Peter Parker woke up.

There was no fluttering of eyelids or drowsy groans. One minute he was asleep and the next he was awake. Although, he had no memories of falling asleep. He tried to recall his last moments. He remembered going out as Spider-man. He helped an elderly woman down some stairs, stopped a fight between two men and prevented a hold-up at a liquor store. A typical night in Queens. But, he could not remember coming home, saying good-night to Aunt May and falling asleep in his bed.

Yet, he found himself in bed, wrapped in blankets. Stranger though, as he rose up to call out to Aunt May, was recognizing that he wasn't in his bed. He wasn't even in his bedroom. Surrounding him were four bare walls, no windows and one single door. A door Peter imagined was locked.

His heart pumped faster. He got up from the bed, checking around the room. His senses weren't going off yet. Danger was not immediate, but that didn't make Peter relaxed. After a quick examination, he found nothing threatening. Everything was normal. Just a room with a bed, dresser and a single lamp on a single nightstand.

None of it answered the burning question in his mind-where the hell was he?

Someone redressed him. That much he was certain as he never owned such soft gray sweatpants in his life. Knowing that, he suddenly became uncomfortable. Someone removed his previous clothes. Saw him in his underwear or worse... did they see him naked? Peter pulled on his sweatpants and sighed in relief. He recognized his boxers. They didn't touch him there. That was good.

Well, that was not good, considering he was still at a loss of where he was and who brought him to the room.

Peter went to the door, his bare feet chilled from the cold temperature. He tried the door and as he predicted, it was locked. So, he opted to knock.

"Hey? Um... hello?" he called. "Anyone?"

No response. Peter sighed and pattered back to the bed to sit down. He thought of May. He hoped she was okay. That whoever took him didn't hurt her. Maybe they took her too? Holding her hostage? Trying to punish him for his meddling.

No, that couldn't be it. If they wanted to hurt him, they wouldn't lock him in a comfortable room. Nonetheless, he worried for his aunt. He prayed she wasn't hurt and was somewhere safe.

After all, Peter assumed the reason he was taken was because someone discovered his Spider-Man identity.

But who? Maybe those drug gangs in Brighton Beach? Or Jamaica? But again, which gang would offer him such accommodations than in a dingy cellar, tied to a chair? Or chained to a wall?

Peter heard a set of footsteps drawing closer to his door. He grabbed the edge of the mattress, holding it tight as footsteps stopped outside the door. Then, with a swipe and click, the door opened and Peter was confronted by a single man.

He was double Peter's size. Tall and muscular, with dark cropped hair and red-brown eyes that sharpened upon a single look at him.

"Follow me," the man commanded.

Peter did not. "Where am I?"

The man frowned. "Follow," he ordered again. "Now."

Where else could he go? If he stepped out of the room, there would be more opportunities to escape than remaining in the room. Leaving was his best option. Get out of the room and once he had access to a window or another door, he would make his leap for freedom.

Peter got up from the bed and went with the burly escort. To his immense disappointment, he saw no windows. The hallway was had nothing, but more doors. More cells Peter imagined, which got him more curious as to where he was. Who would orchestrate all of his? Were there more people behind those doors?

Peter tried to get the man to talk to him as they walked, but the man only grunted. No words. Just sounds. Peter accepted the lack of communication and went to silence for company. He took the opportunity to study his surroundings, take note of where he was compared to his room. He counted doors, counted corners and counted the number of people he saw in the hallway. Which were only two: the escort and a woman that got into an elevator. There was no one else.

The man shoved Peter into an elevator. "Level three," the man growled and upon command, it moved.

Peter gripped the side of the elevator, using his adhesives to keep him steady. The elevator was fast. They were barely riding it before it chimed and the door opened. The man yanked Peter by his shoulder, nearly throwing him off balance. Even with his own super strength, this man was strong enough to pull him right off his feet.

Again, no windows in this hallway either. Peter was marched down to a door. The escort opened it and directed Peter inside. The room was not the same as the one Peter woke to. The room had a table and a set of chairs surrounding it. There were some potted plants and a bookcase that had few, if interesting, books to read.

"Someone will come," the man told Peter and he closed the door.

Peter heard the click. He was locked in again.

He stood right by the door, eyeing the room with expected danger. Light on his feet, he moved further into the room, stopping at the first plant to search for some kind of camera or not. Nothing. He went to the next plant and then to the shelf, searching for anything, but all he found were dirt and books. Nothing dangerous. Yet.

Then a tingling sensation prickled the back of his neck. Warning. Danger.

Peter spun around right as the door opened. Instinctively, he raised his hands up, fingers balled and ready to fight.

A man in a suit walked in the room.

Peter's mouth dropped. "Y-You're… Tony Stark!"

Tony Stark stopped, tipped his chin down and his eyes peeked over the rims of his colored sunglasses. He stared. A part of his brow twitched up as he judged Peter from afar.

Peter was flabbergasted. Unbelievable! The famous icon stood not less than four feet away from him. This was Tony Stark! Iron Man! His hero!

He ditched the books and went right around the table to meet Tony. "I cannot believe this. I mean—Tony Stark!" he rambled excitedly. "You're Iron Man! And you're here. With me. Listening to me jabber on about, well, you, but… this is crazy! Oh my god…"

"Yeah, yeah," Tony brushed aside, probably used to flabbergasted fans. "You wanna take a seat?"

Peter immediately dropped in a chair.

Tony took a seat across him, hands resting flat on the table between them. "So… Mr. Parker, is it?"

"Peter Parker," Peter uttered, the smile not diminishing at all. He felt his heart racing ecstatically. He was literally seated across from Iron Man. This was his dream! "Sorry—I guess I should have said. It's just you're Tony Stark! And I'm really—"

"Do you talk this much?"

Peter quieted for a second. "Um… no," he said. "Just a bit nervous. You know? Meeting you—the ultimate hero! An Avenger—"

Tony sniffed and flippantly gestured. "Yeah, okay, so, I'm gonna talk now and all you need to do is listen. Got it?"

Peter nodded. He could do that. He could listen to Tony Stark talk all day.

Tony brought a Starktech gadget and with a few taps, a hologram popped between them. Tony hit the screen and the screen moved. Peter watched and felt his whole body become rooted to the seat.

"Wanna watch again?" Tony asked as he hit play again.

Peter watched someone swing onto the scene, dressed in baggy red and blue sweatpants and sweater. The person leapt in front of a bus full of school children and, with their bare hands, stopped an out-of-control driver from crashing into the bus.

Peter swallowed as he moved his eyes from the screen to Tony. The man watched him.

He had to think. Needed to think of something. "That's a, um, cool party trick," he commented. "Is he an Avenger or something?"

"No," Tony answered.


Tony switched the screens. Another video capture of the same vigilante, battling against two robbers who were trying to steal a TV from an apartment. Peter watched the vigilante knock one man out and stuck the other one with web to the side of the building. It lasted only 10 seconds.


"Nah-ah. Me first," Tony interrupted him. "Quick question of the rhetorical kind—that's you right?"

Peter flickered back to the frozen screenshot of the vigilante. "Err… no," he said. "Are you crazy? I can't… no one can catch a car like that. Or string up a man to a building. I mean… that's impossible."

"Video says otherwise."

"Those are from YouTube, right?" Peter tried his best to be nonchalant. "It's all fake. Done on the computer. You know, like with special effects and stuff."

Tony scoffed. "Oh—I'm aware," he said. "But this has no special effects. That's all you."

Peter put up a puzzled expression. "Um… No," he said. "No, no…not me. I-I can't do any of that."

Tony Stark shut down the screen. The barrier gone, Peter saw Tony's face clearly and the reading didn't look good.

Suddenly, Peter's spider-sense flared. Something came spiraling at him. Right in his face. Swiftly, Peter launched out of his seat. A flash surprised him and he lunged for the wall as something whizzed passed him.

He clung to the wall for a minute. The danger subsided and his senses returned to a normal sensation. He breathed a sigh of relief, until he remembered where he was.

Peter let go of the wall. His feet landed on the floor, already sensing Tony's eyes on him. Slowly, he rotated until he met the man's smirk of victory from across the table. He won.

"So… you're the Spiderling," Tony gestured to him. "Crime-fighting Spider. You're Spider-Boy?"

Peter closed his arms around him, dropping his gaze to avoid the awkward eye-contact. "S-Spider-man."

"Not in that onesie, you're not."

Peter frowned as he stared back at Tony Stark. This was not how he imagined his first talk would be with Mr. Stark.

"Not an onesie," he muttered.

Tony shrugged, uncaring. He pointed to the chair. A silent order to return to his seat. Peter pulled back his chair and took his seat. He didn't know why he felt disappointed. Or sad.

Once situated, Tony pulled closer to the table. "Let's get straight to the point here," he began. "You know about the Accords, right?"

Peter heard about it from the news. Him and his Aunt May briefly talked about it. Not much to discuss on it considering it didn't involve them. Well, at least, Aunt May didn't think it did.

He nodded and Tony continued on. "Good—you keep up with the news. Then you also know its purpose."

"To regulate Avengers' heroics."

"More or less," Tony said. "It's designed to regulate the activities of enhanced individuals. Keep the peace. Minimize damage. All good things."

Peter nodded along. He understood all of it. What he didn't understand was what it had to do with him. It almost got his heart fluttering in excitement. Was Tony Stark going to offer him a position on the team?

It wasn't a secret that the Avengers split. Captain America took almost everyone on the team and ran in the wind. Gone. Missing. Went under the radar to hide for the rest of their lives. They were the bad guys according to the government. They were the true enemies against the world.

Peter didn't see how. They were good once. They saved New York. They saved the world. How were they evil?

"To summarize, any and all enhanced individuals cannot participate in any policing or vigilante activities without registering with the Accords," Tony Stark continued and he pulled up the screen again, showing Peter's heroics as Spider-man. "Any individual who uses their powers to break the law or otherwise deemed to be a threat to the safety of the public, may be detained indefinitely without trial."

Peter's eyebrows furrowed at the end. He replayed Tony's words over his head as dread settling in the pit of his stomach. "Um… but that's just for the Avengers, right?" he said. "I mean… it's for heroes like you and, um, Captain. Not someone like me. I just look after the little guy."

Tony shook his head. "Not just for Avengers. It's for any and all enhanced individuals like you." He displayed a profile screen of Peter. How long had Tony Stark observed him? "And it says here that the spider hero is not registered with the Accords. That's against the law."

Peter picked the cuticles of his fingernails. He looked elsewhere, anywhere but at Tony Stark. This was definitely not how he pictured his meeting with Tony Stark would go.

"I—I didn't know that, sir," Peter answered. "I wasn't aware—"

"That's obvious," Tony said as he enlarged Spider-man's profile. He studied the notes made on him. "Got some strength in you. Can't tell by looking though."

Peter felt himself go small. "Look, um, am I in trouble?" he asked. "I mean… I didn't know!"

"You said that."

"I mean it though," Peter insisted, frantic rising. "Look—Mr. Stark, I'm sorry! Really! I didn't mean to break any laws."

"Others have said that too," Tony commented, "but the law is the law, kiddo."

Peter squirmed. Was he going to prison? What about Aunt May? Would she know where he went? Did she know where he was?

"Am I arrested?" he asked, doing his best to not cry in front of Mr. Stark. "Am I going to prison?"

Tony sighed, deeply. He turned off the screen and Peter saw Tony clearly once again. "No," he said, "you're not going to prison."

Peter relaxed a little bit. Yet, he could not shake the tension brewing in the pit of his stomach. There was something else. Something bad.

But he chose to ignore the feeling. "Thank you," he said with great relief. "I swear—I won't do anything wrong. I promise."

Tony tapped his finger on the desk, eyes narrowed on Peter in deep thought. "Yep. I know."

Peter nodded, clinging onto the hope that he could leave the room and go back to his apartment in Queens. Back to Aunt May. "So, um… is there a phone I can use?" he asked. "Call my aunt to let her know I'm okay? Tell her I'll be home soon or something. I don't want her to worry."

"You live with an aunt," Tony noted and suddenly, Peter's profile returned and he watched Tony add 'aunt' in the family category. "Noted. Okay… that'll be taken care of."

"Thank you," Peter said, but then panicked. "But don't tell her. She doesn't know and I can't have her freaking out because if she freaks out, I freak out."

"She doesn't know?"

Peter shook his head. "She can't know. Not after..."

He stopped talking. Uncle Ben's death was still fresh in his mind and heart. He died six months ago and he still caught her sniffling or gazing longingly at a photograph of Ben. Peter missed him terribly too. Some nights, he replayed that horrible tragedy and dreamed of it differently. Dreamed of a happy ending.

He took a deep breath, shaking away the sadness. "Anyway, she can't know," he said to Tony. "It'll break her heart."

Tony slowly nodded. "We'll take care of it."

Peter thanked him again. "So—how long will this take?" he asked. "When can I leave?"

Tony titled his head. "Leave?"

"Yeah, you know? Go home… I can go home, right?"

A long sigh as Tony ran a hand down his face. "That's not possible."


"You broke the law," Tony said. "You didn't sign the Accords and you participated in unsanctioned vigilantism."

Peter's mind raced. "But… I didn't know! I thought that was for Avengers," he argued as hysteria pinched his throat. "I thought you said I wasn't going to prison!"

"You're not," Tony said, calmed despite Peter's heightened frenzy. The man was unafraid. "But you're not leaving either."

Peter's brows crinkled in confusion. "I'm at a loss."

Tony got up from his chair and paced about in front of the table. "You're here because I need more enhanced individuals," he explained. "There's a war out there. Most people don't know it. More don't care. Too petty to be bothered, but war has come and Earth needs defenders."

Peter's face pinched in puzzlement. "So—you're making me an Avenger?"


"Then… I don't get what's happening."

Tony stopped and rested his hands on the back of a chair. "You've been recruited," he said. "You're going to stay here and learn to better yourself. Reach your full potential. That sort of thing."

Peter's face slackened. "What?"

"What? Were you not listening the last two minutes?" Tony sounded a bit annoyed that he had to repeat himself. "I thought you were smart? Don't you go to that fancy STEM school or something?"

Peter blinked, trying to compose himself from the shock. "I heard you, but I just… I don't get it," he confessed. "I can't leave?"


"But—I thought I wasn't going to prison?"

"You're not."

"Then why can't I leave?"

Tony groaned in agitation. "I'm not doing this circle again," he said, rubbing his temples. "You'll be escorted back to your room. Someone will come by later to explain everything. You can pester them with questions or whatever."

Peter shot up from his chair. "What—you can't do that! I have rights and I-I…" he said, thinking quick as he recalled all those Law & Order shows his aunt loved to watch. "I want my phone call! I want a lawyer!"

Tony stopped at the door. "Sorry, kid," he said. "Those rights aren't extended to those with enhanced abilities."


Tony Stark didn't wait. The door opened and he walked through, leaving Peter to run after him. Only, Peter never went passed the door. Something huge blocked him. He back-tracked, stumbling away as he tried to correct his balance.

It wasn't something. It was someone. The same person who escorted Peter earlier. "Ready to go?" he grunted.

Peter stood on his tip-toes, watching Tony's back retreat further down the hallway. Not a care at all. Peter had to stop him. He slid low, trying to move around the large guy.

The man caught Peter. He twisted Peter's arm, pinning them behind his back. Peter winced and wiggled in hopes to get out of the man's grip, but he was extremely strong. Like—super strong.

Unable to get out of the man's grasp, Peter resorted to his last option. He pleaded. "Please! Please—let me go!" he begged the man. "My aunt—"

"Don't care."

The man hoisted Peter right off his feet, painfully forcing him out of the interrogation room right back to the room he woke up to. The enforcer tossed Peter into the room with little effort and chuckled at the sight of Peter sprawled on the floor.

"Welcome to your new life, Spider-Boy."