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should've left our love in the gutter

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Harry doesn’t do complicated, and Peter understands that. It’s just a little harder to wrap his head around when Harry is dropping to his knees and unbuttoning his jeans like there’s a prize to find underneath. Right now, Peter is just so fucking glad his suit is in his backpack and not under his clothes.

Peter’s mind races with a million thoughts--many questioning whether he should be doing this--but when Harry has wrapped his lips around his cock, Peter doesn’t really know how to stop this. Maybe he doesn’t want to.

He doesn’t thread his fingers through Harry’s hair, despite the urge he has to do so. Harry looks up, meeting his eyes, and it’s obscene how pleased he seems with himself. He’s really fucking good at this.

Coming down from his orgasm, Peter goes to return the favor, but Harry waves him off. “I can take care of myself, Parker,” Harry says, grinning and licking his lips, “but thanks for the offer.”

“Uh. Thanks,” Peter tells him, and it’s extremely awkward--maybe just on his side, because Harry seems wholly unaffected by the whole thing.

He feels worse because Harry laughs at him then. “Look, don’t worry about it. In fact…” Harry’s smirk could kill. “Just forget I ever sucked your cock, Pete.”

The brazen way he says it, the emphasis he applies, it echoes through Peter’s mind. He’s very glad he gets to leap off of buildings, although doing so isn’t quite the relief he wishes it was.

~

Peter checks in on Gwen--if stalking her from the rooftops can be called that, he isn’t trying to invade her privacy, just, you know, make sure she’s okay--but he doesn’t tell her.

Really, what’s he supposed to say? “I want to be with you but I shouldn’t and maybe I hooked up with Harry Osborn”?

That’s horrible, even for him. Besides, they’re...whatever they are. He’s not with her. He’s not with Harry, either.

The whole thing is confusing.

~

Peter goes to see Harry in his apartment, just to talk, to comfort him about his father, and ends up making out with him on the couch. He isn’t even sure how it happened.

Harry seems scared and desperate and a little bit vicious and completely on top of him and Peter doesn’t know what’s wrong anymore but he wants to make it better.

Harry is great at this kissing thing. Harry is great at grinding his body against Peter’s while he kisses him.

Harry makes this little noise and it’s so fucking hot that Peter has to decide very quickly whether he should stop or ruin his spider suit.

~

Peter’s hands are larger, so it only makes sense when he takes both of them into one, his strokes messy and his rhythm lacking. It’s the first time they’ve made it to the bed, however, so that’s gotta be worth something. They’ve even managed to get their clothes off.

Harry is straddling him, head tilted back, but he smirks down at Peter soon enough. His hand moves to join Peter’s. “Follow my lead,” he says, and Peter allows Harry to guide him, their hands stroking them together in time.

Peter bites his lip and squeezes his eyes shut and Harry chuckles.

“Better, right?” Harry says with such annoying confidence that Peter flips them over--which is very impressive in ease to someone who doesn’t know he has powers--and Harry lets out a surprised little gasp, but then he laughs and Peter laughs, too.

Harry is the one that starts them back up, that closes his eyes rather than make eye contact and Peter comes, spilling onto his chest and stomach a second before Harry is doing the same.

They both pant, Peter hovering over Harry, but then Harry gives him a shove and he rolls to the side.

Harry disappears for a moment, coming back with a washcloth in his hand and a cigarette between his lips.

“Thanks,” Peter murmurs, cleaning himself up as Harry seems to have already done.

Harry just hums in response.

“Well...I better get home,” Peter says, standing up.

Harry is as nonchalant as possible as he smokes his cigarette. “You can stay.”

Peter looks at him, eyebrow raised.

“I’m not kicking you out, Peter.” He laughs and Peter sees the tension there anyway.

“Okay,” he says, thinking he’ll call Aunt May in a little while.

He forgets, of course, falling asleep on Harry’s probably thousand thread count sheets.

Harry watches him for a while, just smoking and thinking. He scratches idly at his neck and winces. He still hasn't found a solution for his condition, for the disease he refuses to let be his downfall. He remembers how his father looked before he died and shudders. That’s not going to be him. It can’t be.

Eventually, he nods off, and he’s surprised when he wakes up. Peter is next to him in his bed, long legs tangled around one of his. Harry honestly hadn’t expected him to stay this long; he isn’t sure how he feels about it. After all, it’s rare for someone to actually want to stay.

Carefully, he stretches his arm out and then has to wriggle a little farther so that he can grab his phone. There’s a message from Felicia reminding him that there’s a board meeting in forty-five minutes and asking if he needs anything. Harry glances at Peter and tells her to bring up two coffees.

There’s a knock on the door and, light as it is, it has Peter making gasping sounds as he’s pulled from sleep. “Holy shit, what time is it?” His breathing is loud and he scrubs a hand over his face as he tries to wake up, searching for his phone rather unsuccessfully.

Harry, meanwhile, has gone to let Felicia in, although he leads her back to the bedroom as Peter calls him.

“Harry, do you know where my-- Ah!” Peter, for some reason, crosses his arms over his chest to protect his dignity and Felicia smirks, having to suppress a chuckle. He’s still half-covered by the sheet. “Hello, woman I’ve never met. I’m completely naked.” Peter glances warily between Felicia and Harry.

Felicia looks to Harry, who nods, and hands Peter one of the coffees before she gives Harry the other. “I apologize, sir,” she tells Harry. “I should’ve waited in the other room.”

Harry waves her off.

“Hey, I-- I--” Peter grabs Felicia’s wrist to stare at her watch. “Is that the time?”

“Yes--”

Shit. I gotta go. Aunt May is gonna--” He suddenly looks down at the coffee in his hand and has the common decency to smile at Felicia. “Thank you.” He turns to Harry. “Where-- pants--” He doesn’t even finish the sentence, just raises an eyebrow and leaves his mouth hanging open.

Harry pulls a rumpled mass of clothing out from under an almost equally rumpled comforter on the floor.

Although she doesn’t want to, Felicia turns away while Peter quickly dresses. “Would you like me to leave?”

“It’s fine,” Harry says and Peter doesn’t even seem to process words in general.

Peter finally straightens up, his shoes half-on. He glances between Harry and Felicia, back to Harry. “This was-- Uh. Yeah.”

“Goodbye, Peter,” Harry says, and Peter has only just noticed how put-together Harry looks.

Peter nods and seems to glance almost regretfully at the window before grabbing his bag and heading out the door.

It takes everything in her for Felicia to not mention how weird it all is.

~

It comes as a shock when Gwen tells Peter she might be moving. He’s still carrying a ridiculous torch for her, the belief that somehow they’re going to work it out and end up together. The massive amount of flirting seems to indicate she just might be feeling the same way. He doesn’t even think about Harry. To be fair, Harry isn’t thinking about him either, not that Peter knows it. Harry is thinking about the curse and Peter is thinking about Gwen and Max is thinking about the grid, apparently.

So there’s the incident.

The fight with Max--that is his name--didn’t need to happen, not really. Peter isn’t all there when he needs to be, thinking about Gwen’s news as he simultaneously attempts talking Max down. He doesn’t think anything past this, but then the guy takes the shot and things all just...go horribly wrong.

Max is angry--hurt--and Peter is fighting for his own life as well as the lives of the people in Times Square.

It all happens so fast and he wins, but it’s not the good kind of victory. In fact, it’s pretty bad.

There’s too much going on and he’s still thinking about Gwen, even as he finds himself swinging up to Harry’s penthouse.

~

Peter is fumbling with the condom as Harry whines.

“Come on, Peter. Do you think I’m this rich so that I can wait for people to fuck me?”

Peter huffs a laugh. “Do you really think grinding against me is making this process any easier?”

“Why are you talking and not fucking me?”

“Geez. One sec, I just gotta--” He guides himself in and then lets gravity do half the work as Harry slides down onto him. “Better?” he asks, holding the other man up against the wall.

Harry is breathing hard, his cock leaking against Peter’s stomach, but all he says is, “I shouldn’t be able to form sentences, Parker.”

“Are you this whiny during sex, like, all the time?” Peter asks, angling his hips, letting their bodies adjust to one another before he begins to move.

“Only when I’m kept waiting,” Harry assures none-too-convincingly, but his hands grip Peter’s shoulders, blunt nails biting into the skin.

“So that’s how it is?” Peter raises an eyebrow.

“That’s how it is,” Harry returns. His smirk is a bit less convincing with his eyes glazing over and his face flushed.

Peter chuckles into his hair. “Alright,” he says. “As long as we’re clear.”

Harry wriggles against him, trying to fuck himself onto Peter’s cock. “Are you punishing me?” he asks, petulant.

“Nah.” Peter’s nose brushes the tip of Harry’s ear. “Just waiting for you to shut up.” He doesn’t want to hurt Harry, but if he fucks him a little harder than a human should, Harry doesn’t seem to mind.

“Jesus, Peter,” Harry gasps and Peter grins. “Decent start. Now fuck me like you mean it.”

Peter undulates his hips teasingly slow. “Oh, yeah? Like this?”

“Parker, I swear to God--” Peter kisses him and Harry kisses back ravenously, uncaring of teeth, all energy that has Peter fucking him instinctively to sounds of muffled moans.

Peter sticks his foot partway up the wall for better leverage and has to break the kiss, resting his forehead against Harry’s. He moves one hand from Harry’s ass to stroke his cock.

“I’m not grading you on effort, Peter.” He bites Peter’s bottom lip harshly and Peter hisses.

“Yeah?” Peter asks between breaths. “Maybe you should.” He fucks into Harry on just the wrong side of too much--can tell by the way Harry whimpers--but he doesn’t let up because Harry starts keening and his body starts trembling and all the words seem trapped in his throat.

Fractured syllables spill from Harry’s lips in between gasps and Peter would tease if he had the ability to focus on more than the act of fucking Harry.

Harry’s entire body goes rigid and Peter slows to feel the way Harry pulses around him, coming on his hand and stomach.

“Fuck, Peter,” Harry says, and his voice is hoarse and Peter doesn’t know why that’s what does him in, but it is.

Slowly, Peter lets him down.

“I need a cigarette,” Harry says, wincing.

“Those things’ll kill ya.” Peter is catching his breath. Something about Harry really takes it out of him. He rests his head back against the wall, eyes shut, but slits them open at the sound of the lighter.

“I’m dying anyway,” Harry says, and Peter watches Harry’s cheeks as he inhales, the cherry red glow of the cigarette, the plume of smoke.

Peter has to turn away.

~

“I’m sorry I didn’t take you to the Bahamas of hiding places,” Gwen says and they’re stuck in this tiny closet together and his senses are filled with the sight of her, her scent, her everything.

It’s so familiar, so easy, to do it--and so he does. He kisses her like he kissed her a thousand times before.

It’s Gwen.

There’s a real problem though. A Spider-Man kind of problem that has nothing to do with the conflicting feelings of Peter Parker and everything to do with the man who now seems to be more electricity than flesh and blood.

The man who has quite suspiciously disappeared from all records and, it seems, the world at large.

Peter will figure something out. He’s sure he’ll meet Max again, and he’ll be prepared for whatever that means. Just in case.

~

Harry is dying. Actually dying.

He’s dying and Peter doesn’t even know what to tell him.

There’s a chance he could save him, but the last time he tried to figure out a way to help the world, he instead helped turn a brilliant scientist into a giant lizard man.

Sure, if he injects Harry with his blood, he’s pretty sure Harry won’t turn into a lizard, but it has all the signs of another good deed that would go horribly awry. He can’t risk that.

Harry says he understands if Peter doesn’t want to keep doing this...whatever it is they keep doing, although his demands for Spider-Man’s assistance are still rather adamant.

Peter tells him he likes him. They still define nothing.

Peter tells him that he’ll let Spider-Man know. Like he’s really going to do something.

Peter wants to save him so badly. And maybe save and fuck go hand in hand in this case.

~

Peter has been having a difficult time with the whole Gwen thing. He didn’t mean to keep her from her interview, but he was freaking out. Who would be there for him? Who knew his secret? Gwen is busy. He gets it. He decides what to do on his own when he probably shouldn’t have.

His--Spider-Man’s--visit to Harry goes worse than he expects it to and he can see how angry Harry is, how the anger hides his terror. He had looked so hopeful when Spider-Man had shown up in his apartment.

When Harry had offered him anything for a cure, Peter had one brief, horrible moment in which he imagined taking advantage of that offer, taking advantage of Harry.

He’s a good person though. He knows that refusing to give Harry his blood was and still is the right choice. But he can hear the glass shatter. He can hear Harry sobbing.

His heart breaks.

~

Gwen has yet more news to help tear Peter’s world down around him.

“You got it,” Peter says, eyes widening. “That’s...great.” He shakes his head, smiling. “Really, Gwen. That’s amazing.”

“You’re not just saying that?” she asks skeptically.

“I’m really not,” Peter says. He puts his hands on her shoulders. “I mean, wow.”

“You’re totally freaking out, aren’t you?”

“Only kinda,” Peter assures her.

She hugs him and he thinks of Harry’s disease and of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May and his father’s subway car.

There’s got to be something he can take some control over.

~

Peter takes down a few petty thugs and starts swinging towards Harry’s apartment, but he stops himself.

Facing Harry after what had happened, after finding himself so unable to help and seeing the effect of it all on Harry. Peter should be there for him. He’s Harry’s friend or...whatever.

Peter should stop being so scared when he knows Harry could probably use the comfort, but he freezes. He heads back to Aunt May’s instead and looks through his dad’s old stuff, wonders what happened to Max.

He promises himself that he’ll try to help Harry. Later.

~

Peter goes to Gwen.

Dealing with genetically-altered humans who go crazy on the city is currently the easiest thing he has to deal with.

“So,” Peter starts, “what do we know?”

“That guy from the other night is Max Dillon.”

“Max. Yes.” Peter nods. “Okay. What else?”

“They’re covering it up.”

“And they’re pinning it on me,” Harry interrupts and the two look over to see him in the doorway.

“Harry--”

“They had me removed from my own fucking building,” he says.

Gwen and Peter share a look, each gesticulating as nonchalantly as possible--but actually quite blatantly--about how he had gotten in, much less found them in the first place.

“I had never even heard of this guy.” Harry paces.

Gwen clears her throat. “Not many people have. That’s why it was so easy for them to cover up to begin with.” She laughs rather nervously. “I wonder if they framed you for it because I looked him up. They knew that I knew.”

“It was just a good excuse,” Harry says, jaw tensing.

Peter has been watching the two of them with some relief that he’s never officially been employed by Oscorp--his work with Dr. Curtis Conners thankfully off the record. “What are we gonna do? Do we tell the police?”

Gwen and Harry look at him like he’s the crazy one and he holds up his hands.

Harry bites his lip. “They’ve got Max in Ravencroft.”

“Hold on.” Gwen pulls her tablet from her bag and puts it on the table. “I might’ve”--she winces, carefully not looking at Harry--“managed to snag a few blueprints from the Oscorp database.” She flips through files until she finds Ravencroft. “Do you know where he is in here?” She glances up to see Harry leaning over, examining the image, but there’s something there, behind the collar of his jacket, and her face screws up in concern. “Harry…” She hesitates, fingers curling into a fist to keep from reaching out. “Are you alright?”

Harry shifts his shoulders, repositions his clothing to hide his disease. “No,” he says, “but that can wait.”

Peter parts his lips, wants to say something--anything, like that they’ll figure it out--but he doesn’t want to lie again. No matter how much he wants it to be true and how much he wants to save Harry, he doesn’t know. So he looks to where Harry points. “What are we gonna do with him once we get him out? I assume we’re getting him out.”

Harry shrugs and Gwen looks at him. “You almost got through to him. If they hadn’t--” She makes a face. “I think you can do it.”

Harry looks between them, like there’s something they aren’t telling him. The worst part is that it’s true.

“I lied to you, Harry,” Peter says.

“Peter--” Gwen’s eyes have gone very wide.

“If we’re doing this as, you know, a team, he’s got a right to know.” Peter taps his fingers on the table. “You know how you asked me if I knew Spider-Man?” he says.

Harry nods. He isn’t certain where this is going, but he has his suspicions.

Peter swallows. “Well.” He smiles but it’s more of a grimace. “I am Spider-Man.”

There’s total silence as Harry stares at Peter and Gwen holds her breath. She’s about to say something--anything so long as it breaks this awkward tension--but then Harry takes a swing at Peter and Peter catches him by the wrist.

“Whoa, Har--” Peter’s eyes are pleading. “I’m sorry.”

“I trusted you, Peter. I--” His expression shutters off and he looks Peter in the eye only to say, “Let go.”

“Harry…” Gwen bites her lip. “Look, he’s an asshole, I know. But he can’t just...tell everyone he’s Spider-Man. You and me, we’re the only people that know.” Harry is avoiding her gaze, but she gets into his space until he can’t anymore. “Sorry, Harry. Working together as a team is the best option for us right now. You can...I don’t know...beat him up later?” She shrugs.

Harry raises an eyebrow.

“You have my permission,” Gwen suggests, and Peter winces.

Harry’s expression is stony. “I need to talk to you, Parker. Now.”

Peter glances from Harry to Gwen and back again. “Give us, like, two seconds?”

Gwen’s answering pout is accompanied by her leaving of the room.

“You lied.”

Peter purses his lips. “Look, what do you want me to say?”

Harry is furious and something about it has Peter’s spider sense tingling. “You know, I’m used to people lying to me. I know we aren’t together”--Harry practically spits the word--“but you didn’t seem like the kind of guy who would use me. I thought we were friends.” He chuckles, but it’s a dry, hollow sound. “Guess I was wrong.”

Peter wants to hold him but he knows it wouldn’t be appreciated right now. “We are. We’re friends, we’re--” He shrugs. “I care about you, Harry.”

“I guess it doesn’t matter if you lie to me now, right? You’re letting me die anyway.”

“Harry--” He tries to reach out, but Harry pulls away. “Har. I promise, okay? I promise, after this, we’re gonna do--whatever. Whatever it takes to fix you, alright?”

Harry steps up close and Peter can feel Harry breathing, the warmth of Harry’s body so close to his own. “Why should I trust you now?”

Peter has to very purposely keep himself still, everything in him screaming about how normally getting this close to Harry means he should be fucking kissing him by now. “We need each other on this, Harry. Please? Why would I want you to die?”

Harry looks like he has an answer that Peter doesn’t want to hear and Peter does kiss him then. Even though Harry pushes him away a second later, he thinks it might’ve actually helped.

They have a silent conversation, all through eyes and subtle shifts in their expressions, but Peter is pretty sure it’s settled. “I’ll go get Gwen,” he says.

~

The break-in goes pretty well, all things considered.

Harry demands to be shown in and tases a couple of guards, to Peter’s horror. He has to remind himself that the guards will be fine even as he thinks it must be impossible.

There are alarms sounding and Peter is pretty sure anyone who sees Spider-Man with Harry Osborn--Gwen is busy being the brains of their operation--can put two and two together but he very much hopes that they don’t. Harry helps him take down the rest of the people in the lab where they have Max, webbing and tasing security and scientists alike.

Then, there’s just them. And Max.

“Holy shit,” Peter says, staring into the tank. He looks over to Harry to find that Harry isn’t responding because he’s too busy releasing Max from his watery prison. “Wait-- but--” He sighs, spider sense buzzing like crazy, as he stands in front of the tank. “Okay,” he murmurs. “Let’s see how this goes.”

Max’s eyes snap open. “Spider-Man.” He doesn’t sound grateful. He sounds very much the opposite of grateful.

“Hiya,” Peter tries with a little wave and before he can totally panic, Harry is stepping in front of him.

“Do you know who I am?”

Max is reluctant to take his eyes off Spider-Man, but he eventually replies. “You’re Harry Osborn.”

“We’re here to save you, Max,” Harry says, and he’s taken command so thoroughly that Peter is already deferring to him.

Peter nods in agreement and Max looks between them.

“And why should I trust you?”

“You’re proof,” Harry tells the possibly deranged man-shaped electricity.

Peter is in full-on containment mode in less than a second. “This is proof,” he says. “Of-- of what happened. Of what they did to you. Max, I’m sorry. I know… I know that probably doesn’t mean a lot to you right now, but it’s true. I want to help you. We want to help you.”

Max is staring at Harry now. “How can you help me?”

“What do you want?” Harry returns.

Max looks down and away. “My… my grid. Smythe stole the idea from me.”

“The electricity grid,” Harry says, understanding completely. “You want recognition.”

Peter is getting antsy. “Shouldn’t we be, you know, making like a tree?” No one so much as glances at him. “Leaving? We should be leaving.”

“Can you give that to me?” Max asks. He pauses, vulnerability bleeding through. “Can you help me?”

Harry nods. “I promise you, Max. As soon as I get my company back, I will do everything in my power to help you.”

“What do you need from me?”

Harry opens his mouth and Peter is certain he won’t like Harry’s answer, so he cuts in. “Nothing,” he says quickly. “Just...um. Don’t hurt anyone.”

~

The Oscorp board members may have framed Harry, but the evidence Gwen and Harry manage to dig up is rather damning. Harry gets his company back and Max gets recognition for his work.

More importantly, Max gets help. Harry makes sure the scientists of Oscorp are extremely motivated and Peter never wants to know what that means.

~

Peter enlists Gwen for help to save Harry. He isn’t sure he should tell Harry all that he knows, about his father’s influence on the spiders and thus his identity of Spider-Man.

He feels like he can trust Harry, but it still seems like too big of a secret to tell.

Instead, he only complains--loudly--as Gwen collects a blood sample from him. He’ll look through everything with her, he does have some experience with genetics, after all, frightening as his results had been. They’ve got the venom extractions, as well, so Gwen thinks they’re not totally hopeless. He tells her about his father and the guilt of still not telling Harry everything gnaws at him as he watches Gwen talk to Harry, swabbing his arm.

He should, he thinks, and he almost opens his mouth, but then he bites his lip instead.

He can’t.

~

Harry is panting into Peter’s mouth and Peter is gripping Harry’s hips and Peter would be bothered by the fact they’re fucking in the back of a car with a chauffeur probably listening in, but Harry said he needed him.

“Fuck, Har,” Peter says, and it’s hard to move and his foot may or may not be wedged against the window, but it’s tinted and he can pretend no one knows what they’re getting up to.

Harry wraps his legs around Peter waist and Peter fucks him like this is everything and hopes it can be, just for now.

~

Gwen is leaving soon and they’ve got nothing they can use yet.

It’s not as if there isn’t still a chance that they’ll figure it out. Peter has been working in the labs with Gwen as often as he can, but Harry is getting rather hopeless. He hasn’t demanded Peter’s blood, not since he made the connection between Peter and Curtis Conners.

Knowing that the blood won’t work has taken a toll on Harry.

~

Harry is sleeping nestled into Peter’s chest, his eyes red and puffy from sobbing.

He’s so scared of dying and when Peter sees past all of his viciousness, there’s pain. Harry doesn’t want to feel helpless and hopeless, he wants to do something, anything, that might make a difference to his mortality rate.

There’s a deep-rooted selfishness to his self-preservation, but Peter likes that Harry doesn’t give up.

Peter is thinking about this when his phone starts to buzz on the other side of Harry. Swearing silently, Peter tries to grab it without jostling Harry--who had some help from his good pal whiskey or would likely already be awake by now--and he can’t quite grip his phone so he makes do with his sticky spider fingers to pull it to him.

It’s Gwen calling.

Peter’s thumb hovers over the answer symbol and bites his lip. He debates extricating himself from Harry to take the call versus whispering and decides on the latter, if only because he thinks it might be worse for Harry to end up alone right now than to just accidentally wake him.

“Hey,” he answers, hoping the hush of his voice will send a message.

“Peter!”

He winces, then peeks at Harry: still asleep, thankfully. “What’s up, Gwen?” His fingers trail idly over the mottled skin where Harry’s neck and shoulder meet.

“I think I did it.”

He waits and she huffs a sigh.

“I synthesized a cure for Harry!” She pauses and Peter is practically biting his tongue to keep from ruining this. “I think, at least. It still needs more testing and I think that even then, we should apply it in doses--yes, I remember Dr. Conners, Peter--so don’t tell him yet, but…” He can hear her now-subdued excitement. “I think we’re going to save him. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Do you think he’ll let me write a paper on it?”

Peter is smiling despite himself. “Don’t you think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself, Stacy?”

She sighs dramatically into the phone. “Can you meet me in the lab in twenty minutes?”

Peter stares at Harry. “Uhhhh…” It’s the cure though. Maybe. The sooner they do this, the sooner Harry won’t be dying. “Yeah,” Peter says. “Okay. See you soon.”

He barely hears her reply as he ends the call and sets down his phone.

He really doesn’t want to leave, even though Harry might be drooling on him, but he needs to. So, gently, he pushes Harry's shoulder and tries to hide his grin at how adorable he finds the way Harry’s face scrunches up.

“Har,” he says softly, nudging him again.

Harry squints at him, frowning, and Peter still thinks it’s too cute, so he kisses the top of Harry’s nose. “What?” Harry asks, the gruff sort of grumpy that comes from being awoken.

“I gotta go,” Peter tells him.

Harry doesn't move, unless perhaps he burrows in further. “Why?”

He thinks about making an excuse about Spider-Man and world-saving, and he’s pretty sure Harry would believe it right now, but it is the kind of thing that can be checked.

He can’t risk telling the truth and having to dash all of Harry’s hopes all over again if it isn’t right though.

“I gotta get the groceries for Aunt May. I totally forgot and she’s gonna kill me if there’s no milk tomorrow.” The lie slips out pretty easily, considering, but Peter is still holding his breath as he waits for Harry to respond.

“Mmph.”

“I’ll be back later, Har.”

~

“Do you make money on your fucking selfies?” Harry asks, and it's only the tiniest bit strange to see him completely nude and flipping through the paper in bed. He’s eating the donuts Peter had gotten with his meager paycheck from Jameson, however, so Peter just shoves him.

“Shut up,” Peter says, but it comes out garbled since his mouth is full of maple glaze and dough.

~

“This should work,” Gwen tells Harry, careful as she administers the injection. They’re going to have to do it again, but first they have to wait.

“How long?” Harry asks, and he looks softer than he ever has to Gwen, expectant like a child hoping for praise.

Gwen flips through charts on her tablet, turns the correct one towards Harry for him to scrutinize. “Initial changes should be visible as early as twenty-four hours,” she tells him. She bites her lip. “Let me know if there’s anything unusual.”

“Got it,” Harry says, and he smiles.

Gwen isn’t sure Harry has ever genuinely smiled at her before.

~

Peter meets Gwen at the airport, giving her family the politest of greetings he can manage without accidentally saying the wrong thing.

Gwen gives her mom and her brothers hugs, telling her mother, “I’ll call you the second I get there, okay? I love you, mom.” Her lips tremble and she firms them, her eyes watering. “Now go.”

Hesitantly, her family complies and she’s left with Peter, who has been mostly silent since he got there.

“You,” she says.

Peter looks around guiltily. “Me.”

“Are you going to be okay without me?” Gwen’s eyebrow is raised and she scrutinizes him too carefully not to mean it.

“Wh-- me?” He takes a step back, waves her off. “When am I ever not?”

Peter.”

“Yes, okay? Yes, I’ll be fine.” He scrubs a hand over his hair. “But I’m gonna miss you.”

She looks at him, her lips parted like she wants to speak but he’s making this harder. After a moment, she swallows. “I’m gonna miss you, too.”

Suddenly, she’s in his arms. “Whoa. Hey now.” Peter rubs her back as he returns the embrace. “It’s not like I’m never gonna see you again.”

She pulls away to look him in the eye. “Don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone?” He starts to nod and she squeezes his arms. “Promise me, Peter.”

“I promise.” She doesn’t let up. “I promise you that I will try not to do anything stupid, alright?”

She sighs long-sufferingly. “I suppose that’s the best I’m gonna get out of you.”

He shrugs. “I got a responsibility.”

She nods tersely. “I know.”

They’re calling for her flight and Peter doesn’t want to let go, has to pry himself away, but she stops him.

“Just because I’m not here doesn’t mean I’m not a part of your life, okay, Peter? Call me. If you need...anything.”

“Well, long-distance rates what they are--”

“Peter, I mean it.”

He nods, bites his lip. “I know you do, Gwen.”

“And, Peter?” she says, hesitating. “I’m glad you have Harry. I’m glad you have a friend.” She shakes her head slightly and she’s walking away.

Peter bites his lip and swipes at his eyes, but he lets her go.

~

Harry is holding the needle and Peter stares at him for a moment before he processes the sight.

“I can do it,” Peter offers.

Harry looks wary of the idea, of giving one more person control over his life, but he finally nods. “Yeah. Thanks, Peter.”

It’s intimate in a way Peter can’t explain and he has to keep himself from shaking as he administers the injection.

Harry is getting better.

Even his neck looks better.

~

Dinner is a time Peter can feel normal, sitting with his Aunt May and just enjoying being home. It’s nice.

“Did you get an apartment closer to school?” May asks him. She knows he can’t afford that--he can barely afford instant ramen half the time--but Peter knows what she’s asking.

Peter tries to hide the fact that he chokes at her question. “Oh, yeah. Uh. Something like that. Just...staying at a friend’s place sometimes, you know.”

“It’s just that you haven’t come home in days, Peter. If you’re getting too old to keep living with your poor, old aunt, I understand, but I worry.”

It’s this that has Peter realizing he’s spent the last week either fighting crime or at Harry’s--mostly the latter, in fact. The guilt crawls in his throat and he nods.

~

“I saw a picture of you in the paper today, Peter.”

“Of me or--”

“Of you. Peter Parker,” she clarifies and there’s something unreadable in her tone.

“Oh?” Peter asks, biting into his apple. “Don’t leave me hangin’ here, Stacy.”

Gwen huffs into the phone. “I just don’t know why you didn’t tell me, Peter.”

Peter is still confused. “Tell you what?”

She sighs.

“No, really. I have no idea what you’re talking about. What was in the paper?” He glances around and notices a few of the other students looking at him. “I’m startin’ to get real nervous here.”

“Peter.” Her voice sounds exasperated. “There. I just sent you a link. Don’t you have class?”

“Wh-- yeah. Hey! You called me.” He glances down at his phone and watches the call end. He sneaks into the back of his class and the professor doesn’t look at him, so he considers it a win. Not looking is not glaring, after all.

Pretending to pay attention to the lecture for all of two seconds, Peter checks his email and sees, true to her word, something from Gwen labeled only “THIS”--which still tells him nothing.

He glances up and shrinks down in his seat, having made accidental eye contact with his professor. He’s clicked the link but it’s still loading and he’s shaking his foot because, really, why would--

“Oh,” he breathes, flipping his phone over and letting his head fall on the desk. Slowly, he lifts the edge of his phone to peek and lets it fall again with a groan.

“Mr. Parker?”

He looks up at his professor, certain his face is bright red. “Yes?”

“Was there something you didn't understand?”

He shakes his head. “No, ma’am.”

She stares at him for a second before moving on and he wonders if she’s seen it, too.

This time, when he looks at his phone, at least he can appreciate that it’s a cute picture...of him kissing Harry. Harry’s sunglasses are ridiculous and his head is tilted up. He bites his lip to keep down the hysterical laughter that threatens to burst out of him.

He’s not at all surprised when his phone buzzes again and it’s an email from Jameson. He does, however, choose to ignore it.

~

“So…” Peter starts and hears May sigh.

“What is it, Peter? Sorry, it’s not that I don’t love hearing from you but I’m running late for a shift at the hospital.”

“I was thinking about coming over. For dinner.”

“Of course--you’re welcome any time, honey. It’s still your home even if you aren’t here most of the time.”

“With a...friend.”

Aunt May pauses for a second. “I see. And would this friend happen to have a name?”

“Harry,” Peter tells her.

“Osborn?” She doesn’t sound surprised. “And is he the so-called friend you’ve been staying with?”

Peter blushes--not that she can see it through the phone. “Well, yeah. Maybe.”

“Tomorrow night?” she asks, and he hears her murmuring an apology to someone on her side of the line.

“Great. Is there anything I should-- or, you know, we should--”

“Please, Peter. Just bring him over. I’ll cook.”

~

Peter swallows around Harry’s cock and Harry’s hips jerk. “Fuck, Peter,” he breathes. “You have gotten way better at this.”

Peter wants to smirk but his mouth is otherwise occupied. He flicks his tongue against the underside instead and Harry’s fingers grip his hair possessively.

Peter palms his own cock to relieve himself just the tiniest bit and then Harry’s talking. “Do it,” he says. “Touch yourself.” Peter glances up to see Harry’s teeth scrape over his bottom lip. “I want to see you get off on sucking my dick, Parker.”

Peter groans around him, doing his best to keep going with one hand holding Harry’s hip now and the other struggling with the fly of his jeans. He finally frees his cock, jerking himself off as Harry practically fucks his mouth.

~

Harry’s eyes are wide as he stares down the door.

“You’re nervous?” Peter asks with a laugh. “To see my Aunt May?” He shakes his head.

“Shut up,” Harry snaps defensively.

“Oh, yeah?” Peter runs his tongue over his bottom lip. “Gonna make me?”

They lean in almost at the same time to--

“Peter?” The door creaks as May opens the door. She wipes her hands on her apron and smiles. “I thought I heard your voice.”

Peter nods shakily. They’re a foot or so apart now, startled. “Hey. Hi.” He walks up to his aunt and wraps his arms around her in a hug she enthusiastically returns.

Harry hangs back, not wanting to intrude on the moment, but soon enough, May is turning her attention towards him. “Harry, right? Haven’t seen you since you were just a little boy,” she says, and he starts to offer his hand, but she pulls him into a hug, as well.

“Mrs. Parker,” he greets, with a respectful nod and a smile once she’s let him go.

She waves her hand dismissively. “Please, call me May. What’s it been, ten years?” She glances between them. “Oh, what am I doing,” she says, smacking herself on the forehead. “You boys look like you’re starving. Come, come.”

Peter grins, and even though it’s a bit forced, it helps. He heads in.

“I still think I should’ve brought something,” Harry mutters, nearly stumbling to keep up with Peter’s longer strides.

“Nah. She’d have been insulted. Trust me.”

Harry just huffs.

May asks Peter about school and they discuss the neighbors and the weather and tease each other good-naturedly. “Oh, stop it, Peter,” May says, but she’s laughing.

Harry watches them as if he’s never seen a family before. He clears his throat and straightens his fork.

“So, you and Peter are seeing each other?” May says, and Harry nearly chokes.

Peter nods, clears his throat. “Yeah.” He forces a smile. “That’s kinda why we’re here.”

“You two were so close when you were kids... He seems like he’s grown up to be a nice young man, Peter,” she says, “if nervous. Nothing at all like the tabloids--not that I read them.”

Harry smirks at that and Peter’s mouth opens and closes. “Yeah. He’s alright,” Peter says, his foot nudging Harry’s under the table and his expression turning genuine.

“As I’m sure you know, Peter is quite the charmer,” Harry returns.

Hey!”

May laughs and Harry grins and they share a moment of Peter’s embarrassment like a new bond.

~

“Drumroll, please,” Peter says, and Harry just raises an eyebrow so he does it himself.

Harry stares at the coffee maker, at Peter. “Why?”

“You love coffee. Well, you love anything with addictive properties and caffeine happens to be one of them.” Peter grins, but when Harry continues to stare at him, it starts to fall. “Come on, Har. It’s a...a gesture, alright?” He scratches his head. “A thank you for coming to my Aunt May’s for dinner.”

“I feel like somebody’s boyfriend,” Harry mutters and Peter grabs his shoulders.

“Hey.” Peter pauses, stares Harry straight in the eye. “You are somebody’s boyfriend,” he assures with a smile.

Something strange tightens around Harry’s heart. He doesn’t know what it is or what to say. Instead, he approaches the coffee maker cautiously. “How do I use it?”

Peter scoffs. “Are you serious right now?” When Harry’s only response is to stare back at him, Peter sighs in amusement. “Here, I’ll show you.”

“But Felicia brings me coffee,” Harry protests half-heartedly.

Peter gives him a hard stare. “Felicia’s seen me naked. Multiple times, Harry.”

“I’ll deduct it from her bonus,” Harry says and Peter doesn’t respond.

There’s something nice in the simplicity--domesticity, even--of Peter teaching him to use the coffee maker that he kind of likes. He especially likes the fond exasperation of Peter’s voice when he answers Harry’s very purposely obtuse questions.

~

Peter goes home to his aunt’s house fairly often--which is fine, for the most part. Harry is used to being alone. He doesn’t tell Peter that he gets lonely now, he only clings to him tighter when he’s there, as if his subconscious has started getting desperate for Peter’s presence.

Each time Peter leaves, he comes back with more of his stuff. At first, it’s little things--his toothbrush, underwear, a jacket--but slowly more and more of his belongings find themselves tucked away amongst Harry’s and it seems that more and more Peter is spending his nights there when he’s not out fighting crime.

It’s so natural a progression, Harry doesn’t think to question it, just comes to expect Peter to be there or to sneak in and wrap himself around Harry if Harry is sleeping, to drag Harry to bed if he’s not. Sometimes they make dinner at 3 AM and Peter is sporting a new shiner as he falls asleep on the couch with his mouth open.

He still goes to May’s, sometimes, but usually he leaves a note. Harry has found that sleeping without Peter has become strange. At first, he thought it would be nice--to have his own space now that he’s comfortable with assuming Peter will be back, although the fear of why Peter might not be coming back lingers, but sprawling across the bed and staying up all night alone… They’re bitter sorts of rebellion against the life he’s become accustomed to.

“Honey, I’m home!” Peter calls, and Harry can hear him shrugging off his bag and jacket. “Where’s my dinner?” he mocks, his feet shuffling down the hallway.

Harry whistles but doesn’t look up from his tablet.

Peter finds Harry in the bedroom and holds up a box, “Guess who brought home those pierogi you love.”

Harry holds out one grabby hand as his eyes scan through the information on his tablet.

Peter shakes his head. “Nuh-uh. Work can wait five minutes for you to shove food into your mouth.”

“What are you shoving in my mouth, Peter?” Harry asks. He’s set the tablet aside and has put on the perfect façade of innocence. He blinks up at Peter coquettishly and it goes straight to Peter’s cock.

“Fuck you,” Peter says with a laugh.

Harry puts a finger to his lips thoughtfully. “I suppose you could.” He looks Peter up and down, gaze pausing at Peter’s crotch as he bites his lip.

“Really?” Peter says, but Harry just blinks at him again and he doesn’t quite drop the pierogi but it’s a near thing as he scrambles to yank his shirt over his head.

Harry leans up, trailing sloppy kisses down from Peter’s chest to his abs, his fingertips just teasing along the edge of Peter’s jeans. He pulls away enough to lick his lips and his eyes meet Peter’s.

A little shiver goes through Peter. “Is that-- is that even legal?” He pushes Harry back and crawls over him, kissing Harry until the other man bucks underneath him.

Harry flips over onto his stomach and Peter grinds against his ass, earning a huff from Harry as he reaches for the lube. Peter backs off and works on divesting Harry of his pants. It’s a short struggle to get them both naked and well worth it. Peter curls around Harry’s back, his arm wedged between their bodies as his fingers work Harry open.

Harry squirms and Peter bites the crook of his neck playfully. He watches over Harry’s shoulder as the other man strokes himself, sighing to keep himself from ravaging his annoyingly hot boyfriend.

He places a kiss to Harry’s spine, his fingers slowly fucking Harry until Harry’s hand stutters on his cock. He pulls his hand free and presses himself in without a word until his cock is buried to the hilt in Harry’s ass.

They shift their bodies, Peter stretched out over Harry’s back and he fucks him languidly, one of his hands clutched in one of Harry’s and the other wrapped around Harry’s cock. It’s the deliciously lazy kind of fuck that comes from being so comfortable around each other. Harry turns his head enough to kiss Peter, his body moving in perfect sync with Peter’s.

“Harry,” Peter breathes into the side of his neck, his name sliding across his skin like a secret Peter has uncovered and kept safe between them.

Harry comes without a sound, his hand clenching Peter’s as Peter moves over him.

Peter extricates himself gently and Harry turns over, watches as Peter comes on himself with a groan.

There’s a silent intensity that they find hard to break, even after they’ve gotten themselves cleaned up, but then Harry pushes his hair away from his forehead and says, “Pierogi?”

They eat the cold pierogi in their boxer briefs out on the balcony, looking out at the lights of the city. The chill of winter has begun to set in and it isn’t their greatest idea, however.

“I’m freezing,” Harry complains, but he doesn’t go inside, just burrows into Peter’s chest.

Peter wraps an arm around him and Harry only snuggles in further.