17 - Masks We Hide Behind

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A fake laugh sounded from my mouth as I started packing up my textbooks. "You're so funny, Osborn. Actually, I wasn't with Peter last night. He was busy, he called and cancelled on our study plans."

Harry gave a shrug, "Maybe he's getting bored with overbearing and deflecting."

I shot Gwen a quick look, knowing it wasn't just her with crazy theories about deflecting my own problems. I had a sneaking suspicion that the three of them had been doing a lot of talking about me behind my back. "You know, I think my limit of the Osborn charm has reached it's limit today. I'll see you three later, yeah?"

Mary Jane quickly jumped in, her hand on my arm as I got to my feet. "Hey, he's just kidding. We were actually coming over to tell you about our great idea for Halloween."

My heart dropped in my chest. I usually spent Halloween alone, cuddled up in my bed and pretending the holiday wasn't upon me. "I don't celebrate that haunted holiday, you know that."

She nodded, tucking some red hair behind her ear. "I know, but Harry's dad is away and we thought we could spend the night together at his place. A few movies, some food. It could be fun."

I shifted my books in my arms, twisting my lips into a scowl. "Is this because of the deflecting thing?" I questioned her, knowing exactly what my little friend was tying to do.

Harry stepped in, a familiar smirk resting on his lips. "Pete will be there."

I narrowed my eyes at him. "I don't go everywhere Peter does."

Gwen let out a patheic laugh and I dragged my eyes to face her. "Sorry," She coughed out, looking a little guilty suddenly, her eyes dropping to her lap.

Mary Jane gave me a little smile, that sort of smile that made me cave. "Fine, I might swing by. I should get to class though..." I gave the three of them a forced smile before turning on my heel and marching back across the courtyard.


***

Peter hadn't made it to our exam, which had me a little worried. After school I blew off Mary Jane and found myself standing outside Peter's apartment, a place I had been spending too much time at lately. I knocked on the door but when not answer came, I frowned. I figured May would be at work but if Peter wasn't at home, where was he?

After waiting for nearly ten minutes, I twisted on my heel heading back down the hallway, towards the stairwell. As I turned around the sharp corner, I smacked right into something hard. My bag slipped from my shoulder, crashing to the ground. Warm hands were gripped around my waist, holding me still. "Flo, w-what?" Peter's familiar stutter filled my ears and I looked up seeing his kind eyes, open wide with shock. "What are you doing here?"

I paused in his arms, my heart thumping in my chest. "Uh, you didn't show for our calculus exam. I thought something was wrong. I mean, when do you ever miss an exam?"

Peter gave a sigh, his hands slipping away as he bent down to retrieve his own fallen bag. I joined him, my fingertips grabbing for my textbooks and lip balm. "Yeah, I just..." Peter didn't finish off his sentence, his train of thought shifting. "I can retake the exam, it's okay."

I gave a little nod, a bit taken back. I didn't know why I had expected him to tell me why he had bailed on the exam, or the full day of school. "So, everything is alright? Well, as alright as it can be?"

I grabbed hold of my house keys, dragging my eyes up to watch him. "Yeah, fine." He replied calmly.

I could feel like I wasn't wanted and that twisted a knife in my chest. I got to my feet hastily, noticing the hunk of scrap metal and out dated computer gear on the ground by his feet, something that must have fallen from his bag. "Oh, you're messing around with old tech again?"

Peter's eyes dropped down and he shifted his weight between his feet, rather awkwardly. "Yeah, I'm just working on an idea. That's all." We stood like that for a short moment, letting the silence shift between us. I could hear Harry's taunts in my head. Bored with overbearing and deflecting.

I yanked my bag up further up my shoulder, running a hand through my hair. "I should go, homework and all." I stepped away, feeling that hole ripping open further in my chest, daring to drag me down.

Peter gave me a little nod. "Uh, thanks for stopping by. Will I see you at Harry's Halloween thing?"

I had figured I could stop by for an hour, grin and bare through my facade then run before my friends could ask too many questions about my plans for the night. "Yeah, I'll be there." I told him firmly.

"Good, great. I'll see you there." Peter muttered out, watching me back away. I gave him a tight smile, noticing how he hadn't stopped clutching his bag, almost like he was hiding something in there. Before I opened my mouth and asked why he was acting so weird, I turned on my heel and trotted down the stairs, throwing him a glance over my shoulder on the way down.







AUTHOR'S NOTE:

Thank you all for all the amazing support on the last update. I didn't get to reply to you all but I really appreciate the comments and beyond amazing support from you guys. Please as always, leave your wonderful thoughts below. Spider-Man is finally being born, how exciting!

I have some crazy amazing news, which has happened because of all you lovely supporters. I made it to the next round in the Marvel fanfiction awards. I am nominated for two categories, best Spider-Man/ Peter Parker category and the Author of The Year category. It would really mean to world to me if you could vote for me for both of those categories over at marvelfanficawards. It is sort of the same process you did with the nomination stage but now it's the voting stage, make sure to read the rules. So pretty please, if you want please vote for me for both categories, that would be wonderful and I will love you forever.

-tinkertaydust

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