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I Look At You And I’m Home

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“Is this a bad time to tell you I’m scared of airplanes?” 

Peter looked over at Michelle who, despite her statement, was the spitting image of a calm and collected person. “You are? Last summer you flew to Europe on the school trip and were completely fine.” 

Michelle blinked once, twice. Released a deep sigh. “No, I’m not. I was planning on you getting all worried and holding my hand to ‘calm me down,’ but I guess I need to be more straightforward than that.” She lifted her hand from the armrest and shoved her open palm in Peter’s direction. “Hold my hand, Peter.” 

“Uh, o-okay.” He took her hand in his own hesitantly and lowered them both to rest on her knee. “Could you not have just asked me in the first place?” 

“Where’s the fun in that?” 

Two distinct chimes sounded throughout the airplane, and the passengers standing or still moving down the aisle began taking their seats. Michelle and Peter both kicked their backpacks under the seat in front of them, their carry-ons already in the overhead bins. He’d had to buy a new suitcase for his checked bag; his last one got blown up in London the previous summer. The case had been Ben’s, and its loss was something more than just a ruined piece of luggage. 

Just one more thing Quentin Beck took from him. 

“Attention, everybody. My name is Captain James Morgan and I’d like to welcome all of you onto United flight F213 from LaGuardia to Orlando International. Our flight will be roughly two hours and forty minutes. Once everyone’s settled in and we’ve been given the all-clear by air traffic control, we’ll be on our way.” 

Michelle gave Peter’s hand an excited squeeze, a rare display of strong emotion. “If you add up the three hour flight, the time it takes to get off the plane and grab our bags, take Magical Express to the resort and check into the room, we’re only about five hours away from officially being in Disney World. And we only have to go to sleep once before I get to ride Space Mountain.”

Michelle’s obsession with all things Disney was a surprise, to say the least. For a woman heavily involved in social justice, reading dark novels and sticking it to the Man, being obsessed with princesses and theme park rides seemed out of character. It took Peter walking in on her watching Moana for Michelle to open up. 

It’s good!” she insisted, motioning to the tv screen. “Moana is independent, strong, forges her own path, and saves her people in the process! She’s an inspiration!” 

Admit it. You like the music.” 

“Do not.” 

“Do too.” 

“Do not!” 


She crossed her arms and broke eye contact, eyes on the tv screen. The movie was paused on Moana herself, standing on the edge of her raft and looking ready for anything. “Alright. ‘You’re Welcome’ is pretty good.” 

That evening Moana was followed by Tangled, then Hercules, and a couple other fan favorite Disney films. Peter was already a fan of much of Disney’s work, having grown up with many of the films. Treasure Planet had always been Uncle Ben’s favorite. But Disney buying Star Wars in 2012 was just the icing on the cake; Peter ended up diving head first into the franchise. His love for Star Wars was obvious to almost anyone, but getting to really geek out over other Disney movies, with his girlfriend, no less, was a stroke of good luck Peter thought he’d never get. 

After that Peter and Michelle made an effort to sit down and watch something Disney related whenever they had the chance. Peter was partial to The Incredibles- he liked thinking about growing up and raising a superpowered family. Liked thinking about the fact that if the Parrs could make it work, surely Peter could too, right? He could balance helping people and having a normal life. It was a fictional movie made for children, but it gave him hope. 

And he couldn’t deny that he’d thought about Michelle being a part of that life, even if she wasn’t in a high-tech supersuit herself. Imaging her curly hair and deathly sarcasm by his side for the rest of his life was a pretty picture. But Peter’s head wasn’t in the clouds. He was young, too young, still had years to think about that sort of thing. Him and Michelle had just started dating. 

But that ideal life; one with kids, a house in the suburbs, a lovely wife, and a side-gig as Spider-Man. It was a pleasant thought. 

The school year progressed and Michelle and Peter steadily grew their repertoire of Disney film and show knowledge. Ned sometimes joined them for their marathons, but tapped out after a few months. 

“I’ve seen most of them anyways,” he said, “It gets boring after a while.”

By the time spring semester rolled around, they’d switched from movies to Disney park vlogs. There were hundreds of thousands of them floating around the internet, and they were good, genuine fun. Some vloggers were better than others, but as long as the video was about Disney in some capacity it was usually entertaining. 

Spring break rolled around and the two of them spent their first day camped out on Peter’s couch watching YouTube videos on the TV. Michelle’s back was propped against the armrest, her socked feet in Peter’s lap. They were several videos into TheTimTracker’s Disney World hotel tours series when Michelle carefully pulled the remote out of Peter’s hand, paused the video, and cleared her throat. “We should go to Disney.”

Peter took a moment to process her words. “You...You actually want to go to Disney?”

“Yes. I think we should go to Disney.”


“Did you actually just ask me that?”

“It’s a reasonable question. Disney’s expensive.”

“We could get jobs.”

“I already have a job. With Mr.Stark.”

“He actually still pays you for being an intern? You don’t even do intern things.”

“Are you saying that swinging into burning buildings and lifting cars shouldn’t earn me a decent salary?”

“You know that’s not what I meant. But whatever. I’ll get a job and we’ll save up. It’ll be our senior trip. A last hoorah.”

After they’d been dating for a while, Peter realized that beneath the surface, Michelle was a dreamer. She tried to hide it behind a cold exterior, but deep down she wanted a multi-million dollar loft in Tribeca and yearly vacations to Europe. Wanted to own a vintage bookstore and be the only employee. She knew it wasn’t practical, understood that most people fell short of that type of life and was okay with that. But she enjoyed the idea of living a little large. “ Luxury sounds just as nice to me as it does to anyone else ,” she’d once said. “ I just know that it’s impractical and won’t blame myself if I don’t get there.”

She’d divulged that information to Peter in secret during an uncharacteristically serious conversation, and he hadn’t told a soul. It wasn’t his wish to share. But he liked thinking about it. It brought Michelle down to Earth a little bit. For the first few years of high school, Michelle Jones was an untouchable entity that floated down the halls of Midtown in combat boots and dark plaid. She became less intimidating when they became friends and even less so when they started dating, but knowing she had off-world fantasies like everyone else was sort of comforting. 

The thought of going to Disney World with Michelle made Peter’s stomach somersault. A senior trip to Disney . With Michelle . It was an oddly appealing concept. “Do you think Aunt May will let me go?”

“Peter, May let you go to Europe when you were seventeen.”

“I almost died on that trip.”

Michelle waived a hand through the air. “That’s beside the point. You’re a legal adult now. She’ll let you go.”

So, genuinely interested in seeing whether the trip was a possibility, Peter decided to mention it to Tony Stark.

Peter was at the tower for routine maintenance to his suit. Routine maintenance being a quick hole patch-up; he’d singed the rear end of his suit while carrying a woman out of an apartment fire. He couldn’t swing around New York with his boxers on full display. 

Tony was hunched over the suit, watching carefully as one of his many high-tech robots re-wove the red and blue threads. “I think you’ll be due for an all new suit here soon, kid. You’ve really done a number on this one.”

“Yeah, that’s my bad. A hazard of the gig I guess.”

Tony didn’t turn toward him, just shrugged and kept watching his machine. “My fault for making the thing out of spandex. Maybe I’ll switch you to high-elasticity kevlar or something.”

“Do you think May would let me go to Disney World with MJ?”

The sudden change in conversation peaked Tony’s interest and he finally spun around to face Peter. “You want to go on a trip. With your girlfriend.”


Just you and your girlfriend.”

“That’s the idea.”

“Well, look at that.” Tony broke into a mischievous smile, and Peter immediately regretted saying anything. “The big man wants some alone time with his lady.”

“Actually, MJ just really wants to ride Space Mountain-”

“Don’t sweat it at all, Pete. I’ll talk to May. Though, it might take some convincing. You almost died on your last vacation.”

“Yeah, I remember.”

Tony pulled his phone out of his pocket and started typing out a text, likely to Pepper. He was always texting Pepper. “Have you guys booked anything yet?”

“No. We’ve just been throwing the idea around. I’m not even sure how we’re gonna pay for it. Michelle said she’d get a job, but I still don’t know if we’ll be able to save enough by summer break.”

“Don’t bother. I just asked Pepper to make you guys a reservation for the week after school gets out.”


“Consider it your graduation gift. Pep and I bought a Disney Vacation Club membership when we found out she was pregnant. Morgan loves it there. You’ll have a blast.”

“Mr.Stark, really, I appreciate it, but we want to try and pay for this ourselves. We want to feel like we accomplished something, You know?”

“No, that’s not it. You just don’t want to take money from me because of Michelle.” 

Caught in his lie, Peter’s shoulders sagged minutely. “Yeah, you’re right. That one time you gave me money to take her to dinner, she paid for her own meal and said she didn’t take handouts from billionaire war-mongering bullies.”

Tony only shrugged, like he’d expected as much from the ever-stern Michelle Jones. “I’ve been called worse. But really, let me do this for you. We haven’t been able to make it down there this year, anyways. Someone needs to use our club points or they’ll just go to waste.”

“Fine. I’ll talk to MJ. But I make no promises. And we’re not taking the jet.”

“You’re flying commercial? Peter, now you’re just being ridiculous.”

That’s how Peter and Michelle ended up sitting economy-class on a United Airlines flight out of a public airport. 

Convincing MJ to let Tony pay for the hotel had been something akin to pulling teeth. Her main argument was that she didn’t take “dirty money,” but then Peter made her watch a walk-through of Disney’s Polynesian Village, Tony’s home resort. She ended up breaking down. “Fine. We’ll go. But we’re paying for the plane tickets. And I’m going to vandalize the room so he doesn’t get his security deposit back.”

Once the plane had landed and they were lugging their bags through Orlando International, Michelle leading the way to the Magical Express terminal, Peter couldn’t help but grin like an idiot. He was about to spend a full seven days in Disney World . With his girlfriend.  

“And to think,” Peter said from behind Michelle, “that you were going to give all of this up for the sake of sticking it to Tony Stark.”

She stopped walking so abruptly that even Peter’s supercharged senses couldn’t keep him from running into the back of her, his rolling suitcase almost knocking him off balance. “Let me see the hotel room,” MJ said coolly. “Then we’ll talk about whether or not I still dislike Tony Stark.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” Michelle started rolling her eyes the second she walked into the hotel lobby. Peter watched her try to take in as many details as she could; the stone floors, the rocky water feature in the corner, the tropical flora and fauna in large, flourishing planter boxes. Colorful glass lights strung with ropes hung from the ceiling. The room was focused around a small tiki on a pedestal, the figure itself surrounded by carefully arranged flowers. 

Peter only shrugged. “This is Tony we’re talking about. Did you expect us to be in one of the value resorts?” 

Michelle snorted and started making her way toward the check-in desk. “Stark wouldn’t know value if it slapped him across the face.” 

A woman in a colorful dress stepped forward and smiled pleasantly at Michelle. “Welcome home, ma’am. We’re glad you’re here! How can I help you today?” 

Michelle turned toward Peter, and there was no sign of her previous temper. Her lips were turned up tightly at the corners, and her eyebrows were raised. It was the face she made when she was trying not to smile like a madman. 

“Um, hello. We’re checking in.” 

“Fantastic! Welcome to the Polynesian. Can I have the name used for your reservation?” 


“And the first name?” 


The receptionist’s cheery demeanor broke apart momentarily, just long enough for her to wipe a look of disbelief off of her face and reinstate her customer service-worthy grin. “Great. I have Peter Parker and Michelle Jones as the only two guests for this trip. Is that correct?” 

“Yes ma’am.” 

“Wonderful. Because this trip was booked with Disney Vacation Club points, I’ll need to take a quick peek at your IDs, just to make sure everything’s in order. While you get those ready I’ll run and grab your Magic Bands. Apparently they were special ordered.” 

The receptionist walked away from the desk and disappeared into a back room. Peter and Michelle fished their licenses out of their backpacks and were setting them on the counter just as she returned with a small white box. “Lovely, thank you. Here are your bands. I’d recommend keeping those on at all times. Your Magic Band works as your room key and can be used to charge any food or souvenier purchases to your room. The card I have on file for purchases is…” She trailed off, eyes squinting as she read and re-read the name on her computer screen. “Oh, this is- uh, yes, okay. It’s an American Express Black Card under the name Anthony Stark. Is this correct?” 

Both Peter and Michelle nodded. As the receptionist started clicking a few final buttons on her screen, Michelle opened the Magic Band box and audibly laughed. “Peter, I changed my mind. I think I like Tony Stark.” 

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” 

Michelle pulled her Magic Band out of the box and handed the package off to Peter. Hers was blue, a picture of Moana printed in the middle. It was a very un-Michelle choice at first glance, especially when compared to her dark shoes and all around unimpressed demeanor, but the utter lack of a disgusted look on her face betrayed her. She liked it. 

Michelle snapped it onto her wrist and looked toward Peter. “Go on,” she said. “Look at yours.” 

Peter pulled his band out of the box. At first look it was just red, exactly what he’d asked Tony for when the older man asked what styles him and MJ would want.

But once Peter slipped it onto his wrist and turned the band so it’s face was aimed upward, he understood why Michelle was getting such a kick out of it. 

Printed on the top of the band was a comic-style photo of Spider-Man. 

“Can he even do that?” 

Michelle was truly laughing now, her eyes crinkled at the corners. “I guess he can.” 

The receptionist noticed the commotion and leaned over the counter to look at Peter’s wrist. “Ah. The new Spider-Man bands are in high demand.” 

Peter blanched. “The new Spider-Man bands?” 

“Oh, yes. They’re very popular. The Walt Disney Company recently bought the rights to the Spider-Man comic line. They’re printing that man on everything from beach towels to baby onesies.” She leaned a little farther forward and looked around, like one of her smiling coworkers was going to rat her out for spilling Disney secrets. “Someone told me they’re tossing around movie ideas. Whoever the real Spider-Man is, I hope he’s seeing some of the profit. They’ve gotta be making a pretty penny off of him.” 

Michelle abandoned her suitcase at Peter’s feet in favor of sitting down on a nearby cushioned bench. She had her arms wrapped around her stomach in a sad attempt at containing her laughter. 

Being Spider-Man and being affiliated with Tony Stark had made things complicated in more ways than one. People were increasingly interested in him, more than they ever had been. Some tried to follow him on his daily patrol route to see when he went to the tower. Sometimes they attempted to follow him home. Paparazzi coverage around both Stark and Spider-Man had increased ten-fold since Iron Man and the arachnid hero started working together. Keeping a low profile and protecting his identity was becoming impossible. 

Street vendors and souvenir stores were selling boatloads of unlicensed Spidey merch. Being the businessman that he was, Tony pointed out that Peter could be profiting off of his own likeness. May thought it was a great idea, even pointed out that the profits from licensing his hero name alone would likely pay for his college. But monetizing Spider-Man seemed cruel, almost like saying the good deeds he’d done and would continue to do weren’t genuine. He’d spent a long time building a rapport with the people of New York. He didn’t want that relationship ruined because they all thought he was in it for the money. 

After licensing the Spider-Man name, Peter’s publicity team (composed of Stark Industries employees) decided that expanding his reach as a hero and as a human being might help with his public opinion. They sold story rights to a local comic book company, The Bugle Bypass. The comics were an instant hit and had been selling well. Per Peter’s request and to the knowledge of the public, all profits were split between an array of charities hand selected by Peter himself. 

Beyond the public’s general knowledge of his newly publicized persona, Peter chose not to focus on the advertised side of Spider-Man. If he wanted to keep helping people, he couldn’t let the popularity go to his head. 

Monetizing Spidey worked for a while. Because news outlets were no longer allowed to profit by selling merchandise or stories about him, a lot of wannabe investigative journalists as well as large corporations were lowering the amount of times they referenced or photographed him. The plan had worked; he was finally regaining some semblance of normal life. 

But because of how little Peter really knew about that part of his alter ego, how much he was focused on Spider-Man’s humanity instead of his net worth, he had no idea The Bugle Bypass’s comic rights had been sold to Disney. 

Disney. He thought it was going to pass out. 

The receptionist clapped suddenly, catching Peter’s attention. “Alright, Mr.Parker, you’re all checked in. You’re in bungalow 7030. If you need anything else, please do let us know. And again, welcome home.” 

Michelle stood and reclaimed her luggage, her fit of laughter tapering off. “Bungalow 7030? Which floor is that?” 

“Oh, it’s not in this building, ma’am. Head out the lobby’s back door and keep walking until you reach the lake. You should be able to see it from there.” 

Michelle looked skeptical, but Peter was just ready to forget his alter ego and get out of the lobby. He spurred her into action with a gentle hand on the small of her back and guided her toward the back exit. 

“T-thank you ma’am!” He called out, not daring to turn back toward her lest she say something else and continue the conversation.  

“Your cheeks are bright red,” Michelle pointed out once they were safely out of the lobby. “What, you don’t like Disney owning your soul?” 

“I just...didn’t expect it. That’s all.” 

He hadn’t expected anything remotely close to what just happened. 

They’re making movies about him? 

Michelle stopped walking so suddenly that Peter ran into the back of her. “Speaking of not expecting things…” Michelle said, arm outstretched and hand pointing at the row of small buildings before them. 

Lined up along the edge of the lake were a couple dozen tropically themed bungalows, each one set up on posts in the water. All of them had bridges leading to a quaint front porch. Bungalow 7030 was directly in front of them, a colorfully painted wooden boardwalk leading from their current location to the structure’s front door. 

The two of them continued forward. They used Peter’s Magic Band to unlock the front door and suddenly they were inside, two teenagers with a two bedroom vacation house entirely to themselves.

Michelle dropped her backpack into the desk chair in the master bedroom, shoved her suitcase to the side, and immediately sprawled out on the king size mattress. “Oh my god. Peter, you’ve gotta try this thing. Maybe Stark has taste after all.” 

“Just a second!” he called from the guest bedroom, where he’d already begun tucking his belongings into various drawers and corners. 

“What are you doing in there?” Michelle called back. 

Peter shoved his empty suitcase beneath the bed and made his way back to the master suite. “Unpacking, why?”

“In the guest suite?” 

“I figured you’d want the master.” 

Michelle blinked slowly. “I figured we’d both want the master.” 

Peter’s mouth was suddenly very dry. “Y-you did?” 

He hadn’t expected her to make such a big move. Big for them, anyways. Michelle wasn’t one for cliches or voluntary relationship talk. She especially wasn’t the type to recommend that they sleep in the same bed for a straight week. Peter tried to never make assumptions about what she was and wasn’t comfortable with, often choosing to follow already established emotional and physical boundaries. Sleeping in the same bed, as innocent as it seemed, was never something they’d talked about. They hadn’t needed to, really. So her making the decision so quickly was startling. 

“We’re dating, Peter. I’m not gonna make you sleep in a different room. Not if you don’t want to.” 

“I do want- I mean, I don’t necessarily wanna sleep somewhere else. I do want to be in here. With you.” 

“Don’t make it weird.” 

“Right, right. Don’t make it weird. Got it. It’s not weird.” 

And suddenly Michelle was hopping off the bed and digging through her suitcase. She emerged with a folded up bathing suit Peter had never seen before and made her way to the en-suite. “Go get your swim trunks on, Peter. I wanna sit in the pool.” 

The waterfront bungalow had a small balcony off the back with its own miniature pool. The pool was roughly the size of a hot tub, only really big enough for two or three people to sit, but the size was perfect for Michelle and Peter. It was only meant to be a brief reprieve from the oppressive Florida heat, really, so it’s convenience outweighed its flaws.

Peter had been sitting out on the back deck for several minutes, clad in his newly bought swim trunks (he’d never had a reason to own swim trunks in New York), when Michelle finally walked outside. 

She had her hair pulled into a careful bun at the top of her head. She was always careful about not getting it wet unnecessarily, and Peter knew that the chlorine in the pool probably wouldn’t do her any favors. 

But what really drew Peter’s attention was her swimsuit. Michelle had also bought a new one for this particular trip, but seeing her in it made Peter realize that he’d never seen her in a bathing suit before. He definitely would have remembered if he had. The image of Michelle in this particular suit, an all white bikini with tiny little wooden beads on the strings, was not one he’d be forgetting any time soon. 

“You’re staring,” Michelle pointed out. It’s not like her own eyes were averted by any means— she was looking Peter’s shirtless form up and down with obvious interest. 

Peter nodded. “Yes, I am. But I don’t think I’m the only guilty one here.” 


They both stepped into the miniature pool and settled onto the built-in benches. The deck had a spectacular view of Seven Seas Lagoon, the lake just behind Magic Kingdom. Peter could see the tip of Space Mountain peeking over the tree line on the other side of the water. Once the sun set, they’d be able to see the firework display over Cinderella’s castle. 

It was early evening, now. The sun wouldn’t be setting for another few hours. Peter and Michelle’s flight had arrived late in the afternoon and by the time they’d made it to the resort, prime park-going hours had come and gone. They mutually decided that they’d wake up early and book it to Magic Kingdom in the morning, but for the time being, they’d relax and get settled in. 

“This is surreal,” Michelle said. “We’re here. In Disney World.” 

Soft Polynesian music was playing from somewhere above their heads, pre-selected soundtracks chosen by the resort and piped directly to their deck speakers. Neither Peter nor MJ had wanted to turn it off. 

MJ’s entire left side was leaned up against Peter. Their hands were intertwined beneath the pool water and lying comfortably on top of Michelle’s thigh. She’d been resting her head on Peter’s shoulder for the last several minutes, and until she started talking, Peter had thought she’d fallen asleep. 

“It does seem kind of strange, doesn’t it? I feel like we should have brought Ned.” 

Michelle sat up and looked at Peter like he was crazy, then took the time to consider his words. “He probably would have liked Galaxy’s Edge. You guys could have built custom lightsabers together.” 

“Oh, man, now I feel terrible for leaving him behind.” 

The water rippled as Michelle slid back down so she could readjust her head on Peter’s shoulder. Some of her hair had come loose from her bun and was tickling Peter’s cheek. “We’ll bring him next time.” 

“Next time?” 

“Well, yeah. You said Tony and Pepper have a ton of left over vacation points. Somebody has to use them. We’ll make it a friend trip. You, me, and Ned.” 

Peter used his free hand to poke Michelle quickly in the ribs. She elbowed him back with just as much vigor.  “So now that you’ve seen what Tony’s money can do for you, you’re willing to use it?” Peter asked. 

“As high and mighty as I make myself seem, Parker, I am only human. We all have our weaknesses. Disney happens to be mine.” 

Despite being next to MJ in one of the most comfortable beds he’d ever had the pleasure of lying in, Peter couldn't sleep. 

Michelle had fallen asleep relatively early, the excitement of the day wearing her down. Peter could hear her breathing steadily a few inches away. Her presence was comforting, had always been, but for some reason on this particular night Peter’s nightmares were hardly dampened by her proximity. He kept dozing off only to wake up an hour or so later drenched in sweat, always trying to blink away the residual image of whatever villain or unspeakable tragedy was plaguing his mind. 

He gave up on sleep after a while and crawled out of bed as quietly as possible, readjusting the covers over MJ as he left the room. 

The nighttime air was muggy as Peter stepped out the back door and onto the deck. He leaned on the hand rail near the deck’s edge and watched the lake water ripple below.  New York was just as hot and humid as anywhere else, especially during the summer when heat became trapped between rows of skyscrapers and brownstones, but Florida humidity was an entirely different beast. Could Walt Disney not have chosen to build his park somewhere a little farther away from the equator? 

Cinderella’s Castle was a speck in the distance, glowing faintly in shades of pink and blue. Peter knew that somewhere beneath it, Disney Cast Members were preparing the park for another day full of hyperactive toddlers and overpriced merchandise. 
In the background and beneath the fireworks: Cinderella’s castle as seen from the Polynesian Bungalows

It seemed so simple, going to a theme park. Just a vacation to some people. But to Peter it was something else entirely. 

Being Spider-Man was exhausting. Senior year had been almost just as bad as getting slammed into walls and thrown into dumpsters, and trying to juggle both sides of his life had Peter burning the candle at both ends. Life was so full of hard consequences and sad endings. Getting out of New York for a little while was the best thing for him. Surely the city could manage without him for seven days. 

Plus, getting to spend an entire week alone with MJ was something he’d only ever imagined being possible.  A whole week. Just the two of them. In Disney World. It felt like a fever dream. 

“What’re you doing up?”

Peter had been too deep in his own thoughts to realize MJ had walked outside. She had never triggered his spidey sense, and still didn’t— he had a feeling she never would. His spidey sense only went off when he was in danger. To him, Michelle Jones was anything but dangerous. 

He turned around to look at her, still leaning on the hand rail. “Sorry if I woke you.” 

Michelle shook her head. She was rubbing her eyes with the side of her hand like she always did when she was tired. It made her look like a little kid. Peter thought it was adorable. “You didn’t. Had to pee and realized you weren’t there.” 

Michelle must have realized that despite it being the middle of the night, it was still too hot for close contact. She placed a gentle hand in the middle of Peter’s back and crumpled the fabric of his t-shirt in her fist. It used to bother Peter when she did that; she wrinkled all of his shirts. But in time he grew to realize that it was her way of holding onto him, keeping him close. When she didn’t want true contact she’d just hold onto him like that. Like she didn’t want to be coddled, but she still wanted physical reassurance that he was nearby. 

“Are you alright?” MJ asked carefully. Peter’s nightmares were always rough, but some days they were too much to talk about. She never forced him to talk if he didn’t want to.

“Yeah. I’m okay.” 

“Do you wanna talk about it?” 

“Nothing to talk about. Don’t even remember it.” 

Those were the worst, sometimes. The dreams he couldn’t remember. Not even knowing what had terrified him so badly that he had to force himself awake. “You go back to bed. I’m gonna grab a glass of water. I’ll be in soon.”

She tugged on his shirt one last time and turned toward the door. “Whenever you’re ready. But just so you know, the sooner we go to sleep, the sooner we get to wake up and put on those dumb Big Hero 6 t-shirts I bought us.” 

“Well then by all means, let’s go to sleep.”