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Love and War

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There was an explanation behind her beauty. They came from her mother who was a famous biochemist, who was gorgeous from the day she was born to the day of her death. 

Mary was married, but Tony knew marriage fell apart quickly after a few years, all he was doing was fastening the pace when he took her back to his apartment. And maybe she wasn't meant to be married or in love if she was willing to have sex with him even though she had a husband. 

There was no guilt to be had the next morning when he sent her home in a car, a mess to be presented to her husband, obviously having been fucked over and hungover. 

Happy had a disgusted look on his face and complained about driving the chatty woman home when he came back. 

Pepper said nothing, but he could sense the judgment. 

He'd done things like this before. It wasn't anything serious anyway, not to him at least. 

Because the usual happened. 

Her husband must have left her, was probably filing for divorce when a month later she came by and claimed she was pregnant with his child, looking desperate to see him. Cradling a small bump. 

Pepper, like she's done many times before took her to a medical center to get the proof, and expected it to be a fake. 

These things always were before. 

Always. 

The next morning she stomped into his workshop and slammed many sheets of paper onto the table and a pregnancy test, forcing him to pay attention to her. 

... 

Tony looked down at it with a bored expression, annoyed with her sudden interruption. 

"What am I looking at?" he said leaning closer to look at the thing. Two lines? What was that supposed to mean? 

"You're looking at the results," Pepper replied, her tone lacking calmness, and tinted with panic at the ends. Her arms crossed in a nervous manner he'd never seen on her for as long as she's worked for him, and she tapped her toes nervously on the ground, fast and quick and loud. 

"For what? The stocks?" he asked, suddenly bored again, completely ignorant of the pregnancy test now. He'd avoided that meeting for a reason, "I don't want to hear about that," 

Pepper smacked his neck, and he was so surprised he yelped and jumped off the stool he was sitting on look at her incredulously. 

"The pregnancy results Tony, from Mary Fitzpatrick, she's pregnant," she flipped one of the pages and poked the bottom of it, "and the child is yours, Tony!" 

Instant denial. He didn't even look at the papers but did glance at the pregnancy test as if it were a bomb. 

"Your kidding!" he shouted at her. 

"Uh, Nuh-uh," she glared, her hands on her hips, her foot tapping quicker "No Tony I'm not," she wheezed," I stayed with her the entire time, the entire time, when she took the test, when the nurse came back with the results," she began marking what she'd done off her fingers before she jabbed a finger in his chest, "you're a father Tony, because you decided to sleep with a married woman while you were both drunk," 

"We used a condom-" 

"Condom's break, Tony" 

"I'm calling Obie," 

Pepper made a sound almost like a shriek, and she looked astonished as he pulled out his phone and called Obadiah on speed dial. 

But when Obadiah picked up Tony was at lost for words. 

Pepper glared at him and snatched the phone, dreading the further discussion. She didn't take her eyes off of Tony, who was flipping through the pages of the results, and she explained the whole situation to Obie, something she'd hoped she wouldn't have to do in the first place. So badly hoped. 

He said he's been there in twenty minutes. 

Pepper angerly hung up and put the phone down on Tony's desk, crossing her arms again but this time shaking, not with fear, but with fury. 

To think he might mature, to think that maybe finding out he was going to be a dad would change something. She had been naive to think such a thing! Even now he was calling other people to fix his mistakes.

Tony flipped to the last page, having them read the thing like seven times already when Jarvis made himself heard. 

"Sir, Mr. Stane had arrived and is seeking entrance," the robotic voice boomed through the room, and Pepper swore he had some judgment in his tone as well. 

"Let him in," Tony said, his voice horse as he stood again and began walking up the steps to the main floor, Pepper following him. She noticed how crumpled the result papers were in his hands now, as Tony clenched his fists around the papers, and knew just how scared he was then and there. 

Obadiah had come prepared with seven lawyers standing behind him, dressed in nice suits, though none as good at Stane's and immediately they took the results from Tony and walked over to a table to look them over. 

So now Obadiah used his time to comfort Tony. 

"This will all be over soon I swear," he promised, looking at Pepper too as if that were something that was supposed to reassure her as well, "it'll seem like it was all a dream in a week," 

Not a surprise to Pepper, Tony nodded, looking relieved, and followed Obadiah to join the lawers. 

They were talking a mile a minute, all suggesting things under their breath to each other, scribbling on notepads, and they stayed like that for half an hour but in the end, they all came up with the same solution. 

Pepper had to deal them out as Tony's PA. 

Two days later, Mary Parker sat in front of her and signed many NDA's, accepted the small fortune that would be added to her banking account as good faith money, and the even larger amount that would set her and Tony's son up for life.

That was the end of it for Tony. 

Once Pepper informed her of what had happened, he had sighed and grinned, clapping his hands and telling her to give herself a raise. 

Pepper couldn't help it. 

She gave Mary her number and told her to call her if she needed anything. 

It wasn't any of her business to get involved in this, but she couldn't help it.

That hope that had bloomed inside of her that Tony, might have reacted differently when confronted with this problem, had caused her to imagine scenes that were far beyond reality. 

Tony making his son breakfast in the morning.

Taking his child to school. 

Playing with him in the backyard. 

She knew why this happened, why Tony had been so afraid, no because he was afraid for his reputation but because he was afraid of actually being a dad. That came from his childhood.

Mary nodded and left but didn't call until seven months later, and Pepper who hadn't forgotten about her was sad to receive a message telling her Tony's son had been born premature and addicted to heroin. 

They named him after Peter Pan as if that would help his chances at living in the least. 

Mary changed her number, Pepper found out, when she tried to call back the next day. 

Pepper told Tony, who stared at her for a whole hundred minutes, his hands tapping the table, before standing up and walking out of the room, rubbing his chin. 

He drank too much that night as if that could fix this, but besides that, he did nothing else. He mourned. He moved on. 

Pepper never did. 

0o0o

Richard stared at Mary's kid while it was sleeping after Mary had passed out on the couch. 

He put his palms on his thighs and leaned forward to look at the small frail thing, before sighing and picking it up. 

The child stayed quiet, he woke up though, just didn't cry. Richard liked that immediately. His brother cried every time someone even stirred him while he was a baby. Back then, Richard didn't care too much about it, until his ex-wife had had a kid and its screeching would go on all night. 

Lifting him he thought the kid looked a little bit cute. His eyes were huge and brown. Kind of like his. No one would even think he wasn't Richards. Tony Stark and himself had similar features. Both had the same skin tone, hair color, and eye color. 

He wouldn't care if Peter didn't look like him anyway. It's all the same to him. 

Mary, cuddling into her blankets, couldn't notice as he walked into a separate room with her child. 

He walked up the stairs of the apartment to the second floor and stepped into his office, and into the back room where he had his lab. Gently, he laid the child down on the medal table and tickled his stomach. The child gurgled a little bit. Not yet giggling at seven months old.  

Turing the light on and dimming it as not to harm his son's eyes, he lifted him and covered the table with a white blanket, before laying Peter down on it again. 

Then he started. 

He made sure to be gentle as he took some blood from Peter's body, not to much to make a difference, but enough to analyze. 

Peter didn't fuss. He didn't fuss at all. Just laid there, reaching for Richard when he got close. 

Richard swabbed Peter's mouth and got a small sound out of him that sounded like a giggle which made Richard smile. 

In time, Peter would come to understand that Richard wasn't trying to hurt him at all, that he was just saving Peter, and in the process was coming up with valuable research results. 

In time, he would get it, and maybe even join him. 

Because there was something Peter just had to be, and that was smart. 

...

And he was smart. 

One day, when Peter was nine months, Richard walked into the kitchen for a glass of water and when he took a short cut back to his and Mary's room, he found Peter sitting in front of the TV just watching it. 

They had been putting on movies only for him, specific ones on specific subjects that took time to find and even more to put on, but they did it for him. Or more so Richard did it. Mary was spending more of her time as a housewife shooting up. 

Peter managed to do it without her or him. 

Richard grinned and joined his son to watch The Vanishing Of Sydney Hall on the big screen TV. 

When the film was done Richard took Peter back to his lab, and sedated him, before continuing his much harsher experiments on his son. 

And because he loved him, he patched him up and rubbed his arms with cream to help the bruising and cuts. 

Then he took his son to bed, laid him down on his baby blue knitted blanket and kissed his forehead, before going back to see the results. 

... 

Peter experienced withdrawals, vomiting, sweating, and loses interest in activities most of the time. 

They happened most when he was a year old. But that was okay. Richard had the money to deal with that. With the seizures and the restlessness. He had the time. Mostly at the beginning with maternity leave but still had some after. 

When he couldn't, May did. 

His brother was a good dealer. He was soft with Mary and gave her drugs to live off of, and Richard owed him enough with that, plus May didn't want money to take care of her nephew, so he just owed his brother more. 

She could deal with his withdrawals just fine and didn't ask about the cuts or bruises. Though Richard knew she wanted to. She was a smart one though. Knew better than to question a Parker. 

... 

When Peter was two the serum was done, and Richard was anxious to see it work. So he would sedate Peter more often. Leave work earlier than he should to spend time on Peter. 

He wanted nothing to go wrong because unlike his real blood-related son, Richard cared for Peter. 

And nothing went wrong when Richard decided to wait a year later to actuality give his son the serum. 

It painful to watch, but he stayed because he was intrigued by the process. 

Peter fell sick, and Richard to think he might have killed his son. 

For a week, Richard was paranoid about everything Peter did and stayed home from work to take care of him. 

Then, one day, Richard woke up and went to Peter's room to give him his medicine.  

But found his son giggling on the ceiling, his fingers sticking to the painted sky on it. 

"Fuck, " he said breathlessly, " Peter come get down, " he said with a little more excitement. 

His son listened slowly peeling himself off of the ceiling and dropping into his outstretched arms. 

Immediately he took him to his lab and began examining him. 

His DNA was completely different, mixed with a Spider's DNA. 

"Great," Richard chuckled, rubbing his son's unconscious head, "you worked, unlike Ben, you worked," he smiled softly at his son, then picked up a scalpel and opened his skin. Blood oozed out, but once Richard had wiped it he saw that the cut he made was gone. The cut he made had healed. 

"You're perfect, kid," he mumbled, sitting back and looking at his piece of work. 

Because Peter was perfect.

-.0.-

His mother's stomach began to grow when he was three. 

Peter watched her tummy get larger every month, someone times pulling up enough courage to rub it, sometimes he just watched it. 

At first, it was bearly noticeable, then it wasn't. 

His mother usually stuck a syringe between her toes by noon, but dad didn't let her anymore. Dad slapped her when she tried once. She cried for twenty minutes before falling asleep. 

It was on a Sunday morning, while his dad was warming up milk for him, and he was swinging his legs back and forward while sitting on the counter munching on his Oreos when his mother screamed from her bedroom. 

Peter dropped his cookie with a gasp, and he heard his dad sigh behind him as he walked around the counter, picked his cookie up and threw it away before giving him his warm milk. 

"Grab a book, Petey," he told him as he walked up the stairs, "a long one," 

His dad took his mother to the car before coming back for him. Putting his milk in a sippy cup and packing some snacks for him, before taking him to the car as well and buckling his seatbelt before wrapping a blanket around him. 

Peter smiled and snuggled into it. 

They drove for a long time before stopping in front of a large building. His dad helped his mother onto a wheelchair and they wheeled her away. Dad picked Peter up and they walked after him. 

They sat in a plain room for a long time. Until his mom began screaming, calling Peter's attention away from his book People's History Of The United States. 

He watched as they took her to a separate room, his dad following but only after he motioned for Peter to stay put. Then, almost six hours later, he called Peter and told him to come into the other room. 

His mother wasn't there, but there was a seat beside a large window, and he sat there, being followed by his dad. 

"She gave birth to your little sister," dad informed him, looking at him now, "she's okay, healthy," he added. 

Peter nodded, putting his book down. 

"Will, I meet her?" he asked dad, unsure of what his sister was. 

Hid dad hummed, "yes, you will," 

They came back with the baby, many hours later, as well as his mother, but she didn't want to touch her, so his dad handed her to Peter, who noticed she weighed next to nothing in his arms, as his dad and mom fought. 

The girl began to cry as they got louder and suddenly his dad was fighting with the nurse telling her they were going home. 

And they did. 

Teresa was crying in a chair that wasn't there when they came and his mother continued crying and hiccuping, her stomach not as big as it had been before. 

Teresa is what they named his sister and Peter spent his time playing with her feet and blowing raspberries into her stomach. 

Dad wasn't around much anymore. His nanny took care of them, and Peter was okay because he saw his dad in the afternoon and they went to his lab and hid dad would ask him how he felt, asked him how his day was. 

His dad never cared for his sister though which confused him, but not enough for Peter to ask about it. 

Teresa didn't seem to care either, and Peter spent most of his time observing her and figuring out new ways to make her giggle. 

His dad took him to his lab lesser and lesser, and his mother was putting liquid inside of her veins more and more. 

One day as Peter was having a hard time pulling a white long sleeve shirt over his sisters head, he heard his mother's body fall, and her nails scratch against her skin, and so he stopped and waited for something. A sign that she didn't just slip off the couch as she scratched herself because this had happened before and his dad told him not to panic if it did again. 

He heard the indistinct sound of her shallow breathing and immediately knew something was wrong. 

He rushed downstairs and followed the hallway to the living room where his mother was laying on the floor body very limp, and nails trying to graze her thighs, even though they were already scratched raw.

Choking sounds were coming out of her mouth, and Peter placed his sister on the floor before rushing over to his mother. 

Something was happening to her, but he had no idea what. 

"Mom," he rubbed her forehead, "mommy, what's wrong, mommy?" 

His sister was beginning to cry which, so he moved to go back to her but her mother's coughing got louder, and her face was turning blue. 

The sounds were overloading on top of him and his heart rate was beginning to catch up with the speed of a racing car, and he didn't know what to do. 

Then his dad stepped into the room, and Peter felt relief rush through him at the sight up it, but it quickly disappeared when his dad just scoffed at his mother and lifted Peter. 

"But, dad," he gasped, as he kicked his mother on her side and nudged her over, till she was on her stomach and the floor was muffling the sounds of her choking then he turned and walked away, leaving his sister there alone. 

"You're going to have a sensory overload if you stay in that room. I'll bring you your sister once she's shut up." his dad placed him down on a chair in his lab before walking back out of it, but not before grabbing a syringe nearby. 

The room wasn't silence proof.  

It's meant to be for the average person's ears but he didn't have normal ears anymore, so he heard the gunshot. 

He heard his mother take her last breath and his sister shriek loudly, and the blood drip from her ears. Then his dad came back in a minute later, holding his sleeping sister in his arms before placing her on the couch beside him. 

"I'll be back," 

In thirty-six hours, his dad forgot to inform him, Peter thought, thirty-seven hours later as the nanny fed Teresa and his dad ate the dinner their chef made. Peter sat across from his dad at the table and ate his beef, broccoli, pasta, and grapefruit in peace. He took slow sips from his water, and then he noticed his hand was shaking. 

"Why did you kill my mommy?" Peter croaked out. 

The nanny stopped moving, but his dad didn't care to look at the horror etched all over her face. He just smiled sadly at Peter and gave him another piece of beef, which Peter liked very much, and he knew that. 

"She was in pain, she was going to die anyway, but in at a slower pace and painfully at that," he explained as he took another bite of his food. 

Peter wasn't sure what to think of that. 

"So you killed her, in mercy?" Peter said timidly, "why didn't you just help her?" 

His dad smiled and patiently explained, "your mother has been shooting up way to often, had she lived, she would have survived only to go back to drugs and start that painful process over again," 

"But, couldn't she have gotten help with that too," Peter asked his dad quietly, now having lost his appetite. 

The nanny stood up and started to sprint to the elevator but then his dad stood up, took a gun from the inside of his jacket and shot her. 

His sister began to cry again and Peter gasped.

"I suppose so," his dad said, pocketing his gun and sitting down again, picking up his fork and continuing his meal. 

Peter's eyes were strained, looking at the woman, her head oozing out blood, her body limp. 

Don't ask questions, Peter learned that day, just, don't

Peter shook as he continued his meal, trying to act normal, but his sister was crying and the smell of blood made him gag. His dad noticed. He sighed, stood up, and walked around the table, kissing Peter's forehead before walking over to the woman, and dragging her to the lab. 

Now alone, Peter stood and went to comfort Teresa, and stepped around the blood to go into the hallway to her room. 

He locked the door that night as if he could keep the monster out. 

But his dad owned a key. 

... 

His dad worked for an organization called the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate, or S.H.I.E.L.D for short. 

It was odd. 

Peter didn't know what they were meant for but they required for his dad to leave months at a time which Peter liked. But his dad stopped leaving him home with the nanny and Teresa. 

Instead, he brought him to a S.H.I.E.L.D base in Manhattan and left him with a couple of friends. 

He left him with his friend John Garret a tall, handsome, cruel-looking man. 

Peter was four and a half when he started his training. 

The room he trained him was dark. The walls were black and the door was iron and he trained on a large mat in the middle of the room, a room that led to another room filled with guns and knives and large katanas. 

It scared him at first. 

Garret beat him to the ground, threw him like he weighed nothing, and gave no mercy, and Peter was confused as to why he did it for the first few weeks. 

It hurt and bruised bloomed on his skin. Cuts formed on his body. And he was sore and tired at the end of every session. 

But his bruises disappeared, and his cuts healed, and the soreness disappeared slowly and became less painful and gave him strength. After the fourth month, Peter was able to fight back. 

He'd picked up a few things, like the way his sight was more enhanced, like his body that moved faster than his brain, and started using his enhanced strength against Garret. 

Then Garret brought in a friend of his. His name was Grant, and Peter sparred with him too while Garret watched from the corner of the room. 

He's going to hit you from the left. 

Peter dodged. 

He's going try to kick you off your feet. 

Peter jumped up and let his leg fall across the mat before stepping on either side of it. 

Grant's going to slam you against the wall. 

Peter moved out of the way then went back to kick at his stomach. 

Oh, yes, there were little voices in his head telling him what was going to happen before it happened. He didn't trust it at first, but in the end, he decided he had no choice but to. 

The training lasted until he turned five. 

That's when he started school. 

But the day before that, Grant told him to stand straight, smirked then said "Hail Hydra," and he saluted, bring both his arms up straight up, the tips of his fingers and nails pointing towards the ceiling. 

Peter stared at him and then at Garret who nodded. 

Peter nodded, "hail Hydra." And saluted. 

But what did that mean?

...

His dad drove him to school that day. 

Peter opened the door and got out of the car and walked alongside his dad to the entrance of the school, where his dad stopped, so Peter stopped too. 

"I'll pick you up at 2:30," he smiled at Peter who nodded and let his dad ruffle his hair before turning around and he headed back to the car. 

Eight hours of school wasn't so bad. He wondered what training they would give him here. 

He followed the walls for a couple of minutes before he found the classroom number that his dad told him would be his for the rest of that school year. Nine months he said. Then summer break. 

Peter sat at the very back of the class, as the seating chart said, and he waited patiently watching children and parents file into the room, parents introducing their children and children joining other children. 

There was one boy who stood out. 

He walked into the room with two men dressed in black behind him and walked straight to his seat. The two men left without another word. 

The boy's seat was right next to Peter's. 

Harry Osborn his nametag said. 

Peter didn't care. 

Just nine months then summer break, he reminded himself. Nine months then back to weekends with his sister and weekdays reading and training. 

...

They didn't train him there. 

Not in combat at least. 

For a moment Peter thought they might when they lead him to a grassy area in the back of the room, with an obstacle course much more... plain and still than the one Garret made him run. 

It was called a playground. 

He didn't like it. 

... 

They were quiet together for the most part. 

When Mrs. Mcphetridge told them to partner up, Peter and Harry looked at each other, nodded, and they none verbally became partners. 

They sat together at lunch because that was how the lunch line was set up. In alphabetical order. And they didn't let the teacher separate them even as they got further into the year. 

They sat together on the sidewalk in the playground. 

And they both walked together to the parking lot before parting ways to their separate personal drivers. 

Then they started talking to each other. 

"Have you read the Harry Potter series?" Harry asked him one day as they completely ignored the teacher and were doodling in the far corner of the room, they're desks pressed together so they could hear each other as they whispered. 

Peter stopped sketching his bird out and furrowed his eyebrows. 

"I think that's the only series I haven't read," he admitted. 

Peter went home with Harry that day, telling his driver he was going to hang out with his classmate, and Harry's driver just grunted when Harry told him he was bringing Peter with him. 

Harry explained the plot of Harry Potter without spoiling anything on the drive there. 

He lived in a large apartment complex, as big at Peter's. Peter asks to meet Harry's dad because it's polite, but Harry's dad isn't there so they just go to Harry's room. 

He lends Peter his Harry Potter book set and after Peter's finished the first book in four hours, they watch the movie. 

"It's good," Peter comments, "and unrealistic," 

"J.K Rowling was broke and raising a child on her own while writing the first book," Harry replied as if that explained the peculiarity of the book and movie as well as it's greatness. 

They watched Chamber of Secrets, then Prisoner of Azkaban before Harry's dad got home and Peter finally got to meet him. 

Norman Osborn reminded Peter of his father immediately. They had the same aura around each other. Norman seemed normal but did and said abnormal things. Talked to philosophically for a normal child to understand but that was okay because it seemed Harry and Peter weren't normal children at all. 

Maybe that's why they got along so well. 

... 

Norman and his dad met on a Sunday afternoon in December when his dad was invited to a gala Norman threw at New York's city hall. 

They hit it off. 

Which wasn't of any surprise to either Harry or Peter. 

Harry had met his dad a month earlier. Harry now understood what Peter meant when they said they were like two negatives. Maybe they were supposed to come off as positive, but they were just worse. 

...

Their friendship continued into the first grade. 

Midyear they were confronted with an obstacle but managed to get around it. 

"You need to partner up with a stranger today, no friends in this project," Miss Lucas told the class, looking pointedly at Harry and Peter. 

Harry and Peter looked at each other and scowled. 

"I've never met this kid in my life," Harry said dramatically. 

"I don't even know who he is," Peter grumbled back, feigning irritation. 

The teacher glared at them then a spark of mischief filled her eyes. 

"A group of three please," she nodded, clapping her hands together. 

"Smart woman," Peter mumbled. 

"Still found a way to make us interact with another, humph, I don't like her, "Harry shrugged, "but she has my respect." 

They were the oddballs of the classroom. So no one was keen to partner up with them. There was one girl who couldn't find a group to join thought. 

She was pale with blonde hair and blue eyes. 

"Gwen, you can join Peter and Harry," the teacher suggested and Gwen scurried over to them like a frightened mouse, but a brave one.

Peter welcomed her with a smile while Harry analyzed her. 

"Good enough I guess, a little tacky but," Harry stopped talking at Peter's glare but didn't smile at her. 

Gwen was quiet for the most part, as they began crafting a gingerbread barn. Unlike the other children they didn't want to eat the candy and bread as they built up their little barn, they just wanted to get it done. Follow order. 

Harry put the gingerbread barn together, using only the right amount of frosting for it not to ooze out. 

Peter put together the windows, doors, built oak trees of airheads candy, crafted the candy sheep and cows and chickens. 

Gwen was good with detail. Used sweet coconut flakes as snow, to put on the large piece of gingerbread that the barn sat on, to put on the oak trees, and even though Peter thought she should put it on the sheep as well, she decided to use tiny marshmallows instead. 

At the end of class, their gingerbread barn was the only one intact. They sat together at lunch eating their barn. 

For the rest of the school year, it was Gwen at the very corner of the room, and Peter and Harry's tables pressed up beside hers. They conversed together. Gwen convinced them to start doing their childish school work. She thought the lessons on the subjects were weak too. 

... 

Gwen's dad was a cop, and Peter and Harry liked him very much. 

He was kind and caring, and smart and wasn't insane like their dads which surprised them. 

Because both their dads worked a lot, they were fine with Peter and Harry staying over at Gwen's house, and Peter started bringing his sister who mostly hung out with Gwen's little brother.  

The Stacy's were a very kind family and Peter loved how normal their home was. 

The knives were used for cutting food up, and they smiled when Peter told them he didn't eat meat or anything that had harmed animals in the process. They were fair to him and Teresa. Treated them with the same amount of kindness while their father didn't. 

Equality. 

But who Peter loved the most was Gwen. 

For how he treated his sister.   

With care, and kindness and worth. 

And he loved Harry for treating Teresa that way as well. They were his best friends. 

He trusted them and Gwen's dad. 

... 

That's why he called Mr. Stacy when he came home and found his dad dead on the floor of his living room. 

Unlike his mother, Peter reacted more strongly. 

Because his mother was a very hollow woman, who was never truly there when Peter saw her. Who Peter loved with all he had because she tried and put as much as she could into everything even if it meant breaking, even if it was just smiling at him when she saw him. 

But his dad. He was alive once, to him at least, because he supposed there was a woman before his mother's addiction, but his dad was always his dad. It didn't matter if he was cutting his skin open, he did it gently. He cooked for him. He used to kiss his cheeks. He loved Peter enough to stop when Peter told him it was all too much to bear, the cutting, the prodding, the liquid he stuck inside him. 

And Peter loved him no matter how much he shouldn't. He loved his dad with his entire being not just his heart. 

His sister was three now, and at daycare, while Peter had already returned from home that December day, and he didn't even feel the cold breeze that rushed into the room through the open window when he caught sight of his dad laying lifelessly on the floor in a pool of his blood, stab wounds all over his chest. 

His breath caught, and his eyes widened and he stopped breathing. 

When his face had turned blue and Peter stopped blocking his airway, he screamed. It was no use. Screaming. Panicking. Mourning. It wouldn't bring him back. Not the tears, not the shaking he did to his dad's body. 

Because the blood got on his palm and he shouted when one of his shakes had turned his dad over and he found that the stabs had gone all the way through his dad. 

He picked up the home phone and dialed Mr. Stacy's number. 

The man picked up on the second ring, his voice cheery on the other line. 

"Hello. Hello?" 

Peter's breathing was rapid and unsteady, and his voice croaked as he whispered into the phone that he needed help. 

"What's happened, explain the situation, I have help on the way, Peter, explain why you need help," 

"I can't, I can't, I can't, I don't know what happened, he's just there," Peter said, clenching his fist a little too hard and damaging it. 

"We're outside your apartment, I'm going to hang up alright, " Mr. Stacy warned him, "I'm going to hang up, I'll be there in a second," then he hung up. 

Peter slid down the wall that the home phone stuck to and waited. 

And waited. 

And Waited. 

The four minutes it took for the four cops to get in were short and didn't feel long as he's read most times as these did.

Mr. Stacy picked him up and carried him out the door and Peter heard his other two cop friends call for backup. The walkout of that apartment was long because the smell of his dad's blood didn't fade because it was on his palms and he didn't get to wash his hands until two days later, while his aunt bathed him. 

May smiled softly and him and kissed his forehead, her hands softly massaging his head as she put shampoo in his hair. 

Teresa sat at the end of the tub, playing with her just having been washed haired, giggling as he hovered her hands above the bubbles, her palms being tickled by them. 

They got separate rooms. Same size and height and width and Peter was grateful for the balcony that connected them both because he knew they were still stuck together no matter the wall between them. 

He still went to Gwen's apartment. Still brought Teresa with him. Still loved his two best friends. 

He just lived with his uncle and aunt now. 

He still went to the same school. 

He was just a little less focused. 

He still got good grades. 

He just didn't have his dad to show them to. 

He still had Teresa. 

But she was all he had left.  

Chapter Text

Training didn't end with his father's death. 

No, the worth wasn't that empathetic, for some cruel reason, Peter was happy about it. 

They finally held his funeral. It was in a nice, small, graveyard, that held the bodies of all the past Parker's and as he was lowered down into the ground Peter looked up to see Grant, staring right at him, with a cold, pitying stare. 

Not now, Peter replied with his eyes, as he picked his sister up and placed her on his hip, and waited patiently for him Uncle and aunt to finish talking with their friend. Grant was still not gone by then so Peter mouthed his way, "it's not the right time". Grant understood and watched Peter slowly turn and walk away, following his uncle and aunt to their small black limousine. 

Jerry, Ben's driver opened the door for him, once he was inside and he'd buckled his sister into her car seat and when Ben and May were seated in front of them, Jerry closed the door, and Peter peaked out through the tinted black windows and saw Grant's gaze still on him, seeing through the windows as if they weren't tinted. 

Peter sat back and took a deep breathe of air before he remembered to buckle himself in. 

When he was done, he had no time to relax, Teresa grabbed the sleeve of his Tom Ford suit, demanding his attention. 

Smiling, he turned to look at her. 

"Benny's taking us on a trip," she informed in, and Ban groaned in fake annoyance across from them. 

"Baby girl!" he exclaimed, "it was supposed to be a surprise," he said and pouted. 

His sister giggled and covered her face with her hands. 

"A trip?" Peter asked," where?" 

May answered for Ben. 

Her smile was soft and comforting when she looked at him, though her eyes were sad and misty," you must be very stressed out hon, we called your school, your very ahead in your work, they won't mind you taking two weeks off, so Ben and I thought we'd take you to Tokyo with us, your uncle has some- business there too, so, it's a win-win," 

The way she expectedly and hopefully looked at him meant he couldn't say no. Peter really loved May. She was thoughtful and pure, and Peter just didn't think it would be in his best interest to reject her offer. 

The second they got home, Peter carried Teresa to his room and they sat on the couch as May stood on a chair in order to reach the cabinets right under the lower ceiling where the extra travel suitcases were. 

May and Ben brought their own travel suitcases to pack in his room. Only two pairs of pants and two shirts, and whatever undergarments May needed, but nothing else would go into their suitcases since they would be buying the rest in Tokyo. 

Peter insisted on bringing some of his books, even though Ben said he'd just buy him some there, after all, Peter knew how to read, write, understand, and speak Japanese so what difference would it be, but Peter still managed to sneak Great Expectations and The Handmaid's Tale into the very bottom of his suitcase. 

"You can't bring all that," Peter told his sister as he zipped up his travel suitcase. She was already done packing, but she was trying to zip close her small travel backpack, but to many things were already in there. 

She pouted and gave up. 

It unzipped and Peter sighed as everything slowly shifted out of it, so he took everything out and organized it on his bed in a neat row. 

"You can't sleep without your stuffed piglet so you can take her, but maybe you should just carry you in her arms. It's going to be dark when we get to the airport, so you'll most likely fall asleep right after." He handed the soft pink over before pointed out the large coloring book. 

"You're not gonna use that, I know that for sure," he said and put it back on the bookshelf. Teresa sniffled. "If you need to color, we'll print out some sheets and buy a smaller coloring box with only the primary colors there in Tokyo, and that doll is not coming, you don't even play with her," he talked on as he put her doll aside. 

There were other varieties of knickknacks she had planned on bringing with her, but now that Peter was putting them aside she seemed to also realize she wasn't going to use them anyway. 

First-class seats were booked because Ben didn't want to take the private jet all the way to Japan. So Peter and Teresa lay on their shared bed in their part of the first-class parts of the plane, May and Ben's right across from theirs. 

They'd brushed their teeth with the complimentary toiletries they gave them, and gotten tucked into bed by their aunt before she closed the door of their suit and went back to hers and Ben's who was already fast asleep, or so from Peter could tell with the way his uncle was breathing. 

"Why are you so sad Petey?" Teresa asked him finally. Peter knew she had been itching to all day. 

Peter turned on his side to look at her. 

"It's nothing really, I just, miss our dad is all, I think I always will," he answered softly, as to make her understand. 

"I don't remember daddy all that much," she said, coming closer to him, "was he nice?" 

Peter smiled at first at her questioning. The kindness of others was what always mattered to Teresa. But his smile faltered once he realized he couldn't reply truthfully. He just stared blankly at her for a couple of seconds. 

"Yes," he lied, "very," 

She smiled and nodded then closed her eyes. 

That short conversation kept Peter up all night. The questions had him searching for answered anywhere he could find. 

He himself didn't remember much about his dad, but when he looked back, he remembered his mother on the floor and his dad nudging her away from him, kicking her sometimes, slapping her, hitting her, pushing her.  

Nice was not something that could not be labeled with. 

Peter remembered being cut open, having different liquids put into him. Peter begged his dad to stop sometimes. His dad always asked for him to wait a little longer, and the pain only got worse and worse. 

After his dad killed his mom and the nanny, Peter stopped asking for him to stop. 

This was the way it was with his dad, and even though Peter loved him a lot, he didn't know why anymore. 

But a person didn't need to be kind for you to love them, Peter reasoned with himself, no, kindness wasn't something Peter needed anyway. Maybe his dad wasn't the kindest, and Peter preferred when he wasn't around. But he never wished death upon him. 

He loved his dad more than anything in the world. Who said there needed to be a good reason why? He felt it. That was enough. 

For some reason, he still stayed up all night thinking of reasons why he would love his dad. What brought him to that point. 

Somehow, Peter didn't manage to find any. 

0o0o

"Thank you," Gwen smiled down at her desk, taking the Japanese styled notebooks from him. She placed them beside the rest of the things he brought her. 

All kinds of stationery.  

Markers, highlighters, pens, erasers, sticky notes, white-out, mechanical pencils, led, art supplies, tapes, note pads, sketchbooks, clothes, pouches, etc. 

They're all neatly placed in a large travel suitcase that was also bought in Japan for Gwen. 

"This is all so great," she smiles again then looks up again at him, "Peter," she says softly now. 

"I don't want to talk about it," she gives him a look, "in time I will yes," she smiles again and puts her things away. 

"You didn't get me anything," Harry pouted, "I'm hurt," 

Peter rolled his eyes, "I already gave you your things the moment I got back," 

"Ya," Harry nodded then whined, "but not in front of everyone else like with Gwen. Now all the girls are jealous of her, not me!" 

Peter looked up briefly at the rest of his class. 

Most of the girls were looking in wonder at the gifts he'd brought for Gwen. Gwen and Peter blushed and started to put the things away while Harry cackled beside them. 

When the class was over, Peter helped Gwen wheel the travel suitcase outside and down the stairs where Harry and Peter's drivers were, and where Gwen's car was. 

When they got there though, it wasn't Lucas, his new driver, who was waiting there for him. It was Grant Ward. 

Gwen looked skeptically at Grant while Harry glared at the man. 

"Who the hell-" Harry started but Peter shook his head. 

"Tutor," he lied. 

"For what, your the smartest in the school," Gwen said. 

"Not for school, " he said and kept on walking to Gwen's mother's car. 

"Mrs. Stacy," Harry and Peter said politely at the woman who smiled and nodded.  

Peter helped put Gwen's suitcase and backpack inside the car before stepping away. 

"Peter," Gwen said untruly while Harry stared at Ward. 

Sighing Peter clapped Harry's shoulder before turning back and walking towards Ward. 

"Where do I-" Peter started but Grant was already lifting him up and placing him in the front of his motorcycle," ya okay," 

In all honesty, he'd forgotten about his training. He was completely unprepared now. 

No, training didn't end with his father's death. It just got harder. It just got more horrifying. 

But it was slow at first. 

His training became a regular thing. 

That was the only time Ward picked him up, the rest of the times, which were every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, a different person would pick him up. 

Garret or one of his friends would train him in a secret base hiding inside of the S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters. Sparring became easier for Peter. Because he got better at it. More and more agents teamed up against him, but Peter managed every time to get them on the floor, hitting the side of the mat, calling their truce. 

From two-thirty to seven p.m, then he'd go home. 

That's when Peter could let everything fade away into nothing, and forget about his parent's death. Because he had his aunt, uncle, and his little sister. 

After a particularly brutal training session, Peter dragged himself to the elevator and pressed the button that would take him to his floor in a slumped tense manner, before he rolled his neck and stomped his feet trying to wake them up. 

When he finally got to his floor the elevator opened into his hall where he slumped and lazily hauled himself at the door. One hand on the door nob he took a long deep breath before he straightened up, rolled his neck, and slid his key in to open the door. The sight that greeted him was one he loved but in years to come would regret not appreciating more. 

Teresa was reading right beside the door, on her tummy, her hands holding her chin up. 

Apparently Uncle Ben was back from his business in Tulsa because he was splayed on the couch, with one of his girlfriends on his lap. 

Peter understood relationships like this a little. In life, when passion dies out in a relationship you can only hope you're left with love, trust, devotion, and loyalty, but then there are relationships like these. 

May and Ben had been dating for four years and married for two, and even though girls like Stephanie, Darcy, Eliza, or another one of his uncle's girlfriends wanted to get him tied down, give him a kid of his own, get him to leave May, Ben only loved May.

Cause these girls were older and growing into this new world, these nineteen through thirty-six-year-olds and they had a new beauty. This beauty was plastic, almost bony bodies, long hair, and a face full of makeup. Things models did when people got bored of them. 

But May was an old type of beauty, like his mother, one that most people thought died out years ago. Soft skin, natural beauty, natural hair that hadn't been dyed or bleached, she was shorter, with a body that wouldn't be accepted in the stereotypical model industry, but that attracted men more than models did. 

Not that looks mattered. May was smart, soft, fierce, she's the type of lover you don't take advantage of, and Ben never did. His passionate love never died out, and if she told him to get rid of his girlfriends, he'd do it in a millisecond. But she didn't. Because she didn't want to be the only one anymore. 

If May was around, Darcy would bearly get any attention. 

"Hey Peter," Ben mumbled as he dragged his lips across Darcy's tanned skin, and rubbed the red rose tattoo on her left elbow.  

"Hi, Peter," Darcy smiled, her eyes sparkling with a love she's become obsessed with, and she must have truly believed would bloom into a marriage. 

On days when it was too late, and the library was already closed, and he was done reading the books, and the books he’d ordered hasn’t arrived, he’d observe Ben’s girlfriends. 

This rarely happened, but even so, he already knew enough from the few hours Peter needed to come up with something to do. 

They were all the same. Kind of looked the same too. All felt the same and drowned in envy, not with each other of course, they all unconsciously knew they didn't stand a chance, but continued in denial.

So nodding back Peter picked Teresa up who giggled and dropped the book she was reading to wrap her arms around Peter. He took her to his room, where he lay her down on his own bed, then turned on the TV for her to watch her animated movie on Netflix.  

After he took his shower, put his clothes on, he lay beside his sister on the bed and scrolled through his phone. 

Then he heard the door open from the first floor of the penthouse and smiled at Teresa then immediately rushed out and down the stairs to greet their aunt who put her bags on the counter and kindly waved off her bodyguards. 

Darcy was on her knees on the couch, her fists clenched and on her thighs, her head down and hair falling over her face. Peter felt bad for her cause he knew she could hear Ben pick his wife up and twirl her around, laughing joyously. 

May smiled softly as he put her down and kissed his lips slowly before Teresa attacked her. 

Her giggle was larger this time, as she jumped into May's arms who kissed the side of her head before smiling at Peter. 

"Hey, Buttercup," she breathed, then looked past him at the older woman at the couch. 

Peter smiled then walked to the table where she'd placed the china food on. May pretended not to hear her husband talk to Darcy as if she suddenly meant nothing, and instead focused on Teresa who really wanted to crack open her fortune cookie. 

His hearing refused to zone them out and he heard his uncle clearly. 

"Jessie will take you home," he said with no emotion, as he picked up the boutique he'd bought for May, "I'll call you when I have time to see you again," 

Then he brought it back to hand to May. 

Seven blue tulips, five white lilies, two sunflowers, and a yellow rose, wrapped in dark red tissue paper, with a silk dark blue ribbon tied to keep it in place. 

"How kind of you," she smiled, going to the vase to replace the old flowers inside. 

When she turned she noticed one of the scars on the side of Peter's neck that hadn't healed yet and sucked in her breath. Peter tried to cover it hastily but his uncle noticed it too and turned Peter around on the stool. 

"What are you getting up to at that friend of your's house," he asked, rubbing the scar. 

Afraid Ben would notice it's quicker than normal healing, Peter pushed his hand away and flashed an unconcerned smile. 

"Harry got himself a skateboard, so we went to one of the ramps in the public park but we started to get bored with it, so we started to just you know," he shrugged and played the mischievous kid, " we wandered around Queens and found a good spot to practice, which actually gave us a challenge, if you know what I mean" then he motioned to the scar. 

Ben stared a little, and Peter thought, he would figure him out. After all, he was a mob boss that revolved around drug trafficking, he'd gotten the truth out of rival gangs before. He knew how to break someone into telling them their shittiest secrets. 

But Peter was a spy, so Ben's face broke out into a smile and he rolled his eyes. 

"Ya whatever, Queens is my turf anyway, so, use it as your skate park all you want I guess" he smiled then let his face go blank as he nodded for his bodyguards to follow him out. 

May laid out the food before following him. 

Another business to go to. They needed a little more intel about a rival's base in Tennesse. 

Peter texts Harry and tells him to buy a skateboard and follow along to a sob story Peter had given his uncle. 

Harry, who was loyal and trustworthy, replied with a thumbs-up emoji and a rolling eyes emoji too. 

Now that that’s done, Peter eats his meal in peace. 


Peter’s heightened senses pick up everything, so when Peter fails while training, his trainers take to punishing him with that advantage in order to teach him a lesson. 

In order to make him, better. 

It’s a physiological trick. 

And it works. 

They bring men, women, animals, and children into a separate room, tell him their names, then cut open all of them and make him smell their blood. 

Then they kill a few of those men and women and animals and children then drain them of their blood just to torture him. Fill a bathtub with all the blood mixed together and dunk him in it. 

He has to name who’s blood it belongs to. 

If he gets it wrong, they kill four more, add their blood to the tub water, and dunk him it, then make him name the people name who’s blood it belongs to and the process continues until he names the owners of the blood. 

He gets it down to a professional level. 

Until no one has to die. 

It encourages him to fight harder, hit harder, move fast, thinks quicker. Because if there’s one thing Peter hates being more than anything in the world is selfish.

His laziness will cost the lives of others and he won’t allow it. 

But even after he’s gotten better, he’s still smelled the blood of animals, and so from that day on he just can’t eat meat. 

Teresa, May, Gwen, and Harry are the few ones who accept it, but his uncle and some of Peter’s soccer teammates tease him about it and joke around, holding pieces of meat to his face. 

They stop when he gags and throws up one day, and when he punches Armando, the goalie, in the face for holding a piece of steak to his nose. 

It’s nice, though, Peter thinks, the reason why he went vegan. 

Being drowned in animal blood.

He moves on. 

Get's dunked a few times, on day's he wakes up confused because he's utterly exhausted when he's late to school, so he gets detention and makes the driver wait, and has lost his entire will to fight. 

He gets dunked into the tub of blood. He comes home in a bad mood. Falls asleep really late finishing homework, or doesn't sleep at all. 

Peter calls those "the bad days".Teresa marks them down and everything and if they last for more than two days she begins to rebel. 

If he doesn't eat she doesn't eat and he won't be having any of that. If he doesn't sleep she doesn't either, so they lay together in his room, her stuffed animals snuggled under the blankets behind her, and he can't stand her blinking her eyes open, or slapping her face to keep herself awake. She won't shower unless he showers before her. And on those especially bad days, when he comes home smelling like blood, she lets him use some of her ocean scented body wash.

She's a selfless one. She makes him weak with a simple smile. 

But unlike Ward, he doesn't hate her for it, because Ward's smile is fake and practiced, but Teresa has never been good at hiding her emotions, which was good because Peter didn't like liars, so he knows it's honest and true. 

Peter was eight years old when he meets Monica Rappaccini. A genius nineteen-year-old girl who started working for Hydra in order to get the recourses she needed to research. 

She teaches Peter things that his teachers don't think worth explaining to eight-year-olds. 

Genetic engineering, Chemistry, Engineering, Biochemistry, Ecology, Evolution, Biomedical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Physics, Pathology. 

The subjects fade on and the list is too long, but Peter absorbs it like a sponge because it's better than training, and she's a very nice person to be around. She's a shit liar as well. 

On a Sunday, October day, he sits beside her and notices a mistake in her notebook. The equation is wrong and Peter would have kept his mouth shut like he'd been taught to, but if she uses it like that, the device she's building will explode in her face. 

So he points out the mistake. 

Looking at the page once again, she stops and laughs humorously. 

"God, and I have a Ph.D. in Engineering, so that should have- how did I not catch that," she asks herself softly. 

Her eyes have formed dark circles around them, and her skin has become tight over her bones. 

So Peter thinks he knows. 

He buys an extra bento box and lets Teresa help to make rice into small pandas, and makes sure to put them in a separate box from the Chinese food noodles Peter never cares to remember the name of and the dumplings. 

Monica laughs and eats the panda's heads first then the bodies, and eats the noodles. Even on weekends, Mondays, and Tuesdays, when she decides to invite him to her apartment there in Manhattan, they eat lunch together, molding different solid foods into animals. 

She goes to NYU and Peter goes to his private school upstate, but it's not nearly as interesting as she says college is. 

Him, Harry, and Gwen still huddle up in the corner of the class, Harry listening to music to drown out the teacher's pointless lessons, Gwen doing her work hurriedly, and Peter is already done with the packet the teacher gave them, so he's reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice because Monica said she it was going to change his life. 

"I can't do this anymore, I have other homework to finish, Peter can I copy your packet?" Gwen said quickly, putting her pencil down with a pout. 

Peter nods and slides the paper to her. She smiles gratefully and starts to jot the answers from one packet to the other when Peter finally lets the question sink in. 

"Why didn't you finish your homework?" Peter asked strictly, putting his book down and leaving his finger on the page as a bookmark. 

Harry arches a brow at Gwen when he hears him and takes off his headphones. 

Gwen stops writing, "umm, my Grandpa has been spending a lot of time in the hospital, and my dad and mom have been working extra shifts in order to pay the bills, there's no one to take care of my brothers and me, so we kind of just spend the rest of the day after school at the hospital," she shrugs and continues to write, "the hospital is a little loud so I can't concentrate right," 

Peter and Harry glanced at each other before looking back at their friend. 

"Can we come?" they ask at the same time. 

Gwen smiles gently. 

Peter finishes Pride and Prejudice in an almost empty hospital food court, sitting beside Gwen and explaining Elizabeth's and Mr. Darcy's relationship to her, and Harry is watching something on his phone as he eats his chips and drinks his soda. 

It's loud there yes, but Peter had learned long ago how to make someone feel like they are the only person in the world. It's a torture method. He's not proud of how he learned but it's something that he can use for good now, with his friend. 

"So what, he shows his attraction by insulting her?" Gwen asks, sounding perplexed, and Peter nods pointing to a text on the page. 

"Ya, it's like, super weird," he says, getting more comfortable in the plastic chair that's armrests are poking at his ribs," but he pays the officer who eloped with her sister, I mean, and gets over his Pride and apologizes for being an ass," he turns the page," it's good, really, I like it, and I learned some stuff from it too, even though I used to believe only a none fiction book could teach you anything of importance," he closes the book and tucks it into his backpack. 

"And what's that?" she asks curiously, hugging her knees to her chest as he pulls Harry's chip bag to her to grab at what's inside. 

Peter smiles "The true meaning of what it is to be a gentleman," 

Harry hears and chuckles softly, and blush blooms across Gwen's face. She rubs her nose and nods. 

It's kind of true.

His aunt was already raising him to be one, but in a way where he doesn't doubt a woman's strength in the process. 

When he looks up and around himself, he sees Harry motioning for Gwen to look at something on his phone, then behind them a little boy coloring with markers, his father and mother, and sister maybe, sitting around him, all of them entertaining themselves with their devices. 

An elderly woman sits with her son, or grandson, who can't be older than sixteen, and as she reads her romance novel, the boy sleeps. 

Two twin girls comb their doll's hair. 

A couple holds hands and laugh. 

Everything is calm. 


 Before fifth grade began, when Peter was nine, the teachers decided he should move up in his grade. 

Not to the sixth or seventh. 

No, not to middle school. 

Peter was nine when he started high school. 

Nine. 

The pressure was on. 

On his first day of school, Peter chose to sit in the corner of the back of the class like he did when he was with Harry and Gwen, and he finished the assignment his teachers there gave him in the first fifteen minutes of class. 

Homework was simple, and when his teachers passed it around in the last ten minutes of class, Peter was already done when the bell rang. 

Other students were intimidated by his intelligence, but that didn't stop the teasing from other kids. Peter has a death glare, a literal one really, so kids don't ever take action towards him. They make way for him when he walks through the hallways. Both boys and girls ask for his help in class too, but only as a last resort, because it's embarrassing to them to ask a nine-year-old for help in AP classes. 

To think the smart ones in school would put their grades above their pride. 

It's still too easy then, with AP classes in high school.

His teachers didn't give him a challenge, Peter picked everything up in a stride, absorbed everything like a sponge, as he did with Monica. It got to the point where Peter just stared at his teacher in the middle of class with a gaze of annoyance because he was bored, it got to the point when his teachers gave them an assignment that Peter considered kindergarten level, he'd just walk out of class. 

It was rude and selfish because his classmates struggled around him with this stuff, and it wasn't the teachers or the school's fault that he held a higher than above average IQ.

He wasn't even allowed to be annoyed, but Peter wanted to prove himself to himself and he couldn't do that there. 

After his first year, he decided he couldn't take it any longer. 

He couldn't take his own rudeness that seemed to only come out when he was in school, he was tired of being the one thing his teachers stressed about overnight. He couldn't take it anymore. 

Coming home from school, Peter tossed his backpack onto the kitchen counter and marched up to where Ben was laying down, Eliza laying half-naked on top of him, and waited until he stopped kissing the woman's breast to look at him. 

"First off, I want some classes that will help control my temper, and teach me patience," he informed him, "no I need classes for that, and second if you don't get me out of that fucking high school, I'm going to drop the fuck out," 

Eliza stared at him looking confused and pouted in Ben's direction. 

His uncle scrunched up his nose at Peter. 

"Peter, that's like a really good school you know, and we looked really long to make sure it could deal with your intelligence, can't you wait until you- until- wait for- shit," he pushed Eliza off him, and stood up, tucking himself back into his pant and pulling his zipper up "today was your grad-" 

"Ya no shit sherlock, I don't give a fuck about your forgetfulness, I could give less of a tiny rats ass that you weren't there and that you were fucking one of your many girlfriends, but I will care very much if you don't get me out of there!" Peter snarled and with his statement said, he turned, picked Teresa off from where she was cowering on the floor from all the shouting and took her back to their room. 

May went with him to talk to the school counselor about moving him to a different school the next day, which made Peter feel worse because he knew that she was missing a very important trip to Italy to visit her mother. 

"College maybe?" his teacher suggested to his aunt, who shook her head and placed her hand on Peter's shoulder. 

"No, highschool is good enough, highschool is high enough," 

Mrs. Stephen nodded but slid a piece of paper over to his aunt. 

"Peter excels in all classes, all of his AP classes, his honors Language arts classes, he's got a perfect 5.0 GPA, but we've noticed he's definitely more passionate about his STEM classes," she circles a sentence on the paper, "this school is called Midtown High, it's a very prestigious school, a Science and Technology focused one, it's tuition is a bit high-" she trails off as she looks at the ring on May's finger. 

It's shaped like a flower, and the diamond is large and rare, one that Ben had stolen from a museum to get for her, and you can tell it's worth billions by just a glance. 

May smiles and nods, rubbing Peter's hands. 

They walk out of that school and get into Kennedy's car. Peter feeling so small and May smiling softly and rubbing his elbow comfortingly. He feels so much like the kid he is. 

"We'll check this school out hon, and if you like it, we'll enroll you immediately," she confirms, and Peter nods, his lips pursed in annoyance at himself now. 

Teresa smiles when she hears Peter might be going to a school nearer to hers, which is a prestigious primary school. She's been moved up a couple of grades as well. At five years old she's already in second grade. 

"Your so smart," Ben tells them both, his arms wrapped around May as they watch The Hunger Games on their big-screen TV, which is completely forgotten about in favor of May talking to Ben about her nephew and niece "just like your dad," 

Peter blinks at the floor under him and lazily slumps where he's sitting. 

It's been a long time since he's thought about his dad. It's mostly his mother he thinks about at night when he hears Eliza or Dacy or Katy stumble into the kitchen, high on heroin. Sometimes Peter will go downstairs and just watch them, stumble around, cry about Ben. 

When they begin to get dunk Peter goes to the bathroom and prepares everything, and when they stumble inside, he holds up their hair and wiped their mouth, calls a cab for them. 

It's fine. It's an apology for his uncle's cruelness that Ben himself will never give. 

Peter does this for a while, up until he's ten. 

Then Stephany happens. 

May is in Italy having her yearly visit with her mother, Ben has chosen to sleep with Melanie, one of his newest girlfriends, in the spare bedroom. And Teresa is having a sleepover at her friend's house. 

Stephany is not like the other Stephany that Ben is dating. That Stephany is dark-haired, copper-skinned, has a snake tattoo running up her arm, and where her fingertips meet her thigh, the snake continues, this Stephany is blond and tanned skinned, with only a birthmark on her arm, and Peter had observed her passionate love for his uncle long enough to know she was completely in love with him. 

Many of Ben's friends are there along with Stephany, they're having a party, and Peter has been watching Stephany long enough to know that she was going to be heading to the bathroom and throw up. 

When she finally stumbled there, he walked in and did what he always did. He held back her hair and tilted her head forward again so she wouldn't choke on her throw up and waited patiently. 

"Calm your throat," he said softly, and she nodded, stopping for a while and wiping her mouth before continuing to throw up.

When she's done, Peter hands her the spare toothbrush and toothpaste and waits at the door to make sure she doesn't throw up again as she brushes her teeth, and takes a lot of mouthwash into her mouth before spitting it out. 

She looks at him with hard eyes, looks him up and down before her eyes soften. 

"You look just like your uncle ben," she mutters softly, here eyes now watered. 

Peter thinks that no, he looks like his dad who happens to look like Ben, but he doesn't correct her, instead he hands her a shit and cargo pants. 

"I'll call you a cab in a bit, you can get dressed in here-" 

"It smells like throw up," she says and shakes her head, "it's making me nauseous." 

It's making him nauseous too. The smell is blocking his other senses a little too, so he isn't sure what guest room his uncle is in either, because the music is everything he hears as well, and he doesn't want to take her to the guest room where Ben is having sex with his girlfriend, so he makes a hasty decision he's never made before. Cause no other woman has ever complained about the smell before. 

"Come to my room, you can get dressed there, then I'll call the cab for you," he says without looking at her, then makes his way to his room thinking she's probably following him. 

She is. He can hear that at least. 

Once she's inside he's about to step out and close the door behind him to give her privacy when he feels an arm on his wrist. 

"I need help," she says meekly. There's something in her tone though. It's one she uses on her uncle when she wants him to kiss her. 

Peter thinks, okay, she's wasted. He stayed back a little longer than usual, she's a little drunker than most of the others. 

He nods and steps inside. 

"What do you-" then she's taking off her shirt, Peter goes to turn away but she grabs his wrist again. With one hand she unhooks her bra and Peter is so shocked when she pulls it off. 

"Help me out, hon, " then she turns away and walks towards the clothes. 

She does it as if it's the most normal thing in the world. Peter doesn't know why but over time he has come to think that looking at a woman when she's undressed or dressing is rude. It's not good, you shouldn't do it. Even if she's your girlfriend, lover, or sister, no matter what it isn't right. 

Peter knows it's not right, so he looks away again. 

The door is closed and locked, he's heard the sound of her pushing it closed and locking it but he's still very unsure of how she managed to do it so quickly. 

Then it happens. 

It happens quickly. It's, odd to think while it happens. But he knows it's happening and somehow he knows what's going to happen before it does, yet he doesn't stop it. 

He sees his mother in all these women, desperately in love with a man who only hurts them and uses them when he's bored, getting drunk and high to deal with the pain because leaving them isn't an option. 

Peter never helped his mother. Always let his dad hurt her, let her get high and hurt herself. 

Maybe that's why he doesn't move when she asks him for help again and places his left hand on top of her breast and puts her hand over it, squeezing her hand and in the process making him squeeze his. 

There are alarm bells ringing in his head. He needs to run. But to where? 

He can't think of where to run. She's pulling him onto his own bed, and climbing on top of him.

He tries to stop her when she begins to undress him, but she grabs his wrists and pins them over his head, and he can out strength her, but then she's straddling his undressed body. His body reacts to these touches in a way they have never before. It sends him into a mode he's never gone into before; Panic. 

He's heard his male classmates talk about sex. He hears the sex happening in bathroom stalls form his seats sometimes, but he's never seen it happen before. He knows that his uncle and girlfriends do it all the time. But he's not Ben. 

Pus her off! His instincts tell him. 

You'll hurt her, she's drunk, she's in pain, she doesn't know what she's doing. Another part of him tells him, and he's unsure if it's his rational side, because the voice sounds like his mother and it's not something his rational side would say. 

Is this sex? 

It can't be. 

He hates this. 

Sex is... different, and even so, why's she... doing this to him? 

Her legs spread on top of his penis, and she's holding it in his fist before she's lowering herself ontop. 

His entire mind goes blank. 

He's feeling a range of emotions, maybe that's why he begins to cry, even though he's only cried twice in his life before, as far as he remembers. Besides as a child of course. 

Minutes are hard to count as she moves above him. She caresses him, and bites him, and mumbles things in his ear that sound sick and dirty, and he doesn't like it. His eyes have blurred his sight by then, with how many had stacked upon each other only then to roll down in large blobs. 

As the night drags on, he begins to hiccup, but she just murmurs soft things to him. 

The music in the background has gone, he can hear his uncle now, in the gust room. He's kicking his girlfriend out now, and she's crying softly. 

Now his vision is clear, his tears have dried on his cheeks and he's no longer sobbing, still hiccupping a little bit but otherwise just quiet. 

Time passes and then it's moring. 

...

It's morning. 

Peter takes a shower after she showers, rubbing his skin raw because it feels dirty on him, and even though he hates touching his penis, he washes that too. 

When he steps out of the bathroom, she's still on his bed. She's dressed now, in the clothes he had given her before. When she sees him she smiles and stands up. 

"Petey?" she says. He can't look at her. Instead, he looks at the place she was sitting on before. 

She comes over and kneels in front of him. 

"Thank you for last night hun," 

So, she was sober enough to understand what she was doing. He's at lost for worst, as he holds the towel tighter around his waist. 

His eyes are wide when he looks at her and nods, and she smiles and kisses him, then pulls his towel down and cups his penis. 

She fists it in her hand and continues kissing him as she pulls at it and rubs the head. He becomes hard at the feel of her and hates that it stirs that inside him. Does that mean he likes it? There's this pain in his stomach, this throbbing in his head, as she continues to kiss her. 

Then he pulls away when she starts to kiss down his body. His skinny but lean body, that came to his mutation, and when he remembers his mutation, shame bubbles up in Peter's chest. 

He can stop her. 

He wants to, but then she's pulling him back and taking his penis in his mouth, and his penis begins to stir again, he isn't sure if it's actually what he wants. 

He knows what an erection is. This, this is that, if his body is reacting that way, there must be something wrong with his head, with him

As he ejaculates into her mouth, she smiles around him and pulls away. He can't bear to look at her. So he just looks out the large window in his room at the building across the street that's a pretty peach color, smooth and pearly. She wipes her mouth on his towel and cups his face, making him face her again. 

She's pretty. The old type of pretty. Her light brown skin goes well with her dark curls, that fall around her face and let her misty hazel brown eyes stand out. Her lips are swollen, and pink, the bottom of her lip is plumper than the top, and she has an oval-shaped face with a smooth jawline and a slim nose. Yes, she's very pretty. It doesn't need makeup to look nice. There's no plastic in her. 

But he's disgusted by her face. He hates that he has observed her face so long, thought about helping her. She isn't helpless at all. 

He pulls away, and she grins kissing his cheek then getting up and leaving the room. 

He takes another shower. Longer, and he doesn't know if he's crying, because he stands under the water the entire time, and can't tell if it's his water or tears that roll from his eyes. 

This time, when he's done, he gets dressed immediately, in his grey sweats and grey t-shirt, they are loose on him but warm and comfortable. It's a nice feeling after eight hours of laying limp on a bed with a woman having sex with his body.  

When he looks at his bed he peels the covers back and finds semen on the bedsheets, covers, and his silk blanket. He pulls them all off, along with his pillowcases, and throws his old towel on it as well. He picks up her old clothes and tosses them in the middle as well. He grabs a plastic bag and stuffs everything inside, then puts on his shoes and walks outside. 

When she walks into the room, he finds Ben in the living room, asleep, and he walks past him and past Teresa who he finds in the hallway that comes before the stairs that leads to the second floor of their penthouse and finds May baking in the kitchen. 

"I'm going out, and I'll be back in five," he tells her briefly before continuing to the hall, opening the door and walking to the elevator. 

The very wealthy, intelligent and well-known doctor, Dr. Strange, a very tall handsome man who lives under them steps into the elevator on Peter's second stop. He sniffs the air then glances at the bag in his hand. 

It smells like semen, Peter isn't the only one that can smell it now. He avoids the man's gaze and instead takes to shaking his head, and tapping his toe to the elevator music.

"Your a grownup fright," Peter asks him without making eye contact when the elevator stops, "grownups mind their own business, good to know," then he steps off the elevator when the doors open and walks across the room to the doors and keeps on walking until he finds the alleyway that has a dumpster. He throws it into the dumpster there, then sits down against the wall and lets out a shakey, hitched breathe. 

The sky is clear and as Peter thinks he looks around at the things in front of him. 

He listens, smells, feels, looks at all the things around him. 

A man and a woman are both are sitting in their chairs in the building beside his. He can hear the rocking chair moving back and forward, and the man turns the pages of his magazine. The woman has a baby in her arms. He didn't hear it at first, because of their heartbeats, that of the baby and mother, are moving at the same pace, but when the woman stands up and begins to walk around, her heartbeat speeds up just a tad bit and he can hear the other heartbeat. Small, steady, and calm. 

Someone is cooking right above that apartment floor, and there is a child may be, his laughter sounds like that of a child, and they are playing with a toy car that rolls on the floor of the kitchen. 

The wall behind him is clean and smooth, and Peter gets up and walks across the street and looks at all the people walking around. Rich and smart, and they partway for him. They all owe his uncle something in some way. Or his drugs. Or his sex. They owe it something. 

His uncle isn't specific when it comes to sex. 

He's got boyfriends too. 

Peter meets eyes with a married man who has yet to come out of the closet, holding hands with his wife and carrying his daughter. Peter has observed him as well. They've met eyes before, as his uncle lay on top of the man. Peter had been eight, had just gotten home from school. 

The man stops and lets him walk by before him. His wife looks confused, while his daughter just watches. Peter doesn't look at the man. 

He wonders how his uncle does it. How he makes women and men and the unidentified genders fall in love with him. That's one thing Peter has yet to figure out. They're desperate for just a second with him and it confuses him to no end. 

He walks into the restaurant, where people are dressed in the finest clothes ever and the man and woman who are about to be taken to his table are pushed aside when they catch sight of him. 

It's a system. Peter isn't proud of it, or how he follows along to it. He might have deserved his displeasure during sex, or whatever Stephany had done to it, with everything he's done. The people that died in order for him to understand his mistakes were intolerable. Then his mother who was beaten and killed by his dad, and he didn't stop any moment of it. 

These are his biggest regrets. And there are so many more, that he can't list in his head as he's lead to a table and sat down. 

"It's on the house," the waiter says.  

It has to be. 

People look over at him. 

Peter knows how he looks. 

He's got his father's way of looking like he belongs, even in sweats and a t-shirt and his red and white and blue Nike Cortez. He pulls out sunglasses, puts them on, and just to put on a good show when the waiter comes back, he requests a pack of their biodegradable wild hemp organic cigarette packs and a lighter.  

The young man nods and brings him it. 

"Here are to my greatest regrets," he says to himself, after lighting one and taking a sip of wine that tastes fine but does the same damage to him that grape tasting medicine does. It makes him want to gag. 

Here's his regret; listening to his uncle when he was six. That's when his uncle first gave him a cigarette and weed. Made him smoke it in order for them to bond. It's not like Peter could get cancer, which he thought he deserved really.

This, this thing with Stephany, it's what he deserved. 

People stared at him as he smoked, and drank expensive wine, as a breakfast. Peter wouldn't be able to stomach solids anyway. 

After only two drags, he put out the cigarette, with shame deeper in his chest. Yes, it's a great thing to hold such power at his will, but it's not nice when it's used like this. The nice feeling doesn't last too long anyway. 

Teresa hated it when he and his uncle would smoke. 

When he first started it was on that trip to Japan. After the success of the business came through, Ben passed him a cigarette and taught him how to smoke properly without coughing and choking. She'd walked in and took it away, stomping it out. Ben had laughed and had her taken out of the room to go play with the other kids, the children of the gang that came as well on their own messed up family trips.

Then he gave Peter another one. 

He pressed the cigarette to the glass of wine until is bent. 

"To Teresa," he said, this time louder and without embarrassment. Because she was the greatest thing to him and as long as she was alive, he would never hurt another soul. 


When Peter told Ben, Ben stared at him for many seconds before his face shot into a grin. 

It was like that of that cat in the Alice and Wonderland movie, large and crazy looking but perfect on his face, which was lined with a squared jaw and strong cheekbones. 

"You finally lost your v-card, huh," he said, nodding slowly, an impressed look on his face, "you're cutting it close to when I lost mine, I was just eleven, it was a birthday gift from my dad, a nice pretty hooker, experienced enough to give me a good time though of course," there's something dark in his voice when he looks back on his own father. 

Peter understands from that tone of voice that his dad probably hurt him a lot. His tone of voice is a lie and Peter wants to ask if he felt discomfort and pain when he had his first time. If he felt shame because he didn't actually want to do it. 

But his uncle lost that dark look and claps him on the shoulder. 

"It's good, you're a true man now," he says, and grips Peter's shoulders and shakes them, "a true one, did you-" his voice lowers, and he hears a soft crack behind it, but it's covered up immediately by a teasing voice, and a clear of his throat, "did you enjoy it?" 

Peter doesn't know what to say, so he just says the first thing that comes to his mind that says he enjoyed it without Peter having to lie because Peter just can't lie about this. 

"I came," Peter says, hollowly, " a couple of times, she stopped when I came dry though,"

Ben cackles, does a knee slap and everything, then claps his hands over his head and snaps his fingers to call attention to him. 

"Danny, bring me a bottle of vodka and two shot glasses, my nephew just lost his v-card!" he shouts over his shoulder, looking away for a second as Peter slumps in his chair. What did he expect from his uncle anyway? His uncle just followed traditions. Followed life by the rules written out before him. 

Did his Granpa also lose his virginity to strange woman years older to him when he just turned double digits? Is this what was expected of all the Parker boys go through? Did his dad go through this? 

Ben answered his thoughts. 

"My Daddy lost his v-card when he was just nine, did you know?" Ben informed him as he filled two shot cups with vodka. "My Granpa lost his v-card when he was ten, both of them to really pretty things, great-grandpa was a gay though, which, the Parker men don't judge, his hooker he ended up marrying, had to get a surrogate to have the next Parker kid because you know, it can't happen between a guy and a guy," he shrugged and handed him his cup. 

Peter nodded and put it on the table beside him, numb from head to toe. 

"Your dad lost it to our aunt when he was ten, the aunt was through a marriage of course," Ben said, quickly, but Peter wasn't even listening that well," cause incest we do judge, that's a no-no," he said with a shake of his index finger." Ya, this guy married our dad's sister, and she was his little sister, only six years older than your dad, a pretty one too, sixteen and tall and lean," he nods, refilling his glass again. 

Peter finally takes a sip from his. 

"So," Ben nods, "I wanna see if she's actually good," 

With quick whips of his head, Peter shakes it. 

Ben bites his lip though and nods, jumping in his chair excitedly before getting up and motioning for Danny to come over again. 

"Call Westcott," Ben said, "I want her to show me she's good enough to keep training my nephew," 

No, training didn't end with his dad's death. 

It just got more horrifying. 

It was a humiliating for his uncle, now drunk, and his friends now drunk, to cheer Stephany on as she sucked Peter off. Peter kept his eyes shut tight during the entire ordeal and tried his hardest not to come. If it was a sign of pleasure, then maybe his uncle would be disappointed if Stephany didn't make him ejaculate, maybe he'd rid of Stephany. Cause Peter didn't want to disappoint him. His uncle was the last father figure he had, he couldn't disappoint him. 

When Peter came he sagged in his seat and stared up at the sky, as Stephany giggled, stood up, and bowed. 

"He's all yours!" Ben shouted, "teach him well darling," he said and kissed her semen covered mouth. 

Peter was utterly humiliated, and in pain, as the tears rolled down his cheeks. Everyone else was too drunk to notice though. 

... 

Peter felt like less of a man. 

At the age of ten, he felt like less of the boy he was meant to be. It takes a while to realize that even if he didn't care and wanted to push Stephany off, it would have been odd for him to have such strength. Mutants weren't very welcomed. One killed president Kennedy, and even before that religion labeled them spawns of hell.

He couldn't show that part of him, and in all honesty, Peter believed that violence was never the answer. 

So he sat down in a nearby coffee shop before the next morning, and sipped softly from a cup of black coffee, with no sugar or milk or cream of anything, and he tasted nothing. 

Was I supposed to enjoy it? He asked himself during AP physics. He tuned in on a couple having sex in the bathroom stall under the floor he was on and heard them both moaning in mindless pleasure, he blocked that out remembering why he blocked it out in the first place but remembered enough. There was pleasure in both parts. Both of them felt it.  

Am I- Maybe it's because I don't like doing it with a woman? Peter thought in AP Chemistry, as he stared ahead at his surroundings, distracted by this thought in his head. 

Well, I don't think I like- I don't think I'm homosexual, Peter wondered quietly in his AP English class. 

Once, when he and Harry had had a sleepover, Peter had peeked at Harry when he took off his shirt and changed into a new one. He'd felt something. A soft twitch in him. But he felt the same when he saw one of Ben's girlfriends take off their bra and he'd see their bareback. Maybe it was a shame for not looking away. But that was such a waste to think about because an erection was just a reaction. Like goosebumps. 

He couldn't be an asexual, because they still got erections. It was all apart of the body, inevitable if your a human being who can physically feel. 

Peter didn't eat during lunch, instead, he flipped through books on human anatomy and looked for anything that could answer his questions. 

Then he moved on to read anything on the subject of sex. Non-fiction, and random novels. Even some poetry, out of desperation, and then found a book about a boy who slept with multiple people growing up but continued to feel empty and unsatisfied. But in the end, Peter just figured out that the boy was just very shallow. The novel was very badly reviewed anyway.

At the end of the day, while Peter laying on the couch and reading in the living room, Teresa came in, and a girl who must have been about Peter's age walked in as well. She was a redhead and she wore Nike Cortez shoes and black jeans and s red halter top sweater. Peter took all this in then turned back to his book.

A tutor. Peter no longer had time to hand out with his sister, cause when he wasn't doing homework, or at school, or training in the Hydra base, he would now only be training with Stephany. When Stephany had the time of course when she didn't, Peter always hung out at Gwen's or Harry's. And anyway, even though Peter and Teresa were close, after the entire situation with Stephany, he stayed away from home a lot, and in turn, stayed away from her. 

Now seven, and almost as smart as he was when he was seven, she was at a fourth-grade level, which made Peter proud. 

Her tutor's name was Mary Jane Watson. Ten years old, dad used to move around a lot but settled down in Queens when her mother died, now they lived with her mother's sister, Anna, who was now dating Mary Jane's dad. 

"What a wonderful world," Peter sang under his breathe as they took on the couch beside his. Mary Jane was the top of her class, and if she deemed Teresa well enough to move up a grade, she would. 

When Teresa got up and left to go to the restroom, Mary Jane boldly turned to talk to him. 

"So your miss Parker's brother," she said, bobbing her head up and down, "she said you were my age," 

"I am," Peter replied, turning the page to the book he was reading. Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe, a finely written book, with absolutely nothing of use to him so far. 

"But your not," she said as if she were certain. 

Peter looked up, and at her. 

She had a pretty face, but Peter really thought that was very shallow of him to see as the first thing, but it was inevitable not to, her face was like Stephany's, a fine smooth jaw and face, slim nose, green eyes, and heart-shaped red lips. 

Peter turned away. 

"I'm ten years old, just like you," he said, with a tone that said the conversation was over. 

"You look older," she continued though, and Peter sighed. 

"Sure, maybe, but I'm still your age no matter what," he said. 

"A ten-year-old in high school, though," 

"Why does that have to be weird," 

"How can it not be," 

Peter shook his head and went back to his book. "Shit, as if I'd know," 

"You're kind of like Tony Stark," she said, and that stoped Peter again. 

"Tony Stark," he said, rolling the name around in his mind, "Tony Stark, you mean the war profiteer?"

"No, I mean, Iron Man," she said with a smile, "duh," 

Duh, she was really young wasn't she. 

"Yes, of course, Iron Man, Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist, I've studied his work, it's a little overrated," he shrugged, "his dad was a mess, a drunk, but a genius during the day sure, who worked with ideas that came to his head in his dreams," he shrugged, "I know enough about him already. His son's no different, both drunks, both wor with crazy ideas, his Son Harley Stark is going to end up the same way," 

Mary Jane stared. "And how do you know all that stuff about Howard Stark," 

Peter looked at her, really looked at her. 

She knew who he was, knew what he came from, and knew who his family was. She had too. 

"I don't know, I get dreams too," he said, and right then Ben and Stephany walked in. Both Mary Jane and he turned to look at them, and then that's when Peter realized, she hasn't really known. Her eyes went wide at the sight of Ben Parker and Stephany Westcott, a famous Instagram model. 

"Come on Peter, Steph's taking you to hers," he said then walked away. 

Peter picked up the rucksack P.E bag he had his clothes and toiletries in then stood up and followed Stephany out the door. 

They stood in the elevator in comfortable silence before stepping out and into the lobby with they walked across in silence as well. 

Stephany drove a black Tesla, model x, and when Peter sat in the passenger's side seat next to her, and she began to drive, she grabbed his hand with her free one and squeezed it.  

If Peter pretended it was all normal eventually it would be, he realized when they got to her apartment. 

It was large and spacious. The walls were dark blue and most of the furniture was white, and what wasn't was wood, dar oak. There was a balcony, and it was open, letting fresh air in. 

"Just drop your bag in my room, then come back here," 

So he was sleeping in her room, how wonderful, he thought darkly. 

Her room was organized, the bed was made, and there was a vanity, a closet, a bedside drawer, and a large window.

When he heads back, she's already undressed, only wearing black lace lingerie, and a very clear black robe on. 

He knew exactly what training was going to be. It was called BDSM, his uncle had explained it very well to him the night before. Every Parker was trained in it. It was "tradition," Peter would be training to become a dominant, as the submissive. 

She led him to a different room, long and large, walls a blood red with closets and hangers, and handing from them were things like whips, floggers, chains, shackles, gags. 

They walked toward a drawer, and she opened it. Inside were blindfolded. All different material, and sizes. 

"Well," she said, grabbing all types of equipment, and the white blindfold in the end. 

Her hand in his, they walked to a separate room inside the room, separated by a wall with a slight opening where a door should be, and the walls were just as red, but there was a large bed in the middle. A desk, a chair, and a couch. 

"Let's get started,"  


From the Year 2001

There seemed to be no lessons to be learned the first time. At the source at least. 

It only took another year for another pregnancy to surface up, and for it to be true none the less. 

Pepper felt like she'd been slapped in the face as the woman, a really beautiful woman with dark blond hair, and blue eyes, and an accent that Pepper recognized immediately, sat in front of Tony and glared at him. 

"I never wanted a boy," she said and leaned back," never in my head did I imagine I would hook up with a stark boy, but I did," she said and leaned forward, "and damn do I regret it," 

She pursed her lip and bobbed her head up and down, "got, I was always afraid I'd have a boy with my husband, and watch him turn out like his baby daddy, but this, " she spat, motioning between Tony and the baby in her tummy, "this isn't possible, my baby is going to turn out just like you, he's gonna leave me when he's fourteen, just like you did your mama, I know how it works, I won't work hard to raise a baby then have em leave me, so here's the deal," 

She nodded as she thought, then finally came up with a said deal, "So, your gonna keep the baby-"

"That's not possible," Tony said and stood up, "I'm not fit to be a dad-" but Alison Keener was strong and bold and she pushed him back down as she stood up. 

"I have damn faith Stark don't make me waste it!" she shouted at Tony's shocked face. Pepper felt pride swell up inside her for her own gender and tilted her chin up with a smile. "Alright, here's the thing you gotta fucking understand, you! Will never be above abandoning your child, neither will I, but I love this baby with everything I have but I'm not fit to be a mother, never was, the minute I have this child, it's the minute my life ends, and I ain't leaving this baby in the system, cause I was left in the system, and I killed my mama when I was born, and daddy didn't want me so I hated myself with every fiber of my body, so I ran away, and dropped out of school, got a job at a bar because I decided to wither in my own self-pity, and ended up here," she pointed to her stomach. 

Tony stared at her, eyes wide with surprise and confusion but he said nothing. 

"I don't care if you're not fit to be a father, you will learn to be, cause I'm not signing these damn papers, I don't care if you want to blackmail me into keeping it a secret, I've got nothing to live for, and If I have to blackmail you into giving my baby- your damn baby a better life then so be it! Cause, in the end, you'll never, ever be above abandoning your own child," 

Pepper stepped forward and looked at Tony. He stared at his hands, and for the first time in Pepper's life, she saw Tony Stark speechless. He nodded. 

When Harley Stark was born it was a sunny day in Malibu, and as Alison said, she didn't live long enough to even see her child cry his second cry, she died then and there. Her mother had just lost to much blood, while she had just been too small and weak to survive the birth of her child. 

Pepper never thought she'd see Tony Stark speechless, but she had a lot of things lined up that would surprise her. 

Tony quit drinking. Even when Obadiah came by and offered, he always declined. Always. 

Harley brought out the best in him, Pepper came to his home many times and she'd just find Tony hugging his son to his chest, singing an Italian song to his son.

Once when Harley was just a month old, she came to Tony's to have him sign something and found him playing with his son's feet, kissing his toes and blowing raspberries in his stomach. 

Maybe Harley was bringing the best out of him, maybe Tony did love his son more than anything in the world. But there was something they just didn't speak about. 

Pepper didn't have a right to bring him up because she worked for Tony and long ago had he made it clear he was not supposed to be spoken about. 

Peter. 

Harley grew up and Peter wasn't mentioned once, but Tony would sometimes look at Harley and then look lost, look down at his lap with shame and stay silent for over five minutes before his attention was called back to Harley. 

When Harley turned a year old, and he was asleep in his new bed that he'd gotten for his birthday, Tony finally spoke. 

Pepper stopped in her tracks when Tony talked to her. 

"What?" she said, turning. 

The floor was covered in confetti, and there were many unopened gifts still scattered around. Pepper stepped over many of them to get to Tony. 

"Do you think my other kid will hate me?" Tony asked in a shaky tone of voice, "no scratch that, I know he will, I would if that happened, and I've already seen signs of myself inside of Harley at a year old, so if Peter is Two already, then he's doomed to have gotten my temper, my anger" 

Pepper didn't know what to say. 

"I mean, I did abandon him, I gave him up as if he weren't worth anything, rid him of my life as soon as possible, because I thought I was above abandoning my child, how could I?" 

Pepper took his hand. But still didn't know what to say. Because this was a decision Tony made. One he made and thought he could get away with, and had gone too deep already. 

"He lives in Queens, with his mother, and Richard Parker, who he thinks is his dad, and I know it's so damn wrong Pepper, but I'm angry. " he said quietly," At myself and at Richard Parker, who adopted my kid, who my kid calls dad, because suddenly, I have a kid, and the idea of sharing my kids, with another man makes me jealous and it shouldn't, but I'm a damn Stark and I just can't be happy for others without feeling something negative," 

"Tony, you didn't have the sense when you gave Peter up," Pepper told him, "and I think it's understandable, that you feel jealous now, but here is where your wrong, Peter isn't yours anymore," she said softer this time," when you gave him up, you gave him up completely, and now Richard is his dad, because he wants to be, and it might be painful, but it's Karma," 

Tony dropped his head in her lap. 

"God," he said hoarsely," I think of him all the time, and the photos of him that his Aunt isn't afraid to post online, he's got my eyes, my hair, my nose, he's an exact replica of me when I was his age and god I love him, but he sits beside Richard, and they look alike, so much so, so much, just so damn much, that I think I realized it the moment I saw them together, they are the father and son, and I want to just be there instead, I want to be the one to take him to Disney land, and I want to take him with Harley, but-" 

"You can still do that Tony," Pepper says softly and with guilt," God knows you could just take him back in a millisecond-"

"But I'll never be able to tell him it was because I was possessive and just didn't want him to love another man as his father," Tony said, no, he heaved, "that I just couldn't let him be happy," 

...

Two years later, Pepper and Tony started dating, a year after that, they got married. 

It was kind of destined to happen. 

Tony and Peter were meant to fall into line with each other, to meet again, because Tony changed but never lost his stubbornness, and Peter was to smart to not figure it out. 

It just shouldn't have been under such sad circumstances.

 

Chapter Text


Teresa over watered the plants Aunt May sometimes brought home with her. 

Peter watched her when she did. They had a large greenhouse in the back of the penthouse, and Peter sat on one of the wicker chairs, looking at the way Teresa parted the leaves of the plants or the petals and poured water on them, until they turned into rivers, overflowing with water.  

They never died. The ones that overflowed with water were the ones that grew the highest. Aunt May was confused because the ones that grew the highest weren't the ones that she used fertilizer on. 

Peter smiled knowingly but said nothing every time. 

"Winnie the pooh quotes make me cry," she said to him one day as she parted the leaves of a plant and let the water pour. 

He looked up and tilted his head, a little confused, "but, isn't Winnie The Pooh a happy story?" He'd never read it before, but now, he kind of wanted to.

"Yes, but, there's this quote, 'how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard, and I felt that, because it really is true, I'm lucky to have you," she smiled. 

Peter scoffed and went back to his book. "Don't get all cheesy on me, Teresa," he said in false annoyance, but he knew she heard the smile in his voice when she smiled. 

"Take me to the bookstore?" she asked him. 

Peter looked up, at her dress which she'd managed to keep clean throughout the entire ordeal, her hands which were dirty with mud and pollen, and her eyes which were soft and wide and green. He'd never been able to say no to her before. What was he supposed to say now then? 

After washing her hands, she put on a jacket and pulled on leggings to go under her dress, because the air was getting colder, and they were predicting snow soon, and he didn't want her to go out in the cold like that. 

The Barnes and Noble they wanted to go to was large and far away, so they packed into their driver's car and had him drive them there. 

Teresa conversed with Kennie asking him about his favorite books, while Peter stared out the window of the car, at the moving cars, the women and men walking by and the small children playing hopscotch on the sidewalk beside their houses. When Peter would sit in the back alone, he'd never look out the window's, never think, never try and understand.

He wondered why. 

When they arrived in front of the store, Kennie parked and followed them inside the shop, and even though Teresa didn't notice, Peter caught sight of the handgun hidden in his coat pocket. 

Peter found himself attracted to books that had nothing to do with homosexuality, science, or a classic. 

Everything I Never Told You was a thin book that's cover Peter didn't care to look at, as he opened the first page and read until the tenth. The way it was written rolled over in his mind, and he thought about the author and how she felt as she wrote it. 

Was she incredibly sad to write so deeply and amazingly well? Every sentence seemed like another poem.  

The title was endearing. Peter managed to cut his finger on every page he turned. It wasn't quite the same as cutting his wrists, but the feel of thin paper slicing open the tiny palm of his index finger felt satisfying. 

That's the only book Peter left with that day, one stained with blood, and wet with tears he hadn't even known had been rolling down his cheeks and onto the pages until he notices how damp the pages were. 

The cashier blushed and looked at him, apologizing for the condition the book was in, but Peter took it anyway and left for the car. He opened the door and sat inside and waited, letting his head rest against the window. 

Peter never understood the sadness that would set into him every other moment. How words could affect him in such a way that brought tears to his eyes when even the funeral for his father couldn't do that, even when his mother never came home and his father never confirmed he killed her. Those things sat at the back of his mind, and they never failed to frustrate him, but they never succeded in saddening him either. 

It started only a few months ago. 

An overwhelming wave of sadness pass through and around him, numbing every bone in his body, and pressuring him into one stiff place, laying on his bed, staring ahead at his red walls, that used to be blue, but when he had just turned eleven, he painted in the middle of the night, to hide the blood that sometimes stained the soft sky-colored walls. 

He wiped his eyes and moved over when he heard Teresa and Kennie making their way back to the car. 

Teresa pulled the door open and smiled, hauling bags onto the floor of the car before sitting down. 

"How many books did you buy," Peter laughed, pulling on his seatbelt. 

"Only twelve, not as little as last time, but not as much as the next," she quipped, pulling on her own seatbelt. "When I'm done reading them, you can have them. I only read books once after all, and you manage to read every book at least five times," 

Peter smiled, and crossed his arms, turning to look out the windows. 

"What book did you get?" Teresa asked, and reached out to grab the book on his lap, "oh, it's all dry and brown, Peter-" 

"Someone must have drawn on it or something, they sell watercolors there, maybe they tested it on the book, "Peter suggested and shrugged, "it's not a popular one, they probably thought it wasn't worth, not damaging," 

Teresa smiled and turned it on its front on her lap to read the back. 

"It sounds interesting," she said, "maybe you'll let me read it when you're done with it," she said and looked up for his confirmation. 

"Maybe," he said. 

She read the book before him, and when he started to read it, he thought about James and Marylin's marriage, two characters in the book, about James's affair and Marylin's pride, her mother's housewife etiquette, and their children. There was a chapter, of his and her story, how they met, how they came to love, why they loved, and when she left. 

When James jeopardized their relationship. 

Peter realized almost a quoter into the book, that he wouldn't be able to finish it. 

As he tried to, he sat in the living room of the first floor, a rucksack packed, Teresa's as well, and she sat beside him, watching Emma on Netflix. 

He felt Stephany's delicate finger run through his hair, her lips touch his neck and suck on it softly. The words faded away in front of his eyes as her teeth nibbled at his skin. Teresa watched, confused and uncomfortable, but he didn't look at her once. 

She knew sometimes when Stephany came over, she wouldn't be allowed to go into Peter's room. When Stephany stayed overnight she stayed in his room, in his bed, at his uncle's orders.

Teresa had seen Stephany kissing him before, and she was still very confused about it. He knew she told people. The people she told had older siblings. They knew what was being done. Teresa didn't believe Peter was like the descriptions her friends gave her. 

She understood very well Peter didn't like it. 

"Well, have a good night then," Ben laughed, and kissed Stephany's lips, as May stood to the side, sipping coffee and reading a book. 

Peter hated the fact that Ben and Stephany no longer slept with each other. It meant Peter was the only one. He wanted a reason to spite her, but it seemed, she was doing him a favor. 

They left, Teresa politely answered every question that Stephany asked her way because they were very nice friends. Teresa considered Stephany an older sister. That was nice, Peter thought. 

He and Stephany sat in the front, while Teresa sat behind them in the middle seat so that Peter could still see her.

When they got to Stephany's apartment, Teresa stayed in the living room while Peter left his things in Stephany's room. 

They did this every day. 

These sex sessions, they happened every day, and Peter tried his hardest to keep his hands steady as she put handcuffs on his wrists, and locked them. He could easily break these apart. He didn't know if he was just choosing not to.  

The blindfold came on, and Peter listened for Teresa who never moved from the couch once the entire time he and Stephany trained. 

After they're done, and he's showered, Peter and Stephany walk back to the living room. 

Teresa is watching The Lion King when they walk back into the living room. They leave her there to go to the kitchen, where Stephany starts to cook him a vegan lasagna. 

"Your uncle Ben tells me that you've been taking ballet lessons," she says two hours later, when it's done, and she's given Teresa her piece before coming to sit down in front of him with both of their plates, "Is that why you're so flexible?" she adds. 

No, it's apart of my many powers, combat training also helped out, "yeah, I've been taking ballet for a while now," Peter said instead.  

She smiles and places a wine glass in front of his and her plate. It's like they're having a date, and it kind of disgusts Peter. He doesn't want this to be romantic. This entire thing they're doing, he doesn't want romance to be apart of it at all. 

But she fills their glasses with expensive fine tasting wine, and she dims the lights and licks her lips before kissing his. Her hands slid around his neck and she turns to him. 

Peter has always been considered much more physically ahead of other eleven-year-olds. He's as tall as all the fourteen-year olf freshman in his year, at five feet and four inches, and his body is muscled and his chest is broad, and he's been fine with it almost all his life but when she slides into his lap, he's not fond of the fact her slim body fits perfectly against his own masculine one. 

He understands why Mary Jane confuses him for older now. 

Teresa looks up from the TV and at them. 

She's not stupid. She's seven and she's read enough books to understand what's going on in front of her.  

Her older brother has been the crush of many of her friends. He's good looking, just like their dad and uncle, and smart, and maybe that's why everyone likes him. 

Miss Westcott had taken a liking to him as well. Teresa never thought Peter was the type to take on a girlfriend, especially one that is nine years older than him, but they look nice together. 

She's seen movies, and she has read books, and they are kind of like a dream couple.   

Stephany is beautiful, and she wears a tight black dress that looks nice on her hourglass body and Peter is as all her friends consider him; tall, handsome, and a man. 

There's something that sets in her chest at the sight of the older woman on her brother's lap, on her brother, who looks older but is still eleven, kissing him expertly, and she looks away immediately. 

She knows about sex. 

She doesn't like it. 

When it comes across in her movies and books she skips ahead, even if there are brief descriptions she'd rather not watch. 

There has never been a part of her that's been even interested in it. Her friends love to sneak their mother's romance novels and read the dirtiest parts at their sleepovers but she only ever listens to be apart of it, it just makes her feel blank, and it doesn't make her feel aroused. 

Peter never tried to hide this from her. She's grateful he doesn't do it because that means he takes her seriously. 

But she still doesn't like this. 

It's not close to sex. They're french kissing.

It doesn't matter.  

"Teresa," Stephany says breathlessly, pulling away from Peter for a second," go to your room," before their tongues meet again. 

Teresa listens.

Standing up, she picks up her book and walks to the guest bedroom where she lays down on her bed and purses her lips. 

There are many reasons she doesn't like this entire situation. She knows they're having sex, she knows it, and she thinks, Peter is too young to be having it. She knows how it started. Knows Stephany was drunk and Peter was ten, knows he didn't like it. The look of utter shock and despair on his face as he passed her that morning, revealed it all. 

Rape. 

It's a word she's read in her books. 

The Body Keeps the Score is probably the only book Peter hasn't read that she has. Psychology is an ugly thing for Peter. Teresa isn't naive, she knows Psychopaths can't feel and that pedophiles really can control themselves, but Peter never liked to think these ways. 

He doesn't want to know what's going on in people's head, it scares him what goes on in his own head. He leaves that for her. She knows how he feels just by looking at him. Knows he wasn't always that sad, that paranoid, that panicked, that anxious and depressed until Stephany happened. 

Her mind played over the many times she watched him pick up anything that had to do with biology or anatomy or homosexuality. He was confused. Unsure, of what to think. 

But if there was one thing that Peter was that Teresa wasn't, it was confident. She knew she was right, but there was still this little part of her that was afraid she was wrong. That he would get upset with her if she brought that suggestion up to him, that maybe, he's been raped. 

She heard a thump in the living room, and the sound of Stephany moaning and giggling.

The entire time, Peter never made a sound. 

0o0o 

It's not something Peter wanted to do on a sunny Sunday. 

He stood in the basement, in a large basement, in Nevada, and stared ahead as the last bullet shot off. 

There was no such thing as a good person. Or a bad person. 

There were people who did bad things, Peter reminded himself, and people who did good. 

Most of the time, people did both. There was a rare chance that all a person ever did in their entire lives was bad and evil and cruel.  

But there was blood only from the bad people or so Ben labeled them. 

The bags over their head's soaked against the blood of the people who died when the bullets went through their heads. Some got a bullet through the heart. Peter looked at all the blood of the people on the left side of the room, and their children, who screamed and cried, and those who just stayed stock still in shock, were pushed against the right walls. 

The bodies had been lined up, ready to be shot at. 

Peter looked at his feet, glaring with harsh intensity. 

Ben's voice filled the room, loud and giving out orders to clear out the room. Peter sank onto the seat he'd been sitting on previously, and tossed his drink back, staring wide-eyed at the floor. 

"Clean the floors, they're making my kid nauseous," Ben ordered and walked over with more scotch. 

"Why-" 

"You've spent to much time in Manhattan, New York, Asia was a nice escape, but this part of America is the ugliest but our busiest. Las Vegas here we come!" 

Peter looked at Ben with hooded eyes as he poured more scotch into his glass and snatched it up, snapping his head in the other direction as he drank from it. 

"I've got a long list of ex-lovers there, and they'll tell you I'm insane, luck follows me everywhere I go," Ben said, "you're better at poker than I am, so you're going to play for me there and I'll even let you keep the money you win," 

"Gambling," Peter muttered.  

"Exactly, now let's get out of here," Ben said and clapped a hand on the back of Peter's shoulder. Peter was standing up and walking up the stairs before Ben could even joke about his quick pace. 

The black car waited for them outside expectedly, and Peter slid inside, only to grab another bottle of the nearest alcohol. 

He didn't like Nevada. Not at all. It was the ugliest and busiest, and Peter pinched his nose because even a mile away he could still smell the blood. Then Peter realized, Ben must have brought some on the car with him, on the bottom of his heel.  

When they got to Las Vegas they switched rides. Peter and Ben got on their separate motorcycles, even though Peter didn't know why it was necessary to change vehicles, and they rode to the casino.

Peter did indeed play poker for Ben, and he won every time. The money pilled up for him, and Peter found himself betting more and more, winning more and more, and buying alcohol more and more. 

Teresa would be so upset with him. She was a spitfire when she wasn't being so shy. She'd be absolutely disgusted with his behavior. 

He didn't drink it there of course. But when he got up to his hotel room, he woke up to a headache and Stephany sprawled beside him. 

Cause she had come with. 

He could care less for his nakedness then. 

He showered, got dressed, and then left the room as quickly as he could. 

There was something about watching people of all ages getting killed for his own punishment, but to watch people who'd made simple unavoidable mistakes, (his uncle's mob didn't take no for an answer, so how could they have?) get killed in front of their own children, children who would then be made to work for the Parker's mob, it was such an ugly inhuman thing. 

He imagined a scene in his head, where he knocked out his uncle, his entire team there, and set everyone free. Gave them a second chance. 

It was a candle wish, that would never come true like when he was five and whished his mother would come back in a whisper to a candle on a cake his dad had bought him. 

It's silly and stupid and- 

"Peter," 

His head snaps up to meet Teresa's. She smiles and motions to the door. 

"Ben's here," 

"Right," 

The drive to the airport was quiet. Peter was very guilty and held her hand to stop it from shaking. 

When they finally got home, when they were finally back in Manhattan, the first thing they did was go to the bookstore. 

This time, Peter got more books that Teresa did. 

Twenty four to be exact. 

To Kill A Mockingbird was his least favorite. He didn't understand why it was important, why people liked it so much. He didn't understand it, that was it. 

Teresa fell in love with the book within a day of reading it. 

She got a poster, watched the movie, even got clothes to parade her love for it. 

It was unusual her love for the book. 

He didn't bother to ask why. 

She told him though, as they walked later that day. 

The sun was getting low, but they were going to a nearby store that sold all types of Anime shit. 

"It's a story about the loss of innocence, Peter," she said, sliding her arm through his. "I mean, it's a really good book-" 

"It's very well written, Caro, but I just think it's very childish-" 

"Childish! It's a literal classic, it's- don't insult it as being childish!" 

Peter rolled his eyes, "childish doesn't have to be an insult, Peter Pan, Winnie The Pooh, those are fantastic classics built up on sad theories, sad true stories, but they're still great," 

"To Kill A Mockingbird is a wonderful, powerful book, and- we're here!" she finished and ran towards the store. "Wait for me out here then," 

Peter nodded. 

He left. 

She knew he was going to, it was nice to humor him though. 

Teresa always spent hours inside the store, so Peter made it a habit to just walk around. 

The city was loud, and Peter walked straight ahead for an hour, before stopping at a small coffee shop. He took only a handful of pastries and a cup of coffee before continuing his walk. 

He wanted to go to Delmar's, a nice shop owned by the only man Peter had met that didn't have anything to do with Ben and his mob, besides his customer and owner relationship with Peter. 

He took a shortcut, through an alley, to go into Queens, but stopped short at the sound of screaming. Peter found himself unable to mind his own business. He ran towards where he heard the screaming and stopped in front of the entrance of an alley and looked down it. 

A mugger. 

He held a knife to the throat of a woman, a woman who'd obviously just come home from a shift of some sort, and she stood in front of her child, a girl, who couldn't have been older than seven, who stayed silent, but shivered. 

Peter's first thought was, why would a mother bring their child into the dangerous night, especially in the city. 

The second thought was, what kind of person, would choose to harass a mother and her child. 

He stepped in. 

It's stupid of him. 

But he was trained to kill, and he hates this fact, so instead, he takes advantage of the fact that it's dark out and he has a hoodie and pulls the hood over his face. The mothers breathe hitches, and the child screams when he comes forward and tackles the guy. 

The guy is average height, could way a hundred fifty pounds, most is muscle, but Peter pins the guy very easily. He shouts and tries to push Peter off, but Peter's hands find their way around his neck, before he turns the guy over, straddles his back, and holds his arms behind him. 

"Well," Peter says calmly, shallowing and deepening his voice so it sounds different, "don't just stand there," 

The woman takes the hint. She picks up her child and runs. Peter can hear the sounds of her heels against the floor as she runs, even when she's almost a block away. 

Sliding the pants off the man's legs, he uses them to tie the guy's hands behind his back to the ankles of his legs. 

When Peter calls the police, the guy is shouting. 

When everything is done. 

When everything is no longer in Peter's hands. 

He runs. 

It's simple. 

He can hear the police sirens, they're signals. Nothing is in his hands anymore. 

Not his dad's body, not his mothers, not those of the children who they couldn't save, no one's. 

Peter doesn't go to Delmar's. 

When he gets back to that store Teresa is shopping in, she's outside, on her phone, two large bags slung on her right arm. 

"Caro!" Peter shouted, and she turned to look at him then, "come now, let's go," 

"Are you alright?" she says as she runs over to greet him. "You've got sweat rolling down you," 

"Exhilaration, I went for a run" Peter explained, taking her bags from her. 

There's something running through his veins, it's odd, it's exhilaration, a type of it. Knowing that woman got home safely, knowing that no one had to get hurt. It's a wonderful feeling. 

He likes it. 

It gives him pleasure. 

... 

He does it again. 

... 

And again. 

... 

And again. 


 

Peter doesn't like being called a hero, he realizes, four months into what he's doing. Almost four months into this bliss relief of washing the blood off his hands that have stained them for years. 

It's not a nice word for him. 

A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. 

Peter does a variety of things.  

There's a phone number he gives parents who've lost their children. He updates them as he searches for them. What he finds he keeps private.  

He's done it for four families, the first one, a mother with no husband, had an eight-year-old son, and a man pretended to be the boy's dad and drove away with the kid. Peter found him within a week. The mother passed on his phone number. 

Jacky Moon is a fifteen-year-old Asian female, with a bright future ahead of her, plays volleyball and soccer, and volunteers on the weekends. That Sunday morning, Peter spends it walking around her room and looks at the poster on the walls. 

Scientists. Nice. Marie Curie stares back at Peter and Peter touches the edge of the paper she's printed on. It was a gift. 

He moves around and touches the binders that are organized on the shelf, and the books under them. 

Girl most likely is being pressured by her parents to take a career in science. 

He goes through the boxes on the bottom shelf and finds some sketchbooks. The drawings are good, like the ones Gwen does and spends hours on. Peter flips through the books and finds ones that are a little out there. A girl hanging herself. Two girls kissing. A girl. A girl. A boy. A girl bleeding from her nose. 

He places those in his bag, then takes one of the girl's books. It's marked. There are pages highlighted, notes inside. The cover is black but as Peter reads the first sentence of the book he realizes the book is actually Beautiful Boy

"Is everything alright," the mother says, "take what you need to find her,"  

Peter nods, goes to the window, opens it, and crawls out of it. 

"I'll have your daughter back by Tuesday night. I'll pay for rehab." 

"Rehab-" 

But Peter leaves before the woman even starts on the next word. 

Drugs. 

Jacky's pressured by her tiger parents to do a good job in school, but she's more interested in being an artist than she is in science and literature. She met a boy, thinks she's in love, the boy started giving her drugs. She loves him even more. 

Peter gets back home and places what he has inside of his desk before he gets into bed. 

Stephany is already on his bed. Already undressed. 

Peter never liked sharing his bed with her. He rather preferred they stay in her room, do it on her bed. But Ben insists that she stay over sometimes, and because of this, she stays in his room. 

She tastes the same when their tongues meet, the skin of her hands are as soft and delicate as they've always been when they unbutton his shirt and slide down his abdominal, her body is as slim and light chocolate skinned as it's always been as it slides on top of him. Her hair is as silky soft as the tips touch the sides of his face when they curtain her face. 

Puberty is a silly thing. But it opens things up for you, and when Peter started going through it, he actually started being okay with all of this stuff. 

Hormones, or as so many of the high school teachers tell him, are the cause of lust.  

His hands felt at her this time, and when he impaled her, he no longer felt numb but allowed himself to bask in whatever pleasure she's been trying to get him to feel for the past two years. 

"What are you thinking about," she asks him, right after, while he reads Jacky's copy of Beautiful Boy

"Drugs," Peter mutters. 

She smiles and sits up, sliding up beside him. 

"I can get you some if you'd like," she says sweetly, resting her hand in the crook of his neck. It's like they're a couple. It makes Peter uncomfortable. 

"No, not for me, I'm just reading this book, it's about drugs," he explains. 

She hums and kisses her neck. 

"You're turning twelve soon," she informs him. 

Peter knows, so he ignores her and turns the page. 

"Twelve years old, that means we can start the next stage of training," 

Peter puts the book down and turns to look at the woman. 

They've grown closer. Somedays he hates her, others he doesn't. 

Sometimes, they don't even have sex. They just hang out and eat ice cream, or watch movies, or have dinner at prestigious restaurants. They talk or they just lay beside each other. Sometimes, Peter thinks they won't ever have sex again. But then they do, and Peter hates her again. 

"Me and my friend," she says, "we're gonna share you," 

"Share me?" he says, sliding down to get to her level. 

Stephany nods. "Share you," 

"That doesn't sound very appealing," he comments. 

Sighing her places her head on his chest. 

The truth is, he doesn't even like doing this with her, but they've known each other long. She gives him safewords. She's it. This is it. He doesn't want another stranger on him. He doesn't want to be in another stranger. 

"She's pretty, young too, just turned nineteen." She comforts him. It isn't a comfort though. 

He thinks about Monica suddenly. He hasn't seen her in a year. She was moved to a base in Sokovia, to do some work on some twins or something. It's someone young? He could care less. 

The way Stephany says it though, it's not an option for him. This is going to happen. 

Suddenly he's dreading his birthday. 

At school, he tries his best to continue keeping up his face, but he's distracted up until Chemistry. 

There's something he's been developing for over a month now, an idea that's been forming inside of his head, that he tried to push away for over a week but that came back in the most inconvenient of hours. 

He'd been using his ability to climb walls, his sixth sense, his enhanced strength while doing this. But there was something else. He'd been shot at seven times throughout these four months of... rewriting his wrongdoing. 

He'd been shot once, only because he was shielding a girl who's drug dealer was trying to shoot. 

So the thing he was developing, it would be very useful. 

Liz watched him curiously as he hurried to finish the assignment, put it aside, then started on his own. 

He pulled out his tablet and quickly scrolled through the work he'd already done, and grabbed the materials he needed to make it.  

"Peter," she said, and put whatever she'd been using down, "what are-" 

He passed his worksheet to her. "Just follow those steps, do it slowly, you're hands aren't as steady as mine, don't talk to me," he said softly, and as kindly as he could as to not offend her. She wasn't. She just took the worksheet and began following the steps he'd carefully noted down from that day's lesson. 

He didn't want any distractions, he also didn't want any witness as he used his stylus pen to jot down notes on his tablet as he continued to form the formula. 

"Finally," he mumbled to himself. He sticks the edge of his pencil in it and pulled it out. The webbing comes up with it, and he twirls it around. He takes it in his hands and pulls at it. It's strong. 

Looking at Liz and Cassidy in front of him, he hides his right arm under the desk, grabs a scalpal, then digs it into his skin. 

No pain. 

Garret has taught him well. No reaction comes from Peter, he almost thinks maybe he didn't feel it. But the burn is there when he takes the scalpel out. He grabs the webbing and presses it to the cut. If it infects, he'll heal. 

There are different uses for this. One of them is quick healing. There was something in his own father's formula, something he searched for and added to this one. When he pulls the webbing off, the cut is gone. 

It's not normal. 

A cut like this, Peter learned, takes at least thirty minutes to heal completely. 

It's worked. 

"Are you okay," Liz asks again. 

Peter is smiling. It's real, and it's noticeable that it's real. 

"I'm great," 

He conducts the other part of the experiment in Queens though after he's trained for hours at the Hydra base. A high apartment building, the edge of the ledge. He sticks the webbing to it, and then turns and throws himself back. 

The webbing stretches, and before he hits the ground, it stops, and Peter is left hanging from it, at least ten feet from the ground. It's strong. But Peter isn't sure if he wants to move around like this. It's quick yes, but he'd rather have a better method. What if the person jumps. He needs a way to stick the webbing to a suicider's back and still be able to hold on to the other end. 

It's a roadblock. 

Peter thinks about many methods on his way back home. 

A gun is his best option. 

But it's also his worst. 

He doesn't want to look threatening. He doesn't want a suicidal teen or man or woman to be threatened by him when he aims a gun at them as they are about to jump. It's comfort he wants to offer. Not the image of violence. Anyway, there are enough guns in the world. 

He paces his room as he thinks. He only has one day left to find Jacky Moon, and he needs this stuff if he's right, which he always is, not a good thing by the way, and he needs to make the thing that's going to hold his web fluid to do it. 

Pinching the bridge of his nose, he suddenly snaps his eyes open to stare at his wristwatch. It's expensive, it's new, it's gold, and- 

He breaks it open thirty minutes later as he sits in his uncle's workshop. 

His uncle mostly uses it to fix up his cars to hide cocaine when he crosses borders. The guy has found many ways to conceal the smell of drugs.

He finds nickel-titanium in the back then starts to get to work. 

The nickel-titanium takes time to morph, but not to much. 

He doesn't want it to be tight around his wrist, but he wants it to hold. He needs it to be thin, but to be able to hold a large amount of web fluid, but the top will have a screen on it to determine the exact distance and how much he wants to come out.  

Teresa has come down to search for him. It's been thirteen hours. 

"I'm not going to school," he says when he sees her standing at the last step of stairs, dressed in her pink skirt, baby blue sweater, and yellow hightops, her backpack slung over her shoulder, his in her left hand. 

Her brows furrow and she frowns, coming to stand over him. "You're skipping again?" 

"I take AP classes, just like I did last year, and the year before, and the year before that, I'm done with all my work, and the ones that are actually supposed to be due in two weeks, I think I'll be fine," he says without looking up. 

Teresa watches his hands move. They're calloused with how much work he's doing. The way he tares a wire then replaces it, screws some things in place then unscrews them. 

She looks around and then stills when she spots a familiar mask and goggles. 

"You're the guy everyone is talking about," she mutters. 

Peter doesn't seem surprised she knows, just keeps on working but nods his confirmation.  

She tosses her bag and his aside and sits down beside him.  

He's been here all night. It's gotten hot down there, he's only in his undershirt now, but it's stained with oil. He's wearing a faceplate, and he holds a mini light up to his face. It's oddly familiar. 

Teresa gasps when she realizes what it is and sits down on the stool beside his. 

"That's a mini-arc reactor," she says and sits down beside him," you're like Tony Stark, your a superhero genius-" 

"No," Peter says cutting her off, "ya, no, first of all, this is a miniaturized mini-arc reactor, second of all, I'm like, not Tony Stark, I'm like, Peter Parker because that's my name, and third of all, I'm not a hero," 

"So you're a vigilante?" she says arching a brow. 

"A-" he pauses, "yes, I guess so," then he turns whatever he'd been working on that was on the desk, and placed the miniaturized arc reactor in place. Whatever he'd been working on lights up, and Teresa leans closer to take a better look. 

"It'll hold this web fluid I've developed," Peter explained and takes out said fluid," it looks like  liquid, but once it's pressed it will thin into webs, it's strong, and it can heal wounds in a millisecond really-" 

"How do you-" she looks at the shark knife on the other edge, and it has lots of blood on it, "oh, Peter you didn't-" 

"It was for science," he said as if it were a fine enough explanation," anyway, it can hold only 8.4 ounces of it, but it stretches and will swell, so it'll be like I'm using way more of it. The tiny arc will power it." 

Teresa smiled sadly. 

He was obsessed with it. But the dark circles under his eyes were growing darker, and the sweat is rolling down to low. She's worried. 

Her hand reaches out and covers her brother's forearm. 

There is a tattoo on it. A circle surrounds a red spider. He has two. This one and one on his shoulder blade of the greek sun. She didn't know when he got them, but she knows the earliest memory she has of the spider one is when she was four and he was bathing her. It was right there on his forearm, covered in foam from the bubbles she had insisted on having. 

"I'm okay," he says when she continues to stare at it. 

"Why didn't you tell me about this before," she says and looks around, "I've watched the videoes people took of you. Crawling up walls, jumping from building to building. It's very dangerous. " 

"I can handle it" he replies as he puts the web-shooters on. "I'll get changed, you go to school, I have something I need to take care of." 

Teresa slings her backpack back on but stays to watch her brother change. He just pulls a black sweater over himself and pulls on the black almost clear black mask, that has goggles covering the holes that were cut out for Peter's eyes.

She giggles, "you're going to need a better suit," she says as he walks past her. 

He stops and turns to her, "ya," he agrees, glaring playfully at her"you design it, and I might let you watch me build it," 

"Who says I want to?" she replied snarkily, crossing her arms. 

"You don't?" 

"Oh, no I do! I'll design it," 

She does. 


It isn't uncommon, for his dad and mom to leave, whether they are business meetings, board meetings, conventions or just traveling in general to maybe meet up with investors for the company. 

Harley always knows when it's going to happen. 

His parents get these looks on their faces when they said they were going on trips.

After his dad revealed their home location to the entire world and the whole Mandarin thing happened, they moved to Manhattan and to be honest that was probably the most difficult thing Harley had to do. 

Moving seemed like it was the worst thing that could ever be done. Leaving his friends, leaving his school, leaving the home he grew up in. It was hard, even though Harley liked to complain about how boring California was, and how New York seemed so much more exciting when he actually got there, he realized, it really wasn't all that. 

Yes, it was amazing, there were so many great things about New York Harley always wanted to see when he was younger, but now, Harley couldn't help but compare why California was so much better. 

Dad and Mom built an entire tower there in Manhattan, and Harley thought as he looked outside the glass down at the people below him, it really wasn't the same as looking at the blue ocean or the sun setting and turning it a pink, orange and dark purple. 

The scariest thing though was moving to a different school. 

Now that was a whole problem within itself. In Malibu, the schools were set apart quite far. Every other school would be a couple of miles away. But therein New York, a school could be in one corner but when you walk another block, you can find another. 

The private schools were nice, like super nice, but many overlooked good education in thirst for money. Many were very prestigious and had nice morals but they tended to be a little harsh on their students. 

In the end, they chose a school near the tower. 

It was large and private, prestigious but a lot more focused on sciences. It was a nice middle school and when Harley went with his parents to take a tour of the place, he found that he really liked the whole school. It had a nice vibe to it, and their advanced classes seemed really intriguing. They were serious but fun as well. They liked to use the money given to them to plan monthly field trips for the kids, and the places they went sounded really fun. 

Harley was also certain it would help him get into a high school Harley had dreamed about going to since he was seven.

"Laptop?" 

"Check." 

"Tablet?" 

"Check." 

"Notebooks," 

"All two of them,"

"Mechanical Pencils," Pepper listed off finally.

"Check," Harley said, holding them up then putting them in his backpack. 

She smiled and put her clipboard aside, then came over and cupped his face. 

"It's going to be okay," Pepper smiles comfortingly, "the entire thing that happened, we're going to be okay. A new school will turn into an old one, you'll meet new friends and you'll earn your place as the smartest kid in the school again in no time," 

Harley grins, "ya I am," he said and shrugged. 

Pepper laughed and ruffled his hair, before picking up his bag and handing it to him. 

"You're dad's sorry he can't be here to send you off," Pepper says softly, with eyes just as soft. Harley looks away. 

This is where all those years of experience came in. Those times when Harley blew out his candles beside the nanny because his parents had business trips on his birthday. Those Christmases he spent alone in the house, as he waited for the week to end to finally see his parents. 

This was different though. His dad was Iron Man and he was leaving to discuss life-threatening matters, or so Harley assumed because his dad told him nothing about where and why he was going. Avengers business apparently. 

Pepper walks him out to the front where Happy waited with the car. 

His uncle rolled his eyes and opened the door for himself and got into the driver's seat. 

Harley waved goodbye as Pepper closed the door. 

She had a meeting soon as well. 

The drive to school was silent. Harley looked out the windows at everything around him. *The city reveals itself in a set of cells, a hundred thousand windows, some darkened and some flooded with green or white or golden light*. There are people all around and though in Malibu the car he drives around in is noticed all the time, here, there are many others like his. 

Sleek, black, long and with many grumpy men behind the steering wheel.  

Happy parks in the school parking lot and Harley gets out of the car and closes the door behind him as he looked the school up and down again. He took a deep breath and sighed. Looking at Happy, he nodded and walked off. 

Walking through the hallways of the school, he made his way to Miss Laing's classroom. 

Looking inside, he found the seat she said he'd be taking there and made his way over. It was in the back, the middle seat. He sat down and hung his backpack on the back of the chair just as the bell rang. 

A Filipino boy sat to his right and immediately noticed Harley. 

"Oh hi," he said, "are you the new kid here?"

Harley smiled. The boy looked really kind, and he was wearing a Starwars pin on the pocket of his uniform outfit. 

"Yeah, I'm Harley Stark," he replied. He wasn't too surprised when the boy gasped and got a starry look in his eyes when he said his last name. Iron Man was a big deal everywhere, and Harley really couldn't help being Iron Man's son now, could he? 

"Oh my god," he said, "your dad is Iron Man, that's so cool, I'm Ned," 

Just as Harley moved to shake the boy's hand and ask about his pin, a pretty girl with curly brown hair sat down in front of him. 

"What's up loser," she said as a greeting towards Ned, and though the greeting seemed a little hostile there was a soft look in her eyes that assured Harley it was just all good-natured. "Hey- New kid?" 

"Harley," Ned said, "Harley Stark, this is Mj, but you have to call her Michelle Jones, because only her really good friends can call her MJ," 

"Right," Michelle confirmed. 

Harley smiled and nodded. 

They were friends by that end of the day. He still wasn't allowed to call her MJ though. Not yet. It would be a little too soon. 

Ned, Harley, and Michelle bound out from the school and walked across the courtyard towards the gates. Finally, Harley was able to ask Ned about his pin. 

"You like star wars too!" Ned smiled, "that's so cool!" 

Harley laughed, "ya, If you want, you can come over and we can watch it on our screen TV," 

"That'd be great," Ned replied. 

"You too MJ," Harley offered softly. 

The said girl looked up from her book with a considerate look then nodded and went back to reading Pride and Prejudice, a book Harley knew nothing about and honestly from the back summary, he didn't think he'd ever want to read it either. 

He was never good in language arts, or any of the arts anyway. It wasn't something that upset him. 

Michelle and Ned went to the right, and Harley stopped to watch a white male smile and spread his arms and Michelle come forward and let his arms wrap around her. He placed a sweet kiss on her forehead before she pulled away to round the car and get in the passenger's seat. 

Ned's mother, or so Harley assumed, was an average height beautiful philippine woman who didn't hesitate to kiss her son once he was in arm's reach. 

Harley turned and walked towards Happy who grunted when he saw him and then got back inside the car. Harley smiled because even though Happy didn't show his own love the way Ned's mom and Michelle's dad did, he showed it in his own way. 

When Harley got inside the car, Happy tossed back a chocolate bar, then brought the wall up. It was a very good way to say he loved Harley. 

Opening it up, Harley sucked on the bar as they drove back home, taking out his laptop to get a head start on the homework. 

Suddenly, mid-drive, Happy came to a jolting stop and Harley pressed forward. He dropped his chocolate bar and whined, going to pick it up, but his door opened and Harley was being hastily pulled out. 

"Unbuckle your seatbelt!" Happy demanded of him. Harley did so, quickly, and let himself be shoved out of the car. It was then that he heard the screams, or more or so, just finally noticed them. 

People were running, blood-curdling screams spreading over the city like heavy fog after a day full of rain, Harley's wrist was gripped and he felt it pop when Happy started pulling him along. 

They ran in the direction everyone else was running, and whatever they were running from was loud, damaging buildings around them like tornados, but when Harley managed to take a look around, he saw a blue light come from some sort of spaceship and blast into a building. The building fell like putty and people were engulfed by rubel. 

As they ran, Harley caught sight of a woman, half of her body detached from her, her head lolled to the side and her eyes rolled to the back of her head as she screamed in pain. As he and Happy continued to run he spotted the bottom half of her, at least five feet away. 

Something was going on. He didn't know what, but it was absolutely unbelievable. 

That's when Spiderman came in. 

Harley had read about the guy in articles, saw in mentioned in the newspaper and many sights and social media accounts told their story about how the guy saved them from whatever traumatizing experience they went through. 

A boulder started to tilt towards Harley and Happy, and Harley felt some pieces of glass graze his face before Spiderman stepped in and pushed the boulder in the other direction. Harley watched as Spiderman kicked at one of the flying spaceships and started to maneuver it, straight into the sky. Then he came back, only to start blasting the other spaceships. 

"Come on," Happy shouted and picked Harley up, throwing him over his shoulder, before beginning to run again. 

As he looked up at the sky, he suddenly saw it, his dad's suit, the red and gold one, carrying something above his head, straight into a large black hole in the blue sky. 

He gulped and then for the first time during that entire ordeal; screamed. 

... 

There was this huge relief of having his dad in his arms that Harley had experienced enough times in his lifeline. 

It didn't last long. 

Maria Hill, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, walked into the room and called his dad away. 

"Not now-" Tony started, running his hands through Harley's hair and kissing his forehead. 

Maria gave him a look, "it's about Peter," she said. Tony stilled, before kissing his forehead again. 

"Who's Peter?" Harley asked Tony as he stood from his seat. 

"Not now," Tony said and turned and walked towards Maria, and with one swift look towards Harley, he was gone again, into the elevator with Maria. 

Pepper came to stand behind him, and gently placed her hands on his shoulder. 

"Mom, who's Peter?" he asked, hoping that at least she would give him an answer. 

She sighed and placed a delicate hand on his cheek. 

"I'm afraid you'll find out soon," she smiled sadly. 

He had no idea what that meant, but nodded and watched her go. He left too. Back to his room where he picked up his phone, a new one because his other was lost somewhere in manhattan under ruble along with whatever else was inside of his backpack. 

He called Ned's phone number, which he had memorized, and waited for him to pick up, hoped that he would. He hoped Ned and Michelle were okay.  

Ned picked up on the third ring. 

"Hello?" came his soft voice. 

"Hey," Harley said," it's Harley," 

"Oh," Ned's reply came, "Oh! Harley hi! Are you okay? Is your dad okay? What happened?

"Slow down," Harley laughed, "ya I'm okay, so is my dad, and for the last question, I have no idea. I heard the word 'alien invasion' but that sounds way too far fetched." 

"Alien invasion? Really? Wow, that sounds so cool, I don't like that they attacked us though, that was rude of them," 

Harley laughed, "ya, that was very rude of them. Hey, how's Michelle?" 

"Oh, MJ's okay, she was heading in a separate direction from Manhattan so yes, she's fine. So is her family and her home, which is great, her apartment is really pretty," 

"I'm sure it is," Harley replied. 

"Hey is it true Captain America was there?" 

Harley launched into telling him everything he knew about the entire situation. 

Black Widow was his aunt, and she was like a badass, and she was best friends with Clint, Hawkeye, who Harley thought was funny, but really silly as well, and Bruce Banner who sounded really smart when he spoke, like in his papers, not that Harley understood them that well. Thor was a god and his brother was the one who led the attack, but he was a god too. 

And yes, Captain America was there too. He was nice and very respectable. 

Old though. 

His dad came back two days later. 

It was odd and frustrating how he could just go and get himself almost killed, come back, then leave again for two days and not explain why. 

Harley was a little angry, but more relieved that his dad came back, even though he already knew he was going to. 

"Hey bud," Tony said as he closed the door behind him. 

Harley closed his laptop and put it on his desk drawer, and scooted to the end of his bed as his dad took the chair from his desk and straddled it, facing him. 

"Hi," Harley said meekly and brought his knees up to his chest to lay his crossed arms on them. 

"I'm sorry I left in such a hurry," Tony said, "but it's not the only day I'll be busy, or you," 

Harley nodded. 

"Of course," it's not that Harley was understanding. He was just used to it. So he wasn't going to complain, it just made the entire thing a lot harder and Harley didn't want that. Not now. "Dad. Who's Peter?" 

The question stayed in the back of his mind, and Harley wondered for a long time why Peter was so important. Why his dad left at the mention of this guy's name. He wanted to know. But his mom said nothing and Happy didn't either. 

His dad looked away and then stood up, picking up the chair with one of his arms and putting it back in its place.  

"Peter-" his dad started, but then he looked down and ran his hands over his face. He picked up a coffee mug with the NASA logo on it and threw it up in the air, catching it. It was his way of thinking, as he slid it back on the desk. 

"You know how I was before I married your mother?" Tony said more than asked, "you know how I was before I met Alison, and before you were born," 

Harley nodded, not understanding where his dad was going but eager to hear. He usually didn't go this deep into his past. He said it was bad, and from what Harley had read in articles, it was, and that was why he didn't like to talk about it. 

"You are one of the greatest things that ever happened to me Harley," Tony said, and sat beside his son, "I love you because you made me better, but something happened before you. It was also the greatest thing that happened to me, but it was also my biggest regret," 

"Dad-" 

"I met a woman, had a one night stand" Tony sighed," and I left her before Peter was even conceived," he said and laughed with no humor, just stark and sad, full of regret. 

It took a while for Harley to understand what his dad had just said. 

"Harley, I was a horrible person before you, and this woman, she wasn't like Alisson," Tony said, "not in the slightest. When I asked her to sign NDA's, and when I gave her money to stay quiet, she stayed quiet, and never contacted me. Maybe it was because she was married, and never told her husband that Peter wasn't his, or maybe it was because she did, and her husband didn't care. 

"It's kind of just all the same. I wouldn't know. But I kept tabs on him, just social media photos, report cards from school, things like that. He grew up in a happy home, and when his parents died he moved to his aunt and uncle's house. He has a sister. Or, had." 

"I have a brother," Harley said. 

Tony stopped talking and looked at him. 

"Yes, Harley, you have a halfbrother," he said, "and, and you're going to meet him soon," 

Harley stared at his dad. His dad's sorrowful face, his remorseful one. 

"Why now?" Harley asked. It wasn't in a rude way, it was one full of a question though. 

His dad leaned back against the wall, staring at the Beatles poster on the wall. 

"You saw the renovators, didn't you?" Tony said, crossing his arms over his chest and finally looking at Harley "you saw them fill the other room, you saw them carry in a large bed, bookshelves, books, clothes, furniture, you saw them carry rolled-up posters to the room, you saw, didn't you?" 

He did. 

The large king matress was carried above the man's shoulders to the room, and Harley followed, and stood inside the room as it was done, helping carry some boxes even if he didn't know what they were for. 

The boxes were packed with books though, of all kind. Fiction, nonfiction, novels, classics. Harley never liked to read, but he liked some of the subjects the books were on. Engineering, coding, physics. He too had many books he thought Michelle would like. All of Jane Austen's novels, Little Women, some poetry, some books on philosophy, many binders filled with articles and papers, only a few of his dad's work, and the rest were all of some scientists, engineers, historians, philosophers, etc. 

They even brought in a record player and set up a shelf for many albums. The records were old, famous collectibles that Harley had wanted, and all the posters of bands, authors, scientists, were signed. 

They brought in a concert grand piano, which was tucked into the corner of the room, where there were binders full of songs to play on the piano, guitar, and the violin was. The violin which was placed on a violin stand beside a regular guitar and a signed electrical one. 

Famous framed paintings were put high up on the wall, as well as framed sketches that were framed and labeled. From Gwen, one said, a card that was open and framed, a sketch on the right side and nice writing on the left. It was a personal birthday card. 

The room was large, so it wasn't too crowded by the things, and it was themed. A dark blue, light blue, green, pink and orange peach, yellow, and white. 

One of the most significant things was a glass box, with a small stand sitting in the middle displaying a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. It was on a shelf, in a row of other glass framed books. Call Me By Your Name, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, The Goldfinch, The Handmaid's tale, First we make the beast beautiful, The Body Keeps the Score, and Everything I never told you. 

Notebooks, journals, sketchbooks, and workbooks lined the shelves around them, and painting supplies took a separate shelf that had an aisle in front of it.

Empty bottles of expensive wine held many flowers inside of them and were lined up against a desk, in front of a large computer, and in between every two candles. Tote bags lined the walls, as well as hats, sunglasses, and some of the person's clothes were designer, stylish, as well as vintage. The shoes were new and there were only specific brands. 

Harley liked everything about the room, the way it was styled, the way the sunlight seeped into the room and because of the blue all over the room, the way it reflected nicely, the way the curtains went from floor to ceiling and were definitely personalized. 

It was the complete opposite of his room, but the person liked the same bands that he did. 

So it was Peter's. 

"What happened," Harley asked. 

Tony sighed, "his aunt, uncle, and sister died in the invasion, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Peter has no one," 

"So he's coming to live here?" Harley asked standing up. 

His dad nodded. 

Harley thought that was an odd turn of events. 

... 

He prepared for a funeral. 

His dad brought in suiters, and he learned as his waist was being measured, that all the Avengers, except Thor, would be attending Mr. And Mrs. Parker's funeral as well as Teresa Parkers. 

Teresa Parker was two years younger than him, an eight, almost ten-year olf girl that had been volunteering at a dog park when the attack happened. Only the top half of her body would be buried as she lost her lower half during the attack.  

Happy drove them to the cemetery. 

It was a private one. 

It was large, the grass was mowed and kept, a beautiful green, and the entrance was an archway made out of white wood and red roses. 

Headstones were everywhere, all with the last name Parker on them. 

They buried May, Ben, and Teresa Parker with Richard and Mary Parker. 

What a beautiful family. 

Ben Parker looked a lot like his brother, with his brown hair and brown eyes and exact nose. May Parker was beautiful, and her picture was shown as he laughing, a little boy in her lap. 

And Teresa Parker. 

It was just sad that she had to die so young. 

She looked so young too. 

An exactly like her mother. 

From her hair color to the innocent smile that was shown in a photo of her, where she was holding a very pretty china doll, looking even younger with a bow in her hair and a kitten painted on her left cheek. 

At the end of the ceremony, is when he finally caught sight of his brother. 

Something that had always kind of bothered Harley was that he looked nothing like his dad. 

His dad's hair was brown, while Harley's was blond. His eyes were brown too while Harley's were blue. His skin was tanned while Harley's skin was a pure American white. His nose was a little smaller and nub like white his dads stretched a little. The only thing they got was lips. Same shape, same shade. 

Peter got everything from their dad. 

His hair was swooped to the right, the chestnut curls covering his forehead, and there was no denying that the shade was the same as Tony's. His eyes were hazel brown just like their dad's. His skin was tanned and he was broad-shouldered just like their dad. They had the same nose, and they both stood with the same confidence. 

Peter wore a Tom Ford suit over a turtle neck sweater. He had his hands in his pockets, and he stood beside Harry Osborn. 

Oh yeah, his half brother and Harry Osborn were best friends. 

Harley had seen on many social media accounts, people talking about Harry Osborn and his best friend who managed to hide his face from Paparazzi everywhere he went by wearing sunglasses and a hoodie over his head that shadowed his face everywhere he went. 

A very pretty woman stood beside him, in a tight black dress, and a black funeral veil hat on her head. When the ceremony was over, she placed her hand on Peter's cheek, leaned in and kissed the edge of his lips. 

An aunt maybe? She didn't look like Ben or May, maybe a close family friend. 

Once he's looked hard enough he figured out who she was. 

Stephany Westcott. A well-known model, one of the highest-paid.

When they began to walk towards the car, they found out. 

Miss Westcott stayed on his arms on the walk there, whispering things in his ear which Peter never replied to vocally, just a small curt nod, and a face now covered by sunglasses. 

The paparazzi were there. 

Someone tipped them off. 

It became hard. 

Peter was leaving everything behind, and now he was in a hurry to do it, didn't have enough time to say goodbye to everyone. So he pointed Stephany over to them and ran in the other direction to speak to a man, with black hair and dark eyes, who greeted him with a clap to the back of the neck and tugging him close to his chest, before he leaned down to whisper in Peter's ear as well. 

His parents were ready to greet Miss Westcott. 

"Mr. and Mrs. Stark" she greeted with a tight fake smile. 

Tony shook her hand. 

"So, how did you know the Parker?" was the first thing his dad asked. 

Her reply came as a little bit of a surprise. 

"I'm one of Ben's side lovers," she replied, in a kind of proud manner. 

Steve, or Captain America, looked stricken, Harley only noticed because he didn't try to hide it unlike the rest of the Avengers. She lightly sneered his way.  

"Oh," Tony said and pulled his hand away. "Well," 

Peter came back at that exact moment. 

Harley would forever remember the way Peter greeted them

His smile was sad but real and kind and welcoming, unlike Miss Westcott's, and when she turned he gave a curt nod in respect which she made no reply to, but never looked at her, and let her leave. 

"Mr. and Mrs. Stark," he said, not looking them in the eyes, but being respectful none the less. 

It wasn't the time to introduce him to the Avengers, but he took the time to, even though he was obviously very agitated by the paparazzi. 

Natasha even smiled at him, which he returned with just enough kindness. 

The car ride, which everyone had expected to be awkward, was nothing of the sort. It was a comfortable silence the entire time, as Peter's entire aura gave off a vibe that let them feel comfortable. 

It was very odd.