Say Anything…Except That

By Cortexikid

Chapter 24: Pete and Wade's Excellent Adventure

Um, hi.

What time do you call this?

Uh…10:22 GMT?

2019, writer lady! 20-fucking-19! It took you eleven months—ELEVEN to update this shit show and now you're telling me it's NOT THE FINAL CHAPTER?!

Sigh. I knew you were going to be like this.

Oh, don't give me that shit! You fuck off for nearly a year to write all manner of bullcrap, only to return with this—

Hey, I did my best, okay? I struggled with this for months! HALF A YEAR to be precise. I want to end this as badly as you do, but I finally had an epiphany that it works better as two separate chapters, alright?

Uh huh. And uh…how long is it gonna take you to update the actual final chapter?

Thought so.


Whatever, I don't care. I got people to do, places to see, Pokémon to voice.

You support is as astounding as always, Deadpool.

I hate you.

Yeah, yeah, insert witty comeback here.

Heh. You're not the witty one here, kid.

120 Days In The Future…

The Ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about love. Eros, philos, storge – they seemed to have a name for every different type of love known to humankind, and for that, Wade Wilson was grateful. Storge – familial love, he had felt that. For Blind Al, Aunt May, and any and all misfits he had encountered over the years. He had felt kinship, a deep bond that may not always be bound by blood, but was no less strong. Philos and agape – he had felt those too. Had formed friendships, a brotherhood over the years that he thought on fondly with team-ups and happenstance and mutual favour for masked crusading.

Eros – he had felt the least amount of times but with no less strength than the others. Romantic, erotic love. Mixed with ludus, teasing, puppy-love. Only twice in his lifetime had he had that intertwined fusion of emotion ensnare him. The first, he still thought of with warmth. You never forget your first. And he hadn't forgotten her. Would never possibly forget her. Her smile that lit up a room. Her bright, excited eyes that held a life behind them that he would have gladly lived forever.

But it wasn't to be. And for years, he was alone. Drifting through his unnatural existence on a plane of loneliness unlike anything he had ever felt before. Until, one day, he met someone who made him smile, laugh again like he hadn't in an incredibly long time. Longer than his addled mind could remember. He had felt it then. The beginnings of something stirring in him. Ludus, probably. That puppy-love crush that was as silly as it was unattainable, unsustainable. A pipe dream. Something that would never, not in a million years, amount to anything. Just something he liked to entertain the idea of in the dead of night, when he couldn't sleep and needed something, anything, to get him through yet another day.

But then he met Peter Parker and he…he seemed less unattainable than the elusive Spider Man. Less wisps of smoke in the corner of Wade's brain and something more solid. Real. Wade got to know Peter on a level that he had never known the masked arachnid, as a friend, confidant and not just a banter-partner. He felt philos with Peter, even in the early days. He had felt it with Spider Man too, but they had been on such an uneven playing field back then, it didn't quite equate.

But Peter. Peter was his equal in every way. He matched him, went toe to toe with him – a constant pull and push between them from the very start. So, when Wade realised that Spider Man and Peter Parker were one in the same? It was if the universe had aligned philos, ludus and eros up perfectly, the seamless blend of everything that Wade had been missing since—well, maybe forever.

That, that was Pragma. A version of love he had never considered before. Longstanding love. Mature, realistic love full of compromises and hard-work, patience and tolerance. He remembered looking it up once, in the throes of his night-terror-induced-insomnia, and learned about how it wasn't technically considered something that the ancient Greeks used themselves, but was thought of as more of a modern update. He didn't care though, it fit perfectly. A bastardisation of tradition and modernity. A bit like himself. He had a Pragma-love with Peter. Something enduring, something that would age like a fine wine, a companionship unparalleled. For twelve glorious, tragically short months, he had had something special, wholly unique, and theirs.

Longstanding wasn't long enough. Twelve months was just a drop in the ocean of the life they could have had.

In the life that Peter Parker no longer had.


The morning after the night before wasn't always a pleasurable experience for Wade Wilson. In recent years, they were oft accompanied by pounding headaches, dry throats and an ache in his right hand from its vigorous workout in the act of self-love. Because it was always self-love. Adding another person into the mix was nothing but the desire of a raving madman. Which Wade undoubtedly was, but when it came to acts of the bedroom-variety, even he wasn't that delusional.

Which was precisely why he had come to appreciate the soft-morning glow that would never fail to wake him nowadays. Because it was hard to stay mad when he got to wake up to the sight of Peter Parker lying beside him, face pressed into his pillow, a spot of drool dampening the material as he snored lightly. Mornings after were a hell of a lot more pleasurable now that he wasn't alone.

"You're staring."

His eyes snapped up from where they were raking down the column of Peter's throat.

"I'm always staring."


"That's the way I roll, Parker. You knew that when you signed up to all this."

He realised that Peter couldn't see the grand sweeping motion directed at his nude body as the brunet had yet to open his eyes, but it bared doing nonetheless.


Wade scoffed, "you're so articulate in the morning, pooh-bear. That fancy Master's Degree is finally becoming useful, I see."

That got him to open his eyes.

[So predictable]


"Ahh," Wade couldn't help but smirk, "the vocabulary broadens. Can't wait to see what a PhD will do for your syntax."

Peter shoved him, wry grin pulling at his lips.

"That and you think Dr Parker sounds sexy."

"It does."

Peter's grin grew wider as he rolled his eyes, nuzzling into Wade's neck and letting out a puff of air. Seconds ticked by where they just lay in content silence, listening as the rest of the world began to slowly waken.

"What did you mean, when you said I terrify you?"

Wade almost jumped when Peter spoke suddenly. He took a moment to reflect on his words, a frown forming on his face.


Peter lifted his head, resting a palm on Wade's chest as he caught his eye, "That night. On the roof. I meant to ask a bunch of times but never did. You said…you said I was your rock, your paper and scissors. And that I terrified you. Was that—were you just saying stuff to convince Blye that you were under his control or…" he trailed off, losing steam, breaking eye-contact, an unreadable expression shrouding his face.

Wade stared at him, counting the faint freckles that had started to adorn the bridge of his nose.

"No, I—I meant it. You do terrify me, Peter."

The brunet went as still as a statue. If Wade had to guess, he'd say he even stopped breathing.

"Hey, hey," he rushed to comfort him, reaching up and cupping his cheek, "I don't mean that in a bad way. I promise. I—I just meant that…"

Shit. How did he begin to explain the complicated swirl of emotions that had become his constant companion ever since he clapped eyes on Peter Parker? They hadn't said the L word yet. Lesbian, plenty, but love? Not once. It felt almost like a game of chicken now. Who would say it first. Wade felt it, was pretty sure that Peter felt it too. He hoped. Prayed to a god he didn't believe in, on occasion.

But something was holding them back. He could feel that too. Something catching them, every time, usually in the throes of passion, when one of them went to say it. Something that held them back like a rope around their waists, tugging them back from the edge of those three syllables. Still, there were other ways to show it. Other ways to say it.

"I just meant," Wade steeled himself, running his thumb under Peter's eye that was still downcast, "that the life I had had with you so far was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was…afraid of losing it. Losing you. And I'm still terrified every damn day of that. You terrify me because—because you could wake up one day and realise that you don't want to be stuck with a bat-shit mercenary with more issues than The Walking Dead."

He let it all flow from him in one breath. As if uttering it faster somehow made it easier for him to say and harder for Peter to hear. He found his own gaze falling away to hover somewhere at Peter's clavicle.


That one syllable held so much. If he listened hard enough, he could hear it all. But it was hard to hear anything over the sound of his heart hammering in his chest.

"Look at me."

It felt as if an anvil were tied to each of his eyelids, forcing his gaze down. But with a herculean effort, he forced his eyes up to meet Peter's and what he saw in them, took his breath away.

"You're not going to lose me, Wade."

He meant every word. The sincerity was dripping from him in droves, in his voice, his unwavering stare and in the very fabric of his entire body. Never, in Peter's opinion, were truer words spoken.


"You can't promise that, Peter. Not in our line of work."

Except, that wasn't exactly Wade's fear. And Peter knew it.

"This isn't about our work, though. Is it?" he asked with that tone, his perception on point as-fucking-usual.

Wade would hate him if he didn't love him so much.

He shook his head anyway, knowing it was fruitless to avoid him when he took this line of questioning.

"This is about me deciding to leave you."

He gave precisely one nod.

Peter ruminated on that a moment, head tilted pensively as he traced the planes of Wade's chest with his fingers.

"When we…" he paused, tilting Wade's chin up with his finger, forcing him to meet his gaze, "When we started all this…before we got our shit together properly and went on an actual date, our main problem was that we sucked at communicating with each other. Actually speaking our minds and being honest with ourselves and each other about how we felt. Right?"

Again, Wade nodded, not entirely sure where Peter was going with this but enjoying the pressure of his thumb sweeping across his skin.

"So, you could say, our biggest problem was talking things through. Voicing our feelings."

Wade's heart lurched in his chest.

Was this it? Was this the moment?

"So, how about," Peter shifted slightly, dark eyes boring into his with sincerity, "instead of worrying about me just up and leaving you one day, abandoning you, I just promise you that if I'm upset or unhappy about how things are going, I come to you and we talk it through? And the same for you. If you're mad at me and want nothing more than storm out, you can instead promise me that you'll sit down with me and hash it out. Then we can decide, together, where to go from there. How about that for a promise?"

Wade waited one beat, then two. Then, "I think that's the most adult thing I've ever heard come out of your mouth."

"Not the most adult thing to come into it, though. That prize goes to you."

"And there goes your maturity."

"Was nice while it lasted."

They shared a chuckle.

"That sounds like a promise we can both keep, Pete."

Leaning down, he captured Peter's lips in his, the kiss chaste, just enough to seal the deal.

It may not have been the big declaration yet. But it was important all the same. It promised commitment, compromise and trust. It flared a spark of hope in Wade's chest.

The three little words could wait. That promise held everything they needed right now.

Turned out, that after having a super-adult conversation where you air out your respective worries, concerns and insecurities and come up a plausible way of working said issues out, called for a celebratory blow-job and subsequent hurried breakfast.

"'Oo 'ook 'ice," Peter spoke around a mouthful of half-charred toast as Wade handed him a scalding-hot cup of coffee.

"Thanks, babe. I think it's a sign that we've been spending too much time together when I can actually understand what you just said," Wade deadpanned, taking a sip of his own coffee only to be proven right that yes, it was entirely too hot.

"Waa—" the brunet rolled his eyes, forcing himself to swallow the bread before continuing, "What's the occasion?"

He was talking about Wade's spiffy shirt and pants, of course. He 'ooked' 'ice' in the ensemble, to say the least. To say the most, Peter thought he looked downright jumpable. If he didn't have work in forty-five minutes in fact, he'd do just that.

"Have a meeting with our favourite sighted-lawyer," the merc replied enigmatically with a wave of his hand, "thought I'd dress up for the occasion."

Peter tilted his hand at him, tie half-fastened, one end in each hand, "a meeting with Foggy? About what?"

Wade stepped forward, taking the tie from Peter's grasp and beginning to fasten it, his eyes lowered to the task at hand.

"Ol' Fogsworth may have been subconsciously indicating to me that he was finally ready to tell a certain visually-challenged smoke-show how he feels about him. So, I thought I'd offer my advice before potentially destroying a decades-long friendship."

Peter knew his face was doing something complicated. He couldn't help but feel a little stung that Foggy had not come to him for advice, but at the same time was a little relieved. He had already been dealing with Matt and his emotional-constipation over his staunch denial of feelings for his best friend—Peter wouldn't know what he'd do if he had to contend with Foggy too. Probably something along the lines of locking them in a room and refusing to let them out until they admitted they were in love and made out steadily for twenty minutes.

Not that he was too invested, or anything.

"Good luck with that," he smiled as Wade finished with his tie, catching his hands in his before they could retreat and squeezing gently.

"Yeah. I'll need it," Wade sighed dramatically, "Some guys are just ridiculously stubborn when it comes to matters of the heart."

"And we wouldn't know anything about that," Peter smirked back, leaning forward and catching his lips in a chaste kiss.

"Mmm. Nope," Wade mumbled against his mouth, hands enfolding his waist, "nothing at all."

Selena Rickards was a patient woman. Had learned to be when she entered a male-dominated field surrounded by and adhering to the notion that she had to work twice as hard to gain half the recognition. That didn't mean she had the patience of a saint, however.

"What do you mean Deadpool is here to see me?"

She knew she was gaping at the intern with something akin to a woman just told she were the proud new owner of a pet piranha.

"Um…Wade Wilson, ma'am. He—he requested a brief moment of your time."

Well, far be from her to turn down a world-renowned mercenary. Not that she had much of a choice with the fancy house-arrest bracelet strapped down on her ankle like an anchor.

"Show him in, please."

She had heard stories, of course. Of the hyperactive whirlwind that was the killer from Canada. Still, nothing quite prepared her for the reality that was Wade Winston Wilson, dressed in a surprisingly nice shirt and dress-pants, crowding into her shoebox of an office that had become her home and personal prison for the last six months.

"Dr Rickards!" he exclaimed, glancing around himself with a hum of appreciation, "Swanky digs you got yourself here. Tony won't even spring to get me a company-phone."

She took a step forward, hastily outstretching her hand to shake his firmly.

"To what do I owe the pleasure, Mr Wilson?"

He returned her handshake for a moment before dropping himself down into the chair opposite her desk, bouncing a little as he steepled his fingers under his chin.

"Huh—so that's what you really sound like. I gotta say, your phone-voice leaves a lot to be desired."

Ah. That.

With a sigh, Selena lowered herself slowly into her own chair, apprehension crawling like bugs under her skin.

"I—I wasn't in my right mind when I made that call, Mr Wilson. All I knew was that I—I had to save Peter. And…And I knew Gio had hired someone to murder him."

A beat passed between them where Wade levelled her with a stare that seemed to pierce through her very soul.

"And you just had my number on hand in between your scientific journals and take-out menus?"

That was the thing about Wade. He may give the impression of a bumbling, wise-cracking jackass, but Selena was fast learning that he could be incredibly canny when he wanted to be.

"I had heard…whispers that you were back in town," she began, her voice not half as strong as she would have liked, "I knew I didn't have much time before Gio took complete control. I had to fight fire with fire."

She didn't go into detail about how it had agonised her, tortured her day and night when she realised that she had ordered the death of a man, that his blood was on her hands. He may not have been a good man, and it may have been to save an innocent, but that didn't mean that she had felt any less guilty, any less of a monster.

"And the fact that you'd manage to keep your identity a secret in the process was just, what…?" he paused with a wave of his hand, "An added bonus?"

Her jaw clenched almost painfully at the implication, "I was trying to break away from Blye myself. I couldn't…put anyone, especially Peter, at risk by exposing myself. The situation was more complicated than that."

The merc didn't look particularly impressed by her answer, but it was all she could offer him.

She began to stand, "Was there anything else, or—"

He laid his palm down heavily on her desk, not necessarily threateningly, but loud enough to halt her in her tracks. When she slowly lowered herself back down into her seat, he spoke again, his voice a sorry impression of calm, "Peter is going to be working with you again. Side by side on this cure you and Banner have been trying to develop. The one you've been testing on yourself."

This was not news. In fact, Selena had gotten word from Tony only that morning that he had finally granted Peter's dogged wish to join the team. He and Eddie. Before she could voice this however, Deadpool leaned forward in his seat, resting his elbow on her desk, dark eyes boring into hers.

"You were his hero."

Her heart leapt into her throat.

"He looked up to you. Your success at such a young age. And you let him down. If I were you, I wouldn't do it again."

With that less-than-subtle threat, the mercenary stood up, hands clasped behind his back in a much more relaxed pose, his tone now decidedly less menacing, but no less firm, "You got a second chance, Doc. Take it from me, you won't get many more of those."

He turned on his heel and sauntered to the door without a backwards glance. Just as he reached the handle however, he paused, his shoulders rising and falling as if he just took a large breath.

"Oh, actually, Doc. Just…one more thing."

Selena's eyebrows raised to her hair-line.

This outta be good.

If you had told Franklin P. Nelson just over six months ago that in less than a year, he would be meeting the Canadian mercenary known as 'Deadpool' for a lunch-meeting/friend-date to discuss god knows what, he would have called the nearest mental-health facility to enquire about your earliest admission. Yet, that was precisely where he found himself at that very moment. In a surprisingly swanky Italian restaurant, being escorted to his seat that was next to an impressive oval window with an exquisite view of the New York skyline.

Lowering himself down into his chair, he wrung his napkin in his hands as he surveyed the restaurant around him for any signs of the boisterous badass he had come to call his friend, whispering under his breath: "This is crazy, this is nuts."

"Nuttier than Squirrel Girl's porn stash, yeah."

The all-too-familiar voice came, as expected, from the least expected place—under the table.

Foggy leaned down, pulling the cloth up to reveal none other than Wade Wilson, flashing him a sheepish grin as he tried and failed to seem nonchalant.

"Wade? What—"

"Ow! Shit!"

The whole table shook as he unceremoniously bashed the top of his head in his haste to get out from under it. Foggy gaped at the scrambling, large form as the mercenary awkwardly extricated himself like a gangly, uncoordinated bird, his arms and legs akimbo. After a moment or two of this impressive floundering, he finally straightened up, brushing some imaginary dust off his shirt sleeve and took the seat opposite the bemused lawyer.

"Is there any point in asking?" Foggy asked, pouring them both a glass of water, picking up his menu and beginning to scan it.

A throat cleared.

"Table was wobbly."

Foggy felt rather than saw Wade gather himself and take an impressively large gulp of water.

Tilting his head, he finally got to ask the question that had been plaguing him all week, "Not that I don't appreciate a good lunch, Wade. But…any particular reason for this little summit that I couldn't bring Matt to?"

Wade let out a guffaw, clutching his chest in what was surely meant to be a conveyance of offense.

"What? Two guys can't share food and catch up? I thought we were friends, Franklin. And can't friends meet up sometimes without their significant others in—"

"Matt's not my significant other."

The merc snorted, "He's one half of Nelson and Murdock and he's significant to you, so, yeah…you're kinda losing that argument, bud."

Foggy shifted in his seat, an uncomfortable expression on his face. "Look, I get what you're implying—"

"I ain't implying shit, Foggerton. I'm telling. You're in love with him, man."

The lawyer sat back in his seat, his face now stricken to the point that Wade may as well have given him a wet willy and shat in his soup. You know, if he had ordered yet.

"Done denying it, then?"

A shadow passed over the younger man's gaze.

"Why are you pushing this so hard?"

Wade dug a finger into his collar, stretching it a little, pulling it away from his throat.

"No reason. Just—I don't like seeing you pine."

"I do not pine!" Foggy exclaimed, gripping his menu with whitened knuckles, hissing the word under his breath as if it were a curse.

"Dude, you're Chris Pine," Wade scoffed, picking up his own menu and scanning it as if he hadn't made up his mind on what to eat several hours ago.

"I don't know what that means."

Wade heaved a sigh, lowering his menu and meeting his steel gaze, "It means, Temperance Brennan, that you've been pining after that man since undergrad, like, over a decade ago, and it has to stop."

Foggy glowered at him for three incredibly-long seconds before he heaved his own sigh and deflated like a balloon, his shoulders sagging.

"…I know."

Had it been under any other circumstances, Foggy would have preened with the notion that he had caused the look of sheer astonishment to spread across Wade Wilson's face.

"Holy shit—you—you actually admitted it. I thought I was gonna have to like annoy it outta you. I planned a screeching rendition of Bird Is The Word on loop and everything."

He looked a little forlorn that that plan was no longer needed. Much to Foggy's great relief.

"Yeah, well…" the lawyer shrugged, "I guess it's…it's nice to say it out loud instead of shoving down all the time."

Wade nodded slowly, his face unreadable, "I know exactly what you mean. I—I only hid how I feel for Peter for a few months. And how I felt for Spider Man like five years tops. I…can't imagine what it's gotta be like to do it for a decade and see that person practically every day of it."

Foggy snorted, "Oh, yeah. It's a real riot."

"Gentleman, can I take your order?"

Wade was ruminating on his response when the waiter interrupted, throwing him quick glances as if he was weary of him disappearing under the table again.

"I'll have the oysters, please."

Foggy's eyebrows practically hit his hairline.

"Didn't peg you as a fan of shellfish."

The merc threw him a wink, "Oh, I'm not."

It was for aphrodisiac purposes. Didn't take a genius to figure it out that Peter was probably home early from work today and Wade intended on making the most of it.

"I'll have the oysters too, please."

Wade didn't have eyebrows. But if he did, Foggy was sure they'd be as high as his were.

"I just like them. That's all."

"Uh huh."

Once the waiter had vacated their table, looking far more tickled than any professional should, Foggy lifted his crumpled napkin, deposited it on his lap and asked quietly, head still lowered, "So, what else did you wanna talk about? Something tells me there's more than just slapping sense into me over Matt."

His friend looked at him with equal measures of amusement and apprehension.

"You're right, counsellor. There is something else I gotta tell you that isn't just that you're a giant idiot-person that needs to bone his best friend," he paused, interlacing his fingers and leaning across the table to stare directly into the bemused lawyer's face.

"Foggy, my man. I'm goin' full Elle Woods."

Peter Parker never thought he'd get to where he was today. In all his years of education, working his ass off both in the classroom and out, he never really allowed himself to think too closely about what he would do when his education came to a close. He may have only been beginning his doctorate, but for the time being, he was no longer bound by the classroom walls, and found himself instead in a bespoke, highly-funded laboratory that was his very own playground.

With a glance to his left, he took in his companion as he stood beside him, motionless, a vacant expression on his face.

"Pretty impressive, huh?" he asked, hoping to rouse him, a tense knot of worry tightening in his gut.

Eddie came to life like a computer re-booting, a bundle of energy, shaking off the vestiges of whatever daze he had fallen in to at the sight of the new lab.

"I know, right?" his excited voice mewled, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet like a hyper-active five-year-old.

"It's just…wow," Peter breathed, trying to ignore his friend's oddity, his neck aching as he craned it high, eyes locked on the tower-like ceiling.

"Mr Stark demands the best."

The familiar voice caused both young men to still, exchanging a glance.

"Peter. Eddie. It's…good to see you both," Selena Rickards continued as she made her way across the lab, her stride faltering only minutely at the sight of them.

"Doc," they responded in unison, trying to ignore how robotic they sounded, the irony not lost on either of them.

She halted a few feet away, the only sign of her discomfort being the slight quiver of her hands as they clenched and unclenched at her sides.

"It's…it's good to have you both back," she cleared her throat, picking up her phone and notes from the desk to their right, "you'll be instrumental in the cure process."

Peter could feel Eddie shifting his weight from foot to foot as he clearly itched to say something but was forcefully shoving it down. If his conversations with Tony had gone anything like Peter's, he was probably advised over the last six months to give Dr Rickards a wide berth, and thus, was no doubt fighting the urge to confront their once-mentor about her role in their kidnappings.

"You could've gotten us killed."

The entire room froze. A nearby lab-tech scuttled away, graduated cylinder in hand. Peter gaped at his friend, not surprised at the words themselves, but the way in which they were uttered—Eddie was…nonchalant? Blasé? All Peter knew was that his easy-breezy demeanour as he walked around Selena to inspect was probably to be his desk, did not line up with his cutting words.

"I—I know, Eddie and—I'm sorry," she croaked, any calm exterior that she had been projecting now crumbling to pieces in front of their eyes, folding in on herself like an origami babushka doll, "I hated myself. Every single day. I—I tried so hard to get out. Get away from everything Skyline was doing but…it's no excuse. I'm a monster who did terrible things in the name of science. It took me far too long to wisen up to the real harm I was causing. I cost people their lives. Their sanity. Put you and Peter in unimaginable danger. There is no excusing that."

A sharp pain crossed Peter's chest as he watched his once-hero pierce herself with her words, owning up to her failures as their mentor, a scientist and as a person in general.


The party of three turned to see one of the familiar nurses from upstairs regarding them with an indistinguishable look on her face, clearly having overheard Rickards' monologue.

"E-Eliza," Selena remarked, bug-eyed, "What—"

"Dr Banner and I would like Mr James to accompany us to the Observation Room. He could be helpful in our research," the nurse interjected, motioning to Eddie.

To his credit, Eddie didn't dash from the room, but it was a near thing. With a quick grin thrown at Peter, he scrambled to follow Nurse Woodruffe who was already barging away with the force of a slingshot, his hand risen slightly in a silent salute.

Selena watched them both leave for a moment, her face crestfallen, before she gathered herself and turned back to Peter—all business.

"Tony wants us on chemical composition today, Peter. Let's get to work."

He had no objections. Just relieved to be finally involved in the action. In helping the people affected by Blye and yes, Rickards. The last six months had flown by in a way, with little progress, even with Selena's invaluable notes and knowledge. Hopefully, he and Eddie could help change that.

With one final look at his friend's retreating back, Peter pushed down his ebbing discomfort and stood up straight.

"Ready when you are, Doc."

If there was one thing that Peter was not a fan of on his weekends, it was running errands. Yet, banks waited for no man, and neither, it seemed, did Wade Wilson.

"Will you stop fidgeting? We've been in line for like five minutes," Peter murmured to his boyfriend while covertly glancing around for any sign of suspicion.

A number of banks had been hit by a gang of efficient, weapon-toting robbers the last few weeks and they had spent an exorbitant amount of time and energy setting up this sting. Even Steve had gotten involved, apparently itching for a "good ol' fashioned bad-guy take-down", whatever that meant.

"Hey Pete," Wade piped up, bouncing on the balls of his feet, sounding as if something had just occurred to him, "You can't turn invisible like Miles in Spiderverse, right? I never thought to ask and that seems like something sexy that we can—"

"Eddie's cousin can turn invisible?" Peter interjected, mostly to get his boyfriend to stop talking about their sex life over the very live coms, but his tone not hiding his genuine befuddlement.

Wade shrugged, "Different universe, I guess."

"Remember Peter, Wade, you are civilians," Steve Rogers remarked into the coms in their ears, sounding wary of their conversation.

"Yeah, yeah, Captain Obvious, we know," Wade replied before Peter could even draw breath, his faux-impatience not quite ringing true.

It was no secret that he was beside himself with glee that he was now being somewhat included in official Avengers business. The last six months had been a series of milestones and mishaps for the merc, some of which Peter was incredibly proud of, others, he couldn't recall without cringing. But, despite or perhaps, because of Wade's fallibility, the team (and Peter) readily accepted the Canadian's enthusiastic help, whenever it was offered.

And it was always offered.


Peter was distracted from his musing as the doors to the building suddenly burst open, twelve heavily-armed figures racing in, guns held high.

"Right on time."

The words had barely escaped from Wade's lips before they were both shoved to the ground on their knees to join the two undercover SHIELD agents, two large figures (approximately the same height and weight as the merc) looming over them, the one nearest Peter pointing a pistol at his head, while the one closest to Wade, aimed, of all things, a harpoon gun at him.

"Are you guys for real?" Wade scoffed when he spotted the weapon, "Like, actually, one hundred percent, for serious? 'Cause I swear to—"

"Shut your mouth if you wanna end up like Goldie Hawn in Death Becomes Her," harpoon-guy growled, although not particularly menacingly, as his associate went up to the bank clerk and began barking orders.

Wade shot Peter a look of bewilderment before tilting his head at the masked man.

"I gotta hand it to ya, guy, that's one of the more interesting threats I've ever received."

"Keep 'em talkin' while we move into position, Wade," Cap murmured over the coms, and from the corner of his eye, Peter saw Hawkeye stealthily edge closer to them.

Peter almost rolled his eyes. Was 'The Merc With The Mouth' really gonna do anything else?

"That is an interesting weapon of choice," Wade continued, leaning forward to inspect the harpoon.

"Lie down!" the robber attempted and failed to shove him into a lying position.

"No, seriously dude. Are you planning on takin' out Moby Dick after this or—"

"Wade!" Peter yelled as a tell-tale sound of a trigger being pulled reached his ears.

It was almost comical. There weren't many people who could say they were harpooned. Or weren't many who were harpooned and would live to tell the tale, he guessed.

"Are you kidding me?!" Wade exclaimed as he stared down at the projectile now protruding from his chest cavity.

In fairness to the bank robber holding the literal smoking gun, gaping like a fish, he seemed a hell of more surprised than either Wade or Peter was at the turn of events.

"I'm—I'm sorry."

Wade snorted, fingers trailing the tip of the spear with muted interest, "not as sorry as you're gonna be, buddy."

Admittedly, his tone was a lot less threatening than he had been going for, but considering the circumstances, he figured he could be forgiven.

"Wade," Peter interjected, "no killing."

Wade sighed.

The room erupted into a flurry of activity, Cap no doubt giving the order to move in, the would-be-robbers individually snatched up by himself, Hawkeye and the undercover operatives.

"Goddamnit, Wade," Rogers rolled his eyes once the last man was chuffed.

"'Tis but a flesh wound," the merc mumbled with a dismissive wave.

"You have a gaping hole in your chest, Wade," Steve remarked drily, appearing to stifle his grimace with the back of his hand.

"It'll grow back."

"Pretty sure that's not how the Monty Python skit goes," Peter sighed with a put-upon roll of his eyes, "did you really have antagonise him?"

Wade shrugged with a tilt of his head, "it was either that or risk his buddy shooting you in your purty face, Parker. Pretty sure that wouldn't grow back."

This was a well-worn argument between them, one that would not be won by either of them tonight. Besides, they had bigger fish to fry. Namely, getting Wade somewhere safe. Travelling home on the subway was an ordeal in and of itself. But travelling on the subway whilst impaled by a five-foot spear? That was another headache altogether. Or chest-ache as the case may be.

"Easy, easy," Peter grimaced when they finally made it through the front door of his aunt's house, Wade awkwardly lowering himself sideways onto a kitchen chair.

"We gotta take it out," the merc groaned through clenched teeth.

"You'll bleed out in seconds."

"That's kinda the point, baby boy," he reasoned with more patience than he thought himself capable of, "sooner we kickstart the healing process, the sooner I can eat pizza again."

"Glad to see your priorities haven't been compromised."

Peter was stalling. They both knew it. He just hated this part. It had happened a fair few times in the last six months, but it still never got any easier watching the man he loved die.

Not that he ever told him that.

"On three?"

Peter's eyes widened.

"You want me to pull it out?"

Wade smirked, "I know I'm not usually a fan of pulling out, but in this case, I think you gotta."

Fucking gallows humour. Wade may not have invented it, but he surely had perfected it. Accepting the inevitable, Peter gripped the handle of the harpoon with one hand and placed the other on his boyfriend's shoulder, squeezing it gently.


Wade took a deep breath.


Peter planted his feet and clenched his jaw.


He pulled up as hard and fast as he could, wincing at the sound, it like a dagger slicing through raw beef. The harpoon clattered to the floor as Wade slumped off the chair, falling to his knees, blood spurting around him like a macabre fountain. Peter kneeled beside him, wrapping a sturdy arm around his shoulders and keeping him propped up, his back pressed against Peter's chest as he struggled for breath.

"Not…not long now," Wade gasped, resting his head in the nape of the brunet's neck, "I'll…I'll make one hell of a Goldie."

Peter's heart clenched painfully in his chest as Wade's stuttering breath bounced off his skin less and less frequently as the seconds dragged on.

"See you…soon, Pete."

He knew he would, too. Knew that in less than a half hour, the merc would be up and about, bouncing around the kitchen and making pancakes as if he hadn't just stared death right in the face only to blow her a kiss, flip her the bird and jump back into his body. These were things Peter knew, from having both experienced the aftermath more than he would have liked, and from listening to Wade recount his afterlife tales in the dead of night, murmured confessions in the dark. Peter knew this was the routine, the norm.

But it still destroyed him each and every time all the same.

"See you soon, Wade."

Seventeen minutes.

That's how long it took him to come back this time.

Seventeen minutes that Peter spent sat on the floor, a lifeless Wade cradled in his arms, calculating how long it would take him to clean up the blood before his aunt got home from work, because he had to focus on something other than the fact that people he loved lying dead in his arms was becoming an all-too common occurrence.


At least Wade did him the solid of waking up in his arms too. Less nightmares for him that way.

"Yeah, Wade? It's me," he murmured gently, keeping his arms gently wrapped around him as he tried to sit up, "easy, easy, you're not fully closed up yet."

Wade stared down at the gaping wound in his chest that was only partially magically-sutured shut.

"Ah, I'm good. Worst is over."

With that, he sat up, barely wincing before glancing at the floor around him, the detritus of his untimely demise a macabre reminder of what had just transpired.

"Oh shit, made a bit of a mess, huh?"

It wasn't what he wanted to say. But nothing he could voice could possibly make up for the carnage and anguish he knew he had caused as he yet again submitted to the jagged claws of death and left Peter to deal with the aftermath.

Peter surveyed the room, zeroing in on the mass of dried blood trailing from the front door leading straight to where they sat like an ominous neon sign. His Aunt May's house had been the closest to the bank, it had been the most logical place to bring Wade, but he could tell by looking at the merc's face that he was uncomfortable to have inflicted this upon the Parker household. Peter couldn't help but wonder just how much of Wade's blood painted the streets of New York City.

"Don't worry about it," he assured him quietly, eyes positively hawk-like on his still-healing wound, "nothing a rag and some bleach won't fix."

They got to work, Peter running upstairs quickly to change, while Wade still a little sluggish in his movements, sat back at the kitchen table, sorting through cleaning supplies.

"We gotta get you something to change into," Peter remarked almost to himself as he re-entered the room a few minutes later, head covered by the maroon hoodie he was pulling on.

"I think there's some stuff left in the laundry room if you want to take a look."

Peter stopped dead in his tracks, ice running through his veins.

Slowly, he pulled the rest of the hoodie down over his head, his hands shaking as he came face to face with none other than May Parker, standing in the middle of the blood-stained kitchen, hands on her hips.

"You…you usually work late on Saturdays," he murmured weakly, throwing a glance at Wade who was still propped up at the table, deftly covering the gaping wound in his chest with a well-placed arm.

"Nancy needed me to swap shifts with her, so I got home early," she replied evenly before turning to Wade, "you look like you could do with some coffee, sweetheart."

Peter watched half in fear and half in awe at his aunt, as if wholly blind to the carnage littering her floor, turned on her heel to start up the coffee-maker, humming gently under her breath.

"You remember where the bleach is right, Pete? Better hop to it, we don't want that to stain."

His feet remained glued to the floor.

She knew.

He knew that she knew.

She knew that he knew that she knew.

But they didn't talk about it. Never. Not once.

Seemed pretty unavoidable now, though.

"Aunt May, I can—"

"Oh my god, Wade!"

May cut across his half-assed explanation with a loud shriek, her eyes wide with horror as Wade accidentally exposed his chest wound.

"Oh shit," the Canadian murmured softly, trying to hurriedly cover himself but the older woman was too fast, practically sprinting towards him.

"Wade, oh my god, you're hurt! That's—that's your blood?" she asked, her voice an octave higher than normal as she again surveyed her kitchen but with a fresh albeit horrified understanding.

Peter took a step forward, rubbing the back of his neck, "Uh—"

"We need to get you to a hospital!" May threw up her hands, determination in her gait, "You'll need, god, a lot of stitches. Peter, why the hell didn't you get him to—"

"—May, May, it's fine, really. I'm fine," Wade interjected, trying to stand up only to be unceremoniously pushed back down by a strength that of which should not be attributed to a woman of such small stature.

"Don't you move. You may refuse a hospital, Wade Wilson, but I am a medical professional and I refuse to let you just ignore a gaping hole in your chest."

Her tone left no room for argument. No matter how long Peter and Wade stared at each other helplessly.

Which was precisely how Wade found himself sitting dutifully still as May slapped his hands away from his shirt and fixing him with a look of permission to remove it. With an edgy glance at his boyfriend over her shoulder, he hastily nodded.

[How the fuck are they gonna get outta this one?]

{By lying their damn asses off}

"Okay now…"

If May were perturbed by the carnage that lay under Wade's shirt, she gave no indication; merely leaning forward and dabbing gently at the wound, clearing the blood away from the marred skin.


[Uh oh]

{She's definitely noticed the healing factor}

[Okay, what do we go with? 'I'm a quick healer?' 'The wound wasn't that deep?' 'It's not—]

"Looks like the healing process has started."

[Well, shit]

"W-What?" Wade gaped at her as, from his peripheral view, he saw Peter stiffen.

The silence was deafening.

"Your healing factor, I can see where the muscle has started to fuse back together," May continued, focussed intently on her task and evidently not aware that she was blowing their goddamn minds in the process.

"How—" Peter took a step forward but caught himself, running a hand through his hair nervously.

"Do you…" Wade faltered, words lodged in his overly-dry throat, "you know who I am, don't you."

It wasn't a question. Not really. Not when the answer was glaring him right in the face.

"You're Wade Wilson," May shrugged, meeting his eye with ease, holding his gaze as if she realised the sincerity of the situation, "you also go by 'Deadpool', I've heard."

She resumed the gently dabbing at his chest, her expression fraught with worry.

"You must be in pain."

Wade would later blame shock for his uncensored response, "Well yeah, but I'm always in pain."

Peter's corresponding wince was practically full-bodied as he sat himself down next to him, looking so much like his aunt then, his face full of unbridled concern, that it was hard to believe that they weren't biologically related.

"Oh, Wade."

At May's anguished sigh, Peter reached out and clutched his hand in his, squeezing gently.

Wade stared at their interlocked fingers for a beat, the ache in his chest now not only from the wound, but trepidation.

"I suppose…this changes things. You knowing who I am. What I've…what I've done."

He could feel his freshly re-started heartbeat ricocheting against his ribcage as something like an eternity passed before May spoke.

"I've known about your alter-ego for a while now, Wade," she lowered the blood-soaked rag to the table, her jaw set as her eyes burned a hole into his, "why on earth would that change anything?"

His throat was a desert made up of shards of broken glass.

"I—" he swallowed, "I just thought—"

"You're Wade Wilson," May cut across him, leaning forward to place a palm on his shoulder, "the funny, sweet and caring man I've had the pleasure of getting to know for almost a year now. You're not just what you do or have done for a living, Wade. Yes, now you're a brave crime-fighter, a man who helps keep this city safe, and that's wonderful in and of itself, but you're also my sous chef, my Saturday morning cross-word buddy and the man that makes my nephew happier than I've ever seen him. The fact that you're also someone who may have done things you aren't proud of, doesn't change how I see you, or how I feel about you. I—I don't know 'Deadpool', the mercenary. I know Wade. And would like to continue getting to know Wade. If he would like to continue getting to know me, that is."

She paused, shrugging her shoulders as if she hadn't just upended Wade's entire emotional core. Warmth enveloped him, wrapping around his insides like a downy winter blanket.

"Thanks, May," he croaked, clearing his throat, "I would like nothing more than continue getting to know you. And—And for the record, I've given up my old line of work. I'm all legit, above board, strict no-kill-policy. Hell, last dude I killed was the guy that shot at Pete—"

Peter cleared his throat loudly, heaving a series of coughs that effectively drowned out the rest of that incriminating sentence. May fixed him with a look that told them she was no fool, fitting the last of the gauze to his chest and smoothing it down with care that made Wade smile softly.

"'Bout time you got that sweater, I'd say, Peter. You'll find one near the bleach."

They knew a dismissal when they heard it. Biting his lip nervously, Peter nodded and made his way out of the kitchen, towards the laundry-room, his shoulders slumped. To her credit, May busied herself with organising her first-aid kit for a full fifteen seconds after his departure, before levelling Wade with a stare that chilled him more than any sharp object ever could.

"I know he's Spider Man."

Wade couldn't say he was surprised.

"You seem to know a lot more than we give you credit for."

She tilted her head, "A running theme when it comes to you two, I think."


He wasn't sure what else to say.

She waved her hand dismissively, "Don't be. It's not—I don't need to know everything that goes on in Peter's life, Wade. I…like to think I respect his privacy. He is an adult. But he—he will always be my boy. Always."

She paused, letting her words sink in.

Wade fought to keep her gaze.

"I never bring up his other life because he has always tried so hard to hide it from me. It took me a while to understand it but, I do now. I know why he doesn't want me mixed up in all…this. The events of this past year only solidified that for me. And I don't mind. I really don't. But you have to understand something."

She leaned forward in her seat, her eyes a whirlwind of emotion.

{God this woman is good at dramatic tension}

[Big guy is gonna shit himself]

"You can't die."

She pressed her lips together before continuing, her voice dropping to a murmur, "…but he can."

Her words rang in his ears. It was not something that he needed reminding of. The thought one of the many that chilled him to the bone when it came to Peter. His unwavering mortality. His healing factor that could achieve only so much, was something Wade had worried about on more than one occasion even before he became romantically-involved with the crime-fighter.

"He can die. Can't he?"

Her question was whispered in the space between them, her right palm suspended over the wound in his chest as if she knew that the very thing she asked about kept his heart thrumming a crescendo against his ribcage.

"I think so, yeah. He—but—you know I look out for him. Right?"

"I thought it was his blood. When I first walked in." She said in lieu of answering him, her tone having taken on a briskness that didn't match her paled complexion, "Until I saw you sitting at the table, I thought I was walking into my nephew's murder scene."

Wade's stomach lurched.

"I thought some crazed villain had found out Peter's identity and followed him back here," she continued, steadfast in her task of patching him up, but her movements more mechanical, as if working off of muscle memory, than actual conscious actions.

"I have worried about that since the day I pieced it all together."

Wade winced, "Giovanni Blye?"

Her eyes met his, "Giovanni Blye."

They didn't speak about it much. Not anymore. But Wade knew that Peter was closely following the progress of Blye's trial and had, on more than one occasion, requested visitation to his jail. Only to be denied time and time again.

May was not an idiot. He had known she had highly suspected something that night that they both met her back at Avenger Tower after the whole debacle. Had a feeling that her special-aunt-instincts could tell there was something wrong with her boy, in the way he sagged into her embrace as if the world had robbed him of all his energy. Mental, physical and emotional.

"I know you look out for each other, Wade. And I'm grateful for that, I am," she continued, biting her lip as she took away the blood-soaked rag from his mottled chest, "but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to worry, every god damn time he's out there. It's—it's my right as a parent."

He could understand that. On some level.

{The level where he has a kid?}

[Does Ellie exist in this universe?]

{Valid question}

"What can I do?"

Wade was nothing if not pragmatic. Sometimes. When he wanted to be.

She looked at him then, her face a myriad of emotions that he was incapable of deciphering.

"I don't think there's anything you can do, Wade."

She lowered her hands from his chest, patting his forearm gently as if he was the one who needed consoling.

"I just have to trust that you have each other's backs. And that—that'll be enough."

He nodded, marvelling not for the first time how she had the uncanny ability to strike him dumb at the most inconvenient of times.

"Bleach and a clean sweater. It may be a bit more of a crop top on you though, Wade. Sorry."

They both looked up at the familiar voice as Peter re-entered the room, preoccupied by the items in his hands and seemingly unaware of the tension in the air.

"I'll get that coffee."

With that, May stood up from the table, turning from them, hair shielding her face from view. Wade watched her go, a weight, not unlike a small boulder, dropping into the pit of his stomach.


The mercenary, or ex-mercenary as he ought to start thinking of himself as, considering he hadn't actually killed anyone for money in a very long time, shook himself gently and compelled his gaze up to meet his boyfriend's hazel eyes that were alight with worry.

"Thanks, Pete," he forced a smile, taking the sweater and awkwardly put it on, managing to keep the wince off his face as fresh pain bolted through him.

"I'll uh—I'll just…"

Peter motioned to the bloodbath that was the kitchen floor, before dropping to his knees, rag and bleach in hand. Wade watched him for a few moments, his eyes flickering from him over to where May stood, shoulders tense, by the sink.

It hit him, then. Harder than it ever had before.

He would do anything, everything in his power, to keep May and Peter Parker safe.

And whoever challenged that?

Would have to kill him.

"We never talk about it."

He was mid-way through taking off his socks when the words just tumbled from his mouth. He hadn't made the conscious decision to bring this all up now, but ever since his talk with Foggy, and the subsequent-talk with May just over an hour ago, the thought had been hanging around in the back of his mind like a cobweb draped over his hippocampus.

"About what, Wade?"

Peter had stilled, one leg in his pyjamas, looking over at him curiously, turning down the volume on the TV, no doubt suspecting that this was an important conversation. A warmth spread in Wade's chest as he watched him blink owlishly. Looking cute as a button in his periodic table pants. It didn't make what he had to say next any easier.

"I have killed people for money, Peter."

There was a beat of silence where Peter's right leg slipped into his pants and he straightened up, tilting his head at him.

"What's this all about, Wade?"

Anxiety was freely flowing in his veins now as he geared himself up to say what he had been thinking for a while now.

"It's about the fact that you're dating a murderer, Peter. I—I know you've said that you…you don't see me as that, not…not anymore at least, but—that's how the general public sees me. The bad guys see me. They know if Deadpool is in the vicinity, someone's gonna croak. They don't have that when they see The Avengers or Spider Man or—Jesus, even Hulk. But they do when it comes to me. I'm…I'm a harbinger of death. Always have been. Can't even blame it on the Weapon X."

He didn't mean for the last few words to crack, to turn to ash in his mouth, but that's how it felt. He fought the urge to put his head in his hands, forcing himself to keep Peter's gaze. The expression on his face was unreadable. Wade's gut twisted painfully.

After a moment or two of silence, Peter blinked again, as if rousing himself from a trance, crossing the room in two quick strides and kneeling down in front of him, resting his hands on Wade's knees.

"The last person you killed was the guy trying to kill me. And you didn't get paid for it, if I remember correctly."

Wade frowned, "Yeah, but—doesn't it bother you? That I—what I've done?"

Peter squeezed his knee, "I won't lie, it did. I—I don't agree with killing, Wade, I never have and never will. But…you know I don't think you're a monster, right? We—we moved past that, right?"

"I spoke with Foggy about opening up my own business."

That was not the response Wade intended to give, or Peter intended on hearing, if his surprised expression was anything to go by.

"Your own business?"

Wade shifted a little, clearing his throat, "It's uh…come to my attention that I have a particular set of skills—"

[Okay, Liam Neeson]

"—that extend beyond the killing-variety. Skills that could maybe…help people. I—I'm not an Avenger, Peter, probably never will be, but—I could use what I know to help people. I—did something similar before and thought I could again. Foggy—Foggy is gonna help me get a listing for an office."

A small smile spread across Peter's face.

"That's great, Wade! I'm…so proud of you."

Wade looked as if he was trying incredibly hard not to let Peter's praise go to his head and didn't care that he was failing miserably.

"Thanks, Pete," he murmured, touched smile small, but no less present on his face. "I'm proud of you too, you know."

The brunet quirked an eyebrow at him.

"Banner may have let slip that you're mentoring the Adolescent Avengers."

"Young Avengers."

"Same diff."

[Waaaaait. Young Avengers aren't in—]

{Shhh. Writer lady does what she wants}

[Even when it makes no sense?]

{Especially then}

A small smile graced Peter's face, "They're good kids. They—their potential is outta this world. Were already doing just fine before me. Teddy is just the sweetest kid, and Billy—

"Bill and Ted?" Wade snorted, "Excellent!"

Peter chuckled, "Yeah, I'm sure they've never heard that before, poor kids. Anyway, they're all great…I wish I had had friends like them when I was going through…everything."

He paused, taking Wade's hand in his, "Wish I had had you."

Wade squeezed his fingers gently, "You have me now."

"Yeah," he murmured. "And you have me."

The two shared a pleased grin before Peter leaned forward, palm cupping Wade's cheek and pulling him in to a chaste kiss. Wade sighed into his mouth, the knot that had formed in his stomach lessening slightly on his exhale. He was working on it, this…low self-esteem thing when it came to having a significant other who knew each and every dark, twisted, crazy inch of you intimately. Of being so…known in a way that you may never have been before. It was an on-going process, and he didn't always get it right on the first try, but he was trying. They both were.

Wade wrapped his arms around Peter's waist, pulling him tighter against him. Peter responded with his lips latching onto Wade's neck with fervour. His fingers frantic as they fought with the buttons on his pants.

"Today, of all days," he panted against his skin, "is when you decide to dress formally?"

A chuckle wracked the merc, "I had to dress up for my date with Foggy."

"Bet Matt loved that," Peter deadpanned as he wrestled with Wade's borrowed-sweatshirt, pulling it up and off him, flinging it across the room, mouth raking over the exposed skin.

"Matt—Matt needs to…get his head outta his ass and see what's…ah—right in front of him," Wade struggled to breathe as Peter explored lower and lower with his mouth.

"Well…" the brunet practically sang as he sunk to his knees, pulling Wade's dress-pants and boxers down with him, before staring up at him, a twinkle in his eye, "not everyone can be as enlightened as us."

Wade would have scoffed in reply had Peter not chosen that precise moment to sweep his tongue along the head of his cock. The mercenary struggled to stay standing as his knees trembled, threatening to buckle.

"Jesus H. Christ," he hissed as Peter took him fully into his mouth, his dick hitting the back of his throat.

With a quivering hand, he raked his fingers through Peter's tresses, clutching with a tight grip.

"Y-Yeah, Peter, oh—oh shit," his eyes bounced around in their sockets as they fought not to close.

A blur from the TV danced in his peripheral a split second before his eyelids dropped. His entire body tensed.

"Uh, Pete—Peter. Wait."


{I think this takes precedence, don't you?}

He raked a hand in his hair, tugging gently. The brunet stilled his ministrations immediately, pulling off him with a wet pop, meeting his gaze, brow furrowed, "Everything okay? What's—"

Wade gently pressed his fingertips to his lips, cutting him off. Slowly, he leaned forward, stare unwavering as he spoke quietly but firmly, "I just want you to know that whatever this is—we will get through it. Together."

Peter barely had time for his frown to deepen before Wade was turning him around to face the TV that was now flashing with breaking news, a very familiar face plastered all over the screen. With unsteady hands, Peter reached out for the remote, turning up the volume.

"—out of the secure facility where he has been detained awaiting his upcoming trial. Giovanni Blye is now currently being treated for his injuries at New York General Hospital, his condition unknown; although police don't suspect foul play at this time…"

Peter gaped at the TV, remote still raised mid-air.


He was out of prison.

Out in the real world with the general populous again.


"I need to talk to Tony. Now."

He looked…small. Almost childlike.

It was an odd thought, one of his first when he first walked through the door of the ward. It had taken Tony a few days, and a hell of a lot more dollars and handshakes to allow this to happen, but he was finally here. Finally seeing a sight he wasn't sure he ever would. There, lying wholly still, wrapped in a cocoon of blankets with multiple tubes protruding from him, Giovanni Blye looked the antithesis of criminal mastermind. But, Peter supposed, that was probably the point.

"I know you're awake."

His voice was loud in the otherwise muted room, booming amongst the gentle beeping of a heart monitor and the indistinct murmurings of a world outside. Blye, for his part, didn't continue the façade, opening his eyes almost immediately with a resigned sigh.

"Was wondering how long it'd take for you to come and gloat. You made record-time, Parker."

"You really think that's why I'm here? To gloat?"

Peter couldn't keep the steel out of his tone as he stared down at the man who never failed to evoke a swirl of emotions to erupt in his chest.

"Why else would you be here?"

He knew it was all to get a rise out of him. Play game after game with him. But he wouldn't take the bait. Not this time.

"I came here to ensure you don't skip out on justice, Blye."

Blye tilted his head at him, one eyebrow arched.

"And you'd know nothing about dodging justice, would ya, Peter?"

He. Would. Not. Rise. To. The. Bait.

"What about that boyfriend of yours, huh? You think he has been brought to justice for all his crimes?"

"Oh no, I'm definitely damned, that's not up for debate."

Peter gave a half-glance behind him, towards the all-too-familiar voice. He watched as Wade stepped into the room, shutting the door behind him with a low snap. The look he threw Peter was simultaneously an apologetic one and one seeking permission to stay. With an incline of his head, the brunet acquiesced his presence, turning back to the man in the bed, feeling a little steadier than before.

"Are you being seen by a mental-health professional?"

The question felt hollow, but it was something that he needed to ask. Needed to know. Giovanni Blye may have caused a hell of a lot of hurt to an awful amount of people, but Peter had to know that he was getting the help that he needed. Even behind bars.

"I am," Blye shrugged, meeting his eye again, "I'm getting everything I could ever want," he paused with a tilt of his head, "Well, except one thing."

Peter and Wade exchanged a glance.

"My brother back."

The Canadian barely held in a scoff as he murmured, "Did he just Indigo Montoya us? Seriously?"

Peter shook his head, throwing his hands up and taking another step towards the bed, knowing and not caring that his voice definitely held a tinge of desperation.

"Gio I—I don't know what else to say. I really don't. I—I haven't spent one second, not regretting that day. Going over and over it in my head. Asking myself what I could have done differently. If I had been faster, smarter. Everything. But…your brother was already dead when I got there. And I'm sorry for that—so, so sorry. I wish I could make it different, I really do. But I can't. I'm sorry."

A silence engulfed the room. Peter could feel Wade practically vibrating with tension a pace behind him, but he stood his ground. He could not crumble. Not now. He had come too far, gone through too much to show Blye weakness now. Even if the guilt still ate at him from the inside out.

"Get out."

He couldn't say that he was surprised. Not really. The disappointment hit him like a freight train all the same.

"I said get out, Parker. You've said your piece."

His feet felt like they were glued to the floor. He felt Wade shift a little behind him, lightly grasp his elbow, not moving him, but anchoring him, reminding him that he was not alone. He did not have to walk out of there on his own.

"He may have said his piece, but I've not said mine."

Peter's entire body tensed as Wade's words almost echoed throughout the room. No matter how much he wanted to, he didn't turn around, didn't meet his boyfriend's gaze. Instead, he kept his attention steadily forward, locked on Blye's face that had darkened even further, jaw clenched, eyes ablaze.

"And what the hell would you have—"

"I'm sorry."

Were it not for the gravity of the situation, Peter would have laughed out loud at the dumbstruck expression on Blye's face. It was as if he had been told he was going to be presented the Nobel Peace Prize by the ghost of Nelson Mandela.

"You're…sorry…" Blye muttered slowly, eyes flickering as he struggled to comprehend those three syllables coming from that source.

Wade nodded, taking his own step forward, clasping his hands behind his back.

"Maybe if I had gotten to the basement sooner, or noticed Robert sooner, or didn't hold Peter back from the beam—there are any number of scenarios that could have ended differently. I'm…I'm just sorry for the part I played that day. I know it won't bring him back…but I still wanted you to know."

Peter was well aware that such sincerity was not beyond Wade, but Blye was clearly blindsided by his apology, now floundering.

"He could have withstood the weight of that beam," he spat, venom in his tone, "we all know it."

From his peripheral view, Peter saw Wade's jaw tightened.

"Yeah, well, maybe. But it wasn't a risk I was willing to take."

If looks could kill, Giovanni Blye would have struck them straight into the arms of Death herself.

"You can go now."

Peter's feet itched as he shifted his weight.

"Come on, Wade. Let's go."

Blye was no longer looking at them, instead focussing his attention out the window, a faraway hilt to his gaze.

"Joe says hi, by the way," Wade threw over his shoulder as they opened the door to leave, "Or, you know, he would. If he wasn't still so messed up from the shit you did to him."

"I did hear you're working on a cure," Blye called after them, a hint of mirth in his tone, "Good luck with that, guys. You'll need it."

The door closed behind them with a snap that Peter would hear in his dreams every night for the next six months.

Wade turned to him, holding out his hand as they began their trek back down the corridor.

Peter took his hand, interlacing their fingers, a little of the weight lifting from his chest.

"It's over," his boyfriend assured him in a tone a lot more confident either of them felt, "Everything else is epilogue. I promise."

Somehow, Peter thought this epilogue was going to be long.

And painful.

And most terrifyingly of all?

Not an epilogue at all.

But rather, a prologue to something else entirely.

He just didn't know what, yet.

Okay, so I swear, the next chapter really is the last. And is ¾ written.

Uh huh.

Wade, please. You gotta believe me.

Oh, I do, I do. Same way I believe in a fat man handing out presents on Jesus's fake birthday and how Michael Bay will eventually stop making explosion-porn masquerading as blockbusters.

So…not at all, then.

Not on your life. Hell, not on MY life. And mine's eternal.

Great. Now that's sorted—how about a sneak peek?

If it's not Spideypool porn, I'm not interested.

It's Spideypool porn.

go on.

You're getting predictable in your old age.

And you're getting on my last nerve. Get on with it already—before Marvel releases another dozen movies and Disney buys NASA.


"Fuck," the Canadian groaned between gasps, grabbing two handfuls of Peter's bare ass and squeezing tightly.

"That's the idea," the brunet murmured against his jaw, his tone warm and suggestive as he ground his hips against his, already half-hard underneath the ridiculous apron.

Wade ran a hand through Peter's hair, gripping it tightly in his fingers and wrenching his head back. He sank his teeth down onto his favourite mole of Peter's, the one that lay just where clavicle met shoulder, repaying him in kind. The best kind.

Peter hissed at the initial sting, as Wade's tongue replaced his teeth, a salve on his reddened skin. He forced a thigh between Wade's knees and pushed up roughly.

Wade bucked at the friction, the drag of denim against skin downright delectable, but not enough.

"Can't...need…" he tried to articulate as he forced his mouth off Peter's neck, but his words died in his throat as his boyfriend, seemingly reading his mind, deftly unzipped his jeans and palmed him through his boxers.

"This what you need?" he asked in that knowing, smug way, that told both of them that he knew well it was.

The ex-mercenary nodded anyway, choking off a groan as Peter slipped his hand into the material and gripped him tightly.

"I got you," he said in a quiet breath against Wade's ear, as he reached his other hand into the front pocket of his apron and pulled out a very familiar item.

"Pretty sure-lube isn't a usual kitchen condiment," the Canadian smirked, the effect a little ruined by the excited hitching of his breath.

"Maybe not," Peter conceded with a wry grin, "But it is flavoured."

Wade's nonexistent eyebrows shot up as Peter waved the bottle in front of his face.

"Sensual Strawberry Warming Lubricant."

Peter shrugged, "Only the best for our anniversary, right?"

At those words, warmth pooled in the pit of Wade's stomach, a mix of arousal and something far softer, contentment, maybe.

"Thought we weren't doing gifts," he said instead of the myriad of mushier, gushier things his mouth wanted desperately to say.

The brunet chuckled, "Well, this is more of a gift for me, so, technically…" he let the words hang as he flicked opened the bottle and squeezed some of the oily liquid into his palm.

"Besides," he continued, nonchalantly gripping Wade's cock in a firm hold, sliding it tantalisingly slow until his brushed against his balls, "'no gifts' doesn't include the gift of me."

Wade snorted, loudly and obnoxiously, something which his boyfriend saw fit to punish him for with another squeeze just the wrong side of pleasurable.

"Oh yeah, you're a gift alright, Petey Pie."

Peter squeezed him again before removing his hand altogether, stepping backwards away from him, "And don't you forget it."

"It's—cute that you think I don't know that this is all part of the game," Wade spoke to the ceiling, his head tilting back and eyes rolling in his skull as hot-breath mouthed at the skin along his lower-abdomen, close to where he really needed it, but not quite.

"Please, you think I don't know you well enough now," Peter murmured, sitting back on his heels to look up at him incredulously, "to know that you like a bit of dinner theater before the main act? I thought we were pornstars in the making here?"

The grin Wade threw down at him looked practically painful it was so wide. Warmth bloomed in Peter's chest at the sight of it.

"You know me better than anyone ever has, Peter Parker."