Take Me to Church

Summary: Midtown is having a talent show and Harley wants to participate. Peter agrees.

Technically set in my “A Moment in the Sun” universe, but can be read as a standalone fic!

Author’s Note: Happy Birthday Peter Parker! Here Parkner songfic to celebrate. Basically I stumbled upon this acoustic cover duet version of “Take Me to Church” by Megan Davies feat. Matt Wright while Spotify was giving me new music suggestions and I couldn’t get it out of my head that I wanted this to be Peter and Harley singing together. If you want to listen to it I found the original video on YouTube, or it’s also on Spotify and Apple Music

Notes about the duet formatting. if it’s bold Harley is singing if it’s in italics Peter is singing if it is both bold and in italics they are singing together.

Take Me to Church

Midtown’s annual talent show was not something that Peter had ever paid particular attention to in years past. Harley, however, was new to the school, and was curious about it. Coming from such a small town, his school had never had so many activities with such extravagant prizes. 

“Do you really want to enter the talent show? What would we do?” Peter asked, amused.

“We?” Harley looked at him curiously.

“Well yeah, I figured we could do something together. I mean, if you wanted to.” Peter said hastily. “We don’t have to, I mean if you wanted to do something by yourself you don’t have to—” Harley stopped Peter’s rambling by capturing his lips in a soft kiss.

“I would love to do something with you darlin’. Let’s see… the show is in a month. That’s probably long enough to learn a song, isn’t it?” 

“Oh.” Peter’s mind was blank for a moment, too focused on the temporary serotonin boost that always came from kissing Harley. “Um, a song?”

“Well, yeah. You play the piano, right? And I play guitar. And you know I love it when you sing—”

“It would have to be a duet, because I refuse to sing alone.” Peter interrupted. Harley rolled his eyes.

“Alright sweetheart, if that’s what you want.”

“If you’re dragging me on a stage—”

“You were the one who suggested we do it together—”

“Can we talk about this later? I just really want to kiss you right now.”

Harley laughed at Peter’s interruption. “Well now you know I have no problem with that darlin’.”

“So, what’s this I hear about a talent show?” Tony asked as he walked into the kitchen on the common area floor early the next morning.

It was a Saturday, which meant that Bucky was making a large breakfast spread as usual. Peter, Harley, Morgan, and the Barton kids were all already digging into pancakes with wild abandon. Pepper was sipping her Earl Grey while scrolling through the news on her StarkPad while Laura, May, and Evelyn spoke quietly over their coffee. Clint and Bruce were having an animated discussion about potential upgrades to Clint’s specialized arrowheads. Abbie and Wanda weren’t up yet, and Sam was still in the shower after his run.

The room paused as Tony made his entrance.

“Talent show? What kind of talent show? Can I be in it?” Morgan asked excitedly.

“A little birdie told me that someone or rather two someones are going to be in a talent show together this October.” Tony teased as he walked over to where Bucky had just plated a huge pile of eggs on the counter and picked them up, in order to bring them over to the counter. “Are you going to actually eat with us, Elsa?” He asked Bucky with a raised eyebrow.

“In a bit, I just need to wait for this loaf to be done. Quit pestering me.” Tony rolled his eyes as he sat at the table and looked directly at Peter and Harley.

“So. Talent show?”

“Clint, were you spying on us in the vents again?” Peter glared at the spy who held a hand up to his chest.

“I would never! Last time I saw you two when you thought no one was watching I had to wash my eyes out with bleach.” Clint huffed, jabbing his fork at the eggs.

Harley narrowed his eyes at Tony, who still had a smirk on his face. “I bet it was MJ. I knew it was a bad idea for her and Tony to exchange numbers.”

“Betrayed by our own friends,” huffed Peter. “Yes we’re going to be in a talent show. No, none of you can come.” Protests rose up from around the table.

“Babe, would it really be so bad if—” Harley began and Peter groaned.

“Not you too! It’s bad enough that I’m singing on stage, I don’t want everyone else to be there.” Peter grumbled.

“They just want to provide support, and the cats are already out of the bag about us knowing thee Avengers. We might as well let them.” Harley whispered, and Peter hated how reasonable he sounded, and he hated how heart skipped at the feeling of Harley’s breath against his ear. He could feel his resolve crumbling.

Looking Harley in the eyes, Peter temporarily forgot their audience. “Do you want everyone there? Because if you do then I’ll be okay with it,” he murmured, their faces barely an inch from each other.

“Yeah, I do, but only if it’s okay with you.” Harley’s reply was soft and concerned. Peter sighed.

“Okay then.” They kissed softly but almost instantly broke apart when Tony cleared his throat.

“As touching as this is, could you two not make out at the breakfast table?” Pepper asked, amused.

Peter flushed bright red and mumbled a quick “sorry” immediately returning to his pancakes.

“I’m not,” Harley drawled lazily, reaching for some eggs and winking at Peter, whose face got even redder, something that had previously seemed impossible.

“So what are you doing for the talent show?” asked Bruce, clearly trying to get everyone to move past the moment which was amusing, embarrassing, and awkward, depending on who you asked.

“Ah, well we’re doing a musical piece. Pete’s going to be on the piano and I’m playing guitar with us singing a duet version of—”

“They’ll find out when we do it. Let’s have at least some of this be a surprise,” Peter rolled his eyes, clearly moving past his embarrassment as he speared a piece of bacon. 

SpiderParkour: MJ y how could u

BDB: bc I know deep down you want them there but also would never

BDB: And I knew Harley wanted to but is whipped

SpiderParkour: I just came here to have a good time and I’m feeling so attacked rn

GitC: Wait guys what happened

BDB: I betrayed them for their own good

GitC: ???

Cowboy: MJ told Tony about the talent show

GitC: oh rite thats gonna be so lit

GitC: MJ you should dance

GitC: For the talent show

SpiderParkour: Yeah u would do great


SpiderParkour: ur the one who texted tony

Cowboy: 📠

BDB: I am not going to do a solo dance routine in front of all of our classmates it’s like none of you have met me

BDB: Texting makes you too brave

SpiderParkour: Dont worry MJ u are still super scary

Cowboy: esp since you started doing all that “self-defense” training with Wanda and Bucky

BDB: If I am going to be friends with superheroes and a major part of SI I should know how to defend myself

SpiderParkour: Yeah and also I saw the knife you got for your birthday there’s no shame in it

SpiderParkour: But anyway, back to the dancing

BDB: I’m not dancing

SpiderParkour: But you don’t have to dance alone

SpiderParkour: I was just talking to Harls, and you could totally dance with us. Like, to accompany our song

BDB: I’ll think about it

GitC: coming from MJ that’s basically yes

BDB: 😑

Eventually the night of the talent show came. MJ had agreed to dance alongside their duet, and the three of them were all very nervous but also excited. All of the Avengers— their family— had promised to be there. The stage was set up so that Harley and Peter were downstage left. Peter, who was still incredibly self-conscious, had negotiated so that the electric keyboard he was playing had him facing away from the audience. From where he was sitting, the only person that he would be able to see was Harley. Harley was facing more towards the audience, but since he was less shy about it this was not as much of a problem for him, and would be sitting on a stool while playing an acoustic-electric guitar. MJ had the entire rest of the stage upon which to perform her dance, which was going to be a combination of modern contemporary dance and ballet.

Because they were downstage left, Peter and Harley were in front of the curtain. The curtain was closed as they began their performance gently. Harley tapped out a percussive beat on his guitar and both he and Peter began harmonizing their vocals. The curtain began to open as Peter started on the keyboard, and the audience could see MJ in sparkling shorts, black dancing shoes, a fishnet bodysuit, and a black jacket . Peter and Harley knew that there was tape over her nipples to cover up that there was no shirt under the fishnets, but they all knew that some of the more conservative people in the audience were likely scandalized nevertheless. MJ began her dance across the stage as Harley opened his mouth to sing and Peter provided background vocals.  

My lover’s got humor

She’s the giggle at a funeral

Knows everybody’s disapproval

I should’ve worshiped her sooner

If the Heavens ever did speak

She’s the last true mouthpiece

Every Sunday’s getting more bleak

A fresh poison each week

“We were born sick”, you heard them say it

As they sang together Peter and Harley’s eyes met, each of them thinking of all it took to get themselves to this point, all that they had lost and gained. So much pain, so much death, and so much love. Beside them on the stage, MJ was dancing with an imaginary partner, who she fell away from. 

My church offers no absolutes

She tells me, “Worship in the bedroom”

The only Heaven I’ll be sent to

Is when I’m alone with you

I was born sick, but I love it 

Harley’s tone was full of love as he looked at Peter, who smiled as he continued to play

Command me to be well

A-, Amen, Amen, Amen

Peter took over the main verse with Harley instead offering the background vocals. Meanwhile MJ’s dancing picked up the pace to be increasingly expressive as she leaped across the stage and fell to her knees almost as if she was praying and reaching for something.

Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

Everyone in the audience held their breath, captivated, as they were unsure whether to look at MJ, whose heart and soul was being put into her expressive dance, or Peter and Harley, who only had eyes for each other as they were perfectly in sync.

Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life
If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight

Tony was shocked at the talent that both of his sons displayed, hearing how Peter could sing one line and have Harley immediately pick up on just one word and expand on it. He made a mental note to add karaoke nights to the Avengers family calendar.

To keep the Goddess on my side

She demands a sacrifice

Drain the whole sea

Get something shiny

Something meaty for the main course

That’s a fine looking high horse

What you got in the stable?

We’ve a lot of starving faithful

That looks tasty

That looks plenty

This is hungry work

Harley broke in again with the chorus as Peter fell back to provide vocals again. MJ was once again dancing with a phantom person who was not there. She managed to do so in a way that was full of melancholy and joy, in a way that was typical of MJ and almost impossible to accomplish for anyone else.

Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife

Offer me my deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife

Offer me my deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

Harley began a guitar solo with Peter providing a soft accompaniment on the piano. MJ’s dancing became soft again, simple spins and twirls, missing the elaborate leaps she had previously engaged in. When Peter began the next verse he and Harley took alternate turns with each line, and it became apparent that MJ was wearing a wire as she began to dance in midair, courtesy of Ned working on the backend. 

No masters or kings when the ritual begins

There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene

Only then I am human

Only then I am clean

Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen

Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death

Good God, let me give you my life

After it was clear they had concluded the three (four) of them got a standing ovation. Unfortunately for everyone else in the talent show, they had been the opening act and so all of the following performances were slightly lackluster in comparison, if only because everyone else was so intimidated. 

Tony most likely would have sued the school if they had not won, but luckily that was not the case. When it was time to announce the awards for first place, Harley, Peter, and MJ made sure to pull Ned up onto the stage with them and make sure that everyone knew that he was their Guy in the Chair, taking care of things behind the scenes.

As he stood on stage in Harley’s arms with Ned and MJ by his side, holding the first place trophy and looking out at the cheering crowd filled with his friends and family, Peter could not bring himself to feel anything but unbridled joy.

This fic belongs to the series A Moment in the Sun.