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World Turned Upside Down

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For a few seconds all Peter could do was stare at the large screen in shock, his jaw dropped behind his mask and his suit's white bug eyes wide. What the fuck just happened? Questions swirled around in his head, making Peter feel slightly dizzy and if he hadn't been able to stick to pretty much everything he probably would have fallen off of the pole he was standing on.

When had Beck managed to take that video? How had he sent it to the Daily Bugle? What was going to happen next? We're people going to believe what Beck said?

He already knew the answer to the last question: of course they would. Beck's words rang through Peter's head in that moment: "People need something to believe in, and nowadays, people'll believe everything." That was one thing he was right about. People believed everything they were told, especially if there was seemingly evidence. And in this case... there was.

This realization seemed to shake Peter out of his daze of shock and confusion and he quickly looked around at everyone. Everyone who now knew who he really was, who thought he was a fraud, a liar, a murderer. MJ was the only person in the crowd who didn't look angry or betrayed, her face only showed a mix of horror and confusion that made Peter feel even more terrified than he already was.

MJ looked scared, actually scared, and if she was scared, then Peter knew that this was probably way, way worse than just having his identity revealed. He was gonna be a wanted man now, he realized. The Police were gonna hunt him, to lock him up or maybe just murder him pint blank when they saw him. And they would find his friends and family too. They would assume they had something to do with all of this and that would mean they were all in even more danger than they had been when they only knew his secret identity.

Peter needed to get MJ out of here, he needed to warn Ned and Aunt May. He needed to talk to Happy; he would probably know what to do. He looked down at MJ and opened his mouth to say something but before he could he heard someone -a girl, judging by the way the voice sounded- shrieked behind him. "He's right there! Spider-Man's right there! Someone get him!"

After a second of hesitation -in which Peter looked down at MJ again, who's soft brown eyes suddenly seemed to scream at him to run, to swing away- he flicked his wrist and a web shot from his web shooter, attaching itself to a building across the Square. He tugged at it and suddenly he was flying forward, swinging away from the lamppost he had been on, away from the crowd of angry civilians, away from one of the only people in the universe he would do anything for.

Peter swung faster than he ever had before, his breaths suddenly becoming quick and panicked. His identity was out, everyone knew his real name and everyone thought he was a liar, that he was a criminal they needed to lock up or kill. They would be able to find his family, and his class and, and... Suddenly he felt himself free falling towards the pavement street below, having miscalculated how far he needed to shoot his web to safely swing in his distracted state of mind.

His eyes widen in shock and he frantically shoots another web at a random building's wall. He just managed to swing himself up before he smashed into the street and became a Peter-Parker-Pancake on the asphalt. Peter swung himself up on top of the building he had shot his web at, landing on unusually uncoordinated feet, stumbling forward a few steps and almost tumbling off the side of the building. Everything was suddenly slightly blurry and spinning, like it did when he was really hurt or panicking. At the moment, his mind just managed to comprehend, it was definitely the latter. He hadn't been in any serious fights since Mysterio and he'd healed from that. Now the problem was a mental wound that had just been ripped open by the words of someone who Peter was sure he hated more than he hated anyone besides the person who had made Tony feel the need to sacrifice himself.

He tried to take in big gulps of air but all he managed to do was gasp in a panicked breath and make everything spin around him again. His breath seemed to be stolen from him, as if a heavy weight was lying on his chest, slowly crushing his rib cage and his lungs with it. He couldn't breathe and his thoughts wouldn't shut up and everything was spinning around him, just blurry outlines of things, as if he had been spinning in circles like he had as a little kid and he danced to music in a childish way that involved twirls.

Everyone knows. You're out. You're screwed, you fucked up, you failed to keep everyone safe from everything. Everyone knows who you are, they think you're a murderer, they're gonna come for you and everyone you care about. This is all you fault. All your fault! A voice screamed in Peter's head, causing his breaths to continue to come out in short, labored breaths and his vision to swim in and out of focus in a dizzying fashion that made him feel sick.

His hand reached up instinctively to pull his mask off, hoping it would help him be able to fill his lungs with much needed oxygen. Just as his hand fisted the red material and Peter was about to yank it off of his head when E.D.I.T.H.'s voice suddenly spoke up. "Incoming Video call From: Happy Hogan..."

Peter froze for a second before letting go of his mask and leaving it in place. "Answer call." He said through panted breaths, frantically trying to calm down before Happy could see him.

"Kid! Where are you?" Was the first thing Happy said and Peter's panic clouded mind just barely comprehend what he was saying.

"I don't know." Peter replied, furrowing his eyebrows in annoyance and worry when he still couldn't calm down his gasping breath, his racing heart and his swimming vision. "Some roof of a tall building."

"Okay, stay there. I'm gonna come get you and take you somewhere more safe than this." Happy said just as Peter stumbled forward -dizzy from lack of oxygen- and landed on his knees on the hard cement floor of the roof.

Normally Peter probably would've been trying to get himself to calm down, to not panic, to find something to ground himself with but he had nothing and nobody to help him. He was alone. Tony... Tony was gone. MJ, Ned and Aunt May would be too dangerous for them to be around and... well, Happy wasn't that great at calming Peter most of the time. Especially when stuff like this -not that something this bad had happened to Peter in this sense ever before- happened and there was no real way everything could be okay.

This is your fault! The voice was screaming again, the voice that to Peter suddenly sounded like multiple voices, that sounded like the voices of all of the people he loved: MJ, Ned, Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Tony... You should've paid more attention to Mysterio! You should've never given E.D.I.T.H. to him in the first place! You never should've had her anyways, you don't deserve to be the next Iron Man! You're not good enough and you never will be!

Peter squeezed his eyes shut and ripped his mask off his face, throwing it on the roof. He could hear Happy's voice demanding what was happening, but Peter couldn't find the strength or the will to answer. The voices washed over him in painful waves, pulling him under and making him feel he was drowning. Tony's disappointed face whenever he messed up big time swam before his eyes and Peter felt a sob build up in his throat.

Tony had wanted him to be better than him and Peter had failed him. He hadn't been better, he hadn't even come close to being as good as Tony. All he did was mess up and get everyone he loved into even more danger than they already had been before, he was just a disappointment. He was a screw up. He couldn't do anything right. Ever.

And this time there was no possible way he could fix this. There was nothing he could fight to get out of this one, no bad guy, no nothing. This was all just his fault. And Peter knew from then on, everything would be different and that meant really terrible things for him and everyone he loved.