A Walk Down Memory Lane

Peter groaned and tried to cover his face with the covers. Unfortunately, he couldn't because something was preventing him from doing so. He couldn't figure out what it was at first but soon all the pieces started to come together and flashbacks raced through his mind like thunders through the sky. It was far too much to comprehend when you were still half asleep but Peter was aware enough to understand two things: 1) it was morning and 2) Sam had stayed the night. Wait. Sam had stayed the night?!

Suddenly Peter's mind was completely alert. His eyes shot open and started looking around the room frantically. They soon fell on the clock on his nightstand and after a few seconds the teen sighed. It was only half past six. It would take at least one hour for the rest of the team to wake up. Same went for Aunt May. After that conclusion had been reached, Peter allowed himself to relax and enjoy the rarity of this morning.

Sam was lying beside Peter and his expression was the picture of blissful contentment. The smile he was wearing was enough to let anyone know he was having a peaceful dream. Something which was very rare for the teen.

At that thought Peter scrunched his nose and a frown soon replaced his glowing face. He remembered how traumatizing the mission they had a few months ago was for Sam. Peter recalled how helpless his lover had felt when he had to be hospitalized. His mind then drifted off to how he himself had got injured but quite severely and had been on the brink of death. Even now Sam's words still echoed in his head:

Don't you dare do this to me again!

Spiderman allowed a bitter smile to appear. It was true that he loved Sam's rare emotional moments but that one was an exception. His expression became gloomy once more when he remembered his lover's tearstained face and bloodshot eyes. He recalled a shuddering body unable to hold the emotions running through it any longer. How pitiful. To be in love with someone and yet to be forced to wait hours in order to be able to talk to them one on one. And yet even after three months things still had not changed. They had been together for four damn months and yet…..they were still hiding in the shadows of the night like some wrongdoers. They were forced to steal kisses and embraces from one another only when they were covered by the night's veil. Even now they were scared to give any indication of the feelings they harbored for each other during the day. And why you may ask?

For starters Nick Fury had forbidden all kinds of romantic relationships between teammates whether it was the innocent teenage type or something as deep and serious as engagement or even marriage. The reason for his decision was because those kinds of things could ruin a team and even though Peter did partially agree with him, now, when he was in such a situation, he couldn't help but find it preposterous. And on top of that, there was a punishment for those who broke that stupid rule – they were separated. Both had to leave the team and were to be sent to the opposite sides of the world. And that was something Peter knew he couldn't handle or at least would have a really hard time getting used to.

The second reason for all this secrecy was because of the team. Neither Peter nor Sam trusted them enough to tell them about their relationship mainly because they weren't certain what their reaction would be. And even though both of them thought that all three of their teammates might understand, they just couldn't take their chances.

And the third reason was because neither one of them knew how long this could last. As that thought crossed his mind Peter couldn't help but feel slightly nostalgic.

He remembered how terrified he had been that day when all those cliffs fell on Sam. He recalled most of the events only slightly. The majority of them were a blur because of the fact that then Sam had been close to death.

Peter rushed through the corridors of shield, not caring about his minor injuries at all. All he wanted to do was to get to Sam and make sure he was going to live. That was all he needed – a pulse, a staggered breath, a wiggle of a toe or finger, a frown, some kind of movement, anything that would indicate Sam was indeed still among the living.

As Spiderman neared the room where Sam was kept under close observation, his steps faltered. His running slowed down to simple jogging until that turned into exhausted steps. His feet felt like they weighed a thousand tons. There was such a huge lump in his throat that for a second Peter thought he was going to suffocate. There was so much blood rushing through his ears that all he could hear was his heavy breathing, his racing heartbeat and his deadly footsteps.

After what felt like a lifetime, but was in fact only a few seconds, Spiderman was in front of Sam's door. He looked at the number: 314. Just like the nurse had said. He swallowed hard and braced himself for accusations, breakdowns or any other kind of reaction he could receive from his worried and concerned teammates. Spiderman slowly brought his hand up and knocked on the door, counting the seconds it took for an answer to come. After what felt like eternity a foreign voice uttered:

"Come in."

And Peter complied. He opened the door and went inside. What he saw surprised him. There was no one in there aside from Sam and another nurse. The woman appeared to be checking something but Peter was far too focused on his injured teammate to even bother taking notice of something as unimportant as that. He patiently waited for her to finish what she was doing and could only give her a nod as a goodbye.

The nurse smiled and said:

"Although he is stable now, he still needs his rest so please do not take too long."

With that she started to leave but stopped midway when Peter asked her:

"Does that mean he's out of danger?"

The nurse seemed hesitant at first and that made Spiderman anxious but soon a warm smile graced her lips and she answered:

"Although there is always a risk of complications, I dare say the worst part is almost over."

"Does that mean he'll live?" Peter questioned. He couldn't help it. He just had to ask. He needed to hear it. The annoying beeping of the machine was not enough proof Sam was alive.

The nurse's smile grew even more as she said:

"He'll live."

With that she left, not missing the relieved smile that formed on Spiderman's face. It was so big and honest that you could see part of it through his mask.

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Peter screamed as he fell on his knees. Tears of joy escaped the corners of his eyes and spilled down his face with the force of Niagara Falls. Spiderman took his mask off and approached Sam's bed cautiously as though he feared that if he rushed, all of this was going to disappear and Sam would still be there, underneath all those rocks and Peter would still be surrounded by that blinding darkness of nothingness and sudden emptiness.

Sam's stirring brought Peter back to the present. Nova's eyes flickered open and a frown soon crossed his previously peaceful features. It took some time to get used to the light but soon enough Sam could see everything without the need to rub his eyes a few times. He noticed that there was something or rather someone lying next to him. Once everything sank in, the teen's eyes grew wide and he nearly yelled.

Sensing his distress, Peter quickly moved and put two fingers against Sam's lips, making the other halt his movements and successfully preventing him from screaming. Spiderman waited for the other to relax so he could explain. Fortunately, it took only a few seconds for Sam to calm down.

"It's alright. It's barely seven o'clock." Peter said in a gentle tone, hoping to make part of his lover's anxiety go away. It appeared to be working because pretty soon a relieved smile formed on Sam's face.

"Looks like I wore you out last night sunshine." Peter commented after Sam suppressed a yawn, earning himself a nice glare from Nova.

"No, you didn't. I was simply far too lazy to go back to my own room." Sam tried to come up with an excuse but apparently he had no luck in that department today.

"Right and I'm Cat woman." Peter countered.

Sam huffed and decided to allow Peter to have that small victory. The teen soon got up and started searching for his clothes. After some time he managed to find his boxers and pants and put them on. Unfortunately, he couldn't find his shirt. Sometimes he hated the fact that Peter's room was such a mess.

Sam sighed and checked the clock: 7:10. They had a few minutes left and that was something quite rare. A small smile formed on his face as Sam remembered the day Peter had told him he loved him.

Sam's eyes widened as Peter jumped in front of him and took the hit. The force of the impact sent Spiderman flying and made him hit a wall quite hard. Nova rushed to his side and gasped when he saw blood spilling from Peter's abdomen. The wound was quite deep and was in need of immediate medical treatment.

Suddenly everything around Nova went black. There was no movement, no sound, nothing. Just him and the deadly silence. Nothing and no one could reach him. Not Ava's shouts, Luke's yells or Danny's calling his name. Not even the fact that they were in the middle of a battle registered. The only thing that occupied his mind was these words: Betrayal. Disappointment. Failure. He had let someone hurt Peter. He had let his most precious person down. He had put him in risk because he had not been paying enough attention.

Suddenly everything came crashing back. He was gone from that place and was back in reality. There he could hear his teammates struggling to fight off their enemies on their own. He could hear Peter's chokes, gasps, groans and moans. He could hear and sense everything but his body would not move. It couldn't. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't fulfill such a simple task. He was far too shocked and shattered to be able to even turn around and see what was going on behind him. The only thing he could do was hope and pray that Peter was going to be alright and wait for his energy to pile up and explode.

After only a few seconds it happened. Humongous amounts of energy escaped his body's hold and started searching for those responsible for his lover's pain. Naturally they found them in a matter of seconds and soon took their revenge. Most of the enemies were knocked out while others were simply left shaking until they too fell into unconsciousness. His teammates were shocked beyond compare but managed to recover. Peter was bleeding but was going to be rushed into operation soon. The only one who was left unchanged was Sam.

~ Hours later ~

Sam took careful steps to Peter's room. He had been told the operation had gone fine and that Spiderman was out of danger. That, of course, was good news but it did nothing to soothe Sam's aching heart. He could still hear it: Betrayal. Disappointment. Failure. Those words were ringing through his mind and there was nothing anyone could do to stop them.

Minutes passed until he reached the door. Hours went by until he gathered the courage to go inside. A whole day passed until they were left alone. Two more disappeared into the swirl of time until Peter woke up. And throughout all this Sam had not left his side no matter how much others tried to make him go home and get some sleep. He couldn't do that when he knew that Spiderman was hurt because of him. And even if he did, he was well aware of the fact that he wouldn't be able to get much sleep, if any, because guilt was eating away his bleeding heart and his shattered mind was tormented with burning thoughts of self-punishment.

Sam was brought back to earth by a groan from none other than Peter Parker. Spiderman tried to move but was resulted in another sharp pang of pain. Nova sensed his discomfort and immediately warned him:

"Don't move. Your wounds are still fresh."

Peter nodded but even that simple motion brought on some pain. Sam sighed and looked around. Once he was certain that no one could see them, the teen got up from his chair and went next to Peter's bed. He saw the perplexed look Spiderman gave him, but Nova dismissed it and simply sat down next to the injured boy. Sam then looked straight into Peter's blue eyes and allowed himself to relax for the first time in four days.

"You really are ok." Sam breathed a sigh of relief while saying it.

Peter was still slightly confused and tried to speak. Fortunately, his throat was only dry and he was able to utter a coherent sentence.

"What happened?"

Sam's eyes widened at first, not used to Peter's raspy voice. Then it hit him that the other teen had been unconscious for quite a while and was probably very thirsty. That was the reason why Sam reached out his hand and grabbed a glass of water. He then looked at Peter and asked him:

"Can you get up?"

Spiderman was not sure whether he could do it. He tried, however, but unfortunately the pain was too much to bear and he ended up lying down again quite harshly with a groan. Sam cursed under his breath but managed to come up with a compromise. He reached his hand out and asked Peter:

"Can you move your head up a little?"

Peter didn't know what Nova was trying to do but complied with Sam's request. Nova smiled when he managed to slip one arm under Peter's neck and used the other to guide the glass of water to Spiderman's mouth. It was a bit uncomfortable but in the end Peter managed to drink all of it and the satisfied smile that graced his lips soon after was enough to tell Sam it was worth it.

"Where are the others?" Peter asked in his typical tone now.

"They left around an hour ago. They wanted to stay but Fury managed to convince them they needed to rest." Sam explained.

Peter nodded and didn't groan this time. He soon processed the information and his eyes widened.

"How long have I been out cold?" He asked.

"Four days." Sam answered.

"And how long have you been here?" Peter questioned in a worried tone.

Sam put his head down and mumbled:

"4 days."

Peter's eyes widened and he couldn't help but scream:

"What?! You mean to tell me that you haven't gone to school or done any missions this whole time?! Have you even left the room?"

"Yes, of course."

"Going to the bathroom doesn't count."

Sam opened his mouth to protest but Peter cut him off saying:

"Neither does doing anything that involves something that has to do with me."

Sam glared at his secret boyfriend for being so perceptive and for overreacting. However, despite the anger, Nova couldn't help but smile.

"Why are you smiling goofily?! Knowing you, you haven't slept a wink these past four days because you were worried about me!" Peter semi-yelled again, not being able to contain his anger.

"That I am. But I didn't know you cared about me as much as I care about you." Sam replied.

Unable to conceal or keep any of his emotions under lock and key, Peter couldn't hold it in anymore and exploded, screaming:

"I don't just care about you Sam. I love you!"

Both pairs of eyes widened at the sudden confession. Peter's face was red because of embarrassment, while Sam's was slightly tinted with the same colour but unlike his lover, he was wearing a triumphant smirk on his face.

"And I love you." Sam said, kissing his boyfriend gently on the forehead, making Peter blush even more. Nova chuckled as he eyed Spiderman's blushing face and couldn't help but smile, knowing it was he who evoked such feelings and triggered such reactions from the other.

"Earth to Sam!" Peter shouted, making the other lose balance, yelp and fall face first on the floor. Spiderman blinked a couple of times and then burst into hysterics.

"Damn it Parker!" Sam screamed, but most of it was muffled by the carpet.

"You're going to pay for this!" Sam said, getting off the floor.

"Whatever you say sunshine." Peter replied.

"Where the hell did that come from?" Sam asked.

" 'Sunshine' you mean?" Peter questioned.

"Yes!" Sam half-yelled as an answer.

"You know you should learn to be more patient." Peter advised his boyfriend.

"Says the guy who can't keep his anger in check." Sam countered.

"What is that supposed to mean?!" Peter asked.

"Need I remind you of what happened seven months ago?" Sam questioned and added, "But what you just did will suffice as an example."

Peter rolled his eyes, huffed and responded:

"I call you sunshine because you're like the sun."

Sam furrowed his eyebrows, telling Peter silently that he didn't understand what he meant. The other only sighed and explained:

"Whenever I'm angry, sad or upset, you'll always manage to cheer me up."

"I still don't see the analogy." Sam replied.

Peter's eyes widened and he asked:

"You know what analogy means?"

That question made Sam all riled up and he couldn't help but feel slightly offended by his lover's lack of faith in his intelligence.

"Of course, I do. Come on Parker. Can't you credit me with some intelligence once and awhile?"

"I could if you gave me a reason to do so." Peter responded.

That was the last straw. Sam couldn't hold his anger in any longer.

"That's it!" He screamed as he tried to punch Peter only to have the other dodge it.

"What? Is this a way to tell me you love me?" Peter asked, earning himself another unsuccessful punch from Sam.

"If you say still, you might be able to feel it." Sam replied, while aiming his fist for Peter's shoulder only to miss yet again.

"Not a chance sunshine." Peter countered, dodging another one of Sam's assaults. Spiderman then got up and started searching for his clothes. He found them soon, while dodging more of Sam's hits. In the process Peter came across Sam's shirt and couldn't help throwing it at his lover's red face.

"I suggest you wear it. It compliments the colour of your face." Peter yelled from the corridor.

"Parker get back here!" Sam shouted, while he put his shirt on.

As Sam rushed down the stairs with a water bottle in his hands, Ava, Danny and Luke came out of their rooms. The three listened to the commotion coming from downstairs and sighed.

"Let me guess. Those two had another pointless fight and ruined all the romance right?" Luke questioned.

Danny nodded, while Ava said with an annoyed expression:

"Just be glad your room isn't next to one of theirs."

After she said that, she went back into her room, leaving a shocked and dumfounded Luke and a suprisingly always calm and collected Danny.

"I still don't know how they survived this long." Luke said.

"You know what they say – opposites attract." Danny replied, going back to his room.

"True." Luke said to no one in particular, while entering his own room, not missing a few colorful words and threats coming from downstairs before that, of course.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

A/N: Gah! It's been so long since I last posted anything. Gomen. I've been kind of busy working on my second novel. It's shocking how much my style has changed. Anyway, this one-shot is a sequel to Is it too late?. It could be regarded as an epilogue as well. The choice is up to you guys.

I'm sorry if I have made any mistakes. I checked it, but knowing me, there could be at least a dozen. Anyhow, I wish everyone a happy remainder of summer. I hope you have had lots of fun in the sun. But before you run off. Please leave a review. I'll give you a cookie. Promise!

Until next time I update and/or post a story my fellow readers,

~ QueenofRhymes ~