Peter was sitting on the edge of the bed, and staring at the mask in his hands. It was late at night, in the quiet and dark hours of the morning where even the cacophony of New York City seems to soften, if only for a moment. There was shuffling behind him on the bed as Wade woke up in order to stare at the dark outline of Peter’s figure.
“Couldn’t sleep?” Wade mumbled as he wormed his way up the bed to grab a pillow.
“This mask isn’t a coincidence.” Peter’s voice was hushed in the still of the room.
“Are you askin’ ‘cause you want to know?”
Peter paused as he thought about that, considering if he really did want to know. The deciding factor was that not knowing would just drive him crazy. “Yes.”
“You still haven’t told me your story. That was the deal, wasn’t it?”
“You could go first.”
Wade huffed a laugh. “Like hell. You’d never follow through.”
Well, Peter would be more angry about that if it wasn’t true. “And you will?”
“You know I will.”
It was somewhat annoying that Peter did trust Wade to keep his word. It seemed so contradictory considering who Deadpool was. However, Peter had come to know Wade , not just Deadpool, and that was significant. Wade was a surprisingly loyal and trustworthy person once he dedicated himself to a friendship.
And frankly, what was Peter hiding his past for in the first place? He hadn’t been a superhero long enough to even call that much attention to himself, or leave any enemies that held a grudge. It had been years already, and the world had forgotten about Spider-man.
Well, everyone but Wade had forgotten about Spider-man.
“You know,” Wade wheedled. “They say it helps to talk about it.”
Arms wound their way around Peter’s waist as Wade nuzzled his face into Peter’s low back. The weight of Wade’s body was oddly grounding. It helped anchor Peter to the present. Perhaps, just this once, in the still of early morning, Peter could talk about what happened without getting swept away in it.
“When I was fifteen,” Peter whispered. “I was bitten by a spider…”
It was the first time Peter was going out with his newly upgraded suit. It was far from perfect, but definitely better than the sweatpants and hoodie with its sharpied on spider he had been wearing previously. The new suit had an actual design to it, and was made of a fabric that better blocked his omega smell.
Also, the eyes on the mask were killer looking.
Technically, he’d worn this more professional looking suit before, but not since adding the designs to it. It had webs now to really played up the spider theme. That had been a bitch and a half to sew on with his lackluster skills.
At first, Peter had been super reluctant to learn how to sew. After all, that was an “omega skill,” and he didn’t want to be associated with it. However, he couldn’t just take his concept into a shop and ask someone to make it for him. So it was that Peter had spent long nights on youtube, trying to figure out how a needle and thread worked.
It was all worth it now. He looked like a real hero as he swung through the buildings of NYC, focused on getting to his next fight. There would be cameramen everywhere, so he had to look his best. He also had to act his best, which was why he had taken a pill before heading out.
He hadn’t been having his heats for very long, and they were still erratic during puberty, but they weren’t anything to write home about. Distracting, a bit, due to how warm it made him feel, along with the low level horniness, but that wasn’t much out of the norm for a teenage boy.
What was important, was that he couldn’t let his heat slow him down if he planned on being a full time superhero. So he had popped a suppressant prior to leaving the house, and knew it should be in his system by the time he arrived at his destination. After all, this was his chance to enter the big leagues.
There was a hostage situation at a hospital. A scientist had been in an accident that fused machinery to his spine. He woke up addled and confused, and intent on finishing his experiments, forcing hospital staff to aid him. The police were at a standstill, and due to the machinery the guy was able to manipulate, all attempts to rescue the staff were thwarted.
That meant, they needed a hero. And Spider-man was such a hero!
Peter knew who Dr. Octavius was — had studied some of the man’s findings, in fact. After such an accident, it made sense that the poor guy was a little disoriented. What he needed was someone on his level to help talk him down. Peter felt completely confident in his ability to do so.
Swinging into view of the news cameras outside the hospital, Peter made sure to really play up his agility as he landed near the upper floors of the building. He gave the people down below a thumbs up before forcing his way in through a window. He’d have this handled in no time. Maybe he could give an interview afterwards!
Finding the room that everyone was barricaded into wasn’t difficult. Getting inside was a breeze. Starting his negotiations, however, didn’t work out so well.
“Dr. Octavius! It’s an honor—”
“I SAID NO INTERRUPTIONS!”
Just like that, Peter was being attacked. The machinery was far more agile and flexible than Peter had been prepared for. They flew around him faster than his spidey sense could keep up with. His webbing practically felt useless when all he had were two hands to work with against four super strong robotic tentacles. Before he knew it, he was flying across the room and into a wall.
Peter hit the floor coughing, the world spinning around him. That hadn’t at all gone to plan. He should try talking again. “Please,” he wheezed out. “I’m here to help.”
“Idiots! You’re all idiots! I must do everything myself!”
“Then in that case,” Peter reasoned as he pulled himself up to his knees. “You don’t need these people here.”
“Their useless lives keep me from being interrupted!” Doc Oc snarled. “They will stay here until my work is complete!”
“I can help, ya know? Two people can finish things up faster.” Peter cautiously pulled himself to his feet. His entire body was throbbing and a fine tremor was working its way through his limbs. How hard had he been thrown?
“And let you take credit for my work?” Doc Oc scoffed. “Greedy, thieving betas, the lot of you! As if anyone would believe that you didn’t steal your findings from an alpha worth his salt!”
Well, that was sexist. It really dropped Peter’s opinion of the man. “Have you eaten?” Peter asked, trying to distract the crazed man. “A mind works better when well fueled.”
“Don’t patronize me!”
Then Peter was fighting for his life again, dodging arms and getting smacked around like a rag doll. He was thrown out into the hallway at one point, rolling to a stop against a wall. He gasped for breath and realized he was sweating. He felt so overheated already. Was it the adrenaline?
Then he felt it, the slow leaking of something wet and slippery inside of him. No, no, no, no, no! Why now? I took the suppressant!
Except, he hadn’t been sick since the spider bite. His healing ability was through the roof. He was constantly starving for more food, but never gained weight. He wasn’t an idiot. He knew what that meant. He was metabolizing things at an extreme rate. Which, of course, meant that the suppressant was practically useless in his system.
But so what? He was just going to run away to go back home and masturbate while there were lives at stake? No! He was a superhero, damn it, and he was going to act like one!
Getting back to his feet, Peter stumbled a little, but managed to get himself under control. He was stronger than his bodily urges. He could do this. So he pushed aside the feeling of being too hot and tried to think his way out of the situation. First, he needed to get the hostages away from the madman.
Peter managed to help two people make a run for it before he was overwhelmed again by a now very angry Doc Oc, claiming that Peter was personally responsible for undermining the value of science. Reasoning with the man was clearly out of the question, so Peter did his best to fight, ignoring how disorienting it was for his body to try and attack while rapidly falling into heat.
Things were almost going well. He was beat up and his skin felt like it was on fire, but he had managed to web two of the arms together. Just as Peter was flipping out of the way, one of the other mechanical arms came out of nowhere and gripped Peter by the front of his suit and slung him down the hallway. He hit the wall at the end of it hard, his vision swimming.
It was at that moment everything went wrong. Peter’s suit had been ripped open, the spider design barely hanging on. The smell of his heat filled the room and Doc Oc started to laugh. Fear settled dark and heavy in Peter’s stomach, and he tried to stand up, but the world wouldn’t stop spinning.
Worse, he was producing even more slick. It was as if his body didn’t realize he was in a fight. As if it liked being beat up, that it expected it, that it wanted more of it. Peter’s body was betraying his mind and his safety. He felt like crying, which only left him feeling all the more weak.
Doc Oc took a loud breath of air through his nose. “An omega!” He seemed to find the whole situation hilarious. “And so excited to see me! Is that what you really wanted? My alpha genius to fuck you?”
“No!” Peter tried to stand up and fell. His stomach turned and the world spun. It occurred to him that he likely had a concussion. “Please stop…” Peter whimpered, ashamed of himself.
“How dare you act as if you are on my level of intellect!” Doc Oc was suddenly furious, his mechanical arms thrashing around him and leaving holes on the walls of the hallway as he steadily made his way closer. “Worthless! You are worthless! I need no omega whore here to distract me!”
“Please… stop…” Peter panted, his vision swam as he looked past Doc Oc’s shoulder to another hostage making a run for it. “Just let them go…”
Like flipping a switch, Doc Oc was laughing again. “Helpless, useless omega. Can’t even take care of himself, and he wants to save others?” An arm shot out and ripped the rest of the symbol off on Peter’s chest, letting the scrap of cloth flutter to the ground in front of his face.
Was that true? That despite the spider bite giving him powers, Peter would still never be able to save someone? He’d come here looking to be a hero, and he was yet another victim. All because he was an omega incapable of doing anything except being useless. Wasn’t his body proving him right by saying that being wet and horny was the only thing he could manage?
Doc Oc stepped forward, eyes locked on the small man curled on the floor under him. Peter covered his bared skin with his hands, kicking his feet against the floor in an effort to scramble away. A wave of lust shot through him at the feeling of cool air against his skin and an alpha’s scent in the air. A base instinct flared, insistent on him being naked instead of in such confining clothes. It was horrible, how his body was reacting to the situation. Tears sprang to his eyes.
“Pitiful little omegas really will beg for any cock they can find,” Doc Oc mused, and his lip curled in disgust. One of the arms clacked its claws as it moved closer.
“No! Stop!” Peter tried to roll over and crawl away, but something caught his foot and sent him hurtling back into the corner of the connecting hallways.
One of the vicious arms hovered in front of Peter’s face, the claws snapping ominously at him. Doc Oc’s face was a snarling blur behind it. “Perhaps my arm here will teach you a lesson about your wanton ways interrupting my work!”
Peter’s spidey sense was going off with near blinding intensity. He thrashed and fought as the mechanical arms sought to hold him down, screaming as they ripped apart more pieces of his suit. This couldn’t possibly be happening. Was this really what his superhero dreams would end with?
A high pitched whine filled the air, then a blasting noise, and then Peter was being jerked around in the air. After a few more disorienting stumbles, he was sailing through the air again before something caught him and carefully dropped him to the ground. Peter curled in on himself, panic and fear locking up his body, a concussion making it impossible to orient himself, the omega in him flooding his limbs with heat weakness.
He wasn’t sure how long he stayed like that, shivering and crying on the floor, pulled tight into a fetal position. The sounds of fighting around him were muffled by the rushing of blood in his ears. Fear was a constant, heavy thing in this chest, constricting his breath.
And all the while, traitorous slick leaked from his ass, begging any and all to partake in his helpless, useless self.
“Can’t even take care of himself, and he wants to save others?”
Peter clutched his sides and wailed, trying to drown out the words still echoing around in his head, making a mockery of everything he had been trying to accomplish. Making Uncle Ben’s words pointless in the face of anyone with the ill luck to be born an omega.
Something touched Peter’s arm and he immediately started trying to fight it off, flailing around blindly and sobbing out incoherent words.
“Hey, kid, calm down,” an oddly mechanical voice soothed. “It’s just me. It’s okay. You’re safe now.”
Blinking away tears, Peter looked up to see Iron Man, his childhood hero, hovering over him, bearing witness to the most humiliating moment of Peter’s life. There was no way Peter would ever be able to rise up to be a superhero in the eyes of Iron Man now. Or anyone that Iron Man knew. They would all be aware of it. Of how worthless, helpless, useless he was. Peter sobbed.
“It’s okay. Calm down. Just breathe.”
As if those words could help what was happening. The more Iron Man talked, the more Peter cried. He’d never be able to face Iron Man again. Never be able to look at Tony Stark on TV. Never be able to read about the inventions Stark Industries created. Because if he did, he’d be reminded of this day, in all its bright and terrifying detail.
“I’m gonna give you a shot of something. It’ll stop your heat.”
Peter moaned in pain. He didn’t want to hear Iron Man talking about how excited his body had been to almost get r—
“Just stay here until it backs off. I’ve gotta handle the bad guy over there and then I’ll help take you home.”
No! That would be so much worse! Peter shook his head rapidly, unable to stop crying. He just wanted to get away. He wanted to escape and never have to face the man again in his life. Something sharp pierced his skin, derailing his thoughts, and he jerked violently.
“Shhh, it’s just the shot,” Iron Man informed. “Listen, you can’t be out here like this in the middle of your heat. It’s dangerous. He could have…” But the sentence wasn’t finished. Not that it needed to be. They both knew exactly what could have happened.
Iron Man sighed, and it sounded odd through the speakers of his helmet. “Just stay there. I’ll be back as soon as I can to help patch you up and get you home. Okay, kid?”
The clanking of boots signaled Iron Man’s departure. Peter’s entire body shook with relief. He didn’t want anyone to see him. He didn’t want his personal hero seeing how low he’d fallen. He needed to get out of there as soon as possible.
Peter opened his eyes to see the scrap of fabric holding the spider symbol on it in front of him. It was torn, tattered, and dirty. How appropriate. He reached out gripped it tight in one trembling fist. He couldn’t leave it behind. It would look like a totem to his shame.
The moment his healing factor and whatever it was he’d been given settled his body enough to move, Peter scrambled into a supply closet, covered himself in spare scrubs, and then immediately made his way back home. He spent the next three days hiding in his bed, jumping at every little noise, terrified it was either Doc Oc or Iron Man. Both options were just as bad.
Aunt May had been so worried, and did everything possible to get Peter back out of bed. “You know the Human Torch himself is giving a speech at your school. You really want to miss that?”
Yes, he did. Peter didn’t want to see any superhero ever again. In fact, he didn’t want to see the world at all. He hated it. He hated himself. He hated what he was. He hated how he was born. He hated how his body worked. Just about the only thing he didn’t hate, was Aunt May.
Every time Peter caught a glimpse of his torn suit, fear lanced through him, followed by bitterness, pain, and shame. At long last, he gave in to the inevitable. He took it all out to a grimy alleyway, doused it in gasoline, and lit it on fire. He’d spent a long time staring at the scrap of cloth that held the symbol he’d worked so hard on designing. With bile creeping up his throat, he tossed it into the flames and watched until it was nothing more than ashes.
Eventually, Peter did go back to school. He drifted through his classes, barely able to focus. Being a superhero, creating things in the garage, helping out around the house, keeping up with his homework, and getting any kind of adequate sleep had been tough, but he had almost kept on top of it. Now, with nothing but school to focus on, Peter was barely scraping by.
At the end of his junior year he was pulled into career counseling.
“Look, Peter, you’re smart. No, you’re far more than just smart, and we both know it. But you’re throwing it away by not taking your classes seriously.”
Peter sighed and sank back further into his chair. “Throwing what away? I’m an omega.”
“Oh, c’mon, don’t even try that with me.” The counselor leaned forward, giving Peter a stern look. “People who fight against the unfairness of this world make a difference. If you can prove that you are able to be up there with all the greats, regardless of your gender, then it’s not just you who wins. You can help to inspire thousands of omegas to follow in your footsteps, and change the minds of everyone around you. You are more than your gender, Peter, and we both know that.”
Something thick and stuffy filled Peter’s throat and he tried to swallow through it. “I can’t afford university, and only community colleges and tech schools will take omegas — on limited courses.”
“Then we just have to get you a scholarship.”
Peter scoffed. “Like they’ll take me.”
“They’ll take you if you have the best grades in the entire state of New York. You can do this. Let me help you get there.”
So, lacking any other noble ideals to distract him, Peter devoted himself to his studies. He aced every class he had during his senior year, did every extracurricular activity available that would look good on a resume, and made the highest scores in the state on the standardized tests. He spent weeks agonizing over the submission letter to his dream college.
And in the end, it worked. By some miracle, he’d been offered a full ride. Everyone had been so happy. Registering for classes had been the most exciting moment of his life to date. He told Harry about his goal to become a scientist, working with the best minds in the business, seeking a cure for the genetic disease in Harry’s family.
Then, three days before classes started, Peter was sent an urgent letter. He’d lost his scholarship. They stated that since Peter was already registered for classes, he could go, so long as he was able to pay for them. However, student loan companies worked under caveats that said they could prioritize loans based on the student’s ability to repay after receiving their degree.
Omegas had a cap that prevented them from receiving more funds than was necessary to educate them in fields that would hire them. Peter’s dreams were seen as too much of a risk. They believed that Peter would never be hired once he graduated.
In a bout of anger, Peter hacked the system at the college to see why his free ride had been denied. Apparently, there was an alpha who had decent grades, but grew up in an impoverished neighborhood. He’d been offered a tentative internship at a big company if he could get the education to back it. The situation meant better press — and the potential for more money in the future — for the college, so Peter’s scholarship was overturned in favor of the alpha with seemingly guaranteed success.
There was an email in the trail Peter had found. One with the line, “Besides, omegas waste their education the minute they get married.”
It was too late to apply to any other university. They had cut off any chance for Peter to succeed.
That was the day that Peter realized what the world was really like. That was the day he was completely and utterly broken beyond repair.
Peter watched as the mask slipped through his fingers and onto the floor. Something hot and wet dropped onto his hand. A tear. Oh, he was crying. Damn. How weak was he still? After everything, he was still just a useless omega that cried at everything.
Strong arms pulled Peter down onto the bed, turned him over, and wrapped around him. He hated how safe and content he felt, burying his face into the broad chest that smelled of alpha. Honestly, one would think he was too broken to feel anything anymore.
“No matter what life throws at you, you’re always trying to be the hero,” Wade pointed out, voice warm with affection and approval.
“And failed,” Peter argued, throat thick with tears.
“That’s not true. How many people did you save while you were Spider-man? Those people needed help, and you were there for them.”
Peter sniffed, trying to force the memories away. “Did you know who I was from the beginning?”
“No. It was random chance that caused me to find you. I just thought you were the basic run of the mill mutant until you stuck yourself to the ceiling that day. That’s when I got suspicious.”
“How do you even know who I am?”
“Story time! So I told you that I was dishonorably discharged, right?”
“Did I tell you why?”
“I was in special ops. We got all kinds of shady orders. You get used to ‘em after a while. So getting an order like ‘leave no witnesses’ was pretty common. Except, this time, the witnesses were an entire village of peaceful people, in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Peter sucked in a breath.
“I wasn’t about to kill any babies. I got morals in me somewhere. So I walked away and got kicked out. Problem was, I wasn’t very smart, hadn’t actually graduated high school in the first place, and didn’t have a lot of job options. So me and my handful of morals and barrel full of very specific skills hit the road and took any jobs I could get.”
“That’s how you became a mercenary?”
“Not exactly. I was just going around scaring stalkers, roughing people up if they missed out on a loan payment, stealing what people needed to win court battles. Stuff like that. I met a fine gal, almost settled down for a bit with her, was thinking about getting serious.”
“I got cancer. In our search for a cure that doesn’t exist, the military popped back up and offered just such an impossible cure, provided I take part in some experiments to make me into an ultra badass soldier.”
“Weren’t you worried they would send you back out on those missions?” Peter quietly asked.
“I was. I almost didn’t do it. I figured if anyone was gonna get turned into a super, it should be someone with better moral values than me. I was tainted, ya see. Unsaveable.”
“Your girlfriend changed your mind?”
“No. You did.”
Peter stiffened. “What?”
“There I was, watching TV, and some little guy in a suit was swinging through NYC, bein’ a hero. Except, he wasn’t like the other heroes, backed by the government, or big money, or secret organizations to take care of the crazy shit. Nah, he was just someone looking out for the little guy. Stopping thieves that tried to rob corner stores or taxi drivers. Making sure omegas got home safely at night. Fuck, helping little old ladies across the road. He was almost gag worthy in how damn perfect he was.”
Peter shivered as he thought about that. It was odd hearing himself described by an outsider. How Wade viewed Spider-man, and the things he remembered, were far different than what Peter assumed anyone would.
“So I said to myself: Self, we’re gonna go out there and get our superpowers and use them for good, just like Spidey. We’re gonna be a hero.” Wade squeezed Peter a little tighter. “But I was the first one to survive the experiments, if you can call what they did to me surviving. I burned the whole place down for good measure.”
“You said you went crazy.”
“I did. They fucked up my brain. The cancer probably didn’t help that any. Took a long time to even remember what my name was or why I was so skilled at things. To this day, I keep finding out stuff I don’t even know that I know.”
“That’s terrible…” Peter whispered.
“Then one day, I just suddenly remembered you. So I went to New York to find you. But… Spider-man was gone and people acted like they didn’t even know who you were. For a while, I thought I had hallucinated the whole thing. But then I found newspaper clippings and old youtube videos of you. You’d been there, and then suddenly, you weren’t there anymore. There was only one possible outcome: life had shit on you, just like life does to everyone.
“And for a long time, I thought it was pointless to try and be better than I was. Life was awful, the people in it were awful, and it ruined the only good thing I’d ever found in it. I may as well fit in and be awful with them, right?”
It seemed so impossible that Peter had caused such a response from someone. That Spider-man’s existence and then lack of it had meant so much. Did that really make Deadpool that much worse than everyone else? He had just learned to accept who he was in a world that didn’t care about anyone. Maybe people just didn’t like the mirror Deadpool held up to them.
“I’m glad I found you, though,” Wade said happily as he dropped a kiss on top of Peter’s head.
“Because you needed someone to help you find another way. So here I am.” Wade scooted back enough to hook his fingers under Peter’s chin, and pull it up to create eye contact. “Be True Neutral with me, Spidey. Let’s help the brothels, steal from the rich, and only save the world if we got the time.”
“You really think it’s gonna work that easy?”
“Why not? I’ve been doing it for years. You don’t really wanna go back to selling your ass for a living, do you, Neko?”
“Cev—” Peter cut himself off from his usual correction, and instead, broke that most important rule. “Peter. My name’s Peter.”
Wade grinned so wide that his teeth practically glowed in the dim light of the room. “I look forward to our partnership together, Petey.”
“Are you incapable of addressing anyone without a nickname?”
“You’ve discovered my one true weakness!”
Peter snorted and shoved his hand against Wade’s chest. Stupid Wade, making Peter smile after such a serious conversation. Stupid Wade, for believing in what Spider-man stood for after all these years. Stupid Wade, for making Peter believe this was something he could do.
Fingers brushed along Peter’s cheek. He tilted his head up willingly and let soft lips brush along his. When Wade kissed, when he ran his fingers along Peter’s bare skin, when he pulled them closer together, Peter returned it.
In Wade’s arms, Peter felt like he truly was worth more than the money that bought him for the night. When he kissed Wade, it felt like excitement rather than resentment. Wade’s hands made Peter feel cared for rather than owned. Being with Wade left Peter craving more, instead of dreading the next experience.
Stupid Wade, making Peter feel things again.