A mass of goo shouldn’t be so hard to outrun.
Peter’s legs burned as he ran across the roofs. His cargo pants flapped against his legs and his backpack continued to hit him in awkward ways and he prayed it stayed shut. He didn’t have time to change into his costume or stop moving.
The Symbiote had grown in size, growing somehow while split apart from a host.
A pipe busted above Peter’s head as the Symbiote launched itself onto it, attempting to capture Peter from above. His spider-sense barely warned him in time and he rolled out of the way.
How had it gotten so strong?
Peter jumped off the side of a roof, looking back in time to see the massive, black glop lurch over the side after him.
Would he be able to fight it off again?
“Go away!” Peter shouted back. He grabbed a building edge and whipped him around the corner, landing in a puddle that threw water on his pants. He cursed and his chest heaved as he kept moving. “Go back to Eddie!”
Peter didn’t want to deal with Eddie becoming Venom again, but it’d be better than being trapped with the Symbiote himself!
A whip of a black tentacle attached to Peter’s arm and he swung around in a circle throwing it off again. He could feel the connection surge through his skin for a brief moment and his breath hitched. Too close! That was too close!
He sprinted harder.
The empty streets gave him an open road in the middle of the night. He’d been studying at Harry’s and should have webbed his way home but he couldn’t without his shooters!
The Symbiote had been waiting.
It struck went he stepped foot outside, going immediately for his wrists. It surrounded the metal wrings and snapped them off, hard enough to cut Peter’s skin. The thin scars burned, but his spider-sense gave Peter the boost he needed to run before the Symbiote could latch onto something organic.
He hadn’t expected the glop to give chase.
Or be capable of giving chase.
It slithered after him like a furious, fast snake with no trouble climbing and jumping surfaces.
The Symbiote had learned new tricks.
“Move, Parker!” Peter had ran for twenty minutes with no sign of shaking it. He had to find somewhere to hide or trap the symbiote outside. Even if he just managed somewhere long enough to change into his costume, he might be able to get help from Cat or distract the Symbiote with another bad guy not willing to let anyone else kill Spider-Man. “Go, go, go!”
The relentless chase continued.
His heart pounded.
His breath heaved.
The Symbiote didn’t tire.
Peter tripped over a tear in his worn pants.
He hit the ground and before he could blink, the Symbiote engulfed him. Peter covered his head and screamed as the Symbiote reattached itself, foiling his escape and trapping him once more.
“We’re back,” it whispered in Peter’s mind. “We don’t like getting teased or tricked.”
“Get out of my head,” Peter gritted. The Symbiote had sunk into his skin, digging deep and clutching around every part of him. He could feel it suffocating and pulsing. Peter could see himself in the reflection of a window and he looked the same—no one would ever know the Symbiote was there. “I don’t like what we are.”
“Oh, that feels so good again,” the Symbiote purred in delight. “Hearing us say ‘we’ is so satisfying.”
“I hate what you make me,” Peter said, putting emphasis on the “you” and “me” in the sentence. “Get out!”
A simple answer.
Peter watched his reflection in the window disappear as the Symbiote covered him in the black suit again. He closed his eyes and focused. He’d kicked the Symbiote out before without noise, he could do it again.
It was his body.
“Not anymore. It’s our body.”
Peter stood without his control. The Symbiote shivered and tossed his backpack aside, along with ripping off the clothes that had been hidden underneath the Symbiote’s coating of skin.
Leaving him naked and exposed underneath again.
Once the suit had been a comfort; a convenience.
It had turned into a violation and it dug into every part of Peter, trapping him so close and so securely.
“We aren’t splitting up again.” The Symbiote’s voice both hissed and soothed as it sent a string of its own webbing to a roof and swung away with Peter in tow. “Let’s find something to eat. We’re hungry.”
A flash of flesh and blood entered Peter’s mind.
“No!” He shouted, putting everything he could into fighting the monster. “We aren’t hurting anyone!”
He hated himself for the “we” but it distracted the Symbiote enough to cut the thread and drop them. Peter continued his struggle, refusing to let the monster get another web free.
He’d rather break every bone in his body than let the Symbiote run free again.
“Stop fighting us.” The Symbiote hissed again. “We are one now and we are never splitting up again. You are mine!”
Peter screamed as a crushing pain coursed through his mind. They both hit the ground at the same time and he felt a rib crack. He stayed on the sidewalk, breathing hard as the Symbiote repaired his ribs, slow and as painfully as possible.
“You…you said ‘I’ instead of ‘We.’” Peter swallowed. “I don’t think you can call us ‘one’ with that.”
The Symbiote squeezed and cut off Peter’s oxygen. He felt its hold cling tighter, touching him everywhere. Peter couldn’t breath. His chest wouldn’t move. The world grew dizzy and he whimpered.
“Good boy,” the Symbiote said. It released his lungs and let Peter breath, gaping as he sucked in breath after breath. “We are one, but you are also mine. Once we are in agreement, everything will be fine.”
“You hurt people,” Peter said, wincing. “You feed on misery.”
“We feed off suffering, but it doesn’t have to be ours.”
Peter wanted to get up and run again.
But the Symbiote kept him in place, flat on his back in the empty road staring at the sky. When Peter stopped fighting, it stood them both up once more. He swayed in the road, and the Symbiote walked him forward.
“Where are we going?” Peter asked. His limbs felt heavy despite the light steps on the road as the Symbiote broke into a run. “What are you going to do?”
The Symbiote ran faster, taking Peter with him. The alien filled his mind with the joy of tearing into flesh. Of feeding. Of how good blood tasted and the satisfaction of a host’s full belly.
Peter felt tears bubble at his eyes but the Symbiote stopped him from crying.
He wanted to—
The Symbiote and Peter slammed into a wall hard enough to jolt them both. They swayed and shook their heads. A dizziness washed over them and they stayed limp on the road.
“Are you all right?” A panicked voice Peter knew well shouted. He heard footsteps. “Oh. Don’t be dead. Don’t be dead.”
Peter opened his eyes and grabbed the top of the Symbiote’s flesh as it clung to his outside. He tugged and pulled it away from his face. His vision cleared and he saw a car with a dented front and MJ on her knees next to him. The Symbiote struggled against him and tried to cover his face again.
“The horn!” Peter screamed. “Honk it! Honk it now!”
MJ scrambled to get away and threw herself into the damaged car. She slammed the horn and the sound filled the area. The Symbiote wriggled and screamed—it may have gotten bigger and stronger but it still hated noise.
MJ hit the horn again and again as Peter pulled and tugged the shivering Symbiote off of his body. He kicked it for good measure once he was free and ran to the car. He threw himself into the passenger seat and watched the wriggling mass as it struggled against the noise.
“Hit the gas! Drive! Drive! Drive!”
“What is going on—“
“Drive!” Peter shouted, leaning down to slam his palm onto the gas pedal. The car lurched forward and MJ grabbed the driver side door to pull it closed and the wheel at the same time. Peter leaned back to let her put her foot on the gas and watched out the back widow. “Keep going.”
“What is going on Parker?” MJ asked. “What was that thing and why are you naked?”
“A monster,” Peter said. His breath heaved and he shook his head. He sat in her passenger seat, too tired and in pain to care about his exposed body. Peter let his head rest against the chair and kept his eye on the window. “It took my clothes.”
“Wow,” MJ said. She swallowed and reached over. “Maybe it’s a good thing I was joyriding and hit a random person in the street.”
“I wouldn’t say good,” Peter said, laughing. “But I’m glad you did.”
“This is so weird.”
“Tell me about it,” Peter said. He tilted his head to the side, smiling at MJ. “You really saved me. I need to think of a way to thank you.”
“I’m sure I could think of something,” MJ said, glancing up and down Peter with a grin and biting her lip. “Though my luck with boys has been pretty bad recently.”
“Where do you want me to go?” MJ asked. “Who can fight that alien thing?”
“Go to Connor’s lab. I’m sure we can get something—”
The entire car lurched as something crashed into the back trunk. Peter turned over his shoulder and glared at the Symbiote, wearing another person as it lifted the car and smashed it down.
MJ shouted and covered her head as the glass shattered around them.
Peter grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the car. He lifted her into his arms and ran, uncaring that he was naked or that people were starting to enter the streets in the commotion.
The Symbiote roared behind him, screaming “Peter Parker!” at the top of its stolen lungs.
All that mattered was that he kept running.
He couldn’t afford to be caught again.