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our life as we knew it now belongs to yesterday

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‘You realise that if I cast this spell, you will be forgotten by everyone who loves you. We will all forget about you.’

Stephen’s words echoed in his head as he looked at Ned and MJ, their faces covered in dirt and the beginnings of tears as they realised what Peter meant.

“We won’t- we won’t remember you?” MJ asked shakily, the sunrise making her hair glow ethereally as he imagined the cogs in her head turning in overdrive. “Surely there’s something we can do?”

He shook his head, heart breaking as her eyes started to turn glassy. “It’s the only way.”

He hated to break her heart so soon, but it was the only way to stop the multiverse tearing and wreaking havoc upon everyone who lived on Earth. The sacrifice of one life for billions was in his hands and he couldn’t be selfish, not when it had led to all of this in the first place. Well, being selfish wasn’t entirely correct. He’d wanted his family and friends to be safe and continue with their lives; it was his carelessness that caused this mess.

“You’ll find us, right?” Ned asked, his breath starting to hitch as a tear trickled down his face. “You know where we’ll be.”

“Of course,” Peter replied, ignoring his subconscious telling him not to in fear of them dying too. They couldn’t die, not because of him. Not when May had died because she had tried to help just like Ned and MJ had.

“I’ll figure it out again if you don’t,” MJ half-warned, giving a shaky smile when he turned to her.

He didn’t doubt her; she was incredibly smart and if he found her after she forgot him, she would figure it out with a couple of hints. It was the question of if he dropped the hints or if he was too obvious. What if he asked about the necklace and triggered a memory? What if he asked how she and Ned met and hopefully she realised there was a gap in her memories that correlated with Europe-

He needed to calm down and think. Stephen hadn’t used the spell yet and he was anticipating too many things at once. He would need to find a place to live and a job and all his things from the remains of the apartment…he almost regretted his decision. The aspect of starting from scratch was a daunting thing, like a pile of homework that was due the next day and it was already midnight and he had done none of it.

“I hope so.”

The odds had been stacked against him before and he had beaten them (albeit the recent one was with help from two versions of himself) and he had kept hope with him throughout. He’d have to make sure he could carry on hope and pray the loneliness promised to him in a few minutes wouldn’t trap him.

He turned to Ned, completing one last handshake as he savoured every last minute with them. The hug was comforting and bittersweet as the sun rose over New York, warming them as much as November could. As the threat fell into the shadows, the sun would continue to warm them and give Peter hope that maybe, just maybe, that if things went right, he could see Ned again.

He struggled to believe he was saying goodbye to his best friend; the guy who had supported him through the bullying during elementary and stayed with him to study to get into Midtown’s best STEM school. Ned, who helped him grieve after Ben’s death when he bottled everything up because he didn’t want to burden May who was already struggling to pay the bills. Ned, who was his guy in the chair and helped him out during patrols and patched him up and comforted him with Lego and Star Wars.

He smiled weakly at his best friend as the lump in his throat tried to choke him, blinking away tears as he turned to MJ, worry and love shrouding her form as they kissed. He’d find her, no matter what. Even if he kept his distance, he’d find her and Ned again and make sure they were safe.

“I love you,” she said as they broke apart, hands still intertwined. A new pain stabbed his heart as her words sunk in, slowly aching all over his figure as he struggled to find the strength to say it back. He didn’t want to leave her, not when his life had been perfect for about a week and he had felt at ease. “You can say it back when you find us, okay?”

He nodded as she smiled one of her rare genuine ones. The ones he would see when they were calling late into the night and he was dozing off and they stayed quiet, simply enjoying each other’s presence, and he cracked his eyes open to see MJ smiling at his half-asleep figure, thinking he had fallen asleep. The one she gave him after the effort he’d made on their adorably awkward first date after he’d fumbled with his coffee cup and spilt it on his jeans and she’d given him tissues, watching as he rambled on about how Pepper Potts would dominate the world.

He'd find them. They had confidence in him and he knew he’d come to find them eventually.

He mentally prepared himself for what was about to happen, taking in a deep breath before wincing as his healing ribs protested.

He looked up at Stephen, mentally wishing the sorcerer a final goodbye before nodding, silently saying it was time to go.

He looked down at Peter 2 and Peter 3, mentally thanking them for their efforts and how relieving it was to know there were other Spider-Men who understood what it was like and probably knew what he was doing, even if it was on a ridiculous magnitude on the scale of sacrifice.

He looked back at Ned and MJ, keeping the image of them against the sunrise in his brain as he shot a web and swung away from the people he called home.

Stephen’s spell cast across the whole sky, gold and orange symbols standing out against the light blue of the sky. He closed his eyes as the spell burst, a bright light blooming across New York.


He woke up with a jolt, groaning as his back protested against being curled up in the foetal position for too long. He stretched, arching his back before lying on his back. The worn mattress beneath him barely helped the tenseness but he ignored it in favour of turning to his side, pulling his patterned quilt with him as he checked the time on his alarm clock.

He squinted at his phone’s brightness, pulling a hand out from under the duvet to turn it down and read the screen, albeit was blurry.

18th September, 04:27.

He sighed, relishing the brief enjoyment of a few more hours of sleep before school. Continuous patrolling sapped the energy from him and after the huge fight with Lizard, Sandman, Electro and Goblin, he needed all the rest he could get.

Wait.

His heartbeat sped up as he unlocked his phone, frantically looking for the calendar app and checking the date.

18th September 2016.

That couldn’t be right.

It had been November 28th, 2024, and he’d been leaving Liberty Island as Stephen cast the spell that made everyone forget him and he was going to start everything again with everyone forgetting him, then he was going to find Ned and MJ and explain everything to them.

What the hell had happened? Had Stephen messed up the spell because of the multiverse tearing and he’d been distracted? Was this a dream?

He pinched himself. Ow, okay, not a dream.

He sat up, switching on the bedside light and scanning his room for any anomalies. Was his mind messing with him and he was hallucinating or was there a massive illusion going on? His Spidey-sense wasn’t ringing and he paused, closing his eyes and fully taking in his surroundings.

The stink of New York pollution and the burnt remnants of what was supposedly dinner clogged his nose, the stale air of his fan weakly blowing across the room as the fan rattled slightly. The softness of his covers and the cold metal of his bed frame. May’s soft breathing from the room adjacent to his.

Oh God. May.

He choked on air, trying to process what was happening. If May was alive and sleeping in her room -they weren’t in opposite rooms like they were in Happy’s apartment- then there was one answer: time travel. How was he back in 2016? He had been in 2024 and Stephen had been sorting out his mess…he didn’t understand.

He had time travelled. He struggled to wrap his mind around the process as he opened his eyes and stared around his room as if it were somewhere foreign.

Could magic do that? He knew Tony had managed to time travel to get the infinity stones but he was pretty sure the time machine or whatever the Avengers had used had been destroyed during the final battle against Thanos.

Magic was beyond his knowledge and he couldn’t think of any plausible reason other than time travel but it seemed insane. How could anything except the time zone send him so far back? He didn’t need sleep, he needed answers.

“Okay Peter, calm down,” he mumbled, listening to May’s even breathing to calm his heat rate. The universe had basically given him another chance with everything and he couldn’t screw it up. First things first, he needed to write down everything that happened between 2016 and 2024 that impacted the world that he could fix.

He threw his covers off of him, tugging on some sweatpants and sitting at his desk to force his brain to work. After he switched on the light, he found some paper and a pen, jotting down everything he could fix as life carried on, unaware of the absolute anomaly in time and space that was sitting in a Queens apartment and figuring out how to save the world without destroying the timeline.

-Vulture (this week).

-Many alien-tech crimes.

-See if Ned and MJ remember.

-Thanos???

-Stop the Snap (elaborate).

-Stop Beck.

-Stop identity reveal.

He paused on the last one.

How was he supposed to know who remembered his identity if he didn’t know who Strange had brought back in time, assuming he wasn’t the only one. The sorcerer may have brought himself, Ned, MJ and maybe Happy but he doubted the latter. Stephen barely knew Happy and it probably wouldn’t have crossed his mind.

May wouldn’t know until after Homecoming. He couldn’t have her stopping him from getting to Toomes, not this time. Speaking of Vulture, Peter couldn’t have him knowing his identity.

As troublesome as Toomes was in the previous timeline, he was also the first major villain to find out Peter’s identity and he could have told any prisoners in the Raft. He hoped he hadn’t but he wasn’t willing to take any chances, not when Peter’s life had been destroyed with his carelessness.

He glanced at his pinboard, raising an eyebrow at his past self for leaving a sticky note with ‘ask out Liz’ written on it. He definitely wouldn’t now, not when his feelings for MJ remained strong. But dealing with Liz…how could he even face her when he knew he’d be sending her dad to prison within the next week. Guilt had plagued him whenever Liz’s name had been mentioned whether it was during Decathlon practice or in passing.

He was tempted to not bother with Homecoming and focus on dealing with Vulture but if Ned didn’t remember anything then he’d be leaving him, and if Peter wanted to be honest with himself, he didn’t want to leave Ned alone. He’d been a jerk and left Ned alone to go on patrol and try and gain Tony’s approval a lot more than he should have.

Well, he’d need to find out if anyone remembered anything, then he could deal with Vulture.


Peter sorted out a mental to-do list as he readied himself for the day, thankful it was Sunday. He had a full day to find the Sanctum Sanctorum and find Stephen to explain what the hell had happened and maybe get some answers, but first he needed to face May.

Guilt had clung to him as he’d readied himself for the final battle against the multiverse villains, manifesting itself into rage as he’d faced Goblin. He had needed an outlet for every emotion after May’s death and Goblin had been a willing subject but wow, he hadn’t known how ruthless he could be when pushed.

Goblin had destroyed Happy’s apartment, beaten him to shit, killed May with his bombs, almost killed MJ and Ned, blamed Peter for May’s death (he wasn’t wrong) and taunted him as Peter had beaten him bloody.

He couldn’t remember anything other than punching and raising the glider above his head with every intent to kill before Peter 2 had stopped him, his eyes screaming at Peter to come to his senses and remember that Spider-Man didn’t kill.

He’d hated how right he was. Spider-Man didn’t kill, it wasn’t in his morals even after giving everyone a second chance, but it had felt like retribution. An eye for an eye.

He probably needed to go to a therapist. It wasn’t like he could afford one, not when he and May were in financial difficulty without the extra food Peter needed for his metabolism and Tony’s help. Oh well, he’d survived for this long.

After throwing on a pair of jeans and a nerdy sweatshirt (‘I may be NErDy but only periodically’), he wandered into the kitchen, the sweet smell of blueberry pancakes greeting him (surprisingly they weren’t burnt) as he remembered how normal his life had been before Homecoming. Well, as normal as it could get after he was bitten by the spider and became Spider-Man.

His breath hitched when he saw May standing by the cooker, humming Bohemian Rhapsody as she flipped a pancake. She was wearing jeans and a plain t-shirt, but the memory of her lying on her back as her blood stained the chalky asphalt of the broken building plagued his mind.

She turned around, using her free hand to move some loose strands of hair from her face as she smiled at him, beckoning him over to look at the pancakes.

“Morning champ,” she said, pressing a kiss to his temple as she gestured to the stack of mainly perfect pancakes. “See, they’re not burnt like you said yesterday!”

He froze, barely remembering the conversation. Seeing May happy and alive with no worries caused him to choke up. How had he let her get so involved with his life and the chaos that came with it? How dare he risk May’s life when she did so much for him and everyone at FEAST?

He didn’t deserve May and her unlimited kindness.

“Hun, you okay?” She asked, raising her hand to his forehead to check for a temperature.

“Um, yeah,” he choked out, blinking away tears. “Can I- can I have a hug?” He mumbled, fidgeting with his slightly oversized sleeves.

“You know you don’t have to ask.” May embraced him, holding him as he reciprocated and let a couple of tears slide down his cheeks. He hadn’t had enough time to grieve after May had died, too preoccupied after being shot at and hiding on top of the school roof, meeting the other Peters, and fighting the multiverse enemies.

The idea of losing May was too daunting for him to process in the few hours he’d been awake in 2016 but he couldn’t pass it off as a nightmare to himself. Holding her dead body as he begged her to stay with him, watching as her lips turned grey and her face paled; it was too real and traumatic for him to ignore.

“’M okay, just had a bad nightmare,” he muttered, holding her tightly before letting go. He needed to reassure himself that she was there and it wasn’t a surreal dream. It would be incredibly cruel for him to wake up somewhere else and find out he’d imagined a world where he stood a chance.

“You want to talk about it?” She asked, frowning as a burning smell wafted from the pan. “Oh crap!” She turned around, quickly turning the stove off and rescuing the pancake.

“No, it’ll be fine.” He wiped the tears from his face, smiling to assure her he would be okay.

She examined him for a few seconds before nodding, asking him to get some cutlery before they sat down and ate breakfast.


He searched up directions to the Sanctum Sanctorum, having visited a couple of times and almost forgetting which train he needed to stop at to get to Greenwich.

The building’s façade was the same as before: cracked windows resting behind rusting rails, ivy creeping down the building and curling around the massive window on the third floor.

He could see how Strange and Wong warded away curious tourists and government officials from entering the building, not when it looked days away from being demolished. Some newspapers detailed the demolition and repurposing the building as a Starbucks but it had never happened.

He stumbled on one of the steps, steadying himself on the wall as he pressed the doorbell, hoping Stephen or Wong would be there. It’d be painful to explain everything if neither of them remembered but it had to be done. He couldn’t change the future on his own, not when Thanos was too big a threat and Peter was too small an opponent.

There were six Infinity Stones, two of which were on Earth. Stephen had carried the Time stone on him until Thanos had forced his hand to save Tony and Peter was pretty sure Vision held the Mind stone, but he wasn’t sure how he would get it off of Vision.

He was pretty sure Wakanda had been sorting that out before Thanos came to Earth but he didn’t hold any power to change that until he and Tony were closer.

He staggered backwards when the doors opened suddenly, caught like a deer in the headlights as Stephen looked at him like he was a tourist who had stumbled upon something they shouldn’t have.

“You seem out of your depth,” he said, raising an eyebrow as Peter fumbled for words. Judging by Strange’s reaction, he didn’t remember Peter.

Well, that made sense. He only knew Spider-Man but Peter didn’t have the suit Tony had given him since he had taken it away after the ferry disaster and turning up in his homemade suit was asking for a disaster.

“Ah, Doctor Strange, sir-“ Peter stammered, unsure of how to start explaining the colossal mess that would happen in the future if he didn’t change anything.

“If you’re here on any tourist business then I advise you go to the bakery a block away, they make amazing sausage rolls,” Stephen suggested monotonously, wearing his navy robes without his cloak.

He supposed it was to keep suspicion from the public eye but the necklace containing the time stone was an automatic give away to Peter. He didn’t look half as worn down as he did in the future -or was it the past?- and the Sanctum looked relatively normal without ice covering everything. “Wait, how do you know my name?”

He decided to bite the bullet.

“I’m from the future and I need your help,” he said, heart pounding as Stephen’s eyes widened with realisation.

“Peter?”