this one-shot is inspired by season 7, episode 13 'hold your piece'. get your tissues ready because this will be E M O T I O N A L. it is also inspired by what I think might happen in spider-man 3 after the mid-credit scene of far from home. I hope you enjoy reading!
'Spider-Man's name is PETER PARKER!'
'What the fuck?!?!?'
'Spider-Man you need to run!! Now!!'
'One of the Avengers is a CHILD?!'
'We can't trust him..'
I shot up in bed, gasping for air. Every night I go to sleep, hoping that I dream about something nice like MJ or building Lego sets with Ned or having a movie night with May, but each night brings me nightmares. In the nightmares, I either turn to dust again, have a building fall on me, watch Mr Stark/Uncle Ben/my parents/all of them die over and over or flashback to the time my secret superhero identity was leaked by Beck. Sometimes, all of those horrific events happen in the same nightmare, and those are the worst. So many people around me have begged me to seek help, to see a therapist to talk about the bad dreams and get coping mechanisms to try and stop them, but what good will it do? I had therapy after Ben had died as I was there when he took his last breath and that didn't help, and a lot of shit has happened since then. Why would therapy help me now?
I turn over in bed to look at the time on my phone. It's 3:59 am, which means I have had approximately 2 hours of sleep. Fuck. No-one else would be awake at this time, as they all sleep pretty well. I'm currently staying at the lake house with May, MJ, Happy, Pepper and Morgan. Ned was going to come along too, but his parents decided to take him and his younger sisters on a holiday to Hawaii. I'm not sure when they'll be back, and I don't think his family like me anymore. It's safe to say that a lot has changed after my identity as Spider-Man was revealed. MJ screamed at me to run, so I picked her up and swung her back to my apartment, where May and Happy were still there (and crying). Both of them immediately brought me and MJ into massive hugs, thanking God and every being that we were safe. My phone was blowing up with notifications from people at school, and from people who used to be in my grade but didn't blip. All of them (especially Flash...) were shocked that a quiet dork like me could be a superhero and save the world from evil threats. Anyway, after a few minutes of crying and hugging, Happy got serious and told us that we had to leave. That very minute. We bombarded him with questions about what we would do for clothes, food, toiletries etc. and he said we would sort it out. I asked MJ what she was going to tell her parents, and she replied that they wouldn't give a damn where she was (much to our concern). After what seemed like a blur of running as fast as we could out of the apartment building and into a car, where it took us to the lake house, we arrived. Pepper immediately met us with a worried expression, but she told me not to worry, that she was on it and that the Daily Bugle would be sorry. We've been here ever since, and even if the circumstances aren't the best, it's just like another vacation.
'Can't you sleep, Peter?' I hear a voice call from my doorway (the door is never closed at night in case I wake up crying from a nightmare) and it's May.
You see, May isn't my biological aunt, technically. She married my dad's brother, but she feels like a mother all the same. I have no idea what I would do without her, she has the ability to make any bad situation a million times better. When Ben died, she could have thrown me out of the apartment and told me that she didn't want anything to do with me anymore, that I had to find a new place to live but she didn't. Instead, she told me that we were going to stick together forever and make it work as all families should.
'No. Can't you sleep either?' I say tiredly, sitting up properly and turning on the bedside lamp.
'Let's just say I have a May Tingle that tells me you had a nightmare and needed a chat,' May smiles at me and comes into the room. 'Shove over, kid. Make some room for your old aunt,'
'You're not old,' I laugh, immediately moving over in bed and allowing May to take me into her arms, something she has done for years to help calm me down.
'What did you have a bad dream about, baby?' May asks, running a hand through my messy curls.
I sigh. 'My secret identity being revealed to the world. It's been a good two months since that happened. For the most part, it's sorted and we can probably go back to Queens before senior year starts. Why am I still having nightmares about it?'
'Your parents died years ago and you're still having nightmares about watching them die. It's perfectly natural baby, it was really traumatic for you and it's only normal that you're having this reaction to it. Quite frankly, I would like to bring Beck back to life myself and kill that lying idiot. He put you through hell so he should be the one hiding out, not you. You did nothing wrong, you were keeping your classmates safe and taking back what is yours. I know for a fact that a lot of the general public feel the same, but you know what they're like. They prefer to believe what they see on the news at face value, rather than doing their research.' May soothes.
'You're right. I just wish I could have nice dreams again, then I could probably get more than 3 hours of sleep.' I laugh.
'Why don't you get some sleep now before your alarm goes off? I'll stay here and be ready to comfort you if you have another nightmare, okay sweetie? I love you so very much and I wish I could take all this pain away from you.' May smiles, ruffling my hair and kissing my forehead.
'What would I do without you? I love you more, May.' I say, snuggling down and closing my eyes, praying that I dream of something positive.
'I'm hoping you never have to find out,' I hear May whisper.
'I really love your Aunt May, you know.' MJ tells me as she pops a strawberry into her mouth. 'She's so warm and kind. I wish my mom was like that,'
'Oh I'm sorry MJ, you honestly deserve so much better than the family you were given. You are honestly like a daughter to me, and I am so grateful that my boy has someone like you.' May smiles warmly, walking over to my love and squeezing her hand.
'And you know you're always welcome over to the lake house anytime, honey. Morgan has taken a shine to you, and you have helped me out so much whilst trying to deal with everything.' Pepper winks from the sofa.
'Aw, where's all this love for me?!' I say jokingly, helping myself to more sandwiches from the spread Pepper laid out for lunch.
'Peter you know we love you dearly, but your girlfriend is something special,' May laughs, smiling even wider at me blushing as she says 'girlfriend.'
'I hate you,' I joke, sticking my tongue out at her. She smiles and places a hand over her heart, feigning heartbreak.
'Mommy, we're all out of juice pops!' Morgan exclaims, running towards the dining table. 'Please can you get more?'
'Actually, I was going to run to the shops now sweet girl. I forgot to buy some salt yesterday, and I could stock up on some essentials. So yes, I will get some today!' Pepper answers her daughter, picking her up in order to avoid Morgan running into the table and hurting herself. 'Why don't you sit and have some lunch with everyone else?'
'Is it okay if I come along Pep? I need to get some toiletries for myself. Peter, MJ do you need anything?' May asks.
'Not that I can think of, but I'll text you if something pops up!' I smile, and MJ nods in agreement.
'Are you both okay to watch Morg? Make sure she doesn't go in the lab please, maybe watch a Disney film?' Pepper gathers hers and May's jackets, and starts putting her shoes on.
'Yay! Can we watch Frozen 3?' Pleaseeeeeee?' Morgan bats her eyelashes, and I laugh.
'See you later, kids! Be safe, don't throw any parties!' May grins, as she and Pepper head out.
'Okay, so who wants popcorn?' MJ claps her hands together, heading towards the kitchen.
2 HOURS LATER
'MJ, I can't shake the feeling that something is wrong.' I whisper in MJ's ear, as we are sat watching a film with Morgan. It was fine up until a few minutes ago, when I started feeling really uneasy about something unknown.
'Is it your Peter Tingle?' she squeezes my hand, smirking at me. Her face falls when she sees the serious expression on my face.
'For the millionth time, it's called my spidey sense. But I think so, yeah. What if Pepper and May are stuck in traffic on the way back from the shop? What if they're hurt?' I start panicking quietly, but not enough to worry Morgan.
'Hey, hey, take a breath for me. If something was truly wrong, we would know by now. No news is good news, okay?' MJ reassures me, touching my curls. 'Let's just enjoy the film. God, I cannot believe they made a third Frozen movie.'
I take a contented deep breath, safe in the knowledge that if something happened, either Pepper, May or Happy would call to let us know. After Mysterio, I have to second guess everything as it is the only way I know what's real, and what's fake.
'Peter, do you think I look like Princess Annabella? She has the same hair colour as me! I think MJ looks like Princess Isabella, and you look like Prince Zachary!' Morgan bounces around excitedly, getting popcorn everywhere. 'Auntie May looks like Queen Anna a little bit.'
'Careful miss monkey, you're getting the popcorn everywhere! You don't want your mommy to be cross at you when she gets home, do you?' MJ smiles sweetly, setting our shared popcorn bowl on the coffee table. 'Let's pause the movie and I'll help you clean up, okay? You don't want to miss any of the movie- oh, your phone is ringing Peter.'
'Oh is it? I couldn't seem to hear it going off,' I smile, looking at the caller ID. It's Pepper. It's okay, Peter. She's probably just going to double-check if we need anything else. May is safe, Pepper is safe. They are not hurt. I put the phone to my ear. 'Hi, Pep! How is the girly shopping trip?'
'Peter, thank god!' Pepper sounds really distressed. May is safe. Pepper is safe, They are not hurt. 'I have been trying to get through to you for 5 minutes now.'
'Sorry, Morgan had Frozen turned up really loud. I had my phone volume not on silent, but I couldn't hear my phone.' May is safe. Pepper is safe. They are not hurt.
'Never mind that, I'm just really glad I got through now. Listen, you need to stay calm. Something has happened. Happy is on his way back to the lake house to pick you, MJ and Morgan up.' May is safe. Pepper is safe. They are not hurt.
'Oh, did something happen with my identity reveal?' I ask, cautiously. MJ has stopped picking up popcorn pieces, instead watching me whilst stood up.
'No, no, not that. Peter, I'm at the hospital. It's your aunt,' Pepper sounds close to tears. May is safe. May is safe. May is not hurt. May is safe. May is not hurt.
May is in hospital. May is hurt. May is in hospital. May is hurt.
'W-what happened?' I say, my legs buckling from beneath me and I fall onto the sofa. MJ quickly moves next to me, rubbing my back. Morgan is staring at me, with big, concerned eyes.
'We were in the shop, and this.... imbecile with a weapon started attacking us. Started screaming about how we shouldn't show our faces. May started reasoning with him gently, but one thing lead to another and.... and- she got shot, sweetheart. She's still alive, but I think she needs to see you.'
Suddenly, my phone is on the floor, and I can't hear anymore. Not again Not again Not again Not again Not again Not again Not again Not again Not again. This cannot be happening again. I can't lose another family member due to a fucking gun. This is too much This is too much This is too much.
I can just about hear MJ on the phone to Pepper.
'Hey, what happened? Peter looks destroyed.....oh. Oh my god. Will she be okay? Oh thank god she's still alive.....she's awake? Yes. Peter definitely needs to see her, it'll help her recovery. I've got this here, I'll start packing our bags. Yeah, I think he's having a meltdown. Ok, bye.' then I can feel a hand stroking my back, my hand and my curls gently and a few soft kisses in my curls.
The rest of the events pass in a blur. I can't remember MJ helping me to ground my senses. I can't remember Morgan climbing onto my lap to give me a hug. I can't remember MJ coming back into the living room with three bags, just in time for Happy to burst through the front door and usher us out. I can't remember getting into the car, or the drive to the hospital. I can only remember how numb I felt, and the sense of dread that filled me that I could possibly be losing another member of my family. I can't do this.
AT THE HOSPITAL
The sense of dread and feeling of numbness stayed with me as we rushed through the hospital hallways, in order to find my aunt. Who could possibly be fucking dying right now, and I have to prepare myself for that. At least with my parents, I wasn't there, I only got the news that they died. I may have been with Uncle Ben, holding his hand as he died, but it came so unexpectedly that I couldn't prepare for his death. This one is so so so much worse.
All of a sudden, I'm alone in her room, and I'm looking at my beautiful, kind, sweet, hilarious Aunt May as she sits in a hospital bed. Okay, she doesn't look as bad as the image my mind had given me, but she still looks deathly pale. There's tons of tubes and wires inside of her, but she's awake!
'Why don't you come give your Auntie May a hug?' she says weakly, holding out her arms as much as she could. I immediately burst into tears, and run towards her. 'Oh my baby, don't you cry for me. I'm alive, you see? It will take a lot more than a stupid gunshot to end this life,'
I give her the gentlest hug possible, as with my superhuman strength, I don't want her hurting more than she already is. 'I don't want to lose you, I don't know if I can live without you, you're the only family I have left,' I say through my tears.
'Oi you, what did I tell you at like 4 am this morning? I hope that you never have to find out what life is like without me. But, I know that if I did ever...go, you'd be well looked after. Blood members aren't the only people who make a family, okay? You should know this very well already, especially as I'm not a blood relative.' May smiles at me, squeezing me gently.
'You've just done so much for me, I am honestly so grateful for you. You didn't have to keep looking after me after Ben died-'
'Listen, you're my baby. It doesn't matter that I didn't give birth to you or raise you for the first few years of your life. You're still my handsome, funny, geeky child and I could not be prouder of the young man you are turning into. You are going to make MJ a very very happy woman. Just promise me one thing: when I'm gone, don't shed too many tears over me. You're a sensitive soul, but please live your life to the absolute fullest. I know that at the moment you're put off, because of what happened on your trip, but keep looking out for the little guy. Keep saving people, the world in fact. Do brilliant, amazing, show-stopping things. It doesn't matter whether it's with Spider-Man, or career related, but I know that you are capable of doing the most amazing things. The world is your oyster and I want you to achieve brilliant feats. So please promise me, you'll have a life,'
'I promise,' I reply, my voice shaky. 'But May, why are you speaking as if you're about to die on me?'
'Because I have worked with patients that can deteriorate so quickly. I know that sounds really upsetting and not what you want to hear right now, and I know I might heal and be on my feet again soon. But the promise still stands, okay? Whether I'm dead or alive, you're living your life to the fullest. Do you understand me?' she winks at me, pointing a finger at me jokingly.
'Yes ma'am,' I salute, attempting to put a smile on my face, despite the inner dread that I feel. Something tells me that she's not going to make it through this. She's right that she could get better, so I just have to keep positive.
'I love you, Peter Parker. So very much. You know, you remind me of your dad. Just like you, he had messy chocolate brown curls and sparkling brown eyes whenever he was excited about something. And even more like you, he had a thirst for knowledge, especially the sciences. He'd be so proud of you. Your mother would be too, that's where you get your lovely personality from! And you know very well your Uncle Ben looked at you like you hung the moon, and I think it was the other way round too.' May smiled weakly, as she ran a hand through my curls as we lay together on the hospital bed.
'Do you think they'd still be proud if they knew about Spider-Man?' I ask, honestly.
'Of course they would be! Your parents wanted to make scientific discoveries to make the world a better and safer place to live in, especially after having you. And, my May Tingle tells me that your uncle knew about it, but he'd be proud anyway. He was always trying to teach you lessons that would help you become a better person,'
'Oh my god, stop with the Tingle thing already!' I laugh, wiping away more tears I didn't know had fallen. 'Do you think you could tell me more about the scientific discoveries, or is that information not allowed to be shared?'
'No, no, no they did tell me a few things, but it was that long ago I-'
All of a sudden, May starts violently coughing, which worries me a little.
'May! Are you okay, do you need me to get the doctor?' I panic, immediately leaping off the bed and ready to call for help.
'I-i'm o-okay,' she gasps. 'T-this h-happened-d a l-lot when-n I first got-t here,'
'Are you sure?' I eye her, concerned. 'I can seriously go and get the doctor to check you over?'
'No, stay-y babe,' she takes a deep breath, the coughing fit seeming to stop. 'Why don't you come over and talk to me about your plans for next summer vacation? I'm sure you want it to be better than this year,'
'I'm not sure,' I say, reluctantly sitting on the bed. 'Me and MJ were discussing going away, just the two of us. We would need to save up some money for it,'
'That sounds lovely, where are you planning on going?' May takes my hand.
'Romantic cities mostly. We were looking forward to going to Paris on the class trip, but we ended up going to Prague instead. There'll definitely be other places, but Paris for definite,' I shrug, giving it some deep thought.
'That sounds really nice, and it'll be a perfect occasion for the two of you. Especially before you both go off to college. Remind me, where were you thinking of going again?' May asks. She's starting to look tired. Maybe I should say goodbye soon and promise to come back tomorrow?
'Um, for me I would really like to go to either MIT or New York University, something to do with chemical engineering or biology. MJ wants to do social justice and politics, maybe with a side major of English but she hasn't really considered specific colleges yet.' I consider.
'You'll both make it, no doubt about that. You're both two of the most smart people I have the pleasure of knowing, so you'll have no trouble making it and being successful. Again, you need to keep up the promise of living life to the fullest.' May warns me, starting to look even more tired now.
'Hey, I think I'm going to leave now. You look really tired so you should probably get some rest, I'll be back tomorrow okay?' I say, brushing her hair back off her face. 'Do you want me to send in Happy?'
'Yes please, it would be nice to chat with him. For now, come and give your aunt one last hug, okay?' she says, eyes beginning to close. Once again my spidey senses are going off the rails, but I choose to ignore them. May is just resting up for the day. May is not going to die. May is just resting up for the day. May is not going to die.
It's easier to hug when I'm lying down on the bed. We hug for what seems the longest time, but I soon begin to notice that she's gone cold.
'May, do you need more blankets? I can go and get some more for you,' I ask, but I get no reply. Again, my spidey senses are going off the rails but I decide to ignore them, and to believe that she's simply gone to sleep for now and that she's just cold. I gently pull away from her so not to wake her up, and as I carefully place her head on the pillow, I notice she's even more pale than she was before.
not again not again not again not again not again not again not again please not this shit again
aunt may please wake up i need to have confirmation that you're still alive please please please pLEASE
how could i be so fucking stupid to not notice that the reason she's gone cold, is that SHE'S DYING
That's when the beeping starts.
The miserable beeping, that confirms that May Parker's heart has stopped.
That May Parker is dead.
her left hand is falling to the floor oh shit shit shit shit NOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Aunt May is dead.
But I just stand there.
My feet are rooted to the floor, even when the kind doctors and nurses come in, and tell me to leave. One nurse even gives me a hug, but I can't feel it. I guess I'm numb again?
I can't remember opening the door, and walking out of the room, where the staff are working on her.
I can't remember being told that there was nothing they could do for her, that she was dead.
I can't remember hearing the time of death was 3:45 pm.
I can't even remember giving her one last gentle kiss on her frozen forehead.
I can't remember walking down the long hallway back to the waiting room, but I can clearly remember bumping into MJ. She was carrying two bottles of soda: Dr. Pepper for me, and a Vanilla Cherry Coke for herself.
'Hey Peter,' she smiles softly. 'How's May? Has she fallen asleep for the day?'
That's when everything breaks, and I start to feel everything again. I feel my legs buckling from underneath, and all of a sudden I'm falling to the floor in anguish. MJ falls with me, and pulls me into a big, tight hug.
'What happened?' she breathes, and all I can focus on is the sound of fizzing soda all over the floor, leaking everywhere around us.
'She's gone,' I manage to get out through my tears, and MJ hugs me tighter. I think she's started crying too, as I can feel wetness on my shoulder.
may is gone may is gone may is gone may is gone may is GONE
'Oh my god, what's happened here?' I hear Pepper gasp. 'Pete honey, has something happened to your aunt?'
'May died a few minutes ago.' I hear MJ whisper loudly, through her crying.
'Oh my god....' I can hear both Pepper and Happy reply.
may is gone may is gone M A Y I S G O N E
My beloved Aunt May has gone.
What do I do now?