Being a superhero wasn't easy and being a teenaged superhero was harder still. Calculus, Trigonometry, English Lit and then fighting the bad guys stupid enough to wander in front of them on patrols. And that didn't even start to take the collection of magazines stuffed into the side pocket of his Mom's armchair.
Gossip rags with blurry pictures of him and the team with badly written articles discussing who he was seeing this week. Didn't seem to matter to them that they were wrong. He'd half written out an answer to one particularly dim columnist who seemed to change her mind half way down the page. On page seventeen, they decided it would be best if he didn’t go out with Hawkeye anymore because her costume clashed with his cloak. Who thought of these things?
The Gay City News – picked up by his mom to show how supportive she was about the whole ‘I like boys’ thing - was divided between Patriot and Speed. Which was just … ew! Hulkling was conspicuously missing from their polls. And it was that single thing that upset Billy most. It looked like the entire world thought that anyone on the team was more suited for him than his current boyfriend.
And now he was grounded thanks to a stupid photographer who’d chosen to stalk him. Eli hadn’t been impressed when Billy had made the guys camera blow up in his hand. Why couldn’t they just leave him alone? Or follow someone else.
A tap on his window pulled him from his thoughts and he turned to see Teddy sitting on a branch smiling at him. Billy hurried over to the window, unlatching it and helping Teddy in. They tripped and fell on the bed, laughing.
“You okay?” Teddy asked, pushing a strand of hair off Billy’s face and tucking it behind his ear.
“Yeah, I guess,” Billy caught his hand, holding it against his cheek. “Just… I dunno. How was patrol tonight?”
Teddy grinned, “Dunno. Kinda thought that my boyfriend needed the company more than I needed to hook up with Eli.”
Billy blushed and cuddled in closer, “I have the best boyfriend in the world.”
Teddy smiled, “Yup. Besides, this week is Kate’s red week. She’s dragging the rest of them through the park to hunt muggers. Eli’s already put his foot in it a couple of times.”
“So you’re escaping then?”
“A little, but I really did want to see you,” Teddy assured him. “It’s not like you to lose your temper like that. I’m worried, babe. What’s goin’ on?”
“I’m probably being stupid,” Billy started. “It’s just… My mom gets loads of magazines every week and you know how they cover people like Cap and Spiderman and all the real heroes and start watching who they’re seeing and start guessing stuff about them?”
“Yeah,” Teddy frowned.
Billy pulled out one of the worst magazines – there was only so much he could bear his Mom cooing over the photos, and it wasn’t as if this one wasn’t fuzzy but still… - and handed it to Teddy, saying that he was going down to grab sodas and chips.
When he came back, Teddy was still flicking through the pages, frowning as he read the ridiculous comments.
“This is what’s been worrying you?” Teddy asked, putting the magazine aside.
“And the guy in the park?”
He nodded again.
Teddy took the drinks and food from his boyfriend and pulled him down, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Just seemed a little… weird, I guess.” Billy ran a hand through his hair, “I can’t come out today because I’m not sure that the guy standing on the street corner is a homeless guy looking for change or if he’s hiding a camera under his coat.”
“You know, we could talk to someone about this, see if there’s anything we can do to get around it.” Teddy said, thoughtfully.
Billy sighed, “Yeah, and what page of the yellow pages should I start on?”
Teddy smirked, shifting to get his cellphone out of his pocket. Flipping it open, he scrolled through the numbers until he got to the one he wanted.
“Who are you…?” Billy asked but was stopped as Teddy held up a finger.
“Hi, yeah, I was wondering if I could ask a favor. I have a friend with a media problem,” he paused to listen, “Yeah, that’s him. Would you mind dropping by the hideout tomorrow night?”
Billy pulled at the arm holding the phone, trying to drag it down far enough to see the name on the screen but Teddy just switched hands and stole a kiss before going back to talking.
“That’s great. I’ll make sure he’s there,” he nodded, “Thank you, Mr. Parker.”
Billy froze, his eyes wide. He watched Teddy click his phone shut and smile down at him.
“Mr. Parker?” Billy asked, “As in Peter Parker? As in Spiderman? You just called Spiderman to ask for a favor?”
“Billy,” Teddy shifted on the bed until he was facing Billy. Teddy took his face in his hands and let their foreheads touch, “This is worrying you. I could help. It’s okay, right?”
Billy nodded, “Yeah, it’s… It’s brilliant. What did I do to deserve you?”
Teddy smiled, “You wandered in and rocked my world!”
Billy tried to hold back the smirk but failed, “That’s just so corny.”
Crinkling his nose, Teddy grinned, “Yeah, kinda is, isn’t it?”
Billy shook his head and just pushed Teddy backwards until he was on his back before leaning in and taking advantage of him. His finger traced over the piercings along the side of Teddy’s ear, making his boyfriend moan. Billy leaned in and kissed him. He felt Teddy’s arms wrap around him, holding him close as the kiss was returned.
There were no sneaking journalists here, no paparazzi. Just Teddy and his fantastic arms, making him feel safe again. Damn, but his boyfriend was the best boyfriend on this planet or any other. Now all he had to do was work out a really good way to say ‘Thanks’ and he had just the thing in mind!