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The cleanliness of the new gravestone was a harsh contrast to the others. Most of them were old, some of them cracked and falling over, or having already fallen over. Aunt May’s gravestone was new, nothing having touched the soft stone with a framed resin picture fixed at the top. Her happy face smiled back at him, having been taken only a few months before she had died. Peter remembers the day vividly, with painful clarity. 


He had been late home after school, rushing through the apartment in search of his aunt only to find it empty. He’d called her cell phone multiple times with no answer, only to be met with her cheerful voicemail. He had waited anxiously on the couch for her to come home, but all he got was a phone call half an hour in. A doctor from the Queens memorial hospital had rang him to let him know his Aunt had been in a car accident and hadn’t made it. He didn’t bother waiting for CPS to come knocking on the door; he shoved his belongings into a rucksack, with a framed picture of him and Aunt May and some other keepsakes. He left that day knowing everything he knew and loved was gone.


Standing in the cold rain, staring down at his Aunt’s grave, Peter couldn’t do anything but grieve the life he no longer had. 


Since her death, he’d been living in an abandoned house on the outskirts of Forest Hills. He only barely managed to get by on food he could scrounge up outside restaurants and food shops. They never knew the value in the things they threw away like scraps, but he was glad they didn’t otherwise he wouldn’t have anything to eat. And with his spider metabolism he probably wouldn’t have even lasted two days. 


He hadn’t seen Ned or Mj since the day before May’s death, and he hadn’t wanted to risk going back to Midtown lest CPS catch on to him and send him to live in a foster home. He knew what happened in those places, and he had no desire to go there. His Aunt and Uncle had saved him from that when he was four; he wasn’t going to let what they did for him just go down the drain.


The sound of soft voices chattering stopped his reminiscing; he quickly scurried away out of view of the people walking along the path. He’d been trying his best to not get noticed by anyone, having seen a few posters around with his face on them. Recognising Mrs Leeds’ phone number at the bottom of them, knowing now how much he’d probably worried Ned and his Mum by simply disappearing. But he couldn’t risk them finding him, not with what might await him if he went back now. Instead of thinking about the guilt now weighing heavy at the bottom of his stomach, he continued on out of the graveyard and towards the public library. He spent a lot of time there, indulging in the warmth coming from the heating and the computers he could use to keep up to date with things.


He pushed his way into the warm building, pushing his hood up higher and making sure it covered his face well. He walked quickly towards the row of computers at the very back. Sitting himself right in the corner, he turned the old thing on. He made sure to check the latest news headlines first, just so he knew what was going on. He’d become very interested in Tony Stark after the hole Germany and Siberia fiasco. Tony was by far his favourite Avenger and the one he was most worried about, especially after how he disappeared from the media for almost two whole months after the news of what happened in Germany surfaced. He’d been checking up on the man, making sure nothing bad had happened to him.


Peter typed in Tony’s name and waited to see what headlines appeared, the first one reading:

Tony Stark to open up internship placements for teens from ages 12 to 18

It immediately caught his attention, and he didn’t hesitate to click on the link. It read:

Tony stark announced on Monday that he will be opening internship placements for teens from ages 12 to 18, there will be 5 different stages of testing before 7 lucky teenagers will get to be interns in over 15 R&D labs in Stark Industries.

Tony Stark will be picking one of these lucky 7 to be his personal intern where they will be working alongside him in his own personal lab. Forms to enter the first round of testing are attached below. They are to be sent either by email to Pepper Potts or to be sent by mail to Stark Tower and also addressed to Pepper Potts. Her email can be found on the Stark Industries website.


Peter didn’t bother thinking of whether this might not be a very good idea, seeing as he could be found out. No, instead he basked in the excitement of getting to work personally with Tony Stark himself. He didn’t waste even a millisecond before opening the attachment and filling out the form. He was glad it didn’t ask for an address only an email, which he didn’t find hard to come up with a fake one. He didn’t bother putting a fake name; he didn’t think he’d remember to respond to whatever made up name he supplied them with. He was finished in almost 5 minutes, and had sent it off straight away. It was only after, that the reality of what he had just done hit home.