"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Laura! Happy birthday to you!"
"Now, make a wish and blow out the candles, sweetie," a nice young woman with brown hair and a wide smile said to her now five year old daughter as the chorus of happy song finished.
"I wish for a stuffed toy of my favourite spider, and for us to be a happy family!" she said enthusiastically in her little voice, while grinning excitedly, before she took an overly large breath, and blew out the five flickering birthday candles, leaving trails of puffy smoke to blow away in the breeze.
"Yayyy!" the group of people surrounding her cheered as she did so.
"Good job!" her mum encouraged. "Now, why don't you go open up your presents while I cut the cake?" she suggested. The girl nodded and eagerly jumped down off her chair and ran over to the small pile of colourfully wrapped presents sitting on a thin blanket on the floor of the balcony.
It didn't take long for her happy screech to reach the ears of her guests, as a few minutes and a lot of ripped wrapping paper later, she uncovered the stuffed Spider-Man toy her mum had bought her.
"Eeeeeeeee!" she exclaimed as she cuddled the toy tight, its white eyes staring up at her. "Thank you mummy!" she yelled as she ran to her mum with the toy in hand and gave her a big hug around the waist as she was handing out slices of decorated chocolate cake.
"No problem sweetie. Just be careful near the railing!" she said, as Laura ran off to sit next to the edge of the balcony with a number of her new toys, the Spider-Man one obviously being the favourite as she kept it tucked safely under her arm.
"Here darling, an extra large slice for the birthday girl!" a man being her father said, as he came over a minute later to hand her a plate with a big helping of cake on it, along with a cup of juice.
"Thanks daddy," she said, as she reached out to take it. But in doing so she forgot about the toy tucked under her arm, and it slipped out, falling through the small gap in the railing.
"Noooooooooooo!" she screamed in despair as she saw her favourite toy go plummeting towards the earth, unable to reach it in time.
It never hit the ground though, as out of nowhere there was a rush of wind and a blur of red and blue as a figure swooped over and flipped dramatically in mid air, snatching the toy mid-descent and disappearing round the corner.
The silence was pin-drop worthy on the deck for but a second, before the figure flew back around and landed crouched on the railing, holding the lost stuffed toy in its hand.
The family was shocked to find a large living, breathing, red and blue version of the toy, exact in likeness, sitting right in front of Laura, large eyes looking right into her face.
"Drop something?" he spoke, placing the replica of himself in her hands.
Laura took the toy absentmindedly, her eyes never leaving the being in front of her, before she all but threw herself at him, crashing herself into Spidey's form in a strangling bear hug.
"Spidey!" she yelled, in absolute joy, squeezing him tighter just like she'd been doing to the toy but moments before.
Spidey made an 'oopf' noise in surprise, balancing himself on the railing when the extra weight rammed into him, before carefully winding his arms around the girl in response, lowering his chin over her head.
"Well, hello there to you too," he said warmly, with a kind giggle.
The girl pulled back and grinned at him with possibly the widest smile he'd ever seen, eyes shining.
"You came to my birthday party!" she utterly beamed, practically bouncing with excitement.
"Oh, well, this spider could never miss such a wonderful little girl's birthday, especially not a fan such as you. How old are you?" he asked, playing along as he didn't want to disappoint the girl by saying he wasn't there on purpose.
The girl squeaked. "Five!" she said, holding up all five fingers on her hand to show him.
"Wow, you're a big girl!" he replied encouragingly, looking at her fingers on show before ruffling her golden blond hair with a gloved hand.
"Yes!" she giggled, looking up at him with the most adorable grin. She then grabbed his hand before he could pull it away. "Come on! I want to show you my presents," she said, as she dragged him off the railing and along to her pile.
"Wow, you got some nice gifts. You're very spoiled," he commented, crouching down next to her. There were a lot of new artist's supplies sitting on the rug, along with a few other toys. "Do you like to paint?" he asked curiously.
"Yes! I love drawing! And I have a picture of you too!" she announced, before suddenly running off excitedly within the apartment.
Spidey just sat there for a second amongst awkward silence, before the girl re-emerged through the glass door.
"Here, you can have it," she said, holding out a very sweet and surprisingly good drawing of him.
"Ooo, thanks. You're very good," he said, taking the picture and examining the precious work.
The girl blushed. "Thanks," she said, suddenly becoming shy.
"Well, I really appreciate it," Spidey said, carefully rolling up the picture in one hand to later put safely in his backpack, before giving her another hug. "Well, I've got to go now, need to continue my hero work and protect the city, but it was very nice meeting you...?"
"Laura," she answered.
"Well, it was nice to meet you Laura," he said.
"But do you have to go?" Laura quickly said before he could swing away, a slightly disappointed whine to her voice that sounded very out of place coming from such a sweet, happy girl.
Spidey suddenly felt bad, his shoulders slumping slightly. "Yes, I'm afraid I do, but I'm sure you can continue to have a great party without me," he said.
The girl seemed to perk up a little at this, despite her sadness. "At least have some cake before you go," she said, practically begging.
Spidey sighed. "Oh alright," he said, with slight amusement in his voice.
The girl beamed again and ran back over to where her abandoned cake sat - Spidey following behind and hopping back up on the railing.
She quickly used her fingers to break off a piece of her cake, and held it up in front of his face.
"Here you go Spidey," she said, "Don't worry, I washed my hands earlier, like mummy said," she added, sensing his uncertainty.
Spidey giggled at her sweetness and pulled up the bottom of his mask slightly, before leaning forward and taking the piece of cake in his mouth right off her fingers.
Laura giggled obsessively with joy at the feel of his tongue, making her look even cuter, before Spidey leaned back and began to chew, before swallowing quickly.
"Thanks. Chocolate; yummy," he said, licking his lips with a smile, before pulling his mask back down. "Well, I gotta go now. Have a great afternoon," he said, giving her one more final hug, before standing and leaping acrobatically off the railing, swinging away, doing several fancy flips in the process.
Laura watched him go, smiling, before her mother spoke up in the background. "I baked that cake..." was all she said.