Independence by wolflynx460 ~ Kate
I screamed and closed my eyes, preparing myself for impact from the fall. I felt something on my back and I felt a weird feeling as I started to slow down and go back up, then wobble a bit before settling. I opened my eyes and saw that there was a web spread out from two street lights and the school, and I was in the middle of it. The guy in the blue and red suit swung past. I immediately remembered Tom telling me about Spider-Man, the hero that supposedly lived in Queens. I had just been saved by a real super hero!
As explosions and fighting broke out behind me, I felt desperate to help Spider-Man in the fight against Penelope's dad. I gripped the handle of my dad's pocket knife. With little hesitation, I started to try to cut myself out of the web. The web was sticky and I struggled to slice through it, but I managed. The only two things I dreaded at the moment were helping Spider-Man and thinking about how I would have to clean the knife later. That would totally suck, I realized. I focused my attention back onto cutting through the webs.
Only a few more strands of web remained. I was literally hanging from a thread, but thankfully the web was sticky enough that I was just, you know, casually dangling from eight-ish feet in the air. I looked at the ground under me. I took a deep breath and knew that I was going to have some unexplainable bruises from this. Checking to see if any people were under me, I cut the last thread and let the knife fall on the ground before me so I couldn't cut myself on it during impact.
I slightly bent my legs and landed, going forward and rolling, landing harshly on my back. The wind was knocked out of me and I gasped for air. I flipped over onto my stomach and hit the ground with my hand. I grabbed my dad's knife and struggled to stand. I trembled and gasped for air, almost falling over while standing. Remembering what my soccer coach had told me my first year after getting hit in the stomach, I put my hands on my head and breathed deeply. The thought of playing soccer at that moment almost brought tears to my eyes, but I held the tears in. I would have given anything to just go back to the good old days, when it was just my mom, Penelope and her mom, and I. Except I'd want Tom there, too, because he'd become one of my best friends.
Spider-Man was thrown to the side and I saw my chance. I jumped and slid on my side, hooking my feet under the man and tripping him, then using my momentum to stand back up. I'd have some scratches from that one. Penelope's dad quickly recovered and we engaged in hand to hand combat. It was tough, he was definetely really skilled and he had an unmeasurable amount of strength, but somehow I held him off as Spider-Man recovered.
Back and forth we went, first me getting knocked away and then Spider-Man taking my place. We'd sometimes fight him two on one, me going hand to hand and Spider-Man using webs and his own super-human like strength. Often we'd just switch places, one person on the ground as the other fought with the man. It was nearly impossible to knock Penelope's dad down, but we landed a few good blows.
At one point, the man started to get impatient. He effortlessly threw Spider-Man to the side and punched me in the stomach, causing me to double over in pain. I then took a knee to the jaw and a punch to the other side of my jaw, falling backwards and trying to hold back a scream in agony. Penelope's dad held his spear high above his head, ready to strike me either in the stomach or in the heart.
Just get it over with, I thought. I don't have much to live for anyways. Just kill me now and put me out of my misery.
Instead, I had no time to think or react when I heard two people screaming at Penelope. I didn't even know that Penelope was there, let alone in danger. I can't even imagine how horrified I must have looked when Penelope stepped between me and the spear. I don't think anyone saw, though, because there was a flash of light and I felt a hot sensation on my skin, as if I were too close to a camp fire. I watched as Penelope's limp body flew across the street, landing in front of a bank.
"Penelope!" I screeched. I felt as much pain as Penelope probably did, except I only felt the pain of losing Penelope. I saw a boy, I think it was Barry..? I saw him run across the street without watching for cars. Cars screeched to a stop as he ran past and dropped to his knees at Penelope. Spider-Man swung across the street and jumped down next to him.
I looked up at Penelope's dad, who looked horrified. My hands clenched into fists. He may have just killed my best friend, with that stupid stick thing. I wanted so badly to defeat him now, I wasn't worried about hurting him. I wasn't worried about even killing him and being sent to jail. I got to my feet and kicked him where the sun doesn't shine.
"You..." I said, low and soft, but loud enough for him to hear. He groaned in pain, trying to move away from me. He was scared. I had him where I wanted him. "You call yourself a father, and then hurt your own daughter?!" I screamed. I brought my foot down onto his stomach, causing him to writhe in pain.
"Stop, please..." He begged, holding his stomach and backing up. But I had no intention in stopping, not until I avenged Penelope.
I kicked him in the side, causing him to roll over onto his stomach, and then kicked him again to get him back onto his back. "You think I'm going to stop, when you couldn't stop yourself to practically killing your daughter?!" I asked. I continued to kick him and punch him, until tears were streaming down my face and I was crying uncontrollably. I was nothing without Penelope, nothing. And this man had just taken everything I had and crushed it.
I felt hands on my arms and was being pulled back by someone. I sobbed, screaming and cursing at the man, who was bruised and bleeding from his face and knuckles. I felt the person's arms wrap around me, holding me as my knees buckled and I collapsed. I looked behind me and saw Spider-Man looking at me. I couldn't see his expression, but his narrowed eyes were a hint to me that he was concerned.
I looked across the street, where Barry was still on his knees next to Penelope. I lifted my arm and pointed, my finger trembling like I was ninety years old. Spider-Man helped me to my feet and walked between the man and I. As we walked across, he called Tony Stark and told him what happened and to meet us there.
When we made it across the street, Spider-Man set me down next to Barry, who steadied me and wrapped an arm around me so Spider-Man could take care of Penelope's dad. I looked down at Penelope's limp body. I saw small signs of life and felt a flood of relief.
I stared forward at Penelope and asked Barry, "Did you call an ambulance?"
"Spider-Man told me not to. Apparently someone's on their way," Barry responded.
I turned around to look at Spider-Man, who was standing over Penelope's dad. I jumped when Spider-Man was blasted back by the spear's light and the man stood up. I moved back, shielding Penelope's body.
"Barry..." I said, watching the man walk our way. Barry stood up and shielded Penelope and I.
"Get away from us," he said. I have to admit, I admired his courage. But it was short-lived when Barry was sent flying down the sidewalk. I looked at the man and was prepared to die for Penelope.
The man only stood in front of me. Staring into my eyes. I wondered what he was waiting for. He came over to kill us, didn't he? So why wasn't he killing us? He moved to look at Penelope. He held his spear in the air, a single tear streaming down his cheek. I braced myself for impact.
Suddenly, the sky was lit by a blinding light, and the man was knocked away. In his place stood another man in a similar, more refined outfit and a red cape, holding a hammer. He looked at Penelope and I and muttered something that I couldn't understand. It sounded like some sort of old version of a language I'd never heard of.
A jet flew above and people jumped out of the back of it. There was a woman with reddish brown hair, Iron Man, and a red man with a golden stone in his forehead. Spider-Man swung to the scene.
"Grab someone and go, kid," Iron Man told him. Spider-Man looked at me, then looked at Barry. He crouched down and picked me up. He shot a web at the jet and my heart dropped when we went flying through the air. We landed in the back of the jet, and there were even more people. A man had a stretcher ready, probably for Penelope.
"Pe- I mean, Spider-Man, are they bringing her up?" The man asked.
"Yeah, I think Vision's getting her," Spider-Man replied. He helped me over next to the stretcher. "Buckle up," he told me. I buckled myself in and the jet shook. Spider-Man peered over the side of the jet. "Loki's starting to rejuvinate, is Thor going to take him in?" Spider-Man asked.
Just then, Iron Man flew up with Barry and Vision followed behind him with Penelope. The first man hooked her up and started to read her vitals. At this point I could tell he was a doctor. Another man came from the cockpit. He was in a cape - I'm starting to notice that these guys really like their capes - and touched Penelope. After a minute of silence, he walked to the end of the jet.
"Loki's mine," the man said, flying out of the jet. The girl flew up only seconds after, gasping. She was beat up a bit, but she looked more shocked than hurt.
"Are you alright?" The guy who I assumed was Vision asked. She shook her head slightly. She sat down across from me and Barry finally sat next to me, looking at Penelope desperately. He looked like he had lost faith in her or something. Tony Stark was revealed as his suit was packed into a suitcase and he sat next to the girl, Vision on her other side. Spider-Man sat on the other side of me.
More explosions. Barry looked a little scared, but reached over and held Penelope's hand. He was worried for her. I would have found it cute, if I wasn't in shock. What was going on? Within two minutes, I go from crying on the concrete to sitting in a jet with half of the Avengers. My best friend was unconcious, laying in front of me on a stretcher, barely breathing, and there were explosions under us.
The man in the red cape flew up, but didn't land. He only said, "Take off! Go, now! We'll meet you back at the headquarters!" He flew away and Tony yelled to the cockpit to leave. The doctor pressed a button and the back of the jet closed.
We were all silent, looking at Penelope and the doctor, who was rushing all around her. He was frantic and complained that we were going too slow. Every time he complained, voices from the cockpit would say, "We're going as fast as we can, Banner! Shut up!"
Tony was grinning at me the whole time. I looked away uncomfortably, but I could feel him staring, so I decided to ask him, "What's your deal? Why do you look at me that way?"
He laughed, "Why don't you ask Spider-Man?" Spider-Man stood up.
"Mr Stark, I had it covered! I had Loki under control until Loki sensed Thor, and then blasted me with that weird spear!" He said. He sounded like a little kid, whining to Tony Stark as if he were Tony's son.
"From what I saw, kid, you didn't have it under control," Tony said. He turned back to me. "But you, you're a pretty skilled fighter. I saw the way you attacked Loki. You were calm, you know, until.." He cleared his throat to avoid continuing his sentence, which was smart. I would have punched him if he had. "Anyways, are you in karate or something?"
"No, my parents both served," I said. Tony nodded, hiding a grin that I could see. "My dad died when I was four. My mom's taught me a bunch of fighting techniques so I can protect myself, since my dad..." I choked up. Recalling a memory like that broke me.
"Well," Tony said after a minute. "You're good. Really good. Maybe you could become part of the team one day," he said. I raised an eyebrow at him.
"You're joking, right?" I asked. He looked at me, genuinely confused. I pointed at Penelope. "My friend might die, and you're offering me a job? I suggest you shut up, Tony Stark, before I give you a hands on presentation of my full range of fighting techniques. Just as a little preview, I know over thirty ways to knock you out without using a weapon."
He looked away uncomfortably. I looked back at Penelope, who was still barely breathing. I looked at Barry, who looked sad. I pat his shoulder, wishing that Tom was here. He would know how to make me feel better, not make me angrier like Tony.
The pilot shouted five minutes later, "Landing in five!" I looked up at each of the heroes in front of me. There was Vision, then the girl who I'd heard been called Wanda. On her other side was Tony "The Idiot" Stark. On my left was Spider-Man, and I was guessing that the doctor was pretty important, too, although I didn't know him.
A minute later, Tony cursed. "I can't stand this, she needs to know," he said. He walked directly towards me and then suddenly turned to Spider-Man. He tried to pull off his mask, and after the two struggled a bit with each other, Tony pulled it off and what I saw left me speechless. I guess we were going to talk later. A single curl fell in front of his soft and innocent brown eyes.
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