There Can Be Only One

Peter was not in a pleasant mood when he returned home after the press conference. May and Mary Jane noticed this and left him alone to sort things out for himself.

"I should have known," Peter angrily spat at as he slammed his bedroom door and in the process knocked it off of one of its hinges.

He thought about going out as Spider-Man but thought against it. The mood Peter was in would not bode well for anyone who crossed his path especially now that he carried a sword.

Peter bounded down the stairs and went to the kitchen. That was when he noticed that Joe Dawson was there but did not know why. He noticed that Joe was helping MJ with something and left them alone. May was there too, doing what she did best and that was cooking, baking to be more precise. The smell coming from the oven tickled his senses and lightened his mood a bit. But he continued to pace around the kitchen muttering to himself.

"Peter, what's the matter?" Mary Jane asked, wondering what was bothering her husband.

Peter chuckled at his wife's question before he answered, "What's the matter? I'll tell you what's the matter, I learned a couple of interesting things about an old acquaintance of ours."

May saw that her nephew was bothered by what he had learned so she led him to the kitchen table. "Sit," she instructed while she poured him a glass of milk and gave him a plate of chocolate chip cookies to try to calm him. "Eat."

Peter did as he was told because he could never say no to anything aunt May had made.

"At Norman Osborn's press conference, he said that he purchased the land where Black Monday targeted their attacks. That got me thinking, maybe he is aiding Black Monday's agenda," Peter informed them a lot more calmly than he had been minutes before.

"That certainly sounds like him." Mary Jane knew Norman as well as Peter did. "Do you think you can prove it?"

"It'll take some doing but I might be able to."

"What was the other thing you learned, Peter?" May asked.

"It's that he's also an Immortal," replied Peter without batting an eye.

That announcement stunned his family silent.

Finding her voice, May asked, "You are certain of this?"

"When he was coming out on stage, I could feel the presence of another Immortal. I began to look around and he gave me this cold stare and a slight smirk. That's when I knew."

Joe interjected, "What you're saying is that Norman Osborn, the head of Oscorp is an Immortal."

"Yep, the Green Goblin himself is an Immortal."

Now it was Dawson's turn to be speechless. Learning that Peter was Spider-Man and an Immortal had been a shocking discovery. To think that someone of the Green Goblin's reputation was Immortal could change the Game forever.

"Do you know how long he's had a Watcher?" Peter directed his question to Joe.

"It'll take me some time to find out if he has one or not. You'll also have to consider how long Osborn been immortal."

"Oh, I have a pretty good idea about when," replied Peter, recalling one of the moments that had changed his life.

Peter quickly related the story of Gwen Stacy's death and the Green Goblin's impalement by the Goblin Glider.

"We all thought that Norman was dead. After his son Harry died from poisoning from a new formula that he used to become the Green Goblin, we thought that was the end of the Goblin's legacy. Too bad that wasn't the case.

"A few years later, he returned and messed up my life pretty badly. That was before he made it known that he was still alive," Peter finished as he got a reassuring squeeze of his hand from MJ.

"Damn, Peter. That Osborn is one major son of a bitch," Joe said, sorry that Peter had to go through that ordeal. "I know MacLeod has dealt with some Immortals like that but those battles were never easy."

"Those early battles with the Goblin were never personal until after he found out who Spider-Man was under the mask. Then it became personal."

"No wonder you don't like him."

"That, Joe, is an understatement. He also screwed up his own son's life. If he spent more time with Harry, my friend might still be alive today. Anyway, I should go see Duncan and tell him this new piece of information."

"I'll take you over to him if you want, Pete."

"Thanks."

Before he left, Peter gave MJ a quick hug and kiss and did the same to his aunt letting them know he would not be long.

"Do you really think Peter will be all right?" May asked Mary Jane, concerned for her nephew.

"If it was anyone but Norman Osborn he would be facing… Yeah, he would be fine. But when the Green Goblin is involved, you can never tell."


Peter and Joe to tracked down MacLeod at a nearby gym. The place was familiar to Peter because Duncan had taken him there several times as part of his training. After the Scot took a quick shower, they told him what Peter had learned.

"So you haven't heard of Norman Osborn being an Immortal?" Peter asked.

"No, especially since I've split my time living in the US and France the last few years," Duncan answered. "But you said Osborn probably has been Immortal for a while. Why is that?"

"He told me that the formula that turned him into the Green Goblin gave him an accelerated healing factor. At the time, there was nothing to explain why he came back especially after I saw him die in the first place. It wasn't until I became Immortal and saw him today that I changed my mind."

"I can understand that. If you had come across one of us before, you would think that they had some kind of special ability and not even think that they were Immortal."

"In my line of work, I've seen a lot of strange and amazing things. Immortality definitely has fallen in both categories. By the way, have you heard anything about St. Clair? I have a feeling that he's connected with Osborn."

"From what you've said, Peter, I wouldn't be surprised."


A Day Later

Peter decided to do some checking on Norman at the Daily Bugle morgue to look at recent articles that focused on either Norman Osborn or 's Black Monday group.

Duncan tagged along since he knew more about Martin St. Clair. There were several articles on Black Monday and they looked over ones that were no more than a year old. Using that same time frame, they gathered up articles on Osborn. The articles that they paid close attention to were ones with photos.

Duncan paid close attention to those images because he was the only one that knew what Martin St. Clair looked like. Unfortunately, none of the photos had St. Clair in them.

"I haven't seen a single photo that could be of any help to us." Duncan rubbed his fatigued eyes.

Peter stretched his weary limbs, "Maybe we should take a look at the roll of film I shot yesterday."

"Might as well."

They went to the Bugle's photo lab where Peter had gotten his film developed. To make sure no one bothered them and in case they had to enlarge some of the photos, Peter turned on the red light to the lab.

Peter located the negatives and their prints.

"Take a look at these," Peter told his friend as he handed him the photos.

Duncan flipped through the pictures carefully until he spotted something in one of them. "Peter, can you enlarge this one?" he asked.

"Not a problem. Any part in particular?" Peter replied as he looked for the proper negative.

"Off to the left of Osborn, especially the row of people behind him."

Peter enlarged the photo and handed it to Duncan. "Is that any better or do you want it a bit larger?"

MacLeod examined the picture and found what he was looking for. "You see that guy that's off to Osborn's left?" he asked, pointing the man out to Peter. "That's St. Clair."

"Now that there's a connection, I would bet all my webbing that Norman has him over at Oscorp. That way, Osborn would know where St. Clair is and be able to use his skills when needed."

"So, our next stop is Oscorp."

Peter gave a nod of agreement as they cleaned up the lab and headed out.


Oscorp

"You know this place better than I do, Pete. How do you want to go about this?" Duncan asked as they stood outside the main entrance to Oscorp.

"The direct approach may work best. I have the feeling that we're expected - or at least I am," replied Peter garbed in his Spider-Man costume.

"Shall we?"

Peter nodded and they approached the door. He prepared to take the door off its hinges but it automatically opened for them.

"I told you he was expecting us," Peter told his friend.

Once inside, they could feel the presence of at least one Immortal. Of course, they didn't know who that person was. Now came the hard part, finding who that Immortal was.

Peter then felt the tingle from his spider-sense. "Get down!"

Once they hit the floor, bullets sailed over their heads.

"I had a feeling you would come for me, MacLeod," Martin St. Clair told the men as he reloaded his weapon.

"Well, at least we know who's shooting at us," Peter said after they had found some cover. "All we have to do get that gun away from St. Clair and he's all yours."

"Got any ideas how to do that?" question Duncan, eager to get at St. Clair.

"As a matter of fact…"

Peter whispered his idea to Duncan and it brought a small smile to his face. He then fired a pair of weblines and snagged some debris caused by the gunfire and passed them off to Duncan. With a quick couple of swings, Duncan flung one of the pieces away while Peter took off as only he could thanks to the distraction.

As expected, St. Clair fired in the direction of where the debris was tossed. He did the same thing when the second piece was tossed.

"Come, come, MacLeod, you can do better than that. It's only a matter of time before I find you and your friend. Then I'll take your head," Martin crowed, eagerly waiting for his prey to make a move.

"I don't think so," Spider-Man said from above St. Clair.

Martin looked up to see the wallcrawler but was to slow to react when his gun was taken out of his hands by a strand of webbing.

"He's all yours, Duncan," Spider-Man told his friend as he webbed the offending weapon to the floor. "I'm off to find Osborn."

"Good luck," MacLeod turned his attention to St. Clair. "What was it you were saying about taking my head?"


As Spider-Man journeyed to the upper levels of the Oscorp building, he could sense the presence of another Immortal. I know you are up here, Osborn, but where? he thought as he approached one of the labs and entered.

"It didn't take you long, did it, Parker?" Norman sneered as made himself known.

"Well, I just dropped in to say hi," Spider-Man joked.

"Really, I thought you were here to take my head."

Drawing his sword, Peter replied, "That too. I'm surprised that you know anything about being Immortal."

"It wasn't until I met Mr. St. Clair and Mr. Dumont about a year ago that I learned I was Immortal. They both taught me the rules to the 'Game' and we formed a beneficial partnership. But I'm not surprised that you got by St. Clair."

"He's a tad bit busy with a friend of mine right now. I wouldn't concern yourself about him."

Norman took a quick look at a nearby monitor and saw that his associate was engaged in battle. "I see, perhaps we should get started." Pulling a very familiar object from his pocket, Osborn tossed a pumpkin bomb at the webslinger.

Spider-Man immediately got out of the way. He was surprised to see that instead of exploding, the pumpkin bomb emitted smoke.

What are you up to, Osborn? he thought as he avoided another smoke-spewing pumpkin bomb.

"You should know that kind of thing doesn't bother me," stated Spider-Man as he passed through the smoke.

Norman cackled as he drew his sword. "That wasn't ordinary smoke, you webheaded dolt."

Spider-Man raised his sword to block his opponent's attack and then barely got out of the way of another. Then it suddenly dawned on the hero what that smoke was.

Osborn had noticed his reaction time was not what it usually was. "I see you have figured it out, Parker. It took you long enough," crowed Osborn as his next swipe sliced through the wallcrawler's costume at the chest. It drew blood.

The pumpkin bombs were filled with a chemical that deadened Spider-Man's spider-sense making it totally useless until the effects wore off.


MacLeod and St. Clair were locked in a back and forth battle. As time passed, both fighters began to feel the effects of fatigue. Duncan knew that the first mistake either one of them made could end up costing someone their head and he would have to make sure that it was not him.

"You've had this coming for a long time, Marty," Duncan said as he took a swing at 's neck which was blocked.

"I've done nothing wrong, MacLeod. Everything that Joel and I did was for our survival," St. Clair shot back as he swiped at Duncan's leg and slipped in the attempt.

That was the opening Duncan had been waiting for. As Martin lunged forward, MacLeod slashed at his opponent's legs making contact right behind the knees.

"Damn you, MacLeod," St. Clair angrily huffed out painfully as he barely got up on his knees.

Duncan easily knocked Martin's sword from his hand and then brought up his own to end the fight. In one swift motion, it was over and then came the Quickening.


Without his spider-sense, at least for the time being, Spider-Man was on a level playing field against the man who was the first Green Goblin. He was not defenseless by any means but had to rely more on his skill as both a fighter with his sword to come out of this battle as the victor.

Luckily for the wallcrawler, he had an excellent teacher and what he had learned from MacLeod was starting to pay off. Norman began to see that the battle was starting to turn in his foe's favor as he had taken a pair of slashes to his torso which slowed him down a little. In order to turn the tide, he brought out another pumpkin bomb but this one was an explosive.

"Not this time, Osborn." Noticing this move, Spider-Man snared the bomb with some webbing and tossed it aside.

The sword play heated up after that as Osborn received some slashes to both his arms, one fairly deep. Norman's next attack was a wild swing that Spider-Man blocked with his Claymore and in the process broke Osborn's blade.

Peter made a sweeping slash at his enemy's chest forcing him to drop what remained of his sword.

"Go to hell, Parker," Norman rasped out coughing up blood.

"You first," Peter replied. The last thing Osborn heard as Peter took his head was, "Because in the end, there can be only one."

The Quickening came, more powerfully than the last one. Electrical bolts danced across counters and tables throughout the room. Test tubes and beakers shattered. Computer screens that were off came on and scientific formulas splayed across them at an astounding rate.

Peter's body was lifted off the floor due to the sheer power of the Quickening. The windows shattered in a brilliant explosion and brought the Quickening to an end as Peter landed back on his feet.

After a few minutes to regain his strength and equilibrium, Peter made his way back down to where Duncan was. Each was glad to see that the other had survived their respective clashes. With their job done, they left for home.


A few days later, Peter, Mary Jane and May went with Duncan and Joe to the airport. Duncan and Joe were heading back to Paris for a while and promised that they would keep in touch. Before they boarded their plane, MacLeod let them know that if they were ever in Paris it would be all right to look him up.

Peter and his family watched as their friends' plane took off. It had been an amazing time since they entered the Parkers' lives and would not be soon forgotten.


Peter Parker fully embraced his role as an Immortal along with his duties as Spider-Man. He faced other Immortals as time passed and his experience grew.

Spider-Man faced new challenges as well. They included a superhero Civil War which split the hero community in two. This was followed by an invasion by the Skrull Empire which brought the heroes together to thwart this threat and restored people's faith in them.

Many years later came the time of the Gathering for the remaining Immortals. The last two standing were Peter Parker and Duncan MacLeod. The friends would have to fight to the death for the Prize because in the end, there could be only one.

The End