Red Christmas Arc
Chapter 7: The Vine, The Witch, And The Web-Head
Key: 'Words' = Peter 4th walling it
'Words' = Peter's thoughts (not 4th walling it)
- December 25th / 12:00 AM / Present -
Stonehenge / Wiltshire, England
"No More Superheroes." Wanda's voice carried, like the blare of a ocean freighter's horn. The dark night sunk away, retreating from the quickly encroaching pink colored magic. A shell of the most powerful chaos magic a mortal could create, rapidly engulfing the planet.
No one would escape the coming reality, no one.
Blinding, deafening, white hot pain ripped into Spider-Man's skull. If he had the opportunity to collect his thoughts, he probably wouldn't have been able to even think of a single joke to make the situation lighter, not with his Spider-Sense actively trying to explode his brain with DANGER WILL ROBINSON! All he could muster was a silent scream of bloody murder. Both sets of his eyes were painfully wide open.
Spider-Man dropped to his knees, falling forward like a rag doll. His only saving grace was that his elbows held his head up off the ground, considering they were plastered to the sides of his masked head. It felt like his fingers were doing their damnedest to pry open his head, in attempts to let all the pain out. Spidey's suit mimicked the completely scattered and erratic mind. As his head tore itself apart, the costume shifted between the color patterns and schemes of the changes he had used. The black and white of the default Future Foundation, to the total darkness of Tenebrae, back to his trusted red and blues, blinking into and out of sight from his Stealth Mode, the rarely used Black Suit, and all manners of mixtures all of them.
If any weren't being assimilated into the new reality set forth by the "No More Superheroes" command, they would find this morphing costume a sight to see. But like him, most everyone in the immediate area was floored, even the villains. The last pulse of magic pushed everyone away from the epicenter. The only two still standing were Klarion and the source of the magic, Scarlet Witch. Those flying hit the ground like a sac of potatoes, and those standing were tossed back like dust in the wind. Peter barely recognized when his back hit the ground and he rolled along the frozen earth. The pain his Spider-Sense was giving him drowned it all out, until all of a sudden everything just stopped. The screaming sixth sense went silent as the throom of energy sunk away, and the world around him went deathly calm.
Until exuberant laughter rose up.
"What a wondrous power has been given to me. One that I can happily share with the world. I feel the chaos already building, the beautiful feeling of terror, confusion, uncertainty, and unbelief. The world will now be a place worth traveling. The struggle amplified ten fold. The greatest gift I could ever give, and I have yet to receive mine own." Klarion's nerve grating voice, announced as he held his blue hands to the sky, elation so etched on his face, you'd probably never be able to wipe it's shadow away again.
"What...what did you do, chaos agent? How come I can no longer communicate with Nabu?!" Dr. Fate's weak unaltered voice asked, as he knelt not a far distance from Spider-Man's shakily rising form. A stones throw from the two were Dinah and Wally, who looked just as disoriented at them.
"Ahha, an explanation you wish for the gift received. Simple and yet oh so complicated. Why not let the whole world know what was given as well, shall we?" Klarion gloated with a creepy Cheshire smile. Taking his cat gingerly off his shoulder, the boy cradled and pet the familiar in his arms, just before his body lit up in a blue aura. He spoke in an ancient unknown language, incanting a spell. The weary woman still chained behind him stiffened, and her own magics once again extended toward Klarion, fueling him. His aura took a greenish tint, before shooting strait up into to sky, parting the gathered clouds like a whirlpool.
The moon became visible, and on it was an image of the witch boy. Across the world television screens, computer monitors, any device with an image display blinked to life with a picture of him. Anything that acted as a speaker emitted his voice as he spoke to the world populations. Even the heroes gathered, through their communicators could hear his voice perfectly.
"Festive holidays to you of this world. I am Klarion Bleak. Some know me, most do not, but this night everyone shall remember me. I have given this world a gift, and shall now share with you what exactly the gift is. Chaos, plain an simple, but not your petty version of it. Chaos in the form of ridding this world of superheroes' powers. Any power unnatural, acquired, gifted, given, or borrowed, is now null and void to the best of the good amongst you. I do hope you will enjoy this gift, for I certainly will." He recited almost as if he'd staged this speech already. His spell ended, the silhouette on the moon vanished, and his voice faded from their coms. His smug triumphant smirk irked Peter in a way he'd only felt a few times in the past. Rage returned to him in full force. He got a knee under him, and lifted himself into a kneeling position. Peter's body was still shaking off the pain his Spider-Sense had sent through him. Now that is was gone, his brain receded into a dull ringing, and he could actually hold a thought.
'This kid is insane. So many people are going to die because of him. Dammit! Dammit! Why couldn't I stop him?! Now I'm just a human again. I can't fight him.' Spider-Man berated himself internally, as his mask eyes narrowed dangerously at the teenage sorcerer.
"Klarion this is madness! You've tipped the scale over. You know there cannot be the chaos you thrive for without order!" Dr. Fate shouted, as he got to a wobbling hunch. Klarion once again looked to the agent of order, his smile not diminishing.
"Oh ye of little faith, my nemesis. I have only stacked the scales. I know the laws of order and chaos. The world is not without its champions. They all will just need to work a bit harder, much like them." Klarion directed his gaze to his other side, and casually pointed to Batman and Green Arrow, who were a ways off, and balancing themselves upright. They must have been hit point blank like the rest of them, guessing from their staggering.
Fate was dumbstruck, and at a loss for words. He could only stare at the teen from behind the golden helmet.
"I rid outside influence from enhancing the heroes. A most time consuming and delicate procedure to restrict chaos magic, especially magic from another dimension. Now if you'll excuse me, I wish to receive my gift." Klarion turned his back to Fate, and began walking toward the Scarlet Witch.
"And what's that, blue boy?" Peter growled out loudly. He already guessed what the kid meant, and he wasn't going to let it happen, powers or not. He was on his feet, pushing himself through sheer determination now.
A side glance was all Spider-Man got, as the kid continued his stride. "All the chaos magic from another dimension to play with and learn, of course." The Witch Boy grinned toothily.
"Over my dead body!" Spider-Man shouted, righteous wrath filling him as he pushed himself forward. The sound of thrusters was his only warning. Peter looked up quickly and dug his feet into the ground, stopping just before Luthor and his battle suit slammed into the ground just ahead of him. He cut Peter off from his target. "Goddammit, move!" Spidey shouted up to the metal monstrosity, and bald billionaire inside. The suit itself was damaged slightly, but looked more than capable of killing every one of them. Still sparks could be seen, and some parts of the armor were punctured or dented though.
"While not the route I would have taken, Bleak has accomplished a goal of mine. And I'd rather you not ruin it by being your annoying arachnid self. Powers or not, uncertainties are not something I like to deal in." Lex Luthor said from inside his dangerous construct. Spider-Man stared up at the eight foot suit, his lenses never loosing their glare. Luthor just gave him the expression of a man who found himself in disreputable company. "So let me make a certainty out of you."
"Give it your best shot, chrome dome." Spider-Man spat, before Luthor's warsuit reared back it huge right arm, balling it's fist for the death blow. Peter couldn't feel the danger anymore, it wasn't there, it just wasn't there anymore. He knew what it was like not having it already, but still he had his strength to back him before. Yet he didn't look away, he stared down the death raised above him. All Peter could feel this moment was the inexplicable need to face down this threat, as if something was telling him to spit in the face of the reaper. Which he gladly felt like doing. 'Why am I standing here? Why am I willing to die and forgo Wanda?! Why!?' Something inside reassured him, and he was compelled to follow it's heed.
"At least you're taking your death like a man." Luthor said disdainfully, and threw his deadly punch.
"SPIDER!" Wally shouted, already on his feet and starting to run toward his friend, at the speed of a normal human.
"SPIDER-MAN!" Dinah screams, attempting her Canary Cry, but failing.
"SPIDER-MAN!" Ollie shouts, notching an arrow, ready to let it fly. Both he and Batman are intercepted by Felix Faust who launches a stream of flame toward them.
"Spider-Man!" Clark's voice is heard a distance away, as he reaches toward his fellow League member with his free hand. Diana is holding Superman up by his other arm over her shoulders. She watches silently, the grim face of a warrior who's watching a comrade fall. Black Adam floats in front of them, arms crossed, and looking over his shoulder at Luthor and Spider-Man.
Even Klarion pauses to watch the other worlder's demise. Reveling in his brought chaos and its instant return.
Wanda is wide eyed in horror. The expression on her face changes from that to pain, and quickly to a sad determination. She has come to some conclusion, and closes her eyes after said decision. Even through the closed eyes and tears, hesitation fought with her.
A resounding clang is heard over the Stonehenge's fields. The sound of metal striking something hard.
Wanda slowly opens an eye, holding the very tiniest shimmer of hope that her friend survived. Spider-Man was an expert at cheating death. She pleaded to anyone and everyone above as her eye opened.
Snow fell around Lex, the force of the punch tremendous, and flinging the snow on the ground into the air. Bending tearing metal was heard next, Luthor gaped at ludicrous impossibility before him. His exosuit's right hand was being twisted and crushed in at the same time. Alarms from the suit sounded off, warning of a hull breach, but he ignored them still struck by what was staring back at him.
Spider-Man is holding off the behemoth's fist single handily, and even crushing it between his fingers. He hadn't budged from his spot, only standing sideways in a wide stance. His left arm outstretched and holding the robot fist in a firm slowly twisting grasp. Spider-Man's blank mask eyes locked onto the evil genius's.
"Impossible..." Luthor said slowly. Suddenly his suit wrenched forward, pulled by a force that was obviously superhuman. Pulled toward the hero, and by him. The force of the yank tore the metal hand from it's arm, and in that same moment Spider-Man twisted his stance right, before he sunk his elbow into the metal chassis, collapsing the chest in. The suit launched backward into one of the stone pillars of the monument, breaking it and causing the two other stones to fall the man.
Spider-Man didn't even bother to look at the metal gauntlet in his left hand, before his muscles flexed and he crushed it's fist beyond repair. The broken metal was dropped to the ground unceremoniously.
Spider-Man stood alive before everyone and creation, heaving breaths at a fast but steady pace.
"Not good enough Luthor..." Peter stated, and suddenly his right hand grabbed at the top of his head, as if a sudden headache came to him. Memories flooded into his head, overloading his brain with information. It hurt, it hurt a lot, but he had no time to deal with it right now. He felt amazing, hell superior to just a minute ago. His Spider-Sense came back in force, almost greater than before. He could feel the presence of most everyone around him now. The wounds on his left arm and side were feeling better now to, only a subdued pain compared to before. Yet it all felt strangely familiar.
Spider-Man brought his gaze up to the witch boy, and felt a surge of fulfillment seeing the kid's aghast expression. It brought a self-satisfied smile to his face, he could feel it. His head throbbed again, as more information rolled in, causing his lenses to twitch visibly. 'Gah! All these memories, what happened to me? ...Deal with it later Parker, I have my powers and I'm going to save Wanda. No more mister nice Spider-Man.'
"How? HOW!? That spell should have taken away your powers!" Klarion shouted, finally finding his voice again. 'Good question. I'll tell you once my mind stops overloading.'
"Chaos is like a box of chocolates, blue boy. You never know what you'll get." Spider-Man retorted.
"Peter..." Wanda said breathlessly behind her captor. Spider-Man somehow cheated not only death but the reality change itself. Hope sparkled in her eyes, and she felt the will to fight back return. Scarlet Witch began pulling at her chains, releasing random chaos energy into it, hoping to break her shackles.
It looked like Klarion felt the rise in his prisoner's power, and his shadow shackles begin to weaken. If she was freed she could ruin the entire plan. Obviously he wasn't about to let one unaltered superhero ruin what was supposed to be his night. He turned back to the Scarlet Witch, while his cat jumped back onto his shoulders. Quickly pulling something out of his coat pocket he brought the brilliant red stone out in front of him, aiming at her.
"That's the Philosopher Stone! Spider-Man you need to get that stone from him!" Fate shouted, realizing what the powerful artifact was, and how Klarion's managed to siphon the woman's powers so easily.
"On it! Everybody I could use some..." SPIDER-SENSE! This was a new feeling, as if he could feel the intent behind it first, because he whipped around to see Black Adam beginning to fly at him. 'No...not new, but...GAH!' Another painful throb went through his head, more memories coming in. Peter rushed it away to the side, because he had a Spider-Sense sized threat coming at him. 'Adam is stronger than me by a mile. I need to slow him down. Wait!' Spider-Man planted his feet firmly and released a web line from each wrist at the top most stone slab that trapped Luthor. Clipping the lines and holding them together Spidey twisted his body with all his might toward Black Adam. Every muscle in his body screamed at him, but the stone flew off the pile, and soared into the air. Happening in moments, the super powered villain didn't see it coming, until twenty five tons of solid rock rammed into him from his left.
Spider-Man let go of the lines and watched the Egyptian royal get sent packing by a very heavy block of stone. "Paybacks a bitch, ain't she! Hope the irony's not lost on you." Spider-Man said harshly, and returned his focus to the little blue trouble maker. He saw Wanda's power being siphoned into the Philosopher's Stone again, and shot a line to a standing slab formation near the two magic users. Pulling it he flew into the air toward them.
Wanda was in pain as she tried to fight the absorption of her powers, as well as attempting to break her chains. Klarion simply gripped the magical relic tighter in his hand, increasing the forced draw on the her.
Spider-Man stuck to the side of the top stone with his feet, and he leveled both web shooters at the Witch Boy. Both lines struck against the same magical shield that Klarion had on when Peter first attacked him. His left line stuck to his outstretched hand, and the right stuck to the barrier on the left side of Klarion's face. The sorcerer simply turned to glare at Spidey, before focusing on the task at hand again.
"Hey Boy Blue, where'd that smile of yours go?" Spider-Man shot at Klarion, who shot the web slinger an angrier glare.
"You are trying my patience, Spider-Man." The blue skinned teen threw his free hand toward the hero, blue magic surrounding that hand.
"Good, let's keep it up." Spidey reeled back on the left line. Klarion's hand and arm yanked away from Wanda, breaking the siphoning. His guess was right. The barrier was meant to keep things from getting in, and dispersing incoming damage. Yet if the force was reversed, like a pull for instance, it was subject to movement. The teen villain stumbled to the side, obviously unprepared for this flaw in his defense.
Spider-Man was about to pull Klarion right to him, when the spell he prepared fired wildly, hitting the stone he was clinging to. SPIDER-SENSE! The slab shook and cracks ripped across it, blue energy pouring from the cracks. SPIDER-SENSE! 'Two in a row!?'
Peter leapt from the stone, just before it exploded into a hail of smaller stones. Klarion surged his power into his barrier, sending an electrical current up the webbing, as Spider-Man was focused on the second threat. Black Adam was hurtling through the air toward him, faster than he normally could have reacted to, if not for the sudden boost in power. SPIDER-SENSE! His slow motion kicked in he looked to his webbing, seeing the current flowing up them, then to Adam barreling at him, and finally to the debris still in the air with him.
First things first, Spidey cut his lines, electricity avoided. SPIDER-SENSE! 'I hate magic...'
"GRAHHH!" Spider-Man cried as the magical attack jumped the lines to the next conductible object, him. It wasn't anything he wasn't used to, and his suit was insulated to a degree, but it was still lightning coursing through his body. Spider-Man locked up, muscles spasming. And then he had the wind taken out of him, Black Adam tackling him mid air, and flying both away from the ritual site.
"I don't know, nor care, how you retained your powers, Spider-Man. But I will see that this reality remains unaltered." Teth-Adam said over the whipping wind. He had the hero trapped in a powerful bear hug, pinning Spidey's arms to his side, and crushing him. As they flew Peter tried desperately to disengage himself, kneeing Adam's sides as hard as he could, but it went barely noticed by the Superman level antihero.
"Well to bad, cause you've got mud in your eyes." Spider-Man growled back, shooting two web lines to the ground. The result was instantaneous, both immediately arced toward the ground, as Spidey tucked his head into the crook of Adam's neck. Teth slammed head first into the earth below, digging both into a small crater.
Dirt, grass, and snow flew up into the air, quickly back raining down on them. As the dust proverbially settled Spider-Man is held off the ground, Black Adam's left hand around his throat. Adam stood tall and pissed, being subverted by this wily hero several times this night. Peter, choking, had his hands wrapped around the man's left arm, trying their best to cause any sort of pain, in hope of release. Spider-Man threw his left leg up fast, kicking Black Adam in the side of his unguarded face. The desperate attack yielded nothing as Adam caught his lower leg in his right hand. 'Can't breath! Crap! C'mon Spidey think!' SPIDER-SENSE!
"Futile." Teth-Adam commented before quickly tightening his grip on Spider-Man's leg, breaking his tibia in half in a sickening crack.
'AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!' Spidey's lens's shot open as his head threw back, and a gurgled scream followed. The ruler let his leg go, and Spider-Man quickly retracted it.
"You've fought bravely against insurmountable odds. That is to be commended, so I shall give you a valiant death." Peter's shaky head fell down so he could stare painfully at Teth-Adam. Both white mask eyes shrunk in anger. "Farewell Spider-Man...SHA..'Oh no you don't!'..MMMFF!" Webbing from Spider-Man's left wrist plasters Black Adam's mouth, sealing the use of his magic lightning word. The Web Head's hands became a blur. He maneuvered his right hand up and webbed Adam's right hand, yanking it up to his outstretched left arm, and firing another glob of gossamer, webbing the hand to the left bicep. Then his right hand grabbed the line to Adam's face, and pulled down, forcing the black haired man's head toward his trapped hand. Then both lines were cut and Spidey released a large amount of webbing over Adam's head, sealing it against his trapped right hand and left arm.
Spider-Man again wrapped both hands around Black Adam's left wrist, and rocked his lower body back. With all the strength he could muster, Peter swings forward, thrusting his right knee up and kneeing Adam's elbow joint. The joint bends unnaturally upward, and Adam's iron grip around the Wall Crawler's neck relents. Spidey pushes off with his hands, hearing a muffled cry of pain. Before landing he shoots a line with both shooters, wrapping up Adam's left hand. When he touches the ground Spider-Man pulls the lines down to his left. Black Adam, still recoiling from a possibly shattered joint, was off balanced and thrown to the ground.
Peter's left leg screamed in searing pain, as he stuck the broken leg to the ground, but he couldn't let up. With the very brief window, Spider-Man lets out everything he has left in his web shooters. By the time the shooters hissed empty, Black Adam was quite literally stuck under a mound of steel strength web.
"Please hold, please hold, please hold..." Spider-Man chants, as shaky fingers come off his pressure pads. The thoroughly webbed super villain's prison starts to shake immediately. "Oh come on!" Peter shouts, and quickly reaches into his belt, retrieving several web cartridges. He wills the costume around his shooters to open, and quickly starts replacing his ammunition. 'Broken leg, need to set that, healing gun shot wounds, bleeding slightly, and painful memories still coming to me. Crap. And I'm so far away from Wanda now I can't even see her. Guys I hope you're...' The ground begins to quake under his feet, moving his left leg achingly. 'Is that Adam?' SPIDER-SENSE! 'Oh crap.'
The huge web sac containing Teth-Adam tears open, and the man himself shoots forward toward the Wall Crawler, having ripped the webbing from his face and arms. Spider-Man throws his torso backward, missing the thrust forward right fist of his opponent by a hair's breath. Then the pain in Peter's broken leg erupted, and he falls backward onto the ground. Black Adam was a streak of superhuman speed, and quickly turns up into the sky, before flipping a u-ey and launching himself, legs down, at the wounded hero. SPIDER-SENSE!
Spidey throws his hands above his head and fires both devices. They attach to a raised section of hill further away, and he pulls quick. His back slides easily over the snowed ground, and slips out of the impact area. The explosion of earth that followed was ignored as Peter reacts naturally and rolls himself backwards, getting to his feet. Once again shooting pain courses up from his injured leg, and he immediately falls on his haunches, gripping that leg in both hands. He hears the rage filled roar of Black Adam, and looks up. A titanic vine is rising from the earth, wrapping itself around Adam, who was attempting to pull it off his body. Smaller vines burst from the ground and slapped themselves around his hands and legs, pulling them taught.
"What the!?" Peter ingeniously states, as the land around him trembled more, followed by dozens more giant vines break free from underground, aiming to entwine Teth-Adam further. Spider-Man stares in bewilderment as more and more plants grasp him, completely covering the super villain.
"What is this madness!? I will not be..." By the time Adam's raging cries were silenced, he was buried inside a vine tree that looked like something out of a fairy tale. More vines continued to pour from the land reinforcing the tree-like prison.
While the ringing in of his sixth sense hadn't left, it had dulled, and Peter was left gawking at the show of mother nature's might. Thuds were heard from inside the cocoon of green, and the tree itself sways to and fro. Then from the cracks in the bindings around Adam, a purple mist seeped out and scatters to the winds. The thuds slowly die away, and Spidey's Spider-Sense with it. 'I know I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but...what the hell just happened?!'
Before he could verbalize his thought, a voice startled him. "You promised us you would come back. Is this how you keep your promises, Spider?" From behind the twisting goliath vines emerged a slender but well rounder figure, covered in a think layering of black and vibrant green leafy clothing. 'BLOSSOM!? What the hell?!' Poison Ivy saunters toward Spider-Man, an expression that read she was cross written all over her pretty green face.
"Pam...wha...what? How?" Peter blunders out, surprised at his roommate's out of nowhere appearance. He tries to get up, but both his leg and head decided to flare. His right hand went to grip his head, while his left continued to hold his leg. Ivy covers the remaining distance in a hurried pace, dropping to a knee next to him, and placing a gentle hand on his back, holding him up.
"I'll explain later, but right now you need help. What happened?" She asked while looking over his body. The suit prevented any real ascertainment of his condition, but the leg he was holding was bent oddly mid shinbone, and he had red stained webbing plastered on his shoulder and side. Pam's eyes flickered with concern as she observed these. When the new information subsided, Peter looked back up to her, and smiled weakly behind his mask.
"Adam broke my left tibia, I'm not sure just how bad. I think he cracked some of my ribs too. I got shot in my shoulder, and left side, as you can see. But I'm fine really. I need to get to Wanda, she needs help more than I do." Spider-Man tries to get to his feet, but is held in place by Ivy, who rests her free hand on his chest. His blank lenses turned to her, falling to an urgent questioning look.
"No Peter, you need medical attention. I'm not going to let you endanger yourself mor..."
"She needs my help Pam!" Ivy cringed at his raised voice. He hadn't shouted at her for a long time, but Peter was determined to see this through. He instantly felt bad for yelling at her, but he wasn't going to stop till Wanda was safe. His head falls forward a little, and he stares at his leg. "Listen, I'm sorry, but this isn't the worse I've had it, and she is still in serious danger. Considering I'm probably the only hero left on earth with my powers intact, I have to save her." Peter's voice dwindled slightly by the end of it, but his words held abundant determination.
Poison Ivy stared hard at Spider-Man for a few seconds, her frown slowly slipped into a thin line, and then she closed her eyes, sighing heavily. "Dammit Peter! You know I can easily make you leave with me..."
"Pam..." Parker looks up to see her face, which expressed conflict.
"But...I can't bare you hating me anymore than you already do..." She says softly, the conflict coming to a resolution as he looks into his eyes. Poison Ivy nods to him steeling her expression. "...so I'll help you. First let's get you to your feet."
"Pam I don't hate you, why would you..." Peter began with a softened voice.
"This is no time to discuss this, Spider. You still need to save this friend of yours." Ivy interrupts, and takes her hand from his back, hovering it over the ground next to her. Lifting that hand up slowly, two small but think wood pieces grow from the ground, until she grabbed them and freed them from the earth. "Tie these to your leg, it'll be a rough patch, but it should hold."
"Gotcha, and thanks Pam." Spider-Man waits till she's ready to place the sticks, and then he readies himself grabbing his leg with both hands at the separation of bones. With a quick and seriously painful jerk, the bone is set. Ivy hurriedly places the sticks and he webs them into a crude but effective splint.
'Don't thank me yet." She helps him up to a standing position, and he uses his adhesive ability to stay upright. He even feels his healing factor starting to kick in, numbing the pain.
"We're still a ways off *SPIDER-SENSE!* WOAH!" The ground under them breaks apart, and suddenly Ivy and Spidey are atop a large quickly grown vine.
"You were saying?" Ivy smirks, before slipping off the plant and back to the ground.
"I was saying how did you get here, and for that matter, how did you know I was here?" Peter couldn't help but asked her these burning questions. Spider-Man clung to the root in a crouch on all fours, being careful of his left leg, and looking between his destination and the woman on the ground. A huge battle was raging in the distance, more combatants seemed to be on the field, and magic was being slung all over the place. The addition a giant plants there only raised more questions.
"Simple, I put one of my seeds in your costume before you left, and I asked someone for a favor." Pamela said as if that explained everything. Obviously she was more intent on the battle ahead than the details. Peter picked up on that and simply nodded.
"Well Ivy, I can't tell you how glad I am you came along. Really, you saved my butt back there." Spidey said honestly. 'I don't really care how she got here, right now she's my gardening angel...Okay I'm gonna chalk that up to the blood loss and pain.' He looks back to her, and seeing her turn her head toward him, she smiles deviously.
"It's the least I can do, after everything you've done for me...us. Now you better get ready Spider." Ivy takes a few steps back from him, and gestures her right hand toward the fight.
"Aren't you coming?" Peter asks quickly, but not before the vine starts to grow and reach toward Stonehenge.
"Not without revealing I'm helping you. Be careful Parker." Poison Ivy said before he got out of ear shot.'Yeah she's not supposed to be here, is she.'
"Right...thanks Ivy." Spider-Man waved to her, watching as she shrinks away from him. The vine lurched up and he had to reorient himself, but now he had a good view ahead. These precious few moments gave him time to catch his breath, collect himself, and figure out what to do next. 'First things first, I need to get that Harry Potter stone thingie from the Snape reject. If that's what's keeping Wanda from breaking free, then it's gotta go. Then it's just free Wanda and save the world. Okay Parker...you are kinda glossing over some very key points, but let's keep this simple for now.'
From his new vantage Spider-Man got a good look at the new battle he is heading into. The League members are fighting off a small army of armed skeletons and half rotten corpses. 'Oh yeah...necromancer...I friggin hate magic!' They are working together to holding their own, but it looks like they are quickly being overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Several heroes, including Batman, Flash, Canary, and Arrow, are protecting Dr. Fate, who's body is glowing with a golden energy. He is weaving some spell, hopefully against the shield dome 'Wait! He's still able to use magic! I friggin love magic!' . Speaking of Klarion, he is still siphoning Wanda's energy, but also launching magical flames at...
"Man-Thing?! Is that Man-Thing? Can't be..." Spider-Man gawks, staring at the almost dead ringer for his universe's Man-Thing. 'Okay plant man must be Blossom's friend.' Plant Guy was keeping Klarion busy by attacking the shield with flung earth and large striking vines.
SPIDER-SENSE! Spidey quickly gazes upward, and sees Luthor's warsuit aiming it's one good hand down at him. A beam of blue energy fires from the palm, and the Web Head goes into action. He sticks a web line to the vine and jumps off the side. The beam cuts through the plant, like a hot knife through butter, but Peter is already used the plant to swing high, and flip himself high into the air. One back flip followed then he splays out in his Danial-San pose, before focusing on the flying death machine occupying the air with him.
"Hey Scrooge is your targeting system malfunctioning, or are you just naturally a bad shot?" Spider-Man shouts over the wind, and fires a web line at the nearest stone structure of the ruins with his right hand, swinging into a descending arc.
"Bluster and bluff all you want Spider-Man, you won't succeed. I'm going to kill you right here and now!" Luthor shot back, and aims his left hand at Spider-Man's predicted trajectory. SPIDER-SENSE! The hand looses a huge continual beam of blue destruction at him. Spidey's arc is headed toward Diana and Clark, and the many undead fighting them. The two were for some reason separated from the rest, with Diana doing most the fighting against the zombie horde.
"You said the same thing a few minutes ago. Santa doesn't give habitual liars present, you know?" A smile graced his face under the mask, and he clips his current line. Turning his torso back around toward Lex, he stuck a web line the under side of the firing gauntlet, and immediately pulls himself, into an reverse air bound swing. The beam slices into the stone structure Peter was heading toward, obliterating part of it, and causing the rest to crumble. With Spider-Man's swing the beam pulled with him, and the death ray sliced a line in the group of zombies attacking Wonder Woman and Superman.
Both heroes look up to see their ally ascending into the air again, and then Diana goes to work on the remainder of the group, while Clark helps as best as he can. Luthor stops his beam and then reorients his shot at the Wall Crawler, who let go of his line, and went into a corkscrew spin mid air. Spidey, in mid spin, fires two web balls at the man's face. Both struck the warsuit's invisible head barrier, but the impact rocked the floating machine backward. As the billionaire goes about tearing the cobwebs off, Spider-Man stops spinning and dives into a free fall.
Spidey aimed himself toward an undamaged pillar of what remains of the world wonder. He glimpses the center of the stone ring, where Klarion is burning away the foliage and earth based attacks of Plant Guy. Wanda looks even more haggard than when he was tackled away, but obviously working against her captor. 'She's fighting back. That's my Witch. Well then, let's see if I can weaken that shield a bit.'
"Hey Chrome Dome, I'm gonna need a little help opening my Christmas Present, and you just volunteered." Spider-Man yells as he flips forward, landing effortlessly on the top the horizontal slab he was falling toward. Bending backward right as he landed, Peter launches two lines, sticking them to one of each of Luthor's feet. Taking a deep breath Spider-Man swings forward with all his might, bringing both arms down. The warsuit lurches forward and plummets just as Luthor cleared his vision.
"AHHHHHH!" The bald man shouts, as his suit falls toward Klarion's magical dome.
"WHAT?!" Klarion looks up and he flinches drastically seeing a large green and purple object about to collide into his shield, throwing his arms in front of him. His orange cat puffs up like a furry balloon, hissing too. That flinch tore the Philospher's Stone away from Scarlet Witch, cutting the draining link, and briefly stopping his defense against Plant Guy's assault. At the last possible moment Luthor manages to stop his suit from colliding with the dome, which now hovers just above it by a few feet.
"Nice try arachnid..." Luthor begins as he starts to turn around, when two gossamer lines stick to the ground on either side of the shield. 'How come all the bad guys on this earth know the difference between spiders and insects? It really bugs me.' Spider-Man is above him, having jumped off his vantage point right after Luthor stopped. He pulls the lines and Spidey dive bombs, heels first, into Luthor's suit's already damaged chest.
"But I want my present now!" Peter wines loudly, as the mech's back crashes into the shield with full force. Like before golden sparks and a spell ring exploded from the impact point, but this time the teen within rocked back from the force of the blow to his magic dome. Spider-Man back flips off his enemy, landing about ten feet away. Spinning his head around he meets the gaze of a slightly stunned Plant Guy.
"Sup. Thanks for helping big green, sorry to make you work on Christmas." Parker says before hearing a throom. SPIDER-SENSE! Instinctively the Web Head leans back like a champion limbo-er, and watches Lex Luthor's heavily damaged suit fly past him. A clang is heard, making Peter look above/behind him, seeing the green and purple suit being smacked away by a large earth filled root. The evil genius flies off somewhere Spidey didn't care about at the moment, and he throws himself back up into a fighting stance.
"Hey Klarion, your plan is kinda falling to pieces. What's up with that?" Spider-Man asks with a generous helping of sadistic glee in his voice. 'I really hope I'm not bluffing...' The Witch Boy's expression turns malicious, a gruesome frown gracing his face.
"You are proving to be a very large thorn in my side." Klarion replies shortly, his familiar growls louder than possible for a small cat at the red and blue clad hero. Peter's hidden eyes dart toward Wanda, who was still fighting against the bindings holding her in place. 'I need to stall for more time, gotta get him monologuing. I just hope everyone else is okay.'
"Yeah I pride myself on being a pest. I am a spider and everything, you know. So, ready to give up?" He crosses his arms after saying this, standing as if there isn't a care in the world. The teen sorcerer's expression of hatred suddenly did a one eighty, and he relaxed into a sickening smile. Spidey's blank eyes shifted up into a questioning look.
"Your reputation certainly holds true. You are very infuriating." Klarion said coolly, as if nothing was wrong a moment ago. The edges of his blue lips curled up into a even creepier smile. "You know she hoped you would come. Practically prayed for it. I can see why she had such faith, and now I know how to truly claim this victory." SPIDER-SENSE! Peter's mask eyes shot open as wide as they could go, and his arms fly apart. 'no...'
Klarion raises his free hand, and above it formed a sharp long shard of blackened ice. The world slows down in Peter's mind, and his head explodes in information. Flashes of memories played for him. Uncle Ben's slowly deadening eyes, as Peter held him in his arms. Peter shouts no, throwing his head back, only to look down again at the lifeless body of George Stacy just pulled from a heap of rubble, there now. Hearing a woman scream he looks to the side and sees Gwen. The Goblin throws her over the edge of the top of a bridge. With terror in her eyes, Peter goes to jump after her when someone pushes him back, only to be impaled on a goblin glider. His clone, his brother, Ben Reilly takes the fatal attack, and vanishes away. Peter reaches out for his brother, and hears another woman crying. An sudden overwhelming yet unknown dread fills him, he feels he knows this, but not why. Slowly he looks to the other side and finds a crying Mary Jane holding onto a small bundle for dear life. She is beyond grief and slumped over, when he kneels down and reaches to her, Mary Jane screams to the heavens begging god that their child isn't dead.
Peter's heart almost breaks right there, he knows this memory, but he's never had it before. A voice so sinister and smooth echoes behind him. "In saving your aunt, you are giving her up. The one that could have been." His head whips around to see a tall red devil, hands resting on a little red headed girl's shoulders, and his Aunt May laying before them in a pool of her blood, pale and not breathing. 'This...how can this...these really happened?' The crimson shade of the devil vanishes in wisps of black smoke, and behind him is a woman in a scarlet outfit, with ebony hair, and a small smile on her face. Wanda steps forward and kneels next to Peter, she offers him a hand. Her eyes shoot open, and she slowly looks down to see a blood covered ice spike sticking out of her chest, where her heart is...
Peter's mind finally frees him of those visions, and he sees Klarion turning around with the small ice spear in his hand.
"NO!" Spider-Man yells, as he rushes forward.
The sound of chains breaking precede a brilliant blast of pink energy.
"Grahhh!" Klarion shouts after being blasted with the pink beam. He does an unintended spin, returning to facing Spider-Man. He's just as shocked as Spidey, both their eyes wide and staring at each other. Peter tilts his head to the side a bit, seeing Wanda with her left arm freed, and that palm streaming pinkish smoke which is aimed at the Witch Boy.
"Wanda." Spider-Man says happily, as he quickly steps up to the barrier to get a closer look at her. She gives him a weak smile, while breathing heavily. The black shackle on her left wrist dissolves into a shining ebony dust.
"Thanks for keeping him busy Spider-Man. Let's see how he likes my power now." She huffs out, setting her sight on the teen in the dome. Klarion's right shoulder is smoking, and his blue burnt flesh is visible. His breathing goes ragged, and his scowl turns into pure hatred. SPIDER-SENSE!
"Wanda look out!" Peter slams his palms against the shield, which flickers, unnoticed by him.
"You witch!" Klarion barks out, spinning around and firing a bolt of blue magical energy at her. She tries to duck left, but the other shadow chain stops her, and the bolt sinks into the area above her right breast and shoulder. She screams in pain and falls to the ground, still bound by the other shackle. Her body slumps unconscious, and blood begins to pour from the large wound. Spider-Man's eyes fly open again.
"Wanda!" Peter pulls his right fist back, and throws a heavy punch at the shield. When it connects the usual flare happens, but something new happens. The dome flickers violently, the silver with red streaks dims almost to translucent. What's more the creator of the barrier jerks forward, as if the blow to the shield visibly hurt him.
"What...how is this possible!" Klarion rages, as he turns to see Spider-Man pulling back his left arm. Peter punches the shield with his left fist, while not nearly as powerful, considering the wound, the strike seemed to hit Klarion just as much as the first punch.
"The barrier is weakened! She has tied it's energy into his physical form. Strike now!" Fate called out to Spidey and Plant Guy. Peter briefly looked to the group protecting Dr. Fate. The magical energy around Kent Nelson flared. He was obviously intent on taking this opportunity, just as Peter was.
Before Spider-Man throws his next punch, two giant vines smash into the sides of the dome on either side of him. Two more slammed down on it from above him, which drop Klarion to a knee by the force of the blows. With a grim determination Peter begins punching the barrier with a gusto. Each hit hurts Klarion, and that is a very satisfying feeling to him.
"Chaos must suck when you're on the other end, huh kid?" Peter taunts as the blows continued.
"This...this day...argh...will still be...MINE!" The teen shouted, and turned to his cat, who's hair was on end, and hissing at the heroes. "Teekl...kill her!" The cat looked up to it's master, and then back to the unconscious woman. It spins around and stalks toward her, growing in size to that of a tiger. It's claws grow much larger than normal, and with each step they easily cut into the ground.
"NO! NO! NO!" Spider-Man punches the barrier as hard as he can, even breaking open his gun shot wounds again, and really straining his cast covered leg. As the cat closed in on it's prey, its master chanted something and pressed his palms to the ground. Suddenly the cold green earth under him began to decay, expanding quickly beyond the dome and out toward the Plant Guy. Peter only noticed the earth degrading, but a moment later he hears a primal cry of pain, and looks back to see Plant Guy's body start to wilt and turn sickly shades of greens. The large roots and vines limply fall to the ground and onto the barrier, sliding off it also showing prominent signs of rot.
"Dammit! WANDA!" Peter shouts, returning to striking hard, hoping to break the shield.
"Spider-Man move away!" Peter hears Ollie yell. SPIDER-SENSE! Peter just glances to the side where he sees Batman cold cock a skeleton out of Green Arrow's way. The archer looses an explosive arrow, with several small metal orbs stuck to it. Spider-Man turns and jumps behind one of the rotting roots. A moment later a huge explosion engulfs the magic barrier.
The root Spider-Man jumped behind didn't hold off the explosion like he hoped. It was to far rotted and the explosion blew it apart sending Spidey flying. The deafening ring in his ears, and the shock of the blast rolls Peter until his back hit something solid and very dense. He smacked into a stone support, and his back shrieks in pain.
Peter pushes off the ground and quickly, if not woozily, stands up. 'Have to make sure the barrier is down.' Grabbing the side of his ringing head with his right hand he steadies himself, and shakes the haze from his brain. His lenses blink oddly just with his eyes, as he orientates himself. The smoke rolls off a still intact barrier, which is flickering violently.
"Come on!" He hobbles forwards, using his adhesion to make sure each step is solid. As he approaches the dome, he sees Plant Guy's body slowly falling apart, but valiantly trying to fight the rot. Spidey can't see his allies beyond the dome, but he can only hope they are well.
"KLARION!" Spider-Man shouts as he nears the magic barrier. Inside he sees the teen just getting to his feet. Klarion stares daggers at Spider-Man, then turns back to his minion. The cat Teekl was startled by the explosion, and is looking back at it's master, making sure he is safe.
"Teekl kill..." Klarion isn't able to finish his command as he freezes, seeing a gigantic plant, it's end twisted around a Stonehenge slab, falls like Thor's hammer against the dome from seemingly nowhere. The shield cracked. Shatter lines ripped over it, as the stone striking it broke apart falling over the shield. Spider-Man dives to the side in a controlled roll, avoiding the debris flying at him.
The beanstalk didn't come from Plant Guy, that much is obvious, but Peter knew where it did. 'Pam.'
As he stands he looks around briefly for her, spotting a female figure not to far from the base of the beanstalk. He nods toward her, then returns focus to the heavily damaged barrier. The teen was howling inside it, the last strike must have hurt something fierce. Spider-Man rushes forward, nimbly hopping over debris.
"Finally! I've got it!" He hears Fate call out, and a beam of golden light surges from him, hitting the shield and breaking it apart completely. 'Yes! Time to end this!' Peter hops onto the part of the giant vine that is the last hurdle between him and saving Wanda.
"Damn them! Teekl finish the witch off, and we shall reUMPH!" Klarion's mouth is suddenly sealed by a thick glob of webbing. The sorcerer's eyes go wide, his free left hand quickly reaching for his mouth. Another shot sticks that hand to his mouth, and he looks up to the red and blue costumed hero crouching on the vine.
Before he can move, Spider-Man launches a web line from his right shooter, the end sticking to the Philosopher's Stone. Peter yanks the line back, ripping the stone free from the Witch Boy's hand. He effortlessly catches the glowing green stone in the same hand, drops it without looking, and glues it onto the vine with a heavy dollop of web. Klarion tries to turn and run, only to find Spider-Man land in front of him after one long jump. Peter hides the pain coming from his splinted leg, fully focused on putting the fear of god into this kid instead.
Peter straitens to his full height, easily overshadowing the teen, who suddenly looks very scared in the blank lenses. Again Bleak turns to run, but Spider-Man shoots another right line to the teen's right hand, and pulls, spinning him around and lassos the line around the skinny baddie. Spidey pulls the line, jerking Klarion's right arm up behind him, then releases a second cementing glob on the lasso against his front. Bleak is restrained near thoroughly.
"I'm not one to pay attention when Strange starts talking magic, but..." Spider-Man says as he cuts the line, and grabs the front of the younger man's jacket, pulling him up off the ground with just his right hand, putting their faces inches apart. "...I do still pick up on things. Like the best way to stop you magic types. Binding your gestures, and stopping your words. Let's see you spell sling on me now, blue boy." Peter's words were low and much darker than usual. Now that he had Klarion at his mercy, Peter felt a wave of anger and vengeance well up inside him. It didn't help those memories of death because of his inabilities to stop the bad guys, were vividly fresh in his mind.
'Wanda almost died by his hand, and countless more will because of his abuse of her powers tonight. Worst of all he did this for amusement. He's just like the Joker...' A fresh memory of Harley held at knife point by Joker, her neck bleeding, tears staining her makeup, and empty eyes looking back at him came to to forefront of his mind. 'If...if he lives...' Peter's inner voice wavered, uncertainly racked him inside and out.
SPIDER-SENSE! A lion-like roar erupted from his left side. The enlarged familiar pounced at Spider-Man intent on freeing it's master. It's unnaturally long razor claws aiming to cut the hero down. Spider-Man barely gave the cat a side long glance, before snapping his left arm outward inhumanly fast, and catching the tiger-sized tabby by the throat. The roar changed into a choking mewl, and it's hind legs and front paws pulled up to slice at Spidey's arm. Peter applied more pressure, as the cat creature tried to claw through the material of his costume, struggling to free it's windpipe. The claws cut into his injured arm several times, but most attempts couldn't break the fourth generation material.
Klarion pales as he watches his familiar struggling against the crushing force. Fear turned to panic and the Witch Boy began writhing in Spider-Man's solid grip, lashing out with his feet, only to strike a solid unmoving body.
"Obviously this cat means a lot to you. I wonder how you would feel if I took him away from you." Spider-Man's voice was empty, giving no compassion to that threat. The mighty sorcerer in his grip began to cry, attempting to beg through the webbing on his mouth. Peter turns his head to watch Teekl, the cat begin to shrink in his grip. In starting to lose consciousness, it's power waned, as did it's size. Bleak hysterically struggled, wanting to free his cat.
"Do you have any idea how many people you condemned to die tonight? Shouldn't they have retribution? I should take away what you care for, see how much you like it." Klarion's eyes darted to his familiar, before returning them to the terrifying tear drop lenses. "But no, that wouldn't end your threat, would it? You'd only focus on me and my loved ones. So, why not end you..." The blue skinned teen is trembling almost uncontrollably. 'He'll just keep causing pain, shouldn't he be stopped for good?'
Visions of all those hurt and broken by the villains he let live flashed before him. Peter felt the rage build start to boil over inside. He could stop the cycle now, end future pain for many. A moment of silence followed, his mask eyes shrank to almost closed, as he weighed the options.
"Spider-Man." Batman's voice brought Spidey's head around to him. Batman was a ways away, but carefully watching his fellow heroes actions, visibly holding one of Peter's Spiderangs, ready to be thrown. A bit further out the rest of the group were observing the scene, most with concerned looks on their faces. It seems they managed to defeat Klarion's army of darkness, or Peter did unintentionally, right now he didn't care. They were safe that was all that mattered.
"Spider-Man, you've won, put him down, please." Superman says cautiously, as he and Diana join the amassed heroes.
"Spidey man let him go." Flash holds out one hand in a calming gesture, his other arm around Black Canary's shoulders for support.
"Why? He'll only do this again. He took away our powers, practically signing our death warrants, not to mention countless other innocent people. And you want to spare him!? Why!?" Spider-Man glares at his fellow League members. Uncertainty already clouding his thoughts.
"Because you are Spider-Man, a protector and hero. Not a killer. You've told me once before, with great power, comes great responsibility. It's something you learned from your Uncle, you're defining statement." Batman says, still ready to stop his ally from doing something he'd regret.
"It's not fair to use that against me...not in this case." Peter sharply responded, gritting his teeth, the grip on Klarion's jacket tightened. But those few words brought that night into his mind, the cause and effect of his choices that changed his life forever. With great power, comes great responsibility. Spidey's muscles began to relax, and Klarion was lowered a few inches.
"Spider-Man, you are better than this. I know you are a good man, a great hero, and wonderful person." A woman's voice turned his gaze to the center of Stonehenge. Wanda said revealing she is conscious, and staring at Peter with a small kind smile. She is holding herself off the ground by her free hand, barely. He took one last look around at the heroes gathered, then when returning to Wanda see's a green skinned woman half hidden behind a stone pillar. Ivy's left hand it pressed against the stone, in front of her, as she is watching silently, worry evident in her expression.
". . ." Spider-Man says nothing for a few moments, then lets out a calming sigh, only to glare at the boy in his hand. "Just...get him away from me." Peter releases Klarion, hanging his head, and tossing the familiar to Batman. Batman catches the unconscious cat, then he and the rest start to move up to Spider-Man. Tensions around them settling slightly.
Spider-Man's head shoots up, his sense directing him to the spot behind Wanda. The world slows as he sees Pamela, letting a sigh of relief pass her lips, not realizing Deathstroke is coming up behind her, sword drawn.
Peter's heart beat pounding filling his ears. Each thump of his heart only fueled his Spider-Sense, telling him to act. There was so much distance between them and him. With no time to think, Spider-Man acts.
Badump. His right wrist shoots forward, a web line firing. The line connects to the laying stone on a standing structure.
Badump. He pulls himself into the air, propelled forward, and flying past Wanda.
Badump. He cuts the line half way between them, seeing Ivy's eyes grow in surprise seeing him coming at her. His left hand extends forward, only to feel the pressure pad break loose. 'Klarion's cat!'
Badump. Peter's gaze meets Deathstroke's. Neither can see the others expressions, but the intent behind both is obvious. The mercenary pulls back his sword. Spidey swings his right thrusts his right arm forward.
Badump. The fired web line is seen and expertly sidestepped by Deathstroke. The line continues until sticking to the ground. Peter pulls, straining his arm muscles. "PAM!"
Badump. Poison Ivy turns to follow Spider-man's web line, finding Deathstroke, but unable to react quick enough. A red and blue blur obstructs her vision.
Spider-Man tackles Deathstroke to the ground, and both roll into a heap a distance away. They stop with Spider-Man hovering over Deathstroke, Peter's right hand on his left armored shoulder, and his left pulled back, ready to punch the mercenary.
Ba...dump. Then he felt it, when his heart beat slowed. Spider-Man slowly looked down, between the two of them. Cold metal is sunk into his chest, blood running down shining metal. The sword was run into him, penetrating his left lung and near fatally close to his heart. Peter's heart beat started to become sporadic. Each beat pressed his thin heart flesh hard against the razor sharp blade edge.
"In the end she was still the death of you, Spider-Man." Deathstroke words are quiet and cold.
Ba...dump. SPIDER-SENSE! The assassin shifted his hands on the hilt a tiny bit, and the blade edge cut into Peter's heart. A small incision, but one that tore open Spider-Man's heart. The white lenses widened as far as they could go, and Peter gurgled a breath, spitting blood up into his mask. His right hand shook against Deathstroke's shoulder, but he refused to give up the hold or let this man hear him scream.
"PETER!" Pam screams, seeing the tip of the blade protruding from Peter's back. She rushes forward, vines erupting from the frosted earth around Deathstroke.
"I'd suggest you stop right there Ivy, and the rest of you heroes too. Any attempt to trap me ends in Spider-Man's expedited demise." The snaking plants stop abruptly. Peter drunkenly looks over his shoulder, his blurring vision catching Pam's panicking features. Beyond her were the fuzzy figures of his friends and fellow heroes. He coughs up some more blood, his body staring to feel incredibly heavy.
"You've done incredible things tonight, and you have my admiration. But in saving you she is damned in our circles; her and Quinn both. So you've accomplished nothing." Slade says to Peter, traces of mirth in his voice. Spider-Man's lenses enlarge, as Peter himself feels a burst of rage at the assassin's words. That rage courses through his veins, breathing a last ditch effort into his dying body. 'Over my dead body!'
"I...won't let that happen!" He grunts loudly, and suddenly his anger peaks, he feels a heat behind his eyes, and movement underneath the skin under his wrists. With a angered roar a red glow breaks the blank white of his mask eyes, and a hard spine tears out of his flesh under his right wrist, shooting out and easily breaking Slade's armor. It stabs deeply into his shoulder, making the man yelp in pain. A similar stinger tears out of his left wrist, showing the world around him, and Spider-Man drives that into the man's right shoulder, again easily breaking the armor to penetrate the body under it.
Deathstroke's shouts of pain stop as he starts to convulse, and then his head rolls to the side as he falls unconscious. The stingers retract unconsciously, as Slade's hands slide off the hilt of his sword. Spider-Man slowly, shakily leans backward, into a sitting position on Deathstroke's legs. Trembling arms rise up and his hands grip the hilt, before quickly tearing the weapon from his chest and dropping it to the side.
Peter's head lolls back, and he finds his hazy sight staring into the softly snowing night sky. His eyelids are very heavy, begging him to just close them. His body is numb now, and his limbs feel full of lead. Both arms dangle to his side, unable to move, even if he had the strength to lift them.
There was something touching his body, and the last thing he sees before blacking out, it Pamela Isley. His captor, torturer, roommate, ally and friend. She's crying and shouting, but all Peter can do is smile.
'Someone...please turn that off...I really don't wanna get up right now.' A dull light shines through his closed eyelids. He refuses to open his eyes, and tries to roll over to turn off the blasted alarm. Only his body refuses to budge an inch. 'Oh come on...I just need five more minutes.'
'Ergh...stupid lazy body...c'mon that alarm wont...turn itself off...' His entire body feels like it's there, but not. Like he was made of air, but it was contained in a flesh vessel. It was a familiar feeling, he's felt this before. The dull light beyond his eyelids explodes ten fold, as he cracks his eyes open just a bit. With all his will Peter manages to roll his head to the right side of the fluffy thing it was laying on. He's able to crack his right eye open a bit more, as it was out of the blinding light. Blurs and blobs of grays with flashing colors on them are the first things he sees. 'Tha...that's not my alarm...'
A muted noise attracts his attention, as it wasn't the incessant beeping. The blobs of color suddenly change into a vibrant green and crimson, with two golden orbs in the middle of the green and red. The mysterious and sudden color change is the source of the odd murmurs. Peter's right eyebrow lifts up, trying to keep his lids open and focus on the new thing. 'What's with...with the sudden holiday pattern, blurry wallpaper?'
"...ker. An oo air ee? Arcer? Can oo her me?" The murmur slowly becomes distinguishable as words, not just noises. The light isn't so terrible now that his left eye has acclimated, and he cracks it open slowly. The colors solidify and sharpen at a turtles speed, but his senses are coming around. The wallpaper now looks more like a person.
"Parker, can you ere me? Peter?" 'Yup...that's definitely a voice, and those are words. A lady's voice too.' The shapes clear into a definitive human shape. '...Heeeeey...I know that person.' Peter's mind lazily states.
"Peter...please answer me." The woman asks, and finally she comes into a distinguishable focus.
"Heeeeeey Blossum..." Peter drunkenly and weakly says.
After several failed attempts to stay conscious, Peter is finally laying awake in his hospital bed, even if the morphine keeps trying to coax him back to sleep. His head is rolls to the left, and there are several more people in the room now.
"Soooo...yer sayin everythin...is back ta hunky dory?" Peter slurs, trying to whittle down to story he was just told. Wally nods with a smile on his face. Oliver and Dinah who are sitting at the foot of his bed nod their heads, too.
"Thanks to your girl Wanda and with Zatanna's help, they were able to reverse the reality change. She refused medical attention until she changed everything back. Grant it, it took a toll on her. She's been sleeping ever since we got you here. Peacefully I might add, for your benefit of course." Wally smiled widely and hooks his right thumb over his shoulder to the bed behind him, before turning in his chair to give his friend a better view. Peter's eyes shift to the sleeping occupant of said bed. Wanda Maximoff is resting comfortably, her sheets rising and falling steadily with her relaxed breaths.
To Peter she looked contented in her rest. Probably for the first time in a long while. He still had no idea how or why she was messed up with Klarion, or even where she'd been hiding this past year, but right now she was safe in the Watchtower, and that's all that mattered. Parker smiles softly, and looks back to Wally.
"Ah still don beelieve ya. Proof ya got'em back." Peter demanded good-naturedly. In the span of three seconds The Flash was gone completely, his stool top spinning, then back in it, with his legs crossed, and him tearing open a pudding cup from the cafeteria. He sinks a spoon into the chocolate treat, and then offers the spoonful to Peter.
"That prove it?" West smirks, as Peter bends his neck forward and slurps off the pudding from the spoon. After a moment of rolling the pudding around in his mouth, he swallows and then skeptically, at least as best as he can while drugged, stares at Wally.
"Dunno. Diana's tiarah or it didn' happin." Peter grins back, making the visitors either roll their eyes or shake their heads.
"Yeah...no. She's back to superhuman status too, and I'd rather not get my butt kicked any more on Christmas Day." Wally jokes.
"At least we know you're recovering quickly. Hurray...we're gonna have you walking around soon again." Dinah chides playfully, making the last sentence sound extra sardonic. Wally and Ollie chuckled at this.
"Maybee not...If ah know mah roomy she's not gonna let meh out've her sight fer a month after this." Peter grumbles. "At lest it's Christmahs vacay for anuther few weeks." Suddenly the playful atmosphere changes into hestitaion. Wally's face visibly shows his apprehension. Parker blinks confused for a few seconds as he looks back and forth between his friends in the room.
"What?" Peter asks slowly. Wally's right hand goes to the back of his costumed neck, rubbing it nervously, avoiding Peter's eyes.
"Pete, man, are you sure going back there is the right thing? I know you've been living with them for a while, but...well, you know...you almost died tonight, and I know Ivy saved us in the end, but..." The Flash was fumbling for words at this point.
"But..." Peter's expression turns solemn, as he goads his friend into finishing his train of thought.
"She broke the truce you had set up for them. Neither of them are under your protection anymore. We...ugh...maaaan. I hate to say it, but we have to take them into custody." Wally rushed the last part out, and scrunched his face up, ready for the inevitable backlash of his statement.
". . . ." Peter stays silent for a good long pregnant pause. He wanted to be angry, but the drugs running through his system were doing their job to well. At least it gave him a chance to think his outburst through before it happened.
"...I gess they have proly used up dere second an thurd chances by now, huh?" He finally said in a downtrodden voice. Peter rolls his head back up, so he can stare at the gray metal ceiling.
"Ivy really did save us all, that should get them some leniency, but yeah...That's about the long and short of it." Dinah replies carefully. None in the room are to sure what is going on in Peter's mind right now.
'Blossom saved all of us tonight. It's not fair that she is going to be punished for that. They let her up here, and basically took her away from her source of power. I can't help her either. Dammit, what am I gonna do? This sucks.' Just as he finishes this thought the door to the recovery room slides open. Everyone, with the exception of the still asleep Wanda, turn to see who's coming in. Poison Ivy steps into the room, followed closely by Batman. Ivy's initial look is hard, but when she sees Spidey awake and watching her, her features soften. She even gives a small smile.
Unhurriedly she walks over to right side of his bed, and moves a free stool around to sit on. Batman follows silently and stoical as always, ending up standing at the right foot of the bed, next to Dinah and Oliver.
Ivy looks around to the others in the room, not caring if they took her disdainful stare offensively. She sat beside Peter with her hands resting in her lap, but obviously unbound, unlike earlier. Peter does notice a large metal choker around her neck though. 'That's an inhibitor collar...makes sense.' After staring down her enemies, she rested her eyes on her roommate. Again her expression softens, after seeing Peter's lazy smile.
"Wooda thought yah'd headid back home by now." Peter jokes, watching her close her eyes at the poor joke, and let out a breath.
"Not without you." Pam says with confidence, her now opened eyes reflecting the seriousness of her response. Flash shares a confused gaze with Green Arrow and Black Canary, who all look at Batman right after. Peter raises a brow in questioning to the red head.
"Buh ah thought?" Peter started, then looks down at Batman.
"Pamela Isley and Harleen Quinzel have agreed to revised provisions in their original truce with the Justice League. As part of the agreement information and house arrest under supervision are in lieu of Belle Reve and Arkham Asylum respectively. All terms were agreed upon after lengthy discussion." Bats said rather professionally, from behind crossed arms. Peter blinks noticeably, still confused, and looks up to Pam for an explanation. 'Maybe the morphine is slowing down my thought processes, but what now?'
"Spider-Man has been selected as our official observant...after you've recovered of course." Pam states, obviously enjoying the confusion in Peter's eyes.
"Don't think to hard on this, Parker. Once you are in a better state all the details will be discussed." Ivy continued, in a bit of smug authoritative tone. 'She's enjoying me not being able to talk back, isn't she?'
"Until that time your recuperation is complete, an observant will be placed in your stead." Batman continued interrupting him again. 'Okayyy...this is starting to sound planned...' Silence filled the room, as glances were shared among the less informed.
"Okay...I'll bite, what just happened?" Dinah asks staring directly at the Caped Crusader. Batman just turns his head slightly to meet her gaze.
"A compromise." Batman leaves it at that, uncrosses his arms, and heads toward the door. As the door opens, he stops and looks over his shoulder at the man in the hospital bed. "You did well back there Spider-Man." And just like that Batman was gone, leaving wide eyes, and a few gaping mouths.
Stunned, Peter drops his head on the soft pillow, staring at the ceiling, loosing himself in thought. 'I'm dead. That's the only explanation. No way in a million years would Bats compliment me.'
"Soooo...umm...I don't know what to say here." Oliver breaks the bewildered silence, scratching the top of his blond head under his hat, looking toward Pam. Canary and Flash look to Ivy too, who's face returned to a reserved neutrality. They were uncertain about what to do, considering they have a 'captured' super villain in their midst.
"There is nothing to say. For now I am a prisoner of your little club, but that doesn't mean prior indiscretions between us have changed. I still don't trust you, and you I. This man is the only reason I'm hear." Pamela states matter-of-factly, and with that a more tension starts to build in the room. Before Dinah or Wally can respond Peter speaks up.
"Thanks fer the vizit guys, but could we have dah room fer ah bit." Spidey asks nicely, flashing his friends a sympathetic smile. There's hesitation, but reluctantly the three agree, and head to leave the room. Pam and Pete watch them leave.
"I'll be back in a bit to check on ya, Spidey." Flash says as he takes one last look before leaving, with Peter nodding. His body was still very numb, and very sore still, so moving his head was about the extent he could pull off. When the door slides shut, Peter breaths out of sigh. He feels a weight on his left hand over the sheets. That arm is in a sling to keep it from moving to much. His right arm is above the sheets, but laying still at his side. Turning his head back around he sees Ivy's right hand covering his. Her notices her faced has softened considerably, and her small smile has returned.
"Pam?" He asks, unsure of how to actually proceed now that they were alone. She stares into his brown eyes for a few moments, keeping silent the whole time.
"Parker...Peter, thank you for saving me again. You literally put your life on the line to protect me." Isley's smile grows a bit wider, but her expression wavers, the well trained mask of hers cracking. Tears start to well at the sides of her eyes. Peter immediately feels a pang of guilt hit him. Before he can vocalize it she continues.
"But why? It's inconceivable as to why you continue to be kind to me... I've given you nothing... nothing to warrant your kindnesses. Yet you smile at me... make me laugh... made me feel emotions I've long since thrown away...why...I..I just don't understand..." Pam's voice falters between thoughts, breaking as she held back the threatening tears. Peter held his breath as he she spoke, afraid any action would break her down further. This wasn't Poison Ivy, this is Pamela Isley, the woman she once was, showing through.
Pam forced her eyes shut, and turned her face from Peter's gaze. Removing her right hand from covering his, she tried to subtly wipe away the budding tears, failing miserably at the subtle part. She forced away the frog in her throat, trying desperately to return to the strong Ivy she exuded.
Finally Peter releases his head breath silently through his nose, his lungs welcoming the exchange. A warm smile graced his lips, and through a powerful force of will he moved his right hand up to cover her left hand on his chest. Pam startles and turns back around to look at him. Peter slowly pats her hand, looking up into her golden orbs. Only one thing came to his sedated mind to say, and boy howdy did it apply here.
"Ya keep usin tha word. Ah duh not think it means wha yah think it means." He slurred giving Pam a big goofy smile after. Pamela froze, astounded by his idiocy, but then she breaks down. Her hard fought struggle against her emotions broke right there. She snorted, a lady like snort, but a snort either way, and then began laughing uncontrollably. Ivy's head rolls back, her laughs rising in decibel. Peter chuckles along with her as best as he can, preventing himself from laughing loudly for fear of the pain it'd bring to his mending body.
It takes a minute but the red head is able to contain herself, and wipes away her new tears slowly, not even trying to hide them.
"Parker...you are an fool beyond measure." She breaths out after catching her breath. Peter watched her intently through her whole fit of laughter, fascinated by this side of Poison Ivy. If he wasn't afraid he'd never see this Ivy again, he'd have continued chuckling, even though it started to hurt.
"Yah've told meh before." He says, half lid staring at her naturally smiling face. She shakes her head, her crimson hair swishing softly around as she does, before stopping to contemplate something.
"You've ruined our Christmas Day plans, you know." Her expression suddenly turned serious before saying this. Parker's eyes widen a bit, and his smile droops, taking in her words. He gulp as best as he could.
"Serry bout that." His face takes on the appearance of a puppy who knew it did something bad.
"Can't be help with you." Pam started staring hard at Peter. "Saving the world is no excuse for making Harley or I worry, Parker. But..." She trails off, causing the bed ridden man to wince slightly at that thought. 'Harls isn't gonna be happy with me, is she? Wait...but?' He raises a brow at her in question.
"...before you deal with that, I owe you something from before this annoying interruption." Pam said mysteriously, and Peter just stared back at her quizzically. Pam reaches behind her head under her hair with her free hand, and pulls out a very familiar Christmas tradition plant. She gingerly holds it above and between the them. Peter locks onto the mistletoe, and when it finally registers what it was he turns to say something and his words are silenced by her ruby red lips pressing against his.
CHAPTER 7 END
RED CHRISTMAS ARC END
Next Arc: "Stories Of A Whole New Spidey"
A/N: What a twist. Okay this took me about a week and a half longer than I wanted, but here you go. Chapter 7 and the end of the "Red Christmas" Story Arc. Like I said it was short, just a night really, but an epic night if I do say so myself. So now we roll into the "Stories Of A Whole New Spidey" Story Arc. A few spoilers to look forward to, many of the hints and snippets I've been alluding to will be explained in this arc, including what exactly the incident is. It will be a long arc, maybe 5+ chapters. We will be going back into the flashbacks, but the chapters will be more half and half now, as Spidey's life changes once again with the inclusion of Wanda. Of course I'm not going to just skim over those happenings. That'll do for the spoilers.
Now I'm gonna throw out a guess that many didn't see this particular event playing out how it did, the whole altered reality thing, especially the lame explanation in it's fix. Don't worry, Wanda's back story will be prominent in the next chapter, as well as answers to many questions in this chapter. Like, who exactly is Plant Guy, how did Pam get there from across the globe, why did Peter retain his powers when everyone else got shut down, where'd the bad guys go, and what did Peter get the girls for Christmas? Though I bet you comic nerds know most those answers already. That aside all these will be answered in the next chapter. Thank you for reading, and please send all inquiries, comments, praises, angry rants, finger waggling, and flaming to either my PM box or the Review section of this story. Hope you enjoyed, and see you next time PP&H fans.
Dragonskyt: I hope the conclusion was just as wonderful, thanks for reading.
HaywireEagle: All very interesting concepts, which I have thought of too. But I'm sure if I left it ambiguous I would be hunted down and skinned. Lol. Anyways glad you enjoyed the chapter. Hopefully I kept your expectations in the conclusion.
TheWickedTruth89: What do I have to do, to get more than those words from you, Wicked? Please tell me.
MEleeSmasher: Any faster and the story would suffer, but here's more. And I guess it would be House of K.
Anonymous: You are very welcome. I want my fans to know I do listen and read these reviews, your input is important to me. Yup, it was another one shot that started this story, and I want to see how it plays out just as much as everyone else. I hope I didn't downplay Peter's abilities in this chapter. Thank you for your review, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter too.
: Well neither really happened, but we certainly saw a bit of Tenebrae's influence near the end. I'm really happy I impressed you with this chapter too. Thanks for reading.
Le Chasseur: It didn't quite happen like that this time, but I do hope she didn't disappoint.
lostsoldierS636: I'll believe it, but I'm not using any of the crossover continuity. Both worlds may be similar but I'd imagine their magics are very different. As for Etrigan, I did think about having him there, but I didn't want to overly clutter up the idea I had. As for Fate, Wanda's otherworldly magic was so foreign to him he had to deconstruct it piece by piece, and with Klarion using it to fuel his own that just added more complications. I hope that explains it well enough.
Andre' Johnson125: I love it when I can surprise my readers. Thanks for enjoying, here's more.
Wonderbee31: Oh he thought about it, that is why heroes weren't wiped totally out. He knows a balance needs to be kept, even if it's tipped heavily. I would imagine Peter has found a balance to his sixth sense, but it can be overloaded, this has been proven. We see the ice queen defrost in this chapter, and we'll have to find out more later on the other cool lady who's interested in the wall crawler.
Chaos-Guard: Yup was planned differently, and Spidey certainly worked his ass off. Hope you enjoyed.
A: As a matter of fact I chat with Rebuke regularly, and if I do go that route I will consult him. Well I'll stick with the two immediate villainesses and see where that goes first.
Nerfhearder69: It certainly crossed my mind, but I guess we'll have to go with animal cruelty instead. Kidding, I in no way support animal cruelty, FYI.
EroSlackerMicha: That was the general idea, yes.
Psudocode Samurai: I know I am, lol. Well we won't know if it effected the line riders until the next chapter, but I hope I didn't disappoint. Thanks as always for reading.
ZeAwsumOtaku: Yup it's hard for Pete to catch a break, but hey Klarion gave him an unintended power boost, so silver lining.
FleeingReality: Well I hope I didn't disappoint. Thanks for reading.
Hikari no Suzaku: And put back in it's place again.
FateBurn: Thanks, and here is more.
im ur misconception: GAH! *Flinches* Well out of context the words wouldn't seem as damning as they were. But I hope you enjoyed the conclusion.
Guest 1: Tragedies, pain, and strength from them. I hope Pete kept up to your opinion of how I write him. Thanks for reading.
Dante C. Emerys: Glad you got it...uh which reference specifically, there were a few?
GumGumOnigiri: Well I bet you didn't see that coming lol. Thanks as always GumGum.
A-BOMBLIKEABOSS: Well it's always a possibility, but I think the much more obscure baddie I have in mind might be a better fit.
Mr. curious: "Just out of curiosity" Haha and your name is Mr. curious, lol. Fitting very fitting. Well the reference is actually from Dragon Ball Z Abridged by Team Four Star. Vegeta says that in a few episodes. Trust me it's worth the watch.
Xjustified: Wait no more.
MF 22: I remember that episode. Good guess, but wrong one. It is one of Vegeta's sayings in DBZ Abridged by Team Four Star.
Arkisenn: It was a blatant rip off, but good story fodder. Well I hate to say it but we will be jumping back into the flashback chapters, I hope I can make them easier to read this time.
The Hero named Villan: Well nothing is set totally in stone yet, so you never know. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this chapter too.
argentorum: *wipes away a tear* Argentorum, you had made my day and week with your review. I haven't had a detailed review of that caliber in a loooong time. I'm so glad you enjoy my work, truly. I reread your review about ten times, it even helped me a few times I felt a lost in how to continue. I thank you for your words and your praise. I hope that I can continue to impress and create a world you enjoy to read. Thanks a lot, Wiggles.
Baek92: That is high praise and a very tall order to accomplish my friend. Rebuke's work is just something else, I can only aspire to do half as good as him. But than you for that.
Book-AddictFF: Well T isn't really any different than Spidey, just more focused and ruthless. Though we did get to see some of T shine through in this fight. I hope you enjoyed this chapter too, chat at you next time.
Bael92: Is there any relation to Beak92 here? Wait no longer, have a new chapter.