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better than being alone

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It's Peter's first day off in a month, and instead of spending it in bed like he wants to, or cleaning his house like he needs to, or even catching up on all the episodes of Planet Earth as he'd like to, he's going to a party.

He'd told Aunt May that when she'd asked what he planned to do with all his free time, and she'd gasped and clutched at her heart, nearly giving him a heart-attack before he realised she was teasing him.

"Well dear, you have to admit, it is a little shocking. In between your day job and your night job, you don't get much time for socialising. I get out more often than you, and I need a hip replacement," she'd said, gently mocking.

"Hey!" Peter had protested, "I went out for dinner just the other night, thank you very much."

"Eating alone at McDonalds doesn't count Peter," May had said dismissively, then when he deflated had added a little guiltily, "don't mind my teasing. I'm pleased you're going out, truly. Since you and MJ..." But she had trailed off as Peter flinched, and changed the subject.

It's been just over two months since he and MJ broke up, and he still wakes up reaching for her across the bed. It hurts, coming home each night to an empty apartment, going on patrol and knowing there will be no one when he gets in. It's been a lonely couple of months. So in a way, Peter thinks, getting into his costume, it's been good he's been so busy, and the party should be a distraction if nothing else. He looks into the mirror for a moment; his face is drawn, dark bags under his eyes. He pulls the mask over his head and watches as tired, heart-broken Peter Parker disappears and the amazing Spider-Man appears.

It's not actually a fancy dress party he's attending, and in fact he's not really the one invited. It's a party Spider-Man's been invited to. Despite the ambivalence of the media coverage of Spider-Man, Peter actually gets quite a lot of invitations to parties, some of them to quite high-end parties the like of which Peter Parker could never hope to attend. He has declined every one. Except this one.

It's the birthday party of the child of a fire-fighter who had recently gotten hurt by a piece of falling rubble at one of the crime-scenes Spider-Man had been at, and Peter can't help feeling responsible. So, he's going. Plus, like Aunt May had so kindly pointed out, it wasn't like his social calender was crammed full. If the party was too awful, if, god forbid, they'd hired clowns, Peter could always say there was an emergency across town he needed to attend to, and make a hasty getaway.

Picking up the brightly wrapped present and card, Peter leaves.


He'd have been able to pick out the right house even if he'd forgotten the address. Big bunches of balloons are tied to the gate, which is, no joke, a white picket fence; a home-made banner hangs over the door, with the legend 'Happy 5th Birthday Timmy!' painted on. The sounds of children screeching and laughing drift over from the back garden. Peter pauses for a moment, crouched on a lamppost. Should he knock or just swing over the fence? He settles on knocking, for politeness sake. Aunt May would insist. The door swings open after a moment, revealing a slightly frazzled blonde woman on the other side.

"- keep Jenny out of the room with the cake! Don't turn your back on her!" she calls over her shoulder before turning to face him, a confused look settling on her face.

"Hi!" Peter says brightly, "Mrs Jones, I presume. Did your husband mention he'd invited me round? He said little Timmy was a big fan?"

The blonde woman continues frowning at him, arms now folded across her chest. Peter begins to feel awkward... maybe he'd got the wrong house? A different party? "Wrong house?" he asks with an embarrassed laugh, "Let me guess, you ordered Captain America, the kid who wants Spider-Man lives three houses down?"

"No," the woman, Mrs Jones, says slowly, "Timmy asked for Spider-Man"

"Well, here I am, one super spider-themed hero, just as promised," Peter tries to smile winningly, then remembers she won't be able to see it under the mask, "Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, ready for the party." He holds the gift he'd brought in front of him.

"Who's that at the door, sweetie? Is it Vanessa and the kids?" A man's voice calls from inside.

"No," calls Mrs Jones, eyes still fixed suspiciously on Peter, "Can you come here please, Hank?"

A tall, blond man with an arm in a cast appears in the doorway behind the woman.

"Hi," Peter waves awkwardly, "it's me, you might remember, the costume's pretty distinctive."

Hank settles his hands on his wife's shoulders, protective, a look of vague suspicion settling on his broad features, "You having a laugh? Spider-Man got here an hour ago; he's in the backyard with the kids."

"What?" Peter splutters, indignant, "You got the wrong guy, I'm Spider-Man!"

Frowning, Hank peers, as if scrutinizing the costume, "No you're not..." he says, but his tone is uncertain, doubt in his eyes.

Peter is too impatient to argue; someone's pretending to be him, for who knows what reason. The best case scenario is that it's just an opportunistic copycat, figuring to enjoy a little sliver of the limelight, worst-case it's someone taking advantage of the anonymity of a costume to get close to kids. Spinning round, he runs to the fence, shooting web at the roof to pull himself over. He lands on his feet in the garden, crouched in the middle of a circle of kids, evidently in the middle of a game. To his left is another man dressed in a similar costume, who jumps in surprise. “Er,” Peter says, blinking at the kids and waving a hand slightly awkwardly. “Hi?”

The kids all gape, slack-jawed. A few of the littler ones look scared, while the older ones look torn between confusion and excitement. Once the moment of shock passes, they all start babbling, excitement winning out.

"It's Spider-Man!"

"Another Spidey?"

“How come there are two?”

"Told you the costume was wrong!"

None of them seem to be hurt in any way, or even upset, which is the most important thing, and Peter relaxes a fraction. It doesn't lessen his anger or his distrust as he wheels round on the other costumed man, who is attempting to tiptoe surreptitiously away, and asks furiously, “What are you doing here Deadpool?”

The taller man twitches and freezes mid-step, then turns to face him, head tilted comically as if he's only just noticed Peter's arrival, like it's possible to just overlook someone in a red and blue spandex costume dropping down beside him. “Hey, Spidey, glad you could make it.”

“Uh, yeah,” Peter says, slightly disbelieving, even though he shouldn't let himself be thrown off at this point by the merc's complete and utter lack of shame when caught out. “I made it to the party, which I was invited to. Something tells me you didn't make the guest-list.”

“Yeah, well,” Deadpool shrugs, and Peter can just tell that he's grinning under the mask, the red fabric stretching widely, “I didn't think you were actually gonna turn up, figured you probably had a hot date or something.”

“So you thought you'd what, just come along and play the part and hope no one noticed?” Peter says, fighting to keep his voice down. The kids are still watching them with interest, mercifully fairly quiet. Hank and his wife must have appeared at some point, both standing in the French doors, mouths open as they take in him and Deadpool.

“Never had any trouble before,” Deadpool says, remarkably blasé.

“Oh, well that's fine then,” Peter says sarcastically, then his brain catches up. “Wait – what do you mean before? How many times have you done this?”

Deadpool makes a face and ignores him, walking over to a table and grabing a large, gaudily wrapped parcel off it. “Who's up for pass-the-parcel, huh kiddies?”

As a delaying tactic, it's fairly effective. Peter doesn't want to upset the kids and ruin the party. Several of the kids cheer, some clapping their hands, and Peter watches as the mask's fabric stretches wider, Deadpool's grin growing underneath it. “Great! You're gonna love this game, it's a blast!” He hands the parcel to a kid and starts the music.

Hank and his wife hurry over while the kids are distracted; Mrs Jones is white-lipped and furious looking, while Hank's face is splotchy-red. “What is going on?” Hank hisses, but the effect is spoilt a little by the fact he can't seem to make his mind up which one of them he's meant to be addressing.

“I'm really sorry about this,” Peter starts to apologise, “I swear, he's -”

“I'm a good friend,” Deadpool puts in smoothly, then winks. “A really good friend if you know what I -”

Peter steps down on his foot. Hard.

Deadpool doesn't even yelp, that bastard, with his ridiculously high pain threshold, he just wraps an arm over Peter's shoulder and grins.

“Look, all I wanted was for my son to get to met Spider-Man on his birthday,” Hank begins. “You turned up,” he nods at Deadpool, “and he was over the moon. And now you're telling me you're not Spider-Man and this guy is?”

“That's right, I'm Spider-Man, he's -” Peter begins, but Deadpool cuts him off again.

“I'm the Canadian Spider-Man! The less popular, lower calorie alternative.”

You're not -” Peter begins to say, but the hand Deadpool's still got on his shoulder squeezes warningly, and Peter shuts up. Not because he's afraid of Deadpool, but because it's not worth causing a scene here.

“I didn't think my American alter-ego was going to show, and I didn't want lil Tommy -”

“-Timmy,” Peter mutters.

“Timmy,” Deadpool corrects smoothly, “I didn't want little Timmy's special day to be ruined, so I thought I'd drop by. Plus,” he adds with a confidential air, “I'm way better at party games.”

Hank and Mrs Jones still look a little distrustful, but for some reason Deadpool seems to have them convinced. 

“Oh, okay,” Mrs Jones says faintly, “I guess that's okay then.” She smiles uncertainly, looking to them both for reassurance.

Deadpool grins, arm still slung casually around Peter, hip cocked to one side nonchalantly. Peter's own body language is a lot less relaxed. He forces himself to unwind a little, and gives a little jerk of his head, unwillingly corroborating Deadpool's story.

“Okay, well, I'm going to check on the cake,” Mrs Jones says, clearly relieved that everything is apparently okay. Hank nods and follows her in, muttering something about needing a beer.

Peter waits until they're both out of sight, then shoves Deadpool off. “I don't understand how people get us confused,” he says bitterly. “We're nothing alike.”

“I wouldn't say that,” Deadpool says, using the momentum from Peter's shove to move towards the buffet table and grab some mini sausage rolls, which he stuffs in one of his many pouches. “We're both witty, acrobatic and have a kick-ass sense of style.”

"The difference is I'm actually funny,” Peter retorts.

Deadpool opens his mouth, and Peter braces himself for another verbal barrage, but they're thankfully both interrupted.


Turning, they swivel to face one of the kids; it's a sharp-faced girl with gingerish hair. Hanging back just behind her is a boy who can only be little Timmy.

“What d'ya want kid,” Deadpool growls, leaning down to tower intimidatingly over the girl, “can't you tell the adults are talking?”

Peter puts a warning hand on the man's shoulder, ready to intervene if Deadpool looks like he's going to make the change from violently annoying to just violent.

The girl to her credit doesn't look impressed. Impassively her eyes flit from Deadpool to Peter, then she says, “Told you he wasn't Spider-Man. His costume's all wrong.”

“Thank you!” Peter nearly shouts with relief. Deadpool's costume doesn't even have a spider on it.

“Did you just come over to state the obvious or did you have a point, brat?” Deadpool asks snottily.

“Yeah,” the girl flips her hair imperiously, and Peter is reminded of MJ just for a moment. “When is the music going to stop? It's been playing for like five minutes now and we're all getting bored.”

“Bored?” Deadpool leaps into action, flitting gracefully over to the CD player. “Never fear, musketeers, Deadpool is here!”

“I thought you said you were Spider-Man,” another of the kids asks, a dark-skinned girl with pigtails, who stares first at Deadpool and then Peter so shrewdly he almost forgets he's wearing a mask.

“Nah, that nerd's Spider-Man, I'm Deadpool, much cooler,” Deadpool says dismissively, hitting the pause button.

“If you're so cool, how come you don't have your own action figure?” asks the boy the parcel landed on, tearing off wrapping paper.

“Who says I don't?” Deadpool grins, almost skipping over to peer down at the boy unwrapping the first layer. Something small, red and black falls out. It's a Deadpool figurine, or rather what looks like Spider-Man figurine that someone has painted Deadpool's costume over.

“Thanks?” says the boy doubtfully.

“Did you pack the parcel yourself?” Peter groans. He doesn't need to wait for the answer, it's obvious that yes, Deadpool really did, and it's Deadpool, so who knows what's in it. Lame, rip-off figurines are probably the tamest of its contents. “Is there anything explosive, toxic, alcoholic, sharp, or otherwise unsuitable for children in there?” he asks as Deadpool starts the music again.

“Nothin' that will hurt them permanently and won't make life more interesting,” Deadpool says dismissively, leaning back against the table Peter's ended up perched on the edge of.

“Strangely, that's not reassuring,” Peter says drily.

“I promise, there's nothing that'd hurt them,” Deadpool says, his usual joking tone absent.

Surprised, Peter looks over; Deadpool's not looking at him, he's watching the children pass the parcel around. Some of the kids nearly throwing it to their neighbour, while others drag their turn out, some shaking the parcel like they can guess what's inside. Deadpool seems... calmer than Peter 's used to seeing him and he can't quite work out why. “What are you doing here, honestly Deadpool?”

The merc shrugs, kicking his feet back against the table leg. “I could ask you the same thing, thought you were too busy for this kinda lark. Ain't you got some hot babe you could be spending today with?”

“Not at the moment,” Peter says tightly. The throwaway question catches him off-guard, and he can't think of a way to deflect Deadpool's attention so he won't notice the way Peter's gone tense, mind turning back to MJ and the break-up, mood spiralling down. He can sense the surprise emanating from Deadpool when he stays silent, for once without a witty one-liner, can sense Deadpool realising he's hit a sore spot, and he doesn't bother to wait around for the slew of jokes he's sure the man will soon be making at his expense, slipping off the table and moving over to the CD player.

Deadpool doesn't follow, and Peter manages to draw out the game for another half an hour, standing by the CD player and pressing pause at suitable intervals. At first, it's just a way to avoid having to talk to the obnoxious merc, and get to brood, but then he gets distracted watching all the kids get and react to the various surprise gifts in the parcel. True to his word, none of the presents are actually dangerous, but they are all unique. One of them does explode, but no one is hurt, and the only dangerous substance released is glitter, which gets on everything. Peter's a little gratified to find that Deadpool also included a Spider-Man figurine in the parcel. 

Eventually though, the game ends, and Mrs Jones comes out with the cake. Spider-Man is instantly forgotten in favour of chocolate sponge and double chocolate fudge icing. Peter stays politely out of the way, feeling a little neglected but trying not to take it too personally. He's feeling out of place enough that he actually doesn't actually mind too much when Deadpool saunters over to join him.

“Girlfriend dump you, huh?” the merc says bluntly.

“Why does everyone always assume I'm the one that got dumped?” Peter asks, addressing no one in particular.

Deadpool opens his mouth to answer and Peter sighs, “I was being rhetorical.”

“I'm pretty sure there's a cream you can get for that,” Deadpool says, then off-handedly, “anyway, even if she dumped you, it's her loss.”

Peter hunches his shoulders unhappily. He doesn't know how they've gotten onto the topic of him and MJ, or rather, how him and MJ aren't a thing any more, but he finds it's hard to get off the subject now it's been broached. Too long spent not thinking about it, not talking about it, until all the hurt and sadness he's kept bottled up randomly overflows and makes him open up to the worst possible person ever to talk to about relationships. “No, she's better off without me.”

“Are you kidding me?” Deadpool scoffs, “Dude, you're Spider-Man, that's friggin' cool. I mean, you're a super-hero, and you're cute, and let's not forget, you got a great ass.” He leers unashamedly. “Hey, since you're off the market...”

“No way, no how, no ever,” Peter says flatly. Then, despite his better judgement, “And how can you tell I'm cute?” He waves a hand vaguely to indicate his mask, “You have no idea what I look like under this.”

“No, but I've spent a while fantasizing,” Deadpool waggles his eyebrows. Peter can tell because it looks like two worms wriggling under the mask. “Anyway,” Deadpool continues, and there's a faint thread of self-deprecation to his tone, “'s not like it actually matters too much, can't be worse than what's under mine.”

Peter doesn't know how to respond to that, because he knows what's under Deadpool's mask, and the man's got a point, but it's not exactly kind to agree, especially when, despite the constant flirting, Deadpool's actually kinda not being a jerk. Thankfully, he doesn't have to think of something to say, because little Timmy is approaching shyly, a plate of cake in each hand.

“Mom said to say thank you for coming to my birthday party,” Timmy says to the patch of dirt near Peter's feet, “So thanks, it was really nice. You're my hero, and it means a lot.”

Peter feels a stab of guilt; he hasn't exactly spent much of this party with Timmy, which was what he was meant to be doing. Somehow he seemed to end up babysitting Deadpool instead. “Hey, thanks for inviting me,” he says sincerely, “this is the best party I've been to in ages.”

That makes Timmy smile, and Peter feels better about himself than he has in a while as he accepts the plate of cake.

“Uh, thank you for coming to Mr Deadpool,” Timmy says, offering Deadpool the second plate of cake. “It was nice of you to take the time, and I enjoyed all the games.”

“Ah, don't mention it kid,” Deadpool says gruffly, taking the cake, “I just came for the free food.”

“Don't listen to him,” Peter says, watching the almost shy way Deadpool is looking down at the cake. “He had a good time.”

Timmy grinned and said “I know! He was the one who got most excited about the pinata.”

Deadpool grumbles something under his breath, and Timmy laughs before running back to join the other kids.

Peter couldn't stop himself from smirking.

“Aw shut up,” Deadpool grumbles.

Peter shrugged, pulling his mask enough that he can eat, “I didn't say anything.”

Deadpool huffed, still looking down at the cake, “I like going to these kinda parties. 's nice, you know?”

Peter takes a moment to swallow his cake, licking the frosting from his lips. He catches Deadpool staring, and flushes, self-conscious, glad the mask is still pulled down low enough to hide the burning of his cheeks. “Is that why you're apparently making the rounds of kids' parties, pretending to be me?”

Deadpool clears his throat, tearing his eyes away from Peter's lips but his voice is still a little husky when he replies, “Yeah, well, it's not like I get too many invites of my own y'know? People decided I'm not 'family-friendly' or something.”

Peter snorts, “I wonder why.”

“Look,” Deadpool begins, “I get you're probably not too happy I'm gallivanting around pretendin' to be you, and I can see why, alright? I get it, I got a reputation. But I don't hurt kids. And this don't hurt anyone. The kids are happy, I'm happy, most of the parents are happy...”

Peter sighs. He knows he's going to regret saying this, but, “I guess I don't mind so long as you're really not doing anything that's going to mess up my reputation.”

Deadpool straightens up, mask stretching as his mouth falls open in an 'o' of astonishment, “Really? You're cool with it? You're not going to take me to court.”

“No,” Peter says, “Although if you mess this up, I will. I know a really good lawyer.”

“Not to worry!” Deadpool says cheerfully. “Your reputation is safe with me! Can't promise anything about your chastity.”

Groaning, Peter finishes his cake, carefully not to get any more frosting on his lips. “You gonna eat that?” he asks, stabbing a fork in the direction of Deadpool's cake.

“Yes!” Deadpool cradles the cake to his chest, mask pulling down as he scowls, and Peter is reminded of why he hasn't seen Deadpool eat at this party, “You had yours. 'sides, you eat any more you're gonna get a fat ass.”

Peter shrugs, “Maybe it'll stop you staring at it then.”

“You wish,” Deadpool smirks.

The party is winding down now; parents are coming to collect their tired, chocolate-filled (and in at least one case, glitter-covered) offspring, the sun sinking lower and growing redder in the sky. It's time to leave, but Peter feels a curious reluctance to return to his apartment, though he'd left it so unwillingly this morning. It's too silent, too empty without Mary Jane's voice and her laughter, without her stuff on every surface.

“Hey,” Deadpool begins, oddly hesitant, “you uh, you wanna get a beer or something?”

Peter thinks about it.

“You are legal right?” Deadpool asks, sounding as if the possibility Peter might not be has just occurred to him.

“Yeah,” Peter decides.

“Yeah you're not jailbait or yeah you wanna get a beer?”

“Both,” Peter stands. “But you've gotta stop hitting on me.”

“No can do, mes amigo, but I will buy you a beer.” Deadpool carefully wraps his slice of cake in a napkin, then tucks it into another pouch.

“I guess that's the best deal I'm going to get,” Peter remarks, moving to say goodbye to Hank and his wife.

“Damn straight,” Deadpool says, with irritating good cheer, and Peter thinks he almost regrets agreeing, except its better than being alone.


In the end they go to Deadpool – Wade's (“If you tell me your real name, I'll tell you mine.” “Your real name is Wade.” “How do you know?!” “You're in the phonebook.” “Oh yeah...”). The reasoning is sound enough; Peter can't think of any bars he can go to in his suit and get served, and none of the bars Deadpool suggests are one's Peter can go to without being morally obliged to fight most of the clientèle. Deadpool's – Wade's, Peter reminds himself, place isn't actually as grotty as he'd imagined, although he's only really been shown the living room.

The sofa is kinda battered and looks like it was probably salvaged from a skip, there's bullet holes in the walls, and the carpet's suspiciously stained, but there's a flat-screen TV with cable, and the beer Wade hands him is imported. Peter doesn't really drink, and he knows he shouldn't drink around Wade. The guy might seem friendly right now, might just seem lonely, but that doesn't change who or what he is. So Peter really doesn't mean to get drunk – it just sorta happens.

They watch TV, and Wade laughs like a hyena at the weirdest moments, talks back to the TV like it can hear him, and turns out to have the strangest taste in shows (“Golden Girls is a classic!”). Somehow Peter ends up matching Wade for drinks, and it's not until he stands up to go use the bathroom that he realises that maybe wasn't the best idea he's ever had.

The way the room spins gently combined with the smell of the bathroom (which is pretty much exactly like he'd imagined) ends up making Peter feel pretty nauseous, and he decides to stop drinking. Checking his watch, he's surprised to realise it's nearly eleven, and that he's spent the whole day hanging out with Deadpool without anyone getting shot or stabbed or otherwise injured. More surprisingly, he's actually kind of enjoyed himself. Wade's humour is juvenile, but he can make Peter laugh, and the constant chattering keeps his mind from dwelling on MJ.

Opening the bathroom window, Peter pulls his mask off and leans out to get some fresh air, or as close to fresh as anyone can get in New York. The night air is cool on his skin and he closes his eyes thankfully. It's not just that Wade is funny, or distracting, he admits silently. There's something about him that gets under Peter's skin, something that makes his nerves jangle almost the same way as they do when he's in danger but not quite. He's always aware of the merc, the way he moves, the way he stares, the frank interest he has in Peter. He can't tell if it's attraction or just awareness of Wade's attraction to him, but there's something exciting about being around someone who can keep up with his jokes, who he knows is fast enough and strong enough, and more than resilient enough to keep up with him.

“Hey! Did ya fall down the toilet or something?”

Peter jumps as Wade pounds on the door, then stumbles over, pulling it open before Wade can knock it down. “I refuse on general principles to touch your toilet,” he informs Wade, leaning on the door-frame casually, and also a little because he might fall over without the support.

Wade's eyes are fixed on his face, his mouth slightly slack for some reason as he stares at Peter. Even his voice when he speaks is croakier than usual, “Hey, you know what they say about incy-wincy spiders falling down spouts.”

“Har, har, hilarious,” Peter says, rolling his eyes. He runs a hand through his hair self-consciously, “What, why are you staring? Do I have something on my -” He breaks off, eyes widening, hand clenching in his hair. His mask. He forgot to put it back on.

Wade, who's still wearing his mask, albeit pulled up over his nose, licks his lips almost nervously, tongue skimming scarred tissue before disappearing back into his mouth, and says lightly, “Looks like I was right, you're pretty easy on the eyes.”

His gaze is still fixed on Peter's face, scrutinizing it like he's trying to memorize every detail, and Peter should put his mask back on and tell him to forget he ever saw him, should be more worried, be thinking about how his most preciously guarded secret has been compromised, but he can't focus on that, not with the way Wade's staring at him, almost hungrily. It's been a while since anyone's looked at Peter Parker like that.

Peter moves almost without thinking about it, stepping close, getting up in Wade's personal space, and the mercenary tenses, body shifting, getting ready to attack. Peter spares a moment to wonder how long it's been since someone's touched Wade without violence, and feels a twinge of pity. Then he's not thinking anything at all, pressing his lips to Wade's, feeling the oddly smooth, rippled texture of his skin.

There's an instant before Wade responds, then his hands suddenly settle on Peter's hips, firm and warm, but with an edge of uncertainty to the grip that Peter finds oddly compelling. He deepens the kiss, bites down on Wade's lower lip until he opens up and kisses back. Suddenly Wade's pressing against Peter, body warm and firm against his, edging him back until he bumps into the wall, legs tangling together. Wade's hands slip from Peter's sides to grasp his ass and Peter moans a little, rocking his hips into Wade, desperate for more contact. Mouths slide slickly apart for a moment and Peter takes the breath to gasp, “S'nice.”

It's more than nice, which is why Peter's surprised when Wade steps away from him, moving away so fast Peter's stumbling and would fall if it wasn't for his spidey reflexes. He makes a small, confused noise and steps towards Wade, confused when the merc stops him with a hand on his chest. “What's the problem?” he asks, annoyed, because maybe it's not very gentlemanly of him but he'd kinda been expecting to get past first base.

“You're drunk,” Wade says flatly, and it's hard to tell, because somehow he's still mostly wearing his mask, but Peter thinks he's kinda annoyed.

“Uh, no I'm not,” Peter manages intelligently, and he can hear the slight slur to his words now that Wade must have picked up on.“You're drunk.” Which maybe isn't his best comeback, or really helping his argument. “Look, maybe I'm a little tipsy, but I'm fine, this,” he waves a hand eloquently between them, “this is fine. More than fine. It's very nice.”

Wade seems to be having some kind of mostly-internal debate. There's a few muttered, cut-off fragments of speech, and Peter watches bewildered. Apparently, Wade reaches a decision. Rocking back on his feet, Wade takes a deep breath, “Look, baby boy, it's not that I don't want to hit that, because believe me I really do, but you gotta be sober to get on this ride.” He ends by jerking a thumb towards himself.

It might be the alcohol in his system, or the earnest way Wade's looking at him, scarred mouth all pulled down unhappily, but Peter bursts out laughing.

“I don't see what's so damn funny,” Wade growls, crossing his arms.

“I'm sorry,” Peter says, still chuckling, “It's just you, after all the lewd comments and racy jokes, you're worried about taking advantage of me?”

“Hey, hey,” Wade protests, shoulders hunching defensively, “I may be a lot of things, but I'm not that kind of guy. Don't want you to do anything you're gonna regret when you sober up.”

“I know you're not like that,” Peter says gently, because he gets it, he really does. “That's why tomorrow, when I'm sober, we're going to pick back up again where we left off.”

Wade's head jerks up so quickly Peter winces in sympathy for his neck, eyes widening as he meets Peter's. His tone's gruff when he speaks, but he can't quite hide the hopefulness under the words. “Ahh, you don't mean it. Don't worry Webhead, I won't hold it against you. Takes me a few beers before I can take care of things, you know what I'm saying?”

Peter ignores the last part of that sentence, because that paints a painfully vivid and deeply tragic picture he doesn't really want to contemplate right now. So he ignores it in favour of leaning forward and planting another kiss on Wade's lips. The texture is odd, but not unpleasant. He gets a little distracted, and ends up brushing his lips over the rougher skin of Wade's cheek, exploring the uneven surface of man's face. He pulls back after a minute, remembering his intention had been to simply offer a chaste kiss as a silent symbol of his promise to return tomorrow.

“Sorry,” Peter says, vaguely embarrassed as he realises how still Wade is standing, the tension in his closed fists, and he's suddenly uncertain about how welcome he would be if he returned tomorrow.

“'S alright,” Wade coughs, tugging at the crotch of his costume as if uncomfortable, and Peter glances down without thinking, then flushes as he realises why.

Wade clears his throat, sounding amused, and Peter drags his eyes back up. Wade waggles his eyebrows suggestively, “See anything you like?”

“Yeah,” Peter answers honestly, voice cracking a little.

“Oh.” And Peter's glad he answered honestly, if only because Wade is thrown for a second, vulnerable and open before the cocky front is back. “Well, then, same time tomorrow night, Spidey?”

“It's Peter,” Peter says, because it's ridiculous that Wade's had his tongue down his throat but doesn't know his name.

“Hmm,” Wade bounces on the balls of his feet, rubbing his chin as if deep in thought, “Peter. Not the name I'd have guessed, but okay.” Peter quells the urge to ask what name Wade would have guessed, deciding he probably doesn't want to know. “Peter, Peter... mind if I call you Petey? I'm gonna call you Petey.”

“Er, okay I guess,” Peter shrugs, but he's grinning, feeling suddenly kinda ridiculously happy.

“Okay,” Wade rubs at hole in the carpet with the toe of his boot. “Now, not to be rude, because it's hard to find volunteers to mash face with, but I'm gonna need to kick you out.”

“Okay,” Peter says, amused.

“Yeah, you're kinda making me miss my shows, and since you're not putting out tonight...” Wade trails off, shrugging.

“I get the message,” Peter says drily.

Despite this, neither of them move, standing around in Wade's dimly lit hallways for another couple of semi-awkward moments, shooting half-shy glances at each other. Peter finally decides to actually leave before either of them realise how ridiculous they're acting and have second thoughts. “Okay, well, bye,” Peter nearly stumbles as he heads towards the living room and the wide window there, but Wade catches him by the elbow.

“You safe to drive?” Wade asks, following him into the room. “Don't want me to call you a cab or anything?”

“Nah, I'll be okay,” Peter replies, because he is fine, the buzz from the alcohol is already nearly gone (thank you healing factor). He moves across the room and opens the window, climbing onto the ledge.

“You sure? I don't want you to end up smushed against some skyscraper like a bug on a wind shield or anything.”

“Your concern is touching,” Peter says, rolling his eyes.

“Alright then,” Wade says, then grabs him by the shoulder and twists him round to kiss him once more. The kiss is fierce and hard, nothing sweet about it, and Peter kisses back just as fervently. They break apart, panting a little, and it's almost romantic with the silver moon shining overhead, even if the stars are hidden by the light pollution. “See you tomorrow then,” Peter says.

Wade steps back as Peter leaps out into the air, slinging web out before him, and he hears the merc call goodbye.

“See ya, Petey.”