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Caught in the Crossfire

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Mondays, Peter has hated Mondays since before he could remember and not just because of having to get up for school, he does that four other days of the week too Mondays are just different.

No one is ever happy on a Monday, it's the end of peoples’ weekend getaways, and the first day that forces you get up early for school or work even when you really don’t want to. Mondays were gruelling and while logically peter understood the week had to start somewhere it never prevented him from holding mondays in the utmost contempt.

Especially right now as Peter just narrowly dodges another blast from the thugs shotgun, diving behind the back alley dumpster, the stench of who knows what wafting sickeningly in his face.

“Man, I hate Mondays too but that is no way to fix the issue buddy.” Peter quips as he flips out from behind the dumpster webbing up the man’s gun and yanking it from his grasp. The gun clattering against the asphalt as it skidded away.

“Also can I just say that stealing a literal safe from a store is So 1800’s, I mean really who are you, Jesse James?” Peter calls out mockingly.

Alright Parker, dodge and distract just like always Peter thought to himself repeating his, almost nightly, mantra.

The man grabs a nearby bottle shattering the end off leaving jagged glass to use as he starts slashing madly towards Peter.

“Stand Still you little shi-” the exhausted thug starts to say before webbing cuts him off.

“Ah, Ah no cursing now Mr. criminal man, you may be a degenerate but that does Not mean you get a free pass on swearing.” Peter jokes as he slams the burly man against the wall with his web.

“Joey you there man? We’re almost done with the barrels here so hurry up with the safe” a gravelly voice calls through the walkie-talkie on the man’s, I guess Joey’s, belt.

“OOO what’s that about a shipment you got going on Joey sounds like a fun time... Waait were you not going to invite me to the party?” Peter asks gasping with some patented hammed up acting “Joey I thought we really had something here and now your going behind my back and-”

“Hupm mp” Joey garbels through the webbing trying to pull himself off the wall, still breathing heavily through his nose as his nostrils flare.

“What? You trying to say something pal? Here let me help ya.” Peter replies cherrily spritzing a little solvent onto the man’s mouth.

“I said shut up you fuc-” Joey starts before peter clamps his hand over his mouth.

“Whoa whoa whoa Joey, I thought I just said no swearing jeez.” Peter starts snickering slightly at the unamused look he gets from the middle aged man.

“Mmph” Joey retorts against Peter’s hand.

“What?” peter says slightly pulling back his hand.

“Look spidey, ya got me alright but look hows about this let me go and I’ll tell ya about the shipment it’s a way bigger bust than I am, I’m just sharing the carpool is all.” Joey asks with a hopeful note to his voice.

“I’ll consider it, but it’ll have to be really good instructions, no skimping on the details, alright.” Peter replies. This could be good, it feels like real hero business again, a big time bust Peter’s only ever had one of those and while it at least got him more street cred with civilians, another one may help him with cops.

“Aw no, Imma need some guarantee to let this info slide these are some bad dudes man.”

“Alright fine I won’t call the cops on you now what is this shipment, where is at?” Peter quickly replies getting a little more excited now.

“Heh, alright you really want to know.” Joey asks Peter nodding quickly “Over on Harper Street near the Department of Transportation this group of guys I’ve been hanging with are picking up a bunch of these chemicals for their boss ya see. It's on the down low, they’ve planned it over a month in advance. They plan to load it into a meat truck and bolt it’s being brought in from overseas real harsh shi-” Peter webs up Joeys mouth again clicking his tongue.

“Come On man you were doing so well with the language what would Captain America Say.”

“Mmph revfgh” Joey supplies, it still crack Peter up when they try and speak through it.

“Alright well, I’m gonna put this safe back inside” Peter states, quickly and easily rushing the metal box back into the store to the amazement of Joey he was barely able to pull it with a cart.

“That should all dissolve in a couple hours or so, so best up luck to you Mr. Joey with the coming days an-”

“Mmmphgfd fubber” Joey moans against the webbing tugging at it harshly.

“What? I said I wouldn’t call the cops not that I’d let you go” Peter chuckles as he sticks an ‘If Found’ note to Joey

“What the good citizens of Queens may do is out of my control however. Have a goodnight Mr. Criminal Joey I’ve got some big time smuggling to stop.” Peter cackles as he fires off a web swinging away with ease from the now profusely struggling man. Honestly that’ll probably bring more attention to himself Peter thinks as he swings off towards the Department of Transportation.


 

Peter landed atop one of the larger buildings near the water, calm low tide waves lapping along the edge of the exposed sand.

Joey said they were using a meat truck which should be easy enough to spot here Peter thought to himself scanning the area until, bingo. A big white fridge truck parked down just a bit away from the waters edge, rust was coming up its bottom and the fenders were slightly crooked but it was functional.

As Peter nears he focuses in his super hearing to hear what sounds like a bunch of guys like Joey, seriously do all criminals talk like that or something, from before all arguing amongst themselves.

“We need to leave Tom we have to be out of here like twenty minutes ago.”

“Joey isn’t responding he probably went home and got drunk as per usual Tom lets go.”

“We can’t leave him behind he’s bringing some extra cash that we’ll need for the special guns later Sam you know that.” One of them, presumably Tom, spat back. Peter could tell they were all anxious which gave him the advantage. Criminals were after all a cowardly and superstitious lot Peter thought to himself in his best internal brooding voice.

Well if any stealth based video game had taught Peter anything was when in doubt throw a rock as a distraction, or in his case a shingle sorry Department of Transportation.

Peter whiffed the shingle across the way at some trash cans creating a cacophony of noise disturbing the quiet night air.

“What the fuck was that?”

“I dunno it came from the trash cans”

“Maybe it's racoons”

“Maybe it’s a guard”

“Whatever it is you three go check it out Harry and I’ll stay with the truck.” Supposedly Tom said to the other three goons as he and another stayed on guard near the truck. Evidently he was the leader thought Peter, best deal with him first.

Alright time to go to work, I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man Peter repeated to himself before shooting off two streams of web as he ran, yanking on them to propelled himself forward before quickly firing another web off to attach to a nearby water tower as he swung in slamming into the back of the leader sending him sprawling forward quickly turning and webbing up the other gunman’s hands as he went to pull out a pistol flipping forward and delivering a swift kick to his head knocking him out cold.

Two guys in two seconds, Aw yeah, I’m the man thought Peter as he sprinted up behind the other three thugs who were checking out the trash.

“Hey Tom nothins here do yo- Whoa” One of them cries out as he begins to bring up his gun to fire Peter webs it out of his hand throwing it into the guy next to him knocking him down and sticking him to the ground.

“Shit its that Spider guy”

“Shoot the freak” the guy calls out.

The gunman on the left lets loose a spray of bullets ripping through the air, thank god for old vhs gymnastic training videos Peter thought as he somersaulted out of the way narrowly dodging the fire. Quickly he returned fire with a web clogging up the barrel as he charged forward socking the guy across the face sending him reeling. Peter however was a tad late on the uptake with his Spider sense as it flared Peter turned only to be met with an upper cut and damn that hurt.

“Come on man, don’t try to take my head off, I need that to like wear hats and stuff.” Peter jokes as he reorients himself webbing the guys feet to the ground followed by his hands as he reached to try and get the webs off his feet leaving him bent over standing upright squirming. It’d be funny if this wasn’t a dangerous smuggling operation… Naw Peter thought, its still funny. He laughed as he webbed up the last guy kicking his gun further away from him.

 

Well done Spider-Man, Peter congratulated himself looking at his handy work, because this was awesome he is so totally going to be a hero now not even the Bugle could make this seem bad Peter hoped to himself beaming with pride. Until he hears the rev of an engine and the squealing of tires.

Peter spun around to see the white truck speeding out of the compound lot out onto the road.

“AW SHIT” Peter shouts realizing just now that he hadn’t actually webbed up the leader in his excitement.

“Shit, crap, shit, shit, shit.” Peter exclaimed webbing up onto the nearby storage warehouse as quickly as possible only to see the truck merge onto the nearby highway out towards the river over to Manhattan. Not a single webbable building near by.

“FUCK.” Peter shouted exacerbated, tonight was going so well but he got so caught up in himself that he let them get away with the chemicals and everything.

“Fuck.” Peter said again, what would Captain America say to this Peter lamented.

Well three out of five isn’t terrible I guess Peter thought to himself as he found a nearby poster to rip off and write on. Leaving a note on one of the knocked out thugs Peter pulled out his phone called the cops pulling out his voice changed he got from Walmart. It made him sound stupid but at least it was something.

Tiredly Peter swung home thinking over the nights patrol in his head. Overall not the worst Monday Peter’s ever had Peter thinks to himself amusedly. He rescued some girls cat from a tree, helped that old Puerto Rican lady cross the Queen’s Boulevard, and even stopped a creepy purse thief, and he did stop Joey Peter thinks to himself. All in all not a bad night for the Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman. When he sneaks back into his room Peter quickly strips re-hides his Spider-Man costume and falls into bed for the blissful four and a half hours of sleep he has left.


 

Did Peter say blissful because he clearly didn’t mean it he thinks to himself as his alarm clock blares incessantly next to him, it can’t really be 6:30 already can it. Peter rolls over groaning at against his still stiff muscles to see that no its not 6:30… its 7:15 and he is so screwed.

Peter scrambles out of bed like a wild animal, throwing his crumpled sheets off. He leaps into a quick, and cold as the arctic Peter notes, shower brushing his teeth while scrubbing himself clean, your not meant to wash your hair everyday anyway right, right. Peter thinks to himself as he towels off and spits in the sink. He quickly gels his hair, yanks on his clothes, glancing at the clock 7:30 awesome, hoping through each pant leg and doing up his belt on the way to the door to see a smirking Aunt May.

“Oh so you are alive.” May teases handing Peter a piece of, slightly burnt, toast with butter on his way out the door as he speeds out.

“Peter!” May calls as he rushes back in and gives her a peck on the cheek.

“Sowwy, larb ou May” Peter mumbles through the bread already stuffed in his mouth.

“Yeah, Yeah larb you too Peter, now go you’re going to be late.” May says with a light chuckle.

Peter dashes down the stairs of his apartment building and out onto the sidewalk running at full tilt to make the bus on time. Peter weaves in and out of pedestrians earning quite a few shouts to watch where he’s going. Tossing a quick sorry over his shoulder he keeps going to round the corner to see the exhaust cloud puffing out the back of the bus as it pulls away. Great, Peter thinks to himself.

Peter hates to be a bother he really does but he cannot be late to history again or Mr. Avery will kill him Peter thinks to himself as he pulls out his phone opens his contacts and hits call. God he’s a leach Peter thinks to himself.

“Hey Peter, what’s? Are you alright.” a mildly concerned sounding Harry Osborn asks.

“H-Hey Harry, I-I-I’m fine.” Peter stutters out. “Well, ok no I’m not, well I mean like physically I am ok, healthy even. Or as healthy as a teen can be, or I suppose should be I mean I eat mcdonalds which is definitely not healthy an-”

“You missed the bus again didn’t you Peter.” Harry cuts in with an amused tone, stopping Peters awkward ramblings.

“Heh, yeah is it that obvious why I’m calling you? I’m sorry I ask for a ride too often I know its shitty of me, I can just walk.” Peter replies guiltily.

“And be late for history again, get detention making you miss decathlon and bring upon yourself the wrath of Michelle Jones?” Harry counters the smirk on his face evident in his voice “Me thinks not good sir. I’m already in the area Peter I drive this way every day already so don’t worry about it. Plus company on the drive to school is always nice.”

“Thanks Harry, god your a lifesaver I don’t know how I’d make it without you.” Peter huffs in relife.

“Hey don’t mention it.” Harry retorts “Honestly I don’t know how you’ve made it this far to begin with, I’ll be at your stop in ten.” Harry laughs out as he hangs up.

When Harry shows up Peter still apologizes profusely about the inconvenience despte Harry’s insistence that it’s fine and, he likes driving with Peter better than driving alone anyway. Soon Peter gives in and just supplies one more thanks after Harry threatens to kick him out if he “Doesn’t stop apologizing like I just took a bullet for you.”. They both end up jamming out to the radio as they come up to Midtown just as first bell goes off and people are starting to head towards classes.

The morning is boring as ever with Mr. Avery droning on about World War 2 reminding the class that they all still need to pick a topic for their Summer assignments, which Peter still thinks is ridiculous I mean it’s Summer why do private smart schools assign work over the Summer. Just because they have Mr. Avery again in the fall does not mean Peter should have to do school work in July.

It’s not even that Peter doesn’t like History, really he finds it interesting enough. It’s just that things like World War 2 are so confusing with all the dates and locations how can anyone remember it all.  Peter’s struggled with it since Ben died though, History was always his favorite subject and Peter hasn’t been as enthusiastic about it since.

Thankfully Math went by quicker and then it was Lunch. Peter had still been a little absentminded through the morning thinking about those guys that got away last night, but as he sat down with Ned, MJ and Harry he couldn’t help getting dragged into the discussions going on about Tolkien Orcs versus Elder Scrolls Orcs, and the reasons why Secretary Ross was problematic to Mutant kind. Though that last one was more MJ ranting than a discussion but it sounded like she had a point to Peter.

“Well. Your right sounds like he’s a dick. So, what are you guys planning for your Science Fair projects?” Ned inquires as he, not so subtly changes the subject, while MJ mumbles something about sheeple.

“I’m thinking about looking into hoverboard technology à la back to the future.” Harry supplies.

“I don’t know probably look at the dangers of drones, could maybe use Hammer industries as my base.” says MJ shrugging.

“I have no clue.” Peter sighs “I want to do something about Stark Industries Arc reactor technology but there's no real information on the current stuff only the old one they built in the 60’s” Peter states glumly.

“Well I still have nothing so twinsies.” Ned adds.

The bell cuts in effectively ending the conversation as they break off to their classes.

Peter’s afternoon’s always suck because he shares those classes with Flash who always sits behind Peter kicking his chair or teasing him under his breath. Today was no different with Flash flicking bits of eraser at the back of Peter’s head throughout Chemistry as Mr. Cobwell lectures them on polyurethane foam expansion, and hydrochloric acids. Despite the torment Peter makes it through the day however and even managed some decent notes for once in his classes, though every third line does have a scratch to it thanks to Flash shoving Peters arm every so often. Yet, as the last Bell rang and Peter starts on his way back  home Peter is revitalized with energy thinking about all the good he can do tonight on patrol.


 

Peter honestly thought that he’d have a good night when he made it back to the apartment. May

was going to a late shift at 10 so Peter could get a solid couple hours of patrol in tonight without having to worry about being caught. Tonight was shaping up like it’d be great, until he saw that damned paper on the kitchen table as he came in.

‘Local Menace Going Big Time: Spider-Man Aides Criminals in Heist’. Was the top headline on the front page of the Daily Bugle.

Come, ON. Thought Peter to himself as he reads over the story, printed in it’s condemning black ink, of how he helped a rival gang steal a shipment from three other criminals. Even going so far as to claim he aided the truck in getting away.

‘Security footage shows Spider-Man distracting three criminals as his two accomplices make off with a large truck of Chemicals.’ It read. Peter sighed, there was just no winning with this J. Jonah Jameson guy. He’s hated Spider-Man since Peter swung onto the scene with his first major bust of a crime bigger than bike thievery. It was a massive scandal for the police when Spider-Man helped them in taking down the Sin-Eater, Peter had been only 14 at the time but one year later and it was still Spider-Man’s biggest achievement.

The Bugle at the time tore into Spider-Man proclaiming him a vigilante that was trying to slander police officers so he could justify himself. Even going so far as to speculate that he had framed Stanley Carter for murder. It's such a load of crap, Peter’s just thankful most of Queens doesn’t buy it, though he had to help a lot of old ladies cross street to keep them on his side.

Not being able to finish the slanderous piece without the guilt of failure gnawing away at him Peter tosses the flimsy paper into the recycling as he makes his way over to their old battered fridge, its hinge creaking as he opens the door to search for something mildly edible within. The yellow glow of the tungsten light however doesn’t make anything look particularly appealing in their old tupperware containers. Peter lets out a heavy sigh settling for some spaghetti from last Thursday hoping that maybe heated up it’ll be at least a little more appetizing. At the very least carbs are filling Peter notes to himself.

Peter picked away at the bland store sauce and overcooked noodles as he worked away at his homework getting as much done in advance as he can. Trying to keep weekends free for patrol sucked it meant Peter always had twice the work load each night trying to stay ahead. Soon however the hours ticked by until May knocked on his door to come give him a goodnight kiss on his forehead before heading off to work. Despite Peter’s protests of not being a kid anymore and not needing ‘goodnight kisses from his aunt’ it was still kind of nice and always made Peter feel safer each night when May did it, but he’d never say that outloud.

Waiting a good twenty five minutes after May left, to be sure she was gone, Peter closed his books and packed away his homework stretching with a groan as he got up from his old wobbly desk. Peter quickly got changed into his suit attached his web shooters and quietly climbed out onto the fire escape. As he scuttled to the top of the building Peter looked out over Queens and breathed in deeply sucking in the cool night air. Letting out a content sigh as Peter set out to relax for the rest of his night in an adrenaline filled patrol. Peter sprinted forward the tar on the roof giving great traction for his feet he flipped off the top of the building, letting out a whoop of excitement before firing off a web and swinging out into the night.


 

As 2 am fast approaches Peter begins swinging home feeling decently full filled despite the lack of any major robberies or smuggling operations tonight. It was a bit of an odd night to Peter, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky tonight and if you squinted you could kind of make out stars in spite of the bright lights of New York City. The streets were pretty calm, the only major crime he prevented was some kid trying to spray paint the side of a building. Yet since about 12:30 Peter’s had a dull tingle at the base of his skull. Kind of like his spidey sense but way less intense than normal. It gave Peter the hibbie jibbies almost like he was being watched, Peter had even stopped a few times to see if anyone was following him but he never saw anyone.

The sensation had mostly stayed a dull tingle through the night however, so Peter largely ignored it,  that was until now.

As soon as Peter started swinging in the direction of his apartment that dull tingle ramped up to a full blown shiver coursing down his spine and pinging around his head as though a reactor core was about to go on meltdown or something. Peter swung off to land elsewhere, and the sensation subsided slightly but even turning in the direction of his apartment brought it back to full meltdown mode.

Come on Spidey Sense what are you trying to tell me, Peter thought to himself trying to come up with some sort of reason for his sense to be going off so harshly. Looking about Peter still didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Then he heard it, it was faint even to his ears but the more he focused in the clearer it got, there was a heartbeat nearby, approaching quickly. It sounded controlled and normal yet it crept closer as soon as he concentrated on it, his spidey sense flared almost hitting him upside the head. Your being followed genius, run . Seemed to be the just of this Old Yeller conversation from what Peter could tell, and given how close the heartbeat was getting he thought alright maybe exit stage right sounds good. As he was running to the edge of the roof he was on the spidey sense flared quickly again, dodge now, out of instinct Peter’s reflex took over and he deked left before pushing off and firing a web to swing away, barley side stepping an arrow as it buried itself into the sheet metal on the roof with a Tang.

Peter didn’t know what robin hood wannabe was after him but given the way his sense were flaring,  and with how low on webs he already was after patrol, he wasn’t going to stay to find out. Sticking to a nearby building Peter quickly switched his last two canisters of webbing into his web shooters before shooting of with a thwip into the night.

Peter decided the best course of action would be to be as confusing and quick as he possibly could and so he swung out towards Brooklyn, then up to the East River and swung up under the Williamsburg Bridge to catch his breath. As swung around the tingle of his spidey sense had dulled to pins and needles, and as he rested under the bridge it left entirely.  With that Peter carefully made his way back to his apartment swinging out in the open as little as possible until he finally slinked in through the window peeled of his sweat soaked suit with a disgusting squish to it. Peter laid back on his bed mind still racing as he tried to make sense of what happened. Peter had never been followed before, other than that one time with a reporter but never like that. He was relieved and relished in his spidey sense however warning him of his tail to keep him from going home. A glance at the dusty clock next to his head Peter groaned at the glaring red light reading 3:15 am and rolled over as sleep came over him hoping that at the very least coffee will maintain his existence tomorrow.


 

“Yeah we lost him” she says looking out off the Manhattan Bridge, I could’ve sworn he was coming this way she thought to herself cursing internally. “It was weird almost like he knew, but he never looked at us directly or anything he just suddenly knew.”

“Do you want me to come along next time if you and bird brain can’t keep up?”

“Yeah, I think we’ll need you on this one, he’s harder to pin down than he looks I think having you along will make it go smoother, but you’ll have to keep a low profile while we find him.”

“Boooorrrr-ing” comes through the comms “We’ll make a plan when you get back.”

“Alright be back in thirty.” she affirmed ending the feed. Glancing at her phone she couldn’t help but laugh, there's rain in the forecast.

“What is it?”

“Nothing” She supplies sauntering past the brooding, ego bruised blonde humming the tune to the Itsy Bitsy Spider.