“Why did I think molting was a good thing?” Peter moaned for the eleventh time.
“I don't know, why don't you ask again?” Johnny retorted with irritation.
“This is worse than wearing clothes!” He let the controller drop from his position on the ceiling to the sofa below and proceeded to frantically scratch over his hardened, cracking skin, shimmying across the ceiling for added pressure.
“What?” Bobby asked, his mouth hanging open slightly as he watched in concern.
“He means clothes over his fur. Long sleeves. Shoes. That sort of thing,” Johnny explained as he resolutely tried to ignore his ex-boyfriend's increasingly annoying fits and focus on the video game they all had picked back up after lunch. “How much longer is this supposed to take?”
“I don't knooooow,” he whined, coming to a stop when he ran out of ceiling. “Cassie, how long is this supposed to take?”
It usually took me a few weeks before I was finally ready to shed, she said from her terrarium on the medical cart, which had been wheeled into the common room with them. But you are already nearing the end of the process. Another day, perhaps?
Peter gave a sob and dropped down to the floor, walking over to the sofa in order to sprawl dramatically across both boys, completely ruining the rest of the game. Johnny pulled his hands free in order to throw them up in frustration. “Do you mind? I was winning!”
“Numb me,” he mumbled into the arm of the sofa. Bobby shook his head with a faint smile and sent a wash of cold through Peter's body, focusing on the tender skin that was trapped underneath what could now be considered an exoskeleton.
“Me, too?” Johnny asked hopefully, pointing to his bruised cheek and bandaged nose. Bobby looked like he was considering telling him to go find an ice pack like a normal person, but finally caved and sent a little soothing cold his way, too.
“You know, I really should be getting back to the X-Mansion by now,” he pointed out as he turned back to Peter. “I have duties! I can't stay here even longer just to soothe your itches.”
“No. You're my new best friend. I have no other friends now.”
“Come on, that's a little extreme.”
“HE TAUGHT CASSIE TO SING NINETY-NINE BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL!” Peter screeched, and Johnny grinned like the smuggest bastard in the world.
“Aaah, the look on your face,” he sighed dreamily. “I told you I'd win the prank war some day, didn't I?”
“You haven't won!” Peter snarled, twisting around to face him with fangs bared. “I just haven't had time to retaliate!”
“None of that,” Bobby said sternly, waving a hand so that frost formed over Peter's black lips. “No fangs.”
Peter flinched away with a shocked expression and rolled off of their laps to the floor, clutching his mouth and curling his spider-legs inward. “Cold! On teeth! My one weakness!” he whimpered.
“Wow,” Johnny whispered as he watched, eyebrows shooting up. “You took out Spider-Kid in seconds.” He turned the look on Bobby. “I am so hot for you right now.”
Bobby's eyes widened for a split-second before he quickly looked away, the tips of his ears going red. “Sorry, Peter,” he said hastily. “I didn't know you had dental sensitivity.”
“I hate you both,” he croaked from the floor.
* * *
He wasn't any better company by dinner time. He couldn't even look at food, much less swallow it, and when Sue pressed him about it he practically bit her head off. Figuratively. Then he curled up into a contrite ball of misery and begged for her forgiveness for five minutes.
Bobby's numbing skills eventually stopped helping with the unpleasantness, and in frustration Peter begged Johnny to burn the skin off. The haunted look that flashed over his face at the suggestion made Peter feel like an ass, and he proceeded to apologize for ten minutes.
Peter banished himself to the deepest chamber of his web nest for a while, but that left him with zero distractions except for loudly blaming all spider-kind for his current misery, which led to him soothing Cassie's hurt feelings for fifteen minutes.
It was at this point that Peter decided it was time to take his frustrations straight to the source. He left a note for the Four and a voicemail for his aunt and uncle that he was going to be unreachable for a few days, then headed out into the night.
* * *
“I need to change apartments,” Deadpool said with a sigh as he walked in the door.
“Don't bother, I'd just find your new one, too.”
“Well, you've certainly, ah, made yourself at home.” He eyed the span of webbing that stretched just below the window in the corner apprehensively. “Does this mean... things didn't go well?”
“Oh! No, they went great. We're all a big happy family again.” Peter stretched luxuriously across his wide, flat hammock, on his back with his spider-legs curled loosely in the air. He was wearing nothing but his silk knee-length pants, and Wade seemed hypnotized by the sight of him. “Johnny and I are back to being at each other's throats, though in a strictly non-sexual manner from now on.”
“What?” Wade cried, snapping out of it. “You two broke up?”
“Yep. Apparently this whole thing was largely his fault. Also, it seems I'm incapable of having sex without potentially killing my partner.”
An extremely loaded silence stretched out between them. For one thing, Wade had never asked for the details that led to Peter and Johnny's mutual near-destruction. For another, there was a very obvious solution to Peter's problem, and neither of them were saying it.
“Soooo,” Wade finally said, awkwardly, “why are you here, again?”
“I'm molting and it makes me a snippy asshole. So I decided to take off before I said something unforgivable.” He looked over at Wade with puppy-dog eyes. “But I didn't want to be alone.”
Wade let out a loud sigh as he caved in. “Fine. I guess you can stay here.”
“Good,” Peter said smartly, the puppy eyes gone in an instant. “Because the rest of the fault for all this? Is yours.”
“What?! What did I do?”
“You kidnapped me at sixteen and traumatized me with your massive pecs and obscene virility. Now no one else will do.”
Wade made a noise not unlike a man swallowing his own tongue. He proceeded to cough so harshly that he had to pull up the bottom of his mask, wheezing like a dying man. “I knew it,” he finally choked out. “I knew I traumatized you! Fuck, I'm so sor--” He was cut off by an empty plastic bottle connecting with his head at super-human speed.
“That was a joke. I mean, I meant it, but you're not allowed to feel guilty about it. I'm forbidding it.”
“You can't just forbid something like that!”
“Wade,” he said softly, and something in his voice made him stop panicking for a second and really look at him. “Would you just... come sit by me? Please?”
He could actually see Wade's lips, now; they were pulled in an uncertain frown. “All right,” he said at last, stepping across the room until he was towering over Peter's prone form. He hooked a foot under the coffee table and dragged it closer, unceremoniously dumping everything off the surface and taking a seat. It was low enough that it left their heads only a foot or two apart.
Peter knew he must look like a mess from up close. His normal skin was pale and sweating, while the rest of him lay limp and still to reduce sensation. Something clear oozed out from the cracks around some of his joints.
“You look like shit.”
His lips twitched into a smile. “Somehow, you always manage to see me at my worst. And yet, you still seem to think I'm too pure to soil with your presence.”
“Your worst doesn't hold even a tealight candle to mine, kid.”
“I'm not interested in competing. The desire to win is not one of the emotions I feel when I look at you, Wade.”
“What about nausea? Or, wait, that's not an “emotion,” per se. Disgust?”
“I feel... conflicted.” Wade paused instead of launching into his next round of self-loathing, so Peter continued. “I want to wrap you up in spider web so you can never leave me again. I want to let you run free so you won't resent me. I want to thank you for looking after me while I was so fragile, and getting me the help I needed, and protecting my aunt and uncle when I had that night terror. I don't think I can thank you enough for that one. But I also want to scream at you not to go back to killing people for money any more.”
Wade looked down at his hands, avoiding his eyes, but Peter wasn't done. He wriggled his head to the edge of the web, trying to keep hold of his gaze. “I want to hurt anyone who speaks badly of you. I want to smack you for always speaking so badly of yourself. I want to see you, all the time. And I know you think I'm too young for you, but... I want to kiss you. So much.” Wade's jaw worked and he turned his head to the side. Peter continued doggedly on, raising his head as his eyes started to glow—not blue with foretelling, but with the intensity of obsession. “More than that. I want to make love wrapped up in your arms, to soothe your rough skin with my soft fuzz, if it grows back. I want to chase you wherever you run and stake my claim over your whole body when I catch you. I want to pump you full of venom safe in the knowledge that you'll be okay. I want you to chain me up again and ravage me from behind while I'm at your mercy! I want--”
“Stop,” Wade whispered brokenly. Peter stopped, dropping his head back down and blushing bright red, hoping he hadn't gone too far. Wade breathed heavily, clearly affected in more ways than one, but stubbornly holding on to whatever fueled his resistance. “You... you don't even know me.”
“Well.” Peter shifted back to his original position, trying to resist the urge to wriggle and scratch. “I've kind of reached the point where I can't even move anymore, and I feel like I'm going to explode. I'm basically a captive audience in dire need of distraction.” He crooked one spider-leg over to brush it against Wade's half-masked cheek, turning it back to face him. “Will you tell me about yourself?”
Wade was agonizingly silent for a long moment, before he reached up and pulled off his mask. His pale eyes were heartbreakingly vulnerable without something to hide behind. “If that's really what you want... what do you want to know?”
“Everything you're willing to tell me.”
“It's not gonna be a happy bedtime story.”
“I know,” Peter said softly. “But it's an important one.”
His distorted face wrinkled in thought for a moment, and then he began.
* * *
In the end, Wade was willing to tell him quite a lot. Once he got going, the words couldn't seem to stop pouring from his lips. Tales of violence and neglect as a child, desperate cries for a fantasy of love that went unanswered or ended too soon. The harsh reality of working for the military, for villains, for whoever would hire him. Cancer and secret government programs and gaining healing powers and enduring horrible torture. Romance found and foolishly pushed away and finally lost. People who used and abused his body and his feelings. Capricious voices in his head and the lengths to which he sometimes went to quiet them. His hopeless relationship with the embodiment of Death itself. A brain so tumultuous and unreliable that he was a danger even to the people he loved. His sad attempts to better himself and his life that always ended in failure.
Perhaps the worst of it all was the way he told the stories; detached, like they were things he had seen happen to someone else, or even worse, in a tone of jeering mockery. Peter listened without saying a word, but tears poured almost constantly down his face, as if he was emoting all the sorrow that Wade refused to show, or perhaps, was refusing to allow himself to feel.
The moon was on its way down now, shining through the window and lighting up Peter's silken bed like a silvery magic carpet. At some point he'd coaxed Wade to lean over and lay his head down on it, so that they were laying almost nose to nose as he spoke. Now, though, his story was over and he'd fallen asleep, fingers twitching in unpleasant dreams where his hand had come to rest under his chin.
Peter inched his own hand closer, coaxing a few of his stiff fingers to stroke against Wade's. “I've never met someone who was afraid of being happy, before,” he whispered softly, barely louder than a breath in the still quiet of the last hours before dawn. “But then, I've never met someone with so much reason to feel that way, either.”
He studied Wade's bare, sleeping face. There was no denying that the state of his skin was horrendous, jarring to the eye at first glance. But it was a sight that one could grow used to; that could be rendered, through familiarity, into something that made the heart grow fonder. He knew this, because it was happening already. Wade didn't like taking his mask off, because the way people reacted was just another blow in a long parade of pain. So Peter drank in the sight of him, until the only reaction he could possibly give upon seeing his face was one of joy.
“If I can do even one thing for you,” he murmured as his eyes grew heavy, “I hope I can make your life a little less painful to live.”
* * *
Peter woke up in a surge of claustrophobic panic, because everything in him was screaming to escape from his old skin. Blood pumped loudly in his ears, and if he'd been able to move like normal, he probably would have been racing along the walls like a madman. Instead, all he could seem to do was flex and relax his muscles—so that's what he did. Something cracked down the length of his back, startling Wade so badly that he shot up and rolled backwards over the coffee table, landing on his feet with a knife drawn. Peter managed to gasp between heavy breaths: “It's happening.”
Wade stared at him for a moment, shaking off his own panic at being awoken suddenly. Abruptly he put the knife away and cooed, “The baby's coming?”
Peter snorted a surprised laugh before trying and failing to scowl. “If I could move right now, I'd hit you for that,” he threatened, but his lips pulled tellingly at the corners.
“Is there anything I can do?” he asked, eyeing his twitching limbs in concern. “I could... tug on your toes, or something.”
“I suspect that would be a terrible idea,” Peter admitted. “I think this is something I'm going to have to do myself. But maybe you could... talk to me?” He swallowed. “Please?”
Wade gave him a regretful smile. “Just like when we met, huh?”
“Well, back then I was hoping to find some weakness to exploit so I could escape. And instead you accidentally found my berserk button.”
He laughed. “Yeah, that I did. Never even hint about violence to your old man.” He went silent for a moment, shifting into a more casual pose where he stood and watching Peter tense and relax his back, as if in pain. “You know... your uncle is a real swell guy. We talked a few times, while you were recovering.”
“You did? What... what did you talk about?” Peter asked, keenly interested in this turn of the conversation.
“We traded army stories, believe it or not, and talked about the hardships of growing up poor. He could've easily given me a lecture about my past and told me to stay away from you, but... he didn't.”
Peter smiled, his eyes going distant. “That's Uncle Ben in a nutshell.”
“Your Aunt May, though—whoo, she's a whole 'nother story!” He cleared his throat, then fake-whispered “I think she suspects.”
“Suspects...?” Peter queried, the muscles of his chest and abs starting to glisten with sweat as he flexed and undulated where he lay. Wade stared, and seemed to completely lose his train of thought. “Wade?”
“Oh. Well, after dinner that first night, she told me the fascinating tale of how she nearly married another man because he seemed wealthy and charming and promised her a life of excitement and adventure, only it turned out he was a thief and a murderer and ended up going to prison.”
“Ohhhh,” Peter said, pulling a face.
“Yeeeeah. But, you know what?”
“After I brought Beastie over to work his guidance councilor magic, she invited me to stay for tea. And it was nice! Really nice. We talked about Golden Girls, we talked about dresses... and we talked about how she instinctively ran to Ben to cry in his arms when everything went wrong with Johnny. Her Johnny, I mean, Johnny Jerome. And that it was Ben's steadfast devotion to her that eventually won her heart.”
Peter stopped moving at that, staring at Wade in shock. “Really?”
“She never told you that story?”
“No, I knew it, but... she really phrased it like that?”
“Exactly like that.”
Peter looked up at the ceiling, wide-eyed and lips still parted in disbelief. Slowly he closed his mouth, a fragile smile gently tugging at the corners while the faintest hint of pink colored his pale cheeks. “Oh.”
“So I guess, if anything were to occur between us—not that it will, because it won't!—your folks might not... be completely opposed.”
Peter's eyes shot straight back to Wade's, a glimmer of hope shining brightly from within. It was the first time Wade had said anything implying that he was thinking about how they could work this out. He rolled his shoulders hard, feeling the exoskeleton start to pull away there, felt his hands and spider-legs shift a little down the long sleeves they would need to travel. When he flexed his feet at the ankles, he felt something like a pair of knee-high socks slipping down his legs. He was making progress.
“Wade. Can I ask you a question?”
“Shoot.” He finally walked back over to retake his seat on the coffee table. “I'm an open book, assuming the book is a ladies fashion magazine with lots of holes cut out for art projects and/or ransom notes.”
“How old are you?”
He groaned softly and closed his eyes, like he'd known that particular question was coming sooner or later. “Thirty... two? Three? I'm a little hazy on that; I can't always remember my birth date.”
“So, when I reach my thirties, you'll be pushing forty-five.”
“Uhhg, I don't wanna be a middle-aged loser suffering from a mid-life crisis. Well, at least I'll have the “dating a younger man” part down already.” He gasped loudly. “What if I start getting wrinkles? What if I go bald?”
Peter felt light-headed as he laughed, a prickle of moisture at the corners of his eyes. “Oh, no!”
“Oh no is right! How will anyone love me without my beautiful locks?”
“I'm sure they'll manage,” Peter said softly, his cheeks turning even rosier. Wade's shoulders twitched and he looked aside, reaching up to scratch his head and possibly turning a little red himself.
“I, uh. I forgot where I was going with that. What was this conversation about, again?”
“Age.” A thought occurred to Peter. “Do you age? Physically?”
“I don't think so? I haven't noticed any signs yet, but then, how will I? I can't go gray, I haven't lost any youthful vigor... if you know what I mean,” he said with a brow waggle, then promptly slapped his hand to his forehead. “Dammit, but that's a hard habit to break.”
“So don't. I like it when you flirt.”
“It makes me feel dirty when I do it with you, though.”
“Why? Because I'm young? I'll be eighteen in another six months, if that helps.”
“It's not just that,” he said with a sigh. Peter shifted his exoskeleton down another inch, wriggling impatiently as he waited for him to explain. “You're so...” he struggled for the right words, then suddenly burst into song. “You're so hiiiiiii-eeeyiiigh! High above me, you're so lovely!”
“Am not,” Peter said with a poorly stifled smile. “Look at me. I'm a freak who is literally crawling out of my own skin at this very moment. I have eight eyes, four extra six-foot-long legs, and I ooze webbing from my wrists.”
“Don't forget your magical venom,” Wade added helpfully, then froze, like he'd said something he hadn't meant to. “And your incredible ass.”
Peter wasn't fooled by the distraction, even if it did make him blush even further. “Magical?”
“Y-yeah, you know. It takes a pretty strong toxin to make a dent in my resistance. And I was chatting up Death in a matter of minutes.”
Peter cocked his head. “I don't know if that makes it magical, though.” Wade was definitely avoiding his eyes all of a sudden. “Didn't you say something else, at the time? Like, it was still in your system even after you came back?”
“Maybe? Maybe not. You know, my memory is spotty at best, and you were busy being traumatized that day. It probably didn't happen.”
“No, I'm pretty sure you said that. I've been puzzling over what you meant ever since.” He gave a good stretch, reaching for the ceiling with every arm, and the split edges of his black shell finally slipped over his shoulders. Fresh air hit his new skin like a shock of electricity, it was so sensitive. He winced.
“I was just... uh, it meant... it was...”
“What, did it hurt?” Peter asked, gritting his teeth at the unpleasant sensation.
“N-no... it... it was...” Wade floundered for one last moment, before visibly wilting in surrender. “It was the opposite.”
Peter ceased all movement as he tried to work that out. “It induced pleasure?”
“No, nothing so dubious as that, it just... blocked my pain. Even the voices.”
Peter forgot his current discomfort. “Your pain. Your agony unceasing? Your suffering eternal? That pain?”
Wade cringed. “You know about that?”
“Wh—YES I know about that!!” Peter blurted angrily. “For how long?! How long did the effect last?”
“About a day.”
“Do you mean to tell me that you've been suffering all this time, since the day after we met, when you didn't have to?!”
“I'm used to it, it's not a big deal.”
“It is a big deal, Wade!” Peter shouted, torn between erupting in fury and breaking down in tears. “Do you know how much I've wished that there was the slightest thing I could do for you?” He thrashed his arms and legs impotently, trying to hurry the process of molting along but only achieving maybe another inch of progress. “Dammit, if I could move I would pin you down and bite you right now!”
“Is that a threat or foreplay?” Wade asked weakly, leaning away from him slightly.
Peter collapsed back into stillness, breathing hard from his now depleted burst of effort and anger. “Why didn't you say anything?”
Wade grimaced and fiddled with his gloves. “Look, you aren't the only one who feels highly conflicted about this weird thing we've got going on between us.”
“Everything I feel is so tangled up in guilt and fear!” He bowed his head. “Do I really want to keep you for myself, or do I just want to make up for what I did? Do I really want you for who you are, or what you can do for me? I think you're absolutely beautiful, spider-parts and all. But then, look at what you're being compared to,” he said with a gesture to his face. “I want... I want to protect you from all of life's sorrows, so you never have reason to cry on me like that ever again. I want you to hurry up and reach legal adulthood so I can do absolutely filthy things to you without feeling like a creep. And sometimes, I would like to be a creep very much.” His eyes dilated at whatever it was he was imagining, and Peter swallowed, dying to know what it was. “You've been on my mind constantly ever since we met. I've tried everything I can to keep you from becoming my latest obsession, and I don't think it's working. The fact that you can make me feel better, can silence the torment in my brain for even a moment, is enough to make me want to fall down at your feet in devotion. And it also terrifies me. What if I get used to it? What if we really are happy together? What if we have the kind of love that people dream about, write songs about? How...” His voice suddenly choked up. “How will I survive going back to this when I inevitably outlive you?”
“What about the prophesy?” Peter asked in a strange voice, and Wade blinked and looked at him in confusion.
“Have you turned down your Lady's advances, like I advised you?”
Wade did a double-take, and stared. Peter had gone still, his human eyes closed, but all six of his spider-eyes were open wide.
And all six were glowing.
“Wh... who are you?” he asked numbly.
“Surely you didn't forget it?” asked the being who was currently speaking through Peter's lips. He frowned. “After you went and nearly killed my beloved Totem?”
Wade felt a prickle of recognition fight for attention as his brain screamed caution! Danger! “Totem. I remember that word. He said it... said a couple of things that didn't make sense. Then he said he sometimes gave prophesies, but never remembered them.”
“Yes. Did you do as I asked? Have you ceased to woo the lady of Death?”
“I did mention it to her when the venom kicked in. She was pretty annoyed. I've been careful not to see her since. Why? Why was it necessary?”
“There is another who courts her affections, and he will curse you if she continues to favor you. Mutant abilities, I can override. Magic from the Eternals is a trickier matter.”
Peter narrowed his glowing eyes. “You did forget, didn't you. Why are you such a nuisance?”
“It's a gift?”
“I don't know why I'm bothering with you. I despise you. You bring such destruction to the beautiful chaos of my Web of Life and Destiny.” He sighed. “But fate would have it that your diamond-edged thread should intertwine with my Totem's. I will give you six months to spend at his side before you must choose. My payment will be that you break not a single thread of life. Not on purpose, at least. Think you can handle that, death bringer?”
“What?? Payment? What choice?”
Somehow, despite the fact that his eyes were solid light, he managed to roll them. “The choice to let me to kill you one day,” he said acidly, before the glow faded and Peter's eyes all fell shut.
Wade gaped in the ensuing silence. “What. The hell. Was that??” he finally squawked.
Peter stirred with a groan, blinking open his human eyes. “What was what?” He looked around in confusion. “Did I fall asleep? No, no way. Did I give a prophesy?” His eyes widened and he looked up at Wade with surprise. “I did. And I remember it!”
“Just like before, with Doreen,” he said with a hint of wonder.
“Say it again. Just to make sure.”
Peter gave a few more flexes, working his skin down another inch or so, before he stilled and calmly recited:
“For you who would wish to avoid life eternal,
You must court no longer the lady of Death.
A deal strike instead to appease the Great Weaver,
Your thread to be severed at Totem's last breath.”
“The Great Weaver, huh?” Wade said with narrowed eyes.
“Wait... does that mean... you'll die when I do?”
Wade's head jerked as his eyes bored into Peter's, almost painfully intent. “What.”
“The Great Weaver, he's like... the god of all spiders. There are others, but I think he's the First. He lives outside of reality and spins a great web that serves as a model for the entire Multiverse. He's the one who gave me my spider powers.”
“So you're... his Totem.”
“Yes! That's the word the spiders call me.”
“And,” Wade continued, starting to get more agitated, “he says he can end my life at the same time as yours?” Peter watched with wide eyes as he stood and began to pace frantically, back and forth, running his hands over his bald head and muttering to himself like a man gone mad. “That is what that means, right? The thread of my life to be severed at your last breath?!”
“I don't see how it could mean anything else,” Peter said, growing increasingly concerned. “What's wrong?”
“I don't have to live forever?” Wade asked in a painfully fragile voice as he came to a sudden stop, turning to face Peter with a haunted look almost too frightened to hope. He fell to his knees beside the web, palms up and limp on his lap, like he'd lost all his strength. “I don't have to keep going even after you're gone?”
Peter sucked in a breath, heart aching. “Is that what you fear most?”
“More than anything. I'm not cut out to be one of those guys who lives for a thousand years while everyone I love dies, Pete, it'll destroy me. Worse than I already am, I mean.”
Peter squirmed; he wanted to be done molting now. “Well, it sounds like you won't have to. You just have to “strike a deal to appease the Weaver,” whatever that entails.”
“Oh, that? He just wants me to stop messing up his web by killing the threads, er, I mean people, that make it up.”
“Really?” Peter asked, hope plain on his face. “You'd do that?”
“I can certainly try! I've got a six-month trial period to practice un-un-aliving before he wants my final verdict.”
“Six months, huh?” Peter said with a quirk of an eyebrow. “Just long enough so we can consummate the deal.”
Wade pulled a face. “No offense, kid, but I'd prefer to leave your spider-god out of any consummating we may do.”
Peter laughed. “Okay, I can work with that.” He felt absolutely giddy with joy. “Fuck, I want to kiss you right now.” He thrashed his arms impatiently, and saw to his disappointment that they were still only one-quarter free. “Are you kidding me? How much longer is this going to take??!”
Wade snickered and pulled himself back up to the coffee table, making himself comfortable with a rather deliberate show of flexing muscles. “When you're older, you'll come to appreciate a good, slow build-up of... antici--”
“God!” Peter snarled, wiggling impotently on his web. Wade laughed until tears trickled down his cheeks.
* * *
In the end, it took an hour before he sloughed off the last of his exoskeleton, carefully sliding his head out from its black casing. He sat up on the web, feet dangling over the side just right so his lower legs touched nothing, his arms and spider-legs held carefully in the air in the same manner. His new skin was excruciatingly sensitive and too soft to touch. He could almost feel it shift and stretch as his body took advantage of the opportunity to grow before hardening again. He wouldn't be surprised if he gained an inch or two in height by the time this was done.
“Is it true that growing pains having nothing to do with your bones growing?” Peter asked softly, almost in a meditative state to avoid going crazy. “Because it sure as hell feels like that's what's going on.”
“I have no idea,” Wade whispered back, sounding like he was in awe. He watched quietly as Peter breathed slowly and deeply, eyes closed and holding absolutely still as the changes unfolded around him. He may have drifted out of his own head for a while, checking up on Cassie and the Baxter spiders for further distraction. Apparently Johnny had managed to weasel one more day out of Bobby's stay, pleading heartbreak and a dire need for companionship in his hour of need. Peter couldn't help but smile at his familiar, devious ways. The basement spiders at the Parker house reported that raw silk supplies were getting low, but the senior humans were still going strong, keeping the looms active in his absence.
Peter returned to his head in Wade's apartment, wondering if the agonizing wait was over yet. He didn't feel any aches or extreme sensitivity anymore. When he relaxed his arms and let his feet touch the floor, everything seemed to be in order.
“How do I look?” he asked as he cautiously opened his eyes.
Wade let out a deep sigh, thick with longing. “Otherworldly,” he moaned.
Peter looked down and took in the changes. His blue and red coloring had returned, velvety and vivid as ever. There was a faint black line on his shoulder; when he turned his head, his extra peripheral vision could make out new markings running across his spine and shoulder-blades. His fuzz was longer around the joints of his spider-legs now, with a few random hairs almost reaching an inch in length. His fingers and toes, just as black and tough as before, were slightly unnaturally long, making them even more suggestive of claws. Reaching up a hand, Peter rubbed it over his head and felt that his hair had returned, even if it wasn't as long yet as it used to be.
“Are my facial markings the same?” he asked as he traced a finger over the line of fuzz trailing down from his eyes. He knew better than to ask if Wade had a mirror.
“Your eyelids are black now—all of them, and your whole face has lost a bit of that youthful roundness. I gotta say, it's a very good look for you.”
Peter smiled slyly, his gaze moving to Wade's face. “Is it, now? You know... I can move again.”
Wade gave a pronounced swallow. “I noticed.”
Peter's spider-legs unfurled and moved slowly to encircle Wade where he sat, while he inched forward to the edge of his web hammock. “I think we had a very productive talk today, don't you?”
“Oh, very.” His breathing picked up, unsteady, his heart pounding loudly to Peter's ears.
“Some boundaries were set?”
“No nookie 'til you're not a minor,” he said firmly, despite the fact that his voice had shot up an octave.
“And some other boundaries... were finally released?”
Wade made a sort of desperate whimper instead of an answer as Peter slid from the web onto his lap, the cage of his legs closing in around him. His massive hands gripped his thighs, sliding perilously closer to Peter's backside as he shifted ever closer.
“There's something I've been dying to do for a while now,” he whispered against Wade's lips. “And maybe there's something you've been needing, too.”
He was trembling beneath him, eyes rolling back in his head as his eyelids drifted shut. Some part of Peter's psyche was very pleased with the reaction. He moved in that tiny bit closer, until their lips were finally touching, dry and warm and soft. Peter moaned in relief and clutched Wade's broad shoulders tightly, long fingers gripping into leather armor like they would never let go.
Somehow the kiss managed to stay gentle, a firm press of skin that opened eagerly into a tangle of hot breath and coaxing tongues. The aggression that might have rose up was instead being taken out on Peter's ass, as Wade's hands apparently had a mind of their own and had slipped around after all. Peter's breath came heavy through his nose as his flesh was squeezed and caressed. His body was starting to get very interested in the proceedings, and he pulled away from the kiss in order to coax Wade's chin up with his nose.
“Oh, fuck,” Wade said shakily, tilting his head back as requested, his mottled skin flushing. “Oh, god.” He clutched Peter even tighter as he ran a wet tongue over his Adam's apple. He was as tense as a spring as Peter nuzzled down the vulnerable stretch of his neck, lips pressing tiny almost-kisses against the line of his pulse. “Please. Please, please, please, please!”
“You don't have to beg,” Peter whispered against his skin. “Not for this.” He bared his slender black fangs and pressed them gently against a thick, pulsing artery. Venom was already starting to drip from the tips, eager to be unleashed. A strange vibration started to throb gently between them, oddly soothing and reminiscent of a cat's purr. It took Peter a moment to realize he was the one making it. He was actually purring.
He couldn't help but smile as he sank his teeth in and released a flood of sweet, nerve-blocking toxins. He'd never felt less human than at this very moment, and it had never felt so incredibly right.
The hands on his posterior grew lax as the venom took effect, the weight of Wade's body slowly sagging limply into Peter's arms. It was a little disturbing, the disconnect he felt between his current state of pleased contentment and the knowledge that he was actively killing the man that he wanted, more than anything, to take as his mate. He thought he ought to be in a state of panic, especially considering how recently and violently he'd almost done the same to someone else. But the thought was merely a passing curiosity, unable to trigger any emotional response. He knew nothing bad was going to happen, this time. He felt it, with supernatural confidence.
Wade's heartbeat slowed down to something so faint and slow that he could barely hear it, could barely feel the vibration through his teeth, yet it never quite stopped. Much to Peter's surprise, it was gaining in strength again... and Wade hadn't died. He felt a flash of worry: Oh no, he's not gaining a resistance, is he? Please don't become immune!! His concern was answered a second later with another bout of precognitive certainty: This was a gift from the Weaver. The benefits would always stay, but Wade needn't dally daily with Death just to get them. It would have been unkind to her, anyway.
Sagging with relief, Peter finally pulled his fangs out and licked the coppery blood away for the second or two it bled before healing. Wade was practically boneless in his arms, and he spent a moment just relishing the weight of him, the way he clung to him as his strength came back. The way he moaned, like the absence of persistent pain was as pleasurable as a full-body massage. His head stirred against Peter's, lifting slowly and opening his eyes as if in a dream.
“How do you feel?”
He considered it, hands coming back to life and stroking over Peter's spine, the base of his lower spider-legs, his sides. “Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts,” he said with a painfully earnest gaze.
“Well, one thing probably hurts,” Peter pointed out, feeling the stiffness of the erection rising up against his crotch.
Wade laughed, letting his forehead fall to Peter's shoulder as the mirth shook his body. “Oh! Oh! Rub my head!” he suggested, and long-fingered hands rushed to obey. “Ooooh... it actually feels good, I can't believe it!” His hands lunged up for Peter's head, and suddenly they were kissing again, only it wasn't tender and gentle like before. They pressed hard and desperate at each other's mouths, swallowing moans and licking over teeth and fangs and tongues. Peter felt an answering throb in his own pants as the heat cranked up and all the blood in his body decided to congregate at a single point.
“Wade,” he breathed out, finding his own head tilting back so the man in question could return the favor now, kissing and licking and nipping down his exposed neck. He writhed in his lap, trying to rub against that hard stomach to find some relief, inadvertently driving Wade half-wild with need with his grazing touches. “I can't... I can't...”
“Fuck,” he groaned, grabbing Peter's silk-clad thighs again, but instead of pressing him closer he forced him to hold still. “This is about to become the world's shortest resolution if we don't put a stop to this right now.”
Peter whimpered in protest, but didn't break free of his halting grasp. “Six months is going to be torture,” he cried as he wrapped his arms tighter around Wade's torso, trying to stifle the urge to move with a bone-creaking embrace instead.
“You're telling me,” Wade griped in response. “Do you know how long it's been since I got laid?”
Peter trembled. “Don't talk about sex, it makes it worse.”
“Oh, I could really use some of those asterisks right about now. Where's my fade-to-black, instantly it's Six Months Later?”
“I agree wholeheartedly with whatever that means.”
Reluctantly, he pried himself off of Wade's lap, trying to resist the urge to look down. He flopped back onto his web hammock, sending the discarded, empty shells of his old skin bouncing. He heard Wade suck in a breath, and felt a moment's wicked delight at the realization that he had peeked. Silk pants didn't hide much.
“So, what should we do with these?” he asked as he picked up a piece of exoskeleton that used to cover his leg, trying to resist the urge to display himself by quickly changing the subject.
“Oh, leave that to me,” Wade said confidently as he picked up the largest piece, an alien-looking monstrosity of dangling black tubes topped by a misshapen hood. “I am well experienced in the art of disposing redundant body parts.”
Peter made a face as he tried not to think about that, then blinked. “Wait,” he called as Wade was about to turn away with it. “Not that piece.” At Wade's questioning look, his expression twisted into something best described as positively evil. “I have an idea.”
* * *
Johnny whistled in the privacy of his own bathroom, stripping out of his clothes and opening up the frosted door to take a luxuriously steamy shower. His tune broke off mid-note as he shrieked like a banshee, flinging himself backwards so hard that the sound of him hitting the wall could be heard all the way in the common room.
“PETER I SWEAR TO GOD, I DON'T CARE HOW HOT YOU ARE NOW, YOU'RE DEAD MEAT!” he shouted as he tore into the common room, clad only in fire. To Peter's great delight, Bobby took it upon himself to break up the fight before it could start by extinguishing his flames, which meant he got himself quite an eyeful as Johnny's naked form was revealed. It was fascinating to see how red the normally cool man could turn. Even Johnny looked a little flustered as he hastily turned his flames back on.
Peter cackled from his place snug against Wade's side on the sofa, playing video games. Apparently, revenge really was a dish best served cold.
* * *
Six Months Later
“Oh, thank fuck,” Wade muttered.
“Hmm?” Tony Stark inquired, swirling his non-alcoholic beverage around in a wine glass.
“Oh, I'm just... so thankful! That the Damage Control guy is getting the book thrown at him.”
Tony nodded his head in agreement. “I can't believe that bastard. Providing MGH to mutants just to cash in on the damage they made?” He shuddered. “He was on the fast track to becoming CEO one day, too.”
Wade was already losing interest in that conversation, looking across the crowded room full of party-goers for a certain someone. He spotted her by the refreshment table, helping herself to the bowl of nuts. “Hey, Doreen! Over here!”
Tony promptly choked on his drink and made himself scarce. Doreen wandered over, a squirrel on her shoulder, both of them staring at Wade with a cautiously neutral eye. “Yeah?”
“I just wanted to congratulate you! I hear you're going to be a TV star?”
She blushed, whipping her tail around to hide most of her face. “I still can't quite believe it,” she squeaked, only her eyes visible above the fur, “even though Peter told me I would!”
“Are they really going to just set you kids loose to fight super-powered villains while they film it? No backup plans in case you take on a foe too tough or anything?”
“Hey, show a little faith! I'll kick butts and eat nuts!”
Wade made a weird face behind his mask, like he was desperately trying to hold in a snicker. Doreen narrowed her eyes at him, then scowled.
“Dammit, Deadpool, I liked that catchphrase! Now I'm never going to be able to say it again without thinking it's a euphemism!"
He burst out into hysterical laughter. “I can't believe you were actually going to use that on TV!”
“Shut up!” she huffed, her cheeks puffing up with furious embarrassment. “Why are you such a terrible person?”
“Oh, I guess you don't want my gift, then?” he asked, pulling out a small box with a squished bow.
“What? You got me something?” she asked in a surprised, slightly suspicious voice. She held a hand close to her chest, like she wanted to reach for it but also feared it might be a trap. “What is it?”
“Well, the Damage Control job was a lot of time spent watching boring people do boring things, so to keep myself entertained I started drawing up these info cards about all the loser villains I've worked with over the years, or fought against, or heard about. And since Pete says you like to research your problems in order to find the best solution, and since you're about to send a glorious “fuck you” to Iron Rod-Up-His-Ass in order to go fight baddies before you graduate high school... I thought I'd give you my blessing in the form of these.”
He flipped the lid up on the box and tilted it so she could see what lay within; a tall stack of slick printed cards, like a bunch of playing decks. Intrigued, she pulled one out, observing the title of “Deadpool's Guide to Super Villains” printed along the top, along with a card number, a large image, several lines of explanatory text, and a comment bubble coming from a doodle of Deadpool's masked head along the bottom. Her eyes widened. She pulled out several more, fanning them out in her hands and absorbing what was on them while her tail puffed up into maximum floof.
“Oh my god.”
“Yeah, I thought you might appreciate my dedication and hard work.”
“These are like cheat sheets. For bad guys!”
“I prefer to call them intel, but to each their own.”
“Ohmygod!” She stared at Wade with sparkling eyes, stuffing the cards back into their box and closing the lid before any of them could escape. “Peter kept telling me that you had a heart of gold in there somewhere, but I wasn't ready to believe him!”
“I'm going to tackle-hug you now.”
“Oh, shi--” Wade turned to run, but it was already too late. Suddenly he was covered in clinging paws and blinded by a furry tail as Doreen-and-pet pounced on his back, squealing with glee and showering him with affection. “Help! Squirrel attack!” came his muffled cry.
“Ha!” Tony barked from across the room. “Vindication!”
“Easy there, Doreen,” came an amused, familiar voice. “That's mine.”
“I have a name, you know,” Wade said indignantly as his face was uncovered, spitting as if he'd managed to get squirrel fur in his mouth despite the mask. “I am not just a piece of meat!”
“Peter! There you are!” she cried, hopping down to give her best friend a much more dignified hug. “Happy Birthday-Eve! Doesn't Tony throw the best parties?!”
He made a displeased noise. “If you like crowds of people. At least he had the decency to let me spend my actual birthday the way I want to.” He peered around the bustling room, trying to find someone in particular. “There she is. Finally. Any later and she would have missed it!”
“Who?” Doreen asked as she and Wade fell in step behind him. He weaved with animal grace through the throng of bodies, pausing just long enough to smile and nod whenever anyone wished him birthday greetings. They soon closed in on a girl who looked dreadfully out of her depth, standing against a wall and staring around the Avengers ballroom with white-rimmed-eyes.
“Pet Store Girl?” Doreen blurted out in surprise as she recognized her.
“It's Amy,” she corrected numbly.
“Oh thank god, I thought it was Reader,” Wade muttered.
“Why am I here?” she asked, clearly overwhelmed at being surrounded by so many famous, imposing super-heroes.
“Well, your social media following kind of exploded after you posted that selfie I took with Johnny, right? It was killer gossip, not to mention the fact that it proved you weren't lying before, when you told everyone that I really did have eight eyes. Now there's this sort of expectation that anything you post about me is true.”
“So, I invited you here for two very important reasons,” he said as he steered her toward the door to the balcony. “One: I'm officially changing my name.”
“Really?” she asked, eyes lighting up at the chance to be the first to spread the news.
“Seeing as I'm turning eighteen tomorrow, it's time to let go of the “Kid” moniker. From now on, I'd like to be known as...” He paused for dramatic effect. “Spider-Man.”
She gave him a skeptical look. “I can try, but I can't promise it'll catch on.” The small parade of four walked beside the rail of the balcony as it followed the curve of the building. The crowd quickly thinned out as they went further from the party, save for a few kissing couples here and there who had slipped away for that very purpose. “What's the other reason?”
“You've got your camera, right?”
“Always,” she said, pulling out her phone.
“I'm getting real tired of people asking me why I'm not dating Johnny anymore. No one thinks Wade and I are as cute a couple, apparently,” he muttered. “But I know who else made it on the guest list, and they've been building up to this for months.” He smiled darkly. “No one will even care about my love-life once they get a load of this.”
He ushered for everyone to press against the wall as they came to a bend in the architecture, and as they peeked around the corner, a dazzling sight greeted their eyes: two young, nubile men pressed up into an alcove, one encased completely in brilliant flames, the other a solid sculpture of glittering ice. They were currently engaged in a contest of who could stick their tongues farther down the other's throat, arms wrapped around each other in a passionate, blinding embrace. Steam was wafting liberally around them like clouds, slowly drifting away on the breeze.
“Holy shit,” Wade whispered, while Doreen gawked and hid a squeak behind her hand. “Never have two people making out been so goddamn pretty.”
“Woah,” Amy whispered, raising her phone. “This is gonna go so viral.”
* * *
Peter would have liked to go home to Wade's new, nicer apartment right away, but his spider-sense went off several times while he swung them both through the city, and he had a reputation to uphold. A reputation that Wade was slowly being included in. It had been rough for him at first, adjusting to purely non-lethal modes of battle when it came to apprehending criminals, but once he got into the habit he proved to be stunningly good at it. Like all things physical, really.
By the time they landed on the small, private balcony and let themselves in, it was already after midnight, which meant they missed the moment Peter officially became eighteen. Wade wrapped him up in his arms anyway and wished him a “Happy Anniversary of the Day You Were Forcefully Evicted from Your Mother's Uterus, May She Rest in Peace.”
“Welp, there went my sex drive. Congratulations, you killed it.”
“Oh no,” Wade teased as he tossed his mask on the coffee table, not at all worried. He grabbed one of Peter's spider-legs, took the tiny, fluffy foot in hand, and began pressing kisses to it like the back of a lady's hand. “It seems I've committed a murder.”
Peter's heart skipped a beat as Wade's lips tickled a trail further down the limb, blowing gentle gusts over the longer fur at each joint as he went. He knew exactly how sensitive to vibrations those hairs were. Peter shivered and let himself be turned around so Wade could follow the leg all the way to its base on his back. When he reached the end, he began kissing up the bony knobs of his fuzz-covered spine instead. Taking off his gloves, he trailed his hands down Peter's arms, pulling them back behind him in a manner intentionally reminiscent of bindings. Just as his lips reached Peter's ear, he undid the clasps of his web-shooters and slid them off, replacing them with broad thumbs stroking over the tender slit on the inside of each wrist.
“Well, what do you know,” he whispered, hot breath on Peter's reddening ear. “It's a miraculous recovery.”
A prominent tent had formed under his silk pants, and heat radiated from his cheeks. “Wade,” he choked out, voice gone rough already. “Undress me.”
Over the last several months, the two of them had become experts at the art of the Slow Tease. Since they'd promised not to act on anything, teasing was all they had. Peter had halfway expected that the moment the clock struck twelve they would turn into sex-crazed animals, but apparently that wasn't how things were going to go down. Maybe later. Right now, of all the fantasies he dreamed of enacting with Wade, from dressing him up in his new silk lingerie and taking him as he tore them off, to making sweet, slow love while they hung upside down in the new web bower above Wade's bed... what he suddenly needed, more than anything in this very moment, was to submit.
It was the one thing he could never bring himself to do with Johnny; it rankled his pride too much. Not so with Wade, though. The thought of surrendering all his power to him felt... safe. Arousing. Oddly empowering. Wade would never tease or degrade him for it; if anything, his manner of taking control would be an act of worship. Peter could sense that already, as Wade slowly, reverently, helped him slip out of his backless shirt and began to ease his pants down his thighs.
Peter held his breath as he was stripped bare, only remembering to breathe again when the sudden application of a warm, wet tongue along the round flesh of his ass forced out a gasp. Fuck, he was so ready for this. Wade's teeth gently nipped at his skin as he resumed stroking the inner sides of his wrists, and Peter started to tremble where he stood. Wade straightened back up and pressed a kiss to his shoulder. “Shall we take this to our bedroom?” he asked, his voice deep and husky. Peter nodded jerkily, stepping out of his pants where they were pooled around his ankles, and led the way past the intimate dining area and the work desk in the corner covered with stray rubber bullets scattered over an array of Peter's latest photo prints. They were mostly shots of the two of them together.
The bedroom was bigger than his childhood room, but smaller and without the high ceiling of his room at the Baxter building, and since he would be sharing it with Wade, he couldn't completely overtake it with spiderwebs. The compromise they had reached, however, was breathtaking. A large bed took up the bulk of the floor space, webs bordering it on each side and above like that of a funnel spider. Unlike any normal web, though, Peter had made this one out of dyed silk threads, weaving neatly through each other in slowly shifting colors like a three-dimensional tapestry. There was plenty of room for both of them on the mattress, but if the vibrations proved to be a problem, Peter could sleep above it in a shimmering, adjustable hammock instead.
Wade stopped him just before he went through the door, opting to scoop him up in his arms and carry him over the threshold, as if they were newlyweds. Peter laughed as he wrapped his arms around him, relishing the feel of leather against his bare skin. “Are you sure I shouldn't be doing this to you? You're the one who wants a wedding dress.”
“It's going to be your first time sleeping in here! You deserve a grand entrance!” he replied with a grin.
“And yet, I've probably spent more time in it than you have, building that nest.”
“Oh, details,” he said with a shrug, sidestepping them through the doorway. He took his prize straight to the bed, laying him down across it and pulling back to drink in the sight. “Hello, gorgeous,” he moaned with longing.
Peter folded one leg at the knee and arched his back, breathing deeply. “What are you waiting for? I want to feel you.”
Wade swallowed and reached for the clasps on his belts and buckles, letting them pile up on the floor. He only hesitated a moment before undoing his armor, stripping out of boots and arm guards and finally the suit itself. He stood somewhat shyly before him, naked and gruesomely scarred and obscenely rippling with muscles. And huge. Wow, was he huge. Peter sat up, spider-legs reaching for him and drawing him forward until Wade was kneeling on the bed, his weight dipping deeply into the mattress.
“Hello, gorgeous,” Peter repeated softly as he pulled him close, eyes drifting shut with pleasure as he ran his hands down Wade's chest. His torso was the most tempting mix of firmness and texture, and Peter wanted to rub his fuzz all over it—so he did. Wrapping his arms around him, he stroked his sides with the length of his arms and nuzzled his forehead across his chest, lifting it only to lick around an erect nipple. Wade stroked down his back with both hands, groaning softly at the feel of soft fur all over his touch-starved skin. Peter was already making the purring vibration again; he'd never figured out how to do it consciously, but Wade could always coax it out of him in no time.
Hungry lips found each other, bodies pressing closer as they yearned to join. Wade did that thing where he ran his tongue over the tips of each fang, over and over, until Peter was dribbling poison like nectar right into his mouth and oozing precum at the tip of his eager, swollen length. He made a pathetic keening noise, begging for him to never stop and also to give him something more.
“Easy, my sweet little spider. I've got you,” he whispered as he pulled away, licking his lips. “How do you want to do this?”
Giving him one more quick kiss, Peter turned around and sat on his knees on the bed, his spider-legs finding footholds in the web in front and above him to get them as out of the way as possible. “Like this,” he said over his shoulder, blushing brightly. Wade's erection twitched in response, betraying how much he liked what he saw.
“Oooh, baby boy,” he murmured as he bit a knuckle, eyes raking over his body. “You just sit tight, Daddy's coming for you.”
Peter snorted a laugh as he turned his head back, shivering in spite of himself. “I thought you didn't like our age difference.”
“You're an adult now, my conscious is clear to play whatever I want.”
“Is that so?” Peter said coyly, and proceeded to bend forward until his cheek rested on the mattress and his posterior was presented high in the air. He readjusted his spider-legs to lay prostrate along the bed while he stretched his arms down past his knees, palms up. “Well, in that case, I have a few fantasies of my own.”
Wade made a strangled noise. Peter didn't say it was his kidnapping fantasy... but he didn't really have to. Wade struggled for a second with whether he thought it was sexy or disturbing and guilt inducing, but his body soon won out and decided on incredibly fucking hot are you kidding me let's GO!!
Peter sighed in relief as he felt large, hot hands wrap around his hips, stroking over his skin possessively as they ran up and down his legs, coaxing them farther apart. “You ain't goin' nowhere, kiddo,” Wade growled in a deep rumble, and Peter felt an answering throb, tingling and electric, between his legs. Wade started by kissing along the vulnerable insides of his thighs, and he trembled something fierce in anticipation.
Warm breath ghosted over his balls, and Peter let out a shocked squeak when they were suddenly sucked into a hot, wet mouth. He moaned as Wade squeezed and stroked them against his tongue, his hands wandering inevitably to his, admittedly slightly larger than average, butt cheeks. Wade hummed in pleasure at being able to freely manhandle them, skin on plump skin, and the vibrations shot right through his nutsack and made Peter croon with pleasure.
“Like that, do you?” Wade asked as he finally released his jewels with a wet slurp. Peter nodded his head against the sheets, whimpering softly in answer. Wade's answering smile could be heard in his voice as he pondered, “But what else can I get up to while I have you at my mercy?”
His wicked, wicked tongue began stroking fat and slick over his perineum, thumbs teasingly spreading his cheeks apart. Each lick grew a little longer, teasing closer and closer to his entrance, turning Peter's whimpers into a chain of high-pitched moans. He started to circle around it, getting the area so good and wet with saliva that it was dripping into the orifice without his tongue actually making contact. Peter squirmed in his grasp as desperation started to gnaw at him, his fingers flexing open and closed into fists while his spider-legs twitched and curled against the sheets.
Wade's hands disappeared for a moment, reaching for something nearby that Peter could only assume was lube. When he popped open the lid, though, a scent that he recognized as massage oil filled the air. Peter only had time to ponder the reasoning behind that for a brief moment before Wade unleashed his two-pronged attack, and then he couldn't think at all.
Suddenly his hands were pinned firmly to the bed, while slick, oiled thumbs resumed their ministrations of stroking over his web orifices. At the exact same moment, Wade's tongue slipped without warning into his clean, puckered hole, wiggling excitedly until the muscle relaxed and let him slide in deep. Peter screamed his stunned pleasure into the sheets, flushing from his ears to his rosy nipples. His hips jerked and bucked all on their own, but Wade just pressed his face in all the harder in response, forcing Peter to curve his back further and present himself even more. Now his weeping erection was pressed upside down against his stomach, getting him wet with his excitement.
He couldn't straighten his back because his hands were pinned, leaving him unable to slide his shoulders down the sheets. He was trapped, Wade's tongue plunging in and out and slicking up his insides with excessive saliva, some of it dribbling down his sensitive skin in a tickling trail all the way to his balls, where it joined the cooling moisture already there. Peter shrieked and moaned as arousal overloaded his brain, as it teetered toward the inevitable, as his whole body began to sweat and tremble and jerk. Wade's lips pulled back in a smile, the hard press of teeth adding to the mix. Stroke and press, thrust and lick, all Peter could feel was electricity zinging through overwrought nerves, the thick swelling of his arousal. He was powerless to prevent his pleasure from cresting, helpless under his lover's demanding touch and inescapable strength and sinful tongue. With a wail that was aural sex in itself, Peter lost the fight and surrendered to torrential pleasure, gushing thick, hot fluid down his stomach to the bed and clenching in spasms around Wade's tongue. It couldn't even reach his prostate, and yet it had already been mind blowing.
Peter gasped hoarsely as he slowly came down, his muscles turning to trembling jelly as he went limp on the bed. Wade released his hands so he could straighten out his back, but Peter didn't even want to move that much. “Oh, my poor baby spider!” Wade cooed, voice still heavy with unspent lust. “What am I ever going to do with you?” There was a sharp inhale of breath as Wade did something behind him, and this time, Peter was pretty sure the smell was from lube.
Strong hands slid smoothly over his juicy rump, sliding up his sides and under to his chest. With ease born of powerful muscles, he pulled Peter's torso up until he could lean against his chest, head lolling back to rest on a shoulder. Spider-legs dragged limply behind him, only one making the effort to reach up and clutch feebly for a grip on the web up above. Wade stroked gently over his smooth neck for a moment, down his chest, and finally under his thighs with both hands. “You are incredibly pliant right now,” he said conversationally, but with a strained note that betrayed how affected he really was. “My little captive. My beautiful treasure.”
He lifted Peter up a little, letting his head tilt back even further for a moment, then lined him up just right. Peter felt something huge, hard, and extremely slick press against his lax hole, and though he was about as loose as he could possibly be, he still tried to relax that much further. Wade lowered him down as gently and slowly as possible, and the stretch as he slid inside and stuffed him full was that exquisite sort of pain that feels like pleasure all over again. Peter thought he would have lost his voice by now, but he found he had a whole new untapped supply of breathy moans.
They just sat there for a while, Peter nestled down on his lap and feeling like he'd been impaled by the thickest, longest rod he could ever imagine and loving it. His spent dick was already twitching and starting to fill again as his interest came crawling back from the grave. He could feel Wade pulse inside him every now and then, as he tried to keep himself from blowing his load before he could even move.
“How are you holding up?” Peter asked softly, turning his head to nuzzle at his cheek.
Wade let out a hard breath, like he was in the middle of an exhausting workout. “Barely. I know in my head that this isn't the only time we'll do this, but my heart doesn't quite believe it and wants to make this last.”
“It doesn't have to be perfect. We can do this as many times as our bodies can manage, every day, as much as we want, for the rest of our lives.”
“Speaking of which, when is your Master Weaver going to show up and strike the deal? I really don't want it to be in the middle of screwing.”
“Great Weaver, not Master Weaver. Totally different entities.”
Wade snorted a laugh, then choked back a moan when it echoed through his whole body. “Okay, but my question still stands.”
“I don't know. I have no idea how he wants to do this. Maybe he won't actually possess me this time? Maybe you just have to tell me your answer?”
“Maybe.” He spent a moment breathing heavily and evenly, hands gripping Peter's hips in an unconscious, possessive gesture.
Peter took a breath like he was about to speak, only to pause, several times. At last he spit it out. “Are you sure this is what you want to do? Bind your life to mine? We can still be lovers without taking that step.”
Peter pursed his lips, still troubled. “You'll never be able to take another job that requires killing ever again.”
“What if...” He swallowed nervously and tried again. “What if, like normal spiders... I don't live very long?”
Wade shifted his arms to wrap them tightly around Peter's torso, not quite concealing a tremor. “All the more reason.”
“Or, conversely... what if Totems live for centuries?”
“I was probably looking at that anyway, only with constant pain and loneliness and insanity instead.” He bowed his head, his chin brushing Peter's shoulder. The rod inside of Peter was starting to wilt, relieving some of the unbearable tension but not promising anything good for Wade's state of mind. “What about you? You sure you want to live your whole life burdened with taking care of a worthless mess like me?”
“You're not worthless. If nothing else... you mean more than anything to me.”
Wade swallowed. “Okay, but you can't deny the mess part.”
Peter huffed out something that wasn't quite a laugh. “You have your good brain days and your bad brain days. I'll take them all if it means I get to have you.”
Wade gave a sniff that sounded suspiciously like a sniffle. “You know... I learned a song that I wanted to teach Cassie. I haven't got around to it yet, though, because... it was too real. Too fitting. Every time I was about to, I couldn't do it, because I wanted to sing it to you myself.”
“Really?” Peter asked, turning his head slightly on Wade's shoulder so he could see his face. “Can I hear it?”
He nodded, head still bowed, his embrace tightening. “If you want.” Taking a deep breath, he started off in a sweetly sad minor key, his voice shaky and nervous but surprisingly beautiful as he began to sing.
“If I could save time in a bottle,
the first thing that I'd like to do
is to save every day, till eternity passes away,
just to spend them with you.”
Peter's eyes widened and he lifted his head, turning slightly so he could look at him properly. Wade finally lifted his chin, meeting Peter's gaze with his own, his expression vulnerable and full of swirling emotion.
“If I could make days last forever;
if words could make wishes come true,
I'd save every day like a treasure, and then,
again, I would spend them with you.”
Peter let out a shaky breath, his hands finally reviving from their limp sprawl to seek out Wade's. He loosened his hug long enough to entwine their fingers together, then wrapped their arms back around into a shared embrace. Feeling more confident, Wade gave Peter a tender smile as he slipped into a more lighthearted, major key for the chorus.
“But there never seems to be enough time
to do the things you want to do, once you find them.
I've looked around enough to know
that you're the one I want to go through time with.”
Peter couldn't cover his mouth, his hands were already occupied. His lips may have started to tremble, and his eyes were definitely starting to sting. He gave a shaky breath as he tried to contain himself, but Wade's words were plucking a chord that sent resonant vibrations straight to his soul and he couldn't hide it.
“If I had a box just for wishes,
and dreams that had never come true...
The box would be empty,
except for the memory of how
they were answered by you.”
He squeaked, and fuck, that was it. He was crying now. He was naked and sitting on a dick and crying his eyes out because his lover was singing to him and his heart was just so full. Wade grinned but he wasn't laughing; his eyes were glassy with tears too. He sang the chorus one last time, only with an impertinent thrust at “things you want to do” that had Peter giggle-snorting between sobs. Wade kept moving, too, so that by the time his voice fell silent he was rocking Peter up and down on his lap, slowly stiffening inside of him until he could feel the delicious strain again.
“I can't believe you got me to cry during sex,” Peter bemoaned, which turned into a regular moan soon enough. “You monster.”
“Oh, is that the nickname you're going to give my junk? I like it.”
Peter tried to sigh in frustration, but it didn't sound frustrated at all. It sounded pretty obscene, actually. Wade squeezed his hands and used his hold on Peter's body to push into him slow and deep. His angle shifted just right, and Peter clenched and gasped, letting head fall back to rest on his shoulder again. Even his slightest inhale of breath was falling right by Wade's ear. He couldn't hide anything. Wade knew exactly whenever he brushed the right spot, and suddenly he was stroking over it without fail.
“F-fuck,” Peter whispered, his erection back to straining mindlessly into the air. Pleasure was sending little jolts in a constant stream through his brain, breaking up every thought before it could even begin. “Wade... Wade!”
He wanted him to feel as good as he did. Wanted Wade to feel like pleasure was the only thing that existed right now in the whole world. He shifted his shoulders slightly, trying to arch his back and keep his spider-legs pressed flat as possible, and let his fur stroke against him with every powerful thrust. Wade sucked in a breath as the softness began brushing up and down his rough skin, tickling and silky and heavenly. “Peter?” he gasped out, thrusting up into him a little faster.
“Want you to feel good,” he slurred in response, all eight eyes fluttering wildly as instincts and powers began to join the mix. Pheromones oozed out, musky and intoxicating and cloying in the air made humid by their breath. “So good. God, it's so good,” he moaned weakly. Could he get drunk on his own pheromones? It sure seemed like it at the moment. Wade was inhaling deeply like he couldn't get enough, growling primally and beginning to rut into him with sharp snaps that made his ass jiggle and slap against his thighs. Peter's dick bounced wildly as it strained for touch.
He could feel something. Something that didn't make sense in words so much as flashes of an image. A thread. Two threads. One edged with glittering black diamond shards, impossible to break or sever, unable to stop cutting anything it touched. The other one unnaturally strong and shining from within, coated with glistening beads of toxin like dew on a spiderweb. The threads were carefully, purposefully, being twisted around each other. Peter let out a sharp gasp at the realization.
“Wade!” he whispered between stuttering moans, blue light shining from his third-eyes. “I-it's hap-p-pening!”
Wade released his death-grip on Peter's hands, allowing him to finally reach up and backwards to cling to the thick cords of his shoulders and neck. Wade's hands stroked over his chest a few times, thumbing his nipples for an agonizing few jolts of pleasure before plunging down to his hips, gripping into the flesh tightly and ramming into him with frantic, uncoordinated thrusts. His body grew hot against Peter's back, the smell of sweat and the desperate desire for release swirling in with the heady concoction of scents. Wade was moaning like an animal, and suddenly Peter could feel a throbbing pulse ripple through him, and something gushing and spurting deep inside.
“Oh!” he cried as Wade held him rigidly still, aside from a few bucking spasms, ceasing the stream of mind-blowing sensation just as he was about to reach his own peak. “Please, please, please!”
Wade's hands hastily let go of his hips and shot around, squeezing his balls in one hand and stroking his precum-slick erection vigorously with the other. It was just what he needed, and his back arched helplessly as he thrust into his hands, semen squelching as he bobbed over Wade's not-yet-softened shaft. He twisted his head and shoulders, pulling Wade's neck close as venom started oozing like drool down his chin, begging to be released too. He couldn't reach Wade's neck at this angle, so he kissed him instead, pouring into his mouth and nipping his bottom lip over and over. A roughly textured hand pumped him at blinding speed, until his balls were drawing in tight under the other hand's relentless tugging and squeezing. Tiny thrusts rubbed even now over his prostate as Peter cried out against Wade's lips, absolutely senseless with a heightened state of euphoria. The first shots of come began to fire out across the bed as he toppled over the edge, contractions squeezing him over and over again as he went rigid and tight with release. He hung there for the longest time, breathing hotly into Wade's mouth and shaking all over, feeling like he might never come down. Wade slowly released his grip on his privates and slid his hands up his sweat-soaked stomach and chest, just holding him close, holding him up.
Heaving chests slowly slowed down their breathing, until the two of them could kiss languidly in the cooling afterglow. Peter felt like something was tying off, out there outside of their present reality. The threads of their lives were braided around each other now, destined not to be snapped in half until they were both snapped together. Wade would never have to go on alone. Peter would never have to say goodbye too early. Their greatest fears were essentially the same, and they had found solace at last in each other.
“'Till death do we part,” Peter murmured sleepily against his mate's lips, but Wade shook his head gently.
“'Till death and after, we go together,” he corrected, linking their fingers together again and wrapping them around him. Peter smiled and wrapped his spider-legs all the way around them both, completing the embrace.
* * *
Peter floated calmly between the worlds in his sleep, noting with idle curiosity one of them where his other self had finally crossed paths with Deadpool. Sadly, he wasn't too happy about it.
Other-Peter shouted at Wade, repulsed by how easily he stole people's lives away, frustrated by his friendliness and easy companionship, embarrassed by his star-struck admiration and flirtatious comments. The Spider-Man of this world was adrift without any support, gave of himself too freely to guilt-stained responsibility, stretched himself too thin to leave a shred of strength left. All he could see was the fathomless depths of how much help Deadpool needed, and how little he had left to support anyone with. This Peter was bleeding out from wounds he couldn't even see. This Peter didn't understand how the two of them could work together, to hold each other up as they limped along.
Not yet, anyway. There was still a faint hope, a tendency to lean in each other's direction, that might someday bring their threads together. Peter wished them both luck, and let them drift away.
He had his own reality to focus on, and he was pretty dammed pleased with how it was turning out.
* * *
They were hopelessly, pathetically obvious when they showed up to the Parker household for Peter's birthday dinner. They couldn't seem to stop smiling, stop laughing, or stop touching long enough to actually set the table for the barbecue that Uncle Ben was grilling up on the back patio.
“Wade!” Aunt May said accusingly. “You two didn't run off to elope in the middle of the night, did you? I though we were going to make you a wedding dress some day!”
“No, no!” Wade rushed to assure her. “No legal documents have been signed anywhere! Nothing like that! We can still do the dress!”
May narrowed her eyes at him sharply before she cracked, a sliver of a grin sneaking across her wrinkled face. “Is that so? So it's all in my imagination that you two are acting like honeymooners?”
“Uhhhh,” he stalled, looking desperately over to Peter for help. Peter hastily took a swig of the drink he had just poured, pointing helplessly to his full mouth. Wade narrowed his eyes and turned back with a shake of his head. “I'm not sure what answer you're looking for. Do you want to hear how hard your nephew and I railed each other since the clock passed midnight? What's the protocol here?”
The drink was a bad idea, Peter realized as he promptly snorted it up his nose, sputtering and coughing as it stung his nostrils. “You know what?” he said hoarsely as soon as he could breathe again. “I think I'm gonna go help Uncle Ben with the last of the steaks.” His ears burned red as he beat a hasty retreat to the back door, ignoring Wade's vengeful cackles and Aunt May's chortles into the back of her hand. Maybe he should let those two conspire in peace for a while.
Ben looked up as Peter stepped out onto the patio with him, the delicious smell of seasoned meat wafting through the air. “Hey, Pete!” he called, the corners of his eyes crinkling with his smile.
“Hey, Uncle Ben,” he greeted cheerfully back, giving his spider-legs a good stretch before folding them back up out of the way. “Need any help?”
“Not really, they're just about done,” he said as he judged the sizzling slabs with an expert eye. “Did things get too racy for you inside?” Peter blushed anew, and Ben chuckled knowingly. “You may not want to hear it, but your dear old aunt isn't shy and loves a good romance.”
“Yeah, I noticed,” Peter muttered.
They were silent for a while, just listening to the city noises and the chirp of summer birds until Ben scooped the steaks up onto a serving plate. He handed it to Peter as he went about extinguishing the grill.
“You know, Pete,” he said casually. “I'm proud of you.”
“Hmm? For what?”
He closed the vents and the lid before turning around and giving him a serious look. “So many things. Using your strength to help people out, wherever you are. Using that brain of yours to invent things that can change the world. Using your art to let others see the beauty that you see. Being such a good friend to the people you've let into your life.”
Peter lowered his head bashfully, but Ben wasn't having any of that. He gripped his shoulder and cocked his head, watching his face. “I'm proud of you for being there for Wade, too.”
Peter's eyes widened as he looked up. “Really?”
“I know I'm supposed to play the protective fatherly roll and threaten him to take care of you or else, but... you can take care of yourself. You have friends and family who are willing to help you every step of the way. Wade... has never had any of that. And that takes a toll on someone. A heavy one. I don't know if you can even imagine it.”
“I can,” Peter whispered, an expression of pity tugging at his face. “Because I've seen what it could have done to me.”
Ben nodded, his grip tightening. “So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to tell you. You take care of him, Pete. I know you two are planning to be together for a long time, even if you haven't told us anything yet. It's a heavy responsibility, maybe the greatest one you can ever make, to promise to take care of someone for the rest of your lives. Especially when that someone needs you so much. Make sure he makes some friends; good, true ones, just like you did. You can't be his only support if you want him to heal into someone who can take care of you back.”
Peter swallowed and nodded, letting Ben steer him back into the house and down the hall to the kitchen. As Peter set down the tray he looked up to see that May was holding Wade's hands in a firm embrace, and the man looked close to tears. Apparently, this was a two-pronged attack.
“But May and I,” Ben continued, as if he'd been talking to both of them all along. “We're ready to be your family, too, Wade. If you'll have us.”
In lieu of an answer, Wade covered his face and choked on a sob. Peter rushed to his side like gravity had pulled him there, wrapping his arms and spider-legs around him and trying to hide his own tears against Wade's neck. There was nothing doing, though, as Ben and May came around to wrap their shaking shoulders in hugs.
Peter didn't need a prophesy to know that his future was going to be rich with happiness. He had enough love that he could freely share it, and wasn't that just the greatest treasure anyone could ever ask for?