I Don't Own Spectacular Spider-Man or Sword Art Online
Peter Parker stood frozen in the lifeless hallway, advanced hearing straining to pick up any noise. The sun's light was just starting to peek through the uncovered windows and the insistent cry of cicadas poured in from outside. After a minute of near silence, Peter crouched low and began a slow pace.
The hallway let out into the living room, the few boxes they were able to bring from their old home was left sitting in the room. A longer beige couch lay next to the wall, perpendicular to the tv and entertainment center. Across from the tv was a brown recliner. The recliner was a tattered, ratty thing that looked like it was due for the junkyard. Peter reached for the headrest, but he just couldn't make his hand go the remaining few inches to touch the leather. There was a faint impression of a person left in the material. Peter pushed past the living room, uncaring for the wood creaking under his feet.
There were a few boxes in the kitchen, but all of them were either on the counter or pushed under the table. Most importantly was his elderly Aunt May, who had fallen asleep at the table. She had a few different forms under her and a paper bag with Peter's name on it. Peter slid his arms under his Aunt's legs and picked her out of the wooden chair. His Aunt was pretty light, was she eating properly? After everything that happened, he wouldn't be surprised if she lost some weight from stress. And packing everything up to move to the other side of the planet definitely wasn't doing her any favors.
His Aunt's room was cluttered as the rest of their house, but the bed was clear enough to let her rest. If things didn't happen as they did, all three of them would be back home, living life as it had always been. Why couldn't he have just done the right thing when he had the chance?
No. He wouldn't focus on the what-if's and if-only's. Instead, he would focus on how he would make up for his mistakes, beginning with striving to be the best nephew he could. With that in mind, Peter continued his trek.
Peter knew he was in a new country, but the trip and even the school itself felt as if he had been dropped on a different world entirely. The subway was only marginally louder than a library and without any discernible trash or tacking, and the subway arrived right at the scheduled time. It only got stranger as the train was disembarking and he entered a variable ocean of classmates, with only tie colors and slightly differing hair styles to tell it wasn't some bizarre hallucination.
Apparently Peter's teacher wanted the boy to make an entrance and had him wait to enter the class with her. After entering the class, the teacher had him introduce himself.
"Hey, I'm Peter Parker. You can call me Peter, Parker or whatever. Just don't call me late for dinner." The young boy joked, the room dead quiet. "Tough room." Peter's smile faltered.
There were only two desks unmanned in the back, both bordering a girl with short black hair with ribbons and oval-framed glasses. Peter attempted to smile at his new desk neighbor, but she refused to look anywhere but the blackboard. It was only the first day, he and the rest of the class would have to get used to each other.
The classes, at least offered Peter focus on where he excelled; Academics. He could actually feel a few surprised glances when he answered every question asked during Science. When break began, his classmates had warmed up to him and begun asking every question they could think to ask about New York. Honestly, it was bizarre. And for as much as he'd love to bask in the temporary popularity, there were bigger fish to fry. Peter made up an excuse and left the classroom. The boy didn't risk asking for the location of the chemistry or robotics clubs and instead, just searched. After a few minutes of searching turned up fruitless, Peter leaned against the wall. 'Guess I should start back to the classroom' Peter thought, after all he didn't have to finish it today, he could sneak in later and finish his projects later. 'How many more will pay for my shortcomings?' The thought invaded his mind without warning. Following close after was an image of his Aunt May crying next to him, her back being rubbed by Anna Watson.
"Are you ok?" A feminine voice called. Standing in front of him was the ribbon girl from class, her onyx eyes quickly shifted to avoid his own. Peter wiped his eyes and stood.
"I'm fantastic, just realizing I get to experience the tourist life for the first time after school." Peter pasted a smile to his lips. The girl obviously didn't believe him, but still turned to walk away. "Wait!" Peter instructed, making the girl jump, "You wouldn't happen to know the directions to the robotics lab or chemistry lab, would you?"
"That way, take the stairs up to the next floor." She pointed to the direction she came from. Peter was about to thank the girl, only to notice she had already left. 'Still friendlier than most in New York.' Peter was able to find the labs, but only had the time to unlock a window. The rest of the day continued without incident and Peter soon found himself walking home. He'd need to unpack and sneak back into the school to build his web-shooters. Maybe if he hurried, he could cover it by claiming to explore Japan. Ducking into an alley, Peter intended to use his powers to rush back, only to be stopped when he noticed he wasn't alone.
A group of three girls were surrounding a fourth. Peter immediately recognized the girl as Ribbons. The girl was spooked but noticeably defiant. Peter could feel his body stiffen as he saw the leader approach their victim, only to nearly collapse when she unfurled her hand to make a finger gun. 'I will never understand this culture.' Peter was about to leave when he noticed the look on Ribbons face.
All blood drained from the victim's face, unimaginable fear splashed over her face. Purple bruises and dark red blood mixed to look like a morbid carnival face painting. The screams of pain and agony grew in volume and intensity, until there was no other sounds audible. Brown eyes turned to him and all sound cut out. All except one voice. "Why?" The voice asked. A man with curly red locks approached, manic smile and gleeful eyes locked on his quarry.
Peter rushed forward, hand gripping the man's wrist. The boy could feel the man's bones yielding under his grip. He could easily break his arm. A few synapses firing is all that would be needed. It would show the creep exactly how Peter's Uncle Ben felt in those last moments. Powerless. Peter squeezed, eliciting a very feminine scream. The boy released and the short red hair was replaced with long brown locks.
The three girls ran, their victim forgotten. The leader spared a glare back at Peter, her bad arm clutched in pain. Peter turned to his desk neighbor, mind running for every action he should take. After what felt like an hour, he grabbed the girl's bag and presented it to her. "So Japanese actually use finger-arms. And all this time, I thought those morning cartoons were just way too censored." Peter joked, though the girl didn't respond. Peter started humming.
Peter was nearing the end of the song when the girl finally stirred. "You okay?" Peter placed the bag on the floor and gave her plenty room.
"I'm fine." She tried to rush off. Peter would have normally allowed her, if it weren't for the buzzing at the base of his skull.
"Mind if I tag along, Ribbons? Still don't know where anything is." Peter attempted to make himself appear nonchalant. Ribbons was as stiff as a board, though whether it was from a pushy American or embarrassment from having someone seen an episode was beyond him.
"Ribbons?" She asked.
"Whoops. I didn't know your name." Peter rubbed the back of his skull, the tingling only growing in intensity. What was going on? Unless she was secretly the next Jackie Chan, even meek Peter Parker could take her. The girl looked like she was ready to bolt, her eyes darting from him to the alley's entrance. He had no idea what to do if she didn't want him around.
"Shino Asada." The girl was gripping her bag hard enough that her fists were white, but at least she wasn't tensing to run. "Anywhere specific?"
Peter had asked if their was any restaurants nearby and soon found himself in a small cafe. The buzzing diminished slightly as they crossed through the threshold, only to return full force. "First day here and I managed to tick someone off. Guess you can take the guy out of New York but can't take New York out of the guy." Peter joked, though Shino looked noticeably uncomfortable. "Do the three stooges mug people often?"
"Not really." Shino averted her gaze, but turned back when Peter cried in shock. "What happened?"
"Nothing." Peter lied. His Spider-Sense just spiked out of nowhere, but why? Shino had done nothing threatening. Was it on the fritz? "I don't think I ever thanked you for what happened. So thanks Shino." Peter forced himself to not reach over when the girl coughed on her drink.
"Using first names are meant for people who are…closer." She said, her face red.
"Sorry Ribbons. Think you could help me get this foot out of my mouth?" Peter motioned to his leg. Peter counted it a small victory when he saw the small smile on the girl's face. "Hey, how about we both get something. My treat."
"Thanks, but I can cover myself." She refused.
"Ouch," Peter grabbed his chest, feigning pain. "My masculine pride. Tell everyone I went out like a boss." Peter snuck a quick glance at the girl and noticed her frown. "Sorry, my jokes really helped whenever Uncle Ben was going through an episode." Peter said, his mood dropping as his mind conjured up the image of his Uncle.
"Your Uncle's episodes?" Ribbon's eyes were wide and mouth partially agape, but she was no longer hunched over and looking like she wanted to be swallowed up by the ground so…progress? Peter pasted a smile to his face.
'His Uncle must be important to him.' Shino noticed how wooden the boy's smile was compared to his earlier smiles. 'It must hurt him to see his Uncle go through his episodes.' Shino pulled back, pushing her glasses up to her face.
"Yeah, he was in the Army before marrying my Aunt May." Peter could feel his already brittle smile quiver. "Most of the time, he would calm down if we helped distract him. But during his worse episodes, the only thing that calmed him was blasting Nickelback."
"I have to get home, do my homework." Shino said, eyes hidden by her bangs.
"Okay, I'll walk you home."
"No! No don't." Her voice came out only a few notes above a whisper, but Peter decided to honor her wishes. Without the buzz of his spider-sense, Peter decided it was okay to leave her on her own.
"Okay, see you later Ribbons."
Shino gripped on her bag, every cell in her body urging her back to the American. Parker wouldn't be the first person to pretend to be her friend to get something. Even if he was honest about his Uncle, it was a completely different thing to support a family member and to support a complete stranger. It would be better for her to ignore him.
Peter was unsure why his spider-sense was acting up with the girl, but as much as he wanted to help, he knew it would be better for him to get back to the school and remake the gadgets needed to ensure he saved as many as he could. He just had to hope he didn't fail anyone again.