quickly lifts his hand.  “I’m sorry,” he whispers.

 

“Everything hurts,” Wade mumbles into the pillow.

 

“I know,” he says, “What can I do?”

 

“Get him the fuck out of here.”

 

Peter stands, turning.  “Peter,” Johnny starts, moving toward him, though he stops when Peter shakes his head, once.

 

“I’m not—” Peter pauses, frowning.  Johnny waits, and his expression bleeds every ounce of fear he’s feeling.  “I’m not ready to talk to you right now,” he says, “I need to be here for him, and you need to leave.”

 

Johnny looks like he’s going to say something, but finally nods, turning back to grab his phone before he disappears.  Peter looks over in surprise when Wade’s chin hooks over his shoulder and his arms loop around his waist.  “The boxes are loud,” he says.

 

“Anything good on TV today?” Peter asks.

 

He can feel Wade’s grin against his neck.  “Well, for starters,” he says, straightening up, “Yellow told White he wasn’t the fairest in all the land, and then they started—” he smashes his knuckles together.

 

“I have two reactions prepared right now,” Peter says.

 

“I like the second one,” Wade says, and comes around in front of him to kiss him.  It’s a short-lived thing before he’s speaking again, “Is the first one talking about feelings?  Cos those are gross.”

 

“I feel like this is something we should address,” Peter says even as he spots the gunpowder, and he sighs, reaching up to thumb it away.  “I need to know if you’re okay, and standard operating procedure says you’re not.”

 

Wade heaves an obnoxious sigh, makes an aborted motion with his hand, and then crowds Peter, fingers fisting in his shirt as he buries his face in his shoulder, trying to hide.  Peter holds onto him, presses firm hands against his back.  “I’m not,” Wade whispers, “But you help.”

 

“Is this going to happen again?” Peter asks quietly, “I know that it doesn’t stick, that you’ll come back, but it’s the action that’s scaring me.”

 

“It’s a black hole up here, spidey,” Wade tries to joke it off, shrugging away from him.

 

Peter catches his hand before he can walk away, tangling their fingers together and pulling him back.  “It’s my black hole,” he says, “Or do you not trust me with it?”

 

“Fuck no,” Wade says, shaking his head quickly, “That’s not it, I—I would—you’re it, Peter.  You’re everything this sappy old girl could hope for, but I just—they’re just—I’m evil up there.  I hate it.  I wish I could—could take a fuckin’ lobotomy icepick, click click BOOM into my eye socket, and get rid of it forever, but I can’t, and it’s there, and sometimes it’s just too loud.”

 

“Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough, and things go wrong no matter what I do?” Peter says, and though he’s not singing it, he can see that Wade hears it regardless.

 

“Yeah,” he says, ducking his eyes.

 

“I’m right here,” Peter says, “Whatever guts you need to spill, I’ve got the love you need to see you through.”

 

It takes several long, heavy moments of silence before Wade shrugs his shoulders up by his ears and says, “Mama done said someday she’d find me and kill me, so I put a bullet in my head, came out ragin’ on the other side.  First time, it took three hours for this hot mess to wake up.”

 

“And the last time?” Peter asks.

 

Wade peeks up at him.  “Might not be a last time, spidey.  Might keep happenin’.”

 

“You are not a ship built to wreck,” Peter says.

 

Somehow, that’s what lights a fire in Wade’s eyes.  His grin is lethal when he lifts his head, and Peter groans a half second before he starts singing loudly, “To wreeeeeeeck, to wreeeeeeck, to WREEEEEECK, did I build this ship to wreck?”

 

Peter watches him dance over to the kitchen, legs and arms kicking out at random intervals, switching tracks as his voice drops low, “Another conversation with no destination, another battle never won, and each side is a loser, so who cares who fired the gun?”  He drops off into a hum as he opens the fridge, tossing taco supplies toward the island.  Peter comes over to sort them as Wade straightens up and continues, “And I’m learning, so I’m leaving, and even though I’m grieving, I’m trying to find the meaning.  Let loss reveal it.  Let loss reveal ittttttt!”

 

“Taco party?” Peter asks.

 

“TACO PARTY!” Wade shrieks.

 

And that settles it.

 

And I was on an island, and you were there, too,

But somehow through the storm, I couldn’t get to you.

St. Jude, somehow she knew, and she came to give her blessing while causing devastation.

And I couldn’t keep my mouth shut,

I just had to mention, grabbing your attention.