Among the infinite Multiverse, Earth-101 lies in between, paralleling most of what happens on Earth-616. South Korea has their own army of heroes, including the popular K-Pop star Seol Hee, a.k.a Luna Snow, as well as Ami Han the Gumiho. What Earth-101 has that other universes don’t, is their very own Korean Spider-Man. Just like his human-arachnid counterparts, his identity remains a secret to protect his loved ones. There are myriads of speculations - like the man behind the mask might be that popular actor on TV, or that chaebol ala Bruce Wayne. They’re all wrong, of course. Besides, South Korea doesn’t need to know that one of their most trusted superheroes is just a university student who is going through the same things as any other young adults his age - pursuing their passion, searching for a deeper meaning in life, and finding love. His plate is bigger than most because he also has to shoulder the responsibility of being the defender of his country (and world!), but he gets by well with his identity hidden.
Lee Hangyul is Spider-Man.
Most people would recall their memory of getting bitten by a spider as an unfavorable one - traumatic, even. Lee Hangyul had it different - it was a life-changing and momentous moment for the 18-year old university freshman. It has been more than a year since, and he has upgraded from being a novice superhuman to an actual superhero with a city to guard. SHIELD had a headache when they found out about him - how many Spider-People are there? In South Korea nonetheless? It was almost a protocol for them when they gave him a suit with different built-in modes to help him - training, defense, kill, etc. Hangyul designed his suit a red and white variation of the classic Spider-Man suit, wearing it with pride every time he suits up.
It was 6 months ago that a real and gigantic threat shocked Seoul - a Kree army looking for a stone of some kind. It was then that Hangyul realized he is a part of the only line of defense the country has when it comes to enemies of the extraterrestrial kind. It is a small army, but a very powerful one nonetheless. South Korea officially met their new superhero heartthrob on the same day almost half the nation nearly detached itself from the continent.
He does have the desire to unmask himself and become a celebrity like the other heroes, but the last thing he’d do is endanger the lives of his parents who have been nothing but supportive of this orphan boy they adopted. Hence why he’s fine with his guilty pleasure of hearing people talk about the latest Korean Spider-Man appearance.
Hangyul loves his job, he really does. If it can even be called a job !
“ We’ve already got Parker and Morales here .” Hangyul imitates the SHIELD agent who answered his question about possibly being a full-time superhero, which possibly means joining the big-time Avengers with the rest instead of being stuck in his hometown. “ Someone’s gotta be the hero in Seoul, Hangyul . Why does it have to be me? I could be doing more than protecting convenience stores.”
Hangyul sits on the edge of the rooftop of a building nearby, where he busted a group trying to rob said convenience store. He was met with the usual scoffs and laughs from the robbers, but they were quickly silenced after being tied to a pole with a ‘We’re robbers please arrest us <3’ sign on them. Taking off his mask, Hangyul has gotten used to the suffocating feeling behind it and rather embrace it, even. He touches the spot near his rib where he was kicked, wondering if it’ll leave a bruise. It was already hard to explain to his mum how he got a black eye last month, trying so hard to convince her he wasn’t in a gang or something.
He takes his phone out to look at the time, almost falling off when he sees that it’s almost dinner time. He puts his mask back on and swings back towards the place he stashed his backpack in a rush upon hearing about the robbery. With the extra weight on his back, he swings through the alleys towards his apartment where his mum will be calling him for dinner at any moment now.
Plastered to the wall above his window, Hangyul peeks to check if his mum is in his bedroom. When he sees that only Dohyon is in his room reading mangas, Hangyul slowly lifts his window up to spook the boy, but fails miserably when the window squeaks. Dohyon sits up on the bed he was lying on, slightly startled but smiles at the sight of Hangyul.
“Seen any action today?” Dohyon asks, helping Hangyul by taking his backpack in for him.
“Just a robbery. Who even robs in broad daylight?” Scoffing, Hangyul takes the suit off and hastily stashes it in his closet.
Dohyon makes a show of covering his eyes to avoid seeing Hangyul in his briefs, but peeks anyway and notices the bruise. “You got hurt, though.”
“Yeah, it’ll heal.” Hangyul mutters, wincing a little as he touches to bruise.
As far as his ability to maintain this double life, Hangyul is pretty good at it. Nam Dohyon is the only other person in the world knows who Korean Spider-Man is (other than his fellow Korean superheroes, but they couldn’t care less). The 15-year old boy was on a school trip when what was later identified as Doctor Karma - a supervillain who probably has an extensive backstory Hangyul didn’t bother to learn - held him hostage. Dohyon wasn’t a docile hostage; he was adamant and proactive, even helping Hangyul during the fight. Hangyul’s mask was in shreds by the time it ended, which was how Dohyon saw his face. He promised to keep it a secret, but in exchange demanded to be his sidekick.
That was a couple of months ago. Since they live in the same neighborhood, Dohyon would meet him at night to listen to the police scanner on the rooftop of Hangyul’s apartment. Dohyon’s parents were told that Hangyul is his tutor, and fully trusts their son with the dependable university student. It’s a good thing Dohyon is already smart - Hangyul can’t teach for the life of him. In fact, closeted superhero nerd Dohyon is the one teaching him. Lately they’ve been trying to figure out what unique ability Hangyul might have that other Spideys don’t.
That explains why he spends a lot of time at Hangyul’s. At dinner, Hangyul’s mum more than welcomes Dohyon, feeling like he’s another child of hers. She would ask him how he’s doing in school, what he eats to make himself so smart, etc. Dohyon happily entertains her questions as he eats her delicious home cooked meal. It’s a Friday routine in the Lee household.
After dinner, both boys head towards the rooftop, bringing along some snacks and Dohyon’s research material (a folder on his laptop called ‘school project’). It is a relatively uninteresting night, right until Dohyon plays a song to fill in the silence.
Hangyul glares at him.
“I won’t stop playing Woodz’s songs until you admit your crush on him.” Dohyon remarks, typing away on his laptop.
“You caught me listening to his song ONE time.” Hangyul emphasizes on one , because as far as Dohyon’s concerned, it was an isolated incident.
It is a lie, of course. Woodz, aka Cho Seungyoun, was an idol before he was a solo artist. Hangyul paid no attention to him until a couple of weeks ago when he was saving the city from the infamous Goblin. The villain made an escape from Hangyul’s attacks and headed towards a crowd of people - which turned out to be a university festival. The crowd dispersed like ants while the performer, Woodz himself, stood frozen in his spot. Hangyul realized this and swooped down to save the man from being rammed by the Goblin, in the typical Spider-Man fashion.
Their encounter was short because he had a fight to continue, but the air was electric when they met. It could’ve been the funky gas the Goblin was spraying that made him feel the way he felt, but the singer has the smile of an angel.
They were both all that people talked about all week. Hangyul couldn’t go a day without seeing Seungyoun’s face on TV or search sites. He watched a show the singer was invited to, smiling to himself when Seungyoun turned to the camera and thanked Spider-Man for saving him. Hangyul chooses to keep his admiration ( infatuation , Dohyon coughs) towards him a secret because he cannot let Dohyon know he started listening to Woodz’s songs since that day.
“Hyung,” Sitting up like he had just received a premonition, Dohyon reads, “potential grand theft auto in our district.”
Jumping to his feet, Hangyul suits up and puts the mask on, making sure he can hear Dohyon’s voice through the built in OS. Dohyon rigged the suit so he can give live instructions to Hangyul, making sure his role as a sidekick is fulfilled.
Hangyul announces, “Right, I’m off to work.”
Dohyon gasps every time Hangyul nonchalantly throws himself off the building, not used to seeing a person shoot webs and swing between buildings. He shakes his head and mutters, “Work, my ass. You work in a record store.”
“I’m being a superhero pro bono because I’m nice like that.” Hangyul replies, his voice barely audible over the sound of air zooming past him.
Seungyoun loves his job, if it can be called a job.
Writing and composing music has been a lifelong passion of his, outliving his temporary obsessions like being a movie star or the president. When he finally debuted as an idol in a group, he was disappointed with the lack of control he had over his craft - if there was any to begin with. However, he does love other aspects of it, like putting to use his dancing knowledge, having passionate fans, and of course, being able to entertain people.
It was ballsy of him to have left the group, so to say. There was no guarantee he’d succeed as a solo act, which was why he prepared for a whole year before going at it. He gained a lot of friends over the years he was an idol, and they supported him relentlessly.
What propelled his popularity, however, wasn’t just his music or his past as an idol. It happened that fateful night he performed at one of the big university festivals.
University students tend to favor his music because it’s less bubblegum and more pensive, with an R&B beat which is always a winner. That explained the big crowd he had after only releasing his album a month before, making him the happiest person that night. But the reason his face was plastered everywhere from news sites to tabloids the next day was because the beloved Spider-Man made an appearance during his performance. It obviously wasn’t part of the performance, mainly because there was no way Seungyoun could’ve orchestrated the appearance of a creepy green man-monster gliding in the air. Seungyoun was angry at first - because really? Of all times? But fear quickly overtook him when the mysterious glider headed towards his direction. He was frozen on stage despite everyone else running away because his legs refused to listen to his mind.
Seungyoun had shut his eyes when he felt an arm enveloping his body before yanking him up into the air. Thinking he was going to be dropped from the air, Seungyoun was relieved when his feet touched the ground. He finally opened his eyes and met his rescuer - Spider-Man. As in the Korean Spider-Man. It felt surreal to be held this close to the figure he’s used to seeing on lunch boxes and energy drink cans.
“Why didn’t you move?” A deep voice asked behind the mask, still holding onto Seungyoun in case his legs turned to jelly after that massive swing he took him on.
Mouth opened but unable to say anything, Seungyoun chuckled instead. When reality sunk in, he replied, “I don’t know, ever had a gliding psychopath come at you really fast?”
They shared a good measure of time looking at each other, like it just dawned on them that this counted as a meet-cute. Spider-Man finally laughed at his answer because chances are he has had a gliding psychopath come at him really fast.
It makes no sense, but Seungyoun truly believes he fell in love with the masked hero that night . There’s a psychological explanation to that - it’s not unusual for people to feel attached to someone who saved their life, but Seungyoun doesn’t need science to tell him why he’s in love. Even though all he saw was a mask, he’s certain they locked eyes. It was a loud crash and bang that snapped them back to reality - a supervillain was wreaking havoc with thousands of lives at stake.
“You better, uh, save the day I guess.” Seungyoun said to him, stepping out of his embrace so as to not hold him back.
Spider-Man walked slowly in reverse towards the scene, and Seungyoun would like to think that the hero hesitated for a second. “I’ll...go do that.” Spider-Man said with a small wave and swung away from him.
It was probably shorter than 5 minutes, but it turned Seungyoun’s life over. The videos and pictures taken of him being rescued like a damsel in distress were everywhere - making him the trending search for at least a week. That in turn gained him even more fans, with people just realizing his existence. It felt crazy to suddenly be invited to these radio and TV shows, but Seungyoun took every chance he had to thank Spider-Man for saving him and giving him that sweet, sweet free publicity.
But mostly, he has Spider-Man to thank for his new wave of inspiration. Words were spilling out of him, eager to be turned into songs about love.
It can be exhausting to hold two jobs while being a university student, especially when one of the jobs is to swing from buildings and beat people up. Hangyul could handle it, however. The spider bite gave him an upgraded stamina and strength, which is what he operates on.
The job in the record store, however, is the least exciting thing for him to do. The pay is well since most of the time he’s the only employee, manning the register and occasionally arranging albums. The store is a haven for the DJ and music producing scene because it houses rare vinyls specially curated for the Seoul party crowd. They have a Korean section at the back, but most of the store is filled with foreign records.
It’s been a stagnant week, however. The store has an average amount of people looking around, so Hangyul walks over to the Korean R&B section to restock and arrange the albums. He usually starts with the jazz section since it’s closer, but today he has a reason to attend to this section first - since Woodz became an overnight sensation, the attention towards his music has spread. The store ordered a bulk of his debut EP and Hangyul is in charge of arranging them in place.
I was the one who made you popular, and I’m also the one who has to sell your music to people? Hangyul scoffs to himself, pushing the box towards a tall shelf. He takes the albums out, impressed by the matte cover and fancy looking design. He stuffs them together before picking one of the albums up to inspect it closer.
The cover of the EP is Woodz himself, a close-up shot that highlights how pretty his features are. His medium-length hair frames his face well, while his dangly earrings fits the mood of the picture. On the back, 7 song titles are written. Opening the album, Hangyul lightly traces the hologram patterned matte finish of the CD, admiring the texture. The album comes with a booklet, like most albums do. The booklet is full of drawings credited to other artists, as well as some shots of him in a field. The lyrics and writing credits are distributed throughout the booklet, with Seungyoun’s name on every song. He could tell that Seungyoun must’ve spent a long time crafting this album.
“I heard he sucks.”
Frowning, Hangyul looks up from the album to see which nosey customer decided he wants to chat. It takes Hangyul a few seconds to register who the man standing too close next to him is-
The man he saved. The man he might or might not be infatuated with. Hangyul’s mouth opens as he tries to form a reply. Seungyoun laughs at this and puts a hand on Hangyul’s shoulder, cracking up at Hangyul’s expression.
Hangyul clears his throat. “Sorry, these just came in and I was- I have to arrange them.”
“What made you curious, then?” Seungyoun implores.
Realizing that he’s holding an opened album while reading the booklet inside, Hangyul purses his lips at the thought of being caught red-handed. He laughs nervously and answers, “I like looking at pretty albums. Packaging is, um, very important.”
Nodding, Seungyoun gently takes the album from him, looking at it like it’s his first time. He remarks, “I didn’t want to have my whole face as the cover, but my design team said it would increase the value or something.”
“It’s true, more customers buy albums with a recognizable face on the cover.” Hangyul reassures him, taking the album back to put the booklet back in.
“Do you think it’s a good photo?” Genuinely curious, Seungyoun pouts with a frown.
Hangyul stutters, “What- of course! You are very- this is a very good picture.”
Like a star, Seungyoun beams at the compliment. He helps Hangyul by taking the album and putting it next to the previous ones. He then skips away, checking out the ballad selection. Hangyul exhales quietly, shaking his head.
It is weird for two people to have met but only one of them knows the other. This is the case for Hangyul, a harsh truth he has to accept as he sadly arranges the albums. When he had an arm around Seungyoun that day, it felt like an instant connection - much like the dramatized films about superheroes where the beautiful rescued woman always ends up falling in love with the hero. However, Seungyoun’s suit isn’t like Superman’s - a flattering cape with nothing covering his handsome face. Spider-Man wears a full-body suit with zero hint as to how his face looks like beneath the mask. He thinks to himself, maybe I should ditch the mask and pull off a Clark Kent.
After arranging the albums, Hangyul puts the box away and looks around to find that Seungyoun has left. Did I imagined him? Not thinking much of it, Hangyul walks back to the front of the store, resuming his duty as the cashier. Finally sitting down, his heart skips a beat at the sight of Seungyoun looking through a selection of 90’s R&B vinyls. Oh. He’s real.
Seungyoun looks up and meets his eyes, asking, “Do you by any chance have any D’Angelo vinyls?”
Stepping away from the counter, Hangyul walks towards the section the vinyl is placed, with Seungyoun strolling behind him. Hangyul flicks through several records until he sees the familiar picture of shirtless D’Angelo, now an iconic image. “He’s here.”
“Sweet!” Seungyoun exclaims cutely. He inspects the record and nonchalantly adds, “I’m buying it for a friend, but these vinyls make me wish I had a record player.”
“We sell record players.” Hangyul interjects a little too quickly. “I mean- we have them in store if you want to buy one.”
“Really?” The smile on Seungyoun’s face could be translated into anything from flirty to kindness. Hangyul decides not to dwell on which it represents. Holding onto the record, Seungyoun asks, “What would you recommend as my first vinyl?”
A million wrong answers courses through Hangyul’s mind, threatening to make him look like a fool. Not letting his intrusive thoughts win, Hangyul carefully tries to recall who would be an impressive soul or R&B artist to recommend. Pretending to already have an answer, Hangyul flicks through a random set of vinyls, forcing his mind to make a choice. The moment he sees the picture of Marvin Gaye, Hangyul knows he’s going to win this.
“You can’t go wrong with Marvin Gaye.” He suggests, pulling the What’s Going On record out and handing it to Seungyoun.
Eyebrows raised, Seungyoun is clearly impressed. Hangyul proudly crosses his arms across his chest, fondly watching Seungyoun. Looking up, Seungyoun smirks at him and notes, “You’ve got a good ear for music.”
“I enjoy music.” Hangyul mentally slaps himself, wondering why he ruined his cool facade with a dumb answer like I enjoy music .
“Is that why you’re working here?”
“Oh, not really. I just need the money.”
Seungyoun laughs at his honesty and asks further, “Then do you play music?”
“Not really…” Erasing the thought of him nearly joining his friend’s band during senior year of high school, Hangyul answers, “But I major in dance.”
“Dancers are the coolest.” Seungyoun remarks, stretching Hangyul’s smile bigger. He takes one last look at the vinyl before finally saying, “Give me your best record player, then! You won me with this vinyl, seriously.”
Excited that he seems to have made a great impression on Seungyoun, Hangyul smoothly waltzes his way to grab a record player from the shelf behind the counter, a baby blue design with a wooden trim. Clicking away on the register to check Seungyoun’s purchases out, Hangyul decides to use his rarely used employee discount. He announces the amount and Seungyoun flashes a black card - Hangyul expects nothing less from him.
After receiving the receipt, Seungyoun looks up to Hangyul with a mischievous smile. “You gave me a discount?”
Shrugging, Hangyul hopes his ears aren’t turning bright red. “You bought quite a lot, so...why not.”
Biting his lip, Seungyoun asks, “Are you doing anything tonight?”
“Not- Nothing. At all.” Hangyul replies, failing at trying to act clueless.
“I have a gig in Club360 tonight. At 8 p.m.” Seungyoun adds before shyly walking away, “I better see you there, Hangyul.”
As soon as the door closes, Hangyul slides down his chair to hide behind the counter. He processes the incident and scratches his head. How does he know my name? He wonders to himself, a thousand reasons coursing through his head. His thoughts stop the moment he remembers that he has a name tag on his work apron. “Idiot.” he mutters to himself.
Choosing a different rooftop to sit on tonight, Hangyul squats on the edge as he eats an ice cream he bought before coming here. Dohyon sits on a crate with the Spider-Man mask on which Hangyul lets him put on sometimes, because he likes it when Dohyon is excited. Hangyul is already suited up sans the mask because at this height, no one’s going to notice them up here.
“Does it look like anything’s going to happen?” Hangyul asks, restless as he eats the last of the ice cream.
“If I could predict a crime before it happens, I should be the superhero.” Dohyon annoyingly retorts, making Hangyul laugh.
“I have somewhere to be at 8, so...yeah.”
“Where are you going?”
When he senses that Dohyon isn’t going to ask further questions, Hangyul lets out a relieved sigh. Dohyon asks, “Will I be able to contact you?”
“Of course,” Hangyul walks towards his backpack, taking out his normal clothes and wears it on top of his suit. “If anything crazy happens, just call me and I’ll go.”
“Okay, cool.” Closing his laptop and taking the mask off to reveal a face too cute to be Spider-Man, Dohyon tosses the mask into Hangyul’s backpack. “I have homework to do anyway, but I’ll leave the police scanner on and you better answer if I call.”
At the venue, Hangyul feels oddly out of place, considering this is where people his age would usually spend time at. He even spots a few familiar faces, carefully choosing to ignore them. He is here for one reason and one reason only - Cho Seungyoun. Highly anticipating the singer to perform some of Hangyul’s personal favorites, he forgoes the drinks and goes ahead to grab a good spot. An MC announces that the show is about to begin, making Hangyul sit up in excitement as he cranes his neck to see if he can find the singer.
5 singers and rappers are to perform tonight, with Woodz being one of them. He’s the last performer, intended to be the highlight of the show, so to say. He only comes out briefly in the beginning to greet the audience and spends the rest of the time by the side, hyping the other artists up.
Hangyul should be enjoying the show and singing along to some of the songs he recognizes, but he finds his eyes glued to Seungyoun. The singer is almost constantly smiling and talking in between the bottles of beer he’s drinking. He dances and sings along to the songs performed, enjoying himself as he seems to be in his element.
The first singer begins her third song, and that is the first time Seungyoun spots Hangyul. His smile stretches as he waves at Hangyul, making Hangyul flustered. Seungyoun raises his beer, his gesture translating to where is your drink? Hangyul shakes his head and raises a bottle of water instead. Pouting, Seungyoun frowns cutely at him.
Before Hangyul could even savor this interaction, he feels a vibration in his pocket. He takes his phone out and sees Dohyon’s name on his screen. For a second, Hangyul does wonder, what if I just stayed here? How bad of a problem could it be - a casual robbery? A bicycle thief? After perusing his mind for the endless possibilities, Hangyul resolvedly sighs at the fact that his superhero side is winning this inner battle. He looks up to see that Seungyoun is back to talking with his friends, so Hangyul makes the rapid decision to bolt out of the club.
“What happened?” Hangyul asks as soon as he steps out of the club to answer the call.
“It’s bad, I don’t think it’s a normal criminal. The police dispatched their whole force and it hasn’t stopped.”
“Right.” Running towards the alley behind the club, Hangyul shoves his phone back in his pocket before taking his clothes off. He puts on the mask and checks to see that he’s connected to Dohyon. He stuffs his clothes on a hidden spot in the alley as he tells himself to remember. He could hear music blasting in the club, making him groan loudly before swinging away from the scene.
“Maybe it was just someone who looked like him.”
“I bet you drank too much and imagined it.”
“How cute of a guy is he to make you this panicky?”
Rolling his eyes, Seungyoun thinks about how he is too drunk to answer their questions right now. After performing way too many songs, Seungyoun is beyond pooped. He waves a hand and says, “Doesn’t matter, he isn’t here now.”
One of his friends, the rapper who performed earlier, puts his arm around Seungyoun’s shoulder and suggests, “Let’s drink so you can forget about your broken heart, okay?”
“If I drink anymore, I’ll end up in the emergency room tonight.” Seungyoun admits, declining the offer.
His friends ask if he needs them to send him home, but Seungyoun tells them to just go and have fun. They leave him in the club, alone and winding down from the excitement of performing. He is about 99% sure he saw Hangyul and they even had a conversation from afar, yet he wonders why the man disappeared so fast. By the time it was his turn to perform, Seungyoun had gotten himself drunk enough to enjoy himself and forget the slight disappointment he felt. Now that he’s alone in the club and slowly sobering up, he could only sigh as he is able to recall what Hangyul looked like. He styled his hair so well tonight...
Rubbing his face, Seungyoun tells himself to shake it off. He’s cute but he’s not Spider-Man , he tells himself. That gives him a chuckle, improving his mood a little. Checking the time, Seungyoun decides that he should grab a ride before he changes his mind and decide to drink even more.
Exiting through the back door to avoid the crowd still lingering at the entrance, Seungyoun slowly creeps towards the dirty and wet alley. Dizzy, he sits down against the wall to regain his balance.
“Why did you drink so much, dumbass?” Seungyoun asks himself, willing his head to stop spinning. Realizing that this will take some time, he relaxes and tries not to fall asleep in this shady alley.
It is such a disadvantage that with superheroes comes supervillains. Hangyul learned this the hard way when he faced an actual mad scientist after having spent months busting robbers and kidnappers alike. Today’s villain of the day is an escaped convict who had somehow gained powers through a freak accident. Long story short, Hangyul has to take a bathe and wash his suit to get rid of the sand accumulating in it.
Thinking about clothes, Hangyul realizes he left his clothes and phone behind the club. Grateful that he remembers - unlike the beginning when he would constantly forget where he stashes his clothes - he swings towards the club. There is still a small crowd in front of it, slowly dissipating. Hangyul makes sure he gets to the alley unnoticed because he has sand all over himself and he is not in the mood for selfies.
Crawling against the neighboring building’s wall, Hangyul stops in his tracks when he sees a figure sitting by the back door of the club. He groans inwardly at the thought of having to wait, which means being plastered to this wall until that person leaves. However, the person begins to look more and more familiar, until Hangyul realizes who he is.
I wonder if he noticed that I left; that was kind of rude. Shit, isn’t this the perfect moment for a grand gesture? He can hate me, but he can’t hate Spider-Man...but I’m the one who likes him, not Spider-Man! Several thoughts courses through his mind, not stopping until he makes a decision. Hangyul decides to go for his dominating thought, which he hopes will make the drunken man’s night.
Shooting his web at a strategically placed fire escape, Hangyul slowly descends himself down until he’s close to Seungyoun - albeit he’s upside down. Seungyoun is rubbing his forehead, looking like he’s either in discomfort or just drunk.
“Hello.” Hangyul greets.
To say that it shocked Seungyoun would be an understatement as the singer jumps and accidentally hits his head against the door. Hangyul reaches forward to rub the sore spot on his head, apologizing for the surprise.
“W-What are you doing here?” Seungyoun asks, his mouth agape at this unexpected presence.
“I was in the neighborhood, just defeated this big sand monster.” Hangyul replies casually, smiling even though no one could tell behind that mask.
Seungyoun smiles at him and says, “Thank you for keeping the city safe.”
“It’s my job.”
“I just finished my job too.”
“In there?” Hangyul points at the door.
“Yeah, I performed tonight.”
“How was it?”
About to say something, Seungyoun chooses to laugh it off instead. “I was worked up over something small.”
“What is it?”
“I invited this guy, and I think he left halfway through.” Seungyoun replies, still smiling despite the story he’s telling. “Maybe he got bored, I don’t know.”
Hangyul gulps. He did not think his presence would go noticed by Seungyoun, let alone affect him in any way. He desperately tries to save himself, “I’m sure he has a good reason to have chosen something else over seeing you sing.”
Feeling dizzy from all the blood rushing to his head due to his upside down position, Hangyul releases himself from his web and lands on his feet in front of Seungyoun. He stretches himself in an attempt to regulate his blood flow while Seungyoun watches.
“Hey,” the singer nudges him, “will I ever get to see the face behind the mask?”
“Why would you want that? Isn’t the mystery of it very sexy and appealing?” Hangyul jokes.
“Because you saved my life and I owe you.” Sighing, Seungyoun adds, “I want to give you a gift.”
Suddenly intrigued, Hangyul asks, “Can’t you give it without seeing my face?”
Frowning, Seungyoun cutely protests at first. But upon second thought, he says, “Actually...I can.”
Stepping closer towards Hangyul, Seungyoun reaches forward and Hangyul’s natural instincts activates as he jumps away. “W-What are you doing?”
“I swear I’m not trying to see your face!” Seungyoun puts his hands up, desperate to make him believe. “I just want to...see your lips.”
“My lips?” Hangyul asks, confused. When realization hits him that this has to do with his gift, he walks closer towards Seungyoun and acts coy by asking, “Are you going to kiss me?”
Laughing, Seungyoun shyly replies, “Only if you let me.”
A thought crosses Hangyul’s particularly active mind, reminding him of a Spider-Man comic book he had read as a kid. It was a very romantic panel where Spider-Man kissed his girlfriend - and it is something Hangyul has always wished would happen to him. He shoots his web towards the fire escape once more, swinging himself back up. Seungyoun gasps disappointedly at what seems like a rejection. His disappointment doesn’t last long though, because Spider-Man descends upside down the same way he did before, this time making sure his face aligns with Seungyoun’s.
Yes, Hangyul is cheesy and opportunistic like that.
Biting his lip to hide his excitement, Seungyoun carefully pulls the edge of Spider-Man’s mask, slowly pulling it down until he could see the skin beneath it. At the sight of a pair of lips, he releases the mask and stares at a small but very important portion of his hero. Holding Spider-Man’s head with his hands, Seungyoun closes his eyes and closes the gap between them. It feels like the planets are aligning, Hangyul thinks to himself. The kiss itself is chaste, just two lips meeting for a few seconds before parting. Hangyul thinks it’s the perfect kiss, though.
Hangyul allows Seungyoun to witness his mouth curving into a smile before pulling his mask back on. He remarks, “I should save you more often.”
The laugh that escapes Seungyoun is adorable, almost making him topple over. He asks, “Is it worth it?”
They stare at each other for a while - Hangyul admiring Seungyoun’s rosy cheeks and Seungyoun still recovering from that thrilling kiss. Hangyul finally says, “You should go home safely.”
Nodding, Seungyoun takes his phone out and points at the ride app. He smiles widely as he types away, trying to get a car to pick him up. “I ordered a ride!” He exclaims, only to find that no one is around him anymore.
Hangyul goes back on the rooftop of the neighboring building, surreptitiously watching Seungyoun look around frantically to find Spider-Man. He stays on the rooftop until Seungyoun’s ride arrives, making sure the man makes his way home. The moment he’s unable to see the car anymore, Hangyul jumps back down in the alley and grabs his clothes and phone.
Unable to sleep, Hangyul stares at his ceiling as he ponders upon tonight’s event. On one hand, it’s a bummer that his absence affected Seungyoun that much, but on the other hand, it means Seungyoun was anticipating him. I should tell him I had a stomach ache , he plans. But that’s if he even wants to see me. Would he want to? Not after he kissed Spider-Man .
It has never occured to Hangyul that Spider-Man and him are separate identities that are able to clash despite being the same person. The superhero feels a lot like his rival right now. As Spider-Man, he’s a bold and brave person. As Hangyul, he’s easily flustered and awkward at times. Hangyul groans into his pillow and falls asleep with his bothersome thoughts still plaguing his mind.