Peter Parker was desperate for a nap. It was currently half past five on the last Friday before Midtown High’s spring break, and Peter is stuck in the hell that is MJ’s mandatory decathlon practice. Ned was even half asleep next to him, as he kept listing to the side and only woke up when either Peter elbowed him or his cheek hit the table. A quick glance behind their table gave Peter the impression that most of the rest of the team was also fading, and fading fast. Flash wasn’t even trying anymore, with his feet propped up on his desk, chair tipped back, and his head resting on the wall behind him. Everyone else was either propping their head up on a fist or were forcing their eyes to stay open.
“What is meant by the phrase "turn genes on" or "turn genes off”?” MJ asks from one of the cards still in her hands, the pile phenomenally smaller than when they started, but still hefty enough to knock someone out if thrown at their head. Peter’s pretty sure she keeps the pile that big in case someone pisses her off.
Flash perks up very suddenly, disrupting the already leaning tower of homework next to him. MJ shot him a ‘did-you-just-dribble-on-your-shirt’ look before shutting whatever comment he was about to make down, “No, Eugene, just no.” Flash pouts, slumping back into his seat. Mr. Harrington, who Peter notices has been on his phone for the past hour gives a lazy thumbs up, as he has after every answer is given; as if Eugene gave an answer worth congratulations. MJ gave their teacher a watered down version of her ‘look’ but pressed on.
“Anyone?” No one. Not even Peter. That has MJ looking up, finally taking note of the pure exhaustion on everyone's face. Sighing heavily, she drops her cards onto the table, “Fine, I guess you guys did all right. But I want everyone here first Monday back, and we’re doing it all again.”
Mr. Harrington perked up, “Are we done then Michelle?” their teacher was already grabbing his bags, his phone still clutched in his hand. MJ rolled her eyes, but agrees with a sharp nod, and tries not to look offended when the entire team sighs in relief (or cheers in Flash’s case). However, since MJ had become the third part of the trio that was Peter and Ned and MJ, Peter had gotten pretty good at recognizing the slight differences between MJ’s ‘I don't care’ facial expressions. Taking a second to elbow Ned, Peter hops up to join MJ in collecting all the question cards back into a uniformly neat pile.
“Thanks, loser, but you can go. No need to act like you haven’t been watching the clock.” MJ murmurs, stuffing the card pile into her rucksack. Peter notes she’s added a few new Sharpie doodles to the side that look sort of arachnid shaped. “Didn’t you say you were supposed to intern today?”
This has Peter looking back up from her bag, “Huh? Oh, uh, yeah, I’ll have to see if Mr. Stark still wants me over.”
MJ actually looks a little sad, or maybe...Peter squints at her a bit, trying not to make it look obvious. Maybe that’s guilt? “Sorry dude, I didn’t mean to take up your work time.”
“Huh?” Peter once again so eloquently says, and MJ cocks a brow, “I mean, no, I get it, the team needed work, and Mr. Stark understands—”
“This again? Seriously Penis, drop the act! No one believes you actually work for Tony Stark!” Flash shouts across the still emptying classroom, causing the rest of the team to pause from standing and the few who made it to the hall to tiptoe back and listen in. Luckily Mr. Harrington was long gone. Peter didn't really want to say anything, this entire thing with Flash was getting old. MJ, however, had no such qualms.
"Eugene, your obsession with Peter's private conversations are getting concerning. If you can't keep it in your pants, I'll have to take this up with Morita and file a harassment claim." MJ droles crossing her arms casually as she leans against the teacher's desk at the front. A few team members chuckle and walk off, aware that Flash never has a come back for Michelle. This time, however, was different.
"Shut your mouth Jones, you're just covering for him cause you have a crush on the dweeb," Flash announces almost proudly, basking in the stares from their teammates. Peter can practically feel Ned's eyes on the back of his head, but Peter is pretty much frozen to the spot, staring at Flash in something akin to horror.
Peter flinches away from his friend, the malice behind her voice giving him a tingle down his spine. Flash looked slightly frightened but uncharacteristically stands his ground in front of the scary girl. "Yeah, you heard me. Everyone knows you two are secretly dating, that's the only reason Penis is still on the team even though he missed almost every meeting this year."
"Yeah, well he's rededicated himself to help the team, Eugene, and unlike some members, Peter actually studies. And in case you don't know, which I know you do, I am not the one who gets to choose who's on the team, Harrington is. If it was up to me, you would be kicked off the team with my shoe shoved so far up your—"
Michelle's rant was cut off by the shrill ringtone of Peter's phone. MJ stops, Flash still looks scared, the rest of the team all look at his pocket, and Peter winces. "Um, can I—"
MJ waves her hand, "By all means, loser. It's not like I'm trying to stick up for you here."
Peter looks over his shoulder at Ned, but all his friend is good for is a shrug as if to say 'I also know nothing about girls'. Peter looks back to Michelle, who is now close to glaring a hole into his forehead. Peter bites his lip and checks his phone as quickly as possible, without using any extra Spider-Man speed. If it isn't May, just leave it alone. Luckily it wasn't May, but unluckily it was even worse. Mr. Stark's face lit up the screen, the phone prompting Peter to swipe open the facetime call.
Peter looks back up at MJ, who has not shifted one iota, but whose face has gone more cloudy. "I'll uh, just call them back later," Peter says, receiving a nod from MJ, and an inner freakout from himself. Peter dismisses the call, trying very hard not to cringe when the phone immediately rings once again, Mr. Stark's face lighting up the screen once more.
"Oh for— give it!" MJ reached over faster than even Peter could comprehend (though the state of slight fear he was currently in could have had something to do with that) and snatched his phone from his hands. Peter watches her glance at the name on the screen and swipes to accept the call without flinching. She holds the phone in front of her, the practiced MJ scowl ready in full force.
Tony Stark’s voice comes out loud and clear, "Hey kid, you done with your nerd club yet?"
MJ doesn’t hesitate, "Hello Mr. Stark, Peter is still being spoken to by his captain who doesn't appreciate trying to hold a conversation with him while also schooling an immature bully, all while his phone won't stop ringing from his boss. I believe your appointment time with my friend does not actually start until six this evening. In which case, I firmly wish to remind you Peter is still mine for another twenty-three minutes. Questions, comments, concerns?" MJ finishes with a customer-service grin which comes out more shark-like than polite. There is silence in the room, including from Peter's phone.
"Oh my God, MJ," Ned croaks, which kickstarts Peter jumping forward to grab his phone back. MJ keeps it out of reach however, obviously still waiting and wanting a response from Tony Stark.
There is a threat clearing and then, "I accept your terms, however, could I speak to my intern for one moment? Miss—?"
MJ nods decidedly, "Jones. And yes, you may." With that, MJ passes the phone back to Peter, once again looking bored and smug. Peter picks the phone out if her hands, still a little gobsmacked by what had just happened. The rest of the room was just as quiet, so he was pretty sure everyone else was feeling the same as well. Peter turned the phone to face him, giving himself the view of one Tony Stark, sitting in the back of a car, rose-colored glasses perched on his face, looking bemused, shocked and more than a little amused.
"Mr. Parker, at the insistence of your friend, it would seem I need to stop bothering you for another," here Mr. Stark paused to check his watch, "nineteen minutes."
"I'm so sorry Mr. Stark, I'll talk to MJ about this, I promise."
"Nah kid, I like her, why haven't I met her yet? She's way more fun than Ted."
Ned squawks a strangled 'Hey!', but Peter and Tony ignore him. "I'm sorry, I'll be out in a few minutes."
"Eighteen minutes, loser," MJ says, not so quietly. Tony looks even more amused by the situation while Peter can feel his ears turning redder.
"Right, eighteen minutes," Peter mumbles, ignoring the way MJ smirks at the same time Tony does.
"Did I mention I like her? Why haven't you told me about her, Petey? She's like an angrier, smaller Pepper. She's cute too, you think she's cute?" Tony was rambling, but Peter knew he was doing so to embarrass him and try to piss off Michelle. "Hey mini Pepper, you are welcome to the Tower whenever Pete has Ted over!"
This has Peter scrambling, "Mr. Stark, I'll talk to you soon, ok?"
Tony is still yelling, talking to MJ like Peter isn't even there, though the man has yet to move his smirking eyes away from his protege, "Maybe Pep will take you on as her intern! Holy shit, I am a genius! Pete, kid, we could each have a Pepper! Best idea I've ever had!"
"Goodbye, Mr. Stark!" Peter practically shouts, punching the end call button quickly to end his misery. The room is dead silent now, Peter realizing once more that this had been a less than private embarrassing conversation. Looking up, Peter grew red seeing the gawking faces of his teammates. MJ was standing in front of him, arms crossed and toe-tapping, a pleased smirk on her face.
"I will allow you to give my number to Pepper Potts if you tell Stark I refuse to be the one to drag your ass out of bed like a child like she's done for him the past ten years." And with that, MJ grabbed her things calmly and walked out of the room, calling over her shoulder, "pretty sure I dismissed you losers, it’s Spring Break, isn't it?"
A few students did move, but most were snickering at a sputtering Flash, which still had yet to say much else but a quiet and resounding, "what the fuck?"