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Boys Don’t Cry

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“What the fuck!”

 

Peter whipped around, screeching as he noticed his aunt in the doorway of his bedroom.

 

“I-I- uh- um-“ Peter stuttered, hands flailing wildly in the air. “It’s… a cosplay?” He winced, voice breaking at the end.

 

May trembled against the doorframe, mouth wide open in shock.”You’re Spider-Man.” Her eyes widened as she processed what she saw in front of her. “Wh- Who- When d-did this happen?” She exhaled, body slumping against the wood.

 

Shit .

 

“Uh. Well- I- uh- six months ago?” He squeaked out, red creeping up his neck. Peter watched as May did the calculations in her head. Six months. Peter watched helplessly as his aunt’s eyes hardened suddenly, eyes glinting in the moonlight.

 

“Di- did you have this,” May gestured towards Peter’s body, “when… when Ben died?” The end of the sentence was almost a hushed whisper, but thanks to his enhanced senses, Peter caught every last word.

 

“I may have had them- um- for a few days…” Peter wrung his hands together, waiting for May’s response.

 

Silence.

 

Peter shifted from one leg to the other, trying to ignore the pinch of his binder digging into his side, his suit still loose around his shoulders. Gaze still trained on the floor, May’s harsh breathing filled the room.

 

“Get out.”

 

Peter’s head snapped up. Did he hear her right? What did she mean? Her eyes were glassy and hardened, a sight he had never witnessed before.

 

“Wh-“

 

“I said,” May cried, “get out of my house!” She grabbed the closest thing on hand and hurled it towards the teen. Peter fluidly dodged the object, spidey senses screaming for him to run, run, run go leave danger danger da-

 

A framed photograph from Peter’s 8th birthday lay shattered on the ground.

 

May?”

 

“You are not welcome in my house anymore.”

 

Steely eyes locked with his. Cold dread crept into his chest.

 

“M-May! Please, I won’t patrol anymore! I-I’ll sto-“

 

“You could have saved Ben.” May cut him off, tears glistening in the corners of her eyes.

 

Peter didn’t reply. She was right.

 

“You have 20 minutes to get out of my sight. ” May hissed, venom dripping from every word before she slammed the door behind her, windows rattling with the force the blow.

 

Once she swept out of the room, Peter slid to the floor and wept.

 

—-

 

Peter shivered, pulling his yellow jacket closer to his body. The cold permeated every crack and crevice of the alley-way, the battered cardboard scraps underneath him his only refuge. Trembling, Peter scrambled through his hastily packed bag before pulling out his thick journal. Clicking his pen open, Peter started to write.

 

Day 3:

 

Supplies:

Jacket

Shirts (x4)

Pants (x4)

Suit

Webshooters

Binder (x2)

Sports bra (torn)

T injections

Textbooks

Phone (dead)

Charger

 

Money: $67.45

 

My phone died last night. Ned was worried about me. I almost told him. Can’t tell. Ned’ll get hurt. Don’t wanna worry Ned. MJ was mad I missed decathlon practice. Didn’t tell her I can’t go to school anymore. I’ll try to charge my phone in the library.

 

The alley is ok. No muggers yet. It’s cold. It’s very, very cold. I got 7/11 sushi. Too expensive. Stupid stupid stupid. Can’t eat for a few days. Need to find job.

 

I hope Mr Stark is doing ok without me. Who am I kidding? He’s better off without me. Stupid Parker luck won’t get in his way. Not worthy.

 

My chest hurts. Been wearing the binder too long. Forget how long. My ribs hurt. Can’t take it off. Won’t be a real boy. I’ll never be a real boy. Flash was right. Penis Parker is a fake boy fake boy fake boy. fakeboyfakeboyfakeboy.

 

I deserved it. I deserve all of it.

 

I hope May’s happy. I don’t blame her. I could have saved Ben.

 

It’s very cold.

 

Snapping the journal shut, Peter crammed it back into his bag before sleep drew him into her soothing embrace, tears drops staining the rotten cardboard underneath him.

Chapter Text

Peter groaned as his eyelids fluttered, the snow on top of him weighing his whole body down. Peter lay curled up for a few moments longer before his eyes snapped open.

 

Snow.

 

“Shit!” The young teen screeched as he leapt from his space on the ground, balancing on a rusted metal pipe. All his belongings were dusted with sprinkles of white snow. In any other circumstance, Peter mused as he pulled his yellow coat closer to his body, it may have been a beautiful sight.

 

Albeit unwillingly, Peter shook his semi- drenched bag free of the water and pulled out his spider- suit. He hissed as he pulled himself upright, ribs screaming under the crushing force of his binder.

 

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, shit, motherfuker- not good, this is not good,” Peter muttered to himself as he struggled out of his t-shirt, a bad science pun scrawled across the front. Tugging on his super suit, Peter pulled down his mask and grabbed his backpack before swinging up towards the rooftops of New York.

 


 

 

Being Spider-Man was freeing. Peter’s heels knocked lazily against the building he sat on, pen scritching furiously against the blank page of his journal.

 

Day 4:

 

Same supplies as yesterday.

 

It started snowing this morning. It looked pretty. The sunset looks nice too. It’s a beautiful combination, the snow and the sky. I wish you could see this.

 

May, you always loved the snow. I wonder how you’re doing. I miss you but I know you don’t miss me. I hope you’re doing ok.

 

I turned off Karen today. I guess I’m too scared to face Mr Stark’s disappointment. Who knew Penis Parker was also a coward?

 

My binder hurts so, so, so much. I can’t take it off. Spider-Man is a man. Spider- MAN. Nobody can think I’m just fake Penis Parker.

 

The skyline is nice. I chose a good vantage point. This building is pretty high. What would happen if my webs just snapped? Maybe I could just fal-

 

Peter froze. Where did that come from? He peered over the edge of the ledge he was perched on. Was that a better alternative? No more of Flash’s taunting or Daily Bugle articles.

 

No more Spider-Man.

 

But maybe…

 

Maybe he could see Uncle Ben again. Hold his mom and dad again. Maybe he could feel his mom press a kiss between his brows before school again. Laugh at his dad’s stubble in the morning again.

 

Peter inched towards the edge of the slab.

 

Maybe, just maybe, he could be loved again.

 

A terror filled scream snapped him out of his trance. With a shaky exhale, Peter yanked his mask back over his nose and mouth, grabbed his belongings and swung towards the noise.

 


 

 

“Geez, dude. Didn’t your mom ever tell you not to steal?” Peter quipped as he dropped into the trashed alleyway. The masked criminal scowled, his target momentarily forgotten. His victim scurried away, nodding a quick look of thanks at the masked vigilante.

 

The mugger fumed as he charged towards Peter, silver blade glinting in the setting sun. Peter skillfully dodged the blade as he leapt around the overflowing bins and rusted metal slabs. Flicking his arm out, Peter prepared to web the criminal before a searing hot pain shot up the side of his abdomen, causing him to topple over. No, nope, nilch, zip, nein, nada this was very, very not good.

 

Stupid. Fucking. Binder .” Peter ground out as the perp dashed towards his prone figure.

 

Stumbling as he got up, Peter sluggishly dodged the blade, squinting as he tried to get his eyes to focus a fraction of a second too late.

 

Pain.

 

Everything after that was a haze of painpainapainagonyhurt please help me it hurts.

 

He vaguely remembers webbing up the mugger, the faint sound of sirens prominent under the ringing in his ears. Pulling himself up to the rooftop, he watched as his blood melted the snow, a crimson wash against grainy slush. Peter remembers the blinding LED.

 

How did he get there? What was happening? Where…

 

Who?

 

What…

 

“-you ok?!”

“-pper Potts?“

“-tab woun- Hurry!”

 

Sleep tugged at Peter’s eyelids. Sleep sounded… very, very nice…

 

Just a few minutes couldn’t hurt, Peter thought as the world around him titled before fizzling out to black.

Chapter Text


Johnny Storm liked to think he lived a normal life. Well, as normal of a life one could have when he was the human torch who fought robot alien crocodile… thingies before school.

 

Johnny Storm liked to think he knew normal.

 

This, he concluded, was not good.

 


 

Johnny lazed behind the pharmacy cashier, finger tracing mindless patterns against the harsh linoleum of the countertop. He let out a resigned sigh as he buried his head in his folded up arms. Why did he agree to this again?

 

(Sue. His sister was scary when she wanted to be.)

 

Johnny let out another resigned sigh. This was his life now. Sitting alone in a pharmacy, the occasional dead inside college student wondering in for a Red Bull or Advil.

 

Johnny could have been patrolling but nooo. He could have been flying around NYC looking for-

 

Nope. Not going there.

 

The chimes above the door jingled and Johnny slapped on his customer service smile before looking up, smile sliding off his face instantly.

 

A bloodied Spider-Man stood slouched over in the doorway, mask askew and breathless. With a mirthless chuckle, he looked down at his stomach where endless amounts of blood seemed to be pouring out.

 

“Wh-”

 

“You don’t think-,” Spider-Man was cut off with a wet coughing fit, his hand coming up to wipe at the blood dripping from his mouth.

 

“Do ‘ou guys ‘ave s’mthing for stab wounds?” He asked, smirking weakly before collapsing onto the scuffed up floor.

 

Johnny leapt to action, pulling the spandex-clad superhero into the store before slamming the button that activated the neon “WE’RE CLOSED!” sign.

 

“Oh no, oh my gosh how do I deal with this?” Johnny groaned, running now bloodied hands down his face. He ran into the closest aisle, grabbing a display tea-towel and bottle of antiseptic before rushing back to the incapacitated hero, who was trying to get up, that idiot .

 

“Activating Baby Monitor protocol. Informing Tony Stark or Pepper Potts now. Please treat the stab wound immediately.” An automated female voice rang out into the tense air as Johnny pulled Spider-Man’s mask over his nose. Johnny chose to ignore the shock he felt, he had dealt with weirder things before.

 

Johnny groaned. This was too much excitement for one night.

 

Pressing more firmly against the gushing wound, Johnny was about to call out to the weird robot lady to inform him of how to address Spider-Man’s wounds when Spider-Man slurred from his semi-lucid state.

 

“‘m sorry May,” he cried, writhing under Johnny’s firm grip, throwing his off, “save ‘im next time I swear!”

 

“Spider-Man? Wake up!”

 

“-tried! ‘M sorry! May! Tried to help ‘im, M, May! Make it stop, May, please!”

 

“‘m sorry!” The tears were now trickling down his face. “Please! Hurts May! ‘M sorry! ‘t hurts...” he panted, head lolling to the side as he trailed off.

 

“Spider-dude! Wake up!” Johnny started panicking slightly, applying more pressure on the gash.

 

He had lost too much blood already.

 

“There is something restricting Mr Parker’s breathing. It is recommended that the undergarment be removed immediately.” The monotonous voice seemed to have an underlying sense of panic.

 

As the suit went lax around the body, Johnny froze.

 

Parker.

 

Peter Parker?

 


 

Johnny was deathly bored, Stark and Reed blabbering off about boring science stuff that Johnny couldn’t understand. Sliding his phone out of his pocket, he stifled a groan. The one time his phone dies.

 

Damnnit.

 

Johnny let his head fall against the countertop with a ‘thump’. Why him?

 

Johnny’s head stayed pressed against the cool fibreglass when he heard the door open, assuming another adult was coming in to do adult things (ew).

 

“Is testing room 1 free?” A sleepy voice asked from the doorway. Johnny peeked up to see a kid about his age standing there, brown hair tousled and dark smudges proving his exhaustion hidden underneath thick frames.

 

Shit. He was cute.

 

“It’s all yours, Underoos.” Stark gestured at the glass room.

 

Stifling a yawn, the ‘Underoos’ guy mumbled out what sounded like a thanks before beelining towards the room, pulling his headphones over his ears. Johnny was not expecting him to draw out two short…stick-box things?

 

The other teenager pressed a button on the wall, revealing a small snitch like drone that started zipping around the enclosure. With a blank face, the other boy activated the boxes and holy shit are those katanas?

Johnny let out a small sound that he later insisted was manly, thank you very much, as he perked up slightly.

 

What the fuck was an intern doing with katanas?

 

Johnny watched in awe as more snitch like things descended from the roof, small metal bodies taking up most of the room. He observed the interns haggard face, eyes closed slightly as he bopped up and down with the music.

 

The other teen braced himself for a minute before leaping into the air, twisting as the glinting blades glided gracefully, halves of sparking robots scattered across the room.

 

Holy fucking shit.

 

The intern slid below the hoard of drones, thinning the crowd as a shower of sparks enveloped him.

 

He looked regal, eyes wicked sharp as light glinted off his glasses. The small embers around him highlighted his small smirk as he momentarily basked in his victory.

 

Johnny vaguely registered that Stark and Reed has stopped talking some time ago.

 

The remaining drones targeted the boy, zipping towards him at lighting speed. Johnny’s jaw dropped as the intern ran up the wall, backflipping over the hoard. As he flew, he pressed a small button on the katana handles. Johnny watched in awe as the katanas morphed into dual pistols.

 

The rest of the drones were down in less then a minute.

The other teen was insanely cool, and Johnny was very, very gay.

 

The intern stumbled out of the testing room, pistols reverting to their original box- like shape.

 

“Hey Mr Stark. I’m pretty sure Wade’ll like these. I need to add the electrical components- it’s kinda like a widow bite, or so I’ve gathered- to the handle so Wade can zap ‘em ‘cause I know he has super healing and shit but getting shot still hurts like a motherfucker, yanno? Anyway, I added some nano-tech so that he could carry it around ea-” The other kid cut off his rambling as turned around to face the trio, freezing in his steps. “Uh-”

 

Stark smirked, gesturing for the kid to come closer as he started to explain.

 

“Don’t stop explaining, Underoos. This gu-”

 

“Holy shit! Is that Reed fucking Richards or is this what sleep deprivation has done to me!” The other boy (Pete?) shrieked before dragging his hands down his face. “I need more coffee.”

 

Stark looked mildly concerned. “How much sleep have you gotten.”

 

“...6 hours.” Stark shot the kid a ‘really?’ glare. Hanging his head, he mumbled, “-in the last 48.”

 

Johnny didn’t hear Stark’s reply, gaze focused on the boy in front of him.

 

Fucking freckles.

 

Johnny groaned out loud and leaned back in his chair. Looking up, he saw Cutie’s hazel eyes widen. (Was his name Pete? What the fuck Stark say his damn name.) Cutie had a red tint to his whole face as he spoke.

 

“I’m Peter. Parker Peter- I mean- Peter P-Parker?”

 

Johnny grinned at the stuttering boy as he resisted the urge to coo at the other teen.

 

“My name’s Michael with a B and I’ve been scared of bugs my whole life.”

 

Reed shot Johnny a perplexed look. “Yo-“

 

“Whoa, whoa, stop. Where’s the B?”

 

“There’s a bee?!” Johnny shrieked and Cutie (Peter. His name was Peter.) dissolved into laughter, shooting Johnny a wicked grin. Reed and Stark were fucked.

 


 

 

Johnny was snapped out of his reverie as the door to the pharmacy opened, a frantic Iron Man standing in the doorway. Scooping the injured boy in his arms, Spider-Man- no- Peter whined pitifully.

 

“Mr St’rk.” He started, bloody fingers scrabbling against smooth armor. “Mr Stark, I don’t feel so good,” Peter trailed off, going limp against his mentor.

 

Johnny watched helplessly as Stark murmured a quiet “Thank you, Storm.” in his direction before taking to the skies.