He doesn't really know what to expect when he hears the scream and Peter's heartbeat.

Okay, fine.

Actually, he knows exactly what to except. Peter, being robbed or raped or something and he'll swoop down and come close to murdering whoever dared to mess with his intern and Peter will just smile sheepishly at him or he'll gush over how he's totally putting this on Instagram or something.

What he doesn't expect is Peter's high pitched voice sighing, "Really, man?" and the steady sound of thwip as Peter approaches the girl and says softly, "Hey, I'm not going to hurt you. I know that this guy messed up your clothes, so I'm going to take his shirt and give it to you, is that okay? Yeah, okay. So we're going to go into a nearby clothing store to get you some new stuff, okay? Yeah, great. I know that what he just did is messed up, and there's a center for girls like you nearby. Can I come close to you? Yeah, okay. Can I touch you? Just your hand, promise. Yeah, you're going to be okay, I swear, it's okay..."

And Matt's stomach plummets when the girl whimpers, "Thank you, Spider-man," and Peter's gentle voice says that it's no problem.

He's heard of Spider-man, of course.

They all have, especially after the whole Vulture incident.

Matt had been trying to track the weapons back to the dealer for weeks, trying to get rid of them, when Spider-man had swooped in and saved the day.

Foggy, of course, was all over Spider-man, whilst Peter had been oddly subdued.

"What, no fanboying?" Matt had teased.

"He's not as cool as Daredevil." Had been Peter's answer, truthful but still hiding something.

And Matt had just dismissed it but now...

But now...

"Spider-man." He waited until Peter had paid for the girl's clothes, had called the police and walked the girl home, gently holding her hand and promising he wouldn't touch her until he had been given permission.

Peter stared at him, and sighed, "You can hear my heartbeat."

"I can." The corners of Matt's lips quirked up in amusement at the utter resignation in Peter's voice. "This isn't your usual territory."

"I've been trying to avoid Hell's Kitchen because it's your place."

"You didn't want me to find out." Christ, now Matt understands how Foggy felt when he found out. "But today, you decided to take that risk. Why?"

Peter's heart flutters, and he sounds honestly surprised as he asked, "Wait, didn't you already figure it out after the whole Vulture incident?"

Matt rubs his temples and sighs. "How exactly," He asks dryly, "Would I have found out?"

"With your superpowers." Peter answers in a slightly miffed voice. "Obviously."

Matt snickers at that. "You think very highly of me for someone who's so obviously a superhero."

Peter shrugs, and Matt knows that he must be making that face that Foggy describes as him scrunching his nose up as though he's trying to figure something out but doesn't really know yet what he's trying to figure out. "I'm not much of a hero." He sighs, picking at his suit. "I'm just a kid from Queens, trying to do what's right."

"That sounds a lot like a hero to me." Matt points out, and Peter shrugs again.

"Before Toomes..." He shakes his head, and starts again. "Before the Vulture. I just wanted to be a hero. I really wanted to be a bigshot, like the Avengers or something." He sways on the balls of his feet and sighs. "But then they made the offer and..."

"You had an offer to join the Avengers and you turned them down?" Matt asks incredulously. "You, who's obsessed with them?"

Peter makes a face at him. "The Avengers, they do big stuff, yeah? They take down aliens and save the world. But I..." He took a deep breath, and sighed again. "I don't want that. I thought I did, but I don't. They just sit around, planning and stuff for when something big comes, but they never notice the little things." He probably has that shy little smile on his face as he admits, "That's why Daredevil was always my favorite. You looked out for the little guys."

Matt is seriously touched by this and all, but... "You turned down the Avengers, kid. We are going to have words."

Peter sighs. "Patrol first?"

He probably has those puppy dog eyes, the ones that, according to Foggy, "Anyone who perceives light can't be immune to."

Except he has a mask, so even if Matt could see, they probably wouldn't work.

But there's something in his voice, something that's sweet and childish and kind, so Matt sighs, "Fine."

Peter laughs, giddy and excited, and then Matt realizes.

"Do you realize how many times you could have died!?"

THE END