Unparalleled

July 13, 2017:

Spider-Woman and Spider-Man finally meet face to face with mixed results.

Peter's Apartment, Manhattan

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Manhattan.

Harry Osborn's apartment is well furnished and expensive: Osborn wealth and all. A woman in bright white and pink hooded costume dangles from webbing down in front of the window, finally having the courage to look in on the person in this world known as Peter Parker.

Gwen has looked him up multiple times, read articles, researched and even webbed herself out toward where she thought he would be to see if it is really the Peter she knew on her world. It's - without a doubt - creepy. If Agent Coulson knew that she was doing this, she's sure he would lecture her for days. Luckily for her, he doesn't know (or she hopes he doesn't). But, in a world so unfamiliar, she is latching onto something that might be good here: she didn't kill Peter. He's alive and seemingly doing well. She has yet to look up herself, that seems a bit too weird, still.

*

Living in a place that has obvious money is a strange thing. In many ways, it makes Peter Parker uncomfortable, beyond just the simple fact that it's all so frankly alien to him. In a lot of ways, the young man misses the simple trappings just as much as he likes having a stove that actually works more than 50% of the time.

That's part of the reason. The other is, well, his roommate. Harry, after all, is a good friend. And Harry, after all, is increasingly self-destructingly upset thinking Spider-Man might have killed his father.

So.

It's awkward.

And so, occasionally (often), Peter finds himself outside the apartment just to get away from it for a bit, even in those miniscule moments that he has free time to himself. Today is one such day; elevator doors ding open as a still scruffy and poorly-dressed looking Peter Parker slides out onto the rooftop, wearing a brown shirt with an image of two atoms reading 'I LOST AN ELECTRON!' 'ARE YOU POSITIVE?' on the front; it's not great. Music blares into his world via a pair of earbuds as he walks out, taking a look around. Ostensibly, he's here to study. It's what he told Harry, anyway.

But honestly? Honestly, he's not really sure. Right now he's just fighting the overwhelming urge to suit up and go out when he rightly ought to be studying.

And so, he just debates on the rooftop in quiet contemplation, oblivious to the presence of creepy spider people spider-spying. Which might be why he feels so comfortable singing along to the song as he thinks.

"Never pick up, never call me! You know we're running out of time! Never pick up when you want me, now I gotta draw the line! Baby I done, done enough talking—"

And maybe why he's also dancing a little. It's…

… it's not great. Who taught him how to dance, someone who hates him on a personal level??

*

Who did teach Peter how to dance? Gwen will have to tell them they have no future in ballroom dance.

Because, with her spidey-senses, Gwen hears the singing and from her creepfest, she climbs up the side of the building to the roof. There, she sees the dancing and singing Peter Parker in his nerd shirt. It's endearing and something she imagines her Peter doing. It's nice.

Of course, she is the one that is intruding on this by being a total stalker. Unable to stop herself, she gives a soft laugh. It's quiet, almost imperceptible to the general populace, but it is still one filled with mirth and curiosity. Her hooded head is visible above the edge of the roof: Gwen is not being the most careful she's ever been, here.

The Spider-Woman watches Peter for a few more moments even as she moves about the edge of the roof like she is the arachnid for which she is named.

*

Maybe he'll just go webslinging a little. Just a bit. An hour tops. Maybe two. And then studying. Maybe he can study while he fights crime? Can he manage that?

But then robbers might be asking all the wrong questions if he shows up bludgeoning them with a book on Abnormal Psychology.

Okay. Fine. Five hours. And that's it. Six.

These are the complicated thoughts running through Peter Parker's head as the world is graced (inflicted) with him playing sing-along to peppy pop hits and his terrible dance moves. The only real consolation is that he's -pretty sure- he's alone or else he wouldn't even be here, debating about whether to put on the costume. Or singing. Or dancing. … Probably.

It's why, when he finally decides in that internal debate, Peter does not even hesitate to turn himself around, stopping his dancing if for but a moment before he starts to make his way towards the back of the roof. Six and a half hours, that's all. He'll get some studying in during the lag between. Don't use books as bludgeons. They're for learning, not hurting. He thinks he has this all figured out, now, starting to reach down for his shirt—

—laughter.

Laughter. It's so faint, he would pass it off as simply incidental to those senses he's come to learn to live with. But something about it seems different. Far closer than it has any right to be. He pauses. His singing stops. He slowly turns his head…

.. and hazel eyes stare directly at Spider-Woman's peaking, big-eyed stare at the edge of the roof, his hands frozen mid-clutching at his shirt.

… …

… … …

"Uh. … Hi." Wait no Peter THAT'S NOT THE RIGHT REACTION PETER

"AH ROOF STALKER WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE"

That's better.

*

"AHH ROOF STALKER!?" Gwen gasps to herself. That is exactly what she is. "That's me." Gwen flips backward toward the other roof in a controlled glide. In Manhattan, the roofs are not all that far apart from each other and it seems this costumed lady takes advantage of that.

The white clad heroine watches Peter, now realizing that she shouldn't just leave. Or should she? She watches Peter as he pulls at his shirt, as he says hi and then freak out. Unable to help herself, she says, "Hi." A hand reaches up to waves at Peter as he greets her. Then, she comes to her senses.

"Stupid Gwen," she hisses under her breath. "Sorry!" she yells out to Peter. "Just a creeper! Didn't mean to creeper! I swear! You'll never see me again!" Because, god, what is she thinking? This Peter isn't her Peter. The fact that he is alive doesn't mean anything about what she did. Right? Right.

"Byyye," she calls out to Peter. "These are not the web slingers you're looking for! Sorryyy—-yyyy" Then, she web slings off toward another roof.

*

WHAT IS SHE DOING HERE AM I BEING SUPER-ROBBED IS THAT A HOODIE WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT

This is - roughly - Peter's thought process as he panics and goes stumbling backwards, hands lifting up like some kin of ward just out of reflex — but mostly to snap his hands away from his shirt before the red and blue beneath can be spied. This is probably where he should take an awkward tumble and, were he in a better state of mind, he'd probably remind himself of that fact, but…

… but he recognizes the costume almost immediately. Spider-Woman. It's just like Cindy had described.

So, right now, he's not exactly in the right frame of mind.

It's why, at least, he's able to sell that utterly dumbfounded look as Gwen waves at him, and then proceeds to apologize from her newfound position on the opposite rooftop. He just looks flabbergasted, mouth agape and hazel eyes wide, but his heart is pounding in his chest at a mile a minute. She's just a creeper? "I didn't — you didn't — that uh that dancing was just a joke okay I don't — you weren't taping me were you because that's seriously uncool and you shouldn't — like — legal issues?" That's not the point Peter come on get your head in the game!! "What're you doing here, why are you — creepering on me-?"

He recognizes her by description. Knows she's from another world. And if she's here of all places, spider-stalking HIM… Peter's mind goes to one place: she knows who she is. And then it hops to the other place:

Oh god it's a girl version of me THAT'S SO WEIRD THERE'S A GIRL ME WHAT AM I GONNA DO SHE KNOWS WHO I AM BECAUSE IT'S GIRL ME no wait you don't know that but IT ALL MAKES SENSE oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh

These are not the web slingers you're looking for! Sorryyy—-yyyyy

"Huh-? W-wait, hang on-" OH GOD SHE USES THE SAME LINES AS HIM THAT JUST PROVES IT EVEN MORE /this is so weird/ "- you're not Obi-wan-"

But she's already web-slinging off. And Peter curses inwardly. And then he does the smart thing.

He ducks behind the bulkhead and starts tugging his mask out of his pocket to try to change out as quickly as he can, going

"oh crap oh crap oh crap"

the whole time, just in case there was some worry this wasn't somehow a completely level-headed decision.

*

At his question about why she is there, if she was taping him, she gives him a look. It's impossible to see through her hooded mask. "I'm not creepering!" she defends automatically. Then, she acquiesces. "Okay, I'm totally creepering, I'm sorry! I won't do it again!" Her voice sounds almost familiar to Peter, despite the mask. A twinge at the back of his mind.

"No! I'm not Obi-Wan! And your princess is in another castle! Wait, do you have Mario here? I don't even know." Who knows if her totally on point references make any sense here, she hopes that they do, but she'll just keep saying them anyway. She keeps slinging forward across rooftops. She needs to flee her guilt that is staring her right in her face.

As Peter puts his mask on and follows her, she blinks. She can see him, can deduce exactly who is following her and why. He's following her. Finally, she lands on a rooftop a couple of blocks away, swinging around to face him.

*

"Why wouldn't we have Mario here? — Wait, I mean where?" Good cover, Peter.

There's something off about all this though, besides the obvious. And he can't put his finger on what it is, even as he does the profoundly ill-thought out thing and starts hastily changing into his clothes. He hears the voice, and he knows, somewhere deep down, that he recognizes it — but that part, that nagging feeling, doesn't rear its head as anything more than a subtle pang of guilt right now, guilt he decides to transpose as being about him putting off finding this person in such obvious need of help for so long.

No. He doesn't think about the very distinct reason why that voice might be familiar. It's easier - and far less painful - for him to just assume something else, as that mask secures around his features, as the material snags snugly into place — as white lenses widen open with the slightest of mechanical sounds like a camera lens focusing.

Right now, he's just 99% positive he's about to hunt down parallel Petra Parker. Or… something.

In his panic-addled brain, it all makes sense. Shut up.

It's that very same panic that sends him bounding off the rooftop and spinning a web of adhesive to snap onto his apartment building and send him sling-shotting off across the Manhatten citscape, lights bleeding insistently across red and blue fabric as he swings from building to building, block to block. To his credit, he does try to trail behind her to at least throw off the scent a little, but really, it's lip service at best. With the timing, it couldn't be more obvious.

And so, web line snapping into place a handful of seconds after her last, it is that red and blue form of the masked menace Spider-Man that leaps into frame at the rooftop just as she comes to a stop. And spins to face him. Even as he's still swinging.

"Whoa whoa whoa wait wait WAIT-!"

Lenses going wide like dinnerplates, the young vigilante hits ground in surprise at the other webslinger's sudden stop. He staggers, stumbles forward on inertia, and then comes to an abrupt stop only a foot away, arms swinging to either side of him in a more subconscious gesture from days when such things were actually necessary for him to keep his balance. He ends up stopped, one foot in the air, hands out to either side of him, in what looks like the most ridiculous superhero pose in the world. A second passes.

"Uh," comes the muffled voice behind the mask.

"… Don't mind me, just your friendly neighborhood… rooftop inspector?"

Perfect.

*

Perfect. Yes. Perfect.

Spider-Woman comes to a stop at the end of the rooftop chase and Peter skids to a stop in front of her. Peter: someone who got what he wished, who had powers like her.

Her response is flippant as she responds to Peter. "Are there a lot of rooftop inspectors? And do the dress with spiders on their chest?" She can't help the question.

They're both on the same rooftoop and Gwen takes the moment to study Spider-Man. She has no idea about what he may think about her, she only has her own notions about events.

As Spider-Man catches up, she turns and looks at him. "You look ridiculous," she tells him, though not exactly unkindly. Her tone is more floored by the idea that Peter Parker is alive and that he seems to be Spider-Man.

*

What he wished. It's strange, how things can be so similar and yet so different.

'Are there a lot of rooftop inspectors?'

"It's uh a startup company?" Spider-Man Who Is Definitely Not Peter But Who Are We Kidding Honestly answers, scratching the back of his head and turning his white-lensed gaze towards the sky. "Kinda like Uber, but with rooftops? … and spiders? Like — uh Arachnoroof no nevermind that's bad ignore that."

It's easy to fall into the role, the fast talking, the endless quips. It's even easier when he's nervous. And Peter feels very very nervous right now. Head tilting back down from the light-blotted skies, Spider-Man squints scrutinizingly at Spider-Woman. You look ridiculous, she says.

"I look — listen, red and blue are complementary, okay? Blue is a cool color that combined with the high contrast of red makes for a very bold and heroic — okay I'm not explaining color theory to you right now that isn't happening!" Peter throws his hands into the air, looking utterly defeated by his own unfinished explanation. Eventually, those arms fall, and he heaves a sigh, head bowing forward.

"So you're like — really real, huh?" he asks, after a moment. "Silk told me she met you, at, like — and you weren't exactly the friendliest neighborhood Spider-Woman. But — I get it, y'know? I've done the whole — parallel world stranger in a strange land thing. It's not — it's not super great." He pauses for a second, considerate, head tilt to the side.

"It's weird though, right? Like… looking in a funhouse mirror or something." It's hard to say just what he's thinking about her.

"… Except for the ballerina shoes. Like — seriously — what? Are we in ballet in your world or — is it a statement or — what?"

… But he definitely thinks he's looking at Bizarro Peter.

*

As Peter starts speaking nervously, Gwen watches him, feeling a very mirror image to his own disassociation and feeling as if she is looking in a funhouse mirror. And, also, beneath all that…the guilt. So much guilt. Peter. Peter Parker. Here, a man with abilities. Like she had.

There's a smirk through the hooded mask and then a soft, sharp laugh. He's not explaining color theory to her, he says. "Sounds like you are, Spider-Man."

As for being real, or even really real, she shrugs her shoulders. There's a flip backward and she lands on the edge of the roof, crouching and watching Spider-Man warily. "I dunno, did you pinch yourself? That's supposedly how that works. If I'm only twenty percent real, I'll disappear and you'll wake up." A pause and then a quick nod of her head is given, though, at how weird this is. "But, yeah, this is weird." The whole parallel world thing is met with a long silence. Has he been to her world? Does he know what happened to her Peter? "You have? What'd you see there?" she asks. Then, more intently, "How'd you get back?"

The ballerina shoes comment is met with a scoff. "They're flats. Ballerina flats. Are those not a thing here? They're pretty useful and comfortable. Though, I bet we could do ballet if we really wanted to do it. This whole spider stuff gives me some crazy balance. With the web slinging? Game changer."

*

Spider-Woman does a flip, lands on the edge of the roof without even the slightest hint of toppling or threatening to fall over in a way that seems surreally identical to every time he's done the same. Just white, and pink and with ballerina flats. He scratches the side of his head.

"Yeah see um that just makes it feel even less real."

It's been a rough past few months, nothing's out of the question anymore.

"Yeah, I pinched myself, like, twenty times on the way over. Which was kinda tough, because of the costume. You'd think it'd be easier but" Here, Spider-Man demonstrably tries pinching himself. "there is like. No traction. Besides wouldn't it be more like — I look at a book and the writing is all backwardsy or something or… I dunno. Something. Do you have a book? I don't have a book." So he'll just have to take this all on good faith, something he comes to accept with a helpless little shrug offered to the cool open air. But then, that question comes — and he pauses, visibly. Despite the mask covering his features, one could feel the hesitation. What'd he see there?

"I…" It's a rush of memories. None of them pleasant, despite how pleasant they felt.

"… something I wish I never saw, I guess. Everything I wanted, but it wasn't… it wasn't what I needed. Does that make sense?" How did he get back?

"I wish I — it was kinda fluke, I guess. Weird magic mumbo jumbo. There was this artifact or something, and Zee — you know Zee, do you know Zee? Is she a guy in your world, is that how that — anyway, nevermind, she and some other people just… it was out of my control. Not something that could be done again. Like… hitting an eject button or something." He pauses here, rubbing the back of his head and looking aside.

"Sorry. I wish I knew more. I know it's — it's not easy, feeling like your all alone."

He really does.

But she speaks about ballet, and talking in 'we's just basically confirms Spider-Man's (completely wrong) theory about the other webbed vigilante's identity. "Right? It's like — we could have our very own spotlight moments in music videos, or something, it'd be like… some 'Stomp the Yard' stuff!" A second passes. "I mean, I can dance. That, what you saw before, I was — I can dance. Don't mention that to anyone. Ever. Because — just don't. Okay? Don't." He pauses. Silence settles, for a long, uncomfortable moment, before his throat clears. It's weird, talking with someone who is (he surmises) your otherworld double. But he thinks he's doing a great job here.

If only he knew.

"… So, uh. How long've you been here on your, like — bogus journey?"

*

There's a snort. "I've seen books. There are books where I come from," she tells him in an amused manner, unsure of what he's attempting to say though she thinks she gets the general idea. He's nervous and confused, she gets that. That's how she felt here, with the added emotion of angry: which he also seemed to know.

"Yeah," she tells him as to seeing something that feels pleasant but wish that he never felt. "I know that feeling." There's a pause and she adds, "Very well." His explanation is given a bit of a look through her mask. Much like she could gather his hesitation, he should be able to notice her confusion. Facial expressions through masks is a bit like a strange sign language for masked heroes like them.

"I don't know who Zee is, no," she says firmly. "So, I don't know if she's a guy or not where I'm from. But, uh, so far everyone I've met here has been the same gender, just different looking or feeling or believing. A lot of people who are normal here are bad guys in my world. Or are way more jaded. And possibly drink a ton more. Also, you guys don't have Blockbuster here and that's totally weird to me. Do you guys all just watch movies in the theatre and never see them again? Someone told me I should check out something called Netflix, but I don't know what that is."

There's a bit of a snort at his assertion about dancing, she can't help it. It sounds a lot like her own Peter that she forgets for a moment where she is. "Yeah, sure. I could see for myself just how well you danced, P—" she stops herself. That's too far. She realizes that immediately. Quickly, the subject shifts, completely unaware that he thinks that she is the female version of Peter Parker. "I've been here a few months. I remember meeting Silk. She left me a box, apparently. That was…nice. But, yeah. I only know a few people."

There's a bit of disappointment in her voice when she asks, "So, you have no idea how I might be able to go home, got it." She pauses again, studying him. "You…you're happy, though? You like being able to do…" she waves a hand, gesturing between them, "all this?"

*

"If you're in a dream all the letters in a book are all weird and scrambled and backwards. I saw it in a cartoon once. So, you know." Long pause. "… Preeeeetty good source. Why would a cartoon lie to me?" Right??

Yeah, she says.

"Yeah," he replies, lamely. He rubs one arm with his opposite hand.

"Maybe we should start a club. Like. The 'Feel Crappy About Things That Oughta be Good' Club. I think it'll be a big hit."

Still, she's giving him a lot to think of — and a lot of it all at once. Thankfully, he's good at working through these sorts of things, even when he's completely off his game and just totally revealed his identity to ANOTHER total stranger within five minutes after meeting them — he assures himself that this one is because he can't really reveal his identity to himself, because he likes feeling like a total idiot after the fact — but even so…

"What? Blockbuster? … What is — is that a thing?"

… some things there's just no wrapping your head around.

"Wow. You don't know what Netflix is. How do you not — what do you live in, the Dark Age Dimension?" The stare of those white lenses are utterly blank. Despite the fact that they're -always- technically blank. "I'm sorry. That's not my place to judge but — and I'm not trying criticize but — really?"

It's a hard concept to accept.

"Well. I'll show you. And we'll binge watch like… ALL of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. You're welcome, in advance."

Still. Her other explanations on her world have those lenses shuttering into the thoughtful squint as Spider-Man — as Peter — lifts a hand to his jaw and rubs at it thoughtfully. "So everyone's pretty much the same except the like… circumstances around them? So why are you… huh…" No, he's not quite putting two and two together here yet. "… maybe some kinda clone situation? … No, that's just stupid. Hmmm…"

He's deep in thought about the puzzling nature of Female Peter Parker when Not Female Peter Parker speaks up again. Lenses flicer in a blink as Spider-Man looks back up as she stops herself just short of calling him by name. Silence reigns for a moment, uncomfortable in how familiar this all feels. Like he's had these conversations before. The gentle ribbing. The sound of her voice… it's…

"… Huh?" he asks, after a moment, his voice confused like he was just pulled out of a dream. "… Oh. Oh, uh. Sorry. I mean — yeah, y'know? I…" You're happy, though? You like being able to do all this?

"…"

He rubs at his forearm, quietly.

"Honestly?" he asks, after a long moment. "It's… I was, when I got these powers. It was cool! It was really just… awesome. But you know that better than anyone. I could be different, special, whatever. But I didn't ask for — I didn't…" He shakes his head. "I was an idiot. I let it all go to my head. I know better now, but…" But he can't make the past disappear, either.

"Some days I wish I could just… be normal, y'know? Be with friends. … be with people who are gone now. But I can't. I've got this power, and I've gotta use it for the right things." But he still hasn't answered if he's happy.

"I mean, I dunno — it's gotta be the same for you, right? Just because we're from different worlds doesn't mean we're different people." Wait, what? "Unless you're like… my evil parallel universe self, or something. Do you have a goatee?" Wait what?? "You know what? Nevermind. Don't answer that. I don't wanna know."

Wait

what???

*

"Oh! Okay, yeah, I get that, then. No, I can read books just fine here," Gwen tells Peter with a bit of a smirk. "Cartoons are totally a reliable source of information. I get that." The sarcasm is thick there. The conversation is strange and revitalizing and painful to her. And, it seems, her coping mechanism is sarcasm and quips.

"Blockbuster? You know, the place you go to rent movies and shows? Yeah, that's a thing, I can't believe you don't have it. You've gotta be int he Dark Ages if you don't have that ability." His comment about not judging is met with a snort. "For not judging, that sounds pretty judgmental, dude."

If she doesn't know what Netflix is, whatever Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt definitely flies over her head. Instead, she focuses on his confusion. "Why am I what?" There's a raised eyebrow. "Clone situation? What?" Gears turn, thoughts start to surface.

Waiiiiiiit.

Whatttttt.

Does he think…?

Her attention is pulled to the answer of his question. Is he happy with his powers? Did that make him happier? The Peter she knew destroyed himself in pursuit of being able to have the powers Spider-Woman had. To see that this Peter has the same exact powers as she does and might not want them? There's a strange shift in her chest. It hurts, it clutches at her ribs. "No, yeah," she says softly in response. "I know exactly what you mean."

Still perched on the edge of the roof, she looks down as she thinks over Peter's answer, digesting what this means for her. Then, she looks up as he continues. They're not different people? What? There's a frozen moment as she stares at Peter. His evil twin? His parallel universe self? No, that's not…those previous thoughts return to her. As he says that, her body language clearly changes.

There's a breath and she watches him. He thinks she's a version of himself from her world, that's clear now and she can't allow that to continue.

Gwen pushes herself up from the crouching position to stand straight backed on the edge of the roof. Steeling herself, she says softly, "Peter, I'm not a parallel version of yourself." She looks down at the man that she feels responsibility for killing and pulls off her mask. Her blonde hair is a mess - the superhero equivalent of hat hair - but she looks down at him with worried blue eyes. The woman in front of him is clearly Gwen Stacy in a white, black and pink Spider-Woman outfit.

*

"That is not a thing in any sane, civilized society. Are you like, from George Orwell's '1984'-universe? I think I remember there were Blockbusters in 1984."

… Whether he means the novel or the timeperiod itself in that second statement is entirely up to debate.

He'd probably keep going — really, he could do this for days — but all of those locked-and-loaded quips fall by the wayside as the conversation turns towards something more somber. He knows that soft note in the tone of her voice when she agrees with him — he hears it, feels it, all the time. In a way, it's as reassuring and comforting as it is depressing. Comforting to have that commisseration from someone who knows better than most. Depressing to know that someone else has to go through the same thing in another world, in another life. But maybe that's just what Parkers have to deal with no matter the universe —

Peter, I'm not a parallel version of yourself.

"-Huh?"

The very statement is so jarring to Peter, having built up such a wealth of confirmation bias-tainted evidence in his mind, that for the longest time all he can do is stare at the woman before him, utterly bamboozled. She's -not- another him. It was an insane idea to begin with, and yet the entire thing turns his world upside down. How can she talk like she knows him, then? How could she have those powers? It's not Cindy, he knows that for sure.

Suddenly, his thoughts are going a mile a minute as she hooks her fingers into that mask to peel it off. Most of those thoughts revolve around a basic concept of 'oh my GOD peter parker you just gave away your identity to ANOTHER TOTAL STRANGER how are you SO BAD AT THIS' and 'oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap' ad nauseum. Even with his impeccable balance, the world seems to spin around him for a few delirious moments of confusion…

… and then it all lurches to a jarring stop when he sees that hair. Those eyes.

That face.

"… Gwen…?"

It's the only thing he says for what feels like an eternity as he stares at the young woman before him. His voice is lost. His throat is dry. Everything bleeds away into a rush of memories far too recent for his liking. Of her. Of Gwen. Smiling. Making fun of him. Arguing. Making up.

— falling —

In his arms, dead, and it was all his fault, because he —

"… I…" his voice breaks as he takes a step backwards, slowly, shakily. Gwen. Gwen Stacy. It's Gwen. How? Why? Guilt becomes his entire world, mingling perfectly with the shock to produce one result.

"I… I've gotta — I've gotta go, I'm sorry, I-"

And now, just like Gwen before him, it's Peter's turn to run from his past.

*

'Gwen'.

He knows her here. In this world. She had a presence. That is just as reassuring as it is worrying. Despite the mask sign language, she can only gather certain extreme emotions from him. Mostly, they involve the flight reflex.

"Wait-Peter-!" She calls out to him, happy to see him, but also terrified. She'd been leading up to this moment and she blew it. Completely blew it. She could have had another chance here, a chance with a Peter who got what he wanted, who did not experiment on himself. But, no. The guilt, again, rises like bile in her throat. No, this is not her friend Peter. She killed him.

However, as he looks at her in horror, with guilt, a sort of picture starts to form in her head. She is, after all, the daughter of a detective and Peter's response is not at in any way attempting to hide anything.

Gwen leaps forward at Peter's panic, off the ledge and toward him, but she comes up short. The outstreched hand is pulled back toward herself. He probably needs space? "Yeah, okay," she says softly, unsure if he can even hear her. "Yeah, I get that."

Despite her lunge forward, she allows Peter to fling himself away from her. She knows that feeling. Clutching the mask in her hand, she just steps backward to try and give him some space, despite that he is taking care of that readily for himself.

After a few moments where she looks at the space Peter once stood, she turns her back and pulls the mask back over her head. Sighing, she leaps off the roof in the opposite direction.

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