Peter had run off feeling certain in his decision. He’d totally passed that test. Yeah, being an Avenger would be great and all but he still had a lot to learn. Besides, they needed the small people as much as they needed the Avengers. They were busy defending the Earth but who was left to defend the cities or even just the small neighborhoods?
At least that was Peter’s thinking as he walked away and back to the front of Avengers HQ. However, he quickly realized though his exit was well timed, he kind of needed Happy for that ride home. He didn’t have a suit with him to just go swinging back home (maybe he should have taken up Mr. Stark on the new suit offer) and it wasn’t like he could get a cab all the way out here. He slowed his step, only for a person to suddenly bump into him.
Just because he had heightened senses didn’t mean he was always paying attention to them, especially in a situation like this when he didn’t expect any danger.
“Hey, look where you’re going kid.”
“Sorry,” Peter quickly said. He slightly stepped to the side as he looked at the man. A slight frown came on his face as the man didn’t really look like the type that would work at Avengers HQ.
He seemed to be thinking the same thing as he said, “How the hell did you get here?”
“I’m an intern for Mr. Stark,” Peter quickly said, straightening his shoulders and raising his chin just a bit. “Who are you?”
“Just a damn reporter. Jeeze kid,” the man laughed, “try to hold back the first degree.”
The man started walking again and Peter instinctively followed him. He seemed to be going to the front like he was leaving but shouldn’t he be escorted by someone or with a group? “What are you here for?”
“I’m surprised you don’t know.”
“I’ve been in a lab all day,” Peter quickly said.
“Well there was some Avengers news that my editor just wanted me to cover. No one else was available for the press conference but then Stark just turns around and starts talking about getting engaged to his former CEO and just a lot of fluff shit.” The man shook his head with a sigh. He didn’t notice Peter’s surprised looks. Had there really…was Mr. Stark really going to…well either way Peter didn’t regret his decision. And this guy was talking about Ms. Potts? That was great! He’d have to tell Mr. Stark congratulations next time they spoke. He focused back on the man though who was still mumbling about being inconvenienced and how there were more important stories he could be focusing on.
Peter focused more on his face than his voice and slowly started to realize that he seemed a bit familiar. “Wait you’re…aren’t you that one investigative reporter? Who like, always gets into trouble?” Yeah, it definitely was him! And the guy got into so much trouble that Peter was now surprised they hadn’t crossed paths yet.
“Yeah, Eddie Brock.”
Peter’s eyes narrowed. “And you are just leaving. Right?”
“I see my reputation precedes me,” Eddie laughed. “Believe me, I’ve done plenty of stories on Stark in the past and have no desire to do more in the future. Besides, as business men go, now at least he’s pretty damn transparent. No need to defend the rich genius, kid.”
Peter pouted as Eddie laughed again. “Don’t call me that.”
“Kid? Why? You can’t be older than fourteen.”
“I’m sixteen!” Peter exclaimed.
“Good for you kid.”
Peter glared at the back of his head as they continued down the hall. “It’s pronounced Peter.”
“Well thank you. If I’m ever in need of interviewing a kid genius, I’ll contact you,” Eddie sarcastically replied.
Peter just glared a little harder as they came to where a multitude of cars were parked, most belonging to the reporters probably. Peter stopped at the door as he still needed to go back and find Happy. Eddie kept going though he did pause to turn around and wiggle his keys.
He seemed more amused than anything as he smiled and said, “See? I’m leaving? I’ve got absolutely no interest with Stark.”
“If you say so,” Peter simply muttered under his breath. He watched Eddie go to a motorbike and turned around when he was finally speeding out of there. His mind quickly fell on other things and soon all thoughts about the reporter were gone when Peter got home to find the bag on his bed. And then even more so when he realized he had a few things he needed to explain to May.
There had been a lot of back and forth with May and the whole fact that he was Spider-Man. The one good thing was that she didn’t have a problem with him trying to do good. If anything, she was so damn proud of him, even more knowing that he’d not only stood by what was right to bring his crush’s dad to justice but also valuing his life as well (though Peter did have to convince his aunt not to go down to the prison and give Mr. Toomes a talking to).
Mainly May just wanted to make sure he was safe. Peter did show her some of his abilities to try and reassure her but it was difficult. There were a few fights and of course Uncle Ben was mentioned once or twice but they’d finally come to an agreement. Whatever Peter was doing, wherever he went, he’d tell May everything.
He didn’t want her to worry but he wouldn’t lie to her if knowing where he was would be better than not knowing. Of course, some things didn’t always happen as planned.
Peter was just stopping by the remade bodega. Not everything was back to where it once was but Mr. Stark had helped a lot and Mr. Delmar was working again. Peter was just planning a quick visit and to grab something to drink only for him to run into a familiar face on the way out.
Though he hadn’t thought about him since their unexpected meeting at Avengers HQ, Peter recognized him immediately. “Mr. Brock?”
“Mr.? Shit kid. You can just call me Eddie.”
Peter pouted and was almost ready to open his mouth when Eddie interrupted him.
“Don’t worry. I remember. You’re the head of the defend Anthony Stark fan club,” Eddie snorted.
“Anthony?” Peter muttered, having never heard anyone refer to Mr. Stark like that. Peter just shook his head and quickly said, “I’ve never seen you in here. And I come in here a lot!”
“No need to get suspicious. Just happened to be passing through kid. See you later,” Eddie chuckled.
He walked by Peter, going through the closely knit aisles. Technically Peter should have left it at that but considering the guy was a known investigative reporter and he’d never seen him in this part of town, Peter couldn’t help but wonder if there was a reason for that.
Slipping out and into the nearest alleyway, Peter quickly changed. He’d set it up so he could call Aunt May through his suit’s connections and did so as he quickly jumped to the roof, waiting for Eddie to leave the building.
“Hey May, I might be a little late for dinner.”
“Peter, what are you up to?”
“Nothing! I mean-it’s just this reporter I’m following real quick. It might be nothing.”
“Do you actually mean that?”
“I promise! It’s just a hunch. I’ll itch it and then I’ll be back before you know it,” Peter promised. Just then, he watched as Eddie left the store. It looked like he was headed towards one of the nearby buildings that had gotten damaged because of Toomes’ weapons. It had been under renovations to begin with and the added damage had just set it back more so there hadn’t been many people in or out for a while. At least that’s what Peter had thought.
“I’ll call you back May. Promise.”
“Ten minutes Peter! If you don’t send me a text in—”
“I promise!” Peter quickly replied as he jumped over and quickly swung to the other building. It was dark enough that no one really noticed as Peter stuck to the wall.
Very slowly, he crawled around the building, watching as Eddie tested a back door and then quickly broke in. Peter tutted and much more gracefully slipped threw a top floor window. Right away he could tell there was something going on in here.
He listened to Karen read out the toxins in the air. Alright, so some type of drug lab was going on in the lower levels. He wondered how Eddie had come across this.
“Accessing thermal imaging,” Karen read out. “Six men below you. Four more on the second floor. Edward Brock Jr. is moving through the first floor now. He appears to be looking through documents.”
“Thanks Karen,” Peter replied. Sadly there wasn’t going to be a lot of room to move quietly with this but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to try.
He went to the nearest stairwell and carefully started to walk down. He’d have to secure the lab going in. He didn’t want the entire building to go up. Thankfully he’d been practicing with some of the new powers and he got the heavier impact web ready.
Coming up close on the third story door, Peter murmured, “You ready Karen?”
She replied, polite as ever. “Of course Peter.”
Still using the thermal imagining, Peter timed it just as he knew no one was facing the door. He slipped in and immediately stuck two guys to a wall. As chaos began to ensue, Peter jumped over, hitting the closer one and webbing up a gun that someone else tried to pull out. He quickly got out a trip mine and shot it at the door as a guy tried to run, only to get slammed into it and stuck to the wood. He webbed one guy’s mouth and then turned to the rest.
“Don’t you guys have like bodyguards or something? I’m pretty sure I saw that in a movie once!” Peter quickly quipped, knocking one guy out. He managed to grab a second gun and whipped it around, knocking out the guy who’d tried to pull the trigger. The last one who was only just now getting the webbing off his mouth was quickly ambushed by more webbing and then Peter spun around and just barely caught a flask from falling over and creating a rather dangerous chemical reaction.
“That was almost forty-eight milliseconds too close,” Karen helpfully stated as Peter ever so slowly pulled back on his webbing and put the flask back in its place.
“Thanks,” Peter sighed. With everything stable and the others webbed up or knocked out, Peter quickly rushed to the window. “They heard the noise downstairs and—” Peter changed to thermal imaging again and let out a tired sigh.
“It seems Edward Brock Jr. has been cornered at the back door.”
“Alright, I guess we’re skipping the second floor for now and going straight to the first,” replied Peter. He quickly backed up and then jumped straight through the window, webbing the wall and arching right into a window on the first floor. There were still two people on the second floor but this way Peter would cut them off as he kept Eddie from getting hurt.
He timed it just right as he knocked a man into a wall and easily landed, crouched on the floor.
“Anyone mind if we cut this short? I was looking forward to having dinner at a reasonable time tonight.”
Eddie blinked in surprise, clearly about to ask if it was really Spider-Man right there in front of him. Peter quickly webbed his hand to the wall so that way he’d know the reporter would be out of the way for the fight and said, “Not now kid. The grownups have some business to take care of.”
Peter took just a little too much joy out of that line and Eddie’s facial reaction as Peter immediately went into punching and kicking the bad guys. Because it was such a small, enclosed space, Peter jumped from the wall to the ceiling and back again as he dodged their attacks. The two guys on the second floor tried to come down and help but Peter webbed a nearby box. As he swung it around, he yelled, “Duck!” and Eddie just barely did so in time.
“Really, no Walter White? Gus Fring? I thought drug dealers were supposed to be more exciting than this.”
He waited for a split second but of course no one could respond. Well, except Eddie who was kind of pathetic as he grunted and attempted to reach for a sharp object clearly out of reach.
“You alright kid?” Peter asked, a little tongue in cheek as Eddie shot him a glare.
“You can’t call me kid when you clearly sound no older than twenty-two.”
Peter resisted the urge to puff out his chest. He didn’t want to over compensate and basically confirm how young he was. He’d learned that lesson with the whole voice fiasco.
“Just think of the experience I have on you,” Peter replied, “because you clearly haven’t been in enough fights Ed-Mr.Brock.”
“Wait-you know who I am?”
The older man finally stopped trying to reach for something to cut the webbing (which wouldn’t have worked anyways) as he looked at Spider-Man.
“I try to keep an eye on my publicity. Or lack thereof.” That was true enough and though he hadn’t consciously thought on the reporter in the past weeks, he could recall that none of Brock’s news worthy headlines had contained him in it. “You’re not like Jameson, are you?” Peter asked, referring to probably the most vocal radio show host who was against Spider-Man.
Eddie snorted. “I actually do what a reporter’s meant to do,” he said, just a little condescendingly. “I discover the news. I don’t just make up what I want.”
Peter nodded, appreciating that answer even if it didn’t really tell him what Eddie thought of Spider-Man personally. Before he could ask, sirens were sounding off in the distance. Peter glanced to the window before looking to Eddie. “All you?”
“Yeah. That and managed to send some of the evidence I captured before they broke my damn phone.”
“Care to share?”
“I think I’m good.”
“Ah, not the partner type?”
“No,” Eddie deadpanned.
“This could become a thing,” Peter teased. “Investigative journalist and Spider-Man! Taking down criminals one by one! Well, actually I think it would be more Spider-Man repeatedly saves investigative journalist instead.”
“Yeah, not happening,” Eddie replied.
Peter shrugged. “Well it was worth a shot.” He started to walk away just as Eddie leaned over as far as he could and reached out to him.
“Hang on a second! You still need to get me out of this webbing!”
“Oh don’t worry kid, I’m sure the cops will help,” Peter replied, smirking under his mask as Eddie let out a disgruntled groan.
Peter then disappeared out another window before Eddie could say more and called up Aunt May just before she was allowed to start worrying.
“Everything alright Peter?”
“Yeah, just some small time drug lab. Helped keep the reporter out of harm’s way too,” Peter replied. “I’m heading over right now. Don’t start cooking without me!”
To be perfectly honest, Peter had thought it might be fun to have a sidekick in the field. After telling Ned about the encounter, he assured his best friend that Ned was the only real sidekick for him, and was a huge help all the time. However, Peter would never want him out in the field with him where he could get hurt.
And yeah, from what he’d watched and read, Eddie was a bit self-centered and didn’t really work well with others, but it could have been useful being in contact with someone from the press. And Eddie had been honest when Peter had read up his report on the small time drug bust. There was a quick comment saying, “Spider-Man seemed too focused on saying an entertaining catchphrase than securing the scene as effectively as possible,” which had Peter rolling his eyes.
He could easily do both thank you very much!
But, the report had been fair and Peter was curious what story Eddie had been following as it didn’t make since that someone with his reputation would be going after some small time drug dealers.
Peter had hoped to get involved, that he could be of more help. It would have also been amusing to save Eddie again and call the much older man “kid”. However, before any of that could really formulate, Eddie effectively disappeared from New York.
It took some digging around but Peter quickly figured out that Eddie had been going after Wilson Fisk. If there was any evidence of the connection between Fisk and the drug lab, Peter couldn’t find it. Apparently Eddie had just pissed off the wrong people. Though the fact that he’d left New York so suddenly suggested he’d been looking in the right direction, even if his plan hadn’t really paid off.
Peter had heard the rumors like everyone else, but he could already tell that taking down a guy like Wilson Fisk would be leagues away from someone like Adrian Toomes. It would take months, years possibly to get dirt on the guy. And it wasn’t just a guy and his band of makeshift criminals, Fisk practically had an Empire at his fingertips.
For the moment, Peter couldn’t do much about it except keep his ears and eyes open as he began to really cement himself as New York’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and simply tried to be a better and better hero with every encounter.
From there, Eddie Brock slipped from Peter’s mind. At least for the next eleven months.