summary : may parker can’t fathom that you and her nephew aren’t dating yet- she can’t wait forever, you know, and she knows it’s going to happen eventually. when has may ever been wrong?
word count : 3k
author’s note : long time no see?? LOL sophomore year is successfully kicking my ass but i wrote this and it’s semi long so??
May Parker prides herself on a lot of things- namely, her stunning resilience in the face of immense adversity, and the way she just seems to know things. She can’t help it, it’s her not so lame superpower and she uses it on Peter all the time, much to his annoyance. She earns a roll of the eyes whenever she says something out of the blue, so profound Peter can’t help but contemplate its credibility for the hours that follow their interactions. She knows things, she does, and she knows that you and her nephew are as meant to be as her and Ben were- are, she chastises herself sometimes- and she knows it so truly in the deepest recesses of her heart that the fact that you and Peter aren’t together is something that goes right over her head.
“Peter, hon, when’s your girl coming over? I miss having other ladies in the house,” she says one day, interrupting the silence that had settled upon the pair as Peter recited the periodic table of elements so naturally in his head in preparation for a quiz the following day. Peter loses track somewhere between lithium and beryllium or maybe it was phosphorus, he doesn’t know anymore, when he hears May call you that, his girl, and he shakes his head at her wildly. “What? What’d I say?” May points her wooden spoon at him, and Peter’s reminded that she’s Italian for the fifth time that day.
“May, she’s not- she’s not my, like, girlfriend,” he stresses each syllable the word carries, practically throwing his pencil across the table when he turns his chair to get a better view of his aunt as she prepares dinner- pasta, again, because she claims it’s the only thing she can’t possibly mess up. “You know that! Y/N’s been my best friend forever.”
“You realize you can be best friends with your girlfriend, don’t you?” Peter can sense May’s eyes rolling even though he can’t see her since she’s facing the stove with her back turned. “You two have definitely kissed. You can’t tell me you haven’t.”
Peter’s entire face feels hot when she says that, his hands clammy when he presses them together against his cheeks, placing his elbows on the table to prop his head up. “That’s embarrassing, May. Why would you ever ask me that?” He runs his hands through his hair and the gel is so terribly packed on it that the carefully prepared hairstyle comes undone with one swift movement. “We haven’t, in case you’re wondering, which I know you are because you’re nosy.” Peter feels the spoon lightly poke into his back, a playful warning.
“Anyways,” May continues loudly, “as I was saying before, your girlfriend should come over for dinner sometime this week. I’m making pasta.” She grins before placing a bowl of penne in front of Peter, his least favorite pasta shape. Peter scowls at the penne but picks up his fork anyway and shoves some in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully for a moment before giving May a thumbs up. At least she was proud of it. “I won’t make penne if you get her to come over.”
She knows she’s got him when she sees the slow, unsure nod start. He sticks his hand out, and May shakes it happily. “Only because of the penne. I want bowties. Please,” he gives his aunt his best, brightest, sweetest smile he can form, much like the ones that come so naturally when he turns his gaze to look at you- but May won’t bring that up just yet. “And don’t make girlfriend jokes in front of her.” His utensil stabs into the pasta as he thinks to himself, ‘cause if you keep it up in front of her, she’ll think I’m a weirdo and I’ll never genuinely get to call Y/N that, ever. Honestly, he’d much rather launch himself headfirst off of the Empire State Building than never get to experience kissing you, holding your hand, being with you in all those sorts of hopelessly romantic ways that he daydreams about regularly. He’s doing it again, slipping into that endless reverie he always seems to find himself lost in. But it’s okay. His mind is a chasm of soft loves and sweet words shared between the two of you. It’s a beautiful, long mess of a dream.
“You lost, Pete?” May snaps her fingers in front of his face, bemused.
“A little,” he sighs in that dreamy tone she recalls her own self indulging in so fondly in her younger years. His gaze becomes hazy again, like he’s on another plane entirely, but she lets him be. For now.
Peter knows he’s dressing up a little too much for just a friend. He’s spraying too much strong cologne and gelling his hair excessively and praying you won’t notice the fact that it’ll be dryer than the leaves in the wintertime, but it’s all too much for someone he insists is his best friend and his best friend alone, nothing more and nothing less, certainly not his girlfriend. Never that, right? Peter frowns at his reflection and tilts his head down, rubbing his head in attempt to remove most of the gel that had been a serious mistake in the first place. You preferred his hair curly, anyway. Not that he cared. Not in the slightest. He puts on the sweater that you once said looked lovely on him and he wears his nice jeans, the ones without that stupid hole near the butt cheek that you can’t really see unless you’re trying.
His cheeks flush when May gives a tiny, satisfied smirk upon seeing his perfectly put together outfit. He acts as if no time at all was spent on his appearance, but she knows him, like she knows everything else, and she knows that he’s been holed up in the bathroom for over twenty minutes now trying to see which shirt matched his eyes best and debating the chances of you realizing that this was the sweater you liked the most on him before he put it on and beamed at himself in the mirror. Maybe it was the color or the stitching or the fabric but he was starting to like this one much more, too.
“You look very handsome, sweets,” May says to him, squeezing his shoulder as she brushes past him to place a salad on the table. Peter surveys the salad with a strange look on his face.
“Why’d you make a salad? Since when does Y/N eat salad?” He raises his eyebrows at her, before adding with haste, “not that I don’t love your salad, Aunt May, ‘cause I do. I promise.”
Aunt May places her hands on her hips, peering at him through the tops of her glasses in a way that makes her look too wise for someone as young as she was. “I’m making a good impression, obviously.”
“You’ve known her for like ten years now, the time for good impressions is over, May. You missed your chance.”
“This is the first time I’m seeing Y/N as your girlfriend, though!” Peter lets out the loudest groan imaginable, running his hands over his cheeks and slapping his forehead with great vexation.
“Still not my girlfriend,” he insists on insisting, taking the extra plates out of her busy hands and helping to set the small kitchen table.
May smooths back a loose strand of hair from his forehead with a kind, teasing grin on her face. “Doesn’t mean you don’t want her to be, kiddo.”
He can’t possibly argue with that sort of logic, especially not when his aunt hits the nail right on the head in that peculiar way she has a habit of doing, so he just smiles and kisses May on the cheek. There’s a knock on the door less than a second later, and the pair scramble for the upper hand before Peter beats her to it and nearly flies to grab the handle of it and yank it open so he can greet you accordingly, slightly out of breath with his hair flopping to one quite nicely and a joyous smile making its way across his mouth when he sees you for the first time that day. May hovers earnestly behind him, hands fluttering over her nephew’s shoulders so she can push past him to wrap you in a hug if need be. Sometimes Peter has the impression that May adores you even more than he does; he wasn’t sure if he should be glad for that, or a bit offended that you seemed to return the blatant favoritism with ardency.
There was a brief second where your eyes raked over your best friend’s face with soft admiration, hidden as carefully as you could manage. When you met his appreciative gaze you felt the palms of your hands clam up and so you cast your look back to his aunt and playfully pushed past him to give her a hug.
Peter, offense overriding his previously somewhat moonstruck expression, backed away from you when you finally turned toward him with your arms outstretched. “Oh, now I get a hug? Interesting,” he rolls his eyes in a teasing manner, unable and unwilling to conceal his little, loving smile that appeared when you pried his arms off his chest and defiantly wrapped them around yourself as you hugged him. “Didn’t seem so interested in hugging me when you were shoving me away to get to May,” he says, craning his neck to stare at you whilst continuing to drag the embrace out for as long as possible.
“You’re still my favorite Parker,” you reply, poking his chest lightly. Then you turn away before you can say anything else that could be considered too revealing of certain, carefully concealed feelings that had the possibility of being detrimental to a beautiful friendship that had manifested over the years into something more, but not quite, not yet. “Sort of,” you put as an afterthought, lest he get any ideas about you feeling… something for him. “Anyways, what’s for dinner, May?” You anticipate pasta, and when May announces the dish with a great flourishing of her hand, you grin. Typical, yes, but nothing if not welcomed.
Peter, gentleman that he is, pulls out your chair for you, and you let yourself imagine that he’s doing it as a chivalrous boyfriend and not simply a polite friend. He imagines the same, though. Imagines that he’s on a date with you and he pulls out your chair and smiles kindly and lovingly- and he basks in this image for as long as he can. May calls you over then, and the daydream is shattered. You make your way over to her in the kitchen, leaning against the counter.
May lowers her voice before speaking, “Y/N, I’m gonna need you to explain something to me,” she starts. You nod, raising your eyebrows at her. “Explain why you and Peter aren’t together yet. Honestly, honey, I just can’t understand it.” She talks with her hands the way Peter does.
“Uh- what? I, um, I don’t… understand?” Your voice cracks a little, as if having May practically shove your less than friendly feelings for Peter back in your face wasn’t embarrassing enough. “We’re, um, you know, like, friends.”
Her hand waves dismissively, pushing that sentence away. “No, no, see that’s what he said, too! I have to disagree. I know everything, kiddo, and I know that you two are going to make it as a couple, so if that’s what your afraid of, don’t be. Go for it. I see the same thing in him that I see in you right now, and that thing is love. So, I’m going to need you to go make my nephew the happiest kid on Earth and tell him you’re falling in love with him, and you’ll see that he’s going to say the same thing to you. Trust me. Aunt May knows all,” she shrugs in a casual manner, brushing her confidence off, before she steers you around and gently pushes you back toward the tiny dining room table where Peter sits awkwardly fiddling with his thumbs with his lip caught between his teeth.
“Hi,” you almost whisper, settling down in your seat across from him.
He glances up. “Hey,” he says, smiling again. A reflex, in your presence. He clears his throat, then asks, “So, what’d you and May talk about?” He knows May loves him as if he were her son, which for all intents and purposes he is, but he can’t be sure of her secrecy. He wouldn’t put it past his aunt to let slip “accidentally” that he liked you, loved you, cared for you.
You take a sip of your glass of water that Peter must have filled in your absence from the table. You had a tendency to take sips of your drink when in uncomfortable conversations, or conversations you felt nervous in. He notes that. “Oh, um, nothing really… but if were gonna talk about it, I’d wanna do it in, like, private?” You twirl your straw around your drink, mixing the ice in the glass. Peter abruptly stands from his chair. You watch him sling a jacket around his shoulders and throw one of his sweaters at you, which you catch easily. “You wanna go now?”
He nods, licking his lips anxiously. “No better time than the present, right?” If you’re going to confront him and crush his heart with a single sentence that stands along the lines of I see you as a friend, he wants it done sooner rather than later. He wants it over with, so he can go back to his suffering in comfortable silence and start an attempt to move past this crush the way he had easily drifted away from his crush on Liz Allan. You fumble with the sweater as you stand. “May, we’re gonna step out for a bit!” Peter announces, opening the front door of his apartment and letting you slip out first. He doesn’t wait for her response before he disappears, too. May watches the two of you leave and feels her heart grow twice its size.
You’re standing outside the apartment building ten minutes later in the chilly autumn breeze, thankful for the cologne scented sweater that rests over your body like a warm blanket. Peter’s hands are never cold, and so they linger outside of his pockets as opposed to yours, shoved inside the front pocket of the sweater he’s given you. He reaches for your hands wordlessly and rubs them over his. “You’re always freezing,” he laughs quietly, lacing his fingers through yours with a new burst of confidence that you find endearing as you squeeze his hands. “Hey, wanna know something? You might know it already but, I figure I should tell you myself, if you wanna know.” He swings his hands back and forth, and yours swing along with his.
“Yeah, please,” you insist, twisting your head to the side to sweep the windswept hair out of your face. One of Peter’s hands comes up to brush it out of the way, typical and cliche and an overplayed move but none of that matters when the action is being carried out, because it makes your stomach constrict in that funny way and your heart melt into a puddle on the dirty sidewalk. His fingers linger over the softness of your cheek, and he keeps his hand there to see what you’ll say about it. You say nothing, let remain there. “You gonna tell me or not?”
“Should I- I could maybe…” he sucks on the bottom of his lip. “Forget it, I don’t know how to speak properly around you like this.” You start to protest, demand he tell you because you won’t be able to stop thinking about this if he doesn’t, but every word dies before it can touch the edge of your lips. Peter has his head lowered down toward you and he’s kissing you, a thought that’s crossed your mind more times than you were able to count but now, it’s happening. Real lips pressed against yours feverishly, shyness forgotten in the heat of the moment. When he pulls away first, it returns and collides with him as if he’s hit a brick wall, and his cheeks burn red. He makes no move to back away, still. “D-Did I step out of line? Was that okay? Do you hate me? ‘Cause if you do we can go back upstairs or you can leave and then on Monday we can pretend that this never happened because you’re still my best friend no matter what even if it’s awkward-”
Your hands clasp together around the back of his neck as you yank him down toward you again, and this time you kiss him back. You can feel him smiling so hard it makes it difficult to kiss him, but when you break away to tell him that, he just laughs and smiles harder and keeps kissing you. He doesn’t know how to stop now that’s he had the opportunity. You’re both laughing hysterically and trying to kiss properly and his nose bumps against yours repeatedly, and it’s the most perfect first kiss in the world.
He keeps his hand firmly grasped in yours when you go back upstairs to his seventh floor apartment, opens the door for you and everything. May is sitting at the table, turns her head to the both of you and peers at you from the top of her glasses. Peter raises his hand and yours, triumphant. May claps her hands together as he, your boyfriend, declares proudly, “Aunt May, I would like to formally introduce you to my girlfriend, Y/N Y/L/N, who I hope will be sticking around?” He looks to you for reassurance, and gets what he needs from the happy kiss you bestow upon the side of his face.
“I told you two I know everything!” Is what breaks the joyous silence, and then the laughter starts again; a perfectly lovely family.