Chapter 1: Adrenaline; in which Peter’s life spirals
Peter would later blame the adrenaline pumping through his veins for his lack of decorum concerning the making-out practices of him and his very hot fiancé. They had just completely annihilated these three douches who were holding elementary school kids hostage for ransom. Spiderman and Deadpool, that is, not Peter and Wade. Well, technically yes, Peter and Wade, but only because they were Spiderman and Deadpool, because secret identities are a thing. So no one knew that they were themselves when that happened.
Or something like that.
But that was beside the point. The point was that they had just swooped in, kicked some serious kidnapper ass, rescued (and got cheered on by) a group of adorable little twerps (Peter knew that kids were only that adorable right as you were rescuing them. Afterwards they became brats once more. He will swear to this in court), and then were cheered on by the police and on-lookers as they came out of the school, flocked by the sticky-handed fiends.
The children, not the villains. The villains were webbed to the roof of the gymnasium.
So, yeah, it had been a good day. No one died. No one even got hurt, or anything. So, Peter definitely felt like he and his super hot fiancé deserved some making out.
It was not the adrenaline’s fault that Pete and Wade’s lips adhered to each other’s. Nor was it the adrenaline’s fault that Peter was panting, and Wade had his hands up Peter’s spandex shirt running his gloved hands down Peter’s ribcage, and Peter wanted to stay pressed against Wade for the rest of their natural (or unnatural, he wasn’t picky) lives.
No. The adrenaline was not to be blamed for any of that. What it was to be blamed for was Peter’s overconfidence and Wade’s absent-mindedness when they started the making out business on the roof of their apartment, instead of inside their apartment like they should have.
It must have been the adrenaline that made him forget all about not doing the do out in the open on the roof of an apartment building that his real-life identity lived in.
But, alas, that was all he could blame on the adrenaline. And unfortunately, he could not blame his adrenaline for the Avengers finding the two of them up there either.
Wade had Peter’s spandex shirt hiked up revealing lean muscles and taut skin, and Peter had his uncovered mouth firmly cemented to Wade’s ear lobe, and they were rolling around quite a bit, playing at who could be the stronger, more dominant one, when Peter heard the distinct whirring of the quinjet somewhere to the east and incoming. Peter pulled his mouth off of Wade reluctantly and looked up. Yep, there was the Avengers’ favorite mode of transportation flying directly towards them.
Peter looked around and saw that, nope, there wasn’t anything horrendous attacking the city, nor were there any fires, natural disasters, or even any petty crimes occurring in a 40-mile radius. He would know if there were. So, no, the Avengers weren’t just coincidentally flying over them on their way to fight crime and/or save lives.
Which meant that they were coming for Peter and Wade.
“Uh, babe?” Peter said slowly, prodding Wade in the stomach with his fingers.
“Mmm?” Wade asked, not moving his hands from where they roved over Peter’s torso.
Peter hurriedly pulled his shirt down, and dragged his mask, which had been shoved up to just over his nose, back down again, hiding all of his face from view. “We have company.”
Wade let himself be manhandled away from his fiancé, sensing the worry in his voice, and turned his head to the sky.
The quinjet hovered above them, and Peter pulled Wade towards the ledge, giving the jet some room to land.
He had never seen it this close up since as Peter he didn’t get to see the Avengers stuff, and the few times that the Avengers deemed Spiderman worthy enough to fight alongside them, they were generally doing the more hands-on things, not riding in the sky. He’d fought in close proximity to Cap and Iron Man, and even the Hulk on one memorable occasion, but the quinjet was usually far off, doing god knows what, and flown by god knows who. It was a fine specimen of machinery, and normally Peter would be itching to go look at it up close, to examine its engines and stealth functions. Today he was content to stay with Wade as far away as possible from the thing. If he thought that he could escape by jumping off the ledge and swinging away, he would have, but he was just one man, and the Avengers were, well, the Avengers. The only reason they hadn’t caught him before was because they hadn’t wanted to catch him.
As the jet landed, Peter wracked his brain for what their reason for being there could be. The most likely option was that they needed Wade for something, and couldn’t contact him. They knew where Peter and Wade lived, Clint had even visited them once, and they’d spent the evening playing Tekkan and eating pizza. But Wade had his phone on him, and Wade always answered the phone when one of the Avengers rang. He was smitten with the whole lot of them, and would have (and had before) begged off sex to go save the world. Not that Peter blamed him. The Avengers were pretty awesome, and so was saving the world. Peter could totally understand. He liked saving the world too.
So, yeah, it was unlikely that the Avengers were here to pick up his fiancé or scold him for not answering his phone.
The engine to the jet shut off, and Peter thought that maybe they were here to check up on Peter (though why they would take the quinjet when they could just call, or wait till the next day when he went into work, Peter didn’t know), or more likely considering those reasons that he’d just thought of about why that was unlikely, they were here for Spiderman.
And they had just seen Spiderman making out with Deadpool.
Shit, fuck, damn. Damnity damn damn fuck.
And another damn for good measure.
It was over. They knew. There was no way he could get away from it this time. They had caught him red-handed. Seeing Spiderman making out with Deadpool, they could come to no other conclusion than that Peter was Spiderman, and that he’d been lying to them. For as long as he’d known them.
He hoped that they would forgive him, because he really liked them. They were like the best friends he’d ever met and could totally see why Wade consistently fanboyed all over them. Wade and Peter were on the same page about that one. The Avengers were great, and Peter would hate it if his secret getting out would ruin his friendship with them.
Or worse, their tentative acceptance of Wade into the Avengers. He’d have to tell them that it was all his idea not to tell them who he really was, and that Wade wasn’t at fault at all. Because Wade loved working with them, and Peter could always get a job somewhere else, if they really couldn’t look past this, but Wade would be crushed.
It was so obvious to Peter, that that is what would happen, that when the quinjet door opened and the stairs descended, and the Avengers, whose expressions ranged from solemn to rage, stepped out onto Peter and Wade’s roof, Peter already had an apology on his lips, and a plea to not blame Wade. That was the first thing to come out of his mouth, his voice slightly muffled by his mask, and also cracking weakly at the gravity of the situation:
“Don’t blame Wade.”
Captain America stood in front of them (and it was definitely Captain America, rocking his thin-lipped grimace and burning eyes, not Steve, who stood before them) with his arms crossed, and a very serious expression on his face. “Why shouldn’t we?” Steve asked, and Peter almost flinched at how foreign Steve sounded just then.
They couldn’t be that angry at him, right? They might be upset that he hadn’t told him, but he did have his reasons, and the Avengers were known for respecting super heroes who wanted to keep identities a secret.
Peter made a placating gesture, and Wade moved closer to him, giving Peter whatever non-verbal comfort he could.
But then, inexplicably, Natasha had her gun trained on Wade, and Clint his arrow, and Iron man his repulsor, and Wade, his almost non-existant self-preservation instincts kicking in, stepped away again. They immediately lowered their weapons.
Peter’s mouth dropped open, though that couldn’t really be seen beneath his mask. “What’s going on?”
“That’s what we want to know,” Steve said, his arms still crossed menacingly across his chest.
“It looks like they’re angry,” Wade explained slowly, and tried stepping towards Peter only to step away immediately upon the weapons being aimed at him again.
“Yeah,” Peter said, just as slowly, “I’m just trying to figure out why.”
“Maybe the Man of Spider does not know,” Thor intoned darkly.
“Know what?” Peter asked desperately. These actions were super extreme for finding out that Tony’s intern was a super hero. If he had guessed, earlier, he might have thought that they would have been angrier with him dating Wade than with him being Spiderman, because whenever Peter had ‘accidentally’ overheard them speaking of Spiderman it sounded like they considered him harmless, at least in comparison to them, but they hardly ever gave Wade the benefit of the doubt. But that obviously wasn’t the case because they’d already found out that Peter was dating Wade and they were all totally cool with it.
Or at least they weren’t trying to cock-block him anymore.
Bruce, who was looking a little greener than Peter felt comfortable with, stepped forward and Peter tentatively relaxed. He could usually rely on Bruce to be the voice of reason. Hopefully he would explain why they the Avengers were all spitting mad. Because Peter was ready to apologize, more than apologize, beg for forgiveness for lying to them, but the way they were standing, the way they looked at Wade and Peter made Peter think that they would not make such an apology easy on him.
And Peter didn’t know why.
“Spiderman,” Bruce started, and Peter flinched back minutely. Why, now that they knew who he was, did they not call him Peter? “I don’t know what your relationship with Deadpool is, but he actually has a boyfriend.”
“A fiancé,” the intensely mechanical voice of Iron Man inserted in an accusatory fashion.
Peter gaped. “Excuse me?” he ground out.
Perhaps he had misheard.
Obviously Wade had a fiancé. Peter was the fiancé!
“So you did not know, then?” Steve asked, and he sounded slightly less likely to decapitate them with his shield.
Peter looked at Wade whose lips were twisted into some version of profound mirth. Peter narrowed his eyes at his boyfriend. This was not funny.
Ok, maybe it would be funny later, years from now, maybe when they retire and have time to reminisce, but now it was just confusing.
Peter glanced back at the Avengers and had to fight down the urge to run. For the first time when looking at them, Peter feared for his life. He was used to them smiling at him, laughing at Clint’s jokes, softly explaining technology to Steve and Thor, chuckling at him and Tony as they made plans to build a stasis chamber that would run off of ethanol but have the battery life of a nokia. And now they looked at him as if they didn’t trust him, couldn’t understand him, didn’t even know who he was anymore.
It was disconcerting.
It was so disconcerting Peter retrieved the flee-from-Avengers playbook he had trashed in his mind right before they had landed. Maybe it was viable after all?
Or maybe, Peter’s mind supplied as he mentally flipped through all the ways he could escape while retaining his life, maybe the reason they were looking at him as if he were a stranger was because they thought he was a stranger.
Were they still under the misapprehension that Spiderman and Peter Parker were different people?
Peter shook his head. That couldn’t be. They were smarter than that. Tony and Bruce had enough degrees between them to make an undergraduate cry and Clint and Natasha were spies who literally figured out people’s secrets for a living. Thor was a prince, soon-to-be-king, and they weren’t too shabby either. And Peter had heard Steve throw around strategy like he pro-football coach trying to stave off retirement forever, so no one could tell him that Steve lacked brains. They were all smart people. They had to know that Peter was Spiderman. At this point, given the evidence, it had to be obvious.
“Answer us,” Natasha said slowly and took a menacing step forward.
“Yes,” Peter spit out. “Of course Wade has a fiancé—”
Peter was interrupted by a flash of lightning and a rolling of thunder. The lightning made eerie shadows dance across Thor’s face, giving him a menacing look that seemed more unearthly than even being an Asgardian could explain. “You knew that this man was betrothed to another and still chose to couple with him?”
“Well who wouldn’t want to couple with his hot bod?” Wade interjected unhelpfully, and gestured to himself.
“Shut up,” Peter whispered out of the side of his mouth. He didn’t need Wade to make them angrier before Peter had a chance to explain himself. His irritation at Wade’s inability to understand timing could not stop a small smile from tugging at the corner of his mouth.
“I am disappointed in you,” Thor said, a frown on his face, and Wade’s grin soured a few degrees ‘till it started to look more like a grimace than anything remotely happy.
“Let me explain,” Peter said, and stuck his fingers under the spandex of his mask, prepared to yank the thing off as soon as he told them who he was.
It was obvious that keeping his secret from the Avengers was just not meant to be.
“What is there to explain?” Clint demanded, and his voice was so cold and cruelly calculated, unlike the flippant tone he usually used, that Peter did flinch back, and the rest of Wade’s smile dropped off his face. “You’re a superhero, a role model, and you were about to have sex with a man already in a relationship. How is that heroic?”
Peter wanted to say something. His mind ran around frantically, trying to find something to say to placate them, but he couldn’t. Hearing someone who’d called Peter buddy yesterday and who had threatened to steal his Hubba Bubba, speak with such disdain made Peter want to hide away and never return. It blocked his throat until all that came out was a croak.
Natasha stepped forward, moving in a slinky way that Peter had never seen before. He’d seen her walk, studied her movements on a completely professional level, and he had to say that she normally moved with grace, that was no secret, and her movements flowed easily, one into the other, but this was smoother and darker. “To be fair,” she practically purred, and Peter wanted to run and hide, “it wasn’t all Spiderman’s fault.”
“It takes two to tango,” Iron Man agreed, and he too focused on Wade.
“Wade,” Natasha said in a sickly sweet voice, “I think we need to have a little talk.”
“No!” Steve’s voice boomed across the roof, and it even startled Natasha enough for her to glance back at him. In a slightly softer voice, he repeated, “No,” and then said, “It isn’t our place. We came here to ask Spiderman to join the Avengers—”
“You what?” Peter apparently hadn’t lost his voice after all.
Steve glared him into silence. “But I can see we were mistaken about him.” It cut to Peter’s core that Steve refused to even speak to Peter, but continued to speak about him in the third person as if he wasn’t there. “Perhaps we will reconsider, and ask him again, if he can prove that he is a superhero worthy of being affiliated with us. Until then…” He shrugged and took a step backwards towards the quinjet.
“What about Deadpool?” Clint demanded angrily.
Steve shrugged. “I know that he has betrayed a trust, but unfortunately, it wasn’t our trust. He betrayed Peter, and it is up to Peter to decide his fate.”
“The fuck?” Peter asked succinctly, and looked to Wade, hoping that his boyfriend would have an idea on what to do, but Wade just put a finger to his lips.
Peter wanted to say something, anything to show these people, his friends that he was to be trusted, but Wade’s motion silenced him. He trusted Wade with his life, and if Wade wanted Peter to keep his identity a secret (though, again, how they hadn’t figured it out already, Peter had no earthly clue) Peter would trust Wade’s decision. He didn’t know what Wade was up to, but he trusted his boyfriend to have a plan.
“Cap,” Tony said, pointedly ignoring both Wade and Peter, “are we going to keep Deadpool on the team, despite knowing now that he’s a no-good, dirty, cheating son-of-a-bitch?”
Steve gave Wade a once-over, and it almost looked like he had pity in his eyes. “I want to give him a chance. He might have done something horrible within his personal relationship, but unfortunately, until he does something uncouth pertaining to our line of work, I cannot in good conscience release him from the Avengers.”
Peter quirked his head. So they were going to let Wade stay in the Avengers when he was cheating (not that Peter was complaining,) but they weren’t going to let Peter join, even when, as far as they knew, he didn’t have a significant other? So he wasn’t really cheating. He was just…having sex with a ‘married man.’ It didn’t really make much sense. Or they didn’t want Wade to be in the Avengers anymore, but they just couldn’t kick him out without due cause.
Peter opened his mouth to give them a good telling off, and to properly explain why they were all being complete fuckbuckets, but Wade’s hand slapped against Peter’s mouth, effectively silencing him.
Wade had a plan.
Silence now, and then when they were alone, Wade could explain.
Peter could wait till then.
“So we’re just going to leave them here, to carry on?” Bruce asked incredulously.
Steve shrugged. “What can we do? Who one sleeps with is technically not Avengers business. Even if you are ruining the only good thing you have in your life and are throwing it all away for a rooftop romp with a guy you barely know.”
Peter could see that maybe Steve was really pissed at Wade after all.
And he wanted to tear into the man for insinuating that 1) Peter was the only good thing in Wade’s life. That was ridiculous, Wade was a hero, and had (some unscrupulous) friends, and hobbies and favorite TV shows, all without Peter. 2) Wade was going to settle for just doing it on the roof and then running away. And 3) that they barely knew each other.
Okay, those last two were ridiculous, but Peter was angry goddamnit! He needed excuses to punch Captain America in the face.
He glanced at Wade who gave him a reassuring smile.
Peter forced an uneven sigh from his mouth.
He could wait. He just had to wait.
“I’m telling Peter,” Bruce said defiantly.
Steve nodded. “I agree, Peter deserves to know.” He glanced at Wade. “Do you object?” Peter had a feeling that Steve wouldn’t care what Wade said, but Wade shook his head, so at least there was no argument there.
Peter wanted to scoff, but the best he could do was make ridiculous faces at the Avengers from the safety of his mask. As if Peter didn’t already know. He was right there! Hello!
At first when he thought they’d figured out who he was, he had been upset, and scared. Bad things happened to those who were around him, to those who knew who he really was. But they were the Avengers, they could take care of themselves. Maybe it would be ok, if they knew. He hadn’t been sure, but he was willing to give it a go, to trust them to be able to protect themselves and him. But now he wanted to shout it at them, because how dare they speculate without knowing anything. If they just knew how stupid they were being—Hah!
But Wade had motioned for him not to speak, not to tell them, and Peter wasn’t so much of a dick that he was going to ignore Wade if Wade had a good plan. He didn’t know what kind of plan he could possibly have, but Peter was willing to trust Wade.
Oh but he wished he could just scream it into their justice-y faces.
Iron Man’s metallic voice echoed in the open air when he said, “Well at least the rat is honest about this. Peter will know about this. Your days as a fiancé are numbered, Wilson. Know that your actions have caused this. And when Peter dumps you, know that you’ll only have yourself to blame.”
Tony stomped away, back into the quinjet, and the others followed him in silence. When the jet took off, Peter was still shaking with rage.
Chapter 2: Plan; in which Wade does not have one.
Ah, I actually had this finished yesterday, but wifi sucks and for that I would like to apologize.
Sitting in the comfort of their own home, having shed their spandex and sprawled out on opposite sides of the couch, Peter finally broke the silence.
“What the fuck just happened?” He pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Do you want me to summarize?” Wade asked with a quirk of his lips that Peter could tell was false. It was all bravado. Wade wasn’t happy about this either.
“No, I think I got it. The Avengers think that you are cheating on me with me. Why does this keep happening? How is this our life now?”
“Maybe it isn’t?” Wade said, trying to sound cryptic, but it was a pale excuse to try and make Peter chuckle and they both knew it.
“I wanted to scream, they way they were treating you,” Peter said, and he twisted in his seat, curling his legs beneath him.
“Look on the bright side, Petey-pie. At least they still don’t know your secret identity.”
“Screw my secret identity!” Peter exploded. He jumped off the couch and began pacing across the room, no doubt wearing a path into their already thinning rug.
“You don’t mean that,” Wade said calmly, and he reached out and snagged Peter’s wrist as he walked past, pulling the younger man into his lap.
“I do!” Peter insisted, and he meant it. He would reveal his true identity in a heartbeat if it meant that the Avengers would trust Wade again.
Wade shook his head, as if Peter didn’t know what he was saying. It was a look Peter didn’t see often. Peter was a pretty smart guy. But sometimes he would say something Wade took to be naïve, and Wade would shake his head and give a little smile, as if to say that someday Peter would understand.
“It’s fine, snookums,” Wade insisted, “I know that you weren’t prepared to bare your soul like that—”
“But I would have!” Peter insisted.
Wade pulled him flush against his chest. “I know, sexy mama, I know. And that’s why I didn’t let you. I’m not going to put you out there, make you uncomfortable, force your hand, just to protect lil’ ol’ me from the big bad Avengers.” He ran strong fingers through Peter’s hair, and Peter could feel his anger drain out of him.
“Are you sure?” He asked at last, because while Peter was confident that he was ready to tell his secret to the world if need be, just to keep Wade happy, and he would not regret it, he also knew that right now making Wade happy meant letting Wade protect him.
Wade nodded, and Peter smiled at him, and let himself fully relax.
“What do we do then?” Peter asked in an even voice.
Wade kissed the nape of his neck. “Well,” he started huskily, “we could finish what we started on the roof.”
Peter arched an eyebrow. “No, I mean with the Avengers. It is very sweet of you to let me keep my secret for a little while longer, but I refuse to let them bully you around or kick you off the squad because of my secret identity.”
Wade shrugged like it was no big deal. “It’ll all work out.”
Peter rolled his eyes. “No. We have to start taking precautions.”
“We already do that. We only sometimes go on patrol together. You never swing to work. You said we’re not allowed to have office sex with the masks on. What more can we do?”
Peter couldn’t stop the bark of laughter that fell from his lips. “So much, Wade. There is so much we can do. The first is to make absolutely sure not to have sex in public.”
“Awwwwwww!” Wade whined, “But I wanna!”
Peter giggled and slapped Wade’s thigh. “No. And, they’re probably going to confront me tomorrow about your supposed adultery.”
“And…well I suppose I should tell them something. I mean, they won’t be telling me anything that I don’t already know, or at least that I don’t already know they’re going to say to me. So, I suppose I should tell them that you told me?”
Wade shrugged glibly. “It couldn’t hurt, I suppose.”
“Yeah, it’ll work,” Peter said, already warming to this game (because it was safer to think of this as a game than as a worrisome and problematic series of lies). “It’ll be good. Because if they know that you told me, maybe they’ll find it more likely that you will ‘repent?’ And of course, I’ll say that I’m giving you another chance. I’ve already put so much into this relationship, I owe you, yadda yadda and myself to keep trying, blah blah blah. Sound good?”
“Peachy keen, Jelly-bean.”
Peter twisted his head to look directly into Wade’s eyes, and his smile slipped once more from his face. “I don’t know why we’re doing this. They’re going to find out eventually. They aren’t that stupid.”
“They are pretty stupid.”
“They are,” Peter conceded, still a little shocked that none of them had figured it out, “but eventually they are going to figure it out, or something, and by then we’ll have been lying to them for so long that I’m not sure they won’t hate us even more for it.”
“They could never hate you, Petey-sweetie,” Wade cooed, and bumped his nose against Peter’s, “you’re their adorable science-guy, intern extraordinaire. There’s no reason for them to hate you.”
“But they already hate Spidey, and as much as you try and convince yourself that you’ve actually got two hot guys in love with you, they’re both actually me. And they don’t trust you anymore, and I hate that.”
Wade straightened his shoulders and gave a little salute. “Alrighty. I’ll be good, and that’ll force them to trust me again. I’ll do all of the paperwork I’ve been setting on fire, and I’ll get to work on time and follow directions and everything, if it will make you feel better.” He gave a cocky little head shake, “Hell, baby, maybe I’ll even convince them that, despite my tryst with the sexy Spiderman being completely over and totally regretted, they should actually take him seriously and invite him to join the Avengers.” He waggled his eyebrows in the way that he knew made Peter laugh, and Peter did.
“I’m not sure that’ll work Wade. Honestly, it’s my fantasy to work with you and the Avengers, but that’s all it ever should be: a fantasy. I don’t think I could keep my identity a secret working with them both as Peter and Spiderman, and you working with them is more important right now. Alright? Make them like you first. That’s our priority.”
There was something in Wade’s voice that made Peter question how compliant the man was being, but he shook it off. Wade wouldn’t risk working with the Avengers just to try and make the fever dream of Spiderman being an Avenger come to fruition.
It honestly wouldn’t have worked anyway. If he had been asked to be an Avenger, if the good Captain hadn’t almost caught them with their pants down, he might have said yes, but he probably would have said no. His life was comfortable, had been comfortable. It would have been too much of a risk to try and fit both of his lives into Stark’s tower. And he was happy.
Or he had been happy.
He would be happy again, he decided. They would work through whatever stupid things the Avengers threw at them, and that would be that.
Chapter 3: Intern-vention; Learning when fire is, and is not, a viable option
The votes have come in and the winner is.... Everyone wants polyamory! Or, at least the excuse of polyamory? I'm not sure the difference any more. For all those swingers out there, the non-arachnid kind I mean, I am sorry to say that the level of angst I'm trying to achieve (which is any, btw. I want any amount of angst. I'm really bad at writing that sort of thing, so... yeah) does not allow for happy threesomes between two people. I'm actually confusing myself here as well.
Either way, enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Why the fuck had he agreed to this?
He was ready to kill someone, web them to the wall and Bunsen burner their face off, but unfortunately he was still playing nice little Peter Parker and that meant that he would not be committing a felony in the near future. At least not here, in Tony Stark’s beautifully chrome laboratory.
Laboratory of Evil!
(He was spending too much time with Wade).
No, but seriously, this was kind of getting the worst kind of annoying, all of them coming in, bad-talking Wade, trying to convince him to dump his boyfriend. And, yeah, they all thought he was a cheating bastard, so Peter could kind of understand, but still! He was going to absolutely murder the next person who came in wanting to talk about Wade. He’d been blowing them all off so far, but he doubted it would work for much longer. Oh, and look, there coming down the hall was Captain ‘I’m going to tell Peter about Wade cheating on him with his favorite Superhero’ America.
Damn him for being just and noble!
Ok, yeah, Peter could admit to himself that had any of this been real, had his significant other actually been caught pre-coitus with a… coworker of sorts, Peter would definitely want to be told. And he’d probably thank the good captain and the other Avengers, and throw them a party or whatever, but that wasn’t the case! At all!
Peter had already worked himself so much into a tizzy that he was practically vibrating by the time Steve took a seat next to him. Peter had to take a few deep breaths to get his breathing back to normal and then he looked up into the blue eyes of America itself, looking for all the world as if he’d come to tell Peter his dog had been run over by Doctor Doom, and Peter had to clamp his lips shut just keep himself from spewing actual acid from a new gland in his mouth that he had just grown just then for this very occasion of being angry at a national icon.
“Peter,” Steve said solemnly, and Peter had to look away.
On the other side of the room, both Bruce and Tony had stopped working, and were actually making their way over to Peter! What the actual fuck!? This wasn’t an intervention!
“Peter,” Steve said again, slowly, and his voice was all calm understanding and non-prodding, and all other sorts of things that Peter usually really appreciated and would fight tooth and nail for.
Did the fact that Steve’s Captain America voice no longer affect him mean that Peter was slowly turning into the villain? He looked into the teary (actually fucking teary) eyes of the star spangled man, and thought that he could probably swing being a villain. He’d probably have to ditch the red and blue, which would be a drag, but he could make it work. Maybe buy himself a cape. He was sure Wade would appreciate dating a baddie.
Bruce and Tony took up stations on either side of Steve, Tony looking himself like he wanted to strangle someone, and Bruce with actual, god-forsaken pity. Peter tried to keep himself from tensing, but he couldn’t help it. He debated running away and never returning, but figured that it would be more mature and financially responsible to just listen to his friends (or maybe no longer friends, he couldn’t tell) dish about his boyfriend real quick and then go back to ignoring everything until it all was forgotten and everything was happy again.
Steve, who still hadn’t actually started any sentences, said “Peter” again, in that solemn tone, and Peter snapped.
“What!” He shouted, loud enough to even startle himself, and jumped from his seat only to find himself pacing back and forth in the middle of the lab. He bit his thumb, and debated once more just telling them. They’d understand, he was sure, and even if they didn’t, at least it would all be out in the open. But then he remembered the look on Wade’s face when he’d said that at least Peter’s secret was safe—he’d looked so proud of himself, so protective. Peter couldn’t break that.
“You already know,” Steve asked, though it sounded more like a question. His tone made Peter pause. It was half surprise, one-fourth compassion, one-eighth wonder, and one-eighth respect (probably for Wade).
“Yeah,” Peter said slowly. He’d latched on to Steve’s tone, and hope soared through him that maybe it wouldn’t be too bad, trying to figure out how to re-form the relationships here into something resembling the past camaraderie.
And of course, wasn’t it just like Tony to fuck it up?
“Did he tell you?”
Peter nodded slowly.
“Really?” He sounded much too incredulous for Peter’s liking. “That sonovabitch just casually let you know that he about fucked a guy in spandex on the roof of your goddamned apartment building?”
Peter gritted his teeth and glared at his boss, hoping the heat in his eyes could set the man aflame.
“Tony,” Bruce said quietly, and squeezed the man’s upper arm.
It looked like Peter wasn’t the only one unhappy with Tony’s phrasing.
Peter generally liked Tony, they worked together seamlessly, and Peter enjoyed their conversations, but this was just cruel. He debated the merits of punching Iron Man in the face, but was interrupted mid-pros-and-cons-mental-debate by Steve.
“Well, at least he told you. I didn’t think he would.”
“He’s not a coward,” Peter spit out, and he tried very hard to remember back to just a few days ago when they’d all huddled around a Frankenstein’s monster of a homemade scrabble board, laughing when Clint tried to convince Thor that ‘Oserjerskin’ was a word, of course it was, what are you talking about? The memory was there, but the contentment that usually followed was missing.
“He was cheating on you,” Tony growled, and Peter wanted to make some cutting remark about Tony’s own past of sleeping around, but he held himself back. Once you started something like that, there was no return.
He tried to remind himself that from their point of view, they were obviously the correct ones here, and that if he were in their shoes, he’d be doing the same thing. The thought made him calm down enough for him to sit and talk, to say the things he’d rehearsed all the way to work that morning, and had promptly forgotten upon seeing all of their stupid, uncaring, annoying faces again.
“He told me what happened, that it was a one-off, it was the adrenaline rush—”
“And you believed him?” Tony demanded.
“—and he promised that it would never happen again.”
There was a pregnant pause, and then Tony asked, a bewildered expression on his face, “You did dump his ass, right?”
Peter looked at Tony, and Steve and Bruce, really looked at them for the first time since he’d walked into the lab that day, angry and raring to duke it out with someone, and saw only concern. Yes, Tony was rude, and yes, Tony was being an ass, but he was trying. And Steve and Bruce honestly cared about him. They didn’t want to see him get hurt.
He understood that.
But what was really hurting him was seeing his friends just completely destroy any hopes of his boyfriend being in their good graces ever again.
Peter sat back down, and stared at them with what he hoped was his most earnest expression. “Please give him another chance.” He focused on each of them individually, trying to get across how important this was to him. “I promised I would trust him again, and I don’t want it to be ruined by you guys treating him badly. Please, just give him one more chance.”
Tony was staring at him wide-eyed, and even Steve looked surprised at Peter’s vehemence, but it was Bruce who asked the question. “Why?”
Peter glanced down at his hands where he had subconsciously begun to twist his engagement ring around his fingers. He gave the only true answer that he could. “I love him,” it was a quiet confession, and then he looked at them again and said, loud enough so that there would be no mistake, “I love him. I love him and I want to let him fix this. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, and I want to work with you all forever, and be happy. Please, just please let him try. Please.”
Steve met first Tony’s eyes and then Bruce’s. They nodded. Steve spoke, naturally becoming both leader and spokesperson. “Ok, we’ll give him a chance.”
“You’ll treat him the same as before?” Peter questioned.
Tony crossed his arms and glared at a computer screen to his side, but Steve nodded and said, “Yes. We’ll try. I’ll even talk to the others.”
Peter let out a relieved sigh.
“But don’t be afraid,” Bruce said quickly, “if something goes wrong, don’t think that you’ll be alone in whatever it is. We’ll support your decision.”
Tony straightened. “And if you need a place to say, you’re always welcome at Avengers Tower.”
Peter’s expression softened. “Thank you. Really, it means a lot.”
Steve got to his feet and sighed once more. “I’ll let the others know to lay off Deadpool. I can’t promise they’ll be nice to him, but I’ll make sure he isn’t mistreated or ostracized.”
Peter nodded and gave a little smile as Steve left the room. Tony and Bruce also returned to their stations, and soon everything was back to normal.
It was a nice feeling, looking around and once more feeling at ease in this place he loved.
Peter was glad that they’d taken what he said to heart, and it would probably still be awhile before they could return to the level of camaraderie with Wade that they had been at before (and that still rankled him) but at least they were going to try. He let out a breath as he realized that he wouldn’t have to worry about Wade as much as he thought he had.
Little did Peter know that it was never Wade that he was going to have to worry about.
So, guys, I've been a writing this thingy pretty steadily as it turns out. How I'm doing about a chapter a week I have no clue, but I'm gonna try and up the ante a little. I'm going to write the next chapter in 3 days!!!!!!!!! (hopefully). By three days I mean this weekend, because this is my first homework-less weekend so far. (Homework-less as in there is less homework, not no homework). So, expect something Sunday or Monday or Tuesday at the latest, if I'm feeling particularly writer-blocked or my wifi conks out again...
Any way, thank you all for reading and thanks for all the comments, you are all super fantastic!
See ya soon!
Chapter 4: Fur; in which even Wade doesn’t want to keep it as a pet (yes he does)
Alright guys, I actually did it! Here's the next chapter, I hope you all enjoy it :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
So, the Avengers got off of Wade’s back. They weren’t all warm and fuzzy about it, and they mostly took the form of just ignoring him when they didn’t have to communicate, but at least they didn’t try to kill him (not that it would have worked) or chase him from the tower. In fact, and Peter was above ecstatic about it, Thor took to hanging out with Wade even more than he had before. Thor was a sweetie, and since he had forgiven Loki so often, even when it was revealed that Loki wasn’t Thor’s blood brother, it shouldn’t have surprised Peter that he would give Wade a no holds barred second chance, and watching the two chat calmly put a much needed smile on Peter’s face. Such a smile could not even be diminished when Wade told him that Thor had taken to gracefully pointing out wrong from right in almost any hypothetical decision he could think of. Wade thought it was hilarious, since Peter had done pretty much the same thing when they had first started dating. Pointing out situations where he might be thrown for a loop and laying out precisely what could be done to keep him in the right.
While Thor was the easiest to bring around, it didn’t take much for the others to follow, though, as was predicted, they didn’t all necessarily seem to like it. Bruce had apparently convinced himself that it was his duty to try and bring Wade back into the fold, so he too had taken to talking to Wade during lunch (which was every bit as awkward as when he’d first joined, or maybe more so). The lunches were stiflingly awkward, and often made Peter want to run for the hills. Thor and Wade were the only ones who seemed comfortable, and they kept up a steady conversation, while the others mainly talked quietly amongst themselves, sometimes bringing in Peter, and occasionally glancing at Wade to make sure he wasn’t doing anything stupid. Bruce would sometimes try to converse with Wade as well, but he looked so nervous doing it that Peter wanted to laugh. Bruce just couldn’t get it in his head that Wade wasn’t going to snap. He stepped so lightly around the ex-mercenary that the conversations soon petered out into nothing.
Clint mostly ignored Wade, though when he did talk to the man he wasn’t hostile. He seemed neutral, willing to wait for a final verdict without picking a side in the debate. Natasha was back to being a hostile creature of dampened fury and stilettos that could kill. She was mostly horrifying. Steve was proper with Wade, would talk to him, but made it very clear that they should only interact within a business capacity. They weren’t friendly towards each other. (Wade was friendly towards Steve, but Steve reciprocated with only the barest civility). Tony treated Wade like he would gladly repulsor his skin from his bones, but since Wade seemed to actually find it amusing, Peter didn’t try to put a stop to it. Wade was content it seemed. He smiled just as much as he always did, and they went on more dates because being with Wade was what made Peter happiest, but really, he should have known that it wouldn’t be that easy.
It never was.
To be honest, the Avengers actions towards Wade since the incident had lulled Peter into a false sense of security. It wasn’t until the next battle that Peter fully understood the consequences of…well everything that had happened.
You know, Peter would love to explain what was happening even to himself, but he really couldn’t. He’d been chilling in his apartment, waiting for Wade to come home when a shot of electricity raced up his spine.
It was his Spidey sense, but less tingly, and more whoa this is suddenly really bad and really close and why is all of this feeling amped up for no reason?
Peter’s head twitched to the side and his left hand started shaking, and he didn’t even realize he had moved from the couch until he felt himself swinging out the window. He must have pulled on his suit while in a daze because yep, he was definitely wearing awesome clingy cloth, but had no memory of pulling the red and blue on.
He shot a web at the Daily Bugle while smoothing down the edge of his mask.
At least he had remembered his mask.
It took only two more swings for the sounds of screaming and sirens to permeate his brain, and soon enough he was upon the wreckage.
Buildings were flattened, debris piling up in the streets, and people in clothes too ripped and dirtied to be recognizable clothing screamed and cried as they rushed along the ripped up asphalt, tripping and pulling each other along with them, as they ran away from whatever it was that had done this.
Peter did not take the time to gape at the street that had been whole and fine yesterday, or wonder which shop had been crushed into an unrecognizable pancake. No, he took in the screaming people and the ruined street in a glance and then swung around to face the thing that had done this. It was a…
Yeah, Peter still couldn’t explain what it was…
It was a giant furry thing. Peter couldn’t see its eyes or mouth or ears. It was a long oblong thing, covered in dense, matted fur, and the back of it moved side to side on the ground, flattening first one side of the street and then the other as it squirmed, like those weird coin machines at carnivals or arcades. You know, the ones where there’s a weird sweeper thing, and you drop a quarter in, and it pushed is back, and your hope is that your quarter will cause the sweeper to push a whole bunch of other quarters towards you so you can win lots of 25 cent coins? Yeah, that one. The thing’s tail was like that, only Peter hadn’t even put a quarter in, and based on all the destruction, he wasn’t going to be getting any money out of this. Probably the opposite. You know how bad taxes get after an alien/monster invasion? It’s a surprise anyone other than Tony Stark can even afford to live in New York.
Peter would have liked to swing to the top of a building and decide his actions from the relative safety of the sky, but none of the roofs were actually any taller than Peter at the moment, so he settled for landing on the ground behind the weird… Peter decided to call it a mouthless-bear-slug for lack of a better name.
It was only then that he noticed (and you know what? Peter isn’t even going to concern himself with the lack of observation he’s been dealing with. It’s been a hectic few days and he deserves something happier than a mouthless-bear-slug) the Avengers. They were standing in a loose circle off to the side of the road, out of the bear-slug’s way, strategizing. Neither Bruce nor the Hulk was to be seen. Wade was standing with them, oddly silent, and a little back, not completely part of the circle.
Peter’s hands squeezed unbidden into tight fists, causing the spandex in his gloves to squeak.
Could he punch them now?
First stop mouthless-bear-slug from destroying more of Manhattan, and then make arguing faces at the Avengers.
“Sup, guys?” Peter called over and swung his way to the circle of super heroes. “What a co-inky-dink meeting you guys here. Come round these parts often?” False joviality was a necessary evil, Peter had learned long ago, and he hopped it would work in this situation.
Instead he got a deadly looking arrow pointed at his face. Peter raised his hands above his head.
“What are you doing here?” Hawkeye sneered.
Peter nodded at the mouthless-bear-slug. “Uh, monster destroying the city? Kind of my job.”
“I’m not sure if a small fish like you could help out,” Natasha said in an emotionless voice. “That’s what we’re here for. Why don’t you go back to your own pond and leave this thing to us?”
Peter barred his teeth, though it couldn’t be seen beneath the mask. On a good day Natasha was scary and Peter wouldn’t go up against her if paid. On a bad day she was terrifying and Peter would actually pay to stay away from her. Today was a bad day. But, it was a bad day for Peter too, and he must have lost any self-preservation he’d ever had because he actually turned his own sickly-sweet voice on Natasha and said, “Ouch. What a cruel thing to say, one arachnid to another. Well let me tell you something, buddy, you might hate me right now, though I could care fuck all about it, but that really shouldn’t matter more than the weird thing smashing up what used to be a really sweet Mexican joint.” (“WHAT?!” Wade wailed in the background, and fell to his knees in dramatic agony) “So, Black Widow, I’m going to let you and your weird, reverse harem super clique get back to figuring out how to airlift this puppy somewhere safe, and I’m going to go shut his ass down, like an actual super hero.”
Peter didn’t even wait to see if any of them would react before he was swinging after the mouthless-bear-slug.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have gone off on Natasha like that (Natasha of all people! She was going to skin him alive), but he was starting to think that maybe being Spiderman around these people would require tougher skin. At the very least he shouldn’t have yelled, “Buuuurrrnnn!” back at her as he webbed his way towards the mouthless-bear-slug.
He shot a web at it.
Literally nothing, the web disintegrated.
“The fuck?” He muttered and tapped a fingernail against his webshooter.
“Yeah,” Iron Man’s metallic voice rumbled next to Peter’s ear, and Peter flinched away into a back flip, landing on his toes a few feet away.
Peter looked over at where Iron Man was standing with his arms crossed over his chest.
“Yeah, what?” Peter asked, sounding not nearly as perturbed as he felt.
Iron Man didn’t answer but blasted off only to land on the back of the mouthless-bear-slug and start punching it in the back.
“What he meant, puny spider,” Thor boomed from somewhere above Peter, causing Peter to look up, “is that nothing but physical action seems to have any effect on the creature.”
Thor too soared off to begin physically attacking the creature, hands and feet pummeling the beast only to be cushioned by the thing’s thick hair.
Wade snuck past Peter without acknowledging him, which sent a chill down Peter’s spine. Yeah, they’d agreed (he’d told Wade) to stop interacting as their superhero alter egos to keep the Avengers off their backs, but it still hurt that Wade hadn’t even waved to him or given him a cocky smile, or tried to stuff his hand down Peter’s pants.
Wade started slicing at the creature’s tail (which looked similar to what Peter assumed was the creature’s head. In fact, if the mouthless-bear-slug hadn’t been moving in a continuously forward direction, Peter would have no idea even to assume that one end was the head and the other the tail) with his Katana.
Peter shrugged off his hurt at Wade ignoring him and said, “Well, when in Rome,” and leapt into the fray.
So, yeah, it's a little cliffie, but I promise to draw this one scene out for at least another three chapters (I'm joking, I'm joking, I'm definitely probably joking).
On another note, do you guys ever read a fic that's like super good and long, and unfinished and it leaves at the tip of a very steep, well-written climax, so you're like "AAAARRRGHHHHHHHH" and then you decide to actually look and see when it was last updated and it was well over two years ago and you feel like driving a bus over your face? Cause, WHY DOES THAT KEEP HAPPENING TO ME????
Ok, that was my mini, un-related rant for the day. Carry on.
Chapter 5: Bruises; in which Peter’s trust issues get trust issues
Just, like, curious, but do any of you read the chapter titles? I'm reading this fic and I just realized that I'm effectively forgetting to read the chapter title every chapter, and I just wanted to say not to worry if you're not reading them here, cuz I'd be a hypocrite if I said that, and you aren't missing out or anything and blah, blah, blah etc.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Punching a giant mouthless-bear-slug might not sound like a walk in the park, but it’s even more difficult than it sounds, and Peter was soon wondering if anything they were doing was having any affect, as the creature continued its slow forward movement without seeming the least bit bothered by the mass of superheroes attacking it.
Hulk had dropped in (literally dropped, probably from a plane or the quinjet, but it seemed as if he’d dropped from the sky) and with a “HULK SMASH” greeting, went to work pummeling at the head of the mouthless-bear-slug without the thing even seeming to notice.
Natasha was who-knows-where and Peter had at first also thought that Clint was missing until his Spidey Senses tingled for him to jump six inches to the left, and soon after a long arrow embedded itself into the mouthless-bear-slug right where his arm had been. Peter looked behind and up to find the archer roosting on the top of a somehow still standing telephone pole.
“Sorry!” Clint called down, face expressionless, and voice so neutral that it was obvious he’d done it on purpose.
Clint had seriously just shot an arrow at Peter. “Fuck you!” Peter growled back at the purple-and-black clad man, and didn’t turn back to punching the thing fast enough to miss the sly smirk that twisted itself upon Clint’s face.
Peter shivered at the implications of what Clint had tried to do. Yeah, everyone knew that Spiderman had awesome reflexes, and the arrow hadn’t whizzed into the creature too fast for Peter to move, in fact he’d been given plenty of time to avoid it, but still. Shooting arrows at people is a shitty scare tactic, and Peter really wanted to head-butt Clint because that was just a shitty thing to do.
Maybe Peter would have a talk with Clint about appropriate anger management/revenge skills, which did not involve skewering people with your weapon of choice.
But fifteen minutes later, when Peter had to duck to avoid an arrow aimed at the back of his head, he decided that he would just punch Clint in the face hard enough to break his nose or worse, because he was still human. Those arrows could kill him!
Peter zoned in on Wade where he was hacking at the mouthless-bear-slug out of sight of Hawkeye and Spiderman. He hadn’t seen either of the arrows. Good. He didn’t want Wade doing something stupid in retaliation against Clint who was doing something STUPIDER!
But Peter also didn’t want to become Spider shish kebab just because he wanted to keep his fiancé out of trouble. So, he jumped on the creature’s back and switched sides, choosing to use Thor as a barricade between himself and the archer-with-no-self-control.
Only, no, that was a stupid idea, because that also put him next to Wade, which meant that Thor misunderstood the reason for Peter’s move, and casually, “accidentally,” backhanded Peter towards the front of the beast where Iron Man and Captain America were punching the mouthless-bear-slug. He could tell that he would get a bruise where Thor had hit him, right below his cheekbone. Even with Peter’s faster healing ability he couldn’t just walk away unscathed when a literal god chose to do some damage.
Seriously, was he surrounded by idiots?
Peter rubbed his cheek, and was about to scooch himself down a bit and get off the creature before trying once more at giving the mouthless-bear-slug the ol’ one-two, but then fists were descending on him, the fists of America and Iron respectively, and Peter had to roll away before they too left their mark on him.
He looked up in time to see Steve’s surprised and then contrite expression.
At least one person had been about to cause him serious damage on accident. If he’d landed a little farther down he wouldn’t have been in any danger.
Peter wanted to think that Iron Man also hadn’t meant to get his fist so close to breaking Peter’s nose, but he couldn’t read Tony’s expression with the mask on, and he just wasn’t sure any more. He trusted that Tony would make the right decision and not assault the blameless (ish. Again, it wasn’t like “Spiderman,” if they were taking him as a separate entity, was married or anything, he was just helping someone else commit adultery) person. But he’d also thought that Clint and Thor would take the higher ground, and he’d been seriously wrong about that.
(And ouch. No seriously, ouch. And no, he wasn’t talking about his face. Clint was his bro. He was the first to be legit cool with Wade, and then totally approve of their relationship. And Thor was like an actual bro, like a brother. I hurt like hell to think they’d cause him harm out of malice. But he shoved that thought away. He could deal with it when they weren’t fighting weird animal hybrid alien things).
And would you look at that. All of Peter’s prayers were being answered. (Well, one of them at least.) Because that was the sound of dozens of helicopters and Natasha’s voice amplified saying, “Alright boys, move over. I’m bringing in the cavalry.”
Peter jumped off the mouthless-bear-slug’s back as the Avengers did the same (except for Hulk who had to be coaxed off by Iron Man), and then Natasha was there, sliding down a cable from one of the helicopters. She made quick work of tying the creature up and then the thing was gone, being airlifted away.
Crazy talk, amiright?
The Avengers stood for a moment around the destroyed street in silence before the sound of emergency vehicles approaching triggered them. A quick nod from Captain America and they were off, with Wade lagging behind and the Hulk and Natasha actually not moving at all. Wade gave Peter a questioning glance when he saw that Peter was not alone, but Peter made a shooing motion that had Wade scurrying back after the Avengers.
He shuffled a little on his feet. Punching an unfeeling homunculus-thing had brought some of Peter’s common sense back to him, and he could see now how telling off Natasha had perhaps been a truly awful decision that should never be repeated and oh god, why did he call her out?
She said nothing, and her face held a look of such neutrality and expressionlessness that Peter really would have been fine moving to Antarctica right then. No seriously, give him an hour, he could have a bag packed for him and Wade, and they could go live with the penguins forever. It was penguin territory, right? ‘Cause that was the line. If no penguins, no deal.
Still Natasha said something, and on reflex (a mini fight or flight instinct) Peter looked to Bruce for support. Well, Bruce as the Hulk, and he hadn’t ever been formally introduced to the Hulk, but subconscious-Peter-brain looked to Bruce for support, and to the surprise of everyone except perhaps Hulk himself (and by everyone, Peter obviously meant Peter and Natasha as no one else was there) Hulk petted a giant hand against Peter’s face (really awkward) and said, “GOOD SPIDER.”
Peter blinked, and tried to duck as the Hulk’s hand came once more down on Peter’s head, but the hand was gentle, if ginormous, and Peter felt that maybe there was nothing to fear after all.
A glance at Natasha showed a Nat with actual genuine surprise on her face. Her arms had uncrossed and hung limply at her side, and as Hulk went for another patting motion she actually gulped.
Peter wished he had thought to bring his camera, because he would have loved to have proof of her expression at that moment. Prime blackmail material right there. Beautiful.
The Hulk went to grab at Peter once more, like a small child might grab at a dog’s ears, and this time Peter skipped away. “That’s alright, big guy,” Peter said cautiously to the giant alter-ego of his friend. Super awkward, by the way. “I’m doing good. You should go and…uh, chill out or something?”
“GOOD SPIDER!” Hulk roared.
Natasha’s eyes widened.
Peter shook his head. It was like talking to a child. Honestly.
“I get it big guy, and I totally agree. Good Spider. Awesome. It’s nice to know that I still have some fans out there after that little stunt the other day, yeah?”
The Hulk lunged for Peter, and this time Peter didn’t have time to dodge before the Hulk had Peter wrapped up his arms, like a baby doll held tight against an infant’s chest. “GOOD SPIDER,” the Hulk insisted, “WHY NO ONE NICE TO SPIDER? SPIDER BE NICE TO SPIDER! THUNDER BE NICE TO SPIDER! POINTY BE NICE TO SPIDER! SPIDER FRIEND!”
Peter turned to Natasha, who was still apparently in a state of shock (he hadn’t known that was physically possible for the assassin/spy) as she hadn’t moved a muscle, and said “We’ve honestly never met before. I don’t think he has any basis for what he’s saying.”
Peter shifted so he could pat Hulk comfortingly on the arm. “Of course we are. Hulk friend. I totally got it. But I think it would…behoove us,” (he turned to Natasha to whisper conspiratorially “I love that word,”) “…if you let me down and then went off to…I don’t know, do you meditate? Do yoga? If you don’t I think you should pick it up.”
The Hulk roared again before placing Peter on the broken asphalt and lumbering off in the direction that the Captain and his merry men had gone.
Peter picked himself up, brushed himself off, and turned to Natasha. "What was that about?"
She shrugged. "Don't look at me. I'm just as confused. I think that's the nicest I've ever seen the Hulk." It was a testament to how shocked she still was that Peter didn't feel even the smallest inkling of menace from her as she spoke.
"Alright," Peter conceded, "if he was good cop, than I suppose you've been chosen as bad cop?" He fiddled with his web-shooter, becoming more nervous as he remembered that the last time they'd...chatted, he'd made fun of her and the avengers and she could probably kill him in no less than 20 ways without actually having to touch him or move from the spot where she stood.
She visibly pulled herself together and then looked at Peter with her weird intense ex-assassin eyes. "I think we need to talk."
What does Natasha want? Is she going to offer Peter a place in a secret government organization? Does she want to know where he buys his spandex cuz she wants to make her own barely protective superhero costume? Does she want to fight him to see who's the real sider?
Tune in next week at the same time to get your answer!
Chapter 6: Masquerade; in which the spiders have a heart-to-heart
Ok guys, I churned this out as fast as possible because I'm going away this weekend and wouldn't be able to work on it then. On that topic, if I have horrible grammar things, please let me know? Thank you!
And now, the continuation you've all been waiting for:
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
She visibly pulled herself together and then looked at Peter with her weird intense ex-assassin eyes. "I think we need to talk."
"Uh, sounds good," Peter gulped, "what do you want to talk about? I read this really good book recently. We could talk about that. It was about a baker? She makes cinnamon rolls the size of your head. I wish I could make cinnamon rolls the size of your head. I mean I could, I guess, but they'd taste like cardboard or something awful. But if you really want to try them then I guess I could look up a recipe or something. We'll have to go shopping first because I don't have the ingredients for a cinnamon roll the size of your head… or my head if that's better. I’m not picky about head differences. In fact, do you think the other Avengers would want one too? I could make a whole batch. But then when the cinnamon rolls came out shit they might think I was being petty by serving them crap food as a peace offering, so maybe that's not the best—"
"So you do feel guilty about your almost infidelity with Deadpool?"
Peter gulped and nodded slowly, hoping that he was making the right decision. By the right decision, he meant the decision that would allow him to leave with his life. Or at least most of his limbs.
Natasha had obviously picked up on his uncertainty because she raised one elegantly shaped eyebrow and asked, "You aren't sure?"
Peter flinched back reflexively and Natasha gave a little frown before that too slipped behind her mask of impassivity. "I..." He wasn't sure how to say this. If there was one thing about Natasha, it was her astounding ability to pick out lies when she was looking for them. The only way he'd even been in the running to be winning last time was because he wasn't actually lying, just creatively avoiding the truth through omission, and that she hadn't been looking for Tony's intern to be a big fat liar. Lying to her face now wouldn't work. He wanted to say that yes he felt guilty about it, but really he didn't. Wade was his fiancé, there was nothing to feel guilty about. And he couldn't say it was just a mistake because no it wasn't. And if he specified that, yeah, it was a mistake that they got caught, sure he'd be telling the truth, but that was not a truth that would let him walk away from this conversation completely uninjured.
He sighed. "I guess the most I can say is that if I had known that W—Deadpool would have gotten this sort of back lash I would never have met him on that rooftop."
"So this liaison was planned?"
Was she reaching for a knife? Put that hand away, Nat! "No...at least, we weren't planning on having sex on the rooftop of his apartment building."
Her hand did not move away from the knife holster, but at least it stopped moving towards it. "What were you going to do then?" It was intimidating and Peter could only be thankful that his bladder was completely empty at the moment.
He gestured jerkily to his costume. "Sometimes we work together?" She raised both of her eyebrows and Peter amended his statement, making it more solid. "Sometimes we work together." She said nothing, and Peter's shoulders tensed. "I mean, all the time actually, and that time we had just saved some kids from a sitch at their school and it was a big deal and then we were just so excited and the moment got away from us, and that's when you guys showed up."
"So this sort of thing has never happened before?"
Peter gulped. Cannot lie. Cannot lie. Cannot lie. "We've worked together for a long time. We always try to keep it professional on the job."
"So this...attraction," she said it like some people might say rats, or Tony might say iphone, "has existed for a while?"
Why couldn't he just tell her? He could just pull off his mask and say "Actually yes, there has been an attraction between us, but that's ok, because we are getting married. So..." And then she'd probably slit his throat for lying to them all, but at least it would be a worthy death, and he'd be able to stop feeling guilty, and Wade could keep working with the Avengers and it would be totally cool.
Wait, why couldn’t he tell her again?
An image of Wade's face rose before him in his mind, like when k-pop Stars rise dramatically from the floor of the stage during performance. His face was flushed with pride, happy that he'd been able to keep Peter's secret despite the trying circumstance. He had been so pleased, Peter couldn’t disappoint him now.
Peter shrugged helplessly. “Deadpool’s a good guy, and he’s funny. We—ah…” he shrugged again.
He tensed up, prepared for an onslaught of awful things to be spat at him, but instead Natasha let out a long sigh and sagged forward. “Spiderman, listen, I understand what you think you’re feeling. I can’t tell you that your emotions are wrong. However you have to understand that you can’t go around sleeping with people in relationships.”
Peter nodded slowly and opened his mouth, but Natasha waved him off. “Walk with me.” Peter nodded and they began their slow trek over overturned asphalt and crumbling sidewalk beside destroyed buildings and cops and firefighters and rescue workers. “A long time ago I worked for some not very nice people. For them I did some things I’m not proud of, but at the time it didn’t even occur to me to think of not doing those things. It was my job.”
Peter stepped around an overturned hotdog stand and scratched the back of his head. “I’m not really sure what you’re getting at. I wasn’t going to sleep with Deadpool for a job or because someone told me to.”
Natasha narrowed her eyes. “How old are you?”
“What?” Peter squawked and nearly tripped over a brick in his path. Natasha caught his arm and helped him up, despite the fact that he was perfectly capable of helping himself up, thank you very much. She squeezed his upper arm and frowned again.
“What are you, twelve?”
Peter gapped at her. “Fuck you, Na— no, I’m a legal adult thank you very much.”
Natasha shook her head and gave him a patronizing smirk. “But can you legally drink?”
Peter had been able to legally drink for many a year now, thank you very much. But he didn’t think for a minute that Natasha was really that concerned with his age. She was playing at something, he just wished he knew what. “Black Widow. What do you want?”
The smirk dropped from her face like it had never been there. “You may not be a child, but you are still young. Much younger than me. Let me tell you, at your age it may not seem like a mistake, it may even seem like something to take pride in, but once you grow up a little more you’ll start to realize that you have more regrets concerning the situation than you’ll ever know.”
Peter jumped over an upside down chunk of asphalt and skipped around so that he was facing Natasha, walking backward as she continued forward. “Are you comparing me almost boinking your coworker to working for the KGB?”
A strange expression crossed Natasha’s face, but she said nothing.
“Look, I promise not to have sex with any guys who are dating other people, alright?”
Another strange look crossed Nat’s face, but this time Peter could guess at what it meant. He wasn’t lying about what he’d just said. Not at all. He would never sleep with someone in a relationship. But he would, you know, sleep with Wade... who was in a relationship… but only ‘cause Wade was in a relationship with him.
Natasha crossed her arms and slowed to a stop. “Why the change of mind? You didn’t seem this apologetic when we caught you with your pants down on that roof.”
Peter rolled his eyes and put his hands on his hips. "You didn’t catch me with my pants down. We had barely progressed to necking, Jesus! And the change of mind—”
“Or was it heart?” She interrupted him. Peter glared at her but she kept going. “Maybe the draw of the Avengers is too strong. Maybe you’re dumping your somewhat mild fascination for the ex-Merc, still with a mouth, in order to try to appeal to us, the rest of the Avengers. Maybe when you heard we were going to ask you to join you realized that you should have been safer with who you let in your pants. Maybe you’re trying to make up for it now by helping us with the monsters in New York.” Peter blinked and tried to interrupt, because no, that was not what was happening, but she steamrolled right over him. “You’ve never actually fought alongside us before. And don’t think I didn’t notice the way you sent off Deadpool when he tried to talk to you just now, he’s no longer as important to you now that you know that it’s because of your relationship with him that we vetoed asking you to join…Maybe the only reason you were boinking him in the first place was to get him on your side, to get us to let you join us. Everyone wants to be an Avenger, and some people will do anything to get what they want. We already know that you have no scruples, sleeping with an engaged man shows that. But maybe you’re worse than we all believed and you were sleeping with Deadpool not despite having a fiancé, because you never really cared. You were only ever doing it to get into bed, metaphorically speaking, with the rest of us.”
Peter was gaping, honest to god gaping at Natasha by this point. He couldn’t help himself. To think that she’d go so far as to accuse him of sleeping with a member of the Avengers to convince them to let him join them was ludicrous.
And what was more, he could tell that, for the most part, she didn’t really think he was capable of that sort of thing. She was just saying it to rile him up. Make him angry and watch as he slowly talked himself into a corner, that was Black Widow’s style.
(And he wasn’t even that angry. Really, he wasn’t. It was actually really interesting being fully on the other end of Nat’s manipulations. Usually when she tried to mess with his mind [Like that time she tricked him into angrily making her and the rest of the Avenger butter pecan pancakes for breakfast to prove that he did not have prosthetic fingers…the entire incident should be completely forgotten] she was half-joking, but here she was full blown trying to explode his pre-frontal cortex. It was a thing. Peter was impressed. If she could just teach him her skillz, one spider to another, well then he’d be on doing pretty swell, wouldn’t he?)
And he really wasn’t angry, and the only thing he could think to do was laugh. He chuckled at the extreme fantasy she’d cooked up just to mess with his mind, and sat down. He’d been standing, and swinging, and punching, and kicking, and all to no affect. Now he was going to sit on the rubble of what had once been concrete stairs leading to a post office and have a good laugh because he deserved it, god-damnit. And at least Nat had tried to spin his head in on itself and hadn’t shot at him with arrows or back-handed him with giant Norse god hands. Or whatever.
And maybe Nat was worried that she’d broken a twelve-year-old or maybe she was still trying to play him, but she took a seat next to him and was silent as he chuckled out the pure frustration of having all of the people he’d grown to love and trust come back at him with spit and indignation and the kind of disappointment that made bile rise in his throat like the tide.
Fuck them all.
He should just call up Wade and tell him to buy that damn cabin, he’d kidnap that bear back. Wade could even name him Teddy because Peter was nice like that.
“Spiderman,” Natasha said, popping the little bubble of fantasy that Peter was building in his head. He sighed and realized that the laughter had stopped a long while ago and that even the sun had given up and had begun to set. He glanced at Natasha, and seeing her face filled with only kindness, compassion, and empathy, knew that she was deep into manipulating him for her own cause. He sighed again.
“No matter what you might think, there is no way I’d have sex with someone in order to get a job. Wade is my friend. Whatever happened, or might have happened on that roof before you guys showed up in no way relates to the Avengers. And I really wouldn’t jeopardize Wade’s job with you guys because he loves it. You all have no idea the lengths he would go to in order to stay in the Avengers. Sometimes I think he likes being an Avenger more than chimichangas, and if you know Wade than you know how serious that is.”
Natasha raised a skeptical eyebrow (Nature Documentary voice: The Eyebrows are the most skeptical of all of the body parts. They are able to ascend in levels depending on the amount of skepticism they are showing. Alternately, the rear-end is the most trusting and naive, and therefore the body part that most often gets taken for a ride.) and Peter had to smile. It was just ridiculous that Natasha could see through people so easily, note their every lie, but refused to see something so obvious as Wade’s hero worship.
“Seriously,” Peter insisted, “Wade worships the ground you walk on. All of you. I would never try to tarnish that by sleeping with the guy just to try to get to the rest of you. That would be ridiculous and cruel. And who says I want to even be part of your little Robin Hood and his Merry Men scheme anyway?”
Yeah, that sounded a bit petty, but he could be forgiven. He was having a strange day.
Scratch that. He was having a strange life.
Natasha raised both of her eyebrows, and it was comforting to see that all of her emotions (fake or otherwise) had once more receded behind her mask of neutrality. “Are you telling me that you didn’t come to help out just now in order to convince us that you should be an Avenger? I call it pretty suspicious timing that the first time you join us on a fight was after Cap told you that you could have been one of us, but that you had to prove your worth first.”
“Well that’s hardly my fault,” Peter whined good-naturedly. “You guys usually handle everything before I show up, or are too busy with aliens trying to destroy the planet or take all humans as slaves to worry about a big bad in the city, and then it falls on my shoulders. Honestly, if you guys were home more often we’d have so many side-by-side battles under our giant, collective super-hero belt that we’d be tripping all over ourselves trying to figure out what do with them all.”
Natasha did not look convinced.
“And,” Peter said, channeling his inner Wade-slash-inability to shut up, “I didn’t even want to join the Avengers. No really, I didn’t. You guys are great, but I like swinging solo, not having to answer to anyone.”
“We get paid,” Natasha taunted, somehow zeroing in on the one thing that had always appealed to Peter: a steady income. Imagine if he could actually get paid for doing what he already did! Imagine! No more getting home from work just to go right back out and rescue bank robbery hostages.
Psssh! Yeah right.
“I know. It’d be a sweet deal, but the loss of freedom would be too much bad stuff.”
“Thank you. I’m a regular old Shakespeare.” He made an exaggerated head roll. “Or a Doctor Suess, if you want to get all rhymey. I could dig that.”
“You’re hiding something from me,” Natasha declared calmly, and Peter’s heart-rate picked up.
“Not really… I mean, the usual, I guess. Secret identity stuff.”
Natasha did not roll her eyes, but she did that thing with her neck that Peter tended to translate into an eye-roll. “No worries, little spider. I’ll figure it all out eventually.”
Peter grimaced. “I’m still not sure what you’re talking about?”
Natasha smirked. “And I’m sure we’ll run into each other again soon enough.” She rolled from sitting to standing so seamlessly that Peter almost missed it. She gave a little nod. “Until then Spidey, Mama Widow will figure it all out later.”
She winked and a full blown shudder racked Peter’s body. Horrifying.
She sauntered away, and Peter stood as well. Best to get back home, relax, maybe try and work out everything that had happened in Peter’s life. Something must be to blame for it. All of it.
Peter shook his head.
And maybe Wade would be home and they could get some take-out Chinese or something.
Ahhh, the domestic bliss of the superhuman lot.
This chapter was a little longer than my chapters usually are, not by much, but I just couldn't find a good place to stop, so here it is. You guys have all been super fantastic. I love reading your comments, you are the real mvp, Thank you!
Chapter 7: Doll face; in which Peter lies and Wade kisses
Was not expecting that amount of feedback about Mama Widow, the super spy! You guys are great!
Sorry for the longer-than-usual wait. There was a convention this weekend that I had to throw all of my money at, and then homework, but I've got it all finished and up for you now! Here you go! For you:
Peter was right (an occurrence that happened little enough that Peter was even reveling in it a little, despite the actual consequences), Thor’s backhand did leave a nasty bruise. A giant, hand-sized, dark purple welt that Peter was sure as hell not going to be able to hide from anyone.
This had, surprisingly, not really been a problem until now. Yeah, Spidey got beat up every now and then, but luckily enough, since Peter had started working at Stark Industries, the beat-ups hadn’t been as bad as they could have been. He used to sometimes get hit so bad that Aunt May called the school to tell them off for letting her poor boy get bullied. He didn’t have the heart to tell her that he’d been bullied before and to not worry because it had never been this bad. However, since working with Tony, the bad guys had all been generic robbers and kidnappers, and he hadn’t sustained an injury that had lasted longer than an hour or two. And now, ironically, it was one of the Avengers themselves who had caused that streak of good luck to go down the tubes.
“Gonna need the make-up, pookie?” Wade’s voice filtered through the closed bathroom door, and Peter immediately stepped away from the mirror over the sink that he’d been examining himself in. He opened the door, and stepped into the scarred, warm arms of his fiancé.
“Hello, darling,” Peter sighed.
Wade rested his cheek on the top of Peter’s head. “Hi Sexy McSexytimes.” He huffed out a laugh which ruffled some of the hairs on the top of Peter’s head. “You didn’t answer my question. Should I break out the foundation for tomorrow? Wouldn’t want Tony and Brucie and Natasha and the Blond Brigade worrying over your pretty face. Or make the connection that Petey-pie got hurt the same day that Spidey-poo got hurt.” Peter couldn’t see Wade wiggle his eyebrows, but it was a sure thing if Wade was using that tone of voice.
Peter sighed in exhaustion and nodded. Time to break out the make-up indeed.
“How did you get that nasty boo-boo, Honey? I’m not sure that mouthless-bear-slug would have been able leave such a centered smack on my Pretty’s face.”
Peter perked up. “You’ve been calling it a mouthless-bear-slug? Me too! No seriously. Don’t look at me like that, Wade! I really had been, during the fight!”
Wade passed his hand over his eyes dramatically. “It must be the telepathy of true love!”
Peter smiled and steered the taller man over towards the couch. If they were lucky they could sneak in at least one Golden Girls episode before Peter passed out. “If telepathy is caused by true love,” Peter wondered aloud, “does that mean that Professor X loves everyone?”
Wade nodded sagely. “He really takes polyamory to a new and worrying level.”
Peter snickered. “I’m not sure it’s our place to judge him. According to you, our relationship consists of a weird foursome including you, me, you, and me.”
“And Wolverine,” Wade interjected as they settled themselves on the couch.
Peter rolled his eyes. “Does he replace one of us, or is our relationship upped to a fivesome?”
Wade scoffed. “Now who’s being silly! Wait a minute, you never told me how you got that ouchie on your cheek. Were you distracting me?”
Peter leaned over and began sucking on Wade’s neck. He removed himself only to whisper “Would I do that?” seductively into Wade’s ear.
Wade made a gruff huff of agreement. “Wouldn’t put it past you, Sneaky-Pete. Now tell me about your bruise, boo. That mouthless-bear-slug slap its tail into your face or something?”
Peter really didn’t want to tell Wade about Clint and Thor’s actions during the fight. If he knew that his teammates had been wailing on Peter, Peter didn’t know what he would do. Wade might have been an ex-mercenary, emphasis on the ex-, but that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t lose his cool if he found out something shitty was happening to Peter. He could still remember the time, when they’d first been dating, when Wade had caught Flash making Puny Parker jokes and he’d given the jock such a dressing down Flash had been begging for Peter to save him. If he found out that he’d been actually injured by someone trusted, Peter couldn’t say for sure that it wouldn’t end in bloodshed.
There was no question in Peter’s mind that, given the right situation (the worst situation), if Wade had to choose between Peter and the Avengers, he would choose Peter. Maybe at some point he would have worried that Wade would choose the job over Peter but…No, he knew Wade better than that. Just like he knew that he himself would give up being Spiderman if it meant keeping Wade around. There was no question. So yeah, he knew that if Wade found out about the Clint and Thor thing, then Wade would not think twice about getting revenge on his squad and quitting if he was feeling particularly dramatic.
And Peter refused to let Wade do that. Wade loved working with the Avengers. If Peter was Wade’s no. 1 priority, then the Avengers ranked a close 2nd. He would crush them into the ground, or abandon them forever for Peter’s sake, but it would hurt him too, to see those he admired so greatly had done something that petty.
No, Peter couldn’t tell Wade. He loved Wade, and Wade loved the Avengers, and really, the choice was a simple one. He could deal with a little pettiness between superheroes. He didn’t want Wade to have to deal with losing his idols.
So he gave a little smile, a self-deprecating one. “One swipe of its tail sent a hail of bricks flying right at my pretty little kisser. Even a spider can’t dodge everything at once I guess.” He gave a little sigh of regret and shrugged. Then he cut his eyes to Wade’s and lowered his eyelids. “Will you kiss it better?”
Wade’s face split into a wide grin. “Oh, Snugglekins, I’m sure we can work something out.” He peppered feather light kisses across Peter’s cheek and up over his eye, across his forehead and down the other side of his face.
Peter was one of the unfortunate few (psych! Masses of people) afflicted with the horrible malady of ticklishness, and Wade Wilson’s feather light kisses were dusting across his skin in such a way that made him unable to keep himself from giggling uncontrollably.
Wade continued his ministrations on Peter, dusting kisses down Peter’s neck and across a quickly uncovered torso. Peter pushed half-heartedly at Wade and his cheeks began to ache from all of his laughter.
“I’ll help you get all made up before work tomorrow, right?” Wade asked softly in Peter’s ear.
Peter nodded breathlessly and curled himself into Wade, happiness curling his lips.
Chapter 8: Pie; in which everyone is anxious and Peter is starving
“Coming up to lunch?” Bruce asked Peter as he walked past the intern’s desk. Peter was hunched over his keyboard, staring into the dark abyss of the computer screen, typing furiously, and so did not immediately answer. When Bruce cleared his throat and repeated his question Peter finally pulled himself away from his work.
“Hmmm? Oh, uh…” his hand raised subconsciously to rub at his cheek but he caught the movement and forced himself to squeeze his knee under the table instead. He gave a half-hearted grin to the good doctor and continued, “I think I’m going to have to beg off today. I have some extra work that I really want to get done.
Bruce frowned. “Are you sure?”
Peter nodded emphatically, “Yeah. Really sorry about it but I need to finish this up first.” He pointed to the screen but shifted his body to block it in the same movement. “You go ahead, and give everyone my condolences. I’ll text Wade.”
Peter patted at the pocket that held his phone.
“I don’t think any of us would mind waiting. Come up! A growing boy needs his nutrients.”
The joke fell flat and Peter smiled softly at Bruce. “Really, go on without me. I’m good.”
Bruce’s brows furrowed, but he gave a short nod and walked out of the lab, leaving Peter to himself. Tony had been away all day on SI business so it had just been Peter and Bruce in the room, but even so it had been slightly awkward. Peter couldn’t help thinking about the fight the previous day and how everything had suddenly gone all topsy-turvy. Clint and Thor’s unfortunate “accidents,” the Hulk’s sudden bout of spiderly appreciation, and Natasha’s insistence on a heart to heart had all left Peter reeling and even a day later he couldn’t make heads nor tails of any of it. Maybe he wanted some time to think everything through before he faced the Avengers.
And maybe he had been thinking about it so much that morning that he hadn’t gotten enough work done and he was lagging behind, so lunch would actually have to be given up in order to do the work he’d been too preoccupied to worry about earlier.
And besides that, the foundation Wade (Mr. “While we’re at it, might as well add a dusting of blush and a smidge of eye shadow, and why not some eyeliner too? Heck, Petey-poo, let’s crack out the lipstick too! I haven’t seen you in number 17 Ravish Me Red, and I think it would just look fabulous on—no! Peter! No, Pete, put the curling iron down! Peter! I was joking, Baby, I swear! Ahhhhhhh! No don’t tickle me! AHHHHHH!”) had smeared on him that morning felt weird on his face and he itched to scrub it off. He kept having to stop himself from touching it too. He was usually bad about leaving bruises alone (he liked to poke them hard enough to cause a white circle where his finger had been, and then watch the darkness seep back in when he backed off), but with the cool dry of the makeup over top of it, it was taking everything he had in him to stop himself from poking at it throughout the day. Distracted by the Avengers, he would not be able to do it.
Long story short, Peter was skipping lunch because he couldn’t keep his dratted head in the game (Go Wildcats!).
Peter pushed himself back from his computer only to spin slightly to the left, align his eye with the electron microscope chilling out, and examine the angiosperm lying there.
And this was what he had to deal with when Tony was gone! Flowers under his microscope! Yeah, biology was interesting, but did Bruce have to—
Peter’s internal mini-rant was cut short when Clint walked through the glass doors and up to Peter’s desk.
“Ready for lunch? I hear that Cap is bringing dessert. My god, you would not imagine the apple pie that man can make,” Clint made a noise that was fairly sexual, “you can’t miss it.”
Peter shook his head. “Not today, Clint. I have some work to do.”
There was a moment of silence as Clint tried to process this. “But Peter, man, Cap is making pie. Pie! Serious, honest to god, American Apple Pie! Captain America is making apple pie. There is literally nothing more patriotic.”
Peter raised his eyebrows. “Steve took me to a baseball game once. That was pretty American, though we had to wear disguises.” Peter blinked. “But that’s all beside the point. As much as I’d love to chow down on pie created by our great nation, I do have work to do.” He gestured at the computer and the microscope.
Clint put on his pouty face, which usually made Peter reconsider, but on this Peter was firm. “I’m serious, Clint. Work is work. If I don’t work I don’t get paid, if I don’t get paid I don’t eat, and if I don’t eat then how will I come to work to see all your pretty faces when I’m dying of starvation?”
Clint rolled his eyes and let out a huff. “Fine! But I’m not promising any leftovers.” Clint threw his hand forward to clap Peter on the shoulder, as he had done dozens of times before, only this time Peter’s brain crossed some wires that shouldn’t have been crossed, connected the arrows flying towards Spidey to Clint’s friendly pat and Peter automatically flinched away. He caught himself just before he did anything stupid, like swing a web at Clint’s face, or jump onto the ceiling (there have been incidents), but it was still enough to cause the smile on Clint’s face to drop entirely and for a frown to take its place.
A small vindictive corner of Peter’s mind snickered over Clint finally feeling guilty over being such a jerk, but the more logical portion of Peter’s mind sighed in regret, because he wasn’t really scared of Clint. Clint was Peter’s friend, even if he wasn’t always Spiderman’s biggest fan, and he certainly didn’t want Clint overanalyzing a little ol’ flinch.
“What—?” Clint started to ask, but Peter cut him off.
“Really got lots of work to do. Lots and lots. I will see you later, alright? Maybe I’ll even swing by” (another cringe) “when I’m done to see if I can snag some all-American pie. Ok?” And Peter practically shoved the man out of his room. With a relieved sigh that he had dodged that bullet, he sat back down at his desk and went for another peak at the angiosperm.
Peter was about three paragraphs and a bar graph past pulling his hair out when “My Humps, My Humps, My Lovely Lady Lumps” began pouring from Peter’s pocket (Wade had changed it a few weeks before with the explanation that lovely lady lumps should be celebrated, even when they were on non-ladies like Peter and himself, and when they weren’t very lumpy) and he smacked his hand against his head. He’d forgotten to call Wade. Damn.
He pulled the phone out of his pocket swiped it to answer and had it against his ear with an apology on his tongue when he was rudely interrupted by his own fiancé saying, “Jesus, Pete, I’m sorry. Solo mission was a little rough this morning and it carried over.”
Peter blinked. “Wait, what are you sorry for?”
There was a pause on the other end of the line, and then Wade’s voice said, “For missing lunch? And I forgot to call too! I hope you weren’t worried for me. I mean, I’m sure one of the guys told you where I was…”
Peter snorted. “No need to apologize, I did the same thing.”
“You went on a solo mission that hit the fan so hard you might as well just paint the whole room brown ‘cause that stain ain’t coming out?”
“Ah, no, and you are definitely going to tell me what happened tonight, but I actually meant that I begged off lunch today too. I meant to call you so you wouldn’t worry when I didn’t show up, but I got engrossed in trying to keep my eyes from bleeding.”
“How’s that working out for you?”
Peter dabbed at the corners of his eyes for dramatic effect, despite having no audience. “Meh… Could be worse.”
“Well, Petey, don’t forget to actually grab something to eat. You know I don’t mind carrying you home in my arms, but if I had to do it because you passed out from no noms I might actually regret having to carry you home, and then it would taint it for me! And then next time I picked you up I’d just think about that time you almost died because you refused to take a lunch break. You are the true hero! Giving up nourishment in order to do—” he gasped dramatically, “—WORK!”
Peter rolled his eyes, but agreed. His stomach had been growling for a while now, and pie did sound really nice right now (and then he’d be able to taste actual proof that Cap had stolen that apple pie recipe from the Nazis and had passed it down his family tree all the way to Aunt May, thus proving that Cap was actually Peter’s long lost great-great-great-something Uncle. How cool would that be?
(Not going to happen, but a boy could dream about being distantly related to a WWII superhero who had the American flag plastered in spandex on his body, couldn’t he?)
“Peter? Still there, pumpkin-head?”
“Hmm?” Peter blinked and forced himself back into the present. “Is that in insult?”
“It’s an endearment, dear-heart.”
Peter shook his head and began tidying up his workstation. “No, Pumpkin is an endearment, pumpkin-head is like an insult from alternate-universe Hey Arnold.”
“Been there, done that.”
Peter unplugged the microscope and turned off his computer after saving his work. “Well, Wade, my darling, as much as I’d love to debate appropriate pet names, I’m afraid that too will have to wait for later. I’m off to steal some Pie from Captain America.”
Wade cooed into the phone. “Aww, my wittle baby is all grown up. Already stealing from a national hero. I’m so proud!”
“Wait, Wade, are you close by? I wouldn’t mind playing hookie if you wanted to grab a quick bite.” Peter played with a loose thread in the hem of his shirt.
Wade sighed dramatically. “So sorry, bumpkin (is that better?) but I’m still a few hours from the New York, New York.”
Peter nodded to the empty room. “Oh well, see you for dinner?”
Wade hummed his agreement.
“Well then,” Peter continued, “see you then?”
“Sure thing, sugar-pie,” Wade said, made an absolutely sloppy-sounding kissy noise, and hung up.
Peter stared at his phone for a moment before sticking it back in his pocket. He could do this. Just a normal day at the office. All he had to do was go upstairs, get a slice of pie, exchange greetings with friends/enemies, and come back here to determine if the mutation in the plant matter was caused from ecological differences changing the plant’s habitat or an entirely different outside force entirely.
Pete shook his head. He was being silly.
He forced himself to walk to the elevator casually, and stepped inside without a second thought.
Inside he was screaming.
(About ten floors from the Avengers common area he chickened out and decided to swing by the cafeteria instead.)
I had, at some point, the idea for a short dialogue between Wade and Peter about all the endearments Wade uses that are actually endearments. I'm planning a new thing of one-shots of all the little things I've mentioned but not actually put in the story, so maybe it will exist eventually, since I couldn't fit it into this chapter, if I can't stuff it in some other place in this story... and as I'm writing this I have a half memory of saying this at some point previous, so...if this sounds familiar, I apologize.
Chapter 9: Beach; in which Clint makes a boo-boo
This kind of hurt to write. I'm going to have to ask all of my characters to calm the fuck down, because right now they freaking me out. Just a little.
Btw, my knowledge of NYC geography isn't exactly the best, and for that I apologize.
Peter would have liked to have been able to avoid the Avengers for even longer, but after an afternoon spent in an awkward silence with Bruce, without even being able to see Wade first, on his way home Peter got that tingle of familiar energy that he called his Spidey-sense.
Something was happening by the shore.
After a quick dive into an nearby alley to reevaluate all of his life choice as he stripped down to spandex next to a decomposing raccoon, Peter was on his way, swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper trying to get to…oh dear. Doctor Doom had really let himself go.
The Doom bots were spasmodically attacking the building along the shore, but they weren’t doing much damage, as Doom himself was barely paying any attention to the bots he was controlling. On a good day, Peter had seen the insane scientist level a three-block radius in under five minutes, but this was doing nothing.
Swinging closer, Peter could see part of that might have been because he was being attacked on all sides by the Avengers.
Captain America was trying to lay his hands on the Doctor in order to pummel him into the sand, Iron Man was flying loops around the man’s head, blasting at his metal-covered body with repulsor blasts almost continuously, and Thor was sending lightning Doom’s way on a regular basis. Thor was multitasking as well, trying to destroy as many bots as possible with mjolnir as he tried to fry doom. Hulk was doing that smash thing he was so great at, Clint was shooting arrows straight through the bots’ bodies, and Natasha was jumping from robot to robot, ripping through their wiring with her bare hands and the help of a trusty little knife Peter had seen her sometimes pull from her boot.
Wade was nowhere to be found, probably not yet back from his solo mission.
Peter found himself frowning even as he jumped into the fray with the rest of the Avengers. Wade had better not miss movie night. They were going to watch Driving Miss Daisy. Peter had been looking forward to it.
Making quick work with his web-shooters, Peter strung up one of the bots and had it hanging from a lamp post before he’d even thought about it twice. Green-tunic-ed buggers.
With a startled zap from his spider-sense, Peter rolled to the side, just in time to avoid Natasha’s lethal heels (seriously, how could anyone fight in those? He was going to have a talk with SHIELD if that was mandatory assassin-wear). He looked up at her and she gave him a cocky smile as she brushed a stray strand of hair from her face. She didn’t even look winded. “I still find it suspicious, little spider, that you show up much more readily now than you’d done before.”
Peter shrugged. “What can I say? I just can’t avoid a good fight.”
He jumped in time to avoid a bot hurtling at him, and Natasha took the opportunity to detach the bot’s head from the rest of it.
Thor’s voice boomed down at them from where he floated in a maelstrom of spiraling wind and pieces of torn green cloth. “Man of Spider. I find it most displeasing that you now follow the Water of Death even after we have insisted upon the separation.”
Peter peered around him in a theatrical show of looking for Wade. “That’s strange, because unless I’m much mistaken, Deadpool isn’t here at the moment.” His expression turned from wide-eyed to unimpressed (and it was not the first time Peter wished that his mask allowed for more recognizable facial expressions. How did Wade do it?). “As much as you hate me for what I consider to be none of your business anyway, don’t think that I’d continue calling myself a superhero if I was just going to avoid fights where Wade might show up, in worry of damaging your delicate sensibilities.”
Thor yelled and threw Mjolnir straight through a Doom bot. “Are you telling me that you are indeed not here for the Water of Death?” He didn’t sound convinced.
Peter rolled his eyes and let out a big sigh as he jumped to piggy-back a passing Doom bot and twisted off its head in a move he might have accidentally stolen from Natasha. “Again, since he isn’t even here, I’m going to have to say that the alternative is definitely the correct choice. I’m not showing up at these fights to get into Deadpool, or anyone else’s, pants. You guys might not like me much,” (here he sent a stink eye at Clint who wasn’t even in hearing distance) “but it is still my duty to protect New York, same as all of you. So leave it alone, yeah? If it’ll make you feel better, I won’t even interact with the guy if he shows up, this fight or any ones after.”
Peter webbed a net between two buildings and caught three whole flying doom bots in it like they were flies. Peter wondered vaguely if, to finish the analogy, he’d have to eat them, because he didn’t think he could do it. Metal was bad for his intestinal tract.
Peter jumped slightly when Thor landed next to him with a sharp crack of thunder. He looked up into the Norse god’s face and saw a small strain of remorse. “If you are truly here to fight beside us then I would apologize for my treatment of you during our last battle.”
Something inside Peter that he hadn’t even known was there uncoiled and he let out a long breath. And then he smiled and patted Thor’s giantly muscled arm. “No worries. Friends are important. Protecting them is important. Just, ah, next time maybe do some fact-checking? A complete misunderstanding, no worries.”
Thor nodded and opened his mouth to say something, but before he could speak a word Peter gave a quick salute and jumped backwards onto the back of Doom bot that was flying by. He rode it a few blocks, dodging it’s attempts to shake him off of it, before ripping its head off.
Very cathartic, killing Doom bots. Peter would have to think of that next time he wanted to let off a little steam.
In escaping the vicinity of Thor and Natasha, Peter had accidentally thrown himself into the section of fighting that had been commandeered by Clint and Hulk. This was perhaps not the best idea, Peter thought to himself as Clint ignored his very existence and the Hulk waved at him emphatically with the mangled remains of three interwoven Doom bots.
“Oh dear,” Peter said and hurled himself at a bot. Worried or not, he still had a job to do, after all.
Webs were interesting things, or at least, Peter’s webs were, because while they were sticky and strong, sometimes bots still managed to get out of them, and Peter was in no mood today to be testing his own webbing skills against the annoyance that was Doctor Doom and the bots (he should start a band). Instead he focused mainly on decapitating as many as possible, and using his webs to swing others in the direction of the Hulk, like some strange version of baseball that was unsafe for everyone and everything around it.
Clint was being not as much as an ass as he could have been, but it was a small success since Peter was pretty sure the only reason Clint wasn’t shooting more arrows at Peter was because he was a little busy with the humanoid robots trying to wreck all of the hotels and buffets Peter assumed were there but had never actually visited because he wasn’t some rich guy who could go on vacations to the shore. And really hadn’t even wanted to. Whenever Aunt May and Uncle Ben would take him on vacation they’d always go far away, go fishing or down to Florida or visit the Grand Canyon. Well, they hadn’t actually made it that far, but that was the sort of stuff they liked.
Peter had to twist his body tight against the remnants of a bot head in order to avoid getting skewered in the leg by one of Clint’s arrows. The arrow did actually end up severing a passing bot’s…spine? (could Peter call it that if it wasn’t, you know, human?), but the point was that Clint really needed to let up on Peter with this almost trying to kill him shtick, because Peter’s spidey-sense was only minimally trying to help him out here and one of these times he wasn’t going to notice quick enough and then, splat, he’d be spider-on-a-stick like some rare exotic cuisine or a Jeff Dunham puppet guy…Peter needed to watch more TV.
Peter sidestepped a bot and ripped its head off as the Hulk tossed one of the lifeless metal bodies into the air with a gleeful growl. Clint picked off two more that were advancing, and Peter began to feel a little better about defeating these guys. It was taking long enough, especially with Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor fighting the real Doom (or the hopefully real Doom. He always looked a little too much like his bots for Peter’s liking), but at least the bots were slowing down. Peter and the Avengers were taking them down and it was beginning to look like there were no more to replace the fallen ones.
“SPIDER!” Hulk roared from behind Peter, and Peter turned just in time to see green fill his vision as the Hulk pushed him to the ground.
The giant green not-doctor-Banner had knocked the breath out of Peter and for a second all was still as Peter tried to force oxygen back into his body and figure out why a giant green half-naked man was crouch over Peter and staring into his eyes with—was that worry? Actual worry? Actual, Me Hulk, Spider Friend worry?
The Hulk’s large hand descended on Peter’s head and he once more found himself the unwilling recipient of infant-level petting. “GOOD SPIDER. NO ONE HURT SPIDER. POINTY ALMOST HURT, BUT I SAVE. SAVE SPIDER!”
The Hulk was making sentences that were a lot longer than Peter had been led to believe he could make. Peter patted the Hulk’s elbow (the only place Peter could really reach from his position) and said, “There, there, big guy. Pointy” (whoever that was) “didn’t get me and I’m all safe and sound. Want to let me up now?”
Peter had never been claustrophobic before but he thought he might develop it if the Hulk didn’t get off of him and stop pushing his head down with the Hulk’s enormous hands.
The Hulk lifted himself slightly and took in his surroundings before cautiously getting to his feet. In one fluid movement Peter was once more bipedal and shot out a web to catch a bot that was zooming towards them. With less grace, the Hulk shot out his fist and hit the bot straight through the chest. Like, legitimately, Hulk’s fist went right through the bot and out the other side, so it looked like the Hulk was wearing a very gaudy Doom bot shaped bracelet. The Hulk swiveled to catch another Doom bot, and finally Peter knew why the Hulk had pushed him to the ground, he could see what the Hulk had been protecting him from.
Out of the Hulk’s left shoulder blade stuck one of Hawkeye’s arrows. Peter glanced up to see a motionless Hawkeye sitting on the edge of a tall building far above them. His face was pale and drawn into an expression of shock.
Peter glanced back at the arrow sticking out of a green and bleeding shoulder and could feel his face morphing into something awful and ugly. He saw red.
Chapter 10: Hysteria; in which yelling happens
You guys are awesome and I kind of suck. I am seriously, seriously so sorry for the late update. I meant to be finished by Monday, but school sucks seriously so much. Please, kill me. I literally just finished, like the last of six essays I had due this week, and immediately finished this so I could give it to you. Please don't kill me (I would totally deserve it).
Anyway, here is the thing (I'm so sorry).
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Out of the Hulk’s left shoulder blade stuck one of Hawkeye’s arrows. Peter glanced up to see a motionless Hawkeye sitting on the edge of a tall building far above them. His face was pale and drawn into an expression of shock.
Peter glanced back at the arrow sticking out of a green and bleeding shoulder and saw red.
Without any thought at all Peter grabbed a Doom bot felled by Clint, snatched the arrow from the bot’s chest cavity, and swung himself up to where Clint sat with an expression of confused nothingness. The Doom bots below had been mostly eradicated, and the ones left were entertaining the Hulk like a butterfly might entertain a child, and so Peter wasn’t worried about leaving the man who’d just saved his life down below to yell at the man who’d just almost killed him.
Clint stood to face Peter when he landed on the rooftop, but still his expression was one of shock.
Peter practically growled as he stalked forward. Clint closed his mouth and his expression turned from shock to regret, with a smidgeon of acceptance. Peter stopped when he was less than a foot from the archer and stuck the man’s arrow under his chin. If Clint hadn’t already been completely motionless, he might have stilled, but as it was he just stayed.
“Who do you think you are, huh?” Peter leaned forward a little and the tip of the arrow made a small indent in the soft skin between Clint’s throat and jaw. “Who are you to go around punishing people for their mistakes with such high-minded enthusiasm that you almost kill a man because you’re so eager to scare him, hmm?”
Clint did not move except for the bob of his Adam’s apple as he swallowed. The tip of the arrow did not draw blood, but it wouldn’t have to be pushed much harder to do so.
A flurry of activity behind Peter almost had him turning around, but there was no one else who it could be. It was the Avengers, here to rescue a comrade.
“Spiderman,” Captain America said in his Captain America voice. “Put the arrow down. You’ve proved your point.”
“Have I?” Peter asked Steve, even as he kept his eyes focused on Clint.
Peter suddenly wondered why no one ever recognized his voice as Peter Parker’s voice when he was Spiderman. It wasn’t like he changed it or anything.
“You’ve proved enough,” Natasha’s voice echoed up to Peter, and Peter shook his head.
See, he could tell who was speaking without having to turn around. He knew Nat’s voice from Steve’s voice from Tony’s from Thor’s. He would know who was speaking, so why did none of them recognize Peter’s voice from Spiderman?
“I don’t think I have,” Peter declared. “You see, Hawkeye’s been playing this fun game here. The only rule, I’m pretty sure, is to scare me with near-death at every turn in revenge for something that is none of his business.” Peter hissed the end of it and leaned forward, though he made sure the tip of the arrow went no deeper into Clint’s throat.
“None of my business!?” Clint exclaimed, but was interrupted by Tony.
“That is no excuse to hold him hostage right now.” Tony didn’t usually sound that calm and logical. Peter would have assumed he’d be all up in arms to beat up Spidey. Peter wished he could turn around, lift up Tony’s faceplate, and just see what was really happening in Tony’s head.
“Why not?” Peter demanded. “Why does he get to endanger my life for a mistake, but when I do the same to him it’s a problem, hmm? It’s not like I could kill him or anything.”
“You are not making any sense, young warrior,” Thor intoned darkly and Peter felt like stamping his foot like a child.
“Yes I am! I am making perfect sense! This man, I’ve heard about him. I’ve heard about all of you, who hasn’t? But this man is known for bringing in baddies and making them good. He’s all about second chances, right? Natasha Romanoff, you told me yourself you used to do bad things for bad people, but you didn’t say how you turned yourself around. It was this guy, right?”
He nudged the arrow just a tad bit forward, and then relaxed his hold and let it rest lightly on Clint’s skin.
Natasha cleared her throat and spoke slowly. “You are correct, technically.”
“Don’t sound so worried, Mama Widow,” said Peter almost hysterically, “my point is only that this guy forces everyone to give others second chances. He brought you in, Black Widow. He was the first to accept Deadpool,” when Clint stiffened Peter let out a hysterical giggle, “Don’t get your wrist-guard in a tizzy. Me and Wade have known each other longer than you’ve been an Avenger. We talk.” He sighed a little. “I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s not. It’s good! I swear. I just…why would you give them a second chance and not me?”
Peter blinked a little and stepped away, bringing the arrow away from Clint and clutching it to his chest. Clint gapped at him.
It wasn’t that surprising. And it was even worse in reality though, because Peter knew that he hadn’t really done anything wrong. He really hadn’t. And so Clint, person of second chances, had not even tried to help Spiderman, and had gone straight to punishing him when Peter hadn’t done anything wrong! Yeah, not everyone saw it that way, but it was still painful. To look into a face he knew so well and see nothing but anger and disgust.
Clint straightened, apparently finding his resolve. “You almost slept with an engaged man.”
“So did Deadpool!” Peter screeched hysterically, and wondered if maybe he didn’t have his emotions as under control as he might have. Clint had hurt Bruce on accident because of some mistaken offense at Peter. It was terrible. Peter was indirectly responsible for the wound in the Hulk’s shoulder. And it was worse, because he was guilty for the wound not only because Clint had been aiming at him, but also because if Peter had just told them then Clint wouldn’t have any reason to be an idiot jerk-face and Bruce would never have been hurt in the first place.
“Excuse me?” That was Natasha’s scary voice and Peter really wanted to run away and cower. He almost spun on his heel then to beg forgiveness, but instead he stood frozen in front of an equally frozen Clint.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm sorry again. Cliffhanger.... oops. I honestly didn't mean to do that (Or did I?). But, I do promise to get the next chapter out quicker than the last one. I apologize. Also, Mwaha-ha-ha!
Chapter 11: Explanations; in which Peter makes his point. A pointy point.
From afar Peter could hear the sounds of the Hulk completely decimating the remnants of the Doom bots and he hoped that the other Avengers had a least finished with Doom before coming over to referee.
Peter knew he’d been too quiet when Steve’s voice broke the silence. When he spoke his voice was slow, and it inexplicably reminded Peter of a train coming out of the station, moving slow, working hard, but promising to speed up and then run you over as you lay tied to the train tracks. “Are you telling me,” Steve had to pause for a moment, “that you are engaged as well? Are you honestly defending yourself by saying that you not only almost slept with a taken man, but yourself almost cheated?”
Peter winced. “That doesn’t matter. None of that matters anymore. What’s done is done, and what I never actually did is still following me around, so…”
Steve sighed heavily, “Fine. Ignoring that your own immorality is now on par with Deadpool’s—”
“Don’t—” Peter interrupted and then groaned. “I’m not saying that Deadpool isn’t to blame as much as I am, or maybe because he’s super devoted to you guys and a little on the crazy side makes you think that all of the scheming falls entirely on my head, and I’m ok with that. Really, I am. Deadpool doesn’t need any more heartache from coworkers. You can blame it all on me, but just, I…”
Peter trailed off, unsure of what to say. On the one hand, yeah, don’t blame him, no one was at fault, but on the other hand, if they were going to blame someone, it should be the innocuous Spiderman and not Deadpool. On a third hand, (an alien one growing strangely from his head or his foot), playing the blame game did not usually involve pointy killing tools!
Somewhere along the way when Peter was stuck in his own mind, Captain America had begun apologizing for their behavior, all of theirs, sounding surprisingly genuine, but Peter wasn’t really listening. It wasn’t until Clint spoke up that Peter really heard any of it.
“Peter.” Peter’s real name spoken so casually had his insides churning horribly and he suddenly felt the need to vomit. Had he fucked up somewhere in the last five minutes? Was his secret out? “That’s his name. Did you know? Deadpool’s fiancé is named Peter.” Peter blinked furiously behind his mask as he tried to force his stomach to settle. Clint hadn’t discovered his secret identity, he’d just been referring to said secret identity as a third party. Peter nodded slowly and Clint’s face twisted into something uncontrollable for just a second before he hid it. “Peter is the nicest boy. He’s sweet and funny, and we wanted to protect him from Deadpool at all costs. And then we found out they were engaged, but our mission—” he shook his head, “my mission, I should say, stayed the same. I want to protect him. Not just physically, but… his happiness. And then Deadpool had to go and screw it up!” Peter flinched back and clutched the arrow closer to his chest. Clint looked surprised and then regretful at his own vehemence and reached out one unsteady hand to Peter as one might to a kitten one has startled.
Slower, quieter Clint continued to explain, “I wanted to be angry at Deadpool for ruining it. Peter’s a sweet kid. He’s good. One of the only truly good people I’ve ever met. Do you understand?” His voice was soft, apologetic, and Peter nodded slowly. “I so wanted to be angry at Deadpool because he ruined that boy’s happiness, and then Peter forgave him. He asked us all to be the same to Deadpool, to treat him like we’d always done. And I so wanted to hurt him. And I couldn’t. I…” Clint would not now look up. Shame weighed down on his shoulders. “I took it out on the second best thing.”
Peter really wanted to tell Clint it was alright, because in the greater scheme of things, if Clint had to punish one of them, he’d rather it be him than Wade. And he knew that after this it would all settle down (or he hoped at least). After a long sleep curled up against Wade he’d be right as rain and could go about this as if it hadn’t happened. People had gotten hurt on both sides, but it was clean pain, it would heal, not fester.
And a part of Peter that was already accepting the deep regret and shame in Clint’s voice and words, and felt a little sorry for him. He was having to admit his failures in front of not just the guy who he’d hurt, but also his makeshift family, and that had to sting. Peter could understand that pain as well.
But most of Peter, the part of Peter that was doing the reasoning right now in his heightened emotional state (and yeah, he could recognize that this wasn’t the best place to be mentally), seeing the arrow sticking out of Bruce’s shoulder, poor Bruce who’d never hurt anyone, Peter had to make sure that Clint got it. That he fully understood what he’d done.
And then he could be forgiven.
Peter tightened his grip on the arrow, and then thrust it once more at Clint’s throat. It wasn’t even touching this time, but Clint fidgeted and raised his hands above his head.
“What would happen” Peter asked conversationally, and he could hear the others shifting behind him, “if I shoved this through your head?”
Clint gulped and behind him Peter could only assume that the others were preparing for a fight. Maybe he’d get that villain status after all.
“I would die,” Clint said, and he even had enough of himself after all that regret to sound a little sassy.
“Yeah,” Peter agreed casually, “you would. Do you know why?”
“Because stabbing people up into their heads does that!” Tony’s voice yelled from behind Peter, and he could hear the repulsors whirring to life, ready to be used at a moment’s notice.
Peter jumped back towards the ledge of the building so he could see Clint on one side of him and Steve, Tony, Nat, and Thor on the other. “I know!” Peter yelled. “That’s the point! When someone get’s stabbed through with one of these little whipper snappers, they pretty much die.”
“You are young yet,” Thor stated sadly, “You do not need to harm others in order to make your point known. Blood Brother Hawkeye sees the errors of his ways. Is not that enough?”
Peter shook his head. “You don’t get it. I’m not trying to hurt Hawkeye. My point is that arrows can kill. They kill humans. I’m human!” He angrily shoved the sleeve up on one of his arms and pulled the tip of the arrow across the pale skin of his inner arm. A trickle of blood sprung up scarlet against his skin and he dropped the arrow. In a calmer voice, channeling his inner 10th grade Physics teacher (a stoner who prattled on about matter and Kepler as zen as Buddha) he said, “I may wear spandex, which has before been called an abomination to all fashion everywhere, but I am not much more than that. Spandex and skin, and below that muscle and bone and organs. Joking is one thing. Punishing me is one thing. But you could have killed me. You almost did.”
Clint looked pale, and even the other Avengers didn’t know what to say. Peter pulled the sleeve down and jumped off the building, ready to just go home, sleep, bathe, sleep again, mull this over for the next three years, start regretting something (because what’s a day in the life of Peter Parker if there’s nothing to regret, right?), and then make it all up to them later.
And he would have, too, he would have gone straight home and into the arms of his glorious Wade, and then into a bath, and then into a bed, but instead a pair of over-large green arms folded themselves around Peter’s midsection and despite Peter using all of his strength to escape, he was carried off.
Green arms. My favorite.
Chapter 12: Nap Time; in which Peter finds himself hilarious. Bruce doesn’t
So, friends, I would like to formally apologize on behalf of me, myself, and I, as this chapter took, like, way, way longer to get out than I thought. I am really, really sorry about that. Really. But enough of my apologies, I know what you're really here for. Here it is, the green arms--I mean chapter that you've all been waiting for!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Watching a sleeping Hulk was an interesting thing, Peter mused. It was the only time that Peter could ever remember seeing the Hulk completely at peace. His face was smoothed out and relaxed, and Peter could now see the resemblance between the Hulk and Bruce. Yeah, they were the same person, but it was hard to remember that when Bruce was always zen, and the Hulk was a roiling ball of rage and grammatical errors. But here, as the creature/friend dozed in an abandoned and destroyed hollow that had once been someone’s bedroom, Peter could see that they shared similar features. The Hulk’s lips curved like Bruce’s when he smiled, and his hair tufted over the Hulk’s forehead like Bruce’s did when he ruffled it after a tiring day.
Peter mused that it was nice that there were still some things about his friend that stayed the same even when he was a giant green rage machine.
The Hulk hadn’t been asleep long. After he had bridal-style carried Peter back to this weird bricky-and-wrecked-bed nest, and Peter had been able to hold the Hulk still long enough for him to pull the arrow from his back (easier than pulling out a splinter, the Hulk hadn’t even seemed to notice it), the Hulk had apparently thought that this ruined ex-apartment meant sleepy time, and he cuddled into the rocks and had fallen asleep immediately.
Peter’s first thought was that he should escape immediately now that his captor was no longer conscious. Not that the Hulk had been mean to him or anything. In fact, Hulk had pretty much been a gracious host, or as much of a host as he could be when he didn’t actually own the apartment, and couldn’t really say complete sentences. But Peter really just wanted to go back to his home after the day he’d had and cuddle with his fiancé.
But then he’d seen the hulk relaxed and had started to think that it might not only be a social faux pas to run out on his host while he slept, but it would be a bummer for the Hulk to wake up alone, and Peter didn’t think that would be nice.
And then the Hulk had started to shrink back down into little Bruce Banner, skin paling to a more normal flesh tone, and Peter couldn’t leave then! Leaving a naked Bruce in an unfamiliar place, well that would be just odious of him! (Wasn’t that also a fun word? Peter had been digging through the dictionary looking for fun words to use in amusing situations. So far nothing had really come of it, but he could hope).
Bruce, as Bruce now and not the Hulk, shifted on the uncomfortable nest of brick fragments, dirt, and the splintery ends of what had once been a nice-looking bed, and opened his eyes. He glanced around the room first, and then his eyes landed on Peter. Peter waved his fingers lazily in the air. Bruce glanced down at his naked body (a sight Peter was steadfastly ignoring) and then back at Peter. In a voice much calmer than Peter might have expected, Bruce said, “Excuse me, but may I ask why I’m in a destroyed house with you watching over me?”
Peter blinked and then gestured towards Bruce’s clothesless skin. “You’re not worried about the completely naked thing? ‘Cause let me tell you, that threw me for a loop.”
“Not really. I usually wake up like this after the Hulk makes an appearance. In fact, on more than one occasion I’ve also woken up in a destroyed and/or abandoned building before. But, as far as I can remember I’ve never woken up next to a Spiderman.”
“Huh,” Peter said, “well, I don’t know what this experience has been like for you, but I’m having a grand ol’ time. Next time you’re going to wake up in rubble alone, and naked, hit me up. Maybe we can do this again.”
“Now you’re just being ridiculous. Care to explain?” Bruce raised his eyebrow condescendingly, and Peter was impressed to note that despite the fact that Bruce was completely naked and lying unmoved in rubble he still managed to look intimidating.
“You mean why am I sitting above a naked Bruce Banner when I could be doing other things with my life? More specifically, bathing and sleeping?” Bruce gave him an unimpressed look and Peter rolled his eyes. “Fine! Be a stick in the mud. I think it’s funny. But, to answer your question, you kidnapped and carried me here before you passed out.”
Bruce jerked into a sitting position. “What? I kidnapped you?”
Peter chuckled at Bruce’s wide-eyed expression. “No. I’m sorry. I was over-exaggerating for dramatic effect. Ummm, how to explain…” He subconsciously stroked his cheek where the bruise from Thor’s backhand still ached, “Me and your friends, you know, the colorful ones, had a slight disagreement, and when I ran off to sleep off the annoyance and anxiety that has been growing on me like mold, I was sidetracked by you, the Hulk, grabbing me up and running off with me.”
Bruce blinked rapidly. “Spiderman, that constitutes as kidnapping.”
Peter waved away Bruce’s concern with his hand. “I mean, technically, I guess. And yeah, I wouldn’t have chosen to go to an abandoned and destroyed apartment to chill with a guy who can’t form full sentences, but he’s pretty nice, so I wasn’t too worried.”
Bruce’s eyes widened. “What? The Hulk? Nice? No…”
Peter snapped his fingers and pointed at Bruce excitedly. “Yeah! That’s how he talks. All the time. It’s actually pretty amusing. And yeah, he’s pretty nice. He defended me against Natasha once,” mental smack to the head. Thankfully, Bruce looked preoccupied enough to not notice Peter’s slip with Nat’s name, “and is the only Avenger to seem completely cool with me. Freaked the Black Widow out!” Peter grinned beneath his mask. “I wish I’d had my camera. That picture would have been priceless. Seriously, I could have retired on the money I’d be able to make from selling just that photo alone. And it would have been glorious blackmail material, if I were to ever need such a thing.” Peter sighed melodramatically. “Unfortunately, that ship has sailed.”
“Woah! Back up! The Hulk is nice to you? That… thing?”
Peter frowned. “No need to be mean about it. He’s a pretty chill guy.”
“The Hulk?!” Bruce’s voice had taken on a particularly strangled tone and he tried backing away from Peter, though he didn’t get very far what with the being naked lying on debris thing.
Peter got to his feet and moved over toward what he assumed was the closet. “Yeah. He’s nice. I haven’t had too many interactions with the guy, but he was kind. Got all upset when the others were insulting me. He even protected me from a certain flying projectile that might have ended my life.” Peter shrugged and pulled open closet door, dislodging a pile of crumbling drywall that tumbled across the floor. He began rifling through the closet. “By the way, it hit you—the Hulk—in the shoulder. I pulled it out, but I’m not sure what your healing capabilities are, if they’re better because you turn green sometimes or what. I would have bandaged it up, but it wasn’t like I could just pop down to the drug store get some band-aids. And this place isn’t exactly the most hygienic anyway.” Peter shrugged and pulled out a pair of slacks which he held up before throwing off to the side.
“What?” Bruce asked and reached his hand over his shoulder to feel at his back. “Wound’s gone, so no worries about patching me up.”
“Really?” Peter asked, intrigued. “How does that work? Any injury sustained by big green goes away when you turn back into Dr. Banner? Does it come back when you Hulk smash again?” Peter pulled out a pair of jeans, held them up, nodded to himself, and threw them over his arm before diving back into the closet. “Or is it just the radiation thing sped up your healing?”
Bruce shook his head. “Hulk’s got tough skin.”
Peter threw a green button up over his arm and started making his way back to the good doctor. “I saw him bleeding, Doc. Bleeding actual blood. And let me tell you. Scarlet blood on green skin is not nearly as festive as I might have imagined.” Upon reaching Bruce, Peter dropped the gathered clothing in his lap unceremoniously. “There you go. Clothes that I hope will fit.”
Bruce blinked and held up the shirt. “Thanks? I’m not sure how I feel about stealing someone’s clothes though.”
Peter snorted. “Please, Dr. Banner. They won’t be missing them any time soon, and I’m sure their insurance will cover whatever can’t be recovered. I wasn’t just digging for clothes that would fit, you know. I had to find stuff that wasn’t unwearable. They’ll just assume these were destroyed as well.”
“You seem to know a lot about the consequences of such destruction. You do a lot of research about the victims of these attacks?”
Peter snorted and turned around so Bruce could change without being embarrassed. “Yeah, research. Or, you know, I do actually live in this city. It’s not like I’m completely ignorant to the plight of my fellow New Yorkers. And the taxes—” he groaned and dropped his head into his hands, “I can just imagine the jump now that this area needs to be rebuilt.”
A laugh escaped Bruce but he quickly cut it off. It was enough, though, Peter had caught the amusement.
“I’m serious. After every attack the taxes just go up and up. I’m not exactly rich, you know? I can’t afford all this. My—ah, my friend thinks that super heroes should be exempt from taxes because we save the city-slash-world. Or, no wait, he might actually have said that we should get free water and electricity…and housing. Don’t quote me on any of this. He only said it in passing, like, months ago.”
“Really?” Bruce asked, and Peter could note the laughter in his voice. “You can turn around.”
Peter turned to see that for the most part the clothes fit Bruce, though the jeans had to be rolled up and the button-up hung too low. Better too big than too small, though.
“I’ve often thought,” Peter confessed, “that I don’t know how anyone other than Tony Stark can even afford to live in this city. Honestly, how does anyone do it?”
Bruce gave Peter a little half-smile. “Well, most people have jobs. Jobs give them money, they use that money to pay for things.”
Peter scoffed. “I have a job. A real one. All I’m saying, is that while I’m off living in my one-bed, one-bath apartment, working all day and spending my free time fighting strange robots and lizard-people, I don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on me. And I’m doing pretty well. What about those other people who aren’t doing so well, huh?”
Bruce shook his head. “I don’t know, but I’m afraid that I really should be getting back, and not debating the price of living in Manhatten with a superhero that we aren’t really on speaking terms with.”
Peter clutched at his chest dramatically. “Ouch!” Then he relaxed his stance. “I know I don’t really deserve fluffy kindness, but I’m not all bad. Really. And Hulk seems to like me ok.” Peter shrugged.
Bruce seemed torn. Peter wasn’t really worried. As long as Bruce stayed Peter’s friend, he didn’t need to be Spiderman’s.
“Well,” Peter said after a moment of no one saying anything, “I should be heading back myself. Want a ride?”
Bruce raised his eyebrows, and Peter could detect a slight hint of a smile before it was hidden. “No thank you.”
Peter shrugged. “Suit yourself.” He began making his way through the unsteady rubble and towards the giant hole in one of the walls that had allowed the Hulk to enter. He looked over the edge, and made some room when Bruce came to stand beside him. They were at least five storeys up. Maybe more.
Bruce gulped. “I’ll just take the front door.”
Peter shook his head. “Blocked.” Bruce scratched the back of his neck. Peter opened his arms. “Come on, haven’t you ever wanted to swing through the city like Spiderman? I know I have.” Bruce didn’t look impressed. “At least let me bring you to the ground safely, yeah? I wouldn’t want a nice guy like Bruce Banner getting hurt because I left him five floors up with no way of getting down.”
Bruce rolled his eyes. “Fine.” There was a pause. “Now, how do we do this?”
Peter smirked beneath his mask, but Bruce still seemed to sense it, as he took a step back. “Just wrap your arms around my neck and hold on.”
Bruce raised another unimpressed eyebrow, but this time Peter merely raised his hands above his head. “I swear, I’m being serious. I need both use of my hands for the swinging. Don’t worry, I’ve done this before. I won’t drop you.”
Bruce didn’t seem completely convinced, but he also seemed to accept that he really didn’t have a choice. He stepped up to Peter and wrapped his arms around Peter’s neck while simultaneously trying to stay as far from him as possible.
Peter rolled his eyes. “You actually have to hold on.” He pulled Bruce closer and forced his arms to wrap tighter around the back of his neck. “There you go, now don’t let go.”
Bruce looked extremely uncomfortable, but it only made Peter grin. He wrapped one arm around Bruce’s back and the other he shot out, shooting a web at the building across the street. Peter was not ashamed to say that he most definitely laughed when Bruce’s surprised shriek reached his ears.
See? I'm totally able to leave a chapter off without a giant cliffhanger. How'd'ya like that?
I debated leaving this chapter to be published tomorrow, for Thanksgiving, but I thought that would be cruel of me, so there it is. To those of you who live in a place that celebrates Thanksgiving, Happy Early Turkey Day! For those of you who do not do that thing, Happy Day Before Thursday-Day! Hopefully I will get the next chapter out sooner. Finals week is next week, or the week before finals week. My point is something. I'm not sure where I was going with this. Thanks for reading, see ya soon!
Chapter 13: The Call; in which Pete’s sweet tooth makes the final decision
Hope the wait hasn't been too bad. Enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Peter was starting to worry that the Avengers were starting to worry about Peter (Inception!). And it made sense, kind of, because Peter was acting a little strange around them. As Peter. Well, as Spiderman too, but they didn’t know that so it couldn’t hurt them.
The day after the Doom bot battle Wade had had to apply even more make-up to Peter’s face before heading to work, as the bruises he’d amassed were, if not awfully dark, than at least many and varied. Thankfully he didn’t have anything as telling as a split lip, though considering his luck, he didn’t hold out that there would be much longer before he got one. The Thor-hand-shaped bruise on Peter’s cheek had lessened into a pale purple that was turning a sickly yellow/green around the edges. The foundation and whatever else Wade had smeared onto Peter’s face was working wonderfully, and Peter was amazed once more about the things that one could do with make-up. He should have taken before and after pictures, to show just how much black and blue had turned into perfectly smooth skin-colored skin. Make-up was amazing…and scary. Another reason to fear Natasha. And Pepper. And Tony.
Despite being able to flawlessly hide his darkened skin, Peter still wished he could take the day off. He’d rather not have to worry about stopping his hands from rubbing against the bruises hidden under the shallow layer of powder and cream. And, if he was being honest, he didn’t really want to face any of the Avengers. Not after everything. He knew that if he just saw them as Peter that he’d have nothing to worry about, but it was difficult trying to differentiate between how they treated Spiderman and their camaraderie with Peter when they truly treated both sides of him completely differently. He wasn’t sure how to talk to any of them without giving away who he was and all of the lies he’d built up around himself.
And Wade. Most importantly, if he took off work than him and Wade could laze about the house all day, watching Golden Girls and having terrific sex. Only, no they couldn’t, because Wade had to go to work too.
As it was, because of both Peter and Spiderman’s busy schedule, and Wade’s own agenda planner filled with an odd assortment of Avenger-ly duties, they hadn’t really had time to do the do with any great regularity in a while. On a side note, Peter did not count the quickie they’d had that morning in the shower together as sex. Mostly because Peter had tried to be more flexible than his tender muscles and bruised skin would allow for and ended up pulling both of them out of the shower and onto the floor with nothing but a ripped shower curtain and a stubbed toe to show for it.
It might have been worth it, though, as Wade couldn’t stop laughing at him for a full five minutes, even as Peter tried to see how much damage to their little bathroom he had done. Every time Peter tried to stand up Wade would just pull him back against his scarred chest, ruffle his hair, and begin laughing anew, with breathless “I can’t believe—”s, “ Spiderman tripping over his own feet”s, and “Pete the klutz”s being thrown at him. It was nice to hear Wade laugh so openly, even if it was at Peter’s expense. If Peter finally yanked himself out of Wade’s grasp only to accidentally kick him in the head on his way out, well Peter had to get to work sometime, there was no time to laze about. And it only made Wade laugh harder and try to push himself off the ground with minimal success, as his hands, still wet from the shower, kept slipping on the tile.
The point (keep it together, Parker!) was that despite wanting to take the day off of work, there was no point in doing it if Wade wasn’t home too, and that it would really just be better to get seeing the Avengers over and done with as soon as possible.
Which was totally why Peter completely avoided all of the Avengers that he didn’t have to work in close proximity with, and mostly ignored those who he had to see, namely Tony and Bruce. Though, avoiding the other Avengers was easy, since no one had come to visit him yet, and he just stayed in the lab.
“Peter, ready for lunch?” Bruce asked as he stretched his hands over his head. Peter imagined the arrow lodged in his back grinding against his bones as he twisted this way and that.
Peter shook his head and gave them a false smile. “Not today either, sorry. I told my Aunt I’d call her on my lunch break.”
Tony raised his eyebrows as he too stepped over to Peter’s work station. “You’re going to talk to your Aunt for the entire break?” He sounded far too skeptical. If he’d met Aunt May he’d know…
Not that Peter was really going to call Aunt May, though now that he thought about it, it would make her happy, and it would add a certain edge of realism to his story. Why not, right?
Peter couldn’t help letting a small snicker escape. “Sorry Tony, but I’ll probably have to fake an alien attack just to get her off the phone.”
Tony shook his head. “Peasants are strange.”
Peter shook his head and turned back to Bruce, “I overheard Thor saying this morning that Steve made another pie.” Tony’s eyes lit up. “I don’t suppose you could save me the tiniest slice?”
Bruce indulged him with a smile and then headed out. Honestly Peter was expecting more of a resistance, and though Tony did look over his shoulder at Peter one last time before they were out of sight, neither of them tried to do any more convincing.
Oh well, better call Aunt May to give his avoidance some credence.
And then you know what? Peter was done hiding. After talking to Aunt May he would go up and at least get dessert with his friends. And if getting more than just a tiny slice of pie was his deciding factor, well than that was his business.
He was scared.
One of my very nice commentators asked me if I'd put the date of my next upload in the notes, so I guess I'm going to try doing that. No, remember, this is all guess-work, and I could possibly be off by a few days in either direction, but seeing as how I can usually get a chapter out within a week, I'm going to predict that I'll be able to upload Ch 14 next Saturday. I hope. I'm going to try really hard.
See you next time, my lovelies!
Chapter 14: Starvation; a short interlude in which Jarvis is a bro
Upstairs wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t bad at all, actually. It was absolutely fine.
That was because no one was there. Peter stepped out of the elevators expecting to see the range of Avengers sitting down to dessert, as they had had plenty of time to finish dinner already, but instead there was no one. Peter glanced around. They had eaten lunch there, as there were dirty dishes in the sink, but glancing towards the upper shelves in the kitchen, Peter could still see an entire pie. They hadn’t gotten to dessert.
Peter sighed and internally demolished all hope of being a detective. He sucked at investigative stuff. The only thing he could think of was that after lunch but before pie the Avengers had been called away on a mission. But if that was the case, why would they have taken the time to put the dishes in the sink?
Peter crossed his arms and pouted.
He’d never said he would make a good detective. No one could blame him.
And now he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t just have a slice of that pie if no one else had had any. That would just be rude. But he was still kind of hungry? (Really hungry).
And then the answer came to him, “Jarvis?” maybe the AI would know where someone was, and then he could ask if there were any leftovers.
The cultured tones of Tony’s AI filtered in through a speaker system that Peter assumed was in the ceiling (and wouldn’t he like to find out?). “Yes, Mr. Parker? How may I help you?”
Jarvis didn’t seem worried. Must have been something casual then. Peter ruffled the hair at the back of his head. “Uh, you wouldn’t happen to know where everyone is, would you?”
“The Avengers are all gathered for a private meeting in their conference room. Would you like me to alert them?”
“Oh, no no no.” Peter waved his hands back and forth. “It is really no big thing. I’ll just…” he shrugged, “figure something out.”
Jarvis made a noise of disbelief. “Very well sir.”
Peter had just turned around to leave, maybe he’d hang by the cafeteria real quick and pick up a snack or something to tide him over (this is what he got for skipping out on lunch two days in a row), when something occurred to him. “Jarvis?”
“Yes, Mr. Parker?”
“Who exactly is in this Avengers’ meeting?”
When he spoke, Jarvis sounded pleased, though Peter could not fathom why. “Sir, Captain Rogers, Mister Odinson, Doctor Banner, Miss Romanoff, and Mister Barton.”
Peter’s eyes narrowed. “Why wasn’t Wade invited?”
If AIs could shrug…
“I do not know, sir. Would you like me to inquire on your behalf?”
Peter shook his head. “No, that’s fine Jarvis. I’m going to find out, but I want to do it—” Peter cut himself off and then looked searchingly at the closest surveillance camera. “You’re not going to rat me out, are you Jarvis?”
Jarvis made an affronted noise. “Why, I’d never. You may trust me as a confidant, young mister Parker.”
Peter grimaced at the camera lens. “Wouldn’t want to get you in trouble.”
“It would be no trouble at all. The others refuse to heed my advice on the subject. I shall be glad to help you make your counterpoint.”
Peter gave the camera a weird look. Jarvis wasn’t making much sense, but he trusted the AI and so let it go.
Only, now how to spy on the spies.
An evil grin passed over Peter’s face.
“I’ll just pull a Hawkeye. That’ll show them.”
It's just possible that in my post-semester giddiness I may have accidentally started writing another fic, which might possibly be why this one is a little shorter. I am so sorry, please don't kill me.
On the upside, giving you less than a 1,000 has made me feel guilty, so I'll try to get the next chapter out in less than a week! Yay! I'm going to say....um... let's do Thursday. It's break, so I should have more time, but you know how family is. I swear, going home is almost more busy than school, and that's just sad. Anyway! See you Thursday, sorry for the wait, congrats to everyone who's finished for the semester, and for anyone who still has school or work to do, good luck!
Chapter 15: Gifts; in which Peter does not develop claustrophobia…yet
I hope this slightly longer chapter makes up for last week's slightly shorter chapter. I hope this is a stress-free chapter, because after this things will get hilly again. Enjoy!
Why had no one told Peter that vents were annoying and uncomfortable? How did Clint manage to be any kind of effective in the cramped rectangles of death and metal? Peter had no idea. He struggled, dragging himself through the confining metal by his elbows. A raised edge caught the hem of his shirt and he had to pause a moment to rearrange his arms so he could detach himself from the protruding thingy.
“What’s the point of being a superhero if you can’t even sneak through a building without getting yourself all caught up,” Peter growled to himself and pushed himself forward once more.
He’d been crawling for at least twenty minutes, and was starting to think that deciding to pull a Hawkeye had not, perhaps, been his best moment. He was not, after all, nearly as trained as Clint, even though he was physically stronger. Peter shook his head. He just had to practice more. Then he could…
Peter scoffed to himself. It wasn’t like he wanted the ability to crawl through the vents with ease. He had better things to figure out how to do, like flip an assailant onto his or her back without having to use his hands. Fun stuff like that.
Peter was so caught up in his internal grumblings and wishful thinking that he almost scooted right over the vent to the conference room. It was only Steve’s concerned voice that had him stopping and adjusting himself to better hear the Avengers’ opinions.
“—just not sure anymore.”
Someone sighed dramatically, and Peter recognized it as coming from Tony. “What’s that supposed to mean? He threatened bird-brain over there with one of his own arrows.”
“I know,” Steve said, “but he had a point—”
“I’ll apologize!” Clint interrupted, and there was a pause where no one said anything before Clint spoke again. “He was right. I was way, way over the line. If that arrow had pierced him, he could have died.” Clint sounded like he was sucking on a lemon slice. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“I do,” Natasha sighed, “and it makes me wonder. SHIELD’s files on Spiderman insist that he has these, senses, that—”
“You hacked into SHIELD?” Tony squealed, and then in a more mature tone of voice he prevaricated, “I am not proud of that. Not at all. In fact, I’m not sure that isn’t a breach of Article 8, subsection 14-B of the—”
“Shut it Stark,” Natasha said evenly, as if she were merely commenting on the weather, and Peter could hear Tony’s teeth snap shut. “As I was saying, the files indicated that Spiderman has senses that allow him to anticipate attacks or other things one might deem dangerous. Besides Clint’s obvious lack of forethought, I am curious as to why Spiderman’s super-powered instincts failed him on this occasion, assuming it was the first.”
“Perhaps there are some defects in this Spider Man’s abilities?” Thor asked, and Peter had to roll his eyes at the God’s inability to state anyone’s name correctly. He wondered if Thor did it on purpose, and if so, why? Because if Thor was doing it just to mess with people, than Peter was going to have to tell Wade. The Ex-merc would be so proud.
“I don’t think so,” Natasha said slowly, and Peter had to pull himself forcibly back into the present. All this inner rambling stuff was hard work, and sometimes Peter wondered how Wade was able to do it successfully with more than one voice in his head. Again he forced himself to listen to what was being said below him. “I saw him dodge a flying Doom bot that was coming at his 6 without even a glance over the shoulder.”
“He was dodging Dr. Doom’s robots pretty efficiently,” Clint agreed. “And for the most part he was able to dodge my arrows. He was a little slower there, but I didn’t think to question it.”
“Maybe his psychic bullshit only works on the baddies around him.” Tony speculated, and Peter could only hope he was being the sarcastic little shit he always was. “Like Professor X and the Magneto helmet, only it isn’t metal that’s the blocker but the forces for truth and justice.” Yep, Tony was definitely being a screw-ball idiot.
“I know you are being a dick, Tony,” Bruce said, and Peter let out a silent cheer that someone else was able to call Tony out on the BS while he was currently indisposed in the ceiling vent, “but I think you might actually be right for once.”
“WHAT?” Tony and Clint squawked at the same time.
“I agree with Dr. Banner,” Steve said, in his I-fill-out-my-taxes-like-a-good-citizen,-but-could-also-literally-punch-you-into-the-asphalt-without-breaking-a-sweat-voice (Peter swore this was a real kind of voice), “Spiderman puts more implicit trust in us than I can find motive for. I don’t understand it, but it doesn’t make his actions less true.”
“Maybe it’s a superhero thing?” Bruce asked. “It would make sense that he would trust superheroes more than Doctor Doom.”
Tony scoffed, and Peter could just imagine him rolling his eyes. “Well duh! We are superheroes after all.”
“Tony, shut up,” Bruce said sweetly, “the point I’m trying to make is that maybe he is an ok guy after all. We kind of shortlisted him because of,” there was a significant pause, “reasons. But maybe he isn’t as much of an ass as we all assumed.”
“He’s a complete ass,” Natasha murmured, but her voice held a hint of laughter, and Peter wondered what on earth he could have done to make her actually not dislike him.
“Bruce,” Steve said slowly, “I agree with what you’re saying, only I feel there is something you are leaving out. An explanation perhaps?”
“Yeah, Brucie!” Tony exclaimed, “Spill the beans. Don’t tell me you want to get into Spidey’s pants too!”
Bruce sputtered and Peter made a mental note to hide all of Tony’s wrenches somewhere he could never find them.
“I think,” Natasha cut in, voice like steel, “that the interesting thing is that the Hulk seems to actually like Spiderman.”
“What?! Really?” Tony asked, shocked into actually sounding genuinely curious and not snarky.
Bruce grunted. “As far as I can tell. According to Spiderman, the Hulk carried him off after his little tiff with all of you. When I woke up he mentioned casually how nice the Hulk was. Nice!” Peter had to bite back a laugh at how offended and honestly frazzled the doctor sounded.
Tony laughed, a deep belly laugh, and Peter had to be content with laughing vicariously through his boss.
“And you feel you can trust the words of this man that is a spider?” Thor asked.
“I actually saw it,” Natasha admitted. “Hulk tried to defend Spiderman to me. Honestly he did. For whatever reason, the Hulk trusts Spiderman explicitly.”
Steve hummed, which Peter recognized as his ‘I’m thinking’ noise. “I think,” Steve said after a pregnant pause, “that we should reconsider asking Spiderman to join. I’m not saying we should send him a gilded invitation,” he said as the others started making noises of either agreement or disagreement, “all I’m saying is that we should be open to the possibility. Plus,” he added as an afterthought, “perhaps our reaction to finding him and…Wade, on that roof was the opposite of what we should have done. He didn’t seem to understand why his actions might be considered incorrect. It might have been better to take him under our wing and teach him what correct behavior is in any given situation.”
“You’re saying that we should be teaching fledging superheroes how to be good? Is that our duty now?” Tony asked, half incredulous, half curious.
“It couldn’t hurt,” Clint said, and his voice still held a tone of regret that made Peter wince. “Second chances are opportunities to get your life straight. Everyone deserves a second chance.”
Peter rolled his eyes. Their sentiment was nice, and he liked that they were, you know, not super horribly angry at him anymore, but again, in reality, he hadn’t actually done anything wrong.
Except, maybe, public indecency, which was a crime, but it wasn’t like it was likely they would have been caught!
…Except that they were…
“I agree,” Thor boomed, “as hardened warriors, it is our place to guide the younger, less experienced recruits into becoming even better than their forefathers!”
“Thor, I’m going to have to ask you to be less excited about this,” Tony said. “I’m all about raising a group of miniature Avengers who we can keep an eye on so they don’t go around busting up the city while they’re learning to control their super powers. But, as much as I think the kid hasn’t deserved the harsh treatment we’ve been meting out, I’m not sure it’s such a good idea to have Spiderman and Deadpool in close proximity. Things might get a little… messy.”
“I trust that Brother Wade will not betray young Peter again,” Thor intoned darkly. “I have been talking much with him, and he has accepted that it is wrong to sleep with one person when one is betrothed to another. He even vowed to never do such a thing against his young fiancé.”
What was with all of these people calling him young? Yeah, he wasn’t exactly an old guy, and ok, he was still a ways off from middle aged, but he wasn’t a kid!
“Ok, we can trust Wade,” Clint said slowly, “but can we trust Spiderman? I’m not saying he’s untrustworthy generally,” Clint was quick to explain, “about that I’m not sure I have the right to speak, but what about around Wade? Spiderman said that he’d been friends with Deadpool for a long time. Sometimes that can mean more than one might think. There might still be some tension there, some…passion. Do you want to risk it?”
There was a pause in the conversation wherein Peter realized that his shoulders were tense.
He’d already decided that he didn’t want to join the Avengers, it would be too much effort keeping up his identity secret, but it still felt like this was the reckoning point. This was when it was decided if he was to be liked or not, accepted, and despite not actually wanting to join them, he still wanted to be thought of as someone who the Avengers wanted to join them. He shook his head because he did not want to be tense and anxiously waiting whether or not he’d be accepted while eavesdropping in an air vent, assisted in his criminal activity by a sentient, bodiless, robot.
Peter wondered if this act of espionage would ensure he be relegated to the Bad Egg list if he was ever found out; like, doing the illegal and wrong thing in order to figure out if people accepted him as a good person. Peter would actually like to sign up for Irony Monthly so he could keep track of all of the ridiculously ironic things he’s doing with his life.
Finally, Steve, patriotic leader, came to a decision. “I think I do.” Peter let out an inaudible sigh, and his shoulders slumped in relief. And then mentally smacked himself because he should not be that excited about being asked to join a group that he was going to decline.
“Wait, friends,” Thor said slowly, “I think at this juncture whether we might invite him is only one facet of this situation. How will we find the Man Spider?”
Peter physically shuddered at that bastardization of his name.
“No probs,” Tony interjected flippantly, “I’ll just ask J.” Then slightly louder he said, “Jarvis?”
“Yes, Sir?” the AI asked, and Peter had the sudden fear that Jarvis might rat him out. He knew it was unlikely and irrational, but he couldn’t help it. He was in the ceiling, eavesdropping on the Avengers. There was no way he could explain his action without digging himself into a hole. Or, revealing his secret identity which would, at this point, be just slightly awkward considering the conversation they were having.
“J, think you could do your magic and find us Spiderman? Check the security cameras around the area of our latest fight. Track his movements.”
“Sorry, Sir,” Jarvis said cheerily, “I don’t think I’ll be able to do that for you.”
Peter frowned. What was Jarvis doing?
“What?” Tony squawked.
“Jarvis?” Bruce asked in his concerned voice (the one he used when he thought Peter was missing a meal), “Why can’t you locate Spiderman?”
“I am unable to locate Spiderman based on the surveillance cameras as I have determined that it is not the best course of action available.”
Peter’s heart rate sped up. Was Jarvis really defending a random superhero (who just happened to be Peter) to Tony?
“What?” Tony asked again, this time in a quieter tone of voice.
“I apologize, Sir. I am currently unable to help you on this endeavor. Might I recommend merely waiting until the next battle for you to ask him? I do not think a man who favors keeping his identity a secret would react well to a large number of people showing up at his doorstep; especially if he has been given no other option than to assume those people do not like him.”
Good ol’ Jarvis. Peter would have to get him a present to show his gratitude. As Spiderman, of course. What would an Artificial Intelligence enjoy as a gift? And how would “Spiderman” secretly leave it for him?
“Jarvis has a point,” Natasha said in that neutral voice that usually meant she was not really feeling neutral at all.
Someone sighed, but it was quiet enough that Peter couldn’t make out who it was.
“I guess that’s it. Meeting adjourned?” Tony asked with a sarcastic lilt in his voice and there was a shuffle as, Peter assumed, the Avengers rose to leave.
“Who’s going to tell Deadpool?” Clint asked, and his voice was quieter, as if he were talking from far away.
Steve sighed. “I guess I should,” and then there was a gentle whirring as the door closed behind them. Nothing but silence filtered up to Peter.
“Well,” he mumbled to himself as he tried to turn himself around in the cramped vent, “I guess that’s that. And now I’m stuck in the ceiling. Wonderful.”
He couldn’t help the small smile that grew on his face as he thought about what he’d just heard.
“At least they don’t hate me anymore.”
Chapter 16: Old School; in which Peter practices classic avoidance techniques
A new chapter on Christmas Eve! This is my gift to you. Actually, my real gift is Petey and Wade’s Christmas fiasco, containing the complete butchering of Christmas Carols for their own amusement which is possibly a stand alone Petey and Wade Christmas fluff fic because while I promised you guys this update, I was feeling, like, super holiday-y, and then that happened. Which is horrible of me, because I've still got Christmas shopping to do (eek) but fanfiction is more important.
Anyway, here's this thing, and don't forget to read that Christmas fic, if that's your cup of eggnog :D
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“So then,” Peter yelled across a chaotic baseball field, “I swing around the Empire State Building and Bam! There’s Johnny Fucking Storm just floating in mid air, fire burning brighter than the sun, waiting for me!” Peter dodged a chunk of turf that was flying towards his head and punched straight through a flying Doom bot.
“HULK SMASH!” the Hulk said sympathetically, and twisted apart three bots at once.
“I know, right?” Peter exclaimed, and used Hulk’s back as a spring board to launch himself into the air to snag two more bots. “Can you believe that loser? I mean, insulting me is one thing, and yeah, I might not be able to fly, but I swear if he—”
A metallic voice from above interrupted him, saying “Web-Head! What the hell are you yammering on about? Are we fighting these things or are we chit-chatting?” Iron Man swung over and repulsor-blasted two bots out of the sky. They fell and crashed into third base with a sickening crunching of metal.
“I’m having a conversation, thank you very much!” Peter exclaimed as he dodged another Doom bot. Doom himself was nowhere to be found, which was a pity, as Peter would have really liked to have shoved his entire face into the ground and super-glued it there for being such an annoying twat.
“With who?” Tony asked and he shot two more bots out of the sky.
“HULK SMASH!” the Hulk exclaimed and tossed a decapitated bot in Tony’s general direction.
“Duh!” Peter agreed.
Tony banked hard around the inner edge of the trashed stadium and then flew straight up in order to skewer three bots with his arm. “Are you telling me that you are taking time out of this very important battle in order to gossip about the Human Torch with a man who can’t form sentences longer than two words?” Iron Man flipped around and the mangled bits of Doom bots scattered to the ground in an oily gun-metal grey rain. “Not that I’m judging or anything, but really?”
“As far as I’m concerned,” Peter said petulantly, as he shot his webs at two flying bots and swung them into each other, making an explosion that would warm the cockles of Michael Bay’s heart, “you have no room to talk. Here I was assuming that because everyone had shown up to deal with—Damnit!” he cut himself off as he dodged a Doom bot that was hurtled at him from the direction of the Hulk, “Ok! I’ll finish the story in a minute! Anyway, I thought that you all had dealt with Doctor Doom and Gloom. But no! He got away! And that’s why I’m spending my lazy Saturday fighting robots too dumb to realize that they can’t win!”
“SMASH DOOM!” Hulk agreed from somewhere to Peter’s left.
“Well when you put it like that…” Tony said slowly, and Peter could almost hear the smirk.
And then the rest of the Avengers, who had been fighting off a similar attack happening twenty miles off the coast, showed up and the fight got done real fast. Steve’s shield ricocheted around the stadium destroying bots left and right, Clint’s arrows pierced the bots’ armor like it was butter, Thor swung his hammer in arcs large enough to destroy ten to twenty bots at a time, Natasha ran through the throng and used her Widow’s bites and pure muscle to bring down the bots, but most importantly Wade was there with his Katanas slicing and his guns blazing and it was beautiful.
Peter hadn’t seen Wade in action in a while. After the disastrous roof incident they had kept their superhero interactions to a minimum. They hadn’t fought alongside each other since the Mouthless-bear-slug (bless its soul, apparently SHIELD had had it shipped to some facility in Dubai where it had been dissected. Wade had cried) and even then he hadn’t been able to watch Wade at all as he was preoccupied with Clint and Thor being dumbasses.
Now, seeing Wade whip through the crowd of green-clad robots, swords glinting in the sun, and guns firing at a rapid pace, Peter’s mouth went dry and he had to force himself to concentrate on his own fight lest he get so caught up in the beauty of his boyfriend that he get himself killed.
He swallowed, blinked, and forced his legs to move under him as he ran to fight in the opposite direction. How was he supposed to pretend to be a good, wholesome spider with that hot hot the hotness running around in front of him? He shook his head as he tackled and decapitated a bot. He was going crazy.
Peter spent the rest of the fight trying to focus only on the bots he was destroying to the point that he completely forgot that he was having a conversation with the Hulk. In fact, he was so focused that he didn’t even notice the battle was wrapping up until there was no Doom bot to replace the one he had just felled. He glanced around the wreckage that was the Yankee Stadium.
He crouched for a moment in the orange dirt, but seeing the Avengers dusting themselves off, relaxed and not preparing for another attack, Peter felt it safe to rise from the ground. “This is why I’m not a baseball fan,” he said to no one in particular as he walked closer to the Avengers who had all, subconsciously perhaps, started to gather together.
“BALL CRUSH?” Hulk asked and Peter shook his head.
“Nah, you toss it, and then you hit it with a bat. Not, like, the vampire kind. Wood. Oak if you have it. Carve it and laquer it…wait a minute! Why am I telling you how to make a baseball bat? I don’t even know how to make a baseball bat. Do I look like a carpenter to you?”
“CARPET EAR!” Hulk exclaimed and Peter nodded solemnly.
“Are you teaching Mr. Big and Green proper grammar Spidey?” Wade crooned as he stepped forward.
Peter shook his finger at Wade. “Don’t you go harassing Hulk. Hulk is cool.”
“Hulk is cool,” Natasha muttered incredulously beneath her breath and shook her head.
Steve gave Peter a long look and Peter’s heart rate picked up. He was going to ask. He was actually, literally, going to ask. And Peter didn’t know how he was going to turn the guy down. How do you look into the deep blue, puppy-dog eyes of a National icon and say “No,” hmm?
He wondered if Wade had been briefed yet on the Spide-venger initiative but with a quick glance at Wade, who was nonchalantly cleaning his ear with the tip of a very short blade, Peter concluded that no, they hadn’t talked about it with Wade yet. Peter suddenly wished that he’d left Wade a note that morning before he’d headed off to work detailing everything that he’d done with the eavesdropping thing. And maybe an amended version of the Hawkeye thing. Alas, Peter hadn’t really had a heart to heart with his fiancé in a few days. It seemed that they were always busy doing other things. Peter guessed that that was what he got for dating a superhero…and being a superhero.
But, before Steve had a chance to open his mouth and complicate Peter’s life even more, Clint stepped forward. “Spiderman, I’d like to make a formal apology. My actions were rash and I didn’t understand the consequences of them until it was almost too late. If there is anything—anything—I can do to make it up to you, just let me know.” Peter blinked. That was the most sincere that he had ever heard Clint. Even when Clint had thought that Peter was going to kill him he had sounded less serious. This was strange.
“What are you on about?” Wade asked as he sheathed his knife. Peter winced.
So did Clint, actually, which made Peter start to feel bad about confronting Clint in the first place (which was ridiculous, because the man could have killed him, but they were friends after all, and what are a few homicide attempts between friends?). But, where Peter would have immediately fled the area, changed his name, and lived as a hermit the rest of his days way up high in the rocky mountains, Clint actually faced the ex-mercenary like a responsible adult (ew!) and said, “I was taking out my anger at you on Spiderman since Peter ordered us to treat you the same as always.”
Peter closed his eyes and waited for the explosion. He could see it now: Wade sputtering in rage (actually sputtering, losing his ability to speak because he was so angry. Unlikely, but possible), drawing his weapons slowly, and attacking Clint. Peter would try to stop him, because he’d already forgiven Clint for being an idiot, but Wade would not back down. Of course, the Avengers wouldn’t let Wade just kill one of their own, so they would fight back, and really, six against one is hardly a fair fight. Or, five against two, since Hulk probably wouldn’t get between two sets of super heroes, and Peter, while disagreeing with Wade’s methods would have to side with him in a fight because duh! It was Wade! And then, after a long battle of intenseness and horror, they would be defeated in a grand, intense, horrifying way and would die in each other’s arms because Peter had watched Titanic the previous night when Wade was out and now he was feeling emotionally dramatic.
Instead, much to Peter’s happiness (and internal chagrin) Wade burst out laughing.
Peter blinked at his fiancé, realized that his life, while horribly dramatic, could never be Great Gatsby, or Streetcar Named Desire dramatic. Which perhaps, once Peter thought about it, was a good thing.
Peter shrugged, turned to Clint and said, “It’s alright.”
Clint blinked a few times, and Peter could hear in the background the Hulk tearing through the discarded corpses of Doom bots.
“I… what?” Tony asked, and even Steve looked confused at Peter’s easy acceptance.
“I forgive you?” Peter said with a slightly questioning tone.
“That happened really fast,” Clint whispered, and in the background Wade’s laughter increased. At this point he was doubled over, trying to keep himself from falling down, as he clutched his belly with mirth.
Peter shrugged again. “It’s all good. I had my little angry thing, you apologized. There isn’t much else to be upset about.”
“That isn’t normally how anger works,” Clint said slowly, as if to a small child.
“Nope,” Peter said. “I was angry because you were acting like an ass,” Clint blinked, and Tony tried and failed to smother a guffaw, “but then you learned that you were being an ass, stopped being an ass, and apologized for being an ass. My anger is free to fly away into the heart of another person who is plagued by asses.”
Natasha had cast her eyes skyward, and now it looked very much like she was trying not to strangle anyone. Tony, who stood with his face-plate up, looked close to tears as he was trying to keep his laughter silent. Wade’s laughter had simmered to light giggling with occasional bursts of renewed mirth and mutters of “go after Spidey—to keep Pete safe! Peter and Spidey! Punish! Hah!” Thor looked confused, Steve was pinching the bridge of his nose, and the Hulk was seeing how small he could crush an entire bot. So far he had gotten one down to the size of a sewing machine. Peter was so proud.
Clint was gapping like a big fish. He didn’t seem to understand. “I’m sorry.”
“I know,” Peter said.
“I didn’t realize the consequences…”
“I get it.”
Peter blinked and scratched the back of his head. Coming to a decision, he turned to Nat and said, “When he wakes up from being a complete goner, let him know that it’s all ok. I don’t blame him anymore. I don’t hold grudges. I’m cool. I’m chill. Like Hulk over there,” he hooked a thumb back over his shoulder at where Hulk was casually playing with the severed Doom bot heads like dollies.
“Got it,” she responded drily.
“Ok, well, I’ve got to dash!”
“People don’t say that anymore!” Wade accused him with a pointed finger. “You’re old. Old school. The 90’s called, they say you suck!”
Peter shot a web at the lip of the stadium roof. He flipped Wade the bird quickly before swinging up and away.
“Wait!” Steve yelled, as Peter was on his way, “We want to ask you something?”
Peter cupped his ear and mimed the universal head-shake and mini-flail for ‘I can’t hear what you are saying.’
He gave himself a little pat on the back for avoiding that awkwardness, and decided that to reward Wade for not murdering, or trying to murder everyone he would make, actually make, chimichangas for dinner.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas! For those who celebrate Hanukkah, happy belated Hanukkah! For those who celebrate Kwanzaa, happy a-little-early Kwanzaa! I'm missing lots and lots of holidays, happy solstice and happy everything. Google isn't being very helpful. I asked my mom for more holidays in this general time vicinity and she said Boxing Day, so Happy Boxing Day? I'm so sorry... Happy Winter, everyone. Stay warm and safe and eat lots of cookies <3
Chapter 17: Keyboard Smash; in which Wade tries to use all the endearments he can think of
Welcome to 2016, a leap year, and a year divisible by 2, so now I'll have to start saying that I can even.
Aaaand, I'm so sorry for that pun. Enjoy the super-fiances and their stupidity. I love them so.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Whatcha up to, snuggle muffin?” Wade asked, leaning across Peter’s keyboard and adding a completely new paragraph made entirely out of random letters, numbers, and punctuation. Peter gave Wade a glare which Wade was somehow entirely able to ignore despite the fact that Peter had been practicing, Godamnit! He had been using Natasha as a source reference. Why wasn’t he scary?
After almost a full minute of Peter glaring at Wade and Wade serenely smiling back Peter gave up. He huffed, gave Wade a small smile, and said, “I’m working on a code for a program that will alert Jarvis whenever someone steals any of Tony’s coffee. Out of the cupboard, I mean, not out of his mug. That would be even more difficult.”
Wade rolled off of the keyboard and into Peter’s lap, causing even more random keystrokes to appear on Peter’s screen, and for Peter to grunt under the sudden weight that was Wade.
In a fake whisper loud enough to carry to both Tony and Bruce as they sat on the other side of the room, Wade said, “Make it so that I can keep stealing my share, ok honey-bunches-of-oats?”
“Hey!” Tony half-shouted in a scandalized tone. “Have you been stealing my coffee?”
Wade shrugged, and the motion almost upturned both of them onto the floor.
“Wade,” Peter said, drawing his fiancé’s name out slowly, “what have I told you about stealing from people?”
“But Lumpkins!” Wade whined, “He imports it hand-picked straight from a hidden ranch in Nicaragua!”
“No I don’t,” Tony huffed from across the room.
“Oh yes you do,” Wade insisted, “and you hire actual Nicaraguan children to crush the beans into a fine powder for you every morning.”
Tony pointed at Wade and turned his eyes on Peter. “You are engaged to a lunatic.”
Wade said, “I prefer to think of us as already married, only minus the fantabulous ceremony,” at the same time that Peter said, “I know.”
Wade turned to Peter and made a kissy face. “Oh you love me, Light of my Life. You adore me, O’ beauteous creature. We are meant to be, Love-Muffin.”
Peter nodded solemnly and rubbed soft circles on Wade’s head. “Of course, my lovely. I love you, I adore you, and we are definitely meant to be.” Wade perked up, but his high mood was short-lived as Peter added, “However I really need you to leave right now, as I have some serious work to do.”
“Serious?” Wade asked with melodramatic incredulity. “How dare you even consider being serious. Why, I’ve never been serious a day in my life.”
“That’s the whole problem!” Tony called from across the room, but Wade ignored him.
“To think that my own dearly beloved, he who I have given my whole heart to, is willingly being serious,” he said it like some people might say ‘taxes,’ or Steve might say ‘Hitler,’ “why, I can’t even bear to think where I went wrong!”
He swayed from side to side on Peter’s lap and then straight up rolled off of Peter and onto the ground.
“Wade,” Bruce called calmly from across the lab, “off the floor. You know the rules, if Peter has serious work to do, then you have to limit your visits to ten minutes, you’ve been here for seventeen. I think it’s time you go.”
Wade made a keening noise in the back of his throat. “I promise I’ll be good. Please don’t make me go, Brucie. I promise to love you forever if you don’t make me leave.” He started to crawl across the floor on his hands in knees, heading towards where Bruce was perched on a stool near what misleadingly appeared to be a normal ficus.
Peter snickered in amusement that Wade had found a new victim, but didn’t dally too long in his exuberance, as the peace would probably not last for long before he was bombarded with boyfriend again, and got to work rewriting the code that Wade had interfered with by key-smashing the hell out of it.
“Wade? Wade, what are you doing?” Bruce questioned, his calm voice taking on a slightly more panicked tone. Peter bit his lip to keep from laughing and hunched farther over his keyboard.
“Bruce!” Wade moaned, drawing the name out. “Bruce, I promise to be good. Bruce! Please!” From Peter’s angle of vision, he could see Wade practically laying on the floor at the doctor’s feet, and Bruce shying away from the ex-merc hard core. “I vow, on my life, that I will not be a hindrance! Please let me stay!”
“Are you picking up vocab from point break?” Tony asked absent-mindedly, and then flinched as he realized what he had done.
Wade spun on his knees to face Tony and began crawling towards Peter’s boss. “Tony! Tony, my friend! Please, let me stay here with my betrothed. I promise not to bother anyone.”
“He is,” Peter confirmed. “I think he thinks he sounds more Shakespeare when he steals words from Thor, but he doesn’t believe me when I say it just makes him sound like an old fogey.”
“Oh you!” Wade scowled at Peter. “Whiper-snappers, these days. They have no respect for their elders.”
Peter rolled his eyes. “Thanks Grandpa. But nice Doctor Banner is probably right. You should get back to the nursing home before you break a hip. The orderly, Mr. Stark, will escort you out.”
Wade flopped dramatically onto the floor and stayed there, splayed across the shiny floor. “Help,” he finally croaked, after absolutely no one had given him the time of day, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
“Yep, definitely needs the nursing home,” Peter confirmed, “let me just make sure they’re ready for you Mr. Wilson. Yes, you’re all ready to go. Now, if you could just leave the room and not return till the end of the work day, I’d much appreciate it.”
Wade leapt to his feet and flipped Peter the bird. “Fuck you and your shite diagnosis. I’m right as rain, no pain at all. Why, I’m as spry as a twenty-four year old." He pirouetted through the air before landing right next to the door.”
“See you later, sugar-bear?” Wade asked and Peter nodded.
“Hold up!” Tony exclaimed, springing from his chair. “I want to ask you a question before you go.”
“Shoot!” Wade said, “Well don’t really. Or, I guess you could? I mean, I do heal at an amazing rate, after all. I’d be just as good as new in no time at all, so it’s not really the getting shot that’s the problem. Though it is always a pain to fix my suit,” he picked at a seam on his arm that was a little loose, “So really I don’t think you should shoot me. Plus you’d probably make a mess of your pristine lab, and then you would be sad and Brucie would be sad, but more importantly, Peter would be sad, and we just cannot have that. Do you understand? So while I say you could technically shoot, I really don’t recommend it.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “Anyway, I just wanted to ask if you knew how to contact Spiderman. We’ve been trying to find him but we have no leads.”
And Jarvis wasn’t being supportive, so that probably put a damper on things.
Peter jerked a little at hearing his name (if ‘Spiderman’ can be considered a name) mentioned, but didn’t look up. He tried to act the same and be as unsuspicious as possible, but it was hard when his heart was racing a light year a minute in fear that something Wade would do or say, or an accidental reaction on Peter’s part would have his secret identity toppling to the ground in shambles.
“You want to know if me and dear old Spidey get together on the casual?” Wade asked and waggled his eyebrows. If Wade wasn’t all the way off to the side by the door Peter would have smacked him.
Tony, thankfully, only rolled his eyes. “I want to know if you know where he lives, where he goes a lot, or his phone number, assuming he has one.”
“Everyone has a cell phone,” Wade interjected snidely, and there was an unsaid, ‘Simpleton!’ attached to it.
“Ok,” Tony said slowly, “but do you have his number? Can you contact him?”
Wade was immobile for a moment before he gave a quick shake of his head and practically flew from the room, leaving a gawking Tony and Bruce, and a faux-studious Peter in his wake.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Tony said drily. “I’ll take it as a ‘yes, but don’t even think about it because you’ll never find out’.”
“Probably,” Bruce said.
Peter bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing.
He scratched his cheek and cocked his head to the side, staring at the lines of code that he’d written up. It was difficult writing programs that would be up to Tony’s standards. The man was a genius who wouldn’t take anything less than the best, and while Peter enjoyed a challenge, he always had a difficult time figuring out every nuance of a code’s possibilities that always seemed to come so easily to Tony.
“Peter?” Bruce asked and Peter raised his head.
“Huh?” he asked, though his mind wasn’t really focused on what he was saying.
“Peter!” Bruce sounded suddenly more concerned, “What’s wrong with your cheek?”
Peter blinked and tried to drag his mind away from his computer. He rubbed his cheek, and then pulled his fingers away to see that, yes, he had accidentally removed some of his foundation. Damnit!
“Uh…” Peter prevaricated, and tried to gauge how upset Bruce was. He winced. The doctor had a look on his face that Peter usually saw before he started turning green. That was never a good sign. He turned to Tony, who was looking equally murderous, but who had opted to get a better look and was at the moment striding towards Peter with a single-minded determination that made Peter want to flee. “It’s nothing,” Peter tried to insist, but soon enough Tony was upon him, and he held Peter’s chin gently even as he manually turned Peter’s head back and forth to better see the green-tinged bruise.
It actually looked a lot better now, but Peter guessed that Tony could tell even at this stage how bad it had been originally. “Peter,” Tony said slowly, “how did this happen?”
Peter winced and shrugged, but then Bruce stepped forward with his concerned eyes and Peter let out a long breath. “It’s really nothing, guys. Honestly, it’s all good. I…it was an accident. I fell down the stairs at the apartment. Nothing to worry about except me being a klutz.”
Tony narrowed his eyes. “Peter, you aren’t clumsy. I’ve never even seen you trip.”
“Then I was due for one, wasn’t I?” Peter responded in is wisest sage-voice.
Bruce frowned and wiped a finger down Peter’s cheek. He examined the foundation left on his finger. “Why are you covering it up with make-up then? If it’s nothing worth hiding, just an accident, why are you hiding it?”
Peter could feel the internalized ‘It was Wade, wasn’t it?’ but honestly, Wade would never hurt him or any other innocent, even as much as he threatened to do so and so Peter didn’t even bother getting angry about it. Instead he lied through his teeth because, hey, he could do that relatively well at this point.
“I hid it because, hello, I work around a bunch of superheroes. The Avengers are my constant companions.” He paused for dramatic effect, and then said in a quieter voice, “I didn’t want any of you thinking I’m weak.”
Bruce’s face crumpled into one of compassion and understanding, and he patted Peter’s shoulder kindly. “Peter, we would never think less of you for being human. You can always talk to us about anything.”
Peter smiled at Bruce. “Thank you, that’s nice to hear.”
A quick glance at Tony showed that he hadn’t bought it for a minute. What a suspicious old man, Peter thought kindly. At least Tony wasn’t outright calling him a liar. Yeah, he’d messed up and forgotten to not rub at that cheek, but this honestly could have turned out worse. Bruce bought it, and Tony wasn’t saying anything about the obvious lie. What more could he ask for?
I've forgotten the last few times, but I plan on posting my next chapter next Saturday or Sunday. So look for it then.
Is Peter being naive? Will Wade get a good talking to? What is that ficus really? Some of these questions might be answered next time! Stay tuned~
Chapter 18: Love Magic; in which Wade brags about crashing Amazon
“And then after work,” Wade said as he carded a hand through Peter’s hair, “the Avengers confronted me with spousal abuse.” Peter had his head pillowed on Wade’s lap, and they were relaxing in their living room after a long day.
Peter tensed. “What?”
“Yeah,” Wade laughed, “isn’t it funny? Jarvis told me to meet the Avengers in their feaky-deeky conference room, and then when I got there they were all sitting around the table staring at me, and Stevie Wonder-boy demanded to know if I’d been hitting you.”
Peter would have leapt to his feet if Wade’s fingers running through his hair hadn’t still felt relaxing and wonderful. “Excuse me?” Peter said instead, “They did what now?” He grit his teeth and staring up at Wade’s serene expression. “I’m going to give them a piece of my mind. Oh, I’m so going to kill them!”
“Well don’t give them the amygdala, or the cerebellum, or the thalamus,” he was listing them off on his fingers, “or the cerebrum, or any of the important bits, ok? You wouldn’t be my sweetie, Mr. Petey-pie if your brain was different. I’d still love you, of course, but I’d have to get to know the new you and I’m not about that life.”
Peter rolled his eyes and relaxed back into Wade’s lap. “That isn’t what I meant, and you know it. Why aren’t you more upset about this?”
Wade scoffed. “Because, Baby boy, I know I didn’t hurt you, and you know I didn’t hurt you, and we’re the important people in this relationship. Plus, they only said it because they care about you, and I know that sounds cliché and I know I’ll have to go drown this ninety’s sappy rom-com shit from my system somehow, but they just want to protect you and make sure you’re safe.”
Peter rolled his eyes and snuggled deeper into Wade’s lap. “Uh huh, sure. But then what happened?”
Wade shrugged “I convinced them that you hurt yourself falling down some stairs.”
Peter raised his eyebrows. “How did you know that that’s what I told them?”
Wade froze, and then slowly looked down into Peter’s eyes, “You told them you fell down stairs? I had no…” He paused, and a gleaming smile split his face, “I knew we had telepathic love powers! Even the heavens believe that we are meant to be and have deigned to show us how important our love is by gifting us with magic! Love magic!”
Peter blinked up at his grinning fool of a boyfriend, raised his hand to his Wade’s face and flicked him on the nose. Wade gave a little growl in response which made Peter giggle.
“They bought it?” Peter finally thought to ask. “The falling down the stairs thing, I mean. They believed you?”
Wade pouted. “I can be persuasive when I want to be.” Peter gave Wade a look. “Persuasive in non-gun ways, I mean. Yeah, they believed me! I’m a very believable guy!”
Peter sighed, “Are you sure? Tony looked pretty pissed when he saw it.”
Waded practically folded himself in half in order to press a warm kiss to the middle of Peter’s forehead. “Darling, they were angry because they were afraid someone was hurting you. They questioned me merely as a formaility. I know real hostility, baby-cheeks. Don’t forget that I worked for unscrupulous people as an assassin (emphasis on the ass) for a long time. And they weren’t being hostile towards me at all. Natasha only had one gun drawn, and no one was green or affecting the weather. You know, for a boy genius, science prodigy guy you sure can be dumb sometimes.”
“Mmmmm, I don’t know about that,” Peter said, “but I’m willing to forget it if you set up Mario Kart.”
Wade made a face and the contortion pulled his scars, scrunching them up in places. He carefully upended Peter so he could get to the TV.
“You know, I don’t have to do this every time. I know you know perfectly well how to do this, and you know I know you know how to do this, so why keep of this pretense every time you need to hook up the Wii?”
Peter gazed at the serene view of Wade bent over the console. “Your butt looks fantastic from this angle.”
Wade wiggled it around a little and snorted before standing and holding the controller out to Peter.
Peter snatched the controller out of Wade’s hand, “I get to be Bowser this time!”
Wade rolled his shoulders and flopped down next to Peter. “That’s fine with me baby-face. I’ve got Peach, and she’s prettier than you, so there.”
“Bowser-me, or me-me?”
There was a pause as Wade thought, and Peter put down his controller in order to better cross his arms and glare in faux-anger at his fiancé. “Uhhhhhhh,” Wade murmered, and then shrugged. “Both, I guess.”
Peter harrumphed. “How can I possibly compete with a flouncy blonde who can pull off that shade of pink?”
Wade scooted closer to Peter and leaned over to nuzzle his neck. “I was only kidding. My Peter-piper is the sexiest most hottest person ever, even when he is Bowser, and no way that frou-frou Peach (may she forever be loved) can ever compete with him.”
Peter tried to keep glaring, but he couldn’t hold back the smile that was threatening to grow on his cheeks.
“Ah!” Wade exclaimed, and grabbed his phone off the end table. “I know what will cheer you up!”
Peter leaned across Wade’s lap to see what Wade was doing and scoffed. “Wade, why are you calling me? I’m sitting right—”
“And Sugar, we’re going down Swinging!” Sang out from Peter’s pocket and he gaped.
“Wade! Did you change my ringtone again?” Peter pulled his phone out and swiped to dismiss the call.
Wade nodded eagerly. “Yeah! Don’t you love it? I was getting tired of Fergie (I know that’s sacrilegious, please don’t kill me). And plus, this one is so much funner!”
Peter blinked and turned over his phone, as if an examination of it would reveal all of the knowledge Peter wished to know. “When did you do it? It was My Humps at work. I haven’t taken it out of my pockets since then. How did you do it?”
“Get it? ‘Sugar, we’re going down swinging!’ Because you swing! From a web!” He tossed his own phone across the room where it smacked into a photograph of the couple from when they’d met years ago. “Ahhhhhhh! I’m so clever!”
Peter glared at the offending rectangle of technology since it had not, in fact, answered any of his questions. “That’s nice dear,” he said absent mindedly to Wade, “but how did you get it long enough to make that change. I’ve been—it’s been in my pocket—how?”
Wade waved off Peter’s inquiries. “I considered ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ but thought that was too obvious. I tried googling other songs but… meh, I got bored and ended up buying out Amazon’s stock of floral oven mitts. Boy! That was an adventure.”
Peter stuck his phone back in his pocket, then pulled it out again, looked at it, and stuffed it back into his pocket. “Maybe I left it out when I went to the bathroom?” he muttered to himself, but then he shook his head, “no, I remember playing crossy road…”
“Did you know that you can get oven mitts with daffodils and plum blossoms on them? I mean, the same oven mitt? Well, you can’t, not anymore, since I bought them all. But then, you shouldn’t buy them anyway because I bought all of them so you can just borrow one of mine. But you have to ask first, alright? None of that, because it’s yours its mine bullshit around here. Nuh-uh!”
“Or maybe you’re brushing up on your spy skills and nicked it from my pocket while you were petting my hair!” Peter accused Wade (not that Wade noticed), but then shook his head again. “But why didn’t I feel it? These aren’t exactly a loose pair of pants.”
“Nah, I’m just joking, I’ll let you have a pair. It’s the least I can do, since I ordered them in your name. Not your credit card, don’t worry, I know you’re broke, but they banned me from having an account after I had three thousand gallons of candy corn gift-wrapped and sent to myself.” He sighed in contentment. “That was a wonderful Easter.” He shook himself and frowned. “What were we talking about?”
The question jolted Peter from his reverie and he blinked a few times to better focus himself in the present. “I’m not sure.” He threw his hands in the air. “I give up! Let’s just,” he sighed, “not worry about it. Screw Mario Kart.” He lifted his arms above him like a toddler who wanted to be picked up would. “Take me to bed.”
Wade jumped to his feet, gave a little salute, and effortlessly picked Peter up into a bridal-style hold. “Anything you say, Mr. Parker. Anything at all.”
Peter giggled a little and wrapped his arms around Wade’s neck. “Oh Mr. Wilson, you are such a flirt. It’s a good thing I love—wait! How many oven mitts did you say you bought?!”
Next chapter should be up next Saturday or Sunday. See you then!
Chapter 19: History Lesson; in which Jarvis is a god
The fluff is done! (No it's not) Now coming, Drama!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The problem with everyone accepting Spiderman as a not-awful person and Wade and Peter finally being able to relax, was that Peter’s discretion and common sense flew right out the window. Zhoom! There it went! Wave at it as it goes.
It should come as no surprise now, given this fact, that Peter was perhaps not thinking too clearly, lucidly one might say, a few days later when a fight took place in lower Midtown. Spidey fought alongside the Avengers, and miracle of miracles (that everyone saw coming) working together made the fight finish all the quicker and soon their foe was defeated, their adrenaline was still pumping, and for some reason the Avengers all took off in separate directions to do god knows what because Peter wasn’t paying very much attention to anything that wasn’t the gorgeous, katana-wielding man that was his fiancé.
And it didn’t help that Wade couldn’t keep his eyes off of Peter either, and his hands were only barely avoiding running up and down Peter’s body.
Adrenaline pumping and the excuse of a celebration for defeating that day’s baddy (who it was, neither could have honestly answered at the moment), Wade decided very vocally that they both deserved a roll in the hay, and Peter, as far gone as he was, only had the added clause that they not do the do on a roof this time, especially their apartment roof. (The thoughts of Spiderman and Deadpool being arrested for public indecency had haunted him since it had first occurred to him, so a private residence would have to do).
But their apartment was sooooo, far awaaaaay, (Wade complained as Peter swung him through the city, Wade’s hard-on digging into Peter’s back uncomfortably), so Peter made the awful, awful, awful decision to land at Avengers’ Tower.
“This is probably an awful idea,” Peter muttered as he slinked across the landing pad towards the door to the Avengers common area with Wade still on his back.
“Probably,” Wade agreed in a breathless voice that made Peter shudder in anticipation, and he jumped to the floor, “but all of the Avengers took off, remember. For once, this place is empty, and this is the one place we know they won’t be.”
“I honestly don’t even care,” Peter said, a little giddily, and began leading Wade through the room and into the elevator in order for them to go to Wade’s rooms.
“What floor, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Parker?” Jarvis asked once the elevator doors had closed.
Peter, much to his later chagrin, squeaked. “Excuse me?” He checked his face to make sure his mask was still on, and it was. He turned to Wade, but Wade looked just as stunned as Peter felt (again, how that man could convey such emotions through his mask Peter had no idea).
“What floor would you prefer?” Jarvis asked, and then in a slier tone, “I suppose Mr. Wilson’s?”
Wade cleared his throat awkwardly and tried to speak but nothing came out. Peter jabbed him in the stomach hoping that that would spur him on, but still nothing came out. It wasn’t like Peter knew what to say, and Wade usually had the talking bit covered. Honestly, most of the time he couldn’t shut up. Why’d he have to go mute now?
The elevator began to move.
“How did you know?” Peter finally asked, and tugged town on his mask despite the fact that it was fastened securely already. Someone had to do the talking, and Wade was still incommunicado, so Peter did what he had to. He could yell at Wade about it later.
“I’ve always known,” Jarvis stated calmly, and Peter squeaked again. “What I mean to say,” Jarvis continued in a kinder voice, “is that it was impossible for me not to notice. All new employees are scanned and researched by me to make sure they are in no way dangerous to Sir or Miss Potts. I also have a… let us say, connection to SHIELD’s database. There are several indicators that Mr. Parker is Spiderman, including your body movements, as recorded on surveillance cameras scanned by SHIELD, and your method of speech. As I am programmed to notice such similarities in order to help Sir with his work both with Stark Industries and the Avengers, it would have been impossible for me to not notice.” He paused a moment and then said, “I did not alert Sir, as I did not feel that the information was relevant.”
Peter’s fingers fluttered against his chest as he tried to slow his heartbeat. A quick look at Wade showed that his fiancé found Jarvis’s knowledge impressive as he was wearing his ‘that’s impressive’ face which constituted him gaping at the ceiling in wonder. At least Peter wouldn’t have to convince the ex-merc not to commit robot-icide. Impressed was much better than angry.
“Uh…Thank you?” Peter said to the all-knowing voice in the sky. Ceiling. Whatever.
“My pleasure, Mr. Parker,” Jarvis said, and then the elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open. “Please enjoy the rest of the day, and congratulations on your victory this morning.”
Peter blinked a few times and slowly backed out of the room. Wade scurried behind him.
“Thanks?” Peter said again, and his voice held a questioning tone. With a whirring that Peter had learned to interpret as a ‘hmmm,’ or a ‘very good,’ the doors closed and Peter was left alone with Wade once more.
They stared at the door another moment and then at each other, and seeing the frozen looks of shock on the other’s face, they both burst out laughing.
“What just happened?” Peter demanded through his giggles.
“I don’t know—I think Jarvis likes me!”
“What?” Peter snorted and punched Wade’s arm, “You know what never mind. I just, he knew this entire time!”
Wade grabbed hold of Peter’s hand and pulled him down the hall and into the unused living area. “Jarvis is magical,” Wade explained slowly, “He is the god of a small island off the coast of Russia—”
“Isn't Russia's coast, like, almost always frozen over?” Peter interrupted, but Wade was already talking over him.
“—He runs the economy and makes sure that everyone there is happy, married to the person they love, and own at least three Water Buffalos. In the seventeen hundreds—”
“Seventeen hundreds?!” Peter exclaimed. “Wade, Jarvis was created in the past, like, two, three decades at the most.”
“—he immigrated to the United States where he started a trade route with some time-traveling Vikings and won the civil war single-handedly by possessing both General Lee and General Grant.”
“I…” Peter frowned, “you didn’t pass history class did you? This isn’t even a ramble to ramble, or a rant to rant, this is a rambling of complete nonsense. Wade, why are you—”
“Shhhhhhhhhh!” Wade pressed his index finger to his lips. When Peter had fallen silent he continued, “Since then he’s been roaming the world, helping lost causes and bringing villains to justice, all in search of the man who’d killed his father.”
“WHAT?” Peter threw his arms up. “This is a plot point that was never mentioned before! Wade, I like the story, but you can’t just throw things in like this! Jarvis’s father? I didn’t even know he had a—OOHHHHHH!!! You don’t mean Tony do you?”
Wade waggled his eyebrows.
“But wait!” Peter exclaimed before Wade had had a time to start again, “Tony’s dead?”
“Or is he?” Wade asked in his mysterious voice (which was one notch above his extra-gravelly, sinister voice). “Anyway, Jarvis roamed the world looking for the man who’d murdered his father in cold blood, but also bringing together lovers who were fated to be separated forever. He wandered until he found Stark Industries. A lead told him that his father’s murderer worked there. He went undercover as a computer and searched day and night for the man only to find his father instead! Whole and alive! He discovered that his father had never really died, but had gotten…amnesia! Now he continues working undercover, trying to bring his father joy, all without telling his father who he really is, or who his father used to be. Now he bides his time, enjoying his life, and takes pleasure in surprising his friends with his extraordinary knowledge and bringing together lovers OhMyGod!” The pitch of Wade’s tone increased and his words started to slur together in excitement. “Jarvis is the one who gave us our love telepathy powers! Peter, Jarvis is our guardian god angel person! He watches over us and makes sure—”
Peter cut Wade off with a kiss. He pulled back slightly to lift up the edge of his mask and pulled Wade’s up over his nose as well. “Shut up,” he moaned and pushed Wade backwards before descending on his mouth again. Wade took the initiative to begin running his fingers up and down Peter’s torso.
“Sirs?” Jarvis asked, his voice sounding slightly nervous. “If I might recommend perhaps postponing this liaison until a further time?”
It took a moment for Peter’s mind to process what had just been said, but when it finished Peter blinked and pulled back from Wade to look at the ceiling. Wade lowered his lip to Peter’s jaw and Peter had to concentrate very, very hard on making a sentence in order to respond to Jarvis. He only partially succeeded.
“Ummmm, what’s going on J?”
“Please Mr. Parker, Mr. Wilson. I believe it for the best if you transfer to another location.”
Peter stepped back from Wade to give them both space to think more clearly, but Wade followed, and continued his assault up Peter’s jaw and to the side of Peter’s neck. Peter’s eyes fluttered closed for a second before he forced them open again. Jarvis sounded worried.
“Ok, Jarvis,” Peter said breathlessly, and grabbed Wade’s hands so he could push them away and hold them there. The mouth he would just have to try to dodge.
Wade made a low keening noise in the back of his throat, and tried to suction his face to Peter’s again, but this time Peter ducked out of the way. “Whhhyyyyyy?” Wade whined, and tried again, only to meet similar results.
“Because, Sirs,” Jarvis said in an exasperated tone, “I do not think it prudent for you to meet—”
Jarvis cut himself off as the sound of the elevator doors opening echoed down the hall, and Steve’s voice followed. “Deadpool! You better be in here. We’ve been looking everywhere for you. Do you know how to contact Spiderman? I want to—” Steve stopped short as he turned the corner to see Peter and Wade standing before him. They had sprung apart as soon as they’d heard Steve’s voice, but their rumpled clothing and the line of hickies trailing down Peter’s neck made it obvious what had been going on. Steve’s mouth closed with a click, and when he spoke again his voice was icy. “I see that you know exactly where Spiderman is.”
I'm sorry about the ending. ;3
On the other hand. There are only going to be 21 chapters, I believe, so the end is nigh.
I keep accidentally writing this other fanfic in my free time instead of this one, but I do promise that next chapter will come out next Sunday or Monday~
Chapter 20: Indestructible; in which Peter learns a valuable lesson on anger management
WARNING: THIS CHAPTER ENDS IN A CLIFFHANGER
But that's not really news, is it?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Steve’s voice was still ringing ominously in Peter’s ears as he realized that Steve wasn’t the only one to be joining them this afternoon.
“What’s going on down there?” Tony’s voice echoed up, and Peter hastily tugged his mask all the way down before the rest of the Avengers stumbled into the room, coming to a halt behind Mr. America Angry-Pants.
Peter’s shoulders slumped and he muttered “Why does this keep happening?” to Wade out of the corner of his mouth. Wade shrugged and took a step farther away as Natasha reached for her gun.
“Not again,” Peter groaned, and considered once more fleeing for his life.
Thor stepped forward with a morose expression on his face. “Wade. Friend. I—you promised to not squander your relationship once more.”
Wade, for the second time that day, drew silent, and Peter decided to cut this off at the head.
“Ok guys,” he put he hands out in a placating gesture, “I promise this is not as bad as it looks. See, the funny thing is—”
“THERE IS NOTHING FUNNY,” Thor roared, turning on Peter, “ABOUT COMMITTING ADULTERY! HOW DARE YOU?” A crash of thunder shook the building and Peter took an involuntary step back.
“Woah!” Wade said, stepping forward, “don’t take this out on him!”
At the same time, Peter said, “We don’t deserve this shit.”
“Oh,” Thor said, a dark expression clouding his features, “you do deserve our ire. You have lied to us time and again, and you have betrayed the sweet young thing whom we have vowed to protect! He might, at this moment, be awaiting your return, and here you are, ruining the sanctity of your relationship!”
Peter squared his shoulders. “If you would just let me explain!”
This time Natasha stepped forward, and her expression was compassionate, her arms were held out as one might to a piteous crying creature, Peter wanted to break down at how ridiculous this all was. Jarvis had accepted who he was, maybe the Avengers would too. If only he was given the chance to tell them. “Spiderman,” she said softly, and stepped forward again, “I know you think you love him, and I know you think he loves you too, but the mistress always thinks her lover will leave his wife, and he never does.”
“Yeah,” Tony exclaimed with a snarling expression, and for the first time Peter noticed that they were all cleaned and dressed in their civilian clothing. “Only neither the mistress nor the wife deserve the slimeball they’re both somehow attached to.”
“Hey!” Pete shouted, because 1) he was not a mistress, thank you very much, and 2) Wade was not a slimeball.
“Please,” Bruce said, kindly, “Spidey, the Hulk likes you, Natasha likes you. We know you aren’t a bad guy, but this isn’t good.”
“If I could just explain!” Peter said again, he turned to Clint who was standing silent and was the only one who hadn’t spoken yet. “Cl—Hawkeye! Help me out here.”
Clint mimed zipping his mouth shut, locking it, throwing away the key, and then shook his head. Then he miraculously broke the lock and the zipper with just the strength of his lips, and said, “You had a point with the thing about me not giving you a second chance, and don’t get me wrong, I totally regret shooting arrows at you, but you had your second chance and you blew it.” He made a tsking noise and Peter debated the merits of webbing his mouth shut permanently.
“We can help you out, Spidey,” Natasha offered, nice and slow, “help you get away from this guy. Deadpool is not good for you any more than he is for his fiancé.”
Peter groaned, loudly, in defiance of everything that was happening. “Shut up,” he moaned, “before you guys say something you will regret when I finally explain!”
“Speaking of Deadpool not being good,” Steve said, and his tone was still ice cold, “I think it’s time that we talk about your place among the Avengers, Deadpool. This is not the sort of thing we condone—”
“Let me talk!” Peter screamed. “It’s me! You don’t have to be pissed at Wade because he’s not cheating because—”
“Excuses!” Steve said stonily. “These are all excuses. As much as you’re saying you haven’t done anything wrong, you and I both know that’s not true. Deadpool has betrayed more than one trust with his misdeeds, and we cannot condone that!”
Out of the corner of Peter’s eye he could see how Wade’s shoulders had slumped in defeat and resignation, and Peter cracked. How dare he hurt Wade like that? How dare he?
With an inhuman growl Peter leapt at Steve, his right arm swinging forward in a feigned punch, one which Steve dodged, which left the captain wide open for Peter’s left hook which connected with Steve’s cheekbone with a sickening crack. The crack had, awkwardly, come from Peter’s hand and not Steve’s face, which still looked as pristine, if more pissed, than usual.
Peter’s sudden bout of anger left him as Thor lifted him by the throat and held him there, feet dangling in mid-air.
“That was very stupid,” Peter scolded himself, and he hooked his right hand over Thor’s, which was not tight enough around his neck to cause serious pain, in order to gain better leverage. The other hand, his left one, he shook out a little and winced as a shock of pain went through it.
“Yes it was,” Steve said darkly and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Hey now,” Wade said, and his tone held that wily quality that he always used when he was trying to weasel himself (or Peter in this case) out of something, “why don’t we just put the itty bitty spider down and talk about this like adults, huh?”
“I don’t know,” Tony said, “if we let him down he might start punching us all in the face,” at the same time that Peter said, “Really, Wade? Itty Bitty? I’m not that small.”
There was an awkward moment where no one spoke, and Peter, for all that he was still hanging at least a foot off the floor, thought that he would finally be able to just tell them and then he could deal with the awkwardness of people realizing that he was Spiderman, rather than the awkwardness of people hating on his boyfriend because he hadn’t been able to just own up earlier and reveal himself. But, as was his luck, that moment was yanked away from him by Bruce saying, “I actually think I agree with Wade about this for once in my life. Why don’t we all just calm down and talk about this. No more yelling,” he turned to Thor, “no more punching,” he glared at Spidey, “and no more making wild accusations without using our inside voices,” he looked each person in the eye individually, “then I think we can get through this in a more dignified manner.”
“I like him,” Wade muttered to Peter, but definitely loud enough for everyone to hear.
Peter rolled his eyes. “Obviously. But I like him too. He’s pretty chill.” Peter looked down at Thor and sighed when he saw that Thor’s expression was just as stony as ever. “Look, I’m sorry for trying, and succeeding, to punch your leader in the face. Trust me, I already regret it. My emotions were running high, words were said, there was yelling, I’m sorry. Don’t you think you could let me down? I promise to behave this time. Please? Of all days, today, the day of your daughter’s wedding—”
Clint snorted and then immediately tried to compose his face back into a serious expression, but Peter couldn’t help but notice the corners of his mouth quirking in mirth.
“My daughter’s wedding?” Thor questioned, and lowered his hand slowly, allowing Peter to stand on his feet. He released his neck and recrossed his arms. “I do not have a daughter.”
“As far as you know,” Wade and Tony said at the same time, and Tony shot a glare at Wade who was smiling gleefully in Tony’s direction.
Peter smiled and tried to stretch his hand in an inconspicuous manner, but winced as pain shot through it. He tried to massage it, working the kinks out, but through his glove he wasn’t able to see how bad it was. He glanced up in time to see Wade’s smile drop.
“Babe,” Wade said, all serious, and stepped forward to take Peter’s hand in his. Peter winced again as Wade tried to feel if any of the bones were broken. “What did you do to your hand?”
Peter rolled his eyes. “You saw exactly what I did, you idiot.”
“You’re the idiot for trying to help me out by punching Captain America.”
Peter winced this time, in non-pain. “Do you think it’s broken?”
“Oh my god,” Tony said, in quiet awe, “Deadpool is comforting Spiderman about a hand he possibly broke punching Captain America while standing in my tower.”
“Right?” Peter asked, “That’s pretty much what I’m like all of the time. Like, woah! I just got picked up by Thor, after getting verbally smacked down by Hawkeye, and coddled by Black Widow, punching Captain America in the face in Iron Man’s Tower. And fricken Bruce Banner played referee! How sweet is that?”
“That’s…” Natasha said slowly, “not the reaction I was expecting.”
Poor Natasha. Poor Peter's hand. Poor everyone. Poor you guys for getting another cliffhanger. Though I did warn you, so...
In other news, I just saw The Proposal, with Ryan Reynolds, and felt this deep desire for a Spideypool fic. But, I'm not sure how that would work? I can't imagine Peter Parker playing Sandra Bullock's character, but if he's Ryan Reynold's character than I'd be changing the character of the person who is already Wade? And I'm not sure Wade would be able to be Sandra Bullock's character either. I just don't know. Ryan Reynolds tho...
Anyway. The next chapter should be out next Monday or Tuesday. And that's it! One more chapter to go!
Chapter 21: Metacarpals; in which Pepper is the only intelligent super hero in the world
I know you guys have waited a long time for this. It's been a long while, and we've been to hell and back together. Yes, I'm being melodramatic, shut up about it. Anyway, here's the last chapter of Homewrecker. I hope it holds up to all of your standards. Enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Wade was intently observing Peter’s hand, curling and uncurling his fingers and twisting it this way and that, seeing which movement caused which reaction to see what was damaged.
“How bad is it?” Peter asked.
“As much as I’m curious to see if you actually broke your hand trying to break my face, I think we need to talk about,” Steve paused in consternation, “everything.”
“Yes!” Peter exclaimed, “I’m going to tell you, once and for all that—”
Wade clamped a hand down over Peter’s mouth. “Nothing. Nothing at all. Spidey is just a little crazy about all these emotions. You know how spiders get stressed when they’re faced with too many situations all at the same time.”
Natasha cleared her throat.
“Except the lady spiders?” Wade questioned. “Sure, yeah, sounds good. Baby boy spiders are sexy—” he slapped himself on the cheek, “I mean dumb, wait, emotional? I’m not sure what I was trying to say anymore.”
Peter pealed Wade’s hand from his face. “I have no fucking clue, you ungrateful idiot. I’m trying to help us out here.”
“What could you possibly say that would help in this situation?” Tony asked in all his snarky glory.
Wade ignored him entirely. “I’m pretty sure I told you I could deal with it. No need to—” he laughed nervously, “—say anything crazy.”
“Crazy like what?” Tony demanded, and when no one deigned to answer said, “No seriously, what the fuck is going on?”
Peter glared up into Wade’s face, trying to silently alert his significant other to the fact that said significant other was being an idiot and should just let Peter do the thing. Wade was glaring similarly down at Peter trying, no doubt, to convey that they really didn’t have to reveal themselves, that despite the actual impossibility of any happiness being derived from this awful miscommunication, everything would all work out for the better. Peter glared harder.
“Someone’s got to start talking,” Bruce instructed, “before the rest of us blow up.”
“Jarvis is fine with it!” Peter exclaimed, poking Wade in the chest.
“Jarvis is fine with what?” Tony questioned. “Jarvis? Jarvis answer me!”
“No, Sir,” Jarvis stated with the minutest hint of mirth.
“Jarvis?” There was no answer.
“Clint,” Natasha said, turning to the archer, “Do you know what’s going on?”
Clint shook his head. “You?”
“Jarvis is a magical love robot,” Wade explained to Peter, “it’s in his programming to be accepting.”
With the hand not still being massaged by Wade, Peter pointed at Thor, “That one’s a god too! If it makes you feel better, we can flesh it out with him first, since apparently being a god is the only prerequisite to…you know… saying stuff.”
Steve leaned over to Thor, “Do you know what is happening?”
Thor shook his head, “Nay.”
Wade threw his hands up in the air. “Thor’s not a love god!”
“Well why not Clint? He’s pretty lovable!” Peter demanded.
“Aww shucks,” Clint deadpanned from across the room.
“Being lovable does not mean one is a love god!” Wade sounded scandalized. “Being a love god means that you fight for justice and happiness, and you do whatever you must in order to bring on that occurrence.”
Peter glared at Wade for a moment before slowly pointing at Steve. The both turned to face the suddenly confused superhero. “Oh my god,” Wade said slowly and reverently, and let go of Peter’s hand to kneel in front of Steve. “He is a love god! Jarvis! I have found another one of you!” He bowed his head down to the floor and tried to kiss Steve’s feet, but the man stumbled backwards out of the way of Wade’s uncovered lips. “Please, Love god, tell us what we must do?”
Steve whipped his head back and forth, trying to find an answer to what was going on. Or possibly an exit.
“Please!” Wade bowed down again. “Love god! We will let you decide what course we should take.”
“I…” Steve straightened his shoulders, “What are my options?”
Wade opened his mouth, realized that revealing the options would actually just be choosing an option, and rolled to the floor in a slump. “I hate everything!” Wade moaned.
“Hah! I win!” Peter clapped his hands together, and then winced as his bones rubbed together in ways that were not supposed to happen.
Wade was on his feet and gently cradling Peter’s injured hand in a split-second. He softly pulled the glove from Peter’s hand and began once more began softly poking and prodding at the hand to see if he could find where the break was. He pulled at the joints, and was right in the middle of curling Peter’s fingers when Tony let out a confused, “What is that?”
Peter and Wade both turned to face the man, only for the others to also make various noises of surprise and confusion.
“Is that a wedding ring?” Clint demanded.
Peter and Wade glanced down at his left hand, uncovered, and held before them. Peter was split between dying of embarrassment that he’d forgotten he was wearing his engagement ring, and glee that he’d won for realz, and now he would have no choice but to reveal himself, and as much as he would have loved to stay inconspicuous and safe, being able to have, like, six other people in the know would be a weight off his shoulders. If they didn’t kill him, that is.
“Is that what you meant when you said he wasn’t the only one cheating?” Steve demanded. “You also have a significant other that you’ve been cheating on?”
Peter let out a long moan. “I hate everything.”
“Tony?” a voice called out from the hall, and everyone drew silent. Only the clicking of heels on tile echoed up through the hall. Tony gulped.
Pepper walked into the room, and came to a dead stop at the sight that met her. In true Pepper fashion she merely held out a clipboard to Tony (which he took), and said, “You’ve got a meeting with the board at three, a socialite claims you’re her baby daddy, PR wants to talk to you about the thing with Magneto and the orange slime,” she let out a long sigh and finally pointed at where Peter and Wade were standing, “and why is Peter dressed as Spiderman?”
Peter couldn’t do anything but shake his head in resignation and make an undignified noise. Of course it would be Pepper who figured it all out.
Clint pointed at Peter. “That’s not Peter dressed as Spiderman. That’s actually Spiderman.”
Pepper scoffed. “Don’t think you can get one over on me, boys. I recognize his engagement ring.” She paused before sighing dramatically. “And his voice.” Then, turning to Peter and Wade she said, “And really you guys, I didn’t think I’d have to warn you about not making out on company time, but I’ll do it if I have to.”
Peter scratched the back of his head, and said the only thing he could think of. “Sorry Pepper. Won’t happen again.”
Wade nodded solemnly. “Cross our hearts.” He drew an X across his chest.
Tony dropped the clipboard.
“Peter?” Bruce asked in a strangled voice, and Peter finally, finally, removed his mask.
He waved a little awkwardly. “Uh, hmm, well,” he cleared this throat and rocked back on his heels, “Hey, guys.”
Clint had gone dead pale. “I almost killed Peter,” he mumbled, “I was shooting at Peter.”
Thor was gazing at the yellowing bruise on Peter’s cheek. He stepped forward, a regretful expression on his face. “I apologize most aggressively for my unfortunate actions towards you.” He gestured at the bruise.
Clint’s eyes were wide, and he couldn’t keep his eyes off the Peter that was standing unfortunately in his Spiderman suit. “I almost killed you. Peter, I almost killed you!”
Peter shrugged. “I know that, you know that, we learned a lesson, and now everything is A-ok… unless one of you murders me for being Spidey and not saying anything.
Natasha was frowning horribly. “You’ve been Peter the whole time?” She demanded.
Peter nodded. “I mean, I was born Peter, but I’ve been Spiderman this whole time too. I’m the only one, as far as I know.”
Pepper stepped forward, now a little unsure. “What’s going on?”
Wade sauntered towards her and said in his sweetest tone, “Your intern is secretly Spiderman and Captain America just broke his hand.”
“Steve!” Pepper looked ready to hurl someone through a wall. Her head whipped around so she could stare Steve in the eyes, but the intelligent Captain America was already backing away, shaking his head and waving his hands back and forth.
“No! I swear I didn’t do it on purpose. I’ve just got very strong cheekbones,” he tried to explain to the enraged redhead.
“I’m more concerned with the fact that this little tidbit didn’t come up the last time we caught you,” Clint said, somehow refocusing his renewed guilt into finding answers instead of doing something less productive like drinking away his misery.
“Ah yes,” Peter prevaricated, “about that…I blame Wade!” He pointed a finger at this boyfriend who huffed in mock-indignation.
Natasha raised an imposing eyebrow and Peter backtracked.
“What I mean to say, is that when you guys caught us the first time I thought the secret was out. I thought it was obvious that Spiderman and Peter Parker were interchangeable because kissing-Wade reasons, and the sass, and the voice, but then you guys pulled a plot twist and went off about infidelity and being a good person and whatever.”
A light blush dusted over Steve’s cheeks and he lowered his head in embarrassment.
“And you guys were tearing Wade a new one and I was not about that life, but Wade said he had a plan so I let it go thinking it would be a smart one,” he glared at his boyfriend who stuck out his tongue at him.
“It was a good plan,” Wade insisted.
Peter shook his head. “But then, I later find out, the plan was just to let you all blame him so I could keep my secret identity. The protective little shit made me feel guilty for wanting to tell the truth because he looked so god-damned happy to be helping me out. With his puppy dog eyes, and his quivering lip syndrome. Damn you, Wade.”
“To hell and back, sweetcakes.”
Pepper stepped forward, having followed the conversation pretty well for someone who’d missed most of the drama. “So you just continued lying through omission—”
“And being treated like crap,” Natasha added.
“—just so your boyfriend would feel happy he was able to help?” Pepper finished.
Peter nodded and the women groaned. “Men are idiots,” Pepper declared, and Natasha nodded in agreement.
Peter shrugged, and in a faux whisper added, “And maybe he was scared that if my identity got out I’d freak out and up and run or something.”
Wade slapped the back of Peter’s head, but then pulled him in for a close hug.
“And then!” Peter continued, because this next part still made Peter angry, “Then you guys wouldn’t even let me explain! Like, I kept saying you didn’t get it, but you wouldn’t let me talk!”
Steve coughed into his fist. “I apologize for that.”
Peter nodded solemnly. “Damn straight.”
Wade clicked his tongue. “Shame on you. You shouldn’t disrespect your elders like that.”
“Shut up Wade.” Peter turned once more to the mostly silent group of Superheroes (Pepper included, that woman was amazing) and sighed. “But now I’m just…tired. Thank you, Pepper, for recognizing me, ‘cause all I wanna do is be able to make out with my fiancé after a fight, like we used to, and maybe have some friends who know who I am and don’t freak when I run out on them to fight a baddie. Hopefully that will be because you guys are also fighting the baddie with me. So, please, let bygones be bygones? Please? I’ll understand if you don’t want to, because I’ve been lying to you, but—”
“Duh,” Tony exclaimed, and Clint was nodding emphatically behind him. “It’ll be nice to know I can trust another guy on the field.”
“We’d be honored,” Steve said solemnly, “if you would continue being our friend. We haven’t exactly done the best job recently, but we promise to get better.”
“And I would apologize to you both,” Thor sounded too solemn, but thankfully Wade patted him on the back which brought a small smile to his lips. “I acted without thinking, but I hope you can forgive me.”
“And me,” Clint grimaced.
Peter cracked a large smile, and stepped closer so he could hang his probably broken hand over Wade’s shoulder. “Of course guys. What are friends for?”
Ok, first of all I'd like to thank each and every one of you for reading this creation of mine, and for being super awesome and understanding of everything. Your support has made writing this a dream. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better audience.
I would also like to do a single shout-out to Dragmir, who called literally every single one of my plot twists back in Chapter 12 and I am so pissed about it! Like, really excited, because how does that even happen? Time travel? This is what the comment was: "I'm not sure how I would want this resolved in the end of the Story (which I hope isn't coming any time soon!!), do I want Wade to find out they hurt Peter and fly off the handle at the avengers? Do I want the Avengers to assume the reason Peter flinched is because Wade hits him? Do I want someone to recognize Peter while he's Spiderman by his voice or something? Do I want Spidey and Deadpool to be making out after a battle and the avengers think they're cheating on their fiancés?" Like, that is literally everything that I had planned to happen in my story and I'm so angry/ecstatic, and I couldn't say anything about it back in Chapter 12, because, well, spoilers but I wanted to so bad. And now I can. So, props!
In my head somewhere I have this wavy idea of a prequel that shows how Peter and Wade met, but nothing solid is forming. I also have, like, those one-shots, which I'll probably start uploading soon. I already have the first chapter mostly written (It's surprisingly long, for me), so I'll upload that, like, next Monday/Tuesday, but after that it will probably be way more sporadically uploaded than this fic because each chapter will be able to exist independently of one another. And I have this other fic I want to write too, with Clint, because I feel bad about making him the bad guy here...
Anyway, what I meant to say, was Thank You All for being really, really awesome, and assure you that if you want more Petey and Wade, there will be more at some point. <3