"Z! Sweetie! I wasn't expecting you back so soon."
"I was such a disaster! --You guys never really get to grow up."
"...you never tell me about what tiny Death was like."
"I didn't have much to do because the only things I had to take were, like, stars and planets? And stars just don't die that often. And stars don't make movies or write music or compose dzagkah, and they are terrible conversational partners, so I was really lonely and bored."
"...are they conversational partners?"
"...Promise me that bringing Sasha back to life is the right thing for your happiness and you're not just saying that because you're sentimental about humans getting to have 85 years instead of 15."
He extends his pinky with genuine solemnity.
She wraps her finger around his finger.
"Human rituals are so charming! --You should probably go, he's going to be startled when he's waking up."
"...yeah, probably. Love you."
And then he opens his eyes.
He opens his eyes and jerks upright.
(He doesn't have the mask why doesn't he have —)
"Hey – hey, shh, it's gonna be fine –"
He feels frantically around on the ground, grabs his mask, holds it out to him.
"You might have a little trouble with the moving thing for a minute, it's cool, all normal..."
"Sir, Spider-man appears to be alive."
He's trying to find baby Hitler but that's so not important-- he takes off through the ceiling because it's faster--
Halfway there it occurs to him that Sasha probably doesn't want to see him.
The damage is done but he puts the mask back on. His hands are shaking. His everything is shaking.
He lands twelve feet away, takes off the suit, and puts up his hands in the I'm-unarmed position.
(he's all right, he's all right-- everything is going to be okay now, he's all right--)
"Spider-man-- I, I love you and I am so so sorry and-- if you want me to go away now I can do that but I had to. Check."
"Give him a second! Resurrection fucks you up the first time!"
He cringes a bit and says "okay."
(It is really weird to see Asher Stark cringe.)
— he curls inward at the sound of Asher's voice, goes very still.
He's still shaking.
"...I really want to help with the whole saving baby Hitler thing, but I think somebody should get Spidey away from the building."
He. Sasha is sad, he wants to hold him, he wants to hold him and kiss him and tell him everything is going to be all right and Asher is going to keep him safe--
"You should probably do that," Asher hears himself saying, "I don't think he wants to be around me right now."
His eyes are wet. He doesn't know why.
He puts the suit back on and takes off.
Well, this is gonna suck for a while.
"This probably goes faster if I carry you, but I can keep a respectable five-foot no-touching distance if that's your thing right now."
"Faster is good. I — I think being touched is good. It's hard to tell." He's still curled up small.
(Somewhere in the distance Asher does a somersault because Sasha is alive.)
"Okay. I got you."
He scoots over, scoops Sasha into his arms and heads for the plane.