Summary: While drunk at a party, MJ decides to play a little “game” with Peter to see if he can guess who she’s head-over-heals for.
Warnings: Drinking, Cursing, I was tired when I wrote this
Word Count: 2,040
Written for @spideychelleweek with the prompts “drunk and first kiss”
Also read here on AO3
Peter was already tipsy when he arrived at Flash’s party, as he had just been at the bar trying to get drunk. He would have gladly spent the entire night sulking at the bar but, when he got a text saying there was a party at Flash’s place, he decided it was better to get drunk around some friends with games and decent music instead of being alone with nothing but a crappy football game to keep him company. Also the bartender was beginning to look concerned as Peter downed who knows how many shots that seemed to have no effect on him, so it was only polite to save him the confusion and worry.
So, now he lounges lazily on a couch with a bottle of vodka in his hand as he watches Felicia take a body shot off Gwen who is draped across a table and giggling drunkly. The colorful lights are bright around him as the floor sways and his head spins— it almost looks like he’s trapped inside a smudged painting of blues and purples.
The only way he can really get drunk is with hard liquor that he prefers to drink from the bottle. Some think he is trying (and succeeding) to show off. But anyone who really knows Peter knows that the last thing he cares to do is show off. Therefore, if Peter is so desperate to get drunk that’d he’ll lay on the couch gulping down everything in sight, there is likely something very wrong.
Michelle is the first to notice Peter’s state, being as observant as she is. She has barely had enough drinks to be considered drunk, and that was perfect. The only way she can approach Peter is when she was a little drunk and she can let the alcohol do the talking.
“Hey, loser,” Michelle greets as she plops down next to Peter.
He looks at her with tired, half-open eyes and regards her with a nod, “‘sup, MJ,” he speaks with his words heavily slurred, “how’s it going?”
“It’s going,” she shrugs, “what about you? You seem pretty…” she looks him up and down, “pretty miserable.”
“Did you just call me pretty?” He chuckles and smiles a dopey grin.
She feels her face warm up a little then shakes her head, “Pretty miserable.”
“Ah,” he nods and takes another sip of his drink, “yeah, that’s accurate.”
Michelle leans forward, “what happened?”
He shrugs, “lost my job and uh- some shit went down with Spiderman.”
“I-it’s not important though,” Peter says as quickly as his drunken mind will allow.
“I’m just surprised you know Spidey,” Michelle replies.
“Yeah,” he shrugs like it’s no big deal, “normally we’re friends, but right now…” he shakes his head and stares off, looking real empty, “I could fucking strangle that bastard.”
Michelle’s expression melts into a concerned frown then she blurts: “I thought you were Spiderman.”
Peter shrugs again, evident tears glossing over his eyes as he takes a swig of his drink. Michelle examines him for a moment as he stares at the ground, his breaths shuddering and uneven. She hates seeing him upset like this and, whatever happened, the alcohol isn’t letting him forget quite yet.
“I’m not having too great a day either,” Michelle says after a moment, wanting to steer away from the Spiderman topic.
Peter looks back at her with a worried frown, seeming to forget his own troubles just for her. “What’s wrong?”
“There’s this guy,” she explains slowly, turning her body to face Peter, “and I really, really like him.”
Peter swallows thickly and mutters a quiet, disappointed “oh” that Michelle barely hears, but takes note of anyways.
“But I don’t think he likes me back,” she continues, “and the more I think about it, the more I absolutely fucking hate it.”
“What’s this guy like?” Peter asks, finishing off the bottle in his hand.
“He’s cute. Adorable freckles—“
“I have freckles.”
“—nice smile, the sweetest brown eyes.”
“Brown eyes are the best,” Peter says, practically mumbling now as the words smash together. And as he speaks, he’s staring into the swaying image of Michelle own eyes, which are his new favorite color.
“Yeah,” Michelle hums, “he’s also kinda dumb but- like- really smart. Like stupid smart. But he acts like a dumbass. He’s sweet too—“ as she speaks she eyes Peter closely, as if afraid that she’ll leave out any details as she describes him “—when I’m upset, he notices, and always asks how I’m doing.”
“Sounds nice,” Peter grumbles.
“He is. And he thinks he’s hilarious, even though he’s not. I mean, sometimes he says something funny but it’s always just, like, a step above a dad joke,” Michelle giggles as she says this and Peter’s lips twitch into a lopsided smile. “He still makes me smile though.”
“And that’s what’s important, huh?” He grunts.
Michelle nods, a bit surprised that Peter hasn’t picked up on her little game. She really thought the dad joke comment would do it for him.
A lousy smirk rolls across her lips as she examines him. Let’s see how long it takes him, she thinks mischievously.
“We go to college together, but he misses a lot of lectures-“
“I dunno,” she shrugs casually and sips her drink before continuing, “probably work. But even though he is late to literally everything ever, he’s really nice to be around, y’know? He’s only got two or three friends-“
“Loser,” Peter snorts.
“Yeah,” she laughs slightly, “he’s a massive loser. But, he really loves the two friends he’s got and I just… I knowhe’d never trade them out for anything. And he likes making them smile, tries keeping them safe-“
“Everything. I think he’s scared— probably lost too many people and just…”
“I bet he feels like it’s all his fault,” Peter speaks up, his eyes watering in a way that makes Michelle think he’s talking about himself, “because he’s supposed to be the strong one, but what’s the use in being strong if everyone I- he loves just fucking dies. A-and so he’s trying to protect the friends he does have from everything— like, everything— ‘cause he just feels like there’s al-always something round the corner waiting to hurt them,” he goes to take a sip of his drink, only to realize it’s empty with a grunt, “I bet he can’t trust anything anymore. He’s just waiting for someone else to die.”
Michelle’s quiet for a moment, but when she finds her voice it breaks and wobbles, “y-yeah. I-I bet he um…” she clumsily wipes away a tear before it can fall.
Peter sniffs then lays down, too dizzy to keep sitting upright, “what else is he like?”
“Why’re you so curious?” Michelle narrows her eyes at him, her voice slowly evening itself out.
He gives a half-hearted shrug, “dunno. I just wanna make sure he’s not a piece of shit.”
“He’s not. I mean, he kinda is but in a lovable way. And I really like talking to him, but I can’t do it sober.”
Peter raises his head and props himself up with an elbow, “are you sober right now?”
“Yeah… no. No, I’m not,” she admits.
Curious, Peter sits up a little more, leaning against the couch for support, “we don’t talk much,” he observes.
“No, we don’t,” she agrees, “I wish we talked more though.”
“Me too,” he sighs, then returns to the topic, “anything else you like about this super perfect loser?”
“Aside from everything?” Michelle raises an eyebrow and Peter huffs dramatically, “every time I see him, I say ‘hey, loser’ and I think it’s cute that he lets me.”
“So cute,” Peter rolls his eyes, and Michelle can’t help but take note of how Peter seems to get more and more bothered as she speaks of her little crush who he can’t seem to figure out.
“Sometimes I think he might like me too,” Michelle hums.
Peter flops backwards and lays his head on the armrest, “what would you do if he did like you?”
“Probably give him a kiss.”
“I could help you practice kissing him,” Peter offers helpfully.
Michelle’s heart leaps and she looks at him with wide eyes, “what?”
“I doubt you need practice,” Peter quickly corrects, then verbally vomits without thinking once: “I’m sure you’ve kissed lots of people and all of those people are so, so lucky ‘cause you’re so cool and kind and beautiful and you just noticed I was sad and came to talk to me and I’m going to be thinking about that for- like- a really long time.”
“Why?” She prods and she can feel her face heating up and her heartbeat quickens.
“I think about you a lot,” he admits, tossing his empty bottle on the ground with a clank, “you’re just really amazing, y’know?”
She leans forward and props herself with one hand by his head, “thank you, loser.”
“We should get drunk more,” he says, wrapping his arms around her and forcing her to lay on top of him a little (she doesn’t mind none).
“Why’s that?” Michelle adjusts her arms to sit a little more comfortably.
“So we can talk more often,” Peter says and even when his face is lit up with purplish lights, Michelle can see the pink blush that decorates his cheeks. “I really like talking to you.”
“I like talking to you, too,” she hums, her face only a few inches away from his, making her heart pound rapidly.
He clumsily tucks a few of her curls behind her ear, making her lips curve into a soft smile. This is exactly the moment she’s been waiting for since realizing how much she likes the idiot below her. And as her heart races and her face grows warm, she feels a strong tug in her stomach followed by a swell in confidence. As far as she’s concerned, it’s now or never (at least until she gets drunk again).
“Can I kiss you?” Michelle asks abruptly.
“What?” Peter furrows his brow and his mind lags like an old computer.
“Can I kiss you?” She repeats, “for practice.”
He flashes a dopey grin and draws her closer to him, “yes, please.”
With Peter’s powerful arms around her neck, Michelle leans in and swiftly locks her lips with his. It’s a bit sloppy and clumsy, but they both melt into it gratefully. With one hand, Michelle strokes the side of his cheek and he exhales blithely through his nose.
Then, all too soon, Peter pulls away and when Michelle opens her eyes she sees him looking up at her with his glassy eyes and his brow scrunched up.
“Am I the loser you were talking about?” he slowly asks.
She tilts her head to the side with a smile, “took you long enough.”
His face lights up and his eyes go wide, “are- are you serious?”
“Yeah,” she chuckles.
“Oh-“ he laughs and his face grows even redder, “Em, I-“
“Feel the same?” She assumes, and he nods with a goofy grin that makes her face flush as she giggles, “yeah, I can tell.”
“What gave it away?”
“How badly you wanted to kiss me.”
“What about how badly I want to do it again?” He raises an eyebrow mischievously.
Hope and joy fluttering in her chest like a swarm of butterflies, Michelle lunges forward and embraces him in another kiss. It’s more passionate and confident then the first one, and Michelle feels her heart melt as she notices Peter stroking her hair tenderly.
“Get some, Peter!” Harry cheers from across the room.
The two jump part and Peter throws back his head with a laugh. Michelle’s face goes hot with embarrassment and she swears every set of eyes in the room turn to look at them.
But, before she can push herself away from Peter, he rests his hand on her cheek and turns her head to look at him.
“I think everyone’s too drunk to remember this tomorrow,” he assures, “it’s okay.”
She simpers sheepishly then settles into his touch and rests her head comfortably on his chest, “can we just stay like this for a while?”
He nods, “anything you want, MJ.”
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Summary: MJ’s days away from marrying Harry, but Peter is still depressingly in love with her and decides to confess.
Warnings: Lotta Cursing, Cliche as hell
Word Count: 7,208
Written for @spideychelleweek with the prompt “Love Confessions”
Also read here on AO3
He should be happy for her— his dearest friend, Michelle, as her wedding is just days away. Peter should be hugging her as tightly as Ned does and smiling as brightly as Betty does. But he’s not. His smiles are thin and forced while his insides weep softly. And he doesn’t hug her at all, despite the physically affectionate person he usually is. He doesn’t even go near her all that much, as if the most innocent and brief touches could twist and strain his heart even more so than it already has been.
He’s not happy for her. Michelle’s getting married in two days, and Peter’s not happy for her.
He knows it’s stupid, pathetic, and petty to be hung up on his ex-girlfriend from highschool (they’re twenty-eight now), but he can’t help it. He’s tried moving past this undeniable, inescapable yearning for Michelle countless times. He had tried dating other people (to name a few: Gloria, Johnny, Liz— they are still friends now), but Peter’s relationships with them had been brief flings that ended swiftly.
Countless nights had been spent wondering if he was brave enough to ask Michelle for a second chance. But, memories of the look of dismay and the tears that stained her cheeks after he choked out: “I think we have to break up,” chased away any courage he gained. It was for the best, he always had to remind (rather, convince) himself. He had missed too many dates and important events, put her in danger one too many times, was incapable of keeping a job— he wasn’t enough for her.
So, now here they were. In Italy, with Michelle two days away from marrying her boyfriend of three years— Harry Osborn.
“Hey, Pete!” Harry calls, “are you coming with us or are you gonna keep staring off into space?”
Peter looks away from the sun setting peacefully and vibrantly on Vienna’s horizon and attempts to meet Harry’s gaze. His jaw goes tight and his eyes drop to his feet.
Harry’s a fine person— attractive as hell, stupid rich, and... that’s it actually. Maybe it was just him being bitter, but Peter saw no appeal past Harry’s looks and wealth. Sometimes he wonders if Michelle felt compelled to marry him for some reason. Why she would feel compelled to do something like that, Peter has no idea. But, he does know Michelle well enough to remember that she used to glare down at the thought of marriage.
“Sorry,” Peter grunts, after a brief pause.
“It’s alright, let’s just go,” Harry shrugs nonchalantly, “everyone’s real hungry.”
Peter only nods stiffly then follows Harry to the hotel lobby where their friends wait. In addition to Peter, Ned, Betty, Felicia, Gwen, and Johnny were the only ones who would be accompanying the engaged couple that night. Their parents (or aunt, in Peter’s case) had already gone out to dinner and the rest of the wedding guests weren’t close enough to Michelle or Harry to tag along.
Peter’s eyes briefly flicker to Michelle, lingering just long enough for him to spot her lopsided simper aimed towards him. His heart jumps joyously then sinks into the depths of his chest melancholily, prompting him to look away.
Sometimes, he swears her smiles were brighter, more relaxed, and more genuine as opposed to the tight-lipped grins she flashed at her fiancé.
“Where’re Liz and Miles?” Peter asks upon noticing the absence of his two friends.
“Miles said he was too tired,” Gwen answers, “and Liz already ate.”
He nods and stuffs his hands in his pockets, unsure of where to look. Before he can pick a spot to stare at, Johnny catches his attention with a clap of his hands.
“What’re we waiting for? Let’s go eat!” He speaks enthusiastically.
They all agree and Peter steals one more glance at Michelle— her sharp and calculative eyes, her flowing curls, her plump and unsmiling lips— before he tears his gaze away.
He wishes he could tell her how much he misses being her boyfriend. He thinks about the feeling of her lips against his and her hand grasping his palm every night— they always fit together like puzzle pieces.
“Are you still feeling sorry for yourself?” Ned asks somewhat teasingly as if he can read Peter’s mind— although, all he needed was to see Peter’s eyes lingering on Michelle.
“Psh, no,” Peter denies with a scoff.
Ned raises his eyebrows at Peter in disbelief. Peter sighs in defeat, knowing that he and Ned are at a point in their friendship where lying was impossible.
“Okay, maybe a little bit,” he admits shamefully.
“Man,” Ned sighs, “you need to move on—“
“I know, I know.”
“—Peter, I’m serious. She’s literally getting married”
“I can’t help it, Ned,” Peter insists, “I’ve tried so hard to get over her. And I almost have, but then...” he looks over at Michelle to see her smile and snort a laugh at something Gwen said, “then I look at her and fall in love with her all over again.”
Ned blinks, “dude.”
“I know,” Peter suspires and ducks his head in embarrassment, knowing how much of a Hopeless Case he is.
“You’re a mess,” Ned states it as a fact as opposed to a teasing joke.
Peter grumbles, “I know.”
Soon enough, the friends arrive at a restaurant that Johnny insists is the best place he’s ever eaten. But, Johnny is far from a picky eater and claims every other restaurant he eats at to be the best place he’s ever eaten. Peter trusts his judgement though, but only because they’re in Italy— where all the food tastes amazing.
They’re seated at a large, outdoor table, given their menus, and left to arrange themselves. Ned takes his seat next to Betty, who sits next to Gwen, who claims her seat aside Felicia, who sits by Johnny, who opts to sit across from Peter and next to Harry, who sat across from Michelle (“so I can see your beautiful face,” he cheekily justified.)
Conversation is quickly struck up amongst the group of friends. Peter sighs quietly then looks to his left, his heart stopping in its tracks and his lungs being stripped of oxygen when he lays eyes on Michelle. His eyes widen a little as he stares at her, using the moment to take in every detail of her face— the texture of her skin, the highlights in her eyes, the shine of her lips.
“Hey,” Michelle mutters to Peter, resting her hand lightly on the back of his palm and keeping her voice quiet as to avoid interrupting the conversation around them, “are you okay? You look a little pale.”
Peter opens and closes his mouth a few times dumbly, as if he has forgotten how to speak. His heart pounds and his skin grows feverish were her hand lays; his head grows light as if he’s stood up too fast and, suddenly, he finds himself in high school once again.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he finally manages, his voice wavering.
“You sure?” She urges.
He nods quickly, “I’m sure. Are- um- are you okay?”
She raises an eyebrow and bobs her head, “do I look okay?“
“Y-yeah,” he stammers quickly, “you look really good.”
“Thanks, dork,” she chuckles and takes her hand away from his.
The corner of his mouth twitches into an unsteady simper and he manages to let out the breath that had been caught in the back of his throat. The warmth of her hand lingers on his skin and their gazes remain locked for a few moments extra.
Given the ability, Michelle would make everything look and feel as warm and sweet as Peter’s eyes were. Gazing into them feels like returning home to a lit fireplace and cup of hot chocolate on a cold, winter day. It makes her heart flutter and her face grow heated as she finds a small part of herself fighting away a yearning to be held by his protective, bulky arms.
He’s been so distant the past few years, but especially since they arrived in Italy together. She’s unsure if she’ll ever gain the courage to tell him (especially considering the fact that she’ll be wedded to Harry in just two days), but she can’t help but miss being his girlfriend sometimes. He always gave her the sweetest kisses and warmest hugs; her head fit perfectly on his shoulder and he never minded if she soaked his shirt with tears when she was having a hard time. And, if she’s really feeling brave, she can admit to herself that no one had made her feel loved in the way Peter had— that’s what had always made him stand out. Even Harry, who undoubtedly loves her, doesn’t make her feel quite like Peter had.
“I think everyone’s ready to order,” Harry observes, snatching up Peter and Michelle’s attention.
“Yeah,” Peter agrees, clearing his throat and tearing his gaze away from Michelle, “I think so.”
Michelle meets her fiancé’s eyes and presses her lips into a thin smile. There it is, Peter thinks worriedly, there’s that fake smile.
Harry catches a waitress’s attention and the black haired woman paces over to their table. They each smile politely in greeting as she takes out her notepad.
“Buonasera, posso prendere i tuoi ordini?” the pretty waitress asks— good evening, may I take your orders?
“Sí,” Peter replies for his friends, being the most fluent in Italian.
He orders their meals for his company— excluding Michelle, who speaks for herself in near-perfect Italian. Peter’s eyes light up and he raises his eyebrows at her. She winks cheekily at him in response.
Peter wraps up the order then politely compliments the waitress’s curly hair, making her face flush and her lips spread into a smile. She sheepishly mutters “grazie mille” then left to relay their orders to the chef.
Despite knowing the compliment was merely for the sake of making the waitress smile (Peter loves to make people smile), Michelle can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy. She misses Peter telling her how beautiful she is— he used to tell her everyday, making sure she never forgot.
“Sono colpito,” Peter praises Michelle— I’m impressed.
She smiles gently, “grazie.”
“Since when did you become fluent in Italian?” Betty asks Michelle, her voice bright— as always.
“I took some online lessons a little bit before we got here,” Michelle replies, then briefly glances at Peter, “I couldn’t let Peter be the only multilingual genius here.”
“Cute!” Felicia hums.
Peter flushes and Harry speaks up with a raised eyebrow, “I’m literally her fiancé?”
“Mm, right,” Felicia remembers, having momentarily forgotten why they had traveled to Italy.
The friends chuckle and Peter stirs in his seat, stealing a sideways glance at Michelle as he does so. His breath hitches and he quickly tears his gaze away when he sees her looking back at him.
Like all food in Italy, their dinner exceeds expectations. And as they eat, Harry seems to hold Michelle close. Somewhat physically, but mostly mentally— dragging her opinions into conversations, keeping his eyes locked on her as if to stop her eyes from trailing to Peter, reaching across the table to hold her free hand and making her smile that tight smile.
Peter can’t help but notice these things. He’s jittery with what feels like urgency, as though he’s had a window of opportunity gaping open for years, but now it’s shrinking and beginning to disappear. In two days— when Michelle marries— the window will be completely gone. Eating dinner aside his former lover is what does it for him— makes him realize how anxious he is and how badly his heart aches.
“I think you should tell her how you feel,” Ned says later that night, when the sun has set and the friends have retreated to their hotel rooms.
“You do?” Peter raises an eyebrow and leans back in his chair.
He feels guilt roll around in his stomach like a boulder every time he talks to Ned about Michelle. He knows Ned must be tired of the subject and tired of urging him to move on. Ned’s set Peter up with a handful of dates— he’s the reason Peter dated Johnny for a few months— but, he grew to give up when he realized the only person Peter could love as deeply as he loved Michelle— was Michelle.
“Yeah,” Ned nods, “if nothing else, you can get it off your chest.”
“But she doesn’t feel the same way,” Peter assumes, running his hand through his hair, “wh-what if I freak her out? Or she doesn’t wanna be friends anymore?”
Ned shrugs, “then say it was a joke or something.”
“Dude-“ Peter pauses, then mulls over his friend’s words for a moment, “... that’s actually not a horrible idea.”
“I know,” Ned replies flatly, “I also know that this—“ he gestures vaguely to Peter “—isn’t healthy.”
Peter hangs his head and sighs, embarrassed, “I know.”
“And who knows,” Ned adds, “you might feel a lot better afterwards.”
“Or a lot worse,” Betty chimes in as she emerges from the kitchen with a jar of pickled olives.
“Betty, seriously?” Ned huffs as she casually pops an olive in her mouth.
“‘M jus’ sayin,’” she mumbles through a mouthful.
“No, no,” Peter waves Ned off, “she’s right.”
“You guys—“ she swallows the olive then settles on Ned’s lap “—where so cute when you were together.”
Peter chuckles softly and nods, sweet memories dancing in his mind, “yeah she was- she is pretty, um... pretty damn great.”
“When’re you gonna tell her?” Ned asks, wrapping his arms around Betty’s torso.
“Um...” he rubs the back of his neck, “I’m- uh- I dunno. Soon, probably.”
Neds nods then Peter stands up and stretches. Whether he’ll actually talk to Michelle one-on-one (or confess his feelings to her), is still somewhat of a mystery to him— despite telling his friends he would. There’s a rather high chance he chickens out and bails, but for now, he needs to think it through.
“I’m gonna go take a walk,” he announces, plucking his jacket off a coat rack.
“Alright, don’t get lost,” Ned jokes.
“Be back before your bedtime,” Betty adds.
“Gee thanks, guys,” Peter sighs semi-enthusiastically.
He ducks out the front door and drags his coat over his shoulders. As he trudges through the grand halls of the hotel, his head spins dizzyingly. His mind races and swirls while simultaneously feeling stagnant— as if he’s hit some sort of brick wall that he needs to tear down.
Mulling over his obnoxious emotions, Peter steps outside. The night air is cool and crisp, quickly refreshing and relaxing Peter’s tense body.
Before he can pick a direction to start his walk, Peter is stopped in his tracks by a commotion inside the hotel. His ears prick up and his head whips around to look at the front doors. If he’s unmistaken, what he’s hearing is an argument between Michelle and her fiancé.
“Don’t fucking walk away from me, MJ!” Harry demands, “let’s just talk about this!”
“I told you, you can’t bitch at me when I look at another guy!” Michelle snaps, “that’s all I have to say.”
Cazzo, Peter thinks sharply to himself as he sucks in a breath. He quickly looks away as Michelle storms out of the hotel. She’s quickly stopped by Harry who grasps her wrist tightly.
“Can you just calm the fuck down?” Michelle challenges, snatching her wrist away from him, “I’m not leaving you, I’m just going on a goddamned walk!”
“Fine,” Harry huffs, “just be back soon.”
“Whatever,” she mutters carelessly as her fiancé whirls around and storms away.
Peter forces himself not to look at her, although she is less than a meter away from him. Instead, he stares at his feet anxiously, as if Michelle won’t notice him.
“Oh shi- hey, Peter,” Michelle startles as she turns around to see him.
Peter quickly forces a more smooth, less awkward appearance as he looks up at her with a half smile, “ciao bella,” he cheekily greets.
She hums her amusement and smirks at him, “No wonder Harry’s freaking out about us.”
“What, he wants a threesome or something?” He jokes dumbly.
Michelle lets out a laugh, her mood immediately improves. It’s impossible for her to not loosen up a little around Peter.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” She chuckles, giving his shoulder a playful shove.
He rubs the back of his neck sheepishly, “a lot of things.”
Seeing his goofy grin, Michelle feels her heart flutter and her cheeks grow a little warm. Even years after she first fell in love with that idiot, he still makes her blush with the tiniest things.
“You- um,” Peter shuffles his feet uncertainly, “you wanna go on a walk? I-if not-“
“No, I’d love to,” she quickly interrupts.
A joyed smile spreads across his lips, “awesome.”
With hearts skipping and smiles beaming, the two begin walking down the sidewalk with their fists stuffed in their pockets to resist the urge to hold each other’s hands. In the resting city, the two friends remain quiet as both are unsure of what to talk about. Peter wisely chooses not to mention the fight he overheard, figuring that it’s none of his business and Michelle will bring it up if she wishes.
While Peter overthinks every step he takes, Michelle stares at her feet as she considers her situation: engaged to a decent man she likes, while feeling infinitely stronger towards her friend— and ex-boyfriend. She’s so far deep in her relationship with Harry that she feels that it’s pointless to leave it, especially when their wedding was as close as it was.
Sometimes, she felt as though she had made a mistake by saying yes when Harry proposed. She had froze when it happened, trapped by the gaze of his father and her family— she couldn’t humiliate him in front of everyone. And once the wedding plans had been made (it had all happened too fast for her to process), it felt like it simply made sense to marry him.
But then there was Peter. Several years ago (it felt like a lifetime had passed since), he had broken up with her and shattered her heart in the process. At first she had furious with him, then she was just sad, and now she still got upset from time to time— when she thought too hard about it— but she mostly missed Peter. She had never quite been able to fall out of love with him, even when she was tied down with an engagement ring. She doubts he returns the feelings that she holds for him— the ones that make her face grow warm, her heart flutter, and her head spin. He can take her back in time to high school with a smile and make her feel like the same girl who’d fallen head over heals for him. She hates it.
“How’s everything with Harry?” Peter blurts, internally cursing himself the moment the words leave his mouth.
“Um...” her voice trails off as she looks for the words.
“I’m sorry,” he quickly corrects himself, “y-you don’t have to-“
“No, no— it’s okay,” she assures, “things with Harry are... I-I don’t really know. He’s fine— mostly. But tonight, he got all pissed off that I looked at you during dinner. And it’s not the first time he’s done this either.”
“Oh,” Peter frowns, “that seems like an overreaction.”
Michelle sucks in a breath and nods. If he knew how she really felt, he would see what Harry’s been upset about. Harry isn’t oblivious (unlike Peter seems to be), and he doesn’t miss the longing glances she casts in her ex’s direction or the beaming smiles she flashes him a little more than necessary.
“I mean, it’s-“ she cuts herself off with a shrug, “he’s just like that.”
Peter bobs his head slightly and averts his gaze to his feet. He notices they’re crossing a bridge now as they speak— it’s the first time he’s noticed their surroundings that night. Usually, when Michelle’s in the picture, everything fades out of focus but her.
Before his mind can spiral into a whirlwind of thought, he finds himself blurting a question he knows he probably shouldn’t ask— makes him sound like a jackass (or a dumbass, depending on who’s listening):
“Why’re you marrying him?”
“What?” Michelle stops in her tracks and looks at him, seeming mildly offended.
He stops with her and rushes to correct himself, “I-I mean- like- it just seems like—“ he pauses a moment to collect his thoughts— “it seems like you don’t seem to sure about all—“ he gestures vaguely— “this. But that’s just what it looks like to me. I could be wrong-“
“No, you’re not completely wrong,” she says quickly, “I’m a little... I-i don’t know. I guess it just seems like it makes the most sense.”
“‘It makes the most sense?’ Is he, like- paying you or something?”
“No!” She defends, “fuck no. What-“
“Hey, hey,” he holds out his hands submissively, feeling his face heat up a little “it was just a joke. I’m kidding.”
She sighs softly, “it was a bad joke.”
“Yeah, I know,” he rubs the back of his burning neck, “sorry. It just... kinda feels like maybe you shouldn’t be doing something just because ‘it makes sense.’”
She eyes him closely, her shoulders relaxed again, “what do you mean?”
“I mean I’m a spider-themed vigilante, Johnny sets himself on fire, Felicia is both our best friend and thief I’m supposed to stop every night, and I—” he stops himself before he can add ‘I’m in love with you’ to the list of oddities “—the only thing that makes sense here is the fact that Harry is rich despite never working a day of his life.”
Michelle hums softly in agreement then asks: “where are you going with this?”
He sighs and pauses a moment, “I... I guess I just don’t want you to go through with this and regret it later. But I-I dunno. It’s none of my business.”
She steps back and leans against the bridge’s railing. Peter watches her carefully, trying to guess what she’ll do next. He won’t show it, but he wants nothing more than to pull her into his arms and hold her close to his chest and kiss her a thousand times. It makes him anxious as he feels it all building up every second he spends with her. He’s hid his feelings like treasure for all too long and he’s so close to caving in and revealing them.
“It’s like you don’t want me to get married,” she observes.
He doesn’t respond. Instead, he ducks his head and averts his eyes to the ground. His heart thunders in his ears and a rosy tint decorates his cheeks. He swallows thickly then lets out a shuddering breath.
Michelle’s eyes widen a little and her mouth falls open. His not-so-secret secret hits her in the chest like Thor’s hammer.
“You... don’t want me to get married,” she states and a small sense of almost-hopefulness flutters in her chest.
He shakes his head and shifts on his feet.
She eyes him closely, her heart pounding with anticipation. She thinks she knows the answer of what she’s about to ask next, but she’s unsure. Part of her hopes and begs that her suspicions are true, the other part of her dreads that she might be right and prays to no one that she’s wrong.
“Why not?” She asks, her voice shaky.
Peter takes a deep breath and gives himself a moment. He needs to think, clear his head, and- no. No, that’s the last thing he needs. He’s done too much overthinking and it’s all built up to this moment. He overthought their relationship, he overthought his feelings for her, he overthought and overthought and overthought and on and on and on— he could never seem to stop the racing of his mind.
But, in this moment, his mind finally slows to a halt. He looks up at Michelle and collects himself— only thinking about her.
Finally he confesses:
“Because I’m still in love with you.”
Michelle can only stare for a few beats. She can’t recall a time where she felt so much joy and disappointment in a single seconds. Her chest rises and falls, she wants to cheer and cry, her heart is heavy as led and light as air— all in the same breath.
Peter continues with sadness glossing over his eyes, “I know you don’t feel the same-“
“No, Peter,” she cuts him off with a wavering voice, “that’s the problem... I do.”
His eyes widen and a single word falls dumbly from his lips: “what?”
“I feel the same,” she says but it doesn’t satisfy her until— “I’m still in love with you too.”
Peter can only stare a moment, stumbling over his words as he finds himself breathless and his heart fumbles as if it’s forgotten how to beat. Even in his wildest dreams and fantasies— he could never imagine those words leaving her mouth.
“But I can’t be,” Michelle chokes out after a beat, drawing Peter’s attention to the conflicted tears in her eyes, “I can’t be in love with you—“ she runs her hands through her hair “—I’m supposed to be in love with someone else but I’m not a-and I can’t... I can’t... I can’t fall out of love with you.”
Peter leans back against the bridge and looks at her with pity in his gaze, “MJ, I’m really sorry.”
“It’s not your fault,” her head falls into her hands, “you’re not the one engaged to the wrong guy.”
Peter’s heart skips a beat at her words— ‘wrong guy’ implying that there’s a ‘right guy,’ and her eyes implying that the ‘right guy’ is the one she’s looking at. And they’re both looking at what could have and should have been their future. And they both hate and love it in the most odd, confusing, and twisted way.
“Y’know...” Peter begins, “I can think of at least three movies and six shows where this happens.”
Michelle laughs breathily yet there’s still sadness in it. Peter chuckles with her, a longing smile on his lips.
“Yeah,” Michelle chuckles, “it’s really fucking cliché.”
For a while longer, they gaze at each other, feeling as though a great burden has been lifted off their shoulders, only for another one to be placed atop their conscious. Their skin is itching with a yearning for each other’s touch and they can feel their hearts reaching for each other.
They can feel the strong longing radiating off each other and not a word needs to be spoken. Peter reaches for Michelle’s hand and she takes it gratefully. He pulls her to his body and stands on the tips of her toes, making a faint smile twitch onto Michelle’s parted lips.
There’s no hesitation between them as their lips collide, just as soft and warm and comfortable as they both remember. Michelle lets out a sigh of relief through her nose, cupping his face in her hands and tilting her head to the side as she’s greedy to feel more of him. Peter’s arms fall around her waist and, for the first time that night, his heart falls into an even rhythm. It’s calm and even as it slows into sync with Michelle’s own pitter-pattering heart.
It’s the first time in a long time they’ve felt at peace.
Slowly and hesitantly, they withdraw from each other. Michelle looks at Peter’s moonlit face through her half-closed eyes, taking in the tranquil look of bliss on his face. His eyes are still closed, his head still tilted to the side, and his lips still loose. She can’t remember the last time she saw him this relaxed.
Then the guilt hits her— and it hits her damn hard, like a punch to the chest.
Harry poured all this time and money into the wedding, all their friends and family have arrived in Italy, thousands of dollars of dresses and flowers and food and desserts have been picked out, their loved ones cleared their schedules just for this— just for Harry and Michelle. For her.
“Peter,” she says, her voice a whisper that urges him to open his eyes and look up at her, “this can’t happen.”
He blinks a few times, his expression melting into a frown, “MJ?”
She tilts her head to the side and cups his cheek in the palm of her hand. He leans into her touch, his attentive eyes never parting with hers.
“I can’t be with you,” she continues, seeing how her words break his heart, “did you really think I’d just leave with you?”
“I-i don’t know what I thought,” he admits shakily, “I guess I just... I don’t- I don’t know.”
She strokes his cheek with her thumb, “do you at least understand why I have to go through with this?”
His eyes trail off to the side and he nods slowly. But he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand why she should pretend to love someone she doesn’t or why she should worry about wasting Harry’s money when they both know that nothing could put a dent in his bank account or why- this isn’t a cliché movie or a poorly written show. That’s why. This is real life and even though they’ve confessed their love for each other, Michelle can’t automatically shut down an entire wedding just for him.
Michelle leans in to plant another kiss on his lips but he turns his head away. She stops and frowns but respects his wishes and steps away from him.
There’s a heaviness to each other’s presence. There’s a sadness in the air now, laced with longing and clouded with a mutual love for each other. There’s nothing left to do or say, so Michelle whispers:
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
And walks away, back towards the hotel.
Peter watches her for a moment then looks away. He inhales a wobbly breath then shakily releases it. He knees are weak and trembling below him and his head spins dizzyingly, forcing him to drop into a crouch. He lets his head fall into his hands as his thoughts begin to race. He hates it when they do that.
“Fuck,” he murmurs under his breath, then he shouts it and he hates himself for disturbing the peace of the city.
Michelle lays awake almost all night beside Harry. She stares at the ceiling with a blank expression as she mulls over the events of the night.
She lets out a breath as she turns and looks at Harry who’s fast asleep and thinks he and Michelle talked things through. He thinks everything’s been settled and thinks Michelle has agreed to keep her distance from Peter, but Michelle still has no idea if she cares to uphold the one-sided promise.
She would love to make things as simple as Harry thinks they are— ignore Peter, get rid of any love she has for him, and give Harry her full attention— but she’s already tried doing that several times. It never works. Nothing ever works.
Michelle covers her face with her hands and draws in a deep breath.
“What the fuck am I doing?” She whispers to the ceiling.
Peter doesn’t arrive at his hotel room till much later in the night. When he enters his hotel room, he’s as quiet as possible only to find Ned and Betty awake on the couch with a movie playing. Ned pauses the television and looks over at Peter.
“Hey, man,” he greets tiredly, “did you talk to Michelle?”
“No,” Peter lies.
“Why not?” Betty asks with a frown.
“Because she’s probably in her room with Harry or something,” he explains, “it’s not like I’d go to their room and confess right in front of her fiancé.”
“Okay, that’s fair,” Betty agrees.
“Do you wanna watch this movie with us?” Ned offers, “it’s in Italian and we can’t really understand it, but it’s still fun to watch.”
“Thanks, man,” he smiles lopsidedly, “but I’ll pass. I think I’ll just head off to bed.”
“Alright. G’night, Peter.”
“Goodnight, Ned. You too, Betty.”
With that he ducks into his room and plops onto his bed. He can’t help but regret every word he spoke that night. And, call him dramatic (he kind of is), but he isn’t sure how he’ll manage a casual conversation (or any conversation) with Michelle after all this. Maybe he’ll cut himself off from her, pretend this never happened, try to forget about her. He could move to Italy and- no, no. That’s too dramatic. Although Italy is nice.
He’s not even sure how it happens— maybe it’s the emotional exhaustion— but he falls into a deep and heavy sleep within an hour.
Michelle awakes at roughly five in the morning with a growling stomach and foggy head. She groans tiredly and pushes her hair out of her face.
“You awake?” She grumbles, barely audible.
“Yeah,” Harry replies, not looking away from whatever he’s doing on his phone.
“Can you make me some toast?” Michelle asks, still melted into her pillow.
Harry raises an eyebrow, “Um, no?”
She rubs her face, “you serious?”
“Yeah. I’m not making you toast at five in the morning,” he almost laughs, “you can do it yourself.”
She groans again and stretches as much as she can without invading Harry’s space. It’s going to be a long marriage, she thinks with a sigh, immediately knowing she should definitely not be thinking that.
She brushes it off, stands up, then makes her way to the kitchen in her pajamas. Despite being hardly awake, she’s already annoyed with Harry— she really isn’t asking for much from him. Not just with the toast, but with things in general. She wanted him to spend a little less time focusing on his work (never gonna happen); she wanted him to be a little more considerate (nope); she wanted him to be a little more relaxed when it came to her spending time with guy friends (naw).
Her toast pops up and she takes one look at the slab a bread before deciding to trash it.
“How the fuck?” She grumbles, gingerly picking up the blackened toast, “how did you burn? That was like, five seconds.”
She sighs and tosses the toast into the trash can, almost hoping it will make the entire room smell burnt just to piss off Harry. No, don’t think that. She corrects herself quickly as she leans against the island and closes her eyes lightly. Maybe Harry isn’t as bad as she’s making him out to be. He’s... fine. She can live with and tolerate him for a few years. With that thought, her mind brings back a memory of last year.
“You know, baby,” her aunt spoke gently as she braided Michelle’s hair, “I’m not trying to judge you or Harry-“
“Just get to the point,” Michelle muttered tiredly.
Her aunt sighed, “I’m gonna tell you the same thing my momma told me fifty years ago: you shouldn’t marry someone you can just live with, you should marry someone you can’t live without.”
Michelle closed her eyes lightly, “what’re you trying to say?”
“I know Harry loves you, but how much do you love him?”
“But could you live without him?”
Michelle went quiet, having no will to reveal the answer. However, her silence was enough for her aunt— she knew the answer.
“I just want you to be happy,” she said softly as she tied off the braid and kissed the top of her niece’s head.
“Fuck,” Michelle whispers to herself as the memory fades.
Her aunt is right— always has been. She could live happily (probably even happier) without Harry. She was only wasting her own time by agreeing to be around him longer than she had too. Plus, it wouldn’t be fair to Harry for him to be married to a woman who doesn’t love him back. And yes, he had spent thousands of dollars on this wedding, but he could spend thousands of dollars on many weddings without denting his bank account. And yes, their friends and family had come all the way to Italy just for the wedding, but that was ultimately just a few days of their long lives spent in a beautiful city instead of cooped up at their shitty jobs. Also, Harry had paid for their flights, so it was hardly a loss on their part.
But, more importantly— she considers this as her gaze trails off to the bedroom door— she could never love Harry the way she loves Peter and has loved him for a long time.
And then there was that kiss. The warmest, most loving kiss she’s felt in a long time.
She thinks about that kiss a moment to long and suddenly there’s grin on her lips and her heart his pounding and her chest is swelling with joy. And suddenly her body’s moving without her even thinking about it.
She rushes out of her suite and down the halls and she skids to a stop in front of the room Peter shares with Ned and Betty. She quickly knocks on the door and Betty answers it a moment later.
“Oh! Hey, Em-“
“Is Peter awake?” Michelle interrupts.
Betty’s eyes light up instantly, “yeah, I think so.”
Without another word, Michelle shoves past her and Betty breaks into an excited grin as she watches her friend.
Peter’s door is cracked opened so Michelle only knocks lightly before stepping inside. Peter sits up quickly and his eyes go wide upon seeing her.
“I hope I’m not bothering you,” she says weakly, unsure of how to say what she’s about to say.
He shakes his head, “no, you’re fine.”
“That’s… um…” her voice trails off.
Suddenly, before Peter can process, she’s across the room and in his arms as he holds her on his lap. She cradles the back of his neck in her hands and leans forward to kiss him. This time he doesn’t turn away and he lunges to connect their lips. This time the kiss is eager and a little sloppy— rushed, like they’re running out of time.
Michelle pulls away, her eyes wide and glistening as her chest heaves and her heart pounds with adrenaline. Peter stares back at her, wonderstruck and sporting a wide grin.
“I wanna get out of here,” Michelle states, determined and confident, “I wanna leave here with you.”
Peter’s heart flutters with so much joy, he swears he might cry.
“Are you serious?” He asks, just to make sure he heard her right.
“Yes, I’m serious,” she says sternly in a way that hits Peter in the chest and makes him laugh a little. “I wanna go— now.”
“Then let’s fucking go,” Peter cheers excitedly.
She peppers his face with light kisses for a quick moment and he doesn’t bother stifling his soft giggles as her lips tickle his cheeks.
The next moment, they’re up and off Peter’s bed and rushing out of his room and towards the front door. As Peter notices Michelle is still wearing no more than a skimpy tank top and pajama shorts, he stops and grabs his coat from the coatrack.
“Here,” he drapes it over her shoulders and she slides her arms through the sleeves.
“Thank you,” she smiles at him, her cheeks a little warm as she gratefully pecks the side of his face.
He grins at her and they hurry out the front door, holding each other’s hands like their lives depend on it. When they duck inside the elevator, they take the few seconds of privacy to litter each other’s faces in rushed, excited kisses.
Moments later, they’re walking as fast as they can without running through the hotel lobby.
“MJ, Peter!” They hear Felicia call, making them whirl around as their hearts stop.
Felicia has an apple in her hand from the free breakfast the hotel provides. Like every morning, she’s taking advantage of being an early bird so she can get to the best food before anyone else can.
“Where are you off too?” She asks casually.
“We’re- um-“ Peter glances at Michelle, “we, uh-“
“We’re leaving,” Michelle answers for him.
Felicia gasps excitedly, immediately realizing what’s happening, “oh my gosh, I love this trope!”
Peter laughs and Michelle rolls her eyes with a smile. From behind Felicia, Johnny tosses Peter two muffins that he catches swiftly.
“Don’t forget breakfast,” Johnny reminds with a grin.
“Thanks, man,” Peter says then his eyes widen a little with a realization and he looks at Michelle, “our stuff is still in our rooms—“
“—I mean, I got my phone but that’s it.”
“We can get your stuff for you,” Felicia offers.
“Yeah, just text us a rendezvous and we’ll be there,” Johnny agrees.
“Awesome, thank you,” Peter gratefully replies, Michelle thanking them at the same time. “Love you guys.”
“Love you too, Pete,” Felicia laughs, “now get the hell out of here.”
“Right,” Michelle grabs Peter’s arm and they thank their friends once more.
Then, smiling like the idiots they are, they run out of the hotel together. They rush down the same path they walked along the night before, making it across the bridge where they kissed, and hurrying through the streets that are fairly empty.
They run until the hotel is long behind them and then a little further.
“Stop, stop, stop,” Michelle pants quickly.
Peter slows to a stop and Michelle stumbles to a halt beside him. He smiles at her and brushes her hair out of her face, still holding the muffins Johnny threw at him in one hand.
“Let’s sit down,” Peter nods to an elegant fountain that spurts water from several different tiers, “maybe figure out where we’re going.”
“Yeah,” Michelle laughs a little, breathlessly.
They sit on the edge of the fountain together and Michelle leans against Peter as she catches her breath. Peter rests his head on her shoulder and sinks into her gratefully.
The run may not have tired him out, but he was (up until five minutes ago) exhausted. Finally, as he breathes in the fresh air of the morning, he feels like he can rest— like he’s found real peace. He knows Michelle feels the same. She doesn’t have to say it, he just knows as he can practically feel the burden she just lifted off her shoulders.
“I have an idea,” Peter says softly after a moment.
“What is it?” Michelle asks, holding him close to her with an arm around his back.
“We should go to Paris,” he explains, “you’ve always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower— and I’ve always wanted to kiss you there.”
Michelle looks down at him and he looks up at her. She grabs his chin lightly and gently molds their mouths together, unable to get enough of the feeling of his lips against hers.
“It’s perfect,” she says as she pulls away.
Already leaning in for another kiss, Peter smiles as he says: “let’s fucking do it.”
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DEW DROPS || Peter Parker
Series Summary: Caitlin Wilson's entire life comes crumbling down when one night mysterious people come to her house and cause a disaster, claiming her mother's life in the process.
Her mother's last words were to get somewhere safe and the only place she could think of was Peter Parker's house.
Now wound up in this strange and dangerous path, Caitlin must uncover what really happened that night and who those people were.
Series Pairing: Peter Parker x OC
Word Count: 1.6k
A/N: I sometimes forget I have to post every week. I do remember this fic though and I've written many chapters, well 5 to be exact. So you're good for a while.
T/W: angst, fighting, emotional and verbal triggers
Part 4: Birds Of A Feather
One could always look forward to the coffee shop right outside Caitlin's house. All four of them had disposable cups in their hands, warm in the eerie cold surrounding the hidden room.
"Had you known your mom was Wilson - Nightingale?" Peter asked and she shook her head.
"I think it's her underground name."
"Shut up Ned." Michelle looked at Caitlin with surprise. She hadn't expected her to act this way, so rude.
"My mom could be alive." She half whispered. "She could be alive and she would be expecting me to find her. Oh god Pete what if she's alive. I need to find my mom." Caitlin rambled.
"Kate I really think we should involve the police here. We're way out of our leagues." Michelle commented.
"No!" She immediately reverted, "she asked me for one thing, and if I can't even keep that, fat lot of good I'm doing."
Ned kept his hand on her back and looked at her. "Kate we don't have an option. The police will have better resources than we do."
Peter seemed to be awfully quiet and Caitlin noticed it.
"What are you thinking Pete?" She asked.
He stared at his phone.
"I, I have to go. It's important." Nobody said anything as he left.
A flame would shy away with hair so red, eyes so green a forest would bow to them. Mary Jane Watson had what one might refer to as a wave of confidence no one might compete with.
So where was Mary Jane and most importantly, what tied her to Caitlin?
Peyton had been working on finding Mary Jane for the better half of day now. He hadn't found much on Michelle and Ned. Stella seemed to be just as normal, which was far too peculiar. Peter however, had a past, dead parents, dead uncle, perfect student. He also seemed to be closest to Caitlin until last year. What happened last year? Did this give him motive to target the Wilson family?
He knew he had to approach the brown haired boy without anybody finding out. Which would be difficult since finding him alone was proving to be difficult and whenever he was, Peyton had no idea where he'd vanish.
Peyton scanned his notes, figuring out what to do. He blankly stared for a while then frustratedly threw away the notebook.
"Peytato what's wrong?" Bree entered, her blue eyes looking at the torn pages as she picked them up.
Peyton masked a smile immediately and turned to her, "Bree, everything's fine, why would you think something's wrong?"
"I'm not a kid, you know," Peyton chuckled, "I understand when you're sad or when you're angry."
He took her on his lap and ruffled her hair, "do you now?" She nodded enthusiastically, "Okay then, how about we make me a sandwich to cheer me up?"
Brianna jumped off and ran out the door giggling.
Peyton looked at his notebook once again, checked the screen of his computer and walked towards the kitchen.
To May's surprise, she found herself skimming medical records. She had never done this before and wasn't planning on doing it again either.
Among thousands of records she tried searching for Caitlin's. She had visited the hospital a couple of times; stitches, high fevers, broken hands, there should be some record.
May Parker found nothing on Caitlin no matter how many times she looked. She too let out a frustrated sigh.
Webbing hung low from a tree. A man was tied upside down at its end. He kept struggling but to no avail. Web fluid also stuck to his mouth, preventing him from screaming.
"What do you know about Stella Wilson?" Spider-Man demanded. The man struggled further, his brown hair falling off of his face. "Tell me!"
The man gave him a ridiculed look and shifted his eyes to his mouth.
"Oh yes, sorry." Peter stumbled forward, hastily removing the webbing off his face. He grumbled, making his voice heavier again.
"Never met Deadpool before," the man laughed, "had they told me he was a little boy I would have never believed them. Oh well, I was wrong."
"Okay then Spider-Boy, why is the web slinger of New York looking for The Nightingale? Did he get along with the wrong crowd?" He mocked.
"Why do they call her The Nightingale? Who is she?" Peter ignored the remarks he was spouting and tried concentrating on what he was here for.
"What do you know of the Nightingale? Not many call her by her real name."
"I ask the questions sir, so answer them please."
Peter jumped to a nearby tree, hanging from its branch, waiting for the man revert.
"What do you know of the Nightingale?" He repeated.
"The nightingale is a songbird, specifically singing melodies of love I believe-"
"Not the bird," he struggled a bit, and then seemed to hesitate bringing out the words. "Stella, what do you know about her and why do you want to know about her. I hope you didn't get into some messed up shit superboy-"
"It's Spider-Boy, Man, it's Spider-Man." He swore internally. "What I know want with her is for me to know."
The man rolled his eyes. He lifted his head a little, or atleast tried to. Gravity wasn't exactly on his side. "Fine. The Nightingale is known for- oh wait what do I get for it."
Peter kicked stones in frustration.
"What do you want?"
"I've got some stuff in my bag, I take it with me."
"Nice try sir, why would I do that?"
Peter scuffled through the bag to find a bunch of toys. From remote control cars to dolls.
"You're stealing toys from kids. That's not very nice, you know. Children cry a lot."
"No it's not ethical?"
"Yes, that too. You shouldn't steal from children, it's not ethical and why would you anyways?"
"I didn't steal them from kids. I stole them for kids." His face was very much red now. The blood boiling up to his head. "Can you, could you let me down please. I'll tell you everything, keep me tied up I don't care. My children need those toys and well this whole hanging upside down thing is giving me a headache."
Spider-Man stumbled forward, cutting the rope loose as the man dropped down heavily.
"Oops sorry." He stepped forward. "I mean, tell me everything you know." He stopped for a second, helping the man up. "I'm sure your children will love these toys."
His feet were still tied and his hands were uncomfortably hung behind him.
"Thanks kid. Okay, The Nightingale isn't one you should mess with-"
"You've said that in many different ways you know, tell me something else."
"Let me finish. She is ruthless, doesn't care what loss one has to face in order to achieve her goals. All that matters to her is she herself." That sounded nothing like the Stella Wilson Peter had grown to know. Caitlin's mother to him, was kind, loving and couldn't bear to kill even a bug. "She leads the Watch. It's an underground group-"
"A mob you mean."
"Yes," he rolled his eyes, "a mob. She's got many killed, but as far as I've heard, she has never held a weapon against anyone. She has connections everywhere, even inside the avengers tower." Peter's eyes widened, not that the man could see. "She has power and money, so nobody wants to mess with her. Those who do, however, things do not end well for them. I've seen gangs burn to nothing. I don't know how she does or where you can find her, but this is all I know about her."
"Thank you sir." Peter nodded and cut the bindings. "You know, getting a job is much better than stealing and working with mobs. You've got kids, be there for them as a good example."
He nodded, not really agreeing with him. "Listen kid, whatever you've gotten yourself into, get out of it fast. Be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, don't get involved in this."
Peter didn't reply as the man walked away, out sight. When he was sure nobody was around he took his mask off.
His hands wiped his face, he sighed and sat down, scouting on the floor. How was he going to tell this to Caitlin without her asking further questions of where he found this information?
Before he could where the mask again he felt someone walk behind him.
"You're Peter Parker." He half whispered.
In front him stood a man no taller than Peter himself. He was wearing a blue shirt that complimented his silver eyes and his hair were hastily set.
"No I'm not, you've got the wrong guy." He said and quickly wore his mask.
"I'm not stupid. I've been looking for you Mr. Parker, I suppose this get up answers my 'where do you vanish to' questions."
"What do you mean?" Peter stood defeated. He was not having a good day.
"I'm looking for Caitlin Wilson. I believe she was a friend of yours. Would you be okay if we could perhaps exchange information. I think we both are looking for whomsoever destroyed the Wilson residence."
"And you are?"
"Peyton Cain." Spider-Man needed all the help he could get, so he webbed the blond up and pulled him towards himself. He shot another web, this one sticking itself to a distant building, and they both swung towards it, him enjoying the cold air and Peyton screaming.
Peter had noticed it, he noticed it a long time back, the moment Caitlin was telling her story. She was lying, and she was damn good at it.
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Summary: MJ and Peter begin to deal with the aftermath of Peter’s identity being revealed
Warnings: Cursing (I think)
Word Count: 1,739
Written for @spideychelleweek with the prompt “On The Run”
Also read here on AO3
Michelle can feel Peter’s panic radiating off of him— or maybe it’s her own. She can tell he’s moments away from hunching over and throwing up— or maybe it’s just her. Maybe it’s both of them. Maybe she and Peter are one in the same in the moment the Daily Bugle reveals Spiderman’s secret identity.
She sees him clutch his head and cry out— she can’t quite make out what he says.
One moment, Peter’s standing on a post and all eyes are glued to the screens around them. The next moment, courtesy of a snap decision made off instinct, Michelle is being swept off her feet and into the air, cradled close to Peter’s chest.
She doesn’t scream or shout as he carries her through the air. Instead, she clings to him and holds herself as closely to his body as she can manage— and then a little closer.
She tucks her head into the crook of his neck and shuts her eyes tightly. She doesn’t need superpowers to hear his heart thundering in his chest— it beats violently in unison with hers.
He stumbles to a landing on the cluttered roof of a skyscraper, a safe distance away from the original source of commotion. She lets her feet fall to the ground, but she momentarily refuses to let go of him. Peter holds her tightly, melting into the hug. She feels his muscles trembling and his chest heaving. So, she holds him closer.
She’s hardly sure of how to react to the situation, much less how to comfort Peter. All she can think to do is stroke his back with a gentle hand.
“MJ, I-I swear I didn’t do that,” he stutters out, his voice taught as he fights back tears, “I-I swear that video was fake.”
“I know, I know,” she forces herself to sound more calm than she feels, “I trust you.”
But that doesn’t mean the city— or the world— trusts Peter. They eat what’s given to them by the media, and the media just fed them a meal that stated that their Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman— Peter Parker— is a murderer and a villain.
“I’m sorry,” Peter sighs after a moment of quiet.
“Hey,” she leans away from him to look into the eyes of his spider suit, “you have nothing to be sorry for.”
“I know, it’s just—” he leans into her touch as she cups the side of his face in her hand, “—this is a really shitty start to our relationship.”
“Yeah,” she hums with a slight smile, “but I’m with you the whole way through.”
She can tell his expression has melted into an admiring smile as he replies, “thank you, MJ.”
Before she can reply, Peter’s phone begins to ring loudly and he steps away from her. He takes out his phone and sighs, then glances at her. She nods in acknowledgement and gives him his space as he answers the call.
“Hey, Mr. Fury,” she hears him speak— his voice now stronger and more solid, but she knows its a facade.
“Yeah, I saw it,” he continues, “what um... I’m on a roof- No, I don’t- I... they don’t exactly put the address on the outside of the buildings.” He glances at Michelle and feels his heart flutter as she smiles at his remark.
Michelle sits down, continuing to listen to the disjointed bits of his conversation with who she assumes is his boss and watches him anxiously pace back and forth. His words are wary in their delivery— as if he can’t fully trust the man on the other end of the line.
While Michelle didn’t know exactly went down in Europe between Peter and Mysterio, she could tell it had impacted his ability to trust others. Even when they ordered lunch together or had a brief conversation with a classmate, Peter always seemed hesitant and wary. He only seems to fully trust May, Ned, and Michelle now— she didn’t blame him, even if she didn’t know the full story.
“P-probably May, Ned, and MJ,” Peter says, Michelle’s attention being caught by the sound of her name, “... MJ’s with me... MJ’s my girlfriend—“ her heart leaps and a tiny grin tugs at the corner of her lips, “—Ned should be at his sister’s art studio, it’s, uh- do you know Mr. Delmar? Yeah, it’s not too far from his sandwich place. Then, May should still be at our apartment and- oh. Of course you know where that is.”
Peter waits a few moments, nods, then sighs softly in relief, his shoulders relaxing, “thank you, Mr. Fury... I will, thank you.”
He hangs up on the call then peels off his mask, Michelle adoring the way his curly hair fluffs out at it springs free.
“What now?” She asks him as he sits down next to her.
“We-“ he’s cut off as his phone begins ringing once more. He’s checks the caller ID then says: “it’s Ned.”
He answers and tells Ned he saw the news, assures Ned that he and Michelle are safe, then informs him that one of Fury’s agents will be picking him up. After he hangs up, May calls. Again, he answers and listens to her panicked rambling before he repeats the same words he gave Ned. Happy calls afterwards and the same procedure is repeated, followed by some instructions from Happy.
Quickly, with Peter’s phone ringing off the hook, Michelle turns off the ringer and tosses it to the side.
“Calm down,” she says as smoothly as she can.
He runs his hand through his hair— a nervous tick of his, “I-I’m sorry.”
“You’re okay,” she assures, “now, what do we do?”
“We just have to wait here. Maria or Dimitri will pick us up,” he explains, his voice more shaky with Michelle than it was with the others— she guesses that means he trusts her to see him weak and afraid.
“I don’t know who either of those people are,” she points out blandly.
Peter smiles lopsidedly at her, “I know. They’re agents— ones you can trust.”
Michelle raises an eyebrow at him, “that sounds like an insurance commercial: ‘Agent’s you can trust.’”
His eyes light up and he lets out a genuine, goofy laugh. She chuckles with him and feels a sense of relief as she does so. Normally, she’s unreasonably self conscious of her laugh, but she knows that Peter’s doesn’t judge her. In fact, he repeats the same phrase every time she giggles— as if he’s afraid she’ll forget it:
“I love your laugh.”
She flashes him a sheepish simper and her face warms up, although she should be used to his flattery. But still, she grows flustered and is only able to reply with a soft “you too.”
Before Peter can tease her for her stiff reply (she does enjoy his sweet and playful teasing), the sound of police sirens from below fill the air. The couple’s hearts stop in unison and Michelle sucks in a breath. Peter instinctively snaps his hand around with a protective grip.
Warily, the two look over the edge of the building, spying the cops below. They weave their way through the streets, as if trying to trace the path Spiderman took.
Michelle’s eyes are steely as they stare at the cars with their wailing sirens. Her heart pounding and breaths uneven, she takes in their every move until they speed past the block where she and Peter try to rest.
Michelle looks back at Peter, “they passed us.”
He nods, but her words hardly seem to comfort him. Michelle frowns and observes his state— planning her next moves.
A beat passes and Peter stirs anxiously, his hands fidgeting and muscles trembling slightly. Michelle reaches forward and cautiously takes his hand away from her wrist and rests it in her palm— he graciously intertwines their fingers and mumbles a thank you.
“How’re you feeling?” Michelle asks when the silence becomes unbearable.
“Like...” he sighs heavily, “...like I just fucking ruined everything. And like I’m gonna throw up... or cry... or both.”
She frowns and her expression droops into one of concern and pity. She pulls him into a hug and he rests his head in her chest, listening to the quick beating of her heart.
“If I hug you, you have to promise me you won’t throw up on me,” she semi-jokes.
He ignores her comment as says simply instead: “you’re scared.”
She looks down at him and nods slightly, “yeah,” then she adds, her voice softer than before, “...I’m worried about my family.”
“Oh,” Peter remembers Michelle’s fathers and little sister, “I didn’t think about that.”
“Do you think they’ll be okay?” She asks, desperate for assurance.
He bobs his head slightly, “I think they will. I can ask Fury to do something to protect them.”
She nods quickly, “please.”
“Consider it done,” he hums, “what else is scaring you?”
“Other than the fact that you just got framed as a murderer and now we’re running from the law?” she says, “not much.”
She tries to sound casual, yet Peter can hear the waver in her voice over the anxious pounding of her heart and the uneven breaths that leave her slightly-parted lips. He sits up and scoops her protectively into his arms. She curls up in his touch, her head against his chest as she lets herself become enveloped in his strong arms. He never fails to make her feel safe— as if he’s made of vibranium and can be her shield against anything life throws at him. While, yes, she would usually shrug off such a thing with an “I can protect myself” but, more often than not, it was a relief to have a source of protection in their bizarre, upside-down world.
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Peter mutters, resting his head on top of hers, “but we can be scared together.”
She lets out a breath and closes her eyes lightly. “Thank you, Peter.”
The shivering couple curls closely together with only each other as protection from the wild world they live in. Maybe some day this whole thing will blow over, maybe Peter’s name will be cleared— maybe they’ll be okay. For now, that seems to be a far-fetched though to laugh at. For now, they’re terrified and feel empty— like shells of humans.
For now, they’re on the run.
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