It was supposed to be a boring walk home. With his suit being repaired from his latest mission, he was supposed to have a day off.
Instead, Peter found himself stuck in a puddle of black tar, during his short-cut down an alley. Well, he thought it was tar, until it started moving.
"What the hell?" It stretched, and oozed, crawling up his leg, and enveloping him as he tried to pull his foot from the muck. He pulled as hard as he could but it only crawled quicker, until it reached his waist, then his chest. Peter couldn't hold back his scream as it slid up his neck and crawled over his face, swallowing him up entirely.
Tony unscrewed the back of the microwave, scowling at Steve as he did. "How have you broken this, again? What do you do to it?"
Steve raised his hands in surrender. "I didn't do anything! I just wanted to heat up some food; it's not my fault it started screaming."
Tony pulled the back off, frowning. "It didn't just scream, Steve! It almost caught fire! You didn't put metal in it again, did you?"
The super soldier took offense to that. "I'm not an idiot, Stark. I know how to use a microwave. Maybe if you hadn't tried to amp the heat up, it wouldn't explode so much. I can wait two minutes for food, you don't have to make it work in two seconds."
Tony was about to dismiss his comment, when a loud thump erupted through the walls.
Steve stood from his seat, immediately on high alert. "What in god's name was that?"
Tony dropped his tools, and tapped at his watch. "Friday?"
The AI answered over the speakers through the building, as alarm lights began to flash. "A creature of unknown origin, is attempting to breach the building, through the south side windows. It is too strong for the reinforced glass. It will break in soon."
Tony and Steve exchanged a glance, before they both raced off to find their gear.
Tony made it to the creature first, calling his suit to him as he ran for the south side of the building. He didn't know what he expected, but it wasn't the horrid thing he was faced with.
It's tar black body, was crouched on the windows, sticking to them, as it pounded its clawed hands against the glass, leaving cracks across the surface.
Tony watched it pound on his building, getting Friday to run a scan, and establish coms with Cap as he did.
He tapped his helmet, over his ear, turning the link on. "This thing is no joke, Steve. These windows are strong enough to withstand most, but he's going to get through. It's got some serious strength on it."
Steve arrived a moment later, suited up and shield in hand. "What is that thing?"
Tony shook his head, stepping back a little, as the thing opened its giant gaping maw, teeth long and threatening; and it let out a horrible screech.
"I don't know, but we'd better stop it before it breaks my building."
Tony flew out, as Steve raced down to the street. The creature may have been horrifying to look at, but damn if it couldn't hold its own in a fight.
It was fast, and far too strong for Steve to take on in hand to hand combat. It seemed wild, and unearthly; intent on nothing but destruction.
Tony flew around it, firing his beams but it was so fast, it evaded them all; jumping from one building to another. Steve pushed himself faster, flinging his shield at the thing, but it didn't seem to do much more than anger it, and they watched as it flicked it's horrible tongue and pulled a lampost out of the ground, to fling at the heros.
It came flying at them so fast, they didn't have time to move. It caught Tony in the chest, smacking him to the ground, while the other end of it hit Steve in his side, no doubt cracking some ribs, and eliciting a grunt of pain from the first Avenger.
They both recovered quickly, only to evade more debris thrown by the creature, before it came at them head on, for some hand to hand action.
It seemed to be enjoying the fight, relishing in its strength and power.
It was so strong, that Steve was having trouble with it, and Tony didn't know if his suit could hold up to its heavy hits. Each punch that landed, sent him flying backwards, with the sincere worry that it might dent the metal, and make it cave in on him.
It didn't seem to have any weaknesses, as far as they could see, and Tony didn't know if they could stop it.
Steve stayed focussed, as Tony tried to think of a strategy, but he kept the creature distracted, so that Steve could attack it.
He used his shield as a deadly weapon, striking the thing over and over. It roared, snapping its jaws at him as he drove his shield into his chest and at its head, using all his strength and doing all the damage he could.
It's claws gripped at the metal, scraping along the paint, as it caught the shield before it could hit it again, and the creature lent forward, attempting to take a bite out of Caps arm.
Cap kicked the things legs, and pulled his shield free from it's grip, slamming the metal down on its head before it flipped itself over and jumped away again.
Peter could feel it. It was everywhere. It covered every inch of him, but it seemed to be in his head too. He could feel it's rage and hate, the chaos that spilled from every bit of it.
It wanted him to hurt Tony and Steve, and it would do all it could to make sure that happened. It was so strong, Peter couldn't shake it off. It seemed to consume him, using him like a battery to fuel itself, or as a vessel to operate from.
It was a demon to him, and he wanted it gone. He could feel and see everything that he...it...they did. He watched Tony crash into a building as he flung him there. He felt Steve's ribs crack under his fist.
He had to stop it. But how?
It was too strong to pull of him, but as the creature whispered to him, he learnt more. It was strong enough to rip electrical poles from the ground, and yet everytime Tony shot a blast at it, it evaded them like the plague. The blast wouldn't do much but push it backwards, but it didn't want to go near those beams.
Peter thought about his heros, and about how much he loved them. He didn't want to hurt them. He wouldn't let it hurt them.
The creature may have been strong, but he was strong too. Peter pushed at it, in his mind, curling its claws towards his chest to try and scrape the thing off him.
Tony took the opportunity to blast it with his beam. The creature screamed out, but Peter used all his strength to stick to the spot, letting the beam hit him in the chest.
The creature recoiled at the heat, screaming awfully, and unwrapping itself from Peter, for just a second. Peter took in a gasp of air, opening his eyes and taking a single glimpse of his heros, before he was swallowed again, the creature enveloping him once more.
But it was enough. Tony and Steve didn't have any clue as to what the thing was, as did Peter, but they had seen him, and they knew he was in there.
Tony dropped his hand, from where he had raised it, ready to fire. It fell to his side, as he stared at the thing. "Peter?"
Steve hesitated. "Tony? What do we do? What is that thing?"
Tony wished he knew. "I don't know. I don't...we need to get Peter back."
The thing was recovering from its shock, and it was starting to move again, heading for another electrical pole to rip from the ground.
Steve watched it, unsure of what to do now that Peter had entered the equation. "How? How do we fight it without hurting Peter?"
Tony didn't have an answer for that either, but luckily, Peter had a plan.
Unfortunately, being controlled by the alien creature, meant not having much control over his actions, without a lot of effort, but it didn't mean he didn't feel pain every time he was hit.
Peter felt every blow, and it hurt. He knew he had to follow through with his plan, but he knew that it was going to be very, very painful. He didn't even know if it would work, or if he would live through it, but he had to do something, before it made him kill his heros.
When the creature reached for the electric pole, he used every bit of strength he had, and he made it move in a different direction.
It fought with him for control, but Peter just kept moving, pushing himself to make the thing move. Its claws hooked into the beam, as he climbed upwards. He dragged it up towards the wires, fighting it as it tried to get away.
He didn't want to do it, but he needed to stop it before it made him really hurt someone.
It screamed in his head, as he inched closer, drawing their arm up and reaching for the electric cables, until their clawed hand wrapped around it.
The reaction was instant. Electricity and heat burned through Peters body, and the creature screamed in agony, peeling away from Peter withing a second.
The strange thing was, that Peter had thought the creature had wanted nothing but chaos and destruction, but when faced with one of its only weaknesses, the only thing that could hurt it, it contained itself to Peters hand on the wire.
It protected him as much as it could, from the voltage running through it.
Finally something along the wire popped and fizzled and the current stopped, leaving Peter and the creature to fall to the ground.
Peter lost consciousness before he hit the pavement.
Tony watched him grab onto that cable, watched as the black ooze twisted and retreated, and then it felt as if his heart stopped when Peter dropped like a stone.
Steve reacted faster than he did, racing forward to catch the kid before he could hit the ground, barely managing to get to him on time.
Peter's eyes were closed, as he lay limp in Steve's arms, but the creature was still attached to his hand; writhing and clawing for any grip on the teenager. Tony felt almost frozen, staring at Peter and unable to look way from the laboured rise and fall of his chest.
So much had happened in so little time, that Tony felt a little like he had whiplash, and he hardly had time to react to one thing before something else happened.
The black ooze was twitching as if in pain, and it slowly began crawling back up the teenagers arm, trying to take control once more. Tony wouldn't let it happen.
He didn't know much about it, but he knew that he should not touch it, lest he be taken control of as well. So, instead, he did the net best thing, and took Peter from Steve's arms, holding him against his own chest, and soaring back to the tower.
He took Peter straight back to the med bay, laying him down on the bed and pushing the call button, before stepping out of his suit, keeping just one gauntlet on, as he grabbed a specimen jar from the shelf.
The thing was trying to crawl its way back over Peter's skin, but it began to retreat again, as soon as Tony brought his beam close to it. The hum of energy sang as a threat, to the creature, and as Tony brought it closer, it rolled right off Peter, retracting the last of its sticky tendrils, and falling into the jar Tony held.
He quickly secured the top on, knowing that it wouldn't stay in the small container once it got its strength back. He'd need to build something more secure for it, but for now, it was wounded and weak, and he had more important things to focus on.
Bruce came running in then, in response to the call button being pressed; his expression morphing into one of concern, as soon as he saw the boy in the bed.
Tony didn't know how to explain. He lifted the jar, in front of him, showing Bruce the still moving thing.
"I don't know what it is, maybe some kind of parasite? But it attached itself to Peter, it was controlling him. He attacked us, and we fought it off because we didn't know it was him. And then he…"
He looked to Peters still form, on the bed, chest only just barely rising and falling. He could barely breathe, himself.
"He grabbed onto the electricity cables, to stop the thing. It worked but now he's…"
Bruce ran forward, eyes darting between the thing in the jar, and his patient. "It it dead?"
Tone shook his head, watching it squirm. "No. I don't know what it is or if it even can die."
Bruce ran his hands over Peter, working efficiently as he continued to speak to Tony over his shoulder.
"Get it in the ice box until we can figure out what it is."
Tony nodded. The Ice box was something he and Bruce had come up with, as a sort of cryo freeze, for any hazardous material or organism that needed to be contained and preserved.
Tony didn't want to leave the kid, especially in the condition he was in, but he couldn't let the thing hurt anyone else either. He left with the silent promise to be back as soon as he could.
Steve was there when he got back, and Peter was hooked up to all the proper machines, as Bruce tapped away at screens and checked his patient over.
"How is he?"
Bruce sighed, gesturing to the boy, as he lay, still unconscious. "He took a lot of hits, and then with the electric shock, its weakened him. I'll do an echo and a few other tests, to make sure his hearts okay, but from what I can tell right now, I think he'll be okay. The burn on his hand will take a while to heal but-"
Steve looked at Tony, face grim. "He's got a concussion and a few broken ribs. From me."
Tony let out a breath, as Bruce interjected. "He hit you too, Steve. Don't think I haven't noticed you babying your side. I'll check that later, but for now, I don't want to hear about how guilty you feel. There's no need to feel bad, because he's going to be okay."
Tony could see Bruce point but there was too much weight from the guilt he felt, to just shake it off. He sat next to the bed and took Peters uninjured hand and waited until he woke.
Peter came to, slowly; his body feeling as if it were made of weights. Everything was so heavy, and slow, he was awake before he could open his eyes.
"Peter? Can you hear me?"
Another voice came, softer. "Give him a minute, Tony."
Peter rolled his head across his pillow, frowning as he tried to wake up. He was so tired. He would have happily gone back to sleep had he not remembered what had happened.
Something beeped erratically, as his eyes snapped open, and three pairs of hands immediately found his chest, pressing him back down.
"Don't try to move around so much!"
"Peter, calm downa! You're safe, it's gone."
The teenagers panting breaths calmed minutely, as he saw Tony, Steve, and Bruce above him. They were all there, they were all safe.
He looked to his hands. One was wrapped in bandages, and he felt the sting of burns beneath the dressings. There was no sign of the black creature that had overtaken him.
"It's gone?" He looked up to see Tony nodding, watching him closely.
"Yeah, you stopped it all on your own. We didn't even know what was happening."
Peter frowned, about to tell him it wasn't his fault, when Steve spoke, looking withdrawn and guilty.
"Peter I am...We are so sorry for hurting you, and for not realising you were in there, sooner."
The teenager shook his head. "You didn't know, you couldn't know. I didn't even know what was going on. It latched onto me on my way home and...I don't know it was kind of a blur after that. I remember hurting you guys though. I'm really sorry, I didn't mean it, I promise."
Bruce interjected before anyone else could apologize. "Okay, that's enough from all of you. Peter, I've already checked them both over, and they're fine. Steve does have a few cracked ribs, but he will be fine, just like you will be. Do you remember how you got hurt?"
Peter nodded, and looked over himself carefully. He didn't look too badly off, although he felt thoroughly cooked through. "I grabbed the cable."
Bruce didn't sound happy about it. "That was insanely dangerous. Do you realise that if that parasite hadn't protected you, you'd be dead right now? You're just lucky that it needed you as its host."
Peter played with the bandages on his hand, voice small as he avoided their eyes. "I had to stop him. I wasn't trying to kill us, I just had to make sure it didn't hurt you or anyone else."
Tony sighed. "That was very brave of you, Peter. But next time, maybe find some other way to get rid of it? One that doesnt require giving me a heart attack?"
Peter let out a small laugh. "Okay, next time I get attacked by a parasitic monster, I'll come up with a better plan."