It all started when they were seven. When a kid at least twice Peter’s size pushed him into a puddle and ruined his new jacked. He couldn’t see clearly who came to his rescue, because his glasses had fallen off his nose, but in the blurriness he could see a figure not much bigger than himself, pushing the other boy away and yelling at him.
His name was Harry Osborn, and they became instant best friends.
Harry came to Peter’s home almost every day after that, and Peter loved it. He didn’t have any other friends at the school, so he welcomed every friendly face with a beaming smile and as much kindness as he could muster.
Meeting Harry was Peter’s rescue after losing his parents, and he clung to that with all he had. Some days, when Harry showed up at school with a bruise or a cut he didn’t want to talk about, it was like he clung back with everything he was.
They were inseparable best friends until high school. Then came the hormones, and bodies changed along with minds and feelings.
The first time they kissed it wasn’t like fireworks and sparkles shot out of Peter’s chest. It was something clicking into place. Something he somehow knew was right.
They didn’t tell anyone about it. Kept it as a secret for them to share. After all, nothing really changed. They still cuddled up in Peter’s bed to watch movies, and they still told terrible jokes and laughed so hard they couldn’t breathe.
Harry was practically living with the Parker family at that point. He never talked about what happened in his own home, but Peter wasn’t stupid, and he wasn’t eight anymore. He knew where the bruises came from.
It became Peter’s new meaning in life. To make sure Harry always knew how loved he was, and that he always had a place with the Parkers.
The spider bite happened, and none of them knew what to do. Harry stayed by Peter’s side when he went through three days of hell, and he did not complain when, on the fourth day, Peter woke up with a body he definitely didn’t have before.
They kept that a secret too. Something more for only them to share.
When Ben died, and Peter tried to blame himself, Harry was still there by his side, clutching his hand. They dried each other’s tears for a long time after that, but Peter had never felt so loved as he did wrapped in Harry’s warm embrace, feeling his heartbeat under his fingertips and hearing his steady, grounding breathing against his cheek.
Everything changed when Peter became Spider-Man. Crime didn’t stop for anybody, and suddenly Peter and Harry didn’t have as much time together as they used to.
Harry’s father took that as an opportunity to show his son who really was the boss in the Osborn family. Peter wanted to hunt the man down himself, but even as the masked vigilante, he couldn’t just swing around and punch people without evidence. And Harry was still not talking about it.
Drugs became Harry’s new rescue, then. When Peter was out saving everyone else, his boyfriend was drowning in his own bedroom.
It only went downhill from there. Harry couldn’t stop. Didn’t want to stop, and nothing Peter said or did would make him change his mind.
Peter left, the first time Harry tried to hit him. He knew, rationally, that it wasn’t his Harry. Not really. But Peter had tried to help him for years at that point, and every day, a little more of Harry withered away.
Peter couldn’t sit by anymore and watch as the love of his life disappeared inch by inch, and was replaced with his own father with every pill.
It all ended fifteen years after it began. It ended with a phone call at three in the morning on a Wednesday.
Harry couldn’t take it anymore.
Peter had never felt so alone.