FIRST IMPRESSIONS #2
So here I am again! This time I have the part 2 of my first fanfiction about Spider-Man where our protagonist (Thalia) is going through too much for her and everything is out of control. This is more angst than I pretended but I kinda like the way this is going. Anyway, enjoy!
The redhead was in a poorly lit room with a couple of lamps and entertained herself by punching a punching bag, in the center of which was a red spray drawing of a spider. The sweat running down his forehead was proof that she had been there for several hours. She was tired, frustrated, angry, but one more punch was the difference between winning and losing. She didn’t bother to turn when the sound of the door indicated that someone had entered the room but was forced to stop when that person entered her range of vision. A blond boy with brown eyes dressed in a white shirt and dress pants was staring at her so intently that she was beginning to feel uncomfortable.
-This had better be important -she growled, taking off the gloves that protected her knuckles to grab her water bottle.
-I wouldn’t bother going down here if It wasn’t -he replied annoyed- Prepare yourself, I want you out in a hour.
Thalia spat out the water in surprise and coughed several times to catch her breath. With her hand she wiped the water from her face, which was now glowing with joy and impatience.
-Out? Back to work? I’m going for my suit!
Before the girl could take three steps he cut her off.
-Civil clothes, Thalia. Recon mission, they won’t risk you.
As if it were a balloon deflating, Thalia turned to look at him disappointed just in time to receive a folder of papers that he had thrown at her.
-Vigilance, actually. That is your goal. Do not lose sight of him and better that you are not discovered this time. You are in testing period again, do not risk it.
-Okay -she growled in frustration, heading for the exit much more slowly this time.
The redhead only turned with a raised eyebrow.
-You should go see your father.
Thalia’s heart stirred uneasily, struggling between guilt and pride.
-It’s none of your business -she muttered resentfully, opening the door and slamming it shut.
Later on the streets of New York.
-Target in sight, radio silence until further notice -the girl whispered before turning off the hearing aid hidden in her ear.
Captain America in all his glory was a couple of meters from her, with a group of men and women he was helping to train in the park. They stretched and flexed as she sat under a tree drinking water and pretending she was enjoying a peaceful morning.
When more than half an hour had passed without anything interesting happening, Thalia simply let her imagination run wild. Spider-Man’s words were repeated over and over in his head since their last meeting. Anger and frustration filled her and focused on her fist, which began to squeeze the water bottle she was holding until it doubled over. With an eye on Captain America who had now been joined by Sam, she got up to drop the bottle and then buy herself another at a stall a few meters from her position. This also served as a cover, pretending to be normal something she hadn’t known for a year and a half at least. That was what she didn’t like about vigilance, too much time alone with herself. For a year now she had been trying not to be left alone with her own thoughts, which were arguing with each other at a speed that was difficult to continue reviewing her greatest mistakes and criticizing her exploits to be better.
So deep in thought was she that didn’t see the person she ended up colliding. He was a boy a little taller than she, with curly brown hair and edgy chocolate eyes, wearing plain jeans and a shirt with an atom joke on it. The boy was handsome but he was a bundle of nerves, he just apologized and asked if she was okay.
-Peter Parker -he introduced himself with a nervous smile after helping her up.
-Nice to meet you, Parker -she said absently looking around.
It seemed as if the boy was waiting for her to introduce herself and that made her feel a little uncomfortable.
-Thalia -she finally said- Thalia Strand.
-Nice name -the boy smiled almost relieved that the girl wanted to continue talking- Do you come around often?
-Not really -she replied, her gaze wandering around the park almost about to panic because she couldn’t find Captain America.
-Have you lost something? I can help?-the boy continued offering himself.
She looked him one last time, up and down, making the boy more nervous at times.
-I’ll manage on my own, thanks -her response was a little too abrupt but she wasn’t going to stay to apologize.
She left the park in the direction of the busy streets and looked everywhere. How could someone as famous as Captain America go unnoticed in New York? She couldn’t report her situation because she had been on silent radio for hours and because it would make her look bad after her last failure. Frustrated, she took out her cell phone and started searching in social networks, someone have to post something about him because everyone loved Captain America and the social red it’s a good place to freak out just seeing captain America at the metro. And there he was, at a little cafe two roads at her right. So she went there without hesitation and saw him easily from the window of the cafeteria taking pictures with the workers.
She decided to hide in the bookstore across the street where she would go unnoticed and could easily monitor her target. Hiding among the shelves that were displayed in the middle of the street, a cover caught his attention “Spider-Man friend and neighbor or a danger to our city?”. Thalia’s small laugh was heard, she couldn’t agree more with that writer named Jameson. Then she heard a small noise and she felt her body tempt in anticipation, an automatic response after what happened on her last mission. In a quick motion, she had a boy’s arm against his back and he was crushing his face against the bookshelf.
-It’s me. Peter Parker. We just meet at the park a few minutes ago. I… -the boy was interrupted by Thalia who speak like she wasn’t believing what the boy was saying. In fact, she wasn’t believing a word at this point.
- You have been following me? That’s creepy, you know?
-Like a girl who looks innocent but she can push me against the bookshelf without a hand? Yeah. Creepy.
-You don’t know how to talk to girls, right? -she said as she leave the guy so he can take care of his arm.
-Really? I just came because this fell from your pocket when we collide.
In the boy’s hand was a little blue pendant. It wasn’t too much, it was just a little pendant of a turquoise stone obelisk with a silver chain. She freak out a bit at the realization that the necklace wasn’t in her pocket.
-Don’t worry, I just came to return this to you. I thought it was important to you -smiled this guy, Parker, while he leave the necklace in her hand.
She was so confused right now. This guy, whom she didn’t know, came to her from the park just to give this to her just because he tough it was important to her. Something inside her made her feeling weird.
-Thanks -she muttered a little shy.
-Nothing -the always smiling boy stood there as if there was something that Thalia had forgotten.
The weird feeling that Thalia was feeling before just go away. Now the suspicious was on her mind. This guy, Parker, was waiting a reward or something?
-What now? I have thanked you.
Suddenly Parker realize that he was staring at her too much so he blushed abruptly and start rambling about incoherent things like he didn’t want to stare or like it wasn’t like she wasn’t pretty enough not to stare because she was, pretty he wanted to say she was pretty but he wasn’t her to feel uncomfortable with him.
At this point Thalia was just enjoying the sight of this cute boy just freaking out. It wasn’t something she was used to. The flirt, if this was flirting, and the nervous. Things like that was just left behind when her dad started feeling really bad. And this little thought brought her back to reality. Where was him?
-Not again -she growled really frustrated now.
-I… I’m sorry if I’m bothering you.
Thalia look at this guy one more time. She thought that if she wasn’t in this situation maybe she would invite Parker to a cafe and would flirt around just to make him freak out and rumble about things because was cute and funny even if they wouldn’t meet never again just to enjoy chat with someone new. But she had no option.
-Look, I think this is funny and you’re cute but I’m doing something important so thank you again for the necklace but I have to go.
She spoke so fast that the guy didn’t have any chance to say anything more. The girl ran away from the guy and looked everywhere for her objective but it wasn’t around. She swore under her breath. Why was happening this to her? She was happy two years ago, when things were simple and everything was okey and she didn’t have to grow up and take care of herself.
This wasn’t supposed to happen to her.
She was about to cry. She knew that. It was that feeling growing inside her.
She took a breath. Then another breath. And then one more just to be sure.
And here we go again. Running through the busy alleys, looking for the objective when a explosion obstructed the streets. She almost freak out but composed herself. People started running everywhere and screaming. And there he was captain America just fighting a lizard man who came out of the sewer.
She hid in an alley from where she could see everything. She thought about disabling the radio silence and reporting what was happening but she didn’t. Wondering to herself how a person would choose to take care of things like that. How anyone would choose to be a hero? Was it something that everyone would choose except her because everyone was brave enough to choose this? That makes her a coward? Because in her worst moment she choose to be a criminal, following instructions like stealing or spying. Her dad wouldn’t approve it. But he wasn’t there to take care of her, she was the one taking care of herself and her dad.
The lizard man throw captain America and she hide more so he can’t see her hiding there. And she noticed something on her back.
-Hello criminal who doesn’t hide her face this time.
There was Spider-Man. And she was so upset about that hero.
-You have to be kidding me.
-In fact, I make some funny jokes but almost nobody appreciates it.
She took advantage of the always talkative hero and walked back away. But then the hero throw a web to her wrist and pulled her to his chest.
-Not this time, my little criminal.
And then the lizard was thrown into that alley and captain America came running.
-Spider-Man? What are you doing here?
-Oh, hello captain! -waved the hero with his free hand a little too much excited.
-Take your girlfriend away from here!
Captain America was containing the lizard man so he can’t attack them while both of them started rumbling about they weren’t dating, this wasn’t a date, she never would date someone like him or she was a criminal that he had to stop.
-I don’t care! -answer the superhero- Just go away! This is dangerous!
-You need help, cap? -offered the arachnid.
The looks that captain America gives them was enough to scare Thalia and she was almost relieved when Spider-Man took her in his arms and swing them out of the fight.
-Let me go, you bastard! -Thalia was fighting with the hero without results because it was like she wasn’t punching the hero’s chest.
-Stop doing that or we’ll fall from there. Do you want to become a crushed mosquito?
And then she stop fighting with the hero. At least until they reached the roof of a building where she pushed the hero away from herself and put in a defensive position.
-Why do you always want to fight? -he complained almost upset with this.
-Because you are the hero and I am the criminal?
-But you told me about this guy forcing you to do this. Even if you ended stealing the tiara I thought you were serious about that. I still believe you. If you have any problem them just…
-Just take care of them -she interrupted the hero- at my own. I don’t need a hero to save me.
-But maybe you need a friend?
And that’s how Thalia asked herself when were the last time she had a friend. But throw away this thought and reforced her defensive position.
-Stop confusing me! I don’t need you!
-If you’re confused maybe it’s because you know I’m telling the truth? Please, I want to help.
-Why do you care? You don’t know me.
-I learned that it’s better offers help first than fight and then ask. I stopped more criminals like this.
And then something happened that surprised both the hero and Thalia. She started laughing. Just a little at first. And then a lot. It was funny the idea of a hero offering him a help that nobody had wanted to give her a year ago. The hero was so surprised that didn’t know how to act. And when she stop laughing she started crying. She was so upset of this. A new mission failed, now she wasn’t be able to found captain America again and she didn’t even knew why she had to spy him. Neither she know how to safe her dad on her own. And that was too much for her.
-Ey -whispered the hero, too close suddenly- it’s okay to ask for help when we can’t take it anymore.
-Why do you care? -she asked in response.
-Because I’m your friend and neighbor Spider-Man. It’s my job.
Thalia was jealous how sure the hero was about his role in his life. She was too lost in her own life.
-Do you want to talk about it? -asked the hero in a whisper almost if he was afraid that she would freak out and go away if he speaks louder.
She didn’t answered as she still crying out all her stress. The hero just sat there making her sure he was there with her. And when the cry stops, she looks at him with her puffy eyes and the red nose and the hero held his breath unconsciously.
-I don’t want to talk about it -was her answer.
-Then don’t talk. Just take me with your boss.
She really thought about it. Her boss was a horrible person and deserved to be in prison. But then her father would be helpless again. Hammerhead was the only one to accept taking care of the bills while she make stuff for him. At the beginning were only simple stuff like help his minions with the food and the cleaning and then started the training and at some point they were taking her in their missions. She really never noticed it.
-I can’t -she answered defeated.
-But you want to paid for your boss? You want to go to prison for him? It’s that important your boss for you?
She shook her head looking at the hero.
-You don’t understand anything.
-Then tell me -his hand took hers to encourage her- I want to understand.
She had the impulse to tell him everything because she was so tired of pretending she was strong enough. She remained silent with that puppy eyes that the hero understood he would be screwed if he still staring at them also he thought he was pushing her too much. So he got up and headed to the edge of the building without a word.
-Where are you going?
-That lizard man was giving a hard time to cap so I’m going to help him.
Thalia nodded, not knowing why she felt a new wave of sadness.
-Will I find you here when that lizard thing is over?
The question was so surprising to her that she had to think twice before answer.
-I don’t know… I have to return home.
The hero sounded almost sad when he spoke again.
-Oh… Then be careful.
And that sounded a little dumb in the hero. The question was written in Thalia’s face.
-Because this is New York and weird things happen everyday. Like that weird lizard man for example or that weird guy that looks like a goblin…
Thalia laugh while the hero still rumbling incoherently.
-Like weirdos guys in weirdos suits jumping around the city?
Spider-Man stopped talking to look at her.
-Is that a joke or you’re just being mean?
A playful smile grow up in Thalia’s face.
-What do you think?
Spider-Man let a nervous laugh scape and passed a hand over his head in an unconscious gesture.
-I’ll see you next time you’re doing illegal things.
He jumps out of the building and Thalia could heard him calling himself stupid.
Thalia never had been so nervous to enter a simple room. She took all the courage she could and open that door that was so scary. The room in front of her was all white and in the bed was a man that looks way more old that he really was connected to a lot of machines that were beeping. Thalia needed all she had inside her not to cry again. The man open her eyes and look at her with renovated energy.
-Is that my little Thalia who came to see her old father? -he tried to sit properly but failed- I’m glad you can make time for your old father with your study.
Thalia walk to the bed and stay in with a guilty smile.
-You’re not that old, daddy.
Her dad took her hand in theirs with a meaningful look.
-What is bothering you, pumpkin?
-It’s nothing, daddy. I’m just tired.
-You’re studying too much, are you sleeping well?
-Yes, daddy. It was just a good book.
Her dad laughed at that but then he coughs loudly. After the man calm down his daughter, they still there just chatting about nothing while the girl was containing a cry.
-Now tell me, pumpkin.
Thalia looks at her father’s eyes and she knows she couldn’t lie.
-I have a friend that it’s in troubles, daddy. This… friend have to make a choice and I don’t know how to help her.
-You and your heart -he laughed- Accept a advice from this old man? Just do what your heart demands, it can’t be wrong if you do it with your heart.
-Even if that thing could make someone suffer?
-Well sure your friend have that tiny voice inside her mind. You know what I mean.
-You mean that tiny voice that says us to do the next thing right? I think you tell me about it before.
Thalia just stayed there with her dad ‘til visit hour finished. The words of her dad in her mind just confusing her more.