August 27, 2018:

Gwen comes to the Titans for help and comes face to face with Peter Parker.

Titan Tower

Situated on a man-made island in the middle of the East River, in the
shadow of the great glass and steel buildings of Manhattan, Titans Tower is
one of New York City's stranger landmarks. Originally constructed for the
first incarnation of the Titans and since largely abandoned, the Tower has
recently seen significant remodeling and reconstruction for modern use.

The island itself is lightly wooded, and its primary point of access is a
sturdy dock capable of handling both personal and small cargo boats; hidden
on one side of the island is access to the Tower's sub basements, through a
large concealed cave that allows the Titans' T-Jet to take off and land.
Though the island isn't large, there's enough space for outdoor training and
recreation, with the greenery providing some privacy from the city to either
side of the river.

At the center of the island, Titans Tower rises out of a circular plaza,
ringed with spotlights to illuminate the Tower in the nighttime. It is a
remarkable feat of architecture and construction: A roughly T-shaped
structure several stories tall and modeled loosely on Frank Lloyd Wright's
Fallingwater, the Tower is surprisingly resistant to the elements and other
sources of wear and damage despite its apparently ungainly shape. Each of
its floors above the entry level is ringed with windows and a balcony,
though these are understandably less used in the winter months. The topmost
level of the Tower is split between the center trunk of the building and the
reinforced arms of the T-shape, while on the roof is a landing space for
helicopters or other short-landing aircraft, or any of the residents who can
fly under their own power.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Robin


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

PREVIOUSLY for Spider-Woman:

A man almost crushed to death by her actions, an enthusiastic woman who looks up to her, gushing, "Wow. You knew he'd be just fine didn't you? Like threw him just right to knock the water tower over, and used your powers of perfect spider-muscle-control to make sure he and the other dudes didn't get crushed by debris?! Holy shit!"

She didn't. Of course she didn't. She reacted. She tried to save the woman that man was attacking. She could have killed him….just like she killed Peter. Just like she could kill anyone. How can anyone think she's a hero?


It has taken a few weeks for her to work up the nerve, but finally, she swings toward Titan Tower. She's not able to make it to the roof as she was able to with Red Robin and his propellants. However, she lands on the well lit plaza with practiced balance and ease.

Standing, she looks up at the large T that the Robin seems to think could help her. Maybe they could. All she knows is that she does need help and Coulson is dead. Who else can she turn to? It's humiliating to admit needing help, to knowing that she can't do this on her own, but she will bite her tongue and do it. Not that anyone can see if she's biting her tongue behind her mask, but it's still a thought.

Moving up to the front door, she starts to look. Is there a doorbell? Is there a doorman? How does one get into the Titan Tower without an appointment? That's really the question here.

Looking around in confusion, the detective's daughter eventually just resigns herself to knocking and calling out, "Uh, hello? I'm, uh, I'm here to…uh…talk to Red Robin?"

Rap rap rap.





This is the battle mantra of proud superwarrior Spider-Man as he swings through the city streets of Queens through a hail of Pumpkin Bombs, certain that these, brave words shall be the last he ever makes.

AN EXPLANATION: Things have been happening. Not great things. In fact, super bad things, which is the opposite of great, technically speaking. Bombs in Hell's Kitchen. People going crazy over superhuman registration. Cults that are way too into blood and blood accessories. People who vomit fire. Supernatural magic machine viruses. The bread for his sub was really stale one time. That sort of thing.

So, as always, Spider-Man has decided he has to get better at this. He needs to. He can barely protect New York, to say nothing of the world outside its borders he has such limited experience with. How can anyone think he's a hero?

And so, the logical assumption is, of course, to train. To get better. And obviously, you do that by setting up the Titans Tower's fabled Mud Room to a programmed scenario you made up yourself:



Needless to say, it's going great.

Bombs exploding all around him, spider-sense going haywire as he bends his way through aftershock after aftershock, Spider-Man spins himself a web to the nearest building — only to have the Green Goblin slice it away on the edge of his glider. He tries to buffer his fall — only for the Hobgoblin to tackle into him at high speeds and juggle him into the air. And then also the second Hobgoblin does that. And then the Demogoblin. And then the Goblin King. And then the Gray Goblins "I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO THESE TWO ARE!" also pummel him a bit, until it's all shaping up to be just one giant Goblin dogpile and—

"ohmygodcomputerpleaseshutoffshutoffshutoff EXERCISE OVER INPUT VOICE COMMAND SPIDER-OVERRIDE!"

And so it does. Right as all the Goblins are mid-flight. Directly over him. Discorporating into a deluge of mud.

"oh no"



And that's the story of why Peter Parker, Spider-Man, answers the door to Titans Tower, covered in mud.

The meatball sub he's currently working on is just because frankly he's good enough strong enough smart enough and dagnabbit he's just been drenched in mud and he deserves it.

"Yeah hold on okay I was just trying to find an industrial-grade towel for—"

The door hisses open. And there stands Spider-Man. Mask half-rolled up. Covered in drying layers of mud. Meatball sub precariously close to a slackjawed mouth.

"-my soul."

A second passes, in which Spider-Man just sort of… stares. Agape. White lenses open wide as dinner plates. At Gwen. He hasn't seen her since that night she borrowed his costume (also weird). And now here she is. He doesn't know what to say.

"… um. Hidey-ho neighborino." oh my god no why

In the ensuing awkward silence, a chunk of mud sloughs off his shoulder.

And then a meatball falls out of his sub shortly thereafter.

"oh come on sandwich"


The door swings open and Gwen already feels incredibly awkward about knocking on their door like the most famous muppet Bean Bunny when he knocked on the door to Ebenezer Scrooge's House in the Sesame Street's Christmas Carol. This may be folly.

And that feeling is all the more exacerbated by who she sees standing on the opposite side of the door. Peter Parker, in his costume, covered in mud and eating a meatball sandwich that seems to be running away from him.

"Oh!" That's Gwen's first response. "Uh, hi…neighbor? Is that Senator Rogers reference? 'Won't You Be My Neighbor, Vote Rogers?'"

Rubbing a hand awkwardly behind her head, she looks around. "I was, uh, looking for Red Robin." Pause. "Are you…do you…are you here?" She knew Peter was a part of the Titans, but she wasn't expecting him to be the first person she saw when arriving here. It's made her attempt to find a place here all the more awkward. "Thanks, uh, for, you know, the help before. I…you know…I meant to talk to you about it later." She just…didn't. Because it was too awkward. Instead, the suit was left for him hidden in his apartment and she just tried to avoid him. As Spiders do.

"Rough day?" she takes in the fallen meatball and him being covered in mud.


Is that a Senator Rogers reference?


It's awkward. He's just standing there like he was guarding the entrance from her and he realizes she might take it that way even though it's totally not but he can't make himself move because he's desperately trying to think of words to say and those usually never fail him and oh god is he breathing did he forget to breathe—

"… I'm… not sure if I should be horrified The Simpsons might not be a thing where you come from or overjoyed at hearing 'Senator Rogers' is a thing there?"

Good. Banter. He can do this. He can absolutely do this.

"Am I — not supposed to be here? Do you not want me to be here or — n-nevermind forget that."

Oh god no he absolutely can't do this!!

It takes a solid fifteen seconds more before Peter realizes he's STILL being a Spectacular Spider-Barricade and, with a rushed and muted sort of "sorry super sorry!" he awkwardly pivots to the side to allow her in. It's like inviting a vampire inside your home, he thinks to himself, and then immediately berates himself for even daring to think that jokingly, she's clearly not a vampire. And yet…

… it is his past, coming back to haunt him, and he can't maneuver around that.

"It's just — kinda just me here, right now. Dunno where the others are, I can — do you want me to find them, is there someone I can, like — I mean, Red Robin's probably back at Gotham or something, doing Gotham things like brooding or shouting about his city or using his expert detective skills to uncover where in the world Carmen Sandiego is or eating at Batburger or brooding. Did I mention brooding? He might be brooding."

It's only once she's inside that he closes the door; in the lobby, he almost immediately gravitates to a wall, hopping onto it to stick his back comfortable upon its surface. He doesn't care that the mud might be getting on it. He'll fix it later. Red'll understand. He just… needs to be there, right now. "Huh?" he utters, as she thanks him; lenses flicker like a blink. "-Oh! Uh. Right. Yeah. You're… welcome? I mean like, super welcome, you're all of the welcomes, and it's…" He remembers, finding the suit there. Wondering what would have happened if she had brought it in person.

"… it's… it's fine."

Thinking it might have been for the best that she didn't.

A moment passes. He looks down at his sub. At himself. Ugh. Worst timing. Always. A sigh escapes his lips. "It's… it's okay. It's training. Red built this thing called the Mud Room — do you have a Clayface in your world? If you ever get a Clayface, and my advice is never get a Clayface, please inform him or her to never do 'NIGHT OF ALL THE GOBLINS' on you. It's… it's not worth it." Sage advice delivered, he waits half a second. "… and the sub is just going through a phase."

He pauses. Hesitates, visibly, in the twist of his lips, in the way he shifts nervously on the wall. He starts to talk, then stops. Then: "Why are you here?"

"Wow, that sounds bad, I'm not like — it's really okay you're here, I'm just… just… why are you here? But uh. … but in the good way?"


It's a mutual sense of terror. Gwen came here prepared to apologize and ask forgiveness of Red Robin for ducking him and telling him that she didn't need the Titans. It was all personal, all bullshit, she realized. And now….now she is confronted with the very reason why she may have thought she shouldn't be a part of the Titans. Certainly, there is karma out there somewhere and they found her needing a swift kick in the pants.

"It's fine!" she tries to tell Peter as she hesitates and he steps to the side to allow her in. He's awkward, he's scared, he looks exactly as if inviting her in is the last thing he wants. For a moment, she debates thwipping right out of there, careening back to Manhattan and holing up, not dealing with her past, with this version of her present. And instead, she takes an intake of breath and steps inside. It's a few steps, enough for Peter to close the door and then retreat to the wall. That she gets, that is exactly what she wants to do. But, she's the one intruding, she's the invading party here, she needs to stand still.

Wryly, she's unable to help herself quip, "Yeah…he seems the brooding type. He told me to get out of Gotham and join up with the Titans if I wanted to do any good." Though he can't tell, she pales behind her mask and then she starts stepping backward toward that glass door. Sometimes they are too much alike.

He tells her why he is covered in mud and she can take that it. Training, sure. There are so many superheroes here that makes sense. Then, he asks her why she is here. "No…" she doesn't think it sounds bad. "It's…" She pushes her hand against the glass door, perhaps trying to see if there is an easy escape route. "Are there…is this the kind of place where everything is recorded?" In other words, if she takes her mask off, is everyone going to see it later?


No escape, for either of them, at this point. Locked in.

It's hard to see the reasons why right now, in the moment… but it's probably for the best that Peter has no easy way out of this, this time.

But in the moment? In the moment, he is more stiff and awkward than he's ever remembered being in years. He feels like a kid again. Even just hearing her voice through the layer of a mask fills him with memories he doesn't want to remember. Even the good ones. Especially the good ones.

They make the ones that come after hurt all the harder.

But he can't leave. He can't leave. It's his mantra as he listens to Gwen speak, as he tries to shut the memories out, sub all but forgotten as it rests upon his upturned thighs. He thinks back to the first time they met and how they ran away. To Red Robin, and what he told him. Lenses wordlessly narrow.

"I — I seriously think 'Get out of Gotham!' is like… their city slogan or something," he mumbles, the zest of his usual quips not quite there but at least not distant. And that's really part of the problem, isn't it? None of this is distant. He hesitates, a moment. "But… he's a good guy. He just wants to help. Y'know?"

He lapses into silence for the longest time after he asks his question, as she struggles to work her way through the answer. "Maybe we should-" he starts, only for question to cut through his words, perfectly timed to stumble them.

'-find a safe place to talk,' is what he means to say. But she preempts it with aplomb. He clears his throat. Good job, Peter!!

"Er — yeah. Good question. I mean. Red Robin is from Gotham, sooooooo…"

He hesitates. And then, slowly, he jerks his thumb upward.


"Maybe… maybe we should take it outside."


Locked in. That's exactly how Gwen feels. Her entire time in this alternate New York has been defined by running away. Now, though, it is different. She came here with a purpose and she isn't going to leave without that fulfilled.

Peter's fear of her, his reluctance, that only feeds into her own guilt, her own worry. She killed him. He died in her reality because of her actions. And now he is here, looking at her just the same way as she does him. She knows something of what happened, it's documented. All the more reason to avoid, to stay away.

"Gotham doesn't seem like a friendly city," she agrees. "It's weird. The Batman I know is very friendly. He's protective, but in a fatherly sense. I got the sense from Robin that he wasn't like that here. But he did seem to want to help me." Maybe, or maybe he wanted to use her. She couldn't tell. Her Spider Sense is very off kilter here.

The continued mention of Gotham as a place to expect treachery from is continued culture shock. The thumb is jerked upward to say where they an talk. "Done. See you up there."

Without further conversation, debate, or anything of the like, she's off. It's almost like a race. She runs and uses her web shooters to pull herself to the roof as quickly as possible. This is a good release of energy, a slightly improper, but better than actually talking about, way to circumnavigate her own feelings on the matter. Of course, she has the handicap of not actually knowing the layout of the tower.


The Batman I know is very friendly.

very friendly

One day, when he can get past his guilt and self-punishment and awkwardness — one day. Spider-Man is going to have to ask Spider-Woman all about this.

It's important. It's insurance, for the next time he finds himself in Gotham. Maybe she has video footage of him being nice.

Peter's not above resorting to blackmail to make sure he isn't violenced by a Bat. Or… … using it in a way that sparks the Bat-violence.

Tomayto, tomahto.

Either way. There's still trepidation there, when Peter makes his suggestion. Like butterflies in the pit of his stomach, the anxiety churns at him, because he knows why she asked — and honestly? The masks help. Like a barrier. A buffer between them that somehow makes it just slightly less personal than all of this obviously is.

But… he has to face this. He has to—

See you up there.


"H-hey, wait up, I was internal monologuing! And I have a sandwich! No fair!"

And so, flipping his way off his walled perch, Peter kind of half-assedly shoves his sandwich on the top of the nearby desk, proclaims "Aw, come ON, sandwich, SERIOUSLY?!" as it topples off the edge of said desk, waffles there for a good five seconds lurching back and forth towards the mess and the door before making his decision with a "I'LL CLEAN IT LATER RED" for the camera, and stumbles his way outside.

And with one lone thwip, off he goes, careening into the air like he was the rock in a slingshot. It's like a race. And the adrenaline of that helps him forget, just for a little while, what's waiting for him on that rooftop. A distraction against the inevitable. It might make him go a little bit slower. But not by much.

Long story short:

"D-damn you, sandwich…!"

Spider-Man loses.

It's super embarrassing. She doesn't even know the layout of the tower!!


Despite her wrong turns and her badly functioning spider senses, Gwen makes it up to the roof. It's a hot day in New York City, but this high up, the wind whips about them. It's naturally cooler up here, though there is still the warm air that envelops them in humidity.

Gwen doesn't care so much about fair, about sandwiches, about the internal workings of this Tower right now. This is something she needs to face on her own. And so, naturally, she flees toward the roof. Her exit is fast and concentrated. She's clear in making it onto the roof. Maybe, maybe when she gets there she'll just fling herself off of it and swing to freedom. Maybe this was all a mistake.

Then, Gwen bursts out the door and is on the roof of that strangely T shaped building. She won. She looks behind her and sees that Peter is not anywhere in eyesight. She can do exactly as she imagined: swing off. Flee. She could do it. Scott free.

But, she doesn't. She pauses, feet on the edge of the tower. She turns. Suddenly, she feels as if she cannot breath through her mask. Peter told her there are no cameras on the roof and so she decides to believe him. Yanking off her head cover, she takes a deep breath, as if coming up for air from the ocean. On that ledge, she waits. This entire decision took her only moments, but it felt like years.

There, she stands, still in her Spider-Woman outfit, but her mask removed. Her blonde hair is wreck, sticking up in odd places and also plastered to her forehead and neck. She pulls up the hood, so that only someone looking at her face on can see her. It's a partial reveal.

When Peter arrives, she gives him a moment. "Look, Peter, I'm not here to make this hard on you. I just don't know what to do. Why did you join the Titans?"


She could swing away.

So could he.

In scaling that Tower, Peter Parker would be lying if he said the thought didn't cross his mind. She has a head start. He could simply not show up. He could run, again, like the first time they met. Run from the guilt. Run from the pain. Run from the fear of letting her down again, destroying things again.

But he thinks of his Uncle Ben. The other great regret in his life. The things he taught him. The lessons that stay with him to this day.

And it carries him through to the last place he both anticipates and dreads in equal measure.

Neither of them are free, at the end of the day, when Spider-Man lands on that rooftop with Spider-Woman waiting for him. And maybe that speaks volumes more of their character than their insecurities ever could. The dreading feeling in his stomach hasn't quite gone away — and it finds renewed vigor when he lands to find her at th edge of that tower, at so tall a height. Suddenly he regrets the training program he made; images of grinning goblins are still so freshly carved into his memory from this morning, and seeing her…

He ignores it. He pushes it down. Remember what Red Robin said. She needs their help. She's alone in a completely different world with no familiar comforts, only differences. She doesn't even know what Netflix is.

And so, for a time, he just stands there after Gwen removes that mask, and the pang of pain burns its way right through his chest. He stands there… but this time, he doesn't run. He hesitates…

… and then he tugs off that mask, to be the brown-haired companion in plastered bed head to one Gwen Stacy. Seriously. That hair is just… all over the place.

Masks. Just the worst.

And yet, without it, he feels as exposed as a raw nerve. It's so much harder to hide his obvious trepidation without that mask clutched between his red-wrapped fingers, the way he looks just slightly aside as Gwen speaks. The way he bites the inside of his mouth. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He can't help it. And in this moment, he really wishes he could.

"I know," he murmurs, his voice barely carrying in the open air. "I know. And I don't — I don't wanna make this difficult for you either. I really don't."

Why did he join? Hazel eyes tilt downward. And then, slowly — they find their way back. Back to Gwen.

"… Because I… want to help people. Because I want to help but it feels like I keep screwing up. You know? I made a mistake once. I never want to make it again. And every time I try to do this alone… I… I get people hurt." He looks aside, unable to maintain that stare, focusing instead on the cityscape at the horizon. "… people I care about."

He stalls there. Looking like he's teetering on the edge of a confession and hesitating on the precipice of it.

"… I joined the Titans because I think they can help me. And I think we can help you, too. I think — I want to help you." He looks back towards her finally. Swallows down the trepidation.

"I need to help you, Gwen."


Gwen stands defiantly on the edge of the roof, hair whipping about and suddenly more put together, or at least less plastered to her face. Tucking the hood into her pocket, she keeps watching Peter.

She wants to tell him just how much he doesn't understand her point of view, how he is off base. But, she also knows that the Gwen Stacy here is dead. That Spider-Man is implicated in that death.

The mask is pulled off and Gwen looks at Peter. There's a brief intake of breath, a watering at the corner of her eyes. It's almost like she has been punched in the stomach as she sees Peter pull the mask off of his face. "You look just like him," she says, unable to help herself, the admission chocked. For a moment, it looks like she'll take the step off that ledge and into oblivion and anonymity. Her eyes look anywhere but Peter. She looks like she needs to escape, as she was joking about before.

Now, though, she looks to Peter straight on. "I want to help people, too. That's why I'm here. I hurt people. I could keep doing it….and I don't want to do that anymore."

Peter's personal reasons sink into her a little late. She doesn't leap off the bulding, but she keeps moving toward another point. "You don't know me, Peter. You don't need to help me. I'm not…I'm not who you knew. You're not who I knew." And yet, she is still here.


It's hard, seeing ghosts in the flesh. It's a constant mantra to remind himself that this isn't the Gwen he knew. She had her own life. Her own troubles. Her own friendships, her own connections. He shouldn't just transpose the Gwen he knew on her.

But every time he looks at that face, so much like her, it's like he's staring into his past.

Like he could deceive himself into thinking this is the second chance to make things right that he knows deep in his heart he just doesn't deserve.

And that's why he can't shake that haunted look, that aversive, guilty gaze, anymore than he can convince himself the words that he utters next aren't an outright and utter lie: "I know. I know you're not. And I'm not… I'm not that Peter, either. That isn't what this is about. I mean it. I-" am completely full of it. Of course it is. How could it not be? But he eats the lie. He tries to force himself to live it hard enough that it's the truth.

"Red Robin, he talked to me, after… after we met. He said… a lot of things. Lot of good points. Really annoying. But — but." There's always a but. "But the Titans can help you. If you don't want to hurt people, if you want to help, if you want — I don't know. My Uncle Ben told me once — told me a lot — that with great power comes great responsibility." And Peter failed him too in the end—

No. Don't think about that. Offer a hand instead. Offer a smile instead. Awkward, sure. But smile. And tell her something actually earnest.

And so he does. He offers that hand, even though it is so painful just to try. Offers a smile, even if it's shackled by guilt. And offers at least a single truth:

"If we can help someone, we ought to try, right? Join us. Please."

He'd say 'I promise I won't make it weird,' but, well.

He's already lied enough already.


Seeing Peter is as much as ghost for her as it is for him. Seeing a Peter as a super power hero? It both invigorated and worried her. She read the articles of Gwen Stacy and so she knows something of her other counterpart. Peter has nothing of the sort.

"You know I'm not your Gwen and I'm sure you know I think I know what your Gwen is like. But…you don't know anything about the Peter Parker I knew." And that's probably for the best, seeing who this Peter turned out, seeing that he has the gifts her Peter always wanted.

From her position she is perfectly primed to either run or to accept Peter's outstretched hand. For a few moments, it's unclear what her decision is. Peter tries to promise that he won't make it weird. She knows that cannot be the case simply due to how they have interacted recently Her body language is primed to spring, ready to leap away to and not deal with this recent entanglement.

However, Peter reaches out his hand. Without their masks, she looks at the hand and then up at his face. She can somehow read him and his underlying emotions there. He is earnest, pained, guilty. And yet, he reaches out a hand to help her. He wants to help her.

This is not her Peter. And….and that is a good thing.

Gwen, on the edge of the roof, on the edge of leaping away again, watches Peter. He can even start to see the change in her expression as she looks down at his offered hand. He sees the pain in that outstretched hand. She can see the meaning in that open palm. It stops her immediately in her tracks, just as much as his words do.

Hesitantly, as if expecting him to slap her hand away, she reaches out to take his hand. "Okay," she agrees. It's not a heartfelt pledge, but it is one that she means. Her breath catches in her throat, but she agrees. "I'll join you."


There's still so much Peter doesn't know about this Gwen. If he were more inclined to joke, he'd say the fact that Blockbuster is a thing that exists in her world tells him all he needs to know.

But she thought Cindy was evil. She thinks the Batman is a jovial and friendly man.

And she looks at him with that same, guilty expression he wears, and it fills him to the core with a single, icy sentiment:

'What sort of person could I have possibly been there to make her look at me like that?'

He's not sure he wants to know. He doesn't really know if he should know. Past the almost reactive flinch as she brings up his Gwen, there is a point there where confusion and curiosity and trepidation dance on those expressive features of his at the mention of her Peter, as if wandering the thin line between wanting to ask and knowing it isn't his place. Ultimately…

"… You're right. I don't. But I…"

… maybe it's for the best he let her tell him when she's ready. If she's ready.

"… I know what it's like. To not want to talk about it. … To live with it."

And maybe it's for the best she doesn't know the truth of what happened to his Gwen.

Maybe he can tell her, when he's ready.

If he's ready.

For now, he focuses on what he can do, the one thing he can do to distract himself from the other unpleasant things. To keep him from falling into the trap of that familiar face. He offers his hand. Offers to help. It feels easier, somehow, than he expected, for all indecision and aversion rule his body language.

He can focus on this. Because he does want to help her. Because he doesn't want to see her in trouble, if he's in a position to help. And as hands clasp, as he hesitates only a moment before he takes that hand in a firmer, more sure grip, he thinks that maybe, just maybe… he can reach a point of acceptance in all this. A point of normalcy.

I'll join you.

A point where he won't keep seeing the ghost, and all of this won't be so awkward.

"… Alright? I mean. Alright. Okay. Yeah. Like — great. You'll barely regret it."

It's nice to hope sometimes.

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