He woke up, still on the couch. Tony was holding him, but let go the second Peter's eyes opened. His body was shaking, he had to stop, but there was no way to make his body obey. It was cold, so cold. Not the dark, please not the dark. Tony took a blanket and threw it over him and he huddled in it like a child, cowering away from the outside world. Peter didn't want to trust Stark; he hated even the idea of trusting him. Why couldn't his heart remember that this was the man who'd betrayed them all? Tony Stark was to blame for all of it, for turning superheroes over to the government, for making him unmask, for May…
He fell still.
But he couldn't blame Tony for May; could he? May's death was his own fault. Tony hadn't forced him to unmask, he could have said no, he could have left for Canada. He hadn't. May was dead because of him, because he was stupid enough to ignore years of experience and had dared to believe that things would be better if he did. And there was nothing he could do to undo it. No way to turn back the clock.
Please Tony, let them end it, let me die…
He was wearing an apron, the Amazing Cook, it read. The barbecue was ready, all he had to do was light the fire. Mary Jane sat on a blanket, playing with their baby, little May. She was so beautiful, looked just like her mother with bright red hair and wearing a lovely pink dress. Little Richie sat next to her on the ground; they were fighting over a toy. He let Gwen settle them while he went to tend to the barbecue with Harry.
Mary Jane, no Gwen was playing with the children and Harry just told him a joke, while May, no Richie was playing on the slide. Little Normie sat in the sand and May ran up to him. Richie was in the shadow with his mother. They were staring at something on the ground. Maybe Gwen was explaining something to him, he was so smart. Gwen used to say he was just like his father, he always thought Richie had gotten it from her.
"Is something wrong Gwen?"
She looked so sad.
Ben looked at May as he gave her an apple. She was looking at Nathan who was talking to Captain Stacy. Peter was watching the fire. Harry had left him alone for no more than a second. He looked tired, so Peter let him. Harry was probably wondering what was keeping Liz. The meat was burning/choking, so Peter went back to that.
Steve and Bill were talking to Danny. Nothing serious, just fun and games. The Thing was messing with an umbrella, someone had written something on it. He couldn't quite read what, but Peter was sure it came from the Yancy Street gang.
Bruce Banner was in the tree, getting a kitten down to the ground while May and Richie were waiting for him in the shade. She looked so pretty, why couldn't he stop thinking that, he must have thought it a thousand times, but it kept surprising him.
Bruce's eyes flashed green, but it didn't matter. They were with friends here.
And something was wrong, but the meat was burning and he needed to do something to stop it from going blue… black.
Hector came up behind him and gave him a fork.
"You've got to stick him to make sure he's done Pete." Peter nodded and accepted the fork. "You know you could have told me, I would have understood. I lost my family too."
Then he was gone, over to Steve and Danny, offering them a plate of rice pudding. Wasn't the dessert supposed to come after the meat?
What was wrong? Something was wrong, and his spidersense kept going and going but he just couldn't find it.
Mary Jane was smiling and dancing and asking him to come and join her as the sky turned black and empty and the park turned into a graveyard. Peter looked at the meat and startled, took a step back.
What? Mary Jane and Gwen and Captain Stacy and Harry and …. And all of them faded, faded into ghosts, sinking into their graves and into nowhere and he fell down on his knees, begging for them not to leave him. But his tears were empty and meaningless.
And the meat burned, the meat burned into dark clouds.
He touched the barbecue and turned it off and Wilson Fisk looked at him, his eyes still begging for mercy from dead eyes, choking on webbing.
Peter wanted to move away from Tony, wanted to be alone. Tony had said he could move on his own, that he was free, at least here. So he tried to run and he did, for a few feet, then his body stopped obeying and he found himself a passenger again.
There hadn't been any alarm; he hadn't disobeyed an order had he? Had he missed something? He wasn't sure, maybe there had been an order and that's why the handler's took over because he disobeyed. But there wasn't anything. Not that he could see.
His body was moving, but he wasn't, he didn't want to.
"Tony?" Peter was surprised to hear his own voice, since he was pretty sure he hadn't said anything.
"Please hold me."
Oh god no! Don't do this. Not now, not like this.
Tony sat down next to him.
Peter wanted to move away, instead he got closer. Inside his head he was shouting, but Tony couldn't hear that. And Peter had no choice but to feel himself lean up against Tony and to have Tony's arms around him. It sickened him.
"I'm sorry Peter, I'm so sorry. I never meant for everything to go so wrong."
Then don't do this.
Peter felt his head tilt towards Tony, looking at him. He was crying even. Why did they do this?
"It's alright Peter, I'll protect you."
Then don't touch me!
But he felt his head resting against Tony's chest, holding on.
Tony stayed still, careful as if worried that the slightest movement could scare Peter off. Peter was almost grateful for it, but he just wanted to run and the handler wouldn't let him. He stopped breathing when the handler forced his way towards Tony, kissing him. And Tony gave in. No!
He was turning around, sitting on his knees while facing Tony. Tony looked at him in wonder. Peter hated to see that look, he didn't want it, wanting this would betray Mary Jane and everything he'd ever felt for her.
"Please Tony, I need you."
The words left his lips, while all he wanted to do was beg Tony to say no.
He was helpless, helpless to feel his body pull his shirt over his head and face Tony, pushing him down and leaning down for a kiss.