Wade leaned his head back against the stone wall of the apartment building, shutting his eyes against the dim light of the setting sun. He stared at those trashcans across the ally, mind snapping back to the times he used them as shelter against the cold hate of the outside world. He was 17, now. He didn't need to hide anymore. He knew how to fight. He let out a sigh, bored to death.
Wade stood up, pulling his red hoodie over his head, shoving his hands in his jean pockets as he turned onto the sidewalk. He glanced at the watch he stole a few weeks ago. It was around four-thirty. Cool. Sidewalks will be nice and busy. No one will notice him. He carefully pushed through the crowds, avoiding the busy folk trying to head home or wherever the hell they needed to be; he didn't care. He turned a quick corner and onto a less busy street, hoping to get away from all the people when a sudden shorter body plowed into him, knocking them both down. And of course, Wilson had to go and scrape his palm against the stupid cement floor.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" the other kid exclaimed. Wade sat up, shoving the kid off of him, keeping his head low.
"It's fine, it's fine," he muttered, standing up and dusting himself off. The kid jumped up, gasping.
"No its not, you're bleeding, of jeez I'm so stupid- I could get some Band Aids from my backpack; my aunt always made me take them to school."
Wade frowned, peering up from under his hood. This kid looked familiar. Strangely familiar. He had short brown hair and worried brown eyes as he shuffled through his backpack for the stupid Band Aids. Wade lifted his hand, studying the cut. Honestly, he didn't even feel it. He's been hurt far worse in the past.
"Hey," he said, blinking down at him. "It's really okay. I don't need a dumb ol' Band Aid."
The kid glanced up, staring directly at him. Wade, instinctively ducked so that the hood shrouded his face, afraid of the kid's reaction. The boy suddenly paused, studying him quizzically.
"Do I know you?" he asked quietly.
"No," Wade answered too quickly. "No one knows me. Just don't bother, okay?" He turned sharply into an alleyway, hoping to escape through there, but the kid followed after him.
"Wait, come back, I-"
"Just, stop, okay? You don't want to know me!"
The boy grabbed his wrist, jerking him back hard enough that his hood was flapped off. Wilson grew rigid. The kid knew his name. How did he even know him? Oh shit, his hood
Wade reached with his free hand to grab his hood when the kid snatched that one, too. Wade stared at him suspiciously, but didn't try to pull free.
"How do you know me?" he asked cautiously. The boy's excited smile grew sad. That smile. That sad, sad, smile
"You mean you don't remember me?" he murmured. Wade stared at him, eyes wide and mouth slightly parted.
Peter?" he asked tentatively. Peter beamed.
"Wade, you remember!" Wilson shook his head, stepping out of Peter's hold.
"But why do you remember me? Just some stupid, ugly, homeless kid you bumped into one stupid night that had to have been ten years ago. Peter, why did you even remember me?"
Peter smiled again. Damn that stupid smile. "But you remembered me."
Wade froze. Should he just trust this kid? But all his life he learned specifically not to trust people. Not his parents, not strangers, not anyone. So why Peter?
"It's that damn smile, isn't it?" he murmured, more to himself, but Peter heard him loud and clear. He grinned.
"I'd like to think so," he chuckled. "Come on," he chirped, jumping forward and grasping his hand. "I'll go buy you something to eat. You look like you could use some pizza."
Wade let Peter tug him along and out of that dark and musty alleyway. He let Peter lead him through the crowd with his hood still down. He let people stare at him, and he let people glare and gasp and try not to look because all Wade had to do was look at Peter. All he had to do was glance at the boy, and see how he merely strode along, not giving one single fuck to the people who judged. And that made Wade happy. It made his heart lift even further than it had that night he had met Peter all those years ago. And he didn't mind. He liked it. Maybe even loved it. He didn't mind having this cancerous disease scarring his face, and having people see that and immediately judge. Because he had Peter, now. Peter suddenly glanced over his shoulder as they walked, eyes sparkling up at Wade as he grinned and whispered one word that made Wilson instantly grin.