Chapter 1: Captain America: Stolen Hero
"Sir, there is something you must see."
JARVIS first notified Tony of the video fifteen minutes after it hit the web. Tony was working in one of his labs at Stark Tower, working out the equations that he needed to improve the thrusters on his suit.
"What is it, J?" He asked the AI as he spun in his chair. "Don't tell me it's another video from one of those lovely ladies I've--"
"Sir," The AI interrupted. "This is urgent." The robotic voice sounded almost pleading as he spoke. He brought up a holographic screen and began to play the video.
The screen was black and then suddenly very bright. When the picture came into focus, there was a familiar glint of red, white, and blue visible. Everything else was bright -- too bright and metallic.
"What is your name?" Someone off screen growled to the blond man who was on his knees, uniform tattered and blood already dribbling from the side of his mouth.
"Go to hell," The Captain said angrily, not taking the bait. He hung his head down low to his chest, not wanting to be seen. A gloved hand roughly grabbed his blond hair and pulled his head upwards to face the camera.
"Strip him. Prep him," The voice ordered coldly and the the other moved in front of the camera to do just that, obscuring the view.
The view was obscured for several minutes by whoever had stepped in front of the camera. When it came back into focus, the Captain's uniform was gone. His blond hair no longer fell into his eyes, having been shaved away as well as the stubble from his square jaw. It looked as though he'd been scrubbed clean, his skin showing a bit more red and irritated than before. He was still bound by something unseen -- obviously enough to keep America's favorite super soldier in his place.
"Answer me now mortal. Tell your people who you are," The menacing voice taunted.
"I'm just a kid from Brooklyn," The man answered and this time he would pay for his insolence. The kidnapper that had been thus far behind the camera came into view. He was tall and scaly and blue and like nothing anyone had ever seen before. A sapphire hand went over the Captain's now bald head, blue light emitting from it as the Captain let out a wild scream he couldn't hold back. It looked almost as if he deflated, slumping over after the alien released his grip.
"Who are you?" The blue creature sneered again.
The Captain was gasping for air, trying desperately to get any of it into his lungs that he could. The pain had been like nothing he'd ever experienced before -- and Steve Rogers had known much pain in his life.
"Captain Steven G. Rogers," He breathed softly.
"Captain Steven G. Rogers of the United States Army," Steve said, finally finding his breath. He looked up at the creature, his jaw set and a rage bubbling behind his blue eyes.
The creature smiled, yellow gnarled teeth a stark contrast against it's blue skin. "Watch as your Captain falls," The creature stated before moving in on Rogers again. He placed his blue hand on the top of Steve's head again and Steve let out another primal scream, shaking against his restraints and the thing holding his head. His full cheeks sunk in on themselves and his muscles withdrew into themselves. Captain America was shrinking down -- the effects of the serum and his life being sucked right from him.
When the creature pulled the hand away, Steve was shivering and terrified, gasping for breath. His eyes were filled with unshed tears. He wasn't going to cry in front of these bastards -- whoever or whatever they were. He was skinny - as skinny as he had been before the serum.
"We have taken the strength from Earth's mightiest hero. By the time you receive this message, it will already be too late. You will be conquered," He glanced over to the weakling on the ground. "We will be certain your Captain is still alive to see Earth fall. See you soon."
The transmission cut to black and Tony sat there stunned. "I'll be damned... This is impossible," Tony muttered. His father had looked for years and years for Captain America. The man had been lost to them nearly a decade after winning WWII. He had been presumed dead, but Howard Stark never gave up hope up until the day he died. Tony was certain Howard never would have guessed this.
"J, analyze the video. Find out whatever the hell those things are and--"
"There is no time, Sir." JARVIS brought up another video feed -- this one live and right outside the tower. Ominous black ships filled the skyline.
"Prepare the Mark 42. Tell Pepper to get to the panic room."
"Already done, Sir," The AI assured him. Iron Man wasn't letting humanity go down without a fight.
Chapter 2: Hail Hydra... Again?
[EU] Hail Hydra... Again! You've just been recruited into the HYDRA organization. Describe your first day.
Originally posted to Reddit in 2014. Set during Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I felt a knot forming in my stomach as I entered the SHIELD facility known as the Triskellion. We'd all seen the battle of New York and we all knew that Captain America was back for good. What none of us had realized at the time was that his worst enemies were still alive and kicking as well. I never could have dreamed that one day I'd be working for them.
I was a simple science nerd from humble beginnings. After a lot of hard work, I'd put myself through college and graduate school, leaving with a massive amount of student loan debt as a heavy burden to bear. I'd been approached soon after by an agent of SHIELD fascinated with my research, but I soon learned it wasn't all what it seemed. He offered me a hefty sum on top of a salary in order to work for HYDRA inside of SHIELD. I had been assured that the organization had cut some ties with their origins and now had another agenda different from their WWII founders. I didn't know if that was true or if it was just to help me sleep at night, but I took the money. I had to take the money. It was already made clear to me that was my only course of action. I didn't know why they were so interested in my work on regeneration, but I learned quickly not to question them.
I looked around the facility as I was led in by the agent that had recruited me. I had been briefed and de-briefed for much of the morning on the importance of keeping HYDRA's work in the shadows. There were to be consequences if I didn't and I knew better than to ask what they would be. I had been informed at least that there were currently some changes going on at SHIELD. For one, their director had recently passed away.
"Is that..." I looked over and felt my heart race a little as a blond man with a shield headed to the elevator.
Kaminsky looked over, unimpressed. "Yeah, that's him. Don't tell me you're one of Captain America's nerdy fangirls," He said, shaking his head.
"I... uh..." I knew I was blushing and unable to hide it.
"We'll take the elevator then. You would have gotten along great with Coulson," He mentioned, but I had no idea who he was talking about. Another SHIELD agent? Another HYDRA agent? Probably best not to ask.
We hurried to the elevator and the elevator stated our names. HYDRA had obviously already put me in the system and Kaminsky wasted no time in stating that we needed to go to the biochem lab. I glanced over to the blond man in the blue tactical suit. His square jaw was set and he seemed upset. I offered him a small smile. I wanted to get him alone -- to talk to him -- to warn him. Captain America seemed so good. I knew he couldn't have any idea of the corruption within the organization he was working for.
"Cap," Kaminsky greeted him. Kaminsky was on the other end of the spectrum. His devotion to his cause and to HYDRA was astounding.
"Kaminsky," Captain Rogers greeted him and then looked to me. "Miss," He said, kindly returning the smile I still held.
"It's nice to meet you, Captain," I managed to stammer out. Before he could say anything, the bell on the elevator dinged and the voice announced that we had arrived at our stop. I gave a small wave before stepping off the elevator with Kaminsky.
"Wow..." He shook his head at me. "Good thing we've got you locked up down here in a lab," He mentioned.
I got settled into the lab and began my work -- Kaminsky leaving me to it. It was less than thirty minutes later that the alarm signals went off. I didn't know what was going on, but the Triskellion was going into lockdown mode. No one was allowed to leave their offices or labs -- at least none of the scientists or techs. I was sure that other officers were dealing with the problem.
I didn't learn until late that night when I'd finally gotten home that Captain America was the reason for all the commotion and that he was a fugitive. I sighed, unsure of what the endgame was of my new employers. Hopefully tomorrow would be a better day at work.
Chapter 3: Captain America: Lost Future
Originally posted to Reddit in 2014.
[EU] Captain America: Lost future
Steve Rogers was a fugitive. He was the fugitive -- enemy number one of the United Republic of the World. He stood in a long abandoned underground Strategic Scientific Reserve bunker, pacing as he processed the reports he'd read. How had the world gone so wrong?
He looked over at the faded photos on the wall -- of his friends and comrades, of Peggy and Howard and Colonel Phillips. He felt the guilt surge through him. He knew it was arrogant to think that maybe had he not ended up in ice that things would have turned out differently, but what if... He couldn't allow himself to go down that road again.
When he'd first woken up, he thought it was a nightmare. It had to be. He thought he could have handled the loss of seventy years. He thought that would have been manageable, but the world had changed far too much and the ideals that he had fought so hard for were long forgotten.
"It's time," Steve called out, thinking it had been long enough.
Not too long after waking up and going on the lam had he found a friend he could really trust. Sam Wilson was another freedom fighter who had been working with the rebels to restore the old ideals until his group had been caught off guard and most had been captured or killed. Sam was the only one left and he had been thankful to find a friend and living legend like Steve.
"You really think this is going to work?" Sam questioned him. "And are you really gonna wear that? It's a little old school, don't you think?" He told him.
"That's the point. People need to remember what things were like before. People need to remember that this isn't freedom," Steve sighed, running a hand through his blond hair. "I'm just glad I was able to grab this on my way out of there," He said, looking down at his shield. It was his link back to his old life -- the life he missed so desperately. He would fight to the last to get even a little bit of it back or he would die trying.
Chapter 4: The Loss Of Pepper Potts
Originally posted to Reddit in 2014.
[EU] Make Tony Stark and/or Phil Coulson the bad guy, without the use of brainwashing techniques or cults.
Tony thought what he was doing was right. He had to -- he had to believe in himself first because no one else would... not now. When a young SHIELD agent had gotten Pepper caught in the crossfire of an attack, he was lost. He couldn't even tie his shoes without her and now she was gone.
He wouldn't listen to reason from anyone from then on -- fighting against SHIELD at every turn and nearly drinking himself to death in the process. He turned against his teammates -- against anyone standing in his way. He was going to bring down SHIELD no matter what the cost. Recklessness had cost him Pepper and he was finished fighting for the sake of good. What had it ever gotten him but heartache?
He was merciless but sloppy in his vengeance. He didn't care who else he had to hurt. It wouldn't bring back Pepper, but he had to make them pay -- to make them suffer like he was every moment without her.
Chapter 5: Marvel Transplant
[EU] You wake up in the Marvel Universe's Times Square, describe your experience as a comedy of errors.
Originally posted to Reddit in 2014.
There was a flash of white light and I nearly stumbled and fell in the street as my eyes tried to adjust. Horns quickly honked their disapproval at my stumble. I blinked a few times and quickly made my way across the busy street, bumping into a man and tripping again. Strong arms wrapped around me before I fell face first onto the concrete sidewalk.
"Are you alright, Miss?" The blond man asked, helping me to my feet. He was dressed in slacks and a checkered button up shirt layered with a brown leather jacket. His blue eyes looked into mine.
"I... I uh, I don't know..." I looked up at his face with recognition. "Oh my God. You're..." I noticed his jaw tense a little. "You're Chris Evans, aren't you?"
The tension seemed to be gone as quickly as it had come to his jaw. "No, Miss... I'm sorry. You must have me confused with someone else. Are you sure you're alright?" His hand was still steadying me a little.
I nodded dumbly. "I'm Allison, by the way," I said, offering my hand.
"My name's Steve. It's nice to meet you, Allison," He said to me with a smile.
"Steve? Steve as in... Steve Rogers? Captain America?" I asked curiously. That couldn't be right. He was playing me. Of course he was playing me. "Are you guys filming right now?" I asked, looking around for the cameras. "Or are you just preparing for the role again? I'm a huge fan of your work." Maybe he was going super method this time and not breaking character.
"Miss, I don't know what you're talking about. Why don't you sit down over here?" He suggested, leading me over to a small outdoor cafe. He sat me down in the metal chair and sat across from me, looking at me with concern.
"You're really not Chris Evans? You're really Steve Rogers?" I asked him and the man nodded. I still couldn't tell if he was screwing with me or not, but he looked sincere.
"How did you know who I am?"
"I mean, I..." If he was telling the truth, then something was seriously off. I looked off in the distance and saw a familiar tower. "Oh my God..." It didn't belong in the skyline -- at least not my skyline. "Is that Stark Tower?"
Before he could answer, I heard a ringtone and he reached into his pocket, fumbling a little with the device. By the looks of him, he was obviously pre-Winter Soldier. Wait, was I really buying into this?
"I'm sorry, Miss-- I mean, Allison," Steve said after checking the text he'd received. "I have to go. You're sure you're okay?" He asked one more time.
"I'm great," I assured, though none of it was making sense. "Was that...SHIELD?" I tried, knowing I could be screwing with something I wasn't nearly prepared to deal with.
To say he looked shocked would be an understatement.
"Who are you?" He asked, looking at me a little more closely. "How do you know about SHIELD?"
"You'd never believe me if I told you. Just know that I'm a friend. How long have you been... out of the ice?" I broached, a little worried about that.
"Nearly two months," He admitted to me.
"You never did say who you really are," He said, still looking me over. "You're obviously not with SHIELD, but you know about me..."
"Steve, it's complicated. It's--" His phone went off again and I realized what today had to be. "You need to go," I said to him.
"I think you need to come with me," He said. "I'm going to SHIELD."
Never the one to pass up an opportunity in what I thought was a dream, I went with him. We soon found ourselves on a jet with a certain Agent named Phil. I told him enough to convince him I had the security clearance to go with them to the Helicarrier. Thank goodness I still had that fake SHIELD badge I ordered online for a cosplay of an agent I'd made up. Maybe this would work out after all -- so long as no one realized I didn't belong there.
We met up with the other Avengers on the flying ship and I realized then that I was the only one that knew what was going to happen. I'd seen the movie dozens of times. I knew every line, but I was the wild card.
"Agent Slone," Fury addressed me as I entered. "I see you were no longer needed at the Triskellion," He mentioned and I gave a small nod, going along with it.
"Yes, Sir, Director Fury," I said nervously. "Alexander Pierce himself thought my services would be better suited here," I mentioned, name-dropping a character from another film.
"Good. Suit up. We're going to need everyone on this," Fury told me.
It was finally the attack on the Helicarrier and I was nervous. They'd given me fancy SHIELD tech that I didn't know how to use and instead of fighting, I was hiding under a desk. It wasn't even easy to stuff myself under the desk in the skintight SHIELD uniform they'd stuck me in either. Hopefully Fury wouldn't be too pissed with me when the dust settled. Then I realized something. Coulson... I could save Coulson! I got up and ran, hoping that I still had enough time.
By the time I got there, Loki's scepter was already through Phil's chest. Damn. A few seconds too late. At least we'd still be getting his TV spin-off though. Annnnnd Loki noticed I was there. Shit. Shitshitshit.
"Wait wait wait..." I put my hands up. "Loki, I know Odin was an asshole to you. I know," I said, trying to ignore Thor's eyes burning into me from his place in the steel trap. "I know he lied to you. I know he made you promises he never intended to keep. You deserve to be a King." Just play to his ego. "But I know Midgard isn't your endgame. You don't want to rule all of us puny humans, right? That would be far beneath you."
"And who are you? You have spirit," Loki observed, approaching me with the now bloody scepter. "But you know nothing of what was done to me. You know nothing of--"
"I know about Thanos," I said, leveling with him. "I know how this ends and--"
"You're not going to win. You lack conviction," Coulson stated from his place on the floor, the Destroyer gun still in his hands.
Loki turned towards him and Coulson blasted him back. "So that's what that does..." Coulson said softly. I rushed to his side and began to try to look over his wound, knowing I wouldn't be able to do much. At least I'd been able to distract Loki enough not to drop Thor out of the--
Damn. There he'd gone. I probably should have checked to make sure Loki was knocked out. The SHIELD agents were already storming and Loki was making his own escape. Thus far, I hadn't changed much and I wondered if I even could. Was I part of some sort of weird deleted scenes? Maybe that was the point.
Elsewhere, in a parallel universe, Joss Whedon was cleaning up his computer.
"And this is why I shouldn't write in new scenes when I'm drunk." He clicked the button, deleting the unused draft of the Avengers and suddenly my world went dark.
Chapter 6: Spider-Man: Incarcerated
[EU] Peter Parker has been arrested for a crime with no alibi. Oddly enough the crime in question occurred while local hero Spider-Man was saving the day with hundreds of witnesses.
Peter didn't know how long he'd been sitting in the cell. He'd been picked up on his way home, having changed out of his suit and into his street clothes in order to pick up some dinner for him and aunt May. She was going to be pissed. Apparently someone matching his description (that description being a white brunette teenage male in a dark grey hoodie and white Nikes with red accents, he was told) had decided to hold up a bodega for whatever cash they could get, some smokes, and two 40 ounce bottles of cheap liquor.
Peter had been across town at the time, having been battling some sort of killer robots (why didn't he ever meet any friendly robots) and had no idea about the bodega robbery until he was in cuffs and being hauled down to the station. He was scared to call Aunt May. It's not like he had an excuse as to where he'd been. He'd also had a bit more cash on him than he usually did. Mr. Stark had given him a stipend to-- Mr. Stark! That was it!
"Hey!" Peter called out from his cell, rushing over to the bars. "Hey! Don't I get a phone call?"
"Simmer down, Kid," Tony said, strolling into the room like he owned the place. For all Peter knew, he might have just bought it.
"Mr. Stark, how did you --"
"FRIDAY has a trace on your phone. Noticed that you've been in the police station for a couple hours," Tony said nonchalantly.
"Seriously?" Peter's eyes were wide as saucers.
"No, Pepper saw you being arrested on the six o clock news," Tony admitted and Peter groaned.
"The news? Aunt May is gonna kill me," He told him.
"Well, Aunt Hottie wasn't out in the hall raising hell when I got here, so there's a good chance she's not seen it yet," He told him as he began to unlock the cell.
"You're breaking me out?" Peter asked him and Tony shook his head. "You bailed me out?" He asked again.
"Kid, you were with me," Tony told him, hoping to get the message across. He was his alibi.
"And they just gave you the keys to the cell?" He asked incredulously.
"I'm Iron Man," he said simply. "C'mon, we'll pick up a pizza on the way to Aunt Hottie's."
Chapter 7: Spider-Man: Comatose
[WP] When Peter Parker was bit by a radioactive spider, he actually fell into a deep coma. The adventures of the Amazing Spider-Man were comatose dreams, induced by the spider's venom. After years, Peter finally wakes up, and is greeted by a familiar face.
It had taken him days to fully come out of the coma. There were glimpses, moments where he'd come in and out of consciousness and opened his eyes, but now was the first time he'd been awake for any length of time.
Peter opened his eyes and squinted against the bright lights. What was happening? How had he gotten here? The last thing he'd remembered was that he'd been on Titan with Mr. Stark and he hadn't felt so good.
"I don't... I don't know what's happening. I don't want go, Sir... Please! Please, I don't want to go... I'm sorry..."
Peter remembered the desperation he'd felt as he faded away into nothing and now... Now where was he? Why couldn't he move?
Aunt May came into view next to him and the first thing he'd noticed wasn't how upset she looked, but how much she'd aged. Her normally dark brown hair was looking a little more salt and pepper and worry lines framed her features. Peter opened his mouth to speak, but his voice barely came out as a raspy whisper.
"W-What... happened?" He managed to gasp out as he was trying his best not to panic about his situation. He could barely communicate and he certainly couldn't move.
"Peter, oh my god, Peter," Aunt May said to him, wiping the tears from her eyes. "You had a reaction to a spider bite. You've been in the hospital," She told him. "I should go get a doctor," She said to him.
"Wait," He urged as much as he could, using all the strength he could muster to try to reach out for her. His muscles had atrophied from disuse, only allowing him a limited range of motion. He was so used to swinging freely that the difference was jarring and terrifying. Nothing was making sense.
"Peter, it's okay now. You're okay. You're awake," May said to him soothingly. "I'm not leaving. I won't leave you," She told him.
Peter tried his hardest to get out the words he felt he needed to. "What... about... T-Thanos?" He asked her.
May looked confused. "Honey, I don't understand you," She said to him.
"Mr. S-Stark," He said, hoping that might ring a bell. Mr. Stark would know exactly what to do. He'd find some way to explain this and help him.
"Tony Stark?" May questioned, confused. "One of his foundations funded your treatment and he's been overseeing some of it himself," She admitted and Peter looked relieved. "He's got some sort of technology to stimulate your brain activity. He tried to explain it to me once, but I didn't really follow much of it. He calls it BARF, I think," She said. "I'm sure he'll want to be in to see you too," She said to him assuringly. "I told him what a big fan you are of his. You must have been able to hear some things during the coma."
Coma... a coma? There was that panic gripping him again.
"How... long?" He finally asked her.
May was quiet for a moment. "I should get the doctors and call Mr. Stark," She said, not wanting to tell him just yet. She didn't think he could handle that much this soon.
"Please?" Peter rasped, looking towards her desperately. He needed to know.
"You've been out almost three years, Peter," She admitted to him.
Peter looked up towards the ceiling again and closed his eyes against the world. None of this was right. Something must have happened. He had to be trapped somewhere else. Maybe whatever happened to him and the others had sent him into some sort of nightmare world. He fell into an uneasy sleep, hoping that the next time he woke, he'd be back where he belonged.
Chapter 8: Spider-Man: Comatose Part Two
The next time Peter awoke from his dreamless sleep, he knew he wasn't alone. He could hear something -- no... someone -- tinkering about with something he couldn't see elsewhere in the room. He tried to sit up to see what was happening and found himself frustrated once more with the reality he was faced with. Tears stung the young man's eyes as the weight of it all sunk in.
"Kid? You awake over there?"
The familiar voice cut through him like a knife and Peter tried his best not to cry harder, this time because he was relieved. Mr. Stark was there with him. Surely Mr. Stark would be able to fix this.
"Mr. Stark?" Peter rasped, trying his best to get his voice above a whisper.
Tony came into view by his side, looking the same as he ever did.
"Mr. Stark, how'd we get off the planet? D-Did we beat Thanos?" Peter desperately asked him, much to Tony's confusion.
"You remembered all that?" Tony asked him.
Peter gave as much of a nod as he could muster. "Did we?"
"Kid, there's something you need to know," Tony began. "You've been in a coma for a while. You had some nasty spider bite and it was unlike anyone had ever seen before. By all accounts, it shouldn't have affected you as much as it did. Pepper - you remember her right?" He paused and when he got the slightest hint of an affirmative nod, he continued. "Well, she heard about your case and thought we could help. So I've modified this BARF tech, I know. I know, gotta work on that name. Anyway, it's let me link up with you to try to stimulate brain activity in order to bring you out of the coma. All that Spider-Man stuff, all of that was part of the simulation to help bring you out of it. It worked, obviously."
Peter's whole world was crashing down on him. It wasn't real. None of it had been real. "But... You're Iron Man? The Avengers?"
"Oh, all of that is very real," Tony assured him. "I put you in some modified scenarios that I've dealt with. You seemed to respond best to the stimulus that required a mix of physical and mental challenges with a heaping dose of stress. Don't worry, Kid. We got Thanos," He promised him.
Peter still looked distraught. "So I'm not... I don't have powers?" He weakly asked him.
"Maybe not, but who knows at this point? Some of your labs have come back with abnormalities. Look, we'll get to the bottom of it. Right now, you've just gotta focus on getting better. We'll deal with all the rest later," Tony assured him.
Chapter 9: Spider-Man: Comatose Part 3
"Hey Kid? You got eyes on him?" Tony's voice came over the comms unit as they were in the thick of the fight.
It had taken Peter so long to get to where he was now. He had endured so much physical therapy in order to get his muscles and mobility back to where he needed to be. It had been a lengthy and arduous process, fighting his own body. Further testing by Tony had showed that there were indeed changes to Peter's DNA, just as the BARF tech had shown during the simulation. Tony supposed it was his subconscious dealing with the changes. The bite that had nearly killed him and stolen several years from the young man now had changed his life. Tony had been more than eager to create him a suit (several actually) in order to keep him safe, knowing that Peter wouldn't be far from danger if he thought he could help.
Peter had worked hard to finish his GED, having already missed his graduation with his peers. Tony set up an internship with Stark Industries for him while he took a gap year before choosing where he wanted to go to college.
Instead of lying to Aunt May this go round, Peter had chosen to be honest with her from the start. She hadn't been pleased with what he wanted to do (especially after she'd nearly lost him) but she was slowly coming around to the idea.
"I got him, Mr. Stark!" Peter swung into action against their foe, webbing him up. It was an impressive feat considering how far gone he'd been not so long ago.
Chapter 10: Spider-Man: Therapy Session
Originally posted on Reddit
[WP] The Year is 2040, and after many years of fighting crime, Spider-Man has discovered his spidey sense has evolved. Reluctant to tell his psychologist at first, Peter Parker finally plucks up the courage, and tells him “I see dead people”.
Peter had been in therapy for years, ever since the snap. At first, it had been Tony Stark's insistence for everyone's mental well being that they all attend regular sessions. At the time, Peter had been reluctant to share his deepest thoughts and fears with a complete stranger, but had warmed to the idea after Mr. Stark had helped him to find the right therapist that he felt comfortable with. Now, all these years and countless sessions later, Tony still insisted on footing the bill so long as Peter continued therapy. It was a nice, comforting reminder that even after all these years, he still had his back.
Peter sat on the couch, uncomfortably shifting in his seat as his therapist waited patiently for him to share what was bothering him. Really, Peter shouldn't have felt so nervous. He'd told Dr. Kaplan everything over the years. She'd heard him out time and time again, so why would this be any different?
"I, uh... I think..." Peter paused, trying to find the words. "I think I've either got a new power or I'm going crazy."
The words hung heavy in the air as the knot in his stomach tightened. He hadn't actually voiced any of it out loud yet - not even to his wife and the episodes he'd been having had been getting worse and worse. He looked nervously to Dr. Kaplan, who was still looking patient as ever with him.
"What makes you say that, Peter?" She asked him evenly.
Peter took a deep breath. "I've been seeing people. People that I couldn't possibly be seeing," He admitted, looking down at his hands as he spoke. Anything to keep himself distracted as he spoke. "It started about a month ago. I saw Uncle Ben. I thought it was just stress or that I was just tired, but it keeps happening and it's not just him anymore. I've seen everybody I've lost... Some people that were better off lost too..." He fidgeted in his seat a little more. "I haven't told anyone else. I don't know if I'm losing it or if it's real."
"If you think there's a possibly this is a new power, why haven't you discussed it with someone that could run the tests for you?" Dr. Kaplan inquired.
Peter shrugged a little, still not looking up at her. "I guess I was just afraid. If it's not a new power, then it means there's something wrong. And if there's something wrong with me, I won't be able to help people anymore. I just... I need to be sure. I mean, climbing up the walls or catching a bus midair in a battle - that's something everyone can see me doing. That's something I can prove, y'know? Talking to dead people is a whole different thing."
"Has there been any recent trauma or stressors since our last session that might have triggered all of this?" Dr. Kaplan asked him.
"It's been a while. Nothing out of the ordinary, I guess. I mean, ordinary for me. For someone normal, maybe," He mentioned. He paused when he heard a knock at the door. He glanced over as it opened.
"Honey, who are you talking to in here?" It was Peter's wife and the redhead looked concerned for him.
"No one," Peter was quick to answer. "I'll just finish up what I was doing here and I'll be down in a minute," He promised her.
His answer seemed to placate her and she retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. Peter glanced over at Dr. Kaplan again, avoiding looking at the gash on her head.