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Listen With Your Eyes

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The second Wade developed his own consciousness and was able to speak when he was little, his first word was “Peter” and he had this agonizing urge to search for him. Wade’s parents thought there was something wrong with him, and the doctor reluctantly suggested that their little boy could have had a past life. Unfortunately, in this universe, there was no such thing as a Peter Parker in the past, and this case wasn’t serious enough to get the officials involved in some sort of manhunt. So the parents and his doctor concluded that Wade just had a vivid imagination. None of it was real.

Wade grew up feeling hopeless to the point where he began questioning his own sanity. The memories he had of Peter were beginning to get blurry, and he couldn’t tell if these were made up or not. After all, it’s easy to manipulate memory.

So Wade moved on and lived his life. He eventually forgot about Peter and focused on himself; Compared to his supposed past life, he had a good thing going here. No cancer, no neglectful parents--Wade was happy. He got good grades from elementary school to college, and he was planning on becoming a firefighter. He met a girl whom he’d been dating for four years and even pondered the idea of marrying her one day.

Everything was going smoothly--until now.

On his way to class, Wade jogged up the dreadful stairs with his books tucked under one arm while he was texting his girlfriend with his other hand.

Vanessa: My parents want you over for dinner tonight. Can you make it?

Wade: Of course I can.

Vanessa: We can always eat at your place if you want.

While Wade was in the middle of replying, someone bumped into him. He stumbled backwards, dropping his books but he caught the rail in time. The person that ran into him tripped foward, facing a deadly fate with the concrete stairs below, so Wade acted quickly and grabbed their arm. He swung them around and threw them back where they came; they landed on their butt at the top of the stairs with a painful grunt.

Wade quickly trotted down the stairs to retrieve his books and ran back up to check on the person who was still on the ground.

“Watch where you’re going next t--” Wade abruptly stopped walking. The person on the ground looked oddly familiar. Messy brown wavy hair. Freckles. Thick rimmed glasses. No, Wade thought, it can’t be. The young man winced at the pain in his lower back and looked up apologetically.

Wade gasped and dropped his books to point at him. “Peter?”

Peter frantically stood up and backed away, showing clear signs that he didn’t know Wade at all. The brunet looked apologetic and made a gesture with his hands, he tried to speak but his voice came out in pieces at a time. Wade furrowed his brows and confusion and watched Peter repeat the gesture--he pointed at his chest and then put his index finger from his ear to his mouth.

Peter was deaf...and Wade didn’t know how to sign.

 -

Vanessa kept eyeing Wade suspiciously as they ate at the dinner table. She was chewing her thoughts carefully, keeping in mind that Wade disliked it when she nagged--because once she’d start she’d never stop. Her parents on the other hand, were oblivious to the odd atmosphere--laughing away at what happened with their day earlier. Wade just sat there with food lodged in his cheek, staring hard at his meatloaf with furrowed brows.

Peter is real, Wade kept chanting in his head. The Peter Parker.

After Peter made it clear that he was deaf, he brush past Wade at an incredible speed, leaving the blonde there, frozen and dumbfounded. Peter reincarnated oblivious to Wade’s existence and was deaf. It’s like the universe doesn’t want us together, Wade thought. But he realized it was better than one of them being a helpless ghost. In the world before this one, Wade was a ghost--he spent years trapped in the world of the living, simply waiting to pass on. Then one day, Peter came along and helped remind Wade that he was loved, that he did matter. Wade was eventually ready to pass over--and before he knew it, he found himself in this world with Peter Parker being the first thought in his mind.

“Wade.” Vanessa’s sharp voice made him flinch. Her parents were looking at him now with concern. “Are you okay?”

Wade finished chewing his food and went to scoop another bite of his meatloaf. Of course he couldn't tell her he bumped into the guy he was in love with in a past life.

“It's just been a long day--I uh, took a midterm today. Sorry, V.” Wade lied.

“You told me you don't get midterms until October. You just started the semester like three weeks ago.”

“Yeah, well, when I'm a professor I'll decide when midterms are--how bout that?”

Vanessa flinched at his tone, then softened her eyes and put a gentle hand on Wade’s wrist. Her parents smiled politely and continued their conversation, pretending they weren't there.

Wade let out a slow sigh as he ate. This wasn’t going to be an easy thing--he was with Vanessa. They’ve been dating for four years and it was a pretty serious relationship--then suddenly Peter come back into his life out of nowhere. But what if Peter never has feelings for Wade in this life? What if they stayed friends? No, after all they’ve been through, Wade would hate being just his friend.

I want to communicate back to Peter.

-

Peter has a strange hobby: he fixes books. New, old--it didn’t matter. If there was a slight hint of damage, he was happy to patch it up. Word eventually got around the neighborhood and elderly people would stop by and ask him to fix a few of their books. Some of the books were loved too much that the spine would fall off the backing material or if the spine was still on, the headcap and tail would get soft and fold inwardly and eventually tear.

These were signs of a loved book--where the owner gets use to them so much it begins to wear down. But at the same time, Peter hated to see them in such bad shape--for them to last longer, he would do anything to keep these intact.

The joint of the cover separated from the end paper and a few pages are falling out, Mr. Osborne signed. I’d fix it myself if I had time, can you do it?

Peter nodded and examined it. The book was opened carelessly in the past that the pages began to separate and eventually fall out. Of course I can. It’s an easy fix. It’ll be done in a couple of hours, is that okay? I have a list to go through.

That’s perfect, Peter. Harry will stop by to pick it up from you.

Peter spent the majority of his time fixing books. For some reason this hobby of his is something he finds comfort in. Aunt May asked him one day:

“Why do you fix something that doesn’t need to be fixed? Why not just buy a new one? There's over a million copies of the same book anyway.

Peter simply shrugged his shoulders and replied with, Well if I had a three legged dog, would you throw it out and get a four legged dog?

Of course not, but a book--

A book has the same value, aunt May. Peter emphasized the sign for “same” as he signed. They tell give us stories, they give us emotion, they teach us new things, they go where we go. Plus it’s a waste of trees--don’t let a tree die in vain because the book no longer appeals to your aesthetic.

Some people would say it's just a book. It didn't matter. But ever since Peter was born, he'd been drawn to fixing anything he could get his hands on--it was strange.

 

Peter felt a tap on his shoulder as he was gluing Mr. Osborne’s book back together. He turned around and saw Harry smiling and waving at him. Harry and Mr. Osborne were both hearing people--so was aunt May and uncle Ben. Peter and his grandmother who passed away before he was born were the only deaf members in the family.

Hey how’s it going? Harry excitedly signed.

Peter opened his hand and tapped his thumb to his chest. I'm fine. I'm almost done with your dad’s book. What’s new?

Nothing but a bunch of girl drama and college stress, you know how it goes. What about you?

Peter looked up for a moment then suddenly remembered. Some hearing person bumped into me today and tried talking to me today.

Doesn’t every hearing person you come across try to talk to you? Harry knitted his brows together in confusion.

Yeah but he looked at me like he knew me? He pointed his finger at me and kept saying stuff I couldn’t understand.

Harry snorted. That’s weird. What does he look like?

Like an asshole. He looked like a jock--muscular, tight shirt, blonde hair, square jaw. I don’t know.

Harry snapped his fingers and pointed at Peter with wide eyes. Are you talking about Wade Wilson? I bet you have the hots for him, huh?

No way. Peter waved him off. I mean yeah, he’s good looking. But he’s hearing.

So? I’m hearing.

That’s different, Harry. We grew up together knowing ASL. This guys knows nothing--it’s a big waste of my time, if you ask me. Dating a hearing person who knows nothing about my culture and language is difficult to manage. It’s two different worlds.

Harry nodded in agreement and sat back, folding his arms. What if he learned? Would you consider it then?

That's ridiculous--he doesn't even know me.

-

The next day, Wade bolted in the school library. He stormed to the front desk and planted both his hands flat on the counter. The clerk who seemed slightly turned on by his little escapade bit her lip and gave him a flirtatious smile.

He ignored her and went straight to the point. “Where can I find your ASL books?”

Chapter Text

Wade stayed in the library for as long as he could with the help of old versions of ASL books. He was able to memorize some of the greetings like Hi!, How are you? and What’s your name?, practicing them over and over until they were smooth. He had a hard time with fingerspelling — especially when transitioning to the letter "d" in his name. In fact, the only letters he knew were the ones in his name.

Even with his avid studying that morning, it wasn't enough. He wanted to learn everything in a short amount of time because he felt as though Peter was slipping from his very fingertips for every second he wasn’t practicing ASL. He didn't know where Peter was headed next semester, he didn't know if he was only here temporarily, or what his major even was — he knew nothing about Peter in this world.

He wondered though, if Peter was remotely the same kind of person as before. The Peter in the past was full of energy — Wade never went through a day without hearing him laugh or seeing him smile from ear to ear. That Peter loved books, he loved cooking, he loved bad puns — he was the sweetest guy you’d ever meet. Or maybe Wade was still dead and this was some twisted form of heaven — something like “The Matrix” where everything wasn't as real as it seemed.

When noon hit, Wade began to feel worn out and decided to end his study session. As he was heading towards his class he noticed that there were a lot of people signing to each other as they passed him. They were fast, weaving their hands and fingers through the air, constructing sentences like an orchestra conductor. Wade realized at that moment he had tuned out the rest of the world all this time, completely oblivious to the fact that there were just as many deaf students as hearing students on campus.

He spent the rest of his day in his classes thinking of nothing but Peter and how he was going to start a conversation with him.

-

"So it's no surprise our monthly anniversary is coming up!" Vanessa always called him during his lunch break — even if there was nothing to talk about. She wanted to be with Wade as much as she could. With Peter on his mind for the past week, he thought of nothing but him.

“Ohhh...right,” Wade winced. “That’s right! Monthly anniversary…can’t forget that anniversary now can I? Hahaha —”

Vanessa’s voice suddenly went flat. “You forgot, didn’t you?”

Wade covered his face with one hand. “Baby, we’ve been together for years, is it really necessary to celebrate every month?”

“You’re kidding, right?” It didn’t take much to piss her off. “This is our thing, Wade. Once a month isn’t going to kill you, don’t you love me?”

“Of course I love you —”

Then act like you do, Wade Wilson.” She snapped, and abruptly hung up.

Wade nearly slammed his phone on the table and buried his face in his hands. He felt bad for Vanessa but at the same time he didn’t. He couldn’t stop thinking about Peter — he remembered his previous life as if it were yesterday. Just my luck, Wade thought to himself. Peter forgot about me again and I can’t do anything about it this time.

Just as Wade was beginning to pack his bag and head over to his next class, Peter walked into the cafeteria with a couple of guys. The blond suddenly froze and watched the small group laughing and signing as they went to sit at a table on the other side of the room.

“Peter…” Wade whispered in awe as he watched him smile. It made his chest hurt — he missed him so badly. He used to be a ghost that could barely lift a cup and now he was alive and able to bench press 225lbs. He was ready to make this happen between Peter and him, he didn’t care about anyone else or their opinion. Vanessa didn’t even cross his mind.

Like the impulsive moron he was, he dropped his bag on the table and scurried over to Peter. The brunet seemed to have noticed through his peripherals and turned his head immediately towards Wade. The rest of the group followed his attention and the entire table was staring at him.

Wade realized what he was doing at the last minute but his feet were planted firmly in place, merely a foot away from Peter. They stared at him expectantly with blank faces just waiting.

“Um…” Wade bit his bottom lip and waved his hand to say hi, though no one gestured back. Am I offending them if I sign to them? I’m clearly not deaf. Do I even know what I’m doing? Wade was beginning to panic, but tried to stay as calm as possible by taking a few deep breaths. What was the worst that could happen, other than the fact that he’d look like a fool and Peter would never bother to lay eyes on him again? No, he wasn’t going to screw this up. He decided to keep his gaze locked on Peter’s eyes. He pointed at himself slowly, signed the word ‘name’, and then started to fingerspell it as carefully as possible, ‘W-A-D-E’.

Peter didn’t seem like he had the patience to sign with a newbie like him, because he signed something back with incredible speed and turned away to continue signing with his friends.

“Er...excuse me,” Wade tried to get his attention, forgetting he was deaf.

“He said ‘I’m Peter, nice to meet you’.” a darker brunet pulled up a seat next to Peter while holding a tray of food. He turned his chair to the side so he could face Wade and offered a handshake. “I’m Harry — you know Peter?”

“I’m Wade.” The blonde accepted feeling a tight, authoritative grip from him. “It’s...complicated. You could say I knew him a long time ago?”

“Well that’s odd,” Harry crossed his arms and furrowed him brows in deep thought. He spoke with a borderline sarcastic tone. “because I grew up with him and I know everyone he knows, and I don’t know you — he doesn’t seem to know you at all either.”

Wade wanted to roll his eyes. Harry seemed like a total prick. “Like I said, it’s complicated. Um… thanks for translating for me. I didn’t mean to cause you guys any trouble. I gotta get going.”

Harry raised a brow and smiled. “Alright. See ya.”

-

Once Wade left the cafeteria, Harry turned to Peter and smacked his arm.

He signed eagerly, Wade Wilson signed to you!

Peter rolled his eyes. Not interested. He looks snobby and his ASL is sloppy.

But he’s taking the time to learn! He told me he knows you. Are you sure you don’t know him?

He’s full of shit. I’ve never met him in my entire life.

Never?

Peter copied the sign more harshly. Never.

Harry furrowed his brows again and rubbed his chin. Why was Wade so adamant that he knew Peter? He looked at Peter and spoke about him as if he’d known him for years, unless — unless Wade was making it up and planned to hurt him.

When they were younger Peter use to get bullied for being deaf. People would flick his hearing aids off, push him around, laugh at him for not being able to hear — that’s when Harry came into his life. Since then, he’s never left his side. No one was going to ruin his life anymore, and it sure as hell isn’t going to be some pretentious jock.

Whatever you have planned, Wade Wilson, Harry thought to himself. Just know I’m always watching. No one’s going to hurt Peter again.

No one.

Chapter Text

A whole month past since Wade last signed with Peter. He was too self conscious to try to communicate with him again, and too busy with his own life; He recently received an internship for the upcoming summer at the local fire department, and all he’d been focused on was preparing for just that. He tried to practice ASL every other day as much as he could, squeezing in at least half an hour at the most; He was finally able to memorize the entire alphabet but his fingerspelling skills were still choppy – He couldn’t understand how anyone could shift their fingers so quickly from one letter to the next, or be able to even decipher what is being spelled at that speed.

Wade was beginning to get frustrated with himself and how long this was taking. He rarely saw Peter around anymore anyway, and when he did, Peter would ignore him or turn away from him if they made eye contact. To be fair, Wade admitted his approach toward this situation was kind of creepy. He’s so limited on what he can say, signing in broken ASL made him look crazy.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

Wade felt like the universe was adamant on pushing them apart; Wade had Vanessa, a path towards his career that was slowing eating away his free time, and he was hearing. Peter was in a completely different world than him – the possibilities of being together again were next to nothing. It was just bad timing … again.

-

Being with Vanessa was the best decision Wade had ever made in this lifetime. Sure she can be stubborn occasionally, but he eventually fell in love with all of her different sides. She was always there for him and helped him grow as a person ever since they were seniors in high school. If he could spend the rest of his life with anyone if he hadn’t met Peter again, it would be her. He loved her, but he knew he loved Peter too.

 

“Wade, could you get me some painkillers?” Vanessa was curled up into a ball on his couch, her face puckered in pain; She was massaging her lower stomach while whining like a child. Most days she looked like a professor, dressing in semi-formal clothing – especially when it was time for bed, her silk pajama set somehow still made her look like she was of a higher status. But tonight, she was in a hoodie and basketball shorts, and her face looked completely tore up; her skin was pale and her eye makeup was smeared all around her eyes.

Wade walked by, too afraid to touch her. Women on their periods – especially Vanessa – were absolutely terrifying. This is why murder is illegal, Wade thought to himself as he watched his lover struggle from a distance.

“I...um...I don’t have any…” he spoke in a small voice, nearly wincing.

Vanessa snapped her head towards him, and at that moment the blond swore he saw devil horns growing from her head. “Who doesn’t have painkillers in their own home?

“Baby, I need you to keep it down, my parents are sleeping upstairs–”

Her eyes widened and maybe they turned red and fangs were beginning to grow, he couldn’t tell – but Vanessa seemed ready to jump at him and tear his balls off. “WADE.”

 

Wade hurried out of the house. The store was only a couple blocks away so he decided pop his earbuds in and go for a jog. It was completely dark outside, with the exception of a few dim street lamps; While it would send chills down his spine to imagine the kinds of things that could happen to anyone if they were alone on this road, the town was mostly safe. There weren’t any urban legends or over-exaggerated ghost stories either, it was a dead and boring suburban town. Everybody knew each other in this middle class neighborhood. No one ever moved out or moved in, everyone Wade knew had lived there since before he was even born, passing their homes to their children and grandchildren.

He had a fairly decent life compared to his last one; He grew up with two loving parents instead of an alcoholic father and a mother who was rarely around. He grew up happy and loved. He was able to start his life all over again – if he ever got married to Vanessa and had a child with her, he swore he would stay with them forever, no matter what came between them. He wasn’t diagnosed with cancer in this life – he was alive and healthy, with multiple opportunities in life waiting for him. He could do anything and be anyone he wanted to be – nothing was holding him back this time.

 

The blond stopped jogging when Walgreens was finally in his sights, walking the rest of the way as he quietly sang along to Mumford & Sons. He picked up a bottle of Ibuprofen and a couple of chocolate bars for Vanessa and brought them over to a lanky cashier with a “I hate my life” sort of face.

“Nice night, huh?” Wade asked as the kid rang up his items.

“I guess…?” he replied in a nasally voice.

“You go to school?”

The cashier looked at Wade and raised a brow. “That’ll be $7.50.”

“Not a talker. Got it.” Wade handed him his card. He suddenly heard a burst of laughter coming from one of the aisles, which was odd – nobody ever came to a Walgreens in high spirits at 11PM. He was going to wave it off as he grabbed his bag of items from the counter when suddenly –

“What’s the matter deaf boy? Can’t hear anything?”

Wade stopped before the exit and turned around immediately to follow the voices. There were more harsh remarks being made as he passed each aisle to find them. In an instant Wade was boiling, he couldn’t understand why people had to pick on others for any reason.

More laughter. More hurtful comments. Wade started to run until finally, he found an aisle full of guys around his age maybe younger, crowding someone. Wade squinted his eyes, then suddenly widened them. It was Peter. Someone from the group knocked a small box from his hands and it fell it to the floor with a loud clatter. Peter winced at their sudden movements and tried to lip read their comments, having a clear idea what their intentions were. He looked like he wanted to cry. He tried his best to ignore them and kept walking, but a couple more guys pushed and shoved him until one decided to hook their foot in front of his, making him stumble onto the floor. The group of guys bursted out into laughter again. Wade quickly ran up to Peter and helped him up.

You okay? Wade signed to him, showing a look of concern on his face.

Peter flinched at the sight of Wade, then averted his gaze. Yeah. I’m fine.

“Oh look, deafy has a friend! Guess they’re gonna go cry together about how much they can’t hear!”

“Hahaha deaf people are so dumb.”

Wade suddenly marched to the nearest kid who was busy laughing with his buddies; He grabbed a handful of the back of his shirt collar and yanked it backwards, making him yelp in surprise. The blond turned and threw him until his back his the aisle shelves and immediately reached for his neck. The laughter suddenly died and everyone looked at Wade with horror filled eyes.

“My friend can’t hear you but I can, motherfucker.” Wade growled in a deep tone. “Before I rip your trachea from your throat, you’re gonna apologize to him do you understand me?”

The bully he held nodded frantically. Wade was much bigger and stronger, no one dared to make a move against him. “Y-Yes.”

The blond shot a look at the rest of the group. “Do you understand me?

Everyone nodded vigorously.

“Good. Now make a fist and place it on your chest. I said now. You’re gonna circle your fist clockwise – clockwise, you idiots. Now make a face like you’re really fucking sorry or I’ll mold one for you. Beautiful, you guys are naturals. You see my friend there? You’re gonna walk up to him, and you’re gonna sign that to him, do you understand me? Go.”

In a huddled group everyone did as they were told. Peter’s eyes widened as he watched them sign “I’m sorry”, then looked at Wade with disbelief.

”Now get the hell out of here.”

“Y-Yessir!”

Without another word, the group immediately scurried out of the store. Peter tapped Wade on the shoulder and gave him a small smile.

Thank you. He signed.

The blond felt his face get warm. He loved Peter’s smile – whenever he saw it, he found himself falling in love all over again. I’m glad you’re okay.

Your signing is a little better. Are you taking a class? Peter signed at a moderately fast pace, but Wade was able to pick up most of what he was saying. His commitment really paid off.

Wade shook his head. I’ve been teaching myself.

Why? Peter furrowed his brows. Wade knew this wasn’t a sign of displeasure, he found out later that you would furrow your brows in “Where, Why, What, How” questions.

I… He wanted to tell him that it was because of him. He wanted to tell Peter that they were in love in another life – that he was a ghost. There was so much he wanted to say, but at this point in time, he wasn’t even Peter’s friend. He just happened to bump into him at the store getting picked on. After this, Peter might not ever look at him again. Wade smiled sadly as another part of him brought him down.

It’s just for fun. Wade replied with instead.

Oh I see. That’s cool. Peter smiled. Do you live nearby?

Yeah, not too far from here. Wilkinson Street. Do you live nearby?

I live in the opposite direction. Campbell Street. Peter paused, looking almost deep in thought. If you want...I can help teach you ASL. I know it’s hard learning from just books and the internet, it’s easier learning with someone.

It took a moment for Wade to translate it in his head, but when he finally understood what Peter was saying his eyes widened.

Really? Wade signed excitedly.

Peter nodded. Yeah. You helped me today, I want to help you now.

Wade smiled widely and repeated the sign for “Yes” over and over again. That would be wonderful! Thank you so much Peter!

I’m at the school library every noon so...find me there. Ok?

Ok. I will see you at school. Will you be okay walking home?

Peter flashed him a grin. Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’ll see you later.

As soon as the brunet left, Wade jumped and clicked his heels in the air. He ran towards the cashier who wore the same bored expression as before, watching Wade mumble to himself as he ran in a circle with his arms open.

“Did you see that, my fellow teenage moody Walgreen’s worker?” Wade sang.

“No, I didn’t see anything. Or hear anything. I was beginning to suspect something fishy was going on.”

Wade ignored him. “I’ve never been so happy in my entire life. He’s going to tutor me! You know what that means? There might be a chance that he'll remember me!”

“Hooray.”

Hooray indeed, my friend!” Wade put his earbuds back in and jogged back home with the biggest smile on his face.

The universe wasn’t so bad to him after all.

 

 

"You're not my friend..." the cashier muttered grumpily to himself. 

Chapter Text

There was something strange about Wade. He comes into Peter’s life out of nowhere and swears that he knows him – he even put in the effort to learn sign language, but what for? Peter couldn’t buy the excuse that it was simply “for fun” – no one just learns a language, especially ASL, just because. Wade was up to something, because his fluency in ASL had improved significantly since the last time they spoke in the cafeteria – and far as he knew, Wade’s major wasn’t ASL related at all. But it would nice having more people know ASL to make everything easier instead of lugging around an interpreter all the time and risking miscommunication. So perhaps Peter was imagining things. Hearing people join the deaf community with quite the same amount of enthusiasm as Wade all the time, so maybe he was just overthinking it.

After Wade dealt with the bullies from the store the other day, Peter wondered if he misjudged his character. He seemed normal, polite, and didn’t carry any dangerous vibes at all. And for some reason, he blurted out an offer to tutor Wade. Whether that was a bad idea or not still stands, and he was a little nervous about meeting him today.

Peter met up with Harry in the library first before noon hit and told him all about his encounter with the bullies and Wade the other day. His best friend narrowed his eyes through the entire story suspiciously, frequently shaking his head.

Peter furrowed his brows. What?

Harry let out a heavy sigh. I don’t believe it. I think Wade set it up.

I don’t understand what you’re telling me. The brunet crossed his arms and sat back, cocking his head to the side.

Harry leaned forward and bore his stern gaze into Peter’s eyes. I think Wade made those bullies do that to you so he can get closer to you. Do you understand what I’m saying? I think this is a trick.

Why would he trick me?

Harry shrugged. I don’t know. To hurt you, maybe? Think about it, it couldn’t have been a coincidence.

Peter shook his head. I think he’s harmless. You should’ve seen what he did to those guys! He choked one and made them all apologize. I don’t think any of that was fake because they all looked terrified.

Peter I’m telling you, he’s dangerous. I don’t trust him at all.

Peter put a hand over his. And I’m telling you, he’s not. Don't worry, I'm not going to be his friend or anything. 

Harry pursed his lips and sighed. Peter wasn’t a child anymore – he couldn't force his friend to do anything, but that didn’t mean he was going to put his guard down. There was something fishy about Wade – something didn’t sit well at all, and Harry was going to find out.

-

“Well, well, well...if it isn’t our favorite future firefighter!” Flash Thompson strode into the locker room and lightly towel-whipped Wade while he was dressing, getting a bark of laughter from him in return. Flash swung the towel over his shoulder and opened a locker right next to his to change his clothes.

Wade tossed his sweat soaked clothes into a drawstring bag and sat on the bench as his friend toed off his shoes. “Hey Flash, hitting the gym?”

“That I am. Pasinsky called in sick today for my fire science class so I’m just killing time before I go home. What’s been new with you?”

“I got a summer internship at the fire department down the street.”

Flash nodded, pleased. “About time they gave you a chance. How’s the lady?”

“The usual…” Wade paused for a second getting lost in thought, suddenly reminded of Peter for some reason.

Flash started to undress and noticed Wade looking troubled. “Somethin’ on your mind Wilson?”

Wade bit his upper lip then turned to him. “Let’s say you met someone a long time ago but they don’t remember you because of uh...long term memory loss or something – but you remember everything. How would you approach them?”

“Well,” Flash slipped into his gym shirt. “I’d start over for their sake. If they don’t remember me, then what’s the point in pushing it on them? Start back at square one, and work your way up there. Whether they remember you or not isn’t the point, it’s the friendship that matters isn’t it?”

Wade raised his brows, satisfied with that answer. He wasn’t really off to a good start with Peter when they met, but now that he finally had a chance to start over in their tutoring sessions, there may be hope after all.

“I don’t really want to delve too deep into your business but,” Flash closed his locker after he finished get dressed and put a firm hand on Wade’s shoulder. “I have high hopes that whatever you’re going through with this person will see some light – the world isn’t perfect but we can work around it.”

Wade flinched at those words, suddenly remembering something from his previous life when Wade lived with Peter. “You’re still you, dead or alive. It makes no difference to me. Sometimes shit just happens, and I’m willing to work with it if it can’t be helped.” Peter was always there to convince him that he was an important person in life, no matter how small they were in the universe – he taught Wade to push aside what others thought. That’s how Peter was. He always looked on the bright side of situations – never backed down, never gave up. He didn’t care what Wade was...he cared about who he was.

“Wow.” Wade snorted, pushing the fond memory away. “You should minor in philosophy.”

“Dick.” Flash playfully pushed his head before heading out of the lock room. “I’ll seeya around, yeah?”

“‘Course. Thanks Flash.”

Flash waved him off and left. Whether they remember you or not isn’t the point, it’s the friendship that matters. Wade smiled to himself. What would Peter do if they switched places? Peter would do what Peter always did – keep trying. And Wade wasn’t going to give him up.

-

Peter stood up when he saw Wade walk into the library scanning for him. His normal resting face seemed scary – Wade didn’t look approachable at all, but whenever someone came up to him, he instantly wore the biggest smile. It was suspicious and frightening, but for as long as Peter knew, he’d been afraid of almost everything. His only close friend was Harry – the only person he’d pull down his defense to. Harry understood him more than anyone, and he was always there for him since the beginning – he didn’t need any more friends.

Peter waved his hand until Wade noticed – switching his serious face into a cheesy smile. He quietly made his way over, being mindful of the students around him which sort of surprised Peter. For some reason he took him as a careless and selfish guy based on his looks – he always assumed that good looking people like Wade were arrogant and selfish.

Hey, how are you? Wade signed, still smiling.

Peter tried to be as reactionless as possible; Harry insisted Wade couldn’t be trusted, so Peter had to keep his guard up. I’m fine. How are you?

I’m really tired, I went to the gym this morning. I think I’ll go straight home after this.

Oh, okay. Let’s review what you know first.

While they signed together, Peter avoided being friendly. He avoided turning this into a friendship. All hearing people are the same, he thought to himself. They all have ill intentions. They all think they’re better. Wade might be like that, he might not. Peter didn’t have the heart to care. He’ll just tutor him for as long as it’s needed and they’ll both move on with their lives.

At the end of the session, Peter took out a couple pages of notes describing each new sign they went over and handed it to Wade.

Practice when you get home. When you come back, we’ll go over it and I’ll give you a new list.

Wade beamed at him as he opened his bag to put them in. Thank you so much! I’ll see you tomorrow?

Peter ignored him and saw a book resting against his binder, The cover was bent and tearing at the corners.

Is that yours? Peter signed, pointing at the book in his bag.

Wade followed his eyes and took out the worn book titled The Unbearable Lightness of Being, handing it to Peter. Yeah, have you read it before? It’s one of my favorites. Do you want to borrow it?

Without hesitation he nodded, turning the book in his hands and gently running his fingers on the abused spine. Wade watched him with curiosity.

It’s a little out of shape, Wade signed nervously. Please be careful with it.

Peter nodded again. There was something about broken books that caught his attention. Something that gave him a sense of familiarity. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but as long as he was mending them, he was happy.

-

As soon as Peter came home, he carefully took Wade’s book out of his bag and set it on his desk. He gently turned some of the pages to see where the damages were done, looking like a doctor in a serious operation. He planned to go through every page that has a tiny dog ear at the corner which made that whole section of the book curl unpleasantly and then put a heavy weight on it for awhile to make it flat again. He would glue the spine, because it was beginning to split – taping it wouldn’t do much, he’d do that after. He’d tape any torn places on the cover, and maybe make a newspaper cover to protect it more. He’d –

Peter felt a tap on his shoulder and he jolted out of his deep thoughts, spinning around almost immediately. Aunt May was there with a sweet smile on her face.

Are you hungry? Aunt May was hearing, and although she started signing right after she found out that Peter was deaf at a young age, her hand movements were still a little slow.

I am. Peter signed slow enough for her to read it easier. I’ll be downstairs soon.

Ok. Aunt May noticed the book on his desk. Who’s book is that right there? I don’t recognize that one.

Oh, I’m borrowing it from someone I’m tutoring, this guy named Wade –

Aunt May suddenly waved her hands to interrupt him, her eyes going wide. His name is what?

Wade. Wade Wilson – I just met him the other day. Why do you look so surprised?

His aunt paused, then shifted into her joyful mood. It’s nothing! It’s just...a strange name. Why don’t you invite him over to dinner this week?

Peter shook his head and waved it off. We’re not friends.

Well, when you guys become friends, you invite him over. It’s nice seeing new faces.

The brunet rolled his eyes and went back to fixing the book. Sure.

Aunt May kissed him on the head and left the room. Once she closed Peter’s door, she hurried downstairs, her heavy weight making the hollow stairs roar and echo in the hallway.

“Ben!” Aunt May shouted, searching around the house. “Ben!

He was found sitting in the living room with a newspaper in hand, lazily scanning the column. He didn’t look away once aunt May found him.

“What? What is it woman?”

The gray haired woman paused to catch her breath, feeling herself almost at tears. “Wade Wilson is here.”

Chapter Text

Aunt May had never seen Peter so down. He wore a fake smile since then, and lived alone for the rest of his life. He was too afraid to kill himself but too impatient to live. He never mentioned Wade’s name again after he passed over, but aunt May knew he wanted to see him again. At the same time though, he was angry – with Wade or the fact that he had to pass over or both – Peter had grown to become short-tempered and asocial. The sweet, soft-hearted Peter was gone.

Both aunt May and uncle Ben didn't gain their memories back until Peter was brought under their care. Their memories suddenly came flooding in, but he remained unaware. They didn't know if he'd ever get them back – so they lived their new lives and raised them the best they could.

But Peter was still the same bitter Peter as he was before – which aunt May assumed that this was because of his previous life. Many things lingered in the new life – Peter was still greatly fond of books, but fixing worn books was a new thing. He has his moments of being goofy like before, but in this life you'd have to catch him on a really good mood, which he rarely ever was. Aunt May didn't know what to do to help him – There was no Wade to be seen. She didn't know where to find him.

But now – he's here. The strange thing that baffles aunt May, however, is that Peter doesn't remember him.

“Oh–” Aunt May noticed Peter at the corner of her eye, coming down the stairs. She signed “good morning” to him and he copied it back to her half heartedly as he zombie walks to the coffee pot.

Uncle Ben entered the kitchen as he's tying his robe, and jolts at the sight of Peter. He quickly eyes aunt May and they both move their gaze back on their son.

“When do you think he'll remember?” Uncle Ben asked as he takes a seat at the table.

His wife sips her coffee thoughtfully and shrugs. “Only time will tell. If he's already met Wade, then it shouldn't be too long now.”

“What if he can’t remember?”

“He will. I believe he will. We have to meet Wade. I want to make sure they stay together this time – plus I feel bad we didn't get to meet him properly.”

The old man smirked. “Whose fault so you think that is?”

“You we're just as surprised too, Ben Parker!”

Peter spun around and gave aunt May and uncle Ben and small smile before returning to his room with his coffee. Both of them froze, forgetting for a split second that he was deaf.

The old woman patted her chest frantically and looked at her husband with relief. “Is it wrong to say that I'm glad he can't hear a thing?”

-

Wade strolled out of his morning class half awake and lazily made his way up the hill where the student lounge was. It was usually quiet in the morning where he was able to take a nap, but once noon hit, it was packed with noisy freshmen – which Wade found interesting. Based on what he's seen, as the students get older they get quieter. They stop caring about how they look, they stop caring about the latest gossip – instead they're wearing yesterday's clothes and crying about their deadlines. It was a funny yet sad transition to becoming an adult. Life just gets more dull – until the students transfer to a university. Then life just became a party for the most part.

Wade dragged his feet up the stairs while whining to himself. He wished all his days involved being with Peter – it was the only thing he looked forward to in the afternoon. Even if they weren’t close and Peter carried a dark vibe around him – he was nice company.

“Wilson.”

Wade spun around and found a familiar face trying to keep a stern expression, but he could tell the man was nervous - looking too uncertain about the way he presented himself.

The blond squinted. “I’ve seen you somewhere.”

“Peter’s friend?” somehow it didn’t click, Peter had lots of friends that looked like this one, or maybe Wade just didn’t care enough to pay attention. “My name is Harry!”

“Oh! Yeah, I remember now - you translated for me. What’s up?”

“Can we talk somewhere?”

Wade wiggled his brows. “Ooh, you wanna talk? You’re gonna have to get in line because all the ladies–”

Harry rolled his eyes and walked past him. “Just follow me.”

The blond immediately shut up and followed Harry up the stairs and to a secluded area on the side of a building – the dance class’s building, Wade thought, as he could vaguely hear a muffled beat coming through.

“Look,” Wade raised his hands and slightly backed away. “I’m not a freshman, I’ve been here for like three years – In fact, I get my Associate’s Degree by the end of next semester. So whatever prank you have –” Wade looked around to make sure no one was creeping up behind him. “ – I just want to let you know that I’m ready for it, and I’m not responsible for any injuries.”

There was a long awkward moment of silence between the two with Harry staring at him with disbelief and disgust. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Well many things. First, I –” Wade opened his hand to start counting the many possible reasons that could be wrong with him. But Harry shook his head and his hands in front of him to stop him from going further.

“Nevermind that. I didn’t bring you here to – ugh! What do you want with Peter?”

The blond flinched. “What do you mean what do I want?”

“You stumble into Peter’s life out of nowhere claiming you know him? And now you somehow got him to tutor you for ASL? What the hell do you have planned?”

“I don’t understand what you’re saying – I’m not trying to cause any trouble. Listen, I just wanna learn –”

Harry jabbed a finger on his chest. “No you listen – Peter went through a lot growing up. He was abused by other kids emotionally and physically for being deaf. He’s depressed as fuck and tried to kill himself twice – so if you think you’re going to ruin his life with whatever you have up your sleeve, you’re dead fucking wrong Wilson. I won't let him go through that shit again!”

The brunet flinched at what he said and immediately put space between them in case Wade wanted to swing at him. But when he glanced up, the blond's face scrunched up into confusion.

“Please tell me you’re lying.” Wade whispered, turning away from Harry as he covered his face. “Please tell me that’s not true. That’s not Peter. He – no. He would never do that.”

Harry furrowed his brows. “What the hell are you babbling about?”

Wade spun around and grabbed Harry’s shoulders. The small and frail man wanted to scream for help, but he froze. “Please tell me this is a joke! Peter would never try to kill himself – he always looked at the brighter side of life. He never backed down, he never let anyone push him around. Tell me you’re lying and this is a joke!”

Harry’s eyes widened at this new behavior, losing the courage to stand up for himself. “W-Wade...are you sure you even have the right person?”

The blond slowly let go and turned away from him. Another long moment of silence that felt like it went on forever. Wade put his hands on his hips and looked at the ground, kicking a few pebbles here and there.

“You’re not going to believe me when I tell you – no one ever did.”

“Tell me what?”

Wade looked up at him and took a deep breath.

-

Peter waited for about an hour for Wade to show up – but he never came. He tried to pass time by doing homework, but he couldn’t focus. Peter took out the book he patched up for him, admiring his own work. It didn’t look pretty covered in tape, but it would at least last another decade now. He flipped to a random page and began to read, hoping Wade would show up soon.

…for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.

Chapter Text

The minutes slowly dragged on. Peter decided to pack up and head to his next class for the day, gently tucking Wade’s book back in his bag. Maybe Wade didn’t go to school today, Peter assumed. Or maybe he was tired of learning ASL. Peter didn’t blame him though – ASL can be a difficult language to some. Or maybe Peter scared him away with his attitude. Wade wouldn’t be the first person to run away. Growing up kids always ran away from Peter – whether they were afraid of him or deemed him to be incapable of hearing people activities. People always ran, and Peter was always alone.

Peter sighed and looked back at the entrance to the library to see if Wade would come scurrying in while circling a fist at his chest, point at himself briefly, and then wave his hand downwardly at his side, I’m sorry I’m late. But it doesn't happen, and he proceeds to the exit.


Harry punched him in the face. Hard. He was a lot smaller than Wade but he was able to knock him to his knees, surprising himself. Wade knew how to fight, and there was no doubt in his mind that he could put Harry in the hospital if he wanted to, but he stayed down. He knew Harry wouldn’t believe him.

“Do you take me for some kind of idiot or something?” Harry spat, glaring down at Wade. “Of all the lies you could have told me you chose this bullshit?”

Wade kept his eyes glued to the ground disappointingly. “I told you that you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh I understand alright,” Harry nodded sarcastically. “I understand that you’re absolutely insane!

There was a sudden shout, followed by a notebook being thrown at Harry’s head. Both the men looked up and found Peter looking back at them with a horrified expression.

Peter, Harry signed as he slowly approached him, but the young man recoiled.

What are you doing? He snapped. Why did you hurt him?

Because he’s crazy! Harry replied, his hand movements were quick and rough.

So that gives you a reason to hit him? Peter pushed passed him and walked over to Wade. Follow me.

Harry grabbed Peter’s arm. You're not safe around him!

“STOP IT.” Peter shouted as best he could in English, yanking his arm back. He signed to Wade again to follow him and continued to walk away. While eyeing Harry hesitantly who glared back at him, the blond did as he was told and followed closely after him.


Peter brought him to the nurse’s office. He impatiently scribbled something on a piece of paper that he took out of his back pocket and slammed it down in front of the nurse. She raised a brow and without keeping her eyes off Peter, slid the note off the counter. She briefly read the piece of paper and disappeared from her desk with it, shortly returning with an ice packet wrapped in a paper towel.

Halfheartedly thanking her in ASL, he stormed out of the office with Wade barely keeping up and found an empty bench to sit at. With furrowed brows, he wrapped the ice packet with the paper towel tighter while Wade just sat next to him at a loss for words, watching him irritably lost in thought.

The blonde bit his lip and gently put a hand on Peter’s shoulder. I'm okay, he signed slowly. It doesn't hurt at all.

Shut up. Peter immediately replied, and gently placed the ice packet on his cheek for Wade to hold.

I deserved it. Wade signed. I said stupid things. Harry was right, I shouldn’t be your friend.

Peter widened his eyes at Wade as if he said something bad.

Harry doesn't get to choose my friends. Peter signed roughly. That's my choice. I don’t understand why – Suddenly his signs got faster and harder to read and he was gradually becoming more vocal.

“Peter slow down,” Wade said, trying to sign it as he spoke. But the brunette ignored him and continued to furrow his brows and weave his hands in the air angrily. Wade dropped the ice packet and suddenly grabbed his hands together, making him flinch. The blond waited a few moments to let go for Peter to calm down. Wade remembered how Peter would panic in the previous life - he'd break down crying, even when he got angry. Even now it looked like Peter was at the brink of tears. 

Why did he hit you? Peter asked after he gathered himself, his hands finally legible.

Wade looked away for a brief moment and sighed. Because I’m crazy.

You’re not crazy, and Harry doesn’t hurt people for no reason. Even if you are crazy, no one in their right mind would do something like this to you – at least not Harry. So what did you say to him?

I… Wade shifted uncomfortably on the bench. He mindlessly picked at the ice pack as he tried to find the right words in ASL. If he told Peter the truth, Peter would think he was crazy too and that’d be the end of it. Then what? The Peter in this life didn’t seem as forgiving and understanding as the one in the last. No… it was too much of a risk.

I should go. He signed. Wade abruptly stood up and walked away from Peter as fast as he could. He couldn’t do it – he couldn’t tell him, he didn’t want to risk losing him again. It didn’t matter if he remembered Wade or not - it made his heart ache at the thought of not being able to see his face again. Yet there he was, walking away from him - he just needed some time to think some more. He needed to get away. He needed Vanessa. 


Harry slowly braked at an upcoming red light. Peter was in the passenger seat looking out the window with furrowed brows. He thought about what had happened earlier but it didn’t add up somehow. Harry didn’t seem like the type that would start fights, neither did Wade. Peter couldn’t remember if they even formally met before today – so what could they possibly fight about? Nothing added up.

Before the light switched, Peter tapped his shoulder. Why did you hit Wade?

Harry sighed and rolled his eyes. If he told Peter, he'd think he was lying and then they'd never stop arguing.  I just don’t trust him and he said dumb shit okay?

Peter narrowed his eyes and leaned in closer. So you had to hit him?

The light turned green. Harry gritted his teeth and put both hands on the wheel so he couldn't sign – he did this whenever he didn’t want to talk, which aggravated Peter further.

Stop the car. Peter signed. Harry’s peripheral vision was clear as his central, but he ignored him. Peter yelled and repeated the sign harshly. The darker brunet huffed and obeyed, roughly pulling over to the side.

He turned to Peter. I’m trying to protect you. What if something bad happens to you Peter? You're my best friend. We don't know this guy - he could be dangerous. 

I will decide that for myself! Peter thumped his chest hard with his thumb for myself. You always do this to me! I can never make any friends without you scaring them all away! I can look after myself!

Harry’s gaze softened. I know you can look after yourself, and I don’t doubt you. But I told you I’m trying to protect you. I’m not lying when I said he’s out of his mind. You can be friends with any other guy you want! I thought I could trust him in the beginning, but -

The lighter brunet shouted again to interrupt. I don’t care what you think about him. Leave him alone! He's my friend!

Peter –

The brunet turned away from him and signed with one hand. Take me home. Now.


“Gwen!” Aunt May opened her arms wide and gave the young blond a tight hug. She let go and signed as she spoke. “I’m so sorry I called you over on a school night.” Gwen Stacey was hard-of-hearing since she was little. She could speak English almost perfectly and could hear some things, but she still used ASL to interact.

“That’s okay!” Gwen beamed. “I’m always here whenever you need me.”

“That’s great sweetie, because I have a huge favor to ask of you.”

Chapter Text

Wade showed up at Vanessa’s door with a long face. He wanted to be comforted by her but at the same time he didn’t want her comfort. Her house wasn’t exactly the place he wanted to be at the moment – he’d rather be signing with Peter more than anything. Wade cursed at himself for acting foolish – what was he thinking, telling Harry of all people about his past life? Maybe because he had the slightest bit of hope that someone would understand? Maybe then if Harry knew and believed it, he would help Peter remember. It wasn’t as easy as Wade thought. He thought about what Flash had said a million times, but Wade wanted results now – and his blind desire brought him nowhere.

Vanessa opened the door and gasped. Wade never looked so down and defeated before, he almost looked like he was going to cry. The brunette quickly reached for him and guided him into the house.

“Wade, what the hell happened to your face?”

Wade was barely paying attention to her. “Just got into a little fight.”

Vanessa gripped his hand and stared him for a brief moment before closing the front door and leading him into the living room, silently thanking her parents for not being home at the moment; if they found Wade in this state they’d never leave his side. She sat next to him, waiting for him to snap out of his empty gaze, but he just sits there like a vegetable.

“Baby, you can tell me anything.” Vanessa said softly, caressing his arm. “I’m here for you, okay? Tell me what happened. You’ve been so different this past month. Wade…?”

Wade put a hand over hers, still avoiding her eyes. In a low voice he said, “I’m in love with someone else, V. I’ve been in love with them for a very long time.”


 

Peter laid in bed with Wade’s book in his hands. He ran a gentle finger over the book cover, outlining the rips and creases now replaced with tape. He tried reading it, but he couldn’t understand some of the English words and was too lazy to put any effort into it. He couldn’t even focus – his mind was all over Wade.

Why did I even call him my friend? He wondered, flipping through random pages. I told everyone he wasn’t.

Peter turned to his side and sighed. The man was always energetic and somehow it was comforting to Peter to have that kind of vibe around. Wade always smiled at him – which bothered Peter at the beginning. He’d sit there and wonder what the hell Wade was so happy about all the time – but he realized that Wade was just naturally a really happy person. There was something about that that made him… less bitter about life, like there was hope for hearing people after all and Harry was wrong – they’re not all that bad.

*

The next day, Peter waited in the library again for Wade. His class was cancelled so he decided to stay there the entire morning to study, but still and yet, the man never showed up. Peter couldn’t help but feel annoyed about it. Wade had gotten into a fight with Harry about being his friend, so why wasn’t he here now? He was a much larger person than Harry – there was no way he was afraid of him. Peter abruptly stood up, gathered his things, and stomped out of the library.

He remembered what Wade’s major was, and decided to head over to the science and medical buildings where he might be. He scanned their study hall, but Wade was nowhere to be found. Everyone he passed stared at him like he didn't belong there – he felt as if he was wearing sign on his back labeled “deaf”. The insecurities were slowly creeping from the back of his mind as he remembered the way kids use to treat him; He remembered locking himself in a bathroom stall as kids would angrily kick it, sending violent vibrations to his small, frail body as their muffled but harsh voices spat unkind names at him. Peter never understood why everyone hated him so much.

He suddenly felt a hand on his back making him flinch away from his thoughts. He hoped to find Wade behind him, but it was different person. He was tall and muscular like Wade and also blonde. Did Wade have a brother?

The man was unsurprisingly hearing, speaking through his mouth but Peter was able to lip-read some of the things he said.

“Are you lost?” Peter managed to understand.

“Wad.” Peter said as best as he could in English. “Wad Welson.”

The blonde seemed to quickly understand what he was talking about and repeated Wade’s name for clarification, to which Peter nodded. He looked around, spoke, and another stranger came to them both. They exchanged a few words, nodding to each other, shaking their heads, and even laughing. Peter didn’t understand how hearing people could understand each other using blank faces while they communicated. He learned that it was the tone of their voice that helped them understand each other, but even still, it didn’t make any sense to him.

“Wait here.” The blonde told him, mouthing the words as clearly as he can. Peter nodded and took a seat. The study hall looked just like the ones in the deaf buildings, except no one was signing. In the deaf perspective it was a little too “quiet”.

After some time, Peter felt a hand grip his shoulder and turn him around. It was finally Wade. He seemed surprised to find Peter there, and a bit confused.

Peter what are you doing here? He signed.

I’m your unpaid ASL tutor, did you forget? Or did Harry hit you too hard? The brunet joked, but Wade frowned.

I didn’t know if you still wanted me to see you. I… Wade looked off in the distance and sighed. Why did he always hesitate? Peter wondered why he always looked like he was searching for words as if he couldn’t remember the sign for them – he couldn’t tell if he genuinely couldn’t remember or if he was lost in his emotions. His facial expressions when he signed made he look like he was happy to see Peter like always, but his eyes – they were mildly swollen and rimmed with red as if he’d been crying. Or maybe it was just allergies. Whatever the reason was, it made Peter impatient. He tapped Wade’s arm to get his attention.

First of all, Peter started. you’re the one who walked away from me yesterday. And second, if I didn’t want to see you again, I would tell you.

“Oh.” Wade said, feeling dumb. “Right…”

Peter circled a fist at his chest. I’m sorry about what Harry did to you. He shouldn’t have done that. Even though you’re weird and sometimes creep me out and we just met, I really enjoy your company. So please don’t stop visiting me in the study hall, okay?

Wade flinched and suddenly bit his lip. He ran a hand through his hair and nodded, suddenly becoming shy.

Okay.

*

You need to be faster at fingerspelling, said Peter. They stayed in the study hall for tutoring, gaining a lot of curious attention from those who couldn’t sign.

My hands aren’t fast enough, Wade frowned. I feel like I’m stuttering in sign.

Peter rolled his eyes. You need to keep practicing on your own and you need to be around deaf people more. You should join the ASL club, we meet in the evenings, have pizza, and just sign to each other. There will be hearing people like you there who are just learning.

Then I’ll join – whatever helps me get better.

Peter sighed. You need to work on your facial expressions too – those are very important. Since I can’t hear the tone of your voice, I need to see it on your face.

Wade nodded and quickly scribbled a few notes down on a piece of paper. Peter watched him carefully – Wade seemed to be working too hard for a class he wasn’t even in. Peter tapped his forearm to get his attention.

What was your reason for learning ASL again?

Wade blinked a couple of times and briefly looked away to clear his throat. I told you I’m just doing it for fun.

Peter raised a brow. But you’re not even going to use it that much for your major. Your job is to just put out fires.

I mean… There it was again. Hesitation. Wade tapped the back of his thumb to his lips. It’s personal.

That sparked curiosity in Peter, but he decided not to press further on the matter. Instead, he pulled his backpack from the ground and put it on his lap. He pulled out Wade’s book.

I fixed it, Peter smiled, handing it to Wade.

The blond gasped as he took it into his hands. It was neatly taped together and in the best shape he saw it in a long time. He repeatedly thanked Peter as he flipped through pages, finding the majority of wounds mended.

“You loved books…” Wade muttered to himself, remembering how Peter use to work at a bookstore with his aunt. Mending them was a new thing, but his passion for reading never died in this life and that made Wade happy. He also remembered the adorable yet lame moments they shared together – like the time Peter had set up a night light that painted the walls in deep blue as if they were in the sea. That was when they first kissed. He’d do anything to relive that moment...or...unlive? Wade smiled to himself. He also remembered how warm Peter was compared to his nonexistent body – how desperately he wanted to hold him in his arms. Being alive made no difference in this life, to Wade. Peter was in a way, still far away from him.

What are you smiling for? Peter asked.

Because of you. Wade signed, smiling softly. Realizing what he had just said as he watched Peter flinch from the comment, Wade quickly added, Because you… fixed my favorite book. Thank you.

Peter smiled and laughed, making the blond fall in love all over again.

You’re so weird.

*

Peter came home in a good mood, which was rare. The first thing he did the second he stepped through the front door was smile at aunt May and uncle Ben – and then abruptly stopped in his tracks when he saw Gwen Stacey smiling at him.

What is she doing here? Peter asked, going back to his bitter expression.

Aunt May approached him. She’s staying for the week because her mom has work out of state again. I was hoping you’d take her to your school and have her meet your ASL club. She can explore campus too while you’re in class.

Gwen was Peter’s childhood friend. They were such good friends they ended up dating in the beginning of high school until jealousy got out of hand and Peter had to get away from her – he had also discovered his taste in people by that time too. Unfortunately, aunt May adored the young lady and always kept in touch with her and her family.

No, Peter signed. Absolutely not.

*

So I was thinking maybe after you get out of class, we can get something to eat and maybe go –

Peter shut his eyes and turned away from Gwen to face the bus window. He hated company unless it was Harry or Wade, but no – it was Gwen Stacey by his side signing a thousand words per second. For a moment, Peter was glad that he was deaf and had the ability to simply close his eyes if he wanted to shut someone out.

When they reached the school, Gwen followed after him like a lost dog. He went straight to class, making her wait outside and when he came out, she jumped to her feet and happily followed him to the library where he’d wait for Wade.

Gwen, he signed her name which was simply the letters “G-S” for “Gwen Stacey”. Shut up. Seriously.

Why are you so mean to me? We’ve haven’t seen each other in a long time and we don't see each other often.

I saw you last Christmas, that’s plenty.

Gwen pouted and crossed her arms. So rude. I don’t understand how –

For once, the platinum blonde stopped talking. She looked up and tightened her jaw. Peter followed her gaze to the library doors where Wade was standing – staring right back at her.

Chapter Text

As Wade quietly approached, casually signing “good morning” – Peter couldn’t tell if it was directed to just him or Gwen as well – Peter noticed the two avoided looking at each other, exchanging occasional glances.

Do you two know each other? Peter broke the awkward “silence”, furrowing his brows in confusion.

Wade put a fist near his mouth to clear his throat and Gwen brushed her hair with her fingers. They shifted uncomfortably in their seats as Peter waited for an answer from somebody.

No, we’ve never met. Wade said with a straight face, weaving his hands in the air stiffly – which almost never happened because his signs were usually sloppy.

Gwen quickly nodded, signing in the same style. Yeah, same. 

Peter blinked a few times, still confused. There was an odd atmosphere between them, though it didn't surprise him much as they were equally weird. He signed “ok” and shrugged off the issue. Pulling out his binder, he took out a new list of vocabulary words to over with Wade. While he was getting his things set up, Gwen looked up at Wade, nervously twirling her hair between her fingers.

“Are you hearing?” she asked, in a low voice. Wade met her eyes, his expression went hard. 

“Yeah, and?”

“You remember me, don’t you?”

“Unfortunately.”

What are you two talking about? Peter noticed them moving their mouths.

I was just introducing myself, Gwen put on a fake smile. She looked over at Wade and signed her name. I’m Gwen Stacey.

I’m Wade Wilson, nice to meet you. Wade reached over across the table and offered to shake her hand, to which Gwen hesitantly complied. Gwen had never seen Wade before in her past life, but Peter didn’t have many friends – the only person he ever talked about was Harry until he started talking about a man he began tutoring named ‘Wade”. Aunt May had told her that he would be hard to miss.

“Why do you need my help?” Gwen had asked aunt May. “Wade knows I wanted him out of Peter’s life, he’s not going to trust me. And what if Wade doesn’t remember? What am I supposed to do?”

Aunt May smiled sadly. She gently took Gwen’s hand in hers. “Help me bring them together. If God didn’t want them to reunite, then we wouldn’t have given the right to remember the past. Please Gwen, look at Peter – when was the last time you saw him truly smile?”

Gwen sat back and watched them interact with each other. Peter was more expressive and more animated when he signed with Wade. Even if Peter didn’t know it, Gwen could see that he was happy being around him. She felt a little jealous, mildly hoping that whatever Peter saw in Wade he’d see in her in this life – but it will always be Wade. At the same time, however, she did miss seeing Peter smile.

Are you busy tonight? Gwen signed to Wade – interrupting while Peter was reprimanding Wade for fingerspelling slowly. Peter shot her a glare, but the blonde ignored him.

Yeah, why?

Do you want to join us for dinner?

Peter dropped his jaw. Absolutely not. No.

Gwen still ignored him, keeping her eyes on Wade. Aunt May is making lasagna tonight. Do you want to come?

Wade’s eyes widened. “Does she…?”

Gwen nodded. Wade’s stomach tightened – suddenly everything made sense. Aunt May and possibly uncle Ben remembered him, which is why Gwen was here – although she didn’t look too happy to be there, even for the sake of Peter. By the looks of it, Peter seemed to be the only one who didn’t remember.

Peter waved his hands in front of them to get their attention. No way, Gwen ruins everything. This is not happening.

Wade’s expression almost fell, then he looked back at Gwen, biting his lip. It’s okay, I’ll come some other time. I don’t want to go without Peter’s permission.

Gwen looked back at Peter with a hopeful expression. I think aunt May will like him, please Peter?

Wade interceded, looking a little down at first, but then he smiled. Really. It’s fine. I have to get to class. Thank you for the help today Peter, I’ll see you tomorrow.

As he got up and started packing, Gwen immediately punched Peter in the shoulder while Wade wasn’t looking – earning a sharp gasp and a dirty look from the brunet.

Why did you hit me? Peter signed aggressively.

Gwen responded in the same manner. You like him. I can see it. Why are you being an asshole?

Because you ruin everything, I see the way you look at him! Then Peter quickly added. And shut up, I do not like him. I just don’t want you scaring away others because you’re so damn weird.

The blonde rolled her eyes. He’s not my type – I promise I won’t ruin anything. Now invite him! Aunt May wants you to have more friends anyway - this is a good start.

Peter groaned anxiously. He suddenly slapped the table to get Wade’s attention; The blond looked up with a hopeful expression.

You can come tonight if you want–

Gwen slapped his arm and Peter pushed her away. He let out a short sigh and somehow found it difficult to meet Wade’s eyes.

I mean you should come over tonight – my aunt likes meeting my friends. And does make good lasagna. 

A smile began to spread across Wade’s face.

*

Wade was given the address to Peter’s house and was told to come at seven. When he arrived, he was suddenly feeling hesitant about leaving his car. He gripped the wheel tightly feeling nervous all of a sudden. The last time he met Peter’s aunt and uncle they were driven out of the house for Wade’s safety. Wade wasn’t so sure that the brunet would do such a thing in this life – not that they had anything to fear anyway. Wade wasn’t a ghost, to begin with – and he wasn’t bald or covered in sores from the cancer. Maybe they would be more accepting in this life.

Wade got out of the car and slowly approached the front door. It looked like your typical suburban house with a dozen windows and a perfect lawn. He looked down and adjusts his blue button up as he stopped in front of the door. He bit the inside of his cheek and noticed his palms were getting sweaty, thinking of all the possibilities of how this night could go wrong. Before he could make a decision on whether or not to say 'fuck it' and bolt back to the car, the front door opened. Hoping it was Peter, it was aunt May instead, looking up at him with sad eyes. Wade was unable to say anything as the woman suddenly approached him and gave him a hug.

“Wade Wilson, I am so happy you’re in this world. Peter and you deserve nothing but the best. Please help him find happiness again.”

Without saying anything and feeling himself on the verge of tears, Wade hugged the frail old woman back.

“I will.”

 

Aunt May led Wade into the kitchen, finding Gwen and Peter bickering over who does what, and uncle Ben reading the newspaper at the table. The old man looked up from the paper as Wade approached, earning a solid nod and a small grin from him.

“It’s good to see you again, Wade.” he muttered, shaking Wade’s hand. Wade nodded and smiled. He looked up at Peter who was wearing the usual graphic tee with a hoodie – Peter was never really the semi-formal type even in the past life. Despite that, the butterflies still swarmed madly in his stomach at the sight of him. Peter noticed him and gave him a small smile as he set the table with plates while Gwen was in charge of utensils.

Thank you for inviting me, Wade signed. Standing there awkwardly as everyone (except uncle Ben) was helping set the table. Peter simply nodded, then scolded Gwen for getting the wrong forks.

“Go ahead and have a seat, Wade.” Aunt May signed as she spoke. “You too Gwen. Do you know if Harry is coming?”

Harry is kind of mad at me so we’re not talking, Peter replied. He got into a fight with Wade.

About what?

Peter rolled his eyes as he took a seat across from Wade. You know how Harry is with hearing people.

Aunt May snorted as she set the lasagna on the table. “Don’t you mind Harry, Wade. He’s always been overprotective of Peter. He’ll come around. Alright everyone, let’s eat. Ben put that away or I’m gonna burn it.” Aunt May lightly slapped the newspaper and uncle Ben waved her off, muttering bitterly to himself.

“Thank you so much for dinner, aunt May.” Wade said while everyone helped themselves to a plate.

“You’re welcome dear, take as much as you want. Peter and Gwen never eat enough of food I make and we always end up having leftovers.”

I do! Peter signed, making a point to slide another portion of lasagna on his plate. He looked over at Wade. Don’t listen to her. Gwen and I eat fine.

Everyone chuckled to themselves as they ate. The lasagna was so good Wade forgot to talk, noticing that Peter was signing back and forth with Gwen and aunt May with one hand as he shoveled a forkful of cheese into his mouth.

“So, what do you study Wade?” Uncle Ben spoke up while the others were signing to each other. He looked over at Wade over his glasses.

“Fire Science. I got an internship for next summer at the department here.”

Uncle Ben nodded thoughtfully, wiping his mouth with a napkin. “What made you decide to be a firefighter?”

“My dad was one, and that sort of inspired me. I use to hang around the department when I was little while my dad worked. I always wanted to slide down the pole but my dad said if I knew how to put on the fire turnout gear under ten minutes then I could do it.”

“So did you do it?”

Wade laughed to himself. “No I was six and the smallest turnout gear they had there was for women. It took about twenty minutes for me to figure it out how to put it on  - especially when I was only half the size of the gear. I was so determined to get on that pole that all I did was practice putting on the gear, which was probably another tactic of my dad to keep me from bothering his co-workers and getting into trouble.”

Peter suddenly broke out into laughter; Wade realized that aunt May was translating for him.

That’s so cute and funny, Peter signed, his laughter making him get teary eyed. I can imagine your tiny body in the big outfit, and your helmet covering your entire head.

He started to laugh harder, which made Wade start laughing. Watching them laugh made both aunt May and Gwen laugh, until finally, uncle Ben broke into a chuckle. They sat there at the dinner table trying to gather themselves, but whenever one of them looked at each other, they all laughed harder.

Wade felt tears coming as his stomach was beginning to feel sore from laughing. But he quickly realized the tears coming out of his eyes were not from the intense laughter. His chest was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions as he watched Peter smile – bringing back memories of being together, laughing with each other. Making every situation positive, because that’s what Peter believed in to having a good life. 

I need to go outside for a second, excuse me. Wade suddenly got up while everyone was still laughing, wearing a small smile as he headed for the front door.

Peter was beginning to calm down, trying to catch his breathe.  He eyed Wade carefully as he left the house. Is he okay?

Aunt May smiled widely, oblivious to sudden mood change. You made him laugh too hard, he’ll be back in a minute.

Peter furrowed his brows curiously and gets up. I’m gonna check on him real quick.

Hurry back soon, the food is getting cold.

 

Peter found Wade sitting on the porch steps with his elbows resting on his legs and his face buried in his hands. The brunet sat next to him and tapped him gently on the shoulder. He noticed tears streaming down Wade’s face. He refused to look at Peter, but the brunet stayed by his side. He could see Wade's lips moving as though he was speaking, but Peter was unable to read his lips at that angle.

“You have no idea how much I'm in love with you, Peter Parker.” Wade whispered, gritting his teeth through his tears. "You have no idea how much it hurts..."

Chapter Text

No matter how many times Wade tried to convince Peter that there wasn’t anything wrong, Peter just grew more skeptical. Wade smiled softly through his quivering bottom lip and his swollen eyes while reassuring Peter that he was just suddenly ill from laughing too hard. Wade probably didn’t know that deaf people were professional face readers, because he wasn’t fooling anyone.

Are you sure everything is okay? Peter asked once more, because third time’s a charm. But again, Wade responded the same way as before with almost a hurt smile on his face.

I'm fine, I'm not lying.

You've been like this since we've met, Peter wanted to say, but his hands stayed glued at his sides. What was Wade hiding all this time? He always looked lost in thought and on the verge of tears. Peter thought maybe he was having personal issues at home, but he was too afraid to ask about it just in case it was too much of a sensitive topic. At the same time though, they were friends, and friends look out for each other. Peter decided to stop beating around the bush and lifted his hands.

That’s bullshit. You don't look okay to me. Tell me what's wrong. Please?

Wade tightened his jaw and looked away, but Peter wasn't going to let him off the hook that easily. He put his hand on Wade's arm and gripped it hard to make the blond look back at him.

Giving Wade a stern look he asked, We’re friends aren't we?

Wade paused and looked away again...then frowned. I don't know.

What do you mean you don't know? Peter jerked his head back in surprise, slightly offended. I tutored you and invited you into my house–

The more he signed the more Wade's eyes lit up as he held a tight smile to suppress his laughter. When Peter realized what was going on after a few delayed seconds, his hands froze as he stared at Wade in disbelief. The blonde couldn't help but burst into laughter, which made Peter shove him to the side. But he was secretly pleased with how quickly Wade was able to cheer up. Peter liked it when he smiled.

I'm sorry, I was kidding. You are my friend. Wade tried to sit up but he kept laughing as Peter continued to push him.

No, it's too late for you. The brunet playfully rejected him. We’re not friends anymore.

Wade stuck out his bottom lip waiting for forgiveness, but he was getting none of it. He could tell that Peter wanted to break character though by trying to hide a smile tugging from the corner of his mouth. Wade finally forced himself up and grabbed the arm that persisted to shove him, moving himself closer to Peter so he could meet his eyes. He pondered on making a silly face or signing something stupid, but he just remembered the last time they made eye contact like this – The last time Wade was completely mesmerized and thanking god for how lucky he was to have Peter by his side while his suffered in the never ending purgatory. Or maybe it was heaven because Peter was there.

Peter finally cracked a smile and chuckled, but now Wade’s face fell. He found himself with aching feelings as his mind wandered to their previous life again. He didn’t even realize that his grip on the brunet was getting tighter. Peter glanced at his arm to give Wade a hint that it was becoming uncomfortable, but Wade ignored him.

I want to kiss him. Wade thought to himself. His body was stuck, wanting to move but it was frozen in fear and hesitation. I want to kiss him. No I don’t. Yes I do. Don’t do it. Do it now.

As Peter moved his free hand to sign something, Wade suddenly let go of his wrist and grabbed Peter’s face to bring it closer to his. Looking at each other with shock and confusion and a bundle of other emotions that couldn’t be put into words, Wade closed his eyes and gently placed his lips on Peter’s.

They were soft, warm, and just how Wade remembered it – though it was better than their last life because now he can actually feel it. He could smell the vague hint of cologne on Peter and it made Wade’s heart leap. He wanted more. He want to kiss him deeply, nibble on his bottom lip, mark his neck – he wanted Peter all to himself once again. He wanted things back to the way they use to be. I love you so much, Peter Parker, Wade wanted to sign, but his hands were glued to the sides of his face, and his fingers ached to comb through Peter’s hair. I want to see the world with you. I want to grow old with you. I never want to leave your side.

To Wade’s distaste, the kiss lasted shortly. He had suddenly realized what he was doing and pushed Peter away, looking at the ground as if strange drawings were marked all over it. Peter just sat there trying to process what had just happened as he stared at Wade with wide eyes. Both of their hearts were pounding in their ears and their faces were completely flushed.

I’m sorry. Wade signed, backing away from Peter and the house as he tried to stand up. Peter continued to stare at him. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’ll never doing that again. I–I gotta go.

And with that, Wade bolted from the porch steps and sped away in his car.

 

That night, Peter couldn’t sleep for awhile. He laid on his back and stared at the ceiling, replaying the scene in his head over and over again. He never realized Wade’s feelings before, but everything made sense by the way Wade had been acting. The only problem was that Peter didn’t know if he felt the same way – he never thought about it. He didn’t trust Wade at first because of his sudden approach that day when they bumped into each other at the stairs. But after Wade saved him from a group of bullies, he could sense that Wade was harmless and meant well. Even after spending a short time tutoring him made Peter grow a little more comfortable with being around him. Peter needed more time to think about this. He spent so much time being alone that the idea of letting a person into his life made him uneasy. He was afraid being vulnerable, and he didn’t know why.

After awhile, Peter’s eyes finally gave out on him and was immersed into the most peculiar dream he had ever had.

He found himself in the arms of a stranger, standing together in a vaguely familiar living room. They were slow dancing to a familiar song that was being hummed by the man holding him – Peter quickly realized that he was in a dream because he had never heard anything before. Not once in his waking life had he known about this song, but in this dream he felt like he heard it a thousand times.

Peter looked up to see who this man was he was dancing with and it turned out to be...Wade? He was bald with a strange texture on his skin as if he had been burned alive years ago – but the oddest thing Peter noticed what that he was transparent...almost as if he was a ghost. He could tell it was Wade because of the way he smiled at him – always flashing those perfect pearly whites while showing off that lonely dimple on his left cheek. They were the same person. Peter’s dream self felt so overwhelmed with emotions he didn’t know why. He was beginning to forget that he was in a dream, letting his dream self take control as if it knew what to do.

With one hand resting on the small of Peter’s back, Wade used his other to grab his hand and he began to slow dance around the living room. Peter gave him a puzzled look, but the ghost ignored him and guided him in slow small circles while cheerfully humming an unfamiliar tune to himself. As the rhythm gradually get faster, so did Wade; taking wider strides which Peter had no choice but to follow. He was stiff and awkward at first, but it was easy adapting to Wade’s spurts of randomness.

“When you press me to your heart,” Wade sang softly in his ear. His voice rang through Peter’s bones, giving him goosebumps. He loved how every day he was able to learn something new about Wade; His favorite color was red, he loved romantic comedies,

I'm in a world apart
a world where roses bloom

he appreciated all genres of music, he loved painting, he had a freckle in his armpit, he had three distinct laughs, he loved the smell of baked goods, Guy Fieri is his favorite cook,

And when you speak
angels sing from above

he loved Christmas lights--the colorful ones, he can read a book upside down at an incredible pace, he specifically stated he was ambilateral and not ambidextrous, he can finish a 1000 piece puzzle in two days, and he can sing.

Everyday words seem to turn into love songs
give your heart and soul to me

Peter smiled in his shoulder as he goes on with the list of fun facts in his head while Wade’s singing puts him at ease. The ghost began to slow down and he wrapped his arms tighter around Peter.

And life will always be
la vie en rose...

Wade suddenly pulled away and took a few steps back, frowning at Peter. His ghostly image was growing more transparent.

“Wait,” Peter found himself saying, his voice broken and in pain. “Please don’t go.”

“I’m sorry.” Wade said, his face scrunching up in sadness. He watched Peter from where his stood, tears and snot flowing down his face. “I’m so sorry, Peter. I love you so much, I’m sorry.”

Peter’s dream self felt an entire spectrum of emotions as Wade was now barely visible. He was mad at him. Happy for him. Felt so much love for him. Felt betrayed by him.

Peter reached out to Wade, but he seemed to be getting further and further away. “Don’t leave me! Don’t leave! Don’t–”

The second Peter blinked, Wade was suddenly mere inches away from him, cradling his face in his ghostly hands. He pressed his forehead against Peter’s and closed his eyes.

“I love you Peter Parker,” Wade whispered against his lips. “and nothing in the universe could stop me from being with you.”

 

Peter shot up as he gasped for air. He took a moment to catch his breath, confused as to why his heart was pounding and aching painfully and why he was crying so much that his eyes were beginning to feel sore. He tried to control his breath, but for some reason he couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmed with sorrow.

The brunet decided to lay back down and close his eyes to ignore it, bits and pieces of the strange dream lingering in his mind. But by the time he was asleep again, he had already forgotten all of it.

Chapter Text

Wade’s eight hour sleep felt like ten minutes. The second he woke up he instantly remembered yesterday’s events which made his stomach turn. He kissed Peter. Wade massaged his forehead with the heel of his palms in circular motions, trying to plan his day out carefully. He pondered on the thought of avoiding Peter, but what if Peter hunted him down in the study hall again? No, there was no way he would. Peter was probably furious at this point – he wouldn’t want to see Wade.

“I’m such an idiot.” Wade murmured to himself, turning and tossing from side to side. What if Peter never wanted to talk to him again? The look on his face after Wade kissed him – Wade couldn’t tell what was going through his head, and he didn’t want to wait and find out. As always, even in their previous life, Peter was hard to read.

Wade decided to skip school for the day. His absence would hurt his grades a tad bit, but he didn’t care. He needed time to recuperate. He did everything he could to keep his mind off of Peter; He went to the gym, he cleaned up his house – his room, even. But no matter what he did he just felt more anxious. When he took naps, he had dreams of Peter flipping out on him or shunning him completely. Wade was at a loss with himself.
In the midst of drowning in despair, Wade suddenly heard the doorbell ring. He trotted down the stairs to get it, assuming it was the mailman – but it wasn’t. It was Vanessa.

“Hey,” she said quietly, giving him a small smile. She clutched her purse nervously at her side.

Wade raised his brows in surprise. “Vanessa... Is everything okay?”

“I left some of my clothes here...can I get them back? I’ll be out of your hair in no time I just–”

“Of course, of course.” Wade stepped aside and smiled. There was an unspoken and awkward atmosphere between them, but they clearly avoided confronting each other about it. Vanessa cautiously walked through his house as if it was her first time. She looked around, frowning at the memories she had in here. She loved his parents and the way they loved her back – being a part of his family never made her happier. But then he broke up with her, and she didn't even get to say goodbye them. Before Vanessa reached the stairs, she stopped.

“How long?”

Wade raised a brow. “I'm sorry?”

“How long have you loved this person?”

He frowned. “Vanessa…”

“No, I wanna know.” She turned around. Wade expected her to cross her arms and give him hell, but instead she just stood there in a slumped state looking defeated.

“For...awhile, V.”

“Before me?”

Wade opened his mouth to say something else but he stopped himself and sighed in defeat. “Before you.”

Vanessa dropped her head and her shoulders began to shake. She turned away from him again and buried her face in her hands. Her voice quivered as she spoke.“T-That’s good. I’m s-so happy for you.”

“V… You will always hold a special place in my heart I just – “

“So everything was a lie? You wanting to marry me, have kids, grow old together – was that just a lie?”

The question was a spear to the chest. “That’s not true. I meant every word Vanessa, you know that–”

Vanessa spun around, tears streaming down her face. “You’re so full of shit! Don’t make promises you can’t keep! We had our whole life planned out together and now you’re just gonna throw it away because you realized you’ve been in love with someone else? Who the hell is she? Do I know her?”

Wade drew closer and raised his hands to calm her down. “Vanessa…”

She marched at him and jabbed a finger in his chest. “No. This is on you. You suddenly just leaving – we’re not in high school Wade. Who is she? – “

Wade grabbed her wrists and pushed them away. “He’s none of your concern, V!”

“What?” Vanessa stopped moving, her eyes going wide. “‘He?'"

Wade flinched at his own words, immediately backing away. He could feel his hands become clammy and his face heat up. He didn't know where to look or what to say – the seconds rolled by quickly and it was too late to cover himself. Up until now he never had a problem with his sexuality. Was he gay? He didn't know. It didn't matter to him until now – what would his parents think? What would his friends think?

Wade pointed up the stairs without looking at Vanessa. In a low voice he said, “Please get your clothes and get out.”


 

Wade didn’t show up to tutoring again – not that Peter expected him to. He had a feeling Wade was probably embarrassed with himself and went to hide in what Peter called the “Hearing Peoples’ study hall”. He didn’t understand why Wade always ran away whenever he got embarrassed. He reminded Peter of a child – stubborn and over-dramatic.

Why are you walking so fast? Gwen waved her hand in front of his face. They were on their way to the science buildings to find Wade. You didn’t finish telling me why Wade left last night. Did you two get into a fight?

Peter shook his head. He’s just being a drama queen again.

You mean this happened before?

It involved Harry last time. I’ll tell you about it later.

Gwen looked up and noticed where they were going. You think he’s here?

He has a friend in here, I think he’s a tutor. I can just ask him.

Is he deaf too?

Peter stopped walking right before the doors. Will you shut up?

Gwen put her hands on her hips, ready to retort, when suddenly the doors to the building opened. Wade’s lookalike friend was there. He raised his brows in surprise when he saw Peter. He smiled and shook his head while he said something. Peter turned to Gwen.

What did he say?

He said that Wade wasn’t here today. Gwen signed.

Interpret for me, okay? Ask him where I can find Wade.

Gwen turned to the blonde giant. “Where can I find Wade?”

“Oh, you can speak!” The blonde smiled. Gwen signed everything he said for Peter to read. “He’s at home right now. He said he wasn’t feeling well.”

“Do you have his number?” Gwen spoke as she read Peter’s signs.

“I do.” He pulled out his phone. “What’s your name? So I can let him know I gave it to you.”

“Peter.” Gwen said, then added with a smile, “and Gwen.”

The blonde man smiled at Gwen and offered a handshake. “Well it’s very nice to meet you Gwen, I’m Flash.”

Gwen furrowed her brows and angled her ear closer to him as her hand was engulfed by his. “Your name is Fash? Sorry I’m hard-of-hearing, can you speak a little louder?”

Flash smiled apologetically and raised his hand. F-L-A-S-H.

Gwen gasped in surprise. “You can sign?!”

“I only know the alphabet. I heard Wade is getting tutored by Peter. Got room for one more?”

Peter was about to object when Gwen interpreted, but she slid in front of him. She laced her hands behind her back and gave Flash a flirtatious smile. “Sure, I can teach you!”

The brunet flicked her ear, earning a painful hiss and a glare from her. I need Wade’s number.

 

Once Peter saved the number into his phone, he walked away from Gwen and Flash who seemed to be completely googly eyed with each other.

Peter: It’s Peter. Why are you at home?
It didn’t take long for Wade to reply.
Wade: How did you get my number?
Peter: I got it from Flash. I went to look for you at the science buildings. Answer my question now.
Wade: I’m sick.
Peter: Bullshit. Why do you always avoid me? I thought you liked me.
Wade: That’s not funny.
Peter: But I’m not joking.
Wade: Last night was a mistake. I didn’t mean to do that.
Peter: I’m deaf, Wade. Not stupid.
Wade: Can we talk later?
Peter: No. If you don’t meet up with me today I’m never seeing or tutoring you again.
Wade: … Fine. I’m on my way.
Peter: I’ll be at the library.

Peter looked back at Gwen who was still yapping away with Flash. He rolled his eyes and left to the library without her.

 

Wade must’ve been speeding, because he arrived at the school in fifteen minutes – maybe less. Peter guessed he ran from the parking lot too because he was out of breath. He didn’t even have his backpack with him.

The second Wade walked through the library doors and spotted Peter, he immediately looked away as he approached. He sat across the table, keeping his eyes on Peter’s shirt. He was bright red in the face, but Peter couldn’t tell if it was from the running or if he was embarrassed – or if it was both.

Hi. Peter angled his head to meet Wade’s eyes, but the blonde kept averting them. You don’t have to be shy all of a sudden. We’re not in high school – it was just a kiss.

Wade flicked his eyes up, then back down. You’re not mad at me?

Peter sighed. You could’ve just told me you liked me. You're a really dramatic person, you know.

So… Wade scratched his head. What do you think?

Peter sat back and looked at Wade for a second. He didn’t know how he felt towards Wade – he wasn’t a bad guy. He still didn’t know much about him. Even though he wasn’t talking to Harry much lately, he still heed his warning.

We pretty much started talking this past month, right?

Wade nodded eagerly.

I still don’t know much about you. Peter signed as slow as he could for Wade to understand so he didn't have repeat himself. But I do want to get to know you better because I think you're a great person from what I noticed this past month, then we’ll see where things go from there. But that means no more avoiding me - I don't know if that's a thing Hearing people do but it's really annoying. Okay? You don't have to feel scared around me. You're hearing and I'm deaf. Our cultures are different from each other, so the best thing we can do is speak up about our feelings. Deaf people weren't raised to be passive aggressive like you hearing people, we tend to be honest on the spot so there's no confusion. So if you can, please communicate with me better. Can you do that for me?

The redness on Wade’s face was extremely saturated at this point, and all he could do was nod. He was low-key turned on by how laid back Peter was, which was exactly how he was in their previous life. Wade was so excited and anxious at the same time that his hands and face were tingling into numbness.

Good, Peter smiled. Are you gonna ask me when I'm free or what?

Wade's hands were so numb he couldn't feel them. When he lifted them to sign, they were shaking. When are you free?

I'm glad you asked. Peter stood up and gathered his things. I'm free right now. Let's go. 

Chapter Text

Wade rhythmically tapped the pads of his cold fingers against the ceramic mug in front of him nervously, teasing them with the radiating heat. The kind of cafe Wade brought Peter to wasn't your typical Starbucks; this place served coffee as if it were fine dining. Waiters came to ask what kind of coffee you wanted and depending on how bougie you were, you'd get your specially made coffee in less than half an hour served in a mug you'd only find in a hippy’s house – or maybe at your grandma Gladis’. The “café restaurant”, as Wade put it, was suppose to feel like home – at least that was the intention of the vibe and style. There were worn sofas, mismatched rugs, and posters that didn’t make any sense – it was a bit too try-hard for Wade’s taste, because all it did was make him more uncomfortable. Or maybe it was because Peter was there.

Peter sat across from Wade, cradling his chipped mug between his hands. The confident aura he gave off not too long ago seemed to be gradually dying out, and now he was looking around the room and pretending to be curious of the tacky decor.

It was only a minute or two that had passed but it felt like they’ve been sitting there forever. Wade decided that it was his turn to be the confident one. He waved his hand in Peter’s direction to get his attention, to which the brunet flinched and immediately turned to Wade.

Wade pointed at Peter. Do you like your coffee?

Yeah. Peter nodded. He moved his hands from the mug so he could sign. But we could’ve grabbed a coffee at Starbucks.

The blond chuckled nervously and scratched his head. I know, but I thought you’d want to talk more. We can leave now if you want.

No, no, Peter vigorously shook his head at his misunderstanding. it’s fine. I like it here. It’s different. I just thought you didn’t know what a Starbucks was and picked this place by random.

Wade snorted and shook his head. Very funny. I’ve never been here before, I heard this place was pretty popular.

Peter nodded and took a sip from his cup. There was nothing special about the flavor in his opinion. Overpriced generic coffee was pretty much what it was. But at the same time it wasn’t the coffee that mattered, but rather the overall experience in the shop. In a way, it was comforting to Peter, but Wade didn’t seem to feel that way at all. He was nothing but a walking bundle of nerves – like he was expecting the worst to come at any second.

What do you like to do in your free time? Wade asked, interrupted Peter’s train of thought.

I like to fix books. Peter replied. It makes me sad when people throw them away, I prefer to tape it up and try to make it last longer. I just feel better that way instead of replacing it with a new one.

Wade did remember how much Peter liked working at the bookstore in his last life. He also remembered how much he hated waiting for Peter to come home because of it. At this point, Wade couldn’t tell which life he enjoyed most. What he had in his previous life, he was happy – not that he wouldn’t be happy in this life, it was just… different.

Peter noticed the way Wade was looking at him. He was almost wearing a sort of sad expression on his face again – how distant his gaze was as his brows slightly knitted together. Peter could almost see his train of thoughts rolling through his head. What on earth could he possibly be thinking about?

What about you? Peter asked, putting the thought aside for now. Do you have any hobbies?

Wade looked briefly looked up at the ceiling and hmm’d to himself. I like playing sports here and there. Mostly basketball and occasionally soccer.

Peter snorted and rolled his eyes. Given with Wade’s muscular physique and how strikingly handsome he was, the only category Peter could put him under was the “jock” type. He couldn’t help but put labels on people, as he was almost never wrong.

You look like the type of person who would be into sports.

What? And you’re not? Wade knew Peter wasn’t a sporty person, as he was most definitely not in their previous life.

The brunet shook his head. No, sports were never really my thing. I twisted my ankle playing soccer once and never played again.

Wade hissed in pain, remembering his own frequent injuries. Is it hard playing sports while being deaf?

Peter shrugged. I don’t think so. We just sign instead of talking. Of course it would be difficult if there were hearing and deaf people on the same team because you’d risk miscommunication but other than that – it’s not hard at all.

Wade leaned in, his mind rolling with questions. Did you ever wish that you could hear?

I did when I was a kid. I use to get bullied a lot. Kids would steal my hearing aids or flick them off when they walked by… I hated being deaf back then. But I’ve grown to accept myself.

Wade frowned. Some hearing people are assholes… I’m sorry.

Peter shrugged again. It’s in the past, it’s fine. I met Harry soon after that and he helped me fight through the depression.

The blond shook his head. A small fire of rage grew in the pit of his stomach as he pictured his sweet poor Peter being mocked by little twats – an insult he couldn’t help to describe children. I just don’t understand why anyone bully anyone just because they’re just a little bit different. They don’t know who you are, and you’re an amazing person. No one’s perfect, and they think they are? It’s bullshit – it's rude, and I apologize on the behalf of hearing people. A lot of us are ignorant and need to know that there’s more to a person than just the differences in their body.

Wade glanced at Peter who was staring at him with wide eyes. He did a double take and raised his brows. As if he’d verbally delivered the message he received a few curious glances in his direction.

What? Did I say something wrong?

Peter shook his head vigorously trying to find the words. He was absolutely speechless. Watching Wade get upset for him because of hearing people – realizing that there's an issue that needs to be addressed in society… it made Peter somewhat happy inside. He had never met another hearing person (beside Harry) who felt the same way.

Peter found himself smiling and shook his head again. No. Not at all. Thank you – what you said was amazing. I'm happy you feel that way.

Wade suddenly went bright red. He sat back in his chair and ran a hand through his hair nervously while he looked away. It made Peter laugh – He didn’t seem to be that bad of a person after all.

***

Wade drove Peter home after they were done. He wasn't experienced enough to sign while he drove so he kept his hands on the wheel, only glancing at Peter for directions. When he arrived at his house, he painfully remembered kissing Peter on that very porch and running to his car like a schoolgirl. It made him cringe and he prayed every second of his life (and probably until he dies) for time to, somehow, alter itself as if it has never happened – that it was simply all a dream. The sad part though, that Wade even admitted, was that there wasn’t a single drop of alcohol in his system which he could have used as some sort of excuse for his stupid actions – then he had the most upsetting realization that he was always full of stupid actions.

Would you like to come inside? Peter asked, interrupting a horrific reverie.

Wade was about to beat around the bush but he knew Peter wouldn't understand. People within the deaf community were straightforward with one another. It was probably a bit more healthy conversing with them than hearing folks – they were just so honest, and politely so.

Sure, he replied with a smile, but really, it felt like his body was beginning to shut down from the inside out.

 

When they walked into the house, aunt May and uncle Ben were nowhere to be found. Peter mentioned something about aunt May at a book club and uncle Ben usually stayed late at work on the weekdays. This only meant one thing, and Wade Winston Wilson had never been so nervous in his entire life. They were alone.

At the corner of his eye, Peter noticed Wade stiffen by the front door, not knowing what to do with himself. He waved at him to get his attention.

Follow me, Peter signed, taking him to the basement.

It was like another living room downstairs – a couch and a t.v on one side and a large table covered in stacks of books on the other. Wade assumed that's where Peter fixed books.

I usually bring friends here to hang out instead of my room, Peter signed. There's more space.

Wade slid his palm over the other to sign “nice”. He was impressed with the way it was set up – but it made him mildly uncomfortable with how similar it was to past life Peter’s house; the terra-cotta pots with succulent plants scattered around the room, wooden picture frames of professionally taken scenery covering the brick walls, filled bookcases and piles of books next them, and even the tacky woven rug which somehow tied the room together. Peter’s taste in decor remained the same.

But why was everything the same except for Peter? Why was he the only one who couldn't remember anything? Why did he have to be deaf?

“Wad.” Peter vocalized from the other side of the room, where he stood by a record player while Wade was busy reading the spines of Peter’s literary patients on his work table, which consisted of mid to late 1800s classics.

Wade gave him a curious expression as he walked over.

How much can you hear?

Peter carefully pulled out the record from its sleeve and placed it through the spindle of the turntable. He grabbed a pair of headphones on the side and put them on. The music began to play simultaneously through Peter’s headphones and the speakers so they could both listen to it together.

I can hear fireworks and anything extremely loud through these headphones, Peter signed as he bobbed his head to the music. It was an 80s song Wade vaguely remembered.

“When I wake up, well I know I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you,”

I can't believe you listen to the Proclaimers, Wade snorted. He couldn't help but bob his head to the beat with Peter.

They're one of the coolest bands I know.

Wade rolled his eyes. They were a one-hit-wonder.

Peter waved him off and continued to mouth the lyrics. The music was so loud Wade could understand why aunt May and uncle Ben would give him an extra room in the basement.

Wade wasn't much of a dancer, but it was weird with the two of them just bouncing their heads together – so Wade decided to take it another notch.

Let's dance, he signed.

Peter shook his head fearfully. I can’t dance.

I'll teach you.

Wade immediately grabbed Peter’s waist with one hand and his wrist in the other. He actually knew nothing about dancing – all he did was dramatically rock Peter side to side to the beat. He was mildly worried Peter would pull away and get angry, but instead he was laughing so much he was tearing up.

“I would walk five hundred miles and I would walk five hundred more,” Wade sang as loudly as he could. No one was home anyways and Peter already had headphones on – Wade didn’t even care if he sounded good.

It didn't take long for them to get comfortable being silly – Peter twirled under his hand and made Wade do the same. They parted briefly and danced like idiots in front of each other, pausing momentarily to point and laugh at one another.

Then Peter took the lead, tippy toeing as he grabbed Wade’s waist and his hand, trying to halfheartedly tango to the Proclaimers. Wade watched him try to keep a serious face as he stared ahead with such determination. He wondered if Peter actually knew how to tango. But the second he started moving, he tripped over his shoelace and nearly met his end with the back of the couch.

As if Wade saw ten steps ahead, he already moved Peter aside, using his momentum from pulling him to take his place – his large frame hitting the couch instead of Peter. They end up on the floor with the brunet top of him - their noses nearly touching as they stared into each other’s eyes.

The music had already faded into silence and Peter didn't know what to do. Wade was too close. He could see his eyes clearly, those piercing pale blues – it made Peter feel uncomfortable staring into them for too long. This was probably what Wade wanted – it always seemed he wanted a reason to touch Peter, and Peter didn't know whether or not he should trust him enough to. He still didn't know how he felt towards him.

Before Wade could say or do anything, Peter pulled away and stood up. He looked around, not knowing what to do with himself as Wade got up. The fun mood they had died and the air was a bit suffocating. He turned away from Wade but Wade gently grabbed his shoulder to turn him back. He couldn't meet his eyes, so Peter adamantly stared at his chest.

I like you, Wade signed.

Peter looked at anything but Wade’s face. He was uncomfortable.

I know. Peter signed. He clenched and unclenched his clammy hands. He never dated anyone or liked anyone for that matter. Everyone would hurt him – what if Wade was the same? How would he be any different from the others?

Uncomfortable.

What are you thinking? He saw Wade ask without really looking.

I don't know. Peter was beginning to feel dizzy.

Uncomfortable.

Peter – Wade was about to put a hand on his shoulder again. The simple thought of it set Peter off and he slapped his hand away.

DUN TOSH ME.” Peter shouted in English to the best of his ability. He finally met Wade’s eyes.

Why do you always push yourself on me? His hands moved violently as he signed. I don't know if I like you, okay? Stop being so close to me it's annoying and it makes me uncomfortable. Now get out! Leave!

Wade flinched as Peter thrust a finger towards the door. The way Wade looked at him made Peter regret what he said just a little. But he was too annoyed to care.

I'm sorry, Wade signed in a small movement. I didn't mean to… I'm sorry.

Wade did as he was told and left immediately. He practically ran to his car and pressed his forehead against the steering wheel.

“I’m so stupid.” He muttered to himself. First date and Wade already screwed it all up. He glanced back at the house. Peter was never like this – he never got angry or snapped like that.

 

“What happened to you after I died?”

Chapter Text

Peter. Peter Parker. Petey Pete. Petey Pie.

Wade was laying on his bed and staring at the ceiling. It had been three whole days since he saw or spoke to Peter. It made him anxious – and he worried (like he did every day) about Peter not ever talking to him again.

Was dancing that bad of an idea? Wade wondered. Clearly it was something else – something more. Ever since he met Peter he noticed he was a bit more straightforward with his feelings and easily agitated. Something obviously happened to Peter after Wade moved on, but what?

“Yo, you gonna keep daydreaming there or you gonna study?” Wade forgot he invited Flash over to study with him. He was sitting at Wade’s desk with a pile of textbooks in front of him.

Books. Peter. Peter and books. Peter loves books.

“Earth to Wade.”

Wade flinched and glanced over at a mildly frustrated Flash.

“Sorry, dude. I've been feeling a little out of it today.” Wade finally sat up and twisted his back, sighing in relief at the feeling his bones popping.

Flash studied him for a second as the other blond walked over to sit beside him. “I'm sorry about Vanessa.”

Wade shrugged. “It's fine. I'm the one who broke us up anyway.”

“Can I ask why?”

He laughed it off casually. “Ease up Goldilocks, you don't have to look so grim. We just didn't work out is all.”

Flash wasn't buying it. “Bro, you know you can tell me anything.”

“I'm fine, Flash. Really. I've just been stressed out with midterms coming up.”

Flash still wasn’t buying it and it was getting on Wade’s nerves. He realized he used the same excuse with Vanessa awhile ago. “Midterms passed, dude.”

“I like someone else, Flash. That's why I broke up with her, ok?”

“That's it? Why didn't you just say so?”

Wade got up and went back to sit on his bed. “Because it’s more complicated than that.”

There was a thoughtful pause. “If it's my little sister I'll wear your skin, I swear to god.”

“What? No! God no. Flash she's sixteen!”

“Then cut to the chase, will you?”

Wade hesitated for a moment. Flash was a good friend – in fact he was Wade’s only good friend. He didn’t want to lose him just because he liked another man. But then Wade also believed it would be Flash’s loss if he didn’t accept him for who he was. He was stuck.

“Tindr.” was all Wade could come up with. “I met a girl on Tindr. I thought it was stupid so I didn’t want to tell you.”

Flash stared at him for a moment until it clicked, then he burst out into laughter. “You’re unbelievable! You left your girlfriend for some random chick? Wait did you cheat on her? Did Vanessa catch you? Dude, spill the beans.”

“I’m done having this conversation with you, can we study now?”

The taller blonde ignored him, still baffled by the news — hooting and hollering as he spun in his chair. “I can’t believe you left Vanessa for some random chick! Was it the tits? It was the tits, wasn’t it? You have to show me what she looks like now.”

First Harry, now Wade. Peter always pushed people away whenever he was upset and never gives them time to explain themselves properly. Harry was just being a protective friend and Wade was simply in love with him it seemed. Well, maybe not anymore. Not after their first date.

They had a moment together and Peter let his insecurities get to the best of him. Being with someone intimately was strange. Foreign. He was afraid they’d leave him. He was afraid of being vulnerable and giving so much of his love and attention that before he knew it, they would throw him away. They’d laugh in his face.

And he’d be alone.

‘It’s not your fault that you have trust issues,’ Gwen had told him after he explained everything to her. ‘If you want it to work with Wade, you’ll try again. And you’ll know he truly cares for you if he’s willing to be patient. That’s what love is.’

Peter scoffed. Love. What does anyone know about love?

Three days. Wade hadn’t texted him yet and Peter was actually worried. Not seeing Wade’s face bothered him. Not tutoring him bothered him. He was worried Wade would run around the world and make mistakes while he signed.

That was it, wasn’t it? That’s all Peter was worried about, right? Right.

Peter picked up his phone and began to scroll through his contact list. When he found Wade’s name, he hesitated — his finger reluctantly hovering over it.

At times, Peter does realize he’s being unfair to people who actually care for him. Eventually they would all get fed up and now the idea of messaging Wade made him anxious.

I’m such an asshole, Peter thought to himself. It made his chest ache, realizing how Wade or Harry must be feeling because of him. He was tired of feeling alone and he was tired of taking his anger out on people.

In the midst of his mental predicament of whether or not he should message Wade, his thumb found itself planted on his phone over his name, setting him up to text him. He took a deep breath and began typing.

 

Peter: Hey

He bit at a hangnail as he waited. Then he added,

Peter: I’m sorry about the other day. Can we talk tomorrow at the library?

Wade actually responded a lot quicker than Peter anticipated. But it wasn’t anything special or exciting which mildly disappointed him.

Wade: Sure.

Peter waited at the library the next day in his usual seat. He tried to think of ways to apologize without looking like an idiot in front of Wade. I’m sorry for being an asshole? No… I’m sorry for the other day. I liked dancing with you. No… I think you’d be a great tango dancer too? Shit. Peter dropped his head on the table and sighed. Wade probably wasn’t going to show up anyway – Peter didn’t even know why he cared so much. He should really be trying to get ahold of Harry instead, but… it felt different being around Wade – a good kind of different.

Peter felt a tap on his shoulder, and he immediately sat up. There was Wade, wearing a straight face. He didn’t seem to be in his usual cheerful mood.

‘Hey,’ Wade signed as he pulled a chair back and sat down.

Peter scooted closer. ‘Hey, how are you?’

‘I’m fine.’ Wade remained stoic, making Peter a little worried. ‘You?’

‘I’m...good. Are you okay?’

Wade nodded once, averting his eyes. Peter frowned a little at the lack of response he was getting. He shook it off though – now wasn’t the time to ponder.

‘I wanted to say I’m sorry about the other day. I didn’t meant to get mad, I just panicked. I shouldn’t have yelled at you either.’

Wade nodded again. What the hell? Shouldn’t he be happy that Peter wasn’t mad at him anymore?

‘I said I was sorry,’ Peter signed, feeling a little frustrated.

Wade sighed. ‘And I said “ok”.’

Peter sat back in his chair and furrowed his brows. He was confused. ‘I don’t understand why you don’t look happy. I’m not mad at you anymore and I said I was sorry.’

Wade looked down and pursed his lips. He didn’t even look up when he raised his hands to sign.

‘I’m the one who should be sorry,’ he said. ‘I’m always making you upset. Maybe we should stop this…since I’m the one forcing you to hang out with me anyway.’

‘No.’ Peter shook his head. ‘Nononono—wait.’ He smacked the table with his palm to get his attention and craned his neck to try to meet Wade’s eyes. The anxious feeling was now lodged in his throat. He didn’t want to stop seeing Wade — he didn’t actually dislike him. ‘It’s my fault. I actually had fun that day, I was just nervous. I know you like me and I want to know if I like you too. You saved me from bullies and for a hearing person you understand what the deaf community go through. None of this was your fault. I just… have a lot issues I’m still dealing with. We can still hang out...please?’

Wade’s eyes widened slightly. Peter almost felt a little silly by how desperately he signed, but he didn’t care. Wade wasn’t a bad guy at all. He brought change into Peter’s life and change was good. Peter needed new friends and possibly...someone in his life romantically.

Wade nodded again, this time he seemed to understand. His glum expression gradually changed into a small grin. It was fascinating to see how easy it was to alter his mood.

‘So… you actually liked our dance?’

Peter chuckled and sat back in his chair in relief. ‘I did. I loved it.’

The amount of relief Wade felt made him want to cry as he patiently yet impatiently waited for Peter to finish class. He refused to let Peter take the bus home — especially with Gwen wandering around campus and coming home on her own time. Although it wouldn’t be much of a long drive, Wade wanted to spend every minute with him.

Like a puppy, he sat by the classroom door, occasionally peering through the window to find a whole classroom of deaf students interacting with one another. He could tell Peter wasn’t much of a socialite but when he signed it was ten times faster than when he communicated with Wade. Most times he’d have to fingerspell words for Wade to understand.

“Are you being good to him?”

Wade spun away from the window and found Harry standing behind him, hands in pockets. Wade noticed he naturally wore a grim expression on his face, like maybe his cat died or something.

“I’d like to think so.” Wade replied straightening his back to make himself seem taller (although he was a whole head taller than Harry even when he slouched). “I don’t know if he likes me as a person or not. He’s hard to read sometimes.”

“That’s because you don’t know him.”

The alpha in Wade began to boil. He opened his mouth to object but Harry raised a hand to stop him.

“I didn’t come here to argue. I come by every so often to check on him. Looks like you’re doing it already. Just make sure he’s happy, and if you ever fuck him over — I’ll end you.”

“You’re in love with him aren’t you?”

The brunet’s eyes twitched slightly and he pursed his lips. “I’ve known him longer than you. I’ve been through it all with him — physically. Not through my thoughts and dreams like you. I was there. If you loved him you would’ve been there too.”

Without waiting for a response, Harry walked away.

It was moments like these that made Wade questioned his memory. Maybe his past life wasn’t a past life and it was all just a dream. He would’ve reconsidered his mental state if Gwen and Peter’s parents weren’t there to confirm that yes — they had a past life.

Peter’s classroom door opened and students excitedly spilled out. Peter came out last, wearing a smile on his face as he greeted Wade.

‘You weren’t too bored waiting for me, were you?’

God, Wade loved his smile. He wanted to embrace him right then and there so badly, but he clutched onto his backpack straps instead.

‘Can I buy you dinner?’

Peter flinched at the sudden proposal. ‘Are you asking me on a date?’

‘If that’s okay with you.’ Wade ran a hand through his hair. ‘Maybe we can tango too?’

The brunet laughed out loud, covering his mouth with the back of his hand as he did. It was cute.

‘I’d love to dance with you again.’

A date at a pizza parlor wasn’t what Peter expected but it was the best, because pizza was the best. Together they shared a large combo pizza and to Wade’s surprise, a milkshake. It was Peter’s idea too — there were two straws but they eventually forgot whose straw was whose and used whichever.

‘So what’re you studying in school?’ Wade asked after four slices.

‘I want to teach ASL to kids.’ Peter signed with greasy fingers. ‘I think everyone should learn at least some sign. And if that doesn’t work out then I’ll just be a general teacher to deaf kids instead. What about you?’

‘I think you’d make a great teacher. You’re doing well tutoring me.’ Peter smiled and thanked him. ‘For me, you already know I’m gonna be a firefighter. I’m just majoring in fire science so I’m more knowledgeable in the field. I also get to intern this summer at our local fire station.’

‘Well, you are tall and strong. You’d make an excellent fireman.’

Wade turned a little pink and chuckled to himself. Before he decided to say anything stupid, he grabbed another slice of pizza. Peter definitely had more than him, but there were still a lot left.

‘I can take these home.’ Peter said after awhile, rubbing his stomach gently.

The blond nodded. ‘Yes, that’s a good idea. If I eat one more I think I’ll explode.’

Wade gestured with his hands his stomach inflating and then blew raspberries to imitate an explosion. Both men laughed, gaining a few judgemental glances in their direction. But they didn’t care.

‘Do you want to come over for a bit?’ Peter asked after they settled down. Wade hesitated to respond until Peter interjected.

‘I promise I won’t get upset. I was just really nervous last time. But I’m not nervous anymore. I promise.’

Wade laughed at how flustered he was getting. ‘Well I won’t do anything that will make you nervous either. I promise.’

When Wade came over, aunt May and uncle Ben were cooking together in the kitchen. They greeted the boys with hugs and cheek to cheek kisses and offered Wade to join them for dinner — but Peter declined for him and led him to the basement.

‘Your aunt and uncle are sweet people.’ Wade said after Peter closed the basement door and leaned on it.

Peter rolled his eyes. ‘You’re all they ever talk about. Whenever they speak in English I can see them mouth your name a lot.’

Of course they’d be talking about Wade. Maybe they were trying to figure out a way for Peter to remember him too. Peter walked over to his desk and motioned Wade to follow him. There were tons of unfinished books still stacked on his desk.

‘Are you gonna teach me how to fix a book?’ Wade asked, sitting on the stool beside Peter.

The brunet nodded and pulled off a book from the top of the stack.

‘See how its spine is lose from the cover? We’re just gonna glue it back together. Hand me the glue.’

Peter pointed at the little tub of craft supplies on the other side of Wade. The blonde plucked a little bottle of Elmer’s glue from the tub and handed it to him.

‘Hold the cover down so I can put the glue on.’

Both men leaned in closer to see, as if it were some kind of surgical procedure. Peter carefully squeezed the bottle and made a thin line of glue from one end of the spine to the other.

Peter took over from there, carefully attaching the spine to the cover. He grabbed a couple of thick dictionaries from under the table and placed them around the book so the cover would stay in place.

‘That seemed pretty easy.’ Wade said.

Peter nodded. ‘It’s easy fixing books. But I like it because it’s also relaxing.’

‘Do you want to fix more?’

Peter was slightly taken aback with Wade’s interest in fixing more with him. Usually Harry or aunt May pretended to nod in awe and preferred to watched him work. Uncle Ben never really cared to come down to the basement unless he had to switch a lightbulb. Peter never done this activity with someone else before.

Wade grabbed another book from the stack. The entire paperback was bent from the middle. Peter just grabbed a few more solid books and stacked them on top.

‘We just leave that there for a few hours and it should mold back.’

Wade nodded. ‘You put so much care into these books. I admire that.’

The brunet smiled at the compliment. ‘I love reading. I love getting involved in a world that isn’t my own. I love mourning over the loss of a fictional character. Books are a beautiful thing to me and it helps me get away when I need to.’

Peter realized they were getting closer. His face was merely inches away from Wade’s and it made his heart race. But the blond didn’t seem to notice. He seemed so focused on what Peter was saying, nodding intently and waiting for him to continue signing. It made Peter feel special that he was listening. At this moment, Peter somehow felt like kissing him. Maybe Wade felt the same way too? If he moved just a little bit closer —

Wade unintentionally broke the mood and suddenly pulled away to grab another book from the stack. He frowned at the book he was holding. Romeo and Juliet.

‘Have you read that before?’ Peter asked.

Wade nodded regretfully. ‘It’s an ok book. Not my favorite by Shakespeare.’

‘Why is that?’

‘The story is just stupid. Have you read it?’

Peter shook his head. ‘What’s it about?’

Wade fumbled with the book as he tried to remember the details. ‘It’s about two people who were in love but couldn’t be together because their families hated each other. That's basically the story.’

Peter furrowed his brows. ‘That’s it? Well do they ever get to be together?’

‘They sneak over to see each other sometimes but it wasn’t enough and the kids ended up killing themselves. Spoiler alert.’

‘Wow,’ Peter fingerspelled. ‘That does sound pretty stupid. But I’m sure it’s romantic — the idea of loving someone you can’t be with. That’s heartbreaking.’

Wade nodded as he remembered his past life. He was technically living a Romeo & Juliet world.

‘Well, we don’t have to fix this book.’ Wade joked, attempting to throw it behind him. But Peter caught his wrist.

‘Don’t you dare,’ he warned. But a smile was forming at the corner of his mouth.

‘This book is ridiculous and whoever you’re fixing this for deserves better romantic stories.’

‘Like what?’ Peter challenged.

Wade shrugged. ‘As if I know. Jane Eyre was a good book. I read it in high school and I actually liked it.’

Peter rolled his eyes but he was secretly excited that Wade knew about that book. ‘You’re telling me someone who’s a complete jackass to you is romantic?’

‘Well she didn’t kill herself over it now did she?’

Peter broke out into laughter but still attempted to take the book from Wade. Somehow they fell off their chairs and Peter was on top of him, trying to reach Wade’s outstretched hand, but Wade locked his legs with Peter’s, preventing him from moving.

‘What do you know about Jane Eyre?’ Peter signed with one hand.

‘I know that she lived as an orphan, she’s stubborn —‘ Wade emphasized stubborn as he looked at Peter directly in the eyes, which made him scoff in response. ‘And had a hard time maintaining relationships with others.’

Wade managed to roll over him and raised the book in the air. Peter couldn’t reach it even if his stretched his arms for it. ‘But I also know that through her tough childhood she’s smart, resilient, and a complete badass.’

They locked eyes again for moment, sharing a brief silence. Peter felt something warm spread across his chest as he gazed into those blue eyes. Wade couldn’t help but feel the same thing. He wanted to throw the stupid book aside and hold him close for just a second. To forget everything else in this world and just hold him. Peter wanted nothing more than just that too. But they ignored it and came back to reality.

‘I’m a badass, huh?’ The brunet grinned cheekily.

Wade smirked and pretended to think about it. ‘More like a pain in the ass, I’d say.’

Peter snorted and continued to reach for the book. They kept switching positions, with Wade trying to keep it as far away from Peter as possible. They rolled around the floor, briefly saving the other from knocking their head into the couch or a table leg. Once Peter grabbed the book and tried to run, Wade grabbed his legs, making him fall back down. The book was out of the brunet’s hands and it was his turn to fight for it back — again.

Peter never had this much fun before. He never laughed this hard before either. Most of all, he never liked someone this much before. The more Wade was around, the more he enjoyed his company. He was goofy and optimistic and a complete idiot and — Peter liked him. He liked everything about him.

Gwen suddenly barged in and stopped dead in her tracks. She dropped her jaw at the sight of Wade on top of Peter on the floor.

“It’s not what it looks like.” Wade panicked.

“It looks exactly what it looks like.”

“We were just...talking about books.”

Gwen crossed her arms. “I fail to see how it involves two men on the floor —“ She stopped to narrow her eyes, noticing the book Wade was holding. “— is that Romeo & Juliet in your hand?”

‘SIGN PLEASE.’ Peter slapped Wade’s arm.

Wade quickly apologized. ‘She wants to know what we’re doing.’

Peter looked up at Gwen. ‘We’re just talking about books.’

‘Because everyone talks about books in that position.’ Gwen signed sarcastically.

Peter shrugged his shoulders. ‘What? You don’t talk about books like this?’

“Well I’m glad you two are getting along. Let me know when he finally remembers you.” Gwen walked out after that.

‘What did she say?’

Wade shrugged half-heartedly. ‘I don’t know and I don’t care.’

The blond finally got off of Peter and helped him up. They took a moment to gather themselves— stretching and looking for new bruises they’ll definitely feel in the morning.

Peter didn’t want to bore him too much with fixing books, although he did appreciate their conversation about them. But it was getting late and he didn’t want their evening to be too uneventful.

‘Do you want to dance?’ Peter asked.

Wade hesitated for second, stretching his arm across his chest. Peter watched as the blond’s bicep tightened and raised his brows in admiration. ‘Are you sure you want to dance?’

‘Aunt May and uncle Ben are upstairs so I can’t blast loud music or do anything too crazy. Do you know any other dances?’

Wade hmm’d for a second and went to grab Peter’s headphones. He connected his phone to Bluetooth and scrolled through his playlist for a song.

‘Put these on,’ Wade handed him the headphones and shoved his phone back in his pocket. He grabbed Peter’s hand and carefully placed the other on his side, barely touching him. He was too afraid to touch him anywhere below his shoulders.

‘Slow dancing? Really?’ Peter signed with the hand that was meant to rest on Wade’s shoulder. Wade chuckled and nodded as he started to lead.

For moment, Peter couldn’t hear anything. The song was too low in the beginning, even with the volume at max. But as Wade began to rock him rhythmically, he started to hear it.

When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom…

Peter tensed up. I’ve heard this before, he thought to himself. I know this song.

And when you speak
Angels sing from above
Everyday words seems
To turn into love songs…

He looked up at Wade and stared into those deep blue eyes again. There was something strange about them, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. It was on the tip of his tongue. But it wasn’t just his eyes. It was Wade himself. There was something… familiar?

Without thinking, Peter cupped his hands around Wade’s face, letting the blond rest both hands at his sides. His skin was soft and warm. He can faintly smell his cologne which drew him closer. Peter noticed that he was extremely handsome the more he looked at him. Even his body was near damn perfect; He had massively broad shoulders that could hide Peter’s tiny frame. It made him feel safe in his arms. But it also made Peter wonder — why him? Wade could have anybody in the world. Why would he want someone nerdy like him? And deaf for that matter?

“Peter…” the brunet saw Wade mouth his name. The taller man looked like he wanted to say something but he couldn’t find the words. He looked stuck like he wanted to do something but he couldn’t. He was cute. He was annoying but he was too cute.

Feeling the emotions nearly ripping out of his chest, Peter pulled Wade’s face closer to his and closed his eyes, gently pressing his lips against Wade’s.

Something in Wade suddenly snapped and he pulled Peter’s headphones off as he closed his eyes and deepened the kiss. Supporting Peter’s lower back he guided him to the couch where he could lay on top of him as they continued to entwine tongues.

Peter wrapped his legs around his waist and clutched his solid biceps as Wade delicately held his face with his fingertips.

They were both turning red and breathing heavily. Wade moved from his lips to press soft kisses down his jaw and all over his neck. It sent shivers down Peter’s spine and to his lower region.

“Peter...Peter…” Wade kept chanting as he kissed every part of Peter. He left a trail down his arm all over his fingertips. Peter watched him in awe at how gentle Wade was being with him.

It made his heart pound against his chest like crazy. There were so many feelings happening at once it made Peter’s hands numb as he unconsciously undid his pants. At the back of his mind this was probably a big mistake. But he didn’t care. He felt wanted. He felt loved. And he wanted more.

Wade flinched at how fast Peter was going. There were no serious talks about protection or safe words — Peter just wanted to get right to it, not that Wade really minded. Neither of them had condoms, but there was only one thing Wade could do.

Just as he was about to help Peter out of his pants, the basement door opened again and there was Gwen. Again. This time she gasped.

“NO! Wait a minute! We didn’t talk about this!”

Both boys yelped at the sight of her and Peter pushed Wade off to put his pants back on. The blond landed on the floor and he quickly stood up, combing his hair with his fingers in the process.

Wade retaliated, crossing his arms like a teenage girl. “Since when do I have to consult you when I’m gonna suck his — “

Gwen shook her hands by her ears and shouted. “AHH! Shut up! You shut up! Are you guys even officially together? I didn’t know you fucked on the first date!”

“What’s it to you? Why’re you — “

Peter slapped his arm. ‘SIGN, PLEASE.’

Wade again quickly apologized. ‘She’s getting mad because I’m about to suck your —‘

Peter caught his hands and shook his head but Gwen was already screaming in disgust again. She signed as she shouted at the boys.

“First of all, you two are barely dating and second of all people sit on that couch. Peter, you have a room!”

“Oh my god, mother Gwen.” Wade signed as he spoke too. “We get it. You've already ruined the mood. You can leave now.”

The blonde narrowed her eyes and headed back up stairs. “I’m watching you Wade Wilson.”

As she closed the door behind her, Peter and Wade let out a heavy sigh. They stared at each other for a moment and suddenly burst out into laughter. Wade held his face one more time and gently kissed Peter.

‘Do you like me now?’ He asked.

Peter smiled from ear to ear, feeling his skin get warm. He nodded.

‘A little.’

Chapter Text

One date turned into two. Two became a week. A month. A pair of clothes left at each other’s house. They were comfortable. Time made Wade forget about the past – it was a new life. A new day… and it was for the best, or so Wade believed.

Summer finally rolled by. Peter wanted to do nothing but enjoy it, but Wade insisted that he utilized his time to get more classes out of the way – especially if Wade was going to be away most of the time doing his internship. But Peter was too stubborn to listen to him.

Do I look okay? Wade opened his arms and spun around. He was wearing a plain t-shirt and cargo shorts. He wasn’t given much of a dress code, which he doubt he needed as an intern – especially if he wasn’t going to be doing any office related work (or at least he hoped so). He wasn’t even sure if they were going to give him a uniform to wear for the summer.

Peter shrugged as he sprawled over Wade’s bed on his stomach. You look fine. Maybe comb your hair back?

Wade peered into the mirror and used his fingers to brush them aside. Maybe a haircut later would do. Now that he was with Peter, he started to care a little less about how he looked. He glanced at his watched and mouthed ‘shit’ as he reached for his wallet and keys on the side table.

I need to go now, I’m gonna be late. Wade leaned down to kiss Peter. I’ll be back around noon, okay?

Peter grabbed Wade by the shoulders and stamped multiple kisses all over his face. Wade stood there and allowed it to happen, giggling uncontrollably at how affectionate Peter can be sometimes. He almost considered skipping his internship at that very second. Peter finally pulled away and playfully pushed him.

Have fun, okay? I love you. Peter folded his middle and ring finger down and waved it in the air towards Wade. The blonde did the same.

I love you too, I’ll leave you the car if you need it. I’m just gonna run to the station because it's only a few blocks away.

Ok! Be safe, please.

I’ll be fine! Wade exaggerated ‘fine’ as he signed it, rocketing his thumb off his chest. Peter smiled and waved as he watched him sprint out the door.

 

Wade was extremely excited to start his internship. He ran down the street with a huge smile on his face, feeling giddy from this opportunity. To be able to follow his father’s footsteps and become the greatest firefighter in town – he couldn’t be happier with his life. For the first time, everything seemed to be going extremely well. He frequently reminded himself that he was grateful for being cancer free and reconnected with Peter. Nothing could ruin this now.

By the time he got to the station he was already sweaty and out of breath, earning a few raised brows from the firefighters who were scrubbing down a sudsy truck.

“You’re the intern,” a random voice spoke up. A broad and muscular figure appeared from the garage. He carried himself like he was a soldier; shoulders back, chest forward. His posture was incredible despite how much older he appeared, and Wade automatically straightened his back as he drew closer. The man curtly nodded and shook his hand once. “I’m Chief Summers. You ready for your first day, mister...?”

“Hi chief, I’m Wade Wilson. I’m extremely excited to be here.”

“Good. We need that attitude around here. Follow me inside Mr. Wilson, we’re gonna start with something easy for you.” As they passed the other firefighters, Wade could hear some of the men chuckle and smirk at the comment. Everyone on the property knew what he was up against as a newbie.

Chief Summers led him into another room connected to the garage. This was where the all the gear was – turnout pants, jacket, helmet – it was Christmas for Wade. The room itself wasn’t glamorous. In fact, it was dimly lit and the painted shelves were holding the gear were chipped and tagged from former firemen. Wade didn’t care though, he was too busy imagining himself being here every day of his life.

“I’m assuming you know what I’m gonna make you do,” Chief Summers said as he piled the gear into Wade’s arms. He slightly raised a brow at how excited the young man was, smiling like an idiot as everything got heavier. He was like a kid in a candy store. Wade was hardly paying attention to him.

“The 2-minute challenge, sir?” He replied with a grunt as the chief topped the pile with a fire helmet. Of course Wade knew what he was going to do, he would stay up until two in the morning watching all the firefighter related videos on Youtube.

Impressed, the chief nodded. “Two steps ahead of the game, I see. You keep up this attitude and you’ll make a fine chief one day.”

It was what everyone did when they first started. The 2-minute challenge was sort of like an initiation test – to put on all the gear under 2 minutes and not a second more. The chief led him back outside and directed the blonde to lay out the gear on the driveway. The other firefighters who were washing the fire truck stopped what they were doing so they could watch, silently smirking with each other and making side comments. It didn’t bother Wade though, he knew it was expected of him to go past the 2 minute mark.

“Quiet down, everyone. Be nice.” The Chief pulled out his phone and glanced at Wade. “This is just a thing we do with new interns. Don’t worry about going past the mark, it happens on everyone’s first try. Just do your best. Ready when you are, kiddo.”

“Yes sir.” Wade rubbed his hands together and positioned himself in sort of a wrestling position. He looked at his gear intensely – he knew exactly what to do and what to go for first. Years of internet aid and his former firefighter father constantly talking about it brought him here to this moment. He had even practiced with makeshift turnout gear for years – he knew he could do it. He was confident. “Ready.”

“Go.” Wade ran to his gear and reached for his fire hood first, slipping it on as he stepped into the boots. He immediately hooked his arms through the suspenders and pulled the pants portion up as high as he could and zipped them. Even though he’d been only moving a few seconds, he was sweating profusely, and the heavy gear wasn’t helping at all. But he refused to give up. Refusing to give up meant he wasn’t capable of being a firefight – capable of saving a life, and he wasn’t going to let a measly initiation test ruin that for him.

The jacket was next. It was laid open and upside-down, which he set on purpose. He slipped both arms in and flipped it over his back. It was better than putting in one arm at a time, saving him at least ten precious seconds. He was panting at the moment, feeling heat radiating from all over – his clothes stuck to his skin and he felt a layer of moisture paint his body as he moved every time he moved.

After he zipped the jacket, he put an arm through a strap of his breathing apparatus and swung it over his back for his other arm to secure it. He reached for his mask and practically shoved it on, though it was a bit loose in a few straps. He should’ve fixed them, he thought – but he decided against while he put his gloves on. Finally, the helmet. He grabbed it from the concrete floor and did a dramatic bow before putting it on.

“Time.” Chief said, nodding his head impressively. The other firemen stayed quiet, some were almost sneering at Wade’s success.

“It sure is hot,” Wade’s muffled voice was barely audible as he tried to catch his breath. “How bad did I do chief?”

The older man looked at his phone again, confirming that the number on the timer was indeed correct. And it was. He was almost worried how his men would react, but they all knew roughly how long it took.

“Forty-two seconds, rookie. That’s actually better than what a lot of these guys did when they started out.”

Wade put his hands on his hips proudly. “Well I’ll be, Mr. Chief. I think I’m a few seconds away from immediately being an assistant chief at this rate, am I right?”

“Chief Summers, intern.” The chief corrected as he put his phone back in his pocket. “And maybe, if you didn’t give us that unnecessary and half-assed bow at the end. If you can do forty seconds, you’re capable of doing lesser time. We’ll work on that later. Take off the gear and put it back. We got more to show you.”

Wade couldn’t help it, he was too hyper and excited. He stood at attention and saluted the chief who was already walking away. “Yes sir!”

Peter stayed at Wade’s house all day. Wade’s mom was constantly in and out of the house running errands, insisting on making Peter eat every time she came back.

Peter could see that both his parents tried learning sign for him, using google and single signs to help bring the message across. But they mostly relied on pen and paper. They were really sweet people — Peter especially noticed Wade got his goofy personality from his dad and looked a lot like his mom. They seemed like a happy family. It made Peter wonder about his real parents, but aunt May and uncle Ben were more than enough.

Wade hadn’t told his parents yet that they were dating. He wasn’t ready, and Peter wasn’t ready if he wasn’t. It wasn’t easy coming out of the closet, but Peter had a feeling Wade’s parents would be fine with it. But if they weren’t, Peter was afraid it might put a big gap between them. Peter knew because it happened to him before. Instead, Wade tells them that he’s a close friend. Since Wade had a long history of dating women, they weren’t suspicious at all about Peter.

You guys better not be having sex or anything. Gwen’s slightly pixelated image was stuttering on Skype as she signed. Peter was laying on Wade’s bed silently counting down the last hour of his internship.

We haven’t yet, but that’s none of your business. He retorted, rolling his eyes at her expression.

It is my business because we're friends. Gwen wanted Peter to gain his memory for his sake, but at the same time she didn't. She was in love with him in their past life, and even though it didn't work out then what if it worked now? Sure, they broke up in this life too. But what if Peter chooses her? What if he does gain his memory and stays with her instead? But then she sees how Peter is with Wade in both worlds - he's in love. Nothing could separate those two...

You bug me about being with him but you want to control everything we do together. I think I know how to handle a relationship.

Yeah not with an uncultured hearing person.

Peter’s expression fell. You’re dating Flash, you idiot.

Touché, Gwen shrugged. He’s madly in love with me, he messages me every day about visiting. But to be honest I don’t know when my mom is leaving town again so I can come back. I don't even know if I like this guy back.

Peter rolled his eyes. If you weren't insane, I'd let you rent a room. No... not a room. I'd let you rent the backyard. 

 I'll come back when your aunt says I can. She crossed her arms and pointed her nose toward the ceiling. 

Trust me, she won’t. Before Gwen could say anything, Peter suddenly received another call on skype. It was Harry. It made his heart jump. It had been months since he last spoke to him. What did he want? To apologize, Peter assumed. It better be a damn good one, too. 

I’ll call you back later, Gwen. I have to take this call.

Wait! Who is it? Is it Wade? Tell him –

Peter hung up on her and pressed “answer”. It took a second to load, but there Harry was, with that iconic glum expression he always wore. Only with Peter, it was slightly softer. He always let his guard down around Peter, being vulnerable almost every second he was with him.

Hey, Harry waved. He looked uncomfortable, like it was his first time talking to him. Peter waved back and waited.

How’ve you been? He asked, trying to start a conversation. It might as well have been one of those awkward “nice weather” conversations.

I’m good, Peter replied. He still seemed clearly upset. You?

I’m fine. Are you still dating Wade?

Peter suddenly got defensive. Why do you care?

I was just asking... Harry hunched his shoulders a bit, feeling slightly regretful. I’m sorry about what happened a couple of months ago. I didn’t mean to act the way I did. I shouldn’t have.

You punched Wade in the face. You shouldn't be saying sorry to me. Several months have also passed and we’re still dating. Nothing bad ever happened.

I was wrong, Harry frowned. I’m sorry. You were right. I was just worried about how he would treat you. I shouldn’t have hit him and I know you’re an adult, you can handle things on your own. I won’t do it again and I promise I'll apologize to him too. I just… Harry looked like he wanted to say something else, but he bit his lip. I just don’t want to lose my friend. I miss hanging out with you. Do you forgive me?

After a moment of pause, Peter's expression softened and he nodded. Harry was his closest friend, it was hard getting mad at him.  Okay... I forgive you.

Chapter Text

Wade trudged back home, completely exhausted. His shirt was soaked in sweat and maybe some tears. The only thing he could think about was getting into bed and snuggling next to his precious Peter.

He felt his phone buzz in his pocket and answered it without checking to see who it was.

“Yeah?” He greeted in a hoarse voice.

“It’s Gwen.”

Wade stopped dead in his tracks, fully alert now. “You got the wrong number.”

“Don’t you hang up on me, asshole. We need to talk.”

Wade silently mimicked her. “If it’s about gaining Peter’s memory, I quit. We’re doing fine without it. I’m moving on, okay? Can you leave me alone forever, now?”

“What?” Gwen shrieked. “No! You have to get him to remember you!”

“No, I don’t. Okay? It doesn’t matter.”

“Yes it does, Wade!” Gwen shouted. That did it. Wade could feel himself suddenly boiling inside. It didn’t matter if Peter didn’t remember him. It didn’t matter if the most important time of his past life was forgotten. To Peter, none of that ever existed. None of that matters. Nobody cares.

“I don’t know what else to fucking do, Gwen! I’ve tried everything! I love Peter with my entire being, but I’m willing to let the past go. Maybe the rest of you who remember just needs to move on.”

They went quiet for a moment. Wade continued to walk home, keeping an angry grip on his phone.

“Wade....” Gwen finally spoke up. “Aunt May told me to help you get Peter to remember. Peter is not the same as his past life self – “

“People change, Gwen.”

“But even if he’s with you, he still looks lost.”

Wade squinted. “The fuck are you talking about?”

“Do you have any idea what he’s been through in this life? That’s why I want him to remember—because no matter how much I loved him in the past, he was at his best when he was with you. And you left him.”

“I didn’t have a choice! – “

“Just listen! He was in so much pain when you were gone. I even tried to date him again but you were always in his heart. Aunt May and I gathered after that kind of trauma on someone, they repress it and somehow that pain drags on into this life. You have to understand Wade, this isn’t about you. It isn’t about me or anyone else. It’s about Peter. So please,” Gwen’s voice went soft, quivering slightly as she spoke. “Please keep trying. He has to remember his past.”

Wade stopped walking and sighed. He always forgot how his absence affected Peter. The Peter in this life wasn’t the Peter they all knew. “Okay.”

Peter was just about to fall asleep until Wade came through the bedroom door, looking tired and shiny with sweat.

‘How was it?’ Peter asked, getting up to guide him to bed. He tried to help him take off his shirt which smelled like fresh deodorant and mildly terrible body odor but Wade wrapped his sticky arms around him instead. They fell together on the bed with Wade on top and Peter struggling to push him off. He decided to pinch the underside of Wade’s arms, causing him to shriek loud enough for Peter to hear. The blond rolled over and mumbled something under his breath, going against the idea of getting his revenge with the ultimate tickle fight—Maybe when he wasn’t so tired, and maybe when Peter was least expecting it .

‘It was great.’ Wade signed. They had me work out a lot. Got to learn more about the fire truck and what all the fancy buttons and switches do.

‘Did you get to see a real fire?’ Peter asked, inching closer for an interesting story.

‘No, I didn’t.’ But they said if there is one they’ll take me along to watch how things are done.

Peter’s face lit up. ‘That would be amazing! Maybe they’ll let you help put the fire out.’

Wade shrugged. ‘Maybe.’

Wade pulled a blanket over them and snuggled closer. Peter fiddled with the hem of his shirt as they continued to stare at each other. There it was again, those thoughts of the past. Oh how Wade missed it all. How it was just the two of them and no one else. He was at war with himself, deciding which life was better. Maybe this was why people weren't allowed to remember their past lives. They’re never present with the lives they have now.

‘Do you want to go on a date?’ Wade asked after awhile.

Peter blushed a little and smiled, slightly taken aback. ‘When?’

‘Tomorrow.’

‘You have your internship tomorrow.’

‘After my internship.’

‘Okay. Where?’

Wade thought about what they did in the past. Maybe if they do more of the same things they use to, it would help Peter remember.

‘How about the aquarium?’

Peter went home the next day. They would meet after his internship and go on their date to the aquarium.

Peter never went to an aquarium before, so he was excited. When he looked it up online, it had a tunnel people could go through and there would be fish swimming all around them. It seemed like a romantic date—better than the ones they usual went to, which was just going to the movies or being lazy at home. It was a nice change, and the thought of going gave him butterflies.

Wade only had three hours left, and the more Peter looked at the clock time seemed to go by even slower. How would he kill time? Peter went downstairs to the living room and lit some candles by the couch and the front door. He grabbed “R is for Rocket” by Ray Bradbury off the shelf and plopped on the sofa. It was an old book; the pages were delicate and stained with yellow vignette, smelling strongly of vanilla. Peter flipped to a random story in the book and began to read.

“The rain continued. It was a hard rain, perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was the rain to drown all the rains and memory of rains…”

Peter’s eyes slowly started to drift shut as he continued to read.

He dreamt of being in water, surrounded in nothing but blue. He felt calm as he floated in place and unconsciously swayed his arms and legs to feel that he was indeed in water; To feel the silky ripples within, caressing his limbs and morphing through his fingertips. He could almost grab it, but it disappeared as soon as it came.

At the corner of his eye he could see a shadowy figure circling him. When it got closer he noticed it was a silhouette of a fish. Then another one came into view, and another one — until he was completely surrounded by these still silhouettes, that continued to robotically circle around him.

“What do you think?” A familiar voice suddenly echoed around him. Peter jolted in surprise and spun around. He could hear.

“It’s gorgeous.” Another familiar voice replied. Wade was the first person who came to mind. “Is this suppose to be an aquarium?”

“I love aquariums.” The first voice replied. “You just get so accustomed to land that being in the water just gives you a new experience every time. The aquarium I go to has this tunnel that’s completely surrounded by water…”

The voice began to fade out into an echo and everything became black. Peter tried to move his arms and legs, but he wasn’t getting anywhere—he couldn’t even feel the water.

“Peter…” It definitely was Wade’s voice. He didn’t know how he knew, he just did. It didn’t echo like the others, it sounded like it was right behind him. “Peter I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I left you. I’m sorry please don’t forget me. Please.”

“Why would I forget you?” Peter found himself saying in English. He surprised by his own vocal ability that he wanted to say more but his body or the dream refused to let him.

A figure of a man drifted in front of him. He was transparent, glowing radiantly blue. He was curled up into a ball, seemingly unaware that he was floating in different directions like a DVD screensaver—going up, going down, backwards, forwards, etc.—only it was much slower.

He was bald, Peter noticed. His skin was also covered in… scars? They reminded him of the moon; the protruding scars and dark craters, as if someone had thrown rocks at him.

“Peter…” He sobbed quietly. That was Wade’s voice. That was Wade! Why did Wade look so different? “Nothing in the universe could stop me from being with you.”

Nothing in the world could stop being from being with you. Why did it sound so familiar?

Peter reached over to put a hand on Wade, who instantly stopped sobbing altogether. He turned his head and looked right at Peter.

“Your hand…” he said, sniffling. He wiped his puffy eyes with his wrist. “It’s hot.”

Peter furrowed his brows in confusion. His hand felt fine to him. “What do you mean?”

Wade’s eyes were suddenly filled with horror. “It’s hot, Peter. It’s hot!”

“But I’m not touching you.” Peter was confused as Wade made a face of excruciating pain.

“You’re burning me! You’re burning me! –”

 

Peter shot up from his sleep and was instantly wide awake, his body covered in sweat like he’d just showered. The entire living room was covered in fire. The candles by the door had melted onto the carpet, covering the entire area and even blocking the front door. Peter looked around, trying to find a way out but the windows were blocked and he had nowhere to go. He ran away from the fire and up the stairs.

“Alright rookie, get into your gear. Beat your forty-second record and I’ll buy you Starbucks. Everyone your age is into that, right?”

Chief Summers chuckled at his own joke as he piled the gear in Wade’s arms. They walked outside to prep for the challenge. This time, everyone was outside watching.

“Bet fifty bucks and a Walmart coupon for bacon that Wilson will beat his score.” one firefighter said to the other.

“Might as well hand it over, Jones. I bet another fifty and a coupon to go fuck yourself that he won’t. That time was beginner’s luck.”

Once the chief gave him the go, Wade put on his gear as fast as he could. His movements were fluid, slipping into his gear smoothly and planning ahead. He had a darn good feeling that he was going to beat his time and get a Venti caramel frappuccino with extra whip cream and caramel drizzle–he took his Starbucks drinks very seriously.

Many of the firemen cheered him on and other stared at him so intently, practically praying he loses. Once he finished, he raised his arms in the air and dramatically bowed again.

“Thirty-seven seconds!” Chief Summers roared, and the crowd went wild. Some cursed and continued to go back to what they were doing, muttering angrily at how rigged this test was.

While some glared at Wade and others ruffled his hair to congratulate him, another firefighter ran out to the driveway to get everyone’s attention.

“Duty calls, fellas! We got a fire nearby. It’s a big one.” With that, everyone immediately ran back into the building to suit up.

“Do you want to watch and see how it’s done kid?” Captain Summers patted his back.

“Yessir!” It felt wrong for Wade to be excited for that kind of thing, but he was eager to witness how the others will handle the fire.

“Get in my car, we’re gonna let the boys in the truck. When you can show me you’re capable of working here and keeping up that positive mindset, you can ride with them. But until then, we’re gonna stay out of their way and watch from a distance.”

Wade nodded as he followed him to his car. “Yessir. Um...what do I do with my suit?”

Chief Summer glances at him and then at the other firefighters. “They’re already ready to go, keep it on until we get back. Just throw your breathing apparatus in the backseat.”

Following the fire truck as it blared insanely loud was probably the coolest way to beat traffic. Wade felt almost like a badass as other cars stared at them for following, although Chief Summers’ car was in fact labeled that it was part of the fire department.

It took Wade a minute to realize where the truck was going — they were near his neighborhood, but they didn’t turn on his street. They turned on Campbell.

Wade’s eyes widened. He sat forward, waiting to see where the fire truck was taking them.

‘Please pass Peter’s house,’ Wade chanted in his head. ‘Please pass Peter’s house.’

Thick black smoke came into view as the truck slowed down. People crowded on the opposite sidewalk, watching with horror struck eyes. Once Wade saw aunt May and uncle Ben, and the sight of their house, his heart fell. Everything went silent. Wade could feel his heart in his throat. He could feel himself crumbling internally—every fiber of his being, every organ—he could feel it all cramp into a ball and gather in the pit of his stomach as he came to one conclusion—

Peter was inside.

“No. No no no no nono—”

“Kid, wait—hey!” Wade unbuckled his seatbelt and ran out of the car towards aunt May. When she noticed him running she ran towards him with open arms while sobbing.

“W-Wade!” She shrieked. “H-He’s in there! He’s still in t-there! You have to get him!”

Chief Summers caught up to them and put an arm between them. “I’m sorry ma’am but he’s not qualified to do that. Our professionals are doing the best they can.”

Aunt May’s expression went hard and she began to argue with him. Wade stood there as silence took over again. He stared at the front door, watching the fire lick hungrily at it. The whole house emitted thick smoke and half of it was covered in flames. Just what the hell happened?

Wade could feel himself panicking. The other firefighters weren’t moving fast enough. They won’t get to him fast enough. What if Peter can’t breathe? What if Peter passed out?

‘I can’t lose him again.’ Wade thought. His breath quickened and he looked at Chief Summers who was busy trying to calm aunt May. The other firefighters were pulling the hose.

‘But what about Peter?!’ Wade wanted to yell. He felt his feet shift side to side as he looked at everyone—no one was moving fast enough. He can’t lose Peter, not again. He can’t do that. Not after he just found him.

Without thinking, Wade bolted to the house. Everyone shouted at him to stop, but he ignored them and kept running. He busted through the door which broke easily as the fire had weakened it. He was met with a whole living room full of flames — and no sign of Peter.

It was extremely hot and difficult to breathe with all the gear on, but Wade moved quickly, searching every room. He can feel the smoke clawing down his throat and into his lungs, making his eyes sting and get watery. Wade hurried upstairs and went straight into Peter’s room.

 

There he was, hugged at the corner of his room and crying. Wade looked over and noticed broken glass by the bed. He figured Peter tried to escape his room through his window but they were barred with steel—in fact, all the windows were barred.

“WAD!” Peter looked up and ran towards Wade, hugging him tightly. His room was barely touched by the fire, but it wouldn’t be long before it was next.

Wade took off his jacket and made Peter put it on. He put his arms around him and carried him down the stairs, feeling the flames lick at his unprotected body. Peter tried to sign to him but he was constantly coughing and Wade was only focused on getting him out.

Before they reached the base of the stairs, part of ceiling fell behind them, knocking them forward near the sea of fire.

“PETER!” Wade shouted as the brunet rolled out of his grip.

‘I’m fine, I’m fine!’ He signed as he got up, briefly yelping in pain as the fire flickered by his feet. The front door was only about ten feet away. If they just ran, they could make it.

Wade continued to carefully guide him out, tiptoeing quickly around the fire. He could feel the fire nip at his skin, scarring them painfully and occasionally catching on fire. The only he could do was swat it off and move on. He couldn’t lose Peter, not in this life. If he could just get him out safely, everything would be fine. He’d get reprimanded and maybe even kicked out of the internship for doing something reckless, but Peter meant everything to him and he wasn’t about to let him go.

A loud moan suddenly occurred above Wade. The ceiling above was about to fall. His body was frozen and he didn’t know what to do. Would it be too late to move or should he wait in case he made the wrong move? He was stuck like a deer in the headlights. Peter tried to get his attention but Wade was so focused on the ceiling. He stared at it a few moment longer, feeling sweat slide down his face. There was barrier of flames between them and the door. Wade tried to quickly think about how to execute their escape—quickly or carefully?

Their fate had already been decided when the ceiling made a final stuttering creak, and began to collapse—bits of wood falling on their head. Panicking, Wade pushed Peter through the flames and out of the house.

The brunet tripped over the porch steps and was instantly secured by two other firefighters. He pulled away from them and his eyes met with Wade’s, who looked completely terrified and stuck.

Before Peter could raise his hands to sign to him, the whole ceiling fell on top of Wade.

Chapter Text

Silence. A fine tune between madness and peace; for it can be too loud or perfect for a moment of contemplation in solitude. For Wade, it was unbearable. Torturous. He spent days — maybe weeks, enduring the thoughts that ran through his head. They would just get louder, forcing his mind to turn its gears into crippling thoughts of what-ifs; What if he didn’t burn in the fire? What if his body stayed the same? The first thing he looked at were his hands and saw the familiar scars. It took him days to look at himself in the mirror. He was in his old skin again, and he already felt his world falling apart.

He refused visitors on a daily basis, filling the void with nothing but frustrated screams and tears. Pain. Regret. Anger. It was an endless cycle from the moment he woke up to the moment he fell asleep — and when he slept he just missed Peter even more. But every day he has to pry himself off the thought of him. The Peter he knew now was not the Peter he knew before, so the reaction to the damaged shell he wore might be different. Peter might reject him. Judge him.

A few curt knocks came to the door and opened shortly thereafter. A nurse appeared and gently greeted him as she checked his vitals.

“That deaf boy keeps coming in to see you, Mr. Wilson. Won’t you let him in this time?”

Wade shook his head after a long pause. He couldn’t do it. “I can’t. I’m not ready.”

The nurse said nothing, and instead frowned. She finished up and headed towards the door but then stopped.

“Mr. Wilson, I know things are different for you now. But just know your friends and family still love you.”

Wade paused for a moment. “Have they seen it?”

“Seen what?” The nurse turned and raised a brow.

Wade clenched his hands, slightly raising his quivering voice. “My skin. Have they seen it?”

“No. You were still covered in bandages when you gained consciousness and refused visitors.”

Wade leaned forward, observing the fresh scars on the back of his hand—the way they were molded onto his skin; the grooves and protrusions, the way they glistened in the light—as if he were inside out. He was repulsed by what he saw, and everyone would feel the same way.

“You don’t know what it’s like to be in this skin. You don’t know anything.”

Every day Peter tried to visit him. Every day he was rejected. He didn’t understand why Wade didn’t want to see him or anyone.

He wondered if they were still together. Peter had been dying to talk to him about “them” for so long, but he convinced himself that Wade just needed time to himself—to heal and process everything. But...for how long though?

Since Gwen’s so called ingenious idea of sneaking in was rejected by Peter and so was every other possibility of getting through security and the uptight nurses, Peter decided to take it old school. He decided to write letters to Wade. He wrote every day, telling Wade the little things that happened, what he ate, movies he watched, and the dumb things Gwen would say. He did that for about a week until one day he just wasn’t feeling it. He felt hopeless without a response and wrote one last letter.

‘I miss you,’ he wrote. There was no “Dear Wade” anymore. Or a date. Peter felt himself starting to cry as he wrote it. ‘I’m sorry about the fire. I’m sorry about your skin. I know things will never be the same for you, and it’s all my fault. I understand if you hate me and you don’t want to see me anymore. Just give me the word and I’ll leave you alone.’

It hurt to give it to the nurse, who looked at Peter with an annoyed expression. She carried it carelessly between her fingers with the other hand shoved in the pocket of her scrubs, dragging her feet to Wade’s room down the hall.

But what hurt the most was that Wade might not actually reply. Peter paced back and forth as he waited—waited for what? He didn’t know. He just kept pacing.

The nurse came out of Wade’s room not even a minute after she walked in, both hands in the pocket of her scrubs. She didn’t even look at Peter—just went straight to her desk.

Pacing. Pacing. Peter chewed on the side of his finger. He looked at Wade’s door, then looked down. Door. Floor. Pace. It was an endless cycle. His heart was beating erratically, the anticipation was killing him. If Gwen was here, she’d just walk into Wade’s room without waiting. She would probably flip off the nurse without looking at her as she’d walk. The security guard too. Fuck it, she’d throw hands with the police. Military? Forget it. Gwen was invincible. Peter admired her confidence, and that was something he lacked. She wasn’t with him now, but if she was, that’s what she would do: walk.

So Peter walked.

He didn’t even scan his surroundings before he sped walk passed the nurse’s desk, hands balled in determined fists. He looked at nothing but Wade’s door, and by the time he had his hand around the door knob, nobody stopped him. Still, he didn’t look around to see anyone chasing him down—he just walked right in and closed the door behind him.

The room was dark and there was a curtain around Wade’s bed. Peter slowly made his way over and discovered that Wade wasn’t there, but Peter’s letter was. It was opened over a disheveled bed, and Peter guessed he was in the bathroom. He noticed there was a small pile of his opened letters on the side table, along with a few bottle of pills. Peter couldn’t imagine how much pain Wade was in.

A sudden light came on and Peter spun around. There was someone at the entrance of the bathroom. He knew it was Wade but it didn’t really look like him. His skin was...different; various shades of warm colors fused and melted together. His beautiful blonde hair was gone. But he was still Wade, and Peter felt nothing but joy and relief at the sight of him.

But not Wade.

“Get out!” Peter knew he was yelling at the way his entire being shook as spit flew from his mouth, making it easier to lip read.

Peter raised his arms and drew closer, trying to calm a very pissed off Wade. He understood why he was mad, and he was very sorry for it, which was why he wanted to talk.

Wade shoved Peter’s arms aside while continuing to yell. But Peter persistently put his hands on Wade trying to comfort him; holding his arms, his neck, his face—feeling the foreign texture that made Wade more hostile. Peter didn’t know how else to calm him down.

“Don’t look at me!” Wade said, but Peter ignored him, trying to wrap his arms around him for a hug, but it kept getting rejected. “Get off me, Peter!”

Wade finally shoved him away, giving them a good two foot distance between each other. They both stood there staring at each other, breathing heavily. Peter looked up at the stranger in front of him—he wasn’t a stranger because of what he looked like, he was a stranger because of how he was acting. And it hurt. It made Peter’s chest sore. Was this it?

His face scrunched up as he hiccuped into a sob. He tried to sign as he spoke. He couldn’t even tell if his vocal ability was even audible while he was sobbing. “I’m sorry. It’s all my fault. I didn’t mean to do this to you. I still like you a lot and I don’t care what you look like, i still want to be by your side. I’m sorry for ruining your life, Wade. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m s-sorry.” Peter’s eyes were sealed with tears and no matter how many times he tried to wipe them they wouldn’t stop falling. It was all his fault. If he wasn’t so careless, Wade wouldn’t be in this position.

Peter continued to cry. He couldn’t even tell how loud he was being. He even fell to his knees and continued to apologize. He didn’t care if Wade forgave him, he just wanted to tell him how sorry he really was. It hurt to see Wade in pain, and there was nothing Peter could do to make up for that mistake.

After awhile, Peter felt hands on his shoulders. He guessed it was the security guard, but the grip was more gentle and the hands moved to the sides of his face. He looked up and saw Wade’s eyes were swollen with tears as well. Peter immediately held onto him and buried his face in Wade’s neck, holding him tightly as he continued to let the tears fall. They quietly shook in each other’s arms on the floor for a moment.

“I love you.” Peter said softly.

Chapter Text

Wade woke up to his favorite smell. He found his nose buried in the nest of Peter’s curly hair and smiled. They were both on the hospital bed, with Peter’s head over his chest and a leg over Wade’s. It felt nice. It was nice being able to hold him again.
His eyes were sore, and he could imagine Peter’s were too. They cried all night, and Wade woke up several times to Peter sniffling and quietly whimpering in the middle of the night while he slept. Wade would just run his fingers through his hair until he was back asleep in no time.

Seeing Peter break down like that caught him by surprise, but not as much as his reaction towards Wade’s appearance. Peter still treated him the same, except he was more gentle putting his hands on him, fearing that his wounds were still painful. But Wade constantly insisted that he was fine.

 

Wade felt Peter stir in his sleep. He looked over and watched Peter groan as he stretched slightly and ran his hand over Wade’s chest. He opened his eyes and squinted up at Wade.

“Good morning.” Wade said softly, kissing his forehead. Peter shifted so both his arms were free.

‘Good morning.’ He signed in response.

Wade turned to lay on his side so he could sign too. ‘Did you sleep okay?’

‘For the first time in ages.’ Peter replied.

Wade smiled briefly, then let it fade. ‘I’m sorry about last night. I was too afraid to show myself to you. But I really did want to see you badly.’

‘It was all my fault. You shouldn’t be sorry for anything.’

‘Nothing is your fault, it was an accident.’

Peter frowned. ‘I know but...you’ll have these scars forever.’

‘As long as I can have you forever, I don’t care.’

Peter’s eyes widened, then suddenly went soft. His bottom lip quivered and all he could do was nod and bury his face in Wade’s chest.

Of course you can have me forever, Peter thought.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” the nurse peaked through the curtain, surprised that Peter was there but said nothing. “Mr. Wilson, there’s something the doctors and I would like to talk to you about.”

Three men in white coats appeared behind her with polite smiles that actually translated to “there’s some serious shit we need to talk about”.

Both Peter and Wade sat up, and the nurse continued. “I don’t know if you want him present for this, it’s a really serious matter.”

Wade waved it off. What could be worse than permanently melted skin? “Whatever it is, he has my permission. I can just translate it to him.”

“Okay,” the nurse said slowly. “I’ll the let the doctors take over.”

One of the doctors stepped forward and offered a handshake to Wade, which he accepted suspiciously. The doctor either ignored Wade’s hesitant reaction or missed it completely because he went right into the fire.

“Good morning, Wade. The day you were injured we took an x-ray just to be sure everything was okay internally and noticed something a bit off.”

Of course there was something worse than permanently melted skin. Wade’s jaw tightened. “Cancer.”

The doctor looked up at the ceiling like it had the answer scribbled on it to be sure that yeah there was probably fucking cancer in his body, by the way he narrowed his eyes and made that brief “ehhh” sound.

“Yes and no. We just know that there’s a tumor in your heart we think is Myxoma that we’d like to take a look at. It is benign, but we’d like to run a few tests to confirm and hopefully get it removed to prevent embolism, which is when parts of the tumor break off and spread to the rest of your body to make it malignant. Now, it could also be Sarcoma, as they are similar but like I said we can run some tests and—”

And the waves finally came crashing in. First his skin. Now the cancer—again. Why, God? Wade wanted to ask out loud. Why me? Was he going to die, again? Be a ghost again? Try to get Peter to remember him again and fail again and again?

Benign. There was no fucking way it would be benign. The odds were always against him.

After the doctors scheduled an appointment with Wade to run tests the next day, they finally left him alone with Peter. But Wade didn’t move from his spot, he just stared at the floor.

Once he felt a soft hand on his back, Wade broke down, gripping the handles to his bed hard as he hiccuped and choked on his wailing. The world fell silent as if it were mourning for him already.

“I’m gonna die.” His voice cracked and tears soaked his face. Thin lines of snot raced down as he tried to gasp for air but the panic in his chest was making it hard to breathe. Crying just made it worse. Without thinking he dropped his head into Peter’s chest, who instantly combed his fingers through what was left of Wade’s hair. He rocked him side to side, trying to comfort him.

“I don’t wanna die.”

Chapter Text

‘Cancer? How can he have that again?!’ 

 

Peter raised at brow at Gwen as she ran her nails through her scalp and pulled her hair in frustration. Karma was on a whole new level. She didn’t know much about past life Wade when he was alive, was he that bad of a person? Or did it just happen to carry over to this world because the universe just wanted to shit on him?

 

‘What do you mean “again”?’ Peter asked.

 

Gwen flinched, realizing what she said and shook it off. ‘Nothing, I was thinking about someone else. Anyway, when do they run more tests? When do they take it out?’

 

‘This Friday,’ Peter sighed, rubbing his face stressfully. ‘They’ll probably do the surgery on the weekend.’

 

‘How deadly is Myxoma anyway? I’ve never heard that before.’ Gwen wondered if it was the same kind of cancer Wade had in the past. According to past life Peter it was deadly enough to change his skin, like the cancer ate him inside and out. His skin now was purely from the fire. 

 

Peter shrugged. ‘I googled it and it said it was benign. But the doctors also said it could be something else. Either way they’re gonna try to remove it and keep an eye on him for it.’

 

‘Poor Wade, he’s been through so much...’ Gwen frowned.

 

‘He’s been really depressed this past week I don’t know how to keep his spirit up.’

 

‘You can always take him out.’

 

Peter shook his head, looking defeated. ‘Even if I could, he can’t. His skin is still healing and moving too much hurts him.’

 

Gwen rested her chin in her hand. ‘Then bring the fun to him.’

 

Peter raised his brows. ‘You’re right! I can bring games and movies over! Let’s check the second hand store and see what they have!’

 

‘That’s what I’m talking about!’ Gwen slammed her hands on the table and stood up.

 

 

The two filled their cart with a bunch of board games (that were clearly missing pieces but still very doable) and some peculiar DVDs they found. Gwen had a thing for throwing in a bunch of Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler movies, though Peter couldn’t recall Wade talking about any films they were in. He figured they’d be good choices anyway because who doesn’t love “50 First Dates” or “Me, Myself, and Irene”?

 

Peter ended up parting from Gwen in the store to look at the little knick knacks and collectibles that Wade might enjoy. But to his disappointment there was nothing but broken China, headless dolls, torn up fake plants and—something shiny?

 

Peter stopped abruptly. There something blue and gold hiding in a pile of junk. He reached over to pull it out, feeling a weird tingling sensation in his fingertips that he chose to ignore. He was too enthralled by the way it looked. 

 

It was a circular nightlight that had paper silhouettes of fish. It was the kind that rotated slowly, to make it seem like you were in the ocean. It was heavy and carried an antique look about it, but Peter noticed it was battery operated on the bottom. He also noticed there was a gold plate on the front that read in cursive, 

 

To: W

1944-1980

 

The tingling in his hands grew stronger. There was something familiar about this nightlight...

 

Peter felt a hard pat on his back, making him jump. It was Gwen with an armful of possibly useless junk that was dedicated to either Wade or (most likely) to her. She dumped it all in the cart and put her hands on her hips.

 

‘What do you got there?’

 

Peter looked down at the night light. ‘I don’t know. I just found it. The plate is kind of weird though, see?’

 

Gwen picked up and studied it, then her eyes went wide. She looked back at Peter, then looked at the night light. There was no way the nightlight transferred over to this world too. Did that mean...

 

Gwen tossed the nightlight in the cart and smiled. 

 

‘It’s perfect for Wade. You guys wanted to go to the aquarium anyway, remember? So you can bring it to him. Let’s go.’

 

 

“You’re bullshitting me, Gwen.” Wade sat up in his bed with the hospital phone cradled between his ear and his shoulder. “The nightlight is here?”

 

“I think it’s here for a reason, Wade. I think that’s the key to getting Peter to remember you. Unless you’re not ‘W’ and you weren’t born in the forties and died in the eighties. I wonder how it ended up in there. Maybe we’re in the same world after all.”

 

Wade shook his head. “No, idiot. I died in the eighties. Peter and I met around this time when I was dead.”

 

Gwen was pacing back and forth in her living room and finally sat down. “So lemme get this straight—both timelines are overlapping each other, right? What if—and I’m just throwing a shot in the dark here—that he’s not remembering you yet because you guys haven’t reached the significant points of your relationship from the past on this timeline?”

 

Wade narrowed his eyes, barely following. “I thought we agreed he was so depressed that he repressed everything about his past life when he got here?” 

 

“My theory was more entertaining.” Gwen sighed. 

 

“Look, the nightlight could just be pure coincidence. If he brings it over and somehow remembers me that’s fantastic. If he doesn’t, I’m about to just give up.”

 

“No, Wade. We talked about this. This isn’t about you. It’s about Peter!”

 

Wade suddenly snapped. “Gwen, I have cancer and I look like a goddamn clown. I have to worry about LIVING before I can worry about getting Peter to remember a very irrelevant past.”

 

“It’s not irrelevant—“ 

 

“It’s in the past.” Wade reiterated. He can feel himself choking up at this point but he gritted his teeth as he continued to speak. “Who knows? Maybe I am going to die again. I want to spend time with him as much as I can before it’s too late. The past doesn’t matter at this point, Gwen. I love him for who he is now and that’s all that matters.”

 

Gwen defeatedly looked down and listen to Wade quietly sob to himself. She was blinded by her own positivity she forgot the reality of the situation. Maybe he was right. Maybe this was it. 

 

 

Peter had that dream again. He found himself fully submerged in water, surrounded by countless silhouettes of fish. And then Wade appeared next to him but he’s sitting unlike Peter. He didn’t even noticed that Peter was floating. In fact, he wasn’t even look at Peter. He was looking at the fish. 

 

Wade’s voice was distorted by the water, and Peter can barely hear it but he was able to make out some of things he said. 

 

“It’s gorgeous,” After Wade said that, he finally looked at Peter. Peter noticed a hole in Wade’s chest where his heart was missing. Thick black goo was coming out of it slowly and started to get bigger, soaking Wade’s shirt and forming a puddle under him. It soon came out of his eyes, his mouth, his ears. But Wade didn’t seem to notice. Then, as clear as day, Wade whispered in his ear. 

 

“Is this suppose to be an aquarium?” 

 

 

 

Peter jolted upright from his sleep, clutching tightly to his chest. He looked over and saw Wade stir back to life groggily, and automatically rubbed Peter’s back to calm him. It was routine for them, as Peter frequently had night terrors back when they would sleep over at each other’s houses. 

 

‘You okay?’ Wade signed lazily with one hand.

 

Peter nodded and kissed his temple. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was 3AM, so he laid back down and faced Wade, studying his sleepy face. 

 

Then out of nowhere, Wade spoke. And for a second, Peter was able to hear it. 

 

“Why won’t...you remember me?” Then his eyes drifted shut and he began to snore. 

He immediately propped himself up with one arm and stared at Wade with wide eyes. He quickly slapped his ears to see if he could hear anything but he couldn’t. He couldn’t even hear Wade snore anymore. 

 

It’s just a dream, Peter thought. This is all just a dream. 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Gwen narrowed her eyes at Peter after he retold last nights events for the third time. To a stranger, it would seem ridiculous. Peter, being able to hear? There’s no way. But it made sense to her, and she concluded that somehow in some way Peter was remembering the past. He just didn’t know it because everything still doesn’t seem to click to him. She speculated parts of his past life was bleeding into this one, thus allowing his ability to hear briefly be granted. But it wasn’t her place to say anything. 

 

Gwen ended up shrugging her shoulders. ‘Sounds like a dream to me.’

 

Peter’s jaw dropped. ‘I swear it wasn’t. I heard his voice! I even heard him snore! I didn’t even sleep until an hour after it happened!’

 

‘You’ve been getting these crazy dreams about the aquarium because you guys were suppose to go to one before Wade transformed in Freddy Krueger. Plus, since he’s been Freddy Krueger that explains your lack of sleep—personally I wouldn’t be able to sleep next to a face like that—and it makes you imagine things.’ 

 

‘But I didn’t imagine it!’ Gwen felt a strong ball of guilt in her gut. But if she told him the truth, he wouldn’t understand. He had to find out himself and of course she wasn’t helping. She just didn’t know how.

 

‘Listen. Maybe if you do that nightlight aquarium date with Wade these bad dreams will go away. Freud would probably agree with me.’

 

Peter rolled his eyes. ‘Freud would probably have a phallic related explanation to these fish dreams. Like how he’s probably telling me to tell you to close your legs.’

 

‘You!’ Gwen started to chase after Peter around the house. ‘You need to stop hanging around Wade, you little asshole!’ 

 

 

Snacks, check. Movies, check. Books for Wade to read, check. Nightlight with batteries installed and extra batteries packed, check. Peter double checked everything in his tote bag before opening Wade’s door. 

 

Tonight, Peter would make it the best night he could for Wade because tomorrow was his surgery. He wanted to make this a positive experience for him to make the next day be at least, less shitty. He took a deep breath, and walked in.

 

‘So, because you’re glued to this hospital bed,’ Peter emptied out his tote over Wade’s lap. ‘I’m bringing the world to you.’

 

Wade picked up the DVD box for “Me, Myself, and Irene” and raised his brows at Peter. 

 

‘I’m guessing Gwen picked this.’

 

Peter scratched the back of his neck and laughed nervously. ‘She said it was a romantic comedy.’ 

 

‘Well, it sure is something else.’ Wade put it down and noticed there was still something in the bag. Before Peter could get it from him, he pulled it out and saw the nightlight. 

 

‘That’s for later—‘ Peter tried to grab it but Wade shrugged him off. 

 

It was the exact nightlight, just how he remembered it. The only thing different about it was the gold plate—Peter must’ve added that after Wade passed over. The day Peter brought the nightlight into his house to show Wade the aquarium, was the best day of Wade’s life—living or dead. They kissed that day. Wade felt loved that day. Because of Peter, Wade was able to finally love himself and move on. 

 

‘Can we...use it now?’ Wade asked. 

 

 

The two got comfortable in bed, sitting in the middle of it with the nightlight in between them. Peter had turned the lights off, making it hard to see anything in the room. He couldn’t even sign to Wade because it was so hard to see, so they kept their hands still and absorbed the moment—the silence between them.

 

Carefully, Peter reached for the switch on the side of nightlight, and turn it on. The room gradually lit up in a blue hue as silhouettes of fish began to circle them. He could see Wade staring at the walls with fascination, and if his eyes were translating it right, sadness too. 

 

Maybe Gwen was right. He probably kept dreaming about it because they had been planning this date for a long time. And now, it was finally here. It wasn’t the same, but it still carried the same comforting feeling an actual aquarium provided; The way the fish languidly swam around them and just how blue the water was. There was something about the color that relaxed Peter. 

 

Wade’s put a hand on Peter’s and they met eyes. Peter felt brief rush of deja vu, as if this whole thing had happened before. 

 

‘I love you,’ Wade signed.

 

He could feel the bed shift as Wade’s face drew closer, and they both slowly closed their eyes when their lips finally met. 

 

Then, like a light switch, everything turned white. Images started to reel behind Peter’s eyelids, popping up for a split second before the next one came. Voices began fill his head—he couldn’t make out who they belonged to at first, but he realized it was Wade’s and...his own. 

 

Images of them together in a place that slowly became familiar. Images of Wade as a ghost. Peter as a hearing person. It didn’t make sense, until it finally did. They were together in another life.

 

“I love you Peter Parker,” Wade’s voice echoed in his head as the pictures continued to flip through. “and nothing in the world could stop me from being with you! I’ll find you, Petey! I promise, I’ll look for y—“

 

Peter instantly shoved Wade back. He gasped for air as he stumbled off the bed, trying to understand what he saw. What he remembered. 

 

“Peter?” Wade raised a brow.

 

He stood up, frantically looking for the light switch. When he turned it on the aquarium faded, vaguely visible against the white walls. He furiously looked over at a very confused Wade.

 

“You left me!” Peter found himself talking perfectly without realizing it as he signed, though he still couldn’t hear. “You knew I wanted you to stay but you still left!”

 

Wade’s heart fell. He stood up slowly and raised his hands to calm Peter but it was impossible. He began to sign as he spoke too. “Peter, I had no choice.”

 

“So you remember everything too? For how long? This whole time? Do you realize how much it hurt when you left? Do you realize how long I was in pain for? I KILLED myself, Wade.”

 

Wade wanted to question Peter’s suicide but it didn’t seem to be the right time, so he quickly put a mental pin in it for later. “I couldn’t do anything about it, Peter! You saved me and I passed on, what do you want me to tell you?” 

 

Peter was so furious he felt tears burning his eyes. “You didn’t even say goodbye!”

 

“I TRIED! I tried Peter! I was fading away, I didn’t mean to leave you! But I’m here now, aren’t I?”

 

“So what, you were just not going to tell me anything in this life? Just act like none of that in the past was important?”

 

“We didn’t know how to tell you, Peter! I didn’t want to scare you!”

 

Peter fell silent. “‘We’? Who’s ‘we’?”

 

Wade frowned and pointed at Peter. “...You’re the only one who didn’t remember.”

 

Why? Peter asked himself. Why was the world so cruel to him? Why did it take away his hearing and his memories of the people he loved? Most of all, why did they keep it all a secret from him?

 

Peter walked out without another word and didn’t turn back or wait for Wade to stop him.