40 - Not His Fault

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The grey sky had decided to open up, showering down on us. The old cemetery was full of a dark sea of people, all wearing matching colour. Umbrellas were yanked open, protecting heads from the downpour. I stood by my parents, huddled close. My flats were drenched with mud and my jacket sprinkled with raindrops but none of that mattered as I stared across at the blown up photograph of Norman Osborn. He wasn't smiling in the picture, just giving me that cold and calculating look. I could barely hear the words being said about him, the wind too strong. A big part of me hadn't wanted to join my parents for the funeral, my heart heavy with guilt. But I couldn't skip out on the day, that would cause suspicion. So with my face blank from emotion, I stood with my hands by my sides, the skin on my wrists covered with bandages. I had done a pretty good job of covering up the redness and cuts from my parents but they throbbed with pain still, dull but a consent reminder of what had happened.

My father's hand gripped my shoulder as I watched Harry stand across from me. His face was blank, his father always drilled into his head that showing emotion was not something an Osborn man did. His head was bowed, eyes glued to the coffin covered with flowers. I wanted to tell him, to show him the man he desperately looked for approval from, was not worth it. I felt drawn to tell him his father was a villain, that he had grown insane and had attempted to kill Peter and myself. But with a promise, my mouth was kept closed and my thoughts pushed to the back of my mind.

As the ceremony came to an end, my gaze fell upon Peter who was standing with his aunt. Gwen and her parents were standing with them. Mary Jane was standing next to Harry, her family standing alone behind me. "Are you ready to go, dear?" My mother's soft voice sounded in my ear.

"Actually, I think I might speak with Harry first. If that's alright?" I questioned quietly. I knew if I asked they would leave me alone with my friends to try and mend that broken heart in Harry's chest, but I wouldn't stay with him, because today I just wanted to be at home and to drown out my thoughts with my parents and a bowl of popcorn.

She gave a nod, "Of course."

I shuffled over to Harry, weaving through the dying out crowd. When he saw me, his shoulders dropped a fraction and he was pulling me in for a hug, letting go of Mary Jane's hand. "I'm so sorry, Harry." I choked out, tears threatening to fall. I felt my chin wobble and hated how despite everything his father had put me through, I was still crying for him and the boy he left behind.

"Thank you for coming," He muttered into my shoulder. I could hear the tears in his voice but knew he wouldn't cry, not in front of all these people. He would see that as a betrayal to the man who didn't love him enough. My arms fell back to my sides when he stepped back. He looked tired, his eyes shaped with dark circles and I wondered if he was sleeping at all. I couldn't imagine being in that massive house all alone now.

A hand brushed my arm and my head twisted around to see Peter standing next to me, the rain dotting his coat. I could see the burden he was carrying and wondered if I was the only one that could see it. Harry pulled him in for a hug next, saying something in his ear quietly. Mary Jane moved in next to me, her hand falling into mine. I flinched when her cold fingertips brushed the harsh material wrapped around my wrists. "Flo, are those bandages?" I heard the worry in her voice.

I spotted Peter watching me, waiting for me to reply. I gave my friend a nod, clearing my throat. "I accidentally left my hair iron on and it fell from the bench top, I tried to grab it...I'm fine, it's just a burn." She bought the lie, they all did.

Gwen was standing with us now, her hand wrapped around the handle of her umbrella. The five of us stood in the cemetery letting the rain soak through our clothing, the wind chilling us to the bone. "I'm really sorry, Harry--" Gwen started slowly.

"I know who murdered my father." Harry butted in, his voice was traced with rage and I couldn't help but look across at Peter, his face still and his eyes lowered. Mary Jane slipped her free hand into Harry's, giving him a reassuring squeeze. "It sounds crazy but that masked hero killed him. It was that Spider-Man."

A coughed sounded from my throat, "You can't just blame someone like that. It wasn't his fault. It couldn't be his fault, Harry."

Harry sent me a glare, "I saw him, Florence. He was leaning over his body, dumping him at my house like some criminal. He killed my father and I will not rest until he is brought to justice." I casted my eyes away from him, biting down on my tongue. I couldn't blurt out that I knew his father was not murdered, if anything he had killed himself, but if I admitted that, I would need to confess about everything, including his best friend was Spider-Man and that was not my secret to share.

We disbanded after that, all heading off in our different directions. I moved through the cemetery, knowing my parents were waiting but I needed one more minute. It wasn't a long walk until I was standing at my brother's gave, reading his name over again in my head. I couldn't help but wonder what he would tell me right now, maybe giving me some sound advice. As a tear leaked down my cheek, silent and lonely, someone stepped up beside me.

Peter didn't speak, he didn't need to. We stood there together, glancing down at Colton Parsons's grave, maybe finding new strength together to move forward, to grow from this. "What do we do now?" I breathed out.

He took my hand, it was smooth and cold. "We try our best. That's all we can do."

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