Harley had always been his parent’s favourite son, the one with the better grades, the nicer friends, the one with less problems, Peter was just the firstborn, no special talents other than his intelligent brain (not that his parents ever took into account that it wasn’t just Harley who was smart).
But it was okay, Peter had gotten used to it, he knew they didn’t notice when he didn’t show up to family dinners, when they only put out four plates instead of five, how they only said ‘goodnight’ to one son instead of two, they hadn’t even realised that they hadn’t been to any of Peter’s parents evenings in the last four years. But again, Peter was okay with it, he knew how to stay out of their way, stay in his room at the end of the hall. Steve and Tony didn’t notice (he hadn’t called them dad and pops in years now).
Hiding from the rest of his family became harder after the ‘Spider-Bite’ incident, he spent around a week sick to his stomach, with the first four days being spent in his bathroom, throwing up everything he had in his stomach while battling a raging fever, and the other three were spent trying to adapt to the new, enhanced senses he’d come to discover he had; suddenly he could hear conversations from three floors down and smell things from blocks away. It was overwhelming but in the end, he’s glad it all happened.
Peter had immediately raced downstairs towards the living area to inform his parents of his new powers, excitement coursed through his veins as he bounded down the stairs, he had thought that maybe his parents would accept him and see him for something other than ‘Harley’s shadow’.
“Pops! Dad!” He greeted excitedly, not taking notice of how his younger brother was giving him a sly look from the side of the room. “Look what’s happened!” Pete grinned as he slowed his pace, edging closer to his huddled parents. He was about to explain to them the situation when he was greeted by Tony’s blank look.
“Not now kid pops and I are busy with Harley’s new project.” His tone sounded almost bored as he addressed Peter, soon turning back to look at whatever Harley had made now.
Peter, however, wasn’t deterred by this, and he next turned to his pops, tapping him on the shoulder, only for moments later with no response from the blonde man, that he was being ignored.
The reality that Peter was alone in his sticky situation, hit him hard and fast, a brief flash of pain erupted behind his eyes and the mask that’d he’d had up to hide his real emotions flew right back over his face, the expression he held now was cold and he slowly turned back around, retreating up the stairs and down the dark hall. He vowed to never let his emotions show with them again because he’d be fine.
He thought he’d be fine anyway because now he was currently stitching together red and blue jumpers to make some sort of bargain suit. Spider-Man, after all, had to hide his identity from the prying eyes of the world.
Spider-Man, that was who he was now, now more ‘Precious Peter Stark-Rogers’, he was Spider-Man now, a crime-fighting vigilante who also helped the elderly cross the road when need be, and it was nice, it was something Peter finally found himself enjoying in his miserable life. But don’t get him wrong, he knew his life was definitely much more privileged than what others in the world have, and he shouldn’t be selfish about it, he just couldn’t bare to stay with those he once called ‘family’, (not even the rest of the Avengers really noticed he wasn’t at any team bonding sessions anymore, it was just always Harley).
Peter was okay with it now though, because he had Spider-Man, and even his very own guy-in-the-chair (which was Ned – Peter’s only friend from high school, who actually voluntarily wanted to hang around Peter, in and out of school; he also knew about how Peter was constantly outshined by Harley at home, although he, thankfully, never brought it up).
Peter had also started staying over at Ned’s more often than not, the two had a great time studying chemistry and talking about Spider-Man related things, and Ned was more than happy to let Peter stay. ‘Friends don’t leave friends behind,’ is what Ned would constantly tell the arachnid, and Pete was beginning to reluctantly believe it.
And so, life was going okay for a while, he had Ned, even this girl who liked to be called MJ, (she warned the two males to never call her Michelle ) and he’d been left alone by his slightly dysfunctional family. He still had to deal with the pain of watching his parents’ fond over Harley while he was left in the shadows, but with everything else he had on his plate, it was fine. But then the vulture happened.
Peter had been watching over the Vulture’s moves for days now, he’d even found out the villains’ identity (Adrian Toomes was his name, he was the dad of a popular girl called Liz and as much as he didn’t want to ruin Liz’s life, he had to stop Toomes somehow, even if that meant sending him to prison).
He’d managed to get a tracker on the man the last time they fought, and in the evening of Homecoming night, he had managed to slip past Steve and Tony - who were too busy taking pictures with Harley and his date to notice Peter crawl away anyway – with his Spider-Man suit tucked safely underneath his civilian clothes, and go after the man.
Peter was currently fighting Toomes on a sandy beach, his limbs felt like they were on fire and the sour taste of blood in his mouth was leaving a bitter aftertaste. His hands trembled like a leaf on a windy day and black spots clouded his already hazy vision; it was getting harder and harder to stay fighting with each ticking minute, it felt as if his body was collapsing and his mind was shutting down, but he couldn’t stop now - he still had to stop the older man from selling dangerous, alien weapons to the public; just moments before, Peter had had to crash one of his dads planes to prevent Toomes from stealing the many, important contents.
The arachnid, in all of his weakening glory, stood straight in front of Toomes. The older man’s electronic wings were sparking and the tell-tale smell of smoke was reminding Peter of how this man could die if he didn’t get out of those wings, and soon.
“Your wingsuit, your wingsuit’s gonna explode!” Peter cried out, his voice was rough and scratchy. All of his pain-filled screamings had taken a toll on his delicate vocal cords.
The vulture paid no mind to him however as he lifted off the ground, clutching the box full of alien weapons tightly in his talons. He continued to grow higher and higher in the sky, and Peter had no other choice than to surge through the pain of his broken fingers and active his web shooters, screaming out in pain when the web fluid latched on and he had to put all of his strength into trying to pull Toomes back towards the ground.
“Time to go home Pete!” There was a sick smile on Toomes’ face as he stared down at the boy.
“I’m trying to save you!” Peter protested as he held on.
Toomes was having none of it, however, he used his right wing to slice the web and Peter could only watch on with fear as Toomes’ wingsuit crackled with fire and he went crashing to the ground, bursting into a ball of flames which covered a good section of the carnaged beach.
Peter had to make a decision, and quick, his movements were sluggish and tiring as he rushed towards the fire, grunts of pain slipping from his lips as he moved to pull Toomes out of the burning wreckage. He couldn’t let the man die, no matter all of the bad deeds he had done.
With a final tug, Peter was sending the two flying back onto the burning sand, coughing out in pain when he was unable to get enough oxygen into his most likely punctured lungs.
As much as he wanted to stay there and let his injuries take over, the familiar sound of sirens filled his sensitive ears and he used as much strength as he could to web up
Toomes, leave a quick note and swing back to the tower where he lived with his ‘family’.
All of the lights were still on which indicated that Harley had probably arrived home, just his luck.
Peter’s breath is shallow and he feels as if he’s about to drop dead as soon as he swings into the common room, completely disregarding the fact that he’s probably going to be seen in a torn Spider-Man suit stained crimson with blood.
He spots the avengers sat around Harley who seems to be telling some sort of story (most likely about homecoming and how well his date went). They don’t seem to have noticed him yet, which Peter uses to his advantage.
“You know,” He starts slowly, there’s a scratchy, dead tone to his voice and his eyes are a blank, blood-shot brown as he addresses everyone in the room, including his now paying-attention parents. “I nearly died today-“ He stops. “I think I am dying, actually.” He doesn’t look directly at any of the people, giving him worried looks, just stares blankly ahead as he holds onto the deep wound in his stomach, blood seeping through the cracks in his broken fingers and dropping onto the wooden floor.
“I just thought I’d let you know.”
Peter hears shouting and screaming as he slumps forwards onto his knees, it’s as if his hearings finally stopped and he’s sort of glad. Because maybe life was just meant to be this way for him; ignored till it really mattered.