"Hey Pete. How're you doing?"
"I'm hanging in Harry. How bout you and Stormin Norman?" Peter asked trying to get the focus off of himself and his Aunt's... No he was not going there.
"Oh, you know. I do something, dad doesn't like it. Dad wants me to do something, I do it, and he shrugs it off."
"Sounds like him."
"Hey Pete... My dad and I were talking and something truly bizarre happened."
"We agreed on something."
"What? Call Jameson! The world must know of this miracle!"
"Ha ha very funny Peter. Want to know what it was about?"
"Sure. What did you two agree on?"
"I can't believe he's really bringing a normal kid here."
"I'm sure he knows what he's doing."
"Well, he's trying."
"Chuck, you need to teach the brats not to gossip."
"It's harmless enough Logan. And with young Peter joining us, it is quite a shock for them."
"He's just a kid."
"Correct. A child. But a child without the x-gene. Not many come here without having some family here."
"Great," Logan grunted. Just what he needed. The kid was being used as other kid's gossip fodder.
"He'll be fine Logan. Once the students get to know him, everything will settle down."
Johnny had an insanely wide grin as he looked over the newly decorated room. Oh, man it was cool. Plenty of space, a bed, closet, dresser, a desk... And maybe a few posters of the hottest member of the Fantastic Four adjourning the otherwise bare walls. What? Who didn't love the smoking hot hero?
"Johnny? We're leaving."
"Alright Sue. I heard you before!" He yelled back. It may have been Reed's connection and Sue's idea but Johnny was getting really excited. Being the youngest in the Baxter building at nineteen, he was looking forward to someone younger hanging around.
"Kid, take down those posters," a gravelly voice broke in. Johnny stuck his tongue out at his rocky teammate.
"No way Ben. These are perfect!"
Ben snorted. "Yeah, for scaring the other kid away."
Johnny picked up a pillow and threw it in aben's face. Ben was unphased. He was used to Johnny's childlike actions and it took a lot more than a pillow to make him feel pain or surprise. Thick skin for the win.
But he wasn't going to let Johnny just throw things. With a crooked grin, he began one of their infamous "games" of "tag". Really it was more of Ben trying to catch Johnny and sit him somewhere to "cool down". Usually, the bathtub. With ice water.
Luke Cage was baffled. Nick Fury, the man who helped him after his parents vanished, was giving him an assignment. And one that didn't involve his powers. He shouldn't have been surprised. SHIELD had taken in other powered individuals and asked him to introduce them to each other and explain how things worked on the Helicarrier.
He had done it with Ava, Danny and the most recent Sam. But this was something different.
"Spiderman? I thought he was a myth. New local legend and all that," Luke admitted.
"He's real. And he is orphaned."
"You want me to show him the ropes? I mean, it is getting a bit cramped but we still have room-"
"No. Spiderman will be stationed elsewhere. You will be convincing him that where he is being stationed isn't a bad thing.
Luke raised a brow. This all sounded suspicious. But who was he to question? Fury saved his life. He saved all their lives. Surely he knew what he was doing for this Spider guy.
Peter stopped breathing. For a few seconds. He took in a deep yet shaky breath as he asked a question that seemed to some up his life right now.
"What?" He asked over the receiver.
"Yeah. My dad said that he could come over and take you in. You know, as a ward? We'd really be like brothers then."
Peter felt his heart ache. He and Harry had been friends for years. And he had known Norman Osborn as well. But Norman, something just didn't sit right. It was one thing when your friend complained about a parent. It was another when you had to share the person. Norman had been nothing but kind to Peter, all compliments had no back handed meanings that Peter could pick up on like he occasionally did with Harry.
"That's great. But are you guys sure? I mean, I've got-"
"Three and a half years Pete. That's a long time."
"I-I know Harry. But it's so sudden I... I need some time to think."
"Can't you think in a posh penthouse?"
Peter laughed, "Not with you cursing out math."
"It's evil! I don't know how you can stand these things!"
Peter and Harry continued to joke, unaware of what was to come.
... And a new player has come to the table...