Peter scowled over his forkful of spaghetti, his eyes locked on the pair of hands resting on the table across from him.
After his minor slip-up with the Spiderman suit (dumb move, dumb move, he should have known better than to have the suit out before checking that he was alone) his aunt had demanded to know everything. And so he'd told her.
He'd explained how he got bitten by a spider, how he discovered that his strength and senses had all gotten so much stronger, he told her about Mr. Stark's real reason for visiting (and he'd just barely stopped her from calling the man up and verbally taking his head off for dragging Peter into the Avengers fallout in a foreign country) and he'd told her about his continued work as the "friendly neighborhood Spiderman."
It had taken her a very, very long time to truly come to grips with it all, but eventually she'd settled for talking to Peter's point of contact, to ascertain for herself that he was being looked after and they weren't taking advantage of him.
So Peter had pulled up Happy's number, handed over his phone, and retreated to his room to let Aunt May speak with the man.
He'd been thrilled when she had handed the phone back a few hours later, apparently satisfied with what they'd talked about.
Peter hadn't realized at the time that it was anything more than that.
He should have figured out that the two had kept in contact when Aunt May started asking him about things he'd done on missions, or when Happy started to inquire about his grades and homework.
He should have suspected that something was up when the two had started meeting to "work out scheduling" so that Peter would have time for his schoolwork as well as his special activities.
His big hint should have been when Aunt May started inviting the man over for dinner once a week.
But for all his advanced senses, Peter had somehow missed all of the clues.
He'd simply been blindsided with it when Aunt May beat him to answering the door and he'd caught a glimpse of Happy ducking to press a little kiss to her knuckles before entering the house.
Peter had been watching the pair like a hawk ever since, and everything he saw only seemed to be confirming his suspicions – there was something going on between the two.
Peter's scowl deepened a little as he saw Happy shift his fingers a fraction of an inch closer to Aunt May's hand, the two focused completely on one another as Happy detailed some story or other from his time working for Mr. Stark.
Realizing that he'd been balancing the same forkful of pasta halfway to his mouth for the past five minutes, Peter stuffed the spaghetti in his mouth, screwing his face up in distaste when his brain registered how cold it had gotten.
The two adults sitting at the table opposite him didn't even notice.
"They put in forty-five stitches. I almost died," Happy was saying. "Tony was so grateful that I saved his life, he personally made sure that I got sent to the best hospital and-"
Peter stabbed a meatball rather enthusiastically, taking a vicious bite out of it as he watched Aunt May's hand creeping toward Happy's.
Neither adult noticed his narrowed eyes as he watched their hands edging closer with a frown.
After another few seconds their fingertips brushed, and Peter felt something uneasy creeping like static up his spine.
"Well!" Peter exclaimed sharply, shooting to his feet and causing the two adults to jump in surprise. "I, uh...I have homework to be doing, so-"
He made a weak gesture towards Happy that he hoped would translate into "time to leave" but the man apparently didn't get the hint.
"Well, you'd better make sure to get it done. Mr. Stark wanted me to run you through some maneuvering drills tomorrow, and I don't want you to be missing any school assignments because of training."
"Make sure you clear your place before you head to your room," Aunt May chimed in with a fond smile, and Peter had to bite back a growl of frustration when he noticed that their hands hadn't moved a freaking inch.
"Right. Yes, Aunt May," he recited, grabbing his plate in numb fingers and moving toward the sink, stomping his feet ever so slightly in frustration as the two turned their attention back to one another without sparing him so much as a second glance.
Peter set his plate in the sink before slinking off to his room in defeat, closing the door over behind him as he tried to drown out Happy's casual rambling and his Aunt's enthralled replies.
Allowing himself a moment of immaturity, Peter grabbed up his pillow and smashed it into his face to muffle an aggravated yell.
Why was this happening to him? Why now? Why freaking Happy Hogan?
His mentor and his Aunt teaming up was the worst possible combination he could imagine.
(Well, no, scratch that, Mr. Stark and his aunt was the worst possible combination, Happy was at best a distant second-worst. But still.)
Flopping onto his stomach across the bed, Peter rolled over onto his back to stare at the ceiling.
How had he not seen this sooner?
Hell, he had senses that were enhanced to the point of near premonition and this had completely blindsided him.
He was shocked. He was furious. He was disgusted. But most of all he was feeling quite offended.
It wasn't right.
They should have at least asked him first!
Peter let out a long, frustrated groan as he reached to rub his fists against his eyes.
This was a freaking nightmare. His Aunt and Happy. Together.
He couldn't even start to imagine them going on dates and making out and-
Peter was caught by a sudden shudder of revulsion and clenched his fists at his temples to try and purge the thoughts from his head. Those were the kinds of mental images that he could have lived without.
That was also something that he needed to prevent from becoming a reality.
Peter let his hands drop back to his sides, a slow breath escaping his lips as he blinked up at the ceiling.
He would have to intervene.
This relationship was doomed to failure, he was sure of it, and on top of that it creeped him the hell out.
He loved his aunt dearly, and he actually rather liked Happy despite the man's occasional grouchiness, but the two of them together? Romantically?
He simply couldn't let this go on.
He was going to say something.
With a groan Peter lifted his legs up before letting them fall again, allowing the downward-swing of the motion to bring him to a sitting position.
He would simply have to tell them that he was on to them, and they needed to cut it the hell out.
Simple as that.
Peter leapt to his feet, storming over to his bedroom door, but before he could open it the light sound of Aunt May's laugh echoed over to him, and his fingers froze on the handle.
For a moment he was caught off guard.
It wasn't often that he heard his aunt laugh like that.
Peter shook his head, trying to screw his nerve back together, but his hand still refused to turn the doorknob.
Was he really doing the right thing?
The two had seemed happy enough with one another's company - his aunt had been smiling more now than he could remember her doing for a long while, and even Happy was less snippy with him...
Was he really in any position to deny them that? To tell his aunt that she couldn't pursue a relationship, after she'd gone so far out of her way to try and help him with his own crush?
Peter screwed up his face in distaste as the image of them holding hands at the table came back to him unbidden, and he let his fingers slip from the handle, frowning down at the floor.
Aunt May had been nothing but supportive of his attempt at a relationship.
But Liz was one thing, Happy was another thing entirely. Really...his aunt couldn't possibly be attracted to Happy. He was far too irritable and uppity and full of himself to be likeable in that way, right?
Peter tipped his head back with a sigh.
Maybe he was just overreacting.
They were likely just...friends, or if anything it was a crush that would be over in a couple weeks once they had gotten to know one another a bit better and had gotten over the bonding experience of parenting the hell out of him.
They couldn't possibly be serious.
That thought brought a rather immense amount of relief, and Peter felt himself smile.
A silly crush, he could deal with, so long as his Aunt was happy. He could let her have her fun for a couple weeks, and let Happy chat with her over dinner or maybe even hold hands or something until she got bored with him, and then everything would be right back to normal.
Everything was going to be perfectly fine.
Peter grabbed the door handle again, letting himself into the hall to go re-join his aunt and mentor at the table.
The question remained of whether or not he should let the two continue without mentioning anything, or if he should bother bringing up that yes, he was right there and perfectly capable of seeing everything they were doing because they really weren't that subtle. It might be worth turning a blind eye and simply letting them go on like they were so he didn't have to have that conversation with his aunt, however...
"Oh, May-" Happy started, and Peter screwed up his face a little at the casual use of her first name.
Yeah, no...he would have to say something. Even if only to keep the nauseating lovey-dovey eyes to a minimum in his presence.
With that in mind, Peter took a deep breath and rounded the doorway to the kitchen.
Only to find Happy kneeling on the ground beside Aunt May's chair, holding up a ring.
In half a second Peter had slipped his fingers through a web shooter and plastered Happy's hand to the side of the table, ring and all.
The two adults looked up in surprise as Peter stood in the doorway with his mouth hanging open, his face flushed so hot it burned.
"W-what do you think you're doing?!" Peter cried, stuck somewhere between shock and absolute horror as he looked between the two.
There was a ring. Happy was most definitely holding a ring.
And he was kneeling in front of his aunt.
Dear God, had he been trying to propose to her?!
"Peter-" Aunt May started, her tone half scolding and half confused.
"Your aunt dropped her ring," Happy explained with a little frown, tugging at the webbing that had him trapped. "I was picking it up for her."
"You know I take it off when I cook," Aunt May said with an awkward smile, tilting her head a touch. "It must have fallen out of my pocket, because he noticed it on the floor."
Peter was rigid for another long second as that sank in, but then slithered to the ground in a heap, relief quickly melting into utter exhaustion as the tension drained from his system like an upended bucket.
Oh thank God.
Oh thank God.
That had been too much of a shock for his system to handle right now.
"I'm...going back to my room," he murmured, hauling himself to his feet as Happy peeled at the webbing with a suspicious look and his aunt glanced between the two of them in absolute confusion.
"Peter...are you okay?"
"Yeah, Aunt May, I'm fine," he breathed, threading his fingers through his hair and shoving it back over the top of his head to get it off his face. "I just...it's been a long week. I think I need more sleep."
"Oh...okay, honey, if you're sure," she responded with a little frown, and Peter offered her a weak smile before turning to head back to his room.
He was tripping himself out over this. He was definitely overreacting. They were just friends. Uncomfortably close friends, but friends. It couldn't be anything else.
Peter let himself back into his room, closing the door over most of the way before letting himself collapse face-first onto his bed once more.
From the kitchen, he could hear the two adults discussing in low tones if they thought that Peter's schedule needed to be rearranged to allow for more downtime in case he was exhausting himself. The two sounded like they were back to normal now. Ugh.
Peter rubbed at his eyes, letting out a slow breath before he rolled onto his back once more.
He needed a good, long night's sleep before he made any kind of decision on how he felt about the matter, or how he wanted to address it.
Right now his mind felt like it had been put in a blender - jittery and confused and spinning far too fast for him to keep track of his own crazy thoughts.
For heaven's' sake, he'd actually thought that Happy had been serious.
He definitely needed more sleep. He was starting to imagine things.
Peter settled himself more comfortably in bed, taking a few long breaths as he let his eyes close over.
He really had nothing to worry about. Hell, he'd probably imagined the whole thing.
By tomorrow morning he would have forgotten all about the ridiculous notion of his aunt and Happy flirting with one another at all. It would all be just a bad fever dream.
But two hours later, as Peter watched the shadow of his aunt bidding Happy a goodnight from his cracked bedroom door, he couldn't help but think that their heads were leaned awfully close for a purely "friendly" goodbye.