Notes: Un-betaed. Movie-verse.
The first time Peter heard the words "don't tell Harry", he had his back on a bed and he was recovering his breath. Norman was standing to the side, buttoning his own shirt, without keeping his eyes off Peter. Peter felt flushed and gripped the sheets over the lower half of his body, but returned the gaze. Then there was the upturned corner of lips, a somewhat recognisable smile, whilst Norman leaned over to kiss Peter on his forehead. And when he whispered into Peter's ears, lips barely in contact with the lobes-
"Don't tell Harry"
Harry didn't need to learn that his buddy Pete and his father have had something going on. Harry need not know anything. It would be forgotten soon enough, this short fling of theirs. Norman would return to his busy life at OsCorp, and Peter to his academic life at Midtown High. And Harry would never know. But they each never forgot and Peter surmised this from the tiny things Norman did. The lingering hand on his shoulder, the side glances, the way they'd look at each other. Peter tried not to think of it, despite the difficulty which arose from the mesh of tongues, hands, feet and bodies that occasionally occupied his dreams.
There would be no guilt in their little secret, because it only happened once and they both had chosen to move on.
The second time Peter heard those words, they weren't exactly in a comfortable setting; he stood exhausted, in torn red and blues before Norman, who was equally covered in bruise and scratches, who was moments away from his last breath. Their eyes locked for a brief moment. Peter saw that the gleam in his eyes were gone, and there was no malicious intent in those brown orbs threatening to harm him. There was only a flicker of the Norman Osborn he used to know, the same one who held him in his arms many, many months ago.
"Don't tell Harry" Norman said weakly, and he was gone.
Peter's eyes were wet, heart weighed down by the memory, and guilt he placed upon himself- that he could have saved Norman, because his best friend needed his father. He pulled the glider away and removed the hideous, green armour. He'd bring Norman back to his apartment, and tell Harry it was the Green Goblin who killed Norman, because Harry didn't have to know the whole truth about his father.
Because Norman told him not to.