Are my eyes open? I think they are, but why am I still dreaming? I can't move, I can't think, I can't see anything but cloudy shapes…

"Wake up, little spider."

There, something green…

"You're not dead… yet. Just paralyzed."

A distorted face, a mask… yellow eyes, no- eyes behind the mask, a voice speaking…

"You and I are not so different." I hear his voice, but what is he saying? I can't think, where am I? The Bugle, the office, Jameson, the Goblin, the gas… Drugged… I've been drugged… Where am I now? Gravel underneath me, glass behind me… I must be on a roof…how long has it been? It wasn't dark then, but now… I don't see any light. Just the Goblin. He keeps talking, but does he know I can't hear? I can't think? I can't understa- wait, what? Did he just ask me to join him?

"Why do you continue to fight me?"

I find my voice, at last.

"Because it's right."

He keeps talking again, about heroes and fools, creation and destruction, hate, and love… anything to make him stop. "Okay."

"Eventually they will… what? What did you say?"

My head is swimming. "I said 'Okay.' I don't need your speech, I don't want to tear the city apart fighting you, I just need some quiet until my head…" I trail off, momentum lost.

"So does that mean…?"

"Sheesh, you're supposed to be the smart one around here, yes! I'll join you! Whatever it takes, just make the pain stop." The world starts to go black again, and the Goblin has stopped his rant… peace at last. Before I black out again, a blast of cool city air hits my face. He has peeled off my mask.

"Oh, Peter…" His voice has changed, no longer the shrill whine that bored into my skull, it's now familiar… those eyes… they come closer, my body is lifted… who? The world fades away again, the whirring sound of the glider a comfort below the strong arms… "Sleep, my son, sleeeep. The goblin need not fight the spider any longer."

----------------------------------------------------------

The sun is shining through a window, prying its way between my eyelids. I roll over onto my side, and immediately I can tell three things: I'm in a bed, I'm not in my own room, and I'm undressed. I sit up and look around, the sheets falling to my waist. The window is tall, the bed is large, and the room is ornately decorated. There, beside a desk, hanging on the back of a chair, is my spider outfit. My mask is on the floor beside it, having fallen off. Peeking beneath the sheets, I see I'm wearing boxers. They aren't mine; I can't wear boxers under my spider outfit. There just isn't room under the spandex. So, somebody must have dressed me, realizing that if I slept in my outfit I'd get too hot. Now, who would that have been?

I wrack my brains, trying to remember the events of last night… I remember pain, the Goblin, and something important… what was it? Ohh yeah. I said I'd join him. I know I'm going to regret that now, but what the hell… I'll play along for now. It could be worth it, after all. If the Goblin knows who I am, I might as well find out who he is. Now, how did I get here? I vaguely remember flying away from the rooftop, and I think… I think the Goblin carried me. There was something about him, once he took off my mask… something oddly familiar, comforting, almost loving… almost like a father. He's now the only one who knows my secret identity, and he wouldn't… he wouldn't have shared it with anyone, would he? As far as I know, he works alone… or at least he did, until last night. So assuming that's the case, this would mean that he undressed me. I shudder at the thought. I have half a mind to just suit up again and leap out the window, if only to find out where I am… but no, I want to know who-

There's a knock at the door.

"Peter, are you awake?" He knows my name. That voice, who is it? I can't quite place it, but I answer.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

The door opens. I can't believe it; I must not be awake after all. Or maybe he found me out on the street, but my outfit… he knows, whether it's him or not-

The person in the doorway is Norman Osborne, my best friend's father.

"Good morning." He says lightly. "Can I come in?"

I nod, and he comes in, closing the door behind him. He takes my outfit off the back of the chair and sits down, holding it on his lap.

"So."

I say nothing, waiting for him to continue. He fidgets nervously, trying to find his words. This is not the Norman I know, something's bothering him. He would normally take something like this in full stride, not hesitating for a moment, but something has made him nervous, unsure of himself.

"How did this happen?" He gestures with the spider outfit, indicating my transformation into Spiderman. I glance down at my hand, where the bite wound from the spider has healed into a little two-marked scar.

I point to it and explain, "I was bitten by a genetically altered spider. When I woke up the next day, I was…this." I indicate my newly muscular body, completely changed by the spider DNA infused into my bloodstream.

"I see," Norman replies, "Well, um… I'm glad you've decided to join up with me, or else this miraculous twist of fate would have been for naught. I'd have been forced to kill you, you see." I swallow a large lump in my throat. That settles it for sure, Norman is the Green Goblin. "Now as for myself… well, it would be easier to explain in my lab. But before we go, I'm sure you'd like to freshen up a bit? Perhaps get some breakfast?"

I nod, only half listening. He leads me down a hall to a bathroom, where I jump into the shower quickly. Just as I'm about done, I hear the bathroom door open and close again. I turn the water off and slide the stall door open, and on the floor is a change of clothes. I gratefully slip into them, and venture back out into the hallway. I follow it down to a large room, which judging by the appliances and the table with cereal on it, is the kitchen. There, sitting at the table, pouring a bowl of Cheerios, is Norman. I sit down across from him, and he pushes me the bowl of Cheerios, and pours another for himself.

"I gave you some of Harry's extra clothing, you two have always been about the same size."

"Thanks." I start to eat, and he again fumbles for what to say. It's so unlike him to be so unsure of himself like this, it's almost as though he's arguing with himself in his head.

"So tell me about yourself, ever since you and Harry moved into your flat downtown, I hardly get to see you anymore."

"Well, you know how it goes," I respond, chewing thoughtfully, "Rush to school, rush to work, rush to save the day, rush home. Same old same old." I glance up from my bowl, grinning. He doesn't seem amused. In fact, he hardly seems to be listening. "And in my spare time, I practice."

"Hm? Practice what?"

"Web-slinging, mostly. My aim's not perfect just yet."

"Indeed? Tell me more. What else can you do?"

"Climb any surface, jump long distances, lift heavy objects… that's about it."

"Fascinating," He mumbles, obviously rushing off into thought again. "You'll have to accompany me down to the lab. There I can explain… not everything, but a good portion of it."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So that's how I found myself slinging my way through New York City, following in the wake of the Green Goblin on his glider. Amazing where life takes you.