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Silence is Always Too Much to Ask

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Peter was a gentle soul by nature. If death and violence could be avoided, he would find any other option to solve a problem.

That being said, he wouldn’t be opposed to knocking in the front teeth of whoever decided it would be a good idea to have high school on Zoom.

He was getting sick of staring at the poster-covered walls of his room in the tower for seven hours out of the day Monday through Friday. The ten-minute break in between classes did nothing to stave his cabin fever.

To make it worse, the school required that video feeds and microphones stayed on for the duration of the class so it wasn’t like he could just keep his camera and microphone off and go do something else.

Peter learned the hard way that while it was hard to pretend to pay attention when he was actually on campus, it was infinitely harder to pretend to pay attention in a building full of endless opportunities.

In desperation of a change of scenery, he made the decision to set up in the kitchen after confirming with FRIDAY that the super inhabitants were out for the day and that he was at a statistically low risk of being interrupted.

He had schematics for adjustments to the Iron Spider suit spread out in front of him, his physics textbook sitting open off to the corner, mostly untouched.

The only good thing about quarantine high school was that he could work on whatever he wanted to without the fear of someone looking over his shoulder.

The move into the kitchen was doing wonders for his productivity. The giant, floor-to-ceiling bay windows that overlooked the New York skyline probably didn’t hurt either.

He was just finishing the formulas and designs that would allow him to carry more web fluid in his canisters when he picked up on the tell-tale sound of the elevator coming up the shaft, and he felt his stomach fall to his feet.

Not good.

Moments before the doors slid open, he quickly muted himself and turned his camera feed off and prayed that he was on the last page of students and that Mrs. Warren wouldn’t realize before he could tell whoever it was to fuck off.

As soon as he heard the voices, he was fully ready to fling himself out of the window without his suit.

Of course, it would be Bucky and Sam.

“Hey, bug boy! I figured you’d be all holed up in your cave doing lame high schooler things,” Sam shouted once he saw the teen trying to shrink into the dining room chair.

“I just got sick of staring at the same wall every day. So, if you both could do me a huge solid and like… vacate the area until this class is over. I have to have audio and video running, and this really isn’t how I want my secret identity to get out,” Peter pleaded, looking at the two men with the biggest puppy-dog eyes he could manage.

Bucky and Sam looked between each other and then back to Peter.

The matching glint in their eyes told him that they had no intentions of leaving.

“You’re the one in the common room, punk. We’ve got a right to be in here,” Bucky said with a grin.

“Come on, guys. I’ll, like, make it up to you or something. I just need a half hour.”

”Mr. Parker, in case you’ve forgotten, you must have your camera and microphone on at all times,” came Mrs. Warren’s firm voice from his speakers.

The two Avengers started snickering as Peter scrambled to turn everything back on.

“Petey got in twouble,” Sam whispered in a sing-song voice.

The teen cut him a glare.

‘I’ll kill you,’ he mouthed, only succeeding in leaving Bucky to cram a fist into his mouth to stifle his laughter.

“He’s like a little kitten when he’s mad,” the super soldier whispered, knowing full-well that Peter’s enhanced hearing would pick up on it.

He resisted the urge to slam his head onto the table as hard as he could and kept his eyes glued firmly on the screen in front of him.

Bucky and Sam deliberately chose to sit at the couch in the living room, in full view of Peter, and started having a blessedly quiet conversation.

That still didn’t stop the youngest Avenger from obsessively checking for a yellow border around his box that indicated that could be heard.

Peter started to relax after a few minutes.

The universe refused to let him be at peace.

He could hear Tony and Clint coming up the stairs from the lab, and blanched. Tony was supposed to be in a meeting until four, and Clint wasn’t even supposed to be at the tower until the next day.

Peter started to wonder if FRIDAY gave him the wrong statistics because there was no way he could be this unlucky.

Once the other two men got in earshot, he muted himself again but chose to leave his camera on, hoping it wouldn’t draw too much suspicion.

“Hey, uh, guys? Could you all possibly keep it down. I made the fatal mistake of trying to have class somewhere other than my room, and I feel like Fri lied to me about the odds of you all showing up,” Peter called out, trying his best to obscure his mouth from view of the camera.

Bucky and Sam broke out into new peels of laughter, leading Clint to join in. Tony just raised an eyebrow in amusement.

“Really, Pete?” he asked.

“It’s only like twenty-five more minutes. You guys can even like hangout or whatever, but I just need it to be quiet so the entire class can’t hear me.”

“You really expect these dinguses to be quiet for more than thirty seconds?”

“No, but I can hop- Hey watch it, Uncle Clint! My camera is still on,” Peter snapped as the archer walked around the table to take a look at the screen.

The hero threw his hands up placatingly.

“Alright, alright. No need to get testy with me, kid.”

Peter watched him as he walked over to the couch were Bucky and Sam sat, only relaxing when he saw the man throw himself onto the remaining spot.

Tony carefully walked to the side of Peter and took the seat next to him, making sure to angle his body where he couldn’t be seen and pulled his tablet out to look over what Peter could only assume was SI documents he was behind on.

He felt a small surge of warmth in the fact that his father figure chose to sit close to him in the massive room even though he suspected that Tony just wanted to know what they were teaching him.

The five heroes sat in relative silence, the only noises were Peter’s lecture and Tony’s occasional snort when he thought the material was dumb.

Twenty-five minutes was apparently too much to ask for the trio on the couch.

Friday nights meant movie nights, and there was a minor disagreement on the choice of movie, and the men were getting progressively louder.

Peter’s finger was already hovering over the mute button when Bucky suddenly got up, loudly protesting Clint’s recommendation of Terminator. The super solider was making his way over to the fridge, leaving three of them to shout to continue their arguing.

He realized in horror that Bucky would have to walk behind him to get to the fridge and frantically turned his camera off again.

The brunette actually had the nerve to stop directly behind him and argue with his friends, having forgotten about Peter’s request for silence.

The teen shot Tony a desperate look who only gave him an apologetic shrug in return, trying his best not to crack up at the antics around him.

“I’m sorry, kiddo, but only you.”

”Mr. Parker, I will not ask you again. Turn your camera and microphone back on, or I will be forced to mark you absent and give you a zero on today’s quiz,” Mrs. Warren snapped, stopping her lecture once more.

Peter was going to kill his team.

I’m sorry, Mrs. Warren, but I really don’t think you want me to unmute my audio right now. There’s a lot going on in this room right now.

He winced even as he typed it into the chat box.

”I’m serious, Parker. Don’t test me. You should have known better than to be in such a distracting environment if that is the case. Either turn everything back on, or I will give you the zero.”

He looked to Tony with wide eyes. The man looked just as alarmed as he did, like he had just realized what was at stake.

They both tried to silence the three men but to no avail. They weren’t even trying to listen.

”This is your last warning.”

Peter hung his head and unmuted his audio and turned his camera on.

He already knew that his camera feed would be blown up on everyone’s screen, and he knew what it must have looked like behind him.

The Winter Soldier was standing directly behind him, waving his metal arm and shouting at two other voices that couldn’t be seen, but they could definitely be heard.

“Hardy har, Barton. You think you’re so funny. Why don’t we watch Hunger Games then?” Bucky asked.

“Jokes on you, Barnes! I actually love that movie!”

“Dude, how old are you, twelve?” Sam snorted, earning a cry of indignance from Clint.

“And here I thought we were bird buddies. This is the ultimate betrayal!”

“Fine, why don’t we get Tony’s opinion,” Bucky said, turning to Tony who was just off camera.

“Nuh uh. Absolutely not. Leave me out of your weird three-way lover’s quarrel.”

The genius didn’t even look up from his tablet.

“What about you, Petey-Pie?” Clint asked from where he was sprawled out on the couch.

“Oh, come on, man. You know Stark’s kid is just gonna say Star Wars or some other sci-fi shit,” Sam groaned.

Peter looked up to them with a glare. It was official. This was his villain origin story.

“Would you all like to say hi to the class?” he snapped.

Tony choked on air, presumably from the harsh tone that he rarely heard from Peter.

The four men stopped abruptly and noticed the sudden lack of sound coming from the speakers.

He spared a glance at his screen to see a full page of students all staring back with identical slack-jawed expressions. Flash actually looked like he was going to pop a blood vessel any minute.

In all fairness, Peter wasn’t too far behind him.

“Did, uh, did we say anything too incriminating?” Bucky asked with a sheepish smile, still in frame.

“Sam only called him my kid in front of like thirty teenagers and a really awful physics teacher. I mean seriously, is that what they’re teaching you at a STEM school these days? You could do this stuff in your sleep,” Tony drawled.

“Say it that a little louder next time. They might’ve not heard you. I’m still unmuted in case you forgot,” Peter ground out.

Tony, the absolute traitor, scooted his chair over until he was sitting directly next to Peter, a shit-eating grin firmly on his face.

Peter shoved his chair away with his foot and a glare.

“You’re all dead to me,” Peter said before laying his head down on the table. “I’m sorry for the interruption Mrs. Warren. Please continue.”

There was total silence for a moment. No one, not even the other students said anything, still trying to visibly process the events that just occurred in front of them.

“I, erm, yes. Anyway, as I was saying…”

Peter immediately tuned her out and chose to instead start plotting revenge on the four heroes.

It was going to be the sweetest revenge he would ever get. He would make sure of it.