Peter had been single for quite some time now. Not that he could do much about it. Saving New York from the bad guys had kept his dance card full enough. Joining the Avengers increased the workload. Saving multiple earths left him with little time to sleep, much less anything else.
However, there were always those still moments in between one big disaster and another relentless bad guy. In those times, Peter thought about Mary Jane. Those thoughts used to keep him going back when he was desperately searching for her. Now, they left behind an exhausting sadness.
See, when Peter had finally found Mary Jane, it was on a world ravaged by war. Mary Jane had taken on his role as Spider-man. She put everything she had into helping out the innocent citizens crippled by the horrors of a global war. The thing was, she was helping.
Smart, tenacious, and always with a generous heart, she had won the people over. They rallied behind her, supporting her cause for peace. They loved her and she loved them. So when Peter found her, she cried and told him she couldn’t leave.
“Of course you can’t leave.” He had said. “That’s why I love you.”
They stayed with one another that night. It had been loving and passionate, a combining of souls, their skin practically becoming one with the other. Peter could have sworn even their heartbeats aligned that night. It was beautiful. It was a farewell.
Peter couldn’t leave his world behind as much as she couldn’t leave her newfound one. They hadn’t seen each other since.
When Peter finally came back home, it was to find his Earth to be much the same as it always was. His presence, or lack thereof, hadn’t made that much of a difference. Sure, there was still crime to fight and people who had missed him, but the world didn’t collapse due to his absence.
That made him happy, of course, but it also left him feeling a bit redundant. For all the world saving he was doing, was he really all that needed? Maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal if he took a break for a while.
In so thinking, he stayed for a month solid with Aunt May, unmasking himself to her the first day. She had been in shock at first, already upset at his long absence, and as explanation all he said was, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Apparently, Uncle Ben had said that often enough for Aunt May to recognize it for what it was. She cried and hugged Peter, begging him to be safe and at least let her know if he was going to end up missing for a while so she didn’t worry. Peter agreed and they enjoyed the month of peacefulness in each other’s company.
But Peter had easily grown restless at his inactivity. Though Aunt May seemed completely understanding of the situation and encouraged him to go do what he needed to. So Peter went back to fighting the good fight. Booking himself solid and helping out whenever called upon.
Though in a way, it was lonely. Peter didn’t really have friends. Of course, Peter barely saw the light of day. Spider-man was always front and center. The superhero had partners, maybe a few he could call his friends, but hardly anything more than that. For the most part, all Peter had was Aunt May, which he did his best to stay grateful for. He loved Aunt May and couldn’t imagine his life without her.
Really, the only person he could solidly refer to as a friend was Deadpool. And how sad was that? Of course, that was mostly because Deadpool was relentless, had a weird crush on Spidey’s ass, was never insulted by Peter’s anger or sudden disappearances, and was entirely crazy.
So it was that when Madame Web showed up with an important task, Peter didn’t hesitate to go, happy for another distraction. He shot Aunt May an email and let Madame Web take him to the next disaster.
Except, it wasn’t quite what he expected.