“Okay, Peter, jump down there and wait just a sec.”
“Are you kidding, MJ?”
“Does this face look like I’m kidding, Parker? Now, come on, we’re wasting time. Jump down, but watch your head. The ceiling gets lower there. Then I’ll push this button so that platform will lower you to the next one. It’ll be easy.”
“This isn’t safe.”
“It won’t be safe if you don’t move it.”
“I don’t know, MJ…”
“Peter, you have to trust me—”
“I do! I do… Just. Gimme a minute.”
“We don’t have a minute!”
“Okay, okay…” Peter exhales, letting the breath out slowly as he propels himself forward, landing gracefully on the platform below. He smiles triumphantly.
MJ gave a single nod, before stepping on the button.
Peter’s smile vanishes as he goes up, not down. In an instant, he’s crushed between the concrete platform and the ceiling, parts flying everywhere.
A string of curses mixed with MJ’s laughter fills the room, as Peter throws his Xbox controller down in frustration.
“For that, blue is penalized fifty science collaboration points,’ the computerized voice of GLaDOS warns, tone clipped as she sighs, clearly disappointed.
Peter folds his arms across his chest, his face slightly scrunched in a pout that MJ finds pretty adorable. He looks to his girlfriend, frown deepening when her laughter doesn’t die down. His eyes narrow, fixing her with a stern glare. “Will you stop doing that?”
Michelle scoffs, unable to bite back the smile that was still on her face. “You’re the one who keeps falling for it.”
He huffs, rolling his eyes. “You know, I feel like you only asked me to play Portal with you so that you could do that.”
MJ furrows her brows, her head jerking back in faux bewilderment. “Why would you think that?”
“Because this is the fifth time you’ve done it.”
He has a point. But then again, he has fallen for it every time. Maybe he was a little too trusting.
“These tests are potentially lethal when communication, teamwork, and mutual respect are not employed at all times. Naturally, this will pose an interesting challenge for one of you, given the other’s performance so far.”
Peter throws a pointed glare at her.
“We’re never gonna finish this level if you keep killing me,” Peter almost whines. “Why don’t you be the one that has to go on the platforms? I’ll step on the buttons.”
Michelle shakes her head. “No, no, no. I got it. I can be mature.”
Peter eyes her skeptically, blinking a few times.
“I promise. I won’t step on the wrong button on purpose again.”
With another wary glance, Peter nods, picking up his control. His grumpiness nearly fades away, however, when he feels Michelle nudge him playfully, bumping her shoulder to his, a teasing smirk tugging at the corner of her lips.
Once again, he finds himself, or his character, Peabody, further into the level this time, on another platform waiting patiently for Michelle, or Atlas, to step on the “lower” button. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees MJ biting her lip, either thinking through the puzzle or holding back a laugh, he doesn’t know.
When he sees the mischievous glint in her eye, though, he knew.
“Em, I swear to God—”
It was too late. She had already stepped on it, and Peter was hurled into the ceiling, robot parts going this way and that as poor Peabody was crushed.
“That’s another fifty point penalty for Blue. Keep it up and you will lose five-hundred.”
A boisterous, uncontrollable laugh comes out of Michelle, and if he weren’t so annoyed, Peter would take the time to enjoy it. He knows it’s no use to throw a temper tantrum, so he just sits there, arms folded against his chest as he pouts quietly.
She stops laughing long enough to open her eyes and take in his current state. She fights back some snickering as she nudges him again, but he moves away this time.
He sighs, turning his head to look at her. “That’s it. I’m never kissing you again.”
“Wait, no, don’t take kissing away from me,” Michelle pleads, a bit overdramatic. “I’m sorry!”
Peter shakes his head. “Nope. Nuh-uh. Consider yourself cut off.”
“But that’s like the one thing you’re good at!” There’s a smile in her tone, teasing and playful.
“Ouch,” Peter scoffs, hand covering his heart. “You’re not helping your case any.”
With a roll of her eyes, Michelle turns back to the game. “Whatever. That won’t last. You can’t control yourself around me,” she looks over at him again, her eyes challenging. She wiggles her brows a little, and adds, “I’m irresistible.”
“Hmm, nope I think I’ll be okay,” Peter reassures, a little too defensive as he picks up his controller again.
While that might have been true any other day, he was sure that he could be strong. He had to prove a point.
The rest of the game goes smoothly, Michelle finally cooperating and allowing Peter to live for more than a few puzzles.
Later, when their brains are fried from all that problem-solving, and they’re cuddled up on the couch, the music from the main menu accompanying the sound of the clock on the mantle, Michelle gets an idea. She hasn’t forgotten about Peter’s threat. A few times, she’d tried to get his attention by putting on chapstick, biting her lips, or even touching them.
But she got no response.
Not even a glance.
He was stoic as ever (or as stoic as Peter Parker could be.)
At this point, they’re both undeniably sleepy, so she uses this to her advantage. She had to bring out the big guns.
She sits back a bit, and Peter watches as her arms stretch lazily above her head, her shirt riding up just a little in the process, exposing the slightest bit of skin. He also can’t help but notice the way her chest is pushed out (what? He’s a teenager, give him a break) as she yawns, her back arching.
She has to hold in a laugh at the lovestruck look on his face, eyes wide and full of wonder. Leaning in, she smiles a sleepy smile. “Kiss me,” she whispers breathily.
Peter only nods as his eyes glance between her eyes and her lips, as if in a trance.
Their lips are only centimeters away, he can already feel how warm and soft she is against him. His eyes close as he starts to close the gap.
In an instant, she freezes, her hand against his chest holding him back. His eyes open to see her smirking. “Told you.” And then she laughs, sitting back.
Peter hangs his head, ashamed of himself for not even trying to have any sense of self-control. But who was he kidding? Why he ever thought, he could just… not kiss her was beyond him. “Damn it,” he curses.
But then he looks back up at her, and then… he finds he doesn’t care anymore.
“Honestly, Parker, I didn’t think it’d be that easy. I thought you’d try a lot harder, but I was right,” she paused, sighing and shaking her head in mock disappointment. “You can’t resist me. I mean, it’s a real shame that—”
Michelle’s words are cut off as Peter’s lips connect with hers in a sweet, slow kiss. His hand comes up to cradle the back of her neck and she nearly melts, cliche as it sounds.
Before the kiss can go anywhere else, she pulls back, remembering that he’d just done one of the tropiest tropes to ever trope, fixing Peter with a stern glare. “Okay, as nice as that was, never ever interrupt me by kissing me ever again.”
Peter sputters, eyes widening as he apologizes profusely. “Oh, yeah. Of course. My bad.” He starts to move away from her, when she stops him, placing a hand on his arm.
“I didn’t say we had to stop,” she says, her voice tinted with amusement.
He breathes a sigh of relief, before composing himself, clearing his throat. “Cool. Well, consider your kissing privileges reinstated then. You are no longer cut off.”
With a roll of her eyes, she reaches out to him. “Just come here, loser.”
And she kisses him again.