Author's Note: Hi there! Sorry for the long break in-between chapters. Real life got busy. Anyways, I'm back and thank you all so much for all the kind reviews/faves/follows/etc. It really means so much to me! So, without further ado, here is the next chapter! Please enjoy!
"Family is more than blood."
Leaving for school was more than surreal.
After getting on the elevator and heading down to where Tony had told him the kitchen was, he found Thor staring at the toaster with an angry glare. Cautiously, Peter stepped towards him, unsure why he was getting involved in this, but feeling the need to help the God of Thunder.
"Thor?" The Asgardian faced the teenager. "Something wrong?"
"I cannot get this blasted device to function," He hissed. "Truly, why you Midgardians bother with such infernal things—" Nodding politely while Thor ranted, Peter stepped forward and pushed down the lever of the toaster. The two pop tarts went in and immediately, the light flickered on. Adjusting the cooking settings, Peter faced Thor once more.
"There you go. They'll be done in a minute." The God just stared at him with wide eyes and Peter ducked his head, embarrassed by the attention. Heading to the huge fridge—Aunt May would've killed for one of these—he opened it and glanced inside, wondering whether it was okay for him to take something for lunch. Protein shakes were neatly stacked on one shelf, various sandwiches were in clear bags on another—there was tons of food, yet Peter was unsure whether it would be all right for him to grab something. Normally, he would make something, but he had woken up late and he still needed to figure out how to get to school from Avengers Tower.
"Morning," Natasha greeted, dressed in workout clothes. Her hand shot into the fridge and pulled out a shake. "You look lost, Peter. Need some help?" Peter chuckled dryly and shook his head.
"I was just looking for something for lunch—" The super spy nodded and she reached into the fridge once more, pulling out a ham sandwich. She placed it on the marble countertop and pulled a drawer out, grabbing a brown paper bag. Placing the sandwich in, she also tossed in a candy bar and a water bottle. Smiling softly at him, she handed him the bag.
"There you go."
"Thanks." He told her sincerely. She ruffled his hair affectionately and smirked.
"You'll get used to it, Peter."
And with that, she vanished into the other room.
"And so, looking at this chemical reaction, we can figure out that—" The bell rang and nearly all the students in AP Chemistry grinned. Mr. Hanson adjusted his tie nervously. He was an older man and while he knew chemistry like the back of his hand, he wasn't the best people person. "Ah, yes, okay, see you tomorrow!" Most of the students had already fled the classroom and Peter was just stuffing his book into his backpack and when his teacher walked over to him. "Mr. Parker?"
"Yes?" Mr. Hanson placed a paper down before him and Peter's mouth nearly fell open. It was the results of his AP practice test, the one they had taken at the beginning of the month to see how they were coming along. Nearly all the students had failed—which was to be expected as the class had just started a few weeks ago—but there was a 5 circled on Peter's paper.
"You truly are gifted, Mr. Parker," His teacher praised. "You were the only 5 in the class. It's amazing. Tell me, do you plan to go into science as a career?"
"Uh, yeah, ideally." Though he wasn't sure that would work out considering he was a superhero part-time. Could superheroes go to college? He'd have to look into it.
"Wonderful!" Mr. Hanson exclaimed. "Truly, you're so gifted. It would be a shame for you're to waste your talents." A warning bell rang and Peter quickly nodded his thanks before darting out the door.
He crashed into Flash Thomson.
"Watch where you're going, Parker!" The jock exclaimed as he pushed Peter away from him. Then, he glanced down and noticed the exam. "Well, you probably think you're so smart, don't you?"
"If the shoe fits—" Peter mumbled, only for him to be picked up and slammed into a row of lockers.
"You know what you're problem is Parker?" Flash began, fist curling back. "You just think you're better than everyone—!"
"Mr. Thompson!" Mr. Hanson shouted, standing in the doorway of his classroom. "Principal's office. Now!"
"This isn't over." Flash growled before releasing Peter and walking down the hall with Mr. Hanson. Peter sighed. He could take Flash any day, anytime, but only if he used his powers. And, of course, he would never use his powers because that would be wrong and go against all that his uncle had taught him.
Still, to see the shock on that bully's face—
The bell rang and Peter cursed.
He was late.
"I just can't believe it," Gwen whispered as the two of them sat on the bleachers. "I mean, Peter you're an Avenger!"
"Just for two months," He interjected. "Just until Aunt May gets out of the hospital."
"I know that," His girlfriend replied. "Still, the Avengers! What are they like?" She faced him now, blonde hair blocking her sparkling eyes. Chuckling, Peter gently moved a few strands back and she learned forward. They kissed gently and then she playfully pushed him back. "C'mon, Peter, tell me!" He smirked and then sighed softly.
"Well, they're a lot like normal people, you know?" Gwen nodded eagerly. "I mean, they live in a huge tower and everything, but they do movie nights and fight over what movie to watch."
"Really?" Gwen asked, shock coloring her tone.
"I can't believe it," She muttered for seemingly the thousandth time. "My boyfriend is an Avenger."
"Hey," He caught her hand within his own and held it. "Thought you liked me before that."
"Of course I did," She assured him with a dazzling grin. "But gotta tell you, the whole superhero thing? It's kind of sexy." He chuckled and moved to kiss her again when a football came flying towards them. Instantly, he pushed Gwen back and caught the ball. Flash stood below them on the field, glaring at Peter.
"You could've hurt someone, Flash!" Peter shouted, though it was clear that the jock didn't care.
"You're mine, Parker!" Flash growled and then stalked off the field with his fellow teammates right as the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch.
"Be careful." Gwen told Peter as he walked her to her class.
"I'll be fine." He assured her, pressing a kiss onto her forehead.
"See you after school." He nodded his head and made his way to his own class.
It's as he was waiting for Gwen outside of class that it happened, his spider-sense went off and he barely managed to dodge Flash's punch. He faced the star jock and noticed the members of the basketball team have surrounded him. It's 30 versus 1—not very good odds even with his powers.
"Got me detention for a week, Parker," Flash hissed, stepping close to him. "I'm going to make you pay."
"Not very smart though," Peter retorted. "You're just going to get in more trouble."
"Newsflash, Parker," Flash replied, cracking his knuckles while his buddies chuckled. "School is over."
And with that, he threw the first punch.
"Peter? God, Peter, can you hear me?" He came to in Gwen's arms. She held him tightly, her eyes filled with tears. "Hey, don't move, okay? You got beaten up pretty badly." She lifted her head up to say something to someone else, but Peter can't make out the words. It's like someone messed with the audio—her voice sped up for a few seconds before slowing down.
"Gwen?" He slurred. His head felt like it was full of cement and his body ached.
"Shh, it's okay," She cooed, plastering a smile on her face. "Just relax. An ambulance is on its way."
"No," He protested, pushing himself up. "I'm okay."
"Peter—!" She began to protest, but he forced himself to stand and while he swayed a bit, it wasn't the worst injury he had ever sustained.
"I'm okay, Gwen." He glanced around and saw a small crowd had formed and Mr. Hanson sighed with relief and said something into his cellphone. Cancelling the ambulance? Peter hoped so because he refused to go to the hospital. His girlfriend helped steady him and then sighed with relief.
"You scared me, Peter. I came out here and you were just down and bleeding—"
"It was Flash." He explained.
"Flash?" She echoed. "You could've taken him—"
"And the rest of the basketball team." Peter added dryly and Gwen cursed.
"Tomorrow, we'll go to the Principal—"
"No." Peter interjected.
"But, Peter—!" Gwen exclaimed.
"It won't do any good," Her boyfriend explained rationally. "It'll just cause more problems." Gwen shook her head and it was clear that she disagreed with this decision, but didn't press it. "I should get back."
"Let me give you a ride—" She insisted and Peter waved her suggestion off.
"It's okay," He assured her. "I can make it." She looked at him skeptically. "Really, Gwen, it's not that far."
"Okay, but call me when you—" She folded her arms across her chest and he smiled at her. Pressing a quick kiss onto her cheek, he began to head in the direction of the tower.
"I promise!" He shouted.
"What the hell happened to you?" Tony exclaimed as Peter stepped off the elevator. Whatever he had been fiddling with currently forgotten, he rose from his seat and crossed the room to where the teenager stood. "Sit down." He pushed Peter down into a chair and then examined his injuries with a careful eye. "Jesus," He swore softly. "Jarvis!"
"Get Banner up here!" Tony bellowed, eyes still focused on all the bruises covering Peter's face and the sluggish cut he had sustained above his eyebrow.
"No," Peter interjected. "I'm fine, really, it's just a few bruises—"
"Right away, sir."
"What are you shouting about this time, Stark?" Clint mumbled as he entered the room, Natasha by his side. "I mean, can't you just—?" His eyes met Peter's gaze and instantly, he froze.
"Peter?" Natasha questioned as she quickly rushed to his side. "What happened?"
"I'm fine!" Peter shouted, exasperated. "Really, it was just a small fight—"
"Fight?" Clint echoed. "Some idiot attacked you?"
"Who?" Natasha pressed, voice deadly. The elevator doors dinged and Bruce stepped out into the main hall.
"Jarvis said you needed—" He stared at Peter for a few moments before taking a calming breath in. "Let me see you."
He ended up lucky—a bruised rib, numerous bruises and only one cut that needed stiches. It wasn't the worst injury he had gotten in a fight—he had been shot once and that had been the worst pain he had ever endured—but the team was acting much like Gwen. The teenager didn't understand why they were making such a big deal out of this. People got beaten up everyday and Peter had been on the receiving end of such beatings for many years. Yes, he had powers and could now fight back, but that wasn't the right thing to do. Uncle Ben had told him he had responsibilities that came with his powers and he certainly wouldn't be proud of Peter using his powers to get revenge. So, what was he supposed to do? Fight back? That wouldn't solve anything.
"Peter?" Steve stood in his doorway, expression guarded.
"Mind if I come in?" Peter nodded and Steve entered the room and glanced at Peter.
"It's not that bad." The teenager insisted.
"That's not what the others said." Steve replied calmly.
"I've had worse." Peter retorted and Steve nodded his head. Silence passed and Peter sat down on his bed, unsure what he was supposed to do.
"You know," Cap began conversationally. "I really hate bullies. And I used to be like you, before I became like this," He gestured to himself. "But the thing that I don't understand is why you didn't fight back."
"I did once," Peter informed him. "And I disappointed someone close to me. I swore I'd never do it again."
"Listen, you're part of a team now," Steve said. "And every member of a team affects the other—"
"I know," Peter interjected. "And I'm sorry that I got hurt. I know I can't help like this—"
"That's not what I'm getting at all," Cap interrupted, a small smile on his lips. "I just want you to know that we're here for you." He placed a strong hand on Peter's shoulder. "Don't feel like you're alone in this."
"And if you ever need help or need to talk . . ." His voice trailed off and Peter chuckled dryly. "Okay."
"Sirs, Mr. Stark asked me to invite you to the kitchen. Apparently, he is attempting to make milkshakes once more and wanted to know if you wanted one."
"Attempting?" Peter echoed.
"Come on," Steve began, a small smirk on his lips. "You'll want to see this."
That was the first night that Peter realized he wasn't alone in this fight. He was part of a team now and he had people he could count upon.
He wasn't alone anymore.
Author's Note: There you go! That's a super long chapter! I hope you enjoyed it! The family bonding stuff will continue in later chapters, but it was nice to write a bit of it in this chapter. Please review if you have a second!