May pressed a soft kiss to his hair, hand sweeping across the teen’s back as tears weakly fell from wide eyes. His body cold in the hello kitty pajamas, before the two went off to their respective rooms. May asking one last time if he’d prefer to sleep in her room with her, but he could only shake his head.
When the teen entered his room, he could feel as he closed the door with has back and slid down along the cheap wood. The week caught up to him in a flash, first failing to stop the arms deal on the boat and losing his suit, and secondly, the worst thing being that he’d missed the decathlon trip last week and his friends had died because of it. If he’d been there maybe he could have stopped the elevator from falling, if he hadn’t told Ned about the Vulture maybe Ned wouldn’t have swiped the alien thing from him that caused the explosion that’d killed them all.
Maybe if he wasn’t such an idiot, so consumed in getting the Vulture after losing his friends and crush, he’d have truly been able to stop the boat from sinking. Maybe then Tony wouldn’t have found him to be so incompetent he had to bench him before he’d ever truly gotten started.
He’d lost everything, sobs bubbled up in his throat as he buried his head in his knees. An overwhelming urge to just scream and shout smothered itself deep within him even though tidal waves of pain and sorrow drowned him. Kept him under, let him come so close to the surface back into a moment of clarity just so he didn’t scream before tugging him back under the surface. A surface so thick it was likely more tar than water, it was overwhelming and numbing.
It tore him apart as he gripped his hair tight enough he could almost believe it would come off of his scalp in a split second causing him to let go and scramble to his desk. Looking for something, anything, to displace the pain his brain insisted he must feel.
A better pain could take, could hold him in sinister arms. But at least it’d keep his head above the thick water that was his loss. But it could also punish him the way he deserves, for being idiotic, for being foolish, for being him. He needed to feel pain, he needed to feel the agony his friends did when that elevator shaft fell and acknowledge the pain of those who had survived the initial impact only to succumb to their wounds moments later.
No matter what anybody told him, especially after Ben’s death, that you can’t blame yourself for deaths that aren’t your fault, and you can’t save everyone. But Peter didn't know how to live with himself regardless, how could he live with himself with death around every corner?
Death followed him, death loved him in it’s own sick way. It was an abusive relationship no doubt, it took and it took from him everything it could as if it were a challenge for him to overcome. Other’s told him death makes people stronger, death makes you face reality. His relationship with death was jarring and painful. There were no true goodbyes death offered in his past experience, and Peter had to question if death sent him these messages of grief as a beckoning call. He could possibly be a marionette under Death’s strings, using those he came across as victims to the war of life and death.
Always apart of the show but never the right one to fall, those strings he failed to cut as he distanced himself, as he learned to fear others, as he repeatedly trusted those who’d only hurt or leave him to dust. Dust that he pulled himself up with as his eyes scanned the contents of his desk, nothing sharp or jagged met his eye and sent a fit of frustration through his veins. Speeding up his heart as his ears rang in a mantra of ‘get on with it.’
Frantically fishing through the desks contents, a silver gleam caught his peripheral. The tool not his own but MJ’s, he’d borrowed the X-ACTO knife for a project and after the elevator her parent’s had picked her up and hightailed it out of state. He didn’t know if he’d be able to return the item but she didn’t have to know what he’d done with it.
Staring at his wrist and lightly tracing the blue veins crying out against his pale skin, he gently danced among them planning his best course of action before he quirked the blade like a screw, twisting a hole into the skin where blood bubbled up and dripped down his arm.
He made several other small holes and watched as the blood rained down his skin making the soft baby hairs stick. The pain only made him smile and giggle a little madly as he held a hand over his mouth to muffle the sound. Looking at the blade, Peter wondered where else he could cut that’d no one would notice. Looking down at his outfit, hello kitty looked back. Stripping the pink pajamas off, the boy took in the pale skin of his upper thighs before he thrashed a long line over the left one without even thinking.
By the end of his tirade, each slab of pale skin was stained pink with seven and nine slashes lining each piece of flesh. Sniffling with muffled gurgling sobs, the teen’s hands shook as he hobbled to the bathroom. Thankful no blood fell to the floor as he pulled the first aid kit from the cabinet and carefully cleaned the wounds before wrapping his thighs with gauze and leaving the small holes on his wrist alone as they are already healing.
The toilet paper he used to wipe down his sullied skin was flushed, luckily not clogging the toilet and got rid of the evidence of his endeavour. The boy was only sad it wasn’t enough. But he didn’t know how to make himself hurt in a way that would last. His metabolism was just that strong, he’d have to work on that first. It wouldn’t be hard, after the elevator, eating didn’t seem that interesting, he hadn’t meant to avoid food then but if he was actively trying? It’d be easy.
Toomes looked around his workshop, his world bleak at the loss of his daughter. She hadn’t deserved to die, he’d came immediately after they’d called. The remains of the destroyed elevator car hurt, but not more than the bits and pieces of purple that caught his eyes. He knew what those shards were, knew that this was his fault. But that wouldn’t stop him, he had to keep going, he had make people like Stark pay.
The black wriggling blob him and his men had found was monstrous but ultimately controllable. With the tools he had, the symbiote, unable of speech or any real thought for itself listened beautifully. Shocker had jokingly called the tar Venom, at the time he hadn’t found it funny. His world was too bleak with loss for any real enjoyment, but the name fit.
“It’ll need a host for our heist,” one of his men called, Toomes didn’t bother to look back at who said it, but he nodded in response.
“So when it latches to someone it uses their attributes?” Toomes asked, picking up the containment chamber where the goop jiggled. The Tinkerer accepted the canister as Toomes shoved it back into his arms after he'd had enough of watching it squirm. The man’s phone buzzed then, leading the Vulture to check his phone to find Doris, his wife, was calling.
“Can you come home?” Her voice was teary and wreaked, “I don’t think I can make these funeral arrangements myself,”
“I’ll be there soon,” the man assured, waving his arm to his men signifying his leave. He’d have to find someway to make the alien of use, he didn’t want that thing in him, but he knew he’d have a hard time convincing his men to take it on too.
When Adrian arrived home Doris was in his arms, tears staining his shirt as he held to her with all his might. The urge to tell her about his work on the tip of his tongue, but her cries stopped him. Once she came down from her fit, she led him back to the counter where the forms and pamphlets lay on the counter. Toomes frowned at the photos of coffins, not ever imagining he’d have to decide what box would ultimately lay his daughter to rest.
A white one caught his eye, silver accent’s adoring it and that ultimately is what he chose and Doris nodded in agreement.
“I don’t want it to seem like we’re replacing her, but I don’t know if I can live without a child,” Doris admitted, looking up at her husband. Adrian gulped, eyes suspiciously wet before he pressed a kiss to his wife’s temple.
“I know,” taking a breath the man ultimately decided, “Once we handle this, and give it some time. I have a lot of business opportunities coming, we can either adopt or try again then. Liz wouldn’t want us stop living our lives because of this,”
She cried, nodding her head before rising on her toes to peck her husbands lips. Deciding to focus on the positive part of her husbands words, “Business Opportunities?”
He grinned, “Yeah, let’s just say we’re going to come into quite a bit of money. It’ll be good for us,”
She nodded still obviously dulled by the sorrow consuming her, “That’s good, but I know you’re not telling me everything,” she admits before softly pleading, “I already lost my little girl, I can tell somethings going on and I need to know what that is,”
He sighs, before telling her everything.
When Peter goes to school he walks the hall with no clear thought. Other students looked at him wearily, out of all the decathlon members it was only him still at the school now that MJ had moved away. They watched him with sad faces, while his teachers were more than lenient as he did his work. Even the school counselor tried pulling him into her office to see how he was doing. But otherwise the day went by quicker than he thought it would, all up until last period when he excused himself to the restroom.
Eyes wide as he saw just who was in the hall with the principal. Toomes. Mr. Morita was opening Liz’s locker, and handing the man her stuff.
“We’re sorry for your loss, Liz was an excellent student and she will be missed,” the principal informed, and Peter found himself ducking into the bathroom immediately. Clawing at his throat in an attempt to breathe.
Texting May with shaking fingers, she called him a town pass encouraging him to rush home. The boy did, not caring as passerbys offered him strange looks due to his pink cheeks and watery eyes. The teen held tightly to the trains railing, headphones screaming into his ears. Linkin Park’s Numb penetrating his brain with comparisons. The words sung were ones he wishes he could tell Mr. Stark. But he could never.
The train stopped abruptly, hazard lights flashing. Peter’s sense purred as he gripped the pole tightly, until the train car stopped. A mugging was going on at the station apparently and the teen and the rest of the cars passangers ducked at the sound of gunfire. The police handled it quickly, and to the boy’s surprise one of the cops recognized him. Peter had only met the cop once, he’d worked with Uncle Ben. The man seemed to notice his unease of the day, and offered to take him home.
Peter was helpless not to say no, slipping into the shotgun the man smiled. Their chat was idle, and stories of Uncle Ben flowed. A melancholy mood took over the boy as they finally parked.
“Is May home?”
“No she’s on her way though,”
“I’ll stop by some time, feel better Peter,” the man informed with a smile, and Peter nodded knowing it wasn’t going to happen before meandering up the steps and plopping onto his bed. Sleep calling to him like a siren he was helpless not to comply.
Doris looked at her husband, not seemingly fazed in the slightest. But then again they wouldn’t be married if they didn’t have similar mindsets.
“If you go through this we start over?” She asked, and the husband couldn’t help but smile at this development.
“We’ll be better than ever,” he promised.
“Where do we start?” The smile on her face meant everything to the Vulture. The man’s mind drifted to the shipment he found out Stark would be sending out soon. He’d start there. And no one would stop him.