Spider-Man: Year One- A Spider-Man Fanfiction

Summary: Lonely sophomore Peter Parker was the most gifted student at Midtown High, until one day when a bite from a genetically modified spider turned him into something else. Now, he's just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Follow his journey. Rated Teen.

Disclaimer: I do not own Spider-Man nor any property mentioned herein.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Liz had to admit, the rush from her first time swinging from roof to roof, with nothing to cling to except her boyfriend, was a rush she had not yet experienced in her life. From the pit in her stomach dropping on their descent to the magnificent view of the city when the web reached the top of it's rotation, she had seen a side of the city that only, until this point, Peter had access to. And she loved it.

If she were being honest with herself, it probably had more to do with the young man she was currently clinging to, but she wasn't going to say that out loud yet.

Really, all she could do at the moment was shriek in delight, probably waking up some the New York residents that actually managed to get to sleep before midnight. She knew her former friends hadn't, it was the beginning of summer break after all.

Since the incident at Oscorp, she hadn't seen much of Peter. And when she did, he was distant and cut off. Part of it could have been fatigue. He has just started his internship with Tony Stark, or as she recently learned, the Avengers. Part of it could have been worry about Harry or even Mr. Osborn. But Liz felt that Peter blamed the entire mess on himself. That he didn't do enough to stop Shocker before the villain destroyed the livelihood of Peter's best friend.

Though she couldn't see his face, due to the sunglasses she wore to add some sort of protection to her identity, and his mask, she could tell Peter was smirking from at her delight and she wasn't surprised when he changed course, abruptly and with a lot more style than was needed, to land them in his bedroom.

Liz was glad to see Peter smile. It had been a stressful few weeks for Peter, since the incident at Oscorp, and Liz was beginning to worry that Peter blamed himself for the entire mess.

She felt her feet touch down on the carpet, and she stretched her shoulders, as Peter landed down a few feet in front of her.

"It doesn't get old, does it?" she asked with a chuckle.

Peter removed his mask and smiled back at her, a bright smile that seemed to cover his entire face. "Not really. Above anything else, this is what I love the best. Just getting to swing around New York, it's magical."

"It really is, Peter," she paused, before sending him an impish smile of her own. "So, is this what I can expect from our dates from now on? Romantic, roof top dates? I gotta tell you, you might spoil me for other guys."

Raising an eyebrow, Peter chuckled. "Maybe that's the point."

Clearing her throat, Liz walked up behind Peter and wrapped her arms around his form, resting her chin on his left shoulder. "You know, if there's anything you want to talk about... I'm here, right?"

Liz could feel Peter tense against her. He buried it quickly, as he rested against her frame, but it was noticeable to both of them.

"Like what, Liz?" Peter asked.

"What happened at Oscorp."

Sighing, Peter turned around in her arms. "I feel like I didn't do my best. Like I could have done more. Harry and his dad lost their company and I couldn't stop it."

"Petey, you got Mr. Osborn out of there before he was killed. You even saved the daughter of a police captain. And, yes, Oscorp was destroyed, but Harry and his father aren't exactly destitute. Much worse things could have happened."

"I don't know, Liz."

"What happened with Shocker wasn't your fault, Peter. And you can't think that way or it's gonna get you killed."

Peter didn't say anything, but he did raise an eyebrow which Liz took as a sign to continue. "I know that you provide a great service to this city as Spider-Man. But, being Spider-Man doesn't make you responsible for all of New York. Eventually, something is going to happen and you won't be quick enough, or powerful enough, or smart enough to stop. If you start letting yourself turn these wins into losses now, you'll be destroyed when you actually lose. And we can't let that happen. I'm way too young and pretty to be a grieving widow."

Despite himself, Liz could tell, Peter laughed.

He pulled her closer and held for a minute. "And when did you get so wise? What happened to the Liz I began dating at the beginning of the year?"

"She started dating a genius and had to step her game up. I'm even thinking about joining the debate team next year."

"The debate team?" questioned Peter. "Well, you'll certainly be distracting enough to the other side."

"Ass," Liz swatted his shoulder playfully. "No, I think it will help when I go to law school. And considering our school doesn't have a mock trial team, this seems like the next best thing."

"Fair enough," her boyfriend responded. "Do you know what event yet?"

"I was thinking Lincoln-Douglas. They're one-on-one, so it will be the closest I can get to a trial setting. Plus, it will help me with logic and understanding arguments."

Nodding, Peter smiled at her. "I'm sure you'll do wonderful. Nobody can stop you when you put your mind to something."

"So," Liz began, breaking the silence a moment later with a sly smile. "Will your aunt be home tonight?"

She was hoping her boyfriend would go red from embarrassment, but to her even greater delight, he smirked in her direction. "Actually, she and Anna Watson went to Niagara Falls for the weekend."

"When he called you, did he say what he wanted?" Peter asked Eddie as the two stood outside of Harry's apartment building waiting for the their friend to make an appearance.

The two had received cryptic phone calls from the Osborn heir earlier in the day asking them to meet him in front of his apartment building at noon. As it was now ten minutes past, both boys were getting worried. Harry as nothing but punctual, Norman Osborn would tolerate nothing less.

"No, Pete. But he has been a bit off since that Oscorp attack went down. I know he and his old man don't really get along, but it can't be easy to see your parent being held hostage. Thank God for Spider-Man, huh?"

"Yeah," Peter answered. "It was a good thing Spider-Man was there."

"Anyway, Pete, how's the new internship going? Working with Tony Stark is a dream come true for most of us science nerds. You're really lucky."

"It's hard to put into words. Mr. Stark is a brilliant mentor. The projects in Stark Tower's applied sciences department are all next-gen. It's incredible."

"Kinda like Candy Land."

"Mr. Stark said the same thing."

"And have you seen the Iron Man suit?"

Peter gave his quasi-brother a sidelong glance. "Come on, Eddie, you think he would let an intern anywhere near that tech? It's kept behind an insane security system that only Mr. Stark, Ms. Potts, and, maybe, the Avengers have access to. I'm not even allowed on the same floor as his Iron Man work."

"That sucks."

"Yeah, but it's a security thing, you know? I wouldn't let a teenager near it either."

"Not even one as smart as you?"

"Not even one with a mind the combination of you and I," Peter responded. "Enough about work though, how's football camp?"

"Grueling. Tougher than anything I dealt with at Midtown. And I haven't gotten as many reps with the starters yet."

"Well, that makes sense. Aren't you slated to be the back-up this season?"

"Yeah, but the junior ahead of me isn't all that good. He was a walk-on his freshmen year and he's had no field experience. They didn't need him. But since the starter went pro, he's got the big job now."

"I'm sure you'll impress in no time."

"Maybe, maybe not," Eddie said with a shrug. "To tell you the truth, Pete, I don't know if football is something I want to pursue. I took this scholarship because it covered more than the academic one I received, but most of the team isn't interested in classes or anything other than football and some of the cheerleaders. Don't get me wrong, it's good to know what parties to hit up or what frats to pledge or whatever, but I'd like to know what classes to take and what professors to avoid. Only a few guys on the team have the same ideas that I do."

"Hey, guys, thanks for coming," Harry called from the front of the building, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. Next to him, he set down a couple of suitcases.

"Sure, Harry, what's up?" Eddie asked.

"Um... I'm moving," Harry began. "Later today, in fact. My dad just sprang it on me yesterday. He's sending me to a boarding school in London until this whole thing with Oscorp is resolved. He says he wants me out of the public eye while he deals with the fallout."

Peter frowned. "Well, that's good right? It means he wants to keep you away from the trouble while he rebuilds."

"Or he doesn't want me around to embarrass him while he courts new investors."

Eddie stepped forward, sharing a nervous glance with Peter as he did so. "How long do you think you'll be in London? I was hoping I could get you out to a few home games this season."

"At least for the school year, maybe more depending on how long it takes my dad to rebuild his company."

"I'm gonna miss you Harry," Peter stated. "It won;t be the same at Midtown next year."

Harry smiled. "Come on, man, between your new internship and Liz I doubt you'll miss me much."

"Harry, you know that's not true. You're my best friend."

A dark limo pulled up to the door, Norman Osborn stepping out.

"Thanks, Pete. You're my best friend as well. I'll Skype you or something when I get settled," Harry responded, glancing back at his father.

"Edward, Peter, hello," Norman Osborn greeted. "Harry grab your bags and get in the car. Your plane for London leaves in three hours. Airport rules being as they are, we wouldn't ant you to be late."

Harry gave a halfhearted wave to his friends, putting his bags in the trunk of the limo and stepping inside.

Norman turned to the two boys still standing there. "Peter, I heard about your internship with Stark Enterprises. With what happened at Oscorp, I had to pull the offer of my own and I do apologize. However, I knew you would land on your feet. When I have my company running again, I do hope you will consider working with me. Tony Stark cannot offer you what I can. Good day, boys."

Nodding once, Norman Osborn joined his son in the limo and it sped off, leaving both Peter and Eddie blinking in its wake.

"Is it me, or does every he say just seem sinister?" Eddie questioned. "Seriously, Pete, I think he wants to make you an offer you can't refuse."

"Just be grateful he doesn't have you on his radar. I don't think Mr. Osborn's gonna give up until I sign a contract in blood to work at Oscorp."

"And, seriously, you work with Iron Man. Like anyone in their right mind would give that up to work at Oscorp."

By definition, Otto Octavius was not a well-dressed man. He just never cared to be. While he understood, and maybe even agreed with, Einstein when the man extolled the values of aesthetics, it just never took hold with Otto. He preferred to let his mind do the talking. That was the reason he was wanted. It was never about his fashion sense.

To an extent, it seemed, all scientists were allowed a measure of sloppy composure when in public. Years of pop culture osmosis left the majority of society with the distinct impression that good scientists had quirks. The more quirks the better. And while Otto didn't consider himself particularly quirky in any large-scale sense, he was aware of the stereotype and had exploited it to further his career since he entered the scientific field.

Besides, his wife didn't care how he looked and she was objectively beautiful. So, what possible benefit could aesthetics give him at this point in his career?

That being said, Otto had managed to put together his best suited and was reasonably presented for this current meeting he was attending.

The past few weeks had been troubling for Otto, to say the least. The wholesale destruction of the Oscopr building had left a number of scientists jobless, including himself. While the compensation he received from Mr, Osborn was suitable to help manage his affairs, Otto was desperate to get back to work. He had numerous projects on the table at Oscorp and he needed to see them through. Science was about moving forward and this set back had already taken valuable research time.

The scheduled meeting place was a small coffee shop off one of the least crowded streets in Manhattan. Still, even being off the beaten path, Otto was surprised by just how empty the coffee shop was. There was only one other person sitting in the building, his meeting Otto assumed, sipping a large coffee and reading the newspaper. When Otto entered, the other man motioned for him to join.

"Dr. Octavius, thank you for joining me. Recently, my employer has begun the process of buying out Oscorp. Many on its board feel that Norman Osborn is no longer fit to control such a powerful company. As such, we wish to retain your services. I understand you have a few projects you have been working on?"

"Yes," Otto responded. "Mostly in the field of purifying gamma radiation."

The other man simply held up his hand. "Do accept my apologies, Dr. Octavius, but I'm simply a lawyer. The specifics of what you work on would be lost on me and my employer both. We simply wish for you to continue your excellent work for us as you did for Norman Osborn. Once the deal is finalized, you will have a new laboratory and a team of highly qualified researchers at your disposal. We also plan on increasing the budget you will have access to, as to best fast track some of your more important projects."

Otto stared at the man for a moment. Sure, he expected that he would have been kept after the fallout from the attack was finished. He was the best in his field, after all. But for this man to offer Otto the deal he just did, it seemed too good to be true.

"I just have two questions," Otto began. "The first would be your name and the name of your employer. The second would be why you would offer me something so generous."

The man across from him nodded. "Understandable. To answer your first question, my name is Wesley and I work for Wilson Fisk, the businessman. He has been looking into the scientific field for some time, this seems like the best opportunity. To answer the second, well, it has a two-fold response."

"Yes?"

"Firstly, the board at Oscorp will be voting on our offer at the end of the summer. We wish for you to testify on our behalf. The second is a project we would like you to start work on immediately. We will provide for you a lab and supplies, as well as a stipend, until we can assure our buyout of Oscorp will be successful."

"And what is this project?" Otto asked.

Wesley smirked, folding his hands in front of his body. "Tell me, Doctor, what do you know about spiders?"

End of Chapter Twenty-Four

A/N: Here it is, at last, the end of Spider-Man: Year One. Again, I'm sorry for the delays. My deepest thanks go out to everyone who has stuck with this story since the beginning and has suffered through my bouts of writer's block and irregular updating patterns. Rest assured, I am hard at work with the sequel, to be coming soon. Until next time, this has been truly an honor and I wish you all the best.