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Saturday, October 31st, 2009 11:29 pm
Title: Goodness
Author: [personal profile] therobotmuse
Fandom: Marvel - Spider-Man
Characters: Peter, Harry, Norman
Pairing: Subtext abounds
Genre: Angst
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: Fire @ [profile] story_lottery
Summary: College time and Harry's got anxiety about his father, again.
Spoilers: None
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 1111
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters, no profit
A/N: Big thanks to [ profile] pandanoai for beta and the greatness we've been doing with this pairing lol

The wind from the raging fire swept upwards, making it hard to even breath, the air and smoke going into Peter's lungs burning hot, nearly suffocating him. He coughed hard, doubling over onto his hands and knees as the furious noises from the flames filled his ears.

"Harry..." a voice drifted over to his ears. "My son... Harry...!"

Peter blinked rapidly, trying to clear his head. He looked up and saw Norman Osborn, still half-dressed in his Goblin costume, with a dazed look on his face. It took a moment for Peter's brain to catch up with him, to register what the man was saying. He didn't remember...?

Peter took in a deep breath, preparing himself for what he had to do -- he needed to get Osborn out of here, he needed to get him out of that costume and into some real clothes, and he needed to--

"Wake up!"

The pillow landed on his with a muffled thud and Peter wrestled with it for a moment, coming back to his sense. The phantom scent of smoke still filled his nostrils. He moved the pillow off of his face and -- Norman? No, Harry -- was shouting at him. And...smoke? Actual smoke?

And then off went Peter's own, internal fire alarm went off, a ringing in his head that reminded him that something was still in the oven. Harry was already on his way into the kitchen and Peter was close to follow.

A large cloud of dark smoke was wafting out of the oven. The two of them rushed into action.

"Windows, windows!" Harry shouted. "Before the alarm goes off!"

Peter dashed over to the windows and threw them wide open and Harry started to fan the smoke towards them.

The commotion settled after what seemed like minutes, but probably was more on line with seconds and at the end of it all, Peter was very surprised the sprinklers hadn't been set off.

"That was both a failure and success," he commented, looking at the ruined pan.

"How's that?" Harry sounded skeptical and immensely disappointed at the way their cooking endeavor had ended.

"Well... the failure is obvious," Peter waved a hand towards the smoldering, would be ham dinner. "But the success is that we didn't burn down the building."

"We almost did though."

"Okay, well, then the success is that we didn't have to evacuate the building then. That's a bonus both in that we didn't have to pay for damages and we don't have an entire building of vengeful rich people angry at us."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Great. Awesome. Go Team Parker." He walked over to the pan, looking like he wanted to do something with it, but then shook his head, "I don't even know how to clean this up," he said with a frustrated sigh.

"Just... Let it sit for a little bit," Peter rubbed the back of his neck. "I'll get some fans."

Harry muttered a reply and Peter wandered back into the rest of the apartment to grab a portable fan he used in his bedroom during summer. He and Harry had moved in a few months ago, after he and his father reconciled. Harry had convinced his father he needed an apartment close to university and the businessman was glad to pay for it. Peter himself was glad Norman had completely forgotten the past few years, including the fact that he had been the Green Goblin and Peter was Spider-Man.

But more than any of that, Peter was glad that his friend had his father back.

He came back into the kitchen with the fan in hand and set it up so it was blowing on the still smoking ham-turned-charcoal and out towards the window. Harry was standing over the sink, scrubbing away at the destroyed pan and, if Peter didn't know better, he would have said he was pouting.

"Oh come on, Hare," Peter walked over to the sink and leaned on the counter next to him. "It's just a ham. We can get another one."

Harry waved a hand, "I know that." He didn't look any happier though.

Peter was quiet, looking at his friend for a long moment, waiting for him to explain further, but when nothing else came, Peter asked:

"What is it then?"

Harry let out a breath and tried his hands on a towel. He rubbed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose for a moment. He looked like he was about to say something, opening his mouth, but then he shook his head.

"Nothing. Don't worry about it."

Peter scoffed, "Yeah, that really rids me of my worries."

Harry shot him a glare, but it soon disappeared and that depressed look replaced it.

"I'm not good at anything."

Peter paused a moment, genuinely taken aback.

"Harry..." he started after a moment. "It's just dinner."

Harry laughed sharply, sounding bitter. He shook his head.

"It's not just a damn dinner."

Peter's brow furrowed. He looked at the floor, arms folded over his chest. He knew he was talking about his father. They were on better terms than they once were, but Norman still put so much pressure on him, to be better than what he was.

But Harry... What was the right word for it? Lost. He was lost.

"Sure you are," Peter offered up, but he knew his pause had been too long.

Harry gave him a pointed look. Peter swallowed hard.

"Well, I mean--" Peter scrambled.

Harry held up a hand, a humorless smile on his face.

"I'm good at things, but I'm not great," Harry was looking down at the pan in the sink. "My dad wants greatness."

Peter let out a deeps, slow breath, giving himself some time to think.

"Well, I think..." he started before he was completely sure about what he was going to say. "I think, in the grand scheme of things, goodness is a...a better trait than greatness."

Harry snorted, than broke into a full laugh, shaking his head. He turned away from the sink and leaned against the counter next to his friend.

"That's not exactly what I meant," he said after a moment.

"Yeah, well, my statement still stands," Peter said simply.

Harry sighed and ran a hand over his hair. He started to walk away, muttering, "If only it was that simple, Pete..."

Peter watched him go, breathing in the smell of charred ham and melted metal. He couldn't begin to understand the relationship Harry and his father had and it made him feel like there was nothing he could do to help, but hell if he didn't try.