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The first time it happens, Peter’s lying in bed, scrolling through news about Spiderman on his phone at one in the morning on a Tuesday in January because he can’t fall asleep after the night he’s had patrolling. He’s about to open an article with the title “Spiderman’s Identity Revealed!” when he gets a notification at the top of his phone.

                  Michelle Jones

                 hey loser. have this.

And then another message comes through with a link attached. He opens the message and it’s a link to a YouTube video of a song. He looks back and finds that their last text exchange was last Thursday when she asked him if he was going to make it to the first decathlon practice of the year so he could start the new year off right. Odd.

Nonetheless, he opens up the song, listens to it, jams a bit to himself in bed even though he can feel his exhaustion in his bones, and then sends her back: it’s a good song. thanks. After two minutes, he gets a response.

                  Michelle Jones: no worries, parker

And that ends the conversation. He falls asleep shortly afterward, not thinking more of the out of the blue exchange. However, when Wednesday afternoon rolls around and Peter’s munching on the chicken pesto sandwich May’d purchased from Trader Joe’s, Michelle walks over to a seat across from him and Ned and sits down in it.

Peter is confused. Because Michelle always sits several seats down from them, reading a book while occasionally listening in on their conversations. She’s never sat across from them before. But she pulls out a book and starts reading, not acknowledging the fact that Ned and Peter have stopped talking. She glances up and scrunches her eyebrows together, “What, losers?”

“Nothing.” Peter says quickly, turning back to Ned and asking him about the history reading. Michelle doesn’t say anything else for the rest of the day, but she does steal two of his carrots. He gawks at her but she just shrugs her shoulders and pushes her bag of chips toward him. He takes a few. Only to make things fair. Not because they’re his favorite brand and flavor of chips.

He doesn’t think anything of the sudden change in seating arrangements, though. Michelle is weird. Maybe she just wants to be able to swap food and have background chatter while she reads. Peter also doesn’t think anything of it when Michelle sits next to him in Chemistry suddenly.

She plops down in the seat next to him and when Cindy gets to class and sees her seat taken, she just scrunches her eyebrows together and walks over to sit by Abraham in Michelle’s usual seat. Then, when their teacher tells them about a lab they’ll have coming up, Michelle asks Peter if he wants to be her partner. Which, Ned is always his partner. But Peter finds himself saying yes anyway. Michelle’s weird but also a little terrifying and he doesn’t want to say no to her, honestly. (Ned gets upset at him after school that day because he’s going to have to partner with Betty Brant now and Betty makes him nervous.)

It’s only after Michelle texts him again, the next week, asking about the lab report that he thinks of it. The last message she’d sent had been about the song. Friends. Is this Michelle’s odd way of asking to be friends? Sending a song and then inserting herself into his life?

Weird. But Michelle is too, so he supposes it’s fitting. Besides, he kind of enjoys having her around now, anyway. Peter could do friends with Michelle.

By the time summer rolls around, Michelle and Peter are solidly friends. Peter thinks. He’s calling her MJ now and toward the end of the year she’d stolen his phone and changed her name to Michelle “I don’t deserve her as a friend” Jones. Which is the name that pops up around ten at night on the Thursday before he’s supposed to go to one of Flash’s summer parties with Ned.

                  Michelle “I don’t deserve her as a friend” Jones: heh, sounds like you.

She sends a link to a song and he listens to the first twenty seconds before getting offended. (“I’ve always wanted to be cool. But I’m not that cool, that cool.” Those are some of the offending words.) He replies with “rude”. She tells him to listen to the whole song, noob. So he does. Because she asked and he can’t really say no to her. It’s a cool song. He kind of likes it. But he still feels a bit slighted by the message, so he doesn’t respond. That’ll show her. (It won’t.)

The next night, Ned picks him up around nine at night to drive them to the party. May tells them to be safe and looks Ned sternly in the eye, telling him that if he drinks a single drink he should call her to pick them up. Or else. Ned takes a big gulp and nods his head frantically because May can be incredibly scary when she wants.

When they arrive at the party, Ned steers clear of any alcohol that’s present and gets pulled aside by Betty because she has a question. (Yeah, sure.) So, Peter is left alone. He meanders around the party for a bit with a beer in his hand because it makes him feel less out of place. Then, he sees her.

She’s standing off to the side, eating a banana as she observes everyone at the party, eyes scanning the room and settling every so often. Her arms are crossed over her chest like she’s slightly uncomfortable. He walks over because he, for himself, is incredibly uncomfortable. He quickly realizes when he starts walking over and she notices him that he has no idea what to say. He remembers the song and manages, “Look who wants to be cool now.”

She scoffs, rolling her eyes. “You’re still the loser.”

“Ouch.” He chuckles, leaning back against the wall beside her. She’s got a small smile on her face, and he’d like to think it’s because she likes talking to him. She looks more comfortable, so at least there’s that.

“Didn’t realize you were a beer drinker.” She nods her head at his hands, which are tightly gripping a beer bottle that’s been opened but not sipped from.

“I’m not.” He says, a little sheepish. “It made me feel more comfortable here.” Which, he feels a bit embarrassed telling this to MJ, who is so unapologetically herself that she would never compromise her identity to fit in. But Peter is less sure of himself.

“Well then,” she says quietly and grabs the beer bottle from him, placing it onto the ground. She grabs a bag of fruit gummies from her pocket (why does she have those?) and hands them to him. “Have these instead.” He thanks her silently and chews on the gummies. They’re actually quite tasty. He’s pretty stoked. “So,” she says between pursed lips before asking her next question. “What brings you to the house of your nemesis for a party?”

And then they just start talking. From school to excitement about junior year to movies to music. (She complains that he never sends her music even though she sends him songs all the time. He panics and tells her that she should check out Hiatus Kaiyote’s Tawk Tomahawk because he’d just listened to it.)

Ned comes over while they’re in the middle of an argument (debate, MJ will claim later) about Jyn’s characterization in Rogue One. He slaps Peter lightly on the shoulder and nods to MJ. “Peter where have you been? You missed Flash getting thrown into the pool.”

“Oh,” Peter gets out, suddenly feeling incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. “MJ and I were just talking.”

Ned eyes him suspiciously. Peter doesn’t like that look on his face, either. “For the last hour and a half?”

“Uh,” Peter glances back at MJ. She looks entirely unimpressed with this whole exchange. He turns back to Ned. “Yeah?”

“Okay.” Ned drops it for the time being. They all talk for another twenty minutes before it’s almost Peter’s curfew and he and Ned have to leave. As soon as Peter closes the door to the passenger side of the car, Ned turns to him and punches him in the shoulder before yelling, “You never told me you had a crush on MJ!!”

Peter sputters and hopes the furious blush on his cheeks aren’t too noticeable in the dark light. “I do not!”

“Peter Parker, why would you ever keep this information from me!?!” He continues to yell in the car, and Peter hopes the people walking by don’t hear them because the last thing he needs is other people thinking he has a crush on MJ. Because he doesn’t.

Peter pouts and Ned drops it after a few more aggravated, “This is so ridiculous. I’m your best friend. I can’t believe you’d lie to me like that.” But then Peter starts unconsciously singing the lyrics to the song MJ had sent. He remembers how she’d scrunch her eyebrows together when talking through all her points or how she’d smile and call him a loser when he got too passionate about something unimportant. But most importantly, he remembers how he’d make a joke and her laughter would bubble out of her, loud and surprised, as if she hadn’t expected to like his words so much. And he thinks, maybe I’m not cool, but MJ thinks I am.

At the beginning of second semester junior year, Peter meets with his guidance counselor to talk about college. He assures her that he’s going to be going to MIT. He’s been planning on it since he was a sophomore and his mentor, Mr. Stark, has a pull there so it shouldn’t be an issue. But she still shoves pamphlets in his hand and tells him about an interest session MIT is giving near the school in a few weeks.

When May finds out, she tells him they have to go. And it’s leaving the interest session, twirling his phone in his hands, when he gets another song.

                  “still too good for you” mj: this one is really good. check it out.

But he’s with Aunt May and he doesn’t want to play it out loud in the car and he can’t just put in headphones because May will complain to him about how he’s always trying to tune her out. So he spends the whole drive home jumping a bit in his seat because he’s excited to listen to the song. He makes conversation with May about the session and the presenters and how well-spoken they were and how difficult it is to get into the school. As soon as they’re home, though, he thanks May for taking him and goes straight to his room, lying down on his bed as he plugs his headphones into his phone and plays the song.

It’s a smooth song. He likes the beat, and he shakes his shoulders side to side along with the music as he lies in bed. He listens to it again. The second time is when he starts to hear the lyrics, and he panics a bit. It becomes obvious that it’s a song about a young boy. A young boy with a crush on a girl.

Peter is a bit suspicious, but he doesn’t dare mention anything to MJ. He’s worried, though. Does MJ know about his steadily growing crush on her? Does she notice how his eyes light up and he sits a bit straighter when she walks into a classroom? Or that he follows her every word at lunch time? Or that he’s suddenly much more invested in decathlon and attending every single meeting that he can? Has she noticed that he’s starting reading books she suggests or has an entire playlist dedicated to songs she’s sent him? That he brags about her taste in music to other people? He’s tried to be subtle about his crush, he swears. He supposes he wasn’t doing the best job.

Then, the decathlon team is all chatting about colleges and which ones they’re thinking of applying to and what they like and dislike about each school. Peter notices, however, that MJ is oddly silent about it. She’s usually so outspoken about her opinions, and she’s the smartest one on the team. Surely, she must have some opinions about what college she wants to attend.

Peter waits to ask her about it until they’re alone. They’re doing homework in his room at eleven on a Tuesday. May is asleep and MJ has an hour until she has to drive home. (She’d called her parents beforehand.) Right after they finish up a question that asked them to prove the definition of a limit for the function f(x) = x^3. (Peter usually dislikes proving things in math, but MJ is oddly fascinated by the whole process that he can’t help but see the beauty of it when he works with her.) “You haven’t been talking about college with anyone?” It’s a statement, but the question mark at the end is clear in his tone.

She’s silent, just like at school. But then: “I’m worried I won’t get in and everyone will think I’m not actually as smart as I thought I was.” A beat. “Or that I’ll get in and people will think it’s only because I’m black.” She takes a deep breath, in through her nose and out slowly through her mouth. “I’m applying to Harvard, restrictive early action.”

And, Peter’s a bit in awe. Because, like, it’s Harvard. But if anyone deserves to go to Harvard, or would thrive at Harvard, it’s MJ. “You are, without a doubt, the smartest person I know. Harvard would be absolutely lucky to have you.” He pauses for a moment, because he doesn’t know what to say. He doesn’t know if there’s any way to assure her or comfort her in this regard because he can’t change racial prejudice. “I’m sorry that you have to go through this. I wish you could be allowed to only stress about whether or not you get into college, not the implications either will have.” It doesn’t feel like enough, and she still seems uncomfortable even though she gives him a brief smile. “Thank you for trusting me with this.”

She rolls her eyes, smacking his shoulder lightly. “We’re friends, loser. Don’t make it a big deal.” He tries to keep his smile contained, too not smile too brightly so that’s its suspicious. But then she’s going over how they should approach the next proof and he just can’t help it. She’s pretty fucking amazing.

When school ends after junior year, Peter is pretty happy. He, Ned, and MJ hang out all the time over the summer. They do all their applications together in little study parties, with loads of snacks covering the tables and music playing lightly in the background. (He plays all the songs Michelle has sent, and tries not to find her eye whenever one comes on so he can see her reaction.) When they get their scores back, they all cheer loudly and adjust their Common App pages.

Peter’s also incredibly happy because MJ spends lazy weekends at his apartment. (Ned goes to church with his family and they go to a lot of banquets.) She lies on his bunk bed, her feet propped up against the wooden slats that hold up the top bunk’s bed. Or she lies on the top bunk, her head leaning over the edge so she’s reading upside down. (She doesn’t keep that pose for very long, but it’s the most adorable thing he’s ever seen.)

Further, it’s hot. It’s the middle of July and New York City is humid and sticky and blisteringly hot. So, sometimes, Peter takes off his shirt. He asks MJ every time and she just rolls her eyes at him. “Whatever floats your boat, loser.” So he strips off his shirt and tries not to watch for MJ’s reaction. She always keeps her eyes resolutely focused on her book. (Though, one time, he was putting in a new lightbulb in his lamp and when he finished, he caught her staring at his abs. He had to keep his squeal of delight in his mind.) MJ’s also taken to wearing short shorts and tank tops. It makes sense. No need to cover more skin that necessary if you’re going to be baked alive. It’s just…frustrating for Peter sometimes.

Summer is not all lazy days with friends, however. He still goes out on patrol regularly. He gets hurt a decent amount. And about a week into the summer, MJ asks him how the whole Spiderman thing has been going and he spits out his milk. (So, she’d found out.) Which, he likes having MJ know about the whole Spiderman thing. Because now he doesn’t have to feel like a liar all the time around her. However, he also doesn’t like having MJ know about the whole Spiderman thing. Because they fight. A lot.

They get into loud arguments about how he risks his life every day for people he doesn’t know and she won’t talk to him for three days after he gets badly hurt because she’s pissed. She tells him he’s too reckless and that he doesn’t prioritize himself when he goes out as Spiderman. How he’s too young and not well trained so he’ll continue getting nicked in the side by knives and bullets. He tries to reason that he does it to protect the little guy, tries to get her to understand that he needs to do this. “Peter, you’re one of the little guys. You need protecting too.” That upsets him. Because he’s not a little guy. He’s a fucking superhero. He’s an Avenger. But it all boils down to the fact that both of them care too much.

                 it’s the loser, do not answer: i care about you, mj. i care about you a lot. but i also care about new york.

He waits three hours for a reply, though he knows she reads it immediately. (He doesn’t know whether to be grateful for read receipts or if he should burn them in hell.)

                  michelle “my headache” jones: the problem is i care about you too much.

But mostly, they’re fine. Things are still okay with them. Which is why, two days before they’re going to hang out again, she sends him a new song.

                  michelle “my angel” jones: this one’s got a jazzy vibe. it’s a jam.

His horny “I’m seventeen and have a crush” brain freaks out a bit at the title of the song. He listens to it anyway. (MJ sent it. He’ll always listen.) He tries not to think too much into the fact that the song’s lyrics include “I love you”, “I hate you”, “I fuck you”, “well fuck you”. It’s all a little too close to home for their relationship since MJ joining Team Spiderman. He tries not to think about how, often times, their arguments will end with them up in each other’s faces. Or that he’s usually able to feel MJ’s hot breath heaving out against his face. Or that sometimes her eyes will flick down to his lips and he’ll almost lean forward.

But it’s fine. Peter likes the song. Then, when she comes to visit, he plays it and she signs along. he tries not to be entranced when she sings along. He tries not to let his heart do flips when she sings, “I love you.” And he tries not to feel it in his pants when she sings the words, “I fuck you.” He does his best to keep his mind free of inappropriate feelings and thoughts about his best friend.

He gets the text from MJ while he’s out on patrol. He’s just said hello to the guy at the hot dog stand and stopped a purse snatcher. He’s swinging from one building to the next when his ass buzzes. He stops at the neck building and opens her text, nearly choking.

                  boston buddy: this is literally a jam. it’s cool though. sounds like that band.

He composes himself and plays the song out loud on his phone while he sits on the edge of the building. (He figures he can take a small break.) The song is good though. It sounds like Hiatus Kaiyote, which he’d mentioned to MJ at a party like two years ago. He didn’t even realize she listened to them. So maybe MJ sent it for that reason and not because the song is literally called “sex jam”. He tries not to think about it too much.

But then it’s lunch time on a Thursday and Peter’s picking the onions out of his sandwich when a red rose is dropped on top of his meal. He looks up, and it’s Abraham. The boy is smirking and Peter’s going to ask what this means, but he leaves. Then Sally comes over and drops another rose onto his lunch and giggles before walking away. Soon, the whole decathlon team is dropping a rose onto his lunch and he’s so supremely confused. But then he sees MJ, carrying a whole bouquet of roses, and everything kind of clicks into place. He starts laughing and she has a small smile on his face as she rolls her eyes. “You’re a loser. But you can be a loser with a date to prom.” He hands him the bouquet and raises her eyebrows, stuffing her hands into her back pockets. “So? Be a friend and take a girl to prom?”

He shakes his head, all fond and shit. But he stands up and wraps his arms around MJ, pulling her into a tight hug and she laughs. “Yeah, I guess so.” He says into her ear, and she squeezes a bit tighter. He doesn’t even think about the fact that this is prom and it’s usually romantic. Because MJ’s his best friend and she asked and why wouldn’t he say yes?

He doesn’t think more about prom until Flash makes fun of him a week later before AP Gov starts. “Guess Penis Parker finally gets to use his penis with another person.” He snickers, and Peter rolls his eyes, trying to ignore the bully and keep his face from turning red because he does not need to be thinking about having sex with MJ in the middle of school. “Don’t forget to make your sex jam playlist.”

And there it is. The song is back. Right at the forefront of his mind again. Did MJ actually mean it like that? Had she been trying to tell him something? Is she going to try to have sex with him after prom? (Peter starts freaking out.)

When prom night finally does roll around, he wears a suit Tony had bought for him. It fits nicely and he thinks he looks pretty good. Aunt May cries and hugs him a bit too tightly. (“May, I gotta breathe.” “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”) Then he drives to pick MJ up from her house. Her mother answers the door, all smiles and hospitality. She welcomes him inside and tells him she’ll go get her daughter.

He’s waiting in the living room when he first sees her. She’s walking down the stairs, wearing a sleeveless black dress. Peter’s brain short circuits for a moment. He doesn’t snap out of it until she steps in front of him, crossing her arms over her chest and saying, “You look nice, Parker.” He sputters for a bit before he can return the compliment. She laughs and they turn so her mom can take pictures. Then they’re off to prom and he keeps worrying about what Flash said.

He shouldn’t worry. Prom is a good time. They hang out with the decathlon team and everyone gets a bit emotional. He and MJ slow dance together a few times, but it’s fine. And they don’t sleep together. They do, however, sit for several hours at the bar of the hotel where their prom is. They order sodas and chili fries, munching on them and talking about the future and what they’re both going to do in Boston. At one point, MJ falls asleep on his shoulder and he kisses her head. The waiter walks over with refills of the soda. She smiles. “You two are such a cute couple.”

Peter looks down at MJ, who looks so peaceful and content. “Thank you.” He smiles at the waiter. He’ll let himself have tonight.

The summer before college, Peter feels like he, Ned, and MJ see each other almost every day. With Ned going to school across the country in California, Peter feels like he has to squeeze all the time in with his best friend that he can. Ned and MJ have grown fairly close on their own right. So everyone’s a little emotional when Ned leaves to go to the Philippines with his family for two weeks in the middle of the summer.

It’s during those two weeks that Peter realizes how amazing it’ll be to have MJ in Boston with him all the time. They see each other almost every day during those two weeks. (MJ gets sick in the middle so he doesn’t see her for two days.) They talk about college shopping lists and go over “College Essentials!” lists to figure out what should actually be necessary. They talk about classes they want to take. They come up with various personalities they could have if they wanted to reinvent themselves. (Neither wants to commit to that.) They watch a lot of movies they get from other students on the Facebook pages for incoming freshman for their respective schools. (They have a running commentary going for each one. They make fun of the lame ones and laud the good ones.) They also listen to a lot of music together. Like, a lot. Like he and MJ lie on the floor of her room while songs flow from her speakers and they don’t say anything, just lie there on her rug with their heads close. Occasionally, they’ll glance at each other and smile. Scrunch their nose if they don’t like the song and want to skip it. Reach for the phone when they want to know the song playing. They also send each other a lot of music during the times of day when they aren’t together.

                  pawk the cah in hahvahd yahd: this one is nice. smooth.

It is nice. It’s a very smooth song. Also a bit sexual? He really worries about whether or not MJ is trying to tell him something. Because if she is, he’s totally, one hundred percent on board. Like, all the way. But he has no idea if she’s trying to tell him anything at all. She could just be sending him a song she liked and that’s it. (He hopes that her songs have meaning.)

What he does know for sure is that the song has a really good pace. A pace that drives his eighteen-year-old horny brain up the wall. Which is why he starts to play the song while he masturbates. Because it’s a good pace. It’s smooth and slow and perfect for the build-up because it seems sensual and more romantic. (And okay, so, maybe he also pictures making out with MJ to this song and that really helps but his chest flushes red when he remembers this so he’s not going to talk about.)

It’s over the course of all these times (there are more than he’d care to admit) that he learns the lyrics to the song. It’s a good song, really. For reasons other than the masturbation variety. Which is why he plays it one day when they’re hanging out in his room, sitting against the edge of his bed next to each other. And since he knows all the words, he sings along to the whole song. When it ends, he turns and sees that MJ is staring at him. She looks confused and slightly surprised.

He feels uncomfortable and gets worried that she’ll catch onto the fact that he has this massive crush on her. So he shrugs and says, “What? I like your music.”

She turns her head, letting her curls fall over her face. “Good.” She turns back and her classic smirk is waiting for him. “I was starting to get worried that you didn’t like the recs because you never send stuff back.”

He balks and sputters. “You just send so much! How am I supposed to keep up?”

She rolls her eyes at him, laughing. “You’re a loser. Explore a little.” She knocks her shoulder against his and smirks at him. He smiles because he can’t help it. He can’t help a lot of things around her.

“I really do appreciate the music.” He says, earnest. “I really like your music.” She looks a bit stunned and turns her head again, pushing back some hair that had fallen into her face. She doesn’t say anything else and the next song plays. But she leans so that their shoulders are touching and he tries to stop the rapid beating in his chest. (He’s unsuccessful.)

Peter really likes college. He’s two and a half months into his first term, and he enjoys all his classes thus far. He’s made some good friends and he and his roommate are really close, which is nice. The food is pretty good and he gets to run along the Charles River every morning, which is really pretty at sunrise. Life is pretty nice.

He can’t not mention MJ either. They talk every day. They hang out at least once a week. Likely, more than that. They study together and his roommate and MJ are friendly. All of MJ’s roommates know him and they always giggle whenever he’s around. (Part of him worries that one of them has a crush on him, but he knows that’s ridiculous and pushes that thought aside.) They get lunch sometimes during the week and MJ steals food from his plate, but he steals some of her atrocious soda concoction so it all balances out. And, of course, MJ still sends him music.

                  the pretentious harvard one: oh my god, you’re a dumbass. here’s a song.

It’s out of the blue this time. No lead up, no mention of music in the last three days. He feels the buzz in his back pocket while he’s in physics on a Tuesday. After class, he puts the headphones in his phone and plays the song. The singer’s voice is silky. The words flow from his mouth like honey and Peter’s absolutely enraptured so he plays the song on repeat as he walks to his next class.

When he listens to it again that night, he finally realizes that the song is very…sexual. He looks up the lyrics and finds a video of the artist talking about the song and he literally says of some of the lyrics: “Yeah, that’s just good pussy. Good loving.” But the song is also incredibly romantic in its own right. About two people totally enraptured with each other and in their own world.

Peter freaks out. He tries to compose himself because he’s supposed to go to MJ’s dorm that Friday and watch a movie together for her film seminar. So he takes the next three days to focus and get himself prepped so he doesn’t spend the whole night looking at MJ like a lovesick puppy. (Or so that he doesn’t get a boner because he’s too busy thinking about what it’d be like to make love to her.)

So, at eight o’clock after a long day of class, he walks over to MJ’s dorm. As he walks into the dorm, he sees MJ’s roommates. He waves hello and smiles, because he wants to stay on good terms with them because he’s at MJ’s dorm so often. But they all just kind of…snicker at him as he walks by. He tries not to think too much of it.

The door to MJ’s suite is open, so he walks in. He knocks on the door to MJ’s room before opening it and she’s lying on her bed, elbow propping up the arm holding her head. She looks at him and he can’t quite decipher the expression on her face. But she asks, “You ready?” So he decides to let it be.

They watch the movie on her laptop, which is resting on her lap, so he has to lean into her a bit. He takes deep gulps because she’s in a loose tank top and she’s also not wearing a bra (not that he was looking!) and her sleep shorts, which are very short and give him a nice view of her legs. (They go on for ages, oh my goodness.) She smells like old books and it’s so entirely MJ that it’s all overwhelming. He’s not even paying attention to the movie at this point. It could be twenty minutes or even an hour later (he honestly doesn’t know) when the two characters on the screen start making out. Then they start having sex and Peter is overwhelmed because MJ is right next to him and they’re watching two people have sex on the screen.

Then, MJ pauses the film and he’s shocked. He looks over at her, stunned, with wide eyes. She looks so entirely fed up with everything. She crosses her arms over her chest and looks pointedly down at his pants. “Are we going to ignore your hard on or are we going to do something about it?” He gulps, but she just raises her eyebrows, looking down at his pants again and he can feel the blush spreading quickly across his face.

“Do you,” his voice cracks, so he takes a deep breath to compose himself. “Do you want to do something about it?”

All of her confidence from just a few moments before is suddenly gone. She’s bashful. She won’t meet his eye. She brushes her hair to the other side of her head and with a much softer tone of voice, she says, “I mean, if you want to, then sure.”

He’s smiles because it’s perfectly MJ. He leans in, slow, because he wants to savor and remember this moment. But when his lips meet hers, he becomes more frantic. One of his hands grabs her hip and squeezes and her arms wrap around his shoulders, pulling him so that he’s on top of her and pushing her into the bed. It’s a good kind of pressure. Then she’s running her hand down his abs until she’s reached his jeans and she’s palming him through his pants. He gasps, hips grinding down into her touch and he breathes deeply against her neck before latching on to kiss her there. She manages to get his shirt off somehow and run her other hand from his hair, down his back, and to his ass. She squeezes and she’s still palming his dick and it’s all a lot so he pulls back and slides down to her pants. He glances up, meets her eyes with a pointed look. “May I?”

She nods quickly and she’s a bit out of breath. But then her pants are off and he runs one of his hands slowly up her leg, watching her as he does so in case she gives any indication she wants him to stop. But she’s eyeing him and it feels significant. She’s biting her lip and nodding, so he starts to rub her through her underwear. She reaches down and adjusts his hands, guiding him so he’s moving them the right way. Then she’s gasping and leaning her head back against the bed. He moves so that he’s hovering over her, hand still moving against her through her underwear. He bites her eye, whispering, “Do you like that?” She sighs, moving her hands so that they card through his hair. They pull and he likes it a lot. “Yeah, you like that, don’t you?” Another nip at her ear and then he asks, “You’d like it if I ate you out, wouldn’t you?” She nods frantically. Her eyes are closed and she groans, pulling his head back and shoving him down. He chuckles, but pulls her underwear down before pulling her legs over his shoulders so she’s encasing him in his own personal garden of Eden. Her hands are tangled in his hair, and her grip tightens as he kisses and bites at her thighs. (He’s not going to admit to researching extensively about how you should go down on a person with a vagina. He looked up a lot of articles and diagrams and tips. He hopes some of them pay off.)

She pushes his head down to where she really wants and he flattens his tongue and licks. She pushes his head further down and gasps. He moans, which she seems to like because her legs shake. He takes it as a good sign and continues his ministrations. He involves his fingers at some point and then she’s moaning very loudly, gasping out every so often. She pushes her legs down into his back and lets out, “Fuck, Peter.” And then he crooks his finger and her muscles start tightening and spasming. Her mouth is open but not a sound comes out except for a squeak. She looks frozen in place, but her legs are shaking. He continues licking until she pulls him up by his hair and kisses him roughly. He’s sure the taste of her is now in her mouth and he likes that perhaps a bit too much.

He pulls back because he’s smiling too much to kiss her. She just laughs, running a hand across her forehead. “Fucking hell, Parker.”

“Good?” He asks, all smug and confident. But he really wants to hear her say it. To tell him he did a good job. And oh, he should explore that later.

“Really fucking good.” Then she’s running a hand across his abs and her hand is palming his dick again and he almost forgot. His mouth opens ridiculously and he groans, dropping his head into his shoulder, burying it there. He pulls his pants down and then shakes his head. “Oh wait, condom?” He really hopes she has a condom. She just smiles, leaning over the bed and pulling one out of a box. He rolls it on and positions himself. But then he looks into her eyes and kisses her deeply. She smirks. “You gonna fuck me or what?”

And oh ho ho, is he gonna! He slowly eases himself into her and she bites his shoulder. He hisses, but he likes it. (Another thing he should explore.) But if she’s biting his shoulder, then her screams are masked so that’s a plus. He sets a punishing pace and she’s rolling her hips up into his. Her thumb is rubbing circles into her clit and he runs his hands over her chest and waist and ass, anywhere he can reach. Then she flips them over and puts her hands on his chest so he can’t sit up. Her hands get dangerously close to his neck without quite reaching it. He likes it a lot more than he thought he would. There’s a lot of things he wants to explore, but that’s for another time. For now, he’s too busy holding onto her hips and rocking along with her. They ignore the squeaks that her small, old twin XL bed makes. Their gasps make more noise, anyway.

He’s thankful her roommates are gone, so they don’t hear when he starts talking to her. He’s rubbing little circles into her clit like she’d be doing a little while ago and he’s speaking in a low, husky voice. “You like that, don’t you? You look so fucking beautiful, riding me like your life depends on it.” He goes on and on about her breasts and her hair and the sheen of sweat that covers her whole body and makes her glow like an angel. Then he’s coming and gasping and groaning and his head falls back and he can’t say anything else. MJ laughs, slowing down the rolling of her hips against his. His hands drop and he’s lying back, completely spent. MJ chuckles, leaning down to kiss his forehead and his nose and his cheeks until she finally reaches his lips. She gives him a light peck, looking down at him with a bright smile. “Your orgasm face is so stupid.”

He sputters out a chuckle, wrapping his arms around her torso and pulling her tight to his chest. He kisses the side of her head and whispers into her ear, “Yours is beautiful.”

“Oh shut up, you loser.” But she buries her face into his shoulder and he can feel her lips smile against his neck. He smiles, running his hands up and down her back lightly. He tries to say as casually as possible, “You know, my hands are pretty nice.”

She pulls back, eyes twinkling and lips pulled into a mischievous smile. “Wanna prove it?”
“Always,” he whispers, in awe. Then he uses his hands and brings her back to the edge for the second time that night and he sees her orgasm face and it’s honestly the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. Hands down. No lie. And then she’s the one who’s spent and wrapping her hands around his torso to pull him into a hug. He snuggles into her chest, kissing the top of her left breast lightly.

“You know I like you, right?” She asks, and her voice is so small. Tentative. As if she’s unsure what his reaction will be. “Like, I like like you.”

He leans up and kisses her nose. “I like you too. Like like you.”

She smiles, bright and happy. Then she smirks and asks, “Does this mean I can tell my roommates we’re dating so they’ll stop bothering me?”

He laughs. “Oh my goodness, I knew it!” She just rolls her eyes and pushes his face back into her chest. But he pulls back one more time. “Is this what you were getting at when you sent me all those songs?”

“Yeah.” She rolls her eyes, fond and content and he’s over the moon. “Only took you three years though, genius.” He kisses her deeply and then settles back into her chest. He likes snuggling into her like this. Her hands pulling lightly at the tips of his hair as her chest rises and falls slowly. He feels like he could stay here forever.

“Thanks for being patient.” He whispers and she leans down to kiss his forehead.

“Anytime, Peter.”