22 - Change Of Heart

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I was in a good mood, something my parents actually noticed. They were home when I was about to leave for school, huddled around the dining table in an uncharacteristic manner. Plates of breakfast food was around them, the daily newspaper laid open. I gave them both kisses on their cheeks, grabbing a slice of toast.

"You're in a good mood," My father noted, sipping at his coffee. It felt strange them actually being in the house at this time of the morning. I usually left, locking the door myself without breakfast in the morning. "Did you ace a paper?" He asked after a moment.

I shook my head, checking my backpack for all my notebooks. "Actually, nope." I glanced at the newspaper sitting on the tabletop, seeing the blaring article about the city's masked vigilante.

That response sparked my mother's attention. "Did something happen at school, dear?" I never usually spoke with my parents about school days or how my friends were doing. We didn't talk much about anything else but my studies and their work at Oscorp these days.

"Actually, not really. It's complicated." I replied, licking some jam off my fingertips. "But the good type of complicated, if that makes sense." There was a little thrill in my voice, something that had never been there before. I saw my parents exchange a look quickly, it wasn't a look of worry or fear. No, this look was much different and I had a pretty good idea they knew my good mood was because of a boy. Something I never thought would happen.

My mother gave me a knowing smile, wishing me a good day at school before I was out the door, a little bounce in my step and a cheery melody running through my head.


***

At school I was at my locker after homeroom, grabbing some books when there was movement beside me. I angled my locker door backwards slightly, seeing a familiar mop of brown hair. I was smiling before he even opened his mouth to say hello. "Hey," I piped up, curling some hair behind my ear, a familiar flutter in my stomach. I kept playing what had happened last night on my front porch through my head. It was on a continuous loop, the words he had whispered stuck in my mind. Our moment.

Peter gave me that goofy smile, shifting on his feet. He pointed awkwardly at my face, "Uh, you look really nice today."

A stupid girly giggle escaped my mouth before I could stop it. Suddenly, I felt like I was back in primary school and that Peter would tug at my pigtails before demanding I chase him around the playground wanting a kiss. "Opposed to every other day?" I questioned, regaining some of the dignity I had left.

His face fell, his eyes widening at my question. I could already see his mind ticking away, trying to come up with a suitable reply without causing too much damage. "Uh, I didn't--" He went on. "I just mean that, not that you don't look pretty every other day. I just--"

I playfully pushed against him, rolling my eyes. "I was only kidding. Relax, Parker." I tugged another textbook into my arms, watching him beside me. I could still feel his soft touch on my cheek, could still feel that desire to reach across to him and place my lips against his own flooding through my body. "But thank you for the compliment."

Peter's lips tugged up again as he brushed a hand through his messy hair. That's when I noticed the red marks against his wrist. My hand yanked out quickly, touching his arm. He didn't jerk away, just let me stare at the marks that littered his white skin. "What happened?" I questioned, shoving away my books and going to push up his sleeve but he stepped away, dropping his arm from my grip.

He was shaking his head. "Nothing. It's nothing at all, alright? I just fell."

I frowned, "You fell? Those look like bruises."

Peter shrugged, yanking down his sleeve further. "Just a silly accident. I'm really fine, nothing to get worried over." I didn't try and force him to tell me what really happened, I wasn't stupid. I knew what those bruises suggested.

"Have you been fighting with Flash again?" I questioned quietly. "I know he's a bully but you shouldn't fight him just because you can. I know defending yourself is important but maybe pride isn't everything--"

That sparked something in his eyes, a flash of something crossing his face. I almost stepped backwards, not knowing what was even going through his head right now. "I don't fight Flash because of pride, Florence. I do it because he's always beating up kids who can't go up against him. Flash deserves some of his own medicine." His words were laced with an anger, something I had never seen from Peter Parker.

I numbly nodded. I understood anger, I really did. I knew Peter wouldn't go up against Flash without a good cause but sometimes fists didn't solve every problem and with Gwen dating Flash, things were only going to grow messy and complicated. Before I could reply though, there was a voice calling out through the hallway. I twirled on my feet and spotted Flash coming towards us. "Hey, Parker!" I knew that idiotic tone and without Gwen around to stop him, it was my turn to step in before something happened.

"Just leave it, Flash." I snipped, staring up at him. He was at least a head taller than me and almost towered over me. He sent me a quick wink before turning back to Peter, ignoring me completely.

He narrowed his eyes at Peter, "Did you pay her to stick up for you or something?"

I groaned, knowing this wasn't going to end well. I slammed my locker door shut, the sound blending in with the uttered words students were now saying, all a little too interested to see how this ended today. "Flash, just stop--" My hand reached out, touching his arm lightly but he shook me off with a glare in my direction. I stepped backwards slightly, the very movement begin created by Flash's attempt to push away my touch.

It happened so quickly, the slap of muscle against metal ringing in my ears. Peter had Flash pinned up against my locker door, his arm rested against Flash's chest. I saw the anger flare in both boy's eyes. "Don't touch her." Peter said, his voice low.

"Peter!" I started quickly, not even knowing what to say.

Flash's hands went up in defence. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't want to start a fight."

"Then why are you here?" Peter asked.

I watched as Flash paused, trying to find the words to say. "I just wanted to say I'm sorry about your uncle...and about everything." The words didn't sound like his own, they sounded like Gwen's words but I got a feeling Flash was being sincere.

Peter let him go, stepping away. I saw the pain in his eyes, watching how his jawline ticked with emotion. He didn't even look at me again, just grabbed his bag from where it had fallen to the ground and was stalking away with no intention of wanting to be followed.

"I'm sorry too," Flash said beside me. "I didn't mean to touch you, it just--"

I shook my head, giving him a shrug. "Don't worry about it," I went back to my locker, flinging it open and grabbing my books. I turned back to face Flash, to see a new side of the bully. "It was nice of you to apologise. Maybe Gwen's not so wrong about you."

Flash gave me a sad smile, "I didn't mean for that to happen."

I gave him a frown, "Wait, you've not been fighting with him recently?"

"No," He confessed. "Not after last time, why?" Peter's bruises flashed through my head. I had just assumed they were caused by Flash Thompson but if the school's bully hadn't given Peter those red marks, then who had and why lie to me about it? 






AUTHOR'S NOTE:

I'm sorry, did it feel flat? I really wanted to start bringing in Flash a bit more and I can only do that by making Flash seem less like a major bully, which can be hard. Anyway, how cute is Fleter? They're getting all nervous around each other and it's too adorable. Please leave your wonderful thoughts before as always, thank you for the love and support!

-tinkertaydust

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