Everyone is born with the first words their soulmate will say to them. Sometimes the words are romantic, sometimes a simple greeting. Some people have words that are obscure. Like Peter. His were right over his heart, and they were, to put it lightly, not ideal. He had never heard of anyone with the manner of words he had. They were inked in small, scratchy handwriting, right down his sternum.
Throughout elementary school, no one questioned them. He never took his shirt off. Aunt May and Uncle Ben never talked about them. None of the teachers knew about them. Peter was always told to keep his shirt on, because his words could make people unhappy or uncomfortable. Then came middle school. Peter changed in the bathroom for gym, and was teased for it. Boys with their words inked on their collars and arms and legs made fun of him for his words. ‘Puny Parker's words must be awful!’ 'Maybe his soulmate makes fun of him!’
In high school the bullying got worse. Peter was shoved into lockers, people tried to pull his clothes off to see what his words said. Peter took to wearing undershirts, even in the summer.
Then he was bitten by the spider. His whole life changed. Uncle Ben was murdered, and his passing words would change Peter's view of the world. He became Spider-Man. He saved people. He tried to fill the pain of losing one of his closest family members by using his powers for good. He worked with the Avengers. Stopped alien invasions. Stopped villains. He saved people. He was a hero. But Peter was so, so lonely.
When Peter first showed his words to Mary Jane, she'd laughed and appraised him head to toe. “Well, they're not wrong,” she’d said. Gwen and Harry saw them at the same time. They'd all gone swimming. Harry had laughed until he cried, and Gwen just snorted and patted Peter's shoulder. No one brought it up afterwards.
It was the first day of summer break. Peter's last class of the day had finally let out, and he was eager to get his suit on and start patrolling. He willed the subway to go faster, and practically sprinted home. He slowed to a quick walk once he got to his apartment building, but he took the stairs two at a time and only dropped his keys once in his haste to get inside. He switched on the light in the hallway and dropped his backpack on the ground next to his beat up couch, content to not even look at the thing till the fall semester.
Peter forced himself to slow his pace, just a bit. He took exactly three deep breaths. Made his legs walk to his bedroom. He changed into his suit very slowly . Then he hit the pavement.
Peter leapt from the fire escape beside his window up to the roof of the neighboring building. He bounced on the balls of his feet before he took a running start and jumped. Swinging around his city was the best feeling Peter had ever felt. Better than being drunk, better than being high, better than sex. Swinging made him feel free in a way nothing else could. Peter Parker loved being Spider-Man.
Peter landed on a lamp-post just in time to notice two men trying to open an ATM with a crowbar. Easy start to a hopefully easy day.
“Hey boys! You know, it’s easier to get cash outta there by using your card.”
The first guy stiffened before he turned to look at his partner.
“I told you this was a shitty idea, Brian, but do you ever listen to me? No.”
Brian looked at his friend.
“Hey shut up, you didn't say nothin’ when I proposed the idea, Matt.”
“Because I didn’t think you were serious, dipshit!”
“When have I never not been serious?!”
Peter amusedly watched the two bicker for a few minutes before webbing them to the wall (and the ATM, sadly) before calling the cops.
“This is all your fault, Matt!”
“How the hell is this my fault?!”
Peter laughed as he swung away.
The guys who never really meant harm were always the funniest.
As Peter swung up to the top of another high rise, his phone went off.
‘Come to the tower asap got to talk to u abt smthn’
It was from Tony. Peter sighed in exasperation. Tony still treated him like a kid even though Peter was twenty-four. Peter didn’t bother responding as he started off to Stark Tower. People who saw him, stopped to yell greetings, or cheered. Peter did his best to wave at them.
When he arrived at Stark Tower, a window was already open for him. Peter webbed and crawled his way up before sliding inside, startling Pepper as he did so.
“Sorry Mrs. Potts. Is Tony here?”
Pepper patted down her hair as she responded.
“Yes, he’ll be back in just a few minutes. Had a phone call.”
Peter hummed in conformation before walking over to the couch and plopping down. He let his head hang back over the rest. He just wanted to get back to patrolling. After waiting for what seemed like hours, Tony finally came into the room.
“Hey Pete, I’m glad you could make it.”
“Yeah, no prob. What’s up, Tony? Need me to test something?”
Tony walked over to lean against his desk.
“Not quite, I wanted to warn you about a potential threat in the area.”
This made Peter immediately perk up.
“Is it an alien?” Aliens were his favorite.
“Well, he’s from Canada, so sure. His name’s Deadpool.”
Tony passed Peter a fairly thick file. The file opened to reveal a fairly blurry picture of a man in a red and black suit. As Peter thumbed through it, he started to feel sick. This man had been through some serious shit. Tourture, cancer, and child abuse were just a few of the things listed. He could come back from any wound, including death.
“He’s a mercenary. I don’t like that he’s in New York. Normally he hides his presence, but this time, it’s almost like he wants us to know he’s here.”
Peter glanced up at Tony.
“Do we know who he’s here to kill?”
“Not yet. We never do until his target is a smear on the pavement.”
Peter frowned. This Deadpool sounded dangerous. The last section of his file was very vague. He was a merc, didn’t go for minors, and seemed to have a moral compass when it came to rapists or abusers. Peter was intrigued.
“And what? You want me to track him down for you or something?”
Tony plucked the file from Peter’s hands before flicking through it himself.
“Not quite. I want you to avoid him like the plague.”
Peter blinked slowly.
“Jeez kid don’t do that it freaks me out.”
Peter blinked again, making sure that the lenses of his mask exaggerated the movement. Tony shuddered and Peter snickered.
“Ugh, get out of here and take your creepy eyes with you. Remember, stay away from Deadpool!”
Peter laughed as he stood up and stretched.
“Yeah, ok Tony. Will do. Catch ya later.”
Peter leapt from the window he’d entered from with a shout. He had more crime fighting to do.
As the afternoon wore into the night, Peter found himself thinking about Deadpool. He felt oddly drawn to the other man, and he hadn’t even met him. Like there was a pull in his stomach.
As Peter went on his rounds, stopping criminals and helping people along, his mind kept wandering. The file Tony had let him read hadn’t said much about the merc other than his occupation and past. Not what he looked like, not what he talked like. Peter was so curious . As the night went on, he found himself looking for anything extraordinary. Like a mercenary. He didn’t have much luck.
Peter stopped two attempted robberies, a would be rapist, and an arsonist, before he swung to the top of an apartment building and sat on the ledge. It had been a good day of fighting criminals.
His spidey sense alerted him of the approaching person before he heard them, which was extremely unusual. Peter tipped his head to the side and prepared to speak, but the stranger beat him to it.
“Holy Gods, look at the ass on you!”
Peter stood up and turned around to stare.
“Dude, what the fuck?”
They stared at each other before what they’d said seemed to click into place.
“Omg, this is the best day of my entire life. Spider-Man is my soulmate.”
“Who the hell starts a conversation like that?”
Deadpool was practically vibrating.
“I do! And it’s finally gotten me something besides a punch in the balls!”
The merc took three bounding strides forward and slapped his hands down on Peter’s shoulders.
“This is really amazing, you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to meet you. Spider-Man, and my soulmate. My entire shitty existence has just been compensated for.”
Peter lifted his hand to place it on Deadpool’s wrist.
“Well, it’s uh, it’s nice to meet you too?”
He stuck his hand out to shake.
Deadpool’s grin was visible through his mask.
The gravity of the situation finally hit Peter. He smiled, then laughed.
“Wow, I always thought this would have been the most awkward situation of my life. You know, Tony Stark was just telling me to stay away from you earlier today.”
Wade seemed to deflate for a second before he perked up again.
“Well Iron Ass can’t tell you that anymore, eh, soulmate !”
“You’re right, soulmate. ”
They both burst into a fit of giggles.
“It’s great to finally meet you, Peter. I held out knowing that you were out here somewhere.”
The pull in Peter’s stomach had unknowingly led him straight to his other half. He finally felt like the piece of him that had been missing was with him again. And it would be, for the rest of his life.