Chapter One: Black

"The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared."
― Lois Lowry, The Giver

My fault. All of it my fault. I couldn't believe just how stupid I had been. If I had only been a little faster...

I could have been there in time to save her.

My aunt.

My sweet, thoughtful, loving aunt. To whom I dedicated my life after the loss of my uncle. She was the one who convinced me to bring the love of my life back into my arms, to persevere with the burden of patrolling the city at night, protecting my loved ones as well as others, so as to not put them through the pain of a lost one. She never knew. I presumed that she suspected; heck, maybe she did know deep down in her heart. We never talked directly about it, and no matter how often I told her, she always stayed up until the early hours of the morning to make sure I arrived home safely. She always fell asleep though, lying uncomfortably on the couch, the news channel on the television covering a recent fight or robbery.

And I always brought her to her bed, gently put a warm blanket onto her frail body, and softly kissed her goodnight.

But on that one fateful night, that horrible night, our nightly routine was broken. She wasn't there when I got back.

My Aunt May.

Rain slowly dripped off the edge of my umbrella, hitting the fabric with a gentle patter in sync to the rhythm of the dull beat in my heart. I stood motionless, unsure of what to do except stare in silence as the coffin was slowly lowered into the ground.

There weren't many people who came.

There was Anna Watson, my aunt's best friend and next-door neighbor, accompanied with her niece, Mary Jane. Mary Jane was my age; however, we didn't know each other very well. The only interaction we have had with each other was an occasional weak smile and an almost imperceptible nod.

Of course, Gwen had attended the funeral, no doubt in order to keep me company. She was standing next to me, with her soft, warm hand clasped tight to mine, hers dainty, perfectly manicured, and intertwined with my shaking fingers.

She leaned her head onto my shoulder, causing our umbrellas to overlap and allowing some of the water to drip through.

"You know, it's not your fault," she murmured. Her usual bright green eyes appeared gray in the gloomy weather.

Moving my head closer to hers until our foreheads touched, I bit my lip in anxiety. "But I could have stopped him. I could have - no, should have been there in time for her. I failed her. And Uncle Ben."

My sullen gaze met hers. Gwen gave me that knowing look and shook her head.

"You can't be expected to be everywhere at once, Peter. He tricked you, tricked everyone. You couldn't have stopped that explosion from happening."

She squeezed my hand reassuringly, but I didn't say anything, my mind numb.

Putting her hands into the pockets of her white pea coat, she leaned away from me, unintentionally causing me to feel even emptier and more alone than ever as her warm hand parted from mine.

I couldn't help but let my thoughts drift as to what would happen next. Being seventeen, I was not allowed to live on my own. I had no relatives or close family friends for me to stay with until my eighteenth birthday. That is, except Gwen.

Gwen had enthusiastically offered to let me stay with her family for as long as I needed. No matter how badly I wanted to accept her proffer, I couldn't bear the thought of being in that apartment, being constantly reminded of Captain Stacy's death. I blamed myself for their loss as well. I deserve to be alone, considering I had pushed Gwen away when she had needed me in her life the most. I knew Gwen would never do that to me, but I felt that it was something that I needed to do.

The Watsons had also generously opened their door for me as well, but I didn't want to burden them with my presence. They had enough bills to pay for without the nuisance of another teenager living in their house.

The only other option... the pure concept of it caused a pang of horror to erupt in my chest and my stomach to tighten in anxiety.


Well, there's the very short beginning to my first multi-chapter fic - if this receives good comeback, I'll upload another chapter soon! If not, it may take a while, especially since I have almost nothing planned out for this story besides the fact that it's going to be eventual Superfamily (with the Avengers and such).

I had reread my other fic (the first one I wrote) which I posted sometime in July, and I cringed after finishing it. It was just planned out and organized poorly. I'm going to try to make this fic better by planning out chapters and everything.

Sorry it's so short; I was just too eager to upload it instead of waiting any longer!