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At the Scene of the Crime

Peter knew he could have left Harry for the doorman to take upstairs, but that seemed like it would be so embarrassing for him. Peter could pay off his rent--some day, it was a dream, okay?--and then Mr. Ditkovich would have nothing more to say to him, but to have to come in to your house every day under the eyes of a guy who'd seen you that drunk, well...it would never stop bugging you. So he took Harry around to the private rear entrance of the building, found the swipe card in Harry's wallet, and got them up to the penthouse himself.

Harry was so glassy-eyed that he didn't even lie down, or go to his room, but instead wandered into the study like he didn't know where he was going. Peter hated that room probably more than any other room in the universe, but he followed. He didn't want Harry falling off the terrace or anything. One dead Osborne on his conscience was plenty.

Harry was standing in the middle of the room, empty-handed, staring blankly at one of the masks on the walls. There was a pitcher of water on one of the tables, and Peter poured him a glass and brought it to him. Harry accepted it absently and let Peter guide him onto the chaise, sipping at it absently.

A few minutes passed, and he looked up at Peter as if he was just realizing he was there. His long face was flushed dark, his brows contracted over his eyes. Girls thought Harry was handsome, but it was hard to see just then. "What are you doing here?"

"I thought I'd better make sure you got home all right. You had an awful lot to drink."

"Looking after me?" he sneered, half-slurring, voice thick. "Afraid Spiderman might kill me next?"

Peter winced. "Spiderman would never hurt you."

Harry rubbed his fingers over his forehead impatiently. "Didn't I already tell you off, Peter? Why the hell are you still here?"

"Because I'm sorry," Peter said simply.

In a sudden, convulsive jerk, Harry threw the glass. It shattered against the far wall. "Don't be sorry! Be my friend!"

"How?"

"Stop looking at me with those goddamned sad eyes and tell me who Spiderman is!"

"I can't," Peter said. "You know I can't."

"Then get out! Just get out!" Harry got to his feet. "I'm not going to do you any more favors, so you can just go!"

"Not until I know you're okay."

There was no one to see them, and you didn't need superpowers to anticipate Harry's slow, awkward punch, anyway, so Peter let himself evade it, catch Harry's arm, and sit them both back down. Harry's head flopped onto Peter's shoulder. He gave a great gasp for air and muttered, "Damnit, Peter, don't...you're the only real friend I have left..."

Peter patted Harry's arm, and he could tell by the abrupt way Harry turned his face into Peter's sleeve that he was crying. He reeked of alcohol and after-shave, and his grip on Peter's arm was surprisingly strong. His shoulders heaved and trembled with the effort to repress his sobs.

Like a lot of Peter's ideas, letting Harry hate Spiderman instead of his own father had seemed like a good one at the time.

Peter kept patting Harry's arm, but he was afraid to speak, afraid to set off Harry's anger again. He knew Harry would regret it--eventually, at least--and he didn't want to make things worse. It seemed so stupid to just sit there, though. All his abilities, and he wasn't any use to anybody in his life. Not Aunt May, not MJ, and definitely not Harry.

So he moved his hand to the back of Harry's head and kissed his hair. Harry stilled, almost ceasing to breathe. Then he was kissing Peter. On the mouth.

And, whoa, did that come out of nowhere, but it made Peter warm all over, like a chain reaction, like how just one unexpected touch could send your whole life careening in a new direction, forever. Harry's kisses started slow, but quickly became rapid and fierce, though when Peter's hand brushed Harry's face, his cheek was wet.

"Peter," he mumbled, "Peter, you have to..."

A few girls had kissed Spiderman, including MJ. None of them had ever really kissed Peter Parker. Harry was moving his hands over Peter's hips and thighs like he wanted him, Peter the dork, Peter the disappointment, Peter who didn't even return his friend's phone calls. That was...he had to admit it, that worked for him. Harry was right there and they were actually doing it, kissing and touching, and it took his breath away, that it could really happen for him.

"It's okay," he said. "Go ahead."

Harry pushed him down on the chaise and crawled on top of him. He was a heavy weight, and he was excited, too-- another way it was all weirdly real. Peter curled an arm around his neck so Harry could kiss him some more. He wasn't actually sure what the next step would be, but this was pretty nice for now.

Fortunately, Harry seemed to have a good idea of what to do. He slid a little bit to the side and worked his hand between them. Peter gasped when his fingers touched the fabric above Peter's dick. It wasn't like he was expecting sex to be--it was more like the usual turned completely inside-out. But it still felt amazing, and he groaned, thrusting up into Harry's hand.

"I'm your friend," Harry whispered. "He's not. He's not." He stroked Peter, hard and uneven. "He's not taking you away, too."

"Shhhh. Shhhhhh." Peter kissed him and worked a hand into Harry's hair. He carded through it with his fingers while Harry fumbled with his button and his zipper.

The touch of bare skin was a whole new shock, and he let his head fall back helplessly while Harry smoothed his palm over him over and over again. Harry had dropped his own head, and his hair was tickling at Peter's cheek and throat. Peter could feel Harry's heart thudding like he was a little kid having a nightmare.

"Harry..." he murmured dreamily.

Harry's touch was still a little unsteady. "Promise me...promise me, Peter..."

"What?"

But Harry didn't say anything, just kept touching him urgently. Peter thought he understood. He knew so well what it was like not even to be able to say to yourself what you wanted, to have every path you look at seem like the wrong one somehow. He nuzzled at Harry's ear, trying to show that he got it, at least the important part.

Harry sighed softly and moved his head against Peter's mouth. Peter gently ran his tongue along Harry's ear, liking the soft hitching of Harry's breath at the start of each stroke. Harry kept touching him, though, and pretty soon Peter had to give it up just to concentrate on the fireworks along his nerves. He realized he was staring at one of the masks on the opposite wall, which seemed to be glowering at him with its empty gaze like it was Norman Osborne himself, and he closed his eyes tight. He wasn't sure how long they lay in that haunted room before Harry pushed him over the edge and he was done.

He had no idea what to say--all his feelings about Harry had been guilt and unease and anger for so long that he hardly even recognized the tenderness, the sort he thought he only had for MJ--so he just petted Harry, all over, soothing down all the odd little jerks and tremors that almost seemed to possess him. Harry slowly grew quiet, and it occurred to Peter that he probably ought to at least try to imitate what Harry had done for him, but just as he cautiously sent a hand downwards, he heard a snore in his ear. Harry was conked out.

Peter didn't really want to move, but their position wasn't that comfortable, and he was awkwardly aware of how sticky he was. He slid out from under Harry, easing him down onto the upholstery. Harry tossed a little, reaching a hand out, and Peter let his fingers close on his wrist, then fall away. He cleaned up, then started to leave.

Pausing in the doorway, he looked back. Harry on the chaise looked almost as boneless and abandoned as his father's body had. He wished he didn't have to leave him behind there, under the mocking eyes of those masks. But he didn't think Harry would want to find him there in the morning. You had to be gentle with other people's secrets, keep them like you didn't even know what they were.

So he shouldered his camera bag and went out into his city. Maybe he'd swing by later, on patrol. Just to make sure things were all right--as much as Spiderman could.


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