So Wrong, It's Right.
Sequel: What's Wrong is Right
Warning: dark!Peter Parker x reader, DUB-CON, manipulation, age gap, drinking
PLEASE READ MY WARNING BEFORE CONTINUING. I am not responsible for your media consumption. Any and all negativity will be blocked.
Word Count: 5.4k
Summary: You're an old troubled friend of May's. Your life consists of being a workaholic, a party animal, and bringing home the shittest of guys for a one-hit-wonder. Just when you get your life in order, you're knocked right back into your old habits. Peter has watched you suffer long enough. He can make it all better.
Your life was far from where you thought you would be. It was sad to say, but you were anything but a role model. Yet May still tolerated you, regardless of Peter. Maybe she used you as an example to show Peter what not to be or maybe she was just too good of a friend to leave you on your own. To say the least, your life was a mess but you could not be more grateful to have a friend like May.
"Peter, go get me a wet rag, please," May spoke quietly. Peter left your side once he helped May get you over to the couch. You were beyond the limits that someone should be drunk.
You were in a fit of hiccups, giggling to yourself as May bent down to take off your heels. You had far too many drinks, that much was clear.
"Maaay, you.." you hiccupped, "are suuuch a good.." you hiccupped again, "friend."
May shook her head with a sigh, taking in the drunken sight of you. She was not sure how you managed to let yourself get this far gone, but every time you would drink, this is how you ended up. Either you had zero limits or you loved to push the limits you did have.
"Pet-" May started to call over her shoulder, but Peter was already hurrying in the room with his hands full.
"I'm here, Aunt May." Peter reminded and she watched as Peter sat the trash can nearby the couch. He then placed the bottle of water on the table with some medicine for the headache he knew would come with your awake in the morning. He kneeled down beside you on the couch, pressing the rag to your forehead.
May only smiled to herself as she pulled the blanket from its spot on the back of the couch and pulled it over your figure. She didn't say anymore. Peter had seen his Aunt May take care of you many nights when you were so shit-faced it was a wonder you could still see faces.
Your head was propped up against a pillow on the couch as Peter wiped your forehead with the cool rag. Your skin was burning up. Peter could not help but wonder how you let yourself get like this. You were quite a few years younger than May, but it amazed him how different the two of you were to be the best of friends.
You were fast asleep in no time, making Peter smile as his eyes gazed over your face. He had always thought you were so beautiful. Too precious to be taken advantage of by the guys you went after. He witnessed many nights when you had told Aunt May about a new guy you had hooked up with. Everyone knew it was nothing more than a one-night stand, but Peter could not help but hate any guys that touched you only for only their benefit.
It was not until you had eventually settled down with a guy you had met from one of your nightstands that you finally stopped ending up on May's couch. You had moved on with your life, still keeping in contact with May every now and then. You were happy. Not just the sex but he was truly seemed like a guy you could see yourself spending forever with.
You had stopped drinking. You had stopped going out to parties. After the first year, you had moved into the city and got an apartment together. Another year later, you guys were engaged and everything seemed to fall into place. After 3 years, the wedding was right around the corner.
Your world moved at a quicker pace now considering all the things you needed to get done before the wedding. In between work and house chores, you were planning for your big day.
As time went by, you were so wrapped up in your own little world you did not notice the slow-burning flame in your partner slowly being put out. While your plans had been coming together, your relationship was falling apart. You had for the most part ignored all the signs and assumed he was having a bad day. It amazed you how many he was having. When you would try to talk to him, it seemed useless since you could never get him to talk about it. In reality, it all brewed into something bigger. It all hit you like a ton of bricks.
You had been working later hours than usual for extra money. It wasn't cheap, but you had told yourself it was okay to want the things you wanted. After all, this was going to be your first and hopefully wedding. You wanted everything to be perfect. You even tried to get opinions from your fiance to include his vision of it, but he insisted you were better at this sort of thing. You couldn't argue with that.
You wrapped up your work at the office fairly early so you decided to call it a night and surprise your fiance. You felt like everything was on track. One night worry-free was much needed. You had earned it.
You pushed up the front door to your apartment before walking through the living room into the kitchen. You sit your keys on the counter, placing your bag on the stool by the counter. You peered around the apartment for a moment. All the lights were off and it was quiet. Had he already gone to bed? You checked the time.
You were surprised you did not hear his game or at least him yelling at it. You started down the hallway to the bedroom you shared, staring at the closed door. Why was it closed when it was just him? You shook the thought a little too soon. Maybe if you had just thought a little longer, you would have prepared yourself for what was on the other side.
You pushed the door open just a little to see inside when you heard a faint moan from the other side. Your heart stopped. You stood in shock taking in the sight of the man you were in love with hovered over another girl in your bed under your covers. Your face was hot in embarrassment, anger. You were feeling so many things right now you could not think straight. You were hurt.
"Are you serious??" You blurted out, causing them both to jump to try and cover themselves.
"You're sick, Chris." She shoved his chest, pushing him off of her as she quickly got out of the bed. "He told me you guys were no longer together."
She scowled as she hurried to gather her clothes off the floor and pulling them on. If it were even possible, your eyes could have burned holes through the girl. You were in disbelief. Your jaw would have already been on the floor if it wasn't connected to your face.
"I'm so sorry." She mumbled, embarrassed as she hurried past you out of your apartment.
You were left to deal with Chris. You starred at him with tears kissing your eyes.
You took a deep breath, shaking your head. "Don't."
"I can explain." He started to get out of the bed to dress.
"There's nothing to explain, Chris." You stared at him, trying to restrain yourself from coming across the room and punching him in the face for acting like an explanation could even justify his actions.
"She meant nothing to me." He started to walk over to you.
“You told her we weren’t together. How is that nothing?”
“It felt like we weren’t. You were so busy.” He tried to touch your arm but you shoved his hand away.
"Don't you dare think about touching me when you were just touching another woman." You looked at him with dark eyes, struggling to fight back the cry. He wasn't worth your tears. "I want you to get out."
"Get out?! Where am I gonna go?"
"I don't know." You shrugged your shoulders. "Maybe you could have thought that through."
He frowned, running his fingers through his hair frustrated. "It doesn't have to be like this. Can't we just talk this out?"
"No!" You shouted at him, making his eyes grow wide. You could tell he wasn't telling this as seriously as you. "I don't want to look at you right now." You turn to leave the room, but he grabs your arms to turn you to face him.
"Please. Look, I can- I can stay on the couch tonight. I'll give you your space and when you're ready we can talk about it. I was wrong for that. I fucked up and I'm sorry." You yanked yourself from his hold.
"You can give me space by leaving. Pack yourself a bag and go."
"I love you, Y/n. I never meant to hurt you."
You shook your head as your eyes wandered over the bed to where they once were before meeting his eyes. "You mean you never meant to get caught."
He sighed before hanging his head in defeat and walking by you to gather up some of his things. You didn't move from your spot. Only stared at the mess of a bed. The place you made love to him while he made love to another. You listened to the front door close behind him on his way out before you finally covered your face, letting the tears fall.
For days, weeks, all you could seem to do was feel sorry for yourself. You couldn't find the strength to get out of bed. No matter how many calls you received, you let them ring through to voicemail. Everything you had felt for him was in ruins. You changed for him. You let yourself grow for him and even that wasn't enough. After all the time you spent picking up after him, cooking, cleaning, planning, staying loyal for crying out loud. You didn't know what else he could of you.
You had called off the wedding in the time you stayed closed up in your apartment. Even took some time off of work to handle it all. You took that time to gather every piece of him scattered around the apartment and packed it up. You wanted to end this as painless as possible aside from the pain you were already feeling. You had thrown away the sheets and replaced them, even get a new comforter and it still didn't feel the same anymore to lay in your bed. You stared at your phone beside you as it lit up for what felt like the hundredth time. You finally sighed, lifting the phone. You knew without even looking at the name it was from him.
You canceled the wedding? It doesn't have to be like this. I still love you, Y/n. You were so busy with work and all the planning. You abandon me. Whenever I wanted your attention, you were always too tired to pay any attention to me.
It's like the girl I fell in love with was gone. Some time ago, you couldn’t keep your hands off of me now it’s like I have to beg you to touch me.
You're being selfish.
You can't be THAT mad, Y/n. I’m a man. I have needs. You were busy and she was willing to help. We can fix this. Don’t give up 3 years. Don’t give up on me.
There were loads more, but you could not care to bother reading the rest. You tossed your phone back down on the bed, rubbing your hands over your face. You didn't owe him anything, not even a response. The girl he was talking about was not gone. She was only on hold to plan a wedding by herself and it was more stressful than he knew. You wanted to forget everything that had happened. You wanted to forget you wasted 3 years of your life planning on growing old with this man.
You weren't sure how you had got this far and with that being said, May wasn't either. You had talked May into joining you to a night out at a club. She needed a night to herself and you needed a break from everything. Along with that, if you had stayed inside that house a moment longer, you might have gone insane.
"You're going to be hammered if you keep on like that." May reminded with a laugh, both of you clinging onto the bar and each other for the extra support. You thanked the bartender as he pushed your last round of shot glasses in front of the two of you.
You smiled, passing a glass to May before keeping one for yourself.
"We can only hope." You winked at the bartender who only chuckled before clinking your shot glass with hers and downing your shot.
Your throat was already numb from all the alcohol you had already numbed it with. May wasn't far behind you. You took your final shot, grinning and pulling May along with you to the dancefloor to get lost in the sea of people. You threw your arms around May's, moving your hips as you both danced to the music.
This was the therapy you needed. Sometimes you had longed for nights like this. You had freedom. You had no worries, aside from worrying who you might wake up beside. But you had fallen in love and even though you had grown up, you had not nearly grown out of this lifestyle. It was all too familiar.
"Hey! I'm going to the bathroom! I'll be back!" May moved closer to you, raising her voice to be heard over the loud music. You nodded, watching her pushing her way through the crowd of people to get to the ladies' bathroom before easing yourself back into your dancing.
You swayed, grinding your hips with the rest of the crowd. You weren't the slightest bit bothered to be dancing by yourself. You used to lose yourself on the dancefloor for hours days after days years ago.
"I've missed this." You heard a familiar voice speak from behind you, startling you when their hands landed on your hips with your sway. They pulled you back against them, catching you off guard. "I've missed you." He mumbled in your ear, sending chills down your spine.
You peaked over your shoulder to make sure your mind was not playing tricks on you. It wasn't. You prayed it was an old one-night stand, but of course, it was the one person you were trying to get away from.
"It doesn't work like that, Chris." You dropped your hands down to his on your hips, trying to push them off your hips but they only hold you tighter. "Get- get off of me." You gritted through your teeth as your eyes glared at him. "Get off!" You raised your voice.
"Now, now, let's not cause a scene. You've had quite a bit to drink haven't you?" He wrapped your arms around your figure, making your blood run cold as his body pressed to yours.
"That's none of your business."
"I'm your fiance. You are my business."
"Ex." You corrected him. His nose flared slightly.
"You really want to go there? You're nothing without me. You're shit-faced in the middle of the club and you can't even accept my help?" He growled and you pushed on his arms.
"I don't need your help."
"You're drunk. You don't know what you need." He spat.
The sound of someone clearing their throat interrupted your argument. "I think I've got it from here." You looked up to put a face to the voice, your eyes widening slightly.
"And you are?" Chris didn't budge while staring down Peter as if challenging him.
Peter was reaching his hand out for yours. "Her boyfriend." You stared up at Peter in shock at how much he had changed over the years and he smiled reassuringly.
Chris stiffed slightly and you could feel his eyes burning a hole into you. "Is that true?"
You didn't take your eyes off of Peter, taking a hold of his hand and letting him pull you out of Chris's arms. "Yes." Your voice was hushed.
Chris scowled. "Wow. I wish you luck there, man. She's a real catch." He laughed, making you look down. You couldn't believe he was really trying to ruin your night when he had already ruined everything else.
Peter only snaked his arm around your waist, letting his hand settle on your hip while his eyes never left Chris's. "She certainly is." He agreed. He gave your body a warm squeeze, grabbing you closer into his embrace. "Now, if you'll excuse us."
With that, he guided you through the crowd off of the dance floor.
"You okay?" He finally broke the silence once he got you back to the bar, sitting you down on one of the stools.
You nodded, letting your eyes wander up to him as he motioned the bartender over. "I'm just curious as to why you're here right now. Aren't you supposed to be in college?"
He smiled as he pulled out his wallet to pay your tab and you grabbed his hand, shaking your head. "No, no. I can pay for my own."
"What if I insist?"
"I don't have to, honestly. I have money."
You started to reach into your purse for some cash but Peter covered your hand, giving you another reassuring smile.
"You'll have plenty of other times to pay. I'll get it this time." He reminded you and you sighed in defeat, giving him a playful scowl. He only grinned, proceeding to pull some cash from his wallet to give to the bartender.
"You didn't answer my question." You continued as he turned back to you.
"I'm still college. I just sometimes stay with Aunt May on the weekends."
"And you just so happened to be here?"
Peter chuckled, pointing in May's direction as she stumbled over her feet returning back to the two of us. "Aunt May called."
You raised your eyebrow, looking over at May as she stood beside you now. "You called Peter?"
"Someone has to get you back home." She reminded you and you hit her arm slightly, tilting your head.
"May, I could have got a taxi or an uber. You didn't have to call him for me." You scowled at her and she shook her head in a tsking manner.
"No, no, no. I called Peter so I can rest assured you got home safely and not by some random stranger."
You rolled your eyes slightly and Peter butted in with an awkward chuckle. "I really don't mind. I don't consider this anything out of the way. I'd rather it be me than some stranger or someone." He noticed him giving the floor a swift scan around the three of you.
"Fine." You pouted your bottom lip slightly before rising from your seat at the bar. "You guys make me feel irresponsible or something." You grabbed a hold of May's arm and pulling her with you to the exit of the club while Peter followed behind the two of you.
"Are you coming with?" You muttered over to May and she shook her head.
"Happy is here." Just as the words left her mouth when you started out the door, you spotted Happy parked in front of the building to pick up May. "Peter isn't too bad of a driver." You stopped in front of Happy's car.
"Oh goody, rest secured." You muttered and she laughed. Your arms looped around May's neck, hugging her tight. "I'm so glad to have you back. Message me when you get home." You told her and Happy a quick goodnight before letting her go.
Peter led you over to his car, unlocking the car and opening the passenger side for you. You settled comfortably in the front seat, leaning your head back against the headrest. You didn't like how it felt as if you couldn't take care of yourself, but you were in no position to complain when Peter Parker had yet again saved the day.
Peter glanced over at you in the passenger seat from time to time as he drove the distance to your apartment. He tried to keep the glances quick to keep you from noticing. You were just as beautiful as he remembered. It had been years since he had actually seen you, but you seemed like the Y/n he still remembered. Not that it was anything bad. He adored you then, and now a bit more.
He had always had the hots for you for as long as you remembered. Of course, you never minded when you ended up staying with him and Aunt May. You were always kind to Peter and he did his best to nurse you back to health to take on the hangover that awaited you the next morning.
He had never forgotten what you said to him one day while you were sick from the night before. You had been clinging onto the toilet and he had taken the opportunity to hold your hair back out of your face to keep from getting anything in it.
You sighed as he rubbed your back in soothing circles. You leaned against the toilet miserably. That was the day you learned to stay away from tequila.
"I hope I meet a guy even half as amazing as you someday, Peter."
No doubt did the compliment hide its way to his cheeks. He blushed a deep shade of red. He tried to restrain himself from making a big deal but it was a big deal to him. Though he knew he didn't stand a chance right now with his age, it meant if he had been of age, he took a chance. He thought about it even when you had stopped coming around so much. He knew this was all a coping method for you. You were hurting then and he could tell by the way you seemed toward the guy back there that there was more to that counter.
He noticed your shiver as you stared out the window. You mentally cursed yourself for wearing something this revealing. You rubbed your arms to try to warm yourself a little. Peter reached behind him in the back seat to retrieve a hoodie of his he always forgot in the car and handing it to you.
"Here." He offered before fumbling with the heat in the car. He smiled at your quiet thank you, putting your arms in the hoodie and pulling it close for warmth with putting it all the way on. He tried to control the big grin threatening to break across his face.
"I'm sorry you had to keep seeing me like this." You looked over at Peter as he kept his eyes on the road. He didn't realize how thankful you were for him in times like this. It was embarrassing how many times this had happened but you were still thankful Peter didn't think any less of you.
"You really don’t have to apologize.” He smiled at her before turning his attention back to the road.
“I really do though. I feel like you’ve taken care of me enough. I’m grown, you know? It should be the other way around.” You giggled and Peter glanced over at you.
“I’m 21.” He reminded you.
“And I’m pushing 30.”
“You’re 28. You’re still young.” He chuckled.
“Almost 29!” You huffed as he pulled into the parking lot to your apartment. “My point is- you know what my point is.”
He couldn’t help but laugh at your frustration. Your age didn’t matter to him. He could always settle for his MJ, his best friend, but seeing you tonight relit the flame to his crush for you. There was just something about you.
He parked the car in the parking lot, walking around to your side to open the door for you. You slid your arms out of his hoodie and leaving it in the seat as he helped you out of the car. You could feel the shots hitting you all at once when you stood. You stumbled out in your heels, grabbing onto Peter’s arms for support.
“Easy now.” He held onto your waist as he guided you to your apartment, asking for your keys. He took your keys when you dug them out of your pocket, letting you in your apartment.
You couldn’t help but notice all the little things he did for you. You kicked off your heels at the door, stumbling over your own two feet again as you wandered down the hallway to your bedroom. You could hear Peter in the kitchen getting you a bottle of water from the fridge along with some medicine from the medicine cabinet.
You sat on the bed when you hear his footsteps coming down the hallway toward the bedroom. You looked up at him, pouting your bottom lip out slightly when you saw him with a bottle of water and medicine for the headache to come.
He set them down on your nightstand, noticing your pout. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
“Peter, you’re seriously too good to me.” You sighed.
“How’s that?” He looked down at you as he towered over you.
You motioned over to the stuff he had placed on your nightstand and frowning. “All of this. You- you really didn’t have to do this for me.”
“You’re right I don’t. But I want to. I would want it done for me if I ever in your shoes.”
You laughed slightly at the thought of Peter drunk and you smiled to yourself. “I would definitely be anytime you needed me.”
You thought back to all the time you had ever been drunk, remembering all the time you woke up to water and medicine from him. Only from him. Even a trash can in case you were to ever get sick, but you never got that with Chris. You always took care of him, but no one ever took care of you. You shook your head with a frown. You had tried so hard to hold it together, but it felt like you were slowly falling apart. He wasn't worth your tears, yet he was always the cause of them.
He kneeled down in front of you, tilting your head up to meet his gaze. “Talk to me. Everything okay?”
You couldn’t stop the words from coming out. “Why am I never enough?”
His eyes widened at your words. “You are more than enough and anyone who doesn’t see that, who doesn’t appreciate you and the things you do for them doesn’t deserve you.” He corrected you, his thumb stroked over your jaw as he held your face to keep your attention.
You didn't know what to say. All you could do was stare. Your eyes scanned over his face before stopping at his lips. Don't. Don't you do it. You mentally told yourself. You couldn't control the effect the alcohol had on your mind and your actions. You tried to fight back the urge but the alcohol only pushed down the buriers you had built.
Your lips smashed against his firmly, catching him by surprise. He was frozen about your lips for a first, in shock, this was actually happening but he surely gave in the kiss. Your hands grabbed at the back of his neck and pulling him onto the bed with you without breaking the hungry desperate kiss. His body hovered over yours as your fingers curled against his shirt, gripping on it. You knew it was wrong. It was so wrong, but you couldn't bring yourself to stop.
Your smaller hands slid underneath his shirt, brushing your hands over his defined abs. He was sculpted by a God. He knew he should stop, but he couldn't find it in him to stop. He didn't want to miss his chance to prove himself to you. He wanted to take care of you.
Your lips parted for air even though you left like you could hardly catch your breath when his lips started to kiss down your neck. Your hands tugged on his shirt until you started to pull it up and over your head.
His hands pushed your tight dress up the curves of your body, tossing it beside the bed once he peeled it from your body. Your lips still tingled from the loss of his and you whined quietly, your hand grasped the curls at the nape of his neck to bring his lips back to yours.
He kissed your lips passionately and letting your lips mold together. He could taste the alcohol on your tongue but it didn't bother him any. He had dreamed of this moment since he was a teen. Your fingers worked desperately to undo his jeans, feeling his bulge already through his pants before your hands pushed his pants off of his hips along with your boxers.
You were so desperate. You couldn't stop the whine that escaped against his lips. "Peter, please..." His cock twitched at the sound of his name falling from your lips.
He dragged your panties down your legs swiftly, placing himself back between them when he spread them open again. He peppered light kisses to your lips as he dragged the tip of precum-coated tip through your folds, not wasting any time to give you what you wanted.
You cried out as you clung to Peter's bareback, feeling his cock stretching you in all the ways you craved. You moaned out, letting him swallow them in a kiss as his hips rolled into yours again and again. He sighed in pleasure against your lips as your walls invited him in. You were even better than he could have imagined.
He couldn't believe this was actually happening. His lips covered your body in his kisses, admiring every part of your body as it sang for him. This was nothing like what you used to. He pressed small kisses against your bottom lip, nibbling on it as your core ached with a building climax. Your legs wrapped around his hips, causing you to gasp at the deeper strokes.
Your head fell back against the pillows, a loud moan drawing from your parted lips. Your fingers held onto Peter's hair as he hit that spot over and over, making your eyes roll slightly. You needed so badly for him to stop, but you couldn't bring the words to the surface.
"Oh my god..." Your core tightened with every deep thrust. His cock touched parts of you no guy had ever. You had never felt a climax so fast or so strong. "Please don't stop..." You couldn't fight the words from coming out. Your grip tightened on his dark hair, feeling yourself falling apart with an orgasm with every thrust.
"You're so pretty when you cum." He couldn't stop even if he wanted to. He was not far behind you by the way your walls sucked him in, milking him for all he was worth.
"Do it again. I want to make you cum again." He groaned against your chest as his tongue dragged over your hardened nipple, flicking his tongue against it teasingly before letting out a groan against your warm skin. He didn't want it to stop. He didn't want it to end. "You feel so good, Y/n..."
His hand reached between the two of you, rolling his fingers over your clit in circles. You gripped onto his wrist at the overpowering feeling. You were soaked to the core. This man made you crumble.
"I-I'm gonna cum.." His voice cracked slightly as your walls clenched around him tight In your second orgasm, pushing him over the edge into his first. His cum filled you full, marking you as he pressed delicate kisses across your neck while praising you in the process. "So beautiful, so perfect."
Your eyes were heavy with exhaustion, smiling to yourself when Peter laid down on the bed behind you. He wrapped an arm around your body, pulling you back against his chest.
It only took a matter of seconds for sleep to claim you as Peter pulled a blanket over the both of you tiredly. It was only a matter of time before the morning came to rain on your parade. Bringing along the guilt and regret that followed.
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IF YOU NEED ME -- Ch. 3: Words
SUMMARY: cindy says ‘i’m here and ready to party,’ y/n literally cannot catch a break, and we would all die for jessica drew don’t @ me
Word Count: 18.6k
Warnings: old faces, new faces, not as much swearing as usual, mentions of an IV if that’s an ‘oof’ for you
“There are words that can make you happy. And there’s words that can make you sad. And sometimes there’s words that can cause you confusion. And there’s a few words sometimes regret. Oh there’s three words that I long to hear. Especially if they’re true. If you mean it, let me hear you say it (I love you). Right now, right now (I love you). Yes, I do. (You know I do). There’s words that can just soothe all aches and pains. And there’s words that can make the teardrops fall like rain. And there’s a little words that could keep an army from goin’ to war. But these words oh I’ve never ever heard before.” - Solomon Burke
* * *
Peter truly had thought of everything when he opened the large closet to your new bedroom and pulled out a change of clothes. He handed you your leggings, your favorite white crop, and one of his large flannels before pushing your sneakers out from the back without a second thought.
Your look of serious confusion caused him to chuckle, "What?"
"When did you steal my leggings?"
"I was nervous you'd notice they were missing," he laughed, "I grabbed them the night before our anniversary. Figured we'd stay the night here and then in the morning we could go down to the park, but that's obviously not going to happen now."
"They aren't exactly work clothes," you mused, looking at some of your favorite lounging clothes in your arms.
Peter scoffed and rolled his eyes, "I don't think Tony is going to mind. Here," Peter handed you a towel that was hanging and kissed your forehead, "Let's just shower quickly and we can be on our way."
"But Cindy's waiting downstairs," you clutched your clothes to your chest, "It would be rude to make her wait."
"We smell like sex."
"You're right. She can wait," you said quickly before darting into the large bathroom.
Peter jogged to the door and called downstairs, "We're going to shower quickly and we'll be right down!"
"I'm eating this cake!" Cindy called back, to which Peter smirked.
"You have my shampoo," you cooed softly as Peter stripped quickly and followed you into the gorgeous rainfall shower. He laughed, noticing you standing there naked and pouting like a child holding your favorite shampoo.
"You're not going to believe this, peaches, but I do pay attention to every little detail of your life," Peter stepped under the water and let the water fall over his face, "Plus, I thought it would be nice to smell like you for a bit."
The shower was quick and felt nice and refreshing, and as you brushed your teeth Peter dried your hair as best he could before the two of you were scrambling back down the stairs where Cindy was waiting in the kitchen.
"I think the wig is stupid and ridiculous," Peter said, pulling her into a hug.
Cindy rolled her eyes but allowed Peter to twirl her around in a circle before he put her back down. You were doing your best to get the last of the knots out of your hair as you reached for your jean jacket, and that's when Cindy's eyes landed on you.
"It's really nice to finally meet you," Cindy walked over and offered her hand, "P's talked a lot about you."
"She's a busy woman," Peter noted, "Always running off to change someone's life."
You scoffed, "I was running off to class, which wasn't the most life-changing."
Cindy's hand was nice and warm, the same slightly warmer temperature that Peter's skin ran, and you felt your cheeks burn at the thought. She was taller than you and up close for the first time you noticed just how flawless she truly was.
Her eyes were a warm brown that caught the light as she smiled. "Well, regardless, it's nice to finally meet."
"It's really nice to meet you too, Cindy," you told her as warmly as you could, "It's an honor to meet you, honestly. I've also heard tons about you from everyone."
"Yeah she's a real saint," Peter snorted, pouring the champagne into the tumbler in his bag just as he said he was going to.
"You're not actually going to drink that at work, are you?" you asked, raising an accusatory eyebrow.
"No," Peter laughed, "I'm just going to slowly add it to Harley's thermos whenever he's not looking and see how drunk I can get him throughout the day."
"Genius," Cindy beamed as you gapped at him.
"You can't do that," you reminded him while Peter took your hand and the two of you headed to the door with Cindy in tow. "You're kidding ... right?"
"Of course I'm kidding, peaches," he laughed, "I mean, I'd really love to and maybe I would have at one point, but I know how to be professional."
"Sounds like you're being boring," Cindy mused, putting on her sunglasses.
"I think the pink hair actually looks nice," you told her, noticing how it caught in the light, "That wig is really real looking."
"Thanks, I swiped it from MJ," Cindy tossed some of it over her shoulder, "I never would have thought she and Harley would start dating."
"They bonded over their mutual hatred," Peter grumbled.
"Hatred for...?" Cindy asked.
"Peter," you smirked, watching as Peter grumbled under his breath.
It was a crisp fall day as the three of you walked back towards Stark Industries. Cindy whined about why you all couldn't just stop there so she could get into her lab and you mentioned that you'd be happy to help her do so, but Peter reminded you that he had to drop off the new papers for May first thing or else she'd be mad.
"You know how she gets about this stuff," Peter reminded you, "College is the one thing she's still paying for that she feels responsible for, so she takes it seriously and wants all new files and bills to her the second I get them."
"You're going to pay her back for college once you graduate, aren't you?" you said, gripping his arm as you crossed the street.
"It's already put aside," Peter nodded, "I'll just drop it into her account and she'll be none the wiser."
"You also thought she'd be none the wiser when we snuck out for Flash's pool party junior year," Cindy reminded him, "And how did that go?"
"I don't want to talk about it," Peter bit his lip.
"How did it go?" you asked, egging Cindy on.
"Well, first we thought we were in the clear, and then halfway through the party May showed up to the party herself and literally dragged Peter by the ear back towards the car. But not before she decided that pushing him into the pool would probably be a good punishment in front of all our classmates."
"Oh my God," you stifled your laughter as Peter's jaw set in an annoyed fashion, "And what did you do?" you asked her.
"I jumped in after him," Cindy sighed, "I felt bad for him."
As you rounded the corner to approach FEAST, you pulled your hand from Peter's. "I'll take Cindy to get some coffee while you talk to May," you told him.
"I'll meet you there," he told you before bending down to give you a kiss.
Last-minute without even thinking about it, you subconsciously ducked your head sideways so his lips met your cheek. Your eyes fluttered to Cindy's for a moment and you noticed her watching closely as you cleared your throat and stepped back from him, adjusting your jacket.
Peter looked a bit confused for a moment but he dropped it, giving the two of you a small wave before heading into FEAST.
"Right this way," you cleared your throat awkwardly before directing Cindy to next door.
You were about to open the door for her when she stopped, looking up at the awning. "Huh," she whispered, taking a step back to get a better look.
Your palms started to sweat and you felt your heart drop in your chest. With everything going on, you'd completely forgotten about Moonshine and the implications behind it.
"Shit. Right ... um -"
"Is that my handwriting?" Cindy asked, pointing up to 'Moonshine Café' in bold lettering over the shop.
"Okay please don't freak out," you held your hands up in defense, "So I started the charitable café at Stark Industries as my first project and I named it Stark Roast because, you know, Stark's name and stuff. But when he wanted to expand he didn't want another Stark Roast because he doesn't really like the name? And I already had the one roast named after your charitable organization at that café and Peter was missing you and so I thought that naming the place 'Moonshine' might be a funny sort of pun while also, you know, paying homage to you and so -"
"Whoa whoa you're talking so fast," Cindy cut you off, "You named a place after me?"
"There's a photo of you and all your friends inside," you admitted, "A-And I named a charitable organization after you at Stark Roast that puts money towards stopping animal testing because Peter said you liked animals and wanted to be a vet. So ... I ... am now realizing how creepy it all feels? But you were dead so ..."
Cindy looked insanely confused and you were frozen in your spot, unsure of what to say. You felt the need to explain yourself further, but you weren't sure just how much Cindy was ready to hear.
"I don't understand," she finally stated, "You don't even know me."
"But a lot of people did, and they missed you," you whispered, "And a lot of what charity is, is bringing warmth and a positive influence into people's lives. You were that for a lot of people before you were taken from them, so I wanted to do my part to remind everyone of ... you."
"Huh," Cindy muttered.
"And a bit of guilt," you admitted, feeling your voice waver as the gummy tears were starting to stick to your throat, "Since I'm dating Peter and you were dating Peter and he still missed you a lot."
"Oh," Cindy raised her eyebrows, "Well, that's stupid."
"No, no. Not like that," Cindy waved her hand out quickly before rubbing her temples, "Just that, well, like you said - I was dead. So why shouldn't Peter start looking for someone new."
"Ah," you cleared your throat while nodding slowly, "If it makes this whole situation better, he didn't start looking for someone new. For years, actually. And then when he started to feel something for me he actually pushed it away and didn't talk to me for a while, ruining our friendship. So ... it took him a very, very long time to get over you."
"I see," Cindy whispered.
"In fact sometimes I wonder if he even is over you," you laughed uncomfortably, "How stupid of me. Anyways! Coffee."
You finally opened the door and ushered Cindy inside, cursing yourself out internally for saying such ridiculous and personal things. Usually, your friends just let you ramble until you got everything out, but Cindy cutting you off had left so many unsaid thoughts scrambled in your head.
But you did your best to shake them all off as you started to be greeted by some of the workers.
"Y/N!" Mabel, one of the baristas you'd first hired, waved to you as you entered, "We haven't seen you for a few days."
"I was super busy," you sighed while Mabel handed you your usual work files, "How have things been?"
"Great," she smiled, "And we're still planning that open mic night for Friday, right?"
"I think it should be a weekly thing for sure," you agreed.
"Great. I'll get working on your iced chai now. You still like it dirty?"
"The dirtier the better," you chuckled, looking over some of the logs.
"And is Peter around? He's usually barely an arm's length from you. In fact, I'm pretty sure last time his hand was in your back pocket the entire time," Mabel smirked, watching as you became flustered.
"Oh!" you laughed nervously, "Yes, hilarious," you dared a quick glance to Cindy to see she was watching you with an unreadable expression, "He's ... well, he might be here. Soon."
"And he still only drinks black coffee to prove a point?"
"If you put two sugars in it, he wouldn't complain," you said feebly, "Thanks, Mabel."
"Duh," Mabel smiled brightly, "And for your friend?"
Mabel turned to Cindy and Cindy startled slightly at being spoken to. Even though Cindy had lived in this world for most of her life, and you knew that she hadn't been as restrained as Jessica, you'd forgotten that Cindy was just as much the isolated victim having been locked away for so many years.
"Oh uh ... I haven't had coffee in a while," Cindy mused, "What do you recommend?"
She turned to you and you opened your mouth, but nothing came out. Cindy was asking your opinion? And she seemed serious about it? You couldn't tell if she was patronizing you, but you startled to think of something quickly.
"She'll have a lavender hot milk tea," you told Mabel quickly, "And we'll be at my table."
You grasped Cindy's arm softly before pulling her in the direction of your work table. She sat down across from you and sat back, crossing her arms, "How did you know I like lavender?"
You shrugged and cleared your throat before mumbling, "Peter drinks lavender boba tea whenever he misses you, and he'll go to the boba shop the two of you loved every year on your birthday. I deduced it wasn't a lavender craving that Peter had considering he pouts like a child at all sweet foods and likes things to be stupidly bland and boring, so I figured you were the one who had a thing for lavender."
"So you're a detective?"
"I'm an observant girlfriend with a boyfriend who has gone through many traumas in his life," you said, looking up at her, "And so I need to be aware of his tendencies so I can adequately care for him when he needs me."
Cindy nodded slowly, "Gotcha."
You put down your work and sighed, clasping your hands together in front of you on the table as you felt an inner flame start to boil within your body. Cindy looked back at you expectantly and you lifted your chin up a bit higher.
"I understand that you must hate me," you started off, "And you have to know that had the circumstances been different and your life not been taken from you in such an awful and unfair way, I'm sure you and Peter would be very happy together. But the circumstances led to the two of you having to work through years of loneliness and I was there to see the deepest loneliness of Peter's life right before he almost went over the edge. Now, if you still have feelings for Peter -"
"I'm always going to have feelings for Peter," Cindy cut you off, "Not because I want to, or because I want to be with him. But because we're two halves of a very sticky and webbed coin that connects us in ways normal humans will never understand."
"So ... where does that leave us?" you asked pointedly, "Because you mean a lot to Peter and I don't want to get in the way of the two of you being in one another's lives again."
Mabel came over and placed your drinks down, smiling at the two of you as if she didn't sense the awkward tension. You waited until she was gone before continuing.
"But I love Peter," you said softly, "I love him so much that sometimes I feel like there's a whole star inside of me that might just burst. It's like I've stuffed a whole galaxy inside my chest filled with my emotions for him and my ribs are barely keeping it together."
You sniffled as you did your best to keep the tears at bay, but something deep inside of you was coming alive and you felt powerful, even in the face of the gorgeous woman you'd almost allowed to take your boyfriend.
"I'll admit the second you returned I thought things were over. I thought that Peter would leave me immediately and that that would be it. But he bought us a house and he's talking about the future and he gave me this -"
You pulled Ben's ring from under your shirt on the chain to show Cindy and you immediately saw recognition in her eyes.
"That's Ben's ring," she gasped, standing up and leaning over the table to grasp it between her long and nimble fingers, "The one that May wears. Peter gave this to you?"
"Well, he said that May hasn't worn it in a while so my guess is -"
"No, May wears this every day," Cindy cut you off again, "All the time I've known her she's worn it. I've never seen her without it."
"Well, I don't mean to be rude, but you've been gone for a while and -"
"She was wearing it when she bent over to give me a hug at the Night Clinic when I got back," Cindy raised an eyebrow, "Do you know what this ring is?"
"A class right. Peter told me."
"It's the promise ring that Ben proposed to May with before he had enough money to pay for a real engagement ring," Cindy told you quietly, "It's a proposal ring."
You flushed immediately and sputtered as you pulled the ring back from Cindy's grasp and tucked it back in your shirt, "No," you laughed nervously, waving her off, "It's not a proposal ring."
Cindy placed her hands together and rested them over her lips before pointing at you, "So let me get this straight. Peter bought you - bought you - a house. Like, a large ass expensive one. And he gave you a very, very special ring that he would have had to have a conversation with his aunt about to get it to give it to you. And ... what exactly could that mean to you, honey?"
"Honey is patronizing and I don't like it," you whispered, slinking back into your seat.
Cindy rolled her eyes, "Alright, Y/N, I'll level with you. I do love Peter, but not the way you do. And I'll admit that when I got here I thought being with Peter again would be nice. I mean, he's so tall now and those abs ... I would climb him like a tree."
"But you're together. And I respect that. And I see that it's taken Peter quite a long time to open himself up to have someone like you in his life. And the fact that you're constantly looking out for him without him having to ask or expect anything in return - I respect that."
"I give you my blessing."
You reacted before you meant to as you threw your head back and laughed. Cindy seemed startled by your reaction as she grasped her drink but didn't drink it.
"Sorry," you calmed yourself, "I appreciate that Cindy, I really do, but I don't ... Peter and I don't need your blessing. You know that, right?"
Cindy shrugged, "Just felt like the right thing to say."
She took a sip of her drink and moaned, looking down at it, "Fuck, this is damn good."
"I told you," you took a sip of your own drink, "Best in the city."
"Ladies," Peter appeared and slid into the booth next to you, throwing his arm around your shoulders and kissing your cheek, "May says hi," he told you quietly, "And she was very persistent that we come over next weekend for dinner."
'I wonder why' Cindy mouthed at you, pointing to her ring finger as you glared at her.
"Sounds like fun," you told Peter, "Mabel made you coffee."
"Oh. Nice," Peter grasped the mug in his hand and yawned, "Alright well, Cin, as soon as we're done with our drinks we can now get you into your lab."
"Finally," Cindy rolled her neck around and sighed as it popped, "I'm excited to crack that baby open again. I'm surprised you all kept it the way it was."
"I may have flown through the glass at one point and knocked a few things over," you mumbled, "... sorry."
"Well, did you throw yourself?" Cindy asked.
"No. I was thrown."
"Then apology accepted."
You smiled hesitantly as Peter rested his hand on the back of your neck and started massaging. He did this often whenever he could sense that your antidote patch was pinching or pulling at your skin, and usually, you didn't have to say anything before he was already doing it.
This time, however, you hadn't even noticed the discomfort until Peter started to alleviate it, and you sighed immediately, closing your eyes and slumping against him.
"Thank you," you whispered.
"Is it bothering you a lot?" he asked quietly, "We can talk to Harley about -"
"Please, no. It's really not a big deal," you placed your hand over his, "It's not something to worry about."
"Peter doesn't think so," Cindy pipped up, "In fact, I can sense that he's kicking into overdrive already planning something out in his head."
"Cin!" Peter glared as your eyes widened.
"Oh," you cleared your throat, "Well that's handy information."
"I can't help it," Cindy whispered, "Sorry."
"So you two can like ... read each other's thoughts?" you asked, gesturing between the two spidey superheroes, "How exactly does that work?"
"It's difficult to explain," Cindy clutched her drink to her chest, "It's not so much reading the other person's mind, but I can pick up on how Peter's feeling and the emotions that he's feeling. They're mostly just waves of emotions, but over the years I was able to start deciphering what the different feelings meant. Right now, for instance -"
"Cindy," Peter whispered.
"- Peter's feeling scared and helpless," Cindy continued. Her eyes were a little glazed over and she was staring at Peter intently without looking away, "You say that you're fine and that makes Peter feel scared, and when you said it wasn't a big deal, he then felt helpless. There's also a twinge of anger in there, but it's difficult to say who that's directed at because I don't know the backstory or have a single clue what the two of you are talking about, but -"
"That's enough," Peter cut her off, "Hey," he snapped his fingers in front of Cindy's face and she startled, blinking a bit before setting her drink down and clearing her throat.
"I-I'm sorry," she whispered, "It's been so long having only my own emotions inside me, you know? I grew up with yours too and then for so long ... I was alone."
Peter tensed and he felt his head spinning a bit as Cindy's emotions started to trickle into his system. She was scared, anxious, and there was a deep feeling of loss settling in his chest that made him feel cold. His skin crawled from the ever-gapping and expanding chill and he was about to get lost in Cindy's despair had you not gotten up and moved past him to sit down next to Cindy.
"Cindy," you whispered, taking her hand, "Do you need to talk to someone about what happened? Peter's been seeing a really lovely therapist and I've visited her as well in the past to deal with my own trauma. Has anyone contacted your parents to tell them -"
"No!" Cindy jerked away from your touch as you sat up straight, not wanting to crowd her space, "Sorry," she whispered, noticing she'd startled you.
Cindy's eyes wavered from you to Peter as she said, "My parents can't know. They can't."
"They've missed you so much. I'm sure they'd want to know that you're alive and -"
"I'm dead to them," Cindy said sternly, "That's the end of the story. I died years ago and they can't know that I'm here. I'm not the same person anymore, and they wouldn't know their daughter or want to call me as such once they know the things I've done to stay alive."
"None of that is your fault," you said sternly, "You did what you had to do so you could come home. And now that you're home you deserve to be happy."
Cindy looked down at your hand gripping hers tightly before she looked over at Peter, "I can see why you like her so much."
"She tends to know the right things to say," Peter mumbled before taking a sip of his coffee, "Cin, you've got to let your parents know you're alive."
"I'm not alive," she whispered, "The Cindy Moon who left this earth years ago no longer exists."
She stood and cleared her throat, adjusting her shirt, "That's been made abundantly clear to me."
Cindy started to walk out and Peter stood quickly. He started to make his way out of the café before stopping and turning to you, "I don't know what to do in this situation," he whispered, looking lost.
"You go after her," you told him, taking his coffee from his hand and pushing him towards the door.
Even though you wanted to tell him to stay and that the two of you could spend the morning together before work, you knew that Cindy's life was far more unbalanced than yours and you had no right to be selfish. So you sat down, took a breath, and started your work as Mabel brought you another chai.
Peter, on the other hand, had forgotten how fast Cindy could run. She was dodging people left and right through the streets as Peter did his best to keep up, and finally, just as he almost toppled over a group of kids on some sort of field trip, he was able to grasp Cindy by the arm and yank her into an alley.
"Get off me!" Cindy screamed, hitting at Peter's chest and arms as he tried to steady her.
"Cindy, calm down," he spoke as soothingly as he could. He wasn't good in these situations - helping people was your thing - but Cindy had made it abundantly clear that your help was not what she wanted.
Cindy's struggles caused her wig to fall off and knock to the ground as her real locks tumbled down to her shoulders. Peter grasped her face and held it in his hands as she finally looked up at him. Her eyes were red and she was flushed, breathing heavily, and Peter could sense the panic radiating off of her.
"You're safe here," he whispered, "No one is going to hurt you and no one here wants to. You're home."
"This isn't my home!" Cindy sobbed, "Nothing's the same! Y-You ... You're - well, you don't love me anymore and there's some sweet little miss perfect walking around on your arm! And I've killed people so my parents can't know I'm alive and I'm supposed to keep it together when the one person who I was hoping would fix all my problems is fucking someone else!"
Cindy's screams only escalated as Peter held her a bit tighter, pulled her face into his chest, and wrapped his arms around her in his unbreakable grasp.
"Listen," he demanded, "Listen to my heart. Close your eyes and listen to my heart and sense whether I still love you or not."
Slowly Cindy's anxious pushing of him away started to cease as she gripped his shirt and breathed deeply, trying to even it out. Her forehead nestled into his chest as she clung to him and after a short amount of time, she sniffled.
"Sorry," she whispered, "I'm sorry."
"You have nothing to apologize for," Peter said softly while combing his fingers through her hair.
"I said I was fine," she mumbled, "I lied. I'm not."
"You knew I was lying?"
"I can sense everything about you," Peter reminded her, "Of course I knew you were lying. Did I feel a little bit of relief knowing you were still brave enough to hold your head up high? Of course. But you don't have to all the time."
"She's nice," Cindy muttered.
"Maybe a little too nice."
"I'm working on that," Peter smirked.
"It's just really hard," Cindy admitted, pulling away from him so Peter could get a good look at her, "I know I said I was okay with it and at the time I really think I actually meant it. But then you opened the door this morning and there she was. There you both were. And that was the future I envisioned for us, right? But then it was all taken from me - from us - and now you're living our life with some other girl."
"She's not another girl, Cindy," Peter reminded her softly, "She's my girlfriend and I love her so much."
"I know you proposed," Cindy scoffed, "I saw the ring."
"Whoa," Peter cleared his throat, "I didn't propose."
Cindy rolled her eyes as she waved him off and started to pace a bit, "It's basically a proposal. That was Ben's proposal ring."
"She doesn't know that."
"I told her," Cindy stated flatly, "When I saw it. I told her."
"You told -" Peter groaned and rubbed his eyes, "Why would you tell her?"
"It's not like I can help it!" Cindy whined back.
"You definitely can help it! This is like debate club all over again!" Peter hissed, "You said you were fine with me pairing up with Liz and then I find out you've been feeding Ned all my secrets about my crush on Liz behind my back."
"That's not what I did!" Cindy gasped, offended, "He started asking questions so I told him! He was your best friend."
"You were my best friend!"
"I see now that we may have had a few misunderstandings when we were younger -"
"Yes, which is odd considering we're two people who can literally feel each other's emotions and motives," Peter grumbled, "Explain how a miscommunication could possibly happen?"
Cindy pouted and crossed her arms, "You're going to start saying I'm selfish again, aren't you?"
"It's like you read my mind," Peter said sarcastically.
Cindy remained quiet and stopped pacing. Peter noticed she was fiddling with her fingers the way she did when she was super stressed and he sighed, rubbing his temple, "I missed you so much," he croaked, "Like you said, I lost a part of me. I was suddenly alone - both on the inside and the outside. I felt ..."
"Hollow?" Cindy whispered.
"Unbearably hollow," Peter agreed, "It was like I was cold and missing a whole section of myself cut off from the world."
"Empty," Cindy agreed, "No longer at full capacity."
"I felt that for years," Peter admitted, "Lonely, bitter, and angry. I manifested my emptiness into anger and then I turned it into distrust. And I hurt a lot of people, but Y/N never made me feel any of those things ... even after I hurt her."
Peter leaned against the side of the alley and shrugged, "She made me realize I was whole, and not just a part of myself the way I felt once you left."
"I didn't leave," Cindy grit her teeth, "I was taken."
"Right. You're right. I'm sorry," Peter put his hands up in defense, "You were gone for five years, Cin. You were dead. I won't apologize for moving on, but I will apologize for not looking for you."
Cindy sniffled and nodded, wrapping her arms around herself, "I didn't expect you to come looking. Part of me hoped that you would feel me, right? Like, like I was still out there and you could still sense me. But I couldn't sense you at all, so I knew that you couldn't feel me anymore. I didn't expect you to come after me, and I know I shouldn't have expected you to wait for me either. It's just going to take some adjusting."
"I can understand that," Peter nodded, "I completely understand that."
"I came back and everything was different," Cindy croaked, "Vision is gone. Thor is gone. The garden is gone at the Compound ... Everything is so ..."
"Different," Peter agreed, "There's no other word for it."
"You still love me though," Cindy whispered, "I can feel it."
"Of course I still love you," Peter gushed, stepping forward and placing his hands on Cindy's face once again, cupping her cheeks in his hands as she looked up at him.
It had been a very, very long time since his body had felt like this. He could remember when it started - when he first started to fall in love with Cindy and the attraction caused his whole body to sizzle like pop rocks. He would get that feeling when he was around you now, only it was slightly different. It wasn't subdued, but it felt more natural and it was the calming kind of love that put a smile on his face and warmth to spread all throughout his body. It wasn't startling and fizzling pop rocks, but more of a hum.
But with Cindy, it had always been a prickling, popping desire that had coursed through his body and made his mouth water, muscles shake, and lips itch to be on hers. And as much as he hated to admit it, he'd felt that way since she'd come back.
He wasn't in love with Cindy anymore, that much was certain, but he was attracted to her and he wasn't sure how to handle that.
"I love you too," Cindy whispered. She leaned forward and rested her forehead against his, "I think I always will."
"I'll always love you too," Peter agreed, "Just differently."
"Differently," Cindy spat bitterly, "Seems to be the tone of my life now."
"It doesn't have to be," Peter pulled away and caught a glimpse of you standing at the end of the alley. "Fuck," he whispered, noticing the discomfort on your face and the work you'd brought with you clutched to your chest.
You hadn't even gone out to find the two of them. You'd simply been walking back to work, and there was a text on Peter's phone that would corroborate that from five minutes ago where you'd told him you'd be at Stark Industries.
But then you'd walked past the alley and heard 'I love you' being exchanged and foreheads touching and you couldn't help yourself but stop. It was such a personal moment and yet you couldn't look away.
"Y/N," Peter whispered, "Hi baby. We were just -"
"Yeah yeah no worries," you cleared your throat and waved it off in a jerky way that looked nothing short of robotic.
"I'm sorry," Cindy sniffled, wiping the tears from her eyes, "Meeting you was ... difficult."
"I'm sorry," you whispered, "I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."
"It's not you," Cindy quickly assured you, "I promise."
"O-Okay," you nodded slowly, "Well um, I uh - I have work, so ..."
"Y/N," Peter called after you, jogging to catch up as you turned to look at him, "It wasn't what it looked like -"
"I know," you nodded, "I understand, and it's okay."
"No, it's not okay," he whispered, "Please, I -"
"Cindy just returned from Hell and she's found that the one person who she used to turn to in her time of need is sleeping with someone else. I can understand how difficult that must be for her and I understand that there will be a little bit of time as she adjusts to this new world. It's her world, but it's all new."
"That doesn't excuse my actions. I was only trying to be a good friend," Peter promised.
"You love all your friends, Peter," you told him, reaching out and taking his hand, "It's no secret, no matter how hard you try to hide it. I know you love them all so, so much. And Cindy is no exception."
Your heart was still aching, and the visual was something you would deal with for longer than you cared to admit, but Peter bought a house for the two of you to live in and he gave you a piece of his past - Uncle Ben's ring - that stood for a future he planned to share with you. Cindy just happened to be a part of that future now.
"You should try to convince her about her parents," you whispered, nodding encouragingly to him, "If she's here to stay - as she should be - then reaching out and reconnecting is the best way to go."
"You're amazing and perfect and endlessly sexy," Peter gushed, "I don't deserve you."
Peter's compliments seemed to make you uncomfortable as you pulled your hand from his and chuckled lightly. "That's very unlikely, Peter Parker, but I appreciate your opinion."
"May was really serious about that dinner, so we should probably schedule it soon ..." Peter winced.
"I'll talk to her and set a date and then put it into your schedule," you said, pulling out your phone to check that your calenders were still connected. You and Peter had merged your calenders months ago, and there was no reason to doubt that they weren't still linked, but considering the past few day's events, you weirdly felt the need to check.
"Great," Peter went to kiss you but noticed Cindy's gaze and instead cleared his throat and kissed your cheek, "Thanks, peaches."
"Right," you whispered, "See you later then."
Over the next few weeks, you did your best to get used to Cindy's presence. She was never intrusive nor did she ever make you uncomfortable, but she was just always there. She was with MJ when the two of you met up for tea, and she was with Ned when you went to an old scary movie at the cinema over the weekend. And whenever you were at work she was also there - in her lab, in the café, or sitting in what you came to figure was her signature chair in Peter's office.
Harley made her a new suit because, apparently, she'd been using her own webbing to make herself a suit for the past years. And you hated to admit it, but the suit was amazing. The red silk scarf she'd initially used now was a nano-tech mask that covered her nose and down. It connected to a white chested suit with sleek black arms and legs with webbing designs wrapped around it.
She was graceful, impressive, and likable by all, and though you wanted to hate her so badly, you couldn't. You'd watch her train with Peter and Jessica and even though you wished you could be a part of it so badly, you also knew that you were grateful Peter had others who understood him finally. You could listen to his needs and be there for him as much as possible, but you'd never understand Peter the way Cindy and Jessica could.
A month after Cindy and Jessica arrived, Cindy sat down across from you at the café and sighed, slumping back in her seat, "Hey," she huffed.
"Rough day?" you asked, noticing her sweaty complexion.
"I just ran all of Central Park to see if I could still remember it," she sighed, "Some parts I got lost in, but the rest I got pretty well I think."
"You ... ran all of Central Park?" you muttered, "Like, the whole park?"
"Yeah. I was slower than I normally am, which sucks. But considering P keeps bringing all your baking to his lab every day, I think I'm getting fat."
"Oh!" you sat up a bit straighter, "Is there anything you liked in particular?"
"Do not pull that tablet out if you want to keep living," Cindy pointed at you. You quickly tried to put it away pretending as if you hadn't been reaching for it.
"Are you working? Are you done?" Cindy asked, taking another swig from her water bottle, "Want to go for a walk?"
"You said you just went for a run?"
"I'm anxious," Cindy shrugged, "Come on," she stood and slapped your thigh, "There's a really great gyro place a few blocks over that is still there - I checked this morning. We should go have lunch."
"Oh, I'm not done here for another hour -"
"Come on," Cindy slammed your laptop closed, "Or I'll break into your fancy townhouse and destroy your kitchen."
"I believe that," you mumbled before scrambling to catch up to her.
"Is this Bobby's Gyros we're going to?" you asked while falling into stride with Cindy.
"Yeah. You been?"
"Well, I -"
"Y/N!" Bob called as the two of you walked in, "Hi sweetheart! How're ya doin'?"
"Hi Bobby," you leaned over the counter so the older man could kiss you on the cheek, "It's good to see you too."
"Where's that boy of yours? He always leaves a twenty in the tip jar so I like him better," Bob shook his finger at you.
"He's working, Bobby, but I'll make sure he stops by later this evening on his way home from work," you promised, "How's Mary?"
"She's as gorgeous as ever," Bob smiled, "My girlfriend, Mary," he winked to Cindy.
"You've been married for 56 years, Bob," you reminded him.
"She was my girlfriend first," Bob shrugged, "The usual, hon?"
"Yes please," you nodded, "What do you want, Cindy?"
Cindy looked like she'd eaten something sour, but she swallowed whatever it was and turned to Bob so she could place her order. Within five minutes you and Cindy were sitting outside at one of the tiny tables Bob set out on the sidewalk eating in silence.
"How do you do it?" she asked suddenly, causing you to nearly choke on your water.
"You know everyone. Everyone knows you. And everyone loves you," Cindy eyed you suspiciously, "Everyone liked me just fine, but no one ever knew my usual. Well, other than Mr. Delmar, I guess. But that was just because Peter and I bugged him for so many years."
You chuckled, "I work in charity, so I'm always under the hospitality of someone else until I can figure out how to help them. I started getting to know the businesses in the area so we could do a big Stark Industries summer picnic festival every summer. Local shops can set up their booths and food trucks and it's a huge long weekend where we raise money for the businesses while also building community. We've been doing it for two years now."
"So you know everyone?"
"Not everyone," you smiled, "But it would be nice if I did ... make my job easier."
"You seem to do it just fine enough."
"I'm sorry," you put your food down, "Are you interrogating me?"
"No. You're right. Sorry," Cindy shook her head, "I'm sorry."
"You have nothing to apologize for."
Cindy rolled her eyes, "You're allowed to hate me, you know."
You sat back in your chair and shrugged, "I've tried."
Cindy actually smiled and sat up a bit as you watched her, "Seriously?"
"Of course," you said, "My boyfriend's hot ex comes back and is around all the time and I'm just supposed to be cool with it? Believe me, I've tried to hate you. I've tried to shit talk you to my friends. I've tried to ... God, I don't even know. I can't even wish bad things on you, honestly at this point."
"Sounds like you're obsessed with me," Cindy flipped her hair over her shoulder.
"Yeah maybe I have a type," you grumbled, "Sticky fingers and emotionally disconnected."
"Oh my God was that a joke?" Cindy asked with a short laugh.
"I don't hate you, Cindy. The amount of relief I feel knowing Peter has you back in his life brings me extreme happiness. I was there for him at his darkest and so I know just how far he's come to be where he is today, but seeing him training with you or hanging out with you and all your friends - that's a reprieve from his dark mind I never thought he'd have."
"He's the way he is because of you, you know," Cindy said, picking at her food.
"I can't tell if you mean that in a good way."
"Of course I do," Cindy rolled her eyes, "I turned into a murderous puppet for a very bad guy for almost five years because I lost Peter, so I can't imagine the shit that little punk got up to in my absence."
"He fucked a lot of people," you whispered, wrinkling your nose as Cindy smirked.
"So I've heard."
You took a sip of your drink while Cindy put down her fork and looked up at you, "Okay," she sighed deeply, "I haven't told anyone this but you seem like the right person to tell."
"I thought you hated me."
"I can't," Cindy grit her teeth, "And believe me, I've also tried."
"Cheers," you mumbled, "So what's going on?"
"A few weeks back, when I first saw you and Peter together, it wasn't the first time I've had to see Peter move on without me."
The name Harry Osborn flashed through your mind for a moment, but you weren't sure just exactly how much Peter had told Cindy about his past relationships (or flings, more accurately) so you kept your mouth shut.
You furrowed your eyebrows and sat up, leaning in a bit as Cindy refused to make eye contact. "I don't understand? I thought you and Peter were dating up until you were abducted?"
"Ezekiel's earth was far enough away from this one that the timeline was different," Cindy started fiddling with her fingers as she spoke, "The earth that I was in was five years ahead of this one. I didn't realize it at first because I was always at Sims Tower, more accurately, in the bunker of the tower."
"So when did you find out?"
"After about a year Ezekiel started to trust me more. I think once you get someone to start killing for you, you're theirs, right? So he knew that I couldn't go far without having to implement myself in his deeds. So he let me start going out. I'd go grocery shopping and run errands. Sometimes he'd even let me hang out at coffee shops and read if I was really good."
"That sounds terrible," you whispered, leaning in a bit more.
"The first time he let me out I immediately looked to find Peter, of course," Cindy admitted, "I just thought that even though he would be a different version of the Peter I knew, he'd still be able to help me. Or maybe I could find that earth's version of me and she would know my struggle."
"Did you find her?"
"She'd died a while ago. In middle school, I think," Cindy muttered, "There was a car accident and she didn't survive."
"I'm so sorry."
Cindy shrugged, "I never knew her, so I didn't feel the need to mourn. But I looked up the accident and turns out that she was on her way home from a concert with her best friend Peter Parker. She'd passed away along with Peter's aunt ... May."
"Oh my God," you mumbled, feeling sick.
"So I looked Peter up. He was living in Manhattan near Hell's Kitchen and he was married," Cindy swallowed her discomfort, "I never approached him because I figured if he was once friends with that earth's Cindy Moon then he'd obviously recognize me. And he didn't even have any powers, so there wasn't really much he could do anyway."
"He ... didn't have powers?" you tried to wrap your mind around your Peter without his Spider-Man capabilities, and you thought back to when you'd known Peter before figuring out his identity. Ever since you'd figured it out though, the powers and Peter's personality and livelihood had gone so hand-in-hand that it was difficult for you to differentiate the two.
"Yeah it was creepy," Cindy shuddered, "But he was married and it was five years in the future and I had to watch as he helped his very pregnant wife up the steps of their apartment building after they'd spent the afternoon having a picnic in the park. It was awful."
"Who was he married to?" you asked, wondering if part of Cindy's discomfort with you might be from the fact that she'd known another version of you - a version of you that was married with a child on the way.
The thought flashed through your mind before you could stop it. Peter was so soft and loving to you, so you could only imagine he'd be even more loving and protective of his child. You'd never envisioned yourself as someone who would enjoy pregnancy, but being a mother was something you'd always wanted for your future. And now seeing your sister Aggie with her tiny little newborn and seeing the joy little Trina brought to Aggie and Whit, you understood the unconditional love of the family unit - something you wanted to share with Peter.
And maybe, if you were being selfish and honest with yourself, you liked the idea of yours and Peter's love spanning other worlds. You allowed yourself to get lost for a moment in the idea of you and Peter finding one another on different earths no matter the circumstances.
But then Cindy answered your question.
"That bitch Gwen Stacy," she snapped, "With her little blond bob and perfectly manicured nails."
You choked, "Gwen Stacy?"
"You know her?"
"I hate that bitch," you growled, "She's a conniving slut."
Cindy's eyebrows went up as she smirked, "I'd love to know that backstory at some point."
"How were they even together?" you hissed, suddenly boiling with rage. You knew this was another Peter you'd never meet on a very different earth you'd never step foot on, but for some reason, in that moment you felt cheated on.
"Peter was working as a photojournalist for the Daily Bugle and Gwen worked as a reporter, so they must have met at work," Cindy shrugged, "It was disgusting to watch so I never went back."
"That juice-loving whore," you whispered.
"Easy there," Cindy laughed, "But you can understand why I might have um ... gone off a bit after seeing you and Peter together that first day? It was like I was reliving that abandonment all over again and I just couldn't handle it emotionally yet."
"I always understood," you told her, "I don't blame you."
"Well, I'm sure you're probably sick of seeing me around. I can only imagine what it must be like to always have me there whenever you come to visit your boyfriend. I'm trying to figure out what my next move is so I won't be in everyone's space. Tony keeps saying he'll set me up with an apartment but it just feels wrong."
"You don't have to worry about that," you told her quickly, "I'm glad we had this talk. Yes, it can be frustrating sometimes when I go up to visit Peter and you're there, but mostly because I usually take naps on that couch and I'm not comfortable sleeping in front of people I don't really know."
"Naps are very serious so I can understand your frustration," Cindy nodded seriously.
"I didn't know you were looking for a place to live. And I also feel bad that I didn't even think for a moment where you were living," you admitted.
"I've been staying at the Compound but it's such a bitch to get into the city every day when I want to be at the labs."
"Aren't there labs at the Compound?"
"Not my lab," Cindy reminded you, "Besides, Nat is always up my ass to train and I'm not ready for those 5am training sessions yet."
"I don't think anyone's ever ready for those."
"You're not half bad," Cindy sighed, "I mean, I'm not entirely sure we're friends, but you're chill. I'm glad Peter has you."
"You remind me a bit of someone," you said, thinking of Felicia.
Cindy was a bit colder than Felicia in a brutally honest way. Cindy was just untrusting completely, where Felicia would just go off things as a hunch. Felicia had warmed up to you, and you had a feeling you and Cindy would never get to that point.
But Cindy was still badass, and you appreciated that.
"We should get going," you groaned, reaching for your bag, "I have a meeting with Étienne for the art gallery and then I need to take a fucking nap."
"So when are you going to tell me about the crazy robot chip in your neck?" Cindy asked while you started to walk back to Stark Industries.
"One conversation at a time, Cindy," you told her and watched as she smiled slightly to herself.
That night as you crawled into bed, it was only seconds later that Peter was crawling in through your window to join you. His patrols had started to grow a bit longer since Cindy's return. You would have felt more uneasy, had it not been for Jessica's presence with them. They were still training her and spending their time teaching her all their tricks, so knowing Peter and Cindy weren't spending hours together alone at night was a bit of a comfort. But tonight, Peter was ready for bed seemingly as soon as you were.
"I found a really gorgeous sofa today," he told you excitedly, "It's emerald green and it's velvet and super fancy looking and I think it'll look great for your front office."
"That's great," you yawned, "I'm not sure it's a big enough room for a sofa though. Maybe we can put it in the sitting room?"
Peter typed the code into his arm and his suit started to fall away, revealing his jeans and shirt underneath. "An even better idea," he agreed, "I liked the white cotton curtains you found. They don't block too much light."
"Oh did they arrive?" you asked while letting your hair down and snuggling over as Webs sat down against your stomach.
"Got in this afternoon," Peter confirmed while tripping over himself to get undressed, "We still need to find the headboard you were interested in."
"We have so much time, Peter," you yawned again, "We won't be moving in until after graduation. We have months to put everything together."
"I want it to be perfect," he whispered, crawling up onto your bed and hovering over you as he kissed you softly. He then flopped down next to you and reached out for Webs, who quickly reached one of his paws out to press into Peter's arm.
The two of you softly petted Webs between you as you both relaxed from the long day. Peter's leg pushed out slowly to curl around yours and you lifted your arm up under your head to prop your head up while also reaching out for his head, scratching at the back of his scalp.
"The night after graduation I want to carry you into our new house and it's all finished," Peter whispered, "Our brand new life."
"It's not going to exactly be new," you reminded him, "Just continued."
"Right," he nodded, kissing the inside of your wrist, "Maybe our grad party with our families can be at our place? All our friends' parents and stuff."
"I'm sure they'd love that," you agreed, "Speaking of friends, I had lunch with Cindy today."
"Bob said you stopped by when I went by there for dinner," Peter scooted closer to you, "I didn't know you went with Cindy."
"She means well, lover," you mumbled tiredly, "And I want what's best for her too. She's just been through more than we'll ever understand."
"She's slowly been telling me more," Peter said, "I don't want to push it though."
"I don't want to disappoint you if we aren't friends," you admitted, "I think she's a great person but ... I just don't see it happening."
"Give it time," Peter begged, "She'll start to warm up to you."
"It's not just about that. I just don't think she's comfortable being my friend and honestly as happy as I am that she's here for you and that she and Jessica are in your life, I don't know if I'm super comfortable around her either."
"I'm in your bed every night," Peter said, "You don't have anything to worry about."
"It's not about that," you scoffed, "Don't make this about you. It's about me and Cindy."
"Seems like it would be about me," Peter mumbled cutely.
"Contrary to popular belief, Spider-Man, the world doesn't revolve around you."
"That's what you're for," Peter smiled, "Something for the world to revolve around."
He reached out to rest his hand on your cheek and you pushed him away, rolling your eyes, "Not the world," you chastised him.
"My world," he whispered, looking at you lovingly, "And I know you and Cindy aren't ever going to be buddies, but I also didn't think you'd ever befriend Felicia but you got that stone-cold bitch to like you. Cindy's a great person and a very personable friend. She'll come around once she knows she's safe. She's just stressed because she's convinced Ezekiel is going to come after her."
"How do we know he isn't going to?" you asked, "He's been able to get to this earth before."
"The circumstances for him have changed," Peter reminded you, "Cindy has just always been paranoid. It was one of the things that made her so reckless."
You could tell by Peter's clipped tone that he didn't want to talk about this topic anymore so you remained silent and reached out for him, taking his hand. You didn't want to admit it, but Peter was a bit correct - even though this feeling of insecurity came from Cindy, the root of the issue was your slight distrust in Peter. You felt sick thinking about it but you couldn't get all the images of Peter and Cindy hugging out of your mind. You'd seen them hugging in his office or standing too close together in their labs. They were connected at the hip when they could be together and though you tried to remind yourself that Peter was in your bed every night, just as he'd reminded you, you couldn't help but wonder who was on his mind every night ... especially if Cindy could read it.
The brisk fall came quickly as October came and went, and you found yourself stealing more and more of Peter's sweaters and crewnecks whenever you could. It was a vicious cycle for Peter to wake up in the morning with another article of clothing stolen, but he was used to it and he cherished it. And the fact that soon, once you graduated, you would both share a closet so you wouldn't have to put in a lot of effort to steal his clothes made him infinitely happy.
What didn't make him particularly happy though, was that you were spending all day with Étienne working on the art gallery. Peter trusted you, but he didn't trust Étienne, and watching as the two of you worked together always made his mind a little fuzzy.
"Yo," Tony knocked on his office door and Peter blinked, rubbing his eyes as he came out of his day dream. He'd been zoning off again thinking of the conversation he'd had with Cindy the night before about Ezekiel's reasoning for coming to find her and Jessica, and Peter couldn't seem to get that issue out of his mind.
"What?" Peter yawned, leaning back in his chair and stretching, "I'm busy."
"Clearly," Tony huffed before stepping into his office, "I'm going to cut to the chase, I have to go to Morgan's bake sale or whatever at school and I don't have time to interview a new chemist to fill Randy's position."
"What happened to Randy?"
Tony rolled his eyes, "I sent that memo out over a month ago. Randy retired. We're looking to hire a new biochemist and I have a short list. But our most promising candidate is here and I can't interview him."
"... And you want me to?" Peter raised an eyebrow, "I'm not totally in-tune with the biochemistry department."
"Now's your chance," Tony shrugged, slapping the file down onto Peter's desk, "And if you like him and think he'd make a good fit, just hire him. I haven't been impressed with any of the other candidates I've interviewed."
"Tony," Peter stood and loosened his tie, "We talked about this."
"About you pushing me into hiring," Peter crossed his arms, "I said I wasn't ready."
"And I say you are," Tony clapped loudly and rubbed his hands together, "Remember to ask him where he sees himself in five years and ask him his favorite color."
"Tony, I'm going to kill you."
"And if he asks about paid vacation ... don't answer," Tony said while walking out briskly, "He'll be here in thirty minutes."
"You'll do great, kid!"
"Fuck you!" Peter yelled back after him as Tony jogged down the hall towards the elevator.
Since Peter had taken on more serious work at Stark Industries, he and Tony had been doing their best to always be cordial and work together harmoniously. There was therapy, yelling, harsh words, and some good heart-to-heart moments that had assisted the two in their relationship today, but Peter knew they still had a long way to go.
Tony was always pushing Peter's boundaries, and Peter took his boundaries very seriously.
For the next thirty minutes, Peter read over the file and tried his best to prepare for his first interview. It was just like Tony to spring something on him and just expect that Peter would succeed. To Tony's credit, Peter always did succeed, but Peter hated it nonetheless.
"Your three o'clock his here, Peter," Karen said smoothly, "Shall I let him in?"
"He's not my three o'clock; he's Tony's," Peter muttered before standing and saying, "Let him in."
The first thing Peter noticed was how tall he was. Slender, tall, but sturdy looking, Peter felt a sense of seriousness settle around the room.
"You must be Dr. Connors," Peter walked out from around the desk and offered his hand. It was only then that Peter noticed ... he didn't have one.
"Call me Curt," he nodded as Peter quickly switched hands and his metal hand met Curt's only one.
"H-Have a seat," Peter cleared his throat and unbuttoned his blazer before sitting down at his desk, "I'll admit this interview was sprung upon me so I've only just had the past half hour to go over your file."
"And I'll admit I wasn't planning on being interviewed by a kid less than twice my age."
Peter looked up to see Curt Connors was smirking at him, and Peter chuckled.
"Less than twice your age? There's hardly a chance you're in your fifties," Peter stated, looking back down at his file, "So, for risk of sounding stupid, tell me about yourself."
"You've read my file. What more could you know?"
Peter shrugged, "Why biochemistry?"
Connors sat back in his chair and cleared his throat, "When I went into the military they had me working on special assignment - bioweaponry."
Peter's blood ran cold and he felt his jaw twitch as his mind immediately went to you and all the pain a bioweapon caused you. It almost took your life, and yet here was someone who worked in bioweaponry by choice.
"I see," Peter said briskly.
The temperature in the room could be felt going down ten degrees, and Connors shifted in his seat, "It wasn't exactly what I signed up for, but when you have a degree that the government thinks can be put to good use, you don't really say no."
"You could if you're not a coward," Peter held Connors's gaze and watched as a determined flash of anger sparked through his eyes.
"Bioweaponry is the farthest departed thing from what we were intended to do on this planet," Connors continued, "It hurts, destroys, kills, and decimates all within its path. In war, it's helpful but also a last resort. However, in the wrong hands, the loss and the potential impact can be far greater."
"We don't deal in bioweapons here," Peter told him, "Our biochemists play no part in that."
"Which is why I came to you," Connors nodded, "I'm tired of playing god and creating formulas that warp reality and existence. I've lost enough of myself to that."
Peter's eyes shamelessly traveled down to where Connors's sleeve hung empty. Connors had more of his arm left than Peter did - Connors's seemed to have been amputated just above the elbow - but Peter could understand his pain.
"I know this is a long shot and I know I've been out of the business for a while," Connors continued, "But something about this place felt right. You don't pretend to be anything you're not, and when I saw you speak a few years ago announcing your title within the company, I figured this was my chance."
"Because we both only have one hand and yet we still strive to lend it," Connors stated matter-of-factly.
"Way to use my handicap against me," Peter nodded, "You don't mess around."
"I didn't mean it like that."
"I know you didn't," Peter said, honestly.
He felt a sense of purpose and a strong will within Curt Connors that he couldn't quite place. In part, it was unsettling how much power was radiating off of him, but Peter found it immensely intriguing. Peter could barely go out of the house without his vibranium arm and he wouldn't be caught dead without it on. It had taken him quite some time to come to terms with people even being able to see it to begin with.
But here was Curt Connors, a man with nothing to lose and a track record to show that he'd already lost a lot, and he was here asking for a job.
"When would you like to start?" Peter asked, placing down the file.
Connors looked surprised for a moment before clearing his throat, "Whenever. As soon as possible."
"Do you even have the power to do that?"
"Cute," Peter smirked before standing and smoothing down his tie, "Let's go. I'll show you the biochemistry labs. Then I'll drop you at HR and we can get paperwork settled."
Peter felt like power was radiating off of him as he walked Connors through the labs. Having never hired anyone before, Peter didn't understand the feeling of power he held in deciding the life of someone else. Sure, he played with people's lives every day as Spider-Man, but the sheer adrenaline Peter got from realizing he was in charge and that he was the boss caused a coiling fire to curl in his chest.
Having not had control over a lot of things in his life, having control over who worked within his company suddenly meant a lot more to him.
"We have a few open projects that we've been working on, and I know that your predecessor left a few half-finished projects as well," Peter said as he walked through the large biochemistry lab, "You'll have two colleagues working alongside you and a team of assistants, but a lot of your work should be done from your own interests. We have certain projects we need to work on annually and renewals to upgrade as technology evolves, but experimenting and exploring new avenues of your interests is where we flourish."
"You're smarter than I thought," Connors admitted, "I thought you were just some punk who moonlit as a superhero."
"That's the impression a lot have of me," Peter nodded, "However, I take my job very seriously. I don't always enjoy it and Tony can be a dramatic bitch, but when it comes to implementing new tech to assist and aid others, there's no margin for error."
"I can't work as quickly as others," Connors pointed to his arm, "I'm sure you're aware."
"Work at your own pace, but always be working," Peter reminded him, "And if you have questions, ask."
"Ask you? What do you know of biochemistry?" Connors asked simply.
Peter smirked feeling the power fizzle through his veins, "More than you'd expect. You'll start on Monday. Lisa in HR will take care of all your paperwork now."
After showing Connors to HR and making his way back up to his lab, Peter decided to head instead to his lab one floor down to check in. Étienne's lab was empty of anyone, but it was filled with work geared towards the art gallery you and Étienne were working on. Peter blew past it, nodding to Harley where he was working across the hallway before stopping short when he noticed Cindy.
It was like a ghost filtering through a dream. No matter how often Cindy spent in her lab or how long she stuck around, sometimes it truly hit Peter that she was actually there. With his lab right across from hers, he'd spent years staring into the red abyss of her empty and silent lab space. If he closed his eyes and concentrated, he could still remember every little detail of how it had stayed untouched.
But now the lights were back on and new projects, statistics, and blueprints were scattered around the space. Where Peter always implemented a clean and organized workspace, Cindy's space was always a mess. Chaos erupted around her wherever she worked, and seeing her once again in the midst of it all caused Peter to smile.
He knocked on the glass and stuck his head in, "Hey," he smiled, "Working on anything fun?"
"Aw, the big boss man came down to see the peasants," Cindy smirked, smiling back at him, "Someone's happy. I could feel the vibrations jittering around you the second you got on this floor."
"I just made my first hire," Peter proudly boasted, "And if you tell Tony I actually enjoyed it, I'll have to kill you."
"That sounds exciting," Cindy muttered, obviously half paying attention.
Peter watched as she worked and the two fell into silence. It might have seemed odd to anyone else to watch as Peter leaned against the doorframe and watched on silently, but this was normal and routine. Peter enjoyed watching Cindy's process just as much as she enjoyed watching his. Working together in the lab had never been a big success for them considering their work ethics were so different that it often led to a mishap or massive proportions, but there was something comforting about watching one another work.
"I was thinking about you last night," Cindy whispered quietly, "You've been so busy I haven't seen you all week."
"Thinking about anything good?"
Peter could feel words dripping from the edge of Cindy's tongue and could see that she had something building inside her she wanted to say, but when she just shook her head and smiled slightly, Peter pouted.
"So um ..." she cleared her throat and leaned back against her workstation, crossing her arms, "There's something I need to talk to you about."
"What's up?" Peter walked over to stand next to her, leaning in the same way she was until their arms were touching. Cindy subconsciously leaned into him and huffed.
"Don't get mad," she whispered, "But I brought something here with me that I'm going to need you to keep safe so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. If Ezekiel finds a way here to this Earth, he's going to look for it first with me. But if I give it to you then I think it'll be safer."
"You're scaring me," Peter said as Cindy tugged at the long chair around her neck and pulled it out from under her shirt.
The pendant at the end of the necklace looked like a small locket, but when Cindy opened it up, Peter noticed there was a small vial inside before Cindy tipped it out into her hand. It shone blue - a light, sort of irridescent blue - and Peter felt a tugging sensation in his chest as he looked at it.
"Ezekiel made this before we left," Cindy pressed it into Peter's hand, "I destroyed all his notes and files on it as I was leaving, but I worry he'll make more."
"What is it?"
"Spidey serum," Cindy muttered, "And a good one too. I checked it and did some hypothetical tests using the formula. It works, and I think Ezekiel was planning on their using it on himself, or replicating it enough to create an army."
Peter rolled the vial between his fingers before holding it up to the light, "You're telling me that this little thing can give someone the same powers the spider bite gave us?"
"It's cyphened directly from a radioactive spider Ezekiel was working on mixed with some of Jessica's compounds in her DNA. I don't exactly know how he did it, but it works. I've run the tests."
Peter felt a weird sense of dread as he looked it the serum. The idea of multiple brainless soldiers without a conscious other than what Ezekiel wanted them to do with the strength, power, and skills that he and Cindy possessed ... it was a full-on nightmare.
"And what do you want me to do with it?" Peter asked, looking to Cindy, "Why would you keep this from me for so long?"
"At first I was afraid to let it out of my sight," Cindy admitted, "But we've been here long enough now that Jessica is starting to acclimate to her surroundings. She's making friends and she'll start going to school soon ... I guess I thought Ezekiel would find us quicker. But the longer he's not here, the more I'm split between thinking he's biding his time or he just can't find us."
"Hopefully the latter," Peter mumbled.
"But if we are going to be here longterm, then that needs to be locked away somewhere," Cindy pointed to the serum, "And you and Tony run this building so my guess is you know all the secret hiding places."
"There's a place in my lab," Peter nodded, "I keep only the special things in there. No one's going to find it."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you right away," Cindy sighed, "I thought of destorying it multiple times but for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to do it."
"I understand," Peter nodded.
It was a weird sensation, but Peter could somehow feel in his bones why this serum was important. Important for what, he wasn't entirely sure yet, but it still resonated with him on a very personal level. This serum was a variation of what ran through his veins and had embedded in his DNA. For a moment, a scary thought passed through his mind.
"Do you think this could be reverse-engineered?" he asked softly.
Cindy furrowed her eyebrows. "You mean ... take your powers away?"
"N-Not mine," Peter whispered, "Just like, in general, do you think it could?"
"Well, we'd obviously have to study it and run a few algorithms and tests, but I'm sure it could be done. It would probably be painful - just as painful as our transition post-bite was. It would literally be rewriting DNA, right? But maybe. Why do you ask?"
"Just a theory," Peter lied, smiling tightly. "I'll go secure this for you."
"Thanks P," Cindy nodded, "I knew I could count on you."
Peter quickly retreated from the lab and headed over to his own, finding the small compartment hidden in the wall that held all his valuables he wanted no one to ever find. Sliding the serum into the compartment and watching as the panel once again solidified back into the wall, Peter felt the guilt creeping up his spine.
Spider-Man was at the core of his identity and after being Spider-Man for years and years it was hard to think of his life without his powers. But he'd never had any reason not to think about what life could be without Spider-Man. He'd always had one duty - to protect and keep safe the people of his city. But now, having met you and committed himself to you, his duties had changed, along with his priorities.
With Cindy's return and Jessica now in their life, that was two more spidey-related heroes in the world that Peter had never had the chance to even dream of. And Peter had quite the future ahead of him already without his role as Spider-Man by running Tony's company. For a moment, Peter allowed himself to think of what his life could be like as a normal man. His job wouldn't consist of late night patrols or throwing himself into danger. He'd come home to you ever night, marry you, maybe even ... start a family.
Peter had blocked away that part of him for so long and not even allowed himself to think about having children because he knew his spidey powers would transfer to them, so he'd refused to let himself think about it. But he'd never had anyone he'd wanted to start a family with.
And now he had you.
You could tell that something was a bit off with Peter that night at trivia, but you didn't press him on it. He spent most of the time working on his tablet, looking up and helping to answer questions whenever he could. He'd been so busy with work lately that you felt bad for him, but you knew that he was doing something he loved (even though he'd never admit it).
The dynamic hadn't changed much with Cindy's arrival. Trivia night was still just a meeting of all your friends set aside to relax and hang out. It was a sacred time, which was probably why halfway through the night MJ finally snatched the tablet away from Peter and glared at him while putting it in her bag.
"No more working," she declared, "You can be angry with me all you want, but this isn't working time."
"You're so annoying," Peter grumbled before slouching in his chair and accepting it.
"Just relax," you told him, "We've all been so busy."
Peter pouted like a child before pulling you into his arms, wrapping you up tightly as you giggled. You felt more carefree in this moment than you had in a long time, but you knew part of that was because the alcohol in your system was keeping you from thinking about Cindy. You'd felt like your relationship with Peter had been strained since she got here, and even though you hated to admit it, you'd felt like you couldn't be yourself with him the way you'd want to be whenever she was around ... which was all the time.
Even though you and Cindy were on relatively good terms (as good as they could be) you still felt a little bit removed from yourself whenever she was around. You couldn't help comparing yourself to her, or wondering what she was thinking of you and Peter, or wondering if she had meant what she said about accepting that you and Peter were together.
The more you thought about it, the more it plagued your mind. And you the worst part was you knew you were doing it to yourself - Cindy had done nothing to make you feel this way. But you alone couldn't stop thinking about it.
Peter pushed your hair to the side and kissed along the dip in your neck and down your shoulder. "What's your schedule look like tomorrow?" he asked softly in your ear.
"Tomorrow," you hummed, "Tomorrow is Saturday."
"It sure is."
"I work tomorrow," you sighed, "I have a few art gallery meetings."
"With him?" Peter glared at Étienne and you rolled your eyes, nudging him with your shoulder.
"Just a few morning meetings and then I'm done for the day," you continued, "What's your schedule look like tomorrow?"
"Well tomorrow is Saturday," Peter confirmed again, "So I have meetings until three."
"Sounds boring," you kissed his cheek.
"It is, but I have you to look forward to afterwards," he kissed you softly, "What do you say we paint the guest bedroom in our house?"
You smiled, "I like the sound of that."
Peter hummed against your neck, sending vibrations that caused you to shiver down your spine. You gripped his shirt tightly as he nibbled on your neck a bit and pushed your body closer to his.
"I like the sound of that too," you whispered, closing your eyes and allowing Peter's scent to envelope your entire being.
And true to his word, Peter looked forward to being with you all day the following day. The meetings dragged on, and he figured you were extremely busy considering you didn't text him back after one of his meetings got out around 1:30. He only had a few more before his day ended, and the thought of getting to do something so homely and domestic as painting a guest bedroom with you was getting him through it.
That is, until halfway through his next meeting, his phone kept ringing.
First it was his office phone, which he simply turned off. Usually he'd pause the meeting to answer, but this meeting was something he'd been focused on for too long to let a single moment pass.
"It could be beneficial," Marcus, one of the chemists spoke up, "If we don't start working to understand black matter, then someone else is going to."
"We don't work in black matter," Peter stated, "I don't know how many more times I have to make myself clear. It's dangerous, there are no positive purposes to working with it, and it can cause severe damage to those who mishandle it."
"If OSCORP starts working with it -"
"I don't care about OSCORP," Peter spat, "I don't care about Alchemax, or the Baxter Building, or any other scientific organization close to our intellect that starts to handle black matter. We're not doing it."
"But we have the best minds," Marcus stated, "If anyone is going to crack black matter equations or learn how to control it, it'll be us."
"That's bold of you to say, Marcus," Peter growled, "And why would we want to control a dangerous and volatile substance? For what purpose? We don't work in weapons, or trying to control the uncontrollable."
"Didn't you work on black matter in the past?" another chemist spoke up, "Why is it off limits now?"
"This decision is final and it's backed by Tony," Peter gestured to Tony sitting boredly at the other end of the table, "So if you'd like to go over my head -" Peter started to threaten, but his phone started going off again. It had been buzzing on the table for what felt like ages, and noticing the same number had called now seven times, Peter felt his aggravation spike.
"I'm going to get this call and then once I'm done you're all going to stop wasting my time and we're going to get back to work," Peter said, finally answering the call.
"Who is this?" he barked into his phone, "And what do you want?"
"Peter," Étienne breathed, "Finally!"
“How did you get my number?” Peter felt his anger rising his his throat at just the sound of Étienne’s breathing.
“Peter, it’s Y/N.”
Peter stood so quickly that everything on the table rattled. Everyone visibly leaned back in their chairs as Peter tried to contain himself.
“What about her? Where is she? Is she okay?” he asked, more like demanded, as he heard Étienne sniffle.
“I don’t - I don’t know. We were planning for the art gallery and Linda called her into the Night Clinic and she’s been here now for an hour and -”
“An hour?” Peter screamed, slamming his fist down onto the table and visibly cracking it as a few people jolted. Tony stood up on the other end of the table and held his hands out as if trying to coax Peter back down.
You’d been at the Night Clinic for an unknown reason for an hour, and Peter hadn’t been notified until now.
“Get here,” Étienne said, “Quickly. Linda won’t turn you away.”
Peter hung up without another word and said, “I have to go,” before he was striding out of the conference room without collecting any of his things. His lungs felt like they were filling up with water and he was suffocating as he strode out into the hallway, loosening his tie as he went.
“Peter!” Tony called after him, jogging to keep up, “Whoa, Peter, slow down!”
“Y/N’s at the Night Clinic and she’s apparently been there for an hour,” Peter breathed in deeply, “I have to go see her. If it’s her antidote again I don’t know what ... I don’t know how -”
“Okay okay,” Tony grasped Peter’s arm and squeezed tightly to get his full attention, “Just breathe, okay?”
“I have to go,” Peter clenched his jaw before turning away from Tony and activating his suit. The glass window panel slid open behind his desk and without a second though Peter jumped out of it and swung through the air. It didn't take him long before he was landing at the back entrance of FEAST and pressing his hand to the sensor for the Night Clinic. The panel in the wall opened and he ran down the stairs, suit retracting back into his arm as he ran.
He nearly skidded into the wall as he turned the sharp corner and he saw Étienne pacing a few feet away, nibbling on his bottom lip.
"Where is she?" Peter demanded, "What room?"
"This one. This one!" Étienne pulled Peter towards one of the exam rooms and without knocking Peter broke the doorknob and pushed his way into the room.
You jumped slightly as Peter strode into the room. His eyes were wild and he looked frenzied and scared. You could tell he was visibly shaking as he looked over you quickly as if checking for any signs of distress before he turned to Linda.
"You didn't call me," he stated. You assumed it was supposed to be in his usual demanding tone, but instead his voice sounded distraught and begging.
"Peter, I -" you started.
"Are you okay?" he asked, walking over and cupping his hand to your face, looking over you, "Are you feeling okay? What happened?" he asked, moving his hands all over your body as if inspecting for injuries.
"I'm fine, Peter. I'm fine," you whispered, reaching his shaking hands and grasping them in yours.
"Why is she here?" Peter turned to Linda, "What's going on?"
He turned back to you and grasped the back of your head, kissing your forehead and holding you there for a moment before you lightly pushed him away.
"S-Sorry," he cleared his throat and turned back to you, "I'm just ..." Peter bent his head slightly and whispered, "... scared."
"It's nothing bad," Linda said softly, "But I figured maybe I would explain to Y/N and then she would later explain to you on her own time."
Tears started to build in your eyes and Peter felt like he was going to throw up. If it wasn't bad, why would you be crying? He grasped your hand in his and brought your knuckles to his lips, kissing them softly.
"You can explain," you told Linda quietly, "I don't exactly understand ... yet."
Linda nodded before walking over to start removing the IV from your arm. Peter only now started to take stock of the situation. Linda had been taking your blood, and as he turned to the monitors behind him, he started to try and understand the medical jargon written on them.
"I've been suspecting something was slightly off about Y/N's blood for a while. There was an anomaly I couldn't quite place and I didn't question it further or push it because if it wasn't harming her, then my guess was it was just a side effect from the bio weapon."
"But?" Peter whispered, holding your hand tightly as Linda took the other to extend your arm and bandage where the IV had been.
"A few months ago when we had all the ambassadors here, you remember they ... got into a fight? I treated all of them and I had all these samples. I was curious about the different DNA compositions and so I tested some of the blood from the Asgardians and the Skrulls, just to see."
"And she found a match," you whispered, eerily quiet.
"I don't understand," Peter looked to you.
"Look here," Linda pulled up an equation that Peter had no idea the meaning behind it, but then when Linda pulled up your own bloodwork, he suddenly understood.
"Asgardian," Peter mumbled, "You're ...?"
He turned back to see that you looked pale and tired. You were looking past him, not at him, as Peter squeezed your hand a bit tighter.
You were Asgardian.
"Not completely Asgardian," Linda stated softly, "Half."
"Half," Peter nodded, "Your mom isn't...?"
"My dad," you muttered, pulling your hand from Peter's and looking down as you clasped your hands together, "It makes sense, thinking on it now. There were a lot of signs leading to it, but since I never thought to make the connection I never put it all together."
Your brain felt like it was melting through your body and your skin was on fire. All those times your dad had mentioned something about his "homeland" or about his culture growing up, you hadn't given it much thought. And whenever your mom had said something about your dad's family being "worlds away" you'd simply figured another continent. But there were never any photos, or any names for you to add to your family tree assignment in elementary school. You never heard where your family was from, just "not here."
Little things that you'd noticed about your father growing up that you'd always wondered in the back of your mind but never let yourself truly dwell on started to surface. Like the way he never asked anyone for help when carrying groceries, or how he was ridiculously tall and muscular compared to all the other dads. He was a cop and then a detective ... that's how all cops were, right?
Or the fact that he'd trained you and your sister from an early age self-defense and some combat moves to "keep you both safe" just in case you ever needed them. Your sister hadn't had much interest in them, but you'd spent hours as a kid "sparring" with your dad. And there had always been a slight accent, but you'd never thought too much of it because it was normal to you having grown up with him. It had always sounded vaguely European, so you hadn't pushed it.
He'd seemed invincible, and yet he'd died so easily once he'd fallen ill.
"If he was Asgardian, how did he die?" you asked quietly, "Aren't Asgardians, like, immortal?"
"There's no saying how old your father was," Linda said quietly and carefully, "But my guess is he caught something that he couldn't quite shake. Asgardians have been sick. I've seen them fall ill reading about New Asgard. There are Earth-related illnesses that they aren't prone to so they don't have the same antibodies. Or ..."
"Or he was killed," you mumbled, looking away from everyone so you wouldn't start crying. You blinked furiously, willing yourself not to cry, but the feeling of Peter's hand gently resting on your lower back nearly broke you.
"So my sister too?" you asked, "She's Asgardian as well?"
"She has the same DNA," Linda agreed, "But my guess is the Asgardian genes and powers aren't as dominant in everyone, so where you might possess some special abilities, your sister might not or vice versa."
Peter's head was spinning as he thought back to all the moments that started to click. There were the moments you'd snap and suddenly it was like you were alert and overly aware of your surroundings if you thought you or anyone you knew might be in danger. Or when you would squeeze just a little too tightly, or bite and break his skin. Not to mention your fight or flight being significantly leaning towards fight whenever you were presented with a challenge. Peter knew that even if you weren't in any way Asgardian, you'd still have that fierce heart in you. But the fact that you had Asgardian blood running through your veins would explain why you were so eager to assist others by jumping into battle.
"Oh my God," you mumbled, "My mom must have known. She must have known where he was from ... right?"
"They were married," Peter said softly, rubbing your back up and down slowly, "I can only imagine two people who loved each other that much wouldn't have kept such a secret like that."
"This also explains why you were able to hold off the bio weapon for longer than a normal human when you were first attacked," Linda informed you, "Your body is just a bit tougher than the rest."
"Well we already knew that," Peter smiled slightly, "Asgardian or not, you've always been a warrior."
You sniffled and tried to smile and nod, but your body just wasn't letting you. Normally, Peter would ask for permission or make sure you were comfortable, but he didn't ask as he reached out and pulled you into his arms, holding you tightly. He grasped you so firmly in his arms that you allowed your body to go completely limp against his, giving into your exhaustion, and Peter sighed while kissing your temple.
"You're okay," he whispered, "Everything's okay."
"Who was he?" you asked, mostly to yourself, but it came out out loud.
"He was your dad," Peter said, "He was always your dad."
"But who was he before he was my dad?" you asked, "Will I ever know?"
Peter nibbled on his lip for a moment before he reached behind him for his phone in his back pocket, "I'll reach out to Loki," he stated, "I'll let him know and we can see if there was anyone Loki or Valkyrie would have been aware of leaving Asgard before the time you were born. We can show them photos of your dad and see if they recognize him."
Your hand shot out and you grasped his wrist, eyes wide when he looked up at you. "Don't," you whispered, "This isn't your issue to take care of. This is a family matter. It doesn't concern you."
Peter's eyes softened as he grasped your hand in his wrist and pulled it away, shifting so that your fingers were intertwined with his, "You're my family, peaches. Everything about you concerns me. You're my priority," he whispered, "I'd do anything for you, Y/N. Okay? Let me do this for you. Let's find you the answers you need."
"What if I don't want them?" you asked hurriedly. "What if he was some sort of criminal who was exiled? Or an assassin or a traitor?"
Linda placed her hand comfortingly on your shoulder, "You know in your heart who your father was. He was a kind man who raised a brilliant and loving daughter. No one who raised someone to be as amazing and kind as you could be anything other than a wonderful man."
"I know you, baby," Peter whispered, "And I know that if you keep yourself from finding out the information you're hoping to find, you'll go insane."
You knew Peter was right. It was comforting to know that Peter knew what you wanted without having to ask. You nodded with tears in your eyes. Peter smiled encouragingly before kissing you softly and then stepping out into the hall.
He could hear Linda explaining more to you as he closed the now broken door behind him. Étienne was still sitting on one of the benches in the hall, hands clasped tightly and foot bobbing up and down. When he saw Peter, he stood and cleared his throat.
"Is she okay?"
"She's fine," Peter nodded, too tired and coming down from his initial panic to keep up his angry act with Étienne - someone who obviously loved and cared for you very much. "I'll let her tell you though on her own time."
"But nothing's wrong?"
"She's perfectly healthy," Peter nodded, "But I'd give her space. You don't have to stay. She'll call when she wants to speak to everyone."
"Okay," Étienne nodded, "Does she need anything? Do ... you need anything?"
"Uh ... no," Peter mumbled, "But ... thanks."
"Sure," Étienne grabbed his jacket, "Let me know though, if anything comes up."
Peter nodded instead of spitting the usual 'don't hold your breath' remark he'd normally spew. His day had taken quite the turn, and he was too tired to get into it with Étienne who had been the one to alert him to your condition in the first place. Étienne wasn't petty, so calling your boyfriend to come and make sure you were okay was something a good person would do, and Peter knew that Étienne was a good person. But sometimes he still got on Peter's nerves.
"Peter?" you stuck your head out of the doorway as Étienne was making his way out, "I don't want you to call Loki just yet."
"Okay," Peter immediately put his phone away, "What do you want?"
"Firstly, I'd like for you to stop treating me like a child," you said, crossing your arms, "I can handle myself."
"Okay well it didn't seem like you did," you rolled your eyes, "You ran in here like I'd gotten detention at primary school or something."
"I was concerned for you," Peter smirked, "But I see from your sass that you are perfectly fine."
You shrugged and crossed your arms, leaning against the wall as you looked around you, "I don't feel like an Asgardian," you mumbled, "I feel like ... me."
"Feeling like you is the best way to feel," Peter stood across from you and gave you your space, "Just because you've found out something new about yourself doesn't mean you're any different from the person you were before you knew this information. Now you just get to better understand yourself."
"God what is everyone going to say," you groaned, covering your face.
"It doesn't matter what the say," Peter reminded you, pushing off the wall and grasping your wrists lightly to remove them from your face, "Whatever they have to say, they're just words. Words can't hurt you, nor do they control you."
"Says the guy who lets everyone's words get to him," you poked Peter in the chest, smiling slightly.
Peter chuckled and shrugged, "Everyone loves you and they're going to love you no matter who you are or whose DNA runs through your veins, got it?" Peter kissed your forehead, "If anything, they'll probably love you more because this just proves how badass you are."
You scoffed, "Speaking of words, you somehow always know what to say."
You melted into Peter's arms and the two of you stood there in the middle of the hallway holding one another as you allowed yourself to relax. Weirdly enough, when Linda had first told you about her findings, it hadn't exactly surprised you. Maybe deep in your soul you'd known all along? You'd never wanted to admit that you were special because it never felt like you had the right to be. But Peter had always made you feel special since the moment he met you, and so part of you had always thought that yes, you were different, and that yes, you were special.
You'd just never expected it be this special.
"When you're ready to call Loki, we can call him together. Or, better yet, I can take you to New Asgard and we can find all the answers we need there."
"But you'll stay with me?" you asked hesitantly, "I'm not ready to take all this on alone."
"You're not going to have to," Peter told you firmly, "I promise. I'll be by your side the whole time."
"Thank you," you breathed, "I love you."
"Ah," Peter smiled, "Speaking of words, my three favorite to hear you say."
You laughed before he kissed you, whispering, "I love you too."
Once you were ready, Peter took you back to Stark Industries where you sat in his office the rest of the day as Peter caught up on the work he'd missed. You felt like your chest was bursting seeing how Peter understood you. Even though you'd had plans to go and paint the guest bedroom of your new place, Peter knew that with this new information of Asgardian blood in your veins, you'd want to work - you'd want a distraction.
He didn't even ask you, or see if it was what you wanted. He knew you well enough to know that you'd need to tire out your brain through work before you could fully compute this new information. As you sat on the sofa and worked, your eyes would always meet Peter's whenever you looked up. His eyes would land on yours and he's smile slightly while remaining on the phone, or before he looked back down at his work, you it always left you comforted.
The two of you ate with Harley, Jessica, and Cindy in Harley's lab for dinner. Peter didn't bring up your newly discovered ancestry once, making you realize that he truly was leaving this new information for you to tell. At one point Cindy nudged her foot against yours, poking you then with her chopsticks to shake you from your daydream.
"What's wrong?" she asked flatly.
You pushed your orange chicken around the container and shrugged, "Just a long day," you mumbled.
You caught the eye of Tony as he was walking by out of his office and when he noticed you sitting in there he stopped, gave you a subtle thumbs-up as if asking "you good?"
You quickly nodded and gave him a just as subtle thumbs-up back, to which he nodded and kept walking. Obviously it wasn't subtle enough, because Cindy put down her food and crossed her arms.
"Liar," she stated.
"It's not a big deal," you muttered.
She eyed you suspiciously for a moment as you held her gaze, waiting for her to snap. But she didn't, and instead she turned to Jessica and asked, "So, are you ready for patrol tonight?"
"I've been dying to go out!" Jessica wailed dramatically, tossing herself backwards onto Harley's sofa.
"You've been so patient. I'm proud of you," Harley chuckled, "But we had to make sure your suit was just right."
Jessica sat bolt upright with wide eyes and an even wider smile, "You finished it?" she nearly screamed, causing all of you to laugh.
"Feast your eyes, spiderling," Harley said, turning in his chair and hitting a few buttons on his keyboard. The wall panel behind one of his lab tabels opened to reveal a shiny suit in the same material as Peter's old suits. It was all red with the bodice and boots a shimmering yellow outlined in black. Instead of a full mask, there was only a prepared mask for the eyes in the same white style as Peter's lined in yellow and red.
"Oh my gosh," Jessica whispered in awe, "I love it!"
"It's the first of many," Peter reminded her, "But it should do for now."
"Now you can officially start patrolling with us," Cindy smiled brightly.
"But I don't have a name!" Jessica wailed, "What should I go by? Spider-Girl sounds so ... childish. A-And I don't have anything fun to be named after like Cindy's silk scarf. I ... I don't -"
"How about you start going by Spider-Woman?" Peter asked, "Sounds like a promising, young super-heroine, right?"
Jessica was almost in tears as she jumped up and, to everyone's surprised, tackled Peter in a hug first. His eyes widened and he didn't hug back right away, before his eyes met yours in alarm and surprise. Slowly he hugged her back as she continued to squeeze him excitedly and yell, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
The moment was touching enough that you could have started crying. Peter held Jessica tightly as she giggled and continued to squeeze him excitedly. She pulled away and wiped her tears before saying, "I won't let you down."
"I know," Peter nodded, "I know you won't."
"I'm going to go get dressed!" Jessica screeched, grabbing the suit from where Harley had his hung up and bolting out the door."
"Well that was adorable," Harley smirked, "Super spidey dad over here."
He jerked his thumb in Peter's direction and Peter rolled his eyes, "She's not going to be a girl forever. At some point she's going to grow up, and going by Spider-Girl her whole life I'm sure would be scaring."
"You know we're going to really have to look after her?" Cindy fretted, trying to keep it together, "She's never practiced out in the open before."
"She's going to be fine, Cin," Peter waved it off, "She's strong and she's ready."
"IT FITS!" you could all hear Jessica screeching from the bathroom, and you couldn't help but laugh.
"I'm going to head home," you stood, setting aside your barely eaten dinner, "I'm exhausted."
"I can take you," Peter stood, setting aside his dinner.
"No no," you placed your hand on his chest and smiled at him lovingly, "I don't want you to miss a single moment of this."
You nudged your head in Jessica's direction where she'd slid out into the hallway again, now completely dressed. "IT HAS WINGS!" she screamed, nearly sobbing as she lifted her arms to show the built in spiderweb styled wings Harley had installed.
Peter smirked and affectionately watched as Jessica spun around to view her image in the glass. A weird pride was overtaking him that he couldn't quite place. As afraid as he was to let loose such a young girl as Jessica onto patrol, he also knew she was strong enough to handle it. He'd been watching her train for almost two months now, and he felt a sense of satisfaction and pride seeing her come into her powers with such grace and poise.
"I'll see you tomorrow," you reached up on your tip toes to kiss Peter on the cheek.
"I'm making breakfast tomorrow," Peter reminded you, "For Ned's birthday."
"Oh my God I completely forgot," Cindy gasped, "I don't have a gift for him yet!"
"We can go shopping after patrol," Peter said, "You'll be there?"
"Like I'd miss Neddy's birthday," Cindy rolled her eyes.
Peter nodded and looked back down at you, "Why don't you stay the night at mine tonight? I can meet you there once patrol is over."
As tempting as that was, you felt the strongest urge to be home in your own bed. The first people you wanted to tell about your newfound identity were your best friends, and you knew that if you could get through telling them, you could tell anyone.
"I think I should be home tonight," you whispered, "But thank you, lover."
"I'll see you in the morning then," Peter whispered before kissing you. It was one of the slow, drawn out kisses that always made your toes curl. It was almost too comfortable of a kiss, like slipping into a particularly warm blanket, or the feeling of a nice hot shower.
"See you in the morning," you agreed once you broke apart, "Thank you for today."
"Of course," Peter squeezed your hand once more before you made your way out. It had been a while since you'd taken the train and as you made your way to your subway stop, you felt young, vulnerable, and displaced. Nothing about you had changed other than information relating to your family's past, and yet everything felt different.
You were so in your mind that you barely paid attention as you walked up the steps to your apartment. Thandie was over at Jason's for the night, and Lazlo said he was working a full night shift, so even though you'd wanted to talk with them, you'd have to wait.
The hallway was dark because the light had gone out a week ago and your landlord still hadn't fixed it. And maybe if you weren't so in your head and preoccupied mentally you would have been more aware, but instead you had to hear him first as he stepped out of the dark.
Just like the psychopath he was.
Immediately you dropped your keys and gasped so loudly and sharply that your lungs felt like they were being cut. You stumbled backwards and nearly tripped over your own feet had he not reached out and caught you.
Pale, pale blue eyes, silvery blonde hair, and even paler skin - Harry Osborn had hardly changed since the last time you saw him.
"I've been waiting for you," he said smoothly, letting you go as you stepped back, having gained your footing. He ran his hands through his long, silky hair and smiled, winking at you. "Long time, no see. Huh princess?"
"Don't call me that," you whispered.
Your brain stopped functioning, and every thought to call Peter, or anyone, shut down. Here Harry was completely unannounced on today of all days staring at you. Your waist was still burning from where his hands had touched you, and you felt like you could cry.
Some Asgardian warrior you were, reduced to tears and shaking at the sight of your shitty ex-boyfriend.
"I missed you," Harry stepped forward, causing you to take another step back, "I'm back in the city and figured I would pop in and say hi. We should catch up."
"What are you doing here?"
"I just said, I missed you," Harry rolled his eyes, "Aren't you listening? Let's get a drink."
There was a weird swishing noise and then someone landed in front of you. You closed your eyes as you hear a sharp smack, hiss, and Harry cursing under his breath.
"Fat chance, Skeletor. My girl isn't going anywhere with you."
Your eyes opened wide as you looked up to see Felicia standing in front of you with her legs wide, hand still raised, and a devilish look in her eyes. Harry's cheek was bleeding where she'd clawed at him, and she put her arm out, blocking you from him.
"I suggest you leave," Felicia purred, "And if you don't, I'll go for the throat next time. And not in the fun way I know you like."
Harry wiped at the blood on his cheek and scoffed, "Not as much fun as you used to be, huh Fe?"
"You'd be surprised," Felicia purred, "Now leave before I beat your ass."
Harry tossed his jacket over his shoulder and shrugged, "Till next time, princess," he winked and headed down the stairs.
"Don't count on it!" Felicia called after him before turning to you.
She was dressed in a pair of tight leather leggings, a black bralette, and the hottest most trim leather jacket you'd ever seen. Her long, lush silvery hair was somehow perfectly placed even after ambushing Harry, and she checked her nails before sighing dramatically.
She bent down and picked up your keys, opening your door. You watched as she walked in as if she'd never been away, surveying the place. "Oh," she looked down as Webs hissed at her, "I see you still have this furry baby."
"Felicia," you breathed, stepping into your apartment and closing the door, making sure to lock it. "You're here!"
"In the flesh. Bullet holes and all," she nodded, trying to look bored, "Where's Lazlo keeping his tequila these days?"
"I missed you so much!" you gushed, running up to her and wrapping your arms around her.
Felicia stiffened and mumbled, "Aw ... gross," before you felt her wrap her arms around you and hug you back.
* * *
“But there’s three words that just mean so much to me. Especially if they’re true. If you mean ‘em let me hear you say (I love you). Right (I love you). Oh yes, yes. (I love you) Mm yes I do (You know I do) Just can’t deny it (I swear I do) No doubt about i baby. Way deep in my soul.” - Solomon Burke
* * *
author's note: my editing for this chapter was super lazy because i got tired of it halfway through, so i apologize for any typos or grammatical errors. but here it is ! ch. 3 "in the flesh"
also i know the whole harry thing felt rushed but i wanted it to because i wanted it to feel super disjointed and kind of like ‘wait what just happened’ because that will lead up to the next chapter lol so don’t worry, yes it’s bad writing, but it’s bad writing intentionally *i tell myself*
thanks for hanging in and waiting for the next chapter ! as always, y'all are the gems of my life. hope you enjoyed !
feedback !! please !
donate: buy marlie b a coffee ?
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