alright but ned holding peter after spidey has a nightmare/flashback es my vidaaaaaa ❤️
fast forward to post infinity war. peter has really bad ptsd now, he already did before but almost dying in space at the hands of a purple madman has a tendency to amplify the bad things inside your head.
since then, he finds himself sleeping next to others a lot. he asks may to sleep by him, she calms him down when he wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. mj sleeps over a lot more now too. he hasn’t asked ned to sleep over yet. for some reason he wants ned to be ignorant to how broken he has become. he’s not quite sure why, perhaps it’s some toxic masculinity that he needs to work on.
but one night he has no choice. may is out on a date, spending the night at her girlfriend’s house. he likes that may is putting herself out there, he doesn’t wanna call her and ask her to come home. and it’s nearly four in the morning, he’s not gonna call mj and wake her up. he lays in bed, hyperventilating, sweat pouring out of his skin. when he closes his eyes he can see tony looking over him. death and destruction all around him. he knows that if he doesn’t calm down soon he’ll see it even when his eyes are open, he needs to calm down before that happens.
he swallows what resolve he had left and calls ned. the phone feels like it rings for hours.
“hello?” ned says, very alert. ned is always up late, especially on friday nights. he can hear a video game in the background.
“come over,” peter whispers, voice shaking.
the video game pauses, and he can tell that ned is taking him off speaker.
“dude, are you okay? you sound -”
“just please come over, ned,” his voice breaks and goes watery, he feels like he’s choking on the air in his lungs.
“yeah, okay. okay, i’ll be right over.”
“please be safe,” peter groans, but ned has already hung up.
he gets up and goes to unlock the apartment door, and then sits on the ground next to it. he feels like if he tries to walk back to his room he could pass out. this episode is worse than the others he’s had. he feels like he can see the stars of space shining around him. corpses floating in the darkness. he buries his face into his knees and begins to cry as he waits for ned.
after about 27 minutes (not that peter was counting), the door opens. it startled him and he lets out a choked sob, and ned drops down to peter and immediately begins to soothe him.
“pete, what happened?? are you hurt?? where’s may?????”
peter takes a few deep breaths, trying to even his breathing. but it isn’t working and he feels himself getting lightheaded, tears and snot are running down his face.
“hey.” ned grabs the sides of peter’s face and puts their foreheads together. he hold’s peter’s eye contact. “breathe with me. breathe with me nice and slow. breathe with me.”
and peter tries. he struggles with it, but ned is patient. after about 10 minutes peter’s breathing evenly again, and his head feels lighter. he’s still alight with tension, but it feels slightly better.
“okay… yeah, that’s better. okay. what happened?”
“i…. i had a nightmare. i can’t get out of it. may is at her girlfriend’s house, i don’t wanna call her it’s taken her so long to be with somebody after uncle ben….. i usually call mj when may isn’t here but it’s so late, i knew you would be awake. i’m sorry ned, i’m sorry.”
ned looks at him sadly, but quickly tries to school his features to be more neutral. “how long has this been happening?”
peter looks up at him guiltily. “since the war. since that thanos guy. it happens almost every night.”
“peter..” ned says, he runs his fingers through peter’s hair and then cups peter’s face into the warmth of his palm. “peter, that was 8 months ago. this has been happening for that long?”
peter leans into his touch. he’s calming down. ned’s hands are big and warm and soft, he can feel them drawing the distress out of him. “i’m beginning to think it won’t ever really stop. i…. i just didn’t want you to think i was weak.”
ned groans. he’s frustrated, peter can tell. he wants to apologize, but he knows that ned isn’t mad at him, so he bites it back. “pete. you’re my best friend, i want to be here for you. you aren’t weak, anyone would come out of that less than okay. it’s okay to not be okay, peter.”
tears are lazily rolling down peter’s cheeks.
“i know,” he whispers.
“no you don’t.”
peter laughs, and ned smiles sadly.
“i’m trying to know that. i will eventually, i promise.”
ned slumps next to peter, and pulls him onto his lap. he hugs him close, and peter tucks his head underneath ned’s chin.
“what do you need?” ned asks, rubbing peter’s arm.
peter is quiet for a moment, thinking. he can feel the attack moving out of him, still there, but slowly being drained. waves of exhaustion are beginning to crash into him, like a tide. he feels like it could wash him away. he tries to focus on ned, how real he is. how he smells, how he feels, how he holds peter. ned is real. the nightmare wasn’t.
“can we just stay like this for awhile?”
ned’s arms tighten around him, and peter feels a rush of love. he loves ned so much.
“yeah, we can stay like this for as long as you need, peter.”