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How Did We Get Here?

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“Miles,” Rio Morales narrowed her eyes as her son stopped in his tracks on the steps leading up into their home. There was a tall, white man behind him with an unshaven face and a faded green jacket over an even more faded gray hoodie. He looked like he had slept underneath the Brooklyn bridge and for once Rio Morales cursed her son’s kind heart for his attempt to bring a homeless man into their home. “Who is that?” Sure she was concerned that her son had been gone all night, but like any rational mother, she had suspected that this was just her son’s first time sneaking out underneath his parent’s supervision. She didn’t expect him to have some stranger standing behind him.

“Uh,” Miles was sweating bullets at this point, his mom and dad giving him every black teen’s worse nightmare. The judgmental stares that threatened to raise the spirits of ancestors to give him a whooping of his lifetime. He hooked a thumb over his shoulder, pointing it at Peter as his mind quickly tried to create a lie. It’s not like he could tell his parents that this Peter Parker behind him was Spiderman and not even their universes own Spiderman. “This is my uncle Peter!”

The look of shock on Peter’s face nearly rivaled his parents' own.

“What?” Rio’s mouth slightly widened in shock, her head jerking back as her a nervous smile stretched across her son’s features.

Shit . Miles cursed in his head as his parents glanced skeptically at each other, a thousand emotions flitting across their face like they were trying to weigh whether Miles was telling the truth or lying.

Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Miles turned his head to see Peter nervously scratching the back of his head, his gaze flitting from his mom and dad’s faces before settling on his own. “I’m, uh, married to his uncle Aaron. He just...never let you guys know.”

Somehow his parents believed it as they let Peter and Miles into the house, directing Peter to the phone so that he could call Aaron after he told them a bullshit lie about losing his phone on the subway after going out to look for Miles. Rio and her husband shared a nervous glance with each other as Rio leaned back in her seat to glance at Peter who was using their phone in the kitchen.

“Do you think Aaron never told us because Peter’s…” Jefferson trailed off, trying to find the word to describe Peter as Miles was sitting beside him.

“Tall?” Rio offered to the nod of her husband.

“Yea, I didn’t think Aaron liked...tall people.”

“Am I the only one who realizes that Peter is white?” Miles questioned his parents with a raise of his brows. They both stared at him in shock as if they’d just notice that for the first time since Peter stepped into their home. “Oh, sorry, that’s he’s tall ?”

They didn’t say a single word when Aaron showed up later to pick Peter up. He shared a knowing glance with Miles and bid his brother and sister in law goodnight as he and Peter left.

Later that night Jefferson and Rio found themselves in their bed. Jefferson was staring at the ceiling, his mind still unable to wrap itself around the fact that his brother had married a white man.

“But listen,” Jefferson hissed into the still air of their room, “Aaron might have married a white boy just to annoy me, specifically! It’s a thing he’d do!”

Rio rolled over onto her side, her hair tied up into a silk headwrap as she sleepily glared at her husband. “I can hear you, dear, but boy, if you don’t let me sleep when you know I have work in four hours it’s going to be me and you!”

He bid her goodnight, listening to her roll onto her side and quickly fall asleep.

 

Aaron breathed deeply, his hands pressed together as his nephew ate his hotdog like nothing was clearly wrong in the world. “...Miles...I love you, and I am proud of you...but you are somehow the smartest and dumbest boy I have ever known.”

Miles paused mid-chew to give his uncle a blank stare. “Says the man who used his big brain to become a criminal when he could’ve been a black Tony Stark with that gear he made. And thought working for the Kingpin, who everyone knows will throw his minions away like tissues, was a good idea!” He angrily took a bite out of his hotdog as Peter who was on the other side of his uncle pipped up.

“He makes a good point, babe, you did kind of mess up first—”

Aaron glared at him, disgust burning in his eyes that he had been dragged into this convoluted mess. “Call me babe again and see what happens,” he threatened the superhero. “I’ll whoop you with a collapsed lung.”

A smirk settled onto Miles’ face as he took another bite of his hotdog.