Set a bit before X-Men 25 and Wolverine 75 and considerably before the Maximum Clonage storyline in Spiderman, since I didn't even attempt to follow it. So my Webslinger is Peter Parker.


"Dat's real good, Wolverine; you didn't kill him."

Wolverine snarled at the Danger Room door and Scott Summers' back. "Don't give me any ideas."

Gambit picked up a towel from one corner of the deactivated room and started wiping sweat off his face and shoulders. "Why not? If you kill him, means Gambit don' have to. Save me lots of trouble."

Wolverine was unamused, but he relaxed, letting his claws snick back into his hands. "One o' these days, our 'Fearless Leader' is gonna go too far," he said, stripping off the upper part of his uniform and grabbing a towel for himself.

"You just mad 'cause he givin' orders like he ain't gonna get another chance." Gambit sauntered towards the door and the showers. "Next t'ing you know, he gonna ground us 'til our scores go up."

"Now that, I'd like t' see," Wolverine smiled dangerously, letting a single claw snick back out. It sliced through the towel like a razor through tissue. "Could be real entertainin'."

"He ever tries dat, Gambit'll help you." The door to the Danger Room opened at a touch. "Come on, Wolverine, I feel like breakin' curfew t'night."

"What'd ya have in mind?"

"Trouble. Got any problems wit' dat?"

"Not a one." Wolverine threw the towel over his shoulder, letting it fall in two pieces to the floor. "Lead the way, Cajun."

One good thing about New York City -- if you're looking for trouble, it's easy to find. Actually, it's usually pretty easy to find even if you're avoiding it like the plague. Which was why Spiderman found himself, in the three hours before midnight, breaking up four muggings, three burglaries, two bank robberies--

"And a partridge in a pear tree..." he sang to himself as he swung from skyscraper to skyscraper, a hundred feet above the city streets. "And it's not even Christmas. Man, nights like this I really *hate* New York City. One of these days, M.J. and I are going to move to a nice peaceful suburb, like Westchester or something."

He took a left and started the cruise through Brooklyn, switching from skyscrapers to apartment buildings. "At least things are finally quieting down," he decided with relief. "Maybe all of the criminals had to be home by curfew tonight."

Even as he spoke, he heard glass shatter, and the unmistakable sounds of a major brawl. "Oh, great," he groaned, already changing direction. "A bar fight. Just what I needed to top off the night. What am I going to get next, a cat up a tree?"

He grumbled his way south five blocks, until he stumbled onto the seething mass of humanity that was always attracted to car accidents, house fires, Republican conventions and other disaster areas. "This must be the place," he concluded, as the crowd parted to let a body crash to the ground. "Definitely the place. Let's see, to interfere or not to interfere....?" he debated. He was mostly tempted just to let them battle it out; it looked as if the bystanders were staying out of the way, and the participants probably deserved the bruises.

Then the crowd parted again for another body and he got a closer look. "That's... twenty against two? I don't think I like those odds. Maybe your friendly neighborhood Spiderman ought to take an interest..." The sound of a muffled explosion boomed through the air, forcing the crowd back several feet. They revealed a small crater, with two men standing in it. One was tall, with reddish brown hair and waving around a pack of cards that appeared to be glowing. The other was short, muscular and had claws.

"On second thought," Spidey reconsidered, "Maybe the odds are worse than I thought -- in the other direction!"

"Put the cards away, Gumbo, that's no way t' have a bar fight," he heard Wolverine growl over his shoulder at Gambit.

"Aw, you take all de fun out of it, mon ami," Gambit grinned back, but the cards disappeared. "If you insist, we finish dese jokers off de old-fashioned way." He sent a challenging, slightly manic smile at the crowd. "Who want to come into de ring next?"

There were three takers; Spiderman winced and covered his eyes, trying to follow the fight through sound alone. "There goes another window; sounded like a head. That was a claw, but just a flesh wound; Wolvie's being nice to them. Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark -- on the lamppost. Uppercut to the jaw -- jeez, Gambit, don't you know better than to hit them with your fist? You'll hurt something."

Reluctantly, he decided someone should break this up. He opened his eyes -- enjoying the fact that he had correctly predicted the landing places of the three idiots -- and swung in a little closer as the crowd decided to go for safety in numbers and converged on the two X- Men, who responded accordingly.

"How you two doing?" he called over the noise of the fight.

"We doin' just fine," Gambit shouted back, slamming a left hook into someone's face. "But Gambit a little worried 'bout dese fools!"

"Oh really?" Spidey swung his webbing high enough to avoid a hurtling body. "Why's that? Besides the obvious, of course."

Gambit started to answer, then had to duck a punch as three men converged on him.

"You gonna help or watch?" Wolverine asked. He was moving so quickly and so smoothly no one had even touched him yet, and seemed to be enjoying himself enormously.

"It doesn't look like you *need* the help," Spidey shrugged, dangling upside down from the bottom of his webbing; it lent the brawl an interesting perspective. It also made it easy to shoot out a line that tripped one of Gambit's opponents. The other two dropped a moment later.

"Anyone else?" Spidey asked, looking around. Gambit and Wolverine stood in the center of a circle of bodies, breathing slightly heavily and looking quite prepared to start all over again. One by one, the people in the crowd raised their hands and, wisely, backed off.

"Don' look like dey want t' play anymore," Gambit grinned.

"Rats," Wolverine said. "Looks like we're gonna have t' go find some more punching bags."

"Aw, come on, you two," Spidey groaned. "If you tear down the city, Jonah's going to find a way to blame it on me. Have some sympathy." He let go of the webbing, somersaulting to land on his feet. "Who licked the red off your candy, anyway?"

"Someone made a crack 'bout Wolverine's hair," Gambit explained casually. "Couldn't let dat pass, now could we?"

Spiderman started to make a wisecrack, then considered the pile of moaning, groaning bodies, weighed past experience with the two men who were still standing, and wisely decided against it. "Right." He sighed and shook his head. "How about instead of beating up on more people, who probably *really* deserve it, you let me buy you two a beer?"

They considered the offer. "Where do you keep money in dat uniform?" Gambit asked.

"Trade secret. Well?"

Wolverine pulled out a cigar and lit it, blowing smoke out into the air. "You're on, Webhead. Where to?"

The shrill sound of sirens suddenly started to cut through the air. "Anywhere but here," Spidey answered. "Follow me." He took to the buildings, not doubting Wolverine and Gambit's ability to keep track of him. He probably couldn't lose them if he tried....

And he was tempted. Sort of.

"...So the nun tells him, 'Ten bucks, same as in town.'"

Gambit and Spidey cracked up as Wolverine delivered the punch line in an absolute deadpan. Of course, it probably wouldn't have been quite so funny if it hadn't followed quite so many beers. Wolverine blew out a cloud of smoke, grinning toothily, and with annoying sobriety, at them, as he relaxed back against the wall that surrounded Xavier's.

A shadow suddenly fell over them, silhouetted against the pre-dawn light. Scott Summers took in the sight of the three men, two in ripped, bloody civvies and one in red and blue longjohns, sprawled on the grass in front of the gates. He opened his mouth, and all three of them could *see* the lecture on leadership and responsibility forming in his brain.

Wolverine decided to head him off before he could say anything, reaching for a bottle and tossing it to Scott. "Pull up some grass, Summers."

Scott caught the bottle and looked at it, then back down at them. Then, amazingly, he sighed, sitting on the ground and gulping half the contents in one swallow. "I give up. You *could* make a case that it's still night. Maybe."

"You means it's not?" Spidey blinked up at him, his head suddenly clearing to a painful degree as he noticed how bright the eastern sky was getting. "Uh-oh, my wife's going to have my head!" He shot out a web line and swung up into the trees. "Catch you later!"

He was out of sight in a moment. Scott looked meditatively after him. "Do I want to know?"

"No," Wolverine and Gambit told him simultaneously.

"That's what I thought." He took another drink of beer. "Just checking."

A long moment passed. "Spiderman's got a wife?"



I wrote this one as a bet with myself, after someone requested a story starring these three. I hadn't written Spiderman before, and had certainly never written to request, but I think it turned out pretty well -- certainly entertaining! And writing Spidey turns out to be much like writing Deadpool, without the homicidal edge. I'd love to lock those two up a room sometime and see who talks the other to death first....