“What the fuck!” May screams after seeing her nephew in a Spider-Man costume/suit/prop/onesie. Whatever, she didn’t care what it was called, she was so damn furious. “So help me god Peter, if you tell me you’re Spider-Man I might just have a psychotic break! Is this what you’ve been up to? Here I thought you were out partying with friends, going swimming in Central Park, normal teenage activities! Not being Spider-Man! Is this why you lost the Stark internship?” May’s lips form a small ‘o’ shape, understanding dawning her features.
“Give me your phone, I mean it Peter! Give me your damn phone right now!” Peter slowly walks over to his bed and picks up his cell phone, which is now cracked in several different places, the result of it falling from great heights. “Of all the idiotic things! Bringing a 15-year old to fucking Germany! He could have gotten you killed.” She’s muttering to herself now as she scrolls through Peter’s contact list. Peter is still standing in front of her with his suit on, but the mask abandoned on the bed, in complete shock. How could he have been so stupid? Why didn’t he close his door? The thoughts of ‘what ifs’ running through his mind. “Where is his number Peter?”
“Whose number Aunt May?” Peter asked silently praying she wasn’t looking for the number he thought she was.
“You know damn well whose number I’m looking for Peter. Now where is it?” Her cold, hard eyes turned from the phone and bore deep into Peter’s.
“I- I don’t have it.” Peter said, suddenly interested in one of the seams in his suit.
“You’re joking right? He lets you go out into the streets of Queens with what I’m sure is a very expensive suit, without even having his phone number in case you need him?” Her voice got quiet, very quiet. Peter was afraid to even look up, he knew exactly what her face would show if he did.
“If I need anything I’m supposed to call Happy, who decides if Mr. Stark is needed. But if I need him while I’m in the suit, Karen calls him! I promise” Peter was barely audible to even his own ears, but Aunt May seemed to have heard it anyways.
“Happy? Happy Hogan? Ah, found it.” Her glaze was already directed back on Peter’s phone, completely ignoring the fact about Karen. Peter could hear the phone dialling, then 5 rings and straight to voicemail. He almost sighed in relief.
“Get out of that suit, put it in your backpack, and then meet me in the living room.” She was still fuming as she walked out of his room, and closed the door, somehow not slamming it like she wanted to. Peter tried to ignore the inevitable and dressed as slowly as possible. He took his suit and folded it as neatly as possible and with as much care as he could, seeing as how it was probably his last time ever touching it. With each step Peter took towards the living room, he felt as though he was taking one step closer to his doom. May didn’t say anything to him as she grabbed her purse and car keys, and walked out the door, motioning for Peter to follow. His backpack, the sixth one since August, was zipped up and slung over his shoulder. They walked to the car in silence, May unlocked the car and Peter climbed into the passenger seat and put on his seatbelt.
“Okay, this is what’s going to happen, I’m going to drive to Stark’s new complex and on the way there you’re going to explain all this.” She pointed to his backpack while Peter nodded his head. She had significantly calmed down since their initial one-sided conversation. And that’s exactly what happened, he told her about the fieldtrip where the spider had bit him on the hand, what happened that fateful night when Uncle Ben had been shot, inventing his webbing, going to Germany with Mr. Stark, his complete screw up on the ferry, what happened with Liz and her father, and finally Mr. Stark asking him to be an avenger. All while he gave instructions on how to get to the upstate Avenger’s complex. It took up the majority of the car ride and May didn’t interrupt him once to ask any questions, from the outside she no longer appeared angry. Oh how Peter wished Wanda were here to tell him about what was going on in May’s head.
As they pulled up to the gate, Peter exited the car to walk up to the retinal scanner in order to get into the facility. “Intern: Parker, Peter identified.” The robotic voice of Mr. Stark’s AI rang out. Now he was wishing that Happy had picked up his phone to give Mr. Stark and the others some warning before his seething Aunt got there. But unfortunately the universe was not in his favour, nor was it ever. He climbed back into his Aunt’s car as the heavy-duty gate opened.
May drove up the long drive and parked the car between a sleek black Harley Davidson motorcycle and a silver Audi (not very different to Flash’s father’s car). Peter quickly threw his backpack over his shoulder and exited his car and walked to the doors about five feet behind May. She tapped her foot impatiently for Peter to come and unlock the door, since the door again needed a retinal scan and a handprint. Once that was finished the door clicked and swung open.
“Welcome back Peter” Friday’s voice called down from the speakers that were placed literally all over the complex. Peter guided May to the main living area, dreading his existence. When he walked through the door, he came to a sudden halt, which result in Aunt May crashing into his back. There sitting at the kitchen island was Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, casually on a Stark Inc. laptop. He struggles to compose himself, while she barely glanced up from her screen.
“Can I help you?” Natasha asked. May pushed her way around him and stalked up to the deadly assassin. The only thought running through Peter’s head was does she have a death wish?
“You bet your ass you can help me, where the hell is Tony? I want to have a nice discussion about why he tried to give my 15-year old nephew a spot on the Avengers!” Well that got Natasha’s attention, her head snapped up and have Peter a levelled glare.
“Your Aunt didn’t know?” She said slowly, her voice calculating. Peter shook his head and looked towards the floor, once again interested at looking at the tile instead of the conversation in front of him. “Peter why don’t you go and tinker in Tony’s lab, don’t come back up until Friday tells you or I come get you. And try not to blow anything up.” Natasha added the last part as a joke but it seemed to only add more concern to May’s features. Peter slouched off in the direction of one of the many labs in the complex. Natasha waited until Peter was out of even his hearing range before she spoke. “Friday tell Tony to come back to the complex immediately.” She motioned for May to follow her to the couches not too far away. When they both sat down, May started fidgeting, much like Peter does when he’s nervous, starting to realize that she could have gone about this situation in a very different manner. Natasha picked up on this and decided she’d be the one to begin the conversation.
“Tony is currently away for some business in California, but that message Friday sent should have him back within the hour. Before you yell at him, and I’m not saying don’t yell at him because he absolutely deserves it, hear me out. Yes Tony gave Peter that suit, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have Peter’s best interests in mind. I understand that Germany was out of line, and Tony deserves hell for that, but he was cornered and felt like Peter was his only option.” Natasha was watching May’s face for some indication of how the rest of this conversation was going to go; she obviously saw something in her favour because she continued.
“Peter was Spider-Man before Tony got involved, he was out in the streets with blue sweatpants and a red hoodie fighting crime. Tony gave him a suit that has thousands of safety protocols in it, each designed to keep Peter safe. The suit has an AI should Peter ever need any help; it’s designed to initiate any protocol Peter needs without even being told to. It has a parachute, it’s bullet proof, has a real-time tracker, records every second when Peter is in the suit, has certain settings disabled until Tony knows he’s ready to handle it, protocols that if Peter receives an injury more serious than a sprained ankle the suit notifies the closest Avenger and calls Tony. Was Tony wrong to ask Peter to become an Avenger without your consent? Without doubt, but it was done so that Peter has no choice but to listen to us when we say something is too dangerous for him to handle, to give him the proper training so he doesn’t get hurt. Tony went about this in the wrong way, but he cares about Peter. He cares enough to hack into Midtown’s school records to make sure Peter’s grades aren’t slipping and to see his attendance records, enough that Tony will even help Peter with his homework. Tony tried to get Peter to stop, he took away the suit and it only resulted in Peter getting hurt, you can’t stop him, the only thing you can do it protect him.” May sat there intensely listening to every word Natasha said, and then started sobbing.
“Bozhe moi, ne plach'” Natasha muttered to herself
“I can’t lose him too, he’s all I have left.” May said between choked sobs.
“Then don’t let this come between you two, be there when he comes home with a black eye, help him cover his identity, keep him safe in the only way you can. Be there for him when he needs you.” It was the only advice Natasha could offer.
“Can I ask you something?”
“You can ask me anything, it’s whether or not I choose to answer.”
“Even you, you’re so young, how did you get roped into this mess?” May asked still trying to fathom how to let her only family left go out and put himself into harms way.
“If I told you, I think you’d have nightmares. My life, this wasn’t my choice, but this is Peter’s choice.”
“Welcome home Boss.” Friday’s artificial voice rang out. Tony came running into the room in a frenzy looking like he hadn’t slept in days, which was probably true.
“Where’s the fire Red? Oh, heya May.” Tony stood and rocked on the balls of his feet, looking like a child. May just stared at him with her red, tear stained face. She stood up and walked over to him, slapped him hard across the face, and then pulled him in for a hug.
“Thank you, for protecting him. But don’t you ever lie to me again. If he’s going to continue, I need access to his tracker at all times, I need him to send me updates at least every hour, and he needs real training. If his grades start to slip, you’ll be the one to tutor him, do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am, you have my word that I’ll do everything in my power to keep him safe.” Tony for once lost his childish act and was completely serious.
“Friday you can tell the kid to come up now.” Natasha spoke from her spot on the couch. A few beats of awkward silence filled the room until Peter came sulking out from the lab, his backpack still on his shoulder. He took in the crying form of Aunt May, Mr. Stark’s stoic expression, and Natasha’s always unreadable face, this was it, no more Spider-Man, he thought. He walked up to Mr. Stark and unzipped his backpack and took out the perfectly folded suit and handed it to him. May was the first to speak.
“You can keep that, but there’s going to be rules. You’re going to follow these rules without exception. Do you understand?” Peter knew that there was no arguing with that tone, he’s tried many times and always lost.
“Are you serious?” The grin Peter was giving almost cracked his face in half.
“Well that’s my cue to leave. Spokoynoy nochi razdrazhayushchiy pauk.” Natasha stood up fluently from the couch and left the room.
“What’d she say?” Peter asked completely confused with the Russian in her last sentence.
“Not sure kid, knowing Red it was probably a death threat or a term of endearment.” Tony flashed him his signature grin. “Okay lets hash out these rules over some pizza, how’s that?”
Bozhe moi, ne plach' = Oh my God, don’t cry
Spokoynoy nochi razdrazhayushchiy pauk = Goodnight annoying spider
– At least according to Google translate as I’m not fluent in Russian