As if in slow motion as well, Jackal fell to the ground, no longer clinging onto his own daughter as he fell. He felt weightless and his heart felt like it was going to burst into his chest. That feeling came true when he smacked into the ground with an amazing speed that blood burst out of his mouth, nose, and eyes that splattered on the inside of his mask and dripped down his face like tears. The pain within him was all too unbearable for him now. Upon landing on his back on the concrete, the rebar in his back was pushed deeper into his body and stabbed through his heart, his organ sticking on the end of the stick that tore through his jacket. This time, there was no healing that could save him. Using what strength he still had that was keeping him from dying instantly, he touched his blood pumping organ one last time before he finally gave away, his body left in nothing more than a puddle of his own blood.
Spiderman slowly lowers himself down from the moving helicopter and down to the ground of the alley. Once he knows that she is safe on the ground, he lets go of the helicopter and falls several stories, landing on his feet. The helicopter seems to have picked something up below them because they were not leaving.
Gwen was lying motionless on the ground under a yellow light coming from above a side door. Peter knows that they were in an abandoned alley and that there was nobody in sight and that the Jackal was dead, so he knew it was safe to take off his mask and check on the motionless Gwen.
He kneels down to one knee and cradles her in his arms. "Gwen," his voice shakes slightly as he puts a hand on her cheek. "It's alright, I saved you. I saved you…" His eyes widened as he felt no pulse from her veins when his hand brushed against her neck. "Hey, Gwen? Are you awake?" Now the fear was starting to build up within him as he repeated the question. Tears were threatening to stream down his cheeks and there was a lump growing in his throat. He shook several more times, desperate to get her to wake up. "What's wrong?" his voice cracked with sadness, face turning red. "Don't you understand? I save you...you can't be-"
A tear of blood streams from her nose and down her cheek.
Peter started breaking down in his tears, face blushing, breathing in a shaky way, sobbing uncontrollably as he continued to cradle Gwen's body in his arms. "No please, please don't die."
This is the future prediction that he saw at the university when he got bitten.
Peter spent the last ten minutes asleep, having vivid dreams of his mother and father the last day they saw him. One of the dreams or flashes he saw made him move a little in his sleep. He didn't get a clear picture, but he saw that his chest and face were bleeding, there was a helicopter above him, and he was holding his life in his arms.
Gwen was the life that he was holding in his hands. His life.
Only a single day has passed since the tragedy of Gwen Stacy and Peter has not been the same in the last twelve hours. There was a funeral held for her in Green-Wood Cemetery with her father. She was to be buried with the gravestone above her that read, 'Gwendolyn Stacy. Beloved Daughter, Sister, Friend. 2002-2018.' Her father's grave was only several feet away from her and it read, 'George Stacy. Beloved Friend, Husband, Brother, Uncle, Father. 1971-2018.'
Peter was mourning and he made no attempt to hold back the tears welling up inside of him. The suit he was dressed in, was the same suit that he wore for her to Homecoming and his first date with her. He wore his Homecoming suit for Gwen to dance with her, go on a date with her, and he was now wearing that same suit to grieve for her. Gwen's own mother, brother, and sister were all there to pay their respects, Gwen's mother leaning on Peter's shoulder to cry in. Harry was there along with Ned, Betty, Max, Quentin, Besty, Mr. Harrington, Aunt May, and even Michelle.
Peter didn't hear anything that the minister said as they lowered the coffin into Gwen's dug up grave. Only when he said that it was time to pay their last respects to Gwen, Peter went first because he felt the most guilt and remorse than anybody at the cemetery. Because of him, his girlfriend, his life, died, because of his own actions. Had he killed Jackal on the roof, then he definitely would've saved Gwen's life, but he would be taking away a husband and father away from Gwen's family. He was too hesitant with his decision, which leads to everything happening after. He shot a web at Gwen to catch her and the recoil snapped her neck, killing her instantly. Gwen even offered to kill her own father to save Peter from the pain of directly killing somebody.
There was no way to avoid making a bad choice, only the lesser of the two evils. He could've made the bad decision, but he made the worst decision and that cost him the lives of two people he so desperately tried to save. This was going to affect him for the rest of his life.
Maybe, I'm just not meant to be Spiderman, Peter cried sadly. Maybe, I can't save people. I let Uncle Ben die, I couldn't save his killer, and I let Jackal die but I still could not save Gwen.
This was not the life that was meant for him and it pained him to realize it too late. All the responsibilities that he would be giving up for a better life, it may make him feel guilty, but it was the right thing for him to do. There was no necessary decision this time. Only right and wrong and it would be wrong for him to be Spiderman.
Even though he was virtually dead from grieving, Peter heard several people speaking about the fate of the Jackal, Green Goblin, and Dr. Octopus. All that anybody was really saying was that all three either murdered each other or committed suicide. As for their identities, the press had been very vigilant in covering up Norman Osborn's identity as the Green Goblin. So the Daily Bugle publishes a story about someone else being the Green Goblin.
As far the public was concerned, Barton Hamilton was the Green Goblin and his death was suicidal.
Otto Octavius was not called a mad scientist but was ruled out as a brainwashed man with no control over his actions, but was still labeled as a murder victim at the hands of the Jackal.
The real mastermind behind everything, the Jackal, - or George Stacy - his identity was so far the only ones who haven't changed. The public has always believed that Miles Warren was the Jackal and that the body of George Stacy in the Jackal's outfit was a ruse to throw people off. Both Miles Warren and Raymond Warren were both called 'The Jackals of New York City' and they were posthumously branded as terrorists and they were labeled as twins who murdered each other. George Stacy was branded as the hero by the police force who was murdered by the Jackal.
Harry Osborn, still grieving over his father's death, became the new CEO of Oscorp Industries, even though he was only at the age of fifteen. It was a big responsibility, but he accepted it for the sake of his father. He was going to make sure that nobody like 'Barton Hamilition' would use Oscopr technology against the city. He was going to make Oscorp a better company.
Ned Leeds, he was thinking of becoming a reporter for the Daily Bugle. It was Betty's suggestion that made him apply to the Daily Bugle.
Peter was the very first person to walk up to the coffin and place his hand on the wood, bowing his head down, paying his respects tearfully. He still just couldn't understand why it had to be this way. When he accepted his life, he didn't sign up for his family or friends to get caught in the cross-fire. I guess I did, but I should've been quicker and less hesitant.
With regret, Peter removed his hand from the wooden box and took his seat beside Aunt May, crying with trembling breaths. He took one last glance of Gwen before she was finally lowered into the ground, dirt placed on top of her, signifying that she will now rest in peace. Peter had to be pulled gently away from the grave so he could get in his aunt's car and drive home after the funeral was done. Peter didn't really say much on the whole car ride home. He just sat in the passenger seat and stared out the window as his Aunt May drove them home.
On multiple occasions, she has attempted to get Peter to talk, but he was too catatonic to say anything, so he just ignored his Aunt May's attempts of a conversation. She knew exactly what he was going through because she went through the exact same thing with Ben. She respected that he didn't want and let him grieve his own way and it was like that the whole car ride home. Even when they got home, Peter still said nothing and just retreated to his room, falling flat on the side of his bed, crying into his pillow.
"Why did you have to die?" he sobs painfully into the pillow wet with his tears.
As Peter laid there, overcome with sadness, he began reflecting on his choice that he made earlier to himself at the cemetery. He had decided that he was Spiderman no more. He was feeling guilty over his decision, but not as guilty as he was when he killed Gwen practically. But even with his face buried in his pillow, he began reflecting on what major changes could affect not only his life but the life of the people around him by giving up his life as Spiderman.
For one, he wouldn't have to worry about not being able to save anybody because the real heroes would be there and he was not a real hero. The proper authorities, police, firemen, the military if possible. Sure, they might not always be there in time, but he wouldn't have to worry about making the worst mistakes or any bad mistakes out of the lesser evil choices. A pro and a con in that one.
Second, he could live a normal life. He can hang out with his friends and family, he can make appointments without the fear of his alter-ego day interfering. He could always be on time in school, study for tests, and never be late for a day at work. But then again, he basically takes pictures for the Daily Bugle of Spiderman, so without Spiderman around, there is pretty much no use for J. Jonah Jameson to have him around. So he would pretty much lose his job at the Daily Bugle, but never again would he complicate his schedule without a double life. Another pro and con there.
Third, this was probably the most important one: Someone could die because of him. When he got his powers, they went off when Uncle Ben's killer ran past him. He should've trusted his new powers to detain the criminal, but he didn't. No, he ignored them and it cost him a life. He would still have his powers with him after today and if he did sense something like that, he would take the criminal out in the most humane way possible. That was the only pro there: He would use his abilities in the most human way possible and use them only if he needed to use them.
Ultimately, there were three pros and only two cons, so he knew what his decision was: He was going to throw away his Spiderman suit with Karen and Redips with it.
He was really going to miss having Karen around; she was a good voice to talk to and Redips, he was a remarkably intelligent pet. Even though he was going to throw his suit away, he could not bring himself to killing Redips or Karen, so he would have to do something else with them.
I could upload Karen to my phone and keep Redips as my pet, he suggested to himself. Karen and Redips and both still be in my life.
Peter was suddenly having a headache and he reached over to his table lamp to turn off the lights and go to bed, not bothering to change into pajamas.
The next morning came and Peter stayed home from school, Aunt May even calling him in to excuse him absent for a personal matter. To him, this really was a personal matter and he was going to spend the rest of the day doing whatever he could to feel better. But most of the time, he spent reflecting on his decision to either keep or give up being Spiderman. He was still listing the pros and cons, but they would always be at each other equally. If there was something good about giving up as Spiderman, there was something bad. If there was something bad about staying Spiderman, there was always a good outcome. It was like a tug-of-war; he has never thought of something this big before in his entire life.
What would Uncle Ben think? What would Gwen think? If Aunt May knew, then what would she think?
He already knew what Jackal would think: Not to waste all the potential and do what is necessary. Well, because of him, if he had just let Spiderman do things his way, then none of this would've happened. Then again, if he hadn't revealed his secret identity to Gwen, maybe a different outcome would have befallen him. Or, if I had stayed away from Gwen completely, then Jackal never would've figured out any connection between me and Gwen. But what would've happened if Redips did not bite me? Would Jackal still turn out to be the man that he is?
That was another question that had been nagging Peter. If he wasn't bitten, would Jackal become a vigilante himself, or would things still turn out the way they were with someone else in Spiderman's place? That was a question he was always going to wonder because Redips changed his life forever.
If I had known that this would all happen, then I would've never revealed my identity to Gwen.
If he knew that Jackal was going to force him into a situation where he would kill someone directly or indirectly, then would he have made an even quicker timely decision? Another question that will keep him wondering forever, but one thing was indeed clear: After today, he was going to make more timely decisions in his life. Regardless of whether he is going to keep his secret life or retire from it, he was never ever going to be hesitant when it comes to a decision between one or two.
Just thinking of the fact that he was going to change his life made him even sadder that Gwen was not going to help him in his life. It's my fault anyway. I killed her. I got her kidnapped, and I snapped her neck. It was all on me.
Even Gwen would say something different if she were talking to him in ghost presence, but he would still argue to her that it was his fault. Gwen has always been there for him to help him through the toughest times, but with her gone, he could sure some of that guidance of her. Wisdom, the one thing that he practically fell in love with Gwen for.
Uncle Ben, another person known for their wisdom. The one person that he wished he could help him. But since he grew up with his Uncle Ben, he pretty much already knew what he would've said: Look into your heart to see what is right. I am nothing but a phone trying to get a message across and your heart is the receiver.
My heart is the one who tells me a message. Uncle Ben is just trying to get the message across like a phone, and my heart is the one who decides to accept the call or end the call. Peter laid flat on his back and began thinking about this quote. Everything that represented this quote meant that at the end of the day, the person who gets the message across to people needing saving is Spiderman, but it is up to the people they saved if they wish to cherish their lives or turn to a life of crime.
Gwen would definitely tell him not to give up. Pretty much, everybody would tell him not to give up on his life as Spiderman. But he wasn't giving up, he was conflicted about not wanting to be Spiderman anymore. Even if the city no longer needed Spiderman, then Peter would retire long before that.
Hell, even before his Aunt May called him in absent, he spoke to Karen on what he should decide. She just said the same thing: It was his choice and he would be supported either way. Honestly, he was never expecting these many people to count on him and they didn't even talk to him first.
It was ten o'clock, but it took him over two hours for him to finally come up with a choice.
I am going to give up my life as Spiderman. It may not be the best choice morally, but it's the right thing.
One of the things that actually brought a smile to his face was that there would be no supervillains for him to face because simply, without a superhero to stop you, then the crime rate will go up and there is no need to augment yourself because your only challenge is the police. But then again, a con in that situation was that the crime rate will go up.
Peter knew what he was getting himself in to. He knew that by eight o'clock tonight, he was going to get rid of his Spiderman uniform once and for all. The alley beside the restaurant that he escorted Gwen to climb the fire escape, there was a garbage can. He figured that if he was going to give away something that offered a lot of destruction to the people around him, he at least wanted it to go out with a romantic gesture of some kind and what is more romantic then leaving your uniform in a place where you shared your first kiss?
Peter sat up in bed and ran a hand nervously through his hair. He had been thinking of the proper time to give his costume away. They kissed on a Sunday at nighttime so Peter decided to throw his costume away on the same night at the same time. He reminded himself to be ready because Sunday was still a week away.
He packed his suit, put it in his backpack, got on his bike, and rode to the back alley of the restaurant. It was nine o'clock on Sunday night and it was raining. He did not predict it was raining, but it seemed practical like it was destiny for him to be giving up his life in rainy conditions. He put his hood on, parked his bike near the brick wall and looked into the darkness, lightning striking above him, giving him illumination of the alley.
There was the same trash can that Peter spotted when he told Gwen to climb up the fire escape on the restaurant's neighboring building. His heart melted in his chest with a sigh as he pulled off his backpack, took out his costume, making sure that nobody would see from behind - but it was a school night so most people were home anyway - and moved towards the trash can.
Clutching the costume in his arms, he stands at the trash can, takes the cover off and throws it into a pile of trash bags. His grip on the costume suddenly tightens and his mouth drops as he gazes down on his costume. As if on cue, a flash of lightning lights up the area followed by thunder.
"I can't believe I am really doing this," he said to himself in disbelief. "Goodbye Spiderman." As slow as a snail, he gently puts the costume down on the trash can, unable to look away without crying and his tears were mixed in the rain. He wanted to put the lid of the trash can back on, but decided against it at the last second, and slowly turns his body to start walking down the alley.
As he walked away, his shoes soaking in rainwater, a sudden memory stops him from walking any further and freezes him in his tracks.
Gwen's voice saying: Whenever I look at Spiderman, I feel safe. I mean, I have never seen him myself, but whenever I see him on TV, I feel like there is hope for New York City. The crime wave has been high for the last several months, but Spiderman cleaned the city up.
Then he heard Uncle Ben's voice: When your father, my brother, went to his Homecoming for the first time, he met the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He changed in a couple of ways. He let his job get in the way of spending time with his family, his friends, he never wanted a child. You are just like him in every way, Pete. I just wanted to let you know that if you meet a girl you want to spend the rest of your life within that dance, you have to be very careful who you change into. Your father was a man who had great power but was irresponsible. With great power comes great responsibility.
He heard his own voice: I'm not looking for fame, I'm trying to protect the people of this city.
Then came back a memory from his past. A memory from this same restaurant ironically, where one little line from Gwen made him reveal his identity to her and sparked the chain of events that happened next.
When this big kid knocked my books down, you reached down to help me back up. Then you had to suffer verbal abuse from that bully, but you continued to help me. Spiderman must deal with criminals on a daily basis, but he still helps people.
There was something else that Gwen said that he had been waiting for a long time.
I do indeed have a question for Peter Parker
Really, what would that be?
Do you love me?
I love you, too.
This single memory made Peter smile in happiness for the first time since Gwen's death. She didn't love Spiderman, she loved Peter Parker. When he was fighting the Jackal, Gwen wasn't fighting for Spiderman, she was fighting for Gwen. He began laughing a little and leans against the wall, looking up towards the sky, rainwater dripping into his eyes.
Peter already knew what Gwen would say.
Peter, I love you for who you are. Mask on or mask off, you are always going to be my Peter Parker. You still give me hope and you make people feel safe. People are always going to look up to you. You save one person, you save hundreds of people. I may have died, but you saved me in your own way. No matter what anybody says, or how bad the situation gets, or whatever happens between us one way or another, you are always going to be my hero. I love you, Peter.
Peter squeezed his eyes shut and sobbed, a tear falling down his cheek as he tilted his head down. "I love you too, Gwen."
He now knew what he had to do. This was his final choice. "With great power, comes great responsibility. You save one person, you save hundreds of people."
He walks to back to the trash can, looking down at his costume and grabs his mask, looking straight into the lenses. "I won't stop being Spiderman. I will make you and Uncle Ben proud, Gwen. I won't let another Gwen or Uncle Ben die out there."
Wiping the mask clean, he puts the mask over his face and grabs the rest of his costume. He dresses into his attire and webs his bike and backpack to the wall after putting his regular clothes away. He turns on his web-shooters and looks up the fire escape. He climbs up the wall and onto the building where he shared his first kiss with Gwen.
"This is who I am now," Peter says to himself. He walks over to the ledge, jumps on and looks out to the city. "I have a responsibility and an obligation to both of you." He shoots a web out to a building and swings across. He swings high in the air and backflips as he falls. He shoots a web out and swings between two eighteen-wheelers. "Peter Parker is who I am on the surface. I'm not Peter Parker anymore."
He fires two webs at two buildings on opposite ends and catapults himself forward. He somersaults off the edge of a tall building and jumps high into the rainy atmosphere. He nosedives towards the ground, the very last second swinging from the ground and high up back into the air, landing and clinging onto a wet and slippery flag pole with the wet flag swerving like a wave.
After Spiderman had decided to keep his role as Spiderman, he returned home and snuck in through his window. The light in his room was turned off and the door closed. He paced to the center of his bedroom, turned around to face the window and pulled off his wet mask, a slight smirk across his face.
Despite having precognition, he did not sense Aunt May opening his door and see him pull off his Spiderman mask with his back turned to her.
The only thing that caused Peter's smirk to transform into an expression of shock at the drop of a hat was when he heard his Aunt May shout, "What the fu-"
Five Months Later
It was March 2019 and it was Peter's sixth month since he became Spiderman back in September. He was taking a train full of people to school and he quickly texted his aunt on the train telling him that after school he would be patrolling. His Aunt May was fully aware of his double life as Spiderman but after proving to her that he can take care of himself she allowed him to continue being Spiderman so he can carry out charitable acts.
Peter walked from the subway all the way to school and when he crossed the street, he was almost run over by Flash Thompson in his 2018 Honda Accord. "What's up, Penis Parker!" he called out as he drove away. Peter rolled his eyes and walked into Midtown School of Science and Technology (or Midtown High for short). Betty Brant and her co-anchor (whatever his name was) were both on the news doing a report on showing their spirit for Spiderman by wearing red, blue, and black.
He loaded his jacket and miscellaneous items in his locker before he felt a slight poke on his right shoulder and a familiar voice. "Join me and together, we'll build my new Lego Death Star."
Peter recognized that voice and the product that the voice was talking about. He rotates to see Ned holding a miniature Lego figure in his hand and gasps, "What?" Ned nodded with a smile on his face. They both turned their heads in the direction of someone calling them lame but they both just ignored them. Peter turned back to Ned and asked, "No way, that's awesome. How many pieces?" 3,803. "That's insane."
"I know," Ned nodded. "You want to build it tonight?"
Peter shut his locker and marched forward with Ned walking beside him. "I can't, I have…" he was spacing on an excuse before, "Job interviews." He was fine with working with Jameson at the Daily Bugle, however.
"I thought Mr. Jameson was paying you a fair wage."
Peter remembers his usual paycheck and smiles awkwardly at Ned. "Yeah, it is a fair wage, if it was 1962."
Ned recounted his own paycheck and realized that maybe it was time for two jobs. "I guess you have a point there. I'm a reporter for the Daily Bugle and he pays me minimum wage. I can barely pay off my electric bill at my house. I constantly need Max to replace the power box. I always thought that the harder you work, the more money you get paid; I don't know how jobs work anymore."
"Jobs still work that way," Peter reminded.
Ned shrugged and wiped away a strand of hair from his forehead. "Anyway, I'll knock out the basic parts of the Death Star at my place then I can come by your house and we can finish the remaining three-fourths of the set. You game?" He looked at Peter, who was staring off down the hall. Ned followed his gaze to see Betty - his girlfriend - walking with another girl down at the end of the hall.
In Peter's mind, at this very moment, he had never seen the beauty in Michelle "MJ" Jones' face. The young girl was the same age as Peter and she had the waviest hair he had ever seen. Usually, one strand of that hair was covering her right eye but she still managed to catch a side glimpse of Peter staring at her at the end of the hall. She took it as a compliment before walking forward and out of sight. He, of course, remembered Gwen, but after a very long time, after a lot of dates he turned down to honor Gwen, he eventually learned to let go. It took him three months but he learned to let go and move on. Now, he had his eyes set on the girl he had been friends with for months. He smiled shyly at MJ before she walked out of sight and felt a familiar feeling of warmth within his heart.
He did not hear what Ned said at all and with a blank mind, nonchalantly said, "That'd be great."
And that is Spiderman: Homecoming. Thank you all so much for reading my story and thank you for the reviews. I had a lot of fun writing this story and I'm glad that I published it. If you liked it, then favorite it and review; I want to hear your thoughts. If you didn't enjoy the story, then that's fine. I'll accept constructive criticism. Thank you all once again, and see you next time.
The Alpha Gray Wolf.