Author's Note: By request of BlueMoonChaos and due to the overall positive reception, the Missing Chronicles of the Two and a Half Weeks is back with another installment.
A series of deleted scenes from Peter's initial two and a half weeks working at Stark Industries.
Missing Chronicles of the Two and a Half Weeks: Day 2
Peter whistled as he walked through the hallway containing the animals and avocados being prepped for experimentation, locking each door as he passed them.
"Hey, I think you missed that last one," Viral said from the headphones Peter had plugged into his phone; it was the easiest way for them to communicate when Peter couldn't feasibly keep looking down to check Viral's responses.
"No, I got it."
"All right, fine." Peter backpedaled and tried unsuccessfully to open last door. "See? It's locked."
"Can you just, ya know… do it again? Please?"
Sighing, Peter inserted the key into the lock, turned it to the left, and then to the right again. "Do you hear that click? It means the door is locked."
"Maybe the mechanism is faulty and you unlocked the door when you tried to lock it."
Peter tried the handle again and couldn't open it. "Can we move on?"
"… Not yet."
"Why is this bugging you now?" Peter exclaimed. "We've already done nine doors and you didn't have a problem with those."
"Well, there were nine doors, and three times three is nine. This door is the tenth; the outlier. It needs to fit somewhere. Maybe it would help if you unlocked and locked it three times."
"Fine." Peter inserted the key once more and turned left, then right. "There: three times."
"… It has to be three consecutive times, one right after the other."
"All right! Tomorrow, I'm leaving you on the desk when I do this."
Peter stuck the key in and turned left, right, left, and right, when someone clearing their throat broke his concentration. Looking up, he saw Bruce staring at him quizzically.
"Dr. Banner," Peter greeted, trying to play casual as he slipped his earbuds out and put them into his pocket.
"So… is it a compulsion?"
"You need to check that all the doors are locked, but there's always a little voice in your head saying 'are you sure you didn't leave it unlocked'?"
Peter nodded his head slowly, tucking his headphones deeper into his pocket; he could faintly hear Viral giggling, "I'm the little voice in your head! I knew people would recognize my position one day! I should get a badge or something to make it official." He didn't know how well Bruce could hear or whether the Hulk affected him in human form, and he didn't have an explanation for Viral beyond "pay no attention to the software application; he's clinically insane, man, I swear".
Bruce hummed in sympathy. "I've got a thing about my lab equipment, too. Just make sure Clint doesn't find out or else you'll notice every door you pass is unlocked and slightly open."
"Yeah," a voice agreed above them, "make sure that jerk doesn't find out."
Bruce and Peter raised their heads to see Clint poking his head out of an open vent in the ceiling. With a grin, he ducked back in and closed the grate.
"Don't worry; I'll deal with him." With that, Bruce followed under the quiet "pat, pat" in the air ducts out of the hall.
Peter looked back at the door he was in front of, unlocked it, relocked it, and walked away after powering off his phone and the obnoxious giggling. He knew Viral would turn it back on once he got a hold of himself.
Technology with OCD; only Viral.
Peter stepped into the expansive living room on the top floor, and then promptly stepped back out to safety. He didn't care how epic the excuses Clint may come up with could be; nothing was worth another second of looking at that.
Tomorrow morning, after the image was buried under hours of mindless TV and the noises drowned out by headphones set on maximum volume, he'd call the exterminators.
"So there was this fire-pit, right? Fire-pit, animal-pit at the zoo, same thing. And then there was this gasoline tank next it. Half full. Like, come on, who wouldn't have done what I did? Animal Control? No, they came in later. You understand, don't you Gerald?"
Peter walked through the room and into the next, barely sparing a glance at the lone occupant staring forlornly at a sloppy smiley face on the wall Peter was going to assume was drawn with a red drippy sharpie.
"Mr. Wade, please calm down. We just need you to-"
"No, no, this is all a big misunderstanding! Voices? What voices? There are no voices here- I said shut up! You think you can do a better job? Well toooo bad, 'cause I've got the body. Not. You. No, it's alright, I still love you, just not him. We're taking a break. But, we are still good."
"Please, if you could just-"
"Oh God, one of his restraints came loose!"
"Honeeeey, I'm home!"
"No, not the eyes!"
"The inhumanity of it all!"
"Everything seems in order," Peter muttered to himself, nodding his head down slightly to get a better look at the scribbling he was making on his clipboard as he continued to the last set of blank boxes that needed checking. A syringe passed over his head harmlessly and landed in the black eyeholes of an otherwise red mask. The patient giggled once, then fell backwards onto a white bed.
Peter walked into the last room.
"The universe is… spinning. I am a butterfly. I will transform me and those around me. Into something more. I am… God. It's all clear now."
The man was strapped down safely and his IV drip was full. Check and check.
Peter allowed his shoulders to sag in relief as he crossed off the last box on the list. Job finished, he took the elevator up to the main floor and started packing up his possessions. His final stop was to turn in the completed documents; he ran into his boss at the door.
"You should really hire a professional for this kind of thing, Tony. Or at least ask me to do it earlier in my shift. I'm so tired right now, I can't even remember what I wrote down. Or what I saw for that matter. Wait a minute…"
The two stared at each other.
"Do you think that's a bad sign?"
Toy shrugged. "I'm sure its fine. The routine check-up of the psych ward it just that: a routine. Nothing ever really happens down there. Unless Deadpool signed in for a stay again."
"He likes our five-star customer service and cotton candy flavored pills. SHIELD likes to know where he is."
"… Ok. Yeah, don't remember seeing him. He's kind of distinctive, you know?"
"Great, then we're fine."
"She's perfect, brother! Perfect! Kind, curvy, sweet and strong, always has sugar and milk nearby- I could go on forever!"
"Yeah, I believe it. It's already been five hours," Peter muttered as he shuffled around the papers on his desk, trying to find Natasha's last mission report. They were supposed to turn them directly in to SHIELD or Agent Coulson themselves, but more often than not just left them on Peter's desk. He didn't mind since it gave him the opportunity to make a few edits. He'd gotten a lot of calls from Fury. All of them went to voicemail. Peter listened to them when he got bored or needed inspiration.
"Our love will last an eternity, I just know it."
~ Five Days Later ~
"How could he just- she was so young! There one second, gone the next!"
"There, there, buddy."
"My one love, destroyed in a collision of steel and malice. Ephemeral, so short our time together. She will be avenged! I swear on your human life. My life is endless. I think. But it's nothing without her!"
Peter sighed as he continued to console his heartbroken cyber-friend. He knew Viral's fling would only end in heartbreak. Tony's coffee makers never lasted longer than a week due to the combination of Hulk's temper, Clint's caffeine addiction, and Thor's big hammer and frustration with modern technology. Viral wouldn't be forgiving the well-meaning god for some time. Even Peter would miss the expresso machine- the model had endured longer than most of the others.
"No more coffee for a while, okay?"
End Author's Note: Hehe, I don't know if I'll be doing another one of these, but it sure was fun to write after the drama in last chapter.