Here's a Spidey fic idea that I had going and I really need to see if it makes for a good story when out down on paper…or the internet, I guess. When it comes down to it I think it's a concept that I've seen a lot of but never seen from a particular perspective. Spider-Man's a fun loving guy, right? But when it all boils down to it, Spidey is really angst central, if you know what I mean. He says the power and responsibility line, but we all know that Spider-Man has this overall theme of guilt running through it. Decisions that can neither be classified as good or bad seemingly coming back to haunt our favorite wall crawler every single time. No matter what Spidey does—and we know he does all that he can—it never seems to be enough and he still finds some way to blame himself. Inadequacy issues, anyone? Let's just see if this works and hope it's not too dark.
There was always time for jokes.
It didn't matter that one of his all time persistent bad guys, who had recently pulled a resurrection, was back at the moment to make his life a living hell. Laugh at the man known as Kraven the Hunter all you want, but there was one thing about him that Peter had noticed: he would keep coming at you if he felt you were his prey. And thanks to all the times that he had gotten his ass kicked by the arachnid hero, it had meant that Spidey would forever be a sore spot to him, a blemish on Kraven's record. Spider-Man was an issue in the hunter's life that he was constantly trying to remedy. It was not surprising that when he had finally bested the wall crawler, it gave him cause to end his own life. Spider-Man had choked the life out of what was to be a proud legacy, and so Kraven had slowly become obsessed with him little by little until the thought of ridding the earth of his Spider-prey had consumed him. Tarnishing what was said by him to be a masterpiece, Kraven's psychotic family resurrected him in hopes that he would lead them against the Spider-clan to dispose of them once and for all. The Grim Hunt, they called it. It was a ruthless ordeal that cost Mattie Franklin, Madame Web and Kaine their lives, and all for some stupid superiority power play, Peter thought. But even now as Ana and her father had returned to wreak havoc in his life, and having been in an incredibly fierce battle with them just minutes ago, Peter figured that there was always time for jokes, despite the remainder of the Kraven family's revitalized murderous intent, of which he seemed to be the focus.
On one knee and clutching his side in pain, Spidey looked as a creepily calm Ana brandished twin knives just a couple feet away from him, as if daring him to attack her and her father whom she shielded from Spidey at the moment. He too had been weakened by the passing battle. "I gotta tell you Kraven, if you do happen to do me in, just make it quick. None of that burying me alive stuff. I recall that it was very lonely down there" the hero quipped, hoping it would further tick Kraven off by reminding him of his failed past.
"Spyder, Spyder…you are not long for this world, and you can feel it can't you? The impending sense of doom that father and I bring?"
"Really? That feeling is doom? I thought it was a burrito working its way to the back door. Boy, am I relieved" he told the teenage girl, expecting her to attack any moment. Bummer that I lost my freaking Spider-sense a while back, he thought. It would've made this a whole lot easier.
Kraven gradually picked himself up, attempting to stand tall and prove to his nemesis that he was still possessed of enough strength to keep his plan in motion. "You seek to thwart me Spyder, but it is I that shall triumph in this battleground."
"Actually it's a zoo, Kraven. But a battleground? Gee, I don't know. Gonna have to see city hall for a permit" Spider-Man said, stealing quick glances all around him. He could admit to himself that the way the animals were acting—they were all deathly quiet, for some reason—kind of freaked him out a little.
Sergei walked some distance away from where Ana stood facing off with Spider-Man and into a circle comprised of lit candles that he had set up before the wall crawler's intrusion. Retrieving a vial from within a pouch, he smiled as he thought how it had been tricky stealing a serum from Horizon labs that was said to be scientific in nature. But as one well versed in the dark arts, he knew that the serum held some unknown power that had to be drawn out through the ceremony he hoped to perform under the full moon. Damn the Spyder. He will not best me tonight, he thought.
It had been a well executed plan when he had stolen the serum from an unguarded Horizon Labs due to the fact that he had sent Ana on a distracting rampage through the city with some of the untamed beasts that he had been able to exert control over in the Savage land. He knew who the Spyder pretended to be with his mask off and figured that if he was too busy stopping the blonde girl from destroying the city in her wake with wild animals, he would not be able to pay attention to his 'home' at Horizon. So far, he and Ana had been successful. And now, in front of their mortal enemy they would use the stolen vial to become more than just hunters. They would become predators. "The next step in our journey is here, Ana!" he cried out into the dark, holding up the vial to a lightening filled sky.
"Kraven! Whatever you're planning on doing with that vial could be dangerous! It's still experimental!" Spider-Man shouted as he explained, all the while not taking his eyes off of the blade-wielding Ana. Screaming as she attacked the superhero, she stretched her arms out hoping to sink the blades she held into his chest. But Spider-Man reacted just as fast and rapidly spun webs all around her blades, rendering them useless as her hands were now huge balls of webbing. Her initial lunge, however, did send them both rolling backward even further away from Kraven. Finally coming to a stop on top of Spider-Man, Ana straddled him and tried to remove her hands from his grip that he had at her wrists. "Damn, you're strong. What does he feed you? Y'know what, I probably don't wanna know." he said, not missing a step when it came to the banter. "You will die, Spyder!" she growled at him, anxious to prove that she could stand against him one on one.
"Die? But that sounds so lame. Why can't I live instead? I bet that'd teach me" he retorted, finding leverage with his legs against Ana and kicking her off swiftly. Still weak from his initial fight with Kraven, he struggled to get to his feet as the animal skin clad villain was nearing the end of his incantation. Kraven had meanwhile since poured his stolen concoction into a special chalice that he had been holding the entire length of the spell. "No…" Spidey said weakly as he tried to make his way in a half run, half stagger towards Kraven, knowing from experience that as long it was magic, the Kravinoff's were up to no good. At that very moment, Kraven greedily drank up all that was within the cup, some of it even dripping down his chin onto the floor, making tiny drops reminiscent of blood. Immediately after he had finished it and before Spidey could reach the circle of lit candles, an unearthly bolt of lightning came down swiftly upon the Kravinoff patriarch, bathing him in an otherworldly glow. Blinded by the light, Spidey attempted to shield his vision and so did the elated Kravinoff youngster behind him. When the light show suddenly ceased as it had started, Peter knew that what he would see when he looked at Kraven would be bad news. And he was right.
All of the candles had been extinguished by now and Kraven stood in the circle, visibly larger and with a fiercer, more feral visage. His teeth had all grown sharper and longer, making him look more threatening and he had grown significantly so that he now hunched over a bit due to his doubled bulk. "Oh God, Kraven…what have you done?" Spider-Man questioned, wondering if the hunter had seen or had known what he would become. He was lucky that all the zoo security guards had fled earlier on so they didn't have to see this. Ana's feelings though, were the exact opposite of the web slinger's; she could not contain her excitement at what her father had become. "Father has been reborn!" she hailed, a new zest coursing through her body as she looked at her father's new appearance.
Smiling a toothy, menacing smile, Kraven slowly walked out of the circle, closer to the two witnesses of his rebirth. "Worry not, Spyder; I still possess my intellect and my mind is as sound as it ever was. But nature, who has always favored those who hunt, has given me new gifts that I will use to on the prey. Even my senses are increased tenfold" he expounded, in a guttural voice while the hero still reeled in the knowledge of what he had done. "I am now a Predator and a hunter no more!"
Readying himself to fight Kraven no matter what he had been juiced up with, Spidey assumed a fighting stance, only to hear footsteps behind him. Crap, he thought, knowing that by the time he turned round, the girl that he had temporarily forgotten about would be right there. "Hyyeeeaaghh!" Ana yelled as she slashed Spider-Man's chest once he had turned to meet her attack. Spidey figured that he could recover from a strike like that but was not so convinced when he started to get woozy. "Poi…poison, huh? How…original" he choked out as he fell onto his back the fight gone out of him and his energy drained. Ana stood over him, towering and due to the poison, wavering like a reflection in a pond, ready to obey her father's wish and strike him down permanently.
"I told you, Spyder! I have won!" he roared happily, raising his hands to the sky. "And now you will be the first prey to be rewarded a death at the hands of a family reborn in cleansing fire" At this, Ana's lips thinned into a maniacal smile, continuing to stare at the Spidey, without so much as concern in her eyes. Peter knew that he had to act fast and quickly voiced out an observation that he hoped would distract them for a while. "Y'know what?" came his low toned voice out of the blue, "How come…Kraven got changed…in the baptism…of fire, but…you didn't, Ana? What's up…with that?"
Ana's smile seemed to hold against the taunting comment and for a minute Spidey thought he had failed to capture her attention. But he was given new hope when he saw it falter and get less wide until she was frowning. "What nonsense do you speak before inevitable death, Spyder?" she asked, clearly frazzled by his analysis, but unwilling to show it.
"Y'know, after Kraven…did the whole thing…shouldn't you…have changed into the…steroid version of you? I mean, aren't you…Kravinoff enough?"
Her frown only deepened and her gaze, now fierce and angry, held its focus on Spider-Man for a while before eventually turning to the transformed Kraven. "…He speaks Father. Perhaps you can answer his questions and show him how foolish he is"
"Forget him Ana. Fulfill your destiny and slay the Spyder"
"Answer his questions, father" she maintained adamantly, impatience beginning to animate her features. "Why have I not shared in this glory that you clearly said would affect the hunters?"
"Slay the Spyder!"
"Tell me why I have remained as I am!"
"TELL ME WHY!"
Sergei Kravinoff gazed at the young girl, not surprised in the least that she would not display fear as she demanded answers from him. He had taught and trained her well. But the Spyder, while dying like a weakling was trying to get her to question him. He considered lying to her for a brief minute but was sure, confident that it was time to reveal to her the truth. He felt that if she could handle it at all, the time was now.
"Ana…it is with great pain that I reveal this truth to you. But you have convinced me that this may just be the perfect time to reveal to you the reality of all this. Child…you are not a hunter" he told her, his voice deep and hoarse as he spoke. The surprise on Ana's face was subtle but one could tell if they looked closely, that she was devastated. She stepped back a bit from where Spider-Man lay in a delirium, but able to hear all what was being said. "I am..I am not…a hunter?" Kraven gravely shook his head in response. "But then…but then…what…what am I?" she asked, dreading the answer.
"…You are a spyder."
The words reverberated through the vicinity, rendering all of them silent and Spider-Man was sure that he would suddenly hear the chants of "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!", from nearby.
"Think back, child" Kraven interrupted, beginning to inch closer to her. "During the Grim Hunt, why do you think that you did not suffer at the hands of the Spyders that much? Why wasn't their perverted force of nature trying to subdue you? Alyosha and Chameleon were affected, trapped in a web that terrified them. Sasha almost went insane with panic, believing that the Spyders had been hunting us since. Vladimir was resurrected as an abomination, through the deceit of the Web-Mother and her clan, as was I. But you—you came through the experience whole. Virtually unscathed. Why do you think that is?"
Ana staggered backwards, dropping her knives to the floor and covering her ears with both hands. "Shut up! SHUT UP!" she screamed repeatedly, not willing to believe a word her father had told her. Spidey, with renewed strength fought to get up, seeing as his distraction had worked better than he had hoped. "Hold up…a minute there, Kraven" he said, finally getting up to his feet, and facing Kraven, some few feet ahead of a distressed Ana. "What're you…what're you saying?"
"Years ago, Osborn was sure he would bring your downfall. He found a way to destroy you and to cause you pain before doing just that. Your mate, the red maned one—was convinced that she had miscarried your child. But Osborn had stolen it away, giving it to another, whom you believe destroyed it. But no. He did not, and the child survived. It was given to me, because of sentiment. The man just could not destroy it. He said that Osborn had given him orders to give the child to me to dispose of. But I too, when the time came, could not do it. The child was not a boy as you had been told, but a beautiful girl—"
"STOP!" Ana screamed in vain.
"—a girl that I knew would be strong, a girl that I could train to exterminate the clan she once belonged to. A girl given a second chance. I gave her a serum to increase her growth rate rapidly, and another one to suppress some of the Spyder powers that she would surely display in life. The ones that would inform her of her background. I left those that would be seen as unusual but normal; the strength, the speed and the agility. Giving her the opportunity to use the Spyder's powers against him."
Spider-Man had long since stopped listening to Kraven talk, as the memories of that tragic time resurfaced. And now that he had realized what the evil men around him had done, his anger surged. He didn't know whether he was getting angry on his behalf, on Mary Jane's or even on Ana's. He just knew that he was mad as hell. "You monster!" he breathed out venomously. "You stole my child, just so you could use her against me?" The rage flowing through his system had nullified the effects of the mild poison that had been used against him. He felt rejuvenated and ready to tear anyone's head off. Beside him, to his close left, Ana had collapsed into a broken up mound and was sobbing her eyes out, and this seemed to get Kraven riled up as well. "Do not disappoint me child; I rescued you from them and made you something great! Prove yourself to me. Rise and SLAY the spyder!" he shouted once more, to no avail. Ana couldn't control the grief that overwhelmed her, having just found out that she had been lied to about who she was all her life and forced to fight her real family. Her real father.
She looked to Spidey from her place on the floor, continuing to cry unhindered. Even with his mask, she could tell that as he looked at Sergei, he had never been angrier, not even during the Grim Hunt. Not knowing what to do with all this surprise information, she got up quickly and ran off into the night, not knowing where she was headed, but just knowing that she had to run.
'ANA, NO!" Kraven called out, not even realizing Spider-Man coming at him with the ferocity of a born hunter. Kraven jumped back in time, dodging the double handed blow that cracked the pavement where he had been standing. He reached out to claw the web slinger with his his elongated nails and was sure that his speed was sufficient. "You cannot prevail, prey. You are—" WHAM! Kraven was stopped mid-sentence after Peter ducked low and dodged his swipe, connecting with Kravens head in a shattering uppercut. The force sent Kraven sprawling through the air, landing on his back with a huge thud several feet away. Kraven quickly sat up, nursing his severely bleeding mouth with his hand. He knew deep inside him then, that the arachnid might burn out the adrenaline in no time, but the damage that he could inflict within that time…could be catastrophic. Even to an augmented beast such as himself. He could not risk it.
He began to teleport as the raging hero ran toward him, even as his blows connected with empty air as the figure of Kraven faded away. "You took Ana away from me, Spyder. I will return" Kraven's voice echoed as he finally disappeared all together, leaving the superhero in a fit of rage with nothing to hit. "AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHH!" Spider-Man yelled into the night sky, determined to burn off the excess fury somehow. He couldn't believe it. The blonde teenage psychopath was…she was…she was his kid. "Oh man" he whimpered, falling to his knees, despair easily overtaking the rage. He didn't even know if he should follow her or leave her some time to be alone. He…he didn't know what to do. It was his fault that she was in this mess in the first place. All because she had been his daughter, she had been screwed over so badly. It was his fault because she was supposed to be his responsibility.
As if mirroring the mood, the sky finally burst forth with rain drenching the wall crawler in seconds, which didn't concern him in the slightest at the moment. His…his daughter…had run off into the night, and because of stupid cruel evil men, his life had been changed irrevocably forever.
This was no time to be making jokes.
See what I mean? Spidey works well with the guilt thing. It may be a little much at times but it's also what makes him so gosh darn entertaining. Some writers overdo it to the point that you can see Spidey's need for a therapist. But I am searching for the balance.
I'm currently on one-shot mania right now, and I think that I'll end this right here and leave the aftermath to the imagination of the reader. Unless you guys want otherwise. I don't wanna risk starting a story that people don't wanna read; that would suck. But I think it would work nicely as a oneshot, don't you? Feel free to disagree. Forgive any spelling mistakes and stuff like that. Also don't butcher me if I skewered main canon history. I had a couple of Spidey comics from that arc, but they're lost now and I've completely forgotten what happened. Although I own all the recent Grim Hunt stuff, so, that's a win for me, I guess.