Categories > Comics > Spider-Man

The Dexterous Spider-woman

by Amberino47 0 reviews

Sara Parker's life turns upside-down when she suddenly is gifted with superhuman abilities and finds herself irritating some dangerous people. How did she get these powers? What can she do to stop ...

Category: Spider-Man - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor,Parody,Sci-fi - Characters: Peter Parker - Published: 2018-11-25 - Updated: 2018-11-25 - 11642 words - Complete


White. All I see is white when I open my eyes. White ceiling. White sheets. My own pale hands resting on a bed. I squeeze my eyes closed. A dull pain pounds at my entire body. I feel like I'm floating, suspended in air. I'm definitely drugged up. It slowly registers I'm in a hospital. I'm trying to remember what happened but everything is fuzzy and I'm so tired… so tired…

"Hola princess, you conscious?" My eyes fly open again. To my left, in a chair that dwarfs her, is a girl in a obnoxiously bright yellow flowered blouse accented by red heels lying nearby that I stare at for a second and try to understand how someone could actually walk in. Her face is caked in makeup, yet I find her familiar. Where have I seen her before?

"Isabella? What are you doing here?" I'm flashing back to high school. We used to be friends. She was a nice girl, but I doubted we had as much in common now as we had before. She sits cross legged in the chair and smooths her skirt.

"Burnt myself making dinner." She holds up a nasty red mark on her arm. "Just about to walk out when your aunt happened to recognize me. Adults love me. Ever since I gave that inspirational speech at our Christmas program in our junior year…"

"My aunt?"

"Yeah, May's here. She was on her way to a meeting with a doctor and thought you'd like to see an old friend if you came to." She grabbed the heels. "And Pete wanted me to let them know if you really woke up. I mean you've opened your eyes and babbled a few times. Better go get them." The torturers were strapped on and the Spanish diva clip-clopped across the tile and disappeared. A couple of nurses soon bustled in to take her place. Asking questions, looking at screens, poking me and talking in abbreviations. Soon, I hear footsteps on the tile. Fast. Getting closer. I feel my eyelids get heavy. A woman with long, dark hair comes into view and smiles when she sees me. A boy runs in after her and grabs the railing of my bed. His hair's a mess and his eyes are open wide in fear.

"Peter…" and it all fades to darkness.


When I wake up again I feel better. The pain is just a distant throb. Peter sits in Isabella's chair.

"Hey." He grabs for my hand, which I pull away.

"What happened to me?"

"You were in some kind of car accident…" This is vaguely familiar. I stare at the ceiling and try to remember. Something hits me and I whip back around to Peter.

"My truck! Is it okay?" He raises his eyebrows and then laughs.

"You've got two broken ribs and a possible concussion, bruises all over your body and an eight inch cut on your leg and all you want to know is what happened to your rusty old ford?"

"It's not rusty or old! Where is it?"

"It's rusty, old and currently being converted to scrap metal. Aunt May says you hit a big tree. Sorry. It was totaled." A hand is on my shoulder and I turn to see someone who's hasn't been allowed in my life for years.

"Hi, sweetheart."

"Aunt May. When will I get out of this place?"

"As soon as they clear you. You've been out for some time."

"You should be dead!" Peter pipes up.

"Gee, thanks." I roll my eyes.

"No, I mean you could have died, easily, but you didn't. And I'm glad! I'm glad you're not dead. Your body could be smashed into a tree and your guts could be spread all over the road…"

"Pete, just shut up." I rub my forehead. I can feel the drugs wearing off and being replaced by a pounding headache.

"Sara, what's the last thing you remember?" I close my eyes and think. It's all a big confusing blur. The crash, the tree, the fight…

"Fight. I was yelling… at my mom?" May nods enthusiastically as if this is something to be encouraged.

"You had called me minutes before the crash. You were upset and asked if you could come over."

"I was on my way to your place?" Yeah… because mom threw me out. Again.

"Is she coming in to visit?" I already knew the answer. Peter says quickly,

"We called her and she's super busy right now, with something, that came up, she didn't say what, but she'll come when she can." I sucked in air and let in out.

"Sure. Sure she will." May had become fascinated with a spot on the floor.

"You can stay with us as long as you need to." I nodded.

"Thanks. While we're here, might as well entertain ourselves. This TV have a remote?"

The time in the hospital passed with a lot of action and horror movies. Mom never came in to visit. No calls, not even a text. May visited after work, but Peter, Peter raced to the hospital from school as fast as possible everyday. He watched me intently. He asked questions about how I was feeling constantly and watched my monitors as if he knew what they meant. He said things like 'if anything weird ever happens to you, let me know first'. It was rather sweet how concerned he was about me, like I would explode into a million pieces if he wasn't there to watch me.


The first morning I was at May's apartment was when it all started. We had gotten back late the last night, and I was surprisingly pleased to wake up to a couch from the late eighties in a cozy apartment. It was quiet and warm. It felt more like home than my parents' house. I pulled myself up out of bed and shuffled over towards the tiny bathroom. On the wall by the bathroom door hung a picture of my grandparents when they were young, three kids around seven to ten posing on a bench in front of them. They flashed big cheesy smiles at the camera, faces angled up. After a closer inspection, I discovered the girl with the black bangs and the slightly shorter one with brown locks carefully tucked into pigtails were squeezing each other's hands. For years I'd wanted a sister, but seeing May and my mom like this caused me to reconsider. All things on earth are fleeting, even the love of two freckle-faced, grinning little sisters. I limped through the door. It took me a full two seconds to recognize myself in the mirror. My bruises were fading but still prominent. My head was cloaked in thick white bandages. My skin hung weakly from my bones, my body a sickly, stick-like reflection of the girl I had been a short time ago, a skeleton haunting the bathroom. I grab my shirt and yank it up to reveal two gruesome deformed hills jutting up to interrupt the pattern of my rib cage. My sweatpants have been hiding an equally horrible scar. I hear something crack and look down. I had picked up a toothbrush and snapped it in half. I drop the pieces to the ground. I was a skinny, beat up, hideous monster. It dawned on me that I was going to cry. My cheeks stung. I pressed my palms to my face. Then I was in the tub. I didn't know what had happened. I hadn't fainted, or fallen over. I had flipped backwards, but not of my own volition. The back of my head tingled and throbbed. I only had a split second to try to comprehend what had happened as the bathroom door swung open, hit the wall, and slammed closed as quickly as it had opened. A man's voice;

"Are you clear?" I peaked around the shower curtain. Peter sat on the closed toilet.

"Yes, in the bathroom."

"Good. What were you thinking?" His head hang low.

"I was thinking…"

"I'm thinking you need to learn what a rhetorical question is." The voice was coming from Peter's iPhone.

"Will it… hurt her? Or do you think it will manifest? Because you know sir, that would be pretty cool, ya know, if it doesn't kill her."

"I won't know anything until you come down to the lab so I can run some tests."

"Yeah, okay, definitely, sure! But what should I tell Aunt May?"

"That you're coming down to the lab so I can run some tests! BTW, if you get me a bear claw on the way I'll be less annoyed at you."

"Okay! I will! Thank you! Be righ-" And a dial tone. A sigh. My cousin sat with his head in his hand for a second, slashed some water on his face, ran his fingers through his hair a couple of times and was gone. I pulled myself out of the bathtub. I felt like someone had set my skeleton on fire. I stared at the door and balanced myself with the countertop. I wasn't at all sure what had just happened, but one thing was clear. If I had continued standing where I was, I would have received a door to the face from my hasty high school friend.

Later that day I was still trying to understand what had happened while Aunt May made me a sandwich.

"You didn't have to stay home, you know. I can take care of myself." She set a plate down in front of me and smiled.

"Just wanted to make sure you were settled in." I kicked at the table leg.

"Did my doctors say anything about migraines? My head's been bothering me all day." Her brow furrowed.

"After your MRI was perfectly normal, Dr. Brown did say he was surprised. He had thought you might even have some internal bleeding."

"Well, I'm sure its nothing. Don't worry about it."

"I'm calling in. Better safe than sorry." As she walked away, suddenly my head started pounding again. I was knocked out of my chair. It felt like something of enormous proportions was trying its best to push me through the floor. And after a few moments that felt like years it alleviated. I walked to the window and collapsed against the wall. High above New York the clouds floated cheerfully, but wait. There was something amiss, a slight, barely perceptible glimmer, as if someone had yanked the sky back and forth like a big, crystal blue blanket. Shivers ran down my spine. Whatever it was, it was causing my agony. I could feel it. And I had to know what is was. I ran to the door, grabbing my phone and leather bag on the way. May emerged from the bedroom.

"Well, rest at peace because Dr. Brown says it's probably just a side effect from the medication. Hey, where do you think you're going?"

"A walk!"

"What? Hey, wait!" But I shut the door behind me and pretended not to hear her.


Outside, the city teemed with life. I stood blinking in the sunlight as sounds hit me from all directions. The eternal honking, people talking on their phones, a distant siren. I tried to get a good look at the sky, but people kept brushing past me and blocking my view. I found a short wall and pulled myself up. From my little island among the swirly sea of bustling people, I stared up and used my hand as visor. The sky was a brilliant blue, but still as could be. Maybe I was seeing things because of the pain. Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe- wait! Something glimmered towards the horizon. I climbed up onto a higher wall and ran towards it, but I flew forward like metal to a magnet and I felt my back be slammed into a car roof. I screamed in pain and gripped my abdomen. Tears streaked down my face. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to breathe. This isn't happening, this isn't happening. I gasped in air and pulled myself up. I was on top of a white van. We were moving quickly. Too quickly. How was I going to get down? As soon as I thought it, I flipped through the air. A bridge flew over us. The back of my head shrieked its pain in protest. I realized where I was. My hands were stuck to the side of then van. As if someone had dipped me in super glue and stuck me to the side of a miniature car for a school project diorama. But this was real. I tried flinging myself backwards, but I found my boots were stuck as well. This is NOT happening. I'm going crazy. I tried to bring in air. My head wasn't hurting, but I felt something new. It was like a warmth in my chest, but it also felt like a punch from an angry robot. It was harsh and painful, but in a good way. It was like sweet sorrow. I shook my head and tried to concentrate on getting down. Maybe the side of the van was coated in some kind of glue. But why? I thought about how I got here. The bridge was just like the bathroom door. It would have hit me if I hadn't flipped out of the way. And the headache. It was like a warning sign. What had it been warning me about in the sky? An alien spaceship? Maybe I had been attacked by an alien and infected with a bizarre virus. Maybe there were little alien eggs growing inside of me. Maybe I was… Where was I? We had gone down an alley and were slowing. A fly rocketed into my face and I swatted it away. I sat for a second and then it hit me. My hand was free. I lifted it again to be sure. I had to get off. And then I was unstuck, and flying through the air. I caught myself on a nearby building and leaned against it. I breathed in and out a few times, then I happened to glance down. I did a double take. My feet weren't on the ground, now they were stuck to this wall. I caught my breath. It really was me. I was sticky, not the van. I focused hard and dropped the few inches to the ground. Something in me was telling me to go back to the truck. This is ridiculous. My ribs are killing me. I needed to get back to Aunt May's. I needed Aunt May, if I dared admit it. But there it was. A ping in my chest. And I had to know. I placed a hand on the wall and willed it to stick. It obeyed, sending a strange sensation up my arm. Then the next hand, then the feet. And up I went. I moved as fast as if I were running up. I reached the top and forced myself not to look down. There was the van, rounding a corner. I ran towards it. When I came to the end of the building, I jumped without thinking twice and cleared the gap with plenty of space to spare. I went on like this for some time until the van stopped in a deserted lane. Two men in uniform got out and opened up the back. They pulled a figure out and pushed it into a metal folding chair. He was small, and clothed in red and blue. Then it hit me. Spider-Man! He could stick to things! Climb up walls even! I'll bet he could sense danger behind him too. I was like him… like a superhero! I felt a goofy grin spread across my face in spite of myself. I had to talk to him. Find out how he got his powers. See what else I could do. Right after I rescued him from his apparent kidnappers. I walked to a corner and slowly crawled to the ground, which was a lot harder coming from this direction. I waited to see the guards weren't looking my way and ran to the van. I fished in my bag and found my pocket knife. The guards were standing ten feet in front of him, their backs towards the chair and me. If they were expecting an attack, it wasn't from behind, where there was only wall. I crouched down and scurried over to the chair. I put my hand where I guessed his mouth was and came into view. His mask hid emotion pretty well, but I think he was surprised to see me. I had never met anyone famous before, and in that moment I was painfully aware of my appearance. My face must have been stained with mascara, a bandage still wrapped around my head. I was filthy from my unconventional car ride, and I had torn my shirt when I disembarked. I realized my hand was still on his mouth. I tried to yank it away but it was stuck. I struggled a while then made the mistake of stepping on his foot for leverage, which immediately stuck as well.

"Gosh danggit." I whispered. The guards had started a heated argument about football and were completely oblivious. I could feel my cheeks turning red as I tried to think of my next move. I was too nervous to focus and unattach myself. I leaned forward and started cutting the rope. I prayed I didn't cut his arm, I was only operating on feel. I was almost all the way through but there was one more stand to cut and I couldn't reach it.

"What are you doing?" he whispered in a surprisingly deep voice.

"Hang on." I reached and caught the rope and started cutting, but the weight was too much and we tumbled backwards. Then everything happened really fast. The guard ran towards us and my knife slipped through the rest of the rope. I pulled away from the hero and his mask came off with my hand. I tried to catch a glance, but all of a sudden the guards were on us. One threw a punch in my direction, but I ducked and retaliated. I jabbed at him and seemed to be doing some real damage. I swept his legs and he hit the ground hard. I slammed the chair into his head to be sure he wouldn't get up. I stumbled backwards and pressed the back of my hand to my nose. I felt like I was going to throw up. I closed my eyes again and breathed.

"Hey, do me a favor and don't turn around." I stood there for a few minutes and focused on not being sick. Go to your happy place, go to your happy place. Where was my happy place? I felt a hand on my shoulder. He had made a makeshift mask out of a torn piece of fabric and his spider web stuff.

"Is that my shirt?" I looked down and saw I was indeed in tatters.

"Come on, let's get out of here. These guys were easy, but their boss is no joke." Just as he spoke, a we heard a car from down the road. It screeched to a stop and we didn't wait to meet its inhabitants before scaling the wall.

"See! I have powers, just like you."

"Yeah, I noticed when you accidentally stuck yourself to me."

"So how did you get them? What else can I do?"

"Let's get out of here first." And then the men below fired a machine gun at us. We scrambled up the rest of the way and threw ourselves onto the roof. I heard the machine gun chatter continue. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me up.

"Hang on, okay?" Then, out of his wrist a white blob came spiraling out and grabbed onto a building nearby. I realized what was happening he put his arm around me.

"No. No, no, no. This is a really bad idea."

"Sorry, but we gotta get out of here!" I could see the black Mercedes around the corner coming to the other side of the building. I took in a long breath and let it out.

"Okay." No sooner had the words left my lips and we were flying. I'm sure it was beautiful, breathtaking, a once-in-a-lifetime first, but I had no idea at the time. My eyes were closed the entire trip. We ended up on the top of the building that he had determined was a safe distance from whoever was pursuing us.

"I guess you get used to that with time?"

"Uh, yeah, you get the hang of it."

"Okay. Again, I'm just trying to understand what's going on here. You can climb up the sides of the buildings, shoot things with your sticky ropes."


"Whatever. And I'm guessing you know things are about to hit you before they do."

"Yeah, I call it my spidey-sense."

"I can climb up the sides of the buildings, and I know, like, When things are going to hit me, too and so can I shoot things with my wrists? How? Does that come later? Am I gonna fly like that? I promise I won't close my eyes. I'll get used to it!"

"Just shut up!" I coiled back. Idiot. I was meeting a celebrity and I was messing it up. He probably thought I was just another fangirl. Maybe he thought I was tricking him somehow. Like using some kind of clear sticky gloves to climb. "Listen."

"Here, I'll prove it!" I slapped my palm on a loose brick and it waved all around. "I'm really like you!"

"Yeah, I know that, I saw. I was scared this might happen…" His voice was so low I leaned in to catch his words.

"What? That there are others?"

"No, just, just forget it."

"How many of us are there?" I gasped. "Is this because of the car crash? Is it because I almost died? Wait - am I dead? Are you dead? Are we zombies? Are we ghosts?"

"What? No, of course not! Just calm down. And the webs don't come straight out of my wrists, there are little gadgets, see? Come on. There's someone you need to meet. We're going upstate."

"Ok… but there's someone who might worry about me."

"You can call her when we get there." How did he know I was talking about a woman? That struck me as peculiar.

"Hang on." I hung on. He shot out a strand of webbing, and we dropped down, down, down towards the streets, until I felt the tension in the string and we rocketed back up. With my eyes open, it wasn't scary. It was actually incredibly fun. And so we went, from building to building, until he let us down and we caught a cab. The driver was fangirling worse than me. Lots of 'the Spider-man from YouTube in my car's and 'I just can't believe it's. We finally arrived at a white, modern complex with lots of windows. I clutched my satchel and rubbed the leather back and forth with my thumb. We walked into a lobby area and my worn down body gave out. I let myself gently down to the floor and then lay on my back right in the middle of the room. The shock of it all was wearing off and the burning in my ribs let itself be known. I looked up to see an upside down red mask.

"Where are we?"

"Somewhere you can get help. Just wait here, he'll come."

"Wait, where are you going?" But he was already gone, the front door swinging back and forth. All I could think was I had to get some of those rope gun things.


I heard fast footsteps coming towards me. Sitting up was too much effort. I turned my head to meet a pair of shiny black dress shoes that smelled like new leather. I followed them up a light gray business suit to a goatee and matching dark eyes.

"You must be Sara." Something clicked in my head and I pushed myself up from the ground.

"You're Tony Stark. You're Tony Stark."

"Let me know when the shock wears off, we've got some tests to run, kid." He turned and started back towards an abnormally large glass door.

"You're Iron Man. That's how Spider-man knows you. Do you guys, like, fight crime together? Did you give him his superpowers? Did you give me my superpowers? Do you.."

"Do you ever stop talking?" I stopped talking.

"Thank you. Sit." I sat. "This won't take long." I was in a metal chair with indents in the arms for me to slide into. I could see the chair was taking my pulse and heart rate. Stark pulled a metal headband-like object over my head. I felt it pressing against my skull, pulsing in and out, but it didn't hurt. I could see the gray suit out of the corner of my eye.

"Just stay still and don't talk." Some beeps and whirring noises. "Well how 'bout that."


"You had one job."


"Shut up." More clicks and the machine lifted its grip on me.

"Your bones have been healing crazy fast. All the changes to your genetic structure are still under process. Spidey sense is in beginning developmental stage. I might be able to stall the process and make it run in reverse."

"Wait, you want to stop this?" He was tying information and didn't lookup. I walked over to him slowly.

"You were a mistake. I can fix you. World doesn't need two masked web slingers making messes everywhere they go. The world's window washers don't need two masked web slingers leaving footprints on all of New York's skyscrapers."

"Maybe I want this."

"He didn't, and it's too late for him now. He wanted me to make sure you had the choice. You can have quiet life, no power, no big responsibilities, no psychopaths constantly threatening your life. Probably. Or, you can have huge power, huge responsibility, PTSD, anxiety and occasionally glory." I stood considering it.

"What would you do?"

"I'm not here to tell you how to live your life, but if living as a half bug freak doesn't suit your fancy, you know where to find me. Heads up, I'm estimating it will only be a possibility to stop the mutation in the next three days, including today. I'll call a taxi to take you to your Aunt's."

"My Aunt's? How did you know I'm staying with her?" He stayed still a second, then looked up.

"It's my job to know. Elevator's that way." He gestured vaguely with a pen.

"I'll let you know…" The elevator fell down story after story. I could have power I'd never dreamed of. Or I could have safety. The choice seemed obvious but something was playing over in my head. 'Maybe I want this.' 'He didn't, and it's too late for him now.' Spider-Man must know better than anyone what I'm going through. If I talk to him, maybe he can help me understand what Stark meant. The elevator dinged and clicked open. I walked out to a waiting cab.

Peter and May were having dinner when I walked in. Aunt May dropped her fork and rushed up to me, trying to pull me into a hug. I pushed her away.

"Where have you been all day? I've been worried about you, Sara."

"I told you, I just went out. I've been locked up for so long I needed some sunshine."

"You could have called."

"Lost track of time." She sighed.

"Well, don't you want some dinner?"

"No I'm going to go straight to bed. Or, couch."

"Okay." A weak smile. I wanted to tell her right then. I wanted to tell both of them everything, I wanted to say what I was afraid of and what I was excited for. I wanted to rant about how rude Spider-man was, describe the thrill of riding the webs, and ask her for a take on the looming decision I had to make in the next two days. But I didn't. I left her standing hug-less by the door, slumped down on the couch and fell right asleep.


The next day we went back to the hospital for more tests. The doctor was equally amazed by my quick recovery, and though his style and panache weren't at the Stark level, he made me think about the day before again as May and I walked out to the subway. The lack of bandages should have lightened my load, but my feet dragged and my shoulders slumped. I needed to tell someone. Anyone. Who? My friends are few and far between lately. My immediate family was out of the question. There was always my cousin, but I didn't think he'd take it seriously. I mean, he was already strangely obsessed with my safety. Throw in some real danger, and he just couldn't handle it. He thinks I'm a princess in an ivory tower… oh, hey… princess… we got on a train and I pulled out my phone.


Hey. We didn't talk much at the hospital. Grab coffee?


Sounds great girl! You call time and place, I'm free tomorrow.

Huh. maybe I do have a friend.

"Hey." I looked up. "Listen Sara, I know things weren't great for you at home…. Your mom… has some things she's working through." I rolled my eyes. "But that doesn't mean she doesn't care about you. She'll come around. In the meantime, I'm here. Don't be closed off to me. I want just a little trust here. Is that too much to ask?" She puts her hand on my shoulder and I shrug it off. Trust. Like that could go two ways with the secrets I'm carrying.

"Sure. I trust you." The doors open and we journey back up into the light. We were about a block away from the apartment.

"I gotta grab a few things. Head home, okay?" I nod like a good little niece. It must be convincing because she smiles and walks off as if her little chat must have really encouraged me. Home. As if I knew where that was. I actually did plan on heading back to the apartment, I really did. I had turned and started walking when all the sudden I wasn't on the ground anymore. A few seconds of hurtling through the air that made my stomach do flips and I was dumped on another rooftop. I chuckled.

"We really have to stop meeting like this." The spider-man had a large black duffel bag over one shoulder.

"What did Mr. Stark say?"

"He said he could stop my DNA from being rewritten and some mumbo jumbo about mutations and healing factors. I kinda tuned it out. The point is, he gave me a choice. A hero's life, or a normal one."

"And what did he think you should do?"

"He didn't say. Even when I asked."

"Really? 'Cause he gave me this." The duffel bag was tossed at my feet. A tug at the zipper revealed a navy blue and pink costume, folded neatly with a note on top. To help you make up your mind- T.S. I started to pull it out and then tossed it right back down.

"Pink? He made me a pink costume. Honestly."

"You should think about this carefully."

"There's only one color I loathe."


        "And he put in my costume."


        "I mean purple, I could live with."


        "Hey, how come everyone knows my name? Seriously. How long have I been followed? You guys have cameras set up in my house?" Silence.


        "I just want to learn about myself. How this happened, what I can do. Take me on parole with you."

        "I-I'm really sorry, but I can't today. Mr. Stark said he doesn't want you involved in this one yet. You're not ready. Just promise you won't follow me, okay?"

        "But I can help!"

        "Not this time. Sorry. Maybe tomorrow!" He shot a web behind his back and swung off the roof.

        "Nice chatting with you!" But he was out of earshot. I stood on the ledge, watching the city, my hair being blown behind me. The city really was beautiful. The skyscrapers shone, the clouds floated by peacefully and the drone of traffic was distant and less offensive from my far up perch. I lifted my hands a little to absorb the sunshine and the gentle wind. All the people down below seemed so busy, intent on arriving to their respective destinations on time. Caught in the grinding clockworks that make New York tick. So many people, so many streets, so many cabs and buses and addresses. If one person tried to perfectly coordinate everyone's schedules and make certain we all crossed the streets at the exact right time and take the best detours, they'd inevitably fail. Because each little ant down on the streets knows where it's going and is trying its hardest to find the best way. I turned to the duffel bag behind me. A navy and pink tuft of fabric stuck up so I could see it. It rippled in the wind. And it was calling to me.


My first attempt at slinging a web could have gone better. The suit fit over my jeans and Panic! at the Disco shirt perfectly. It felt like a second skin. Stark must have taken my measurements while he tested me. I shot at a building too far left, too far right, too high, way too low and to the left. Finally it hit the first or second floor from the top. I stood a step away from a very fast concrete death. I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this and before I knew it I was doing it. A man's voice boomed in my ear just as my feet left the ledge.

        "I'm afraid at this angle you are headed straight towards the structure with tremendous force."

        "What the-! My suit can talk?" And the voice proved to have a point as the dark-blue glass of the skyscraper was getting very close very fast. I made an X with my arms and impacted, glass spraying everywhere. I rolled across the floor and stood, suddenly aware I was standing in the middle of a gaping group of silent cubicle dwelling office building natives. They apparently hoped standing still like a mob of meerkats would save them from any harm if I proved to be hostile.

        "Good morning. I mean you no harm." I raised my empty palms as proof. "Um, could you point me in the direction of the elevator?" Twenty shaky fingers were raised. A few brave rodents cautiously pointed their phones at me. I started off. My 'okay, uh, thank you' was greeted with more silence. In the elevator, I stood for a moment and then ventured,

        "Uh, suit man?"

        "G'day, I'm Monday. Mr. Stark programmed me to help you if you're ever in need of assistance." He had a distinctly Australian accent.

        "Okay. Can you help me shoot the webbing so I don't literally crash another office party?"

        "Of course. I have automated sights and can estimate landing sites through triangulation."

        "Great. We're going to find a bug."

        "If you're referring to the spider man, Mr. Stark said you shouldn't get involved with hammerhead. You aren't prepared."

        "So I keep getting told. Tell me what we're up against."

        "You really should stay-"

        "Just read me this 'Hammerhead's file." I walked out to the street and started climbing.

        "Joseph Guverleph, AKA hammerhead. Crime underlord recently broken out of prison by his gang members. He suffered a brain trauma and believes he is in the 1920s. He has a surgically inserted metal plate on his skull. His head is very durable weapon." Lovely.

        "Anything else I should know?"

        "It appears he's put a price on the head of whoever helped Spider-man escape him." It took a second for it to process. That was me. The thought should have terrified me, but I only felt proud.

        "That's me. He's talking about me." I bragged to a computer program.

        "I know, ma'am, the bounty rests on a girl with Spider-man-like abilities. Don't worry, the only people who saw you up close were knocked out right away. It appears the pictures they've drawn up don't remotely resemble you." What a disappointment.

        "What a relief. Okay, do your web swinging stuff."

        "Auto-aim initiated. What's our destination?" I closed my eyes. I could feel that tugging in my chest.

        "Actually, I think I'm going to try it own my own."

        "If you prefer, but I would advise-" but I was gone. I was flying, I was falling, I was coming up again and I made my next connection.

        "Now we're talking." I could see a big brick warehouse. He was there. I could feel it. What are you up to my dear arachnid? Wind rushed through my hair. I saw some kids in a basketball court down below and shot a web onto the ball, pulling it into the hoop. They saw me and cheered. I could get used to this.

        "What is your destination?"

        "Just following my nose, suit guy. What can you tell me about that warehouse?" I extended my finger towards it as I whipped around a lamppost.

        "Old storage facility. Empty for three years."

        "How about right now?"

        "I detect about 30 life forms."

        "Only one of those matter. Do we have a way to disappear?" My suit rippled from head to toe, tiny scales flipping as I slowly turned into a shadow.

        "Stealth mode initiated."


        We pulled up and I landed lightly below a large window. I climbed up and peered over the sill. I recognized Hammerhead right away. With a huge square skull topped with a fedora that was ridiculously tiny in comparison, he certainly lived up to his name. He was talking with a very slender man. They made big hand gestures and appeared to be arguing, but I couldn't hear anything. Then they both seemed satisfied and exchanged suitcases. A couple of his goonies burst through the door, each of them grasping an arm of the Spider-Man. Déjà vu. Looks like it's a good thing I followed you after all.

        "Spider-Man! What a surprise. How kind of you to stop by. You know, I was told you'd get in the way, but I had no idea how much of a nuisance you could really be. Of course, after I release your identity to the public, you'll have far too many things to deal with to mess up my plans again." His hand reached out for the mask. Sorry Stark. I can't sit this one out. I broke the glass with my foot and webbed Hammer's fist.

        "Spider-girl! Excellent. Two squashed bugs under one boot. Get her!" I pulled two guards into each other. In the confusion Spider-Man kicked out his captors and webbed their faces together. There were lots of them and two of us but they seemed much more scared. I punched one into a wall and found myself back to back with my ally.

        "We can take 'em." My suit brightened up again.

        "You're not supposed to be here!"

        "I'm waiting for a thank you." I strung up three men so they hung from the ceiling like chandeliers.

        "I had it under control." He blinded some men and knocked them out. They kept coming, and Monday piped up with some helpful advice that mostly included evacuating the premises. One after another, each man fell. We found we could help each other by making a kind of tightrope and tripping them, taking out a bunch at a time. I looked up and saw hammerhead knocking out a wall.

        "He's getting away!"

        "You haven't seen the last of me, see!" Really? So cliché. Sirens blared in the background.

        "Come on, let's get out of here. You can't help anyone from jail." We scrambled out of our nemesis-shaped hole in the wall and started scaling.

        "Freeze, you on the wall!" I unconsciously obeyed for a split second and then threw myself on top. Perfect. Now I'm a criminal. We ran and swung side-by-side. When he determined we were safe, he somersaulted and stood. Some disturbed pigeons flew away.

        "Aren't you wondering how I found you?"

        "Listen, that was great, really, and I mean if I had it my way we could fight together like that all the time, but Mr. Stark was very clear-"

        "I can sense you. Like, no matter where you are, I can find you! Do you have that?"

        "Uh, no actually. Sense me how?"

        "Here." I turned my mask around. "Go anywhere." I could feel him walking in circles around me. I pointed. "Come on, make it hard for me. He swung up and down and all around, and my finger followed him without fail. I could almost see him in my mind as I focused, a glowing gold object playing this game with me. He jumped and wound up at my feet. I reajusted my mask.

        "That's really cool! I had no idea you could do that. Mr. Stark will want to know about this…" and on he jabbered about science and our abilities. His voice was so deep I had to strain to hear him. His cool and smooth way of talking felt amiss among all his awkward mannerisms and generally clumsy appearance.

        "Look." I cut him off as he babbled to himself and the pigeons who had bravely reclaimed their perches. "I showed you what I can do, and I think I'm owed something in return."

        "Okay, sure, what?"

        "The mask."

        "I-I can't do that. I'm sorry, really."

        "Give me one good reason why not! You know who I am. Why can't this be an even exchange? If we're going to work together-"

        "We don't know that we will. I mean, I'd like that, but…" He cut off and looked me in the eye. "Listen I have to go, you did great. And your costume is perfect. I'll see you later, 'kay?"

        "Actually, I'm feeling red and yellow. A little more intimidating, maybe. Makes you think venom."

        "Good night, Spider-girl!" And he executed his signature disappearance. Spider-girl. He's Spider-Man and I'm Spider-girl? No. No way. That's not happening.


"The so called 'spider-girl' was spotted swinging across the city and leaving a crime scene with Spider-Man yesterday…"

        "May, can we mute that?" She clicked the remote. The kitchen smelled of bacon and cleaning supplies.

        "Sure, sweetie. How many eggs can you eat?"

        "However many I fit in before I leave. I'm meeting a friend for coffee. Ya know, if that's okay."

        "Oh, sounds great, honey! Need me to drop you?"

        "Thanks, I'll walk."

        "Just give your bones time to heal. Take it slow."

        "Sure. Hey, where's Pete?"

        "Still in bed. That Stark internship has him tired out constantly." I put down my fork.

        "Um, internship?" I managed as casually as possible.

        "At Stark Industries. Didn't you know?"

        "Uh, no, I didn't." I stirred my bacon and eggs around in circles. "Stark Industries. That must be cool. Has he ever actually met Tony Stark?"

        "Yeah, definitely. So have I." Was that wistfulness in her tone?

        "I better get going. Thanks for breakfast."


        "So, let me get this straight." Isabella put down her coffee and pressed her fingertips together. Her closet must have had a paint can explode in it this morning. With her bright blues, yellows and pinks, she stood out from the drab cafe we were meeting in. She had listened to my story with very little reactions, asking questions here and there and tilting her head to one side and staring when it got really bizarre.

        "You're a superhero." She pursed her lips.

        "I mean, I guess so. I have powers, and now I'm fighting crime."

        "You're all chummy with Spider-man, Iron Man, let me guess, Thor?"

        "Uh, no. I think he's off in space right now anyway."

        "You've made an enemy of a criminal underlord. You have to choose if you want to keep your powers. 'Kay. How exactly did you get these powers in the first place?"

        "Well, I don't actually know. I've kinda been feeling like Stark and Spidey have been avoiding the subject. I just needed someone to talk this through with. Help me sort it all out." I gave her a hopeful glance.

"And now, with no martial arts training at all, you've been beating up bad buys and saving the day."

        "Keep your voice down. Yes. The webbing really comes in handy in a fight." Where was she going with this? Maybe I was wrong to tell her.

        "Well it's cute. Its really cute."

        "I'm sorry?"

        "But you don't have to do this. You don't have to fabricate stories in order to get people to like you. I'm your friend. I'm here for you." She slid her hand across the table to mine. I pulled it away and stood.



        "Bath. Room. Thirty seconds." I pushed my chair in and walked away. A few seconds later I heard the door squeak and the princess walked in.

        "Listen, I don't know what this is all about, but can I just say I am as straight as the sixty bobby pins I pushed into my hair this morning and-" I walked out of the stall, full costume. I stood before her, prepared for the excitement and fangirling that would soon follow. The tables were turned now.

        "Shoot something with your webbing."

        "What? Are you kidding me right now? What is going to convince you that I'm Spider-woman?"

        "Shoot something. Anyone can make a costume." I sighed and scanned the room. My eyes landed on the ceiling. Several thwap, thwap, thwaps and the ceiling spelled out 'ISABELLA'.


        "I don't know. Looks an awful lot like silly string if you ask me."

        "Ugh! What, do you need me to throw a car? Any ideas, Monday?"

        "I could show her the footage of last night's incident." I took off the mask and held it out to Isa.

        "Here, watch this. It should prove to you I'm not- what?" She had grown a huge grin on her face and was staring at the mask.

        "Your mask can talk."

        "Yeah, watch what it's showing you."

        "Your mask can talk?"

        "Yes, do you believe me now?"

        "YOUR MASK CAN TALK!" Well, at least she believed me. "This is real. This is fabulous! I saw you on the news this morning. You really are the spider-girl!"

        "Spider-woman. And yes."

        "Fantastico! Chica, me encanta los colores."

        "Wish I could agree. Listen, you are the only who knows. THE. ONLY. ONE. You have to keep my secret."

        "Your aunt?"

        "No way."

        "Pete?" I hesitated.

        "Not as far as I know." We walked out of the bathroom to the sound of the TV gossiping about me. My new signature pink flashed across the screen. Then the scene changed.

        "In breaking news, Spider-man appears to be facing off with a group of men in times square. Police are standing by, as all his adversaries are heavily armed. The new supposed hero, Spider-girl, has not made an appearance. Spider-man may be in over his head in…" I turned to Isa. Her eyebrows were raised and she held back a grin.

        "¡Vaya, Chica de las Arañas!"

        "Es Mujer-araña. Can I trust you?"

        "With your life. Go!" I didn't need to be told thrice.


The wall crawler was seriously outnumbered when I got there, about forty men coming at him from all directions.

        "Now you HAVE to be happy to see me this time."

        "Honestly, I am. Don't tell Mr. Stark." He was slammed into the ground.


        "It's okay, I've got a thick skull!"

        "You're not immortal, get that through your thick skull!" I tripped two men into each other and throat punched another.         "Give me the lowdown."

        "Hammerhead caught me spying. Guess he wants to make a public example of me."

        "Tell me you saw something worthwhile while you were spying."

        "I saw death bot plans."

        "Death bots? What does that even mean?" I webbed some faces of foes who promptly fell.

        "Like little robots. Probably to fight us."

        "What did they look like?"

        "Like beetles, like… like that!" Out from around a corner came about a hundred shiny, flying machines. They had long skinny arms and wings that whirred loud enough to collectively be heard over all the interesting noises Times Square had to offer.

        "Enjoy, Spiderlings. That'll teach you to meddle in my private business!" Our main antagonist called from a street corner just before crashing his head into a car, tossing it up to blockade his escape route.

        "I can handle these guys."

        "I'll help the people in the traffic jam!" I called out and ran to the scene. I skidded to a stop and started pushing the displaced car over. It had barely budged when alarms started going off further down the street. Hammerhead was throwing cars around like I used to throw my brother's matchboxes. People were screaming and running from the scene. I pushed with all my strength and the car toppled over, allowing the people trapped underneath to open their doors, though I didn't stick around to see them safely out. I ran to the next collision and pushed a Jeep onto its right side even faster this time. Someone screamed out and I whipped my head around just in time to see a van come flying straight at a group of people. I jumped up and grabbed it with a web. I made some other connections underneath and attached them to nearby structures. It sprung up and down like a little trampoline. Then I ran after Hammerhead, catching up with him right away. I webbed his arm and pulled him over backwards. His bodyguards were nowhere to be seen. This was my chance. I webbed a lamp post and a parking meter in order to slingshot myself towards his head, kicking him in the face. Once again I was interrupted by screaming. This was different though, people were crying out in horror. I jumped on top of a truck to get a good view. It took me a second, but then I saw it. The van I had webbed up had fallen, smashing into the street. I ran back, and pushed the van over. EMT's were just showing up, and I waved them over. When I looked up, Hammerhead had used the moment to disappear. Then Spidey whipped by. He was being chased by an endless supply of silver robots. One reached out with scissor-like hands and snapped the web he was swinging from. He crashed into the road and somersaulted himself up.

        "I could use some help!" I watched as a couple bugs came past where some sticky lines were still hanging from a building. Their claws were getting tangled and they stuck to the line as to fly tape.

        "Spidey! I have an idea!" We swung past each other and I filled him in. Then I threw myself up as high as I could go, as red and blue ducked into the Excelsior Hotel. The bots set right to chasing me. We swung around corners and whipped past cars. I stayed near the ground in case scissor-bot got a chance to cut my line. One managed to latch onto my arm. I shook him off and rocketed around the corner, then dropped down and rolled over the asphalt. The bugs who couldn't turn fast enough were all stuck in a thirty foot spider web. I let out a sigh of relief and caught my breath. My abdomen ached.

        "Not a bad idea, Sara!" Declared the arachnid as he let himself down beside me.

        "You." I webbed his hands together.

        "What are you doing?" I shot a web on his mouth for good measure. Then I threw him over my shoulder and scaled the nearest building. I dropped him on top and without hesitation, yanked off his spider-like facade. Disheveled, blinking in the sunlight and apparently horrified at his de-masking sat my own cousin, Peter.

        "I knew it."

        "Sara." He seemed on the verge of tears. "I wanted to tell you…"

        "Save it. Its genetic then, the mutation? We both happened to win the lottery?"

        "No. You were… I was… I should have waited…" He actually started to weep.

        "Snap out of it." I grabbed his chin and pulled it up. "Tell. Me." He inhaled slowly.

        "They weren't able to get ahold of Aunt Amy, I mean your mom, when you crashed our truck. Aunt May got the call that you were in the hospital."

        "She's one of my emergency contacts." He raised an eyebrow. "She's my geographically closest family member, and it's not like I'm gonna put my dad down." I shrugged.

        "So may picked me up from school on the way to the hospital. You were real beat up. You lost a lot of blood."

"Explains why the world is spinning."

        "I saw you there and I was shook up. I don't know, I thought you were gonna die. You looked like you were already dead. After a while a nurse came by and asked me if I wanted to donate blood."

        "Oh, Peter."

        "We're both B negative."

        "Peter you didn't."

        "She brought me into a room and I didn't even think about it until she took the needle out and it hit me and I freaked."

        "Which explains why you were watching me so carefully in the hospital. I thought you were paranoid, which is why I didn't tell you."

        "Yeah, that's true, so we're even!"

        "Peter, no."

        "Oh. I just thought since-"

        "We are nowhere close to even. You knew everything whether I wanted you to or not. And I had no idea about this." I tossed his mask to the ground. "I wasn't even suspicious. Until May happened to mention your internship at Stark Industries. And I realized you sounded weird because you were using a voice scrambler. You really didn't want me to find out, did you? When were you planning on telling me?" He didn't get a chance to respond as we both heard a voice above us.

        "Hey guys. I really appreciate how you made me leave my meeting with with the King of Holland to clean up your messes. Also great how you took Sara on the one job I told you not to. And Aunt May freaking out and calling me because she can't find either of you is the cherry on top." We sat and stared up at the red robot in front of us. Neither of us ventured to speak until;

        "Holland is a monarchy?" Oh my word.

        "Seriously? That's what you're gonna take from this right now?" I dug up the courage that was buried within me.

        "And thank you. Thanks for leaving me here to try and piece together what the heck is going on in my life and how to function as a freak in a suit. Oh, also throw in not telling me Spider-man is actually my cousin, even though, apparently, Aunt May knows." Peter tried to scratch his head but forgot his hands were tied and punched himself in the face. "And not to mention giving me a costume for a six year old that earned me the stupidest hero name ever. How come he gets to be Spider-man and I'm Spider-girl? I'm older than him!" I paused. "Your expression tells me I took this too far. I'm shutting up."

        "We're going to the compound. Now."


At the genius' playground, there was talk of my ability to sense Peter's location. But my eyes were glued to the TV. Tony had a phone call with May, but I haven't a clue what about. My eyes were glued to the TV. Pete said something cheesy about the importance of family and how we'll always find each other, but I didn't even roll my eyes. They were, at the time, glued to the TV. The TV that was on a news station. The news station that flashed a picture of a young boy on the screen. A young boy that died that day. Because he was crushed under a van. A van hung from webbing. And I understood everything in that moment. I understood the reason Peter wanted me to have a choice. I understood what Stark had said about responsibility. The only emotion I could feel was guilt. And it was a painful stab to the stomach. I stood, frozen, staring at the flat screen like an idiot. The camera panned to show all the damage near Times Square. A lone bot was lying behind the reporter, bashed in and sprawled out on the pavement. I snapped back to the present and peered closer. As the men of science were still chatting away, I slipped through the door and was gone.

        Something was stuck in my head. It had barely registered at the time, but when Hammerhead had left the warehouse, he had dropped his suitcase on the ground, and it had clicked open. I had a glimpse, just a momentary glance, of a metal container of some sort. Whatever was in that suit case, it would lead me to Hammerhead. As I stepped out of the compound, a bot, still faithfully intent on my destruction, charged me. It was missing an arm, and lunged at me lopsided from the uneven weight. It managed to cut my unprotected arm before I smashed it into the ground. I winced. I pulled my suit over my body and tapped my spider emblem. The suit shrunk to size, putting pressure on my cut.

        "Ow." I held my arm and started to walk away, but then glanced back. Who knew, it could prove itself more useful than annoying. I webbed it to my back and headed off to the warehouse.

        When I swung into view, I chose to drop on the skylight. The deserted warehouse appeared to be truly deserted. I pulled up the glass sheet, attached a line and lowered myself down. The suitcase was nowhere to be found. That meant whatever was in it was either in police evidence or had been pinched by one of Hammerhead's men. Dead end. I turned to go, but something shiny caught my eye from behind a pile of rubble. I lifted it, stirring dust and causing me to cough. It was heavy and metal. It looked just like… I tore the death bot off my back and flipped it upside down. A plate that covered the underside was easily removed to reveal a hole the exact shape and size as the object in my other hand. Bingo. I knew there was a connection. I fit them together and noticed a little black button. I pressed it gently and something sharp popped out. A needle. The beetles were nearly useless in a fight. They must have had another purpose. And Hammerhead. I'd read the files. His ego usually kept him at the center of a fight, but he'd made his getaway from Times Square as soon as possible, leaving others for Peter to rumble with. Who, I suddenly realized, were not the same as the henchmen I saw in the suitcase exchange event. So Joseph avoided the news cameras and made sure the event wasn't traced back to him. And I was betting it had to do with whatever acid this bot was engineered to spit.

        "Monday, what's in this cartridge? And where else can I find it?"

        "Analyzing chemical makeup. Analysis complete. If you climb a little higher, I can scan the city for matches." I re-stuck the metal bug to my suit and scurried up the rope I had left. Monday searched for a needle in a haystack with ease for a few minutes, then brought up the results. "One match found. It should take you about ten minutes to reach your destination."

        "I'm betting I can cut that in half." Yet, before I took a step, I was grabbed from behind and pulled to the ground. "Peter, seriously. Let me go." I pushed myself up and looked him in the face. Well, mask. "I've got this."

        "I know." He grabbed a metal device the size of a fingernail from behind my neck and crushed it between his fingers. I tilted my head to one side. "GPS tracker. I disabled mine weeks ago. You have a lead?" I gave a dumbfounded nod. "Let's go."


        "Are you, like, sure this is the place, Sara?" We'd ended up on the south side of Brooklyn. I'd filled Pete in on all I knew so far, which wasn't much. "It just looks kinda… nice. And big." So it did. Especially compared to its run-down neighbors. Guverleph wasn't doing that great of a job at hiding.

        "I get the feeling our good friend Square Face has some expensive tastes. Let's try a back door." Behind the house was a yard with a little garden fit for a palace, complete with creatively trimmed shrubs. It was enclosed by an electric fence that was easily avoided. We walked past roses and manicured lawns. Peter stopped by a shrub that was the spitting image of an elephant balancing on a ball.

        "Come on, the gardener's just showing off now."

        "Here." I pulled up a window that lead to the basement. No alarm. "He's got an abnormal amount of trust in his fence." Peter swept an arm elegantly towards the opening.

        "Ladies first." I rolled my eyes under my mask and hopped down. The lights were off.

        "Clear." He stumbled down beside me. I found a switch and flipped it up. The harsh blue light revealed an extensive chemical workshop. I noticed containment suits hanging by the door. "Don't take off your mask." I quietly warned over my shoulder. There were racks of the containers identical to the one strapped to me like a pack. Some were empty, most were full of a clear blue liquid. "Monday, what's this capable of?" I questioned at a whisper.

        "I project loss of balance and lowered senses, clouded judgement, slowed heart function and general disorientation."

        "Lovely. Hope it doesn't catch on." I thought a minute. "Would it be addictive?"

        "Highly." Peter noted;

        "If they made this much of it, they must be pretty sure it'll be popular." I considered.

        "It doesn't have to be. Think about it. An injection from the 'death bots' and an automatic customer." I pulled a bug from a nearby shelf. Another slit right under the camera revealed itself. "Put your cash in the robots, get the drug in your arm. Bots don't negotiate prices. No face-to-face contact. No tracing this back to Hammerhead, except maybe some stories from shocked citizens from the Times Square incident. But their stories of what creature threw the cars will vary greatly. And I think the guys you fought there were hired just for the day."

        "I bet the death bots are programmed to wipe their memory if the police got ahold of them." I noticed a large computer in the middle of the room.

        "Do you think you can deactivate them from here? Or better yet get them to chase down Hammerhead?"

        "Um… yes? I mean no, probably, uh, maybe?"

        "Just try." Pete was consumed by a world made of ones and zeros. It was Greek to me. I started looking around. A sink, lots of test tubes, dozens of desks. Something here had to be useful.

        A short while later, we heard footsteps above us. I grabbed the spider-man by the wrist and pulled him behind some shelves. At the last moment I remembered the lights and threw a web ball at a switch. Several pairs of feet came clamoring down the narrow staircase.

        "Alright boys, let's send 'em off. I want this to go smoothly, no more bumps, see?" We watched from behind a rack of test tubes. Peter started towards them, but I pulled him back. I raised my index finger to my lips. The men got into the central control and typed for a few minutes. Then a ripple of happy beeps filled the room as all the bots lifted one by one and hovered in place. A goon opened a door and they streamed out into the open.

        "Alright, time to skip town. I don't know about you boys, but I'd rather not be around for the epidemic." They stampeded out the door. We slowly came out of our hiding places and walked out into the garden.

        "We're too late." He stated.

        "Yes. You couldn't disable them, then."

        "No." He paused. "But, I did reprogram them." I turned.

        "Where are they going?"

        "NYPD, if it worked. But they're still going to inject anyone they can on their way."

        "Hm, that's true. Hundreds of people will be injected."


        "New York tap water. I'd say it's harmless, but it depends on who you ask." We smiled, and heard a car engine starting. "Come on, we have a car to catch."


        Back upstate, May was pacing the compound. She engulfed both of us in a huge bear hug. I didn't resist.

        "You two! I've been so worried. And now I have to worry about both of you, out there, everyday…"

        "Sorry, Aunt May." We mumbled in unison. She had a few choice words for Stark, which I'm sure is what had kept her busy as she waited for us. As they discussed loudly, I walked over to my cousin and sat beside him.

        "I lifted a car today." He raised his eyebrows. "Actually, three cars." I stared at the ground. He nodded.

        "I, uh, heard about the boy." I inhaled slowly through my teeth.

        "A dozen people would have died if I hadn't caught it."

        "It's still hard."

        "Yeah. Responsibility, and all that." I bit my lip. May walked over to us.

        "Alright, guys, let's go home. I'm sure you're both exhausted, saving the world will wipe you out." She managed a wink.

        "Spider-girl, before you go, step into my lab a moment." I received a nod from May.

        "I'll call an Uber." Following into the laboratory, my feet made echoing footsteps.

        "So." The flat screen in his laboratory showed scores of metal robots piled up at the steps of a single police station. "Peter took out your tracker. I have to work on that." He turned on a computer and three flat blue holograms materialized. "You did good, kid." I gave a little smile.


        "Oh, and I'm working on a new suit. You know, I did ask Pepper about the first design. She found it, and I quote, 'absolutely adorable'."

        "It is adorable. That's just not really what I'm looking for. Um, Mr. Stark?"

        "Tony. Mr. Stark was my father, the less reminders of him the better."

        "Oh, then, uh, Tony? What are the chances of a giant invisible alien ship flying over New York a few days ago?" He raised an eyebrow and clicked a few keys on his computer. An image of a huge, black, flying aircraft carrier appeared.

        "Chances are high if you're referring to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. It has reflective panels for cloaking. How did you see it?"

        "I sensed it, actually. I think my spidey-sense is a lot stronger than Peter's."

        "Huh. Well, the helicarrier's not a threat, so it's also less accurate. So, what'll it be? You gonna continue to be a web-slinging nuisance, Spider-girl?" I looked him straight in the eye.



Meet me at Coney Island


It's late. The park'll be closed.


Kinda the point. I have something to show you.

        He showed in a short enough amount of time I knew he hadn't taken the subway.

        "Hi. Wow. That's awesome." He referred to my handiwork. "Must have taken you forever."

        "It required some planning. And it's not the only announcement I have." He raised his eyebrows.


        "I enrolled in an online college. I want a degree in English. Thinking about writing."

        I saw his expression and laughed.

        "What? You don't think I could make it as an author?"

        "I just am surprised that's what you're interested in. I mean, good for you."

        "You might not guess it, but I can have a real way with words if you open me up." I thought for a moment. "Not unlike a music box. You hand out the key to your box as if it's nugatory. I designate my friends with selectiveness of an eminent level." He beamed.

        "I'd read your book."

        "You might be in it." I ran my fingers through my hair and stared into the deep sky. "I'm feeling some ice cream. Come on, we deserve it.

        "Actually, there's a gelato place not far from here. I know the owner, he's great. Swinging or walking?" I admired my masterpiece a little longer and turned to him, sliding my arm across his shoulders.

        "Let's walk." When we reached the park entrance we scaled it together, leaving a web across the street lamps up to the top of the ferris wheel. It waved gently back and forth in the wind like a sail of a home bound ship. Tomorrow, people would see it. They would take pictures. They would fight and theorize, but for now, it was just for us. The pale, moon lit letters stretched over yards to spell out to New York;

I am

Sign up to rate and review this story