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In Plain Sight

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Miles kneels over his uncle's body, crying as his mentor breathes his last. Then, his father behind him. "Hands up!" the officer yells. "Put your arms up now! Turn around."

Miles stands and turns to face his father, staring over his dad's shoulder and trying not to cry.

"Miles?" His father's voice breaks as realizations crash over him. His son, wearing a spiderman costume and standing over a body. Sneaking around and causing trouble. But the greatest realization came last. He'd aimed a gun at his son.

Miles runs forward and hugs him, sniffling. Jefferson shoves his gun back in its holster and envelops him. "Hey, hey, it's ok." He looks behind Miles to see who Miles had been with. 

It's impossible for him not to recognize the face of his brother. Blind denial rises within him and he freezes. No. No! He becomes aware that Miles is speaking.

"Dad. He, he, was gonna kill me. I was wearing the mask and he was gonna kill me!" Miles speaks in hiccups and his breathing is shallow and laced with tears. "And when he didn't kill me, Kingpin shot him!" Jefferson hugs Miles tighter and tries to calm him down. After a little while, Miles releases him and sits next to the trash cans. His knees are pulled up to his chest, and Jefferson can't see his face. 

The officer pulls out his cell and calls his wife, her smiling face filling his screen. He walks out of earshot and prays she'll pick up.

"Honey. I know you're at work, but this is an emergency. Can you take your break early?" He listens for a moment then nods. "I need you to pick up Miles and take him home. Don't ask him any questions, he's," Jefferson stops, unsure of what to say. "I want us all to talk together." Rio speaks on the other end of the line. He agrees then gives her their location. 

Finally, Jefferson can approach his brother. In a vain hope, he checks his pulse, but nothing is there. Jefferson feels the tears running down his face, but when he hears Rio pull up, he wipes his face. He hugs them both before they leave, making sure to hide his wife's view of the alleyway. 

Then, he begins the regrettable task of reporting the death of his oldest friend. 

 

~~~~

Miles sits in the back of the car, the air tense. Rio is relieved to know where he is again, but he can tell, he's in trouble. They get home, and Rio sends him to his room. It's full of clutter but stripped of things. Everything he needs is back at school. 

Miles sits in his room and tries to read an old paperback, but behind his eyes, he sees the scene over and over. After some time, he hears his father come home. A whispered discussion occurs in the kitchen, then Miles hears his parents walk down the hall. 

~~~~

Miles finishes his story. He looks at the grooves of the floor, almost afraid to meet his parent's eyes. "I'm sorry," he says. His mother reaches out and lifts up his chin.

"Niño, why didn't you tell us?" 

Miles shrugs. "I thought-," he pauses. "You don't like Spiderman."

Rio shoots a look at her husband then pulls Miles into a hug. "We will never stop loving you, Miles, no matter who you become." 

"That being said," Jefferson interjects, "you're still in trouble for lying and running off." 

Miles looks at the floor again. "I need to stop Kingpin! My friends have no clue where I went. I gotta find them!" 

Jefferson shakes his head. "The police force can take it from here, Miles. You need to focus on catching up on school."

Miles stares at him. "I need to make him pay! You have to let me make him pay!"

Jefferson stands. "I'm not letting you put yourself in danger again. I'll take care of Kingpin."

Miles stands up too, his eyes shining with a blue light. His father reaches out to grab his shoulder but Miles knocks his hand away, shooting him with his venom strike. Jefferson shoots backward into the wall as Miles realizes what he's done. 

"No, no, no, no, no!" Miles looks at his father, dazed on the floor, and his mother, who instinctively backed into the corner. "I'm, I'm sorry." He runs toward the window and swings away. He hears his mother calling his name but he doesn't look back.