Work Header

Self preservation is for boomers

Chapter Text

Finally, the subway cars came into view. Spider-Man had never been so happy to see a bunch of rusty old abandoned carriages. Adrenaline was still coursing through him but it was beginning to tamper off and he could feel the cuts beginning to pull in uncomfortable directions. His body was trying to heal them but the movement kept putting a stop to those attempts, tearing the connectors and pumping new blood out. He didn't fancy stopping with the overgrown gecko hot on his tracks though so he kept going despite it. The cars were being kept in a larger and wider part of the tunnel that looked like it was supposed to be where the platforms would be had the project been finished. Spider-Man was quietly comforted by the sight of such a big area. He really didn't want to be buried during this fight and he'd been blessed with a bigger battlefield. Small blessings. 


Swiftly, he kicked up his speed with a burst of energy he didn't know he had left in him and shot out a web to get hold of one of the cars and dug his heel into the ground before throwing it at his pursuer. It didn't matter how many times he stopped a car with ease or lifted tonnes of rubble, his strength still shocked him. The car felt like nothing as he slung it into The Lizard's face and took great satisfaction in finally getting a lick in even if it was through the subway car and not his fist. 


"Betcha wish we talked this out now! The offer is still up," he proclaimed, detaching one web so he could grab another car. The Lizard charged toward him but he quickly shot a web at the roof and pulled himself up. He had to tuck up his legs but he cleared the mutant fairly easily and climbed up further to get a better height. His enemy managed to charge himself into the wall because he couldn't slow his momentum and he couldn't help but laugh at that. "Careful! I don't know how to deal with reptile concussions!" he shouted down before picking up another car to throw. The Lizard looked unbelievably pissed for the brief moment they were facing one another before he was thrown to the side by the force of the blow.


Spider-Man noticed that he was now close to the wall and wondered if he could just stick him there. His talons were sharp but enough layers of webs might work. The teen detached his webs, going into a free fall before shooting another web to build a swinging momentum.


"Web bomb!" he shouted, shooting said defence at The Lizard's right hand. He then shot another at his left and continued to shoot them until the best part of his torso was wrapped up. Mentally, he breathed a sigh of relief that it was working because he'd only be in more trouble if he spent hours fighting this guy only to stumble back to the tower to hear out a lecture. He was not looking forward to that. It wasn't his fault that there was a giant lizard roaming the city and the police were woefully unprepared to deal with mutants like that. There might be a special division in the works but he didn't know about it and knowing the government, they'd probably focus on his freakish tendencies rather than the ones that were destroying the place. 




As he webbed up the reptile up, he checked up on the call he had going with Tony and presumably the other Avengers. He didn't know whether to be relieved or worried when he found they'd hung up. Knowing his luck, it should be the latter. They were probably going to give him the biggest lecture on how he needed to take care of himself and how he couldn't save the world without being in good condition as though that would prevent him from doing it again in the future. Danger didn't exactly call him up and ask if it was alright to happen today or if they should raincheck.


"Karen, call the police and let them know I found their runaway reptile," he ordered. "Give them my coordinates too or maybe I should bring him to the surface? I already stuck him to the wall."


"I shall give them your coordinates. You must seek medical attention for your injuries," she responded. 


"I'll swing back soon. How do we feel about the strength of these webs? Should I do another layer?"


"Another layer should be enough but then you must seek medical attention." He hummed to himself and loaded up more webs. 


"I'll get you for this Spider-Man!" Lizard roared. Spider-Man squealed at that. A real villain? An arch-nemesis? Just for him? That was so cool. Ned was going to die when he heard that his best friend has a super cool villain to fight. Sure his thing was turning people into lizards but he was pretty intimidating and very memorable. "D-did you just squeal?"


"No! You heard nothing!" he squeaked, his face flushed beneath the mask. Great work Peter. He finished webbing him up then took a step back to take in his work. "Karen?"


"The webbing is sufficient and will last until authorities arrive. I have made them aware of the location and now I suggest that you seek medical attention." He huffed at her but followed the plotted route out of the place despite that. 


"Medical attention this, medical attention that. It's like that's all we talk about these days. What happened to hello? How are you? What happened to that?" 


"I know you're referencing a Tik Tok," she replied lightly. He was about to ask her how she knew that when he heard thrusters above his head. Iron Man. Shit. He was in big trouble if Tony had gone out of his way to come pick him up. Then he heard something that made the situation worse. Falcon's wings. Not only had Tony come to pick him up but Sam had tagged along. The only way it could get worse was if Natasha was flying in too. 


"Karen change course to where I won't be seen by Mr Stark," he ordered. 


"I cannot do that Peter. The tracker within your suit is connected to FRIDAY," Karen explained. If he didn't know any better, he'd think she'd sound disappointed in him. Which he wouldn't be surprised by. The more they worked together, the more she was turning into a replacement for May. He was starting to think that she was behind such a motherly AI. "Follow the plotted course." 


"What if I didn't?" There was a pointed silence. "Fine, I'll follow it but if we don't talk for a week that's your fault."


"I'm sure you will survive." He smirked to himself at her sass and began to think up good argument points. God knows he'd need them.




As he exited the tunnels, he saw Tony and Sam standing waiting for him with their arms folded. Tony's face was covered at first and he was hoping that it was just a suit that accompanied Sam but as soon as Peter came into view, down came the faceplate. He shrank under his mentor's disappointed gaze but he was determined that he couldn't be in the wrong completely. People could've been really hurt and his back could attest to that. If the Lizard went out into New York and started attacking people then there would've been a lot more on the line than aggravating healing ribs.


"You just couldn't let it go, could you?" Tony asked. He went to say something but decided against it. Something told him that it was a rhetorical question. "You could've just told us. We would have handled it but no you needed to have your hero moment. Every time I think you've grown up, you prove to me that you're still a kid."


"I am not a kid!" Peter shouted frustratedly, surprising both himself and the heroes standing before him. His eyes widened at himself but he kept going, hopped up on post-victory energy. "I have been through far too much to be considered a child at this point Mr Stark."


"That doesn't make you an adult," Sam stepped in. "And as much as that pisses you off, it doesn't make you an adult to go through the trauma you have. Your powers don't mean that either. All it means is you are a child who is enhanced and traumatised. You need a hug not a fight with some mutant lizard whilst your ribs are still healing!"


"Technically mutated human because he was a regular guy who was turned into a lizard," the younger mumbled angrily. His arms were folded across his chest in what could and would be interpreted as a pout although it had intended to be a stance of determination. "If I'm such a child then why let me even wear your suit huh?"


"Because you don't listen which you have proved today and is the reason you are now grounded," Tony snapped right back. 


"Then you know I won't listen to you saying that and I will go out again," Peter sassed. The billionaire was barely keeping a lid on it before Sam put a hand on his shoulder and nodded his head to silently tell him to take a breather. The shorter shook his head but he still left the man to take over lecture duty, deciding it for the best. He couldn't even stand to look at his protege and that usually meant he'd say something stupid and instil the already traumatised kid with a new trauma for the collection. The Ferry Incident taught him well. Sam waited for him to take a few steps to distance himself from the situation then took a seat beside Peter who was still pouting. 


"He worries about you," Sam stated. "We all do."


"I know but you act as though I've never fought anyone before whilst injured. I have you guys training me every Wednesday not to mention the stuff I do on my own time or the fact I'm out there protecting Queens every night! I'm bound to get hurt at some point and I have enhanced healing, it's not a big deal."


"He's not trying to discredit your work," Sam reassured him. "I know you could pop my head like a pimple if you wanted to." The teen let out a strained laugh at the description. "But you're in high school, Pete. Doesn't matter how many abs you have or how often you backflip off a building. You're injured and you have a team of people here that'll happily cover you if you need."


"I get that you don't want me to waste my youth or get in over my head or whatever but I'm helping people. No amount of grounding or bed rest can make me stop doing that."


"What about the number of broken ribs?" Tony asked, visibly calmer than he had been before. Peter went silent and dropped his shoulders down. His ribs really did hurt now and so did the cuts healing from the fight. "I get it, kid, I really do. You want to help everyone you can but you're not exactly known for self-preservation and you didn't listen to us when we put you on bed rest so maybe you will when we bench you."


"It's not like I'm trying to hurt myself. I'm mature and-and responsible and- have those black dots always been there?" He blinked hard a few times but the dots remained to eat at the rest of his vision. 




"Think I'm gonna," his sentence trailed off as his eyes rolled back and he plummeted to the floor.