"Who are you," the soft voice spoke as they stood upon a tower.

The sun was shining, its radiant light reflecting off the multitudes of gasses and particles causing the sky to appear in a vibrant calming blue.

Disoriented, as if he had just discovered he had consciousness, the boy looked around at the setting he found himself in. Pigeons were soaring across the horizon, automobiles and their unfortunate drivers were stuck dealing with traffic down below on the bridge, and up on the tower, a brunette boy with bright blue eyes was standing with the prettiest girl he had ever seen.

"This is where it happened…" he thought, his memories slowly making their way to his subconscious self.

She looked exactly like she did on that day.

Wearing the same green coat, same black shirt, same purple skirt, and the same headband she enjoyed maybe a little too much.

He looked at her with disbelief within his eyes, mouth quickly forming into the biggest smile he could possibly muster – a smile that only her sight, her body, her being could bring.

"It's-its me Gwen!," Peter said as he interlaced their hands together affectionately, "It's me, Peter!" He answered her question, pulling her into a great big hug.

But she did not reciprocate it, nor did she when he grasped for her cold hands.

In his embrace, she remained the same.

Just standing there, limply – no warmth to her as if life had left her long ago, leaving only the cold, heartless touch of death.

"Who are you?" she said again, her voice causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand with the fierce tone that hauntingly reverberated throughout the world they were in.

The boy pulled away, gazing at the girl whose skin was swiftly changing into that of a deathly white. She refused his actions though, forcing his hands to remain on her shoulder with her unbreakable trance that hastened his heartbeat to speeds that made him want to tremble in pain.

"Who are you?" she demanded to know, staring blankly with her cold dead eyes as the sun above them died out.

"It's me, Peter...Peter Parke-,"

"No you aren't," she boldly interrupted the boy's declaration of his name, refusing his answer adamantly. Perplexed at her answer, confused, scared with the dying of the light around him, and stuck in a panic-inducing trance he could not break free, the girl asked her questions again.

"WHO ARE YOU?" her voice asked with such fury and rage that the boy winced in fear – he trembled in fact, despair coursing through his body as dread had tears begin welling in his orbs of blue light.

He tried his best to let go of her, to look away, but he couldn't, she wouldn't allow it, not until he answered her question.

"WHO ARE YOU?!" her voice echoed within his mind now, causing him to sweat and stumble, unable to form coherent words as his body moved by itself.

"WHO ARE YOU!?" His eyes widened as he had both hands on her neck.

To his great fear, he could see red and blue cloth enveloping his body, giving him strength, giving him power, giving life to not just the world around him, but to the girl before him.

And in a moment, in a moment where the sun was shining, where the girl was alive, where the costume was on, the boy looked into her into the girl's blonde eyes, his hand holding her cheek, as the other held the back of her head lovingly.

There was a loud 'snap.'

It echoed throughout the world, causing a great cataclysm that sunk the world into the deepest darkest abyss.

The boy snapped her neck.

He killed her.

He jolted out of bed, eyes wide as he panted heavily.

He had the same nightmare again.

The same horrifying dream that left him sweating in his bed with tears welling in his eyes.

Chapter 1: I Get Along Without You Very Well

Looking around he found himself in his dimly lit room and sighed. He shifted from his position and sat down on the side of his bed, still breathing heavily as he rested his head within his hands in a fruitless attempt to comfort himself; he stayed like that until his breathing soothed his heart. Looking past the strands of his brunette hair, his azure eyes glazed at the vibrant red light that belonged to his digital clock.

He sighed once more, realizing that he once again woke up well into the afternoon, keeping the ever-growing streak going.

He left his position, deciding to scour the mess of clothes that decorated the floor of his neglected room. The lack of light combined with the lifelessness and lack of energy he had made it difficult for him to find a pair that was not dirtied so he reluctantly decided to move his window curtains to brighten up his depressing room without blinding himself to its electrical light.

Preparing himself to be blinded by the overbearing summer light, he squinted his eyes as he parted his blue curtains but to his surprise, darkened clouds hovered above not just Long Island, but all of New York once again.

"Good to know you're feeling the same way I am, God," He joked with a small chuckle but his voice lacked anything positive, and his laugh was devoid of any joy.

He turned to see his reflection in the mirror which had grown to be even more unrecognizable as he wore a stained sleeveless shirt with a pair of wrinkled boxers. His brown hair had grown enough to cover most of his neck and his bangs long since covered his blue eyes.

He wanted to cut it but he would, like his room, deal with it later.

"Least I'm still shredded," he thought, looking at his muscular body that was littered with scars.

It was one of the few things he liked about his reflection.

One of the few things he liked about the visage of Peter Parker.

Peter went back to his original task of finding clothes that were suitable for the weather. He started picking up clothes from his floor but felt his face go inwards as they emitted a horrible stench that annihilated any notion of wearing them.

He decided to look under his bed, knowing he exhausted all the clothes his dresser had. With the limited space available, all he could do was go on his knees and have his hand aimless search for the clothes that hid in the shadows of his wooden frame but as he was looking for something, he stumbled upon something else – something soft and smooth, lightweight with a unique elasticity that allowed for movement of inhuman levels.

Stumbled was the wrong word for he knew it was there, he knew what he grabbed.

The webbed pattern that stood a layer above the spandex cloth was a dead giveaway.

He sat back down, silence ringing inside of his head as he just stared at his own reflection within the lenses. There were scratches on the one-way white plastic he created and dark spots caused by explosives within the fabric of the mask. It was torn in some places and the webbed design was starting to peel off the fabric but despite the lack of care, Peter still looked at his reflection within the lenses with a wistful gaze.

Peter gazed at it, his body moving without thought to scrub off the soot that was on the lens he remembers designing until they perfectly fit his tastes.

He let out a small – genuine smile.

He hasn't been doing that much as of late.

Looking at it– along with himself and feeling something other than disdain was even rarer.

But as he looked at his own reflection within the lenses, the memories came back and so did the loathing he retained for both it and himself.

He squinted his eyes and looked away.

"I am Spider-Man, no more," he softly declared, reiterating his vow. It's almost been two years and what happened? His uncle died, his girlfriend's father died, his girlfriend died, countless people he couldn't save died… and how many of them were his fault?

The answer was all of them.

All of them died because of him.

But still, even after making so many vows, he's still found himself questioning himself more and more as the days go by.

He could feel the migraine coming again, the painful throbbing within his head, the suffocating feeling that found itself within his lungs, the rapid beating of his heart…

...the glare that's never wavered.

He knew she was there, waiting for his answer but he refused to look at her – refused to acknowledge her existence. He couldn't bring himself to, just like how he couldn't bring himself to wear the mask.

He was Peter Parker, just some kid from Queens.

That's all.

He threw the mask across his room and lowered his head in shame. She still stood there though, her cold breath putting his body on high alert as she awaited his answer.

He still couldn't give it to her.

Peter managed to find some clothes, ignoring the presence before going to the bathroom and taking a shower.

Hearing the footsteps of her nephew creak the staircase he walked down, a woman approaching her elderly years as shown by her gray hair slightly smiled as she took the meal she prepared hours prior from the oven so that she could serve it to him as she always did.

"Good morning…Aunt May…" Peter said in his dreary half-hearted voice, devoid of all enthusiasm and energy it once had.

"Morning? Peter, it's three o'clock in the afternoon," May Parker jovially declared to her nephew who seated himself in their modest dining room that could fit an average family. The dark and gloomy outside contrasted against the warmly lit house that the two sole members of the Parker family called home.

The loving Aunt's light-hearted declaration had the adverse effects she wanted on the boy, his gaze falling onto the ground in shame as he mumbled an apology which caused the woman to chuckle.

"Peter, you don't say 'sorry,' you say, 'good afternoon,'" She lectured, taking the food she was going to serve him out of the microwave, she served it to him before kissing him on the side of his head before going back to washing the dishes.

"Yeah…" he murmured, diving into his food without a thought of praying – something his Aunt would normally reprimand him of but she overlooked it given that missing a prayer was the least of his worries.

Aunt May's gaze fell, the light-hearted attitude she was trying to put up quickly faltering as her ceaseless attempts to see the light Peter's eyes once had failed once more.

"You know, Peter…" she tried to say to get a response from the boy but he didn't bother looking, what little desire he had being focused so that he could eat the spaghetti she had made, "...Your friend Johnny called earlier," at this though, she did get a response as the Peter looked at her, surprised.

Figuring she was on the right track, she continued, "He wanted to know if you were available tomorrow to hang out."

"I don't know…" he replied, hesitation in his voice twirling the spaghetti with his fork. There was a deep wish to see his friend again, to talk to someone – to do something, but that was silenced – overrun – drowned by the desire to just be left alone.

"I think it's a wonderful idea, Peter, it's been a long time since you've left the house," May said giving her opinion, trying to nudge her nephew into taking the invitation but all she got was an inaudible murmur.

She sighed, dropping any attempt to be the beacon of light she was not, and ceased washing the dishes, turning to her Peter once more with worry overflowing in her aged eyes, "You know… he's worried about you, Peter, he asked me if you were alright," May said with a suddenly serious tone.

She'd tried to have this conversation before but always stopped herself before going too far.

"I'm worried about you too," May added, hoping that it would push for some sort of change, some new reaction.

"I promise I'm fine, Aunt May," Peter stated with false confidence, everything about him betraying what he said, but said everything also informing her that he did not want to talk.

The conversation ended soon after, the both of them feeling an awkward silence but Peter didn't care, and Aunt May didn't know what to do, so the silence stayed.

The only things that could be heard were the twirls of Peters's fork, Aunt May washing the dishes, and the T.V. playing in the background.

"...It's been one month since The Brooklyn Bridge Disaster which claimed countless lives that hundreds of families are still grieving about, including the lives of thirty-seven-year-old, CEO of Oscorp, Norman Virgil Osborn and daughter of the late and great police captain George Stacy, sixteen-year-old, Midtown Highschool student, Gwendolyn Stacy; both of whom, along with the rest being victims of The Green Goblins final attack which we now know was thwarted by Spider-Man, whose absence has still continued. With crime at its peak, growing unrest on the streets and fear in the hearts of many, there is one question that is on everyone's mind right now: will we see the costumed vigilante again, or has the time of The Amazing Spider-Man finally arrived?"

"I sure do hope that he comes back soon, wouldn't you say so Peter?" Aunt May said absentmindedly, striking conversation up once more as plates clanged under her soapy grasp.

"...I don't know…" Peter replied, doubt emanating in his voice from the train of questioning that left him uncomfortable and desiring a change of topic or better yet – silence.

"Why?" May said in a confused manner as she looked at her nephew, "I was under the assumption that you thought he was a hero," she stated, causing Peter's mind to enter conflict with itself.

A conflict that was swiftly won as shown by the aversion of his gaze.

"Peter?" Aunt May called out his name, wanting to know if he even heard her.

"If…if he was a hero, Aunt May...then how come he couldn't save her?" Peter reluctantly asked Aunt May – the only person he could ever ask for guidance - a question he so desperately needed an answer to.

"Peter…" May said as she paused her dishwashing, "...He's not God you know, he can't save everyone-"

"Yeah, well like God, he lets them die," Peter bitterly spat to his aunt who looked at the soured boy with wide eyes, understanding of his turmoil beginning to dawn over her.

"Is that what this is about…?" Aunt May reluctantly asked, though Peter didn't respond but this all but confirmed her suspicions, "It wasn't Spider-Man who threw Gwen off the bridge," she told him, ceasing her chore and taking off her yellow rubber gloves to stand beside her nephew.

"...He let her fall..." He argued against his better judgment in his disheartened voice.

"But he tried his best to save her as he did the others," Aunt May defended Spider-Man, but this infuriated Peter – caused his anger to instantly flare out, and with a loud bitter roar, Peter said:

"AND HIS BEST WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH! GWEN STILL DIED, AND IT'S HIS FAULT!" He slammed his fist against the table, tears welling in his eyes and though his Aunt instinctively recoiled at the sudden outburst of emotion, she quickly closed the gap between her and Peter to comfort the boy who finally showed emotion to her.

"Peter….we all make mistakes...sometimes we aren't good enough...and superpowers or not, Spider-Man is still a man, no different from the rest of us…" May paused as she placed her hand on his shoulder, trying to find the right words – the right things to say, "...What's important is that he doesn't let those mistakes stop him from doing what's right."

"And how's he supposed to do that?" Peter asked from under his breath, breaking eye contact with his Aunt once more to look at the ground, doubt washing itself over his face.

"By doing the hardest thing: forgiving yourself," She stated with passion as if she spoke with experience, "I believe in Spider-Man, Peter, you should too. It takes a special kind of person to be able to have the gifts he has and use them for the sake of others. I know Mr. Stacy – God rest his soul, believed in him among many others, and I know that if my Ben were here today, he would pray for him every day for all that he has done for us," she wholeheartedly declared to Peter who refused to listen to her words – refused to believe them.

"What if you're wrong?" He doubtfully asked his Aunt who let out a small laugh.

"Well it wouldn't be the first time – or the second, but I'm willing to bet that I'm not," she reassured Peter who internalized her words before looking down once more.

"What if I can never forgive him," Peter asked once more, turning his gaze back onto his aunt, his blue eyes exposing vulnerability, confusion, conflict, and doubt.

"Then you'll continue pinning the blame on those who aren't responsible," Aunt May stated to Peter before taking a pause, "You really mean yourself when you talk about Spider-Man, don't you, Peter?" She declared to the brunette boy who hesitantly nodded in response.

"I…I keep thinking…that maybe if I was there with her that day… then mayb–"

"You can't be hanging yourself up on maybe, Peter, that's only going to give you more pain. You couldn't have done any more than Spider-Man could that day," Aunt May comforted Peter, putting her hand over his to soothe his body and his thoughts.

"He could've done more…" He stubbornly mumbled.

"Maybe he could've, we really don't know, but I do know that he will do more the next time when he comes back," Aunt May confessed to Peter who huffed in amusement – genuine amusement.

"What makes you think he'll come back?" He challenged her belief with a lighter infliction – with life in his voice.

"Because the city needs him Peter and for the brief moment I was with him, never did he strike me as someone who would willfully ignore someone in need, whoever they are." Aunt May finished.

Peter looked on as she left her spot to continue her dishes, staring absentmindedly as he took in everything she said. Everything within his body screamed at him that she was right but as he saw the silhouette that stood afar outside his window, he still questioned himself.

Still questioned if he really could forgive himself for what happened.

His Aunt's words were not forgotten, however.

"Hey, Aunt May," Peter said as he gained his aunt's attention.

"Thank you."

After finishing his food he left his house in Forest Hills much to his Aunt's worry but he reassured her that he would be back by eleven. With great reluctance, she agreed to let him go after she approved of what he was going to wear. Donning heavy clothing which was underneath a red raincoat, waterproof black pants his Uncle wore for fishing, and blue rubber boots, she kissed him on the forehead, allowing him to leave the home to get some air but not before sternly telling him that he should return one hour before midnight.

He nodded and she let him go.

His walk through Queens was a peaceful one, albeit a windy one but the strong winds didn't phase him like they did most people. Though he stopped about mindlessly, his subconscious had a destination in mind, and unbeknownst to Peter, he soon found himself walking down an old path in a park he's been down a million times.

The trees rattled in the fierce wind, the sound of the leaves violently shaking with the whistle of air in motion casting a melancholic ambiance that was only furthered by the absence of others.

He could hear the sound of the lake nearby and fondly remembered a spot he used to go to with his Uncle. Peter changed his course and reached the entrance that belonged to a small bridge that arched over a river that led to the lake. Walking to the top of the arch and leaning over the edge of the stone warriors which prevented his fall, Peter gazed at the dark blue water that reflected the countless trees and monotone sky.

He took in a deep breath as he recalled and relived the fond memories he had with Benjamin Parker.

The old man always liked this spot – it was quiet, peaceful, and removed from the outside world and all the unneeded problems it brought.

What would Uncle Ben think of him if he saw him like this?

Would he be disappointed? Would he be sad? Would he understand?

Peter let out a saddened smile as his uncle would most likely just walk to his side and wrap his arm around his shoulder in an attempt to comfort him.

He needed his uncle right now, needed to hear his voice and his infinite wisdom.

He needed him to tell him another corny catchphrase.

He let out an empty chuckle.

He missed him so much.

He solemnly looked down at the river beneath him, looking at his own reflection once again but to his confusion, in a twist, he did not see the reviled form he loathed but one that made his heart beat with hope - with love.

He saw his Uncle.

He blinked multiple times, wondering if it would go away but it didn't.

He was smiling at him, his warm blue eyes looking at his own.

He missed him so, so much.

If he just stopped that man that day, Uncle Ben would still be here.

Instead, he died senselessly.

With another blink, his Uncle's reflection twisted and malformed into his own, but instead of seeing his own blue eyes, he was greeted with white lenses reflecting his body. He could see Spider-Man, copying his movements, casting an aura which forced the boy to hold his gaze.

"Not senselessly. You gave it meaning" He declared in his stern voice.

He knew what his mind was trying to tell him but as he could feel the cold gaze yet again he looked the other way.

"You looked the other way before," Spider-Man bitterly stated as memoires began playing in his mind.

He closed his eyes as the sound of police sirens began to ring throughout his head.

He could hear his aunt crying in the back as the voice of the officer spoke to him.

"Your uncle's been murdered."

"And you're doing it again," the soft voice of Gwen spoke behind him.

"What do you want from me?!" he asked, breathing heavily as he turned around to face the girl, "I thought you wanted Spider-Man gone," he furiously asked but she wasn't there.

No one was.

He turned to the river only to see his own ugly reflection.

He looked around as the leaves whistled around him and sighed, "Maybe I'm not as fine as I thought I was…" he said as he went the way he came.

He decided to go into the main part of Queens, hoping that the area that bustled with people and cars would distract him from his internal struggle.

He always liked how walking through Queens was like traveling around the world. You could have Tibetan dumplings for lunch and empanadas for dinner. There was a little Italy, little China, and little everything, and the best part about it was that there were so many different people from so many different places, with so many different stories.

He looked through a restaurant's front windows as he walked outside on the sidewalk. There were people enjoying time together with family, friends…

...He didn't have many friends, with one of them dead and the other ghosting him, the only friend he really had was Johnny and he hadn't talked to him in days.

He should take him up on his offer to hang out tomorrow.

He was lucky to have him as a friend, he was even going out on patrols to make up for Spider-Man's absence, Matt as well but Matt was...well, he was Matt.

He looked up at the horizon, looking at the city whose call he had to fight everything within him to ignore.

People were getting hurt, crimes were happening much more now and if Matt's info was right, there was even a new player in town.

The city needed him now.

Knowing about all the things that were happening and realizing that he was just sitting around selfishly was killing him in the inside but could you blame him? He watched the girl he loved die right in front of him, because of him.

"Because of Spider-Man," he corrected.

He could feel raindrops start hitting his head, taking him out of his thoughts. Quickly putting up his hood, not wanting to get his hair wet Peter looked up to hear the growls coming from the clouds, taking it as a sign to head back home, but despite this, his gaze was still locked on the city that sat on the horizon.

He looked down the street he was on, noticing the endless cars that went as far as the eye could see.

But from afar he could see a bus with orange lights on it.

He turned back to the city that seemed to be calling to him and then back to the bus he knew too well.

He forgets when his simple walk around Queens becomes a walk down the city streets he's spent so much time soaring above. The rain was going full force now as he was standing within the heart of the storm. The rain gear he was wearing however made him all but invulnerable as his body, except for his face, remained dry from the storm that blackened the sky.

He would have to thank his aunt later.

He always liked the rain, there was something about it that always soothed his mind; It was like a shelter he could take solace in – find peace in. He walked down the desolate streets, wondering where all the people were for it was only seven O'clock and no one was around. Sure, there might currently have been a rainstorm going on but it was still New York, the city that never sleeps.

With all the crime going on however he couldn't fault people for wanting to stay indoors. Superstitious and cowardly criminals went as well with rainstorms as peanut butter did with jelly.

To his surprise though, he did hear the rumbling of a motorcycle. His hood hid his blue eyes as he watched the Harley drive past him with interest. The driver from what he could briefly see was a girl – at the very least her build was, as her face was covered by a visored helmet, her black locks flowing in the wind as she drove past him, not even batting an eye.

He would be lying if he said he never wanted a motorcycle, taking the transit sucked, and cars were far out of his budget – motorcycles were too but he could dream.

He couldn't drive though.

"One day," he said to himself, and on that day the world's first wall-riding motorcycle would come to existence. He wondered what the raven-haired girl was doing at this time, hopefully not sulking like he was, and off to go someplace where people cared about her.

With how angry the weather was though, he was more so wondering if it really was safe to drive her pitch-black motorcycle in her pitch-black attire in the pitch-black weather – she didn't have spider-powers that could have her survive a car crash unscathed.

But he did.

He couldn't help but remember the words of his Uncle. They belonged to his father apparently, and from what he found, they were an abbreviation from the gospel of Luke

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke, 12:48)

Peter did tell his aunt he would keep up with the bible.

He would never tell her that he liked his Uncle's words more.

Her relationship with God was a lot stronger than his.

That statement could actually be disputed because he and God do have this little game. It hasn't been long since the game started so they're still working on the finer details but it works like this: God does something really spiteful to someone Peter cares about, and Peter gets to ask questions.

They usually go like, "Hello God, it's Peter again, why did you do this to me?"

He looked up and actually started talking to the one who stood above all.

"Why did you give me these powers? Why do you insist on making my life hell? Like am I supposed to be the modern-day Job?" he looked down, trying to find words, trying to order his thoughts, growing storm of thoughts before looking up again, "I know my aunt speaks highly of me and I know my uncle thought that I was destined for great things but... I'm just Peter Parker...a guy from Queens..." he said, finally putting his head down, "If this is a test then let me fail because I got something to tell you...I'm this close to breaking," he said as he looked at his own reflection on the side of the building.

He didn't do anything and that's what got his Uncle killed. He put on a costume and helped people and that's what got Gwen killed.

What was he supposed to do?

God replied by casting fierce winds that sent his hood fiercely off his head, drenching it in water as Peter grew increasingly irritated at the thousands upon thousands of questions he had that remained unanswered.

"C'mon God! Give me something!" he yelled, not wanting this question to join the ones that have remained unanswered.

Thunder roared as he heard the faint sound of cars crashing.

Instinctively, in a heartbeat, he looked towards the direction where it came from but before he could investigate a sudden sharp throbbing pain sent his mind into a frenzy – preventing him from going to aid and causing him to lean against the glass building next to him as support.

He was worried, people could be getting hurt right now and he was stuck in place because of a migraine.

He didn't want more people to die.

The headache subsided and finding strength once more Peter aimed to move to where the sound of echoing car horns came from, but the cold chill on his neck, the glare that pierced deep into the soul, spurred him to turn around in a reluctant trance and look at the window that was beside him.

There she stood.

Her dead eyes hauntingly looked at him as she stood limply, like a puppet on strings. Her mouth opened and as he expected her question as she always did, "Now is the time to choose," she stated in her layered voice, surprising Peter and putting him on the spot.

He broke and rebuilt the gaze he had with her multiple times, opening and closing his mouth, trying to say what he wanted but, "I can't…" Peter confessed, saying all he could to the presence that controlled him.

"Leave then, let someone else bear the burden," She said as lightning struck.

"There is no one else!" Peter urgently yelled as the thunder roared with him.

"There was the girl, she could help."

"You know I can't just leave it to someone else," Peter argued, not wanting to bet on the off chance the girl on the motorcycle would help, and wanting even less for her to danger herself.

"Can't or won't?" she asked as lighting once again struck once again.

Peter paused and looked at her cold dead eyes before letting out a sigh.

"They're the same thing," He said in a defeated tone, looking away as the thunder growled above.

"Then answer the question…" she demanded.

He sighed in defeat, heart sinking to the blackest depths as he was going to give her the answer – accepting all that came with it, but a monstrous roar reached his ears.

Gwen just looked at him blankly.

The roar was followed by an even louder crash with car horns echoing down the streets.

"Who are you?"

He gave his answer when he heard the cry for help. As he ran at a pace faster than most cars, he could hear the soul-shattering snap that would haunt him for the rest of his days, but he didn't look back.

He didn't see the smile that crossed her face as it watched him run off.