The city was quiet now. It was almost impossible to believe that only two days previously the city had almost been exposed to a deadly virus.
But that was New York for you. Far too used to being the centre of many confrontations, whether it was between the Avengers and an alien race, or a masked vigilante and a scientist whose human trials went drastically wrong. They moved on. Director Nick Fury had to admire the New Yorkers. They were resilient, if anything. And they loved their new hero.
He had literally sprung from nowhere, taking out petty criminals and the like, until suddenly the Lizard appeared.
Fury had to admire the kid. He'd dealt with the Lizard in style, with an arrest warrant on his head and multiple injuries – he'd seen the footage. By his voice and physique he almost seemed to be barely out of high school, let alone fighting things that Fury's team should have done.
Within a few hours questions had been asked: Where were the Avengers when this happened?
Nobody was saying they didn't want Spiderman. They just didn't want him to fight alone.
The Avengers were scattered. And then when they saw that someone else was fighting the Lizard they'd taken a back-seat. They wanted to see how this kid did.
Fury had been impressed. This kid inspired people. While others had been running from the mess around the Oscorp building, there had been a few who'd wanted to help. So they'd made a route for him, moving cranes so he could get there in time. Maybe it was because they saw he was human, unlike the larger-than-life heroes the Avengers were.
Whatever it was, the powers that be had noticed. And they'd delegated the task to Fury: Find out who Spiderman was.
If he were honest, Fury didn't want to know. He was just happy there was someone protecting the city, even if he were a masked vigilante. But he knew all too well the problems associated with masked heroes. When Tony Stark had first shown the world Iron Man, he'd taken out a fighter jet trying to escape. There was a similar problem when Thor had first arrived – the small town in New Mexico had only finished clearing up a month ago. The government wanted to know who exactly these people were, whether they were a threat, and whether they could be recruited.
So it had been left to Fury to track down the elusive Spiderman.
"Remind me again why you called me in?" a voice asked. Fury didn't look up as the red and gold Iron Man suit landed on the rooftop next to him. "Why did you call any of us?" Tony Stark asked.
"I don't know how willingly this guy'll come in. I want it done clean," Fury said. "The less people that get hurt, the better," he added.
"And you think we're the ones to do that?" Stark raised an eyebrow inside the suit.
"I think you're able to take more punches than a regular beat cop," was the short answer. "This guy got tasered and within five minutes was beating cops to the ground."
"Still doesn't explain why I'm here at this moment in time. He doesn't seem to be out tonight."
In response, Fury pointed to the edge of the roof in front of him. It was raised slightly, a wall that someone would have to jump over if they were, say, leaping off. In the distance the wreckage of the Oscorp building loomed.
Stood out against the pale grey of the rooftop, was a handprint. It was a dark red colour –dried blood.
"How do you know it's his? It could be anybody's."
"We don't have reason to doubt. We know that before he swung off to Oscorp a cop managed to clip him. The news reels show he has trouble walking and climbing after that. It seems he landed here afterward to inspect the damage and then carried on. He then sealed the wound on that rooftop there," he indicated, "before moving through the cranes."
"Yeah, what's the deal with that?" Stark asked.
"Apparently the guy saved one of the crane worker's sons on that bridge pile-up. Saw he was in trouble and decided to return the favour."
"Wow. The guy's got fans already."
Stark crouched, examining the bloodied handprint. "He took down the Lizard with a gunshot wound? He's got stamina," he commented, before placing a finger onto the handprint.
"Jarvis, scan and analyse. Then search all the databases."
'Scanning now, sir,' his computer-slash-butler answered. 'Results to be expected within the hour.'
"All right, is that it?" Stark asked. "I've got plans tonight."
"Call me when you get the results. Or if you find him. Try not to scare him off, though."
"When do I scare anybody?" Stark asked, before taking off and rocketing into the sky, headed for Stark Tower.
A/N: I'd originally planned to end it here but it's now expanded, so watch this space...