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The Pain of Living and Beauty of Dying

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“Put your fucking hands up. Now!”

 

Peter watched in horror as a man aimed a gun at both him and Uncle Ben, their arms were raised as they stood stock still, Peter’s heart stuttered when he recognized the thug instantly, it was the same guy from the boxing ring; The Criminal Peter had refused to apprehend. This time he brought a friend, a chilling dread coiled and tightened around Peter keeping him frozen in place.

The thug thrusted the gun at Uncle Ben’s face.“ Give me whatever fucking money you have!” Peter’s heartbeat skyrocketed. “Hurry the fuck up old man!”

Uncle Ben flinched away from the gun waving inches at his face but continued to keep a steady, calm expression, “Okay, why don’t we all just.. calm down?” Uncle Ben slowly leaned towards the gun.

“We’re wasting our fucking time.” His friend stepped towards Peter and at that moment Uncle Ben threw himself at the thug with the gun as they started wrestling for the weapon, Uncle Ben ripped the gun out of the thug’s hand and threw it away with haste, “Peter run and get help!” Peter stared in horror before he could even take a step the thug’s friend grabbed Peter and threw him down, the wet and filthy concrete mercilessly shredding Peter’s skin.

Peter screamed in agony as he watched the thug overpower his uncle and knock him down with a brutal fist to his throat, his uncle tumbled down as he painfully choked for air, every desperate rasp of air carving itself into Peter’s enhanced ears, the thug directed his wrath of sharp kicks and punches to his uncle’s sternum and ribcage, Peter’s ears drinking every single intricate detail of bone breaking and splitting under the assault and the sounds already swirling and rolling around in his head as if it were savoring the bitter and ugly taste of booze.

Screaming and bones breaking filled Peter’s head, swish swashing in his ears like the salty ocean waves as every sound of savage fists pounding and breaking the man before him. The man who raised him. That loved him.

The other man who kept Peter pinned down tightened his grip on his arms ignored every gargled sob and pleading shrieks that ripped out of his throat, limbs like jelly all Peter could do was watch until it was over, fat tears accumulating in his red rimmed eyes and all he could see was a blur of dark colors, violent silhouettes mashing together and all Peter could hear was Ben’s weak rasps, his heartbeat shuddering in pain.

A weight lifted from above him and before he could even feel relief Peter cried out as rough fingers pulled his hair harshly and his head was forced back and smashed against filthy concrete, loud pops mixing with the bangs made from Peter’s head being bashed against the cold, hard ground. The hit didn’t hurt so much as the rough concrete that ripped at the skin above his brow, a small gash formed across his eyebrow and Peter could feel blood trickle out, and then everything turned dark.

 

 


Peter woke up to cold hands everywhere and all he could do was scream before the distinct sounds of cops and paramedics milling about filled the area, he opened his eyes and with blurry vision the very familiar lights of red and blue lit the entire alleyway.

“...an-? -young man? Can you hear me?”

His attention was brought back to a paramedic crouching before him, he stared breathlessly at the man before he could only manage a clipped nod, he felt hands pull him up on jelly-like legs and then he was put on a stretcher as he cast a glance back down to Ben and everything slowed down, his heart felt like it's just been ripped straight out of his chest when desperation made eye contact with a cold dead stare.


He must have blacked out because one moment he was being asked questions, which he tried answering as honest as possible but then the words started strangling the air out of him and in a desperate attempt to just breath he’d end up vomiting because Uncle Ben was gonegonegone and nothing will ever be the same, and then he was in a police department waiting for May to show up whilst he held a bottle of lemonade that magically appeared in his hand, Peter tried to keep the bad thoughts out by focusing on the different possibilities of its appearance.

Peter’s head snapped up when a very familiar but comforting heartbeat came closer and closer before all he could see was May’s grief stricken face, tear tracks ran down her pale cheeks and finally making eye contact with her and no words were spoken between them and she lunged at him and held the boy tightly, cradling his head close as they both sobbed into each others clothing, Peter staining her pajamas with his tears and likewise May’s own tears and snot seeped into his borrowed sweater that the kind officers had given him.

 


Maybe everything won't ever be the same, but at least he had May.

Chapter Text

 

Two Months Later.

 


His birthday passed a couple days later and Peter had celebrated with recurring nightmares of gunshots and screaming. He made sure to keep his lamp on.

 May celebrated with tons of alcohol and tears, she tried offering some to Peter but he refused.  although seeing May’s spirit finally lift after weeks of silent torture he couldn’t help the small part of him wishing he had taken a drink so he could forget too.

And then the next day she kept drinking and excused it as an after party celebration, Peter simply hugged her and told her he understood. 

The guilt and shame of what he’s done to May had nearly been too much to deal with. So he pieced together a spider-themed outfit and built goggles. He made sure to keep track of the time he spent outside.

May kept drinking again and again until the apartment stunk of alcohol and Peter tried not to think so much.

Five days later Peter stumbled upon a formula and created webs. So he started building some ‘web shooters’ from dumpster diving. He ran back home before it even got dark.

The first night they got into a fight Peter wished it was her instead of Ben. He ended up staying awake the entire night listening to May’s sobbing, his guilt and self-hatred cursing his existence. He was wrong, it should've been him who died instead.

Peter’s guilt wouldn’t shut up so he let May whatever she wanted without a single complaint.

Until May started bringing men into their apartment in her drunken haze.

Peter went to bed at night instead of his brain forcing him to watch his Uncle’s brutality in his sleep he started having putrid nightmares of a handsome man with bleach blonde hair and cold blue eyes invade and corrupt his pathetic body with filthy, warm hands.

 

Peter didn't know which of those nightmares were worse.

 

It was the fifth nightmare that made him snap and that night was the second fight he had with a drunk May. but it was the first time May had ever raised her hand against him too.

The blonde man disappeared from his sleep and Peter started wearing less to bed again.

Peter had an odd nightmare that instead of Ben lying on the cold dirty concrete in the alleyway, it was May’s corpse all bloody and bruised, blood leaking out the gun wounds with a hint of liquor in the air. He apologized profusely to a confused and hungover May.

Peter told May he loved her and she responded with a weak smile.

A month later into May’s toxic ventures and Peter created Karen with the help of his friend, Ned Leeds. They both immediately fell in love with Karen. MJ hid a smile behind her book and called them nerds.
 


Spider-Man’s first debut consisted of stopping a bus from colliding with a person using his bare hands and raw strength. The news praised him as a hero. 

 

And for the first time since Ben’s death, Peter B. Parker felt like giving the entire world the middle finger. So he did. And it felt empowering.

 


________

 

 

Three Months Later.

 


Six months ago Fridays had always been a sacred thing for Peter, in his opinion nothing could ever ruin the end of the week for him. Except nowadays the only exception to that was the scent of booze, vomit and sex that stung at Peter’s nose when he entered the apartment, “Ugh, seriously May?! Ew!” Peter complained to an empty apartment, even when he had already been anticipating the filthy scent during the entire subway ride home, feeling it hit him full force was something he doesn’t want to ever get used to. Gagging, Peter plugged his nose before he walked into the living room. tiptoeing across the filthy space to his room making sure to avoid stepping on any of the various gross liquids staining the crappy carpet and the bottles of alcohol that littered the floor.

Once the door to his room closed Peter tried to take a breath but abruptly gagged as he could still taste the bitter scent and with a sigh, knowing what has to be done for the hundredth time, he threw his backpack on his bed and opened his window before making his way back out to the kitchen, heading straight for his handy homemade cleaning supplies, this is gonna take a while. 

 

Finally clearing out the stinky apartment and for the first time since he got home, Peter could finally breathe in peace, he shrugged off the old hand-me-down parka and draped it over his chair, he glanced out the window and contemplated whether he should go out on patrol, it was already November but without the green jacket he would’ve been shivering all the way back home, his sensitivity to the cold weather sometimes made Peter want to go back in time and just wrangle the spider that bit him by its web.

Peter emptied out his backpack once he finished organizing everything on his desk he stared at the Spider-Man suit that lay innocently on his floor.

Knowing May she wouldn’t be back until at least midnight, shrugging Peter grabbed his mask and goggles and slipped it on before immediately greeting his AI as he threw on the rest of his suit. “Good afternoon to you, Kare-bear!”

Karen immediately responded, “Good afternoon to you too, Petey-pie-”

He blinked in confusion before interrupting, “Petey-pie?” Peter could feel practically feel her grinning with each syllable.

“Of course, Petey-pie. Ned Leeds had updated my software last night when he came over for your sleepover, while you had fallen asleep he added a feature of various nicknames I should respond to you whenever I felt like it.”

Huffing in mock betrayal, Peter crossed his arms, “What? I can’t believe you two are already conspiring against me behind my back, your creator!” 

Karen responded with another soft chuckle. “Technically Ned is my co-creator as he had been the one to assist in writing my code while you struggled-”

“Ok, ok, ok- I get it, you can stop!” Peter felt a reluctant smile form as he failed to keep a frown. “We’ll discuss where your loyalty stands later, for now I would definitely appreciate it if you could hack into police radio frequency and hear anything worth checking out then you let me know, thanks Karen.” he crawled out the window making sure to avoid getting seen before leaping out an alleyway and swung across the buildings as he heard Karen tune into radio frequencies, low murmurs washing over him as he breezed by buildings.

After two minutes of just swinging by buildings Karen finally spoke up. “Peter, I seem to have found something of interest.” 

Peter landed on a rooftop near midtown. “What’s going on Karen?” He glanced around the city, the streets buzzing with activity, maybe he should have brought a hoodie, the air wasn't as cold when his adrenalin kept him distracted from the chill.

“There’s been a 911 phone call about a home invasion, one armed man and woman, and three civilians, one child and two parents.”

Peter leaped off the building. “Alright can you line up the quickest route to the location and keep me updated if anything happens.” Once Karen gave him directions, Peter made his way across buildings, adrenalin spiking once more.


It took two minutes when he could finally see the house where the burglars broke into. Peter honed his senses in on the house, he could hear a commotion, a man and woman yelling, one child crying, begging for mercy. Sucking in a breath, Peter tensed before thrusting his foot forward and crashed into the window below, shocking everyone, including the burglars, one woman and man dressed in all black in ski masks, the woman held a bat while her male counterpart aimed a gun towards Peter once the shock of Spider-Man bursting through a window settled in. The kid that had been crying suddenly lit up. “Spider-Man!!

Peter immediately webbed the gun out of the man’s hand and to the nearest wall before webbing the guy to the wall as well. “Somethin’ tells me this isn't your usual family reunion, not that I would know exactly what that's like-”

Urrgh!!” The woman immediately threw herself at Peter and swung the bat in his direction while Peter himself dodged her aggression quite gracefully, “Can you just- shut the fu-” Peter yanked the bat out of the woman’s grasp before webbing her to the wall next to her buddy.

Fudge! She was gonna say fudge.” He glanced around the damaged living room, eh, he thinks he did a good job here all in all.  “Everything’s fine now, its ok to come out!” Behind his back he could hear the two criminals muffled cursing and wriggling while the family slowly got out from their hiding spot.

The mother gingerly stepped from behind the couch following her husband, while the kid tried peeling himself from his arms to get closer to the vigilante. “Spider-Man, thank you so, so, so much. We owe you so much, if you hadn’t gotten here things would have probably gotten bad.”

The boy, Lewis, jumped up from where he stood squished within his father's arms. “Woah!! You totally kicked their freaking butts!” The boy continued to cheer. “You're my super-duper favorite superhero, Spider-Man!”

Peter could feel his cheeks heat up while Lewis’ parents laughed. “Ah, really no need to owe me, just your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man doing his job!” He could hear police sirens a block away. “Whelp, the police are already on their way here, so I'll just show myself out.” He jumped out from the mess of shattered glass that was once considered a window. “Bye-bye! Oh- and sorry about the window!!’’ 

For the next ten hours Peter spent his day helping, whether it involved saving unfortunate civilians from alleyway creepers, letting an elderly man or woman hold onto his arm just to cross the road or maybe taking the full force of a truck or speeding car from hitting anything else, It was already somewhere around twelve and his stomach felt starved so finally Peter decided to go back home.

It was quiet nights like these that made Peter the happiest, like a bird that’s finally let out of its cage and free to roam the sky. All he could focus on was how peaceful the night looked, the lack of guilt, hatred, blood or booze that usually haunted him while he lay in bed help him feel higher and lighter than any drug could, no laws or self-entitled adults to control his actions but just himself and Spider-Man to have free reign to soar the skies.


It was when he could finally see his neighborhood that Karen spoke with a hint of hesitation. “..Peter, you have an incoming call from May Parker, would you like me to accept?” 

Peter’s shock had him narrowly missing a building but managed to quickly compose himself, trying to calm his racing heart by focusing on the cool air. “Wait- May? She’s calling me? Karen answer the call.” Just to make sure he doesn’t splat on the concrete below he stuck onto the nearest building. “May! Is everything good?”

May’s slurred voice filtered through and Peter tried to stomp down the feeling of his heart squeezing painfully as he crawled down the building and hid in an alleyway before climbing up his building underneath the shadows. “I dunno how but the stupid fucking keys are missing and I'm locked out! Can you hurry and open the door for me, Peter?” and just like that frustration and disappointment flooded Peter like a tidal wave. He crawled into his empty room and mumbled to Karen to end the call before sliding off his goggles and red mask along his little earbud and tossed it on his desk before he threw off the rest of his outfit and slipped on a sweater and pajama pants.

He stomped his way to the living room, his enhanced nose already catching the faint stink that is a hammered May Parker only seemed to fuel his irritation and as he threw open the door May immediately shoved her way through, Peter nearly slammed the door but the thought of waking up their poor neighbors kept him restrained. “May this is the fourth time this week! I expect you to at least not lose your own damn keys!” Peter hissed out.

There was a pregnant pause and at first he thought May decided to ignore him until she spoke up, deprecation and frustration laced in her words. “I guess this is also a bad time to mention I lost my wallet too, huh?”

To keep himself from screaming in frustration Peter shoved his hands into his hair and when he heard the click of a lighter he felt every bit of hopelessness, guilt, frustration, hate burst and he marched his way to where May laid sprawled on the couch and snatched her cigarette stick and lighter from between her long fingers. “What the fuck?! That's mine, give it back!” Peter flinched at how suddenly sober May sounded but he refused to back down, already familiar with the same song and dance. She stood up and Peter felt his senses suddenly buzz, everything slowed for a second and his senses sharpened on it’s cause. May’s grip on Peter’s wrist felt like nothing but a small twisted, love-starved part of him couldn't help and leech for comfort in her warmth his heart constricted and his throat refused any air access and- Fuck. He feels so small and pathetic and weak and he absolutely hates it.

May shoved him. “God damnit, Peter would you just quit it and leave.” Shove. “Me.” Shove. “Alone?!” One last slam of her palm shoving against Peter.  “God, Peter just please leave me alone for once, please, god damnit!” She sounded so defeated, broken. and like a plane, Peter’s heart crashed and burned at that.

Both parkers oblivious to their tears running down flushed faces. Once May was done yelling at him, Peter realized the sharp sting of glass embedded into his foot, he shook his head and lifted his other hand, just wanting his aunts warmth, and left it to hover near May. “I love you, May.” The look in her eyes ached with raw anguish and Peter’s throat felt rough.

“Please stop saying that! Yo- you..” May continued to stare at Peter with wide eyes finally noticing the blood pooling around Peter’s foot, she shook her head insistently, “Oh my god. I-I’m so sorry!! ” She gently took her hand from Peter’s wrist, and just like that his throat surrendered and air filtered through. May shook her head and her mouth opened and closed, words refused to form for her and without even looking at him she retreaded to her bedroom and Peter’s chest felt numb and his appetite had been lost.


He stood there for two minutes, slowly collecting his thought before Peter silently walked back into his room, careful not to make a sound as guilt and shame ate him up. He hadn’t meant to upset her this much, usually when they fought May would push him around before promptly passing out but this time was different, had he been too pushy with her? God, she probably felt like garbage and here he was fucking up her already shitty night with his complaining.

Grabbing a health kit from under his bed Peter pulled out the glass shards with some tweezers, poured alcohol into his wounds and wiped them, letting his healing factor do the rest of the work.

Peter glanced at his mask and his hands twitched, he really wanted to talk to Karen, or maybe just blast some music in his ears, anything to block out May’s sobbing, but he powered through it, the thought of having the luxury of tuning out her suffering by taking comfort from Karen while his Aunt cried in her cold barren room twisted and knotted his stomach.

May’s stink seeped through the walls and all Peter could smell and taste was salt, alcohol and vomit. Peter’s dreams that night manifested into a screaming and crying May in an alleyway covered in blood, while a wave of horror drowned him upon realization there was a gun between his hands.


When Peter woke up the next morning drenched in cold sweat to an empty apartment with May’s clothes, phone and suitcase gone he threw up until his stomach burned and his sobs came out as nothing but breathy rasps, every inhale he took burned and ached and all Peter could wish was the power to just drop dead. 

Peter felt like his entire world had been just a lie.

May was gone. Not even dead but just gone. Somehow her voluntarily leaving him to rot in their apartment without  leaving an explanation hurt more than any gunshot or stab wound that he’s gained from the past few months but knowing that he was the cause of this misfortune? Peter couldn't even look at his own reflection, he had just cried and clawed at his head, ripping out chestnut hair strands.


His hand shook as he pulled out his phone and tried calling her number again and he laid his aching head against the cold tiles, a ripple of tremors shook his pale body from the lack of food he’s had and before her number could go straight to voicemail he blacked out. Blood, salt and gunshots haunted his dreams. And with that, Fridays had become Peter’s least favorite day of the week.

 


Peter had been stupid to think that he had May. Ben’s murderers had taken her along with him that night. 

 

Chapter Text

 

Three Years Later.

 


Peter skipped down his apartment steps with a piece of toast in his hand before making his way down the street to his bus stop. He stuffed his headphones in his ears and plugged it to his phone and sniffed as he spoke into the microphone. “Morning Karen! Could you put on some music?” He stuffed the rest of the toast into his mouth completely devouring it.

“Good morning, Peter. You have one email from the Daily Bugle and a voicemail from one of your neighbors, James Johnson, asking if you are free to take care of their child for tonight while he took his husband out for their anniversary and to celebrate his recent promotion at Oscorp Industries.” Before he could respond his phone already started playing music.

Peter hummed, swallowing the last bit of toast. “Send them a text telling them I’m totally free for the night and I’ll take a look at the Bugle later.” 

It's been two months since the whole battle with the Vulture and for the first time in weeks Peter feels light, no nightmares of being crushed under concrete had spooked him and seeing as his identity hasn’t been plaguing the media Peter deems it safe to assume Toomes decided to keep his mouth shut and a small part of him feels warm that the man at least has a bit of decency left. Even though Peter doesn’t regret putting Toomes behind bars, after all the man made a choice to create and release dangerous weapons to the streets, didn’t mean he couldn’t feel guilty for breaking Liz’s image of her loving and kind father, Toomes may deserve going to prison for a time out but Liz certainly didn’t deserve to be put through her father’s mess.

He genuinely hopes Toomes and his family the best. But aside from the whole warehouse falling on top of him, what he's most hung up on is the lack of ‘thank you Spider-Man for not letting Toomes take off with an entire plane full of deadly weapons because we’re idiots.’ from Stark. Damnit, even the Vulture had the decency to show some gratitude even when he kicked his ass. Well it’s not that he expected a thank you from Tony Stark but the lack of thanks for Spider-Man's intervention had Peter feeling slightly bitter, furthering his distaste for the man, so he tries to shrug those thoughts away.

 

Monday mornings were always the worst for Peter, but even when it was a complete pain in the ass to get out of bed he pushes through it, knowing he can’t miss a day just to avoid any knowledge of May’s absence and his independence at home, as Ned and MJ are the only other people aside from a couple of his next door neighbors and landlord that know of his ‘Missing May’ situation.

Also speaking of his old landlord, Mr. Moore. Peter has no idea what to think of the guy and if he should keep an eye on him.  He’s earned Peter’s trust when all those years ago he decided not to kick him out and instead helped him out when May had decided to fuck off to who knows where. Although, there was one time when he stumbled on Peter stripping out of the Spider-man costume in an alleyway near Mr. Delmar’s shop and Mr. Moore, bless that old man, simply shook his head at Peter and muttered something about pervy cosplayers and criticized how it didn't even look anything like the real costume.


Mornings were always packed with people, seeing as it was rush hour, so empty seats were always a luxury. Years ago before Ben died, Peter and Ned both jokingly liked to use that as an omen, the least taken seats meant he’s gonna have a good day and the most taken is basically the opposite. Peter glanced around the bus and saw only two seats were available. Today it seems like he should expect to get shot on patrol tonight. Great.


Once the bus stopped somewhere in the city near his school Peter stood up and walked out the doors before he could get pushed around and lost within the crowd and walked the rest of the way.


--

Peter pulled off his headphones as he approached the entrance, off to the side Peter noticed Ned conversing with Betty. He pulled his hoodie over and blended into the crowd of students walking inside making sure to avoid Ned recognizing him as he made his way over inside to his locker. 

Peter pulled off his hoodie and stuffed his things inside his locker and before the bell went off he ran to his first class.
The day went by quickly, and surprisingly smooth. Well, as smooth as things could get for Peter.
Flash ignored him, except for a few jabs and glares that were thrown his way and no one tried talking to him unless it was strictly on the subject they were currently learning and needed assistance on. Also he didn't feel Ned’s eyes on him or Michelle give him any narrowed looks. he desperately tried telling himself that that was a good thing and ignored the ache in his heart.

It wasn't like Peter hated any of his peers, it was quite the opposite, actually, he felt protective of them and their ignorance to what goes on around them, but the thought of even becoming close with one of them would send him spiraling, and Peter absolutely hated becoming a slave to his own emotions. He fucked up with May, the illusion of their love had shattered so easily it genuinely scared the hell out of him, the thought that his Aunt hated him so much kept him up at night and like that, the thought of Ned or MJ dying or getting so tired of his baggage that they would rather leave him then put up with his bullshit haunted his thoughts until he hadn’t slept for days and it took him getting shot on patrol and having to drag himself back into his window to do something about the dark thoughts,

He pushed everyone away and when Ned pushed back harder with MJ backing him up, Peter freaked out and spouted out words that left bile stuck in his throat, and like a house of cards against a gentle breeze, their resolve broke and just like May, he managed to drive them away. Later that night Peter went on patrol and even when he knew it was stupid he decided to take on an entire gang in a warehouse, his senses buzzed with warning but he took a knife to the shoulder. He went back home with so many scrapes and bruises without complaint, feeling so numb and so fucking empty. he was sore the entire weekend and a few days later Karen found out of their broken friendship and stopped calling him nicknames. Peter didn't know whether to cry or feel relieved by that.

But at least Ned and MJ were far away and safe from the terrible mess that is Peter, and with that thought he went to sleep, his body aching and weeping but his head felt light and empty.

 

Once it was the end of the day Peter took a deep breath of air and made his way to Decathlon, and once he got there he could see the other team members talking to each other only spare him a glance and a few smiles and one scoff, courtesy of Flash of course. Michelle brushed past him without a word and went up stage to tidy her notes and begin practice, with Ned trailing close behind her, eyes burning holes into him and Peter felt stiff as he stared wide eyed at a tall man talking with the rest of the members. He had bleach blonde hair swept to the side and cool blue eyes. He faintly remembered Mr.Harrington’s announcement of his departure to Canada for something and there being a substitute to fill in for him.

The man must’ve sensed Peter’s eyes on him because he looked up from the students and made eye contact with him before making his way over to Peter with a nice smile. Oh Fuck. His limbs felt heavy and Peter didn’t acknowledge the little hairs on his arms rising.

The substitute stopped right in front of Peter and stuck out his hand for him to shake. “Good afternoon, uh-?” His voice sounded alluringly kind, like a honey trap and Peter bit his tongue to keep himself from screaming.

It took him a few awkward seconds to realize he’s been staring up at the man for what felt like an eternity before latching onto his large warm palm with his own smaller clammy one. “I-I’m, uhm, Pete- Peter Parker.. Sir.” God he even sounded like a fucking toddler, what was wrong with him?

The substitute merely chuckled, sweet and sultry, his eyes crinkled with mirth and Peter wondered why he still even fucking came to Decathlon and if he could just drop everything and stay far the fuck away from this can of worms that he certainly doesn’t want to open. “Ah, well it's a pleasure to meet you, Peter Parker! I’m Mr. White, Mr. Harrington's substitute for the next- what was it? I think a week and a half.” Peter just kept nodding along like the child that he was. Mr. White must’ve noticed something was off with Peter because he tilted his head down to Peter and he frowned before gently asking, “Are you feeling unwell, Peter? You look too pale.”

He knew he was acting irrational, and Peter couldn't help but feel guilty for even comparing what is - probably-  an innocent man to a ghost from his past. All it took was a loud cough from Michelle for whatever one-sided tension was happening between him and Mr. White to shatter. He immediately jumped into action and gave Peter one last squeeze to his shoulder and walked off to talk to the other students without a single glance back to Peter.

Finally he felt his chest lighten but then Peter felt his senses hum and looked up at Michelle, her expression like stone but her eyes gave away what looked like.. Concern? 

Peter looked away immediately and went to sit between Abraham and Flash. And just like that everything sort of breezed by, nobody mentioned Peter’s lack of participation and then Decathlon was over and everyone else was packing their things but before anyone noticed, Peter was already gone.

Once he made it to the entrance of the school Peter bolted out and far from the school, he managed to avoid running into anyone whilst he ran like the devil was hot on his trail, until he was in the city and could no longer sense his peers and the substitute, the rush of civilians milling around washes over him with cool relief and Peter finally lets out a breath he’d been holding onto as he rubs the goosebumps on his arms .

God, what the hell had that been all about? Everything just spiraled out of his control, and over what? Some blonde teacher guy who’s looks hit too close to home?  Peter gasped for air as he tried to sort out the overflow of emotions.

 

The run didn’t so much as make him break a sweat or feel tired but Peter felt like his limbs suddenly turned into lead and he tried focusing his attention elsewhere, people having random conversations to the humming of machinery like cars and trucks that pass by. It took what felt like hours for Peter to finally cool down and he made his way to a nearby alley, away from any prying eyes and stripped out his clothes and into blue and red spandex. The inside of his mask lit up and Karen greeted him. “Good afternoon, Peter. Would you like for me to see if there’s any criminal activity in the vicinity?”

Peter shook his head and shot a web to the nearest building, and hopped onto the rooftop. “No thanks Karen, I was just gonna head back home and clean up before the Johnsons drop off August for date night.”

He made his way back home, stopping every now and then when he came across someone in distress, pushing away any thoughts of school, he can sort out his feelings later, he had a kid to take care of now.