Note to Readers: This fanfic deals with rape and homosexuality. If you cannot handle one or both of those, please leave now.

Second Note to Readers: This is the first part of a trilogy, which is why the title on this page differs from the title you clicked on.

A Toast to Friends
It's about getting what you wish you didn't want.
by Alena
July 4th, 2004

"To friends, Peter," he faintly remembers Harry saying. If he'd been less thrilled about Harry's slow-but-sure forgiveness, if he'd been less trusting—but how could he have been?—of the person he'd known since he was a little kid, maybe he would have seen the darkness in Harry's eyes.

Maybe he would have seen Norman in Harry's eyes.

"To friends, Peter," and a clink of shot glasses, they had drunk to something that was already all but gone before tonight, but felt as though it had been ripped away freshly and painfully.

Outside, Peter is silent. Inside, he's crying and screaming and begging, and wondering why Harry won't hear him.

And everywhere, there is pain.


Between the gasps and the groans, Harry manages to think a little, and then a lot, because even though what he's doing doesn't require much mental power, why he's doing it does.

And the answer haunts him.

Because he wants Peter, and he wants to destroy Spiderman, and he's having both, or maybe having neither, but whichever it is, in this second, it blew his soul.


Peter has heard stories about rape victims before. He's heard about how they leave their bodies, about how they run through simple things in their minds, like how they have a test tomorrow or how maybe they forgot to feed their goldfish. That was what they did, to take their minds away from the deep violation, the pain, the helplessness.

But Peter isn't the average person. Hasn't been for some time now.

And so he concentrates on the physical pain, because that hurt so much less.


Peter is slack and listless and quiet under him, eyes filled with a desperate kind of agony that Harry wants to wash away and intensify and ignore and he hates him, god he hates him and loves him and wants to protect him and save his soul and kill him and cause him all the pain in the world and Peter is driving him insane because Harry doesn't know what he wants, he used to know, he used to know, he'd wanted Spiderman dead and Peter back with him, always with him and not loyal to Spiderman, but now everything makes sense and the sense tears everything apart and makes it crazy.

Makes him crazy, and a hysterical laugh bubbles up from his throat. There's nothing funny about any of this, and that's probably why he's laughing so damned hard, laughing so loud and crazy and he can't stand to hear himself, so he buries his face into Peter's shoulder as his body shakes and Peter, still quiet and now terrifyingly distant, just not there anymore, even scarier than his laughter is Peter's silence, and Peter touches his hair lightly with a hand in a move that's probably an absent sort of comfort but it isn't Peter touching him, it's an emptiness touching him and it makes him laugh harder until he can't breathe.


There's anger and hurt and betrayal, but they're too far away right now for Peter to comprehend, but it reminds him of how he feels in the split second just after he's put his costume on and just before he pulls on the mask, and he's only vaguely aware that he just can't deal with this anymore, can't do this, but he knows that he has to and that's his Shakespearean Tragedy right there.

And Harry's laughing hysterically into his shoulder. Laughing, and the thought seems alien and odd to Peter right now, but he knows that Harry is anything but happy, because there are tears running down his shoulder and soaking into the pillow.

And Peter doesn't think.


It's hard for Harry to breathe still, but he thinks it's more because of the tears than anything else, because he's been jolted back into sanity, and it's painful and frightening and all he wants is to slip back into insanity, and that sounds so wrong, but he just doesn't want to deal with this.

With the fact that he's just destroyed his best friend.

No, no. Peter's stronger than that. He'll be—

Not okay. This is not okay, and Peter can't be okay, and oh god, asking himself what he's done is redundant because he knows exactly what he's done and it's horrible and despicable and sick—

—and he's wanted it for so damned long, and a choked noise escapes his throat, and Peter's finger tighten painfully in his hair, and it reminds him that the drug should have worn off mostly by now, and if Peter kills him now Harry won't hate him for it.

Harry wants to speak. Wants to say something, anything, but all he can do is let his weight rest on Peter's body and gasp and hyperventilate and silently plead with Peter for a kind of forgiveness he almost doesn't want.

Because if Peter forgives him, he'll do it again. And again. And so long as Peter forgives him for it, he'll do it again.

And he knows Peter will find some way to at least fake forgiveness.

And he can't find the strength in himself to refuse it.


There is Harry's weight on his chest, but it's nothing, and it doesn't even inhibit his breathing. He's not thinking. He's not thinking.

Harry's breathing is harsh and frantic and erratic, and Peter's hand tightens convulsively, because Harry's breathing was like that less than an hour ago, and he doesn't need to think to know what had happened then.

And he wants to hate Harry, but he can't.

Because hatred is so painful, hatred ate up his love for his uncle and turned it into something twisted and sick and vengeful, and he doesn't want to hate Harry because it'll turn this into something, turn Peter into someone he won't recognize and doesn't want to be.

So he doesn't hate. He breathes, he survives, he goes on.

He's always gone on.


Harry presses his mouth to the side of Peter's neck, not a kiss but a muffling of everything that wants to escape his throat and his mind and his heart.

He wants to stay, and he wants to run as far from here as he can, and for a second he's trapped directly in the middle, clinging to Peter desperately as if he's as lost as he's made Peter feel.

And then he shifts, and for the first time Peter makes a noise, and it's a sharp intake of breath that sounds like it's come from a dying animal, and maybe it has.

But Peter's dying isn't done yet, and it won't be for a long, long time. And Harry knows it.

And it gives him some comfort, somewhere inside of him that still cares about Peter instead of pathetic mockeries of love, it comforts him in some sick way that he hasn't killed Peter.

Not yet.


Peter feels Harry shift, and roll over and sit up, freeing Peter from an oppressive force that wasn't his body alone.

He's breathing. Peter is breathing, and that's good and that's okay, and he can deal with breathing. He's alive, and that's a bit harder to handle but he figures in a little while, living will be okay too.

"You want some coffee?" Harry isn't looking at him, isn't looking at him and he can hear how lost and confused and even afraid Harry is.

Peter hasn't wanted to cry in a long while. He's cried, sure, but he's never wanted to cry quite the way he does now. Hasn't wanted to cry and scream and rave and destroy the city the way he knows he's capable of.

"Yeah," he says, and his voice is horribly rough and abused and strained. "Yeah. That'd be nice."