Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
Word Count: Ch. 10 - 2500 words
Summary: It is a month before Peter and Mary Jane’s wedding, and everything is seeming to go wrong. Unknown to the happy couple, help is about to come from an unexpected source.
Chapter Teaser: As he got closer to the street, people started to really recognize what it was. He found that he truly enjoyed the staring and pointing. But what was more satisfying were the terrified shouts and screams he heard as he flew by. He was sure they were thinking, What is he doing back in town? I thought Spider-Man took care of him!
Author’s Note: I would like to once again remind you, before you point out any similarities, that I wrote this long before (December of 2005) the first trailers appeared. :D
Chapter 10: Trap
Dark gray smoke trailed behind him, making it easy to track his progress. Anyone who looked up might vaguely remember the sight from three years ago. Most probably wondered what could be flying so low. Harry hoped they remembered.
As he got closer to the street, people started to really recognize what it was. He found that he truly enjoyed the staring and pointing. But what was more satisfying were the terrified shouts and screams he heard as he flew by. He was sure they were thinking, What is he doing back in town? I thought Spider-Man took care of him!
“Think again, New York,” he said under his breath. He was now gliding along at a height of only fifty feet, zipping between buildings. The alarm of pedestrians was growing more noticeable as he made his descent. It was perfect.
Harry had spent months preparing for this day. He would attack Peter when he would be most vulnerable - and his wedding day was the perfect opportunity. The fact that the two lovebirds had picked a public setting like City Hall made it all the more delicious. How ironic that Peter would have to defend himself and his loved ones while revealing his secret identity to everyone in view!
Peter would expect him to grab Mary Jane or May. But it was Harry Osborn – not Norman – who was calling the shots this time. This was between him and Peter only. He would lead the chase to the bay or somewhere – anywhere – Peter would have no place to attach his webbing.
Harry’s mind whirled with anticipation as he rounded the corner. Crowds of people were entering and leaving the building, a few sat on the wide stone staircase leading to the doors. He scanned quickly for a group, but saw nothing. I am sure I heard May tell someone three o’clock over the telephone... Was he too early, too late?
As they finally noticed him zeroing in on them, people began to clear a path, shouting and running for cover. A group of businessmen who were leaving City Hall suddenly scattered, revealing… Spider-Man. He sat on the steps, arms folded. Harry had been expected.
“Hi, Gobby. Long time no see.” He saluted Harry sarcastically.
Harry’s anger boiled over inside, giving the voice, suppressed for several months, a chance to break through his disciplined mind. There he is, my boy! You have the power to finish him off! No matter that he expected you – Osborn blood runs in your veins! Use the talents you inherited to stay one step ahead!
“Spider-Man. Hiding behind civilians? You’ve become even more cowardly in my absence,” he taunted in the metallic voice that issued from the armor.
“Just playing a little hide-and-seek.” He raised his hands in mock supplication. “I know how you like games. Here’s another one: Catch me if you can!” With that, he sprang into the air, away from the terrified crowd.
This was not one of the scenarios Harry had planned, but never mind. Now that he had Peter in his sights – now that Peter knew for certain that he had taken up his father’s mantle, he would not pass up a chance to destroy him.
Suppressing the voice again, he kicked the engines into high gear. Peter careened around the corner of a building, Harry close behind.
From this height, he really had a chance to study Peter’s abilities with a discerning eye. He had a fluid, acrobatic grace to his movements honed by years of swinging around the city. If he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he would never have believed the brainy, sensitive, soft-spoken Peter was this same brash, athletic powerhouse speeding away from him.
Peter twisted in mid-air and landed on the roof of a building. Harry brought the glider to a stop. Peter seemed to have disappeared. “I thought we weren’t playing hide-and-seek anymore, Pete.” He leapt lightly from the glider and started to look around. “Olly, olly, oxen free! Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
He came around the side of a wall. “Harry.” Peter’s voice trickled down from above. Harry looked up.
Peter was crouching on the wall, at least fifteen feet up. Even though Harry had seen Peter stick to the wall before, it was still disconcerting to watch him defy gravity like that.
His mouth twisted beneath the mask. “Pete,” he acknowledged. “So it’s just the two of us again. Only this time, the scales are more balanced.”
Peter’s tone turned disappointed. “I didn’t want to believe it, but when I found the evidence of a pumpkin bomb, there was only one logical choice.”
So that’s how he figured it out. “It was so nice of my father to leave his toys for me to play with, wasn’t it?”
“Just the toys, Harry?” ...or the power as well? Harry knew that was the unfinished part of the question.
He would show, rather than tell. Activating the boot jets, he flew the short distance to Peter’s position. Peter’s precognition allowed him to dodge the fist aimed at him. A chunk of wall exploded inward where his head had been.
Peter flipped across a wide distance and landed noiselessly. “Nice try. Your father could at least land his punches,” he called over flippantly.
If Peter had wanted to anger him, it worked, but not so much he would get careless. “Give me time – I’m just getting warmed up.” He called his glider to him, leapt aboard, and the chase was on again.
No matter. Almost any direction Peter could go, he had a plan.
They started heading almost due north, through the canyons of buildings. Taking careful aim, Harry sprayed the air near Peter’s head with rain of bullets.
The shock in Peter’s body was almost visible. His body went rigid for a split second, as he quickly avoided them. Didn’t think I would use killing force, did you? Laughter bubbled up inside of him and burst out. Even to his own ears, it sounded... maniacal. But it felt right. He was exhilarated, knowing this time, he actually had the power to wipe out his enemy.
The bullets left a pockmarked trail across the face of a skyscraper, shattering the windows on one floor. He hardly had time to discern the screams as he zoomed past.
Ahead, Peter shot a web out in front of him to snag a tall spire. Like a slingshot, Peter’s momentum carried him around and out of sight. “Where’d...” Harry began to say, then he felt a crash, and the glider tipped backward, almost over-balancing.
“No more games, Harry,” Peter called from behind.
Harry quickly hit the autopilot button and spun around. “Decide to finally face me man to man?”
“It would only be ‘man to man’ if you’d leave other people out of it!” Peter tackled Harry, trying to wrest control of the glider away from him.
The glider began a steady descent. In his peripheral vision, Harry could see people in the windows of buildings. They were pointing and discussing the aerial battle inaudibly. He threw a punch that Peter blocked, but not without nearly tumbling off the side. Even Peter started to notice that they were heading for street level. They passed above a crowd of weekend shoppers, who gasped and scattered.
Peter grabbed Harry by the shoulders and turned to look at where they would land.
“Oh, no...” Peter said disbelievingly.
At that moment, they crashed through the tops of several trees, causing both of them to tumble off of the glider. A group of picnickers scrambled away from their table just in time, as the glider smashed it into bits.
Harry picked himself up and brushed off the detritus from the crash. Laughing, Harry called out, “Welcome to Central Park, Spider-Man.”
“Gotta work on that dismount, Gobby!” Peter teased. He stood and surveyed the situation. Is anyone hurt? Peter thought. A crowd was gathering on the fringes of the clearing, away from them. He hoped they stayed well away.
Thankfully, Harry kept up the charade now that they had an audience. “But you can’t fault me for the routine - it was at least a 9 out of 10.”
They began to circle each other. Peter was keenly aware that he was severely limited now in this fight. While his webbing would stick to the trees, it would get hopelessly tangled in the branches, which might also snap if he used them to vault himself skyward. He had to rely on his strength, reflexes and acrobatic ability.
Harry didn’t seem to be limited by the setting. Using the jet power of the suit, he launched himself across the short distance between them. Peter easily avoided Harry’s fist, somersaulting backward. He shot a net of webbing to stop Harry from plunging into the tree line, tripping him in the process.
Harry easily tore apart the strands and turned to face him. “It’ll take more than that to stop me, little Spider.”
“Unlike you, I really don’t want to have to hurt you. I’m not a murderer, no matter what you may believe.”
Stalking relentlessly toward Peter, Harry spat out, “Tell that to the ghost of my father, crying out for your blood!”
“He was a liar and a madman, but even he shouldn’t have that kind of hold on you from the grave!” Peter sprang into the air to dodge his advance. At the top of his arc, however, Harry shot straight up. Peter couldn’t correct in time, and he felt his ribs crack with the impact. He landed heavily, but still on his feet, several yards away.
Time to stop playing defense. Aiming a spin-kick at his attacker, it connected with Harry’s head. Harry staggered back under the blow. Peter began raining blows on Harry, fists and feet, ignoring the growing pain from his cracked ribcage.
Harry made a powerful jump toward the trees. Peter bounded after him. He could now faintly hear the sound of sirens in the distance. One of the onlookers must have called the police. This has to end now. Putting an extra kick into his jump, he tackled Harry to the ground, pinning him.
“You think you’ve bested me, don’t you?” he cackled up at Peter, who was straddling him. Peter’s spider-sense flared, and he suddenly noticed a pumpkin bomb that appeared in Harry’s gloved hand. Time seemed to freeze as he leapt away, bomb rising into the sky after him.
Peter got out of range just in time. The bomb exploded deafeningly, incinerating a huge tree. The fire ignited several trees in the vicinity. Harry was now standing, searching the blast area for him. Peter saw, as well as felt, the eerie mask lock gazes with him. He was perched high in the branches of a tree that had not yet caught on fire.
“Aw, please, come on down. We were just starting to have fun!”
Peter decided not to respond. He climbed higher into the branches, looking for an escape route. On one side, the fire was quickly spreading to the other trees. On the other, the flashing lights of the police were approaching. Maybe if he could get Harry closer to the police...
He didn’t get a chance to make the decision. He suddenly turned to find Harry zooming toward him, jets on high power. They crashed through the canopy and were now visible to the authorities, who were sprinting through the grass toward them and the wrecked glider. Peter struggled in Harry’s arms. He forcefully pushed away, and plunged downward. Hitting the ground running – he had to get clear of the trees! – Peter headed for the police and the fiery blaze.
Peter had a second’s warning to try to get out of the way of Harry’s next attack. By this time, his costume was torn, his skin was cut and bleeding from the jagged branches. He rolled out of the way, rose to a crouch, and turned to Harry, breathing heavily. “The police are going to be here soon, you know, Harry.” Peter no longer cared about playacting superhero and villain. The roaring of the fire was covering up most of the sound anyway.
“Then I’ll just have to finish you off before then.” A sharp blade sprang from a wrist holder. He slashed raggedly at Peter’s chest. He dodged again, but each time was becoming more difficult. Peter could tell the fight was taking its toll on Harry too.
As he desperate fought to keep clear of the deadly blades, he could see that the police were now at the periphery of the fire. Firefighters had not arrived yet, and these officers would be ill-prepared to come in after them. Peter then heard a sickening crack above them. The fire had gutted one of the largest trees, and it began to fall slowly, inexorably toward them. Scrambling across the ground, Peter tried to get clear before it came crashing down. Harry started to chase after Peter, apparently unaware of what was happening behind him. He then halted, and turned toward the blazing column moving toward him. That moment cost him the chance to get clear.
As Peter got to the edge of the trees, he looked back. With a resounding thud, the tree limbs trapped Harry beneath them. “No!” Peter yelled in anguish.
One of the officers called out to him, “Was that the Green Goblin in there?”
He could only nod numbly. Goblin or not, vow of revenge or not, Harry was still his friend. He would not let him be cooked alive in that suit of his.
“Hey, what are you doing?!” the officer called after him, as he plowed through the flaming branches. Using strength fueled by adrenaline and need, he tore huge sections and tossed them to the sides. Peter found Harry under a large limb. He could hear Harry screaming in agony. Peter levered up the trunk on his back, and lifted it skyward. With a great groan and heave, the burning tree crashed down to the side. Peter hefted Harry on his shoulders and staggered out to the clearing.
Laying him as gently as he could on the ground, he removed the mask. Harry coughed and looked up at him. “He got us, again, father...” he slurred.
“Harry! Hang on! Help is on its way!” Peter waved over paramedics who were just beginning to arrive.
Harry’s eyes were rolling back into his head, and his speech was mostly unintelligible, punctuated by a clear word now and again. “Osborn blood... failed... father...”
The paramedics lifted him onto a stretcher. One turned to Peter and said, “You look like you’d better get to the hospital yourself. Get in, we’ll clean you up.”
He shook his head forcefully. “I’ll be fine. Be careful of the armor!” Taking one last look at Harry, Peter sprinted away, shouts of policemen following him, the opposite direction of the flashing lights.
Next: Chapter 11: Finally