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Art Supplies and Theory Boards (How NOT to Keep Your Cop-Dad From Discovering You're Spider-Man)

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It had been the run of the mill idiot robbers. The really dumb ones who didn’t even try to hide their face other than the Yankees baseball cap pulled down lower than required for regular wear. Honestly, how they expected to not even try and hide their identity and not get caught, Miles would never understand. Especially when they didn’t even try to stay out of the line of sight of the security cameras. Granted, it was a tiny local art shop and only had about two cameras in the whole store—one by the register and one in the back of the shop. But still, if your going to rob the register, the camera was right there. Not that he really cared of course, cause it just made his job easier, but it was sort of baffling to him how stupid people could be. But then one of the idiot guys had started knocking some of the art stuff off of the shelves and busting it up just for the fun of it. And that just hurt Miles’ soul.

Up until now he had been remaining invisible. He’d been doing that recently, observing the scene before jumping in. It was a lesson he had learned after taking a bullet in his knee a few weeks a go because he hadn’t been paying attention enough to see the guy had a back up gun. That had not been pleasant, so to avoid any future incidents, with the exception of life or death situations. he’d been taking the time to check for such things recently. Because really, he could turn invisible. He really should take advantage of that more and case the scene. But he’d had a full minute or so by now, he knew enough, and destroying the innocent art supplies was just plain uncalled for.

And so, that was when Miles webbed the gun out of robber guys hand at the register and swung it around to whack the merchandise destroying robber upside the head before releasing it—a few feet away from both robbers down one of the isles. It didn’t hit hard enough to knock the guy out, but it Did knock him off balance a bit and catch the attention of the first robber. Miles gave a short, loud whistle to draw the attention of both idiots in his direction before flickering back in to view.

“Hey guys,” he said, giving a cheerful wave. “What’s up?”

The second robber reached to pull a gun from his waist band, which Miles was proud to say he had noticed while observing, and the poor guy never had a chance. Before the dude could even properly raise the weapon, Miles was yanking that from his hand too, and with a quick flick of his wrist the second fun joined the first in the isle and Miles was up in the air, quick to swing back around and knock the second robber down with a well placed kick to the head. Apparently the hit with the gun had done more damage than Miles thought if that was all it took to keep him down.

“Don’t wanna talk then,” he deadpanned as he touched back on the floor. “Alright, that’s cool. Respect.”

At that moment, the was a sharp tingling shock at the base of his neck. Danger, duck!

And he did, just a split second before a pocketknife of the first water slashed out right where his shoulder had been just a moment earlier. He was very ashamed to admit that he had not noticed that in his observations. He was going to have to work on that. Instinctually, he struck out with his legs and knocked him off his feet. Before he got the chance to get back up, he webbed him to the floor and then his fellow idiot robber, and webbed their mouths shut too, just for good measure.

He dusted his hands off, just for showmanship’s sake, and turned to face the store owner. “You good, Jerry?”

For a moment, Jerry just stared at him, seeming to be confused as to how the vigilante knew his name before glancing at the window, and seeming to remember that yes, his name was in fact on the front of the glass store window.

“Uh, yeah. Thanks,” the elder gentlemen stuttered out.

“Not a problem,” Miles said. “You want some help cleaning this mess up?”

He seemed rather surprised by the offer. “That would be much appreciated, thanks, kid.”

It didn’t take long, 15 minutes maybe, to get the store cleaned up and the shelves upright and stocked again. The cops had showed up in that time—thankfully not Miles dad—and Jerry and “Spider-man” both gave their statements while picking fallen and broken merchandise up. Half an hour later and the cops were shuffling out and escorting the two robbers into the back of the patrol car. Miles hung around for a few minutes longer, confirming that Jerry really was okay and not just brushing it off. Once he was convinced, he found himself drifting to one of the shelves, his fingers itching towards the 48 set of art pens he had been planning to come and buy before he saw the robbers shuffle in.

“Could, um, could I buy these, please?” he asked, taking the package off the shelf and fidgeting in place.

Jerry seemed surprised by the question, but he let out a laugh. “Course you can, kid.”

“Cool, thanks,” Miles said, smiling behind his mask and heading to the register, only to be stopped by Jerry stepping in his path. “What’s up?”

“You saved my shop and probably my life. No charge kid.”

Miles eyes went wide, and he nearly dropped the pens in his hands on the floor. “What? No way, that’s nice and all, but I can’t let you just give me the pens. And I got the money, so…” he trailed off, looking down at his feet.

“Alright, you win,” Jerry sighed, walking to the cash register.

Miles gave a little bounce in place, and hopped over to the counter, passing the pens over. He rang them up as usual, and then typed something in before placing the pens in a bag.

“Alright, kid. $12.99.”

“The sign said they were $25.99.”

“You wanna pay, that’s fine, but it’s not gonna be full price.”

Miles stared. “That’s a 50% discount.”

Jerry shrugged. “You earned it, kid. From now on, Spidey is guaranteed a half-off deal on anything in the store, for as long as we’re open. Got it?”

“That feels like you’re losing money.”

“If it makes you feel any better, I’ll start telling people Spidey shops here. It’ll be good for business. Fair?”

Behind the mask, Miles rolled his eyes. He leaned his head back with a groan. “Yeah, sure. Fair.”

Miles passed over the $12.99 with a laugh and a shake of his head, and Jerry passed over the paper bag with his purchase as he put the money in the cash register.

“Thanks Jerry!” Miles called over his shoulder as he left the store.

“Come back anytime kid!”

As the door shut behind him, Miles flickered back out of sight, so he didn’t attract too much attention on his way home in the Spider suit. He loved this place, and he loved Jerry. He would absolutely be coming back, and as much as he hated to admit it, the discount was super nice. Would he be a terrible hero for taking advantage of that discount? Probably. But come on, he was 13, after all.