girl yank down that mask and go at it

Name Withheld Part 4

I stared wide eyed as I felt the cold metal of the gun press against my temple. My whole body trembled in fear because I knew that my father wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger if he needed too. I saw Red Hood stop in his tracks when he made eye contact with me and I could have sworn that he growled slightly.
“Why do you insist on fucking with my business Red Hood?” I heard my dad ask from behind me.
“Why? Because what you’re doing is illegal and now I’ve got you down for a hostage situation.” Red Hood said as he shook his head.
“Ha! What I am doing is none of your concern!” Black Mask snapped at him, pushing the gun a little harder against my temple.
“Oh god…” I choked out as my body trembled from the fear that was coursing through me.
“Just let the girl go Black Mask. This is between you and me.” Red Hood said as he stepped forward slightly.
My father yanked me back against his chest as he walked towards the now open window. “I don’t think that’s possible Red, you see, I don’t feel like dealing with you today so I’m just going to let you deal with her. What do you say Angel Face?” He asked as he peered around at me.
“Please don’t do this…” I whimpered. “Oh, god please…” I could feel the tears beginning to build in my eyes. I knew what my father was planning but I didn’t think he would follow through with it.
“Oh sweetheart you know that I have too. I promise it’s nothing personal. Say hello to your mother for me.” Black Mask said as he pushed my body towards the open window.
I let out a scream as my body fall backward and through the opening of the window. I felt a hand grab my wrist and hold me in place before my body could go full force out the broken window. I turned to see my father holding onto me just tight enough to where I was suspended in the air. I turned and grabbed his hand to give myself some extra assurance.
“Make your choice Red! I don’t have all day here. You can either save the girl or let her die, the choice is yours.” He called out to Red Hood.
I looked over at Red Hood with wide and terrified eyes. “Please help me!” I called out to him, my tone shaking from fear.
Red Hood was visibly strained over the decision but he slowly lowered his guns and held his hand out to my father. “Give me the girl and I’ll leave you alone for the night.” He stated as he stepped forward slightly, making sure to keep his eye on Black Mask.
Black Mask chuckled and looked towards me with an unsympathetic look. “Like I said, nothing personal Angel Face.” He stated as he let go of my wrist and shook his arm free.
I stared at my father with wide eyes as my body fell backwards and my head turned to look at Red Hood. Everything was going in slow motion as I saw him move into a running position and took off running towards me in a full sprint with his guns placed back in their holsters. My father had taken off in a sprint towards the front door, the fucking coward, and didn’t look back as I continued to fall to my demise.
As I felt the air begin to speed past my face I heard someone hitting the ground and sliding towards me as a hand reached out quickly taking hold of the hand that I still had outstretched from when I was being held by my father. My legs dropped to where they were underneath me and my body swung to where it was pressed up against the building, nearly knocking the wind out of me, and I quickly looked up at Red Hood with wide eyes.
“Please don’t let go!” I cried out as I grabbed onto his arm with my other hand.
“I won’t let go, I promise, but I need you to do as I say so I can get you back inside.” He grunted as his grip on my wrist tightened.
I nodded my head as I felt one of my shoes slip from my foot and plummet to the street below. “Okay! Just, get me back inside!” I said as my voice cracked from the terror that was coursing through me.
“I need you to put your feet against the wall and act as if you’re rock climbing, then use your other hand to grab on that little ledge above you and pull up.” Red Hood said, grunting as he reached down and grabbed my arm with his other hand. “Ready?” He grunted.
I nodded my head as I placed my feet against the wall and looked up at him. “I’m ready!” I called out.
Red Hood nodded his head as he began to pull on my arm. “Start walking up the wall!” He called out to me.
I did as I was told and moved my feet in a walking motion as Red Hood began to pull me back into the office. I was back inside the office within a matter of seconds and I was sitting on the floor trying to catch my breath.
“Th-Thank you…” I said as I looked over at him.
“No problem, saving damsels in distress is one of my specialties.” He said as he stood up from his spot on the ground. “Now, why are you here?” He asked.
I froze slightly as I looked down at my hands. “I… I don’t know… I was out running some errands when I blacked out and ended up here…” I said in what I was hoping to sound terrified.
Red Hood studied my face for a few moments before sighing and nodding his head as he held his hand out to me. “Well, I’m glad I got here in time when I did. Let’s get you home.” He said as he gently helped me up and into his arms.
I gasped and wrapped my arms around his neck when he picked me up suddenly. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“Well I can’t really walk out the front door with you so I was going to utilize the open window in front of me.” He stated as he began to walk forward.
“What?!” I nearly screeched as I hugged onto him tightly. “I am not going out that window again!” I snapped at him.
“Well sorry doll, but it’s kind of my, our, only option right now.” He hummed as he pulled his grappling gun from his side pocket and pointed it towards the building that was across from us. “Better hold on tight sugar, grappling tends to be a little rough for first timers.” He said and shot the hook out to the building.
“Fuck!” I screamed as I clung to Red Hood for dear life.
We sped through the air at an alarming rate, the wind rushing past us quickly, and the breath leaving my lungs from the thrill. We landed on the rooftop with ease and he set me down on my feet gently.
“You’re safe here. Now try not to get caught by anyone again because I might be around to save your sweet ass again. Although, I’m pretty sure I will be.” He said as he smacked my ass and gripped it.
I squeaked and quickly reached up to slap him but stopped when I remembered his helmet. “You’re lucky you have that helmet on buddy otherwise you would have a nice hand sized print on your face for that.” I hissed at him.
Red Hood chuckled and shook his head as he stepped back from me with his hands held up in a defensive manner. “Alright, alright, you should get home though. Being out this late is never a good idea.” He stated and with that he grappled away from the building and out of my sight.
I ran to the edge of the roof top and looked over to where I saw his figure disappearing into the night. I blinked a few times before feeling the adrenaline still coursing through my body at full force. I felt my heart begin to skip and the edges of my vision began to blur. I felt my heart begin to constrict in one of the most painful ways, a way that I was all too familiar with, and I dropped down to my knees as I tried to control my breathing with my eyes shut tight.
After a few moments everything calmed down and my breathing became even once more. I let out a sigh as I leaned my head back against the ledge of the rooftop and ran a hand through my hair. I reached into the top of my dress and pulled out my phone and dialing Jason’s number.
Hey doll how was your little errand?” I heard him answer.
“Jason…” I said in a pained tone.
“Sarah, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” His voice was filled with concern.
“I… I need you to come get me… M-My heart… It hurts again…” I groaned as I clutched at my chest in pain.
“Where are you?” He asked and I could hear him shuffling around.
“I’m on the… Rooftop across from…” I let out a groan of pain, “Across from Tiffany’s on… Oh fuck… On 38th street!” I gasped as I felt my heart clench again.
I’m on my way right now Sarah! Hold on!” He called out.
“God this fucking sucks.” I groaned as I tried to control my breathing once again.
I know it does but you need to steady your breathing okay? I’m almost there.” He said to me and I couldn’t help but smile.
“Looks like I’ll have to heroes coming to my rescue today.” I snickered but winced from the action.
Two heroes? You must have had a fun night huh doll?” He said with a chuckle.
“You could say that again. Although after what happened tonight seeing you is probably going to make up for the window incident.” I stated.
Window incident? What the hell do you do in your spare time? Other than me that is.” He said.
“Apparently getting saved by Gotham vigilantes. How far away are you?” I asked with a groan.
I’m coming up the stairs to the rooftop right now.” He said.
When I heard the door to the rooftop open I raised an eyebrow with a smile. “You’re fast Todd.” I said.
“Yeah well, when it comes to you I’ll be as fast as you need me to be. Plus, you sounded like you were in a lot of pain so I knew you needed me to hurry.” He stated as he walked towards me.
“Oh my hero!” I said in a dramatic tone, but winced when my heart clenched in pain again. “Get me off this damn roof.” I said as I held my arms out to him.
Jason chuckled as he nodded his head and gently picked me up from off the ground. “So, your place or mine?” He asked.
“Yours, you know this. And when we get there we are totally going to have the best sex of my life because my adrenaline is going strong and you look hot as hell right now.” I said with a roll of my eyes and wrapped my arms around his neck for support.
“Ha! You don’t need to ride this bull until we make sure your heart is stable enough to handle me.” He said in a teasing voice as he carried me down and out of the building.

@dc-comics-imagines @kazuha159 @themortallife @jadedhillon

The Violet Haze ||  Peter Parker

Disclaimer: GIF is NOT mine and I would like to give full credit to the owner.

Blurb:  She’s the nemesis and he’s the hero.  

Warnings:  Lame sarcasm…Yeah, you’ve been warned.

 Today I stand here at the Bank of Queens, where witnesses say they saw a ‘purple blur’ robbing the bank of all of its profits. Once again we see evidence that the notorious criminal known only as the ‘Violet Haze’ continues to wreak havoc on the innocent civilians of Queens. The villain’s malevolent crimes and ability to remain completely anonymous continues to confound the police department, leaving us with nothing further to report. The city’s only hope of stopping this nefarious criminal lies in our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

“Aunt May, have you seen my Star Wars drawers?” Peter calls out from his room, clothes flying through the air as he sorts through them in a frantic search to find the certain piece of clothing.

“Have you looked in the laundry?” May replies from the kitchen.

Peter ran down the hallway and into the small washing room. A neat pile of folding lay in a basket on top of the washing machine. Peter tore through the piles, carefully placing each item back in its original place, not wanting to provoke the wrath of Aunt May.

Peter’s eyes went wide at the sight of the fabric. A small gasp escapes his lips at the sight of his favourite item of clothing.

“Aunt May, did you put my draws in with your washing again?” Peter groans, holding the material in his hands.

“Yes, honey, why?” May calls back, her tone cool and collected.

“Because…” Peter drawls out and holds up his drawers. “The last time I checked, I didn’t buy pink drawers.”

Aunty May stifles a small giggle, her hand shooting up to cover her evident smile. Tom releases a loud groan, clearly not seeing the same humour Aunt May does in this situation.

“I’m sorry, honey.” May apologises, her voice wavering from her recent fits of laughter. “But they’re actually purple.”

Tom groans once again before trudging back into his room to get dressed. His eyes wander up to the clock hanging above his bed, earning a loud curse to escape his lips. He is going to be late…again.

Pulling on his shamefully purple Empire Strikes Back drawers, he snatches up his backpack. Sprinting down the hallway, he manages to reach the door in record time, but it brought to a halt by Aunt May’s voice. He turns swiftly, to see her, hands on her hips and eyebrows raised.

Peter rolls his eyes and jogs over to her, giving her a light peck on her cheek before running out the door. He could hear Aunt May’s, ‘Have a good day!’ fading behind him as he ran down the staircase to the bus stop.

Peter tugs his sleeve back to reveal his watch. 8:13 A.M. Of course I missed the bus…Again.

He rolls his wrist over to reveal his web shooter. A small smirk plays on his wrists as he runs down the closest alley to change into the Spidey Suit. He scans the alley for any witnesses before stripping off his school clothes, leaving him in nothing but his drawers. He snatches up his Spider-Man suit and pulls on each leg, shimmying it up but struggling from the tightness of the fabric.

“Damn. Spandex.” Peter grunts as he reefs on the pants.

“Said every single hormonal female in Queens.” An unknown voice chimes, causing Peter to trip over his own feet, sending him flying head first into a dumpster. His head collides into it with a loud, ‘Bang’.

The girl winces and covers her mouth with her fist. “Ooh, that’s gotta hurt. But I’m not quite sure what would hurt more, your ego or your head, the line is rather thin between the two.”

“Who the hell are you?” Peter growls, keeping his face hidden from the stranger.

“Are you even allowed to say ‘hell’? Isn’t there some kind of blood pact you make not to say bad words like that? Aw, man, PMSing mums are going to have your tight, spandex wrapped butt on a platter.” The voice teases.

Peter manages to tug on the rest of his suit and yanks his mask over his face.

“Next thing you know they’ll be raising your drawers on a flagpole and saluting them.”

Peter spins around searching for the intruder. “Yoohoo! Up here.” Peter’s head snaps up.

A girl sits a few stories above him on a balcony railing, looking down at him. She wiggles her fingers at him. He studies her face, trying to recognise the strangely familiar features she carries.

The girl lets out a small scowl before smacking her head with the palm of her hand. “Right! I forgot to introduce myself.”

The girl stands and begins to walk confidently along the railing. When she reaches the end of the railing she continues to walk off the edges, twisting her body into a somersault. Peter’s finally comes to his senses, springing into action to save her.

He dives up the wall, his hand just grazing her waist, but just as he touches her she disappears. Peter falls back to the ground, poised into a crouching position, his mind still trying to process her disappearance. He spins around recklessly, looking for the mystery girl.

“My name is Robin, but you may know me as ‘Violet Haze’,” her voice breaks through his confusion. “And I’m your nemesis.”

He spins to see her. She leans with her back against the wall, arms crossed. She pushes herself off of the wall and walks towards him. Her suede black leather jacket appears to be worn, obviously appearing to be the only jacket she owns. Her deep purple strapless top is engraved with intricate patterns lacing the edges and is tied together with a belt at the waist. Her black jeans are torn and faded and her black leather boots look tattered and old.

A small tattoo is engraved into the flesh on her collarbone, the word ‘reborn’ inscribed in Russian inked into her skin. Her hair wisps behind her, a deep shade of purple weaving its way through her unkempt locks. Each step causes another strand to loosen only to be whipped over her shoulders following each change of direction and gust of the wind.

“Like what you see, Spiderling?” Violet smirks at him, crossing her arms and jutting her hip out, clearly revelling in her ability to make him uncomfortable.

“I-I wasn’t stare-I mean-It’s Spider-Man-wait, y-you’re a villain?” Peter winces at his own inability to remain calm around the girl.

“I suppose in everyone else’s eyes I am…” Violet begins, her eyes roaming over the small alley’s grungey brick walls. “But everything’s not always what it seems.”

“How did you disappear? Is that even possible?” Peter steps forwards cautiously.

“Oh, you mean this?” Violet transports to behind Peter and taps him on the shoulder.

Peter yelps at her touch and stumbles away.

“Tada.” She shrugs, an unimpressed look on her face.

“That’s…incredible. You can…teleport…anywhere?” Peter takes a step towards her once more, admiring her skin and the way it glows with a purple haze.

“Sure, I guess,” she shrugs once again. “Let’s just say I take mooning to a whole new level.”

“You’re incredible! I mean, you could go anywhere! Your skin must have a stronger cell composition than most other people in this population! That’s incredible!” Peter circles around her, rambling clearly dumbfounded by her abilities. Peter scrutinises her purple aura, clearly dumbfounded by the scientific impossibilities withheld in her skin. “Why purple?”

“I could ask the same about your Star Wars drawers.”

Although Violet couldn’t see it, Peter cringed, his face flushing at the thought of her seeing him in nothing but his drawers.

“Don’t worry, Webster, your junk is safe in the perve vial trunk.” Violet says, throwing him a casual wink.

“Wait, back up, you’re my nemesis?” Peter pinches the bridge of his nose between his fingers.

Violet shrugs nonchalantly. “Apparently.”

“Wow, that’s a first.”

“Don’t take it personally, Web-head, a lot of people regard me as such.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because most of them have the intellectual capacity of a peanut.”

A siren wails in the distance, the sound increasing as it approaches their location.

“Well! That’s my cue.” Violet claps her hands together and begins to saunter away from Peter.

“Wait! Why are they after you? What did you do?” Peter jogs after her, still confused as to why she was being saught after.

“I may or may not have robbed a bank, but trust me, they have it all wrong. I don’t just steal for the hell of it.”

“Then why do you?”

She shoots Peter a sideways glance. “I have my reasons.”

“Look, I’m really sorry about this, but I gotta take you in.” Peter swiftly shoots a web at her wrists, securing them together in a sticky bind.

“Well, that certainly escalated quickly.” Violet stares at her bound wrists in fascination. “Wow, is this carbon fibre?” She says in fascination, trying to distract Peter with his own bait.

“No, it’s actually-wait, no. I’m arresting you, stop interrupting.” Peter scowls, leading her by the arm onto the bustling street.

“Right, sorry, my bad, proceed oh man of upright morals and extremely tight pants.” Violet raises her hands and salutes him mockingly. “Wait, you forgot to read me my rights. As an American born and bred, I enjoy to flaunt my ability to have rights, ‘Oh say can you see?’ yada yada, red, white and blue. Peace.”

Peter glances at his watch once more and lets out a loud groan. “I’m late.”

“Seeing as though that isn’t a pregnancy test, I’m guessing the dread in your voice is… School?”

“Yes-I mean-no-I mean-How did you?”

“Your secret is safe with me, Parker.” Violet accentuates his name and winks at him. “Oh, and don’t forget to breathe.”

Peter’s eyebrows furrow in confusion. “Why would I forget to-“

Peter’s breath is stolen from his lungs, the words failing to complete his sentence. In a flash of violet haze, he stands in a small toilet cubicle which just so happens to belong to his school, Violet standing beside him.

“That. Was. Awesome!” Peter pants out, unable to contain his excitement.

“Glad I could help a fellow vigilante out,” Violet straightens herself out. “Catch you later, Parker. Oh, and before I forget, bicarb soda soak for 5 minutes then cold wash.”

“What’s that for?” Peter asks in a state of flustered disarray.

“Your drawers, Peter.” She says, a small smile forming on her lips.

And with that she was gone. Peter stands in the small cubicle, a small cloud of purple mist being Violet’s only trace of existence. The very girl he was meant to protect the city from may be the only reason he’ll keep saving it.

Voices broke into Peter’s world, snapping out of his trance.

“Did you hear about the orphanage?” one says.

“No, what happened?” his friend replies.

“Someone left a stack of cash right on their doorstep, the exact amount stolen from the bank. All the kids said that there was a purple cloud around the money when they found it. Weird, huh?”

“Huh, like Robin Hood or something?”

Peter zoned out once again to their voices. Robin. Peter repeats the name she told him when the first met. A small smile tugs on Peter’s lips. I guess she was right. Not everything is as it seems.Peter pulls off his mask and holds the fabric in between his fingers, a violet haze misting over the lenses.

anonymous asked:

... I had to remind myself that johnny going on a date with each spiderclones and related spiders except peter parker is NOT canon. Weirdly enough, im more disappointed at the lost opportunity of ben decking out johnny's room with various spider terrariums with each spiderperson he has a date with.

Well, he did kiss the clone-of-Peter version of Jessica Drew in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, and in 616 he and Ben Reilly have some moments. When the FF and Avengers were presumed dead during Heroes Reborn, Ben got pretty emotional over Johnny specifically (which makes sense – at the time he thought it was him who’d had all those early squabbling teamup adventures with Johnny).

but also, related to this ficlet where the spider-clones are all siblings, but Peter’s the only one who got bit by the spider:


1) Ben

“Listen,” Spider-Man said, sounding a little breathless, and okay, maybe that one was on Johnny. He probably should’ve given Spider-Man a little more warning before he kissed him. Like, maybe just enough to roll up the mask. 

“That’s never been my strong suit,” Johnny said, trying for seductive and probably failing. It was hard to be coy when you were trying to scrape the taste of lycra off your tongue. He ran his hands up Spider-Man’s chest. “And can I just say, damn, you look strong in that suit?”

Spider-Man’s laughter was high and nervous. He grabbed Johnny’s hands, holding them still. “That’s – super flattering, really, I am so flattered, but I’m also –”

“Taken?” Johnny asked, sighing. “Not interested in men?”

“No, he’s – I mean, I’M single, totally single, not so sure about the other thing, kind of a confusing time in a young vigilante’s life, you know these experimental college years!” Spider-Man released Johnny’s hands, mostly so he could wave his own around like an over-excited chicken. “Speaking of, time flies, crime to catch, you know the drill! See you, Torch!”

Then he scampered down the fire escape with significantly less grace than Johnny was accustomed to seeing from him.

“Ah, Torchie,” he said to himself, watching Spider-Man go. “You still got it.” He pitched his voice louder than normal and said, “So I can kiss you again, right?”

Spider-Man made a series of strangled noises, which definitely wasn’t a ‘no.’

2) Kaine

The second time Johnny kissed Spider-Man, he had to lean up on his toes. Spider-Man didn’t kiss back this time. He hadn’t really kissed back last time, either, but he’d sort of gasped a little and Johnny thought there might have been a split-second of hesitation.

This time, Spider-Man just went very, very still.

“Are you taller than normal?” he asked.

“How is this my life?” Spider-Man asked. He took Johnny none too gently by the shoulders and separated them. “You. Stay. Over. There.”

“Kind of getting mixed signals here,” Johnny said. “Considering last time and all.”

Spider-Man squinted down at him. He definitely looked taller than usual. “Did he – fuck, would he not tell us?”

“Would who not tell us what?” Johnny asked. 

“Fuck,” said Spider-Man.

“You know, I’ve never heard you swear before,” Johnny said. “It’s kind of hot.”

“Are you actually this dumb, or are you making fun of me?” Spider-Man asked. “Because you cannot possibly be this fucking dumb.”

“Wow, save the sweet talk, Spidey,” Johnny said, scowling.

Spider-Man sucked in a breath like he was about to go off, but Johnny was saved by the flash of a camera.

“Wow, it’s Spider-Man!” said Peter Parker, professional pest. How Parker always managed to show up at the wrong place at the wrong time, Johnny would never know. He was going to get himself punched in that (pretty cute, kind of – Johnny had always had a thing for lanky brunet nerds, a fact he tried not to think about too hard in light of his brother-in-law) face one of these days. “Mr. Osborn, would you BELIEVE Spider-Man is RIGHT HERE, on this VERY STREET we just SO HAPPENED to turn down?!”

Norman Osborn stroked his chin. Johnny bristled a little; Parker should really know better than to hang around a bastard like that, even if he knew from the tabloids that Parker was best friends with Norman Osborn’s only son. 

“Yes,” Osborn said. “How very… coincidental.”

“Fuck this,” Spider-Man said. He stepped out on the curb and hailed a cab. “I hate my life, I hate my life, I haaaaaate my liiiiiiiiiife.”

A cab pulled up and Spider-Man climbed inside. He was 100% for sure taller than usual.

“Weird,” said Johnny.

3) Jessica

Contrary to what Sue and certain tabloids thought, Johnny could take a hint. Spider-Man had thought about it and decided he wasn’t interested in Johnny. It stung a little (it stung a pretty impossible lot) but Johnny could accept that. A few more weeks of moping and he’d move on.

Spider-Man was his friend, first and foremost. Johnny wasn’t going to let his trampled feelings get in the way of a good old-fashioned team-up.

He hadn’t meant to turn his head at the exact same moment Spider-Man did; their faces brushed together. Not a kiss. Not really. 

Close enough for Johnny.

“Oh,” Spider-Man said, very quietly, and, head tilted, leaned in again. It was a strange, close-mouthed kiss through the mask, but Johnny’s lips tingled after.

Spider-Man sighed, then clumsily patted at Johnny’s chest. His voice had been very growly all day, overly deep, like he was aiming for a Christian Bale sort of thing. “Nope. Still like girls. But that was super nice.”

“Oh,” Johnny said, trying not to sound too disappointed.

“But like,” Spider-Man said. “Maybe try again next week! When I look slightly taller. Not a lot taller. Slightly taller.”

“Uh,” Johnny said. “Okay?”

“And only if I don’t sound blond,” Spider-Man said.

“I don’t really get what’s going on with you lately, Spidey,” Johnny admitted.

Spider-Man sighed. “Trust me – on these days, I’m gonna write a book.”

4) Ben, Take 2

“Oh, this is the famous family luck in action,” Spider-Man said. “Listen, I’m going to run away now, but only because this is awkward in ways you can’t possibly understand, not because you don’t have a chance! Hey, check out that cute photographer!”

The cute photographer was Peter Parker again, go figure. By the time Johnny looked back, Spider-Man was running.

“This was not the deal!” Parker yelled at Spider-Man’s retreating back.

“Sorry, random citizen!” Spider-Man shouted over his shoulder.

Johnny was beginning to regret his affections.

5) Kaine & Jessica

There were two Spider-Men. Neither of them was the right height. One of them had a little girl clinging to his back.

“Uh,” Johnny said.

“Alternate universe!” the shorter Spider-Man said, too quickly.

“Clones!” the taller said at the exact same time.

“Clones! From an alternate universe!” said the shorter one. “Gotta love this wacky superhero lifestyle we lead, huh?”

“Urgh,” said the taller one. “Aracely, don’t yank on my mask.”

“You said we were going for ice cream,” said the little girl. She gave Johnny a gap-toothed smile. “Human Torch! Come with us for ice cream. You want… strawberry!”

She wasn’t wrong.

6) Peter Parker

“Oh,” Johnny said, staring down at Spider-Man’s maskless face. He knew that slightly crooked nose, that messy brown hair, the curve of that jaw. Peter Parker was the man beneath the mask. “This makes no sense at all.”

Agatha Harkness’ hand landed feather light on his shoulder. “The truth rarely does.”

“But it’s him, right? It’s really him?” He didn’t know why he was asking. He knew it was, deep in his soul, sure in a way Johnny had rarely known himself to be sure about anything. He watched the slight rise and fall of Peter’s chest, the dark curve of his eyelashes. He was so still. “What do I do?”

“He’s cursed, placed in an enchanted sleep,” Agatha said. “And here you are, the dashing young hero. What do you think you should do?”

Johnny could practically hear Reed scoff, Sue’s skepticism, Ben’s flippant denial. He swallowed. “But that’s not real, right? That’s not how real life works.”

“Young man,” said Agatha, gesturing. “Look at your real life and tell me something can’t be real.”

Johnny nodded. If he knew one thing, it was that he loved Spider-Man – he’d loved him without knowing his name or his face, for years, before he knew what this feeling truly was. He wanted him, but he loved him first – loved him unselfishly, the kind of love he hadn’t known he could have for people who weren’t Sue, Reed and Ben.

Johnny ducked his head and pressed his lips to Spider-Man’s slightly parted ones. He palmed his cheek and pressed their foreheads together and said, “Hey, Webhead. Time to wake up.”

Peter’s eyelashes fluttered.

“But I don’t understand,” Johnny said later, sitting side by side with Peter at the Statue of Liberty. “I’ve seen you and Spider-Man together. You take photos of him. How do you do it?”

“Really fancy mirror tricks,” Peter said. He sighed, ducking his head. “I’ve got two brothers and one sister and some extra suits. I – they don’t do it often. They can’t, they don’t have powers. But whenever I need to prove that Peter Parker isn’t Spider-Man…”

He waved a hand.

“Wow,” Johnny said. “Okay. That explains things. I’m pretty sure I have kissed like, all your siblings.”

“I know,” Peter said. “They rated you.”

“What?” Johnny squawked. “They rated me?!”

“Kind of low,” Peter said. “Maybe they were trying to keep my expectations down.”

“They rated me low?” Johnny said.

“Ben gave you an A for effort,” Peter said, snickering. Johnny made an outraged noise.

“Oh,” he said, leaning forward. “Oh, I am going to show you effort, Peter Parker.”