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and more it cannot die

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A year and a day.

Peter's been keeping track, marked it on his calendar. The first time he noticed how her eyes sparkle, how very red her lips are, how beautiful she is. And it's a year and a day later (they'd agreed not to celebrate on their actual anniversary, because what's important is getting past one year, not just getting to it).

He buys her red tulips (she hates roses) and leaves them in a vase in her apartment on the way to work.

And that day, of course everything goes to hell. He leaves work and his Spider Sense rings, goes off the charts and makes him double over holding his head in the street. It's more than he's ever experienced, the danger must be real bad-- what if something happened to Darcy? He runs into an alley and takes off his sweatshirt and jeans, revealing the Spider-man suit underneath, and pulls on his mask in a few seconds, already running towards the danger. As he follows his Spider Sense closer, he recognizes the direction he's heading. Great, Doc Ock again.

He swings between the buildings, and if he wasn't in such a hurry he would marvel at the speed at which he goes, faster than any of the passing birds and quicker than the cars so far beneath his feet. But no, he has to get there quickly. He taps out a quick message to Darcy as he swings, telling her he might be late but not to worry, just the usual.

Peter is at the abandoned building within a few minutes, and bursts through the collapsing ceiling and on top of one of Doc Ock’s machines. He climbs down it and looks around. “Yo, Octagonapus!” At least it doesn’t appear that he has Darcy; that would be beyond bad.

The insane scientist steps out of the shadows, a signature smirk on his face and his mechanical arms flailing wildly. “And the spider is caught in its own web.” He says, voice cracking every two words. Peter takes a step backwards, but the arms fling out at him and wrap around his feet. He shoots a web at the ceiling that manages to keep him upright, but still caught.

”Not gonna happen, Doc!” He jumps up and -thwip- shoots a web around a few of the arms. Thwip, there goes some more, thwip, all but his actual arms are caught. “Not sure I even wanna know what you were planning there.” He swings up on top of the machine again while the ‘doctor’ struggles to be free of the webbing. ~-~-~-~

”Oh, but the machine is already set to go,” Otto Octavius replies with his stereotypical evil “Mwahahahaha”. Peter hardly has time to puzzle over what the hell that means when there’s a flash of light and a deafening boom, and his vision darkens as he slides to the floor. Otto wakes up first. He looks around, pauses, and looks around again. It worked. It really worked. His vision is free of his usual goggles, he looks at his hand and, oh yes, it definitely worked. The mind swap machine, it did its job more than perfectly. Which means Spider-man… He looks over to where his body is waking up. Just as he planned, the former hero is stuck in his decaying body.