I've been out of writing for a bit, a lack of resolve and will to write makes laziness a bitch to get rid of. But I think I'm finally getting out of it. It only took the realization of two of my fics not actually gonna work to get back to it, more on that later. So, with the release of Endgame, my Spider-Man love is through the roof and ideas aplenty. So, spoilers for Endgame…as for "Far From Home", this takes place before it. No idea what's gonna happen in it but I don't have any place for it. Enjoy.
When Peter was a boy, he was scared of heights. The fear of falling was a common phobia, which was why letting go of the monkey bars on the playground was such a hard thing for young Peter to do. But it was when his uncle, Benjamin Parker, taught him how to let go and not be afraid of heights did he finally cross the monkey bars.
With one last thought of Uncle Ben, Peter let go. The wind rushing passed his face, the weightlessness of it all…one could say it was exhilarating.
Down and down did Peter go, the flat surface of New York's sidewalks getting closer and closer. It made Peter more anxious every second he kept falling so he closed his eyes. Thinking of better days. He almost missed the alarm.
With a quick reveal, Peter opened his eyes to see that the sidewalk that was once almost one thousand feet away had become only a hundred and getting closer by the second.
Peter turned his body upwards and shot out a web-line, pulling him up at the last second and swinging him into the air.
Below the (rather few) people marveled, not at Peter Parker-the kid from Queens-but at the Amazing…Spectacular Spider-Man.
"You got a bit too close to the ground Peter, want to talk about it?"Inside the suit was the artificial intelligence known as Karen, named by Peter himself.
"I'm fine Karen, just pushing myself a little bit. What's the police scanner like?"Looking to change the conversation, Peter pushed the question aside.
"Relatively low, lots of confusion actually. But, there was a reported break in at a bodega 5-blocks from here."
"Got it, bodega…5-blocks." The map on Peter's H.U.D. quickly pinged the location and Peter raced to it as fast as he could.
New York was always a noisy city, from the Trains, to the traffic; to the people…it was certainly not everyone's first choice to live at. But it was Peter's home, and he wouldn't change it for anything. Which was why hearing it so silent unnerved him, a lot.
Everyday Peter had to remind himself that it wasn't 2018 anymore. The year was 2023 and for 5 years, half of all life in existence was dead. Peter was dead for 5 years. Every morning he'd wonder if it was all a dream: that a purple gauntlet-wielding space-Hitler didn't come to Earth and beat its strongest heroes. That he didn't go to space and fight on an alien planet…that he didn't die. But he did die, he did go to space, and Thanos did wipe out half of all life in existence.
He didn't want to think about it.
"Make the next right and the bodega will be the third store-front on your left."Karen said, piercing Peter's thoughts.
"Thanks Karen, this'll take a few seconds."Peter turned onto the street and saw the Bodega.
As he stopped in front of the door he could see the people inside ducking, with one man standing-erratically at that-waving a gun around.
Slowly Peter approached the door, not wanting the crook to turn to him. He walked to the front door, and opened it. With a pull, the door made a jingle and Peter cringed.
"Stop right there!"The man with the gun turned to Spider-Man, shaking.
"Hey, man, it's cool. No need to get hasty. Everything is okay."Peter motioned to the man, showing himself as a non-threat.
"Okay!? You think this is okay!? Nothing is okay! When has anything in the past 5 years, EVER BEEN OKAY!?"The man shouted.
"I know it's been rough, but everything can go back to normal now. Everyone came back."Spider-Man said.
"NO! Not everyone's back! Where are my kids!? WHERE ARE THEY?"The man got closer, he started to cry and tears came from his eyes.
"I don't know, but waving your gun around isn't going to bring them back. Please, what would your family think? You aren't the only one who's lost someone."The man shook more, and Peter feared he didn't get through to him.
He dropped the gun and fell to the floor, crying. Spider-Man stood by the man and consoled him. He wasn't the only one to lose someone after-all.
Up-State New York
Peter felt the hard-mat of the floor again, and groaned from the punched that caused it.
"If Steve knew you were just a kid, I don't think I'd hear the end of it from him."The voice originated from Bucky Barnes, the former-Winter-Soldier.
"Thanks, that completely makes up for the last 5 minutes."
The Avengers base was rebuilt, with help from Dr. Strange and a few of his fellow wizards, it was like nothing happened. And that hurt just a little bit more.
Bucky put his hand out (not his Vibranium built arm) and pulled Peter up.
"So, what's the lesson this time?"Peter asked.
"You're holding back."
Peter sighed, "I can't fight at full strength, I fight normal people…crooks, thugs, gangs…while you fight…I don't know super soldiers?"
Bucky gave a short laugh, "Fair point, but you were holding back against me. I could feel it."Bucky picked up a bottle of water he had laying beside the wall, and took a quick gulp.
"Well yeah, if I punched you I think I could knock your jaw off. Not exaggerating."Peter took a gulp of his own bottle of water as well.
For the last few weeks following the fight against Thanos, Bucky saw it fit to get a little revenge against the bug that took him and Sam down at the airport in Germany those years ago. It was his surprise to see not a 20-something with a big mouth…but a 17-year-old.
Since then Bucky changed from kicking his ass to teaching him how to fight better. Not to say he didn't get his payback, but he did it with justification now.
"You didn't seem to hold back much back in Germany."Bucky noted.
"Well that was when I thought you were a wild super-assassin that bombed the U.N. now I know you're a wild super-assassin that didn't bomb the U.N., which is infinitely better in my book."
Peter checked the time on his phone; it was about time to head back home.
"Looks like this will have to wait until next week; sorry to end your ass-kicking until next week but some of us have lives to live."Peter collected his bag of clothes and made to leave the workout room.
"Alright bug-head, good excuse. Just don't stay up late past bed-time."Bucky called out, receiving a less-than appropriate gesture from Peter (one May would certainly disapprove of).
After a quick change of clothes, Peter made his way to the garage, with a quick press of his key fob, the blue Vespa rung with the all-too familiar chirp.
Exiting the Avengers base-however-was a tricky thing these days; notably because of the horde of reporters outside the compound asking for an interview.
The effect the Avengers have had on the world was notable, not one day went by without someone thanking the Avengers for bringing everyone who was lost to Thanos. Unfortunately someone had to explain the intricacies of what happened, which is why Bruce Banner was chosen. Frankly he was the most normal person to fill the role.
Peter chuckled at the thought of it, the big green former-rage-monster at the United Nations explaining space-Hitler to everyone. It was certainly a welcome thought.
"Phone call form: May Parker."His phone rang.
With a click, Peter answered the phone, "Hey May, was just leaving the compound. What's up?"
"Oh nothing, just calling to say that Ned came by asking for you, he's decided to stay for dinner."In the background, Peter could make out Ned's distinct voice asking if Peter was on the line.
"Tell him I'll be back in an hour."
"Alright, well I'm making your favorite wheat cakes, so get here fast. I love you."
"Love you too, May."With that the phone turned off and Peter made his way back to Queens.
It was already nine-pm when Peter returned, the sky was dark and the streets were cleared of people. After securing a parking spot for his Vespa, Peter went into the apartment he shared with May. As he opened the door he could smell the delicious wheat cakes that May promised, and made his way to the dining table.
"…then I said, well yeah being gone for 5 years sucks but we've essentially time-traveled…and then I was kicked out of the room."Ned was still here.
"Well Ned, next time you talk about it, try to keep in mind not everyone is taking it well."
Peter walked around the corner to see May and Ned at the Dining table having their fill of wheat cakes.
"Hey, I'm back."Peter declared after dropping into the chair to have his share of food.
"Welcome back man, I was starting to think you would be a no-show."Ned said again as he stuffed his face with a wheat cake.
"I live here."
Ned nodded his mouth full of food.
"Before you two start talking about work sit back and enjoy the food Peter."
Dinner was just the three of them, it was almost perfect.
After dinner, it was Ned's turn to talk with Peter. So the two of them went into his room to discuss Peter's job, which is what Peter described his relationship to Tony Stark as after May learned his secret with the people who knew.
"So Ned, what's so important you had to come over for dinner?"Peter asked.
"Okay so you know how I go to the docks to fish with my grandpa sometimes, and you always say 'Go to a different pier, drug runners use those piers to smuggle.' and I tell you 'But my family have been fishing on that pier ever since my great-grandpa caught the biggest fish in New York all those years ago.' and then you sigh and say-"
"Ned…just get to the point."Peter interrupted his spiel.
"Oh, right. Well anyway I was out there last night, just minding my own business when I heard some people talking about a shipment. Now normally I don't really like eavesdropping on people but they were talking about making a big hit on a shipment later. It sounded like they were scoping the place out, because they just sort of walked around the place."
"Okay, when did they say they were gonna hit the shipment?"Peter asked.
"Tomorrow midnight, something like that. But they were also talking about the shipment; they said it was A.I.M.-tech."
A.I.M., Peter remembered that name from a conversation with Mrs. Potts. They were one of the companies that came up in the world Post-Snap, along with Oscorp Industries. Peter didn't know a lot about A.I.M., only that it was a tech company based in California making branches across the U.S. and it caused a great amount of headache to Mrs. Potts.
"So you want me to go to the docks and bust this job? Fine, I can make some time tomorrow, I've been kinda free this weekend."Peter said.
"Nice, you need backup? Say…a guy in the chair?"Ned asked.
"No thanks Ned, I have Karen for that."
With a sigh Ned made his way to the door, before stopping, "What's the Avenger's mansion like?"
Peter raised his eyebrow in confusion, "Mansion?"
"Yeah, those buildings up-state."
"Ned, that's a base."Peter said.
"Does it rooms for the others?"Ned asked.
"A workout room?"
"A recreational center?"
"It IS a mansion. That's so awesome. See ya Monday."
Alone, Peter decided that rest was the best idea for him now. It was already ten-pm, and if he was going on a late night stake-out it was bet he'd get sleep for it. Maybe when he'd wake up this time, the last 5 years would have all been a dream.