Say Anything…Except That

By Cortexikid

Chapter 22: Deadpool's Inferno

Warning: In light of recent events, I wanted to warn that there is description of a scene where young children are held at gun-point and forced off their school-bus. No children are harmed, however.

Welp, I did it! I finished Grad school and submitted my 23,572 word thesis. Phew! I'm graduating with honours in a few weeks, who woulda thunk it?

Not me, that's for damn sure. Can we get back to this shit-show now? You've been writing it what, 7 years?

3 years, 2 months and 6 days.

Close enough.

Well, I've been busy with life-stuff, God.

Not God. Wade. Geez you've been procrastinating so long, you've forgotten the protagonist's name.

Harr harr.

Only reason you're even bothering to update now is 'cause you were snowed in for a week and were going crazy Jack-Nicholson-in-The-Shining-style.

Maybe so. Just be glad I was, asshole, or you would have been waiting another six months. Anyway, in between job-searching—

Ha! Good luck with that, "arts graduate."

I'm working on finishing my fics as well as my original book. So, if you're a fan of my humour—

Excuse me, "your" humour?

My bad. If you're a fan of "Deadpool's" humour—

Uh, why the quotation marks? It IS my humour.

Could you stop interrupting me?

Could you stop shamelessly self-promoting?

ANYWAY, if you're a fan of the humour, mine or Deadpool's, keep an eye out for my original work as well as the TV analysis book I'm publishing very soon. I'll be posting updates on my personal Tumblr.

You done?

Yes.

Finally. Let's get this show on the road before you get distracted by your own reflection or whatever it is that stops you from finishing this fucking story.

You really think "life-stuff" means being distracted by my own reflection?

Hey, I get it, writer-lady. Someone's gotta love that ugly mug, might as well be you.


303 Days In The Future…

He remembered his life before. Barely, and in fragments. But he remembered. He could picture it, could almost feel what it had felt like to be so sure of himself, so certain of his place in the world. It had been fucked up, he would never deny that. But it was his, for a while. His life, warts and all, his own myriad of moments to live on his own terms.

Wade didn't know Peter then. And he was almost glad for it.

Sure, he may have been a prettier, HD version of himself at peak hotness and badassery, but it wasn't real. He wasn't real. Not really. He didn't feel like anything he felt now, his chest ripped opened like a chasm and spilling every emotion he could ever imagine at Peter Parker's feet. Laid bare in a way that exposed every heightened nerve, every twitch, every twisting feeling that threatened to choke him to un-death.

He had felt pain then, too. Loss so strong that it almost ended him. But didn't, because Wade Wilson never got a reprieve. Never got a break. Not even then.

And especially not now.

"Peter…" he whispered, voice torn and frayed as if a tiger's claws caught at his throat.

But he couldn't hear him. Would never hear him again.

Because Peter Parker was dead. And it was all his fault…


His Aunt May, from the time he was nine years old, maintained that there were people that were meant to be in your life, one way or another. She reassured him every single night, when he first came to live with her and Uncle Ben, that from the day he was born, they were always going to be there for him, in whatever way he needed, for as long as he wanted them.

But it wasn't just them, she said. As he grew, and made friends, first Harry, then Gwen, May was steadfast in her belief that people came in and out of your life, yes, but there were some that were more permanent than others. This was especially hard for Peter to accept after he began to lose people, first his Uncle Ben, then Harry (to an extent), then Gwen. He'd admit that it made him angry, bitter, and unwilling to form any more bonds for fear of losing anyone else from his life.

It was a lonely existence. But a safe one.

So, he went through college without ever really making proper friends. Sure, he was friendly with a lot of people, had study groups and went to a couple of parties (it was college after all), but for the most part, he managed to evade a friendship of any real substance, any real lasting potential.

Until he met Eddie.

He was twenty-two years old when he first laid eyes on the guy he would eventually call his new best friend. He had been working on his application for Stark Industries, on his fifth cup of coffee as he practically pulled his hair out at a table in Jitters when a boisterous voice broke through his internal panic:

"No way, dude! Is that the chemical composition for Adamantium?!"

Peter's head bolted up from where it had been rested flat against the table, his gaze locking on a tall, smiling guy wearing a white lab-coat.

"Uh…yeah," he murmured as the stranger excitedly bounced on the balls of his feet, trying to peer around him to the dozens of manila folders stacked up in a haphazard pile.

"Holy shit, holy shit," the stranger continued, dark eyes lit up, an expression crossing his face that suggested that he wanted nothing more than to rifle animatedly through those folders.

"Do you work at Stark Industries?" he asked in lieu of what Peter suspected would be a frantic yet thorough search through his private research files.

"Uh—"

The other man sheepishly gestured at the empty chair beside Peter, "…can I?"

Peter barely gave a half nod before the stranger dragged out the chair with a sharp scrape and a wince, holding out his hand for Peter to shake.

"I'm an intern at Stark Industries right now. You never know, we might end up working together some day! I'm Eddie, by the way, Eddie James."

Peter stared down at the hand and back up to the gleaming gaze before shrugging and clasping the hand, shaking it firmly, "I'm Peter. Peter Parker."

And that, as they say, was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. One filled with laughter and snark and the occasional explosive experiment. And that was before they started officially working together…


"What do ya say, boys? Who wants a do-over?"

A burst of flame snapped Peter out of his reverie, dosing him with a feel of icy-cold dread, caught in a nightmare that was the worst case of déjà vu he had ever experienced, as he forced his gaze away from that outstretched hand and watched in horror as the fire trailed along a line of gasoline, effectively trapping he, Wade and the kids in a giant circle.

Fuck. Shit. Fuck.

[Petey boy is freaking the f out]

{Yup. How's the big man?}

[Let's check in, shall we?]

Wade didn't know why he didn't register the smell of gasoline when he first woke up. But now that he did, all he could think about as he followed the trail of fire was that catchy as fuck song. How did it go again?

"Watch out, you might get what you're after. Cool babies, strange but not a stranger. I'm an or-di-na-ry guy—"

"That's not helpful, Wade," Peter called out, interrupting his rendition of the Talking Heads classic.

"Sorry, babe," Wade winced as he frantically looked at the children surrounding them, "I sing when I'm nervous."

{Must be nervous 24/7, then}

[Wouldn't "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash be more appropriate?]

{Now is not the time, asshole!}

"Did you see where Blye went?"

"That's a negative, handsome," the merc responded, stare glued to where Gio had just been standing, at the starting point of the fire that had begun to spread even further throughout the room.

"We gotta get the kids outta here."

"Working on it…mother—fucker!" Wade yelled as he wrenched the shackles that bound him clean off the floor, bolts hanging uselessly from them before stumbling over to Peter.

"No, I got this," the brunet halted him in his tracks, "whatever he dosed us with, it's…wearing off. I-I can get outta this. You focus on the kids."

Wade nodded, crossing over to the nearest child and leaning down to take her pulse.

"Pulse is strong," he remarked, relief flooding his system before quickly checking on the others, "they're all good. It's…it's like they're just asleep."

Peter didn't appear to be listening, however. Once ripping himself free of his chains and landing on his feet, his attention was back glued to Eddie's outstretched hand from where it lay beneath the beam.

An unease settled in Wade's gut as he followed his gaze, "Peter…we—we gotta get the kids—"

"Spiderman! Deadpool!"

{The cavalry has arrived}

[Oh, thank fuck]


"I attacked you?"

Tony heaved a sigh, craning his neck and rolling his shoulders, wincing at the loud cracking that sounded throughout the cell.

"Yeah, Selena. You went all Regan MacNeil on me when I said the name of your father's business."

Rickards inclined her head, her brow furrowed, "RCor—"

"Don't," Stark held up his hand, fingers poised on the wristwatch he stole from Fury's desk, "I don't know if you can trigger yourself by saying the word and I'd rather not have to use the mini-taser in this watch. No matter how cool it would be."

[Huh, looks like Fury has access to Harry Hart's wardrobe]

{Well, Sam Jackson did play Valentine}

[I smell a Kingsman/Marvel crossover!]

{Colin Firth kicking ass with Chris Evans? Sign me the fuck up}

[#ShipIt]

The scientist stared at the watch for several seconds before reluctantly nodding, her attention drawn to the small stack of papers that lay next to her on the bed.

"You found my notes?"

Tony hummed, taking a seat opposite her, "my associate, Sam Wilson, found those in a hidden compartment in your office wall, lodged between the pages of an Agatha Christie novel. Very Hercule Poirot of you."

Selena snorted, "I never pegged you one for detective stories, Stark."

The billionaire chuckled, resting his arms on his knees, "what's not to like? Poirot, Fletcher, Monk, Holmes—I love me a good mystery."

[Ha! It's funny 'cause Downey played—]

{Yeah, yeah. No shit, Sherlock}

[Are we repeating jokes? I feel like we're repeating jokes]

{That's what happens when there's a nine-month gap between chapters}

[For shame, writer lady. For shame]

{Okay, calm down Game of Thrones}

Tony leaned forward in his chair, catching his former colleague's gaze and holding it, "speaking of mysteries, I think I cracked yours."

Rickards merely raised her eyebrows, waiting for him to continue.

[That dramatic bastard does love keeping us in suspense]

{Downey or Stark?}

[Both]

"If I'm right," Tony continued with his usual air of confidence that assured there was no possible way he was wrong, "you're working on a serum to counteract the effects of LK90."

Selena blinked, unsurprised.

"I am. I have been. Whenever I could—break away from Blye's control."

Stark sat back in his seat, Cheshire grin spreading across his face as he folded his arms.

"Dr Banner and I have been looking into it too," he paused, staring down at his cuticles where they rested on his bicep, he badly needed a manicure.

"He's been working closely with a nurse that seems to have a lot of insight," he continued, looking back up at her, "Eliza Woodruffe? Boy, her name just keeps popping up, doesn't it?"

Rickards shifted a little on the bed, biting her bottom lip.

"Cut the shit, Tony. I'll do whatever you want. I need this to be over just as badly as you do."

If possible, his smile grew even bigger.

"Now those are the words I'm glad to—"

RED ALERT! RED ALERT! RED ALERT!

Both scientists leapt out of their seats as a robotic voice began to blare the alarm throughout the facility, the room plunging into darkness, before a red light began flashing ominously overhead.

Stark let out another sigh, "well, that can't be good."

[Hey! Tony's stealing Clint's lines]

{Or writer lady is being repetitive}

[Both?]

{Both.}

[Ha! See what we did there?]

"It's definitely not good," Selena conceded, clearly understanding what was happening as she wearily glanced around her. "You gotta get to my old lab, Stark. And do exactly as I say."

[Huh. Stark's not the best at taking orders]

{Well he better learn. Fast}


Franklin P. Nelson had thought that over the course of his thirty years on planet Earth, he had experienced his fair share of crazy. And that was before all of the Daredevil bullshit bled into the nooks and crannies of his very own brand of organised-chaos. He was a fast-talker, a risk-taker and occasionally, a petty-law breaker, all before Matthew M. Murdock waltzed into their dorm-room with his quiet grin and bad haircut. Not that he could talk, really. Foggy would never forget just the look he was rockin' that day (and for four solid years, if he was being honest). Stoner-chic. Arguably, not his best. At least Matt had blindness as an explanation for his grooming faux-paus. Foggy had no such excuse.

"You okay back there, Fog?"

Oh, right. Crazy. The type of which Foggy had never known in his three decades. Turned out, in their many years of friendship, he had never gotten a piggy-back ride off his blind best friend as he parkoured them over buildings at an alarming rate. What the hell had his life become?

"Y-yeah, bud. I'm good," he stuttered as Matt landed a particularly impressive jump that only barely jostled him physically but startled the fuck out of him mentally nonetheless.

"Don't think I've ever heard you be this quiet," Matt remarked offhandedly, conversationally, as if lugging his two-hundred-plus-pound friend around on his back was no burden on him at all.

"Yeah, well, don't wanna be a distraction when you're…" Foggy's stomach gave a heavy swoop as Matt took another leap of a tall ledge, "…doin' your thing."

His best friend chuckled as they landed on the opposite building, a strange orange glow coming into view through the twilight.

"That's the thing, Fog," he murmured, tapping the back of Foggy's hand gently as he crouched down to let him off his back, whirling around to face him, "you've always been a kind of distraction for me."

A beat of silence passed through their intermingling breaths.

"A good distraction, though. The best."

No, scratch that. This crazy beat the hell out of any crazy that Foggy thought he had ever experienced. The air was electric. Charged with something that he couldn't quite pinpoint. Or maybe he could. But didn't want to. Couldn't. Not now. Because damn it, that building was on fire, wasn't it?

"Uh—Matty?"

"Yeah, I know. Looks like we're a little late to the party."

Foggy scrambled over the roof ledge, peering across at the new RCorp building, the faint orange glow now beginning to smoulder but a legible scrawl still visible through the smoke.

"Come and get me, Spider Man. I'm waiting," he read the flaming cursive note aloud, an awful sense of foreboding creeping in under his skin.

"We should—should we—I don't know. Call the fire department, or something? Matt, I—those plans, I think there could be, no, there are people in there! You can hear their heartbeats, right? Peter's and Wade's?"

He felt rather than saw Matt nod as they stood next to each other, shoulders brushing softly.

"And at least a dozen others' too."

The foreboding was outright panic now.

"Okay, okay," Foggy nodded frantically, turning to look at Matt, "so what's the plan? We get in there and—"

"You're staying here."

"Like hell I—"

"Foggy, this is not up for debate," Matt cut across him sharply, "I'm going in to help Peter and Wade. You're gonna stay here where it's safe. I—I can't help them when I'm worried about—"

"Right, because I'm a distraction."

Matt let out a breath of frustration and it made Foggy snap to his senses. He was being unreasonable, he knew. Now was not the time.

"Alright, alright, just…be careful okay? I still think we need the fire depart—"

"If it gets outta hand, sure. Call them. I just don't want to escalate the situation. Blye is nuts, unpredictable, and the less people involved, the better."

Matt was gearing up to go and as usual, Foggy found himself encapsulated as Matthew Murdock began to dissolve and Daredevil seeped out through his pores and formed a second skin. One similar to his usual one but not quite. Not in the ways that mattered to Foggy. This person was coarser, angrier, fought more with fists than with words, but no less his best friend. The process was still…something else.

"Just—be careful, Murdock," he mumbled, punching Matt's shoulder lightly that ended in him resting a palm against his pulse-point, which appeared to be elevated. Weird, must be the adrenaline.

"Always am, Fog."

"Liar."

And with that, he parkoured away from Foggy, away from safety and towards a madman in a burning building.

Now that was a crazy Franklin P. Nelson knew all too well.

The same kind of crazy as being in love with your best friend for over a decade.

Goddamnit.


For all intents and purposes, Joseph Blye seemed to have taken the news that his dead, decapitated cousin was still very much alive, possessing a head and excused of a litany of crimes, including murder and attempted murder, remarkably well.

Bruce Banner had given Joe the abridged version of what he knew to be the truth. Gio's hairbrained revenge-scheme, his duplicitous intent towards Joe, disclosing the bare minimum needed for the younger cousin to understand exactly what landed him in Skyline Laboratories with his mind shrouded in a murky fog.

"Yeah, that…that sounds like Gio."

Banner briefly met Nurse Eliza's eye over his clipboard before nodding.

Joe watched this exchange before elaborating, "He—he changed after Robbie died. We aren't…close, really. Not anymore but, he really isolated himself after what happened. He couldn't—wouldn't ever talk about it. He was ignoring calls from his mom and pops. So, yeah…goin' all crazy revenge plan to fuck up some kid? Sounds like something he'd do."

Bruce cleared his throat as Eliza busied herself with checking his vital signs, they ever aware of the thrum of tension lining Joe's entire body.

"You have any idea what his end-game is?"

Joe scoffed, throwing up his hands, "Dude, I just told you. We aren't close, haven't been for years. I—I was as surprised as anyone that he recommended me for the—although now I get it. He was setting me up all along. Wanted me around to help sell his death and shit. He—he threw me to the wolves, man. So, fuck that guy. Whatever he has planned? I hope it blows up right in his fucking—"

RED ALERT! RED ALERT! RED ALERT!

Bruce and Eliza tensed, glancing around them as a crimson light suddenly shrouded the room, basking them in an eerie glow as an ominous voice called out over the P.A. system. Joe heaved a sigh, rolling his eyes as he stared up at the ceiling.

"Typical Gio, man. He always did a flare for the dramatic."


Had anyone told May Parker even twelve short months ago that she would be spending the night playing chess with a super-computer in the luxury living room of Avenger Tower, she would have scoffed and recommended the best mental-health specialist she knew. And yet, that was exactly where she found herself now, staring out the giant, rectangular windows down over the glistening New York City skyline. The lights clinging together like the stars up above, glittering brightly as if winking at her. The sight took her breath away. It was almost tranquil but May lived in New York long enough to know that looks were deceiving.

Just like she knew that somewhere down there, in all the hustle and bustle that was actual city-life, her Peter was doing god knows what. Heaving a worried sigh and clutching her small glass of wine in one hand, she snatched up the remote with the other, pointing it at the humongous flat-screen TV adorning one of the walls and clicking aimlessly through the channels.

"A cold night where—"

"—he is going to put himself—"

"—at serious risk of—

"—death by gunshot wound. In breaking news, an estimated twelve children and their teacher were abducted earlier today by a gunman who forced his way onto their bus, wounding the driver. The whereabouts of the bus and its passengers is currently unknown, but the police are…"

A surge of dread flowed through May's entire body as she stared at the screen in horror. There, in 82-inch, high definition, was footage of several young children being forced off of their school-bus, their little arms raised over their heads. Her heart lurched in her chest at the sight, they reminding her so much of Peter when he was their age.

Suddenly, she knew exactly what her nephew was doing.

"Hang in there, kids," she murmured softly to herself, a quiet confidence beginning to sooth her fraying nerves, "help is coming."

She watched for a beat or two more before raising her voice, desperately needing the distraction, "what do you say to a re-match, Jarvis? I promise I won't go too hard on you this time."

"You're on, Mrs Parker."


For Matt, he lived in a world on fire. But here, tonight, he knew that Wade and Peter did too. A literal one, hot and intense. He could feel the flames as he approached the basement, could hear the pair yelling back and forth to each other, could count the sluggish beats of dozens of pulses as he shouldered open the heavy door.

"Spiderman! Deadpool!"

It was worse than he could have ever imagined. He had read about what had happened at RCorp the year before; how children had been whammied and almost died of smoke inhalation while their teacher succumbed to it. But hearing about it and experiencing it were two entirely different things. Just over a dozen little bodies lined the floor of the basement, piled next to each other like forgotten trash, their limbs sprawled all over each other, some with their backpacks still attached to them, some with coats and bits and pieces of accessories that fourth graders are known to have clutched in their hands or at their feet.

Each and every one wholly unaware of the smoke and heat engulfing them.

They had to get them out. Now.

"Daredevil!" Peter and Wade exclaimed in unison, their relief palpable.

"There's a window," Deadpool shouted over to Matt, arms laden with two children, "I'll smash it out. You grab more kids."

The three of them got to work, Wade breaking the glass and pulling his large frame through as Matt and Peter carefully lifted kids up for him to take. Time seemed to stand still as they quickly but carefully hoisted small bodies up and out into the chilly night air.

"Come on, lil guy, I gotcha," the merc murmured as he gently deposited a small boy onto the grass next to his schoolmates.

A heady, groaning sound just about registered in the back of Wade's mind as he lifted child after child through the window, the smoke billowing out in dark tufts all around, shrouding them like an ominous tarp. It was his sheer focus on this task that caused him to overlook the fact that Peter was suddenly nowhere to be seen. It was Matt that alerted him to his absence:

"Spiderman! Where are you—"

Wade's head shot up just in time to see Peter sprinting towards the beam, dodging the flames left and right.

"PETER!"

{Oh no}

[Goddamnit, Parker!]


RED ALERT! RED ALERT! RED ALERT!

It was like that scene in The Breakfast Club where they were all running down the corridor, sliding on the floor and nearly crashing into each other when they see Principal Vernon before high-tailing it in the other direction. Except, you know, instead of Molly Ringwald and Charlie Sheen's brother, it was a nurse, the God of Thunder, a thawed 90-year-old super-model-lookin' soldier and a man that occasionally turned into The Jolly Green Giant's angrier cousin.

"What's going on?" Cap asked his colleagues as they righted themselves, grimacing at the loud siren.

"It's a red alert," Thor replied with the air of someone who thought he was being informative.

"Yes," Cap conceded with more patience than Bruce could ever muster for their golden-haired friend, "but what is the red alert for?"

Bruce tilted his head, looking over Steve's shoulder.

"I'm taking a wild guess here, Cap, but I'd say it has something to do with…that."

The soldier turned on his heel, the frown marring his forehead quickly morphing into wide-eyed shock as he saw Nat and Clint bounding toward them, several dozen men, women and children chasing after them with the fervour of extras from The Walking Dead.

"RUN!"


"PETER!"

He ignored Wade's yell, drops of sweat rolling down his neck from inside his suit as he dodged the blazing fire as it climbed higher and higher, thick ropes of black smoke wafting against the low ceiling. Oddly, he couldn't help but be reminded of Dementors from Harry Potter, the way in which the smoke billowed like the fraying capes of the soul-suckers.

[Uh…is Petey okay?]

{Think smoke inhalation and panic may be getting to him}

Shaking his head to try and clear his rambling thoughts, Peter forged ahead, safe in the notion that Deadpool and Daredevil had the kids, were in the middle of rescuing them. He could hear sirens in the distance, steadily nearing RCorp, the children would be fine. His friend however, may not be.

So, he ran. As fast as he could.

Eddie. He had to get to Eddie.

A hand! There it was! He could see it again, right behind the beam, still outstretched, covered in dirt and soot, but undeniably his best friend's. Hazel eyes anxiously scanned every inch of the scene, looking for his way in. Then he spotted it, there was a space, a sliver really, barely larger than the width of a small child, but Peter could fit through, he would have to.

He could take the weight of the beam, it didn't look as structurally unsound as the last one, the fire hadn't had as much time to do as much damage. All he had to do was swing himself over the worst of the blaze and squeeze underneath, bear the brunt of the pressure of a two-thousand-pound beam for a few moments and he'd be home free, on the other side with Eddie within reach.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

[More like difficult difficult lemon difficult]

{Ooh that reminds me, we gotta re-watch In The Loop}

[Oh, I see. When I suggest rad songs, it's 'now's not the time, asshole.' But you can make mental notes for our next Netflix sesh?]

Peter sprung into action, completely disregarding the boxes' A+ comedy—

{Because he can't hear us, maybe?}

[Shame. We're hilarious]

—and his own personal safety as he shot out a web, pulling hard and swinging himself deftly over the flames, the heat stinging his back for a split second before he landed just at the foot of the beam. The exertion had him gasping for breath, swallowing a lungful of smoke and coughing into the crook of his elbow, but he was there, could see Eddie's hand, almost touch it. All he had to do was quickly and carefully, squeeze himself through the gap without jostling the beam too much, then he could check Eddie's pulse and it would be fine. He would be fine. They could put all this behind them, all he had to do was—

{So…is it just me or is this plan fucking bonkers?}

[ Some people think I'm bonkers, but I just think I'm free. Man, I'm just livin' my life, there's nothin' crazy about me ]

Peter scrambled forward, throwing himself to the floor and crawling—

[Don't make a spider joke, don't make a spider joke, don't make a spider joke]

—toward the gap, making himself as small as he could, sucking in a deep breath and holding it as he started to pull himself through. The pressure was almost unbearable, the beam groaning above him as it pressed him into the ground, resisting his movement, knocking the breath from his lungs—

[So, is this meant to sound explicitly sexual or am I just reading into things?]

{Stop interrupting! Petey is being heroic!}

[But writer lady is making it sound like he's being dicked down! It's not my fault that—]

{Shut. Up.}

—as several thousand pounds of weight bore down on his spine. Sweat broke out on his forehead, dampening his hair and brow as he pushed up against it, giving himself just enough space to fit underneath it and drag himself out. The beam began to shudder, the vibration rocking the ground, but Peter persevered, mere inches from reaching Eddie, his scratched and soot-marred face now in his line of vision.

With one more push of his foot against the concrete, Peter propelled himself out from under the beam, chest heaving as he gasped in desperate breaths, heart hammering as the beam shifted slightly, it scraping against the wall with a deafening screech.

But it still stood.

Thus, so did Peter, with a little difficulty. Wincing at the sudden shooting pain in his left leg (he hadn't felt whatever injury he had sustained under the beam), he hobbled over the last few feet to his friend and dropped to his knees, reaching out to clutch his wrist, checking for his pulse.

"Eddie…hey, hey can you hear me? Eddie!"

His friend remained unresponsive as Peter frantically searched for his heart-beat, first in his wrist, then in his neck.

After several agonising seconds, he finally found it. Thready and weak, but there.

His relief was overwhelming. His eyes stinging from more than the heat of the flames.

Peter was not a religious man but, thank god. Thank every deity that may or may not be out there.

He hadn't lost another person, a friend, someone he cared about. He hadn't failed this time, he managed to get to him in time, he did what he should have done a year ago, he—

He was being stabbed.

Peter clutched at his neck as pain shot through him, his eyes swimming as his head suddenly felt a tonne weight. Ink blots dotted at the edge of his vision as he blinked rapidly, crumpling forward, clutching at Eddie as he sank further and further into darkness.

Collapsing onto his back, he stared up at the low ceiling, it illuminated in a heady orange as the fire rose higher. He fought the pull of sleep, desperate to keep his wits, get up and get his friend out of here, but he was losing the battle. It only took seeing the jade glare of Giovanni Blye hovering above him, his mouth wide in the type of grin that meant nothing good, for him to accept that.

Darkness swallowed him.


RED ALERT! RED ALERT! RED ALER—

A gunshot rang out, shattering the P.A. system in several pieces, they raining to the floor.

"Nat!"

"Thank you!"

"It's still going off in the other rooms, though."

"You wanna take your chances with the angry mob out there, Banner?" Natasha Romanoff asked as they all hauled themselves into a storage closet, barely getting the door closed as dozens of hands scrambled to grab them.

Bruce was in no position to reply. Literally. His face was too pressed into Thor's chest for him to make any coherent noise above a muffled protest. It was a tight squeeze – an archer, ex-assassin, super-soldier, scientist, god and registered nurse all squashed like sardines into a room hardly larger than Dum-E's sleep station.

{You know, in any other situation, this would be kinky as fuck}

[Yeah. The murderous mob is a bit of cock deflator]

"You know anything about why the patients are acting like they've escaped from the set of The Evil Dead?" Natasha directed at Eliza as she, Clint and Steve pressed their bodies up against the door that was beginning to shudder from the clawing and thumping of the raging crowdmob outside.

Eliza eyed the door wearily, "A-A red alert means that an airborne agent has been released. Dr Hart and Gio would use them as part of their controlled experiments. They're usually a fast-acting drug that causes the patient to have an adverse reaction like—like rage, so Gio could then try and gain control. It's probably a raw strain of LK90."

"You said 'airborne.' As in…" Natasha trailed off, her eyes now trained on the vent above their heads.

Eliza slowly nodded.

"Any way to counter-act it?" Clint asked as the door gave quite a large lurch, startling even Steve.

The nurse blanched, "I-I don't know, sorry. I was never privy to anything like that."

"These people are civilians, they aren't in control of their actions, so keeping them safe is paramount," Cap spoke up over the thumping of dozens of fists hitting the hardwood, "we need to find a way to carefully incapacitate them."

Eliza nodded vigorously, her eyes alight with an idea, "if we can just get to Selena's—Dr Rickard's old lab, she has a device that—"

Knock. Knock, knock. Knock.

A silence rang out in the storage closet. A silence that each inhabitant only now noticed was far too abrupt, considering mere moments ago they were barricading themselves from a horde of loud, possessed patients. Exchanging confused and suspicious glances with each of her colleagues, Natasha eventually shrugged in her patented 'fuck it' manner, reaching forward and turning the handle, pulling the door open a crack.

"You've got to be kidding me."

Tony Stark beamed at his friend and colleague, apparently completely unfazed that he was surrounded by bodies lining the corridor all around him as he threw her (and the team looking on with bafflement over her shoulder) a small wave with one hand and brandishing what appeared to be a megaphone-like contraption in the other.

"Come on, guys. Now's not the time for Seven Minutes In Heaven."

With that, he turned on his heel, carefully stepping over a short, middle-aged man and practically skipping down the hall, calling behind him, "time to get to—"

A crazed patient leapt out at him, gearing up to bounce when suddenly, Tony took aim with the device in his hand and squeezed the trigger. A burst of vibration shot from the device, knocking the patient off their feet and rendering them unconscious.

Clearing his throat, Tony brushed some imaginary dust off his sleeve before turning to look over his shoulder, ever the drama queen.

"—work."


Nick Fury was not amused.

Frankly, he had enough of this shit to last him a life-time.

He was technically dead. Therefore, retired. Really, he shouldn't have to be dealing with this bullshit. And yet, here he was, squatting behind a desk at a secret government facility, surrounded by crazed sick people, wondering how the hell he was to defend himself without snapping the necks of innocent civilians. He had managed to knock out a couple of them before they crowded him into an office, cutting him off from Hill and forcing him to retreat and hide lest he be forced to take a more lethal approach to protect himself.

Leave it to Tony Stark and his merry band of idiots to remind him just how 100% done he was with all of it.

"Need some help, Nicky?"

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

"Where the hell have you been, Stark?!" Fury growled up at him, jaw clenching at the twinkle in Tony's eye that was no doubt brought on by the ex-director's current position on the floor, "all these motherfuck—"

Tony shut Nick up by shoving what looked like a jacked-up megaphone into his hands.

"Aim and point."

With that, he threw Fury a smarmy wink, leaping up off the floor and aiming his own device at the nearest patient.

With a frown, Nick slowly stood up, glancing around, noticing that the rest of the team had arrived and were doing much of the same, trying their hardest not to harm the patients, merely side-stepping their attacks and using evasive techniques to incapacitate their attackers before shooting them with some sort of vibrational blast.

Huh.

"Fury! Watch out!" Maria Hill yelled as she pivoted and shot at a pasty teenage boy, the blast knocking him off his feet but leaving him otherwise unharmed.

From the corner of his eye, Nick saw the large woman approach him, but before she could clutch at him, he raised the gun-megaphone-whatever and squeezed the trigger.

She shot backwards, the force knocking her to the ground, eyes rolling in her head before she stilled, unconscious.

"Hot damn."

But there were just too many of them. Even with the devices, the Avengers, Hill, and a woman who looked like one of the nurses, they were vastly outnumbered. Every time one patient was stopped, another popped up, enraged and animalistic, racing down the hallway towards them. And judging by the sheer commotion, this was happening on more than the floor they were currently on. It was affecting the whole building, every patient no doubt awoken from their slumber and spurred into an inexplicable rage that could not be reasoned with.

"There's too many of them!" Rogers voiced Fury's exact thoughts as he aimed at a young girl, no older than eleven years old, grimacing as she crumpled to the floor.

"Fear not, Stevie my boy," Stark yelled back, an almost manic hilt to his tone as he double-tapped twin brothers as they tried to advance on him, "I've got a plan!"

Yep. Nick Fury was definitely not amused.


"Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey…"

Wade?

It was cold. Breezy. Had he left the window open?

"Come on, Peter. We're on a clock here…"

His skull felt like it was splitting in two. His forehead was wet and sticky. His limbs felt as if they were weighed down with anvils and his throat was dry, rough, as if he had swallowed shards of glass. In short, he had had similar hangovers after one of Tony's impromptu 'team-bonding' soirees, just without the underlined sense of foreboding.

"Tick, tock, Parker. I won't wait all day."

That voice. The source of the dread lining Peter's veins.

That wasn't Wade.

"Where…where am I?" he croaked as he attempted to open his heavy-lidded eyes, realising with a lurch of nausea that he was mask-less

"You're at the site of your failure, Peter. Well…as close as I could get you anyway," Giovanni Blye replied flippantly just as Peter managed to open his eyes a crack, enough to see Blye's vague outline as he paced back and forth a few feet from him.

"What—what did you do to me?" he asked, breathing heavily as he tried to sit up from where he lay sprawled on the concrete that he now realised was the rooftop of the RCorp building.

Blye shrugged nonchalantly, "oh, I just dosed you with a little serum I've been working on. Basically, I roofied you to like, super-hero levels. Should keep your annoying powers at bay for a bit."

Ah. That would explain why he felt like he'd been hit by a freight train.

Swallowing around what felt like the entire Sahara desert in his throat, Peter ground out the question he had been asking himself for what felt like forever, "what do you want from me?"

Gio rolled his eyes, throwing up his hands. That was when Peter caught the glint of something out of the corner of his eye – a gun was nestled in his grip, now aiming squarely down at the crumpled form of Eddie who lay several feet to his left.

"I suppose this is where I launch into my evil plan and tie everything up in a neat bow for you? Lay out my intentions before your boyfriend sweeps in here to try save the day?"

{There's that pesky self-awareness again}

[It's not as fun when he does it]

Peter remained silent, hoping that if he didn't interrupt that Gio would do precisely that.

Blye must have seen something in his face as he merely heaved a sigh and leaned against the ledge of the rooftop, "fine. Have it your way."

He reached into his pocket, taking out a cigarette and lighting it.

"I gotta admit," he began, lips curling around the smoke, "when this all first started, I did just want you straight-up dead. But no, Selena had to intervene, stop dear old 'Mr Haynes' from killing you by hiring that lunatic to cap him first. That forced me to get a little bit more…creative, unpredictable. Which is more my style anyway, if I'm being honest. But really, watching you suffer as you were attacked from both aspects of your life, Spider Man and Peter Parker, I have to say, it was a lot more satisfying than a bullet to your head…"

Peter shifted into a sitting position, his back and legs aching as he leaned against the building wall, his head still swimming like a whirlpool as he fought back nausea.

"How…how did you find out who I was?" he asked, his voice fainter than he would have liked.

Blye snorted, "it wasn't all that hard, really. Tony Stark is in the limelight so much, so I started with him. Noticed that a kid hung around him a lot. Sweet-talked one of the assistants to tell me who he was meeting for lunch at Avenger Tower, things like that. Saw a pattern beginning to emerge. A thread. So, I hired someone to pull on it. Pretend to be your neighbour, take your picture, find out your comings and goings. Luckily a grad student is easily distracted or you probably woulda caught on a lot sooner."

Blye gave a guffaw, stepping away from the ledge and walking towards Peter with the grace of a cat who had caught the canary, "but the icing on the cake was you and your neighbourly ways, you just can't help yourself, can you? You see someone in need and you just have to help them."

Distain seeped into his tone which told Peter that Giovanni Blye had probably never felt the urge to help anybody out with little to no reward for doing so.

Blye scratched his chin with the butt of the gun, continuing almost conversationally, "You remember when Mr Guggenheim was spring cleaning? How he had several, large boxes that he couldn't possibly lift by himself? Well see, it's funny. Apparently, you could lift them quite easily, and when he nearly dropped a very expensive looking vase, you had some hella impressive reflexes that saved the day. It really doesn't take a genius to put it all together, Parker."

{Well damn}

[Petey's gotta work on his incognito skills}

{He's almost as bad as Tom Holland}

"And," Blye shrugged as almost an afterthought, "if by some chance I was wrong…who the hell cares if some nobody grad student living in a shit-box apartment, bites it? But I ended up getting all the confirmation I needed once Wade Fuckin' Wilson showed up, anyway."

With that, Blye stubbed out the cigarette on the wall above his head, bending down to Peter's level, an edge seeping in to his words, "well, now that we're all caught up. Let's get down to why we're really here. How I've won and you've lost."

Peter scrambled for something to keep him talking, just long enough so he could regain his strength and overpower him. Shifting against the wall, he took a steadying breath:

"You—you haven't won. Deadpool and Daredevil got the kids out. Eddie is alive. You lost, Bl—"

Blye let out a harsh burst of laughter, throwing his head back with a manic glee.

"See, that was your mistake last time too, Peter. And why you've failed again now…" he stood back up, tilting his head in faux-contemplation, "did you ever stop to think how weird it was that the kids were unattended? They're elementary school age, Parker. Think about it."

A surge of dread rose from the pit of Peter's stomach, bile coating his throat.

Oh, no. Please, no.

"YOU FORGOT ABOUT THE TEACHER!"

Blye's roar sounded inhuman but in actuality, was probably the most human thing Peter had would ever hear. It was raw, jagged, drenched in anguish, grief, anger and bitterness – the embodiment of devastation.

"Did you think about him at all, Peter?" Gio was pacing again now, brandishing the gun as he did so, "did you spare a thought for my brother, Robert, that you just left to die in a burning building? Did you lie awake at night, thinking about how you failed to do the very thing you set out to do when you donned that stupid spandex?!"

Peter had known for a while now that this all came down to the fire a year ago. Was happening because he couldn't save Robert Hennessy (né Blye), but hearing it said so plainly, in a tone so broken, so furious that he could almost feel it wafting towards him in waves, really settled sharply in his gut.

"I—" he swallowed the lump in his throat as emotion welled up in him, trying his best to meet Gio's gaze, "I'm sorry. I tried to get to him, I did, but—"

"You know, Charlie, he was thorough sonofabitch," Blye cut across him as if he didn't hear him, "he set fires in the basement, level zero. Then floor nine, thirteen, twenty-four and forty-seven. 09132447. That was his number, see. When people first come to Skyline, they get a number. Makes things less…personal that way. Which is probably why it was so easy for me to cap him in the head."

He turned on his heel, sweeping back over to Eddie and bending down toward him.

"Eddie here, reminds me of him in a way. Pity. He would have made a very interesting subject."

He looked over his shoulder at Peter, a faraway look to him as he lifted something from his suit pocket. Peter's blood ran cold as it was revealed to be a giant syringe filled with a strange, faintly yellow liquid.

Blye edged it towards Eddie's neck—

"NO! Please—"

"Drop the syringe, discount-Rick-Sanchez, or I'll blow your fucking head off!"

Peter gaped as an inexplicably mask-less Deadpool burst through the roof-door, gun pointed squarely at Blye's head.

Gio paused, syringe and gun still in his grasp, but a smile slowing spreading across his face.

"Wade Wilson. About damn time. Welcome to the party, pal."

{Something tells me he's not the McClane in this story]

{Nope. He's Gruber all the way}

"Spider Man," Wade turned his attention to Peter, "you okay?"

Peter knew that to an outsider, neither Wade's face or voice gave anything away. But he knew him well enough now to know raw fear had overtaken the mercenary.

"Yeah I'm—okay."

Gio looked between the two men before rolling his eyes, "this is touching and all guys, really. I've had a blast watching whatever fucked-up shit is goin' down with you two, but it ends here."

With a speed neither of the vigilantes were expecting, Blye leapt forward, jabbing Deadpool in the neck with the syringe. Wade stumbled back, squawking with indignation at being caught off-guard, clutching at his wound.

"Wade!" Peter exclaimed, scrambling to get up.

"Don't you fucking move, or I swear to god, I'll shoot Eddie in the head before you can blink," Blye hissed, gun back pointed firmly at the unconscious scientist.

That stopped Peter in his tracks, his gaze flickering between Eddie and Wade and back again.

"Now that I have both of your attentions," Blye continued, slowly rising from his crouch, left hand outstretched to expose a silver ring that glinted oddly in the low light. He began waving his hand back and forth slowly, drawing a pattern mid-air.

Wade stared at the ring, then at Gio and back again before sighing, "God, you really are the yeast infection in humanity's otherwise supple vagina, you know that, right?"

Blye tilted his head, unfazed as he continued to move his hand in a repetitive formation, "been thinking up that insult for a while now, or…?"

"Nah. I originally crafted it for Tony Stark but, for obvious reasons," Wade waved in Gio's direction, "I made amendments."

"I'm flattered."

[Uh…what's happening?]

{No clue}

"Go to Peter, Wade. Give him a peck on the cheek."

Blye's voice was quiet, but commanding.

Deadpool snorted, a loud chuckle escaping his lips.

"Get your rocks off some other way, perv. I'm not gonna—"

Peter watched the exchange with bated breath, dread rising from the depths of his stomach as Wade cut off suddenly, his face slowly morphing from his usual snarky-wit to something blanker, almost like a chalkboard slowly being erased.

The glint of the ring was almost blinding now.

His steps were heavy as he made his way towards Peter, bending down on one knee, his gun clattering to the ground.

"Wade what—"

The press of his kiss was hard against the edge of his mouth, just shy of his lips.

Everything about it felt off.

Wrong.

Nausea churned in Peter's stomach as he forcefully pushed Wade away from him, grip firm on his shoulder.

Blye chuckled, circling them, his gaze heavy in Peter's peripheral vision.

"Now Wade," he murmured, the smirk in his tone palpable, "tell him something true."

He turned to Peter, his haunting eyes staring straight through him.

"Peter…" Wade smiled, serene and unnerving, everything about his demeanour odd and unnatural, "you're my rock. My paper. Hell, my scissors too."

Peter's heart hammered in his chest, his gaze darting from Wade to Gio and back again.

"And you terrify me."

No, this couldn't happen.

This wasn't happening.

Gio took a step forward, utterly engrossed in them, a disconcerting smile spreading across his face.

"Okay now, Wade. Pick up your gun," he motioned, his movements practised.

Wade complied, picking up the gun from off the ground and holding it limply at his side.

"Great," Blye grinned so wide nearly all his top teeth were visible as he stared right at Peter, "now, be a good mercenary and shoot your boyfriend."


Tony really wished he had his suit right now.

And he put in more cardio at the gym.

Not that he'd ever admit that to Rhodey. Ever.

"Nothin' quite like running away from an angry mob," Clint Barton laughed as they sprinted down the corridor of Skyline Laboratories, dozens of crazed patients hot on their heels.

"You…sound like you're…enjoying this," Tony gasped as they turned a corner.

"Meh," the archer gave a one-shouldered shrug, "beats game-night at the tower."

Stark almost got whip-lash when he halted so suddenly.

"You take that back. My game nights are—"

"Not really the time, Tony," Steve cut across him as he fought off five patients, "hurry up and get to the security hub, already."

He didn't need telling twice. Side-stepping a particularly ferocious teenage girl, Tony sprinted the last few paces to the office, entering the code that Rickards assured him would still work.

"090393," he whispered, bouncing on the balls of his feet as he waited for the greenlight.

"Stark! Watch out!"

Being body-slammed for the umpteenth time in like three days, was not fun in the slightest. Tony could personally attest to that. Groaning as his head smacked against the floor, he stared up at the three-hundred-pound twenty-something and never felt as much satisfaction at squeezing a trigger in his life.

The blast was almost deafening but did the trick. Catching his breath, Stark sat up, patting the big guy that now lay crumpled in a giant heap on the shoulder, shakily standing up and pushing open the now unlocked security door.

The room was lined with dozens of monitors, just like Selena said.

Clearing his throat, Tony's eyes caught on what he was looking for and he stumbled forward, pressing the button on the P.A. system, shoving his face close to the microphone.

"Okay guys, hang on. I got it. Ahem."

He cleared his throat again before clearly uttering the two short words Selena told him to say into the microphone:

"Robert Blye."

He waited one beat.

Two.

Nine.

Twelve.

Fourtee—

Slowly, the door of the security hub creaked opened, revealing a dishevelled but smiling Bruce Banner.

"It's alright, Tony. It worked. They've all snapped out of it."

Stark let out a breath, sagging against the desk, the coiled tension in his shoulders seeping out of him like air from a balloon.

"Let me guess," Bruce murmured, coming to stand next to him, shoulder to shoulder, "you're too old for this shit?"

Tony caught his eye, smile small and weary, "got it in one."


Peter Parker never thought he'd ever know what it felt like to have Wade Wilson point a gun in his face with the intent to pull the trigger.

So far, he wasn't a fan.

"Wade…Wade," he called, his frantic stare alternating between the gun and the mercenary's familiar brown eyes that had an odd glaze to them, "put the gun down."

He did not put the gun down.

But he didn't shoot him either. So that was something.

Instead, he shook his head, as if trying to rid himself of an invisible marionette string attached to his skull.

"Please put the gun down, Wade," Peter implored quietly, his breath hitching, "you don't want to hurt me."

Wade didn't appear to be able to hear him, however. His usually warm gaze, so often alight with mirth, now dulled, unfocused, fogged over. It unsettled Peter more than any gun at his temple ever would.

"Oh, but he does, Peter," Gio laughed, "out of all the people I've done this to, he is probably the one that most wants to hurt you. It's part of him. He's good at it, he likes it. Don't you, Deadpool?"

Peter kept his eyes on Wade, whose gaze remained unwavering but still disconnected, as if he were peering at him through a veil.

"Fight it, Wade," he spoke clearly, steadfastly, willing whatever the hell Blye had dosed him with to hurry up and wear off, "you're strong. You can do it."

Gio let out another chuckle, clearly enjoying the silent struggle the mercenary was suffering through.

"Damn, you are strong, Wilson. Stronger than I gave you credit for," he smirked, leaning forward so much that his mouth was right against his ear, "maybe something simpler first…get you on board. Give your boyfriend a kiss goodbye. I'm not a monster. I'll allow it."

There was no protest from Wade this time as he instantly edged closer and pressed his lips to Peter's grimacing mouth, the kiss too hard and cold and everything they weren't. Still, if this was the end, Peter tried to savour it all the same, ignoring Blye's stare that bore into the side of his face, blocking out everything but the feel of Wade's lips against his. With as much strength as he could muster, about as much as an ailing kitten, he clutched the back of his neck, pouring everything of himself into the kiss, hoping beyond hope that somewhere in the recesses of Wade's brain, he understood. That he would understand what Peter couldn't bring himself to say to him.

This isn't your fault. I don't blame you. I lov—

The kiss broke. Their mingled breaths dancing together as their lips drew further and further away from one another. Their eyes met for what Peter knew could be the last time. Wade cradled his jaw in his hand, their stare unbreakable. Something unspoken passing between them.

"Good," the smile in Blye's tone was intense, "now shoot—"

A shot rang out.

The sound of blood splatter hit the concrete.

Peter's heart lurched.

"GODDAMNIT!"

"Oh relax, Deandra. You'll live."

[Psych!]

{Annnnnnd we're back!}

[You any idea how hard it is for us to stay quiet that long?!]

{We couldn't let the readers in on the double-cross. Ruins the plot}

[Sure. 'Plot.']

Peter gaped at Wade, eyes wide as they still focussed on him, utterly confused as the merc had not taken his gaze or hand off of him, yet somehow, Giovanni Blye now lay at their feet, clutching his bullet-ridden leg that was the source of the crimson staining the concrete. It took him a moment, but Peter eventually pieced together what had happened, once he realised that Wade's other hand was folded across himself, clutching the literal smoking gun.

"Wait Wade," the brunet began, his brow furrowed, "are you—"

"Sorry for the theatrics, baby boy," he cut across him, smile sheepish, "had to make it look convincing. Can't believe that dumbass actually thought he could control all of," he waved with a flourish around his head, "this."

{Sometimes it pays to be bonkers. You're automatically brainwash-proof}

[ And all I care about is sex and violence.A heavy bass line is my kind of silence. Everybody says that I got to get a grip. But I let sanity give me the slip ]

Peter let out a sigh of relief, ignoring the groans of pain from Blye as he pushed himself shakily off the wall, attempting to stand up as his blood ran cold, remembering: "Wade! The teacher! The kids' teacher, where—"

"Daredevil got him," the Canadian reassured him quietly, pushing him gently back. "the kids are safe, the firefighters are here, Beharie is on her way to pick up this piece of trash, so all we gotta do is get Eddie safely to the paramedics," he paused, his eyes, that now a familiar warmth to them, grew concerned, "you with me, Spider Man?"

"Always."

[Gay!]

{That the type of quality content the readers missed out on for a whole twelve-hundred words?}

[You know it]

Wade carefully helped Peter to his feet, keeping a steading arm around him, before reaching down to drag Blye out of the way.

"Wait!" Gio's blood-stained hands shot up defensively, "don't turn me in! I'll do anything. I—I have a lab. Serums. I can work miracles, I swear. I-I can fix you!"

Wade stared down at him, face blanker than when Peter thought he had been brain-washed, "Thanks, Chris Martin, but I've heard that lie before."


Shonda Beharie was a patient woman. She wholly subscribed to the notion that all good things came to those who wait. Which happened to suit her career in homicide investigation as more often than not, apprehending a killer was more than a weekend deal. Case in point: the murder of Charlie Hanway and his murderer, Giovanni Blye. Who looked like he could be having a better day.

"One murderer, attempted murderer, arsonist and torturer all wrapped up in a bow. Happy Birthday, Detective," Beharie read aloud as she and her partner looked down on Blye, who was bleeding profusely from a bullet-wound in his leg, looking quite put-out where he sat tied to a telephone poll, a hand-written note sat on his chest and large red and black bow stuck to his forehead.

"Where did he get the bow?" Cassidy wondered, scanning the sidewalk as if Deadpool (perhaps still dressed as Spider Man) would rock up to them to answer his question at any moment.

"How did he know it was my birthday?" Beharie asked the more pressing question as she stepped aside to let the paramedics work on Blye's leg.

Cassidy turned to her, shrugging, "lucky guess?"

Beharie looked back, a familiar sensation that she was being watched, washing over her.

"Yeah," she smirked, peering around her before taking a deep breath to begin reciting the Miranda rights to finally bring a killer to justice, "guess so."

Deadpool and Spider Man watched from their hiding spot as Giovanni was handcuffed to a stretcher, the detective diligently reading him his rights before following him to the ambulance. Not too far ahead, an unconscious Eddie James was being loaded in to another ambulance, wholly unaware that he was actually being transported to the Avengers' personal medical team to be cared for, overseen by the vigilant eye of his best friend, of course.

Relief washing over him in a large wave at the thought, Peter swayed on his feet a little, Wade's hand shooting out to steady him.

"Hey—you okay? I really think the doc at Avenger Tower should look—"

"No, no. I'm good, Wade. Really," Peter cut across him, "I just…I'm gonna go get my Aunt May and take her home. Give Tony a call, fill him in. Then go to bed. It's late."

He paused, reaching up to clasp the hand resting on his shoulder as the last of the fire's flames were extinguished. Wade watched his movements, a small smile on his face as their fingers entwined, squeezing gently.

"It's over," he said simply, feeling as if it were the end of an era.

They found out who was trying to kill Peter Parker.

And learned so, so much more.

"Yeah," Peter agreed, an odd hilt to his tone as he avoided eye-contact, "it's over."

[Uh oh]

{Petey pie doesn't sound so convinced}

[Well…there is two chapters left, so]

He stared straight ahead, a small figure in the distance catching his eye. It was one of the little boys they had rescued, now awake and gesturing animatedly to a paramedic who was treating him. But it was what was on his face that was of particular note. Peter would know that shade of red and black anywhere.

Turning back to his companion, he looked up at Wade with a tilted head, "did you give a kid your mask?"

The mercenary threw him a sheepish smile, shrugging, "he woke up just as Matt and I got the last of the kids out. He—was scared. Didn't want me leaving him. But I had to go to you, so I—I gave him my mask. Told him he'd be safe with it, to look after it for me and that help was coming soon. It seemed to…calm him."

A surge of warmth spread throughout Peter's chest, but he did his best to keep his face impassive, merely nodding and switching the subject to their other vigilante friend.

"Matt and Foggy get away okay?" he asked as they ascended the building beside them, he a little more sluggish than usual due to still being a little under the influence of whatever messed up shit Blye injected him with.

Wade snorted as he pulled Peter up to the ledge where they had stashed their civilian clothes.

"Foggy was a bit green around the gills," he smirked as they changed, "think he was a rooftop-piggyback-virgin before tonight."

The brunet gave a small chuckle as he buttoned up his jeans, "remind me to stop by their office. Thank them properly."

Wade nodded slowly, waiting one beat, then two, before finally asking him the question that had been plaguing him since they safely left RCorp.

"So…what now?"

Peter looked up, meeting those chocolate eyes that had come to mean so much to him.

He smiled.


Whew! Holy plot-development, writer lady! This means we're nearly done, right? Me and Petey get to go to bone-town forever and ever?

Nearly.

What?! What do you mean, 'nearly'? What more is there? The bad guy has been found, everything's been tied up in a nice, neat bow—

More or less.

Ugh. Can you be any more vague? *Sigh* Any point in hoping this monstrosity finishes before my epic sequel comes out?

You know what they say, Wade. Stranger things have—

Nope! No! You are not pimping out your other fucking fic!

Uh, I wasn't 'pimping out' anything, Deadpool. It's a well-known saying. Promise.

Yeah, yeah, I'm all-too-familiar with your promises now, Writer Lady. Cut the crap. You saw my amazing teaser, Bob Rossing it up all over this hizzle. Then my badass trailer with the sexy and suave Cable being all fuck-me-Daddy-hot. I demand that you get your fucking shit together and finish this happy ending-style before I'm forced to make arbitrary and nonsensical commentary on my own fucking movie like some discount Tommy Wiseau at a Disaster Artist panel!

Did you actually just compare yourself to Tommy Wiseau? Did…did that actually just happen?

I don't know anymore, man. I'm tired. Can't me and Petey just have our wine, dine and 69 moment in the sun? Haven't we been through enough already?

2 more chapters, Wade. Then that's it. I swear.

The mouse overlord owns my ass now so I gotta watch what I say. But I swear to fuck, writer lady, if you don't finish this by the end of the year of our lord 2018, I'm gonna—

Yeah, yeah. Threat received. So…you're officially Disney's bitch now. Happy you're joining the House of Mouse?

Fuckin' ecstatic. Went out and got myself Mickey ears to celebrate and everything.

They suit you.

Blow me.

That's not very Disney-friendly.


NEXT CHAPTER TEASER:

Wade Wilson was 100%, unequivocally, an ass man.

Like, no doubt about it. He liked a perky peach. Delectable derriere. A gorgeous gluteus maximus.

But damn. There were times where a guy just had to admire the often-times overlooked but no-less sexy deltoid muscles.

[Those are shoulders for those of us that don't speak nerd]

And Christ, did Peter Benjamin Parker have some sexy shoulders.