36 - House Calls

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School came back around again as we each fell back into the steady rhythm of day-to-day life, only difference was, I had Peter Parker by my side. It was strange how much your life could change in a span of a handful of months. Sometimes you didn't notice, they were only little changes, like the songs changing when you studied or the person you sat next to in class. Life went on and changes happened everyday, even when you didn't see it. But other times, changes were just too big not to see. These changes had turned my once normal life on its head and pushed me to new limits. Too bad change was always consent, which meant things were only going to continue to change, for better or for worse.

With our hands linked together, our heads bent together as we listened to a new song Peter had found last night, we strode through his apartment building hallway. "I finished my assignment on gamma radiation, I really think it will knock you out of top spot in class." I wiggled my eyebrows over at him, knowing all too well he couldn't help but take the bait of my challenge. 

"Really, now? You think I've gone soft just because I get to kiss you now?" Peter questioned, twirling his keys between his fingertips. They jingled with movement and I found myself watching his hands. 

A snort came from my chest at his comment and I shoved him lightly away from me, an earphone falling from my ear. "You won't be kissing me now, Parker." He pushed open his front door as he pulled me into his chest, arms holding me tightly as I laughed and tried to push him away. We had been stuck in this honeymoon phase, everything seemingly perfect as we took our time moving forward. We couldn't forget our past, but we could learn from it. "You know I'm ticklish!" I breathed out, feeling my chest rise and fall. 

"Hi kids, how was school today?" Aunt May was calling out from the living room. Peter let his backpack drop to the floor, sliding me backwards with a shine in his eyes. With my hands firmly on his chest I stepped backwards and he guided us towards the kitchen.

I cocked my head at him, wondering what he was playing at today. We hadn't really told our parents about whatever this was, and we reframed from actually showing any signs of our slow burning relationship in front of them. Peter placed his head near my neck, letting his fingers poke at my sides as I doubled over with painful giggles. "It was fine, we spotted this crazy car outside--" 

Suddenly, Peter was dropping his hands from my waist. My head snapped up, my fingers brushing away some hair from my face and spotting May and a new face sitting on his couch like it was perfectly normal. 

Tony Stark.

"Oh, Mr. Parker." Tony spoke up from the couch, casually eating one of Aunt May's date loafs. Peter was dumbfounded, his role model sitting on his couch next to his aunt. I yanked at my shirt, trying to make myself look a little more appropriate with the sudden filthy rich and beyond handsome Tony Stark in the living room.

Peter stepped forward, pointing over at him. "Uh, what...what are you doing here? I mean, hey. I'm Peter." It was like I was pushed back into the past where Peter Parker couldn't speak without mumbling. He used to do it around me, but now he had gotten too comfortable with me. 

Tony gave a little nod, "I'm Tony." His eyes moved over to me, hanging back with my hands fiddling with the neckline of my shirt. Everybody in the city, in the world, knew who this man was and how powerful and rich he was. And here he was, sitting in Peter Parker's apartment, making a friendly house call. "And who are you?"

I nearly choked. "Uh, I'm Florence. Parsons. Florence Parsons." I sounded like a complete idiot. Actually, I sounded a lot like Peter and having no sense to actually speak in full sentences around this man, around this hero

"She's uh..." Peter quickly turned back to me, not knowing how to define our relationship. Despite everything, we still hadn't come to terms with what we were. That was something we were figuring out. "Florence is my, well...lab partner?" He left it with a question and I was already shooting him a look.

Tony didn't seem to mind though, "Well young love is sweet but from personal experience, don't let you lab partner get away." He rested back in his seat, giving us both a keen glance over with his eyes. "Anyway, I thought it was time we met Peter. You've been getting my emails, right?" 

I was already looking across at Peter, wondering myself when he had started speaking with Tony Stark, he hadn't mentioned any of it to me. "Uh, yeah." Peter nodded, his arms folding over his chest. "Yeah, regarding the--"

"You didn't tell me about the grant?" His aunt added in, cutting off the sentence he had no intention to finish. I caught a look from Tony and suddenly, it was clicking together. It seemed Peter didn't really have a clue as to why, Tony Stark or well, Iron Man was here and wanting to see him. 

Peter was nodding none the less though, "Yeah, about the grant."

"The September Foundation." Tony insisted, his voice so calm and even. 

I let my gaze drift back to Peter, "Right. Yeah."

"Remember when you applied?" Tony asked. 

There was a moment of hesitation and I watched as May started to grin wide at him, over excited about this amazing opportunity that had landed in Peter Parker's lap. "Well, I accepted. So now, we're in business." Tony went on.

May sat forward, "You didn't tell me any of this? Why wouldn't you mention it? Are you keeping secrets now?" Her heavy gaze narrowed in on me and suddenly I wanted nothing more than to see myself out of this apartment. "Did you know about this, Florence?"

I was caught off guard. "Uh, well--"

"Nobody knew," Peter butted in. "I just thought it would be better to keep it to myself, just in case I didn't get accepted...and I know how you love surprises." His was stammering out again, his attention falling back to Tony. "What did I apply for, again?"

Tony gave him a quick grin, "That's why I am here. To hash it out."

"Right, to hash it out. Okay." Peter went on slowly. 

Tony turned back to May, giving her his slick smirk and saying just how she couldn't possibly be someone's aunt when I inched closer to him, my hand pulling at his sleeve. He turned to me without hesitation. "Why is he lying?" I whispered.

"I don't know." Peter shrugged his shoulders, turning his attention back to the man who had saved our world many times over. "Has this grant got like, money involved?"

The man laughed, "It's pretty well funded. Look who you're talking to, kid?" Tony pointed back over to Peter, his eyes landing on May. "Can I have five minutes with him?"

May was nodding, her smile big and bright. "Of course. You don't mind, Florence? You two weren't studying or something?"

That got a snicker from Tony and I had a funny feeling he already had us pinned as just two crazy kids trying to hide their relationship from their families all the while trying to work it out for themselves. "Studying, right."

I ignored his comment and shook my head. "Nope. I just need to grab a textbook. That I happened to have left here last week...and I'll be going." 

With both men following me to Peter's bedroom, needing somewhere private to speak alone, I grabbed a book and twisted around to give them both a forced grin. I could see Peter growing worried with this, having no real idea why this man had picked him out of every teenager in the city to need a private conversation with and lie to his aunt about it. "Got it." I held up the book, showing them both. It was a lie, I didn't really need the book, just an excuse as to why I would be here anyway. I let my gaze meet Peter's, "You'll swing by my place later, yeah?"

I had chosen the wrong word in that sentence. "Wait, your little girlfriend knows?" Tony asked.

Peter's mouth hung open, trying to play it smooth but failing. "Uh, what are you talking about?"

A frown worked on my forehead and suddenly it clicked. Tony Stark was here because somehow, he had figured out Peter Parker was the web slinging hero in New York. With a quick glance over at Peter, I let out a sigh. "Um, well I'll be leaving now." I told them both before quickly getting out of his room and slamming the door shut behind me. I rested up against the closed door for a moment, wondering just how much things would change again, now that Tony Stark knew Peter's secret. 



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