“There you are,” it sounded behind you. “We’ve been looking all over for you," Liz said worriedly.
“We?” you frowned. “Or just you?”
Liz sighed. “Tracy didn’t mean to tell Flash you’re in love with Peter. She would never do that on purpose.”
“Sure she wouldn’t…”
“Don’t be like that, [Name],” Liz said, following you as you made your way back inside her house. "You know what Tracy is like. It’s not her fault Peter doesn’t like you back.”
“Wow,” you said, a frown covering your brow. You stopped before walking into the door and turned to Liz. “Really?” you shook your head. “Fine, you know what… I’m going home. I was going to tell you about something amazing that has just happened to me, but fine… Have it your way.”
“Wait, [Name]. That just slipped out. It’s been a stressful night. I’m sorry. I–I didn’t mean it like that,” she said, running after you as you walked back toward the road and got your phone from your pocket, already dialing your mother’s number, hoping she’d be off her shift in the hospital to come pick you up. “What happened that you wanted to tell me about?”
“I don’t really feel like talking anymore,” you said, crossing your arms. Your mother promised she’d be there within a few minutes. Even though you were dying to tell someone – anyone – about what had just happened, you didn’t want to talk to Liz anymore. At least not right now. Not after what she had just said.
“[Name], please. I’m really sorry.”
“I know," you sighed, truly knowing she would never have said that normally. "I just… I don’t really want to go back to the party, so, I’d rather just go home.”
“Oh, yeah, of course,” Liz said, sounding relieved. “You’ll tell me about that amazing thing tomorrow?”
“Sure,” you nodded, knowing you probably still wouldn’t. Who would believe you anyway?
Liz stayed with you until your mother arrived and took you back home. She was too tired to ask you why you didn’t want to sleep at Liz’ place anymore, for which you were grateful for a chance. When you arrived home several minutes later, she immediately went to bed and you soon followed her example.
You didn’t feel like sleeping though. So instead of crawling into bed, you took a quick, cold shower and decided to spend some time on your makeshift balcony. You pulled on some comfortable clothes and pried open your window that led to the fire escape where you had made a small, but cozy place for yourself to sit and enjoy the soft summer night breeze. You climbed onto it and lowered yourself down into the pillows, pulling your knees up to your chin. With your cheek resting on your kneecaps, you took in a deep breath and stared at the bright moon, peeking up from behind the tall buildings of New York in the distance.
You let the soft air fill your lungs as you thought back on what had happened tonight. Only hours earlier during gym class, you had thought about Spider-Man as a thirty-year-old pervert and now you were comparing him to Peter, the guy you had been in love with for the past few years. Things always had a strange way of turning out.
Your mind was still racing in circles when you saw a young man making his way through the streets, walking underneath the fire escape of your apartment building. A backpack rested on his shoulders and he kicked a large stone out in front of him as he strode forward.
“Peter?” you frowned, lifting your head from your knees and looking down at him through the holes in the platform.
He quickly looked up, a bright smile soon curling his lips when he noticed you above him. “[Name], is that you?”
“Yeah. I didn’t see you anymore at Liz’ party. Did you leave early?”
“Uh, yeah… I–I mean, sort of. I–uh–I went to look for Spider-Man.”
At the mention of the superhero's name, your cheeks turned red. You didn’t think Peter noticed it from so far below, but you still hid your face between your hands. “R–Right… Did you find him?”
“N–No. He–uh–texted me something had come up.”
You nodded, feeling a smile curl your lips again. You had come up. You were that something. “I’m sure he had a good reason.”
“Yeah, I’d like to think so too…”
“Hey, shut it!” it suddenly echoed against the walls of the apartment buildings around you. “People are trying to sleep over here!”
Both Peter and you laughed softly and you waited until the man had closed his window before talking again.
“You want to come up?” you asked, pushing yourself from the pillows and staring down at him over the railing.
He seemed to hesitate for a moment, weighing the backpack he carried over his shoulders. “Yes,” he whispered eventually. “I do…”
You could feel your heart leap again when you realized you’d be spending time with Peter again for more than a few minutes for the second time today. Your kiss with Spider-Man was still in the back of your mind, but your feelings for Peter were still roaring in the pit of your stomach.
“Hey,” you smiled, when he had made his way up the fire escape way more easily than you thought he was able to. “Welcome to my humble balcony.”
“It’s lovely. I like what you’ve done with the place.”
“It was way past time to get rid of our collection of dirt.”
“Right,” Peter nodded, seating himself beside you in the soft pillows. He crossed his legs and leaned back against the wall. “What were we even thinking back then?”
“Well, I don’t know about you, but I was just following Ned.”
He laughed. “So that wasn’t just me…”
“No, maybe I should have saved them and gave them to him for his birthday.”
“I’m sure he would have appreciated that.”
“Yeah…” you swallowed hard. “He would have.”
“So, did–uh–anything interesting happen while I was looking for Spider-Man?” Peter changed the subject, probably feeling the same awkward tension rising between you again that had cost you your friendship before.
“No,” you said quickly – probably too quickly, judging by the look Peter gave you. “I–I mean, you know how those parties go, right. More hearsay than anything else.”
“Are you sure? ‘Cause I–I heard something about Flash and you and everyone laughing…”
“Oh,” you deflated. You bit the inside of your cheek, weighing whether Peter knew exactly what had happened. He didn't really seem to, but what if he did know you liked him and Spider-Man was wrong? What if Peter knew and just didn’t like you back? You’d feel like a fool for inviting him up here. “You heard about that?”
"Well, partly. I – uh – I was in the bathroom so I didn’t hear most of it."
"Well, that probably makes you the only person in the entire school. Ned didn’t tell you?” you frowned.
“I kinda left in a hurry… I haven’t spoken to him yet. He did seem like he wanted to tell me something… What happened?”
You sighed, pulling your legs back up to your chin. You felt even more vulnerable now than when Flash had told everyone about your feelings for Peter. And Somehow – for some insane reason – Peter still didn’t know. You cursed him and the universe in your head for not throwing you a bone. If only you had the courage to tell him yourself.
”Well, after you left, Flash told everyone who I’m in love with,” you took in a deep breath, turning your head from him, knowing your eyes would betray the way you felt. "But it's fine. He's in love with someone else, so..."
"How do you know?"
"Trust me," you snorted, shaking your head. "It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out... Anyway, it doesn't bother me that much anymore. Not after tonight."
"D–Did something happen tonight?"
"I guess you could say that," you nodded, feeling an involuntary smile curling your lips.
"Something good?" he asked and if you had been actually paying attention to him, you would have seen the hope and twinkle in his eyes.
"Yeah..." you sighed.
"Good... Good," he mumbled, suppressing a yawn. "I'm glad you had a good night... So– uh–that guy you have a crush on... Do I know him?"
"You do. Very well, actually."
"Really? Wait... It isn't Ned is it?"
A sharp laugh escaped your lips and you quickly shook your head. "No, it's not Ned."
"Oh," Peter frowned. You could see his mind trying to work out the puzzle as his brow dipped even lower. When you thought he was finally going to get it, he looked up at you again, confusion still written all over his face. He seemed to want to say something when his phone started beeping.
“I–I should probably go,” Peter whispered in a sigh. “May must be worried.”
“Right,” you nodded, "of course. Tomorrow is another school day so I should probably go to bed anyway.”
"Yes, me too... I–uh–It was nice talking to you. Again."
"And if that guy you're in love with really doesn't like you back, you should just forget about him."
You snorted, evading your eyes from him. "I'll try," you said, suppressing the urge to shake your head at him again. How could someone be that oblivious? You practically told him you were in love with him. If it wasn't for the kiss you had shared with Spider-Man – knowing at least someone out there thought you were beautiful – you would have cried then and there and yelled at Peter for being an idiot.
But you didn't. Instead, you listened to his advice. You could never compete with Liz for Peter's affection, so you'd just try to forget about him and focus on someone that did like you.
"Peter?" you asked, watching him climb back down the fire escape. "If you–uh–happen to speak to Spider-Man... Could you thank him for me?"
"For what?" Peter stopped, looking up at you.
"He'll know," you smiled shortly.
He nodded slowly, keeping his eyes on you. "Alright, sure."
"Thanks. Goodnight, Peter."
"[Name]?" he called out for you when you turned your back towards him. "Would you– uh–Would you be disappointed if he was someone you knew? Someone you've known for a long time?"
You thought about that question for a moment. You had wondered the same thing all night. What if Spider-Man was someone you already knew? What if he went to the same school? You hadn't really decided yet how you'd feel about that, but you'd definitely not be disappointed.
Maybe only if it was Flash. Which, logically wasn’t possible.
"No," you shook your head, earning a smile from Peter. "Not at all."
You watched as he continued to climb down the stairs. When you couldn’t see him anymore you made your way back inside your room, closing the window with a strong pull downwards. A deep breath filled your lungs as you closed the curtains. Your mind raced past everything that had happened tonight and you still couldn’t believe most of it.
Everyone now knew about your feelings for Peter, even though he himself still had no idea and you were too scared to tell him. You had been kissed by a superhero – who hadn’t been of your mind ever since – even though you had no idea who he was and didn’t know if you’d ever see him again. On top of that, you had talked to Peter more in just a few hours than you had in the past few years. Even though you wanted to forget about your feelings for him, you knew that was going to be impossible. Especially since you’d spent tomorrow having most of your classes together, sitting only one seat away from him.
As you stepped into your bed, you started to wonder how you’d get yourself out of this mess. If you’d have to wait for Peter to finally realize you liked him, you would be waiting till you graduated. But with the kiss you shared with Spider-Man in your mind, you didn’t think you could wait that long for him to notice you.
On the other hand, Spider-Man had seemed like a kind, caring if not socially awkward guy. You had liked the little time you had spent with him. Maybe that was the universe telling you there were plenty of other fish in the sea…
You let out an annoyed breath again, getting more frustrated the more you thought about it. Time passed quickly as you stared up at your ceiling, trying to figure out if anything could ever happen between you and Spider-Man. He had kissed you already and told you he thought you were beautiful. His odds were way better than Peter’s.
You closed your eyes to get the thoughts running through your mind to go away, when there was a knock on your window, startling you. For a moment you thought you had imagined things until there was another knock, harder this time.
You dragged yourself out of bed and opened the curtains, seeing Spider-Man crouching on your balcony.
“Y–You? What are you doing here?” you asked, pulling open the window again and making room for him to enter. “How did you even know where I live?”
“I–uh–I asked Peter.”
“And he just told you?”
“Well, he said you wanted to thank me.”
You could feel your cheeks turn red and you quickly nodded, hiding your face behind your hair. “I did, yes. For staying with me tonight.”
“It was my pleasure.”
You smiled at that, feeling your heart beat faster in your chest. When neither one of you started talking, you could feel an awkward tension rising between you.
“Take a seat,” you said eventually, pointing at the chair behind your desk. “How–uh–How has your night been.”
“It’s been good.”
“Good,” you nodded, seating yourself down on your bed. “Good…”
A laugh escaped Spider-Man’s throat and instead of taking a seat on the chair you had appointed him, he dropped himself next to you. “So–uh–Peter told me you talked about that crush of yours again.”
“Wow, news travels fast… But yeah. I mean he asked me about it…”
“Right, so our kiss didn’t make you forget about him?”
You could feel the heat rise to your cheeks and you quickly evaded your eyes from him. “Maybe… I–I mean, yes… No…” you sighed. “I–I don’t know.”
He nodded slowly, folding his hands in his lap. “I understand. I’ve had a crush on someone for quite some time as well.”
“Yes, but I don’t think she likes me back either. Not the real me, anyway.”
“Have you told her?”
He shook his head. “No, but I’m sure she knows. We’ve known each other for quite some time. We used to do everything together…”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that… Take it from me,” you said, remembering your conversation with Peter. “You should tell her.”
“And if she doesn’t like me back?”
“She’d be an idiot.”
He snorted, looking down at his hands in his lap. “You don’t even know what I look like.”
“I don’t need to know what you look like to realize you’re a great guy.”
“I could be thirty for all you know.”
You laughed at his words, thinking the irony of them was funny considering you had said the same to Peter a few hours ago. “Maybe, but I don’t think you are.”
“Who are you talking to?” it suddenly sounded behind your door.
You quickly turned your head back and before you could object, your mother entered your room. “Wait, I can explain,” you exclaimed, your eyes darting to the young man beside you. You tried to hide your confusion from your mother when you found the place beside you on the bed empty. Spider-Man had disappeared.
“What’s going on?” your mother asked, rubbing her eyes. “I thought I heard voices?”
“I was just watching some TV,” you swallowed hard.
“It’s twelve o’clock, [Name]. You have school tomorrow. You should be sleeping.”
“I will,” you promised, crawling back into bed. It wasn’t until you looked up at the ceiling that you realized Spider-man hadn’t disappeared at all. He was hanging upside down above your mother, clinging to the ceiling. “Goodnight,” you added, clicking off the light beside your bed. It because dark instantly and even though you could barely make out your mother standing only a few feet away from you, you could hear her walk out of the room and close the door behind her.
You waited until you heard another door close before pushing yourself up from underneath the covers. Your eyes got used to the darkness quickly, but still, all you could see were silhouettes and shadows. It wasn’t until Spider-Man jumped down from the ceiling and landed right beside your bed on the floor, that you realized you had been holding your breath.
“Well, I guess it’s time for me to go.”
“You don’t have to,” you whispered, reaching towards the light beside your bed to click it on again. Spider-Man stopped you before you could and startled you by pressing a kiss on your lips. You hadn’t even noticed him lifting up his mask, but you were met with soft, moist lips that kissed you fiercely like it would be the last time that he did.
“I–I like you,” he whispered against your lips, his hot breath caressing your skin.
You smiled. “I like you too… Obviously,” you chuckled, rubbing your fingers against his lips.
“No, I–I mean, I like you, [Name]. I have for a long time.”
You frowned, letting your eyes shift over his face. You couldn’t make much out in the darkness of the night and half of his face was still covered, but the way he said it and the different smells that filled your nostrils were somehow familiar.
“Do I know you? The real you, I mean?”
“Hmm,” you wondered. “And you like me?”
He nodded. “I do. A lot.”
“And you don’t think I like you back?”
A sigh escaped his throat and he pulled his mask back down. “It’s probably best if I go,” he mumbled, pushing himself from the ground and jumping towards the window.
You watched him as he climbed back out onto your makeshift balcony like he’d done it a hundred times before. Like he’d been there a hundred times before. Like he’d been with you a hundred times before. In that moment everything that had happened tonight clicked together in your mind and an image flashed before your eyes as he started to pull your window closed.
Peter standing on top of a rooftop, looking down on you.
You swallowed hard, pushing yourself from your bed. What if he was right? What if you had known each other for a long time? What if your eyes hadn’t been deceiving you tonight at Liz’ party?
“Yeah? I–I mean, no I'm not... Crap...”
You smiled, knowing you had been right all along. You clicked the light back on, revealing Peter standing on your balcony. He had lifted the mask completely from his face and swallowed hard, looking at you doubtfully.
“Surprise?” he whispered as you walked up to him, crawling through the opening of the window. “Y–You’re not disappointed?”
You shook your head, taking his hand to pull you back up. “I wish you would have told me, but at least now I know I was wrong.”
“Wrong?” he frowned. “About what?”
“About my crush not liking me back.”
He seemed confused for a few more seconds until for him everything seemed to click together too. “You mean to tell me… You… You like me? The real me?”
You nodded, feeling his arms folding around you. You wiped a strain of hair from his face and swallowed hard. “I guess we’ve both been idiots.”
He laughed. “I guess we have,” he agreed, before pulling you even closer and slowly but surely leaning in until your lips touched again and he was kissing you. You could feel his fingers running through your hair and his heart beating fast in his chest, in sync with yours.
“Hmm?” you said in a low whisper.
“You can’t tell anyone I’m Spider-Man.”
“Sure,” you nodded, wanting him to kiss you again. “It’s not like anyone is going to believe me anyway…”
“I thought I’d told you to shut up hours ago!” someone yelled at you from across the street. "Go. To. Bed!” the same man as before cried out angrily.
Peter pulled you closer protectively, which made you laugh. You liked the warmth that radiated from his skin as he held you tightly against him. If it hadn't been a school night, you wouldn't have minded staying in his arms the entire night.
"I think I'll be just fine," you said, knowing his reaction had been a protective urge from him as Spider-Man. You laid your head on his shoulder and took in a deep breath, folding your arms around him. You suppressed a yawn and closed your eyes, feeling safe within Peter's embrace. "You should probably go. My mom will be pissed if I wake her up again."
"May is probably wondering where I am as well. See you tomorrow?"
"Yes," you agreed, slowly pushing yourself from his arms reluctantly. "Tomorrow..."
Before Peter put his Spider-Man mask on he gave you a last kiss, which only left you wanting more. He disappeared into the dark night, leaving you alone on your balcony missing the warmth of his body.
By the time you lay in your bed again you were nearly falling asleep. Even though you were tired, your mind was still racing. You turned on your back and felt your eyes slowly closing while you looked up at the ceiling. Images of Peter and Spider-Man shot through your head and you smiled, still feeling his lips against yours and his arms holding you close against him.
When you had woken up this morning – or even when you had gone to Liz' house for the party – you had never thought you'd look back on tonight with a smile on your face. If anything, you thought you'd lay in Liz' room on an air mattress feeling jealous of her because Peter had swooned over her again. That you'd lay in your own bed after spending most of your night with Peter, was something you would have never thought.
Not even in your wildest dreams.
Slowly, but surely, you drifted off to sleep, sinking into a dream you would not soon forget...
Extended ending: The next day
A sigh escaped your lips as you leaned against your locker. You held your books firmly in your hands and bit your lip, thinking about the kisses you had shared with Peter and the revelation that he was Spider-Man.
"Oh gosh," Tracy said, sounding annoyed. "[Name] is staring at Peter again..."
You ignored her comment and waved at Peter, who was staring back at you from across the hall. He smiled at you, his cheeks turning slightly red, probably thinking about the same things as you were. He turned his gaze from you when Ned started talking to him, though looked at you now and again from the corner of his eyes. Knowing he had felt the same way about you for all those years, made your knees weak and spread a warm feeling through the pit of your stomach.
"I thought we agreed not to talk about that anymore," Liz whispered to Tracy, hoping you didn't notice.
You did, but after everything that had happened last night, you couldn't care less.
"So," Liz continued, turning to you. "You had something to tell us?"
Right, you thought, having almost forgotten you had promised Liz you'd tell her about your kiss with Spider-Man. "Did I?" you faked ignorance, pushing yourself from your locker.
"Yeah," Liz nodded. "Something amazing happened last night, remember?"
"Hmm," you wondered out loud, while Tracy was frowning at the both of you.
"Did I miss something?"
"Oh, come on, [Name]," Liz crossed her arms at you. "Are you really not going to tell us? I told you I was sorry about what I said about Peter."
You could feel Peter's eyes on you from across the hall. His hand rested on the lock of his locker, but he didn't seem in a hurry to open it. The look in his eyes told you he was listening in on your conversation. You held his gaze until Liz said your name again.
"You should really forget about him," Tracy added. "Liz is too nice to tell you, but I'm sorry. After all these years, he's not magically going to like you all of a sudden."
You snorted, nodding at her words. They didn't hurt as much as they would have before last night. Before Peter had confessed his feelings for you. Though, her comment still stung. "Yeah, maybe... But a girl can dream, right?"
"Sure... But–uh–I think he's coming this way," Liz said, elbowing you.
"Who's coming our way?" Tracy asked.
Before either of you could answer, Peter had already reached you. Nerves were raging through your body as you wondered why he was coming your way. When you walked to school together this morning, you had agreed it would probably be best – at least for now – if no one knew about what happened last night. It had been hard not to kiss him when you parted ways, but Peter had insisted he wanted to tell Ned first. Keeping it a secret had you giddy all morning.
"Hey, Peter," Liz smiled, a wondering look on her face. She probably thought he was coming over to talk to her. "What's u–"
Peter didn't let her finish and walked straight up to you, getting your face between his hands and pressing an urgent kiss on your lips. A squeak left your throat. Your hands rested on his chest and you could feel his heart beating as fast as yours.
"I'll see you in class," he said, slowly pulling away from you. Before you could say something, he had already walked back to Ned, who still stood on the other side of the hall with his mouth wide open.
As you looked at Tracy and Liz, you could see neither of them was any better off than Ned.
"What–What just happened?" Tracy asked, turning her questioning look from Peter to you.
"Wait, was that what you wanted to tell us? You and Peter... Last night..." Liz mumbled, seeming lost for words until she started laughing. She hit you softly on your shoulder. "So that's why we couldn't find you."
A small smile curled your lips and you could feel your cheeks turn red. "Well, not exactly. Back then I was kissing Spider-Man."
Now it was Tracy who laughed. A rare occurrence, which made you laugh as well. "After what just happened, I'd almost believe you..."
When you were done laughing, the bell finally rang, signaling the start of the school day. Liz quickly closed her locker and stuffed the books she needed for the first period into her bag, motioning Tracy they needed to hurry to get to Drama Class. A class you didn't share with them.
"We'll talk about Peter and you later," she said. "I'm dying to hear what happened last night."
"Sure," you nodded. You wouldn't see them again till lunch, so that gave you a few hours to come up with a story together with Peter. You watched them walk away from you and slowly turned around when Liz waved goodbye.
Peter was still standing a few feet away from you together with Ned. You smiled as you made your way towards them and followed them towards Science Class.
"So, does this mean you're friends again?" Ned asked.
"Something like that," you said, wiping the hair behind your ear, looking at Peter.
"Yeah," he agreed. "Something like that... Ready?" he asked you when you had arrived at the right classroom. He offered you his hand before walking in, a hopeful look in his eyes.
Peter holding your hand might have meant nothing to everyone else – not even to Ned – but to you, it signified the start of your adventure together. You hadn't really talked about it yet, but accepting Peter as your boyfriend meant you accepted someone else as well.
He was Spider-Man after all.
You nodded, taking his hand and letting him pull you to his side. "Ready..."