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Not One Hundred Percent

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Peter was feeling very very strange.

He giggled, grabbing blindly at the figure in front of him. The vibration of the other man’s voice made the hairs on his arms stand up in awareness. It felt kinda funny.

“You…” Peter slurred, squeezing the arm connected to the hand that was held against his shoulder, keeping him mostly upright, “’re verrry…muscles.”

“‘Very muscles’, hm?” the guy repeated, voice darkly amused. Something in the back of Peter’s brain told him that something was wrong, that he needed to get away from this man, from this party where he didn’t know anyone.

“Shhh,” he told his brain, because he was having fun. The heavy bass of the music pumping through the townhouse made the endorphins in his brain go wild, and the fruity drink in his hands sent pleasant tingles down his insides. It also tasted much better than the cheap beer he’d tried earlier. Luckily the junior girl whose party this was had taken pity on him when she’d seen the face he’d made at the first sip, and she’d given him some of the “good stash” she kept hidden away for herself. It tasted kind of like raspberries and lime. Then some other sophomore had started talking to him, and he was attractive, with muscles and blond hair and a little scar that cut under his ear, and he even liked the drink Peter had more than he did the beer, which was a point in his book. He was having a nice time talking to this guy – what was his name, again?

Point was, his brain, currently blaring klaxon signals of warning, could take a hike.

“N’t like Wade,” Peter mumbled, remembering suddenly the conversation he was trying to have with the large blond kid in front of him. “He’s…more muscles. But…” he sighed and drained the last of the drink in his Solo cup. It tasted kind of bitter, but that was probably because Peter was feeling well and truly drunk. “…Wade’s not here.”

“Hm, good for me, then,” the guy purred, leaning in close, arms bracketing Peter on either side of his head, body pressed insistently against his. Peter squirmed, giggle rising in his throat, but it died when the sirens in his head grew louder at the same time he felt the guy’s crotch practically shove into his own.

“No, no,” he slurred out the words, tongue feeling heavy. He was starting to feel a little sick, actually, the thumping bass not quite so enjoyable any longer. He moved his hands between himself and the other guy, trying to push him away as wet lips pressed hot and heavy over his mouth, trailing quickly to his ear. “No, I don’t want…”

“C’mon, don’t lead me on and then push me away,” the guy said with a chuckle that made the hairs on Peter’s arms stand up. The guy grabbed Peter’s wrists in one large hand, pushing them away while the other hand moved to Peter’s waist, fumbling with the button one-handed.

“No,” Peter moaned out, feeling like he was going to throw up. His limbs felt very heavy, and his normal strength seemed to have completely deserted him; his hands were still caught, and he felt unable to move as the button on his jeans was successfully popped open. Peter realized suddenly, with sick certainty, that this guy must have done this before. There was no other reason he could undo the button so easily with the one hand without practice.

“You put…somethin’…m’ drink,” Peter stammered out, head feeling heavy.

The guy chuckled against his neck, dark amusement curling through the sound and breath panting hot and heavy against Peter’s suddenly chilled skin.

“Nice job figuring that one out, Einstein,” he said, and then he was shoving Peter’s arms above his head rather than to the side, so that now they were well and truly out of the way.

Peter felt like his heart could have pounded right out of his chest. Was this really happening? To him? He was Spider-Man – he stopped these kinds of things. He saw these things in the news, or online. It didn’t happen to him.

“Get off,” Peter muttered, bucking weakly against the man’s grasp. The guy only groaned and rubbed harder against Peter, sucking harder at the spot on his neck he’d been worrying at with his teeth for much too long now.

Peter shook his head – or he tried to. Instead, his head lolled to the side, supported only by the wall at his back, and he realized that he couldn’t actually see anyone in this hallway. Had they all left? Or had this guy somehow maneuvered them away from the rest of them without him noticing?

But the lack of people there seemed to snap something in Peter, gave him the realization – no one was going to help him. No one was going to stop this. He had gotten himself into this mess, and he had to get himself out of it.

But how on earth could he do that? He wondered distantly, feeling like he was watching himself from somewhere up above, somewhere outside his physical form. He felt the guy moving against him, pausing for a moment to shove his pants down. He could hardly move, and his body didn’t feel like his own.

But somehow, when the guy reached out with rough hands to pull at the waistband of Peter’s own jeans, Peter found the strength to do just enough – just moving his head suddenly so that it knocked against the guy in front of him.

The guy cried out, stumbling backwards in surprise, clearly not having expected such a reaction from him. He must have expected Peter to be unable to move for much longer.

“I said – get off,” Peter snarled, words still coming out slurred, but firm in spite of that.

“You fucking bitch – !”

The guy was cut off as he came forward again with anger in his eyes. Specifically, he was cut off by the hand Peter swung up blindly, and by pure luck hit him right in the face. And maybe Peter didn’t feel like it had been all that powerful, limbs dragging at him and moving sluggishly, but it must have been, because the blow was powerful enough to have knocked his balance off enough that the guy stumbled and fell right into the wall, cracking his head against said wall and immediately rendering him unconscious.

Peter felt shaky, and a little weak, and distantly he wondered if he was going into shock. He leaned against the wall for a moment, but when it occurred to him suddenly that this guy could realistically wake up at any moment, he forced himself to stumble away from the scene.

He didn’t feel great, and his spidey sense was still humming at the base of his skull, but he didn’t know if that was the drugs currently coursing their way through his veins or if there was danger from one of the other party guests who, while they had not been the ones to drug him, might take advantage of his state anyway.

He didn’t know anyone here, and Peter realized suddenly how very monumentally stupid he was for that alone. He hadn’t planned on drinking much tonight, and he had planned on calling an Uber if it got bad enough that he couldn’t swing, but his phone had disappeared at some point through the night and he knew that there was no chance of finding it that night – especially in this state. And now he didn’t have anyone who could help him find –

His thoughts were cut off by the sudden need to vomit, and he collapsed to the ground right next to a couple making out against a mirror in the hallway. He spied a trash can as he went down, and had just enough time to grab it before he hurled his guts into its depths, muscles cramping painfully in his abdomen. Someone laughed nearby, but Peter didn’t bother checking to see if they were laughing at him or if there was something else amusing happening over there.

He set the trashcan aside, and was able to pull himself weakly to his feet, legs shaking like a newborn foal’s. He stumbled blindly to the front door, pushing past a group of other people kissing and drinking cheap beer on the porch and down the line of the steps that led to the street.

When he got to the street, he breathed a sigh of relief as the claustrophobia began to fade. His breath puffed white mist into the cold air, and he looked up and down the street, trying to figure out where he could go. He couldn’t swing, and he was too far from campus to trust that he wouldn’t run into trouble along the way that he wouldn’t be able to fight against in this state.

But, he remembered suddenly, there was a place he could go to that was closer to here than campus was.

Spinning on his heel, and subsequently fighting the urge to throw up again at the stomach-churning movement, he pushed past the nausea and stumbled down the street, destination in mind.

***

Wade grumbled as the person knocking at his door knocked for a third time. Didn’t the idiot know what time it was? The time that normal people were sleeping.

Of course, he wasn’t normal, and he hadn’t been sleeping. What unrespectable mercenary kept normal human hours? Not him. He’d been awake for almost seven hours now and had been enjoying the Mexican leftovers that the crazy old lady living to his right loved to and insisted on bringing over when she knew he had been out of town and needed “a nice, home-cooked pick-me-up”. She may be the whitest, most stereotypical American he had ever seen (besides albinos – no one could beat their whiteness), but she made damn good Mexican food. She had learned from her husband, who had immigrated from Oaxaca when he’d married her, and she’d quickly surpassed his skills in cooking. Now she insisted that since she had no one to cook for anymore, he was her replacement. It was only lucky that Wade’s favorite food was Mexican, because she was best at that.

Well, that and apple pie. Because hello, American. She didn’t get her cooking skills from her husband – just his recipes.

Anyway, that was all beside the point. The point was that it was two in the fucking morning, and someone wasn’t getting the hint by him not answering the door that he didn’t want to be fucking disturbed. And this person was obviously already wacked in the head to be coming to his door at this hour.

He finally reached the door just as the person on the other end began the incessant knocking for a fourth time, and he yanked it open, ready to unleash a torrent of insults and threats on the bastard who’d decided to darken his doorstep.

He found the words dying in his throat though the moment he caught sight of the slight figure that was shivering incessantly, sweat causing hair to stick to his forehead despite the chill outside. The man – young, maybe only twenty at most – blinked up at him with wide brown Bambi-like eyes and parted lips.

“Well, hell-o,” Wade purred, leaning his body against the doorframe in a way that suggested flirtatiousness but also blocked the kid from being able to get inside. “And what might I have done to deserve your fine company this evening?”

Just grab him and bend him over the couch! White shrieked excitedly in his mind. He’s begging to be fucked, coming here and looking like that!

“Quiet, you,” Wade said absently, though he didn’t exactly disagree.

The kid sighed in what seemed to be relief, and leaned forward –

Actually no – no, he was falling forward. Startled, obviously not having expected this turn of events, Wade caught him to prevent a faceplant into the weapons still strapped to his chest that were definitely not made out of marshmallows and would thus be pretty painful.

The guy – kid – guy – whatever – was mumbling something, but Wade couldn’t understand because he was slurring his words and seemed to be trying to shove his face into Wade’s chest and Wade just – really didn’t know what to do with that.

“Hey, what’re you doing?” Wade demanded, because this was weird – even by his standards – and he wanted some answers. For example, who was this kid? How was he not afraid at the sight of him, because Deadpool was pretty well-known. And how had this guy found him? He’d thought when the kid saw who it was whose door he’d just knocked on that he would realize he had the wrong place and be on his way, not that he would see him and take it as invitation to give him a bear hug.

“Why are you here?” Wade questioned, shaking the guy by thin shoulders that still somehow had defined ropes of muscle. Wade tried not to be distracted by that.

“You were closer,” the kid whined, speaking his first clear words of the evening, and wrapped his arms around Wade’s waist like a particularly cuddly koala. Surprisingly, when Wade tried to extricate himself to get more answers, he found the guy much stronger than he had expected and it was nigh impossible to move without breaking something.

“Closer than what?” Wade demanded. He turned his head this way and that, as though searching for answers in the beige-pink walls of the hallway or in the equally hideous carpet and its dusty corners.

“Not…not w’rking,” the kid stammered, his words coming out slurry like he was chewing a giant wad of gum at the same time as he spoke. He moved away from his grasp on Wade’s torso, but instead began hanging on one arm, grip just as tight and impossible to escape as before. “Puked, but I…n’t w’rking.”

What’s not working?” Wade demanded impatiently. The guy was cute, but he was making no sense, and if it wasn’t literally impossible to break free of this guy’s hold right now he would dump him on his ass and slam the door shut. And deadbolt it all seven times for good measure.

“Met…met…bol…” the kid sighed frustratedly, unable to get the word out. “Di-gest stuff.”

“Your metabolism?” Wade guessed, finally succumbing to the inevitable that he wasn’t freeing himself of this guy anytime soon. He took a couple steps backward into his apartment, just enough that he could close the apartment door behind him. The guy was probably high on something, he guessed. No other reason for his brain functions not to be working the way they should. Unless he really was totally crazy and Wade had just let him into his living space.

Hey, at least he was in good company for it.

“Yeah!” the guy cheered suddenly, sounding overjoyed that Wade understood what he meant.

Except that he didn’t. Not really. Why was the kid stuck on his metabolism – apparently not working? Maybe he was used to taking drugs or something, and they maybe didn’t usually last this long.

That still begged the question, though – why had the guy come here?

“What’s your name, kid?” Wade asked, suddenly realizing how tedious it was to keep calling him “guy” or “kid”, even if just in his own head.

The guy brightened like he had been asked a question that he’d only been waiting for the right time to answer.

“I’m Peter-Man!” he exclaimed in a loud whisper, and Wade heard the dash in the name like it had been spelled out. “But y’ can’t tell an’one, okay? ‘S a secret!”

Wade began to have a bit of a bad feeling at the way all of that had been worded.

“Peter-Man, huh?” he repeated. “Are you a man, Peter? You’re not a minor?”

Peter looked indignant at the question. It was a little adorable “O’ course I am! I’m twenty! ‘m in college!”

“Okay, good,” Wade said, though now he was confused. Why the “man” added to the end of his name if he wasn’t keeping the secret that he wasn’t actually one?

Wade shook his head. The kid was clearly on something, and he was confused. He wasn’t going to take anything he said at face value.

“I di’nt know if you’d be home, even,” Peter said with a sigh, finally releasing Wade’s arm and stumbling over to the couch. Without seeming to notice the guns and shoes and other accumulated junk – or maybe he just didn’t care – he dropped onto the couch, leaning back with a sigh.

“But I can’t swing like this – I’d die,” he said it dramatically, but it didn’t seem like a joke. Whatever it meant – Wade honestly had no idea, and it was a very strange feeling for him to feel so out of his depth here.

“’N I’m too far – I can’t – can’t – can’t fight, if someon’ else tried t’ grab me or – or somethin’.” He seemed to be struggling to get the words out in a way that was more than just having a hard time enunciating, but the very act of voicing his fears seemed to be a trial. Wade just stood there, not sure what to say, but settled himself into his recliner anyway because the kid seemed like he’d probably chatter for a while and even the boxes were being quiet right then so he felt like maybe he had better listen.

“’M s’posed to be strong,” Peter said, sounding more upset than he had in the past several minutes. “An’ I couldn’ even – couldn’t…” He trailed off, and shook his head, before stopping as his face turned green at the motion.

“D’you have gin – gin – ginge’ale?” he asked suddenly, looking up at Wade. Well, he tried to look at Wade. Really he was just kind of sort of vaguely looking his general direction, because his eyes kept wandering and couldn’t seem to focus. He made a valiant effort, though.

“Of course I don’t have ginger ale, I’m not an eighty-year-old grandma,” Wade said with an exasperated sigh.

Peter sighed mournfully at the answer, looking sad enough that for a second Wade actually felt a little bad for the guy.

Only for a second, though. It’s not like he knew him.

“Aun’ May a’ways says ginge’ale’s good for settlin’ stomach. So…so y’ don’t throw up so much,” Peter said wistfully, staring up at the ceiling. “Not…not the flavor’d stuff, though. Stuff wit’ real ginge’.”

As though on cue, his face turned an alarming shade of green, and Wade had just enough time to grab the empty duffle bag next to him and shove it Peter’s direction before the guy was barfing right into it. Wade winced, feeling a twinge of sympathy, but at least he wasn’t throwing up all over the floor, or his couch. Duffle bags were easily replaced.

Peter lifted his head a few moments later, gingerly – ha, no pun intended – setting the bag on the floor at his feet. Wade wrinkled his nose at it, but he’d had much worse things in his apartment.

“Can’t hold your liquor too well, huh?” Wade said with a snort as the pieces connected in his mind. He was apparently twenty, and in college, and while he was muscular he was slender with the build of a gymnast, and he could smell the alcohol on him. He’d surely gone to a party and gotten wasted, and gotten confused on his way back from wherever it was and ended up here. He was probably more concerned with how he felt rather than alarmed at the fact that he was currently sitting across from the Merc With the Mouth himself.

Well, we can’t do anything with him now, Yellow grumbled, the box floating into Wade’s vision along with the words in his mind. He’s under the influence – it’d be rape then.

Maybe tomorrow, when he’s not drunk anymore? White piped in hopefully. This is the hottest twink I have ever seen in my life!

Peter huffed, slightly indignant at Wade’s words, and the sound pulled Wade out of the debate between the Boxes. “’m not drunk, ‘m stoned,” he said it as though that made it any better. Wade was about to say so – or make a snarky comment about it, he wasn’t sure yet – but Peter went on before he could open his mouth. “I did have a li’l bit of alc’hol, but…some guy…he roofied it.” He looked mournful once again at that, heedless of the way Wade had gone still and focused, or how even the Boxes silenced their debate on the list of twinks they’d seen and whether Peter was the cutest.

“I thought he was bein’ nice,” Peter bemoaned, throwing his arm over his eyes. “’m so stupid, th’s ‘s classic coll’ge party story.”

“Did the son of a bitch do anything?” Wade asked in what he thought was a pretty calm voice, all things considered.

Peter’s face cracked into a wolfish grin, grimly triumphant. “He tried,” he said viciously. “So I punched ‘im into th’ wall an’ knocked ‘im out.”

“Do you know his name?” Wade questioned further, because he had ideas about rapists, and Yellow and White were just egging him on. “Or where he lives?”

Peter moved his arm so that he could give Wade a Look that somehow felt weirdly familiar, despite him having never met the guy before.

“No killing, Pool,” he said slurrily, but the tone, combined with the nickname and that Look, was so familiar that recognition zinged up Wade’s spine at the words and his jaw dropped open behind his mask.

“Holy shit,” he breathed, gazing at Peter – at Spidey – with new eyes. Yellow and White were clamoring at each other and at him in shock, but he paid them no mind, brain spinning already on its own. “Holy shit.”

Peter sighed, apparently not recognizing that Wade felt like his entire life and worldview had just changed. He threw his arm back over his eyes, tilting his head back against the flat pillow behind him.

“Don’ worry, I’ll find ‘im later,” he said sleepily. “I know the one who invited ‘im t’ th’ party. ‘M just gonna sleep now.”

“Yeah,” Wade said faintly. “Sweet dreams.”

***

The smell of food is what awakened Peter. His head ached, but it didn’t feel like a hangover headache, so he felt safe enough to open his eyes, wondering where the smell of food came from.

He stared up at the stucco ceiling – it was unfamiliar. There wasn’t the usual Periodic Table of Elements that had Star Wars characters rather than elements; instead, it was just a basic white ceiling, slightly yellowed and discolored with age.

Before he had time to feel alarmed at this fact though, a familiar voice spoke off to his right.

“Baby boy! You’re awake!”

Peter turned his head, realizing that he was on a couch as he did so, with guns and shoes and junk scattered around it on the floor. He had a plush Hello Kitty blanket spread over him, and there was a soft pillow underneath his head that smelled strongly of gunpowder and whatever soap Deadpool always used that had come to be something of a comfort to him in its familiarity.

And standing off to the side, in the doorway of the kitchen, was Deadpool himself, wearing a ridiculous apron – ridiculous because it was child-sized, and had little faces of Hello Kitty printed all over it, with a bright pink ruffle at the bottom to match – over his usual full Deadpool suit. He held an enormous plate of nachos in his hands that looked like they had already been nibbled on.

“Dorothy brought nachos for lunch!” Wade cheered when he saw Peter staring blankly at his hands. “But then she found out that you’re here too, so she’ll be back at noon with enchiladas. Don’t be fooled; she makes the best Mexican. Even more than Paulo at the food cart on 17th, but don’t tell him I said that. He’ll be offended and stop giving me extra tacos with my order.”

“Yeah, you’ve told me about Dorothy,” Peter said through a dry throat as he pushed himself to a seated position. He coughed, trying to relieve the scratchiness, startled when a glass of water appeared in the corner of his eye. Gratefully though, he accepted it from the merc and drained it in a few gulps. It not only soothed his parched throat, but it also went a long way toward clearing the fuzziness in his head, and he handed the glass back to Deadpool, who set it on the coffee table before the man plopped down on the couch beside him.

“Nachos?” he offered, holding the plate out to Peter while grabbing a few for himself to shove into his mouth after having apparently pulled up the bottom half of his mask while Peter had been drinking.

Peter took a couple of the cheesy ones with onions and steak bits, because he was feeling pretty hungry, now that he thought about it. It was easy to eat with Deadpool, because this is what they did all the time, though usually they were on top of a roof as the sky began to lighten with a new day after a teamup earlier in the night that left them both ravenous. He’d only been in Deadpool’s apartment once, just a couple of weeks ago when he had helped him back to patch up a few bullet holes when Peter had been too weak to protest. He’d been respectful of his identity though, Peter remembered as he bit into another nacho. Never tried moving his mask or – or looking for identifying marks or anything.

It was the continued fuzziness in Peter’s brain that he would later insist was the reason that he had been so slow on the uptake, so brain-dead in the fact that he was sitting there, on Deadpool’s couch, quietly eating nachos with one still dressed in his suit, and it wasn’t him. No, he was sitting in clothes that smelled like alcohol and faint traces of vomit – the same clothes that he now remembered he had gone out in the night before to go to the house party that the girl in his Probability class had told him about and that he’d not exactly had the best experience at.

He slapped a hand to his face at the realization, half in chastisement and shame at himself that he’d been so slow to grasp what was going on this morning, and half to make sure that he wasn’t dreaming, and that he really was maskless in front of Deadpool himself. And he couldn’t hope that the merc hadn’t figured out his identity – he remembered him calling him “Baby Boy” when he’d woken up, and that was a nickname reserved solely for Spider-Man.

Deadpool laughed at whatever expression must have adorned Peter’s face right then, even as he nudged the nachos closer to Peter’s knee in invitation.

“Took ya long enough,” he said amusedly. “I was starting to wonder if maybe I had imagined everything last night after all. My mental state is iffy enough that it’s honestly a possibility!”

Peter groaned and dropped his head back to rest on the back of the couch. “I hardly even remember it,” he admitted, rubbing a hand down his face tiredly, as though it would wipe away the last of the grogginess. “I didn’t do anything too horrible, did I?”

“By ‘too horrible’, do you mean attempting to do a strip tease for my eyes only, or do you mean skittering all over the ceiling yelling about being the best spider?” At Peter’s embarrassed groan and subsequent hiding his face in his hands, Deadpool laughed. “Nah, you didn’t do any of that. Just kinda talked a lot and then passed out on the couch. Scout’s honor, nothing untoward happened.”

In retaliation for scaring him, Peter grabbed the pillow he was sitting against and thwacked Deadpool in the chest with it.

“You jerk!” he exclaimed, but he was laughing along with the merc, slight tension in the room now eased. Deadpool had a way of being able to do that, making him comfortable despite the awkward situation.

“What did I talk about?” Peter wondered, taking another chip slathered in guacamole and tomato. “Please tell me I didn’t embarrass myself any more than I suspect I did.”

Deadpool shrugged. “Mostly about how sick you felt. Said your metabolism wasn’t working – and shit, that makes so much more sense now that you were worried about that with an enhanced metabolism – and talked about the merits of ginger ale made with real ginger versus the inferior made with just flavoring.”

“Ugh,” Peter grumbled. “At least I knew even while stoned out of my mind that you were safe to come to. But I do want to slap Stoned-Peter and tell him to just shut up and go to sleep.”

“Why did you come here?” Deadpool questioned, idly picking at a loose thread on the pillow in his lap. “Especially as Peter, not Spidey. How’d you know I wasn’t going to just toss a random college kid out on their ass? Fine ass though it may be.”

Peter rolled his eyes at that last flirtatious comment, but that was pretty par for the course with Deadpool and Spidey, so he wasn’t really bothered by it.

“You’re not as big and bad as you like to think you are,” Peter said plainly, and ignored Deadpool’s subsequent exaggerated gasp of shock and hand pressed to his chest like he was going to clutch at his nonexistent pearls. “Sure, everyone else thinks so, but I’ve known you long enough to see through it. Doesn’t take much from there to know that you’re not going to kick out a supposed random college kid in need.”

“My ears burn at your language, Spidey!” Deadpool exclaimed in mock chastisement, though his form was a bit stilted and jerky, unsure as he was at how to take the moral evaluation of his character.

Peter was tempted to push his point, but upon further consideration of the uncertain man now next to him, he decided to let it go for now.

So, more lightly, he went on, “Plus, I was stoned. I couldn’t really remember that I had a secret identity to keep, much less that I was keeping it from you and shouldn’t show up as Peter Parker.”

“Gasp!” Deadpool actually said the word out loud as he did indeed gasp. “Alliteration buddies! This is no coincidence! Wade Wilson, by the way. You show me mine, I show you yours.” He paused, repeating those words in his mind for a moment. “Or I show you yours, you show me mine? No, no, no. I show you mine, you show me yours. That’s it! English language is confusing.” He dismissed the words after a moment, literally waving his hand around like he was waving words away that had appeared in front of him.

Suddenly though, he jerked his head to look at Peter. “Do you want me to forget, though? I can probably do that. You didn’t exactly reveal your face to me by choice, though you did flat out tell me your name was Peter-Man, which upon reflection I realize is highly adorable, now that I know what you were trying to say.”

“Wade,” Peter interrupted him, because the merc could go on for literal hours if he wasn’t stopped. The name felt nice to say; it suited the man, somehow.

Wade stopped talking and looked at Peter, giving him his full attention. Peter smiled a bit and said, “It’s fine. I didn’t mean to reveal my identity to you in this way, but I do trust you. I don’t mind you knowing.”

“You trust me?” Wade practically squeaked, and he stopped to cough a moment, trying to act cool through his embarrassment at the unintentional sound.

“Of course I trust you,” Peter said simply, leaning back in the couch and tugging at the Hello Kitty blanket spread across his lap. “Why shouldn’t I?”

Deadpool tossed a look his way before he began counting off reasons on his fingers. “I’m a mercenary, I’ve killed more people than live on the island of Lanai, I do it for money, I’m uglier than Satan himself, I’m hated by about a hundred percent of the world, I am completely irredeemable, I have no moral filter, I have no brain-to-mouth filter, I am certifiably insane…”

“I still don’t hear any reasons for me not to trust you,” Peter interrupted again. “Also, you can’t just repeat things that your boxes tell you – it’s not like they have your best interests at heart. Besides, I know that you care about me at least, and you’ve never given me any reason not to trust you as far as I’m concerned. Also, I can make my own decisions on who knows my identity, and I choose you.”

Wade was quiet at this, twisting his mouth a bit like he was trying to think of what to say – or maybe he was listening to his boxes; it was about the same expression either way. But either way, he didn’t try arguing the point further, so Peter decided to count it as a win – at least for the moment. Certainly the subject would come up again later, because the both of them were stubborn to a fault, but Peter could leave it for now as something for Wade to ponder.

“So who was it?” Wade asked in faux casualty a moment later, grabbing another chip from the plate and crunching through it loudly. “The guy who roofied you?”

Peter’s face darkened at the reminder, getting hazy but distinct memories in his mind, flashing images of what had happened the night before.

“Doesn’t matter,” he dismissed, grabbing another chip and chewing through it ferociously. “He’ll get what’s coming to him. I don’t need you going after him, Pool.”

“I know you don’t need a knight in shining armor,” Wade said in an aggrieved tone. “And though I certainly am not one, maybe I just want to stop this guy from trying this with anyone else.”

Rather than arguing the point, Peter just smirked at Wade, gazing at him through half-lidded eyes.

“And here you’re insisting that there’s nothing redeemable about you,” he said, arching a single eyebrow in challenge.

“When my version of ‘stopping someone’ involves maiming, I don’t think Captain America would be too pleased with my life choices,” Wade said dryly. “So, no – no redemption arc here if even Captain America wouldn’t go for it.”

Peter simply hummed at his reply and popped another chip in his mouth. The plate was almost gone – hopefully Dorothy would be by soon with the promised enchiladas.

“It’d make a pretty romantic movie, though,” Peter mused as though to himself, making idle patterns with his finger against the plush blanket. “Messed up, kinda dark, but romantic, from a certain point of view.”

“Romantic?” Wade repeated, and if his voice was slightly higher than normal, Peter didn’t say anything about it.

He nodded. “Sure. None of this sappy Hallmark Christmas movie romance. A darker romance with some actual moral questions like what’s really the limit of ‘bad’ would be more interesting. I’d go and see that one.”

Peter thought Wade might have mumbled something to himself about a deal with twenty foxes, but even with his enhanced hearing he couldn’t quite pick up what was said. He dismissed it, because if it was important then Wade would have said it louder for his benefit.

Even still, he was testing the waters with what Wade thought now that he’d…well, now that he’d actually seen him and wasn’t turned off. He’d liked Wade for a while now, but he hadn’t wanted to say anything because he wasn’t sure if Deadpool’s endless amount of flirtation was all for Spider-Man or if it was genuinely for the person underneath the mask. Just plain old Peter, who didn’t have friends and was majoring in a nerdy subject and was just “that nice kid in that one class who’s only there sometimes and when he is there he’s really quiet”.

Now, he wasn’t sure what to think. Wade had made a couple of flirtatious comments, but they seemed to be more habit-induced than anything else. He couldn’t be certain that he wasn’t just being Wade. But he’d also wanted to go after the guy who’d roofied him like an overprotective, avenging angel. But then he’d said it was for others’ benefit, too. Which he couldn’t really fault him for, because Peter was in the same boat, but it didn’t help at all with making his motives any clearer.

“Anyway,” Peter said, suddenly feeling very awkward as he sat next to Wade on the couch – on Wade’s couch, snuggled into his blanket. He scooted forward, to the edge of the couch in preparation to rise to his feet. “I should…probably be going?” He hadn’t meant for it to come out sounding like a question, but without his mask, he felt a lot less sure-footed. Now he felt like he was fumbling to figure out where he fit and how he should act.

“Oh,” Wade said as though just now realizing that maybe Peter was right. A moment later though, he shook himself as though shaking the cobwebs off his mind and he said with his usual exuberance, “Oh! No, Spidey, you haven’t even tried Dorothy’s enchiladas yet! You’ve got to at least wait for that, because they’re best when they’re hot!”

Peter caved immediately, because apparently he could no longer say no to Wade’s requests, and he settled back into his seat on the couch.

It was awkward for a few minutes – at least on Peter’s end, who was suddenly very aware of the direction his thoughts had taken in the last several minutes and now was overthinking how he should sit or where to place his hands naturally or whatever other ridiculous thing his brain decided to fixate on. But after that few minutes, Peter relaxed back into the familiarity of being around Deadpool, because if nothing else he could always count on the merc to be his friend.

Dorothy came at four minutes past noon, when Wade was just considering taking a battering ram to her door to get at the food, and chastised him in a firm, no-nonsense voice for his impatience. Wade was very contrite when she threatened to give the food only to Peter, and by the time Dorothy was leaving again, he was back in her good graces after almost literally groveling for her forgiveness on bended knee for his impatience and subsequent rude words when she’d come to the door.

Peter honestly found it a bit hilarious.

Apparently Dorothy did too, because on her way out the door, she smirked at Peter where Wade couldn’t see, and gave a conniving wink. Peter almost choked on his tongue in his laughter at the realization of how much Wade had just been played.

He did understand Wade’s glowing reviews on her cooking a few minutes later though as he and Wade ate straight from the dish with nothing but a couple of forks. It was damn good food.

“I really should get going,” Peter sighed a couple of hours later as the enchiladas were all gone and they had been playing video games for the past while. “I’ve been putting off a paper that’s due tonight that I haven’t even started.”

Wade echoed his sigh, sounding grudging and understanding all at once. “I suppose that means no patrol until tomorrow,” he guessed.

Peter chuckled lightly and rose to his feet. “You suppose correctly. I’ll have to cram enough as it is. I really shouldn’t have gone to that party last night.”

“So why did you?” Wade asked, sounding honestly curious and not patronizing at all as he rose to his feet as well, standing just a few inches taller than Peter himself.

It was the curiosity with its lack of patronizing that made Peter answer him honestly. “My Aunt May – she’s basically my mom; she’s raised me since I was little – she worries about me. She doesn’t know about the whole Spider-Man thing, and…” he pressed his lips together before going on, “I only had a couple of friends in high school. One of them died, and one of them…is gone.” He decided not to get into everything with Harry right then – it wasn’t the time for it. “So now, I don’t have any close friends anymore? I mean, you’re my best friend, but if I told her about you then I would have to tell her about Spider-Man and I can’t do that to her. So to her, it looks like I don’t have any friends, so I thought maybe going to this party…” he shrugged, and then laughed, self-deprecatingly. “Guess I was wrong about that, huh?”

“Well, some good came out of it,” Wade declared, and then he blinked and his eyes went wide, like he hadn’t thought his comment all the way through before saying it out loud. Quickly, like he was blurting out the next thing that came to his mind, he said, “You met Dorothy!” he blinked again, and then apparently decided to follow that train of thought to its inevitable conclusion. “Great spot in the day – that should be the highlight of your week, really, because I swear that woman is the Patron Saint of Good Mexican Food or some shit so congrats, Spidey – you’ve met a real saint now. Live and in color!”

Peter’s smile had started out patiently, quietly amused at Wade’s chatter, but now it had grown and transformed into one that reflected genuine humor at Wade’s nervous rambling.

“Meeting Dorothy certainly is a good thing,” he agreed.

And then, coming to a sudden decision that made his heart begin to pound with nervousness in his chest, he blurted out the first thing that came to his mind – much like Deadpool had done moments before, in retrospect.

“You’re not hated by a hundred percent of the world,” he said. His voice sounded loud to him, like he’d been shouting the words, but maybe that was just due to his nervousness. He didn’t know.

Wade blinked at him, probably confused at the non-sequitur. “Yeah, I suppose Dorothy must like me at least a little to keep shoving my favorite foods at me,” he mused.

“No,” Peter said, and then swiftly corrected himself. “I mean, yes. Yeah, Dorothy obviously likes you. Because the food. But I…” he swallowed against the nervous lump in his throat before pushing on bravely. “Wade, I really like you.”

And then, to make it absolutely clear what Peter meant by that, he darted forward, wrapping his hands around the back of Wade’s neck to drag him down, pressing his lips to Wade’s own scarred ones.

Wade’s lips were soft, was Peter’s first thought. Not dry like they looked like they might be, but velvety like he used a lot of chapstick. They were lips he could get used to kissing.

For a moment, Wade stood frozen in his grasp, and Peter worried that he’d read the signs all wrong, and that Wade didn’t like him that way after all. But a moment later, he let out a sound from the back of his throat that did things to Peter, and he was pressing forward, kissing him right back and resting gloved fingers against the sides of Peter’s neck, like Peter was something precious and cherished.

In the end, Peter didn’t end up leaving Wade’s apartment that day. Peter was sure his professor would understand the late assignment.