Author's Note: We're wrapping up here. Probably only five chapters left, maybe more, maybe less depending on if the muse moves me. But don't worry, this is only the first story of many in this universe. I'm glad so many have followed this story over the years and all the comments have been so kind! I hope the last bit of this story will be just as exciting. Please enjoy this chapter!
"I've often lost faith in myself, I've never lost it in my family."
― David Sedaris
Peter opens his eyes and groans, feeling the burn of the restraints as he tries to move. Wherever he's being kept is dark now and whoever was watching him was either gone or out of sight. Mr. Osborn is gone and with security low this might be the teenager's only chance to escape.
Gritting his teeth, he tries to break free of the restraints, but his lungs burn as his breath catches. There's an I.V. in his arm and he's afraid to know what's being pumped into his system or what Osborn might be testing his blood for. There will be a time to figure questions out later, but now, he must escape.
Summoning all his strength, he arches his back, trying to push free of the restraints. He pushes once, to no avail. Sucking a breath in, he pushes once more and after what seems like an eternity, the metal restraints break. Yanking the I.V. out with much less finesse than he wanted, the teenager hops off the metal exam table and surveys the room. It's a warehouse of some sort with makeshift medical equipment brought in. There are monitors displaying his vitals and computer screens running analyses between his DNA and Osborn's. Whether they found out anything—or found out his secret—he isn't sure, but that's another problem to deal with on a different day.
His body aches and his head pounds. His lungs feel like they are on fire. As the room spins around him, he supposes it's a miracle that he can even walk considering how much blood that might've been taken. Figuring out what has been done to him will have to wait. Right now, he just needs to escape.
The warehouse seems to go on forever, with dark and twisting corridors that seem endless. He takes measured steps, careful to make sure that he isn't being too loud. It's amazing that he hasn't run into any guards, which makes the young hero wonder just exactly what kind of operation Mr. Osborn is running.
"Got to get out," He whispers, "Need to get help."
If only he could just contact the team, let them know where he is—
The barrel of a gun soon appears in his field of vision.
"That's far enough, Mr. Parker." The guard states, voice unwavering.
"Really? You're going to shoot me? Seriously?" The teen sighs, "Wouldn't that like, I don't know, get you fired?"
The guard hesitates for a moment, shifting his weight on the balls of his feet. Softly, he asks, "Fired?"
"Well, duh!" Peter snaps, "I mean, spilling my blood all over the floor isn't going to be really helpful to cure Mr. Osborn, would it?" He can sense the guard's further confusion and sensing his opening he continues, "Look, I'm really doing you a favor here. You're new, right? Just a few weeks on the job?" He takes a few tentative steps forward. "I can tell. You're good, but you know, your posture could be a little straighter."
"Really?" The guard asks, lowering the gun ever so slightly.
That's when Peter makes his move and he slams his body into the guard's shoulder, knocking the gun free. He follows up with a punch, knocking out the guard.
"What was that?" A voice echoes from down the hall and immediately, Peter presses himself against the wall, hiding out of view. Footsteps pass by and soon, once all is silent again, Peter starts to move.
He needs to keep moving.
"JARVIS, commence the mission briefing." Tony instructs the A.I. before taking a seat in the living room of the Tower. They have numerous screens set up, some displaying the warehouse's blueprints and others displaying pictures of Mr. Osborn and his company.
"As you wish, sir." JARVIS turns on the biggest screen in the room and a picture of Peter appears on the screen. In it, the teen is smiling as he proudly holds up a non-burnt Poptart next to Thor. The Asgardian is frowning somewhat, seemingly perplexed as to how the teen bested him when it came to making the perfect Poptart. Tony is on the teen's other side, laughing at the whole absurd situation. It's a moment happiness captured during a brief break between fighting bad guys.
And it pains Tony's heart to look at.
Sometimes, he forgets just how young Peter is. In this picture, he can see how small the teen is compared to the two of them, how carefree he is. How Peter could fight crime and go to school still astounds him.
"The target of this rescue mission is Peter Parker aka Spider-Man." JARVIS' mechanical voice continues. "I have accessed intelligence that leads me to believe he is being held in a warehouse, thirty miles east of Oscorp Tower." Pictures of the warehouse now flashed upon the screen. "An initial scan has yielded nothing—it appears that they are using jammers to prevent anyone from gathering more information."
"Clever bastard." Tony curses.
"What's our approach?" Clint questions, glancing in Steve's direction.
"We go in and out." Steve replies.
"Guns blazing." Natasha adds.
Steve nods, turning to Tony, "Anything you know about Osborn?"
"We never worked together. Saw him at a few conferences once. He's a brilliant scientist, but a few years ago he became a recluse. Not sure why."
"Whatever the reason, he thinks Peter is the cure." Bruce interjects and Thor nods.
"Indeed. Yet, do we know if this is so?" The Asgardian prince questions.
"Negative." JARVIS responds quickly. "Further testing is required upon both parties for a conclusion to be drawn."
Tony nods, then rises from the table. He's ready for this fight. He's furious and worried and fucking terrified that something has happened to the teenager. Peter is part of their team and to lose a team member, to lose one piece of their makeshift family, is unacceptable.
"Let's go get him then." Tony states.
The rest of the team just nods.
It's time to save one of their own.
When Gwen opens the door and sees Pepper Potts standing there, she knows something has gone horribly wrong. With a soft voice and a gentle hand on her shoulder, the older woman begins to explain the situation, but Gwen can't hear it.
Peter has been kidnapped. Peter could be dying.
Peter might already be dead.
"Gwen—" Pepper is holding her now, but Gwen is sobbing too much to hear anything else.
What was the last thing she said to Peter? Was it something romantic? Something stupid? Does he know that she really does love him? Is he in pain right now?
"The team will bring him back, I promise." Pepper soothes.
That doesn't stop the tears from rolling down Gwen's cheek.
Her boyfriend is gone and he might never come back again.
"Rogers, you want to tell me why the hell your team has gone radio silent and refused to answer my transmissions?" Fury barks into the communicator.
He's finally managed to get ahold of the Avenger's commander after hours of unsuccessfully trying to hack into Stark's technology. He'd been hoping someone would reach out—Steve is the likely choice given that he always gets a guilty conscience after breaking orders—but no one did. The hours passed but now, finally, Fury is going to get some answers.
"I'm afraid I can't answer that, sir."
Fury pauses, unsure he heard that correctly, "What?"
"Sir, until we've completed our mission this will be our last transmission."
"Mission? What the hell are you—?"
"Do not attempt to follow us or stop us. This is something we need to do. Rogers, out."
The line goes dead and astounded, Fury glances at Maria, "Did that really just happen?"
Maria does her best to suppress her chuckle, but a hint of a smile is still on her lips, "Yes, sir. Captain America just told you to fuck off."
It's so absurd that Fury doesn't know whether to get scream or laugh.
He settles for a bit of both.
Author's Note: A bit of humor before the climatic final battle. I hope you enjoyed! Please review if you have a moment. Thanks!