Author's Note: Been so long since I updated this, I'm getting worse and worse when it comes to this story and I don't know why. Anyway, so the second movie is out in like twelve days over here in the UK, so I thought I'd just upload this because I am going to be following the movies to a certain extent. Things will be heavily AU, this story is already AU with the inclusion of the Avengers but you know what I mean.
So I hope you guys enjoy this, I had a hard time finding the right words to put this together.
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.
Make A Wish
New York City—Manhattan—New York Police Department—37th Precinct
The resident coroner of the department's morgue was hard at work, studying a very unusual case that had been brought in about a month prior. The body had been kept at negative temperatures in order to drastically prevent any form of decomposition, but none seemed apparent. Not even a little bit, which was extremely odd in any case.
The elder man, with grey stubble around his chin, pushed his glasses up his nose as he stood there. He was completely stumped, not about the cause of death but how the body had been… behaving. Tiny, almost invisible light pulses had been travelling up and down the body's system of veins. A little of red, a bit of green and dark blue but the body seemed to glow slightly. Almost a luminescent colour, compared to the dim backdrop of the morgue.
The coroner took yet another look at the body's notes, a one Maxwell Dillon, only known relative was his mother. And Louise Annette Dillon had been informed of her son's death; she just hadn't come in yet to identify the body. It almost made him feel bad for the guy, dying alone.
Without a word or even a sign of some kind, the deceased's hand shot up in a fit of anger and gripped the coroner by the throat. The man was stunned, frozen on the spot as Max began to rise, eyeing him in fear and rage.
"Where am I?!" Max questioned, his voice buzzing and crackling with untapped power.
The coroner struggled to get a word out, suddenly finding it hard to breathe. "I said, where am I?!" Max screamed, the anger of his words fuelling an unknown energy within.
The coroner went limp, twitching every now and then as unbridled electricity coursed through his veins. Max dropped him, panicked and frightened. He hadn't meant to, he had only wanted an answer. He didn't mean to—it was a mistake!
Max stumbled off of the cold, metal table and tried to gain his bearings. His vision was slightly blurred as he looked down at his hands, witnessing them violently charge with energy. His entire body was blue and chilling, pure power right at his fingertips.
But he didn't want it, he was just… so angry.
A figure burst through the double doors to the morgue, a woman with her gun drawn and backup stumbling in behind her. "Freeze!" Detective Jean DeWolff ordered.
She shut herself up as there was no-one around to hear her, just an empty table and a body on the floor. The woman had no idea what had gone on, she had just heard noises and shouting from above. But as she cautiously moved to check on the coroner, she was hit with a small sense of sadness as she felt no pulse.
The man had indeed been murdered.
New York—Queens—Forest Hills—Parker Residence
Nightmares, the teenager really could've lived without them. Voices, images, snapshots and loud things. All of them, bombarding him all at once, not letting up one bit. A deafening screech rang out, something akin to his spider-sense, splitting his mind open like a watermelon. Doors, paintings, windows, all of them showcasing events and happenings, all across his life.
Some he recognized, some he didn't. Was it all somehow relatable to that psychic event? When Professor Xavier and Jean Grey touched his mind, throwing them both into the brick wall of unconsciousness. He didn't know, wasn't sure if he should have guessed anything yet.
But it was weird, he felt off. Felt like something was wrong, that someone was watching him, had moved in without his permission. In fact, if he didn't know any better, he could hear someone behind him.
The boy whirled around, coming face to face with a rather eccentric man in a red cape. "Spider-Man! You must listen to me; something has invaded your mind! I am here to do all I can but I cannot vanquish this demon without your help!" He spoke, the boy suddenly noticing the guy's rocking goatee.
Ah ah ah, it's about time this dream ended. Wakey, wakey, Spider-Man.
Peter Parker opened his eyes, one at a time, feeling like he had been forced out of his sleep. Strange, he had been feeling like he hadn't been getting enough sleep for a while now. Was he having nightmares of some kind? Was he just hungry? Maybe a little cranky?
Peter lay in his bed, brown eyes staring straight up at his ceiling as he thought about a few things. Namely his life and how it had all led to… wearing skin-tight spandex in public, he hadn't exactly been planning it since he was five or anything. But life was funny like that, random events leading to other random events.
The brunette figured those words could best sum up his entire life, random events. Then again, there were people that believed it was all pre-planned. Like, everyone was a part of some universal grand design.
I wonder what my role in all of this is, nothing too important I hope.
The teenager pondered, a tired frown displayed on his noticeably pale face. He had actually been having some time off from the whole vigilante thing, after much convincing from Gwen and his aunt. He'd been in less than optimum condition since the attack on Avengers Tower, just over a week ago now.
Peter had thrown up as soon as he'd gotten home, slept for almost two days and had stayed in bed for the rest, much to the concern of his aunt. It wasn't normal, even though he was sick and superhuman. Taking a long dip in the Hudson River and then fighting a massive robotic army would've done that to a guy, even with his enhanced status.
He was still wrapped up in his bed's covers, his already repaired costume hanging in his closet. Thank God that Gwen knew how to sew; she had really helped him out there. Of course, his lenses had been permanently destroyed, no more Stark patented thermal vision and audio sensory. He wasn't really all that bothered about it, it didn't exactly help him out in the situations he found himself in.
Spandex and non-teched out lenses would've been just fine, he could move faster than automatic gunfire after all. The high school graduate sniffed up, his nose was still pretty red, running every now and then. Gwen didn't seem to mind, it was just a cold after all.
Spider-Man, the Avenger, had a cold. The thought made him laugh, but he didn't much feel like laughing, not with the way he felt. Peter wanted to get back to it; the last time he had taken a few days off to recover… people had died. And it was a horrible feeling, the worst feeling he had ever felt.
Almost being clawed to death by the Lizard? Nope.
Partaking in a bar brawl with an un-killable mutant? Didn't even come close.
Going one-on-one with a giant, hulking rage monster? Okay, that was up there.
But the first time he had turned his head, looked away because it wasn't his business, a bad thing happened. A very bad thing, something that still haunted him and he was pretty sure it would continue to do so for the rest of his days. The genius blocked it out, instead focusing on the door to his room, creaking open diligently.
A mug was the first thing that entered through the small opening, piping hot steam just pouring out of the top. A familiar face with a sympathetic smile gave him just enough effort to sit up, a grateful grin of his own lighting up his drab skin.
"Happy Birthday, bug boy." Gwen spoke, leaning down to steal a kiss from him.
Oh yeah… birthday… I'm sick on my birthday; eighteen and I feel like I'm dying.
Peter found himself smiling involuntarily, feeling bashful all of a sudden. "Aren't you worried you're gonna get sick?" He posed, feeling a little warmer already.
She scoffed. "I've already spent a week with you; if I was gonna get sick, it would've happened by now." She reasoned, motioning for him to make some room on the bed.
Gwen sat beside him, levelling out the pressure on the bed as he gladly took the mug from her hands. "What would I do without you?" Peter mumbled, pressing his dry lips against the rim of the mug.
His girlfriend watched him take a sip, his brown eyes incredibly weary. "Probably cry yourself to sleep at night," the pretty blonde replied, raising her hand to feel his forehead.
Peter cocked an eyebrow, but couldn't build up the energy to protest to her concern. "I was talking to the cocoa," he quipped, snorting when Gwen batted his shoulder.
"Still healthy enough to annoy me, you can't be that bad. But you're still a little clammy, are you sure this is just a cold? You've been in bed for over a week now, it's not… I don't know… spider related, is it?" Gwen asked, her hand lingering on his bare shoulder.
Regardless of whether he was sick or not, he still felt like solid concrete. "What? No, I mean, at least I don't think so. I've done a lot of research on spiders since the bite, they don't do this. They don't hibernate or anything… well, there is this one thing they do." He trailed off, silently speculating his idea.
Gwen's interest peaked a bit; she held a scientific mind too after all. "What? Oh God, you're not gonna grow any extra limbs, are you?" She joked, but the mere thought of it was extremely horrifying.
Peter laughed, his chest heaving a little as he calmed down. "No, no… maybe… no, definitely not. I was gonna say, that some arthropods have this thing in their bloodstream, this sort of antifreeze. Helps them wait out the winter, keeping them alive long enough for warmer temperatures. Maybe… maybe my body is just getting used to the genetically altered blood, implementing the antifreeze as a defence against the cold." He summed up, quietly staring at the hot chocolate in his hands.
Gwen's blue eyes studied him for a moment, her cheeks flushing slightly when his dreary eyes caught hers. "Something wrong?" Peter muttered, not finding the usual energy to keep his upbeat tone of voice.
The teenager shook her head, glancing at her boyfriend's red and blue suit. "It's nothing, it's just… I have a few ideas for your costume. Maybe if you had insulated it, you wouldn't be sat here with a cold and your amazing aunt and girlfriend wouldn't have to take care of you." She told him, throwing a casual hand up for effect.
Peter shrugged, relishing in the warmth the mug was giving off. "You know I'd be lost without you, can't even make toast without messing something up." He mocked, though noticed just how clumsy he was for someone so graceful.
Gwen pouted, patting his shoulder. "Aww, poor baby." She teased, climbing on his bed to sit in front of him.
The girl stared at him expectantly, a curious expression mirroring his confused one. "Something you wanna say?" Peter asked, watching Gwen cross her legs like a child.
"This is the first time we've had a chance to talk properly; you were pretty hurt when you got in. What exactly happened at Avengers Tower?" The blue eyed blonde posed, her eyebrows creasing a smidge.
I've been wondering that myself, more to the point, just what was Doom trying to accomplish.
Peter thought, his mind stuck on replay. Why had Doom just up and left? He made such a massive effort to declare war on the Avengers, why just suddenly give up and turn tail? Peter didn't know but he desperately wanted to find out, because he hated not knowing, it put him on the edge.
And everything about Doom just screamed dangerous.
Latveria—Doomstadt—Castle Von Doom
Uneasy silence and a dead atmosphere travelled through the halls and corridors of the grand structure, classical European architecture on display at every turn. Though, should one venture deeper, then the distinct sound of rather exquisite music would reach one's ears.
Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, it all played in Doom's most private hours. And it was there, seated in his master bedroom, with Doombots on either side at his every beck and call, that he studied the enemy.
With his metal mask off, his face concealed in shadows, Doom sipped on his whine. Smirking every now and then when a particularly favourable file reared its head, files pertaining to these so-called heroes. The Doombot that had brought them to him had served him well, as did his distraction. An almost perfect replica of his armour, controlled by way of an avatar helmet.
But the files, video and documents alike, were so much more rewarding. Every single one of the Avengers' true identities, every one of their unique abilities and plans for the future. Modifications Stark was planning to make to Jarvis, some sort of secret project initials A.M. A reinforced structure for Avengers Tower, brand new armour designs, Hulkbusters and space fairing ones striking up Doom's interest.
But something was missing, something he didn't much care about but it nagged at him anyway. The vigilante known as Spider-Man, his identity seemed to be missing. Either the Avengers didn't know themselves, or someone had wiped it from the files.
"His identity is of no concern; a face beneath that ridiculous will not change his fate. Still, one so young, his speed and strength astonish." Doom pondered, basking in the spoils of his victory.
Because as of then, he was the only man on Earth who had bested the planet's so-called mightiest heroes. Not in plain view of everyone else, but in secrecy. He possessed secrets so deep and personal that anybody would've killed for them, but he wasn't considering a sale just yet.
No, Doom would hold onto them for a while longer and use them to his advantage. For the next time he clashed with the Avengers, no amount of God-like strength or super soldier serum would save them.
New York—Queens—Forest Hills—Parker Residence
The boy shook off a sudden bad feeling, redirecting his attention the girl in front of him. Doom wouldn't show his face again so soon after his attack, so they were good for at least a little while. Plus, the Avengers dealt with him, they'd do so again. Nope, they had absolutely nothing to worry about.
Peter sniffed up; not really being able to smell anything but placed his mug onto his bedside table. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you, besides, I wasn't hurt. Few cuts and bruises, sure but I was more exhausted than anything. I mean, I dislocated my arm and popped it back in a second later, felt completely fine." He informed her, rolling the shoulder it had happened to.
Gwen's face paled slightly, she hadn't been aware of that. "And you were okay? Just like that?" She grilled, put off by the lack of interest Peter was expressing.
He nodded, quite tiredly too. Trust Peter to not think of it as a big deal, he may have been superhuman but he was most certainly not invincible. There was also something else Gwen had been worried about, her and Aunt May both.
"Peter, while you've been sick, people have been calling the house. Some even came to the door, asking about you." Gwen relayed to the boy, prompting him to listen to her.
His ears perked up a bit, his eyes narrowing in dreaded curiosity. "Who?" Peter replied, reasoning that he had been extremely careful with his identity.
Gwen shrugged, not fully sure how she was supposed to explain it to him. "I think… I think Captain America called, wanted to know if you were okay. I found a cell phone in your suit too, a man called asking for you. Murdock, I think his name was. And uhh… your friend, Johnny, he came by the house. He wanted to know how you were doing; I think he knew, Peter. I think they all knew about you," she finished, hoping to gain an explanation out of him.
He nodded, a thin line formed on his lips. "Yeah… being an Avenger doesn't feel all that different, besides the lack of privacy. Cap called to check up on me? Huh, I wonder how he's doing." He pondered, running a hand through his messy hair.
New York City—Manhattan—Avengers Tower
Tony Stark gazed around at his penthouse suite, having gotten over the initial shock and horror of it being half demolished. "So, I'm away for a few months, over on the other side of the country… and this happens?" The Iron Avenger grilled, sweeping around to face a casually dressed Steve Rogers.
Steve kept a stern expression as he spoke. "We had the situation well in hand; no casualties, no city wide destruction and the public still know we're here to protect them." The first Avenger answered, folding his arms as Tony huffed.
"But the bad guy got away, the rip off in the suit of armour. And now we have another team of superheroes? How does that work?" Tony posed, shoving his hands into the pockets of his finely pressed black suit.
Steve shook his head, knowing who Tony was referring to. "Dr Richards and his team are not superheroes, they were victims of circumstance. What they choose to do with their powers is up to them," he explained.
Tony nodded, apparently pleased with the answers he had gotten. "Okay, I'll give you that. But next time, at least try to reach me. I feel like I'm left out of the loop on so many things, had to sit by and watch it on the news like a normal person." He complained, taking a seat by his own personal bar.
Steve joined him shortly afterwards. "You know what happened here, I want to know what happened in California. Why were you pronounced dead on national television?" The blonde soldier grilled, having been afraid the news was true.
Tony shrugged, leaning back on the bar. "There was a problem, and I dealt with it. Some guy, called himself the Mandarin. I apparently hurt his feelings a few years ago, and he tried to kill me for it. No big deal," the billionaire brushed it off.
"That sounds like a very big deal, Fury told me you went under the knife. How is it?" Steve inquired, sparing a glance at Tony's concealed chest.
Tony tapped it, the area his arc reactor had been for so many years. "Not having my life in the hands of a miniaturized battery? It's great, you should try it sometime." He joked, offering a lazy smirk.
Steve nodded but stayed silent, he was glad to see that Tony was recovering so well. "So, other than a large scale terrorist attack, what's new in Cap's life. You meet someone special yet? I could set you up, though I don't know many women who are into old guys." The inventor mocked, watching Steve manage a rare smile.
"No, but the Avengers have been expanding while you were away." Steve answered, making Tony raise his eyebrows.
"Yeah, I heard about Bruce's cousin. Gotta admit, I did not see that coming." The smooth playboy mused, standing up to kick a few broken pieces of marble around.
Steve stood as well, dwarfing his friend completely. "The Spider-Man conundrum has been settled too, I made him a member before the attack. Peter's a good kid, though I have no idea why you were the first to know." The man wondered, genuinely surprised that Stark had gained the boy's trust.
If Tony was shocked, he didn't show it. He had known that sooner or later, Peter would have had to take his mask off. To be honest, he was glad that there weren't any more barriers. Now, Peter could hand out in the labs anytime he wanted to. The boy held a fascinating thirst for science, something he inherited from his father, no doubt.
"Good for him," Tony merely responded.
Steve glanced around the room, taking notice of how broken and destroyed his surroundings looked. "Tony, I've been discussing things with everyone else and the attack on the tower only solidified our plans. This place isn't safe anymore, not since we plastered our name all over the front." He voiced his fears, watching Tony bend down to pick up a tiny piece of debris.
"Fury filled me in, said something about being inconspicuous and closed off to the public. I couldn't agree more, a little privacy is what everybody needs right now. Which is why I went ahead and bought a little something for you, Steve." Tony responded, throwing a coy smirk the Captain's way.
Before Steve could reply, Tony began talking once more. "Well, I bought a little something for us anyway. Both of our names are on the paperwork, so we both own it if you want to be technical about it. It'd be a great place for your and Fury's academy ideas," Tony suggested.
"Wait, what? What did you buy?" Steve pressed, confusion panning across his face.
Tony shrugged, his hands once more delving into his pockets. "Avengers Mansion," he simply answered.
New York—Queens—Forest Hills—Parker Residence
Gwen was taken aback, surprise and intrigue lighting up her face. "Wait, you're an Avenger? Since when? When were you gonna tell me?" She pressed, leaning forward to better hear him.
Peter tended to mumble out of his costume, quite soft spoken compared to his alter ego. "I'm telling you now, aren't I? It's not a big deal, nothing changes. Well… except the fact that I had to tell them who I am, and I have to answer the call whenever they need some help." The vigilante sighed, not at all interested in the subject.
Gwen was the complete opposite, tuning everything else out just to hear him explain things. "You just told them? Just took off your mask?" She followed up, still debating whether or not it was a good idea.
Her boyfriend nodded once more, but shut his eyes with a yawn. "It was a lot more complicated than that but it seemed fair, I know who they are so I extended them the same trust. I kinda had to; things didn't plan out the way they were supposed to." Peter stated ominously.
The police captain's daughter was perfectly okay with his decision but she couldn't understand why he had done it, what his reasoning was. "Why not just stick to being solo? I mean, you seem to be doing okay, all things considered. The city is a little more trusting of you, the police too. In fact, the only person spouting nonsense about you is your boss." Gwen finished, a devious smile spread across her lips.
Peter returned the smile, finding it funny that Jameson still didn't have a clue. "Yeah, well, I don't know. I just… I just felt like—I wanted somebody watching my back, you know? The Avengers, everyone looks up to them, respects them, is it so bad for me to want some of that? I have other friends, other people in costumes but I feel like the Avengers is something more, I wanted to be a part of that." He explained, trying to desperately wake himself up a bit more.
The conversation with Gwen wasn't doing much; he just wanted to sleep for some reason. "So how'd it happen? Were they shocked?" The girl questioned, prompting Peter to grin.
"By what? Shocked that Spider-Man is really an extremely handsome and incredibly talented genius? Heh, I guess so. Some more than others, Johnny… he was a real piece of work. Most of the others welcomed me with open arms, I felt a little uneasy at first. The good, free feeling came a few hours after. There were some concerns, obviously, about my age, how young I am." He told her, shuffling into a more comfortable position as he faced her.
Gwen's eyebrows rose, her interest peaked. "Really? How so?" She replied, watching as Peter lost himself in thought for a moment.
He clicked his tongue, thinking back to last week. "Well, I think it went a little something like this." He trailed off, taking another sip of his cocoa.
New York City—Manhattan—Avengers Tower
Repairs were being carried out, men, women and machines trying to rectify the damage that had been caused by Doom. It wasn't easy, with most of the damage halting normal activity outside of the building. Thankfully, the tower itself hadn't been that badly damaged, most of it had been contained to a few floors. Sirens whirled outside of the tower, police cars, ambulances and fire trucks travelled to and from places in need of their assistance.
All of the noise and fallout of chaos, it was muffled by the haunting sound of silence. Ringing throughout the tower's upper floors, the floors specifically reserved for the Avengers. Tony Stark's penthouse office to be precise, it gave everyone a chance to sit down and take a breather. It had only been hours since the attack, all of it still fresh in their minds.
So much had happened; they were all still trying to sort through the important things. Dr Richards and his team had manifested powers of some sort, while Reed and Sue hadn't displayed such changes; it was to be expected to happen at any point. Jennifer Walters, Bruce's cousin, had undergone a drastic transformation similar to that of the Hulk.
Though, she retained her intelligence and was seemingly in control of said abilities, powering down by her own command just moments after the battle. A small teenage girl had cropped up, with similar powers to Spider-Man and Spider-Woman. She had claimed to know the former, wanting to talk to him about her sudden alteration. And last but not least, everyone present wanted to know about Doom.
Just who the heck was he? Why had he been so interested in Dr Richards? Unfortunately, the Avengers didn't have any answers to the questions. But maybe… maybe Reed did, it was the only thing any of them could think of but Reed seemed reluctant at best.
"It's all right, Dr Richards. You can take your time, but we need to know. If we want to strike back at him any time soon, we need to know what we're up against. The situation was handled, expertly if I may say so, but Doom had a lot of fire power. And if his sudden retreat is anything to go by, he may be planning something." Captain America stated, his helmet off and shield resting on Tony's bar.
Reed nodded, appreciating the soldier's calm and logical approach to the problem. "Yes, well… I know who he is and why he targeted Sue and I. To be perfectly honest, I would have never predicted such an action on his part." The scientist was sat, close to Susan, on one of the sofas.
The Avengers were scattered around the large room, Ms Marvel stood with Jessica, both of them leaning against one of the many walls with their arms folded. The strange teenager, Anya, was stood close by them, mimicking their action. Bruce and Jennifer were sat across from Reed and Sue, being close friends with the pair. Dr Pym and Janet were situated by the bar also; the latter sat on one of the many barstools. Johnny stayed close to Ben, who in turn chose to stand by Spider-Man; the battle scarred teen was perched on another wall.
Peter spoke up, one of his deep brown eyes visible through his mask. "Don't blame yourself, Dr Richards. No-one can accurately predict crazy, especially that kind of crazy. Did anybody else hear him talk about himself in the third person?" Spidey pressed, glancing around the room expectantly.
Steve nodded; Ben too, in fact, all of them had heard it. "Thank God, for a second there, I thought I'd finally gone insane." He joked, smirking tiredly beneath his mask.
A smirk most of those present could see, on account of the ripped and shredded piece of fabric, hanging from his head loosely. "He wasn't always like that, in fact, he used to be a genius. Whether his current state of mind has affected that, well, it's difficult to say. But… there was a time when Victor Von Doom and I were acquaintances, research partners in fact." Reed continued, pausing when he heard a snort from the web-slinger.
"Von Doom? Oh man, does the crazy train ever end?" He mocked, receiving a firm stare from Steve.
The soldier could appreciate humour, he liked a good joke every now and then but there was a time and place for it. "Spider-Man," the man simply stated.
It was enough to get Peter to bow his head slightly, embarrassment etched across his marginally visible face. "Uhh, right, yeah… sorry. But seriously though, his parents must have hated him. They might as well have pinned a permanent 'kick me' sign to his metal underpants," he mocked, a childish grin finding its way to the surface.
A nudge from Ben, almost knocking him off balance was all it took for him to stop. "Tough crowd," he muttered.
Reed glanced from the wall-crawler back to the Captain, receiving a nod. "As I was saying, Victor and I never quite saw eye to eye but there was no denying it… his mind was a brilliant one. Not everything lasts though; I suppose it all started with the accident." He paused for a moment, creasing his brow in deep thought as if recalling something of extreme importance.
Ms Marvel let her own voice be heard, her interest in the conversation peaking slightly. "Accident? Are you saying that something happened to turn him into that? I'm sorry, Dr Richards, but what if said accident simply unlocked what had been inside, what had always been there?" She questioned, reminding everyone that she wasn't just a pretty face.
Reed gave her a nod, recognizing her theory. "Excellent suggestion, I've often wondered that myself. Victor prided himself on many things, his scientific knowledge, his mastery of skills and crafts associated with the warrior. But he was also proud of his… physical aspects, most notably, his face. He often said that he was the most handsome man in any room, I accounted him to be the most vain." The genius joked, adding a sprinkle of salt to an otherwise dry tale.
Susan piped up. "I can certainly vouch for that, Victor never took his eyes off of me." She commented, earning a few smiles all around.
Reed agreed, her words reminding him of something else. "Victor was experimenting with various fields of science; the one that caught my concern was his unhealthy passion for the dark sciences. Victor believed that science and magic were not so different, if such a thing exists. He wanted to unify them, wield them like no other. I warned him, I said that he could have gotten hurt. He didn't listen, naturally. The accident scarred most of his face, permanently. We were in Europe at the time, Latveria to be precise. I left not long after that, to pursue dreams of my own." He recounted, taking note of a few curious looks.
Steve pondered for a moment, his mind drifting back to his confrontation with the man. "He mentioned something about 'diplomatic immunity', do you have any idea what that could mean?" He inquired, not liking the apprehensive nod Reed had given him.
"Well, in the most simplified terms I can think of, Doom is essentially royalty." Reed revealed, shocking most of those present.
Anya, surprisingly, was the first to speak up. "Royalty? Are you saying that the insanely crazy person we just fought is a—a king of some kind?" The teenager questioned, disbelief clear behind the large golden goggles.
Most of those present couldn't help but take a second to stare at the girl, she had raised a good point but there was still something that had to be addressed. Something that was politely brought up by the Wasp of all people, turning her head to face Spidey.
"Care to explain who the Girl Wonder is?" She mocked, prompting Peter to scratch his masked head.
He left the wall, making the transition from sitting to walking seamlessly. "You got me, but… a part of me wants to say that… you look familiar." Peter mumbled, stepping closer to the noticeably shorter girl.
Ms Marvel took a step by Anya's side, just in case the kid felt a little overwhelmed by everything. "Her name's Anya Corazon, Spider-Man. She says that she's been looking for you," Carol offered, glancing back and forth between the two spider people.
Before Peter could respond, the girl had fished something out of her pockets. "Here, I've been meaning to give this back to you. Wasn't sure how I was going to find you, well… until all of this happened." Anya stared up at him, the object in her hand ready for the taking.
Spider-Man took the small, metal doodad before his chocolate brown eyes lit up with surprise and realization. "My searchlight… you kept it safe," he mumbled, toying with his own creation.
Anya nodded, her ponytail bouncing with the motion. "You told me to keep the people calm, wait until help arrived. I kept it in my drawer in my room, it still works, hasn't run out of power yet." She babbled, taking off her goggles with a grin.
Peter smiled, placing the light back in his utility belt. "Kid, I... I don't know what to say. I mean, if you keep this up, I might let you be my trusty sidekick." He joked, placing his gloved hands on his waist.
"As tempting as that sounds, I was actually hoping you could… I don't know… help me out with this? My powers, how to control them, use them responsibly. I want to learn, I want to help people… just like you." Anya asked, her heart rate speeding up somewhat.
Peter had to admire her nobility, even he hadn't started out with such pure intentions. "I—listen, Anya, there's a lot going on right now and I understand what it feels like to be in your position. I'll help you in any way I can, I promise. But right now, I've got—I have a lot of things going on, you know?" He explained, but immediately regretted his words.
Her soft brown eyes, much like his own, were immediately discouraged. However, before either of them could speak, another spider person joined the fray. Jessica was by the girl's side, both of her hands on her shoulders and wearing a smile.
"What Spidey means to say is that, he needs to sort a few things out first. Take it from me, kid; his life is a monumental mess. I on the other hand, have a lot more time for this stuff. Plus, I'm a much better teacher. Come on; let's leave Mr important to his job." Jessica openly mocked Peter, attempting to soften the blow for the young girl.
It was clear she was a big fan, something which made Peter feel like a complete jerk. But he really did have a lot of things he needed to sort through, it still didn't sit right with him though. As Jessica steered Anya away from him and Ms Marvel, she glanced back at Peter. He mouthed the words 'I owe you one' at her and she gave him a wink back, he would have to deal with Anya when he had the time.
A young, inexperienced girl with spider powers? Peter felt like it was his responsibility to look out for her, just a gut feeling that he would need to. Plus, he had to find out just how on Earth she had gotten her abilities. They didn't just sell arachnid patented powers in stores; at least, last he checked they didn't.
"Hey, Anya, I want to talk to you about a little something. It's called Avengers Academy…" Jessica's voice trailed off, becoming muffled as she left with Anya by way of elevator.
Jerk move, Spidey. Why don't you just head on over to a children's hospital and let them know Santa doesn't exist.
Peter stewed slightly, mentally tired all of a sudden. "Don't worry, Spider-Man. She's in great hands; we'll keep an eye on her for you." Ms Marvel offered, daring to place a hand on his tense shoulder.
The web-slinger nodded, feeling a little more at ease with the kind gesture. "Thanks, Carol. Oh! Can I—can I call you Carol, is that not okay?" Peter remembered, he didn't want to step on any toes when it came to secret identities.
Carol took off her domino mask, giving him a coy smirk. "Actually, I'd feel a lot better about it if I knew your name too." She responded, forcing Peter to stutter a bit.
Luckily, oh so luckily, Steve cleared his throat. "Honestly, I was hoping we could address what's important here. No offence to Spider-Man, who I'm sure, is extremely interesting beneath the mask, but we have a certain mentally unstable terrorist to discuss. Priorities, people." Steve mocked, more so on the web-head's behalf than anything else.
Spidey shrugged, glancing at Carol as the two stood by with their arms folded. "Just so you know, I'm like the most interesting person here." He joked, mumbling to Carol who smiled in return.
Steve nodded, gesturing to Reed to continue. "You were saying, Dr Richards?" He politely spoke.
Reed went on, finding the banter between the group to be quite amusing. "Well, last I'd heard of anything, Victor's behaviour was getting out of hand. His father, the ruling king of Latveria, was planning to have Victor committed. All Victor needed was a catalyst, a reason to act. His father was found dead in the weeks that followed, apparently by his own hand. Nothing was found relating Victor to his death, so naturally, he assumed the throne." The physicist explained, having everyone present engaged beyond words.
A sudden look of sympathy hit Reed's features, his brow furrowing for a moment. "Victor's mother passed when he was a child, he loved her more than anything else in the world. More than science, more than himself, more than anything. There was… speculation, rumours and conspiracies. I don't know whether or not Victor's father murdered his mother, but Victor believed it. Like I said earlier, he simply needed something to push him over the edge." Reed finished, leaving a chilling atmosphere in the room.
The mind of a person was a fragile thing; it could've been damaged and broken just like anything else. In the end, it was the deciding factor. Let something consume and corrupt you or overcome it, be strengthened by it and eventually, become a better person because of it. People like Ben Grimm, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Peter Parker.
The Captain himself nodded, a focused expression present on his face. "Well, at least we know who we're up against. Thank you, Dr Richards. If there's anything else you need, anything at all, we'll provide all the help we can give." Steve offered courteously.
Before Reed could respond, Dr Pym stepped forward with a smile. "Actually, given Mr Grimm and Mr Storm's power manifestation, Bruce and I are almost certain the same will happen to you and Susan. I think it'd be best if you stayed at the tower, at least so we can monitor any activity and determine whether it's harmful or not." Hank logically suggested, but seemed rather confused when Sue spoke up.
"We appreciate the concern, Hank. But between Reed and myself, we should have a pretty firm grasp on our own biology." Sue claimed, placing her hand on Reed's shoulder as he nodded in agreement.
Ben and Johnny stayed out of the conversation as Reed replied; they wouldn't have understood most of what was said anyway. "Yes, I believe I have most of the equipment necessary at the Baxter Building. But we are grateful; you've done us a great service today. Victor could have killed us, if it wasn't for you and your team, Captain Rogers, I don't know what we would have done." Reed expressed, standing up to shake hands with the patriot.
Ben scoffed, brining one of his lumbering orange fists into view. "I know what we woulda' done, clobbered the yutz inta the asphalt." He boasted, receiving a smirk from Johnny.
Reed gave a short laugh. "No doubt, old friend. And Ben, I hope you know… I would have never—if I had known about the shields…" the scientist trailed off as Ben stopped him.
"S'okay, I know. 'Sides, I think I can live with this, for a while at least. You'll figure it out, egghead, ya always do." Ben replied, solidifying his acceptance for what had happened to him.
Spider-Man observed them for a moment, the close knit team of unique individuals. He silently yearned for that kind of acceptance, a family to call his own, people that knew what it was like to be misunderstood. In fact, Peter was contemplating telling them right then and there.
He left Ms Marvel's company, approaching Ben, Sue, Reed and Johnny with a half-visible nervous expression. It was harmful, he just had to offer his help and then leave, get back to his probably worrying aunt and girlfriend. Only he would have, had Johnny not noticed him first.
The young blonde teen stepped out to meet he vigilante, a sceptical look in his eyes. "Hey, Spidey, dude… I'm not so good with this kinda stuff but… that was kinda fun out there. I mean, aside from the almost dying part, I thought we made a pretty cool team. Of course, me being the most dashing." Johnny joked, folding his arms as he paid careful attention to what he could see of the web-slinger's face.
Peter nodded, feeling the urge to just bail mid-conversation arise. "Let's not make it a regular thing, there's so much more than just fun involved. Anyway… I'm glad to see you and your friends all right, if you need my help with anything, just give me a call." He offered, backing away from the teen with a mock salute.
Johnny grinned. "Cool, cool. Hey, is that mask expensive to make?" He inquired, prompting Peter to spin around and face him.
"Not really, no—" he replied before being cut off.
Johnny raised a hand, bright flame suddenly igniting like a makeshift torch. "I won't feel so bad then," he jested, before lighting Spider-Man's red mask on fire.
"HOLY—!" The wall-crawler's sudden outburst and fire caught everyone's attention.
Surprise, curiosity and anger lit up the room, Ben being the first to move. The brute of a man grabbed Johnny's arm and wrenched it away from Spidey, Sue making a move next to angrily scream at her brother.
Steve was actually about to stand in front of Peter, block his face off from everyone but paused when it was too late. The boy wrenched the mask off, tossing it away to the floor and glared at Johnny wide-eyed.
Everyone stared in shock, the face of a teenager staring right back. "Johnny! What is the matter with you?! You think this is a game?!" Peter roared, balling his fists in rage.
Johnny seemed pleased though, a triumphant grin lighting up his face. "I knew it! I knew it! I knew it had to be you, no-one else could be so—so—so you!" The teen replied, apparently not even phased in the slightest.
Ms Marvel covered her lips, bright blue eyes like saucers. "Oh my God," she whispered in pure disbelief.
Reed and Sue were frozen still, like a snapshot right out of time. "Peter…? You're… you're Spider-Man?" The former muttered, clearly forgetting everything that had transpired in the hours previous.
Peter was speechless, how could everything have gone south so fast? The Queen's born hero turned his face away from them, feeling nothing but shame hit him in waves. Dr Pym and Janet thought it best to sit it out; they didn't know him as well as everyone else. But Bruce Banner fixed his glasses, his eyes focusing on the youth in front of him.
"Yeah… is that so surprising?" Peter mumbled back, staring at his charred mask on the floor.
Sue stepped away from Johnny, losing her anger and letting be replaced by concern. "But… you're just a boy, this isn't—this isn't safe for you." She spoke, watching as he ran a hand through his dirty and unkempt hair.
Johnny seemed to drop his smile, letting the sombre silence and gravity of the situation set in. "Why didn't you tell us, Pete? I mean… what else aren't you telling us?" He finished.
Reed nodded, agreeing with the troublemaker for once. "Aren't we someone you can confide in?" He added, stepping up to join Sue.
Peter turned, his brown eyes burning into each and every one of them. "Of course you are, all of you. And no offense, Johnny but these powers were just dropped all over me. But I don't—I didn't… I didn't know what to do; I mean… what would you have done?" He questioned, aiming it at all of those present.
Hank exchanged a few glances with his better half, receiving an encouraging smile. "You know, this doesn't change a thing." He let himself be heard.
Janet mused. "Yeah, so you're a little young, big deal. At least you're not doing bad stuff with bad people, plus, we can keep an eye on you. Now that we know who you are, we can trust you. But seriously, doesn't anyone just wanna pinch his little cheeks?" The woman cooed, a sincere smile spread across her lips as she clasped her hands together.
Steve smirked, walking over to join Peter as he placed a hand on his shoulder. "You've already proved yourself, Peter. Now that we've broken through this barrier, as unconventional as it was, we can move on to the next step. You're an Avenger, Peter. You're one of us and we look after our own, no matter what happens." The senior hero stated proudly, a fond expression gracing his features.
Bruce Banner took off his glasses, wiping them with the bottom of his shirt. "Precisely, you were there for me during the incident in the subway, you didn't give up on me. Even when it almost killed you, that's what heroes are made of, Peter." The scientist added as the brunette rubbed the back of his neck, a nervous tick of his.
Behind him and staying rather quiet, was his cousin, Jennifer. "I remember that, I mean—mostly anyway. You saved me, you helped Bruce. Even if you can't buy beer yet, you're okay in my book." She voiced, giving more incentive for Peter to be bashful.
Ben folded his arms, quite content that things had worked out for the best. "An' mine, kid. Ya stopped me from doin' somethin' I mighta regretted, Benjamin J. Grimm don't take that too lightly. We're with ya all the way, kid." He grumbled, managing a genuine smile and sending it the teen's way.
Steve was almost overjoyed, he had been nervous on Peter's part alone that his age might've been a problem. But it seemed that he had already stepped up to the plate, kid or no kid. However, the soldier couldn't help but notice a conflicted face among the group, said face belonging to Carol Danvers.
"Carol?" Steve voiced, a concerned shine in his soft blue eyes.
The woman nodded, not taking her eyes off of the youthful face stood before them. "Right, right… sorry. Umm… what was your name?" Carol questioned, subconsciously rubbing her arms anxiously.
The unmasked Spider-Man couldn't bring himself to look her in the eye, like he had betrayed her somehow. "Peter Parker, I—I'm almost eighteen years old. That's not a problem, is it?" He timidly asked, almost as if he was seeking out her permission.
The blonde bombshell shook her head, her golden locks swaying with her movements. "I—no, no… at least I don't think it is. How—how long have you been doing this?" Carol pressed softly, the awkwardness of the situation suddenly becoming apparent.
Peter shrugged, taking a moment to think. "Maybe around half, two thirds of a year. I mean, if it's experience you're worried about, I can handle myself." He answered, taking note of how hurt the woman looked.
She nodded silently, unsure of what else there was to say, especially with an audience. "I was gonna tell you, I just—I didn't think… I didn't know how to. To be honest, I didn't think I'd get this far." Peter spoke truthfully, staring her in the eyes.
He was about to step forward, but stopped when Carol held up a hand. "Just… just don't, I need—I need some air. Some time, I need to think." The former pilot muttered, turning her back on him as she left the room.
Opting to leave through one of the many broken windows instead of the elevator, Carol straight up flew away. Peter was left stunned, not completely sure what it was he had done. His instincts and common sense told him to leap after her, but a soft voice brought his gaze away from the window.
"Peter, all of that aside, I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time. In private, of course." Bruce Banner asked politely, gesturing to Tony's office on the right side of the room.
Peter nodded dumbly, still not even registering what had happened between him and Carol. But as he followed the Gamma expert, he noticed the confused exchanges between most of those present. It almost looked as if they were just as baffled as he was, but that did little to comfort him.
With the door shut behind them, Bruce opted to lean on Tony's desk while Peter mimicked the action on a nearby wall. "Listen, Dr Banner, if it's all the same to you, I think I'm just gonna head home after this. I don't… I'm feeling a little sick after everything that's happened," Peter fussed, his eyebrows crunched up in thought.
Bruce gave him a nod, fidgeting with his hands before folding them both under his chest. "That's all right, Peter. But please, I think you've more than earned the right to call me Bruce." He presented a small smile, forcing one out of Peter too.
"I'll have to remember that, I was raised a little differently. Respecting my elders is kind of hardwired into my brain; you can thank my aunt for that." The brunette smirked, a fleeting image of May popping into his mind.
Bruce gave a curt smile, admiring the boy's attitude. "Well, while I wouldn't mind meeting her sometime, I'd actually like to talk about something else. Something a little more personal, if that's all right with you?" He checked, not wanting to step over any boundaries.
Peter adjusted his attention, from previous events to the man in front of him. "Sure, I guess. What's on your mind, Dr Bann—sorry, Bruce." The web-slinger apologized, fixing his slip up.
Bruce tried to find the right words, breaking his gaze with the boy for a moment. "I heard you say your name out there, your surname. And forgive me for being curious but… that wouldn't be Parker as in Richard and Mary, would it?" He pressed, watching Peter's brow crease.
He nodded, quite rapidly. "Yeah, I would ask how you knew but I have a feeling you're going to tell me." Peter responded, waiting as Bruce summoned his words.
"I worked with your father; I was assigned to a project with him some time ago. I'll skip the details but your father and I were hired to recreate a… special serum, a serum to improve the performance in human beings. Your father believed that the key was in genetics; I on the other hand, thought the answer lied in Gamma radiation. We disagreed a lot, but I didn't respect him any less for standing by his theories." Bruce explained, surprising Peter slightly.
Tony had told him that he had worked with his father, but he had no idea Bruce had too. Peter thought he had uncovered most of his parents' secrets… but hidden projects in genetics? It looked like he still had a lot of digging to do, and he couldn't help but feel that his powers were somehow involved.
"He was dropped from the program shortly after, the people in charge decided to pursue my research. It… didn't work out; it was actually what led me to become… the other guy. Last I heard, your father was picked up by OsCorp. I—I didn't see him much after that, never even knew he had a child." The elder Avenger spoke, his self-reserved tone a nice change of pace for Peter.
Peter listened intently, watching as Bruce sighed for a moment and took off his glasses. "And then, a few years later, I heard the news. I mean, I was on the run at the time; the military wouldn't let up on me. But it was enough to bring me back to reality, rethink those years. Peter, if I had known that you—it might've been different, I would have… I don't know. What could I have done?" Bruce asked himself, holding his hand against his forehead to pause in thought.
The teenager let a small laugh escape, prompting a lost stare out of Bruce. "It's all right, I don't have any… I don't hate anyone, if that's what you're getting at. I was raised by my aunt and uncle; I wouldn't change that for the world. You had stuff going on, so did Tony, he tried to pull this stunt on me a few weeks back. I don't blame any of you, not one bit. I mean, I grew up idolizing you so I'm not sure I could. You're okay with me, Bruce." Peter confessed, finding his arms itchy all of a sudden.
Bruce threw the teen a dry and tired smirk, grateful for the boy's maturity. "You know, you're a lot like your father. But your kindness? You get that from your mother, she'd constantly try to invite me over for dinner and I'd say that I was too busy with work and all. But I appreciated the offer, I really did. But I am sorry, I'm sorry I wasn't there for the funeral." He apologized, finding the openness between him and the boy comfortable.
Peter waved it off. "S'okay," he muttered, with a click of his tongue.
Bruce studied him for a moment, cracking a fond smile. "I think we've… I think we've been away long enough, let's get back to everyone." He stood, gesturing to the door.
The two of them left shortly after, Bruce feeling like a huge weight had been lifted. The physicist honestly hadn't known how Peter was going to react, but with everything out in the open, it felt much easier to just deal with it. Including the boy's secret identity, which in all fairness, made Peter feel freer than he had ever felt in his life.
New York—Queens—Forest Hills—Parker Residence
"Wow," Gwen muttered, lying on her back next to Peter.
"Yep, wow indeed. I still need to talk to Johnny and everyone else, they have to know why and how it happened. Johnny, more than anyone. I just wish I could have done it in my own time, I mean, who burns a guy's mask off of his face? If he wants to do what I do, he has a lot of growing up to do." Peter vented, clearly still upset over Johnny's little stunt.
Gwen nodded, agreeing with her boyfriend. "I think you handled it pretty well, I'd have probably ran out of the room screaming." The girl smiled, picturing the scene in her head.
The ill brunette was doing the same thing, staring up at the ceiling as he lay next to Gwen. "Yeah, I know. I felt like throwing up, just all over everyone when they saw my face. I didn't think they'd take it so well, all things considered, they could have just kicked me out, told me to grow up." Peter mused, making sure he left out the 'Ms Marvel' segment of the story.
The boy still wasn't sure what that was all about, but he hadn't spoken to her since then. "So, you're like the youngest Avenger. You're the baby of the team," Gwen teased, prodding his cheek as she gazed at him.
Peter reached up to grab her hand, intertwining his fingers in hers. "How about I sneeze on you? I can feel it building up, right this second." He menaced, watching her pull away from him in a fit of sweet laughter.
"That's disgusting!" Gwen screamed, fighting to wriggle free of his grasp.
Peter let her go, watching her tumble off of his bed with a grin. "You're the one that kisses me all the time, if I'm so disgusting then there's gotta be something wrong with you." He babbled, feeling himself fill with a little more energy.
The blonde teenager rose to her feet, moving over to his bedroom window as he stewed in bed. "I'm actually with you for your money; it's about time you found out." She quipped with a small smile, something Peter found irresistible.
He'd have got up had it not been for his less than stellar physical state, he still felt fluish as heck. "Hey, do you think you could pass me my drink? I'm too tired to get it," he moaned.
Gwen cocked an eyebrow, an amused smirk gracing her lips. "It's right next to you, like, six inches to your right." Though she didn't pull her eyes away from his window, looking out onto his street for some reason.
Peter glanced at his mug, seeing that it was indeed within reach. "That's way too far, come on, I'm sick! You know how much good I do every day and you can't even pass me my deliciously warm cocoa?! What are you, heartless?!" He whined, though grinned the more he went on.
Gwen couldn't help a smile, glancing back at him as he flailed his arms around. "I'm not your sidekick, Peter. I'm your girlfriend," she joked.
Peter reached for his phone, right next to the mug of hot chocolate. "Fine, I'll just text Aunt May and see if she can't come help me out." He mocked, feeling better and better with each passing laugh.
But when Gwen didn't respond or even laugh for that matter, he raised his head in confusion. "What's so interesting about that window?" Peter questioned, actually swinging a foot out of his bed.
"Not the window itself, but what's outside of the window." Gwen quizzically stated, stumping Peter for a moment.
The lanky teenager stepped over to join her, not even paying attention to the wobbly feeling in his legs. He stayed silent as he stared out over Gwen's head, dwarfing the girl completely. But what he saw made him panic internally; just completely scream on the inside.
Wolverine, leaning against his motorcycle and lighting up a predictively cheap cigar. "Peter, do you know that guy?" Gwen posed, looking up at her boyfriend with slight intrigue.
Peter gaped. "Honestly? I kinda wish I didn't," he answered back, unsure whether there was any truth to that statement.
The short man seemed to be staring lazily at his house, maybe debating whether or not to approach the front door. "Man, there better be a good reason for him to be here." Peter muttered to himself, summoning the effort to wrap himself up in whatever he could find.
Gwen watched him get dressed, glancing back out the window every once in a while to keep an eye on the stranger. "Is he a friend of yours? I mean, a friend of your spandex wearing alter ego?" The girl mocked, though had to admit that he suited the look quite nicely.
Peter shook his head, throwing a jumper and sweatpants on over his pyjamas. "What are you, a comedienne all of a sudden?" He tiredly shot back, dragging his sock covered feet out of his bedroom door.
"Aunt May hasn't seen you up yet, try not to give her a heart attack." Gwen called out to him, turning her attention to the window once more as Peter gave her a thumbs up.
A few moments later, Gwen could see that Peter had made his way outside. From what she could make out, Peter and the stranger seemed to be on good terms with one another, though she couldn't hear what was being said. She had to wonder just how many people knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, and whether or not it was a good thing.
Logan didn't standing up straight on the teenager's behalf, so he just relaxed as he talked to Peter. "Damn, kid. How long has it been since you showered?" The feral mutant greeted, having smelt Peter before he had left his house.
Peter ran a hand through his less than clean hair, silently agreeing with Logan. "I've been sick, okay? Been asleep for a week, at least now I know what it's like to be you all the time." The web-slinger joked, sniffing up as his nose had begun to leak slightly.
"You're lucky I'm in a good mood, webs. I've got some good news from the mansion, news regarding that little incident a while back." The Canadian informed him, watching the teen's expression peak with interest.
Because Logan was referring to the psychic episode, shared and experienced between Professor Xavier and Jean Grey. "Yeah? H—how're they doing? They okay?" Peter asked, concern evident in his voice.
Logan could tell, even despite the kid's runny nose. "Chuck and Jean are fine, what happened just sent 'em into a state of shock. Actually, I'm not here to tell you how they are. I'm here to tell you that they want to see you again, them and Emma. She's our other resident psychic and she wants to find out just what took place," the elder man revealed, stunning Peter.
"I—yeah, sure. Sounds like the smart thing to do, I'm in. Uhh… when, exactly? I can't today, it's kinda my birthday." Peter bumbled, but had wanted to revisit the mansion for quite some time.
Logan cracked a smile, patting the photographer's arm. "Happy birthday, kid. I'm sorry I ain't got nothin' for ya… tell ya what, how 'bout I let everyone know at the mansion, let 'em repay ya for helpin' us out the next time you're there. That or I could take ya out on the town, head over to a strip club for a few hours; really make a man outta ya." He offered, feeling oddly generous as the boy had turned eighteen.
Peter backed away from him, an apologetic smile popping up on his lips. "Oh, thanks… that sounds incredible. But out of the two, I really have to choose the former. Yeah, yeah, I'm just a really boring guy so strippers aren't really for me. Plus, I have a girlfriend so…" Peter trailed off, attempting to find a way to end the conversation as quickly as possible.
Logan assumed the seat on his motorcycle, nodding with a wink. "Women, ya don't have to tell me twice. Swing by the mansion next week or so, we'll sort somethin' out for ya. And hey, save me some cake." The mutant departed without waving, speeding off down the quiet street.
Peter headed back inside, feeling a brisk wind breeze by him as the sky darkened somewhat. "Strippers? What the heck brought that on?" The boy mumbled to himself, walking into the kitchen of his house.
He found his Aunt May, cutting a rather small chocolate cake, solely for the purpose of serving three. "Peter! Well it's about time you got up; I was beginning to think you were hibernating up there." She jested, smiling sweetly as he enveloped her in a warm hug.
His aunt's hugs were always warm, something he knew he could head home to at the end of every day. "Nope, just sick." Peter muttered, leaning away from her as she reached up to feel his forehead.
"You're still a little warm, but definitely getting better. I heard you two upstairs, laughing and joking. I hope that's all you were doing," his guardian insinuated, making Peter gape slightly.
He shook his head as he took a seat at the kitchen table, struggling to keep a straight face. "Ah, Aunt May, always so blunt. Don't worry your beautiful head over anything, me and Gwen… you know, we're smart. Like, science smart. Did I mention that we know science?" Peter joked, steering the conversation away from a particularly awkward subject.
May gave him a nod, moving to the bottom of the stairs to call Gwen down. "Yes, Peter, you never let me forget it." She replied dryly.
Peter smirked back, his smirk turning into a genuine smile when Gwen came downstairs to join them. "You okay?" The pretty blonde asked him, taking the seat closest to him.
"I'll feel better when I've had some cake." Peter replied, leaning over to blow out the candles of his cake.
After clapping a shot while, May began to pick the candles out. "It's a shame you don't like a good sing along, Peter. Hasn't since he was ten," she spoke, directing the last part towards Gwen.
The green eyed girl offered him a smile as May cut a few slices of the cake, a piece each for the trio. But as Peter began to dig into the delicious chocolate frosting, a terrible feeling hit him like a freight train. It wasn't even his spider-sense, just a plain ole' bad feeling. The messy haired eighteen year old glanced up at Gwen, watching her converse with his Aunt May with a sweet laugh escaping her lips.
And the bad feeling only intensified, as Peter glanced at the empty chair at the kitchen table. He was met with the sight of Captain George Stacy, staring at him with such a dead expression that it made the boy's blood chill. Blood dripping from his lip, a dark red stain emerging around his chest but he did nothing, just stared at Peter.
Peter dropped his fork to the plate, his skin paling even more so. He didn't feel as hungry anymore, just… emotionless. Like a stormy rain cloud had come to hover above him, continuously thundering and hitting home that grim sense of foreboding.
Author's Note: I hope you guys don't hate me for taking so long but I am actually in the middle of a move right now, it's a miracle I get to sit down and write anything let alone focus on this beast of a story. It's the largest thing I've ever written and it's the toughest to keep in check but I hope I'm doing a relatively good job of it, anyway, I saw Cap: Winter Soldier a while back and I absolutely loved it.
Has to be one of the best films I've ever seen and certainly one of the greatest Marvel movies out there, what did you guys think? Just let me know in a review, whether you'll think Spider-Man will be better or maybe just on par, I'd love to hear from you guys. Thanks for being so patient!
Midnight Bloom: I'm thrilled you enjoyed it, I must admit that I have the hardest time writing the action sequences. So to hear that I did a good job is amazing, I'm happy you enjoyed Peter's own personal musings and his riff on Doom, I had a blast writing them. I'm so sorry it took me this long to update but I hope this chapter is just a good as the last, thanks for reviewing!
Anonymous Rex: Well, as you've seen in this chapter, Doom's origins are a little darker than most versions of him. He is very much the insane guy I make him out to be but he is also so incredibly smart and cunning, you can't forget that about him. Anyway, glad you enjoyed things and thanks so much for the review!
Coco: Since you asked nicely :) The owner of the robots is Doom and he interest isn't just in Spider-Man but all of the Avengers, he now has a huge leg up on them the next time they clash. Doom is certainly the wrong guy to be messing with, thanks for both reviews!
Sparxthehedgehog: I thought it was a really great and intriguing idea, mixing things up from the normal symbiote story. So I have to thank you tremendously for that, and I may just go with one of your directions, but on a much larger scale. You'll see what I mean when the symbiote arc begins, it's a big arc by the way. So thank you so much for the idea and reviews, I really do appreciate how awesome you are!
Guest: I'm so sorry for making you wait this long, I'm just an awful person. Anyway, here you go and I hope it was worth the wait. Thanks for the review!