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That Awkward Moment When You’re Just A Kid From Queens

Chapter Text

They all understood what it was like to get bad press, but the consistent hatred that Spidey had to deal with was just wrong, especially after meeting the man and knowing of his pure-hearted desire to help anyone no matter how small the issue may be.

 

But as much as the Avengers disliked the negative view that the media presented for Spider-Man, they often found themselves unable to avoid it- much like tonight- they were all casually watching the news after a training session, chatting peacefully as the tv played in the background, waiting for the food they ordered to arrive, when they all snapped to attention as the reporter on-screen mentioned Spider-Man.

 

“There are many differing opinions on Spider-Man, from being called havoc bringing masked menace, to a humble hero from home, it’s hard to know just who exactly Spider-Man is, and wether is heroics are helping or hurting.

 

“We interviewed the photographer responsible for some of the nearly impossible-to-get Spider-man photos in the Daily Bugle. He’s one of the few people who have been able to successfully, and regularly catch Queens local web-slinger in action.”

 

The imagery on the screen changed to the familiar scenery outside  ‘The Daily Bugle’ , showing two people- one of which was clearly the reporter there for the interview, standing neatly and calmly before the camera- while the one being interviewed looked quite young, no more than nineteen- obviously nervous about being in the news- was clearly a student, who looked to be desperately in need of a coffee.

 

“Mr. Parker, you’ve seen Spider-Man work up-close for almost every one of his fights.” The interviewer on the screen stated, “So please tell us- what are your thoughts on the web-slinger from Queens? Are his heroics benefiting the city? Or should the hero hang up his mask and leave the superhero escapades to the Avengers?”

 

The boy looked dead-beat tired, but his response was almost immediate as if he had been waiting to speak his mind on this subject for an unhealthy amount of time.

 

“He should leave it to the Avengers if you ask me-“ the kid started, “I mean, yeah, he has a suit and some weight-lifting skills, but other then that? He’s been bringing up more trouble than necessary, and he’s not even an Avenger, so yeah, do we need him? No. Heck, I could put on a colourful onesie and do the same stunts as him, but do I? No, because I have more to do with my life than just pretend to be a her-“

 

The tv went silent, as did the room. The Avengers had been so caught up in the interview that they hadn’t noticed the window open as someone entered, nor the  thwip  when a web had shot at the remote, which now was being held by the person in question.

 

It was hard to tell what he was feeling since his expression was hid behind the mask, but no one could be feeling anything positive after hearing something like that. It wasn’t a surprise that the normally talkative vigilante was unusually silent, but seeing his downtrodden stance, he seemed so heartbreakingly… defeated.

 

Natasha was studying him as if she could see right through the mask to the rejection that he was probably feeling, while Steve tried to go for a comforting glance, but it came out a more of a grimace. Rhodey and Clint were both giving him looks of pity, but Sam kept his eyes on the screen as if his glares at the photographer would carry through to the other side. Vision seemed mostly confused by the interview, and Wanda kept her head down, knowing all too well what it was like to be told you were useless and a danger. Tony had turned away from everyone in the room, attempting to hide his anger, but he was visibly vibrating with emotion, as Spider-Man just continued to stare at the screen intently.

 

“Say that to my face you limp noodle.” Spider-Man chided at the tv.

 

All the Avengers stared at Spidey in utter shock/confusion. Except for Tony who now had both hands covering his face, and was still turned away from the others.

 

Steve was the first to recover from the shock.

 

“Spider-Man… I’m sorry, I know this is hard to go through, we’ve all experienced it, and truthfully, it never gets easier. But what matters is the people you’re able to help, not the publicity-“

 

“I know Mr. Rogers,” he cut off shortly, obviously trying to hide his pain. He winced as the words came out, “I-I mean, th-thanks um, but I’ll be fine, just uh, this guy sounds like a real jerk, y’ know?”

 

“Tell me about it,” Natasha spoke up, “I’d love to talk to this guy, I’m pretty sure I could have him apologizing pretty quickly.”

 

“I mean, does this punk seriously think it’s that easy to become a hero?” Sam adds, “Let me tell you Spidey, even if he did have the same powers and skillsets as you, he wouldn’t be able to become Spider-Man, not like you. He wouldn’t have the mental or moral strength to deal with all this.”

 

“Th-thanks Mr. Wilson…” the vigilante mumbled, obviously embarrassed but pleased with the attention.

 

It was at this point that Tony finally decided to leave the room, his emotions getting the better of him.

 

Clint gave out a small laugh. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony was going to have that Parker kid fired right now for his awful interview.”

 

“Hey! It wasn’t  that  bad. Sure he seemed a little nervous, but considering it was last minute and they just swarmed him after school, he still seemed pretty collected if you ask me, and like, he gave the best response he could think of, right? So it’s hardly his fault for having his own opinion, he def-definitely shouldn’t get fired over this is what I mean,” the arachnid defended, crossing his arms.

 

“Spidey,” Wanda said curiously, “why are you defending the interview? It was literally just about how this kid hates you.”

 

“Oh! Um, well, I’d hate for him to lose his job, y’ know? I mean, he could be in a really tough spot financially, and like, have to earn money for his family- whatever’s left of it, since he could be an orphan, and like yeah! What if his parents are dead, and like, he only has an aunt or whatever, and things are kinda tough for them? So whatever little money he earns he needs and stuff, and I’d uh, hate to make it worse, y’ know…”

 

Another uncomfortable silence filled the room before someone dared to respond.

 

“Woah,” Sam finally said, “you just came up with a tragic backstory to defend a random child who you’ve never met before, who hates your guts.”

 

“Yeah, well, I kinda hate myself too, so we already have a lot in common. And just remember- nobody can hate you more than you already hate yourself.” Spider-Man said with a small chuckle in an attempt to hide the fact that his voice was breaking towards the end.

 

“Are you sure you’re ok Queens?” Steve asked softly.

 

“Of course I’m fine, I’m pretty used to being bashed out by the Daily Bugle anyway, so just having some whiney photographer of theirs - who I’ve never met - hate on me, isn’t really gonna upset-“

 

“But that’s the thing,” Natasha cut in, “I’m pretty sure I’ve met him. We’ve all met him.”

 

A mixture of surprised reactions and murmured questions filled the room until Wanda spoke up clearly: “She’s right, we’ve all met him- Stark’s intern, I think. I talk to him sometimes, he helps personally repair our stuff in Tony’s workshop.”

 

There was another wave of silence as this all clicked in with them. 

 

“Shit, wasn’t that kid just a high schooler?” Clint asked.

 

“He seemed like such a nice boy.” Steve nodded, as Rhodey went through a mixture of expressions with this new information.

 

There were various other agreements from the other Avengers. It was understandable why Tony was so mad now; his own intern, a special exception at that- he was younger than any of the other interns  and  given access to Stark’s personal lab- and he had gone and hated on the one person that seemed nearly impossible to hate. Sure Spider-Man could be annoying at times and had an unhealthy disregard for his own safety, but he wanted to help people more than anything, even in the smallest ways.

 

“I almost feel bad for Peter,” Natasha broke in, “Stark is going to ruin his life.”

 

“Yeah, I bet,” Spider-Man said miserably. It was clear that he wasn’t as fine with the negative interview as he said he was. As he left to go get food from the kitchen, the Avengers went silent.

 

“So who here wants some revenge on Peter?” Wanda asked after a moment.

 

“I’m in,” Natasha responded immediately, causing the others to stare questioningly at her. “What? Us spiders need to stick together, not to mention he’s earning money off of Spider-Man just to fuel the papers that give him the most hate.”

 

“Me too,” Sam added. “No one gets to pick on him but us.”

 

“Guy’s, revenge isn’t the right thing to do,” Rhodey interrupted, “and if Tones has anything to say about it, the poor kid’s life will already be ruined- plus I doubt Spider-Man would be on board with this.”

 

“Relax, we aren’t going to tell Spidey about it, and we won’t ruin the kid’s life, just have a nice little chat with him…” Natasha had a glimmer of cruel joy in her voice.

 


 

As soon as Tony was safely in his lab alone, he allowed himself to burst into laughter as he remembered the kid’s awkward stance as he came in to see himself on the tv. He would’ve done anything to see Peter’s facial expression, but he settled for what little emotion the mask could explain with the eyes expanding and dilating like pupils. 

 

He had just barely been keeping it together when the interview first came on because one- Peter had told he had gotten a job, but he  hadn’t  mentioned that he got a job taking selfies of himself throughout the day. Two- Peter was now doing an interview, on a state-wide broadcasted channel, about  himself , but he had to speak in third-person the whole time. And thirdly- it essentially just ended up being Peter hating on himself.

 

He was slightly concerned if Peter had really meant what he'd said about himself in terms of unworthiness, and made a mental note to talk to him about it later, but first...

 

“F.R.I.D.A.Y, do you have the footage from the living room, just a few minutes ago?”

 

“Yes, boss. Would you like me to play it?”

 

“Yes, and add it to my favourites would you?”

 

Sure thing boss.”

 

The recording started to play, showing the Avengers as they had been before Peter entered: watching the interview with shocked, angry, confused, and hurt expressions (other than Tony whose hands were covering his face). They weren’t doing much in the video, but already Tony was dying from laughter.

 


 

Peter wanted to disappear.

 

At the time it had seemed like a good idea: no one would expect you to give  yourself  bad publicity, so it would help with the whole secret identity thing, plus, it would help him avoid the worsening amount of questions about how only  he  was able to get good photos of Spider-Man so far.

 

But, he forgot that the Avengers were real people and that  they  would see the interview too. It had been a super-awkward conversation, seeing as they were trying to help him feel better by getting angry at the other him, but now it was over, and everyone would probably forget about it soon- after all, who even remembers what some random high schooler said on the news a week ago? They had all been doting on him since he was the newest member of the team, which was nice, but at the same time a little embarrassing. At least it was over with now, and the most he would be getting was a few looks of pity throughout the day. 

 

And maybe they would let him choose the movie for tonight…

 

The only person who most certainly  not  forget about this was Mr. Stark. He practically had to run from the room he was laughing so hard.

 

He was probably saving the files at this moment. Just then, Peter’s phone started to buzz.

 

“Hel-“

 

“PETER!!! THE NEWS!!! BRO WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???”

 

Oh yeah, and Ned, Ned would definitely never let him live this down.

 


 

Rhodey still wasn’t sure where he stood on the whole ‘Spider-Man identity’ thing.

 

On one hand, he could believe what actual trained spies were telling him, along with the rest of the Avengers, that Spider-Man was an actual  man  (as in age) and had a wife and an actual  child .

 

Or, he could believe what he had been seeing this past while- the stuff he hadn’t even been  trying  to see but saw anyways- the way Tony acted with both Spider-Man and the kid were way too familiar considering how he didn’t see them together that often. If you considered the combined amount of time together though? Then they were practically as close as him and Tony, or hell, even Pepper.

 

So yes, he was almost fully sure that Spider-Man was Tony’s intern that he had had such an odd interaction with. So for the sake of his friend, the colonel was doing everything he could to forget what he saw that night- his face, his name- part of him felt bad to try and purposely forget the kid, but he knew it was for the best. Unfortunately, though, he didn’t do a good enough job trying to forget, since the moment he saw the face onscreen, he realized how familiar the person looked… but it  could  be anyone since he didn’t get a good look at his face, jeez, now every kid he looks at he’s thinking is Spider-

 

The kid spoke.

 

Yeah, no, that was the intern.

 

But was it Spider-Man?

 

The interview was stopped. Spider-Man was there.

 

“Nobody can hate you more, then you already hate yourself.”  

 

Wow, this guy was  not  subtle- how did he have a secret identity again? Still though, as the conversation went on, he continued to drone it out, considering it all in his head, still fighting the inevitable result that Peter- oh great, he couldn’t even forget the kid’s  name - was quite possibly Spider-Man.

 

No, no it wasn’t him- and he would keep telling himself that until Spidey confirmed or denied it  in his own time . It was the least he could do.

 


 

Peter was on his way home from school, but he found himself walking at a quicker pace than usual…

 

Maybe he was just going crazy. It was about time he finally snapped, he knew he had it coming eventually… Peter whipped around, only to see relatively safe surroundings for what must’ve been the millionth time that day.

 

He had felt like someone was following him since early that day as he made his way to school, and at this point, he wasn’t sure if he was just overly-anxious, or if his spider-senses had just hit the  ‘eternal vibrate’  button, but it’s was really starting to get on his nerves.

 

Ned had been concerned over him pretty much the whole day, and even MJ noticed that he was jumpier than usual (though she was pretty perceptive). He had just shrugged them off and said he was fine, even convincing himself to a point, but as soon as school was over and he split ways with Ned, he felt himself become on high-alert again as the presence became even stronger.

 

He was in New York, and there were people everywhere, it was stupid to think someone was following him, right?

 

He spotted Delmar’s up ahead, where he had been planning to stop, but instead, he walked past. He was going home. Now.

 

The alleyway he usually got changed into his suit looked appealing- well, the thought of changing into his suit was appealing, not so much the alleyway- but he passed it, not wanting to place his identity on the line. Maybe he should just take the bus home… sure it was kinda pricy for a distance he could easily walk (or swing) but he was sure May wouldn’t mind as long as it was for his safety (if she knew it was about his safety she would’ve begged him to take the bus despite his powers).

 

Before he could consider where the closest bus stop was, his spider-senses bleared randomly, and he quickly ducked into the ally without a second thought and quickly ran to hide behind the dumpster. He could’ve run through to the other side of the ally, but something told him that whoever was chasing him would have both sides covered… worst-case scenario, he could just climb the walls and pass it off as really good bouldering…

 

He heard soft footsteps approaching from either side of him. He sighed and prepared to fight- he may want to keep his identity hidden, but that didn’t mean he was about to let himself be mugged without putting up as much of a fight as possible without overusing his powers.

 

Peter stood up and prepared to face whoever had come his way, knowing he probably should’ve called Mr. Stark or May by now, but he’d faced enough muggers to know what to expect by now…

 

Until he saw the faces of his supposed muggers.

 

It turns out, he did  not  know what to expect.

 


 

Admittedly, Wanda, Sam, and Natasha  did  feel bad for scaring the poor kid so much, but on the other hand, this was also the kid who had the guts to badmouth one of their friends on tv, so it was pretty equal ground.

 

Wanda and Sam stepped into the alleyway on one side as Natasha made her entrance on the other (Clint had wanted to come with them as well, but it was his week off). They stepped closer but the kid still didn’t show himself, so Sam quickened his step until he came face-to-face with the kid, staring him straight in the eyes, more terror than relief being displayed in them once he realized he had been surrounded by three Avengers.

 

Sam crossed his arms, not dropping eye contact with the teen, although the kid did everything in his power to lose eye-contact with Sam.

 

“Um, can I help you guys?” The kid asked weakly, still not looking up.

 

“Yes, actually,” Wanda spoke up. “We wanted to ask you about that interview last week on Spider-Man,” she informed, though this only caused the kid to look up in confusion. 

 

“Yo-you’re only here because of the interview?” He asked in almost hopeful relief.

 

“Yes…” Natasha confirmed. “Why do you look so happy about that?”

 

“Wha? I-I’m not happy about it,” he stuttered. “It’s just, it’s super cool that you guys saw it and stuff, I-I didn’t think you watched stuff like that…”

 

“'Stuff’ like the news?”

 

“Yes, I mean, no, I know you guys watch the news, just like, it’s kinda surreal that you saw  me  on the news, y’ know?”

 

“Yeah, we happened to hear what you said about our friend too,” Sam regarded.

 

“Oh- oh , you guys are- are you here about that? Th-that’s why your here, is cause your mad at me?”

 

“Well, we aren’t exactly here to congratulate you.”

 

“Shit, um, I’m sorry for talking bad about Spider-Man, ok? It was wrong of me, just please, my aunt will freak if she sees I got hurt, so-“

 

“Whoa, slow down kid, we aren’t going to hurt you,” Sam said raising his hands in defeat.

 

“You-you aren’t?”

 

“Who exactly do you think we are? You know, there’s this thing that Spider-Man always says, about how with great power comes responsibility too. Look, kid, what you said last week was broadcast to thousands- do you know what kind of impact that has? That’s a lot of power right there, even if it was only a few seconds long, those words still stick in peoples mind’s, even if they don’t remember who said it- what I’m trying to say is, that you could’ve used your words to have a real effect on others, not just talk bad about Spider-Man,” Sam finished, still trying to make eye-contact with the kid, but his head was lowered in shame, or possibly thought.

 

After a few seconds of silence from the four in the alleyway, the kid lifted his head a little and look sam in the eye.

 

“But what if I don’t think Spider-Man is a worthy hero? I mean, I live in Queens, I photograph him a lot, so I’ve seen all his successes first-hand, but I’ve also seen every single one of his failures too- ones that you guys probably don’t even know about- so what if I really believed it was better for him to leave it up to the Avengers?”

 

“I’ve made plenty of mistakes,” Wanda spoke up. “But I’m considered an Avenger. So, do you consider me a hero? Or am I not worthy of the Avengers either?”

 

“What? No, of course, you’ve saved like, so many people- you’ve saved the world!”

 

“So what makes Spider-Man any different?”

 

 “He hasn’t saved the world…”

 

“Alright,” Sam said, his annoyance starting to creep into his voice a little. “I’ll admit that I hardly keep track of anything that guy does but-” the kid low-key looked offended when he said this, but he continued, “-that guy does  way  too much for me to keep up with in the first place, like sure, he hasn’t saved the world on a global scale, but he  has  saved some people’s entire worlds.”

 

The kid still looked confused, so Sam explained. “You’ve seen him stop muggings right? Or someone from being raped?” The boy nodded. “Well, that was probably easy for him to fight, but for those people? Sometimes that’s the last of the money they so desperately need, or the people he saves from rape- I don’t think I need to explain what that can do to people- so like I was saying, he hasn’t saved the world before, but he has saved the worlds of so many individuals in the city, and I can guarantee you that when the day comes, he’ll save the world too.”

 

“T-thanks…” the kid mumbled, sounding slightly like he was choked up for some reason. Must be getting sick, or allergies, maybe?

 

“Why are  you  thanking  us?”  Wanda asked confusedly under her breath, but strangely enough, the kid heard her.

 

“Uh, I meant that- um, thank you for explaining it to me…”

 

Sam laughed and patted the kid’s shoulder. “Y’know, you're a pretty good kid when you aren’t trash-talking my friends. I can see why Stark chose you as his intern.”

 

“You… you remember me?”

 

“Yeah,” he said casually as if it hadn’t been Natasha who’d reminded them when they first saw the interview. He sure as hell wouldn’t have recognized him, all teenagers looked the same to him- like the one he had met in Washington with the British accent looked eerily similar to the kid in front of him. But that didn’t seem to matter right now since it had seemed to make the intern incredibly happy.

 

The three said their goodbyes to the kid who had overall seemed pretty casual about the whole thing, but then again, he  did  intern for Stark, so maybe he had grown a sort of indifference to things like that.

 


 

“So that’s what it was, huh?” Rhodey stated after hearing the three recount their story.

 

“Yeah, I actually feel bad now,” Nat admitted. “We didn’t do any real harm, I mean, but still, we gave that poor kid a scare.”

 

“You guys really didn’t have to do this,” Spider-Man commented, his emotions hard to place.

 

“You’d do it for us,” Sam stated, “we have your back Spidey, whether or not you like it.”

 

Natasha glanced over to Tony, whose face looked strained as he thought over the new information.

 

“Stark,” the Spy waited until he looked up to show she had his attention before continuing. “I know you had a lot of trust for Peter, and I know you felt betrayed by all this, but he’s a good kid, and he didn’t mean to cause any harm. It’s not up to me, but I think you should give him another chance before you fire him.”

 

Tony hummed and faced Spider-Man.

 

“What do you think Spidey? Should I fire the kid for you?”

 

Spider-Man’s eyes drastically widened as he shot up straight in his seat. 

 

“No Mr. Stark! I can’t…. have someone suffer for, uh… this?” 

 

“That was a pretty weak refusal, I’m getting the sense that you  do  want him fired.”

“I-I don’t. Want him fired.”

 

Tony stared down the arachnid a moment before deciding, “I’ll let him stay, on account that he doesn’t talk like that about you again. Deal?”

 

“I’m still allowed to talk bad about myself?”

 

Tony frowned at this comment, but Spider-Man interrupted him before he could say another word.

 

“It's a deal, Mr. Stark.”

 

The Avengers stared back between the two, knowing something had just happened- something that they had missed- and they didn’t know exactly what it was.

 


 

Pepper had asked him to go and convince Tony to leave the lab for a bit, and maybe actually eat, so that’s why he was currently in the lab, which Tony was in fact, not currently in. The kid was there though.

 

He wasn’t entirely sure what to do, but he didn’t have much time to think it through (and he was pretty tired), so he kept it friendly, and to the basics.

 

“Hey Peter, is Tony in here?”

 

“No, he uh, he went to get some food, he’ll be back soon though I think, or he’s probably in the kitchen right now, or-“

 

He held up his hands to prevent him from listing off every possible place in the compound. “I gotcha- thanks Spidey, see you tomorrow,” he was slightly amused when he thought about how frequently the vigilante rambled. Usually, he’d be happy to listen, but he was already pretty tired as it was, and he was sure the kid would understand.

 

“Uhm… ye-yeah, goodnight sir?”

Chapter Text

 

Peter watched as the colonel stepped out of the room and into the hallway towards the distant light in the kitchen. He waited until the door had shut, and was again left alone.

He was alone.

But he still couldn’t bring himself to move a muscle or make a sound… Had- had Rhodey just called him ’Spidey?’

As in Spidey, Spidey? Like his actual alter-ego that no one was supposed to know about, but found out anyway? Was he going to have to add Rhodey to the relatively small-but-considering-it-was-supposed-to-be-blank too long list of people that knew who he was?

He inwardly groaned as he realized that Rhodey knowing just meant he had another Iron babysitter now.

How long had he known anyways? Did Mr. Stark tell him? Did the other Avengers all know too?

This was a mess, like most everything else in his life.

He collapsed onto his chair and put his head in his hands as if it would make the headache of his life go away, when he heard voices coming from down the hall, sounding very much like Rhodey and Tony fighting about something, most likely him.

Not even realizing what he was doing, Peter got up from his seat and headed towards the kitchen, where the voices were coming from.

 


 

The moment Rhodey stepped out of the lab, he realized what he had just said.

“Shit,” he exclaimed quietly, debating if he should go back in and explain… but he couldn’t bring himself to reenter, so instead, he walked in the opposite direction towards the kitchen where Tony was currently pulling out a pizza from the oven, and sat down on a bar stool. When Tony turned around to place the pizza on the countertop, he seemed to be surprised to see Rhodey as the person sitting there instead of some fifteen-year-old kid…

“Hey, Platyipu-“

“Oh god,” Rhody said in sudden realization. “Tony, please don’t tell me he’s fifteen.”

“What? Who?” Tony asked, slightly baffled.

“Your intern- how old is he?”

Tony sighed as he finally realized what his friend was getting at, what his friend had just found out. He lowered his eyes and took a deep inhale before answering, “he’s sixteen.”

“Tony-“ Rhodey started, but the billionaire held up his hands for silence.

“I know, I know what you're going to say already, but-“

“No Tony, this isn’t just some random decision you can get away with- this is a life, an actual child’s life, and you're just letting him do this? Wait- he’s sixteen now? How old was he in Germany then?”“I said he was on the young side-“

“Fifteen…” Rhodey said in shock. “He was fourteen, and that was your backup plan? Give a suit to some random fifteen-year-old? And then after, you just let him keep it? Where did you find him? Was he just your intern that you decided to make into a superhero just because he was available?”

“I actually wasn’t available,” a voiced chimed in from behind causing the colonel to freeze as he realized that Spider-Man, or Peter, or whatever his name was, had joined the two of them, and turned to see the teen leaning against the wall, looking slightly intimidating, which was almost surprising since he was the youngest person in the room, and without the suit he was also currently the weakest.

Rhodey tried to form words, but he couldn’t think of a thing to say, being left speechless in the presence of a teenager- not his greatest moment.

“What?” He finally managed to choke out in response.

“I actually wasn’t available to go to Germany, it was like, in the middle of the school year after all, and I did have homework, but Mr. Stark cleared it all up for me, so it still worked out I guess.”

Rhodey nodded slowly, painfully aware that he still probably looked shocked, but he didn’t currently have the will-power to wipe the expression off his face. It was one thing to have been suspecting him of being Spider-Man, but it was another thing entirely to have it confirmed.

There was no ignoring that his voice was quite clearly the same as Spider-Man, but other than that it was almost strange to think that this kid in front of him was the same Spider-Man they had all come to know and love recently.

For one, Peter was lacking confidence in the way he moved ad spoke, whereas Spider-Man was almost always dripping with confidence, though perhaps this change in behaviour was due to the fact that Rhodey had just been questioning him- which he did feel bad for, especially since he actually did consider him his friend, it was mostly just he didn’t understand why on earth this random teenager was ok to go around sacrificing his own time and safety- and why the hell did Tony pick him for the mission in Germany?

Another thing that was starting to throw Rhodey off was seeing Spider-Man as a human, and not a suit- not that he didn’t think he was human, but it was really hard to tell emotions when the only facial changes he made were his eyes widening and dilating. But even after hardly a minute of being in the same room as him, Rhodey could see how emotional he actually was, and it was almost scary to see someone you previously thought unbreakable look so naturally fragile.

“Ok, sorry,” Rhodey interrupted. “I’m just still trying to grasp this- how the hell do you two even know each other?”

“Well, quite clearly, everyone knows of me,” Tony answered, being of no help.

“Uh, I-I'm Spider-Man?” Peter answered confusedly.

"No, no I meant like how did you two even meet? Did he kept tabs on your work at school or something?”

“Nooo… not at school- like he watched videos on YouTube of when I stopping buses and stopping muggings- y’ know, that stuff.”

“What the hell are kids doing with their spare time these days?” Rhodey muttered under his breath.

“To be fair, most kids my age don’t really do this sort of thing,” he responded to Rhodey’s question, causing the colonel to look up in surprise.

“How loudly did I say that?” He wondered aloud.

“I couldn’t hear you,” Tony volunteered. “The kid’s got freaky hearing though, remember?”

“Wait- hold up, so it’s not your suit that increases your hearing? So is it sorta like how Clint has good eyesight?”


“Ye-yeah, I guess?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well like, Ummm…” he shrugged helplessly. “I dunno where I was going with that…” he mumbled.

“That’s ok-" he brushed aside, not wanting the kid to feel more awkward than he already did. "-So Tones, you found him because of his good hearing?”

This comment caused the two of them to stop and stare at Rhodey, Tony looking almost what you might call baffled, but still hiding his utter confusion under a thread of dignity, while Peter just pressed his mouth into a line, looking like he understood what Rhodey was asking, but already dreading the conversation that was coming.

“Rhodes…” Tony started slowly, still slightly confused himself. “You know that Peter’s a superhuman, right? All his powers...”

Rhodey did not know.

He huffed a slight laugh before staring into his friend’s eyes and realizing he was serious. Turning back around to where the kid was standing, he looked at him in question, and he nodded in confirmation, his eyes glued to the ground as he nodded.

“So… it isn’t the suit?”

“The webs are just the suit,” Peter assured him in a hurry. “But the rest is just… me.”

“Holy shit… how did you even get your powers- wait, it’s ok if you don’t want to answer that, I know being experimented on is probably traumatizing, I don’t wanna force you to talk-“

“It’s ok, I wasn’t experimented on, I was just… y’ know, bit by a spider…”

“…”

Rhodey looked at his best friend to see if the kid was joking, but Tony just shrugged and nodded.

“So a spider-“

“-Yep,” Peter cut off, popping the ‘P’, and heading over to the cupboards and grabbing the cherry pop-tarts out of the cabinet, and began to eat them without heating them up first.

He moved to sit on the chair next to Rhodey, casually sitting down and acting as if everything was fine like it was normal for them to be hanging together like this. Eventually, the conversation took a turn for the normal, mostly it just being Peter and Tony conversing among themselves while Rhodey was still trying to get a grasp of the situation.

 


 

As much as he liked hanging out with the Avengers, he still had a job, a responsibility to take care of.

And let’s be real- swinging around with freakin superpowers did kinda beat hanging out with people- not that he’d take it over knowing the Avengers, but he would take it over watching Clint try to lure the others into the ventilation system so they would get stuck and he could laugh at them later (hey, it actually takes a lot of skill to travel via vents).

He wasn’t avoiding the compound just because he had absolutely no fucking clue how to act around Rhodey…

The thing is, it wasn’t like the colonel had been rude when he found out, though he did eventually admit that he had suspected it for a while- and even then, he still freaked out when he initially found out about his age.

So no, he wasn’t really avoiding Rhodey, but he was just reminded again that he wasn’t who everyone was expecting him to be, and once again he felt trapped by Avengers having unrealistic expectations of him- only this time it was literally all his fault for pretending to be someone who would meet those expectations- and being around them only reminded him that in the end, they probably wouldn’t accept him like they did now once they figured out who he really was…

Just some kid from Queens…

He hadn’t even faced some world-ending battle or done anything really of importance. He did take down the Vulture, but even Mr. Stark himself said that the guy was ‘below their pay-grade’. And if they found out that he was only a kid with that as his only ‘real’ super-villain? They definitely would treat him differently.

Trying to distract himself from these thoughts, he shot out another web without looking and swinging around the corner, slamming right into the side of a building.

 

He quickly stuck himself to the side of the building before he could fall, his head throbbing from the crash. But I mean, all things considered, he was doing good, or at least he’d been trying to, and he would continue his attempts at crime-fighting as soon as he felt motivated to stop imitating a squashed bug on a window.

Oh fuck, there are human-beings inside this building. He suddenly realized and opened his eyes to see a considerably small crown of confused/annoyed/indifferent office employees staring at him. The one in the centre seemed to be practically vibrating with anger though- presumably the boss… he looked kinda familiar- so Peter decided it was high time to yeet himself outta there, after realizing that it was in fact, his boss at the Bugle who had been glaring at him. He thwipped away from the building, and onward to justice… or y’ know, lost dogs and stuff…

Either way, it was justice!

 


 

It was getting late now, the sun had already disappeared long ago, and if Peter delayed any longer in getting home, May would probably be incredibly worried, which was something he didn’t want to do to her, but there had been this odd group of people he had seen earlier, and his instincts had told him not to let them out of his sight.

They hadn’t exactly done anything wrong per se, other than being suspicious- and yes, he knew it was wrong to judge people on their appearances- but it wasn’t their appearance that was suspicious, it was just their overall vibe if that doesn’t sound too lazy.

He’d been hiding from their sight while following them for almost three hours now and had heard barely anything they said- until now.

Well, it wasn’t the ones he was watching that he heard, but a random voice in the sky say “I see the guy you were talking about- don’t worry, I got’ im.” Which was a strange thing to say- shit, they saw me, he realized as his spidey-senses bleared in his head as he whipped around and jumped out of the way, barely seeing who was attacking him- some weird blur of light, apparently- he was too dazed to fight back, but was still able to dodge the next two punches the entity threw at him but was unable to stop the third, and-


It all went black.

 


 

Peter blinked open his eyes, vaguely aware of his surroundings through the blurry haze of his vision and the distant ringing in his ears. Whatever he was laying on was soft-ish like a bed, and was overall pretty comfortable, but he still decided to push himself up into a sitting position and rib his eyes, causing them to clear up a bit.

When his vision pretty much fully returned, he realized he was sitting in a clean rather high-tech room that looked sorta similar to Mr. Stark’s lab, but if his lab was in an old basement, or like in a sewer under Italy- but still high-tech and pretty awesome overall.

There were a few other beds around him, but all of them were empty, sans his own which he was currently using.

“Hey kid,” a voice greeted, causing him to look beside him where a woman was sitting, watching him.

“Um- I… where am I, exactly? What happened? Who are you even?” He finale managed to mumbled out in question.

“First off, you’re in a Shield base,” she explained. “Second, I was coming here for a visit when some of my friends warned me that someone had been watching them all night, so I sorta took you out- sorry. I called Fury about it though, and he explained you’re the prodigy of one of his friends or something, so don’t worry, as soon as we make sure you’re alright, we’ll help you get back home. And thirdly, my name is Carol Danvers.”

Peter was still trying to get a grasp on where the hell he was, he was so fucking confused that he could hardly register what Carol was saying. It was like when Cap was explaining a mission plan to him, and he was still so caught up on figuring out how they were supposed to open the door to the base that he completely missed out on the actual plan (they didn’t have to worry about unlocking the door on that mission by the way, since Tony had easily knocked it down. Sometimes Peter forgot that they were a team of superheroes).

He was still determined to be polite though, so he continued to maintain eye-contact with her as she continued talking, even though he was finding it hard to pay attention since his head was still spinning. There was also something incredibly familiar about her…

His eyes widened as it finally clicked in for him.

“You were glowing,” he half-stated, half-asked.

“Yeah, I was…” she confirmed.

“Holy shit,” he breathed. “So that’s why my head fucking hurts.”She winced when he said that. “I’m so sorry about that, but why were you following the Skrulls anyway?”

“The what? I was just following them cuz they looked suspicious,” he answered, rubbing his head a little where it was sore. He froze as he realized that there was no fabric covering his head.

“My- my mask, where the fuck- what did you do with it?” He asked in panic, causing Carol to point where his mask was on the bed beside him with a confused expression on her face.

He desperately grabbed it and tugged it on as Carol realized her mistake.

“Shit… was I not supposed to see you?” She wondered aloud. “We had to make sure you were breathing, you could’ve been seriously hurt.”

“It’s fine,” he stated in a way that made it seem as though he was clearly not fine. “I can’t believe this, two different people found out who I was in less than two days… I must be losing it.”

“Well, if it’s of any comfort, I’ll be leaving Earth again pretty soon so you at least won’t have to worry about me,” she said with a smirk.

“You're leaving Earth?” He asked, suddenly snapping to attention, as she nodded. “That is so cool- what do you do- do you like, visit aliens? Do you know Thor?”“Sorry, that stuff’s top-secret,” she answered in mock seriousness. “But yes, there are aliens involved. So what is it you do here? Besides stalking Skrulls.”

“Oh, Uhm, just sorta small stuff I guess, compared… I haven’t had the chance to save the world or anything,” he admitted as he took off his mask- there was no point in keeping it on while she already knew what he looked like. “But I try my best to help out where I can, like robbing’s, or shootings… stuff like that. Once I helped take down some alien weapons, but other than that, nothing really of a world-ending scale.”

“That stuff isn’t ‘small’, not if it saves lives. As long as you don’t forget to keep your own life to live in the process.”

“I know what you’re thinking.”

Carol turned to look at him, she looked curious but concerned. “And what do you think I’m thinking?”

“You think I’m too young, that I should be out there trying to live for ‘myself’. But you don’t get it- I am living for myself. If-if I was to just go be normal or go party and study, or whatever- I wouldn’t be living for myself. I could never give this up willingly, I love helping people, and yeah, I’m young, but my age doesn’t have an effect on how much I can help people, right?” He looked up the woman (freakin’ goddess) helplessly, expecting her to say what he imagined the Avengers telling him a million times over.

But she didn’t.

She gave him a soft smile that had a bit of fire in it. “Y’ know, I think you’re right.”

Peter stared at her, half-expecting her to yell ’SYKE’ or he to correct her speech like ‘wait, sorry I meant-‘, but she didn’t.

“Yo-you what?”

“Look, I’m not here to tell you what you can and can’t do, and it doesn’t seem like you’re just doing this all on a whim, or for fun, right?”

He shook his head, still a little late to process what she was saying.

“I know a kid- well, she’s not a kid anymore- but she was bold, brave, and you kinda remind me of her. And when she wanted to do things, when she wanted to fight to help the world, I didn’t stop her. You’re our future- well, the earth’s future- so why the hell would I want to stop you from bettering our world now?”

They sat in silence a moment, staring off into the distance as Peter let her words sink in.

“So, you got a name kid?” She asked suddenly, breaking into the silence.

“P- Wait, you’ve already seen my face, I’m not giving you my name too,” he said playfully.

“Fine. Fury called you Spider-Man, so I’m guessing that’s what you want me to call you too?”

“Nah, my friends call me Spidey.”

Carol pressed her mouth into a line, clearly fighting back a smile as she took out a piece of paper and scribbled on it, then handed it to him.

“Here Spidey, this is my phone number, lemme know if you ever need help.”

“You have a phone? How does it work in space?”

“I’m not entirely sure, Maria gave it to me when I went to go visit a few days ago, so hell, I don’t even know if it’ll work… either way, don’t tell Fury, we want him to remain convinced I still use a pager.”

“A pager?”

“Yep.”

Eventually, Peter’s head had pretty much cleared up, so he said his goodbyes to Carol, and made his way home thinking about how she had treated him.

He hadn’t told the world who he was so he could protect his family and friends (also just for the sense of having privacy), and even though he trusted the other Avengers, he had always been afraid for what they would think, He had figured out by now that they thought he was much older than he actually was, and it just seemed to be getting harder to tell them the truth.

If they did find out one day, how much would their relationships change? He always felt this pit in his stomach whenever they interacted with him when he was just Peter, and he was so afraid of that happening when they saw who Spider-Man was- just a kid from Queens who happened to get bit by a spider. No H.Y.D.R.A testing, no super suit he had built from scraps or trained professionally in, no agent training from S.H.I.E.L.D, just someone they had once thought much more interesting when they hadn’t seen his face- when they hadn’t seen how to be disappointed with him.

Hell, Rhodey had just found out, and it had played out pretty much like he'd expected, only Rhodey had been slightly more chill since he'd seen how Mr. Stark treated him differently, but either way it had still made things incredibly awkward.

But Carol- when she saw him, she didn’t look at him as unqualified, or as a disappointment just because he didn’t have many years of experience, but instead she looked like she saw how qualified he was, and how much experience he would gain.

When she saw him, she didn’t see nostalgia of the past and how they could’ve done things better then, she saw the promise of the future, and how he was doing everything he could to better the world now.

She had faith in him, and that was one of the best things anyone had given him.

 







 

Six Years Later:

 

“He-hey, I’m Peter Parker.”

“Hey Peter Parker, you have something for me?”

Peter didn’t know if he was going to live through to ever see anyone again- hell, he had just died like, ten minutes ago. He didn’t have time to thank everyone for the time they spent together, he didn’t have time to properly thank Carol for motivating him, so he at least wanted to give her his name. He trusted her with his name, and he trusted her with the gauntlet.

And she trusted him to protect the earth for the next generation.

 

 

Chapter Text

It was lab day and Mr. Stark had just left to go welcome Pepper back from her business trip, so Peter was left alone in the lab for the next while, which wasn’t really a big deal since he was often left alone to work, and honestly found that it was easier to work alone (sometimes) since that meant he could hook Karen up to the main system- not that Friday wasn’t helpful, but it was just better to have Karen in control instead since she had all his notes.

 

There had been a recent error in the suit that caused it to be baggy even when he pressed the button in the middle- and that had ended up being a pretty sucky day since he looked quite floppy when he swung around the city in it- so that was the first thing on his list to fix when he had come in that day.

 

“Alright Kare, it looks pretty much done, right?” He asked, staring up at the ceiling as he spoke to his AI.

 

“From my scans, it seems to be back in working order.”

 

“Cool, let’s try it out…” he trailed off, looking for one of Tony’s higher-tech mannequins to fit the suit on since he currently didn’t feel like putting forth the effort to try it on himself.

 

He found one of the mannequins, and dragged it over to the lab’s couch, then grabbed his suit, and started to cloth the soulless body, finally pressing the spider emblem to see if it worked.

 

Thankfully, the suit struck to it’s fitted size, looking quite normal again and he let out a small cheer in victory, only to groan when the eye lenses shut completely.

 

“Karen? Do you know what happened to the eyes?”

 

It seems that one of the wires was put in incorrectly when you reattached ‘droney’. However I’m afraid I can’t tell which of the wires is the faulty one, you’ll have to re-open the suit.”

 

“Ugh, seriously?” He groaned in frustration. “Hey, Karen? Where’s Mr. Stark?”

 

He’s stilling waiting for Ms. Potts to arrive,”  She informed.  “Would you like me to call him?”

 

“Nah, just if he comes back and I’m not here, tell him I went to get something to eat,” he instructed as he grabbed his phone and headphones, leaving for the kitchen, deciding that it would be better to clear his head a bit before continuing his work.

 


 

Wanda had been training with Natasha when Clint came up and asked her if she could go grab the new arrows Tony had been working on for him, and she was more than happy to take a break from sparring, so she agreed.

 

Tony had given him an access card easier so he could get in, so Wanda had taken it, and was now travelling there. It was a Friday afternoon though, and Stark was usually in there for the majority of Friday, so she knocked first when she arrived, but surprisingly there was no answer. She knocked twice more, but when no one came, she just decided to go in herself.

 

The lab, as it turns out, was surprisingly empty, but she shrugged it off and walked over to where Tony usually put the Avengers stuff and spent around three minutes trying to figure out which of the four arrow quivers was the one Clint had wanted before giving up and grabbing them all.

 

She headed out, but something bright red caught her eyes as they glanced over it. She felt her soul try to escape it’s earthly bondage until she realized that the red cloth was Spider-Man just laying on the couch for some reason, his eyes shut.

 

Getting over her original scare, she smiled lightly as she walked over to the man laying on the couch. She had no idea  why  he was in Stark’s lab, or why he was sleeping in here of all places, but she wasn’t about to pass up this opportunity that she’d been granted.

 

Using her magic, she was easily able to lift the man from the couch and carry him along with her on the way back to the elevator. Surprisingly, he didn’t wake up, but he must’ve been in a really deep sleep since she could hardly feel anything in his mind at all (even though she wasn’t purposely looking, she often could at least still feel  something  inside).

 

She made a quick stop on the Avengers floor to drop Spider-Man off onto the kitchen countertops before heading back down to where the others were training and handed Clint the quivers, smiling softly to herself knowing that whoever walked into the kitchen next was in for a surprise.

 


 

Clint walked into the kitchen after training to just see Spider-Man just  laying  on the kitchen counter, as if it were normal, sleeping.

 

To be fair, he had walked in on the arachnid doing much stranger things before, but it was still pretty damn annoying the have someone sleeping on the countertop rather than the couch, or maybe even a bed- though part of him doubted Spider-Man used a bed- he probably slept in his webbing or something.

 

He walked towards the man to wake him up, but stopped in his tracks, realizing that for some reason, he’d been given a golden opportunity, and he wasn’t about to waste it.

 


 

Now, what kind of prank could you pull on a sleeping friend?

 

It was a rather debatable topic since many people had differing ideas of what was funny.

 

“What’re you doing?”

 

Clint jumped at the sudden voice and turned to see Natasha scouring the fridge, rather uninterested in what Clint was doing looking over a sleeping Spidey.

 

“What are  you  doing?” Clint asked, turning the question around.

 

“I asked first, but ok- I’m looking for yogurt, which is usually inside the fridge, hence why I'm looking in the fridge. I see you and Spidey are doing some weird shit, which isn’t unusual, but it still doesn’t explain what exactly it is you’re doing,” she answered, finally locating a yogurt cup, and grabbing a spoon.

 

“Spider-Man just fell asleep here, and I wanted to prank him…” he admitted, still deep in thought.

 

Natasha turned and headed out the door, shoving yogurt in her mouth as she headed in the elevator, and yelled out:  ‘juyt lurn im eepk!’  Which Sam translated to ‘just turn him pink’, which was a fantastic idea, in his opinion (She was trying to say: ‘just let him sleep’).

 

The first issue was on how to spray paint him, which turned out to be an easy solution- he just went to one of the many labs in the compound, and asked some of the workers there for a spray paint machine and washable paint (he asked for pink and yellow), which they were happy to oblige, and soon he was once again standing before his sleeping friend, ready to paint him pretty.

 

Clint had just gotten to work when Sam stepped in.

 

“Clint, what the  fuck -“

 

“Shhhh,” he hissed at his fellow bird urgently. “Don’t wake him up.”

 

“You’re painting his suit while he’s asleep?” Sam asked in dull disbelief, leaving Clint to nod, a little less proud than he had previously been a few moments prior.

 

“And why the hell was I not invited?”

 


 

Sam had joined in, but soon left, only to return with an armful of colourful feathers to put on Spidey after they were done painting, apparently ‘as revenge for that stupid day at the D.O.D.C.’

 

It  was  the Avengers floor though, and it couldn’t last forever just the two of them, and sure enough Steve eventually came along and saw them. Without another word, he left the room, and returned with duct-tape, muttering ‘we’ll see how much he likes being wrapped in this stuff’.

 

Wanda and Vision casually came through the kitchen and decided that it was pretty entertaining, so they stuck around and watched as the others finished up with Spider-Man.

 

Just then, they heard footsteps coming towards them- and knowing that the only two remaining people who regularly visited were Rhodey and Tony, there was a small sense of fear that simmered throughout the room consider there was a fifty-percent chance that Tony would find this hilarious and join in, or there was the chance of him getting upset over what they were doing to one of his suits. 

 

But considering he was currently waiting for Pepper, there was a greater chance of it being Rhodey, and he’d probably just tell them to make sure Tony didn’t find out, before moving on from the room, not even bothering to stop them since he was pretty much broken after spending so much time with them.

 

Instead, though, the person who came through the doors was none other than Spider-Man’s son.

 

“Hey, Ned, what’re you doing here?” Wanda welcomed albeit confusedly.

 

“Hi, um, Mr. Barton invited me?” Ned answered nervously.

 

“Yeah, I did,” Clint confirmed with a smile. “Spidey usually comes on Fridays, so I thought it’d be a nice surprise for him- though I didn’t think  this  would happen…”

 

“Wha-what do you mean?” Ned asked with concern.

 

The three surrounding Spidey had the right to look slightly ashamed as they stepped back to show Ned their handiwork.

 

“Omigod,” Ned breathed.

 

“Yeah… we might’ve gone overboard…” Steve admitted.

 

“…”

 

“…”

 

“I’ll get the glitter,” Ned volunteered.

 


 

After Peter had finished eating, he went back to the lab to work on his suit, but when he got there, the mannequin was no longer seated on the couch.

 

“What the fuck?” He wondered aloud to himself, as he scoured the lab with his eyes, still not spotting the mannequin (and to a greater extent, his suit which was also on the mannequin.)

 

Trying not to freak out, he called out for Karen.

 

"What seems to be the matter, Peter?"

 

“Karen, can you track my suit? It's gone.”

 

Of course Peter, just one moment.”

 

Peter tapped his foot impatiently as he waited. It wasn’t possible for someone to so easily break into the lab without him hearing, was it? Then again, he  had  been wearing his headphones… the ones that Mr. Stark made him… the noise-canceling ones…

 

Shit , had he really been that stupid? But even if he  had  been wearing them, what were the chances of someone successfully breaking into the compound in broad daylight no less?

 

Peter, your suit is in the Avengers compound.”  The AI finally answered.

 

“Oh thank god. So it’s still in the lab somewhere? I can’t see it-“

 

My readings show that it’s on the floor below you.”

 

“Um, what? Oh, it’s on the floor somewhere?” He asked aloud, beginning his search on the floor around the lab.

 

“No, your suit is not on this floor, it’s on the Avengers common floor.”

 

Shit, this is great,” he stated sarcastically. But there was no way he was about to call Mr. Stark up just so he could pick up his suit for him… and he doubted the whole tablecloth-ghost thing would work again.

 

Sighing, he went over to his backpack and dug through it, looking for his internship card since Mr. Stark had given him an all-access one in case of emergencies, which in this case would be incredibly useful.

 

He made sure he at least looked slightly presentable before heading down to the Avengers floor.

 


 

Of all things he had expected to see when he walked into the kitchen, Rhodey had not expected  this .

 

Then again, who would? But then again, he lived with the world’s most powerful collection of strange people, so he really shouldn’t have expected much.

 

Still though, seeing a group of actual adults along with one teenager crowded around a Spider-Suit which had been painted pink and yellow, covered in duct-tape, glitter and feathers was a pretty strange sight, which was made even stranger when he spotted the actual owner of the suit staring in horror at the scene before him.

 

“What the fuck is going on?” Rhodey muttered in shock.

 

“Mr. Stark is going to  kill  me,” Peter whispered to himself.

 

Most of the Avengers looked slightly guilty, but they still mostly looked proud.

 

“Hey, he decided to take a nap in the kitchen,” Sam defended. “We’re just showing him what happens when he does.”

 

“Don’t worry, it’ll probably come out,” Wanda assured them. “And if not… then Spider-Man gets a new colour-scheme,” she shrugged.

 

“Why are you guys even doing?” Rhodey half-sighed, half-asked pressing his hand to his forehead.

 

“…The answer to that should be obvious,” Clint stated. “The real question is: how much can Spider-Man sleep through? This guy’s like a brick.”

 

Rhodey looked at Peter through the corner of his eye, the kid still in visible shock, and also visibly  not  Spider-Man, which meant that whoever or  whatever  was currently in the Spider-Suit, was not, in fact, Spider-Man.

 

“Oh hey, it’s the intern,” Sam finally noticed. “What’re you doing down here kid?”

 

“Th-the suit… the spider-suit,” he said in quiet pain.

 

Clint let out a light laugh. “I don’t think you’ll be able to work on it right now unless we strip him- which might not be the best idea.”

 

Peter just shook his head and stalked up to where ’Spider-Man’ was currently laying, and before anyone could stop him, he yanked the mask off, revealing… a mannequin.

 

Immediately the humour in the room died as they all took in the faceless body before them.

 

“It’s… a mannequin,” Steve unnecessarily narrated.

 

“It’s what Mr. Stark had me working on,” Peter explained stressfully. “The eyes weren’t opening, it just needed to be rewired… What is it you say about pranking again Ste- Mr. Rogers?”

 

Despite Rhodey not ever hearing Steve talk about the subject of pranks, his words seemed to affect the good Captian, who bowed his head in apology.

 

“Shit, we’re so sorry kid,” Sam said as he watched the kid place the mask back on the mannequin. “Don’t worry, we’ll explain it all to Tony- or if you want us to help you fix it-“

 

“It’s fine, he’s with Ms. Potts right now, I can probably get it fixed before he comes back- thanks though,” he replied, preparing to pick up the mannequin before Rhodey stepped in and grabbed it for him, which Peter gave him a small smile in gratitude.

 

“Um, I can come too,” Ned spoke up suddenly, causing Rhodey to look at him in surprise… He knew Ned was good with computers, but… 

 

Sudden horror hit Rhodey as he finally realized something- if Spider-Man was a sixteen-year-old kid, then who the  fuck  was Ned? Had the Avengers just adopted a random high-schooler after assuming he was Spider-Man’s son? Why the hell did Peter just go along with it? And why was Ned going so far with this in the first place?

 

Sure it would be cool to hang out with the Avengers, but why press his luck and keep coming back? And now he was even leaping at the chance to go in Stark’s personal lab, which only a select few could go in… it was suspicious.

 

The colonel caught the way Peter glared at Ned, so he spoke before either teen could say anything more.

 

“I’m sure we’ll be fine- thank you for the offer though, Ned.”

 

“I think it would prove beneficial to have him there,” Vision spoke up. “Ned not only possess knowledge of computers but also of Spider-Man. I’m sure he would prove most helpful in repairing the suit to its proper functions.”

 

“Yeah, I just, I’m not really sure how Tones would feel about it- there’s a lot of sensitive stuff in his lab.”

 

“I’m sure he wouldn’t mind,” Wanda assured. “After all, he won’t be alone in there, right?”

 

The other Avengers seemed to agree with this, and as much as Rhodey wanted to argue, there wasn’t much he could say without dropping one-too-many hints about Peter. 

 

But on the other hand, having Ned there could be disastrous- would he pretend to know more about the suit and take over Peter’s space? Ned didn’t seem like the sort of kid to do that- in actuality, he seemed pretty nice- but considering the colonel had just realized the true mystery behind the kid, he wasn’t sure of very much anymore.

 

He also wasn’t sure what Peter’s thoughts on this were since he seemed to be very tongue-tied in front of the other Avengers, which was a very weird thing to see in him considering how hard it was to get 'Spider-Man' to stop talking. But as far as he could tell, Peter wasn’t exactly fond of Ned from the way he had glared at him when he started talking.

 

Either way, neither of them had a choice in the matter, since before they could say another word, the rest of the Avengers sent the three of them on their way, and they were now headed towards the elevator in awkward silence, Ned not even bothering to introduce himself to Peter.

 


 

Somehow, it felt like the entire timeline Peter had been placed in was hell-bent on placing him in awkward situations.

 

He hadn’t wanted to interact with the Avengers in the civilian form today, and yet, it had happened. He also hadn’t known that Ned would be there and had no idea how he'd even gotten to the compound, but it turned out to be a welcome surprise since it would be nice to have the extra help in fixing his suit. He  wasn’t  glad that Ned had been apart of the group ruining his suit, but he knew more than anyone else how hard it was to say  ‘no’  to your childhood heroes.

 

There  was  always the consistent fear of Ned revealing him unintentionally (he thought it was a bit strange that Peter refused to tell the Avengers his secret identity, since they were ‘ all in this together ’, and yes, he asked that after they had finished watching ‘High School Musical’ at two am), and sometimes he found himself unnecessarily glaring at Ned in warning, but they were finally able to relax now that they were alone in the elevator with Rhodey, who also knew who he was. It was quite a bit of a relief to have everything slightly normal for once-

 

“Ned, this is Tony’s intern, Peter,” Rhodey introduced, snapping both Ned and Peter out of their calm daze.

 

“Huh?” Ned asked in confusion before catching on. “Oh-o h.  Um, hi, I’m Ned Leeds… nice to meet you?”

 

Peter internally swore as it clicked in that he’d never informed Rhodey who Ned was, and never explained what happened with Rhodey to Ned. At least the chance had come to clear the air and get it over with, no more lies-

 

“Hey, I’m Peter Parker, Mr. Stark’s intern.”

 

Shit. What the fuck Parker.

 

He resisted the urge to facepalm as the words left his mouth. Sure his brain was caught up to the fact that Rhodey knew who he was, and thus he didn’t need to lie anymore, but apparently, his mouth was automatically used to lying. He could just speak up now though and clear everything up. He was going to do it.

 

But as each second ticked by, it became more and more awkward to speak, and the more and more random it would seem. The elevator doors opened, and they walked to Tony’s lab, none of them saying a word.

 

“Well, here you are,” Rhodey commented as he set the mannequin down on the couch again. “Do you want me to stay and help you?” He asked, subtly gesturing towards Ned.

 

“No, um, we’re good here, we’ll be careful. Thanks, Mr. Rhodey,” he answered with a tight smile, his mind still buzzing from the new mess he had just created.

 

“Anytime. Just let me know if you need help, and I’ll come- and I’m pretty sure I told you to drop the whole ‘Mr’ thing a few days after we met, remember?”

 

“R-right, thanks Rhodey.”

 

The colonel nodded and gave them a wave before exiting the lab, leaving the two boys alone together.

 


 

After leaving the two kids in the lab, Rhodey had gone back to where the other Avengers were, but he couldn't help but feel overly-concerned about leaving them alone.

 

He still had no clue who Ned was, and if Peter got caught up in his suit, who's to say Ned won't just leave the lab to take a private tour of Tony's floor?

 

And it wasn't that he didn't trust Peter to take care of things himself, but it  was  easy to get distracted, and he was just a teen...

 

Rhodey decided he didn't want to take any chances, so he headed back upstairs, walking through the floor hurriedly towards the lab, nearly colliding with Ned.

 

"Shit, I'm so sorry Mr. Rhodey," the kid fumbled.

 

"It's ok, I thought you were supposed to be in the lab with Peter though?"

 

"Yeah, he just asked me to get some drinks," he explained showing the colonel the two cans of pop he was holding.

 

"That's nice of you, but you really shouldn't be roaming around on this floor alone- it's Tony's personal floor."

 

"Right... sorry."

 

"It's fine- let's just get back to the lab, ok?"

 

Ned nodded and followed Rhodey as he made his way back towards the lab, pushing the doors open and stepping inside.

 

“Peter?” Rhodey called as he glanced around the lab, Ned right behind him.

 

“Up here” A voice called from above, causing both Rhodey and Ned to look towards the ceiling where Peter was currently standing upside-down, crouched beside a broken light, apparently attempting to fix it.

 

To say that seeing him up there was freaking the hell out of Rhodey is an understatement, because  sure , Spider-Man had spent pretty much all his time up there, but that was back when he assumed the suit was doing all the work- but now there was a person- an actual  fucking human - standing on the ceiling as if gravity just decided to take the day off, casually acting as if ‘ yes, this is a normal thing most teenagers have the ability to do ’, just a freaking  teenager  standing on the  ceiling.

 

So yeah, Rhodey was freaking out. Not nearly as much as Ned though, and suddenly, Rhodey gained the ability to appear unrealistically clam despite freaking out on the inside.

 

“It looks like you finished those sticking boots huh?” He pretended to ask in genuine interest, hoping it would cover for Peter’s blatant stickiness as the kid in question just looked down at him in confusion as Ned joined in. 

 

“Y-yeah, Peter worked really hard on those shoes- they’re the ones my dad uses in his suit,” Ned lied quickly.

 

Rhodey couldn’t believe that this kid just not only lied to his face but also managed to bring up being Spider-Man’s son  yet again , which also in the process took away from the effort that Peter had-  would have - put into those shoes if they weren’t something that Rhodey hadn’t just invented as something to cover for Peter five seconds ago.

 

“Oh, um, right,” Peter finally responded blankly as he attempted to walk back down the walls casually. “Thanks…”

 

Just then, Tony walked through the doors.

 

“Hey, Pete- oh and Rhodes… and Ned? Ok, well, Pepper is jetlagged, so it’s just the… four of us? For dinner I guess…”

 

“Thanks, Mr. Stark,” Peter finally responded since nobody else seemed like they wanted to respond. “I’m just gonna finish up here, but you guys can go-“

 

“-I’ll help you,” Tony offered. “Rhodes, do you and Ned wanna go order food?”

 

 “Yes, sure Mr. Stark,” Ned agreed easily, exiting the room, leaving Rhodey to follow.

 

As soon as the door closed, Tony turned to Peter.

 

“They don’t know, do they?”

 

"Hm? About what?"

 

"They don't know that they both know about your spider-issues, do they?"

 

“Wha- how did you-“

 

 “-Know?" Tony finished. "Because you never take things the easy way, ever.”

 

Peter wanted to argue with that logic, but quite honestly, it was the truth.

Chapter Text

Ever since Sam had gone with Spider-Man to the D.O.D.C, something had been off with how he interacted with Spidey, and it was starting to become clear that something had caused distrust in the Spider to sprout again.

 

Today though, Steve saw just how much Sam’s trust had been displaced.

 

“What are you watching?” Steve asked as he took in the video that Sam was in deep study of, watching it on his laptop.

 

“Washington,” Sam explained, though the single world did very little to properly explain it, so he continued. “You know how Spidey got into the D.O.D.C?”

 

Steve inwardly sighed when he heard the words he had expected to hear. He wished that Sam’s newfound wariness was invalid, but his friend rarely distrusted people if it wasn’t serious.

Still though he couldn’t help but hope that Sam was wrong this one time.

 

“Sam, I know this is concerning, but you’ve been hung up on this a little too long, don’t you think?” Steve said, sounding as unconvinced as he actually was.

 

“No, just listen: he somehow broke into the D.O.D.C one night, managed to break out, and was just in time to save a decathlon team more plummeting to their death in the Washington monument- the question is, why would he choose to go to the monument immediately after escaping the facility? Then I decided to look at who he saved.” Sam closed the new report he’d been watching and pulled up a photo.

 

“Look.”

 

“Sam-“

 

“Just look.”

 

Steve sighed and scanned through the people in the photo- just a few teenagers celebrating a win- when his eye caught on one of the kids in particular. 

 

“Ned?”

 

“Yep. I looked it up, and Ned Leeds, A.K.A Spider-Man’s son is on the decathlon team.”

 

“Well then, that explains what Spider-Man was doing there, which resolves the whole mystery on him, right?” Steve asked hopefully. 

 

“No, Steve, it was unknown how the elevator blew up, but from these photos, it looks eerily like the alien tech that Spider-Man supposedly ‘stopped’. And out of everyone on the elevator, who do you think had access  to  the weapons? Ned would be the only one, right? What if Spidey set it up using Ned to carry the bomb, that way he could frame himself as the hero, and if anyone managed to find out about his little late-night break-in, his recent success would drown it out.”

 

“Wouldn’t that make him seem more suspicious? Maybe Ned took it from his dad without knowing- look, this is getting a little out of hand, and we can’t know all the facts unless Spidey tells-“

 

“Is it getting out of hand, or are you just unwilling to see the truth?”

 

“…”

 

“If Spider-Man was innocent, don’t you think he would’ve explained by now?”

 

“He has a family to protect, never mind his own identity-“

 

“I call bullshit on his ‘family’. We know who Ned is, we know his wife is named Karen- hell, I could look up his real name easily, but I don’t. He isn’t hiding his identity, he’s hiding his actions. And I want to know what it is he’s doing that he wants so desperately hide.”

 

“…Ok, I’ll admit, it  is  suspicious, but we shouldn’t assume the worst of him,” Steve said, still in defence, although reality was wearing his desire to respect Spider-Man’s privacy.

 

“I’m not assuming the worst, Steve, I’m only collecting the truth- and so far we know that it's starting to look likely that Spider-Man  could’ve  planned the whole ‘rescue’ in Washington to get the attention of positive press.”

 

“You’re right, this is all… questionable, and I will admit that everything around him is becoming more…” Steve sighed, not wanting to finish his sentence.

 

“Look, I like Spidey, he’s fun to be with- but the more we find out about him, the more I realize I don’t know the guy, and the more I realize there’s more than enough reason to doubt his motives. And the thing is, the person who arguably knows the most about his true motives would be Stark, and Tony clearly doesn’t like him- not only that, but he must’ve been pretty desperate when he tried gathering people to fight, so who knows where he found Spidey.”

 

Steve looked down. Sam was right… there were just too many questions.

 


 

A situation had risen up in Queens, and they had gotten permission from the government to ask for Spider-Man's help regarding the problem, so Tony had called him to come in this afternoon- even though it was almost expected by now to see Spider-Man on Friday afternoons anyway, so there was really nothing different about seeing him there today- even then, he came to compound so frequently (and randomly) that there was really no way of telling when the spider might pop up, so honestly it would hardly be surprising to see him here at three am on a Monday, much less an actual time when he frequently tended to visit.

 

“Spider-Man, thank you for coming,” Steve greeted, although his voice still reflected his doubts on the man that had re-emerged during his conversation that morning with Sam. If Spider-Man noticed the small difference in tone, it didn’t affect his personality.

 

“Well, if it isn’t the man with a giant metal frisbee.”

 

“He’s Captain America to you,” Sam responded jokingly, though slightly defensively.

 

“Yeah, the man with the giant metal frisbee…”

 

“Uh, why is there duct tape on your suit?” Clint asked curiously as he and Nat walked into the room.

 

“Oh yeah, it accidentally got cut, so I just taped it up until I had time to fix it,” he answered, while casually grabbing the glass of water Sam had been holding and taking a sip of it before returning it to its original owner.

 

“How’d it get cut?” Clint wondered out loud.

 

“Well, it sorta tore from the knife, but there’s no real damage done to it, so it’s all good.”

 

“Wait, how did you tear it with a knife?”

 

Natasha smacked Clint on the head. “How do you  think  he got cut with a knife,  while  in his suit no less? It was during a fight, Clint.”

 

 “Yeah, see you’d  think  that,” Clint countered. “But can you ever really be sure with Spidey? I mean, we weren’t expecting him to haunt the compound as a ghost in his spare time, but that was something that happened anyways.”

 

“That was an accident,” Spidey spoke up in defence.

 

Clint shrugged. “Just saying, it seems to be a trend that you do weird things.”

 

“Wow, ok, I’m not going to be offended by that…”

 

“Sorry man,” Sam joined in. “But I gotta agree with Clint here- you  are  pretty much the strangest on here, and that’s saying something considering we’re probably the weirdest people on the planet.”

 

“Ok, ok, I get it, you can stop talking about it,” he said raising his hands in defeat. “But anyways, at least this time my answer is normal- Nat was right, there was this mugger guy, and he just whipped out this knife after I pulled the first one out, and I  wouldda  been able to avoid it, but see, it was  really  bothering me, cuz I knew that there was a really good pun I could say, but I couldn’t think of anything to say other than ‘second knife’s the charm’, but that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, and its not even a pun or anything, like it made no sense, and I knew there was a better joke there, so I was thinking about that, also since I sorta had to say it quickly, otherwise I’d loose my chance to make a joke about it, since obviously saying a joke any later than fifteen seconds after it happened results in bad comedic timing, and its then deemed irrelevant (especially when your in a fight), so I was focusing on that, and I chose to ignore my spider-sense cuz I figured I had time, but it turns out I didn’t really, and by the time I moved, it was too late to make a joke about it, so I just gave up.”

 

“…And then the guy cut you with his knife?” Sam asked.

 

“Oh yeah, he definitely cut me, but the victim had some duct tape in her backpack, so she lent me some, which was great, cuz it covered the tear, and it works as a bandage too! It’s the water-proof type, so it stops the blood from coming out as well.”

 

“Alright, we don’t have time for this,” Tony cut in, grabbing Spider-Man’s shoulder and guiding him to the table beside his seat to which the arachnid obediently sat down as Steve waited for the rest of the group to sit before starting the explanation while Tony removed the duct-tape and began tending to Spider-Man’s wound as if he’d done it already a thousand times while Steve began the report.

 

“The reason why we were actually allowed invited you to join the mission this time, is because of the information we received, and where it’s based- Queens. And since our last mission in Queens ended up getting hijacked by you, it’ll be more beneficial to have you join us to prevent any unnecessary injuries, and since it’ll be nice to have someone who knows their way around the area.”

 

“Glad to be of service Cap,” Spidey said happily as he saluted, only to have Tony reach out and pull the spider’s hand down, while Steve attempted to ignore the two of them in favour of continuing the mission report.

 

“There’s been rumours of high-tech weapon sales rising again in Queens. No one knows where they came from, or who stole the parts to make them, but it’s possible it was the same person who robbed the D.O.D.C a few weeks back- and once again, Spidey is the most knowledgeable on this subject, so…”

 

Steve looked at Spider-Man, whose eyes were currently widened in excitement. He knew that the truth about Spider-Man was going to come out one way or another, but for right now, trusting him was their best option for the greater endgame.

 

“So if he tells us something, we need to listen to him and follow his lead so we can minimize any casualties. Understood?”

 

There were nods of agreement around the table.

 

“Alright. So I think that it would be best if we were to plan a scouting mission first before any action is taken- just a small group of about four, one of them already being Spidey, of course. Any volunteers for the rest of the group?”

 

“I need to keep an eye on Underoos,” Tony said almost immediately in a tone that clearly made a do not fuck with me on this point that Steve didn’t want to argue on.

 

“Alright, so it’s Tony and-“

 

“I’ll go too,” Sam stated.

 

“Then I guess I’ll come along,” Rhodey finished, making Steve glad that Spider-Man wouldn’t be left to fend for himself with Sam and Stark, seemingly the two people who trusted him the least.

 

No arguments were made against these groupings, and soon they were headed towards Queens in one of Tony’s less noticeable cars.

 


 

“Alright,” Tony started as soon as they had parked the car, turning to face Sam and Spider-Man in the back. “I say we split into groups of two- Sam and Rhodes, and me and Spidey. Sound good?”

 

“No offence Stark, but I think it’d be best if Spidey and I were on the same team,” Sam countered. “I’ll be able to keep watch on the rooftops with him, and you’re suits are much more noticeable than my wings.”

 

“This is supposed to be a scouting mission though, so in that case, it would be better for Spidey and I to be teamed up since that way he can wear something other than the incredibly attention-attracting suit he has on now.”

“Sam’s right Tones,” Rhodey agreed, earning him a glare from the aforementioned billionaire. “We’ll need to be prepared for any sort of attack, and the two of them would cause the least amount of chaos- plus, this is where Spidey is normally seen, right? There wouldn’t be any sort of suspicion with him roaming around Queens anyways.”

 

“Then I’ll suit up-“

 

“Spider-Man can take care of himself, Tony,” the colonel reminded, causing Tony to sigh in defeat.

 

“Ok, we’ll do it Sam’s way- stay in contact.”

 

“Sure thing Mr. Stark!” Spider-Man agreed cheerfully. “And, um, thank you Rhodey…”

 

“No problem Spidey.”

 

“Alright, let’s head up,” Sam reminded, eager to get the spider alone.

 

“Right- see you later!” Spider-Man called before jumping out of the car and  thwipping  a web and pulling himself up to the nearest building’s rooftop, leaving Sam to follow his lead.

 


 

Sam was now perched atop an average Queens apartment building alongside Spider-Man, looking over a relatively quiet street. 

 

He had to admit, that as time went on, it felt strange to be around Spider-Man. There was no doubt that he was hiding something- that was like, the first thing anyone mentioned about the spider, was his ‘secret identity,’ so yeah, it was nothing new that he was hiding something. The real question was: just how  much  was he hiding?

 

The more time you spent with someone the more you get to know them, right? But not with the arachnid. The more time you spent with him, the more you found out how much you  didn’t  know him, and how much you would probably never know him.

 

Sam couldn’t deny that he enjoyed spending time with Spidey, but their time together was starting to become tainted behind a web of confusion and uncertainty…

 

“Hey, y’ see that corner store on that block up ahead?” Spider-Man asked suddenly, cutting into Sam’s thoughts.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“They have the best sandwiches in Queens.”

 

“Good to know… so does a lot of crime usually happen in this area?”

 

“Ummm, just like, your average amount, I guess? I dunno. Why’re you asking?”

 

“Because you stationed us here to look for weapons,” Sam answered with slight impatience.

 

“Oh, right. Well, the first time I came across the weapons, it was in the bank over there, so I figured there might be something… also, I was getting tired from swinging around so much, and this seemed like a good place to stop for a few minutes. It’s also a pretty good place to listen for crimes since this  is  a pretty busy place,” Spider-Man explained, crossing his legs and looking across the city in what seemed like satisfaction.

 

“Why are you even doing all of this?” Sam asked suddenly, gesturing towards the city. He wasn’t entirely sure what made him ask that, but it was a valid question. He didn’t want to be an Avenger, he didn’t want the glory that came since he hid his identity… if his intentions  weren’t  bad, then really what  were  his intentions?

 

Spider-Man turned to look at Sam directly, before looking out towards the city skyline again, his eyes lidded slightly as if he were looking down on the streets in thought.

 

“I, um… I guess-“ Spider-Man was cut off by the voice of Tony suddenly speaking through their earpieces (or perhaps Spidey’s was just in his mask? Sam wasn’t sure).

 

“We need the two of you here as soon as possible. Fri’s spotted a likely target.”

 

“Don’t worry, we’re on our way Mr. Stark,” Spider-Man responded hurriedly, jumping off the roof without glancing behind to see if Sam was following (he was).

 


 

“Where’s Tony?” Sam asked Rhodey as he and Spidey walked up to the man.

 

“I dunno. He told me to wait here for you guys and he’d be back soon, but it’s been a while now.”

 

“Did you try calling him?” Spider-Man asked, pulling out his phone.

 

“Yeah, but he hasn’t responded.”

 

“You don’t think he’s hurt, do you?” Spidey asked in slight concern even though his eyes widened to show he was much more than ‘slightly concerned’.

 

“Nah, are you kidding?” Sam responded confidently. “The guy’s just short, he’s easy to lose in a crowd like this.”

 

“Wait! I might be able to find him- I always wanted to try this,” Spider-Man shared before cupping his hands around his mouth and shouting “SPIDER-MAN SUCKS AND ISN’T AVENGER WORTHY!” Earning the stares of pretty much anyone directly around them, including the Avengers themselves.

 

“Spidey what the  hell -“ Sam started, but the spider just held up a hand for silence.

 

After around forty seconds of silence, Rhodey dared to break it. “What are we waiting for?”

 

“Um… nothing…”

 

“So, you gonna let us in on why you yelled that?” Sam prodded, causing Spider-Man to look down, embarrassed.

 

“I uh, I sorta thought he might show up when I said that,” he admitted.

 

“Oh  god ,” Rhodey laughed. 

 

“That’s the funniest shit ever, I wish I had recorded it,” Sam joined in, laughing.

 

 Just then Tony walked up holding a bagel, along with three small paper bags.

 

“What’re you laughing at?” He asked casually, taking a bite out of his bagel.

 

“Spider-Man just-“

 

“-DON’T, uh, hey Mr. Stark, where were you? We couldn’t find you.”

 

“I was in that bakery over there,” he explained, tossing a small bag to the spider. “None of us have eaten yet, so I got some for everyone, he said while handing Sam and Rhodey their bags.

 

“Awesome! Thanks, Mr. Stark,” Spidey said, opening his bag and pulling out his bagel. “Bagel boys,  dundundundun,  boys,  dundundundun , BAGEL BOYS- WITH CREAM CHEESE.”

 

Sam watched as Tony completely ignored Spider-Man’s random outburst as if he were immune to any shit the arachnid might randomly do, as Rhodey tried to cover his smile by biting into his bagel as Sam honestly tried to figure out who the fuck Spider-Man really was. 

 

Sometimes it seemed like he acted too innocent for the stuff he managed to pull off… was it all just an act?

 

It had to be. After all, what actual person could go from breaking into a secure storage vault, to singing a song about bagels?

 

(A spider-infused Gen-Z kid could)

 

Regardless of his initial confusion, Sam decided to follow Tony’s lead and ignore the spider.

 

“So what’s up? You said Friday found someone with the weapons?”

 

“Yeah, found someone through a scan. This area’s pretty crowded though, so we couldn’t pinpoint the exact location, but they’re here somewhere. Rhodey and I are going to suit up- you two start searching the area.”

 

“Right. Come on Spidey,” Sam said, gesturing for the man to follow.

 


 

“I’ve found him,” Tony announced through the coms. “Converge on my location.”

 

The man had taken Tony by surprise, despite appearing like an amateur, the man had a certain skill that made Tony certain there was something more than high-tech weaponry providing the man with fighting power.

 

Admittedly, the man had gotten one shot in, but it hadn’t done much other than momentarily surprise him, and inform him of the man's arrival, so really, it had been more helpful than hurtful since he was now standing face to face with the man, his repulser aimed while the man stood firm with his alien-gun.

 

“Gotta tell you, I admire your resolution, but put down the gun. I have a feeling the blast from my suit will hurt you much more than anything your gun’s got. If you put it down nice and easy, I promise they’ll go easy on you in court. Sound like a good deal?”

 

The man only responded by powering up his gun, causing Tony to sigh, aiming his hand to fire at the weapon to shoot it out of his hand.

 

He lifted his hand to fire the repulser, but it shorted out, resulting in a few lame sparks.

 

“Fri? What’s going on?”

 

“Sorry boss, engine failure. I’ve had to reboot the system,”  the AI explained in a rushed tone.

 

He looked up, only to see the fierce glow in front of him, ready to fire. He hardly had any time to move before he saw a flash of red zoom past him, and heard the familiar  thwip  sound as a web shot out and pulled the gun-holder in as Spider-Man delivered a harsh kick to the man, effectively knocking him out.

 

Spidey stood straight and rushed towards where Tony was still standing. Tony watched the kid approach, fighting back the urge to laugh as he saw the mask’s eyes widen in concern when the kid looked at him- he could only imagine the facial expression behind his mask, as he was Ince again glad that he chose to incorporate the eye mechanisms, if only it served to be entertaining.

 

“Mr. Stark are you ok?” He asked upon reaching him, hovering awkwardly like he had wanted to hug him, but stopped last second. 

 

 “Yep, all good here- nice work kid,” Tony commended before turning to where the man was lying unconscious, but stopped as he heard as Peter muttered with awe; “I actually saved you.”

 

He turned back towards the kid and smirked behind the iron (gold platinum alloy) mask.

 

“Yeah, don’t get a big head because of it- remember all the times I’ve gotten your Spider-Self out of trouble?”

 

“No like, I saved you- for real this time!”

 

“What do you mean ‘this time’? You and the team have saved me before- you’ve saved a lot of people kid.”

 

“Yeah, but this time I did it alone…”

 

“Just to be clear, I probably would’ve been fine,” Tony reminded him.

 

“Yeah, just-just let me have this one, ok?”

 

Tony hid a laugh as Sam and Rhodey landed nearby, and saw the man in front of Tony.

 

“So, we got him?” Rhodey asked.

 

“Seems like it.”

 

“Why is he knocked out?” Sam asked in slight concern.

 

“That would be due to our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”

 

“Ha, yeah, he never saw it coming… I-I mean, I didn’t do it on purpose! I just- I don’t know my own strength sometimes? But I didn’t plan it, I swear.”

 

“No one’s blaming you Underoos. Comm'n, let’s get this guy back to the compound and see if he’ll tell us anything.”

 


 

Peter was laying on his bed, doing nothing and not particularly feeling like doing anything even though he was pretty restless. He could hear the voices of the Avengers on the floor below him, wishing desperately that he didn’t have enhanced hearing at that moment.

 

There wasn’t anything that had gone terribly wrong that day, but he was still feeling pretty annoyed, mostly at himself.

 

It wasn’t like he’d never knocked someone out before (*cough* Steve Rogers *cough*), but this time it felt slightly different for some reason. After Sam had asked him why he was fighting crime, his mind had gone to Ben. It was always Ben’s voice that he heard when he thought about his crime-fighting.

 

So when he saw that man pointing his gun-thingy at Mr. Stark… 

 

It was only natural that his mind would go to that fateful night that he replayed in his mind too many times to count, so this time he took the action he wished he had taken when Ben…

 

Only he had soon realized the reality of the situation as he swung towards the man, remembering to restrain himself the best he could before he impacted the guy. It had still been enough to knock him out, but thankfully there had been no further damage.

 

He grabbed a pillow and covered his face, relishing the darkness that it brought, hoping that it would black out his rushing thoughts too. But it didn’t.

 

Then there had been Mr. Stark. He would be lying if he said that he hadn’t started to see his mentor in more of a fatherly way recently. He knew that Mr. Stark would probably never see him that way, but even still, he was grateful for whatever Mr. Stark decided he was to him- hell, even just being seen as his mentee was enough… but when he saw him in danger, he had felt that overwhelming fear inside him that had always been there since his parents died- the fear of losing someone he loved.

 

That was why he kept his identity hidden, and that was why he went out to protect the city- so he wouldn’t have to feel that sort of fear again… but it had happened anyway…

 

Just then, he heard footsteps approaching his room, so he threw the pillow back where it had been before, frantic, but tired, debating if he should pretend to be asleep, or if he should grab his phone and pretend to text Ned. Ultimately though, he wasn’t moving quick enough, and the door opened after a quick warning knock.

 

Peter sat up and turned towards the door, hoping Mr. Stark wouldn’t comment on his apparent lack of doing anything but was instead surprised by the person who entered being Rhodey.

 

“Hey, I hope it’s ok for me to come in here, but Tony mentioned that you had an increased metabolism, so I brought up some of Cap’s energy bars, and Wanda’s cooking dinner tonight if you wanted to come down and join us when it's ready.”

 

“Ok... thanks,” he said, still unable to make eye-contact with Rhodey without his mask… he didn’t remember it being this weird when Ned and May found out, but that was probably because they knew him as himself first, and Spider-Man second. Also, it probably had something to do with the fact that he was used to having his face covered up by his mask.

 

But if he was being awkward, Rhodey didn’t mention it, and instead took his response as an ‘ok’ to continue the conversation.

 

“I just wanted to say, you did a really good job today- I mean, you're part of the reason why we got the guy so easily,” he laughed.

 

“Yeah, by knocking him out…”

 

“Hey, don’t worry, he’s fine- he actually just woke up a few minutes ago- Tony’s interrogating him right now.”

 

Peter nodded, but couldn’t bring himself to say anything- how could he explain that he was panicked over losing Mr. Stark, and even more panicked that he had started to see him as a sort of father figure? And how could he even explain that to Rhodey?

 

The colonel, however, picked up that something was wrong, and hesitatingly walked over to his bed, and sat next to him.

 

“Is everything ok?”

 

 “Yeah…”

 

“I've been friends with Tony for years, I can tell when something’s wrong… also no offence, but you don’t seem like you’re very good at hiding things.”

 

“I’m keeping my identity secret,” he pointed out.

 

“True, though I get the feeling that Tony and I aren’t the only ones who know.”

 

“Ha... you’d be right about that.”

 

“I’m sorry about how I reacted when I first found out… I guess I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.”

 

“No- no it’s fine, that’s not what’s wrong- I mean, I fine, I’m not mad at you or anything- I just… I’m fine…”

 

“Hey, it’s ok, you don’t need to tell me if you don’t want to, but I just wanted to say that I’m glad Tony found you. He’s been doing a lot better recently, and I think it’s because of you.”

 

This caused Peter to look up in confusion, for once forgetting about his unmasked face.

 

“After the whole accord thing, Tones really wasn’t doing well, but then he started to get better, Pepper came back, and hell, he was even open to having the other Avengers come here again- I just think a lot of it was thanks to you… I’ve seen the way he is with you, he’s happy, and there aren't many people he’s like that with, and I’m just really glad that he has another person he can be so open with.”

 

“Thanks, um, he’s a really good mentor?” Peter said uncertainly, not entirely sure of what to say in response to that, causing Rhodey to laugh.

 

“I’m sure he is.”

 

“My parents died,” Peter stated abruptly, unsure himself as to why he had just shared that, but Rhodey didn’t stop him, so he continued. “My aunt and uncle raised me, and I don’t really remember my parents all that much, so they sorta became like my parents… but then my uncle was killed. I was there, I could’ve- I  should’ve  stopped it, but I didn’t… I failed…”

 

Peter tried to push away that memory, but it wouldn’t go away.

 

“And I know it’s kinda stupid, but after I lost him, I-I never thought I’d get someone like that again… someone who would want to actually spend time with me and show me stuff, y’ know?”

 

The words ‘I never thought someone would care again’ went unspoken.

 

It's hard when you lose a father-figure, or when you never had one. Peter had been lucky enough to have Ben, and some memories of his actual father, but sometimes that made it harder since he had lost them both. 

 

“And after- after…  that , I never expected someone else to want me around, to want to be… sort of like how Ben was… especially now that I’m older- no one wants a teenager, we’re only extra work. But Mr. Stark is… he’s ok with me being around, and I didn’t think I’d get another chance to have someone like him… and just- seeing him today, when I arrived, he was already being shot at- and I  know  he would’ve been fine, but just seeing him in a situation like that kinda freaked me out I guess.”

 

The room went silent as Peter finally finished talking. Was he mortified that he’d just unloaded a bunch of emotional baggage onto Rhodey? Yes. Did he regret it? Also yes, but a part of him felt so much lighter now that he had gotten it all out.

 

“Well,” Rhodey said, cutting through the peaceful silence. “It sounds like you haven’t had the easiest of lives, huh? And I can’t say I relate to everything you just said, but I definitely can relate to worrying about Tony. But then again, he has Pepper looking out for him, and I don’t think many supervillains are willing to go up against her.”

 

“True.”

 

Rhodey put his hand on Peter’s shoulder looking him in the eyes. “I know Tones tends to get in a lot of trouble, but between you and I, Pepper, and the rest of the Avengers, we’ll make sure he’s all right. But you also have to promise you’ll put your safety as a priority too- all of us will get through this together, ok?” Rhodey waited for Peter to nod. “Good. And also, just know that I’m always here if you need anything.”

“Thank you, Rhodey…” Peter said warmly before moving to hug the colonel without thinking it through. He had expected the man to react like Tony had after Germany, but to his surprise, the hug was almost immediately reciprocated once Rhodey realized what was happening.

 

Maybe it really was for the best that Rhodey found out who he was…

Chapter Text

 

Peter had decided to stay in his room for a bit longer, still lost in thought from earlier (also slightly embarrassed that he had dumped so much on Rhodey), when Friday suddenly spoke to him, telling him that Mr. Stark had just called a meeting for the Avengers, including him, so he begrudgingly got up, and glanced at his suit which was currently laying on his chair along with his mask.

 

It’s not that his suit was uncomfortable, but he just really didn’t feel like wearing it at the moment, not to mention that he hadn’t yet properly fixed the tear from earlier.

 

Still, though, it wasn’t like he had any other options unless he just wanted to show up in a tee-shirt and jeans, which, admittedly, would draw more attention to himself than it was worth. Also, it probably looked terrible with his mask, so that was out of the question.

 

But if he was being honest, he would much rather just stay in his hoodie for the meeting- after all, all the other Avengers got to wear what they wanted, so why couldn’t he?

 

Just as he was about to put his suit on, he realized the perfect solution already existed in his closet, something that he had hidden away, half out of shame, and half because he was saving it for the next time Mr. Stark threatened to take his suit away, though since that day hadn’t come, and he was incredibly tired, he just decided to make practical use of it.

 


 

“Spidey… what the hell are you wearing?” Natasha asked as he walked into the room.

 

Tony sighed tiredly when he caught sight of what the spider was wearing, as Spider-Man himself looked down at his outfit casually with slight disappointment.

 

“It’s my suit,” he explained.

 

“I’m pretty damn sure that’s not your suit,” Sam laughed.

 

“It is, it was my first one. Well, not my first  first  one, since that one’s pretty much ruined, but it’s similar.”

 

That , was your first suit?” Steve asked skeptically.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“And why, exactly are you wearing it?” Tony asked.

 

“It’s comfortable, and I’m tired,” he stated firmly before taking a seat next to Rhodey who looked like he was having a hard time figuring out if he was genuinely concerned about the spider, or amused by him.

 

“Why did you even make another one Pe- for Pete’s sake?” The billionaire questioned.

 

“If you absolutely must know Mr. Stark, I wanted to have a backup suit incase you took mine away… again...”

 

“Wait,” Sam interrupted. "He took your suit away? Why?"

 

"I was at a weapons deal- whatever, we don't need to go into it..."

 

“So does this one work too? Like, you can climb walls with it and stuff?”

 

“…Yeah, of course.”

 

“How does it work?”

 

“Um… s-stickiness?”

 

“Alright, we’re getting off track,” Tony interrupted, standing up to begin the meeting. “The guy we caught was unsurprisingly not helpful, but hey, we can’t complain. He did mention that the person he was working for operated in Queens, but other than that I couldn’t get much out of him. The police are coming later to pick him up, but in the meantime, I think we should wait until whoever-these-people-are make the next move. They’ll be on guard now, probably more than before, so we continue monitoring as much as we can, while remaining hidden- this is especially important for Spider-Man since they already know to expect you- so kid, unless you see actual civilians in danger due to these weapons, I want you to stand down and report to us instead, got it?”

 

“Mr. Stark, I already know how most of these weapons work, so I won't be in that much danger," he argued.

 

“I know, but it’s best if you wait for them to make a move first, they’re obviously up to something, and if we’re patient and watch, we’ll be able to wait until they slip up and we can catch them… my question is: why are they operating in Queens? Out of everywhere in New York, they choose the one place with an actual superhero frequently roaming the streets… it’s a stupid move if you ask me.”

 

“It’s not stupid. Not if they have Toomes.”

 

“Whose Toomes?” Natasha interrupted, causing the intensity between Stark and Spidey to suddenly shatter.

 

“N-no one. Just someone I know…”

 

“Didn’t that lady from the D.O.D.C mention something about a Toomes when she was talking to you?” Sam brought up.

 

“Um, yes,” Spider-Man confirmed stiffly with finger-guns. “Yeah, he- it’s a long story actually, and I’m not sure we should go into it.”

 

“Since when have you shied away from talking our ears off?” Sam half-joked suspiciously.

 

“Sam,” Rhodey said in a warning tone, effectively stopping the man from saying anything more, while Tony just eyed Spider-Man in concern.

 

“Alright, that’s all the information we have for now, everyone’s dismissed,” Tony declared, ending the meeting abruptly.

 

“That’s it?” Steve asked in surprise. “Don’t you think we should talk a little bit more about this?”

 

“Yep, but we’ll save that for another day. It’s pretty late, and I’m sure Spidey needs to get home, so I guess we’re gonna leave this meeting as a ’to be continued’ sort of thing.”

 

No one argued further with him despite their confusion, since really, who wanted to stay in a meeting any longer than necessary?

 


 

“Wait- Spidey!” Clint called rushing towards him as Peter paused to look down from his perch on the open window where he was about to leap from.

 

“Did I forget something?” He questioned in doubt. After all, when he came to visit as Spider-Man, he left his backpack on Mr. Stark’s floor, which meant that he hardly carried anything with him other than his phone and what was already apart of his suit, so there was a low chance of him misplacing his web-shooters as he had consistently done with his previous homemade suit (that had happened way more than he was willing to admit). Also he  was  staying the night, so even if he did forget something, it’s not like it’d be a huge deal- then again, Clint didn’t know he was staying over, so it was valid.

 

“No, I just wanted to talk to you quickly without the others,” he explained.

 

“Oh, uh ok- what’s up?”

 

Clint cleared his throat and looked slightly nervous suddenly, even though his resolve to talk was more abundant. “I was wondering- Scott and I do this thing every once in a while where we get our families together and have dinner together, it’s fun for the kids, y’ know? I know Ned’s older than any of our kids, but I still think it might be fun for him- also without needing to hide who his father really is for once, I'm sure he gets stressed about that a lot. Anyways, Scott and I were thinking it’s about time we invited you to join too- we were planning for next Sunday, but-“

 

“Aw, shoot, I can’t next Sunday, I’m super busy- thanks for the invitation though! I totally would’ve loved to come,” Peter lied- well, it wasn’t a  total  lie… he would’ve wanted to go, since spending time with Clint and Scott along with their families sounded fun, especially since he was probably doing nothing on Sunday anyway- but there was no way he was going to take any more chances after losing his secret identity to two different people last week.  In the same week.

 

So as much as he wanted to say yes, thankfully he had at least enough common sense to say  ‘no’.

 

“Aw, ok then- maybe next time?”

 

“Yeah, um, maybe- thanks Clint, goodnight!” He called as he jumped out the window, before swinging around to the other side of the building and climbing up to Mr. Stark’s floor.

 


 

As far as average weeks went, this one was pretty average- well, as much as it can be when you're a teen superhero. At least there hadn’t been anything to make this week a worse-than-normal week, especially since he was still reeling from the week before with the whole identity-crisis.

 

He sighed internally as he collapsed into a library chair and pulled out some of his homework for the day. Classes were over, but the decathlon meeting would be soon, so he had decided to just come early.

 

He wasn’t here early just because it’d probably make MJ happy. Psssshhhhh that’s ridiculous…

 

Suddenly his phone buzzed, and he instinctively reached for it, expecting it to be either May, Tony, or Ned- of which it was the latter.

 

Bro, where are u???

 

Library for decathlon??? Do we not meet today???

 

OH

OH SHIT

PETER I FORGIT TO TELL U

*FORGOT

WE HAVE PLANS

 

???? 

We do???

 

YEA JUST MEET ME AT THE FRONT

 

Can’t it wait till after?? I don’t wanna miss practice

 

Lmao when did u become so obsessed w/ decathlon??? Just come meet me

 

Peter waited for a second, staring at the texts, debating if it was worth it… but it wasn’t like he hadn’t skipped practice before, right? He finally decided to pack up his stuff again and head to where Ned was. 

 

He picked up his backpack and slung it over his shoulder as his phone buzzed, once again from Ned asking if he was coming. He was typing out a response as he started to head to the exit, but had only made it five steps before he felt his spider-senses go off, and looked up only to see that he was about to crash into MJ.

 

Thankfully he had quick reflexes and dodged just in time so they wouldn’t crash into each other. MJ looked at him with slight boredom masking her surprise at his sudden movements as he stood up straight and fumbled to apologize before he turned around again and attempted to head out before MJ could stop him… unfortunately, it was too late for that.

 

“Where are you going?” She asked him suspiciously.

 

Peter forced himself to swallow his sigh and turned around. “I’m, I just found out that Ned and I- um, we- well, actually  he  made plans, I didn’t know, but…” He trailed off as MJ just waved for him to go in annoyance, before heading to where the decathlon table was alone, causing Peter to finally breathe in relief despite the guilt he felt from skipping. Why was it so much easier to act suspicious when somebody already suspicious of you?

 

When Peter got outside, he saw Ned waiting by the school steps looking beyond excited.

 

“I hope this is important,” he grumbled, still attempting to get over his embarrassment with MJ.

 

“It is,” Ned assured happily. “Uncle Barton-“

 

Uncle?” Peter interrupted. 

 

“He  told  me to call him that.”

 

Oh my god …”

 

“You’re just jealous- anyway, Uncle Barton invited us over to his house to meet Mr. Lang and his family! Isn’t that awesome? He said he wanted to introduce me to his kids, so then-“

 

“Waitwaitwait hold up- your texting buddies with  Clint Barton ?”

 

“Yeah, of course- there’s a group chat with all of us too, but he private messages me a lo-“

 

Peter grabbed Ned’s phone and scrolled through his messages. “You’re in a fucking  group chat  with the Avengers?”

 

“They were the ones that added me,” Ned defended. “Aren’t you in this one too though?”

 

“What? No, the only group chat I  have  is with Mr. Stark and Happy- I don’t have any of the Avengers numbers!”

 

“Dude,” Ned laughed. “I never thought I’d have the Avengers number’s before you- I feel so accomplished right now. So anyway, he told me that he invited you to come over last Sunday, but you were busy, and like, I knew you weren’t busy tonight, and I told him tonight would work, so we’re going over now,” Ned finished.

 

“Ned. Why do you think I told him I was busy on Sunday?”

 

“Um, don’t you usually spend Sundays with May?”

 

“Yeah, and cuz I didn’t want to go through an entire fucking meal while pretending to be like, forty years old, which- by the way- would probably lead to someone figuring out my actual age…”

 

“Ohhh, shit. Sorry, Peter.”

 

“No, don’t worry, it’s fine- just, Ummm, can you call and cancel? Say something big came up?”

 

“Dude, you want me to  lie  to an Avenger?”

 

“You’ve already lied by telling them you’re my son.”

 

“But that was different!”

 

“How the hell was that different?”

 

“Ok fine, I’ll cancel, but the way I see it is that it’s only going to look more suspicious if you keep canceling.”

 

“What? Nah, he knows I’m a private person.”

 

“Peter, seriously listen; If you keep canceling he’ll know something’s up- he already knows (or thinks he knows) that you're a father, you spend a considerable amount of time at the compound, plus you’re actually kind of open. If you keep cancelling, when there’s no excuse, then he’s going to know somethings up- he’s a freaking super-spy after all- but if you do this at least once, you keep up the pretence, and there’s less suspicion cast on you. Plus, we don’t have to stay long.”

 

“Wow… you actually thought this out, huh?”

 

“I wouldn’t just accept without thinking it through.”

 

“Just admit it- you like being on Clint’s good side.”

 

“Who wouldn’t?”

 


 

Peter quickly left to get changed and met up with Ned outside of a Starbucks where Ned and Clint had agreed to meet.

 

He swung through the streets until he saw where Ned was waiting, and easily landed beside his friend, who hardly even looked up from his phone when he arrived.

 

“You’re bringing your backpack with you?” Ned asked as Peter pulled his phone out to explain to May where he was going.

 

“Yeah, I couldn’t just leave it on the streets, and it would’ve taken too long to bring it home.”

 

“Won’t that look questionable though?”

 

“Yeah, I guess,” Peter admitted, shrugging the backpack off and tossing it to Ned. “Here, now there’s nothing weird.”

 

“Because the average student carries around  two  backpacks,” Ned agreed sarcastically.

 

“I don’t know! Just say you’re holding it for a friend, or like, he knows you go to Midtown, so make some excuse about needing extra supplies.”

 

Ned gasped dramatically. “I can’t believe you keep suggesting that I  lie  to an actual Avenger, not very good parenting- oh, Mr. Barton says he’s across the street…”

 

“I see him,” Peter stated,  thwipping  across the street to where the car was parked, leaving Ned to walk there alone.

 

“Spidey, hey!” Clint greeted excitedly as Peter jumped into the front seat. “I”m glad you could come. Where’s-“

 

“Ned’s coming, I just made him walk across the normal way… it’s uh, it’s safer that way. Ha, parenting, amiright?” He joked with a wink, only to immediately want to die from embarrassment. Thankfully though, Ned arrived, and hopped into the car, greeting Clint.

 

“So, is it just you two?” Clint asked after asking how Ned was.

 

“Uh, yeah… who else would there be?” Peter asked nervously, feeling as though they had forgotten something important.

 

“Oh, I thought your wife might be joining us too, I told Ned your whole family was invited…”

 

“Ah, um, yeah she’s working, sorry,” Peter easily lied.

 

“Hm, that sucks. Maybe next time then?” Clint suggested, slightly disappointed as he drove off towards the compound.

 


 

“Hey hey hey,” Tony called as he entered to room. “Where are you three off to?”

 

Clint grinned and threw his arm over Spider-Man’s shoulder, barely noticing how Spider-Man had tensed when Stark came in. “Just headed over to my house for dinner.”

 

“And what, I’m not invited?” The billionaire said in mock offence, causing Spidey to give a small laugh as Tony pretended (and failed) to ignore how much he loved making the kid laugh.

 

“Sorry, you have to be apart of the dad-venger’s to be invited,” Clint explained with a smile, obviously excited for Spider-Man to join with the group of two families.

 

“And what? I don’t classify as a dad?” Tony asked almost offendedly.

 

“Do you have a kid?”

 

“He has Peter,” Ned volunteered with a laugh, earning a smack from Spidey as Clint asked, “Who the fuck is Peter?”

 

The three were quiet in response as Clint looked from person to person, each one equally avoiding eye contact (other than Spider-Man, but who even knew where the fuck he was actually looking with those giant white eyes).

 

“Who’s Peter?” Clint asked again, hoping for at least a resemblance of an answer, which he luckily received from Spider-Man, who sighed, and grasped his arms.

 

“I guess it’s time you finally knew the truth, Clint,” he admitted in a low tone.

 

“The truth?”

 

“Yeah, see- the thing is… I- Peter is…”

 

“It’s ok, you don’t-“ Stark started, but Spidey just held up his hand for silence.

 

“It-it’s ok Mr. Stark, I’m done living this lie.” Spider-Man turned to face Clint, staring him in the eyes. 

 

 

 

 

“Clint, I have a dog, and his name is Peter. Mr. Stark loves that dog with his life and comes to visit him regularly at my house so often that it’s turned into a running joke between us- congrats, you’re now apart of the group that knows I have a dog. Can we go now though? I’m starting to get hungry.”

 

“Don’t worry Spidey, your secret’s safe with me,” Clint laughed before throwing his arm around Spidey again, leading him into the ship as they both yelled ‘bye’ to Tony, leaving the billionaire and Ned together in shock.

 

“Just to be clear, you thought he was going to reveal himself too, right?” Ned asked skeptically, as Tony only nodded in conferment.

 


 

“I’m really glad you could both make it,” Clint mentioned again as they stepped off the plane. A little ways away, Peter caught sight of a farmhouse, along with a barn off to the side.

 

He had to admit, it was a little weird to see that one of the Avengers had a normal life outside the usual action and excitement that was felt at the compound, and he felt strangely sad that there had been another side to Clint that he hadn’t seen before, though he realized that he was doing the same but to a greater extent with the others… At this point, he wasn’t even sure what he would say to them, or what they would say to him if they found out…

 

“Wow, it’s so peaceful out here,” Ned commented as they stepped onto the porch.

 

“Yeah, that’s one of the things I like the most about this place- though I will admit, it’s a little inconvenient to be pretty much in the middle of nowhere.”

 

 Clint rapped on the door once in greeting, before stepping on through the door, gesturing for the two teens to follow him inside.

 

“I’m excited for you to meet Lila, Cooper, and Nate,” Clint mentioned to Ned. “I was hoping that you might be able to babysit them- y’ know, if you ever need to make some extra money or something, it would work out great for everyone since then Laura and I could get a break.”

 

“What about me?” Peter asked, only half-jokingly.

 

“Aren’t you supposed to already have a job?” Clint asked.

 

“Ye-yeah, but I could use some extra money too!”

 

“I’m pretty sure Mr. Stark would start giving you an allowance if you just asked,” Ned added.

 

“Shut up Ned.”

 

Spider-Man, I cannot believe you just spoke to your son like that,” Clint said in fake aghast.

 

“Yeah dad, why are you so mean?”

 

“Excuse me? I’m an in-spidering father Ned.”

 

“Not with your sucky puns you’re not,” Ned commented as Clint laughed.

 

“No, don’t you see Ned? That what makes him a great dad,” Clint stated as Scott walked up.

 

“Hey Spidey, I’m glad to see my bug-buddy again,” he said happily giving him a high-five in greeting before turning his attention to Ned. “Who's this? A friend of yours?”

 

“Oh yeah, um Scott, this is Ned Leeds,” Peter introduced.

 

“Nice to meet you Ant-Man, sir,” Ned said nervously.

 

“Woah… you actually know who I am?”

 

“Yeah, of course! I’ve heard so much about you!”

 

“It looks like they hit it off pretty well,” Clint said to Peter as they watched Scott and Ned excitedly talk to each other. “Come on, lemme introduce you to Laura.” 

 

Clint guided Peter away from Ned and towards the kitchen towards where two women were standing- Hope, and assumably Laura was the other person.

 

“It’s nice to see you again Spider-Man,” Hope said warmly.

 

“Yeah, you too,” Peter said in return. He had only met her briefly a few times, but she had always seemed to be friendly.

 

“And I don’t believe we’ve met- I’m Laura- it’s nice to finally meet you, Clint’s told me a lot,” she stated with a hint of laughter in her voice.

 

“Ha… um, wh-what did he say about me?”

 

“Don’t worry, it was all good things… like Ned, he says you raised him right,” she complimented, which just resulted in Peter laughing awkwardly again.

 

“I didn’t know you had a son,” Hope mentioned. 

 

“Yep… he’s over there talking with Scott…”

 

“If I’m being honest, I was assuming you were the youngest out of us all,” she laughed. “Not that it’s a bad thing, but you come across kinda youthful…”

 

“Yeah, I get that a lot…” replied the teenager. At least  that  wasn’t a lie…

 

And something told him that honesty was not something that was about to come in handy tonight.

Chapter Text

Hey guys, sorry I absolutely hate it when writers do this, but I just wanted to let you all know I'll be going on hiatus for this fic for a little bit.

 

I don't have very much time to write, and I'm getting a little bit bored of writing this story and want to work on other things for a while... don't get me wrong! I love writing this, and I have tons of ideas still, but I'm just not feeling very motivated to write more chapters, and I'd rather wait until I can really give it my all so ya'll can actually get some quality chapters!

 

I hope you all understand- I'll be deleting this after a week- thank you so much!!

(I'll probably be back around winter break- maybe sometime sooner...)

 

Bye!!