Peter stares at Miles, eyes wide and unblinking as he drinks in the question. It was simple, so awfully simple, and yet…. The words seem to fail, not yet leaving him as he tries to think out how to respond. He can think of a million things, so painfully surprised when not a single word leaves him. For once, his ADHD doesn’t play a part in anything, all blocked and corrupted like the first few minutes of being in a different universe two weeks behind his own. He wishes he could have warned his universe, first.
“What’d it cost you? To be Spider-Man, I mean.”
That was awfully simple. It had cost a whole fucking lot. It cost lives, cost friendships, cost what could have been but now never would be. Liz, Ben, then Tony, and now both May and Happy, it may as well be him himself too. His life was getting destroyed back at home, torn down and thrown away at its very roots. After his identity had been revealed to the entire everywhere, he had no chance of escaping. As he too easily found, so did those associated with him. In a too-easy attack while Aunt May was at work with Happy volunteering, the two had lost their lives too easily. His throat still burns at the entire event. He didn’t even get a call, just stumbling across it on the news two hours after the announcement of his identity had been passed. His heart had stopped and he had to pause for a few moments.
There were desperate voicemails left to both of them. He stopped trying to call now, getting the message that both of their inboxes were too full already. It had only been sixteen hours since he had lost it all and fifty-three minutes since he was thrown wherever here was. He kind of wishes that he had done anything else. He had had a few minutes where Miles distracted him and he didn’t have to focus on it, and yet, here he was now, so abruptly reminded of it that the fourteen-year-old is suddenly violently thrown back into mourning everyone. He had lost Tony not even a full month ago, too, which only adds onto it.
He wants to sob, but he answers, “A lot.”
Gwen raises a soft brow. It’s just the three there, the iron spider before them clamping to himself. She looks like she wants to pry, but seemingly knows so much better than that.
Miles frowns, softly realizing that it was still a raw topic, not yet scabbed, nor ready to pick at. “Shit,” he curses out, eyes widening in panic, “My bad! I didn’t mean-”
“It’s okay,” Peter says with a watery smile, “This job means you lose people, right?”
The blonde hums as she softly says, “Yeah, I guess it does.”
“Who’d you lose,” Peter asks without a thought, wanting a distraction.
“My uncle,” Miles responds instantly.
Gwen nods. She easily supplies, “And I lost my best friend… He was the Peter Parker in my universe.”
“I’m sorry,” Peter whispers in reply. His eyes turn away as he says, “I lost my parents…” He can’t help but avoid their eye contact. “Then, my mentor got killed bringing me back..... I was dead for a while, but I got better. My aunt and her kind-of-maybe boyfriend just died yesterday after my identity was revealed to everyone, so… I hope MJ and Ned are okay…”
“Your identity was revealed,” Miles asks, who receives a nod in return. “Dude, that’s actually shitty.”
“Miles!” Gwen fusses as she elbows him in the side, though she’s not actually that angry.
Peter snorts and nods, wishing there weren’t tears in his eyes.