Times of peace, times of fights, constant movement is our life

Can't stop no more, not until...we die

We long for more...eternity, and maybe there's another life

This one is short, no matter how you try

Ohh, but never give up all the hope to lead a good life

No, don't waste your given time to make things worse

Time...marches

Time...marches

On without us all, never stops, yes

Time...marches

Time...marches

On and on and on, flies eternally

Helloween - "March of time"

The teenager heroes were walking to Queens, to the home of May Parker. Miles Morales, Jessica Drew, Kitty Pryde, Lana Baumgartner, Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake. They all had fancy ways to move across the city, such as webs, flight, ice constructs and other powers, but they were simply not in the mood for it. All of them were sad. Some people in the streets recognized Johnny Storm, the former member of the Fantastic Four… before the breakup, before the Maker. Others recognized Kitty Pryde, the mutant who grew to giant size and stood against the purple alien that was about to destroy the world. But nobody interrupted them: just a look at their faces, and it was clear that they were not in the mood to give autographs or pose for selfies.

They did not tell May Parker what was about to happen. Not by phone. News like this have to be delivered personally. They all felt that Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, was the greatest of them all, the one who bonded them all together. Peter was not actually dead, but only Miles knew that, and was keeping the secret as Peter Parker wanted. May Parker was no superhero, but they also respected her as a motherly figure. She even allowed Johnny and Bobby to stay at her home after the Ultimatum, despite having absolutely no previous relation with them. And all the gang agreed on something: although the incoming incursion would not be revealed, to prevent the inevitable chaos and anarchy that it would cause, May Parker deserved to know. It was cruel to let her die without knowing that she's about to die. Yes, Nick Fury got a plan, but the perspectives were so bleak that they couldn't risk him being wrong.

May was happy to receive them at home. "I prepared cookies for all!", she said at the door. She had also called Ganke and Kong, thinking that they wanted to have a reunion like the last time they celebrated Peter Parker's life. Kong brought another classmate, Jessica Jones. Mary Jane was not there, she had left with Peter to some unknown destination. May realized immediately that something was wrong. "What happened? Did… someone else die?" They shared a look between themselves, told her that it was a bit more complicated, and asked to come in.

The whole problem, as it was explained by Vision, was of course too much to explain. They barely got the general idea, and they had already forgot a lot of what was said in there. Miles started then from an event that May knew about. "Do you remember the adult Peter Parker, that we met some months ago?", he asked. Rhetorical question. Of course that she remembers him. Who could forget something like that? Then he clarified: no, he didn't came back.

"The thing is the world where he came from. It is another, alternate world, that exists… somewhere. With its own people and its own society. Peter was the one we met, but as he explained, there is another May Parker, another Gwen Stacy, another Mary Jane..."

"Yes, the supermodel Mary Jane. I still can't get my head around that. A supermodel? MJ?", interrupted Gwen.

"Yeah, well, in theory there is an infinite number of alternate earths. But, long story short, all of them are being destroyed, by some… some thing we barely understand." said Miles. "Our world, and that Peter's world, are the only two worlds that still exist. And soon, there will be none."

Kong laughed at the idea. "Ha! Good joke! That's a good one! All the worlds being destroyed…!" Then he noticed that they were not laughing. "I mean, it's a joke, right? It has to be a joke! Please! Are you serious? The world is really going to end?"

"Yes, it is, Kong" said Kitty. "The details are too complicated, but yes, this is the end. We came to say goodbye. There's nothing we can do…"

"NO!", said May, smashing the table with her fist. "Everything lives. It lives before it dies, and we are judged by what we do during that time. Like a brilliant, life-giving star, we illuminate the universe, chasing away the shadows. We celebrate life and then celebrate that creation. This is simply how things are. It cannot be contained. It never will. So, we will not tolerate, we will not accept, to give life an early end. If the world is truly ending, if there is nothing we can do about it, we will not waste our last moments sad and worried. We will celebrate life!"

"Granny Goodness is right!" agreed Lana. "We might as well throw it all, and live like there's no tomorrow!". And, before he could react, she took Miles and gave him a passionate kiss. "Yeah, let's let's do this!", Ganke took Gwen, and gave her a kiss as well. Both Miles and Gwen rejected the advances. Gwen liked Ganke, but now he took things a bit too far, too quickly. Yes, the world was ending, but she wasn't in the mood for this. And, although Lana may have an unrequited crush on Miles, Miles had a girlfriend, Kate Bishop, and was not willing to betray her.

"You stop all that right now!", shouted May. "There will be no hanky-panty in this house. Not even in the face of Armageddon." Then she smiled again. "You, girl", she said to Jessica. "Jessica, right? You are that Spider-Woman, right? The one I met during the Ultimatum wave?"

"Yes, that's me, aun… Ms. May", she replied. She was about to call her "aunt", but refrained from doing do. She still has all the memories of Peter Parker from before the cloning, and usually finds to it hard to interact with people that he knew, as she has to keep apart the things she know, did and said by herself and those that Parker did.

"Peter once talked to me about you. That you were a clone made by that horrible man, Otto Octavius. That you have his powers and memories, but struggle to be your own person. So, tell me, which is your birthday?", asked May. Jessica got red of embarrassment. Yes, she remembers a birthday date, but that was Peter's. As a clone, she had not been "born", and had no birthday. She was unsure what to answer, but May continues: "Relax, Jessica! I understand it, you don't have a birthday! But that won't be! Let's fix that, right here and now! If you never had your own birthday party, and this is the last day, let's make a birthday party for Jessica! It falls in this day, because I say so! We have cookies, so let's order a cake, drinks, candies, snacks! Gwen, bring the stereo, we need music here! And some group games!"

The general mood changed with the proposal, and soon there was a whole party going on. A pair of hours later they started a "Truth or dare" game. Of course, May managed it, to make sure that the "no hanky-panty" was followed. The first turn was for Miles. "Dare", he said.

"You will have to stand in the roof…", and Miles relaxed, that's too easy! Then she completed the dare: "...with just one feet, and holding this big bowl of snacks. And none may fall to the ground!". That wasn't quite as easy. Advancing with just one feet requires to make little jumps from point to point, but when he tried to do that he almost fell to the ground: when he "jumped" he ceased to stick to the roof, and gravity would have ruined it all if he didn't manage to save the bowl before sticking to the wall again. So, he made a bigger jump from the wall to a point in the roof, while keeping the bowl safe. He did it, and managed to stay in a precarious balance… and then fell to the ground. Everybody laughed about the whole experience. Then it was the turn of Kitty Pryde. "Truth", she said.

"Mention some moment when you protested about something a parent or teacher did or said, but you later realized that they were right". She first thought about her mother, but did not remember any such cases. She initially left her at the Xavier School under strict instructions not to join in super heroics, and she did not like that. She still thinks that she was mistaken, so it was not an example. She thought about Charles Xavier then. "There was that night when MJ was missing and S.H.I.E.L.D. started a military operation right here to seize Peter. Do you remember it?". Jessica did not say anything. That was the night when all the clones of Peter came to light, herself included, and she does not like to remember it. "How could I forget that?" said May, "I had a heart attack because of it. There was even a fake version of Richard Parker, Peter's father. But Peter later told me all the madness of that night, and never mentioned you being in it". "The X-Men were on thin ice with S.H.I.E.L.D. at the time", Kitty explained, "so he acted in secrecy. We knew it when the TV reported it, and by the time we arrived here, everything was already almost resolved. When we discovered about your heart attack, I sneaked into the hospital with Jean Grey, to see if we could help somehow. I noticed that you had discovered Peter's secret identity, so I asked Xavier to erase that from your mind. He refused to do it, I insulted him for it, and almost blew our cover. But then I realized that it was for the best, and that the Professor was right to leave things that way." May ignored those events, but thanked Xavier for letting her keep her memories intact. Now it was the turn of Johnny Storm. "Dare", he said, so secure of himself.

"You have powers of fire. Bobby has powers of ice. Two opposite things. You will settle once and for all which one of you is better." "What? You want us to fight? And here, in your house? Our powers can be a bit destructive if not used with care, and this place is a bit more… fragile than the Baxter Building" asked Johnny, still confused by the dare. "Who said anything about powers? You will fight each other… with an arm wrestling!". That changed things. None of them had super strength, and relied on their super powers for superhero fights. They had never trained with weights, and it showed: when they removed their suits and got in T-Shirts, the girls mocked their scrawny arms. Even May couldn't help it and made a small repressed laughter. They both boasted their secure victory, sit in the table, started to press… and injured their muscles while trying. They had to stop, and it was a tie amid the general laughter. The next turn was for Lana. "Truth", she said.

"Please describe the most embarrassing clothes you had ever worn". "That's easy", she said without even stopping to think. "My first bombshell suit. I had a pink bandana, short trousers, and a top, leaving almost nothing to imagination. In my defense, I will point that I did not even want to be involved in any of that, it was my mom who wanted me to be a super villain alongside her." May was shocked: she had already met awful mothers, like Gwen's mom, but this? Forcing a little kid into a criminal life? "No offense, Lana, but your mom should be in jail! That's horrible!" "Oh, don't worry", said Lana, without losing her cool. "She is in jail already. I'm out on parole."The next turn was for Kong. "Dare", he said. He's always been the guy who can't resist a dare.

"I know that, some years ago, you hanged out with Flash Thompson, and kept bullying my Peter. Right? Did you ever apologize to him?" "Hey, wait! We were young guys back then! We have moved on, we don't do that anymore! I'm a good guy now! Flash has even joined the army recently!, protested Kong. "That may be right, but you did not answer the question. Did you ever apologize for it?", insisted May. "Well, I'm not sure. I mean we did not stop because of some event, we simply matured…". "Meaning: no" concluded May. "Then this is your dare: you will walk that corridor, minding your own business, as if you were in the school… and Jessica, who shares the memories of Peter, will kick you like you used to. And then we'll all be even." Of course, none of them took it like a delayed revenge, but as just another laughable prank. Jessica visibly acted as if she was going to kick him, failed the kick and fell to the ground. Everybody laughed again. The next turn was for Ganke. "truth", he said.

"what was that little gift you gave Gwen the last time you had been here?", she asked. A simple question this time. But Ganke got his face red of embarrassment. "I… I can't say that! It's something private! Please, I change to 'Dare'!". "You can't change it now, and you have to tell us! Those are the rules!" pointed Johnny. "Come on! Wasn't the world ending, or something? Shouldn't you be all out there, saving us?", protested Ganke, trying to elude the question. "You won't get out so easily! We'll know when that 'incursion' takes place, but until then, there's nothing we can do! Which means, we will all stay here to know that!" replied Miles. "What's the big problem, Ganke? It was something so cute! Why are you so afraid to say it?" added Gwen. Bobby pointed that Gwen obviously knew it as well, the gift was for her after all, but she refused to answer: the question was for Ganke, he should be the one to answer it. "Very well, I will say it. It was two of the Care Bears: Friend Bear and Love-a-Lot Bear. They were meant to represent us", he confessed. "I love the Care Bears! Wasn't that the most sweet gift he could have given me?" said Gwen. The general laughter lasted for several minutes, and three times it was about to cease and then started all over again. Poor Gwen had no idea that the reveal would be so embarrassing for Ganke.

Some minutes later it was the turn of the cake. They all got around it, and started singing. "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Jessica, happy birthday to you!", and she blew out the candles. A simple and traditional event that everyone does each year, but Jessica never did, as a result of her weird origin. But still, she got the chance to do it, before the end came. And with only some minutes to spare before the estimated hour of the event, they left the house and watched the sunset.

Too many people, too much trouble, too many problems in the morn.

Another sunrise in the rubble, another ship sunk by the storm.

Some little angel tries to tell me that it's over.

It's just a bad reflection from above.

The load upon my shoulder makes me stronger, even bolder.

Oh no no, I haven't had enough.

Heaven can wait, 'til another day.

Cause there ain't no reason to leave.

The world is a stage where we all can play.

Another fine reason to live, and heaven can wait, heaven can wait.

Each day a new reason to give up, each day another reason to sigh.

A hundred thousand ways to live up, a hundred thousand ways to try.

Hey, little angel, don't you tell me that it's over.

You're just a bad reflection from above.

The load upon my shoulder gives me reasons to get older.

Tell the boss I hadn't had enough.

Heaven can wait, 'til another day.

Cause there ain't no reason to leave.

The world is a stage where we all can play.

Another fine reason to live, and heaven can wait, heaven can wait.

Gamma Ray - "Heaven can wait"