Author's Note: I dropped the ball on this one, I am so sorry. I have no idea why it's taken me so long to get this up, it just got away from me and for that I deeply apologize. But writing my other serious of one-shots and the sort is so much easier than writing this and I've just been really tired lately, really drained. But I figured it's Christmas and I wanted to get at least one more chapter out before then so here you go, I hope you guys find even remotely entertaining.
P.S: Creative title is creative.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Amazing Spider-Man or the Avengers or the Fantastic Four in any way, the character Spider-Man and all related content is owned by Marvel and Disney with Sony owning the movie rights. The Avengers and all related content is owned by Marvel and Disney and the Fantastic Four and the X-Men and all related content is owned by Marvel with 20th Century Fox owning the movie rights. I make no profit from this, absolutely none.
Fantastic Part I
New York City—Manhattan—Avengers Tower
"So… should we start by going around the room and saying a little bit about ourselves? I'll start, I'm Spider-Man and Boba Fett is my favourite Star Wars character… before they redubbed his voice… damn Lucasfilm." The red and blue vigilante prattled as he sat perched on a nearby wall.
Blank looks and confused stares were directed towards him as he shrugged. "What is wrong with you?" Ms Marvel asked, slightly annoyed by the joke.
Spider-Man held up his hands in defence. "I'm just trying to create a friendly atmosphere, besides, everything's better with Star Wars." He added, causing the blonde super heroine to sigh.
Agent Jessica Drew cut in, sat on one of the leather sofas in the penthouse. "Now that is debateable," she muttered.
Captain America seemed puzzled by the exchange. "Who's Boba Fett?" He posed, not prepared for the blank look Spider-Man shot at him… sans the mask.
"I can't even look at you right now," he quipped.
The Captain raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Just ignore him, Steve. He's being an idiot," Ms Marvel told him.
Spider-Man smirked beneath the mask, laughing slightly. "Ignore me? You say that as though it were possible," he mocked, drawing a glare out of the woman.
She glanced around the penthouse office of Tony Stark, taking in the small gathering of superheroes. "Am I the only one slightly put off by his joking? Especially in a situation like this?" Ms Marvel asked, cocking a gloved thumb towards the spandex clad vigilante.
"He isn't doing any harm, Carol. We're all a little confused right now; I think it'd do some good to talk to one another." Steve spoke, gesturing to the open room with his red gloved hand.
Carol winced upon hearing her name being spoken, her real first name. "Carol? Your name's Carol?" The intrigued voice of Spider-Man entered her ears and she spun around, her arms crossed under her chest.
Her gaze hardened somewhat, waiting for him to figure it out. "Yeah, so? It's a pretty common name," Carol replied.
Spider-Man scoffed. "I guess so but… where have I heard that name before?" He hopped off of the wall, sizing the woman up.
He circled her, looking her up and down. "The long flowing blonde hair that could make Thor jealous, the hardened almost military like attitude, the distaste for any of my jokes… the only thing you're missing is an itchy trigger finger and a S.H.I.E.L.D uniform." Carol placed a hand to her face, muffling an already quiet outburst of 'oh God'.
"So in short, my dear Watson. I would have to carefully assume that you, Ms Marvel, are the crazy lady who tried to arrest me when I first dropped into Avengers Tower. Can you deny this?" Spider-Man questioned, pointing a finger in her face with mock accusation.
Carol's lips thinned as she slowly moved his finger with her own, away from her face. "Please stop talking," she muttered.
Spidey stepped back and widened his arms. "You see? Even now, on the very cusp of discovery, she would hope to silence the tongue of justice! Well, you know what Ms-arrest-first-and-ask-questions-later? I think I deserve an apology, hintedy-hint-hint." he subtly asked.
Ms Marvel cocked an eyebrow. "An apology? How 'bout I throw you through that window?" She challenged, a devilish smile appearing full force.
Peter raised his hands, a nervous laugh escaping his throat. "Okay, okay… matter dropped. Are you always this cranky or is it something reserved for me especially?" He dared to utter yet another joke.
He watched as she sighed, most likely because he shut up about her name. "Honestly? I've been a little irritated lately; I was hoping I could take this off. Wearing it all day, it itches, you know?" Ms Marvel spoke, peeling her black domino mask off of her face and collapsing onto the sofa by Jessica.
The S.H.I.E.L.D Agent took the mask, observing it sceptically. "Which is why you won't catch me in crazy super girl dress up," Jessica uttered.
Which is when Janet Van Dyne cut in, raising her head from where she had been doodling in her sketchbook. "Actually, Jessica, I've been drawing up some designs for you. Nothing too out there but I'd love for you to take a look and let me know what you think," the aspiring fashion designer offered with a small smile.
Jessica and Carol exchanged glances before moving across the room, to the opposite sofa, to join the Wasp. "So, what do you think?" Janet inquired, handing over her initial designs.
Jessica gazed hard at the design, actually although begrudgingly finding it attractive in its appearance. Carol, however, saw some similarities between the design and her own costume.
"Wow, Janet, you really do like the colour yellow." The super heroine kidded as Janet rolled her eyes, taking her design back.
Over on the other side of the room, Spider-Man had joined Captain America, taking a seat on the stool directly beside the super soldier. He shifted slightly, glancing at Steve as a small tune escaped his mouth in the form of a whistle.
"Since when was this a thing?" Spidey questioned, trying to decipher the scene in front of him.
Captain America didn't catch on as quickly as he had hoped. "Thing? What thing?" The former military man inquired, following his blank lensed line of sight.
Peter threw his hand out, gesturing to the black haired woman inspecting costume designs. "This! Jessica, I mean… Agent Drew! Am I allowed to call her Jessica? I mean, since when was she an Avenger? Wasn't she a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent, you know, hence the 'agent' part of her name?" He grilled, finding it hard to believe such a big change in such a short amount of time.
Steve nodded, realization apparent through the 'oh' he let out. "Well, she wanted to help out. Not live in fear of the public, she's a mutant you know." He added, in a matter of fact manner.
Peter furrowed his eyebrows beneath the red mask. "I know, I knew before you." He replied in a juvenile tone of voice.
"Well, it's not a contest." Steve responded as Spider-Man stared back at the view in front of him, his eyes namely focused on the blonde of the group, from what Cap could tell on account of the large lenses.
Peter folded his arms. "And what about her? Since when did she have superpowers?" He queried, interest filling his voice.
Steve tried to recall. "Definitely a while back, since before me and you met." He revealed, shocking Peter slightly.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa… so she was like totally tricked out when she tried to arrest me?" The youth questioned, anxiety gripping his body.
Steve nodded. "Yep, although she was trying to get used to her powers." He replied, in a somewhat absent minded manner.
Peter was trying to put two and two together. "So… she could have totally… crushed me into nothing? Is that what you're trying to tell me?" He shot back, his brow furrowing in anticipation.
Cap nodded, albeit apprehensively. "I guess so, scary, huh?" The man grinned as Peter latched his hands onto his shoulders.
"And I sassed her?! You let me sass her?! A woman that can throw an aeroplane like a paper freakin' aeroplane?!" He chastised, surprisingly coaxing a grin out of the man he was manhandling.
Steve tried not to laugh. "It's not a big deal, Carol's not like that. She's more afraid of herself than any of us are of her, try to be a little understanding." The Avenger finished, still taking notice of Spider-Man's solid grip.
The arachnid vigilante continued to stare at him, bright white meeting sky blue. "Tell that to her when she pummels me into a red and blue stain the next time a crack a joke," he mocked.
Steve shook his head, tapping the web-slinger's arm to let him know it was time to let go. "Then don't crack a joke," he reasoned.
Peter arched an eyebrow beneath the mask, a hidden look so confused was sent the Captain's way. "Are you serious?" He questioned, the incredulous nature of the comment evident in his reply.
Cap sighed, accepting defeat in the conversation that was seemingly going nowhere. "Guess not," he muttered.
And then, when all had quieted down and Spider-Man seemed to be lost in whatever thought he was thinking about, the whistling before the small exchange had begun again. Steve tried hard not to roll his eyes and move away from the kid, and he suddenly felt even more compelled to stay sat beside him… because he was a kid.
The fair haired man turned to Spider-Man, his eyebrows rising. "Is there… something I can help you with, Spider-Man? Something proper this time," the leader of the Avengers asked, watching as the wall-crawler rubbed the back of his neck.
"Sorry, I uhh… I'm a little anxious. I know we've kinda been avoiding the subject but… what's gonna happen to Dr Richards and his team? I mean, it's nothing serious… right?" The vigilante queried, his brow furrowing in morbid curiosity.
Steve turned to him, his blue eyes fixing on his white lenses. "I'm not sure, that's part of the reason why I'm out here, why we're out here. Bruce and Hank are doing everything they can to figure things out; maybe they can contact Tony too. I'm not sure how much help I'd be, in this day and age, things just seem to pass me by." He stated sombrely as Peter listened intently.
The recently graduated student scratched his head. "It's not your fault, Cap. The world just… it got bigger, it moved on. It doesn't mean we forgot about you, just the opposite. But things happened, discoveries were made, stuff was invented. You know, just… life. I mean, no-one's around forever… except maybe Thor. Kinda like Doctor Who, actually. Or James Bond, though I'm not much of a fan of Ian Fleming's most famous character." He explained, receiving a blank look from the Brooklyn born hero.
Spider-Man nodded, holding up a hand as he reiterated. "Okay, okay, maybe not such a good example. But uhh… okay, so the Doctor's this guy, right? He's old, really old, not Thor old but still up there. And when he dies, he changes his face, his personality, everything about him right down to the last cell. It's different, it's new. People learn to accept this new Doctor, this new status quo. It doesn't mean that they'll forget the old one anytime soon but they move on, they don't dwell on the past. Neither should you, Cap. You lead the Avengers; you're one of the most famous people in the world. Kids want to be you and the ladies want to be wooed by you, if you ask me, that's a pretty sweet existence." A small smile appeared on the man's face as Peter simplified things for him.
It was evident he understood what the boy meant by the firm hand on his shoulder. "Thank you, Spider-Man. That's very… insightful, even though I don't know who Doctor Who is," Steve replied.
Spider-Man laughed, but couldn't help but catch his slip up. "No, no, it… it's just the Doctor." He corrected.
Steve arched an eyebrow. "I, uhh… Doctor Who?" He posed.
Peter once more shook his head. "No, no, it's like… his name is just… the Doctor. Nothing else, no surname or anything like that. Kinda like Cher or Prince or Sting… hell, even Shaq. Doctor Who is the name of the show," he clarified.
Steve nodded slowly. "I think I get it, so the people who made the show are asking a question… Doctor Who?" He tried to make sense of it but failed.
Spider-Man shrugged. "Uhh… close enough, I guess. You wanna watch it sometime? I think Tony likes it, we could get some popcorn. You know, really make a night of it." He suggested, his mouth on auto-pilot.
"Sure, I don't see why not. I just hope it's nothing like that other thing I watched, what was it called? Harry… Porter? I'm not too big on the whole magic thing; Thor seemed to enjoy it though." He replied truthfully.
Peter knew what he meant. "You mean, Harry Potter? Yeah, I don't know what the big deal is either. I guess people like to be pulled into a realm of fantasy but… that kid… he's so OP, give me Tolkien any day of the week." He muttered.
Steve caught it. "Tolkien… what's that?" He questioned.
"First of all, it's who, who's that. Second, do you have a week to spare, so I can explain everything Middle Earth related to you?" Spidey asked, chuckling a little.
Cap shook his head. "I… I don't think so," he answered with an apologetic smile.
Peter shrugged. "Yeah, it was a stretch anyway." The teenager remarked.
"What's this really about, Spider-Man?" Steve queried, catching Peter slightly off guard by his out of the blue change in topic.
Spidey stuttered slightly, trying to find some way to answer the man. "I—I don't know, I guess… I'm a little worried, that's all." He weakly excused himself, quietly darting his hidden brown eyes towards the soldier.
Captain America paused, taking in the scene before him and the teenager sat by his side. "It's okay to be scared, Spider-Man." He said, his eyes fixed on the rest of the room.
Which was something that confused Peter, made him falter, try to collect his thoughts. "I… uhh," he mumbled.
Steve continued. "You know them, don't you? Dr Richards and his team, you know them personally. You're afraid, afraid for them. It's okay to be concerned; you have every right to be." He stated as Peter scrunched up his brow in deep thought.
He bowed his head, blocking out the chatter coming from the women in the room, his wide white lenses reflecting his blue knees and red boots. "And you can't show that concern because you're Spider-Man, you're not… yourself." Steve's voice went on, pouring into his mask covered ears.
Peter tilted his head, his lenses staring blankly at the Captain, unsure of what he was going to say next. "It's all right, son. I'm not going to say anything, not until you're ready anyway. I understand Tony knows who you are, has even seen you without your mask. I'd like to earn that trust, if that's all right with you." A hand on his shoulder, a red gloved hand, a national icon's hand.
Spider-Man laughed, a small chuckle, not quite believing where his life had led him. "You're Captain America; I'm sitting here, talking to Captain America about sci-fi and fantasy. You're my uncle's hero, Cap… well, you were. And he was my hero; you don't have to earn the right to know my name, Cap. You're the world's greatest hero," he replied.
Steve smiled, a genuine heartfelt smile. "I think I'd like to get to know the man behind the mask… well, the teenager anyway." He added with a wink.
Peter gaped behind the mask. "Is it that obvious?" He responded with a wince.
Steve laughed. "No at first, especially not in a chance encounter. I'd like to think I've gotten to know you quite well, this side of you at least. But… when I first saw you, in person anyway, this kid in a spandex suit just trying to do the right thing, you reminded me of myself. A scrawny kid from Brooklyn who didn't know when to quit, even when it could have killed him. Somewhere deep down, I'm still that kid, at heart. And please, while we're on the subject, my friend's call me Steve." He explained, extending his hand.
Large disc shaped lenses stared at the hand, the kid beneath the costume squealing like a girl on the inside. "I… I… I'm not—I don't know if I can, I mean—" The boy was cut off as Steve turned to face him.
"I know it's hard, I know you have people that you're protecting but I am not your enemy nor will I ever be. I can call up Director Fury right now or strong arm Tony into telling me everything, but I'm not going to. Because I respect your privacy but let me ask you this and I want an honest answer, so you better be sure when you reply… do you want to be an Avenger, son?" Captain America asked, actually asked him point blank.
And Peter was almost too stunned to respond, he was definitely too stunned to speak so a simple nod of the head had to suffice. "Good, that's good. But when you join up, I'll need to know, we all will. We want to know if we can trust our lives with you, the man underneath that mask, and not regret our decision. So it all comes down to you, I can either find out later or you can tell me on your own accord, right here as I'm asking you to trust me." The super soldier informed him, not a hint of deceit hidden among his words.
Spider-Man didn't reply, not immediately anyway. It took him a moment to recollect his thoughts, try to understand the weight of what they were discussing and try to discern what the correct course of action was. It was going to come out sooner or later; he may as well have gotten it over with.
So taking in a deep breath and hoping for the best, Peter leaned in close to Cap, motioning for him to listen carefully. And just like that, not with a grand unveiling but with a whisper, he had placed his trust in the older, more experienced gentleman.
Steve's eye widened slightly upon hearing the name, because it seemed oddly familiar. He had heard it or seen it somewhere, quite recently too. Turning around on the stool, Steve glanced back to the bar he had been leaning against, seeing the slightly crumpled newspaper he had been reading that very morning.
Using his eyesight, which was very good courtesy of the super soldier serum, he made out the front page picture. Quite a spectacular one too, which snapshotted a daring image of Spider-Man catching a car in a giant steel spider-web. Under the image, in quite a small print, read…
Photo provided by Peter Parker
And Steve smiled, almost laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. Because it was one of those crazy two in the morning kind of ideas, that only a teenager could come up with. But through his amusement, he didn't even notice a quite ragged Bruce Banner enter the penthouse suite.
Spider-Man tapped Steve's blue clad shoulder, prompting the man to turn around. "Bruce, what is it? Has something happened?" The sheer urgency and concern in his voice was apparent, despite the straight face he had adopted.
Bruce removed his glasses and released a breath he wasn't even aware he was holding. "Well… they're awake." He relented, his quiet tone of voice hindered by a sudden catch of disbelief.
Peter had to process the information for a split second, his mind relaying each word at three times the speed. "But… you said they wouldn't be awake for… at least a full week, what happened?" The arachnid questioned, unable to hide the slight intrigue plaguing his voice.
The Gamma expert ran a hand through his slightly greying hair. "At a guess? I'd say that something accelerated their recovery time; we've found traces of low level radiation but nothing much else. In retrospect, nothing is wrong with them." He explained, which was hard considering something indeed was wrong with them.
Cap cut in, marching towards his friend. "There's a man in there with rock for skin and you're telling me that there is nothing wrong with them?" An undertone of demand filled his voice, it was hard to avoid given his prestigious career in the army.
Bruce's eyes wavered slightly, darting back up to meet the man who stood a good few inches taller than him. "If anything, he's recovering faster than any of them. His anatomy, everything from a cellular level right up to his bone structure, it's changed. Stronger, resistant, almost unbreakable." The scientific potential was not lost on Bruce; he just wished it hadn't popped up in his voice.
Steve glanced from Spider-Man to the small number of Avengers in the room; his blue eyes once again met Banner's brown orbs. "Show me," he stated.
Bruce reluctantly nodded, cocking a thumb back over his shoulder. "Just follow me," he quietly said.
Cap turned back to the now alert Avengers. "I think it'd be best if you all stayed here, we don't want to overwhelm them." He suggested with a firm tone but reassuring smile.
Peter cleared his throat. "Can uh… can I come?" He asked, wanting to make sure that Dr Richards and his team were in good health.
Steve's eyes darted from Peter to the Avengers present while Bruce lingered by the doorway. "Sure… just try not to—just tone it down a little," the Captain told him, stuttering a little as he tried to find the right words.
Spider-Man nodded, moving past him to join Bruce. "What's shaking, Doc?" He jovially greeted, watching an uneasy smile struggle to show itself on the scientist's lips.
Ms Marvel cocked an eyebrow. "Why does he get to go and we have to stay here?" She queried, folding her arms under chest.
Jessica elbowed the woman's side. "Do you have any idea how childish that sounded?" The former S.H.I.E.L.D Agent remarked with a dry smirk.
A harmless scowl was sent her way. "You know what I mean, I think we should at least be—" Carol cut herself off as she looked back in Steve's direction.
Only to find the soldier gone, along with Dr Banner and Spider-Man. "Wow, that was rude." Carol commented, feeling a little left out in the whole situation.
Jessica shrugged, sitting back down with Janet, who had honestly stayed out of things during the exchange. "I'm sure Cap has his reasons, maybe he thinks a little Patch Adams treatment is necessary, you know… Spidey's speciality?" The woman joked, amused at Carol's confusion.
"Since when was he 'Spidey'?" Ms Marvel shot back, clearly insinuating something.
Jessica raised her eyebrows, a little surprised Carol went there. "Since I know him better than you," she responded.
Carol scoffed. "Oh, I bet you do." The former pilot replied, smiling at this point.
"Please, he's more like my little brother." Jessica stated in a rather absent minded fashion as Janet showed her a few more sketches.
Carol tapped her neck, her eyebrows arched in wonder. "So he's younger than you," she guessed.
But she wasn't expecting Jessica's response, if it could've even passed for a response. Jessica laughed, like a full blown hearty laugh. Placing her hand on her chest, she calmed down only to see the lost expression on Carol's face.
"Yeah, I guess you could say that." Jessica muttered, wiping her left eye for comedic effect more than anything else.
New York City—Manhattan—OsCorp Tower
Not too far from the gleaming arc of Avengers Tower, another spire was standing, desperately clawing at the clear skies over Manhattan stood. Its creator, the person that willed it into existence, dreamt it up and made it a reality, was staring out of the penthouse window. His eyes locked on the opposite tower, standing tall above the lower buildings. Norman Osborn didn't know what to make of it, didn't know what to make of anything really, how the world had changed.
It seemed to have just… completely warped into something else, where Gods and superheroes and mutants walked among regular people. People like him, well… before he went through some… changes.
"Superheroes… of all the convoluted ideas and notions, if you'd have told me ten years ago that a man wielding a hammer, calling himself the God of Thunder… I can't—I can't even finish that sentence." Norman stated, his expression dark as he glared at the tower.
As though it were openly mocking him, as though they were making a statement, as if they owned the place. He sighed, quite heavily as he cracked his neck and moved away from the window, stepping behind his desk. But he didn't sit, he was far too wound up to do that, far too tense.
And a large man, a very large man, so large he couldn't even sit down in one of Norman's office chairs, he smiled. "I think we share the same point of view, Norman. Something along those lines, anyway. They are a growing concern, Captain America and his merry band of heroes. But I'd like to discuss a problem, not a concern. Something much closer to home," he proposed as he leaned on the reinforced metal cane in his massive hands.
Norman raised an eyebrow, moving over by his desk to take a seat. "That idiot in the red and blue spandex? Please tell me why you haven't already dealt with him, Fisk." He grumbled, his tone of voice agitated by the subject at hand.
Wilson Fisk frowned. "I'm sorry, but I thought the subjects you provided me would have been more than capable, apparently not. Marko is being held somewhere, I'm not sure where, I suspect S.H.I.E.L.D are involved somehow." He guessed, which was as good as anything when the secret agency were involved.
Mr Osborn resisted the urge to rub the bridge of his nose in frustration. "And the other one? The… the Rhino, was it?" The CEO of OsCorp questioned, throwing a hand at the name callously.
Fisk nodded. "I've taken Mr Sytsevich aboard, for now at least. I felt I could put his talents to other uses, instead of a one-on-one grudge match with Spider-Man." The crime lord informed the businessman.
Norman looked confused, arching an eyebrow once more. "I never agreed to that," he said, narrowing his eyes at the towering man in his office.
"Actually, you did. You provided the means to create these… freaks of nature, while I applied them to anything I desired. At the time, my desire was to squash the Spider before he created any real problems. That time has unfortunately passed so I'm keeping Aleksei under my wing until further notice; he should be able to provide the muscle I need when the two thorns in my side show up again. I trust this hasn't altered our agreement, Norman." Fisk spoke, the faintest hint of desperation present in his voice.
Mr Osborn gave him a cold hard stare, a look so blank that Fisk himself had trouble reading it. "No, of course not. Is there anything more important than trust between two friends?" He asked sarcastically, his tone of voice deadpan.
Fisk bristled slightly, nodding apprehensively. "Yes, well… I have business in need of attendance. It's been as refreshing as ever, Norman." The large brute offered a few parting words before turning to leave.
Norman called out. "Ms Hand?" He shouted, as a bespectacled woman with striking red hair strolled into the office.
She stood expectantly, her hands clutching a few files close to her chest. "If you'd kindly escort—" Norman was cut off, gesturing to his larger than life guest.
Fisk offered him a smile. "There's no need for that, I'm sure I'm resourceful enough to locate the exit." He joked, side stepping past the woman with a respectful nod.
Norman feigned amusement. "If you can fit through the exit," he muttered, through the cracks of his false smile.
He watched as the powerhouse hidden behind the white suit left. "Will there be anything else, Mr Osborn?" Victoria Hand asked, running a hand through her colourful hair.
"Did you hear that conversation?" Her employer questioned, his mood darkening somewhat.
Victoria looked confused. "No, sir. You told me to wait—" She began but was cut off as Norman spoke, his voice dominating her own.
"Then get out," he stated shortly.
Against her better judgement, Victoria left with an extremely quiet 'yes, sir'. Despite the fact that she hated putting up with such treatment, she couldn't deny the absolute luxury of being the CEO of OsCorp's personal assistant. The pay was more than she could've ever dreamed of, the perks like dental for instance were an added bonus but the inside track she had on everything Norman Osborn was even better.
New York City—Manhattan—Avengers Tower
"How did this happen?" Captain America himself asked, his vision split between the two scientists at work and the four individuals they were working on.
Spider-Man hung back, preferring to keep his distance rather than give them the wrong idea… as far as they knew, he was a certified public menace. Dr Richards was having a hard time staying still, sitting up in his bed in a recovery room of sorts. The look on his face suggested one of boredom, probably due to the fact that he couldn't join in on speculating the cause of their accident.
The genius gazed to either side of him and looked on as Susan Storm returned a half-hearted smile, whilst her brother gave him a thumbs up. Benjamin Grimm on the other hand, wasn't as pleased about their situation. Because while the others seemed fine, at least physically, he had been affected the most. Ben was, like Reed, sitting on the side of his bed. The only difference was that his bed had been structurally reinforced to support his extreme weight, something brought on by the trip into outer space.
Jennifer Walters was also present as despite being Reed's lawyer, she was also a close friend to him and Sue. So much so that she had sneaked out of Bellevue Hospital just to make sure that they were okay, she felt fine but otherwise concerned. Especially when she looked at Ben, the transformation was… a little difficult to process.
Crystal clear containment bubbles had been crafted around each bed for safety measures, among them fear of infection in case any unwanted pathogens had been brought into the building.
Bruce cocked his head towards Cap, who stood with his arms folded, expecting some form of an explanation. "Which part?" He responded, as there was more than one issue to discuss.
Cap glanced at Ben for a split second, noticing the man keeping quiet and to himself. "Which part have you figured out yet?" Steve replied, hoping to get to the bottom of the mystery before the day was out.
Bruce gave Hank a nod, prompting the man to get to work on a nearby computer terminal; he then exhaled and took off his glasses. "Our best guess at what caused the changes to Reed and his team is something I am very familiar with, radiation to be more precise. I'm more of an expert on gamma for obvious reasons but I know the ins and outs of ionizing radiation, and since they were out of a contained and protected atmosphere at the time, we can assume that it was either a solar particle event or galactic cosmic radiation." The timid man explained, stumping Steve for a moment.
Hank cut in, still typing away at the terminal. "But we can't be sure which one, we weren't there and both examples are fairly similar. Of course we might be able to tell by way of a blood sample since cosmic radiation carries heavy elements; if there's excess iron in their blood then we may have an answer. Bu then again, if there was too much iron in their system then it would have poisoned them by now. It's all fairly… speculative at this point," he trailed off.
"Have we tried contacting Tony?" Steve inquired, reasoning that it would be a safe bet to contact the inventor.
Bruce grimaced. "Genetics and radiation isn't Tony's best field, but we tried as a precaution. I'm afraid I can't get an answer, it's possible this might have something to do with those terrorist attacks all over the news. You know, when Tony publicly challenged them to attack his house?" The man stated, clearly tired, a little bit humoured and ignoring the urge to face palm at the billionaire's attitude.
Steve wasn't happy with the answer but had to accept the situation as it was, besides, he had two super geniuses in the same room working on the same problem, he had to at least take comfort in the knowledge that they knew what they were doing.
And while Steve mulled over the situation, Spider-Man hesitantly stepped over to join Banner and Pym. "May I?" He questioned, referring to the tablet Pym had placed on a computer monitor.
Hank raised an eyebrow, glancing from the screen he was working on to look at Spider-Man. "I—uhh—yes, if you can understand it." The scientist stuttered slightly, he had no idea who was underneath the mask after all.
Bruce watched with intrigue as Spider-Man picked up the tablet. "I may not be a super genius like yourself but I know my way around genetically altered DNA, big fan of your work by the way." He praised, before focusing on the small screen in his gloved hands.
"I've already taken the liberty of studying their DNA, no major changes have occurred. Whatever happened didn't affect them to such an extent, save for Mr Grimm of course." Bruce advised but walked over to join the acrobat.
Peter pointed out several abnormalities in the structure of the DNA strand being shown, which was currently Johnny's. "What about these? His genetic code has almost been completely rearranged; his ATP production is off the charts." The Queen's born hero observed.
Bruce furrowed his brow in confusion, taking the tablet out of Spider-Man's hands for a closer look. "That can't be right… hold on, I—how did I not see this?" He muttered, focusing his glasses.
Jennifer piped up. "Bruce, you've been taking care of me, even I can see you're exhausted. People make mistakes, even geniuses. You need some rest," she assured him as he sighed.
He turned to Spider-Man, his brow scrunched up in deep thought, almost as if he was analysing the man. "Thanks for catching my mistake, what—what else do you know?" Bruce queried, folding his arms with keen interest.
Spidey shook his head as he raised his hands. "I know how to use a microwave, aside from that, not much else." He joked, really not wanting to make a big deal out of anything.
Bruce however, wasn't buying it for a second. "You and me, we're talking later." He told the web-slinger, earning a small and subtle nod from him.
Cap watched the exchange for a moment, following the wall-crawler with his eyes as he stepped back over to stand next to him. "I think the important thing here is that you're all alive and well, a fall from space and you're awake on the very same day? I'd call that a win," he spoke, addressing Reed and his team.
Johnny had to agree. "I'm with the red, white and blue dude. I'm just glad we're back on solid ground, no worse for wear." The teen expressed, cocking a thumb towards Cap.
"Speak for ya self," Ben grumbled.
And the rest of the room had to wince because whatever had happened, clearly Ben was worse off. The man had been changed into a seven foot tall mass of orange rock, save for his original blue eyes. But why Ben? Why hadn't the others been affected?
Reed turned around on his bed, facing the lumbering figure of his friend. "We know, Ben. But we couldn't have possibly been spared; changes to your genetic structure have exhibited themselves externally. There's an almost certain possibility that we'll experience the same thing, maybe not on the outside but something will have changed." The leader of the team spoke, reminding everyone present that he was just as smart as the two resident scientists of the Avengers.
Sue found herself agreeing with her boyfriend. "Reed's right, I definitely remember a bright flash of light before our shuttle was breached. We were all hit by that… radiation; its effects could be delayed for us. In fact, I am starting to feel a little bit… thin. Like I'm not all here," the blonde bombshell theorized.
Johnny was starting to panic. "What, so you're saying we're all gonna end up like Ben?" He questioned, fear wrought across his face.
His sister instantly snapped her head towards him, her expression like venom. "Johnny! Can't you see how affected he is? Use that brain of yours before you say anything like that again," Sue scolded, slightly ashamed by his discard for their friend.
The younger of the two siblings held up his hands in defence, leaning back involuntarily despite his sister being unable to reach him. "Hey, I love Ben. Ben's great, Ben's like my third favourite bud. But is it wrong that I don't wanna end up in his situation?" Johnny attempted to justify his attitude, predictively failing miserably.
But before an almost outraged Sue could lay the smack down, the most unexpected of people cut in. "You might already be there," Spider-Man stated timidly.
Everyone present redirected their gaze towards the vigilante, save for Ben who couldn't really care less. "Why is he here again? I don't know this guy, does anybody know this guy?" Johnny threw his hands up, casting various looks around the room as Spidey stared at him blankly.
Reed raised his finger. "I (surprisingly) find myself agreeing with Johnny, why are you here? To my knowledge, aside from your curious scientific interest, you're just a common vigilante. And that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said about you, as far as the media goes." The physicist gave his two cents, trying not to offend the masked man.
Captain America placed a hand on Spider-Man's shoulder, still facing Reed and his contained team. "Actually, this is Spider-Man. Our newest Avenger, he's proven himself to be up to the task more than once and he just happens to be the first person that arrived at the scene of your crash. I'm sure if it weren't for him, with some added help, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now." Steve pointed out, feeling the teen's shoulder tenses as soon as the word 'Avenger' was spoken.
Peter snapped his head around to look at Cap, the man offered him a nod. "We'll straighten some of the details out later," the war veteran muttered.
Reed looked a little surprised but after exchanging glances with Sue, he readdressed the acrobat. "Oh, well my mistake. I suppose a thank you is in order, umm… you were saying something before?" He suggested, politely smiling at their saviour.
Trying to step around the mention of him becoming an Avenger, Peter nodded. "I don't mean to sound arrogant but you're surrounded by people that have changed, on some form or in some way. Dr Banner over there was exposed to a massive dose of gamma radiation, it should have killed him. Cap had everything about him boosted to peak human levels and me; I was bit by a genetically altered spider. For all I knew, I was gonna start growing extra arms and snacking on flies. I'm just saying that each of us managed to turn what happened to us into something good, something to better the lives of others." The teenager preached, compelling the four of them to listen.
"Okay, so we don't know the actual effects the radiation has had on your bodies but if it's something extraordinary like Mr Grimm, why don't you accept it positively?" Spider-Man suggested, walking a little closer to Ben.
The behemoth's ever present frown deepened. "Extraordinary? Kid, look at me. I'm a monster, nobody's gonna give me the time o' day lookin' like this. Whatever you're wearin', it's just a costume. This, all o' this right here, it's all me. I can't just take it off at the end o' the day, so go and tell your 'be a hero' speech to someone else. I ain't buyin' it," Ben grumbled.
Peter pointed a finger right at Ben's face. "You know what I see when I look at you? I don't see some freak of nature; I don't see the rock like skin. The first thing I notice about you is your eyes, those blue eyes of yours. The sheer humanity you hold in those eyes, I would have to be an idiot not to regard you as a human being. And if you want to sit here and mope about it, then be my guest. But if you do, then you're lower than what you see yourself as." The vigilante lectured, actually gaining a gasp or two out of those present.
And the look Ben was giving him wasn't any better. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't rip this bubble like toilet paper and tear you a new one," the man threatened, actually getting out of his bed to size the wall-crawler up.
Spidey didn't back down, didn't even flinch as he stepped closer to the bubble and stared Ben down. "Because with great power, there must also come great responsibility. I made the mistake of not helping someone when I could have, with all these amazing abilities. You know what happened? They died… and I will carry that for the rest of my life. Whatever walk of life you're from, whatever you've done in the past or will do in the future, I would never wish that on you. It's the most excruciating feeling in the world and sometimes… sometimes I can't even bring myself to look in the mirror." He gave his reason passionately, something that he struggled to talk about.
Ben didn't know what to make of it, no-one did. "So this is it, here's where you decide. Whether to turn around what's happened to you and bring joy to the lives of others or make a mistake, one single life changing mistake and spend the rest of your life wishing it had gone just a little bit differently. No-one's rushing you, get some rest and talk to your friends. And if you feel up to it, you can punch me later." Spider-Man finished, walking away from the man and brushing past Steve.
He left the room without a word, leaving Ben to stare at his feet in deep thought, trying to make some semblance of what had happened to him and how he could use it. Cap merely stared after the teenager, his eyes lingering on an empty doorway. Bruce had actually stopped what he had been doing; running a hand through his slightly greying hair and exchanging a concerned glance with Steve.
Even Johnny was a little moved by what had transpired but Reed cleared his throat, warranting some attention. "I think we all have a few important things to talk about, if you'll allow us the privacy." The engineer asked courteously.
Steve nodded. "Of course, Dr Richards. Take all the time you need," he said, motioning for Bruce and Hank to leave.
The two geniuses caught the motion, leaving whatever they were tinkering with. "Everything's in place, monitoring your vitals and brain patterns. There's a button on the right side of each of your beds, just press it and we'll be right in." Dr Pym explained, joining Bruce and Steve by the door.
Ben unexpectedly raised a thick orange finger, beckoning some attention his way. "Hey, uhh… I have a girlfriend… uhh… Alicia Masters. You think you could let her know that I'm okay?" The Brooklyn born pilot requested, a hopeful look etched into his rocky features.
Steve gave the man a resolute nod. "Absolutely," he told Ben with the utmost amount of confidence.
Jennifer, who had been sitting on the side-lines for a while, spoke up. "I'm gonna stay here, if that's okay. Don't want anything happening to my number one clients," she joked, attempting to lighten the mood somewhat.
Bruce stiffly nodded. "Of course, Jen. I'll be right down the hall," her cousin told her, a note of concern chiming within in his quiet voice.
The lawyer nodded and began conversing with Sue and Reed while Johnny folded his arms and huffed, he wasn't fond of the thought of being trapped in a giant air bubble for hours on end. But then again, he had survived a fall from outer space… space. He had survived a fall from space and was sitting in the Avengers tower as an esteemed guest… well, more like patient but the point still stood.
A cocky grin lit up the blonde's visage. "Wait 'til Pete gets a load of this," he smugly muttered to himself.
New York City—Manhattan—Times Square
Having just entered the thick of the city, the inner core of high society and tourist attraction, Anya smirked as she stared out over the budding metropolis of buildings and skyscrapers. Something she could only see from a fair distance in Brooklyn, the pristine view seemed to shine in comparison to the almost dirty brown of her neighbourhood.
And of course, she had only once had the privilege of viewing the city from such a panoramic view, when her parents took her to the top of the Empire State Building when she was eight. Despite her young age, the girl still remembered it as though it had happened the day prior. The sky was a clean and vibrant view, perfect for what she had been doing for the past hour.
Anya didn't think of herself as a natural but she had watched online videos of Spider-Man in motion, his main transportation method was his well-known form of web-swinging but occasionally, he would opt for a more traditional route. An enhanced version of parkour, twisting and flipping like an Olympic gymnast, something which Anya had easily adopted. And it scared her slightly, just how easy it was.
Clearly there was a link somewhere, she wasn't the smartest girl you could meet but she was competent enough to see it. She was bit a spider, maybe he was bit by a spider too? It was certainly something to consider and that's exactly why Anya had traversed all the way across Brooklyn and into Manhattan, she wanted answers and she wanted them from the only person that could possibly know.
The girl leaped from a high rise rooftop, slowly watching the traffic and bustling specs of people move below her, she tucked her legs and landed on the opposite building with a roll. But Anya had taken a few cues from Spider-Man and superheroes in general, she had covered her face. Her eyes were hidden by a large mirrored pair of ski goggles, the lenses themselves were a golden colour whilst the lower half of her face was covered by torn piece of an old red t-shirt she had lying around. The rest of her outfit was completely normal, a white t-shirt was sheltered by a red jacket and a torn blue pair of jeans led down to a pair of red and white converse sneakers.
And secretly, she was enjoying herself. Who wouldn't enjoy leaping about the city with awesome spider powers? But she did have a goal; it wasn't all fun and games. Only, it was extremely hard to think with countless jumbotrons blaring at unprecedented volumes. One of which housed a very familiar and grating face, streaming live and apparently waiting on a certain wall-crawler.
"Is this thing on? Testing, testing, we're live? God damn it, Jonathan! You are so fired!" Screwball ranted, scowling to the unseen camera man.
The white clad internet star soon regained her composure as Anya cocked a sceptical eyebrow beneath her golden lenses, Screwball smiled widely as she addressed her audience. "And we're live at the heart of New York City, people! I figured a much wider audience was needed to really reign in the big numbers so I 'commandeered' one of the big news networks, the Daily Bugle! But that's not important, what's really important is that the man of the hour has exactly ten minutes left before he loses my bet! Don't go anywhere!" She ended the small break in communications, the camera shutting off and being replaced by a blank Daily Bugle message.
Technical difficulties indeed…
Anya resisted the urge to face palm, it was all just so ridiculous. But she still had to wonder just why Spider-Man hadn't shown up, he wasn't exactly camera shy so she figured he must have been busy elsewhere. But then again, the whole situation seemed a little embarrassing. A failed internet personality grasping at what very little fame she had left, no wonder Spidey hadn't shown up.
"What do you mean he's probably not coming?! I worked my ass off for this, I stole money for this and he's just gonna stiff me?!" A voice, not as distant as Anya would have thought, called out among one of the many neighbouring buildings.
Another voice replied, sounding a little bit flustered. "Oh God, would you just stop?! This is not a career, Sarah! This is… I don't know what this is! Go back to college; pursue something real but this... I'm out. I'm not going to prison for the sake of your 'views'," the voice belonged to a male and Anya had to guess that he was the cameraman from the broadcast.
Reacting quickly, Anya felt a strange compulsion to leap from one building to the next before she landed, crouched on a ledge and staring at the two bickering criminals blankly. The man, Jonathan she guessed, saw her first.
His face naturally contorted into an expression of panic. "Holy—there's a chick version! You're on your own; I had nothing to do with this!" Jonathan shouted, bolting for the roof's building access.
The camera on his shoulder dropped, falling to the ground like dead weight. Screwball span around, stepping back into a fighting stance. But upon seeing this smaller, female version of the wall-crawler, she smirked.
"Wow, how many other spider freaks are running around?" She taunted, reaching up to her white helmet to switch a small webcam on.
And simultaneously, Anya caught the sight of the very same jumbotron from earlier, lighting up with her own crouched image. "Oh man, could you not talk? This is embarrassing enough as it is," she mocked back.
Screwball had to laugh. "And she tells jokes too, fantastic. Well, you're not what I asked for but I guess you'll do just as good. So what are you anyway, one of his fan girls?" The faux pout was evident, as were the criminal's subtle movements towards the buildings edge.
Anya smiled, deciding to play along. "Spidey has fan girls? Could've fooled me," she jested.
The internet star glanced behind her, judging how far she'd have to jump to land safely. "Well, the more you know." Screwball replied, turning to dive off of the building's edge.
For a split second, Anya's heart leapt into her throat because as far as she could tell, there was nothing out of the ordinary about Screwball. Panicking slightly, Anya bolted after her, flipping like a gymnast. She dived straight over, ready to try and catch the falling woman, not overly sure what to do after. But shock lit up her face when she spotted the woman catch a flagpole, protruding from the brickwork of a nearby building.
She swung, letting go and sailing some distance through the air due to the added momentum from the drop. Screwball landed feet first, sliding along the wooden top of a large water tower. Her chaser mimicked her actions, using the flagpole but instead of propelling herself, Anya handsprung off of the narrow object.
Staying close to the building, she skirted alongside the solid material, wall-running as it were. Screwball slid off the water tower, landing on the building's roof, this one lower than the previous. She sprinted towards the countless vents and fans dotted about the flat surface, vaulting over them like a pro.
Managing to spare a glance back over her shoulder, Screwball gasped. Because Anya was no longer behind her, running along the wall of a building. It was safe to say that it did indeed hurt when she ran chest first into an extended arm, completely knocking the wind out of her. She hit the floor hard, moaning slightly in pain.
But she wasn't so injured as to miss the image of Anya standing above her, staring down with a hand on her hip and a hidden smile of triumph. "I wish I could say that it's been fun but… well, I'd be lying. It's been awful, just awful." Anya then leaned down and plucked the webcam from the woman's helmet.
Crushing it like paper, Anya glanced around for something to use to restrain the woman. It wasn't like she had any of that webbing Spider-Man used, so she had to improvise. And improvise she did, tearing a small iron pipe off of one of the vents before she then bent and wrapped the metal around Screwball's wrists.
Anya had to wonder just how strong she had gotten but didn't have too much time to idle, looking back over her shoulder, up to the building where she had originally confronted Screwball, the teenager could make out several police officers scouring the rooftop. She guessed they must have traced the signal that Screwball had used to hijack the Daily Bugle's newsfeed.
Turning back to the downed free runner, Anya smirked beneath her makeshift mask of sorts. "There you go, a nice pretty new bracelet for all your fans to see. So why don't you just stay there, unconscious and drooling while I make like Michael Jackson and beat it!" The young rookie vigilante mocked, departing not a moment later.
But she felt good about herself, catching a thief and just putting an end to something so mind-numbingly stupid. Although, it still brought her back to square one. She still had to find Spider-Man, find out why she had gotten her powers and how she could best put them to use. Though, she wouldn't have minded doing what she had just done on a regular basis.
Leaping from rooftop to rooftop like a skilled professional, Anya stopped short as a large silver aircraft shot by, pulling hurricane force winds with it. The girl had to wonder why on Earth it was in such a hurry as it weaved its way through the skyscrapers of New York, but as she strained her eyes to follow it, she could clearly make out its intended destination.
Anya shrugged, prepping herself for the unknown. "Avengers Tower, that seems like as good a place as any if I want to find Spidey." She reasoned to herself, diving off the ledge of the rooftop she found herself on and making her way towards the large spire that served as a home to honest to God superheroes.
New York City—Manhattan—Avengers Tower
"Spider-Man, wait." Captain America called out, jogging a little to catch up to the younger hero.
The red and blue vigilante span around to face the soldier, not expecting to see Dr Banner and Dr Pym with him as well. "What's the word, hummingbird?" Peter replied, a smile playing on his lips.
Steve clasped a hand on his shoulder, a bright grin lighting up his face. "That was a risky move but I think it was just what he needed, nice thinking, soldier." He congratulated, watching as Peter waved it off.
"I thought it'd give him something to think about, lessen the impact of what's happened." Spidey reasoned, gaining a satisfied smile out of the Captain.
Hank cut in, folding his arms with a smirk. "You're good, kid. I honestly thought he was gonna kill you back there, so… what, you're an Avenger now?" The blonde asked, shifting his gaze towards Steve and then back to the web-head.
"I guess so, I mean, yeah… I'm an Avenger. I am still an Avenger, right?" Peter asked, double checking that what Cap had said was serious.
The World War II veteran gave a firm nod. "I wouldn't lie about something like that," Steve stated honestly.
Hank turned to Bruce with a smirk present on his lips. "What do you think, Bruce? Think we have room on the team for someone like Spidey?" He joked, cocking a thumb towards the vigilante.
The gamma expert gave a lopsided smile as he replied. "You don't even have to ask," Bruce answered.
But before anybody else had the opportunity to speak, Peter's brown eyes widened behind the lenses of his mask. His spider-sense exploded at the back of his skull moments before the floor began to shake, a deafeningly loud noise split through the air, the assault on the ears sounded like an explosion. The four heroes attempted to find their footing through the chaos, Spider-Man having the easiest time for obvious reasons.
Ms Marvel, Jessica and Janet came bursting through a door in the long corridor, each of their faces holding an expression of panic and cluelessness. "What's going on?!" Carol shouted through the commotion.
Steve gritted his teeth, leaning against one of the hallway walls for support. "We don't know!" He bellowed back, watching curiously as Spider-Man whipped his head around in every direction.
"What is it, soldier?!" Cap barked, prompting the web-slinger to turn towards him.
His faux wide eyed expression masked his real one of concern. "Spider-sense! Whatever's happening, it's happening in the medical wing!" Peter called out; pointing towards where they had just came from.
He earned several nods from his newly established fellow Avengers before they all set off running, flying and leaping down the corridor. Crashing through the doors to the medical wing, Earth's Mightiest Heroes were shocked to the bone to find the large windows of the room completely shattered and torn away. Dr Richards and his team were still safe in the containment bubbles but the sheer looks of horror present on their faces made things perfectly clear… they were afraid.
And they had every right to be, because hovering outside, on the same level of the building's floor was a large metallic aircraft. The vessel was surrounded by hundreds of metal men, brandishing armed rifles of some kind. But the mind behind the attack became known as the aircraft's cargo doors came down, revealing a man of similar but more intricate design to the metal robots.
A billowing dark green cape blew every which way due to the high altitude and the man's metal face was darkened by a green hood. "Doom thought you and your team to be dead, Richards. Burnt to a crisp upon re-entry and then lost and forgotten at the bottom of the Hudson, imagine Doom's surprise when he learns you have lived on. Doom cannot allow this," the looming shadow declared.
Upon the end of the sentence, every single one of the robots raised their arms and took aim at the Avengers. The so-called 'Doom' figure merely folded his metallic arms and watched silently, the heroes in the crosshairs readied themselves.
Reed drifted off into deep thought as a stunning realization hit him. "I guess we know what caused the shields to malfunction," he pointed out.
Johnny gave the genius an 'are you serious?' look. "Ya think?" He stated sarcastically.
"Did anyone else see this coming? I totally saw this coming," Spider-Man muttered, earning an incredulous look from Jessica.
She arched an eyebrow. "How could you have possibly seen this coming?" The former S.H.I.E.L.D Agent posed, disbelief fraught in her voice.
Peter elaborated. "Well, maybe not the killer robots although this is dangerously close to Terminator 2 but uhh... I can sense danger." He explained.
This seemed to catch some more attention, namely from Carol. "You can sense danger?" The blonde bombshell queried, throwing Jess a glance in the meantime.
"It's this whole other thing," Spidey remarked.
To be honest, it made total sense to Jessica. "I just thought you were a really good fighter," she commented.
Silence followed as Jess and Carol both winced. "Well, this is awkward… can we just say Avengers Assemble now?" Peter complained, hoping for a change of subject.
And then Jess and Carol both redirected their gaze at him. "Wait, you're an Avenger?" They both asked, confusion evident in each of their voices.
Cap frowned, staring at the three in blatant disbelief. "Are we seriously doing this right now? Killer robots first, membership status' second. Avengers, Assemble!" The living embodiment of the nation bellowed, pointing at the clear and dangerous threat that had attacked their home.
Author's Note: Next chapter: Doom and his horde of Doombots versus the all new Avengers and their Fantastic friends plus... Spider-Chick? No, seriously, who is that?
So, I've recently decided to change the way I answer reviews. I've been doing for a few chapters on my other story and thought it made sense to employ the change here as well, but since I've been such a lazy person and left you guys hanging for so long, I'm gonna use the old way one last time before replying to you guys next chapter in a more personal way. Thanks for reading!
Dragonskyt: Anya and Spidey meet next chapter, it's gonna be pretty confusing for Peter but it'll lead to something greater!
Deamondeathstone: Like with so many other things, I totally dropped the ball on that. My bad :)
Midnight Bloom: The puns, well, the puns just become apparent as time goes on. Sometimes I'll think of them instantly, other times they'll come to me a day later and I'll go back and change them. It's this whole process thingy, very complicated stuff... Anyway, you will be seeing Peter's eighteenth birthday but not next chapter. Maybe the chapter after but it is relatively soon, and good guess with the shuttle crash but the symbiote was simply hitching a ride, nothing to do with him. Anya's an awesome character, completely independent but can't not be affiliated with Spider-Man. She'll be an important part of his life in the future but just be patient, not easy with me making everyone wait, I know :)
Dracconnis: Tony has his own things going on but when he comes back and learns that Peter's officially part of the Avengers, it's gonna be crazy! Venom is patient and also won't strike yet due to complications, you'll have to wait and see!
NinjaRiderWriter: Kitty will definitely be making another appearance, I love her character too. Probably not as a love interest, Gwen's still around. And the symbiote has already appeared, did you notice it last chapter? *wink*
Bookworm Gal: It's actually much harder than it looks, making everything seem like it could co-exist. But I'm glad you enjoyed last chapter, hopefully you liked this one just as much!
icecoldfairy: Well, story is important so I kind of have to include those. But right now, I have so much going on that the only problem is what to show next and in which order. But if you love Spidey/Cap interaction then I'm sure you loved this chapter, thanks for the review!
Nyx811: Thank you!
FFiction13: I won't lie, I actually did consider it or even a nod to him. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought how ridiculously outlandish it would have been, there's still hope for the future though!
Kristina'sMyName: Have no fear, Peter got to make a statement this chapter, to show what kind of a person he really is. But yeah, Ava and Sam. Last chapter was merely a mention but I am bringing them in, you'll see them a few chapters down the road. Danny and Luke won't be teenagers but they won't be as old as their Earth-616 counterparts, think of them as just starting their Heroes for Hire career, hence why Spidey has never heard of them. And Peter will be going to college but will also have a part-time job under Reed, it's an internship so he won't be paid for it. Thanks for the review!
MihAela-Selene: I'm happy you liked the last chapter, a lot of awesome stuff happened. But She-Hulk is closer than you think so just be patient and she will make her fanfic debut! The Punisher's a given where the criminal underworld is involved and Deadpool, I'd have to be an idiot not to include Deadpool in some shape or form. Thanks for the continued support and pro tip, always end on a joke! :)
pamellka: Wow, I really do appreciate the support. 3 chapters in a row, true support right there. I too love the interaction between the Marvel characters, it's even better when you can write how it goes. It's just plain fun! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, I'm thrilled you love the story.
Guest1: Yes, I managed to slip Nova in there, you crazy reviewer! :)
Nimbus Llewelyn: You know it's gonna happen eventually, right? :)
Cloud Ex-SOLDIER: Well, the graduation scene was a must for me but it's okay if you prefer things a little more action oriented. Norman and J.J going head-to-head, I couldn't not do it. It literally wrote itself and I find myself oddly enjoying writing Norman's character, really fun once you get used to it. And that idea with the symbiote, it's a really good one. Just know this, if I can, I will. But not for the sake of doing it, but jeez that's an awesome idea!
Crystallea1321: You're spot on there, I have taken some liberties with the origins of some characters but you will see She-Hulk soon. After Jen gets used to her powers, she will be able to transform at will but she needs to be angered for the first even transformation to kick in. And you're spot on with Norman, though I won't say too much about that. But although the Fantastic Four are here, you won't see them in their full glory until next chapter when their powers kick in. Deadpool will appear but it will be for a purpose as will Doctor Strange, I've seriously got so many story ideas that I'm having trouble deciding which ones to cover first. And I know it's been a while since the last update but I haven't had the chance, I've just been so out of it lately. Thanks for the review though!
Wiggles-n-stuff: I was surprised to find myself liking J.J as I wrote him, I was like 'hey, you know what? He's not that bad of a guy'. And you haven't seen the introduction of Spidey's greatest villain just yet, in a manner of speaking. Peter and Anya will meet next chapter in less than private circumstances, thanks for the review Wiggles!
MonkeyFish997: Two words, the same word but repeated. Definitely, definitely.
UubPathnik: That's a great idea but when Deadpool does eventually show up, you'll see where he stands on Spidey. No-one copies his suit's colour scheme, no-one :)
Logan GC: It's totally fine, we all have lives after all. I'm glad you're enjoying the story, and yes, the shadow in Peter's boot was the symbiote but don't tell anybody. *shhh* Thanks for the review!
Sparxthehdgehog: I am? Oh good, I kind of needed some clarification on that, I thought I messed everything up a long time ago. And I love your viewpoint concerning Gwen's death, it is sadly required. Nothing can change it, nothing. And although in time, a girlfriend durable enough would be great, it'll be a long while after the incident before Peter even considers dating again. Thanks for the review!
BBRAE623: Pure thankfulness :)
ULTRA SONIC: Thank you so much, I really do try to think carefully about the characters and what place they are in specifically. If I advised over Marvel, Peter would never die, no matter which version. Thanks for the support!
Rainbor123: I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long (I did, I know) Thanks for your patience though, simply brilliant.
Dragonscorch: Yeah, I jumped the shark with that. I know, I hate me too. All kidding aside, I really do appreciate the patience. Thanks!
delmorian: Thanks, I'm happy to see that you're enjoying the story. Just don't give away what I'm doing with your detective skills and whatnot! :)
FiyoriTakeshi: Hey, you're fantastic. I'm honestly glad you stumbled upon this story, welcome aboard! I think I stumbled upon your DeviantArt too, I'm nosy, it's beginning to be a real problem. Very beautiful artwork though but thanks for the review, esteemed reader!
Boingaboo: Take it from me, Venom is gonna be insane, like out of this world insane. Thanks for reading!
Hey, everyone... it's only eleven days until Christmas. Let the fun begin!