Summary: What if only good things happened to Peter Parker?
A fix-it fic where nobody dies, Peter has friends and family who support and love him, and we finish it off with a classic field trip.
Note: This is chapter Three! Make sure you start with Chapter One. Happy Reading!
Author’s Note: This is coming out a little later than I wanted, but I wanted to make sure I had more solid ideas about the final chapter before I published this. These chapters keep getting longer and
the last chapter is coming next Sunday and it’s gonna be a big the longest by far. It may even lead to there being five chapters instead of four but… we’ll see. this fic is going to be at least five chapters because the last chapter got UNHINGED 😭 but in a good way I think.
There was another month between when Harley and Abby left and when the school year started. Harley and Peter would both be entering their junior year. Despite the fact that Harley was born at the end of September, he was still in the same year group as Peter who was a little over a month older than him. Rose Hill was a small town, and everyone there had known that Harley was smart enough that keeping him from school for a whole extra year just because of one month’s difference would be akin to a crime.
Similarly, Abby was about to head into seventh grade at only eleven. She had made the very convincing argument that her birthday was two days before Harley’s and so she should also be able to go to school early. Evelyn Keener had thrown up her hands and decided that if the four-year-old was able to argue with such efficiency she was prepared for whatever Kindergarten was going to throw at her.
Even though the two Keener siblings were back in Tennessee, they kept in close contact with everyone in New York. And less than two weeks after they left Peter was met with a delightful surprise.
“Are you excited for your birthday tomorrow Pete?” Pepper asked over dinner. “Sixteen is a big one!”
“You know I am. Still anxious though. Do y’all think I’ll do okay on the test?” Peter bit his lip as he twisted his spaghetti.
“Y’all?” Tony teased. “Picking up some lingo from your southern boyfriend are you?”
Peter flushed. No one else actually knew that Peter and Harley were dating. But they got teased for how they acted like a couple frequently enough that it was only a matter of time before someone figured out that they really were. Though now that Harley was so far away… Peter sighed.
“Harley isn’t even here.” Peter poked at his pasta again. He startled when the elevator doors opened and Harley and Abby walked in, backpacks slung over their shoulders.
“You sure about that darlin?” Harley smirked and Peter was out of his seat like a shot, running over to Harley and nearly knocking him over with a hug.
“Harls!” Peter pulled away to pull Abby into a hug as well. “Abby! You’re here!”
“We weren’t going to miss your sixteenth birthday .” Abby rolled her eyes.
“Tony set the jet to come get us. We just got in.” Harley smiled.
“Actually, we were in the elevator for a while, Harley was just making us wait for the right moment so that we could make a dramatic entrance—” Harley covered Abby’s mouth.
“Anyway what’s for din— eew, don’t lick my hand!”
“You deserved that! Ooo spaghetti!” Abby walked over to the table where Pepper, May, and Tony had also stood and gave them hugs.
“Come on honey, I’ll fix you a plate.” Pepper smiled warmly and led Abby to the kitchen as the girl started complaining about how boring Rose Hill was compared to New York.
Peter was hugging Harley again, simply breathing in the smell of him. “I missed you.” Peter mumbled into Harley’s neck.
“I missed you too, sweetheart. God, the school year is going to be terrible if we can’t even handle less than two weeks.” Harley laughed.
“Well—” Peter was interrupted by Tony’s soft cough.
“Not to bother the love-fest but we were in the middle of dinner?” Tony’s smile was amused but also curious. Peter and Harley jumped apart as if they were on fire, both of their faces bright red.
“RIGHT, um, Harley, I’ll go make you a plate.” Peter hurried to the kitchen while Harley made his way over to Tony and pulled the man into a half-hug.
“Hey old man. Thanks for flying us up.”
“No problem. I know how much it means to Pete. And to you and Abby. You’re like siblings now.” Tony watched as Harley flinched. “Unless there is something you want to tell us?” Both May and Tony’s gazes were open and Harley didn’t think that Tony would necessarily have a problem with him and Peter — the man was very open about his bisexuality and had made it clear that he supported all of them no matter their preferences. May and Pepper were the same. But this was inherently different.
Harley had just opened his mouth to speak when Pepper, Abby, and Peter returned.
“I am so excited for this. Mama is an amazing cook, don’t get me wrong, but no one does pasta like you Tony.” Abby sat down enthusiastically next to Pepper and Harley took his seat next to Peter. The other boy put down Harley’s plate gently with a smile.
“Here you go Harls. There’s more in the kitchen if you want, I wasn’t sure how hungry you were.”
“This is plenty. Thanks darlin’.” Harley told him fondly.
“You’re welcome,” Peter replied as he sat down with a light pink dusting his cheeks. “How long can you stay?”
“Through Sunday night. Then we have to head back.” Abby explained. Or at least that is what Peter interpreted through what she said around her mouthful of pasta.
“Abby honey, please don’t talk with your mouth full,” May sighed.
Abby swallowed before speaking again. “Sorry Aunt May.”
“It’s okay sweetie, just avoid it in the future.”
Harley gave Abby a look that clearly said you’re lucky mama isn’t here. To which Abby gave him a corresponding look which said New York isn’t Rose Hill.
“So, you’re here for my whole birthday weekend?” Peter’s eyes lit up.
“Yup.” Harley nodded before taking a bite of pasta. “And up for doing whatever you want. It’s your birthday darlin’.”
“Well, I have my permit test tomorrow morning. And then Ned and MJ were going to come over for a movie night.”
“Ah, right. You can’t get your permit until 16 here.” Harley’s eyes twinkled and Peter shoved him.
“Haha, laugh it up Mr. ‘I already have my license.’ Driving in this city is a nightmare.” Peter shook his head.
“That is true. You need a lot more practice. Especially after what happened with—” Tony fell silent as the joking tone fell off his face. There was an awkward silence around the table.
Peter’s heart sped up as he remembered driving Flash’s car through the streets of Queens as he took off in pursuit of the Vulture, having barely any idea of what he was doing. He cleared his throat, mindful of the curious look he was getting from Abby, who was the only one at the table who did not know the story. Harley laid a supportive hand on his thigh and Peter scratched the back of his head as he looked down at his food.
“Yes, well, that’s the point of a permit, right? To learn. And you said you’ll be giving me most of my lessons upstate.”
“Of course, we’re all happy to help teach you Peter,” Pepper smiled warmly over her pasta. She was the only one who still seemed calm and unconcerned with the tension, which was typical of Pepper. “And we’ve made sure that all of the cars you’ll be learning with have FRIDAY and/or Karen installed with emergency self-driving override protocols.”
“I have no problem with additional protocols.” Peter shrugged, taking a quick bite of pasta before continuing “I became Spider-Man to keep people safe. That extends to learning how to drive safely.”
“You’re not necessarily the one we’re worried about,” May pointed with a fork.
“Well, someone has to be a rebel.” Harley smiled lazily. “And we all know that if any of us is going to get caught doing we shouldn’t it’s going to be Abby. She can’t lie for shit.”
Despite his nervousness about getting into a car again, once he was relaxed and focused it turned out that Peter was a natural when it came to driving. If nothing else, his spidey-sense certainly came in handy. Peter had a knack for being good at almost everything he set his mind to, and driving turned out to be no different. Nevertheless, he needed to wait the required period and get more practice before taking the test for his official license, and so when he wasn’t practicing it he had to stick to swinging, public transit, or being driven by someone else. Thus, when school started again, it was back to Happy or another driving him every day.
The return to the routine of school was… odd to say the least after the past summer. He missed Harley, who he really liked, and was starting to think he might even love. And Abby was like the little sister he had always wanted. Then there was his expanded role at SI. After he turned sixteen his dad had explained that he could now make him an official employee of SI, rather than just his intern. He wanted Peter to have a more active role in the company, if that was something that Peter wanted.
While he was slightly overwhelmed, Peter agreed to think about it, and after talking it over with Ned, MJ, Harley, Shuri, May, and Pepper, he agreed on a trial basis. And the thing was… Peter loved it. Tony had him overseeing some of the R & D labs and it was great to have his hands in so many pots. He was learning a lot, and moreover learning that he already knew a lot, often more than the supposed experts. He realized now why his dad was encouraging him to take those online classes on the side in addition to his regular coursework at Midtown.
Now that school was starting up again, though, his free time had become basically non-existent. On the average weekday he woke up at 5:00, had breakfast as he got ready for school, and then hopped in the car where Happy or another driver would take him to school. He spent that hour going over his morning emails from SI. Then he had seven hours of school from 7:00-2:00.
School was impossibly dull. He spent most of his calculus and physics classes ignoring the lectures and actually doing the work for the advanced college courses he was taking online. Because it was similar content, only severely more advanced, hardly anyone noticed that he was not paying attention. This was especially true because when he was called on to answer a question his responses were always correct. A bonus side effect of his spidey-senses causing him to have constant awareness of his surroundings.
He similarly did not pay attention in his Spanish class. He was completely fluent in the language and there was no point. He had an understanding with the teacher that instead of participating in the class he would grade the essays and homework for her freshman class. In return, she let him skip her classes and always marked him as present for the entire duration as long as he turned in his homework and took exams.
He used those periods to quickly grade all of the homework and exams as promised before using the time to complete more of his SI paperwork and college coursework as well as Midtown homework that he actually needed to finish for his European lit and World History courses. Those were easy classes but it was technically new material so he still needed to work through it.
He was also taking a metalworking class, which required him to be fully present and engaged, but there was never any homework, and it was a genuinely enjoyable class so he did not mind. It was, perhaps, the only thing that made Midtown worth it aside from Ned and MJ.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays he would go straight back to the tower, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays he had Academic Decathlon until three. He spent his one hour commute back just relaxing, often taking a nap or texting Harley and Shuri, who was sometimes awake, sometimes not depending on her energy levels and the time zone. When he got back to the tower he would start in-person work at SI until around five or six.
At that point he would head up to the tower for an early dinner before heading down to his personal lab to tinker and finish whatever remaining work he had due for the next day. Then he went out as Spider-Man until his curfew at eleven, upon which he would return home, have a snack and a shower, and read, play games, or get caught up on latent work until midnight. On Fridays his curfew was not until one, so he would stay out later.
At first he had worried that he was not getting enough sleep, but he realized that, unless he was injured, he just didn’t need that much sleep. His advanced body seemed to need only about 4-5 hours, unlike many others. When he talked about it with Dr. Cho, she explained that it was probably a result of him being part Spider. Not all Spiders even had eyelids to close let alone sleep, though they had something like circadian rhythms. There were a lot of weird consequences to the spider bite. (The less said about Peter’s bones the better.)
In general, Peter tried to make sure that he got all of his work done during the week so that he could have the weekends completely free to spend with his friends, but of course things always came up. Nothing was predictable, but routine definitely helped keep things in check.
The first challenge to his new routine came relatively soon into the school year, in the form of a dual challenge: the Keener sibling birthdays, and homecoming.
The idea of going to homecoming was impossibly fraught. Not only was it linked up with the events of last year, with the fight against Toomes — Peter still had trouble going anywhere near Coney Island — but also the only person he would want to go with was hundreds of miles away. Moreover, Homecoming was taking place on September 22nd, which was exactly the day between Abby and Harley’s birthdays, on the 21st and 23rd respectively. There was no way that Peter was going to be able to take Harley to homecoming the way he wanted to. No way.
MemeQueen: So, explain this “homecoming” to me
ScaryOne: … what are you planning
MemeQueen: what makes you think I am planning something?
Cowboy: You are always planning something
GitC: Homecoming is kinda like prom in the fall except also alums come back and also there is football
MemeQueen: Americans are weird
Cowboy: 😮 I’m so surprised that you would say such a thing
MemeQueen: can it cowboy
MemeQueen: I heard a rumour that you are going to have this “homecoming” soon. What does a Wakanadan princess have to do in order to get an invitation
Cowboy: oh 👀👀👀 why is this the first time I am hearing this 👀👀👀
ScaryOne: we’re not really planning on going
GitC: yeah, probably going to skip this year
MemeQueen: for why?
ScaryOne: just not feeling it
MemeQueen: I notice that spider boy is being very quiet. @peterparkour what are your thoughts?
Cowboy: I think it’s fine. I’m not going to my homecoming either
MemeQueen: I feel out of the loop 🤨 is there something about this dance that you Americans are not telling me. What is so bad about this tradition?
PeterParkour: we’re not skipping b/c there is something wrong with the tradition (tho it is kinda weird for other reasons that I don’t feel like getting into)
PeterParkour: we’re skipping b/c last year my date’s dad tried to murder me by crushing me under a building and was a weapons dealer that I ended up having to stop from stealing a bunch of SI property by crashing a plane on the shores of Coney Island and now I have ✨trauma✨ so I’d rather spend my night inside my house eating ice cream and watching Star Wars
Harley realized a split second after his text why Peter had not mentioned homecoming to him. Tony had been celebrating Harley’s birthday with him, Abby, his mama, and Pepper when he had gotten an unexpected call that seemed to shake him to his core. A weapons dealer had apparently come extremely close to making off with an entire cache of SI and Avengers weapons, only to be stopped by Spider-Man at the last second. Tony and Pepper were able to stay for only a short while longer before having to leave quickly to do damage control over the entire affair. Peter was Spider-Man.
And Harley knew that Peter sometimes had nightmares. They had shared a room for over a month, and so Harley had heard them occasionally. Furthermore, while they did not share a bed full-time, there had been multiple occasions upon which Harley had climbed into Peter’s and held the other boy close as he recovered from a nightmare. Peter had confided that in many of those dreams he was being crushed beneath a building. Harley knew that dream was from a memory, but he had never heard the whole story.
Still, Peter was not someone who liked to discuss things before he was ready, and used humor to refer to his own trauma, so he was not surprised by the interaction between Peter and Shuri in the group chat. He still opened up a different chat between himself and Peter.
City Boy + Country Boy
Country Boy: You ok darlin?
City Boy: I’m good. Thx Harls ❤️❤️
Country Boy: do you wanna talk about it? We usually call on Saturdays anyway
City Boy: maybe? It was a year ago
Country Boy: yeah but you have ✨trauma✨ right? That doesn’t go away
City Boy: yeah I did say that didn’t I 😅
Country Boy: no but you don’t have to if you don’t wanna. We can just talk about how Tony and Pepper are prepping you to be the next CEO instead 👀
City Boy: omg STOP be serious
Country Boy: I am serious! The way you do so much at SI they totally are prepping you to be the heir of the company
City Boy: ugh but what about you and Abby??
Country Boy: what about us? Sweetheart I am NOT cut out for corporate bullshit. You know that if I was put in a board room those fuckers would get punched out
City Boy: …fair
Country Boy: my southern manners only go so far
City Boy: so what do you think you want to do?
Country Boy: I’m not sure. I mean, are YOU even sure that you want to be CEO? It’s not just what the old man wants for you?
City Boy: I mean honestly? I love the company. I think I could do a lot of good work here & idk maybe it’s nepotism but I don’t really want to do anything else except Spider-Man, and Spider-Man is very compatible with this. Both are just different kinds of saving the world
Country Boy: you’re adorable
City Boy: I really wish I could kiss you right now
Country Boy: that would be nice
City Boy: I wish I didn’t have school and I could come down with mom and dad for your and Abby’s birthdays.
Country Boy: that would be great, but at least we can do thanksgiving, right?
City Boy: yeah, but that’s not for another TWO MONTHS
Country Boy: do you still think they would be less likely to let us see each other more often if they knew we were dating?
City Boy: idk, I think they might already think we are dating 😭
Country Boy: sweetheart you are LITERALLY my boyfriend
City Boy: yea but they don’t KNOW that
Country Boy: the others are gonna be insufferable when we tell them
City Boy: I’ll be shocked if they don’t already know
Country Boy: there’s no way MJ doesn’t. She is scary
City Boy: agreed. Shuri definitely suspects but she is waiting for confirmation. I feel bad not telling them but… Ned
Country Boy: yeah. He cannot keep a secret to save his life
City Boy: the fact that all of Queens does not know I am spider-man is a miracle. I think that most of midtown suspects at this point but they are too incredulous to try and confirm
Country Boy: incredulous?
City Boy: at school I am known for being nerdy and weak, and I used to have asthma. I also used to wear glasses — everyone thinks I got contacts & I still wear special glasses that dad gave me that help filter light sometimes
Country Boy: darlin I have seen you bench press over 5k tons wtf you mean weak
City Boy: I used to be on the verge of failing gym lmao. Then I got the bite and suddenly I have super strength overnight? The math doesn’t math for the average highschooler so I have been pretending to slowly get better and I have been pretending to work out on the side. This year has been better b/c I told the coach I was working out all summer. But still
Country Boy: wild
City Boy: ANYWAY we just got to the compound, spending the rest of the weekend here training. Dad finally got the pardon.
Country Boy: no shit??
City Boy: YEAH! I am kind of excited b/c the rogue avengers are all here on lockdown and I get to train with them. And like, I am still absolutely pissed at them obvi esp captain America and the winter soldier but I figure if dad can forgive them so can I try to
City Boy: and also they offered to train me b/c I am Spider-Man and Tony’s son and why the hell would I reject training from captain fucking America and the black widow herself??
Country Boy: I would question your sanity if you did ngl
City Boy: fr right?? Okay ttyl! Ily!!
Harley’s heart stopped as he read Peter’s last message. It was just a phrase but… Peter had never said that he loved him before. They had only been dating for a few months. The fact that he loved Peter was something that he had thought to himself several times before, but nothing that he had ever voiced aloud. Nothing he had ever acknowledged to anyone.
Yet perhaps Peter did not even mean it that way? He said it so casually, and as an acronym as well. Perhaps he didn’t mean it as “I love you” like in love? But as a friend? Friends told each other that they loved each other all the time. Peter had fondly expressed love for all of his friends. Harley was overthinking this. But he had no one to talk to about it, because none of his friends even knew that they were a thing. Well. One friend almost definitely knew. So Harley filled himself with resolve and picked up his phone again, this time dialing a number.
“Someone better be dying.”
“Hello to you too, MJ.” Harley drawled with more confidence than he felt.
“Why are you calling me, Keener. Phones are for texting.”
“Phones were actually invented for talking—”
“I am hanging up now.”
“Wait no! It’s important!”
“More important than the book I was reading?”
“Well, I just thought, since you enjoy people in crisis so much, you might want to hear about this,” Harley reasoned.
“Okay, you have my interest. Continue.” Harley could almost see her nod.
“Well, so Peter and I have been dating since the end of July—”
“Since the beginning of July actually, but go on.”
Harley rolled his eyes but continued. “ Anyway the point is that I realized that I am in love with Peter, and he texted me ‘ily’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is in love with me, only that he loves me as a friend, and no one else but you knows that we are dating, and I don’t know how to tell him that—”
“Let me stop you right there. You’re calling me because you’re panicking about whether your secret boyfriend is in love with you?” MJ asked.
“Uh, yeah?” Harley replied uncertainly.
“Well I can confirm that anyone who spends more than five minutes with the two of you will notice that you two are sickeningly in love with each other. Just talk to him. You’ll be fine. You’re a big boy. You’ve got this. Okay, that’s all the pep talking I’ve got in me today. I’ll take one selfie as payment for this therapy session.”
“A selfie?” Harley felt like he had whiplash.
“I like drawing people in crisis.”
And she hung up.
Harley did not talk to Peter about it, because Peter apparently did not notice what he had texted, or at least not the significance of it. The other boy was too exhausted and exhilarated from his training session with the Avengers.
Nevertheless, Peter did tell Harley that he loved him just a week later, properly this time. He had, in the end, convinced Tony to let him fly down to Rose Hill in the Quinjet Friday afternoon after school, and was flying back on Sunday afternoon. He was missing homecoming of course, but that was “no big loss.”
With Pepper and Tony staying in the guestroom Harley and Peter were both in Harley’s room, Peter ostensibly on an air mattress but in reality cuddled up with Harley on his tiny twin bed, at least until it was actually time to sleep. It was late Friday night and they were whispering to each other, so as to not keep the rest of the house awake, wrapped up in each other in the way that everyone who has ever tried to fit two people into a twin-sized bed knows you have to be in order to fit.
“Hey, it’s past midnight,” Peter interrupted Harley, who was in the middle of a story about how he had beat the boy who used to bully him, EJ, in a basketball tournament.
“Oh, so it is.” Harley blinked. “I’m sixteen.”
“Happy birthday my love.” Peter kissed him softly before nuzzling into Harley’s shoulder.
“Love?” Harley questioned lightly.
“Mhmmm.” Peter hummed contentedly. “If you haven’t caught on yet I’m very much in love with you, Harley Keener.”
Harley’s breath caught and he blinked tears of joy from his eyes before kissing the top of Peter’s head. “Well then I guess it’s a good thing that I’m in love with you too, Peter Parker.”
They drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms, both of them with broad smiles on their faces.
Life was good for Peter Parker.