“I’m pretty sure thats private property.”
Miles gasps and jumps, whipping around anxiously before freezing.
“Y-You’re-You’re Spiderman.” He drops his spray can, buckling slightly against the wall.
Peter shifts just slightly, takes a step forward, and Miles inches away. The kid looks like hes about to bolt, but Peter raises his hands cautiously.
“Hey, hey, you’re not hurting nobody.” He promises. “I’m not mad, I….”
His gaze shifts to the Iron Man piece behind Miles. The placement of color, and intrinsic realism that displays his hero, his father.
“I’m impressed.” He says gently. Miles slowly relaxes and turns to the graffiti. He looks up at it, slowly takes a few steps back, before he’s standing next to Peter.
“He saved my Dad,” Miles says, swallowing thickly. “It’s the least I could do..”
Peter nods slowly, just staring. A few brief moments of silence passes between them, before Miles notices Peter’s shoulders beginning to shake, the way his head dips down, the way he places his hands over his face.
“M-Mr. Spiderman?” Miles asks awkwardly, placing an unsure hand on his shoulder.
Peter chokes out a laugh at that, but it dissolves into a sob, and suddenly he’s on his knees, his body shaking violently as he tries to keep himself together. Miles bends down next to him, and, still unsure of what to do, decides to try and rub his back to comfort the distraught hero.
“I couldn’t save him. I should have saved him, it’s all my fault-It’s-” Spiderman let out another heart wrenching sob into the dead of night, and all Miles could think about how weird this situation was.
You meet a superhero and you expect them to be big and stern and strong, but what he sees now is a broken man who, come to think of it, doesnt sound that much older than Miles himself.
“Hey, hey, Mr. Spiderman, it’s not-it’s not your fault-” He reassures, but even himself begins to feel the weight of the world crawl onto his shoulders. A heavy lump forms in his chest, and rolls up his throat, and he swallows thickly as he listens to Peter cry next to him.
Eventually the tears die down, but Miles doesnt move. They are stuck in time, in a moment he feels that shouldn’t be broken.
“He was-he was… like a father to me.” Peter whispers to the ground. “He… He was all I had.” He chokes just slightly, sniffles, and then turns his head.
Miles tilts his own curiously, before he freezes up as he notices Spiderman beginning to roll up his mask just slightly to wipe his nose. Miles averts his gaze, giving him his privacy.
After finishing his sniffling, Peter rolls his masks back down, and looks up at the wall.
“He saved all of us.” Miles says softly. “I was… alone for so…. so long.” His voice shakes. “And then one day I wake up and theyre home again…”
His mind races to the months prior to this very moment. He thinks of his mother and father, disoriented and confused, but alive.
Peter looks at him quietly, the mask hiding his own expression.
“Sometimes…… we gotta lose the people we love,” Miles says quietly. “To cherish the life we have.”
Peter looks away, back at the ground.
“It happened to you too.” Miles says. He thinks back to the years in the streets, the loneliness, the terror. The walls he destroyed with his own feelings, not a care in the world. The anger he felt at the universe.
“You disappeared. So many people did. But he brought them all back. Isnt that worth something?”
Another silent moment passes between them. For a moment, as he looks up at the Iron Man displayed on the wall, the word “Hero” under the image, he remembers he should be in trouble.
But he isnt…
“I cant do it.” Peter breathes, and Miles snaps up to look at him.
“Everyone is depending on me to-to do the right thing. Nobody is saying it, but we all know that-that its up to me, now.” He says shakily.
“What if I mess up? What if I disappoint him? What if im not the man he wanted me to become?” His voice drops.
“What if I cant be better?”
Miles stares at him, gaping just slightly, and then sits up. Peter watches him go, but is shocked to see the boy spin around.
“You’re freaking Spiderman!” Miles squeaks, pointing at him. “You dont have to try at all.” He says softly. “You’ve already got it. You’re the best we have-that we could ever ask for. Nobody is doubting you. The only person who doesn’t see that is you.” He says.
“If Iron Man, the guy who saved the universe, didnt have an ounce of faith in you, he wouldnt have bothered in the first place.”
The moment the words leave his mouth, he wants to take them back. Talk about being a huge dick to a mourning hero, who could totally kick the shit out of him and make it look like an accident if he wanted to.
Spiderman stares at him for a long, brief silence, and Miles really is afraid he’s going to swing at him.
But he doesnt.
Peter stands, walks forward, and then grabs the kid, pulling him into a fierce hug.
And while Miles returns it, all he can think is oh my god i am hugging spiderman right now
When Peter steps back, he chuckles wetly and clears his throat.
“You’re a good kid, Miles. We should hang out some time.” He says simply and thwips out a web to a nearby building.
“I-uh-Yeah! Yeah, totally!” He squeaks out, totally caught off guard.
Peter gives him a firm nod, before looking up and disappearing into the night.
Just as he disappears, Miles frowns, before looking up into the sky.
“Wait, how do you know my name!”