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 Two! Make sure you start with Chapter One. Happy Reading!
Author’s Note: Yes I know you have been waiting for him… Harley!
Harley Keener did not ask for much. This was because he did not need much. Or expect much. He had his mama and he had Abby, and sure, his daddy had run out on them, but he didn’t need that man. He told himself for a long time that he didn’t need anyone.
And then he met the Mechanic.
Tony Stark had literally dropped out of the sky, broken into his garage and inserted himself into Harley’s life in a way that was irrevocable.
Harley was used to disappointment. So he did not expect much from Tony. He certainly did not expect Tony to stick around in any capacity. Yet despite all of Harley’s expectations the man did. He tricked out the garage with all sorts of materials for Harley to experiment with. He gave Harley his own AI that could communicate with all of Tony’s, which Harley named Josie.
Josie was installed in the garage and on the top of the line phone, laptop, and tablet that Tony had given him with the excuse that he wanted Harley as a beta tester. When Harley complained that he could not accept such charity for only himself Tony sent similar devices for his mother and younger sister. His mother said that seven was too young for a smartphone, however, and Abby was not allowed her devices without supervision until she was ten.
Tony then sent what he called a “dumb phone” for Abby so that she would have something to use to make phone calls and send text messages in emergencies. Harley knew that his mother, who had only been disappointed by men, was also waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Yet as the years went on, Tony never missed his weekly check-in call with Harley, and even when he had landed himself in the hospital or was unconscious Pepper, who sometimes joined him on the calls, would call instead and give him updates. Harley realized about a year into knowing Tony that he also had calls and sent frequent text messages to his mother in addition to the texts he exchanged with Harley. They talked about him, she kept Tony updated on his life and his health. Tony cared. And more than that, he grew to care about Abby too as she joined Harley on some of his calls, and he knew that his mama started to let her use the devices Tony had sent her to make her own calls to Tony and Pepper when she didn’t join his.
Tony wasn’t his dad. But he was the closest thing Harley had to one, and once he found out when it was, he and Pepper always flew down to Tennessee on his and Abby’s birthdays since they were only 2 days apart.
Harley and Abby also spent a month every summer in New York. This summer was going to be different though, because over the last six months Tony and Pepper had quasi-adopted another teenager, and both he and his aunt had moved into the tower. Harley could not help but feel tense about meeting this “Peter Parker”. Abby was excited — she liked the idea of having two big brothers.
But Harley did not know what to feel. He was anxious about it throughout the entire time on the quinjet and as they got off the landing pad at the top of the tower until they walked into the penthouse and he laid eyes on the most gorgeous boy he had ever seen. He had wide brown eyes and dark curly hair that Harley was dying to run his hands through. The boy — Peter, he had to be — was wearing an unbuttoned cardigan over a t-shirt with a science pun that Harley couldn’t parse because of how unbearably soft and kissable his lips looked.
In other words, Harley was in deep shit.
Tony was anxious about Peter finally meeting Harley and Abby. He considered all three of them to be like kids to him, and he really hoped that Peter would mesh well with the Keener kids. Many scenarios, some disastrous, some hopeful, went through his head at their finally coming together. What he did not expect was for Harley to completely stop in the doorway the first moment that locked eyes with Peter, only for Abby to push past him, disgruntled.
Abby’s eyes lit up when she saw Peter and she rushed over to pull him into a hug, stopping at the last minute. “Hi! I’m Abby! You’re Peter, right? Are you a hugger? It’s just I’ve been dying to meet you!”
Peter laughed, breaking eye contact with Harley, and yeah Tony was going to have to ask the two of them what that was about. “Yeah, I’m a hugger, bring it in.”
“And where’s my hug?” Tony asked, with faux impatience. “I fly you two up here and—”
“You know Abby, she likes everything shiny and new.” Harley drawled, his eyes flicking to Peter, something Tony could not discern clouding his gaze. “Nice to see you old man.” Harley pulled Tony into a hug and clapped him on the back, and Tony was disgruntled to realize that the 15 year old was the same height as him and thus might very well surpass him in height soon.
Abby pulled away from Peter and rushed over to Tony and pulled him into a hug. “Hi Tony! It’s so good to see you!” Abby, at least, was still shorter than him. Tony hugged her tightly and kissed her forehead.
“How was the flight?” He smiled as she started off on a tangent. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Peter offering to help Harley get the rest of their bags off of the jet and into their rooms. Abby would be getting her own room, but with Peter and May moved in Peter and Harley would have to share, something that they had prepared for by swapping out Peter’s couch for a second bed, and the two agreeing to switch back and forth between who slept on the larger bed. But nevertheless Tony was anxious about how the two would react to sharing space with a stranger.
Peter was very conscious of the staring. He had been anxious about Harley and Abby staying with them ever since Tony and Pepper had brought it up a few months ago. He knew who they were of course. And Peter could not help but feel self-conscious about it. While Peter considered Tony and Pepper to be his mom and dad at this point and he knew they thought of him as their kid, that was a position that Harley and Abby had held first.
In many ways he felt like a usurper. And he felt even worse when he realized that because he and May had moved in there wouldn’t be enough guest rooms for Harley and Abby to have their own rooms. Perhaps that is why he offered to share his room with Harley. It probably would have made more sense for Harley to share with his sister. They were actual siblings. Peter was just an interloper. But he wanted to be friends with them. He didn’t want them to hate them. And Tony said that Harley had agreed.
But in retrospect he was not sure about how smart of an idea it was, as he finally saw Harley for the first time. Harley was beautiful. His blue eyes were like staring into a crystal clear lake, and his hair looked like honey. The eyes Peter noticed in particular because they were almost laser focused on him, even when the other boy stumbled as his sister pushed past him. Peter tore himself away as Abby started speaking and he refocused on her. She was a regular ball of sunshine, and something in Peter settled as he realized that there was at least one Keener sibling who liked him.
But there was something about Harley’s gaze that made Peter feel… he didn’t know what to feel. Peter’s brain felt thick like molasses, and suddenly all he could parse was the thudding of the heartbeats in the room. Abby left his side to go hug and speak with Tony, and Harley approached him. The other boy touched his wrist, and Peter gasped as it felt almost like electricity. Which was ridiculous, he was simply feeling the effects of over-sensitivity.
“You okay, darlin’?” Harley asked, his voice low and concerned. Peter felt something in him melt, and he cleared his throat.
“Yeah. I’m, I’m fine. Do you need help getting the rest of your bags out of the quinjet and into your rooms?”
“Sure, I could use a hand. I’m staying in your room, right?” Harley asked, as though he didn’t already know the answer. Peter could not read the expression on his face but he could hear the way that Harley’s heartbeat sped up slightly. Interesting.
“Yeah. Here, let me grab these.” Peter easily tossed Abby’s large duffel bag on his back and grabbed both of the large suitcases. Harley was left with only his backpack and duffel bag. Peter ignored the eyes on his back as he walked swiftly back to the penthouse, allowing Harley to follow him.
Harley was incredibly flustered by Peter and he had no idea what to do about it. Much to Harley’s amazement, Peter had just lifted three bags that Harley had struggled to carry one at a time like they weighed as much as a piece of paper. Harley rushed to follow the other boy but Peter was fast and had already dropped off the bags at Abby’s room and was waiting outside his— their room.
“I’m, so yeah, this is me, us. Yeah.” Harley observed that Peter was somehow even more adorable when he was blushing, which he didn’t think was possible, and followed him inside the room.
It was tidy, which was more than he could say for his own bedroom. The desk was a bit messy, but that was to be expected for a nerd like the one he had heard Peter was rumored to be. Harley set down the duffel bag and did his best not to stare at Peter. There was a tension thick in the air as neither of them quite knew what to say.
Harley opened his mouth but before he could say anything Peter spoke quickly.
Harley’s mouth snapped shut. This boy was Spider-Man? He looked like he couldn’t hurt a fly. He also clearly had an extraordinary amount of strength. Harley’s mind was moving at a mile a minute, connecting dots furiously fast. Pepper and Tony had seemingly all but adopted Peter just a short while after Spider-Man had come onto the scene as a superhero, but decidedly after he had begun the gig. He had heard a lot about both Peter and Spider-Man, all positive, but neither Tony nor Pepper had ever revealed that they were the same person. The only question was, why was Peter confiding in him now?
“I just. I go on patrol. A lot of nights. And I didn’t want you to wonder why I sometimes am swinging in and out of the window. So you know I figured I’d. Get it out of the way.” Peter fiddled with the edge of his sweater.
Harley reached for Peter’s hand carefully this time, remembering how Peter had acted shocked the first time Harley had touched him.
“Thank you for telling me.” The corner of Harley’s mouth quirked up in a smile. “I’ve heard quite a lot about you, you know.”
“As Spider-Man? Yeah, he’s pretty well known.” Peter sighed.
Harley began to run circles on Peter’s hand. “And as Peter Parker. I think I’d like to get to know you myself though. Get some primary source research done.” Harley drew closer so that they were almost touching, but not quite. He heard Peter’s breath hitch.
“I’m, I’m not opposed to that.” Peter whispered. They leaned in close together and their mouths almost touched when there was a harsh knock on the door.
“We’re ordering pizza for dinner. What do y’all want?” Abby shouted through the wood. Peter and Harley jumped apart, staring at each other wide eyed.
“Just a sec! I want to look at the menu myself!” Harley shouted in reply.
“Whatever! If you’re not out in two minutes I am ordering you pineapple!”
“That’s sacrilege!” Peter and Harley shouted back, turning to the door in outrage, almost forgetting the situation as they heard Abby laugh.
Harley turned away from the door to face Peter again. He hesitated before cupping Peter’s cheek. He felt like things were moving very fast, but something about Peter sent electricity through his veins. “Hey. Is it, um. Is it okay if I kiss you?”
Peter smiled shyly. “Um. Yeah. It is.”
They kissed gently at first, until Harley bit Peter’s lip, and Peter moaned and then suddenly Harley was pushed up against the door and yeah Peter was definitely stronger than him and he had no problem with that.
They ended up with pineapple pizza, but sometimes sacrifices had to be made.
Harley was a really good kisser. This was something that Peter had determined after knowing the boy for less than an hour. Yet, Peter also realized that there was much more to Harley than just his extraordinary kissing abilities. Peter had felt instantly drawn to Harley the second he laid eyes on the other boy, how could he not be? Harley was gorgeous. And then he called him “darlin” and Peter confessed that he was Spider-Man, and they made out in his room, and Peter thought oh, this could be a nice way to spend my summer nights.
But it was at dinner that he realized he might be truly gone for Harley, because Tony brought up movie night and insisted that Peter was not allowed to pick Star Wars again.
“What’s wrong with Star Wars?” Harley asked, confused.
“Star Wars is Peter’s favorite. Tony, there’s nothing wrong with watching it again, and you don’t even know that it’s what Peter was going to pick,” Pepper explained.
“Pete always picks Star Wars. And sometimes he even picks the prequels . Sacrilege.” Tony muttered in disgust, wrinkling his nose.
“There’s nothing wrong with the prequels!” Peter, Harley, and Abby shouted in unison before breaking into grins as they looked at each other. Tony threw up his hands in exasperation.
“I was actually going to suggest The Princess Bride , but since you brought up Star Wars…” Peter began teasingly, laughing as Tony groaned again and Pepper, May, and Abby all laughed as well. Harley, however, broke out into a grin, and his eyes lit up.
“I love The Princess Bride! It’s my favorite movie.”
“Really? I mean we can totally watch it if you want! We watch Star Wars all the time, I don’t mind. The Princess Bride is a classic.” Peter replied eagerly.
“Exactly! It’s so quotable!” Harley exclaimed.
“I know! It’s impossible to pick a favorite part but mine is probably— ‘You mean you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword, and we’ll try and kill each other like civilized people?’”
Harley finished in unison with him and they grinned at each other over their pizza.
“Introducing them to each other was either the best or the worst decision we have ever made,” Tony shook his head.
“Why don’t you wait to make that judgment call until I get Peter here alone in the lab.” Harley winked in Peter’s direction and the other boy flushed. “I’ve heard a lot about some of what you get up to darlin’ and I can’t wait to experiment.”
This time it was Pepper who groaned and put her head in her hands. “Just promise me that you won’t do anything that requires the legal team, medical attention, or financial damage over ten thousand.” Peter and Harley nodded solemnly at her sigh of resignation, both of them holding crossed fingers behind their backs.
When she looked away they caught each other’s eyes and Peter realized that… yeah, this was the start of something.
Since it was summer vacation, Peter, Harley, and Abby did not have school, but Pepper, May, and Tony still needed to go to work. Pepper and Tony usually tried to take as much time off as possible during Harley and Abby’s trips up to New York, but Pepper was CEO and Tony was her second in command, and so there was only so much time away from SI that they could afford. As such, the teens had a lot of downtime to themselves, which Peter used as an opportunity to introduce Harley and Abby to his own friends.
Despite the fact that Abby, at eleven, was much younger than Peter, Harley, MJ, Ned, and Shuri, they all enjoyed spending time with the girl. Shuri in particular had taken an immediate liking to Abby, and once she realized that both Abby and Harley would be staying for another three weeks she arranged to come over from Wakanda for that same amount of time, insisting that she was not the queen and the country could survive without her. If anyone asked, she was checking up on their New York offices again. It meant that she had to do some work while there, but she was seventeen and surely not expected to work all of the time.
Peter, Harley, and Abby were gifted their own lab with very strict instructions that Abby could only work in the lab if one of the other teenagers or Tony was present, much to Abby’s chagrin. But she managed to work on many more projects than in the garage lab in Rose Hill which was very much Harley’s domain, as Shuri and Peter were much more patient teachers than Harley.
Part of Harley was jealous of how well the two got along with his younger sister, who had been his closest confidant for so long, despite their difference in age. Yet she was also a huge responsibility, and he loved her, and he loved to see her flourish under the attention of others. And he loved that Peter got along so well with her. And Shuri, Ned, and MJ were fun . Ned and MJ did not come to the lab that often — when they came over it was mostly for movie nights or for lego builds. They also had a few days out in the city where the New Yorkers showed the Keeners and Shuri the sights of the city, carefully shadowed by Dora Milaje.
They also spent time with Tony, Pepper, and May whenever possible, and before they knew it, the month in New York had flown by and it was Harley and Abby’s last day in the city. Peter and Harley still had not defined what exactly they were to each other over that time. They spent almost all of their time together by default. And at nights in particular they would spend a great deal of time kissing, sometimes on one bed or the other, though they almost always slept in their own beds in the end.
Neither of them told anyone else about their relationship — was it a relationship? They were friends who kissed each other every day. Except that was going to change. Because Harley was leaving.
Harley and Peter had only a little over a month’s difference in terms of their ages. They were in the same grade even though Harley would typically be in a grade lower since he was past the cutoff point, but Rose Hill was a small town and everyone there had recognized that Harley was a genius and keeping him from starting school for a whole extra year because he was a month too young would be akin to a crime. Abby had in turn demanded that the same allowance be made for her since her birthday was two days before Harley’s, and so despite the fact that she was only eleven she would be starting the seventh grade that fall.
Harley and Peter on the other hand, would each be starting their junior year, hundreds of miles apart. And if there was a time when they would get a chance to talk about that, it would be that last night.
Peter followed Harley into the bedroom after dinner, closing the door quietly. They had invited Ned, MJ, and Shuri over to celebrate Harley and Abby’s last night with them, but now the three had all gone home, and everyone who lived in the tower was retiring to bed. Peter turned to Harley, opening his mouth to start the conversation he was afraid to have, when he was surprised by lips on his. He melted into Harley’s embrace, which, despite the abrupt nature of its instigation, was soft. They broke away, foreheads pressed against each other.
“I wish you didn’t have to leave.” Peter whispered.
“I don’t want to leave you darlin’. It’s just… Rose Hill isn’t the best place.” Harley sighed. “But it’s home.”
“I know.” Peter nodded. “Harley…” he hesitated before continuing. “What are we?”
Harley’s cheeks were tinted pink as he responded slowly. “Well I had assumed that you were my boyfriend. But I guess we never— talked about it explicitly.”
“Yeah, um. We didn’t. But I’d like to be!” Peter grabbed Harley’s arms as the other boy started to pull away. “Oh, I’m sorry, was that too much?” Peter pulled back himself as he realized that he was using more strength than he meant to.
“No, it’s alright sweetheart.” Harley tilted Peter’s chin up. “I’d like you to be. My boyfriend that is. And I’d like to be yours.” They were both blushing furiously, and Peter bit his lip.
“So that’s it then? We’re boyfriends?” Peter asked.
“Hell yeah we are.” Harley captured Peter’s lips in another kiss, and Peter felt himself melt.
Yeah, life was good for Peter Parker.