im starting to believe god purposely took away xmas’ ankle and prevented her from ever stepping foot in a gym for the next 5 years because he KNEW she was going to end up this nasty of a person and honestly…. it’s what she deserves
Love in the Time of Eggnog
(Peter Parker x Reader)
Summary: Reader attends a Christmas party, where you are Peter’s secret santa. You two had always been close, but your gift to him draws the bond closer.
Genre: Christmas fluff?? heck, idk
Warning: death mention
Side note: This was inspired by @parkersenses and her undying love for eggnog. Thanks for the inspo. Chippy.
Christmas wasn’t Christmas until you and your friends held your annual secret santa party. The winter New York air was sharp and cold as snowflakes flurried all around you. Every imprint of your boots in the snow resulted in a crunch, the pavement from the sidewalk instead covered with a thick pile of snow. You were on your way to Ned’s apartment for what was, in your opinion, the most exciting part of the secret santa parties: the gifting. As you were approaching Ned’s front door, you tapped the wrapped box in your hand lightly, almost anxiously. For every year since the tradition had started, you would somehow draw Ned’s name every time. Buying his presents was always easy, so you never minded much. This year though, was different.
The frigidity in the air nipped at your knuckles as you knocked on the front door to the Leeds’ residence. The bright red paint on the door vastly stood out from the white blur of the blizzard behind you. Only a moment had passed before a pair of stumbling footsteps could be heard from inside. Two grinning faces greeted you by the open door rather than the expected one.
“Hey [Y/N],” both Peter and Ned said in unison. The boys were clad in matching sweaters and messy hair to go with them. The excitement they so clearly wore on their faces made you smile in the slightest as you took a step into the doorway.
“Hey boys, good to see you as always.” You shook your arm out of your coat sleeve upon entering, and hung it neatly on a hook. Peter’s hair was curly and damp, presumably from melted snowflakes. You could tell he hadn’t arrived too much earlier than you had because when he wrapped you in a tight hug, there was a slight chill hanging onto his skin. Ned, however, felt as if he had been sitting in front of the fireplace for hours. His quick embrace warmed you almost instantly.
The entire house was decked from floor to ceiling in cheerful Christmas decor. String lights lined the ceiling and tinsel was stranded from every shelf. The tree was perhaps the most beautiful sight of them all, crystal ornaments glistened in the warm yellow light as they delicately hung from pine branches.
“The place looks great Mrs. Leeds,” you called out into the kitchen, making your way into the living room. You found Mj lounging on the sofa, intently chewing on a candy cane. “Hey stranger, did you miss me?” Mj’s eyes lit up as you made your way into her field of vision. She sprung from the couch and opened her arms to you.
“Oh, thank you dear. Be careful though, I did hide some mistletoe.”A sweet and sugary smell wafted through the air as she spoke. Ned’s mother could be heard from the other room, she was most likely baking as she bustled around in the kitchen.
“Alright Mrs. L, I’ll be careful!” you called back, releasing Mj from your hug. Christmas break had only started a week ago, but it had felt like forever since you’d seen your friends. It was odd adjusting from seeing them everyday to not seeing them for a week. Peter, however, was different. He was that one friend that you could barely stand to be away from. You had been friends with Mj the longest, and had way more in common with Ned, but for some reason you and Peter just had a special bond that nobody fully understood. You had called Peter every night since break had started, because for some reason you just missed him. And he’d be lying if he said he didn’t feel the same way.
“You guys ready?” Ned asked as he took a seat in a recliner next to the tree. All of the secret santa exchange presents were neatly placed under the brightly lit pine, all apart from yours. The one in your hands was for Peter, a rectangular gift covered in paper bag wrapping held together with a silky red ribbon. You fiddled with the ribbon as you took a seat on the couch next to Mj.
“Yeah, I’ll go first,” Peter grunted as he took a seat on the floor next to Ned. He stretched in front of the recliner and slid his present out from under the tree, holding it up to his best friend with one hand. “Here you go buddy, Merry Christmas.”
Your leg bounced up and down throughout the whole duration of the gift exchange, nervous for Peter’s reaction to your present. Peter had bought Ned a new lego set, most likely in hopes of building it together tonight. Ned made Mj a cd and got her a thin leather cuff bracelet, she always made comments on how she admired his taste in music. Mj was your secret santa, which didn’t shock you much since she had been hinting at it for weeks, but you were surprised to see that she made you a painting. It was a red monochromatic piece of you. When you held it up to the light, you knew exactly what moment she captured in the painting. Mj had replicated a picture Peter took of you, it was when he got his new camera from last Christmas. The moment had been snapped as your head tilted back slightly, your mouth open in mid laughter. The painting, and memory, was breathtaking. You almost felt insecure about your gift for Peter.
“Mj, I don’t know what to say…this is stunning.” Mj looked to you with an endearing smile, taking your hand in hers. “Thank you. This is amazing, you’re amazing.”
“Yeah, I know.” She shrugged with a wide grin spreading across her face.
“Hey Mj, can I get a painting like that for my birthday?” Peter asked, his voice was joking, but part of his face made his request seem serious.
“You want a painting of [Y/N] for your birthday? Dude, that’s kinda creepy.” Ned chuckled from his chair. Peter whipped his head to face Ned, a deep blush creeping on his cheeks.
“Wha- no. That’s not what-” Peter’s words started to blend together. You couldn’t keep back a laugh of your own as Peter looked to you with wide eyes.
“It’s okay Peter, I know you’re secretly obsessed with me.” You smiled at Peter, but he shook his head slightly. He couldn’t help but smile too. “Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frazzle you, Pete. Here, I hope this makes up for it.”
You moved from the couch onto the floor, stretching to hand Peter his gift. Once he took it with shaky hands, you sat on the carpet across from him. He delicately turned the gift over, looking at it with a puzzled face. As he unfurled the ribbon, your heart seemed to fill with an inexplicable warmth. You couldn’t conclude whether or not it was an anxious feeling, or one of love.
The expression on his face when his gaze peered back up at you from the carton in his hand was heavy. You didn’t believe in love at first sight, but luckily you and Peter had seen each other many times before. Just never quite like this. The air in the room felt thick, it was causing you to sit completely still. Everybody’s eyes were glued to you. Peter’s look was firm, but Ned and Mj only seemed confused.
“Eggnog?” Peter’s weakened voice cut through the thick air, a barely audible crack present in the single word he spoke.
You took a deep breath and swallowed heavily. “Well, yeah. Because you mentioned once that-”
“Thank you. [Y/N], thank you.”
The four of you carried on with the party without talking about the odd moment between you and Peter during the gift exchange. You were glad nobody had dwelled on it or questioned it, but also unsure of how he really felt. You kept trying to get him alone, even just for a minute. Your chance didn’t come until after the party disbanded.
“Thanks for coming guys, I’ll see you on New Years!” Ned called as Peter, Mj, and you all buttoned your coats and headed into the cold. Luckily, none of you lived too far from Ned’s, but the cold still made the walk miserable. The last bit of warmth left as you closed the door behind you, walking into the cold, dark streets of Queens.
“Hey [Y/N], can I walk with you?” Peter’s voice was crisp with intent as he caught up with you on the sidewalk. You wrung the handles of your gift bag as you walked with anticipation, the crunch of snow beneath your feet louder than your quiet hum.
“You remembered.” That was all he said as he reached out, grabbing your shoulder lightly. You stopped, turning to look into the fire behind his eyes. He wasn’t sad or disappointed in you, the lightness of his features proved so. It was a look reminiscent of the one he gave you from earlier, while you sat in front of him on the carpet.
“Of course I remembered, Peter. You told us last year, the story about the first Christmas you could remember-”
“My earliest memory of my parents…and how we all drank eggnog on Christmas eve as we sat, counting down to midnight. I fell asleep, and my parents set up the presents, ate the cookies, and drank the eggnog.” It was almost as if he was feeling the same giddiness and joy from his childhood memory just by retelling it. The melancholy and morbid feeling wasn’t there, only pure happiness in talking about his parents.
“And you told me that you hadn’t had eggnog since the Christmas before they died, it reminded you too much of them.” You tucked your free hand into your pocket, fiddling with any lint remains. Worry struck a chord in your brain, you were scared that you upset Peter somehow. “I’m really sorry Pete, if it was too much or too soon, but it seemed a shame that you haven’t had eggnog in so long. Especially since it used to be your favorite.”
“No, [Y/N], I love it. I know it’s just eggnog, but you’ve always been so supportive and helpful. I know my life is hectic, and being a part of it is dangerous, but I want you to be in it more. I want you around more. I want to be more to you.” Peter talked slowly, shifting his weight back and forth on his feet. Snowflakes were flurrying around you, one landing gently on his cheekbone. Instead of responding, you removed your hand from your warm and inviting pocket to wipe the flake away. Peter cupped his hand over yours, both resting on his face now.
“It’s a shame there isn’t any mistletoe,” you spoke lightly. Peter looked at you with a lopsided smile, his gaze slipping to your whisper ridden lips.
“I’ve been looking for an excuse to kiss you for nearly a year, you didn’t think I came prepared?” Peter held up a bundle of small green leaves, lifting it above your heads. Your eyes tilted up at the stolen mistletoe from Mrs. Leeds, then shifted your love laden look back to Peter’s face.
Taking a step forward, your hand already cupping his cheek, your lips lightly pushed up against his. You grinned into the kiss at the realization that his lips were stained with the slightest taste of eggnog.