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Peter gripped the pillow firmly, biting into it. Bella poured the alcohol over his back. He hollered out into the pillow. Her heart sank at this. She hated seeing him in so much pain. Bella grabbed a towel and gently patted him down. She continued to cleanse out the wounds; doing her best to remain gentle as possible.
“You ready?” She questions tenderly running a soothing hand along his arm.
He takes in a deep breath and okays. Bella closes her eyes giving herself a moment first. It was taking all composure not to lose her shit.
“Ok then. Don’t move.”
She runs the needle and thread through his skin. Peter jumps. She places a hand along his back in reminder. He’d passed out earlier when she had to remove the blade from his shoulder. She had just got that sewn up as well.
“Peter! Please you’ve got to stop moving.” She says sternly.
He growls into the pillow.
“You can get mad. That’s fine; just stay still when you do.”
Bella continued doing her best to keep her hand steady, the stitches small as possible. She took her time and kept everything sterile. Last thing she wanted was to give him an infection. It took her over three hours to finish his back. It had taken her an hour to do his shoulder. Peter had basically been in surgery so to speak for four hours. Once she finished she rubbed her aching hands. They were beginning to cramp. That and her eyes hurt. She felt a headache coming on. Still it was nowhere near the comparison to what Peter was feeling. Every time she looked upon him she cringed. She took in a breath as he’d passed back out. She leaned over and kissed his forehead. She brought the sheets over him and began to clean up.
After she’s done Bella sits at her computer chair. She works on patching up Spiderman’s suit. Her eyes grew heavy as she leaned back. That quickly vanished however, as she heard her father’s truck outside.
“Oh no…” She groans looking towards Peter.
She quickly covered Peter up. Bella then stuffed the suit into her dresser drawer. She looked around the room shaking her head. There was no way she’d get away with this. There was just no way could she let her father enter this room. She exited the room and pulled the door shut. Bella made her way down stairs. Charlie was drunk off his ass. He had a bottle of Jack in his hand.
“DAD! Please tell me you didn’t drive home like that!”
He shrugs and heads into the kitchen.
“Dad! That stands for everything you’re against! How could you do this! You could have killed someone! Or yourself for that matter!”
Her jaw drops. Bella folds her arms about her chest. She couldn’t believe how her father was acting. He’d kill her for pulling a stunt like this.
“Um no dad remember? It’s been a bit of a hectic day. Wasn’t here to fix supper.”
“I can make you something.”
He opens the fridge door and takes another swig from the bottle.
She yanks the bottle from his hand. He gives her this pitiful glare.
“What’s with you?!” She scowls bitterly.
He reaches for the bottle again.
“Um no dad. I think it’s time to call it a night.”
“Dammit Bells give me the fucking bottle!”
A look of shock comes about her face. She grits her teeth furiously and smashes the entire bottle and its contents into the sink.
“There’s your fucking bottle!”
“NOW WHY THE HELL DID YOU DO THAT!” He grabs her roughly by the arm.
“KNOCK IT OFF CHARLIE!” She yanks out of his hold.
Charlie shakes his head. He pinches the bridge of his nose. Knowing he royally screwed up now.
“I’m sorry kiddo. I… Jesus.”
“Go and sleep this off. Let me get you some water and Tylenol.” She say, but seriously was pissed off with him.
Charlie lowers his head like a troubled toddler. Bella points to his room.
“I’ll be right there dad.”
Charlie takes in a breath and heads to his room. Bella’s nerves were completely shot. First Peter, now her father? She’d NEVER seen Charlie like this. Sure he’s cussed before, but never has he talked to her that way. Nor has he ever grabbed her like that before. Bella cut on the sink and splashed some cool water over her face. She also cleaned up the smashed up the remains of the bottle. Once she was done; she gathered the water and Tylenol for her father.
She noticed he was still in uniform. But his badge and gun were gone.
“I damn near lost my job kid.”
Her eyes widen as it all starts to come together.
He nods shamefully.
“Luckily, I got away with suspension for three weeks without pay.”
“What?! They can’t do that dad!”
“Apparently, they can and they did.”
“I don’t regret my choice though. I’ll never agree with George. The man is a jackass to say the least.”
“I’ll agree there.”
She hands her father the pills and water.
“Aren’t I supposed to be taking care of you?”
Bella smiles, but says nothing. She felt like she was dealing with a rebellious teen.
After he takes the pills she lays him down and takes off his boots.
“Get some sleep dad.”
She says pulling the covers over him.
“I’m sorry… I love you kiddo. All I’ve done as of late; is prove what a screw up of a father I am.”
She baulked at this shaking her head with full disagreement.
“Dad that’s not true. We’ll make it through this, I promise.”
“I don’t see how. We got rent, groceries, gas, and bills.”
“Shut up and go to sleep please.”
He softly chuckles.
Bella pulls her father’s door too. She then rushes back to her room. Peter was still out cold. She runs her fingers through his hair. He felt hot to the touch. Bella hastily got him a bowl of cold water and a wash cloth. She grabbed Peter some medicine as well.
Peter groaned out dejectedly as she sponged him down.
She continued to get his entire back side.
“Peter think you can roll over?”
He nodded in to her pillow. Gradually he turned over. He winced as he lay on his back.
“You can roll back over once I’m done.”
She took the cloth to his face, down his neck, and chest. He gently grabbed her hand.
“Bella… please don’t…”
“You shouldn’t have to…”
She ignores this and carries on. Once she’s done she cleanses the areas she stitched up and points some antibiotic cream on them. She has him roll onto his side.
“I need you to take these pills Peter.”
He nods and takes the pills. Bella then puts the glass of water to his lips. When he’s done she sits down the glass on her nightstand.
“How did I get in your room?” Peter questions looking around.
“Not sure. I think you were so disoriented that you crawled through my window instead. I found you on the floor when I got home.”
“Don’t do that Peter. Truth is it’s probably better me than your Aunt May. You’d have given her a heart attack.”
He shut his eyes in thought.
“I doubt she knows right?”
“You’re the only one.”
Bella lies beside him.
“You should know my dad’s home.”
Peter gets this alarmed look on his face and starts to rise.
“Um you’re not going anywhere. So knock it off.” She gently places him back down.
“Beside he’s out cold. In fact Charlie came home drunk off his ass.”
“Charlie?” He inquiries in disbelief.
“Yeah… they suspended him. Three weeks without pay.”
“Oh no… Let me guess because of Spiderman.”
“No because George Stacy’s a douchebag.”
Peter wanted to laugh at this, but was still in too much pain. That and he couldn’t help, but to feel somewhat responsible for Charlie. Peter noticed Bella’s eyes were starting to bat. Before long she lost the battle. Peter moved the strands of hair from her face. He kissed her forehead. He found himself completely swept away by how she was caring for him. Peter hadn’t meant for this to happen. The guilt weighed on him. Bella had been through enough without him adding to it. She shouldn’t have to concern herself about caring for a wounded Spiderman. That wasn’t her responsibility. However, he also felt very selfish at the moment. It made him feel good; which made him feel even guiltier. He put his arm around Bella and shut his eyes.
Bella woke with Peter kissing her. He was pressed up against her. Bella softly giggled as he had his hand on her ass.
“Someone must be feeling a little better.”
He nodded and continued to kiss her.
“Easy killer you’re still recuperating. That and well my dad’s home.”
He groans in misery and rolls back over. She put her hand to his forehead.
“See that means I’m better already.”
Peter says putting a hand up her shirt.
“Not exactly, if you tear through those stitches; Peter I’m gonna kick your ass.”
He raises his brows at this.
“I’m not playing around Peter.”
He puckers out his lower lip. She giggles a bit shaking her head.
“Focus on getting better then I’m all yours.”
She nodded while she checked over his stitches.
“So far so good.”
At this Peter grew serious. He took her hand and looked her in the eyes.
“I mean it… What you did for me… you didn’t have to do that Bella.”
“Peter you need to realize something.”
He narrows his eyes on this. She finishes putting the cream on his wounds. Bella wipes her fingers clean with a towel.
“When I agreed to this relationship; that meant everything that came with it. So yes… I do. Not only that, but it’s what I want. Besides, even Spiderman needs a hand from time to time. He shouldn’t be ashamed of that either.”
Peter sighs not sure how to feel about that exactly.
“You’re not alone Peter. You need to grasp that and accept it. Just as you want me to open up and come to you. I expect the same from you.”
He reaches up and caresses her cheek. Bella’s throat knots up. She leans into his hand for a moment. The flashes of yesterday were hitting her and hard.
“Hey…” Peter says and lifts up a bit in the bed.
“What is it?” He questions concerned.
“I’m just glad you’re ok.”
She says clearing her throat forcing the tears back.
“Bella?” He inquires feeling slightly panicked; by the look on her face.
“It was hard you know…” She says wiping her eyes.
“Knowing that you were hurt. Seeing you that way and having to walk away. It damn near killed me. I almost caved. I was so close to exposing us. That’s going to be the hardest part Peter. I don’t like turning away from you. I felt like my heart was being ripped out. So many things about yesterday…” She shook her head.
“It was like a domino effect. I kept waiting for the last piece to come tumbling down. The one neither of us would walk away from.”
“Believe me I was too.” He exhales in thought.
He opens his arms to her. She carefully leans into his chest.
“Spiderman didn’t like masking his feelings as well.”
He holds her thinking about when the bus crashed into the water. His first initial thought was Bella. Peter knew exactly how she felt. He knew this was going to be a serious test on their relationship. He prayed she wouldn’t end up resenting him or regretting her decision. Without a shadow of a doubt, it was a lot to take in. More than he even imagined himself. This would be a learning experience for the both of them. Sure he could end it all right here. In order to protect Bella and her father from the downfalls of Spiderman. He could break it off. That was just it though. The mere idea itself, it made him feel as though he’d already died. He’d never felt more alive than he had now; with Bella in his life. When he’d lost his uncle; Peter had completely shut down. He pushed everyone away. He wanted to be left alone. However, she came into town and literally threw him for a loop. All it took was one look and he knew he was hooked. He couldn’t’ turn away now even if he wanted to. She was like an addiction.
Peter also thought of something else. If he pulled that shit. He’d be no better than Edward Cullen. That would make Peter not only a charlatan, but a complete bastard. He knew how Bella felt about him. He could see it. There’s just no way he could do something like that to her. She’d already lost her mother and stepfather. Peter was beginning to see just how alike their lives were. Besides Charlie, Aunt May, and Mike they had only each other. That’d be beyond cruel to push her away now. No, Peter Parker and Spiderman were going to have to find a way to make this work. He was also going to have to accept what Bella said. She knew what she was getting herself into. She thought of the circumstances already and what it would mean. Her father was a cop after all. Peter knew she had to face these exact situations to begin with; before he even came into the picture. He knew she worried about if there would be a day Charlie wouldn’t come home. That’s just the life of a cop’s family. Well unfortunately, that was also the life of being involved with Spiderman. He too had the off chance of something happening to him. If anything yesterday only further proved that to him, in more ways than one. So for Peter, he stood by his word. He wasn’t backing down. Together they’d make it work. His biggest and utmost fear in all this however, was losing her.
They both froze however, hearing Charlie about the apartment.
“I should go home.”
“Bella I’ll be fine. Well maybe if Aunt May doesn’t kill me herself.”
“She just might.”
He frowns in thought. Peter carefully rises from the bed. He looks down and grins.
“Um where’s my suit?”
Bella blushes a bit. He was in his black boxers and nothing else. She makes her way to her dresser. She takes out the Spiderman suit.
“I patched it up.” She says handing it to him.
“Not bad.” He says testing it out.
“Actually this is really good. Thanks! So a tailor and a nurse?”
“Something like that.” She says with a shrug.
“Anything you can’t do?” He meant that seriously.
Bella continued to take him by surprise. Not having much choice. It’s either crawl out of her window as Spiderman or in a pair of boxers. Either way he just hoped he could make it back home without watchful eyes. Before he makes his way out he folds up the suit hiding it amongst his arms.
“I’ll see you later.”
Bella nods feeling all emotional again. He kisses her lips and heads towards her window. Peter turns back once more. He then leaps down and takes off promptly. She watches as he climbs up his apartment and crawls through his window. At this she takes in the deepest of breathes praying he took care of himself.
“Where were you all night?”
Peter flinches and freezes at the fridge. He shuts the door and slowly turns. Aunt May was sitting at the table.
“You know we have a front door Peter.”
He nods not sure what to say.
“Well are you going to talk to me, or just stand there with that puppy dog expression?!”
“I was out.”
“And you couldn’t come through the front door because?”
“I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“You didn’t want to disturb me?” She questions bitterly.
“I’ve been up all night! Just sitting here waiting; fearing the worst. After that attack that was on the news yesterday, Peter. I was afraid that…”
He winces at the look on her face. His Aunt’s fists ball up.
“I was afraid that you were somehow involved.” She wipes her eyes with a tissue.
Peter felt like royal crap. That’s two women he’s managed to make cry within the span of 48 hours now. He sighs and makes his way over.
“I’m sorry Aunt May.” He says putting his hands upon her shoulders.
She nods into her tissue.
“It’s just after you didn’t come home last night. I feared, I’d lost you too!”
This hit Peter like a bag of bricks. It seemed his secret was harming everyone around him.
“I’m not going anywhere Aunt May.”
“Just do me a favor and at least call next time. Just let me know you’re safe that’s all that matters. You can’t keep doing this to me Peter.”
He nods in agreement and kisses her cheek.
“I can do that.” Or at least he prayed he could.
“Are you hungry?”
She comes to her feet.
“Aunt May don’t. Please just go get some sleep.”
“After you have a decent breakfast!”
He shakes his head. She comes to her feet and starts to make some pancakes.
“Have a seat Peter.” She says waving a spatula at him.
Bella showers and gets dressed. She then heads downstairs. Charlie was sitting at the dining room table reading the paper. She thought it seemed odd to see him in gray sweatpants and a regular green shirt. She was so used to seeing him in his uniform. In fact since they’d been living in Brooklyn that’s all he lived in. He sipped at a cup of coffee and peered over upon her.
He straightens the paper in his hold.
“How’d you sleep?”
She shrugged. She slept like crap, felt like crap, and at the moment she was pretty sure she looked like crap. Bella poured herself a cup of coffee. She sat next to Charlie.
He wrinkled his nose.
“Are you sure?”
He nodded and sipped at his coffee.
“You want some eggs and sausage.”
An ill look came about Charlie. She fought the grin from forming on her face.
“You want some pancakes?”
“I just thought you might be hungry.”
“Well I’m not.”
“Why do you think that is dad?”
Charlie rolled his eyes.
“You want some lukewarm pork? Or maybe some 7 up and soda crackers?!”
Charlie looked green in the face.
“Knock it off Bells.”
“Just wondering that’s all.”
“My offer for the pork still stands.”
“Yes dad?” She bats her eyes all cutesy like.
“Don’t you have something to do?”
“Nope not at the moment.”
He fluffs his paper back out and looks for something else to read. She softly giggles and finishes her coffee.
Bella lay back on the couch. Charlie was watching one of the football games. She couldn’t remember the last time he’d watched a game. Honestly, she found it comforting to see him relaxing somewhat. Though the stress was still about his face. She looked towards her room. She thought about the check. She knew how would be about the perfect time for that to come in handy. That was more than enough to cover things at least until the end of his suspension. Bella found herself wanting a few choice words with George Stacy.
He looks over aiming the remote at the TV.
“I know what I want to do with that money from mom.”
“Oh yeah?” He perks up at this interestedly.
“I want to help with the bills and stuff dad.”
Charlie shakes his head and grits his teeth.
“You most certainly will not!”
“No I mean it Bells! You’re not using a dime of that money towards this apartment or any bills pertaining to it.”
“You said I could use it on whatever I wanted!”
“Yeah I meant on yourself kid! Jesus!”
“I live here too dad. You’ve supported me for years. It’s just one month we’re talking about. You can at least let me do that.”
“Absolutely out of the question. We’ll be fine! I’m not touching that money!”
“It’s not your choice dad!”
“The hell it isn’t!”
“SO I AM I! NOW DROP IT!”
They both turn towards the door as there’s a knock. Charlie grumbles and comes to his feet. Bella peered over seeing Aunt May.
“I was wondering if you two would like to join us for dinner tonight?”
Charlie narrows his eyes. He looks towards Bella. She smiles and shrugs towards her father.
Charlie scratches the back of his head. Bella makes her way over.
“We’d love to.”
Charlie cuts his daughter an odd glance.
“How lovely. Perhaps we’ll see you around 6?”
“Sure!” Bella says patting her father on the shoulder.
“Wonderful, we’ll see you then.”
Bella watches as Aunt May heads back to her apartment. Charlie sighs.
“I didn’t agree to this.”
“Come on dad, they’re really nice.”
He looks back to his daughter.
“You’re dating again aren’t you? That Parker kid.”
“His name’s Peter dad and yes we’re dating.”
“Dad please don’t.”
“Couldn’t you at least graduate high school first?”
“I know that’s what makes it so funny. Besides, it’s dating not marriage.”
Charlie pulls the door to shaking his head.
“About the money…”
Charlie looks upon his daughter.
“Bells I love you with all my heart. But if you don’t drop this and now. I’m going to ground you for eternity.”
“You can’t do that.”
He says and plops back down on his recliner.
Bella knocks on the door. Charlie stands behind her uncomfortably.
Peter opens the door. He and Bella lock eyes for a moment. They nod towards one another. He then steps aside allowing them in.
“Peter…” Charlie says offering his hand.
Peter shakes his hand. Charlie stands there awkwardly looking around. Aunt May smiles from the kitchen.
“Please have a seat you two. Supper’s just about ready.”
Bella takes her father’s hand and places him on the couch. Peter tried his hardest not to laugh.
“What do I do?” Charlie whispers to his daughter.
“Just sit there. Maybe even carry a conversation dad. You know like humans do.”
Aunt May and Peter share a grin on this. Peter folds his arms about his chest. Charlie nods towards his daughter.
“I’m going to go help Aunt May in the kitchen. Think you’ll be ok?” Bella says taunting her father.
He grumbles under his breath. Peter takes it upon himself to sit with Charlie in the living room.
“So how are things sir?”
“Could be better could be worse.”
“Dad that’s not even a real answer.” Bella calls from the kitchen.
Charlie cocks a brow that direction.
“I’m just saying dad try harder.”
“I swear she loves giving me hell.” Charlie complaints.
“I think I actually agree there.”
Charlie grins and leans back.
“So how’s school son?”
“Not so bad.”
Charlie looks toward the kitchen then back to Peter.
“How’s she doing?”
“She seems to be doing great actually.”
“Good. I’m glad to hear that.”
However, Charlie clears his throat.
“So she tells me that you two are dating now?”
“Um yes sir.”
“Well I gotta admit. I damn sure like you better than that Eddie guy.”
“Not too crazy about him myself.”
“I swore that kid had some issues.”
“He was always staring off into space.”
“Who was dad?”
Bella chimes in as she places some broccoli on the table.
She narrows her eyes upon Peter and her father. Peter simply shrugs.
“Hmm.” Bella says and goes back to helping Aunt May.
“It’s ready.” Aunt May calls out.
Charlie however, notices the painful expression on Peter’s face as he comes to his feet.
“You ok there?”
Peter nods and heads into the kitchen. Bella over heard her father and cut Peter a look of concern. Peter winked her direction as he pulled out a chair for her.
“Won’t you do us the honors Mr. Swan?”
Charlie looked to them in question.
“Honors? Mrs. Parker?”
Charlie looked to his daughter in disbelief. Bella sighs.
“Dad it’s just a blessing for the food.”
He nods and they join hands.
“Lord we bring thanks to the things we have. The roof over our heads, nourishment, and to bringing us all together today. Bella and I are thankful for the kindness of our neighbors and in making new friends. I pray that you will watch over each of us and help us in the choices we make each day. Please bless the food that we’re about to partake. Amen.”
“Amen…” Peter and Aunt May agree.
Bella however, gazed upon her father with a hint of astonishment. She’d never heard him pray before. Bella swallowed back on this.
“That was really nice dad.”
He nods as Aunt May starts passing around the food. Once the food is passed around and everyone fills their plates. Peter takes Bella’s hand under the table.
After they finish Bella and Aunt May begin to clean up. Aunt May however, noticed the look on Bella’s face as she dried the dishes.
“Are you alright dear?” She questions softly.
Bella nods, but Aunt May swore she looked as though she was about to break. Aunt May stops what she’s doing. She wraps her arms around Bella. Aunt May doesn’t say a word. She just held her. Aunt May continues to hold her as Charlie’s at the doorway. Charlie turns towards Aunt May. He nods towards them. Once Aunt May drops her hold; Charlie clears his throat.
“I gotta run. I got called to the station for something. Thank you Mrs. Parker.”
“Please call me May. And anytime.” Charlie nods yet again and heads out.
Bella narrows her eyes in confusion.
Charlie got in his truck. Only he didn’t head to the station. He didn’t even really have a call. No instead he headed to a secluded area. He parked his truck. He stared out as it all came crashing down on him. EVERYTHING he’d been holding back on. Charlie Swan gripped the steering wheel firmly. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly. The tears began. His entire face reddened with the mixed emotions he felt. He sucked back a breath and continued to fall apart.
Once Peter pulled his door shut. Bella took it upon herself to raise his shirt. She checked over his stitches making sure all was well.
“Have you taken anything for pain?”
“No you’re not.” She hissed.
She took the antibiotic cream she’d given him. She gently rubs it into all the areas. Afterword they lay on his bed. They held one another until it came time for Bella to have to go home. Peter walked her home.
“I say we find a way to get a hotel or something of that nature.” He hints.
“You mean after you’re feeling better.”
She grins. Peter places his hands along her cheeks. He then backs her up against the door and kisses her.
“I love you.”
“Love you too.”