summary : peter, hopeless romantic that he is, has a cache of love letters, all addressed to you, hidden under his bed and expertly crafted. he never anticipated them being read, or the feelings he has for you being returned.
word count : 3.1k (holy fucking hell i’m sorry)
Peter couldn’t help it, the way that he was. He was a romantic at a heart, though the awkwardness of him had a tendency to prevail rather than the confident, smooth talking, small part of him that had a desperate desire to reveal itself. Spider-man was as suave as a fifteen year old boy could be; Peter Parker was awkward, inept at participating in normal, human conversation and often incapable of forming coherent sentences more often than not. He wasn’t the best at talking to people besides Ned and Aunt May and- on occasion- Tony Stark. Especially not you. If there was one person that he turned into an absolute bumbling, ridiculous mess around, it was you. He loathed himself for it, sure that you thought that he was weird, annoying, the same way that anyone who didn’t know him assumed he was.
Ned, however, continuously insisted that you found Peter to be a sweetheart, like anyone who got to know him well enough did, and that you liked him very much- perhaps more than a friend, though Peter had immediately scoffed at the notion. It was out of the question, downright ludicrous. But, of course, Ned had implanted the idea in Peter’s head, and now the boy’s ever creative mind refused to stop constructing various scenarios in which you were Peter’s girlfriend and he was as happy as he had ever been.
While he had been a perfectly charming boyfriend in each and every one of those little dream sequences of his, he was hopelessly lost for words whenever you approached him, unable to even ask what class you had next, let alone reveal the pure adoration he had been holding on to ever since you had been placed beside him in Bio in your freshman year. You had always been the one to stick up for him and smile at him and treat him like a decent human being, and so of course he fell for you, and now he could barely look you in the eye without his cheeks turning a lovely shade of pink. So, he bottled his feelings and let them out in a way he had never known could help him.
He wrote to you every single day and poured his heart out in every single letter and expressed every thought he knew, in his heart, he would never be able to say out loud. Writing what he felt was so much simpler than saying the words out loud. That was what he assumed, anyhow. He took his pen and placed it down on the paper, starting it the same way he always did.
Dear Y/N… As always, the words spilled over from his mind to the paper as if he wasn’t thinking, just writing and writing and writing until he had filled two pages without lifting his curly head from the paper once. When he finally finished, a yawn stretching across his mouth, he noticed Aunt May standing outside his door. He turned his chair around, raising his eyebrows at her.
“Writing to that pretty girl again?” She asked, hand on her hip but wearing a knowing, soft grin. Peter, not bothering to feign shock, nodded solemnly and placed his pen down the paper. “You should think about maybe, oh I don’t know, actually giving her one of the letters you’ve written?”
Adamantly, Peter shook his head. “May, I could never. You don’t get it.” He swiveled around in the chair, spinning it until he was dizzy. “These letters are embarrassing. They’re practically my whole heart and soul on a piece of paper. She’d scream and run away if she read how I felt about her.” He sighed, placing his elbow on the edge of the desk and resting his cheek in his hand. He stared up at his aunt, still craving her sage advice. May stared back at him thoughtfully.
“Well, in my personal experience,” she came over and gave Peter’s shoulder a squeeze, eyeing the letter that was signed with Peter’s name, “girls are suckers for love letters. And you Parker men write the best ones out there. Trust me.”
Peter bit his lip. “Yeah, sure, I’m not an awful writer. But, I still can’t give them to her. I just can’t.” Before she could say anything else, he was folding it up and placing it on top of the shelf on his desk next to his books for English. “Uncle Ben was different. He was charming. You know that.”
May smiled wistfully. “I do.”
“And that’s one thing that I didn’t get from him,” Peter finished, shrugging his shoulders as he stood up from his swivel chair. “It’s fine.” He waved it off. “I’m happy suffering in silence. I’m gonna go to bed. Big English project starts tomorrow. Love you,” he kissed May on the cheek as she left his bedroom, switching the light off in her departure. He stared at the wall once he was situated in bed, mulling the conversation over in his head. Maybe May’s right. Maybe telling Y/N wouldn’t be as bad as I’m thinking. Maybe I’m overreacting. Actually, never mind. She probably hates me. Ugh. Life sucks.
That morning, when he arrived in his English class, you were sitting in the seat that had been previously occupied by Ned pretty much every class since the beginning of the school year. Sucking in a breath, Peter took his first step into the classroom. He knew he was a little late to today’s lesson, but he hadn’t realized he was a full fifteen minutes behind schedule. Ned was in the back with Michelle, giving Peter an encouraging thumbs up when he noticed his best friend finally arrive on the scene. Peter gave him the finger.
“Mr. Parker, lovely for you to join us!” Ms. Matthews declared when he decided to shove himself through the door, his heart jackhammering away in his chest and making its way up to his throat. He kind of wanted to throw up.
“Um, yeah, well, you know, sleep and whatnot- overslept, haha,” he coughed out a laugh, scratching the back of his neck. The teacher nodded with faux sympathy, though he could tell she didn’t care that much for his explanation. “I’ll just, um, sit. Down.”
“Next to Y/N, please,” She instructed, waving her hand in your direction. “Since you were late and unable to choose your own partner, surprising since usually Ned is so eager to work with you, Y/N offered to be your partner.” The teacher gave you a fond smile, as every teacher did. “She can explain the details of the assignment.”
Peter gave her a stiff nod before sliding into his chair, and you noticed how rigid he was as he turned toward you with a slight frown. He seemed extremely upset to be working with you, but you wouldn’t let that get in the way. You liked Peter. Really, truly liked him. He was a sweetie whenever he actually talked to and different than the rest of the guys at Midtown. He was genuine.
Giving him your full attention, you beamed at him. “Hey, Peter,” you said cheerfully. He gave you a small smile in return, wringing his hands under the desk. He couldn’t stop fidgeting. Your own smile dropped, which he noticed immediately and felt awful about. “Sorry you didn’t get paired up with Ned,” you continued, taking your books out of your shoulder bag. “I know you would’ve preferred it that way-”
“No!” He interrupted quickly, practically slamming his hands down on the desk so hard you jumped in your seat, eyes wide. “Sorry, sorry, I just, um,” he laughed a little, his cheeks burning, “I’m, um, happy to have you as a partner. Really, I am,” he added as an afterthought, just to make sure you knew.
Your shoulders relaxed as you looked at him. “You’re not just saying that, right? You seem awfully stiff,” you teased, poking his uncomfortably positioned arm as you quirked a brow.
“Do I?” He was practically sweating.
“I was just joking, Pete. It’s cute, anyway.” Peter’s eyes, a shade of brown that you had come to think of as warm as honey, went wide and he gaped at you, but you pretended not to notice. “So, for the assignment we have to write a short story based on one of the assigned reading books this year.”
She called me cute.
“Shit… I think I forgot all of mine,” you were mumbling, your head practically stuck in your bag. “Did your bring yours, Peter?”
Oh my god, she thinks I’m cute. She thinks I’m cute. I’m going to faint.
You snapped your fingers in front of his cherry red face, trying not to appear as amused as you felt. He blinked owlishly, an apologetic half smile, half grimace on his face. He was cute most of the time, but especially when he smiled, even if it was only a forced, awkward one. “Do you have your books, Peter?” You repeated kindly.
“Um, sorry, I’ll check,” he answered, embarrassed about his utterly obvious staring that had just occurred. He rummaged around in his backpack before realizing he had forgotten them, as well. He popped back up, curls in disarray as his head brushed against the fabric of his bag. “I forgot them, sorry,” he ran a hand through his hair, messing it up even more. It was kind of adorable.
“You need to stop apologizing for everything, Pete,” you laughed. “It’s fine. We can get started after school. My place or yours?” You were already packing your things, and before he could think about what he was about to do, he said, “Mine.”
“Cool,” you grinned again, a grin that made him want to smile for the rest of his life. “Which one of is doing the writing? Or do you want to split it?”
“You’re a, um, fantastic writer,” he told you, having read your submissions to the school newspaper more times than he could count. “If you wanna take over, you can. I can edit and stuff.”
“Aw, I’m not that good,” you shook your head abashedly, looking down at your lap. “But thank you, Peter. I’m sure you’re great, too, though. Are you sure you don’t wanna write some of it?”
“I’m not much of a writer.”
So, you were in Peter Parker’s room. He was having his third heart attack of the day, and was incredibly grateful that he had managed to keep his wits about him for majority of the day. He had only tripped over his words five times, tripped literally twice, and dropped his Metro card once, but it was fine. You helped him back each time he fell with your usual grace, barely acknowledging his multiple social faux pas and only laughing once because he fell over a small dog- which even he would admit was pretty funny.
Still, his palms were sweaty around you and he didn’t know how he was going to survive working so close to you for the next week while the English assignment was occurring. He lead you into his apartment and you noticed that his hands were shaking slightly as he twisted the keys in the lock. You walked into the apartment, the first thing crossing your mind was how cozy and homelike it was. You liked it very much.
“It’s really cute in here,” you said, smiling around the room as Peter busied himself with a glass of water. He downed it quickly. “Where’s your aunt?”
“Work,” he replied, catching his breath after the gulping down of his water. “Here, let’s go to my room.” He placed his glass of water on the counter and motioned for you to follow him, opening the door to his room and wincing at the mess in there. “It’s a mess, sorry about that.”
You rolled your eyes at him playfully. “Didn’t I say stop apologizing?” You entered his room as if you had been there many times before, taking your shoes off and setting them by the door. You threw your bag on his bed and took a seat in his swivel chair, and he liked how natural it seemed for you to be in his room. He liked how comfortable you were, sitting there. Something about it made him happy.
“Yeah, my bad,” he shrugged. You tilted your head, pointing your finger at him while he raised his hands defensively. “It wasn’t technically an apology!” He took a step out of the room. He was finally being normal around you, he realized delightedly. He would still need more water, though. He could feel his mouth getting dry. “I’m gonna get more water. Want anything?” You shook your head, spinning around in the chair as he left.
Your eyes scanned over his desk, taking in every inch of Peter Parker’s life. He had bad books stacked everywhere, his desk was a mess, there were clothes thrown about the room. Star Wars posters, Avengers posters, notes scattered across the desk. You admired the artful messiness of it all. You leaned up to where his English books were, spotting the one you were most interested in and yanking it off the shelf. As you did, a folded piece of paper fluttered down off the shelf, just when Peter was walking back into the room.
“I thought you said you weren’t a writer, Pete,” you raised your eyebrows at him, holding the letter in your hand and waving it at him.
He almost threw up right there. “Um, I’m not, please give that back,” he reached for it, but you jumped out of the chair, raising the letter high in the air. “Y/N!” He whined, grabbing for it again. “C’mon, please,” he pleaded desperately, pouting at you with such intensity it almost made you want to give it to him.
“Can’t I just read a sentence, Peter?” You pushed out your bottom lip, batting your eyelashes at him.
He almost gave in. “No, Y/N. Seriously, give it back.” He sounded scared now, upset as well. You pursed your lips, handing it back to him. He was so anxious about you reading it that it dropped on the floor, opening far enough so that you could see your name scrawled across the top in Peter’s defining chicken scratch handwriting.
“That says my name, so now I have to read it.” You stood directly in front of Peter, hands pressed together in a pleading motion, the expression on your face so genuinely interested that he had to give it to you. He picked it back up with a lump in his throat and handed it over, scared as ever. But this was what May had advised. Maybe she’d be right.
“Dear Y/N,” you read aloud in a loud, terrible accent, glancing back up at Peter as you read the line after that. He was staring down at the floor, preparing himself for what you were going to say when you read the letter, read his heart. You sat in his chair, realizing it’d be better if you didn’t read it so publicly. He sat down on his bed, waiting.
Dear Y/N. This is maybe the tenth letter I’ve written to you, and each time I say the same thing, so if one day you are reading this in proper succession, I’m sorry for being so utterly repetitive. You’ll probably never read this, though. And that’s why it’s so easy for me to write. I think you’re the only person to ever truly be interested in me when I’m talking about science. Not even Ned has an attention span that long. But you do. And you don’t know how much I want to thank you for that. You make it really difficult to not like you, to not be in love with you. I think that’s what it is… love. And if I’m not in love with you yet, then I’m certainly falling for you. Who wouldn’t? You’re a wonderful person without trying, you’re a beautiful hurricane, a sunset on the horizon of my bleakest hours, and you make me feel as if I’ve been standing in the sunshine for my entire life.
You put the letter down, smoothing it over your lap. You didn’t need to read the rest. That was enough. Peter gazed at you now, the way you’ve yearned to be looked at before, and you shamed yourself for being so blind these past two years. He wasn’t simply just staring. He was looking. Admiring. You slid next to Peter, placing the letter behind you. He moved his hand, curling his fingers around yours tentative as ever. Your free hand grazed up the side of his face, toying with the hair on the back of his neck before resting on his cheek. He shut his eyes. When he opened them again, you were so close that he was able to count each individual eyelash that you had, every single fleck of pure beauty in your deep eyes.
“I like you very much, Peter Parker,” you murmured. He felt his heart soar, and then, he felt himself kiss you. It was an out of body experience. He was there, he was the one kissing you, the one who had initiated it, but it felt like he wasn’t. He was up in the clouds, too far lost in the way it felt to run his hands through your hair as he had always dreamed of to notice Aunt May sneaking past the door, overjoyed to see Peter finally with the girl he had been loving in silence for far too long. You pulled away from each other, eyes opening slowly and hesitantly and your lips practically still connected.
He wanted to tell her that he adored her, but Aunt May’s voice flowed from the kitchen too loud to overpower his thoughts. “You read her the letter, didn’t you? I told you it’d work! Worked for your Uncle Ben and I was right as I always am!”
He jumped up from the bed, sticking his head out of the doorway and pressing his finger to his lips. “Maaaayyyy, you’re embarrassing me,” he whispered-yelled, practically whined. “You were right, okay? Thank you, let me go get a girlfriend now. The girlfriend.” She beamed at him, but no one’s smile could shine brighter than Peter’s.
He retreated back into the room, and you were clutching the letter in your hands. You looked up at him hopefully. “I was thinking that maybe you could read me the other nine letters. If you’re up for it.”
Peter couldn’t possibly say no, taking a page out of his Uncle Ben’s book the way he should have done in the first place as he found the hiding spot for the stack of letters he had been writing for the past few months, sliding them over to you and feeling confident for the first time in a long time.
A guy I have know THREE weeks just put on his snapchat story that he missed me after not talking for two hours. I’m? So? Confused? What? Is? Happening? The first week we knew each other too he was flirting with me and that was until I told him ‘hey fuck face, I have a boyfriend’. Idk if I should do an unwanted attention spell or what because fuck this is creeping me out. Do you guys have any?
She nervously listened to the ringing on the other end of the line as she waited for her boyfriend to pick up. It wouldn’t have surprised her if he chose not to answer his phone at three in the morning. The boy slept like a log on the nights he was able to get some proper sleep and the nightmares didn’t bother him so it made sense if he allowed this one call to go to voicemail. But then there was a small part of her that hoped and prayed he would pick up because she really needed him.
Yesterday, during a conversation with someone I just met, I was asked what I do for a living. Usually my response is met with one of two reactions:
“Oh, wow. That must be so frustrating.” OR
“Ugh, I hated English class!”
And I just share a little bit about how much I enjoy my job, or talk a little bit about how I attempt to help struggling or apathetic readers see the value and joy in reading. This time I got the latter reaction, so I talked about how I try my hardest to make English class more approachable and worthwhile for those who feel otherwise.
My new conversation partner took this and ran with it, immediately burst out with an emphatic: “YEAH! You’ve gotta make things more modern. For example, I don’t know why the hell anyone would teach The Iliad or The Odyssey! Those were the worst! They were so long and boring and there’s no reason for anyone to read them anymore.”