It's like he was on fire.
Everything was burning. Hot. Torturous.
Even breathing was difficult–every breath he took, it was quickly followed by coughs and sharp pain on his chest. He couldn't feel his hands, he couldn't feel his feet, he couldn't feel anything.
He didn't know what had happened to his body, but one thing he was surely certain.
He was dying.
May, Ben, Ned, May, May, May–
They said if you're on the verge of death, you would be reminded with some things. Things that you that slipped out from your memories, things that you cherished in your life, things that you wanted to forget.
Things that evoke complex emotions in your system.
It hurts, it hurts it hurts–
Peter didn't want to die. He had promised Ned to binge-watching Star Wars with him, he had promised May to bake a cake with her, he had promised Ben to protect May when he was gone.
He didn't want to die, he didn't want to die, yet,
Make it stop!
Peter was tired. Peter was tired suffering in every second, writhing in pain as his body felt like burning on a hot fire and his nervous system twisted and ached. He wanted it to stop. He wanted to stop feeling the pain.
He was barely conscious when his view starting to get blurred. Every sound slowly became softer, before it was completely muted. The pain that had tortured him for days vanished, together with aching on his system.
For a moment, Peter was in peace.
And thus, he welcomed death with open hands.
Everything is dark.
Is this death felt like? He wondered. He felt like a feather blown by wind, like bubble hovered on air. He couldn't feel anything, as if his system sensory had completely died.
He felt... nothing.
Before Peter could contemplate anything, suddenly something was calling him up.
Wake up, they said desperately. Please, wake up.
He felt something was tugging him, pulling him out from this endless void together with pleas for him to wake up.
Peter let it flow. He didn't like it when someone was sad, after all.
If him being back to life could make that person happy, then so be it.
He missed living, too.
Everyone cried in relief and happiness when Peter's eyes fluttered up. He turned his head and stared long at them.
It took a minute before he whispered in a hoarse voice, "M'y?"
May blinked her tears. "Oh, Peter," she cooed. "I'm glad you awake."
After days being sick after getting bitten by a spider, Peter Parker finally recovered.
Of course, the rest was history. Got spider abilities, became the youngest vigilante on that time, and so on.
But that's not the end of it.
Not when he had entered the void of death and survived.
Well, a survivor should be rewarded for their bravado, right?
When May turned her head, for a moment Peter's eyes glowed blue rimmed with colorful colors.
Next thing he knew, everything was covered in a thin, black vein.
Finally, we found it.
The one who was blessed by arachnid, the one who destined to be the hero with a noble heart.
The one who has accepted nothingness.
And so, we blessed you, oh worthy one,
The ability to see what living beings fear most. To perceive it, and snapped it within your arms reach.
The ability to see the lines of death.
Oh, our champion, we blessed you, the same eyes that once we blessed to a divine being,
Eyes of Death Perception.
When Peter finally recovered, he noticed that he wasn't the same again.
It started from his increasing appetite. At first, he brushed it off because puberty, but later when he realized all of his sense and strength had sharpened to the unbelievable level, together with his glorified anxiety, he realized that he had somehow become a mutant.
It didn't help when he now could crawl on ceilings.
Peter conducted it's all from the radioactive spider that had bitten him, which later he changed his DNA to similar with arachnid thing.
But his confusion didn't end there. Sometimes, his eyes would turn blue rimmed with colorful colors and everything would be covered with cracks.
The scary part was when he traced it on his eraser, it shredded into nothing.
He tried it on apple. It became rotten and smelly.
He tried it on a plant. It broke into half.
Peter was now scared to touch anything when the cracks appeared. It was confusing and horrifying. What if he accidentally snapped it on living beings, such as animals or, god no, humans? What if he accidentally killed May? What if–
"So this is the newest user of Death Perception, huh?"
Peter screamed. He hurriedly turned to the source of the voice. Sitting on his bed, there was an old man with red eyes smirking as if he was humored by his distress.
Pale skin. Red eyes. Sharp fangs poked on the edge of lips. Peter's eyes comically widened. Oh, God. He's a vampire.
Peter gulped hard his building tension and asked, "Who-who are you? How can you enter my room without any sound?"
The man grinned.
"Names Zelretch, kid," he said.
"And I am from a different dimension. Like, different different. I decided to help you because–well, why not? I'm bored too."
Peter quickly learned that Zelretch was Annoying with capital A. He was a total prankster and troll. He hated villainy act, yet he also laughed at a heroic act. If he bored, he would prank a random person and Peter was the one responsible to clear the aftermath.
What a bother figure.
Because I am bothering you, amirite? Was his reply when Peter finally confessed it. He was nonplussed.
That aside, Peter was indebted to this vampire ("it is Dead Apostle, Spidey boy." "But it's easier to remember.") for helping him learn his newfound ability.
Mystic Eyes of Death Perception.
According to Zelretch, his eyes were so rare that it was counted as a myth among researches.
"When you are old enough, with that eyes of yours you can kill a God. You should be more careful with it. If you can't see the lines, it's either you are not old enough, that person doesn't have the concept of 'death', or simply you're a dumbass who mistake it as your web."
"I see-wait, what's with the last one? I'm not that careless!"
"Who knows? By the way. About your eyes. It's multi-colored right? It's color indicating the power. More color means more power. You should be careful whom you showed your eyes to. It's better not to tell anyone, even your aunt or your besties. Remember, walls have ears too."
The rainbow lines apparently the indicator of its power. Who knew that his eyes are something that had reached the level of God? The LGBT community will have a huge party.
"Can my eyes be stolen? Like, I don't know, gouging it?"
"It can't. Your ability come from you, not your eyes. So if one day you become blind or your eyes are gouged out, you can still look at the line. Neat, huh?"
"That's... creepy. What the heck, it gives me a chill."
An ability to kill God. Man, that's so cool.
But Peter had a strict policy about killing. Well, if it was a psycho evil alien, then...
"Uh, Zelretch?" Peter glanced at the moving crowds behind them. From the bright sky and sun hovered in the sky alone, he knew they were not in Queens anymore.
"Where are we?"
"We're in Nepal, kiddo. Today, before our tear-jerked depart, I will introduce you to the magic community of your world."
"O-kay..." Peter blinked slowly and nodded. "So you woke me up three in the morning for this?" He pointed at his bare feet. "For God sake, at least let me use my shoes first!"
The Dead Apostle only rolled his eyes. That prick. "You don't have to, we are already in front of our destination," he said pointing at the wooden door.
"Welcome to Kamar-Taj, Peter Parker."
"...Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg."
"Ancient One," he nodded and pushed Peter to the bald woman. "This is the one I've told you before."
Peter stared nervously at Ancient One–was that her real name? Or her alias? Either way, he thought it was totally cool–who gave him a curious stare. He felt very self-conscious with his bed hair and sleeping attire. "H-Hello," he stuttered. "My name is Peter Parker. It's very nice to meet you, uh, Miss Ancient One, madam."
Great. Way to embarass yourself, Peter. Kudos for you.
"My," she gave him an amused smile. "Just Ancient One is okay, dear."
Peter vigorously nodded. He couldn't open his mouth anymore or else he would embarrass himself more than he could handle.
"Now, I heard you have the ability to perceive death...?"
"Oh," he said intelligently. Peter glanced at Zelretch who only raised his eyebrows in response. Not helping at all, old man.
He decided to tell her the truth. Well, if Zelretch was the one introduced her, then it's safe, right? "Um, I'm still new with this ability since I only got them like months ago but..." Peter blinked twice before his brown eyes shifted its colors.
"I guess now I can turn it off and on as I want... to..."
Peter went silent when his eyes landed on Ancient One. Unlike most of the things Peter had encounter, Ancient One was the second being that had little to none death line. He could only see it when he concentrated enough, but it brought a light headache.
The first one was Zelretch, but he told him that it's because he was practically immortal and Peter wasn't strong enough yet to see it.
Wasn't that mean...
"You're–" Peter threw a glance at two students on the back of the room and lowering his voice. "You're immortal?" he whispered.
"...Yes," was her reply, face void from emotion. She spoke in the same volume as him. "I can't tell you more than that, but all I can say is I did this for the greater good. On the side note, I must thank you for not saying it in a louder voice."
He shook his head. "It's okay. You're someone who has gained Zelretch's attention, so it means you're good."
Her mouth twitched at that word. "True. I also owe him thanks, as obnoxious as he is. Because of him, I finally meet you."
"Wait wha–y-you want to meet me? Why?"
She gave him an enigmatic smile. "I'm a Celtic."
"That's... doesn't explain anything."
"It is when the time has come. Now, where are we? Now you have aware with our community, do you want to know further about Mystic Art?"
((Many months later, Peter realized it did explain everything. Apparently his eyes similar to the eyes possessed by a Celtic god called Balor, which were able to kill people just by looking.
What a guy.))
Peter found that his eyes' ability was pretty handy in some situation. Cleaning the webs after post battle or making way through rubbles became much easier. He just needed to snap their death lines and they would be reduced into ashes.
And in this month, Peter discovered something about this ability.
It all started when he tried to stop a robbery. He noticed the robber who coughed way too often had complex additional death lines, like webs, centered on his lung. Filled by curiosity, his hand instinctively reached out and accidentally snapped it all. His mind didn't register what he had done before it was too late.
His eyes widened and pulled his hand back. "Oh shit shit shit shit–are you okay?! Oh god oh god what the hell did I just do–huh?"
Peter slowly realized that the man was still breathing. Rather, he noticed, his coughing now had stopped.
The man dumbfoundedly stared back. "...My coughing stopped," he whispered.
"My chest doesn't hurt anymore too," he added, eyes widening in pure astonished. "I'm–am I finally healed? Oh my god, I–"
Now Peter felt totally awkward. The robber now had put down his–wait, that's a toy gun–belongings and examined himself in awe, ignoring Peter who standing there like an idiot. "Uh, man, look–"
"Sorry, Spider-whatever your name is, but I won't rob anymore! I want to make a doctor appointment, so spare me please! Adios, amigos! Praise God, amen!"
The ex-robber bolted out from the bank while whooping in joy. He didn't even bother to pick his belongings. Peter, together with other captives only stared in shared silence.
They didn't even know how to explain it to the police who just arrived.
It was the weirdest robbery Peter had ever stopped.
Couple of days later, the man who tried to rob the bank had become viral. He apparently was suffered from chronic lung cancer and had been diagnosed to not have much time. That was his motive why he started to do crazy things, such as trying to rob a bank.
But suddenly, he was reported to not suffer from his illness anymore. In fact, the tumor had vanished into thin air! He now was 100 percent healthy man, like he never had cancer in the first place.
The medical world went nuts. It was unheard of for a tumor, especially a chronic one, to vanish like that with or without medical help. Some of the scientists even made a group dedicated to discovering the cause!
Of course, later they gave up and sorted it as a miracle.
Peter immediately connected all the dots. He realized that the complex webs he had snapped was the man's tumor, and he had 'killed' it.
He knew he could kill anything as long as it had the concept of death, but for killing a disease... That's possible too?
Peter slowly closed his laptop, staring dazedly at his ceiling, and thought,
If only he could explain this to Tony.
"Karen, can you not tell this to Mr. Stark?"
"Sorry Peter, but I have been programmed to report every activity of yours to him. Don't worry, he won't mad at you because you failed to stop a robbery. In fact, he was amused and curious with the turnout."
"...Huh? K-Karen, you don't–? Wait, what did you tell Mr. Stark?"
"I reported to him that you tried to stop a robbery, but the robber instead canceled it the middle of the heist to make a doctor appointment. Incidentally, he was the same man who miraculously was freed from his illness."
Peter forgot that Baby Monitor Protocol couldn't record what he truly had seen.
When Tony turned his back to him, Peter hastily turned his Mystic Eyes on and run his thumb over where the webbed cracks centered. His surprised flinch was his cue to turn it off.
"Ow!" Tony whirled back facing him. "What the heck, Kid? Did you just scratched my back?"
"Sorry, Mr. Stark. There was an insect on your back so I had to flicked it."
"Flicked? That's scratching! Next time calculate your strength first, okay? You didn't have to go overkill with your brethen."
"Yeah, yeah. Sorry Mr. Stark."
Peter bit down his inner cheek to prevent smiling. He knew Tony's unhealthy diet would lead to several sicknesses, so before it's too late he tried to kill the growing germs. He wasn't sure he had killed them all, though. Some are too small to be seen.
Well, at least he could do something for Tony.
Never Peter had filled with this amount of hatred. This–this purple creature was hell-bent to kill half of the universe and he just couldn't understand why.
Yes, his planet died and he was the only survivor, then so what? It's the circle of life! Even Peter knew his planet sooner or later will meet its ending, and that was why there's something called 'save the earth' campaign.
Deciding that half of the universe population weren't worth living was absurd, even if his intention was good.
Peter mind instantly went blank when he stabbed Tony. He suddenly had a flashback when Ben was killed by the robber.
No, he thought. No, no, no. Not him, not Mr. Stark, please, not Tony!
His body moved by itself. With a scream, he webbed Thanos' face and kicked it as hard as he could. When his body threw back a few meters, Peter immediately conforted Tony.
"Mr. Stark!" he cried. His eyes wandered to the stabbed wound. "You okay? I-I will pull it out first–"
"Peter, what are you doing?" Tony harshly whispered. His face filled with worry and a hint of relief. "You could've been killed."
"Saving you! Sorry for this, Mr. Stark!" Tony let out a pained scream as the blade was pulled out. With a swift motion, Peter patched his wound with his web. "It still needs medical attention, but for now the bleed has been stopped."
Tony snorted. "Learning for experience–" His eyes widened as he caught something on the background.
Peter instinctively threw himself and Tony to the ground, effectively avoid a punch from Thanos. He growled when his fist collided with rocks.
"So you are still alive," he grumbled and noticed something that missing from Peter's suit. "I see you are not an insect, rather a human. And young, too. Hm, I must applaud you for your bravery, younglings."
"Thanks, but no thanks." Peter threw him a glare and stood. His head was no longer covered by the mask, but he didn't have time to care for that. What he cared most was Tony who was in his back and the villain who standing proud in front of him.
"I won't let you harm Mr. Stark anymore," he growled threateningly. The Titan instead gave him scrutiny look.
"That protectiveness, a dear friend? No," Thanos' eyes lit up in recognition. "A father not by blood."
His mouth then curled into a rueful smile, eyes filled with longing. Peter almost symphatized if only he wasn't the cause of this destruction. "So you're like my Gamora, too. Like father, like son..."
Peter flinched when Thanos took a step. His step somehow went slower, as if he was trying to approach a frightened animal. "A-And what is it?"
"...Step aside, younglings," Thanos commanded, surprising everyone in the hearing range. What he was talking about? "I have no longer desired to kill you nor your father. Give me the Time Stone, and I will make sure to spare you two."
"Then kill me," Peter responded and raised the blade on eye level. He could hear the disbelieved gasp from Tony, but he ignored it. His mind was too busy thinking his next plan.
He needed to distract him. Something, something that could trigger his emotion. Think, Peter, think! What's the easiest route? Insensitive insult, act like idiot, sob story, PTSD–
That's it! Gamora!
He quickly fixed his expression into a confident one and continued to taunt Thanos. "I can't let you kill innocents, Thanos. I won't let anyone feel the same thing like me losing Uncle Ben." His face filled with pure determination as he spoke,
"I won't let anyone feeling the same with you losing Gamora."
Thanos faltered when Gamora was mentioned. Peter didn't waste any second.
Turning his Mystic Eyes, he ran as fast he could.
It's him or billions of people.
Peter knew one day he needed to kill someone whether he liked it or not. He knew he would meet a foe whose death lines hard to see. That mindset had been drilled by both Ancient One and Zelretch.
Thanos, a literally alien armed with infinity stones, was one of them.
The power of the stones made his death lines hard to be seen. Just by looking, Peter got a light headache. Those stones truly weren't meant to be underestimated.
But it didn't mean Peter hadn't prepared to face a foe like him.
Peter put a great force of his eyes and focused his stare at Thanos. Severe migraine instantly pounded his head, and he could feel something wet crawled down on his upper lips. It tasted like metal.
Then the everything changed. Now his field of vision all covered with cracks, decorated with small black holes where the cracks came from. The sky seemed like it could fall anytime and the ground had crumbled into nothingness.
In his eyes, the world could break if he put his fingers on the wrong place. In literal meaning.
This was the true meaning of having the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. The user must accept the world that, as tough as it appeared to be, far fragile than porcelain. There was a consequence in every step he took.
There was death waiting on the very end of the line.
It was hell. It was painful. His eyes, had entered a new stage, now dependent on his power. Peter could feel his magic he had stacked inside drained in a fast pace. There was not much time before his eyes sucked his life force too.
It hurt, it hurt like damn hell. But damn if he dared to stop–it's now or never.
He could see several death points on Thanos, with the biggest one hovering above his stomach. Peter grinned as he leaped.
Without any hesitation, he cut them all in one motion.
The result was instantaneous.
Thanos body was severed into several pieces as he let out a dying scream. Blood splashed out to everywhere including Peter who was the closest. The infinity gauntlet fell down, which Peter immediately took.
Silence washed upon them, only filled by Peter's hard breath and fallen rubbles. Peter only stared down at the pile of what remained of Thanos, before shifted to his bloodied blade and infinity gauntlet on his arms.
"Holy fuck," he rasped. The fatigue finally came onto him as he turned off his eyes and his adrenaline had calmed down. His step started to sway and eyes became unfocused. "I... did... it..."
The last thing he knew was Tony's panicked shout and darkness.
"Wow, what an ending. Good job, spidey boy," spoke someone and clapped.
Peter whirled back to the source of the voice and his eyes widened. "Zelretch!" he exclaimed. "What did you do here?"
"What, I'm not allowed to visit my otherworldy kid?" He smiled in amusement when Peter replied with a blank stare. "Still, I'm surprised you find a will to kill. Thanks to you, your world didn't need to go through endgame fiasco. Hey, you should pat yourself in the back!"
"...Right." Peter didn't know what Zelretch meant by that, but he didn't want to find out. He had learned to not be curious with things Zelretch had spouted for his own sanity.
"It's him or billion people," he shrugged and averted his face from the Dead Apostle's searching eyes. "And he tried to kill Mr. Stark and everyone. I..."
"Then how's your feeling?"
"It was your first kill, correct?" Peter flinched. Zelretch nodded at his reaction. "Goody two shoes like you always have a hard time getting over it. Don't act tough, kid. It won't be good for you."
"I–I..." With a sigh, Peter let down his tough act. His hands trembled. The painful scream kept replaying on his head like a broken record, reminding what he had done. The blank eyes, lack of life, haunted him and blamed him for his deed, for putting him on his end. "I am...–"
"Save your angst to Stark," Zelretch cut him. Peter stared at him confused. "As much as I want to humor you, you must wake up now. They are waiting for you."
"What, you don't realize?" The older man gave him an amused smile. "We are inside your consciousness, Peter Parker. You have fallen into a coma for forcing your Mystic Eyes to see death points."
Then Peter felt like something pulled him out from there. With every blink, Zelretch figure became thin and thin, as the world crumbled down. That man gave him the last wave before spoke,
"Oh, by the way, I guess if it's okay to tell them a –"
His senses were greeted by white and continuous beeping. He later realized it was a ceiling, and the beeping was a heart machine beside him.
He was in hospital. An expensive one, looking at the interior design. He dumbly wondered how much he could get by selling that nice little plant. The pot looked like it was covered by gold.
Now his mind didn't make any sense to him. Maybe it's because of the pain killer? Or his coma state? How long he had been unconscious? Who brings him–?
Peter blinked and gazed to the source of the voice. It was Tony.
"O'ny," he replied. God, his voice was uglier than horse. "y'u lo'k te'ible."
Peter wasn't even joking. There were black circles indicating he didn't have any sleep and skinny like he had aged in one day. He then noticed some grey hairs on the top of his head.
Tony only gave him a big smile. "And who's fault is that, kid?"
Peter weakly snorted. The older man then enveloped him into a big hug, not caring if he stressed the IV pipe.
"Christ," he breathed down shakingly. Tony ran his fingers through his hairs and gave him a peck on cheek. "You scared me."
Peter could sense the pure fear from his tone. At his state he couldn't think properly, so he resorted to apologize instead.
"It's okay, kid. I'm glad you're finally awake. I'm glad."
His hug was warm.
Tony, together with the rest of Avengers, helped him to go through from his first killing. It wasn't easy. Peter kept having a nightmare of Thanos bloody screaming, his eyes that void of life, and hands dirtied by his blood. It all cornered him, accused him as a murderer.
It made his stomach sick. He wanted to puke whenever he remembered about it.
Luckily the other Avengers were more than ready to help. Steve and Bucky helped him most by telling him their own experiences facing the guilt of killing, especially the Winter Soldier. He was the victim of mind control and was used as killing machine.
Tony was always ready to lend his ears. He also had his own sharing of his past problem, helped Peter eased his own insecurities.
The first killing was never easy to get over it.
But somehow, Peter knew he could.
A few days later after his recovery, Peter finally found his courage to tell his newfound family about his Mystic Eyes.
He knew Tony and Stephen had suspected there was something more about his power. Not even magic could insta-kill someone who was armed with Infinity Stones. Yet Peter, a boy from Queens who supposedly only have spiders ability, had chopped the man into tiny pieces just by one strike.
And today, he finally could explain it to him.
Peter approached Tony nervously, hands fiddling his hem clothes. "To–I mean, Dad," Peter still didn't use with the fact that he was officially adopted by Tony. God, it felt surreal.
"Can we–can we talk?" he asked. "I want to talk about... that incident."
Tony quickly caught on what he meant. He turned down his hologram and faced his protege-turned-son. "Do I need to gather the Avengers first?"
"No! Uh, I mean, yes! But not now because I can't tell it yet to everyone but–"
"Easy, kid. No Avengers, got it."
Tony let Peter sat down first to gather his thought before took a seat beside him. After a few seconds, he finally met his eyes.
"...First of all, please don't freak, okay?"
Tony chuckled at those words. He had been kidnapped to built a high-tech armor from scraps, fighting alien, stripping down corrupted high-ups, and facing an eggplant alien armed with infinity stones. He didn't think there was something can freak him out.
Tony stared blankly at the metal that had been cut into pieces with a, honest to God, a pencil.
Once again, a cheap pencil.
Well, the owner of the finger was a spider semi-mutant who had superhuman strength, but it's a pencil. A honest to God cheap-ass pencil that always break if one tried to sharpen it.
He glanced back at the pair of awaiting blue-red-rainbow(?) eyes for his reaction. Right. He promised to not freak out, so he won't.
But, it's a metal.
A metal. Versus pencil.
"Pete, hold on a minute okay? Let me grab something to drink first."
He seriously needed a drink.
"So, as long as it has a concept of death, you can kill it? Anything? Human, items, God?"
"According to Zelretch... Yes. Uncle Thor has death lines, so I think it's safe to say I can kill... God?"
"I know. That's my reaction too."
Tony glad it was Peter who held that too overpowered power. At least it was in the good hand.
"We totally need to test it out, kid. And oh, hide it from Fury."
"Wait, so you're the one who cured that man who had lung cancer?"
"Wha–Dad, you still remembered about that? And yes, I kind of... accidentally did it."
"Of course. You think I won't get curious with how fishy the scene was? Did you know it has listed in Buzzfeed Unsolved?"
"Wait, Dad, you followed Buzzfeed?"
Hello, Aria here.
First, of all, I'd like to apologize if I described the iconic eyes of Mystic Eyes in the wrong way. I'm not really keen with nasuverse but I've tried to stick with Wiki description and a post of tumblr regarding this.
If you had read this at Ao3, you may notice some difference between that and this. To be honest I prefer this one because I am not used to post on Ao3 and it messed my original works. Here was edited edited version with some addition scene.
I didn't think much about things happened in the background or what will happen after this. I only thought that the Accords fiasco was thoroughly revised, Secretary Ross was stripped down from his job after his despicable records went public, Team Cap and Team Iron become one again, Spidey joined Avengers when he entered legal age and became their ace card, etc etc.
He would tell everyone about his Mystic Eyes, of course, but Peter kind of hesitated to tell Nat and Clint because neither him nor Tony wanted Fury to find out. Of course, he found out by himself. Cue overprotective Avengers and Long Debate(tm) between them and SHIELD.
The real reason why Zelretch wanted to help Peter? He was requested by someone.
What happened next I leave it to ya'll imagination.
Thank you for reading this and stay dehydrated. Happy fasting for those who celebrate! Keep your hands to yourself until maghrib, guys.