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#spidey's day off
amazing-spiderling · 17 days ago
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So.. uh... I got a request to put this image from “Spidey’s Day Off” onto a shirt... for purchase... so here it is. But I feel very silly getting money for this, so all money from sales of this “design” will be donated to the Central Texas Food Bank. Because everyone deserves to have the power of two ice creams.
>>Get yours here<<
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xaren-jo · 7 hours ago
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while i'm at it, let's make a list of older stuff that's been sitting on the backburner forever. some of them go more than a decade back.
- zadr thing where they grow up a bit and cool off, and their priorities shift. an enemies to friends to lovers type of story. it's in a .doc file which i lost the password to, hehe. i didn't write down all that much, but the story is still with me. it's old, a bit edgy, and it's in russian.
- movie deadpool meets movie spidey. they don't get off on the right foot. in fact, nobody gets off in this story at all, which is a shame. has about 1k russian words written down already, which isn't a lot, but some of the jokes are funny. i loved the dynamic they had in their initial encounters where they kinda hated each other, but their verbal sparring was hilarious, and you had the feeling that maybe they could've been friends had things been different. so i wanted to recreate that. then again, joe kelly already did that better than me.
- some pure dan/wander filth inspired by one particular artist's work.
- wade has a nightmare about ellie being taken away, becomes upset enough to call emily in the middle of the night, waking her up. has about 600 russian words in it. ain't much, but i like that story.
- cablepool lemon no. 1 and cablepool lemon no. 2. the first one had some funny dialogue in it. too bad i'm never gonna finish either one. oh, and they were my first attempts to write anything in english.
- skeleton dance filth. too bad it's never gonna see the light of day.
- the second chapter of eternal traveler syndrome. i did not like how it was coming out.
- sylvia's backstory, and a monologue on her complicated relationship with her mother. really, and i mean really wish i did something with that idea.
- a story where syl gets knocked up by an old childhood friend and has to decide whether she is ready to become a mother or not. wander is supportive, but as scatterbrained as ever. catch me putting cartoon characters into adult situations that terrify me for catharsis.
- that fuckin. modern moomins au that wouldn't get out of my head. damn thing is novel sized, and i can't even finish way shorter things.
- a story about my lone wanderer jez and charon that's mostly in my head and isn't worth writing down cuz there's a bunch of similar fics out there already. although perhaps that's the main charm of the charon fandom - doing the same thing that's been done a dozen times before, but doing it your way.
- a very horny spirk story no. 1
- a slightly less horny spirk story where they get married to avoid a diplomatic incident.
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and whew, that's it! that's discounting all the stories that live rent free in my head, and also anything shorter than a few hundred words at least. in another life, i coulda been a prolific fic writer. all that stands between me and internet fame is my burnout.
it feels more like being possessed by story ideas. and if i write down a rough outline at least, it relieves the pressure, but i also lose all interest in polishing and completing it eventually. what a pain.
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homoose · a day ago
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Love Has a Learning Curve: Part V (x OC)
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Summary: Maggie meets Diana, and it goes better than she expected. Maggie meets the team, and it doesn’t go completely as planned. Spencer’s spidey senses are tingling.
Pairing: Spencer Reid x OC
Category: hurt/comfort, fluff
Warnings/Includes: alcohol/drinking, reader gets drunk on accident and is incredibly insecure and self-deprecating, I think that’s it
Word count: 5k
a/n: Thank you all for your kind words in this really sad and weird moment of my life. This couple brings me so much joy and I’m absolutely dreading the hurt that’s coming in the next part. Sorry in advance 😭 But also, you can re-read Lighthouse and First of Many before the angst!!!!!! If you haven’t read those fics, I recommend it because there are some relevant connections. ♥️
Series Masterlist
———
Maggie felt his hands sneaking around her waist, rubbing low over her tummy, and then the press of his warm body along her back. She tilted her head to make room for him to settle his chin on her shoulder, smiling as his hands completed their journey and wrapped her up tight. 
“Hi.”
“Hi,” she answered, pressing their cheeks together. 
“Are you almost done?”
“You made quite the mess, doctor.” It was the last weekend of Spencer’s sabbatical, and he had spent the afternoon cooking all of her favorite foods— a sort of preemptive gift for when he was back on the BAU’s unpredictable schedule. She’d taken on the responsibility of the dishes in return, which was no easy undertaking considering it seemed as though he’d used every single pot, pan, and utensil in her kitchen. 
“If you’d let me help, you’d be done by now,” he complained, hugging her a little tighter and turning his head to drag his lips across her cheek. 
“Let me just finish this pan, and then I’m all yours.”
He pressed a kiss to her cheek, then another to the spot behind her ear, and one more to her shoulder. Then he propped his chin once more and rubbed his thumbs where they rested against her sides. 
She laughed a little as she ran the dish brush along the edges of the pan. “Comfy?”
He hummed his confirmation, and she could feel his smile as she lathered the inside of the pan, then rinsed it, and finally drained the sink. She dried her hands on the kitchen towel and turned to face him. He didn’t remove his hands, instead just let them glide over her hips and then settle on her lower back. 
“Thank you for all of that.” She gestured vaguely in the direction of the fridge, packed full of leftovers. “My mom will be so honored to know you made her pot pie.” 
“I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and be very, very happy.” He dropped his gaze and his tongue darted out to wet his lips. “Speaking of moms, I… I was wondering if you, um— if you’d want to meet my mom?” 
Her eyes went a little wide, and he took her silence as an answer, continuing, “You don’t have to. It—it’s too soon.”
She brought a hand up to cup his chin between her fingers, bringing his eyes back to hers. “I would love to meet your mom.” 
Spencer shut off the engine of the Volvo, turning in his seat to face her. She tried to settle her nerves without also spurring his own anxiety, which had been quite obviously flaring all morning. 
“I’ll check in and visit for a few minutes, try to gauge what kind of a day it is, and then I’ll text you to come in or not.” He ran a hand over his face. “I really should have had you drive separate, because if it’s not a good day I don’t want you to have to wait around while I visit with her, but she’s been having a lot of good days recently, and—”
“Honey.” She found his hands where they were clutching a little aggressively at his leg and covered them with her own, running her thumbs soothingly along his skin. “It’s okay. Either way— whether I meet her today or we wait for a better day— it’s okay.”
He closed his eyes and breathed a relieved sigh. “Have I told you how much I love you yet today?”
“Mm, I don’t think you have,” she smiled. 
He brought her hands up to his mouth, kissing the back of each. “I love you so much. The most.”
“I beg to differ.” She leaned over the console and kissed his nose. “I definitely love you the most.”
“Agree to disagree.” He shifted to meet her lips in a quick kiss. “I’ll text you in a few minutes?”
She gave him another kiss. “Sounds like a plan.”
Spencer dropped the keys into her hand and then climbed out of the car, closing the door and practically trotting toward the building. She would have laughed if it weren’t for the raging anxiety that was nearly suffocating her. She opened her door and put her legs out the side of the car, taking a deep breath and looking out over the parking lot. 
Maggie knew that meeting Diana was a good thing. That Spencer wanted her to meet the most important woman in his life was a testament to their relationship. But the closer she got to it, the more she felt completely and totally out of place. What did she have to offer this woman’s remarkable son other than a mountain of student loan debt, an endless supply of expo markers, and an ever growing collection of toilet paper rolls? 
She loved teaching kindergarten, and she was the first to defend the profession in most settings. But she was about to be in a room with two of the most brilliant minds on the planet, and she couldn’t help but wonder what she would possibly have to contribute. More than that, what would Diana Reid think of her son settling for someone so… ordinary?
Her phone buzzed with the incoming text message, and she bit back a sigh. 
Spencer: It’s an incredible day. She’s already asking about you. 
Maggie turned her face up to the clear blue sky, feeling the sun on her face and taking a deep breath. Then, she hoisted herself out of the vehicle, locking it and turning to walk toward the building. DC was hot and sticky this time of year, and she was grateful for the blast of air conditioning as she entered the facility.
The woman at the front desk— Suzanna, by her name tag— smiled kindly at her. “How can I help you?”
“I’m, um— I’m here to visit with Diana Reid.” Maggie began signing into the visitor’s log, smiling a little at Spencer’s hasty signature right above. “Her son is here, too— Spencer.”
“Ah, yes— you must be Maggie. Diana’s been so excited to meet you.” Suzanna chuckled lightly at her expression, and Maggie wondered just how much everyone already knew about her. “They’re just through there— in the sunroom.” 
Maggie mumbled her thanks and turned in the direction of the sunroom, smoothing a nonexistent wrinkle from the skirt of her dress. She’d spent far too long getting ready this morning, including steaming the dress— a simple number with a black bodice and a skirt covered in books. It was her own personal nod to the incredible legacy that Diana had left— not only as a professor of classic literature, but also as the mother of the most incredible reader— and man— she’d ever met. 
And now she had a moment of panic, wondering if maybe it was too on the nose, or if Diana would think it was silly and immature. She briefly considered turning and heading back out to the parking lot, but then Spencer appeared in the doorway to the sunroom, waving his thanks to Suzanna and then positively beaming at her. How could she deny him this?
He held out his hand to her, and she accepted it, instantly more at ease from the simple touch. He pulled her gently into the room, and there was Diana, perched on a floral sofa and looking quite elegant in a soft purple shawl. 
She stood immediately, an absolutely radiant smile stretching across her face at the sight of them. Maggie watched as she clasped her hands in front of her and felt Spencer squeeze her hand at the same time.
“Maggie,” Diana smiled. “I’ve heard so much about you.”
Maggie returned her smile. “It is such an honor to finally meet you, Mrs. Reid.”
She scoffed and waved her hand. “Just Diana, please.” Maggie saw the moment she noticed the dress, her eyes crinkling a bit at the corners. “I can already tell you’re perfect for my son: the lover of books.” She motioned to the seating area. “Come, sit.”
The three of them sat, Spencer in the armchair just across from them as she and Diana sat on the sofa. Maggie folded her hands in her lap and tried to straighten her posture. Diana leaned back against the couch with a smile.
“I really have heard a lot about you,” she repeated, sliding her eyes over to a blushing Spencer. “Spencer tells me you teach kindergarten.” Maggie nodded, and Diana shook her head. “I deeply admire the patience and energy you must have for that age group.”
Maggie laughed a little. “They can certainly be a handful. I hear you were a teacher as well.” Her eyes went a little wide at her mistake. “A professor, I mean.”
“Oh, yes, yes— 15th century literature.” Diana tilted her head, considering Maggie with a knowing gaze. “But teaching is teaching, no matter the age. And where would any of us be without our kindergarten teachers? The ones who teach us the very foundations of learning. Who not only teach us to read and write, but also to inquire and investigate and discover.” 
Maggie felt unexpected tears pricking at the corners of her eyes, and she had to take a moment to breathe before speaking. “Thank you for saying that. Sometimes people assume that kindergarten is all play doh and finger paint.”
“What’s that saying about making assumptions?” Diana pondered. 
“Issac Asimov said, ‘Assumptions are our windows on the world,’” Spencer offered. 
“Mm, thank you for that, honey, but the one I’m thinking of is from an episode of The Odd Couple, I believe,” Diana corrected, winking at Maggie. “When you assume, you make an ass of you and me.” 
“Ah.” Spencer held back a laugh, and Maggie’s heart felt just a little bit lighter. 
Diana smiled brightly at her. “Your students must absolutely adore you.” Diana gestured vaguely to Spencer before continuing, “Spencer loved his kindergarten teacher— hm, Mrs. Hudson, was it?” 
Spencer nodded in confirmation. Diana looked back to Maggie with a slightly mischievous grin. “His report cards always came back with the note that he was ‘helping’ the other students just a little too much— always the professor, even at five years old.”
Spencer let out an indignant squeak, and Maggie laughed. “My parents got a very similar note.” She gave Spencer a smile. “We just couldn’t help it, apparently.”
“I’m sure it didn’t help that he’d been reading for three years before he was even enrolled,” Diana mused. “Did he tell you that he originally considered studying the classics?” Maggie shook her head. “Well. When you’ve already read and discussed all the course material, it seems a waste of money, doesn’t it?”
“Indeed, I suppose it does,” Maggie agreed. 
“Oh,” Diana tapped Maggie’s arm affectionately before gesturing back to Spencer, “and then there was the time that he became so fixated on the idea of becoming a magician that he somehow managed to trap a rabbit in our backyard.”
“Mom,” Spencer choked out. 
“Oh my. No, no— please go on,” Maggie begged, waving her hand dismissively in Spencer’s direction and leaning closer to Diana. “I need all the embarrassing stories.” 
Diana let out a lilting laugh. “The poor thing spent the better part of a weekend in a storage bin while Spencer tried to figure out the top hat trick.”
Maggie turned to him with a bewildered grin. “The storage bin was well ventilated!” he defended. “And she had plenty of food and water.”
“Did you figure out the trick?” Maggie asked. 
“No,” he admitted sheepishly. “Mom found out about the rabbit before I could. And you need more than just the hat for the trick anyway.”
“We fed her one last carrot and then sent her back out to be with the rest of her bunny family, who must have been missing her dearly.” Diana winked at Maggie. “At least that’s what I had to tell six year old Spencer.”
“Rabbits are incredibly social and live in large colonies, so that actually was most likely the case,” Spencer supplied. 
Diana smiled fondly at her son, and Maggie could practically feel the love radiating off of her. “Either way, I had one very sad little boy for the next week or so.” She turned back to Maggie. “We actually took a break from some of the more... advanced reading material so that I could read him The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”
“A classic in its own right,” Maggie said. 
Diana nodded. “I’ve always said that children’s literature encompasses some of the most profound and imaginative storytelling. We can learn a lot from Peter and Ferdinand.”
“I love Ferdinand!” Maggie gasped. “Gosh, that’s one of my all time favorite books. My mom read it to me when I was little, and I read it to my kids every year.”
Diana threw her hands up. “And that right there tells me everything I need to know about your teaching. Well— that and everything Spencer’s already gushed about, of course.” 
The three of them spent the better part of the afternoon laughing and trading embarrassing childhood stories. Diana was even more lovely than she could have imagined, and Maggie was grateful to be so quickly accepted into the small but incredibly loving family unit. 
Every so often, she would catch Spencer’s eyes on her— soft and content and practically sparkling— and her heart would leap into her throat. He was uncharacteristically quiet, letting Diana lead most of their side of the conversation, only chiming in here and there to offer context or defend himself in a particularly mortifying tale. Diana unwittingly (or perhaps purposefully) revealed just how much Spencer had spoken about her; she already knew about Maggie’s home, her family, and most of her interests. 
Spencer may have been quiet, but he was also blushing profusely— caught in the act of being absolutely enamored with her. Maggie found that she didn’t know how to feel about that. She should be happy. She should be thrilled. And in some ways, she was. Being with Spencer had made her the happiest she’d been in a very long time— maybe ever. 
It was the happiness that scared her. 
She deserved happiness. That’s what Anita would tell her. But the way she felt with Spencer— comfortable, natural, easy— was the rising action. She was still anticipating the climax, the mountaintop, the apex of joy. She hated herself for it, but she couldn’t help it. She’d learned that every mountain had a valley, and the falling action always dragged her against every jagged stone on the way down. She never failed to plummet down from the heights into the depths of where she’d learned to live, quiet and lonely and a little bit bruised. 
This knowledge didn't stop her from soaking up every second of the highs.  
“I’m starting to get a little tired,” Diana admitted. She reached across the couch and patted Maggie’s hand, squeezing gently, and then she looked to Spencer. “I start to— forget when I’m tired.” 
The smile that had become almost permanent that afternoon faltered slightly, but he nodded and checked his watch. “Four hours is pretty good.”
She hummed. “They’ve been longer as of late.” 
Maggie watched as his nose twitched. “Does Dr. Kincaid think that’s good or bad?” 
Diana gave him a sympathetic smile. “She’s not sure.”
It was quiet for a long moment, and then Maggie stood. “Let me give you a minute together.” Diana stood as well, and Maggie clasped her hands together. “I don’t think I can articulate how incredibly happy I am to have finally met you. And I— I definitely don’t have the words to properly thank you for raising such a wonderful man.” 
Diana took her hands, squeezing them gently before pulling her into a hug. Maggie returned the embrace, and Diana murmured, “Thank you for loving him. Through the highs and the lows.” 
Maggie blinked back tears for the second time that day, nodding into Diana’s shoulder and hugging her tightly. 
With a final squeeze, Diana released her, and Maggie excused herself back out into the foyer. She signed out of the visitor log and waved to a grinning Suzanna, and then headed outside to catch her breath. She made it to the car, unlocking it and settling into the passenger seat before leaning over to turn it on and get the windows rolled down. 
Spencer emerged from the building, his hands in his pockets. He quickly made his way to the vehicle, practically running across the parking lot and sliding behind the wheel. Before she could even say anything, he was surging across the console to grab her face in his hands and pull her into a kiss. 
She steadied herself with her hands on his chest, clutching at his shirt and returning the unexpected passion with a slightly bewildered smile. When he was finished, he pulled back to lean their foreheads together. She caught her breath and asked, “What was that for?”
“She loved you, and I love you, and I’m so glad you got to meet her.” 
She could hear the emotion in his voice, and she slid her arms around his back, pulling him into a hug. “Me, too.”
He leaned into her for a minute longer, breathing into her hair and pressing another kiss to her shoulder. Then he pulled back, smiling widely. “How would you feel about meeting the other family?”
Spencer drove them to meet up with the team at O’Keefe’s, a favorite haunt of theirs on the evenings when they’d wrapped a case at a reasonable hour. They headed up the sidewalk hand in hand, with Maggie leaning a little into his side. She was feeling slightly more at ease this time around thanks to the buffer of knowing Penelope, Luke, and JJ already. 
Spencer held the door open, trailing in behind her with a hand on her waist. She spotted Penelope’s bright green dress immediately, and Spencer raised his hand in greeting. The group gave them a raucous cheer, and Maggie couldn’t help but smile.
Spencer kept his hand on the small of her back as they approached the table. He greeted the group and then turned to Maggie, gesturing around the table. He introduced her to Tara, Matt, and Emily, the three of whom greeted her with warm handshakes. Penelope was practically vibrating with excitement as she scooped her up into a hug. 
“Gosh dang it, you are just so cute,” Penelope squeaked. She pulled back from the hug to take stock of Maggie’s outfit. “The books, I love it. And the shoes!” 
Maggie laughed, twirling her ankle to show off the pink t-strap heels. “I’m definitely going to regret them in about an hour. But they look cute anyway.”
Tara sidled up to the two of them, raising her glass in solidarity. “Here’s to cute shoes and pinched toes.” She took a sip of her scotch and then turned to Maggie. “What’s your poison?” 
“Oh, you don’t have to,” Maggie insisted. 
Tara waved her hand and gestured to Spencer. “You got grandpa to come out to the bar. You’re not paying for a single drink tonight.”
“I come out with you guys!” he squeaked indignantly. 
A chorus of exasperated groans made their way around the group, followed by good-natured laughs. Tara raised a single eyebrow in Spencer’s direction, and then turned her attention back to Maggie. “Like I said, you won’t need your wallet tonight. What’ll it be?”
She did not, in fact, have to reach for her wallet at all that evening. Between the seven of them, Maggie’s cup was always full and her smile was nearly permanent. She heard endless stories about Spencer, complete with photo evidence— much to his dismay. 
She learned that Tara had a doctorate in forensic psychology, and Emily had worked internationally for years becoming the Unit Chief of the BAU. Luke had been an Army Ranger and a member of the Fugitive Task Force, and Matt had traveled the globe with the International Response Team. 
They were all incredibly kind, asking about her family and her work, listening with interest as she recounted growing up on a farm and her days spent teaching kindergarten. Despite their apparent interest, Maggie couldn’t help but feel a little… silly. Stories of field trips and finger painting felt incredibly juvenile in comparison to the lived experiences of this remarkable team of people. 
She did her best to steer the conversation back to the team whenever possible, which in some ways made the whole thing worse. But she managed to keep a smile for the evening, and she lost track of how many drinks made their way down the hatch. Luke ordered an assortment of snack foods for the group, and she gratefully accepted a few fries and a mozzarella stick to soak up some of the alcohol sloshing around in her stomach. At some point Spencer returned from the bar with an extra glass of water, sliding it her way with a knowing smile and a press of his lips to her cheek. 
Eventually, Maggie had to excuse herself to the bathroom, patting Spencer’s arm and carefully navigating the dim bar. In the way that it so often did, the level of her intoxication made itself abundantly clear in the harsh lighting of the restroom. She stumbled out of the stall to wash her hands, using the countertop for balance and cursing under her breath. 
She raised her head to analyze her appearance, groaning a little at the smudge of mascara under her eyes. As she swiped at the black rings, she considered that she had never quite figured out the ideal amount of alcohol— somehow always managing to get a little too drunk. And now she was too drunk in front of all of Spencer’s friends— his family. 
Not only that, but for the second time today, she couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmingly ordinary. Surrounded by the team, all extraordinary and awe-inspiring in their own right, she was… plain, unaccomplished, boring. Spencer had called her remarkable; she felt anything but. 
She closed her eyes against the tears that were threatening to spill over, remembering the last time she’d cried in a bar bathroom. She’d spent that evening wondering what was wrong with her… wondering if she deserved to have someone like Spencer at all. 
“That’s just… the alcohol talking,” she reminded herself out loud into the empty bathroom. She stared at herself in the mirror. “Stop bein’ a weirdo.”
She pushed out of the bathroom and back into the bar, walking a little more cautiously as the alcohol started to course through her bloodstream. As she approached the group again, Spencer’s eyes found her immediately, and he reached for her, pulling her underneath his arm and into his side. He brought his mouth close to her ear and murmured, “Are you okay?” 
“Yeah, just—” She slid her hand around his waist to keep herself steady. “Just more tipsy than I thought.”
He ran a soothing hand along her arm. “Do you wanna go home?”
She shook her head. “No, no— ‘M fine. ‘S nice to be with your friends.”
“You’re sure?” He squeezed her shoulder and lowered his voice. “Because honestly I’m kind of ready to go.”
She looked up from where her head was resting on his chest to see him smiling softly at her. “Whatever you want.”
He pressed a kiss to her forehead, and then turned back to the team and cleared his throat. “We’re gonna head out.”
Tara made a show of checking her watch. “10:45? I’m surprised you stayed this long, old man.”
Maggie’s eyes opened slowly and came into focus as Spencer’s car came to a stop outside her apartment. “Why’re we here?” 
Spencer shut off the ignition and pulled out the key with a small smile. “I have a feeling you’re going to feel… less than stellar tomorrow. I thought you might like to wake up in your own bed. Hang on.”
He climbed out of the vehicle and closed the door before coming around to her side. She could feel the tears welling up as she fumbled with the buckle on her seatbelt. Everything was a little uncoordinated, and she felt absolutely ridiculous. 
The door opened, and she carefully swung her legs out one at a time. Spencer stood slightly to the side, and she knew she should hurry up and let him get home, but she didn’t move to get up. 
“Do you need help?” 
She shook her head, and the action sent a tear rolling over her bottom lash line. She tried to swipe it away, but of course Spencer caught it.
“Hey— what’s wrong?” he asked gently. 
She sniffed. “Are you just dropping me off?”
He cupped a hand underneath her chin to tilt her eyes upward, and his eyes were soft but concerned. “I was planning to come upstairs with you. Unless you don’t want me to.”
She shook her head. “No, I— you can come upstairs.”
“Okay.” Spencer cocked his head. “Honey, what’s going on?”
Maggie didn’t know where to begin. She was drowning in self-doubt— had been since about the one month mark. It seemed that every day there was something new to feel insecure about. The confidence she’d had on his doorstep in February was nowhere to be found. 
That was too much for her slow moving brain to articulate at the moment, so she settled on: “They’re all so smart and funny and cool and interesting.”
“Okay…” he prompted. 
“And I’m not,” she admitted. 
His mouth turned quickly down. “That’s not true.”
“Yes, it is,” she insisted. “I’m just— a kindergarten teacher and I— I don’t have any cool skills or stories, and I don’t even have any muscles, and they’re all so pretty—”
“Hey, stop— stop.” Spencer squatted down to be eye-level with her. “First of all, you’re not ‘just’ anything. And you’re my favorite kindergarten teacher and the best one I know.” He grabbed her hand and laced their fingers together. “You have lots of cool skills and stories. And I don’t have any muscles either.”
She lifted her free hand to squeeze his bicep. “Yes, you do.”
“Muscles are overrated.” He smiled and brought a hand to her face, smoothing her hair back and then letting his fingers linger on her cheek. “And frankly, pretty is too mundane a term to describe you. I’d go with something like radiant, or ethereal, or incandescent.”
“You have to s‘plain your jokes to me,” she slurred, swiping her forearm under her nose. 
“Not always. And besides, I have to explain my jokes to basically everyone,” he reminded her. He squeezed her hand. “But unlike everyone else, you let me explain them to you. And you actually listen to the explanation.” He shrugged. “I think I like that more than I like telling the joke.”
She was quiet then, eyes focused on a particularly interesting piece of loose gravel. She knew the list of her flaws was longer, but her brain couldn’t string them together in her current state. 
Spencer shuffled closer and waited patiently until she finally looked at him before continuing. 
“I love you. And not because of your job, or your cool stories, or your muscles,” he clarified. “I love you because you’re you. And, a little selfishly, because I love the person that I am when I’m with you. Okay?”
He smiled tentatively, and she let out a long breath. “Okay.”
He leaned forward and kissed her nose. “Now, come on. Let’s get inside.”
Spencer helped her navigate up the walkway and the three flights of stairs. Rather than rummage drunkenly through her purse, she passed it off and allowed him to retrieve her keys and unlock the door. 
He supervised and provided balance support as she haphazardly swiped a makeup wipe over her face and fumbled into her pajamas. Finally he got her settled into bed with a bottle of water on the bedside table. 
He pulled up the covers around her. “I’m going to go to the bathroom,” he murmured. 
This was the moment that he’d realize what an absolute fool she was. He’d finally be alone in the bathroom, and it would become abundantly clear that she couldn’t drink responsibly, that she was obnoxious, that she actually was boring. She was sure of it, and her heart was fracturing into a thousand tiny pieces. 
Spencer’s nervous laugh broke through her haze of insecurity. “Whoa, I thought we were done crying?” he joked. “Honey, c’mere.” Spencer pulled her up into his arms, rubbing a hand over her back. 
She hadn’t realized she was making any noise until the sound vibrated against where Spencer had tucked her into his shoulder. As if she hadn’t been foolish enough tonight, now she was blubbering into his nice cardigan. Despite herself, she clung to him like he’d disappear like smoke between her fingers. 
“I’m— I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have laughed; it’s not funny,” he apologized. “Shhh, sweetheart. It— it’s okay, it’s okay.”
“I don’t want you to go.” Her voice was full of tears and cracked pathetically at the end. 
“Okay, okay,” he agreed, a tinge of confusion in his voice. “I’m— the bathroom can wait, I suppose.”
That only made her cry harder, which poor Spencer responded to with even more aggressive soothing. He stroked over her hair and hugged her tight, shushing her and rocking her a little bit back and forth. 
He was just so sweet. Kind and thoughtful and considerate— three things she hadn’t experienced from a significant other in a very long time. And it was exhausting waiting for the shift— for the moment that he realized she wasn’t worth the hassle. She was so tired of anticipating the end. 
“I don’t want you to leave.” She hated how ridiculous she sounded, gasping and hiccuping. 
Spencer froze for a full second and then squeezed her impossibly tighter. “I’m not. Baby, I’m not. I am right here.” He stroked a firm hand up and down her spine. “I need you to take some deep breaths with me. I’m gonna do it, too, okay?” 
He led her in a series of deep inhalations and long exhales to the rhythm of his palm on her back. He murmured quietly to her, reassurances and promises and love. As her breathing came closer to normal, he pressed a soft kiss into her hair.  
“I love you, Maggie. You know that, right? I wouldn’t change one single thing about you.” His hand on her back slowed to a stop, and she could practically hear him considering his next move. “I’m pretty sure Billy Joel wrote a song about it, actually. I love you just the way you are.”
She couldn’t stop the laugh from bubbling up in her throat at the tone deaf melody, and she felt him smile against her hair. “Okay?”
She wasn’t okay, but that wasn’t his fault. She sighed and sniffed. “Okay, off brand Billy Joel.”
“That’s not very nice,” he chuckled, pulling back to swipe his fingers over her damp cheeks. 
“Yes, it is,” she insisted. “I love off brand. Just as good ‘s the real thing, and with some fun quirks.”
“Somehow I don’t think he’d appreciate the comparison.” He smiled softly at her, and then his expression melted into something a little more serious. “But I mean it. There is no place I’d rather be, and no one else that I wanna be with. When I say that I love you the most, I mean that I love you more than I have ever loved anybody. Ever.”
He looked at her so earnestly that she wanted to cry all over again. How was he so wonderful, and gentle, and loving, and perfect? He’d promised to do better on a chilly night in January and then spent every single day since then doing exactly that. 
“But I actually do have to pee,” he admitted sheepishly. “Are you going to be okay here for a few minutes?”
He was speaking to her as he would a child, and she was utterly mortified. She waved her hand. “God, I’m bein’ so annoying.”
“No, you’re not. You’re a little drunk. And a lot adorable.” He tapped gently on her nose. “But you’re also kind of sad, and I don’t want you to be sad.” He propped the pillow up behind her. “It’ll be the fastest pee ever— four minutes, tops. Most of it will be hand washing. Okay?”
“Okay,” she smiled, and she really meant it. 
He hopped up and trotted to the bedroom door. “See you in four minutes. Have some water while you wait.”
She followed instructions, sipping carefully from the bottle he’d left for her. She also rummaged through the bedside drawer for the advil, popping two and washing them down with another swig of water. 
Spencer returned to the bedroom with his cardigan and pants already discarded. He quickly slipped out of his button up and into his pajamas before sliding in beside her and holding out his arms. “All right, c’mere.”
“Hmm?” she hummed. 
“I’m demanding snuggles,” he clarified. “That’s the price you pay for my chauffeur and caretaker services.” 
Another smile slowly turned up the corners of her mouth, and he returned it, pulling her against his side. “There she is.”
She allowed herself to settle and melt into his warmth, the soft fabric of his t-shirt under her cheek and his fingers brushing lightly over her arm. She willed herself to stop waiting for the shift. She begged herself to stop looking for the end. 
Maybe this time there wouldn’t be an end. Maybe she could have an infinite middle with Spencer Reid. Maybe she had earned that. 
———
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homoose · a day ago
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Love Has a Learning Curve: Part V (x reader)
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Summary: Y/N meets Diana, and it goes better than she expected. Y/N meets the team, and it doesn’t go completely as planned. Spencer’s spidey senses are tingling. 
Pairing: Spencer Reid x fem!reader
Category: hurt/comfort, fluff
Word Count: 5k
Warnings/Includes: alcohol/drinking, reader gets drunk on accident and is incredibly insecure and self-deprecating, I think that’s it
a/n: Thank you all for your patience and kind words in this really sad and weird moment of my life. This couple brings me so much joy and I’m absolutely dreading the hurt that’s coming in the next part. Sorry in advance 😭 But also, you can re-read Lighthouse and First of Many before the angst!!!!!! If you haven’t read those fics, I recommend it because there are some relevant connections. ♥️
Series Masterlist
———
Y/N felt his hands sneaking around her waist, rubbing low over her tummy, and then the press of his warm body along her back. She tilted her head to make room for him to settle his chin on her shoulder, smiling as his hands completed their journey and wrapped her up tight.
“Hi.”
“Hi,” she answered, pressing their cheeks together.
“Are you almost done?”
“You made quite the mess, doctor.” It was the last weekend of Spencer’s sabbatical, and he had spent the afternoon cooking all of her favorite foods— a sort of preemptive gift for when he was back on the BAU’s unpredictable schedule. She’d taken on the responsibility of the dishes in return, which was no easy undertaking considering it seemed as though he’d used every single pot, pan, and utensil in her kitchen.
“If you’d let me help, you’d be done by now,” he complained, hugging her a little tighter and turning his head to drag his lips across her cheek.
“Let me just finish this pan, and then I’m all yours.”
He pressed a kiss to her cheek, then another to the spot behind her ear, and one more to her shoulder. Then he propped his chin once more and rubbed his thumbs where they rested against her sides.
She laughed a little as she ran the dish brush along the edges of the pan. “Comfy?”
He hummed his confirmation, and she could feel his smile as she lathered the inside of the pan, then rinsed it, and finally drained the sink. She dried her hands on the kitchen towel and turned to face him. He didn’t remove his hands, instead just let them glide over her hips and then settle on her lower back.
“Thank you for all of that.” She gestured vaguely in the direction of the fridge, packed full of leftovers. “My mom will be so honored to know you made her pot pie.”
“I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and be very, very happy.” He dropped his gaze and his tongue darted out to wet his lips. “Speaking of moms, I… I was wondering if you, um— if you’d want to meet my mom?”
Her eyes went a little wide, and he took her silence as an answer, continuing, “You don’t have to. It—it’s too soon.”
She brought a hand up to cup his chin between her fingers, bringing his eyes back to hers. “I would love to meet your mom.”
Spencer shut off the engine of the Volvo, turning in his seat to face her. She tried to settle her nerves without also spurring his own anxiety, which had been quite obviously flaring all morning.
“I’ll check in and visit for a few minutes, try to gauge what kind of a day it is, and then I’ll text you to come in or not.” He ran a hand over his face. “I really should have had you drive separate, because if it’s not a good day I don’t want you to have to wait around while I visit with her, but she’s been having a lot of good days recently, and—”
“Honey.” She found his hands where they were clutching a little aggressively at his leg and covered them with her own, running her thumbs soothingly along his skin. “It’s okay. Either way— whether I meet her today or we wait for a better day— it’s okay.”
He closed his eyes and breathed a relieved sigh. “Have I told you how much I love you yet today?”
“Mm, I don’t think you have,” she smiled.
He brought her hands up to his mouth, kissing the back of each. “I love you so much. The most.”
“I beg to differ.” She leaned over the console and kissed his nose. “I definitely love you the most.”
“Agree to disagree.” He shifted to meet her lips in a quick kiss. “I’ll text you in a few minutes?”
She gave him another kiss. “Sounds like a plan.”
Spencer dropped the keys into her hand and then climbed out of the car, closing the door and practically trotting toward the building. She would have laughed if it weren’t for the raging anxiety that was nearly suffocating her. She opened her door and put her legs out the side of the car, taking a deep breath and looking out over the parking lot.
Y/N knew that meeting Diana was a good thing. That Spencer wanted her to meet the most important woman in his life was a testament to their relationship. But the closer she got to it, the more she felt completely and totally out of place. What did she have to offer this woman’s remarkable son other than a mountain of student loan debt, an endless supply of expo markers, and an ever growing collection of toilet paper rolls?
She loved teaching kindergarten, and she was the first to defend the profession in most settings. But she was about to be in a room with two of the most brilliant minds on the planet, and she couldn’t help but wonder what she would possibly have to contribute. More than that, what would Diana Reid think of her son settling for someone so… ordinary?
Her phone buzzed with the incoming text message, and she bit back a sigh.
Spencer: It’s an incredible day. She’s already asking about you.
Y/N turned her face up to the clear blue sky, feeling the sun on her face and taking a deep breath. Then, she hoisted herself out of the vehicle, locking it and turning to walk toward the building. DC was hot and sticky this time of year, and she was grateful for the blast of air conditioning as she entered the facility.
The woman at the front desk— Suzanna, by her name tag— smiled kindly at her. “How can I help you?”
“I’m, um— I’m here to visit with Diana Reid.” Y/N began signing into the visitor’s log, smiling a little at Spencer’s hasty signature right above. “Her son is here, too— Spencer.”
“Ah, yes, you must be Y/N. Diana’s been so excited to meet you.” Suzanna chuckled lightly at her expression, and Y/N wondered just how much everyone already knew about her. “They’re just through there— in the sunroom.”
Y/N mumbled her thanks and turned in the direction of the sunroom, smoothing a nonexistent wrinkle from the skirt of her dress. She’d spent far too long getting ready this morning, including steaming the dress— a simple number with a black bodice and a skirt covered in books. It was her own personal nod to the incredible legacy that Diana had left— not only as a professor of classic literature, but also as the mother of the most incredible reader— and man— she’d ever met.
And now she had a moment of panic, wondering if maybe it was too on the nose, or if Diana would think it was silly and immature. She briefly considered turning and heading back out to the parking lot, but then Spencer appeared in the doorway to the sunroom, waving his thanks to Suzanna and then positively beaming at her . How could she deny him this?
He held out his hand to her, and she accepted it, instantly more at ease from the simple touch. He pulled her gently into the room, and there was Diana, perched on a floral sofa and looking quite elegant in a soft purple shawl.
She stood immediately, an absolutely radiant smile stretching across her face at the sight of them. Y/N watched as she clasped her hands in front of her and felt Spencer squeeze her hand at the same time.
“Y/N,” Diana smiled. “I’ve heard so much about you.”
Y/N returned her smile. “It is such an honor to finally meet you, Mrs. Reid.”
She scoffed and waved her hand. “Just Diana, please.” Y/N saw the moment she noticed the dress, her eyes crinkling a bit at the corners. “I can already tell you’re perfect for my son: the lover of books.” She motioned to the seating area. “Come, sit.”
The three of them sat, Spencer in the armchair just across from them as she and Diana sat on the sofa. Y/N folded her hands in her lap and tried to straighten her posture. Diana leaned back against the couch with a smile.
“I really have heard a lot about you,” she repeated, sliding her eyes over to a blushing Spencer. “Spencer tells me you teach kindergarten.” Y/N nodded, and Diana shook her head. “I deeply admire the patience and energy you must have for that age group.”
Y/N laughed a little. “They can certainly be a handful. I hear you were a teacher as well.” Her eyes went a little wide at her mistake. “A professor, I mean.”
“Oh, yes, yes— 15th century literature.” Diana tilted her head, considering Y/N with a knowing gaze. “But teaching is teaching, no matter the age. And where would any of us be without our kindergarten teachers? The ones who teach us the very foundations of learning. Who not only teach us to read and write, but also to inquire and investigate and discover.”
Y/N felt unexpected tears pricking at the corners of her eyes, and she had to take a moment to breathe before speaking. “Thank you for saying that. Sometimes people assume that kindergarten is all play doh and finger paint.”
“What’s that saying about making assumptions?” Diana pondered.
“Issac Asimov said, ‘Assumptions are our windows on the world,’” Spencer offered.
“Mm, thank you for that, honey, but the one I’m thinking of is from an episode of The Odd Couple , I believe,” Diana corrected, winking at Y/N. “When you assume, you make an ass of you and me.”
“Ah.” Spencer held back a laugh, and Y/N’s heart felt just a little bit lighter.
Diana smiled brightly at her. “Your students must absolutely adore you.” Diana gestured vaguely to Spencer before continuing, “Spencer loved his kindergarten teacher— hm, Mrs. Hudson, was it?”
Spencer nodded in confirmation. Diana looked back to Y/N with a slightly mischievous grin. “His report cards always came back with the note that he was ‘helping’ the other students just a little too much— always the professor, even at five years old.”
Spencer let out an indignant squeak, and Y/N laughed. “My parents got a very similar note.” She gave Spencer a smile. “We just couldn’t help it, apparently.”
“I’m sure it didn’t help that he’d been reading for three years before he was even enrolled,” Diana mused. “Did he tell you that he originally considered studying the classics?” Y/N shook her head. “Well. When you’ve already read and discussed all the course material, it seems a waste of money, doesn’t it?”
“Indeed, I suppose it does,” Y/N agreed.
“Oh,” Diana tapped Y/N’s arm affectionately before gesturing back to Spencer, “and then there was the time that he became so fixated on the idea of becoming a magician that he somehow managed to trap a rabbit in our backyard.”
“ Mom ,” Spencer choked out.
“Oh my. No, no— please go on,” Y/N begged, waving her hand dismissively in Spencer’s direction and leaning closer to Diana. “I need all the embarrassing stories.”
Diana let out a lilting laugh. “The poor thing spent the better part of a weekend in a storage bin while Spencer tried to figure out the top hat trick.”
Y/N turned to him with a bewildered grin. “The storage bin was well ventilated!” he defended. “And she had plenty of food and water.”
“Did you figure out the trick?” Y/N asked.
“No,” he admitted sheepishly. “Mom found out about the rabbit before I could. And you need more than just the hat for the trick anyway.”
“We fed her one last carrot and then sent her back out to be with the rest of her bunny family, who must have been missing her dearly.” Diana winked at Y/N. “At least that’s what I had to tell six year old Spencer.”
“Rabbits are incredibly social and live in large colonies, so that actually was most likely the case,” Spencer supplied.
Diana smiled fondly at her son, and Y/N could practically feel the love radiating off of her. “Either way, I had one very sad little boy for the next week or so.” She turned back to Y/N. “We actually took a break from some of the more... advanced reading material so that I could read him The Tale of Peter Rabbit .”
“A classic in its own right,” Y/N said.
Diana nodded. “I’ve always said that children’s literature encompasses some of the most profound and imaginative storytelling. We can learn a lot from Peter and Ferdinand.”
“I love Ferdinand!” Y/N gasped. “Gosh, that’s one of my all time favorite books. My mom read it to me when I was little, and I read it to my kids every year.”
Diana threw her hands up. “And that right there tells me everything I need to know about your teaching. Well— that and everything Spencer’s already gushed about, of course.”
The three of them spent the better part of the afternoon laughing and trading embarrassing childhood stories. Diana was even more lovely than she could have imagined, and Y/N was grateful to be so quickly accepted into the small but incredibly loving family unit.
Every so often, she would catch Spencer’s eyes on her— soft and content and practically sparkling— and her heart would leap into her throat. He was uncharacteristically quiet, letting Diana lead most of their side of the conversation, only chiming in here and there to offer context or defend himself in a particularly mortifying tale. Diana unwittingly (or perhaps purposefully) revealed just how much Spencer had spoken about her; she already knew about Y/N’s home, her family, and most of her interests.
Spencer may have been quiet, but he was also blushing profusely— caught in the act of being absolutely enamored with her. Y/N found that she didn’t know how to feel about that. She should be happy. She should be thrilled. And in some ways, she was. Being with Spencer had made her the happiest she’d been in a very long time— maybe ever.
It was the happiness that scared her.
She deserved happiness. That’s what Anita would tell her. But the way she felt with Spencer— comfortable, natural, easy — was the rising action. She was still anticipating the climax, the mountaintop, the apex of joy. She hated herself for it, but she couldn’t help it. She’d learned that every mountain had a valley, and the falling action always dragged her against every jagged stone on the way down. She never failed to plummet from the heights into the depths of where she’d learned to live, quiet and lonely and a little bit bruised.
This knowledge didn't stop her from soaking up every second of the highs.
“I’m starting to get a little tired,” Diana admitted. She reached across the couch and patted Y/N’s hand, squeezing gently, and then she looked to Spencer. “I start to— forget when I’m tired.”
The smile that had become almost permanent that afternoon faltered slightly, but he nodded and checked his watch. “Four hours is pretty good.”
She hummed. “They’ve been longer as of late.”
Y/N watched as his nose twitched. “Does Dr. Kincaid think that’s good or bad?”
Diana gave him a sympathetic smile. “She’s not sure.”
It was quiet for a long moment, and then Y/N stood. “Let me give you a minute together.” Diana stood as well, and Y/N clasped her hands together. “I don’t think I can articulate how incredibly happy I am to have finally met you. And I— I definitely don’t have the words to properly thank you for raising such a wonderful man.”
Diana took her hands, squeezing them gently before pulling her into a hug. Y/N returned the embrace, and Diana murmured, “Thank you for loving him. Through the highs and the lows.”
Y/N blinked back tears for the second time that day, nodding into Diana’s shoulder and hugging her tightly.
With a final squeeze, Diana released her, and Y/N excused herself back out into the foyer. She signed out of the visitor log and waved to a grinning Suzanna, and then headed outside to catch her breath. She made it to the car, unlocking it and settling into the passenger seat before leaning over to turn it on and get the windows rolled down.
Spencer emerged from the building, his hands in his pockets. He quickly made his way to the vehicle, practically running across the parking lot and sliding behind the wheel. Before she could even say anything, he was surging across the console to grab her face in his hands and pull her into a kiss.
She steadied herself with her hands on his chest, clutching at his shirt and returning the unexpected passion with a slightly bewildered smile. When he was finished, he pulled back to lean their foreheads together. She caught her breath and asked, “What was that for?”
“She loved you, and I love you, and I’m so glad you got to meet her.”
She could hear the emotion in his voice, and she slid her arms around his back, pulling him into a hug. “Me, too.”
He leaned into her for a minute longer, breathing into her hair and pressing another kiss to her shoulder. Then he pulled back, smiling widely. “How would you feel about meeting the other family?”
Spencer drove them to meet up with the team at O’Keefe’s, a favorite haunt of theirs on the evenings when they’d wrapped a case at a reasonable hour. They headed up the sidewalk hand in hand, with Y/N leaning a little into his side. She was feeling slightly more at ease this time around thanks to the buffer of knowing Penelope, Luke, and JJ already.
Spencer held the door open, trailing in behind her with a hand on her waist. She spotted Penelope’s bright green dress immediately, and Spencer raised his hand in greeting. The group gave them a raucous cheer, and Y/N couldn’t help but smile.
Spencer kept his hand on the small of her back as they approached the table. He greeted the group and then turned to Y/N, gesturing around the table. He introduced her to Tara, Matt, and Emily, the three of whom greeted her with warm handshakes. Penelope was practically vibrating with excitement as she scooped her up into a hug.
“Gosh dang it, you are just so cute ,” Penelope squeaked. She pulled back from the hug to take stock of Y/N’s outfit. “The books, I love it. And the shoes!”
Y/N laughed, twirling her ankle to show off the pink t-strap heels. “I’m definitely going to regret them in about an hour. But they look cute anyway.”
Tara sidled up to the two of them, raising her glass in solidarity. “Here’s to cute shoes and pinched toes.” She took a sip of her scotch and then turned to Y/N. “What’s your poison?”
“Oh, you don’t have to,” Y/N insisted.
Tara waved her hand and gestured to Spencer. “You got grandpa to come out to the bar. You’re not paying for a single drink tonight.”
“I come out with you guys!” he squeaked indignantly.
A chorus of exasperated groans made their way around the group, followed by good-natured laughs. Tara raised a single eyebrow in Spencer’s direction, and then turned her attention back to Y/N. “Like I said, you won’t need your wallet tonight. What’ll it be?”
She did not, in fact, have to reach for her wallet at all that evening. Between the seven of them, Y/N’s cup was always full and her smile was nearly permanent. She heard endless stories about Spencer, complete with photo evidence— much to his dismay.
She learned that Tara had a doctorate in forensic psychology, and Emily had worked internationally for years becoming the Unit Chief of the BAU. Luke had been an Army Ranger and a member of the Fugitive Task Force, and Matt had traveled the globe with the International Response Team.
They were all incredibly kind, asking about her family and her work, listening with interest as she recounted growing up on a farm and her days spent teaching kindergarten. Despite their apparent interest, Y/N couldn’t help but feel a little… silly. Stories of field trips and finger painting felt incredibly juvenile in comparison to the lived experiences of this remarkable team of people.
She did her best to steer the conversation back to the team whenever possible, which in some ways made the whole thing worse. But she managed to keep a smile for the evening, and she lost track of how many drinks made their way down the hatch. Luke ordered an assortment of snack foods for the group, and she gratefully accepted a few fries and a mozzarella stick to soak up some of the alcohol sloshing around in her stomach. At some point Spencer returned from the bar with an extra glass of water, sliding it her way with a knowing smile and a press of his lips to her cheek.
Eventually, Y/N had to excuse herself to the bathroom, patting Spencer’s arm and carefully navigating the dim bar. In the way that it so often did, the level of her intoxication made itself abundantly clear in the harsh lighting of the restroom. She stumbled out of the stall to wash her hands, using the countertop for balance and cursing under her breath.
She raised her head to analyze her appearance, groaning a little at the smudge of mascara under her eyes. As she swiped at the black rings, she considered that she had never quite figured out the ideal amount of alcohol— somehow always managing to get a little too drunk. And now she was too drunk in front of all of Spencer’s friends— his family.
Not only that, but for the second time today, she couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmingly ordinary . Surrounded by the team, all extraordinary and awe-inspiring in their own right, she was… plain, unaccomplished, boring . Spencer had called her remarkable; she felt anything but.
She closed her eyes against the tears that were threatening to spill over, remembering the last time she’d cried in a bar bathroom. She’d spent that evening wondering what was wrong with her… wondering if she deserved to have someone like Spencer at all.
“That’s just… the alcohol talking,” she reminded herself out loud into the empty bathroom. She stared at herself in the mirror. “Stop bein’ a weirdo.”
She pushed out of the bathroom and back into the bar, walking a little more cautiously as the alcohol started to course through her bloodstream. As she approached the group again, Spencer’s eyes found her immediately, and he reached for her, pulling her underneath his arm and into his side. He brought his mouth close to her ear and murmured, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, just—” She slid her hand around his waist to keep herself steady. “Just more tipsy than I thought.”
He ran a soothing hand along her arm. “Do you wanna go home?”
She shook her head. “No, no— ‘M fine. ‘S nice to be with your friends.”
“You’re sure?” He squeezed her shoulder and lowered his voice. “Because honestly I’m kind of ready to go.”
She looked up from where her head was resting on his chest to see him smiling softly at her. “Whatever you want.”
He pressed a kiss to her forehead, and then turned back to the team and cleared his throat. “We’re gonna head out.”
Tara made a show of checking her watch. “10:45? I’m surprised you stayed this long, old man.”
Y/N’s eyes opened slowly and came into focus as Spencer’s car came to a stop outside her apartment. “Why’re we here?”
Spencer shut off the ignition and pulled out the key with a small smile. “I have a feeling you’re going to feel… less than stellar tomorrow. I thought you might like to wake up in your own bed. Hang on.”
He climbed out of the vehicle and closed the door before coming around to her side. She could feel the tears welling up as she fumbled with the buckle on her seatbelt. Everything was a little uncoordinated, and she felt absolutely ridiculous.
The door opened, and she carefully swung her legs out one at a time. Spencer stood slightly to the side, and she knew she should hurry up and let him get home, but she didn’t move to get up.
“Do you need help?”
She shook her head, and the action sent a tear rolling over her bottom lash line. She tried to swipe it away, but of course Spencer caught it.
“Hey— what’s wrong?” he asked gently.
She sniffed. “Are you just dropping me off?”
He cupped a hand underneath her chin to tilt her eyes upward, and his eyes were soft but concerned. “I was planning to come upstairs with you. Unless you don’t want me to.”
She shook her head. “No, I— you can come upstairs.”
“Okay.” Spencer cocked his head. “Honey, what’s going on?”
Y/N didn’t know where to begin. She was drowning in self-doubt— had been since about the one month mark. It seemed that every day there was something new to feel insecure about. The confidence she’d had on his doorstep in March was nowhere to be found.
That was too much for her slow moving brain to articulate at the moment, so she settled on: “They’re all so smart and funny and cool and interesting.”
“Okay…” he prompted.
“And I’m not,” she admitted.
His mouth turned quickly down. “That’s not true.”
“Yes, it is,” she insisted. “I’m just— a kindergarten teacher and I— I don’t have any cool skills or stories, and I don’t even have any muscles, and they’re all so pretty —”
“Hey, stop— stop.” Spencer squatted down to be eye-level with her. “First of all, you’re not ‘just’ anything. And you’re my favorite kindergarten teacher and the best one I know.” He grabbed her hand and laced their fingers together. “You have lots of cool skills and stories. And I don’t have any muscles either.”
She lifted her free hand to squeeze his bicep. “Yes, you do.”
“Muscles are overrated.” He smiled and brought a hand to her face, smoothing her hair back and then letting his fingers linger on her cheek. “And frankly, pretty is too mundane a term to describe you. I’d go with something like radiant, or ethereal, or incandescent.”
“You have to s‘plain your jokes to me,” she slurred, swiping her forearm under her nose.
“Not always. And besides, I have to explain my jokes to basically everyone,” he reminded her. He squeezed her hand. “But unlike everyone else, you let me explain them to you. And you actually listen to the explanation.” He shrugged. “I think I like that more than I like telling the joke.”
She was quiet then, eyes focused on a particularly interesting piece of loose gravel. She knew the list of her flaws was longer, but her brain couldn’t string them together in her current state.
Spencer shuffled closer and waited patiently until she finally looked at him before continuing.
“I love you. And not because of your job, or your cool stories, or your muscles,” he clarified. “I love you because you’re you. And, a little selfishly, because I love the person that I am when I’m with you. Okay?”
He smiled tentatively, and she let out a long breath. “Okay.”
He leaned forward and kissed her nose. “Now, come on. Let’s get inside.”
Spencer helped her navigate up the walkway and the three flights of stairs. Rather than rummage drunkenly through her purse, she passed it off and allowed him to retrieve her keys and unlock the door.
He supervised and provided balance support as she haphazardly swiped a makeup wipe over her face and fumbled into her pajamas. Finally he got her settled into bed with a bottle of water on the bedside table.
He pulled up the covers around her. “I’m going to go to the bathroom,” he murmured.
This was the moment that he’d realize what an absolute fool she was. He’d finally be alone in the bathroom, and it would become abundantly clear that she couldn’t drink responsibly, that she was boring, that she was obnoxious. She was sure of it, and her heart was fracturing into a thousand tiny pieces.
Spencer’s nervous laugh broke through her haze of insecurity. “Whoa, I thought we were done crying?” he joked. “Honey, c’mere.” Spencer pulled her up into his arms, rubbing a hand over her back.
She hadn’t realized she was making any noise until the sound vibrated against where Spencer had tucked her into his shoulder. As if she hadn’t been foolish enough tonight, now she was blubbering into his nice cardigan. Despite herself, she clung to him like he’d disappear like smoke between her fingers.
“I’m— I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have laughed; it’s not funny,” he apologized. “Shhh, sweetheart . It— it’s okay, it’s okay .”
“I don’t want you to go.” Her voice was full of tears and cracked pathetically at the end.
“Okay, okay,” he agreed, a tinge of confusion in his voice. “I’m— the bathroom can wait, I suppose.”
That only made her cry harder, which poor Spencer responded to with even more aggressive soothing. He stroked over her hair and hugged her tight, shushing her and rocking her a little bit back and forth.
He was just so sweet . Kind and thoughtful and considerate— three things she hadn’t experienced from a significant other in a very long time. And it was exhausting waiting for the shift— for the moment that he realized she wasn’t worth the hassle. She was so tired of anticipating the end.
“I don’t want you to leave.” She hated how ridiculous she sounded, gasping and hiccuping.
Spencer froze for a full second and then squeezed her impossibly tighter. “I’m not. Baby, I’m not. I am right here.” He stroked a firm hand up and down her spine. “I need you to take some deep breaths with me. I’m gonna do it, too, okay?”
He led her in a series of deep inhalations and long exhales to the rhythm of his palm on her back. He murmured quietly to her, reassurances and promises and love. As her breathing came closer to normal, he pressed a soft kiss into her hair.
“I love you, Y/N. You know that, right? I wouldn’t change one single thing about you.” His hand on her back slowed to a stop, and she could practically hear him considering his next move. “I’m pretty sure Billy Joel wrote a song about it, actually. I love you just the way you are. ”
She couldn’t stop the laugh from bubbling up in her throat at the tone deaf melody, and she felt him smile against her hair. “Okay?”
She wasn’t okay, but that wasn’t his fault. She sighed and sniffed. “Okay, off brand Billy Joel.”
“That’s not very nice,” he chuckled, pulling back to swipe his fingers over her damp cheeks.
“Yes, it is,” she insisted. “I love off brand. Just as good as the real thing, and with some fun quirks.”
“Somehow I don’t think he’d appreciate the comparison.” He smiled softly at her, and then his expression melted into something a little more serious. “But I mean it. There is no place I’d rather be, and no one else that I wanna be with. When I say that I love you the most, I mean that I love you more than I have ever loved anybody. Ever.”
He looked at her so earnestly that she wanted to cry all over again. How was he so wonderful, and gentle, and loving, and perfect ? He’d promised to do better on a chilly night in January and then spent every single day since then doing exactly that.
“But I actually do have to pee,” he admitted sheepishly. “Are you going to be okay here for a few minutes?”
He was speaking to her as he would a child, and she was utterly mortified. She waved her hand. “ God , I’m bein’ so annoying.”
“No, you’re not. You’re a little drunk. And a lot adorable.” He tapped gently on her nose. “But you’re also kind of sad, and I don’t want you to be sad.” He propped the pillow up behind her. “It’ll be the fastest pee ever— four minutes, tops. Most of it will be hand washing. Okay?"
“Okay,” she smiled, and she really meant it.
He hopped up and trotted to the bedroom door. “See you in four minutes. Have some water while you wait.”
She followed instructions, sipping carefully from the bottle he’d left for her. She also rummaged through the bedside drawer for the Advil, popping two and washing them down with another swig of water.
Spencer returned to the bedroom with his cardigan and pants already discarded. He quickly slipped out of his button up and into his pajamas before sliding in beside her and holding out his arms. “All right, c’mere.”
“Hmm?” she hummed.
“I’m demanding snuggles,” he clarified. “That’s the price you pay for my chauffeur and caretaker services.”
Another smile slowly turned up the corners of her mouth, and he returned it, pulling her against his side. “There she is.”
She allowed herself to settle and melt into his warmth, the soft fabric of his t-shirt under her cheek and his fingers brushing lightly over her arm. She willed herself to stop waiting for the shift. She begged herself to stop looking for the end.
Maybe this time there wouldn’t be an end. Maybe she could have an infinite middle with Spencer Reid. Maybe she had earned that.
———
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iwritedumbshit · a day ago
Text
Comfort in My Shadow
Chapter 3: You Oughta Know
By @iwritedumbshit for @iron-mum
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark, Minor Pepper Potts/Tony Stark
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Ned Leeds, James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Summary: Soulmates are definite in the universe. Nobody knows exactly why they exist, or what dictates who is bonded to who, the only thing known is that they are never wrong. But Peter’s not so sure about that.
Living at the group home had taught Peter a lot about laying low and how to stay alive when nobody cares. But he’d always clung to the hope of the shadow at his feet reflecting his soulmate that had watched over him for years.
Typical that his soulmate is actually a superhero that Peter is convinced shouldn’t want anything to do with him. Maybe, just this once, the Universe was wrong.
But Tony Stark is desperate to prove that it is right.
Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 4 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
---
Tony dropped down onto the grass near an empty playground just by the water, laying Spidey on the ground gently before breaking his way out of the suit. The mechanic kneeled beside the teenager, grabbing his wrist and tearing the webshooter off of it. He pressed two fingers against the boy's wrist, sighing in relief when he could make out a surprisingly strong pulse. The relief only lasted for a moment before he moved onto the fact that the kid still wasn't moving.
Hesitating for only a moment, he reached for the mask.
A hand shot up just as his fingers brushed against the fabric, slapping his own hand away sloppily. Tony didn't mind, only letting out a sigh and sinking back onto his knees in relief as Spidey sat up, coughing so hard his whole body shook. The kid tore his mask up to his nose to throw up mouthfuls of murky water before settling back onto his elbows and pulling the mask back down harshly. Tony resisted the urge to pat the kid on his back, instead keeping his hands wrung and watching the vigilante sharply.
He coughed, "Uh, hey, Mr. Stark."
"Hey, kid." Tony offered him a smile. "Jeez, I leave you alone for one day and you almost drown. I think you're more danger prone than me, if that's possible."
"Yeah, you'd be surprised," Spidey said, sitting up farther before freezing and turning to regard Tony suspiciously. "How did you find me? Did you put a tracker on me or something?"
"No. No, kid, I didn't, I promise. My AI's been keeping an eye out for you, and she seemed to think you were in trouble."
"You're spying on me?"
"No, not--I'm not spying on you, kid," Tony rushed to assure. He paused and then conceded with the decency to shrug in embarrassment. "Okay, sorta maybe. Yeah. I'm kinda spying on you, but I also just saved your life, so."
"I had it," Spidey muttered, but it was ruined by another cough. Tony raised an eyebrow at him. "I did! At least, until that vulture guy showed up."
"Vulture guy?"
In a flurry of words, Spider-Man explained, and Tony was happy to listen. He was happy to hear anything the kid was willing to say to him, even if it began with him stalking out a weapons deal and ended with a man with metal wings grabbing him out of the air.
"--and then he just, he just, like, swooped down like a monster and he picked me up and, uh, he took me up, like, a thousand feet and just dropped me!"
Tony shook his head, wishing desperately he could see beyond the suit at any injuries the kid may have as he reattached his webshooter. He did seem okay though, if a little thin, if the way the soaked suit practically hung off of him was anything to go by.
"What were you thinking?" Tony asked, unable to keep the scornful fear from his voice.
"The guy with the wings is obviously the source of the weapons that I've been seeing. I gotta take him down!"
"Take him down now, huh? Steady, Crockett, there are people who handle this sort of thing."
"The Avengers?"
"No. No, no. This is a little below their pay grade," Tony explained. Spidey's eyes narrowed at him. "Look, forget the flying vulture guy, please."
"What? No! He's putting weapons out on the street, my street, I've gotta keep looking for him."
Tony pursed his lip, resisting the urge to argue further and wrap this kid up in bubble wrap. He relented, for the time being. "Fine. I won't stop you."
"Not like you could anyway."
"You're meaner than I remember."
"Yeah, well, get used to it I guess."
"Does that mean I get to hang out with my soulmate from now on? Possibly know their name?"
Spidey froze, staring past Tony in a tired manner. He slumped down onto the grass dramatically. "What time is it?"
"You're not gonna run out on me or anything are you? Or if you do, can you at least leave something behind for me? Like, a boot maybe?"
"Are you calling me Cinderella?"
"Sure. Cinder-kid. Cinder-whatever-your-name-is."
Spider-Man turned his head to glare at his persistent fishing. "I'm surprised you don't already know."
"I've got a list. Twenty-eight kids so far."
"I'm not a kid," he mumbled. Tony smirked.
"Nice try. I know your birthday." Spider-Man groaned. "Still no name?"
A moment. "Ben."
"There's no Ben on the list," Tony answered immediately.
"What, you just have that memorized?" When Tony didn't answer, save for the raise of an eyebrow, the kid groaned again. "If I tell you my name will you please tell me the time?"
Tony checked his watch. "8:17."
A very long, very tense moment before finally, "Peter."
"There's no Peter on the list either."
"Then your list sucks." Tony stared at him. "I'm not lying, you just need to be better at being a detective."
After a moment, Tony accepted it, though he didn't completely believe it. "Fine. Nice to meet you, Peter. I'm Tony."
"Yeah, I knew that."
"Are you always this mean or are you just in a bad mood?"
Peter ducked his head guiltily. "Sorry. Just kinda hungry. I didn't--uh, I didn't eat dinner. Yet."
"I can fix that," Tony said, holding out a hand. Peter stared at it for a moment before hesitantly taking it and allowing for Tony to pull him up. Both of them glanced at where their shadows switched. Peter tensed before tearing his hand away and shoving it in his pocket. Tony tried to not let his hurt show.
Peter let out a groan of annoyance, distracting Tony from where he'd been staring at the switched shadows to look at the kid, who had pulled out a phone as wet as it was cracked. The billionaire grimaced just looking at it.
"Yikes. If you need to call your parents, I have my phone with me."
Spidey winced. "No, uh, it's fine. Just, ah, I left my friend at a party, he's probably wondering where I'm at."
"Okay. If you're sure," Tony said. Peter nodded. "So, dinner?"
"I'm okay, Mr. Stark. I've got to get back to the party. My friend's mom is picking us up in an hour."
"Then, can we talk?" Peter dug his boot into the ground in such a childish manner it physically hurt. He clearly didn't want to talk, but that didn't stop Tony. "Here and now would be preferable."
"About what?" the kid rasped.
"A few things. The fact that we're soulmates, why you got involved in this, why you run around as a vigilante in the first place--"
"--I literally told you last night--"
"--and why you ran away yesterday," Tony finished, ignoring him.
"I have a curfew."
"What's your curfew?"
"Ten," Spidey muttered.
"So you were already late. If you'd waited a little bit longer I probably could've explained to your parents why you were late."
Spidey's head shot up, eyes narrowing. "That I was out being a vigilante?"
"That you were meeting your soulmate."
"Oh. That." The boot scuffed against the ground again, and Tony tried not to let his sullen voice get to him. "I don't think he would've cared."
That sounded horribly wrong to Tony's ears. He asked incredulously, "Your dad wouldn't have cared that you met your soulmate?"
"He's not my dad."
Oh.
"Who do you live with then?"
"Group home," Peter answered with a shrug. "Our curfew has no exceptions, so."
Tony hesitated. "Peter, can you take off your mask?"
"Why?"
"I mean, why not? I already know your name and birthday. I can find you pretty easily."
"I'm okay, Mr. Stark. I'm good. Besides, I should be getting back to my friend, so."
Peter moved to walk away, but Tony grabbed his arm hastily, desperate for this not to be how his first real meeting with his soulmate to go. Peter flinched immediately, and the mechanic let go as the kid stumbled back. That horrible suspicion in his chest only grew.
"Sorry," Tony apologized as Peter continued to stare at him. This wasn't going how he had envisioned at all. Soulmate meetings were usually thought of with an air of overwhelming happiness, maybe a few shed tears and a lot of hugs. But all Tony had was a first name, a smattering of depressing facts, and the knowledge that this kid didn't want anything to do with him. "Not an Iron Man fan, huh?"
Peter shrugged, but Tony noted it as a small victory that the tension leaked out of his small frame. "Thor's actually my favorite, so."
"Well, as long as it isn't Mr. America, then I'm good." There was an awkward silence only broken by the mechanical whir of Spidey's goggles as he glanced to the side, clearly searching for an escape. Tony bit down a sigh. "Go back to your party, kid. I'll see you around?"
"Sure. See you around, Mr. Stark."
Well, he didn't sound completely miserable about it, so Tony counted it as a win. He watched as the kid swung off of the trees back towards the neighborhood, a hint of hope warring with his hurt. Only once the hood slipped off of his shadow did the mechanic start moving again, stepping into the suit, which lit up as he fired into the sky.
"Okay, Fri. Find me a kid named Peter born on August tenth, 2001 with all the earlier guidelines."
"There isn't one, sir."
Tony thought for a moment. "Oh! Remove siblings as a statistic, look for one in a group home instead."
"One match."
"Save it to the file. I'll check it out when I get home."
 ---
  Toomes stared at the retreating figure of the Iron Man suit, his mask highlighting the flying hunk of metal before he turned away to stare at the playground where he and Spider-Man had been talking. Peter, apparently. Stark's soulmate.
He'd have to be careful, very careful, about how he played this.
Adrian had been set on flying away immediately after dropping the vigilante so that he could chew out Brice for being so reckless, but the sight of the Iron Man suit dipping under the water had stopped him. What the hell was the billionaire doing near his house? It had made him wary enough for him to dive down and perch a football field's length away, allowing for his helmet to pick up on the two's conversation.
That decision had probably been one of the best ones of his entire life. The kid was clearly very insistent to go after him and his business, while Stark not so much, but that didn't stop the fact that Peter was clearly desperate to take him down and had Iron Man even more clearly wrapped around his little finger. That was dangerous, and it was bad for business.
After checking once more that Iron Man was no longer nearby, he shot back up into the air towards his warehouse as he made a note to put Mason u[ to finding out who this Peter-kid was and he searched through multiple names in his personnel, looking for the best to keep an eye on the kid. No one was going to mess with his business. With his family.
  ---
"Alright," Tony said as he entered the lab through the window, stepping out from his suit and back over to his desk. He grimaced at where the web fluid had exploded over the desk while he'd been gone. Hopefully that would fizzle out in an hour or two. "What have you got for me, Fri?"
A screen popped up immediately, and Tony was shown his first true glimpse of his soulmate's face. His heart tugged both at the adorableness of the kid pictured in front of him and the fact that he was seeing the kid for the first time through a screen. He shook it aside, taking in the kid in front of him.
Peter.
The yearbook photo left the smile hilariously forced but no less adorable, especially with the way the kid's eyes read embarrassment and boredom in only a way a teen's could. His hair was tamed down generously for picture day, but a few stray curls forced their way loose. Somehow, he was exactly what Tony had imagined.
"Okay. Full life synopsis. Let's go," he ordered the AI.
"Peter Benjamin Parker was born on August tenth, 2001, to Mary and Richard Parker, both head researchers at Oscorp before their deaths in 2006 in a plane crash. Guardianship was transferred to Richard's brother and sister-in-law, Ben and May Parker. They were killed during a mugging six months ago."
"Yikes, kid. Not a super easy time for you, huh?" Tony glanced at the picture of the kid again. "Where does he live now?"
"At the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys under the guardianship of Andrew Fowler."
"Pull up his file. Any records of abuse or illegal activities?"
"Fowler has two DUI's from when he was nineteen and twenty-three, but nothing else. Nothing unusual about him, boss."
Tony hummed, crossing his arms and pursing his lips. After all of Peter's little flinches and shakes, he was still skeptical, but with nothing to prove, he left it alone. For now.
"Mr. Parker does, however, have a record."
His head turned. "He does?"
"He does." Multiple files were shoved in his face. "Nothing serious, sir, but he has multiple accounts of sneaking out and degenerate behavior. Smoking, loitering, and two misdemeanors."
Tony hesitated for a moment, but shrugged it off. He was a kid who'd had a rough life, and, really, Tony had done some similar shit when he was the kid's age, and the sneaking out could be easily waved off by Peter's vigilante actions. He moved on.
"How's the suit coming along?"
"Trials are finished and ready for 3D printing. All that's left is the fluid, boss."
Tony glanced at the table still completely covered with the white formula. He grimaced. "We'll deal with that later. Go ahead and print the suit, and I'm gonna need a couple of things before we completely shut down for the night."
  ---
I, Peter thought, am an idiot.
After returning to the party, he had changed back into his regular clothes and managed to draw Ned out from the crowd, who had been more than a little confused at his dripping wet hair and slightly bruised face.
"Dude," Ned had asked. "What the hell happened? What happened to the plan?"
"Sorry," Peter had muttered. "There was some weapons dealers. They got the drop on me and dropped me in the lake. And, uh, I met Mr. Stark again."
Ned had gasped. "Really!? Oh, my gosh, is he here? Can I meet him?"
"No, he left, Ned. He saved me actually."
"This is the coolest! You're superhero buddies!" He'd gasped again. "Oh, my God! Are you Iron Man's sidekick?"
"What? No, Ned. I'm not his sidekick." I'm his soulmate, which was honestly worse. Peter would be a better sidekick than a soulmate. "It was probably just, like, a favor thing since I saved him yesterday."
"Super. Hero. Buddies."
There hadn't been any arguing with Ned, he'd been too excited. But, thankfully, the arrival of Iron Man had distracted his friend from going back to the party and they'd called his mom so they could leave early. Not ready to take anymore chances that night, he'd asked Mrs. Leeds to drop him off right at the group home. Mr. Fowler hadn't been there when Peter had tiptoed through the door, so he'd just slipped up the stairs and taken a hot shower, not even bothering to try and take something from the kitchen. He didn't have the heart for another strike.
His spider sense had been going off the entire time, just like it had when he'd been talking with Mr. Stark. It had prevented him from falling asleep that night, thankfully it had been a Friday. But the fact that his senses wouldn't calm down, even now on Saturday morning, was more than a little concerning. Was he dying? Maybe it was the lack of food? Or were his senses trying to warn him about Mr. Stark?
That was the worst thought of all, but it'd popped into his mind whenever he'd caught sight of his shadow while he was eating breakfast the next morning. Everyone in the group home was at the table to watch his nervous jitters as he tried not to look too starved while eating his cereal. Tim and Eric had glanced at him a lot, clearly desperate for him to play some games with them today. The other two younger boys, Aaron and Juan, were much more calm, staring down at the table in an attempt to not draw attention to themselves. Though Jeremiah was winning that competition.
Mr. Fowler sat at the head of the table, a plate of eggs and bacon sitting idly in front of him as he rifled through the mail with annoyed mutters. The man had a lot of junk mail--seriously, he had more magazine subscriptions than Peter could count--so the boys could usually tell when he finally stumbled across something he liked in the mail. His muttering would pause, the rifling would stop, and he would hum in approval before setting the piece of paper aside. This morning, he found something he clearly didn't care for.
Mr. Fowler's muttering paused, the rifling stopped, and Peter waited for the quiet hum, but instead there was a displeased grunt. Heads turned as the junk mail smacked onto the table and a vanilla letter stood out in Mr. Fowler's hands with large letters scrolled on the front of it. Peter's name sat scrawled on the corner.
"Who the heck is 'TS?'" Mr. Fowler asked, glancing at the letter again. "With no return address?"
Peter panicked, almost choking on his off-brand Cheerios as he searched for an excuse that wasn't as flimsy as a feather.
"It's, uh, a pen pal. Thing."
Sure. Not flimsy at all, Parker.
"A pen pal?"
Peter nodded. "Yep. Um, through--through school. It's new. And we deliver them, by ah, ourselves. I delivered mine yesterday, so, no return address?"
"Fun... What's their name?"
He took another bite of his food to stall, mumbling through the soggy cereal, "Tony."
"Tony...?"
"Smart." Mr. Fowler glanced at him. Idiot, idiot, idiot. "Yeah. Tony Smart. He goes to Bronx... Anyway can I have that letter please?"
With a grumble, Mr. Fowler tossed the letter on the table in front of Peter. He quickly pocketed it, finishing his cereal as fast as humanly possible and placing it in the dishwasher. He passed by the table, promising to help the other kids with their dishes and their homework, before walking out the door and sitting on the steps outside the small and rundown building, ignoring the way his senses were still going off.
Peter muttered confusions under his breath as he pulled the surprisingly thick letter out of his hoodie, turning it over in his hands once before finally ripping it open. There were four things inside. He grabbed the letter first, unfolding it to read the loose lettering scrawled inside.
  Dear, Mr. Parker,
Letters aren't really my thing. I'm more of a talker, as you may have realized last night, so I've left a new Starkphone in the envelope to replace the one you broke last night. For talking. And whatever the hell teenagers do with phones too.
  Peter blinked, narrowing his eyes and his chin dropping as he fished the phone out of the envelope. It was horribly expensive under his fingers and he immediately flushed as he thought about how much it must cost. He didn't think it was even on the market yet. He shook his head and blinked furiously, returning to the letter.
  I've also included a Stark Industries badge that will get you into the tower for the next week or so until we move to the compound. You'll receive a new one once badges are printed for the Avengers Compound. My forehead of security will be very excited to be on the job. There's also a credit card connected to my account if you're ever in trouble or in the mood for something to eat. Of course, I don't know what your schedule is, but call me whenever, and you're always welcome in Casa de Stark.
-TS
P.S. Stop by the tower if you can today. I've got a surprise I think you'll like.
  Go to the tower? Peter glanced around the street nervously. He guessed it couldn't hurt, as long as he got all his Saturday chores done first.
After a moment of hesitation, the teenager folded up the letter, stuffing it in his pocket before turning back to the rest of the contents in the envelope. Like Mr. Stark had said, there was a Stark Industries badge, with his embarrassing yearbook photo and his name printed in bold letters, and an ebony credit card that practically gleamed even in the weak light of the gray day.
"The hell..." he muttered, staring at it. He didn't even want to begin thinking about how much stuff he could buy with this thing. The thought made him nauseous, and he moved to stuff it in his pocket as well, when he paused. His pocket was a horrible place to put this thing. He didn't plan on using it, but he'd have an actual stroke if he managed to lose it, or worse, if someone stole it. Mr. Stark already didn't seem overwhelmingly thrilled to have a snotty kid as his soulmate, no need to disappoint him further.
Peter went back inside, placing the card in his thin leather wallet that he kept in his bag, clipping his badge to the backpack, and then stuffing the letter underneath his mattress. Before he went to move back downstairs, his stomach rumbled and his eyes strayed back to the card. Mr. Stark had said he could use it whenever...and it wasn't like snacks were going to drain his account or anything. He bit his lip, forcing himself to turn back around and down the stairs. He wasn't a charity case, and he wasn't going to just abuse Mr. Stark's money like that.
The teenager shook his head as he hurried back to the common floor to begin cleaning up the kitchen as he tried not to think about how hungry he was going to be tonight. Only breakfast was allowed when grounded at Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, so tonight was going to be so much worse without a school provided lunch. And falling asleep last night had been almost impossible thanks to the gnawing pain in the pit of his stomach. Whatever. He'd figure it out somehow.
Cleaning the kitchen didn't take very long, both him and Jeremiah burning through the dishes and putting away food in less than ten minutes while the younger kids sat silently at the table, trepidatious noses stuck in books, though they'd been allowed a moment of calm reprieve when Mr. Fowler had stumbled upstairs for a few minutes before plopping back downstairs into his usual seat. Once the two were done, Jeremiah went to take out the trash while Peter stepped over to Mr. Fowler, who was just finishing scribbling on a thin piece of paper.
"I expect the receipt as usual, Parker. Not a penny missing." The man thrust the list in his hand along with a wad of tightly wrapped cash that Peter accepted more than a little nervously. Mr. Fowler was very particular about his money. "And don't forget to check the eggs to make sure they're not broken."
"Yes, sir," Peter nodded.
"And take the others with you. I need a few hours of peace."
"Yes, sir," he said again.
He motioned for the children to grab their bags from the hooks by the door while Peter dashed up the stairs and back down again with his own. He never left home without it, and the kids needed something to hold their stuff. Not that he would mind carrying a couple of books, but they had to carry all the groceries back, so the more free hands the better.
The ragtag group bounced onto the cracked sidewalk, the kids waving goodbyes to Jeremiah as they headed off towards the nearest grocery story. There was some excited babble as they all crowded around Peter, words tumbling from prepubescent lips as they all finally got their chance to inform Peter of their very eventful week. Mr. Fowler was never very excited to have the kids talking all at once. It disturbed his constant hangovers.
"One at a time, one at a time," Peter said with a reluctant smile. The chatter died down. "Youngest first."
Eric grabbed Peter's hand in response, the nine year-old babbling away about something new he'd learned in class and something funny his friend had said on Monday that he'd been waiting all week to tell Peter. Next was Juan, who had similar tellings, but the teenager responded just enthusiastically as he did Eric until they went all the way through the stories and ended up at the cheap grocery store.
Peter stopped them before going inside. "Rules?"
"Don't touch anything," all four chorused, continuing down the list. 1. Don't touch anything. 2. Stay by Peter. And 3. Hold your buddy's hand the whole time. Once they'd repeated them all, Peter nodded and led them inside.
The teenager tried his best to get everything on Mr. Fowler's list quickly, but refused to not double check for the cheaper brands that Mr. Fowler was always so insistent he buy. It irked Peter off, especially since grocery money came from the state and not the man, but there wasn't anything Peter could do without getting another strike, so he grabbed the blandest cheerios and the most unhealthy oatmeal and placed them in the basket in annoyance, doing his best to avoid any aisle with some kind of bright sugar. He still caught the other kids looking at cookies and cartons of ice cream longingly though.
Finally, after an agonizingly long time, they were all checked out and laden with groceries as they headed down the sidewalk back to the group home. There was more chatter from the kids as they pointed at fluttering pigeons and scurrying rats. There was even a parrot at one point that Peter was sure someone was looking for. He'd check around online later and see if he could give someone a tip about the scarlet bird that's shit narrowly missed Eric.
All was going well until the chime of an ice cream truck began down the small neighborhood street. Feet stopped and heads turned as the bright pink vehicle stopped in front of a group of clamoring kids. Peter could practically feel their want for something other than the same breakfast and dinner they got every day. Their most interesting meal was usually their school lunches, which was honestly more pitiful than anything the teenager could ever dream of.
Peter bit his lip as he stared at the ice cream truck and then sighed, setting down his groceries and opening the pocket of his backpack where he'd placed his wallet earlier. The wallet that now had a shiny black card connected directly to a billionaire that could give these kids a fun morning for once.
The wallet that was nowhere to be seen.
"Fuck," Peter muttered.
Eric gasped, pointing at Peter who was now practically tearing apart his backpack looking for the thing, panic rising in his chest. "Peter said a bad word!"
"Shit," Juan said in response. There were some giggles from the older kids but Eric gasped again. Peter ignored them, strangling in a reluctant breath as his hands finally stilled after coming away with nothing.
How the hell had he lost it? He'd had it for barely an hour! Think, Parker, think. It had been in his bag, he knew that. He'd put it in the second lowest pocket of his backpack, which he'd left upstairs. All the boys had been at the table, and Jeremiah had been cleaning the kitchen with him the entire time. Had someone stolen it at the store? It was possible but unlikely, what with his spider sense and the fact that four kids who'd grown up in New York's foster system paying constant attention to him. So how could it have--
Peter paused, bringing his hands up to cover the bottom half of his face as he clenched his teeth harder than he remembered having ever done before. Mr. Fowler had gone upstairs. And Peter's story had been complete bullshit. He must have found his wallet and taken it upon seeing the shiny black card just perfectly poised for the taking.
His legs stiff with terror, Peter stuffed everything he'd taken out of his bag back into it haphazardly, zipping it shut so harshly the tab ripped completely off. He grunted, throwing the piece of plastic to the ground and clutching his groceries back in his hands before stomping off. The kids stumbled after him once they'd realized he'd begun to move.
"Peter!! Wait up!" Tim called.
Peter forced himself to pause for them, but continued on the moment they were caught up to him. He tried to calm himself, but he couldn't stop the way his face contorted and he seethed in fury. He didn't give two flying shits about the crumpled bills in his wallet the man had taken, or the few personal items he'd kept in the wallet from his late uncle, but he was horribly angry that the man had taken something that was barely even Peter's.
There was no way in hell the teenager was going to explain to Mr. Stark that the card had been stolen from him not even a day after he'd gotten it. There was no way in hell was Peter going to explain that he, an enhanced that had just touted last night that he could take on the flying vulture guy, that he couldn't stand up to his foster father. Mr. Stark dealt with aliens. Peter could deal with Mr. Fowler.
His steps faltered.
He could. He could do it.
As he later found out, he couldn't.
  ---
Peter crept up the stairs of the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, having already set all the groceries he'd had on the kitchen counter for the other kids to put away. He tried to keep the shaking from his fear, unsure if it stemmed from fear or anger, but he was largely unsuccessful as he stalked past the kids' rooms and approached the one at the end of the hall.
As far as Peter knew, no one had gone into Mr. Fowler's room before. There usually wasn't a point. The man kept such meticulous track of his belongings that it was impossible to take something without him noticing sooner or later, and, not only that, but Peter was used to the click of a lock sliding shut whenever the man left his room unattended or went to sleep for the night. It left the teenager facing the unknown as he finally stepped in front of the door that was, in that moment, bigger than anything he'd ever seen.
He took in a shaky breath. Maybe this was a bad idea. The ringing of fear trembling up and down his entire self told him so.
But the anger wasn't completely overridden by the fear, and Peter was full of bad ideas anyway, so he raised a fist and knocked rapidly. There was no response, so Peter knocked again, just as forceful as last time but now more hesitant.
With a horrifying shiver down his spine, the door swung open. Peter swallowed but refused to take the step back that he desperately wanted to as Mr. Fowler towered over him. The smell of alcohol wasn't any kind of freshly strong like it had been a couple of nights ago, which was the only thing reassuring about the moment.
"What do you want?" Mr. Fowler demanded.
"My wallet." He willed his voice not to break.
Mr. Fowler's eyes narrowed as a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. "What?"
"My wallet. You took it and I want it back."
"It's my house, so it's my wallet."
"No it's not! It was my uncle's!" he protested.
"Oh, and was this your uncle's too?" The shiny black card was pulled out his pocket as Mr. Fowler flashed him a toothy grin. Peter's hands twitched with the need to reach out for it, but he kept his fists balled at his side. "Lying to your foster father now, huh? That was a nice little letter under your bed, too. New sugar daddy or something?"
Peter blanched, but then his face turned ghostly white. His voice was a horrified whisper. "You took my letter?"
"Under your bed? Really? You didn't even try, son!" Mr. Fowler taunted, pulling out a piece of crumpled paper and forcing it into Peter's hands. He tore it open, but the paper was so wrinkled he could barely read it anymore. "So, Tony Stark? I don't know if you sucked his dick or something, but I'm sure this card has plenty for me to use if it's connected to his account."
"What? No! That doesn't belong--"
He was cut off by a hand tugging a fistful of his hair. Peter winced but refused to let out a yelped cry even as he was dragged into Mr. Fowler's room. It wasn't much, he realized as he peered through squinted eyes at the bedroom. It was somehow grimy and tidy at the same time, with dust and dirt covering just about every corner, but his belongings were neatly lined and organized on the desk and bedside table. The only other thing that screamed about Mr. Fowler's uncleanliness was the bottles littering the floor that Peter had to fight not to trip over, made only harder as the fist let go of his hair and slapped him into the nearest wall.
"Now listen here, you little shit," Mr. Fowler started, cornering the scrambling teenager as his voice boomed so loud that surely all the kids downstairs could hear him. "I clothe you and house you and feed you, and I will not tolerate your levels of disrespect when you do nothing but run around like the little ungrateful shit you are! Anything you earn while under my roof belongs to me!"
"No it doesn't!" Peter found the courage to shout back. Mr. Fowler blinked in scowled surprise. "And you barely do any of that shit! I had these clothes before I got here, and you barely feed me! You barely feed any of the kids down there!! What the hell is wrong--"
His face stung with the slap that met it.
He grit his teeth, blinking away angry tears. It didn't hurt, it didn't hurt. He was Spider-Man. Being dropped into a lake had hurt, this was nothing. He couldn't really be hurt while he had these powers. He couldn't.
"SHUT UP!!!"
Peter cowered.
"You know nothing about what you're talking about, son," Mr. Fowler breathed, stalking forward until his face was only inches from Peter's and there was nowhere left to run. He scrunched his nose and screwed up his eyes, holding his breath against the man's stale breath as he turned his face away to stare past the man's shoulder. "Whatever you think, this is my house, and I took you in after your last foster parent got sick of your teenage horseshit. Sneaking out wasn't tolerated there, just as much as disrespect isn't tolerated here. So I think that's another strike, don't you? Or a good enough recommendation could get you to a juvenile detention center instead."
"No, please--"
The hand was in his hair again, tearing him forward with a pained wince and forcing him through the door. When Peter smacked up against the wall, he realized it wasn't the door to the hallway.
Scrambling, he swung around just in time to see the door slam shut and then click with the eerie noise of a lock, leaving Peter in the dark closet that was full of nothing but the stench of dirty clothes piled around his feet and the clinking of dusty bottles. He swallowed, wishing desperately he didn't make such stupid decisions, that he'd just kept his head down and forgotten about it and--
"Stay nice and quiet, and you'll be let out soon," Mr. Fowler called before the sound of the door clicked shut and the groaning of wood told him that the man was walking away.
And Peter was horribly alone.
 ---
  Tony glanced between the metal case sat on the table and the window displaying the New York night sky one last time before sighing and stepping off of the stool, Peter's shadow following him. He hadn't been Spider-Man all day, so Tony had no idea what could be holding him up. The kid hadn't texted at all either, though he was sure he'd at least set up the phone already.
Nervously, the billionaire tapped his fingers on the table, one of the last pieces of furniture that had yet to be packed on his floor. He'd delivered the letter himself, clearly addressed it to the kid and everything, but maybe he hadn't gotten it? Maybe it had been a little sketchy for a kid to get a letter with just initials on it and no return address. But he couldn't have gotten in trouble for anything like that, right? And Peter's foster father didn't have anything bad surrounding his name...
With a tired sigh, he asked his AI, "Anything?"
"Mr. Parker has still not entered the building."
"A few blocks out?"
"He does not appear on any security cameras." A moment. "It is past ten, sir. I do not think he is going to come."
"Keep an eye out for him, just in case." He continued to tap the table with a thoughtful hum. Just to double check. "Has the phone been activated?"
"Yes, sir. It started up this morning."
Okay, good, so he had gotten the letter.
"And the card?" he asked. His AI paused, and something hard settled in his stomach. "The card, Friday?"
"It has been in use multiple times since this morning." Tony blinked. That was something of a surprise, but he couldn't say he was disappointed. The kid looked like he could use a good meal or two. He took his jacket off, moving towards his bedroom.
"Great. Glad it's being put to use."
"Three hundred dollars have been spent on alcoholic beverages."
Tony froze where he stood, suspended in a feeling he couldn't even describe. Disappointment? Terror? Hurt? He stared down at the curly-haired shadow, eyes narrowing as he gaped at it. He hadn't exactly pegged the kid as someone who would buy boatloads of drinks, and he didn't even know if a fake ID would work for the kid. He looked all of twelve.
"Cut off the card until the next time I talk to him."
"Yes, sir."
"And track his phone. Where the hell is he right now?"
"His phone's location relays that he is in his foster home."
And that was that he supposed. The kid couldn't buy anymore alcohol and there wasn't anything Tony could do without talking to him directly.
Tony stepped into his bedroom, slipped into some old pajamas, and flopped onto bed with a twist in his gut. Something just felt wrong, and it was more than the kid buying alcohol that likely would barely affect him anyway.
His mind racing, Tony turned restlessly under the covers as the lights shut off around him. Peter's shadow disappeared, the room going with it, and when Tony blinked again, he found himself in complete darkness only broken by the shifting of clothes, the clink of bottles, and the sniffles of someone coming off of a breakdown.
He blinked back awake, sitting up and reaching for his phone. He scrolled through it until he found Peter's number and hit call. It rang. And rang. And rang.
"Hi, you've reached the voicemail of Peter Parker! I'm busy right now, I guess, so call me later, and yeah! Have a good day! Oh! And leave your message after the beep! BEEEP!!"
Tony didn't know whether to laugh or not.
Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 4 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
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burglarlotus · 3 days ago
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@reanimatedmuses​ || cont.
     “OH SURE. I JUST HAPPEN TO BE THEIR NEWEST ACT: The webslinger trapezist who is also a ballerina. But I only do private shows,” he couldn’t see it due to the mask, but Gwen’s visage shifted from one of surprise ( I mean, you don’t see an anthropomorphic turtle every day, much less one as big as this one ) to one of amusement.
     And seems like he’s not alone. Her spidey sense warned her before hand of three others like him growing near.
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     “I’m your friendly neighbourhood spider person,” Gwen stood up, wiping off the dust that laid on her white suit ( a big disadvantage to her color scheme, the top gets dirty more easily than the spiders from other dimensions ). “And AS your friendly neighbourhood spider person, I’ve never seen the likes of you. I’ve seen a giant Lizard. Turtles? Four of them? Not so much.”
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masterninjacow · 3 days ago
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goldstorm and bug boy! ; 8.53 pm.
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pairing ; spiderman!yunho x antihero!reader
synopsis ; the one with ass-dynamite and finished ice cream.
words ; 0.6k
warnings ; cursing, violence, suggestive content
goldstorm and bug boy! masterlist.
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Yunho stood just behind you, his chest just barely brushing against your back. If you weren’t so distracted by the tied-up criminals writhing on the floor beneath you, you would’ve probably leaned back against him tiredly, longing for his cautiously affectionate touch. But, alas, now wasn’t really the time.
Stupid hero duties.
“Let’s blow ‘em up,” you said flippantly, picking at your nails and eyeing them up and down. Their struggling increased ten-fold at your words, slobbering muffled pleas past their rope-gags. With a small grin, you angled your head back to meet Yunho’s unamused expression. “Stick dynamite up their asses! Boom.”
Your spidey boy-partner huffed out a low chuckle, cocking his head to the side. “Not the worst idea you’ve had, but I’m just going to web them up for now.”
“Hm, kinky. I like it.”
Yunho seemed to choke on air. “For the cops, Y/N!”
“Extra kinky,” you joked, nudging his shoulder.
He gently moved you to the side, rolling his eyes upwards to the flickering lights of the warehouse. Moths flitted frantically against the lamps, repeatedly knocking into the plastic casing with dull thuds. It kind of reminded him of you and your… adorably aggressive persistence.
“Let’s cut their hands off!” Yunho had only looked away for a second, but you were now kneeling next to the perps with a darkly curious expression, ogling their tied wrists with a newfound desire, pupils blown wide. The bound perps let out terrified squeals of protest at your words. Man, you were freaky.
Spiderman placed a hand on his (not-so-super)hero partner’s shoulder. Whether it was in restraint or warning, you weren’t quite sure. Either way, you enjoyed the feeling of his warm palm against your skin. “Okay, sweetheart. Time to go home, let’s go. Up, up, up.” He hooked his larger hands under your forearms, tugging you onto your feet.
Practically having to drag you out of the warehouse, he listened along to your noisy complaints, only supplying you with half-hearted hums of acknowledgement. Just before the two of you left, he shot an extra layer of webbing fluid around the criminals to keep them properly bound. It took the whole day for you and Yunho to track them down, he wouldn’t want all that work going straight down the drain.
“You wanna have ice cream when we get home?” The question was a genuine one, asked with an air of sincerity. It had been a long day, and the both of you deserved a break.
Wincing slightly, Yunho muttered in abashment, “I finished all the ice cream.”
You rounded on him with an angry glare. “Yunho, we had like… four tubs. What the fuck, dude? Even my strawberry cheesecake?”
He hung his head in shame. “Especially the strawberry cheesecake ice cream. But hey, in my defense, I was on a Harry Potter binge and I got sad around the fifth movie, okay? Ice cream cures all.”
An angry frown tugged your pretty lips downwards. Yunho had always thought you looked prettiest when you were angry. The moon gently illuminating your skin with a pearly glow didn’t seem to help one bit.
“Yeah? Well, we’ll see if ice cream can help when I chop your hands off!”
Yes, you were most definitely prettiest when you were mad, Yunho surmised with a small quirk of his lips.
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iron-mum · 3 days ago
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My Spider Sense is Shinglin’
By @iron-mum and @geekinthecorner for the @friendly-neighborhood-exchange 
Rating: General
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark (Brief appearances from Stephen Strange, Helen Cho and Bruce Banner)
Summary: 
“You feeling okay, bud?” He said, racing over and helping the teen disentangle his legs from the blanket. “A little,” Peter lied badly, unsure why he’d even bothered trying. Even his greatest attempts at white lies couldn’t get past his mentor. He’d grown to know the kid and his antics exceptionally well. “You wanna try that again with less understatements?” “Headache.” Peter started, pausing for just a moment. Tony had lingered just to see if anymore was going to come before standing up, with the intention of heading to the kitchen. He’d barely lifted his leg to take the first step when... “Spidey Sense still tingling… Not hungry… Hot.”
or: Peter mistakes shingles for a pulled muscles and suffers miserably.
Tony had a knack for knowing when something was wrong. An ingrained intuition from the copious amounts of people he had met in his lifetime had led to some pretty nifty bullshit detecting skills. The genius paid attention far more than he was given credit for, particularly when it came to the few people he held closest and dearest. Peter was adamant that if he were a Sim he would have the perceptive and observant trait, albeit his chance of learning something new from a socialisation being higher than the thirty-five percent the game offered. The duo had settled for a solid seventy percent.
So, when the very intern who praised his observational skills barely uttered more than a greeting upon sheepishly entering the lab, Tony knew something was up. Peter who was usually all beaming, charismatic grins and energetic pacing on the floor—or ceiling— had been sat in the same spot for almost an hour or so, features so tense it looked unnatural. Initially, the older man had made subtle changes to the environment they were in, lowering the music a notch and dimming the lights ever so slightly in an effort to decipher the discomfort the kid was apparently unwilling to discuss. All had proven unsuccessful.
“You okay, buddy?” Tony questioned softly, when he noticed the teen wince and wriggle from his seated position. The deciphering had been going on all morning so all that had been left was tackling the issue head on. Rather than answering, Peter put the pen down that he’d been aimlessly playing with and cupped his face in his hands, breathing harsher than usual.
“My Spider Sense has just been really acting up all day,” he hesitantly replied as he heard his mentor’s steps draw closer. “It’s been getting more uncomfortable as the day progressed.”
A cool hand tentatively cupped his neck before manoeuvring to the left shoulder and offering a comforting squeeze. Peter instantly wished the soothing touch to his skin lasted longer than the few seconds it had, an involuntary whine escaping his lips as he fought to not cry there and then at how glorious it had been.
Alarm bells were ringing in his mentor’s head instantaneously. An admission of discomfort was rare and not something to be taken lightly when coming from someone who could easily make jokes about being stabbed or hit by a truck. That in addition to a sound that resembled a small baby animal in distress had Tony’s mind in overdrive.
“You’re feeling a little peaky. Why don’t we call it a day for lab time and go up to the penthouse?” Tony offered, mentally chastising the potential for Parker luck to strike at this very moment. The kid’s aunt was away for a week with training and Pepper was abroad for international meetings. Not that he didn’t want to look after Peter, the mechanic just immediately felt awkward and three thousand percent out of his league at the prospect. There was a small sigh of relief when Peter finally meandered off his chair, the duo slowly making their way towards the elevator. The older man’s hand remained on the kid’s shoulder, thumb occasionally rubbing the teen’s neck as he seemed to be enjoying the movement.
“You take a seat on the couch, I’ll fix us up some snacks,” Tony directed as he watched Peter totter across the room before sluggishly flopping onto the sofa, one arm immediately resting over his eyes whilst the other lay across his chest and holding his left side. There had barely been a hum of acknowledgement.
Peter felt absolutely, fudging dreadful. His stomach growled in hunger as a reminder that he’d waited far too long to eat but his appetite was completely shot. Almost like his mind had dissociated from the basic needs it required. All he could concentrate on was not succumbing to the pain in his flank which at this rate had gone from dull ache to a thousand knives piercing him over and over.
Not wanting to eat and feeling like the worst human possible for not telling his mentor to stop the food preparation, Peter opted for feigning to be asleep. A difficult task in itself considering the spikes of pins and needles he’d been feeling. Amidst the all-over-body irritation was a very prominent, localised pain to his left side. The teen had put it down to a pulled muscle as he had been patrolling a lot more vigorously than usual with the school break now in full swing. Nice one, Parker.
The self diagnosis Peter provided himself meant that he’d been reluctant to mention anything to Tony prior, not wanting to be a burden over something that should have been trivial. His mentor did always seem to be dealing with more than enough on his plate anyway. With a small shiver at the feeling of bugs crawling across his skin, Peter began to second guess not providing Mr. Stark with all the details of his symptoms. After what seemed like a moment’s hesitation, a soft material was being draped over him.
Tony had clearly fallen for the fake sleeping act. Or was just too polite to call him out on it . Allowing Peter the whole sofa, he slid an armchair across so he was within close proximity to the kid and pulled out a Stark Tablet ensuring the brightness was low. The genius had used the settings on the tablet to dim the room and ensure no one disturbed them.
The teen could hear the tablets gentle thrum, the sound of Tony’s fingers delicately touching the pad and his steady, calming heartbeat. His breathing was soft and gentle, a steady tempo that Peter found himself trying to follow. He eventually yielded to drowsiness and found himself slowly falling into darkness, hoping he’d feel better after a nap.
Peter’s wake up had been particularly violent. The teen shot up after feeling an excruciating sting in his side, skin feeling like he was literally on fire. He’d swiftly fallen backwards into the cushions, mind still catching up with the body, leaving him with a sense of disorientation and overwhelmingly lightheaded. Tony was at his side within seconds, clearly just returning from the bathroom, a flare of panic in his eyes.
“You feeling okay, bud?” He said, racing over and helping the teen disentangle his legs from the blanket.
“A little,” Peter lied badly, unsure why he’d even bothered trying. Even his greatest attempts at white lies couldn’t get past his mentor. He’d grown to know the kid and his antics exceptionally well.
“You wanna try that again with less understatements?”
“Headache,” Peter started, pausing for just a moment. Tony had lingered just to see if anymore was going to come before standing up, with the intention of heading to the kitchen. He’d barely lifted his leg to take the first step when...
“Spidey Sense still tingling… Not hungry… Hot.”
“The day you’re not hungry is the day the whole country falls apart,” Tony frowned as he headed to the kitchen and ran the tap. A full glass of water and wrung out flannel later he was back at Peter’s side and very carefully helping him to sit up, the sway and unease in the teen’s movements evident.
The thought of water had Peter feeling nauseous but he knew this wasn’t something his mentor was going to back down on. He held the glass in his hands, leaving it on his lap for a moment and enjoying the cold temperature on his fingertips. The older man carefully placed the flannel on his neck and boy, was it heavenly. A final moment of discomfort dissipated and the relief was overwhelming.
“Peter?” Tony asked, tone full of a parental tone that Peter had only thought he’d ever hear from his Aunt. The flannel was off of his neck and wiping away the sweat from his face, a thumb underneath the cloth carefully gliding under his eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” burst out of his lips before he could stop it when he registered the way his face had crumpled, just about holding in the tears. “I don’t want to be sick.”
"Come here, kid," his mentor offered soothingly and quietly, knowing that when Peter was this burnt out, a sensory overload could creep in and take over at any minute. And that was the last thing he needed added to the mix of symptoms. Tony placed the flannel down and took the glass from tremoring hands before opening his arms.
Peter complied, leaning into Tony, his face buried into the older man’s shoulder as one of his hands clutched tightly onto the rock band themed t-shirt. His body let out a long, shuddering breath no longer able to keep it in through fear his lungs would burst. It was a bittersweet mixture of relief and excruciating stabbing in his side again.
"I’ve got you, buddy. Nice slow, breaths for me. I’ve got you." Tony’s arms were wrapped around him tightly now, a strong grip that left him feeling protected and grounded. One hand found its way in the teen’s hair and started to massage the scalp, occasionally lifting the curls and allowing them to ping back.
“Thank you, Mr. Stark,” the teen mumbled, face not wanting to leave from its smushed position in the older man’s t-shirt.
Acting on an instinct he had been aggressively repressing, Tony simply tilted his head down and pressed a kiss into Peter’s hair in response. All those years of being so abundantly sure he’d never had kids were well and truly buried in the past. It wasn’t necessarily that he’d disliked children or wanted to be tied down to a miniature version of himself, fragile and requiring a dependant who could at least look after themselves which wasn’t one of his strongest traits. But he also had a terrible fear of failing. Of being like Howard.  
Whilst he knew he didn’t have it in himself to be so ruthless and cruel, it troubled him to no end. And even when Peter Parker had come along and wormed his way into his life in all the best kinds of ways. It had taken time to acknowledge the level of care he’d had. This young, endearing, little shit had Tony wanting to give him his all. Hell, the more weekends they’d spent together the more sure he was that Peter would in fact be his legacy. A part of his small circle of friends who he trusted like family and would fiercely protect at all costs. And despite the pair not seeming to be aware of how close their bond was, a majority of their nearest and dearest could spot it from a mile away whilst being blindfolded.
“You wanna tell me when you started feeling this funk? Do I need to speak with Helen?” Tony questioned when Peter pulled away.
“I pulled a muscle on my left side a few days ago and kinda felt off since then. The tingling has been the same, but like initially it was on and off. Sometimes it was on par with that time Vulture dropped a warehouse on me and the next, like that time I entered the building on fire to save Tiddles the tortoise. Or that time I got road rash after being dragged by a van down fifth street. Or that time Tiddles took a chunk out of my finger.”
“Alright. I’m going to be honest. That's a lot to unpack, kid,” Tony remarked when he’d managed to metaphorically pick his jaw off the ground.
“Few days of stuff. Sometimes aches, sometimes sharp shooty pains,” Peter clarified as he rubbed his nose.
“When you’re feeling better we’ll be having a chat. Particularly about this apparent arch nemesis, Tiddles .”
“Tiddles is totally my villain origin story.”
“On the subject of villains , wanna carry on watching The Big Hero 6 series? Globby has me on the edge of my seat on what he’s going to get up to next.”
“Sounds like a plan, Iron Man.”
On cue, F.R.I.D.A.Y. dimmed the lights as the TV turned on and the surround sound immediately kicked in. As the opening theme popped up on the screen, Tony was on his feet and skipping towards the kitchen to retrieve the snacks he’d prepared beforehand. He shoved a bowl into Peter’s hands, a smirk tugging at his lips when the teen immediately took a handful of popcorn and shovelled it into his mouth. The older man took a seat next to Peter, digging into a bowl of chips with a side of dip.
As the afternoon slowly turned into evening, Peter had slowly scooted towards his mentor until Tony got the hint and had shifted his arm to the back of the sofa so the teen’s head could rest on his chest. Eventually the hand that had previously been gripping the back of the couch would find its way wrapped around the boy’s shoulders and then eventually providing tender ministrations across the scalp.
The aches and protests Peter’s body had been firing off seemed to be that much easier to ignore as they cuddled. Not only was the calm heartbeat and steady breathing back to lull the teen to sleep, but he could also feel the gently hearty chuckles of Tony as well as his warmth. Like a heated blanket set to the perfect temperature. Peter succumbed to darkness with the faintest of smile across his face that the man who hated being emotionally vulnerable and often recoiled from physical contact had made an exception for him. And how freaking lucky and privileged was that?
Although Peter was feeling completely shattered, sleep did not arrive once he’d gone to bed. He’d managed to nap again on the sofa which had prompted his mentor to call it a night. The teen’s bleary eyes checked the time from his bedside clock—04:03—he let out a defeated groan. He’d certainly been drowsy, but felt like he’d been on the edge of drifting to sleep and then immediately stirring.
The usual comfort and feeling of safety of Tony’s MIT hoodie was instantly tarnished as his skin prickled with fire at the fabric being placed over it. Peter audibly gulped before creeping out of the room and heading to the lab, wanting to be in his mentor’s presence or at least find some sort of distraction.
As the doors made a gentle swooshing noise upon opening, he felt his mentor's gaze fall upon him. Peter spotted the squint of Tony's eyes as he started to study him. He definitely could tell the teen looked as shit as he felt no doubt. Bags under his glassy eyes at the level of exhaustion he was feeling and cheeks still flushed even though the ambient temperature.
“Stop analysing me please, Mr. Stark,” Peter grumbled, wishing the world would just swallow him up already.
"I can't tell if you're up early or late." Tony stated as he dropped the tools he was working on and hastily made his way towards Peter's side. The boy’s body language was screaming undeniable discomfort as he clearly started to struggle to even move.
"I tried to sleep, I really did." Peter answered more exasperated that he had meant to. He'd seen right through his mentor's statement, knowing he'd wanted to ask if he’d actually got any sleep. “I was so... uncomfortable,” the last word almost came out as a choke, breath hitching. “Everything… hurts.”
“Come here, buddy,” Tony gently coaxed as he went to embrace the young hero. One of his arms had barely made its way around Peter’s back when he’d recoiled back involuntarily at the burning sting the touch had caused. Tony took a horrified step back, arms awkwardly falling back to place at his sides. “I’m sorry, kiddo. I didn’t mean to-”
“Oh God. Oh G- I’m so sorry, Mr. Stark,” he gasped as his face crumpled and a frown replaced the forced neutral ‘ I’ve got this’ look.
“Peter…” Tony started, but stopped as the words barrelled out of his mentee, emotions all over the place.
“Something’s wrong with me. I don’t know why… Everything hurts… And now. Now…”
“Take a breath, kiddo. Nice and easy,” Tony instructed as he took a single step towards the teen. “Let’s get you somewhere comfy and then we’ll get you checked over, okay?”
Peter managed a weak nod, rubbing his nose on the sleeve of the hoodie and followed, trudging slowly as a bone-deep exhaustion dictated his every step. The teen didn’t recall the trip in the elevator nor getting to the sofa. Almost as if it had been a blip in time, not even a blurred feeling or sensation, just missing.
“You’re making me a little nervous, Underoos.” Tony’s voice cut through the mental fog. The tone hadn’t been condescending in any manner. Just an honest admission, hoping to catch the boy’s attention.
“It’s got worse. So much worse.”
“Fri, temperature?”
“38.7. This is up from 37.8 yesterday,” F.R.I.D.A.Y. notified, the duo both cringing at the change.
“Alright, I’m pulling rank, we need to get you checked over,” Tony decided, not wanting to take any chances with worsening symptoms. Particularly when fever was now added into the mix and his Spiderling had next to know thermoregulation.
“Wait… Wait. Could we try super soldier strength Tylenol?” Peter pleaded, giving his best puppy dog look. At this rate he was happy to put on the Peter-Pity-Party-Parker charm if it meant avoiding the dreaded medbay.
“I catch even a whiff of you getting any worse and we’ll be in the medbay quicker than you can say super soldier strength, again. Oh, and you’re having some food,” Tony conceded reluctantly as he left the kid’s side to grab the medication.
“Take these,” he requested handing over the pills once they’d been procured. “I’m going to make some toast.”
“Thank you, Mr. Stark,” Peter mumbled. He briefly allowed his eyes to close as he listened to his mentor potter around the kitchen, cupboards being opened and utensils being sought. The noises reminded him of the domesticity of home life with May as she’d scramble to prepare last minute lunchbox snacks for the pair of them.
His mentor returned a few minutes later with two toasted peanut butter and jam sandwiches in hand, Peter’s eyes slowly opening as he took the plate. After the first bite he let out a hum of satisfaction. Everything about it was perfect; the way the toasted bread crunched when he took a bite, the warm peanut butter coating his mouth, the tangy sweet from the strawberry jam.
By mid-morning, Peter had drifted off to sleep and Tony once again found himself watching over him. The teen’s vitals were up in the top right of his tablet, scrutinizing eyes narrowing when it had slowly started to creep back up. The agitation to touch had shortly followed as Peter would suddenly jerk and grunt.
Tentatively, Tony lightly brushed the damp curls sticking to his mentee's forehead away so he could lay a damp cloth across it. The teen let out a whimper the moment it touched, body shivering violently at its exaggerated interpretation of the coolness. The lengths Tony would do to take away the pain and discomfort for his kid couldn’t even be put into words.
They were back up to 38.7 by lunchtime. Not that Tony had seen. The tablet in his hand was precariously dangling from one hand the other still buried in Peter’s hair. Exhaustion had well and truly settled in and he’d drifted off despite all the coffee he had consumed.
An ear piercing screech and wild arm being thrown into his face woke Tony from his nap. He practically fell off the sofa as his mind tried to process what the fuck was happening. Animalistic cries, screams for help and an arm hitting him again from his position on the ground was enough to spring the words emergency into his mind.
“Fri! Call every doctor right now!” Tony said harshly, the words tumbling out of his mouth. It couldn’t have been more than ten seconds from the request when orange flecks appeared in the room and then a portal was opened by Stephen Strange.
“List of symptoms?” was all he said, saving the greeting for later when he saw the deathly pallor of Peter’s skin and the twitchiness of Tony meaning a panic attack was likely right around the corner.
“Skin has been tingling yesterday and today but isn’t his Spider Senses. Fever, loss of appetite, sensitive to the lightest touches and a pain to his left side. Mixture of aches that range from being bitten by a tortoise to being hit by a truck,” Tony was rubbing his eyes profusely, desperately wanting the sleep to remove itself from his weary features. The doctor had perked a brow at the last sentence but quickly decided what he wanted to do next.
“Peter, I’m going to lift your shirt,” he informed, not meaning to ignore Tony but just needing to get straight to work with the triage. “Actually, could you lift it Tony? I don’t want… my hands to make this any worse than it’s going to be if he’s touch sensitive.”
Tony was quick to comply, hating the few seconds it had taken as Peter’s face scrunched into an anguished grimace at the feeling and his whimpering turned into ragged sobs. The raised, blotchy red rash across his side was clear as day. It looked like a nerve branching across his chest, angry looking blisters scattered throughout it’s hostile takeover of his pale, clammy skin. Dashing footsteps from the hall alerted the trio that more medical personnel had arrived in the form of Bruce Banner and Helen Cho.
“I think it’s shingles. We’re going to need a gurney,” Stephen called out briskly, not wanting to waste any time. A rash meant it was potentially already a few days into the virus taking hold so precious time had been wasted for optimum effectiveness of the antivirals. The doctors skidded to a halt, well aware a gurney would be just seconds behind them courtesy of F.R.I.D.A.Y.’s assistance. “Fever, malaise, hyperesthesia, vesicular rash spreading from left flank.”
If Tony thought it had been unbearable watching Peter be transported onto the gurney and swiftly taken to the medbay. Then it had been an absolute living nightmare to see him be poked and prodded, IV needing to be in place to provide the fluids his body needed and the administration of pain medication that would help dull down his senses and hopefully allow him to rest. Bruce had tried to keep him at arms length to give the medical personnel the space they needed but that had lasted mere seconds.
Peter's body was stiff and twitching involuntarily, his back arched awkwardly as he writhed in brutal agony. The teen's face was contorted in pain, eyes slammed shut and mouth slightly open as he took gasping breaths laced with cries and incoherent mutterings of pleads for help. Hot, uncontrollable tears streamed down the side of his face and God did Tony want to wipe them away but he knew even the faintest of touches had felt like chemical burns to the kid.
The morphine was due to take effect at any moment, but until then Tony felt like a useless entity within the room. Peter's hands gripped onto the sheets and tore them instantly. There was a risk that the IV was going to be yanked out if the flailing didn’t stop.
"Dad… Dad…" Peter bawled, no longer capable of riding out the searing pain in solitude. Tony short circuited. The room froze. "Dad!" the teen again screamed when there had been no response despite the multiple blurred forms within the room seeming to hear him.
Fuck this. Tony had pushed past Bruce, not enough to harm him in any way, just enough to give him the space to get to his kid’s side. One hand was placed on the mattress of the bed and the other eagerly wanting to stroke the boy’s head but sitting next to the pillow instead.
“I’m here, kiddo. I’m here,” he assured as best as he could, voice on the edge of breaking.
In a move apparently out of his control, Peter’s hand lashed out and grabbed his mentor’s wrist. Quickly, the pads of his fingers dup deep into the flesh, unable to control his enhanced abilities whilst so delirious. The first crunch of bone had Tony biting down on his lip, desperately attempting to remain stoic for Peter’s sake. But then the bones grinded and he let out a pained gasp.
“Peter,” He managed as he deeply inhaled in an effort to sound as self-controlled as possible. The tight clasp started to loosen, as the teen’s movements slowed and his eyes looked almost vacant before they closed. Tony had taken a staggering step back once it had been clear, unsure if it was motivated by the searing pain of his now broken wrist or because there was the pressure of someone’s hand on his shoulder leading him away. He’d barely made it to the hallway still unsure who he was following when his knees buckled and the world around him became a bleak blur.
In his catatonic state, Tony wouldn’t remember the scans and treatment of the newly broken bone. His exhausted body would simply shut down and he’d fall asleep, itching to fend off the feelings of panic stricken shock and complete, unrivalled fear. When he did rouse, Bruce and Stephen had been there to let him know how his mentee was before informing him of the damage that had been inflicted. A broken wrist was nothing when he found out Peter was now on enough medication to allow a pain-free rest.
The first conscious memory Peter had in the fog of his slow awakening was the dry taste in his mouth and beginnings of nausea creeping up on him. Despite his body protesting he attempted a small movement, wincing as he did so. His head felt like it had been stuffed with cotton as he slowly lifted his arm to rub his eyes before attempting to open them. When his sense of smell returned and the stench of harsh disinfectant and latex burned his nostrils hit,  his eyes opened far too quickly and far too widely.
The teen’s attention was quickly drawn to the presence to his left. Tony was slumped in a chair at such an incredibly awkward angle it was sure to cause neck ache when he woke up. A cast-clad wrist was loosely folded across his chest as the other arm seemed to loosely cradle it. Gentle snoring would usually be comforting for Peter, but his eyes kept drawing back to the cast with a dreaded sensation in the pit of his stomach that he had been the one to cause of it.
Peter moved again, hissing at how incredibly touch sensitive he seemed to be. It was as if he could feel every individual fibre of the bedding around him. Despite the noise being barely audible, Tony started to awaken. The older man had gone to move too sharply, clearly moving his sore arm too quickly and boy could Peter not take his eyes off of that cast.
“There’s my favourite young adult,” Tony greeted gently as he awkwardly shifted to pour a small jug of water into a cup, the casted hand barely keeping it in place. He did his utmost best to remain passive faced despite how tedious the task now felt to him and he could feel Peter’s hard pressed stare on him and the arm. Plopping a straw into the cup he brought it to the teen’s mouth. Peter had wanted to gulp it down the moment he felt the plastic touch his lips, swigging greedily as the water soothed his parched throat and mouth.
“How are you feeling, Pete?” Tony asked once he’d finished, placing the cup to the side. Lordy, did his kid look so small in the hospital bed.
“A little high,” Peter confessed after assessing himself and spotting the cannula in his hand. “A little sore… Mr. Stark…?”
“If you need any more painkillers than just let me know and I can get Cho. They’ve got you on the good stuff,” Tony was completely aware that sore was likely overriding the high feeling. Because he’d seen Peter high on pain medication before. It tended to involve a big goofy smile and eyes bug-eyed wide. There’d even been the occasional moments where he thought he could fly and would flap his wings whilst making whooshing sound effects.
“What happened?” Peter asked so innocently and child like, a reminder of the young hero’s age. Tony had to steel himself for the inevitable conversation that was about to go down. Because he knew what the kid was like. Knows that the kid can’t stop taking his eyes off the cast.
“You got a one way rare ticket to getting shingles. Not common for your age bracket and Spideyness but. We know what you’re like when it comes to contracting the weird and wonderfu-”
“I meant... what happened to your arm?” Tony looked down at it before meeting the teen’s eyes.
"Alright, so don't freak out on me. You did nothing wrong…" The older man began, quickly being interrupted by an even paler looking Peter.
"Oh God…"
"Ah-ah. Listen to me, Peter." Tony requested firmly, as he placed a hand over Peter’s and carefully gripped. He needed to show there was still respect and most importantly trust. Needed the boy to be grounded and to focus if this wasn’t about to turn into an emotional shit show. "Please."
There were tears welling in Peter’s eyes that he had no chance of fighting. Lacking the confidence in his own voice to not crack he simply nodded.
"You were off your face, quite literally, with a fever whilst a virus attacked your nerves. You were not in control. And it was an accident." His mentor’s voice was tender, sympathetic with just a touch of authority. His eyes were full of love and conviction that stunned Peter momentarily whilst he absorbed the information.
"I'm so sorry, Tony,” the teen rasped, barely holding himself together. The kindness he was being shown felt unwarranted and undeserving.
“I need you to listen to me very carefully, buddy. I know exactly how you’re feeling. I know you’re playing the blame game right now because I’ve been there. I-I-Pepper was almost attacked by a suit because of my actions whilst I was asleep. It’s undeniable logic that I wasn’t even conscious so how was it my fault? But I let it eat away at me and she had to snap me out of that deep guilt-trip-well big time. I know you, Peter. I know you’d never hurt me. And nothing could hurt more than seeing you in pain and being utterly helpless to make it better.”
The stiffness in Peter’s hand finally released and his hand gently took hold of Tony’s thumb. The teen shifted into a seated position, his mentor standing as he did so before leaning over the bed and offering a hug. Peter accepted the embrace, the determination in the movement and lack of flinching from the older man serving only to affirm that he didn’t fear the boy.
“Alright, move over, Young Buck. Your old man can’t stay bent like this for too long.”
With his mentee shifted out of the way, Tony scooted onto the bed and raised an arm immediately. Peter showed just a hint of hesitance before snuggling in, an arm placed across Tony’s lap and his head on his chest.
“I don’t know what to say,” Peter admitted, the latter of the sentence slightly slurring as he started to drift off in the safety of his mentor’s arms.
“Get some rest, Peter. I’m sure you’ll make up for the lack of talking once we get back in the lab,” Tony mumbled before a thought crossed his mind. “In fact, you get to fill me in all about Tiddles once you’re up and ready. That tortoise is on thin fucking ice.”
The teen half smirked at the comment, though no words formulated as sleep took a hold. Deep breaths soon turned into soft snoring. The older man’s fingers slowed their movements before coming to a halt as he planted a tender kiss into the teen’s hair. As he started to feel himself succumb to exhaustion he requested that they only be disturbed if it was a mandatory check up or emergency.
“Love you, dad,” Peter whispered so softly it was barely audible. Even in his exhausted state, Tony’s chest filled with overwhelming joy and happiness.
“Love you too, buddy,” Tony replied with a content, sleepy smile on his face.
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spiideythwips · 7 days ago
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Is that tom holland? no, that’s peter parker, aka spider-man from marvel! he appears to be 19. he has the abilities of spidey-sense, spider like physiology and abilities due to radioactive spider bite which makes them a powerful hero.
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BASICS:
full name: peter benjamin parker. alias: spider-man, webhead, pete, age: twenty one  birthday: august 10th  faceclaim: tom holland gender/pronouns: cis male (he/him).  sexual orientation: bisexual powers: artificially enhanced / spider-like physiology ; enhanced strength, enhanced speed, enhanced durability, enhanced agility, enhanced senses, enhanced vision, spidey sense ( warns peter of any upcoming danger ), regenerative healing factor, wall-crawling abilities: genius level intellect, expert scientist, expert engineer, skilled tactician, skilled investigator, skilled combatant, skilled marksman, master acrobat, multilingualism, skilled photographer. alliance: the avengers canon: returning to high school and reuniting with ned after tony stark’s funeral
BIOGRAPHY:
peter parker was born in queens, new york to cia agents richard and mary parker. when he was only four years old, they dropped him off with him aunt may and uncle ben and never returned home. subsequently, peter was taken in and raised by his aunt and uncle.
peter attended midtown high school of science and technology, where he excelled in multiple subjects and grew into a prodigy in multiple scholastic subjects.
he’s been operating as spider-man for the past six years, after being bitten by a radioactive spider while on a school trip at fifteen years old since then, he’s been fighting crime locally as spider-man.
when peter first discovered that he’d gained new powers and abilities from the spider bite, he chose to let a store thief escape, claiming it wasn’t his responsibility and feeling as though it was insignificant. later that night, his uncle ben was shot and killed by the same thief when he tried to stop him from getting away. to this day peter feels extreme guilt of the entire situation, and blames himself for what happened.
he’s incredibly close with his aunt may, who is the only biological family that he has left now and raised him as if he were her own son.
peter was recruited (more or less) into the avengers during captain america: civil war. recruited by tony stark to help him with the task of bringing in steve rogers, bucky barnes and the other fugitives. needless to say, he got his ass kicked during the airport fight since everyone was at least twice his age, and as a result tony sent him home. 
determined to prove that he could be an avenger and that he was ready for the responsibilities, peter got himself involved with the vulture; a guy selling alien tech weaponry to criminals in new york city, who also turned out to be the father of the girl he had a huge crush on and his prom date - liz toomes. 
after successfully catching adrien toomes and leaving him for law enforcement, tony gave peter the oppurtunity to have spider-man announced to the world as an official new avenger, but peter turned it out, realising that he needed to stay on the ground a while longer, and just look out for the little guy for the time being.
peter wound up on the planet titan during the events of infinity war, and was also one of the unfortunate fifty percent to be turned to dust in the blip. fast forward five years later, and he wakes up as if no time has passed, with doctor strange rushing him to his feet to suit up and join the fight.
thanos was defeated in the end, but there was a cost, and peter had to watch his mentor and father figure die when tony was the one to snap his fingers and defeat thanos, resulting in his death.
the last thing that peter remembers before winding up here is returning to midtown high and reuniting with ned after tony’s funeral. 
very majorly mcu based but i’ll most likely incorporate small things from the comics into my portrayal.
when peter is in the spider-man suit, he’s a lot more witty, sarcastic and banterful than what we’ve seen in canon, far from the young teenager who tried to converse with his opponents and rambled often, now a (admittedly rather annoying) wisecrack who likes to rile up his enemies and made witty comments at their expense
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quillsandtypos · 7 days ago
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Love Outside of Sitcoms
Summary: when things go wrong on a mission you need the help of both Bucky and Wanda to help get you back on your feet (aunt Wanda)
Warnings: blaming yourself for something and tickling
Words: 1.5k
Pairings: talk of Peter Parker x reader
...........................................
The dark sky of New York did not feel much different than the inside of your brain. Dark, and dull and just a little bit cloudy. You’re most recent mission hadn’t gone as well as you had hoped. It was supposed to be a quick and simple mission. Grab a certain person for intel from a warehouse. It was fairly easily accessed and you, Bucky, and Peter, managed to slip past their security without a snag. But as you were grabbing the man you needed for information, a rogue guard came around the corner of the door you were supposed to be keeping watch at. You panicked and he quickly flew up in the air before harshly hitting the ground. But as did everyone else in the room. Luckily, Bucky and Peter had quick enough reflexes that they managed to brace themselves before they hit the ground. But the agent you were there for was not quite as lucky, he was currently in the med bay, he would live, but he had several broken bones.
You had managed to avoid almost everyone so far the day of, and you didn’t feel much like seeing anyone today either. You knew you had let them down. But, you knew that eventually your hunger would take over, so you planned to head up to the kitchen when you were certain no one would be there.
Around two o’clock, you snuck out of your bedroom and into an elevator. You saw no one on your way up, and as you peeked into the kitchen floor you realized the coast was clear. You made your way over to the pots and pans to pull out a skillet, only to turn around and be face to face with Bucky. You went to whack him with the pan but you stopped halfway when you realized it was him.
“Relax I just want to talk,” he chuckled. You lightly set the pan down on the stove. You gestured for him to continue.
“You know it’s not your fault for what happened yesterday right?” he asked cautiously.
“How is it not my fault? I was the one who lost control of my powers, and made it everyone else’s problem,” you said solemnly.
Bucky sighed. “Y/n you can’t think like that, everyone makes mistakes. Besides, you just got your powers a couple months ago, you can’t expect to be perfect,” he pointed out. Bucky looked at you with such sincerity and worry, that you couldn’t look him in the eye. You felt your own eyes growing hot, but you refused to cry.
“But in order to not hurt all of you, I have to be perfect,” you argued.
“We will be fine y/n, your boyfriend has super strength and his stupid spidey senses, and I am a goddamn super soldier. You could probably throw us around like rag dolls and we’d be fine,” Bucky joked. You knew he was trying to make you laugh, but you weren’t certain you could even smile right now.
Bucky sensed that he wasn’t going to get through to you, but someone else might. He lightly patted your shoulder sympathetically, before heading down a hallway.
You continued making your lunch until Wanda walked in five minutes later.
“Sit,” she instructed as she let her magic take control of your cooking, and she pulled out a stool for you. You quickly took it.
“So Bucky told me that you’re blaming yourself for yesterday’s mission,” she started.
Of course he did, not that she wouldn’t have found out from you later, but you weren’t surprised. “Yes, but it’s hardly blaming since it was my fault,” you pointed out.
“Can I show you something?” Wanda asked softly.
You nodded.
She moved to turn on the tv in the kitchen and searched something on youtube, but you didn’t see what she was searching. She moved out of the way to show that it was a video of her. As the video played it showed her moving an individual with a bomb attached to him up into the air and away from the street. The bomb went off on the side of the building, which took out a floor.
“Why are you showing me this?” you asked.
“Because that was one of my first missions as an Avenger. I was doing what I thought would save people, but I made a mistake.” She then switched the video to all of the news coverage of when it had happened. It was all negative. People were calling her a terrorist, they said she didn’t deserve to be an avenger, and she was too much of a risk to be in public. The more videos you watched the more your blood boiled.
“But it’s not fair, you were just a kid trying to save people,” you protested.
“So why don’t you feel that way about what you did?” she asked as she turned off the tv.
You opened your mouth to speak but you closed it when you realized you didn’t have a response for that.
Wanda tucked a piece of hair behind your ear. “Don’t forget to apply the same love and patience you give to the rest of the world to yourself, that’s all I’m trying to teach you,” she said sweetly.
“But what if I hurt someone in the process?” Your voice cracked, and you could feel the water forming in your eyes.
Wanda tilted her head slightly, and her eyes almost seemed to warm. “Dear, the only person you’re truly hurting is yourself.”
“But what about the guy we were supposed to kidnap for information?” you reasoned.
“Well,” Wanda tossed her hair behind her, “honestly he’s a real scumbag so I think you did the world a favor.”
A small smile appeared on your face.
“And you made him a lot more willing to work with us, so I would say you are not only doing wonderful at your job but also at the S.W.O.R.D. investigations unit,” Wanda added as she playfully nudged your shoulder.
You finally let out a small laugh, as you felt a little weight finally fall off your shoulders.
“We are your family, which means we are here for you when you mess up, and when you succeed. I certainly didn’t master my powers in a number of months, so you shouldn’t expect yourself to either,” she advised.
“Thank you Wanda,” you said, as you dried your tears.
She smiled sympathetically. “Anytime, you know I hate to see you sad.” She quickly jabbed your side for emphasis. You let out a small squeak and scooted to the side.
You cautiously eyed her, “Don’t you dare,” you warned. But you looked up to see the sparkle in Wanda’s eyes, and you realized that her mind was already made up.
“Oh I think I dare,” Wanda quipped.
You quickly found that you could no longer move from your chair because of Wanda’s magic, or as Pietro liked to call it, her red wiggly woos. “I just want you to laugh,” she insisted as she squeezed at your side.
As much as you wanted to make a snarky comment, your lips stayed shut to keep your laughter from escaping.
“You’re really going to make me do it huh?” Of course, she did not get a response from you. “Fine, if you want to be difficult,” she tutted.
She squeezed at your hip bone and you were a goner.
“Wanda!” you screeched. If you could’ve moved, you would’ve fallen off of the stool. Your body was trying to spasm, but you obviously coudn’t, which made it ten times worse.
“What?” she asked innocently.
“Stop!” you giggly pleaded.
“Hold on, I just want to try this on someone,” she insisted.
She removed her hand for a moment, and you heaved a deep breath in. But you held that breath when you realized that Wanda was placing more of her magic on you. It seemed like the magic was moving towards your stomach. If you had thought her hands were bad, they were nothing in comparison to your stomach. The magic squeezed, and poked, and prodded all over your stomach. It didn’t exactly feel like hands, but that didn’t mean it didn’t tickle. You screamed with laughter, as your body finally gave into the sensation. Wanda released you after a couple seconds.
“Thahat was uncalled for,” you giggled.
Wanda shrugged with a mostly evil grin. “Maybe, but you’re smiling now, right?”
“Yes.”
She raised her hands to shrug. “Well then my job here is done.”
She turned to walk away but you stopped her halfway. “Wanda?”
You barely spoke above a whisper. “Thank you.”
Wanda came back to where you sat and tightly pulled her arms around you. Your body felt a sense of warmth radiate around it. Wanda squeezed you tightly before letting you go. “Anytime.”
Taglist: @tenaciousperfectionunknown @teti-menchon0604
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