Update 5th June 2013: The whole Mandarin plot of IM3 has forced me to change my plotline. Next chapter won't be up before 23rd June. Check out my profile for details.
Previously, on The Amazing Spider-Man: Team Up -
Spider-Man and Hawkeye bring the cross-species serum back to the SHIELD base, and he gets to know about the Mandarin and Tony's conflict with him.
Silver Surfer after crashing on the Earth is taken to Baxter Building, where he hints at a dangerous enemy and an impending war.
Next morning, what Peter hopes would be a normal day turns out to be an eventful one as an infected person tries to attack his home and he finds that Fury assigned a SHIELD agent to spy on him, increasing his worries. Agent Aerodart asks Peter to tell him everything.
"Suspicion is a mental picture seen through an imaginary keyhole."
Disclaimer- I don't own any of the characters, except my OCs. All rights go to Marvel.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Team Up
I Don't Like Being Followed 24/7
Location: Parker Residence
Peter continued to gaze at the agent, his breath slightly hitched in his throat. He wasn't sure how to respond to the question.
"I don't know. This man barged in just now, with classic symptoms of the cross species virus."
His mind was still forming ideas on how to escape without his identity being revealed. Fury wouldn't have sent him here without a reason. Vishal looked behind his back and saw that sirens were nearing them. He said sharply, "Got to cut this meeting short. I am staying here for now. Any disturbance, please come and tell me about it."
He couldn't help himself and retorted, "Why. what does this have to do with me?"
His face remained impassive. "You? You just got attacked by an infected person and you ask what this got to do with you. Till now, there have been no such incidents of attacks at home. I'm just interested why he was interested in you."
He shrugged, deciding that playing the role of the ignorant teenager was his best choice for now.
"Hmm, don't you take pictures of Spider-Man for the Daily Bugle?"
There it comes, he thought. Subtle interrogation. "Yeah, why?" He replied in a non-committal voice.
"Nothing, just curious."
Trying to continue a passable conversation, he asked, "What did you do to Mr. Walker?"
"Oh, that?" He took out a small metallic box with a small nozzle built in the side. "Contains a possible antidote for these things, but too strong. He'll be knocked out for a good two hours."
"Antidote?" He asked in a slightly raised voice, excited for the whole episode to end. This was not missed by Vishal, who intently searched his face for anything. Then he muttered, "Trial basis. You were lucky I got here in time. But you demonstrated excellent abilities in defending yourself a few days ago, huh?"
Alarmed, he said slowly, "Yeah, but I only kept it away from my aunt. Rest of the job was done by the NYPD."
He was trying hard not to wither under the scrutinizing gaze of Vishal. "You were bullied in the school, weren't you?"
No, he thought quickly. This couldn't be happening. SHIELD was taking its claws out of the pouches. He assumed a look of total innocence. "Yes. Being skinny doesn't help a bit."
Vishal grinned good naturedly. "Hey, you're not skinny. You should have many girls on your arms. Don't you have a girlfriend?"
"Gwen Stacy, daughter of the late NYPD Captain?"
He cursed in his mind. This was not at all going his way. The agent was trying to get something out, but whether he knew about Spider-Man or not was unclear. On one hand, all questions had hints of accusations and hidden facts, which pointed to his secret being revealed somehow. But, he was not being asked anything direct, which surprisingly felt to him like they were trying to get him to confess.
Nothing except short, and to the point answers.
"After your uncle's death-"
He interrupted loudly, "Sorry, but we will continue this discussion later, as I've to go and comfort my aunt."
The man looked abashed and replied, "Oh, I'm sorry, completely forgot about the situation." To his relief, many cars came and stopped in front of the house. "Okay then, bye Peter. Remember what I said...I'll deal with the diseased...and the cops too," he ended with a grin.
Raising his hand loosely in a gesture of farewell, he muttered, "Bye, V-"
'NO,' his mind screamed. He was not supposed to know his name, or Vish as the nickname.
"-very nice, meeting you, I mean. Goodbye."
Lame, he thought, but still prevented extra suspicion.
Location: Empire State University
Peter was dogged by many students when they came to know about the incident at his home. He wondered how news had traveled so fast. Maybe MJ had a hand in that. Gwen kept her distance and watched him with an amused look, shaking her head playfully when he caught her eye.
Later, when he caught up with her in the canteen, the first thing she said was, "Now I believe you. Trouble really follows you everywhere."
"I mean, you're not even suited up, and yet you find a way to be attacked."
He held up his hands. "That's not a coincidence. I believe they can sense me."
"And by 'sense', you mean?" She asked slowly.
"They are attracted to me like insects to light. Maybe because I have the cross species DNA."
She leaned back in her chair, thinking hard. When she spoke, it was in a low voice that demanded secrecy. "OsCorp work has been pretty hectic for the past few weeks. Something big is going on there. Security guys are posted everywhere, denying entrance to everyone except the topmost officials, like Dr. Ratha. They even stopped me from entering a lab at the highest security level."
His curiosity aroused, he asked, "What lab?"
She replied, "Cross species and other international level weaponry systems tech. But importantly, the spiders are kept there. Does that ring a bell?"
He grinned as he remembered his adventure in that lab, one that had changed his life, for good...or bad, he didn't exactly know which. Then sobering quickly, he nodded and replied, "Looks bad. I encountered their thugs many times in the past few days, I told you, didn't I..."
"Yeah. But the latest bit of news is, that they're doing something with the cross species again. From what I've heard, all this ruckus is created over Norman Osborn."
He looked behind her head to see Harry chatting with the basketball team members, with Flash of all people. Time brings a lot of changes, he thought philosophically. He whispered, "Trying to save him by making him a mad animal is highly unwise, one would think. I thought he was a genius. What else?"
She bit her lip nervously, and said, "I, sort of sneaked inside anyhow-"
He raised an eyebrow, at which she waved her hand dismissively.
"-Not important in this context. But I found that work on the super soldier serum is almost done, if those scientists I heard are to be believed."
He sat straighter in his chair. "Ready?!"
Gwen nodded grimly. His emotions churned between alarm and growing anticipation. One way or the other, he was going to confront Rajit Ratha later, partly because of his hints towards his parents, and partly because he wanted to get to the end of this cross species drama.
"The thing is," she continued, "I heard your dad's name being used many times in the past few days. Almost always, it is spoken with wistful disappointment."
He lowered his eyes to avoid meeting her eyes, letting out a sigh. Like always, she was still staring at him, waiting for an answer.
"All this," he said, "all this is pretty big. Dating back...a decade ago. That day, in the sewers, he, Dr. Ratha said some things to me which made me wonder if I'm some kind of product of an experiment..."
He felt her hand squeezing his, under the table. Drawing comfort, he trailed off into nothingness.
"No one would do that to their own child, Peter. The spider bite counts for something, you know."
Peter was waiting impatiently for the next lecture to start, the professor being ridiculously late. He saw that besides him, Gwen was tapping her foot quietly in the adjacent row, her favorite place.
Leaning back, he focused attention on the ceiling, getting bored. Despite his lack of interest, he was aware of every single noise and movement in the lecture hall, from normal chatter to the about hundred or so potential threats around. Amused with himself, he decided to tone down the paranoia.
"Good day to everyone, boys and girls!"
That voice...was familiar. His head lolled back down, eyes finding the form of a particular SHIELD agent waiting on the front. Ryan Gabriel.
Realizing that his mouth was open, he shut it with a click, as the newcomer clapped his hands together as the students droned good days weakly. Shock, and then panic made their way into his brain. This was too much of snooping around, even by the standards of SHIELD. Assigning two field agents on the case of a superhero, even criminals didn't get such a fate. What had he done to deserve this!
"Before any of you ask, it's my duty to tell you that your previous professor has gone for a vacation to Florida, and I'm filling in as a substitute.-"
Peter didn't want to know why a middle-aged man would suddenly go to vacation in Florida.
"-so, in this term you've covered-"
He turned around. Gwen was looking questioningly at the agent, who was now with a part-time job of professor as far as he was concerned. She whispered urgently, "I know him."
"You do?" He whispered back, surprised.
"Not really, I mean, I've seen him a few times in our apartment building last week."
Slight dread, and a little relief settled in his stomach. So maybe SHIELD had not uncovered his small secret after all. They were just trying to cover all possible leads. But why Gwen...the school fight. She was only a possible source of information on OsCorp side, but maybe their little interaction in which he'd thrown her out of the window was not missed by all.
'What. Is. Going On In Their Minds?!'
Meanwhile Ryan spoke, "Now that we've gotten past my age factor, one more thing, stop batting your eyelashes at me."
Some of the girls straightened in their places, averting their eyes but smirking all the same.
"Okay then, the topic for today is 'transgenic animals'. With the present circumstance," his posture grew serious. "we're facing an invasion of a different form of genetically modified animals, but it's all the same in the end. As defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology-"
He debated telling Gwen about SHIELD's agent posted at his home, but he didn't want to alarm her. No window visits then, for some time. Shaking his head he tuned in to the agent's voice at the far end of the room. SHIELD had no business there except for watching him, but since they were keeping an eye out for Gwen too, the situation became more confusing. He had no clue whatsoever about this sudden change of plans. Didn't Nick Fury hold saving the city from cross species virus in the utmost priority? What was he hoping to gain? His identity? From Gwen?
Location: Daily Bugle
Peter knocked on the office door of the grumpy editor of the Daily Bugle. He heard an irritated, "Come in!" after which he opened the door and peered in slowly, holding the knob.
"You asked for me Mr. Jameson?"
J Jonah Jameson was surrounded by photographs and news paper cuttings. Apart from that, he was receiving a call every second from who knew how many people. That explained his mood, mused Peter.
"Parker! What have you got for me today? I haven't got a decent shot of the menace from you since last week. What happened?! Isn't the 'hero' going to do anything about the slithering reptiles?"
He forced himself to reply in a calm voice, "Sir, those reptiles are humanoid, they don't slither," oh, how he loved playing with JJJ. "-and Spider-Man is not sitting idle. In the past few days he has saved nine people from a certain death, and dozens from getting infected."
"Don't try my patience Parker, just give me the damn photos."
He took out an envelope from his backpack and tossed it on the desk. "Here. But he's been a lot difficult to catch lately. He rarely shows up, so these are all I got."
Jameson flicked through the photos rapidly, muttering obscenities under his breath. "This is rubbish. I will only give you fifty for each of these. The citizens demand some assurance, kid. Get me something with a fight or something like that. Then we can put up a headline 'Spider-Man - Lone Savior in the Darkness!'
Peter was so surprised that he didn't realize his mouth was shaped in a comical 'O'.
"What?" The editor barked.
He shrugged it off and replied offhandedly, "Nothing, just surprised to hear you appreciating his efforts."
The man grumbled, "I'm not praising him. But, with those things out there, he is the only one who can help everyone."
The words were obviously spoken with pain and irritation in the voice. Peter grinned at him, and said, "Glad you realized it, JJ."
"Not at all. I still want him captured by the law. No one has the right to take law in his hands."
He turned to leave, taking a cheque that the man had signed for him. There was no point arguing with JJJ. He was so stubborn; Peter was sure he would only appreciate his alter-ego when he needed direct help. Also, maybe his rescue of Jameson from the Scorpion had a hand in that.
A few minutes later he entered the elevator, richer by a few hundred dollars. He needed to stock up on his web supplies, and planned to order them on his way home. As he raised his hand to press the button for the ground floor, he saw a man enter JJJ's office at the far end of the office.
The man was Agent Aerodart, aka Vishal.
Spider-Man zoomed through the air, firing a web line after dropping over a hundred feet. The rush, the feeling of exhilaration never diminished, as he continued to keep a lookout for any stray lizard-men. Very often he could see people scrambling through the streets with a safety mask on their faces, hoping to avoid the virus and praying that they were lucky enough not to encounter any threat on their way home.
He had taken extra care to avoid the SHIELD agents that night. Just for the sake of throwing them off, he changed into his costume at a location so far from his house that he doubted anyone could connect the dots between Peter Parker and Spider-Man.
On reaching his favorite spot in the city, he did a few acrobatic moves on a mast pole and settled on the edge of the building, taking in the lights of the city. He didn't feel any nudge from his spider sense, for which he was grateful. He didn't want to see any more people getting infected and turned into zombie like creatures, before getting the features of lizards.
On the other hand, he was constantly paying attention to his surroundings, expecting to see any agent of SHIELD appear out of the shadows, a single name on his/her lips. No. He had to believe that his identity had not been compromised, yet.
With the drop in temperatures, lizard-men activity was on the decline, giving people a boost in morale and the authorities some time to recuperate. He checked the time, deciding to head back home. There was no work for him today. No crimes.
"Beautiful night, huh?"
His first reaction was of a split second flip through the air, after which he calmed down slightly, because his spider sense hadn't reacted. But he remained in an offensive posture, ready to lash out.
"Easy there, Spider-Man. I don't intend any kind of harm."
"Show yourself," he replied firmly, not lowering his hands.
A figure stepped out from behind a tower on the roof, slightly taller than him. His face was not visible in the darkness, making him squint behind his mask. The man was wearing some kind of a costume, which covered the upper part of his face. In the low light he saw that there were two interlocked Ds on the costume over the chest. As he came closer, he could make out outlines of two horns on his head.
"What in the world..."
The man chuckled, a deep sort of laugh from the back of his throat. When he spoke, there was seriousness in his voice. "Nice to meet you, vigilante. I've wanted to meet you for a long time."
"Nice to meet you too," he replied politely. "Uh, sorry, but who are you?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. They call me, the Daredevil."
He mumbled, "You obviously know me, so...um, what-"
The man rested his hands on the edge of the boundary of roof and stared in the distance. Spider-Man noticed that he walked with a certain awkwardness, though subtle. He was a perceptive kind of person, so he'd noticed that Daredevil also leaned on his side to hear, every time he said something.
"You are blind?" he blurted out. Wow, how tactful, Parker, he thought.
"By the rate your heart beat has increased I think you're embarrassed by your question. But don't worry, I have accepted my condition. I am blind, yes. Disabled? No. Perceptive. Hmm, I like that."
He nodded, adding a quick "Yes" after he realized that nodding was of little use.
"You sensed my heartbeat? Really?"
The Daredevil turned his head to catch his gaze in a piercing stare. Those blue eyes were rather unnerving for him.
"Yes I did. As you can see, I am blind. So - I have heightened my other senses, with enough practice. Now, I can see the world 'better' than I ever could with my eyes."
Now very curious, Spider-Man said, "Oh - then why this costume? Joining the club of our band of freaks?"
Daredevil grinned, and replied, "No. You see, I work alone. Sort of like you. A lone ranger. But I've come here with a proposal."
"I have seen your battles Spider-Man. I came here because I need your help."
"My help? You seem to fare pretty well on your own, DD. Can I call you DD?"
"Yes you can. Now, I will be straight forward with you, kid. My aim in this city is to eliminate the mastermind of crimes in New York. The person who has crimes traced out to himself in almost every way. The guy who deals in every crime you can think of. The person who is responsible for every weakness in our entire system. I am a vigilante, like you, kid. But I operate from the shadows. No one gotten wind of my actions yet. But there are some places, where even I can't go. You can be a useful ally to me in my endeavors, Spider-Man."
"Hmm, lemme think for a while...I can't just agree to help any guy who comes asking for it," he replied, still dubious.
Daredevil smiled knowingly at him and replied, "Don't worry, I am offering something in return."
"Return? I don't want anything from you."
The red clad vigilante smirked and seemingly ignored him, "I am willing to teach you. Help you improve your combat."
He asked blankly, "Combat?"
He dodged an uppercut from Daredevil angrily, but then saw that the man was grinning widely. He threw a punch lightly, which Daredevil caught with ease and twisted his wrist painfully.
He struck out with his elbow, aiming to catch the neck of DD but he got out of his way with an inhuman speed, driving a kick into his stomach, getting an oomph out of him. Mentally appraising the blind guy, he let himself loose as he rained blows, all of them landing short or missing by a mile. DD bent his torso at an awkward angle as he evaded his roundhouse kick. He realized too late that he had opened his defenses, and his spider sense had to remind him of the fact. He somersaulted out of the way of a well aimed punch, reflexively shooting a glob of web.
In a flash, Daredevil took out a white stick from nowhere as he caught the web fluid whole on its tip. "I didn't remember saying anything about ranged weapons."
He smirked. "A spider is honor bound to use its web, DD."
He got a small laugh in return. "Not bad, kid, but I wasn't really trying. You leave too much on your extra sense, you have one, don't you? The way you jump out at the last moment..."
He replied in the affirmative.
"If I wanted, I could have taken you out by striking any of your pressure points. I will train you. You can fortify your defenses very well after I'm finished with you."
Somehow, those words sent a chill down his spine. He said, "I feel stupid. I can't even believe you can't see...you fight better than us sight gifted men."
"I'll take that as a compliment. But I too had the gift of sight, Spider-Man. I lost it because of a monster," he finished quietly.
Spider-Man considered his options. Being absolutely free that evening, he agreed to help Daredevil. After all, it was another crime fighting responsibility, not a war against extra terrestrial soldiers.
Location: Baxter Building
Nick Fury was on the verge of blowing up. The situation of the cross species virus hadn't even begun to improve and to make matters worse, Reed Richards had just told him about the alien who had crashed on Earth.
He barked, "Richards, what are you implying? Didn't you assist the army in apprehending this...being years ago? Now you are protecting it? Have you got no sense of self preservation?"
Surprisingly, Reed just gave him a tight smile. "Director, I admit that the Silver Surfer was involved in the incident with Galactus. But, as you know, there was little knowledge about the events that time. I know this might sound crazy-"
"It does," he snapped.
"-but he can help us. He has an idea about who is causing all this. He knows who was behind the Chitauri, behind Electro, the Lizard, everything. He just wants to return to his planet, and I will help him, because he saved us from a certain death once."
He glared at him, and at the other members of the FF comfortably sitting in the room. "Understandable, Richards. But you know we can't just let someone of his caliber loose in the city. He needs to be under watch, until you decide whatever is to be done with him. Besides, you are not entitled for any actions taken with respect to the Surfer."
"Okay, but he stays here! Because the last time he was 'officially' taken under surveillance, the Earth almost got destroyed, all thanks to a fool who didn't bother to take my warnings seriously."
He grimaced, remembering all too well the massacre of General Hager and his men. He replied wearily, "By all means, do what you want. But you can't stop me from doing my job, Richards. The Baxter building will be under SHIELD supervision, for now."
Johnny Storm had the nerve to get up and say, "Calm down dude. We're just trying to help."
He glared at him, an action which he performed a lot everyday. Reed waved a hand impatiently to silence him, never breaking eye contact. "As you wish Director. Meanwhile, shouldn't you be focusing on the cross species threat?"
Grimacing hard, he replied politely, "We're doing our best. The antidote should be ready tomorrow, if we're lucky."
He'd added the last part unwillingly, but in the present context, it was true.
A man emerged from the shadows in a cold, dark cave full of stalagmites and stalactites. The man had green eyes, and walked with an air of superiority. In his right hand was a deadly, shiny scepter.
On reaching the middle of the cave, he called, "It's time. Prepare yourself."
A loud rumbling indicated the presence of the ones he'd wished to see. The entire structure of the cave shook as a huge giant, with frost white skin and blue hair, emerged from the bowels of earth. Another one followed him, this one wearing a helmet. Both of them were carrying clubs the size of humans.
"The portal will open in a while. You remember your orders. Cause as much damage as you can, frost giants."
End of Chapter-13
(A/N): It's been a while, friends. Sorry for not updating sooner. I was caught up in other things and had to rewrite this chapter many times, as I was not quite satisfied by it. Earlier, Loki was going to make his appearance in this chapter but I decided to split it, so this is a shorter chapter, just to get the flow back. SHIELD vs the frost giants in next chapter.
SHIELD suspects some relation between Spider-Man and Peter Parker, but they haven't made any kind of connection. Vishal wasn't probing for answers, he was just keeping a watch and asking casual questions, except the bullying one which he just thought was an interesting point.
Did you like the appearance of Daredevil? I will add most of the superheroes from Marvel Cinematic Universe in this story, the next one being...Punisher, or Ghost Rider. You decide. Which brings me to another question...should I restore the story to Spider-Man category like it was earlier? Is it better suited for crossover? Because it's not strictly Avengers/Spidey, I am very, very confused. Please give your suggestions for the next hero and the category change.
Iron Man 3 ! Can't wait for it. The trailer is amazing.
Speaking of which, Iron Man and Cap are out of the picture for a while, and the Fantastic Four will team up with Spider-Man for some time in the coming chapters.
Tell me what you thought of this chapter. You can of course, review and you can also PM me and I'll get back to you ASAP. This story will not be abandoned, I repeat it, the story will not be abandoned.
Spider-Man's training with the Daredevil. The Frost Giants wreak havoc in the Museum of Natural History. The lizard-men go on a rampage, sending everyone into urgency and panic.
P.S - You know what to do. Hit the Review button :)