5 - Field Trip [Part 2]

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The class piled into the open space of the New York Hall of Science and circled around the quiet and dimly lit hall. I had been here many times before, my parents used to bring my brother, Colton and myself here each Summer when a new exhibition came through the city. I hadn't stepped foot inside the building without the comfort of my family for almost two years. Heaving in a deep breath, I blinked back tears, biting down on my lower lip as I skipped around a bunch of students that had stopped in front of a display of new nuclear technology. I felt a strange burn in my chest just being in this hallowed hall. The feeling was something that had passed a year ago but being back here, it was fresh and demanding. 

"Flo, are you alright?" Gwen was suddenly beside me, a warm hand gripping around my wrist. Her brown eyes were filled with concern. A concern that I hadn't witnessed in over a year. 

I gave a blunt nod. "Peachy."

I knew Gwen didn't believe me, she was smarter than that. She inched forward, lowing her voice. "I know you used to come here with your parents and..." She couldn't even say his name, maybe because she knew I hated hearing it or maybe because I hadn't just lost him, she had too. We all had.

I gave her a tight smile. "It's been nearly two years, Gwen. I really don't..." I paused, feeling the burn in my chest flare again because sometimes it hurt just talking about him. "I'm fine." I added in after a moment, letting my lungs fill with air. I casted my eyes away from her, seeing Harry and Peter standing a few feet away, watching too. 

I quickly shook off her hand, hating how our moment was being witnessed by others that didn't understand. "Are you sure? Because we could skip--"

I shook my head. "I don't skip, ever." I informed her, shifting on my feet. I threw a look back over my shoulder and found Peter and Harry gone thankfully. It was Mary Jane that stood in their place, her bright mood flushed away. 

"Okay." Gwen muttered out and let me move further into the room, my eyes roaming over the displays and information desks. I placed one foot in front of the other and moved, slowly but surely. Being back in New York Science Hall should have been a comfort, knowing this was a place Colton and I both loved but it was not. I wanted to push through the crowd and pile myself back onto the bus, forgetting all about my assignment based on the demonstration but I couldn't. 

I was capable of standing in this hallowed hall, making sure my breathing stayed steady and listening to every word spoken about nuclear laboratory waste materials. It had been almost two years and the tightness in my chest would fade, it always did. I had to be capable today. I didn't have much of a choice. 

After wandering around the exhibition for a while, the class piled around the display where a team of scientists where speaking about how to safely handle nuclear laboratory waste materials. Cindy Moon stood beside me, offering a quick smile. The team of scientists went through a detailed speech about the reasons behind the purpose of their research and the findings which would change the very nature of using nuclear equipment in laboratories worldwide. "How about a demonstration?" One of the keen scientists grinned and a small hum went through the class. Cindy was busy texting on her phone, most likely texting her boyfriend as the demonstration started. I bounced on the balls on my feet, getting a better look. 

"This is one of the many ways we can control radioactive rays in the labs," Another scientist was saying, the hum of the laboratory equipment getting switched on filling the room. The small version of a particle accelerator coming to life before my eyes. The crowd of fellow students fell silent as a bright spark flashed between the two arms of equipment. It lasted shortly, the light fading and the taller scientist turned, a smile resting on his face.

An applause went through the crowd as he went on, speaking about the ways labs can be fitted with this new technology and the benefits. Mary Jane was suddenly beside me, "Pretty neat, huh?" I grinned across at her.

She nodded. "I don't really know what exactly happened but it looked pretty cool."

Her arm linked through mine naturally, turning me away slightly. I knew she wanted to make sure I was alright. She was too kind not to ask, even when I didn't want to talk about it. But before the question could slip from her mouth, shouts went through the crowd.

"Looks like the demonstration was too much for Parker!" 

"Parker's always had a weak stomach!"

I spotted Peter pushing through the crowd hastily, his glasses slipping from his nose and crashing towards the ground. Mary Jane's hand slipped from my arm as she went after him. I stepped forward, retrieving Peter's broken glasses from the tiled flooring.

Cindy stepped in beside me, her phone away now. "What's up with Pete?"

I shook my head. "I have no idea," I started. "Maybe he's just too much of a--"

A little gasp came from Cindy and she bent down quickly. My eyes fell down, watching as she touched her ankle. "What's wrong, Cin?"

Her eyes were glassy when she finally tilted her head back up at me, dark hair falling over her shoulders. "Something bit me."

"Like what?" I questioned. 

I helped her up, her movement slow and unsteady. "I think it was a spider."

She wobbled on her feet and my hand gripped around her forearm, keeping her upright on her feet. "Maybe we should get you some fresh air." I said, helping her through the crowd that were chatting wildly and rather loudly and out into the cold air. 

The thought of how Peter Parker had rushed out of the hall didn't cross my mind again. Not yet, anyway. 







AUTHOR'S NOTE: 

As clearly stated, the way Peter gets his powers differs in each adaptation and for my story, I was following the comics. Anyway, I introduced a pretty important character, Colton. He is Florence's brother and does play a big role in her life still, but that's all to come. 

-tinkertaydust x

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