Peter had a total of ten point zero three seconds of relaxation—he counted—before it was shattered by a joyous yell.
“Is this going to be a crossover episode?”
He sighed, climbing down from his perch at the top of the roof. His head was stinging with a vengeful headache that had eagerly developed over the course of the busy day. New York itself was already a chaotic venue, but also being Spiderman seemed to increase its intensity tenfold. As expected, Deadpool stood near the door to the stairs. He was fanning his mask quickly and fluttering his eyes.
“Well, if it ain’t little old me and the big powerful Spiderman all alone,” he cooed in a poorly attempted southern accent. “You see a girl like me ain’t used to these city dwellers and their muscles.”
“Deadpool,” Peter interrupted, suppressing an urge to shudder at the sultry tone Deadpool used—he was quite pleased with his ability to remain cordial; Aunt May had raised him right, after all. Of course, knowing Deadpool, he would push past even Peter’s limits. After surveying the city and dealing with various criminals, the last thing he wanted was for Deadpool to worsen his headache, which at such a point seemed inevitable. Not only did the man rarely make sense, but he was loud when he babbled. It was like a double threat. He could probably stop criminals with solely his voice—jail was a vacation in comparison. “Stop. Why are you here?”
“Well, Spidey,” he started, immediately relaxing his shoulders and leaning against a few rusted pipes. They groaned in protest against his weight, bending slightly. Peter was somewhat impressed, but still mostly annoyed. “I was innocently minding my own business just unaliving some baddies when I spotted a glimpse of your sweet ass while you were swinging over to this building. And let me tell you, I can pick that ass out of a haystack.” He held up his gloved hands in the shape of a camera lens and whistled lowly. “It also helped that you were in full costume and using webs to fly across the building. ANYWAY. I thought I’d pop in and see how you were handling the city and if you wanted to be a sidekick.”
Peter raised an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t you be the sidekick in this instance?”
“Well! If you insist,” Deadpool said, his grin overpowering the spandex of his mask. “I would be honored.”
“No,” Peter said with a shake of his head. “No, Deadpool.”
“You can call me Mr. Wilson,” Deadpool said with a wink.
“I’d rather not.”
Deadpool dropped to his knees. A few tears leaked from his mask. “Please, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
“How are you doing that…never mind. Look, I’m flattered and everything but I’m more of a solo hero. The city already thinks I’m a menace half the time; I’d rather not give them an actual reason to.” He watched Deadpool’s eyes narrow. “And having you killing people in my vicinity, or as a ‘sidekick’?” He made a point to use quotation marks with his hands. “My image as a hero isn’t going to last very long.”
“I don’t have to unalive anyone,” Deadpool insisted. “I have self-control!”
Peter stared him down. “Uh huh. Well, that’s a good joke to hear. I’m done patrolling for the night, though, anyway.”
Deadpool jumped to his feet and scooted closer. He gave a grimy leer. “Done patrolling, huh? I can work with that. Wanna chill at my crib, babe?”
Peter snorted. “What is this, the 90s?”
“I thought Spiderman came out in the 60s?”
Peter blinked. “What are you talking about?”
“Old school reference, don’t worry baby boy; you were only fifteen.”
“Okay, whatever. I’m just going to head home and you should do the same. To your home. Not mine.” Most people wouldn’t need such clarification, but Deadpool wasn’t most people.
“But… I already planned the sleepover,” Deadpool said, his voice crumpling. Peter refused to feel guilty. Deadpool pulled a greasy bag from his suit. “I brought the tacos. I figured you’d bring the pillows and sexy lingerie.”
“…” Peter was silent for a minute. He stared warily at the dripping bag. “Where exactly were you hiding that? You know what, I don’t want to know.”
“I swear it’s not roomy down there,” Deadpool said. Peter found himself once again unable to respond. “It was a tight fit. The bag I mean. And my penis.”
Peter groaned, dragging his hands down his mask. It squeaked at him, as though personally offended. “Yeah, see, this is why we don’t hang out. I’m heading out for the night, so please leave my city and its citizens alone.”
Deadpool quirked his head. “Your city, huh? If we marry does it become community property? I promise mamma ain’t a gold digger.” He whipped a few pistols out from his belt. “See? You can have these babies. Not the katanas, though. They’re sensitive. Maybe if you ask nicely.” He shivered. “No, we’ll save that for the second date, white.”
Peter dropped his gaze and looked to the city. Fortunately, it was rather quiet this time of night. At the same time, it gave him no good excuse to escape Deadpool. Before he could gather his thoughts, Deadpool’s hand was reaching out to his shoulder. Peter jerked away, grabbing Deadpool’s arm and twisting it behind his back.
Deadpool blinked quickly. “…. Damn, Spidey. I didn’t realize you were hiding all that muscle under the skin-tight suit. Deadpool likey.”
Peter flushed. “It’s not skin tight. And what, you thought I couldn’t handle my own?”
Deadpool shrugged. He pulled a short knife out from his suit.
Peter tensed, tightening his grip. “Deadpool…”
“It’s not for you, don’t worry,” he said as he sawed off the captured arm. “You can keep it! That one wasn’t good at jerking it, anyway.”
Saliva filled Peter’s mouth rapidly. He felt his chest thump sporadically and he took a step back, still holding onto the detached arm. “I…”
The arm in his hand was limp, with dark, coppery blood dripping from the top. It spilled over his gloved hands and onto the feet of his suit. He swallowed uneasily. He flung his head up to catch Deadpool’s expression, which was one of practiced nonchalance.
“Why…” Peter whispered out. He threw the arm down suddenly, as though it had electrocuted him.
“What, don’t tell me you don’t know about my healing power? I swear it’s used in every rendition of me, and don’t act like you don’t have a shrine of me in your closet like I have of you. You’d just be embarrassing yourself.”
Peter shook his head, blocking out the second half of Deadpool’s comment. He was aware of his healing powers, but being aware and seeing it was quite a different prospect. “No, I. Jesus. Doesn’t that hurt?”
Peter furrowed his eyebrows. Deadpool’s stump was still gushing blood at a steady rate. “Are you going… to bleed out?”
Deadpool shrugged. “Depends how long I wait to deal with it.” He eyed the bag on the ground. “And I’m preeeeetty hungry so.”
“Stop,” Peter demanded. “I don’t know why you would ever cut off your own arm, but. At least let me fix it up. I don’t like people dying on my watch.” Especially not when he could do something about it.
Deadpool brightened. “We’re going to play doctor?”
Peter shuddered. “Why must you spoil everything?”
“Wait,” Deadpool said. “We have to stop by my apartment for the nurse suit, first.”
Peter stared at him, feeling less and less sympathetic each second. Then he looked to the ground where the amputated arm was and shuddered again. It was unsettling, seeing how indifferent Deadpool was with the whole ordeal—not to mention the fact that he himself had initiated it. Peter’s stomach lurched. He wondered what Deadpool was capable of—he had only heard of stories, had never seen Deadpool in action when he performed solo. Was he normally this reckless? It was stupid at the very least, but Peter knew enough about Deadpool to know he wasn’t one to back down even after situations grew grisly.
“I don’t know, yellow. He might be having a monologue. I’d better not interrupt it.”
Peter shook his thoughts away. “As much as I hate to ask, where’s your apartment?”
“Only a few blocks away, sweetheart,” Deadpool chirped. “Don’t forget the arm, unless you’d like to wait up with me all night to make sure I don’t bleed out.”
Peter pursed his lips. “You’ll come back though, won’t you?”
Deadpool’s face fell into puppy dog eyes, apparent even through his mask. “But it huuuurts. You wouldn’t hurt me, Spiderman, would you? You’re a hero.”
“You’re carrying the arm.”
Deadpool slowly laid himself down on the ground of the roof, watching Peter the whole time. He whimpered. “Help me. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Peter kicked him. “For God’s sake, you were just moving.”
Deadpool whacked Peter’s leg with the amputated arm. Peter wanted to vomit. “Hey! I thought you liked helping old ladies across the street. Just pick me up and carry me seductively home.”
“How are you supposed to seductively carry someone? I’m also not carrying you. You can easily walk yourself.”
“Will you give me a piggy back ride?”
“Even if my apartment is on the tenth floor and it’d be easier to swing there?”
“Especially no,” Peter gritted out. “Do you want my help or not?”
Deadpool sighed dramatically. “Let us depart before the blood loss kicks in and my mind goes.”
“I think that’s something you’ve always suffered from,” Peter grumbled. He webbed Deadpool’s arm where the gaping wound was, hoping it would be sufficient for the walk back. He wondered if Deadpool had cut off his own arm just to get Peter back to the mercenary’s apartment, but the thought was so disturbing that Peter quickly pushed it out. As brackish as Deadpool was, Peter couldn’t stand to have the thought of another death linked to him, even with it being 100% Deadpool’s fault.
There was never a true 100%; there was always something Peter could do, and he refused to let himself forget that.
The two headed toward the apartment, with Deadpool leading and chatting amiably, as though none of his limbs were missing. He swung the detached arm around for emphasis when his stories were exceptionally grandiose. Peter felt that phrase described Deadpool rather well. The mercenary talked about anything and everything, from when ninjas stole his mother thirty seconds after his birth, to his escapades from earlier in the day.
“So there I was,” Deadpool said, his voice gravelly. “About to eat the taco when this stupid sky rat came and took it! So naturally, I took out my gun and shot the little bastard but get this. That was ‘indecent’ supposedly and the cops got called.”
“Imagine that,” Peter quipped.
“I mean, yeah okay I had thrown off my shirt, but that was mostly for the dramatic effect and to scare the pigeon with my muscles. And of course then the pants had to come off, too. What kind of dork just walks around with pants and no shirt?” Deadpool paused in his one-sided conversation and eyed Peter. “I bet you’re that kind of dork.” He grinned. “Sounds hot.”
“Remind me why I’m helping you again?”
“With great power there must also come great responsibility, or some shit. Ask your writers.”
Peter went silent. Deadpool cocked his head. “What’s up? That your safe word or something? You getting turned on by this?” He lowered his voice. “‘Cause I am.”
“Why did I delude myself into believing you could behave decently for more than two minutes?” Peter kicked at a rock near his feet. His suit was torn up a bit, and sweat covered his forehead. His body ached and all he wanted was a warm shower, but instead, he got Deadpool. He knew the universe was cruel, but why did he have to draw such a short stick?
“Don’t worry, a lot of people make that mistake,” Deadpool said with honest sympathy. “Oh! Here’s the place.”
A tall building stood to their right. Deadpool gestured at the door. “Ladies first!”
Before Peter could retort, Deadpool was pushing his way into the main entrance with a gleeful cackle. Peter shook his head and silently followed behind. The elevator was small, but thankfully in working condition; Peter didn’t know what he would do if he had to endure ten flights of stairs while exhausted and in the presence of Deadpool. The apartment building was silent in the late hour, which Peter was also grateful for. Nothing like random strangers seeing Spiderman in their elevator at 1 AM and drawing even more attention.
“Welcome,” Deadpool said as he slammed through his door. “To Casa de Deadpool.”
“It. Suits you,” Peter said finally. There were guns strewn across the floor, some with their magazines out and some not. A sad looking couch sat in the middle of the room, slouching and holding an impressively tall stack of pizza boxes. He rubbed his eyes; it was too late to deal with Deadpool’s existence.
“Okay, where’s your medkit?” Peter took a few steps into the room, praying there were no bugs. The thought of having to pry maggots out of Deadpool’s arm passed his mind. Amiable mood gone, he nearly shuddered at the idea.
Peter blanched. “You’re telling me you brought me all the way here and you don’t have a medkit?”
“It heals anyway!” Deadpool said. He plopped down on his couch, pushed the pizza boxes to the ground, and patted his lap. “Santa’s workshop is now in business and this seat’s open.”
Peter sighed. He really should be getting paid for this kind of thing. “Okay, no medkit. I can work with that. I’m guessing you have alcohol here.”
“And possibly some sort of gauze or towel?”
Deadpool glanced around the room before pointing. “There’s my underwear.”
“I need something that will decrease the chances of an infection,” Peter said with a roll of his eyes. “A sewing kit?”
Deadpool eyed him. “What are you talking about?”
Peter shrugged. “I mean, I was thinking I would sew the arm up, so you didn’t have to deal with regen.”
Deadpool, somehow, was briefly silent. Peter adverted his gaze and headed to the kitchen area to look for some sort of alcohol.
“Baby boy, you just found the way to my heart,” Deadpool said softly. “No, yellow. Not tacos. Not now at least.” He paused. “NO!”
Peter jerked away from the counter. “What? What happened?”
Deadpool sniffed. “I left my bag of tacos… Alas, poor Gidget; I knew him well… No, we have to be subtle or we could be sued for copyright.”
“Oh my god, we’ll get you more tacos. Calm down before someone thinks you’re dying in here.”
Deadpool gave him a serious look and jabbed a finger at his chest. “I am dying, Spiderman. In here.” He stretched back on the couch and closed his eyes. “I think I need mouth to mouth.”
“Maybe fist to mouth,” Peter muttered under his breath. He returned to the couch with a bottle of whisky and a dampened paper towel. “Here.”
Deadpool watched him. “Here what?”
“The whiskey,” Peter said. “This will probably hurt. I mean. Your entire arm is off.”
Deadpool narrowed his eyes. “Why Mister Spiderman, are you trying to get me drunk?”
“Please. Just. Drink it so you’ll stop talking.” Peter took the damp towel, pulled off the pseudo webbing bandage, and dabbed at the wound. Deadpool hissed in surprise but stayed mostly quiet. After removing various debris and dirt—and somehow part of a taco shell; seriously, how?—Peter rummaged through his suit and found the small needle and thread he kept for emergencies.
He held his hand out for Deadpool’s arm. The mercenary silently gave it to him. His eyes were narrowed and calculating, but also wary and jittery—like a caged animal. Positioning the arm to the wound, Peter slowly sewed the parts back together. He paused every now and then to wipe away coagulating blood and to whisper apologies under his breath; he knew from experience sewing wounds fell very low on the list of fun activities.
He sat back after the last stitch had been made, admiring his work. He wiped a hand across his masked forehead—as if it did anything—and smiled. “Okay. You’re all patched up. Literally.”
Peter looked up, not hearing a response. Deadpool was sitting stiffly, empty bottle in hand, and eyes tilted toward the wall past Peter. It was an odd sight to see; it seemed more fitting to the mercenary title, but out of place with the Deadpool who Peter knew.
“Are you okay?” Peter finally asked.
“Why did you do that.” Deadpool’s tone was flat and on edge. Peter inched backward on his knees. Right; Deadpool wasn’t a hero. He killed people, and it was possible he had no qualms about killing Peter.
“I… Does it still hurt?”
“Of course it does,” Deadpool said with a gruff laugh. “I cut my fucking arm off.” His eyes flew to Peter. “And you sewed it back on.”
Peter nodded. “Yes?”
Deadpool was quiet for another minute before whispering a harsh ‘Shut up’.
“I… I didn’t say anything,” Peter said, weakly standing up. The only part consistent about Deadpool's inconsistency was how unprepared Peter always was for it. “Look, if everything is good I’m just going to head out. It’s getting late—you should probably sleep that injury off. It should be fine in the morning, I’m guessing, with your healing factor and whatnot.”
Rambling. He was rambling. Right, time to stop that. He let his arms swing out from his sides and kept his eyes trained on the stained carpet. “Whelp. I’ll just be heading out then.”
Peter glanced up at Deadpool curiously.
“You said I could have tacos.”
Peter sighed; it was how he ended up staying the night at Deadpool’s apartment.
After pinky promising—twice—that he actually would come back, Peter found himself wandering the streets of New York for an open taco place. It must have been nearing 2 in the morning and Peter had never been happier for it to be a Friday night. He undoubtedly would end up as a zombie was he to go into work in the morning, even with numerous cups of coffee. The streets were somewhat empty, save for a few teenagers smoking and laughing. A quaint taco stand was surprisingly still open, and Peter bought what he hoped to be enough for a small elephant. Perhaps he was foolish to be so trusting of a 2 AM taco stand, but it was late and cold and the tacos weren’t for him; and if they were really horrible, Deadpool had regen anyway. What he really wanted was to curl up in blankets and pretend he wasn’t Spiderman and didn’t have any responsibilities or work to deal with Monday morning. One thing Deadpool’s apartment had that his own didn’t was working heat, which was the saving grace in the winter. He swung back to Deadpool’s apartment, praying the man had somehow fallen asleep; he had no such luck.
“Spidey! Thank god,” Deadpool said. He was lazing on his couch, his arms spread out across the top of the couch and his feet crossed on the coffee table. “I was preparing to call the police.”
“I’m sure that would have gone over well,” Peter said dryly. Had he really been gone that long? He hopped off the window sill and forced himself to hold in impatient shivers. He fought the urge to rip off his mask—and suit—for a warm shower. “Them showing up to an apartment covered in guns and other weapons.”
“You’re worth it,” Deadpool whispered, clutching his chest.
Peter hummed as though he was listening, and threw the bag of tacos at the couch. “Okay. I got you your food. Can I leave now?”
Deadpool pouted. “Wait, but you haven’t told me my bedtime story.”
“Deadpool, you’re a grown man.”
“And so are you!” Deadpool paused. “I hope. If not you might have to call the police on me.”
“As if I haven’t tried,” Peter grumbled. Though the two worked together at times, the mercenary had a habit of occasionally offing the criminals Peter was trying to turn in, prompting him to suppress the desire to call the cops. Deadpool held an impressive ability to vanish within seconds of a murder. The most Peter felt he could do was call an ambulance and the police to the scene, but by that point, Deadpool was always long gone.
“What was that, baby boy?”
“Nothing,” Peter said, clearing his throat. “Are you really going to keep me here until I tell you a story?”
Deadpool stared blankly at him. He was sitting like an eager child, hands clasped on his lap and attention unwavering.
Peter’s headache was only worsening with each minute, so with a sigh, he gave in and sat on the couch. A few minutes to gather his wits before leaving couldn’t hurt. The warmth was an added bonus. “How about I tell you the pilot to ProTech?”
Deadpool snorted, relaxing out of his prior position. “What, that nerd show? Don’t tell me you actually—oh God. You do.” He glanced up at the ceiling, his eyebrows furrowed and mouth drooped into a frown. He looked utterly distressed. “I know… but dat ass…”
Peter raised an eyebrow as he sunk further into the couch; he had to admit for as gross looking as it was, the couch was rather comfortable. “That’s my final offer; take it or leave it.”
“Only because it’s you, Spidey,” Deadpool said. He lifted his mask slightly and turned to the side, stuffing an entire taco in. In response, he let out a salacious moan.
Peter winced. “Take it easy. I don’t want to have to clean up any more bodily fluids from you tonight.”
“Oh, don’t you? Just tonight, you say?”
“Jeffrey Mason had established his company a few months prior to the first episode,” Peter interrupted. “After enlisting three of his oldest friends to work with him, he found the company’s sales sinking rapidly. In a desperate last-ditch effort to stay afloat, he sent out a perfunctory prototype of the latest technology the company was fiddling with. Despite the acknowledged risk, the bold move paid off and his business was soon blooming.”
Deadpool settled into the couch and shifted his front back to Peter. Curious eyes were trained on Peter as Deadpool silently munched on the tacos.
Feeling his heart leap at the unexpected concentration, Peter cleared his throat and continued. He soon found himself gesticulating wildly with his hands and even smiling underneath his mask. Deadpool listened with impressive attention to detail; he broke into Peter’s description at times to ask questions or snark at characters. The tacos were soon gone and Deadpool was lazily sprawled out on the couch. Tired eyes narrowed through his mask as he kept his focus on Peter, who was running out of steam himself.
Peter chuckled lightly. “And by twenty minutes in, once you had started to get to know Nathan better, I realized he was a mirror image of Tony Stark. I haven’t been able to take his character seriously since that.”
He interrupted himself with a yawn. He flushed. “Sorry. Anyway, they sort of left it at a cliffhanger but it was pretty obvious that Kenneth was going to—”
“Stop!” Deadpool cried urgently. “Spoiler alert. You don’t know who at home has watched that and who hasn’t.”
Peter held up his hands and quirked up an eyebrow. He was positive it didn't show through his mask, unlike Deadpool. “I didn’t realize you were into ‘nerd shows’.”
Deadpool narrowed his eyes. “Baby boy, you are very persuasive. Since you insist, I’ll marathon through the first eight seasons with you.”
“There are only three seasons,” Peter quipped.
“For now,” Deadpool shot back.
Peter felt a lazy quiver within him. For now? Was Deadpool planning on them hanging being a frequent occurrence? He had patrolled with the mercenary before and eaten what he supposed he could call dinner—if street tacos or hot dogs were dinner—with him, but it was always so distant from his personal life. There weren’t apartments or actual conversations involved; usually, Deadpool overtook the conversation and Peter happily let him ramble, so long as it meant Peter could stay quiet. It was on a cold, hard rooftop just long enough to re-energize, and then the night went on and the two went separate ways. There certainly wasn’t sitting this close to Deadpool after having sewn his arm back on. Peter was a tad on the surprised side that Deadpool was comfortable enough to let someone into his apartment. They both knew Spiderman was hardly a threat, but generally, Deadpool was more suspicious of generosity.
His thoughts were overshadowed with another yawn. “But yeah. That’s the end of the pilot. It gets better after the first few episodes, though. They actually start developing the characters instead of keeping them static or dropping them, which happens all the time with minor characters.”
“Like with my daughter!”
Peter gave him an incredulous look. “You have a daughter?”
“Oh, whoops. Wrong timeline,” Deadpool said with a shake of his head. “I’m not even married in this one.”
“Right,” Peter said slowly. “How is your arm doing?”
“Better than ever! Thanks to the tacos. And you.”
Peter flushed a little and rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah.”
“So,” Deadpool said. “Second episode.”
“I thought you were just complaining about spoilers?” Peter teased. “What happened to watching the first eight seasons with me.”
Deadpool gave a pity laugh. “Oh, Spiderman. There are only three seasons, silly. Besides; you’re a better narrator.”
Peter looked down at his hands. He rarely wore a watch; how much time had passed? The time and the apartment and Deadpool were all beginning to swirl together into a conglomeration of exhaustion and disorientation. “It’s on Netflix.”
Deadpool jumped up from the couch—seriously where was he getting that energy? Peter could barely keep his eyes open—and flung himself on his remote, which was nestled in a pile of guns.
“Careful!” Peter gasped, jerking back and pressing himself deeper into the cushions of the couch. They whined at him in return. “Are those loaded?”
Deadpool shrugged, returning with the remote and a half-eaten sandwich. “Probably. Want some? You didn’t eat any of the tacos.”
“It was 2 AM,” Peter said. “I wasn’t hungry.”
“Suit yourself!” Deadpool tossed the sandwich behind him and turned on the television seated a few feet in front of them.
“I’m surprised you have a subscription,” Peter said.
“Subscription, neighbor’s subscription—same thing,” Deadpool said. He flipped through the list of shows before finding ProTech. “All right, here we go! Ready to be amazed, baby boy?”
“I’m the one who was telling you about it,” Peter said, a half smile adorning his face. “You know what, never mind. Just start the episode.”
He yawned into his hand as Deadpool pressed play. He’d leave after one episode—they were a tad on the longer side as far as television went, but nothing too daunting. He wriggled into a more comfortable position on the couch, curling his legs up and leaning his head against the armrest. Deadpool had good taste, at least when it came to furniture. The opening theme blared at the two and Peter struggled to keep his eyes trained on the television. All the people were beginning to look like blurry figures, and the faint voices seemed to be all around him.
He sighed softly. With his eyes closed, he could better feel the combination of heat and cold attacking him; the heater was working fiercely, merging with the cold air that trickled in from the slightly opened window Peter had forgotten to close. His legs and head ached, though, and every part of his body told him to remain where he was. A part of him felt guilty for wasting heat, but Deadpool would close the window if it was that important. The smell of cheap Mexican food invaded his nostrils, along with what he guessed was gun powder. If someone was to make a candle of Deadpool, Peter thought it would probably smell as such. Deadpool seemed completely enthralled by the television if his muttered comments were anything to go by; he was ardently arguing with what sounded to be Kenneth.
“Damn Kenneth,” Deadpool swore. “Useless piece of shit, he is. Spidey was right about you.”
Peter let a small smile fall onto his face. Deadpool’s voice sounded simultaneously so distant and close. It was oddly comforting. After so many nights of silence or quiet television characters, having a more tangible voice—which in itself was an oxymoron, he knew—was a nice development. The couch groaned under shifting weight as Deadpool stretched his arms out across the back of the couch. Rain began to pitter down the sides of the building, letting in a chilly wind. Peter shivered slightly. The last thing he remembered was feeling a soft blanket fall on him.