ArchivedLogs:Trojans Bearing Gifts
|Trojans Bearing Gifts|
Shortly after Operation SPIDER RESCUE, Peter gets a visitor in the hospital.
Peter's hospital room is bustling with balloons and well-wishes and cupcakes. The 15 year old teen is tucked firmly in bed, attached to an IV-drip with his left shoulder swarmed in fresh bandages. His glasses are placed on the nearby counter; he currently has his phone in his hands, texting /wildly/. Oh my GOD there are so many things to catch up on. His brows are frumpled with worry. Apparently the world ended in his absence.
Aunt May hovers nearby, sitting in a chair and reading a book. Dealing with a rambunctious teenager -- one who has nearly been killed! -- isn't always easy. But Peter is alive in stable condition. Nevermind that he claims to have no memory of being abducted by the New York vampire; nevermind that he has no memory of how he escaped or why he was lost in the sewers for four days. Her boy is alive, bright-eyed, and texting on a phone. All is right and well with the world.
And then -- a polite knock, followed by a tentative voice: "Hello?" Warm. Gruff. Masculine. For a moment, Peter and Aunt May might mistake it for Uncle Ben.
It is not Uncle Ben.
Norman Osborn is dressed as he always is: Immaculate. Black suit. Black tie. White shirt. A warm, comforting smile. And a bundle of flowers, along with a brown paper package. "Sorry to intrude," he tells them both.
"Mr. Osborn?" Peter asks, the question almost a whisper; he just /stares/ at the man. No longer texting. What--
"Oh, dear," Aunt May replies. And now she is /swelling/ with warmth, rising to her feet to greet Norman with a loving, grateful hug. "Oh, Mr. Osborn, I cannot tell you how thankful we are, how truly thankful--"
Norman Osborn accepts the hug cheerfully -- although his arms are full, so he is hard-pressed to return it. "Please, call me Norman," he tells her. "And it's nothing, May. Really."
"What." Peter is just staring with slack-jawed disbelief. Why. Why is Aunt May hugging Norman Osborn. "What. Is. Going. On."
"Oh, Peter -- this is -- Mr. Osborn, Harry's father? You remember Harry, don't you?" Aunt May turns to Peter, looking so /happy/! "He's been helping /all/ the victims of that awful vampire -- paying their medical bills. And when you were found... dear, he's paying for ALL of this! It's a Godsend -- the insurance company, they were fighting us, we might have had to mortgage the /house/--"
"Pish-posh," Norman replies. He manages to look mildly offended; like the notion that Aunt May would have to put a mortgage on the house is the most absurd thing he's ever heard. "You know I wouldn't let such nonsense happen, May. Harry is Peter's friend -- goodness, I've even worked with Peter's father! The Parkers are always friends of the Osborns -- ah, I hope you don't think that presumptuous of me." He grins, then. A hint of color to his cheeks. Yes, Norman Osborn is /blushing/!
"Oh no, not at all. We're so thankful, Norman -- you have no idea! How much this means to us."
Peter continues to just stare. Jaw slack. Eyes wide. Something isn't /right/ here.
"Oh!" Norman says, setting the flowers down -- lifting the brown package up to show it to Peter. "Harry told me you're a bit of a science whiz." And then he grins, ear-to-ear. "You know... I'm a bit of a 'science-whiz' myself."
"I... oh. Are you?" Peter asks, his voice suddenly oh-so-small.
"Yes! Oscorp -- we specialize in cutting edge technology. I even worked with your father, for a time. I thought -- well, with your permission, May -- I hope you don't mind! -- I brought Peter a present. A little something from our labs. Something he could add to his chemistry set." Norman's grin is so wide, so cheerful, so /warm/. He sets the package down on the desk next to Peter.
"Oh, Peter -- go ahead and open it!" Aunt May is nothing but sunshine and happiness.
Peter's hands shake as he reaches for the package. Inside, there is a lidded box filled with cartridges -- over sixty of them, lined up in neat little rows. Peter stares at them, long and hard. He does not say a word.
"What on earth...?" Aunt May asks.
Norman answers: "A new type of glue we're working on. Very fun. Bio-adhesive paste -- extraordinarily strong. Dissolves into a non-toxic gas after about an hour of exposure to air. Thought Peter might get a kick out of it, messing with it -- chemistry stuff, you know? It's completely harmless -- heck, /super-glue/ is more dangerous than this stuff."
"Oh... oh! Well, isn't that nice?" Aunt May says, as if trying to decide for herself if this is actually nice. Finally, she concludes: "Yes, that is very thoughtful! ...Peter? Where are your manners?"
"Th-thank you, Mr. Osborn." Peter is no longer staring at the cartridges. He is now staring at Norman Osborn.
And Norman Osborn is staring back. Still grinning. "No thanks needed, Peter," he says. "Us scientists have to stick together, right?" And then: "When you get better, why don't you have dinner with us? Me and Harry. I've been meaning to meet some of Harry's friends."
Peter doesn't say a word. Aunt May's 'auntie' sense starts to tingle. She looks to Peter, then to Osborn. And then: "Well, we'll have to talk about it -- Peter is still exhausted..."
"Of course. Forgive me; you need your rest." Norman waves aside the notion of dinner as if it were nothing but a cloud of irritating smoke. "We can discuss this later. May -- always a pleasure." A warm smile. And then a nod to the boy: "Peter. Put that glue to interesting use." He winks. "We'll be in touch."
Peter just stares at Norman Osborn's back as he leaves.