SPOILER ALERT FOR SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING!
Several hours later at Liz’ house during the party
You sighed, taking a sip from your drink. Liz and Tracy had left you behind in the kitchen when the first guests had started to arrive. That was nearly an hour ago. So now you were here alone, surrounded by most of the people from your school. More than half of them probably didn’t even know who you were, other than the fact you hung out with Liz and Tracy. You let your eyes pass through the room, hoping to find someone you knew to talk to or just simply a kind face.
As you let your gaze pass everyone, you saw Peter and Ned approach the kitchen from the corner of your eyes. You looked at each other for a short moment and it seemed like Peter was about to say something when Flash caught both of your attention.
“Peter Parker, what’s up!” he suddenly cried out through the microphone. “Where’s your pal, Spider-Man? Let me guess: In Canada with you imaginary girlfriend?”
Everyone started laughing and you could see Peter balling his hands into fists as Flash continued.
“That’s not Spider-Man. That’s just Ned in a red shirt…”
You swallowed hard, watching Peter as he bit his teeth together, the tension in his jaw tightening. He looked determined when he turned away from Flash and quickly left the room.
“Yeah, Parker. Go get Spider-Man!” Flash called after him. “If you can find him…” he added with a laugh.
Most of your classmates joined in again and you could feel the anger rise in your chest. Even if Peter wasn’t friends with Spider-Man and he wouldn’t show up at the party, that didn’t mean they could make fun of him like this.
“You know what,” Flash continued, turning his ridicule toward you. “[Name], why don’t you help him look?”
You frowned. “What?”
“Oh, come on. Don’t play stupid with me. A little birdy told me you have quite the crush on Peter.”
“I–I don’t have a crush on Peter…” you laughed nervously, letting your eyes pass through the room. Peter had already disappeared, but with the sound system amplifying Flash’s voice, you were certain he must have heard it.
“Sure you do! [Name] is in love with Penis Parker!” Flash exclaimed into the microphone, alerting everyone to your feelings about Peter yet again. He was chanting it over and over. Your heart sank and you desperately looked around you. Every set of eyes in the room was pointed at you and even though you couldn’t hear what they were saying to each other over Flash’s annoying chant, you could see the amusement in their eyes. It would only be a minute before everyone would start laughing again.
“What? You told Flash about [Name]’s feelings for Peter?” you heard Liz ask Tracy a few feet beside you. “That’s not cool, Trace.”
“It just slipped out! He was letting me drive his father’s car and asked if I had some good gossip… I didn’t think he’d tell everyone…”
“It’s Flash,” Liz sighed. “Of course he would. [Name],” she turned to you, “ignore him. There’s nothing wrong with liking Peter. Right, Tracy?”
“Right,” she nodded quickly. “Nothing wrong with that.”
You swallowed hard, feeling the tears sting in the corner of your eyes. You didn’t know why you were crying. You weren’t a one to do so very easily, but still having the eyes of nearly the entire school on your back made you feel insecure. With everyone now knowing your secret crush – which wasn’t so secret anymore – and Peter still oblivious to it all, somehow made you feel sad.
“I’m going out for some fresh air,” you mumbled, your throat thick and your voice cracking.
“Are you alright?” Liz asked, though, you had already pushed yourself through the crowd, hearing all the whispers around you.
“They’re both geeks, they belong together…”
“Iew, gross, Peter Parker…”
“Can you imagine being called out like that? I’d die of shame...”
You swallowed your pride and quickly walked outside through the side door, taking in a deep breath of cold air. “Stupid Flash,” you mumbled to yourself, kicking at a rock in the yard. The noise of the party slowly died down as the door closed on itself and locked you out. “Great,” you sighed, knowing no one was going to hear you knock over the music. You wiped the tears that had fallen onto your cheeks from your face, cursing Flash and everyone else for being dickheads. Including Liz and Tracy.
Tracy always made fun of your feelings for Peter – even though she had once said she thought he was sort of cute – and Liz clearly just felt sorry for you that he was in love with her instead of you. A loud, angry sigh left your lungs as you walked around the building, trying to get to the garden on the other side. You’d have to climb over a fence, but Liz and you had done that several times before when you’d exceeded her father’s curfew and didn’t want him to notice you sneaking into the house.
You were ready to haul yourself over the fence using one of the garbage bins beside the house when you thought you heard a voice on the roof. You walked a few steps back and saw a young man standing near the edge, looking down on the partying youngsters inside the house through the large windows. From your place on the ground, it was almost impossible to make out who it was, let alone see the red and blue suit with the spider in the center.
“Hey,” you yelled. “What the hell are you doing up there?”
The person on the roof startled from your loud voice and stumbled backward.
“Peter?” you frowned, catching a glimpse of his dark brown orbs in the silvery blue light of the moon, before he fell from the roof. “Oh, no,” you whispered, running towards the other side of the house as fast as you could.
There was a person-like dent in the bushes beside Liz’ house and you quickly stumbled through the thick branches to make sure Peter was alright. You’d ask what the hell he was thinking later.
“Peter?” you called his name, trying to find him in the darkness of the night. “Are you alright?” You leaned closer to the hole in the bushes until you saw something move. You muffled a scream when a red masked man popped up from between the leaves.
“No Peter,” he said, his voice sounding like someone was recovering from a bad cough. “Just me.”
“Spider-Man?” you frowned. “But I thought…” you mumbled, looking up at the rooftop. You sighed, knowing it must have been your imagination. How in the world would Peter have gotten himself up there anyway? “Nevermind,” you smiled shortly, turning to him again. “You took quite the fall. Sorry if I scared you, but… What were you doing up there?”
“No need to apologize,” he shrugged it off, jumping from the bushes and helping you do the same. His weird voice sent shivers down your spine and for some reason sounded familiar. “I was just–uh–I was–uh–waiting for Peter to give me the signal,” he finally decided on an answer.
“So you do know Peter?”
“Yeah, he’s my man!” he said, the pitch of his voice changing. “I mean, we’re friends… Sort of… You know?” He cleared his throat, sounding nervous.
“Sure…” you nodded, thinking he sounded just like Peter when he’d tried to convince you they knew each other a few hours ago. “Well, I think he’s in the bathroom or something. He disappeared right before…” you swallowed hard, not sure whether to tell Spider-Man – a guy you didn’t even know and who could very well be anyone – what had just happened and how you felt about Peter.
“Right before what?” he asked, his voice sounding like a young guy again, higher-pitched than before. Whoever this Spider-Man was, he was clearly hiding something.
“Oh, never mind. They were just making fun of me…”
“Everyone, I guess,” you sighed, taking a seat on the pavement on the front of Liz’ house. You could feel the tears sting in your eyes again. Biting your lip until you could taste your own blood, you quickly tried to shrug them off. You hadn’t wanted anyone to see you cry and a stranger like Spider-Man least of all. Who knew who was really under that mask. “Shouldn’t you be getting inside?” you asked. “Peter won’t hear the end of it if you don’t show up.”
The young man before you turned his head towards the house, hearing Flash call out his name as the wind blew the noise of the party in your direction.
“Penis Parker, come out come out wherever you are! Where’s your pal, Spider-Man?”
You could hear him sigh. Though, instead of jumping back onto the rooftop and showing his face to everyone at the party, he took a seat next to you.
“Peter will be fine,” he said, taking in a deep breath before turning his attention back to you. “You, on the other hand, seem like you could use some company…”
You laughed softly, evading your eyes from him and looking down at the asphalt road before you. You fidgeted with the seam of your shirt, trying to find the words to react. “I guess… But I’m sure you have better things to do than sitting beside the road with a High school kid.”
“What makes you think that?”
“You’re Spider-Man. You’re a hero. I’m sure there are tons of bad guys for you to chase in New York.”
“Probably,” he nodded, “but I’m fine right here.”
You couldn’t help a smile from curling your lips and you nodded slowly. “Well, I guess introductions are in order then. I’m [Name].”
“Spider-Man,” he said, shaking your hand. “But–uh–I–I guess you already knew that… So, what–uh–what were they making fun of you about?”
“It’s nothing,” you shrugged it off.
“You wouldn’t be sitting here by yourself if it was nothing.”
Fair enough, you thought, taking in a deep breath before telling him the story. Or part of it at least. “One of my friends told Flash – the guy behind the DJ booth – that I have a crush on… someone… and he made a joke about it in front of everyone…”
“Right… Well, I–I’m sure he’s just jealous.”
“Ha,” you laughed at his words, shaking your head. You turned your head towards him, still finding it a bit weird Spider-Man was actually sitting beside you, talking to you about your problems. “I very much doubt that.”
“If anything, Flash is an idiot for making fun of you. I mean, he’s the one who got… N–Nevermind…” he finished in a mumble. “What–uh–What about the guy you have a crush on? W–Where is he in all of this?”
You shrugged, evading his eyes from him again. You got a small piece of asphalt from the ground and played with it between your fingers. “It’s a complicated story…”
A sigh escaped your lips. “I don’t know. I’ve liked him for years, but I don’t think he likes me back…”
“Oh, come on,” he brushed it off, softly pushing his fist against your shoulder. “I’m sure he does. You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re pretty…” he stopped, shifting his position nervously as you frowned at those words. “I–I mean…” he cleared his throat, trying to seem older again by puffing out his chest. “For a High school kid, you’re not so bad to look at… I–I mean… You’re not bad to look at all. You’re–uh…” he swallowed hard, shaking his head. “Man, I’m making this worse, aren’t I?”
You laughed, letting your eyes shift over his face. For some reason, those words spread a warm feeling through the pit of your stomach. He sounded younger than you had thought he'd be. He couldn’t be much older than you were. Maybe he even was still in High school. The more time you spend with him, the more you started to like him.
“You’re not… No one has ever called me pretty…” you blushed.
You nodded. “My friends are the prettiest girls in school, so… I doubt anyone even notices me around them. I don’t compare to them…”
“That’s not true.”
“You don’t know my friends.”
He seemed to want to say something to that, but decided otherwise. “Still,” he whispered eventually. “I–I think you’re beautiful.”
A small smile curled your lips at those words. Your eyes shifted over his mask and for the first time since the Spider-Man had shown up in the media, you wondered – truly, desperately wondered – who was behind that red mask.
“Thank you,” you whispered, evading your eyes from him again.
“I mean it,” he told you, laying his hand over yours. “If he would know you like him, you wouldn’t be sitting here with me.”
“Well, Flash just basically told the entire school that I like him. So… He’s either deaf, or he doesn’t like me back.”
“Then he’d be an idiot.”
You smiled at his words again, slowly turning your gaze back to him. The soft light of the moon reflected in the white of the eyes on his mask. They seemed to shrink as they focussed on you and slowly, but surely, his face moved closer to yours. You could feel your heart beat faster in your chest and your lips parted slightly, wondering what was going on.
You were about to ask him something, when he quickly closed the space between you, pressing a kiss on your lips through the fabric of his suit. A soft sound escaped your throat as the rough fabric rubbed against your skin.
“I–I’m sorry,” he quickly apologized.
“It’s okay,” you laughed, rubbing your lips where his suit had touched them. You startled when his hand found a place against your cheek. Though, you didn’t back away. Instead, your eyes shifted over his mask again, imagining the face beneath it. Soon you followed his example and reached your hands up to his face.
With your fingers, you searched for the edge of his mask and with both hands, you lifted it slightly up. You were dying to know who was underneath the mask, but for some reason the mystery of it all had the adrenaline surging through your body as well. You pulled the mask up until he softly stopped you, leaving only his chin, lips and nose exposed.
Sucking in a deep breath, you stared at his lips until they were so close you could feel his hot breath on your skin. His hand slipped into your hair and he kissed you again. A real kiss this time.
As he held onto you tightly, kissing you gently, the wind carried his scent around you. There was a faint hint of lemon soap and a familiar cologne filled your nostrils together with a scent you couldn’t place. Your mind started racing and almost provided you with the answer to the big question burning in the back of your mind (who was Spider-Man?), but before you could he pulled away.
“What was that?” he asked, quickly lowering his mask back over his face.
“What was what?” you frowned, wanting him to kiss you again.
“That,” he said, pointing into the distance. You had to squint your eyes to see a small blue flare a couple of miles away. “What the hell?”
Before you could respond, he had already pushed himself from the pavement and jumped back up on the rooftop. “Wait!” you cried out. “I don’t even know your name…” You tried to follow him as he jumped from the roof and into the dark night, but your eyes weren’t as good in the dark as his were and you were simply staring into nothing.
When you could feel the disappointed filling your body and you were certain he was gone – and you would never see him again – he was suddenly there before you again.
“I–I am sorry. That was rude. Please don’t think this didn’t mean anything,” he said, sounding almost desperate. “I–I have waited a long time for this moment and I–” he stopped himself, shaking his head, thinking he’d really said too much this time. “I have to go, but… I’ll be back. I promise.”
You nodded, though barely registered a word he said. The kiss was still fresh in your mind. All kind of feelings were rushing through your body and your thoughts went back and forth between Spider-Man, the kiss you had shared with him, and your feelings for Peter. None of it was making any sense to you anymore.
You were so lost in thought, that you didn’t even notice him leave the second time.
TO BE CONTINUED...