Peter looked around to see the broken star like sculptures in the dust, the ship they’d landed on Titan in wasn’t in any greater shape. He stands up and looks around, but there is no one else there.
“Mr Stark?” He says softly at first spinning around to look in all directions.
“Hello?” He calls out a little louder. Still not anything but the uneven pull of gravity making rocks bounce up and down along the surface was heard.
“Insect” a deep voice pulls him to turn around. Where did that come from?
A hand wraps around his throat and he is lifted and thrown hard into the ground, his limbs are flailing around trying to escape the grasp of the giant purple thing holding him down.
The face transforms and the hand is gentle and moves to his shoulders. “Pete?” The man asks hesitantly
Then he feels it. That pain. The pain that shoots through his whole body not one molecule to feel a difference, trying to stick together in waves of pulling apart.
And he tries, he tries so hard to hold on, but it’s too much. Tony is holding him, his face looks as pained as Peter feels.
“I’m sorry” Peter says looking into his mentors eyes.
Peter shoots up in a bundle of sweat and blankets. His breathing is hitched and too quick, his hands shoot to his eyes pressing his palms against them trying to hold back the tears.
It’s too late though, they’re already there. He throws off the blankets and stumbles his way to the bathroom. He turns on the shower and stands at the sink looking at him self in the mirror as it heats up.
His eyes are red rimmed and his hair is mused from sleep. He takes a deep sniffle before finally getting undressed and gets in the shower.
When he gets out he goes back to his room, takes his bedding off and takes in to the laundry. They’re soaked from sweat. He goes to the lounge room and sits on the sofa looking aimlessly at his reflection on the television in front of him.
For hours he sits like this until he sees May coming out for breakfast dressed ready for work.
“Morning” she says as she walks past to the kitchen. He doesn’t respond, or if he did he doesn’t remember.
She comes back not too long after with two bowls of cereal, placing one in his hands and sitting down next to him with her own.
“Another nightmare?” She asks taking her first spoonful. Peter looks down at his bowl as he nods his head slowly.
“Why don’t you call him today?” She says turning ever so lightly to look at him.
“He’s busy, May. He won’t want to talk to me about nothing. He’s trying to get the accords sorted remember. Probably wouldn’t even answer.” Peter says finally looking back at her.
Peter can notice the change on May’s face the second he looks up, he sighs and looks away as soon as he can. Stuffing his mouth full of cereal.
“Hey, I don’t think he would mind. It would probably be a nice break from it all” She puts her hand on his shoulder, before reaching back to the spoon in her bowl.
“I mean it’s only been two days May, I don’t want to distract him”
“Peter” she sighs “You-“
“May, honesty it’s fine don’t worry about it. I’m going to get ready for school”
“Okay honey, I’m leaving for work in five. Come out to say good bye”
Peter walks off and gets ready for school. He gives May a hug before she leaves and he goes back to his room after putting his sheets in the dryer.
Peter gets his backpack, puts his shoes on and locks up the apartment before leaving for another day of school.
On the subway he gets out his phone and scrolls through his contacts, he clicks on Tony’s name bringing up there most recent text conversation. His fingers hover over the keyboard, but they never meet it. He locks his phone and puts it back in his pocket.
He gets to school finding his best friend standing by his locker, just like every morning. He walks up and they do there handshake before a word is even spoken.
“Dude, are you okay? You don’t look so great” Ned says in concern.
“I’m fine Ned, just another nightmare.” He huffs before beginning to open his locker.
“Oh, that’s the second one in a row man. You haven’t had any for ages.”
“Yeah I know”
“Is it the same one? About Titan?” Ned whispers the last word.
Peter stiffens apon hearing it again, obviously noticed by Ned. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to-“ his words are cut short as Peter shoots past him to the men’s room.
Once inside he can’t stop the tears that are escaping as his breathing is heavy and uneven. He holds onto the sink in front of him, his head is dropped and his eyes are closed as he tries to even out his breathing.
A small cough alarms him from behind and his eyes shoot open and he spins around. And of course the one person he is stuck in the bathroom with is no other than Flash Thompson. Why, of all people?
“What do you want Flash?” Peter wheezes out wiping his face furiously.
“Uh, just need to wash my hands.” He points to the sink.
“Sorry” Peter moves out of the way and flash washes his hands.
“You okay?” Flash says looking at Peter through the mirror. Before grabbing a paper towel.
Ever since the snap Flash had been somewhat avoiding Peter at all costs, hasn't said anything mean and even once praised him in class after he got an answer right when Flash didn’t. It was weird to say the least, but he’d never been this nice before. Actually asking if Peter was okay is a huge step up from where they where a year ago.
“Um, yeah. I’ll be fine. Sorry for snapping at you like that” Peter said crossing his arms.
“Listen Parker, I know where not exactly friends, but I know what a panick attack is and that certainly looked a lot worse than any I’ve ever had.”
Peter purses his lips together and looked to the floor. He was just about to walk out, fully embarrassed. His mouth moved to quickly for him to register what he was actually doing and it all just came pouring out.
“I haven’t had any since a few weeks after... you know. And Tony left yesterday to go sort out the accords for the rest of the Avengers to come home without some asshole trying to throw them in a cell. And I haven’t slept properly since he left. I keep having nightmares of what happened, and I haven’t texted him because I don’t want to distract him from what he’s doing. But I just... I really miss him.” Peter finished slower that he started. And he looked up to Flash who’s brows were so high they could be part of his hairline.
After a moment they retreated back down to a normal level eyebrows should be at. And he spoke. “Wow, I didn’t realise you guys were... that close.”
“Well, there’s a lot of things you don’t know.” Peter looked back down at his feet.
“What?!” Peter shot his head back up, but Flash was walking out. And he was left in the men’s school bathroom alone.
Peter thought about it all day, of texting Tony and just saying a little hello, but he never did. He got to Decathlon that afternoon where he met his team in the library, where MJ wanted to go over the things they all needed to learn.
He sat down next to Ned who waved at him enthusiastically like he hadn’t seen him in ten years, even though it had only been since lunch. It made Peter laugh.
“Hey Ned, MJ” she gave a nod back.
“Hey nerds” she said before sitting down and rummaging through her bag.
Next to come in was Flash. Peter tried not to make eye contact, but Flash sat in the seat across from Peter.
“Hey” He said making Peter look up and give a nod, not to be rude since the others both greeted him back.
“Did you text him?” Peter was surprised at Flashes question. He was actually... caring?
Ned and MJ both stopped what they where doing and looked up to witness the conversation
“No, not yet” Peter looked at MJ, then Ned who quickly found something to do at the eye contact.
“Text who?” Michelle asked.
Flashes brows popped up again, obviously figuring out Peter hadn’t told his best friends anything he’d spoken to Flash about.
“Tony” Peter’s face went stiff.
Ned looked confused as did MJ. Well as confused as she will let show at least.
“What’s going on? Why aren’t you talking to Mr Stark?” Ned asked
“I don’t want to distract him. He’s really busy”
MJ nodded her head, eyes flicking once between Flash and Peter before speaking “Peter, you know he wouldn’t care” she said like it’s the most obvious thing.
“Yeah man, he’s like practically your dad” Ned laughed.
Flash was really invested in the conversation now. And Peter was sure that if his eyebrows done that any longer they’d have to be surgically removed.
“Dude, no he’s not.” Peter looked at Ned
Just then Peter’s phone vibrates loudly on the table. He leaned over to see and visibly relaxed at the name he read who’d sent it.
IronDad: Hey, How was school? Anything interesting. I’m bored. Everyone looks the same, black suits and bald spots. X
Peter perked up immediately, MJ, Ned and Flash all looking at the phone too had small smiles on their faces.
“IronDad?” MJ said with a grin. Making them all laugh.
“Hey, he did that not me!” Peter protested
“Dude, you’re name is literally SpiderSon on his phone. And don’t even say he did that because I was there when he found it!” Ned began laughing, no one else did. He realised and looked at his friends looking at Flash who looked like a deer in headlights.
Realisation hit Flash like a brick, he couldn’t stop staring at Peter. Ned got a head slap from MJ and Peter looked at Flash how Flash looked at Peter. Mouths open and eyes huge.
“Y-y-you’re Spider-Man” Flash pushed out through his shock.
“Oops” Ned sent a weary smile in Peter’s direction.
“Shit!” Peter stood up, message fully forgotten.
“Flash... I-I” Peter was flustered and he had no idea what to do.
“Flash, Peter is Spider-Man, but if you tell a soul your life will be over before you even think about trying to have a flashback of happy memories.” MJ took lead, as usual.
“I wouldn’t tell, you really think I’m that guy” Flash looked hurt.
“I mean, you were that guy” Ned let slip.
“Ned!” Peter scolded him.
“No, it’s okay. He’s right, but I promise I won’t. It’s not my secret.” Flash says to Peter.
“You really have changed Flash” Peter gave a smile.
“Yeah well, dying does that to a guy” Flash scoffs
The room falls silent.
“You... were you?” Peter asks
Flash nods “I got dusted”
“I’m sorry” Michelle said sitting on the desk next to Peter.
“Is that what you meant. About the panick attacks?” Peter looked to him in disbelief
“Hard” Peter finished Flashes sentence.
“Wait. Where you? Spider-Man was seen getting on that ship with Ironman” Flash started to put things together.
“Yeah, space is weird” Peter laughed with his friends. “And yes I was... dusted. On an alien planet at that.”
Peter doesn’t hardly ever talk about it. And it was obvious, because Michelle had her hand resting Peter’s shoulder and Ned’s on Peter’s forearm. So Flash didn’t push it. He was shocked for sure... alien planets, space? He could understand why Peter was freaking out in the bathroom.
Another buzz from Peter’s phone pulled the small group out of their sad daze as peter laughed. Ned looked at him expectantly.
“Apparently, Rhodey just got hit on by some old fat dude with a war machine pin on his satchel” and with that the mood was lightened. And the rest of the team arrived and they got into their practice.
Tony was sat in a meeting in Chicago with a room full of suits. Rhodey next to him with a still awkward face on as the man who was hitting on him earlier was sat across the table waving fingers in his direction.
Tony felt a buzz in his left breast pocket and pulled out his phone.
SpiderSon: tell Rhodes I’ll be the ring boy at their wedding.
I’ll give you a call after patrol, hope it’s not all work and no fun.
Miss you X
Rhodey noticed the smile that had crept up on Tony’s lips. And gave him a tap on the shoulder to get his attention
“How’s the kid?” He asked
Tony showed his friend the text
“Told you to text him” Rhodey smiled.
Tony rolled his eyes and sent a quick text back before turning his focus back to the meeting.
Peter opened his phone and tried to hide his affectionate smile as he, MJ, Ned and their new groups addition Flash walked out the school gates.
IronDad: Miss you too kid