Chaper Nine: I'll Always Want You

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'I swear I didn't do this on purpose,' Peter tells me, holding a steaming large pizza box.

Really, it's enough to feed at least four but Peter and I are starving, pizza-deprived and growing children. We require excessive amounts of food.

And we'll run it off anyway. At least that's what I tell myself. I know Peter will, being Spider-Man has many advantages in that aspect.

'I'm not sure I believe you, Parker,' I grin, settling on his squashy couch.

We don't bother with plates as Peter sits beside me and opens the box over both of our laps. I tear off half of the pizza, dragging closer to me.

American pizza is really different from Australian pizza. Australian pizza is much less greasy and I think it tastes better, but the American frozen pizzas taste pretty good. Don't hate me and I don't want to offend anyone, I just wasn't raised on the stuff.

'It's mine,' I tell him, my mouth half-full of pepperoni pizza.

Peter makes a disgusted face, 'That's disgusting,'

I poke my tongue out at him. 'I don't have the time or the mind capacity to care,'

'Did you just call yourself dumb?' Peter asks, a frown creasing his delicate brows.

I laugh, if a little manically, wiping grease on my pants. 'I don't know anymore,'

'You worry me, Kaya Stark,'

'You make me worry, Peter Parker,'

Peter beamed, his smile brighter than the glowing city of New York sprawled beyond the walls of his small apartment. 'That just means you care,'

'Only a little bit,' I joke, taking a large bite out of my third piece of pizza. 'You care about me too,'

Peter scrunches up his nose, making him look really adorable. 'Do I though?'

'You have to, Peter,' I say matter-of-factly, 'we're best friends,'

Peter thinks for a moment. 'Fine!' he sighs over-dramatically. 'But only 'cause you love me back,'

'Love's a pretty strong word,' I remind him, and it leaves him in fits of laughter.

We devoured most of the pizza, leaving two or three pieces for May in the fridge because Peter stopped me after my seventh slice. I'm sure one of us mentioned something about sleep at some point but when the clock strikes eleven pm, Peter and I are still on his couch tangled up in blankets and me in my own head.

My head is on Peter's shoulder, my hands clasping his beneath the blankets and it sends strange shivers down my spine. Our brains are practically numb when I nudge him and gesture with a jerk of chin to the time on the microwave clock.

'Oh shit,' he mumbles sleepily, removing his hand to scrub his eyes.

I force myself to sit up, the half of my body that was leaning on Peter suddenly missing his warmth. I yawn and stretch my arms above my head, stumbling to my feet on trembling limbs. Neither of us can be bothered to brush our teeth as Peter switches the TV off and we shuffle into his room.

I wordlessly claim the bottom bunk, crawling beneath the cool covers. I open my mouth to tell Peter goodnight but the words catch and die in my throat. Peter doesn't say anything either and I assume that he's too tired and just fell asleep.

Why can't I say goodnight?

I toss and turn in his bed, my body suddenly charged with stupid amounts of energy for the middle of the night. I lay on my back, staring up at the pine-wood slats of Peter's top bunk. His even breathing disrupts the perfect quiet, shockingly undisturbed by the boisterous non-stop, New York traffic.

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