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What Are Friends For

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He wondered vaguely what time it was. He’d lost track of how long he’d been sitting in the tiny, too pastel room. He’d called MJ at around 10 to tell her he probably wouldn’t be home that night. She’d understood. Or she thought she did. Hell, he wasn’t even sure he understood why he was sitting there.


It had been nearly 2am when he sent Susan home. She’d been falling asleep, and he’d been nervous that she’d fall out of her chair. She fought tooth and nail with him, and he’d ended up calling Ben to come get her.


Tony had paged him around 3am. He’d ignored it for nearly a half hour, then turned the damned thing off. He was sure he’d catch shit for that later, but he didn’t care.


He leaned forward a little in his seat, stretching out his back. He probably should get up, walk up and down the hall a little, just to get his blood moving again, but what if Johnny woke up while he was out there? He hated the idea of his friend waking up alone, not knowing where he was, so he stayed put.


The doctor had said that familiar voices might help. Peter couldn’t figure out what to say. He usually didn’t have to carry a conversation with Johnny. The blond talked enough for both of them and was one of the few people he was comfortable enough with to keep his mouth shut.  “Well…” he started slowly. “At least now we know what it takes to shut you up.” He couldn’t help but chuckle a little. Before he realized what he was doing, his fingers traced gently along the blonde’s temple, just under the gash that the beer bottle had caused. “I never wanted you to shut up this badly.” He sighed, and his fingers slipped down along Johnny’s jaw line. “I’d give just about anything to hear you make fun of me right now.” His brain refused to admit that something felt… different, right even about running his fingers along his friend’s face.


He jerked his hand away as he heard footsteps approach. The nurse passed the door without a glance and he breathed a sigh of relief. He started to talk again, bordering on babbling about the things they’d done over the years. It turned quickly into a one sided game of ‘Do you remember when…’ He’d almost pushed the warmth that still lingered on his fingers from his mind when he’s brain betrayed him. “Remember my 21st birthday? We got so drunk…”


Why had he remembered that? Damn it. His cheeks flushed a brilliant shade or red that he was fairly sure could be seen from space. It had been so long ago and he was sure that Johnny didn’t even remember… they’d been so drunk, or at least that’s what he told himself… and he hadn’t said anything afterwards about it. He’d written it off to the ‘things you do when you’re young’ and filed it to the far recesses of his memory. But now… now it was all coming back with a vengeance.




They’d stumbled out into the street shortly after last call. He felt light-headed, maybe a little invincible. “So,” Johnny slung an arm over Peter’s shoulders. “How does it feel?”


“Not much different than twenty did, to be honest.” He laughed a little, leaning into his friend. “Except for that whole being able to buy my own booze thing. How far are we from my apartment?” Peter looked around, recognizing several of the shops. “You could just fly us there.”


“No way.” Johnny shook his head and tried to be serious. “I don’t drink and fly. I tried it once and almost ran smack into a 747.” The blond smiled again. “It’s only a couple of blocks. You can make it.”


“Oh yeah, I can make it.” Before the words even made it fully out of his mouth, he stumbled, grabbing hold of Johnny’s arm in an attempt to keep himself upright. The motion threw them both off balance and sent them into the nearby wall. Johnny grunted as Peter fell against him. “Sorry… I…” He lifted his eyes and found them locked on Johnny’s. The streetlight shone off his hair, making it look even more golden than it normally did. The blonde’s hands rested at Peter’s waist, where they’d tried to absorb some of the impact. They stood staring at each other for longer than either realized. Peter’s breath was coming in short gasps and he skittered backward. “I didn’t… I lost my balance… I… sorry.” He suddenly felt shockingly sober. What the hell was going on? He couldn’t ignore that being pressed up against Johnny had had certain undeniable effects on him. He just prayed that his friend hadn’t noticed. But how could he not have? Peter shoved his hands in his pockets and started off toward his apartment again.


They made it the few blocks without saying a word. That nearly qualified as a miracle in itself. Before he could process the feel on a hand on his arm, his back was against a wall. “What the…”


“Shut up, Pete.” Before he could argue, Johnny kissed him. Hard. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t think of anything but how… good it felt. By the time Johnny let him go, they were both breathless.


Peter looked at his friend... really looked at him. His cheeks were flushed, lips red, eyes just a shade darker than they normally were. He felt something shift, something in his head, or maybe a little lower responded to that look in Johnny’s eyes. “I’m not… I mean, I’ve never…”


“I know.” The blonde let out a small laugh. “Me neither.”


“Then…” Peter’s brow crinkled a little. “Why…?”


“Do you really want to talk about this out here?”


Peter shook his head and fumbled with his keys. Once they were safely locked in his apartment, he turned back to his friend who had settled himself on the beat up couch. He looked nervous and Peter was sure he had the same look of trepidation and mild confusion on his face. “So…”


“I don’t know…” Johnny started to fiddle with a frayed edge on the hem of his jeans. “It just felt…”


“Right.” Peter nodded. “So what do we do?” he sat down on the couch. “I mean…” He tried to pull his eyes from Johnny’s lips. They were still kissed red.


Johnny didn’t answer right away. Peter was starting to think that it had just been an impulse and that his friend was trying to figure out how to tell him that without hurting his feelings. Would he be hurt? He couldn’t quite tell. Despite feeling distinctly more sober than he had when they left the bar, his brain still wasn’t working as quickly as he was used to. He looked up again, hoping to be able to read something in those blue eyes… had they always been that blue?


“Pete?” Shit! Had Johnny said something? Fuck! If he had, it couldn’t have been that important because before he could apologize, Johnny’s hand had twisted in his hair and pulled him into another kiss. It was softer this time, tentative. He let out a small whimper of protest when Johnny pulled back. “Maybe… maybe this is one of those things we’ll look back on when we’re fifty and wonder what the hell we were thinking.” He smiled.


“So, is that your way of saying Happy Birthday?” He couldn’t help himself. He wanted to kiss him again, and… he swallowed hard, trying to stop the images that floated through his mind. Johnny lying back on the very couch they were sitting on, head thrown back, gasping for air as Peter wrapped his lips around… he groaned a little as his cock twitched at the thought. He couldn’t shake the image, and as Johnny shifted on the couch, Peter pushed him back. “I… I want to try… something.” His cheeks were flushed and he hesitated over his friend. He finally screwed up what was left of his courage, convincing himself that the blond wanted this too… even if neither of them had known that earlier in the evening. He bent down, claiming Johnny’s lips again as he fumbled with the hem of his shirt.


He broke the kiss to pull the t-shirt over Johnny’s head. He just stared for a moment. He’d vaguely thought that having the blond half naked wouldn’t be that surprising, being that the guy spent half of his time in a skin tight uniform, but the sight of him sitting there, shirt off, flushed and breathless made Peter stop. His eyes drifted slowly down from the well defined lines of his chest and abs, lingering for a moment longer on the thin line of blond hair trailing down from his belly button and disappearing below the waist on his jeans. “Pete?” He looked back up into those blue eyes and saw the same trepidation that was holding him back. That threw Peter for a moment. How could smooth, easy-going Johnny be afraid of anything? Peter suddenly came to the realization that, unless he stopped thinking about all this, nothing was going to happen. That scared him more than the thought of Johnny telling him he’d pushed too far.


He claimed Johnny’s lips again and slowly moved down along his jaw to his neck. He nipped lightly at his collarbone, getting a small gasp as a reward. It made him a little bolder and his lips traveled lower, kissing softly at one of Johnny’s already hard nipples. The blond moaned and Peter’s cock twitched. His hands slipped over Johnny’s abs and lower, searching out the buttons of his jeans. His hands shook a little, making it that much harder to get the buttons undone, but he managed finally. He pulled his mouth away from Johnny’s nipple and looked him in the eye before he started kissing softly down his abs. He pulled on the jeans, sliding them over his friend’s hips. He looked up again and smirked. “Don’t you ever wear underwear?”


Johnny smirked back. “Just making it easier for you, buddy.”


Peter wrapped his hand around Johnny’s cock. “I…I’ve never done this before.”


“Yeah, I think we covered that already.” The blond smiled again. “Pete, you don’t have to…”


“But, I kinda want to.”




“Just warn me when…”


“Not a problem.” Peter leaned into Johnny’s touch as he ran his fingers through Peter’s perpetually messy hair. “You know I never shut up.” Peter smiled and tentatively traced his tongue along Johnny’s hipbone. A soft moan spurned him on and he kissed softly along the blonde’s skin before finally reaching his goal. Hazel eyes locked on Johnny’s face as Peter slowly worked his tongue around the head of his cock. “God… Pete, that…” a strangled groan escaped his lips as Peter grew bolder.




“Peter?” He lifted his head a little too quickly, making the kink in his neck protest. “Were you here all night?” Sue tossed her jacket on one of those tiny plastic hospital chairs.


“Uh… yeah. Yeah I guess I was.” He stretched a little, working a few stiff spots out. Sleeping sitting in an uncomfortable chair with your head on a hospital bed will do a number on anyone’s body. “I guess I fell asleep.” His cheeks flushed a little.


“Any change?” Sue moved to the other side of the bed.


“No.” Peter did his best to tear his eyes away from his friend. “I… I should go give MJ a call… she’s probably worried.” Sue nodded as he slowly made his way toward the door.






“Thank you… for staying with him.” Sue smiled a little. “I hate the idea of him waking up alone.”


“Me too.” Peter shuffled his feet a little.


“Go get some real rest, Peter. A hot shower will probably help your back too.”


“Yeah… yeah, I’ll try that.” He took one more look at Johnny, hoping that maybe, if he stalled long enough, he’d open his eyes. “I’ll drop by later… if that’s okay.”


“Of course.” Sue had turned back toward her brother. “I’m sure Ben or I will be here. And, really… thank you.”


“Hey, what are friends for?”