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“This stuff is weird,” Wade said, and pushed up his mask so he could sniff at the light pink powder dusting his gloves, getting clumped up where it mixed with the blood. It smelled very faintly of rose water.

Wade licked the back of his hand. Tasted like rose water too. Floral, a little bitter. It tingled on his lips. He was just starting to think maybe licking mysterious chemicals hadn’t been the smartest thing to do when a rush of heat spread through his entire body. It burned him up inside for a moment, then dissipated as quickly as it had come, leaving him feeling hollowed out, and a little horny.

“Hey,” he waved towards Nate, “don’t eat the pink powder stuff. I know it looks like the coating on Sno Balls, but restrain yourself, because I’m pretty sure it’s drugs.” Nate rolled his eyes and kept checking over the bodies.

They were in some kind of subterranean lab that had been hidden under a Pizza Hut. It was now hidden under the rubble of an exploded Pizza Hut. It looked a little like an office building on the inside (there was even a break room). Somewhere in here, there was a very hazardous bio weapon that a pack of shit-for-brains, basement-dwelling MRA extremists had planned on doing something evil with. They were all dead now, but the amount of terrible facial hair represented in the group had been truly alarming.

This was the right place, but they weren’t sure exactly what they were looking for. Which was why Nate was carefully searching the bodies one by one, and Wade was smashing stuff because he was bored.

Like in any proper evil science lab, the metal counters were strewn with brightly-colored beakers and suspicious test tubes. Wade expressed his feelings by dropping them all on the floor, one after another. Some things fizzled, some things went poof, one thing—a clear liquid in a stoppered bottle—had turned to powder upon contact with the air. Which was just super wild. It was this mystery chemical that was currently coating Wade's gloves, forearms, and some of his chest. It seemed mostly harmless.

"Found something," Nate called, holding up a bunch of keys, jingling them at Wade.

"Fantastic," Wade said, putting down the smoking beaker that he had been seriously considering taking a sip of, "this mad science fuckery is cool and all, but chemistry was never my subject."

"What was?" Nate asked absently, strolling over to the gray filing cabinets that lined the left wall.

Wade thought about saying "lunch", or "gym", or "advanced physics", but settled on the honest and damning, "History." He sidled over to where Nate was methodically trying keys.

"Mine too," he told Wade, moving over to give Wade room to stand next to him. The cabinet Nate was working on was helpfully labeled Project Overviews." Not much formal schooling, but we always considered history important. Had to learn from the fuck-ups of the past generations. Avoid repeating them."

"So, recycle and take shorter showers?"

"Don't let power consolidate in the hands of twenty rabid fucknuts who'd sell their own children to turn a profit,” Nate said, fitting another key into the top drawer’s lock. “Don't let the assholes in power hoodwink you into thinking you'll have a better chance going at it on your own like a fucking cockweasel, instead of in a collective. Shoot anyone who calls themself an anarcho-capitalist on sight—"

"Okay, okay." Wade clapped Nate's shoulder, a little puff of the pink powder going up, landing in Nate's hair. "Don't litter, be a socialist, I get it. You find anything cool yet?"

"About to." One of the keys finally fit into the lock, and Nate pulled the drawer open. It was a mess inside—files shoved in at odd angles, all bent and jammed up against each other. Nate grabbed an armful to spread over the nearest counter, which he had to shove a body off of. Wade followed suit.

Nate started flipping through the folders, brows furrowed. Wade pretended to do the same, but really he was looking at the slight indent where Nate’s teeth were pressed into his bottom lip. "Hey," he said, "aren't you going at it alone like a fucking cockweasel right now? Nathan Summers’ One Man Save-the-World Show?"

"I'm not alone," Nate said, not looking up. "Got you, got Domino. I'll get more."

"We'll all save the world together?"

"Yeah."

"What if I don't want to save the world?" Wade said, feeling spiteful in the face of Nate’s utter confidence.

"Then save your friends, dick-for-brains." Nate shot him a fond look. "Ellie, Yukio, the uptight metal one—"

"Okay, I know you know his name."

"Russel. You saved him once, you really want him to live through the Water Wars?" Nate raised his eyebrows. "They'll target kids like him. Even if he doesn't become a Hellfire King, they'll try to turn him into a weapon. Beat out whatever goodness he's hiding under six layers of shitty attitude, and make him burn whole cities alive."

"He wouldn't do that," Wade protested. "He's cured of the murder itches! I cured him with love and self-sacrifice! He has role models and a support system and stuff now."

Nate shrugged one shoulder. "They'd use you, probably. To get to him. It's what I'd do. Keep you hidden somewhere. Hurt you to make him cooperate. Wouldn't have to worry about killing you, either. Could cut off your limbs, set you on fire, skin you, do brain surgery with a hatchet—"

Wade slapped his palm over Nate's mouth, cutting him off. "Okay, Jesus, I'll join your fucking boy band. Now stop listing ways to hurt me, it's really turning me on, and boners are super not comfy in this suit."

The corner's of Nate's eyes crinkled, and Wade could feel the vibrations of his quiet laughter under his hand. He shoved Wade's hand off, leaving a smear of pink across his mouth and cheeks—

Oh, fuck. "Nate, wait, don't open your mouth—"

Wade lunged for him as Nate took a step back, his tongue peeking out to wet his lower lip.

"Oh, goddammit," Wade swore, and grabbed Nate's face, trying to pry his mouth open. "Spit that out right now, I don't know what it'll do to someone with no healing factor!" He succeeded in getting his fingers in Nate's mouth, which he realized too late were still liberally coated in the powder. "Shit, I’m just making this worse. I'm the cockweasel."

Luckily, Nate punched him in the neck before he could do anything else.

"What the fuck, Wade," Nate said, as Wade sank to the ground, coughing.

"Don't—swallow—" Wade gasped— “which is—a—really—out of character—"

"—Thing for you to say, yeah," Nate finished, and spat, a huge glob of pink-tinged spit landing off to the side.

He hauled Wade up by the front and propped him against one of the counters. Which meant Wade was at the perfect height to watch the pupil of Nate's human eye dilate so wide it looked like a black hole had opened in his face.

"Aw, fuck," Wade said as Nate swayed. "Nate, buddy, I hope you were making progress learning about these fuckers' super secret science projects, because you just got whammied by one of them."

Nate shook himself. “Feel fucking weird,” he muttered, scrubbing a hand across his face. What was left of the powder smeared on his palm. He stared at it for a long moment, then absently wiped it across the front of his flak vest. “Yeah…” he said, “yeah... I found something. Think it's what we're here for. Here.” He pushed manila folder marked "Projects To Be Moved Into Beta" in messy sharpie across the counter.

Wade grabbed the folder, flipping it open. “What am I looking for? Talk to me.”

"Halfway through. Pigfuckers were calling it... shit. Dizzy. Calling it 'Cordial'. Seemed like they were planning to field test it soon."

Wade found the entry and speed-read through it. The description—“fine powder, light scent of flowers, blah blah”—sounded a lot like the chemical both Wade and Nate were now covered in. Wade felt a little twitch of hope. Maybe there’d be an antidote described in here too.

Hope curdled into nausea as he read further, skimming past phrases like “increased susceptibility”, and “impaired motor function”, and “stimulation of both the amygdala and the anterior insula with the goal of creating a specific desire—”

"'—a specific desire for vaginal or anal penetration?' What the on Earth fuck am I reading right now?"

"Keep going," Nate said. He was breathing very evenly in a way that was obviously artificial. Wade looked away, back down to the file and made it to “...flood the system with stress hormones if proper stimulation is not supplied. Animal tests showed violent, self-destructive behavior, which resulted in permanent nerve damage, and in four cases death from blood loss, in subject group 5B...” before he threw the file across the room.

He walked to the opposite wall, smacked it with the side of his fist so hard he felt his little finger dislocate. It didn’t make him feel any less like ripping his own skin off, so he paced to the other side of the room and kicked over a lab stool. He stared at the stool, brain clicking like a jammed gun. He didn’t know what to do. He wasn't some fucking science genius who could whip up an antidote with hydrogen peroxide and a stick of bubble gum. There was a reason he murdered people for a living, and it wasn’t just the daddy issues.

Wade came to a stop in front of where Nate was still standing, leaning against the counter in a way that would seem casual if you couldn't see how tightly his hand was clenched on the edge.

Wade took a deep breath. Uncomfortably aware he would soon be the only not high-off-his-tits adult in the room, and all day-saving responsibilities would fall to him.

“This is a potentially deadly date rape drug that makes you a bottom," Wade said, flat.

“In a nutshell.”

Wade turned a tight little circle, like a dog lying down, wishing he had something to occupy his hands. Or, better, someone to do horrible violence to until his heart rate slowed down. “Is this even what we're here for? Fuck!” Wade threw up his hands. “Was our intel fucky? Because this is bad—by which I mean this is goddamn horrible and I feel sick—but it isn’t a fucking bioweapon. This shit was made for fucking specific applications.”

Nate shook his head. “Think about it." There was a flush high on his cheekbones, and the pupil of his normal eye was still blown so wide that the iris looked black instead of blue, but he sounded calm, in control. "This shit is easily airborne. They dump a pile of it in the vents of a building—the capitol building, a Planned Parenthood, a women's shelter—"

"Fuck," Wade said, getting it and feeling even sicker. "The people inside go fuck-crazy, and these motherfuckers can waltz in with gas masks and take their pick. Or just leave them to tear themselves apart and jerk off to the footage—God fuck it, I wish we'd left one of them alive. I'd like to shove my whole fucking foot down his fucking—" Wade cut himself off, skin itching under his suit. He walked over to the closest corpse and stomped on its face until the head was a squishy pulp, and he felt a little less like he needed to nail himself into a concrete box and spend a few years hiding at the bottom of the ocean.

"You okay?" Nate asked, like he wasn't ten minutes away from clawing his own asshole off for want of dick.

"Not really!" Wade said with false cheer. "I fucked up and now you're both literally and figuratively fucked, and I don't feel great about that!"

Nate shrugged one shoulder. “It happens.”

Does it?”

"I'm not dead. As far as mission fuck-ups go, this is a minor one."

"Were we reading the same thing? Did you not see the bit about horny lab rats ripping themselves apart?"

"I did."

"Well!" Wade waved his hands. "That's you! In like ten minutes! You're the rat!"

"It won't get to that," Nate said with infuriating calm. "You're here. Unless you were planning on watching me die." The very edge of his mouth quirked up. There was sweat gathering at his temples, not quite dripping yet.

"Oh." Wade froze with his hands still in the air. He was silent for long enough that Nate’s mouth flattened out again. He suddenly looked a little unsure.

"You can say no,” he said. “We could find someone else. Domino, maybe. You’ll probably have to restrain me.” Nate sounded like he was already compiling five different backup plans in that beautiful soldier’s brain of his. Wade wondered how many of them accounted for the fact that Nate only had two friends in the literal entire world.

"My issue is that you can't say no," Wade said all in a rush. "Why are you so calm about this?"

Nate didn't answer for a long time, and when he did his voice was husky. The flush was beginning to spread down his neck. "Don’t see how getting shitty about it will help. This is a fuck-off huge problem, but it's one with a clear solution. I trust you, and I'm asking you to help me. As a friend,” he said, sounding sincere, and a little vulnerable, which Wade did not like one little bit.

Although, Wade supposed, they were about to get very, very vulnerable with each other.

Wade groaned, "You just had to bring up the other f-word. And look, of course I'm going to help you, asshole. I'm the one who got you into this bitch of a sitch, and I'm going to get you out of it," Wade put his hands on his hips, "with my... dick." His half-hearted attempt at humor fell flat, even to his own ears. "I'm really fucking sorry, Nate."

"It's alright."

"It's super not, but okay. Okay, fix the problem, freak out later. You got this, Wade."

"It's fine," Nate insisted, and he reached out to touch Wade's arm. He probably meant it to be a manly pat, but his hand lingered, absently kneading the muscle. "Maybe this specific clusterfuck doesn't pop up too often, but people make mistakes and shit happens."

Wade nodded, trying to absorb some of Nate's calm. "Okay."

"Okay."

There was a long, awkward pause.

"Fuck," Wade said. "We should probably take our clothes off? There was something about pheromones and skin contact in that file, but I have to admit I just fucking skimmed most of it."

He hadn't. He'd read as much as he could, before the whole thing had made him too angry to see. A large component of the... affliction had to do with the specific chemicals involved in having sex with another person. So, you couldn't just shove a cucumber up your butt and call it a day. You needed to get fucked, more or less continually, until the drug was out of your system.

That had been one of the main issues these donkey-fucking assholes had come up against during drug trials. That most people didn't have the kind of stamina needed. The victims would end up killing themselves anyway.

There had been a couple paragraphs debated whether or not this was a bug or a feature, but Wade had deemed those sufficiently devoid of useful information to not read closely.

Well, stamina wasn’t an issue for Wade.

He became aware that he was just standing there, not moving. "Sorry, fuck, fuck," he said, scrambling to tug the top of his suit out of the bottom, careful not to get any of the powder on his bare skin as he tugged it over his head. "You've seen me naked before so I am trusting you not to gag. I know looking and touching are different animals, but—"

"Mmm," Nate said, and curled his hands around Wade's sides, tugging him forward a step. His fucked-up eye was flickering, like there was a tiny, manic elf inside his skull, flipping a light switch on and off. "I can feel it," he murmured. "Feels like I got a fever, like my blood is heating up. Feel hungry, empty."

"Horny?"

"Sort of." They both glanced down to where Nate was very obviously erect in his fatigues. Wade had been carefully ignoring it for about ten minutes now. "It's different. I feel fucking sick."

"Yeah, me too." Wade moved closer, stopping just before their chests were pressed together. He began un-velcroing Nate's flak vest, unstrapping his fanny pack, helping him tug his shirt over his head. Nate tried to help, but he kept getting distracted, fingers stroking restlessly over Wade's skin.

"You're quiet," Nate commented as Wade knelt down to unbuckle his hipster boots. "It's fucking weird."

"How much of this are you going to remember?" Wade asked. He decided to leave Nate's socks on. He'd read somewhere that people with warm feet enjoyed sex more. The circumstances might be stupendously unideal, but he wanted Nate to be as comfortable as possible. He didn't want him to completely hate it. Wade was aiming for weird and awkward instead of... traumatizing.

He'd have put on some sex tunes and dimmed the lights if he could've. The harsh fluorescents weren't the best mood lighting.

Nate hadn't answered his question. His eyes were glazed, staring over Wade's shoulder. His breathing was very shallow. "You still with me, buddy?" Wade asked gently, unbuckling Nate's belt.

Nate blinked; shook his head like a dog. "Yeah, sorry, I heard you. I'm not sure. It's hard to... keep still."

"Okay," Wade said, "okay, I got you. We're going to get down on the floor, okay? I don't suppose you have lube in your fanny pack, do you?"

"Yeah," Nate nodded, letting Wade lower him down onto the ground, leaned up against the counter.

"What, really? I mean, good. That's good. Weird, but good. I'd ask about condoms, but I'm pretty sure I gotta rawdog you for this to work, right?"

"Right."

"Well, isn't this all narratively convenient as hell," Wade muttered to himself. He tugged Nate's pants down his legs, tossing them in a pile with his boots and shirt and vest and his dozen or so weapons, leaving him in nothing but black boxers.

Wade paused for a long moment. Awkward, embarrassed, and unwillingly mesmerized by the rise and fall of Nate's bare chest. Gray hair stark against the flushed skin, the ugly seam where skin morphed into metal an even darker red. It was somehow always a surprise not to see dog tags resting on Nate's chest. Everything about him screamed military so loud Wade found himself falling into parade rest around him half the time, like Nate was his fucking CO. But he wasn't military in the same way Wade was. For Nate, war was just life, as he loved to remind everyone every chance he got.

Wade was aware that he was stalling. Putting off the inevitable just a little while longer. Nate was being very quiet, the only noise in the lab the slight hitch of his breath.

Slowly, Wade reached out, and stroked his hand down the center of Nate's chest, fingers brushing both skin and techno-organic flesh. Nate immediately leaned into his touch, sighing. Wade rubbed his hands up and down Nate's sides, trying to cover as much skin as possible. "I swear I'm going to get my dick out any second. Any second now," he said "... fuck."

"Here," Nate said and pushed at Wade's shoulder until Wade was on his back on the floor, with Nate kneeling over him, boxers discarded, and Nate's dick—not metal at all, but that was the only disappointing thing about it—hard and red and drooling, was jutting out between them. He was fingering himself, lube bottle still open off to the side and dripping onto the floor.

Wade had been trying very hard to pretend he wasn't turned on, but he was hard too, had been half-hard since he'd tugged Nate's boots off, and standing at full attention since he'd gotten his hands on Nate's bare skin.

There was a little furrow of discomfort between Nate's eyebrows. Wade wasn't sure if it was because he was working himself open too fast, or if the drug was finally beginning to hurt. He really wanted to reach back and feel, slip his fingers in next to Nate's, help stretch him open for Wade's cock. But that seemed too intimate. This wasn't really sex, it was field medicine, and Wade had to remember that. You didn't fucking linger applying gauze to a bullet wound, and you didn't get to fucking enjoy it when you were barebacking your best friend to save his life.

"Okay," Nate said, brows still drawn together, voice rough. "Stop fucking stalling and get your cock out, Wade."

"Bossy," Wade said, aiming for light and missing by a mile. He unzipped his uniform pants, pushing them down a little, and his cock sprung out, already hard and wet at the tip. Wade grimaced, but Nate wasn't looking at his face, his entire focus zeroed in on Wade's dick, like it was hypnotizing him.

Wade couldn't suppress the little grunt he gave as Nate's rough hand closed around him. And couldn't control his breathing as Nate positioned himself, the tip of Wade's cock brushing against Nate's slick hole. Nate caught his eye for a second, but Wade looked away, focusing on the wall clock. 6:58 PM. Dinner time. There was a little splatter of blood on the clock’s white frame.

Nate sank shakily down onto Wade's cock, and Wade couldn't stop himself from groaning at the tight heat; the quiet, pained sound Nate made as his hips came to rest on Wade's. He was hot and twitching inside, and he winced slightly as he shifted in a way that told Wade he’d taken a little too much a little too fast. Normally, Wade was into his partners experiencing exactly as much pain as they explicitly asked for and no more, but something about the situation was getting mistranslated in his brain. And “acting under the influence of a deadly butt-fuck drug” got turned into “so desperate for my cock he just doesn’t care if it hurts a little.”

Wade became aware that he was gripping Nate’s hips too hard, and loosened his fingers.

There was a steady dribble of precome tracing down Nate's cock, and Wade wished he was flexible enough to taste it. Wade wished they were doing this in his shitty apartment, sober and because they both wanted to. Instead of in a gross, blood-splattered lab because Nate would literally die if they didn't.

"I'm sorry," Wade whispered, quiet enough that Nate probably couldn't hear him over his own panting breaths.

Nate moved slowly at first, but quickly began to pick up speed, as if he couldn’t help himself, as if it was a compulsion. He winced a little on every upstroke, hands braced on Wade's chest, starting to slide, thigh muscles bunching.

"Is this enough?" Wade asked, breathlessly. "Do you need more?"

Nate nodded, drops of sweat beading on his forehead. Wade sat upright and tipped him backwards in one, mostly smooth, motion, careful not to slip out. He lay Nate down on his back on the floor, hitching Nate's legs up around his hips. "I got you," Wade said, a promise, and thrust in deep. Nate grunted, and wrapped his legs so tight around Wade that it was a struggle to keep thrusting. But Wade managed.

Nate began to lose coherence after about fifteen minutes, the flush traveling all the way down his chest and stomach, his face slackening, groans getting louder and more ragged. "Keep going," he gritted out when Wade slowed. "Don't fucking... stop, fuck, no matter what—until one or both of us passes out. Can you do that?"

"Yeah," Wade panted, fighting to keep his pace steady, even though every instinct he had was telling him to bury himself in Nate as hard and deep as he could. To press them together so tightly that he could sink under Nate's skin. And the fucking thing was, he couldn't even blame it on drugs. This was all him. He was sober as a judge—and he didn't mean Paula Abdul—while Nate was making sounds like he wasn't getting enough air, his hands restlessly grasping at Wade's skin, eyes hot, but increasingly vacant. Unmistakably out of his skull.

"I'm sorry, Nate," Wade said as the last bit of awareness faded from Nate's eyes. He pushed up his mask to press a rough kiss to Nate's slack lips. "I'm so fucking sorry I got you into this, but I'm gonna get you out the other side, buddy. I'm gonna take care of you. Give you just what you need, as long as you need it."

He thrust roughly, making Nate gasp. "Oh fuck, how fucked up is it that this is turning me on? And I am so turned on. If it wouldn't kill you, I'd pull out and find some nails to pound in with my dick just to show you. I'm so sorry it was me, instead of Domino and the massive fucking strap-on I'm positive she carries at all times. Except if it was Dom, you wouldn't be in this motherfucking situation, because Domino's real superpower is not being a fucking—shit—a fucking idiot. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!"

He shoved hard into Nate. Perversely trying to see if he could make him flinch, pull away, anything, but Nate just arched for it, legs wrapping tight around Wade's hips. Wade's mouth kept running itself, faster and with more painful honesty than Wade wanted. He couldn't seem to shut himself up. "I can't wait to come inside you. Nate, fuck, I've thought about it so fucking much. That's what makes this whole thing extra fucked up—that I want it, even though you don't. Jesus, I feel like such a piece of shit. I am such a piece of shit. You feel so good. Everything's going to be okay."

He wrapped his hand around Nate's cock, stroking it in counterpoint to his jerky thrusts.

“I really hope you don’t remember any of this, but I also really don’t want to have to explain this to you later. Like, hey Nate, if you’re wondering why you’re sore, it’s because I fucked you in the ass for a few hours—but it was one-hundred percent for your own good, I promise. Pounded in the butt by your best friend’s good intentions—fuck, you’re still so tight. I hope I’m not hurting you. Not that you look like you care.”

He really didn’t look like he cared. Nate’s face was vacant, eyes glazed over and staring at the ceiling. His hands clutched at Wade’s shoulder blades, slipping over the sweaty skin. His cock was rock hard and dribbling between their stomachs.

Wade slowed, shallow strokes that kept him deep inside Nate, savoring the sensation like a fucking asshole. It was so good. Nate was the one moaning like he’d never had it this good before, but it was Wade who was going slightly more insane with every thrust.

His eyes flicked up to the clock. He didn’t know why, it wasn’t like he actually knew how long he had to keep this up. Had lost track of how long it had been already. 7:47 PM.

He hooked his hands under Nate’s thighs, pushing them all the way back, bending him in half. Nate made a high noise in the back of his throat. “Fuck,” Wade gasped, “are you enjoying this at all? Nate, buddy, blink twice if you’re okay. Don’t blink at all if you’re too out of it to understand a word I’m saying.”

Nate blinked once. There was a single tear dripping out of the corner of his human eye. Wade shoved his mask up over his nose and leaned down to kiss it away. Nate grunted as he was folded even tighter.

Wade stayed like that, with his face smushed against Nate’s cheek, Nate’s hot breath in his ear. The change in agle let him slide just a few bare centimeters deeper, but that was enough to make his brain dribble out his ears. He ground into Nate, not even thrusting, just rolling his hips. He came like that, buried to the hilt, with Nate moaning softly in his ear.

He pulled back, but not out, gritting his teeth against the sensitivity, trying to get a look at how Nate was doing.

Still flushed, still hard, still looking like he was stuck in fucked-up porn dreamland.

“Okay,” Wade said, and grabbed the slippery bottle of lube. Nate made a protesting sound when Wade pulled out, but quieted when Wade slipped a couple slicked fingers back in. “Shh, shh,” Wade said, trying to sound soothing, but really just sounding stressed, “just a second. Need to make sure we don’t do you any real damage. Oh, you’re actually still pretty wet. With, yep, that’s my come. Wow, that is really fucking hot. I’m sorry I find that so fucking hot. God, I could fuck you forever. Hopefully, I won’t literally have to. I shouldn’t have said that. The opportunity for dramatic irony is too great—fuck!

Nate had grabbed his still-sensitive cock and was, clumsily, trying to pull Wade closer. Manually fit him back inside.

“Okay, jeez, ow, I can take a fucking hint.” Wade tried to bat away Nate’s hand, then jabbed him in a pressure point when he didn’t let go. “No more grabbing. It’s tummy time for you.” He heaved Nate over onto his stomach—and the man was heavy. He took a second to palm Nate’s asscheeks, speading them open. Ostensibly to check for damage, but really just because he wanted to look. Nate’s hole was wet and just a little bit open and Wade hadn’t really softened at all, but he felt himself stiffen further.

The sounds Nate was making were starting to sound distressed, so Wade didn’t let himself linger. He pressed in, trying to be both careful, and quick about it. He wasn’t sure if he managed it, but from the satisfied groan Nate gave as he bottomed out, Wade had done okay. He braced himself on his elbows, pressed skin to skin with Nate from ankles to chest, setting up a slow, gentle rhythm, trying to make it last.

He came again, like that, about thirty minutes later, his face buried in the back of Nate’s neck. He rolled off, lying on his back staring at the ceiling. He had a whole two minutes to wallow inside his own head before Nate began to thrash and whine. Wade grabbed the lube and got back to work.

Things took on a kind of grim, methodical quality after the fourth time Wade came, spooned up tight behind Nate with his fingers gripping too tight on Nate’s hip. It reminded Wade a bit of cleaning up after a job; getting rid of the bodies. The way you’d let your mind go blank and your body work while you tried not to pay too much attention to smells, sounds, the way Nate had started to flinch away every time Wade pushed in.

Forty minutes later, Wade tore himself away, cursing, and ran to the sink to get water. He scrubbed out an empty beaker and filled it to the brim.

“Fucking moron, moron, moron,” Wade chanted to himself as he tried to force the liquid down Nate’s throat. “Dehydration is something people die of, you moron.”

Nate wouldn’t hold still until Wade pushed back inside him, and Wade ended up spilling half the water, but he managed to get Nate to drink just enough.

Time started to melt into itself. Wade would glance up at the clock, sure it had been at least an hour, and it would only be ten minutes. Then five seconds later, it would be time to re-apply lube and make Nate drink some more,

Nate wouldn’t come, no matter what Wade did, including dislocating a couple disks so he could suck Nate’s cock while still inside him. Wade gave up, eventually. Fucked Nate much too hard for a while because he was frustrated and feeling increasingly scared and helpless, because how fucking long could this drug possibly take to wear off?

Nate passed out for a little while during hour four. There was a frantic minute where Wade thought he’d died. Then a frantic ten minutes where an unconscious Nate thrashed while Wade desperately tried to get his erection back.

In the end, Wade had buried his face between Nate’s cheeks, and licked out the taste of his own come. That had sure got Little Wade up and running again.

Wade flipped Nate over onto his back again. He was panting and red-faced, there were tear tracks running down his face, his nose had been running. He looked like a mess. A mess that had been getting his brains fucked out for longer than was medically advisable. His left eye flickered, dull and arhythmic.

“Is this helping at all,” Wade said, ostensibly to Nate, but really to no one. Maybe to God. “I mean, I can keep fucking going. I’m the little fucking energizer bunny that could, but if your fucking heart stops while I’m inside you—and I am being deadly serious right now, Nate—I will never fucking recover. I will hang up my hat and give up on what little sanity I have left. That will be it. Donzo. A pathetic end to a bad story. Nate, Nate are you listening? You have to pull through this. I know you’re even more solidly in anti-villain territory than usual in this continuity, but you saved my life once, so don’t leave me hanging now, you sexy, selfish bastard—”

“Wade shuddap,” Nate slurred. Wade faltered mid-stroke.

Nate? Buddy, are you back with me?” Wade reached down to brush some hair out of Nate’s face, and Nate’s eyes actually tracked the movement. Wade could have cried in relief. “How are you feeling? Probably a fucking dumb question, but can I pull out yet? God, I am saying so many out of character things today. Under any other circumstances I would be saying the complete opposite, but I would like to please stop having my penis inside you, if possible.”

One eyebrow slowly traveled up Nate’s forehead. Through a heavy layer of exhaustion, he looked almost amused.

“Maybe,” Nate muttered in response to Wade’s question. His voice sounding wrecked, like he'd been eating broken glass and washing it down with tar. “Still…” he trailed off. Wade was pretty sure he got it, though. Nate was surfacing, but the fever hadn’t broke yet.

Nate winced as he began to move again. “Sorry,” Wade whispered, “sorry, sorry, just a little longer.” He wrapped his hand around Nate’s cock again, and figured he was on the right track when Nate’s hips bucked. There was so much precome and lube spattered everywhere at this point that Wade’s hand glided over the skin with no resistance. Nate’s hole was so loose and wet that it was like fucking butter.

Nate moaned low in his throat as Wade slid smoothly in and out, the muscles of his stomach twitching.

“You sore?” Wade asked, rubbing his free hand down Nate’s flank, a pathetic attempt at comfort.

“Yeah,” Nate grunted.

“I’ll be gentle.”

“No.” Nate shook his head. “Need… t’ kick it. Like a cold.”

“That’s not even how colds work, but okay,” Wade said doubtfully. “Tell me if it’s too much.” Nate made a face. “Or bear it in manly silence, whatever. It’s your asshole.” Wade pressed a quick kiss to Nate’s chin, and hitched his legs up for, hopefully, the last time.

He thrust a little more firmly, carefully watching Nate’s face. The muscles around Nate’s eyes tightened, but he also smacked away Wade’s hand so he could pump his own cock, so Wade figured it was okay.

Wade sped up, trying to match the pace Nate was setting, until the gross, (sexy) wet slap of their skin was echoing around the lab.

“It sounds like I’m juggling fucking fish,” Wade said, sweat dripping into his eyes.

“Don’t fucking say things like that,” Nate said through gritted teeth. “S’ disgusting.

“Yeah?” Wade grinned, more than a bit high on relief, adrenaline, and a whole, swirling cocktail of other emotions. “More disgusting than the metric fucking liter of my come you’ve got dripping out your ass right fucking now? Because apparently healing factor means I just don’t. Run. Out,” he punctuated each word with a thrust. “So, you have been taking my loads, Nate. For about,” he glanced up at the clock, “six hours, now. You were asleep for a bit of it. This seems less hot the more I talk about it, so I’m going to stop talking for a bit.”

“Good luck,” Nate rasped, his neck arching, metal tendons straining.

“Oh, you snarky bastard. I’m so glad you’re not going to die.” Nate came with a hitching groan, his inner muscles fluttering around Wade, too stretched out to really clench they way they wanted to. Despite what Wade had said earlier, he was just as shamefully turned out now as he had been throughout the whole fucking ordeal. The end being so close only made him savor every thrust, because no way was Nate going to ever let Wade’s dick anywhere near him again, after this.

Wade came one last time and collapsed, face smashed into Nate's chest. Trapped between their stomachs, Wade could feel Nate's cock finally, finally softening. Wade let his weight rest more fully on Nate. He choked on a dry sob, too tired and dehydrated to actually cry.

He felt arms come up around him, holding him close. "It's okay," Nate whispered.

Wade didn't know why he was the one getting comforted. It felt selfish to let Nate gently pet the back of his head, humming to him, but he let it happen anyway.

Also, Nate was a liar, because it wasn't okay. Wade recovered quickly—always so quickly—and managed to drag himself to the bathroom and stick his mouth under the faucet until his throat felt less like he'd been performing oral sex on a desert. Then he grabbed some water for Nate, and all the paper towels he could carry.

Nate was still lying where Wade had left him, sprawled on the floor, one leg bent at the knee, the other spread out to the side. From the door, Wade had stomach-wrenchingly good view of the havoc he'd wrought on Nate's body. His cock was limp, finally, but still red with irritation where it lay across his stomach. His thighs were streaked with jizz, most of it Wade's.

Wade wanted more than anything to kneel down again between Nate's legs, push his knee back and watch his come ooze out of Nate's loose, swollen hole. But his eye caught the dark, fingerprint bruises on Nate's hips, and that was the end of that little fantasy.

“Hey,” Wade said, and helped Nate sit up a little, so he could drink, "can you walk?”

Nate stretched out his legs, and tried to push himself up. His eyes widened and he hissed through his teeth, and then lowered himself gingerly back down. “No.”

“Okay! That is not an issue at all because I, Wade Wilson, will happily carry you in my arms all the way back to your apartment, or possibly the hospital—actually, you should definitely go to the hospital, now that I’m thinking about it!”

“... Okay?”

With much manly teeth-gritting, suppressed winces, and a metric fuckton of damp paper towels, they managed to get Nate mostly cleaned up, dressed, and upstairs to wait for Dopinder. It was about 1:00 AM now, but Dopinder always answered when Wade called. Dopinder was a fucking saint, and Wade treasured him.

“Dopinder, I treasure you,” Wade said, carefully laying Nate down in the back seat. “I need you to take this this guy to the hospital. And don’t let him tell everyone he’s an illegal immigrant this time, he’s in no condition to get into another shootout with ICE. How you doing, buddy? You comfy?” This last bit directed at Nate. Nate gave him a what-do-you-think look. “Cool. Awesome. I’m going to wrap things up here and take your guns back to the apartment, okay? I promise not to play with them… much. Actually, I don’t promise that. Text me when you get released and I’ll come pick you up, okay?”

“You don’t have a car,” Nate yawned. He looked about ready to pass out in the cab.

“Of course, I do. Dopinder’s car is my car,” Wade said gently. “And there’s your horrible cousin-fucker truck, if all else fails.” He closed the door and tapped on the front window. “Good to go?”

“You can count on me, Mr. Pool.” Dopinder gave him a thumbs up, stifling a yawn of his own.

Wade waved them off, then headed back down to the lab, and started setting every single thing on fire.

 

Nate texted him from the hospital a day later, to tell him they were letting him out.

Wade rolled to his feet from where he had been lying on his back on the floor, staring at the ceiling and trying not to think too hard. ill b right there, he texted back while trying to tug on his mask one-handed. u gave them a fake address right? otherwise u will neveeerrrrr stop hearing from the bill collectors.

yeah but how much money could i owe them? they just treated me for dehydration. gave me some kind of cream for the tearing

Mm yeah, Wade was gonna not think too hard about about that. He grabbed his keys and messaged back, oh man, you would be surprised

they kept trying to get me to do a rape kit

Wade’s hand clenched around his keys so hard they cut into his palm. He didn’t reply, just went outside and started up Nate’s terrible truck.

The ride back was quiet. Nate winced every time Wade ran over a bump in the road, and Wade tried his best to not notice anything but the road. He failed. He almost rammed into the back of a cab because he was too busy sneaking glances at Nate out of the corner of his eyes, but they made it home in one piece.

Wade deposited Nate on the couch, and went to go hide in the kitchen in the name of making lunch. He took the little packet of information the hospital had given Nate, and flipped through it as he heated soup on the stove. Soft foods, rest, no penetrative anal sex for three weeks—that last part had been underlined in blue pen.

“Hey,” Nate called from the other room. Wade flinched.

“Are you wasting away without my presence, darling?” Wade called back, keeping his eyes firmly on the pot.

“Stop fucking hiding and come talk to me. I can tell when something’s crawled up your asshole.”

“Pretty sure I was the one crawling up your asshole,” Wade muttered under his breath. “Don’t know what you mean, Nate!” He called, sticking his head around the corner to the living room. “My butthole’s perfectly fine and well-adjusted and absolutely not still coming down from a sticky load of repressed sexual trauma.”

“You didn’t assault me,” Nate said, cutting straight to the point because that was the kind of inconsiderate dickwad he was. “I asked you to help and you did. All the people who’re to blame are already dead.”

“Yeah, but,” Wade fiddled uncomfortably at the sleeves of his t-shirt, “you weren’t exactly swimming in options.”

“I wasn’t sorry it was you.”

“Oh.” Wade glanced up. Nate didn’t look like he was kidding, but that glowy eye made his facial expressions hard to read sometimes. “That’s not why I feel bad, though.”

“What is, then?”

“You got dosed because I was fucking around—”

“I said I wasn’t mad—”

“—and I enjoyed it.” Wade got sick of picking at his sleeves, and started picking at his skin instead. “I liked it,” he said, eyes glued firmly to the scab he was levering up with his thumbnail. “It fucking turned me one. Being inside you, hearing you moan. I fucking loved it.” His eyes stung. “I’ve been jerking off to the thought of fucking you for months.”

“Jesus, Wade,” Nate said, and then an invisible force was pulling him all the way across the room, until his knees hit the couch. “Stop that.” Nate smacked at Wade’s fingers, where they were still digging into his skin. He pressed Wade’s hands between his palms, keeping them still.

“We’ve already established telekinesis is cheating,” Wade muttered, not meeting Nate’s eyes.

“Lodge it with the complaints department,” Nate said gently, squeezing Wade’s hands. “Located conveniently—”

“Right up my own asshole,” Wade said, smiling a little. Dad jokes got a lot more vulgar in the future, but maintained their cheesy charm. He glanced up at Nate, who was still draped on the couch in the position Wade had put him, propped up with pillows to take the weight off his lower half. He looked fine, if a bit tired. Not angry, or even especially traumatized by what Wade certainly considered a traumatizing experience—oh.

“Oh,” Wade said, “I’m wrong about what kind of dickhead I’m being. I thought I was a perv, but instead I’m taking a bad thing that happened to you and making it all about my hang-ups. I should go, the soup’s probably done—”

“Oh my fucking God.” Nate rolled his eyes. He hooked his metal hand around the back of Wade’s knee and jerked, bringing Wade thumping down onto his knees on the carpet. His other hand clamped around the back of Wade’s neck, pulling him inexorably forward until Wade’s head was tucked under his chin, the rest of him awkwardly sprawled over Nate’s chest. “Shut up and listen for a second.”

“Not one of my strongest character traits.”

“I will put you in a fucking headlock. Look, what happened wasn’t ideal by any fucking measure. I wish we’d fucked under better circumstances, and I am gonna need you to stop playing with potentially deadly shit when you’re bored, but I’m really, genuinely fucking fine, and don’t need any of your dipshit self-flagellation, okay? You got that?”

Wade nodded, clenching his teeth around the words trying to get out.

Thank you,” Nate said into the top of his head. “I appreciate what you did for me. A lot of people would have left me to die. You didn’t.”

“So… we cool?” Wade said, weakly. “Still best friends?”

“Still best friends.” Wade could feel Nate smiling against his skin. “You really been crushing on me all this time?”

Wade half-heartedly tried to get away, but Nate’s arms tightened around his shoulders. The man had a grip like a python. “Since you tried to murder me that first time,” Wade admitted grudgingly, settling back down. “It was really hot how you went right for my neck.”

Nate huffed. “I thought you were cute, if annoying. I was sorry I had to kill you.”

“Good that little things like broken spines don’t slow me down for long.”

“We could try the whole fucking thing again sometime when I’m not drugged up to my goddamn eyeballs with shit some braindead fuckboys brewed up in a kid’s chemistry set,” Nate said casually.

“You know, I’m so glad the word ‘fuckboy’ endures the ravages of time,” Wade said before his brain caught up to the conversation. “Wait, for real? I mean, you want to have sex for real?” Wade lifted his head to squint at Nate’s face.

Nate smiled at him, the corners of his eyes crinkling up. “Yeah. Not right now, though. Give it a week.”

Three weeks. No butt-stuff for three weeks. I read that stern little note the nurse left you.”

“There’s other stuff we can do, you sodomy-obsessed nymphomaniac,” Nate snorted.

“Oh, true,” Wade said, excited. “I completely forgot about hand stuff. And mouth stuff. Foot stuff? No, no, you’re right, foot stuff is third date territory. Hey,” Wade said seriously, “I will suck your cock right now.”

“Nah.” Nate tugged him back down, wrapping Wade up in his arms. “I’m tired. Just wanna stay like this for a bit.”

“Okay.” Wade let his eyes drift shut, and just listened to Nate’s slow, steady heartbeat. He wasn’t in the right position to doze, with his knees still on the floor, and his torso twisted at an awkward angle, but he didn’t have to worry about getting a kink in his neck, so he wasn’t about to move. He could just kneel there, forever, with his head on Nate’s chest.

“This is nice,” Wade murmured. Nate responded with a snore. They stayed like that, wrapped up in each other, until the smoke alarm went off ten minutes later.