Water dripped, and metal creaked, and Peter couldn't move. The building had come down so fast, he hadn't had time to think. Now he was trapped beneath metal and wood, and he could barely take in a breath.
Peter wriggled in his trap, becoming more panicked as the seconds ticked on. He didn't like not being able to move, he didn't like being vulnerable. He clawed at his mask, ripping the fabric away from his panting mouth as he tried desperately to free himself from the wreckage.
His chest burned, and he let out a cry of agony as pain shot through his leg like a knife. With his heightened senses, he could feel every millimeter of movement as his broken bone shifted in his leg. It hurt so badly and felt so wrong that he suddenly felt nauseous.
Panic welled up within him. He was hurt and trapped and alone. He could die under a pile of rubble and no one would find him. Aunt may would be alone.
Tears fells, quick and hot over Peter's cheeks as he started to scream.
"Help! Someone help me, please!" His voice cracked as he let out a sob. He was so, so, scared. He should have just listened to Tony, he should have stayed away from trouble and been a friendly neighbourhood Spider-man. But now he was trapped and he was going to die.
Water dripped from the wreckage, falling over pieces of debris and scrap, and falling into Peter's eyes and mouth, and he spat it out and shook his head.
He didn't have time to wallow, he couldn't afford the luxury of feeling sorry for himself. Tony's words rang, harsh in his ears.
"If you're nothing without the suit, then you shouldn't have it."
But he also remembered the look on Mr Starks face when he'd first met him, the pride and awe at the footage of Peter catching a car to stop it from hitting into the tram.
He was spider-man before the suit, and he was spider-man now. Shaking hands, pressed against the ground, Peter grunting with the effort of trying to stand underneath the wreck on top of him. He knew his broken leg wouldn't be able to take any weight, and even getting to his knees would hurt like hell, but he had to try, he had to prove that he was more than a kid.
His arms shook with the effort, and his chest screamed in agony as he strained his broken ribs. But he could do this. He was spider-man.
"Come on Peter, you can do it. Come on. Come on Spider-man."
Grunts and pants escaped his clenched teeth, and he cried out as he lifted the rubble enough to crawl out of. It was a tight squeeze, his costume catching on pieces of rock and scrap as he wrenched himself out. It hurt so badly, just to move, that his eyes became blurry, black spots dancing across vision as his body begged to just black out, to just end the pain. But he wasn't safe yet, he needed to find help, and there was no way he was walking on his broken leg.
He gave himself a moment to catch his breath, rubbing his eyes at an attempt to stop the spinning his head was doing. When he opened his eyes, looking around at the mess he'd made of the warehouse, he also got a glimpse at his leg.
He almost threw up then and there, it looked so bad.
His leg wasn't supposed to look like that. It was like…his leg was bent…in the middle of his calf.
Peter's world went white for a few seconds, before he found himself looking up at the sky.
"Huh, must…have black…ed out." Peter frowned at the way his words jumbled and melted in his mouth, coming out like stretched gum, and had the distant thought that maybe it was time to find help. But he'd tried screaming and that hadn't worked.
Looking down at himself, he realised he was in his Spidey suit. He had to make sure no one found him in his costume, because then they'd know his identity. He knew he should call Tony, but…oh! Peter gave himself a little tap on the forehead for forgetting about the special pocket he'd made so that his phone wouldn't fall out when he was doing his spider thing.
His hands were all sleepy and strange, in fact his whole body was, so it took a few moments just to pull the phone from his pocket, but once he had he quickly dialled the well-known number.
As usual, no one picked up, and he got the voicemail he'd heard a hundred times.
"This is Tony's direct line, you shouldn't have this but if you do, you already know how this works. Anyway, do the 'leave you message at the sound of the beep thing.'"
The familiar beep sounded, and Peter knew it was his turn to talk, but he couldn't remember what he was supposed to say.
"Hey Tony…um… what was I going to…?" The teenager was so confused he forgot he was holding a phone at all.
"Ugh, I can't concen…trate, why does everything hurt? Oh…yeah, I broke the building. Whoops. My bad. Bad Peter."
His mind was slipping, melting everything together and confusing his every thought. He didn't even notice the click, that told him someone had picked up the call. Tony's voice came through.
"Pete? Did you say you broke a building?"
Peter smiled, his eyes dipping lower in exhaustion. "Heeeeyyy, Mr Stark. Yeah, it was an accident though, I p…promise."
Tony spoke again, this time sounding more concerned, and there was noise in the background, though Peter couldn't figure out what it was.
"Peter. Were you in the building when it broke?"
He had to think about that one. He looked around a little, too tired now, to move much.
"Umm, I think so. It was scary. And loud."
The noises coming from the phone came louder, and more rushed. There were other voices too, one of them Tony's, but they weren't directed towards Peter.
"Friday, give me his vitals, and why wasn't I alerted earlier?"
A nice voice replied, sounding patient. "I cannot give you his vitals. He isn't wearing the suit you gave him, you took that away."
Tony cursed. Naughty Tony. "Just track his phone then, and tell me where he is."
This time Mr Stark did talk to Peter, which was a good thing because he'd just been about to fall asleep.
"Peter, are you hurt?"
He let out a small groan, to indicate that yes, he was, and he was too tired to talk right now, but this only made Tony's voice get louder.
"Peter! Answer me!"
"…I think…my leg is on sideways. It's not supposed to do that."
Tony swore again, noises from the phone becoming loud, like engines and jets.
"I'm coming, kid. Just hang on, keep talking to me. F.R.I.D.A.Y, call a med team and send them to Spider-Man's location."
Peter blinked, and used his free hand to pull a rock from under his back, that had been digging into his skin, uncomfortably.
"Talk about what? Oh… did you know I once met Iron man when I was little? That was pretty cool, he's a good guy."
The phone made noise again, a worried voice coming through but Peter didn't know if he could remember who it was. Stupid, melty brain.
"That was me, Pete. I'm Iron man. Just stay awake for me buddy, I'm coming to get you."
The noises from the phone were louder, like they were in a big hurry, and Peter dropped the phone beside his head. The hammer inside his head didn't like all the noise.
It was cold, wherever Peter was, and he was not comfortable at all. He should get a new mattress, because it was definitely broken if it was this jagged and hard to lie on.
Peter blinked again, and opened his eyes to see a giant metal man landing on the ground beside him. Oh, that was Iron man, he knew him.
Iron man took his mask off and knelt beside Peter, face awash with concern. His hands hovered over the teenager, unsure of where to touch.
"Peter, oh god. This is…you'll be okay, just focus on me. F.R.I.D.A.Y where is that med team, I need them here now."
The nice voice answered again. "They're three minutes out, I'll notify them of Peter's injuries. Oblique displaced fracture of the left tibia shaft, three broken ribs, multiple minor lacerations, internal bleeding, grade three concussion-"
"That's enough. What should I do?"
Peter didn't know if Tony was talking to him or the nice voice, but he didn't know the answer either way so he stayed quiet. Thankfully, the nice voice answered.
"I believe he may be going into shock. Keep him awake, and calm, and try to warm him up if possible."
Tony nodded, taking the teenagers hand, and trying to calm his own panicked breaths.
"Peter, how did this happen?"
Peter wasn't sure what he was talking about. Everything was just too confusing for his slippery brain to hold all at once. It would be much easier if he weren't so tired. Maybe he should just take a quick nap.
Tony didn't sound happy about his decision, voice too loud and scared.
"No, no no, Pete, stay awake! Don't close your eyes kid, come on!"
But it was too late, Peter was already dreaming about a truck full of paramedics running towards him. Huh, that was a weird dream, maybe that was real after all.
"Sorry, too tired." Peter closed his eyes and let the blackness swallow him up.
Tony couldn't breathe. He'd taken the kids suit to protect him, and now he was fighting for his life in the back of an ambulance. Oh god, that leg, he couldn't look at it without wanting to throw up, and that face. That innocent face with the huge eyes that made it so hard to turn him down when he begged for something. It was covered in bruises and scrapes, eyes closed and skin pale.
There was blood seeping from his hairline, and his suit was cut open to expose his mottled chest. Dark bruises crept over Peter's innocent skin, and the wires and tubes being placed all over him, made the kid look smaller, and more vulnerable.
God, this was all his fault. He took the kids hand and squeezed it lightly as the paramedics continued to work.
"Hang on, Pete."
Everything was numb. Which, in comparison to some mornings, was pretty good. As Spider-man, Peter was no stranger to waking up with aches and pains from a previous days workout or ass kicking. So, sometimes he fell off buildings, no big deal, he was alive, wasn't he?
Except everything was numb this time, not 'there's no pain, so I'm not hurt' but more like, I'm hurt badly and on a lot of meds to remedy that.
There was a beeping somewhere close to his head, insistent and annoying. Was that his alarm? Or…no his alarm didn't sound like that.
Tired eyes blinked open to a white ceiling. Huh, that didn't look like his bedroom. But if he was numb, and therefore probably hurt, he wouldn't be at home anyway.
"Peter? Are you with me?"
That was Tony. Peter blinked again and tried to find the owner of the voice. Thankfully, he stood, so Peter wouldn't have to move to find him.
He looked a little ruffled, his clothes wrinkled as if he'd been wearing them for a while. Peter took a moment to look down at himself, before answering. He was lying in a hospital bed, blankets and wires covering most of him, except the casted leg that was help up with a pillow. His chest was raised, so that he was almost sitting, to take pressure off his broken ribs.
Peter turned back to Tony, trying to keep his words from slurring.
"Thanks for saving me."
His mind was a little fuzzy, and he didn't remember a lot of what had happened, but he remembered someone holding his hand and talking to him when he was scared and confused.
Tony's shoulders slumped a little, visibly relaxing now that he knew the teenager was okay. He sat back in his chair and started tapping on his phone, trying his best to look as if he hadn't lost his mind with worry.
"No problem, but how about next time you just listen to me and not go after a super villain by yourself."
Peter, let out a small sigh, voice quiet and more childlike than he'd meant it to be. "Sorry. I just wanted to help."
Tony looked up from his screen, and laid a careful hand on the kid's arm.
"I'm glad you're okay. And…you know, I'll always be there for you."
Peter could hear the strain in his voice, he knew how difficult it was for the older man to be so gentle with him. He smiled, closing his eyes again as the drugs in his system pulled him back to sleep.
Tony froze at that word, that title, but the teenager had already fallen asleep. He smiled just a little, while his heart squeezed tight in his chest.
"No problem, under-roo's."