Written by AuGoose :: [Sunday, 30 October 2016 22:59] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 13 November 2016 17:09]
By Au Goose
A work of fiction set in the Marvel Universe. Safe for work. No alien symbiotes were harmed during the making of this film.
It was good to be alive.
Six months ago she thought for sure she was gonna die. Spiderman and that scary oily-black freak the news called Venom had gotten in a fight that had rolled more than 20 blocks up the east side of Manhattan. She hadn’t seen the end of it, something about the Fantastic Four swooping in to help out, but she’d sure as hell seen the middle. They’d come swinging through right over her head as she’d been walking home from school. Venom had torn a big gargoyle off of one of the rooftops and was winding back to hurl it when black ooze had rolled up his huge, thick arms and covered the chunk of stone with wriggling tentacles and teeth. Spidey had dodged it – barely – and she’d been right under where it had hit a building and exploded in a rain of rock and goo.
She’d screamed... Spiderman had spun in mid-air, trying to help... But it had been Venom that has swooped down and snatched her out of the path of the miniature avalanche. She thought for sure she was about to be a hostage, or get her head bitten clean off by the giant mouth filled with three rows of teeth so close to her face it filled her whole world... but it... he? -had just dropped her off gently on the opposite street corner, winked at her with one hideously huge white eye-spot, and flung himself upwards at Spiderman with a roar.
After that she’d thought maybe he’d just gotten a bad rap. Public opinion was split over a lot of New York’s more ‘colorful’ residents, and really, what did the average person really know about the world of costumed crime & crime fighting? Other than it made busses run slow and sometimes you had to walk to school around a roped-off crater.
Still shaky, she’d tottered over to where the gargoyle bits had shattered into even smaller bits on the sidewalk. The Venom-gunk was smeared across the concrete like some kind of wild shoot out at a paint-ball range, if everybody had all agreed to use black paint that day. That could easily have been her she realized, nothing left of her but a bunch of red paint in and amongst the rest. Just the thought of it left her feeling hollow.
Then she caught a little wiggle out of the corner of her eye. A sense of movement.
A bit of the black paint was trying to crawl away. It looked like a big black gummy worm, maybe 4 inches long.
Later she’d tell herself that she’d thought it would make a good story for show and tell. Or that she’d turn it in for a bounty or something. But in truth, she didn’t really know why she’d whipped her almost empty water-bottle out of her fanny-pack and coaxed the little blob into it with the wide cap.
She’d had to talk to the cops, of course, but with all eyes turned towards the Spider-shenanigans whipping along 10 stories up nobody had actually seen her collecting what should have been an easy ‘A’ in junior biology for that semester.
Once she’d gotten home and talked her mom down from her hysteria at seeing Megan on the news nearly killed in a superhero fight, she’d swiped one of the big jars mom kept old pasta noodles in and dumped out her water bottle. Then she pitched her bottle – there wasn’t enough soap in North America to entice her to drink out of that container ever again!
It seemed like maybe it was dead. Paint on the sidewalk like the rest. The little twist of darkness just lay on the bottom of the jar. She tried putting in water and baby carrots and even a cricket that her little brother used to feed his pet frog. Nuthin’. Munching on her own afternoon snack, she tore off a hunk of donut and dropped that in. BAM! It perked right up. Little bugger had a sweet tooth. ‘Looks like we have one thing in common,’ Megan had though. She ended up putting the rest of the donut in before screwing the lid down. It grew a toothy little mouth and munched on it happily. Simultaneously cute and horrifying. Researching Venom on the internet, she’d seen pictures of him blorping out a great big wave of black slime that grew a mouth like that before biting the back end off a police SWAT van. ‘Cool!’ she’d thought. This Venom guy might be some kind of public enemy, but he’d been nice to her, and honestly, you couldn’t be a teenager in New York and not think it would be awesome to swing around on web-vine-things. Spiderman made it look so bad ass.
In a fit of juvenile humor she slapped a piece of masking tape on the jar and wrote ‘INKY’ on it in big block letters.
Not sure if it even needed air she’d punched a few holes in the lid with a screwdriver. She was feeling pretty clever: she’d have all weekend to take pictures and maybe write up a little placard before school on Monday. Except... Saturday morning when she pulled the jar out of its hiding place in her closet to start her little science faire project... the goo was gone! She ended up looking all over her room, eating all the donuts she’d brought to feed it while she searched. Stress eating, and she was kinda freaked out. The lid was still on. Where the hell had Inky gone? She’d meant to film the little rascal eating, but with no blob, she might as well hide the food-evidence. Had it squeezed through the air holes? She questioned her bother as circumspectly as she could but he swore he hadn’t been in her room at all. It didn’t turn up the rest of the weekend, and with school bearing down on her, she ended up having to write the whole episode off as a bad idea. Venom seemed to sneak off a lot, she decided she shouldn’t be surprised a little piece of him would hide too. Inky was probably down in the sewers by now picking fights with little tiny lizards or something. Spiderman seemed to tussle with all kinds of animal-dudes, when you thought about it. She’d even seen the Rhino once from a few blocks away.
Seriously, who comes up with a ‘rhino-man’? Does whatever a rhino can.
She should have seen it coming of course. The signs were there. She’d grown a bit of a mean streak, getting into no less that five fights at school were she just mopped the floor with the bitches who wanted to have a go at ‘rolly-polly Megan Moore’. Summer vacation had been a welcome relief. She’d have been suspended for sure if her grades hadn’t been so good.
All summer little things happened to her. She’d been able to help three burly firemen lift a car off a guy when she’d stumbled into another superhero brawl out by the Metropolitan museum. She was sort of a magnet for super-human BS it seemed. Or maybe that’s just what living in New York is always like.
As the weather got hotter she chased down a purse snatcher in the park and gotten a special thank you from the patrol officer. She’d been a little confused in July when she realized her mousy brown hair was growing in black as a raven’s wing, but honestly it looked super cool and she’d dyed the rest so she wouldn’t look piebald. The new hair was silky-sleek like Goths only dreamed of and she didn’t have to do a thing but watch it get longer and longer. Hell, she’d beat up half a dozen gangers who’d been about to do something awful to a girl she only vaguely knew from band class last year. Not because she was into playing hero, she’d just needed to kick the crap out of the leader in his stupid red-and-blue spidey-fan shirt. And despite eating more junk food than ever before she’d lost weight like crazy. She’d been adorably chubby when Venom had scooped her up, but four months later she was goddamn svelte. She’d taken up jogging and lifting weights... things that had both never interested her before. A change that along with her unbroken string of victories against all the shitheads in her little slice of the city had given her a terrifying, foolhardy sense of bravado.
Look out world! Megan Moore was an all new creature, and one that wasn’t gonna take shit from anybody!
Back in school the following September, she’d rolled away from an out-of-control bus like an acrobat. Somehow she just knew from a block away the driver was sleeping. And when she realized she’d dropped her backpack in the crosswalk still in the bus’ s path she’d flicked out a slender black tendril and yanked it to her like it was the most natural thing imaginable.
She’d even managed to get into an alley before she screamed herself horse looking at the glossy black gloves she could make form or melt into her skin at will.
Ho. Ly. SHIT.
“I’m Venom-girl! ...no, wait, that’s a fucking terrible name. More like Spider-Meg... oh gawd, that’s even worse! I’m... I’m... not gonna decide right now!”
Listening to herself, she decided what she really was was on the verge of being hysterical. But with or without a superhero-name, she was ecstatic! she had super powers! Sorta. Maybe. Definitely!
Megan had ditched class entirely that day, because discovering you could climb walls and swing around on your own tendrils was about six-hundred times more awesome than a history pre-test. And Megan actually liked her Senior-year history class.
She’d tried to do everything Venom-thing she knew of. She couldn’t actually make a whole costume for herself... she seemed to hit her limit pretty quickly after covering her hands and feet to stick to walls, just little curling streamers of the blackness for the rest of her body...
But still! SO. COOL!
She also realized that some of the impulses she was having, the constant snacking and the flashes of belligerence towards anybody in red-and-blue, might not be her own. She spent hours every day that September trying to talk to ‘Inky’. It was more of a feeling than actually talking, but she thought she made out “Together... Good” and of course “Hungry, hungry, hungry hungry...” which had pretty much been droning in her head all along.
Inky was a total glutton. But at least now she knew why she could eat the most ridiculously greasy burgers and not one bit of it would show up on her long, trim thighs. And while she probably should have been terrified, being able to sense Inky’s coils insider her, moving her cells around as she got stronger and sleeker and prettier, she just couldn’t believe this was anything but wonderful. She was as popular as she chose to be and there were even boys asking after her, a level of blunt interest she’d never had the pleasure of before. Boys she could pound into paste if they got too frisky.
In fact she was riding so high that she didn’t even groan when her mom suddenly announced she was going to have to work Halloween this year... Meaning Megan was on deck for trick-or-treat chaperone duty.
“Really? No complaints?” Her mother had noticed the lack of resistance immediately.
“Nope. Guess I’m just growing up.”
“Or you’re planning to extort candy from Connor and all his friends...”
Megan looked sheepish for a moment. Her mom was maybe the only person who could do that to her now. Teachers had long since given up, resigned to the fact that while Megan was difficult, she was also very good at class work.
“It’s like a finders fee...” Megan offered in her defense.
Her mom looked her up and down, openly admiring the slim young woman her daughter was becoming. “Well, I don’t know where you put it all, but try not to take too much. You are growing up and Halloween’s a kids thing.”
They hugged and she whispered in Megan’s ear “Plus us adults will get to have the really GOOD chocolate after I get off shift.”
Mom left them some money to pick up a store-costume and bolted for the door, already running late.
Megan turned on Connor with all the towering menace an older sister can exude. And in her case it was a lot of menace.
“Alright, sprout, here’s the deal. There’s just two rules. One: you can’t go at all without me, so I get half the take.”
“No fair. You can have a quarter!” He was so obviously proud of knowing fractions she almost let it go at that, but in the back of her head Inky was practically gibbering “Candy, candy, candy!”
“A third, take it or leave it, boyo.”
“...Ok, but you have to take all the licorice... and that still counts as part of your third!”
“Who taught you how to drive such a hard bargain?” she mock-groused: they both knew it was her.
“What’s rule two?” He inquired, pretty sharp for a 12 year old. Ran in the family, she thought.
“No Spiderman costumes.” Because she didn’t need Inky twitching in her ear all night.
“You know ‘awww’ doesn’t work with me. I’m immune to ‘awww’. Its one of my many super-powers. Aww-proof.”
“Can I be the Hulk?!” He beamed up at her, entirely unafraid of her looming like all little brothers are.
“Yes, you may be a rampaging green monster... if you sit sill so I can put green face paint on you, because plastic Hulk masks are terrible.
“YAAAAYYY!!” He ran around the apartment with the boundless energy only pre-teens have.
“We have a deal, then.”
“YAAAAYYY!!” He repeated.
And in the back of her head she heard Inky echoing him, “YAAAAYYY!!” then “candy...candy...candy...!”
Hours later they were still at it, working their way through block after block in the pursuit of ever larger tummy aches. Megan was sheepherding a flock of 7 kids in conjunction with one of the neighborhood mothers. Inky was amusing itself by pick-pocketing the other kids’ goodie-bags or even the candy bowl directly as residents opened their doors to feed the ravenous mobs inching around the many well-lit residential blocks.
The battle cry rang out from every street: “Trick or Treat, Smell my feet, Give use something good to eat!!”
Inky sing-songed along happily in the back of Megan’s head until she was just about sick of it, all attempts to hush her other half failing miserably.
In fact it was the childish squeals of laugher that masked the deeper, richer screams of adults until it was far too late.
As Connor and his friends staged their next assault on the oh-so-suspecting occupants lurking behind yet another well-lit door, Megan heard a strange wailing hiss pass by overhead, followed by a distant electronic beeping, but didn’t take it for anything more than a really annoying ring tone.
“Trick or Treat!!” They yelled en mass, shuffling forward to accept their rightful loot in sacks and pillowcases of all shapes and sizes. Megan heard a dull metallic clunk on the rooftop above and struck by the same unbearable impulse to act and ACT NOW! that had saved her from the bus, she snatched Connor into her arms and sprang away from the door with far more than human agility.
An orange-gold orb not much bigger than both of her fists rolled off the sloped rooftop. In a sort of painful slow motion as her amped-up senses tried to sort out her mad flight, she saw the tumbling ball was painted or maybe pieced to have a jack-o-lantern face on one side.
Then it turned into green light.
Somewhere inside the emerald blaze of light, the old couple managing the candy bowl and the front rank of Connor’s friends were replaced by glowing green skeletons. The woman Megan had been walking with had attempted her own instinctive rescue, pulling three of the kids back and holding out her hand to ward off the strange orb. From the middle of the forearm down, her outstretched arm was striped of all flesh, the bones glowing eerily, fused to each other, retaining their shape. A fourth youngster had escaped death by mere chance, having paused at the back of the pack to re-tie his shoe.
The other two kids and the two residents were just gone. Like that. In a pitiless green flash. Up and down the block the scene was repeated almost a dozen more times.
No one who’d spent the whole summer researching Spiderman and his foes could fail to recognize the author of this carnage: The Green Goblin was out for a night on the town on his favorite night of the year. Right here in Megan’s neighborhood. She really was a magnet for super-villains it seemed.
She didn’t know what she could do, but she knew she had to try. She grabbed Connor firmly. “You get home. You get home right now and you don’t look back.”
He sniffled, still not comprehending what had happened. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to help the police.” She announced stonily. It wasn’t quite a lie.
She waited until she was sure he was moving in the right direction, then took off after the hissing sound she’d heard at a dead run.
As plans go, this was not her greatest. Knowing the neighborhood, she’d correctly anticipated where the Goblin’s flight path would come back around to do the most damage and she’d met him head-on over a local grocery store. It was the only place for blocks that would be pretty much people-free.
The part where she’d anchored two web-lines to the heavy concrete posts in front of the store’s main doors had worked great, and the part where she’s shot the other ends into the wings of his glider-thing had gone better than expected, really. It had stopped him cold. But the part where he’d whipped an inverted 180 and come after her in the blink of an eye throwing some kind of homing knives at her...? Not so brilliant. She’d turned and fled, prying the store’s doors open and darting inside. About five seconds later he’d blown those same doors apart with some sort of mini-missile and shot into the store after her, completely undaunted by the enclosed space.
Instead of flying back and forth looking for her, he just hovered over the check-out lanes. “Oh come now...” He drawled loudly enough to fill the small store. “No hiding. If I get bored I’m going to go back to the party outside... and I don’t think you want that.”
He launched some sort of metal bat over the center of the store and moments later it exploded in a downward cone of needles that tore boxes, bottles, and even cans of food into indistinct mush.
Yeah, no, she wasn’t coming out just because he wanted her too. She was perfectly happy to just keep hiding as long as he wanted to stick around.
He tipped his head listening, those big pointed ears of his not just for show. Megan held her breath...
“Well, we can’t all be heroes.” He decided aloud. With a face full of disappointment, he pivoted in mid-air and began to drift towards the door, a tempting target.
Just as he came even with entry, Megan stepped out from behind a table stacked high with fruit and shot a tendril at the wing of the glider.
To her horror he was already turning back towards her, fully anticipating a last second ambush. with a little scooping dip he wrestled the glider like an expert surfer, dropping down to deliberately catch her tendril on his forearm, twisting it around his arm twice and getting a firm hold with his hand.
Megan had been proud of her growing strength as she’d firmed up over the summer, more than a match for the boys at school or even fully grown thugs. But the Green Goblin jerked her forward onto her face with contemptuous ease. Before she could even lift her head he’d shot back into the store, dragging her along. She bounced off displays, toppling small stands left and right before he swung back around, cracking the whip with malicious glee. He flung her straight into a row of shelves. Fortunately for her many economy-sized bags of corn chips died to soften the worst of the impact but she still ended up sprawled all the way in the next aisle: seasonal items. In this case Halloween candy in wretched abundance.
He swooped around through the back of the store, effortlessly managing the glider even in the tight confines where he had to duck under the angled ceiling beams. “Oh, look, my favorite colors, orange and black and lots of RED!”
She sat up on her elbows in the center of the mess she’d made and glared at him. “I thought you’d be more partial to green...”
“Don’t get smart with me. Bad jokes are one of the least likable things about you wall-crawlers.”
“Sis?” A plaintive voice called out behind her. “Mom said I should stay with you...”
Megan froze. No, he couldn’t have followed her...?
“Oh, shit Connor!? Run. Run away right now!!” She screamed at him, suddenly more terrified than she had been all night.
The Green Goblin didn’t miss a beat. A psychotic genius, but still a genius. “Ooooo ho ho. Connor is it? Aren’t siblings just adorable? I had to murder mine...” His saccharine-sweet lilt turned into a snarl: “Let me save you the trouble!!” He threw two more of the metal bat things simultaneously this time, one down either side of the aisle. A psychotic genius, but still psychotic.
With the same certainty she’d avoided the bus accident all those months ago, she KNEW she wouldn’t be able to stop the two crisscrossing blasts of metal shards from chopping Connor into wet shreds right before her eyes.
But it wouldn’t stop her from trying. She pivoted and leapt at Conner, a tendril firing out of her palm to pull him to her while she shot another at one of the bats, unsurprised to see it loop and twist so as to cut the strand right out of the air. The Goblin had been fighting webslingers a long time and his weapons were quite able to compensate for their tactics. Still, it had delayed it slightly, and now Connor was in her arms... she curled around him as the two bats burst into deadly clouds of razor-edged shrapnel.
Even curled around him, she couldn’t keep one of his arms from being exposed to the withering hail of steel needles. His arm instantly turned red, completely drenched in blood.
Megan collapsed to the floor with a thin squeal, not doing much better herself. Where the few coils of oily black covered her the needles had been deflected or arrested, but her own regular skin had been ravaged by a weapon designed first and foremost to inflict PAIN.
She was a living, bleeding pincushion.
Without looking up from where she lay atop Connor she heard the weird trembling hiss his glider made come right up over her. He had to be looking down at her crumpled body, black blood oozing from every inch of her.
“Really. Heroes,” He snorted. “You’re so boringly predictable. On a scale of one to ten I give you three spiders. That’s a whole twenty-four legs. You should be proud considering it’s your first time....”
Then the glider-sound drifted away, and she opened her sticky eyes just in time to see him turn at the end of the aisle and head for the ruined doors. Back out into the night and somebody else’s problem.
She heard his unholy laughter fill the store. Then there was a dull metallic clunk and the hissing noise increased as he shot out the doors at full speed.
Casual as a cat come in to look for its supper, a pumpkin bomb rolled up the aisle, stopping only feet from her as the rising beeping promised immanent detonation. The source of the earlier clunk she realized in a moment of useless clarity.
Oh God. You hear stories. Army guys jumping on grenades because if they don’t all their friend will die. The horrible calculus of one life for many, when that one life was already lost. Connor was right there, already bleeding. Hurt so bad. Everything hurt.
With a howl of rage and pain, Megan lifted herself up off the ichor-slicked floor tiles and heaved herself onto the glossy metallic jack-o-lantern that was going to kill her. The beeping grew so fast it was almost a solid tone. She curled herself around it, hoping maybe, maybe Connor would—
The world went away in a scream of green light.
TriCK oR TreAt...
Shut up Inky. We’re dead.
SMelL mY FEeT...
I said ‘quiet’.
GiVe uS soMEthiNg gOoD To eAT?
Oh fine, Inky. Have all you want. Just be quiet.
Much to her surprise, Megan opened her eyes.
Well, maybe not her eyes, but she could see, in a weird, fisheye way. And to anyone but her, what she saw would have been a horror. She was... spread out, flayed and torn, a big black pulsating web spread all over the candy aisle while she/Inky devoured hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of cheap chocolate bars and a thousand kinds of hard candies.
It was the candy motherload. Sugar-Nirvana. That first little bit of donut months ago times one-million.
And just behind her, curled up in a ball on the floor, surrounded by a lacy mesh of thin black tendrils was Connor, twitching fitfully in the center of a small but still frightening pool of red blood.
But alive! Oh sweet fates, he was still ALIVE.
She could already hear sirens. Help would be on the way for Connor, but the EMTs would never even try if the Goblin was still here dropping bombs and blades and whatever other awful junk he kept in that satchel.
Megan could feel the strength flowing back into her as Inky’s nimble little teeth cut into bag after bag of cheap holiday treats. This was one store that wouldn’t be having an after Halloween candy sale. She/Inky were eating everything.
She could feel tendrils of herself two aisles over nosing around the peanut butter and jelly. But she couldn’t feel her hands, or feet. Because she didn’t have any. The bomb had turned most of her to dust, just like it had those pour souls out on the street. But inky had secreted her away, burned in radioactive flames to protect her head, to keep her bones from being scattered like twigs in a hurricane.
Saved her life at terrible cost.
As the churning bubbling feast continued she could feel her body knitting back together inside the growing pool of black fluid at the center of the web. It was a ghoulish sensation, strangely fitting for all hallows eve.
‘Gee, can you make me taller while you’re at it?’ she thought, bemused.
‘Can... Better. Know what... you like. Good is good.’
‘Good IS good’ she thought. ‘But what I need is good enough to kick the Goblin’s ass.’
‘New... you. Stronger. New... me... whole. Whole, whole, whole...’
‘Now THAT sounds promising.’ Megan thought.
As the black web pulled itself together, leaving behind shelves stripped of their bounty more efficiently than any locust swarm, what formed in the center wasn’t exactly Megan and it wasn’t exactly Inky either, but it was a whole hell of a lot more formidable than either of them had been half a hour ago.
She, pulled herself to her feet by shooting tendrils into the ceiling and hoisting herself like a wobbly puppet, her movement inhuman and using her tendrils far more intuitively than before. SHe was black... completely black. A smaller, more feminine version of Venom, her eye-spots and the spidery squiggle of lines across her torso a pumpkin orange.
She looked down at Connor and cringed. She wanted to race away with him, carry him to a hospital and demand they do something, fix him... but with all the needles still sticking out of him she didn’t even dare touch him.
She could still hear chaos outside. The Goblin hadn’t gone far.
She half trudged, half marched out of the broken doors, seeing every car still in the small lot on fire. The flickering flames reflected off her sleek black body, not an inch of human skin showing now.
Her stride growing firmer, she moved to the center of the lot where she roared at the Goblin circling above.
He rolled over to face her in a complex twist that had him upside-down for most of it – an offhanded reminder he’d be doing this for years.
“Oh Goody! Have you got a round two in you? I give you six more spider legs just for getting up after that last bang. Real ‘A’ for effort. Not many can survive one of my shiny toys! Now come up here! I want to play some more!”
He swooped closer, noting her dramatically increased size, muscularity, and all-around Venom-ness. “Hmm... Have we met before? You look like someone I work with...”
She lifted up into the air, not flying but lifted by a living web of tendrils that shot out from her shoulders, knees, and back, swinging her into the air while leaving her hands free. Her bulbous black head peeled back revealing row after row of thick ivory fangs. She gurgled as much as spoke, the sound of Hell’s sewers backing up.
“Round two?” the relatively slender Symbiote demanded. “I am going to gnaw your face right off the front of your skull and carve a fucking Jack o’ lantern into the back, you psycho.”
The Goblin drew back in honest surprise. “Such language, young woman! If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were trying to seduce me!” He went off into his annoying cackle again.
While she was mad enough to really do it, mostly she wanted to lead this maniac away from the store.
So she shot webbing into his face.
“Rrrraahh! Always getting your silly string in my eyes! Is there a class somewhere where they teach all the little spiders that?” He ripped the gobs away with casual brutality, tearing the skin off his own face with less concern than he’d show a piece of litter on the street. Megan was already on the move, lashing him with fanged tendrils even as she hooked his glider and dragged him along in her wake.
Once again experience had picked a side and it wasn’t hers. He cut himself loose from her tow-line in less time than it took to tell, and had her dancing in three dimensions trying to dodge half a dozen homing blades while he slowly boxed her in for a pumpkin-flavored kill.
Perhaps the only think keeping her alive even that long was that she just totally let Inky manage her constant shifting and turning in mid-air, swinging from three or four lines at once in a manner that was strictly speaking alien.
“I have to say... you move more like Doctor Octopus than any of the spider-fools. It’s quite mesmerizing...” The Goblin acknowledge as another one of his bombs sailed wide and she flitted another half block east.
Megan knew it was less drawing him away than genuinely fleeing for her life. Still, she caught a glimpse of an ambulance pulling up to the grocery store door and smiled to herself inside the mass of fangs that was her game face.
“Can more than two play? Because I brought a ball...” A voice called out from above, but falling towards them fast.
Inside, Inky squealed a little in surprise and fright, but it was music to Megan’s ears: Spiderman.
A hardened sphere of webbing smashed downwards into one of the glider’s wings, nearly pitching the rider off on the first hit. Megan couldn’t help herself. “Oh, Gobby. You are so screwed now...”
And she was right.
In the end she’d let Peter do the heavy lifting. She really didn’t want to have to explain the whole ‘Little Miss Venom’ situation to him mid-wisecrack. After a little vigorous tag teaming the Green Goblin had bolted for whatever hole he usually hid in. She’d slipped away while Spiderman was still getting the last word in with his old nemesis. Back on the ground she managed to mold Inky into a pretty acceptable dress, blending into the crowds still fleeing the fight. She’d been a little afraid to find out what was under all the black bodysuit, but it looked and felt pretty much like herself, if a couple inches taller as requested.
She quickly made her way back to the heart of the battle and with genuine tears in her eyes managed to hitch a ride with one of the ambulances carrying the wounded to the hospital. Her brother was already there they promised. He was a mess, but they’d already started surgery.
Megan spent almost an hour in the hospital, just sitting in the waiting room. Her mom came in a whirlwind of panic and love and the two had clung to each other crying themselves out, then sitting in exhausted torment until a doctor finally appeared. The doctor’s face shown with a warmth that filled them with hope.
He could have strung it out, walked them through fifty details they didn’t care about.... Instead he cut right through the bullshit. “Your little boy will live. We were able to save the arm. But he’s gonna be delicate for several months, so be gentle.”
Turned out Megan and her mom still had a few more tears in them after all.
She sat high on top of the hospital, looking out over the city as the rising sun slowly lit it with autumn colors, gazing out over the streets she. Savoring the crisp November air. No mask, no costume. Legs dangling over an abyss that held no terror for her anymore.
From here she could see the Baxter building and Inky trembled at the sight. Something terrible had happened there. Now that Inky was full grown they could commune more easily, but looking at that tower with the giant ‘4’s sculpted into each face, Inky forgot what words were and just keened inside her, a lonely, frightened sound.
Spiderman had seen her, recognized her on sight of course, what she was if not who she was. While they’d worked hand in hand to beat the Goblin, she’d noticed he never once turned his back on her either. The enemy of my enemy is still only my enemy’s enemy.
“Peter Parker.” she whispered. Somehow, she just knew.
They’d meet again. She just knew that too.
She was kind of a magnet for that sort of thing.
But right now, in this moment?
It was good to be alive.