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What If…Spider-Man Received A Note From Himself During *Infinity War*?

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****THURSDAY, 31 MAY 2018****

After saving the wizard from Ebony Maw’s evil clutches, my mentor reminded him that he saved his ‘magical ass’ and so he should’ve been thanked properly. In return, the sorcerer refused, claiming that unlike everyone else, he didn’t work for him. Mr. Stark then argued that they were billions of miles from home without any back-up, so that’s when I stepped in, raising my finger to indicate otherwise.

“No, you’re a stowaway. The adults are talking,” the billionaire countered, wagging his finger.

Meanwhile, Strange stared at us as if we were complete weirdos with an established guardian-ward relationship. I disagreed before introducing myself, hoping to shake his hand. Yeah, that plan failed too.

“Dr. Strange,” he answered, clearly annoyed with me for some reason. 

If anything, I’m the one he should thank instead of Tony Stark for saving his magical ass! God, what would Tony do without me?

Anyway, I assumed the wizard was using his alias when in reality, it was his actual name (of course, I didn’t know that until much later).

“Oh—we’re using our made-up names? I’m Spider-Man then,” I stammered.

Uninterested in greetings at the moment, he turned his back on me and asked Mr. Stark how to fly us back home.

Wait a minute! Couldn’t Dr. Strange just teleport us back to Earth? With his Sling Ring thingy?

Soon enough, I listened intently as Mr. Stark and Dr. Strange were at it again—two massive egos clashing over the best course of action.

Yeah, no shit!

To my surprise though, Mr. Stark suddenly knighted me as I became an official Avenger, which was awesome! But of course, I had to play it cool while fanboying on the inside.

All of a sudden, a tiny portal opened. Unlike Strange’s portals though, it was blue in color rather than orangish yellow.

Maybe it’s a different kind of magic—or a variation? Huh. Note to self: gotta learn all about the Mystical Arts when I get back home.

With it came a folded piece of paper with familiar handwriting on it. Curious, I picked up the note and opened it, gasping in shock. 

It was my handwriting.

 

TO: Myself

FROM: Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man

FYI, I know you think this is impossible, but I’ll explain everything in the letter, I promise—but you gotta trust me. Don’t throw it away until you’ve read the whole thing. 

P.S. And no skimming! Read it at least twice if you can, but there isn’t much time. ‘Cause you gotta act quickly.

 

Before reading any further, there were only three words in my mind….

What the fu ?

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SUNDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2023****

Well—this was it—the day when everyone attended Mr. Stark’s funeral. That’s right. No do-overs, no second chances, no real goodbyes, nothing. Not just the Avengers, but the whole world was mourning Iron Man. Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, employers and employees….you get the idea.

Although I didn’t grieve over the superhero, but rather the man underneath. The one who believed in me when no one else did. The one who encouraged me to look out for the little guy despite failing over and over again. The one who constantly bought me churros and sandwiches from Delmar’s whenever I was too overwhelmed with schoolwork. The one who was practically a father to me ever since Ben—you know….

Point is, aside from May, Ned, and MJ, Tony was there for me. That’s what mattered the most. And now he’s….geez, I still can’t say it. Hurts everytime—more than the worst beatings I’ve had as Spider-Man plus Obi-Wan’s death in *A New Hope*. But now, just like Luke Skywalker—I lost my mentor, my go-to for emergencies….my father-figure.

It’s what I accidentally called him once we finally hugged after five long years. I still couldn’t process it though. Thanos literally wiped out 50% of all living creatures, who were gone for half a decade. Five years! 64 months. 280 weeks. 1,966 days.

For the victims though, it was only a couple of hours. But for every single survivor, they were forced to experience five agonizing years without us. Which meant Tony had to live without me for so long. Though luckily, May and my friends didn’t have to since they were also dusted. 

I suddenly imagined how he felt after I was gone. Was that bald blue girl with him—Nebula? Did she keep him company? Did Tony have enough food to eat on the way home? Did he recover quickly? Did he blame himself for what happened?

I really hope not, because it’s not his fault. It was never his fault.

According to Happy, however, all my suspicions were confirmed. Tony spent several months wallowing in his own heartbreaking grief. He couldn’t look at a single picture of me without bursting into tears. And worse, he resorted to heavy alcohol consumption. Again. While Ms. Potts was pregnant. Thankfully, he stopped after their daughter was born.

But hearing all that made me feel so bad for him. I never realized how much Tony cared about me until now. I always knew he cared a little, but not to that extent.

However, another part of me wished that I’d never met him in the first place. Then I would’ve continued admiring him from afar instead of hanging out with him on Fridays and sometimes weekends, whether we had lab days or not. That way, it wouldn’t have hurt so much. 

Sure, I was upset when Tony was presumed dead ten years ago when his mansion was attacked by Killian, but that was different. We didn’t know each other at all. He was just my idol and nothing more. But ever since he recruited me to fight Captain America in Germany, that all changed. He wasn’t simply my hero, but also my mentor (like I mentioned beforehand).

So yeah. To summarize, my life really sucked, and the last thing I wanted was May comforting me instead of worrying about herself first. She had enough on her plate as it was—making hotel arrangements, buying a new apartment, finding a new job, etc. It was a nightmare, honestly. If anyone deserved to be a billionaire, it was her.

I’ll make it up to her one day, I promise.

Anyway, I quickly wiped my eyes, preventing tears from leaking out. Happy draped his arm around my shoulder and brought me close to his chest, indicating that it was okay for me to cry. Instead, I looked up, noticing a few tears roll down his own cheeks.

“You okay?” I asked.

“Huh? Oh—yeah. Sorry kid, I didn’t realize….” he replied.

“It’s fine. You don’t have to explain — ”

“I do, actually. I’m supposed to be the strong one, but….Hell, I spent over a decade hearing his annoying voice, and now he’s—it’s just hard to believe it.”

“Yeah, I get that….but you don’t have to be strong all the time. He was your friend too. You knew him a lot longer than I did,” I explained.

“Yeah, but you became his favorite the moment he saw you,” he confessed.

“Wait what? I thought it was Morgan!” I exclaimed, surprised as hell by his statement.

“But you’re still his favorite,” he repeated.

“Hold up, that’s not fair! She’s his daughter. I’m just—his intern,” I admitted shyly.

“Fine, you’re both his favorites. Happy?”

“How can we both be his favorites?”

Happy snorted. “Seriously kid? D’you really think Tony cried over you because you were ‘just his intern’?”

“But — ”

“Nope! You’re his kid too. End of discussion.”

“I….I am?”

“I think it’s pretty obvious. He loved you, kid—a lot. And knowing Tony, he didn’t have to say it out loud. We just knew,” Happy reminded me, cueing me to break down in tears for the 3rd time today. 

God, I was sick and tired of this! Ever since he died, I cried at least five times a day until I was dehydrated. Every photo and video of us made me a blubbering mess with red eyes and puffy cheeks, but I couldn’t help myself. I had to look at them so I wouldn’t forget him. I could never forget Tony Stark, but I never got a chance to tell him that I….fuck! I nearly had a panic attack.

“Shit….” he muttered under his breath, wrapping both arms around me. “It’s okay, buddy. C’mere.”

Soon my muffled cries became heavy sobs as I let it all out, wetting Happy’s suit.

“F-Fuck! I-I never t-told him!” I wept loudly, eyes bloodshot and swollen.

“He knew, kiddo. It’s okay. Shh….” Happy placed his other hand on the back of my head.

I shook my head vigorously. “N-No he didn’t!”

“He did. You didn’t have to say anything either. Tony knew right away,” he added soothingly.

“B-But that’s the point! I-I didn’t say it! A-And now he’s not h-here anymore, and—it’s n-not fair! W-Why did it have to b-be him?” I blubbered.

Exactly. Why him? He had a wife and daughter waiting for him, and now Ms. Potts was forced to raise Morgan alone—without her husband. Without Tony. Morgan would grow up without a father for fuck’s sake! How the hell was any of this fair?!

Happy sighed hopelessly, still caressing my wild curls. “I dunno, buddy. I wish I had the answer. I really do.”

“B-But so many people loved him! We loved him! Wasn’t that enough?” I felt anger bubbling in my chest.

“It was.”

“So why the fuck did he leave?!” I yelled, because fuck everything! The Universe didn’t give a shit about me or anyone else. It created monsters like Thanos who wiped out half of sentient life across the cosmos. It tore apart families and friends for either five years or forever. It took Ben and Tony away from me. The Universe didn’t care.

Finally my sobs returned in full-force. “I-I’m sorry, Happy. I didn’t m-mean to y-yell, it’s just….I hate this. I w-wish I could g-go back b-before everything happened. Before Thanos….”

He held me tighter and rubbed my back. “Yeah, me too. The Universe can be a real dick sometimes.”

I giggled through my tears, glad that Happy was still his old self. 

“S-So I’m guessing you guys aren’t really friends right now?” I joked.

“Pretty sure we’re not the only ones,” he chuckled.

Suddenly, I felt much better. Silent tears continued to fall, but at least I wasn’t sobbing anymore. In fact, I was exhausted. I barely slept since I blipped back, mostly due to grief. But still, I made progress.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” I agreed.

“But despite everything, I’m glad you’re back, kid,” Happy finally spoke after a few seconds, pulling back.

For the first time that week, I genuinely smiled. “Glad you’re here too.”

“Geez kid, don’t make me emotional again,” he said, rolling his eyes, which made me laugh.

“Admit it, Hap. You missed me,” I teased.

Happy scoffed. “Yeah right.”

I sighed exasperatedly (in a mocking way). “You just said you were glad to see me.”

“Doesn’t mean I missed you though.”

“You totally missed me,” I persisted, grinning mischievously.

“Why would I miss you annoying me 24/7?” he exclaimed, mouth agape.

I shrugged. “You just did.”

“For the last time, I did not miss you!” Now Happy was getting frustrated.

“That’s complete bullshit and you know it,” I pointed out smugly.

“It’s true!” he tried to convince me.

I folded my arms, still not buying it. “Nope. Try again.”

“God, you sound just like him,” he nearly whispered.

“Like who?” I blinked, taken aback by this statement.

“Who d’you think?”

For a moment, Happy was afraid I’d start crying again, but thankfully it never happened. Instead, I lifted my head and stared at the sky, assuming Tony was entertaining himself by watching us squabble. Confused, Happy asked me what the hell I was staring at. I said it was nothing, but he didn’t believe me.

“No really, what is it?”

“D’you think he’s okay up there?” I wondered.

“Don’t worry. I’m sure he’s fine,” Happy assured me.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. He’s good.” He turned my head towards him and placed both hands on my shoulders. “As long as you take care of yourself—alright? You gotta promise him that.”

I thought about what Happy said and nodded. “Okay—I’ll try.”

“Good,” he added before patting my back. “Anyway, I gotta check on the limo. We’ll leave in an hour if that’s alright.”

“Sounds good.” 

With that, Happy left as I resumed glancing at the lake and tilted my head upward again, my thoughts drifting back to Tony, the man who practically called me his son, and that’s when I knew exactly what to say to him, to thank him for gaining another father-figure in my life. 

Even though the Universe was completely fucked, perhaps the sky was somewhat merciful, and Tony’s spirit would hear me. I was owed that much, and so I cleared my throat loudly, smiling once more.

“I love you too, Tony.” Thanks for being my dad.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

15 minutes after my recent breakdown, I decided to occupy my mind with other things that didn’t involve mourning over dead mentors, like seeing what the other Avengers were up to.

Yeah, maybe I should do that.

Behind me, I spotted a middle-aged woman with strawberry blonde hair holding a small girl close to her chest. They were both sitting on steps near the patio, mingling with those nearby. And instantly I realized it was Ms. Potts and—Morgan.

Holy crap! This was Mr. Stark’s daughter. His own flesh and blood. That’s when it dawned on me—Tony literally had a kid while I was gone, and now she was what, four? Five? Probably in between. 

Gosh, she was so little. Too young to grow up fatherless. I mean, I already knew about her before (‘cause Tony told me). But regardless. she didn’t deserve this.

No child should have to bury their parents young. I thought sadly.

Before I got a chance to talk to them however, I felt something touch my left shoe. Picking it up, I squinted hard at what appeared to be a plastic watch, but without a clock interface. There were four metallic straps attached to the top and bottom edges while two additional straps were curved on the surface.

What is this thing?

“Oh thank god you found it!” I heard a relieved voice which made me jump in fright as I turned around.

The man was panting heavily, clutching both his knees. Once he lifted his head, I instantly realized it was the same guy I fought at the Leipzig-Halle Airport in Germany all those years ago. He shrunk himself down to the size of an ant and grew as big as the BFG in a matter of seconds

Not gonna lie, it was pretty cool. If we met in better circumstances, I would’ve asked him a million questions about it. But instead, I remained quiet, too startled to say anything coherent.

“Man, I’m really out of shape!” he muttered to himself before facing me and grinning widely.

“Oh hi! You must be the legendary Spider-Man,” he greeted me excitedly.

“Y-Yeah, that’s me,” I replied shyly as we both shook hands.

“Oh wow! Last time we saw each other, we were fighting at that suspiciously quiet airport in Germany. Gosh, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?” 

I hummed in agreement.

“Oh sorry! Totally forgot to introduce myself! I’m Ant-Man. Well actually it’s Scott Lang, but obviously you can tell which name is cooler,” he emphasized, causing me to chuckle a bit.

“It’s nice to meet you, sir. I-I’m Peter—Parker,” I stammered awkwardly. 

Seriously dude, get it together!

He smiled once more. “Oh the pleasure’s all mine, Peter Parker. But feel free to call me by my name.”

“Oh okay.”

Assuming I wasn’t in a talking mood, Mr. Lang excused himself kindly after I handed over the unknown gadget he was searching for. As soon as he walked away, that’s when my voice finally worked the way it was supposed to.

“Um….sorry to bother you, Mr. Lang, but I — ”

He held his palm forward, flashing me a reassuring smile. “Oh no no, you don’t have to worry about formalities. Just call me Scott. It’s fine.”

My eyes widened in surprise. “O-Okay. Um—Scott?”

“That’s more like it!” He nodded approvingly. “Anyway, what’s up kiddo?”

‘What’s up kiddo?’ That’s what Mr. Stark used to call me all the time before—nope! Nuh uh! I wasn’t gonna cry in front of someone I’d met only twice so far. Although he sounded so much like Tony that it hurt (minus his involuntary arrogance). Scott Lang was basically an enthusiastic version of Tony Stark.

“I uh—I was wondering what that is,” I pondered, referring to the shiny object in Scott’s hand.

“Oh this? It’s a time-travel GPS. Mr. Stark invented it to save you guys. Of course, I came up with the idea firsthand, but got the whole concept of time travel wrong before he reminded me it wasn’t at all like *Back To The Future*—which sucks, right? You’d think we would’ve been able to change the course of history in our own timeline, but instead created a — ”

“Divergent timestream due to a nexus event, since the universal wavefunction collapse isn’t possible,” I blurted out before holding my breath.

Holy shit! Did I just say that out loud?

“Whoa—that’s right! Can’t believe you’re a science geek as well. That’s amazing!” Scott exclaimed gleefully. “Finally, someone who speaks my language!”

“Yeah,” I repeated, misery plaguing my mind once again. Ack! Again I was thinking about Mr. Stark!

Stop thinking about him! You’re this close to losing it—alright?? Tony is dead and there’s nothing you can do about it!

My brain was absolutely correct. The deed was already done and Tony Stark made the sacrifice play against Thanos. And without the Time Stone, nothing could be undone, not even the Snap and Blip. It was—daresay—impossible….

Or is it?

Think about it! According to Scott—after 2018 Thanos was killed (‘cause Thor finally went for the head), the surviving Avengers used the Quantum Tunnel to travel through time and space, retrieving the six Infinity Stones and thus creating divergent timelines. 

Timelines where 2012 Loki stole the Tesseract containing the Space Stone, 2013 Frega encountered 2023 Thor, 2014 Gamora didn’t recognize her Guardian pals (except for 2023 Nebula), and 1970 Howard Stark met his adult son in the flesh before Dr. Pym’s particles went missing.

Wait a second….Pym Particles. I’ve read about them before and how they functioned in a particle system. They were able to travel through the Quantum Realm with ease, which meant they could actually jump between different time periods!

Which also meant….Tony was probably still alive—somewhere. But he was also right about how quantum physics worked. It wasn’t like *Back To The Future*. So no matter what, changing the past wouldn’t alter our present. It would generate a new timeline with alternate versions of us. 

Alternate versions of me laughing without a care in the world, who weren’t scarred for life after witnessing Mr. Stark’s mutilated body due to using the Gauntlet with his bare hand, who weren’t grieving over their mentor’s ashes being spread across the lake and instead celebrating their victory against the Titans. Versions of me who most likely won the first time around where the Snap never happened.

But one could only dream, and that was merely a fantasy. A utopia where us heroes won the initial battle rather than our worst enemies. A world where the survivors didn’t suffer huge emotional/physical losses. A universe where the victims were never nonexistent for 5½ years and were living in their own respective times.

Unless….stifling a gasp, I finally figured it out. It was possible! I could do it! I could save Tony and several other people! Hell, if alternate Loki managed to survive, then why couldn’t my mentor? If anyone deserved to be alive, it was Tony. He deserved to be with his wife and daughter again. He deserved to expand Stark Industries and reunite the Avengers for good. He deserved to die of old age and have grandkids.

But most importantly—even though Tony Stark was permanently dead in my forever-broken timeline, he deserved to live in another and I was gonna make that happen, one way or another. No one was gonna stop me from what I was planning to do.

“Oh god, I probably sound too giddy, don’t I? Considering the tragic circumstances that brought us here, attending your mentor’s funeral and all….I’m really sorry, buddy,” the ex-convict apologized, frowning remorsefully.

Thankfully I heard that, now that I wasn’t spacing out anymore. But the last thing I wanted was Scott feeling bad for accidentally reminding me of my father-figure. In fact, it was the opposite. I felt much better after having a normal conversation that didn’t discuss death, trauma, war, or self-sacrifice. So in reality, he actually cheered me up.

Luckily, I told him these things and he smiled gratefully.

“Thanks kid. You’re something else.”

“No problem. It was nice meeting you too, by the way. And I should probably apologize for attacking you at the airport. It’s just that—we were both on different teams and I didn’t know what else to do — ” I rambled.

“No sweat. It’s in the past, and it’s not like you really harmed anybody. Besides, if you ask me, I don’t think anyone was taking that fight too seriously, Cap included.” Scott rested his hand on my shoulder, reassurance in his voice. It was familiarly paternal.

“Thank you, Mr. Lang—er—Scott. For everything, you know—bringing us back. I owe you big time,” I exhaled blissfully.

“Boy, you’re a good kid, so consider myself already owed,” he responded with satisfaction before waving goodbye and strolling in the opposite direction. Although it was more of a ‘see-you-around’ gesture, causing me to smile fondly.

Anywho….now where was I? Oh yeah.

I gotta jot down everything—from A to Z.

Yep. That was the goal, and I stood by it. Tony would be saved, and so would half the universe, because Thanos was goin’ down!

Whatever it takes....

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

Let’s see....hmm....what should I write first? Oh yeah! The envelope.

 

TO: Myself

FROM: Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man

FYI, I know you think this is impossible, but I’ll explain everything in the letter, I promise—but you gotta trust me. Don’t throw it away until you’ve read the whole thing.

 

There, that should do it! Oh wait! I almost forgot....

 

P.S. And no skimming! Read it at least twice if you can, but there isn’t much time. ‘Cause you gotta act quickly.

 

Now that’s left is the letter itself. But what should I tell myself? Might as well start from the beginning.

 

Dear Me,

You’re probably wondering why I wrote this in the first place. I could be a total fraud for all we know, but deep down, you don’t believe that. You won’t believe that, ‘cause this is important. And you need to listen to me. Everything I’m about to say is vital for my plan to work, so grab a comfy chair and sit down.

 

Good start, Peter. I’ll definitely recognize my own handwriting.

 

First, let’s keep track of where you are right now. And if I did my calculations right, you’re currently on Ebony Maw’s spaceship with Mr. Stark and Dr. Strange. That’s when you should’ve received this letter. If not, then we have a problem. Anyway, assuming that you are there, the other two are currently arguing whether to confront Thanos on Titan (Mr. Stark) or return to Earth (Dr. Strange). 

Whatever you do, don’t listen to Mr. Stark. I repeat, DO NOT go to Titan! Because in the original timeline, we followed Tony’s plan instead of the wizard’s, bumping into a few friends on the way: Peter Quill, Drax, Mantis, and eventually a bald blue girl (Nebula). Initially, we had a rough start, but all misunderstandings were cleared up pretty soon.

However, because we arrived on Titan, Thanos sort of expected us to be there, and Tony originally assumed that we had the advantage of ‘us going to him’. But unfortunately, it was the exact opposite. Turns out, he had the advantage this whole time, and here’s why. Dr. Strange soon predicted 14,000,605 possible outcomes of the upcoming conflict. And guess what? There was only ONE where Thanos lost and we won.

And worse? That meant while we seemingly had the upper hand, Nebula informed Quill on what happened to his girlfriend (Gamora, I think was her name). Apparently, Thanos sacrificed her life in order to successfully retrieve the Soul Stone (btw, the planet was named Vormir).

Anyways, Quill was pissed off, so he punched Thanos in the face, causing Mantis to accidentally free Thanos from being hypnotized (calming his brain). Everything had gone to shit from there. Tony was stabbed and the rest of us were exhausted and injured.

All he needed now were the Mind and Time Stones. Vision’s literally powered by the Mind Stone, according to Mr. Stark, but Thanos had to grab the Time Stone from Dr. Strange first before moving on to the next one. And so far, everything was going his way.

Although Strange and Wong swore to protect the stone with their lives, willing to sacrifice anyone for the greater good (which was surprisingly reasonable now that I mentioned it), the wizard eventually gave in despite Tony’s protests, begging Thanos to spare his life in exchange for the stone. Thanos suspected there was a catch, but immediately agreed and kept his word.

Snapping his fingers, he arrived in Wakanda, where the other Avengers were fighting his army. Wanda was forced to kill Vision in order to access the Mind Stone, pleasing Thanos even more. At least Thor managed to stab him, but Thanos claimed he should’ve ‘gone for the head’ instead. He snapped again and disappeared from Wakanda, returning to his home planet (Titan).

Steve Rogers asked Thor where he went before Bucky Barnes disintegrated right in front of him. King T’Challa, Groot (another Guardian) and half the Wakandans also turned into ash, followed by Falcon and Wanda. Only Rhodey, Dr. Banner, Thor, Black Widow, and Rocket (also a Guardian) were left standing.

Back on Titan, Mantis vanished first, then Drax, then Quill, then Dr. Strange, and finally—brace for it—you. That’s right. We were dusted as well. It took a bit longer with me due to our Spidey Sense, so unlike the others, I was in so much pain, begging Mr. Stark to save me but he couldn’t. Of course, it wasn’t his fault, but thankfully he survived the Snap along with Nebula.

Three weeks later, they both returned to Earth where the OG Avengers shared a bitter reunion. Within the next few hours, Cap led the surviving Avengers to locate Thanos. Sadly, he already shrunk each stone to the size of atoms and hid them where no one could ever find it. That’s when Thor finally aimed for his head, having lost the battle.

Exactly. The Avengers lost and Thanos won. Half the universe was in ruins since Thanos snapped not only 50% of Earth’s mightiest heroes, but also half the cosmic population in general. Including May, Ned, MJ, Flash, Betty, and half our classmates/teachers. 

Not only that, but the gap continued for half a decade. Tony retired, married Ms. Potts and had a daughter named Morgan, Cap initiated group therapy sessions near the Compound, and the other survivors struggled to move on with their lives but tried nonetheless.  

Scott Lang was the only person who was unaffected by the Snap in anycase, since he was trapped in a separate dimension (a.k.a. the Quantum Realm) for half a decade. Saved by a rat, he escaped and briefly reunited with his family in San Francisco. 

Failing to convince Tony at first to build a time machine and borrow each stone from different time periods, Mr. Stark explained how quantum physics actually worked. Changing the past didn’t change the present. It created a brand new, divergent timeline instead, with alternate versions of us running around.

Eventually, they planned a time heist to grab all six stones, but the Soul Stone obviously required another death sentence (RIP Natasha Romanoff, who’ll forever be Black Widow). On the way, they bumped into a younger version of Thanos (2014) who was still alive and more vengeful than we’d ever seen him. He didn’t care about limited resources and overpopulation. He just wanted to create a ‘perfect universe’ to rule over us.

Anyway, once the Avengers recreated the Infinity Gauntlet, Dr. Banner snapped, severely wounding his right arm. But miraculously all the Snap victims were brought back to life (myself included), having no memory of those past five years. Tony, Cap, and Thor were the first to face off against Thanos while Hawkeye, Nebula, Rocket, & Ant-Man hid somewhere.

Then all of a sudden, gigantic mystical portals opened and we came through, ready to go. I found Mr. Stark soon afterwards and explained what happened to me. I don’t think he was actually listening, just overjoyed that I came back—so much that he hugged me. And you know what? It felt nice. :)

We all took turns snatching the Gauntlet from Thanos, playing frisbee. Unfortunately, I got hurt and could barely move until Captain Marvel helped me up. All the ladies teamed up and were total badasses. Man, if MJ was there….anyway, sorry! I’m focused now.

Dr. Strange and the other sorcerers were battling water demons while Mr. Stark was struggling to remove the Gauntlet from Thanos’ arm. And right there, Strange gave him the signal (👆), so Tony knew exactly what he had to do. God, I wish he didn’t! But it was too late as he snapped his fingers, dusting away Thanos and his army for good.

The right side of Tony’s body was 100% mutilated and broken as he staggered towards the destroyed remains of the Compound, sitting down and leaning against it, panting like crazy. Rhodey found him first and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, indicating that it was okay to….shit! I can’t….oh god! Oh god, I’m sorry! I’m so sorry, dude! But he died! And there was nothing we could do to save him!

I begged Tony to stay alive, telling him that we finally won, but he couldn’t say anything. So yeah, I cried and was pulled away from him, allowing Ms. Potts to say her own goodbyes. ‘We’re gonna be okay. You can rest now,’ she said. And that was it. Tony Stark died with his eyes wide open. Soon, the whole gang knelt in his honor and I reunited with May.

A few days later, American schools reopened and Midtown High was back in session, where Ned and I hugged. On 10/29/2023 (today for me), Tony’s funeral was held near his lake house in suburban New York. Everyone was there, including Nick Fury. I also found out that Happy survived the Snap too, and now he has a beard. Wow. What a week….

Look Peter—a lot of bad things happened over the past few years, and it's too late to change that….but you can. I never got the chance to thank Mr. Stark for caring so much about me, but you still have time. You can change the course of history and generate a new path for yourself, for May, for all of us. But that means you gotta stop Thanos at all costs. Understand?

My timeline is already broken beyond repair, but you can still save him. Please Peter, save Tony. Save him for me, for Ms. Potts, for Morgan. And not just him, but save half the universe too—and yourself. But once you’re done, once Thanos and his goons are gone forever, cherish every single moment with our mentor afterwards. Got it?

Meet the other Avengers, get to know them, make new friends. Take care of Morgan once she’s born, beg Mr. Stark to let you babysit as much as possible, watch her grow up and take her first steps, but most of all—be her big brother. She needs you, dude. My Morgan asked about me all the time, wondering where I was while we were still gone, so be there for her.

Ask MJ out someday (preferably soon). Also tell her you’re Spider-Man and beg her to keep it a secret. Graduate on time (2019, not 2025!!) and go to college (yeah I know it wasn’t our initial plan, but do it anyway). Make sure May and Tony aren’t at each other's throats whenever you accidentally hurt yourself.

Basically what I’m sayin’ is….enjoy your childhood man, ‘cause it won’t last forever. Remember, you have an opportunity here. In other words, with great power comes great responsibility, so don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life. You’re my only hope, so good luck. 👍

Yours truly,

~Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man~

P.S. You might wanna explain the situation to the others first before doing anything rash, just FYI.

 

And….done! Phew, I’m so tired. Time for bed! We’ve got a big day tomorrow.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****MONDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2023****

For some reason, I didn’t see Ned at school today. Turns out he had a massive headache and needed to stay home to recover. Meanwhile, it was just me, MJ, and Betty. We were busy catching up with stuff during lunch while Flash resumed annoying me to no end.

After I returned home, my phone started ringing. Unexpectedly, it was Ned.

“Hey dude. Sorry I couldn’t come to school today, but I’m feeling a lot better now. Want me to come over later?” he asked me over the phone.

“Yeah sure. Glad you’re feeling better bro. Actually, there’s something I need to tell you anyway, so I’ll see you then,” I answered hastily, crossing my fingers.

I really hope Ned agrees to this.

“Okay cool, I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

“Awesome. Alright bye.”

“Bye.” Ned hung up.

Once he arrived, we did our bro handshake and proceeded towards my room to discuss more important matters, like the letter I wrote for example. Carefully, Ned re-read every paragraph, eyes bulging out of his sockets. I didn’t even think that was possible, but this is Ned we’re talkin’ about. Of course he’d react like that.

Please say something.

Honestly, I was a nervous wreck. What if Ned didn’t agree to help? What if he felt pressured and told on me? What if he discouraged me from doing this? There were so many what-ifs, but I instantly scolded myself.

Stop overthinking this! Ned’s your best friend. Have a little faith in him!

I was so out of it until Ned called my name repeatedly.

“Peter….Peter….Peter!”

“H-Huh?”

“Dude, are you okay? You look really pale,” he pointed out worriedly.

“Oh right, sorry. It’s just….you must think I’ve gone completely insane. Don’t worry, I thought that too. I mean, I’ve lost my mind. This is—this is crazy—right?” Shit! I was hyperventilating.

“Well — ”

“How could it not be? Sending my past self a note to create divergence in our timestream? Really? Might as well hit my head with a bat and call it a day!” I continued, nearly hysterical, which scared the shit out of Ned.

“Peter — ”

“Exactly. Why the hell did I think this was a good idea? It’s a terrible idea! There’s no way it’s gonna work! Besides, Dr. Banner said he’d dismantle the Quantum Portal either tomorrow or next week! That’s not enough time!”

“Peter — ”

“If you don’t wanna help, I won’t blame you, but I’m doing this no matter what anyone says. With or without you. I’m doin’ it, and no one can stop me. Look, I need to apologize to you for a lot of things, but not this. This, I don’t regret one bit — ”

Peter!” Ned snapped me out of my hysteria.

“Huh? What happened?”

“Dude, you gotta calm down. Take deep breaths, okay,” Ned instructed, simulating the exercise with his hands.

“Right—okay.” Inhale. Exhale.

After a few moments, Ned spoke again. “Is it okay if I talk now?”

“Hmm? Oh yeah, sure,” I replied, pressing my lips together.

“Great, so first off—that was a lot of words.”

“Mm hm.”

“Second, I never thought you could talk faster than when May bought you a brand new Death Star set, and yet here we are.”

“Okay.”

“And third—yes.”

I blinked, frowning in confusion. “Yes?”

“I’ll help you,” Ned explained.

“Wait—really?” I said with a bewildered expression.

“Of course! Why wouldn’t I?” I could’ve sworn Ned was somewhat offended by my statement.

Yeah, of course he’d help you, Peter. Why did you ever think otherwise? God, I don’t deserve a friend like him.

“No—I mean—yeah, of course you would. Sorry, that was stupid of me. It’s just that—I was actually scared for a sec that you wouldn’t comply, but….I really needed to tell someone,” I admitted guiltily.

“It’s okay, dude. Whatever you need from me, I’ll do it. And whenever you wanna do this, whether it’s right now or even tomorrow, I’m with you man,” Ned comforted me, grabbing my shoulders.

I let out a small laugh, full of relief. “Thanks Ned. I owe you one.” And once again, we performed our legendary handshake.

40 minutes later, I managed to convince May that Ned and I were going for a drive.

“Be careful, honey! Don’t stay out too late!” she hollered from the kitchen.

“Don’t worry, we’ll keep a lookout. Love you!” I hollered back.

“Love you too!” I heard her say before we stepped outside, closing the front door.

Alright! First thing’s first—I have my phone, car keys, house keys, wallet, some Pym Particles I stole—er—borrowed from Scott Lang when he wasn’t looking. What else?

“Hey Ned?”

“Yeah?”

I turned around and faced him. “Did you bring your iPad?”

Ned stopped for a sec, checking his backpack. “Uh….yeah, I did. Why?”

“Well—remember how you hacked my suit all those years ago in DC?” I said hesitantly.

His eyes narrowed. “Uh huh.”

“Let’s just say—this one’s gonna be more complicated,” I explained, grimacing at Ned’s ‘what-did-I-get-myself-into’ expression.

“You mean….”

“Yep.”

“Oh boy,” he exhaled.

Concerned, I said, “Look, if you don’t wanna do this, that’s okay — ”

“No no, I’ll do it—I promised I would,” he sighed helplessly. “But if we get caught, you’re taking the blame.”

I nodded. “Sounds fair. Let’s go.” And we both ran towards the car.


As soon as we arrived at the lake house, I checked the perimeter to make sure no one was spying on us. Luckily, we were the only ones there, since Ms. Potts and Morgan left the house to meet Happy for dinner downtown.

“Good, they’re not here. Now let’s find the time machine,” I suggested.

Thank god it was still there and not dismantled when we found it—although it was turned off. Anyway, Ned and I unpacked our bags and set up our equipment. Then he hooked his iPad to the monitor and decrypted the password in less than 20 seconds.

Yep, definitely my Guy In The Chair. I thought proudly.

“Almost got it….okay, we’re online!” he announced, giving me a thumbs up.

“Nice. Let’s test it first,” I beamed, grabbing the letter plus copies I made last night in case my other self lost the original.

Turning it on, we witnessed in awe as a bright blue light formed the quantum tunnel. However, the machine glitched for some reason before the light disappeared merely seconds later.

Wait—the letters are still there. Which means—they never left.

“W-What just happened? I checked the code like five times and there were no errors. It should’ve worked,” Ned exclaimed.

He was right though. It should’ve worked fine if not perfectly, but it didn’t. Instead, the Universe decided to punish me again by stealing my one chance to fix everything. God, this was all fucked up! Why did we even bother trying? It didn’t work! It didn’t fucking work!

“It didn’t though,” I murmured.

“That’s so weird! Or maybe we didn’t have enough power….?” Ned hypothesized until he gazed at my forlorn expression. “I’m sorry man. I tried, I really did. But I guess we weren’t so lucky.”

I shook my head. “It’s not your fault, dude.” I chuckled humorlessly. “It’s mine.” 

That’s when the waterworks started, my head buried between my knees. For now, all hope was gone. My past self would never receive my note and every event would occur exactly how it did before, leading to the Snap/5-Year Decimation, the Blip, and worst of all—Mr. Stark’s tragic demise. I would lose him all over again.

Shit! It wasn’t fair! None of this was fair! What did I ever do to deserve this? First my parents, then Ben, and now Tony.

Why won’t you let me save him? Huh?? What did I do?!  

I glared at the sky, tears flowing freely down my face without restraint. For the billionth time, the Universe gave me the middle finger. But you know what? I didn’t give a fuck. The Universe had nothing to give me, so why did I have to do anything in return? The Universe could go fuck itself!

“Hold up….there’s something flashing,” Ned suddenly found his voice.

I stared at him, eyes red and puffy. Wait what??

“Yeah,” he responded, somehow reading my mind before clasping his own forehead. “Oh my god!”

“What?” I breathed.

“I’m so stupid! I totally forgot!” he exclaimed.

“You forgot what?” I asked, growing a little impatient.

“All the other knobs were on except for this one,” Ned emphasized.

I saw what he was looking at and grinned like a maniac. The transport knob was off! Of course!

“Holy cow!” I shouted.

“Exactly. So the machine was working, but it refused to transport the letters because we didn’t allow it. But don’t worry. Once it’s on, it should do it,” he added confidently.

“Oh you genius!” I whispered joyously and cupped my best friend’s face, quickly kissing his forehead which left him stunned. “Okay, let’s do this!”

I held my breath for ten more seconds.

“One—two—three!” And before we knew it, the letters disappeared after being sucked into the light tunnel.


STEPHEN STRANGE’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Strange! What the hell are those boys doing?” Wong growled, pointing at them.

I groaned softly, rolling my eyes. “Shh! They’ll hear us!”

“We need to tell Dr. Banner — ”

“Nuh uh. We’re not saying anything to anyone. Besides, I saw this coming,” I reminded him.

Wong raised his eyebrows. “What do you mean?” he asked suspiciously.

“Remember how I saw every possible outcome of the battle against Thanos?” I started.

“Yes. You said there were 14,000,605 total scenarios,” he recalled what I told him.

“Exactly, and this is it, Wong. This is the endgame. Everything those boys are doing right now was meant to happen, so no matter what, we cannot interfere,” I added warningly.

“Fine, if you say so,” Wong sighed defeatedly. “But I see your arrogance hasn’t completely left you.” He smiled teasingly.

I lightly smacked his arm. “Watch it, Beyoncé.”

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****THURSDAY, 31 MAY 2018****

I dissected every detail from this letter (except from the copies which remained sealed), the words forever imprinted in my brain. So many thoughts were floating inside my head over what I found out about the other timeline.

Dr. Strange predicts 14,000,605 different outcomes? Quill—whoever he is—will be partially the reason why we lose against Thanos? Then the bad guy disintegrates half the universe by snapping his fingers? Tony survives the Snap but I don’t? He’ll have a daughter named Morgan with Ms. Potts?

But that wasn’t all.

Scott Lang gets trapped in the Quantum Realm for five years? The OG Avengers wait half a decade to bring us back? Tony sacrifices himself to kill Thanos and his army by using the Infinity Gauntlet? And I’ll lose another father-figure? What the fuck??

“I think I ate too many churros,” I blurted out, barely noticing two pairs of eyes staring at me, undoubtedly confused as I hid the notes inside my suit pocket.

“Peter? You alright, buddy?” Mr. Stark questioned as he approached my unsteady frame.

“Whoa whoa! Easy, kiddo. You’ll fall,” he added calmly, gripping both my shoulders to keep me balanced.

“Holy shit!” I gasped, unable to say anything else at the moment.

His brows lowered, hands still on my shoulders. “Yeah—you’re gonna have to be more specific, bud.”

“Yeah, about that….” I chuckled nervously, “We gotta go back.”

Mr. Stark wore an alarmed expression. “Go back? Go back where?”

“Home,” I summarized.

He sighed longingly, rubbing his face. “That’s not the plan, remember? We need to fight Thanos on his own turf, not ours.”

“But we can’t. We gotta turn this ship around and go home — ” I tried to explain nicely, but Mr. Stark wasn’t having it.

“Yeah, that’s not happening. End of discussion.” Urgh! Why was Tony being so stubborn?!

“Yes we are,” I remarked with gritted teeth before sighing. “Look, Dr. Strange is right. If we go home like Thanos expects us to, that’s actually good because he won’t realize we’re the ones who have the advantage, not him.”

“Nope! Nuh uh! We’re not going back right now. Sorry,” Tony demanded as-a-matter-of-factly, his egotistical nature seeping through.

Turning his back on me, the billionaire huffed before locating the main controls of the ship. I shook my head quietly and nearly glued my lips together, suddenly agitated.

“No,” I replied in a low voice.

“I’m sorry, what did you just say to me?” He gave me the look.

“You heard what I said. We’re not going to Titan. It’s too risky. We gotta turn this ship around,” I told him firmly.

“I’ve heard enough, kid. Now stay put,” he ordered, his stern gaze fixated on me.

“Look, I promise I’ll explain everything later, but you gotta trust me,” I pleaded.

“Nope!”

“But — ”

“Seriously, kid? You’re gonna disobey me now by coming up with an even worse plan?? Well forget it! I just told you, we’re going to Titan and that’s final!” he growled angrily.

Okay—now I was fuming. “Are you fucking kidding me?? Not everything is about you!!”

As much as I hated yelling at Mr. Stark, it had to be done. He wasn’t listening to me, so if it meant I needed to act like an assertive asshole to him, then so be it. Better than him dying permanently.

I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down a little. “Like I said, this is about saving everyone else. But in order to do so, we need to win, and we can’t do that if we follow your plan. Earth is safer than Titan. Plus, we have allies and enough resources to defeat Thanos. Sorry if you think my plan sucks, but why is this so hard to understand??”

Tony hardened his gaze. “Did you just imply that my idea is dumb??”

I paused for a moment before answering. “Yes.”

Yes?”

“It is dumb! Including the way you’re acting right now!” I berated him.

“Did you just lecture me??” the man exhaled sharply.

“Maybe I did!” I snapped back. “If you weren’t acting like a spoiled egotistical brat, I wouldn’t have to say these things! So stop pretending you’re my dad, okay?!”

Tony retracted as if he’d been slapped, choking on a small gasp. I never spoke to him like that. Never in a million years would I have said that to him—ever. Yeah….not gonna lie, that was downright low as fuck. Jesus, I couldn’t move.

Why did I say that? Why the fuck did I say that? Now Mr. Stark’s hurt and it’s all my fault!

“Never said I was,” he responded softly, his voice filled with subtle sadness and betrayal despite wanting to maintain his ‘I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-anyone-else-thinks-of-me’ façade.

Great! Now look what you did, Peter! He's even more upset! So you better not cry right now! 'Cause you don't deserve shit

My thoughts were absolutely correct. I didn't deserve to display my own sorrow.

Before I could open my mouth to apologize, my arm hairs immediately spiked as I sensed something was coming our way, but what was it? In an instant, the ship crashed (ironically on Titan) followed by witnessing three people attacking us one-on-one. Eventually, I heard the big guy say ‘Die, blanket of death!’ as I begged the mantis woman not to put her eggs inside of me.

Seconds later, I felt a strong arm wrap around my upper body, squeezing it tight while grabbing his laser gun. Scared shitless though masking it with fury and determination, Mr. Stark held out his own built-in weapons while Dr. Strange created mystical shields with his hands.

That’s so cool! Where did he learn how to do that? Nope, focus Peter! Focus on what’s happening right now.

“Everyone, stay where you are and chill the f*** out!” the blonde-haired guy demanded. “Now, I’m gonna ask you this one time—where is Gamora?”

Tony unmasked himself, having no idea what the hell this person was talking about. “I’ll do you one better—who’s Gamora?”

Underneath Mr. Stark’s foot was the bald man, who managed to speak despite being crushed. “I’ll do you one better—why is Gamora?”

Okay, this guy’s really funny. I almost laughed.

“Tell me where the girl is or I swear to you, I’m gonna french fry this little freak,” the man who held me hostage spat.

“Let’s do it! You shoot my guy and I’ll blast him! Let’s go!” Tony warned him threateningly, proving that he wasn’t joking around.

“Do it, Quill! I can take it,” the bald guy grunted, gasping for air. Soon, I’d learn his name was Drax.

“No, he can’t take it!” the mantis woman exclaimed worriedly, struggling to escape from my webs.

“She’s right, you can’t,” Dr. Strange agreed, still holding his shields up high.

“Oh yeah? You don’t wanna tell me where she is, that’s fine. I’ll kill all three of you and beat it out of Thanos myself! Starting with you!” this ‘Quill’ person snarled before shoving his gun at my face mask.

“Wait what—Thanos? Alright, let me ask you this one time. What master do you serve?” Strange spluttered, astounded by Quill’s oblivion.

“What master do I serve? What am I supposed to say, Jesus?” he snarked.

Tony did not look impressed. Curling his lips, he asked, “You’re from Earth?”

Quill rolled his eyes. “Not from Earth, I’m from Missouri.”

“Yeah, that’s on Earth dipshit. What are you hustlin’ us for?” Mr. Stark exclaimed, clearly exasperated.

“So you’re not with Thanos?” I asked innocently.

With Thanos?” Quill replied as if I’d asked a ridiculous question. “No, I’m here to kill Thanos. He took my girl, wait who are you?”

“We’re the Avengers man,” I revealed, unmasking myself as I struggled to breathe normally once he released me from his grip.

“You’re the ones that Thor told us about!” Mantis—I think her name was—mentioned.

Wait what? They know him?

“You know Thor?” Tony took the words right out of my mouth.

“Yeah. Tall guy, not that good-looking—” Quill began.

Excuse me??

“—needed saving.”

Dr. Strange narrowed his eyebrows. “Where is he now?”

“I don't remember where Thor went, but Thanos should be here on his home planet—Titan—although he plans on attacking Earth first,” Quill explained.

Licking his lips, Mr. Stark nodded and said, “Okay. Then I guess it’s settled.” 

He then pivoted his head towards me. “Looks like you got your wish, young Padawan,” he deadpanned, causing me to feel more guilty for insulting him. Not that I didn’t deserve it anyway.

Regardless, we all had to focus on the task at hand first.

“Let’s go kick Thanos’ ass!” Drax exclaimed.

“Although first, we need to get to Wakanda,” the sorcerer interjected, pointing upward.

“Um….who’s in Wakanda?” Tony asked, dumbfounded, earning a wink from Strange himself.

“And more importantly—what is Wakanda?” Mantis questioned us.

Wait—is Strange actually suggesting….holy crap! We’re gonna meet….that’s so awesome!

But afterwards, you better fix this Peter. You will fix this.

Chapter Text

WANDA MAXIMOFF’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Uh guys—I’m not the only one seeing this, right?” Sam gaped.

“Nope, we’ve also noticed,” Bucky incidentally reassured him.

What are they talking about? I pondered.

Once I turned around, we couldn’t believe what we just saw. Then again, I could move stuff with my mind, so this shouldn’t have been surprising.

“Those—are portals,” Rhodey blurted out.

“Really? ‘Cause I thought they were hula hoops,” Sam answered sarcastically.

“Funny,” War Machine retorted, “considering my first guess was the Rings of Mordor.”

“Rings of Mordor? More like giant engagement rings,” Bucky added, ironically not sarcastic.

“How ‘bout devices that hypnotize people?” Rocket suggested, loving this conversation.

“I am Groot,” the tree croaked.

“Children, can we focus please?” Natasha scolded them.

“Nat’s right. We need to figure out who made them and why,” Steve informed the group.

“Way to ruin the fun,” the raccoon grumbled, arms crossed.

Suddenly, we saw six people stroll through. Two had goaties, one was blonde and quite handsome, the other man was bald and muscular, the woman had antennas on her head, and there was—a kid wearing a spider outfit?? 

What the….?  

Then another one arrived through a different portal. She was bald, blue, and carried a deadly stare, indicating that no one should mess with her.

“Does this answer your question, Captain?” the taller man wearing a navy blue robe and red cloak announced. 

That’s when everyone’s jaw dropped.

Okay, I have so many questions.


STEPHEN STRANGE’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Alright everyone. First we’ll travel to Wakanda and regroup, then we need to contact Scott Lang and his team in San Francisco before bringing them here,” I proposed.

“Slow down there, Gandalf. Who put you in charge anyway?” Stark complained.

“I did, douchebag,” I replied with a smirk.

“Point noted,” he remarked bitterly. “You still haven’t answered my question though. Who the hell are we meeting?”

“Steve Rogers.”

“What? Why?”

“It was your idea, Stark,” I reminded him.

“Yeah, when we were still on Earth. And now we’re not,” he enunciated, annoyed as hell.

I sighed. “Look, I wasn’t gonna say it now—but I read the kid’s letter.” 

Everyone paused.

“Wait, you did?” Peter gasped.

“Yep. I know everything now, and your other self is right. We need to find Thanos asap.”

“Hold up! What do you mean by his ‘other self’? Whose other self?” Quill interrogated.

“Mine,” the kid disclosed.

“I’ll give you the short version….” I briefly narrated the key information inside that letter.

“I need time to process. Anyone have spare change for cheeseburgers?” It was odd seeing Stark so nervous.

“Oh my goodness, that’s so sad! We have to do something!” Mantis said. I was grateful for her determination and cooperation.

“Yeah, I wasn’t really paying attention,” Drax yawned. Well obviously he wasn’t.

“Whoa! That’s way too much info. We can’t accomplish all that!” Quill concluded, causing me to scoff.

“We can—and we will,” I ordered, ignoring his doubts. “Now follow me ‘cause we don’t have much time. Thanos is coming.”

I used the Sling Ring to open two portals. We formed a straight line as I led the others into Wakanda. There, we spotted Dr. Banner, Romanoff, Wilson, Barnes, Rhodes, Maximoff, Vision, Rocket, Groot, Rogers, and Thor. Soon, Wong and the blue woman (Nebula) arrived as well, surprising the Guardians.

“Nebula? When did you get here?” Quill genuinely asked.

“I was summoned,” she responded flatly. Thankfully it shut him up.

“Strange.”

“Wong.”

“Steve.”

“Tony.”

“Hey everyone,” the kid awkwardly introduced himself.

I then asked where the others were, and Banner mentioned T’Challa, Shuri, Okoye, M’Baku, plus the other Wakandans were battling Thanos’ army inside the city.

“Alright, then we should wait until Thanos arrives himself. Remember, the Mind and Time Stones need to be protected at all costs. In the meantime, does anyone have Lang’s number?” I questioned.

“I do,” Rogers claimed, pulling out an ancient piece of machinery. Was that even a real phone?

“It’s a burner phone. That way no one, not even the government can track us,” he noted before contacting the guy.

Oh okay, that actually makes sense.

Five minutes later, Lang’s team came through with Wong’s assistance. There stood Lang, Van Dyne, and Dr. Pym.

“Uh—you called us? We were in the middle of conducting a very important experiment, so this better be worth our time,” Pym expressed irritably.

“Dad, be nice,” Van Dyne whispered.

“You’re one to talk,” he retorted.

“Will you two stop?” Lang hissed. “And they say I’m the childish one?” he thought incredulously.

“Ahem,” I cleared my throat. “Sorry to interrupt, but now’s not the time for recreational experiments. We have an urgent issue on our hands, as I’m sure Rogers explained to Lang over the phone.”

“That would be correct. So uh—who exactly is Thanos? And how dangerous is he?” Lang wondered.

“Catastrophic—on a universal scale,” I clarified. At least now Pym was interested.

“Then let’s get this son of a bitch,” Lang declared after a moment of silence.

Unfortunately, we weren’t alone yet. Thanos’ army managed to surround us as we fought them one-on-one. And soon enough, the bald-headed creature appeared, ready for a feast.

“Ah ha! There you are….now where’s Gamora?” Quill demanded, fists curled as he stomped towards his potential father-in-law until the man screeched to a halt, recognizing the orange-colored stone on Thanos’ glove.

Oh no. The Soul Stone!

Tears collected in his eyes as he choked out, shaking his head, “No you didn’t.”

“It had to be done,” Thanos told him, his voice unexpectedly wobbly. Taking a deep breath, he added, “Now hand me the stones.”

“Fuck you!” the half-human spat hoarsely before punching him in the face.

“You heard him! Attack!” Stark bellowed as we prepared to charge.

Eventually, we played catch with the Infinity Gauntlet, having successfully removed it from Thanos’ right hand. Wong and I generated more portals in order to confuse his eye coordination while Okoye and M’Baku joined us on the battlefield, utilizing their own Vibranium weapons.

15 minutes passed before Peter screamed at Thor to aim for the head. Man, this kid was dedicated. That letter must’ve shaken him to the core. After all, he couldn’t bear to lose Stark or half the Universe, otherwise he’d blame himself for the rest of his life. So I too prayed that the King of Asgard would follow suit.

“Do not fret. I shall finish the job, Man of Spiders,” Thor assured the child before facing the beast closehand, stabbing him in the stomach.

“I told you—you’ll die for that,” he promised with grief-filled anger in his voice, having not only suffered the loss of his people but his brother as well (Loki).

“Because of you, my people—including my little brother—died screaming. And now, you shall suffer the same fate,” he croaked, twin tears falling from his eyes.

“Your daughter is waiting,” Thor snarled, using the spear to literally aim for the head. Truthfully, it was quite disturbing, but necessary.

Everyone sighed in relief as Peter ran towards Thor and squeezed him tightly.

“Thank you,” he whispered repeatedly.

“The pleasure is all mine, child,” the Asgardian replied softly, although startled that a stranger embraced him rather than someone he already knew.

“Ahem!” Wilson cleared his throat loudly. “Uh—you do realize some of his minions are still alive, right? So why don’t we fast-forward and catch ‘em?”

“But how? More of them are still out there, travelling through space. That makes us dangerously outnumbered,” Banner pointed out anxiously.

“We can eliminate all of them in a single shot, but there’s only one way to do it,” I suggested while my allies eyed me concernedly.

“And what’s that? C’mon, don’t leave us hanging,” the billionaire grilled, arms folded.

“See, that’s the thing….one of us needs to snap.”

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Snap? Are you crazy?? How’s that gonna help?” Mr. Stark exclaimed hysterically, waving both hands in the air.

“We can get rid of his army once and for all plus save half the Universe from dying. Isn’t that why we’re here, so we can end the fight and go home?” Dr. Strange repeated the words Tony uttered a long time ago.

“Well yeah, but still….” Mr. Stark muttered.

“And not only that, but each Infinity Stone yields more power than we all have combined. Which means—we can do practically anything with them,” Dr. Banner elaborated.

“We know the stones can kill people, but what about the opposite?” Everyone turned around and glanced at none other than Vision.

Man, I almost forgot he was there!

“Actually yeah. They uh—they can,” the professor clarified.

“Whoa whoa whoa, seriously?” Sam’s face lit up.

“Is this a joke?” Colonel Rhodes laughed until he noticed Dr. Banner’s serious expression. “Holy shit.”

“Although I gotta warn you—more resurrections require an extensive amount of power—but let’s do this without killing the snapper,” The physicist reminded everybody. “So only choose up to three people per person, whether you’re doing it for yourself or someone else. Doesn’t matter,” Hulk added clearly.

“Not only that, but we shouldn’t change what has happened since they first died. We’ll bring them back to now—today. Thursday, May 31st, 2018. That too, in safe places. Not midair or locations that don’t exist anymore.” Ms. Romanoff added.

“W-Wait, so….that means I can bring Gamora back?” Quill’s lips quivered as he spoke, his red eyes glancing up since he was currently on his knees, Mantis comforting him from behind.

“I don’t know who she is, but yeah sure. Did she uh—was it recently or….?” Black Widow responded, wincing at Quill’s brokenhearted expression as he nodded sadly.

“So you’re absolutely sure you want her back?” Dr. Banner asked again.

The grief-stricken man chuckled wetly while wiping his nose. “Is that even a question?”

“Then it settled. We’ll get her back, don’t worry,” the scientist reassured with a smile.

“But wait, don’t we need all six Infinity Stones? The Mind Stone is still missing,” Mr. Lang pointed out.

“It’s with me,” Vision revealed, causing the rest of us to pivot towards him. “However, without the Mind Stone, I won’t be able to function. But since I’m repairable, I trust that Mr. Stark will take care of it and fix me as soon as he can.”

Apparently, he was trying to convince Wanda more than himself. Those two were close after all. Probably dating even, but I didn’t wanna pry. It wasn’t my business. Facing her, he said that if there was a slight chance he couldn’t be fixed….though Wanda refused to hear it, demanding that he’d return no matter what, and she’d wait for him, whatever it took.

“I promise,” Vision whispered.

“Don’t promise me, just come back,” Wanda’s voice shook with emotion.

Vision nodded, and with that, she used her powers to retrieve the Mind Stone from his forehead, shedding a couple of tears. I felt bad for Wanda. She must’ve been through hell over the past few years, losing her entire family (according to Mr. Stark). But regardless, she complied for the greater good, and that made her a true hero.

“But we still haven’t figured out who’s gonna snap. So uh—any volunteers?” Colonel Rhodes reminded us.

“I’ll do it,” Dr. Banner offered, ignoring Thor’s protests. He lost his entire clan as well as his family, so what else did he have to lose? 

“I’m sorry, Thor. But I’m the only one who can handle gamma radiation without dying. So basically I was made for this,” he argued. 

“And I’m not compromising with anyone, so it’s gotta be me. End of discussion,” he added assertively.

“Fine, if you insist, but I don’t like this. Although while we’re on the subject of bringing back our loved ones, I’d choose my brother Loki—and my mother Frega. Can’t really think of a third person to save. Although my father Odin will forever live in the Spirit World—and most of the Asgardians are long gone by now, so….” Thor mumbled dejectedly.

“Okay, that’s good. Anyone else?” Banner waited for someone to speak up, but the whole audience remained silent for about 30 seconds.

He sighed impatiently. “C’mon guys, we don’t have all day. You gotta choose now or it’ll be too late. And I can’t really do this for everyone on Earth, so consider yourselves lucky.”

“Not just Gamora, but I want my parents too….i-if that’s possible,” added Quill.

“Sure, we can do that. What are their names?”

“Meredith Quill. She uh—she died when I was eight—at 27 years and 6 months. And my dad’s name is Yondu. I have pictures.”

“Alright. Lemma jot this down….” A piece of paper and a sharpened pencil instantly formed in his hands thanks to Dr. Strange. 

“Wow….okay, who’s next?”

Cap didn’t pick anyone, much to Barnes’ surprise. Mentioning some woman named Peggy Carter, Mr. Rogers explained that she already lived her life and couldn’t take that away from her, to which Barnes understood.

Tony was next. Rather than choosing his parents however, the man picked an old colleague of his (Dr. Maya I-forgot-her-last-name) plus someone named Charlie Spencer, explaining that it was his fault he died in Sokovia to begin with, and his mother deserved better.

“But what about Howard and Maria—or Jarvis?” Colonel Rhodes wondered. 

“It’s been over 26 years since they died, Rhodes. It doesn’t make sense to bring them back to a world where so much has changed, especially in today’s climate,” Tony emphasized. “Also, Edwin’s time was up. He lived exactly the way he wanted. If anything, Maya and Charlie deserve to be alive.”

“I mean, you could make things right with your parents—but hey, it’s your choice buddy. Not my call,” Rhodes assured his best friend with a lopsided smile.

“Thanks, Honey Bear,” Mr. Stark teased.

“Oh you did not just go there,” the former soldier retaliated, causing Tony to laugh out loud.

Speaking of which, the Winter Soldier fixed his remorseful gaze at Mr. Stark, recalling having murdered his parents under full mind control. But that wasn’t really his fault, right? Besides, he wasn’t conscious.

I wonder who he’s gonna pick.

Barnes murmured something in Banner’s ear, though my super senses couldn’t figure out what it was.

Maybe some of his accidental victims? That’s what I would’ve done in his position.

Soon the rest of us pitched in. Drax vowed to resurrect his family, including Mantis. Rocket and Groot didn’t say anything, already content with their current lives. Overall, the majority of Avengers and Guardians either went for close friends or family.

To everyone’s astonishment, Wanda didn’t pick anyone, which made me consider whom I wanted to bring back. Well, there were my parents, first of all. But then again, May and Ben raised me, not those two, so it wouldn’t have made sense to revive them.

What about Uncle Ben? I could pick him and apologize for being an ungrateful brat prior to his death. But this time—I could make things right between us. Yeah! So basically—I’ll choose him!

“Uh….actually, I’m good. Well….my friend Ned had an aunt who died recently. Also….” That’s when I whispered those names into Banner’s other ear.

Wait what?? Did I just say that? Why didn't I choose Ben??

“Okay good. Let’s move on,” said Dr. Banner as I fell silent afterwards.

What I hated most however was Tony’s sympathetic gaze towards me. Jesus Christ—I didn’t deserve his sympathy! After all those horrible things I said to him?? And yet here he was, concerned as hell because he fucking cared, because I was a practically a son to him as soon as he became attached. And truthfully I was too. He was my father-figure nonetheless.

Once this is over, the first thing I’ll do is apologize because that’s what Tony needs. If that means falling to my knees like some cheesy soap opera I’ve watched, then so be it. Screw my dignity!

“Or maybe I don’t have to fall to my knees,” I babbled softly.

That sounds way too dramatic. Let’s stick with Plan B instead.

“Who’s last? Oh yeah, Strange! Who d’you wanna pick?” Banner addressed.

“Oh. Um….yeah, I dunno. Let me see….”

“Didn’t you have a sister?” Wong suddenly asked.

“Yes, but she died when we were kids, so I can’t really bring her back to today. It wouldn’t be logical,” Dr. Strange stated cautiously.

“If I may ask—what happened to her?” Wanda was curious. And so was I.

“She drowned—and I couldn’t save her. So yeah, I’m technically responsible ‘cause I could’ve been faster….but I wasn’t.” His voice trembled slightly as he blinked back tears.

“I’m so sorry,” she apologized mournfully. “What was her name?”

“Donna.”

Donna Strange. That’s actually a cool name if you think about it.

“It’s a pretty name,” Wanda agreed.

“That’s why I became a doctor—to save lives, not take them. But eventually I had to shift gears, and being the Sorcerer Supreme does have its—downside,” Strange added.

Yeah, I couldn’t help but empathize with his situation. He became a doctor for the exact same reason I became Spider-Man—because we felt guilty over losing someone we loved so much. And worst of all, it was too late to save them. Their blood was practically on our hands.

“Although there is someone who shouldn’t have died in the first place. Therefore, I pick the Ancient One,” the sorcerer declared.

“What? Are you insane?!” Wong exclaimed angrily.

Strange turned to him, furious. “Kaecilius murdered her, Wong! You don’t understand. I watched her die because of my mistakes! All because I wanted my hands back! Because I was so goddamn selfish and desired to be better than everyone else!”

All of us were stunned. Even Tony was shocked.

Nevertheless, the wizard continued sadly. “But she snapped me out of it. She told me I was destined for something greater than myself, which I should’ve learned a long time ago. So yes, I stand by my answer. I want her back.”

“Damn, the sorcerer has a massive guilt complex just like you, Tones,” the colonel mouthed.

“Shut up, Rhodes. We have nothing in common,” Tony denied.

“Yeah, keep tellin’ yourself that,” Rhodes smirked.

“Whatever.”

Finally, it was time for Dr. Banner to finish the deed. Slowly wearing the Infinity Gauntlet on his left hand, he snapped his fingers and all I saw was a blinding light before reality seeped through.

And all I could think about was—did it work? Only one way to find out….

Chapter Text

TONY STARK’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

20 minutes later, Wong created several portals for us to return home. Since Bruce severely damaged his left arm, he had to be rushed to the nearest infirmary first. That was our main priority. And believe me when I say Thor never left his side. Until he received an anonymous phone call from someone who sounded strikingly familiar.

“Hello?” I heard him say.

“Thor? Is that you, brother?” Wait a minute….no! But that’s impossible! Oh wait, nevermind. He wished for it.

“L-Loki?” he choked out, a lump forming in his throat.

“Oh god! Thor, I-I don’t understand what’s happening. One minute, Thanos was choking me to death, and the next thing I remember was wandering around Valhalla all by myself. A-And not only that, but you won’t believe who called me earlier. It was Mother. Apparently, she also had no idea what was going on. Brother, how is this possible? How are we still alive? Were we ever dead?” the God of Mischief rambled nervously.

“You’re alive!” Thor whispered shakily before breaking down in tears, explaining the situation incoherently while Loki tried and failed to soothe him over the phone.

Wincing sympathetically, I decided to give my friend some privacy before heading back to the Avengers Compound, where both Pepper and Happy were waiting impatiently.

“So—are we still on for 8:30 tonight or….?” I tried lightening the mood, but of course Pepper wasn’t having it.

“You were on a fucking spaceship?! My god, Tony! D’you have any idea how many heart attacks I’ve had today?!” she shrieked, quickly wrapping her arms around my waist.

“Don’t you ever scare me like that again! Or I swear I’ll quit!” she threatened.

“Hey, you’re the boss. I’m just your poorly-financed secretary,” I joked.

“Speaking of bosses and company CEOs….Tony, there’s someone who wants to see you upstairs—or rather two someones.” Happy sounded fidgety, which was odd considering how confident he normally was.

“Pep, you might wanna wait downstairs. This is something Tony has to do alone.” He gazed at her sympathetically.

Totally confused, I had no idea what he was on about until I followed him four floors up the elevator. Once the doors opened, I peeked through and saw two figures standing with their hands folded.

The woman was platinum blonde and wore a bun plus a fancy grey suit. The man adjacent to her also wore grey and had a goatee frighteningly similar to mine, except it was silver rather than black. Yes, one would’ve mistaken him for Walt Disney. Except it wasn’t him. It was —

“No, that’s….that’s impossible. Th-They can’t….how….what?” I stammered while clutching my chest, anticipating a mild panic attack.

“Tony, Tony, it’s okay. You’re not hallucinating, I promise. It’s alright. Happy and I see them too. Trust me, bud. You’re not crazy.” That was Rhodey, my beloved Honey Bear who dealt with me for the past 30 years, attempting to soothe my rising anxiety levels.

“I-I don’t….I don’t understand. H-How did they….how?” I panicked, staring at them as my hands shook uncontrollably. “I-I told Bruce that….I didn’t want to….I couldn’t — ”

“Tony, breathe. You’re fine. You’re okay. Just follow my lead. In and out. That’s it, you doin’ great, Tones. Keep going. In and out,” Rhodey instructed carefully as I followed suit before he handed me both their DNA results as solid proof.

“Anyway um—it was nice meeting you again, Mr. and Mrs. Stark, but we’ll let Tony catch up with you first. See you guys.” Rhodey waved goodbye as Happy led him back to the elevator and was out of sight.

I couldn’t say anything, let alone my body refused to move an inch as my mom—holy crap! My mom approached me steadily while my dad stayed put, frowning unsurely. That’s right, folks. My parents were risen from their graves. Though one question lingered in my mind.

If I didn’t wish them back….then who did?

My thoughts were interrupted when Mom finally spoke. “Tony, sweetie….your father and I don’t understand what’s happening. We’ve been told that we were dead for almost twenty-seven years, but how’s that possible? Were we in a coma—but we didn’t age? What….?”

“Your mother’s right. At first, we thought there’s no way we were gone for nearly three decades, until we caught a glimpse of today’s date: Thursday, 05/31/2018, on the cover of New York Times magazine. I mean one minute, we were driving to the airport before crashing into a tree….” Dad elaborated. 

“And now we’re here? In the Avengers Compound? Seriously, who are these ‘Avengers’?” he added.

“Tony? Are you okay, baby? Say something,” Mom told me sweetly as she gradually caressed both my cheeks, feeling my two wrinkles.

Well that’s what I get for approaching 50.

“Um….wow. You guys look pretty good for zombies,” I blurted out.

Really Tony? You’re making jokes now when this is obviously a serious matter?? Great, now I sound like Cap!

“I’m sorry, what?” Dad said, even more uncertain.

“Well uh….w-what I meant was….um….h-here’s the thing. I uh….I….”

At first, I was a stuttering mess, just like the kid was when we first met. I stumbled on each word, struggling to find the right ones to explain what happened to them. What tragedy had befallen my parents due to one of Dad’s closest friends (Barnes)—their alleged murderer. Of course, I didn’t tell them the last part, fearing they would hunt him down for eternity.

At least I don’t have to blame Barnes anymore. Maybe I’ll talk to him tomorrow, or next week, or whenever….

Eventually, I may or may not have broken into fits of hysterical laughter followed by uncontrollable sobs and hiccups, tears falling down my face like a waterfall. But you what? Maybe I did, ‘cause fuck my dignity. This was my mom for Christ’s sake! And hell, I missed Dad too. These were my parents, standing in front of me, alive and unharmed.

They’re alive. My parents are alive. They’re here. They’re really here!

After 10 minutes, I calmed down and genuinely smiled at both of them, but especially my mother, who continued stroking my face, wiping away stray tears.

“My goodness, look at you! It seems like yesterday, you were 21 and clean-shaven. And now you’re even more handsome in person. My sweet little boy….” Mom cooed, making me blush. But tonight, I didn’t mind that much.

“And that goatee—my, you look just like your father,” she added proudly.

Mom, stop. You’re embarrassing me,” I whined, rolling my puffy red eyes while grinning like a five-year-old. 

God, I felt like a kid again. It was weird and somewhat comforting at the same time.

“Well then—I guess we do have some catching up to do,” Dad cleared his throat, staring at us awkwardly.

Yep, Classic Howard. Always uncomfortable around emotions. I smirked.

But oh boy—this was just the beginning….

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

After returning to New York, May, Ned, MJ, Betty, and ironically Flash left me several frantic messages until I finally responded, assuring them I was fine and in one piece. Then I overheard an important conversation, leading me to invite two people over to stay at my house for the next few months or so (maybe even more).

But let me back-track a little bit. A) How did this happen? And B) Why did I invite them over when they could’ve gone to the Compound instead? Those two questions needed to be answered first and foremost.

Let’s start with Dr. Strange. Yep, you heard me. Anyway, he discussed with Wong regarding protecting the New York Sanctum plus upcoming potential global threats due to their interest in the Time Stone, thankfully given back to him for safekeeping. But something else they said caught me off-guard.

“I’m not sure how it happened, but the Time Stone is literally drawn to him now, ever since Dr. Banner was injured by the Gauntlet. I mean, is it because of the letter Peter received from himself? Therefore generating timeline divergence? There’s gotta be some clues here, Wong. Help me out,” the sorcerer pleaded desperately, hands folded.

“I never thought I’d say this, but perhaps you’re right. However, if we’re certain, then the Sanctum is far too dangerous to protect the Time Stone from inherently dark forces. So I suggest you contact the child and discuss this thoroughly. Do it soon,” Wong replied gravely.

Dr. Strange waited for a moment, stroking his beard in deep thought. “Actually it does make sense now that I recall what occurred afterwards. As soon as Banner was hospitalized, we helped remove the stones one-by-one and the kid — ”

“ — touched the Time Stone,” they finished simultaneously.

“Of course! He was exposed to it. No wonder the stone desires to be near him,” Wong claimed eagerly.

“So we have a plan then. Tomorrow, I’ll find the kid and—” The wizard paused mid-sentence. His jaw dropped once he spotted me listening attentively from behind.

“Oh um—good evening, Mr. Parker,” he greeted apprehensively. “Quick question—how much do you….?”

“I kinda heard all of it,” I responded, smiling nervously. “Look, I know it’s rude to eavesdrop, but uh—I couldn’t really help myself, so….”

“It’s fine, Peter. I understand your concern. That’s why I wanted to talk to you in the first place, to figure out how to deal with this….” Strange admitted, scratching his left ear.

“I have a suggestion—if that’s okay with you,” I told him.

“Um….alright.” He hesitated for a moment, not sure where this was going.

“Now, you said the Time Stone was drawn to me after I touched it, right?”

“Right.”

“But you also need to continue protecting it, so….you can stay with me for a while.”

The wizard froze in place, glancing at me with a bewildered expression. “Come again?”

“I promise, my aunt won’t mind. She loves having people over, I swear. I’ll just ask her first and — ”

“Whoa whoa, slow down kid. I—this is a lot to take in. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate your hospitality, but I can handle myself. I’ll stay at a nearby hotel and — ”

“The child is right, Strange. You should accept his offer,” Wong interjected.

“But — ”

“Your worries are perspicuous. However, there is no safer place to secure the Time Stone than this boy’s residence. In case of likely disturbances, I will cast a spell to shield his apartment complex. No harm will come to either of you as long as you remain inside. You are still free to visit the Sanctum anytime, but I shall remain here and guard it. Now go.”

The wizard winced doubtfully. “Are you sure about this, Wong? ‘Cause this is very risky. And I can’t guarantee his aunt will agree to any of this. I never even met her and — ”

“Like I said, May won’t mind. She’ll be happy to let you stay with us,” I reassured him, though I wasn’t really sure at all. 

“Anyway, I should call Happy and let him know you’re coming too.”

The sorcerer frowned. “Who’s Happy?”

“Oh he’s Mr. Stark’s personal head-of-security and driver. I know him ‘cause I work for Tony,” I told him.

“So you’re basically his intern,” Strange connected the dots.

“Yes,” I confirmed.

“Really? When we first met, I assumed you were his kid.”

Whoa whoa whoa, hold up!

I nearly choked on my own spit, giggling nervously. “Wait what? Oh no no no, he’s not—he’s not my dad. I mean, I know he acts like it sometimes, but you know how adults are with kids. Their protective instincts just—kick in.”

“Oh—well my mistake. It’s just that you two act alarmingly similar, that’s all,” Strange acknowledged.

I blushed furiously at that statement. “Ha ha—yeah. Well um—good to know. W-We should probably—go.”

Jesus, stop spluttering! You’re embarrassing yourself in front of the wizards!

“You’re right, I almost forgot. Lead the way then.”

“Good luck, Strange,” Wong bid adieu.

“I’ll hold you to that, Beyoncé,” the sorcerer snarked before following me to the limo where Happy was waiting.

After several minutes of total confusion about who Strange was and why he wore a ridiculous blue outfit with a red cloak, Happy sighed helplessly and drove us back to my place where May stood outside, wearing a thin red jacket since it was quite chilly today.

She ran up to me and held my face, examining for injuries. “Oh Peter! Thank god you’re okay! Are you hurt? Do you have any broken bones? Do I need to drive you to the hospital? Is everything — ”

“May, it’s fine. I’m okay. Just a few scratches, that’s all. Actually uh—I need to introduce you to someone, ‘cause brace yourself….he’s gonna stay with us.”

She blinked rapidly, stepping back but still holding on to my face. “I….what? Who are you talking about, sweetie?”

Turning around, I introduced Dr. Strange to my aunt as they awkwardly shook hands.

Great. This is going well so far. I thought sarcastically.

“I apologize for the intrusion, Mrs. Parker, but I can stay somewhere else for the time being. It’s alright, neither of you are obligated to — ” he tried to explain.

“Oh no no, that’s fine. You’re free to stay with us. Seems like my nephew is very eager about this, so it’s okay with me. Come on in,” she promised. 

My eyes suddenly dilated.

Okay, I stand corrected. That was easy.

Reaching our floor, we exited the elevator and noticed a slim figure lying on the ground, seemingly asleep.

Wait a sec….is that Wanda?

“Maximoff?” the wizard exhaled.

May knelt in front of her, feeling Wanda’s forehead. “Her temperature seems fine, but she looks exhausted. Should we take her to a hospital?”

“What? No, we can’t! They’ll experiment on her!” I panicked.

“He’s right. She needs special medical attention. I’ll take her back to the Avengers Compound and find a place to stay in the meantime. Thanks for your offer, kid, but I can handle it from here,” Dr. Strange recommended.

“Or she could sleep on my couch. At least for tonight,” May proposed, though little did we know it would be much longer than that.

Wow. She’s on a roll today!

Before Strange could argue, my aunt insisted until he gave up and agreed to stay here.

“Hold up—there’s something glowing under her shirt,” I realized.

It was bright yellow and presumably similar in size to the Time Stone.

“Wait—is that….?”

“Exactly. The Mind Stone must’ve summoned her here. But the stone’s power drained her energy due to carrying it for so long,” the former neurosurgeon explained.

“But—Mr. Stark said he’d fix Vision by returning the Mind Stone to him, right? So doesn’t he need it?” I instantly remembered.

“I’m sorry, the Mind What? I-I don’t….” May stuttered.

“May, I promise I’ll explain everything later, but right now we should focus on helping her first,” I ordered.

“Okay. You’re right.”

Strange volunteered to grab Wanda’s legs while I lifted her upper body towards the living room couch, setting her down delicately.

“Technically, Vision can function without it, but his powers won’t be enhanced anymore,” he answered.

“Gotcha.”

Soon the wizard’s cloak offered to keep her warm by draping around her body while I told May everything that had happened today.

“So wait….those two are sorcerers?” she hissed softly.

“Technically—yes,” I grimaced before explaining what the Infinity Stones were and why both stones were safer here.

“Right. Let me just wrap my head around this. For now, get some sleep, baby.”

“Okay. G’night May. Love you,” I whispered, briefly kissing her cheek.

“Love you too, sweetie.”

Luckily, my room had two twin beds on opposite sides facing the door (after dismantling the bunk beds 14 months ago), since Ned and MJ often slept over (and maybe Mr. Stark did as well). ‘Course, Ned used to stay in my room while MJ took over the couch, but whatever. Point is, there was a spare bed for Dr. Strange to sleep in.

After thanking me once more, May told him where the other rooms were located as he got ready for bed. Meanwhile, I yawned and thought about how I’d apologize to Mr. Stark tomorrow.

I really hope he forgives me. But that’s wishful thinking.

15 minutes later, the sorcerer knocked on my door as I let him in.

“So….the Mind Stone’s here too. What does that mean?” I inquired.

“Not sure yet, but we’ll see. Right now, I need some shut-eye.”

“Yeah, me too. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.” With that, the lights turned off as we both instantly fell into a deep slumber, unaware that this was only the beginning of our bizarre friendship (Wanda included).

Chapter Text

SCOTT LANG’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Daddy!” I heard Cassie squeal in delight as she embraced me.

Wait what?? How did she get here?

Cassie? What are you doing here, Peanut? H-How did you….? What….?” I was at a loss for words.

“Mom and Jim flew us over to New York as soon as we heard the news. Are those big bad aliens gone now, Dad? Did you fight them?”

Man, I almost forgot 12 hours had passed since we won the battle against Thanos. It seemed like it was only minutes ago.

“Of course I did, sweetheart. And don’t worry, those bad guys are gone for good,” I beamed.

“That’s so cool! But um—they’re not the only ones, are they? More bad guys are coming?” Cassie asked, her voice smaller than usual.

Aw, my baby’s really worried. What should I say? Hmm….

“Well—technically, yes. We fought the bad guys….but not all of them. Just the ones that threatened our world.”

And the Universe for crying out loud!

“Oh,” she murmured disappointedly.

“But don’t worry, Cass! I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’re safe!”

“Including Mom and Jim?” my daughter hoped.

“Of course, Bug.”

Later on, we bumped into Maggie, Jim, Hank, Hope, and Janet at a local Queens hotel. Hank and his family were panting like crazy, warning us that San Francisco was under attack from some monster named Hydroman or something minutes after they took off from the ground.

“But didn’t that Mysterio guy take care of it already?” Maggie recalled watching the news mid-flight.

“Well yes, but several buildings have been hit. Thankfully, there were only a couple of casualties,” Jim told her.

“Who the heck is Mysterio? Sounds like a comic book villain, to be honest. And—oh no! What about Luis, a-and the ants? Are they okay? Please tell me they’re still alive!” I freaked out.

“Relax, Scott. They’re all fine. Luis took his van and drove east along with the ants,” Hope calmed me down.

“Oh thank god!” I was so relieved….until it hit me. What about our home? All our stuff was in there!

“I’m sorry, Scott. We managed to send our most prized possessions, including all photo albums, passports, important documents, Pym Particle tubes, and most of Cassie’s toys. B-But everything else is….all g-gone and….” Maggie couldn’t go on as she wept into her hands.

“Shit….” I muttered sadly, embracing her softly. And fortunately, Jim and Hope didn’t mind. Maggie needed comfort right now, and fuck everything ‘cause I was gonna give it to her regardless.

“I’m sorry! I-I t-tried to—! I couldn’t—!” she blubbered, failing to wipe her bloodshot eyes.

“Shh….it’s okay. This isn’t your fault,” I whispered, stroking her hair while rubbing circles on her back.

“Don’t cry, Mommy. We’ll be okay,” Cassie soothed her mother with a warm hug.

Gosh, my daughter is ten times more mature than I ever was at that age.

“Oh, you’re so sweet, baby,” Maggie chuckled tearfully, rubbing her stuffy nose.

“Because it’s my job—as Dad’s 2nd partner-in-crime!” she cheered as the rest of us laughed wholeheartedly.

“Well—looks like we need to do apartment hunting. I mean, we can’t stay at a hotel forever, can we?” Jim pointed out seriously.

“Wait—you mean all of us?” Hank was stunned. And frankly, so were Hope and Janet.

“It’s better if we all stick together—in case something worse happens,” I added, turning to my girlfriend. “So—what d’you think, Hope? You and your parents wanna stay with us for a while?”

“Um….” Hope bit her lip uncertainly.

“Yeah, you guys should come with us!” Cassie persuaded with a lot of enthusiasm. “Please?”

God, she has the most innocent voice in the world! I gazed at her in awe.

Hope knelt down in front of Cass, grinning. “Sure, why not?”

“Yay!” Her face brightened as we gathered ourselves in a group hug.


NEBULA’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

I wasn’t sure how long it took for us to return home, which certainly wasn’t Earth. And believe me when I said—Earth was overrated.

Besides that, Quill was a nervous wreck, I could tell. None of us knew what was going to happen, other than the possibility of my sister returning from the dead, plus both his parents. And speaking of which….

“Is that you, son?” That was Yondu’s voice, which caused the idiot to burst into tears.

Dad,” he breathed before squeezing the life out of his dad. His real dad, not the one who brutally murdered his own wife by giving her brain cancer.

“Oh D-Dad! I-I missed you so much!” Quill sobbed happily.

“My boy….” Yondu murmured soothingly, startled that he was alive to begin with, but kept his uncertainty under the radar in order to console his son.

“I-I love you,” my friend confessed tearfully.

“Son, stop making me emotional,” Yondu scolded him playfully, indirectly confessing his own paternal love.

“Yeah, it’s not like you died or anything,” Quill sassed back, already feeling better.

“Well, I’m not the only one,” his dad revealed.

“Wait what?”

A woman suddenly appeared in front of us, surprisingly not bald but cancer-free, her dark wavy hair swinging back and forth amidst the breeze.

M-Mom?”

“Peter? Honey, is that you?” she questioned.

“Y-Yeah, it’s me,” Quill’s voice broke, swallowing tears caught in his throat.

Both mother and son closed the distance between them, clasping each other tightly, unwilling to let go.

“Mommy!” he choked out. Quill didn’t give a fuck if he sounded like a little kid right now. All he wanted was his mother’s warmth and unconditional love.

“My baby,” she cooed. “You’ve grown taller—and more handsome too.”

Okay seriously, what’s with parents embarrassing their children lately?

“I mean—yeah, kinda….” Quill chuckled while his cheeks blushed.

“Room for one more, or should I do something about it?” My sister—holy crap—my sister threatened him lightly.

“Gamora….you’re here. You’re back,” Quill gasped, scanning her fern green skin and strawberry licorice-colored hair.

“Hi Quill,” she greeted casually.

“God, I am so sorry for everything! I should’ve protected you earlier — ”

“I swear, if you say sorry one more time, I will choke you to death. This wasn’t your doing or Nebula’s. Thanos is at fault. And speaking of which, where is the devil anyway? I need to ‘speak’ with him,” she growled, clenching her fists.

“Uh—don’t you wanna hug your sister first?” he reminded her, pointing at me.

Where’s Thanos?” she repeated sternly.

“Um….”

“He’s dead. The King of Asgard severed his head in front of us,” I grunted.

Gamora frowned in confusion. “Wait, you mean Thor?”

“Yes.”

“How? He already had the Infinity Gauntlet. No one could stop him that easily.”

“Who said it was easy?” the idiot snorted.

“Shut it,” I told him firmly.

“Yep. Never change, Nebula,” he remarked sardonically.

“I’m sorry, I don’t think we’ve met. Are you Quill’s girlfriend?” his mother suddenly spoke.

Gamora nodded and introduced herself. It felt awkward but nice at the same time, both of us having grown up without a mother. I never knew my biological one, and my sister barely remembered hers, so we weren’t familiar with the concept of motherhood.

Yondu also joined the conversation, eager to hear about our whereabouts while he was still gone. Immediately, Drax and his own family invited themselves. That’s when we encountered his wife and daughter for the very first time. And after what seemed like forever, we truly were back home.


STEPHEN STRANGE’S P.O.V.

****FRIDAY, 1 JUNE 2018****

At 5:30am, I received an emergency text from—Wong?? Entering my astral form and exiting Peter’s bedroom to find a quiet spot, I was curious as to why he messaged me in the first place, only to inform me that he came face-to-face with the Ancient One.

“Wait—she’s….oh my god!” I gasped. “It worked.”

“You did it, Strange. You brought her back,” Wong exhaled in relief. “But you must explain to her what happened.”

“I-I will—I will,” I vowed. “Is she here right now, in the city?”

“Yes, she is currently at the exact same hospital where she died.”

“Should I go and see her?” I bit my fingernails in anticipation.

“Not yet. Let her recover first. It’s too early now. Wait until later this morning,” Wong told me.

“Okay—will do. Thanks Wong.”

“Oh so now I’m Wong!” he exclaimed incredulously.

“Frankly, I prefer Beyoncé. It suits you better,” I teased, snickering.

“Whatever you say, asshole.”

I giggled. “Don’t worry, I’ll be there as soon as she’s ready. Just let me know when.”

“Alright.”

Chapter Text

TONY STARK’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Tony?” I instantly turned 180° and became stiff.

What the….?

“Maya?”

She’s here. She’s actually here in the flesh. But how—? Oh! Right, yeah. I almost forgot—I wanted her back.

“Do you know where Killian went? ‘Cause when I woke up, he was gone.”

Frankly, I didn’t know what to say. Maya had just awakened from a 5½-year permanent nap when she expected to still be tied up at that creep’s lair. And then she wiggled herself free into a world that was more advanced in technology, less forgiving, and more politically divided. Who wouldn’t be confused in her position? 

For a second, I hesitated, but if anyone deserved the truth right now, it was Maya. 

So once I got my shit together, I told her the short version of what occurred. Including befriending Harley Keener, my escape, Pepper’s temporary Extremis abilities, Ultron and Sokovia, the Accords and Ross, Black Panther and Zemo, finding out that Barnes assassinated my parents under mind control, Steve’s betrayal and lies, both fights (at Leipzig Airport and Siberia), the Avenger’s ‘divorce’.

“That’s—a lot of information,” she said thoughtfully.

“Yep.”

The only parts I left out were meeting Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man, developing a mentor-mentee relationship with him, the September Foundation at MIT, defeating Thanos, and using the stones to resurrect our loved ones.

But right now, that wasn’t as important to Maya because she hadn’t even met the kid yet, and it wasn’t like Peter and I were on good terms at this point. Also, I was certain she didn’t wanna hear about her death again ‘till she was ready to do so. I couldn’t pressure her, especially now when she was clearly terrified and alone, despite not wanting to show it.

And speaking of bad terms, I felt a sudden pang in my chest. Not gonna lie, it was painful and depressing. Peter and I had fought before, but not to this extent. It was so bad that he didn’t speak to me at all when we returned home yesterday. So what if he was angry and probably didn’t mean any of it? Fuck that! He meant every single word and guess what? Peter was right.

I wasn’t his father or his uncle. I wasn’t Richard or Ben Parker. To Peter, I was just Tony Stark, a shitty mentor and idol who fucked up so badly by not only dismissing the kid’s initial warnings on Maw’s ship, but also a million other things. I pulled so much crap that I was astounded Peter didn’t leave earlier.

Why didn’t he?

I refused to give him hugs, criticized the kid’s lab work unnecessarily at times, acted like a hardass whenever he screwed up, accidentally injured himself, or was simply upset, yearning for proper consolation. But being me, obviously I never offered him shit. God, Peter had every right to hate my guts—and now he did.

And it’s gonna hurt like hell once he’s out of your life forever.

See, that’s what really frightened me, not when he called me spoiled, bratty, or egotistical, because those insults I could handle anyway. I’ve dealt with the press and horrible rumors before. It wasn’t anything new. But Peter admitting he never cared about me the way I did for him? The mere thought stabbed me in the gut more than any breakup I’ve had with Pepper or fallouts with Rhodey and Happy.

So I guaranteed at some point this week, he’d come upstairs and claim to never wanna see me again. And afterwards, I’d probably—no—definitely resume drinking alcohol every night and maybe (100%) shed some—or lots of tears now and then over how horribly I messed up our bond, then berate myself for weeping over a 16-year-old.

Might as well get used to it. Since it’s gonna happen.

Unshed tears crept into my eyes as I blinked them away abruptly before Maya could notice them. Because I wasn’t gonna cry in front of someone who didn’t know Peter—who didn’t care so much about him and practically loved him like a son. Why would I? Maya didn’t understand the way Peter warmed his way into my cold dead heart over the past two years and wouldn’t let go.

She doesn’t know him. She doesn’t know Peter. And now she never will.

“Tony? Is something wrong?” she asked worriedly.

“What d’you mean? Nothing’s wrong,” I declared.

Liar!

“You stopped talking.” She stared at my miserable expression.

I lifted my eyebrows. “Did I? Huh.”

Yeah, Maya wasn’t buying it. 

“Tony—what’s going on?” she questioned, folding both arms behind her back.

“Well um….here’s the thing. I might have left out one tiny detail,” I said, my voice unnaturally skittish.

What detail?” Her tone was oddly suspicious yet genuinely curious.

That’s when Happy burst through the elevator, slightly panting, leaning against a pillar.

“Boss, kid wants to see ya,” he uttered.

“Wait, he’s here?” I blurted in disbelief.

“Yep. And I bet he’s gonna lose it if you don’t go down there soon.”

“No no, I’ll go. Sorry about this, Maya. We’ll catch up later. FRI, grab her coffee,” I hastily instructed before rushing downstairs.

“Yes sir,” she obeyed.


I screeched to a halt once I saw Peter, hair disheveled with a gloomy expression on his face, hands tucked behind the exact same clothes he wore the day I recruited him to fight Cap in Germany. Except his forest green jacket and science shirt were slightly bigger since the kid grew an inch.

Oh crap! He’s actually here! What should I say?

“Kid? You’re here. Good timing,” I tried to lighten the mood like I did with Pepper earlier, but Peter’s expression remained stagnant.

“Hey, Mr. Stark,” he stated, voice barely steady.

Brace yourself, Tony. He’ll disown you any minute now. Just wait for his cue and you’ll have to live without him—for good.

“I just wanted to um….I wanna let you know something. And please let me finish before you respond, if that’s okay,” he continued awkwardly.

I gulped softly, preparing for the worst. “Okay—shoot.”

“My parents died when I was two years old,” he started.

Wait—what is he doing? Is this Peter’s goodbye? So after this, I’ll never see him again? Shit—this is worse than I thought.

“That’s when May and Ben took me in, and ever since, they’ve looked after me—despite not being obligated to. They could’ve sent me to a foster home, but they didn’t—because they loved me so much and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving me behind,” Peter’s voice wavered.

He’s talking about his fear of abandonment—so yeah, this is definitely a disownment speech. I figured—my worst nightmare.

“For most of my life, I was a scrawny kid with no athletic abilities. But 12 years later, a radioactive spider bit me while I visited Oscorp with my classmates. It died before I could catch it, and since then, I’ve gained spider-like abilities, eventually leading me to become a vigilante that brought justice. However, at this point, I wasn’t Spider-Man yet.”

Wait—he wasn’t Spider-Man already? But didn’t he say….oh.

“May didn’t notice at first, but Ben already started suspecting something, eventually confronting me about it when I forgot to do my chores one night. He said ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ and I was doing the exact opposite. After that, we had a huge fallout ending with me claiming he wasn’t my dad and had to stop pretending he was before I stormed out, my stomach growling like crazy.”

At this point, his vision blurred but Peter refused to let his tears fall.

“So I went inside one of the local dollar stores and purchased a candy bar, until I realized I didn’t have any cash. I tried bargaining with the cashier dozens of times, but he was completely pissed and told me to get out unless I had something of real value. Frustrated, I returned the item and witnessed a masked man with sunglasses threatening the cashier.”

Uh oh. Why do I have the feeling this wouldn’t end well for Peter?

“Terrified for his life, he begged me to call the police, but I blankly refused, saying it wasn’t my problem as he didn’t listen to my own pleas beforehand. After leaving, I silently celebrated my victory and for a split second, wanted to thank the criminal for teaching him a lesson. But oh boy—I spoke too soon,” Peter added bitterly, self-loathing brooding in his veins.

A couple of tears cascaded down his cheeks, causing me to wince sympathetically. Regardless, I continued listening attentively, desperate to know how it ends.

“The burglar saw my uncle walking towards him, begging him to stop as the guy pulled out a freaking gun and immediately shot Ben’s chest—twice. The bullet reached his heart and soon afterwards, he….” Peter’s breath hitched as he choked on a pitiful sob, cupping his mouth to prevent more from escaping.

“Once I saw his body, Ben was already dead. I freaked out and dialed 911, hoping this was all a horrible dream—but it wasn’t. What happened was real, and my uncle was gone. May found out later that night and cried herself to sleep, but I just felt numb and useless,” I heard his voice crack.

Oh Peter.

“For some reason, I didn’t cry until the funeral four days later and after that—I shut down, refusing to mention his name and instead distracted myself by pretending everything was somewhat normal. Also, I wanted to stay strong for May, ‘cause she cried a lot. And if I cried, she’d switch gears and comfort me.”

Now Peter was weeping silently, his eyes red-rimmed and swollen. This was the 3rd time I saw him cry, but either way, it was a heartbreaking sight which I never wanted to see again. Whenever Pepper or someone else burst into tears, I’d humor them or isolate myself, not knowing how to console them. But with Peter, it was different. Overall, I felt like any other parent who saw their children cry.

Two words—gut-wrenching.

Despite his tears, Peter soldiered on and resumed his tale, because this kid was the strongest person I’ve ever known.

“Not that I deserved any of it, ‘cause it was my fault. I yelled at Ben and he died because of me. Because I refused to take responsibility. Then six months later, you entered my life and I did the exact same thing.”

Wait—huh? Whoa whoa, back up. What?

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Stark. F-For what I said back there. It was awful and disrespectful, and I went too far, but I didn’t mean any of it. I swear. It’s just….” He let out another sob.

The kid’s apologizing to me?? Why??

“Th-The other me had to deal with s-so much, and because of that, he lost you and….I-I can’t do it again, Mr. Stark. I can’t go through this again,” he lamented. “I was so stressed and terrified of losing you like B-Ben that I-I snapped when y-you didn’t deserve it. I-I lashed out because if I didn’t speak up and obeyed you instead, I would’ve….and then y-you would’ve….”

It made sense now. Peter couldn’t bear to see me die, let alone in front of him like his other self did. This Peter was scared of losing five years of his life due to Thanos and his genocidal army as well as grieving over his mentor/supposed father-figure.

Father-figure. But didn’t Peter mean what he said yesterday, that I wasn’t his dad?

“I-I told you to stop pretending you were my dad, but that’s not true. You are. And I’m really sorry. I-I know it’s not enough. B-But I understand if you don’t want me in your life anymore. Whatever it takes, I promise I’ll leave and never come back. I’ll stay out of your way and never bother you again,” he wept some more.

Oh god, Peter. Of course I want you here. I’ll never ask you to leave.

“I’m such a horrible person and so fucking ungrateful when y-you’ve been nothing but kind and generous to me and….” The kid paused before bursting into full-blown sobs, immense guilt clawing at his chest. 

“I’m s-so sorry! I-I’m sorry, Tony!” he hiccupped as his face scrunched up.

Oh kid….

That’s it! I couldn’t take it anymore. Standing here like an idiot and watching my kid suddenly cry himself sick was no longer an option. And so I closed the gap between us, wrapping my arms around the sobbing teenager, carding one hand through his hair while the other rubbed his back gently. Soon I buried my face in Peter’s hair and pressed a light kiss on his forehead.

“I-I should’ve brought him back when I had the chance, but I didn’t do it! Fuck! I’m sorry, Tony! God, I’m so screwed up! First I killed Ben, then I hurt you. Geez, I-I can’t do anything right….!” he wailed.

"Shh...." I tried soothing him.

Nope! I’m gonna prove him wrong and I know exactly how to do it.

Grabbing his shoulders, I pulled back a little and said, “Now you listen to me, Pete. First of all, what happened to Ben was not your fault. That asshole who shot him? He’s responsible, not you. And I’m so sorry your other self went through so much pain when I died. I’m so sorry for leaving you, Peter. But I swear I’ll do everything in my power to stay alive in this timeline.”

“But what if — ”

“Ah bup! Me first.”

“Mm.”

I sighed heavily, caressing his hair with both hands.

“And second, you’re definitely not a bad person. If getting angry and lashing out at someone counts as being horrible, then add me to the list. Trust me, bud. You hardly get angry. It’s rare to see you so upset. And you've done so many right things because you're a good person, kiddo. Also, if anyone has anger issues, it’s me,” I firmly told him.

Good job, Tony. Now keep going.

“Third, don’t you dare think you deserve to stay away from me. No one deserves to be here more than you do. No one. And no matter how many arguments we have, I will never ask you to leave and not come back, because you mean too much to me. D’you understand? Besides, if I did, I would never mean it.” 

Peter looked up, surprised, even though he was still crying. “I—you do?”

“Of course I do, Pete. Gosh—I know I’m messed up when it comes to dealing with emotions, including my own, but I promise I’ll do better from now on. Okay? If something bad happens, I’ll try my best to fix it as soon as possible. I swear—I will be better,” I vowed.

“But you already are,” he countered softly.

“You have no idea how wrong you are about that, kiddo. I’m a fucked up human being and a shitty mentor who’s dealt with the spotlight his whole life plus his unstable ego. If anything, you were right about me, even if you didn’t mean it,” I confessed sadly.

“Please stop saying that about yourself, Mr. Stark. You know that’s not true! If anything, you’re one of the best people I know, okay? So don’t say that,” he said defensively, rubbing his swollen red eyes.

“Kid — ”

“Sorry. My turn.”

“Learned from the master, huh?”

“Yep!” he beamed shakily.

I snickered. “Alright, go ahead.”

“It goes both ways, Tony. If I can’t talk badly about myself, then you can’t either. And I know what you’re thinking right now, but I don’t hate you. I could never hate you ‘cause you’re the only father-figure I’ve got,” the kid confirmed.

For now. But Peter wouldn’t know that until much later.

“And vice-versa,” I whispered with more love than I ever thought was possible. “So let’s both try our best not to die on each other, okay? And also formalities are no longer necessary. Tony is fine. Otherwise I'll have to call you Mr. Parker.”

“Sounds like a plan,” he agreed wholeheartedly.

Planting his face in my chest again, I could’ve sworn he murmured ‘I love you Tony’, which obviously made my heart swell with joy and relief.

“I love you too, Peter.” I murmured, kissing the top of his head before pulling him into another loving embrace, stroking his wild curls.

And I will never stop.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Wait what? They’re staying at your apartment?? Why?” said Tony, nonplussed.

“It’s—It’s complicated,” I sighed reluctantly.

Tony glowered at me with folded arms. “Uncomplicate it.”

Realizing I had no choice, I summarized that Dr. Strange had to shield the Time Stone from future potential threats, and because my other self delivered a letter, thus creating an alternate timeline, the stone was somehow ‘attached’ to me. In addition, Wanda was carrying the Mind Stone which was particularly connected to my apartment complex.

“So what I understand is—there are two Infinity Stones inside your apartment?!” he bellowed.

“Um—yes….? Funny story, heh heh….”

Yeah, Tony was undoubtedly pissed. Not at me, but with the two sorcerers he assumed were placing me in grave danger. Failing to convince him I’d never been safer due to Wong casting a phenomenal spell over the entire complex, Tony vowed to have a ‘little chat’ with them later this week.

“Okay, but please don’t kill my guests. It’s not their fault,” I begged, afraid he’d actually do it.

“Who said anything about killing them?” Tony falsified through his gritted teeth.

“Oh boy,” I huffed anxiously.

This is not gonna end well.

“But first, Happy will drop you off at school. I’ll take care of the rest. C’mon, kid. You’re gonna be late,” Tony ordered.

I groaned. “Urgh, fine.”

“Hey, don’t sass me, mister!” he scolded lightly, pushing me towards the elevator. “Now off you go.”

Before I exited the building, Tony wanted to introduce me to three people after school, to which I humbly agreed.

“Okay, bye!” I hollered, waving at him.

“Bye kid! Remember to look both ways!” he yelled back.

“Alright alright! Geez, you’re such a dad!” I rolled my eyes playfully.

“And don’t you forget it!” And with that, I hopped into the limo as Happy drove us away. But Tony’s earlier words got me thinking….

I wonder who they are.

At school, Ned, MJ, and Flash (yeah him) ran up to me and wondered how the hell Ned's aunt, MJ's former art teacher, and Flash's butler all came back to life, assuming I knew how it happened. Well technically I did, so I told them everything, which ended up with my tearful yet grateful best friend hugging me to death, MJ embracing me from behind, and Flash ironically at loss for words.

Nothing else had to be said. Although I most likely befriended my former 'bully', who was more like the annoying brother I never wanted. Besides, his insults weren't that personal anyways.

Once I returned to the Compound seven hours later, I faced three familiar figures. Two of them I’d seen on magazine covers (Howard and Maria Stark)….

Wait what?? They’re alive?? Huh? Did I miss something?? Yeah, I probably did.

And the younger woman looked an awful lot like —

“Tony, you’re back!” Mrs. Stark beamed.

“Son,” Mr. Stark (Sr.) acknowledged with a nod.

“Hey Mom,” he greeted, kissing her cheek softly before acknowledging his father and—what was her name again?

Anyway, he turned to me, brows narrowing at my abrupt shyness.

“Kid, c’mere. I promise, they won’t bite,” Tony said, ushering me towards the group.

“Mom, Dad, Maya—this is Peter, my intern for Stark Industries. And very brilliant, if I may add.” I blushed at his statement.

“Hi, I-I’m Peter. I mean, Mr. Stark already said it, but yeah,” I said while shaking his parents’ hands.

Dude, stop stuttering!

“So you’re the boy in these photos, huh? Interesting.” The oldest Stark was smiling.

“Our son’s told us a lot about you,” Tony’s mom added tenderly before chuckling softly. “You know, for a moment we thought you were his child considering how similar you two are.”

Okay—what?

“Oh! Um….h-he’s not my dad. || Peter’s not my son,” we both countered simultaneously.

Right, like they’re gonna believe that.

I mean, just because I loved Tony like a dad, it didn't mean he was actually my father. My dad was Richard Parker, and unfortunately he was long gone. Just like Aunt May loved me like a mom would (and vice-versa), but she wasn’t my mother. That was Mary Parker (yeah—also dead).

Ahem! What about Uncle Ben? Do not cast him out! I chastised myself.

Right, sorry! Gotta focus.  

“Oh really?” I’m serious, the other woman’s voice sounded so familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Yes, Dr. Hansen. If you don’t believe me, feel free to test both our DNA,” Tony scoffed.

Whoa whoa whoa—Dr. Hansen? As in—Maya Hansen? Did I hear that right?

“Alright alright, sheesh. I’m joking,” she giggled before facing me, shaking my hand. “It’s nice meeting you, Peter.”

“Nice to meet you too, Dr. Hansen.”

Again—stuttering! I mentally slapped myself.

“Oh please, call me Maya. It’s fine,” she assured.

Right. Take deep breaths, Peter.

“Good, you’ve all met Mr. Parker,” Tony snapped me out of my thoughts, although I could’ve sworn I saw Maya’s jaw drop.

“Wait—Parker? As in—Peter Parker?”

My mentor frowned, surprised it wasn’t more obvious. “Um—yes?”

She paused for a moment before looking directly at me. “If you don’t mind me asking—what’s your middle name, Peter?”

“Benjamin,” I said, a little confused.

Benjamin….” Maya gasped. “Oh my god! You’re Richard and Mary’s kid—my sister’s nephew! Jesus, how could I forget? It’s been what—almost 16 years?”

“Uh….” Honestly, I didn’t know what else to say, so I let her continue.

Of course, I knew May had a little sister (who presumably died five years ago), but I didn’t remember meeting her before. 

Perhaps I was a baby?

“Wow, this is—I mean you probably don’t remember me at all, since last time you were practically smaller than this cardboard box,” she chortled nervously, gesturing towards the object below.

“….”

“Right uh—maybe I should visit May later and tell her that I’m—well—alive.”

Tony glanced at her in total confusion. “Yeah, maybe you should.”

“Oh. O-Okay.” Seriously?? Quit stumbling on your words, Peter!

His dad had a similar expression, darting his eyes back and forth. “I’m sorry—are we missing something here? What’s going on?”

“Dad, I’ll explain everything later, and I’m sure Maya will too,” the billionaire promised, glaring at his former colleague sternly.

Eventually, I departed the building after waving goodbye to Tony’s long-lost parents and inviting Maya to come visit my place tomorrow, hopefully to reunite with May, but also provide additional information regarding our—current situation.

Yep. That should go well….or not. Don’t worry, Peter. Everything will work out—I hope.

Before I reached the elevator, I heard Maya, Tony, and his parents’ huddled whispers, which were certainly about me.

Fingers crossed, Peter. You’re Spider-Man for crying out loud. You can do this.

Chapter Text

STEPHEN STRANGE’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

It was 7:15am, and Peter had already left the apartment 45 minutes ago. That’s when I decided enough was enough.

I’m going to see her, whatever it takes. Screw being patient.

“Excuse me? I’m here to see a patient in Room 121,” I asked the receptionist 20 minutes later, drumming my fingers on the table to indicate my impatience.

The woman glanced at me skeptically. “Are you family?”

“Technically yes,” I half-lied. 

Well, I did reside in Kamar-Taj for nine months, so it wasn’t completely false.

“Turn right, and it should be the second door on the left.” She pointed in the right direction.

“Alright. Thank you.”

Seconds later, my heart skipped a beat once I spotted a baldheaded female figure wearing a blue hospital gown. She sat upright, lifting her cup to sip more chamomile tea. As soon as she spotted me staring at her in awe, her lips formed a warm smile.

“Ah, Stephen. It’s been a long time,” she greeted with exceptional kindness.

“You’re alive,” I breathed unevenly.

“Suppose I am,” she figured, adjusting her body so that she faced me directly.

“You came back to life,” I added shakily, vision filled with tears.

“Yes.”

I nodded quickly before a few drops trickled down my cheeks from my scarlet-rimmed eyes. The Ancient One frowned, eyeing me with so much sincerity that I wanted to break down completely and profoundly apologize for being the cause of her untimely death, for my mentor deserved to live much longer than she did.

“Is something wrong, Stephen?” she questioned. “Come sit.”

She gestured to the armchair, where I immediately sat, gazing sorrowfully at her healing body.

“I….you were right—about the Dark Dimension and Dormammu. You were right about everything—but I didn’t listen. But I understand now. I get why you had to keep your secret,” I admitted remorsefully.

“Then you fought him—and succeeded,” my instructor mentioned.

Huh?

I gulped inaudibly. “Um—yes.”

“Which means you did not fail,” she added, grinning.

Nope! Not true.

“I failed to save you,” I countered, additional tears spilling from my eyes.

“But you did, Stephen,” she disagreed. “Otherwise, how else would I be here?”

I snorted. “Wong could’ve brought you back. How did you know it was me?”

“I have my ways,” the woman smirked.

I chuckled. “Of course.” 

My smile faltered instantly as I added, bowing my head in shame, “Forgive me.”

“There’s nothing to forgive,” she assured, grabbing my hand and squeezing it delicately.

“Thank you,” I whispered, because I owed her all my gratitude for giving my life a new purpose, allowing me to see the light again.

After a few minutes, the Ancient One unravelled another insight.

“You’re thinking about the Infinity Stones.”

The water in my mouth almost entered my windpipe. “How did you know?”

Yes, how did she know?

“You’ve been away from the New York Sanctum since yesterday.”

Hold on—does she know about Peter and Wanda?

“Uh….” I struggled to answer.

Shaking her head amusingly, my mentor added, “I know everything, Stephen. You’re guarding the Time Stone at Spider-Man’s place, correct?”

I nodded reluctantly.

Uh oh. I think she knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Or maybe she doesn’t. Let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.

“And your other friend, Scarlet Witch—she currently obtains the Mind Stone and is also staying with you two?” she hypothesized.

“Yes.”

“I see….” she pondered, averting her gaze. “Both stones must have forged an unusual bond with a sentient life-form, or Mr. Parker if you will.”

Oh shit! She knows! Wait—both stones? I thought it was just the Time Stone.

“Not sure about the Mind Stone, but the Time Stone is definitely attracted to his scent. Right now, it’s locked away in Peter’s bedroom. But since I swore an oath to protect it, I’m living there for the time being,” I explained as thoroughly as possible.

“Because of the letters his alternate self delivered?” she inquired.

Whoa, she’s good! I was definitely impressed by her deductive skills.

“Oh dear. This poor child must’ve suffered a painful loss, witnessing his father-figure perish firsthand, didn’t he?” Her tone was melancholic.

“Yeah,” I mouthed silently.

She was absolutely correct. Peter’s other self was tormented by constant tragedy. First his parents, then his uncle, and now his own mentor literally died in front of him. This poor boy lost three father-figures within the span of 16 years, and it felt so wrong.

But for the first time ever, I could empathize with his situation, for I too had lost almost everyone I loved. My sister Donna drowned to death on my watch, followed by my parents due to intense grief and heartbreak over losing their sweet little girl. And 20 years later, grief still hit me like a bullet train, but in a more subtle way.

Despite the alternate boy’s suffering, aware that he was forced to live in a world without his parents and uncle, without Tony Stark or gaining back five years of the life he sorely missed, Peter’s compassion and determination drove him to serve something greater than himself, performing the most selfless task I’d ever heard of (and I fought Dormammu in a time loop lasting thousands of years).

He generated a timeline where everyone was able to live in peace rather than devastation, causing a world where 50% of the population weren’t agonized over their losses in an inescapable reality for half a decade, giving our Peter and the rest of us a 2nd chance to live the life we yearned for. 

It was quite overwhelming to think about. And in that moment I realized, no one else could’ve done it. His filial love and devotion towards his mentor motivated the teen to give his all—for us. He did it for us. Our victory occurred because of a heroic 16-year-old from Queens. Now that was—outstanding.

Gosh, this kid is something else. Remind me to thank him a quadrillion times when I get back. And oh! Speaking of which, I’m gonna tell her everything first.

“I should probably fill you in on what happened….” I smiled sheepishly.

She laughed. “Please do.”


WANDA MAXIMOFF’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

So basically, here’s what happened. I woke up on a sofa in some random woman’s apartment, clutching my necklace like a lifeline (which contained the Mind Stone), and fearfully demanded to know where I was, the clock reading 9:30am.

Apparently her name was May Parker, and told me something about the bright yellow stone wrapped around my neck maintaining a bond with the apartment complex, especially her nephew: Peter Parker—also known as Spider-Man.

Wait—Spider-Man?? I’m at his place?

“I—um….y-your nephew is Spider-Man?” I suspired.

“Yes, he is. But I think Peter’s okay with you knowing, despite wanting it to remain a secret,” she explained carefully, a certain tenderness in her tone that I sorely missed from my now-deceased mother.

After Mrs. Parker informed me about the general situation (that began yesterday), she kindly offered me a decaf mocha latte, which tasted so good. I compared its scent to creamy chocolate, sprinkled with hazelnuts.

“So—how old is he?” I pondered between sips.

“He’ll turn 17 this August. Oh how they grow up so fast….” she answered nostalgically.

I almost spit out my drink. Peter was just sixteen?? So that meant Stark recruited a teenager to fight one of the most well-known superheroes on the planet?! On one hand, my blood boiled. Stark had endangered a child, who could’ve easily been killed mid-battle. Although he did have exceptional abilities, like a human-sized spider—hence the name ‘Spider-Man’.

An hour later, I spotted a piece of paper on the ground, slightly crumpled and smelling of tea leaves. It was the kid’s handwriting.

 

TO: Myself

FROM: Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man

 

Hold on—Peter wrote a letter to himself??  What….?

 

FYI, I know you think this is impossible, but I’ll explain everything in the letter, I promise—but you gotta trust me. Don’t throw it away until you’ve read the whole thing.

 

Forget throwing it away. I’m eager to know more!

 

P.S. And no skimming! Read it at least twice if you can, but there isn’t much time. ‘Cause you gotta act quickly.

 

Alright….time to read the main message.

15 minutes passed, and my face was covered in saltwater and sweat. The other Peter sacrificed his own happiness so that we could obtain ours. And for that, I couldn’t have been more grateful.

A noble warrior indeed.

Chapter Text

SCOTT LANG’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

Fortunately, we could afford rent in a small apartment complex in Queens, on the 7th floor. It wasn’t so bad (ignoring the thin walls), but little did my family know we were Spider-Man’s neighbors. I know, right? Spider-Man!

Speaking of which, I knocked on his door, not expecting a young woman with fiery red hair to answer.

Wait—Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch? Is this the wrong apartment?

“Can I help you?” she asked, yawning a little.

“You’re Scarlet Witch! Oh sorry—I thought this is where Spider-Man lived,” I chortled anxiously.

“He does,” she replied sleepily.

Oh wow! But wait—why is she here then?

“Is there something you need?” Ms. Maximoff asked politely.

“Uh….no actually. I’m just—surprised we’re neighbors, that’s all,” I confessed, scratching my nose. “Turns out, San Francisco isn’t the safest place to be right now, so….”

“I understand. A few years ago, my home was completely destroyed,” she told me grievously.

Destroyed? Oh! She’s talking about Sokovia. No wonder they had the Accords. Man, I shouldn’t have teamed up with Captain America! I thought regrettably.

“Oh—I’m sorry to hear that. You’re from Sokovia, right?” I winced as she nodded.

“Sorry about your home,” she sympathized, fingers folded.

“Well San Francisco isn’t destroyed per say, but it’s too dangerous to go back there,” I replied, astounded by the seriousness in my voice.

Looks like I have to send Cassie to a new school this upcoming year.

“Well, it’s nice meeting you—Mr. Lang, correct?” Ms. Maximoff greeted me, shaking my hand.

“Oh no need. Scott’s fine,” I dismissed gently. “Anyway, nice meeting you too, Ms. Maximoff.”

“Call me Wanda,” she smiled.

A few seconds later, we came face-to-face with one of the ‘facial hair bros’. Hint—it wasn’t Tony Stark.

Doctor Strange??

“You’re—Doctor Strange! Holy cow! I didn’t know you lived in this building too!” I exclaimed excitedly while hastily shaking his hand.

“Um yes—I am….” He seemed confused as to why I was here as well. “Thought you lived in San Francisco.”

“Had to move here. It’s a long story,” I exhaled. “And apparently the Parkers are my neighbors.”

The sorcerer’s eyes widened in shock. “You live next-door?”

“Yep!” I beamed.

Strange turned to Wanda, noting she was finally awake, leading to a brief conversation about the kid and his aunt’s current whereabouts. Honestly, they sounded like co-parents.

So the wizard is also living with the kid? Mind blown….

Suddenly, we heard two distinct voices chatting as they exited the elevator, initially ignoring our presence.

“I’m serious, May! Tony swore he’d come here tomorrow and murder them if he felt like it!” the younger voice exclaimed, freaking out.

“Relax, baby. I’m sure he was exaggerating. Besides, no one’s allowed to kill our lovely guests,” the woman reassured.

“You mean roommates. Pretty sure they’re staying more than one week,” the kid reminded her.

“Oh right,” she agreed before they both spotted us, the teen’s eyes nearly bulging out of his eye sockets.

“You’re—You’re Ant-Man,” Parker breathed as more hands were exchanged. “Hi. I-I’m Peter—Parker.”

Ah Peter. That’s a nice name. I think Cassie will like him. In a brother-and-sisterly way, obviously.

“Scott Lang, to be precise. You’re Spider-Man, right?” I deducted as tenderly as possible, nervousness clearly written all over his face.

“Um….y-yeah. Although that’s a secret,” he stuttered.

Soon Peter’s aunt introduced herself as well, us genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Minutes later, Hope, Cassie, Maggie, Hank, and Janet awkwardly joined us, more introductions exchanged.

“Are you Spider-Man?” Cassie asked innocently.

Peter’s smile said it all. “Yeah, I am.”

“But that’s a secret, Bug,” I told her, the boy silently thanking me for it.

Bending down to her level, he then asked, “Are you Ant-Man’s daughter?”

“Yep!” Peanut answered immediately. “I’m Cassie.”

“Hi Cassie. I’m Peter.” Boy, this kid was awesome already. They were getting along so well.

Maybe I’ll ask Peter to babysit sometime. Cassie will love that.

Eventually May insisted my family come over for dinner sometime next week in order to get to know each other better, to which we all agreed. Dr. Strange (although he preferred Stephen considering we were both adults) and Wanda offered to leave in the meantime, but May refused until they complied, since they also resided in the Parker household. And thankfully, they did.

Two hours later, I returned to the hall, discovering a mysterious piece of paper on the floor, eager to read it asap.


NATASHA ROMANOFF’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

Since I was no longer a Compound resident (but luckily not a fugitive anymore), I was forced to buy a cheap apartment somewhere in Queens. Luckily, I found a place on the 7th floor last night. It was quiet, the countertops weren’t dusty, and I had to purchase brand new furniture soon.

At around 8pm, I heard someone knocking on the front door, whistling a familiar tune. Opening it, I froze.

“Yelena? What are you doing here? Я думал, вы в Будапеште (I thought you were in Budapest),” I questioned.

She rolled her eyes, clearly sleep-deprived. “Я был там, пока это огненное чудовище не атаковало город (I was there, until this fiery monster attacked the city).”

I blinked. “Fire monster? What the….?”

She huffed, removing the house keys from one of her vest pockets. “At least I wasn’t scorched alive.”

Yelena finally explained the whole story, how a brand new hero named ‘Mysterio’ miraculously saved everyone who lived there from these so-called ‘Elementals’. However, this man wasn’t mentioned on a single database across the world.

So where’s he from? Another planet? Galaxy?

It took me a minute to realize I said that out loud.

“We met soon afterwards, claiming he owed me gratitude for my assistance, getting the people out of the city before it was too late. He also told me the Elementals were from an alternate Earth which they recently destroyed—Mysterio’s homeworld.”

“А его настоящее имя (And his real name)?”

“Quentin Beck.”

Quentin Beck. Hmm….wait, didn’t Tony have a former employee named —

“Но это не все (But that’s not all),” Yelena added thoughtfully. “Я также встретил женщину и ее мать, которые были пойманы в ловушку другого измерения более двадцати лет (I also met a woman and her mother, who were trapped in another dimension for over twenty years).”

20 years??

“Младшая женщина сказала, что ищет своего брата (The younger woman said she was looking for her brother). ‘Stephen Strange’, I believe.”

What??

“Wait—Doctor Strange? The same guy I met two days ago? Blue robe, red cape, a goatee similar to Stark’s?” I gaped.

Yelena shrugged uncertainly. “Perhaps. Hold on—a goatee?”

I sighed. “Bruce mumbled something about ‘facial hair bros’….anyway, we’re talking about the same person, right?”

“I suppose so. What does he look like?” she asked curiously.

I handed her a picture of him from the Tower database I secretly collected, explaining our meeting in Wakanda due to Thanos and the Infinity Stones, how some of our deceased loved ones were brought back to life. Basically, it was a long discussion.

If Strange didn’t wish them back, then someone else must have. Perhaps his friend Wong, was it? Makes sense. It didn’t seem like he knew anyone else that well.

“That is all? Not enough information,” Yelena noted sarcastically, displaying her typically nonchalant behavior.

More like too much information (to process). Anyway….

“Hey look, I found something.” My sister bent down and grabbed the envelope from below the carpet. “There’s a note.”

It said….

 

TO: Myself

FROM: Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man

 

Wait—the kid wrote this? To himself? What the fuck….??

 

FYI, I know you think this is impossible, but I’ll explain everything in the letter, I promise—but you gotta trust me. Don’t throw it away until you’ve read the whole thing.

 

Okay….still not following.

 

P.S. And no skimming! Read it at least twice if you can, but there isn’t much time. ‘Cause you gotta act quickly.

 

“Я не знаю, кто этот человек (I don’t know who this person is). Ты (Do you)?”

I nodded. “Да, мы встречались раньше (Yes, we’ve met before).”

Yelena frowned. “When?”

“Once—in Wakanda,” I told her.

“Like Doctor Strange?”

“Yes.”

“Возможно, нам стоит продолжить чтение (Perhaps we should keep reading),” she suggested, scanning the letter inside.

Yes, perhaps we should.

Chapter Text

HARLEY KEENER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

Man, I hadn’t seen Mr. Stark for a while. First time we met in person, he crashed into my shed on Christmas Eve 2012, soon rebuilding his Iron Man suit. I was only 11 years old at the time, such a little kid. And now I was almost 17. Damn, how time flies!

Anyway, long story short—earlier this morning, Rose Hill, Tennessee was attacked by a giant sand monster. So my mom, sister, and I were forced to relocate to New York City—where most of the Avengers lived, including Mr. Stark.

At 10:15pm, Happy dropped us off at an unfamiliar apartment complex somewhere in Queens. He then informed us that Mr. Stark generously rented a unit for us on the 7th floor after hearing our current situation.

Remind me to thank him tomorrow.

Prying the front door open, my little sister and I stared in awe. The living area and floors were squeaky clean, surrounded by bluish grey walls. There were two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen/dining area, study room, multiple closets, flatscreen TVs, desktops, laptops, iPhones, iPads, and a digital fireplace.

Jesus….did Tony pay for everything?? This is too much, dude!

“My goodness….I underestimated Tony Stark,” my mom breathed quietly, also amazed by his generosity.

Yeah—me too.

I then peered inside my new bedroom and gasped softly, scanning every object that was present.

My potato gun is here! Plus all my other gadgets! How on Earth did Tony save these on time?

Not gonna lie, coming from someone who rarely cried (especially in public), I might’ve teared up a little. Mr. Stark went through all this trouble for us—for our family….for me. That’s when I found an envelope under the door, opening it carefully.

 

TO: Harley Keener

FROM: Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man

 

Mr. Stark wrote me a note? Huh.

 

Hey kid! Long time no see, huh? :)

Anyway, I already know what happened in Rose Hill (TN), so I chose to take matters into my own hands. Basically, your family doesn’t have to worry about paying the rent for at least a year, or until your mom finds a new job. DO NOT argue with me on this. It’s happening whether you like it or not.

Knowing you however, you’ll probably say my magnanimity was a complete waste of time, but hear me out. Sure, when we first met, I was kind of a jerk and sort of took your hospitality for granted, but I was grateful—for all of it (and still am). So I decided to return the favor.

Most of your family’s belongings (including your gadgets) have reached the new apartment. But unfortunately, there were some valuables I couldn’t retrieve on time, so sorry in advance. The Potato Gun Mark TBD should’ve arrived hours ago, although let me know if it hasn’t.

Oh and guess what? You live on the same floor as my intern: Peter Parker. I’ve told you about him, haven’t I? Considering we’ve kept in touch over the years, I must’ve mentioned his name at some point. He’s a science genius just like you, so hopefully you two will get along. In other words, please don’t get jealous. Peter is harmless, I swear.

And don’t worry, he’s heard about you too. All good things. I didn’t leave either of you in the dark. It’s about time my two fellows meet someday. Now it’s finally possible, since you both live in the same city. I won’t force you guys to become buddies. It’s up to you two, but it wouldn’t hurt to meet at least once, right?

Also, Peter’s not the only one. I’ve met so many new people since Wednesday, and you will too. Believe it or not, I encountered aliens and wizards (more like sorcerers utilizing multidimensional energy, but whatever). And some of them live near you! Isn’t that cool?

I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can, okay? See you tomorrow (at least)! Guess we are connected after all.

Regards,

Tony Stark

 

A million questions coursed through my head. Especially this Peter Parker kid I’d never seen before, despite hearing thousands of stories.

But I’ll save it for tomorrow. ‘Cause right now, I need to sleep.


TONY STARK’S P.O.V.

****SATURDAY, 2 JUNE 2018****

Not giving a fuck, I barged into Peter’s apartment at 6:05am using May’s spare key.

“Kid, get in here—now,” I ordered sternly.

“Coming! Just a second,” he hollered, dragging himself to the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face.

A few moments later, I saw Peter wearing his ‘I Survived New York’ T-shirt plus the shorts I bought for him two years ago.

“Tony! Hey, what’s up?” he beamed, causing me to roll my eyes.

“Where is he?” Yep, straight to business. No time for jokes.

“What d’you mean….?” The kid acted oblivious, which irritated me because he knew exactly who I was referring to.

“Ack—the wizard! Jesus Christ! Do I need to spell it out for you? Now where is he?” I nearly shrieked, causing my intern to flinch.

“Um….I don’t really think — ” he argued carefully.

“Look Peter,” I cut him off furiously, “I don’t care if he’s sleep-deprived or has a 104-degree fever or gallivanting in his domestic affairs. If I have to drag him outta bed with my fists, then so be it!”

Peter gulped anxiously. “O-Okay. I’ll wake him up.”


PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Psst, Dr. Strange!” I shook his shoulder, causing him to stir, eyes fluttering.

Yawning loudly, he asked me what happened, claiming it wasn’t 6:30am yet. I explained everything hastily, warning him that Mr. Stark was dead serious.

“Crap….” he sighed, rubbing his face, though he seemed annoyed rather than intimidated. “Let’s get this over with.”

As soon as both men stood face-to-face, I struggled to breathe. What if Tony murdered Dr. Strange without a trace? What if Strange defended himself and wound up killing Tony? What if….god, there were too many what-ifs.

“Stark,” the wizard acknowledged nonchalantly.

“Strange,” Tony did the same.

The younger man rolled his eyes, bored out of his mind. “You wanted to see me?”

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kick your ass right now!” the billionaire growled.

“So the kid told you then,” Strange figured.

Tony shook his head, lips glued together. “What the fuck were you thinking?! He's sixteen!! The kid shouldn’t have to deal with your voo-doo Time Stone shit!”

“It’s not my fault the stone likes his scent,” the sorcerer attempted to explain. “These Infinity Stones are more sentient than you realize.”

"Sentient?? That’s bullshit!” my father-figure spat. “Speaking of, where’s Wanda? Kid, get her here now.”

“But — ” I protested to no avail.

Now,” he repeated tersely.

What is going on here?” Shit! That was May, still half-asleep yet slightly pissed off.

Her demeanor changed once she noticed Tony standing leaning against the front door, glaring daggers at the former neurosurgeon.

“Tony!” she exclaimed, brows furrowed in confusion as May tugged at her nightgown. 

“You’re here. Why so early though? It wouldn’t hurt to call first.”

“Sorry May. There’s just something I have to take care of first,” he replied softly, glowering at his rival.

“Oh boy….” she whispered apprehensively.

“Wow, everyone’s awake,” Wanda’s voice echoed from May’s bedroom, where she currently slept each night.

Also confused, she asked what was going on, grabbing a fresh cup of coffee from the kitchen.

“So Wanda, did you sleep well? No nightmares about murdering my intern with the Mind Stone, right?” said Tony through gritted teeth.

She eyed him cautiously. “Um….”

“I mean, what the fuck?! Seriously, whose idiot idea was this?!”

“Mine,” I finally answered, sick and tired of this conversation.

Tony was taken aback, while everyone else stopped breathing for a second. “What?”

“It was my idiot idea, Tony, ‘cause this is my idiot life. And I have the right to decide whether my idiotic decisions are actually worth it,” I confirmed, arms crossed. “But guess what? They are.”

“Wait a minute — ”

“Besides, May’s fine with it,” I revealed, frowning deeply. “And you don’t really have a say in this.”

“I don’t — ”

I sighed. “Look, I already told you yesterday. No place is safer than here right now. I’m fine, Tony. May’s fine. We’re all fine, so please stop worrying about me, okay? Both of them know what they’re doing. They understand the risks—and so does May.”

Tony was at a loss for words. He couldn’t figure out why I was so sure about this. But like I said, it wasn’t his decision to make. It was mine—and to an extent, May’s, adding that Strange and Wanda literally considered moving somewhere else but ultimately stayed due to our constant persuasion.

“Now,” I cleared my throat, “if you’ll excuse me, Decathlon practice is in half-an-hour, so I have to get ready. Yes, I know it’s Saturday, but duty calls.”

20 minutes later, I was fully dressed and spotted Tony avoiding contact with both sorcerers while May tried her best to describe what occurred these past two days.

“Bye May, love you,” I said, kissing her cheek before waving at my new friends. “See you guys.”

“Bye Peter. Have fun!” May told me.

Checking my phone, I quickly texted Happy before pivoting 180°, glaring at Tony.

“Behave, or I’ll tell Ms. Potts,” I warned him while Strange, Wanda, and May stifled their laughter.

“You wouldn’t,” he responded, appalled.

“Try me,” I dared, smirking.

“That’s it. You’re officially out of the will. No more S.I. for you, buddy,” Tony declared half-heartedly.

I mock-gasped, clutching my chest. “You wouldn’t dare!”

“Wanna bet?”

I shrugged. “Alright.” 

And with that, I departed the building and headed to school.


STEPHEN STRANGE’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“And that’s why he’s more mature than you,” May added quietly. 

Stark pouted at that statement while Wanda giggled softly.

“Pfft! Yeah right,” he denied.

I turned to May, amused at the interaction I recently witnessed. “Is it like this everyday between them?”

“Oh you have no idea,” she replied before I could no longer contain my own laughter, much to Stark’s annoyance.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Dude, I still can’t believe two Avengers are staying at your house,” Ned blurted out ecstatically.

“Ned, shh! I don’t want the whole school to know!” I hissed frantically, covering his mouth with my palm.

“Know what? That you wear your underwear backwards?” Flash teased from behind.

“Eugene,” I greeted coolly.

He shook his head vigorously, pointing at me. “Urgh! Don’t call me that!”

“Whatever you say—Eugene,” I responded playfully, eyebrows furrowed in amusement.

“Oh you’re gonna pay for that, Parker,” he lightly threatened me.

“Dude, he has super-strength,” Ned pointed out nonchalantly, causing me to elbow his ribs.

“Ned!” I scolded.

“Oops,” my best friend said awkwardly.

“Wait, you’re….holy shit! You’re not—! You’re Spider-Man!” Flash gasped in shock.

That’s it, I’m gonna kill Ned.

Smacking the back of his head, I loudly whispered, “Nice job!”

“Sorry,” he said sheepishly, wincing in pain as Ned rubbed his sore head.

“This—This is literally the best day of my life!” I’d never seen Flash more excited in his lifetime.

“Yeah, like that wasn’t obvious already,” a bored female voice echoed across the hall.

MJ.

“Sup, dorks? I’m guessing the cat’s outta the bag. So who’s gonna kill Ned first? Me or you?” she figured.

Wait—she knows?? Oh boy….

“Um….i-is there a third option that doesn’t involve murder?” my best friend suggested nervously.

“Depends on whether or not you’re gonna share it with the entire class,” I glowered at him.

“Hey, at least it’s just the four of us. No one else will find out, I swear!” he said defensively with both hands.

Nope, spoke too soon. Because Betty Brant stood right behind us, frozen solid, her mouth agape, shaky arms indicating that she knew.

Oh fuck! Betty knows too! This is great. Just great.

“You’re….You’re….” Betty couldn’t get the words out, but I understood exactly what she meant.

Oh Ned is so dead.

He turned to me, chuckling tensely. “Uh….he he.”

Holding my finger up, I firmly told Ned he wasn’t allowed to speak until lunchtime, since Mr. Blabbermouth couldn’t keep a secret without breaking at some point.

“But — ”

“Nope! No buts,” I demanded.

“I — ”

I glared at him once again, suddenly realizing how Tony felt everytime I screwed up. “What did I just say? I mean, seriously! Why do I always have to be ‘Dad’?!”

MJ, Betty, and Flash snickered.

“Oooh! Somebody’s in trouble!” said MJ in a sing-song voice.

“So how long is he grounded for, Parker? Two months?” Flash giggled.

“I’m betting five or six,” Betty added humorously.

For a moment, I actually thought about it. Then I forgot I wasn’t Ned’s real father. Although considering how many times I’d lectured my best friend over the years, sometimes I wondered who raised him more—me or his actual parents. If I had to act like ‘Dad’ sometimes, and knowing Ned was significantly less mature than me, then why deny it?

Parents scolded their children whenever they did something wrong, supported them during their best and worst moments, lulled them to sleep, consoled them when they cried—and I completed all four tasks in the last decade. Because guess what? Ned was worth it.

And he’ll always be worth it.

There were a couple of times when we switched gears, like when I begged him to hack my suit, decrypting Tony’s training-wheel protocols despite his initial protests. Or months earlier when Ben died and I needed a shoulder to cry on for the first few weeks. Point is, Ned was always there for me, so I’d do the same for him—no matter what.

Oh Ben. Why didn’t I bring you backI should have, but May will hate me if I tell her. I feared.

“Peter? Hello? I think he spaced out….” MJ waved her palm in front of my face.

Flash’s eyes bulged out of his sockets. “Nah, I think he’s dead.”

I blinked rapidly. “H-Huh? Oh, sorry. I was just thinking about….anyway, nevermind. It’s not important. We should probably get to class. Otherwise, Mr. Harrington will kill us.”

“Whatever you say—Dad,” my former rival mocked half-heartedly as I rolled my eyes, followed by subtle laughter from the others.

Ned surprisingly obeyed my orders until the lunch bell rang, apologizing profoundly for today’s mishap. I dismissed it, claiming I wasn’t really mad, but worried about my identity putting everyone I care about in danger.

“It’s okay dude, I get it,” he understood.

“I’m trying to protect you guys, but I can’t if my identity is constantly exposed. So please try to keep it under the radar—okay?” I pleaded.

“100%.”

“Thank you.”


Three hours later, Happy drove me back home only to bump into an unknown figure, around my height and possibly the same age. Once I took a closer look, I immediately gasped.

Hold on—is that….

“Um—hi. Name’s Harley—Keener. You’re Mr. Stark’s intern, right?”

Holy cow! It is him!

We briefly exchanged hands as I nodded, gulping quietly. 

“Yeah. I’m uh….I’m Peter—Parker.”

How come I never met this guy before?

“Cool. It’s finally nice to meet the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man,” he chuckled, which made me freeze solid.

Oh no! Tony told him?? I swear to god, it doesn’t matter how famous he is. I’m gonna annihilate him in his sleep! I vowed, clenching my fists.

Seriously?? Is no one capable of keeping secrets anymore?!

“Uh….” Yeah, I got nothing.

“It’s fine, dude. Tony didn’t say anything. I sorta figured it out on my own. It’s pretty obvious. Your hand nearly broke my bones,” Harley pointed out lightheartedly.

“Oh….sorry about that,” I murmured apologetically.

“Don’t sweat it. We’re cool,” the other teen assured me. “So….”

“So….” I repeated awkwardly.

And that’s how I got to know Harley Keener on a seemingly random Saturday afternoon.


Later at night, Tony joined us for dinner before we heard someone knock on the front door.

“Who is it?” May hollered.

“It’s me.” Dr. Hansen? What??

“Okay, I’m coming. Just a second!”

As soon as May locked her hazel brown eyes on Dr. Hansen’s dark chocolate ones, she nearly fainted.

“You guys see her too, right?” she asked, slowly freaking out.

The three of us nodded as both sisters hugged and shed a couple of tears.

Meanwhile, Dr. Strange exited my room while arguing with the Cloak of Levitation.

“For the last time, you cannot rearrange my stuff and expect me to undo it! The Time Stone is not to be meddled with! And….”

The wizard screeched to a halt, staring at the botanist in awe.

“M-Maya?”

“Stephen?” she expired.

“You’re—You’re alive?? How?” he almost choked.

“Yeah, funny how that works.” she chortled.

Tony scowled suspiciously. “Wait….you two know each other?”

“Long story,” they synchronized.

Okay, that was freaky.

“We met at a local conference in 1998. Both of us were collaborators on a brand new yet confidential medical discovery. Two years later, one thing led to another….” Dr. Hansen inhaled before continuing. “It was just a stupid fling and nothing more.”

“Then afterwards, I was….but unfortunately had a—well—anyway, you get the jist,” she added.

“Okay wow—small world,” the billionaire blurted out while May, Wanda, and I wore confused expressions.

In the meantime, both doctors caught up while Tony, May, Wanda, and me quietly devoured our meals.

"Wait what? You were?" Strange hissed softly. "When?"

"I-I wanted to tell you, I swear....but it was too late," Dr. Hansen admitted sadly. "And he was...."

"I....I don't....I'm sorry you had to go through that," the former neurosurgeon whispered remorsefully.

"Yeah—me too. It's okay. Neither of us were at fault. Let's just....talk about something else, is that okay?" she suggested.

He nodded. "Sure."

Though little did I know the increasing amount of complications in my life had yet to arrive….

Chapter Text

NATASHA ROMANOFF’S P.O.V.

****SUNDAY, 3 JUNE 2018****

“Вы еще с ними разговаривали (Did you talk to them yet)?” I asked her.

“да. Они прибудут в Нью-Йорк примерно через десять часов (Yes. They will arrive in New York about 10 hours from now),” Yelena answered.

Shaking my head, I added, “Это долгое ожидание (That’s a long wait). Мы должны вызвать одного из колдунов, чтобы открыть здесь портал (We should call one of the sorcerers to open a portal here).

My sister huffed in disbelief, scratching her chin. “You want us to go to Harry Potter Land? Забудь это (Forget it).”

No, Yelena! We have to go!

“Why? I thought you loved shortcuts,” I recalled.

“We don’t need help from these so-called magicians,” Yelena argued. “Besides, their flight will leave very soon.”

I sighed hopelessly. “Look, Donna and Beverly need our help. But first, we need to inform Dr. Strange that his mother and sister are back. That way, he and Wong can open a portal and get them here in less than two seconds!”

She folded her arms in suspicion. “You seem very eager to bring them here as fast as possible. Why is that?”

I scoffed, frustrated that my sister was incredibly resilient. “Uh, the earlier the reunion, the better?”

“Это не наша проблема (It’s not our problem),” she replied monotonously.

“Это фигня (That’s bullshit)! Вы первый это обсудили (You’re the one who brought it up)!” I spat accusingly.

Her eyebrows creased, offended by my words. “Господи (Geez)! Почему вы принимаете это так близко к сердцу (Why are you taking it so personally)?”

“Because what if it were us instead, huh?! And we had the opportunity to bring each other back from the dead?? You wouldn’t wanna see me as soon as possible?? Or vice-versa?! You’d take the never-ending route?!” I screamed furiously, voice breaking near the end as tears collected in my eyes.

Yelena chuckled humorlessly. “What ‘vice-versa’? You didn’t want to see me. Помнить (Remember)?”

I stifled a gasp, stepping back. “What?”

“You never came for me,” she emphasized brokenly, her own eyes glistening with saltwater. 

“What did you expect? Hmm? To instantly forgive you with open arms and ignore those 21 years of pure torture?? Bullshit!!” my sister continued with her outburst as I bowed my head in shame, tears dripping down my nose and cheeks.

“Two years ago, it was in the heat of the moment. I never actually forgave you. Those were all fucking lies,” Yelena wept silently, tears freely falling.

“But it doesn’t matter anymore. You were right. None of this was real. Our family wasn’t real,” she snapped, a watery laugh escaping her lips. “Our parents never cared about us, and neither did you, Natalia.”

Yelena....

“You never cared about me. You never loved me. You left me alone, a-and you n-never c-came b-back!” At this point, she muffled her sobs, no longer able to speak coherently.

“W-We were never sisters—because y-you didn’t w-want me….!”

That’s not true. I love you more than anything, my sweet Yelena.

My thoughts were completely honest as I encompassed my baby sister in a remorseful yet loving embrace, gently caressing her blonde streaks and kissing her forehead like Melina did when we were kids.

“Я не понимаю (I don’t understand)! Почему ты так меня ненавидишь (Why do you hate me so much)? Что я сделал не так (What did I do wrong)?” she bawled.

At this point, I was sobbing too, eyes red and watery, though my cries were more subtle than hers. Consistently whispering reassurances into her ear, I wanted to tell my sister it wasn’t her fault. It was never her fault, because she was right. It was mine. It was all my fault for failing to look for her, to save her, to protect her. I was the only person to blame, not Yelena. Never Yelena.

But that’s exactly why I wanted to help those two women reunite with their only surviving family member. So they wouldn’t suffer the same fate my sister and I did. Their family wouldn’t shatter into a million pieces because we would fix the vase. Whatever grief and sorrow remained would immediately vanish.

Not realizing I said this out loud, Yelena’s tears abruptly stopped as she peered at me, eyes bloodshot and swollen.

“I-I don’t understand. You….” she trailed off, struggling to find the right words.

“You’re absolutely right about me….except for one thing. I don’t hate you. I could never hate you because I love you so much, моя младшая сестра (my baby sister). No matter what, you will always be my little sister,” I promised. "Always."

Yelena chortled sadly. “Вы ведь не шутите со мной (You’re not messing with me, are you)?”

I shook my head, lips curling in certainty as a lone tear fell from my left eye. “Never.”

To my dismay, her face scrunched up again as she dissolved into more sobs and hiccups, wrapping both arms around my waist while burying her head in my chest.

“I-I’m so sorry, Natasha. I was so angry at you….for so long. I-I wanted to h-hate you so badly—but I couldn’t. N-No matter h-how much, I-I couldn’t b-bring myself to s-stop caring,” she blubbered guiltily.

“I-I know it sounds incredibly childish—but I was so afraid you would leave me again. I was so scared, старшая сестра (big sister). Please don’t leave me again, Natasha. Please….!” 

I shushed her quietly, planting more kisses into my sister’s hair while brushing it back with my free hand, declaring I’d never leave her and all was forgiven, since I deserved every single word.

Sometime later, Yelena pulled herself together as we agreed to visit the New York Sanctum, where Wong was currently practicing his spells. To our bewilderment, Donna and Beverly arrived in less than five seconds, thanks to Wong’s ‘Sling Ring’ or whatever it was called.

“Where’s Stephen?” was the first thing Donna asked, because it was her big brother for god’s sake!

“I’m guessing he’s here….in the Sanctum?” I answered hesitantly. 

Was he though? I didn’t know. My suspicions were confirmed once Wong shook his head, claiming he moved into our apartment complex in Queens, on the same floor.

“Then you bring him here,” Yelena told Wong before the two of us returned to our apartment.


DONNA STRANGE’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

Eventually, he knocked and thankfully I was the one who opened the door, Stephen blinking in confusion once he spotted us eyeing him fondly.

“Stephen….” I breathed sadly. “It’s me—remember?”

“What d’you….wait....no. That’s—impossible. I mean A) You both definitely aged,” Strange blurted out in shock, earning a ‘hey’ from myself.

“And B) What happened to you? Where were you? Where have you been? I thought you were—” He cut himself off when a strangled sob escaped from his throat, biting his lip to prevent a full breakdown. 

Nevermind, it was useless. Because next thing I witnessed was the three of us firmly embracing each other, bawling our eyes out, struggling to explain our resurrection and 20-year disappearance from Earth.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****MONDAY, 4 JUNE 2018 - WEDNESDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2019****

As the months flew by, formalities were no longer necessary as I got to know Stephen and Wanda incredibly well, frequently met my best friends, the Lang/Van Dyne family, Stephen’s family, Christine, Wong, the Ancient One, Tony’s family, Pepper, Maya, Natasha, Yelena, Harley’s family, the other Avengers, and surprisingly Loki too, who turned good according to Thor.

During that time, I hung out with my friends mostly, witnessed Stephen’s extraordinary cooking skills (and me persuading him to stay here forever despite May’s pseudo-jealousy, since she was an awful cook), read countless books in the Sanctum, heard most of Wanda’s childhood stories, compared all three sorcerers’ use of magic (although Astral Projection freaked me out at first, especially when Stephen did it).

Additionally, I babysat Cassie almost every single weekend (becoming her honorary big brother of sorts), helped Scott, Hope, Dr. Pym, and Janet with their quantum experiments, gained full access to Tony’s labs (along with Maya and Harley), listened to Flash’s domestic issues (having neglectful parents), discovered Pepper’s pregnancy, received combat training from both Nat and Yelena, gradually treated Harley like a brother after he transferred to my school, and continued patrolling as Spider-Man.

When July arrived, Cassie turned 11 while the Cloak of Levitation (a.k.a. Levi/Cloak[ie]) and I finally bonded, which was progress on my part at least. Before, I assumed it only preferred arrogant egotistical assholes (like Tony and Stephen). Well—I was wrong. Or maybe I was also a secret little shit. 😉

Overall, these guys became my family. At first, a lot of us were slightly awkward and distant, but soon emotional boundaries were nearly obsolete. We witnessed each others’ outbursts and tears (not everyone, but close enough), starting with Tony weeping and thanking Bucky repeatedly for returning his parents. That’s right fellas, it was our lovely Winter Soldier! 🎉

Speaking of waterworks, the day after my 17th birthday (Saturday, 08/11/2018), Stephen, Levi, Wanda saw me crying into my uncle’s sweatshirt, which was so embarrassing. The three of us only knew each for two months that day, so I didn’t wanna bother them with my personal problems. Regardless, they didn’t mind, empathizing with my grief as I received hugs from them respectively (yeah, I still hadn’t told May yet).

Though Stephen wasn’t a legally qualified therapist, his tactics were 1000% more efficient than a majority of currently active professionals. Declaring that Western medicine ‘failed him’, the wizard utilized spells and miscellaneous techniques he studied in Kamar-Taj (Kathmandu, Nepal), such as meditation, yoga, and drinking tea to help decrease stress, anxiety, and panic attacks.

In October, Tony appointed Harley to follow in his footsteps as the next Iron Man (a.k.a. ‘Iron Lad’), which he gladly accepted. And frankly, I wasn’t jealous of that due to my own duties as Spider-Man. We also returned the Mind Stone to Vision as his functionality was restored, cue Wanda bursting into tears of joy and hugging the shit out of him. In other words, fluffy romance ensued (plus my sudden crush on MJ….wish me luck).

Also, Tony and Pepper are having a girl! That's awesome!

When Thanksgiving arrived, we all gathered at the Compound to celebrate our newfound family members. Blood-related or not, it didn’t matter. We were bound by love. Okay, that sounded totally cliché, but whatever. It was real, alright? Completely, 100% true. And by Christmas, we were already accustomed to our new holiday routines.


Then one day on New Years Eve, my DNA results from AP Bio were directly sent to my apartment as May unsealed the envelope. Apparently my aunt kept samples of hers and my late parents’ DNA in a cupboard somewhere. Initially, it was just an informal comparison, until we both examined the results and gasped loudly.

Wait....what??!!

Turns out, I wasn’t the biological son of Richard or Mary Parker, but was genetically related to May. That meant she was my biological aunt all along. But even if she wasn’t (which we both presumed beforehand), May would always be my aunt and primary mother-figure no matter what. Because once again, we were bound by love. Yes, I know. Cliché as fuck!

But if I was adopted—then who are my birth parents?

Luckily, I found out who they were 10 days later (after verifying it several times with Karen, FRIDAY, and four genetics centers), in January, but I decided to keep my mouth shut, even when my Decathlon team voted to travel to Europe in February. 

I mean, what if they knew and didn’t want me around? Or stopped caring in general? What if they hated me? What if….oh god, I was spiralling. I couldn’t afford to do that, not now. Not when I had other things to worry about….

Like my trip to Europe? Or asking MJ to be my girlfriend? So many questions and not enough time!

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****THURSDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2019****

One month after the shocking revelation, I constantly put on unsuspecting façades in front of everyone else (except for May, who already knew the truth). Both of us discussed the right time to inform them, but I wasn’t ready yet. I couldn’t tell them—not yet, despite my aunt encouraging me to do so.

All I wanted was to worry about my summer trip and flirting with MJ. That’s it. And boy, did I have a plan! Comprised of six steps, it went like this:

 

1] Sit next to MJ on the flight.

2] Watch movies with her the whole time (or at least the majority).

3] Buy her a Black Dahlia flower necklace in Venice (Italy).

4] Take her to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (France).

5] Hand her the necklace and tell her how I feel.

6] Hope she’ll say yes and go from there.


****FRIDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2019****

“Don’t forget Step 7,” Ned reminded me.

I grabbed a pen and wrote it down before he continued.

“Don’t do any of that.”

I peered at him exasperatedly. “Why?”

“Because we’re gonna be bachelors in Europe, Peter!” he explained hastily like it was so obvious.

Sighing, I tried to refute. “Ned — ”

“Look, I may not know much, but I do know this. Europeans love Americans.”

I gaped hesitantly. “Really?”

Honestly, it was hard to believe. Europeans certainly did not love Americans, and considering I was born in Queens, that was sayin’ something.

Or maybe I am European in another life, and my initials would be T.H.

“And more than half of them are women!” he added in a high voice, snapping me out of my thoughts.

Yep, still confused as hell. “Okay—sure, but….” I then proceeded to describe what I loved—er—liked about MJ.

Until she literally came over and called us ‘dorks’ (as usual). Trust me, it was a term of endearment. Not wanting her to know anything about my ‘foolproof’ plan, I denied her suspicions while Ned lied about me desiring to ‘collect tiny spoons from different countries’.

“Like—Like a grandmother?” she deadpanned.

Like a grandmotha darling!

Once again, I dismissed my involvement and pinned it on Ned instead. Then MJ advised us to download VPNs on our phones so the government couldn’t track us in Europe.

“Will do,” I responded shyly. 

After she left, Ned assumed it went really well, to which I gave him the look.

Man, I wish Harley wasn’t sick. Otherwise he’d love to fly halfway across the world.

Soon, I purchased a dual headphone adapter from Delmar’s, received a quick passport check at the office, witnessed my aunt flirting with none other than Happy freaking Hogan (yikes) several hours later, and attempted to answer the paparazzi’s questions at the homeless shelter May had volunteered at weeks ago.

Anticipating another panic attack, I ran away from the crowd and landed on some rooftop, staring proudly at a mural of the OG Avengers ‘Who Saved The Universe From Peril’. But they deserved it. Tony, Thor, Bruce, Nat, Steve, and Clint were the founding members of the Avengers. On the other hand though, it made me think of Ben, and how I failed to resurrect him.

No, stop thinking about him. It’s too late now. Ben is gone and he’ll never come back. Don’t even consider undoing all this.

“The Time Stone cannot be tampered with. End of discussion,” Stephen often lectured me whenever I was tempted. 

And boy, he sounded an awful lot like Tony, using his ‘Dad’ voice. So great, now I had two father-figures constantly telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. 

Speaking of fathers....I need advice on how to approach my birth parents. Maybe I’ll ask Ned....not. He’ll tell everyone.

“Or maybe I should tell him—but when we reach,” I argued while stuffing my bags with clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, plus other important items.

“Tell him what?” Shit, that was Stephen’s voice.

“Uh….n-nothing,” I lied anxiously, fiddling with both hands behind my back.

Sensing my sudden discomfort, he changed the subject and kindly offered to help me pack (Levi too). But I refused, saying I got it.

“Okay, that’s fine. Let me know if you need anything,” he said, smiling before heading towards the kitchen to cook dinner, ‘cause Stephen’s meals were always the best.

Phew! That was close.


****SATURDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2019****

After I left the house and said goodbye to May, Tony, Stephen, and Wanda, my classmates and I boarded our direct flight from here to Venice (Italy). Ned blabbed about playing ‘Beast Slayer’ on the way while I pretended to listen, gazing at MJ lovingly from afar.

Gosh, she’s so pretty.

Besides that, the weather app wasn’t exactly helpful, per say.

“Their predictions are completely inaccurate. It’s not gonna rain in Venice!” Mr. Harrington complained. “C’mon, back me up, Julius.”

“Relax, Roger. Let’s enjoy the trip, shall we?” Mr. Dell suggested, causing his friend to huff in frustration.

I convinced Ned to follow my plan, but due to Parker Luck, it went awry. Turns out, I had a fake allergy to perfume and had to switch seats with someone, which wound up with me sitting far away from MJ and....Connor Davis (Brad's older 1st cousin).

Still don’t get why so many girls are into him. I mean, I have abs too. I thought enviously.

Then Mr. Harrington went on and on about his now ex-wife who ran away with a random tour guide. Not really paying attention, I removed my dual headphones and decided to watch a documentary regarding Tony Stark’s life before Iron Man.

At night, I leaped over my snoring teacher and went to the bathroom to wash up. A few seconds later, I spotted MJ who was next in line. Freaking out internally, I shut the door behind me and waited patiently for sometime. Eventually, I opened the door again and saw Connor waving at me creepily.


****SUNDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2019****

We finally arrived in Venice, and it was bellissima. Aside from a little ‘hiccup’ (a.k.a. the security guard noticing my suit), today was actually pretty good. Between boat rides, buying a Black Dahlia necklace from a local shop, discovering the word “boh”, and hanging out with my friends (especially MJ), I wondered what I enjoyed the most. Oh right, the latter. 😏

Anyway, after the Hydro-Man incident, Mysterio’s rescue, and May’s phone call plus Happy’s unexpected cameo, I finally revealed to Ned what was on my mind these past few weeks.

He dropped his bag and mouthed “What the fu—!”

Nope! Shouldn’t have told him.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

“Holy shit!” Ned squeaked, covering his mouth in shock while we climbed the stairs to our dorm. “That means….”

“Yep.”

“Your bio parents are literally — ”

“Shh—be quiet! I don’t want the whole world to know!” I warned him hastily.

“Oh my god.” Ned took three steps back, pulling on several locks of hair. “Wait—do they know about this?”

I frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Who?”

“Your parents. Do they….?”

I shook my head, indicating their obliviousness to the whole situation.

“Oh okay. But dude, this is insane! It’s like—the best news ever!” Ned squealed until he examined my unreadable expression.

“Peter, aren’t you excited? You have parents again!” My best friend’s smile instantly faded. “What’s wrong?”

I sighed defeatedly, combing my hair back. “I-It’s nothing, I dunno….”

“C’mon dude, the suspense is killing me! I promise I won’t tell anyone,” he swore, initiating our special handshake.

Sighing again, I nodded and spilled most of my thoughts, worries, and doubts. What if my parents didn’t wanna see me anymore? Would they still care about me, or even love me for that matter? What if they hated my guts for keeping this a secret, or they thought vice-versa (or blamed May too)? 

What if my—what if he was so disappointed that he no longer wanted me around? Again, so many what-ifs….

“Bro, slow down. You’re panicking,” he said, making calm gestures.

“Sorry, it’s just….I’m not—I’m not mad at them, I swear. It’s not their fault. My birth parents assume their son has been—you know—for 17 years, so of course they weren’t looking for me. How could they? Me being here is practically impossible, yet here I am—in the flesh! If anything, it’s my fault. I should’ve listened to May and told them right away, but I’m terrified, Ned. I-I can’t….” I exhaled sharply.

“I can’t do it. I can’t screw up what we already have. Maybe it’s better if they never find out, so nothing will change. Besides, it’s too late now….right?”

My friend shook his head in disagreement. “Word of advice? Don’t do that.”

Huh??

“Your parents won’t hate you ‘cause they care too much. You got that? They already love you. And you know it….because you love them too. A few DNA tests won’t change that, I promise. If your secret’s out, they’ll be thrilled—just by the fact you’re here in the first place. That you’re alive ‘cause you didn’t die 17 years ago. That you made it,” he declared with extra confidence.

Holy cow! When did Ned become so wise?

“Wow, that’s—that’s actually really good advice,” I breathed, amazed by his reassuring words.

Ned snorted. “Well duh, I’m your Guy In The Chair! It’s literally in the job description.”

Translation—heroes are in desperate need for pep talks.

“Yeah,” I chuckled slightly. “Thanks man. I needed that.”

He placed a comforting hand on my shoulder and replied, “No problem. It’s what I do for a living.”

That earned another laugh, because Ned was absolutely right. My biological parents deserved to know their son was alive. But it didn’t mean Richard, Mary, and Ben Parker weren’t my real family anymore. They were still my parents and uncle no matter what. ‘Cause those guys raised me to be a better man and taught me to navigate my way through every victory and obstacle.

And I never doubted how much they loved me. So yeah, they definitely earned a million brownie points in my book.

With that in mind, Ned and I proceeded to discuss the water incident, other potential monsters, my desire to take a break from being Spider-Man, and of course MJ. Yeah….pretty sure I was already in love with her. Shit, did I say that out loud?? Oops….🤭

That is—until someone injected a dart in my best friend’s neck, knocking him out. But who was it? Drum roll, please….

Oh no, it’s Nick Fury! Wait—didn’t I ghost him a few days ago?

“Nice to finally meet you….Spider-Man.”


TONY STARK’S P.O.V.

****MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2019****

The kid and his friends must’ve reached Prague (Czech Republic) by now, which was odd considering they originally planned to visit Paris (France). In hindsight, they were safe since I gave EDITH (Even Dead I’m The Hero) to Peter. The acronym itself was ironic ‘cause obviously I wasn’t dead.

But just in case….

“Anyway—FRI, what’s up?” I said, distracted by her endless messaging.

“Mr. Stark, there’s something you should know about Mr. Parker’s DNA results,” she informed, which almost made me spill my drink.

“Come again?”

“Mr. Parker left his DNA results on your desk, sir. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but would you like to see them?”

Should I? But what if Peter didn’t know yet? Do I even have the right to find out?

“Hey FRI, quick question. Um….does the kid know?” I wondered, tapping my fingers on the desk.

“Yes, he only left the documents here, but apparently Mr. Parker isn’t the only one. His aunt was also notified as soon as he found out,” she told me as I inhaled quietly.

“Okay….did Peter tell you?”

“No, sir. I discovered this information after he left.”

I took a deep breath, both hands in my pockets. “Okay, show me.”

After 35 minutes of never-ending verifications, I collapsed on my chair, thousands of questions yearning for concrete answers.

Peter’s birth parents are….so that means Richard and Mary Parker adopted him?? How did I not know this?? What the actual fuck??

“Does….does anyone else know—besides May?” I nearly wheezed.

“Peter did not inform anyone else, although three weeks earlier, Mr. Hogan heard him talking about the results in his sleep,” FRIDAY answered in her lovely Irish accent.

“So May and Happy know too….what about—um—well….” I trailed off, unable to finish my sentence, ‘cause this was too much to process. 

However, my A.I. immediately understood whom I was referring to. “Yes….36 hours ago.” 

My heart stopped beating.

How’s this possible? How?? Peter was born on Friday, August 10th, 2001 in Queens, New York at….but that’s the exact same date and hospital room where she had….her miscarriage. So Peter never died, he lived! It kinda makes sense! The Parkers found him and took care of him before they passed away, leaving Ben and May….oh my godHoly shit!

“FRIDAY, call May Parker!” I ordered desperately, praying that Peter’s aunt wouldn’t faint after I explained everything.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****SAME DAY****

First thing in the morning, I asked Ned if he was okay, to which he said yes. Then we entered the bus and travelled to—christ—Prague. Not Paris.

Seriously, Fury? I can’t have one fucking day off?! Just because Mr. Stark gave me his A.I. glasses, it doesn’t mean I’m available! God, he’s hijacking our midwinter break….

I mean, yeah. I understood why the head of SHIELD needed my assistance, since Beck’s Earth was destroyed by the Elementals before targeting my world. But during midwinter break? Really? The one time I was supposed to be 100% Peter Parker instead of Spider-Man? Yep, today was going exactly as planned. 🙄

Is it too late to jump off a cliff? I pondered bitterly.

Anyway—two hours later, I tested Tony’s new glasses and was totally confused about the acronym he chose: EDITH (Even Dead I’m The Hero).

But Tony’s not dead! Oh, we’re definitely having this conversation once my trip is over.

On the bright side, I had access to all his protocols, such as decrypting high-security devices and reading private texts, the latter which I took very seriously.

Is MJ texting ConnorIf so, what are they saying? No no, I can’t read that, it’s wrong. And why are Ned and Betty texting when they’re sitting right next to each other?? Honestly, infatuation is weird.

However, my excitement didn’t last long, and here’s why. Once the bus pulled over, I was tasked to meet a tall blonde woman at a local pub and—get this— undress in front of her.

But isn’t that illegalEven though I’ll turn 18 in six months, I’m still a minor!

Luckily I didn’t have to since Connor caught me red-headed. Oh wait….maybe I wasn’t so lucky, due to what happened next. He snapped a picture of me undressing and threatened to show MJ as ‘solid proof’ that I was a ‘player’.

Yeah—I’m in deep shit.

Pleading EDITH to erase the photo back on the bus, rather she initiated a drone strike on everyone. Successfully calling it off, fortunately my original request was completed since Connor was left speechless.

Just when I thought the chaos was over, I stood corrected. Fury and Beck enlisted me to battle the Fire Elemental tomorrow, but despite my initial refusal, the SHIELD Director chastised me for today’s misadventure.

As if today couldn’t get any worse….😔


****TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY, 12-13 FEBRUARY 2019****

Thankfully on Tuesday, Mr. Rogers kept our class inside by suggesting a four-hour opera instead of attending the Carnival of Lights downtown. Plus, I got my new suit—a.k.a. the Night Monkey (dubbed by Ned Leeds himself). Once he was defeated, Fury’s reproachful tone nearly drove me to tears, though I didn’t shed a single one.

I was glad Beck cheered me up at a local pub, though little did I know he was a complete and utter traitor. The workers weren’t bartenders. They were his fucking minions! And one of them literally served Obadiah Stane, who betrayed Tony in the worst way.

Yeah, it wasn’t something I wanted to remember, but we’ll get to that in a second. Right now, I desired to hang out with MJ, leading us to Charles Bridge, where we figured out Mysterio’s true identity and motives and well—Michelle deduced I was Spider-Man, no matter how many times I denied it.

Wow, she’s good!

On Wednesday, the bastard confronted me and projected horrific illusions involving my school, MJ falling from the Eiffel Tower, and worst of all….my uncle’s grave.

“If you were good enough, maybe Ben would still be alive,” he snarled.

That fucking piece of worthless shit has the audacity to bring him up??!! Oh hell no!!

Too bad a train rammed into my body, crushing it as I limped towards a seat, holding my stomach. Several cuts and bruises appeared all over my hands, face, neck, and lower body before I lost consciousness and wound up in Dutch jail later that the afternoon.


****THURSDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2019****

Once Happy rescued me in the middle of a tulip field with vibrant colors, I made sure he was real before embracing him softly.

“It’s so good to see you!” I exhaled in relief.

“Peter, you’re gonna have to tell me what the hell’s goin’ on here.”

While Happy stitched my neck (and yes, it was painful), I wondered how I fucked up so badly by handing Mysterio the glasses. The one item Mr. Stark had trusted me with and I let him down….again. Exactly like the Ferry incident three years ago. And for some reason, Ned's reassurances were thrown out the window due to my outburst.

“….so please—do not tell me to relax!” I panted heavily as my knees buckled, collapsing on one of the chairs across from Happy’s row.

Oops! Did I say that out loudOh great—now I yelled at Happy. Wonderful. Good job, Peter. Way to make things worse!

“I-I’m sorry, Happy. I'm s-sorry for shouting….I—I just really miss him,” my voice broke, tears forming in my reddened eyes.

“Yeah, I know you do,” he murmured sympathetically.

“I know it’s been three years since he—you know—but everywhere I go, I still see his face, and….I dunno what to do. I don’t know how to handle this. I thought I could, but….” I shook my head and sniffled as a few drops fell, completely disappointed in myself. “I-I screwed up.”

Not only that, but all my self-loathing and guilt sort of spilled out. Over not resurrecting Ben and lying to May about it, not being able to turn back time for my alternate self to live a better life, keeping secrets from my biological parents, and trusting barbaric sociopaths like Mysterio, therefore unwillingly betraying my long-term father-figure.

Happy continued wearing the same expression while listening to my tearful confession, until he finally said, “Kid….they know already.”

I lifted my head, glancing at him with puffy eyes. “What?”

“They saw the results. Me, Tony, Pepper, Wanda, Strange, Maya, Christine….we all did. And May also knew about—what happened in Wakanda for a while now so….” 

Happy seemed conflicted on whether he should’ve told me now or after the trip, but his questions were answered once he saw pure horror etched on my face. Big fat tears replaced tiny ones pouring down my cheeks as I averted my gaze.

Hold up! They know?? And May knows about Ben….oh no! No no noThis can’t be happening! This isn’t real! Oh god! Oh fuckThis is it. This is the endThey’ll never forgive me now.

“I-I….” I stuttered, because what could I say? The damage was already done and I couldn’t fix it.

Too late to use the stone now. You really screwed the pooch this time, Peter.

The older man positioned himself and glued his lips together, firmly stating, “I know what you’re thinking, Peter—but it’s not true. None of it. Look at me, kiddo.”

He blinked twice and cleared his throat quietly. “Look at me.”

I finally obeyed despite my tears refusing to stop.

Is Happy doing what I think he’s doing?

“I swear, your guilt complex is as bad as Tony’s, if not worse,” he chuckled sadly. 

“But this situation—is not your fault. No one blames you for keeping it a secret, including your birth parents. Even before finding out, they already adored you—so much. Just ‘cause you didn’t receive texts recently, they’re not mad at you, buddy. If anything, they’re concerned and wanna give you space until you go back. I know ‘cause I literally talked to them about it on the way here.”

My eyes widened, pondering if Happy’s words were true while he discussed the unfortunate repercussions of the other timeline, stating that wasn't my fault either.

“And May? She loves you no matter what, and she’s so proud of you. So proud because it’s a sign you’re moving on. And that’s okay. You’re allowed to move on and be happy ‘cause I bet that’s what Ben would’ve wanted. You got that?” he continued adamantly.

So….May’s not madShe forgave me? Holy cow! That’s….that’s a relief!

“And of course we’re not replacing Ben or Richard. No one could replace either of them and we’re not going to. But it doesn’t mean you’re forbidden from having more father-figures or can’t consider them your dads or uncles either. You’re allowed to care about Tony and Stephen and Scott and me because we’re your family, blood-related or not. And the same goes for us ‘cause we love you too—a lot.”

Aw, they love me? Wait—Happy cares about me too?? Wow! Character development.

“Speaking of your bio parents, the first thing they did was blame themselves. Trust me, they thought you’d be mad at them instead, wishing they’d known sooner. I mean—your dad only knew you for what, eight months? And your mom for over a decade? Considering she died six years ago then came back, and saved your dad’s magical ass on a frickin’ spaceship for cryin’ out loud. Now that’s somethin’ else.” Happy added eagerly.

“I’m not mad. It’s not their fault,” I mumbled truthfully, tears no longer escaping.

“Exactly. And do you really think your mentor’s gonna push you away due to a fucking DNA test? ‘Cause news flash, he won’t. The guy’s known you for over two years and got attached to you like a magnet. So believe me, you’re his kid too as well as that other pain in the ass, regardless of having separate gene pools. Don’t argue with me on this,” he declared unquestionably to which I nodded briskly.

“I want you to play these words in your head like a broken record until you believe me one hundred percent. Got it?” Happy concluded persistently.

Yes sir. I chortled inaudibly.

“Good. But right now—your friends are in trouble, you’re all alone, your tech is missing….What are you gonna do about it?” he asked.

A few moments passed as I stood up courageously with dried tear tracks and pure determination on my face.

“I’m gonna kick his ass,” I vowed.

Because Mysterio was a dead man.

Chapter Text

PETER PARKER’S P.O.V.

****FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2019****

Mysterio was dead (thanks to my suit and his own drones), MJ and I finally kissed (hell yeah!) plus started dating, which was an added bonus. Huh, maybe yesterday wasn’t so bad after all.

But today was a whole other story, nerves tingling while strolling across Newark Liberty International Airport (New Jersey, US), holding MJ’s hand.

Remember, dude. They know, so stay calm okay? Don’t panic! I kept reminding myself like a mantra.

Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.

“Stop it!” I chastised myself 10 minutes later.

“Honey?” That was May’s voice behind the wheel. “You okay?”

“Y-Yeah….I’m um—May, I….Happy told me that you….you know about — ” I stammered, terrified of my aunt’s reaction.

She immediately parked on a random street corner and cupped my cheeks so that I was facing her directly.

“Sweetheart, I’m gonna stop you right there. Now hopefully Happy told you this yesterday, but I’m so proud of you, baby. Ben would be so proud of you. So don’t you dare blame yourself for any of this, okay?” she demanded with fierce love and determination.

I teared up a little. “But — ”

Nope! Not gonna cry! Already did that yesterday and it was exhausting!

“All he wanted was for you to be happy because you deserve it more than anyone. Understand?”

I nodded fervently and blinked away my tears, too tired to argue.

“Good. But first, we have one more stop,” May added with a devious smile.

Say what now? Wait a minute….she’s not actually thinking about driving to the....no! Nope, nuh uh! Not the —

“Avengers Compound?” I wheezed.

“Well duh! C’mon, Tony’s waiting,” she giggled as I followed her inside the lobby, where the cocky genius stood, leaning against a pillar, arms folded.

“So Underoos! How was the trip? Didn’t get too wasted, right?” he smirked, adjusting his signature sunglasses.

Normally I would’ve scoffed playfully at my mentor’s snarkiness, but today was extremely stressful, anxiety gnawing at my chest. Instead, I remained quiet.

He frowned slightly. “What’s up, kiddo? May said you weren’t your usual chattery self this morning.”

“Uh….” I began awkwardly, tapping my shoes together, silently asking May for help.

“Tony….he knows—that you—well—all of you—um….” she tried to emphasize, but surprisingly Tony got the memo and approached me carefully, embracing my shoulder pads as I slowly collapsed into his chest.

“So I’m guessing Happy already gave you the pep talk, huh? Do I need to summarize it or….?” he suggested.

I hastily shook my head, although deep down I yearned for direct confirmation.

“Good, ‘cause you know better than to disobey the Head of Security,” he joked while combing my hair smoothly.

“Mr. Stark, I — ”

“Nope! It’s Tony, remember? None of that formal bullshit. I thought we went over this eight months ago,” he reminded me firmly.

“Also if you’re planning on apologizing, then forget it, kid. All’s forgiven because hey, there’s nothing to forgive. You hear me? You didn’t do anything wrong. Hell, if I were in your shoes that night, I’d be scared shitless and not tell anybody,” Tony promised before kissing my forehead.

“Doesn’t matter if you’re a botanical/wizard offspring. You are my kid as well as Morgan’s big brother. Got it?” He glared at me tenaciously. “Say yes or I’ll take away your suit.”

I nodded rapidly, a surge of relief filling my chest as he let go and patted my back approvingly.

“Atta boy. Now it’s time to invite our lovely guests.”

Wait what?!

“Dr. Hansen, Dr. Strange—you remember Mr. Parker, correct?” he added humorously. “Good, then I’ll leave you to it. May, is it okay if we let the three musketeers have their privacy?”

“Sure,” my aunt agreed.

“Fantastic. Let’s go,” my mentor declared as he followed May outside, closing the doors behind them right after giving me quick thumbs up.

Well, at least he's supportive....but now what do I do?

On cue, Maya and Stephen took a few steps closer, equally nervous. There were dark circles under Maya’s red-rimmed eyes, indicating that she cried earlier, while Stephen wore a disquieted expression, blue eyes locked onto my chocolate ones.

“I um….I….” C’mon, Peter. Say it!

“I’m so sorry. I-I found out on New Years Eve, but I was so scared and didn’t know what to do. But I-I should’ve told you as soon as I knew, and I’m sorry. It’s my fault, not May’s ‘cause I begged her not to say anything. Although I’m not mad at you guys, I swear. Same goes for May since you guys found out on your own, so she kept her promise. I-I know I screwed up, but I was so afraid you wouldn't want me to — ”

My rambling was cut short once slender arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me towards their chest and burying their face in my chestnut brown hair while I felt something soft nuzzle my neck and shoulders.

Cloakie, is that you? Oh it definitely was.

“We found you,” a female voice whispered inaudibly, my hair suddenly damp with tears.

What?

“I-I don’t understand….” I murmured, keeping my own tears at bay.

Then another pair of hands stroked my curls tenderly from behind, examining each strand.

“She’s right, you know,” the male voice replied softly, causing me to embrace both of them tightly, careful not to crush their bones with my super-strength.

Because holy crap, these were my parents. My biological parents for christ’s sake! The ultimate botanical scientist mom and Sorcerer Supreme dad.

That means I’m—I’m no longer an orphan.

And to think I was their son who was originally destined to die seconds after my own birth (thanks to Parker Luck). Yet I survived anyway. I fucking survived in Queens, New York City, goddamn it! In conclusion—I lived. That meant the universe lost and I won.

I won.

We won.

“Ha! Take that, Universe!” I gloated quietly.

No other words had to be said, since our warm embrace and soft forehead kisses undoubtedly translated to a billion ‘I love you’s.

Huh—guess I am a botanical/wizard offspring.

And wait—did I just hear snapshots?

Oh boy—May and Tony are so dead!

But little did I know I spoke too soon—once Happy opened his mouth, infuriating Tony and shocking May.

"Fury is a dead man, I swear to god!" he shrieked.

Uh oh....