28 - Behind The Bleachers

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"You're smiling again," Gwen noted one day during our shared gym class. We were outside today on the back football field stretching out as we warmed up to play a friendly game of football with the boys in our class. Gwen had her dark hair flowing around her shoulders, snapping on some pink gum as she bent over her straightened leg. "It's strange. I don't think I've ever seen you smile so much."

I poked my tongue at her, yanking at my oversized gym shirt. Mary Jane was standing on the other side of me, her lips moving as she recited her lines for the play, her arms reaching for the sky. She had been a little too focused on her upcoming show, not that I blamed her. "I'm just..."

"Happy?" Gwen asked, trying not to beam. A roar of laughter sounded from the other side of the field and I glanced up to stare across at the boys team, Harry and Peter among them. I could not tell what they were laughing about, maybe something stupid a boy had mentioned. I stood up taller as my eyes fell on Peter, standing awkward with his hands on the football. I knew very well Peter didn't have too much interest in football, it just wasn't his kind of thing. There was a round of laughter as Flash came into view and Gwen gave him a little wave. I watched as he grinned back, giving her one of those nods all boys seemed to always do. I looked back over at Gwen, seeing the shine in her dark eyes. I could tell she was happy in that very moment and I couldn't help but wonder if I had the same look on my face each time whenever I thought about Peter, let alone looked at him.

"Yeah, I guess so." I admitted, turning to face her, my tone growing serious. Only a matter of weeks ago my life was falling apart, something that I suppose I always let happen when my brother's death arose each year. Peter's life had been nothing but a dark hole too, something that connected us together despite the terribleness of the situations. I hadn't been happy, not back then. But now, there was a flutter of joy in my chest and that was created because I had let go of that pain, that promise to my brother. I had let go and allowed Peter to step in and help mend what was broken. I guess in a way, I had done the very same for him.

It took me a long moment before my eyes fell on my other friend, her eyes clouded with worry and something I couldn't pin point. Her lips had stopped moving, her gaze stuck on the handsome Osborn boy. "Mary Jane, hey...you alright?" My fingertips brushed her arm and her head flicked around, her eyes wide.

"Yeah, always." She replied, her voice clipped. My heavy gaze swung back to Harry, watching as he outright stared at her, clearly trying to snag her attention. I had been too busy in my own little happy bubble with Peter that I hadn't even really noticed something was bugging her and it wasn't just the upcoming play.

I stepped in closer, lowing my voice as a group of girls in our class moved closer, chatting loudly. "I can see something is wrong. You can tell us anything." Gwen had suddenly popped up on my other side, her back turned to the boys so nobody could overhear us.

Mary Jane brushed some of her red hair from her face, blowing out her cheeks. "I just...you're both so happy and involved with boys that actually give you the time of day."

"What about Harry?" Gwen asked, her eyebrows drawn together, her lips pressed into a firm line. For what seemed like months Harry had practically flung himself down at her mercy, something I hadn't seen from him. I thought they were moving along at a steady pace, maybe I had seen the signs wrong.

She shrugged, her tiny hands falling to her hips. "I don't know. I thought he liked me but--"

"But what?" I questioned, fear hiding in my voice. "He's not hurt you, has he?"

Her eyes popped open wide, shaking her head quickly. "No, nothing like that. I just honestly thought with the way he acted sometimes with me that he liked me...but, yesterday I sort of blew him off harshly for the play and he didn't take it well. He just snapped and stormed off and now, I haven't spoken to him."

I straightened up, looking over Gwen's shoulder spotting Harry again, watching us with a worried look in his eyes. I knew Harry, maybe better than Mary Jane did despite their maybe blooming romance and I knew him well enough to know his outburst with Mary Jane wasn't about her at all. "It's not you." I whispered, seeing that familiar cold stare in Harry's eyes.

"What do you mean by that?" Mary Jane questioned quietly.

I moved in again, giving her tiny smile. "It's not my place to say, but he's always been weird with his father and no doubt he's taking some fleeting anger about it out on you. Just talk to him, make it better."

Mary Jane nodded, her teeth sinking into her bottom lip. The whistle blew at that very second, the teacher circling us around and commencing the game. I stood right in front of Peter, giving him a grin as he wiggled his eyebrows at me. Our teacher slowly went over the rules, stating very clearly that it was a friendly game and she didn't want things getting heated. While she was speaking Peter leaned forward. "You look bored, Flo."

I really was, sport wasn't my thing either. "You're just stating the obvious, Parker."

His eyes swept the group of us, about twenty kids huddled up listening and trying to make it look like we actually cared. The teacher herself looked mildly bored, reciting words from a clipboard. "Meet me behind the bleachers."

"What?" I whispered, staring at our teacher as she turned her back to face us. "Why?"

Peter was grinning, hiding some sort of secret his charming eyes. "Trust me, okay?"

I turned back to our teacher, her full attnention on her clipboard. Gwen was staring down at her phone as Flash tossed the football between his hands. Harry was still trying to land Mary Jane's attention as she tried her best to ignore him. Most of the kids were too busy not paying attention and suddenly I was taking Peter's out stretched hand and doing something I would normally never do. I ran and didn't look back.

Since no shouts or protests came, we huddled behind the bleachers, Peter pulling me close as he leaned his back against the cold metal pole. My hands fanned his chest as I let out a horrible giggle, glancing over his shoulder as the group of teenagers tried to start the game. "This was your idea of fun? Dragging me away from class to, what?"

Peter dipped his head, running a hand through his hair. "I just...I wasn't really thinking and you looked too cute and bored and we can go back--" He had started that rambling habit, something that used to tick me off but now, I sort of found it adorable.

I stepped in closer, silencing him. "We could just stay here."

"Yeah?" His head popped up, those eyes narrowing down at me. "And what?" The next question from his lips was a whisper, something so soft that I nearly missed it.

The air around us shifted as I started to smile. "Would you be opposed to making out, Parker?"

He let out a little awkward laugh, trying to stay calm at my bluntness. "Uh, no. I don't think that would be a problem at all."

I leaned closer, my hands dipping down his shirt as I let out a long breath, something I hadn't realised I had been holding this whole time. "Good answer, Parker."

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