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Fanfic / The Other Side (memoriaeterna)

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The other side by memoriaeterna is a Marvel Cinematic Universe fic that looks at a world where essentially the other half of the universe were killed by Thanos's Snap.

With the original six Avengers dead, it falls to Peter Parker to rally the remaining heroes to undo Thanos's actions, forming a strong sibling-esque bond with Wanda Maximoff in particular as they work to rebuild Earth and bring back what was lost.

The other side contains examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: From a public perspective, Spider-Man goes from a street-level hero to the face of the effort to rebuild civilisation after the Snap.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Kate Bishop is introduced as a Hawkeye fan on an Avengers message board and goes on to become a member of the New Avengers alongside Peter, Wanda and Yelena (although Peter takes care that the Accords don’t require her to sign until she’s of legal age).
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Essentially Quentin Beck’s fate here, as his plan is swiftly exposed thanks to the heroes coming together to spot the flaws in his deception before he can do more than the initial Elemental attacks.
  • Decoy Leader: Quentin Beck basically assumed that Peter was this, which is one reason he’s swiftly taken down as he underestimates everyone’s loyalty to Spider-Man.
  • Dismantled Macguffin: After about a year of work post-Snap, the surviving heroes have managed to find the near-microscopic fragments that are all that remains of the Infinity Stones and work on ensuring that the Stones regenerate in their care. After the time-displaced Stones accelerate the restoration of their counterparts, Peter and Wanda use Mind to reactivate the Vision while returning Time to Strange and asking the Guardians, the Asgardians and SHIELD/SWORD to deal with Power, Reality and Space while Spider-Man handles Soul.
  • Easily Forgiven: After Wanda undoes the Hex, her ‘victims’ in Westview observe that they actually found it easier to be under Wanda's influence than they did in canon. Where canon saw Wanda unwittingly force her own pain on others when they should have been enjoying the reunion once the Snap was undone, here dealing with another person's grief let them get away from their own for a time.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Jameson's efforts to sue Spider-Man become so extreme that his lawyer resigns on the grounds that he finds Jameson's actions too morally repugnant.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Agatha Harkness and Quentin Beck each fail to understand Peter’s influence on the other heroes, with Agatha surprised when Peter affirms his faith in Wanda to be an Avenger rather than a destroyer and Beck confused to see that the adults are genuinely following Peter’s cue when he assumed Peter was basically just the public face.
  • Famed in Story: Peter soon becomes famous when he is identified as Tony Stark’s sole surviving heir, and he swiftly publically reveals himself as Spider-Man to assure the world that he isn’t just some grieving teenager when he talks about his plans. When Strange meets the Ancient One when he goes back to retrieve the Time Stone from Kamar-Taj, he’s surprised to find that even his mentor is aware of Spider-Man, the past Sorcerer Supreme describing Peter becoming Spider-Man as one of the absolute points of paramount importance to the history of the universe.
  • Family of Choice: While all active heroes come to consider Peter Parker the leader of the effort to undo the Snap, Wanda, Peter Quill, Doctor Strange, Hope Pym, Jane Foster and Yelena Belova each become particularly close to him. In a group chat, Wanda, Quill and Yelena all designate themselves as Peter’s siblings, while Strange, Hope and Jane are his uncle and aunts respectively. Once the Snap is undone, Wanda accepts the ‘need’ to add Tony to the chat, and May is swiftly added once Strange points out that it’s somewhat odd for this chat not to include Peter’s only living relative now that she’s available.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Nick Fury might have the Avengers’ respect, but it’s clear that none of them like him much as a person. Sam Wilson makes it clear early on that he thinks it unlikely Fury would ever have been on Stark’s list of who would get access to Stark Enterprises after his death, even if Fury was operating on the assumption that literally everyone else on said list would have to die before Fury was selected.
  • Get Out!: When Peter inherits control of Stark Enterprises, he swiftly retreats to the Avengers compound to consider his options, to the extent that he orders most of the surviving Avengers and even SHIELD itself to leave the Compound when Fury, Hill and Wilson show up to try and take control of Stark’s assets. The only person he allows to stay in the compound with him is Wanda, as he recognises that she, like him, has literally nowhere else to go when everyone she loved was lost in the confrontation with Thanos.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When Peter, Wanda and Strange learn of the sacrifice required to retrieve the Soul Stone, Wanda and Strange each reject the idea of Peter sacrificing himself to get it, openly stating that they’d prefer to go back to Titan to take the Soul Stone from Thanos or try and accelerate the restoration of the Soul Stone in their present despite the risks of such an approach, as anything’s better than sacrificing themselves when they have options.
  • Heist Episode: As in Avengers: Endgame, the heroes have to go back in time to retrieve past versions of the Stones. However, their efforts here go far more smoothly than in canon, as they have first-hand sources to identify the best times to go after the Stones, a greater supply of Pym Particles, and no Nebula to accidentally ‘alert’ Thanos; Vormir is the closest thing to a challenge as none of them had been there before.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Quentin Beck tries to trick Peter into giving him access to EDITH, he is caught off-guard when Peter reveals that they already hacked his drone system. As a result, while Beck thought he was talking to Peter alone on the roof of Avengers Tower, he’s actually been surrounded by all four of the New Avengers.
  • Honorary True Companion: While the surviving heroes all remain active post-Snap, the New Avengers are essentially just Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, and the new Black Widow and Hawkeye; T’Challa has his duties as Wakanda’s king, Doctor Strange is obviously kept occupied by his duties with the other sorcerers, Hope Pym focuses on her work in the lab, and Sam Wilson and Bucky work mainly with the army. That said, Sam, Bucky and Hope in particular make it clear that they will make themselves available if the core team need them in the field, and Doctor Strange offers Peter advice more than once.
  • Hope Bringer: Not only does Peter help Wanda overcome the grief that inspired her to create the Hex, but while talking with Doctor Strange, he encourages Strange to consider the possibility that, even if he saw 14, 000, 604 scenarios where they lost and the one where they won featured the survival of the other half of the universe, this could be the 14, 000, 606th scenario where they also won.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Agatha Harkness and Quentin Beck still go after Wanda’s power and Peter’s reputation respectively; they just do it basically five years earlier than they did in canon as their targets survived the Snap.
  • Like a Son to Me: A Running Gag is how various parties are initially convinced that Peter is Tony’s illegitimate son, considering that Tony left Peter with a controlling interest in his company, and Peter insisting that he isn’t.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Not only do Peter and Wanda swiftly ‘adopt’ each other as siblings, but Peter Quill soon starts referring to himself as Peter Parker’s big brother, and once Yelena Belova joins the New Avengers she soon proclaims herself Peter’s sister as well.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Peter Parker basically becomes this for Wanda Maximoff and Doctor Strange in particular. With Peter providing Wanda with a place to stay after he's given full control of Stark Enterprises, Wanda not only initially "casts" him as Pietro in her Westview breakdown but later lets him talk her down after Doctor Strange is able to help bring Peter back to himself. Following that event, Peter is able to convince Strange to help the remaining heroes find a way to undo the Snap despite the fact that this isn’t the future where Strange saw them win.
  • Magic Versus Science: A low-key example, but one scene shows Strange being privately frustrated that he hasn’t found a way to incorporate magic into Kate Bishop’s arrows when they include such scientific additions as the Pym arrow.
  • Magitek: In Tony’s absence, the heroes- led by Peter- find a way to mix science and magic to map the Quantum Realm as a means of time travel, using recall devices inscribed with runes to allow the travellers to move through time to retrieve the Stones from the past.
  • Majority-Share Dictator: Peter is basically a benevolent version of this after he is the sole heir to Tony Stark’s shares in the company, since Pepper, Happy and Rhodey are all dead in the Snap. When he first meets with Stark Enterprises’ board of directors, Peter makes it clear that he doesn’t expect them to just blindly follow his lead and appreciates that he isn’t experienced enough to run the company on his own. He relies on input from FRIDAY and the surviving board members to appoint replacements for those lost in the Snap, but makes it clear that the company will prioritise finding a way to undo the Snap and bring back those lost.
  • Manchild: Peter Quill remains this, although it’s treated as a friendly quirk as he adopts a position as Peter Parker’s older brother even though he’s old enough to be a father figure.
  • One-Steve Limit: Peter Parker and Peter Quill take to referring to each other as ‘Big Peter’ and ‘Little Peter’ when they’re in the same room (Jane Foster recalls that they initially considered Peter One and Peter Two but soon abandoned that as they couldn’t agree which of them would be Peter One).
  • Related in the Adaptation: An ‘in-universe’ example of this occurs during Wanda’s breakdown in Westview when she ends up ‘casting’ Peter Parker as Pietro in her initial false reality. While the illusion is swiftly ended, Peter and Wanda remain close once back in reality, the two acknowledging the other as a sibling beyond their time in Westview.
  • Screw Destiny: When Strange talks with the Ancient One about their efforts, she observes that the universe is ultimately self-correcting and it’s best to surrender to fate, so if their plans succeed either they were always meant to undo the Snap or they have achieved the impossible and defied fate. On a personal level, Wanda affirms that Peter’s faith in her is the main reason she refuses to succumb to her apparent destiny as the Scarlet Witch, proclaiming herself to be an Avenger rather than the destroyer Agatha said she would become.
  • Shout-Out: When Yelena makes contact with Peter, she concludes her introduction by saying “I think you are missing a Black Widow on your team so I volunteer as Tribute, Peter Parker”.
  • Socialization Bonus: When the heroes try to essentially help the Infinity Stones reassemble themselves, they realise that the stones gain an energy boost when they come into contact with those who previously had encounters with those stones, accelerating the growth rate of their restoration. As an example, Peter Quill and the remaining Guardians gave Power a boost, Jane Foster’s past experience with the Aether enhanced Reality, Wanda obviously helped Mind’s repair, and Strange takes the Time Stone fragments back to Kamar-Taj to get aid from Wong and others while Fury, Monica and other members of SHIELD help boost Space.
  • Spirit Advisor: Hinted at; when Peter, Wanda, Jane, Monica, Quill and Strange all assist in performing the new Snap, they all witness someone deceased who was important to them. Peter sees the Tony Stark of the prime timeline, Wanda says goodbye to Pietro, Jane encounters Loki, Monica sees her mother, Quill talks with Gamora, and Strange has a final exchange with the Ancient One.
  • Swapped Roles: For the most part, the whole premise of this fic is that those who died in the Snap in Infinity War lived here, and vice versa. There are admittedly some cases where people died anyway (May Parker, Ned Leeds, Flash Thompson and Betty Brant), and a few survived in both realities (Wong, albeit written before it was confirmed he was never ‘Blipped’ in canon either, and likely Kate Bishop given her age pre- and post-Snap), but for the most part this rule applies.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: While the heroes are retrieving the Stones from the past, Peter, Wanda and Strange arrive on Vormir at the moment that the canon Steve Rogers went there to return the Soul Stone following the events of Avengers: Endgame. Peter speculates that this happened because both groups travelled back to a point before their two timelines diverged, allowing them to visit the ‘same’ past.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Quentin Beck assumes that Peter is a naïve teenager who is genuinely overwhelmed by his responsibilities and would be eager to pass on his role as the hero to someone else. As a result, Beck is unprepared to realise that everyone working in Avengers Tower genuinely follows Peter’s plans to undo the Snap, to say nothing of the idea that Peter could see through his plan and take him by surprise.
  • Young and in Charge: Although Peter is officially in charge of Stark Enterprises as Tony’s last surviving heir, he makes it his first priority to appoint suitable acting heads of the company's various departments as he recognises that he isn't experienced enough to actually lead the company himself, even if he makes it clear to all that Stark Enterprises will focus all viable efforts on finding a way to restore those lost to the Snap. Outside of Stark Enterprises, Peter also basically ends up taking charge of the heroes’ efforts to restore the Stones and undo the Snap, with even Doctor Strange affirming that Peter is the best of them.
  • Younger and Hipper: With the core Avengers team consisting of Peter, Wanda Maximoff, Yelena Belova and Kate Bishop, the team rely on such strategies as livestreaming their fights to help make them more relatable to the general public. Sam Wilson reflects more than once that he doesn't understand the younger heroes' way of doing things even if he acknowledges how this helps the public trust them.