~*~

Peter Parker had never, by nature, been a violent person, and even after all of Norman's pushing him to the absolute limit, he was doubtful as to whether or not he could have gone so far as to kill him. But Harry's physiology and it's proximity to Peter had been working on Peter for months, shifting him, if to a lesser extent. Harry was his and Norman had taken him; therefore, Norman had to pay.

He whipped around a corner and swung so that he landed on the back of the glider, forcing Norman to crash on to of a roof. He grabbed Norman's head and smashed it into the ground several times until Osborn managed to lacerate Peter's chest with a backwards motion. He kicked Peter away and then threw a bomb at him, but Peter was easily able to snag it and send it flying back at Norman. Then once his own bomb had blown up in his face, Peter grabbed him by one arm and webbed away with another. He arced through the sky and at the apex of the arc he threw Norman downwards as hard as he was able, watching his body bounce on the way down.

He swooped down to see if he was dead, but Osborn was lying in wait for him and Peter's spider-sense barely went off in time for him to dodge another barrage of bombs. When all of the smoke and rubble had cleared, he saw that Osborn had called his glider to him and was flying away as quickly as he could, arms around his midriff as he staunched a wound.

Peter followed Norman's speeding glider, crossing corners so quickly that he thought he might throw up from the nausea. Norman disappeared around a corner of an alley, the buildings packed together so tightly that they formed a labyrinth. Whipping from building to building in a frenzy, Peter looked around to see where Norman might have disappeared to, until he eventually noticed an open window. Landing on the building's roof, he crawled down the wall and peered inside. There was nothing in the room he saw, but there was a greenish glow coming from down the hall.

He crept down the hall until a sudden scream issued from the room.

"PETER!"

He ran into the room and burst onto a scene of Norman Osborn, standing in front of the fettered body of his son, leering in triumph with his hand still clenched in a fist.

"If I can't have him, nobody will," Norman hissed.

"I'll kill you!" Peter screamed and launched himself at Norman, pummeling him.

"Too late!" Norman crowed. "Too late for me, but too late for him!"

Peter was deaf to his words, however, and kept punching the older man as his body went increasingly slack. Then he saw the goblin glider sitting off to the side and used his webbing to snag it. Standing up, he gripped the glider and brought it down on Norman again and again and again, until his moving ceased all together and blood was pooled around him.

Numb, he threw aside the machinery, stepped over the corpse and went to Harry, ripping off his mask as he stopped in front of the beaten boy.

"Pete," he breathed. "Dad said you'd come."

"Yeah, I came." He touched his face and noticed that his features were bruising severely, his lips were cracked and there was a line of vomit streaked down from his mouth. "Let's get your out of those, okay?"

"Peter, there's something you need to…"

"Don't worry," he saw, going over to a console and releasing the manacles. He went over and caught Harry before he fell into the pool of blood and vomit that had gathered at his feet. "I've got you."

"Something's wrong, Pete," he groaned. "He made me… I had to…"

Peter looked down and saw that Harry's crotch was a vivid red. "Harry, that's too much, that's not normal!" He looked at his eyes. "What did he do?"

"As soon as he got back," Harry gasped, "he gave me something. Made me swallow a bunch of pills, injected me with something right before beating me. He said they'd take effect right before you got here. He said… he said they were going to kill me." He voice trembled. "He kept punching me in the stomach, Peter, I think he was…"

"Calm down Harry and breathe. Where are the medications he administered?"

Harry managed to point as his face screwed up in pain and his scream jarred Peter while he was frantically looking through the bottles and syringes Norman had discarded onto the counter. There was a diverse collection of drugs, but mostly, Peter noted with a sick feeling, anticoagulants and abortifacients. Even without knowing the purpose of the drugs, there were enough bottles and syringes there to make an overdose highly likely. He turned and saw Harry who was clutching his torso and trembling.

"Peter, something's wrong inside of me," he whispered.

"We need to get you to a hospital, now," Peter snapped. "I'm going to try and lift you and get you there as quickly as…"

"No!" Harry screamed. "Don't!"

"Harry, he induced an abortion and gave you blood thinners. And the beating was probably intended to cause further internal bleeding. This isn't something I can help with. You need medical attention now or you are going to die. You're going to have to have a transfusion, have your stomach pumped, they'll need to give you something to make you clot…"

"And my kid?"

"Already gone, probably," Peter whispered. "He gave you way more than anybody should ever… we're wasting time." He slid his arm behind Harry's head. "Try and hold on and I'll do my best not to hurt you."

"No!" Harry screamed loud crying and wrenching himself out of Peter's grasp. He clumsily backed away, streaking blood across the floor as he did. "I'm not going anywhere. They'll see."

Peter's limbs felt heavy as he straightened up and looked down at Harry, frightened and hemorrhaging faster and faster. "Harry," he said slowly, "I don't think you understand. You are going to die if we don't go now."

Harry swallowed. "I understand," he whispered. "And I'm… I'm so tired, Pete," he said shaking his head. "I'm tired and in pain and I've lost my child because I couldn't keep him from taking me." His body shook with his sobs. "He fucked me, you know that? Said I was the next best thing to mom, said that I owed him because I'd killed her. He laughed and said we'd never be together again."

"We won't be!" Peter felt himself growing desperate, not sure how to handle Harry's reluctance. "Harry, if you let him get away with this, he wins!"

"I lose no matter what. I've already lost. Maybe I lost the moment I was born with Norman Osborn as my father. But no matter what, I won't be laughed at. And I'm tired of the memories, Pete, and being afraid and feeling like a freak. It's too much and I can't carry the weight of that anymore. Everything has been hell for weeks and I only want it to end. I'm sorry to go before you. I'm sorry you'll miss me. If you love me, though, you'll give me this last bit of dignity. Hide me. Hide this. Don't let anybody know, don't let anybody see."

For a long moment, Peter didn't move. Then he knelt next to Harry and took him in his arms.

"I'll make you comfortable at least," he murmured.

"I'm sorry to put this on you," Harry cried as he clutched Peter's shirt. Peter only nodded and started pulling down Harry's pants so he would be less constricted and wouldn't have to feel the blood-soaked cloth against his skin. "To ask you to live while I take this way out. I was always a coward Pete, and selfish enough to ask you to forgive me for it, even now."

"You were my best friend. And I loved you," Peter replied.

"Past tense already?" Harry smiled bitterly. "Kiss me."

Peter did, working his way from Harry's forehead, down to his neck, his lips. "Are you comfortable?"

"I feel like my insides are collapsing," he admitted. "But I'm glad you're here."

Peter nodded and stroked Harry's curls. "I'm sorry I didn't come sooner."

"He would have found a way to kill me no matter what," Harry whispered. "And I think I always knew that." He fumbled for Peter's hand. "I want you to promise me something else Peter."

"Yeah?"

"Move on." He looked up at him, his eyes already glazing over and shining with pain. "Miss me, cry, do whatever you have to, but I'm not worth being depressed your whole life for and I never was. Find a girl or a guy and when you do, don't think about me. You weren't even sure… we didn't even know if it was love or instinct. So don't think about it, don't worry about it."

"You were my mate," Peter whispered in a deep voice that was edged with the feral tone of something animal. "That was more than I ever had with anybody else."

"You'll find something better," Harry assured him. "Something not so abysmally fucked up as our relationship was. I hope you do. I want you to, want to believe that you're not going to suffer under the weight of being a hero, under all of the responsibility you put on yourself. Don't let me die thinking you're going to be miserable."

"I'll try not to be," Peter said with a smile that was more pain than hope. "But I… you were… you are my best friend."

"And you were mine. But I have to go now Peter. I have to leave. Hold me as I leave?"

"Hold you forever." Peter took his friend's still-bleeding body into his arms and felt Harry's heartbeat against his own chest. Harry held on as the beats grew slower and fainter until, with a last shuddering breath, he exhaled and his body went slack. Peter squeezed a final time and then lowered him slowly to the floor. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "Sorry I couldn't give you anything better than this."

Pulling his mask back on, he found Norman's stash of pumpkin bombs. Lining them up, he rigged them to explode on a timer, close enough to the bodies of both Harry and his father that they were sure to be destroyed and leave few to no remains behind. It would be just the way Harry had wanted it, the last insufficient gift he could give the man he'd loved.

His job completed, he webbed away just as the building exploded in on itself. A fire broke out and, as he drew close to home, he heard sirens wailing in the direction of the destruction. He'd hoped nobody had seen him; all he needed was another tragedy for Jameson to blame him for. He felt guilty enough already without the city's censure.

He reached the house, wondering if they had found Harry yet or if he was simply going to be buried in the ash. His missing person's file would be closed and a plot could be found, a stone erected. And that would be all Peter had left, an empty grave and the memory of Harry's last shuddering gasps as he bled out and his shame kept him from being helped.

Once he landed on the fire escape, Peter slipped in quietly and hoped that Mary Jane wouldn't be there or wouldn't notice. He was hardly in a mood for explanations or commiseration. Climbing in through the window, he took off his mask and found himself in their room; only now it was his and his alone, a thought that caused bile to well in his throat.

One by one, Peter emptied the drawers and the closet of old clothes of Harry's that he'd been keeping for weeks. He threw them on the bed, the last remainders of Harry's scent still lingering on them, and lay down in the pile, cocooning himself in the fabric that held the minutest traces of his forever-absent companion.

The next morning he would burn them, he promised himself. But before that, he would indulge himself in one last dream that Harry would be there by his side, waiting when he woke up, cheerful despite everything and loving through it all. He should be, Peter thought, allowed that much at least.

~*~

A/N: So that's the end of this story and to be honest I'm a little relieved. It didn't turn out quite how I wanted it and I think all my P/H has been pretty lackluster lately. I might start another AU shortly (plan is to have a BND-style ending to the third movie where Peter is asked for his power instead of his marriage, eventually forcing Peter to choose between two realities). For now, though, I'm glad this one's over. Hope you enjoyed it and that you'll leave your thoughts behind of what you liked, disliked, what I could improve and what you'd like to see next.