Eh I decided I'll finish this one
"Spider-Man happened, ugh," Ron said in frustration, brushing past him with Rufus continuing to hiss and snap at Peter. "Quiet, Rufus- Spider-Man really needs to just give up and turn himself in or stop getting in our way. He's only making our lives harder."
Kim was taken back by his sudden brash outburst, but she knew it wasn't really him. "He hasn't done anything yet, Ron. We don't even know why we're fighting him, other than Betty thinks he's part of some mutant conspiracy."
Mutant. Peter flickered a frown but kept listening.
"You saw the footage she showed us," Ron said, folding his arms, "he hurt agents who were just doing their job, and we're just doing ours."
"You don't say that when we're the ones getting attacked," Kim said, "Ron, Betty has you all scared because she made some extreme generalizations about a minority that has abilities that she thinks she needs to regulate, nothing more."
Ron laughed in disbelief with Rufus shaking his head on his shoulder. "What, have you spoken to him? Do you know who he is?"
"No, Ron, just," Kim sighed, "don't let your frustration with not pleasing the Director get in the way of doing what is right. We're heroes first, agents second."
Ron wiped the sweat off his brow, taking a deep breath to calm himself down. "Maybe you're right. Sorry, it's been stressful lately."
"It's fine," Kim said, giving a small smile to Peter. "Hey, Peter," she said, greeting Bonnie with a small frown. "Bonnie."
"Just came in from fighting the world's biggest deep fryer?" Bonnie taunted.
"Shut up," Kim said, rolling her eyes. "Shouldn't you be asleep and out of my hair? We have the homecoming game tomorrow."
"I'm taking Peter to work out, duh," Bonnie said, "it looks like you've been worked out, so don't come with. We don't need you screwing up the routine."
Kim laughed. "If you were as good at cheerleading as you were talking…"
"Don't project, sweety," Bonnie spat back.
"Everybody here seems pretty tired," Peter said, feeling his "special" phone buzz in his pocket. "Bonnie, we just finished a project in a few hours that should have taken us all day. I don't mean to flake, but I don't think right now would be the best time for us to go. How about tomorrow morning at seven, right before the gym opens? Right now it's going to be packed."
Kim's kimmunicator went off with the signature tone and Kim and Ron groaned, peeling themselves from the wall and heading out. "Seeya, Peter," Ron said.
Peter didn't think Bonnie would buy it. "So, uh, tomorrow, then?"
Bonnie simply smirked at him. "Sure," she said. "Just don't forget it. Then, I'll be angry."
Peter gave a nervous chuckle, giving her a side hug before walking toward the door. "Don't worry about it. Just get some rest. I'll be at the game tomorrow, of course."
"See you tomorrow," Bonnie said, seeing the flashing screen of a small, discreet flip phone just before he closed the door, "Spider-Man," she whispered.
Peter's alarm went off in an explosion of sound from Cowboy Bebop's Tank! scaring him and Gil awake. "Jesus dude," Gil said, wrapping his head in the pillow while Peter texted Bonnie before turning the alarm off. "Get a different alarm!"
Peter hopped out of bed and went into his closet, pulling out his gel soap, shampoo, and shower sandals with a towel. "It wouldn't be so bad if you didn't play Halo until five thirty in the morning every night."
"And I'm getting an A too, Pete," Gil said.
"That's besides the point," Peter said.
"I'm going to make your ringtone twerk music when you're not looking and call you during class," Gil said, sitting up and glaring at Peter in silence.
They both started laughing. "Okay, I'll find something else."
"Now I'm awake," Gil said with a yawn, rolling out of his bed. "I guess I'll go skate or something, we're still meeting at 12 to work on the engineering project with Ron and the international kid, right?"
"Dmitry," Peter said, just saying it made his Spidey Sense tingle. "Yeah, at Matiler. I'm probably going to be there a little earlier than that, I'll be out anyway so I might as well."
He came back ten minutes later in a tee shirt that was light blue on one side and dark blue on the other with a white lightning bolt down the center. "Where are you headed now?"
Peter slung his gym bag over his shoulder. "Gym, I promised Bonnie since I couldn't last night."
"Ohohoho," Gil laughed suggestively.
"Gil, I get it-"
"Gil!" Peter snapped, fastening his glasses to his face while chuckling himself. "It's not like that, okay?"
"Nah bro, totally get it," Gil said, sliding the skateboard out from underneath his bed. "I guess then, you wouldn't care if I asked her out to the homecoming party, then?" he said with a smirk.
Peter blinked. "No," he said, "no, I wouldn't."
That only made Gil press more. "What if I asked her out, right now?"
Peter cleared his throat. "Well, uh, it'd be kinda weird, being seven in the morning and trying to go somewhere and all. I'm going to go."
"Alright bro," Gil said as Peter left the room.
Peter waved to Bonnie, Kim, and Ron waiting for him at the end of the hall in workout clothes and ran up to them. "Kim, Ron, you're joining us?"
"Yeah, joining you," Kim corrected, making Bonnie scowl. "Ron and I usually hit the gym this early too, criminals tend to sleep in."
Peter laughed. "Good thing for that, right?"
"Even better," Bonnie said, "I have access to the student athlete gym with a running track around it, a boxing ring, and gymnast section right by the weights. Stick with me and I'll let them know you're a guest, okay? I like to jog there in the morning so you'd better keep up."
"That sounds great, let's do it!" Peter said.
"Are you a morning person?" Ron asked.
"Yeah, I'd say so," Peter said as they piled into the elevator.
Ron yawned. "I hate you."
"Me too," Peter said.
They started stretching right outside the building, loosening up before Bonnie started a jog toward the edge of the residential square. "I said keep up!" she called back, followed by Kim taking off not to be outdone.
Ron left Peter behind without a second thought but Peter quickly caught up. "Thanks for waiting up," he said, passing Ron and cruising behind Kim just to pass her too. He caught up to Bonnie without breaking a sweat. "On your-"
"Left," Peter finished, striding past her and slowing his pace so she and Kim could catch up with Ron barely behind them.
"This is just a jog, okay?" Bonnie said with a competitive smile. "If you want to race as a good cardio warm up, I'll gladly crush you."
Peter returned a coy smile. "I think you'll find I'm not as soft as you think."
"I think you'll find that Bonnie isn't as good as she says she is, Peter," Kim teased, sticking her tongue out at Bonnie.
"You guys haven't seen anything yet," Ron said, already sweating as they walked into a state of the art gymnasium, one room dedicated to weights and cardio with a red, quarter-mile track running around it. A boxing ring sat in the center with a few burly seniors sparring in the box, while about forty to fifty other student athletes rowed, lifted, cycled, and ran. "Are you guys ready to get smoked?"
Peter put his bag down by the wall and took the outermost ring of the track, bouncing on his toes like a boxer on his running shoes and stretching. "Ron, what does your routine usually look like? We can spot each other if you'd-"
Bonnie stood in between Kim and Peter. "After this, you can spot me."
Peter chuckled. "Okay then."
"I'm going," Kim said, "come on, Ron, let's do three miles this time!"
"Three miles?!" Ron blurted out, darting behind Kim as she bolted through the first fourth of the track. He looked back, seeing Peter and Bonnie following them at a decent pace but picking up speed. "Uh, yeah, no problemo here!"
Peter and Bonnie passed Ron but only Bonnie was sweating out of the two, with Peter slowly inching away from her. He looked fine. Kim looked over her shoulder, almost shocked to see Peter suddenly next to her. She knew she had a superhero build, but Peter wasn't a slouch either. He hadn't broken a sweat yet either. "What's your routine after this?" she asked. "I'll do more cardio, weights, then I'll hit the bags for a bit," she said, throwing some punches in the air. "The bad guys won't beat themselves."
"I wouldn't be surprised if they did, one day," Peter said, "we have about the same routine I'd say, I'm guessing you do MMA as part of your hero training."
"Heck yeah," she said with a grin. "A little gymnastics too, of course, but I take care of that during cheer practice."
"With your schedule, I'm surprised that you don't collapse," Peter said.
"I've written a few essays on the Director's jet," Kim chuckled, "do you want to know my secret?"
Peter feigned a gasp. "What makes Kim Possible possible?"
"Coffee," Kim said, "it has saved me more than any hero gadget."
"Especially with your parents as university staff," Peter said, "the pressure is on."
Kim rolled her eyes. "Don't remind me," she said, taking in a deep breath. "If you don't mind, I'm going to pick up the pace."
"It's not a race," Peter said with a joking enthusiasm. Kim looked back again, seeing Peter glide past her. "On your left," he said, leaving her in the dust like no one had done before.
Peter burst ahead, rounding the first lap and passing Ron. "On your left."
Bonnie looked back as well, doing a double take as Peter was in front of her two minutes ago. "How did-"
"On your left," Peter said calmly, passing her without even a look. She knew how he did it though, but it still surprised her.
Kim looked across the track, seeing Peter halfway through his second lap while she just finished her first. She looked ahead, inspired to push herself a little more. "I thought you said it wasn't a race-"
"On your left," Peter said, making her jump as he passed her again. He didn't look like he was sprinting either, or even working up a sweat yet.
Ron looked over his shoulder, straining himself to go faster just to try to delay the inevitable. "Come on, man! Don't-"
"On your left," Peter said, blazing past him and everybody else on the track.
Peter finished his sixteenth lap while everybody else was barely starting their twelfth, coming up quickly on Kim yet again. "Don't you dare say it-"
"On your left," Peter said, running right off the track and leaning against the wall, his hands behind his head.
Kim finished second with Bonnie and Ron finishing soon after, joining Peter against the wall. Now he looked warmed up, sweaty but only after four miles straight. "What sport did you say you played again?"
"Cross country in my spare time," Peter said, "I took a little boxing to get the bullies off my back for awhile, so cardio's my thing."
"Never would have guessed," Kim said, breathing hard. "Wanna hit the weights?"
"Can you hit the weights?" Bonnie taunted.
"I need some work," Peter said, "but I'd say I'm pretty average at it."
As Ron and the rest quickly noticed, he was far beyond average. Peter gave his best strained face as he went from 150, to 200, up to 275 for a deadlift, but there was no tension or stress in his body at all. Peter would have to come back much later, in order to properly keep himself up to standard. Every exercise for the next hour and a half Peter destroyed the other three unintentionally, purposely slipping a couple times to seem human again. Peter stood over Kim spotting her as she completed a bench press with plates the size and thickness of car tires. "Push, Kim! Shego can do better than that!"
"Why are you stating the obvious?" Bonnie said, looking down at Ron barely able to push the bar three inches off his chest.
Kim let out a battle cry, lifting the bar all the way up until her arms were nearly straight out. "There you go, there you go," Peter said supportively with her eyes closed tight, straining every muscle in her arms and chest for the lift. His special phone buzzed in his pocket and on instinct his hand darted inside, slipping just the top out so he could see what was up. "Sorry, Kim- after this one, I have to go!"
Ron's jaw dropped at the subtle and quick display of strength, knowing that for a moment his classmate held the entire weight in one effortless curl. Peter returned his hand to the weight and set it down. "Man, that one was tough," Kim said, sitting up and hearing her kimmunicator beep, "but it appears we can't take a break just yet, Ron. Where are you headed, Peter?"
"Back home," he said quickly, "there's a spider in Aunt May's room and she doesn't want to go near it."
Kim laughed. "Seriously? You'd better run fast if you want to catch it in time."
Bonnie smirked. "Yeah, seriously?"
"I'll be back before the game, I have to meet Ron and Dmitry at 12 anyway," Peter said. "Kim, I cannot offer you much for this excellent session, but what I can give you is one, extra crisp, high five."
"Oh my god," Kim sighed, accepting the offer. Peter dashed out of the gym, waving back quickly while slinging his back over his shoulder. "He's so busy all the time," she said, "I never see him outside of class or when he's hanging with Bonnie."
"Maybe it's because people like me more than you," Bonnie said bluntly.
Kim laughed condescendingly at the insult. "Big doubt, but whatever helps you sleep at night."
"Hey Kim," Ron said, his mind stuck on the extraordinary feat he witnessed. "Have you ever noticed that he always leaves as soon as we get a crime alert?"
Kim looked at him curiously while Bonnie hid a smirk. They stepped outside, where the campus had become buzzing in preparations for the homecoming game. "He has other things to do besides get in the way of our rogues, Ron," she said, "given that he's been in the crosshairs lately, I don't blame him."
Ron saw the back of Peter's head as he raced down the street, turning the corner and vanishing. "Maybe the naco I ate last night had some bad sour cream in it, because that just makes me more suspicious."
"Suspicious of what?" Kim asked.
Ron shook his head. "Nothing, I guess."
"What, Ron?" Kim said. "You think he's in a mask, running around Middleton as one of Drakken's goons or something? Did you strain yourself trying to keep up with him or something?"
"I wasn't going to say it, but," Ron took a deep breath, knowing that he'd probably get laughed at, "you ever notice that after Pete leaves, we always find Spider-Man finishing our missions before we even get there?"
Kim stared at him in disbelief. "Ron…"
"All I'm saying is that I've never seen Pete and Spidey in the same room, that's all," Ron said, preparing to accept whatever came out of the girls' mouths, "and all of the sudden this guy, who's from the same town as Spider-Man, beats us at every fitness test."
"I've been hanging out with him this whole semester," Kim said, rolling her eyes. "He's just quiet. He doesn't talk about himself much-"
"That's exactly my point-"
"And nobody should pressure him into doing so," Kim finished. "I'd know if he was, Ron, trust me on that one."
Bonnie couldn't help but giggle at the irony of it all, but she said nothing. "Well," Ron said, putting away his own quiet conviction away for peace, "okay. You're right. I don't know him that well to be honest, maybe I just need to get to know him."
"I've been thinking of letting him tag along on one of our missions," Kim said, making Ron's jaw drop.
"Let's not get too hasty now!" Ron said, following Kim toward the scene of the crime.
The smell of soldered metal burnt Peter's nose as he entered the engineering basement, nodding to a few passing, tired engineering students as he turned the corner into a large, open workshop area with large lockers by every wide table. Vivian worked at one of the tables with one set of lockers reading "Peter, Ron, Dmitry, Gil, do not touch" and the other just reading "Vivian
"Peter!" Vivian waved to him, rolling up the blueprint open on the table. She held a blowtorch in one hand and a welding mask in the other, with a small, circular disc that glowed bright white like an intense flashlight on the table. The smell of burnt metal and sawdust grew stronger the closer he got to the table, with the heat making his glasses fog up. Vivian wore simple clothes she didn't mind getting dirty with her hair up in a tight bun and dirt and dust all over her face and hands. "Check this out! This is what I've been working on!"
Peter quickened his pace, greeting her with a smile and turning his attention to the small device in her hand. The back of it had small ridges and grooves, as if it locked into a larger mechanism. "It's certainly bright," Peter said, shielding his eyes. "It looks like some sort of reactor, right?"
Vivian giggled giddily. "I think you know exactly what kind of reactor this is," she said, running her finger around the steel ring holding the reactor in place. She gently put it in Peter's hand. "It's not that bright, Peter."
Peter felt around the ring and in the grooves, and soon his eyes were struck wide with surprise. "It's an arc reactor!"
"Tony Stark's going to be in Denver tomorrow to deliver a TechTalk at one," she said excitedly, "I wanted to give him this, as a gift, or maybe he'll at least sign it. It might not be as good as his, but this little puppy can power an entire city for a month."
Peter would have to call Mr. Fury about that. "This is genius, Vivian! Doctor Stark hasn't shared the arc reactor blueprint with anyone, and you just recreate it from scratch? That's worth at least a selfie and a LinkedIn add."
"Gosh, I hope so," Vivian said with a laugh, taking it back and carefully slipping it inside a metal briefcase padded with packing material to protect it. "Are you going?"
"Of course," Peter said, "it'll be nice seeing him again."
"I don't mean to be pushy, but," she said with a blush, "could you help me with this? Since you know him and all, it might be easier to meet him with you there."
"Yeah, I can do that," Peter said with a reassuring grin. "It's no problem."
"Yes!" Vivian said, wrapping him in a tight hug. "Thank you so much! I'm going to catch the bus at 10 tomorrow morning so I can get there before 12, that's when they start letting people in."
"I'm going to have to meet you there," Peter said, looking down at the black outlines of her arms going around his ribs from the dirt, "but I'll be on time."
"Then I'll see you there," she said with a smile, turning around to leave with a wave. "Bye, Pete- oh!"
"Whoopsie!" a familiar, sharp Russian voice exclaimed.
"Hey, Dmitry," Peter said dryly, catching Vivian before she hit the ground. "You're here early too?"
Dmitry scoffed, brushing the dirt off his black turtleneck and black pants. "Obviously, but don't make another assumption and say I'm here for the project."
Peter stared at him blankly. "Oh, uh, okay."
"I am here because of you, Vivian," Dmitry said, his wide and unsettling smile spreading across his face.
Vivian returned with a nervous smile at the blunt and forward young man. "Do I know you?"
Dmitry chuckled, whipping out a bouquet of flowers from behind his back. "No, but with the homecoming celebration occuring after the game, that I am not going to because sports are pointless, I was hoping I could take such a pristine and perfect jewel such as yourself out for the evening. I have seen you working here day and night like me, although we haven't spoken, I know that this is an opportunity neither one of us should pass up. I could teach you about engineering, you could teach me… we'll figure that part out later, but when can I pick you up?"
Vivian stepped back awkwardly, glancing toward Peter for help. "Actually, I'm not going to any of the parties after the game. I'm too busy this weekend, but surely someone else would want to go."
Dmitry's smile seemed to crack, it was still a smile but it certainly was no longer friendly. "Of course," he said in his cheeriest voice. "Well, plenty of other days of the week. Are you going to the TechTalk tomorrow?"
"Yeah, um," Vivian said, taking another step back and directly looking at Peter. "We're going."
Dmitry's beady eyes locked onto Peter's and his face turned beet red. Peter wasn't sure if it was from embarrassment or rage. "I see," he hissed, his face suddenly morphing back to its normal, emotionless expression with a slight scowl. "Well, no harm done, then. Leave us, Peter and I need to discuss important matters."
Peter stepped up. "Hey, you can't talk to her like-"
"Peter," she said sharply, silencing him. "I have to go. See you tomorrow."
Peter and Dmitry watched her leave in a huff, making Dmitry scoff. "Women."
Peter cut him a mean look. "That wasn't okay, Dmitry. Where do you get off talking to anybody like that?"
"Your feelings are irrelevant to the task at hand, simpleton," Dmitry said, scuttling over to the work station. "Let's get this over with. Although I laid my heart bare before her and she stomped on it, I have one more hope for tonight."
"Wassup, dudes?" Gil said from around the corner, walking in with his normally easy going grin and his skateboard tucked under one arm. "Dmitry, I see you got the flowers, are you going on a date or something tonight, dude?"
Dmitry grunted. "Plan A was ruined," he said, "but yes, I fully plan on going to the homecoming gala downtown tonight."
"There's a gala tonight?" Gil said with great aloofness, making Dmitry boil with anger.
"It's the fanciest fall semester affair, dimwit," he spat, "and I am going there tonight with Kim Possible on my arm."
Peter wanted to snort but he held it in. "You're going there with who now?" Ron said, running into the room fresh from a mission and looking absolutely beat.
"Let's get to work," Peter said, walking toward the table.
"There is no work," Dmitry said sharply, sitting down with the rest of the boys and reaching into his backpack. He rolled one large blueprint over the other three, even stomping on Gil and Ron's hands to move it out of the way. "Our project entails the creation of automation in order to imitate life and one if its countless and pointless biological processes, my design does just that, while respecting the pioneers of bioengineering gone before their time."
Peter, Gil, and Ron looked over the complicated and intricate design of a long plate that was thin and flexible like a spine, hooked to four long tentacle arms each with four-fingered grabbers for acute fine motor skills. Peter swallowed nervously, glaring again at Dmitry and back down at the design.
"It hooks up to the user's spinal cord via a manual puncture just above the back of the neck and another above their coccyx with smaller integrations around the spine," Dmitry said proudly, "with powerful electric currents running from the brainstem downward to relay any response to external stimuli to one of the four arms as shown. Certainly we don't even need to look at your designs, we can turn this in, but you need to state that I did all the work and get graded accordingly."
The other three boys looked at each other, then back at Dmitry. "No."
Dmitry nearly jumped over the table. "It suffices for our three criteria, economic, ethical, and feasible. It would be approximately eight and a half million, no more than a tank. The arms can function as legs for the paraplegic and act as a tool for the elderly to live out the rest of their pointless lives, and this has been done before by the hero Doctor Octavius during his plight against the world."
"Our project hypothetical budget was one hundred thousand, Dmitry," Peter said, "the entry method would have to be a permanent installation as removing it from around the user's spine would kill them, and we agreed to not copy another scientist's work, especially the work of a domestic terrorist."
Dmitry scoffed. "You have no idea what you're talking about, you never do," he spat, "because you are scared to even hypothetically consider the benefit of reviving a revolutionary work such as his means you don't get an opinion. Just be quiet, and stay out of my way, all of you, or deal with the consequences."
Peter stayed calm, simply leaning back in his chair. "Whoa, not cool," Ron cut in, "roll it back, Dmitry, the team isn't just you."
Dmitry smirked. "Then, as you Americans say it," he said, "it's my way or the highway."
Peter, Ron, and Gil turned to each other again. Gil chuckled. "I guess I'm driving."
Dmitry's smugness shattered again, with his face contorting into a nearly demonic scowl. "What did you say?"
"You're out," Peter said bluntly. "We don't have to tolerate your attitude, if you're going to be like this."
A loud, nasally cackle silenced the workshop as Dmitry rolled up his blueprints, wiping away tears. "Your loss then, imbeciles!"
"I'll send the email out to Mr. Possible right now," Ron said, reaching into his bag for his laptop. He looked up, seeing Kim in sweatpants and a green and gold tee shirt with her backpack over her shoulder. "Oh, hey Kim! I thought you had practice until the game."
"It doesn't start until three," Kim said, sitting next to Ron and pulling out her own laptop. "I figured I'd get a headstart on my paper due next week. What are you all up to?"
"The three of us are working on our engineering project," Gil said, "hey, Kim."
"Hi, Gil," Kim said, looking up and nearly jumping at the bouquet of flowers in her face. She pushed past them and stared in aggravation at the rude student. "What is this?"
Dmitry cleared his throat. "I was in your friends' project group, but it's not what I want to speak to you about right now." Dmitry gave the same proposal to Kim as he gave to Vivian, merely changing the lab connection with Vivian to his fanboyish admiration of her. "Albeit, a man would do your job far better."
"Excuse me?" Kim said in shock.
"That's besides the point," Dmitry said, "how about it? I can meet you after the silly game."
"Absolutely not," Kim said, catching his flicker of a psychotic frown. "I don't care what it took you to ask me that, you don't get to talk to anyone like that, especially people you want to bother to try to be your girlfriend. I'm going with Ron and Peter anyway, as friends."
"I'm going?" Peter said.
"Isn't Bonnie taking you?" Kim asked.
"She is?!" Peter exclaimed.
Dmitry's scowl widened into a burning but silent rage, snatching his flowers back. "You'll wish you had never rejected me, Kim Possible, Peter Parker!" he said, turning in a huff and stomping out of the workshop. "Everyone will regret it!"
"What a jerk," Kim said, putting in her earbuds and working through her frustration.
Ron sighed in belief, but noticed Peter staring behind Dmitry as he left. "It's not worth it, man."
Peter looked down and back up at Ron, opening his laptop again. "You're right, Ron. Thanks, guys. Let's discuss our ideas now, before somebody else decides to break up from the band. Do either of you guys want to go first?"
Ron and Gil looked at each other and down at their blueprints. "Uh," Ron said with a nervous smile, "I know we can't technically do this, but I designed a naco automatic folder. It can do other stuff though."
Gil looked over Ron's device, confused by the oblong structure of the machine. "Like what?"
Ron sighed. "Fold… burritos…"
The air was cool that night over the stadium where thousands of fans decked in green and gold on one half of the stands shouted at the other half in red and white. Peter was squished in the student section in the front between two beefy superfans who looked way too old to be in the student section holding up a "G" and an "O" for students down the line to spell "MIST" in spray paint on white slabs. He watched Kim direct the other cheerleaders in a flashy and impressive routine, forming towers and pyramids, throwing Kim and Bonnie up into the air for them to flip and twirl in the air in between every play of the night. "MIST, 35, Stanford, 38, but if our guys in green push any further into enemy territory for this last play, then a bunch of California boys are going to go home crying!" MIST's short but loud hype man said, getting the crowds excited as the two teams moved back over the three yard line, Stanford protecting their win with everything they had.
"Blue 42! Set!" Brick shouted, glaring into the eyes of the defense across the line. "Hike!"
He caught the snapback as his running back and wide receiver dashed into the endzone. Brick whipped it across the sky with all his might before getting tackled, but with a man in green catching it in the endzone, it was a worthy sacrifice. "Touchdown!" the hype man shouted, receiving a roar of energy and excitement in response. The student section began to proudly sing the fight song over Stanford's jeers and hisses, with MIST's football team clapping each other on the back.
Brick pulled the lineman that tackled him to his feet and pat him on the back, raising his helmet for a victory shout.
The stands began to shuffle toward the exits, with Peter wading through the people climbing over each other to get to the parking lot first. "People are stepping on each other's backs, Jesus!" he exclaimed, clawing his way out. He ran home to change and the campus was buzzing, with every fraternity and sorority jumping on buses to go out on the town on Saturday night. Peter was prepared for both events he predicted, slipping his Spider-Man suit under a sleek and classy blue Tom Ford dinner suit with the top button undone of his white, buttoned down shirt. He stepped out again, stuffing his mask in his pocket and strolling out. "Ron," Peter said to the blond agent in the fitting black tuxedo. "Great job tonight!"
"Thanks!" Ron said, turning to him with a smile. Rufus hissed at him from Ron's suit pocket. "After today I didn't think I'd be up for more, but," Ron chuckled, "they have a chocolate fountain. I gotta get me some of that, you know."
"Of course, of course," Peter said, "unless there is a melted substance falling down an oddly shaped glass thing, it's not a party." He knocked on Kim and Bonnie's door, leaning against the wall and checking his watch. "I just hope we don't get any of it on us."
"Don't jinx it," Ron said sternly, "this is my only suit so I have to treat it with respect- and there's gum on this spot of the wall."
"I have an ice pack in my room, I'll get that right off."
"You don't have to do that," Ron said, seeing him already halfway there. He moved fairly quickly, returning with the ice pack before Ron could finish his statement. "But thanks."
Peter crouched by his pants leg, rubbing the gum until it was solid and cracking. "Don't worry about it, it happens all the time to me. I think you'd know a little better than me about keeping uniforms in their best shape."
"You wear one a lot?" Ron said.
Peter stood up, clapping him on the shoulder and walking back to his room to put the ice pack away. "I worked for the Daily Bugle back in high school as a photographer to provide for my aunt and I," he said, coming back and leaning against the wall again. "I was at every socialite event, just the guy behind the camera and occasionally the accidental valet, so I had to learn to get comfortable wearing a suit."
Ron laughed nervously. "Yeah, uh, I used to wear a bright yellow uniform for Bueno Nacho," he said, "kept that bad boy pristine the whole time."
Peter smiled. "You and Kim really like that place, don't you?"
That wasn't the response Ron expected. "It was our spot from elementary school and up," he said, "just a place to chill from all the running, jumping, fighting, explosions- working there gave me a reason to force myself to decompress from it all."
"It's important to have a place like that…"
"Thank you!" Ron exclaimed. "I've been trying to tell Kim that we should have an official base there or something-"
"...in moderation," Peter said, making Ron throw up his hands.
"I was just starting to like you too," Ron said, "you sound a lot like her."
"Speaking of Kim," Peter said, reading his watch. "7:37," the watch read. "They start letting people in at eight, right?" Peter said, turning toward the girls' door as it opened. Bonnie walked out first, wearing an elegant but fierce and confident knee-length white dress that complimented her figure and curves with a pearl necklace and classy white sandals with a beige purse on her shoulder.
"Hurry up, Kim, we're going to miss the bus," Bonnie said with her usual scowl, turning to Peter and approving his attire with an interested smile.
"You look gorgeous," Peter said, making Ron and Kim want to puke.
"Coming on a bit strong there, double-o seven?" Bonnie said, playfully pulling at his relaxed but charming suit that his shoulders, chest, and arms filled out quite well.
"There wasn't a way saying 'you look nice' without saying the basic 'you look nice' that was going to come off naturally, so," Peter said with finger guns, "sticking with that."
"Sorry guys," Kim said, "you'll have to meet us there. The coach wants all of cheer together for photos."
Peter's jaw went slack at the red-headed, green eyed bombshell with in her jet black, sleek, sleeveless, knee-high dress, red bracelets and earrings with red high-heeled dress sandals. Her black, winged eyeliner made her bright green eyes especially vibrant tonight. Ron cleared his throat, flustered a little by her as well. "No problem," he said, punching Peter in the arm. "I bet we'll get there before you do."
Bonnie scoffed. "How?"
Peter and Ron looked at each other in confusion and back to her. "The, uh, the bus?" Peter said.
"Then we should get going," Ron said, waving to the girls as he and Peter headed for the stairs. "See you there!" He tapped Peter on the shoulder. "You know where we're going, right?"
"The Acari Center, yeah," Peter said.
"Do you have a Google Maps or something?" Ron asked.
Peter tapped the side of his own head. "iPhone 3GS would take too long, it was easier just to memorize it."
"Showoff," Ron joked as they stepped outside and started their walk. "We could get a Lyft and you can just Venmo me back."
Peter stopped cold. "That would be easier." They reached the curb of the residential square and Ron called the Lyft, sliding into the back seat. They started driving, looking out at the bustling and celebrating campus feeling a part of the grand community they had the privilege to be in, but something more sinister caught Ron's eye as they ventured deeper into the city.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute!" Ron said, pointing at one of the high rise apartment buildings. Six men in black, concealing clothing all filed into a broken balcony door on the third story of one of the buildings, with the last man pulling up the maintenance ladder left by an irresponsible scaffolding worker. "Somebody's breaking in, Peter! We're gonna have to stop here!"
Peter looked out of his window, seeing the shattered sliding glass window for himself. "I don't know how much help I'll be…"
"Stay here or come," Ron said, opening the car door, "but you won't want to be around if they decide they aren't going to come quietly."
"I'll be emotional support, then," Peter said, going to make sure Ron didn't get killed, "but don't wait up!"
Ron rolled out of the car and dashed across the street, looking back and seeing Peter right behind him. His eyes narrowed with the suspicion returning yet again at his willingness to help. Maybe he could stomp out a couple of goons and the randomly fleeting thought that his friend was also his enemy in the red and blue spandex suit. He ran into the alleyway in between the apartment building and another one just like it, running onto the wall and leaping off to grab the window ledge on the first story. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a grappling hook, latching onto the base of the ladder and yanking. The ladder gave him five more feet until it was just above his head, but with a small push back and a hop up he was pulling himself onto the ladder. He looked down at his partner staring up from below. "Get up here, Pete! We don't have much time!"
"I'm going to let the security manager know what's going on, you and Kim gave me your communicator contacts so he'll have to let me in!" Peter shouted, going around the front instead.
Spider-Man would have copied Ron, Kim's partner thought, or maybe he wouldn't have, to further hide his identity. Either way, Ron kept climbing the ladder, scaling it and leaping over the balcony loudly and proudly. "Hey, bub!" Ron shouted as he stepped into the living room of the moderate apartment, scaring the six men who were ransacking the living room. "You wanna commit crime in my city, friend? You gotta go through me first, pals!"
The six burly, seedy looking men dropped their loot, turning toward Ron and chuckling. "Where's Kim?" one asked with a deep, raspy voice, "without her, aren't you kinda useless?"
Ron laughed. "Come on, me? Against you six lousy guys? You gotta be kidding, come on, try it!"
The tallest thief darted forward with a crowbar and Ron ducked the strike, returning with a hook to the jaw that sent him spinning.
"I said come on!" Ron said, ducking another swing and slipping Rufus into the criminal's pants leg. "I've got somewhere to be!" He turned toward the third thug and gasped, seeing the end of a barrel between his eyes.
"We're going to be fashionably late," Peter said from out of nowhere, punching the gunman in the temple before he could pull the trigger, "the cops will be here in five minutes."
"How'd you get up here?" Ron asked, kicking the fourth robber in the chest.
"I did exactly what I said," Peter said, "but the door wouldn't open. I had to get on the second floor balcony so I could use the ladder."
Another thug ran at Peter but he was ready, dodging the strike sloppily and throwing all of his weight into a punch. Ron watched it carefully, seeing its total difference from Spider-Man's quick and precise strikes. Peter wasn't a fighter, but he had just saved Ron's life regardless. Rufus subdued the seventh thief into a corner and the two students in suits stood over him, knocking him out together with a twin punch. Rufus wasn't done fighting yet, leaping onto Peter's hand and biting it. "Rufus! No! Bad naked mole rat!"
"Ouch! Ron, get him off me!"
"Sorry, Pete!" Ron said, putting him securely in his suit pocket again. "Rufus gets a little too into it sometimes. Are you okay?"
Peter looked down at the bite mark, shaking out the pain. "Yeah, I'm fine." Police sirens could be heard around the building. "That's our cue to go, right?"
"What do you mean?"
"Do you do that whole 'Batman' thing where you beat up the bad guys then leave before the police show up?" Peter asked.
"No," Ron said plainly, "no, we don't."
"Can we do the thing where we beat up the bad guys then leave before the police show up?"
"Hands in the air!" a policeman shouted as he kicked the door to the apartment in. Four officers showed up too late, putting down their guns at Ron's appearance.
"What are you doing?" Ron said.
"Putting up my hands," Peter said with his hands up. "They said to put up our hands."
"We're on their side, Peter!" Ron exclaimed, imagining that this was how it must have felt when Kim was showing him the ropes.
"I'm from New York, man!" Peter shouted. "They're never on our side!"
"They're all yours," Ron said, giving the cops a thumb up.
"Thanks, Ron," the lead officer said, "you can tell your friend to put down his hands now. Where's Kim?"
"Actually, Peter and I are about to go meet her right now."
"What, is this guy the new member of Team Possible?"
Ron looked over at Peter with an approving grin. "He's my new sidekick. He's not ready for the big leagues just yet, but in time he'll be a crime fighting machine."
"Sidekick?" Peter said under his breath, following him out of the building. They called another Lyft, resuming their journey to the party.
It was quiet in the car, with Peter fixing his suit. "I wanted to thank you for what you did back there," Ron said.
Peter fastened his glasses to his face. "Don't worry about it."
"No, really," Ron said. "You saved my life. I know I seem like I don't really want to hang out with you, I'm just awkward around new people, I guess. Sorry about that."
"No apology needed," Peter said, "let's just get there, if not we'll be cleaning up the streets all night."
"It's Peter," Peter corrected, bringing another tense and awkward silence into the car.
The driver turned up the music as Peter checked his phone, texting the girls that they were on their way. The rest of the drive was quiet, both boys relieved as they pulled into a line of cars around the block of a convention center with a balcony overlooking the entire city leading into what Peter presumed was the party considering that their classmates were in and out of the balcony space. "This is fine, thank you," Ron said, stepping out with Peter.
An overwhelming sense of dread hit Peter hard as he made his way into the convention lobby that made his fingertips tingle and his legs want to run out from under him, stopping with Ron as the elevator opened. "I'll see you upstairs. I have to take care of something."
"Are you okay? Did you get hit?" Ron said as the doors closed.
Peter darted to the staircase where it was cooler with a draft from upstairs, taking a moment to breathe. He pulled out his special phone, waiting for it to ring, or for Fury to call him, anything, something. He slapped himself in the face, looking out the window and seeing the perfectly peaceful city bustling by itself. Maybe it was his Spidey Senses missing New York, but he pulled himself together. He rushed up the stairs and opened the doors, stepping into a wide convention room with tall, red walls and golden chandeliers over a wide dance floor with a DJ on the opposite end of the buffet and drinks. Students and alumni alike talked, ate, drank, and danced with each other, catching up with old friends and making new ones. "Peter!" Kim shouted from across the room. "We're over here!"
Peter slipped through the dance floor, meeting Kim, Ron, and Monique by the food. "These glasses don't work," he said dryly.
"Ron told us about how you helped him stop the ten robbers earlier," Kim said, "he said you were a pretty good boxer too."
"No, no," he laughed. "I was inspired by you guys. After saving my life so many times, I figured I'd return the favor by saving someone else. Nobody was home though, so I think I still owe you a couple- Ron even called me his 'sidekick.'"
"You think you can handle it?" Monique asked. "They are superheroes, after all. Well, maybe not Ron." Kim laughed as Monique walked toward the balcony, looking over at Ron who relaxed with a cup of punch.
"No, what happened tonight was a matter of circumstance," Peter said, "I wouldn't be much help in the long run."
"Are you being humble, or are you begging the question?" Kim said with a smirk. "I know training when I see it, Peter. I get that you're never supposed to tell people you can defend yourself because then you'll be inviting trouble, but Ron and I have considered a trio before, and I think you made quite the impression on both of us tonight."
Ron watched them talk closely, trying to not seem as if he was eavesdropping by digging into a cupcake.
"I can't do what you do," Peter said. "I'd only get in the way."
"We won't know that for sure until we test it experimentally, isn't that what you tell everyone else when conducting case studies?" Kim said. "Or are you just scared?"
Peter laughed. "You got me there," he said, "but no. The secret agent superhero thing, it just isn't me."
The DJ started playing "Finesse" and every student jumped, rushing to the dance floor. "I'll let you think about it." She brushed some of her long, red hair out from her face, looking toward the dancefloor. "Do you dance?"
Peter chuckled again, merely taking a sip of his drink. "Yes, he does," Bonnie said from behind, slipping between them and pulling him away. "Come on, Kim, they'll only play this song twenty times tonight."
Ron turned a little green at the slight disappointment on Kim's face but hid it with a smile. "Don't let her get to you, Kim. Let's have some fun, yeah?" he said, following her to the dancefloor anyway.
"I spoke too soon, you can't either," Bonnie said, dancing with him in the middle of the crowd singing along to the song.
"It's not about whether you can or you can't," Peter said, "it's about having a good time."
"Even when it makes you look like an idiot?" she teased.
"Especially when it makes you look like an idiot," he said. He beckoned Kim and Ron over to them as they pushed their way through the crowd, "but if you can do it without looking like one, it gives me hope."
"Oh, really?" she laughed, playfully slapping his arm. "You're embarrassing yourself. You'll never reach my level of superstardom."
"Are you gonna stop me, then?" Peter said, continuing his awkward shuffle. "What do you see, Bonnie?"
"I see a confident guy doing too much for everyone and too little for himself," Bonnie said, "two internships, who knows how many classes, four clubs, it's a surprise that you make time for us to hang out at all."
"Are you okay, Bonnie? That's the nicest thing you've said to me ever since I've known you," Peter said, making her roll her eyes, "and you're one to talk, every time I see you, you're running on five hours max of sleep, but I know that once your name's everywhere, it'll all be worth it. You know, I was actually kinda surprised you wanted me to study with you in the first place, we'd always end up not studying, though."
Bonnie laughed at his aloofness as the song changed, causing another uproar among the students. "It's getting hot, I'm going to the balcony!" Bonnie shouted over the music, pulling Peter through the crowds just as Ron and Kim caught up.
They stepped out onto the cool balcony, the fall breeze feeling nice on them as they leaned against the railing looking out into the city. "I'll grab you a drink, I'll be right-"
"Peter," Bonnie cut in, pulling him back over to the railing. "I've been thinking."
Bonnie looked concerned. Peter leaned against the balcony railing.
"I know that we're both extremely busy, you have other things in your life that you need to take care of, I get that," she said, playing with her hair nervously, "but, I like hanging out with you and I know you feel the same way, I was wondering if from here on out it could be different between us."
Peter's eyes widened, staying against the railing with a mixture of shock and confusion.
"Don't look at me like that," Bonnie said, "if I had waited for you to ask, we would have graduated by now."
"I… really don't know what to say, Bonnie." Peter blushed, looking down with a nervous laugh. "Yes, we make time for each other, and I really like hanging out with you," he said, all the hairs on the back of his neck standing up from the feeling earlier creeping back, "but a relationship, a serious one… it's not something I think I'm looking for right now."
"You're taking this way too seriously, but I can appreciate you being upfront about it," Bonnie said, having a feeling as to why he hesitated. Other guys, with a less valid excuse, would have been a coward by toying with her emotions. "We can take it slow for now, until we can figure out where we're headed." She put her hand on his, looking into his eyes with a confident smirk. "At least give it, give us, a shot. Like you said, we already make time for each other, what would change is just how we spend it."
"Bonnie, I really don't think this is the best idea," Peter said, his Spidey Senses tingling up and down his spine, "I can't explain it, to you, right now."
"Is that all?" she said, cocking an eyebrow. "You can talk to me, Peter. We can work through it together, but I have to know what's stopping us right now, it's only fair."
Peter felt a sharp ringing in his ears and his head snapped toward the edge of the railing, looking out over the city at a small jetstream of a quick, gliding green figure moving dangerously quick toward them. "Sorry, Bonnie," Peter said, his voice suddenly stern and authoritative like the man she knew he was, "but we're going to have to talk about this later."
"Why? What's-" Bonnie saw the urgency in his face and turned toward the gliding figure. "I'll get Kim!"
Peter darted over to the older couple sharing drinks on the balcony. "Sorry, but the balcony is closed," he said.
"And why is that?" the older woman asked.
Peter watched the figure loop around the building several times, wanting desperately to spring toward it head-on. "Reconstruction," he said.
"What's the sitch?" Kim asked while Ron shuffled the old couple inside. The party stopped cold with a demonic, shrill cackle cracking the sky, with Kim, Ron, Bonnie, and Peter staring up at the humanoid in green and black flying through the air on a rocket-powered glider.
"What the hell is that?" Ron said in awe.
The figure looped around, charging straight toward the balcony with a small, round object flashing orange and green. Kim gasped. "Get back, now!" she shouted as the mysterious cretin whipped the device just below the balcony. The building rocked from the power contained in the device and the party devolved into chaos, the perfect conditions for a second grenade to strike just above the balcony. A chunk of the cement above them fell.
"Sorry about this," Peter told two curious students staring at the figure, whipping them back into the room quickly as the chunk would have landed on their heads.
Bonnie screamed as the balcony gave way below her, crumbling beneath her feet and forcing her to hang onto the cracking railing that looked like it was going to break at any moment. She looked down at the long drop below her, knowing that one slip would end it all. "Somebody help me!"
Kim, Peter, and Ron dashed toward her, ducking and dodging cement chunks from above from other bombs going off all around the top of the building. Kim fired a grappling line around Bonnie's arm. "Let go, Bonnie! Hold onto the line instead, we won't let you fall!" Peter leaned forward over a small but widening gap anyway with surprising stability, taking Bonnie's arm and yanking her back just as the entire railing broke off to fall all the way down and shatter. "Nice save, Peter," Kim said, "but Ron and I will take it from here. Ron, get Peter and everyone else out of the building." Her eyes narrowed, glaring at the thing taunting them from the sky. "I'll take him on myself."
Ron nodded. "I'll get back here as soon as I can," he said, herding Peter and his classmates toward the stairs. "Go on, go on! No one take the elevators, cover your heads in case of falling debris and get out before you look for anybody else, this is not a drill, people! Move!" He tapped his watch, bringing up a map displaying hundreds of heat signatures, those of everyone in the building. "No one's upstairs, Kim, I'd say you're being called out!"
"Well he's certainly got my attention!" Kim growled.
Peter heard Kim's battle cry from above. He needed to get away, fast.
"You're alright?" Peter said, holding Bonnie's shoulders. "Nothing sprained?"
"Yes, I'm fine," she said, noticing his eyes darting around the stairwell watching everyone else. "Thank you, Peter."
"Don't mention it," he said quickly, helping Ron push everyone out of the building as Ron ran back upstairs to help Kim. "You need to leave, now!"
"Don't mention it?" Bonnie said earnestly.
Peter took off faster than she had ever seen a man run before.
"Where are you going?" Bonnie shouted behind him.
"To get help!" Peter shouted back, rushing into an alleyway several blocks away. He pulled open his suit, putting Peter away with Spider-Man exiting the alleyway out the other side with his dinner suit underneath it. Peter fastened his mask to his face and took to the sky with a web line on a nearby building, swinging into action as Kim dodged bombs left and right on the roof.
"Who are you?" Kim shouted at it, rushing toward the edge of the building with her grappling hooks ready.
"I'm surprised you haven't already guessed," it said with a deep, rumbling voice, beckoning her forward as Kim launched off the side of the building fearlessly.
Kim threw the grappling hook but the unknown assailant caught it.
"But I'm afraid that's too late now," it continued, chopping the line with a green dagger. Kim gasped with a sudden and silent fear, suddenly free-falling with only a twenty story drop between her and the ground. "Bye bye, Kim Possible!"
"Kim!" Ron shouted, running toward the edge of the balcony to catch her. A piece of the balcony below, however, had different plans. Ron yelped as his foot slipped through a crack and he fell, knocking himself out cold face first.
"I'm going to save you in the name of mutant evil!" Spider-Man exclaimed, catching Kim and tackling her onto the dance floor. "I guess you can say we're panicking at the disco right now."
"I was going to thank you," Kim said, rolling to her feet side by side with the web-slinger, "but now I want to hurt you both."
"That's how you know it's good," Spider-Man said, watching their opponent cruise in on the glider and hop off.
"Hello, my dear," it said. It was a humanoid of average height, with their face concealed by a green and black helmet and mask. They wore black and green spandex that showed their athletic but slender build under thin but tough armor plates with reptilian ridges going up from their green, glowing goggles to the back of their head. The only part of the person underneath the mask was their pale green skin and black lipstick. "You look nice, were you in the middle of something?"
"No, in fact I was just clearing out my schedule for an edgy creep on a glider to mess up my night," Kim shot back, "did I overdress?"
"It's perfect for a funeral," it said, "are you ready for yours?"
"Who are you?" Kim asked it. "And what do you want?"
Its hands roared to life with a black and green energy that surged throughout the suit. "I am the Green Goblin," it said, "and I want respect from a community that has shunned me, tossed me aside, and stepped on my back to get ahead for too long!" She pointed at Kim, growing a sparking green saber from her hand.
Kim put up her fists, ready to fight. "Why not pick on your community instead of everyone else, Goblin?"
Green Goblin spun their blade around, crouching into stance. "Everybody's afraid of you," she said, "by taking you down, anybody who will rear their ugly heads in your absence will fall in line." She snapped her fingers and the glider took off on its own with two gatling gun pointed right at Peter's head, firing hundreds of long rounds at the Spider who dodged them with inhuman speed. "You might want to worry about your sidekick, Kim. I want to keep one of you alive to spread the message."
"I've got him," Spider-Man said, vaulting over the glider and darting toward the crumbling balcony. "Come on, Ron…" he grumbled under his breath, picking him up just before the balcony gave way.
The Green Goblin and Kim circled each other for a moment, waiting for the other fighter to move. "You know what?" Green Goblin said, dispelling the green energy sword with a wave of a hand. "I won't need this to beat you."
Kim blinked and her opponent was already ten feet in the air with a fist cocked back. Kim gasped and flipped back as the strike crushed the floor with ease, leaving black and green scorch marks in the small crater left by it. Kim was immediately put on the defensive, dodging burning strikes left and right by the relentless opponent who moved with a robotic speed. Kim took a kick to the stomach that doubled her over and sent her flying into a table. "My mom's going to kill me about this dress," she said, seeing a large chunk of cheesecake staining her dress. She whipped the cake platter at Green Goblin and the plate shattered without the slightest effect.
"That dress is the least of your concerns!" Green Goblin shouted, leaping into the air again and whipping four green and black bat-like throwing stars that spun on their own.
Kim flipped back, her heels glowing red as she landed on the wall. Goblin charged with a laugh, punching up at the agent and chasing her up the wall. They clashed halfway up the length of the room with Kim getting pushed higher until her back hit the ceiling. She dodged a punch that went straight through the ceiling. She jumped with all her strength, landing on the chandelier and turning toward her opponent again. "Is that all you've got?"
Green Goblin chuckled, turning into a green and black blur and appearing on the other side of the room with impeccable speed. "I haven't even started yet, girl," the Goblin taunted, following the sounds of crystal crashing on the ground.
Kim yelped as the chandelier fell out from underneath her and she grappled onto the second chandelier. Another bat star cut the chandelier line and Kim took a hard fall to a table, rolling underneath it on a shoulder and arm she knew were going to be bruised badly in the morning. "Wade," she said in her kimmunicator, wincing with every explosion on adjacent tables. "Give me some info about a guy called Green Goblin, fast!"
"What the hell is going on out there?" Betty answered instead with worry. Kim sighed, remembering she had taken over all communications. "And where's Ron?"
"Knocked out," Kim said, "Spider-Man took him to safety though-"
"Now there's two of them?" Betty exclaimed with a grimace. "Are they working together?"
"No, no, Spider-Man's fighting this guy with us, not every time we see him I'm going to fight-"
"I'm sending a team in," Betty interjected. "Now they're blowing up buildings and putting innocents in the crosshairs, this is unacceptable and the fact that they're not in my hands right now is your fault."
Kim didn't have time to argue right now. "I need information on Green Goblin, please-"
"What you need is to remember who you're talking to," Betty hissed, cutting off the signal.
Kim rolled out from under the table as a green and black fist went through it. "There you are! I thought I was going to have to break every table in the building!"
Kim barely blocked a backhanded strike that slid her on her back. Green Goblin pinned her to the floor with one hand around her neck, raising her other hand for the killing blow. "I'm stronger than you, faster than you, better than you in every possible way," Green Goblin spat, "and I'm gonna let the whole world know what it's like crossing me, through you!" Kim desperately tried to roll, but the Goblin's grip was unbreakable. "Goodbye, Kim Possible!"
A red and blue flash knocked Green Goblin aside and the glider waited for her off the balcony's edge. "Sorry to keep you waiting," Spider-Man said, pulling Kim to her feet, "too many people wanted to stick around, with a couple of your friends from the Global Injustice Network keeping me busy. Are you injured?"
"Don't worry about me," Kim said, trying to ignore the pain in her shoulder. "We have to stop the Goblin."
"Give it a rest for now, I'll take care of him," Spider-Man said, watching the Green Goblin rise on the glider. "The Green Goblin and I go way back."
"Then you know who he is?" Kim said.
"I knew who he was," Spider-Man said, tightening his fists and rushing forward. "This man is an impostor!"
"Come on, Spider-Man!" Green Goblin roared, throwing four more bat stars at him.
Spider-Man flipped sideways to dodge them, taking two slices to the right shoulder and one to the left thigh. He growled from the pain and shot a web back, catching them before they even got close to Kim and whipping them back at the Goblin. They burst in the net, letting both heroes know that this guy was out for serious blood. Spider-Man darted forward again and lunged through the air, knocking him off the glider with a harrowing spin kick.
Green Goblin hit the ground hard and rolled to his feet, parting the curious masses with a siren scream that slammed Spider-Man into the stairs leading up to the building. "You hit much harder than I thought, bug!"
The glider circled the forming crowd and flew low toward the center, with every man and woman diving out of the way except for one little boy stunned in fear. "Harold, no!" his mother screamed.
"Come on, Harold!" Spider-Man said, dodging several punches from the Goblin and rolling between his legs. Spider-Man lunged for the kid and rolled, feeling a gash open on his back as the bottom of the glider scraped over him. He hopped to his feet, giving the kid to his mother. "Stay in school, don't do drugs," he said with a thumb up, diving with a battle cry back toward the Goblin.
Green Goblin caught a punch from Peter, chuckling to himself from the quick power struggle between them. "My, my, you've been holding back on me!" he said, kicking him in the chest and sending him rolling down the street. The Goblin flipped back onto the glider and followed him, firing at his heels with every bullet making the Spider run faster. "Then again, we're both new to town, aren't we? I'll forgive you for just testing the waters!"
Spider-Man made a jump to swing onto the rooftops and Green Goblin caught him by the back of the head, slamming it into the window of a highrise over and over. "Consider that as a warning!" he said, connecting an elbow strike with his head and whipping around, hanging onto the glider to land several hard knee strikes into his armored stomach. A headbutt dazed him, for once, whoever this person was hit as hard as some of his other villains from back home. He fell off the glider and shook the dizziness away, firing a webline onto the back of the glider as he flew away.
"We'll meet again, Spider-Man!" Green Goblin shouted as a spotlight from a helicopter labeled GJN shined down on them from above.
"Put your hands in the air, both of you!" the pilot ordered, firing immediately after.
"Up yours, Betty!" Goblin shouted, blasting away on a rocket faster than the helicopter could keep up with.
"Hey! That's not nice!" Spider-Man shouted from below.
"I have what I need from you, bug!" he shouted, throwing a bomb down. "Now scram!"
"This bug bites," Spider-Man said, whipping the bomb up in the air and launching himself toward him with a flying kick. "And it bites hard!" They rolled onto a skyscraper's rooftop and clashed again, with the Goblin's hard MMA and forceful strikes fought against the Spider's fluidity and sudden bursts of power.
"I'll take care of this infestation right now," Goblin said, punching him off the side of the building with a hit straight to the nose.
"You'll need a little more than RAID to take me out," Spider-Man said, bending back with a flip kick to Goblin's mouth that caused the modulator inside his mask to spark. Peter crawled onto a window and gasped, flipping back as the glider crashed into the storage floor of the highrise they made their battleground. Spider-Man fired two weblines at the glider and used it to yank himself into the window, rolling into a few boxes. "I'd recommend OFF!" he said. "It's an oil, it really keeps bugs gone for hours, I think Walgreens is having a sale since it's the off-season?"
Green Goblin laughed and rushed into the storage room, throwing bat razors left and right. "I was thinking more along the lines of a bug bomb!" The Goblin said with an alluring and sultry woman's voice that Peter knew he recognized.
"Shego?" Peter said in shock.
"Nothing gets past you, huh?" she chuckled, standing on the glider with her arms folded.
"Why are you doing this?" Spider-Man demanded. "Do you realize what could have happened if any part of your publicity stunt went wrong?"
Shego laughed condescendingly. "I knew exactly how you and Kim were going to pick up the slack, what I didn't expect was you being so good at your job."
Spider-Man wanted to scoff. "I've done this since I was fifteen," he said, "fought against the worst, fought with the best, that suit of yours might make you strong but you're going to have to try a little harder to put me down. You're not the first Green Goblin that has tangled themselves into my web."
"Stop with the Spider puns!" Shego said.
"No!" Peter shouted back. "Not until you tell me what you hope to gain by doing what you're doing now!"
Shego pointed to the ceiling, hearing the helicopters and agents in the distance closing in. "You hear that?" she said. "I don't know how it is in the east, but out here, we're hunted, and Kim Possible is the big gun. Drakken and I had a fight, we broke up, now I have to fight for my respect again by eliminating my longest standing obstacle."
"You won't earn their respect if they fear you," Spider-Man said bitterly.
"You're doing such a great job, aren't you?" Shego taunted with an uppity tone. "Middleton's favorites try to take you down every chance they get, the GJN wastes millions hunting you down, the press demonizes you, so why try?"
"It's not about how people see you, but only how you see yourself," Peter said. "Drakken and his friends, even if you win, will only plot your downfall."
"It's bigger than them, Spidey," she said, "the GJN and the Possibles are enemies to us both, even you can admit that. They've been after me and my entire family ever since I was a kid, and put them out of commission."
They both looked up, hearing the helicopter touchdown directly above them.
"I thought about it a lot, after I took this suit and left Drakken to his own devices," she said, "I knew you'd show up today and give me one hell of a fight, but I don't want to fight you." She could sense that he knew where she was going with a sly smirk. "I want to fight them. We can take them down together, with the GJN's technology backing us up there's no telling what we could accomplish."
"Not like this," Spider-Man said, "the GJN's a problem, but not one that can be solved like this. There's a lot more than you know out there, even if you do succeed you won't enjoy it for long."
"I'll let you think about it," she said, "you and I are more alike than you realize, it'd be a shame if we let them drive us apart. When you showed up, they started to mobilize on a level I had never seen before. This could be a tipping point, we just have to figure out which way they're going to fall." She hopped off the glider and walked up to him, pulling her hand back and returning the four bat stars buzzing around Spider-Man's head to her utility belt. She pressed her hand against his chest and her other hand against his cheek, the taboo of the entire situation making him melt. "Just don't be under it when it does."
A flashlight shined into the dark storage room and Shego quickly rolled up his mask to his nose, kissing him deeply for the agents flooding the room to see. It was so bad, Peter thought, breaking the kiss and staring at her in bewildered anger as he slipped the mask down again, but it felt so good. "I knew it, they're together!" one agent shouted. "Take them out!"
Spider-Man glared at her through the mask, flipping over the firing squad with her in his arms and swinging away with the glider following behind them. "You're so painfully predictable," Shego said as they landed in an alleyway. "You might be a better agent, but I'll always be one step ahead of you."
"I'm going to deal with the GJN my way," Spider-Man stated, "a long, bloody, drawn out war between us and them is only going to end in people not responsible for it getting hurt."
"Are you that naive?" she said, almost laughing in disbelief. "Do you not know how GJN operates? They're a private military, Spider-Man."
"It's inevitable," Spider-Man said, "but minimizing casualties is the highest priority if you want success."
Shego sighed as Peter let her down. "I wish it could be like that, Spidey. I'll give you some time to think about my invitation, I'll be contacting you soon regardless. Watch your back-" She hopped onto her glider. "-and your chest."
Peter looked down, seeing a flashing orange bomb on his chest. He ripped it off with a patch of his costume with it, whipping it into a dumpster as it exploded. Spider-Man looked back to the sky, watching her leave silently on the glider before vanishing with a click of a button on the suit. He smirked, pulling out his phone and flicking to a map, seeing her location on a small spider-emblem that followed her through the city. "You're good, but you're definitely no Norman Osborn."
"There you are!" Kim shouted from behind, rushing into the alleyway. "Where did the Green Goblin go?"
"She planted a bomb on my chest," Spider-Man said, "by the time I was able to get it off, she got away."
Kim looked at the dumpster that had half of it missing and scorched then looked back at the vigilante's chest. "You let her get away."
"They were going to kill her," Spider-Man said, "the GJN would have found her in jail and until you tell me what they plan on doing to her, saving her life was my top priority."
"She endangered hundreds tonight!" Kim shouted. "She nearly killed my partner, me, even you, for that matter- if anything had gone wrong, if we had missed a single step, someone would have died!"
"That's why I did what I did," Spider-Man said. "I tried talking her down, figuring her out, but she didn't feel like talking."
"You said you two have history," Kim said, "how am I supposed to know you're not on the same side?"
"Do you have any idea," Spider-Man said bitterly, "of the weight the name of Green Goblin carries? What it's done to me? This person stumbled upon it with no connection to the man who murdered hundreds on the East Coast. If it had been the same man, we would be having a very different conversation right now, since that one is-"
"Well if this one decides to aim lower at the ground next time, the blood will be on your hands," Kim said. "You should have delivered her to me, I would have kept the Director from doing anymore than what the law allows. This is exactly why I can't fully trust you, but I really want to- I know you're doing what you think is right. You save me and my friends' lives, then you go and do this."
"Until you can assure me that you have that kind of power to stop her," Spider-Man said, "I'm going to have to keep them out of harm's way just like anybody else."
"I know about S.H.I.E.L.D," she blurted out, silencing him. "I don't know why you're here or what S.H.I.E.L.D is planning, but if it puts any of my citizens in danger, I won't hesitate to stop it and you."
Spider-Man leaned against the alley wall, hearing the helicopters buzz overhead. "You know that if that were the case, it would have happened by now," he said, pulling out a pen and one of his business cards. "I'm on your side. I moved from New York, so my friendly neighborhood had to move as well. I instigated nothing, so maybe you should ask your people why they're so quick to take us out if they aren't looking for a fight." He handed his card to her. "In the meantime, I'll always be available if you need backup. You don't have to make a choice right now, but just keep it between us."
She read what he wrote on the card. "These are coordinates… what is this?"
"An invitation to get to know us before you decide what side you're on, if you're still a free agent, that is," he said. "I didn't know about the GJN when I moved here, I'm guessing you didn't know about us until recently either. Meet me there at three o'clock, tomorrow."
Kim looked down at the card with her duty to justice and the people clashing with her duty to Betty and the GJN, neither she wanted to let down.
"Tell nobody," Spider-Man said. "I'm really sticking my neck out, since I don't want you or Ron in the crossfire of something you're not responsible for, moreover us in each other's crosshairs."
"Why can't Ron go?" Kim asked, the isolation acting as a little voice in the back of her head to tell her that this was a trap.
"He's far more dedicated to the GJN's crusade than you are," Peter said, "plainly, I can trust you not to relay everything back to Betty. Don't prove me wrong."
Ron wouldn't like it, but this was an opportunity she couldn't pass up. "Fair enough," she said. "I'll see you there." She looked up, finding him already gone. "Why does he do that?" she said aggravatedly to herself, looking down and seeing his pen. "You left your pen!" she called out, jumping back as a webline shot down, taking it up into the air.
"Thanks!" he shouted back, leaving her alone and staring up at the night sky more torn than she had ever been. He didn't stop swinging until he was a block from campus, his Spidey Senses tingling with an even greater intensity than just before the attack. He changed back into his suit and nearly sprinted all the way back to his room, slamming the door shut and panting hard.
"Peter," Bonnie said, sitting at the edge of his bed and making him nearly jump onto the ceiling. She had changed from her white dress to a pink tee shirt and gray yoga pants. "I was so worried about you, after you saved me back there you just vanished!"
"I called the cops and ran back inside to try to help," Peter said, doing his best to sound calm, "but Spider-Man was already there. It didn't stop me from getting cut pretty badly from falling debris, just my luck."
"Yeah, what a coincidence," Bonnie said knowing exactly what he was doing, walking up to him and wiping away some of the blood under his nose with her thumb. "You're still bleeding. Come to my room, I have a first aid kit there."
"Let me get changed first," Peter said, "if you don't mind."
"Sorry," she chuckled, leaning against the wall outside the room with the door closed.
Peter hurriedly closed the blinds and took off the suit, leaving him with a bloodied Spider-Man from the neck down. He looked in his closet mirror to inspect the damage, feeling the sharp sting in his back as he slid a red tee shirt over his cut body. He exchanged his uniform pants and shoes for black shorts and flips flops, stepping out.
"Where are your glasses?" she pressed, knowing he didn't need them.
"Broken," Peter said, "the building punched me in the face, called me a nerd a couple of times, got a bunch of other buildings to point and laugh at me, I'm actually pretty glad you weren't there to see it."
Bonnie pulled Peter into her room, sitting on the bed next to her desk. "Sit," she said.
"I'm not a dog," Peter said, sitting anyway.
"No, but you're stubborn and you think you know everything," Bonnie teased, treating the small cuts and scrapes on his face.
"Like attracts like," Peter said, "maybe that's why we get along so well."
She sat next to him, crossing her legs toward him. "Which is exactly why we'd work," Bonnie said, kissing his cheek and touching his back. "Unless there's someone else?"
Peter winced from the pain, arching his back away from her hand. "There's no one else right now," he said. "I'm just going through a lot right now. I don't want to burden you with that."
"Your back," Bonnie said, "what happened?"
"Nothing," Peter said quickly.
"Take it off, Peter," Bonnie said, backing Peter into a corner as they slapped at each other's arms.
"No, it's fine-"
"I'm trying to help you! Oh my god!" Bonnie exclaimed, pulling off the shirt anyway. Peter was chiseled and built like a bodybuilder with a broad chest and rock-hard abs to her surprise, but realizing what kind of a workout he was doing as a superhero it lessened the shock. Still, it was most impressive and she bit back the urge to whistle.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, um," she said, clearing her throat. "Turn around."
"You really don't have to-"
"You saved my life, the least I can do is put alcohol on some cotton and sting you with it."
Peter grudgingly turned around.
"How did that happen, Peter?" she gasped, making him squirm every time she touched it with the cleansing wipe. "What did you actually do back there, Peter?"
"I fell," he lied, "landed on a piece of-"
"There was no cut in your suit, Peter," Bonnie said.
"I took off the jacket before going back for more people," he said, "it was constricting."
"I call bull," Bonnie said, putting bandages over the deepest parts of the jagged but ultimately shallow gash. "What were you really doing back there?"
"Did I stutter?" she said sassily. "This isn't the first time you've mysteriously disappeared after heroically running away from the scene, only to come back as if you walked away from the fight."
"What are you implying, Bonnie?" Peter said.
"Is it the reason why we can't be together?" Bonnie said.
Peter turned around and Bonnie met his lips with hers. Peter wanted to fight it, but the warm, cherry taste of her lips overrode his sense of reason long enough for his eyes to open again, laying down pinned by his close friend. His eyes met hers in a mix of wild emotions. "I have no idea what you're talking about," he said breathily, kissing her again suddenly as if it was simply him on autopilot with Spider-Man banging his head against the dashboard in the passenger's seat.
"Sure you don't," she said, staring into his wide eyes dreamily. "You never thought tonight would end up like this, did you?"
"There's a concert happening downtown next weekend," he said, "a friend of mine from back home owed me a favor, so I have two tickets."
Bonnie kissed him tenderly again and blinked, finding Peter on top of her. Peter sat up, leaning against the wall. She sat up, resting her head on his shoulder. "Whose concert?"
Peter put his shirt on again. "The Weekend."
Bonnie's jaw dropped. "Tickets for that were sold out seven months ago!"
"Do you want to go?" Peter asked.
"Is it a date?" Bonnie asked him.
Peter headed toward the door. "Yes," he said, seeing her smirk in victory. "I'll pick you up a few hours before. We can get dinner before."
"What happened to not being sure?" Bonnie taunted, wrapping him in a hug from the front and looking up. "You're taller than I thought."
"You convinced me to give us a shot, what can I say," Peter said, with a small voice in the back of his mind desperately telling him to shut up as he kissed her passionately again.
"Face it, tiger," she said, stopping him just before he left. "You just hit the jackpot."
"Goodnight, Bonnie," Peter said, returning to his room with his heart racing for a different reason.
"My patience is growing thin," Betty scolded Kim and Ron in her GJN headquarters office. "Not only did you let the Green Goblin escape, but you let Spider-Man escape with her!"
"Director, miss," Ron said, "we-"
"After looking at the video footage of what happened tonight, however," she said, "the only reason you failed to defeat them was because you lacked superpowers."
"Well," Kim started. "That's definitely a drawback, but I think-"
"The latest intel is that S.H.I.E.L.D is sending a squad to pick up the jade idol retrieved several weeks ago in Denver at fifteen hundred hours tomorrow, moreover that Tony Stark is going to be there himself. I want you there with a team to intercept, and I think you'll be better prepared."
Suddenly, the small business card in Kim's pocket felt heavy. She couldn't tell Spider-Man either, nor warn against it without giving away their collaboration. The panels in the walls opened and two cases emerged with white and blue spandex, full body jumpsuits.
"Whoa!" Ron laughed. "Check it out, Kim! Are these super suits?"
"These will allow you to keep up with Deadpool, by his own admission, of course, integrated with all the strength, speed, reflexes, and powers of a certain mutant labeled on the suits," Betty said. "You'll receive them before you embark on the mission tomorrow, but be aware that there are no more excuses from this point on. If you fail to bring me Spider-Man tomorrow, there will be no words to describe what I'll do to you, because then I'll know one of you has been letting him get away on purpose." Ron and Kim looked at each other nervously. "Do we understand?"
Kim and Ron saluted, Ron being a tad more gung-ho about it than Kim. They walked down the intricate and complex corridors, ending up at the hangar bay for a helicopter ride home. "That's gonna be sweet!" Ron said. "Superpowers are going to be awesome, right Kim?"
She got on the helicopter without a word, burying her face in her hands from distress.
"Kim, are you okay?" Ron asked with great concern.
Kim shook her head. "I just have a really bad headache right now, that's all," she said, failing to see a good ending coming from this regardless of the choice she makes. "I'm sure it'll get better in the morning."
LONGEST CHAPTER FOR LONGEST WAIT
WHAT IN THE NEXT CHAPTER ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO READING?
-WILL PETER FIGURE OUT THAT BONNIE KNOWS HE'S SPIDER-MAN?
-WILL KIM TELL SPIDER-MAN THAT THE GJN IS EXPECTING THEM?
-ARE Y'ALL EXCITED TO SEE TONY STARK?
-WILL SPIDER-MAN SURVIVE THE SURPRISE VISIT FROM THE GJN?
-WHAT SIDE WILL KIM CHOOSE, IF SHE CHOOSES ONE AT ALL?
-WILL SHEGO CONTACT SPIDER-MAN AGAIN? DOES SHE KNOW WHAT KIND OF BATTLE SHE'S IN FOR?
-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF OUR NEW GREEN GOBLIN? DID WE WITNESS THE NEW ORIGIN OF ANOTHER SPIDEY VILLAIN?
-WHAT OTHER MARVEL CHARACTERS DO YOU WANT TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE?
P.S. YES, SPIDEY/MARVEL GOT NERFED WHILE EVERYBODY ELSE GOT BUFFED (THE SUITS), BUT REMEMBER THAT PETER IS ALMOST ALWAYS HOLDING BACK. HE'LL SHOW JUST HOW POWERFUL HE REALLY IS SOON ENOUGH.