Gwen never asked Miles what it felt like for him, being dead. Either it will have been better and she will wonder what she did or it will not and she will wonder what they both did. She does not want to know. For her, it felt like nine circles of hell and waking up to find her humanity washed away by golden light. Gwen Stacy is dead and Roxxon will pay for bringing her back.
Which brings her to now. "Lightbringer," she tells him, "that's my name now."
"Only, can you still call me Miles?" Miles says, "I don't think I can come up with a codename that fast."
"Like you've never wanted to be a superhero," Gwen says.
Miles ducks his head. "I did want to be Blade when I was six."
"Sounds like a vampire slayer," Gwen says, because it does. She saw those movies too. she's had a name picked out since seeing Wonder Woman on Tv when she was five.
"Right," he replies, "like you've not named yourself as ominously as you could."
"Whatever you say, Buffy. I like it." Gwen spreads her cloak wide around her. "Shall we?"
"Let's," Miles says and steps forward.
Travel in the spaces between is not as easy as it looks, even with the knowledge dropped fully fledged into her brain.
They are not alone in Roxxon's office. There's Spider-Boy, that Gwen met once, after Jessica took SHIELD to task over trusting Roxxon to make another of her. There's a girl in a Spider costume and Gwen feels a wild surge of hope that her girlfriend isn't as dead as everyone said she was, but no. Her hair is different and the curve of her neck is not the same. There's a blond girl standing over Roxxon, exploding a pen in her hand.
The girl bends forward and grabs Roxxon by his shirt, rivulets of energy surging forward from her fist. Neither of the Spiders react. They must not be able to see it, but Miles is. Shadow sharp knives cut away the shirt, dropping Roxxon to the ground and leaving the girl with a fistful of burning, useless cloth.
"No," Miles says and all the others flinch from his voice, as though the night itself was speaking. She wonders if her own voice sounds anything half as otherworldly.
"Yeah," Spider-Woman - no, that's Jess, that'll always be Jess - Spider-Girl, then - says, "if you want justice, not vengeance, he has to go on trial."
"I want vengeance," Gwen says and from their reactions, if anything, her voice is worse.
"Maybe," Spider-Boy says - Ty, his name is Ty -, "he knows how to fix you, Tan - Timebomb."
"He doesn't," Timebomb says, "but maybe he knows who does." She hauls back her hand, energy crackling at her fingertips.
Spider-Girl webs Timebomb's arm to the ceiling and Spider-Boy grabs Roxxon while the webbing burns. Gwen blocks his way. "Allow me."
She unfolds them both into the light. Spider-Boy she drpos back down next to Miles, but Roxxon she keeps, showing him exactly how much of a monster he made her.
"Give him back," Spider-Girl says, "or I'll have to arrest you and I really don't want to do that."
"Then why do it?" Gwen does not think Spider-Girl could stop her.
"It's what heroes do. I'm a hero now." She does not sound convinced.
Gwen gives Roxxon back. She is enjoying this far more than she should be. She pulls her cloak tight around her and watches him cower in fear of the monster she's become. She won't be a monster any more. Roxxon made her a monster. She doesn't want to be anything that Roxxon made her. She'll be a hero, instead, and damn good at it too.
"Tell us everything," Miles says and Roxxon starts talking. He talks and talks and talks and rages boils within Gwen.
Miles and her are not even the tip of the iceberg. Neither are Timebomb or Spider-Girl. Not even Spider-Boy. The rot goes deeper, hundreds and thousands of lives ruined and SHIELD threaded through every one of them. SHIELD money and SHIELD scientists, SHIELD contracts all of them, from the Bradleys and the superserum to the brittle bones and Pym particles of Giant Women. Thousands of experiments and every one a life or more than one and ending in death and lonely agony far more often than not.
"He'll never face trial," Timebomb says.
As if to prove her right, SHIELD helicopters start surrounding the building. "Release Roxxon and surrender!"
"Come out with your hands up!"
Timebomb turns to Spider-Boy. "Go, Ty. You can still escape or tell them it was all my fault."
"I'm not leaving you," Spider-Boy says. He takes her hand. "We go together."
"Roxxon's seen us," Spider-Girl says. "I'm not going back to jail."
"You won't have to," Miles says. "Lightbringer can get us out of here."
Gwen smiles. That she can do.
Spider-Girl shakes her head. "They'll know everywhere we'll go."
"No they won't," Gwen says, "and if they do, we'll just have to keep moving."
She spreads her arms, cloak fluttering behind her, light blinding and brighter than the spotlights shining down on them.
She wraps them all within folds of light and everything dissolves into white.
They're in Jess' lair, the one SHIELD doesn't know about, the one Katie Bishop go her when she was just barely starting out. There cobwebs from floor to ceiling, except in the places where Gwen and Miles have lived, these past few months. Spider-Boy and Timebomb are still holding hands.
Spider-Girl sneezes. "Nice place, but we can't hide forever. There's no safehouse so secure the law won't find you out, my mom always said. She was right."
"So long as it stays safe long enough for us to bring down Roxxon," Timebomb says.
Spider-Boy squeezes her hand. "And SHIELD."
Timebomb holds out their clasped hands. "All in favour?"
Spider-Girl nods and puts her hand on theirs.
"Shall we?" Miles asks Gwen, adding his hand to the pile.
Gwen lays her atop all the other. "Let's."