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Protect me for I may not be able to do so myself

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It was a Friday evening in mid July. The sun had sunken quite a while ago, a slight breeze was trying and failing to cool the air. Piotr’s home, a little cottage in the outback, is one of the few signs that humans had settled in this place. Through a window, you could see him sitting on a couch in the living room, reading a novel which has probably been on the best seller’s list of some newspaper a few months ago.

Riiiiing.

The doorbell startled Piotr. Who could be at his door at this time? It couldn‘t be an emergency, they would have phoned him instead of driving all the way to his home. So he returned to his book and hoped the person would leave him be.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.

Piotr’s hands clenched around his book while he took a deep breath to calm himself before he put his book to the side and walked to the door.

„Who-“, he was going to say but a loud „Hey, buddy! Mind if I come in?“ interrupted him, while Wade Wilson (who else would decide to visit him at these hours?) pushed himself past the bigger one.

„Whoo, thought I would never find your home, especially not after my phone shut down. Oh, by the way,“ he turned back to Piotr and held up what might have been a six-pack of beer, but two bottles were missing, „I brought you something, y’know, to lift the mood.“ His face turned to the beer. „Though I might have drunk some of it on the way.. Anyway, do you have a TV here? I don’t suppose you’re the type of person who owns one, but I think I should ask anyway since-“

„Wade, why are you here?“ the older one asked. How can someone talk that much?

„Oh, you know, it’s a Friday evening. The best time to watch sports and drink some beer with your pal – don’t you think? You know, bros being bros..“ A nervous laughter escaped him while he looked around.

„I do not watch sports.“

„Good, me neither! We can watch a film! What films do you have?“ He went to the living room with Piotr following him reluctantly after the beer was shoved into his arms. By the time he entered the room, Wade was already rifling through his DVD collection. „Ooh, The Ten Year Plan! I haven’t watched that one for ages! I didn’t know you were someone who likes tear jerkers, eh?“ The smaller one didn’t wait for an answer and was already setting up the DVD player. Piotr was standing at the doorway, not knowing what to do.

„Come on! Sit.“

Wade headed to the couch and gestured the older one to follow him. Piotr put the beer bottles on the coffee table and sat himself on the very left of the couch, trying not to be in Wade’s personal space. Does this man even understand the notion? The smaller one pulled a bottle open out on his key ring, opened two bottles and handed one to Piotr.

The film barely started and Wade had already managed to sit right next to the older one. They spent the movie mostly in silence. When it ended, Wade was lying on the couch with his head on Piotr’s lap, another two beers finished. Neither attempted standing to turn the TV off. After a while, Wade turned up to look at Piotr.

„Why did you protect me?“

„Huh?“

„Last month, when those people attacked us while we visited that other mutant so that you could convince her to join your hero thingy. They were shooting at us and you threw yourself on me to save me from the bullets. Why?“

The question startled Piotr. Wasn't the answer obvious?

„We are friends. Friends... protect each other.“

The younger one sat up and looked him in the eyes. For a few seconds, they just stared, brown eyes meeting brown. Even in his human form, Piotr had some silver sparks around his pupils.

„I love you,“ Wade murmured suddenly and laid a hand on the others cheek, trying to pull him closer in what presumably might have ended in a kiss, if Piotr hadn’t pulled away harshly.

„You.. What?“

„Don’t pretend you didn't hear me the first time. Now come here..“ He tried again to pull him close, but Piotr jerked away from him and stood from the couch, panicking because of the sudden change of mood - or was it sudden?

„Wade, you’re drunk. You should go to bed.“

„Are you rejecting me?“

„Wade, you’re a nice person, but we are just friends. Nothing more.“

„Wait, this isn’t how it should go! You should have kissed me back and we should have made out on this couch! It’s what the readers were expecting!“

The thought of making out with Wade made Piotr shiver in an unpleasant way.

„I am sorry, Wade, but I am not interested in a romantic or... sexual relationship with you.“

Wade hid his face in his hands, realisation kicking in. „Oh, man, I mean shit, this really isn’t the way I expected it to go. I should be embarrassed now, right? I think I might am.. shit.“

Piotr left the room and returned with a blanket and a pillow.

„You should sleep. We will talk tomorrow.“

He shoved those into Wade’s arms in a less gentle way than he intended to and turned to pick up the bottles and turn the TV off. He stopped at the door to the hallway, feeling as if he should say something.

„Good night, Wade... I am sorry.“

Wade didn’t react; whether he was already asleep or just pretending to was uncertain. Piotr turned the lights off and went to the kitchen to dispose the empty bottles, stashing the rest in the fridge. Then he went to his bedroom to get some sleep too. But sleep didn't come to either of them for many hours, each too embarrassed and worrying how this would effect their friendship.