Peter could feel the cool wind hit his suit as he swung from building to building. The night was dark and he had a hunch that something was bound to be happening in one of these cold dark alleys. Slowly jumping from the building he kept a close eye, worrying he could miss something if he assumed to quickly that it was all clear.
He heard the noise of a woman screaming, instantly hired to move towards the noise while asking help from karen. “Karen can you tell me where that scream came from?” there was an excited tremor in his voice, anticipating to finally get some action after a night of nothing.
“That was a particularly high pitched voice most likely female, that came from the alley off the right of 23rd street.” his suit shown him a projected map and directions to find the woman. He increased his speed and arrived in less than three minutes. Hiding on top of the fire escape ladder of a chinese restaurant building, it smelt strongly of canola oil and teriyaki chicken. Looking down he saw a young couple being backed into the corner by a man in a black hoodie and sweatpants. The man had a gun in his hand and was yelling at them to give him their money. Looking closer he saw that his finger was placed on the trigger and the safety lock off his finger was unstable, shaking, it was probably the first time he had ever done this. Peter knew how dangerous it was when a criminal wasn't able to handle the gun properly, it made the chances of a civilian getting shot twenty times higher.
Quickly peter jumped down and yelled “Hey” making the hooded figure turn around and point the gun at him.
“W-who are you?” peter put his hands in the air and took a small step forward. That caused the gunman to panic. “Stay back, stay back there or i'll shoot, i swear to god i will.”
“Its okay, dont shoot,” peter took the step back, keeping his hands in the air to show he didn't have any weapons. “Im spiderman.” he could hear the newly faced man let out an extremely shaky breath, most likely from the presents of a superhero, he knew that there may be no way he would get away with the crime.
“Just get out of here ‘spider man’, and nobody will get hurt.” the words may have been intended to sound threatening but they came out as more of a begging, pleading tone. The man's hands were now shaking visibly to the naked eye. Peter lowered his arm and shot a web towards the man, but as the man saw his arm move so fast out of reflex he pulled the trigger.
The web pushed the man back towards the wall, with the web keeping his right hand and the gun pushed up against the wall the man couldn't run away. When the bullet left the gun it went directly into peter's shoulder causing peter to be blown back as well. He would compare the pain to a giant bee’s stinger completely impaling his arm. He cried out but it was a silent yelp, as if he were a wounded dog, trying to limp home and his voice had gone horse. Tears slowly seeped out of his eyes as karen spoke.
“Wound impact detected, i will release an morphine drip into your blood through the wound, amphetamine will also be released, please find a safe place to rest within the next 10 minutes.” Peter slowly felt the pain disappear as did the clarity of what was going on around him. He looked down at his shoulder where blood had started to cover the suit and a gaping hole was left.
His thinking was clouded as he tried to remember a place that would be safe to hide, he also had to consider the fact that he would need help taking the bullet out and getting stitches put in. he didn't want to go back home to tony, his dad would be pissed that he had even been out being spiderman in the first place he could only imagine what would happen if he found out about this injury. Suddenly he remembered Ned had taken a CPR class last fall and had some supplied in an emergency kit. The morphine had taken a toll on his ability to feel and use his right arm, so he spun a web onto the nearest building with his left are and lifted his body weight slowly into the air. The challenge was getting from building to building, it proved to be an exhausting and mentally draining task, with his vision starting to not focus and the inability to have depth perception he decided to give up and just walk to neds, avoiding people at all costs.
When he knocked on Neds door he realize that there was an off chance that Neds mother could open the door, ran behind the bush on the right side of neds house and waited until the door opened to reveal Ned. peter let out a big sigh he had been holding and rolled out from behind the bush. Ned ran to his side not sure what was wrong but assuming the worst.
“Peter? Peter, what's wrong?” He scanned peters body from bottom to top for any tell tale signs that there was a physical ailment. Once he got above the torso he saw the deep red blood that almost blended into the suit if you weren't looking for it.
“Ow, Ned, I got shot, I need you to help me get the bullet out and stitch it up.” Ned lightly grazed his finger around the hole. Watching as Peter’s face contorted, Ned feared what this meant for his friend.
“I can't do that!” he whisper shouted. “I think you should tell your dad about this, you need actual doctors.” Peter made a unintelligible noise at the statement, wholey against the notion.
“I cant, if my dad finds out im spiderman, do you know what he’ll do? First of all I’m never going to be able to be spider man again because it's too dangerous , and second he’ll never let me out of his sight again. You have to do it need, please.”
“Peter look at yourself, you're bleeding out, maybe being spiderman is too dangerous , if you won’t tell him I will.” He knew that narking on your best friend was probably a big no-no but in the moment he realized that Peter could go out one night on a mission and and never come home, he could lose him forever, he didn't want Peter to stop being Spiderman, he just thought that it would be a lot safer if Tony could go with him, or at least could keep an eye out for him.
“No, please do not tell my dad, just help me and we’ll, we can talk about it later.” Peters was borderline unconscious trying to stress that Tony could not know about this, he wondered why that was so hard for Ned to understand. As the blood seeped out more, his vision blurred, Peter started to become more worried and just wanted Ned to get him inside and patch him up already.
“I don't know…” Ned hesitated.
“Please Ned!” Peter cried out. That spurred Ned to help Peter up and inside in an urgent manner. They walked from the front porch all the way up the stairs into Ned’s bedroom.
Peter was awake the time it took them to get inside, but moving around so much had caused the wound to leak more. Peter feared that he may be losing to much blood, he wasn't sure how Ned would be able to help him if he passed out from blood loss, was there even anything Ned would be able to possibly do? He wanted to voice his concern but there was a little voice in the back of his mind that told him doing so if he was not losing too much blood could cause him to wake up too a situation that could have been easily avoided if he had just kept his mouth shut. But if he were to keep his fear to himself and it was correct he didn't even want to think about the danger. His motto wasn’t always “better safe than sorry” but right now it seemed to be something he took into consideration.
“Listen, don't freak out, but I think, I may be, losing to much blood.” Ned looked up at him with wide eyes concern almost secreting out of them.
“How do you know?” He asked stopping the process of getting the bullet out of Peters shoulder.
“I don't, but I just feel… I don't feel so good, I think I'm going to pass out.” Peter was trying to breath deep and keep his eyes open, he could see Ned start to panic.
“Ned, it's alright, just stitch me back up and I should be fin-” Peter couldn’t keep his eyes open much longer, nor could he speak. Ned watched him slowly shut down, he couldn't do anything. The only option Ned could think of was to call his dad. What if Peter was right? What if he was losing to much blood. The thoughts swirled around in his mind. He picked up his phone and called Tony. Knowing he was betraying his friend in a way didn't matter, the only thing that mattered was that Peter got taken care of, even at the price of a punishment.
“Hello?” Tony answered. “Peter?”
“H-hey, Mr.Stark, its Ned.” Again Ned stuttered not wanting to share the bad news.
“Oh, Hello Ned. Um, are you aware of what time it is?”
“Yeah, uh, it’s about Peter.” ned heard a questioning hum on the other side of the line.
“ What about Peter?” he noticed a shift in Tony’s voice, a sense of worry about Neds tone in voice and reason for calling him.
“Something's wrong, I don’t know what’s going on completely, I need your help, can you come to my house.” He heard a chair squeak and a door close, he assumed that Tony was leaving the building now.
“Ned, what is going on?” his tone was very assertive and serious.
“Peter was shot in the shou-”
“Peter was shot! How did that happen! Where!? Oh god, I knew that I should have sent him to a private school. Who did it Ned?” He was no longer composed, he became erratic, still serious but not assertive. It was a good thing that he had taken his suit to fly there, if he had been driving he would be a risk to the public, speeding, cutting people off, he was in a dangerous state of mind. Fight or flight mode was on and he was ready to fight even though he was in a more literal sense flying.
“Where is he exactly?” This time he spoke his body had been filled with adrenaline, yet he tried to speak as calmly as possible.
“He’s here on my bed, I've been trying to get pieces of the bullet out.”
“I want to speak to him.”
“He’s passed out, I think it might have been from losing too much blood.”
“Okay, I need to you to keep getting the bullet out I'll be there in a couple minutes and I'm taking him to a hospital.”
Peter opened his eyes, he was in a room mostly filled with white and silver medical equipment. He tried to lift his arm to rub his eyes but was met with an an incredibly painful sting on his shoulder. Looking down he remembered most of what happened. Looking over towards the far right of his room he saw his father sitting on the couch, his posture said that he was just sitting there normally but his eyes being closed said that he was grazing sleep.
“Dad?” Peter asked. Tony’s eyes opened immediately and he saw that Peter was awake. He frowns.
“Peter, your awake.” After a beat of silence he continued, “ How do you feel?”
“Fine.” He knew it was a trap, this could not go well, he could see the repressed anger rise on his father's face.
“Good, then maybe you can explain to me what happened.” Tony’s tone was calm but demeaning, like he was trying to talk to a child. Peter didn't know what to say if he told the truth he would be punished, if he lied most likely Tony had already been told what had happened by Ned and figured out a way to view the video from the spider suit. Peter took a deep sigh.
“ I didn't want to lie to you.”
“No, no, of course you didn't, that's why you sneak out every night and pretend to be a superhero. And because of that you’ve landed yourself in the hospital. Do you even know how dangerous what you've been doing is?” Peter started to feel ashamed and offended at the same time.
“You’re not allowed to be spiderman anymore, I’m taking away your suit.” That just made him angry.
“You can't take my suit, its my suit. ” He raised his voice involuntarily. Tony shook his head.
“That you made in my lab . Peter this is just too dangerous, I can't allow you to keep doing it. Just look at where you are because of it.” Peter didn't listen to his reason, this was unfair, how could he try to do this, he was a superhero he risked his life every goddamn day too. He was tired of being treated like a baby.
“Whatever.” Peter finally said staring at his own feet, anger boiling in his head.
After the doctor signed the release Tony drives them home in his chevy maxima. The car is silent and filled with tension. Every once in a while Peter glances at Tony, in a very scrutinizing way. Tony will feel the eyes on him and look over at Peter, Peter moves his eyes right before Tony can catch him. This happened several times before Tony coughed and tried to break the silence.
“So earlier today my secretary gave me an interesting piece of information.” He says casually.
“Oh yeah?” Peter mumbles back entertaining his father's wishes.
“Yeah, your school is going to be hosting a field trip to Stark towers tomorrow.”
“ What? ” Peter screeches “Are you serious?” Peter looks over to Tony hopeful that this is just a joke.
“Yup, your going to explore the labs and conference rooms.”
“Great.” Peter says bitterly. “Isn't it?” Tony replies borderline cheerfully.
When they got home Peter grudgingly walked up the stairs to his room and laid down on his bed still in the clothes he had on at the hospital. So tired he fell asleep over his covers. Carful of the arm that was now incarcerated in a bright green cast.
When the morning came he found himself groggy and residually bitter about the suit being taken away. Smelling something cooking though lifted his mood quite a bit. He walked down stairs and saw that the other Avengers were at the breakfast table, sitting like they were some kinds surrogate family. Technically he and Tony were the only ones blood related but lately it had seemed more and more that he had a whole family full of colorful characters, Bruce, who’s tricky love affair with Natasha didn't work out all the way, and Thor. He appreciated Thor's kindness but there was a quality about him that seemed almost omnipresent. Every so often wade would visit. Those times were fun, he wished he could talk to Wade now. He imagined he would understand, he always had that “fuck the man” attitude. Alas Wade wasn't there at that kitchen table, it was okay.
He sat at the table quietly, but the room energy seemed to shift on him, eventually all the eyes were on him, he quickly picked his food out and put it onto his plate, then stuffed his mouth full because he expected to be interrogated.
“Peter, what happened to your arm? Are you alright?” Bruce expressed concern for Peter, which surprised Peter because he had assumed that tony had already shamed him for his dangerous endeavours .
“My dad didn't tell you?” he asked bashfully.
“No, I don't think your father has left this room yet this morning. Did something happen?
All of them had concern written in their eyes.
“It was nothing, just an accident.” He tried to brush it off.
“Well, it wasn't nothing. ” Tony added, coming out from the hallway, still in his pajamas. White wife beater top and red and black plaid bottoms.
“It was just a small , bullet wound, from getting shot.” Natasha gasped.
“How did you get shot?”
“I-” Peter began but was cut off by Tony.
“Oh,” theatrically moving his hands. “That amazing spiderman that was all over the news was Peter. Out every night catching bad guys.” The anger rose in Peter again, he knew that his dad was mad, but to do this in front of all the people he admired, he was basically hero-shaming him.
Peter couldn't hold down his feelings any longer, he took a big drink of orange juice and swallowed the food in his mouth. He slammed the glass against the table and stood up, the chair squeaking as it quickly scooted backwards.
“Sorry, i’m so sorry.” He spat and walked out of the room chest puffed out.
Was he thinking rationally? It was possible that he wasn't, it was possible be was being irrational. But more than likely he just didn't care.
When he entered his homeroom class he was unpleasantly reminded of the news that they were going on an oh-so-special visit to Stark Tower.
“Class, Class, please settle down. Yes you may have heard the news about the surprise field trip today.” Mr. Mulligan said blankly. “ We will be going to Stark Tower, that means you must all be in your best behaviour.”
“Oh Penis Parker, bet you’re scared.” Flash taunted, Peter turned to Flash with a scowl on his face.
“Now you’ll have to come up with an excuse as to why you suddenly don't have an internship.” Flash laughed and made some of the spectators of the taunting laugh too. There had been people that doubted that he had anything to do with Stark.
Oh how wrong they were. But it didn't matter.
“Shut up, Flash.” He answered not wanting to egg Flash on to much but wanting the final word.
“Please go to the bathroom, get a water bottle filled, just make sure your outside on the bus in fifteen.” Peter wasn't happy. He was the furthest thing from joyful and ecstatic. Out of anywhere they could have a field trip, it had to be there. He truly, in the most candid form believed the world was against him.
The bus ride seemed long and drawn out. His arm was killing him and behind him sat the most annoying person on the planet.
“How are you gonna take this L, Penis?” “ it's just a matter of time until all the girls see how big of a liar you are, good luck finding a date then. Who am I kidding nobody would want to date you anyway, well maybe you’ll be lucky enough to take Ned with you.” At one point Flash even made everyone on the bus quiet down so he could give an anti-inspiring speech, one last call of redemption for Penis Parker.
“Guy’s, I’d like to announce something, I think it’s Vital that we give people second chances, everyone deserves a chance at redemption, I think it's quite obvious that my good friend Peter, is Exaggerating his part in the Stark Corporation-” “Come on man,” MJ interrupted a frown on her face. “I wasn't done.” Flash said maliciously.
“I think that it would be quite embarrassing if we were to all find out Peter has never even stepped foot into the tower, except to fangirl over Mr.Stark and beg for an autograph. I think that right now would be a perfect time for Penis to tell us the truth. Don't you?” He grabbed the back of Peters shirt and pulled him up so that he was standing as well. The boys and girls on the bus were chatting amongst themselves, he heard the sound of whispering and laughing, all the eyes were on him and he didn't like it one bit. Yet he knew not saying anything would be the same as letting Flash win.
“Well, Parker?” he swept the crowd with his eyes.
“I'm not a liar, Flash.” were the only words he said before sitting. The argument wasn't as strong, or as loud as Flash’s but his tone conveys its own impact. Classmates started to ‘ ooo’ and ‘ahh’ Flash sat back down in his seat quiet for the rest of the trip.
They arrived to the big gold building, STARK written in big gold letters on the top. Flash walked behind him down the bus isle, as they got off the bus steps and onto the concrete Peter looked up at the letters and Flash pushed past him nudging his sore arm. Peter hissed at the pain, Ned noticed from a couple feet away.
He and Ned hadn’t talked since yesterday, besides Neds, texting that night to see if he was alright, Peter gave him the silent treatment, still mad that he had to call his dad. They had sat apart, but hearing Peter cry out in pain made Ned concerned, not for the first time. Ned walked over to Peter.
“Peter, are you okay?” The worry translucent through his words. Peter looked over at Ned and felt like it was his fault that he got his suit taken away. He tried to be rational again but the irrational emotion of betrayal was too strong.
“No Ned, I'm not okay, and there's nothing you can do to fix that.” Ned truly felt heartbroken, he had been rejected by his best friend for the first time.
“Seriously Ned just leave me alone.” Peter walked faster through the spinning glass door, inside the building. It was very modernistic, marble floors, high vault ceilings, glass window walls. A truly beautiful aesthetic. Mr. Mulligan walked over to the front desk and talked to one of the secretaries. He came back over to the group with a overly happy smile, as if he were going to meet a hero of his any second.
“Alright, we are going to have a personal tour given to us by one of the avengers themselves. This is very exciting but please refrain from doing or asking anything to ‘out there’, we want other classes to be able to have the same opportunity as us for years to come. If it goes well the might become an annual trip.” It sounded like music to Peter’s ears, like flute played by someone who could barely play the drums. Years to come, so even after it is over, it's never really over.
Soon a man walked out from a hall that led into the lobby. It was Bruce.
“H-Hi guy’s, I'm Bruce Banner or as you may know me, “The Hulk’, but don't let that intimidate you, from asking any questions.” He smiles a sheepish smile that screams puppy dog. It's hard to believe, that he could turn into the twelve foot ball of rage known as the hulk. “I guess we should start off with me answering any questions you guys have. Does anybody have questions?” Flash raised his hand and peter rolled his eyes at what he knew was coming.
“Oh, uh, yeah you there with the red shirt.” Flash first turned his head to make eye contact with Peter, then back to Bruce.
“I was just wondering if my friend Peter here really has a Stark Internship?”
That’s where things got a little mixed up and tricky. Bruce knew that he wasn't supposed to disclose any information about peters relations to tony, because if the wrong person were to find out peter's life could be in danger. But this kid was asking if it was true that he had a stark internship , that must have meant that peter told them that he had an internship. Peter was just a child though, and it was possible he was bragging about something he shouldn't have been, Bruce really didn't want to embarrass him, but he also didn't want to put his life at risk over a little street cred . He had no time to talk tony. He really shouldn't even have been thinking about it that long. He listened to his instincts which told him to just keep peter safe. Maybe peter had just started himself a rumor, maybe peter wouldn't be that mad if the rumor was just lightly disapproved.
“Peter who?” Bruce asked calmly trying not to make eye contact with peter. Flash raised a victorious eyebrow.
“Peter Parker?” he said very smooth, pointing in the direction of peter.
“Uh, sorry. I've never seen you before, sorry buddy.” his hands were doing something all on their own. Actually nervous because peter looked angry, more angry than him when he was the hulk. The class was laughing and whispering and bruce felt as though he had made a big mistake.
Peter could not believe this, out of all the horrid outcomes today could have, this he was sure, was the worst possible. Everyone was laughing and he could feel all the eyes on his red face. He did the only thing his instincts told him to do, run. He ran out of the group toward the bathroom, he heard his teacher call out for him but he didnt stop. Bruce watched this play out, he was nervously laughing.
“Ah, let me go talk to him, uh sounds like he got himself into a pickle, maybe needs some directional advice.” bruce speed walked to him, looking awkward as hell. He followed him into the bathroom where peter occupied the last stall. He locked the door in case anyone was to come in and disturb them while they talked. Slowly he walked down the stalls and into the last one where peter sat on the floor, knees tucked up.
“Peter?” he heard a sniffle, he didn't want to embarrass peter but something was going on an he needed to know what.
“Why’d you say that?” bruce bent down in an uncomfortable position where his butt was low and his knees were high.
“ im sorry, i thought, y’know maybe your dad wouldn't want you associated with the company, if the wrong person hears, you could be in danger.” the anger came back, of course it's because of dad again .
“Now everyone thinks i'm a liar. I said i had a stark internship and Flash made it a big deal.”
“It doesn't matter what they say, it will all blow over in no time.”
“It's just so crappy, my dad has been ruining everything, first i'm no longer allowed to be spider man, then i'm going to spend the rest of the year known as a liar because of dad.” peters voice was cracking. And bruce felt for him, he really did. But bruce also saw it from tony’s side.
“He just wants what's best for you, Peter. You can see that right?”
“I guess, but it's just not fair. He’s ruining my life.” Bruce chuckled.
“What's so funny?” he said it defensively, but meant no malice.
“He's just trying to protect you peter. You can't blame him for that.”
“I know. It just sucks , it sucks so bad.” he realized then that maybe he should talk to his father, and see if he could try to understand how much it sucked for his dad as well.
“Can i go home, i don't want to face them again, at least not until tomorrow. And i want to talk to my dad.” bruce smiled, knowing that he’d somewhat made up for the mistakes he had previously made, or at least hoping that he had.
“Sure buddy, i’ll tell your teacher something about how you feel sick, the other kids might not buy it though.”
“That’s fine, they already think the worst.” they got up off the dirty bathroom floor and bruce stretched his knees, which were now sore and over bent.
“Dad?” peter called as he opened his front door.
“Peter?” tony called back confused. “Why aren't you in school right now?”
“An incident, it’s no big deal, bruce took care of it.”
“An incident? What kind of incident? Are you okay?” peter pursed his lips instead of getting mad at his dad for coddling him he needed to just explain why it sucked.
“Dad i need to talk to you about all this, over protectiveness.” tony stopped and stared him down.
“What do you mean? I am not overprotective, sometimes you just do dangerous stuff and i have to stop you.”
“No you don't! I'm not a little kid!” peter caught himself raising his voice, that’s not what he meant to do. “ What i mean is, you do more dangerous stuff, you go out and save the world too, i've always had to worry about what would happen if the bad guy wins. It's not just you, dad.” tony looked at his feet contemplating.
“I never knew that. I'm sorry for making you worry, but it's my duty.”
“Dad it’s my duty, too! I want to help, i want to fight side by side with you. Please give me the chance to do that.” peter wasn't begging that much was clear, but he was trying to sympathize with his father. He wanted them to be equals.
“Peter, i don't want you to get hurt, i wouldn't be able to live with myself if i let something happen to you because you weren't ready.”
“I know dad. But there comes a time when the bird has to learn to fly, my times now. Help me train?” he asked sincerely, he wanted his father's help, and approval, he wanted to be a hero, he wanted to be a trusted partner and now was the perfect time, he hoped his dad could understand that.
Tony lifted his head and put his hand out to his son, a proud smile smattered on his face.
“Welcome to the team, Spiderman.” Peters eyes brimmed with light tears, not that they were noticeable but he knew they were there.
“ i have to go apologize to someone first. I Wasn't being fair to them when all they were doing was trying to help.” tony nodded his head understandably.
“I'm going to make a sandwich for lunch, do you want one?”
“Yeah.” peter said before heading off to his room where he dialed Ned’s phone number.
“Peter?” Ned answered.
“ Ned, Im really sorry.” peter apologized. “ You were just trying to look after me and i've been a real jerk.”
“No, im sorry. You didn't want anyone to find out, i probably got you into a lot of trouble. I just panicked.” Peter smiled goofily, happy that his best friend was back.
“I don't think any girl is going to want to go with me to homecoming after everything that happened today, do you want to go with me? We can color coordinate and all that other stupid stuff.” he closed his eyes embarrassed.
“Okay, but can we get those buddy cop pics, like we're holding guns back to back?”
“Yeah, yeah, that would be cool. I've got to go down stairs to eat lunch but i’ll come over after schools out ‘kay?