You feel like a coward. You are a coward.
You've moved away, away from your new carpet and your cracked ceiling and what memory of Wade lingered in your old one bedroom. But you can't take the boy out of Queens, or Queens out of the boy, so you've settled down between Bushwick and Ridgewood where your largest windows look out over your home borough.
Fury is still paying your bills and you haven't gotten the courage to push, so you're hovering at $1600 rent for a 900 square foot mansion (at least, compared to the last apartment that you promised yourself you wouldn't think about but here you go again).
You still smile at the thought of Fury writing a check to your landlord personally.
You have wood flooring this time.
The apartment is cold and empty. No piece of furniture you had before held any memories, or was of any importance, and so you left it behind. Your closet is full, you have an adult's linen closet with more than one towel and blanket, and your refrigerator at least knows what a vegetable is, and isn't that all you need?
No, you disagree with yourself, and goddamn if you haven't reminded yourself of Wade again.
The last news you heard of him was from a week ago. In Quebec, of all places, like his targets were spiraling closer and closer to home. Your home.
He said your apartment was home, once. He also kissed you and you ran.
You wonder if he speaks any French.
There's a clattering outside your living room window and you pause in the act of turning on your PS4. There aren't any lights on in your apartment, except for the television glowing faintly in its blackness, so you stand up quickly and walk over to the window.
The clattering has stopped, but you can't see anything through the glass. It's probably not a good idea to open your window, but you're knee-deep in bad ideas, so you flip the latch and slowly ease it up. Then you peer out into the city lights.
On Wyckoff, there's a taco stand. It's long closed by now, umbrellas folded and wheels locked. There are a few cars parked on the street. An ambulance siren sounds somewhere far away--far enough that if you suited up and followed, whoever they were picking up would be safe.
And then you look down.
The fire escape landing, usually full of little holes that shine with the streetlight below them, is blocked by something still and dark.
You swallow hard and take a deep breath. And then, almost under your breath, you ask, "Wade?"
The figure shifts. "Caught me," it says.
Your mind is reeling. Wade isn't injured, as far as you can tell, but his voice is rough like he's smoked a thousand cigarettes before coming to see you. Coming to see you?
"Are you injured?" is your next question.
"No," he replies shortly.
"Were you following me?" you ask. His answering snort massively deflates your ego. You're the one who ran when he kissed you, but, to be fair, he was missing a leg and a bit more at the time. Does that make it better or worse?
"Two words," Wade says. "Comida. Mexicana."
You can't help but smile like an idiot, leaning out of your window into freezing New York air at two in the morning. "I should have known," you murmur. And then, before you can convince yourself it’s a bad idea, you say, "Wanna come in?"
Wade tilts his head back, and for some reason you're disappointed to see the white eyes of his mask. He says, "I might be hallucinating again," and you realize you're not wearing your mask.
"Maybe," you concede. And then you leave the window to sit cross-legged on the wooden floor in front of your television, also sitting on the floor closer to the wall, and your PS4. You don't turn it on, though, listening over city traffic and the dim hum the television makes for any sign that Wade is coming in.
You get the wild idea that you're in shock. Everything Wade does is like a natural disaster, sweeping in and destroying preconceptions and then sweeping back out, except in your case the sweeping back out left you emptier than you thought it would.
A heavy boot lands with surprising softness on the floor, followed by another. Then the window closes and the traffic sounds are muffled. "No couch, huh? You millennials and your minimalism."
"You're also a millennial, Wade," you reply. Your voice sounds tired to your own ears and it's enough to make Wade pause, still standing by the window. His katanas against his back cast an odd shadow across the floor.
"Listen, Spidey, I--"
You turn to face him more fully, still sitting on the floor, feeling more and more numb. "Don't," you interrupt him.
He goes silent. You can't see his mouth, but you can imagine the exact way it turns down in confusion and disappointment. Thankfully you don't get the urge to run again.
"Are you between jobs?" you ask evenly.
Wade's hands, which had been hanging at his sides, suddenly come up to cross over his chest. "Yeah. Almost fucked up a few days ago, had a… but you don't want to hear about that." He shifts from one foot to the other. "I'mma be out of New York by tomorrow."
"Stay," you say. "You should--talk to me."
You both hesitate for a few seconds. "I would, baby boy," he says, and his voice is higher, like he's smirking behind his mask, "But ol' Deadpool already accepted a contract overseas. You'll have to live another day without cha'boy."
"Another six months," slips out of your mouth and you wish you could take it back, but you can't. Wade visibly flinches. You're definitely in shock. "Afterward, please. Come back. I need to… to…."
"Sure thing, sweetums." Wade puts his hands on his hips instead, and you can see the minute trembling in them. "Gimmie a few weeks, max. Until then I'll be outta your gorgeous hair."
You laugh despite yourself, one breathless chuckle that stops before it can start. "Yeah, Wade. A few weeks. I'll be here."
Again, he doesn't use the front door like a normal person. He does close your window behind himself this time.
You purposefully don't think about your talk with Cap. He was too supportive, too easy to talk to, even though your end of the conversation mostly consisted of rambling half-formed thoughts. You hadn't mentioned Wade by name but you're paranoid he knew exactly who you were thinking of.
Stark's voice comes in through your com. "Park and 41st," he says, followed by a screech of rending metal that sets your teeth on edge. "Spider-Man, can you block it off?"
"Got it!" you reply, too tired to think of a good joke. Somehow Doom had been amassing hundreds of Servo-Guards and, as usual, they were attacking Manhattan. It was a matter of keeping them all corralled and then dismantling them while Cap and the Black Widow took down Doctor Doom.
You shoot a long web of tripwire across the street, and then another, and another, weaving a sturdy web that the first wave of Servo-Guards gets trapped in. The others, chased toward Park Ave by Iron Man and Hawkeye, start to pile up behind them before turning back and trying to escape the other way.
No puns come to mind. You just want to go home.
Suddenly, a gunshot rings out. Then another, and then the sound of steel against titanium. You look down from your position, upside-down in your web, to see a familiar red outfit and glinting swords.
"Christ," Hawkeye says from his perch, which is your thought exactly.
"Hi, Spidey!" Wade--Deadpool--yells, neatly slicing one Servo-Guard in half with his katana and turning his Deagle on another. "You're looking very… spider-like today!"
You sigh so hard you almost fall out of your web, but then a plasma rifle fires a shot in your direction and you're back in motion.
Unsurprisingly, with Wade's sudden appearance, it doesn't take much longer to destroy the rest of the Servo-Guards. Iron Man gives you an encouraging pat on the shoulder before leaving 41st to scout for any remaining bots.
Then it's just you and Wade, standing in the street, looking at each other.
He smiles, the expression visible through his mask. "Can't believe I almost missed the fun!" he says, sheathing his katanas that are, for once, free of blood. "You were amazing, bee-tee-dubs. I woulda fell on my ass at least once, but you were all like--" Wade does a series of kicks and punches that make you fight to keep from laughing.
"Got a minute?" you ask. S.H.I.E.L.D. will be here soon for clean-up and you don't want to be roped into it. Or webbed into it, as it were. In a few hours they'll call you in for your AAR.
Wade doesn't hesitate this time. "Sure thing, Webs. Lead the way!"
While you're not really that athletic, relying on your web shooters and a few timed jumps, Wade follows you at pace. He jumps rooftops and sticks landings in a way that makes you want to stop and watch. Fortunately Wyckoff isn't terribly far from here.
Wade is already up the fire escape by the time you show up to your own window, backlit by the late afternoon sun. "After you," he says, and you're curious as to how he knows it's not locked. But memories of one am pancakes fill your head and you don't ask.
"Oh shit, finally got that couch, huh?" he asks when he climbs in. He walks around it, nodding appreciatively at the two hundred dollar used sofa you bought off of Craigslist like it came from Buckingham Palace.
But you know Wade could stall forever if you let him. "I panicked," you hear yourself say. Wade stops at the opposite end of the couch and looks up at you. "A-after you kissed me. I was getting used to you, and I shouldn't be getting used to you."
"Said the spider to the fly," Wade jokes, but you shake your head rapidly.
"Listen to me," you stress. You take your mask off and drop it on the couch, hoping seeing your face will shut Wade up for a second. "Listen, Wade. I missed you while you were gone. And I was scared."
Wade isn't as used to your stilted, half-drunk way of explaining your feelings as Steve is. He interrupts again, sitting on the arm of the couch now. "Trust me, Spidey, I know," he says in a soothing voice. "I was half dead and bloody, and you were just being you. Nice as shit for no fucking reason." Wade laughs a little hysterically.
This isn't working. You walk around the couch, trying to get closer, but despite the tiny size of the apartment Wade still manages to back away. "I was scared of liking you. I thought I only liked women."
"Turns out you like monsters!" Wade says, wiggling his fingers like a haunted house's witch.
You start forward, faster than him for once, and press your lips to his masked mouth.
The fabric is uncomfortable, and you can barely feel Wade beneath it it's so thick, but it successfully quiets him. "I don't like monsters," you say, "I like you."
You reach for the edge of his mask, just to pull it up over his mouth. He grabs your wrists to stop you. It doesn't even come close to hurting.
"Spidey," he breathes.
"Peter," you respond. His grip loosens and you slowly, deliberately, take the bottom edge of the mask in your hands.
You settle it on the bridge of his nose. His lips, cracked and dry, are slightly parted in surprise. You kiss him again.
When you step back, realizing you were standing on your toes to reach him, he starts to grin. "Peter. Pete. I'm not, uh, misinterpreting?"
"I don't think I have pancake mix, or chocolate chips," you say, apropos of nothing.
Wade shakes his head a little. "I'll go out later," he says, and then his gloved hands are wrapped ever-so-gently around your jaw and he's pushing you back onto your couch.
This time, you let him.