Is it too late?

Peter Parker walked through the hallways on the tri-carrier. He walked passed agents, scientists, other superheroes, but he saw no one. The only thing his eyes were seeing right was now was red. He couldn't believe it. His mind couldn't comprehend what Sam had done on their mission. Spiderman had needed him to be there just this once but Nova had abandoned his teammates and for what – to save a woman who was bound to be saved by another agent in a few seconds if not minutes. It was true that what his teammate had done was quite brave and what any hero in his place would've done but that didn't matter or mean anything. He was a superhero, yes! But he was their teammate first and when the team was endangered you should be trying to help your teammates not leave them to deal with a crazy villain that could shoot fire from his arms.

Peter sighed as he neared the part of the tri-carrier where the injured ones were held for observation. He entered and heard the glass doors slide until they were fully closed. The teen took off his mask and all of his fury vanished when he saw his wounded teammate.

"Hey Danny."

"Hello Peter." Danny replied.

"How's your wound?" Peter asked and though he had tried to mask his guilt, he didn't manage to do it quick enough.

"It is fine. My arm doesn't hurt as much as it did on the battlefield. I'm afraid I won't be able to fight alongside you guys for awhile."

"Don't apologize for something that isn't your fault." Peter said thought gritted teeth.

"Don't blame yourself for something you aren't responsible for committing." Danny replied and smiled as he saw that Peter had indeed heard him right.

"H-how did you…?"Peter began to question but Danny cut him in and explained:

"I can see the guilt written all over your face. But honestly you shouldn't think it is your fault. Our enemy shot me after I tried to defeat him on my own. It's my own fault for trying to be brave."

Peter clenched his fists as he mumbled:

"You weren't the reckless one."

Danny knew who his leader was referring to and he immediately opened his mouth intending to defend Sam but Peter put his hand up, silencing him. Spiderman then closed his eyes and after reopening them he smiled and said:

"Get some rest."

"I will, but Peter-" Danny tried to advise Peter not to do anything he might regret later but the other teen interrupted him again.

"Don't worry Danny. I won't do anything reckless."

"You'd better. Believe me Sam has his reasons."

"He'd better." Peter said simply as he exited the ward.

Danny sighed and closed his eyes, praying this wouldn't turn into another horrible argument between two of his best friends. He honestly hated how oblivious those two were and yet how easy it was for their relationship to sour. Sometimes he even wondered how Sam and Peter had managed to put their differences aside and try not to tease each other so much. Surprisingly that had worked and now one could even say they were good friends, but the occasional quarrels did happen and Danny had the feeling this one was going to have terrible consequences for their friendship.


Peter stormed down the hallways once again and headed straight to his next destination – the training room. The teen superhero reached it soon and once again his blood boiled because normally he would see everyone in it working their asses off and trying to become stronger, but now only Sam was here and he was still failing at keeping his shield up for more than a few seconds and fighting off the robots. Sometimes Peter wondered how his friend managed to stay on their team. After all, they were destined to become the next Avengers as Fury but mostly Coulsin had predicted and there was no room for mistakes or weakness.

"I see you're still failing at mastering those new moves, Bucket-head." Peter said and smirked when he witnessed Nova jump. Oh, he knew he was being a jackass but he loved it when his teammate did that. It was quite entertaining.

Nova managed to recover soon and destroy the rest of the robots with a few blasts of cosmic energy. He then landed on the ground and took off his helmet. Spiderman took off his mask and now they could both say what they wanted to the other's face.

"You can't still be pissed about the accident right Webs?" Sam asked with a small frown on his face.

If it were another time Peter would space off and think how cute Sam looked when his brows furrowed, but now wasn't one of them. Now he had to act like the team leader and scold one of his teammates for risking the lives of the other members for no reason.

"I am more than angry Bucket-head! I am furious!" Peter yelled and succeeded in making Sam cringe.

"Alright, webs, but I think you need to take a chill pill. I mean I did save her life and you guys handled the villain on your own. No one's severely injured so I don't see what the problem is." Sam stated as a matter-of-factly. That only made his leader even angrier and pretty soon Nova was sure he was going to regret it.

Once he heard those words Peter's bubble burst.

"How can you say such a thing?!" Peter questioned and then continued, "Danny won't be able to use his hand for the next five days or maybe even more. Luke nearly got himself killed twice in order to save Danny and Ava. Ava is shattered right now because she had to cover for you and attack that bastard from the air. Both of them are dead tired Sam! I am barely holding myself right now and you-"

"I what? I'm fine and aren't exhausted like the rest you?" Sam asked angry at his leader for making such stupid assumptions. He was sick and tired of everything himself. All of the others were excelling and had become so stronger in barely a year while he was still stuck mastering this stupid shield because he was the only one who could create a defense. While Sam was an excellent fighter, he was a terrible defender and only because he lacked that skill Fury had decided it would be useful for him to focus solely on that.

Peter's eyes widened. He knew Sam was having a hard time but he didn't even once consider his friend's condition. He hadn't even asked why he did it. Surely Sam had a proper reason for saving that woman even though she wasn't in much danger. Of course, Peter decided not to listen to his better judgment and common sense and go on being the jerk he had been for the past couple of minutes.

"Oh come on, how can mastering one stupid shield take you more than a month? Either you're extremely stupid or you aren't trying hard enough. And just for the record a true hero doesn't put his teammates and the lives of innocents in danger." Peter countered.

Sam's eyes widened. They soon returned to their normal form but the reaction, which followed, wasn't the one Peter had expected. The web slinger thought Sam was going to burst. Spiderman was certain Nova would call him names, yell at him, maybe even punch him or shoot him with balls of cosmic energy, but he didn't consider even the slightest that disbelief would be the thing clouding Sam's eyes.

"How can you be so cruel and selfish, Parker?"

"What?!" Now it was Peter's turn to wear a disbelieving look.

"You heard me right. How can you expect me to abandon a citizen whose life is endangered?" Sam questioned and met Peter's gaze. The thing he saw there shocked him. He wanted understanding or compassion or maybe even guilt to be written on his leader's face but the cold hollow those blue orbs had made Nova freeze completely.

"She wasn't in any real danger. The building she was in had only ten floors and she was on the third. The fire had just started on the tenth floor, meaning it had plenty of time to reach her. Second, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s agents were on their way and would've saved her after five, maybe even less minutes. So tell me Sam why did you leave us in order to save someone who apparently doesn't need it?" Peter finished with a mock grin on his face.

Sam clenched his fists and put his head down. Peter thought it was caused by shame or guilt and was about to continue torturing his teammate and try to make him see that it was his damn fault the rest of the team was in the state they were when Sam answered barely audibly:

"Because she is my mother."