How It Should Be

A/N: This fanfic is the product of my growing obsession with Norman Osborn and his alter, and is my first effort along such lines. It's difficult for me to decide who's speaking -- Norman or the Goblin -- and I think both might be equally true. Also -- and I didn't intend for it to happen this way, but it did -- this story might be taken as quasi-slash...but I didn't write it that way. However, if that's the way you choose to see it, go ahead. Eh, enough of my blathering; go on and read.



Spider-man.

I wonder; do you, at the end of a hard day's heroics, sleep easily, or well? Can you allow yourself the sweet oblivion of the little death? Or, conversely, is sleep a struggle for you, as it is for me?

Ah.

Sleep sweetly, little spider. Dream your dreams.

But consider, as I have, how much your dreams cost. You can't prevent every crime, even if you are superhuman.

Like me.

Oh, you bristled when I told you that. I could feel your indignation behind that mask. But consider this, little spider; the thing that makes a man angriest, the thing that pisses him off most, is when you tell him a truth about himself he's been trying to ignore.

Did it strike a nerve, hero? Did I press too hard, make you think about something you didn't want to? Well, then...

Think of the future, Spider-man. If you manage to defeat me, by whatever means, what then? There will be others like me, you should know that. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Heh. Do you think you could defeat me, little spider? You'd have to kill me. My other self seems, from his thoughts and actions, to find that outcome desireable. No matter.

Do you have the stomach to kill? Maybe you've asked yourself that question before, maybe not. What was your answer? I know mine already.

Normal humans are so pathetic that it's hard to avoid killing them. Why, then, do you champion them?

Why, indeed. Guilt. You stank of it when I asked you why you bother. And you excused yourself by telling me that it's the right thing to do, but truly, you don't want to examine your own motives too closely; they might crumble.

You can trust me in that, little spider.

You might not believe me, Spider-man, but things are so much clearer in the darkness than in the place your soul has made its home. The night can be your solace, your comfort, as it has been mine...if you'll let it. You know it's painful in the light; you can't stay there long.

But the darkness is a permanent home.

You could live there forever, hero, away from the stares and jeers of the masses you protect. Join me. Wrap yourself in the velvet dark, and let the dead bury their own.

Dead. That's what we'll both be if you insist on continuing this ludicrous contest. But I've accepted the inevitability of my own death and the complete darkness that entails.

Oh, sleep sweetly, little spider.

Because that's the ultimate joke, you see; you can't even keep yourself from the little death. The final darkness will be quite beyond your ken.

Oh, the exquisite dark...

Have you allowed yourself a secret darkness? If you had, I think you'd have discovered that the pleasures of the night are better, far better, than the pains of the light you so treasure. Besides...light breeds delusion.

Do you harbour the delusions of the day, little spider? Do you think that if you just save enough anonymous filth, the masses will accept you as their own? That they'll love you, and you'll fit in?

What gibberish. You have no more chance of fitting in than I do...unless you join me. Then, hero, they'll get used to far stranger and far worse than you and I.

I wonder, little spider, were you ever able to fit in even before you donned that garish mask and became a hero?

Why try so hard to fit in? After all, does it really matter what they think? Should you really kill yourself to please people who hate you? No, hero.

I know this answer because my other half was the answer; until I was created, and even after. Always trying to please everyone; his mother, his father, his little circle of friends...

And he couldn't. That's the thing, Spider-man; if you keep trying to please an entire city, you'll only end up destroying yourself.

Can't have that happen, now, can we?

You're too extraordinary to die. Come to the darkness, and you won't have to worry about any of this; sleep, the future, your guilt...it'll all take care of itself.

Imagine that, little spider. Imagine that.

That's how it should be.