Through the Years → Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (131/∞)
19 November 2005 | Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander holds Princess Amalia and Princess Maxima holds Princess Alexia who was baptized in Wassenaar, The Netherlands. The second daughter of HRH Prince Willem-Alexander, the heir apparent to the throne, and HRH Princess Maxima, Alexia is third in line to the Dutch throne, behind her father and elder sister, Princess Catharina-Amalia. She is named after her father (Alexia) and Juliana her great-grandmother Queen Juliana, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
Hi babes! This is a fluffy oneshot about Peter having a crush on one of Michelle’s friends at Midtown High. One day, he spots her reading outside and secretly takes a photo of her because he thinks that she looks too perfect to go unseen, and he pins the photo up in the back of his locker. Everything is fine until Flash Thompson gets his hands on Peter’s photo and brings it to her attention. After that, awkward cuteness ensues and I hope that you all like it!
Hot licks of pain seared throughout Peter’s body. His lip was split, there was a purpling bruise on his temple that was accompanied by a headache so powerful that it’s aching refused to be ignored. Even walking from class to class was taking a toll on Peter. He was exhausted and in pain, but Peter remained hellbent on keeping Queens safe, no matter the cost.
Peter’s eyes glazed over and his body was ready to shut down. Doing his best to keep himself up on his feet, he focused on the photo that he had tacked up of her in the back of his locker.
In the photo, the girl was outside, hidden beneath the shade of a rather large tree. She was stretched out on a light pink blanket, a copy of Charles Baudelaire’s, ‘The Flowers of Evil,’ open in front of her. There was a carton of fresh strawberries and a rather oversized iced coffee balanced haphazardly against her backpack on the ground with her, and every so often, Peter recalled how delightedly blissful she looked each time she bit into a ripe berry. The sun’s rays, the soft breeze wandering through the tree’s leaves, and the chatter bumbling down to her from their shared high school didn’t even faze the girl. Her mind remained with the poet’s.
After a few minutes of watching her, Peter felt soothed. Everything about her made him feel better. He loved the way she licked her lips after she ate, he loved the way that she read her favorite verses aloud, he loved the way that she laughed at herself when she nearly spilled her coffee, and he loved the way that she helped him forget about the constant stress that was now heavily present in his life.
When Peter finally snapped the photo, she was laying on her side, one hand wound into her silky hair to keep it out of her eyes, and the other hand holding her poetry book open. Her eyes were focused on comprehending the poems on each page, but she wore a soft smile on her lips that made it clear that she wasn’t scrutinizing anything too intensely. The girl was merely enjoying her free period in the sun and Peter longed to do the same.
Since then, Peter looked for her in almost every hallway, in every classroom window, and everyday at lunch. They’d spoken a handful of times, seeing as they were in the same history class, but other than class discussions, Peter hadn’t mustered up the nerve to say hello outside of an intellectual, in-class debate.
One day, she was late to history and when she’d walked into the room, she found that her normal seat next to the window had been taken, so she headed towards the first empty desk she saw. Peter, already occupying one of the seats, nearly suffered a heart attack when she placed her binder next to his and offered him a quiet “good morning.”
It had taken Peter a few seconds to force his brain to form a response to her and then to get his mouth to open and say the words that his brain was attempting to communicate back to her. When he stuttered out, “hey, yeah, good morning,” she didn’t tease him for his weirdness, instead she smiled at him and Peter could’ve melted onto the floor right then and there.
During that day’s lecture, their teacher was detailing women’s struggles throughout the years to gain the 19th amendment, which won women of all colors, and social standings the right to vote. She scribbled down notes and nodded in agreement with the teacher as she spoke of Ida B. Well’s, Lucy Burns’ and Alice Paul’s courageous actions in the suffrage movement. It was only after Flash Thompson opened his mouth that Peter observed a frown cross over her features.
“Why didn’t they just keep doing what Florence Kelley advised? If they had followed her directions, they wouldn’t have gotten radical and thrown into prison. Florence Kelley was meeting with President Woodrow Wilson, and he explained to her why he couldn’t grant women suffrage right then, but he said he would going forward. The National Women’s Party didn’t know what they were doing, and furthermore, they set the women’s rights movement back with their crazy antics.” Flash finished, folding his hands behind his head and leaning back in his chair.
Glancing over at the girl in the chair next to him, Peter knew that not only was Flash painfully incorrect and uneducated, but she was clearly getting ready to put Flash back into his place.
“Wow, that’s actually so, so, so wrong.” She started, turning slightly in her chair to face Flash, “if Florence Kelley had kept asking President Wilson to recognize women as intelligent, reasonable beings capable of making a decisive decision, it’s unlikely that the 19th amendment would’ve been passed in 1920. The only reason women were granted suffrage is because of The National Woman’s Party. These women marched, were beaten in the streets, picketed in front of the White House, and were thrown into jail for the good of women everywhere. President Wilson only granted women the right to suffrage after women were dying in prison due to the hunger strike Alice Paul began. Not to mention, while these women were imprisoned, they were denied basic human rights and the entire reason they were in locked away in jail was because they were blocking traffic on the sidewalk. It took drastic measures to humanize women in men’s eyes and without the heroic antics of these women, who knows where women would stand today. I mean, a woman’s right to her own body is something that could be taken away at any moment, and women are constantly battling the image that men have imposed upon us. Therefore, your opinion is invalid because you apparently cannot grasp the severity of the situation, past and present.”
Peter, as well as the rest of the class, was stunned into silence. Normally, she didn’t partake in class discussions because she was shy, but now that she had, everyone in the room was shocked by the intellect that she had just destroyed Flash with. Peter wanted nothing more than to hear her speak all day, and maybe to introduce her to Aunt May.
Peter could barely focus as Michelle began to back her up. Leaning closer to the wonderfully insightful girl next to him, Peter let her know just how clever he found her. “That was amazing, everything you said was perfect and spot-on. That was the greatest thing that I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait for you do it again.” Peter congratulated the girl.
“You don’t think it was too much?” She asked worriedly, biting her lip and fiddling with the pencil in her hands.
Peter shook his head, his eyes wide, “No, no! Absolutely not! You would’ve made Alice Paul very proud.”
Placing a hand atop of his, she thanked him with a smile. “You’re the best, Peter,” she said before turning her focus back to their teacher.
After that, she had joined Peter on Flash’s hit-list, so Peter should’ve known better than to try and relax with his locker wide open. Peter was knocked out of his daydream of going home to her and simply curling up around her to sleep by Flash’s grabby hand, first shoving him out of the way, and then stealing his photo of her.
As Flash rushed down the hall, Peter struggled after him, both boys trying to beat each other to where she stood deep in conversation with Michelle about the numerous male authors whose most famous novels were stolen works from their wives.
“Flash, don’t” Peter shouted, as he tried to ignore the shooting pain traveling up his body.
“Too late, Penis Parker,” Flash called as he weaved gracefully inbetween students to get to their target.
“Oh my gosh,” Michelle muttered, rolling her eyes as she nodded her head towards the two boys heading their way. “Losers.”
“His lip is bleeding,” She said, concern lacing into her tone. “Do you think he’s okay?”
“Your boyfriend is fine, probably tripped over a lego or something on his way to the bathroom and banged his head into the wall on his way down.” Michelle tried to reason with her friend. She’d detected that her friend and Peter had the biggest of crushes on one another way before either one of them had, and she had made it her mission to mock them every chance she got.
Flash was the first to reach the two girls, holding up the photo of her that Peter had taken of her reading outside. “Parker, Penis.” He wheezed, “Penis Parker took this picture of you and had it taped up behind his textbooks in his locker.” Bending over to soothe the splint in his side, Flash handed the photo to the confused girl in front of him.
As Peter came to a stop in front of her and Michelle, he groaned and threw his hands up into the air, uttering a barely audible, “fuck.”
When the girls saw Peter up close, they found that Peter was barely recognizable due to all of the bruises masking his pale skin. Quickly handing the photo to Michelle, the girl surged forward, lightly grabbing onto Peter’s sweater to steady him. “Peter, what happened to you? You’re hurt,” she questioned, growing a little more distraught as she studied him face to face.
“The picture, I’m sorry, I know it’s so creepy. I didn’t mean to be a weirdo and I’m sorry if it made you uncomfortable, I swear that I’m not stalking you.” Peter mumbled, trying unsuccessfully to keep his lip from bleeding.
“Peter, I don’t care about the photo. What happened to you? Oh no, your lip is bleeding,” She rambled, steering Peter towards the bench nearest to them. “Sit,” she instructed, digging through her backpack for a tissue to dab Peter’s cut with.
“You’re seriously not going to say anything about the picture he clearly took of you?” Flash whined, refusing to accept defeat.
Michelle raised her eyebrows, “No, I think it’s disturbing too. You’re not alone in that, Flash.”
“Do you need ice?” She asked Peter, guiding Peter to look up so she could inspect his face for any further damage. “You need ice, Michelle, could you please go get him ice? Flash, could you please go away?” She asked, looking at the pair over her shoulder.
Flash was nearly beside himself, “it’s weird! You have to acknowledge that it’s weird that he not only took a photo of you without your knowledge, but that he has it pinned up like you are his girlfriend or something? Really not going to say anything about that?”
“For all you know,” she said, turning to face Flash as she did that day in class, “Peter could very well be my boyfriend!”
Peter’s jaw dropped so far that she had to readjust his head to keep the tissue on his open wound. Gently prying her helping hand from his lip, “wait, really?” Peter asked. “You’d be my girlfriend after all this?”
“This is disgusting,” Michelle interjected. Handing Peter’s photo back to him, she grabbed Flash by the collar of his polo shirt and dragged him down the hallway. “We’ll be back with ice and some band-aids.”
She and Peter could hear Flash’s discontented grumbles as he followed Michelle down to the nurse’s office to retrieve some medical aid for Peter.
“Are you really not freaked out?” Peter asked, staring up at her with big, brown, puppy-dog eyes.
Sighing, she moved to stand in between Peter’s legs to inspect how much further his lip had split. “If you keep talking, the cut is never going to heal. This,” she gestured to Peter’s clearly damaged frame, “freaks me out more than anything. What’s happening to you? If I can help you, please let me. I care about you and I hate that you’re hurt.” She pouted.
She was so close that Peter could smell all the floral notes in her perfume, and if he wanted to, he could hug himself close to her and never let go. “I can’t tell you what’s happening, but if I stop, things will get worse. Not just for me, but for everyone. I’m trying to help.”
Running a hand through his hair, she shook her head. “Then let me help you. If you’re helping everyone, you deserve to have someone help you, and I want you to let me be that person, Peter.”
Pinching the palm of his hand, Peter spotted Flash and Michelle returning with ice, ointment and bandages in hand, and he knew that he had to be quick. “It would really help me if you went out to dinner with me. Just being with you would help me. That’s why I took the picture of you. Every day that I felt like I was drowning, I would look at you, well the picture of you, and it would help me to breath again.”
“Pick me up on Saturday. I’ll be ready at 7:30,” she agreed, much to not only Peter’s, but Flash’s surprise.
“Come on!” Flash hissed, “how is it that Parker gets a date with a hot girl after he hides in the bushes and takes secret pictures of her? What the hell is going on right now? Do I live in the twilight zone?”
“For fucks sake, Flash.” Michelle muttered, turning to him with squared shoulders, “she clearly knew that he was taking the photos of her. Who would smile while reading ‘The Flowers of Evil?’ And beyond that, she’s liked him for months and he’s liked her for months. All you’ve really done is finally bring them closer together. Congratulations Flash, your plan has officially backfired.”
Flash groaned throughout the rest of the day and Michelle planned on teasing him for the rest of the school year. The girl’s cheeks were flushed pink until she went to sleep, and Peter couldn’t stop smiling, even though it only made the split in his lip worse.