OMG, I LIVE. Okay, so sorry for the long wait, but this just wouldn't come to me until now. This is the last part in the trilogy, so I hope you enjoy it.
Go Down Knowing
Hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed.
October 24th, 2004
Spiderman has been patrolling the city for at least nine hours now, the way he does every night, even though it's technically Sunday morning right now, and in about two hours the religious will get up to get ready for church.
It makes him want to laugh, compared to where he's headed. A little piece of heaven for them, and a little piece of hell for him. He supposes it's something like the cosmic balance of the universe, only it really sucks.
And he really wishes that Asian lady would lose her instrument, or have it stolen, or something. That's one crime he won't be interfering with.
He wonders if this is a crime. Well, Peter wonders if this is a crime, because even though the mask is still on, he can feel the change, because he's not straining his ears and his senses for trouble, and he's not thinking up new snippy comments to make, and he's not completely enjoying swinging across town right now.
Maybe it's because he ends up in Norman's—Harry's—study. The window is open, and it occurs to him that maybe Harry was waiting for him—or maybe for Spiderman—and both ideas don't really bode well for either his sanity or his welfare, but Peter's pretty used to that, so it doesn't bother him probably as much as it should.
Harry doesn't so much hear Peter's arrival as sense it, as know it, even through the haze of alcohol, and vaguely he manages to make himself wonder slightly as to why the clock says six am when he could have sworn it was four.
He turns to look at Peter just as he takes off the mask, stumbling forward to him and glaring, because how dare he show up while wearing that suit, how dare—
"Harry, you're drunk," and Peter says it with a wrinkle of his nose that just infuriates Harry, and drives him to grab Peter's arm and jerk him forward, and the knowledge that the only reason he could do that is because Peter let him do it makes his mouth twist into a snarl.
"No fucking shit, Peter," he hisses, with all the venom of a king cobra, "You're brilliant. No fucking wonder dad favoured you so much."
"Harry, this isn't about—"
"It's always been about him, Peter, him and his goddamn work, him and his goddamn favouritism, him and his goddamn insanity, him and his goddamned obsession with Spiderman, him inside my head."
"Harry—" and Peter sounds so alarmed, so shocked, and it gives Harry the opportunity to yank him forward and crush their mouths together, clumsy and harsh, and his fingers run across the smooth material of the Spiderman uniform, and it's fucking wrong, but Harry feels a savage kind of ecstasy at the fact that Peter didn't let him do this, Harry took it.
Harry tastes like booze and smells like rage and just feels like insanity, and the combination is enough to make Peter gag and shove Harry away, and wish he could get rid of the smirk on Harry's face just as easily.
"Jesus, Harry, I came here to apologize for hitting you—"
"Oh, is that all?"
Peter is taken aback by the sudden calm, amiable nature in Harry. His eyes narrow suspiciously, and he wonders if this is another trick, because his senses are acting up again, but they're not telling him about physical danger. They're warning him of—
"Because if that's all, Peter"—Harry swirls the contents of the shot glass, then throws it at the wall, his face twisting horribly—"Then you're not fucking sorry for the right goddamned thing!"
Peter tries to ignore the twist of pain in his chest, in his memory, and lashes out because that's so much easier to deal with.
"Harry, your father was a raving lunatic."
"He was a great man," Harry snarls, "and I'll be lucky if I'm half the man he was."
And Peter opens his mouth to say something, but he feels choked and strangled and why can't he breathe…? and all he can do is remember that rooftop, and the sewers, and that awful gurgling noise Norman made when he forced out his last words, just another promise that Peter couldn't keep, and he's lost so many people already, and Harry's slipping from his fingers but he thinks that maybe if they just try he can hang on, and please, Harry, please…
"What do you want from me, Harry?" Peter asks helplessly, spreading his gloved hands. And tries not to shiver when Harry's expression twists into something that might have been a smile if there'd been anything good in it.
Peter slept on this bed, many times. Slept here and wanted to be here, and he can't remember why he would have wanted to, except that his brain dredges up a word that vaguely resembles 'friendship' and he wonders where that came from.
Peter doesn't want to think of this as fucking, but that's what it is, and that's what Harry's doing to him, that's what Peter's letting him do, because he owes Harry so much, and even though that doesn't mean he deserves this—deserves to be fucked—it means that he can't fight back because he's been fighting Harry as Spiderman for far too long, and it doesn't seem fair to fight him as Peter Parker.
Not that this is fair.
But it's Spiderman's job to make things fair, and Peter and Harry are the only people he can't seem to save.
So it's not fair.
And Peter can live with that.
Harry wants to cover every inch of Peter and hurt him, and he doesn't want to even touch him, because he knows that he can only because Peter's given up on fighting him. And the thing is, so long as Peter was fighting him, it justified this somehow, made it better. But when Peter's not fighting…
Peter has always known how to hurt him the worst, even if he doesn't mean it. But this time, Harry thinks he does. Because this time, Peter isn't silent.
This time, Peter screams.
"You used to be so good," Peter whispers, whispers because his throat is too sore to do anything else, and he doesn't think he can stand to hear his own voice anyway, and Harry closes his eyes tightly and buries his face in the pillow and howls like something gone mad with pain, and Peter wishes that there was someone left to cry for whatever remains of his best friend's soul.
Because he wasted his tears on his own.
"I think I might've loved you," Harry says, and his voice is strained and broken and more than a little insane and terrible to listen to. "I think. Once. Maybe."
Peter thinks that as long as he doesn't think, that'll be perfect, because he doesn't want to anyway. He doesn't know what he expected, he doesn't know what he wanted, he doesn't even know if he wanted anything at all. But he's gotten something, and even though it's twisted and sick and about six thousand miles from sane, it's still…