The sun was just rising over New York City. If there had been any news helicopters in the area, they would have seen a peculiar sight on the helipad of Stark Tower. A gathering, consisting of seven people. The five Avengers, Nick Fury, and Peter Parker. Peter was dressed in his Spiderman costume, aside from the mask, which he held in his hand. The suit itself had been repaired and slightly modified by Tony Stark – Peter's reward for winning the bet, he said, but they all knew that he wanted to help the kid out. He'd adapted the thin, light material, giving Peter some protection against bullets and knives ("It's not armour, though, so I'd advise you to not throw yourself at gun-wielding goons"). Peter had also gotten a new series of contacts for his phone, with each separate Avenger, Fury, and SHIELD HQ listed under regular sounding names. He'd refused a new phone totally, saying it would arouse suspicion with the kids at school.
"I have a question about that, actually," Bruce had said, "Why do you let yourself get beat up by those kids? You could take them down in an instant."
Peter had shrugged. "You see it all the time: a bank robber gets caught because he suddenly grows rich and spends all his money. If I suddenly start throwing people around, they're going to get suspicious. I entered high school a weak nobody, I gotta leave high school as one."
On this day, Friday morning, Nick Fury had arrived with news for Peter: SHIELD was going to let him be. For now, at least, and on some conditions.
"One: You have to report in once every two weeks. Now, as your cover for being here was for an internship, we've already arranged for you to come to the tower every two weeks and work. We have no interest in revealing your identity to those around you.
"Two: If we call you, you come. Now, this is basically just a formality, we're probably gonna call these guys-" he gestured to the Avengers "-before we call you, but if we can't reach them all and there's a crisis in New York, you'll get called if you're not there already. And we don't care what time it is, so you better keep that phone on all the time, boy.
"Three: If you are ever in trouble, you call us. I don't want you pulling any of this solo hero crap. If you think you can handle it, fine. If you know you're gonna be over your head, call."
"Does that apply for my homework as well?" Peter asked, smirking, before adopting a serious demeanour for a moment. "Y'know, you're okay, for a mysterious government type. I guess I should say thanks for letting me go, and giving me this stuff." He shrugged on his bag, storing the phone inside it. He checked the web-shooters on his wrists, deciding in the end that, 'on a show of good faith', he would allow Stark to keep the designs. At least he'd now have a place to source a replacement if these ever broke, the circuitry hadn't been cheap. It also felt good to belong somewhere, to have people he could rely on for all his needs. Gwen was good and all, but Peter wasn't going to tell her all the gory details all the time – she'd run for the hills screaming. These people, however, were trained, they'd seen worse things than he had; he could confide in them.
Not that he would very often, he had a reputation to maintain, and a prank war to win. He'd had no idea what he'd let himself in for after redecorating Tony's room and pinning Clint to the ceiling. Even Natasha had it in for him after he'd cocooned her.
He turned, stretching his limbs as he overlooked the city. "I guess this is where we part ways, like the movie clichés of old," he said, smiling wider. "Well, until I have to meet with my parole officer," he said, gesturing to Fury. That earned a smile from the rest gathered.
"Take care of yourself, Peter," Steve said, offering him a hand to shake. Peter took it, slightly amused at the formality of the occasion – the day before they'd had a quick sparring session after Rogers had commented on his fighting style.
One by one, the Avengers said their goodbyes, until Peter reached Tony, who was looking thoughtful. "Next time Thor's around, ask him to lift the hammer," he said, somewhat cryptically – it earned him a reproachful look from Fury.
"A bet, already?" Peter grinned, before holding his hand out for Tony to shake. "Sure you won't lose again?"
"Oh, I'm pretty sure about this one," the man replied, shaking the proffered hand, and then he got the shock of his life: Peter Parker pulled him in for a hug.
"Try not to get yourself killed, web-slinger," he said, after a moment, as the others shared looks.
"Web-slinger? I like it," Peter grinned, before moving to the edge of the helipad.
He paused for a moment, and then turned back.
"Y'know, despite it sounding clichéd and overused, I'm glad I met you guys. Just, next time, try not to get me stabbed. And if you ever need me, call on your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman."
With that, he pulled the mask over his head, and leapt off the rooftop, swinging away from the Tower.
For a moment, they all watched him in silence.
Then Tony swore: "I knew that kid was up to something. Bastard stole my wallet."
A/N: Well, here it is my friends. The end of Spider's Print. I seriously couldn't have done it without the constant support from you all. I'm sad, in a way, this is actually the first lengthy fic I've ever finished (I'm terrible normally), and I think I have you to thank for that.
I expect there'll be a sequel - I mean, I'd love to see Peter meet Thor, and there are so many prank ideas to be fulfilled. Although, don't expect it for a good while, plotlines take a while to work out and I have many other stories I'd like to share with you. Hopefully you'll enjoy them as much as you've enjoyed this!
Wow, I'm kinda at a loss of what to say. Just, thank you all so much for the encouragement, support, tips, and general reactions to my story. I'm glad it pleased you to read it as it pleased me to write it.
Also, the reviewer who asked about the "partner cartwheels"? I only named it that way because that was the only thing I could reference it to. It's more, partner flipping, but I get your point.
Okay, this is Caitlin, leaving you her last author's note on Spider's Print. Thanks once more, and thanks to Marvel for providing me with the characters to write from!