Chapter 4-1

I'm a wolf in sheep's clothing, waddling around and bashing as a sheep would. But I'm not a wolf in sheep's clothing tonight. Tonight, I'm a sea monster.

David stood under the spray of the shower and sighed. The water was warm against his skin and he sighed at the feeling of his body heating up and skin turning red. He tilts his head up and washes his face in the spray of the hot water, closing his eyes and opening his mouth.

A sea monster standing on two legs.

He turns off the shower after deciding that he's had enough. He steps out of the shower and dries himself off.

If there's one thing I would like more than eating, it's taking hot showers. If it were up to me, I would live in a hot shower for the rest of my life. But the universe has proved that to be physically impossible so I'll just enjoy the small moments.

He came out of the bathroom dressed in his casual clothes, having brought them in the bathroom with him to change. He throws his towels into a laundry basket before he turns around and sees his mother, Misa, standing at the stove, cooking something up in a pan.

David sniffed at the smell like a dog.

Crispy.

"David," Misa said, looking down at the stove without turning towards him, as if she sensed his presence, "How's life been going for you."

"Five months Sans Spider-Man," he answered, "It's quite boring, to say the least."

"Your homicidal urges," she said, "I couldn't help but noticed that you've been satiated for quite a while?"

David cocked his head. "How do you know?"

"That my own son has killed someone?" She still didn't face him and flipped whatever food she was cooking with a spatula. "Back when things were normal, you couldn't go one month without killing something so at least once a month, you put down a dog at the pound before you became Spider-Man." She finally turned to him. "You haven't been Spider-Man for five months," she said. "I can only guess that, you've at least killed five people to satisfy that urge. I know at this point that, since you've moved on from killing animals, they won't be able to satisfy your urges."

David nods. "Yeah," he said, "But I've been very careful. I made sure not to leave any evidence behind. I'm in forensics class and I have a pretty high IQ so I know what forensic experts look for. Not only that but even if I do leave evidence behind, I've made sure that the evidence points to someone else. Or, at the very least, the forensic profiling evidence points to someone who is the complete opposite of David Dante's profile."

She was silent for a few seconds before she turned back to her stove. "You always were a smart boy, Davey."

David smirked at the compliment.

Even my mother, who acknowledges me as a David the Deadpan, knows that I'm super smart.

"When are you going back to being Spider-Man?"

David cocked his head again at her. "You really want me to go back to being a serial murderer? You want me to go back to killing people?"

"Not to kill people," she said, "To save people."

David nodded, remembering what his mother said to him that day at the pier.

She's proud of me, not for killing bad people, but for saving innocent people. Now that you mention it, while I did save that child from those two pedophiles a week ago, upon seeing that child, I had this unknown urge to save the child. I know that I like children, and think that they are the most precious things in this world, but still. Me, David from the Dark Universe, wants to save children just so they can live. If it was anybody else, then I would just save them just because it's a superhero's job to save people. Not only that but if Spidey stopped saving people, then the public would be out for blood for Spider-Man and I would find that scenario to be... stressful.

"I saved a kid," David said offhandedly, "A week ago, there were a couple of pedophiles that were going to do bad things to a boy, around the age of seven, then throw him over the edge of a construction building. I intervened and saved him."

Misa looks at him.

David shrugs. "I despise child killers. I killed them both. Those were my kills for the month."

Misa stared at him, saying nothing.

"And I made sure the boy was returned to his mother. I dropped him off at the police station and I waited. I hid from the police officer's views and did not leave until I saw the little boy's mother come and rescue him."

Why should I care whether or not Mom knows about this? Maybe I'm being spontaneous. I have a habit of being overzealous after a kill but those usually happen like hours or so after. My overzealous nature could be my downfall if I'm not careful. If Mom was any other person, then I could've said something else entirely.

Misa lunged for David and hugged him tightly.

David's eyes widened in shock.

I forgot how emotional my mother could be.

He felt the soft heartbeat of his mother against his chest. That's when he felt the thumps of his own heartbeat.

This feeling in my chest, it's back. What is it?

Misa pulled herself away. David touched his heart and tried to feel for something.

This feeling in my chest, it keeps recurring, what is it about?

"You killed those pedophiles to satisfy your urge," she said, "But you also saved a child's life. Not because it was your duty as Spider-Man, but because you wanted to."

David nodded. "Yeah," he said, "I guess I did. I mean, child killers and child rapists are the worst of all."

She kisses him on the head. "What's why I think that there is a hero even in you."

He touched his heart once again.

Wow, this feeling in my chest. I can't believe I'm going to mentally say it but this feeling in my chest, it suddenly feels good.

XXX

Eddie's life was utterly miserable. Ever since he lost his job at the Daily Bugle, he's been looking for odd jobs around the city where he could earn some money. When he went to take out the trash in the dumpster downstairs, he was jumped by a couple of teenagers and his wallet was stolen. He was left on the ground, unharmed, but broke.

When he got back to his home, he decided that a call from his somewhat girlfriend, Anne, would be a pick-me-up. Much to his surprise, the doorbell rang and when he opened, there was Anne, standing there with a pink box in his hand.

"Hey, Eddie," she said nervously.

Eddie blushed at the sight of her beautiful face. "H-Hey," he stuttered, "Come on in."

"Okay," she said. "I got us some donuts if that's okay with you."

"No, that's super." He took the box from her and set it on the counter. He opened it and grabbed the chocolate donut. He was hesitant to eat the chocolate donut because he was unsure if chocolate was Anne's favorite and the only other donut in there was a glazed one.

"Do you want to share?" he asked, holding an unharmed donut up.

"No thank you," she said, "I like glazed donuts."

"Chocolate is so good," he said, "You don't know what you're missing."

He took a bite of his donut before he sat down on his couch. Anne sat next to him, causing Eddie's face to flare up in fluster.

"I heard about your job," she said, "That you lost it."

He looked at her. "How did you know?"

"Did you really think you could go five months without me noticing?" She took a bite of her donut.

Eddie paled his face in embarrassment. "I'm sorry, I was just so humiliated."

"I understand completely. You've got other jobs in mind?"

"The Daily bugle won't hire me anymore because Spider-Man is no more. My entire career depends on Spider-Man being there so Jameson could slander his name."

"I think it's libel," she said, "Liebel is printed but slander is spoken."

Eddie chuckled. "I know."

"But, in a way, I don't agree with what you're doing. Taking pictures of Spider-Man, of course."

Eddie looked at her like he was bitch-slapped. "Why not? If you're concerned for my safety, then it's okay. Spider-Man only goes after violent criminals and besides, Spider-Man has saved my life before."

"But he's still dangerous," she said, "He could be using you."

"He's not using me."

Anne backed off, realizing that she struck a chord with his personal views. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you. It's just that, I want to be a district attorney when I grow up and I'm supposed to fight for the side of justice. I'm not supposed to have favorites."

Eddie looked at her and nodded. "I understand. You can't work in law unless you have a strong sense of what's right and wrong."

She nodded. "I'm glad you understand."

As the two teens continued to chat, they did not realize that they were being stalked by a figure in the room hiding behind the curtains.


Chapter 4-2

After an hour or so, Anne decided that it was time for her to leave. Eddie, being the gentleman that he was, escorted her to his door. He opened it for her and she stepped out. Before she was out of range, she turned and stood in the doorway.

"I'll see you later, I guess," she said awkwardly.

"Yeah," Eddie responded with a nervous chuckle, "Next time, I'll buy donuts for us."

"Okay then," she said with a smile, "See you in school, Eddie."

"You too, Anne," he waved her goodbye before he gently closed the door. He pressed his back to the door and palmed his face.

"I need to work on confidence," she told himself.

He checked his watch. "It's almost eight o'clock. I'll take a shower and be in bed before Mom and Dad get home."

He begins walking towards the bathroom when he hears a CLINK that makes him freeze in place. The hairs on his neck spoon up and his breathing became shallow as he slowly turned towards the source of the sound.

"What?" he muttered so quietly that it was impossible for anyone other than him to hear. "What was that?"

His heart started pounding against his chest as a boombox would and sweat dripped from the side of his head. His eyes drew to the curtains, where there was the outline of a male body.

His eyes widened in horror.

"Someone… in my house…"

A hand flew out from behind the curtain. A gloved hand.

Eddie screamed in horror and ran from the front door. He tries opening it until he hears the locks clinking and realizing that he locked the door. He unlocks the door and prepares to open it with sweaty hands before something latches onto the back of his skull.

He found himself flying through the air like a jet and into the couch he was sitting on earlier. He looked around, desperate to see where the person was and found him standing in front of him, blocking the door.

"Hello, Eddie."

Eddie's eyes widened even more, if possible, "Octavius?!"

Octavius stood over the young boy with his four mechanical arms stretched out, hooks activated in case he tried anything clever.

"You know me," Octavius said as he took off his sunglasses, "I can't believe I was right."

"Right about what?!"

"You're my stalker," Ohe answered. "You're the one who broke into my house and downloaded a couple of files off my computer."

"No," Eddie said, panic and sweat weapt across his face, "You know nothing."

"David Dante. He must've told you that I was working the case against Spider-Man and you took action."

Eddie panicked. "No, not him. Listen, man, don't hurt him."

"Why would I hurt David? Even if he did give out my name, you're still the one who stalked me. Not only that, but I know that you are probably Spider-Man's biggest fanatic. You used to take pictures of him at the Daily Bugle." He stepped forward, his mechanical arms hissing at the young boy. He reaches a gloved hand into his trench coat. Eddie feared the worst until he saw a tape recorder rise from Eddie's pocket. Octavius replayed the conversation he had with Anne about how she cna't support Spider-Man from an objective viewpoint.

"Stay away from me," he shouted in desperation, "I only take pictures of Spider-Man," he said, "Nothing more. I didn't break into your house. I didn't break in and steal anything. I didn't stalk you!"

"I'm not here to arrest you, otherwise, I would've shown you my badge." He stepped closer to the cowering teen. "Unfortunately, I'm going AWOL from the FBI. Spider-Man has become the biggest thorn in my side for five months."

"Serves you right for chasing him down."

Octavius sneered and the upper right mechanical arm grabbed Eddie by his left foot. He dragged him off the couch and dangled him upside-down three feet above the floor.

"What the hell is this?!" he screamed, "Put me down."

"Tell me where Spider-Man is," Octavius ordered fiercely with no breath in his sentence. "Where. Is. That. Wall-Crawling. Airachnid?"

"I know just as much as you do, man," Eddie said, "He went AWOL five months ago, he told me nothing."

Octavius cocked his head and his eyes widened. "So you admit that you're affiliated with Spider-Man."

Eddie's eyes widened as he realized what he said. He silently curses under his breath.

"I should've known." Octavius moves over, taking Eddie by the legs with him. "You're always there on sight whenever Spider-Man is at a crime scene. Somehow, you're the only photographer in New York to get good, accurate pictures of Spider-Man. I've checked surveillance camera footage in the past and the theory that you are Spider-Man is debunked. But nevertheless, you are close to Spider-Man. After all, he did save your life once."

"What?" Eddie gasped.

"I was listening in on your conversation with Anne."

Octavius moves towards the windows. He opens them up with both hands before looking down. "If you're lucky, you just might survive."

The mechanical arm dangling Eddie moved over Octavius's shoulder and out the window.

Eddie shouted in terror as he saw a parking lot about three or four stories below him. "I don't know about you, but I'd appreciate my life if I were you," Octavius said, "Tell me about Spider-Man and I'll let you go."

"No," Eddie shouted, "Don't let me go!"

"Tell me what I want to know, then."

"I know nothing! Spider-Man's plan to go AWOL came at me from out of nowhere. When I heard the news that he was no more, when I saw his costume had been thrown in the trash, I was shocked just like you."

"We both want Spider-Man back," Octavius said, "I want him back so I can catch him, you want him back because you believe that he is the symbol of justice in this town."

Eddie stopped thrashing. He went limp but he didn't just dangle. He lifted his head up to face Octavius with an emotionless expression on his face. "The fact that you've stooped so low to the point of threatening a teenager proves that Spider-Man is the symbol of justice."

"Are you willing to bet money on that?" Octavius chuckled. "Or your life?

Eddie looked down at the ground and licked his lips. He sighed deeply and closed his eyes. He opened them and looked at Octavius. "Even if I knew something, I would tell you nothing. Spider-Man is the symbol of justice in this town. He will come back and he will take out the trash. Namely you."

"You've got some balls kid," Octavius said, "You're so supportive of Spider-Man that you're willing to risk your life?"

"My parents always told me that if you're not willing to risk your life then what's the point of believing in something."

Octavius shook his head in a non-approving way. "You're sixteen, you got your whole life ahead of you. All you have to do is help me find Spider-Man. If you do that, then I promise that your crimes will be pardoned. Stalking, breaking and entering, stealing of confidential information, they will all be pardoned based on the premise that Spider-Man blackmailed you into following his orders. You got a free pass, all you have to do is help me."

Eddie worked up a gurgle of saliva and spat hard. He was angled downward so the saliva fell upward from his point of view.

"In that case," Octavius said regretfully.

The upper right mechanical arm released Eddie.

The young teenager screamed as he plunged downward. He kicks and thrashes as if it would make a difference but the only difference he made was that the ground was getting closer and closer with every passing second.

"No Spider-Man," he whispered, "Spider-Man isn't going to save me!"

His fall suddenly stops and he went flying to the side rather than downwards. Once he wrapped his head around the reality that he was caught in a clothesline and swung towards the brick wall, he screamed as he collided.

The brick wall was not so friendly to him as it made him bounce back hard and caused him to fall the rest of the way down.

He fell on top of a closed trashcan made of metal before falling forward and hitting his back against a car.

The car alarm went off in arithmetic fashion as Eddie laid on the ground, motionless.

"Ow…" he wheezed, "That hurt…" he cried as he lifted his head up, having enough strength to only do that. "What has this world come to."

He finds the strength in his arms to push himself up but as soon as he was standing on one foot, he fell forward and face-first into a puddle of water.

"My back.." he winces in agony. "It hurts… it feels like a muscle is sticking out of my skin."

He picks his face out of the puddle and looks up to where he fell. He saw the clothesline that he got tangled in and silently thanked whoever hunged it for saving his life. He looked up towards where Octavius's mechanical arm should be and saw that it was missing.

"Eddie?"

Eddie snapped his head forward and saw Anne, who came out of a door leading into his building.

XXX

This waiting for Octavius to make a move is driving me crazy. If I was part of the police force or FBI then things would be easier. However, I need to get updated on Octavius's situation. If Captain Hardy is in today, then I'll talk to Felicia and see if she'll leak any information.

David approaches the front door. He puts his hand up and knocks on it. Seconds later, the door is opened by a young boy.

"Hey there, Scott," David said in a playful voice at the kindergartener, "It's me, David, your big sister's boyfriend. I need to talk to her, is she around?"

"Scott," a girl's voice shouted, "What did I tell you about opening the door to strangers?"

The door opened all the way and there stood Felicia.

Black Cat… how's life been suffering for you?

"Felica," David said in a professional tone. His eyes trailed down her casual clothing, which consisted of black pajamas. "You look lovely."

"What are you doing here?" she asked as she gestured for her brother to disappear.

"I came here to talk to you," he said, "And don't push me away. Otherwise, I'm going to do what you claim I'm doing: Stalking you."

Felicia closes the door.

David thrusts his foot in the doorway and blocks it off. "Don't think you can get rid of this guy so easily. I'm the one who is head over heels for you, Felicia, not Ryan the Redundant."

Felicia looked at David. She looked over her shoulder for a brief second before back at David. "I'll give you ten minutes."

"You won't regret," David said with a smile.

"Make it five minutes."

"More than enough time."

Felicia opens the door and allows him to enter. David inhales and smells the fresh scent of vanilla candles.

"I missed your place," he said, "I missed the brunch you made specifically for me, I missed your little rugrat of a brother and I missed your dear old parents."

"Dad's been having a rough time lately."

Yeah, for trying to catch an intangible ghost.

"What are you here to talk about, David."

They stood in the hallway. David slowly turns towards Felicia with a slight smirk that indicates amusement. He licked his lips as his smirk grew wider into a smile.

"You're in love," he said suddenly.

Felicia snapped her head at him. "What?" she stuttered nervously.

"I can tell; You are in love with someone."

David's smile grew wider.

Lately, I've been going more and more bored. The only reason I am here is to get a possible update on the Spider-Man investigation. Chances are, Felicia will know something.

"What makes you say that you are in love with me?"

David looked away for a brief second before saying, "I can tell, as I said." He looked back at her. "Remember one year ago, I told you that I wanted to be a forensic profiler? Well, I may be an amateur but I am nevertheless skilled in profiling people." He leaned in closer, touching his face to her, almost touching her face with his nose. "I also profiled you in my new apartment so I know some things about you."

Felicia went wide-eyed and stared at David into his soulless eyes. "You don't know anything, stalker."

David leaned in an inch closer. "I think I know who you are really in love with?" He tilts his head to the side playfully. "You're in love with Spider-Man."

Felicia gasps, her face turning red.

Got her right where I want her.

"It's okay," he said, "I understand. You're in love with Spider-Man."

"How could you say something like that?" she snapped, "How can you think that I'm in love with that murderer?"

David inwardly smirks at that statement. He licks his lips before continuing.

"I can't help but think of the time when we went to the movies. We saw Silence of the Lambs and when we walked out, you broke up with me. It struck me as odd when you broke up with me out of the blue so I did a little detective work and you know what I found? Spider-Man being absent these last five months is really what caused you to break up with me. Of course, we broke up like five days after Spider-Man's alleged breakup date but it made me realize, with a little detective work and profiling that Spider-Man going off the grid is what caused you to break up with me."

He paused. He slowly looked down at the ground.

Pretend to be sad.

"It upset me, Felicia, that I found out that you dumped me over that wall-crawler."

But I am that wall-crawler.

"And I understand why you did it. You can't handle the pain of being absent from someone for a long time. When Spider-Man went AWOL, you were so heartbroken to the point you broke up with me."

Felicia blushed. "You could not be anymore…"

He snaps his gaze up at her. "Could not be anymore what? Right? Smart? Handsome?" He said the last suggestion with a smirk. "Felicia, I know what it's like to have a loved being intangible." He put his hands on both of her shoulders gently. "I hate you seeing you go through this pain. That's why I'm going to find Spider-Man. If Spider-Man is the only person in the world who can make you happy then I'm more than willing to look for him. Even if he is a murderer."

I've set up the hook, I just need to set the bait.

"If you can let me see where your father is with the Spider-Man investigation, it would benefit us both. I can use the police's data as well as my own forensic profiling skills to find Spider-Man."

Felici's jaw dropped in nervousness and her breathing left her mouth. "I-"

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!

Both teens turned towards the front door. David did the honors of answering the front door for her.

He expected Otto Octavius, Walter Hardy, her mother, maybe.

But the last person he expected was Eddie Brock.

"Eddie," David exclaimed, "What are you doing here?"

Eddie limped past David without even bother to ask to get out the way, bruises on his left temple that looked like they came from a fist fight.

"I have to find Captain Hardy," Eddie said as he limped into the hallway.

"Why are you limping?"

Eddie snapped at David, "Otto Octavus, that FBI agent, he hurt me. He dropped me from the window of my own apartment building using his four cyborg arms and I barely escaped with my life!"

David's eyes widened.

"Did I hear you right? You said Octavius attacked you?"

"That's what I said!"

The world is shaking for David Dante, a smile threatening to break out across his face. His world shook like an earthquake and he inwardly snickered at his victory. The laughter welling up inside of him was threatening to go off like a volcano. He chuckled and snickered as he felt the inside of his mine erupt.

The world froze for David.

I did it, I did it, I DID IT!


Chapter 4-3

It all went according to my carefully constructed plan. Octavius, you've been completely defeated. I knew that Spider-Man could not kill you as an FBI agent because that would be tarnishing Spider-Man's public image so I thought of a different approach. I got this idea from Captain Hardy, ironically. At the press conference, he accused me of abusing my power just because I killed people and it reminded me what Lincoln said about giving someone's power if you really want to test them. That's what this whole plan was about and it worked.

I profiled you and, although I am an amateur, my high IQ and familiarity with mentally disabled people help me. Octavius, you are extremely competitive and you hate to lose. Sure, you lost the ferry ambush but it was only a matter of time before you caught Spider-Man once and for all, especially with those tentacle arms with you and the authorities backing you up. I purposely hung up my webs so you would get frustrated over not finding Spider-Man. You've been given superhuman strength through these four mechanical arms and you can't use them, especially in a competition. Because of your growing impatience, you went off the deep end; Not making sure Eddie was dead was your fatal flaw.

My plan was this and I can't believe how simple it was: I give up being Spider-Man. Because I've given up being Spider-Man, you can't use your four mechanical arms to their truest potential and you would slowly but surely turn into the very thing that Spider-Man kills: A violent person. My whole plan was not to turn you into a violent person but to bring out the violent person within you. Once the public has seen that the esteemed Otto Octavius, wielder of four mechanical arms, has become a violent person, the FBI will withdraw from the investigation out of humiliation and Spider-Man will have no choice but to stop Octavius because he is a danger to the public.

Now that my flawless plan has come to fruition, there's one more step I have to do to ensure the public turns against Octavius. One last move to make before the game is set and match and when that's done and over with, Otto Octavius, esteemed FBI agent hunting me down with artificial arms, you will die.

David looks up at Felicia.

Now that Spider-Man is coming back, there is no need for me to suffer anymore. Everything will go back to the status quo.

About an hour or so after Eddie came barging in the house looking to report on Octavius's recent criminal activity, he left when David suggested that he protect himself since Octavius and Captain Hardy are good friends. The chances of Hardy believing a fanatical Spider-Man supporter are slim so David said that he would talk to Felicia and figure something out.

Felicia went up to her room. She took out her cellphone and was about to dial a number when David entered without knocking.

"Why are you in my room?" she snapped at him, "Please get out before I call the cops on you."

David closes it. "I just wanted to make sure that we're alone. I mean, it must be hard for you to hear that Octavius hurt our friend, Eddie."

She went silent. She looked down at the floor.

I know what she's thinking.

He thought back to the last time he was Spider-Man and she was Black Cat. He whispered his plan into her ear.

He pulled away. She quickly grabbed him by the back of the head and yanked him towards her, their face inches apart. "What are you planning, Spider?" she asked, "You're not going anywhere until you tell me what this plan is."

Spidey smirked under his mask. "If you say so, Kitty Cat."

He leaned down and put his mouth to her ear, whispering his plan.

"Octavius is a monster, no different than us. My plan is to hang up my Spider-Man suit. There's no doubt in my mind that he will become frustrated, increasing volatile because he has power and he won't be able to use it. Pretty soon, after several months or so, he'll hurt someone just to get to me. He'll kill someone and when he does, he'll be a violent criminal and that's when I'll kill him myself. This plan guarantees Octavius's revelation that he is a monster no different than us and I will stop him.

Black Cat's eyes widened. When he pulled away, she looked at him and asked, "Is this true?"

He nodded.

"But, but Octavius is…"

He pressed a finger to her lip. "You too, are a criminal so he should be considered a threat to you as well. This plan will guarantee Octavius's defeat so you and I can continue doing what we're doing."

"It's risky," she said, "If something doesn't go according to plan-"

"It will go according to plan. I promise I will defeat Octavius."

Now that she knows that Octavius is a violent criminal after what happened to Eddie, she's thinking anxiously about Spider-Man's return, unaware that he is already in the room.

"You're staring off into space," Felicia said, "What is going on inside your head?"

David looks at her with an emotionless look on his face.

There's one thing that I have to do to solidify Octavius's defeat. Unfortunately, it requires me to take a leap of faith.

"David?" Felicia called.

David calmly threw his hand forward and shot a line of webbing leading to Felicia's wrist. He gently pulled her along the webbing until she fell into his embrace in a slow-dancing position.

Her eyes widened at this revelation.

He bestowed a kiss upon her lips. "I've been waiting to do that for five months, Black Cat."

Felicia stared into his soulless eyes once again, unable to breathe nor take in this revelation. "You're Spider-Man?"

He shot another line of webbing to her drawer where he web-yanked a bouquet of flowers. He held the bouquet of flowers up. "You always did like mysterious boys."

He smirked as he twirled her around. "Don't be so surprised." He held her down whilst holding her right leg to his left hip.

"How long have you known that I was Black Cat?' she asked.

She's not even denying it.

"Ever since that day, we kissed at the cemetery," he answered, "At my uncle's funeral. The aura of your lips was confirmation enough. Not only that, but I believe I subconsciously built a profile around Black Cat and compared it to my Felicia Hardy profile."

He brought her up and spun her around and pressed his chest to her back with his arms around her stomach.

"I can't believe it," she whispered without looking at him, "David Dante was Spider-Man this entire time."

"Yes," he said before licking her cheek in a seductive way, "And you broke up with me. Not that it really matters."

"David," she whispered again, "You killed all those people."

He smirked behind her back. "And you stuck with me the entire way."

"I fancied the idea of putting my life in danger," she said, "It was unpredictable, which made it fun. Now, I'm kinda disappointed, Spider."

His eyes perked. "And why's that?"

"The fun and exciting part of Spider-Man was that he was a mystery. Now that I know that you're Spider-Man, it kinda takes away the fun."

"It goes both ways: We both know the other's secret identity."

He spun her around so they were facing each other. They began slow dancing.

"It looks like your plan went well," she said, "You said that Octavius is a monster and now you've proven it. Does that mean you're going to kill him?"

David didn't bother smirking when he said, "Yes, I'm going to kill him. That way, you and I can be together. Let's both be honest, we are at our truest forms when we are Spider-Man and Black Cat. You and I are only ever happy with ourselves when we are not David Dante and Felicia Hardy. In hindsight, killing Octavius is necessary for both of us."

"But he's my Dad's friend and I've known him for a long time."

David nods. "True, but it's like I said, you and I are criminals and Octavius sees bringing in criminals as a competition. Even if he discovered that you were Black Cat, what do you think he would do?"

"Arrest me, regardless."

"Exactly," he applauded. "I'm going to kill Octavius."

"How are you going to find him?"

"I've already thought one step ahead: I'm going to lure him to a place where I have a complete monopoly over the situation. Also…" he leaned in to whisper in her ear: "I need my costume back."

XXX

At The Daily Bugle, Jameson leaned back in his chair, feet up with a cigar in his mouth. He took the cigar out and blew out a puff of smoke.

"Another nice day," he said to Robbie, who just entered the room, "You know why today is another nice day, Robbie?"

"Mr. Jameson," Robbie began but was cut off.

"Because that masked menace is still on the run," he laughed, "The police and FBI are doing everything in their power to bring in that wall-crawling criminal and he is still running scared. He's more of a chicken then a spider when you think about it."

"We've got something you might want to see."

Ned and Betty came walking into the room with a plastic bag in hand with latex gloves on.

"Boss," Ned said, "You are not going to believe this: Someone left this at reception on the first floor. They said that they wanted us to send this tape down to a TV station to be played."

Betty put down a piece of paper she was holding. "Here are some instructions."

Jameson took the piece of paper and read through the instructions. His eyes went up and down the paper, carefully reading and rereading every character typed onto the paper. "All right then, if the police department wants us to personally pick a TV station to celebrate their success, then why not."

XXX

It's been four days since I left that tape on the reception desk.

David waits patiently in the middle of Time Square with Felicia by his side.

"What's your plan?" Felicia asked, whispering since they were surrounded by people.

David whispered back, "I may not be the best when it comes to computers but I am good with editing videos together. I created a fake video and sent it to the Daily Bugle. I sent it there because the Daily Bugle is the most trusted newspaper company in Manhattan and if this tape is being sponsored by the Daily Bugle, then people will believe it's contents. Not only that but because the Daily bugle specializes in Spider-Man archives such as accurate photos, they'll believe everything they see on screen."

He looked at his watch.

Only four minutes to go.

"Wait in my car, Felicia," he ordered, "If you want to watch the live broadcast, just pull it up on your phone."

"Why?"

"Just trust me."

Felicia complies and walks to David's borrowed car. David stayed in the crowd as he looked at one of the big screens overlooking Times Square. Every thirty seconds or so, he would check his watch and start the countdown when he reached the thirty-second mark.

Fifty-eight… fifty-nine… five-thirty. Time for the video to be played.

David turns towards the screen.

"This is Breaking News," a voice on the screen said.

A female reporter with red hair appeared on the screen.

"We come to you know, live with revelations about experiments that have been conducted and funded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An anonymous source provided this video and tape to the Daily Bugle, which was then provided to us. I must warn you that this video might be graphic for some viewers."

Video footage of Octavius was shown when he first received his four mechanical arms. The video showed the face of the person, Otto Octavius, as the one who received the arms in the first place.

Who would've known these videos Eddie stole would've come in handy in more ways than one?

The video footage cut after showing Octavius lifting the four crates with ease. The female reporter had the screen once more.

"And that's not all. We've also had this tape that the anonymous source has instructed for us to play following the showing of the footage."

The screen went white and silent. The only thing that could be heard was the sound of someone clearing their throat.

"This is Special Agent Otto Octavius," the voice said.

This is no voice filter. No, that is the real Octavius's voice. I broke into where he lived and stole all his tapes. Eddie told me that Octavius recorded his conversation with Anne on tape and figured that he might have other speeches on tape as well. With my video editing skills, I rearranged his sentences into him saying what I want him to say. This means, if police were to put the tape through forensics, they would discover that that is his real voice and not a filter.

"It's been over one hundred days since I found Spider-Man," Octavius's voice said, "And I'm getting frustrated. I've been given these four mechanical arms for a purpose and I can't even use them."

Octavius has forty cassettes at his disposal so he is very organized and this proved to be his undoing.

"Enough is enough. I am no longer waiting for Spider-Man. He is going to come and face me. Today, on the 31st, at 1:30 PM on Roosevelt Island. If you're listening to Spider-Man and I know you are, then come alone. Don't worry, I won't have the police with me and you can trust my word. Remember, today, 1:30 PM and if this tape is being played as instructed, you have four hours. If you fail to show up…"

The white screen switched over to another video footage, which showed a girl with a duffel bag over her head. A mechanical arm wraps around the girl's body.

"Or I'll crush her skull like an egg. Captain Walter Hardy's daughter."

The video ended.

David smirked.

Everything is complete. I've completed the final step, which is to frame Octavius for a crime he didn't commit, especially a violent one that would fit someone of his profile. Now: Kill Octavius.

XXX

At the police precinct, the officer in charge of watching the forensic evidence was being hurried into the room by another officer.

"What are we doing?" the evidence keeper asked.

"You obviously haven't seen the news," the officer said, "Octavius said that if Spider-Man doesn't show up to fight Octavius one-on-one, he's going to kill the captain's daughter."

"What?"

"We're not falling for it," the officer said, "We're the law in this town, not Spider-Man. We're bringing Octavius in. We know where he'll be."

When he opened the door to the evidence lockup, he froze.

"What the hell?!" the keeper shouted as he lunged for an empty bag large enough to fit a costume. "It's gone, Spider-Man's costume is gone."

"Spider-Man must've been one step ahead of us," the officer said. He instinctively looked up to see an air vent with a missing grate. He pointed up as he shouted, "Spider-Man broke into the police precinct!"

XXX

SPIDEY IS BACK!


Chapter 4-4

I'm back.

Spidey is falling towards the earth before he shoots a web out and flies through the air like an eagle with his arms spread like wings.

And I'm back for good.

He web-swings over to a bridge.

That little broadcast, it was live all over New York City, and even so, it's been four hours so there's no doubt someone would've uploaded it to the internet.

He is within sight of Roosevelt Island.

My battle plan is flawless.

He swings in between two cars before thrusting his feet out into the air.

Octavius will know that the footage is fake but once he hears his fake self demanding Spider-Man to show up somewhere, he'll be tempted to show up because he knows where Spider-Man will be. I've spun my web and my fly is flying for it. Also, because of the footage, the police will bring him in for questioning but his ego won't allow himself to be taken in, meaning that he has no backup to help him this time. But there is also the guarantee that police will show up on Roosevelt Island but if my suspicions are correct…

Spidey lands on top of the Queensboro Bridge. He perches down on a railing at the top and looks at the only bridge getting in and out of Roosevelt Island.

The Roosevelt Island Bridge was blocked by a pile-up of empty cars and an eighteen-wheeler on the island part of the bridge.

Just as I thought, Octavius wouldn't allow any interference. His competitive nature is causing him to block out all distractions. With those mechanical arms, he's the only one in Mangattan able to lift multople carms. I'm betting that he'll still aim to take me in as a way to prove his innocence.

He jumps down and swings.

I can't believe I actually considered that he might not have shown up. That would've been humiliating and a waste of my time but even so, even if he didn't show up, he still would have known that Spidey is back and that he would be on the run from the police.

He swings over to the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

If the police take him in, he won't be able to achieve his greatest achievement: Bringing Spider-Man the Serial-Murderer to justice.

He swings to the top of the Roosevelt Island Bridge and perches down.

Why did I choose Roosevelt Island? Well, because either way, one of us has to fight to win. It is do or die for both of us. Octavius can't swim away, since his four mechanical arms would drown him and I can't swing away because there are no buildings. The only entrance into and out of the island is this bridge and it's been piled-up with cars to keep police out.

He leaps across the bridge before landing on a streetlight in a perched position.

Now, where are you?

His danger radar went off.

Gotcha.

Spidey leaps off the street light at the last second just as a car was thrown at him. He front flips before landing on the ground in a yoga stance. He turns around and sees Octavius with his four mechanical arms, hooks activated on each arm.

"You've been gone for five months and you set me up?"

"You're dangerous," Spidey said sarcastically, "Where is the police captain's daughter."

"I didn't kidnap her."

"You're a dangerous criminal with those mechanical arms," Spidey said, "Looks like I have no choice but to stop you before you hurt the captain's daughter."

David inwardly smirks.

He jumps forward, dodging the first attacks of two mechanical arms. He front-flips over them and lands in front of Octavius. He threw several punches, only the first one hit him in the face before the mechanical arms blocked off each attack. Spidey kicks him in the stomach before uppercutting him, almost snapping his neck.

A mechanical arm grabs Spidey by the back and hammers him into the ground before lifting him up and repeating the process.

Spidey shoots a web for Octavius's face, yanks it forward, and punches him, causing the arm to lose its grip on his back.

He backflips out the way and onto another streetlight in a perched position.

Two mechanical arms lunge for him.

Spidey leaps back again and lands hells-first on a building. A split second later, he leaps off the building, diving forward, and tackles Octavius in the stomach.

They both tumble down with Spidey on top. He delivers several punches to Octavius's face before a mechanical arm grabs Spidey by the back of his head and throws him off.

Spidey flies backward and into the wall of a brick building, leaving a large crack in the wall.

Spidey collapses to his knees in pain. He shakes his head like a dog, trying to get rid of the pain in his back. His danger radar went off. He leaps to one foot and flips into the air just as a mechanical arm went aiming for him.

He landed on another wall and climbed up before turning to face Octavius.

"Last chance to turn yourself in peacefully," Spidey said nonchalantly, "Before I have to kill you."

"I'm not a violent criminal," Octavius denied.

"But I'm sure my fans of New York City would agree that since you kidnapped the police captain's daughter and you have four mechanical arms that you are too dangerous to exist. No one's going to complain when Spider-Man kills Detective Octopus."

"You're just a murderer, Spider-Man," Octavius said, "Nothing more, nothing less than a spree killer. I know that you forged the videos and set me up. I bet your plan all along was to make me look like the bad guy so you could kill me. Your standards are that only violent criminals die. I'm not a violent criminal but nevertheless, I am a big threat. You knew that if I kept coming after you, you would eventually be captured so you devised an elaborate plot to kill me."

He deduced my intentions, all the more reason to kill him.

"I don't know what you're talking about, Octavius," Spidey said, "Turn yourself in and make this easy for both of us."

You quitting for five months was not out of cowardice but it was purposely directed at me!

Spider-Man leaps off the building, flying over his head. As he flies over a street light, he fires two webs at Octavius and holds onto them tight as he falls over the street light. The webs get caught on the streetlight and Octavius is lifted off the ground.

Spidey jumps forward and punches Octavius in the stomach, which sends him flying backward and crashing into the wall. He would've been killed had it not been for the mechanical arms on his back absorbing the impact and saving his life.

Octavius groaned in frustration.

He turned towards the wall and used his mechanical arms to tear out chunks of brick. He threw the chunks of brick at Spider-Man.

Spider-Man dodges all thrown chunks of bricks but failed to react in time when a mechanical arm punched him in the stomach. As Spidey went flying back, he shot a web at Octavius' chest and sent him flying towards him.

Spidey lands on his back while Octavius lands on his stomach only several feet away.

"Give up, Ock, you're going to hurt a lot of people unless I stop you," Spidey said, still playing the role of innocent vigilante.

"I'm going to stop you before you kill someone," Octavius rebutted as he used his mechanical arms to push himself to his feet.

"I can't believe you are defending guilty criminals," Spidey said as he pushed himself up from a backflip. "I kill criminals that endanger the lives of innocent people."

"How does that make you any better?"

"Because I'm Spider-Man!"

Man, that was cheesy. If anything, too cheesy even for my taste.

Spidey leaps forward and tackles Octavius. Instead of them flying to the ground, they crash into a building and leave another hole in the wall. Spidey gives Octavius two good solid punches before he leaps out of the way to avoid a counterattack from the arms. He climbs up the building, spiders the wall without looking down.

Octavius uses his four mechanical arms to help him ascend the wall and attempt to grab at Spidey's feet.

Spidey moves out the way before he stands up on the wall at a ninety-degree-angle like he was standing right-side up on the ground.

"We're not done yet," Spidey raised his hands, boxing style, "It ain't over until the fat lady sings and as you can see, I'm the slim one."

Octavius growled and thrust a mechanical arm upward. Spidey jerks his head to the side before he socks Octavius in the face. He jerks back for elbow room. His danger radar went off and he barely moved his head out the way as another arm came forth.

He lunged forward and uppercut Octavius before stepping back.

He's using two mechanical arms to keep himself attached to the wall while the other two arms are being used to attack me. So, in a way, we're both fighting with our fists.

Spidey backs away.

If I can get him to the top of this building, then I can push him off and not even his mechanical arms will be able to save him.

Spidey backflips up the wall into a crawling position. He climbs as fast as he could to get up the wall.

A mechanical arm grabbed him by his left foot and tried to shake Spidey off the wall. Spidey let go and the mechanical arm through him out to sea.

Spidey reacted quickly and fired two webs at the wall surrounding Octavius and catapulted himself forward, legs out, and kicked Octavius in the stomach.

Both villains go crashing through the wall and into what appeared to be a nursery of some kind. Spidey was on top and he was about to punch Octavius in the face when two mechanical arms grabbed both of Spidey's fist and held him back. The third arm activated it's hooks and lunged for Spidey in the abdomen.

Spidey yells in pain as the hooks dig into his durable flesh, albeit with extreme difficulty. The mechanical arms lift Spidey up off of Octavius and he continues to yell in pain.

My blood, it's on the hooks of his tentacles. I have no choice; I have to not only kill him but obliterate these arms completely. If they find his corpse and there's blood on the tips of one of his mechanical arms, they'll run it through the DNA test. My DNA may not be in the criminal database but nevertheless, my blood will be in the system and it's only a matter of time before they figure out that David Dante is Spider-Man.

Spidey kicks Octavius in the face.

We are on an island. If I can submerge him in the water then the blood will be washed away.

Spidey kicks him in the face with both feet before he uses brute strength to rip his hands-free of the restraints. He web-shoots the wall behind him with both hands without looking and yanks himself backwards. As he fell out of the opening, he shot another web at Octavius's chest and took him out of the hole in the wall as well.

They fall towards the ground with Spidey still having the hooks in his abdomen.

Octavius slams two mechanical arm hooks into the wall to suddenly stop their fall. Spidey recoiled and hit the wall.

However, he was within the punching reach of Octavius. He landed on a good hard one across his jaw before he ripped the hooks from his abdomen.

Almost as if in slow-motion, there was a drop of blood that escaped from the grasps of the hooks and fell downwards towards the ground.

Spidey's danger radar warned him of this and he saw the shrinking blood drop making a beeline towards the ground.

He hammer punches Octavius across the face before diving forward.

A single drop of blood is all it will take. I can't risk it.

He stretches his hand out.

When I was battling the Green Goblin, it was a bloody battle. I was broken and bleeding and was leaving tons of DNA evidence behind. But after I killed him, I made a cleanup to make sure none of my DNA would be left behind for someone to find. With Octavius, it's different because I'm out here in the open and not somewhere isolated. I can't believe I failed to factor blood-spatter into the equation of my plan. Then again, I don't fight superpowered beings that often.

He flies just below the droplet of blood with the ground coming in fast. He stretches his hand forward and the drop of blood falls into Spidey's hand and the liquid becomes absorbed by the glove.

Gotcha.

Spidey lands on the ground and checks the bloodstain on his palm to make sure.

Normally, I don't care that much about my bodily fluids. I mean, with Black Cat, I…

His danger radar goes off.

My danger radar, it's going off. Octavius is three feet above me and he is using his upper right mechanical arm to grab me by the top of the skull? Well, I guess the only thing for me to do is…

Spidey performs a rapid-fire of webbing up at Octavius. The FBI agent gets webbed in the face and on the hooks that he was using to attack.

Spidey leaps upward, wall-running up the building, stopping only when he is in front of the FBI agent and grabs him by his coat.

"Let's make sure you don't have any blood on you," Spidey said.

With A burst of adrenaline running through him, he tightens his grip around Octavius's throat and yells with ferocity as he throws him off the building, tearing the two mechanical arms holding Octavius down from the wall.

The FBI agent goes flying through the air and the weight of the arms causes him to descend downwards rapidly than normal and he lands bell-first into the ocean, leaving behind a thick splash of water and ocean spray.

Spidey, standing on the wall at a ninety-degree-angle, pants.

The fat lady singing is heavier than she looks.

The mask was interfering with his rapid breathing and he flicked his lips. He slows his breathing and closes his eyes behind the mask before he walks down the wall and walks upright on the ground.

He looks down at his stomach. Four holes in his costume that looked like they came from a bullet.

Four holes in my stomach spread evenly. If someone asks, I could say that I got shot four times.

He touches one of his wounds with his index finger.

My skin is pretty durable and heals quickly. This should heal up in less than an hour so I should be fine.

The bleeding was already beginning to stop. When he realized this, he looked down at the ground and searched for any signs of a red liquid that might have fallen from his direction on the building.

No blood-spatter and I threw Octavius into the ocean, meaning that the blood will wash away. I've gotten rid of all evidence that David Dante is Spider-Man.

He looks in the direction in which Octavius was thrown.

All I have to do is kill the octopus in his own territory.

He does a spider-jump over to the edge of the water and lands on the railing in a perched position. He looks down into the water where Octavius was submerged.

"Where are you, Octopus?"

His danger radar went off.

The only way to fight him underwater is to go underwater. I guess I'll bite.

He quickly lifts his mask up so his mouth can take a deep breath of fresh air before he pulls the mask down.

He jerks his head back in time as a mechanical arm burst from the water with the hooks activated. He grabbed the mechanical arm by the end and clung on as the mechanical arm went underwater.

Octopus is in his own element.

His eyes widened.

Oh shit!

Octavius was clinging to the underwater wall by mechanical arms while the other two arms were fighting.

Spidey lets go of the arm and swim back.

I'm in over my head.

The upper right arm lunges forward.

Octavius is an octopus, a sea creature and I'm a spider, a land creature. Not only that but because his arms are mechanical and don't necessarily require physical exertion, he can move his arms after then I can swim.

Spidey tries swimming out of the way of the incoming arm but it grabs him by the waist once more. The arm jerked him around like a wooden spoon in a pot. Spidey shoots a web and expects to hit a solid surface where he could slow his movements but the web dissipates like smoke.

Not even my webs work underwater.

Spidey feels the second arm grab him by the throat and he suddenly felt jerked to the bottom of the ocean ground.

The impact caused Spidey to gasp in pain and release his breath of air. His limbs suddenly felt weak, like they turned to mush. His throat felt like it was clogging up gallons of water and his vision darkened. The only hint of light that he could see was that of the sun shining through the surface of the water.

I have to get out of here, I have to get out of here, I have to-

He loses consciousness.