Work Header

paralyzed in the doorway

Work Text:

Peter stood in the doorway, shoulder propped against the door jamb, watching Michelle. Her head was bent over her laptop, curls falling out of the bun on top of her head, which was pierced with a takeout chopstick. Peter shook his head in amusement at the sight.

Who was this person he was in love with? She was always surprising him with new little quirks.

“Hey, I gotta head into work… They got a whole batch of photos featuring the new landscape plan for Isham Park in, and they want me there to fix the new markup,” Peter announced, shoving his hands into his jeans pockets.

“Hmm,” Michelle hummed, part question, part statement. White pillows and a puffy white duvet were piled around her like a child’s blanket fort. Peter figured Goblin must be hiding somewhere beneath the pile of sheets, snoozing and drooling all over Peter's side of the bed.

Great, now I’ll have to do laundry when I get home.

“Did you hear me?” Peter asked, stepping closer, the floorboards creaking under his sneaker clad feet.

“What?” Michelle's head shot up. She closed the laptop lid and placed it on the floor next to the bed.

“Guess not,” Peter breathed out a chuckle. “I said, they called me in. I gotta head to work.”

“Again?” Michelle thumped her head back against the exposed brick wall. “That's like the third time this week! I have a mind to call up there and talk to your boss -- Jackson, wasn’t it?”

She started to reach over for the phone on the nearby nightstand.

“It's Jameson, and you’re not calling him. It's fine!” Peter grabbed the phone from her hand, pushing it into his back pocket.

Peter… come on... let me give him a piece of my mind! Please?” Michelle begged, her brown eyes wide and pleading, hanging onto his wrist with both hands as she leaned over the edge of the bed.

Michelle dropped his arm and lay back against the pillows, blowing a lock of hair out of her face. “I’m so bored,” she whined. “You won't let me do anything fun.”

“You know you aren't supposed to get too worked up. Doctor’s orders.” Peter crossed his arms, attempting to look stern.

Fine,” Michelle huffed, rolling over onto her side.

They had just found out about the pregnancy two months earlier.

Peter and Michelle came home upset after that first appointment. Apparently there was something unusual in the baby’s heartbeat, and they wanted Michelle to take it easy for the next few months to see if that would help. Stress levels and all that, the doctor had explained.

Needless to say, Michelle wasn't taking to bed rest very well. She was going stir crazy, with the waiting and all the sleeping, not to mention the anxiety over the baby’s condition.

They were supposed to follow up on the status of their baby’s health at the appointment next week. Needless to say, they were both a nervous wreck.

Peter sat down at the edge of the bed, and Michelle curled up against him, knees tucked to her belly -- well, as close as they could get with her small bump.

Peter breathed in deeply. Michelle smelled like clean laundry and the tea tree oil she put on her face in the mornings.

Peter smiled down at her, brushing a stray curl out of her face.

“I'll be back soon, okay? It's just for a few hours, and then we can watch National Geographic to your heart's content, and make up funny voices for the animals.”

Michelle sighed loudly. “I guess.”

The blankets shifted suddenly with a muffled woof and Goblin climbed out from under the covers, snuffling and snorting before snuggling up against Michelle's back.

“Stupid mutt,” Michelle grumbled, rolling her eyes, but she didn't try to push him away.

“Hey,” Peter bent his head to catch her eyes, “It will be okay. We have each other, right?”

Her dark brown eyes searched his thoroughly. He didn't know what she was looking for -- answers to why this was happening to them, maybe?

Suddenly Michelle started to cry and Peter wrapped his arm around her, pulling her in close. He wanted to comfort her so much, but everything that came to his mind wasn't reassuring or helpful. He also knew that she wouldn't appreciate it in that moment, so he said nothing. He just let her cry.

She mumbled something under her breath that Peter couldn't make out and he continued to rub her back, shutting his eyes tightly and praying that he could hold back his tears as well.

He hated to see her so upset. He didn't want to add to her grief with his.

Her shoulders stopped shaking eventually, and she rested her forehead against his neck. Her tears were damp against his skin, but he didn't care. He just wanted to be there for her.

Finally, she sat up, a hand pressed to her belly.

He saw in her expression as she closed herself off almost immediately. Peter hated seeing it, so he bent his head, distracting himself with fondling Goblin's velvety ears.

She picked up the book laying next to her and placed it in her lap. Michelle was a very deeply emotional person, but she didn't like to be seen as vulnerable, even by him. She bent her head over the adult coloring book she held in her lap, hiding her face and furiously coloring in a mandala with a orange colored pencil.

“You know these are meant to be relaxing, right?”

“What? I am relaxed,” Michelle argued, eyebrows furrowed fiercely as she glared at him.

Peter sighed. Pushing up from the bed, he stood up, bending over as Michelle tilted her cheek upward for his kiss. Peter pressed his lips to it softly, trailing his fingers down to her shoulder and curving his fingers around her arm. He pressed his forehead to her temple, “I love you,” he whispered, before turning and walking to the door.

“Peter,” Michelle called after his retreating back.

“Yeah?” Peter turned back around.

“I love you, too. I'm just grumpy, you know how much I hate this,” Michelle sighed, before biting her lip. “Don't forget about our National Geographic date.”

“I know you do, but it's for the best. And don’t worry: I won't forget. I can't survive another day without hearing, 'I couldn't help but notice you noticing me noticing you,' in your best lizard voice,” he teased.

“You know, Rango is a perfect example of global warming.” Michelle pointed out.

“If you say so,” Peter laughed, smiling at her crookedly. “Oh, and - hey, if you need something, promise me you'll text Ned and ask for his help, okay?”

Michelle muttered something under her breath that Peter didn't catch before agreeing.

“What was that?” Peter asked, as he stopped in the bedroom doorway.

“Nothing, I love ya, geek. Bye.”

Peter shook his head -- typical Michelle -- then pulled the door closed and left for work.