Peter rode in the passenger seat of the black Ford Focus, casually looking out of the window with a Slurpee straw hanging from his mouth. The full moon set high above the dark and faded ground and was the only natural source of light available. The brief intervals between blinking street lights that passed through the car created somewhat of a nauseating effect. Beside him, a shadowy figure smiled and laughed, apparently saying something that was funny. As Peter listened more intently, he heard his Uncle Ben's voice.
"Well, today I believe you should hear the truth about your father," Uncle Ben said. Peter's eyes widened as he remembered those words being said before the accident.
"Uncle Ben, press your foot on the gas!" Peter screamed. His cries went unanswered as Uncle Ben's car was smashed into by the truck. Peter saw Uncle Ben's head smash into the driver's side window. cracking the glass and causing blood to squirt into Peter's eyes and hands. Peter tried to scream, but the sound of the grinding metal and the subsequent explosion all but muffled any chance of his cries being heard...
"Uncle Ben! NOOOO!" Peter screamed as he jumped from his bed. He was completely drenched in sweat, it running down even into the crevasses of his crotch. He hyperventilated and help his head as the pain of the memories he had tried to repress flooded back onto him. It had been three weeks since Peter had been to school, his perfect grades and overachieving mentality in regards of turning in work early keeping his GPA at a stable level.
Peter glanced towards the clock.
Peter sighed softly as he rose from the bed and went towards the bathroom, glancing down the hallway towards his Aunt Mae's room. Peter was surprised by Aunt Mae's mental recovery in merely three weeks. He had never thought of her as a weak woman, but the ability to overcome her husband's death in such a short time was an astounding accomplishment to Peter. He was sure, however, that she was having nightmares just as bad if not worse than he was.
Peter entered into the bathroom and took off his shirt and wasn't half shocked at what he saw. Peter had noticed several days after the accident that he body had become more toned, though he retained his lean build. He also found his asthma to have disappeared as well, which he discovered after outrunning an angry pitbull while walking home from the grocery store.
As Peter entered the shower, he began to think about how he would re-acclimate to school after three weeks of being out. His mind went straight to the prospect of dealing with Flash Thompson, who was sure to have missed him during the three weeks. With no constant source of entertainment, the poor Neanderthal probably perished from boredom. Peter sighed.
If only he had.
Dealing with Flash, Peter knew, would be a problem. Even as he massaged the shampoo through his hair, he couldn't help but imagine the things the devilish boy had been saving for weeks. Peter shuddered slightly and rinsed his hair and body off.
While recovering from his overactive imagination, Peter dressed himself and grabbed his bag and began to head towards the kitchen. As he went down the steps, the enticing aroma of breakfast beckoned him and he eagerly followed towards the kitchen. To his shock, his aunt was cooking a very large breakfast, complete with pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, and grits. Peter's eyes widened as his stomach began to plead for food.
"Well, I hope you're all dressed and ready to go, Peter," his aunt said. Peter smiled.
"Yes, ma'am. I'm ready," he replied. His aunt waved him over.
"Come, come. It's fresh off the pan. You need a nice breakfast before your first school day in three weeks," his aunt said with a small smile. Peter happily obliged and began to pile his plate and ate. There was silence for a few minutes as Peter chopped his food down until an abrupt break by his aunt. "Peter...how are you feeling after...that." she asked. Peter quickly looked up, surprised. "That" was what they called the accident that had resulted in Uncle Ben's death. She had established the code word a few days following, when she was talking to MJ's Aunt Anna.
"I feel..." Peter started. He closed his eyes as he debated on whether to truly burden his aunt with how he felt, before letting it out. "I feel like it's my fault. I feel horrible. I can't sleep at night and when I do, I have nightmares of the truck slamming into the car and the explosion..." Peter said as he shook his head and tears began to come. He heard sniffling from his aunt and looked up to see her crying as well.
"I do too, Peter. I hear Ben calling me at night. I feel him touching me, telling me that everything will be okay...and I know he's right. I believe he is speaking to me and that he's telling us to worry. He's telling us to live for him and not to cling to 'what ifs'." Aunt Mae cried as she hugged Peter. Peter began to cry even more, finally letting out all the stress and tension he had ever since Uncle Ben's death. "Peter..." his aunt said as she moved out of his hug.
"Yes, Aunt Mae?"
"Promise me...promise me that whatever wisdom Uncle Ben passed on to you...whatever he said, down to the very last words that came from his mouth before he passed...that you will make that your moral code for as long as you live," Aunt Mae said. Peter nodded.
"I promise," Peter answered. Aunt Mae nodded and smiled.
"Good. Now...hurry on to school. Mary's waiting for you outside."
Curt Connors' eyes burst open as he felt his consciousness return to him. He took some time to prop himself up on his uninjured arm and then lean on his healing arm. Whatever injection Osborn had given him, it was working but slowly. After three weeks, his lost arm had regenerated to the elbow. Connors could even feel the biceps in his regenerated nub being larger than his uninjured arm. While the skin was a bit darker, closer to a brownish tan than his natural creamy white skin, it was still a marvel of science. Connors heard the door to his room open and looked to see Norman Osborn entering.
"How are you feeling, soldier?" he asked. Curt shrugged.
"I feel...good. The regeneration process is a bit painful especially when the bones reform and all the tissue, muscle and skin comes back, but I feel fine," Curt replied. Norman nodded and looked at Connors' arm.
"I see. The skin on your regenerating arm is darker than your other. How does it feel, texture wise?" he asked. Curt rubbed it and looked back at Osborn.
"A little scaley, but I have eczema around my legs so it may just be reforming on my arms." Curt said. Norman nodded, although his face looked as if he was deep in thought and displeased with what was coming to his head.
"Well, hopefully, you're right. Continue to rest and watch the progress on your arm. It should be fully healed in another three weeks," Norman said.
"Three more weeks?" Curt asked, slightly annoyed.
"Five at the most, but it should be three. Might take longer for the hand bones and muscles to reform. But I guarantee, as soon as you're healed, P.P. is yours," Osborn promised. Curt sighed softly and nodded.
"Welcome back, Mr. Parker!"
"Mr. Parker, welcome!"
Every teacher that Peter had on his schedule welcomed him back with such vigor and gusto that Peter thought he had won something.
"It's like you're a celebrity," MJ had said while they were in Environmental Science after their teacher, Mrs. Owens had given Peter a hug larger than anyone had ever seen her give her husband. Peter had enjoyed the attention showed as was even shocked that Flash hadn't attempted to bother him...partially because he hadn't seen Flash in any classes. But Peter knew that he would see him at his next destination, C Lunch. Every delinquent that skipped class always found a way to make it to lunch because it was oftentimes the only time they ate during the day. Flash found it possible to attend all four lunches and maintain a D average, probably because of the coach.
Peter set his stuff down at the table and began to go towards the line. Like most lines, this line was filled with people who were in such a hurry to get to a single destination that they found it intelligent to push and have small skirmishes over lunch line spots. Such skirmishes almost always resulted in their removal from lunch which also lead to a smaller line, something the culprits had always failed to understand. Peter could only assume that the need for food, among other things, always outweighed common sense.
The line cycle wasn't as bad this time, however the smell of the horrendous lunch food was almost enough to make Peter leave, but being in the midst of all the hungry teenagers forced him to stay in the line. Peter grabbed a tray and was disgusted by every drop of "spaghetti" and "mashed potatoes" and "corn" fell on his plate with a thud. Disgusting as it was, it was the lifeblood that fueled Midtown and Peter could hardly bear to watch as kids sat down and began to wolf down the food in giant gulps.
Peter sat down and began to sift through the "food" with his fork until a brilliant streak of red caught his eye. Even though she was across the cafeteria, Peter could easily see MJ...talking to Flash? No, this couldn't be right. Peter looked again and was shocked. It did seem like they were talking or just Flash. It looked like MJ was trying to push Flash away, but he kept coming towards her, trying to grab her. With one large push, MJ sent Flash back a couple of feet and the giant jock reached to grab her again.
Without thinking, Peter flew from his seat and crossed the length of the cafeteria faster than he had ever ran in his life. He saw Flash attempt to talk to MJ again and that was when he threw his punch. Peter had learned from "that" that his punches could break jaws so he had also taught himself how to pull his punches back. Even so, when his fist connected to Flash's jaw, the boy was sent flying across the floor several feet.
"Peter!" MJ gasped. Peter looked at MJ, concern flooding his face.
"Are you alright?" he asked. MJ nodded quickly and then looked over at Flash, who had found it in him to get up.
"You little shit!" Flash yelled as he darted towards Peter. Peter readied himself to counter but immediately, the school administrators surrounded Flash and held him back. "Get the fuck off of me!" he yelled to no avail. He then cast his infuriated gaze onto Peter. "I'm goin' to beat the living shit out of you, you bitch!" Flash yelled. Peter's adrenaline rose and he did the unthinkable...he yelled back.
"When you get your dick from between your legs and stop picking on people smaller than you, then I'll take you serious. Until then, shut the hell up!" Peter said emphatically. Flash roared.
"We'll see if you can back your shit up after school, puny little prick!" Flash said as he was hauled away. Peter scoffed and turned to look at MJ, whose mouth was wide in absolute shock.
"Well damn...I hope you CAN back up all you said. I never knew you were like that, Peter," MJ said.
"He just brought out the Parker in me, that's all," Peter replied with a casual shrug, though inside he felt chills.
"I thought the Parkers were all about hard work, dedication, and pacifism?" MJ said.
"My Uncle Ben was a soldier. They don't teach pacifism in the Persian Gulf," Peter retorted. MJ nodded.
"True...but if you can't back up what you said...you're in some deep trouble, Pete," MJ said. Peter nodded and looked up at the clock. 12:15. Two hours...
"Kick his ass, Flash! I gotta be home by 2:35, bruh!" a boy called as Flash squared up with Peter. Without hesitation, Flash swung the first blow. Peter's head vibrated softly and Peter dodged to the left to avoid the shot. So the vibrations in his head were some kind of precognitive sense to warn him of danger? Even if that danger was a clumsy, big, and stupid jock named Flash. Flash quickly followed up with another punch that came with a slightly stronger vibration. Peter brought up his elbow and blocked the punch and used his other hand to push Flash to the side.
"Are you done yet?" Peter asked, taunting him.
"Shut up, bitch!" Flash yelled as he raced towards Peter and threw a torrent of punches, all of which registered small vibrations to Peter's brain. Peter's speed and balance allowed him to easily dodge Flash's wild punches and his confidence levels began to get higher. Suddenly, a stronger vibration hit his brain and Peter noticed that Flash was aiming a knee to his stomach. Peter watched as the knee came up and side-stepped. With Flash balancing himself on one leg, he was unstable and Peter kicked his standing leg, causing the jock to land in a split.
"Damn, Flash! C'mon, man! Get up!" a boy called. Flash began to rise to his feet and growled. He then began to run towards Peter again. Suddenly, a series of gunshots echoed through the alley they were in and like mice, Flash and his friends scattered.
Peter looked around the corner and saw a group of men inside a jewelry store with handguns pointed at the people inside. Quickly, Peter began to think. He should probably run from the scene like the others. That would be smart. But then he thought. Someone's family member could be inside the jewelry store and was threatened with being shot, if they weren't already. He didn't want anyone to go through the kind of pain he and his aunt and gone through and quickly decided to act.
Peter raced across the street to a costume shop and grabbed a red mask and a pair of goggles and threw some money at the cash register. He quickly placed his makeshift disguise on and stopped a few feet to the left of the jewelry store and listened in.
"Nobody fucking move! I want the money inside the cash register and I want the damn sapphire ring that the motherfucking Prince William or whatever the hell his name is gave to his wife. I know you people got it and I want it now!" one man said. Peter rolled his eyes. The sapphire ring was an heirloom...across the ocean. He didn't expect the criminals to understand that and he began to creep towards the entrance of the jewelry store. Armed with nothing but his fists, Peter pounced on the thug in front of the door and sent a punch straight onto his temple.
Upon seeing their boss defeated, the remaining men began to open fire with their handguns. The vibrations in Peter's head were ringing like a cellphone as he dodged several shots and hid behind the counter. The shots were deafening and Peter looked around for something to hold in his hands as a weapon. He saw a broom some distance away from him but he couldn't reach it without the risk of getting shot. Peter slammed his fist onto the ground, his middle and ring finger awkwardly pressing his palm.
Shock spread across Peter's face.
A sticky substance shot straight from his wrists onto the windows in front of him...in the shape of a web. Peter pressed his palm again with the same fingers and shot another web. Peter looked at his wrists and amidst the gunfire, he looked at the broom. Peter narrowed his eyes. It was worth a shot, right? To aim for the broom? Peter then sighed. He pressed down again and the webbing substance fired at the broom and connected. Peter noticed a break in the firing and pulled the broom towards him quickly.
With the broom in hand, he threw it into the air. The men quickly shot at it out of reflex and Peter jumped from behind the counter and fired his newly found webbing into the men's eyes. The men began to scream as they attempted to tear the substance off. Peter quickly silenced them both with well-placed kicks. Peter smiled at his accomplishment and then turned to the faces of the people in the store. One man shook his head and stared.
"My God...thanks, man. Who...who are you?" he asked. Peter's thoughts halted. Who was he? Who was he? Why would he ask that? Such a normally easy question. Peter quickly sifted through his thoughts. Webbing...webbing! He had a name.
"I'm...uh, my name is...Spider-Man."