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carved in your name with my pocket knife

Chapter Text

‘are you sure you can't come over?’

peter smiled as he listened to his boyfriend whine and mope through his phone. he'd literally seen pete four hours previously, and had been tied over with the promise that he'd try to swing by the apartment once his parents got home and knew he was alive.

‘wade, you saw me earlier.’ peter shifted his position on the bed, turning to face the large windows and sort of hoping that maybe wade would test his luck and come climbing through one of them any second.

‘I know, but I was promised a visit. you're now breaking that promise. how can I trust you at all in this relationship?’ wade moaned. pete rolled his eyes; he knew his boyfriend was kidding. he did feel bad for lying to wade, but he knew his parents and knew for a fact he wouldn't be allowed out tonight.

‘you know my parents. they're not going to want me to leave tonight after a mission like the one they were just on, and besides, they were gone for an entire week. I think I can give them one night.’

wade seemed to see the logic in this, because he huffed loudly and threw himself down somewhere. probably his bed, peter thought absentmindedly. then his mind drifted to how they were probably lying in similar positions, wade staring at his ceiling while pete looked out the window. it was almost like they were in a teen romance novel. he snorted hard.

‘tell me that you're not doing lines without me!’ wade gasped in mock surprise.

‘without you? never,’ pete shot back. he heard wade laugh quietly.

‘then why'd you snort like that?’

‘I was just thinking- we could be in a teen romance novel. like 'the fault in our stars' or whatever.’

‘you're right,’ wade conceded. ‘forbidden romance, mutual pining, a handsome boy.’

‘and here I thought your ego had gotten smaller.’

‘I never said I was the handsome boy, baby.’

peter felt his cheeks heat up as he bit back a smile. suddenly, his spidey-senses started to tingle. someone was coming down the hall.

‘anyways, the test was terrible. I can't believe they still let hansen teach.’

the sudden switch in conversation must have startled wade, but if it did he didn't let pete hear it. ‘someone coming?’

there was a knock at the door. ‘peter?’ it was steve, then, because tony only called him by his full name when he was in trouble. ‘dinner’s ready.’

‘okay pops, be right there!’ he called back. steve didn't move from the door, probably thinking that peter would go back to his conversation and wanting to know who he was talking to.

‘no, i'm still here,’ he faked easily. that was a little sad, how he'd gotten so used to lying to his parents. ‘i'll see if I can send over the worksheet later.’ peter put emphasis on that last sentence.

wade got what he was trying to say and laughed a little. ‘I love you. be careful.’

‘you too.’

wade hung up first. peter listened to the dial tone sadly, already missing his voice. sighing, he composed himself and stood up. steve was still waiting outside the door. he pulled it open and pretended to be surprised that his dad was still there.

‘oh hey pops.’ steve must have believed him, because he put his arm around pete’s shoulders.

‘hey kiddo. who was that?’

‘m.j., she was sick yesterday so I was just filling her in on the science work.’

the two of them made their way into the communal kitchen. it was bustling, just like it always was after a mission. bruce stood at the stove, making something that smelled wonderful. natasha was shooting blueberries into clint’s mouth while sam and rhodey cheered them on. pete saw that tony was fiddling with bucky’s metal arm while thor rummaged around in the fridge. everyone said hello, but then went back to whatever they were doing before. tony stood up and came to hug peter tightly; he actually held on to pete for so long that pete began to squirm, not wanting to be rude and pull away but also feeling a little overwhelmed because of his heightened senses.

that was another thing he was lying about. neither of his parents knew he was spiderman, and he wasn't too eager to tell them. it was a secret peter had all for himself, and he didn't have a lot of those. he loved his parents of course, more than anything in the world except maybe wade and being spiderman, but they could be so…so…overbearing. pete understood that he was their baby or whatever, but he really wished they wouldn't treat him that way. it was always ‘you can't do that peter’ or ’you're being too reckless peter’ and even the occasional ’you're too young for this peter’, which was the one that really got him. sometimes, pete was convinced his parents forgot that he was turning 18 within the month.

so no, he wouldn't be telling them about his little side job for as long as he could help it. besides, tony didn't approve of spiderman’s ‘antics’, as he put it. he thought that ‘the kid was just gonna get himself hurt’ and sometimes said harsher things, like that he was just making the avenger’s job harder by drawing so much public attention. steve, however, thought that spiderman was doing a good thing for the city and once even said he made steve’s job easier because it meant steve could focus on international problems and not just new york. plus, he had pointed out, the kid did have some pretty cool gadgets. tony had nodded and grumbled in agreement, but even that had made peter swell with pride. ’that's me!’ he'd wanted to shout. ’I made it all myself!’ he hadn't of course, he instead settled on immediately calling wade, who said something along the lines of ‘damn right it's cool, my baby boy’s a genius!’

‘earth to peter. are you even listening to me?’ tony was waving a hand in front of peter’s face, trying to get his attention.

‘huh? sorry, what?’

‘I said, were you alright by yourself?’ tony asked again.

‘oh, yeah I was fine. ned and m.j. came over a few times, I hope that's okay.’ they hadn't, actually, but the security logs would show that someone had entered the tower who wasn't peter, and he couldn't exactly say it was wade who had come over. better to say it was ned or m.j. now than have one of his parents look later and get suspicious. pete made a mental note to tell the two of them to help cover for him as he helped set the large table. he watched his pops furrow his eyebrows as he sat down in his seat.

‘m.j. came while she was sick?’

oh, mother fuck. peter had forgotten he'd told steve that m.j. hadn't been to school the day before. tony looked up expectantly.

‘uhh..well, well obviously not, pops, she only got sick yesterday. last time she was here was wednesday night.’

this seemed to make sense to his parents, who promptly changed the subject to some treaty negotiations. peter exhaled and thanked all of the gods he could think of that they hadn't asked what m.j. had been sick with, or god forbid, suggested that they call and tell her to feel better. pete knew he could count on her, but that was a big lie for m.j. to pull of with no warning. pete sighed again, then started a conversation with bruce about a science project he'd been working on. dinner seemed to pass extremely quickly and soon people were saying goodnight one by one and retreating to their respective rooms. pete expected his parents to want to watch a movie or have family bonding time, but they both seemed pretty dead on their feet. this was better than anything he could've expected! peter faked a huge yawn and started to act like he was super tired.

‘dad, pops, I know we probably wanted to have family time but i'm reaaallllyy tired. can we just go to bed and do it some other time?’ he asked, pulling out his puppy dog eyes and pretending to stifle another yawn.

‘sure, petey,’ tony said sleepily. ‘i'm pretty tired myself.’

‘I agree,’ steve agreed. ‘see you in the morning son.’

peter stayed in the kitchen long enough to make sure he saw his fathers enter their room and shut the door quietly. he fist pumped and did a little happy dance; he would be able to see wade tonight after all. making his way quietly down the hall, pete texted wade and told him he'd be over within the hour. to JARVIS, he said ‘you know what to do’ to which JARVIS responded with a quick ‘of course sir.’ this wasn't the first time peter had snuck out. he'd programmed a simulation that JARVIS could play if someone tried to see how he was doing- the tower’s beds could read stats like heart rate, weight, height, blood pressure and the like. it varied from night to night so that it didn't seem fake to anyone looking it up. finally, JARVIS gave him the all clear that his parents were asleep, and pete grabbed his backpack and crept into the front room.

‘and where do you think you're going?’

peter jumped about ten feet into the air when he heard natasha’s voice. while he caught his breath, he wondered why his spidey-senses didn't alert him that she was there. he came to the conclusion that their respective senses must cancel each other out.

‘uhhh,’ he responded quite eloquently. ‘out?’

‘mhmm.’ she was completely unreadable as she walked around the kitchen island to stand in front of him. ‘out where?’ just then, almost on cue, peter’s phone buzzed from a text message. probably wade. then it buzzed again. and again. then two more times in quick succession. pete’s eyes raised upwards as he prayed for the ground to open up and swallow him whole. nat smiled wide. ‘oooh, are you going out to meet m.j.?’ she asked conspiratorially.

‘what? no,’ peter rolled his eyes. ‘i'm not meeting m.j., or any girl for that matter.’

‘not a girl? okay then. ned.’

‘no.’

‘harry? I thought you'd gotten over him.’

‘definitely not harry.’

‘ugh,’ nat groaned. ‘do I even know him?’

now peter really started to sweat. ‘yes. I mean, no. well, not really. sort of. you don't know him know him. I can't tell you who he is anyways because then you’ll tell my dads and i'll really be in trouble. it's not that I don't trust you, it's just that-‘

‘peter.’

he realized he'd been rambling.

‘peter, are you seeing wade wilson?’

peter thought he was going to throw up. or scream. maybe he could just bolt out of the room, he did have the advantage with the door to his back. tasha looked concerned and a little incredulous. wade wasn't very well liked by the other avengers, which maybe had something to do with the fact that he was classified as a super villain by SHIELD. nat chewed on her bottom lip and thought for a minute.

‘is that why you've been so secretive lately?’

pete rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously. ‘yes.’

‘he treats you right?’

‘of course. I wouldn't stay with him if he didn't.’

‘and he makes you happy.’ it was a statement, not a question.

‘yes.’ and he did. wade made pete really fucking happy.

‘okay,’ natasha whispered. ‘okay. I won't tell.’

peter let out a breath he didn't even know he was holding in. ‘thank you.’ he quickly hugged her and bolted out of the door before she could change her mind. as he swung to wade’s, he thought about what had just happened. nat knew, she knew and she didn't even seem to care. a smile crept onto his face as pete thought about a future where his parents and friends didn't mind that he was with pete and they were happy for him. as he came up on wade’s apartment building, he saw wade outside on the fire escape, smoking.

‘hey,’ pete said as he settled on the railing.

‘hey back,’ wade answered, passing peter the joint.

‘you'll never guess what just fucking happened.’ he took a long drag, staring down at the cars as they passed underneath them. wade had recently moved out of blind al’s guest room, deciding that he needed more space. this meant there was hardly any furniture in the apartment, just a bed and a folding chair or two, so a lot of the time the two of them just sat on the fire escape. sometimes they smoked. sometimes they made out. they never did more than that, though, because wade said he wanted to wait until peter was 18. he said he didn't want to be ‘that guy’, he wanted peter to be sure he wanted it. while that was sweet and chivalrous and hot it was also really damn annoying. peter realized his mind had wandered far, far off. ‘well?’ he asked. ‘don't you want to know?’

‘you said I wouldn't guess,’ wade answered, taking back the blunt, ‘so I didn't try. I thought you'd just say it.’

peter rolled his eyes. wade was very high, he realized. he wondered how long he'd been smoking, and if he'd taken something else as well. the joint made its way back to pete. he could feel it now too, he was less anxious and wasn't really sure how long he'd been sitting there with wade.

‘c’mon, let's go inside,’ wade sighed. ‘I can tell this is gonna be quite a story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

‘and she just…let you come?’

‘yeah.’ peter sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

‘and she said she wouldn't tell.’

‘uh-huh.’

‘wow.’

‘I know.’

they sat in semi-stunned silence in wade’s kitchen. wade turned and got a beer out of the fridge. he gestured vaguely and pete knew he was offering one to him.

‘no, thanks. I should go back soon, and I don't want to go back smelling like alcohol in case I get caught.’

‘that's smart,’ wade sighed. ‘fuck, I can't wait until you don't have to hide from your parents.’

‘me too,’ peter agreed. he intertwined their fingers. they lapsed into a comfortable silence. wade sipped his beer. pete drew patterns on wade’s hand. when wade finished his beer they went to lay down on the bed, which was really just a mattress with a sheet thrown over it. the t.v. played old ‘friends’ reruns. it was perfect.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

peter almost cried when the alarm on his phone altered him that he should head home. wade knew what the alarm meant, and he disentangled himself from pete.

‘when will I see you again?’ he asked sleepily.

‘tomorrow night. i'll probably go out as spiderman.’

‘alright.’ wade was so quiet that peter thought maybe he had fallen asleep. he stood up and creeped towards the fire escape. ‘petey,’ wade murmured.

‘yeah?’

‘I love you.’

‘I love you too, wade.’

for a second, everything was still. a car horn honked from the street. the audience on the television laughed. latin music quietly wafted into the apartment from somewhere. peter and wade stared at each other in the moonlight. wade reached out, as if he could touch pete from where he was laying.

'goodnight,' he whispered.

peter leapt over the fire escape railing.

Chapter Text

for a while, life went on.

peter finally turned eighteen. steve and tony threw him a massive party; he only felt a little guilty when he left early to go see wade. besides, pete reasoned with himself, it was totally worth it. even if he could hardly walk the next morning.

natasha stayed true to her word in that she didn't tell anyone that peter was seeing wade. it actually made it easier to leave the tower, her knowing, because whenever steve and tony were away nat was usually the one who was recruited to make sure peter didn't accidentally kill himself or do anything semi-illegal or totally trash everything. she did threaten peter occasionally, saying that if he made her regret lying to captain-fucking-america, no one would ever find his body. pete knew this threat was only kind of empty.

as spiderman, peter made leaps and bounds, if he did say so himself. a random stroke of luck in williamsburg made sure of this; pete had stumbled upon clint, steve, and bucky fighting a group of arms dealers and saved clint from a free fall off a 26-story apartment building. this earned him the respect of everyone, including tony, who even made him an upgraded suit. with ned’s help, pete removed all of the trackers and safety protocols. the suit was awesome. there were different shooting combinations, enhanced modes, and even a built in ai, like his very own JARVIS! peter called her karen.

everything was wonderful until one day when peter nearly screwed it up. typical.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

peter was at wade’s filling out college applications. he was late of course, most universities wanted them in within the week and pete knew that wasn't going to happen. anyways, he was sitting on the one barstool wade had somehow acquired from sister margaret’s filling out his last few applications while wade helped and looked over his essays.

‘alright, this one for m.i.t. is good,’ wade handed peter his essay. he sat lazily on the counter, leaning against the cold tile backsplash. pete glared at him when he swung his feet into the cabinets like a child, but accepted the paper back.

‘thanks,’ he said, shuffling all his papers around. ‘will you read this one? it's for caltech and princeton, they both have the same prompt.’

wade was quiet for a moment as he began to read what he was handed.

‘why do you even have to go through the application process for any of these schools anyways? your dad could definitely get you in to m.i.t. and besides, he's a part of the fucking avengers. couldn't they just pull some strings and get you in?’ he asked thoughtfully.

peter sighed; he'd been asked this before. ‘I wanna do it on my own, not because my dads are celebrities or whatever. that's why i'm applying as peter parker and not peter rogers-stark.’

wade looked confused. ‘parker?’

‘yeah, it's my legal name. we never changed it after…after may died and steve and tony adopted me.’ peter looked away and started to bite his fingernails- a horrible coping habit.

‘oh,’ was all wade answered.

he knew that peter hadn't always lived with the avengers- he knew pete had an aunt named may and that something had happened to her, but that was all he knew. peter had been ten. his parents died in the plane crash when he was eight, ben died of liver failure when he was nine, and may killed herself the next month. it was a hell of a time, made bearable only by the fact that peter knew he would be getting to live with a family friend he'd known all his life- tony stark. it was just him and tony for a little while before tony met and married steve. they never pressured peter to call them dad, but he did it anyways. they had been waiting on formal name change papers when loki stole the tesseract, and hordes of aliens coming to earth through a wormhole really puts things in perspective. it was decided that names didn't matter as long as they were together.

‘I think you should take out this phrase. it's redundant. also, you spelled acquiesce wrong,’ wade pointed out, effectively easing the tension.

‘I did not,’ peter protested while snatching the paper. he scanned it, pulling a face when he realized wade was right. wade stuck his tongue out at him. peter looked up at where he was sitting on the counter, and he must have looked especially miserable because wade’s face softened.

‘how long have you been doing these things?’ he asked.

‘all week,’ peter said tiredly. ‘but I haven't really been sleeping because of all of the spiderman stuff i've been doing and i've got midterms coming up.’

wade thought for a second. then he jumped off the counter.

‘c’mon, help me measure shit. we’re going to ikea, i'm tired of having zero furniture.’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

an hour later, and they were making their way through ikea while peter fussed about color schemes and wade made terrible puns using the swedish names of furniture items. the domesticity of it was not lost on pete, who took every chance he got to rise up on the balls of his feet and kiss wade, or it seemed, on wade, who took all of peter’s ideas and concerns seriously because ‘you might be living there one day too’ petey. the idea of living with him made peter’s heart flutter.

they spent an absurd amount of time in ikea, nearly three hours, but by the end of it wade had enough furniture to last forever. while wade paid, peter went out to talk to the delivery service about getting all of the boxes moved into the apartment. that alone cost enough for pete’s eyes to go wide, but wade must have been making a lot of money recently, because he just handed over the bills.

‘what have you been doing?’ peter asked, a little bit incredulous.

‘’member how I was gone for a week about two months ago? some guy in miami paid big bucks for me to be security while his shit was moved,’ wade answered nonchalantly.

peter made a whining noise. ‘waaaaaaade. you said you were going to try to be good!’

‘it was legit, I swear! it was some british billionaire. I went all the way to miami and didn’t even get to work with a real life cuban commie.’ wade held up his hands in defense, but pete still pouted. ‘alright here: if it turns out I accidentally aided and abetted a terrorist, I will total make it up to you.’

this got peter’s attention. his eyebrow quirked. ‘make it up to me how?’

‘oh, I think you know how.’ wade got that small smile that peter loved so much and stepped forward so that he was flush against peter’s chest. pete bit back a smile and put his hands on either side of wade’s face.

‘okay,’ he said softly.

wade dipped his head down so that he could connect his lips to peter’s. it was a small, chaste kiss, they were still in the ikea loading zone after all, but pete’s heart still raced uncontrollably. they were forced to break apart when the delivery people came back with all of the forms wade needed to fill out. he sighed.

‘listen, this is going to take a while. why don’t you go back to the tower? it’s going to be hellish in the apartment when these numb nuts finally start moving shit in and you still have to finish the application for columbia,’ wade suggested.

‘you won’t need my help?’ peter didn’t really want to leave- he was searching for an excuse to stay even though he knew wade was right.

‘nah, I’ll be alright. but hey, I’ll wait to start putting all of this together, I know you get weirdly aroused by putting together ikea furniture.’

peter choked. ‘that was one time! you were naked and wouldn’t stop leaning over unnecessarily while looking for the screw driver!’

‘mhm alright petey. whatever you say,’ wade taunted, but pete knew he was only kidding because of the wide smile on his face. wade kissed him one last time.

‘asshole!’ peter called out as he began to walk away.

‘love you too!’ came the response.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

pete was still smiling when he walked into the tower. he passed pepper, who gave him a small wave, and bruce, who looked a little distracted but still said hello as he passed. other than that, the tower seemed weirdly empty. he hadn’t known of his parents going anywhere that day; he had seen them that morning when he’d lied to them about going to ned’s. peter contemplated that as he rounded a corner and ran smack into natasha and clint.

‘holy shit, there you are peter!’ clint exclaimed quietly, almost as if he was trying to avoid being caught.

‘um, hi? what’s going on?’ peter was extremely confused as the two spies pulled him into a supply closet. they shared a scared look before rounding on peter.

‘where were you today?’ clint demanded.

‘at-at ned’s.’ peter had almost said that he was at wade’s, but then remembered that clint didn’t know about him and wade.

‘you’re gonna have to cut the crap with my kid. I know tasha knows who you were with, but apparently she’s sworn to secrecy so she won’t tell me. it’s important, peter: who were you with?’ clint practically growled.

peter winced slightly before softly saying ‘wade wilson.’ clint’s eyebrows scrunched together with worry as he let out a heavy breath. he began to pace around the small closet before natasha stopped him.

‘why him, petey? literally anyone else, please I’m begging you,’ clint pleaded. natasha scolded him quietly, whispering something that made his face go from practically livid to thoughtful. he seemed to steel himself. ‘how long has this been going on?’

‘you can’t tell anyone, clint, you have to swear-‘

‘how long peter?’

peter began to bite his nails. ‘almost a year.’

clint cursed colorfully. he raked his hand through his short hair and sighed. ‘okay, I won’t tell either. I only asked in the first place because of what’s going on.’

‘what’s going on?’ peter was EXTREMELY confused now.

‘you don’t have your phone on you?’ natasha looked surprised. pete dug around in his backpack for a second before nearly having a heart attack and dropping dead right there.

he had 16 missed calls and 42 text messages from steve and tony combined. wade had also called, then sent him a screenshot of something. m.j. sent him the same one and so did ned, accompanied by an absurd number of question and exclamation marks. there were 60 other calls from various unknown numbers. pete swiped open his phone and looked at the screenshot.

his phone shattered when it hit the floor.

in the hour it had taken peter to get from the ikea in queensbridge to the tower downtown, steve campos of the illustrious teen bop magazine had written a comprehensive article detailing peter’s love life, complete with graphs and pictures- pictures of peter and wade kissing in the ikea loading zone. pete could feel nat and clint watching him worriedly as he frantically searched online for the full article, finding it quickly.

‘’peter rogers-stark was spotted out and about in queens today with a tall, chiseled boy toy. it seems that no stark is immune to the charms of a dashing blond prince charming. peter has inherited his father’s playboy attitude’- what the fuck is this?’ peter read from the article, completely stunned.

‘entertainment tonight, tmz- they’ve been calling nonstop since the second this piece came out. your dads are pissed,’ nat supplied unhelpfully.

peter was sure he was going to throw up. he voiced as much. ‘I’m going to be sick.’

as the two of them eased pete onto the floor, nat and clint both started to reassure him that it couldn’t be as bad as he thought it was.

‘none of the pictures showed his face, you could tell it was you because you looked straight into the camera for one. in all the others, wade’s hoodie is pulled over too far to see anything, or you’re blocking him with a hand or your face. you guys actually got extremely lucky in that aspect,’ clint soothed quite surprisingly.

‘yeah, and besides- steve and tony are only pissed that you didn’t tell them, not that you have a boyfriend,’ nat agreed.

still, peter planned on sitting in the dark storage room for as long as humanly possible, wedged between his aunt and uncle. his plan was foiled when not two minutes later, JARVIS’ voice sounded throughout the small room.

‘master peter, your fathers are asking for you. they know you’re in the building, but don’t know where you are as I still have the cloaking protocol engaged.’

pete wiped his eyes and stood up. ‘thanks JARVIS.’ to clint and natasha, he said, ‘I should go. keeping them waiting is just gonna be worse for me.’

clint nodded solemnly. ‘I’m glad you’re happy,’ he said, ‘but be careful.’

nat stood and hugged peter. ‘you know, you don’t have to tell them if you don’t want. say it’s someone from school or something. you’re an adult now, and even though they might be your parents, they can’t control what you do anymore.’

peter thought this over for a second. ‘yeah. yeah, thanks, aunt nat.’

as he walked out of the small closet, he heard natasha’s voice behind him. ‘poor kid must be terrified,’ she reasoned. ‘he hasn’t called me aunt nat since he was in elementary school.’

when peter walked into the living room, his parents were waiting for him.

’peter benjamin rogers-stark, WHAT THE FUCK?’

Chapter Text

‘don’t make me ask you again, peter. who is he?

so yeahhhh. clint had lied about the whole ‘they’re only mad because you didn’t tell them!’ thing.

peter sat on the couch, eyes fixed defiantly ahead and out the window towards uptown where wade would be. probably sitting in the apartment, he thought. getting high. or maybe planning to kill steve campos from teen bop. knowing wade, it was probably both. tony was still yelling at him about something or other and steve looked positively murderous, but the image of wade pacing around the apartment with a joint in his hand practicing exactly what he’d say to the poor writer once he got his hands on him made pete’s lips twitch up into a small smile.

‘what’s so funny about this, son?’ steve asked, his face and voice staying completely flat.

something registered in peter’s head that steve only called him, or anyone for that matter, ‘son’ when he was very, very mad. unfortunately, peter never really knew when to shut up and apologize.

‘oh, nothing,’ he shook his head. ‘just how you think I have to tell you anything.’

steve and tony shared an incredulous look. ‘you are our child. we’re your parents. just incase you forgot who’s running this conversation,’ tony asserted.

‘except I’m not a child anymore, am I? I'm an adult, which means that I don’t have to answer your questions, I can go wherever I like whenever I like, and I can see whoever I like. I don’t expect either of you to understand that though, since you’re such control freaks.’

‘excuse me?’ ‘I’m sorry, what?’

peter almost grimaced at the hurt that peaked through in both of his dad’s voices but held his ground. now they were both standing and somehow even more angry than before.

‘you maybe be entitled to all of that now, but you were in no way free to do whatever you wanted before you turned 18,’ tony yelled. pete froze. what did he know?

‘we know you sneak out, peter,’ steve said, sounding almost disgusted. ‘we know you programmed JARVIS to make it look like you were asleep in your bed and to cover up whoever you brought into the tower. do you know how irresponsible that is? anyone could have used that to get into the tower, and in that case you would have been the one putting your family’s lives in danger.’

that hit peter like a ton of bricks. ‘you think that I would put the team in danger? you really think I would do that?’ he asked, voice shaking. ‘that’s so insulting. there are fail safes, and then there are fail safes for the fail safes, I coded them myself. but what do I know, I’m just a kid. you know what? maybe you should be asking yourselves why I needed to sneak around in the first place. there are so many rules in this goddamn tower that I feel like I can’t breathe!’

it was his dad’s turn to be shaky. ‘those rules are there to keep you- keep us all safe,’ tony insisted.

peter stared right into his father’s eyes. ‘well then you should have made them harder to break.’

steve looked like he’d just been slapped in the face. tony fell back into a chair. pete didn’t even feel bad when he stood and walked away from his parents and slammed the door to his room shut. without even realizing the plan he was formulating or what he was doing, peter moved mechanically through his room, focused only on seeing wade. he put on a suit, one of the nice ones his father had made for his birthday, and combed gel through his hair, all the while not really sure why he was doing it. there will be reporters waiting, his brain supplied helpfully. oh, yeah. but what would he say to the reporters? whatever makes it hurt the most, his brain said again.

oh. yeah.

~~~~~

when peter finally felt like he could do it, he crept out of his room and over to the stairs. he could still hear his dads on the couch, talking to each other softly. not wanting to be caught, pete took the stairs two at a time until he reached the next floor down, then switched to the elevator. he tried to calm his breathing but the anticipation of having to talk to whoever was right outside the tower made it difficult.

‘JARVIS, please have someone pull my car around to the front.’

‘yes, sir,’ came the cool reply. the elevator went silent again.

‘JARVIS, how may people are out there?’ pete asked after a second.

‘about 20 reporters and their crews, sir.’

twenty didn’t sound that bad. peter could do twenty. the team regularly had 200 reporters at their press briefings, so if they could do that many then he could do twenty.

what pete didn’t account for were all of the people who would also be with the reporters. stupid.

he plastered on a smile as the elevator doors dinged open because surely there would be people snapping pictures through the glass. he was correct and nearly went blind from all of the flashing. the almost smile faltered when he saw all of the people, at least 100, along with the 20 reporters. do it for wade, he pushed himself, and forced himself out of the doors.

the sudden influx of noise made peter wince. reporters were screaming questions at him and photographers wanted him to look this way and that way. it was all very overwhelming and suddenly a small part of him asked ‘how does dad do this every week?’

pete straighted. that was it! all he needed to do was pretend like he was his father. what did tony usually do first? hold up his hand to ask for silence. almost too quickly, peter’s hand shot up and the reaction was immediate. the reporters quieted down and he breathed a sigh of relief. he took it all in for a second, the cameras, the lights, the microphones, the people all waiting to write down whatever he said, then pointed at the first reporter he saw.

‘is it true that you’re dating harry osborn?’ she practically screamed at him.

the snort that came out of peter was genuine, he didn’t even need to act. ’no,’ he answered.

‘but you are dating someone?’ she pressed on.

‘yes,’ peter smiled coyly as he said it. there was a flurry of activity as people scribbled down what he’d said. after another moment, he pointed to another reporter.

‘was steve campos correct in saying that he looks like your father? like captain rogers?’

‘umm, I don’t think so,’ pete said pretending to think about it. ‘i’d say he looks more like ryan reynolds if ryan reynolds had abs sculpted by michaelangelo.’ he grinned wolfishly into the first camera he could find and hoped that all of them could pick it up. this was a lot easier than he’d thought it would be, but he was, after all, tony stark’s son.

‘can you tell us his name?’ someone shouted hopefully.

‘now come on, where would be the fun in that?’ there was a collective sigh at that.

‘do your parents like him?’

oh, this would be fun. ‘oh yeah, they absolutely love him. we’ve known each other for a while now, so they got to know him as my friend before they got to know him as my boyfriend. I don’t think there’s anyone else they’d rather I date,’ peter said with a smile.

‘peter I love you!’

pete could guess that whoever shouted that was not, in fact, a reporter, but he shouted back anyways. ‘I love you too!’

this earned some laughs, but everyone went quiet when another reported yelled ‘mr. parker! is there anything you’d like to say to your mystery man?’

peter froze. now or never. ‘uh yeah, actually.’ he fidgeted with his hands for a second before looking straight into the camera directly in front of him. ‘baby, I know that this is kinda rough. it’s not exactly how I wanted to tell the world that I love you. I don’t think you know what you got yourself into, cause my family is a little crazy. what they do is crazy. I don’t think we’ll get a moment of quiet once all of these people figure out who you are. but we’ll make the best of it, we always do, and I'm so thankful to have you by my side. love you to the ends of the universe, baby.’

the group of people that had amassed let out a collective ‘awwww’. pete figured this was a good time to end the impromptu press conference, so he thanked everyone for coming out, and pushed through the crowd to get to his car. he sped off before he even put on his seatbelt, just so he could get away from all of the cameras and just breathe for a second. he felt his phone vibrate in his jacket pocket and answered it, hoping it was wade.

‘do I really have abs carved by michaelangelo?’

‘yeah, you do babe,’ peter laughed. wade was quiet for a second.

‘I don’t know what brought that on and I'm kind of afraid to ask, but you should just know that it was extremely hot and you did a really good job. I know that probably wasn’t easy so I went to that good taco place you like down the street and got two of everything.’

‘thank you.’

‘want to talk about it?’

‘maybe later.’

‘alright.’

wade was quiet again, and peter could faintly hear whatever was playing on the radio. it was something soft, with lots of bass that pete could feel in his bones.

‘so I was high earlier and came up with a really great way to get payback on that steve campos dude…’

pete smiled softly and leaned back onto the headrest of his seat. lights from nearby buildings washed over him warmly; it was getting dark out and there was almost no one heading uptown on park avenue. as wade’s voice mixed with the radio, peter decided that everything might just be alright.