When Wade wakes up, he’s lying face down on the ground in the middle of what he thinks is a sewer. Which, what?
Something explosion-y, no doubt.
“Guys, I cn’t ‘member anythin’,” he mumbles. His voice is muffled against the dirty ground, yet still loud enough to echo around the sewer unpleasantly, hurting his newly-healed ears.
We can’t help you. Sorry, buddy.
He scrunches up his eyes and blinks rapidly, trying to make out where he is. Vaguely, he remembers coming down here to search for someone, but that’s all. He’s pretty sure it was SHIELD’s idea. It’s always their idea.
He listens for any signs of life in the deafening silence, but nothing seems to be happening.
“I guess we got them?”
He tries, painfully, to get to his feet, which is when he notices his suit has been blown to smithereens. This would be literally the worst thing ever, if it wasn’t for the fact that his skin isn’t actually scarred.
“What the fuck?”
“Petey, hey, it’s Wade.” He taps the phone restlessly. “I kinda have some news.”
Peter sighs audibly. “What is it, Wade? Did you fuck up the op? Tony’s gonna be really pissed off, and don’t even get me started on Fury.”
So, it was SHIELD’s fault. He knew it!
“Look, I don’t actually know-”
Peter makes a strangled sound. “You don’t know if you fucked up?”
Wade chews his lip and twiddles his thumbs. “I don’t really, um, remember anything. I mean, I know that’s not news, but I can usually remember what’s happened, like, five fuckin’ minutes ago, alright? Also, I think I might be hallucinating. Did you guys drug me?”
Peter sounds suddenly suspicious. “Not that I have any doubts about the state of your mental health, but why do you think you’re hallucinating exactly?”
“I sorta lost my scars?”
There’s a tense silence. “So, normal?”
“Dammit, I fucking told Tony not to send you down there. I knew they were meddling with some serious shit, but I didn’t think they’d be able to reverse your regenerative abilities.”
Wade clears his throat. “See, that’s the thing, Spidey. I still have my powers. I even blew my brains out and everything, just to make sure! That takes dedication, man. Dedication. I got blood in my hair, too.” He perks up suddenly. “Oh, right! I got hair now, Petey, like in those shampoo commercials!”
Wade can feel Peter’s eye roll, even though he can’t actually see it. He briefly wonders if he might have a sixth sense. Peter Sense. That’d be pretty cool.
“Alright, alright. I’ll get Bruce and Tony to look into it, which means you’re going to have to come to Avengers’ Tower. Try not to break anything on the way up.”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
He salutes, despite the fact that Peter’s not able to see him.
There’s a bored looking secretary sitting at the entrance desk. Wade feels kind of bad for her.
“I’m here to see the Avengers?”
“Clearly.” The secretary raises a stern eye to him, then blinks, and blushes furiously. “Sorry, sir, go on ahead,” she amends, stuttering slightly. “The elevator’s that way. You’re going to want the top floor.”
That went well.
Wow, it was almost as if she actually liked us! Imagine that!
Wade walks nervously to the elevator. Does he have something on his face? Is he really hallucinating? Oh God, maybe he should have worn the mask... and perhaps the suit and tie was a little much. He only wanted to seem professional, okay?
He presses the button for the top floor hurriedly, suddenly wishing he was at home, eating tacos and watching shitty TV.
The elevator screeches to a jarring halt, makes an obnoxious dinging sound, and opens to a chaotic scene. The place is messier than all hell, and Wade decides he likes it.
Seriously, this is awesome.
“Hey guys, you wanted to see me?”
Natasha drops her coffee cup, Clint chokes on his pizza, Bruce drops his pen, Tony and Steve double take simultaneously, and Peter looks like he’s seen a ghost. This type of reaction only happens on a certain occasion.
Fuck. He must still be scarred. Oh, wonderful, just great. He’s probably traumatised the Avengers. They’re going to get PSDT (or whatever the hell it’s called), and he’s going to go down in history books forever as “That One Guy Who Fucked up the Avengers with Just His Face.”
We’re doing so well today.
We’ve already ruined at least seven people’s lives! Score!
Tony coughs awkwardly. “Right, uh, you’re here to witness our scientific prowess!”
Clint’s pizza slides out of his hand and lands on the floor with a loud splat.
“You know, the miracles of Stark tech? My genius?” Tony looks pointedly around. “Science? Everyone?”
Peter seems to snap out of his daze. “Science, yeah. Sorry about them, they’re just, um, drunk.” He glances at Tony and Steve, seemingly begging for help. “Totally drunk. We had a wild party, and things got a little out of hand, right Dads?”
“Yes, right,” Steve continues. He gives Peter a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “Not that we’re letting our son drink irresponsibly, of course.”
Peter bites his lip. “To the labs?”
Clint stares absently at Wade’s chest. Natasha shakes him somewhat.
He wonders where his life went wrong.
The examination table is cold and unpleasant. It reminds him of something, but he’s not quite sure what.
“So, am I hallucinating, then?”
Tony shakes his head from where he’s checking Wade’s vitals. Bruce looks perplexed.
“Everything’s totally fine,” Tony says. “The cancer’s gone without a trace. It’s like nothing ever happened.”
“This shouldn’t be happening, to be frank.” Bruce frowns, flicking through Tony’s holo-screens.
“That was kinda obvious,” Wade offers.
Tony’s mouth curls down at the edges. “Well, as much as I regret to inform you, there’s nothing we can do. It’s not like we can just give you your cancer back.”
“No, no, it’s cool. I don’t want it back, anyway.” Wade looks around anxiously. “Can I go now?”
“Yeah, sure, whatever,” Tony says, clearly distracted. “We have your blood anyway, so I can try to figure out what the hell they’ve done in the meantime.” He turns to fix his gaze on a particularly complicated looking analysis of a strand of DNA, which kind of unsettles Wade. “Bruce, look at this shit, Jesus.”
“Okie dokieee, I’m just gonna... go now...”
He hops off the table, and Peter follows him out of the lab.
“Look, I’m sorry about that. They’re just not used to seeing you all normal, you know? Don’t mind them.”
“It’s all good.”
Wade makes a mental note to look in the mirror when he gets back to the apartment.
“Holy fucking shit.”
The mirror is cursed.
Or someone hacked it. Can people do that?
“I guess?” Wade pokes the mirror, almost expecting it to disappear, or perhaps turn out to be a painting.
The figure in the “painting” looks back at him, its blonde hair messy and protruding at odd angles. He sticks out his tongue, and his reflection mirrors him perfectly.
So, it’s not hacked, then...
Fuck being hacked, we’re a god damn model!
“Such modesty, guys. We’re not setting a good example for the readers!”
Since when have we set a good example?
He can’t bring himself to look away.
“I think our lives have just got at least nine thousand times better.”
Do you think maybe Petey will like us now?
We’re so not talking about that atm.
“True. Probably not the best celebratory subject. Who’s up for beer?”
I could go for pancakes.
The pancakes are delicious. The visit to the supermarket to restock on maple syrup is not. Not that shopping trips are usually delicious. Although, on principal...
“I don’t like this, you guys,” he says, as the fifteenth person that day gives him a strangely appreciative once-over.
Are they checking us out?
No way. That shit doesn’t happen.
“No shit, Sherlock. What’s up? Did the razor burn not heal?”
You think maybe they just like us?
Nobody likes us, dumbass.
“True that.” Wade feels the hairs on the back of his neck rise. He’s not felt that in years; it’s strangely disturbing. “I guess we should just dash in and dash out? Maple syrup’s in the first aisle anyway. I always remember that.”
Awww, you did good. You wanna cookie?
“Now’s not the time for dessert! I’m trying to be stealthy! Y’know, like an actual ninja?”
He slinks down the aisle, attempting his best secret agent impression. It’s not really like an action movie, considering everyone is staring at him. Nobody ever notices the main characters in action movies. Which, unfair. Seriously unfair.
He grabs a couple bottles of maple syrup, chucks them in his basket, and practically runs to the check-out queue. This is probably the weirdest thing to ever happen to him, and he’s witnessed some weird shit in his life. Hell, he’d even say he himself was the weirdest thing to ever happen to him – before today, of course.
Naturally, it’s during this train of thought that he gets to the cashier. She picks up the maple syrup. Then, she drops it. She picks it up again and proceeds to repeat the whole process.
“I’m so sorry! I’m not usually like this, I swear. I got this job because I have twelve years of experience,” she says, rather desperately.
She laughs nervously and tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. Wade can only raise an eyebrow.
“Sure, okay. Can I have my receipt though?”
“Yes, yes, of course, honey!”
He sighs and walks out of the store, swinging the plastic bag behind him and wondering what has gotten into people recently. Jesus.
When he checks the receipt, there’s a phone number scrawled on the back.
Even the boxes are speechless.
“Petey, you’ve gotta help me!” he whines, banging on the young superhero’s apartment door. “I’m gonna die if you don’t open up!”
Peter answers, rubbing his eyes blearily. “How did Sarah even let you in the tower?”
“Oh, I just asked her? I may have fluttered my eyelashes a lil’, ‘cause I figured, even though that only works in movies, it might be worth a try.”
Peter slams his face into his palms melodramatically. “Figures. She’s not supposed to let people in without our permission, you know.”
“Whatever. It’s not like you’re a threat to any of us.” Wade feels his heart skip a beat at that sentence, considering Peter has always seemed on edge around him. Not to mention how quick Peter is to blame him for all the suspicious activity in the city. “What is it you need?”
Wade expects a sarcastic quip about agony aunts and advice columns, but Peter just sighs and ushers him inside.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Wade doesn’t have an answer.
“What kind of advice?” Peter asks. He appears slightly confused.
“This is gonna sound weird,” Wade warns.
“As usual. Go on.”
“You’re really hot.”
Peter’s eyes widen. Then, as Wade’s comment sinks in, he flushes a brilliant shade of red.
“How do you deal with it?”
“W-what do you mean ‘how do I deal with it?’”
“I mean, do you just ignore it or...?”
“Sometimes? I let most people down easy. You don’t really get time to date when you’re saving the world on an everyday basis.”
Wade nods. Peter narrows his eyes.
“What brought this on?”
Wade shifts from one foot to the other. “I’ve been given ten phone numbers in the past week, Web-head. Ten! Someone even grabbed my ass the other day!” He rubs a hand over his face, sighing. “Not that I don’t appreciate the attention, it’s just really weird. Everyone keeps staring at me, ya know? I feel kinda paranoid.”
“I’m sorry, man.” Peter seems to contemplate something for a moment. “I’m going to regret offering, but do you want a fake boyfriend? It might help lessen all the, ahhh, sexual advances.”
Wade chokes on air. “Could you maybe pinch me, just for a sec?”
Peter pinches his arm.
“Okay, not dreaming. Is this some kinda joke?”
Wade promptly throws himself at Peter and hugs him. He wonders if he’s imagining the way the younger man relaxes into his arms.
Is he acting already?
Wade is feeling pretty guilty. Peter is getting both jealous and dirty looks, and it’s only been a single day.
“What the hell?” is all Peter can say.
“I’m either too pretty or too ugly! What the fuck kind of AU is this?”
Peter simply shakes his head and leans in closer, essentially nuzzling into Wade’s side. Wade resolutely does not blush, which he has every right to be proud of.
I didn’t think we had this kinda self-restraint.
We should get that cookie now.
“Alright, no, but we get a gold star for trying. A+.”
Peter doesn’t even ask who he’s talking to; he barely even rolls his eyes.
Life is good.
Then Tony and Steve appear from out of nowhere, looking very, very disappointed.
Life isn’t good.
“Peter, would you care to explain what you’re doing?” Steve asks. He’s using his fatherly voice and everything.
Wade doesn’t know whether to be terrified or impressed.
We should probably run now.
Or, you know, risk getting stomped into the ground.
Or smashed by Cap’s shield.
“Positive thoughts, positive thoughts!” he grumbles. Tony stares disapprovingly down at him, even though Wade is so taller.
“I’m saving Wade from unwanted eye-rape, Pops. I’m being a noble gentleman, just like you always wanted.”
“He’s my white knight,” Wade coos. “I’m very appreciative.”
The suggestive wink does not go unnoticed.
The angry growl Wade gets from Tony makes him fear for his life.
(Not that they can actually kill him.)
(Still. It’s very unnerving.)
“Alright, Dad, Pops,” Peter says, voice rising higher. “We’ll just be going now.”
He grabs Wade’s hand and drags him off.
Wade does actually blush this time.
Scratch the gold star.
F-. See me after class.
Ooo! Sexy teacher AU later?
Word gets round the tower like a wildfire. Needless to say, working with the Avengers becomes very awkward.
That one time Wade shot himself in the dick was better than this, and that’s saying something.
“So,” says one of the Stark Industries office workers in the elevator with him today, “tell me. Is it true?”
Wade eyes him suspiciously. “Is what true? ‘Cause, baby, lemme tell ya, pretty much all of the shit you hear about me is 100% accurate.”
The employee scrunches up his nose. “Not that. I meant, is it true that Spider-Man cums webs?”
Wade literally cannot breathe for at least a full minute. The hyperventilation might be worse, though.
“You’re fucking, right? Well, does he?”
Wade is usually the one asking these types of questions. He’s not really sure if he likes the taste of his own medicine.
Thankfully, the elevator door opens to Peter’s floor.
That was as smooth as smooth exits go. He should win an award.
Peter opens the door on the first knock. Wade throws himself inside the apartment and smashes his face on the hallway’s wall.
“Did someone sexually harass you in the elevator?” is the first thing Peter says.
“Yes and no.”
Peter stares him down.
“Leaning towards yes.”
“What happened?” he asks. He actually sounds concerned. Wade finds himself strangely pleased.
“Web-head, you wouldn’t want to know.”
He grimaces. “That bad, huh?”
“Worse. Way worse. Worse even than the time this one old lady complimented me on my ‘long eyelashes’ and ‘full lips’.”
Peter’s grimace intensifies, but he has a curious glint in his eyes.
Might as well get it over and done with.
Hey, what’s the worst that could happen?
Don’t answer that.
“Reassuring,” he mumbles.
Peter looks expectant.
“The elevator guy asked if you came webs, since everyone thinks we’re, um. Knockin’ boots. Doin’ the do. You know, having sex.”
Peter’s mouth drops open. He only snaps it shut after a long and painful silence.
“Did he really-”
“Yeah. Yeah, he did.”
“I’m not even. I don’t even.”
We broke him.
We broke Spider-Man.
“You okay there, baby boy?”
“I-I-I don’t cum webs!” he cries, indignant. “That’s ridiculous!”
“You wanna prove it?” Wade leers. Inappropriate sexual humour always lightens the mood.
Peter blushes. “Everyone thinks we already have,” he moans, burying his face in his hands.
Wade pats him on the back awkwardly, suddenly regretting ever agreeing to this. “Sorry. It’s gotta be pretty embarrassing for you. Believe me, I know I’m nobody’s first choice,” he jokes.
Peter makes a choked noise. “What? Have you looked in a mirror recently?”
“Well, yeah, all the time. I have to shave now, you know. What’s that gotta do with anything?”
“Practically everyone in the entire fucking building would give anything to be in my position right now.”
Wade pretty much short-circuits. His brain has failed him yet again.
All he gets is a blank stare.
“Please tell me you’re aware of your status on Tony’s Hot or Not Tumblr right now.”
“Eh? Spidey, I don’t speak nerd-”
“Like you don’t know what Tumblr is.” Peter sighs. “Look, it’s an insider’s secret, but Tony has this questionnaire he e-mails around the building annually. All the Avengers compete to get the highest rating. While it’s on-going, he posts the updates on his blog.”
“You’re at the highest spot.”
“You’re the hottest Avenger.”
“I’m not even an-”
“Doesn’t matter. You’re winning, okay? You’re not exactly unattractive. And apparently, the ladies find your constant babbling ‘adorable’.”
Brain, schedule a reboot.
You need a moment?
“Yeah, I need a fucking moment,” he snaps.
Peter crosses his arms. “So, you see, Wade, you’re desirable. People like you.”
“It’s not your looks, either. You were always hot, anyway.” He waves a hand. “It’s just that you’re more confident.”
Wait, wait, wait.
Hold the fuck up.
“What was that? I was not always-”
“Yes, you were,” Peter growls.
This feels like some kinda fuckin’ therapy session.
“You were,” he repeats, clearly noticing Wade’s expression. “You were kind and funny and goofy and ridiculous and loyal and caring and definitely hot.”
Peter’s out of breath, looking angry, hurt, and defensive.
Wade really wants to kiss him.
Surprisingly, Peter beats him to it.
A while (winkwink) later, in the most awkward conversation of Peter’s life...
Tony looks constipated, while Steve looks uncharacteristically smug.
“So, Peter, you and Wade, do you Fondue?”
Wade smirks. Peter just sighs.
Life is good.
You can say that again.
Life is good?
Did you want me to say it another time? You didn’t really specify...
“Oh, shut up, guys.”
(Heheh, “fin”. Like a shark? What is this, Jaws?)