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No Ink, No Kink, No Vember

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“What is that?” MJ demanded, grabbing Peter’s left hand and holding it up to her face. They were seated across from each other at the Starbucks closest to Peter’s apartment while MJ was in town for a few days, and it had been… a while since they caught up.

“Oh,” Peter said, feeling his face grow warm. “Um, I got a boyfriend!”

MJ glared at him, and Peter took his hand back, absentmindedly thumbing the silver band on his ring finger. “Right, I guess he’s my fiancée now. It’s still new — the — the engagement, not the relationship! We’ve been dating for, uh, for—” Peter scratched his head, looking out the window to avoid Michelle’s deadly glare.

“Parker,” she said in her no-bullshit tone.

Peter took a deep breath, knowing it would take her no time to do the math. “Six years,” he blurted, watching her worriedly as she sat back in her seat, her face impassive.

“So, did you meet him the minute you enrolled in college, or did you wait for the fall semester to start?” She asked eventually, picking up her Keep Cup and taking a large swig.

“Uh, actually, I may have met him, uh, a-little-bit-before-that,” Peter stuttered out in a quick undertone. “And technically he may have met my, uh, Spider-Pal first.”

“Peter,” MJ said.

“Yes,” Peter replied in resignation, waiting for her inevitable berating.

“You’re tragic.” 

“I’m aware.”

“Does May know? Tony? Ned?” MJ demanded, crossing her arms, and Peter huffed.

“Yeah, MJ, you’re the only person I haven’t seen since he proposed,” Peter said softly, and MJ sat up straighter.

“And what about the six years prior to that?” She fired back, and Peter bit back a sigh, not wanting to argue with her. Things had always been a bit tense between him and Michelle before and during their brief relationship in high school. Nothing improved when they broke up. They were just very different people, and even though they were best friends it wasn’t always easy.

“He’s shy. We met at work, and neither of us really wanted to mix our work and personal lives. When things started getting more serious, we tested the waters with May, which went well. Then we told the team,” Peter said darkly.

“Oh,” MJ said, sounding contrite. 

“Yeah. We fought a lot after that,” Peter said, his eyes burning at the memory. “I didn’t care what they thought, and he cared too much.” 

“You set a date?” MJ asked, perhaps sensing Peter didn’t want to talk about it. She was always good like that. 

“Not yet,” Peter smiled, “Things are really good at the moment. I want this part to last a bit longer.”

“So do I get a name?”

“Wade,” Peter said, still loving the way the name tasted on his lips, even after all those years.