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Blood Isn’t Everything, but It Pays the Bills

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Peter startled when Wade plopped down on the balls of his feet to grin dopily at him while he tried to blink the emotions out of his eyes. “You are just too freaking adorable!!” Wade gushed and immediately started… “I will name you Squishy, and you shall be mine, and you shall be Squishy!” …reciting Finding Nemo? What the actual heck? How young did this guy think he was?

Peter really couldn’t blame anyone else for this. This was why his life was so screwed up! Only this time, because of his do-gooder ways, a rather dangerous man (though possibly only to himself considering his state of, you know, near deadness) was trapped in the apartment with him. A man who he honestly knew nothing about other than the fact that he knew his new uncle (a person Peter hardly knew as well, but had seemed adamant about Peter NOT being in the same room with said stranger), was missing an arm, and looked like he survived a bomb. 

And now they were alone. 

But, honestly, how hard could a one armed guy be to handle, even if he did turn out to be as bad as the people in the bar below? After all, he did have his spider powers if anything went wrong. Then again, Wade would probably notify his uncle if he did anything too out of the norm. He did seem to know his uncle pretty well if climbing through his window half alive was anything to go by. It also seemed like a reoccurring thing that the man did, considering the many stains. If he ended up staying with his uncle he would probably have to get use to that. 

Still, even if Wade did look terrifying, he hadn’t done anything too bad beyond add another stain in the carpet, even if Weasel had seemed intent on locking him away. 

But, then again, Weasel had been right about Peter not going downstairs earlier. On top of that, even Wade himself had admitted that his uncle meant well in trying to lock him away. That didn’t bode well. Shouldn’t an innocent man defend himself just a little? Had his uncle left him alone with a crazy murdering psychopath rapist just to prove a point? Would his uncle even do something like that? Peter really wished he could assure himself that Weasel totally wouldn’t do something like that, but then again, he really didn’t know the man enough to make that sort of a judgement call. 

Peter sat there on the floor, eyeing the man up a little while the other just smiled brightly back. Wait, hadn’t he had a giant dent in his skull earlier? Had that just been the poor lighting, because it obviously wasn’t there anymore. Could a person heal that fast? It just didn’t seem possible. 

He flinched slightly when the other reached out suddenly, but he felt terrible when he realized that there was no triggering senses going off at the movement. He was stereotyping again. Even his Spidey-senses didn’t seem to see Wade as a threat, despite the fact that everything about his well muscled, too tall even when sitting down, hulking, mutilated form said the exact opposite. 

Okay, if Peter was gonna be honest, he looked like a freaking Zombie, okay? For goodness sake, who wouldn’t be the least bit unnerved by that? Which was a terrible thing to admit to himself, and he would totally never voice that aloud, because judging a man so harshly because he had survived an accident resulting in his scarring and missing body parts was so not cool. All he should have been focusing on was that, obviously, Wade didn’t register as a threat. Nothing else should matter. 

While he was contemplating his own personal prejudices, he suddenly found himself being petted like a kitten by the other man, who was still smiling at him. 

“Don’t worry, you precious little plum! You defended our nonexistent virtue, which was so freaking adorable to watch. That means we have to like you!” 

Peter’s brow furrowed at that statement, looking back at the man’s blissed out expression as he continued to roughly pat Peter’s head. What the actual heck? How unusual was it for people to use the royal plural in everyday speak? Maybe he was overthinking it. Maybe it was just a ‘Wade’ thing. He would have to ask his uncle. If his uncle ever wanted to talk to him again, that is. 

The man grinned even brighter at Peter’s no doubt stupid looking, face-twisting expression as he tried to figure out why his uncle was trying to lock this man away in the first place. He seemed idiotically harmless. 

“In the future, though, don’t worry too much.” Wade flexed his arm like an excited child. “I’m a big boy and I can handle myself. I don’t want to see you getting hurt because of little ol’ me, but seeing you go all white knight on Weasel was just too freaking cute!” He grabbed Peter’s cheek and pinched it like an old lady. 

“In the future,” Peter snorted, swatting at the hand and looking away. “Good luck convincing Weasel to keep me after that,” Peter sniffed and swiped at his face with the back of his hand awkwardly. “Sorry you had to be a part of that.”

The man snorted and pulled his hand away. “Kid, I’m pretty sure - and this is just me so correct me if I’m wrong - but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t just a ‘part’ of that. Pretty sure I caused that. Which means I should be apologizing to you.” He boopped Peter’s nose, which was really freaking patronizing. He wondered if he was getting that kind of treatment because Wade thought of him as a child, or if the man did that sort of thing to everyone. 

Peter looked down when he sensed his piercing gaze, because as nice as Wade’s words were, he knew the truth. If Peter hadn’t been there, none of this would have gone down the way it had. There would have been nothing for Weasel and Wade to fight about. 

The man sighed, obviously recognizing the stubborn look on Peter’s face. “Look, kid, you didn’t do anything wrong. People in Weasel’s line of work don’t talk about their emotions.”

Wait, bar tenders? He thought those were the kind of people that dealt with problems and emotions the most. That’s how they were depicted on TV, at least. 

“Don’t take it personally,” Wade tried, but for Peter it was already a little too late. “I know I don’t. I know he loves me deep down in that shriveled little heart of his. The fact that you got any level of emotion out of that S.O.B. means he does care.”

“What if he realizes I’m too much trouble,” Peter fretted, “and gives up on me? What if he gets rid of me already?”

“Kid, if he gets rid of you, it’s not because he is giving up on you, and it’s definitely not because he doesn’t care,” Peter felt the man’s large hand wrap around his bicep and, with a single arm, lift him unsteadily onto his feet. That was rather impressive. Sure, Peter wasn’t exactly big for his age, but the level of dexterity and strength in just one arm had to be pretty amazing to do something like that. “It would be because he cares too much. And he would be giving up on himself, not you, if he got rid of you.” 

“Sure.” 

Once Peter was on his feet again, the man let go to give him a consoling, if a bit forceful, pat on the back. It was times like then that Peter really appreciated the fact his body could stick to any surface, because without that, Peter would have ended up right back on the floor. 

“Trust me. I may not be a psychologist, but I know a thing or two about disappointing male role models to last me a lifetime.” Wade laughed heartily, a broad, infectious happy go lucky smile shining brightly across his face as he scratched the back of his head and puffed out his chest proudly. “My dad was a dick!”

Peter tilted his head in confusion. That didn’t sound like something anyone should have been boasting about. “I didn’t know my dad,” he admitted. “I had an uncle, though! Before Weasel, I mean.” 

The man nodded politely, once again looking Peter up and down, then circling him. The way he was staring didn’t seem predatory, but the cramped space definitely made it more uncomfortable than it had to be with how they brushed up against each other every orbit. He must have been born without a personal space bubble. 

“Nope. Still don’t see it.” Wade stopped in front of him, index finger on his own chin and eyes squinted. If he had his other arm, Peter imagined it would be purchased on his slightly cocked hip. “I still can’t believe you two are related. You must take more after your other uncle. What was he like?”

Peter’s chest ached, but a fond smile found it’s way across his lips. “He was pretty awesome. He wasn’t as smart as Weasel probably is. He was a simple, uncomplicated man, and what he lacked in book smarts he made up for in other ways.” Peter didn’t know why he was saying all of this, but once he started he couldn’t stop. All those words that he never spoke to anyone before just continued to find their way out, flowing from his mouth like the lyrics of a song he had trapped in his head for weeks but refused to sing. “He was already retired when they got me, so he had to go back to work to support me. Mostly hard labor jobs where he could find them, just to make ends meet. That became harder as he got older. That’s what made him so amazing. I never saw him get frustrated or angry at our luck. He was always thankful for what we had rather than wishful for what we didn’t. I use to get mad at him. Kids at school would tease me for my secondhand clothes, and I was embarrassed to be seen out with him. I got angry at him for what I didn’t have, and one day he was added to that list.” Peter blinked rapidly. “I regret that the most. I wish I had more time with him, you know?”

For the first time since Weasel had left, the other man frowned. “Don’t be too harsh on yourself. You were a kid. Kids rarely ever appreciate stuff like that.”

“No matter how crappy I was to him,” Peter continued, “he taught me all about doing the right thing. Helping people. And in the end, I failed. I failed him.”

“Well, this is starting to make sense. He was the exact polar opposite of Weasel.” He palmed his forehead, almost looking like he didn’t want to know the next answer. “What happened to him?”

“He got shot,” Peter croaked. “Bled out on the sidewalk in front of me a couple years back during a carjacking gone wrong.”

“Ah…” Wade looked extremely uncomfortable all of the sudden. “Does Weasel know?” 

Peter shook his head forlornly. “He opened the bar shortly after I got here, and he doesn’t exactly seem interested in listening to my problems.” The teen grimaced. “You probably aren’t interested either. Sorry for complaining to you about how crappy my life is. I mean, yours is obviously a lot worse.” He was probably just being nice like the cashiers in grocery stores were when they asked how Peter was doing. 

The older man shrugged, batting the notion away like a playful cat. “Not like I have much else going on. And long, drawn out silences are the worst. You mentioned an aunt?”

“She was pretty great too,” Peter hedged, rubbing the back of his neck. If he had already gotten this far, he might as well explain what happened to land him with Weasel in the first place. “You would have thought I learned from what happened to my uncle and made sure I told her how much I loved her. But I didn’t.”

“Holy fuck!” The man certainly wasn’t a detached audience. He seemed almost overly invested in what Peter was saying, though it strangely didn’t come across as mocking. “You gotta be kidding me. She’s dead?”

Peter forced himself to nod. After all, the first step to any problem was admitting it happened, though it still seemed too fresh to say outright. “This morning she… I’m sure you’ve guessed. Honestly, I didn’t even know my mother had any siblings until this morning either. Then I met Weasel, and it kinda made sense why we were never introduced.” He sighed. “To put it bluntly, it’s been a long day.”

“I’ll bet!” Then, the man’s mouth fell open in a horror stricken expression, hand clapping to his cheek. “And then I,” Wade drew his thumb across his neck, making an inappropriately wet slashing noise, “right in front of you? Fuck, I’m sorry kid.”

“You didn’t really seem to have any control over it. Also, I’m not a kid,” Peter huffed again, though it was more because he was too tired to deal with this argument anymore. “I’m almost 17.” He eyed the man’s arm again dazing out. Well, he stared at the lack of an arm, technically. “And I’m sorry you died.”

Wade squinted his eyes at Peter, as if he wasn’t quite sure he believed him. “Eh. It happens more often than I’d like to admit.”

The teen suddenly shocked himself out of his self pitying depression at the realization that the man was still dripping onto the carpet, large, bloody footprints left all over in his wake. 

Oh, God that was a lot of blood! He needed to make it stop! The man would die in front of him again if he didn’t, and Peter wasn’t exactly in the best mental state to handle something like that again.

Honestly, Wade was quickly turning out to be the nicest person Peter had dealt with all day, which really didn’t mean much now that he thought about it. Still, he was so desperate for even the slightest sliver of kindness that he refused to let this man suffer. Even if he did claim he would come back from it, Peter didn’t want to watch that happening to someone he was already forming a strange, semi-attachment to. 

“Here you are, missing an arm and bleeding out, and you’re the one comforting me? You’re making me look like a jerk. Here,” Peter stepped forward, pushing Wade back into the cramped space of the bathroom, possibly harder than he really needed to. “Let me take care of you.”

The man looked mildly uncomfortable at being manhandled into the crowded space. “Wow!” He stumbled over his own rather large feet, narrowly avoiding getting tangled in a crumpled towel on the floor at the shove. “You’re pretty strong for a nerdy kid, aren’t you!”

“Not a kid.” Peter pulled open all of the drawers and cabinets, coming up with some medical tape, some washcloths, rubbing alcohol, and small scissors and tweezers, which he immediately threw in the sink before turning on the hot water. 

“What are you-“

Wade looked even more uncomfortable when Peter turned back to him and went to grab at the tattered remains of his shirt. So uncomfortable, in fact, that in an awkward series of movements he jumped up on the ledge of the toilet, a nearby scrub brush held out loftily in front of him like a blade. 

It was so hilariously stupid that Peter couldn’t hold back his chuckle at the sight. It was good to know he could still laugh, no matter how painful it was to do so soon after his aunt’s death. “What on earth are you doing?”

“Listen kid, not gonna tell you how to live your life. That’s Weasel’s job now, but pushing strangers into the bathroom and trying to undress them isn’t the normal way to say hello in most cultures,” he scrunched up his eyes. “Or, like, any culture, now that I’m thinkin’ about it! It’s also a quick way to make Weasel cut of my-my-my…”

Peter crossed his arms, frowning and tapping his foot while the man obviously attempted to find a ‘PG’ word to fill in the blank with. “Other arm?” Peter supplied dryly. 

“Yeah! Absolutely! That is 100% what I was gonna say!”

Peter rolled his eyes and yanked the scrub brush out of the man’s hand and tossed it into the hall. “I’m trying to clean your…” Peter frowned, curiosity getting the better of him. Before he could truly think through what he was about to say, he found himself blurting, “Hypothetically, could you grow that part of your body back?” The moment those words crossed his lips he realized how extremely inappropriate and personal it was. His face went red hot. But science had demanded he ask!

The man’s brow’s furrowed, “My real arm, or my ‘Hypothetical,’ PG rated ‘arm?’” He made air quotes, curling and uncurling all four of his fingers on one hand to make up for the lack of the other. 

Peter hit himself in the face. “Never mind. I really wasn’t that curious. Now could you please step down from the toilet? I was going to try to help you clean your arm… shoulder… stump thing. It can’t be easy for you to do with only one hand, so let me help.”

Wade jumped down exaggeratedly wiping his brow of sweat. “Oh, um… you don’t have to do that.”

“I want to,” Peter pressed. “You are literally a bloody mess, and it will put my mind at ease knowing you won’t die of an infection.”

“I won’t.” The man tried to push Peter back into the hall, but he stood his ground, flashing him that look that everyone but aunt May usually caved to, and that was only because she knew better. He wondered if it would work on Weasel. For some strange reason he doubted it. “Please?”

Wade looked down at his hand, then back at the boy in the doorway that should have at least budged, instantly forgetting that little fact when he was placed under that intense look of pure kicked puppy-ness. “Jesus! How does Weasel say no to you?

“It’s a Jedi mind trick, that’s why.”

“Hey!” The man laughed boisterously. “Are you calling me stupid? Harsh, my little banana bread cupcake! Harsh.”

Peter quirked his brow and snorted. “Maybe. Do you even remember my name? Because that’s like, the third food related thing you cave called me since meeting me.”

“Sure do, Petey-Pie! Now it’s four!”

He shook his head and pushed Wade back till he was seated on the toilet, thankfully without any resistance this time. “Just take off your own shirt if you’re so against me doing it.” 

Wade was really making this hard on Peter. He was upset. He was angsty. His aunt just died, and he wasn’t on the best of terms with his new uncle, for goodness sake! He didn’t want to laugh or be happy right now. Yet, he found himself fighting back a smile anyway. 

“Goodness, Mr. bossy pants! Weasel’s rubbing off on you!”

Peter scowled, “I hope not.”

He was almost instantly met with a snort, and a, “That’s what she said!”

Peter rolled his eyes. “That’s inappropriate,” he responded flatly, disinfecting the tweezers and scissors with alcohol before drying them thoroughly with a towel that he really hoped had been cleaned at some point in the last six months. It was so routine for him that he could have done this blindfolded if he were still at his aunt’s. It wasn’t like he hadn’t done this a million times or anything. 

“Dude, I thought you were a high schooler!” The man responded, a gobsmacked look on his face when Peter caught his expression in the mirror. “Isn’t that joke totally hip? I’m just trying to jive with my fellow children!”

Peter didn’t even try to hold back the snort. “And you call me a kid. You’re less mature than I am without the excuse of age.”

Wade grinned and leaned forward when Peter turned back to him, his scrapped t-shirt balled in his lap. The teen’s eyes widened when they landed on the man’s very large, well defined pectorals (which was quite a feat considering the heavy scarring probably covered up a lot of it), and one threateningly large arm. Peter would have felt nervous at the sight if it weren’t for the man’s disarmingly simple smile. “Well, isn’t that sad. I mean, if you’re already mature at the young age of 16. Imagine how much more boring you will be in a few years. You don’t actually want to be like Weasel, do you?”

He flushed and quickly averted his gaze to the shirt on the man’s lap and winced. He didn’t even want to try to guess what color it had originally been. 

He maneuvered between the man and the bathtub, trying to find the best way to get at the man’s shoulder and extremely fleshy, ripped raw, torso of a man he had assumed dead not an hour ago. He felt faint and forced himself not to think of his aunt having looked somewhat similar when they showed her to him.

“Right now, boring is the furthest thing from my life if you haven’t noticed.” Sure Peter had gotten into some scrapes since he had been a hero, but nothing so gory as this. And the man acted like it was an everyday occurrence. Just what had he been doing to lose that arm? 

Maybe he should be a little more worried?

“But I’m still older than you, and I have more fun, so HA!”

“This is fun?” Peter shook his head, leaning over the man’s lap to get a better look at the wound, which wasn’t too hard considering how cramped the space was, though it gave a rather intimate feel to the whole process that was totally unneeded. 

He winced at the burnt flesh smell and sight of shrapnel. Wade went noticeably stiff under his hands as he assessed the gore, trying to put all thoughts of dead bodies out of his head so he could better focus on helping. It definitely didn’t help that the image of her corpse was still so fresh in his head. The realization that this man needed aid was the only thing stopping him from throwing up his nachos. That, and the thought of puke in the open wound made him even more sick just to think about. 

So he just wasn’t gonna think about it anymore. Easy, peasy. He was totally going to have some heavy nightmares about everything later, though. 

Peter readied his tweezers and held the man’s stiff shoulder steady with his other hand. He noticed the man’s discomfort and took pity on him, assuming it had something to do with what Peter was about to do. After all, it was no doubt going to hurt like crazy. 

“How does Weasel put up with you?” Peter tried to tease, a poor attempt at a comforting smile gracing his lips when he readied to pull at the first metal splinter. It looked like there were three in total. That shouldn’t be too hard.

“I’m pretty sure he just keeps me around for my good looks.”

“Obviously.” 

Peter’s brows raised in surprise when the shard practically pushed itself out of the man’s arm socket without too much prodding at all. “Wait… What?”

The chuckle that followed explained it all. Peter looked up at the man, only just then realizing how close and cozy he had gotten to Wade in order to help. “You should really see your face right now. I told you that I didn’t need help,” Wade hummed with a devilish smile that made Peter flush in mild vexation, “but who am I to deny a curious young almost-man-though-still-a-kid who was so adamant on getting me shirtless.”

“You’re terrible,” Peter deadpanned, then startled when the other two shards pushed themselves out of the man’s shoulder with a jolting, full body flex that literally rippled across the man’s skin. As much as Peter wanted to be frustrated at Wade’s teasing, it was rather fascinating to watch as the holes literally began closing before his eyes. He leaned closer, practically climbing the man so he could watch the skin regrow at an inhumanly accelerated pace. “You said you could grow your limb back, but I didn’t know it would happen this fast! Are you watching this?! This is so amazingly awesome!!”

He felt a hand ruffle his hair, but he was too distracted to be bothered. “And you are amazingly good at cleaning wounds.” Peter quickly detached himself and clamored to his feet when he heard the lightly suspicious tone. He had dealt with that constantly ever since he created his super-secret identity. Wade narrowed his eyes, grabbing his filthy shirt from his lap and wiping up his bloodied chest with it. “Where did you pick up that amazingly useful trait, I wonder?”

“Oh, ummm…” Peter had to think fast, “YouTube Videos!” He was almost positive the strangely simple man would buy that excuse without a second thought. After all, Wade didn’t seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed. It would be fine!

But it wasn’t fine. Peter’s heart caught in his throat when the man instantly called him out with a mockingly harsh laugh. “Really? A scrawny, nerdy, hormonal 16 year old boy with all the internet at his fingertips, and you are looking up how to clean and dress a wound?” He snorted. “You expect me to buy that? I mean, at least have the decency to come up with something better than that garbage. I know I’m not Einstein, but I’m also not that dumb.”

“My aunt is a nurse?” He tried again. 

“Hmm. Better. Though the way you worded it like a question was kinda telling. You’re gonna have to get way better at lying if you’re gonna live with Weasel. Just saying.” The man stood, his looming presence pushing Peter back a couple of paces. After all, the man was probably a full foot taller than him and at least twice as big around. 

“I have first aid,” Peter shot out, “and CPR training. My aunt thought that was important for me to know growing up!”

“Really?” Wade humored with a shrug, turning his attention to his reflection. At least the man didn’t seem overly upset with being blatantly lied too. He suddenly seemed more interested in observing his stump in the mirror and pealing off the dead bits. “Now that’s interesting. So, with me lying there all helpless and dying on the floor a little bit ago, you didn’t happen to do a little mouth to mouth on me while I was all defenseless and vulnerable, did you?”

“No!” Peter flushed angrily, but the man barely spared him a glance in the reflection before snorting. 

“Awe, you’re so flustered! I was only teasing! I don’t expect that on the first date. You gotta buy me dinner first.”

Peter gaped at the man, dumbfounded at the new topic of conversation and how easy it was to make the last one end. “You truly are one of a kind.”

“Hey! Take it while you can get it. I’m an ass most of the time.”

Peter winced and hissed, when Wade pulled off a large scab like it was dried glue on the back of his hand. “What happened to you to make you like this?” He gestured to the stump. Then he realized how wrong that was to ask of a victim something like that. He read somewhere that questions like that generally caused them to relive the trauma. Oh, crap. Was he being too insensitive? “Or do you not want to talk about it? You probably don’t want to talk about it! Sorry for bringing it up!”

“No! It’s fine!” The skin beneath the large scab made it appear as if the man had been an amputee for most of his life. How was that even possible? “Don’t worry! I mean, I can’t exactly tell you without Weasel freaking out, but I don’t mind you asking. You’re fine, baby boy.”

“Oh, my gosh!” The scab plopped heavily into the sink. “That looks so…!” Disgusting probably wasn’t the best word to use. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m usually not this insanely insensitive.”

“Pft! I know a thing or two about insane and insensitive,” the man babbled mindlessly. “Like, sometimes I get a q-tip and poke the voices in my head that’s how bad it gets, and when that doesn’t work I sub in a knife.” 

Peter chuckled at the man’s obvious joke aimed to make him feel better. “Sure.”

“Trust me. You are nowhere near where I am. We can talk about it more later, but I need a shower.” He made a shooing motion with his hand, stepping closer till he had crowded Peter back into the hall. 

“Do you need help into the shower?” It was probably going to be hard to avoid slipping with only one arm for balance. 

The man once again gave that infectious laugh Peter was learning to like. “I will admit, I will have a hard time doing my usual shower-going rituals,” Wade sighed regretfully, “but I’m sure I will survive a day or two without… ah… scrubbing one side of my back.”

“Okay!” Peter agreed obliviously, grinning back. “I can see if Weasel has any spare clothes, and I’ll clean up a bit more around the place.” Wade probably didn’t want to look at that stain on the floor all night after… you know, dying on it. But the reminder of his uncle made him frown and wonder if the man would be mollified enough by his cleaning attempts not to take him back to the station. He had a feeling, being a teenage boy, he wouldn’t exactly be the easiest to place in a home, and most of the TV shows that he watched didn’t exactly paint foster homes as great places to live. 

He must have voiced something along that train of thought out loud without realizing, because Wade suddenly frowned down at him from the crack in the door. “Kid… not to be rude, but Weasel is literally the least equipped person to handle a growing child I know of, and I know a lot of ill equipped people, believe me.”

“Once again, I’m not a child.” That argument was getting really old. He was Spider-Man. Emphasis on ‘Man.’ Nobody mistook the superhero for a child when he had his mask on. 

Speaking of, he decided he really needed to go back to school and get his stuff from his locker. He couldn’t let his aunt’s death prevent him from doing what was right. That would just be selfish to wallow in his own self pity. 

Then again, so was donning the mask just so he could escape everything that was happening in Peter Parker’s life. But really that was the lesser of two evils, wasn’t it? After all, he would still be helping people! How could that be worse than sitting idly and doing nothing?

“Well, you sure as hell aren’t an adult.” Wade shot back with a smug quirk of his lips. “Or legal in any sense of the word. And if Weasel is still mad at you come morning, he doesn’t deserve you, you precious little unicorn fart.” With that, the door swiftly shut in Peter’s face.  

“What?” 

Because seriously, was this guy real?

“It’s a term of endearment!”

“No,” Peter scowled into the chipped wooden surface. “No, it’s not. I think I’m beginning to understand why Weasel wanted to lock you in the bathroom.”

“Awe! I’m growing on you!”

“Like a disease,” Peter muttered back. 

“Like cancer!” For some strange reason, he sounded far too psychotically excited at mentioning a deadly illness for Peter’s liking. 

Peter scowled and knocked rapidly, shouting when he heard the shower start. “Cancer isn’t funny!”

“Never said it was,” the immediate, mockingly jovial reply came. “Been there, lived it. Still living it, actually.”

Peter shook his head, deciding that level of insanity was a little too much for him. Wade had managed to distract Peter from his problems for a short while, though. Now that he thought about it, he wondered if the man had done that on purpose, or if he really was that much of an oddball. Maybe both. 

He turned around with a faint smile and winced at the sight of the apartment behind him. There was blood everywhere. On the carpet. Smeared over the walls. It looked like a crime scene. Peter was pretty sure he was going to be sick.

“Well,” he huffed tiredly, rubbing his heavy eyes, “better get started before it dries.”

He quickly stumbled around, hoping his uncle at least had a bucket or a scrub brush he could use. 

It was going to be a long night.